Monday, November 17, 2014

Frightful

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t-shirt: Old Navy
jacket/blazer: thrifted
skinnies: Forever 21
flats: Target
necklace: gifted Kate Spade

That's right; the weather outside certainly is frightful. We got our first real snow of the season last night; now there's an inch or two of icy/slushy/powdery mix on the ground. Delightful (not). Get ready for these wonderfully lit outdoor alley shots (from last month) to disappear; it's time for me to make the switch to shooting indoors. Womp womppppp.

Also frightful this weekend was my intense anxiety level. I had probably the worst shopping experience of my life on Saturday, when I tried to buy a corset for under my wedding dress. Seriously guys, if you need a quick fix for hating yourself and your body, I highly recommend corset shopping for two hours. I apparently have weird proportions, so everything that fit around my stomach wound up giving me awkward and heartbreaking armpit fat, which apparently is a real thing. And everything that avoided the apparently-a-thing armpit fat was way too big in the stomach. I wound up buying a strapless bra and a stomach-only corset piece thing (kind of like this, only it goes from your bra line down to your hips, not from your waist down past your hips). They were way more than I wanted to spend, but I'll at least be able to wear both of them under other outfits. Plus, I now get to go up to my grandma's house and try on the dress again (I have to make sure the undergarments work, of course!) so it's not a total loss.

Then Saturday night, I had a host of wedding nightmares. Awful stress dreams about not having a dress at all (I walked down the aisle in a gray maxi dress and a cardigan), about being in the wrong venue, about the music not playing right during the ceremony...basically, everything was just wrong. Then I got a text from my sister; a fire on campus at our alma mater had destroyed the apartment I lived in my junior year. It was an attic studio apartment above a flower shop, and the entire attic just collapsed into the apartment below it. I was devastated; I had a lot of great memories in that apartment. Obviously the situation is so much worse for the students who are living there now; they lost everything they own. I'll be donating to the university's fund for them; if you have some extra cash lying around and want to do a little good with it, you can do the same here. Just select the "Ohio Parents and Family Endowment."

So between bad shopping experiences and dreams and sad news, my Sunday was shaping up to be a huge sulk-fest. But then I went to a meeting for a new project I'm working on and it honestly turned my entire day around. I left feeling excited, optimistic and refreshed. I don't want to go into too much detail on the project, because I'm honestly a little terrified that my contribution will be terrible, but if all goes well I'll divulge more in the spring.

Aaaaand that was my weekend. Here's hoping yours had more high points than low ones!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Class it up

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long-sleeve tee: LOFT via secondhand
skinnies: The Limited via Discount Fashion Warehouse
flats: Target
jacket: thrifted

I bought this top from a fellow blogger's closet sale back in May, and despite the fact that I've been wearing it constantly, it looks like this is the first time it's appearing on the blog! Shocking, if you ask me.

I've recently discovered that I have an affinity for sequined tops. I never cared for them much in the past, but lately I've realized just how easy they are to wear. I mean, not only can you forget about picking out jewelry, but the sequins add a bit of polish to any outfit. This same combo with a plain v-neck t-shirt, for example, might look almost frumpy. But with the sequins, this outfit will carry me from casual Friday at work to happy hour or date night with literally no changes. It can't get any simpler!

Do you have a go-to item or embellishment when you want to add class to an otherwise casual outfit?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Flashback and forward

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t-shirt: The Limited
maxi skirt: Target
sandals: BCBG via TJ Maxx
necklace: Cassiopeia by Corinne on Etsy

Howdy hey, folks! It looks like things might finally be slowing down for me. After eight photo shoots, two weddings, a few Halloween festivities, some much-appreciated family time and a killer cough that I'm still trying to recover from, I'm finally trying to get back into the blogging routine.

Fortunately, I've been making a point to shoot a couple of outfit photos here and there during my hiatus; this one is from early September, back when the weather was warm and sunny. I miss you already, summer. Buuuuut the past few days have been a little warmer, so I thought it wouldn't be too bizarre to post this before it's too late.

This necklace, by the way? My friend Corinne made it. I'm loving it lately and have been wearing it a lot...it just goes so well with everything! You should definitely check out Corinne's Etsy shop if you're looking for a cute, vintage-y new necklace or other jewelry.

