7.31.2012

{wedding wednesday}

Sorry friends, we aren’t talking about bridal beauty this week. I know I’ve been taking quite a few breaks recently, but it’s summer! We all deserve a summer break. I was busy getting wine with a friend and dinner with my husband. Bloggers need to live a real life in order to blog, don’t you think?

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But don’t worry! I still have the link up for you today.

Next week we’ll be talking about bridal beauty. Do you have any tips or questions for me?

{los olivos}

I’m sure you’ve heard me say it already, but we went to Los Olivos on Sunday to go wine tasting. It was nice to spend time with our friends, and we were looking for a bottle of wine to drink on our third anniversary next year.

Los Olivos is a little wine region on the Central Coast, right above Santa Barbara. It’s only about an hour and a half from home, so Robert and I have been known to go every month or so. It’s a nice little getaway.

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I’m still getting used to actually having a camera on me, so my pictures aren’t all that great. Sorry, I was too busy drinking wine…

Just in case you’re interested, here are our favorite wineries in Los Olivos:

Carhartt {members}
Epiphany {members}
Sarloos & Sons
Longoria

Have you ever been to Los Olivos?

Sarloos and Sons

7.30.2012

{plum pretty sugar giveaway & a winner}

A few weeks ago, I was in one of my very best friend’s weddings. It was the best day, and she was so sweet to her bridesmaids. As one of our gifts, we got these beautiful robes from Plum Pretty Sugar.

PPSPhoto By

I can’t wait until we get to see the rest of the pictures, but I absolutely love the one above. It was such a pretty gift, and I’ve wearing it everyday since!

And now it’s your chance to win!

Maxi Dress Plum Pretty Sugar 2 - Copy

Maxi

Plum Pretty Sugar is giving away one of their gorgeous maxi dresses in that beautiful Pink Love Poppy print to one lucky reader! It’s the perfect dress for getting ready on your wedding day, since the straps tie and it can slipped down, to keep you from ruining your perfect hair and makeup.

There are a few ways to enter:

1. Mandatory – “Like” Plum Pretty Sugar on Facebook and follow Something Charming via GFC.

2. Like Something Charming on Facebook.

3. Follow me on Twitter.

4. Tweet about the giveaway. Please include me {@joelleduff} and Plum Pretty Sugar {@plumprettysugar} if you do.

Please leave one comment for each entry. The giveaway will close at midnight, Pacific Time, on Sunday, August 5th.

Good Luck

And now it’s time to choose a winner for the Magnolia Papers giveaway! Congratulations to…

Winner

Congrats Ashlyn! Be sure to email me with your info so we can get you your map.

Thanks everyone!

{easier said than done}

Guys, I did it. I might be late to this party, but I finally mastered the sock bun.

JoelleDuff

Just thought I’d share. That’s all.

7.29.2012

{monday’s mantra}

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! Mine was pretty great…opening ceremony on Friday, breakfast date on Saturday, and a trip to Los Olivos on Sunday. I also worked quite a bit, and have some fun things coming up for all of you on this little blog.

It’s the start of another week, so I have some inspiration for you to get through these next five days.

Monday's Mantra

I’m having trouble with this one these days. You see, I’m not really sure of what I love. I want to be perfect at everything, but as my wise husband told me on Saturday, I just can’t be perfect at everything. So maybe I should just try to do my best at the things I love most. Easier said than done, right?

What’s your mantra this week?

7.27.2012

{if you really knew me}

I’m jumping on a bandwagon here, and posting random information about myself that you may or may not care about in lieu of Happy Hour this week. Because it’s my blog and because I can. Also, because I’m in kind of a funk and I thought this would make me feel better.

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If you really knew me…

…you’d know that I hate taking naps in the afternoon. But I have fibromyalgia that’s acting up these days, and it’s causing me to be tired all. the. time. So afternoon naps have kind of become normal for me recently.

…you’d know that I am not an organized person my nature, so I have to try really, really hard to keep things together. I’m always looking for better ways to keep myself organized.

…you’d know that I want to be the perfect housewife, but I’m so busy these days that I barely have time to cook dinner. And that bothers me.

…you’d know that I hate exercising, and haven’t stepped foot in the gym since my pre-wedding work outs two years ago.

…you’d know that I’m extremely self-conscious, and am terrible at comparing myself to other people. As much as I try to convince myself that I don’t do it, I do. All the time.

…you’d know that I like to buy myself pretty and expensive things now because I never got them growing up. I don’t resent anyone for that, and I might sound like a spoiled brat saying it, but it’s nice to buy myself nice, new clothes after growing up with hand-me-downs.

…you’d know that I hate my hair.

…you’d know that I could eat Del Taco for every meal.

…you’d know that I could survive off of wine, water, and coffee.

