Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014

As you know one of my goals is to do away with lists in 2014. My other goal is to not have to unbutton my pants after every meal. It's the little things in life.

While I may have worked hard in 2013, I completely neglected myself, which is why I am surrendering to my gym owners and participating in the Fit On Challenge - a nutrition and workout plan for the entire month of January.

So stock up on your fruits and veggies because the Fit On Challenge will be posted on the blog January 2nd. Let's be honest, we have to do it the 2nd because people will be hungover, traveling, or if you are me, both on New Year's Day. 

Join me in starting the new year off right. And with all of you keeping me accountable I will no longer be able to quit on Day 3. 

See you in the New Year everybody!






Monday, December 30, 2013

F#$% Lists







This year I have been inundated with lists. 

20 Ways You Can Tell You're Almost 30 - I can't remember my 20's. That's why they were so awesome.

30 Reasons You Love Your Dog more than Humans - Dogs can't talk. People can. Dead giveaway.

40 Pictures That Prove Miley is a Ho - What? She puts the Ho in Wholesome!

2013 has certainly been the year of The List. But lists are what got me into this mess in the first place. I'm such a planner and love to check things off. By the time I'm 25 I will have done this, and by the time I'm 30 I will have done that. 

But if there's one thing I've learned this year, it's that life isn't about making lists or checking things off. Life doesn't go as planned. All you can do is take each day for what it's worth and make the best of it. Not living for the next month or planning for the next year, but for being fully present in each day. 

I don't need to read a list of 20 Things That Will Make Me Happy, I just need to DO what makes me happy. 

So join me in my resolution for 2014 - when it comes to Lists - say F#$% em.







Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays


We attempted to take a Family Photo. This is the result. 

Wishing all of our followers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday - let's make it a good one!

xoxo
The Kelley's



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Giveaway Winners


 Kai Perfume Oil & Hand Creme 
1. I wore Kai on my wedding day and have worn it every day since! I'm constantly getting compliments on the scent, and now one of you can too. Their roll-on Perfume Oil is long lasting and their new Hand Creme is great for dry skin this winter season!
Winner: Janine Sharell

Waverly Necklace
2. Waverly Boutique in Manhattan Beach is my go-to place for vintage pieces and accessories. They constantly have the most unique necklaces and clothing that can't be found in your typical department stores. I always leave feeling I have something one-of-a-kind! One lucky follower will receive this necklace. And if you like this look, you can also snag some last minute gifts this holiday season at Waverly Boutique Online.
Winner: Erin Socha

 Restoration Hardware Throw 
3. By far the comfiest, warmest blanket there is! Ask any friend or family member of mine, because they've all gotten it from me as a gift at some point in time! Now one of you can own it in my favorite color - graphite!
Winner: Rachel S.
4. Ahh, Linea Pelle. The only purse I'll carry! This is Kyle's go-to gift for me, so I own one in about every color. My favorite style is the Dylan and now one of you can win their classic Dylan wallet. Seriously once you own an LP, you won't own anything else! And their 12 Days of Giveaways sale is going on right now which means now's your chance to own some Linea Pelle at a great price!
Winner: Heta Shah

 Kai Candles
5. Rounding out the Holiday Giveaway is something your entire house will enjoy - Kai Candles. They are the cleanest, freshest, yummiest scented candles out there. I love coming home to a house that smells like that! One of you will win both their Skylight and Nightlight candles.
Winner: Leslie

Thank you to all of you who participated and for the wonderful businesses who made it possible. Congrats to all of our winners! You will be receiving emails shortly regarding your addresses. 

Happy Holidays Guys - Thanks for all of your continued support!

xoxo


Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Giveaway


Kai Perfume Oil & Hand Creme 
1. I wore Kai on my wedding day and have worn it every day since! I'm constantly getting compliments on the scent, and now one of you can too. Their roll-on Perfume Oil is long lasting and their new Hand Creme is great for dry skin this winter season!
2. Waverly Boutique in Manhattan Beach is my go-to place for vintage pieces and accessories. They constantly have the most unique necklaces and clothing that can't be found in your typical department stores. I always leave feeling I have something one-of-a-kind! One lucky follower will receive this necklace. And if you like this look, you can also snag some last minute gifts this holiday season at Waverly Boutique Online

 Restoration Hardware Throw 
3. By far the comfiest, warmest blanket there is! Ask any friend or family member of mine, because they've all gotten it from me as a gift at some point in time! Now one of you can own it in my favorite color - graphite!
4. Ahh, Linea Pelle. The only purse I'll carry! This is Kyle's go-to gift for me, so I own one in about every color. My favorite style is the Dylan and now one of you can win their classic Dylan wallet. Seriously once you own an LP, you won't own anything else! And their 12 Days of Giveaways sale is going on right now which means now's your chance to own some Linea Pelle at a great price!

