Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I Thought I Loved You Then


When I was in New Hampshire earlier this month Ben and I attended an art exhibit that my grandfather had a few pieces in. While I was admiring the vivid colors in one striking picture of crows, the artist came up and introduced herself. When she found out my husband was at the gallery with me, she promptly informed me I don't look nearly old enough to be married - (thanks, I had no idea). Her next question surprised me, coming from a woman I'd met two minutes earlier. She took my arm, leaned in, and in all seriousness asked, "Well, are you happy?"

The short answer, which I gave the aging artist, is, "Yes."

The longer one is that we've been married for almost three years, and those three years have changed the word happy for me. Not only am I so often "happy," like I was before we got married, but my capacity for happiness, for joy, has increased. 

As we drove back to Ohio from New Hampshire, I put on some songs from our wedding playlist, and let us reminisce. I love looking back to our wedding day, to the start of our road together. We were so innocent. I knew so little about what I was getting into, but I was better prepared than I could have guessed. The songs take me back to that newlywed love, that pure immature devotion. I love Ben more now than I did that warm August evening dancing to Lee Brice, but I love him differently - more wholly, but maybe less blindly. 

side note:  A childhood best friend and photographer gave me the very best wedding gift: a disk of 800 images from our wedding  about a month and a half later. She captured some of the candid moments my photographer missed and I love this second perspective of our day. All pictures (with two exceptions)  from her. 

^^Its a little blurry, but it reminds me of the giddy happiness from that day
^^I wore my mother's wedding dress

^^smiling for pictures had never been so easy


^^my favorite part of the dress is the button enclosures on the back
^It looked too pretty to eat, but tasted even better (layers of white almond pound cake between moist chocolate cake, all lined with chocolate fudge filling).
^^in between pictures before the reception



^^dancing to "I Loved Her First" (see playlist below)
^^beautiful flowers around the grounds of the Boston temple
^^I love this shot of my parents she captured



There is little that can take me back to those few weeks leading up to the wedding and the magical day itself than the songs we'd send back and forth while we were apart and the ones we danced to surrounded by friends and family. We spent the five and a half weeks before the wedding two thousand miles apart (and it seemed like a lifetime!), and with different schedules, we relied a lot on Facebook. I loved waking up to the words of a poem he'd written the night before or a loving response to the song I'd sent. Part way through that month him a CD which better described the loving and missing him than my words could (it may or may not have included "Kiss Me Through the Phone" - I don't include that on our wedding summer playlist anymore ;). 

Here's a playlist that takes me right back to the summer of 2011: 
First Dance: I Thought I Loved You Then
Daddy-daughter Dance: I Loved Her First
Our Song: Ben re-worked the lyrics to "A Drop in the Ocean" and sang it while playing the piano at our reception. 



For more wedding pictures you can click here
What songs do you share with your guy? 

Compensation was provided by Spotify via Glam Media. All opinions in this post are my own, naturally, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Spotify. Thanks, as always, for supporting the brands that support this blog! 


Monday, April 21, 2014

Sun-kissed in Florals









Its officially wedding season. Every time I log into Facebook, somebody is engaged, or having engagement photos taken, or throwing a bridal shower, or inviting me to a reception (if only I had unlimited frequent flyer miles and could actually go to all of them!). Is this happening to you too?

Today I've teamed up with Hane's to bring you a look that would work for almost any of those (other than your own engagement pictures, I wouldn't recommend something as busy as this jacket ;). Whether you're headed to a bridal shower or a spring time reception, opt for bright colors and fun florals for a festive look.

And… to keep your legs looking fabulous for all of those wedding events, Hanes Hosiery is hosting a Save the Date Sanity sweepstakes (it closes on Friday!) on their Facebook page. The grand prize is $1,000 plus a top drawer of Hanes Hosiery tights (must be 18 or older to enter). Imagine, never having to shop for nylons again.

Side note: I hate shopping for nylons. There are always a million options and I can't even try them on. I tried on a selection of Hanes Hosiery's last week and these Sunkissed in Nude Bronze were the perfect touch of color, just sheer enough, and so far (after a few wears) they haven't run. For future shopping trips, I can rule out that frustrating ten minutes spent staring at all my options because I've found my favorite. 
____________________________________________
jacket: ℅ TB Dress (60% off!)
blouse: ℅ A Cut Above Boutique (available here)
skirt: Banana Republic (love this seasons!)
shoes: ℅ Mart of China (I swoon over these Kate Spade look-a-likes )
bracelets: ℅ Jeweshop (here and here)
nylons: ℅ Hanes Sunkissed in Nude Bronze 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Spring Fashion: 3 Ways to Wear Yellow

I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. 



Yellow has always been a color I've associated with spring fashion, but this year in particular, stores seem to have lots of it in their spring and summer lines. Today I've teamed up with Sears to bring you three easy ways to add yellow into your wardrobe this spring! 

Look 1: Black and White Prints

Half the stores I've been in this month feature yellow in their spring line - always paired with bold black and white prints. This is a great way to use black and white pieces you already have and update them with a few bold yellow ones. I love the bright shade of this playful piece from the Kardashian Kollection (and it has pockets!). 

Look 2: Pops of Yellow
A great way to jump on the yellow trend this spring is through pops of color in your accent pieces. Think lightweight scarf, bags, shoes, belts, or pendant jewelry. Pair them with neutral pieces already in your closet and you're set for spring.





Look 3: Yellow and Navy 
There are quite a few color combinations that go well well with yellow (surprisingly more than you'd think!), but one of my very favorites, is navy. The combo is fun, preppy, and classic. I took the same dress from the first look and layered it under a polkadot sweater. With a few tan leather accents, the outfit is ready to go.

A few other yellow color combos I've tried and liked recently are yellow and gray, yellow and deep purple, and yellow and kelly green. Do you have any favorites?





Look 1:
dress: ℅ Kardashian Kollection via Sears
shoes: Lauren Conrad (last seen here)
shirt: Oasap (love this black and white striped option)
clutch: similar here

Look 2:
blouse: similar here (last worn here)
denim: similar here
scarf: Forever 21
pumps: last seen here (how cute are these yellow flats?)

Look 3:
dress worn as skirt: ℅ Kardashian Kollection via Sears
sweater: J.Crew Factory (old)
bag: Kate Spade
shoes: Lulus (last seen here)

_________
For all of you fashion forward and artistic people, Sears is hosting the Now + Here Designer Sketch from APril 4 - 25. You need to be a Shop Your Way rewards member to enter and submit a sketch of a graphic that could be featured on a gray t-sherif and sold in store as part of the Now + Here brand shop for Fall 2014. The winner will receive the t-shirt and $500 in SYW points. If only I could draw ;)

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! We're enjoying the last of ours and I can't way to share some of the cutest pictures from this morning's Easter brunch! (some on instagram @bellatheblog)

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