FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS! | May 28 | Shoe Love, a Macaron Wedding Suite, a Free Download, Antique Brooch & DIY Knob Bouquets, a DIY Thank You, Outdoor Table Scape & One Delicious Wedding Dress!

Hey party people!  I hope you’re all having nice little Fridays wherever you are.  Memorial Day weekend fast approaches, and I’m sure you’re psyched to get out of the office and into a boat/bar/your lover’s arms/what have you.  But before you do, you might be interested to see what I’ve gathered up this week… (:

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Starting with the most phenomenal bouquet I’ve seen this week, featured on the Wedding Chicks!  And if you love this, you’ll flip for this.  Ooh, and all of these babies.

“He who holds the key… can unlock my heart.”

And I just had to include this pic, below.  Donuts.  They aren’t donut brooches, but they are very likely delicious.  So they’re a Find.  Period.

Featured on: Wedding Chicks / Photos: Hugh Forte Photography / Coordinator: Rachel Nickens / Catering: Bad To The Bone BBQ / Rentals: Signature Party Rentals

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Next, we’ve got a seriously lovely DIY cupcake wrapper made from doilies!  Yes, I know!  I’m freaking out over this:

Via Intimate Weddings

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Next up: a freakin’ spectacular DIY from my beloved Once Wed: DIY Bridesmaid Thank You Cards!

Project created by Amy Moss of Eat Drink Chic

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Next up, a wedding trend I wholeheartedly support, as featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs.  Black heels!!!  (Especially when they have cutey patootey bows right above the toes!)

Photo: Laura Ivanova

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And now for something extremely weird

Yes, that’s a cake dress.  And yes, it’s ridiculous.  Ridiculously AWESOME.

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Next up: Simple yet stunning table design for a lovely, intimate Outdoor Luncheon, courtesy of our friends at Lovely Bride!

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Up next we’ve got the greatest DIY this week, imho:  <– Writing “in my humble opinion” like that looks disturbingly like I’m admitting I’m a ho.  Which I’m not.  (… Admitting to.)

Anyway, I’m seriously in love with this DIY knob bouquet, which was featured on 100 Layer Cake and photographed by my two of my faaavorite girls, Christine and Vania of SimplyBloom!

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I’m really lovin’ on these “Drink Me” tags I saw over on my lovely friend’s blog, Marry You Me

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She caught sight of this free drink tag download on Truly Smitten, one blog I seriously adore… like, have dreams about at night kind of adore.  For reasons such as this…

A Macaron Wedding Suite!

Alright, that does it for the Finds this week!  I hope you loved them!  Please let me know which one’s your fave, by the way.  I am DYING to know what you guys think!

xoxo!  -Alison

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DIY WEDDING TO END ALL DIYS | Featured on: Style Me Pretty | Styling: Sitting in a Tree | Photos: Sarah Yates

I have to show you this, because it is a reason to live… if you look for reasons to live in your wedding blogs.  I hinted at its furious awesomeness in last week’s FFF, but it bears repeating and expanding.

The wedding of Junia and Andres, photographed by the amazing Sarah Yates, was featured on Style Me Pretty by Erin Lepperd of Erin Ever After, a very prolific partner in guest blogging crime over on SMP (not to mention, one of my favorite blogger broads)… and it is the end.  The end, my friend.  The end of any sadness, any inspiration drought you may be having, the end of suffering, the end of you doing any more work at your 9-5.  You’re done.  Because you’re going to stare at THIS for the remainder of your day.

Note: my Mom practically begged me to let her buy me those succulent candles on a trip to Crate & Barrel.  I didn’t let her because I didn’t have a need for them and because I’m crazy.  Aren’t they precious?

How much do you LOVE Erin for blogging that freaking phenomenal wedding?!!  A bushel?  A peck?  A hug around the neck?  I love her a barrel and an effing HEAP.  Thank you, Erin, for bringing me enough inspiration to last me through the weekend.  The wedding of Junia and Andres will be in my dreams – both the day and the night kinds.

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Credits, courtesy of SMP:

Photography: Sarah Yates / Venue: The Woods Clubhouse, Chula Vista / Event Design and Coordination: Sitting in a Tree / Invitations and all paper goods: Andres Montano / Catering: MIHO Gastrotruck / Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara / Shoes: BCBG / Veil: made from tulle cut from dress during alterations / Groom’s Suit:  J.Crew / Tie: Band of Outsiders / Groom’s Shoes: Ben Sherman

↙ Update: it’s up!!!

By the way, you totally have to check out the rad-ass Portland, Oregon wedding feature I have going up on SMP today.  No, seriously.  No.  SERIOUSLY.  When it’s up (I’ll update this post), check it out, and then GO TO THE GALLERY.  It is sick.

xoxo!!!  -Alison

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LOVELY SHORT WHITE DRESSES | Teaser Turned Pleaser!

So, you know that dress I mentioned yesterday in my after-post thoughts?  The short and sweet sassy piece about which I was so excited?  Well, here it is… along with a few of its very close friends.  What do they have in common, besides awesomeness?  I = OBSESSED WITH THEM.

Here we go… and we begin with my beloved, aka the teaser dress, aka BCBGMAXAZRIA’s Strapless Floral Appliqué Dress, available at Nordstrom

The moment I laid my eyes on its floral appliqué, I was sold.  No really, I’m not kidding.  Many of you may remember the various times I’ve alluded to – or just straight out mentioned – my natural tendency to be a saver.  Well, when I saw this textured beauty, here’s how it went down: I clicked the link, added the dress to my “shopping cart,” entered my credit card information and completed the purchase, all in a matter of seconds.  NO HESITATION.  That was once unfathomable to me.  To my friends and family, even!  I didn’t think I was even capable of such reckless spending abandon.  But… here we are.

… And I couldn’t be happier.  (Of course, I’ll be sure to update you guys on whether or not that changes when the dress actually arrives at my doorstep.  Moment of truth awaits!)  FYI: I spotted this BCBGMAXAZRIA stunner on the lovely Nancy’s So Happi Berries!

