9.29.2013

{a fall mantel}

So, I'm finally back! Sometimes you just need to take an impromptu break, you know? Last week was a rough one for me, but I think I'm back. I hope I am, at least. It is almost October, after all! By far my favorite month, and there's no way I'm going to be unhappy through it. 

I decorated for fall on Labor Day, which means that my fall mantel has been up for almost a month now (crazy). I just added a few pumpkins (and glitter) last week, so I thought it was time I share it all with you. Maybe I just needed a little glitter in my life these days. 

9.25.2013

{a giveaway, just because}

Sometimes, when I'm down, I like to do things for other people. There aren't many things that are going to make me feel better today, so why not? The world is far too big of a place for me to dwell on any one thing, and my problems are so small compared to others. Regardless of what others think my intentions are, all I'm really trying to do is just bring a little pretty to the world.

I want to do something a little different for this giveaway. Usually I give away a $50 gift card to Anthropologie or Nordstrom or Kate Spade. This time, however, I'm going to give away two $25 gift cards instead: one for you to keep, and one for you to give to someone who you think needs it. Maybe they are struggling with money and haven't had a chance to pamper themselves in a while. Or maybe are questioning their self worth, or maybe they are just going through a general rough patch in life. We all need a reminder every once in a while that someone is thinking about us, and this is your chance to make someone's day a little brighter. 
The two gift cards can be for whatever place* that you want, just comment below with where you'd get them for, who they would be for, and why. There's no Rafflecopter for this one; I just want to see the sincerity and generosity that I truly believe are part of this blogging community. Good luck!

*Note that I need to be able to buy the gift cards online, so they can't be for a local store or any obscure place. Also, they need to be to the same place, so be sure to think creatively!

9.23.2013

{signature style :: hair, hair everywhere}

I know you all are used to seeing me with my hair up, but I do try to wear it down every once in a while. There's just so much of it! It takes me far too long to blow dry and style on a daily basis, which is why I wear it in a bun 95% of the time. I've been growing out my hair since my wedding, three years ago, when I chopped it all off (seriously, up to my chin. and I cried). I've vowed never to do it again, which is why it's so long now. I think I'm almost at my ideal length right about now!

When I was contacted to try out a HANA professional flat iron, it didn't take me long to say yes. My cheap Revlon straightener has worked for a few years, but it just isn't cutting it anymore. It doesn't get hot enough for my hair, which is a big deal when you have this much hair to work with. When I got it in the mail from Misikko, I tried it out the next day. That's an accomplishment, for those of you who know how rarely I actually do my hair. Needless to say, my hair has been down and straight almost every day since! The time it takes for me to actually get my hair straight has been cut in half, and I've actually kept it down without washing for up to three days and my hair is still straight and smooth. 
Thanks to Anna Delores Photography for the pictures!

Earrings :: Francesca's // Shirt :: Nordstrom // Jeans :: JOES

Now I'm just trying to find the right products to use so I don't fry my hair too badly. It's actually in really good condition, since I don't style it too often, but I don't know how long that'll last. I've found a few good things in my Birchboxes recently, but they are always too expensive for me to splurge on. Anyone have recommendations for products for frizzy hair to keep it straight, smooth, and hydrated?

Thanks again to Misikko and HANA Salon for providing me with my new favorite beauty tool. If you are in the market for a new flat iron, you should definitely check out their selection of CHI straighteners. They are actually a lot less than I thought they would be! All of this has made me realize that if I'm blessed enough to have hair like mine, I might as well take advantage of it!

Though it's been implied, here's is an official disclaimer letting you all know that I was sent a flat iron in exchange for this post. Please know that all thoughts are my own, and I really do love my new straightener!

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It's sponsor time now! I updated my advertising and sponsorship program last month, and I'm really excited to have some fabulous sponsors on the blog now. So, without further adieu, here you go!

Kate is one of the sweetest bloggers that I've had the opportunity to "meet" recently, and I just love her! Her blog, Thoroughly Modern, is a sincere breath of (much needed) fresh air, and I honestly can't get over how gorgeous this girl is. If you're looking for a genuine friend is this big, bad blog world, definitely check her out!

