Blue Dress for Spring

blue dress is sold out, similar here, here, and here | Kendra Scott earrings | Tory Burch wedges

Hi friends! As I shared yesterday, we finally got our engagement photos back, and I. am. in. LOVE. We went to the peach tree orchards in Fort Mill to shoot them, and I didn’t want to let an opportunity go to waste, so Shane and I arrived early to snap a few photos of my own 🙂 I am in loooooveeee with how they turned out! I wish these trees could keep their pretty blossoms year round, but then I suppose it wouldn’t be as special if they did.

I thought this was a super cute dress for spring in general, with the pretty ruffled straps and the delicate jacquard print. I found it at Nordstrom Rack for quite a steal – it was on sale for $15, plus an extra 25% off, so it ended up being less than $11! Nordstrom Rack is one of my favorite places to shop, especially when they have their Clear the Rack event. I wish I had one closer to me; since I’m in Winston now, I have to either drive to the one in Charlotte or the one in Durham, but it’s always worth it! I also found one of the dresses I wore for my second engagement shoot there, which I’ll share when I get those photos back (and that one is fully in stock online!).

What’s your favorite place to shop for deals? Let me know in the comments, and have a great week! 🙂

XO, Ash

Wedding Wednesday, Vol. 3: Our Date

Happy Wednesday, friends! I’m so excited to share today’s post, since I’ve been waiting a month to get these pictures back! Shane and I took our engagement photos the weekend of March 23rd, and I have been eagerly anticipating getting them back since then. I received our gallery on Monday, and they honestly took my breath away! Tara, our first photographer, was so incredibly sweet, and I love her light and airy style. We had a full hour with her in the peach blossoms field at sunset, and I’m so happy we went there – the pictures turned out so dreamy! I’d highly recommend her to anyone, and definitely plan on using her in the future 🙂 You can see more of her work on her Instagram here.

So, without further ado, our wedding date is…

…June 6, 2020! As I shared in my previous post about our venue, we will be there for the whole weekend with our guests, so we’ll actually arrive on the 4th. I’ll share what our original date was, and why I changed it, after some more of my favorite pictures from our session. I hope y’all love them as much as I do 🙂

I’ll of course be adding more to my Facebook page, but these are some of my absolute favorites! Also, shoutout to my friend Jillian for doing my makeup that day – she did a fantastic job and I credit her for how much I love these photos as well.

So, back to our date – we actually originally had a different date, which was April 18, 2020. I picked our original date after a conversation with my friend Ashley (Twinnie!) that made me remember that I’ve always wanted the wedding date April 18th. Why I’ve always wanted it was pretty simple – it’s not too hot yet, the flowers are blooming, and the 18th is my favorite day. This realization was last summer right after Shane proposed, and when I looked ahead and saw that it was a Saturday in 2020, the date was solidified for me. Hawkesdene also had that weekend open, so it seemed meant to be. We booked it, and that was that!

Clearly, something happened to change that, since April 18th is not the date that I spent 3 hours making a banner of! After we booked Hawkesdene for that weekend, I got to thinking, and overthinking, and thinking ahead. Since Shane is in Higher Ed, the middle to end of April will be always be busy for him, since the school year is coming to a close and students are cramming all the last minute things in before summer. Sure, he would be able to get time off for our wedding, but I started thinking about our future anniversaries. I didn’t want him to have to work late, or put off celebrating them every year, especially when I anticipate we’ll be taking trips or doing something special. It simply made more sense to have our wedding in a time that, in the future, Shane will very easily be able to take time off.

With that in mind, I started checking the Hawkesdene calendar, which was already solidly booked through the summer. They have policy that you can hold a date for a month with a refundable deposit, so I was hoping one of the weekends would open up if someone changed their mind. I figured if a new date didn’t open up, I’d resign myself to the original date and having delayed celebrations every year. However, after a few weeks, I checked again and there it was – the weekend of June 6th had opened up. It felt like a sign, because June 6th is my late Grandma’s birthday, and it’s also the perfect time – after May, which can also be crazy busy, but before the worst of the summer heat. Also, apparently double dates are a big thing with weddings now (like 2/2 or 10/10), and ours is technically two double dates thanks to 2020, so that also gives it a nice ring.

