Travel: Europe (!!!)

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London, England: Westminster Abbey

What a trip! We are back from our two week European adventure. Let’s just say… it was nothing short of amazing. We truly had a trip of a lifetime and are so incredibly thankful that we were able to have this experience. This post is a high level recap and introduction to all of the other content that I will share in the coming months in regard to our trip!

Two of the most common questions I got when I told people the trip we were going on were 1) Did you work with a travel agent? and 2) Are you going with a tour? The answer to both of those questions was no. My husband, Troy actually planned every single detail of our trip! He loves planning travel and this was a really big goal for him to accomplish. I must say, I was very impressed with the trip he planned for us; #rufenerworldtravel for the win ūüėČ

While we were in Europe, we visited 5 countries and 10 cities! People told us we were crazy for doing this but honestly, it worked out really well and I wouldn’t change a thing. It fit perfectly with the type of trip we wanted to go on. With that said, we are pretty fast-paced people and wanted to see a lot of places. It’s not for everyone but we loved it!

We visited the following cities and countries: London, England, Stuttgart, Germany, Munich, Germany, Zurich, Switzerland, Lucerne, Switzerland, Geneva, Switzerland, Venice, Italy, Florence, Italy, Rome, Italy, Paris, France. You can expect blog posts coming soon about each country!

We had 3 connecting flights on our way over to Europe and were worried about losing our luggage. Due to the number of places we were traveling while we were over there, losing our luggage was a not a risk we were willing to take. So, we only took carry on luggage and it was the best decision that we made! I will have a few posts coming soon about what I packed. I’ll let you know what I wore a ton and what I could have gone without. Also, I¬†had Troy take quite a few outfit photos while we were out and about so you can see how I styled a lot of the items that I packed.

Our longest flight was 7 1/2 hours and between eating, sleeping and watching a few movies, the flight went by pretty quickly. I’m compiling all of my travel / flight essentials and will share that post with you soon, as well!

I’m really excited to share this content with all of you! It’s so fun having a place to share it and it means so much to me that all of you take the time to read it! Xoxo

 

Friday Favorites Vol. 4

Friday Favorites Vol. 4

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Whew, what a week! We got back from Europe last Saturday and have been settling back into reality all week ūüėČ Although I must say, it feels really good to be home.

A few of my favorites…

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on Monday! I cannot believe it has already been a year, time is flying! We had a pretty low key evening; it was both of our first days back to work after being gone for two weeks in Europe. We made homemade pizza and ate our wedding cake for dessert ūüôā

This is such a beautiful sun room makeover. What a great space to host guests or relax and paint!

I got these Birkenstocks for my birthday and love. them. My sister has them in blue and she is way cooler than me, so you should order some too.

Lara Casey is releasing a new book called Cultivate. I pre-ordered¬†a copy of it; I loved her book Make It Happen and I’m really excited to read Cultivate!

I love the nail polish shade ‘Cajun Shrimp’ by OPI; it’s bright, happy and perfect for summer.

What I love most about traveling is that I always come back with new inspiration and a fresh perspective. I have some fun content planned in the coming months for my blog that I‚Äôm really excited to share with you! Stay tuned ūüôā

I hope everyone has a great weekend! My brother and his girlfriend are coming into town this weekend and I’m really excited to see them… I know it will be a good one ūüôā

Friday Favorites Vol. 3

Friday Favorites Vol. 3

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Hello, hello! I hope everyone is having an awesome Friday! I’m excited to share a few of my favorites with you today.

How amazing is this fruit salad? I would not mind being at a party that this was served at ūüėČ

I ordered this bag for Europe. I am so excited about it! I’m typically a cross body kind of person but¬†I think a book bag will be great for carrying all of my things around Europe.

I always struggle with creative breakfast ideas. Typically, I eat a Clif protein bar every morning (so boring, I know) but I feel like this article has some really simple and practical on-the-go breakfast ideas.

I’ve watched a few episodes of The Office here and there but I told Troy that I want to watch all of the episodes and seasons in order. My sister is going to be so proud of me.

One of my friends from college started a flower company called Veiled Lady Floral. If you haven’t already, go follow her Instagram page! She has beautiful work and is super fun and inspiring.

