North Augusta

Party Favorites

Hey Babes!

Happy Saturday!!  We're now one week out from my birthday party, and I was thinking this morning that I should show y'all a few of my favorite things from that night in case y'all had a birthday party, a shower, or really any event that you were planning or hosting!!  There are just a few items (short & sweet) that are definitely worth mentioning (A.K.A. I would totally buy them again!):

This drink dispenser was actually my favorite party find!  This is one of the few items I bought specifically for this party!!  Blake and I have only hosted one large gathering before this one, so we didn't have anything like this.  But, I did need something to hold drinks for 15 people, and it was love at first site when I found this one at Walmart for under $15!!!!  So happy I stumbled upon this one the morning I actually went to Walmart to buy Plaster of Paris to make chalk paint LOL!  We served Blackberry Sangria out of this one and it did the job perfectly!  You could see all of the fruit floating in it since the sides are clear!  Plus, the rope & galvanized metal accents compliment my decor perfectly!!

For our Blackberry Sangria, we mixed 3 bottles of Roscatto, 2 cups of Blackberry Brandy, 6 cups of Cranberry Juice, Blackberry Syrup made from 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup or sugar, and 12 oz of fresh blackberries - reduced, and 1 cup of orange juice!  We added apple, orange, and mango slices to float!!!  Make it the night before and refrigerate it until the festivities begin!! :)

 

I love this table cloth that I bought on Amazon!  It's for an 8' table, but when I put it on my 6' table, it reaches almost to the floor and is so elegant!  I use it for holidays, events like this, pop-up-shops for my boutique...  The material is thick and durable!!  Plus, it has held up so wonderfully in the wash!!  I recommend this brand to anyone who needs a table cloth!  Seriously, its only $11 y'all!!

 

BloomsyBox provided some flowers for my little shindig!!  They were a very sweet birthday surprise that brightened up the whole room!!  I pretty much only have neutrals in my house (grays, white, black, wood, metal), so to have this gorgeous pop-of-rose-beauty in our party space made the whole atmosphere better!  Does anyone else just melt at the site of some fresh flowers in your home!?  I don't know about you, but for me, there is nothing more welcoming than coming home to my fur baby wagging his tail like crazy & the sight of fresh blooms on my table!!

BloomsyBox is technically a flower subscription service.  You get to choose the frequency at which flowers arrive at your own, or someone else's, doorstep (Mother's Day is coming up... hint, hint).  You can even choose what kind of flowers are delivered!!  I believe these were April's rose selection!  This service is a wonderful treat for anyone who receives it!  If its for a holiday, a random surprise, or just to brighten up your own home, there is no feeling like receiving beautiful, fresh blooms!  I can speak from experience, because I almost cried at receiving these, and they weren't even from anyone I'm close to, they were just straight from the company...  Just imagine how a loved one would feel receiving these from YOU!!!

 

Another one of my party favorites were these Copper Cure Moscow Mule Mugs!!  We've always wanted some copper mugs, and were so excited when Copper Cure wanted to send me some to review!!  The copper gets SO COLD along with its contents, keeping the ice from melting too quickly and watering down your drink!  We've used them a few times, and we still love them!!  They are hand wash only, unfortunately, but that's no different from any of my other cutesy kitchen stuff (I'm rolling my eyes at myself right now because I just purchased decorative, "cutesy," gold measuring cups & spoons... You can also find those HERE).  The mugs have held up really well to the alcohol, acidity of a moscow mule, and the washing; though, I have to say that the straws aren't holding up quite as well...  But, the straws aren't necessary for drinking your drink, and aren't what you're actually paying for, so there is no love lost there in my opinion!  I'm so happy to have these beauties adorning our bar & containing one of my favorite drinks!!

Our Moscow Mule Recipe is: 2 oz of Vodka, 3/4 oz of lime juice, and 4 oz of ginger beer (that's just one serving).  We got it from a book called "The Bar Book" that I got Blake for Christmas!  It has everything in it!  Not to mention the fact that its cute too (as far as setting it out for decoration as well LOL)!  

