Vacation Instagram Roundup

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Last week, I was on a tear posting tons and tons of pictures from our WaterColor, Florida, trip on Instagram. And since some of you may not be signed up for LIKEtoKNOW.it, I thought I would share my favorites from the week here.

My sister and I put her youngest son in the stroller and headed out for a morning walk and coffee. Since we don’t live in the same city, it was nice to have time to just chat and walk. 

 Hot Pink Workout Tank, Hot Pink Nikes, Running Shorts, Sports Bra, Running Hat

On Monday night, we rode our bikes into downtown Seaside to dine at the food trucks then head to the beach for a bonfire and s’mores.

Marble Shorts, Boater Hat, Crossbody Bag, Strappy Flat Sandals (gold and terra cotta here), Gold Aviators

The temperatures soared into the 90’s each day so white, lightweight dresses were in order to stay cool and look chic.

White Embroidered Maxi Dress, White Pom Pom Coverup, Embroidered Dress

My niece requested water balloons so what did she get? Water balloons. Even though the little ones mostly threw them at the ground and not each other, they had a blast. Michael and I thought we blew up a ton of them but little did we know…they go fast. Next time, I am going to invest in this one. 

 This pic was technically on Michael’s Instagram but I thought I would share. We look happy, laid-back and tan! 

Polka Dot Swim Trunks, Gray V-Neck, Boater Hat, White Pom Pom Coverup

A fresh coconut from the Seaside Farmer’s Market to stay hydrated pool-side.

Tassel Trim Dress, Jack Rogers Sandals, Mar Y Sol Beach Tote, Turkish Towel

 The beautiful beach at the WaterColor Inn & Resort. 

The flamingo drink holders I brought were a HUGE hit at the pool and all the other ladies were flocking to them. It kept my marg afloat while I lounged in the pool – genius! 

Flamingo Drink Holder, Bracelets (similar)

I had to crop this one for Insta but I wanted to share the full picture. On the last night of vacation, everyone got dolled up and we took family pictures! 

On Michael: White Popover Shirt, Navy Pants, Braided Belt, Gray Shoes, Watch

On the last day of vacation, Michael and I took a late day flight and had the entire day to ourselves. We packed our bags and headed to the adults-only pool at the WaterColor Inn & Resort. It was so quiet you could hear the ocean waves while in the pool and spent the day reading our Kindles in the pool. I also lathered myself in Sun Bum Suntan Lotion and am now obsessed with the coconut smell and how soft it makes your skin feel. 

Boater Hat, Scalloped Swim Suit, Turkish Towel, White Nails

Top 5 Rosé Wines

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Have you been swept up by the rosé revolution? Chances are you have probably seen the hashtag #roséallday pop up across social media or noticed pale pink glasses dotting the tables of your favorite restaurant patio. But you may not know what it is, why it has become so popular or the top 5 rosé wines to drink. I’m here to help!

While rosé wine has been around since the Ancient Greeks, what we think of today as rosé wine owes its roots to France and specifically Provence for inspiring the wines we enjoy today.

In the US, the popularity of the super sweet White Zinfandel ruined rosé’s reputation for a generation, but a new crop of really crisp, dry options with flavors like strawberry, watermelon, cherry, orange peel, and peach have made rosé the fastest growing wine category in the world.

How to choose? Well, like most things wine, there is no right answer. But if my description above sounded good to you then I would start with one of my favorites listed below.

Top 5 Rosé Wines:

1. Fragile by Orin Swift ($18)

2. Domaine de Fontsainte Corbieres Gris de Gris ($16)

3. Red Car Rosé of Pinot Noir ($28)

4. Chateau Miraval Rosé ($22)

5. Commanderie de la Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix en Provence Rosé ($16)

If in doubt, ask your favorite wine shop for a dry, Provençal style of rosé. If you are browsing the aisle solo, look for a pale pink over a darker salmon color. I tend to find that the darker the juice the sweeter the style which is not my preferred flavor profile.

Once you have made your choice, all you need is a cute rosé tote to carry it in and you will be the hit of your next summer get together.

Fall Goals | Everday Cuvée

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Whether you have been following my blog, liking my pictures on Instagram or this is your first time here, I thank you! I thank you because you are supporting me and I sincerely appreciate that.

