Planning My Wedding & Keeping it Stress-Free

Endicott Estate

Endicott Estate

I am getting married next June! Kenny and I were engaged last July after being together for 7 years. Even after all of that time together we knew we were not prepared financially to get married within the next year (which ended up being a good thing because my baby brother just got married 2 weeks ago). We were able to enjoy our engagement for a while and I can honestly say that I was dreading the actual planning part. As much as I love detail-I did not want to have to worry about every last detail of my wedding that no one else was likely to notice.

Fast forward a few months as time began getting closer to when I should start considering a date and a venue before it was all booked up. I live in Dedham, MA which is home to the Endicott Estate-a beautiful old mansion built in the early 1900′s. I have loved the building ever since I was child when going to visit family in the area. As we would drive by the Endicott Estate I would gaze out the car window and revel in the idea of how romantic the whole thing was. I had known for a while that I possibly wanted to have my wedding at the Endicott and was aware that because the building was owned by the town it was pretty affordable. After visiting their website and seeing that you receive a discount for being a resident of the town it pretty much seemed like a no-brainer to me.

Kenny and I went to meet with the event planner at the Estate and instantly fell in love. The building has so much character, is grand, handsome, and beautiful all at the same time without being too “fancy” and over the top. It fit our taste perfectly. It will be beautiful but still maintain a low-key vibe.

Once the venue was booked I began looking into taking care of booking our other vendors as well. The one thing that really helped me to stay on track and not get overwhelmed by the planning was The Knot website. The timeline really takes you month by month on what you need to accomplish and I swear it is what has helped keep me sane through this whole process. Everything else really began falling into place once the date and venue were booked. My friend Cyndi is an incredible photographer who I have featured on my blog so there was no question I was going to use her. She does her own photography for babies and families, but is part of the Hitched Studios team for wedding photography. I was lucky enough to already know who I wanted to use as my caterer after drooling over their menu for over a year. We did our tasting and that sealed the deal. Kenny’s sister was a graphic design major so she helped design our save-the-dates and will help with the invitations. She does an incredible job and we are so lucky to have her help and talent! We only had to pay for the price of sending them off to the printer. The flowers were my next endeavor. I had heard wonderful things about using the florists through Whole Foods-and let’s face it: their flowers are always stunning. Luckily I have a Whole Foods 5 minutes down the street from me, which is also 5 minutes from the Endicott Estate. I met with the florist there and we immediately hit it off. She understood my vision perfectly and adores doing weddings at the Endicott Estate. I knew I didn’t want to spend a fortune on flowers and the Estate is so ornate as is-it really doesn’t need a lot, so when she quoted me at $1,500 for, get this: 1 bride’s bouquet, 8 bridesmaids bouquets, 8 groomsmen boutonnieres, 2 father’s boutonnieres, 3 mother & step-mother bouquets, 2 flower girl bouquets, AND decorating I was SOLD. Ladies & gents-if you have a Whole Foods remotely close to you I strongly suggest you check out their floral department.

The DJ was really the only vendor I needed to research and that didn’t take long. I wanted to use a DJ who did a great job at a friend’s wedding. When I found out he wasn’t available he referred me to a few other companies. My cousin Laura, who is also featured here on my blog, is a hair stylist and I trust her with everything I have so as far as hair goes on my wedding day I am all set. I was going to spend the money on hiring a make-up artist to do my bridal make-up, but after some confusion at my brother’s wedding which resulted in me doing my own make-up-I am now convinced that I will be also doing it on my wedding day. What I have seen on others has not blown me away and I know I can achieve what I am looking for.

As for all of those little details I was telling you about that I didn’t want to bother with-I am now loving it! Once things started getting rolling and falling into place-those special little details really became fun. I am by no means getting carried away with them because I know that it’s not necessary to go overboard. As for my dress-let’s just say that I also lucked out and found it online, on sale, and it fits beautifully! I don’t want to give details away but I will write a follow-up blog, post-wedding with all of the details-and of course some incredible photos! :-) Another aspect of our wedding that will keep the stress down is NO SEATING PLAN! Yippee! Where the Endicott Estate is made up of a bunch of different rooms that all flow together-we are keeping it cocktail style all night! Tables and chairs will be set up if people want to kick back and relax, but there will be TONS of delicious food for people to enjoy while they are mingling and dancing the night away! This also ended up being more cost-effective: definitely something to consider if you are planning a wedding!

