life lately

Monday, April 25, 2016

My life lately has included...

// New skincare routine
I picked up some great new cruelty free skin care products the other day, and have worked them into my morning and night time skincare routines. I'm going to do a whole post on this once I've given them some time and I form an opinion on each product! 

// Spending time with this guy
Who is a total doofus and always can make me laugh <3 He has been traveling SO much for work the past month (out 4-5 days every week) and I miss him like crazy when he's gone. So we really try to make the most of the weekends when he is home. Envious of families that get to spend week nights together right now!

// Obsessing over these two
Always. I can't get enough of them...even though they also drive me crazy on a daily basis haha! But then they give me these sweet faces and snuggle up and my heart melts. 

// Soccer, soccer, and {you guessed it}...more soccer
Spring soccer is in full swing and as I mentioned in a previous post, Aubrey is on a club team now for the first time. It is exciting and we can already see how much this is helping her improve...but the time commitment is WILD. 

Example, 90 min practice last night meant going straight from work to pick her up...we rushed there, I {luckily} was able to get in some exercise and studying for school while she practiced...then we rushed home so I could cook dinner - at 8:00 pm! By the time everyone is fed and showered, it's time for bed. Exhausting. 

Thank goodness the weather has been awesome for the past week though, makes games and practice much more fun when you can soak up some sunshine! 

// Home reno projects
Many things still in full swing...master bathroom, powder room, master bedroom furniture refinishing, upstairs trim...the list goes on and on. I'm hoping we can get some of these things wrapped up this weekend so I can start sharing pictures!! Here is a quick peek at the powder room a couple weeks ago after we ripped everything up. 
PSA - taking up tile is a NIGHTMARE ;)

top five // accessories

Friday, April 22, 2016

Back with another top five list! This time we are diving into the world of accessories...

image via
one // gold hoop earrings

Must have. Nothing big or chunky or textured...just a 2-inch pair of delicate gold hoops. I have a pair similar to this from Express, but these are a great option from Tiffany Anne Studios. Side note - isn't "hoop" a weird word? Why do we call them that? lol 

image via
two // gold aviators

I always find myself gravitating back towards this style of sunglasses. I think they are just the ones that fit my face best. Eventually I will break down and buy a proper Ray-Ban pair and replace my $4 Forever21 ones ;) 

image via
three // brown tote

If I had to make {the extremely cruel} choice of one purse to have for the rest of my life... it would be a brown "leather" tote. Big enough to fit everything you need to lug around and neutral enough to match nearly every outfit. I love this reversible vegan option from Urban Outfitters.

image via
four // casual hat

I think everyone needs a good hat to cover up on those bad hair days, or if you just want to throw a casual outfit together. I have two go-to hats. One is a baseball cap from my undergrad alma mater, and the second is a Goorin Brothers cadet cap, which just always seems to work perfectly with a slouchy white or grey tee! 

Runner up: floppy felt hat (definitely would make the list if I had more that five spots to fill)

image via
five // dainty necklace

Shocker - another gold item. Can you tell I have a preference? I also have a thing for delicate, simple jewelry. You will rarely find me in statement pieces...but I have about 100 small earrings and necklaces that all look relatively similar ;) I love the personalized bar necklaces like this one. I'd also like a simple wishbone like this one by Sonya Renee, or any Dogeared necklace... but this one is my favorite. 

What are your top five must-have accessories?? xx

wedding planning // the decor

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I can't believe the wedding is less than 6 months away - I feel like time is flying by and it will be here before we know it!

The next thing I have been tackling is decor. There are so many little details to think about! The ceremony, the reception, the tables, etc etc. As I mentioned in the post I did on flowers, I will be having a peach carnation curtain at the alter. I'm really into simplicity, so with the outdoor mountain backdrop, the gorgeous walnut tree with the flower curtain, and white chairs for the guests...I think the ceremony is all set. I toyed around with the idea of other decor touches like flower petals or Shepard hooks with lanterns, but then I remind myself...the goal is to keep the budget under control and just keep things pretty, simple, and sticking to the outdoorsy / mountain / bohemian vibe.

Image via
As for the reception, I think I have most of it covered at this point. I found an image of amazing outdoor lighting back when Aaron and I first got engaged, and I was never able to get it out of my I've spent countless hours on the internet finding all the bits and pieces to hopefully make it a reality. The only difference is that it will be inside an open white frame tent, instead of completely outdoors. 

I was able to find white cafe lights, glass handing lanterns exactly like pictured, and hanging crystals too! Not sure what will be put in the lanterns yet...maybe extra carnations...maybe tealights? 