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Update: It came and I LOVE IT!!!!!!  Even the fiancé admires the texture and pattern of the material.  Which weirded me out more than it got me excited!

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Here’s a recommendation: buy these ruffled heels ↓

Wild Diva Sailor 02 Black Satin All Ruffled Up Heel

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Miss Me Footwear Diva 14 Black Satin Zip Ruffle Heel


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Ok, now for some dress action courtesy of my beloved LuLu’s!  We all know how much I adore this little online boutique and its excellent e-session-appropriate offerings.   (As evidenced here and here.)  Well, recently, I’ve been just as pleased with the lighter, more creamy-colored looks they’ve added to their delightful selection.

Two for Gelato Dress

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Sammy Dress from BB Dakota by Jack


Oh, and just for kicks, check this stache-tastic ring I found.  It’s called Doc Holiday. :)

You know you sorta want it.  In a “I totally don’t need this but damn that is the silliest ish I’ve ever seen.  I need it on my finger.”  (Conversation starter, at the very least?)

Hope you’re all having lovely starts to your weeks!  I’d love to hear your feedback on these picks; which look is your personal fave?  Thanks!

xoxo!  -Alison

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J.CREW IN THE CITY | What? I no longer have to order J.Crew gowns online, sight unseen? This is FABULOUS.

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had fantastic weekends.  We went hiking, which = awesomeness.  And afterward we stumbled upon the cutest little wedding location… more on that, later.  Now, on to more important things… like THIS:

Esmé satin platform sandals

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Have you heard?  I’m sure you’ve seen chatter about this, but do you know the unbelievable news, in full?  First this happened, and now this is happening ↘

That’s right; J.Crew is opening its very own Bridal Boutique, right in the heart of New York City.  This is kind of a big deal.  And here’s why: I love a lot of what J.Crew offers in its wedding line.  Like, overall, love it.  Love a handful of wedding gowns, looooove a lot of their bridesmaids dresses, and adoooore their bitty baby frocks (aka flower girl looks).  What do I hate?  That I CAN’T TRY ANY OF THEM ON.

I’m really looking forward to just plain loving everything about J.Crew’s bridal line, now that they’re opening a store at 769 Madison Avenue, right down the block from where I live – just kidding, I so don’t live on Madison Avenue.  But it’s a nice little ride on the train from where I’m located, and I will be taking that ride as soon as this boutique opens.  Hallelujah, J.Crew.  You finally opened a freaking bridal shop.  Jeez.  Took you long enough.  (Awww, you know I’m hard on you because I love you.)

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Now, while I enjoy their bridal gowns immensely, I have a little news for you… it’s really their bridesmaids’ gowns that rock my socks off.  In fact, I think I’d even consider wearing one of them on my wedding day.  Whoa!  Yes, I know, weird.  (Well, really only if I did the City Hall thing.)  But seriously, if you take a look at them… well, they’re just gorgeous.  So I HIIIGHLY recommend handing each of your maids a swatch and sending them on their merry way to find the perfect dress for your big day.  Ooh, and some jewelry and shoes to match.  :D

(I feel compelled to note here that it’s a real shame they don’t put their magazine images online – pretty much none of these pics do the dresses justice.  Like, at allPlease order the catalog; so much better – so much more eye candy to eat up.  Believe me.)

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Silk taffeta Clementine dress

Silk chiffon Taryn dress

Silk taffeta Lorelei dress


Cotton cady Madeleine dress

Jewelry!!!

Pearl and silk wrapped necklace – natural

More jewelry…

MORE jewelry!!!

Another shoe (!!!)…

This one’s the Nicolette strappy heel

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So, are you interested in having a consultation (aka try-on-fest!) with one of their bridal consultants?  Great news: even though they’re not set to open until early this Summer, they’re already taking appointments.  Which is interesting to me.  Anyway, want one?  Just email Kate@j.crew.com!

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xoxo!  -Alison

Ooh, I almost forgot! Two things:

1) For everyone who was subjected to my teaser about a certain “PERFECT GOWN” the other day on Twitter, fear not; I will be revealing this incredible find (not J.Crew, by the way) in the near future.  Quick hint: it’s got it all.

2) I found the CUTEST LITTLE SHORT WHITE DRESS the other day.  I’m seriously going to post about it this week, I think tomorrow.  It’s sooooo cute.  Just wait ’til you see it!!!!!

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WEDDING + RECEPTION DRESS LOVE | plus some hair ‘dos | The Long and Short of It…

Hello, and good morning, everyone!  Hope you’re having a pleasant little Monday so far.  And to all the mommas out there, I hope you all had a splendid Momma’s Day, yesterday!  A quick shout-out goes out to my Mom and my rad sister, Jenny.  They = fantastic mamacitas who make tasty margaritas.  Well, my sister makes the margies.  But my Mom and I loooooove drinking them!  Ooohhh I could go for a Jenny margie right now.  On the rocks, extra lime.  Wait, it’s Monday morning and these are my thoughts.  Baaaad, Alison.  Baaaad.

I’m gonna move from drunkenness to dresses, without skipping a beat…

Ok, honestly, I don’t know how any of you could possibly pick just one dress at this point in the game.  There’s just too much pretty out there.

You know the effect that Coldplay’s manufactured sound has on most of us?  The way it calms things down and gives us those occasional happy shivers?  These frocks have the same effect on me…

Center Stage Dress in Champagne

This is quite obviously today’s reception dress pick.  LOVE.

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Now, for some wedding dress wow factor love.  FORM OF: Monique Lhullier !

{ Via Wedding Style Guide… }

{ Via Style Me Pretty… }

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By the way, I have a couple of hairstyle comments/suggestions to make.