So, now that you think we're alcoholics LOL, please keep in mind that this party was "cocktail party" themed!!  There were even more drinks than that ;)  But, the real star of the evening was the CUPCAKES!!!  

They were made by a local baker, Mrs. Delightful's Bakery!  She is based out of North Augusta, SC.  If you are anywhere close to here, she is worth the drive!!  I got her Brownie & Snickerdoodle cupcakes, and she custom made these Cookies & Cream ones for me!!  Honestly, "they were AMAZING," just doesn't even give them justice!  Just look at that picture... They speak for themselves!!!  The Cookies & Cream were my favorite, and the Brownie were Blake's favorite!!  I can't wait for my next excuse to order from her again!!

Well, this post ended up way longer than I expected LOL!  The "blogging" part of being a fashion blogger is hard for me because I say I'm not a writer, but boy am I a TALKER....  I could seriously just keep going, and going, and going!!  But, I'm signing off for now LOL...

Love y'all!

XOXO - Rachel

The flowers & Moscow Mule mugs were sent to me complimentary, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!  Some of the links in this post are affiliate links from which I could receive a commission off of any sale procured after clicking.

My First Styled Shoot

Hey Babes!

Happy Wednesday!  This coming weekend is a wedding weekend for my family!!  Blake's little sister is getting married & we're both in it!!  Both the dress for me and the suit for Blake are so gorgeous!  I don't think we're going to look as fabulous as we are this coming weekend ever again LOL!  I'm so excited for all the festivities and to be surrounded by all the love & joy (P.S. I love the way weddings make me feel... so much so that I wrote a whole post on it last year!  You can read that HERE if you'd like).

So, anyways... In honor of our wedding festivities this weekend, I wanted to share a little wedding inspiration on the blog too.  I don't know if you follow me on Instagram or not, but in February I talked a lot about a Styled Wedding Shoot that I was going to be the model for.  I was so pumped!  It was SO MUCH FUN!!  And now, I have the pictures from that day to share with you! **Whoop Whoop**  This shoot was organized by one of my new friends, and local photographer, Rebecca Judy.  She booked the venue, organized the shoot, found a florist, a baker for the cake, we shopped for my dress together, and she invited other photographers to participate!!  For those of you that don't know (because I didn't) the point of a styled shoot is to have a controlled settling to make beautiful art to submit to magazines, to grow your portfolio, try out new techniques, and even for just some extra practice!

And let me tell you... It was an awesome experience to be apart of!!  

Venue: Rose Hill Estate

Flowers: Rachel Frisell Design Studio

Cake: Mrs. Delightful's Bakery

Dress: Elegant Bridals

Hair & Makeup: Jessica Melton Makeup

Jewelry: Hello, Darling

Photographers: Rebecca Judy Photography | Whitney Ann Photography | Nina Bashaw Photography

Models: The Furtick's ;)

 
 
 
 

So, if you're planning a wedding now, or will be in the future, these ladies were amazing to work with!!  I was blown away by all of them!!  Jessica Melton amazed me from the start!  Her hair and makeup skills are incredible!!!  Y'all know what type of hair I have & she was able to make it look like this!!!  And that makeup... O. M. G.  Enough said!  The dress was so gorgeous too!  The ladies that work at Elegant Bridals are SO friendly, and SO helpful!!  Their dress selection is infinite & they had the perfect dress for making Rebecca's "Garden Wedding" vision come to life!!  My earrings were handmade by a local business owner!  As a former jewelry maker myself, I was absolutely amazed by the craftsmanship and elegance of Hello, Darling's jewelry!  Everything floral was created by the amazing Rachel Frisell!  Not only does she have a pretty great name, but she is also absolutely fantastic at what she does!  My mouth literally dropped when I saw what I looked like in that gorgeous flower crown!!!  AND, she let me keep it ;)  Her use of succulents was so creative, absolutely on trend, and nothing like anything I've ever seen before!  LOVE!!  Plus, she also made the name sign shown in one of the pictures!  The cake in the photos isn't actually real, so I didn't get to taste it :(  But, Kelsie, the owner of Mrs. Delightful's Bakery, is making the cupcakes for my birthday party next week, so I can tell you after that how amazing I they are (watch for pictures on Instagram and Facebook)!!!  But that gold foil on the cake sure is real & it was absolutely picture perfect!!  The venue was gorgeous too, and it was so fun to go to a beautiful, historic home in Aiken since I'm new to the area!  Rose Hill Estate is perfect for an indoor, or outdoor wedding!  There's the main house, a small chapel on the grounds, and a beautiful ivy-covered arbor!  So, it can accommodate a variety of wedding visions!

