6.29.2012

{happy hour}

So, I promise the real Happy Hour will be back soon. Until then, I thought that I would share one of my very favorite drinks with you.

Tom Collins

I have a serious love for gin. It’s probably {read = definitely} my favorite liquor, and I’ll drink it with just about anything: ginger ale, tonic water, cranberry juice…

Anyway, the Tom Collins is one of my favorite gin drinks, mainly because it tastes {and is, really} lemonade with gin.

My favorite gin is Bombay Sapphire, so that’s what I typically use when at home. Though I’m not opposed to drinking something else when we’re out.

RecipeDrinking

6.28.2012

{on writing}

I’m sure I’ve written something like this before, but I can’t find it and I have too many thoughts swimming around in my head to ignore it now.

On Writing

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She said yes to the date because he drank his coffee black and drove a Honda. His hairline was also starting to recede, which was a good thing. It meant that he would probably be bald by the time he was fifty.

It’s taken me three years to finally be confident in my first paragraph. My first paragraph. Does that mean it’s going to take me a million more to get through the rest of the book? But then…

Toni Morrison Quote

I know that’s true {Toni Morrison = one smart lady} because I’ve been trying to find that perfect book. I’ve been looking up books that have a similar plot to mine, and I’m just never satisfied. I keep going back to my own book, thinking about it before I go to bed or driving in the car or listening to music. My perfect book hasn’t been written yet.

You have no idea how many times I’ve wanted to quit; how desperate I am to just read my book and not write it.

Writing is not easy.

And sometimes, it’s no fun at all.

But I’m too picky to quit. I’m strung too tight. I believe in myself too much to quit.

I’m over halfway there. Forty thousand words in. How can I quit now? My main character feels like my sister. I know her. I know all the characters: what they look like, their favorite drink, what size shoe they wear, for goodness sakes. How can I give up now?

I guess it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of my book. I’m really not writing it for anyone else. I’m writing my book. The one that I want to read.

I guess that’s what makes me a writer. A real writer.

That, and I have to be slightly inebriated to write. I’m pretty sure that’s some type of requirement.

6.27.2012

{stella jewelry}

I have a real treat for all of you today! I’ve been swooning over Stella Jewelry for a while now, and I am so excited that I finally get to share these pretty pieces with you!

Caris

caris earrings

About

website // blog // facebook

jade

jade necklace

You should DEFINITELY go check out some of the amazing pieces on Roxy and Tricia’s website. They are so talented, and I basically want to buy everything there. And to make things even better…

Discount

Enjoy!

{Just in case anyone feels the need to buy me a pretty present, I’m seriously considering the Kate Earrings. Just beautiful!}

6.26.2012

{wedding wednesday: the bridesmaids}

It’s Wednesday again, my favorite day on Something Charming! I’m especially excited about today’s topic, mainly because I’m going to be a bridesmaid in a few weeks. Even I needed a little refresher course…

Bridesmaids

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The biggest piece of advice (and comfort, I suppose) I can give you is to wait to choose your bridesmaids until you are absolutely sure of who you want standing up there with you. It may seem like it’s a good idea to propose to your girlfriends as soon as he proposed to you, but you may want to hold off until you decide a wedding date. You never know what will happen between you and your friends between now and your wedding, especially if you’re having a long engagement. But, if you do choose someone to be bridesmaid that you later regret, don’t stress over it too much. It happens to all of us, and the best you can do is remember the good times when looking back at the pictures. I’m speaking from experience.

Anyway, any woman reading this post needs to take note. If you aren’t a bride yet (or anytime in your life), you’ll more than likely be a bridesmaid. But don’t worry. You technically aren’t obligated to anything as a bridesmaid, other than general support and just being there on the wedding day.
There are a lot of negative things said about being a bridesmaid. Stereotypically, it’s seen as demeaning and painful, especially if you’re single. But really, you get to be there for someone as their friend as they make the biggest commitment of their life. That seems pretty cool to me.