This:

… is how my dear mother styled my hair when I was a wee babe.  She worked it up into a clean bun, shimmied me into my dress, and called me Pebbles.  So, while I have some of the cutest baby photos you’ve ever seen, I can’t imagine wearing my hair in a similar style on my wedding day.  Of course, I’m biased – I don’t want friends and family I’ve known since birth reminiscing about my baby hair ‘dos while I’m to-having and t0-holding.  ‘Cause that would be what happened if I wore my hair like this.  Which I won’t.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

On the other hand, this:

… is AWESOME.  (By the way, I found both of these over at Elle.)  It’s really quite perfect for a laid-back, backyard affair… if you love ponytails but don’t want to look like you dialed it in on your wedding day.  Personally, I love ponytails (my go-to ‘do), and am always on the search for ways to change it up.  So, naturally, I love this.  Of course, it may err a little on the side of being too casual, so here, check out my top five tips for great wedding day hair if you’re looking for some fabulous ‘dos for your lovely lady locks.  ;)

xoxo!

Alison

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BRIDAL HEADPIECE LOVE ♡ I want all of these. I’m not kidding.

Lo Boheme

The love I have for these bridal accessories is comparable to that which I hold for my unborn child.  (Don’t have one of those yet so I probably don’t know the true meaning of a statement like that, but I’m still confident that I’ve drawn an appropriate parallel.)

This is not only a grouping of some of the most lovely accessories EVER, but also some truly incredible wedding day hairstyle inspiration.  Heck yes, a twofer!

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First up is Lo Boheme‘s Spring/Summer 2010 collection, shot by the fabulous Marisa Holmes in her historic 1888 studio.  … These make my mouth water.  I need to have about seven of them in my life.  Not to mention those DRESSES.  I wish they were selling those dresses!!!

Check out their etsy shop if you’d like to have one of these beautiful things in your life.

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This next headpiece blows my mind.  I found it over on my darling friend Melissa’s blog, The Loveliest Day.  Check. Out. This. Shot.

Yeah.  That stunning young woman’s name is Dana, and she’s got herself an Etsy shop called Retr0lux, where she sells fabo headpieces just like the one you see on her beautiful head.  And I WANT IT.  I also want to look like this on my wedding day.  Thought I hated huge, ruffled statement mini jackets.  HAH!  I WAS SO WRONG.  Dana defines style for me today.  Can the two of us please go shopping on Melrose sometime?  I didn’t realize I needed some pointers until I met you and your unique, brilliant fashion sense.

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I caught a glimpse of Ban.do‘s new line, the “Black Label,” on Mixed Plate, and it made the happiness area of my brain go insane.  I had never appreciated head decoration all that much until the very first time I discovered Jen and Jamie’s hyper-feminine designs long ago, and this, their newest line, is doing its part to hold my interest.  You guys are gonna eat these things up.  Eat. Them. Up.

Yeah, I told you!  By the way, I kind of can’t take how ridiculously beautiful this model is.  For those of you who don’t know, it’s Alison Sudol, of A Fine Frenzy!  Gotta love it.

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Photos of Lo Boheme pieces taken by Marisa Holmes.
Photos of Retr0lux items taken by Jason Q. Tran.

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS | I ♡ Intimate Weddings, Flowers in Bottles, Kissing & Telling, Carving Names in Trees and Cute Overload!

This whole week has been a whirlwind.  It went by in two shakes of a puppy’s butt.  Then on Thursday, this happened:

BARF!

Just kidding – that image makes my heart sing the way that little boy talked about on Oprah that one time.  So do these:

So, you know what those are?  They’re just a few of the images from my most recent guest post on Style Me Pretty!  Arranging the inspiration boards for this wedding brought tears to my eyes; Danah and Ahmad just look so right for one another… there’s this calm contentedness about them.  Sometimes you can just feel that two people are going to make it for the long run.  And it’s not just in their faces, it’s in the kind of affair they threw.  One commentor, named Carrie, said it best: “Just love this wedding… This is just such a wonderful example of a truly sophisticated, classic and elegant wedding!  Best of all, the photos aren’t stuffy making for such a beautiful balance!” {Photos by Amelia Lyon}

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Ok, back to my week: it started out as any fine week does, with what turned out to be a spectacular event put on by the Wedding Salon at the Roosevelt Hotel on Monday (Grazia, I LOVED it.  Fabulous job, missy!), and is rounding itself out with huge loads (sexually inappropriate comment for the day? CHECK) of blog world love and affection that I never, ever… in my wildest dreams… could have imagined would come my way.  For the most part regarding Wednesday’s announcement.  And I’ve got to say, though it may sound a little ridiculous, I feel like the friendships I’ve begun to cultivate since my entry into the bliggity blogosphere actually rival those that have naturally evolved over the span of my lifetime.  Which either makes me a complete tool, or really lucky.  Going with lucky.

This is gonna sound boastful, but I couldn’t possibly thank everybody here, so I just want to send out a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has been so magically delicious in my general direction this week, and always.  I love you with the same intensity that I love this:

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Ok, here’s some proof that it has totally made sense for me to save up all those empty wine bottles all these years. Oh, and say hello again to those Anthro knobs that just keep popping up!  (Sexual reference much?)  KNOTTY TIP: there are almost always a crapload of knobs on sale at Anthro, so they’re totally not hard to get your hands on if you’re looking to recreate a shoot like this one.

{Photos by Paige Newton Photography via Love and Lavender}

By the way, this was Paige’s first ever wedding faux-tography session, as she calls it.  Umm… for serious?  Because this rocks the casbah (cashbar? cazbuh? cahssbuuhh?)

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I. LOVE. THIS.

The Kissing Tree

Here’s why… No. 1: it’s interactive online artwork, which is just one of those fun things that make Friday at work a little bit more tolerable, and No. 2: it reminds me of the book, “The Giving Tree,” a treasure of a read that made my little brother cry when he was young.  Yes, my little (currently 24-year-old) brother is one of those rare types… you know, the type with feelings.  Looks like a football player, but capable of a heart-to-heart.  Perfect guy.

… whose long-term girlfriend lives in Holland.

