March 30, 2016

Ceremony Details: Wedding Wednesday

Today I want to share some final pictures and things from our wedding ceremony before moving on to any other topics since I love details. 

I wanted a "different" ring bearer pillow and something a little unique. I wasn't quite sure what our nephew would do with it, but he seemed to enjoy it and carried it pretty well. I purchased a champagne sequin pillow with an ivory bow from TwentyEight12 on Etsy and loved it. The pillow was a great size and a unique color which I enjoyed too. 

Unfortunately, for the life of me I couldn't find the type of flower girl baskets I imagined in my head, so I turned to Amazon for a back up. I found inexpensive white baskets and purchased faux flower petals from Alfloral in a variety of purple colors. 

I was pretty set on some "rules" for the wedding ceremony when it came to pictures. I didn't want any pictures taken while I walked down the aisle or shared on social media before we had the chance to share. There were some family members not able to make it, and Chuck and I took our first married selfie before our reception began and sent it to them so they could see us! I find it incredibly rude when people post pictures during a wedding ceremony, which is supposed to be a sacred time. I also didn't want people holding cell phones in the background or most importantly, in the way of our photographers. So, I made a sign to kindly pass along my wishes, and our officiant made an announcement in the beginning of the ceremony also. 

For the readings, we chose two that we enjoyed and spoke to us as a couple. I'm positive they're not original for a wedding ceremony, but Chuck and I liked them. Chuck's brother and sister read and it was important to us to have all of our family be a part of our day in some way. 

His brother read:

Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls

and has no one to help them up.

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

His sister read:

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It does not dishonor others,
it is not self-seeking, 
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
And now these three remain:
Faith, hope and love.

But the greatest of these is love.

My favorite detail of the ceremony in regards to decor and extras were the programs. I absolutely loved them, and especially with our extra large bridal party...they made me smile every time I looked at the line-up. They were double sided and had the list of the bridal party on the front, and some fun details on the back, including the first peek at our wedding hashtag that we revealed that day. 

The butterflies, were by par one of the best parts of the ceremony. If you missed my post about our butterfly release, the recaps from past weeks are at the bottom of this post.

We saved a special seat on the end of a family row for my Mommy. I mentioned in a past post about the bouquets, that I made hers similar to mine. We shared the same ribbon and some of the same flowers. I love this picture of my Mom...her smile never changed, even when she was sick. She always managed to put a smile on her face. I have pictures of her in a chair, with no hair, getting chemotherapy with the same exact smile. I still remember the night she went to a banquet with my Dad in this picture,  she looked so beautiful and that's how I wanted her remembered at my wedding.

While I'm sad that the ceremony recaps are over, I'm excited to move on and share more of the night with you from our wedding. It was so fun, and I can't wait to re-live it all over again. Until next time....

Wedding Wednesday in week's case you missed it:

Details & Vendors:
Photography: R. Frank Photography
The Dress: Bridal Elegance
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka (similar)
Bride's Clutch: Rent The Runway
Groom & Best Man  Shoes: Nike Lockwood
Flowers: Afloral (handmade bouquets by the Bride)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way
Bridesmaid Earrings: Frou Frou & Frill
Butterflies: Shallowtail Farms

To Travel & Beyond

March 28, 2016

Stop The Madness

As I write this post, I am texting one of my friends about my current thoughts and I'm going to try and articulate them as best I can in this post.

I am sick and tired of women bashing women. that I got that out maybe I can explain my feelings a little better.

I don't want to go in to detail as where this stemmed from, but unfortunately it was another blog. If you're not a blogger, this still applies to you. If you have any form of social media, I think this applies to you.

As a blogger, I own this space. Well, technically Google owns this space, but you get what I'm saying. I have the freedom to type, verbalize, spout out and post whatever the hell I feel like. That's cool. But you know what's not? When I visit a blog and they are ranting and tearing down other women. I assure you, this is NOT what our blogs are meant for. Whether you're just starting out, or you've been writing for 5 years...come up with different content, because the hateful kind doesn't look good on you. 

I mentioned a few weeks ago how I'm sick of being told what to do when it comes to my blog, but that's not what I'm trying to do here. I think whether you're on Facebook, Twitter, or running a blog...your voice matters, and it can also hurt someone. Think before you speak, or you write.

