{monday's mantra}


It really is so true. It's the believing-it part that I have a problem with.


{happy hour: amanda from this wonderful life}

I am really excited for happy hour today, because Amanda is one of the few bloggers I’ve actually met in real life! This girl is absolutely one of the sweetest girls out there, and I am so happy for her, her blog, and her new business.



{friday’s fancies}

This has been a very long week, but thank goodness it’s the weekend! We have a pretty laid back two days ahead of us, including game night with friends, book club, and a dog adoption fundraiser.

I’m sure husband and I will find time for each other this weekend, and maybe even get a nice dinner.

Fridays Fancies

{earrings, shoes, dress, clutch}

Do you have any big plans for the weekend? Like a hot date?

Oh, and don’t forget to come back later for happy hour!

{sponsor love}

I am so excited to introduce you to three fabulous ladies today! They are seriously awesome bloggers, and I really hope you go check them out!

Margaret Floral and Frayed

Margaret Sign

blog // twitter

Alisha Alisha and Brandon

Alisha Sign

blog // twitter

Christianna Girl with the Blue Bow

Christianna Sign

blog // twitter


{on being an introvert}

I vividly remember my first few days at college, as if it were only a couple days ago rather than almost seven years. Most people I know, my friends and former classmates, loved that time. The days were filled with excited anticipation at meeting your roommates, plenty of lectures on how to avoid getting an STD (which often included free condoms), and way too many new names and faces to ever remember.


{wedding wednesday: the party}

Happy Wednesday everyone! If you haven’t seen already, I’ve created a special Wedding Wednesday page with all sorts of information for this lovely day.

Today, I’m talking about the next step in the engagement fun.

The Party


throwing an engagement party

I guarantee that once you get engaged, you will {and should} take every opportunity to celebrate. Throwing an engagement party is the perfect way to do so.

Party 101

If someone does gift you a give at your engagement party, don’t open it in front at the party. You don’t want guests who didn’t bring you anything to feel awkward.


If you host

Take your time

If you are throwing a party for another person, make sure you give them time to process things before bombarding them with an engagement party proposal. They will probably want to enjoy the first few days of their engagement before agreeing to anything.

Keep it simple

Remember, there’s still a wedding. So make sure you aren’t upstaging the big day.


Hiring a photographer, or at least taking great pictures, is a wonderful way to get pictures to display for the wedding. An engagement party is another event for the couple to remember.

Tell the story

An engagement party is a great way to tell the story of the couple throughout their courtship and up until their engagement. Guests will love to see a romantic side to their relationship.




Of course, any gifts given at an engagement party must be acknowledged by a thank you note.


As always, the Knot has great tips on throwing an engagement party.

Real Simple also has a fantastic list for the party as well.


Link Up Below

Like always, you’re welcome to link up any wedding post below.

Next Week


Before we go, I thought I’d share a special moment from my own {impromptu} engagement party, which resembled a frat party more than anything else, three years ago.


Yes, we definitely toasted to champagne from red cups. It was epic.

Thanks Dan Erickson ;)

{life, lately}

photo 1photo 3 photo 2photo 4

Do you follow me on Instagram? My name is joelleduff.

A few things:

1. My puppy is still cute.

2. My wedding on Friday went really well. It was cloudy all day, right up until when the bride walked down the aisle and the sun came out. It was just beautiful!

3. We went to the Magic Castle Sunday night, which gave me an excuse to dress up. We didn’t get to stay long since we all had work in the morning, but it was fun while it lasted.

4. This week’s blogging mantra.

5. I updated my website. You should check it out and let me know what you think.

6. Have you signed up for your pen pal yet?


{obsessed: statement necklaces}

I’ve been seeing big, bold necklaces around for a while now, and I’m loving it! I don’t know that I’m brave enough to wear them {and they always seem to sit funny on me, like right in between my boobs…does this happen to anyone else?}. But I can swoon without buying, right?

Statement Necklaces


{monday’s mantra}

Monday's Mantra


Can we all please remember this today? And forever?

I know, easier said than done…

{P.S. Have you signed up for your pen pal yet?}

{lovely letters: a pen pal project}

I have something I have to admit to all of you. Something that I am not proud of. at all.

I’m terrible at writing handwritten letters. I never send thank you notes {I know, I told you I’m terrible!} and I even had to make it a goal of mine to send more letters and notes to people.

In an age of email and social networking everywhere, however, it’s not just me. Schools aren’t even focusing on handwriting anymore, which I think is so sad! There’s just something so charming, so sweet and meaningful, about receiving an actual card or letter. My mom still sends them, and they make me so happy every time she does. I obviously don’t take after her in that regard…

But, you can always change. And I’m planning on it.

Lovely Letters Intro Post

I’m teaming up with Megan over at Freckled Italian to bring you all Lovely Letters: A Pen Pal Project. I’ve always thought that it would be fun to have a real life pen pal, and what better way than to get some fabulous bloggers in on the project?