{Kiss the Groom, a blog by fab photog, Elizabeth Messina.}

Oh, and speaking of Elizabeth… this, this right here, makes me happy:

Click here to check out the rest of Jillian and Rick’s little intimate photo sesh.  But more importantly to read the “kiss & tell” – and go ahead, try to hold back the happy tears.

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Let them eat button cake.


{via Love and Lavender}

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Aaaaaand finally, a totally off-topic find from Cute Overload that beats all of this.  I am quoting the author, “Meg,” here:

OMG. I seriously cannot stop laughing at this poor dog. I think I’ve been laughing for a solid five minutes. Look at that haircut. He must be absolutely furious. LOOK at the fro with the trapezoid that is cut out to allow his beady eyes some room! OMG, ROTFL. And the poor other dog in the background is getting his hair cut the SAME WAY and will have the SAME FATE. Oh, man, this is too much. I haven’t laughed this hard since, well, the last post.

Happy Friday, people!  That’s a wrap for the Fab Finds – hope you liked!!!  And I hope everyone’s got some great plans in the works for the weekend.  I hear the weather’s not going to be so great where I am, so maybe we’ll go dancing.

Did you hear that, honey?  WE SHOULD GO DANCING.

xoxo

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E-SESSION DRESS LOVE ♡ What to Wear for YOUR Totally Rad Engagement Shoot!

Remember that fit I said I was having over an upcoming blog post?  Well, here’s the culprit.  That is, aside from the Nutella which a dear friend so helpfully pointed out was contributing to the twitches.  Now’s as good a time as any to admit that I was essentially free-basing Nutella for the better half of yesterday.  It was my first time, and I overdid it.  I learned my lesson.  No biggie.  No big whoop.  Who caaaaares?!!  Ok, WHAT THE F IS GOING ON.

Enough.  Let’s get straight to it…

When I visit sites like LuLu’s, I get a little overwhelmed.

Now, when you go check it out, you’ll notice that yes, some of the dresses on there are decidedly slutty.  Like, for example, the fact that they’re selling this as a “top,” in the “tops” section.  Yes, just put those aside.  If you can do that, there’s seriously not much more muck to trudge through on this site.  Which leads me to the overwhelmed thing I started in on a few sentences ago.  I tend to have this combined physical and mental response – I get all discombobulated – and it’s the result of seeing a bazillion adorable frocks, all at extremely fair prices.  When the two chemically react with one another they cause my mind to blow up in ecstasy.  Pure, unadulterated, magically delicious (and oh how perfect would it be if it was also sexual) ecstasy.

But putting aside my only recently surfacing unfulfilled desires for fashion-sex, I have some advice for you.

Wear one of these for your engagement photo session.  If you do, you will like the way your pictures turn out.  Trust.

Moon Terrace Dress

Souvenir Dress

Divine Approval Dress

Take It Slow Dress

Deft Precision Dress

Femme Fatale Dress

Boston Fancy Dress

Double Cross Dress

Sweetest Thing Dress

Paint the Roses Red Dress

Guess what?  You can find all that yumminess over at LuLu’s.  You’re welcome.  ;)

So, I’m really curious… which ones are your favorites?  Let’s talk fashion, people!

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OMG | The Wedding Chicks Talked About Me.

Maybe you can imagine my excitement when I saw this over on one of my favorite wedding blogs ever:

If that’s too tiny, for God’s sake go check out the post on the Wedding Chicks’ blog.  They are AWESOME, and I’m not just saying that because of the massive shout out love they gave me re: my new role as a Style Me Pretty guest blogger.  … But ok that is part of it.  Speaking of… THANK YOU for that massive front page shout out, ladies!  You have officially made my week and a half.  And not the kind that goes from Monday all the way through to Thursday.  No, no.  The kind that includes two weekends.  AKA the best kind.  AKA OMIGOD the Wedding Chicks talked about me!!!!!!!!

Lots o’ love goin’ around these days.  Feeling really blessed to be involved in it all.

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INSPIRATION BOARD LOVE | “Really Ridiculous” Wedding Eye Candy. Oh How I ♡ All of These…

During a sweet little stroll through Style Me Pretty‘s Style Circle, I found what my little brother commonly refers to as “really ridiculous.” Roughly translated from guyspeak, really ridiculous is defined as anything that is overwhelmingly beautiful and/or ornate… almost over the top, but not… just perfectly stunning to the fullest.  Ok, that’s my best adaptation of his phrase to the world of wedding inspiration.  If you haven’t deduced it yet, my brother employs the phrase in reference to women. ;)

Quick note and useful tip: all of these boards were created using Style Me Pretty’s inspiration board maker.  If you’ve never used it, I URGE you to give it a try.  Especially if you’ve got some wedding planning to do.  It’s a great tool for any bride looking to work out her color palette, or just explore her options.

And now for my finds:

Love.love.love. these shoes.  Love them.

Top 3 shoes

Like those silver stunners in the lower left, up above?  Here they are again, within a black and white wedding palette.  Not too shabby AT ALL.

It's Black and White

I adore the idea of putting all of your bridesmaids in the same exact heel… as long as that heel has its own very unique or playful style, like the polka dot pumps, below!  Such a fab way to jazz things up and have a little fun.

Black and White Affair

OBSESSED with the next three.

Inspiration

Owl & Pussycat

Soft & Romantic

By the way, you see that darling couple in the board above, in the middle, to the left?  Their wedding was AH.MA.ZING.  Check it out.

The little girl in me loves this board so much she wants to live in it.

Sweet Sakura

This one, too.

little button flowers

Best thing about this board: the Charlie’s Angels pose, with bouquets standing in for firearms.  Truly making peace, not war with this shot.  ;)

Young at Heart

I just really love horses.  And cowboy boots.  And stylish beverage glasses.  And this board:

Country Wedding

There’s a soft, mysterious beauty to this last board that I cannot get past.  My eyes are glued to it.