For the past six years, I have owned a wedding invitation design studio and for the past six months, I have been sharing my outfits, style and life through Everyday Cuvée. Writing a style blog is something I’ve thought about for the past couple years and content I even dabbled with on Courtney Callahan Paper but fear held me back.

I worried that my outfits wouldn’t be good enough, that I wouldn’t inspire people, or that people would think I was crazy for sharing my style when I was supposed to be designing wedding invitations. But after a while, I stopped worrying and leapt into this exciting world of blogging.

It’s been an adventure so far and one that I plan on continuing. So why not take a step back and look at what I want to do better in the months to come?

This month’s blogger linkup by The B Bar asked just that – what are your goals for fall? I looked at these both professionally and personally because I think each area of my life could use a couple reminders and mantras to keep me on track for success!

Fall Goals for my blog:

1. Create meaningful and inspirational content: Visually-appealing photography and well-written copy is something that attracts me to other bloggers and something I strive to bring to my readers with each and every post.

2. Connect with other bloggers: At the Create & Cultivate conference, one of the speakers told the crowd to “surround themselves with like-minded people” and I truly believe that. The wedding industry has given me that opportunity to meet and work with incredibly-driven men and women, but owning my own business has left me slightly insular.

It is so easy to comment on Instagram photos, but much harder for me to show up to an event solo and provide a compliment to someone face-to-face. Its not the compliment part that is challenging, it is being at the event. Does every blogger know each other? Will they critique my follower count? This doubt can get the best of me sometimes when I really should just introduce myself  to other people that inspire me, like the same things I like and are looking to make a genuine connection.

3. Treat my blog as a business: Even though I check my stats and make sure I always receive a “good” SEO rating before posting, I need to look at my blog analytically and as a business.

When I started out in the wedding industry, I had to network like crazy, market myself to the industry and clients and learn everything I could about the business. In order to see growth, I need to do the same for Everyday Cuvée. One of the first steps I’m taking is getting a professional analysis of my blog by White Oak Creative to make sure I’ve got the basics down.

4. Connect and collaborate with brands I admire: As a relatively new blogger, this is a huge hurdle that I have to face because I do not have the traffic stats to stand on. However, I do have the commitment, creativity and courage to reach out to brands that I would love to work with.

I have had a few successes and am happy to report that I am working on some really fun collaborations for fall that I can’t wait to share with you.

Fall Goals for my personal life 

1. Stay Organized – I always thought of myself as a neat and organized person until I met my husband. Now, it seems that my receipts, clothes and papers continually pile up at every turn. In order to feel calm and ready to conquer my work day, I need to keep my space tidy and am really going to try to maintain order throughout the upcoming hectic months.

2. Stay Motivated – I started taking Shred 415 (a combination running and weights kick-butt class) in June and have seen a serious change in my strength and endurance. I attend class four mornings a week and thanks to their 12-hour cancellation policy, never cancel. Besides training for the marathon, I think this is the longest I have consistently committed to a workout program. Help me stick to it!

3. Travel – An upcoming trip to Northern California has me dreaming of sunshine and adventure. We will be spending a few days in San Francisco then heading to wine country for the rest of the time. It will be my fifth time to the area and know that it will leave me energized and inspired.

Do you have goals for fall? If so, I would love to hear them!

And make sure to read through all of the other posts on the linkup from some amazing bloggers:

Annie Reeves // 26 and Not Counting // Alyssa J Freitas // Carly Blogs //Feathers and Stripes // Carrie Loves // White Oak Creative // Sequins & Strawberries // Pieced Together // PreppyPanache // Knowing Kelly //Something Good // My Beauty Cloud // La Vie Petite //Wealthy in Health // White Cabana // Mrs. on the Move // She’s All Smiles // Life Modifier // A Little Leopard // Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough // L is for Lucy // Cori’s Corner // Beauty and the Pitch // Dreams and Colour Schemes // Viciloves  // Lights Camera Catwalk // Pattern Me Pretty // A Few of My Favorite Things // Chic Glamorous and Splendid // StyledbyKesha // Suzy Speaks // Luv in the Bubble // The Minimalist

Best Products for Fine Hair

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Unfortunately, I did not win in the hair gene pool and have been trying for years to find the best products for fine hair. I’ve spent more money on than I care to admit on lotions and potions promising to amp up my locks, but I am happy to report that I’ve finally found six products that I can’t live without.

