Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Weekend Recap: Wedding Details

This weekend was so fun! Now that my sister has booked her wedding venue, the planning has officially started!

Friday Night:
Bethany and I enjoyed some time together, shopping and catching up on the Bachelorette (we're still behind, but we're getting there).

My day started in the best way possible! At breakfast, my sister officially asked me to be her Maid of Honor (in the cutest way possible). I don't know if you know this, but my sister is super artistic! She hand painted the outside of the box that she asked me with and it was beautiful! Inside, there was a sign that said "Will you be my maid of honor?" and a hand-painted a photo of the two of us. She also included some bridal stickers and a wedding planner notebook. I absolutely loved it and of course, said yes! From there, my family headed to do something very exciting: wedding dress shopping! My sister tried on some beautiful gowns (it's not hard since she's a stunner), but ultimately fell in love with one dress in particular. She looks so gorgeous in it and the dress is so "her." She couldn't have chosen a more perfect dress.

Saturday Night:
Bethany and I planned a sister-date night out to see Billy Currington. I've always wanted to see him, so when I found out he was performing at the Taste of Joliet, I immediately asked Bethany if she wanted to go. His music is some of my favorite, so naturally, I had a blast! Country concerts just scream summer to me, so spending the evening singing and dancing with my sister was the perfect summer night. 

Sunday was spent relaxing, sleeping in and watching some TV.

How was your weekend?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Best Things about Summer

It is officially summer! To be completely honest with you, summer is my least favorite season because I really hate the heat. I'm all about that 70 degree sunshine instead of the 90s with humidity. However, there are definitely some things I love! When there are days that seem too hot, I just stop and remind myself of some of the best parts of summer.

If you need a reminder, too, here's my list:

1. Sunsets in the summer are so beautiful - all the pinks and purples are gorgeous.

2. There's an excuse to rock bright nail polish colors.

3. There are tons of country concerts for me to get excited about.

4. Flip flops, all day everyday.

5. My Starbucks drink officially switches to the deliciousness that is iced lattes.

6. All of the amazing fruit that's in season, like blueberries, cantaloupe, and peaches.

7. The happy, carefree summer vacation vibe that everyone has.

8. There is always something fun to do on the weekends.

9. The Southern Magnolias' planner in me is so happy it's the middle of wedding season.

10. Everything is in bloom, making the outdoors that much more colorful.

11. I'm a pale chick, so the sunshine means freckles galore!

12. The summer breeze. It's warm, but cooling, and the perfect reprieve from the heat.

13. My favorite HGTV show, Brother vs Brother, is back.

14. My ultimate summer fave: fireworks. There are so many opportunities to see them! I've already seen them in Chicago this summer on a boat!

15. And of course, an adorable summer wardrobe.

What do you love most about summer?

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Gift Guide: Father's Day

With Father's Day just around the corner, it's time for a gift guide! When I created this list, I completely had my dad in mind, choosing some of his favorite things. His favorite cologne right now is Nautica; has more watches than any one person needs; loves to grill; is building a bar; and drinks coffee by the gallon. I hope some of my dad's favorite things inspire your Father's Day gift for your best guy.

For more favorites, look below.












What's your favorite gift idea for Dad?

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Bible Verses to Give you Peace

peace (pees) noun a state of tranquility or serenity

I think that God had me wait to look into this letter in my Alphabet Word Study until now. I've been experiencing a strange time in my life, with a lot of transitions and uncertainty. Trying to decide where to live and what I'd like my future to look like has been a winding road. I'm still figuring it all out, but looking through these verses, I have a sense of peace. I hope these verses bring you a feeling of peace, as well, and that the Lord calms your spirit.

Psalm 4:8 "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Proverbs 14:30 "A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones."

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you."

Isaiah 26:12 "Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us."

Micah 5:5 "And he will be the source of peace."

John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."

Romans 5:1 "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Romans 15:13 "I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit."

2 Corinthians 1:2 "May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace."

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

Philippians 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Jude 1:2 "May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love."