Then, there's the photographers!  Each one had their own amazing qualities!  Rebecca & Whitney are based out of Aiken, SC, but of course are willing to travel.  And the same with Nina, she is based out of Columbia, SC, but is definitely willing to travel!  Rebecca was the best at giving Blake and I direction, and of course, the whole thing was her brainchild, so you can see how well she is at pulling off a vision!  Nina was so much fun to be around, and we had such a good time joking around with her!!  Trust me, our smiles in her photos are absolutely genuine!  Whitney captured our candidness the best!  You can see all of my sassiness in her pictures!!  A lot of times, the "bloopers" are the best pictures, in my opinion, LOL!!  Whitney is Rebecca's second shooter at weddings a lot of times, so to get those two as a photographer-duo would be a wedding day photo DREAM!!

Mostly, that just speaks toward their personalities, not their skill as photographers.  But really, their work speaks for itself!  They all produced fabulous photos!!  Several of which I plan to have printed!!!  And you would be lucky to have any one of them as your photographer - wedding or otherwise! :)

I'm leaving you with my favorite picture from the whole shoot LOL... Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!  

Photo By Nina Bashaw

Photo By Nina Bashaw

It looks like he's choking me hahahaaaaa!

XOXO

-Rachel

Loving Life & Leather

Try saying that 5 times fast LOL

Hey friends,

I wanted to use today's blog post slot to give you all a little update on our lives!

Blake has been at his new job for 2 weeks now!  He's loving it so much!  The new doctors are great, his new co-workers are so nice and very welcoming, he is learning new things there A.K.A. the nurses stitch people up in this Cath Lab (something he's never had [I mean, gotten] to do before LOL!  The only negative thing he's said so far is that they keep the temperature at 60 degrees in the lab!!  LOL, he does not like to be cold!!  But he's taken some jackets and long sleeve tees to wear under his scrubs, so he will be just fine :)  He's still liking his truck, though he does miss his mustang, but the truck allows for us to experience a different kind of independence that we haven't before!  Not having to ask to borrow a truck all the time has been so nice!  Especially during this renovation!!

Speaking of renovation, this home reno has been a bit more challenging than the others... We've never done the kitchen before, and living without a kitchen for a month really sucks, and is getting kind of expensive!  So not only is it expensive because "time is money," but without a kitchen, we've had to eat out this whole time, OMG!!  But, on the bright side it should be completed by Tuesday!!  I'm super ready to finally have a house not under construction (well, until we decide it's time to tackle that pink bathroom LOL)!!

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As for me, I've quit my full-time job at the City... And as much as I've enjoyed being full-time blogger, boutiquer, and renovation manager these past 2 weeks, I've decided to go back to "school" and get my Real Estate and Property Management licenses!  I will start classes on Monday October 9th back in Columbia!  Unfortunately, I'm more nervous than excited at this point... I know that's so sad to say, but I really never wanted to be a student again LOL!  In college I obsessed over school...  And I just definitely don't want to be that person again!!!  But nevertheless, in 9 days, I'm going to kick Real Estate school's butt!!  And now that today marks the start of October, I will finally be ordering Fall apparel for Demure - something that I wait all year long to do!!  I can't wait for y'all to see what I've picked out!!!  And also, since today is October 1st, Demure Styled earrings are going out today, but I also need to tell y'all (for those that subscribe), that I have too many subscribers now to ship them all out in one day.... I get so embarrassed walking into the Post Office and putting 21 packages on the counter, while everyone that was in line behind me gets frustrated that I've basically just tied up the one representative for at least 20 minutes... So, until I find an economic way to ship from home, I will be separating y'all's earring-of-the-month shipments into 3 separate days... I'm sorry!

