Lifestyle

Life Update: October 2017

Hey Friends!

It’s been a hot second since I gave a little life update for y’all! (Now that I’m in the south, I feel like my accent should really start coming through! Ha!)

Dave and I have been crazy busy with wedding planning, blog content, work, and the puppies!

Here’s some big things that have been going on!

1. We got a Puppy!! 


Winnie is her name and she is the best addition to our little family! Dave and I decided to rescue another dog so that Peanut could have a friend to play with. She was a little thing at 15 weeks (approximately) and we fell in love! She’s energetic, spunky, a little shy but full of love!

She is a dachshund mix (with what else-we are not sure) but she is around 9lbs right now and should stay pretty small.

2. I found my wedding dress! 


This is obviously not THE DRESS but it’s what I wore the day of my appointments. Can’t risk Dave catching any glimpse of the dress, but I promise you it is GORGEOUS. I’ll be sharing plenty of pictures once the wedding is over.

Speaking of wedding plans, we have our venue reserved and photographer booked (we are using Sowing Clover Photography). Chris did our engagement photos and he is basically part of the family now!

I have an appointment Thanksgiving weekend to pick out bridesmaid dresses for my 10 bridesmaids! See my Bridesmaid Proposal here.


My wedding colors are blush pink, champagne, ivory with a pop of grey. Our save the dates are made and we are just finalizing our list of addresses before getting postage!


So far, I think we’ve checked off some major items on our to-do list. I’m excited to cross off some other big ticket items-DJ, catering appointment-before the holidays.

This photo above is from our engagement photo session. I shared a few tips on how I prepared for our pictures in this post here.

3. I started half-marathon training. 

I’m only one week in, but already super motivated to see how I can increase my mileage! I’m using the Hal Higdon system and starting with the novice 1 training schedule. I’m trying to stick to my health regimen throughout our engagement. I shared a few things I’m doing to get in better shape and improve my overall wellness in this post.

Pants | Top

I need some good, supportive running shoes recommendations! Feel free to comment below or comment on Instagram because I can tell I’m going to need a new pair of ‘running’ shoes.

4. Random Stuff

Dave and I are trying to decide if we want to renew our lease or find a new space with a backyard for the pups!

I’m thinking about some next steps in my career and I’m at a crossroads right now. (More on this subject later).

Recent Posts:

In case you missed it, I’ve shared some other great posts lately on the blog.

This navy skirt was super popular with you friends!

My Ugg at Home post was a favorite-especially on Instagram.

Finally, I shared my favorite sweater I’ve purchased to-date!

Don’t forget to check back the next few weeks for gift guides! I’m making shopping for all the special people in your life easy this year-starting with your best friend!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

This post has been a long time coming! I’m finally sharing my Bridesmaid Proposal! I spent a few weeks getting everything together and officially deciding what I wanted to include. I made sure to keep the theme consistent with my wedding colors (blush pink, champagne, ivory and grey). To distinguish my Maid of Honor(s) (yes there is two of them!), I made their gift bags more white and the bridesmaids received pink bags. I have eight total bridesmaid and two maids of honor-so its going to be a large wedding party but I wanted each lady to feel special when I asked them.  Who doesn’t love a good gift bag? I ‘proposed’ to each of them this weekend and everyone said yes! So the bridal party is checked off my list!

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Each bridesmaid received these items in their gift bag:

Maid Of Honor Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid ProposalBridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

Bridesmaid Proposal

 

bridesmaid proposal

bridesmaid proposal

My sisters and I made a pact about five years ago that we wouldn’t make each other choose between each other who was going to be maid of honor in our weddings.  There are three of us and we are very very close. I talk to each of them almost every day and knew I would never be able to decide between the two of them who would be my Maid of Honor.  Therefore, I am having co-Maids of Honor.  And I wanted to distinguish them from the other bridesmaids in their proposal. I kept their theme more white/ivory and added in a Maid of Honor T-shirt!

Included in the Maid of Honor Proposal:

Side Note: I had two bridesmaids who are under 21 years of age.  I included this Bridesmaid Mug instead of the alcohol to make their gift appropriate.

 

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How To Prepare For Your Engagement Photos

How To Prepare For Your Engagement Photos

how to prepare for your engagement photos

I was a little apprehensive about our engagement photos.  Dave and I have never taken professional photos together and I wanted them to be just right.  We were paying a lot of money (for an amazing photographer) and I just wanted them to be perfect and display who Dave and I are as a couple.  I started thinking about all the things I did before our session, to prepare for our photos.  While this is not your actual wedding day, these are the pictures your family and friends will see as a representation of your engagement.  Here are a few tips I came up with to prepare for your engagement photos.

how to prepare for your engagement photos

1. Research a Photographer

This is possibly the most important step.  Decide what your budge is, and find a photographer that fits your style within your budget.  I started at the Knot and found local photographers in the Nashville area.  Next, I immediately went to their Instagram (this is basically their online portfolio). I browsed a few Nashville photographers before finding Sowing Clover Photography.  Chris’s photos immediately struck a cord with me and I could not shake the feeling that he had to photograph our wedding.