Phew. I feel like getting back into the swing of just knocking out a post off the top of my head might be harder than I thought. Ah, well. Looks like you guys are stuck with some awkward banter for a while :) #storyofmylife

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Budgeting Bloggers: October

Taking a break from my break to share with you all my October clothes budget! I know you've been waiting on the edge of your seats for this and I wasn't about to let you all down. You may recall, because you read with rapt devotion, my saying that I wanted to try to only buy a pair or two of boots this month, without blowing my $100 budget. I'd say in that respect, this month was a mild success. See for yourselves:

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1. Merona "Morgan" boots via Target. I noticed that my black slouchy boots were seriously scuffed on the toes. As in, the toes were wearing through completely. I could have colored them in with marker, but I wanted a boot that a) wasn't slouchy and b) would keep my toes dry if it rained. Problem, solved. | $39.99 {exact}
2. Madden Girl Elsiee boots via Famous Footwear. My cognac slouchy boots were in even worse shape than my black ones. I realized that I wore my cognac boots more than any other pair last year, so I decided to invest in a nicer pair this year. These were a little more than I usually pay for boots, without taking up my whole month's budget. | $69.99 {exact}
3. Sunnies via Target. To replace the identical pair I've been wearing forever, including when riding Perdita the Scooter. The original pair has a lot of scratches, so they've been designated my official scootin' sunnies. | $13.49 {exact, but a different price for some reason}


Grand total with taxes: $133.16. Okay, so it's a tad overbudget. But considering what I got, I'm not at all disappointed :)

Disclaimer: I also bought a dress for my Halloween costume that I might be able to rewear, but I'm not counting it. Because Halloween.

How did you do on your budget this month?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

DIY: Our save-the-date magnets

Howdy folks! Taking a quick break from editing my friends' engagement photos to post a little DIY featuring our engagement photos! I knew I wanted to do a magnet save the date, both for the convenience of the recipients and frankly because it's just kinda cool. But when I researched prices from places like VistaPrint, it was just more than I wanted to pay. So when I found this tutorial for DIY save-the-date magnets, I was sold.

I have InDesign, so I figured doing the magnet layout wouldn't be too hard. I was wrong, or more accurately, I severely underestimated my perfectionism; it took me something like two weeks to design the dang thing. But once I finally settled on my fonts, graphics, photos and overall layout, I was ready to go.

I found a nice paper cutter and some 8.5-by-11-inch sheets of magnet with adhesive backing on Amazon, and found a nice semi-matte paper at Staples. I decided to print on 11 by 17 paper; fewer sheets meant more cutting but a lower cost. So once the sheets were printed, I had this:

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Then I just had to cut them in half, so each 11 by 17 sheet became two 8.5 by 11 sheets:

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Then I peeled the backing off of a magnet sheet and very carefully laid the sheet of save-the-dates on the adhesive side:

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That actually took a bit of trial and error, but luckily I thought to have extras, so ultimately there was no lost. Then, it was just a matter of cutting out the individual save-the-dates:

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Ta-da!

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This wasn't quite the end, though. The paper cutter was nice, but it wasn't exact. And to be honest, I was kind of hurrying to get them all done. So I tended to wind up with some imperfect edges:

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Soooo I just trimmed them by hand with scissors:

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And here they are! Just over 100 save-the-date magnets, all done in an afternoon!

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If anyone's wondering, I went with a "tying the knot" theme because Matt and I climb; that's our first climbing rope in the top photo. The shot on the side, with the two big columns, is the Ohio Statehouse — where he proposed :) And the shot in the bottom-right is us at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, which has the nicest faux-rock wall I've ever seen. Bonus: It's outside, and it's free to use! Oh and I apologize for the blurred line, but I didn't feel like advertising our wedding website — with details on the time and location of everything — in a public forum. #sorrynotsorry

Anyway, there you have it. Easy-peasy save-the-date magnets!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Jamberry Nails (aka my latest obsession)

Heyyyy folks...Long time no see! I'm still around and prepping for the insanity that is to come this month, but I thought I'd pop in real quick to shamelessly self-promote the online Jamberry party I'm hosting.