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We are doing the backsplash in the kitchen ourselves this weekend, but after that, we are finally trying out new churches next Sunday!!  I'm very excited about that!!  We are starting at the church that our friends here attend!!  I'm really itching to get into a new church family and to be involved again!!  Pray for us that we find the right one and that we will have something to offer to whatever church we end up at!!  We worked with the Middle Schoolers at our church home in Lexington, and though I'd probably like to try something different this time around, I pray that my heart is willing to be placed wherever there is a need!!

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So, this photoshoot was the first one that Blake and I have had in our new hometown!  And really, I think its the most fun we've ever had doing photography together!!  

I was looking so forward to shooting this particular outfit!!  Its the type of outfit I've wanted to rock for years!!  But up until 3 weeks ago, I never owned a leather jacket!!  I've wanted one for as long as I could remember... And thanks to Tobi.com I now have one!!  This Leather Moto Jacket is the most perfect accessory for anything Fall!  Literally, you could wear it with anything!  You could pair this, or any leather jacket, with a purposefully edgy look with ripped jeans and boots, a pencil skirt and heels for work, or a lace dress and pearls for date night... They are truly so versatile, and give a little extra personality to any look!!  Y'all know how girly I am, and having a leather jacket has been a dream of mine for a while!!  So, that should be testimony enough to tell you that you need one too!!  Thank you Tobi, for making this girl's dreams come true!!!  P.S. it runs a little small... I'm wearing a medium here.

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And y'all, this DRESS!!  I purchased it 2 weeks ago once I found out Tobi sent me the leather jacket!  One of my favorite blogger/boutique owners Amelia Styles had it in her shop, and I knew I had to have it to pair with this jacket and booties!!  The shade of pink is perfect, and the flirty peplum provides the right balance to the edgy leather moto!  I'm always impressed by Amelia's style on her blog, and everything she has in her SHOP is fantastic... She's definitely someone I look up to and want to be as successful as!!  Please check her out, you won't regret it!!  P.S. This dress was not part of a collaboration with Amelia Styles, so I don't have a promo code for her shop, but all of her prices are very reasonable anyway!  I just wanted y'all to know about her and her shop!!

I hope y'all rock an edgy/feminine outfit this week ;)  Until next time friends...

XOXO

- Rachel

This leather jacket was provided to me by Tobi.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Why I love Weddings

As Blake and I have been settling into the new house, it hit me the other day that we have 6 wedding invitations & save the dates to decorate our new refrigerator (3 weddings this Fall & 3 weddings, thus far, for Spring!)  

I love going to weddings!  And it makes me so happy to be invited to each new one!!  

As I sit and listen to newlyweds make their vows to each other, it always reminds me of the vow I made to Blake and God on our wedding day!  And, I must admit, sometimes those reminders come at just a right time!!  A lot of times I'm convicted: sitting there in my best dress, usually holding the hand of the man I love, realizing that I haven't been the wife I should be, lately... Haven't really been the wife I promised to be!  Weddings make me a better person!!  And then, weddings give Blake and I the opportunity to hit the dance floor and make so many wonderful memories doing something we love to do together!!  I. LOVE. WEDDINGS!

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We recently went to a wedding of a very young couple we've watched grow throughout their relationship with each other... We knew them before they even started dating, and now we've witnessed them get married!!  And after thinking back on their night over the last 2 weeks, I think it was probably the best wedding I've ever been to!!  Not because the food was good, or the music was good, or even the ceremony itself was good (though they all were), but because of the love that the couple showed for each other!!  Do you know anyone like that?  A couple whose love for each other exudes every wonderful thing a marriage is supposed to be!?  Watching those 2 love each other was such a blessing in my life that week!!

As a girl who has grown up in a Christian home, and who deeply desires to follow the Lord's will in her life everyday, I am well aware of why marriage was created and what its supposed to represent!   Wives are to love their husbands as the Church loves Christ, and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the Church.  Impossible standards for any sinner to meet alone, but wonderful goals for any redeemed sinner to aim towards!!

