Sharing a Lil’ Bday Wisdom

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After a fun weekend of celebrating my 4th 21st birthday (yea, it’s a thing), I can’t help but look back at years past and think about all of the good times and the things I’ve learned. There’s obviously been times in my life that were not so glamorous, but it’s nice to be able to look at where you are in life and say, hey, I’m doing alright. As I continue to grow up, it seems like there’s always something else to learn or to take away. So, to celebrate this special day I’m sharing a little birthday wisdom. Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the years :)

Everyone is “busy.”

We are all busy all the time. It’s impossible not to be. But I’ve learned that there are certain relationships worth making time for, no matter how crazy life gets. If it takes me writing “make plans with so-and-so” on my to-do list for that week, I’ll literally do that. I’ve become very good at keeping in touch with important girlfriends because, at the end of the day, those relationships are a huge part of what makes life worth living, right? Stop making excuses and start reaching out to those people who are most important to you.

If you’re working out to get skinny, you’ll never be satisfied.

I have to reinforce this to myself almost every day, but it’s the truth. I’ve gone from being a cardio bunny to half-assing my workouts at the gym to finally being at the point where I’m truly working out to become stronger and more healthy. Sure, I’d love to attain a model bod eventually but by focusing on the fact that, with each workout, I’m getting more strong and fit, it helps keep me encouraged and motivated.

You’ll never be fully happy in a relationship until you work through your ‘stuff’ first.

We all have things that hold us back in our romantic relationships and until you face those things, you’ll never be truly happy in any relationship – not just that one. You can be in a relationship with the most amazing, perfect-for-you person ever, but if you aren’t content with who you are and what you have going on, you’re always going to feel like something’s missing. Work through that sh*t!!

Having an “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to food is so 2009.

Back in high school I counted every single calorie of every single morsel of food I put in my mouth. In college, I drunk-binged on cheez-its and pizza on the reg. There was no in-between, no balance. If you think this way about food – “I have to eat 100% super healthy” or “Screw it I’ll just eat like shit cause who cares?”, it isn’t a healthy mentality. I’m at a point now where, as much as I’d really love to look like Blake Lively or a Victoria’s Secret model, I still enjoy the foods I love – because who can pass up a good cheese plate or truffle fries, right? I eat clean about 85% of the time but let myself enjoy the foods I love in moderation. Because food = love.

Spending your hard-earned money on experiences, rather than things, is much more rewarding.

Don’t get me wrong, I love splurging on a new pair of shoes or home decor (usually the latter), but I’ve found that spending my money on events, festivals, concerts and traveling is SO much more fulfilling. There’s been quite a few times where I’ve felt like I really can’t spend on anything – whether it’s a material thing or experience – but I think there’s a really fine line between being money-conscious and being overly conservative. You worked for it – go sample a billion wines and eat a ton of cheese at that cool food festival or take a spontaneous weekend trip!! The memories of those experiences will be much more valuable, trust me.

Thank you for reading & sharing my birthday with me! xx

 

 

A Pink & Gold Bridal Brunch

Our twenties are filled with lots of exciting moments – from milestone birthdays to moving up in our careers to engagements and weddings, these are definitely times we will look back on with fond memories.

When my best friend of 10 years got engaged, I knew I had to help throw her the most perfect bridal shower ever. Three of her bridesmaids, including myself, along with my Mom served as the hostesses and were excited to plan a magical day in her honor. We agreed to do a pink and gold bridal brunch and began the planning process.

First things first: venue and decor. It was an easy decision to throw it at my parents’ house in Tampa, where we had total creative freedom with our decor and could save a little money to put towards other things at the shower. We hung light pink and white lanterns paired with pink tulle and gold paper poufs to create the perfect ambiance. My talented mom cut out little sayings from foam board and painted them glittery gold, created tassel banners, cut out props for our photobooth and even created balloon columns.

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Balloon column, courtesy of my mom.

We had photos printed of the adorable couple and placed them in various gold and white frames throughout the house, paired with printed quotes and coasters.

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Obviously, the most important part (duh) food and (double duh) drinks was carefully planned out. We decided to prepare all of the food ourselves. A little ambitious, you might think, but I highly recommend doing this over booking a caterer if you’re throwing a shower in the future and want to save yourself, like, a ton of money. It really was not difficult, just a little time-consuming. Thank goodness for my mom’s sweet friends who came over to help boil chicken and chop eggs… glamorous, I know.

Our spread consisted of mini blueberry muffins, fruit salad, quiches, creme brulee’ French toast bake (HEAVEN), a charcuterie platter, egg salad sandwiches, cucumber cream cheese roll-ups and chicken salad cups. Mixed nuts and snack mixes were also placed in little glass bowls throughout the house. We borrowed serving ware and were able to create a really pretty table set-up fairly easily.

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Now, for the libations: everyone got nice and toasty at the Bubbly Bar, complete with Prosecco, three different juices and berries for topping. Each guest got her own champagne glass, dipped in chalk paint, to write her name on and keep as a “goodie bag” and we obviously had cutesy little paper straws, strategically placed in each glass, too.

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Expert Tip from Mom: Instead of dipping the glasses in the chalk paint, use a paint brush to paint it on the bottom of the glass to avoid the paint looking clumpy or not drying properly.

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A few bottles of Pinot Grigio and Rose’ made an appearance, too, for when we all started to get sick of champagne. For the *responsible* ones, we had iced tea with lemons and strawberry-cucumber-mint infused water, which was a total hit.

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My personal favorite part was the dessert table (obviously). I’m sorry, but we had the most beautiful cake I’ve ever seen. Pink ombre’ with tiny, edible pearls, topped with the cutest cake topper made by one of the hostesses. Mom got a little excited and ordered an additional 24 cupcakes with the same look, and we also had wedding cookies, Texas Sheet Cake bites, Carrot Cake and chocolate-covered strawberries. Needless to say, we were all a little full after, but in the best way.

unnamed2Sweet, sweet sugar rush.

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Once the flowers came into the mix, my dad thought we were putting on a full-on wedding. I mean, can you blame a girl for going a littttle over the top? We had a beautiful mix of white and pink daisies, roses, carnations and hydrangeas which we methodically arranged into mason jars.

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In addition to the chalk paint champagne glasses mentioned earlier, we had these adorable little treats for guests to grab on their way out. Super cute and super cheap to make.

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For games, we obviously had to include the toilet paper wedding dress game  – it’s pretty much a bridal shower staple. We also came up with a series of questions for the bride and groom, had him video tape himself answering them and for every question she answered incorrectly based on his answers, she had to put a piece of gum in her mouth. When games and gifts were over, guests headed to our photo booth for some fun.

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All in all, planning a bridal shower can seem like a lot at the get-go (thank god for mothers). But, the day turned out absolutely beautiful and (humble brag) the bride-to-be was pretty impressed, too. If you’re planning a bridal shower for a friend or family member in the near future, my main tip would be to cut costs where you can and get creative. As I said earlier, the little things are what totally bring your shower to life. Have fun with it – and I’m sure whoever you’re throwing it for will love it regardless, simply because of the effort you’re putting in to give them such a special day.

Now it’s time to plan the Bachelorette party! Penis straws, anyone?