STYLE

NAVY & BLACK PRETTY LITTLE DETAILS

If y’all have learned anything about me and my style, you know I’m a sucker for pretty little details. And this navy and black blouse is just ripe with the pretty details. Oh let me count the ways… a feminine peplum silhouette, billowy sheer sleeve details, lace trimmed sheer peek-a-boo down the front, and (dare I say) a sexy opening in the back. There’s not much that needs to be done to dress up this blouse, but adding a few pretty details of my own certainly pulled everything together. I added simple black marbled statement earrings, my new favorite silver mirrored sunnies, and a pop of deep plum on my lips. I could just feel my confidence and femininity beaming as I stepped out the door, and that’s really the goal for every woman when she gets dressed. Am I right?!

There are simply not enough hours in the day that I could wear this navy and black blouse. For now, date night and a stroll by the lagoon will have to do until next time.

 

 

Blouse: Free People (on sale!) | Jeans: Paige Denim | Shoes: Sigerson Morrison (old) | Bag: Tory Burch | Sunglasses: Madewell | Earrings: Kendra Scott | Lips: Katy Perry x Cover Girl Katy Kat Matte “Maroon Meow”

STYLE, WEDDING

WHAT TO WEAR FOR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS


Calling all my engaged couples (and future engaged couples who just don’t know it yet)! I am so so excited to be sharing some tips with you today on what the heck to wear for your engagement photos. This may seem like a trivial thing to worry about, but I am here to tell you that some well-thought out outfits can make your pictures look surprisingly effortless and that much more cohesive and beautiful (I mean your faces will obviously make them lovely no matter what). As someone who loves photography AND who is a bride-to-be, I’m happy to be imparting some wisdom from both sides of the lens. So without further ado, here are my tips for picking stellar outfits for your engagement session.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

1. Pick clothes that say who you are as a couple!
Are you a fancy couple, typically in suits and dresses? Are you more casual, rocking tshirts and jeans on the regular? What clothing items really say who you are as a couple? After all, when you are wearing something that feels natural to you, you will look natural in your photos! When I started thinking about what my fiancé and I would wear for our engagement photos, the first thing that came to mind was my cowboy boots. I am originally from Texas and both of us love wearing our cowboy boots to country concerts (we met at a Tim McGraw concert), so this immediately became an important item for us to work around in our photos.

2. Consider the setting
If you’re shooting in a grassy area, wearing green will make you blend right in. Or if you have your heart set on a beach location, boots or sneakers are just going to look out of place. I mean that’s just common sense right? In my case, I had my heart set on cowboys boots AND a beach location, but those two things obviously don’t go together. Thank goodness for our fabulous photographer Emma Hopp who knew the perfect location where we could shoot in a landscape setting on a cliff (in my boots!), then change outfits and head down some steps to the beach in more beach-appropriate outfit.

3. Avoid white (most of the time)
Ladies, I know it’s really tempting to gravitate toward white when you’re doing anything wedding related (bachelorette, engagement party, bridal shower, etc.) because HELLO you’re finally the bride! But white will completely wash you out no matter your skin color. Because photos are all about light, especially if you are shooting outside, solid white items tend to overexpose and make that part of you look like a solid white blob. A guy who wears a solid white button up is almost certainly going to look heavier than he is and his arms will likely blend into his torso. We can all agree that adding pounds is NOT the goal. The exception? Whites with patterns and texture. I had a beautiful white dress I wore for the beach portion of our session and the only reason it worked is because the top half had lots of embroidery and the bottom half was textured with dots and slightly sheer with beige liner underneath. Nothing about it was solid stark white and it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself!

4. Don’t be matchy-matchy, but DO be complementary
Please oh PLEASE don’t recreate one of those awkward family photos where you are your fiancé(e) are wearing the exact same thing…and undoubtedly blending into each other as a result.  What I find to be the best combination for couples is one pattern and one solid. For example, if one of you likes wearing plaid, the other should wear a solid top/dress that complements one of the colors in the plaid pattern. In our case, I found a beautiful floral patterned shirt (similar here and here) to go with my cowboy boots, so then my fiancé (when I say my fiancé I really mean me, let’s be honest here) pulled from the blue color in my patterned shirt and chose to wear a chambray button up (similar here and here).

5. Keep outfits changes to a minimum
Most photographers only allot a certain amount of time for your engagement session, usually 1.5 to 2 hours. And some photographers even limit how many outfit/location changes you can have. Why? It takes time away from what you’re there to do…take photos! Personally, I do prefer one outfit change just so you have a little variety (and in our case I wanted a quick location change too…more on that in a minute), but sometimes just one perfectly chosen ensemble is all you need! I would certainly not recommend more than one outfit change if you can help it.