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Bridesmaids Guide



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Handle Bridezilla
It may be inevitable that your friend will become unmanageable at least once before the wedding. Just having a ring on her finger does not give her an excuse to treat her friends and family poorly, but it’s really important that you choose your battles. If she becomes completely unbearable, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask her to tone it down. But threatening to quit the bridal party should only be saved for an extreme situation. If she becomes downright mean to you or anyone else in the bridal party, and you feel as if your only option is to refuse to stand with her, be prepared to potentially ruin the friendship forever.
Mismatched Dresses

Now, this is one trend that I am 100% behind. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s impossible {or, nearly impossible} to find one dress that will flatter them all equally. If you really want to be an amazing bride and friend, let them choose their own dresses. You can still give them guidelines, such as a fabric, style, or color.


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There are so many things I could say about bridesmaids, especially what a great honor and responsibility it is. If you have any questions at all, you are more than welcome to email me, ask it in the comments below, or tweet at me.

Link Up
Next Week

{thoughts}

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I know we all go through it at times, but that doesn’t mean I hate blogger’s block any less. I could easily post pictures I find on Pinterest, with no commentary whatsoever, but I know that most of you didn’t come here to just see a whole bunch of pictures that I found over there (and which you’ve probably already seen). But I knew I needed something pretty for this post, so you get a random quote that I found inspiring (surprise, surprise...).

So, a couple thoughts that have come to me recently…

I know we see it everywhere, but this really hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday: life is short and my bucket list is rather long. I should probably get started on that.

I finished a book in exactly 24 hours yesterday. I don’t get to read very often, but when I do, I never want to put it down. It was a terrible book, and I will spare you the unnecessary details, but I think reading bad literature is a good thing for a writer. It shows you what not to do, and gives you the encouragement to believe that if they can get published, so can you. It doesn’t mean that my writing standards have been lowered at all. Just that at least I’m not the worst writer out there…

Someone asked me the other day if I ever thought about not reporting my business income to the IRS. I didn’t skip a beat when I said that no, I’d never considered it. My thought process is this: I’m going to make a lot of mistakes with this little endeavor of mine. I already have. But as long as I do things with integrity and good intentions, I can at least say that I didn’t make any of those mistakes maliciously or on purpose. And that will at least keep me from staying up at night with worry.

I get sad that I can’t read all the blogs that I want to these days, and I definitely don’t have time to find new ones. So, I really appreciate anyone who sticks around to read what I have to say. I know it isn’t always interesting, but it’s my little corner of the internet and it makes me happy that people actually care.

I was going over a blog survey I sent out a while back, and someone had mentioned that they missed my more personal or thoughtful posts. This whole blog balancing act is a delicate thing. I write for myself, but I also write for you. Is that still true? Would you like to read more personal posts? Or posts on my thoughts (like this one or this one)? Or posts about what it’s like to start your own business?

6.25.2012

{revive your bath}

When I was contacted at the end of May by Caitlin from Revive Your Bath, I just knew that I wanted to work with her. Her story really inspired me, and I loved the idea behind her soaps. And it all started with a soap making kit on Christmas…

revive_caitlin

Seriously? How cute is this girl?

From her website:

I started my freshman year of college at Kennesaw State University the fall of 2010.  My plan is to graduate with a degree in Business Management with a specialization in entrepreneurship.  Starting Revive really helped me decide what I wanted to major in.  Every bar that is purchased is either being put back into the company, or helping me get through college.  Hopefully after I graduate, I will be able to take Revive to the next level and really become my own boss.

I love that she’s a young entrepreneur (something we have in common), and using her talent and business to put herself through school. In her initial email to me, she said that she wants to graduate college without any student loans. That really just amazes me!

Caitlin sent me a Loofah Soap to try out, and let me tell you, this is my favorite new bath product. I’ve always struggled with rough, dry skin, but this is the perfect bar of soap for me. My skin really has never been this smooth before, and I love it! It exfoliates without being too rough, and smells amazing. Not to mention, all of her soap is made out of natural ingredients, so I never feel as if I’m covered in cleaning product after I use it.

revive_loofah_soap3

Even husband uses it on a regular basis. I got sad when it ran out, so I definitely went and bought two more bars, along with a bottle of her Lavender Shea Butter Body Cream, another new favorite of mine! It keeps my skin so soft, but again, without that unnatural feeling that I get from some lotions. I have a feeling I’ll be buying Caitlin’s products for quite a while.