So, there you have it! I know we’ll have been engaged for nearly two years by our wedding, but neither of us are in any rush. We’re simply enjoying this period of our relationship as we figure out what married life will actually look like for us 🙂 Also, it feels like time is flying by faster every day, so June of next year will be here before we even know it. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this, and have a great rest of your day!

XO, Ash

Currently Crushing: Kendra Scott Spring 2019 Favorites

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen | fifteen | sixteen | seventeen | eighteen

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had a great weekend 🙂 As you may or may not know, Kendra Scott is one of my favorite jewelry brands, as their fresh designs and natural materials are just my style. Kendra’s spring collection is usually my favorite of the year, and this they’ve brought back some old styles in new colors and stones, as well as some great new designs.

I especially love the pearl shell pieces; I have quite a few from years past, and I get compliments nearly every time I wear them. They’ve added this lovely bright pink color this year, which I may need to pick up a piece in once I figure out what my favorite style is! One of my favorite new silhouettes this release are the Camila earrings (#9); they’re just so effortlessly feminine and stylish. I also especially like the Kiernan earrings (#14), since they’re big and bold but would be lightweight since they have a large cutout. The Jasper earrings (#3) are also one of my favorites; if you remember my post on last year’s spring release, there was a similar pair in pinks and purples that was $250. This pair is more neutral, and also $75 less than last year’s pair! I actually ended up getting that pair after they went on sale, and got an additional 50% off with my birthday discount. They are so pretty and fun in person, and while I still wouldn’t have paid $250 for them, I am happy I got them (and saved nearly 80% by waiting!).

Do you have any favorite pieces? Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

XO, Ash

Wedding Wednesday, Vol. 2: Our Venue

Happy Wednesday, friends! Today I wanted to finally share the venue Shane and I picked and cannot WAIT to go get married at! You may remember a picture of me in the mountains from an Instagram roundup last fall (which you can see here) – we were visiting what we did end up choosing for our venue, Hawkesdene Estate in Andrews, NC! I’ve included some photos I took while we visited, but you can see more if you’d like on their website or Facebook 🙂

I actually found out about Hawkesdene last summer, pretty soon after Shane proposed, while binge-searching North Carolina wedding venues at 3 a.m. after I gave up on sleep that night haha. I immediately fell in love with the photos I saw on their website, and looked at reviews on several different sites, as well as checked out about two years of photos on their Facebook. After about two hours of research, I was convinced that this was where I wanted to get married. Knowing how indecisive I am, the fact that I knew in my gut pretty immediately spoke volumes to how much I wanted to have it there. The actual hard part came next – convincing Shane! The mountains aren’t really his thing, but I just knew that taking a trip in person might just do the trick. We figured out a date we could come visit, and in late September we took a day trip to go see it.

The whole drive up, Shane was still pretty skeptical, but once we arrived I could tell he liked the place. We spoke to Rob, the owner, and he took us on a tour of the main house, the grounds, and the cabins. Rob was so wonderful, and definitely played a part in helping convince Shane; you could tell how sincere he was, and how much he enjoys what he does. I still remember the moment when, up on the deck overlooking the mountains, Shane leaned over to me and whispered, “I hate it when you’re right!” I had the biggest grin on my face after that, since I knew I had him hooked. Well, not really me; Hawkesdene pretty much speaks for itself! The view was breathtaking, and I can’t wait to take some of our pictures up there 🙂

