PACKING...





We're packing right now for our honeymoon. Truth be told I'm looking at the suitcase right now. My things are already in it and a few feet away is my carry on with the majority of my things in it. And of course Aaron is the last minute packer. I'm still missing my headphones, my laptop (yes...it's coming with me because I still have to participate in discussions for school *sigh*). I thought it would be fun to do a little post of things to pack for a tropical honeymoon. I have some of these items or similar items. I think I did really good with the packing this time - I don't have my entire wardrobe! It also helps that where we are staying, our suite has a washer + dryer. That was enough to convince me to pack light!

travel for her



WEEKLY WISHES 10



weekly-wishes

image via Lamp Shade Bash // text via 27th + Luxe



Hello everyone! I am a day late, but I'm back! I've had a lot of things happen with my family over the last few days, yesterday included and I'm just now pulling myself back together. I can't believe I'm getting married in 5 days! 




LAST WEEK'S WISHES


//Complete seating chart and send to planner by Thursday. We met with the planner yesterday and went through the timeline and how everything will look. I got goosebumps!

//Be up in the gym working on my fitness and eat clean..er. I'll be working out this week, just not as hard as I would like. 

//Spring clean. Ongoing-needs to be done by April 30th before I am consumed by the wedding weekend. 

//Get ahead in new courseI'll become a hermit crab this week. I looked at the course schedule and I can really get a lot accomplished this week if I don't procrastinate!

//Continue to apply for jobs.

We did complete the seating chart and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I did not make it to the gym, but I did manage to lose some more weight and had to get my dress altered again. I did start cleaning, yay! I am exactly where I wanted to be with my coursework and I've been looking for a new job. 


THIS WEEK'S WISHES


//Take care of last minute wedding to do list. Oh are there last minute to-do's! It's not as bad as it seems though. I've dropped everything off at the planners house that I needed to take to  her. Now it's the little things for the day like get nails done, get bridesmaids gifts packaged, etc. 

//Put last minute items into suitcase for honeymoon. I packed this past Saturday because I went to the mall to purchase my clothes for the honeymoon. I like to go through my things when I get home to see if I still feel the same way I felt at the store when I decided to purchase it. While I was doing that, I decided to pack. This week I'll just need to add lotion, body wash, etc. 

//Enjoy these last few days of being engaged. This has been a challenge because I'm sad about my cousin's death. I was so excited to see him and now I can't. I know he's at peace and I'll be seeing him later and he was so happy and excited for me. So, these next few days I need to be excited too and not sad. 

//Get married. Wow...all the planning and preparation has come to an end. I'm getting married on Sunday. 



Best of luck accomplishing all of your goals this week! And, if you're anything like me, you should consider linking up with Melyssa for Weekly Wishes. They don't have to be weekly-they can fit your schedule however you see fit!

LINK LOVE



image via SF Girl By Bay // flower by Tiffanie Turner

I hope you are having a great weekend! I'm a day behind, but I wanted to share some links with you from this past week. 

// How are you feeling about the new Twitter profile? I think I like it!

// Have you heard about My Nourish Box? If you haven't visit the shop, this would make an awesome mother's day gift!

// I found this site a while ago but couldn't remember what it was or find the link. Great stuff for dog lovers!

// Do you ever get over-inspired? Amber at And Yes To Joy wrote a great post on how to combat too much inspiration as a blogger.

// I always struggle with networking - particularly because I feel like small talk at functions isn't necessarily genuine. This post talks about meaningful networking.

// Have you heard of Used Magazine? It's a bi-annual publication that focuses on the relationship between fashion and art. 

This week has been pretty interesting. We had our final meeting with the wedding planner, turned in the seating chart, did a walk through at the venue. And while I'm super excited that the wedding is next weekend, I've had a recent death in the family so my spirit is a little broken. It was sudden and I was anticipating seeing this person at the wedding so I'm devastated. It's just a major reminder that today is a gift and tomorrow is not promised. These situations really put things into perspective and makes me evaluate what's truly important to me - what things are worth dealing with and what things need to be removed from my life. Do you ever do that - reflect after something tragic, or do you just suck it up and keep it moving? 

