Detail Decisions

Top L to R: Chic Monogram and Mist
Bottom L to R: Hepburn and Formal Ink

The clock is ticking. My wedding is 6 months away, and with most of the big decisions taken care of, I can focus in on the details. Some people would not care to mull over the font and color of their place cards, but that's where I'm at. Daresay I actually enjoy it. 

I realize that the venue I'm getting married at could provide me plain  white place cards, but I'm all about personalizing. Here I have my four favorite picks. They all are in the spirit of my invitation suite and color theme... So ultimately I'm deciding on the color and whether I want extra flourishes.

I also realize that people do not go to weddings to admire the place cards, and this is so minor to what a wedding is all about. But making decisions, big or small, to reflect my taste (I'd say my fiancé's taste too, but let's be real. He doesn't care about place cards.) is important to me.

Sure, I'm not doing an elaborate display where guests choose their card off of the ankles of  perched doves, but that isn't something I would do no matter how cool or Instagram worthy.
And as the bride, the best advice is to do what is important to you and your future husband- and don't worry about the things that are way out of your budget and may look great on Pinterest, but aren't meaningful to you.

Do you have a favorite? What did you do for place cards at your wedding?

I used* for my save the dates and invitations, so it makes sense to get place cards from them too.
*I'm not being asked or sponsored to promote's products. I genuinely like their products and customer service, and am just giving my own thoughts.

Wedding Guest Attire

It is wedding season my friends! I have weddings on the brain, not just because of my own wedding later this year, but 3 of my friends are getting married- one in May, one in June, and one in July. It's so lovely to witness and celebrate the start of a marriage. It's also fun to get dressed up for a wedding.

You definitely don't want to upstage the bride, and I wouldn't advise wearing a formal gown to a barn wedding in an orchard... But there are so much options for wedding guests these days to find the right outfit for the couple's big day. 

*My choices are all from ASOS, but I'm not being sponsored or asked to promote their site. I just appreciate their wide selection of dresses for different occasions. 
From top left to right 

I would wear this to a wedding at a fancy hotel.
The girly qualities of this dress aren't for everyone, but I could see this at a country club wedding.
The soft and breezy qualities of this dress would work well at a beach or garden wedding.
I ordered this dress to wear at one of my friend's wedding. The color and the cutout details drew my eye. (I usually wear a size 0-2, but with ASOS sizing I'm US size 4 and a UK size 8... For all ASOS purchases I recommend looking at the size chart first)
The shape of this dress is interesting and unexpected. I would wear it to a wedding at an art gallery or modern sculpture garden. 
This dress would look great at a barn, orchard, lakeside, or backyard wedding... I think this one is the most versatile of the bunch. 

Monique of Switzerland

Monique of Switzerland is a jeweler in Wayzata, Minnesota. My future brother in law recommended them when my fiancé was out looking for engagement rings. It's a local, family owned and operated business, and they go above and beyond to make their customers happy. 

My fiancé met with Monique, to custom design and make my engagement ring and learned all about diamonds. He said that he never once felt pressured or out-of-the-loop with the the whole process. 

It was a no brainer that we would return to purchase our wedding bands from them. We picked ours up over the weekend, and I could not be more pleased. My band matches up perfectly with my engagement ring- and I met Monique's son Dean, who personally matched all the diamonds himself. The sparkle is crazy.

The fiancé is also very happy with his band. I forgot the brand name, but the ring's middle part can be interchanged with different metals and finishes, or even wood. He picked out rose gold as the main option, and he's getting a black insert as well. It's like getting two rings in one. Who knew that men's options were so varied and customizable too. 

It feels great to support a local business run by such great people. Their expertise, high quality selection, attention to detail, and genuine care for their customers is the real deal. 

*I'm not being sponsored or asked to post about Monique of Switzerland. I'm giving my honest opinion and review of my experience. 

