Friday, May 17, 2019

Small Business Spotlight: Red Dress Boutique

Hey what is up hello! I love a good boutique. Also I am trying to get more into buying smaller. I feel like the way social media is going with the algorithm, social media is making it harder and harder for a small business to thrive without paying for Instagram ads. (some business can afford this, and some can not). 

Also with the blogger affiliate links, bloggers do not make a commission from brands, and small businesses are barely on affiliate links. (I believe this is because, again you have to pay a commission to be on the apps). 

That being said, I love small businesses and boutiques. I mostly shop online. I love when boutiques post their new products on their Instagram stories. I can just flip through what is new, and it is honestly the fastest way to see new products.

Red Dress Boutique does a GREAT job of this. I have been following them for years (They are a Georgia brand, and I grew up in Georgia). Also before the bachelorette, Hannah G. was/is one of their boutique models! I don't have favorites, but they are for sure my favorite. 

Also to just add a little history, Red Dress Boutique was on Shark Tank . The owner, Diana Harbour is a total boss. you really need to check out her Instagram and look at the "Ugh Amazon" stories. She dives into how much faux fashion not only effects luxury brand, but also small businesses. 

Not to mention all their clothes are extremely cute! Every time I wear a dress or romper from them, I always get compliments! They have great statement pieces for every occasion. Here are some of my favorites for this season. (I am loving tow piece sets fyi)

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Spring Transition Wardrobe

Hey what is up hello! If you are in the south spring is right around the corner. If you are from Michigan, you want spring, but you probably are not going to get it for 2 more months. That is where a spring transition wardrobe come into play!
Here is what I am loving for spring:



My favorite trends for spring: I am loving pink. It has not been my favorite color in the past, but this season I am loving it. Tweed! Seriously is so classic, and I am loving it. Flared jeans are perfect for staying warm, but giving an updated spring look! Also, this is a pro tip. throw a blazer over a dress to keep you warm. I feel like it is the updated school girl cardigan. You look like a put together women. 

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

WEDDING WEDNESDAY NO. 3// WHERE IS THE WEDDING?

Hey what is up hello! For the venue... I am in the Middle East. I can not travel to 20 venues, make an excel spreadsheet, and look at the pros and cons, the prices, and area. (Lets be real I know the area... BECAUSE!)

We are getting married in Michigan! Both Alex and I are "from" Michigan. I was born there, moved to the south, then moved back for college, and moved away afterward. I am "from" no where, BUT my whole family lives in Michigan. 

So talking about the why we narrowed down to a Michigan venue. What were our other options?


Destination wedding: This was my top pick. Not necessarily due to wanting to get married at a beach. It is sooooo much cheaper for a couple to get married at an all inclusive resort. Yes, your guest end up eating the cost. They have to pay to get out there, but most resorts do free weddings or a small fee for flowers to get married there. I have a huge family and this would also create a smaller wedding, which I wanted. 

Cons: Not everyone can make it. Immediate family can which I wanted. HOWEVER Alex wanted everyone to be there (He has a much smaller family) Also my mom wanted a big wedding. Which since we have been engaged I have heard of so many catholic families allowing a destination wedding, and their family forcing  throwing a big after party. So my mom nixed that and went straight for the after party. Which a wedding is about family, so it just made sense. 

Waiting Until We Find Out Where We Are Going: We are going somewhere in July. That is that. I ALSO wanted this. This would also be a "Destination Wedding" for my family. And half of A's family would be near. It would be fun for everyone to get together in a new place. Again, we do not know where we are going, so we could not plan it right away. 

Michigan: This was the winner! Again we are both from Michigan. Our families live there. Most of our friends from out of town are from Michigan. I also knew a handful of Venues, I knew what they looked like. We are having it on the East Side of the State, so that people who have to fly in, the airport is right by there!

As for the Venue, again for safety reason I will not share it on the blog until after. BUT we are doing it at a stunning ballroom. There is also a golf course and hotel on site so everyone can walk to the venue and there is plenty to do for out of town guest. Below is a little tiny sneak peak (Photographer can be found here)

I will say this, when we were in a frenzy to get a venue, a lot of places were like we start at this price (About 15k over our total budget) and we do not have off season pricing. This is when the search was on over drive. Low and behold the venues wanted to negotiate with us, they emailed us a week later and they were about 2/3 the cost. Which I get it, but I just thought that was so icky.