My favorite aspect of Hawkesdene is that you rent out the entire estate for a minimum of two nights, and they have cabins that fit up to around 100 people, so all of your guests come and stay and you get to spend a whole weekend (or longer) with them. One of my least favorite things about weddings is that although we’re all there to celebrate the bride and groom, usually they’re too busy to say anything more than “hi” to you. I knew I wanted to do something different; initially, I wanted to just do a planned ‘elopement’ in Europe with our families and some close friends, but Shane didn’t think it was the best idea for his side. I didn’t want to do a Caribbean destination wedding either, so I was struggling with how to make this special and unique and not just have a typical 4-5 hour ceremony and reception. Hawkesdene fits the bill perfectly; it acts kind of like a destination wedding in that our guests will be with us for a few days, and we’ll really get to spend time with them, but it’s completely affordable and close by for most of us. They have most of the decorations included, so we really just need to worry about florals and personal touches. Also, they have a complete culinary staff who customizes your menu for the entire weekend, which is honestly one of the things I’m most excited about! 😀

We’ll probably be making another trip to the estate sometime in the next few months, for planning and to see what it will look like for our wedding next year. I honestly just can’t wait to spend a weekend there with all of our closest friends and family, celebrating us! P.S. – they also have a llama and alpaca barn on site, so that’ll be super fun for photo ops 🙂 Have an awesome Wednesday, y’all, and thanks for reading!

XO, Ash

Currently Crushing: Engagement Dresses

one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve | thirteen | fourteen | fifteen | sixteen | seventeen

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day/weekend 🙂 Shane and I pretty much spent the whole weekend cleaning and organizing the house, nothing too crazy! I know I’ve been pretty absent on here since the new year, but I’ll be back to posting regularly soon. To be frank, I couldn’t find the energy to dedicate to posting with everything else that’s been going on. I’ve started going to the gym regularly, about 5-6 times a week, and the couple of hours that I may usually spend working on a post has been spent there. Although I keep this blog for fun, it also does take mental energy and I simply haven’t had enough of it to give any here.

This weekend Shane and I are *finally* taking our engagement photos, and since all of y’all know I’m so extra, I hired two separate photographers. I wanted to see which editing style I preferred; one does a light and airy style, and the other has a more vibrant look her photos. We haven’t picked a wedding photographer yet, so this will be sort of a trial to see which style we like more! I’ll share their info whenever I post in the future with our pictures; I know we haven’t even taken them yet, but I’m already anxious to get them back haha!

Obviously, one of the most fun things about taking pictures is picking out what to wear for them. Shane and I have never gotten professional pictures taken of us before, so I’m excited to have some nice, quality photos of us. We’re even going to have Angel in some of them! 😀 I wanted to keep things really romantic and seasonal; for some of the pics, we’ll be in the peach tree orchards in Fort Mill, so those especially will have a soft spring vibe. I’ve been looking at dresses for nearly two months now, since we booked our first photographer, and I’m quite happy with what I’ve found! I’ll save what I actually picked for when I share the pics here, but these are some of the dresses I considered. We’ll have four total outfits in the pictures, and I can tell you that at least one of the above dresses made the cut! Many of these would also be great for any spring occasion coming up, like Easter, graduation, weddings, showers, etc.

I hope y’all have a fantastic rest of your day! Shane and I are going to round two of Game of Thrones trivia at a local brewery, which I’m pretty excited for 🙂

XO, Ash

Happy New Year! + Instagram Roundup

Happy Friday, friends! Wow, it’s been a while – December is my absolute busiest time of year, and I was hoping I’d have the energy to squeeze in at least a few posts but I clearly didn’t! I’ll be back to my regular posting soon; January is such a depressing month, it’s cold, and I’m enjoying *not* being busy for the first time in what feels like forever! As amazing as 2018 was, I feel like I didn’t really get to catch a break and was just going, and going, and going…and going. Going so much to the point where I wasn’t making any time for things I needed to do for me, since I was doing so much for everyone else. I’ve made a few goals for this year, which I’ll be sharing in a post next week along with how well I did on my 2018 goals (you can read those here, in my first post 🙂 ).

