Friday, August 31, 2012

Wedding Talk: My Shower

 A few weeks ago, some of Rhett's sweet family threw me a shower. They made some delicious cakes that I enjoyed for a few days afterward. It was a great afternoon, and I got to see a lot of family members that I don't see often. I love that I'm marrying into such a great group of people. I know people who have terrible in-laws, but I know I don't ever have to worry about that! They've been treating me like a member of the family since the very beginning :)

Kenli helped me open a few of my presents. I swear, that kid is the most adorable ever!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Vintage Blue Violet

About a week ago, I got to plan a delightful dinner party with some wonderful friends of mine. We got together Saturday morning and went shopping at the farmer's market. We picked up everything we needed, then re-convened that evening to cook together. It was such a fun day! So, I wanted an outfit that I could wear both shopping and dining. I decided on shorts and a breezy blouse so that I'd be comfortable all day. I figured since the dinner party was in the backyard, I'd still be appropriate.

shirt- vintage
shorts- old navy
belt, sandals- thrift
earrings- old (not sure where from)

I picked up the blouse at the flea market a few weeks back. You guys, we do NOT have vintage sellers around here...we just don't. So I was absolutely stunned when I saw a vintage clothing vender at our junk flea market. I talked to her for a minute and I could tell she probably wouldn't set up there many more times. I doubt she got much business, but she actually had some great stuff. And as you can tell, I found a shirt I liked. She does have an online marketplace that I plan to check out soon. Maybe, just maybe, she'll be back at the flea market next time. I'd love to go back for more.

The four of us that planned the dinner party are all going to do blog posts together, so we're waiting until everyone is ready. Margaret is putting together a video, so that will take a minute. Anyone who has ever edited a video knows how much work that is! But that's definitely something you can look forward to seeing on here. I am just dying to share all the details! It was such a fun party. Ok, I'm done gushing...for now :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Read a Book a Month: July

Is it just me or is thirteenth kind of a weird word? I spelled it out and it just doesn't look right! Ok, anyway, The Thirteenth Tale was my book for July (thanks to my online book club), and it's one of my favorites so far from this year. I enjoyed the intricately woven story and the interesting characters. One of my all-time favorites is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and this was along the same vein...probably why I enjoyed it. I will say the story got a little crazy as it was wrapping up, but it was still good. I feel like the author could have left off a few of the twists and it still would have been an exceptional book without being over the top. It's definitely an excellent read, especially if you like twists and surprises.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chic Critique: Photography Idol

Do you guys remember that one time back in January when I said I wanted to enter more photo contests? Yeah...that's one of my "resolutions" that hasn't quite been met. BUT I'm changing that right now... in August. I'm entering this photo of Laura to be considered for Chic Critique's Photography Idol. I will be opening myself up to critique, which I honestly miss since being out of school. It's hard to know where to improve when no one is pointing out your weaknesses! I know it's kind of a long shot, but cross your fingers for me that I get picked :)

I had to choose one...yes ONE...image to represent my style. How do you even begin to do that? Well I know this particular shoot was one of the most fun that I've ever done, so that's how I narrowed it down. Even though it's not the BEST shot from the day, it shows how I gravitate toward interesting light and how I use my rule of thirds. I'm all about some rule of thirds y'all! The downside is that it doesn't show how much I love color...but the dramatic light kind of trumps that for me. Here's the rest from that shoot if you want to see:

I can't even explain how much I miss taking photos like this. I think once the cooler weather shows back up, I'm going to get someone to model for me again. It's just been way too long!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Long Time Tea Love, Orange Dulce

I realized this morning that I have never blogged about my favorite hot tea, which is just a shame. I have never been a frequent hot tea drinker, but I do enjoy it occasionally (more in the winter for sure). I don't remember exactly when it was, but at some point I randomly bought some orange dulce tea by Mighty Leaf. I loved it, but the store I got it from closed soon after. My mom ended up buying me several boxes for Christmas, and now I can usually stumble upon it at Marshall's or TJMaxx. At first I drank it plain, but now I like to add cream. It just makes it so nice and smooth...perfect with a piece of dark chocolate or a scone.