Ladies-this is such an incredible time in your life. Relax and enjoy it. Everything will work out-and if it doesn’t-no one else will notice! I am extremely fortunate with how things worked out with all of my vendors so easily falling into place and not having to do a lot of research. Knowing people in the right places also makes a huge difference. I also feel like with how long Kenny and I have been together, how long it has taken us to get to where we are, all of our perseverance has finally paid off! I keep telling people that all of this has been too easy and that something bad is bound to happen. But then I stop and think: maybe we are just finally getting what we deserve after all this time. We are good people who do good things and we have made it this far, so maybe this is our time. Whatever it is, I am fully embracing it and not taking it for granted!

A year ago we were renting the house my father grew up in and Kenny lost his job. That loss of a job resulted in him collecting unemployment, not only going to college for free because he is a Veteran-but getting PAID a monthly housing stipend because he served overseas after 9/11, getting hired back at his job, us planning our wedding, AND as of last week we finally bought the house we were renting! Amazing what a difference a year can make! If there is something that you truly believe is worth fighting for-don’t give up. xoxo

Obsessed with My New Antique Vanity and Announcement!

Helllllooooo everyone! How’s life been? Clearly mine’s been busy since I haven’t blogged in a long time. A lot has happened in the past few months but I’m here now. I just wanted to share my latest purchase for my bedroom. I have been on the hunt for an antique-style vanity and found one! It added the perfect classy touch that my bedroom needed and sent me on a frenzy of re-vamping everything else in the room: curtains, throw rug, and mirror. It’s like a whole new bedroom in one day! Here’s a few pics of the vanity and the accents I added to it:

pink peonies perfume antique vanity

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I think I am going to start making YouTube videos so I can start sharing some of the natural/organic makeup and other products I love. I have a ton of stuff already lined up for some great giveaways so stay tuned! ;-)

xoxoxo

Emily Eve

 

 

Acure Organics: Acure for your Skin. Acure for the Planet.

acure organicsSo I couldn’t come up with a more creative title to this blog that does a better job of embodying what Acure Organics stands for and delivers, so I used their slogan. It works. Just as their products do. I can in all honesty say I don’t even remember how I got introduced to the products from this amazing company. It could have been through Goodebox, browsing the aisles of Whole Foods, or even an add on Facebook. However it happened, I am forever grateful.

Acure is a company that is making amazing, high-quality, earth friendly, natural and organic products that actually work. Did I mention they are super affordable as well? It’s incredible. Take a look at who they are: About Acure Organics. I currently use an abundance of their products in my daily routine. Here’s a peek at what I use and what I think:

  • Facial Cleansing Cream: I have dry skin so this is perfect. I little goes a long way and does not leave my skin feeling dry and tight the second I step out of the shower. It does a great job of removing all make-up too!
  • Brightening Facial Scrub: A-MAZ-ING. I use this 2-3 times a week and it is extremely effective without being too harsh. My face feels like butter after!
  • Day Cream: I was using this every morning and really did like it. However, after receiving a sample of CV SkinLabs facial moisturizer in my most recent Goodebox, I fell in love with it for my dry skin and bought the full-size product which is what I am currently using.
  • Night Cream: Loved this just like I did the day cream. Once I discovered Acure’s Argan Oil and Marula Oil, I started using those in the evening.
  • Argan Oil and Marula Oil: Love both! And I swear you will never find these at a better price anywhere else! Great for my dry skin. I use the Argan Oil on my face and the Marula Oil on my decolletage.
  • Eye Cream: This eye cream is so silky and smooth. My eye area can get dry when I wear make-up and this works perfectly before applying it. It does not get all clumped up and flaky like some other moisturizing products do when applying make-up.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner (pure mint for normal/fine hair for added volume). These are the best natural shampoos and conditioners I have ever used. They leave my hair so full and shiny. I honestly feel like I have had more growth since using them. There are no harsh chemicals stripping your hair and as a result I have a lot more “baby hairs” growing in. My cousin is a hairdresser and she says all those little hairs at the top of my head are not broken, damaged hairs, it is definitely new hair growing in. Yessss! The Moroccan Argan Oil shampoo and conditioner for dry hair has amazing reviews on their site. I received a sample of those and really liked them as well.

