diy · entertaining · Food & Drink · Living · Uncategorized

Relaxed Summer Luau and Advice to a Fourteen Year Old

Hi, loves.

I had every intention of posting on Tuesday, but by the time I made it home from a CRAZY work day (you may have seen my hometown on the news) , I could not focus.

Better late than never, I suppose.

Last Sunday was my eldest niece’s birthday. She turned 14, and I feel OLD! My sister has been down with a herniated disk, so my other sister and I last minute took on throwing a little shindig.

We didn’t have the luxury of time or a large budget, so we kept it a relaxed, glam luau. I thought I’d share the sweet details.

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party


Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

See? A little bit can go a long way. I recycled some of the pom streamers from my engagement party, and I ordered the cute foil balloons and metallic tattoos for fun details. And aren’t the spray-painted pineapples darling?

All in all, it turned out to be a lovely gathering for a lovely young lady! I cannot believe my niece will be a freshman in high school this fall! Her birthday got me thinking about advice I’d give my fourteen year old self….and oddly it is the same advice I am working on internalizing these days as well.

I think it is most eloquently put by Scott Stabile:

Truth bombs. Mantra. Bullies.

This is what I hope to convey to my niece as she enters some exciting and difficult years. This is what I hope to convey through my lifestyle.

 

Shop my party looks here:

Gold Foil ‘Happy Birthday’ Balloon Set

Metallic Birthday Tattoos 

Summer Birthday Party

Summer Birthday Party

 

 

My dear, sweet [W]IT GIRLS, keep on shining like you do.

xx-Lona

 

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Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · Uncategorized

The “Good On You” App is a Great Tool for Consumers Supporting Fair Fashion

Good morning!

I hope you all have had a nice week so far–it’s Friday eve, woohoo! I’m currently home from work tired as can be and experiencing some allergy issues…the one downside to Spring. I’m not going to let it get me down though!

I’ve recently shifted focus on this blog towards conscious consumerism and ethical and sustainable shopping. I know that these concepts are a hard sell when put against today’s booming, exciting fashion industry.

At first glance, it appears there are no easy or affordable options for fair fashion, and at second glance it appears to be a whole lifestyle change.

It certainly is an adjustment; however, it doesn’t mean ditching every brand you’ve ever known and loved.

To put this into context, say you wanted to eat better for your health, and possibly also you had interest in the treatment of animals in the food industry. You wouldn’t become a vegan PETA chairman overnight, and truthfully, neither may be the degree to which you want to take your lifestyle adjustment.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.

You make a difference by becoming knowledgeable. When you grocery shop you purchase meat from places you know give their animals good living conditions; you participate in meatless meals when you aren’t sure about the meat served; and you give yourself permission  to enjoy Grandma’s beef stroganoff guilt-free without questioning her about her meat supplier because you are actively make conscious decisions in every situation that is in your control.

This is how change starts. This is how the difference is made. Small, deliberate decisions and discipline. Not every situation will be ideal. But if you have to power to make it ideal, then do so.

With that being said, today I want to share a really neat app with you: Good On You, an “Ethical Fashion App.”

This app allows you to search through a database of fashion brands to check on how ethical their methods are based on their practices for labor, environment, and treatment of animals. It gives you background on progress brands are making to become more ethical or reasons why they received a low score.

 



Additionally, the app serves as a database of brands you’ve probably never heard of that have great ethics ratings and allows you to browse through them based on article of clothing for which you are searching.

 


I think that Good On You is such a great app for pursuing ethical, sustainable shopping practices, and it is certainly a great place to start. I did notice that they don’t have information on a lot of brands on which I was interested in finding out more; however, they do have a field where you can submit suggested brands for them to add to the database. I’ve suggested a couple, so we will see what happens.

I am making a shift towards sustainable, fair trade, and ethical brands; however, I was pleased to see that some of my favorite brands fall under the rating of “It’s a start,” meaning that they are beginning to take action to become more ethical. Three brands I was happy to see fall under this category opposed to “Not good enough,” include Levi’s, Vans, and Mossimo.