I'm learning just how important it is to live life to the fullest, to cherish your loved ones, always treat people with kindness and respect. I'm amazed and so thankful for the outpouring of love and support by all the people who knew my cousin and love him dearly. They've been such a blessing to my aunt and his siblings. 

They've put together a memorial fund in his honor, the Kevin Swanston Memorial Fund, to help his family raise money for his funeral services. It would mean so much to us to receive your donation if you feel inclined to do so. 

Have a great weekend and remember to love + cherish those you hold near and dear to your heart. 



PURE BARRE: 27L FIT FILES NO. 2



As promised, I'm talking about Pure Barre today! I don't remember how I found out about it. I was looking for new fitness routines because I'd grown tired of the gym and I must have stumbled upon it while reading a blog or article or something. I've read other articles since going to the classes and I've died from laughter because everything the author had written WAS. SO. TRUE. Let's go back to my first class shall we? 

A LUXE SCENT


perfume

perfume

1. Dolce + Gabbana // 2. Marc Jacobs // 3. Dior // 4. Coach // 5. Viktor + Rolf // 6. Hanae Mori // 7. Marc Jacobs

I don't wear perfume. It makes my head hurt, so I wear body spray. But I can recall memories by scent. I smelled someones perfume and it took me back to first grade. So I decided I want to wear perfume for my wedding. Not just to remember the day, but it's also something I can use on our anniversaries. I was thinking a light floral + clean scent, something chic and not overbearing. 

I smelled Coach Poppy the other day and loved it, and I've heard great things about Viktor + Rolf Flowerbomb. So this weekend, I'll be heading over to Sephora to smell these and pick one out.

Have you tried any of these? Which one did you like? 

THE WEDDING PLANNING PROCESS




image via Bridal Guide, Photographer: Andrea Polito Photography 


I can't believe the planning has come to an end. We have been planning since January 2013. In the midst of all of that, I made sure to enjoy being someone's fiancee. That only lasts for such a short time so I really think it's important to soak it in. And that is one of two reasons I am thankful for the long engagement. The second reason was so that we could afford the fete we wanted! If the money was already there, we would have been married last year and that's keeping it all the way real! While I'm excited about the big day and having my dream wedding - these things ain't cheap and why wait so long to marry your love? I'm no expert or anything like that, but I wanted to share some of what we did to get to today. I enjoyed reading other blogger's stories while creating my own so I thought it would be cool to share our story with you!

// Have a vision. Before Pinterest I had a MASSIVE SPREADSHEET with lists, images and links!! Then I trashed it all. And when Pinterest came I was all like you mean I can just pin all my ideas and they'll link to where I found them?? SUCCESS! I also used Evernote to store images in a notebook. 

// Set a budget. And know that the budget is fluid. So when my sister got married and I talked to her afterwards...maybe it was when I got engaged, I asked about the budget. She said to me "We had a flexible budget." While I told her "oh, ok.", in my head I was like "What the heck is a flexible budget? A budget is a budget, that doesn't even make sense!" So today, I can tell you that I understand now. You'll decide what's more important to you versus what's not, you'll cut costs in one area and be able to put the "extra" money towards that pipe draping you wanted. 

// Hire a planner. Saved. My. Life. With grad school, a challenging job, looking for a new job and just life, this was a must for me. My family usually does everything - we are crafty like that - so it was an interesting process for me to just turn everything over to someone who didn't know me. But at our first consultation, I whipped out my Evernote notebook and we were on the same page immediately!

// Pre-marital Counseling. With Aaron's schedule being different from mine, we took a while to get started. Finally I googled "Christian Marriage Counselors" and found a gem - I just had a feeling about her after reading the website. Really it was the Lord guiding me. We are still going through the process and I'm happy to keep going even after the wedding because she's already helped so much and given us some tools to communicate more effectively with each other and to have a wonderful marriage. 

// Compromise + Sacrifice. Self explanatory here. When I tell you I need some clothes, I need some clothes!! Now, my stuff doesn't have holes or anything like that, but I haven't bought a new wardrobe in a hot minute and I am in desperate need of one. During this period of everything wedding, we've bought things when we needed it, I've scrambled to the store to buy an outfit for an event. I can't stand doing that, I want to have a built in wardrobe that I can just go to - but that's another post for another day. Compromising comes into play when deciding what we wanted for the wedding. He's pretty much let me have everything I want (thankful for that!!), but there are a few things he wanted which he's gotten as well. 