I love this berry swimsuit from J.Crew. I think it’s really fun and different.

Things may get a little quiet around here due to our trip to Europe but I will be back to posting once we return to tell you about all of our adventures!

Have a great weekend!

Drugstore Beauty Buys

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A lot of the questions I get related to beauty products are¬†about what my favorite drugstore beauty products are. Drugstore beauty products are the types of products you would find at Target, Walgreens, CVS, etc. A common misconception is that drugstore beauty products are bad or don’t work as well as high end beauty products, but that isn’t always the case. There are quite a few products that I prefer¬†a drugstore brand over a¬†high end brand!

This cream eye shadow is very similar to the MAC paint pot that I talked about in this post. The main difference is this version has a shimmer and the MAC paint pot does not. This is perfect to use as a base to your eye shadow. It adds just the right amount of shimmer and is great for summer!

While I have not used it myself, I’ve heard really great things about this¬†contour palette. It is comparable to this¬†contour palette by Tarte and is a fraction of the cost.

I have really dark under eye circles and this concealer does the trick to cover them. It is similar to this under eye concealer by IT Cosmetics, only the formula of the Maybelline version is a little more runny than the IT Cosmetics version.

I couldn’t do a post like this and not include my beloved honey balm stain ūüėČ

If you have long eye lashes but are looking to add volume, this is a great mascara. I typically do two coats of mascara. For the first coat I use Maybelline the Rocket and for the second coat I use L’Oreal Voluminous. I prefer these two mascaras over any high end mascara I’ve ever used!

If you’re in the market for some new nail polish (let’s be honest, who isn’t?) these are really affordable and last a while without chipping.

I recently tried this eye liner and loved it! Soap and Glory makes some really great makeup and skin care products.

Next time you’re at Target, treat yourself and buy¬†one of these products! I’d love to know what¬†is on your list to try. ūüôā

 

Travel: Waterbury, VT

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At the end of September of 2016, Troy and I headed to Waterbury, VT. A few days after we got back from our honeymoon at the end of June, I started a full-time job and we still had quite a bit of work to finish up on our house. We decided to go on a fall trip and this was a perfectly timed getaway after a busy summer.

Waterbury, VT is a quaint, small town in Northern Vermont. All of the residents of the town were so nice and welcoming. Whenever we told them we were from out of town there was a genuine excitement from them and they were ready to give recommendations.

We stayed in an Airbnb for the few nights we were there and had such a great experience. By staying in an Airbnb, we were able to stay in downtown Waterbury. We were able to walk to dinner most nights and overall enjoy the different aspects of the town.

We did two hikes while we were there; one at Pinnacle Meadows and one at Camel’s Hump National Park.

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This was a really fun hike!¬†We were at the at the top of the mountain we hiked in Pinnacle Meadows. Two teachers had taken their class on a hike (so fun!) and one of them took this picture for us. They gave us the recommendation to hike at Camel’s Hump National Park, which was our favorite hike!

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This is one of my favorite pictures of Troy and I. It was so windy (and cold!) at the top of the mountain at Camel’s Hump National Park.

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We stopped at this cute little shop that sold maple syrup. We bought a few bottles to take back home with us and anytime we use the syrup we talk about memories from the trip.

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We visited Cold Hollow Cider Mill and loved it. We are little partial to Bauman Orchards (in Rittman, OH) but it was fun to visit something similar out of state.  They had awesome apple cider donuts, apple cider and a gift shop that was fun to browse.

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We went on a Ben & Jerry’s factory tour, which was a little disappointing. The production facility we toured only¬†had about four production days per week, with no set schedule. We decided to test our luck but unfortunately they were not making ice cream the day we toured.¬†We were a little bummed but the tickets were relatively inexpensive and we got a free sample of ice cream at the end.

I’m always curious where people eat and different restaurant recommendations they may have.¬†A few places we ate at were Prohibition Pig (awesome barbecue), Arvad’s Grill & Pub (decent food, bad service), and The Blue Stone (great pizza place). We ate at a few other cafes and small lunch places but to be honest, we ate a lot of Clif bars / snacks while hiking, which typically took place of meals (sorry mom).