As a consumer, I have made the decision that I will support brands in the beginning phases of progress towards ethical and sustainable practices; however, I will be monitoring their progress as information is available.

Friends, I hope you download this app and check up on your favorite brands. It’d be such a delight if you’d even consider making the decision to only purchase from brands scoring “It’s a start” or higher. You have an opportunity to make a difference; use it wisely.

What’s an example of a time you’ve used baby steps to reach  a lifestyle goal?

 

 

[W]IT GIRL

Culture · Food & Drink · huntsville · Living · Travel · Uncategorized

Green Sangria is Basically the Same as a Juice, Right?

Hello & Happy Monday!

Here’s to hoping everyone had a great and safe St. Patrick’s Day weekend! May the theme of green carry on as you detox post-Patty’s Day celebration.

Benny and I chose to branch out on Friday night. I had been hearing about a Korean fusion restaurant in downtown Huntsville for well over a year now, and seeing their Instagram photo of a green sangria finally won me over. Big Oh’s Korean Fusion for this Irish holiday Americans use as a reason to go hard it is! Makes sense.

Big Oh’s is nestled on the north side of the square downtown, and like many of the restaurants on this block, it is two stories. We elected to sit upstairs in a cozy dining room decorated with photographs of Korea. This is an assumption based on my deductive reasoning. The photos might not actually be of Korea. My photography eye is not yet refined enough to detect the authenticity of such subject matter.

Benny ordered a stout (his drink of choice St. Patrick’s day or not), and I ordered my coveted green “Winter Sangria.” The sangria was great–there was a nice kiwi flavor to it!

We were quite hungry upon arrival, so we knew we wanted an appetizer. I was tempted to order their rice paper spring rolls, which looked amazing on the menu, but we decided to leave our comfort zone and try something crazy. Like…a kimchi bacon pancake.

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Perhaps this menu item would more aptly be called a kimchi bacon flatbread, as Benny pointed out that it really didn’t have much in terms of a pancake going for it, aside from its round shape possibly. I digress, this appetizer was really quite delicious! The kimchi gave it a sour, briny flavor, which paired nicely with the salty bacon. Packed with flavor, the kimchi bacon pancake did not disappoint our adventurous hopes.

For an entree, I ordered spicy Korean ramen with pork, also an item I admired from Big Oh’s Instagram. Hear me when I say that I am a changed woman after eating this ramen. It was just that good, and we are both looking forward to the next time we can order it (Benny got the mild ramen with chicken). This dish was so well seasoned, packed with fluffy egg, and topped with crispy pork and melted cheese.

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It is a regret we must live with daily that we were too stuffed after our drinks, the appetizer, and our entrees to even take a gander at the full dessert menu. The obvious silver lining to this sad situation is that we have to return for more ramen and to give Big Oh’s dessert menu the chance it deserves.

Jokes aside, we definitely plan to return to Big Oh’s. They had a great menu selection: everything from burgers and wings to traditional Korean cuisine. I highly recommend the ramen! My mouth is watering as I type!


What is the craziest food you’ve tried?

 

[W]IT GIRL

animals · cute · dog · relationships · Uncategorized · Wellness

My Rooney

Hello and happy Friday, friends!

I hope that you have had a great week, and cheers to good holiday weekend!

Today I wanted to share another furbaby story. Say hello to my Rooney.

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Rooney is my baggy-skinned, 63 lb weiner dog lookin pupper who LOVES cuddles and following me around.

The last semester before our senior year of university, Benny was so keen on getting a dog. I LOVE animals, particularly dogs, but I had major concerns about getting a pet during our last year in college. I knew that Benny would get one whether or not I agreed, so I decided that I should choose what kind of dog seeing as it’d end up being mine as well.

At the beginning of 2015, we were experiencing some frozen weather. A family friend was working on a construction project and noticed a dog hanging around. One evening he decided to bring her home because he knew it’d be a very cold night and was afraid she wouldn’t survive below freezing temperatures. So he brought the scraggly daschund mix home to sleep in his garage.