// trim, Trim, TRIM the guest list. Still doing this as of today. I called someone because something told me to check. Turns out they aren't coming. So if I didn't call, I would have been paying for empty seats and plates full of food. Not cool. OK PSA right now!! If you RSVP, BRING YOUR TAIL TO THE WEDDING!!! Things happen, I understand. So if you find out you can't attend, SAY SO! That's just the respectful thing to do. 

// Enjoy the process. Have fun planning your wedding. But I think it's more important to enjoy being engaged. Really soak that in. It will happen only once (prayerfully). Enjoy all the events - this will be the only time people will dote on you in this way. Yes, there will be baby showers in the future, but then it's all about the kid and rightfully so. I've had a blast and I'm thankful for everything I've had the chance to experience.

// Get Married! I can't believe I am 12 days away from my I Do's. I'm feeling joy, anxiousness, nervousness, giddiness, and joy again. I don't think it will really hit me until we're rehearsing though. I keep listening to our song because I'm trying to get all my crying out right now! And I've even instructed my parents to make jokes as they walk me down the aisle! I'm serious about this - no crying during the ceremony, at least not by me. 

That's what we did. This is seriously a major overview and a majorly condensed list, but these are what's most important. The day is about two becoming one and starting a God filled marriage together. I admit, I'm excited about my fluff, but that's just it - it's fluff. I'm marrying my best friend and that's all that matters. 



GIVEAWAY


Hey!! I'm sponsoring The Nectar Collective and we are giving away $230 in prizes to Etsy and Amazon. Enter the giveaway below and best of luck!

Group Giveaway with $230 in prizes to Amazon and Etsy!
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WEEKLY WISHES 09




I hope you all had a wonderful resurrection Sunday!! This past weekend I traveled up to Dallas for a co-ed wedding shower-ish event. It was a lot of fun. And guess what? I'm literally 2 WEEKS AWAY from becoming Mrs. Griffin, holy smokes!  Let's take a look at how I did last week and what my goals are for this week. 



LAST WEEK'S WISHES


//Double check wedding item list. I just want to be sure that I've gotten everything so I'll be making one final list and checking it twice.

//Go get that marriage license. This is happening on Friday, yay!! 

//Be up in the gym working on my fitness and eat clean..er. So...I have to slow down a bit so that my dress doesn't get too much looser. But the plan is to continue to workout up until the wedding. Thank the Lord for the final fitting. 

//Spring clean. Ongoing-needs to be done by April 30th before I am consumed by the wedding weekend. 

//Get ahead in new courseThis will probably be on my list for a while. I don't want to be scrambling at the end like I was last term, especially since this is my last course. 

//Makeup + hair consultation. This is also taking place on Friday - so exciting!!

//Dallas Pre-Wedding Festivities. Headed to Dallas on Saturday for a wedding event.

//Continue to apply for jobs.

//Do something creative. I may try another sewing project or do some painting. 

I did double check that list and I still think I got everything up until that point. But, since then some new to-do's have made their way to the list. Hopefully I'm not scrambling to get last minute things done. I don't do well under that type of pressure. We got that marriage license! I can't believe all of the planning is finished and I'll get to see how everything looks pretty soon! Sigh...well...I can't even remember why I didn't make it to the gym this past week. I think I was just tired. Also, I want to maintain my weight because wedding dress alterations ain't cheap! I'm currently on track for school but this week and through mid next week I'll be a hermit trying to get everything done before we leave for our honeymoon. I did not spring clean yet. I made mental notes of what I need to do, but it didn't get done. Since I'll be in town this weekend, that is priority numero uno! I had my makeup and hair consultations this past Friday - awesomeness!! I'm excited because the look is so me, but also out of the box. I can't wait to see how the look comes together. Went to Dallas and had a lot of fun. I did get to apply to a few jobs and save some to revisit. Unfortunately, nothing creative happened. I'll table it for after the honeymoon. 




THIS WEEK'S WISHES


//Complete seating chart and send to planner by Thursday. We met with the planner yesterday and went through the timeline and how everything will look. I got goosebumps!