I almost always prefer black tea, but I love a subtle flavor to make it unique. Orange dulce, obviously, has some nice orange notes, but it's not overwhelming. I think the hint of vanilla helps tone it down a lot, and gives it that smooth, full bodied taste. It also smells AMAZING. If you're a tea fan, you've probably already tried this and love it, but if not, do yourself a favor and try it! You can buy it online, or just hunt for it in places like Marshall's.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Bedroom Furniture

A while back I received some early wedding gifts from close family members. First, my mom helped me pick out a king sized bed and gave it to us. It's amazing! Rhett and I are covering the mattress, but it was so nice to have the bed as a gift. The second gift came from T and Pop. They wanted to get me an antique piece of furniture and they ended up picking out this beautiful wardrobe from a local place. My stepdad went and picked it up for me, and Rhett helped him get it in the house. Lucky for us it comes apart so it was super easy to move!

 getting all the pieces laid out

 See the bed?! This was pre-mattress. I'll post a picture with the pretty bedding soon.

It wasn't very hard to put together since Guy got to watch them take it apart. It has some beautiful details on the top and side, some of which you can see in the pictures. I also love the color of the wood. I know my furniture doesn't really match, but I just really don't care. As long as I like each piece separately, I don't feel like it all has to go together. Does anyone have any guesses about what kind of wood this is made of? I don't know anything about antiques so I don't know what era it is or anything! I just know it's pretty :)

Dudley enjoyed a short amount of time with the wardrobe. He's not allowed in my room anymore because I want it to be relatively kitty-dander free. Rhett is allergic! It was hard to kick him out at first, but we've both adjusted. I know it'll be better for Rhett when he gets here, and I guess my person love trumps my feline love. So far, I'm loving both my bed and wardrobe. They are both really big, so I don't have room for much else, but I kind of like the minimal approach. I am slowly starting to put stuff in the wardrobe and it's freeing up a lot of space in my closet, which is nice.

I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend! I am going to TRY to get a lot of work done Saturday while also doing a fun dinner party with some friends. After this weekend the rest of my weekends will be full until the wedding. much to look forward to!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Coral Weekend

Sometimes I have to come up with an excuse to actually put some effort into my appearance, and Saturday was one of those days. I asked Margaret if she wanted to get together and take some outfit shots, so that was my excuse this time. I put together some of my newer (and new favorite!) items, and it was a great outfit for just running a few errands and enjoying a nice day. CONFESSION: I didn't actually wear these shoes all day...I slipped on some comfortable sandals for walking around stores. Hey, don't judge.

First, let's talk about that fun shirt! I got it in my most recent Stitch Fix, and this was the first time I've worn it. The fabric was a little clingy, but it was overall pretty comfortable! I like loose tops like that, especially when they are a pretty color. Recently I got two pair of Levi's at the outlet in Nashville, and I love them both, especially these gray ones! I definitely recommend them (just don't buy them online...made that mistake once). The daffodil earrings came from a shop on Etsy (stranded treasures). She makes them from polymer clay, and she can do different color combos. I was thinking of wearing them in the wedding, but now that I have them I don't think I will. My favorite flower is the daffodil, but the earrings don't look as much like daffodils in person as I anticipated. Oh well! I still like them.

top- Ark and Co. from Stitch Fix
jeans- Levi
shoes- Target
earrings- Etsy

Saturday was actually a really great day. I didn't have any obligations, so I was able to work on a lot of projects for the wedding. I even got to go grocery shopping! I will say that sitting cross-legged in my floor cutting strips of paper wasn't great on my knees. I'm still a little sore from all that crafting :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Read a Book a Month: June

My two books for June were both memoirs. First I read Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson of The Bloggess. There were several chapters that had me doubled over laughing! She has had some pretty wild experiences, but parts of them are still relatable to me as a child of the South. I loved reading about the taxidermy animals and living out in the country. There were some chapters that could have been left out entirely, most of them toward the end. It got kind of boring, but on the whole it was an enjoyable read! I still have it, so if anyone wants it, let me know. Just pay shipping and you can have it!