His wife made a post on Facebook regarding the dog to see if perhaps it had run away from a loving home. A few weeks later she was contacted by its owner who hadn’t even realized it was missing. Our friends decided to keep the dog and find it a better home than the neglectful one it came from. Before too long it became obvious that the dog was pregnant.

I mentioned this to Benny, but when he saw pictures of her, he was unimpressed. Truthfully, she wasn’t the cutest dog. She gave birth to a pretty big litter of 8 or 9 at the end of February.  When I showed Benny pictures, he told me he didn’t want one of those “ebola puppies.”

Our friends connected with a local rescue group to get the puppies and the mama dog vetted and up for adoption. Within three months, all but two of the puppies and the mama pup had been adopted! One day I was at my mom’s house when our friends passed by as they were walking the two remaining pups.

That’s when I first laid eyes on him. My Rooney.

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My first encounter with Rooney.

 

He was the cutest puppy with an awesome coat and beautiful green eyes. I texted Benny letting him know I’d met our dog. That weekend Benny adopted him.

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Rooney was the most joyful, well-behaved baby! His name comes from Benny’s favorite soccer player, Wayne Rooney. Rooney’s amazing little personality definitely sold me on him, but I also thought he’d be a good fit for us because since his mom was a small daschund mix, I figured he’d be a small dog, good for apartment living.

WRONG.

While most of Rooney’s siblings stayed relatively small, Rooney has grown to be my 63 lb boy! It is so crazy! We like to imagine what kind of dog his father must have been…Rooney definitely favors daschund through his head, but he has a brindle coat, long legs, and a curly tail! His tail looks like God held it on a curling iron for a quick second before deeming his creation complete.

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Even though Rooney grew quickly, he still believes he is lap-sized, and if he had it his way, I’d carry him everywhere. He is very much a human companion dog. He is friendly towards most other dogs, but he has little interest in them. He is so bonded to Benny and me, that while he is our best behaved animal at home, when my niece watches him, he is the problem child. He acts out when we are away, and he feels abandoned so easily.

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Whenever we return from a trip, he gives us the silent treatment for a few hours, followed by howling. He is very vocal and has the most hound dog bark I’ve ever heard! It is low and makes the apartment vibrate it seems. I love that it is a such a deep scary bark because I think it’d deter an intruder were we to ever have one.

Rooney’s favorite pastime is fetch. He loves his Frisbee, and he expects you to keep throwing it until he drops. When he’s not outside playing fetch, he loves chewing on bones and destroying soft toys. We were very paranoid about him being destructive as a puppy, so we always supplied him countless bones and chew toys…as a result, he doesn’t chew shoes or anything of the like; however, he can go through even the “toughest” of bones so quickly!

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Rooney is a most loyal companion, and when Benny isn’t around, he is quite protective of his mama. I love that on nights where Benny retreats to bed first, Rooney waits for me and follows me around as I lock doors and close up the kitchen. His face is the one I wake up to most mornings, and he loves to spoon. He’s my precious boy, and sometimes he feels like a true friend. He knows when I am sick or upset, and he is always by my side.

So there you have it, my sweet, sweet Rooneykins.

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He fetched a little too hard. Tore up his feet on gravel, poor baby!

 

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“I waz just testing the paint, Mom. Iz promises.”

 

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Have you ever felt like one of your pets was your bff?

 

[W]IT GIRL

lessons learned · love · mental health · reflection · Uncategorized · values · Wellness · womanhood

Introversion is not a Problem, Disorder, or Loss. (It IS a cool way of thinking, creating, deciding, and existing!)

Happy Hump Day!

So today I am doing something a little different. I’ve done plenty of reflection on the blog, but today, I won’t lie… This is a slightly raw topic for me; however, I feel particularly compelled to write about this topic due to recent circumstances.

At the beginning of this year,  I accepted a change in position at work. I’ve gone to sit at a customer site. The exciting thing about this move is that I am a contractor for the Public Affairs Office (PAO) of a government entity. The PAO is sort of a dream for me, as I have a technical background but thrive in creative environments. This position allows me to strike balance between the technical and creative aspects of my personality, all the while supporting a great organization.

