The Best of Series: Blog Posts

Today I am sharing some of my favorite posts floating around out there in the big 'ole blogosphere! I know this post might feel heavy for you, but I promise it is worth reading a least a few of these posts. You will see a lot of parallels with my "The Best of Series: Blogs" post. Thank you to everyone who contributed, unfortunately I was unable to get to everyone's suggestions because there were so many! Enjoy!

For a good laugh:
Getting Catfished via The Daily Tay
I Remember My First Tweet via Always Ashten

For a good cry:
A Story of Redemption via These Happy Times
Sharing Our Heartbreak via Bound by Love

For encouragement:
Sharing your Story via An Anchor for the Soul
Days of Discouragement (don't let the title fool you) via Kate and Kuby
The Wig Days via According to Laura Jean
How do to Give Your Soul a Hug? via All Things E

For help:

For inspiration:
Twenty Dollar Treasure via Living on Cloud Nine
Apartment Decor via Michaela Noelle Designs

For faith:
Idols via Bloom
Grace not Perfection via Life with the Leakeys
Why I Can't Say Love the Sinner / Hate the Sin Anymore via  Redemption Pictures
A Dirty Cross and Me via Clear Your Canvas

Just Because:

For pretty photos:
Our Wedding // The Details via Living on Cloud Nine

For your marriage/relationship:
Christ Centered Dating Relationships via Happy is a Choice

For conviction:
Modesty and Men via Milk + Crown


The Perfect WHITE (gasp) Summer Dress

 Hello friends, while I am away in VEGAS for my bachelorette and some sister bonding time before the wedding, I have some lovely ladies taking over the blog! Today, one of my favorite bloggers, Lauren, is here with you.

Hi everyone, I'm Lauren and I blog over at Bound by Love where I talk about anything and everything that crosses my mind. I'm so thankful for this blog world that brought Cassie and I together. Real friendships can develop from blogland, and I'm excited to have a friend in Cassie. I'm happy to be guest posting while Cassie is off on her bachelorette weekend!

By no means am I a fashion blogger but when Cassie asked me what to write about I found myself online shopping, so here is the result.

I didn't notice 'til a friend pointed out the other day that I've become obsessed with white dresses. With hot weather and beach days upon us here in Florida there's nothing I like more than a crisp white dress to show off my tan, or whatever little color I get (I wear lots of sunscreen!). I recently purchased the first two dresses below and am always keeping my eye out for pretty new additions for my closet. The great thing about Florida is that we don't really play by the typical rules of wearing white; not after Labor Day and not before Memorial Day. The only issue with buying an abundance of white dresses is that they are off limits to weddings. Seriously, no ifs, ands, or buts about it, just don't do it. There are so many fun things about white dresses though. You can really let your accessories shine with them as they'll add a POP of color to the outfit. You can always have fun with a bold lip, or add some color with a cardigan. And as someone that spills things easily these dresses can be fairly easy to clean since they're white, you just bleach away.

{And for the record I cropped my friends out of the picture, but I wanted to show you one of my favorite off white dresses. You can get it here}
1. LOFT 2. Asos 3. Dillard's
Do you have a favorite color to rock in the summer?
Would you wear any of these dresses I've picked out?

Lauren is one BRAVE lady. Since I have been wearing white a lot lately for wedding events, I have felt the wrath of the white. Literally. White can be so hard to wear but I just LOVE all of these suggestions. I wonder where Lauren was a few weekends ago when my mom and I visited nearly 30 stores looking for the perfect white rehearsal dinner dress... 


Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Planning Hacks

I am ALL about being efficient. I have to-do list for everything and I am SUPER Type A. Organization is my middle name. I knew when we started planning our wedding I wanted to be on top of things so we knew we were hitting milestones and saving money, etc. I especially did not want things to get crazy in the days leading up to the big day (24 DAYS TO GO!!!!). Below are a few of the ways I have been able to do this!

1. Use a pre-made wedding checklist and tailor it to your timeline and needs. Within a week of getting engaged, M bought us this awesome planner from Barnes and Noble. We love it and have used it consistently throughout the past year (I can't believe it has been a year). I have also used The Knot for adding to this checklist as they have a more detail oriented list.

2. EXCEL. Although the above book has a great budgeting sheet, I also kept track of our budget in excel since we had various accounts from which we were funding the wedding. I also had a guest list excel sheet that listed: Name(s), address, Save the Date? (meaning I had mailed them one), Invite? (similar to save the date column), Invite to rehearsal?, Rehearsal regrets, Tentative RSVP, RSVP # (more on this later), RSVP? (Y/N and date), RSVP names (if different from those on invite listed in Name(s) column), Number of attendees (this column added up for a total count of guests at the end of the sheet), staying at wedding hotel, Table #, Thank you?, Special requests/kids, other info, and e-mail address. This thing has been my LIFE since putting together our guest list and sending out invites.

3. Numbering RSVPs. I saw this hack on pinterest when I first started planning. You basically just number your RSVP cards on the back so that if people return them without names you know who it's from. Mostly everyone returned theirs with a name on them, but the numbering was also helpful for checking off RSVPs on my long excel sheet since they were in numerical order on my sheet!

4. Post-it table arrangements. I have also seen this hack many other places. We wrote everyone's names on little post-it notes and arranged them around our tables accordingly. This allowed for a visual representation of our arrangement, as well as an easy way to move people around. Sorry for the crappy iPhone quality.

5. EBates and promo codes. I used EBates for most of the online purchases I made for the wedding, which got us cash back (read more about it HERE)! Before buying anything I would also Google promo codes for the company, such as Minted. I also kept track of the promo codes they would send me through e-mail so that I could use them when I needed to order things. I ended up saving close to $200 on our Save the dates, wedding invites, and rehearsal enclosures between these two!

6. Traveler's Joy and Cheap Caribbean. Traveler's Joy is a registry that allows people to purchase things for your honeymoon, such as massages, day trips, you name it! You can customize the items you want to list on there and Traveler's Joy will send you a check when you want it! You can see mine as an example HERE. Cheap Caribbean was a LIFE SAVER and allowed us to book an 8 day honeymoon on a budget! I highly recommend it.
7. Fake calligraphy. I refused to pay someone to address my invites and other paper goods, so I learned "fake calligraphy" and did all of my things my hand including my invites, table numbers, seating cards, you name it. It took some practice but it was totally fun to learn! You can find a good tutorial HERE.

8. Buy local. We used a local florist and our local grocery store (Hyvee, who caters for the KC Chiefs!) for catering and this saved us a TON of money. The quality was just a great as some of the bigger names and the people working with us were just so much more personable throughout the planning process.

9. Ask vendors to match other vendors. Some of the venues we had looked at originally offered day of champagne for the wedding party, a free projector, and a few other things. Before deciding on our current venue, we asked them if they would be able to provide these things for us and they happily obliged! Don't be able to ask for vendors to match what others offer, they usually will! We did this with our photographer, florist, and a few other vendors and they were all great about being accommodating.

10. Don't sweat the small things. People are going to say awful things, plans are going to fall through, things WILL go wrong and THAT IS PERFECTLY OKAY. When it comes down to it, the day is about you, your husband and GOD. Do not get caught up in the things that do not matter.

I hope this is helpful to all of you currently planning a wedding. For those of you whom have already successfully put on a wedding, what other hacks worked for you?

Tomorrow I am off to Vegas for my bachelorette weekend! I will have some lovely ladies on the blog so I hope you stick around for them!

NC Belle in Boots