My big DIY project for the wedding is to make the welcome sign and table numbers. I think this is definitely something I can do, and I hope to have a post all about it once I take the time to sit down and make it happen ;) I have purchased almost all the materials, so I should be able to get started on it soon! Here is what I am going for...

I plan to have a welcome table outside the tent with this sign and then the place cards for dinner, and a card box. Did any of you ladies have a card box? What did you use? This is something I still haven't figured out, but I do like the idea of a little banner like this one to attach to the box...

I ordered various linens for the reception, some purchased and some rented. All tables will have white floor length coverings, and then decorative linens to cover. The welcome table I mentioned above will have a champagne-colored satin rosette runner, and inside the tent - the small cake table and Bride & Groom sweetheart table will have the same fabric, but as overlays like this...

I ordered them offline, and they are beautiful, but it would have been pricey to do every single table with them. So I decided to do them on just a couple of the key tables mentioned above), and then do burlap runners on the guest dinner tables. 

As for centerpieces, this is something I spent A LOT of time figuring out. Since I decided early on to nix big floral arrangements (in an effort to save major $$) ...I had to think of something else that would work and be more cost effective. I found some lanterns at Ikea and great examples of what other brides have done with them online. So, each table will have a white lantern with pillar candle inside. There will also be lots of tealights in various small jars and candle holders. Finally, there will be two small bubble vases with peach carnations (see how I carried that over from the ceremony? ;) on each table. That way, there are some flowers, but it is much more budget-friendly.

The last thing I realized I needed to think about was place settings. I didn't want to just have the plates on the table without any sort of decor, so I found some nice inspiration images online and decided to have menus printed (that will match the place cards - thank you Minted!). Each menu will go on top of a folded linen napkin, and then have a bit of baby's breath tied around it with some twine... similar to this...

That's all I have for now! Is there anything you can think of that I have missed? I'm sure there there are SO many little details to think about! ;)
Links to all images can be found on my Pinterest wedding board here!

wedding registry

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Aaron and I will be going out to register for the wedding soon, and it has made me really think about the things that we would like to have / need for the house. We did things a little backwards, I guess...bought a house together before getting we already have a lot of things that people typically register for.

The main area that could use some help is the kitchen. We have a mix of things from when we each had our own places, so nothing is really cohesive or matches our style as a couple. I pulled together a list of things that would be great to have or replace. As for a store, I think we are looking at Williams-Sonoma. 

Have any of you registered there before? What was your experience like?

The first set of things is related to cooking and baking. I've had my eye on a KitchenAid Mixer for awhile now, and even though white is my favorite color - eventually our kitchen will be white, so I think a pop of color would be cute. I like this aqua sky color! We also need mixing bowls, serving bowls, and some baking related items / utensils. Do any of you have a Le Creuset Dutch Oven? I've heard great things about them, but I know they are pricey and come in so many different sizes!  

Registry 1

The second set of things we need is related more to dining and entertaining. Basic kitchen linens like tea towels, pot holders, and an oven mitt would be great. I would also love all our flatware and barware/glassware to match - it is so mix matched right now! Aaron has lots of spices, and it would be awesome to get them all in matching jars and stored nicely in a drawer, instead of out on the counter. 

Finally, I'm throwing in a Shark Handheld Pet Vacuum because why not?! This one thing will make my life so much easier...maybe I should just go pick one up and not even bother putting on the registry ;) 

Registry 2

I'd love your input too! What did you register for? What items did you leave off that you wish you had put on the list?? xx 

the deodorant struggle

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Guys. I need to talk to you all about deodorant. 

This topic has been the bane of my existence since making the cruelty-free switch about a year ago. It is the one category of product that has been so hard for me to replace. Everything else was so easy and seamless - I knew there would have to be one thing that hung me up!! Well, deodorant is it. Go figure.

Apart from the cruelty free aspect...we've been hearing recently that traditional deodorants / antiperspirants are potentially not so good for us. They can contain aluminum and other potentially toxic components like synthetic fragrances and chemicals. 

So chemicals...yuck. Basically, if I can do something to avoid chemicals, I will. I know they are everywhere and in everything so it's next to impossible... but if I can make an effort to balance it out and get rid of some of the chemicals in my life, we will call that a win! ...soo the hunt for a natural, but effective deodorant began.

I feel like I have tried SO many...and SO many didn't work. Like, at all {gross}.

But, I've finally made a break through! And I wanted to share with you, in case any of you ladies are looking to switch and don't want to go through the pain-staking process of trying out all the duds ;)

Welcome to the winner's circle...

cruelty free deodorant
All natural. Vegan. Cruelty free.

I use the Bergamot Lime one. Smells awesome and works all day - even withstands sweaty workouts!
I am going to stick with this, and maybe try some of the other scents too. 

