Dream Big & Buy The Shoes: August 2015

August 26, 2015

One More Month

In one month I finally marry my love after 7 years together.

When we first got engaged, it seemed as if September 26, 2015 would never come. Now here we are one month out from the big day and I can't believe it.
The beautiful thing about having a blog is that it serves as an online diary, a place to take me back to this exact day 10 or 20 years from now. A step inside my head one month before I say vows and make this relationship officially official.

There has been several years of dating, hardships, achievements, late nights, early mornings, stressful days, blissful vacations and the greatest love I have ever known to lead up to this day.
Chuck and I met at work. When he first asked me out on a date, I thought he was joking. I teased him about it the days leading up and took a chance by showing up. 
We saw Indiana Jones...so that was a sign from somewhere that I liked him. Emelia doesn't watch Indiana Jones. I didn't want to leave that movie theatre. I wanted more time to hang out with Chuck. So I saw him the next day, and the day after that. Chuck was and still is so different than any man I have ever been with.

He's funny- we laugh from the second we wake up until the minute we end our day, he's incredibly passionate in a low-key kind of way, he's calming, he's the life of the party without being annoying, he's the person you call at 3 am or 1 pm just because he's the friend that will be there to help. He doesn't question my crazy ideas...he encourages them. Chuck is my right hand man and exactly what I never knew I always needed.

I was never the little girl who dreamed of her wedding day. I played house once in a while, but I enjoyed playing cashier, babysitter, and the boss more. I've always been independent and thought I never needed a man to complete me. I've come to realize that while I am my own woman, I'm not half of what I can be without Chuck by my side.

It wasn't until I met Chuck that I started envisioning my wedding day. I thought about how I wanted to be his wife and share my life with him forever. I wanted to be a part of his son's life and make a family. I love doing nothing with Chuck, but one of my favorite things about us is our adventures. 

This next month is going to fly by, and while it makes me extremely anxious that I won't have time to get things done, I can't wait to become his wife. One more month until we celebrate our love and our journey by saying "I Do". 

Thank you Chuck for choosing me. There is no one else I would spend my days with, each one with you is something I cherish.

Let's do this.

To Travel and Beyond

August 25, 2015

August Favorites

I say the same thing every month, but here we are...at the end of another one. I am sad to see this month go, as  a lot of great things happened, but I'm even more excited for September because it's WEDDING MONTH. Just typing that gives me chills and brings tears to my eyes for all the excitement that's to come, but for now let's recap August. 

Favorite Inspirational Post: The Rachael Way: I Gained 8 Pounds + A New Perspective: This post by Rachael is absolutely amazing and makes me want to scream YOLO! She talks about the amazing experiences during her year in China and gives us a fresh outlook on life.

Favorite DIY: The Straight Arrow: DIY Fold-Over Elastic Hair Ties: As a frequent purchaser of this item, I am looking foward to saving myself lots of money by making my own. Thank you Rebekah for this amazing tutorial!

Favorite Just For Fun Post: In Pursuit of Simple: 10 Souvenirs You HAVE To Bring Home From Pittsburgh: As a Pittsburgh native, I am obsessed with all things black, gold and from the Steel City. Jess gives us a quick rundown of all things awesome that you can't miss in Pittsburgh.

Favorite Cocktail Post: Recent Somethings: A Favorite Summertime Sip: Shelby nailed it with this amazing strawberry basil margarita. I am loving these flavors this summer, so adding some liqour to an already tasty mix sounds like a plan for me!

Favorite Tutorial Post: The Sequin Notebook: 1 Thing You Can Do Today To Protect Your Privacy: The gals fill us in on how to take care of ourselves in this sometimes scary world we live in. Us bloggers, and even non-bloggers expose ourselves online in several ways, but we still need to protect our personal details and those around us.

Favorite Purchase: The Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette was my favorite thing I splurged on. I didn't buy too much else with the wedding coming, but really wanted this and I'm glad I spent the money because I will be using it every day.

A photo posted by Dream Big & Buy the Shoes πŸ’š (@emeliaanne_) on

Favorite Moment: Without a doubt my favorite memory from this month was my bridal shower. I smile so big looking through the pictures and thinking about my special day. I feel so lucky to be experiencing all of these happy times with so many special people.

My Favorite Dream Big posts from August:

What were your favorites from this month? Who's excited for all things Fall?
...linking up with Pamelao to share the love!! 

