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Monday, March 24

Traveling Light: Must Have Beauty Essentials

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Travel Makeup Essentials

If you've been reading along, you'll know that I have this (crazy) idea that I can travel with just a carry-on for our trip to Chicago. As a serial overpacker, I'm not sure why I thought this would be possible but for the obvious benefits - saving money by not checking bags, no lost luggage, simplifying and practicing my weak and mostly improvised organizational skills, etc. - I thought I should give it a try.

Travel Makeup Essentials

Simplifying My Beauty Routine
The first and most invaluable step in this endeavor is to simplify my bulky beauty routine. When I'm inclined (never in the morning and mostly for events at which I know there will be a gratuitous amount of photos) my makeup routine can include full coverage foundation, concealer, bronzer, blush, eyeshadow, liner, lashes, mascara, lipstick, brow definer... No. Just so much no.

I've been doing a pretty satisfactory simple routine as of late - foundation, blush, lipstick, mascara and brow definer - and this is the one I will take with me to Chicago. There are a few reasons for this, the obvious being that it doesnt require much product (yay for saving space!) and the other being that at 26, I'm learning to appreciate my face rather than wanting to cover it. That's a separate post in itself (duly noted) but it's the happy truth. The result is fresh glowing skin, enhanced rather than camouflaged.
L-R:

Nars Radiant Cream Compact Foundation
My favorite foundation brush - Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Makeup Forever Aqua Brow #15
Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Curviest Caramel and Mightiest Maraschino
Nars Blush in Madly
Bare Escentuals Flawless Face Brush

Friday, March 21

Wilson-Roberts Wedding at Harmony Gardens

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Wedding at Harmony Gardens
Wedding at Harmony Gardens
Wedding at Harmony Gardens
Wedding at Harmony Gardens
Wedding at Harmony Gardens

Marriage is the golden ring in a chain whose beginning is a glance and whose ending is Eternity.

- Kahlil Gibran

My beautiful friend Leanna got married last week. I knew when she said she was going to marry Steve that the wedding itself would be a woodland-vintage fairytale, and that's exactly what it was. Tucked away at the beautiful Harmony Gardens in Deleon Springs, Florida, Steve and Leanna shared their vows under the oak trees. It was simple, small and perfectly them. They even had a food truck as their caterer! So much fun. I wish I had gotten a few pictures of that.

It was also wonderful to see so many of the friends I had made during our time in school and get the chance to catch up on their lives as we went in so many different directions after leaving cosmetology school. I will always have a special place in my heart for these girls. They were such a big support system for me during a really big change in my life (a complete change in careers and maybe but definitely, like, my third quarter-life crisis). I can't put to words how happy I am to be a part of these moments in their lives too.

Wilson-Roberts Wedding at Harmony Gardens in Deleon Springs, Florida.

Read more to see details from the wedding.


Thursday, March 20

Prepping for Chicago

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Target Tribal Print Carry On Bag

We're going to Chicago in a week! I'm spending the day prepping everything for our trip - buying travel size bottles and products, organizing our luggage, brainstorming how in the world I am going to travel with just a carry-on considering I can never even meet the under 50 lbs. rule. Is it even 50 lbs? I can't remember, it's been so long since I've traveled. My new carry-on only endeavor did give me an excuse to find cute luggage. I'm convinced I can do this. But I will only really know tomorrow, after the laundry is done and I actually attempt to pack.Tribal Print Carry-on Bag from Target

Sunday, March 16

Sister Sister: Wedding Planning Together

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Florida Wedding Expo Tampa

One of the things I've enjoyed most about this process is that I get to do it with my sister. My sister got engaged last summer and will be getting married this coming November. A lot of our planning has overlapped which may drive some people crazy (especially brides, because let's face it, they are horrible human beings and full-on sociopaths), but we're both fairly independent and do much of it ourselves. But the great thing about it is meeting up for coffee or lunch dates to compare notes and accompanying each other to the circus that is a bridal show.

We'll be going to Chicago together at the end of this month to go dress shopping. I'm ecstatic. It will be Tyler's first time so I'm excited to show him the city where I spent my summers, and of course introduce him to family. But mostly, I'm looking forward to convincing him that you cannot put ketchup on a Chicago hot dog.
My sister (left) and I at the Florida Wedding Expo in Tampa.
Thursday, March 13

Preview: Wedding Bells at Harmony Gardens

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Wedding at Harmony Gardens Deleon Springs
Wedding at Harmony Gardens Deleon Springs

Some of the closest friends I've made were in cosmetology school. Maybe it was the 13 hour days, and incalculable suffering (maybe I'm being hyperbolic, just a little bit) that we spent together, but I never met so many women so alike to me with the same dreams, aspirations and insecurities. It is definitely a bond that will last. This past weekend, Tyler and I had the honor of attending one of those lovely ladies' wedding to her best friend. It was such a beautiful ceremony - so authentic and emotional (so many cry faces, so many). It was so obvious that these two were meant for one another in every single way. I was so happy to be a part of that day and witness this moment in their lives together. I will post more photos once I get the chance, but had to share this one. Leanna was such a beautiful bride.

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Wilson-Roberts Wedding at Harmony Gardens in DeLeon Springs, Florida.
Monday, March 10

Life via iPhone: Picking Out Wedding Colors

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Choosing Wedding Colors

In this Pinterest-centric day and age, it feels almost like an antiquated practice to collect paint chips and physically cut+paste them into our handy-dandy DIY wedding notebook, but that's exactly what we did. The internet can almost be overwhelming with the amount of information and inspiration. I felt a little lost in it all so I designated a day, after our venue tours, when we could hang out in the paint section of Home Depot picking out paint swatches and creating color schemes. How refreshing it was to hold something in your hands. I'm a very visual person so I felt more organized this way. Plus it was a fun way for us to plan together and create memories.Picking out wedding colors at Home Depot
Thursday, March 6

Life via iPhone: Touring Our Venues

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Mackay Gardens Lake Alfred Florida
Mackay Gardens Lake Alfred Florida
Mackay Gardens Lake Alfred Florida

When we started wedding planning, I wasn't sure that I would be blogging about it, so I have a lot of photos backlogged in my iPhone of things we've done since the engagement until now. You'll have to excuse the poor quality of these, but they're memories nonetheless!

When my best friend's little sister got married, I knew we had to have her photographer Dustin of Sunglow Photography. I actually found the venue through his blog. He had done a wedding at our venue and posted these amazing wedding photos, and I just knew that was where we had to have our wedding, too. The tour was equally impressive. We went in January and even in broad daylight with no decorations to be seen, the place was quaint, beautiful and romantic. The house itself sits on a lake and was everything we could've wanted in a venue. Signed, sealed and delivered!

Of course viewed a few other venues. Below is Hollis Gardens in Lakeland. We were "meh" about this venue but thought it wise to see a few others before we set our hearts on Mackay Gardens. Hollis Gardens, although pretty, wasn't very private - there was a lot of street noise and pedestrian traffic. Not the private place we were really looking for. And of course, being as picky as I am, I could've vomited at the site of the metal railings. Tyler thought I was crazy, but I hated them. So. Much. Others might not find them offensive but to each his own right?

Mackay Gardens, Lake Alfred, Fl