…you’d know that I’m a daydreamer. I could spend hours just sitting in a chair, thinking about stories that I make up in my head.

…you’d know that I want to share my real story with you, and my husband’s story. But my family reads this blog, and that makes it difficult. Maybe someday.

7.26.2012

{what i’m reading}

I go through phases of really getting into things, like watching a lot of TV or baking or cleaning. In the past month, I’ve gone through a phase of reading. Sounds strange, but I’ve read more books in the past month than I have in the eleven months prior. I thought I’d share what I’ve read and what I think.

***Warning, there are spoilers in this post!***

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Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

I bought this one because I heard a lot of really good things about it. It’s America in the far future (think Hunger Games time), and love is considered a disease. So they basically perform lobotomies  on people when they turn eighteen, as a “cure” for love. Of course, our main character falls in love with boy just weeks before she’s scheduled to receive her procedure.

I really did love this book. I liked the way it was written, and I liked the characters. The main character, it’s from her perspective, got a little annoying at times, but I didn’t mind. Her naiveté added to the story line.

I was disappointed with the ending though. I already have the second book, but I haven’t even started reading it yet. I prefer happy endings (or at least endings that give the sequels the possibility of happy endings), and this one definitely did not deliver in that area.

12716613The Witness, by Nora Roberts

I feel a little embarrassed to say that I’ve read Nora Roberts, but I used to read her books all the time. I am always in the mood for a good love story, and Roberts’s books are full romance without too much smut.

I liked the concept of this book, and I liked the characters. What I didn’t like, however, was how I just didn’t get that feeling that they were actually in love. The ending was kind of terrible too, and really anticlimactic. I recommend it for a quick read, but don’t read it if you want something amazing.

42156Something Borrowed, by Emily Giffin

I loved this book, just like I knew I would. People have been telling me for years to read it, but I saw the movie before reading the book. The book is definitely better.

I can’t deny that I feel guilty about liking the storyline. Because really? It’s about a girl who is sleeping with her best friend’s fiancé. Looking at it from any other angle, Rachel and Dex would not be liked…it just so happens that you absolutely detest Darcy, which somehow makes it all okay. How did you all feel about it?

42155Something Blue, by Emily Giffin

I read this one right after I read Something Borrowed, hoping that it would be a continuation of Rachel and Dex’s story. When I found out that it was Darcy’s story, however, I almost stopped reading it. I hated her that much.

But I didn’t put it down, and I loved it even more than Something Borrowed. I love Darcy and Ethan more than I loved Rachel and Dex too. Definitely a pleasant surprise, and I would recommend it to anyone. Which one did you like more?

80568Sam's Letters to Jennifer, by James Patterson

I got through half of this book. I won’t finish it. I did read Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, and finished off an entire box of kleenex in the process, but I just can’t do this one.

Her parents died. And then her husband died. And then she lost the baby she was pregnant with when her husband died. And then grandma goes into a coma. And THEN the guy she falls in love with has a brain tumor.

I’m all for the occasional sad ending. I love a good Nicholas Sparks book. But gratuitous tragedy just to make someone cry is not okay.

I'’m in the middle of reading The Virgin Cure, by Ami McKay, and I’m really enjoying it. If you’re into historical fiction, I highly recommend it. I’ll let you all know what I think of the ending when I finish it, which will probably be this weekend.

This may not seem like a lot to read in month, but I’ve also read three really terrible self-published books that I got on Amazon for three dollars. They aren’t even worth putting on here, but that just means I’ve read a total of eight books in the past thirty days. That hasn’t happened in…forever.

What are you reading right now?

{anniversary dinner}

I’m sure you know by now that it was our second wedding anniversary on Monday {we’ve been together for eight years}. Everyone likes to ask what we do on our anniversary, so I thought I would share it with all of you.

You probably already know this, but we decided to let go of tradition {shocking, I know}, and have the In-N-Out truck cater our reception. Everyone loved it, and we have to hear a negative comment about our wedding.

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For our honeymoon, we took a short trip to wine country. We spent an entire day being driven around to different wineries, and bought a nice bottle for our first anniversary.

When trying to decide what we wanted to do for our anniversary last year, it was almost too obvious. We got In-N-Out and ate it with our $100 bottle of wine. It was fabulous. That weekend, we also went back to Los Olivos to buy another bottle for this year.

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After we dinner, we exchanged gifts of course. It was a wonderful night, as you can see…

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My husband obviously knows me well. And we’ll be heading back up North on Sunday to keep the tradition going for another year.

Do you do anything special for your anniversary?

7.25.2012

{fashion for home}

If you love decorating your home as much as I do, then you’re going to love today’s feature post!
You should definitely go check out Fashion For Home.
Couch
About
Furniture
They have some really beautiful furniture, don’t they? I’m pretty sure I could furnish my entire home with their stuff. And to make it even better, they have online shops for both the UK and the US!
There are a variety of sponsorship options available on Something Charming. Contact me for more information!

