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Holiday Gifts for the Ladies


Ah the holiday season, a time of merry making and gift giving. As much as I love receiving I very much enjoy the excitement of giving the perfect gift. For example, my family recently attended the Memphis Symphony Orchestra holiday concert - we have for several years given tickets to my grandma for her birthday in November and she loves going. The first year we went it was due to a 1/2 price ticket promo but since she loves it so much (she says it's the highlight of her holiday season, and the best concert she's ever attended) we now find ways to make it work each year - this year my grandmother and dad had box seats since she's wheelchair bound and my husband and I sat in the balcony since there were not four box seats together, this also helped with the cost.

At the MSO lobby before the show wearing my favorite season piece from Draper James (see below).
 

Because I haven't given my gifts yet I can't share what I'm giving but I thought it would be fun to share what's on my wish list or favorite products to give some fun holiday gift ideas for the lady who enjoys the finer things in life.

If you are a Sephora beauty insider than buying gifts at Sephora is a great way to earn points towards rewards and special rankings like Rouge VIB (free makeovers and shipping all year!). As a VIB member I received a mini Marc Jacobs lipstick for my birthday and loved it so this set caught my eye and I'll probably buy it for myself should I not find it under the tree. Plus, when you make an online purchase of $35 or more you can get a super cute jewel print make-up bag (use code Partyon) filled with samples, plus online purchases always come with three samples.
 
 
Personalized leather carrying case, swoon! This brand has wonderful reviews and a wide variety of scents. I am personally on the prowl for a new scent and ordered the $35 sample set which includes a 2ml sample of each scent and a $35 certificate for a full bottle purchase, so basically as long as one orders a scent the sample set is free. Choosing a scent can be very personal so gifting the sampler and a gift certificate for the remaining cost is a great way to give the gift of a bottle and still allow the recipient to choose their own scent. Did I mention they offer personalized cases in a variety of colors?


I love Draper James, which is the lifestyle brand by Reese Witherspoon, it's so southern and so sweet and I really don't think you can go wrong giving from here. Shipping is free all December and each day there is a special sale on particular items so follow them on social media. As a special holiday treat I was given the opportunity to give a $20 credit to friends during my last checkout, just let me know if you would like an email. Here are some of my favorite items and wish list items:
 
 
I LOVE my Scotty Check cape, the wool is so nice and it drapes nicely but this solid colored cape is pretty beautiful

Probably the most popular item is the Vanderbilt tote, I love mine!
 
I have the "sweet as sugar" mugs and they are very nice quality and dishwasher safe, totally craving these season mugs.
 
For a seasonal nod that doesn't scream IT's CHRISTMAS this amaryllis scarf is a beautiful addition to the season wardrobe.

 
This one is currently on pre-order but for only $38 how cute would this be?
 
Triple Lariat Necklace by Allie Rox $186


Allie is a local Memphis jewelry designer and I first saw this necklace at 20Twelve and loved it. It's also available at the gift shop at The Dixon (which is by 20Tweleve) or on the designer's website in nude, blue, red, and black. She has many beautiful pieces and I'm hoping to make this my first.

Cloud Bag by Cambridge Satchel Company $240


Do I need another bag? No, but the simplicity of this bag is gorgeous and the scalloping gives just enough of a feminine touch. Shipping from this British company is free worldwide with a $155 purchase and items can be embossed with a name or monogram, and I think we've established I am a sucker for personalization.

Piñata Earrings from Bauble Bar $38

 
I know, every blogger and instagram star wears these earrings by I just love tassels and they are so pretty and come in so many fun colors. 

Southern Belle Tumbler $15


Pretty much anything from the Spartina 449 line at Belk is super cute but I couldn't resist this tumble when I needed a small purchase to qualify my order for free shipping recently

Crown & Ivy at Belk

At The Enchanted Forrest wearing my new wrap I have received tons of compliments on

Speaking of Belk . . . This brand is exclusive to Belk and comes in petite and plus sizes in addition to regular sizing. It's basically a more subdued version of a widely popular resort line I used to be a big fan of and while the quality is very similar the pricing is much more favorable and there are frequent sales. My favorite items are the printed pullovers but since I already have four my new purchases this year were the wrap and quilted coat but I certainly would be pleased to receive anything from this line.

Kendra Scott Rayne Necklace $80


This necklace and the Danielle earring ($55) are in my opinion the most recognizable Kendra Scott items and they are some of the most vesicle. First time Kenda shoppers can get 15% off online and free gift wrapping.


Happy holiday shopping!

Something New



Last week I told y’all the story of my something old so it only makes sense to next talk about my something new which like for most brides was the rest of my wedding ensemble.

Bridal Portrait

This is where I’m a little bit different from most brides here – the dress was not my top priority. Initially I wasn’t going to even look at dresses until close to the wedding and my first thought was to get an ivory or champagne colored formal gown instead of an actual wedding gown. However, soon after I got engaged my Aunt Jane not only called to send best wishes but to talk to me about shopping for a dress. To be honest I didn’t expect to have that special, OMG this is MY dress and I’m getting MARRIED tearful experience and a lot of this had to do with knowing that my mom would not be there to shop with me. But having other family involved gave me the enthusiasm to go shopping. The first time we looked at dresses was more of a casual, let’s see what’s out there visit and my dad, sister, grandmother and aunt all came. I’ve mentioned it on here before but I really didn’t want a ball gown, thinking I was too old for the princess look and I certainly didn’t want strapless – it was my sister who convinced me to try on the strapless, ball gown I wound up with.  We left the first day feeling like I’d done a complete 180 on styles (this apparently happens to most brides) and a few days later my sister, aunt and I headed in for a more in-depth appointment. I tried on about 10 dresses that day and came back to the one from the first visit. I decided I absolutely wanted to have sleeves but that was an easy add and I also preferred a more simple belt than the one with bling all around that came with the dress but with these changes I said yes to the dress.