The PAO has a vibe like no other. It is almost always buzzing with excitement of upcoming events and projects. Most of the office is staffed with other contractors from my company and some wonderful government folks, so I really enjoy my team.

One of the first things I noticed as I met people in the building where I sit is that almost everyone has a sign indicating their Myers-Briggs personality visible at their cube or desk. For those of you that don’t know, Myers-Briggs can be googled for an amazing personality quiz. 

The system breaks all personalities into 16 different types. I first took this quiz years ago, and my results were dead on! The quiz shares celebrities and fictional characters who share your personality type, and also describes how different personality traits interact. This interaction guide can be really useful for learning how to work and successfully interact with different personality types!
One of the first questions I received from my team on my first day at my new duty station is what personality type I fall under. Without thinking, I responded “The Defender.” Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging. ISFJ. 

ISFJs are true altruists, meeting kindness with kindness-in-excess and engaging the work and people they believe in with enthusiasm and generosity. -16personalities.com

I did not expect a reaction beyond “Oh, cool!” to my response.

Instead, I received: “What? An introvert?” “We have an introvert among us!” “Um, I’m going to need you to retake the quiz. That can’t be right.”

I hadn’t even realized that everyone else’s signs started with the letter “E.” These reactions stung initially, but that’s not a new storyline in my book.

While I am a quite social person, and I am able to converse and enjoy interacting with people, there is no mistaking that I am an introvert. I’ve always struggled with a seemingly imaginary social problem, but in reality it is not a problem. It is who I am. I am introverted.

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As an adult looking back, I now see that a large portion of  my feeling inadequate throughout childhood into young adulthood can be attributed to introversion. I have always had a strong sense of self. I know what I want. I know what I like. I know my values. The problem is always that my sense of self typical does not correspond with social perceptions of myself. Internally, I chalked this up to me not being enough of…some thing. Of some item valued socially. I chalked it up to my being lacking.

My mother sometimes talks about how as a child I always strove to be like others, to follow norms, and how I always seemed ashamed of how I was or what I had.  Even though I see things with more clarity now, these feelings still flood my plains of thinking occasionally. 

One of my biggest continuous internal areas for improvement is acceptance. It’s normal to want to fit in, and to be valued within a group of people. However, I’ve decided that fitting in and being valued are not worth it if these are occurring for less than the fullest version of my being. While I may not experience these two feelings, I think that it is time to start paving the way for future acceptance of introversion.

I try not to get too down on myself for feeling like my personality type is a problem because as few as seven years ago, experts in the field were considering introversion a disorder according to this Huffington Post article.

That’s right–experts RECENTLY viewed having an introverted personality a disorder. This is pretty messed up. Like majorly messed up. But hey, now is as good a time as any to start the dialogue about the importance of introverts in societal systems.

Thankfully, leaders such as Susan Cain have started platforms to inform and educate people on not only what it means to be introverted, but how and why these individuals are important to a functioning society. Cain’s platform is called Quiet Revolution, and you may recognize her from TED Talks, where she delivers a presentation on celebrating the power of introverts. I get chills every time I listen to her talk because it hits so close to home.

Introversion isn’t a disorder, nor is it a lack of competence in social situations. Introversion is truly a difference in where an individual draws her or his energy. Introverts find power, answers, and energy from within; whereas, extroverts draw theirs from external environments.

For example, I love spending time with people! I love being a friend. I enjoy working on a team. However, naturally I am in my head. I plan, create, and execute all things in my head before I vocalize them when left to my organic devices. 

While I love collaborative efforts, I am most comfortable presenting what it is that I bring to the table after I’ve prepared, and I also need time to recollect afterwards. I used to mistake some of this nature as self consciousness, but now I understand that this is part of my introverted nature. I thrive most when I am go through processes internally and personally versus candidly. 

I guess this is my feeble call to action: quit buying into the idea that whomever is loudest is the best or right. Extroverts, I challenge you to look at your workplace, your home, your group of friends. I challenge you to tune into the introvert in one of these places. Seek what they have to say. Study them. Embrace them.

