I’ve loved being able to decorate for a holiday for the first time in our new house! I’m a big fan of black and white when it comes to decorating for Halloween. I also only buy the Fairy Tale pumpkins at Trader Joe’s, and those usually last me through for my Thanksgiving decor too.
This year I found a really affordable spiderweb I added to our front porch. I secured the web with these command hooks. I wrapped these oversized spiders to the poles and its such a fun festive look against our white house. I added some mums to match our front door and planted some pampas grass in my planters that will last through to Thanksgiving as well. I added all the links for my decor below!
MY FAVORITE WAYS TO ADD HOLIDAY STYLE TO A CLASSIC LITTLE BLACK DRESS
Here is the thing that makes a good LBD so special- if you find the right one thatfits you like a glove, you can rewear this dress to parties and events all year long with a few with just a few styling changes.
With holiday parties in full swing, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite tips for perfecting a holiday party look. I love a little black dress. I feel like they are my secret weapon for a chic party look! I found this one a few weeks ago at Nordstrom and I’m really in love with the fit, cut, and fabric of this dress. Nordstrom has a handful of really beautiful little black dresses at great price points right now, I linked to my top favorites below.
By starting with a really classic dress as your base, bring in shine and sparkly with your accessories. I found so many great options to style a black dress at Nordstrom right now. I listed my favorite options all at good price points (most of them are under $50). And if you are struggling to find a gift for your friend who has everything, chances are she already has a good LBD in her closet, so these velvet ball hoops would make a great gift for her to pair with it (and under $30 too!).
Have you tried this Nordstrom service?
And when it comes to last minute holiday shopping, I have started utilizing Nordstrom’s pay and pickup service – it is a life saver! Just pay for your item online, and select “pick up”. Within just a few hours you will get a text letting you know your order is ready. Pull up, shoot them a text, and someone will deliver your item to your car! I used this just last week and had a car full of sleepy boys in PJ’s and it was so convenient. I love that Nordstrom always has the customer experience in mind.
I truly love this little black dress. The fabric is a poly/spandex blend so it’s more luxe than a knit but still has a stretch to it. It isn’t maternity, but the side ruching is flattering with or without a bump! And the high neck is really chic. It’s such a great buy for under $80 and I love that I can wear it after baby too!
If you wanted to opt for a low pony, thest bow scrunchies are so cute and you get 2 for only $15
If you don’t want a super high heel for your event, these leopard slides are a great option.
I mailed off our Christmas cards yesterday and it felt so good to get that checked off my list. I’m really feeling a pop of red this year (which is a little unusual for me) so I decided to run with it for our Christmas cards. I fell in love with this dress from my holiday dresses post (which is unfortunately sold out), and tailored the boys outfits around a red/black/grey/tartan theme. The best part for the boys outfits is that I literally laid down before my 26 minute nap one day and ordered them on my phone from my Target app. I narrowed it down to what was in stock in my local target, selected all my kids sizes and it was ready for my to drive up and pick up 2 hours later.
– SHOP THE POST –
I made our holiday cards this year with Minted. I’ve trusted them for multiple years with our cards and they offer such classy and chic designs on high quality paper. They just announced that they extended their Cyber Monday sale through today, so you can still get 25% off your holiday cars (with code: CM2019)and free shipping. There is still plenty of time to get your cards mailed out!
So our holiday card was extra special this year. Not only are we having a new baby, but we have another really big change happening that we have been keeping quiet over the last few months….
We are building a house!! I’m being totally honest…I never ever thought I would say those words. Living in California has kind of made me immune to that idea. But the other half of this announcement is that we aren’t building a house in California. We are building a house in Charlottesville, Virginia! If you can’t believe that, I am right there with you! I can’t believe it either!
I knew there was going to need to be a move..
For the past year or so I’ve known that Pasadena isn’t going to be our forever home. It breaks my heart a bit because we love it here. However there are just some factors to city living that make it a little tricky to raise a growing family. I had no idea where we would purchase our first home though. We always figured it would be somewhere in Southern California, so we’ve kept our eyes peeled (and Realtor.com apps open). We’ve driven to cities that we thought might be a good fit, but we never got that feeling like we were where our family was supposed to be.