Bohemia

Wait, do the horses wish they were eagles?  All of them a collective eagle?  I don’t get it, but I luuuurve the rest of this board, so who cares.  (But I really don’t get that.  Anyone?  Am I just being dense?)

In other news… CANNOT WAIT to attend Wedding Salon this evening!  I’m so freakin’ excited over the eye candy and inspiration that awaits me at this fabulous event.  Gonna be insane in the membrane.

… In a very appropriate, reserved and well-mannered kind of way.

Woot!

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SEXY E-SESSION LOVE | Joyce + Joey + Boudoir | Strike a Pose with Your Honey for the World to See…

I saw this PHENOMENAL e-session on Wedding Chicks the other day and couldn’t believe my eyes.  Let me explain.

There have been a LOT more risqué photo shoots on the internets these days.  But just because they’re becoming more prevalent, it doesn’t mean I’m getting used to them.  Each time I catch a glimpse of a brand spankin’ new butt, or the side-most section of a titter-tatter, I feel like a peeping Tom.  It’s like I’m seeing something I shouldn’t be seeing…

But then I scroll down – because you can’t look away… I mean, right? – and I’m usually met with a bevy of absolutely stunning, evocative images that prove to me, almost every time, how beautiful and important these sessions truly are to the subjects involved.  Of course, there’s the obvious drive in pretty much all of us to capture forever on film the smooth, supple skin of our youth… the fleeting, all over “perkiness,” if you will.  But there’s also a deeper, less superficial purpose to these sessions, and it involves the unique bond between these couples.  It screams off the page in sessions like these.  That electric love experienced by both partners charges these images, and who doesn’t want that etched in something that lasts forever… say, film?

Well… Joyce, Joey and Ellen of Hong Studio: this is what I consider a mission accomplished:

I should note here that the shoot wasn’t wholly scandalous.  I mean, even the finest couple needs a few shots to take home to Grandma.  So, Grandma’s shots:

Precious.  Touching.  Totally innocuous.  Grandma will never catch on that they were just sexing it up, naked-style half an hour earlier.

Umm… s’cute! as my baby nephew says:

Here’s a fun fact: the breathtaking bride-to-be has her own eyelash studio in Vancouver, Canada.  Uh, wow, Joyce.  I’m impressed.  It’s called Noir Lash Lounge Inc. Sadly, I couldn’t be farther from Vancouver, and I don’t have a good enough reason to take a trip out there any time soon.  (My bank account doesn’t consider eyelashes a good enough reason, and I have to agree with it.)  Oh, and by the way, she’s not just the owner… she’s also a client!  HAHAHAHHHH yeah I’ll be here all week.

Photos: Hong Photography Studio // via Wedding Chicks

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WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY LOVE | it’s in the details… | Pink + White + Arcade Prize Ticket Delight!

When I saw these photos from Tina and Stephen’s Carmel, California wedding, shot by the talented Aaron Delesie, I got really, really excited.  Which immediately translated into having to share all the yummy goodness with you.  Of course, I’m not surprised by the ridiculously phenomenal quality of these images… you see, Aaron’s no amateur.

Ok, enough with the words – get ready, because these details are AMAZING… for starters, just LOOK AT THAT DRESS!!!

“If I had a hundred wishes I would give them all to you.”

Exquisite, right?  I am so in awe of these images!  I’m a big fan of tiny but meaningful touches in a wedding, and that wheel of “Wish” tickets totally hit the spot for me today.

Reminds me of a nice little moment that happened last weekend at the arcade with the boy (yes, laugh it out, we went to the arcade.  It may be for youngsters, but I think we could all benefit from a little air hockey in our lives).  So, near the end of the evening, we ended up playing a trivia game against another couple and totally clobbering them, which was kind of extremely awesome.  We are competitive apart, so when we join forces… you understand.  Anyway, when all was said and done, we realized we had about a gazillion prize tickets at our feet.  When I was a kid, I was ALL ABOUT the prize tickets… so I was surprised by how little I cared on this day.  I just can’t believe that plastic parachuting militiamen and kazoos were a good enough reward for the blood, sweat and tears I poured into accumulating those tickets.  Even if I was only seven, those prizes are seriously LACKING.

Back to the present day story; we added them up, and together we had approximately a lot of tickets.  We walked over to the counter and scanned our options ~ yup, paratroopers and kazoos still available.  Nice.  We weren’t finding anything.

Next thing I know, fiancé motions to follow him and, leaving our position in line, he spots a young man with an infant in his arms.  And what does he do?  He hands our tickets over to them.  I was so, incredibly angry at him I cou— just kidding.

Loved it.  Love him.

Photography: Aaron Delesie

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INSPIRATION BOARDS | Color Palette: Right in Between Some Blue and Some Green…

Totally in love with these two sets of dreamy shots by one fabulous board creator, Niki :D.  Of the first set, I’m obsessed with the goldfish shot, and the color of that fence in the upper right-hand corner makes my brain tingle with joy.  Truly brilliant coloring tends to have that effect on me.  (Yeah, I should probably get that checked – brain tingles?)

Of the second set, I’m completely in love with the ballooned toe.  I could have phrased that several different ways, but “ballooned toe” pleases me in an unparalleled way, so it stays.  (Just one of the perks of being the editor.)

I adore the way both sets teeter between the colors blue and green, without ever stepping into true blue or true green territory.  Quite remarkable to me.  Not to mention excellent wedding color scheme inspiration, in my opinion.

