6 Nov

Get Your Vote On!

Ok, I’m not really into telling people what to do.  (Except my husband.  And my little brother.  Ok, I lied… usually I like telling people what to do.)  But I try not to make {blending beautiful} a “preachy” space.  The thing is, today is a BIG, CRUCIAL day for our country.

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So, I’m going to get my preach on for a second and say: please, take advantage of your right— your privilege— to vote today.

Due to the ineptitude of the U.S. Postal Service, I have to drive 90 minutes to cast my vote in this election.  But, I won’t let that stop me!

I hope that those of you affected by Hurricane Sandy will have the opportunity to reach convenient polling places…

If you need a little inspiration, take a peek at this awesome video, created by Lena Dunham.


5 Nov

Can I be honest?

If you’re a regular visitor of this blog, you’re probably noticing some pretty dramatic adjustments to the design today.  (A BIG thanks to my awesome husband for creating a new look for this space in his not-so-spare time.)

These visual changes couldn’t come at a better time because it’s also time for the content of {blending beautiful} to make some changes as well…

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I’m amazed that it’s been nearly three years since {blending beautiful} created a little home for itself on the interweb, and I’ve had such a great time with my virtual {bb} family.  I originally started this blog as a way to chronicle life’s inspirations and share my beauty knowledge while keeping myself in the habit of writing every day.  But I’ve noticed lately that daily posts have become more of a task than an inspiration.

I don’t think I should be publishing posts just for the sake of publishing.  I mean, who wants to read that?

So I’ve decided to shift the focus of this space, slightly.  I’ll still be posting regularly, but probably not every day.  It’s likely to get a bit more personal— I plan to share things with you as they pertain to my life.  So, if I’m working on an awesome craft or I discover a new beauty product you’ll be the first to know :)

And, as always, if you have specific questions or need advice, I’m happy to write a post about them.

I’m also going to stop bombarding my subscribers with daily emails announcing new content.  If you’d like to be updated on the happenings of the blog, I’d love it if you’d become a fan of {bb} on Facebook.

I look forward to seeing this space grow and evolve and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading, commenting, and making {blending beautiful} as fun and fabulous as it is!

2 Nov

Have a Fantastic Weekend

Wow, this week has just flown by, don’t you think?!  I’m looking forward to this weekend… we’re taking a little road trip to visit my brother and cheer him on during his first half marathon!  (Hopefully it goes much better than mine did, haha.)

I’ve got some fun surprises set for the blog next week, so make sure to check back on Monday :)

Let’s kick the weekend off right with some fun links from around the web!

Obsessed with this braided updo!

Easy DIY votives

Trav and I tried out a similar recipe this week and it was delish!  (We added bacon and grilled onions :)

Sweet doorstop.

I love when ladies post weekly pregnancy updates… so cute!

How cozy is this mug sweater?

This home would be the perfect spot for a dreamy weekend getaway…

Is it bad that I’m already reeeeeallly excited for Christmas?

Boot lust!

For more fun finds, follow me on Pinterest

What are you up to this weekend?  Any fun plans?  Got some links of your own to share?  Comment below!

27 Sep

Ask a Fashion Photographer: How to Photograph Flawlessly

Martine Pinnel is from a small town in Luxembourg, but she followed her dreams to San Francisco at the age of 19. She is a rising star in a competitive industry, with more publications picking up her work all the time. I was lucky enough to ask her a few questions about beauty, modeling, and tips on making regular girls look extra-hot in photos…

Q: What is your favorite type of shoot to do? What sets your great models apart?

A: I definitely enjoy doing fashion editorials the most. When I can execute my own idea, have the perfect team working with me on this vision, come up with a storyline, find the perfect location, the right models, the right wardrobe and when I can see it all come together perfectly. I really enjoy shooting outdoors, in unique locations, that tell a story.

As for the models, I really like when they have very unique features, a beauty that cannot be found everywhere. I prefer their personalities to stand out and they know how to not only take a pretty picture, but they know how to tell a story and make the shoot their own.

Not every model fits every concept I have. I choose the models depending on what shoot I’m doing and if they turn out to be exactly who I’ve been looking for, they can take a photo to a whole other level.