The Dress

The simple but beautiful sash
 
Button detailing in the back
 

What really made the outfit IMO though is the veil. OMG, I am obsessed with the veil and I’m a little sad I’ll never get to wear it again . . . who am I kidding, I’ll totally try it on at home from time to time. Although I love the look of a full length veil I didn’t feel it really went with my non church venue. Also, I’m super clumsy and that would have just been one more thing to trip over or get stuck. Side note: total self shout-out for never tripping over my wedding dress! I think the veil I wore was a perfect length and suited the dress quite nice; as much as I love lace on other people I love, love, love the ribbon trim and layers for me and I love the way the layers cascaded when placed right – in looking at my pictures that I probably my one regret is that I didn’t do a better job of repositioning the veil because I love it that much!

With my dad in the bridal suite

During our post ceremony portrait session

To complete the Princess look I also wore a tiara, which again was something I didn’t initially want. It was however surprisingly comfortable and with the way my hair was done and the simplicity of the dress and veil I think it added just the right amount of bling and wasn’t too in your face of omg look at me, I’m a princess. At least I skipped the white gloves. The tiara was a really great find actually – it was only $25 at the Nashville flea market – the ones in the bridal store started at $100!

finishing touches
 
Getting ready with my sister and Aunt Jane
 
At the end of the day I’m pleased with my overall bridal look. I wanted a dress that was simple and timeless and I think my outfit did a good job of making me look the bridal part without taking over as the main focus but what I love most about my dress is the love behind it and the special family memories it now holds.
 

Something Old and Something Borrowed



Remember when I posted on FB that I wasn’t going to be one of those women who goes on and on about her wedding? Well I lied, sort of. While I don’t feel the need to talk about OMG how great my wedding was and wow, I’m such a great wedding planner I realized that in the hustle and bustle of the day some of the things that stood out to us as being really special might have gotten lost. Plus looking through my gorgeous pictures made me realize that although a picture may be worth a 1,000 words it doesn’t tell the full story. So, I’m officially making Wednesday my Wedding Wednesday. I’ll keep the details here on the blog so that if people don’t want to hear about it great, they can keep scrolling but for those who do I’ll have the story in the post. Enjoy!


One of the hardest parts of wedding planning was doing it without my Mom. Like most little girls I grew up dreaming of getting married one day and I think like most Mom is was something my mother looked forward to. I know you may be thinking why would you want to remind yourself that your mother isn’t there on you wedding day but thinking about her doesn’t have to mean just being sad that she is gone – it can also be happy thinking of the memories we have together.

Growing up my mom always kept her jewelry in their original boxes and all of the boxes in a Rubbermaid container – this of course was going to make it less obvious if our home was ever broken into of course – you may laugh at the paranoia but my grandparent’s house really was broken into and most of my grandmother’s jewelry really was stolen and it made my Mom sad to not have much from her mother’s jewelry collection. Two pieces survived – her wedding rings and her wedding jewelry set. The wedding set is earrings, a bracelet, a pin and a necklace with a marquisette floral design – very art deco. My mother than wore the set when she got married and then kept it tucked away in her Rubbermaid box. From time to time we would look through the jewelry together and she would tell me about how she got each piece – this was a gift from her grandmother, that one from my dad after he got a promotion and so on, and as she carefully unwrapped each piece of my Grandmother’s jewelry set form the tissue it was kept in she would always say “and one day you’ll get married and it will be your turn to wear it”. So, when it was in fact my turn I knew exactly what my wedding jewelry would be – I even wore the set when trying on dresses to make sure that the neckline would work with the necklace.


The necklace however, wasn’t as full as I remembered it as a kid and I had a serious thought of having the bracelet pieces put into the necklace to make it bigger, my sister though was not a fan of this move and even though the set is officially mine it didn’t seem right to make move before she had a chance to wear the set at her wedding. I also faced a little emotional turmoil because as much as I love the earrings I really wanted a chandelier style earring and thought it would look better with the dress – luckily my wonderful MOH came to the rescue on this one and made beautiful and completely removable dangles to add to the earrings - it was the prefect look!


The other piece to survive the break- in like I said was my Grandmother’s wedding rings because of course she was wearing them. After she passed my mother wore the set on her right hand every day and told my sister, who is named after our Grandmother, that one day it would be hers and she now wears it every day. Although I had some very sweet offers from friends on something borrowed I knew that wanted this too to have a special personal meaning and so I asked my sister to provide the ring as my something borrowed. Even though our mother couldn’t be there it meant the world to me to wear things that reminded me of her and it was my little way of keeping her close on my special day and letting her know that although she is gone she is not forgotten.
 
Next week I'll discuss my Something New!
 

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