Some background: I first heard of Jamberry just last month, when my friend Kathryn hosted a party. I'll paraphrasing her sentiment on the matter, which I agree with wholeheartedly. Direct marketing sucks. It's a goofy thing and no one likes it. But Jamberry really is a cool product, which is why I'm schilling it here. Also, if just two more nail wraps are purchased before my party closes at 8 pm EST tonight, I get free stuff. So, full disclaimer there. I like free stuff.

So what is Jamberry? Basically, it's a nail wrap. A sticker thing you put on your nail. It lasts for up to two weeks (depending on how fast your nails grow). I'll admit, I was skeptical at first. Anything that claims to stay on your nails for two weeks typically tends to spend half the time on my nails. I have oily nail beds or something. Even a gel manicure didn't last longer than a few days for me! But these things, oh man. Jamberry nails really do last. My Jams typically last me 10 days, at which point my super-fast-growing nails make them look a bit silly. But in that 10 days? I rock climbed four times, one of them on real rock outdoors, and I saw nary a chip or peel.

These nail wraps really are that good.


The Jams I've bought so far, clockwise from top-left:
Vintage Chic, Sweet Nothing, Birds of a Feather, Midnight Celebration.

Other fun info you might like to know: Each sheet should get you two manicures AND two pedicures...unless you have crazy-big nails or something. They're non-toxic, vegan, and gluten-free. (So those with super-high gluten sensitivities won't be affected by them touching your skin/nails.) To apply: peel one off the plastic backing, stick a teeny edge of it on an orange stick or cuticle pusher, heat it over a hair dryer for a few seconds (like, five MAX), then just gently press it down onto your nail. You trim the excess with nail clippers or manicure scissors. To remove them: just soak a cotton ball in regular nail polish remover, soak it over the wrap for a few seconds, then use the orange stick/cuticle pusher to gently lift it off. Fun fact: You can also use coconut oil!

Bonus: If you buy three, you get one free!

If you're having trouble figuring out when the nails might look like on a real hand, you can search #(wrapname)jn on Instagram. Right now, I'm wearing Vintage Chic. So if you wanted to see my photo of that, and literally hundreds of others, you could search #vintagechicjn on Insta. (JN = Jamberry Nails, natch.)

Soooo if you want some sweet mani/pedis, head over to the site and select "Emma" at checkout


Just some of the Jams I want to get soon!
Top row: Icy Boysenberry Polka and Boysenberry Chevron; China Rose Tip and China Rose.
Middle row: Urban Lights and Gilded Leopard; Puppy Love and Bright Noise.
Bottom row: Flirty Flair, Glam, Pumpkin Spice.


The legal stuff: I was not paid for this post and it is not sponsored by Jamberry. I really, truly like the product. I hosted a party and wanted to get some extra sales so I could be eligible for freebies. Views and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aaaaand once again, I have to say...brb.

I'm really annoyed at how frequently these mini-hiatuses are popping up. But ever since I did a photo shoot of my friends' daughter, the requests have been coming in like mad from family and friends. Baby photos, family photos, engagement photos, maternity and newborn shoots...I'm starting to really branch out my photography from a little hobby to a potential part-time side gig. When a friend emailed me today to ask if I could do her and her fiancé's engagement photos in October, I looked at my calendar and was stunned to tell her I only had two days available!

So what with several photo shoots, editing said photos and working on my woefully neglected wedding crafts, I am going to scale back temporarily from 2-3 posts a week to probably just one. I thought about just shuttering this ol' thing altogether, but honestly, I don't want to miss out on the little community and bloggy friends I've made. Plus, the self-obsessed side of me wants to hang on until at least after the wedding...I'm sure I'll want to post nonstop about the big day after it's over and everyone I know IRL is sick of hearing about it ;)

TL;DR - You might be seeing less of me in the next few weeks, but I'm not going anywhere yet!

Also, I just want to take a second to send some much-deserved gratitude to Ally, without whose generosity my interest in photography would never have brought me to this point. Allycat, you are a wonderful friend and I owe you, big-time :)

Finally, if anyone's interested in checking out the photo shoots I've done recently, you can see them all over here.