A little over a year ago, Garrett started working with a firm in Charlottesville. He visited the firm last year and couldn’t stop talking about how amazing Charlottesville was. I just rolled my eyes and told him to keep dreaming. There was no way I was moving across the country.
For months and months I prayed about where our family needed to be, and one day I decided that I needed to see Charlottesville for myself. Garrett was already heading out there for work so I told him if we were really serious about finding the right place for our family that I needed to give Charlottesville a true chance. I treated the trip as if we were going to move there. I knew I would have one shot to take in the city and see if this was actually something worth considering.
While we were there we toured the elementary schools, met with a realtor, checked out the city, went to church, etc. And almost the whole trip there I walked around with a lump in my throat. I just kept thinking “the boys would love it here”. I felt it deep in my bones. Charlottesville is beautiful. It’s a really great mixture of land and trees with a cute city charm. There is a downtown area that we fell in love with and I love that there is a University in town. It’s close to DC, New York, South Carolina, DISNEY WORLD…so many new places we can explore.
The actual sign..
Our realtor showed us a newer development where they are building homes and we drove around some of the lots. We pulled up to a lot in a cul de sac situated in the same location that our current home is in our current cul de sac. I looked at the street sign, and the street name was the exact same street name as our current street name. I mean…I’ve been praying for a sign, but this couldn’t have been a clearer answer!
As we flew home I kept quietly wiping away tears. They were mostly happy tears but also freak out tears. How do we tell the boys? How do we tell our family? Are we crazy? But anytime I thought about not moving and staying in California, my mind went blank and I felt fear and panic well up in my chest. It was like I couldn’t see the kind of future I envision for my family here. And I could vividly picture what life would be like for my family in Charlottesville.
After a few more weeks of trying to process everything, we decided that Charlottesville is the right place for our new home. It still doesn’t feel real, and probably won’t for some time! I will have the baby here in California in May and sometime in July make the big move! So until then I have lots of planning and designing and I am so excited. I’ve been working on plans and colors and designs for the new house and I’m really excited for a place I can make 100% my own! I can’t wait to share this crazy process with you all!
I think back to when Garrett and I were first married and all of the thought and design that went into the decor and design elements. Since our wedding I have welcomed any opportunity to throw a party with an awesome color scheme and tablescape, so today I’m partnering with Macy’s to share a spread that would be fall wedding worthy!
Since Thanksgiving is in the air, I wanted to keep in mind that this kind of setting would also work on a smaller scale for a Thanksgiving dinner. But take this tablescape, multiply it by a few dozen, and how gorgeous would a fall wedding set up look!?
Fall Wedding Place Settings:
There are a lot of different ways to add class and elegance to a wedding dinner table, but there are a few key pieces that really elevate the look and feel for your guests. I opted to keep the plates and cups clean and simple, and bring in more texture in the placemats and linens.
I usedLenox napkins from Macy’s in dove grey. These napkins are so gorgeous and I especially love the delicate white trim that brings a feminine touch. I ordered this same color scheme in around table linen as well because I love the color and texture so much!
I added a pop of glam with these goldChilewhich Pressed Dahlia Placemats. I can’t tell you how much I love these placemats. They are made from a pressed vinyl-coated polyester and are bendable and wipeable. They look so elegant and are so incredibly functional.
I love the idea of using these placemats for a fall wedding reception, but they would also make a fantastic wedding gift. For any brides out there, add these to your registry! I love that you don’t have to throw then in the wash after every use. Just wipe them up and you’re good to go!
A good color scheme for fall is crucial in delivering the right feel of the season. I’m not a big fan of orange and browns, so I brought in deep hues of burgundy, purple, and red. I mixed in lots of greenery as well which is an inexpensive way to make a centerpiece look extra full and dramatic. Eucalyptus and seeded eucalyptus are perfect fall greenery options. I added them all along the outsides of the arrangement to have the effect of the leaves pouring over the edge
*hint: I used three smaller clear vases to make the large flower centerpiece! I set them in a triangle on the round platter and filled them all individually.
