Surviving an Arizona summer calls for water and more water! From pool parties to floating the river - it's the only way to stay cool while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. However, with temps creeping up to 120 degrees it's super important to know what to expect and how to prepare so you don't get burned by the sun. Pun intended.
This weekend we are heading out to tube the Salt River! Now, it's been at least 5 years since I've hit the river, so to prepare I spent some time researching tips and tricks to add to my collection of personal experiences to make for a successful trip!
Tips for Floating the Salt River
Additional Information for Smooth Sailing
Visit http://www.saltrivertubing.com/ for fun events, schedules, pricing (CASH ONLY) and select partners who offer discount coupons for your float! If it's your first time, watch the intro video that shows you exactly what to expect.
At last – I am ready for Easter! This is always one of my favorite tablescapes to create each year. It is the first time since Christmas the dining room table looks alive with fresh color and energy to celebrate a new season. This year I incorporated my stripe fetish with rustic wood accents & pink floral to brighten the room.
To recreate this look check out Michael's Craft Store, Homegood's and World Market.
Now that it’s been a few weeks and I’ve finally recovered from my little sister’s bachelorette party, I’m ready to share all of the fun that went in to planning the weekend! To make it short and sweet, I’ve summarized my tips & tricks in to 10 simple steps!
1. You need a Hashtag – There’s nothing like a witty hashtag that gets the group excited about the upcoming weekend! It’s a great way to brand the weekend and group pictures taken throughout the weekend. Nothing compares to scrolling through your hashtag feed on Sunday morning to relive the weekend!
2. Plan the Party 3-5 Months Out – If you can, give the group AT LEAST 3 months to plan for the big weekend! We all know weddings are expensive, so try to remember that when planning.
10. Lingerie Shower & Games – No weekend is complete without embarrassing games and a pile of sexy lace! We turned the lingerie shower into a game, leaving the bride to guess who got her what. For the big game, I opted for a dirty version of the Newlywed Game, meeting up with the groom before the weekend to answer saucy questions. We asked, and the bride guessed the soon to be grooms answers – pretty hilarious! Fortunately for our bride, it turns out her and her soon to be hubby were pretty in sync, so her penalty shots for guessing the wrong answer were limited.
Cheers to a lifetime of love, happiness & wine!
Whether it’s your first time or your fifth time, being asked to stand by the bride’s side when she says “I do” is a moment to treasure for a lifetime. For those who have had the pleasure of taking such a special part in the big day, you know the excitement (and stress) that so commonly accompanies the months and days leading up to the wedding.
The engagement party, bachelorette party, dress shopping, bridal shower, rehearsals, day of preparations - you name it, can really add up, especially if you do not know how to plan for it! But with all of the love in the air, these details are the very last thing any bride or bridesmaid needs to worry about. That is after all, why she chose you to be there to share this journey with - not just on her wedding day, but all of the moments leading up to it!
To better understand your role as a bridesmaid and prepare for the fun journey ahead, I teamed up with team bride, Kelly (Parker) Harris to help sift through bridal party duties and expectations. From accepting the bridal invitation to shots at the open bar – here's everything you’ll need to know about being a bridesmaid.
J | What advice would you give to girls accepting their bridal party invitations?
K | Saying “yes” means so much to the bride…but it also means a lot is expected out of you - the bridesmaid. Be realistic with yourself. Can you afford a $300 dress if that’s what the bride chooses for you to wear? If you are from out of town, can you buy a plane ticket and still have enough money for rent? If you aren’t able to afford the “must haves” to being a bridesmaid, then I would reconsider the invitation. In the long run, the bride will thank you for being honest. Perhaps the bride will even figure out a way to pay for your flight, dress, shoes, etc. She may have flight miles, or better yet, be willing to pay for certain duties.
Fact: According to The Knot, the average bridesmaid will spend $1,300 in preparation for the big day.
J | For out of town bridesmaids, what is the expectation for attending bridal events? What are ways to be there for the bride, without physically being there?
K | More than half of my bridal party (5 out of the 8) lived in other states - Hawaii, Connecticut, Texas, New York & Missouri. I knew that all 8 couldn’t be there for my dress fittings, hair trials, and bridal showers. If you can’t physically be there for the bride, make sure to write a sweet card and call her on those big days. In the end, that’s what means the most. Let her know you are thinking about her, even if 2,000 miles stands between you.
J | To help with the cost, what planning tips would you share with future bridesmaids?