For now, an easy way to catch y’all up is to do an Instagram roundup of the past couple of months; buckle in, cause it’s jam-packed!

December started with a quick trip to Nashville, which was my first time in Music City! My friend (and bridesmaid!) Brittany lives just north of Nashville, so I spent the weekend with her, and Shane flew in to meet us on Sunday. We went to see Childish Gambino on his last tour – Shane has been dying to see him live since 2012, but every time he went on tour something prevented Shane from going. Let me tell you, I’ve never seen happier tears than the ones Shane cried that night (lol, don’t kill me for that 😛 ). I actually had a blast that weekend, which I wasn’t really expecting but Nashville was a good time! I’m excited to go back to visit Britt again and explore some more.

After we got back from Nashville, I made it my goal to get the house decorated for Christmas before the crazy rush from my shop got too bad. I spent about 4 hours on the tree alone, just fluffing the branches and cutting and tying the ribbon. This was my first year decorating my own tree and not my parents tree, and I’m slightly obsessed with how it turned out! I wish I could keep it up all year <3

A few days later, the Triad area was hit with a crazy snowstorm – we got over 2 feet of snow! That’s a lot for NC in general, but especially since it was before Christmas – we usually don’t see snow until mid-late January. It ended up lasting nearly a full week!

Thankfully, we were able to escape the snow a few days after it came when we went to Florida for my surprise birthday trip, planned and executed by Shane. He did such a good job planning everything! The first day, we spent the afternoon shopping at the outlets and Disney Springs, and this photo was taken on the second day at Epcot.

Our third and final day, we went to Universal Studios, where Shane was happy to get on the roller coasters – since I don’t ride them he got to utilize the single-rider line at nearly every one he went on, which was great! I was just happy to be back in Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, and to have my butterbeer too 🙂

Happy Birthday to me!!! This is probably where you’re wondering, so wait, did you stay in Florida or not? The answer is no – Shane and I had an early flight back on Sunday, and I worked literally all day to get orders done. Little (a.k.a. Sami) had flown in from Germany for the holidays, and was driving down on Monday to visit friends in Florida (and go to her favorite place, of course). So after working all day Sunday, I met her Monday morning and drove down with her, then spent Tuesday (my birthday) in Magic Kingdom. It was honestly the best birthday I’ve had in years – since opening my shop, it’s been hard to take the time so close to Christmas to really celebrate. This year, since I actually worked ahead and pre-made my most popular pieces, I was able to manage not one but two trips to Florida for my birthday! Also, Katherine managed to get us last minute dinner reservations at Be Our Guest; I’ve wanted to do the dinner service there for YEARS but it’s practically impossible to get reservations. There was also a Christmas Party that night, where special events happen in the park and they pass out seasonal treats, like hot cocoa and cookies. It was such a perfect day and I wish I could relive it!

Once back to reality, I realized very quickly that I had barely done any Christmas shopping. I’m usually one to get all my gift shopping done well ahead of time (re: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc.), but gift giving proved more difficult this year. I headed out the weekend before Christmas to grab some last minute gifts for everyone. This photo was taken in Reynolda Village, which had this adorable Christmas setup in the fountain that I just had to get a pic with.

Merry Christmas Eve! Shane and I took this before heading down to my parent’s for Christmas Eve dinner, which we do in lieu of Christmas Day dinner. My tree looks even better in the daylight, don’t ya think? 😍

Merry Christmas! We started the day by going to my grandpa’s house for brunch, then opening my family’s gifts to us and from us. Shane and I then left for Raleigh, to finish the day at his parents house with his family. It was the first time for both of us to not spend all of Christmas with our families, so it was an adjustment but I think it turned out well! We both got to enjoy time with those closest to us, and with one another, which was also a first for Christmas.