Next up is Salt City Bakery, one of my very favorite Etsy finds! I found Andrea last year, when I decided I wanted to start sending my clients something new and fun. The moment I tried her amazing macarons, I knew it was meant to be! Not only that, but she is so easy to work with, and offers so many yummy goodies that it's kind of hard to try just one. She ships all over the country, so you should probably email her if you're looking for a gift (even if it's just for yourself)!
Etsy Shop :: Salt City Bakery // Blog // Facebook

Thanks to both Andrea and Kate for sponsoring Something Charming this month! Are you interested in advertising? Check out my advertising opportunities, or contact me if you have any questions! I'd love to work with you!

9.22.2013

{words with bloggers :: grit}

So, I apologize for missing Five Things on Friday, but I'm sure you'd just rather me skip a post that half-ass it, right? Well, I'm back for now, and I'm really excited to give you another edition of Words with Bloggers.

I found Laicie's blog last month, and I just can't get enough. Not to mention, it's just so pretty to look at! So, of course I had to ask her to share her word of the week with us.

Name :: Laicie // Blog :: A Thousand Threads

What does the word "grit" mean to you?
To me, grit represents true courage and determination… the ability to go out there and try, fail, and try again. There's nothing I respect more than a little grit.
Why did you choose this word for your week?
Grit isn't the prettiest word… it's a little rough around the edges. But in that way, it's a lot like life. There are ups and downs, successes and losses, and with each setback we become a little stronger. Grit isn't necessarily pretty, but it's strong. It knows who it is, and that's an admirable quality to have.
I can't even begin to tell you how much this word means to me this week. I'm coming off of an incredible, surreal, game changing wedding for me (see a sneak peek on Facebook!), and I honestly can't believe that it's over. I once asked an established planner how she got to where she was, and her answer? Blood, sweat, and tears.

I am a firm believer that if you have the passion, and are willing to put in the hard (sometimes exhausting, thankless) work, then the talent will follow. I'm just now starting to see it pay off, and it's truly an amazing feeling. So don't be afraid of a little grit. You might just surprise yourself. 

9.18.2013

{at the moment v.7}

Oh...Robert and his duck face.

So, here's a little update. At the moment...

WATCHING :: Everything and everything. This week it's New Girl, X Factor, Bones...next week it'll be HIMYM and Glee and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As you can see, I'm more than a little excited for shows to be starting back up again!

READING :: Little Women. To be honest, I've actually never read this book! I'm excited to get into it. 

PLANNING :: My last four weddings of the year! Bring it. 

EXCITED FOR :: Halloween shows. I haven't been in a haunted house in ten years, and my husband won't let me watch scary movies, but I absolutely LOVE shows on haunted houses and scary movies. They just epitomize fall for me!

So there you go. A little bit of life, lately! What are you all up to these days?

It's been a while since I've shared an OliveDuff photo, so here are two! She's a lazy dog. 

9.17.2013

{wedding wednesday :: jewel tones}

Some may say that I'm slacking on this week's post, but let me defend myself:
  1. I have a hugely amazing wedding coming up on Saturday, so my time is (obviously, rightly) focused elsewhere at the moment. 
  2. I was busy speaking on Tuesday at a wedding industry event on getting published online. To think that two years ago, I was just thinking of starting A Charming Occasion...
  3. I burnt my hand real bad and it's hard to type. Or maybe I just think I burnt my hand real bad, and it's really just the wine making me think I did...
Anyway, it doesn't matter because I'm HERE sharing more photos from an incredible, fun, beautiful wedding I got to do at the beginning of the month with one of my very favorite photographers of all time. You're welcome. 
Photography :: Anna Delores Photography // Venue :: Chuck Jones Gallery

So yes. One of my favorite weddings from the year (so far), partially because of the vendors and partially because of the bride. Oh, and I got to extend my creative hand at this one (with the flowers too!). It was kind of amazing.

Now it's your turn! Link up your Wedding Wednesday posts below! 

The rules for Wedding Wednesday are simple: All posts must be recent (within a month) and wedding related. You can post about your favorite current wedding trends, photos from your wedding, your wedding planning experience, etc. That's it!

Obviously I would love it if you would visit the other blogs that are linked up, and I would SO appreciate it if you would link back to Something Charming in your post or use my button. Happy Wedding Wednesday everyone!