You should really go check out her website! You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook. Tell her I sent you, would you?

I was compensated for this post in the form of bath products, but the opinions expressed are completely my own. You can read more about my product review policies here.

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Are you interested in sponsoring a post on Something Charming, or send a product for me to review? Check out my Sponsorship page, or contact me!

{monday’s mantra}

Monday's Mantra
I’ve been thinking about this week’s mantra for a few weeks now. I guess it needs some explanation, since it might be misleading to some people.When I say to have faith, I don’t necessarily mean faith in God. 

I guess I just find that having faith in something is better than having no faith at all. For me, at least.This can mean having faith in yourself, in your family or friends, in your dreams and passions, or in a higher being. 

Having faith in something, knowing that there is someone or something out there who believes in you too, can be the difference between finding peace in what you do and constantly worrying about…everything. 

There are times when I am so overwhelmed and stressed that I wonder if I can do it, or if it’s actually worth the time and effort. But then I slap myself back to reality and remind myself that I can do it. I can do anything, as long as I do it with passion and integrity. I have faith in myself.


P.S. Did you see my mini blog makeover? Let me know what you think!

P.P.S. Have you heard this yet? Love. So much.

6.21.2012

{weekend bucket list}

Happy {almost} weekend my loves! I am so looking forward to a relaxing weekend with lots of free time.

Bucket List

1. Robert and I actually have Saturday morning free, so we are going to one of our favorite wineries in Malibu for a picnic with our friends. Obviously, I love wine and I am SO excited.

2. Free time means lots of work. Lots and lots of work. I’m hoping to actually make a dent in my to do list. We’ll see if that happens…

3. I’ve been dying for some nude flats, and since it’s payday, I think I might need to just make that happen.

4. Macarons! I’m meeting with a potential client at a really great restaurant on Sunday, and they have the most delicious macarons. I am definitely going to be getting a few to bring home with me…

Weekend

{life, lately}

I was putting together a summer essentials post about sundresses, but I wasn’t really all that motivated to write. So, you get the personal me today.

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1. A few weeks ago, I got rid of 80% of my clothes. Rebuilding my wardrobe has been pretty fun, since I’m finally discovering my style of clothes. There are a lot of stripes and polka dots in my closet right now.

2. I’m working on my marketing right now, and am really excited about it all. I think taking the time to be personal with my clients and potential clients really sets me apart. A few things that I’m working on: potential client packets with lots of information and yummy caramels, macarons once they sign the contract, and flowers after the wedding. What do you think?

3. I have a wedding today, and I’m scared. Wish me luck.

4. If you’ve followed my blog for any amount of time, you know that I have a weird obsession with being organized. I go through phases of feeling organized and unorganized, and right now I’m feeling the latter. I’ve recently signed up for Basecamp and Highrise, which I love. But I want one task manager that integrates with both. Also, I am ridiculous and have my expectations set way too high. Suggestions?

5. My dog is still cute. If you need more cuteness in your life, you can follow me on Instagram. My name is JoelleDuff.

That’s all. How is life for you?

6.20.2012

{lovely ladies}

Hope you’re all having a fabulous week! My week is going pretty alright. And to make it even better, I have three lovely ladies for you to meet today!

Emiliy Anna Delores

The name “Anna Delores” comes from my maternal great-grandmother (Anna) and paternal grandmother (Delores); I thought it appropriate to pair my passion for vintage-style imagery with a name for my photography venture that honored my own heritage.  Anna Delores Photography is about seizing moments and producing creatively-inspired images to capture life's profound moments as well as objects and scenes of beauty. My style is simple, nostalgic, romantic, and photojournalistic, and my goal is to create photographs that make a connection with people, whether by capturing their beautiful wedding day, recalling memories of a past trip abroad, or summoning the human emotional connection to everyday objects.

blog // twitter // facebook

Briana Buzali

I'm just your girl next door blogging about my adventures after college. From career moves, to long distance love, and all the special moments in between. I like to embrace what makes us each unique.

blog // instagram // twitter // pinterest

Kristen Victoria

Hey pretty people! I'm Kristen: artistic introvert and a total dreamer on a journey towards self discovery. I mostly blog about my passionate love affair with graphic design with added bits of art, inspiration, fashion, humor, and life as a married doxie momma. Come say hello!

blog // twitter // facebook // bloglovin

Be sure to go say hello today!