A Little Glitter

August 24, 2015

Fall Love List

I know I'm not the only one obsessed with Fall. I could go on and on with the things I love about the season. Today I'm sharing a few things on my 2015 Fall Love List.

fall love list

Smith Cult gray nail polish



Urban Decay eyeshadow

NARS Cosmetics lips makeup
$38 - liberty.co.uk

I have been really in to wearing a bold lip and rocking it with confidence, and I want to continue that look this fall. I'm on the hunt for some deep, rich colors and this Nars shade in "Fanny" is beautiful.

 I have mentioned numerous time my love for Smith and Cult nail polish. They have 3 stunning shades out for fall, but this classic is from their original line. I love the muted gray "Stockholm Syndrome" and can see this on repeat for Fall.

I picked up a hat this past weekend and it is SO Stevie Nicks meets Britney Spears....aka, my two favorite ladies. I love shades of burgundy and berry for this season, I think they look good on people of all hair colors and skin tones.

Fall wouldn't be complete without a sultry smoky eye. My favorite 2 products to use are the Naked palette and my 3-D Fiber Lash mascara from Younique. I recently splurged and purchased the Smoky palette from Urban Decay and I am so glad I did. The colors are insane...absolutely stunning. I can't say enough good things about my 3-D mascara...it's such an easy process to apply and makes my lashes look amazing and full of volume.

If you have any questions about the mascara, I am a representative for Younique and would be happy to honestly answer any of your question so feel free to e-mail me.

2015 top beauty items

This post was inspired by Sephora and their beautiful Fall/Winter 2015 catalog. I've seriously already looked through it 3 times this weekend and am anxious for all things booties, pumpkin & bold lipped.

What fall beauty or fashion trend are you most looking forward to?

August 20, 2015

The Great Things About Wedding Planning

Obviously when we first got engaged, I was over the moon excited. All I want to do is marry the love of my life and have it be a fun day where we get to celebrate our love and relationship with all our family and friends.

Anyone who has ever got married knows that this whole planning a wedding thing is NOT easy. It's safe to say it's been extremely stressful and lately I feel like I'm running on empty. The moment we say "I Do" and turn to walk down that aisle I will hopefully feel like the weight of the world has been lifted. I feel bad for anyone that has read my tweets, or come in to contact with me because I'm pretty much an emotional mess. We are not planning an elaborate over the top wedding, but every little detail adds to our plate.

Please don't get me wrong. This wedding is a dream come true. I cannot wait to be able to call Chuck my husband after all these years. So in the midst of all this craziness I want to take some time and document all the amazing things that are happening and the great things about wedding planning. 


Seeing my vision of purple and gold all come together the closer it gets is really exciting.

The moment the final invite went in the mail I felt like I had just completed a marathon. Where's my medal?

When the RSVP's come back in the mail it feels like a small party each day...getting mail really is a lot of fun.

I keep reliving my bachelorette party and bridal shower and look at the pictures at least a few times a week. It's so nice to be so loved and surrounded with amazing people.

I used a glue gun for the first time, and no one got hurt. 

Getting a lot of "Congratulations" from everyone under the sun is really nice. 

I get to eat sweets...it's part of the menu tasting. Winning!

There's so many more things that make this whole ride fun, but the most important one is my fiance. I have been so grateful that through all of this Chuck has continued to be by my side. 
We face the challenges, hiccups in the road, the meetings, the deadlines....every little thing, together. It reminds me that I truly have chosen the right man and I can't wait to make this official to begin the rest of our life together as husband and wife.

Through all the craziness, the seating charts, picking the dresses and tuexedos, choosing the first dance song, running to meetings with vendors and the million & one other things we have to do...the one thing that has kept me going is our love. Love is enough. 

Thank you for dealing with all of my wedding posts, and letting me be real. I appreciate all of you reading and coming back for more.

Until next week friends...

August 19, 2015

Dear Fashion Bloggers....

Ok, I'm sure I will be getting a lot of feedback from bloggers about this post, but I have to get some things off my chest when it comes to fashion bloggers. I figured the best way to do it would be in a letter to all the gorgeous ones out there.

Dear Fashion Bloggers,

Hey! My name is Emelia. You may not know me since I've only been doing this blogging thing about a year and you may not even read lifestyle blogs.
But, when I started reading blogs  I began with ones that were mainly fashion based. I have always loved fashion and been intrigued with how you put together looks, and let's face it...you're all stunning.

Some of the people known as lifestyle bloggers aren't particularly fans of yours. It may sound harsh, but I kind of see where they are coming from. In other ways, I totally don't get their point of not liking you.

