Have A Celebratory Weekend!

I’m in the best mood this morning, lovelies!  And I’m thrilled that we’ve made it to Friday because I’m celebrating a dear friend’s birthday with a fun girl’s day and sushi tonight— yay!

I can’t stop drooling over this Kate Spade bracelet..

How to make your own antique mirror.

Pregnant? Take this cute gender prediction quiz!

Want to know how Americans sound to British people?

Upholstered walls!!!

I love shopping the sale section

A bicycle leads to a marriage :)

You’re not as busy as you think you are.

Colorful doors make my heart *swoon*

I’ve always wanted a harmonica necklace

The cutest manicure.

Hope your weekend is a blast!  See you back here with a special guest post on Monday morning, xo.

What are you up to this weekend?  Do you have anything to celebrate?  Or will you be laying low at home?  Got any fun links to share with us?  Share ‘em in the comments!

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Your Questions, Answered: Properly Dressing For Every Type of Event

Today I’m answering a question sent in from a reader, just like you!  Amber writes…

I got invited to a gala, and the dress code says:

MEN: A tuxedo, a suit, or business casual (jackets, no ties) will look sharp. Please no jeans or casual shirts.
WOMEN: Cocktail dresses and gowns are acceptable and will look beautiful on you.

What exactly does that mean? Length? Color?

Trying to determine the appropriate attire for any event can be tricky, so I’m going to break it down by category for future reference.  Check out these common dress code terms and how they translate to real life…

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Casual: Anything goes with this one— women can wear jeans, sandals are appropriate.  But no matter what, especially if this is a work-related event, make sure you’re still covered up and put-together.

Semi-casual: Men should wear khakis and maybe a polo, and women would be best in a sundress or cotton skirt.  Sandals are still appropriate for the ladies.

Semi-Formal: (Other terms for this can include Sunday best, casual elegance, or afternoon elegant.)  In this situation, men should wear suits, but aren’t required to put on ties.  Women should wear dresses— something a little more substantial than a sun dress— and heels instead of sandals.

Formal: (Also called cocktail attire.)  Men should wear suits and ties.  Women should wear a nice dress, but it doesn’t have to be floor length.  (Stick with dresses right around knee length— please don’t wear something super short!)  Heels are pretty much mandatory at this point.

Black Tie Optional: Men can wear either a dark suit & tie or a tux.  Women should wear their nicest dress and a long gown is often preferred, though a modest cocktail dress would be fine.

Black Tie: Men should be in tuxes.  Women can wear the same thing they’d wear to a “black tie optional” event.

It sounds like Amber’s gala is pretty flexible, if men can wear either a tux or a suit without a tie.  For this reason, I’d stick with a knee-length cocktail dress, rather than a full-length gown.  (I hate feeling like I’m the dressiest person in the room!)  If it’s an evening event, dark colors are a safe choice (navy, plum, black), but feel free to pair your look with a pop of color, either jewelry, shoes, or a cute clutch.

Hope this helps, Amber!

Have you had trouble deciphering a dress code for a wedding or event?  Do the “rules” I outlined above seem right to you?  How do you determine what’s appropriate?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

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Wedding Wednesday: Pretty Engagement Rings, Which Would You Wear?

Here’s something I haven’t done in years…

Before Travis and I got engaged, I used to secretly (and sometimes not-so-secretly) browse the web looking at engagement rings and fantasizing about him getting down on one knee.  Well it’s been almost two years since he popped the question, and I miss looking at pretty jewelry!

So let’s have some fun lusting over a few engagement rings this morning… and tell me: which would you wear?

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I think my favorite is #3… swoon!

Which of these engagement rings do you like best?  Non-engaged girls: do you ever browse the web and pick out your favorites?  Engaged/married girls: Tell us about your ring!  (or better yet, send a photo to kim@blendingbeautiful.com!!)

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Vacation Fantasy…

Travis and I are planning to take a big trip at the end of the summer to celebrate our 1 year wedding anniversary/5 year dating anniversary.  Most recently, we’ve  been leaning toward Italy, which has so much to offer and is a new destination for both of us.

But these photos of Ireland from National Geographic have me second-guessing myself…

Maybe it’s because St. Patrick’s day is right around the corner, or maybe it’s my Irish heritage, but a trip to Ireland doesn’t sound half bad…

If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, what would you choose?  Have you ever been to Italy?  Ireland?  Got any other good suggestions?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

P.S. The easiest recipe EVER for St. Patty’s Day corned beef & cabbage.

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Fun Baby Shower Ideas!

Yesterday, I attended the sweetest baby shower— full of  joy, excitement, and fun games!  For those of you who have a baby shower in the works in your life (or if you just love a good party, like I do), keep these ideas in your memory bank…

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My number one favorite thing about the event was the flow.  Rather than trying to control the large group, the hosts set up mini stations all over the house that guests could visit at their leisure, in between getting a snack and catching up with friends.  And the stations were great!  They had…

1) An alphabet scrapbook table. I think this was everyone’s favorite activity.  Before the party started, the hosts picked out 26 cute pieces of scrapbook paper and glued a letter to each of them.  Then, they filled a super-long table with crafty supplies, pictures, stamps, etc…  Each guest had the opportunity to pick a letter and make a page for the “alphabet book”, so the baby will grow up learning her letters from the people she loves most!  Genius!

2) A diaper raffle corner. As part of the shower invitation, each guest was invited to bring a pack of diapers and drop them off in a cute bassinet as they walked in.  In exchange, we each got a raffle ticket with an opportunity to win some fun prizes!  So simple and easy, and the guest of honor got a TON of diapers!

3) A baby bottle guessing game. How many sour patch fit in a baby bottle?  We all visited this station, took a look, and made our best guess.  The answer: 67!  (I should know, I won this one :)

4) The classic string game. Every baby shower must involve guessing the size of the belly, right?  There was a fourth station with string and scissors for us to guess how big around the guest of honor was, which is always a hoot!

There was great food all afternoon, lots of “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing over all of the sweet little gifts (which they saved until the end of the shower, so people didn’t feel pressure to stay), and plenty of activities to keep the event moving along without being too regimented.  (I’m not gonna lie… I definitely told my mom to take notes when the time comes for me to have a baby shower of my own :)

When was the last time you went to (or hosted!) a baby shower?  Did you play any of the games I mentioned?  Got any other ideas to make a shower lots of fun?  Share them in the comments!

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