Throw a small sprig of seeded eucalyptus in front of name cards! A simple touch that ties in the centerpieces with the place settings.
One last small idea to consider when planning a fall wedding menu is to throw in some Thanksgiving day favorite foods! How delicious and unique would it be to serve these comfort foods? I listed a few of my favorite Thanksgiving sides below for a little inspiration. I made a mini Thanksgiving dinner for Garrett’s birthday recently and these are some of my favorite tried and true recipes that would be classy and delicious to serve at a wedding.
Traditionally times this sweet potato casserole is made with marshmallows, but this recipe is more sophisticated and fit for a wedding! I love the blend of tangy green apples with orange juice, mixed with the sweetness of yams and brown sugar. This is sure to be a hit!
*tip: start boiling the sweet potatoes with cold water and work up to boiling – it will ensure for an even cook. Don’t overcook the potatoes, cook them until you can poke a fork through them but not soft enough to mash. Also, I always double the green apples because I think that provides a more balanced flavor mixture.
Ever since I got our chandelier for our dining room I’ve wanted to do something really fun with it for the holidays.
I love it so much and it is so unique and delicate, but I had the idea to add some fun pretty fall foliage to it and really make an impact. I’m also hosting a baby shower at the end of next month, so why not go for it and be able to enjoy it for the next few months!
I browsed through Pinterest for a bit of inspo and was really drawn to natural full feathers and pampas, and I wanted to add some depth with touches of burgundy and mauve. I am loving how it turned out.
I searched all over online for the right full faux plants. I found some pretty pamaps options, but they were really pricey and many of them shipped from China and took weeks for delivery. I did find these gorgeous ostrich feathers on amazon and I love the color and fullness they bring. They came in a pack of 24, so I just divided them up and hot glued them to a long dowel to create 2 big plumes.
I was walking through Target of all places a few weeks ago and found the most perfect faux flowers! I never thought to check Target but they were way better than any other places I had looked! (I linked all of the flowers below)
It was actually pretty simple to create the fall floral chandelier..
To create the chandelier I divided up all of the different flowers and decided how I wanted them arranged. Then, starting from the base of the chandelier, I gently slid the stems through. The stems were long enough to reach the other side so they stayed balanced and in place. I started at the bottom and did each side, rotating sides to even out the chandelier.
I know this technique wouldn’t work perfectly with all types of chandeliers, but I think it would be really pretty to create this effect with a large circular styrofoam (for a wreath, only bigger) or possibly zip tying or using flower wire to attach the flowers to the chandelier. I was very careful to keep all of the flowers under the lights so that they didn’t touch and weren’t at risk of getting hot or catching on fire.
If you create a similar fall chandelier I want to see it! Email me a pic or send me a DM!
HOW TO CREATE A CUSTOM FALL WREATH + ELI’S COSTUME REVEAL
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of eBay. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love changing out my front door wreath for the holidays. It’s a quick way to get in the holiday spirit and something fun you and your guests can enjoy! I used to have a fall wreath but over the years it got pretty banged up, so I decided to create a new one for this Halloween.
I didn’t love the pre-made wreaths I saw available online so I decided to create my own. I started my search at eBay! Did you know ebay has tons of great Halloween decor items? I was blown away by their selection.
To create my fall wreath I started with a simple green wreathfor my base. This gives you a really good starting point because it’s already filled with foliage, and I just get to add to it as I like.
Once you have your green wreath and the additional leaves you want to add, the process for creating your own custom wreath is simple:
Cut off sections of the leaves with a wire cutter. Make sure you leave a long enough stem on each section you cut off. (you can cut this all up at once if you like, but I like to cut it as I go)
Move the leaves on your wreath away to reveal the base of the wreath. Take the stem of the section you just cut and push it into the wreath base to secure it. You can also super glue the stem in, but I found that it was pretty secure just by pushing it into the wreath base.
Make sure the leaves that you are adding are going the same direction as the original leaves on the wreath so that the final look is cohesive. Continue cutting leaf sections and securing them into the wreath. Place sections on the inside and outer edge of the wreath as you go to give nice even coverage.
Once you have completed the entire wreath, go back and add in any extra leaves to sections that are a bit empty. I like the look of incorporating a larger number of fall leaves to my wreath for a bigger fall effect.