Faves:

2. 73/365 (by Vanessa Paxton)

3. Is also friday for me!!!! (by Françoise Rachez)

Key to board above: 1. Vintage Blue,  2. 73/365,  3. Is also friday for me!!!!,  4. Old ladder,  5. winter butterfly,  6. 31/365,  7. inspired by vintage {tiffany},  8. the perfect fence,  9. dress code

***

Fave:

3. Sad… (by Kimberly Chorney)

Key to board above: 1. hope is a waking dream. [ aristotle ],  2. Tiny Flowers,  3. Sad…,  4. ~~*~~,  5. COLLECTIONS {Shells II},  6. Bench Monday(Beautiful summer),  7. a gift,  8. Untitled,  9. Little Blue Bench,  10. signs of summer,  11. ~Upon a summer’s breeze,  12. Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

Boards created by: Niki :D

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{ DRESS LOVE } Sarah Seven will dress you up in heaven…

I’m really starting to fall for this dress-making diva, Sarah Seven.  She’s a force in the industry, and her unique, super feminine frocks have been speaking to me, lately.  Volumes.  With their frills and folds, their taut waistlines and flirty, unfinished hemlines, her creations have the unique femininity sought after by so many brides, let alone women in general.

I’m curious, what do you think of these frocks?  Do they fit your style?

By the way, if you like what you see here, you can visit Sarah Seven’s Etsy shop to check out what’s available!

Photos: Sarah Seven

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INSPIRATION BOARD | Pastel Color Palette: Pink + Green + Blue + Beige

Not only do I love Paris, too, but I think this board displays a heavenly mix of pink, green, blue and beige pastels, perfect for a Spring or Summer wedding.  If you’re daring enough to go THAT girlie, that is.  ;)

1. Untitled, 2. Daisy Dance, 3. gravity release me …, 4. “Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another.”, 5. Spring Cleaning ♥, 6. Pastel Roses, 7. Thinking of England, 8. Untitled, 9. Untitled, 10. ruffles, 11. Untitled, 12. “Love of beauty is Taste…, 13. Untitled

Board created by: Niki :D

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{ DRESS LOVE } Little Gowns for Flower Girls, Plus the Perfect Shoes and Accessories!

When I saw a few of these precious little frocks featured on Utterly Engaged, I fell head over heels in love with J.Crew’s flower girl line.  I’m pretty sure you will, too.  Now, I may have gone a little overboard in this post – I’ve included what seems to be nearly every gown they offer, from silk taffeta to dupioni to tousled tulle.  But you know what?  I post what I love, and I love pretty much all of them, so why stop at five when I love 15?  You get me.

Just wait until you scroll down.  It’s not only the dresses that have me swooning; their little girl shoes are absolutely adorable, and the jewelry + embellishments they have available are simply too charming for words.  Honestly, everything is so darling, it almost makes me sick.

Twinkle ballet flats!  Oh, how delightful.

Patent-leather Mary Janes:

Satin ballet flats with rosettes:

Yup, they come in white, too.

Keeping it casual?  Here’s a simple satin ballet flat for the little munchkin.

The only thing I love more than these silk organza flower pins, is the fact that they’re 30% off when you buy two or more of them.  That’s kinda nice.  Sadly, I don’t have a use for them, but I hope you do!

Aaaand finally, a few pearls to round out the look and add that oh so fine finishing touch.

There’s kind of a HUGE price disparity between the necklace and the bracelet, by the way.  I don’t really understand it (aside from the obvious fact that we’re dealing with real and fake).  Still, that bracelet is WAY less expensive than you probably think it is.  Like, shockingly so.  So, as my fiancé likes to kid – here’s today’s lesson in Economics 101 with Alison: why buy a little girl freshwater pearls when they make perfectly good fake ones?  This way, when she misplaces or fully loses it sometime between when you give it to her and your ceremony, it won’t be that big of a deal.  Because she probably will lose it.  And you will get upset, if they were freshwater pearls.  No, not normal you – the crazy, getting married version of you who’s capable of losing her temper in front of little girls.

Images: J.Crew & Utterly Engaged

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WEDDING GOWN + ACCESSORY LOVE | Jenny Packham | That Hot Oscars Gown + How You Can Make it Sparkle…

Miley Cyrus wore this sparkling beauty of a gown at the Oscars, and I had mixed feelings about it.  First, check it out on one of Packham’s (especially angry looking) models.  A lovely gown, it is.  I’m a fan of the yellow backdrop, as well.  It’s bright and uplifting, but, most of all, seems to be doing its part to summon a long overdue Brady Bunch musical reunion special.

… Pretty dress, right?  Pretty unique, pretty sparkly, pretty corsetty without being too corsetty… overall, quite pretty, indeed.  However, on such a young starlet like Miley (she wore it to the 82nd Annual Academy Awards on March 7), I have to admit, I felt more than a little uncomfortable looking at her.   Because when I look at her, I believe I’m looking at a 28 year old woman.

But, like Dr. Oz says, “it’s time for her real age…”

Here it comes…

… She was born November 23, 1992, and that makes her 17 years old.

17.

Okay, don’t get me wrong; she looks fabulous.  It’s just that it seems a little early in life to be dressing that adult.  And by adult, I mean letting it all hang out.  Which isn’t necessarily adult, per se.  But you catch my drift.

What really grosses me out is that my google search of “miley cyrus age” yielded, as its first result, a site entitled “Miley Cyrus Age Countdown,” the sole purpose of which is to count down the days until Miley turns 18 (in other words, becomes legal).  Gross.

So, while I am all about linking back and giving credit where credit is due, I will NOT be linking to that site.  I hope you understand.

Moving right along.

For the sake of discussion, let’s all agree to forget Miley’s so young.  Jenny Packham makes a ridiculously ravishing gown.  And Miley’s hair and makeup are marvelous.  Marvelous.  I mean, those are some EYELASHES, girl.  You clearly aren’t kidding around.  All in all, we’ve got some truly great inspiration for a bridal look worthy of an awards show.

Now for a little bling inspiration…

Okay, so that’s what Miley wore.  However, I’d like to offer up to you some of my own glitzy suggestions, all from Packham’s Spring 2010 line:

Jenny’s got some fabulous bling going on for Spring, I do not lie.  It’s beyond hot and I’m a little obsessed.  (Stay tuned if you want to see the rest; I’m planning to feature lots more of her bright, flashy line in an upcoming post!)

One last thing.  Here’s the lad with whom she spent significant chunks of time that night.  Cutie, right?  They’re starring in a movie together that I will likely not go to see.  But best of luck to them both.