 6. Don’t forget the details!
And finally, don’t forget all the little details that go along with your outfit choice…makeup, hair, nails, location, and props! If you want to dress fancier, perhaps include props like glasses of champagne and pick a location that would make sense with your attire and bubbly. I wanted a beach location but we also wanted to include my fiancé’s motorcycle with my cowboy boot look, so that meant finding a second location more appropriate for our “prop”, his bike. I’ve also seen couples include things like balloons or their pets and this is a great opportunity to use your prop to complement the colors you’re wearing. And ladies, this should be a no brainer, but don’t forget to get your makeup and nails done with consideration for the colors in your outfit choice(s). And remember that your makeup should be a little heavier than usual to show up in the photos, but you should of course look a way that makes you feel comfortable and like yourself!

I hope these tips help inspire you and give you good ideas to work off of! No matter what, have fun and be YOU as a couple. You may end up using these photos for years to come as Save-The-Dates, Christmas cards, or photos you have framed around your home or office, so you want them to be an expression of your true selves. Congratulations!

All photos: Emma Hopp Photography

WEDDING

MY PRE-WEDDING SKIN CARE ROUTINE


fresh Toner | Clinique Moisturizer | Origins Mask | Glamglow Mask

With my wedding less than 5 months away, I have officially deemed this year “My Year of Great Skin.” I have never been one of those people to give my skin the love it deserves and as I’ve gotten older it has really started to show. No, I’m not going to be dramatic and claim that I’ve already developed wrinkles in my late 20s. However, my pores have gotten larger, my skin turns red with the slightest irritation or dryness, and while it used to be okay to fall asleep one night or two without taking my makeup off, I now immediately pay for it the next morning with new breakouts forming. So once the clock struck 2017, I began researching good skin care products to keep my skin in top shape leading up to the wedding and beyond. Below are 4 products I currently have on repeat as part of my wedding skin care routine, and I cannot tell you how many compliments I’ve been getting from friends and strangers alike on how great my skin looks!

fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Facial Toner
Use: 2x daily
This is the first thing I put on my face every morning, and the first thing I apply after washing my face at night. Shake well first (the clay separates and settles to the bottom) and use just a few dabs on a cotton pad. While I don’t feel it has completely delivered on its promise to minimize the appearance of pores, it does wonders to soothe my skin and give it a nice matte finish. This 7oz. bottle lasts approx. 6 months.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Use: 2x daily
Once my toner has soaked into my skin and dried for about a minute, I immediately follow it up with this moisturizer. I love it because it’s a gel that’s extremely quick drying and doesn’t leave your face feeling greasy. It’s also made for combination or oily skin (I am definitely the latter!), so I feel like it works wonders to hydrate my skin and control my oil production. Just one dime-sized pump is all you need! It usually lasts me at least 6 months and even comes in a travel size so you can keep up your routine on trips.

Origins Original Skin Mask
Use: 1-2x weekly
This is the gentlest mask that leaves your skin feeling baby soft! The rose clay has such a pleasant smell and doesn’t cause any harsh tingling, redness or drying out like more potent masks out there. I keep this by my bathtub and usually use it once a week after I’ve taken a relaxing bubble bath and washed my face. I use about a nickle sized amount to spread a thin layer over my face, let it dry for 10 minutes, then wet my hands and gently massage it off. I’m currently going on 9 months with the same bottle (but I am getting close to running out).

Glamglow Supermud Mask
Use: 1x weekly and as needed for spot treatment
This is a much more powerful mask. A thin layer is all you need and you can immediately feel it start to tingle. But once it starts to dry, you can see all the little holes where it is vacuuming out your blackheads and you just know you can kiss future breakouts goodbye! I use it once a week either on my t-zone or as a spot treatment if I notice a breakout coming on. Otherwise, I have no major need to put it on my entire face. I really love the Glamglow line and can’t wait to try some of their other products. The 1.7oz pot should last you at least 4 – 6 months.

Aside from these products, staying hydrated, eating well (my diet is mostly paleo!) and getting rest are ESSENTIAL to keep breakouts and unwanted fine lines at bay. It is so easy to get stressed and lose sleep during the wedding process. I’ve found that making it a point to focus on ME and my overall health is truly what’s keeping me so even-keeled leading up to the big day.

Do you have any skin care products you swear by? I would love to hear what you recommend to keep your skin looking flawless!