7.24.2012

{wedding wednesday: the accessories}

The Accessories

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I don’t really have a whole lot of advice for you today. There aren’t too many rules about how you should shop for accessories, or what to buy.

Don't Overdo It

Simple is always much better when it comes to accessorizing for your wedding day. Can you imagine wearing a blinged dress, plus a cathedral veil, tiara, earrings, necklace, and a bracelet? It can done tastefully, but you have to be really, really careful. If you find something you like though, get it! You can always tone it down on your wedding day.

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Types of Veils

fingertip // birdcage // cathedral // no veil

I would highly encourage you to try on your veil with your dress before you buy it. That means picking it out when you get your dress, or during a fitting. That way you can match the color and style. And if you’re unsure about it, buy it anyway and decide on your wedding day. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Traditionally, the veil is worn during the ceremony and removed for the reception, but you can wear it all night if you choose.

Something Blue

dress with broach // shoes // dress with date // garter

According to the Knot:

This tradition comes from an Old English rhyme ("Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe"), and the four objects that the bride adds to her wedding outfit or carries with her on the big day are just good luck charms. Don't stress too much about them -- they are the little tokens of love your mother, sister, other relatives, and attendants will give you at the eleventh hour (although you can give them to yourself, too). Something old represents continuity; something new offers optimism for the future; something borrowed symbolizes borrowed happiness; something blue stands for purity, love, and fidelity; and a sixpence in your shoe is a wish for good fortune and prosperity, although this remains largely a British custom.

Other ideas for your old, new, borrowed, or blue:

Tie your mom’s wedding ring to your bouquet
Borrow a veil
Buy blue panties for under your dress
Wear your grandmother’s pearl necklace
If it doesn’t overwhelm your dress, go with blue jewelry

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Link Up

Next Week

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{quick hello}

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I meant to post last night, but we were celebrating our anniversary and got...distracted. So, I just wanted to stop by really quickly to say hello and to let you know that I'm looking forward to Wedding Wednesday, which will go up at 9:00 p.m. Pacific Time tonight. Be sure to get your own wedding post ready to link up!

7.23.2012

{call for sponsors}

Can you believe that July is almost over? I know we all say it, all the time, but time really is going by so fast. Not that I mind, for now.

But it will be August soon, and I would love it if you would consider sponsoring Something Charming for the month!

You know who else would love it if you sponsored Something Charming for August?

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This picture of Olive makes me laugh. Doesn’t she kind of look like a gangster, with her squinty eyes and snarly lip?

Anyway, Olive would love it if you would consider sponsoring us too! Because, you know, she really loves new toys and treats…

And in case you haven’t heard, because of this post, traffic generated mainly from Pinterest, Something Charming has seen a dramatic increase in visits and page views. Here are my statistics for the past month:

Unique Visitors: 52,000
Pageviews: 65,000

As of 7/22/2012:

721 followers via Google Friend Connect
644 followers on Twitter
269 "likes" on Facebook
544 followers on Pinterest

If you’re interested, please check out my sponsorship page or email me for a media kit!

I look forward to working with you!

7.22.2012

{monday’s mantra}

Monday's Mantra

We owe it to ourselves to make today amazing.

We owe it to those who aren’t with us anymore to make today, and every day we spend living, amazing.

Because you never know what might happen tomorrow.

7.20.2012

{happy hour}

Happy Friday friends! Are you ready for happy hour? I am definitely getting a drink after work today, even if I’m drinking it by myself…

Classic Mojito

Classic Mojito

Juice from 1 lime (about an ounce)
1-2 teaspoons of sugar
7-10 mint leaves
2 ounces rum
Splash club soda
Dash of bitters

There are a few different ways to make a mojito, but I {meaning my husband} likes to build it in the glass and avoid any type of shaking. Place the lime, sugar, and mint leaves in the bottom of the glass and gently muddle. Add in a generous amount of ice and add your rum. Stir it with a spoon and add more ice. Top with club soda and a dash of bitters.

Hope you enjoy your Friday, and a drink!

7.19.2012

{weekend bucket list}

Ventura Sign

1. I finally got around to exploring my little town with my new camera, and I’m kind of obsessed. I’d like to do it a little bit more. I think you’d like my little beach town.

2. Dark Knight Rises. Enough said.

3. It’s my dad’s birthday, so I’m driving down to Orange County on Saturday to spend the day with my parents.

4. Go shopping, of course. I still need to get Robert an anniversary gift, and I’m thinking of celebrating payday with a new pair of TOMS.

Ventura California

What are you up to this weekend?