//Be up in the gym working on my fitness and eat clean..er. I'll be working out this week, just not as hard as I would like. 

//Spring clean. Ongoing-needs to be done by April 30th before I am consumed by the wedding weekend. 

//Get ahead in new courseI'll become a hermit crab this week. I looked at the course schedule and I can really get a lot accomplished this week if I don't procrastinate!

//Continue to apply for jobs.



Best of luck accomplishing all of your goals this week! And, if you're anything like me, you should consider linking up with Melyssa for Weekly Wishes. They don't have to be weekly-they can fit your schedule however you see fit!

HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY + SOME LINKS FOR THE WEEKEND


image via Pretty Flowers // text via 27th + Luxe

Cheers to the weekend + happy Good Friday! It took FOREVER for today to get here,  I thought it would never come, especially after a less than pleasing staff meeting that took place mid-week. I hope you've got some fun planned for the weekend! Me? I'll be headed out of town for more wedding related fun! Here are a few links to carry you through to Monday.


// Cristina Martinez opened up a new print shop, these prints are awesome!

// I've seen a lot of posts covering Facebook pages this week like this one, this one, and this one. I have to agree. While I don't have a lot of Facebook fans yet, I can't understand how only 2-3 people see each post. And, I'm not paying for boosts. 

// Studio 404 had a great post about website mistakes.

// I've been seeing this site for a while, but I've recently started paying attention. Now I'm trying to soak up everything I've been missing!

// So I didn't know there were books on deciding where to live. I'm the type of person that would read a few of these too! 

// Have you heard of oil pulling? I've been doing it for about a week now + I must admit my mouth does feel a lot cleaner!

// This jewelry is pretty awesome + not ridiculously expensive. 

// These and these are so cute! You know the white + gold sealed the deal for me!


Have an amazing Good Friday, an awesome Saturday + a BLESSED Resurrection Sunday!

THE DREAMER



You have a dream right? I most certainly do. One that is tugging at my heart every day, ideas leaping around in my brain all day too. I find myself wishing for more free time so that I can get my stuff together, so I can focus on pursuing my dreams. I used to be very patient as a child but as an adult, not so much! I want it all now. Maybe it's because I'm so excited about what I envision this dream to be.

I've also been thinking about taking a coaching course to help me get my thoughts, dreams  and plans in order. I need actionable goals. I've done this for myself already, but I need some guidance! And if I have homework and someone to report to, I'll be golden! I've also thought about seeking out a mentor who is where I want to be and has launched their 
self-employment with the help of their blog. And then there's just doing it - just getting it done. I'm a risk taker like that, especially now that I'm realizing more and more what I want to do and want I don't want to do. It also helps when you get blatant reminders between the hours of 8-5, Monday through Friday!

But, there is that sense of fear, I'm not going to lie! Fear that my dream won't be accepted by others, fear that I'll be a huge failure, and even fear that I'll be successful and end up in way over my head! I guess the key is one day at a time and then two weeks at a time. 

How do you deal with your dreams and fears? Have you linked up with a mentor who's also a blogger? 



THE START OF A LUXE FRIENDSHIP




A few weeks ago A Chi Mom (thanks lady!), nominated me for another liebster award. Since I've been nominated twice, I thought it would be fun to just answer the questions. This will be what I do whenever/if ever another nomination comes through. 

1. How long have you been blogging? 

// I have been blogging consistently here since November 2013. 

2. What's your favorite dessert? 

// What's really up with these "favorite" questions?! LOL I am the queen of not having a favorite anything. But I really like Italian cream cake. 

3. What is your favorite blog to read?

// I have several blogs that I like to read so I'll name a few! vmac and cheese, the nectar collective,  lovely indeed, one beautiful life, etc etc. I could go on and on for days!! 

4. What is gadget you can't live without?

// my cell phone. It's my portable computer and it gets me out of awkward situations because I can fake text and/or get an "urgent" phone call. 

5. Your favorite color? 

// I love white + gold together. I'm actually thinking of transitioning my wardrobe to white, gold + black. It's seems like it would be so much easier and I wouldn't have to do any thinking other than what color jewelry I'd like to wear. 

6. What is your favorite Movie? 

// Again with the favorites! You know, I really enjoy the hunger games movies, and I like the silver linings playbook-I think Jennifer Lawrence is awesome. 

