Author Archives: Caroline

I have to say- I adore my month-of wedding coordinator. Tabitha Roberts, aside from having one of my favorite names, is covering all the details on my big day that’ll drive me crazy. I opted to do day-of (really month-of) coordination which includes:

  • Orchestrating vendor walk through one month prior to wedding
  • Collaboration with vendors on floor plans, setup, and time lines
  • Being the point of contact for vendors and family on wedding day
  • Coordinating your rehearsal before the big day
  • Unlimited hours with our Coordinator and assistant on the wedding day

I didn’t really need a wedding planner, per say, but she’ll definitely been needed so I’m not running around like a chicken with my head cut off… at least more than I need to be.

Between being in two weddings without a coordinator start over and hour late and having one awesome coordinator actually sew myself and the other bridesmaids into our dresses when all of our zippers broke, I’ve seen how valuable the extra help can be. There is no getting away from the fact that an expert wedding planner can relieve some stress of planning your wedding. But let’s also not forget that the elimination of stress does cost some extra money. So as lovely as that might be, it isn’t always going to be a luxury that we can all afford. You may be on a budget that is pretty tight or like to plan an organize most things yourself. If so, then there are a few lessons we can learn from the professionals when it comes to planning a wedding.

Luxury marble wedding planner book

 

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

If you’re going to be doing it yourself, then you need to allow plenty of time to get things done. You’ll have your regular job to contend with, whereas planning your wedding would be the full-time job of a professional. Around eight months should be plenty, but a year can be the ideal time to get all of the plans in place.

Be Prepared To Negotiate

Your wedding is your wedding. But for wedding vendors, it is merely a transaction. So when it comes to planning, it can help to see things as a business transaction too. Which is why being savvy and negotiating can be a good way to get the best deal. If you don’t want certain elements that the photographer is offering, then ask for something else or just have the price reduced. Be prepared to negotiate so that you only end up with the things that you want.

Get Help When Needed

Some elements will need some professional help. So don’t be afraid to ask for it (just be prepared to negotiate when you do). Looking for a reception venue can often bring with it some wedding organizers to help plan things for the day. So work with them and make sure that they have a clear idea of how you want things to look and work on the day.

Spend Money Wisely

The cost of weddings can spiral out of control if you let it. So it is a good idea to plan carefully and spend wisely. It could be a good idea to get a specific wedding credit card that will allow you to earn cash back or air miles for your honeymoon, for example. You’re going to be spending the money anyway. So you may as well get some extras for your sending, right?

Read The Fine Print

A professional is going to be the person reading through the contracts all for you. Which is why you need to make sure that you are checking all of the fine print if you decide to go it alone. You might be signing away hidden costs or extras if you don’t check on this kind of thing. As has been said, your wedding is just a business transaction for vendors. So check the details of everything, including (even though it will be the last thing on your mind) things like cancellation policies.

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As we settle into fall and winter quickly approaches over the horizon (you know we’ll be complaining about the cold in no time), there’s a mixed feeling of happiness and loss. The colder months bring cozy sweaters, rich colors and hot chocolate with all the trimmings. But we leave behind the sun and heat of summer. For those of you who live in a warm state year-round, you probably don’t feel the same. But it is sad having to say goodbye to summer, packing away all your cute shorts and crops and saying goodbye to any open shoes for the next six months.

There are ways to keep summer alive through the colder months without looking weird in your sandals in the snow.

the carolove Summer Love In The Winter

Salt Life Print

Clothes

With Vogue promoting shorts and knee-highs as one of the trends for this season, you can keep on wearing yours through the winter. They are also saying that printed and woolen tights are back – so keep out your skirts and pair them up with a more seasonally-appropriate under garment. You’re going to want to trade in your slip-ons for boots soon, but that can be really effective when paired with your summer ankle-dusters. And, as it has been all this year, it’s all about the layers. Don’t discount your crop is you can layer on a shirt, scarf, and jacket to go with it.

Hair

Waves are still cute in the winter, so don’t store your salt-spray just yet. The fashion trends might be calling for ponytails and messy buns, but those hair styles aren’t going to keep your ears warm, nor will they accommodate a hat. Beach waves are a year-round style. As is pastel hair and mermaid dyes. Winter is also a great time for you to care for your hair after the heat and sun damage it will have had over the summer.