Here’s how it’s going to work:

Sign Up Info

We’d love for you to join us in writing some lovely letters! So, if you’re interested, just email us your information (name, blog name and URL, email address, and physical address) to lovelyletters@acharmingoccasion.com.  Once we receive your information, we’ll pair you off with a pen pal. How does that sound?

And, because you’re obviously committed to keeping the practice of writing letters alive, we’d love for you to put up a button to let everyone know. You should be proud of yourselves!


Can’t wait to hear from you!


{happy hour: alivia from brunch in april}

So excited to feature another great blogger today for Happy Hour, Alivia from Brunch in April. Hope you love her as much as I do!



{friday’s fancies}

Thank goodness it’s Friday! This weekend is the first weekend we’ve had at home in three weeks, so I’m really looking forward to actually getting a few things done! And today I have a wedding in beautiful Santa Barbara. It’s going to be good.

I have someone new working with me, and of course, the topic of what to wear came up. I don’t care what we wear, as long as it’s professional and comfortable. Think, chic business casual.


{necklace, shirt, bag, shoes, skirt}

While those shoes don’t look entirely comfortable, they are cute. And, confession time: I definitely wear pantyhose when I’m working. When you’re on your feet as much as I am at weddings, the extra padding is necessary.

When I created this outfit, I completely forgot what we’re doing on Sunday! I would have created a different outfit for Friday’s Fancies though, since we’re going to the Magic Castle in Los Angles. It’s a pretty strict dress code, but I’m sure I have a little black dress somewhere that will suffice. And maybe we’ll even meet Neil Patrick Harris…

{101 in 1001}

Last January, I introduced my 101 things in 1001 days goals. I love goals; they’re something to constantly work toward, to be proud of, to check off your list. I kind of fell off the wagon a few months later, and eventually even deleted the page that I had. But today, I’m reintroducing it. Because it was fun being able to work toward something that I’d written down. It makes all of those abstract goals seem not so scary.

I’ve modified things a bit, and there are a few lists {like 101 recipes} that I might just start over completely, but I’m keeping my original date of September 28th of 2013.

101 in 1001

1. Write 101 notes and send them to loved ones, just because (0/101)
2. Write 50 thank you notes (0/50)
3. Get out of the country
4. Go to Europe
5. Finish writing a book
6. Get published
7. Find a way to exercise that I enjoy, and stick with it
8. See all movies on AFI’s top 100 movies (9/100)
9. Learn another language
10. Donate $1,001 to charity (0/$1,001)
11. Work full time for myself {changed from original list}
12. Go to Alt Summit {changed from original list}
13. Run a 5k
14. See a ballet
15. Have a party
16. See Taylor Swift in concert
17. Consider buying a home
18. Go camping
19. Go to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl
20. Read 101 new books (10/101)
21. Find the perfect little black dress
22. Master the red lipstick
23. Start and keep a journal
24. Do 10 “What I’m Wearing” posts (0/10)
25. Go on a cruise
26. Try 101 new recipes (0/101)
27. Buy a good camera
28. Make a portfolio of 1001 pictures that I take (0/1001)
29. Reach 500 blog posts
30. Go to Las Vegas
31. See Cirque du Soleil
32. Get published on Style Me Pretty {changed from original list}
33. Buy a bottle of wine costing at least $100
34. Take anniversary pictures
35. Take (more) boudoir pictures
36. Send my future self a letter
37. Host a giveaway on my blog
38. Go to a wedding planner conference {changed from original list}
39. Pay off my debt
40. Get to 1001 followers on my blog {changed from original list}
41. Shop in downtown LA’s fashion district
42. Go to 5 awards shows (0/5)
43. Take a floral design course {changed from original list}
44. Visit Walt Disney World {changed from original list}
45. Make a scrapbook album
46. Make sushi
47. Get a dog
48. Write a letter to my future children
49. Visit Paris
50. Take a pole dancing class
51. Find a new favorite drink
52. Do something I’m afraid of
53. Make a book with my 101 favorite quotes (0/101)
54. Buy myself flowers once a week for six weeks straight
55. Run/walk for a cause
56. Make a gift for someone
57. Make a book of recipes
58. Write down my favorite recipes from my grandparents
59. Send someone flowers
60. Attend a red carpet event
61. Meet someone famous
62. Make a candlelit dinner
63. Take a ballet class
64. Find the perfect bikini
65. Go wine tasting in Napa
66. Take a vacation by myself
67. Sing somewhere
68. Be on TV
69. Find the perfect sunglasses
70. Buy a designer handbag
71. Figure out what I believe
72. Eat Brazilian BBQ
73. Volunteer 101 hours of my time to a good cause (0/101)
74. Find something I'm good at making and sell it on Etsy
75. Send 25 birthday cards (0/25)
76. Spend a weekend at a spa
77. Take pictures and send out Christmas cards (on time) (1/2)
78. Find a church
79. Donate blood
80. Take a cooking class
81. Become a purposeful shopper/cook (i.e. buy organic, locally, free range, etc.)
82. Find a pen pal
83. Sponsor a child in a different country
84. Make homemade jam
85. Make spaghetti sauce from scratch
86. Buy a piece of original art
87. Have a guest blogger
88. Write a letter to someone I admire, but have never met
89. Join {another} wine club
90. Stop biting my nails
91. Not worry about money for an entire month
92. Finish our wedding time capsule
93. Meet Taylor Swift {changed from original list}
94. Be happy with my body and my looks
95. Do something illegal