Best Products for Fine Hair

  • Living proof full shampoo – A sulfate-free daily shampoo formulated specifically to care for flat, lifeless hair.
  • Living proof full conditioner – An oil-free, silicone-free conditioner formulated specifically to care for fine, thin or lifeless hair.
  • Bumble & bumble All-Style Blow Dry – Use a dime size amount to protect and prep your hair for blowing drying.
  • Kenra Volume Mousse – Apply a dollop at the roots for a non-sticky root-booster before blow drying your hair.
  • Moroccanoil Treatment Light – I always thought oil would weigh down my hair but the ‘Light‘ version of this treatment tames flyaways while keeping the volume. Plus, it smells a-mazing.
  • Kevin Murphy Dry Shampoo – For days that I don’t wash my hair (which is pretty infrequent), this dry shampoo gives my hair a much-needed lift.

The products I recommended do cost more than drugstore brands but after years of working at a hair salon in college, I believe in the power of professional products.

If you want to get great results, I think it is worth it to spend a little bit more money. Just make sure your family members aren’t using them too!

 

Bumble & bumble All-Style Blow Dry, Living proof full shampoo, Living proof full conditioner, Kevin Murphy Dry Shampoo, Kenra Volume Mousse, Moroccanoil Treatment Light

Nashville –

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Michael and I hit the road this past weekend and headed down south to Nashville to see one of my best friends from college, Rachel, and her beautiful family! Even though the drive lasted seven hours we passed the time by listening to Girl on The Train and enjoying the lush spring scenery through Kentucky. We had an action-packed weekend and really fell in love with the city – thanks to our fabulous hosts! 

The highlights… 

The Company – Even though we talk frequently, I hadn’t seen Rachel or her husband, Bryan, since our wedding almost a year and had never met her youngest son, Jude. In addition to Jude, Rachel and Bryan have a rambunctious three year old, George, who kept Michael and I entertained all weekend and expertly added a third syllable to my name – Court-tay-nee. They welcomed us into their gorgeous home located in the Green Hills neighborhood of Nashville – a short drive from downtown – and made our stay more than enjoyable with a coffee bar, fresh flowers, magazines and snacks all laid out in our room. We laughed, caught up and just enjoyed “being together.”

The City – This was only my second-time to the music city and Michael’s first so we made sure to see as much as possible minus any honky-tonks. We attended a wine-tasting hosted by Bryan’s company at a rooftop downtown overlooking the city skyline,  ran in Percy Warner Park and along Belle Meade Boulevard where I basically drooled at all the stately Southern mansions, shopped and walked around 12 South (my favorite neighborhood by far with the cutest general store, White’s Mercantile, and denim-boutique Imogene + Willie) and Marathon Village, checked out Hatch Show Print and had fabulous meals – all while basking in the warm sun.

The Food  We ate so.much.good.food including a pre-birthday dinner for Michael at Husk, a “sugar board” at Sinema (check out our #sinemaselfie below and make sure to get the Basil Instinct cocktail), brunch at Pinewood Social (can you please come to Chicago?), hot chicken at Hattie B’s, BBQ for Edley’s and more desserts than I have had in months – sno-cones from Retro Sno, popsicles from Las Paletas, marshmallows from The Bang Candy Company and ice cream cones from Bobbie’s Dairy Dip. 

We will definitely be planning another trip back soon – there is still so much to see!

           

How I Stay Comfydent Working for Myself

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For the past five years, I have more or less worked for myself – owning a wedding invitation design business, freelance graphic design and writing this blog. I ditched the corporate world and said ‘goodbye’ to a 9-to-5 job.

While I love the freedom that I have to create my own schedule, taking this unconventional career path definitely creates moments where I don’t feel like I measure up amongst my peers. After all, it’s just me out there. No team, no management.

When I’m on deadline, the last thing I want to be thinking about is how uncomfortable my bra is or how badly I want to change my outfit.