His name is Liam Hemsworth, and he was by Miley’s side as they attended the 18th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Award Party in West Hollywood, California.  Good golly, Miss Miley.  Nicely done.

Credits:

So, let me know, what did you think of Miley’s look?  Was she super chic in Packham?  Also, would you consider wearing this gown for your wedding?  Weigh in; I’m dying to hear your thoughts!

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‘BRIDAL PARTY’ LOVE ❦ A Bridal Shower Inspired by Gossip Girl [Minus All the Biotches]

When I saw this on Hostess with the Mostess, I started trembling.

It is kind of the most awesome thing I’ve seen, and I’ve seen tons of things.  Not to mention – and I’m a little unsure of whether or not I should admit this, but – I’ve never even seen the show Gossip Girl.

Oh, I’ve HEARD about it – from pretty much every single one of my girlfriends.  And it sounds fabulous.  Honestly, at this point, I don’t know what’s stopping me.  I do have a couple of ideas, however.  First, having been through high school once, I see no reason to relive it.  That could be just me – though I have a feeling it’s a good 89% of all of you, too.  Second, it could be related to the drive that has kept my ears bereft of holes all these years; it started out with indifference but, over time, has morphed into what can best be described as a silent, pointless, yet unwavering rebellion.

Anywho, if this shower speaks at all of what I can expect out of Gossip Girl set design, well then hello CW, I may have been wrong about you.

And get a load of the spread, my friends.  Not too shabby.  Just add a plate of prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, and I’m in heaven.

Now, for my favorite bits…

First, say hello to the espresso macarons w/ chocolate ganache:

And check out these totally cute dessert balls (they’re either petit fours w/ preserves and swiss buttercream, or individual strawberry cheesecakes, but I couldn’t tell you which):

And, last but not least, the blueberry and cheddar-chive scones:

There were games, too!  The girls learned just how well they know their friend, Lily, by filling out this absolutely darling questionnaire, entitled “How Well Do You Know the Bride?”  Reminds me of a similar bridal shower trivia game I posted back in January…

Go check out the rest of this fabulous festivity (it’s a two-parter) here and here!

Credits + Resources, courtesy of HWTM:
Event Design & Planning: The Special Day, Carolyn Chen
Photography: Jan Garcia Photography
Catering & Desserts: The Dotted Apron
Florals: Mille Fiori
Linens: Wildflower Linen

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♡ WEDDING PARTY ♡ Second Installment ♡ ………..VERA WANG RUNWAY SHOW………..

Remember this sneak peek?  Of course you do – I haven’t experienced so much positive feedback since transitioning out of diapers.

Now, for this post, I’m gonna do something CRAZY.  And that’s cut the small talk.  Because this series of posts speaks volumes, and I don’t feel like shouting to share the stage.  ;) However, before we begin, here’s a quick word to the wise:

Bigger is always better…

So click on each photo if you want to feel like you were there with me.

Alright, without further adieu, I present to you… Vera.


Breathtaking, right?  When this show began, I remember becoming consumed by what was strutting immediately before me.  Unable to keep it inside, I turned to a friend seated next to me to whisper how I felt… “A sense of calm has washed over me.  I feel like I’m lazing in a spa, or floating on a thick cloud.  This is INTOXICATING.”


… Oh, and by the way, we are SO not done.

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TOP FIVE TIPS FOR GREAT WEDDING HAIR | What You Must Know to Look Your Best on Your Big Day… No, SERIOUSLY.

All the time, as I walk the streets of New York, Westchester and the Island of Long, I see girls who look absolutely stunning in their everyday lives.  Many sport low ponies, others rock side-swept bangs.  They look great; their chosen styles suit them.  And, as a people watcher, I love good style.  It’s a treat for me.

But, come the wedding day, something changes for some brides.  It happens to so many of these normally stylishly coiffed contessas, something that I can describe only as a tragic disconnect between their naturally on point senses of style, and what they believe looks even better in the context of their wedding day.  Curls when they normally rock it straight, or a tight updo when they typically let if flow free.  Too often, my internal dialogue sounds something like this: “Shoot, you looked so good yesterday in your go-to high pony, why did you think pin curls were the right style for your big day?”  I just don’t get it!  This phenomenon I can’t fully explain.  It baffles me – though I do have some ideas.

I understand the desire for change, for something fresh, different, new… and, thus, presumptively more beautiful.  But it’s not every time that the latter follows the former.  And when I see it happen, a few signals go off in my head that lead me to some probable assumptions about what precipitated the mess up top.

I don’t want this to happen to any more brides.  I can’t in good conscience allow it.  I’ve spoken to too many brides who have expressed regret over their ‘day-of-do’ to let it go on any longer.

… So, I’ve created a quick reference list of the best advice I can offer when it comes to your wedding day locks.  SERIOUSLY, pay attention, I do this out of love…

5 Top Tips for Great Wedding Day Hair:

~ Consider how you wear your hair normally.  Is this somewhat chic, and would you consider it appropriate for a formal event?  Then maybe it’s the perfect look and you shouldn’t mess with a good thing.

~ Ask trusted friends and family.  Some- no, many people will lie to you because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.  Which can lead to hair fails.  And this is not the time for a hair fail.

~ Don’t be led by your stylist.  It doesn’t matter if the person doing your hair likes it; it matters if YOU like it.  Ok?  So be true to yourself.

~ It’s easier to be true to yourself when you plan ahead, as in arrange for a consultation/trial so you can actually take a mental (and actual) picture of what you can expect to look like.  This will also let you know if you and your chosen stylist are on the same page when it comes to the definition of looking good.

~ Always keep this in mind: he’s already proposed to you, which means he wants to spend the rest of his life with you, and you’ve looked the way you look now, all along.  You must look at least half-way decent already.