Something Charming

9.16.2013

{currently coveting v.1}

I'm kind of surprised by my wish list these days. Usually I'm all about the fall colors around this time; burnt orange and burgundy and eggplant, but that really isn't the case right now. Give me anything soft and romantic and blush and ivory, and I'm all over it, even if it is the middle of September. I thought it was kind of strange, but I thought about it for a bit a realized that it isn't so weird. It's the soft colors and the neutrals that are feeling like fall to me these days. I guess that's alright. 
1 // I've been wanting a pretty pair of leather gloves for a while now, and these Kate Spade beauties are exactly what I'm looking for.

2 // So this isn't going to happen (ever), but as soon as I saw this gorgeous coat, I knew it was meant to be. I can just lust from afar, I suppose.

3 // I got a new KS bag at the end of June, but that doesn't keep my eye from wandering. I'm more of a structured tote kind-of-girl, but I think I can make an exception for this Tori Burch satchel. It doesn't get much more classic than that.

So there you have it. Things I love and things I want, because I just can't help myself.

9.15.2013

{my fall list}

Okay, I waited as long as I could for this, but you all know it was bound to happen sooner or later. It's actually much later than usual, really, when you think that I actually decorated my house for fall on Labor Day. It's time though. It may be the last official week of summer, but for me, it's fall.
Cliché? Perhaps. Do I care? Not particularly. 

What's on your fall bucket list?

9.13.2013

{five things + joelle charming}

Yay for Fridays! This is my last weekend before two weeks of weddings, one of which very well may be the biggest, most detail intense wedding I've ever done. It's crunch time, and I'm definitely going to be needing some good vibes next week. This weekend is going to be dedicated to me time, family time, and just home time. It's so needed.

Before I leave you with Five Things for your weekend, I wanted to do a quick introduction post to a new project I have going on. I've been really struggling with my branding, and figuring out how to reconcile my blog + my company + my calligraphy, as well as a few other projects that I have going on in the works. That brings me to Joelle Charming.
I won't bore you with the details if you aren't interested, but feel free to check out more information about this next step here. Don't worry, Something Charming isn't going away! If anything, it's only going to get better from here. I've been really love the direction of this blog here these days, so you can rest assured that it'll stay. This is more of just a branding decision, and I can say with confidence that I'm really, really excited about it. I think it will make things a lot more consistent, which is always a good thing. Oh, and if you haven't noticed yet, I have changed all of my usernames across my social media platforms, so make sure you tag me accordingly! You can follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter under the name @JoelleCharming from now on!

And now! For Five Things from my week to yours...

1 // You all know that I have a small Kate Spade problem. Obviously I loved this bright photo shoot featured on Ruffled this week!

2 // Maybe we should just call it Kate Spade week here on Something Charming. Not only do I have a KS problem, but I also have a baby problem. This isn't helping.


4 // A wedding site for the guys? It's about damn time! 

5 // What would Five Things be without a little self promotion? Selling some fun Taylor Swift lyric prints in my Etsy shop! I'll be adding more soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Hope you all have a wonderfully relaxing weekend! Here's to hoping that it stays a little cooler so I can almost pretend that it's actually fall out...

9.11.2013

{a charming bridal shower}

As many of you know, one of my very best friend's in the whole entire world is getting married next month, and I am beyond lucky to get to stand beside her on her big day! Last month, I threw Carrie a bridal shower, and I'd like to think it was a success. We drank wine and ate sweets and just had a lot of fun girl talk. Can we do this every weekend?
I am so beyond fortunate to be friends with this beautiful lady, and I just know that her wedding is going to be perfect. I kind of love her. So much. 

And thanks SO much to Anna Delores Photography for the photos, and to Minted for providing some of the fun decorations!

9.10.2013

{wedding wednesday :: the music}

So, the three day weekend last week completely threw me off. I posted on Tuesday night without realizing what day it actually was, so I'm sorry for that! I'm back this week, don't you worry. 

I've been enjoying talking a bit more about my own wedding, and my own experience. I thought I'd share a little bit about the music on the day of my wedding, and what I might choose if I were getting married today. 

Music at my wedding...

Processional song :: Love Story, Taylor Swift (played on the piano)
Grand entrance :: I Gotta Feeling, Black Eyed Peas
First dance :: You and I, Michael Buble
Bouquet toss :: California Gurls, Katy Perry

I wouldn't change any of the songs at my wedding (especially not the song I walked in to or our first dance song), but there are a few songs that I've been hearing at weddings lately that I really love. Have you heard Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran? That one kills me, every. single. time. And you can't go wrong with a grand exit to We Are Young by Fun. or Get Lucky by Daft Punk.