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Weddings always seem to renew my desire to be the woman I stood in front of a church full of almost 200 people and promised to be... To cherish, forgive, serve, put before anyone else, take care of, and most of all LOVE Blake Furtick for the rest of forever!  For those of you who aren't yet married, its so much easier said than done, but is so worth the effort!!!

The couple at the wedding we just attended seem to do it all so well, and from such an young age!!  And I think that's simply because they put the Lord first in their lives, and in their relationship!!  As an audience, we all sang a worship song at the end of their ceremony because they wanted nothing more than for the first thing they did as a married couple to be worshiping their Lord and Savor!!!

I know what you're thinking...  But believe me, it wasn't just for show!!  This was the most simple ceremony and reception I've ever been to... One that was completely void of the typical pomp & circumstance that's stereotypical of a Southern wedding.  And because it was simple, there was more room for JOY!  Everything they said and did was 100% authentic and genuine, and full of LOVE!  Love for each other, and for God!!  It was such a beautiful evening, and I'm a better person because of it!!!

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The wedding was the Saturday before Hurricane Irma hit South Carolina on the following Monday.... It was actually a pretty chilly evening because of all the wind...  Not too cold, but not typical SC Summer weather either, giving me the perfect temperatures to test out this LOVELY dress from Tobi.com.  It was so fitting for such a perfectly LOVELY evening!!  It has a romantic cut, with a backless detail!  And is actually called "In Love Halter Maxi Dress"!!  It was too perfect for Fall wedding attire that I just couldn't pass it up!!!  The slit is high, so I had to be careful with the heavy winds that night, but since that was atypical weather, I don't see why this dress wouldn't be the most perfect Fall and Spring wedding-attending dress ever!!  Not to mention the fact that EVERY lady at the wedding except for the bride, the coordinator, and one other female were all wearing blue!  I usually pay more attention to trending outfit STYLES than COLORS, but seriously y'all, it wasn't something I could stop myself from noticing...  So keep it mind, that if you're attending a wedding this season, apparently BLUE is the color you need to wear!!  Which makes THIS periwinkle maxi dress all the more perfect, because its in the blue family, but different enough that you won't be wearing the exact same shade as everyone else, but will still be wearing the IT color for Fall wedding attendees!! 

I paired it with a metallic gold shoe, and NO HANDBAG!  Not carrying a purse is absolutely outside of my character, but ever since moving, and having my purse constantly stuffed with Home Depot receipts (from the renovations) and whatever junk I needed up until the last minute of walking out of our last house (so I just stuffed it in my purse), I don't carry my purse anymore...  I usually hand Blake my phone to keep in his pocket, and I avoid carrying my purse as often as I can!!  I don't know if its just because I don't want to clean it out or if its a personality change, but I'm just so sick of carrying it!!  I'll keep you update ;)

Now, Blake and I have a more formal wedding coming up in October!  Its at a fancier venue and is later in the evening!  Which means we get to dress up a little more!!!  So, for that wedding, I got this scandalessly low-cut dress from Tobi as well:

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I'm not 100% sure that I can even pull it off, but since Tobi was willing to collaborate with me on Fall wedding attire, I liked the idea of getting to try it!!  It may be more appropriate on someone with smaller boobs LOL, but I love it!!  However, they may be some body tape in our future together :)

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My advice on wearing this Backless Little Black Dress to a Fall/Winter/formal wedding would be to get one of those super trendy faux fur wraps to put around your shoulders later on in the evening!!  I don't have one yet, but plan to get one before that particular wedding!!  So excited!!!

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I hope the next time you go to a wedding, you really listen to what it is the officiant and the bride & groom are saying!  If you're married, the things you promised your spouse all those years ago are the same things that the newlyweds are promising to one another, and its good to remember that you DID ONCE PROMISE the same things!  Whether your marriage is doing amazingly well, or you're in a bit of a rocky spot, a little reminder to LOVE through any and all circumstances could never be a bad thing!!!  Until next time...

XOXO

- Rachel

These 2 dresses were provided to me by Tobi.com, but all photos, thoughts, and opinions are my own!