The venue we went with was super upfront about pricing. Plus it is all inclusive including rentals. linens, and clean up. Not only that, but because they are all inclusive they help us plan big time. Alex keeps saying I am way on top of things, and I am like no I am not the venue is. My favorite part, the place is so stunning we are so happy to have the big day there!

Overall, the wedding venue is amazing, close to home, a major air port, and we can not wait to say "I Do" here!
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

WEDDING WEDNESDAY NO. 2// WEDDING VENUE BUDGET TIPS

Hey what is up hello! I know it is not Wednesday so I am a liar. Wedding Thursday just does not sound as good. I was going to do a post on MY VENUE, but I have learned so much about picking a venue I am going to tell you some tips I have picked up along the way. This is focused on budget saving tips that if you want to have a budget wedding these tips will save your life.  Here are some budget saving tips where you can have the nice wedding, have a cute venue, and you would never know that the budget was an issue because it will look so nice.

I will get into why I know all this information later (shocking), but here are some great tips to have the wedding of your dreams without the price tag. 

Destination wedding// You can have a fancy wedding, at almost no more cost than a week long vacation. Most all inclusive resorts will have a small fee for a wedding (thinking hundreds not even thousands.) or no fee at all. The fee will typically be the flower cost. The con to this: your guest are eating the cost. They have to pay to get out there. You are not getting a registry (not that it matters). However you get a vacation and it is so economic. Also not everyone can make it, so your families might not agree. 

Location, Location, Location// This is for cities where there are big suburbs. Not getting married in the city and getting married in the suburbs will cut cost almost in half in most cases. Yes it is fun to be down town, but I mean if you have an evening wedding you can stay at the venue and not have to worry about an after party. Just make sure you can still get a room block in walking distance or uber is available.


Non-Traditional// The second you put wedding in front of anything it hikes up the price. A wedding venue right next to a jazz club can have the exact same vibe, but totally different prices. Look into venues that hold events, but do not have the word wedding splattered all over them. (Pro tip: google corporate event venues in your area)

Off Season// Talk to your venue about "Off Season". If you just love a venue, and it does not matter what time of year you get married. Off season can vary by place. The mid-west it is November-April (we still have snow on the ground during ALL of those months). This could save you 10 dollars off a "plate" or could save you 10,000 dollars off the whole event.

All of these tips, are something a wedding planner can really help you save money on. A couple of thousand dollars up front to a wedding planner who has a book of vendors, can end up saving you so much money in vendors who are just giving you their starting rate. Some food for though! Good luck with the wedding venue hunt! 

Also here is my Pinterest Inspo Board, and here is my Pinterest Wedding Planning Tips

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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Travel Shoes

Hey what is up hello! This should be the number one thing you think about when you decide you are going to be touring around a new city. There is so much you can do in a new place and you want to look good, but also feel comfortable. 

A trip can be totally ruined by bad shoes! When you are hiking a cute trail, going for a bike ride around the pier, stomping up old cathedral stairs, you want to be able to do it without feeling your feet with every step. 

Here are some cute ones that I typically gravitate towards! I do want to thank Jcrew for making sneakers and a normal outfit a fashionable look. I also like a pair of slides to just throw on!


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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wedding Wednesday NO. 1// When Is the Wedding?

Hey what is up hello! Wedding planning has started, meaning wedding Wednesdays are in full force. It will not be every Wednesday, due to us having a semi-long engagement. BUT it is an extremely fun chapter to be in, I promised myself to enjoy every second. Plus, I get to share it with my blogger crew! Just to let you all know, these post are going to be more technical and event planning based. Okay, lets get into the good stuff!

There were a TON of factors in what date we picked for our wedding:

Number 1, my cousin is getting married in early June, so we at least wanted to make sure we did it a month before or after, so that he could really enjoy his special day! We also talked to each other and coordinated just to make sure that everyone was good with dates. He has been my best friend since birth, we got engaged the same week, and now we get to wedding plan together and it is seriously so fun! (I feel like I kind of lucked out with this because we have pretty much the same timeline and we get to share all the deets with each other)  So June was out of the question! 