What are some songs that you've heard at weddings lately that you really love?

Now it's your turn! Link up your Wedding Wednesday posts below!

The rules for Wedding Wednesday are simple:

All posts must be recent (within a month) and wedding related. You can post about your favorite current wedding trends, photos from your wedding, your wedding planning experience, etc. That's it!

Obviously I would love it if you would visit the other blogs that are linked up, and I would SO appreciate it if you would link back to Something Charming in your post or use my button. Happy Wedding Wednesday everyone!

9.09.2013

{date night :: happy hour at home}

I've always been a vocal supporter of dating while married. Sounds easy, right? I think that for a lot of couples, however, it can be difficult to find the time to actually date your spouse. Robert and I have always made an intentional decision to date after we got married, and there are definitely times when we spend more "couple" time together than others. 

One of our favorite things to do, however, is to just have date night here at home. To celebrate the end of another week, whether it was stressful or wonderful, we'll come home and have happy hour in our living room. That means homemade bar food and drinks to match, along with a movie that we've been meaning to watch. 

When I was asked to try Stella Artois' new Cidre, I knew exactly what I wanted to make to go with it. Let me tell you, none of it disappointed. 
I'm all about the semi-homemade here in the Duff household, especially when it's date night (and I have a beer or glass of wine waiting for me). I don't want to be slaving in the kitchen all day; I'd rather be spending time with my husband. that means that pretty much everything I make has some easy, store bought element to it.

My favorite grocery store of all time is (obviously) Trader Joe's. Pretty much everything here came from Trader Joe's, and I even found my new favorite sauce: Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce. So good.

Hamburger Sliders with Gouda and Bacon
  • 1 lb. ground beef, seasoned with salt and pepper and shaped into mini patties
  • Par baked baguette
  • Gouda cheese
  • Mustard sauce (Aioli Garlic Mustard Sauce)
  • Bacon
My secret for making sliders is frying up the bacon, and then cooking the hamburgers in the bacon grease. Healthy? Absolutely not. Delicious? You better believe it. 

Slather some of the mustard sauce onto the baguette (cut into appropriately sized "buns" of course). Once the hamburgers are cooked to your liking (i.e. red and raw or well done), throw some gouda and cooked bacon on there, and put it on the baguette. That's it. Ten minutes tops.

Sweet Potato Fries with Honey Mustard Sauce

So this is where the semi-homemade comes in. I just fry up the frozen sweet potato fries from Trader Joe's in canola oil and top with some brown sugar. As for the sauce, take that same mustard aioli/sauce, and just add some honey. Done and done. 

If you need a little green for your plate, make a quick salad with some bagged greens and mix a portion of the honey mustard sauce (above) with some balsalmic vinegar and olive oil. So. Easy. 

Robert and I ate this meal in about five seconds flat, and seriously enjoyed the Stella Cidre that went with it. Pretty much the perfect pairing, and the perfect date night.

It's Cidre, not cider. 

Compensation was provided by Stella Artois via Glam Media. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Stella Artois.

9.07.2013

{words with bloggers :: perfect}

I'm so excited to finally feel like things are back to normal, though I know it's going to get crazy again next week with what just might be my biggest wedding yet. I spent my weekend lounging around though, which was definitely needed. Sunday was spent in Santa Ynez, wine tasting for my best friend's bachelorette party. It was kind of amazing. 

Words with Bloggers is back today (after a short hiatus), and I'm really excited to share this week's word with you!

Name :: Alison // Blog :: Long Distance Loving

What does the word "perfect" mean to you?
Perfect is a moving target. My 23-year-old self had one definition and my 28-year-old self has another. I've learned that perfection is relative--and that my best work isn't created when I'm tired. I've learned to give myself a 'pass' on perfection from time to time.
Why did you choose this word?
For most of my life, I've struggled with perfectionism. Nothing was ever good enough for me. This spring, someone close to me joked about this 'problem' of mine. While I was offended at first, they reassured me something I've never been confident enough to admit to myself: my version of perfect far exceeds most. This conversation helped to convince me that what I do is enough.
 Thanks so much Alison for participating and sharing your word, and I hope you all have a beautiful week!