STYLE

RED HOT VALENTINE’S DAY

Valentine’s Day for us was celebrated a few days ago on Sunday. We generally like to keep things low key for this holiday, either making dinner at home or going out for a date night a few days before or after the 14th so we don’t get caught in the hub bub of crowds, long waits, prix-fixe menus, and usually poor service. But just because we don’t make a big deal for Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean I can’t infuse some holiday spirit into my outfit! This red peplum off-the-shoulder top was just the je ne sais quoi that made our date night feel special and romantic. I felt feminine and a little sexy, and there’s nothing wrong with that! And if you’re going to wear red, it’s almost a no brainer to amp it up with some leopard print. In this case, these comfy Madewell pumps were the perfect pairing!

Whatever you do today – whether it be with a significant other, family, or friends (see my Galentine’s look here), I hope you celebrate the love you are surrounded by every single day! You are so loved!

Top: Nordstrom | Jeans: Paige | Heels: Madewell (old, similar) | Clutch: Elaine Turner | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Watch: Michael Kors

STYLE

GALENTINE’S DAY PINK OMBRE SWEATER

Who ever said that we need to rely on men folk to make your Valentine’s Day a good one? Whether you’re single or in a relationship Valentine’s is the perfect opportunity to make long overdue plans with your girlfriends and rekindle that special friendship spark. For example, my fiance and I will probably cook a nice dinner for ourselves this weekend as an early nod to V-day. But next week my girls and I have GALentine’s Day plans to either go out to our favorite wine bar and catch up on gossip, or get together at someone’s house for cocktails, popcorn, and to watch one of our favorite comedies (most likely, Bad Moms). Either way, we basically want to use cupid’s holiday to remind each other that we still live and die by the motto “Girls Rule, Boys Drool.”

With this in mind, an outfit that is perfectly suited for both happy hour and couch cuddles is essential. I went straight for this cozy sweater. The high/low hem and v-neck make it more special than your average frumpy sweater, and we can all agree that the lovely pink ombre is perfectly appropriate for Galentine’s Day! I paired it with skinny jeans, my favorite over-the-knee boots and cute quilted crossbody. It’s just enough glam-factor to look good standing next to my lovely friends, but not too over the top for a simple evening of wine and girl talk. What Galentine’s Day plans will you be making?

Sweater: Topshop (on sale!) | Jeans: DSTLD | Boots: Vince Camuto (on sale!) | Bag: Zara (sold out) | Necklace: A. Marie (old)

STYLE

BELTED DRAPED VEST

Isn’t the worst when you’ve been eyeing something that you think is super cute, but as the reviews roll in, they are less than stellar? That was the exact situation with this draped vest. I saw it on some fellow bloggers in a different color and thought it was just adorable! But then when I went to purchase it, I was nearly swayed by a few bad reviews about the fit. Sometimes I like to be a rebel and go against better judgment, so I ordered it anyway, hoping the results would be different for me. It turns out that the vest does drape kind of awkwardly. It wasn’t terrible but it flowed away from the body in such a way that I looked a little wider than I actually am. That’s NOT what you want. But I wasn’t ready to give up on this vest because I loved the color palette and it was so warm and cozy! So I dug out this old southwest-inspired belt from the depths of my closet and voila! I regained a feminine form from underneath the mounds of fabric. I have to say, now I love this draped vest even more! I wore it again with wide leg jeans and a long sleeved crew neck and it looked just as fab. So take that reviewers! Sometimes a little ingenuity goes a long way in the fashion world. And when in doubt, belt it!

Dress: ASOS (turtleneck version) | Vest: Treasure & Bond | Boots: Vince Camuto | Bag: Zara (similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban

STYLE

PINK & GREEN CACTUS MIDI


The rain gave way and the sun came out just long enough to snap photos of this new pink and green cactus print midi skirt I have been dying to share with y’all! I’ve literally been stalking this skirt at Anthropologie for months because the cactus print is so darn cute. I mean…Right?! It was originally just under $200 which is way out of my price range for a casual, whimsical midi skirt. So I stalked and I hoped and I prayed for it to go on sale. Well my perseverance paid off because it was recently marked down to less than $100 plus an extra 40% of the sale price (plus I had an Anthro gift card from Christmas burning a hole in my pocket). I added it to my cart so fast and wore it almost immediately when it arrived on my doorstep. As a bargain shopper, sometimes you just have to move on when something you want is out of reach. But in this case, this midi skirt was well worth the wait! Scroll below for details on my full outfit (nearly everything is on sale!).

Top: Madewell (on sale!) | Skirt: Anthropologie (on sale!) | Bag: Zara | Booties: Dolce Vita (old, similar) | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Ring: Charming Charlie | Scarf: World Market (on sale!)