Friday, August 29, 2014

Fall Preview | Guest Post with Lauren form Dressing Dallas

I am excited to have guest blogger Lauren from take over my blog today! We are both so excited that fall is just around the corner, and we're modeling some of our favorite fall fashions. 

Lauren is a fabulous lifebeauty, and personal style blogger from Texas. Her site is full of inspiration for those of us looking for more modest styles. Also, despite the distance between us, as I've gotten to know her we've discovered that we are very similar--both LDS, first time moms (she has the cutest son!) and we even discovered that we have some mutual friends. If she lived closer I'm sure we would hang out constantly.

This girl is seriously amazing, and if you don't follow her you will regret it! Also, be sure to check out her blog to see the rest of my autumn attire :) 

Hi everyone! I'm Lauren from Dressing Dallas. I'm so excited to be guest posting on Autumn's amazing blog today! 

I've been a follower of Autumn's now for a while, and I love everything about her and her blog! She has amazing style, and it's modest! I share modest fashion on my blog, so I love finding another blogger who has similar aspirations as I do! I also love reading about her life and her thoughts. She is an amazing writer, and I find myself loving every posts she shares. The more we've gotten to know each other, the more I've grown to love this girl! Seriously, she's amazing! We are so similar, and I know if we lived in the same place we'd be together all the time! 

Today we are sharing our "fall fashion preview". I am in love with fall's always been my favorite time of the year for clothing. I've always been in love with the colors, the styles, and the outerwear. This year, I plan on adding a really fun element to my fall wardrobe; sequins! I'm pretty much obsessed with sequins, and I think when you wear them the right way, it instantly glams up your outfit. I was on the hunt for the perfect sequin maxi skirt for a good year now...and when I came across this one from Nasty Gal, I just about freaked! I am a huge fan of antique gold in my wardrobe, jewelry, and this skirt was a must for my wardrobe! I love that it has a slight train to it as makes it so elegant, and it creates the perfect sillouette! I paired it with some simple flats, my favorite chambray shirt from J Crew factory, and a pearl necklace for some instant fall glam! 

I hope you enjoyed seeing my style! Please stop by my blog as well! I love meeting new people!

Thanks Autumn for being so sweet and having me on your blog today!

Happy weekend ya'll!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Religous Reflections 04 | My Best Friend's Wedding

"Celebrate and commemorate each day together as a treasured gift from heaven." 
-Russell M. Nelson 

A little over a week ago, my best friend became the most beautiful, blushing bride and married the love of her life in the Salt Lake temple for time and all eternity. 

It was the same place that Sam and I were married almost 5 years ago. The combination of total and complete happiness for her, and the memory of my own perfect day was enough to ruin my makeup. Thank goodness the temple keeps tissues nearby during wedding ceremonies. 

(I'm not sure how she would feel about me posting pictures from her wedding on my blog, and she's on her honeymoon in Hawaii so I won't bother her. Thus, there's a picture of Sam and me from the big day instead. Isn't he dreamy?) 

I've known Sharydon since middle school. We were in the same 8th grade science class, and my first memories of her were in the bathroom before it started. We would both rush to the mirror between classes to touch up our makeup and fluff our hair. We only had 5 minutes, so we had to make it count. The style in those days (at least where we lived--I think it may have been a localized affair) was to rat your hair so much on the sides and in the back that your head had an elevated, almost boxy appearance. The bigger the better. And, indeed, all of the most popular girls were masters of the "poof." It was imperative for social acceptance into circles that we never actually became a part of. No matter though, because we became bathroom buddies, sharing hairspray and a love of huge hair. It wasn't long before we were inseparable. 

Our friendship has endured the various stages of our lives. First the poofy hair preppy phase where our biggest aspiration in life was to work at American Eagle. (Sadly, we never did achieve this goal. By the time we were old enough to actually do it we had out grown the desire.) Next, we entered the Myspace bathroom "selfie" phase. Our hangouts consisted of taking hundreds of pictures of each other with the same "duck face," and meticulously studying the "scenester/emo" look. We helped each other along as we attempted to emulate this popular trend. I'm not sure we were ever entirely successful... I think we wore too many bright colors to be considered true "emo" kids... but we sure tried. And we chased after boys with long hair and tight pants, attending concerts and pretending to know all about bands we had never heard of. Next, came the era when Sharydon went to hair school and I (willingly) became her guinea pig. I attempted every color possible--my favorite being the orangey blonde hue I achieved when I wanted to go from jet black hair to platinum. Smart move.

We've seen each other through the hair, boys, heartache, drama, and the general ups and downs of life. Over time our hair has flattened out, but our love for each other as remained. Even when I married young and set out on a very different course in life than my hip, single friend we still managed to maintain our friendship. I set her up with just about every guy I could think of, and she supported me through all the changes that I went through--throwing me bridal and baby showers, showing up the day Klair was born to take photos--even helping me out in those weeks of recovery after childbirth. I found her doing my dishes on multiple occasions. If that's not true love, I don't know what is. 

