Photographer? Check!

So a few weeks ago I blogged here about how we were starting our photography search. It was so much fun, but also stressful!  I think part of the reason it stressed me out is because photography is the one thing that’s really going to last from our wedding day.  The food will get eaten, the music will end, the flowers will die.. but these photographs we’re going to have forever.  I mean, they’re the pictures our kids and grandkids will look at one day.

Naturally, I started our photography search online { how did brides ever plan weddings before the internet? } I made a Facebook post asking my friends for recommendations, and I also started looking at a few of my favorite review sites – the knot, wedding wire, yelp etc..  I wanted to look for photographers with great reviews, and lots of them!  To me- someone with one 5 star review is okay, but I really want to someone with many 5 star reviews.. I probably looked at 50-60 different photographers.

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Pumpkin Cake Recipe

Let me preface this post by saying, I am not good at taking pictures. The pictures in this post totally suck, but I promise the cake does not! In fact, everyone I’ve made it for RAVES about it! This is a delicious pumpkin cake with sweet cream cheese frosting.

I’ve brought it to work twice for baking competitions, and I’ve won 1st place both times! My co-workers have been begging me lately to bake this for them. So I thought I’d surprise them this morning by bringing them in and they were all gone by 10am!

I usually make this in a cake format, but I thought cupcakes might be easier to eat at work so I modified the instructions slightly to make cupcakes; they turned out pretty well! I’ll give you the cooking instructions below for both- they’re basically the same except for the cook times!

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Oh Monday…

Today was totally a Monday… and such a blah January day. I’m over winter, done being cold, sick of the grey short days. So on my lunch I decided to treat myself to a little Monday-pick-me-up. I tried out a new nail salon not far from my work called Toe Paradise. I’d driven by it a bunch of times, but today I felt compelled to stop in to have them remove my month old {yes you read that right.. month old!} Christmas red glitter no chip mani…

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Politely Turning Down Wedding Vendors

As you plan your wedding, you will inevitably correspond and meet with many different vendors.  For example, we just recently met with a handful of photographers as we worked to determine who would be the best fit for our big day.  Once we made our decision, I was very excited- but also anxious… how would I tell the other three we met with ‘thanks, but no thanks.”

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2014 Blogger Challenge: week 2

The topic for the second post of the #2014BloggerChallenge is all about skincare!  This is an especially relevant post for me since I totally revamped my skincare routine last year.  I never struggled with acne as a teenager, but last year acne became a concern of mine.. oh and aging- double whammy!

I’ve posted several times about my Clarisoninc here & here.  I think by now you probably know that I love it, and hate going without it!  It has hugely helped my skin- in fact just this week I was a little lazy two days in a row and slept with my makeup on and my skin is a HOT MESS right now.  I’m dying and I vowed I’d never skip another night of taking off my makeup again!!   I usually take off my eyemakeup with a real ‘makeup remover’ before I use the Clarisoninc, but I’m still on the hunt for a good makeup remover.  I’ve used Clinique’s Take The Day Off and Lancôme’s Bi-Facil both are just okay,  do you guys have any recommendations?

I also mentioned here how I changed up my facial wash and lotion last year.  Now I’m using the Benefit: Foamingly Clean Facial Wash with my Clarisoninc to cleanse my skin & Benefit: Triple Performing Facial Emulsion as my moisturizer.   Occasionally at night I’ll switch up my moisturizer- I have a few I’m trying to finish that I don’t love during daytime (they’re too heavy / greasy) but at night I’ll throw them on since I know I’ll just be washing my face in the morning anyways.

For daytime, most days I mix a little of my favorite CC cream Supergoop: Daily Correct CC Cream with my Benefit: Triple Performing Facial Emulsion to create my own custom blend of face moisturizer.  I like to do this because I think the CC cream alone gives me a bit more coverage than I like/need, but without it I feel like my skin is uneven.  I’m all about saving time, and by blending them together I’m killing two birds with one stone.  Here’s how I create my custom blend {it seriously couldn’t be easier}

Step 1: take both products

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Step 2: squirt a little of both products onto back of hand

photo 1

Step 3: blend together

photo 2

Step 4: apply to face!

See I told you it was easy!!  Most days I throw on a little bronzer, mascara and I’m out the door!   In the summertime, when I’ve got a bit of a tan I don’t find it as crucial to mix in the CC cream so I just use some moisturizer and a hint of bronzer most days.
I’d love to know..
What does your wintertime routine look like?
Is it the same as your summertime routine? 
Have you ever created your own custom product blend? 

I {heart} Open Front Cardigans!

I’m not sure if I’ve ever really mentioned the love I have for open front cardigans… Well.. in case you were wondering-  I love, love, love them… Especially since I’ve started working in an office – I like to keep one handy for days when it’s chilly in the office. I’ve also noticed since I put on some weight, they’ve been a staple go-to in my wardrobe – I know I’m not hiding that extra weight, but I feel like they help me to downplay the extra pounds a little bit.   Since I have such a love for them, I thought I’d share two of my favorite open front cardigans with you all!  Both can be found at Nordstrom..

The first is this Bobeau Asymmetrical Fleece Wrap Cardigan – I have this one in three colors {black, dark grey, and a dark blue} and I’m currently debating getting a few more because I love them so much! I’ve been thinking about the dark orange, pink paradise, and maybe even dark purple! At least 4 ladies in my office have jumped on the Bobeau wagon, and they look great on everyone {sidenote: it also comes in petite, and plus sizes.}  As an added bonus I noticed this week they’re on sale at Nordstrom for under $40!    One of the things I love most about this is it’s something I can throw on anytime of the year to warm up a bit.. especially once I pick up one {or all} of those brighter colors.


The second is a newer obsession for me, the Barefoot Dreams Chic Lite Wrap.  I bought myself the black one after Christmas, and I want to wear it EVERY day { I’m not joking.. it’s that great!}.  It’s so comfortable, warm, and cozy!!   This one is a bit more expensive ($90!) but totally worth it… I’m thinking about getting another color but I just can’t decide which one!  The ombre intrigues me and the light pink looks almost white {gosh I’d probably get it dirty the second I put it on.} I know at Christmastime they only had three colors- black, ombre, and grey so I’m hoping if I hold out a little longer a few more colors might be forthcoming!

barefoot Dreams

PS: I personally like to wear mine with clothes.. but it’s seriously comfy enough to wear like this!


PPS- I just realized that I’m wearing the Bobeau cardigan today in black! Funny how that works, here’s the shirt in action:


{clearly I need to work on my selfie taking skills!}