Makeup

In the summer, we tend to go lighter on the makeup, and darker in the winter. But you do you. If you want peach tones instead of burgundy, then apply them. And the festival glitter that has rocked the nation this summer? What time of year is better for extra glitter than Christmas? Amp up the glitter if you want to. Do think, however, that with the loss of a natural tan, you may need to swap out your foundation and contour kit for a lighter shade.

Tans

Who said a tan is a summer thing? Luckily that golden glow is achievable year round and completely accepted by everyone. You may want to tone it down a little, but you can still look sun-kissed in the snow. There are many options, from self-tanning to spray-tans and sunbeds. Obviously, you need to take care of your skin, so if you opt for the sunbed option, use sunscreen, and don’t believe those people who say you can’t get a tan while wearing SPF – if you need more convincing, ask the expert: can you still get a tan while wearing SPF? Some of the best tans over winter are gradual ones, pick up a gradual bronzing moisturizer and use it a couple of times a week, or as little as you need to get the color you want. You can probably pick them up cheaper now than you could in the summer too.

Mid-season Sun

If you’re craving beaches and sunshine, why not book a weekend getaway to somewhere hot? You can take a road trip to the south, or fly out to anywhere south of the equator. Airbnb has some amazing winter getaway deals. Try the canary islands for a beach holiday, Miami for a city break, or Australia for a little bit of everything.

Food and Drink

For some reason, a lot of food is dictated to being ‘winter’ or ‘summer’ food. Like hearty pies in the cold, and BBQs in the heat. The fact that lighting the BBQ in the frost doesn’t appeal to anyone shouldn’t stop you having a BBQ-esque party inside. The same goes for tapas and sushi, which are other dishes more common in the summer. If you want to enjoy sake nigiri in your sweater and fluffy socks, then do.

The same thing applies to cocktails – you don’t have to trade them in for whiskey and baileys just because the temperature dropped. If you want a cosmo, then you have a cosmo. But if you want to try a warmer cocktail and combine the winter and summer then why not try a winter cocktail.

House

The house tends to get more decorated in the fall and winter do to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But there is a gap between summer and Halloween when you’re trying to keep the summer going a little longer. There are a few things you can do to achieve that. One of them is a sunlamp. A sunlamp can be used on its own or as an alarm clock, it replicates the dawn and wakes you up gradually without disturbing your REM sleep. Depending on when you get up in the morning will depend on whether it’s still dark outside – but with the winter solstice quickly approaching, the nights are getting longer. The sunlamp helps you keep the morning sun year round. They also help to combat SAD (seasonal affective disorder) which is where a person can become depressed due to a lack of vitamin D.

You can also introduce some houseplants to your home, keeping the place green throughout the year. Most plants will naturally die off in autumn, but things like succulent grasses will stay the same all year. You can also use winter blooms to replace the summer plants.

Garden

The replacement of plants applies in the garden too, but rather than ripping things up by the roots, try and mix up the summer and winter bulbs and seeds, that way your garden will always be in bloom with minimal effort. You can keep using your garden in the winter too – obviously, when it snows it’s the perfect place for snowman and snowball fights. And the longer nights give your fireworks a perfect backdrop. But to keep the heat, install some outdoor heaters around your seating area, you may need a blanket or two, but you can still enjoy the night outside. And during the day, your garden needs just as much care as in the summer – you need to protect the plants that might not make it, and leaving feed out for the birds and squirrels is more important than ever.

Next Year

And if you are completely at a loss with winter and just want next summer to roll around sooner, then start planning ahead. Most festivals release dates if not tickets and lineups super early. Start plotting your festival calendar, call up your friends and get them as hyped as you are. You can also start planning holidays – the early-booking can get you some amazing deals.

Enjoy

At the end of all of that, there are some amazing parts of winter you should be enjoying. Fall brings Halloween, which means scary movies cuddled up on the sofa with popcorn. Dressing up and going out with your friends. Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family, and it’s all about food and fun and who can eat the most turkey. Christmas is a glitter-fest of presents, love, food, and family. And then New Year’s Eve rolls around with some of the best parties of the year.