This trip was only a few days long but we had so much fun! I had zero expectations going into the trip and it has been one of my favorite trips, to date.

Have you ever gone a trip with no expectations and had a blast? I would love to know where you went!

Unique Bridal Shower & Wedding Gifts

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As wedding and bridal shower season is now upon us, I thought it would be fun to compile a fun gift guide of unique gifts that you could give to someone getting married! What I mean by unique is a fun twist on a practical product. For example, the colander; most people register for a colander but how cute would it be to gift a copper one instead?

We have this cake stand and I use it all of the time! This is a great container to store leftover baked goods in to keep them from drying out while also looking pretty.

There is something about having pretty oven mitts and an apron that make cooking and baking way more fun. I don’t know what it is but it makes me happy every single time I take something out of the oven¬†while using these.

I don’t have this condiment trio but I think it would be so useful. We just had some friends over for Mexican the other night; how cute would this have been to serve the guacamole, sour cream and salsa?

After compiling this list of items, I realized that everything is from Anthropologie and Target, ha! It was unintentional BUT I do feel like they both have really great home items. Target is great because a lot of their home items are affordable and easy to return (if the need arises). Anthropologie can be a little pricey but their items are so beautiful that I think they are worth it!

What is one of your favorite items that you received on your wedding registry? I’d love to know!

Friday Favorites Vol. 2

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Happy Friday, everyone! I cannot believe it is already May! We are going to see the musical Something Rotten¬†and celebrating my sister’s birthday this weekend so it should be a good one!

How cute is this cat pillow DIY?! This would be a great gift to give to someone about to have a baby or a younger niece, cousin, or sibling that would enjoy it!

My sister attended Passion 2017 and recommended that I listen to this session by Levi Lusko. Woah, it was so awesome. I would highly recommend listening to it!

A great post on everyday contouring to add some definition to your face without looking too overdone.

With all of the rainy weather we’re suppose to have this weekend, you should make¬†this Italian orzo spinach soup. It’s¬†easy to make and most of the time I have all of the ingredients on hand!

Also, as a side note… I’ve been trying to decorate my mantle, I need help! Please send me your best tips or inspiration.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! ūüôā

Our Wedding: The Details

I’ve always been a ‘details’ person. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the details that I forget about the big picture. However, I really feel like the details make or break a concept or idea. The details were by far my favorite part of planning our wedding! I’m excited to share all of our wedding details with you today. I broke up the details into different sections to make it easier to navigate and included all of the vendors links at the very bottom. Enjoy!

Hair & Makeup

One of my friends from high school, who is now a cosmetologist, did my hair and makeup for our wedding. You can follow all of her amazing work¬†here. I couldn’t of been happier with how it turned out and felt so thankful that she was able to do it! She did all of the bridesmaids hair, as well!

It was so helpful to have Andrea do my makeup! I would highly recommend hiring an professional to do it. She knew all of the best tips and tricks of what would transfer best into the photos.

This is a good side view of what my hair looked like. Basically, I just told her I wanted a curly up-do and she worked her magic and did this. I loved it! It worked well with both my veil and floral crown.

Dress, Shoes & Earrings

Not only did I love my dress but it was really comfortable, had an amazing detail at the top and had pockets! My sister got me this hanger as a wedding day gift and I love how much it added to the pictures of my dress.

For my shoes, I primarily went for comfort since I was going to be on my feet all day and these did the trick!

My mom made the handkerchief in the bottom picture to serve as my ‘something blue’. I really love how it turned out. The lace around the edges is from her wedding dress!

My earrings are from ElisabethAshlie, which is also where I got all of my bridesmaids jewelry! Lauren was so fun to work with designing exactly what I wanted for my earrings.

Bridesmaids & Groomsmen

For the bridesmaid dresses, I picked out the color and then we all went shopping together and each of them picked out a dress that they felt comfortable in. It was pretty easy and I’m so happy with how it turned out!

I had the groomsmen wear pants and a vest with a tie to match the bridesmaids flowers. Troy wore the same pants and vest, only he added a suit jacket and wore a white tie instead.