 Kai Candles
5. Rounding out the Holiday Giveaway is something your entire house will enjoy - Kai Candles. They are the cleanest, freshest, yummiest scented candles out there. I love coming home to a house that smells like that! One of you will win both their Skylight and Nightlight candles. 

Now here's the easy part. All you have to do is comment on this blog post below! 5 winners will then be randomly selected and receive one of my personal favorite gifts this holiday season!

Good Luck and Happy Holidays!

xo

This Giveaway has ended. Thanks for all who entered!


Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Glimpse at Christmas Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, while home for Thanksgiving, Kyle and I took Granny to breakfast at Bob Evans' (which is my jam by the way). 

She asked us when we were having kids, to which I replied, "Not for a while." 

Her response - "Well it better be soon, because as you can see, I'm not getting any younger."

I'm onto this woman's trickery.



Monday, December 9, 2013

Alison & Shane : ES Photo

Meet Alison & Shane. I am very proud to say that Alison is an I Guess I Do follower and says it's what helped her get through her planning process, which is why she was more than happy to share her I Guess I Do moments with all of you! The couple got married in one of my favorite places, Palos Verdes, and Alison also happens to have one of my favorite I Guess I Do moments, Un-Bridesmaiding her Bridesmaids. 

But what I love most about Alison is that she had the courage to trust her gut and plan the wedding she knew she always wanted. Enjoy Alison's story in her own words below!
...

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a planner. Why procrastinate if you can plan now? I’ve actually turned this neurosis into a career. I’m a financial planner and my title is literally “Advanced Planning Consultant.” So nothing made me happier than immediately following Shane’s proposal when he told me we had an appointment to see La Venta Inn the next day. The first words out of my mouth were “You made a plan?!”




We went to La Venta and both fell instantly in love with the venue. Not only was the view better than I remembered (from my high school cross country running days), but the old Spanish building and gardens were charming and relaxing. Now if there’s one thing I love more than planning, it’s a perfectly sunny day. It was already late December and if I was going to get a sunny September wedding date, we had to book right away! That’s when I made my first I Guess I Do mistake, we tentatively set a date one day into our engagement. This would have been fine if I hadn’t proceeded to tell friends and family to save the date.

Once I had the venue (and man) of my dreams, you’d think I’d be happy. Then why was I waking up in the middle of the night stressed and having occasional panic attacks during the day. Was I worried about the marriage commitment? Definitely not. I’m 31, more than ready. A few weeks post-engagement I went to my car on my lunch break to think. I just kept having flashbacks to hyperventilating before my bat mitzvah because there were too many people coming to see me. That’s when it hit me. Why was I throwing a large wedding? I hate being the center of attention and so does Shane. Also, being a financial planner I just couldn’t justify the outrageous costs.



I took a step back and asked myself what things will I regret not having at our wedding 30 years from now? I came up with a very short list:

1) Walk down the aisle and dance with my dad

2) First dance with my husband

3) Best friends and immediate family attend

4) Open bar

5) La Venta 




So I called my fiancĂ© and asked if we could have a smaller wedding. He said, “that’s what I wanted in the first place.” I then figured out with La Venta that we could still book it with a smaller group if we did the 11AM – 3PM spot. Since the wedding needed to be on Sunday since my Jewish parents insisted on it, I thought it worked out nicely. A mellow Sunday affair.  

We had some trade-offs with the mid-day wedding. One good trade-off, was switching from a DJ to my favorite local acoustic guitarist, Paul Lemire. This was more our style anyways. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of “You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon. Then there was the not so pleasant task of telling a small number of close friends that they no longer needed to save the date. The true friends understood (so I think).




The biggest decision I made was to un-bridesmaid my bridesmaids. I love my best friends, but the thought of getting eight of them ready by 11AM was unnerving. Here’s how that conversation went. “So the good news is you’re still invited to the wedding and you don’t have to buy an expensive bridesmaids dress. The bad news is no more wedding party”. My best friends have known me for years and already know that I’m crazy, so nothing I do shocks them.

However, I can always count on my younger sister to give me brutally honest feedback. Her response: “What? No bridesmaid dresses, no DJ, no Photobooth. 11AM on a Sunday! OMG, your wedding is going to be so lame. (Sigh) Well at least when I get married in a few years, my wedding will be super fun in comparison.” 