Here’s some info on how Acure is keeping the environment in mind when creating their products: Environment

I would highly recommend giving one or several of Acure’s products a try. You can order them directly from their site, buy them from Whole Foods, or websites like Lucky Vitamin sell them, often at an even cheaper price. Safe shopping! :-)

Also, I have been seriously considering starting a YouTube channel reviewing a bunch of the natural products that I love and use on a daily basis. I love talking about these things and informing people about wonderful products that are out there, so I only thought it would be a natural fit. Let me know what you think! :-)

xoxo
Emily Eve

Acure Organics - Acure For Your Skin, Acure For The Planet

Red Apple Lipstick Bites Back at Gluten Intolerance

red apple lipstickMy last post was about the amazing company Red Apple Lipstick, but a few months have gone by and my collection of pigment-packed, smooth-operating, and gluten-free lipsticks and lip glosses has increased tremendously. I can now say I proudly own 8 lipsticks (Audrey, New York, Rebel!, Red!, Strawberry Lips, French Skirt, Sunkissed, and Petal Pusher), a Rallye Balm, and 2 lip glosses (Hot Mess and Fuzzy Navel). Red Apple Lipstick is currently getting ready to release 6 new shades in the coral family and I pretty much plan on owning all of them. If you head over to their Facebook page you get to interact with their posts and are running a contest where you get to name the new colors they are releasing. If the name you gave is picked, you win a tube! I have not a single bad thing to say about any of the products that I own.

Not only does Red Apple Lipstick have rave reviews from their loyal customers, they have been featured in:

  • Women’s Health
  • Delight Gluten Free Magazine
  • Allergic Living
  • Organic Spa Magazine

Red Apple Lipstick has also won several awards in the gluten-free and beauty communities including Best Gluten Free Cosmetics Brand.

red apple lipstickTheir customer service is out of this world. With every order placed I have received a hand-written note thanking me for my purchase as well as emails from the owners. Jay and Andrea Harper are incredible people who clearly have a passion for their business, the beauty industry, the gluten intolerant community, and their customers. One thing that remains clear is that their customers always come first. They listen to what people have to say and the well-being of each individual is a top priority.

If you have not yet experienced a Red Apple Lipstick product, you are missing out. Head over to their website, sign up (for free) for their VIP Club to receive their 20% off discount that is issued EVERY month, and start stocking up!

red apple lipstick

Gluten-Free, Chemical Free Smooches on this Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my lovers out there! First off, let me apologize for being MIA for the past few months. Life has been hectic and sadly, this little gem has been put on the back burner. A lot has happened these past few months, mostly alll gooood in the neighborhood! My gorgeous little cousin, Laura got engaged! You can find her on my Fabulous People page, along with her engagement and wedding photographer, Cyndi. If you’re lucky I’ll post some of their amazing photos ;-)