My success depends upon my focus and creativity. I’m at my best when I’m cool, comfortable, and feeling confident. Thanks to my new Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra and Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties I can grab my morning coffee, get right to work, and feel both COMFORTABLE and CONFIDENT all day long.

On those days when the doubt creeps in and my confidence is shaken, I am happy to have a brand like Hanes on my side reminding me to #BeComfydent.

From the Cool Comfort® wicking fabric to the Tagless® design, I never lose my cool in my Hanes. The Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra is designed with ComfortFlex Fit®, a smart sizing fabric that takes the complication out of finding the perfect bra and gives the bra a super soft, stretchy feel. The pull-over style provides all day support and comfort and has become an absolute wardrobe essential that can easily be transitioned from day to night.

The Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties are made of soft, breathable cotton that come preshrunk for a lasting fit. The low-rise elastic waist fits gently for all day comfort, and they come in a variety of fun colors/designs.

What would you pay to feel polished, comfortable, and #BeComfydent in your own skin? Thanks to Hanes, you can feel your best without breaking the bank. At just $9.99 each, you may need to pick up the Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra in a few shades. Even better, the Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties come in a pack of 6 for just $13.00. Visit Hanes.com for discounts and special offers.

Hanes Get Cozy ComfortFlex Fit® Seamless Pullover Bra, Cool Comfort® Cotton Bikini Panties

Hanes has made it their mission to give women the comfort they need to confidently navigate their daily lives. Join the movement and use the #BeComfydent hashtag as you post those moments where you rocked your next presentation, successfully juggled the kids all day, or trusted yourself to go out of your comfort zone.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Best Mani-Pedi Nail Polish Color Combos

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Growing up, my uncle schooled me on the importance of a firm handshake and clean nails. I took that advice to heart and believe a fresh manicure and polished toes aid in keeping a professional, well-groomed look.

I’m sure that’s why one of my favorite pick-me-up activities is a trip to the nail salon for a manicure and pedicure, but sometimes relaxation can turn to stress when trying to find the best mani-pedi nail polish color combos.

My favorite mani-pedi color combos combine complimentary colors in beautiful shades like baby blue and cornflower or when I am feeling a bit wild, I choose two contrasting shades like mint and hot pink for a bold look.

Feeling a bit indecisive yourself? Try out one of my suggestions for the best mani-pedi nail polish color combos.

Best Mani-Pedi Nail Polish Color Combos:

1. Essie High Class Affair + Essie Lounge Lover

2. Essie Petal Pink + Essie Big Spender

3. Deborah Lipmann Blue Orchid + Essie Lapiz of Luxury

4. Essie Cabana Boy + OPI French Quarter For You

5. OPI Care to Danse? + OPI You’re Such a BudaPest

6. RGB Dew + Essie Mojito Madness

7. Deborah Lipmann Rolling in the Deep + Essie Sand Tropez

8. Nars Thasos + Butter Primrose Hill

9. Essie Petal Pusher + Essie Van D’ Go

10. Essie Butler Please + Essie Clambake

11. OPI Big Apple Red + OPI Bubble Bath

12. Deborah Lipmann Amazing Grace + YSL Violine

Black and White Tile Bathroom Floors

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In most cases, bathrooms are a relatively small space in one’s home which allow for a big design statement like black and white tile bathroom floors. And if you’ve been following me on Pinterest, then you know I love this trend.

I’ve always been a big fan of black and white and big patterns, so this combination is right up my alley. Plus, there are so many different tile styles to match the look and feel of your home.

How to get the look:

  • If your home has a vintage feel, then use these retro black and white hexagonal tiles
  • If your home has a boho feel, then use these moroccan-inspired black and white tiles
  • If your home has a modern feel, then use these graphic circle pattern tiles

Read on for more black and white bathroom inspiration!

1: via Studio McGee. 2: via Elle Decor Sweden, 3: via Lonny, 4: via Katie Martinez, 5: via Style Me Pretty, 6: via House Beautiful, 7: via Do It Yourself, 8: via Curbly

Kendra Scott St. Louis

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Kendra Scott St. Louis is now open at Plaza Frontenac and I was lucky to have hosted the opening night party to celebrate the occasion!