It looks like you get off easy with taking pictures of yourself, dressing up in beautiful clothes, bags and shoes and linking the things you wear to website where you can make money. It all sounds amazing, but some of these lifestyle bloggers think it's all a bit crazy.
Us lifestyle bloggers have to apply to sponsored campaigns most of the time. We have to fill out forms proving ourselves to be worthy of making a post about pizza and a coupon for some frozen delicousness at your local Wal-Mart. We get paid in various forms, but they dont' seem as lucrative as yours. This causes some hostility for the rest of us bloggers.

But I'm here to say that I like you, and I give you props for what you do.
 First of all, the amount of excercise you have to put in to take these pictures eliminates me from ever doing what you do in the first place. You probably wouldn't ever want to do a post about pizza, because then you would have to go run it off before you model that skirt tomorrow. Excercise is good and we should all do it regularly, but frankly I simply don't have all that energy on a daily basis.

I've seen some snapchats and information behind the scenes that shows me that your significant others or mom's and you venture out on the weekend to shoot pictures for an entire week full of posts. The number of outfit changes in one day would make me jump ship from being a fashion blogger. I hate going to the mall and utilizing the dresssing room let alone do 5-7 outfit changes in a few hours.

The editing of pictures....holy cow. I get overwhelmed just TRYING to take top notch quality pictures for 2 posts a week let alone every single one. See today, I didn't make that image above.. I was given the rights to download it and I got craz and threw some text on it. As a lifestyle blogger, I can do those things and no one minds. You can't post tomorrow without pictures, you wouldn't have a blog.

If you are able to make money from promoting your links on Instagram, or your blog...good for you! I do find it a little rude that sometimes you can't just tell us where you got your shoes...you make us like your Instagram picture, then get an e-mail with the product we liked, only to find out it's not the same exact one. That's not cool...if you could work on that it would make me really happy. But overall, I really don't mind to "like to know it" ...I get it, it's a business. Aren't we all here to get something more out of life, even if it's some extra cash?

You seem to go to some cooler events and conferences than I've ever seen a lifestyle blogger attend, so that's a bummer for our brand of writer but we shouldn't blame that on you. Heck, if I had the time and funds I would create and develop the most amazing blogger get together/ conference/ retreat I could dream up...but that's not happening anytime soon. Maybe we could talk to the people you work with and create some big BLOGGER get together that's not exclusively for those of you that work with Reward Style or a similar brand.

Last but not least, I like you because you are still a blogger like me. Taking pictures takes time. Creating posts takes time. Your blog takes time. Responding to comments takes time. I'm sure your passion drives you to do it every day, just like the rest of us. I applaud you for all you do, and while I'm a little jealous you don't constantly have to come up with new ideas for posts...I would not want to take your job of posing 329 different ways for 5 weekly posts in 123 different outfits. Standing with my hand on my hip while looking in the distance at a tree does not suit me well, I'll leave that awkwardness up to you.

Thanks for listening. I'm still reading...and admiring you.
You go girl.


Emelia...the lifestyle blogger who doesn't dislike fashion bloggers

August 18, 2015

Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad

Summer salads are the best. I love cookouts, family picnics and get together's. Earlier this season I shared my Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad which is a fun twist on an original favorite. This new variety came about randomly and has been a huge hit the few times I've shared it so far.

Best Pasta Salads

You will need:
1 box (8 oz,)  rotini
1 green pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups (10-15) cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup (1 small can) black olives
1 bag mini pepperoni
1/2 cup bacon bits
2 cups (1 cup each per time) shredded parmesan cheese
2 cups (1 cup each per time) Italian dressing

Best Summer Salads

To make:
Cook the pasta as normal 7-10 minutes until al dente
While the pasta is cooking dice the tomatoes, pepper, and cut the olive rings in half
Put in large bowl
After pasta is done cooking, drain & cool then add to the bowl
Add the mini pepperoni , bacon bits and 1 cup of cheese and mix with with spoon
Pour 1 cup dressing on top and stir again mixing all ingredients together
Place in refrigerator overnight, or for 8 hours covered
Remove and add 1 more cup parmesan cheese and Italian dressing
Stir and serve

Loaded Pizza Pasta Salad

Best Summer Pasta Salads

I swear it's as good as it looks, if not better. It was such a good dish and a nice change from the original ingredients. Have you ever tried this one?

Follow me on Pinterest for more creations like this.

Follow Dream Big & Buy The Shoes's board S A L A D S & stuff on Pinterest.

What's your favorite summer salad? Share your recipes with me!

August 17, 2015

4 Inspirational Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow

I already told you all the reasons why I love Instagram, but my number one reason is the inspiration I get from people's pictures. I love pictures that tell a story, open my eyes to something new, or lead me to learn a little more about life.