Then we were trying to have an off season wedding to cut cost, but our April date got snatched! (Right after Valentine's Day is the end of the average engagement season.) Which put the search on over drive for a minute, due to the fact I am across the world, and can not go see a venue.

So as far as dates went. I have always wanted to do a NYE wedding. (We had a family friend in the early 2000s do it and I LOVED IT) BUT This year was too soon. And next year was too far. Also it was in the middle of the week and holidays are already hard to get in the medical community (Business and Government are always shut down), let alone one that was in the middle of the week. 

Then we wanted the last week of "off season" (End of April), BUT the last THREE WEEKS were taken. Which added stress (Again it was not like I could just find another venue) BUT I talked to my mom and we settled on July. And by settled on I mean I am so pumped because July weddings are seriously the best.

With the search, we actually got a date that we wanted more, and worked way better with our (mostly A's) schedules. We are getting married July 2020! We will not be sharing the actual date until it is over for safety reasons. 

.We have a pretty long engagement with having 16 months to plan. (Average is 6-18 months) BUT by the time I get home from the middle east, We have a year to plan. 

We are are so pumped and excited! Cheers to July 2020! (Also you are allowed to post cheesy quotes for your own wedding right?)

Check out our engagement post here!
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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

100 workout in 100 Days

Hey what is up hello! I have seen a handful of people do this and honestly it has given me a lot of motivation. Even if they talk about how their workout went or what they did. It inspired me to get in the gym! 

That being said I know 100 workouts in 100 days is not feasible for everyone. Trust me if I was not in the middle east I would not be doing it. However here in the middle east, I don't have to grocery shop, I can't go anywhere most of the time, and I have no family or loved ones here that I need to spend time with. 

That being said I do have all this down time and I have not been taking advantage of it. Working out has been the last thing in the world I have wanted to do, add that eating whatever I want, and I am not happy with the lifestyle I am living. I know working out makes me feel so much better. Even here I know I am not going to sleep well unless I do some sort of workout. 

So for the next 100 days (actually 93, 7 days down!) I am going to make myself go to the gym for a minimum 20 minute sweat session. That is it! That is 100 days of just getting myself into the gym and making sure I make it a habit for myself. Now some days I am going to do more, but that is the minimum goal!

For me personally my body is not in the same athletic condition it was in college. Gone are the days of doing 200 pushups a day and going out and running 8 miles like it is nothing. Also my workouts are going to be gentle on the body. Not a lot of fast movements and not a lot of heavy weight, or jumping around.

My focus is to enjoy the gym again, and live a healthier lifestyle! Also here are some of my gym favorites!


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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

6 Tips For a Full Day Of Travel

Hey what is up hello! You booked a trip! You are on your way out the door, you are going on your dream vacation. BUT what do you do when you are spending your day from dawn to dusk out and about taking on the town. I have been to 21 countries, and about 40ish states. I have been a traveler my whole life. I have been traveling internationally for 3 years, and here are 6 tips that will help you with a full day of traveling.

Shoes// Wear comfortable shoes, if you put on some trendy shoes so you will look good in photos, great! That does not mean that they are the best to walk around in. Do a test a couple of weeks before. Trust me there are a ton of cute shoes that are also comfy for walking around in.

Meals// Obviously the best thing about traveling is EATING! However, whatever you do in normal life do pretty much the same thing you do on a trip. If you have two coffees a day make sure you stop at a café twice. ALSO the biggest thing, keep your water normal! If you have 6 small meals or 2 big meals a day keep it the same! Nothing kills a day of touring around by you getting sick or feeling ill because you body is used to a routine!

Travelers Wallet// This is one of my new tips. I used to travel around with a cross body and a large wallet. It always felt like I had so much stuff. I got this travelers wallet recently (I got it in pink and I hate it but I think grey or black it would be fine). This saved my life. It holds my phone and passport. Which just traveling to a different country you need it, but in the middle east you need your passport to get into most restaurants/ lounges/ clubs. So it is nice to carry it around with you. In mine I also carry around 10 cards/ memberships, a necklace, some cash, and about 5ish tampons. ALL IN A WALLET.

Paper// What is paper?! I have an iphone! Well my friend iphones die. Write everything on a piece of paper (also iphone notes) and add the address and reservation numbers. That way if your phone dies or gets lost, you aren't. 