I spent the next few days after Christmas with Little, while she was still in the States. Her family lives outside of Raleigh, so we stayed in Raleigh for another couple of days, then we took her back to Winston to see the house and to get some extra time with her. A few of our friends came up, and we had a great time grabbing dinner and having a game night. I was so sad to take her back to Raleigh on Friday, even though I am working on another trip to go visit her later this year 🙂

January has been pretty meh, to say the least. It’s been cold and miserable, and the downtime in my shop between Christmas and Valentine’s day meant I didn’t have much to do at all. Thankfully, one of our favorite events of the year happens in January – Restaurant Week! Also known as the Queen’s Feast, where high end restaurants have discounted menus for a week. We had a double date with Anna and Sean at Del Frisco’s, which is my favorite steakhouse.

A few days ago, I celebrated half a decade of running my shop, which I shared this picture to celebrate. To think it was really that long ago is crazy – time really does fly by as you get older! I’m excited to see where the journey of being a sole proprietor goes next 🙂

Phew! That’s my last two months summed up; December was as crazy busy as ever, and January has been a slightly welcome respite from the busy, minus the literal freezing temps that I am SO over. Spring, where you at?? I am committing to posting at a normal frequency again, so make sure to check back soon for new posts, like my new goals for the year, my search for a dress for our engagement pics, and more! 🙂

XO, Ash

Transitioning from Fall to Winter

similar cable knit sweater // old navy white rockstar jeans // hat is old, almost exact here and here // similar Tory Burch crossbody // similar ankle booties // old Kendra Scott necklace and earrings, similar here and here 

Happy Thursday, friends! It’s been December for less than a week, and it’s already a madhouse over here. I’ve been getting between 20-25 orders a day since Black Friday, and I’m working as quickly as possible to keep up with my orders. I’m hoping to get at least 10 posts up this month, but I might be reaching with that – it’s taken me a full week just to get this one up, so no promises but I’ll be trying my hardest 🙂

Transitional weather periods are such a hard time to plan for, since the temperature can vary up to 20° day to day. Today I wanted to share this outfit that is great for transitioning from fall to winter. We have a cold front this week, with the possibility of snow this weekend (!!!), and it feels like NC’s 60° fall is officially over. Gone are the slightly chill days where I can just wear a cardigan to stay warm, as the expected temps for the weekend are the 30s and 40s and it doesn’t seem like we’ll get our comfortably cool weather back after that. I definitely prefer the cold over heat, and I love a good snowstorm, but I prefer it to stay in the 50s or so and don’t really enjoy the freezing cold for longer than a day or two. I mean, does anyone? Haha!

This sweater is such a great, thick knit that really holds the warmth in when you need it most. I  love burgundy for both fall and winter – it’s such a rich, beautiful color that works well in both seasons. It seems to usually be forgotten in December in favor of the more festive bright red, but I think it works perfectly when you’re not trying to be too bright or festive. Like I’ve said many times, white jeans are a year round staple for me, and they keep the burgundy from being too drab and dark. I also loved my Kendra Scott pieces from last fall with this, since they were fun without being overwhelming.

I’m hoping to get another post up tomorrow, so make sure to check back for that! I’m also working on putting together some gift guides that I’ll be posting next week, and I’m really excited about those too 🙂 Have an awesome rest of your day, y’all!

XO, Ash

3 Ways to Wear a Denim Mini This Fall, pt. 3

similar lace-up sweater // denim skirt is old, almost exact here // similar OTK brown suede boots //similar Tory Burch crossbody // hat is old, almost exact here and here // constellation pendant from zodiac necklace set // kendra scott emmet earrings

Good morning, friends! This is my third and final post on styling a denim mini skirt for the fall, and I think it’s my favorite look of the three! (If you missed either of the other posts, you can see the first one here, and the second one here). I saw this gorgeous tree from the road and knew I had to get these pics with it – and yes, we’re in a neighborhood haha! It was just the perfect backdrop for one of my final posts for this fall, since next week I’ll be going full-force into Christmas mode 🙂

In the cooler months, I feel like many of us can get in a rut of just wearing jeans over and over, and over, and over…you get the picture. I love mixing it up with skirts and dresses, which are usually considered more spring- or summer-wear, which is why I wanted to do this post on how to wear it in the fall. I think the material of the skirt is really important in making sure you don’t look like you’re dressing out of season – denim is a perfect choice since it’s a year round staple,  but I also love corduroy, velvet, and suede for the cooler months.