Bri // designlovefest  Bri has an incredible eye. She's an art director by trade, so of course her pictures are stunning. She incorporates a mix of food, fashion, day to day musings, and does it all beautifully. She inspires me to think outside of the lens with the standard pictures and make mine more bold and bright.

Kelsey // abalancingpeach Kelsey is fresh and inviting. Her pictures make me want to take a step in to her life. The clean lines and cool colors inspire me to always look at the bright side in life.

Mckenna // mckennableu  Mckenna is a gorgeous fashion blogger so naturally her pictures are top notch. She incorporates fashion with travel, home decor that is to die for, and does it all making it look so easy. That's the main thing about Mckenna that inspires me...she doesn't force her pictures. They are eazy breezy and chic and full of beautiful colors.

Samantha // samantha_show_ Samantha is a cool life and style blogger who always has a story behind her photos which I love. She's a mom and the pictures where she showcases the realness behind the scenes are the ones I enjoy the most. It's inspiring to see women who truly balance it all, and that's something Samantha brings to life in her pictures.

A photo posted by Samantha (@samantha_show_) on

I love finding new accounts to follow, do you have any favorite inspirational accounts you enjoy?

While you're at it...follow me on Instagram because if you don't, that would just be silly.

Happy Monday Loves!

August 13, 2015

25 Summer Date Ideas

I live in Erie, Pa where it snows for 70% of the year. When summer comes in this area, I love to take full advantage of it. Spending time outside during the day enjoying the sunshine or during the evening watching the best sunsets (we have the best…I promise, look it up) makes the season enjoyable. Today I am talking about the best summer date ideas; there’s something for everyone on my list.

1. Check out a food truck
2. Go to an amusement park and ride a roller coaster
3. Have a picnic at the beach or lake
4. Swing in the park
5. Watch the sunset
6. Enjoy a concert in the park
7. Attend a local summer festival…there’s always yummy food
8. Turn outide chores in to fun…plant something together, wash the cars. Blast some music and have fun with it
9. Go to the zoo, it’s fun at any age
10. Rent a convertible and drive
11. Make smores
12. Have a rooftop happy hour
13. Water balloon fight…enough said
14. Draw with sidewalk chalk
15. Venture out for ice cream
16. Explore your city
17. Go on a hike
18. Watch a movie at the Drive-In
19. Go fishing
20. Stargaze in your backyard
21. Roller skate
22. Fly a kite
23. Go mini golfing
24. Find some goodies at the Farmer’s Market
25.  Attend a baseball game

There are so many options for summer dates, whether you live in a big city or a small town. My best advice is to make your own fun and enjoy the company of one another.

Check out my Pinterest page for other summer fun & be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the amazing Erie sunsets and other ways I enjoy the season. You can also read about how to have the perfect summer day  and soak up that sunshine. 

August 12, 2015

Pop, Fizz, Clink : My Bridal Shower Recap

I am SO excited to share Part 1 of my bridal shower with you today. I have decided to do this in more than one post for a few reasons. I want to highlight the overall shower and show you all the great pictures, but I also want to get in to the details and I think it's too much.

Look forward to the DIY craziness and fun details next week. For now, I bring you to my bridal shower dream come true. Before I begin I must thank my amazing, generous bridesmaids, grandmother, stepmother and mother in law because without their generosity this beautiful day would not be possible.

I talked about choosing your bridal shower venue in this post and mentioned that mine was going to be at a winery. Before Chuck and I were engaged we talked about our future wedding and how we would love to have it at a winery. Like any normal lady, I began searching for a wedding venue only to find wineries typically only hold a maximum of 80 people. While we wanted a small wedding, that was too many people to cut from our guest list.

I originally had my eye on a renovated schoolhouse that just opened for events in our area. It was cute and a quaint little place. Once we started corresponding I realized that it was far out of my budget and not worth it. The next place I looked in to was Courtyard Wineries which is 20 minutes away from our house in wine country- North East, Pa. From the moment I reached out to the owners I knew this was the place. They were so kind, helpful and informative.

Now I bring you...my winery bridal shower held on August 1st.

As you can see it was held outside, and it couldn't have been a more beautiful day. The sun was shining and there were no clouds in sight. Earlier in the week the forecast had a 60% chance of rain and I began to panic. I told my grandmother and friends that by the time my shower started it would be perfect, I knew it.

 A small back story: the morning of my mom's funeral it stormed like crazy. It was dark and dreary while we were in the funeral home and the church. As we made our way to the cemetery the skies cleared up and the skies were full of sunshine and a rainbow. This has since happened a few more times at other family member's funerals or big events in our family. I knew my mom would make the weather just right for my big day. That sunshine was her, and I was so blessed with a warm day that we could all enjoy outside. 

