01/11/2017

3 Tips for a Healthy Work-Life Balance

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Sometimes it can feel like work never ends, so I’m sharing my top 3 tips on how to maintain a healthy work-life balance to get the most out of your day! Being a wife, a momma to my fur babies, a store manager, and a blog owner can be a LOT. When I first got married and started my blog, I felt extremely overwhelmed. I was really forgetful because I was juggling all these new things, and it actually caused me to have quite a big anxiety. It was mostly because I’m a workaholic and I didn’t know how to turn off work. Today I’m sharing 3 of my own tips for maintaining a healthy balance.

It’s ok to schedule down time: I know it sounds kind of silly, but I use my Day Designer to plan out quality time with my hubby and pups. Mostly because I know if I don’t, I’ll end up getting sucked back into working from home. This was definitely an investment planner, but it’s the perfect tool to help plan out my day.

Make time for you a priority: I used to feel guilty about taking any alone time for myself because it felt like I was ignoring my family. Come to find out, having that alone time was exactly what I need to feel refreshed. This makes me able to pour even more into my quality time with my family at the end of the day. Now my husband encourages me to take 30 minutes for myself at the end of each work day to decompress.

Unplug: If you’re like me, than this is the most challenging thing for you! And you’ve probably heard people say this a million times, lol! When I settle in for the night, it’s so easy for me to get sucked into the world of Snapchat and Instagram. I’ve made a “no phones in the bed” rule for myself. This way I don’t scroll for hours instead of getting to sleep at a decent time. Sometimes I slip on this rule myself, but I really do try to stick to it.

xo, Chris

Day Designer | Flats | Jeans | Watch | Blanket {similar and on sale!} | Pillows {similar style}

01/08/2017

My Favorite Winter Coat

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I’ve finally been able to whip out my favorite winter coat! Like pretty must the rest of the country, Florida has been experiencing quite the chilly weather these past few days. I actually had to turn my heat on, and thats saying something! I’m not complaining though, because this means I finally get to wear all my cute winter clothes. This wool coat is a favorite of mine. It’s oversized, which means I can wear a good chunky sweater underneath it without feeling like I’m being strangled. It sold out SUPER quick, but I’ve linked a similar one at the bottom of this post. My sweater is also a major staple in my closet and I have it in three colors! Ethan and I are planning a move back to NY next month, so I’ve been getting to stock up on a ton of cute winter clothes and boots!

xo, Chris

Coat | Jeans | Sweater | Socks | Shoes // old, similar | Bag

01/07/2017

Wedding Planning 101

Wedding Planning Gold Bridesmaid Dress

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A few days ago I asked on Instagram if you all would be interested in seeing a post about wedding planning, and I got a lot of positive feedback. This post will be pretty long (sorry!), but I wanted to be very thorough! I will list all of my vendors at the bottom of this post for you all.

Ethan and I got engaged at the end of February 2016, and we were married on September 24th of that same year. Yes, I was the crazy person who planned a 200+ person wedding in 7 months…1,200 miles from where my wedding was being held!

Make a Budget

And stick to it! The first thing I did was sit down with my dad and price everything out. We decided what we absolutely wanted as part of the wedding, and I made suggestions as to where we could cut back. Being my dad, he of course wanted to throw me the most extravagant wedding possible. But did I need centerpieces that cost hundreds of dollars a piece only to get thrown away at the end of the night? The answer is no. Of course if its something really important to you, splurge if you can afford it! But just make sure you’re not spending money you don’t have.

Get The “Big Stuff” Out Of The Way

This stuff includes your venue, photographer, DJ, and a hair/makeup artist if you plan on hiring one. These all tend to book up to years in advance, so its better to reserve them as quickly as possible if you have a specific wedding date in mind.  I got engaged in Florida (where I currently live) but knew I wanted to get married in New York where I was raised, and where all my family still lives. I kid you not, 12 hours after my engagement I called my dad, hopped on a plane to NY, and got down to wedding planning.

  • Venue: If you can, try to book a venue that also handles the catering. It will make life so much easier for you! My venue handled all the catering, including the wedding cake. They also provided me with my centerpieces, recommendations for my DJ and Photographer, and also assigned a wedding planner to me. My wedding planner just happened to be the owner of the venue himself, and he provided me with the most stress free experience I could have asked for.
  • The DJ/BandMy advice for this would be to get referrals from friends and family members who have hosted events in the past. You want to make sure that whoever you hire to provide the music is going to have the personality it takes to get people out of their seats and dancing! There’s nothing worse than a dull DJ. I toyed back and forth between hiring a band or a DJ, but ultimately booked Bill Beale, a popular radio host for K104.
  • Photographer: Make sure that you do some research and decide how you want your pictures to look. Many photographers have very different styles and this will effect the way your pictures turn out. I knew I wanted mine to be very soft and romantic, so I was sure to hire a photographer who had a strong portfolio that matched my tastes. If its within your budget, hire two photographers or ask that the one you book use an assistant. It is impossible for for one person to be everywhere at all times, so more than one photographer will assure that no special moment is missed.
  • Hair and Makeup: Again, do your research! Many artists will post their work online and on social media. If you’re looking for a really dramatic look, it’s probably not best to book someone whose portfolio is filled with more subtle or natural looks. It was also worth it to me to book artists that will travel to you on your wedding day, versus you having to do a bunch of driving around.