6.19.2012

{wedding wednesday: the invitations}

Happy Wednesday everyone! I can’t believe that Wedding Wednesday has been going on for as long as it has. If you’re interested, here are a few of my favorite wedding posts since we’ve started this series:

The Bridal Shower
The Colors
The Venue

And now, here we are at week…whatever. Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that we are getting to the best part of the planning.

The Invitations

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Invitations can seem like a pretty straightforward part of the wedding, but in reality, there are actually a lot of options. Whatever you choose, just remember…

First Impression

Unless you’ve sent a save-the-date, your invitation is the first thing your guests are going to see from the wedding. Regardless of whether it’s your intention or not, the invitation is definitely a statement. So you’ll want to make it a good one.

There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing the design, printing, and paper for your invitations, and many of those decisions are based on how formal your wedding is going to be.

Color

The most formal invitations are white, cream, or ivory, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stick with one of those colors. Many invitations these days are printed on colored stock, just make sure there is an adequate contrast between the color of the paper and the color of the type. You don’t want your guests to struggle to read your invitations, of course.

Paper

The heaviest paper is the most expensive, and indicates the degree of formality. You also have the option to keep your paper flat, or add a raised margin.

Typeface

Formal invitations typically include traditional choices, such as roman faces and scripts. If you choose an elaborate script, be sure to balance it with something simple and easy to read.

These days, however, sophisticated typography is very popular and an integral part of the overall invitation design. Another option is to include calligraphy as one of your fonts.

Printing

There are quite a few printing options for invitations, and all indicate a level of formality and expense. You can read about different types of printing here.

The Suite

When mentioning the word “invitation,” what I’m really talking about is the entire invitation suite. This includes the invitation itself, as well as any auxiliary stationery, including response and reception cards, maps, and registry information. Once you choose a design and printing option for your invitations, you’ll want to make sure that everything included in the same envelope matches.

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Wording

Other than the actual design of your invitations, the most important decision is going to be the wording. It all depends on who is actually involved in the wedding, and whether or not you want to include your parents on the invitation.

Parents hosting

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
request the pleasure of your company
at the wedding of their daughter
Elizabeth Anne
to
David Allen
son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Howard

Parents and couple hosting

Elizabeth Anne Smith
and
David Allen Howard
along with their parents
request the honor of your presence
at their wedding

Couple hosting on their own

Elizabeth Anne Smith
and
David Allen Howard
invite you to celebrate their marriage

You can view more examples and ideas for invitation wording here and here.

The RSVP

Other than the essential wedding information (date, time, location, etc.), you definitely need to include a way for guests to RSVP to the reception. Traditionally, this is done by a response card, which the invited guest will fill out with their information and send back to the person hosting (usually either the couple or one of their parents). If you have a response card, be sure to include a stamp on the envelope. Depending on the formality of your invitation and wedding, it can be appropriate in some instances to have guests RSVP online or to a phone number.

Whatever you decide, be sure to include an RSVP-by date, so that guests know when they need to respond by. This is essential, because you will need to provide your vendors with a final count before the wedding.

Addressing

Formal wedding invitations include both an inner and outer envelope. The outer envelope is the one addressed and stamped, while the inner envelope displays the names of those invited to the wedding.

Whether you have one envelope or two, it’s really important to be very clear as to who the invitation is for. I’ve written more about invitation etiquette here.

If you don’t have the nicest handwriting to address your invitations, I would highly recommend that you hire someone to write them for you, or print them from a printer directly onto the envelope.

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I really wish I could include all the information you need about invitations in one post, but that’s just impossible. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or you can visit this site to learn more.

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And now, a treat for you. You see that pretty invitation suite up there? It’s from Crafty Pie, and they are offering Something Charming readers 15% off their orders! Just let them know you found them here, and they’ll take care of you.

Link Up

Next Week

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