Introverts, I challenge you to accept yourself. Accept who you are. The way you are, and let your work speak for you, rather than forcing yourself to raise your voice!

I hate feeling like I am less than enough, and I hate even more the idea that a lot perfectly talented, intelligent people do at times all because they aren’t loud or as outgoing as an extrovert. 

What is really crazy to me is that according to my Myers-Briggs results, ISFJ is not an uncommon personality type. It reported a statistic higher than 10% of our population (presumably speaking about the United States) shares my type! It’s time to change how we perceive those that draw from within for energy and inspiration.  

What is a time people have viewed one of your personality traits as a disadvantage? How did you disprove them?

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“So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multi-tasking, stick to your guns. Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way.”
― Susan CainQuiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

 

[W]IT GIRL

animals · dog · fashion · Fashion · Fashion & Beauty · ootd · physical health · scheduling · Style · Uncategorized · Wellness · what I wore

Bunny Chasin’, Tongue Scrapin’, and GRATITUDE

Good morning, y’all! I’m sippin’ on coffee #2 in hopes it helps my body vaguely remember what is a routine.

I listen to this podcast called The Ultimate Health Podcast on a regular basis (highly recommend!) and the hosts ask every guest about his or her morning routine. There is a lot of research behind the habits of successful people, and something they tend to have in common is a set morning routine or ritual. The Ultimate Health Podcast are not the only ones onto morning routines–I see a lot of articles addressing this topic on my favorite website, The Everygirl, as well.

Prior to the wedding and holiday season, I got into a few consistent morning habits. In honor of today being my first day of work this year, I decided to make the most of my morning.

I got up bright and early and took the doggos for a walk. They enjoyed fresh air and chasing bunnies. We managed to only splash through a couple of puddles.

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Bunny?!
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Wut where?!
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Hungry muffins post bunny hunt

After I got the muffins back, mud off their paws, and food in their bowls, I drank a whole 8 oz. of water before I brewed my cup of joe. That’s right. I wasn’t joking when I said I made the most of the morning. (I frikkin hate water first thing in the morning, but it’s 2017 gosh darnit.)

Before I let the first sip of caffeine run down my throat and touch my soul, I scraped my tongue. You may be thinking you read that wrong. But you didn’t. At the beginning of fall I purched an Ayurvedic tongue scraper. Believe it or not, tongue scraping is a hot topic on The Ultimate Health Podcast. 

The thought behind the practice is that when you scrape off the white film that forms on your tongue over night, you reduce bacteria in the mouth and stimulate your digestive system, thus waking up the body.

After I finished getting ready for the day, I logged my 5 points of gratitude. I got into this habit last year. Every morning I jot down 5 things for which I am grateful. I try to make these items specific. Some people do a similar practice before bed each evening; however, I am more successful at consistency if I do this in the morning, and it helps me form a positive mindset each day.

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What about you? Do you have any morning rituals?

 

Shop my outfit of the day:

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Shirt is less than $15 if you use code SHOPCREW

Pants are on sale for less than $30

[W]IT GIRL

travel · Uncategorized

Bama Belle in the Big Peach

The weekend before last, Benny and I took a mini getaway, and it was just the greatest. I had a training session in Atlanta on that Saturday, so we decided to make a weekend out of it.

We flew Benny’s mom to Atlanta from Miami as a late Mother’s Day surprise. After work Friday, we headed to A-town, picked his mom up from the airport, and enjoyed a weekend of different sites.

While I was in training for most of the day Saturday, Benny took his mom to the zoo. I always loved the Atlanta Zoo when I was younger, so I told them they just had to go see the pandas while I was training! It was great weather, and I think they really enjoyed it.

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They also went to this precious café in the municipal market called Arepa Mia. They said that the arepas were authentic Venezuelan-style. Benny tried to take me on Sunday to get lunch, but they were closed, so I missed out on the Venezuelan fare.

