How to Choose a Wedding Venue

Hey loves! It’s been quite a few months since I wrote about wedding planning and figured I’d share a few details! I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for awhile but held off until David and I could make things official… but we chose our venue! We will be getting married next October at the Warwick Melrose Hotel in Dallas! I snapped a few photos of the ballroom, linens, and table set up to share with you guys! I’m completely in love!

Choosing the venue was the biggest relief for me and allowed everything else to fall into place. We saw so many venues and while we liked quite a few, the Warwick Melrose just stood out to us because of their customer service and how elegant it was. It suited our taste perfectly.

But right now, I wanted to share a few tips for choosing a venue with you!

Figure Out Your Theme

Someone asked me what my theme was for our wedding. I kind of laughed and said “the theme is wedding.” I knew right away that I wanted a traditional, formal wedding and needed to find a space that reflected that. The Warwick Melrose has a beautiful, elegant lobby that immediately sold me on the rest of the space. First impressions are everything! The theme of your wedding whether its going to be rustic, modern, minimalist, glamorous, or black tie will dictate the venue you end up choosing.

Make Sure You Have a Budget

This doesn’t even need to be said, but I’ll say it for the people in the back- have a budget!! We saw quite a few places that were over our budget and lots that were under as well. We ended up being the most interested in places that offered on-site catering and provided things like tables, chairs, linens, china etc. Those “little” things add up fast so when they’re included in the venue you choose, its great!

Calculate Taxes and Fees

Most of the time venues give you a total estimate that includes things like taxes, service fees, and gratuity. However, always double check to make sure its included so there aren’t any surprises later. We only encountered that happening once or twice but the few extra thousand dollars had us heading for the hills!

Watch for Red Flags (even small ones)

Not everything about a venue will be perfect but little warning signs should be considered. For example, David and I went to one venue and the event coordinator was 10 minutes late and seemed a bit, how do I put this delicately- high. I knew very quickly that she might not be reliable on our wedding day so we decided to move on.

Luckily, Abby at the Warwick Melrose was super helpful and easy to work with. She answered all my questions and was very reliable. She totally sold us on having our wedding there!

I hope this helps you when you go to choose your venue! Now that we’ve chosen ours we’ve been all about wedding colors (more to come on that!), invitations, and finally- dress shopping!

Why Accepting Yourself can be Your Biggest Challenge

Hey everyone! I wanted to chat about some exciting things going on in my life and share how my mental and physical health journey is going. Some of you may know that I’ve had issues with anxiety and depression (which is why I like to blog about it!) as well as body image issues. All the fun stuff, right? HA! I’ve always tried to be open with others about these personal problems because I think they’re important to talk about. Sharing my journey is at a turning point though- I’ve realized that accepting myself opens a million doors!

The Comparison Game

I’ve spent years comparing myself to other women. I often wondered “why am I not as thin as she is?” or “why don’t I have the beautiful home she does?” All these questions left me drained and feeling unworthy. Let’s be real- how on Earth could asking these questions ever be fulfilling? They’re questions that are designed to tear down the person who is asking them. And I WILLINGLY asked myself these questions.

Comparing myself and my life’s journey to someone else’s is a recipe for depression. Clinical depression isn’t always caused by one particularly thing, sometimes its honestly just a chemical imbalance in your brain, however it can be exasperated and prolonged by upsetting situations or thoughts. I made my own depression much worse and last much longer by asking myself almost every waking moment of the day, why I wasn’t good enough. It literally made me sick.

Understanding My Relationship with Money

I had a revelation the other day thanks to something my counselor said. When I was complaining to her that I didn’t understand why I didn’t have the nice cars other women have, nice home, perfect body etc. she said to me “Your value systems are unique and aren’t the same as others.” My internal light bulb went on. She was so right.

I relish in the fact that I’ve padded my savings account enough that a car repair, an emergency trip home, or a surprise bill won’t make a dent in my budget. I do a happy dance whenever I get to deposit more money into my savings account because it means I’m meeting my financial goals!

Having it All

When I compare myself to other people that appear to “have it all,” I often forget that credit cards and loans are a thing and most American’s carry around a fair amount of debt. The other day I was walking out of Target (not surprising at all) and there was a girl about my age getting into a shiny new Mercedes. I thought to myself “how come I don’t have one too?” Then I thought, OH WAIT! I hate car payments! And if I bought a nice new car, then you better believe I’d have one! So I hopped into my 2007 Ford Edge (a hand-me-down from my future sister in law) and drove away!