For my final look, I decided to pair it with a cropped sweater and over-the-knee boots for an chic look that’s easy to duplicate. This lace up sweater has been a favorite of mine for nearly two years now, and I love how it lines up with the button-up front of the skirt to create a clean line straight down the body. Vertical lines usually have a slimming effect, so having one down half your body can’t do anything but help on that front haha! Over the knee boots also help keep you warm as it cools down, and these ones are padded so they’re especially warm. I kept the accessories pretty simple, but I think if it was any colder out a scarf or vest would have looked really cute with this outfit.

Which look was your favorite of the 3? Let me know in the comments, and have an awesome day! 🙂

XO, Ash

Happy Thanksgiving! + What I’m Thankful For

color block sweater // similar skirt // similar pink felt hat // Kendra Scott Didi earrings // similar boots // old Tory Burch Harper clutch, similar here // pendant necklace from zodiac set 

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! I hope everyone is with their loved ones today, spending time with those most important to you ♡ Shane and I are hosting for our families this year, which is the first time for both of us – here’s to hoping it goes as smoothly as possible!

This year more than ever, I have so much to be thankful for. My shop is still successful enough that I can continue to be my own boss, I have good health, and I did some really ‘adult’ things like purchase my car and move out of my parents house (lol). I was able to travel both to the Caribbean and go back to Europe for the first time in 7 years, and take Shane on his first international adventure. My family has been there for me this entire year, through all of the decisions I’ve had to make, and I couldn’t be more grateful for them. Last, but certainly not least, I am so grateful for starting to really build a life with Shane – from exploring the world, to moving in together, and of course getting engaged, I couldn’t be more thankful for how our relationship has grown this year.

We have a ton to do to prepare this meal, so I don’t want to go on and on in this post, but I do want to mention that you can get my sweater on sale for 30% off and free shipping tomorrow! Also, my boots are a couple of years old, but I found a pair on Poshmark for $50 (I paid over $200, and they were on sale), so if you’re a size 8.5 I’d go snatch those up. On that note, go have a wonderful day with your families and friends! 🙂

XO, Ash

My Favorite New Jeans (from Target!)

brown turtleneck sweater // curvy skinny jeans // similar pink felt hat // similar Tory Burch crossbody // Kendra Scott Didi earrings // similar OTK brown suede boots 

Earlier this month, when the weather finally decided to be seasonally appropriate, I had a stark realization – every single pair of jeans I owned had holes in them. Yes, I purposely bought them like that, but when it’s 46° outside, you decide you may want a fully intact pair instead haha! My previous pairs had finally given out earlier this year, so it became my mission to find a great new pair of jeans. I was planning on going to Old Navy or Nordstrom soon, which is where I usually buy my jeans, but on a recent visit to Target I decided to try on a few pairs on a whim. They happened to be on sale for 25% off, so why not? I’ve found a lot of gems there over the years, but hadn’t yet bought any of their jeans, so I figured it was time to try them out!

Y’all – I was not expecting to, but I ended up loving this pair! I would not guess that Target could make such a great pair of jeans. This pair is called the “curvy skinny,” and it’s made for people who have curves, but not exclusively in plus sizes like anything marked “curvy” usually is. These jeans fit me perfectly, and have enough room in all the right places while still being skinny on the calf. After wearing them several times, I can also confirm that although they’re stretchy, they don’t stretch out after wearing them like some stretchy jeans can. I’d love to get another pair of these later this week during the Black Friday sales – I like a medium wash, but I prefer a dark wash 🙂

Speaking of Black Friday – I’ll be working on a sale post all week long to post on Friday, so make sure to come back then for a huge roundup of sales!

XO, Ash