I had no set theme for my shower, other than I wanted to bring in our wedding colors- purple and gold. I had pictures and ideas that I had seen and desired to incorporate, but honestly I was wondering how it would all come together. The end result was better than I ever could have imagined. 

I framed the invitation and had it out as decor because I loved how well it went with the venue. The signs were placed on different tables and were all made by me.

Wine glass favors for each guest with a thank you inside. You may remember this glass from the first time I made them in my DIY drinkware post. I wanted to have something for my guests that they could frequently use, and it tied in with the venue so that made them even more fun!

My Maid of Honor had the great idea of a Words of Wisdom Station. We cut out purple hearts and had everyone write their marriage and love advice on them. I loved reading them and will keep them forever!

I also wanted a guest book and had a few ideas, my final decision was to use a wine bottle from the winery to have everyone sign. 

The flower L was made by me, I was amazed at how easy it was. DIY details to come in a future post.

I framed a few of my favorite pictures from our engagement shoot for some decor also. It's nice to have a piece of us to share at the shower. The E & C letters on the table were spray painted, another easy project. 

The wine bottle also served as another piece of simple decor and was so easy to make. You don't have to spend a ton of money to make a party beautiful. 

The winery did wine tastings and the guests were able to enjoy glasses of wine, but I also wanted some other options for beverages. As you may have read yesterday, I had a delicious summer sangria and also an an infused strawberry, lemon & basil water. The sangria was a HUGE hit and the coordinator from the winery asked for the recipe because he was impressed on how much everyone loved it.

We played a few games to begin, and then did wine tastings and ate. Fun, customized party straws from The Printable Gal on Etsy. 

The centerpieces doubled as favors. The wine bottles were from the winery and were decorated with  a tag and ribbon. The other part of the centerpiece was provided on behalf of the winery and were colored glass bottles. I filled them with baby breath and the whole centerpiece pulled together nicely.
As we played games the winners got tickets to enter for baskets made by my bridesmaids & family. They also got tickets just for coming, woo-hoo! Everyone had a chance to win so that made it fun. One bridal bingo card per table was marked on the back and that person got to take home the bottle of wine from the table. 

If you know me at all, you know I am obsessed with cupcakes. My baker made these amazing cupcakes in the form of a wedding dress and I was thrilled with how they came out. Some were almond, and the others were lemon and all of them had vanilla frosting. She even decorated some of the others in our wedding colors...too cute!

I could eat her cupcakes every day of my life. They are so good. They paired well with the menu which was provided by one of our groomsman & best friends. He is a chef and graciously came to cater the shower. Everything was delicious and the guests raved about everything. 

We played Bridal Bingo while I opened gifts. I highly recommend anyone to do this, as it gives the guests something to do while you're sitting up there. 

On the table behind me I had a picture out of my mom with some of her favorite colored flowers behind it. She most certainly was with me in spirit, but I wanted her to have a special presence at my shower too. It was a simple, nice way to incorporate her in to my day. 

We wrapped up with some pictures and mingling with one another. The day still brings me to tears just looking at these pictures and cherishing the memories made. Chuck and I are so incredibly blessed with these amazing people in our lives. I was showered with so much love, well wishes, hugs, gifts and friendship. 

My dream of a beautiful day at a winery with touches of purple, gold, and love came to life. I wanted my guests to feel special, spoiled and enjoy themselves. I think it was a success, and I learned that I love planning and hosting events more than I thought. It was such a fun day!

Pop, Fizz, Clink...cheers to a beautiful day!! Next week I will recap all the details and show you how you can party on a budget. 

Until tomorrow friends, XO!!

To Travel and Beyond

August 11, 2015

Summer Sangria

My bridal shower was held not too long ago at a local winery, so when I was looking for some fun party drinks obviously a sangria made the list.

You will need:
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 orange, halved and sliced
1.5 cups Sprite
1.5 cups blueberry pomegranate juice
2 cups your favorite wine- I used one from the local winery, but another great choice is Cupcake Sauvignon Blanc

Pour ingredients in a pitcher, stir, and refrigerate overnight. It's easy, but I forgot to document the steps with pictures so instead I'll show you the finished result.

See those cute straws?! M from The Sequin Notebook makes the perfect accessory for all your party cocktails.  She was so sweet to make them for my bridal shower and completely customized them to my liking. She has an Etsy shop called The Printable Gal and does amazing work. I highly recommend working with M, and will fill you in on more details tomorrow in my bridal shower recap.

Until next time friends....Cheers!!!

Martinis & Bikinis