Flowers

The flowers were by far my favorite detail! They were worth every penny, in my opinion. Amy, from the Bouquet Studio, was so easy to work with and I could not be happier with how they turned out. She brought my vision to life.

I loved my bouquet that Amy created. Peonies are one of my favorite flowers and having an early June wedding aligned perfectly with having them in our bouquets.

The bridesmaids had the same bouquet as me, just a smaller version. I love how the blush tones popped against their gray dresses.

Amy truly outdid herself with this arbor! We were able to use it outside for the ceremony and then had a few of our friends move it inside for the reception.

I couldn’t decide on a veil or floral crown, so I did both. I wore the veil for the ceremony and floral crown for the reception.

Signs

I hand lettered all of the signs for our wedding. I really enjoy doing it and it was fun to make them for our wedding! A few of them are pictured below…

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Ceremony

We have some friends that are harp players and graciously played at our wedding. They played all of the music before the ceremony music as well as the music while I was walking down the aisle.

This was our wedding guestbook table. In each of the frames are pictures of both of our parents on their wedding day.

I ordered our wedding programs on Vistaprint. It was so easy, simple and they arrived really quickly.

Reception

I love the ‘T & K’ detail at the top of the barn entrance. The venue did this for us and I thought it was such a sweet detail.

We rented all of our linens and I chose a light gray with blush napkins. As I mentioned in this post, we rented the vintage china place settings from the venue.

The centerpieces were wide-mouth mason jars filled with babies breath, attached with a tag to mark the table number, set on top of a wood slice.

There you have it… all of our wedding details! If you have any questions about our wedding or anything about weddings in general, please comment below or email me! I would love to talk to you about your upcoming wedding, tell you where I got something or give you my input.

Dress: David’s Bridal |¬†Shoes: DSW | Jewelry: ElisabethAshlie | Hair & Makeup: Andrea Yoder¬†| Suits: Men’s Warehouse | Programs: VistaPrint | Flowers: The Bouquet Studio | Photography: Sarver Photography¬†| Venue: The Barn at the Meadows

Also, if you missed them… read about our ceremony¬†& reception!

Travel: Where to Next

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One of Troy and I’s favorite thing to do together is travel. We both really enjoy it and it is good for us to take time away from our busy schedules and travel the world. Since being married, Troy and I have taken 7 different trips together. A few of those weekend trips and a few a little while longer and we have thoroughly enjoyed each trip for different reasons.

Today, I have some really exciting news to share about our next adventure! In about a month and a half, Troy and I are traveling to EUROPE! We could not be more excited!

We (and by we, I mean Troy) have been busy planning this trip since last Fall. It seems unreal that it will be here before we know it! We are flying into London, England and will end our trip in Paris, France; while visiting a few cities in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy in between.

This trip is a total dream come true for both of us – it’s hard to believe that it is so close! It has been so fun sharing this news with our friends and family. One of the best parts has been how excited everyone is for us.

I have been busy sourcing different clothing items to take over with me. Cute, versatile and comfy are my three criteria. So far, I have found some really good pieces to take but I still have a few more staples to find. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments!

Have you ever traveled over seas? I would love to know all our your tips and tricks!

 

Friday Favorites Vol. 1

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Happy Friday! I hope everyone had a great week.¬†Spring is here! Everything is starting to bloom, which I love but my allergies do not ūüėČ

I’m excited to start this fun little series to *hopefully* get me to post to my blog more consistently.

I recently purchased these headphones and they are so. great. We flew to Florida for a few days last month and these were perfect for the flight. Noise cancelling, comfortable, wireless, and most importantly, pretty!

Last weekend, I got a new bike and I’m super pumped about it! I love biking and we have a bike trail about a quarter mile from our house, which is perfect for weekday evening rides. I’m excited to try out some new trails this summer.

Bethel music released a new album Starlight and it’s amazing, go listen to it!

This banana bread recipe is amazing. I usually skip the frosting because it is that good on it’s own!

If you have problems with your nail polish chipping right after you paint your nails, try this gel top coat. I did two coats of regular nail polish with this on top and my nail polish looked nice for about a week!

Does anyone have any fun weekend plans? Let me know in the comments!