As well as partying your socks off – you also get to wear the fluffiest pairs you own. With thick sweaters, bobble hats and scarves that look more life blankets. You can stay in an eat as many marshmallows you want purely because they are either in your hot chocolate or on a chocolate dipped wafer. You’re more likely to spend quality time with friends and family because you’ll stay in and chat rather than laying out by a pool or going to a club – which is fun but not the best place for a conversation.

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Your skin can be your biggest beauty feature or your biggest pet peeve. In a world where women are made to think that makeup is an absolute must – and where wearing makeup can be fun and pretty – more often or not, your skin takes a beating. Forgetting to go through a skin care routine once or twice might be okay, but not to do it at all is the worst thing. Not only can it clog up your pores creating those pimples everyone hates, but it can also age you prematurely and create blemishes and discoloration.

the carolove Rose Water Toner 2 oz/ Hydrating Toner/ Natural skincare/ Little luxuries/ Vegan skincare/ Facial toner/ face mistRose Water Toner 2 oz

Type of Skin

The first thing you need to do is recognize what sort of skin you have;

  • Oily skin is greasy, shiny and can have large pores.
  • Dry skin can be flakey, scaly and rough.
  • Combination skin can have both of the above, usually oily centers around the nose and forehead, and the dry skin stays on the cheeks and chin.
  • Sensitive skin can react to different products and can be a result of asthma or Rhodesia.

You should always buy products that are right for your skin type. If you’re unsure which, then ask a beautician or a trained someone at your drugstore of choice.

Skin Care Routine

A daily skin care routine doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming.

  • AM: wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean towel – change your towel daily to avoid dabbing bacteria on your clean face. Washing first will rinse off the sleep and sweat from the night. Then apply a cleanser that is right for your skin type. Once this has been absorbed or washed off, continue with a toner, this helps to reduce any blemishes or discoloration. Next, apply a face moisturizer – these are different from what you would put on your body as it is lighter and conditioned to not clog up your pores.
  • PM: Wipe off your makeup with a makeup cloth or good old water – no soap and try not to scrub at your skin. Then repeat your morning routine, after your moisturizer has absorbed apply any particular skin treatment you might need. This might be some Marine collagen treatment or localized acne treatment.

Never go to bed with makeup on.

Makeup

When choosing your makeup make sure you avoid oil-based products, you want something water based and light for your skin. Again check if there are any that suit your skin type.

Apply an SPF primer before putting on your makeup, this helps to even out any blemishes and protects your pores from the worst of your makeup.

If you need to cover up, then use a green concealer for redness, purple for yellow undertones and peach or yellow for dark circles or bruising.

Avoid layering your makeup throughout the day, and try to not redo your makeup multiple times. The act of scrubbing clean your face and immediately applying chemicals will just irritate your skin.

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You know how it’s actually fun to receive snail mail that isn’t junk? Well, this may be super lame but it’s been even more fun to get snail mail addressed to Kendall and me as a family. It hasn’t happened much, but we’ve gotten “The Price Family” and “The Future Price Family” a couple of times and it really tickled us. Granted, one was a weird invite to a hearing aid conference but it was still kind of exciting!

There are two prime times for snail mail: 1. your birthday and 2. the holidays. I adore Christmas cards. Growing up (and continuing at the Downing household yearly) my mom always kept a basket of cards we received during the holidays. It was always fun to go through them, and there were some I expected every year: card featuring hand-painted winter scenes from my Great Uncle Baird, recreated classic movie scenes from my mom’s friend Reid, cards with pictures of kids I’ve seen grow up through the years… holiday card memories are just part of my Christmas experience!

I’ll admit, I’m not the best at sending out my own. This Christmas, if I send cards, I’m fully intending on using Minted to help me.

First of all, I HATE addressing envelopes because I have probably the worst handwriting of anyone I know. Minted has an address assistant (annnnd I already have all the addresses I’ve collected for wedding invites- we’re using Minted for our wedding too!) This also makes keeping track of those who you want to send mail to super easy.

Here’s a tip for sending cards that I’ve done for previous years- as soon as I receive a Christmas card from someone, I jot their name and address down from their return address label and put them on my list. My mom just rips off the return address labels and ads them to the basket. With the address manager, you can totally skip those steps and just ad the addresses to a virtual address book. Easy peasy and super organized and no bad handwriting involved!

