Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I've been feeling a lot lately that I'm not quite sure what God is calling me to do with the greater purpose of my life. But I feel Him tugging gently at me, reminding me that He is there. I am doing my best to wait. But what an interesting spiritual challenge that is. To wait. With faith and hope and anticipation, but to wait.

I also have a thought that keeps bubbling up into my mind: How can I help others? I have many strengths (talking to anyone has to be #1) but in my current 9 to 5 position I don't directly serve. When I think about what brings me joy or what my purpose in life is (while I wait, of course) I always come back to people.

Connection is paramount in my life. I love listening to someone's problems, telling her mine, offering a solution, validating a feeling and being present for another. Being present. What a true gift that is when you can just be with a friend, family member, spouse, child, etc.

In tandem with these thoughts, I've also - true confessions - been going through a funk. What? You too? Yeah, this winter was rough. My life is incredibly blessed and I am healthy and loved and have a roof over my head and a full belly. So you can imagine that it makes me even more infuriated when I'm grumpy for no reason. (Or even for a trivial reason that shouldn't break me down at a core level.)

As the air has been getting warmer, I've percolated an idea to simultaneously lift me out of my unnecessary but very human funk and serve you, my readers and my friends, by fostering joy and authenticity in my life and motivating it in yours.

Starting tomorrow, I bring you The May Project.

The goal of this campaign is simple: take positive actions to enhance your well-being and support yourself as you fall in love with living more and more each day.

I don't mean to sound vague but I want to emphasize that this movement is designed to be customized for what is good and beneficial for you. There is no right way to make a healthy or joy-inducing choice. It will be different for all of us.

My goal for The May Project is that we positively support each other's choices and consciously choose to do things that will bring us joy throughout the month. 

Some of the ways in which I am going to make positive choices in May for my well-being include:

  • Eating delicious (and not processed and crappy) foods
  • Taking pride in what I wear to work and how I present myself to others
  • Choosing activity over inactivity
  • Practicing stillness and unplugging where I can
  • Learning new photography skills and challenging myself

I encourage you to intentionally practice positive choices for yourself for 31 days in a row and share your success with me through #TheMayProject on instagram, twitter, and even pinterest. I can't wait to see pictures or thoughts centered around anything that makes you a better you.

Do good. Wear pink. Eat dark chocolate. Walk through a garden. And share it with us so we can affirm every wonderful choice you make.

Joy is contagious. Let's cause an epidemic.


Happy happy happy birthday Mommy. I am so glad you were born and so grateful for the life you have given me. I cannot wait to celebrate all 60 wonderful years that you have lived and laughed and brought joy to this world. 

Monday, April 28, 2014


This past weekend was so lovely. It just was. We had enough fun and enough relaxation that the balance was perfect and I woke up today feeling refreshed. Now that is a major win. 

Saturday afternoon was spent with my friends Charlotte and Alex and their two littles at Paradise Springs Winery in Clifton, VA. It was glorious. Seriously, it's a relatively new winery but if you are in the DC/MD/VA area it needs to be one of your next stops.

There were two bachelorette parties, a bridal shower, dogs, kids, and wine lovers galore. We fit right in. 

These four are the cutest family I've ever seen!

Did you wear your soccer cone hat on Saturday? ;)

What other wineries in the area do you love? 

In other areas? Josh and I are not above traveling to get some good winery action!

Friday, April 25, 2014


I'm so vain... I probably think this song is about me. La la laaaaaa. 

Well I hope that sentence is more song than truth, but I do want to make sure I'm taking good care of myself pre-wedding day (and really everyday) to look my best. Besides asking for eye cream for Christmas (thanks Mom!) there are a few other helpful things I'm doing my best to keep up with for the next few months before the wedding. And hey, maybe I'll make a few good habits for the long run too!

I want to keep my pearly whites, well, white! I obviously brush my teeth twice a day (please tell me you do too!) but I'm making more of an effort to floss. Further, I'm using a whitening mouthwash as well as generic teeth whitening strips. For the mouthwash, I read in Real Simple I think that this Rembrandt version was the most effective. It tastes fine so I'm still using it. 

