Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Wedding Wednesday: The Dress

I'm starting a new series on the blog called "Wedding Wednesday." As some of you may know, I am a newlywed and recently married my love on May 5th! While wedding planning is super exciting, it can also be overwhelming with the amount of time, decisions, and money that goes into it. I wanted to share some content on my experience and hopefully spread a little inspiration and encouragement. 

I love style, yet I was never the girl that had a clear, specific vision for my wedding day. I just knew I wanted to have a fun, beautiful day,surrounded by all of my favorite people and celebrating love... and wear a fabulous dress. 

So that is where I will start, with the dress. It (surprisingly) was not the first wedding decision we made. Budget and photographer topped the list (shout out to the AMAZING Christina Lemons of Foxhouse Studio who made my day and vision come to life through her lense! ...A whole blog post on that to come soon)!

As I mentioned, I didn't have a clear vision for my dress, but I did know three key elements, 1. a sweetheart neckline, 2. abohemian feel, and 3. the ability to dance! I secretly admired the large tulle ball gowns and embellished/textured works of art, but I wasn't sure if it was practical for our day... but that didn't mean I couldn't try them on...

My wedding dress shopping experience was fun! I didn't want to get too overwhelmed with choices, so I did my research online, Pinterest, Instagram, and sites like The Knot and Style Me Pretty for inspiration. I narrowed down a few styles and brands that I kept gravitating toward and then researched boutiques that carried these designers. I also knew I wanted to go to a few different places for the "experience" of it all.

My first stop was a Boutique in Charlotte, NC called J. Major's Bridal. (It was recommended to my by a girl friend and they were one of the few bridal boutiques in the southeast that carried Sarah Seven dresses). I was actually alone, passing Charlotte throughout on my way to one of my best friend's bachelorette parties, and I decided to make an appointment. My stylist was so kind and patient, encouraging me to pull different styles and silhouettes to see what I truly liked on. It was a great experience! When I left, I couldn't get this one Sarah Seven dress out of my head. But, I couldn't commit at the first boutique, when I didn't have any back up... 

I decided to book appointments at 4 more places in Atlanta, GA. Like Charlotte, ATL was equidistant from Greenville, offered more of a selection, and offered a day trip experience. I went with my sister and our first stop was The Sentimentalist. Oh. my. goodness. If you are in the south, this salon is amazing. It's bohemian and vintage vibe is so inspiring and it's quant location, in an old bungalow house, is the perfect setting for feeling comfortable and special. I again, tried on many different dresses everything from a blue tulle ballgown to an all lace long sleeved vintage gown (see pictures below). I played around with different accessories, belts, head pieces. Ah so fun. I am so thankful to The Sentimentalist for letting my play dress up and feeling like Sarah Jessica Parker for a day. Interestingly enough, they carried the same Sarah Seven dress that I couldn't stop thinking about from Charlotte, but only a sample and it wasn't available for order. They also carried a Leanne Marshall dress/skirt option that struck a cord with me. It was colorful, whimsical, and so... different. I love the shape, the color, and the way it made me feel. A bit over my price range, and so different from my first Sarah Seven love, I was torn. I racked my brain during my other appointments at The White Magnolia salon and was so torn I shortened my appointment at Anthropologie's BHLDN (great dresses, bridesmaid options, and accessories btw). I went home inspired, with 1500 photos on my phone, and yet, torn. I was torn between two dresses. It took me a while to decide, but I didn't have too long. I finally decided to stay in budget, go for a classic, feminine, bohemian  vibe, and style it with special accessories. I ended up purchasing my Sarah Seven "Lafayette" gown from J. Majors Bridal, "Floral and Garden" head piece from Twigs and Honey #748, and finished it off with a gold angular belt from J. Major's Bridal's showroom. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The (second) Best Summer Dress: Free People


Free people is always my go-to for light weight, bohemian summer dresses. I shared my absolute FAVORITE summer dress in this post. This white number is my second favorite dress I own. It is light weight, a feminine shape, and the embroidery detail is stunning. I also love these newer embroidered versions here and here. I hope everyone is having a great week! Xxo, C

Monday, August 6, 2018

How to Style Crazy Curls: My Hair Care Routine

Over the years I have worked on taming my naturally curly hair. It isn't easy, but I've found what works for me now. 

Background: My hair is naturally extremely curl yet pretty fine. It is a medium brunette color. I wore it natural for most of my life with the help of mousse and gel. In college I used to straighten it a lot (because everyone wants the hair that they don't have). I then began straightening it and re-curling it (hello heat damage and split ends). Then I discovered hair extensions...

Extensions: I always loved long, voluminous hair, and although mine had good length, I wanted a little additional thickness. I first started wearing Bellami extensions and then discovered my Barefoot Blonde Hair extensions. I currently wear the BFB extensions in the color Peanut Butter and Jealous (cute). These extensions are a product of Amber Fillerrup (amazingly beautiful blogger and business woman). These extensions are great quality and have beautiful color matches. You can also get samples of their colors sent to you to try! I have been very impressed with these extensions and have repurchased for the 4th time. I even wore them for my wedding! I don't wear everyday, but more often then not I do to give a little extra volume to my style.

Routine: I like to workout and used to wash my hair daily, but have finally gotten to the point where I can wash it 2x a week. This was a challenge for me and took some getting used to. After washing, I then let it air dry, touch up the fly-a-ways with a straightener at the roots and touch up the curls with a tapered 1-1.5 inch barrel wand. I also recently got balayage highlights (only the second time every adding color to my hair). I asked my stylist to do an ashy blonde with face framing highlights. 

Products: I wish I could say I have a magic shampoo or conditioner, but I don't. I typically buy drug store and switch it up every few months. If you have a good recommendation let me know! I've heard good things about this product, but it is an investment. Drugstore wise I really like this Suave combo; the conditioner really softened my hair. On my wet hair I always apply Moroccan Oil (version for blondes here) as well as this leave in conditioner that I swear by! I also try to use a heat protectant (when I remember) and finish off my curls with my holy grail John Frieda hair spray. To tame my curls, I use a 1-1.5inch tapered barrel curling wand. 

That is about it! Let me know if you have any questions or product recommendations!