Q: Any tips for girls having their photo taken casually? Poses and clothing that photograph well? Lighting to steer away from?

A: Lifting up your chin is probably my number one tip. It stretches the neck, avoids unflattering chins, and weird/harsh lighting that can create deep shadows on the face, especially the eyes. Eyes are beautiful, so everyone should make sure to show them and not squint too much.

There’s a few tips for posture everyone can follow as well. Standing up straight is always a big plus, as it makes the body always seem longer. Don’t take the photo from above, as it makes your body look shorter. And turning your body ¾ can make it look more flattering as well.

But the most important thing to remember is, to try to feel comfortable in front of the camera!

Q: Any further last-minute beauty tips that you use on a shoot? What do you look for in a perfect portrait shot?

A: I think the only beauty tip I have on shoots right now is: Less is more. Lately I’ve been concentrating on showing the model’s natural beauty, without cakey make-up or overdone brows and lips. Clean skin is always a must and natural beauty is wonderful.

In a perfect portrait shot as far as beauty goes, I once again look for a unique face, angelic beauty, clean skin, an interesting expression on the model’s face, her personality and an interesting look in her eyes.

Photography wise, I make choices of lighting, the lens I use, the depth of field I choose, the angle I shoot the portrait from and the directions I give the model.

So there you have it. Be yourself, even when having your picture taken, and stand up straight like your mother taught you. To see more of Martine’s photography, check out her website.

What do you do to look your best in photos?  Have you used any of Martine’s tips?  (Isn’t her work gorgeous?)  Share your thoughts in the comments!

26 Sep

The Bride’s Code of Conduct

Hey guys, Chelsea here.  So, I’ve never been a bride (give me a few more years, please!) but I have been a part of four weddings, and as a bridesmaid, I’ve learned a thing or two about what to do (and not do) from watching my respective friends handle their bridal duties.

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I know when it comes to weddings there’s a ton to plan. In fact, when I went to my friend’s wedding this past weekend she did things I had never even thought of, like making welcome baskets of snacks, toiletries, and an itinerary for guests staying at hotels . Read this article about wedding etiquette and you’ll see that apparently this is a must-do!

Each of my four friends had very different ideas about how she wanted her special day to be and I can respect that since every bride (i.e. woman) has unique personalities and preferences. But as someone who has carved time out of my schedule on four different occasions for these weddings, I’ve compiled a list of three things that brides should consider when it comes to managing their bridal party.

1. Pop the question

Once you have set the date, choose your vital bridal crew and ask them early on to be part of your wedding, letting them know how much they mean to you. I loved the way a friend of mine got asked (see the picture above). Of course it’s perfectly fine not to get crafty when asking, but a few kind, meaningful words go a long way.

Also, make sure you are clear with your intentions. If you want someone to be in your wedding party, let her know. It sounds simple but recently a friend invited me to her wedding with only six weeks notice and then a week later, asked me to be her maid of honor. I was first confused by the initial invite as a guest when I thought I’d be in her wedding, and then I was even more thrown when the maid of honor invite was seemingly an afterthought.

2. Give a token of appreciation

My friends who made the bridesmaid experience most enjoyable are those who recognized her bridal party had taken time and money to celebrate her future marriage, and in turn, found a way to show their gratitude. One friend made us cute shirts to wear while we got ready and gave us each an adorable necklace to wear on her wedding day, while another wrote the sweetest personalized notes. For me, it’s not about a gift. It’s about being thought of and feeling included and important.

3. Keep your bridesmaids in the know

Not everyone is a great planner, but if a bridesmaid is going to fulfill her duties of attending to the bride’s needs and being present at important wedding-related events, then the bride needs to properly communicate plans. Someone who doesn’t do this could actually just be a very laidback bride who doesn’t want to sound bossy, but you can still provide logistical details without being a bridezilla. Trust me, your bridesmaids will be happy to know the plan so they can be there for you!

If you’re married, what did you do to make things easy and fun for your bridesmaids? And if you’ve been a bridesmaid, what did the bride do that you appreciated?  Got anything else to add to the list?  Share ‘em in the comments!