My dentist told me the CVS brand are just as good as the fancy ones so for about $20 I got 14 sets of strips. I used 5 or so the week before our engagement shoot and maybe in two months I'll use the rest. Nothing crazy. Just helping out how I can.


Yes. I really did ask for eye cream for Christmas. And my mom got me this really nice stuff from Clinique: the Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream. It's very soothing and I put it on every night. It rubs right in so you can't see it. I also use their facewash for oily skin. I think this works best on my Clarisonic and it foams up and I feel squeaky clean. 

Everyone tells you to put on lotion each night on your face but I'm really scared of breaking out. (Bad skin in high school will do this to you.) I'm trying to get better about using either Cetaphil moisturizer or Clinique's brand, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. Both are very gentle and fairly inexpensive. 

I try to drink lots of water, avoid curling my hair too often, put oil on my cuticles and take my vitamins. I'm currently taking Biotin, Omega-3 and Vitamin D. Super easy to take one each day. 


What are your beauty tips and tricks?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I'm just going to say it: I'm tired of being on the internet. I feel supersaturated. Full. Overwhelmed. Buried by content. Satiated beyond recovery. Pinterest-ed out.

I didn't think it was possible either.

I'm quite sure that this feeling is exacerbated by the fact that I work at a computer all day, every day. It's how I earn my living and how I communicate.

"Let me send you an email."

"I'll forward you that link."

"Did you see the recap of the season finale?"

Which brings me to my next point. TV takes up a lot of my time and I'm not sure if I like it.

Here's a fun little exercise that I'll do with you.

Q. How many hours do you watch TV each week (Monday - Sunday)?
A: 15 (This is my best estimate.)

Q: How many of those hours (in one week) have profoundly affected you, changed your life, or made you a better human?
A: 30 minutes (I'm sure it's closer to zero but that breaks my heart.)

Q: What are some other things you could do with those [14.5] hours?
A: Go to the gym, bake a cake, eat the cake after I go to the gym, paint my nails, read a book, sit outside, practice photography, ride my bike, do some crafts for the wedding, talk to one of my friends that doesn't live near me, write a blog post, clean my room, sell some of my old jewelry on eBay, lay out some cute outfits for the week...


Well this post has taken an interesting turn and devolved a bit from my original thesis that everything on the internet is derivative of everything else on the internet and I'm tired of looking a the same pictures of lemons and stripes on Instagram.

Is anything new or classic or appreciated without being blogged about? Yes, I'm talking to myself here.

I don't know. Don't know the solution. But I wonder how much of an addiction my TV/internet use is. How much of it is to numb when I'm tired after work and how much of it is to feel a live and creative and make the world better?

Am I the only one who feels like this? Are you living blissfully in the digital world and thinking this post is nutso. I wanna know!

Friday, April 18, 2014


Happy Good Friday everyone! I'm excited to be heading to the NY/NJ area tomorrow. Josh and I are going to see my brother and sister in law, hopefully my MOH, my cousin and her new baby and then celebrate Easter with my mom, aunt and uncle, other cousin and new fiance! #familyforthewin

In the meantime, I wanted to share some of my favorite wedding sites / resources with you. If you're planning your own wedding you know it's more like a full-time job than a fun hobby. It's great to gather ideas and tips wherever you can!

Style Me Pretty
Southern Weddings
Capitol Romance
Green Wedding Shoes
Pinterest Inspiration

Also, there is a flash sale today on just for weddings! You're welcome

Thursday, April 17, 2014


For my dad's 60th birthday I made him a video since I couldn't be with him. Then a few weeks later, I flew out to surprise him in Iowa for a visit / present. Yes, I did make my Aunt and two cousins wear shirts with my dad's face on them that I made. It was legendary. 

While there, we also celebrated my youngest cousin's 6th birthday. He is definitely the cutest Captain America I have ever seen. The (short) weekend was full of singing in the car, stealing my sister's clothes, putting play dough and icing on our faces, and generally being loud and goofy. It's how I roll and I love that my family rolls right along with me. :)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Striped shirt: Banana Republic (40% off in store) // Midi skirt: H&M // Earrings: Sworovski two years ago (gift from Josh) // Tennis Bracelet: Sworovski (gift from my Aunts) // Watch: Lucien Piccard via Gilt // Silver Cuff: Williamsburg Artist // Sandals: DSW three years ago (similar and similar)

Spring is here in DC! Or should I say it was here on Sunday when I was giddy to wear my new balletic skirt. We had weather of 85 degrees, the sun was out, a nice breeze was blowing and this girl was in absolute heaven. We're back to the 30's today but I'm optimistic that these cold days are on their way out. 