Have cash// I swear the USA is the only country that you can get away with never using cash. (Maybe Canada too). You never know when you are going to need it, I would carry around cash just in case there is not an ATM near by. 

Rest// Get your normal amount of sleep. Yes, you want to see everything, but you are going to get real cranky real fast if you are running off of a couple hours of sleep. Also if you are spending a couple of days in a place only plan one or two things to do. That way you can really enjoy your meals, take in some sunsets, and really just enjoy! Remember this is a vacation!

Coat// Get a longer hip length coat with pockets. (As seen above) Number one you are going to be in public places and if you are sitting down or outside you have something to sit on. Traveling light will be your friend and if you have pockets vs a bag you will be able to get around easier. I like these coats// one// two// three



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Monday, February 18, 2019

We are engaged! (FAQ)

Hey what is up hello! Alex and I got engaged this week! For those of you who do not know I am in the Middle East for 9 months, and Alex flew out here for a week. As you know, we got engaged! I have gotten a million questions and with us being 7,000 miles from our family and friends it is super tough to share the details. Here are the Frequently Asked Questions we have gotten this week.

How did it happen?

Long story short. I might do a full detailed post on this later. Alex and I went on a desert tour and at sunset. It looked so great and peaceful so we sat down and just enjoyed it. As the sun was going down, Alex said "here stand up", and at that point I knew what was going on! Alex got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him!

What are you most excited about being engaged?

I am so pumped that we made a big step forward in our relationship and we are making the promise to work on joining our lives together! I am so pumped for us to spend this next chapter together and a lot is going to change in the next year. 

Where did you get engaged? 

Doha, Qatar in the desert at sunset! Again this is where I am working!

Did Alex hire a photographer?

Alex got a lot of credit for this one, but NO! Our tour guide took a million photos of us all day, and he had our camera while we were hanging out and he took about a 100 photos. We were just really really lucky.

Are you two wearing matching outfits?

Haha, no! The lighting makes it look like that, however he is wearing a green top and jeans and I am wearing a jean jacket with a white sweater with leggings. 

Did the ring fit first time?

Eh oh el, this was straight up my fault. And I was not going to mention it, but we found out why after some talking. After about a year of dating Alex was surveying me on all my sizings for Christmas, and to be annoying and plant a seed I said my ring size was a 7(average women ring size). Not thinking anything of it. Alex kept that list and my ring size is 1 size too big! (Which we can fix that, but that is karma for being pushy;)

Did you help with the ring/ was it a surprise?

As some of our friends got engaged Alex had made a handful of comments on how he wanted to be the one to pick it out. (Which made me anxious) However Alex has impeccable taste and I knew i should not worry. He did a hot fire flame job! 

How did you celebrate? 

My cousin sent the text "bridgette gets engaged. Bridgette then goes clubbing and drinks from a tiny canoe." What can i say? 

On a serious note though Alex and I made a very conscious decision to just enjoy the moment together! We spent a couple of hours just talking and gushing together about the day. We grabbed one drink and just chatted and enjoyed the moment! After we took in the moment for most of the day, we Facetimed our families and told them the exciting news. It was just fun to talk to everyone and share and enjoy the happiness! 

Would you change anything about the day?

Honestly no! As cliche as it sounds it was honestly the best day of my life. It was my first full day with Alex so that in it of itself was special. We went on an amazing tour. We got to look at some great views, we watched a stunning sunset. Alex proposed. We enjoyed every second and we talked to most of our friends and family! The only thing I might change would be not staying up until 6 IN THE MORNING. However we truly enjoyed every second so I wouldn't even change that! 
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Sunday, February 3, 2019

TESTING A FULL FACE OF WET N' WILD

Hey what is up hello! Thank you for stopping by! This is my Wet n wild review. Which it  absolutely surprised me!

 So we went in with the wet n wild foundation and it was a little to pale for me. However, I really like the formula. Because the foundation was so pale I went in with the wet n wild contour palette. I went in on the cheek bones and the forehead. 

I also talked about my favorite bachelor picks while I was priming my eyes with the wet n wild eye primer. From there I added on the wet n wild blush. I added some eye shadow, and talked about the business I am trying to launch.

To finish off eyes I tried out the wet n wild eye liner and finished the look with mascara. I sprayed the setting spray and finished the look off with wet n wild mascara! 




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