96. Do five random acts of kindness to people in need (0/5)
97. Design and make a piece of clothing for myself
98. Go fishing and cook/eat what I catch
99. Become passionate about {another} social issue
100. Buy monogrammed stationary
101.Try absinthe

Can I do it


{what i’m loving}

I am so excited to be linking up with Gentri, Kaitlyn, and Kristy today with some of my favorite things. You see, I’ve decided to be part of their Send Something Good swap, which I’m so excited about. I have a lovely blogger who I’m stalking learning more about {she doesn’t know I have her} so that I can send a wonderful gift tailored specifically for her.

Today we’re linking up so that our secret partners get to know a little more about us and our style. So, here are a few of the things I’m loving these days.

What Im Loving

1. Isn’t that arrow necklace adorable! I saw it and just knew that I had to put it on my list. I don’t own anything like it, and I can’t say that I own anything that it would match, but it’s still cute.

2. My Fossil sunglasses are on the way out, so I’m on the lookout for a new pair. I’m always swooning over the cute pastel sunglasses that Top Shop has, like these ones.

3. It’s Spring, which means that flowy skirts are the only way to go. I’m loving the peach and neutral colors in this beautiful skirt from Reiss.

4. If you haven’t heard me gushing on Twitter, I just got an iPad {which I love}. This means that I also got a pretty iPad case, and now need a bigger purse to put it in. You best believe that this is the purse I’m currently saving my pennies for.

5. I’ve been swooning over these J. Crew flats for a while now. They are just the perfect color for the season, don’t you think?

Other things

This week’s mantra
Starbuck’s dirty chai lattes
This TED talk {I will be writing an entire post on this later…}
Moloka’i, this month’s book club book
New Girl on Fox {that show gets me every. single. week.}

what are you loving

{sponsor love: winifred bean}

So, do you all remember that photoshoot I did last month? I didn’t post about it on the blog, but there are a few pictures up on my website that you can check out, if you’d like.

Anyway, I’m so excited to have one of the vendors from that shoot up on the blog today! Our bride’s lovely dress was provided by the charming shop of Winifred Bean.




In honor of Spring, Winifred Bean is giving away $300 off any of their wedding dresses!

41112 dress coupon (2)

If you’re interested in entering, definitely go check out their giveaway and enter! It’ll be fun, I promise!



{wedding wednesday: the announcement}

Welcome back, Wedding Wednesday friends! I hope you enjoyed last week’s post on the proposal. I know I loved writing it for all of you!

Which brings us to this week’s wedding post.

The Announcement


Friendly Tip

Getting engaged can bring a thousand different emotions: happiness, anxiety, excitement, stress, even fear. It can be difficult to know what to do first.

Friendly Tip

Emily Post

“Once parents and children have been told the news – and not before – the happy bride and groom will want to share their engagement plans with other relatives and friends. They can do so by making telephone calls, writing notes, or…sending emails. Or they might wait and surprise everyone with an announcement at an engagement party. Regardless, there are certain people other than parents and children who should hear the news first, who would be hurt to read of the engagement in the newspaper or hear of it from someone other than the couple. These include grandparents, siblings, favorite aunts and uncles, and close friends. Always include them as special people in the know before the rest of the immediate world finds out.”

While Emily Post says that “it is inappropriate to send printed engagement announcements,” sending a Save the Date or other type of announcement is relatively popular and considered appropriate at this day in age.


Printed engagement announcements are a great way to let everyone know about the engagement before you’ve set a date and location for the wedding.

Sent Announcements

Newspaper Announcement

Emily Post

“When: Most newspaper engagement announcements appear approximately two to three months before the wedding day, even if wedding plans have not been firmed up. But there are really no hard-and-fast rules: an announcement may appear up to a year before the wedding date or as little as a week before…

Who: The announcement of the engagement is generally made by the bride’s parents or her immediate family, often using a standard form provided by the newspaper…The bride’s parents should ask the groom’s parents if they would like the announcement to appear in their hometown papers as well. If so, they can send it to those papers at the same time that they send it to their own.”

Basic wording


However you decide to announce your engagement, here is a good tip:


Here are some additional resources for you regarding announcing your engagement:

A very traditional look at the newspaper announcement.

And, some more common sense advice.


Link up below


I forgot to mention this last week, but you are welcome to link up any wedding related post! You definitely don’t need to follow the topic that I post here on the blog.


Next week