Second of all, the designs are too cute! Minted sourced each one from an emerging independent artist somewhere in the world. You can find the perfect holiday card format to suit your style by taking a look at their original 5″x7″ Holiday Cards, Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards, Letterpress Holiday Cards and more. I think it’s so cool that you can actually “meet” the artists who design your cards as Minted provides little blurbs about each one. (You can see examples with my picks below!)

I am a big fan of photo cards myself, especially if they have a bit of shine from real foil. In a perfect world, Kendall and I would have had professional pictures taken for our Christmas cards this year, but since we’ve basically run out of time, it’s been too hot to put on scarves and boots and cute wintery stuff for said pictures, and we have our awesome engagement pictures, we don’t really need to do another shoot.

I picked out my top three cards from this years holiday collection from Minted, but there are so many different designs to choose from, plus little ways to personalize. Yes, you can ad your photos and names and such, but with many of the cards you can also edit the color scheme, colors of the fonts, or colors of the foil. My absolute favorite card design is Brushes, but I tend to like abstract and arty designs. There’s really something for every taste, whether you want to go traditional, fun, or glam!

Brushes

by Oscar & Emma of Columbus, OH

Karly Depew is the creative talent behind Oscar & Emma. She has a true obsession for luxurious papers, anything with stripes and modern organic home decor. She resides in Ohio with her husband, daughter and twin sons.


 Singalong

by Carolyn MacLaren of Encinitas, CA

I’m so lucky I get to spend my days filled with my two loves — being a designer and a mom to 2 kids (and 1 dog). I am drawn to simple graphic patterns, unexpected color palettes, and fresh typography. My personal style ranges from simple and modern to warm and whimsical, and am constantly inspired from everyday life.


 

Foliage Joyful

by curiouszhi design of London, GB

I am passionate about beautiful design in every aspect of daily life. My design aesthetic is driven by my love of clean typography and whimsical illustrations. When I’m not designing, I can be found playing the piano or experimenting in the kitchen.


Have you thought about holiday cards yet? If not, it’s probably time to start!

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We all have those days that just feel like the world is against you. Where nothing has gone right, you’ve been treated like dirt, or you’ve made mistake after mistake and just frustrated yourself to tears. These times can be the worst and can make you feel like it has set you up for a few miserable days (or years) to come.

But, it doesn’t have to. There are some really great techniques that you can do that can wipe the slate clean and make tomorrow a new day.

Chamomile Lavender Bath Soak

Vent

Whether you come home to someone, or you call them, get someone you love on the phone and just rant about the whole situation. You will get angry, and probably cry as you relive the day from hell, but the physical act of retelling the story rather than keeping it bottled up, and having someone on your side really does help to relieve some of the day’s tension. If you’re with your ventee, then go for a cuddle – as simple as it seems a cuddle can reduce your stress levels enormously. And if you need to cry then let it out and ugly cry – you’ll feel so much better once you’re done.

Distract

Now it’s time to stop thinking about it. Pick up your favorite book, turn on your current binge-worthy program, or lose yourself in the pages of the latest vogue. Whatever you love to do in your spare time, even if it’s something high-intensity like going for a run or doing an hour of yoga, then do it. Get involved and engross yourself in something that has nothing to do with the day you’ve just had. By getting out of your head for an hour, you allow your emotions to settle down, which will calm the adrenaline the anger and crying will have brought on.

Relax

Run a bath, or turn on the shower if you prefer, make it nice and hot and add the personal touch of your favorite bubble bath or salts. Stick on a chilled out playlist and soak your troubles away. Aromatherapy is seriously at play here, the scents and warm air relax the mind as the hot water relaxes those tight muscles. If you have been crying, place a warm, damp washcloth over your eyes to really freshen up the tightness around your eyes – it will help to reduce the redness too.

Sleep

Now is the best bit – climb into bed and sleep. Set your alarms and put your phone down – don’t check Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest, just put the screen down. Staring at a screen before you go to bed distracts the mind and tricks your eyes into thinking it’s time to work. So while you’re in such a relaxed state, just turn it off and slip into a nice deep slumber, and tomorrow really will feel like a new day.

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The above post may contain affiliate links and I may receive compensation if you click on any of the above links and/ or make a purchase from those links. Opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that I love!