Saying Yes To The Dress

Wedding dress shopping was definitely the highlight of my wedding planning experience! Once I had gotten the big (and boring) stuff out of the way, I was ready to start really having fun with the planning.

  • Don’t bring a huge crowd with you. Did I want to bring my bridesmaids and closest friends with me? Of course! But having that many people throw their own tastes and opinions at you will just get confusing. I brought my mom, my two grandmothers, and my sister. It was a really nice experience to share with the closest members of my family, and a memory that I will always cherish.
  • Go with your gut. The very first wedding dress I tried on ended up being the one I bought. But like any bride, I second guessed myself and thought that surely it could not be that easy. So I tried on about 15 more dresses, didn’t like any of them, and just ended up frustrated. It wasn’t until my sister reminded me about the first dress that we all loved that I put it back on and had my “say yes to the dress” moment.

With Decor – Less is More

Seriously! I’ve always wanted a white and gold wedding. I’m obsessed with those colors, and I think they make for a really timeless palate. I loved shopping on Etsy and other small boutiques for decor that would go along with my color scheme. What I found was that I could get some stand out pieces, like tablecloths, great centerpieces, and gorg bridesmaid dresses, and I didn’t really need a whole lot of other decor to tie everything together. I realized that most of the smaller decor items I thought would look cute, just ended up looking cluttered and I didn’t even use them.

Things May Not Go As Planned On You Big Day

And thats ok! Ya’ll, my ceremony was outdoors, and about 15 minutes into it I noticed my bridesmaids start shaking their bouquets around. They were trying to be subtle of course, but I still noticed. Then I heard my sister whisper the word “bees”. A SWARM of bees had caught scent of all the flowers and were all over my bridesmaids! It should have totally freaked me out, but it was all I could do to NOT laugh! The reality is there’s some things that will be out of your control, and thats ok! The most important thing I learned through this whole process was regardless of how my centerpieces looked, regardless of whether my place cards were the right color, and regardless of whether bees started dive bombing all my friends, I was still marrying the love of my life that day. And that’s all that should matter. Don’t let material things and the stress of planning take your focus off of what’s really important.

xo, Chris

Venue (I chose the Emperor Package)

  Photographer | DJ | Hair and Makeup | Tablecloths | Bridesmaid Dresses

12/28/2016

Cable Knit Sweater // Post Holiday Update

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Hey guys! Let me just say how great it feels to FINALLY be writing a post again! I’m so sorry for the absence, the craziness of the holidays really got the best of me. My husband Ethan and I had a really great Christmas though. Unfortunately we weren’t able to make it home to New York this year, but our first Christmas as a married couple was definitely one for the books! Ethan really spoiled me this year, but my most favorite present was a shadow box he created. He put our wedding vows in it and hung it over our bed (Grey’s Anatomy style).It makes me so happy every time I look at it!

I’m a store manager for Abercrombie and Fitch (and absolutely love my job) but the holiday season really wiped me out. I’m sure anyone reading this who works in retail can relate! There were definitely some positives though – my team of assistants were amazing during all the craziness, and ran my sales floor like bosses! Plus, being at work at 6am every day meant I got first dibs on all the best deals!

I snagged these jeans for half off and ya’ll, they are the most comfortable things I’ve ever worn! They have advanced stretch technology in them but somehow they’re still crazy durable. Darker wash jeans tend to fade after a few washes/wears, but these have really held their color! I’ve posted my cable knit sweater on Instagram before, but I am still so obsessed with it. I seriously wear it at least once a week. I love it because it really can be worn a lot of different ways. Now that work isn’t so crazy, I’ve been all about dressing as comfy as I can, so I dressed it down with a pair of Vans. I hope everyone had a great Christmas!

xoxo, Chris

12/07/2016

Winter White Holiday Look

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White sweater dress

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White sweater dress

Dress | Shoes / sold out, similar | Bag / old, similar

Christmas is my favorite time of year for so many reasons! I come from a huge Italian family, and we all pretty much live in the same neighborhood. This means our holiday parties involve a LOT of people. There really is nothing I love more than being in a loud house filled with all my loved ones. It has been so hard being in Florida this year for the holidays and having to miss out on so much great family time. Thankfully, Ethan and I have wonderful friends down here who have kept us busy with holiday plans!

One of my biggest struggles is trying to come up with different party looks that don’t look/feel like I’m wearing outfits identical to half of my friends group. I love a great black or red dress for Christmas, but so does everyone else! That’s why I’m so on board with this “winter whites” trend we’ve been seeing lately!

I love sweater dresses because they can be so versatile! You can dress them down with a pair of OTK boots or dress them up like I did with a pair of my favorite Rockstud look-alikes. I really love this dress because even though it’s fitted, it isn’t a true bodycon. I also love it for its simplicity, so I didn’t accessorize much because I wanted the dress to be the main event. But I did add some studded heels and a snakeskin clutch to give my outfit a little extra oomph! I’ve recently learned to love animal prints like python or leopard on accessories. They really add a lot to a neutral look like this one without being too overwhelming.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season so far!

xo, Chris