My views on money management are simply different from other peoples’ and that’s totally fine. I buy most of my clothing on clearance. I only buy furniture on sale and have no problem doing a DIY if I need to. David and I’s rental home isn’t super fancy but only takes up 1/8th of our paycheck. That, in my opinion, is winning at life. My counselor also reminded me that millionaires can often be hard to spot because they live next door to you and drive old cars. MIND BLOWN. So moral of the story- material items don’t equal happiness, feeling secure and safe does.

Getting Comfortable in My Skin

“If you accept yourself the way you are now, all the things you want will fall into place” this is what my counselor said to me the other day at our appointment. I’ve struggled for the last few years with my body not cooperating with any of my weight loss tactics and it’s been so discouraging.

I didn’t have crazy expectations like having a six-pack of abs or a super lifted booty, but I wanted to see progress in my exercising and calorie-counting regiment. Surprise surprise- my body resists pretty much every attempt at losing weight because of my high stress levels and oddly enough, food intolerance.

Cortisol is the stress hormone and when your body makes too much of it, it can be harder to lose weight. I’m just about the most anxious person I know and something as simple as driving to a new place in Dallas can cause a wave of anxiety for me. Combine my anxiety to simple, everyday things with my anxiety over how my body looks and BOOM- cortisol levels are spiking all day, everyday! So the less I stress about how much weight I’ve lost and how I look, the more likely I am to lose weight. Accepting myself, being happy with the way I was built, and most importantly, being happy with my lifestyle, could actually lead to the results I’ve been pining for.

Surprising Food Allergies

Now let’s talk about that food allergy I mentioned earlier. For years I’ve dealt with constant bloating and stomach pain after eating just about anything. Looking in the mirror all I’d see is a girl with a big stomach in pain. Fun, let me tell ya! It killed myself esteem and made me even more anxious (and sometimes still does). I literally just went to the doctor and he told me I had a severe allergy to lactose. Yeah- my digestive system is afraid of cheese! Insert eye roll here. He told me to take lactose pills every morning and the bloating should subside. One day later, I feel way better!

Key Takeaways

Sorry, this is the longest post ever but I just have so much to say! Accepting myself, my lifestyle, and the way God made me is literally the key to finding happiness and self-worth. How crazy is that? Imagine if we all did that and how we’d feel and even treat others? The comparison game, depression, body image issues, and a million other problems we all have may literally just become things of the past. How great would that be? So I’m encouraging you to reflect internally on who you are, what makes you different, what your value systems are, and how you feel throughout the day. The answers may surprise you!

Stocking Stuffer Ideas that Will Make You Swoon!

Stocking Stuffers

Happy Monday guys! It’s only a week until Christmas! Have you finished your shopping yet? Of course I haven’t but that’s not a surprise, I’m usually late to the party anyway. I’ve still gotta hit up the mall and make a few last minute orders from Amazon Prime. However, I have wrapped all the gifts I’ve bought so far! Winning!

So I don’t about you but stocking stuffers are some of my favorite gifts! My mom, I mean Santa, always used to put a new tooth brush, fuzzy socks, British candy, and other fun little things in my stocking when I was growing up. It was the best! Since I’m an adult(ish) now and living away from home, my boyfriend and I really didn’t do stockings. However, if you need to give your man a few ideas of what to put in yours, then send him my way! These  items are all under $10 and guaranteed to be a hit!

It always cracks me up how some stocking stuffer gift guides I’ve come across have items that are small enough to fit into a stocking but have a price tag large enough to be it’s own gift. Heck no is anyone getting $50 headphones and calling it a stinking stocking stuffer. I just can’t even with that. So like I said, everything on this list is under $10 and won’t break the bank! You can thank me later.

Best Home Decor Ideas on a Budget

decorating for cheap

Happy Friday! It’s been a long week but luckily today, I’m headed out to a ranch near San Antonio, Texas for a weekend getaway with my boyfriend and his family (look for pictures next week!) I’ve been looking forward to this for the last month. Before leaving on my vacation though, I wanted to share a little tour of my apartment’s living room that I designed and styled on a budget! Living rooms should be cozy without sacrificing style, which is what I’m always trying to accomplish in mine. Keep scrolling for my DIY and home decor on a budget tips!

diy home decor

Ok first of all, if you haven’t embraced the tassel trend in your life, then you’re doing everything wrong. Tassel garlands are my favorite thing to decorate with and I have them all over my house. They’re inexpensive and can’t easily be destroyed by kids or pets. Or by boyfriends in my case. I found this adorable tassel garland at TJ Maxx for $5!