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For dinner Saturday night, we went to a restaurant called Cooks & Soldiers. It is a Spanish tapas-style restaurant that has received a lot of recognition in the last year from multiple sources such as the Huffington Post, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal.

The plates are small and meant for sampling, so the three of us ended up ordering 6 different tapas. We tried Gambas y Pulpo, Pan con Tomate-Jamon Iberico, Patatas, Croquetas de Jamon, Bikini, and Chistorra in a Blanket. They were all so delicious. I think my favorite was the Pan con Tomate—a traditional favorite. We did not try any of their wine; however, almost all of it was imported from Spain, and I definitely look forward to sampling some Spanish wine next time around. I would definitely recommend Cooks & Soldiers if you find yourself in the Atlanta area wanting a new palate experience.

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Pan con Tomate-Jamon Iberico and Gambas y Pulpo

 

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Chistorra in a Blanket and Patatas

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Benny took his mom to the airport early Sunday morning, and then the two of us took our time getting ourselves packed up in the morning. Upon discovering that Arepa Mia is closed on Sundays, I took Benny to the good ole Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in, which opened in 1928. After a greasy American feast, we headed over to the World of Coca-Cola.

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I grew up going to Atlanta regularly, and there are so many things I want to go back and do and show Benny. This was his first time to visit the Big Peach though, so I discussed the different attractions we could fit in before heading back, and he opted to visit the World of Coca-Cola, which was great news to me. I have fond memories of visiting as a kid, and I knew he’d have a blast.

This museum does a great job displaying the fascinating history of the best known soft drink, and is interactive fun for all ages. Of course some things never change, like the Taste Room being my favorite exhibit. The Taste Room divides drink dispensers according to continent and allows visitors to sample the different Coke products from around the world. My favorite is South America because most of the drinks are fruity. Venezuela was even featured for a Fuze Tea!

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Growing up, we always loved tricking parents, friends, or anyone really into sampling the Beverly from Italy. I had been telling Benny and telling him that he HAD to taste the Beverly as a rite of passage. He did not believe me until we got to Europe’s section, and there was a little sign over it with social media hashtags for snaps and pictures of people trying it. Pretty hilarious…and well, he tried it. I drank it with him. It never gets old seeing someone’s face the first time they try it, and it never tastes good.

We picked up a few souvenirs before heading back to Huntsville and picking up our puppy. Benny bought a Coca-Cola pint glass and a wall mount bottle opener; I got a precious Coca-Cola espresso mug. Needless to say, our weekend trip to Atlanta was so fun and relaxing. We both started the following week feeling uncharacteristically optimistic about it being a Monday. Sometimes you just have to change up the scenery!

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Next week I’ll be posting engagement photos, as well as a write up on our upcoming travels!

What are some of your favorite weekend get-aways?

 

[W]IT GIRL

engagement · organization · smile · Uncategorized · wedding

Saturday Smiles: Graduated & Engaged

Last weekend, Benny and I held a graduation/engagement party to celebrate our recent accomplishment and status. When Benny proposed in November, I knew that it would be a great idea to celebrate the two events after the holidays, as sort of a post New Year pick me up.

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An additional bonus to hosting it two months after Benny proposed and a month after we graduated is that it gave me time to purchase things as I found them (cuz bargains!), and I snagged a whole bunch of cute sparkly party items on sale after New Year’s Eve. This worked out great because we want our wedding to have lots of metallics, so we incorporated them into the party décor. I also used the gathering as an opportunity to pop the question to my bridal party, since I had them all in one spot! (How I asked my girls will be featured in its own post next week!)

Luckily, Benny’s house has a rather large open layout, so I played this up. I arranged the furniture in his living room into a sort of circle, so that guests could sit and openly talk. On the TV Benny created a slideshow of photos of us throughout our relationship, which was such a sweet detail! I created a playlist with a variety of songs—it had everything from Spice Girls to the White Stripes, which kept the party pumped. On the wall adjacent to the door, I hung pompoms and a banner that said “Soon To Be Benitez,” and added Chinese lanterns for a 3D affect.

