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February Reading List

I read two books last month. I didn’t start The Help until Monday of this week so it’s rolling over into February. My February Reading List includes White Teeth by Zadie Smith, The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and Little Bee by Chris Cleave. I’ll be trying to work through the books that I physically own until I make a dent at my Goodreads list. I’m drawn towards darker (and even a little creepy) literature so I’m not used to reading books that are more popular. I’m also currently reading Designers Don’t Read by Austin Howe and Creative Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joe Deangdeelert Cho. Both are more design/creative oriented and are not fiction so I’m not including them in my lists. What are you reading this month?

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January Reading List Update

At the beginning of January, I posted my 2012 reading goals. Read three books every month. Well, I’ve already failed. I got through The Ice Queen and Bossypants but I’m still in the process of finishing The Help. Even though I technically didn’t finish all three before February 1st, I’m still impressed that I got to each one.

The Ice Queen was a very interesting read. It took me about three days to finish and after it was done, I didn’t think about it much. The story is unique in its storyline but it definitely has its depressing moments. I’m oddly a fan of depressing fiction so it was right up my alley. Bossypants was freaking hilarious. I literally laughed out loud throughout the entire thing. I adore Tina Fey and will probably read it again later in life.

I’ll be posting my February reading list tomorrow afternoon so be sure to check back! Also, feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments section.

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ONE DAY: Andrew + Erinn

Today’s ONE DAY feature is all about Andrew and Erinn. I “met” Erinn on Twitter and was thrilled that she wanted to share some of her lovely wedding details. They got married December 10, 2010 at The Cypress Grove Estate House in Orlando, Florida. Erinn describes their wedding palette as “dark sapphire blue, berry and green.” Learn more about their wedding day below:

1. What do you remember most about your wedding day? Laughing my whole way down the aisle. This sounds silly, but for those that know me, you know I’m always smiling. When I’m nervous, I make myself laugh. You’ll see a common trend in all of our wedding photos that I laughed the whole day. My husband and I had been dating since we were in the 8th grade – which is so, so long. But as I walked down the aisle and saw Andrew, it was like everything we had been working towards, everything we wanted to be had lead up to that particular moment. I was overwhelmed with joy.

2. What was your vision for your wedding before you actually started planning? How did that vision change by the time you were finished? I had been working as a wedding planner for 3 years when we got engaged. I was constantly surrounded by pretty details and dresses that I knew in my head exactly what I wanted to happen. My vision was simple, southern and bright. I wanted the colors to grab your attention before you knew what to do with them. I wanted vibrance, classic charm and personal touches. We grew up together in Florida, so we wanted it outside by a lake in the perfect December weather. We wanted to dance under a canopy of market lights with amazing music and our closest friends that we grew up with. It never changed and was beyond perfect.

3. What was your favorite and least favorite part of wedding planning? Favorite part had to be planning everything with my Mom. I’m the girly girl of the family, so it was no surprise to anyone that I whipped out a huge binder of all of my favorite wedding ideas the day we got engaged. My mom and I planned every single detail together, and I wouldn’t have changed that. My least favorite part is easy, the budget. Hands down. I had no problems telling my brides where to spend their money – but for some reason this was a really difficult task for me.

4. How did you go about finding your wedding photographer and videographer? I picked our wedding photographer right away. I had worked with Lindsey of Pure Photography several times before. We were friends, and we grew closer as she was so involved in the wedding planning with me. Her images are fresh, vibrant and breathtaking. I knew she’d fit in perfectly. We opted out of not having a videographer, and now I wish we would have. If anything, for the speaking moments of family members and friends.

5. Did you have any favorite DIY wedding projects? I had so many! We made tissue paper pom poms to hang between the arch ways around the dance floor amphitheater. It was the perfect touch and so easy to do! We folded them up and brought them with us, while we all were getting our hair ready we prepped the pom poms and hung them ourselves. We cleaned and polished my great grandmother’s antique silver catering pieces and spread them out through out the wedding – from the centerpieces to the favors, it was a constant reminder of family. My most favorite though, was instead of a traditional guest book we used green and berry Christmas tree ornaments and let our guests write their well wishes right there, and then hang them on a tree. Our first Christmas at home was filled with these ornaments in random vases, bowls and even some on the tree.

6. What advice do you have for newly engaged couples that are starting to plan? Do your research! Read blogs, know that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to have the wedding of your dreams, go to several stores to try on dresses even if you are convinced that it’s the right one…take your time! If something isn’t a good fit, recognize it from the beginning and do something about it. I changed our florist half way through the planning because I realized they couldn’t deliver what we wanted. It was best decision of the whole process. The flowers really pulled everything together.

Their photographer was Pure by Lindsey, flowers by Thallo Floral Design , coordinating by Swoon Over It.

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January Julep Maven Review + Giveaway

My January Julep Maven box came while I was in Tennessee this weekend and I was excited to take a peek inside once I got home. With Julep Maven, you receive an assortment of nail polish and nail care products monthly. They are  delivered right to your door and each box is valued at $40. I really do love Julep Maven because all products are full-size and each product has great quality.

This month I received the two polishes (Anne and Maria) which are both so gorgeous and spring-like! I’m excited to try them both out. They also included a pomegranate scrub which smells amazing. I also was offered a complimentary upgrade last month but the shade I chose is out of stock so they included a bottle of their nail therapy (I’m assuming it’s like a nail strengthener) and a gift voucher for a FREE bottle of polish!