To read letters A-O in this Alphabet Word Study, click here.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday Shopping: Cold Shoulder Tops

I am having such a moment with cold shoulder tops - I'm just so in love with them. I find them super feminine. Some have ruffles, others have flowers, and all of them have beautiful necklines. They're easy to dress up or down and are always flattering. I just recently starting stock piling them (Marshall's has had some super cute ones lately) and even borrow my sister's on occasion. In fact, today I rocked the one she wore when she got engaged

Here are some of my favorites, all under $40! I may or may not end up ordering all of them. ;)

Blue Ruffles from Lulus

Black and White Stripes from Target

Crocheted Details from Francesca's

Delicate Flowers from Charming Charlie

Bright Coral from Charming Charlie

Dusty Rose from Charlotte Russe

Summer Yellow from Nordstrom

Long-Sleeve Lace from Express

Watercolor Flowers from Forever 21

Dip-dyed Chambray from Macy's

How are you wearing this fun trend?


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Why You Need a Day-of Wedding Coordinator

As a wedding professional, I'm often asked what every bride needs but rarely has. My answer?
Hire a day-of wedding coordinator.

A day-of coordinator starts working with the couple four to six weeks prior to the wedding day to help with logistics. His/her role is to ease the stress of the bride and groom during their last month of planning. She contacts vendors, goes over contracts, creates detailed timelines, double checks floor plans, runs the rehearsal, helps finish last-minute or forgotten details, and oversees everything on the wedding day. 

It really tends to vary. It can be anywhere from $600-1000 depending on where your wedding is located. Day-of coordinators tend to spend a minimum of 25 hours working on the wedding, so at the top end, it's about $40 an hour.

On the day of the wedding, there is so much that needs to be done. As the bride, you don't want to worry about all the little details or what could go wrong. You should only be focused on the promise that you're making and the joy that comes from that; there's no need to be stressed. From getting to the venue early to set up the decor, checking in with the wedding party to make sure everything's running smoothly, and handling any unforeseen circumstances, your day-of coordinator will help you have a worry-free day. It really allows you to just focus on the beauty of the day and soak it all in.

"Ainsley and Bethany were wonderful! They did the day-of coordination for our wedding and took so much stress off of me. They met with us twice beforehand, once to hear all the details and the next time to show us all of the schedules they created and extra information they gathered. They were in contact with all of our vendors, and on the day of the wedding, they arrived early to make sure everyone was set up and ready to go. They assisted with all of the final touches and stayed afterwards for the vendors to clear out so that we didn't have to." - Hannah Neiland, October 2016

To learn about Southern Magnolias' day-of coordination package, contact us here.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Tips for Feeling your Best at a New Job

Starting a new job can be nerve-racking! I would know - I started my new job today! What helped calm my nerves were some tips I found online. Throughout my trip in the blogosphere, there were a lot of recommendations - like bringing snacks or going to bed early. While these are solid ideas, they weren't the ones that stood out to me. What resonated with me were the ones that had to do with preparedness and confidence. If you're about to start a new job, here are some of my favorite tips.

"Until you know the company's culture and dress code, play it safe and wear business casual or professional clothing. As time progresses, you'll be able to add more of your personal style to your work wardrobe, but on day one, let your work make the greatest statement." - Real College Student of Atlanta

"Showing up early shows them that you are responsible and looking forward to your work there." - Simply Bumbling Along

"You think you'll remember everything and inevitably you'll end up either remembering wrong and getting called out on it or having to ask again. You don't want your boss to think you weren't listening the first time around." - Career Contessa

"Make sure to introduce yourself to every person you come across, and do your best to remember their name. You're going to be spending a lot of time with these people, and it's best to get started on the right foot." - Lauren Conrad

"Show up to work as the best version of yourself and let the rest work itself out. You're there because they saw something in you that they think meshes well with their office culture and goals, so let those aspects of your personality shine." - Fortune

What tips do you have for your first day at work?