Guests were invited to join me, Kendra Scott community manager Anna Keenan and the super-stylish Kendra Scott team for a night of shopping, sipping and selecting their very own piece from the Color Bar – all beautifully captured by Amy Rau Photography.

If you are not familiar with the Color Bar, it is pretty much THE most amazing thing to happen to jewelry since, well since Kendra Scott!

Using an in-store touch screen, you select a earring, bracelet, necklace or ring style; select the metal (gold, rose gold or silver for most pieces); and then choose your stone color(s) from a wide range of hues.

The jewelry piece is made right then and there by a member of the talented and Kendra Scott team for you to take home! It is the perfect way to showcase your personal style or even coordinate an entire bridal party look.

Not located near a KS store? You can also design your piece using the Color Bar online.

Since I was in the market for a timeless style, I chose the Connely necklace with gold metal and white pearl stones. I also picked up a killer Naomi ring in Iridescent Drusy which I had been eying since my visit to the Kendra Scott store in Chicago.

The St. Louis store is not only bright and beautiful, it is stocked full of colorful jewels and a super-knowledgeable staff. Plus, if you stop by this Saturday you can customize a gold Corla necklace FREE with a $50 purchase!

Thank you to Anna and the whole Kendra Scott team for making the night so fun for each and every guest and welcome to St. Louis!

Keep scrolling for more photos of the party by the talented Amy Rau Photography!

All photos: Amy Rau Photography

Create & Cultivate Conference Recap

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On Saturday, I attended Create & Cultivate, “a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space” founded by Jaclyn Johnson. It was the first time the conference has taken place in Chicago and I was lucky enough to purchase a ticket before the event sold out.

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators

To be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure what the conference was all about but saw that there was a rockstar lineup of lady bosses speaking throughout the day so I dove right in.

I signed up solo and therefore had major anxiety leading up to the event. I had been to similar large conferences (Alt Summit and Engage) and know that a 10-hour day of networking can be scary and downright exhausting. But, I did my research on #CreateCultivateCHI on Instagram and spotted a  familiar face in the lineup – Maureen from Kate & Company, whom I had worked with in the past. And even though I introduced myself to a ton of new people, it was nice to have a friend in the bunch to touch base with during breakouts. 

The action-packed day was split into panels, workshops, mentoring sessions, a keynote speaker and socializing with other female entrepreneurs. Plus, there was a shopping lounge by Whitney Eve (who was also a speaker), Topshop, Lulu & Georgia and Simon G. and a beauty lounge offering OPI manicures and hair and makeup touchups.  Why did I even get ready for the day?! 

What I Thought:

The standout panelists for me were ones that gave the most “real-world” advice – Erica Domesek from P.S. – I Made This, Jessica Sturdy from Bows & Sequins, Whitney Port from Whitney Eve and of course, Garance Doré. Garance was effortless and funny while being professional at the same time. With inspiring advice such as, “the heart first then the success follows” and “you cannot be everything to everyone,” I am really looking forward to reading her book coming out in the fall. 

Although there may be many people doing the same things, it is important to set yourself apart just by being YOU. We may buy the same bag or read the same blogs, but each person is unique. No one can be ME and I am pretty darn happy about that. So now it is time to hustle!

I was also happy to connect with the sister-duo behind White Elephant Designs, Kate from The Small Things, Rachel from Between Two Coasts, Kristin from Bridentity Crisis, Ashley from Ashley & Malone and Jay Goldmark from EmiJay during my mentor session. 

All in all, I am happy that I attended Create & Cultivate and look forward to more events here in Chicago. I would love to hear if you attended the event, what you thought or if you have any questions about that day. Let me know in my comments section!

What I Wore:

I stressed and stressed about what to wear and what to bring. After all, most of the women speaking and attending are quite fashionable. I chose this patterned, silk dress because it was stylish, comfortable and minimal on the wrinkle-factor (important when toggling between sitting and standing all day), black booties to last 10 hours on my feet and my trusty black tote filled with my camera, phone charger, lipstick and business cards. 

Dress, Booties, Tote Bag, Gorjana Necklace, Gold Aviators