Now that she has found her other half, I'm thrilled to be able to return the favor. I threw her a bridal shower, now I'm just biding my time until I get the chance to throw a baby shower... haha just kidding! But seriously. That will be so fun :) 

As I sat there in the temple, my hand in Sam's, I couldn't help but think back to my own wedding. It was such a surreal, transcendental day. It was as if God had temporarily parted the veil between heaven and earth and allowed us a glimpse of the perfection that awaits. And, by the look on both Sharydon and Jordan's faces, I could tell they felt the same. The ceremony was profoundly beautiful, and the love felt in that room was nothing short of angelic. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity to return to the temple for a wedding that was so special to me. The advice given, the covenants made in that sacred place... it was all such a beautiful reminder of God's love and the true meaning of life.

"Choose your love. Love your choice." President Thomas S. Monson 

I am incredibly grateful for the priceless insights that I have because I have been blessed with a knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some may wonder why the LDS/Mormon church places so much emphasis on marriage and family. The answer? In short, it's because we believe that the family, and the expressions of love found within it, is the true meaning of life. Marriages and families can be eternal. "'Till death do us part" does not have to be our destiny... it was never meant to be. God wants us to be with those we love forever. The atonement was wrought to make it so.

This knowledge of the forever nature of marriages and family breathes an added measure of importance-- a richness and eternal perspective-- into our relationships. Marriage isn't something designed to help us through this life so that we can part ways when we die. It is so much more. It is our shared destiny, our greatest potential. It is a love that you work for because it is meant to last forever. I'm a self-proclaimed hopeless romantic, and I believe this to be the most romantic sentiment possible. 

"Our joy now and forever is inextricably tied to our capacity to love." John H. Groberg

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hip & Humble | Rachel Laukat Photography

Recently I met up with Rachel of Rachel Laukat Photography for some photo fun. This girl has been doing event photography for years, and it shows! She is extremely professional and proficient at her trade. We met at this cute little boutique in Salt Lake called Hip & Humble, and it took her no time at all to snap these photos. I had set aside the evening for photos, but 20 minutes and 2 outfits later we were done. She knew exactly what she was doing, and it showed. All you have to do is browse through some of her photography to see the level of skill that she has. 

Additionally, I think it's important to mention that Rachel is really sweet and extremely helpful. I've had photographers before who were... less than amiable, and not very comforting. Standing in front of a camera can be intimidating! Yet she posed me and gave me feedback in a way that made me feel comfortable and confident. I feel like this people skill is just as important as a photographer's actual photo skills. And Rachel? Well, she's the whole package. 

Basically, if you need a photographer for portraits, an event, family photos, or even just a fun fashion shoot for your blog... you should definitely contact Rachel. You won't be disappointed! 

PLUS... if you mention my name in the next week while booking you can get 10% off a portrait session!

Rachel Laukat Photography 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fall Preview | Anjolee Diamond Anniversary Band Review

The last week or so has been heavenly around here. Temperatures have dipped slightly to give way to moody, stormy skies. Rather than enduring the dog days I anticipated for August, I've found myself enjoying summer rainstorms and an early taste of my favorite fashion season--fall. It's just around the corner, and with the slight reprieve from heat I can't help but try on all the hats, cardigans, boots, and layers that the best time of year entails. I particularly love the abundance of floppy hats for the coming season, and this one from Forever 21 was a steal! Furthermore, their floral dresses right now are adorable and insanely inexpensive. 

Apart from the cooler weather and increased layers, another aspect that I love about my namesake season is the abundance of weddings. Love is in the crisp, autumn air. Obviously spring is a popular time to get married, but it seems to me that the fall is the next most popular time to tie the knot. The beauty of the season makes for amazing photography and highly romantic outdoor displays. My own wedding happened in the fall 5 years ago. Recently I was approached by the high end diamond jewelry manufacturer and retailer, Anjolee. They specialize in jewelry of all kinds, but their wedding and anniversary line is particularly exquisite. And the best part? Everything is customizable to the customer's exact preferences, taste, and budget. They customize by any metal type, and carat size of diamond or gemstones. This website is ideal for the bride to be, or (like myself in the near future) the happy couple celebrating an anniversary. 

The simple, antique-style diamond band that I am wearing is from their collection. I was able to choose this particular style, which mirrors my wedding bands perfectly. I also chose to have it made in white gold to match my own wedding set, and I've found myself wearing it constantly on my right hand since it arrived in the pretty little box they sent it in. They were an absolute dream to work with, and I can't praise them enough. 