I found this cute bat garland on Ebay as well and it’s so cute! It was really inexpensive and I ordered 3 packs. I taped together 2 packs to make it all around my door, and used the third garland on my fireplace.
I can’t believe I found all the supplies I needed on ebay! I just typed in what I was looking for (ie: faux fall leaves), then filtered by 2 day shipping, and I had lots of great options to choose from.
NOW I get to reveal Eli’s Halloween costume with you! You guys, this year’s costume is going to be pretty obvious if you follow me on stories. Eli has a strong love for DJ Marshmello (he likes his dances, his music, and eating the food). He does his little Marshmello dance everywhere we go. I gave him a Marshmello mask for his birthday, but I wanted one that lit up for him to wear on Halloween so I can keep track of him easily while we are trick or treating.
This mask was so perfect. It was so inexpensive and the best part is it has a button attached to it that lights up the face with blue lights! You should have seen his face when I showed him. He is obsessed! This mask I grabbed on ebay made for the easiest, funniest costume!
As you start to decorate for Halloween, make sure you mark ebay as a shopping destination! They have all things Halloween at a great price points. I always filter by the “buy it now” and “2 day shipping” options and I’m really impressed with their selection.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend! Is it just me or was having the 4th on a Thursday the best ever?! It felt like a nice looong weekend and I absolutely loved it. On the Fourth we went to a breakfast with our church, a parade one town over that is small, cute, and perfect, and we swam and bbq’d with friends and family that afternoon. By the time 8pm rolled around I was completely exhausted, so we decided to skip fireworks this year. We’ve never missed fireworks, but my older boys said they didn’t mind. The problem was…Eli did. I was tucking him in bed and he kept asking me to see fireworks “so high up in the sky” and I felt awful! So I promised him we would go to a Dodger game in the next few weeks and watch the fireworks show after the game…that boy owns me!
On stories a few days ago I told you how excited I was about my Fourth of July outfit I ordered from Walmart, and here it is! You guys, I can’t get over it. I got my dress, denim jacket, striped sandals, toteandaviators from Walmart.com. They completely blew me away with all of the new clothing brands they offer (Sam Edelman, Ray-Ban, Lord & Taylor, + more) Not only did they have a great clothing selection, but I got free 2 day shipping with my order (any orders over $35 get free 2 day shipping + free returns).
Have any of you shopped at Walmart.com recently for clothing? I linked to my whole outfit below along with a few other cute pieces I found!
SHOP MY LOOK AND OTHER FAVORITE FINDS AT WALMART.COM
This year we took our family Christmas card pictures at Pasadena City Hall. I wanted this year to be shot in the city where we live, and City Hall is the most beautiful setting for pictures! (Its also right across the street from where we will be having The Monthly Dress Tour in Pasadena!)
We partnered with Minted this year for our cards and I am so happy with how they turn out! The colors and quality of printing with Minted is always top notch. Also, they have the very best card designs to pick from. I usually look for pretty simple card designs so that the image is the main focal point, and Minted had so many options to choose from that I loved.
With Christmas just a few days away and New Years around the corner, there are such pretty dresses available online! Today I rounded up my favorite holiday dresses that would be perfect for this holiday season…
In high school I worked for years at a party store. We were in charge of filling hundreds of balloon orders and helping with party decor and rentals. While working there I tied my fair share of bows! I learned how to tie the perfect bow, and I still use this trick today when I’m wrapping presents or tying bows on my wreaths.
It’s pretty simple! I’ve included the instructions below…
HOW TO TIE THE PERFECT BOW
Tie a knot and pull the right loop for the bow so it runs straight up and down (this is the trick!). Hold at the center with your right hand and loop the left ribbon around and through the hole to create a bow.
Make sure your ribbon lies flat as you cross it in front of your first loop. As you pull the second loop through the hole grab both loops and pull them together evenly and tightly.
From here you can adjust the size of the loops. This will allow for the ends of the bow to both hang straight down and the loops to go straight across at the top!
I promise once you get in the habit of making sure your first loop runs straight up and down it will be so easy to create the perfect bow each time!