So, within these past few months of me being a ghost in the blogging world, I have had the utmost pleasure of trying and purchasing literally, the most amazing lipsticks EVER. Red Apple Lipstick was founded on the premise that people with a severe gluten allergy needed a product that was safe for them to use. The founder, Jay Harper, also wanted to make sure there weren’t a bunch of nasty chemicals in them either. Well, thanks to the ads to pop up on my Facebook page, I stumbled upon RAL. The reviews all seemed great and I wanted a true red lipstick that wasn’t full of crap. So I ordered Red! and WOW is all I have to say! It is a highly pigmented mineral lipstick that is a TRUE RED. It glides on so smooth, is ridiculously moisturizing, and lasts a LONG TIME. But you know what else I loved? When you were ready to take it of….it did just that. It actually came off. It didn’t leave a stain on my lips and didn’t dry them out. They sent me a sample of Rebel! which is a deeper, Old Hollywood that is simply stunning. Hello vixen! I wanted to have it. I needed to have it. So I ordered it. I now own 5 of their lipsticks (Red!, Rebel!, French Skirt, New York, and Sunkissed) and there is nothing about them that I don’t like. French Skirt was a bit too frosted, but it works great in combination with other colors or on your cupid’s bow for the appearance of a fuller lip. New York is the perfect shade for a nude lip with sexy, smoky eyes, and Sunkissed is one of my new favorites. It’s the perfect balance of red and orange. It looks great on now, even though its winter and I don’t have a tan, but I cannot wait to rock this color with sun-kissed skin and golden eye make-up in the summer! Oh, did I mention they make gluten-free eye shadows too? They glide on like velvet. Absolutely incredible.

Not only are Red Apple’s products incredible, but their staff is too. I have received hand-written notes in my orders, personal emails asking how I liked my product, and have even received an email from Jay himself. I can assure you that you will not regret making a purchase from RAL. I am hooked for life and am a RAL Gal! ;-) Oh! And I do not suffer from a gluten allergy. I have cut it out of my diet as much as possible, but as you all probably know by now, I prefer to put products on my body that are safe and free of harsh chemicals. All of their products are: Gluten Free • Paraben Free • Allergen Free • Vegan • Mineral Based • Cruelty Free

If you join the Red Apple VIP (it’s free) you automatically get 20% off AND get 20% off every month…for ever. Click here to become VIP!

Have a fabulous day my friends! Oh and in the words of the ever-so-wise Ellen Degeneres: “Be kind to one another.” Spread the love!

xoxoxoxo,

Emily Eve

 

Words of a Billionaire

“Everybody is different and I think that we live in a material world. But for me, possessing things is not that interesting. Living in a grand environment to show myself and others that I have wealth has zero appeal. Whatever I own is temporary, since we’re only here for a short period of time. It’s what we do and produce, it’s our actions, that will last forever. That’s real value.”
~Nicolas Berggruen

Eat to Live

Eat to Live. Interesting choice of words. I just finished reading the book “Eat to Live” by Joel Fuhrman and am on day 2 of his plan. Concept is simple: Eat nutrient dense foods in large quantities and you will end up healthier and thinner. I am following his more strict plan that excludes all animal products. I was going to start following the Paleo diet the other week. I lasted 2 days. Shoving as much animal protein as I could down my throat was grossing me out and cannot be good for you long-term. I am eating loads of fruit, veggies, beans, and a small amount of nuts. His concept makes 100% sense, I understood and agreed with everything, it’s just very difficult for most people to accept. We as Americans eat HORRIBLY. Most of us eat for pleasure, not for nutrition.

Did you know that 100 calories of broccoli has 11.1 grams of protein and 100 calories of beef only has 6.5-8. That 100 calories of broccoli is 12.6oz of food whereas the steak is only 1oz! So which do you think will fill you up more? 12oz of food or 1? Don’t believe me? Take a look:

Protein in veggies vs. Protein in meat

Maybe if you aren’t willing to grasp this fully, apply it to your life as much as possible, so that when you do indulge, you really truly are indulging. I would highly recommend this book to anyone. Whether it is a lifestyle you want to embrace or not, at least do yourself the favor and educate yourself.

Dr. Fuhrman explains so many situations where his patients followed his plan and not only lost a large amount of weight, but were able to go off medications related to high blood pressure, diabetes, etc. He says on average, people will lose 20 lbs in one month, 10 the following, and 1.5 per week after that until their body reaches it’s ideal weight. This is not a fad diet. Even though you will lose weight quickly, its a way of life that you must embrace.

I must say, it’s only day 2, but I am feeling great. I have no side effects or cravings. By the time I am hungry, it is time for me to eat again. Here is what my lunch looks like today. It is A LOT of food. Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, celery, yellow peppers, carrots, sweet potato, and avocado (not eating the entire bag of carrots or container of tomatoes).