May 22, 2017

Wedding Anniversary Gifts

Thanks to Mahi Leather for sponsoring this post!
The summer is just about here which means a big date in my life is coming up! This July my husband and I will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary. This first year has been amazing, eventful, trying (life ain't always easy, amiright?), yet better than I ever could have imagined. As the date of our anniversary draws closer it's time to to start thinking about anniversary gifts!
Each year of marriage has a traditional gift to correspond with the year. Many people are familiar with the 20th china anniversary, 50th gold anniversary, or the 60th diamond anniversary, but today I want to focus on just the first three (baby steps... I'm not even sure what I'll be eating for lunch tomorrow so I definitely am not thinking about a 60th anniversary gift just yet!). This first year is paper, next year is cotton, and the third wedding anniversary gift is leather.

Year One: Paper

The gift of paper has a few symbolic meanings. It can be related to something that is thin and easily torn therefore needing care and attention (just like a fragile new marriage). It starts out blank but has room to fill in the blank space (just like life stories). It is simple, but there is room to grow.

Paper may not seem exciting at first, but I am honestly looking forward to this one! Throughout our entire relationship I have surprised my husband with handmade cards. Words mean a lot and having a physical reminder of how you were feeling in that specific moment is truly special. Personally I am a card saver; I have photo boxes of cards from my past and they are extremely valuable to me. I think of it this way- other gifts may be great, but by the time we reach our 50th or 60th anniversary, a handwritten card from our first anniversary will hold more meaning than nearly anything else (besides each other of course).

Year Two: Cotton

A cotton gift has a lot of possibilities! (Side note: I'm mostly saying this because I love clothes.) Beyond clothes, cotton gift ideas include a new luxurious cotton sheet set, towels, blankets (possibly even one personalized with a love note or the lyrics of your first dance), or new lingerie for a night in.

Cotton is both soft and strong, which is where a growing marriage should be- standing by each other with strength while having the softness of understanding. It is also flexible, symbolizing a marriage that can withstand the changes that occur during growth.

Year Three: Leather

The third anniversary, leather, has a lot of symbolism to it. Leather is all of the things that a marriage should be after three years. Leather is durable; with the correct care it can last for many years. It is both flexible and sturdy, it is soft but strong. Leather also provides protection. Throughout history it has been used as a covering to provide protection from the elements, just how a husband and wife should provide protection for each other from outside elements that may threaten to harm their marriage. As leather can act as a source of shelter, husband and wife after three years are shelter and comfort for each other.

A few different leather gift ideas include duffel bags, travel pouches, bag I.D. tags, passport covers (basically anything to go along with an anniversary trip!). One of my favorite places for leather goods is Mahi Leather. Not only are their leather gifts beautiful and customizable (I love anything that can be personalized!), they have a great mission- donating $1.50 from each purchase to FRANK water. FRANK water helps people gain access to clean water and has so far helped over 300,000 people!

(*This post is sponsored by Mahi Leather. Although the links are not affiliate links- I will not receive compensation if you click on the links- I am received a product compensation for mentioning them. As always, all opinions are my own!)

Anybody else have an anniversary coming up? Comment below and let me know what your gift ideas are!

February 27, 2017

Galentines Day 2017

“You know my code: hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses…Ovaries before brovaries.”

-Leslie Knope
**This post contains affiliate links. I may make a small commission if you click on the links and/or purchase through them. I promise I only post links from companies/products I love!

When I think of a perfect way to spend an evening I think of a few things- close friends, sweet treats, and lots of crafts! To be honest most days consist of crafting, so why would Galentines Day be any different? (The day before the party was also full of crafting to make most of the decorations!)

We had a variety of different crafts, but we collectively agreed that our favorites were the mini terrariums, and the Galentines Day tote bags!

The terrariums were simple! We had succulents, moss, sand or dirt, jars or vases, and ribbon. We also spray painted dinosaurs from the dollar store to add in a bit of fun decor. To make patterns in the sand I pushed the sand down with a toothpick.
The tote bags took a bit more time and patience but weren't difficult at all! I uploaded a graphic that a friend designed. In the Cricut Design Space website I uploaded the SVG file. I turned the knob to "iron-on", flipped the text to be a mirror image, loaded in the glitter iron-on sheet on the standard grip mat, and pressed go. After weeding out the excess, I flipped it over, placed it on the tote bag, and ironed it on. Once it cooled and I removed the plastic sheet it was all done!

Of course we also had wands (also spray painted from the dollar store), crowns, a mimosa bar, and chocolate shot glasses!

Other decor included flowers from M Floral Boutique, a photo wall made from crepe paper and a "love" balloon, and a DIY giraffe platter. The photo wall made such an impact and only cost a few dollars! I used about 4 rolls of crepe paper total. I taped them in an alternating pink/red pattern near the ceiling, twisted them, and taped the bottom. The giraffe platter started as a giraffe toy and two pink plates. One of my close friends came up with the idea after being inspired by another blog post. She spray painted the giraffe (if you can't tell, we LOVE gold spray paint), cut it in half, and hot glued it all together. 
To finish it all off, we had homemade sushi, chocolates, and cookies. Can't go wrong with that!
We had such a fun night of friends, food, crafts, karaoke, and girl power!
And on another completely unrelated (yet related to giraffes) note, is anyone else still waiting for April the giraffe to have her baby? I'd like to be able to sleep again. Come on girl!

February 22, 2017

Cats and Dogs

It's another rainy Los Angeles day. Another! There's been so much rain that it's slowly pulling us out of a terrible drought, which I'm thankful for, but there's a reason I don't live in a city like Seattle. Us Angelinos aren't quite sure what to do with ourselves with all of this wet stuff. I tend to hide inside all day with a cup of tea and a good book... but if I have to go out there are definitely a few necessities to make it a bit more bearable! I've put together a list of some of my favorite rainy day essentials below. (And seriously, how cute is that cat umbrella stand?!)