K | Whether planning a wedding or attending a wedding, spending can get out of control. Usually the bridal party knows this going into it. But don’t let the financial aspect defer you from saying “yes” to being a bridesmaid. Set aside money each month in preparation for the events. Keep a budget - know which events you can attend and which events you’ll have to pass on. It means more to the bride that you were able to travel and be present there on the big day. Also, gifts don’t have to be expensive or lavish. If you can’t afford anything on the bridal registry, get creative! Something as simple as crocheting a scarf or putting pictures into a photo album will be more than enough.
J | What health/beauty tips would you share with the bridal party to prep for the big day?
K | Talk to the bride about her expectations for the big day. Do tattoos need to be covered up with makeup? Should nails be painted a certain color? Is it okay to try out a trendy new hairstyle? Think about it this way, the bride will be flipping through her photos 30, 40, (hopefully) 50 years from now! Make sure you look timeless and classic. I wanted my bridesmaids to look natural, fresh, and romantic. At the same time, I never expected them to spend extra on their beauty routine (eyelashes, tan, nails). But if you want to look your best on the big day, I would say a great base tan and professional makeup is something you don’t want to skimp on!
J | When dress shopping, what should girls keep in mind? For their bridesmaid dress, bachelorette dress, rehearsal dress, etc…
K | You can’t go wrong with department stores such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, or Lord & Taylor. I also love the website Rent the Runway. So many amazing designer dresses (cocktail, black tie) can be rented for the weekend! If you’re not used to wearing high heels, then save your feet from pain and wear flats to the rehearsal dinner. Your feet will be thanking you on the day of the wedding!
For the wedding, you’ll want the dress to be long enough so when you go to bend over and fluff the dress, you won’t show your goods! I gave my bridesmaids a color pallet and let them choose their own style of dress. I loved this idea, as each bridesmaid was able to put their own twist on the outfit. In the end, each dress looked picture perfect together!
the big day❤
J | To ensure everyone’s on their A-game the day of the wedding, what tips would you give to the bridal party the night before and the day of?
K | Have a plan. Know where to be, what time to be there, and when to be ready by. I created a Facebook group for the bridesmaids, and posted a timeline of the weekend. That way, each bridesmaid knew the event times and what was expected of her. Between the rehearsal dinner, the bridal party pictures, and the day after brunch, it can be a struggle to keep up!
J | What 5 things should every bridesmaid pack and bring to the bridal suite?
K | one. Robe (or oversized button down) to get ready in. You want to be comfortable, and be able to slip out of it without ruining hair and makeup! two. Double sided tape, and a miniature sewing kit. Something is bound to break, snap, bust, etc. Be prepared! three. Steamer. Make sure those dresses are wrinkle-free! four. Lip Balm, Lip gloss, Lipstick, - You name it, we need it! Keep it handy during pictures and during the reception. five. Food/snacks-I ended up catering lunch for the bridesmaids. We also had plenty of mimosas, Gatorade, and Quest Bars. It’s important that you feed the makeup artists and hairstylists as well. After all, they are working 4-6 hours straight and would appreciate a little pick-me-up!
J | Any additional tips that made your day extra special?
K | Find one activity/hobby that you can’t live without. Now incorporate that into the wedding weekend. For us, that one activity is Crossfit! We love it, we hate it, we can’t get enough of it. The morning of our wedding, we gathered our bridal party and challenged them in a “Wedding WOD.”
*WOD: workout of the day.
It was a nice way to get sweaty and let a little bit of steam out before the big day. Your wedding week/weekend/day is one that seems to fly by, so make sure the bride and groom do everything to make it personable and memorable!
'Tis the wedding season! According to my Facebook newsfeed that is! With one of my best friends tying the knot this weekend I thought I'd share a simple treat - fancy enough for the bride & simple enough for just about any bridesmaid to make!
Here's what you'll need:
Starting with the tags, you'll need a pack of toothpicks, blank label tags, sticky clear rhinestones or jewels of your choice, a marker, & double sides tape.
On to the cupcakes:
For one box of cake (makes about 18 cupcakes) I'd recommend 2 cans of the Betty Crocker Cake Icing. You can find the icing in multiple colors to match the theme of your party. Lastly, you'll need large baking cups. Culinary Parchment by PaperChef are my favorite for easy to peel & neutral color!
A collection of memories and experiences, featuring home staging and decor, lifestyle trends, travel tips, and DIY projects. Hoping to leave things a little more beautiful than I found them.