So now that the smaller wedding was set, did my panic attacks go away? Yes. Did I still have I Guess I Do moments along the way? Of course I did. I still obsessed over flower girl halos, wedding shoes, changing the back of my dress from corset to zipper & buttons, etc, etc. Shane actually gave me a thirty minute time limit on weeknights and from 4-6PM on Sundays when I was allowed to discuss wedding details with him. There was a Sunday reminder in his smartphone. Trust me, this was for both of our sanities.

The month before the wedding I actually had very little to do since I’d planned every detail so far in advance. This just freed up my time to obsess about the weather. The one thing mostly out of my control. I had researched that September historically was the least foggy month in Palos Verdes.



The morning of the wedding it was perfectly sunny which is rare by the beach. I was so happy about the weather, I honestly didn’t care about much else. Did I notice minor problems with the cake, flowers, and music? Of course, I’m a perfectionist. However, I didn’t care anymore. It was a beautiful day and most importantly, I was able to talk with each of our guests individually. My favorite decision we made was for Shane to give a thank you toast in the courtyard at the end of the event. Rather than making a grand exit after Shane’s toast, we personally said goodbye to each guest before they left. It was a fabulous day with no regrets. Almost worth all of the planning. 






Monday, December 2, 2013

Aruna Seth Shoes

Meet Aruna Seth. Remember that name my friends, and snag a pair of her shoes right now, because she is about to become the next "Must Have" shoe line in the States. Mark my word!

For my wedding, I decided to buy some fancy shoes, the red bottomed kind. Yes they looked killer, but they also killed my feet. I spent a lot of money only to kick them off and go barefoot as soon as I got to the reception. 

So when I met Aruna Seth in New York during Bridal Fashion Week, it was her designs that first caught my eye. But then she made me try a pair on, and I'm not lying when I say they were the most comfortable heels I have ever put on. Coming from a girl whose wide feet only seem to fit into flip flops - that's saying a lot!

Pippa Middleton chose to wear Aruna Seth Shoes to her sister's big day, the Royal Wedding, now find out why you should too!








As you can see, Aruna's shoes can be worn to any event - cocktail, casual, or occasion. And if your significant other is struggling for gift ideas this holiday season, then pass along this blog post. (Trust me I know how that goes, I once received a bottle of JLO Glow. I now send along hints. It's best for the both of us.)

And check out more of Aruna's Designs at www.arunaseth.com  They would make a great investment to your bridal attire, because not only will you be able to wear them again, but wear them the entire night! 

Be sure to show Aruna some love on Facebook and stay up to date with the latest collections, trends, and sales at @ArunaSeth on Twitter.




Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ahh Thanksgiving - my favorite holiday of the year. The cold Ohio weather. The smell of my mom's homemade stuffing. The sound of the door bell ringing as my crazy Italian family enters the house. Nothing makes me happier. 

While this year may have been a bit of a doozy, leaving me exhausted and in need of a drink with the Ten Club (as you can see above, it involves wine), I am thankful for it all.

Because if there's one thing I've learned this year, it's that life isn't about the job you have, or where you call home, it's about the people you have in it...

Have a great Thanksgiving everybody!

xx

Monday, November 25, 2013

American Music Awards

Happy Monday! Weren't sure if you tuned in last night, but below are my picks for the Best & Worst Dressed of the American Music Awards. 





Best Dressed: Taylor Swift. Usually I think she acts too young and dresses too old but last night she nailed it. The perfect mix of sexy and sophisticated. Way to go T-Swizzle.

Best Dressed Runner-Up: Kesha. No, that's not a typo. I didn't recognize her either. That's why she's on my best dressed list.

Worst Dressed: R. Kelly. Glad to see you out and about, but you're wearing a skirt.

Worst Dressed Runner-Up: Chili from TLC. Lord knows how many times I listened to your Crazy Sexy Cool CD on my boombox, while choreographing dances to it in my living room, but even though I love you, I cannot condone this.





Thursday, November 21, 2013

From the Groom: Sports Talk



You may not think that flowers, wedding bells, and sports go hand in hand but fellas let me tell ya, they do.

First off, it's your duty as the groom to take every major sports schedule into consideration when picking the date of your wedding. Your friends are relying on you. While your fiance may be concerned about the weather, you better be concerned that Ohio State isn't playing Michigan that day.

Otherwise your guests will all be glued to their smartphones watching the game or checking the scores, if they are even in attendance at all. Luckily for us, the Buckeyes played early so our guests were able to enjoy both the game and our celebration.

