Friday Favorites: Wedding Blogs you should be reading

It’s planning season, Y’all!  Let’s get to some reading, yes? And Instagram stalking….

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Pretty Things.. and another photo shoot

Wedding Photography Inspiration!  All pictures by Mandee Rae. Here is her website. Today I am hooked on the idea of a post-wedding photo shoot. And all things Mandee Rae, apparently.

The couple was wed at Canterwood (remember the brunch wedding write up I did in November?) But did a post-wedding photo shoot around our little town of Gig Harbor, Washington. Continue reading

People I Crush On: Jessica Janae

A friend of mine got married last fall and has the most AMAZING photographer (and a simply stunning venue).  Let’s drool shall we?

The first picture you are seeing is of our little town here – Gig Harbor, Washington, as taken by Jessica Janae. (as are all the pictures in today’s blog!)

But let’s move on to wedding things, yes?

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People I Crush On: Caroline Hirons

CH with product

As brides and grooms get ready for the big day, they realize the importance that is placed on looking amazing in your pictures. Many engaged couples focus on weight loss, but a few start looking at skin care.

I didn’t pay much attention to skin care until two years ago when my mom introduced me to Caroline Hirons. I knew how to zap zits, but otherwise was a sleep-in-her-makeup, I’m-too-young-for-a-nightcream, why-on-EARTH-would-you-spend-$250-on-some-face-serum kind of girl.

CH spendy stuff

I didn’t realize how awful my skin really was.  Little fines lines started creeping in, my pores were dark and noticeable and my face seemed, well, dull.  My mom had started experimenting with skincare and I started listening. She was horrified to find out that I didn’t wash my face before bed – told me that Caroline Hirons would be aghast. That’s when she told me to read Caroline’s post on that very topic.

Caroline is VERY British.  She’s funny, she’s blunt, and she gives honest reviews and advice for all things skin care.  I enjoy her candid speaking & writing tone and love to scour through the massive achieves on her blog.   CH headshot

One of her best “get to know me” posts is Things I say over and over again in the Clinic.”  One of my favorite lines is,

“You overuse the Clarisonic. A lot of you. A LOT of you. You can use it – you’re just not meant to use it every time you brush your frigging teeth. … Step away from the trendy facial tool and wash your bloody face properly.”

If you happen to find yourself on her blog, start with the “Cheat Sheets” on the right hand column.  More specifically, start with “Cleansing.”

She debunks beauty industry jargon, coming down harshly on those who make false promises, here is what she says about the marketing term, “shrinks pores”

  • Shrinks pores I’ll say it again: Pores are not doors – they do not open and close.Nothing opens and closes pores. NOTHING. Well, except glue and sellotape perhaps. There is a difference between saying ‘closes pores’ and ‘minimises the appearance of pores’. A big fat difference. One is rubbish and the other is a possibility.

CH cruelty free

Caroline also gets into the world of responsible product development and marketing with her take on products sold in China and animal testing (absolutely fascinating article!).  I learned about the difference between truly cruelty free products, and product manufacturers that skirt the issue.  Read more here.

She posts pictures of herself, washing her face, no makeup, so you can see what she is doing.  I certainly wouldn’t do that, but she knows her readers need the tutorial – judgey-judgers be gone.

CH raw and honest

A couple of things to remember about Ms. Hirons’ Blog, and starting a skincare regimen:

– A “Flannel” (used to wash your face) is called a washcloth in the States (terrycloth)

– Great skin care is expensive, good skincare is spendy.  Read her thoughts on where to spend money and where to be thrifty.  Find what works for you and stick with it. However, keep your spending in perspective.

-Don’t fall in love with any product until you see if it’s distributed in the States.  Those sneaky companies… sometimes things in Europe aren’t out here, yet.

-Have thick skin.  Especially is you are a smoker.  She will tan your hide, then tell you how to fix all the damage you have done.

– She has frequent giveaways, but some are “UK-only”, don’t be bitter.  You can’t be bitter.  Yes, I wanted the $500 Kate Sommerville set as well….



I hope you will enjoy this energetic, bubbly, yet knowledgeable and frank woman’s perspective on skin care.  In a couple weeks, months, years, you will thank your younger self when those wedding pictures come back.  Or when those fine lines start to disappear. Or when you don’t have to apply makeup by the trowel-full to cover an uneven skin tone (raises hand in the back of class, slowly…).



DIY: Crepe Paper Flowers

My Aunt, Andrea, is fricking amazing. I adore her decorating style, and am always envious of how crafty she is.  Growing up, I always thought her to be so cool and fashion forward – seriously, for a while I think I wanted to be her when I grew up. Not a Wedding Planner, or a Teacher, I wanted to be Andrea.

A few years ago, when she was actively publishing her “Under a Blue Moon” blog (where I get a ton of my inspiration), she posted a well written, clear and concise essay on these gorgeous crepe paper flowers.

Then she made a simple tutorial and the damn thing practically went viral (again, I swoon with adoration). Click the link above for the complete post and instructions. Then get lost in her blog because it is a goldmine for great crafty things.

crepep paper tutorial

Need more for your paper flower fix? Check out this post from 101 different paper flower tutorials – my aunt’s three year old (at the time) post made the list at number 9!

So here it is – perfect for your DIY wedding flowers, or to decorate packages this Holiday Season.  Thank you to Andrea for letting me borrow her content!!




People I Crush On: Style Me Pretty

Go.  Leave me.

You’re welcome.  I’ll be here when you get back….

***From the SMP website: Style Me Pretty is a style savvy wedding resource devoted to the modern bride. We cover everything from gorgeous real weddings to up and coming vendors and seasoned pros in the invitation, floral, fashion and photography industries. We feature only the most chic and style centric wedding related content, continually discovering new and brilliantly talented vendors, brides with an eye for all things gorgeous, and the personal loves of editor, Abby Larson.***

I like to think of SMP as wedding-inspiration porn.  Some of it is almost too beautiful to look at.  Since 2007 founder Abby Larson has been scouring the earth for all things wedding beautiful.

They have practical tips, amidst high-end wedding photography:

bouquet breakdown blog heading

Take this feature – the exact breakdown of the flowers used in a bouquet.  How nice would this be to give to your florist? Or, are you struggling as a DIY bride? Now you know exactly what to purchase:

bouquet breakdown

With pinterest style gallery  / search engine (“the VAULT”), SMP is a perfect resource for moderate to high end wedding luxury. I searched “naked cakes” and got seemingly endless pictures:naked cakes on smpEvery one was properly credited, tagged and used stunning, well-cropped and well-lit photography.

This is a “grows with you website” as well – one that you will still follow long after the wedding planning is done.  With Kid’s Party advice, Home Tours and Recipes all stored in the vault, this website & its various widgets could be a favorite for years to come.

Oh – and they have a very sexy Instagram….  With 495K followers at publishing time, this is one account you should follow ASAP! The SMP living Instagram is also picking up speed.



ps.. I just realized I used naked, sexy and porn in the same post.  Maybe I’ll show up on more internet searches?? Eeep!