Here's to the beginning of the best season, upcoming weddings and anniversaries, and many more fall fashion posts to come!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

20 Months Never Looked so Good

Klair is 20 months! She's actually a few weeks older than 20 months, but I'm a slacker. Better late than never, right? These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, and they're likely my favorite of all time. Sam captured her personality so perfectly! It was windy out, and every time a gust of wind would blow by she would throw her hands in the air and run around as if she were controlling the elements. Pure, simple, unrestrained joy. I couldn't love her more if I tried.

In honor of this 20 month mark, here are some of my favorite current Klair-isms:

//She giggles when her dad comes home. She stands at the gate as he walks up the stairs and just starts smiling/laughing. 

//She calls me "mommy" now, and she is becoming quite the "mommy's girl."

//She loves to give spontaneous kisses--and often kiss-attacks our faces. 

//Her vocabulary has increased 10 fold in the last few weeks. She's been trying a lot more words, and her pronunciation has improved dramatically. Some of my favorites are "button" "diaper" "church" "basketball" and  "apple juice" because she says them perfectly. 

//She also speaks in shorts sentences like "no more apple juice." It's surreal to hear my baby communicate so effectively. 

//Today, when we were walking back from a trip to the park, she saw our house and said "home." There was something very sweet about her recognition of and excitement to be home.
//She loves to "tell secrets"--i.e. she'll come whisper jibberish in your ear when you ask her to tell you a secret.
//Furthermore, Sam started a little game with her where he asks if he can tell her a secret. She'll say "yeah" and then he'll whisper "I Love you!" in her ear and tickle her. She belly laughs every time. And, even though she knows he'll tickle her, she says yes and braces herself. Apparently she likes being tickled.
//She'll walk around the house yelling "A-AAAM!" when she can't find her dad. This one is my fault. I usually call him "dada" around her, but I yell his name when I'm calling him. She picked up on it.
//She is very neat. She absolutely hates having food on her hands, clothes, or even on her bib. I've been giving her a napkin lately while she eats, and she constantly cleans up while eating.
//She enjoys cleaning up her toys as much as taking them out. I'm okay with this. She also likes to help me sweep, vacuum, and do the dishes. I hope this isn't just a phase.
//She loves to sing-- some of her current favorites include the "Alphabet Song," "Happy Baby" ("Happy Birthday"), "Row Row Row Your Boat", and "Old McDonald."
//Her animal impressions are spot on, and her pig noise (snorting) is hilariously adorable.
//She calls herself "you" when she sees photos, looks in the mirror, etc because she's picked up on the fact that we say "you."
//She likes to sit on her mini potty and pretend to go, but she isn't too keen on sitting on it without a diaper yet.
//She loves babies, and will sing to them and bring them toys when they're around. She also likes to rock her baby dolls and sing "Rock-a-Bye Baby." I think she'll make an amazing big sister someday.
//She loves makeup, bows, jewelry, shoes, dresses, and nail polish--and can ask for each of these by name.
//She also loves cars, and could play with them for hours.
//She dances a lot. I taught her how to spin like a ballerina with her hands in the air, but she can't reach very high, so she just puts her hands on her head and turns in circles.
//She likes to sprint around yelling "run!" It's really cute, except when she does it in church.
//Speaking of church, she loves nursery. She isn't bothered at all when I leave her to play with the kids and toys.
//She is obsessed with her cousins. She often calls them by name and asks if we can see them.
//She can count to 3 on her own (she'll say one, two, three! before running back and forth) and to ten with help.
I could continue on forever. She is constantly surprising me with her intelligence and intuitiveness, making me laugh with her sense of humor, and bringing a smile to my face with her natural sweetness. I love this age, and I'm desperately in love with this girl. I can't believe I get to call her mine.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DSLR Camera Giveaway | Canon Rebel T3i

Today I'm excited to be teaming up with Emily from The Freckled-Fox and a fantastic group of bloggers for the best giveaway I've ever been apart of-- We are giving away a Canon Rebel T3i! This is such a great camera--and with all that's included it's worth around $500! One of the biggest demands of blogging professionally is to have high quality photos. If you write great content but have subpar photography, it's so much harder to get noticed. And, what could be better than having an awesome DSLR camera delivered to your front door completely free?! Even if you already have a DSLR or maybe photography isn't exactly your thing, you can always use a back-up camera, and think what an amazing gift this would make for that friend or relative that's been saving for one!

Here are the ladies and shops that are responsible for bringing you this fabulous prize today. So, please click through and introduce yourselves, and don't forget the Rafflecopter at the bottom!
 Autumn Klair     |     Brittany Gary     |     Course Craft     |     House of Polynesia
Notes: The giveaway will run for ten days, the winner will be selected at random, contacted, and announced shortly after the giveaway concludes. Yes this is open internationally! entries will be verified. Enter below:
There it is folks! Tons of different ways to enter with this one huh? Remember that the more entries you complete the better your chance of winning this beauty! Also as a special bonus, each entry is a new way to meet and support the bloggers who are bringing you this giveaway, and they're huge supports to me, so it's basically one big support/love fest that you should join in on.