On top of that, she thought I agreed on the reception site because it was so nicely tucked into the harbor with gorgeous sunsets. But in actuality it was the closest place to our local Buckeye's Bar. 

Another thing to keep in mind is making sure you schedule time to talk about all things wedding. By planning time to talk, she thinks you enjoy talking about the wedding, but in reality we just want to be able watch our games in peace and not be interrupted during the 4th quarter.

They say communication and love is what makes a happy marriage, I disagree. It's tricking her into thinking you care and being able to watch sports in peace. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sareh Nouri Bridal

I had the pleasure of meeting the extraordinarily talented designer, Sareh Nouri, in New York while at Bridal Fashion Week. Not only is she a great designer, but she's an even better person. Check out the crazy way she got into the business, and find out about her even quicker rise to the top. Just wait until you see her Fall 2014 Collection - her convertible dresses are ingenious!

Enjoy a closer look at the designer behind Sareh Nouri Bridal!








If you loved these designs, you can take a look at more of the Fall 2014 collection as well others here

And to stay up to date with the latest on Sareh Nouri, show her some love on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @SarehNouri



Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beauty Products for the Big Day


Whether it's your Wedding Day or not, here are some beauty products that are some Must Have's for your bag. (And trust me, I've tried em all.)

But as for some tips, individual lashes are a must!  If they fall off, it's not as noticeable as strips. And while we always remember waterproof mascara, don't forget about waterproof eyeliner. Chanel eyeliner in Espresso is my everyday go-to. Swear by it!










Monday, November 11, 2013

Say No to Jumps

I've never preferred physical activity. Lots of my friends partake in those 5k color runs and half marathon shenanigans and my response is always the same - Why? I don't workout because I enjoy it, I do it because if I look at a cheeseburger, I gain weight. 

And when I'm sitting on my couch facebook stalking, I am inundated with people's workout posts and their six pack ab selfies. (Sidenote: I had a six pack for about a week in high school after a bout with mono, best week ever.) I always feel like commenting - "We get it, you work out. But I was productive too - polished off season one of Brothers & Sisters on Soap Net."

And to boot, all of my bridesmaids are negative two's - I'm the Khloe of the group. When I bought their dresses for the wedding I bought two size smalls and two extra extra smalls. Who knew that was even a size? But guess what I had to do? Exchange some because they were too big. Tiny bitches.

So spare yourself the misery or the possible sprained ankle (trust me, it has happened). When it comes to jumping photos - just say no. 




Thursday, November 7, 2013

Meghan & Ben : Making the Moment Photography

Meet Meg & Ben - whose wedding looks like your ultimate vintage Pinterest dream board come to life! From the beautiful backdrop, to the dress, to the DIY decor, everything was perfectly coordinated. But as we know, there's always more than meets the eye! Meg & Ben's I Guess I Do moments include a Groom's Snug Suit and a Short Circuit. Enjoy Meg's story in her own words below. 
...

Ben and I got engaged on Christmas in 2011, and the first few weeks of our engagement were a whirlwind. After some discussion we agreed on a small wedding party and ceremony so that we could be married on his family’s property. I learned very quickly to appreciate the friends and family who supported our vision, as there was some who certainly did not. Some unfortunate drama early on in our engagement put me out one bridesmaid, and taught me a major lesson in relationships. I had always been the one who tried to keep the peace and please the crowd and for the first time I was learning to do what made me happy, and am grateful for the experience, despite the tears that came with it… 


As a bride, you spend days, weeks, even months thinking about how you are going to look on your wedding day. You want everything to be right, the dress, the shoes, the veil... You schedule the first fitting, the second, and however many more it takes to get every detail just perfect. I mastered this part of the planning process. What I missed was giving half of that attention to the detail of my groom’s attire. 

So there we are, 2 weeks to the I Do’s and you’ll find us with our first major I Guess I Do moment. Ben’s suit had been hanging in our closet for over a month and suddenly it hit me that he has never actually tried it on. I had picked it up for him weeks ago and had (on occasion) asked him to try it on at the most inconvenient times, of course. But truthfully, I didn’t think much of it; I mean they had taken measurements, right?

I couldn’t have been more wrong… the jacket, well, it might have fit if Ben had no intention of lifting his arms the entire day, let alone moving in general. And the pants, true story, had enough room for an entire person to step in with him. Very quickly we learned the downside of a “nested” suit. 