I'm pretty sure that if another woman and her path to success is making you want to quit blogging, then maybe you are blogging for the wrong reasons. Find YOUR passion, and follow your dreams...but don't tear others down while you do it. I can't believe the comments I am reading on a current post, literally tearing this woman down for being pretty and damn good at what she does. It makes me sick and sad as a woman to be involved in even reading the comments. 

I'm all for encouraging other women...frankly anyone..applauding their success...and most times their product of hard work makes me want to work harder and find out what drives me more. No one is perfect, we've all said some things we don't mean...but please don't hit that post button until you've thought long and hard about the role you have in this world. 

In case you haven't seen it before I wrote a letter to fashion bloggers. The intent was to give a high five to fashion bloggers because most of what I read from lifestyle bloggers when they do mention them, is that everything is handed to them...clothes...bags...etc... and they make so much money. I believe they work hard. Shoot, I take about an hour to take a semi decent picture to put on this to put out 6-7 images per post of something that looks amazing sounds like something I don't have the patience props to anyone that loves it.

I remember seeing all the awesome posts and uplifting words being shared for International Women's Day...maybe every day should love your fellow female day. 

Support one another, be a babe and say something nice...being kind NEVER gets old. 

March 25, 2016

Marshmallow Peep Cocktail

When it comes to Spring, I really start craving refreshing drinks...and I really wanted something new to try. Easter made me think of everyone's favorite candy to talk about (whether you love them or hate them)...Peeps!

easter drinks

Something fun for your Easter Sunday...or any Sunday for that matter. I for one, love me some Peeps, but they're even better when vodka and sprinkles are involved too. Read on for deliciousness....

You will need:

1 oz Marshmallow Vodka ( I used Pinnacle)

2 oz Cranberry Juice
1 Peeps Candy Bunny
Easter Sprinkles
1 tbsp. Sugar + 1 tbsp. Water to make Simple Syrup

To make:

Microwave sugar and water for 30 seconds, then stir for 30 seconds to make simple syrup. Pour on a plate.
On a separate plate, pour your sprinkles.
Dip your glass in the syrup, then in the sprinkles to create a pretty candy rim.
In a shaker, pour your vodka and cranberry juice over ice & shake for 30 seconds.
Strain in to glass and garnish with your Peeps Bunny.

This cocktail is so easy to make and can easily be changed out with your table decor depending on what sprinkles you want to use, which is really fun. 

Looking for some Easter decor inspiration? Check out my Easter tree and how I made it festive for the season. 

If you need some last minute, free decor I've got an Easter printable for you. You can download and print it right away. 

I hope you all have a beautiful Easter weekend...enjoy your time with your family, friends, and loved ones. Hope the Bunny is good to you! 
March 24, 2016

Skincare Routine with Jasmine from Classy, Sassy & A Bit Smartassy

Hello Dream Big & Buy the Shoes readers. My name is Jasmine and I'm the beauty + lifestyle blogger behind Classy Sassy & a Bit Smartassy. I'm a mom of two boys and a girlfriend. I'm excited to be taking over and sharing with you my skincare routine. I wear makeup daily so I have to make sure my skin is being taken care of when I take it all off. 
  Skincare Routine

I love taking care of my skin because if I don't then comes the wrinkle skin, breakouts and unhealthy looking skin. 

Removing my makeup -  I love using the Neutrogena Hydrating Makeup wipe removers and their eye makeup remover. When I use the wipes on my face it removes so much of the makeup and it also leaves my skin feeling hydrated unlike other brands I've tried that leaves my skin feeling dry. Sometimes those waterproof mascara doesn't always come off so that's when the eye makeup remover comes in place. It removes all of the mascara and the eye lash glue that I use from my falsies. 

Washing my face -  Just because you use makeup wipe removers doesn't mean that you shouldn't wash your face. Always wash your face after removing the makeup. For exfoliating I love to use the Complexion Perfection (not listed above). It gets in my pores to ensure that all dirt is being removed. Then I love to use the Bella Aura Gentle Purifying Cleanser with my Foreo Luna. This leaves your skin feeling smooth, clean and bright.  Last thing moisturize. I use the Bella Aura Daily Repair Moisturizer. I have oily skin and since I started to use this moisturizer my skin has been less greasy and I love it. 

You can check out my review on the Bella Aura Skincare line here.  I always love finding new skincare products that are all natural when it comes to washing my face. 