*This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link or buy a linked product, I may receive a commission- but I only post products I love and give my honest opinion!

February 20, 2017


Y'all should know by now that I LOVE weddings. (And also that I'm not from the south yet still say y'all?) It was so much fun to plan my own (stressful mostly), but still fun! It was a gorgeous sunny summer day this past July in gorgeous Malibu, CA. Being a DIY type of gal, I'll let you know what I found worked to DIY and when you should save yourself the stress and hire the pros.

  • Wedding Planner... 
I did not hire a wedding planner. I'm a major control freak and couldn't imagine leaving details up to anyone other than myself. Ultimately, I think it would've been an extra stress for me but for others this one would be a lifesaver!
Go with your gut! If you need help organizing, hire a wedding planner. If you're a control freak like me then do it all yourself. This one is best left up to your own judgment. 

  • Invites...
This one was a no brainer for me! I loved making my own invites. It was super labor intensive, but I planned ahead for this one (and had a great friend foiling and embossing invites with me for about 5 hours straight). Same friend is also a graphic designer and designed the print part of my invites, but there are tons of free templates on the internet.
If you're crafty and have lots of time and patience, go for it!

  • Wedding Photographer and Videographer...
If you care about memories at all, hire a professional. Do all of your research, make sure their style meshes with yours, ask lots of questions, and make sure they have tons of wedding experience. An experienced pro will not only provide you with lasting memories, but also make the day run extra smooth! If you don't care about memories or photo/video quality, I guess it wouldn't be as important to you. It's all about personal priorities. (My photos were done by Terina Matthews)
There's a small chance that you'll regret spending a bit extra, but there's a definite chance that you'll regret awful photos. Don't shoulda/coulda/woulda with this one! This is the one thing that you'll have forever from your special day. 

  • Catering...
Most venues require hiring a caterer on their list. It's often one of the biggest expenses, but it's so worth it! This is one thing that you don't need to mess with on your big day. Hire the pros and go sip a mimosa (I sure did)!
Definitely go with the pros; your guests will thank you!

  • Hair and Makeup...
Originally I was going to do my own hair and makeup. My MOH insisted that I hire a makeup artist and ended up getting one for me as a wedding present (thanks girl!). I was so flustered on the day that I would have never been able to do my makeup. Like at all. I did end up doing my own hair (this is one thing that calms me and I know that I can do consistently, so I was confident in doing my own) and one of my bridesmaid touched up my curls.
Makeup should be a splurge! Keep on sipping on that mimosa and stop stressing for that short time that you're in the chair! 

  • Flowers...
Ok, so this one was another control freak thing for me. I have my own floral design company (M Floral Boutique) and I know how much time and effort flowers actually take. It's a messy job that can take up to 36 hours straight! Because I had so many unexpected hiccups in the days prior to my wedding, I was up until 1 am the night before finishing my flowers. I even made my bridesmaids make their own bouquets! I could have been relaxing (and sipping on more mimosas of course) but instead I was living my own control freak life. I don't regret it, but I at least knew what I was getting myself into.
The verdict, DON'T DIY THE FLOWERS! Unless you have many extra hours, tons of help, and a bunch of experience, leave this one to the pros! Simple arrangements of hardy flowers are totally ok, but don't expect to be wiring a cascade bouquet with no floral knowledge. 

  • Set-up and Day of Coordinating...

This is one that I wished I didn't do myself. I know, I know... control freak. Looking back I wish that I just got dressed and ready on the day and had no other worries than saying "I do". My bridesmaid would've really thanked me if I didn't have them ironing tablecloths and finding the proper cake plates. Sorry ladies! Literally I was THE hot mess express. I'm also pretty sure that the makeup artist thought I was certifiable insane since I was running around yelling at random things (like a dahlia that died overnight in my bridal bouquet... see the previous point on "flowers"). All worked out and everything got done, but a LOT of stress could've been saved if there was someone there to set everything up and make sure everything and everyone was in the right place at the right time.
SO... if you like stress, take on this role. If you would like to have a happy and relaxed wedding day, let someone else take care of it! 

  • Overall...
Whatever you think you're capable of doing yourself, cut it in half. You won't remember all of the tiny details (mostly because you won't even have time because MAN weddings go by fast!) but you will remember the stress. If you can't afford to hire someone for something, maybe it's best to leave it out or go with a simplified version. Don't be afraid to ask for help; it's your big day after all!
Overall I got married! We both said "I do" and had the time of our lives, and THAT'S what's most important!

Dress: David's Bridal
Photographer: Terina Matthews
Catering: Stonefire Grill
Cake: SusieCakes
Shoes: Blue by Betsey Johnson

February 15, 2017

Foil Prints (and Free Printable!)

I'm a DIY-er by nature so wedding planning was a time of crafting (and crafting, and more crafting). I decided the best way to go about invitations was to make them when I stumbled upon a few different tutorials on how to add foil to paper and figured it didn't look too hard.

Well guess what... it isn't!

The hardest part for me was setting up the printer. I still don't think it's connected to the internet, and that's the main feature of the printer itself... but I digress.

The first step was ordering the supplies. I needed...
1. Laser Printer (NOT inkjet... it must be toner based)
2. Laminator
3. Toner Reactive Foil
4. Paper

Next I had to choose or make a design and print it on the laser printer...
The possibilities are endless! Just remember that wherever there is toner ink, the foil will stick. You want something that has positive and negative space- not a gray scale black and white photo. 

Try it out and share the results! I'd love to see your projects :)