Fast forward to 5 days to the wedding, another handful of visits to our suit retailer for additional measurements and alterations and we attempt a final fitting. Perfect, it was not, but at this point I think Ben would have been happier wearing a garbage bag. He can (almost) comfortably cross his arms and the pants stay when firmly belted. He’s beyond irritated at this point and neither of us wants to offer any more time to the matter, so the suit comes home.

If I could do it again, I would give his wedding day attire just as much attention as my own. Truthfully, no one else was aware of our suit woes, but we learned our lesson in procrastination and I encourage future brides to avoid the “nested” suit if given the option. 

I have always looked at the glass as half full, so it’s only fair that I spend a few moments talking about what went right. For a late April wedding, the weather was more than cooperative and from there everything else just fell into place. Our family and friends spent the morning setting up the reception site with all of the DIY details I had spent the last year and a half crafting. Every little detail I had envisioned fit together perfectly and resulted in the nature inspired nuptials we had both wanted. 


Our small ceremony was made up of our bridal party and family only; Ben’s uncle officiated, overlooking the pond Ben dug with his grandfather years ago, and the site provided the perfect backdrop for our intimate ceremony. From there we headed to our barn reception where our family was joined by many more friends who had yet to see us that day. We were in a state of wedded bliss from the moment we shared our “first look” and laid our eyes on the beautiful ceremony set-up. 

I had originally planned on an off-site location for wedding party photos, and 3 days before the wedding I learned that it was no longer an option. What I had thought to be devastating news resulted in the naturally simple and beautiful backdrop to our wedding photos; my specific vision had distracted me from the beauty right in front of us. 

In the hours leading up to the ceremony we had a few hiccups – including the moment when one my bridesmaids so gracefully snapped her gold “Love” bangle bracelet in half when trying to adjust it on her arm. After a valiant attempt with superglue, we admitted defeat and she wore a simple gold bangle so as not to draw attention to her naked wrist. 

Against the advice of most, I wanted my phone nearby “for emergencies” so I had one of the girls keep it in their purse. Throughout the early hours of the day I had been included in a strand of group texts so that I could give final approval to the reception set-up details. In between the ceremony and reception I decided to check my phone to check on our instagram hashtag. I was hoping to get a sneak peak of the reception as I hadn’t gotten a chance to see the final product. As our limo bus is pulling up to the barn for our grand introduction my phone buzzes with a reply to the string of texts. It read, “Who is our emergency contact for the barn? Circuit just blew.” I imagine the worst as I look towards the barn and seeing nothing but darkness on the inside. Where are the lights? I don’t see any lights. I can’t hear the band, this can’t be happening. We don’t have an emergency contact. Why don’t we have an emergency contact? 



Our photographer steps onto the bus amidst the commotion and offers to be the brave soul that scopes out the situation. The moments seem like hours as we wait for him to come back with a verdict. He calmly steps on the bus and says “We’re good, let’s go”. From that moment on the “blown circuit” is a distant memory… aside from the brief thought of “OMG, that’s my I Guess I Do Moment”. Turns out it was the circuit to the kitchen, and dinner was served a little later than expected, resulting in our bridal party crunching on cold green beans. Aside from that no one seemed to notice, and in fact, our guests raved about the food all night. 



Now, I feel like I had done a pretty good job of prepping my wedding day planner and set-up team with all the DIY details I wanted displayed at the reception. But one thing I failed to mention was the “Thank You’s” I put together and had wanted at each place setting. I was really proud of these notes as I had made them myself and they matched perfectly with our invitation suite, they even reminded our guests to visit our trail mix bar and grab goody bags for the road. But alas, no one ever saw them… 



Looking back, there’s really nothing I would change as even the moments of panic brought laughter to our day. I still cannot put into words our appreciation for our family and friends who made it all happen. I am thankful for the simple advice of friends reminding me to soak in every moment and to remember it’s not about the party, it’s about you and Ben. Truthfully, I am beyond amazed that I can still remember so many little details of the day as it sometimes seems like a dream. 

And if you loved the style of Meg's wedding, be sure to check out all of her stylist picks for Stella & Dot. Click here to see her latest trends in the accessories world!

Photography: Making the Moment  Ceremony Venue: Private Residence  Reception Venue: Muhlhauser Barn  Event Rentals: Primetime Party Rental  Florist: Two Little Buds  Cake: Groom's Grandmother  Band: The Remains  Lighting: Entertainment Unlimited LLC  Dress: Allure Bridals via Wendy's Bridal  Bridesmaid Dresses: Ann Taylor & Watters  Hair: Chelsea Feyka at Identity Salon  Makeup: Bajon Salon