7. What is your favorite Social media platform?

// I really like Pinterest and I'm curious to see how it will be used going forward for branding + engagement. I'm also learning to like Twitter. I still have a hard time with it because during the day, I can't be as active as I'd like to be and sometimes I even forget to check in and connect. 

8. Where do you go to get some quiet time and blog? 

// Right now that would be my room. Now that it's warm outside, I really want to go somewhere to blog. I am hardly at home so when I am here, I don't want to leave! 

9. What's your favorite food?

// Now I do have a favorite for this!! Baked mac + cheese!

10. Do you have a favorite restaurant to eat at? Name of the place? 

// Hmm...well, Aaron + I have been frequenting Ruggles Green lately just to make sure we're getting a healthy meal. 

11. Name one thing you look forward doing during the summer? 

// Vacation! We're going out of the country right around the end of summer. I can't wait! But before then, just fun at the pool + get together's with friends. 

Thanks again CeCe for the nomination! It's always fun filling these things out and reflecting on the things I enjoy. I don't think about it much, so I'm always amazed by my answers!

27L FIT FILES No. 1



It's that time again! Time for another fitness update. Here's what I've been doing:

// Attending personal training 2 times a week.

// Attending Pure Barre 3-4 times a week.

// Trying to eat healthier by watching calories, and cleaner by eating more protein, fruits + veggies. 

// Water - definitely trying to drink more of this, such a major challenge for me! 


We're going to pretend that I just started working out and technically that's not the case, but I've been devoting more time + energy to it since I signed up for Pure Barre in March that I'm just going to roll with it, so you roll with it too!

I've definitely noticed some significant changes in how I work out on my days with the personal trainer since I've started attending Pure Barre (and I promise I'll post about this soon!!). And, I've lost 3% body fat!! Most of it has come from my midsection which I am thrilled about. If my stomach was already flat, I'd be worried about toning rather than losing weight. Pure Barre has given me more strength within my core and quite possibly more endurance too. So while my personal training sessions are getting harder, I have noticed it's easier to do some of the newer moves because now the strength is there. 

Now that it's warming up outside (aside from this random cold front) I plan on starting to attempt to run on the trail behind my place. The goal this Spring/Summer is to do more outdoor activities rather than just stick to the gym. I don't do long distance running though, never have. If I can work my way back to sprints, then I'll have it made!

I've also been tracking everything via Fitbit - I'm also wanting to start using the LoseIt app again - have you used these? 


FOR FUN + INSPIRATION


// Here's my personal trainer's Instagram if you ever want to get a kick out of me working out, visit! I'll be your comedian for a night. 

// My health + fitness board on Pinterest. I've found all sorts of awesomeness here and have even squeezed in some time to try a few!

// Saw this yummie smoothie recipe. I'm wanting to try it, but will probably add a few extras of my own...I'm in desperate need of potassium! 





WEEKLY WISHES 08 + A GIVEAWAY


image via Rooted In Succulents // text via 27th + Luxe

This past weekend was very hectic! I was running around and finally sat down at about 5pm on Sunday. Can't wait and counting down to May 1st. I'll be on vacation from work and getting married in 3 days!



LAST WEEK'S WISHES


//Send wedding program information to the designer. Still so behind on this. I have to get this done ASAP.

//Order last of the items for the wedding day. Jimminy cricket! The wedding is right around the corner. If I want it here on time, this week is the latest I can order it. 

//Remind Aaron to get his stuff together to go get that marriage license. So I brought this up last week and of course he doesn't know where his papers are...*side eye*

//Send music list to the planner so she can forward to the DJ. I'm almost done, I just need to organize it so it makes sense. 

//Be up in the gym working on my fitness and eat clean..er. I'm thinking it's time to detox. I've had some fun these past few weekends, so it's time to get back on track. 

//Spring clean. I need to clean out my closet. I was just looking at it the other day and there's tons of stuff that I don't use, so it's time to do a big clean and give a lot of things away. 

//Get ahead in new courseThis will probably be on my list for a while. I don't want to be scrambling at the end like I was last term, especially since this is my last course. 