So what are your favorites?
March 23, 2016

Our Vows : Wedding Wednesday

Our vows, one of the most special part of our wedding. Before sharing these on the blog, I asked Chuck if it was okay and he agreed, which I'm happy about. It's important to me to share as much as we both feel comfortable with and never cross those lines. 

Believe it or not, it was Chuck's idea to write our own vows. Me, the blogger, was a little nervous to do so, but I did it for him and in the end I'm glad we did it this way. I hope to share more of the process behind writing our vows for the both of us as well as any tips we have to offer for anyone out there doing the same thing.

Guys, I didn't write mine until 2 days before the wedding. I sat down so many times and just stared at the screen. I tried paper, and stared at the paper. I think I had so much running around in my head with to- do lists, deadlines, etc...that I couldn't focus on the matter at hand. Thursday, before the wedding we had taken all of our decor to the venue, got the keys to the lake house where we were holding the rehearsal, and had the final tux fitting for the guys. There was not much left to do, other than get pampered, rehearse, and get married so my mind was a lot more clear. 

It didn't take me long to write them once I was able to get it out. I am very emotional, so my biggest fear aside from actually writing them was being a crying, blabbering mess during the ceremony. So after I wrote them I sat and read them out loud over and over and over again until I got through the whole thing without crying. I did that again the night before the wedding, and am happy to say I did pretty well at the ceremony and only started to tear up once I heard people crying as I read them. 

I requested to read mine first for two reasons- to get them done first since I was really nervous, and so when Chuck made me cry I could actually already be done with mine and cry as much as I wanted to...ha-ha. 

So here they are....

Emelia's Vows:

An actress names Loretta Young once said, "Love isn't something you find. Love is something that finds you. " It's a perfect description of how Emelia & Chuck came to be. From the first day I met you, you were different than any other man & I came to discover that you were perfect for me.

I believe with my whole heart that you were sent to me for a reason. You have made me a better person from the start, and continue to help me grow. You are kind, gentle, and strong all at the same time. You're everything I can only hope to be. Every day I wake up excited to live this life with you. The past seven years have brought me amazing times and the best love I have ever known.

While there has been plenty of moments that have tested us, you have never left my side. You don't question my crazy ideas, you encourage them. You're my number one fan and my best friend. You're the calm to my crazy, and exactly what I never knew I always needed. You saved me from myself. I've always been proud of my independence, but now I am lucky to be your other half. You make me whole and I wouldn't be who I am without you by my side, always ready to ride. No matter what the storm, we chase it together. 

I couldn't be more honored to stand here next to you today and make the past seven years official. I promise to be your best friend and take on whatever life has to bring us. I promise to love you more than I love myself and put our bond first and foremost.
Thank you for choosing me to be your wife. More importantly, thank you for choosing me to be Ethan's stepmom. There is no job that will ever be more important.

Ethan, thank you for loving me and being my best friend. You are my most favorite person in this entire world and I won't ever stop letting you know. I am most proud of what a kind and loving soul you have and I am so lucky to see that every single day. I promise to take care of you for every last second that I am on this Earth and I am so excited to finally be your official stepmom. 

There is nowhere in this world I would rather be than with the two of you. You're my dudes and have made me the happiest woman. I cherish what we have and promise to continue loving the both of you with m whole heart and soul.

John Lennon said, " A dream you dream alone is only a dream, A dream you dream together...that is reality." My dreams have come true thanks to you, and our reality is far better than I could have ever imagined. Thank you for making me your wife today.

Chuck's Vows:

After 2,706 days, I can't believe we're finally here.
You piqued my attention when you agreed to watch Indiana Jones,
and you won my heart when you earned Ethan's. 

You taught me to Dream Big
and that I deserved the happiness I found in you.

I promise to love you in success and even more in failures. 
I promise to communicate fully & fearlessly, to use my words when they are needed and share in silence when they are not.
I promise to support your goals, ideas and selflessness
and I promise myself to you.

I make these promises to earn the privilege of being your partner.
Emelia, I Love You So Much. 

My vows were way longer, but I can't do anything short-winded. I absolutely loved Chuck's...they were so perfect and having a man who wanted to write his vows was so special. I hope he lets me share some behind the scenes of his vows and how they came to be, because his process was so cool.

Next week I may start sharing some of the reception...we'll see how I'm feeling. Thanks for sharing in Wedding Wednesday again!