Next I started on She Got Up Off the Couch, which is a follow-up to A Girl Named Zippy. Kimmel's writing style was wonderful, so I really enjoyed this book. I do wish there had been more about her mother's journey, which is what I thought the book was about. But since the story is happening when Kimmel is a child, I guess it would be weird if she had a lot of insight at that time. Basically her mother breaks herself free from being a somewhat shackled housewife and goes to college. It's a really inspiring story, and I'd be interested to read it from her mom's perspective. Kimmel's stories about her childhood are quite entertaining though! She throws a good amount of humor into the story without trying too hard (which is how I felt that Lawson came off at times).

Both of these books are good reads, but I think I would recommend She Got Up Off the Couch first :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Baby B

Our church has a new member! Beatrice is about a month old now, and she's such a sweetie. I went over to visit the other day and take a few shots, and she was a perfect little angel the whole time. I can't believe how much hair she was born with, and when it's wet, it get's curly! I wanted to smuggle her out with me, but I'm sure I wouldn't get away with it. Anyway, I hope these pictures fulfill your daily cuteness requirements!

The middle name of each child born in the family is Simpelo, Amanda's maiden name. It's a Filipino tradition. I kind of love that tradition, and they got lucky having a nice pleasant name like Simpelo. It just rolls off the tongue :) I don't think McMurry would sound quite as good as a middle name...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Black Beary

I shot a new photo for my Etsy shop a while back, but I just realized that I never posted it here! Of course the concept is a play on words, but the set-up was inspired by the Things Organized Neatly blog. I submitted it to the site, but I don't think it made it on. I'm still pleased with the outcome though! I would love to do more with fruit, I just need to come up with another fun idea for it. I do have one in the works involving astronauts, so keep an eye out for that :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Dressed to Dine

Last night some wonderful friends of mine had me and Kelsey over for a dinner party. They are making a tradition of it! Margaret (you should probably check out her blog Hello, Cherie) made some delicious pizzas for us, and Ryan put together a great Caesar salad. I don't even know what all was on the pizzas, I just know they were full of flavor and love! We enjoyed a lot of laughs, great conversation, and a wonderful Beach Boys station on Pandora. I feel so lucky to have such great friends.

While the pizza was baking, we spent a little time out in the sweltering humidity getting some pictures. Margaret is my outfit photo buddy, but we never get photos with both of us in them, so I was really glad we were able to do that. Since it was a party and all, I wanted to wear my new skirt that I got at Forever 21. I never shop there anymore because it's so overwhelming, but I did manage to find a couple of things I loved. I paired the skirt with one of my favorite frumpy sweaters and some thrifted sandals. I have to address these shoes real quick. I found them at Goodwill for only $5. I very rarely find shoes that I like at thrift stores, especially in my size. Guess what else? They are Frye! I have always wanted a pair of Frye boots, but they are way out of my price range, so these sandals have satisfied my desire. 

Goldfish on Wheat | Hello, Cherie | Madame DumbFace (ok, I made that up...but for real.)

sweater, sandals- Goodwill
skirt- F21
necklace- Urban Outfitters (old)
bag- vintage from Starr Crow (more on that later)

And here we are together, out of focus because self-timer is a butt. I really love these people. I think having good friends close by is so important to keep my sanity. I was afraid Margaret was going to move away from me, and she still very well could, but for now I'm overjoyed that she is staying put. I'm looking forward to many more dining experiences and maybe some photo projects together (hint hint).

Thanks for the great dinner, friends!