***

For inspiration, I have included within this post a veritable Smörgåsbord of hair styles I consider to be wedding-appropriate.  (Save for that very first one; that’s just for laughs… OF COURSE.)  Please hover over the images for their details and credits, which have been assigned where available.  Images without detailed information are courtesy of Polyvore.

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WEDDING INSPIRATION, IN THE ROUND | ~ balloons and bubblegum ~ | Perfect Ways to Make Your Pictures POP!

We all want our weddings to be great, and this can mean many things to many people.  It all depends on who you ask.  It can mean keeping with tradition.  It can mean standing out from the rest.  It can mean showing our personalities, and our uniqueness, both as individuals and as a couple.  However, regardless of how it’s defined, one thing’s for sure – we all want that extra special thing, whatever it may be, so that everyone who has come to celebrate this momentous occasion in our lives will remember it always, as our wedding.

So, how about balloons? :) Hehe.

Mansion from Tim Walker, via Santa Barbara Wedding Chic

Overexposed via Oh Happy Day

Photos by Jill Thomas, via Once Wed

Photos by Jessica Johnston

Photos by Caroline Tran, via The Knot

Photo by Max Wanger

By the way, remember this post?  Truly one of the more awesome balloon shoots I’ve had the pleasure of seeing…


Totally worth a look-see.

Ok, so clearly those are engagement shots – and while brilliant shots, they aren’t weddings.  So here’s an actual wedding with the balloon idea implemented.  I LOVE how the crisp, white spheres line both sides of the aisle, adding such incredible structure to the photos.  There’s an intensity here, with the focus so clearly on the marrying couple… and it’s very much a result of the double row of balloons, which serve to guide your eyes towards the center.  It’s clean, it’s powerful, and it’s beautiful.

Sticking with the white wedding theme, howsabout this…

Via Style Me Pretty

Via B Magazine

Here are a few more of my favorite engagement shots.  Don’t you love the creativity of these couples?  A prop like this can really ease out the playfulness that is so essential with engagement shoots.  The Bubblicious is your call.  If you teach for a living, I imagine it’s not for you.  (In fact, if you’re anything like the teachers I had in grade school, you’re probably aching for these girls to trash the chewing gum posthaste.)

Though, I must say, these two young ladies pull it off quite nicely…

Photos by SimplyBloom Photography, via Green Wedding Shoes

Photos by Jill Thomas, via Green Wedding Shoes

***

One last thing: I caught wind of The Cherry Blossom Girl on a visit to decor8 one day, and found this precious little balloon brooch, by Stolen Thunder.  If you really love balloons – like, REALLY – but don’t know if they fit in all that smoothly with the rest of your decor, well then here’s a darling way to show your affection for the them.  If it’s not the right fit for your look that day, then it could be the perfect bridesmaids’ gift, no?  I admit, I think it’s just too cute not to make up an excuse to buy a few of ‘em.  So that’s kind of what I’m doing right now. :)

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FRIDAY’S FAB FINDS + VALENTINE’S DAY INSPIRED GOODNESS | Free Printables, Love Postage, Lollies, a Lightbulb Valentine and More…

Let’s start with something sweet, sparkly and bright ~ Valentine Lollies from Sweet Paul!

I found out about this project, created by Danni Hong of Oh, Hello Friend, from Ellie at Mint and immediately fell in love with its pretty, pretty, prettiness.

If you’d like to try it yourself, just head over to Mint and download Danni’s printable PDF’s.

By the way, here’s what you’ll need for the project, as outlined by Ellie:

- Clear votive holders (michaels: $1)
- Tealight candles
- Modge Podge
- Brush for glue
- Lace doilies
- Small box of matches
- Various sheets of patterned paper
- Ribbon/twine
- Printable PDF tags

***

If you’re a fiend for projects and printables today, how about some love note candy wrappers?  These pastel printable delights – made especially for Valentine’s Day – were created by who else but one of my idols, Ez (of Creature Comforts) and her amazing partner, Marichelle, both of the super cute online shop, Nice Package.  I love them!!!

This is what the printable PDF looks like; click here to visit Nice Package for the download!

By the way, I caught a glimpse of these lovely postage stamps on Paper Pastries and fell madly for them.

I’ve seen most of these from afar, on wedding invitations and the like, but I’ve never actually seen them all together like this, and they officially need to be in my life.

I don’t even necessarily need a letter, I just want these stamps; somebody, please, get me these stamps.

I really got a kick out of seeing this super cute light bulb Valentine idea Arwen O’Reilly Griffith from Craft found over at Design*Sponge!  How absolutely perfect is this, especially for maybe the handyman in your life?  (Assuming that your significant other is the handyman.  It might be awkward to gift this to your hired handyman, though I’m certain he’d appreciate it.)

If you’re serious about this project, it’s a pretty comprehensive tutorial; down to instructions on hollowing out a lightbulb… so, since I know nothing about that, visit Arwen’s post or get thee to Design*Sponge to begin turning old crap into new sap!  (You know, ‘sap,’ as in sappiness… as in the essence of V-Day… maybe I’m just cracking myself up here.)

Another cute thing, followed by another craft thing, then I’m done, I PROMISE (for now, at least… and I crossed my fingers anyway so whatev); how cute are these Kraft Address Labels from Paper Pastries?

LOVE.

I think this is great, so I thought I’d share it with all of you in case anyone’s looking to deliver a tiny little gift in a super cute way:

It’s called a “jar of hearts” and it’s by Jessica Wilson.  Click here for the how-to!  I found it over at CRAFT, a great place for, well, crafting. :)

~~~               ~~~               ~~~

Okay my dear, dear friends… I think that’s quite enough for now.  It’s just that I found SO MUCH amazing stuff and, well, my world is one of all or nothing/go big or go home… which translates into bringing back everything I love, with nary an exception.  Time-consuming for me, pretty good deal for you, eh?  ;)

With that said, I’m going to return to enjoying the heck out of my new haircut.  I feel like a brand new woman!  Haircuts: highly recommended.  Lots of love to everyone!  I hope your weekends are warm and fuzzy.

Alison

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