Wedding Wednesday in week's case you missed it:

Details & Vendors:

Photography: R. Frank Photography
The Dress: Bridal Elegance
Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka (similar)
Bride's Clutch: Rent The Runway
Groom & Best Man  Shoes: Nike Lockwood
Flowers: Afloral (handmade bouquets by the Bride)
Bridesmaid Dresses: Weddington Way
Bridesmaid Earrings: Frou Frou & Frill
Butterflies: Shallowtail Farms

To Travel & Beyond

March 21, 2016

Beauty On A Budget: Shadow, Primer & Liner

Hi friends, happy Monday! I'm really excited for another month of Beauty On A Budget with Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick & Stilettos  because I loooove talking makeup and have some more fun beauty posts planned soon. 

Today we're talking about shadow, primer and liner that you can find on a budget...and one of these I've literally been using since 8th grade, I'm not sure whether that's embarrassing or awesome.

First up is eye shadow primer. When I ran out of my favorite, Urban Decay I was on the hunt for another and the scooped up the NYX Eyeshadow Base in White for $7 and am so in love with it. They have 3 different colors, intended for different purposes. The white is meant to make your shadows pop and it really works allll day long and my shadow doesn't crease or wear off which is great. I will probably keep using this, because why not use something cheaper if it works just as well. I will want to try the Pearl next since I love the Urban Decay primer in Sin, because it has the shimmer which looks great with so many shadows. I highly recommend this primer, even if you have oily skin which I do. 

Next, eye shadow. To be honest, I don't own a lot of shadow because I typically buy palettes and use them every day they last a really long time. One shadow that I do use from the drugstore is Cover Girl Eye Enhancers in Snow Blossom, found at Target for $3. I use this shadow in the inner corner of my eye to brighten and enhance the other shadows I'm wearing. It brightens my eyes and makes them pop. I literally have been using this shadow since my mom taught me how in 8th grade and I love how one simple shadow can do so much for your eyes. 

Now for eyeliner, another budget friendly option, the Wet n Wild MegaLiner Liquid Eyeliner for a whopping $3 at Walgreens is my holy grail liner. It dries fast and stays put all day long which can be tough to find in a liquid liner. When I'm not using Stila Stay All Day Waterproof which is pricier, I'm using this thanks to the really precise line it draws and how easy it is to apply. I don't use many different liners, because I tend to do the same thing most days...and I've been opting for shadow on my bottom opposed to liner because I can't find anything that wants to stay!

So many inexpensive buys to help achieve your daily look! Make sure to stop by Lindsay's blog and see what she chose as her favorites.

Previously from the Beauty On A Budget series:

Before you go, how about a chance to win $115?! Winner's choice: PayPal cash, Sephora or that's enough to get you TONS of beauty products. Giveaway ends on March 28th and when you enter here please write "Dream Big & Buy the Shoes' in the FREE entry.  Good Luck!

  Giveaway is open internationally for those over 18 years old. Winner gets to choose to receive $115 PayPal cash, a gift card to Sephora, or a gift card to Target.

March 18, 2016

5 Tips For Starting A New Creative Hobby

Today, Llinos from The Lilac Linnet is taking over my blog to share five great tips if you're looking to start a new hobby, or even if you don't know where to begin.

A few years ago I had the urge to bring creativity into my life in a new way, but I had no idea how to do that or what creative talent I had to offer.  Here's how I found my way into living a much more creative life.

Shut out the noise in your mind
For years, my mind held me back.  "You are not technologically minded so you can never run a blog."  "I was no good at art at school."  "I will never get the hang of crochet, I should stop now."  But when I understood that to give up and walk away from a creative life would make me miserable, I was able to quieten those voices.  Don't get in your own way.

Choose something within your budget
Hobbies can be expensive!  But don't let that stop you while you are finding your feet with what creativity to bring into your routine.  Creating a blog on Blogger is free. If you want to try knitting, all you need to begin are needles and yarn.  Adult coloring is a huge trend right now and a pack of pencils and a book can keep you going for a while. Check out this post about crocheting to see what I've made

Go online for inspiration
Check out Pinterest and blogs for tutorials. I love finding new projects on Youtube with every step of the way outlined clearly in video, for you to re-watch over and over again.  I always feel such a sense of achievement when I can follow along and there are so many tutorials to enjoy for whatever creative medium you want to pursue.