The Makeup Drop

How do you like to apply your foundation? Fingers? Brush? Cushion? Sponge? Personally, I prefer brushes and sponges. They keep your hands mostly clean and you can achieve a non-streaky and well blended look. The downside of both methods- the maintenance and wasted product. 
Dirty brushes and sponges should be cleaned regularly to get rid of bacteria, but I definitely don't know anyone who cleans them as often as they should. 

That is why I was intrigued by the Makeup Drop. It's a silicone applicator in a tear drop shape that doesn't absorb any excess product like a brush or sponge. Therefore, it sounded like a breeze to clean because all you have to do was wipe it off and rinse with soap and water.  

However, I was also skeptical. How could this ensure no streaks and proper blending? 
I think the key is that you have to use less product- which is a good thing- and then you use the applicator like you would the sponge that comes in a cushion compact, with soft dabbing and patting motions to blend the product in. You're basically pressing the product into the skin in thin layers. It takes some getting used to, but I really appreciated how little product I needed to cover my whole face. 

I've been using the Makeup Drop in combination with the NARS sheer glow foundation in Mont Blanc. I've been really pleased with the result, because my skin still looks like skin and it's not heavy at all. Lots of glow- even in terrible florescent lighting. 

*The Makeup Drop and NARS are not sponsoring this post. 
I purchased all products on my own and the review is just my opinion.

DIY Skin Detox

Pinterest and Internet search results can sometimes seem like a rabbit hole- There's just a lot of information and who knows what will really work for you. Too many face masks, too many beauty hacks- too little time.

I remember my eyes skimming over the words 'Aztec clay' on several Into the Gloss Top Shelf interviews and not paying super close attention. But when your favorite Youtube influencer, Claire Marshall of heyclaire, says to try out a bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar face mask you start to pay attention. She said it's like her new thing and made her skin feel nice- as in got rid of acne bumps. With subsequent Internet searches, it was confirmed that bloggers agree with Claire.

Who knows if ALL the claims about bentonite clay are true, but I took Claire's advice when I went to my local Fresh Thyme (it's like slightly cheaper Whole Foods) to try it out as a skin mask. I don't know if I would ever ingest it like some people do.
(They were out of the Aztec brand so I picked up a brand called Redmond Clay.)

The rest of the story is pretty straight forward. You mix one part clay with one part apple cider vinegar/ water, and try to ignore the pungent vinegar odor. Then you apply it to your face or body, let it dry, and rinse off.

Needless to say, I was impressed by this DIY. I've had three really stubborn breakouts, and the mask definitely calmed them down in terms of size and 'bump factor'.
Thanks Claire. Thanks Internet.

286 More Days

I'm already thinking ahead to the Bahamas. Clearly. Obviously. 286 whopping days ahead. For some many people this is probably over the top. Way over. 
However, in my defense, this method of planning all my outfits will save me time and money in the long run. These pieces (minus the swimsuit on the far left) are already in my closet, so by sticking to this visual list I won't be tempted to buy more clothes with the excuse of 'it's for my vacation.' I also won't be trying to outfit plan when it's time to pack, and hopefully this will minimize my impulse to over pack. I may change some outfits, but I think that most of it will stay the same. 
I know my anxiety can match my excitement when it comes to travel, and who knows how much more intense it will be when I'll be traveling for the sole purpose of getting married. Wedding planning and obsessing over details can get stressful, but channeling that energy into drawing my packing list helped me. It's one less thing to worry about. 
image via

Extra Sparkles

Can I be honest and say that I don't like wearing jewelry? Simple earrings are fine, but I never wear bracelets, I own 4 necklaces that I rarely put on, and I didn't wear a single ring until I received my engagement ring.

Don't get me wrong, I think that jewelry can be a great accessory and very pleasing to look at, but I'm not the type of person to go out of my way to buy or wear it.
All that being said... I feel that I should wear some jewelry for my wedding, because my mom will want me to and a little bit of extra sparkly sparkle couldn't hurt.

Here are 5 reasonably priced options that I came up with. Some are more subtle than others, but each one could potentially work on the big day. I definitely have a top and bottom pick, but we'll just have to see which one gets chosen.

The next step is to answer the question, what about a bracelet? Ugh.