Since my heart is so big and I love my readers so much (and because I have WAY too much nail polish), I’m giving you all a chance to win a free bottle of Julep nail polish! In order to enter, you must head on over to Julep Maven and pick out your favorite shade. Then head back over here and comment with your favorite. I know…I’m so nice, right? You have until Thursday at 11:59PM to enter. On Friday I will announce the winner! Good luck.

You can also read my Introductory Julep Maven box review here. Oh and don’t forget, you can officially start snapping photos for the #phonephoto challenge.

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Blogging Vacation

I’m off to Nashville until Sunday and so I’ll be taking a little blogging break while I’m there! Just a reminder:

Read the full blog post here. You can start snapping photos for the challenge on Monday! See you then! XO


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‘Please Note’ Giveaway!

If you missed my interview with Elizabeth Jackson from earlier today make sure to check it out! She has graciously decided to giveaway any single item in her Etsy shop, ‘Please Note!’ In order to enter into the giveaway, head on over to her shop and comment below with your favorite item! I will choose the winner via random.org on Friday and announce it here and on Twitter! I mean…sushi notecards? What could be better? Good luck!

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MEET: Elizabeth Jackson

MEET Elizabeth Jackson! She’s from Los Angeles and her blog Please Note encompasses food, crafts, I Love Lucy and more. Enjoy the interview and check back later today for a giveaway from her Etsy shop!

When did you start blogging as “Please Note”? When did you set up your Etsy shops? My paper Etsy shop came first. I opened it about a year and a half ago, specializing primarily in invitations. After expanding the shop a bit, I decided to start the blog. The blog will be 1 at the end of this month and I’m thrilled with how much it’s grown. With each new reader, I’m motivated to make it better and better. The newest part of the my little trilogy is the vintage shop.[Below: a bit of her growing nesting doll collection]

What does your blogging schedule look like? I try to write five posts each weekend and post one per day during the week. The order of my posts pretty much depends on how I’m feeling each day.

What are your favorite types of blog posts that you create? What seem to be the most popular among your readers? I LOVE posting recipes. I try to do at least one recipe per week. Not only do I really enjoy cooking but taking photos of the entire process is really fun too. These posts also seem to be the most popular. [Below: her peanut butter chocolate chip cookies]

Your shops are amazing!! How do you go about promoting them and what are you most popular products? I’m proud of my shops and how much they’ve grown, especially the paper shop. I’m so busy during the week that the amount of orders I’m receiving now is just enough, so I actually don’t do much promotion. My most popular product is definitely the dinosaur birthday invitation. I’ve had moms on numerous occasions tell me that their son or daughter picked them because of the “realistic and scary” dinosaur.

Do you blog and sell through Etsy full time or do you have another “day job?” I currently work full time as a product photographer. This is why I tend to write all of my blog posts over the weekend. I post one each morning before I head off to work. [Above: pom pom garland that she blogged about]

What advice do you have for those that are thinking of or just starting to blog? I think the most important part of blogging is to not get discouraged. It was definitely a slow start for me, and that’s why I’m so grateful each time I see that I have a new reader. Also, make sure that you’re blogging about things that really interest you. Like I said before, my favorite posts are my recipes and those posts are also the most popular. That’s no coincidence. Blog about what you love and people will love your blog. [Above: DIY Black Apple Doll tutorial that Elizabeth blogged about]

If you want, you can follow Elizabeth on Twitter and be sure to visit her blog and two shops! Check back this afternoon for a giveaway from her paper Etsy shop! *All photos by Elizabeth Jackson

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The Day I Threw Away 100 Things

Last week my friend Meg tweeted about one of her favorite blogs, Make Under My Life. Jess (the blogger) states that it’s about designing a life of intention and I loved her post about throwing out 100 things. Obviously Jess’s blog soon became one of my favorites and I took on the challenge myself. I threw away 100 things (and as Jess points out…after you recycle, upcycle and donate…you’ll still have trash which is what some of this stuff was). Here’s what I threw out:

  • a pair of goggles
  • a pair of sunglasses
  • a lamp from IKEA
  • 4 unused journals
  • 13 PRINT magazines
  • 3 Whole Living magazines
  • an issue of The New Yorker
  • an issue of Dwell
  • an issue of Crave
  • 1 pair of sandals
  • 2 wallets
  • 1 thing of Clinique face powder (wrong shade)
  • 1 brutes bee’s travel set
  • 2 CDs
  • French manicure strips
  • a laptop sleeve
  • 3 books
  • a laptop bag
  • a purse
  • a pair of Christmas pants
  • a Christmas sweatshirt
  • a trench coat
  • 12 shirts
  • 6 cardigan sweaters
  • 3 dresses
  • 8 pairs of underwear
  • 3 bras
  • 4 random socks
  • a pair of old slippers
  • a necklace
  • a headband
  • a tube of lotion that i don’t like
  • a old bottle of Ralph Lauren perfume
  • 2 candlesticks
  • a bag of tea light candles
  • 4 unused Christmas themed paper plate sets
  • 4 coasters
  • a Christmas themed tin
  • 1 gross, broken dog toy (not pictured…Desh kept trying to take it back)

It feels really good to throw crap out. Especially clothes. I went through my dresser drawers and closet and asked myself, “Do I ever like the way this looks when I put it on?” or “Have I worn this in the past year?” If the answer was no then I decided to get rid of it. The cool thing is it’s fun to re-gift (without acting like you re-gifted) or donating old magazines to doctors’ offices. And so now I challenge you…get rid of 100 things!

P.S Sorry for the yellowy awful pictures. I got rid of my stuff Sunday evening and I’m hardly home with sunlight anymore!