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In the kitchen, I cleared Benny’s counter of appliances and centered a wedding plate and galvanized letter B around the cutest galvanized metal ice pail, which I used to keep champagne cold. I also placed cups and cute gold and white paper straws out for the champagne. Two of my besties arranged champagne jello shots they made with sparkly metallic sprinkles into a B on the counter as well, but they didn’t last long because they were SO yummy! Across from the counter, on the table, I placed a gold tablecloth and arranged galvanized metal trays (that match the ice pail!) out for finger foods and tied it all together with some pink tulips. Unfortunately, I didn’t capture the table prior to it becoming a wreck. However, I have photographed the metal serving tray set because it is too precious!

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Outside of the restroom, I covered a chest in another gold plastic tablecloth and set up this amazing smelling handmade candle and a mini notepad. The candle made the whole house smell good, and I received compliments on it all night. The notepad was there for guests to write down their mailing addresses and e-mail addresses, so that Benny and I can have these handy for when send out our save the dates and a link to our wedding website.

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In the spare room, I set up a photo booth. It was the highlight of the evening, and I am so glad I did because the pictures captured are truly priceless! I hung a blue metallic fringe door cover on the wall for guests to take photos in front of. Across from the backdrop, I placed a mirror, the cutest pail full of photo booth props, and a customized Instagram cut out made just for the party. I set up my camera on its tripod, so people would not just take photos on their personal phones and cameras. Seriously, this was a genius idea because now I have the best photo album ever of people being silly.

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I should also mention here that I ordered a set of balloons that had eight white and eight gold normal balloons and one large foil engagement ring balloon. I placed the balloons throughout the house, with the engagement ring balloon in the kitchen by the food. However, one of my girls had the great idea to cut it loose and take it to the photo booth room, and the result is too fun!

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Other details worth mentioning are that I arrange Benny’s bedroom to be a sort of coat check where guests could secure their jackets and purses. We set up a long table in the dining room for beer pong because every great party includes this all American pastime. (I chose cute blue Solo cups though!) Although it was cold, I knew some of our friends would opt to sit outside if given a chance, so Benny and I borrowed a fire pit and threw some colored lights and glow sticks in the backyard around it.

All in all, it was an amazing night! We had a great turn out, and seeing so many loved ones gathered made my heart warm. I can check off the perfect proposal and perfect engagement party off my list, which makes me look forward to what is to come!

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Get my party look:

Pompoms-Target

Banner (I got two sets of 10 flags, one in silver one in gold)-Target

Chinese lanterns-Target

Wedding Plate (seriously the cutest ever—I bought it on our anniversary)-Anthropologie, click HERE

Galvanized Metal B-Michaels

Paper straws (pack of 80)-Party City

Galvanized Metal trays and ice pail-Walmart

Gold tablecloths-Party City

Candle-Lulie Wallace, click HERE

Photobooth door fringe-Party City

Photo props pail-Target dollar section

Photobooth props (set of cut outs, team bride sash, and gigantic diamond ring)-Michael’s

Customized Instagram cutout-Etsy, click HERE

Balloons (set of plain gold & white with engagement ring; this did qualify for Prime)-Amazon, click HERE

My FIANCE top (I ordered a Large so that it would drape off of my shoulders)-Etsy, click HERE

What are some of your favorite ways to entertain?

 

[W]IT GIRL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Wednesday Wonderful: Back and Brighter Than Ever

Hello there, sweet friends. It has been some time, I know. Over the past couple of months I have received many inquiries about what happened to [W]IT GIRL, and long story short—[W]IT GIRL had to slow down in order to finish her last undergraduate semester, accept a job offer to begin her dream career, and say yes to her Prince Charming.

 

But fear not, I am back.

 

And because of my little hiatus, I have a ton of fresh content I want to share with you. You can expect the same charming style as before, but I have new perspectives, advice, and musings on college, the work force, and relationships. I am excited to finally have time to pursue my writing passion once more. I hope you are as excited to read my new posts as I have been to write them!

Here’s a sneak peak of what is to come!

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Feels good to be back.

 

[W]IT GIRL