Start a club or go to a class
If you are interested in baking, try a class in your local community  Or if you and your friends have previously spoken about wanting to write, why not get together and write over a coffee one weekend?  You can share ideas and support each other.  I like to crochet in local coffee shops with my friend.

Go out for a walk in nature
Nothing is more inspirational than going for a walk.  It clears your mind, it's exercise and it's creative!  Whether you're in your local park or up in the mountains, it's a great place to get your creative juices flowing.  If you like photography, this is the perfect way to engage in it and pursue it as a hobby.

For more inspiration and ideas, follow Llinos here: Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Bloglovin

March 17, 2016

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch- Changes

Hi friends! If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen me mention that I was thinking about going to a 3 day a week posting schedule. To be honest, I'm overwhelmed. Do I like to admit that? Hell no. But, if I'm not being honest with you then this space becomes something I don't want it to be.

how to find a blog posting schedule that works for you

This thought of change came about from a few things, including a post from Jade at Jade & Oak about why you need to post less often on your blog. The points she put out there really made sense and made me feel better about what I was thinking in my head.

I need this change for various reasons. My work schedule has changed, which in tune changes the pattern I have for writing. Typically I've been off on Monday's from work and I got a TON done during the day- I'm talking errands, photos, editing, writing new posts, mixed in with a little reality TV watching while it's all going down. I also worked one night a week giving me a nice long morning in the middle of the week to do even more of the above mentioned.

I'm not going to have that alone time now, when the guys are at work and school and for the first time in a very,very long time we are all going to be on the same sort of schedule. I'm looking forward to eating dinner together as a family, spending time outside, and enjoying each other's company. This is a long time coming and it's going to be really great for the three of us.

My hope is that with posting one less day I have more time to work on some blog related things that keep getting pushed to the side. I really want to work on my photography and take the time to learn new things. You may have read on my 101 in 1001  that I want to write a children's book. This has been a big dream of mine and I have SO many ideas floating around in my head that I need to get out.

So with all of this, I will now be posting on Monday, Wednesday & Friday's and am going to see how it plays out I 'm sure I will be posting occasionally on other days for link-ups, or when I have more to say (because don't I always), but I hope it works.
I'm feeling a little anxious from all of it but I know it will be good for me and the blog in the long run. I can't keep pushing myself to crazy limits and spending the majority of my time behind a computer. The more I'm out there living, the more interesting things I can share with all of you.

I appreciate all of your support, and that's why I wanted to explain the new schedule here at Dream Big & Buy the Shoes. Thank you for always understanding...much love!
March 16, 2016

Things You Need To Stop Saying To Brides

I'm going to take a brief break from the recap of our wedding and pictures to share something that's been bothering me for a while...we're talking since the midst of my own wedding planning. You know those things you hear that you shouldn't say to expecting moms? Well...there has to be a list out there for brides to be too.

Things You Need To Stop Saying To Brides

There are certain things a bride does not need to hear. In no particular order.....

The night goes by so fast. 
- Maybe it does or did for some people, but don't make someone feel like they're going to be missing out on something. While I love the advice to take some time and step away with your partner to enjoy a special moment, I didn't feel like my night flew by.

Calm down
-Do not ever, especially in the midst of my wedding planning, tell me to calm down. There are other ways to tell me to freakin relax and that is NOT it.

You're not going to remember that anyway.
- Yes, it is good to not sweat the small stuff. Don't tell me I'm not going to remember things from my wedding though. I still remember how I felt and what I was thinking looking back at pictures from our day.

You need to spend money on THIS.
-Every bride is different. Different couples have different priorities. A budget that works for one person may not work for another. Don't tell someone else what they need to spend money on.

Get the chef salad, more guests will love it.
-Guess what, I love caesar salad and we paid the bill, so caesar salad for everyone!

Don't be a DIY bride, it's not worth your time.
- I will tell you that by my choice, I did DIY projects for 90% of my bridal shower and a good portion of my wedding, including the bouquets. Yes, it took time. It also saved money and was so meaningful to me. Looking back that I did it all I wonder where I found the time, but every last second was worth it. I'm not telling you that you are any less of a bride if you don't do one single project for your wedding, but it is a lot of fun.

To all the brides to be out there...follow your heart, enjoy this special time, and send me an e-mail if you need someone to vent to!

Wedding Wednesday in week's case you missed it:

To Travel & Beyond