If you love pretty artwork on your wall like I do but don’t want to pay a pretty penny for it, then you’ll love this next DIY! If you notice in the pictures above, I have 3 framed quotes on my wall. Would you believe that each one cost me less than $7? Here’s how I did it- I bought the pretty gold frames from Michael’s on sale for $6 each and found the artwork for $1 on Etsy! I printed each quote out and put it in a frame for a cheap home decor DIY. Frankly, no matter how much money I make someday, this will be my go-to living room decor!

dallas home decor style

framed marie antoinette quote

thrift store diy ideas

political books on a bookshelf

When you’re just starting out and have no furniture, it can be really difficult to get everything you need to make your apartment into a home. Furniture is pricey! Knowing that we needed something to put underneath our TV that we hung on the wall, I went out in search of a cabinet or something that would make the space look less empty and provide storage. I went to Nebraska Furniture Mart in Kansas City and came across this pretty gray hutch left over from a couple who only wanted the bottom half. The best part was that it was only $50! Needless to say, I put it in the back of my boyfriend’s truck and headed home.

Styling this was so much fun because it gave me lots of room to play around with accessories! My boyfriend, David, has loads of books so obviously the shelf quickly turned into a bookshelf. I placed little decorative items on the shelf with the books to give it a personal touch and then a little wicker basket to conceal David’s remote controls and video games.

The “eat cake for breakfast” sign has a broken hook from our move so I couldn’t hang it but also couldn’t bare to part with it mostly because I found it at Marshall’s for $9. Having extra pillows that came with our couch, I put them in the empty space underneath the shelf and added the frame for some added interest.

Styling a coffee table is no simple thing I’ve found. Particularly because my coffee table is an awkward shape. To add some height and interest to my coffee table, I placed a candelabra and stack of marble “Don’t Mess With Texas” Coasters on it. Frankly, I love how it turned out. It’s simple and still functional. When You have a boyfriend and kitty cat around you realize how quickly those two things become important.

styling an arm chair

Ok this is my favorite part! My adorable little chair by the window! David’s parents got me this turquoise chair for Christmas and then I added the soft blanket and little floral pillow, which you can find in the Target Dollar Spot for $3!

Home decor on a budget can be difficult but frankly, it gives me the opportunity to be creative and hunt around for great deals. I adore my living room and how well it suits my style! A beautiful space shouldn’t mean a big price tag and my space certainly didn’t come with one. Leave me a comment with your favorite ways to style your home on a budget!

dallas fashion blogger

Shop the Tassel Trend for Under $50!

tassel trend //shopsensewidget.shopstyle.com/#/?options=%7B%22widgetId%22%3A%2258dafb9b2391f37d65254a7a%22%2C%22version%22%3A1%2C%22pid%22%3A%22uid3025-28872695-82%22%2C%22size%22%3A200%2C%22columns%22%3A3%2C%22rows%22%3A1%2C%22url%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fapi.shopstyle.com%2Fapi%2Fv2%22%2C%22iframeHeight%22%3A275%2C%22iframeWidth%22%3A705%7D
So in case you haven’t noticed, tassels are really on trend for the spring and summer! Although in Dallas, both of those seasons kind of run together because it’s already in the 80s everyday, but nonetheless tassels are popular for the foreseeable future! I’m a style blogger who prefers classic styles to trendy fashions, however even I can get on board with the tassel trend.

One thing I always like to keep in mind when shopping for trendy items is the price and how much use I’ll get out of it. Seeing as how tassels may not be in style next year, I’m keeping my “tassel shopping budget” low and dropping into stores like Forever21 and Target to find a few seasonal favorites! Everything you see here is under $50!

My most recent find is that adorable pink tassel bikini I featured above! Seriously, oh my goodness it’s adorable. The bottoms have tassels the tie on the hips and the top has tassels that tie in the back. The best part is, I found it on clearance too! Browse through some of the links above and leave me a comment with your favorite tasseled item!

*this post contains affiliate links

dallas fashion blogger