Plus, I think it is totally worth it at $8.99 a stick. That is a bit more than your traditional deodorant, but Schmidt's sticks actually last months longer than a typical stick deodorant would.

They have coupon codes floating around all the time if you want to try it out! 
Right now use "YOURCHOICE" for 20% off until April 15th!

And just FYI...the losers circle includes...
- Tom's of Maine
- Crystal Body
- CertainDri (works but holy hell, it makes you itch...not worth it)
- Jason 
- Blissoma

On my radar to try in case I ever want something a bit different from Schmidt's...

cruelty free deodorant

I've also heard great things about this natural deodorant. 
Apparently the two young women co-founders were on Shark Tank at the end of 2015 and their business has exploded since they made a deal - so I think it would be awesome to support them too!

engagement photos // take 2

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

You may remember that Aaron and I were supposed to get our engagement photos back in the winter. I did a post about some outfit ideas I had pulled together...but the beginning of this year was freakishly warm and we didn't get any snow! Totally crazy for Ohio, and I would have appreciated it any other year...BUT it completely ruined my plan for Winter Wonderland engagement photos.

I contacted our photographer and pushed the photo session back into the spring (now in mid-May) so that the scenery would be pretty outside ;) Needless to say, I now need to re-think all of my outfit choices since the photos will be completely different than originally planned.  

I have a custom flower crown from Etsy (missstevemarie to be exact) that I would like to wear for some of the pictures with a long bohemian-style dress. I'll then probably change into a more casual outfit - maybe jeans and a cute blouse or a chambray top...that's still to be decided! 

**This would be worn over a cami maxi dress of course

Any suggestions of stores or websites I should look at for this style of dress?? xx 


Monday, April 4, 2016

Happy Monday! Hope you are all having a good start to the week. We had a pretty good weekend the past couple days, so I thought I'd share some quick snaps and a recap.
I finally snapped this dude in his natural state - totally batshit crazy hahaha! 

Spring Goal #1 - healthy eating is underway, and went pretty well this weekend. 

Aaron and I did have a date night on Saturday and went to our favorite local pizza place, so that meal was a bust. BUT since he travels for work we don't get many date nights... so I let that slide as my cheat meal. Plus my mouth is still sore from the wisdom teeth surgery, so I felt that a couple of Moscow Mules were in order ;)

The weather this weekend was ridiculous - in the sense that NOW it decides to get super cold and nearly April! Aubrey had her first soccer tournament since joining a club team, which was super exciting...but the games on Saturday were FREEZING. Sunday was a lot better and they made it to the Championship game and just lost 1-0. She got her first trophy and was super excited! 

Soccer Mom Status ;) 
Keeping warm in the car before bundling up to watch the games! 
Finalist Trophy for making it to the Championship game for the Early Bird Soccer Tournament!

Shot of the 2nd place team - go Club Ohio!

Club sports are interesting to say the least. I don't know if any of you participated as kids or have kids that participate...but YIKES. Some of these parents are so ridiculous. They had Aaron and I in laughing fits due to how crazy some of them were being! We decided to have Aubrey participate because she is naturally talented and could really excel at soccer with the right coaching, but it is a huge time and financial commitment - so we will see how it goes this season! 

april goals

Friday, April 1, 2016

Can you believe it is April?? I feel like 2016 just started and here we are in spring already!

I've decided to share some of my goals for the season, as it has been awhile since the New Year resolution time, and I think it's time to re-prioritze and get back on track ;)

// Goal #1

Crunch time. The wedding is t-minus 6 months away (almost exactly) and I need to get my butt in shape. No dancing around it anymore - my dress will arrive in July sometime, so I need to be ready for fittings by then. I have a goal in mind and think it is realistic, attainable, and healthy. Just want to look and feel my best for the big day! 

I have started really focusing on a couple things like drinking much more water throughout the day, meal planning, and squeezing in exercise anywhere I can - even it is a 10 minute jog with the dogs before class. This salmon and veggie "one pan" recipe is on my list to try out this weekend for a quick, easy, and healthy meal!

// Goal #2

Savings $$ This always seems to be one, but with some major purchases and projects that have been underway since the start of the year (*ahem* bathroom remodels), I want to get back to putting money away every month. Since we won't be taking a major honeymoon after the wedding this year, I would like for us to have the opportunity to take a big trip next year...and that means starting to save now.

// Goal #3

The spring purge. This time of year I always get the itch to just do a major clean and get rid of things. I want to throw away and donate everything, and start from scratch. Of course, it doesn't ever end up being that dramatic, but I do want to find a couple days over the weekends coming up to start deep cleaning the house. I found this nice print out on Joanna Gaines' blog to help get me started! 

 What are some of your spring goals?? xx
emily kay