//Get ready for 2nd dress fitting. The first one was great! The dress fit looser and I picked out my veil! This time I want to bring my jewelry with me so I can get an idea of the completed look. 

//Get wedding shoes cleaned. Yes. The new white shoes arrived with subtle stains. 

//Apply for jobs. It's really time to ramp up my search. I'm even looking for internships. If you have any suggestions, email me!

//Do something creative. I may try another sewing project or do some painting. 

I FINALLY sent the wedding program information over to the designer, yay me! I BELIEVE I have ordered everything wedding related. I'll be making a list to double check tonight so that I can make purchases for anything I might have missed. I've reminded Aaron and I can't believe we're getting our marriage license this week! Good grief that song list! I'm very detailed and can be overly analytical so it took me some time to get the vey short list together but it's done. I made it back to Pure Barre and boy oh boy am I sore! I've started cleaning out my closet, but I didn't finish. I really want to get this done before we leave for the honeymoon. I've started working on this weeks school work already - the plan is to start week 4 before the weekend. The second fitting was awesome! The minor adjustments that were made ensured that my dress fits like a glove! I have one more fitting to go before the big day. Man oh man, I can't find anywhere to clean my shoes. I've done a DIY...but I'm terrified! Since the stains are so subtle, I'm contemplating just letting them be. If anyone knows how to clean white satin shoes, do share!! Yay, I was contacted by a recruiter!! Hopefully something new comes about soon. It's time for a change. I've been doodling, working on some things. Being creative is very relaxing! 


THIS WEEK'S WISHES


//Double check wedding item list. I just want to be sure that I've gotten everything so I'll be making one final list and checking it twice.

//Go get that marriage license. This is happening on Friday, yay!! 

//Be up in the gym working on my fitness and eat clean..er. So...I have to slow down a bit so that my dress doesn't get too much looser. But the plan is to continue to workout up until the wedding. Thank the Lord for the final fitting. 

//Spring clean. Ongoing-needs to be done by April 30th before I am consumed by the wedding weekend. 

//Get ahead in new courseThis will probably be on my list for a while. I don't want to be scrambling at the end like I was last term, especially since this is my last course. 

//Makeup + hair consultation. This is also taking place on Friday - so exciting!!

//Dallas Pre-Wedding Festivities. Headed to Dallas on Saturday for a wedding event.

//Continue to apply for jobs.

//Do something creative. I may try another sewing project or do some painting. 

Yay for a MUCH shorter list this week!! Most of these to-do's I just have to show up for. 


Best of luck accomplishing all of your goals this week! And, if you're anything like me, you should consider linking up with Melyssa for Weekly Wishes. They don't have to be weekly-they can fit your schedule however you see fit!


I'm also sponsoring a birthday giveaway with Chasing Happy! Best of luck! 

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// THE WEEKEND //


Photo by Mary Costa Photography, DIY Projects and Styling by Studio DIY for Balloon Time 


So thankful for Friday! This has felt like the longest week and it's likely that the next three weeks will feel that way as well as I count down to the wedding + our honeymoon!

I wanted to leave you with some links for the weekend. If you're planning on at least a few hours to yourself like me, you'll love these!

// Vacation time is upon us. The Well had a great post about how to prepare your blog for your vacation. 

// Found this post about Facebook business pages...interesting. 

// I discovered Sissy + Marley via Made By Girl. This is so my style and what I picture for my future kiddos. 

// Have you heard of Brand Market? They recently held the workshop in ATL. See the recap here and here. I'm really hoping to attend someday. 

// I shared some basic but essential blog design tips this week. Check it out, there's also a free + quite handy worksheet!

// How cute are these easter eggs? She's ALWAYS got awesome stuff on her blog. I'v got so many of her projects on my "to try" list. 

// Need to track your site stats? Here's a great post on how to do it without becoming obsessed. 

// Need some tips on creating a routine? This post offers some great ones.

// If you're a business owner, you'll appreciate this post on cultivating great client relationships


Have an awesome weekend, do something for you + remember to love yourself

BACHELORETTE PARTY + BRIDAL SHOWER RECAP

At the end of March I had my bachelorette party + bridal shower. It was AWESOME!! I know from experience that planning these events takes a lot of time, effort and mulah so I am very grateful for everything my girls did to make that weekend everything I dreamed it would be!