I'm no style maven but I love putting together and outfit that makes me feel like me. There is nothing better than much needed sun to motivate me to do just that. Not only did I feel confident in this outfit but it was incredibly affordable and comfortable. A double whammy! 

Nothing sponsored here, just wanted to share my favorite finds with you all in time for spring. This skirt is so light and airy. I recommend getting it up one size from your normal skirt as the waist sits higher and can be a little tight. Mine was just right when I went up the size. ;)

Happy spring!

Monday, April 14, 2014


On Sunday I finally took the plunge and tried Dry Bar for the first time. Let me tell you, this was a long time coming. I had been hearing about Dry Bar from several friends and I originally thought it was a waste of money. But I am here to tell you I was so wrong. It was worth every penny!

So what is it? It's basically a salon where you get your hair washed and dried for forty bucks. But they are magicians. So you don't get it cut... so what? It's the best blow out you will have and this post wasn't sponsored a bit. I paid for my great hair and I loved it. 


From the time you walk up to the salon their branding is on point. (Sorry as a marketer I can't help but admire the through-line of their store and their products.) The bright cheery yellow and crisp white was refreshing. Plus their coordinating product names were adorable - all modeled after drink names but made hair related. I visited the Georgetown location and was lucky enough to get a parking spot around the corner from the salon. It was a stunning spring day in DC so I'm sure that helped my mood too. :)

Before getting my hair washed (and my scalp massage) I chatted with my stylist Ashley about what I wanted for my look. She was great about going through the look book they had with me and after I explained that my hair was fine and that I wanted a natural but voluminous look with some wavy curls she set to work. 

She washed my hair twice with their volumizing line and then used their volumizing conditioner (duh) and a very light leave in body spray. I don't use any product usually and sometimes when I visit a salon I come out looking like my hair is plastic but this stuff was great. I didn't even notice it was in there!


Ashley never used anything except a round brush and a blowdryer on my hair and it made all the difference. She was a magician and got so much body and movement into my hair. When I curl it at home (or at other salons) I've used a curling iron. It works but it makes my hair much heavier and more processed looking. Ashley's technique was much better. 

Before I show you the final product, my overall assessment is that Dry Bar is worth it. They take time on your blow dryed style and can use whatever product or tool (curling iron or straightener) your hair needs. It was nice to have someone work so carefully with me on my look. I haven't gotten that care at other salons. They focus on the cut but not the style. Dry Bar gets you ready for the day - two thumbs up from me!

Friday, April 11, 2014


Happy Friday everyone! Seriously, it's the best day of the week and I cannot wait to snuggle up on my couch tonight after work, watch some quality reality TV on TLC, do 456 loads of laundry, and hit the hay early. Heaven.

For now though, let's dig into an essential step of planning your own wedding. Chances are that since you've been through the budget conversation, landed on the size of your guest list, and started a venue search, you have already thought about what you want your wedding to look like. Now is the fun part... get on Pinterest, buy 10 magazines at CVS and start making a collage, and just sit back and day dream about what you envision for your wedding.

Creating a vision board (whether online, in hard copy, or in your head) that you and your fiance can agree on and get excited about is key. This will help you pick vendors and have some direction when you begin to make decisions on decor. That will come in time. For now, just find images that really speak to you and colors. What colors do you and your fiance love?

While he might not want to look at bridal magazines, I suggest showing your fiance images you are cutting out and asking him what he likes and doesn't like. I know Josh really wanted to be included in all decisions and though most of the time he is quiet... if he hates something, he let me know!

For my wedding I'm not quite as crazy as grown sexy but after looking at my pinterest board vision I think playful romance really captures what Josh and I would like for our wedding. We want fun, relaxed, dinner and dancing with soft details and a romantic touch.

Which of the below images do you gravitate towards?




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