I have a LOT more bows to tie on presents before Christmas!
HOW I PROMOTE A SPIRIT OF GIVING WITH MY KIDS DURING THE HOLIDAY
I asked Cash what he wanted most for Christmas last night as I was tucking him in bed. He said, “I just want for everyone to be happy and that we can all remember the true meaning of Christmas.” To which I responded, “I was thinking more along the lines of a toy…Santa really needs a final answer on this one”. I joke, I joke! I was blown away at such a candid and sincere response from a six year old.
As much as I love the presents and sweets and candy, I want to make sure my kids growing up remembering how they GAVE during the holidays more than what they GOT.
A few things we have been trying to incorporate in our various activities this month that have helped lead to more of a spirit of giving:
Ask them to name 3 things they are grateful for on the way to school.
I always love doing words of affirmation on the way to school, but lately we’ve been saying things we are thankful for and it feel so appropriate during the holiday season!
Let them pick out the gifts for their siblings.
It can be so tempting to grab sibling gifts for your kids while you’re trying to get all your shopping done, but it is so much more meaningful when Bradley is excited to give something to Cash that he picked out himself. Both my older boys wear a love ofAbercrombie Kids, so this is an easy gift choice for us because I know my boys will love it. Their clothing is so well made and lasts through wash after wash. This year I’m letting my older boys pick out something to give to each other from there. Around this time of year Abercrombie Kids has some killer sales on our favorite items like theirsuper soft jeans,long sleeve tees, andouterwear. I think it will be fun for them to see their sibling wearing something that they picked out!
Have them help you make something to give to someone.
Cash loves to help me cook. I’m not a baker, but I signed up to bring cookies to a holiday concert last week, so I forced myself to make a batch of homemade peanut butter cookies. (I make homemade cookies once a year, only at Christmas!) I had Cash help me measure the flower and scoop out the dough, and then I had him deliver the cookies at the event. He was so proud of those dang cookies! That probably means I should bake more often 😉
Simple acts of service.
I try to do one thing festive with the kids each day the month of December. This sounds overwhelming..but I keep it simple. We finish up homework early enough for a Christmas movie, make a paper countdown chain, read a Christmas story, etc. The other night we helped set up for our church Christmas party and that was one of my favorite things we have done so far! They got to see Garrett and I serving and they helped set up tables and chairs along with us. If you are donating toys for an organization, take your kids shopping with you and let them help! Bringing a meal to a friend? Let them help walk the food up to the door. Including them on acts of service that come along with this season makes for some of the best memories!
THE ONE THING I START WITH WHEN PLANNING FAMILY HOLIDAY PICTURES…
My outfit. And for all the Mommas out there, I suggest doing the same thing! Many times we spend forever planning out our kids outfits and are left scrambling to find something to wear. The thing is..I find that kids outfits are easily shaped and tweaked. But if I don’t wear something that I’m excited about it makes for a stressful family picture session.
This year I teamed up with Marks & Spencer to find some beautiful unique pieces that I think would be perfect to wear for family pictures. If you aren’t familiar with Marks and Spencer, they are a British clothing brand (with fabulous US shipping times). They are widely known for carrying well made pieces and add hundreds of new items to their site every week!
START YOUR LOOK WITH A KILLER STATEMENT PIECE.
When I am looking for my outfit for family pictures, I start by browsing for an item (like a top or a dress) that I’m initially drawn to. From there I add on neutral pieces that compliment it and develop a color scheme that I can carry into the rest of my family’s looks.
SPARKLE ALWAYS WORKS FOR A HOLIDAY LOOK
I can’t help but be drawn to some sparkle for any holiday look. And that was exactly the case for family pictures this year. I fell in love with this sequin pencil skirt. The neutral color palette makes it pretty easy to add other pieces and corresponding outfits.
I haven’t seen any other piece like this skirt before, which adds to the draw of shopping at Marks and Spencer! I love finding items that I haven’t seen anyone else wear before, and I found so many good gems at Marks and Spencer (like this blouse I’m obsessed with).
This navy sequin skirt also caught my eye as well. You can check out more of Marks and Spencer’s new holiday arrivals here.