Dave and I set an time to meet with Chris over drinks, just to feel each other out and determine if it was a good match.  You want to be comfortable with your photographer because they will capture some of your most special moments-make sure you feel comfortable and your personalities fit together. It’s almost like online dating! We knew the minute we met Chris, he would mesh well with our families and be the perfect fit for our special day. We talked a little bit about the details of what his packages included (make sure if you have any special requests to provide these up front!).  This way, both parities were understanding of what was expected of each other.

Additionally, we gave Chris an idea of what the actual day would look like, what traditions we were keeping and we shared ‘our story’ or how we met/what makes us special as a couple.  We exchanged contact information and eventually contacted Chris to schedule an engagement session.  If you are not sure about a photographer, you can always ask for samples of their work (if they don’t provide it online) and have them shoot your engagement photos as a trial run for your wedding.

how to prepare for your engagement photos

2. Coordinate Your Looks

I spent a few weeks discussing with Dave and trying to determine what I wanted the style of our looks to be.  Our photographer recommended our location (which I highly recommend if they are experienced!) so we were a little unsure of what the backdrop was going to look like.  I knew I wanted a few different styles for our pictures (we did some pictures with Dave in his uniform!).  One style was going to be a little more causal, with both of us in jeans but slightly dressy.  I found this feminine Lush blouse that I knew could be dressed up or paired well with jeans. Dave went with a white polo paired with jeans for a neutral look.  We coordinated and made sure our outfits did not clash but were not too matchy-matchy as well.

 

how to prepare for your engagement photos

3. Personal Care: Nails, Eyebrows, Whiten Teeth, etc.

Paying attention to the little details, produces big results.  Engagement pictures tend to be close up and show the smaller details.  Your photographer can photoshop a pimple or some wrinkles but other things need some extra attention.  I started prepping a few weeks before.  This means a few days before-get your nails done.  A neutral color is preferable so that it looks clean and doesn’t draw too much attention (plus you want to show off that ring!).  Pluck and shape your eyebrows or get them waxed (whatever you do to clean them up).  You’ll have a lot of close up face shots and you will want your eyebrows to be clean and shaped.

Whiten your teeth (my favorite is Crest White Strips) for a pearly white smile! Splurge and get yourself a spray tan-you will glow a little more and feel just that much better with the final edit of your photos-your photographer cannot make you less pasty! I know, personally, I always feel a little bit more confident after a good spray tan.  I use the Versa Spa Spray tan-you can check your local tanning salon to see if they have it!

how to prepare for your engagement photos

4. Clean Ring

My ring holds a special place in my heart and was personally designed by Dave (such a cute story!). I love it so much, especially because he put so much time and thought into it, I knew I wanted to show it off and wanted it to look the best it could! Dave gave me a ring cleaner after he proposed and I definitely suggest investing in some (they are not expensive!). Clean your ring, make it super shiny and wear it proudly for your engagement photos!

how to prepare for your engagement photos

5. Cardio, Cardio, Cardio + Diet

I shared some of my fitness goals in this post here, but I did a small prep session before our engagement photos. Increasing your cardio and cleaning up your diet a few weeks before your engagement pictures can help decrease bloat, tone up a bit and help you feel beautiful overall for your photos! I added in some extra cardio sessions and increased the amount of vegetables I was eating.  I also cut down on the processed food, ice cream, and alcohol I was consuming. My jeans fit perfectly and I felt really energized and beautiful the day of our photos.  It helped me focus more on the love Dave and I were capturing that day instead of any insecurities I had.

how to prepare for your engagement photos\

6. Makeup & Hair Trial Run

If you are not super comfortable doing your makeup or hair, this would be a time I would splurge to have a professional do it.  I knew I wanted my hair to have some loose curls and felt confident in my ability to get my beach waves curls with the wand I use all the time.  Additionally, the week before I did a mini trial run of my makeup to make sure I could get the exact look I was going for.

The day of the engagement photos, I gave myself plenty of time to do my hair and makeup, just in case there was an issue with eyeshadow or some other delay.  I stuck with classic diamond stud earrings (again, did not want to draw too much attention to unnecessary things!). I also kept the jewelry to a minimum to focus on Dave and I as a couple instead of my outfit.

how to prepare for your engagement photos

Dave ordered these shirts for the weekend he proposed and they were so fun to wear out together! We decided last minute to throw them on and get photographed with them as a fun memory for the both of us.

7. Think About Wrinkles

Remember how I mentioned the small details? Pay attention to wrinkles.  These will show up in your photos and are not always able to be photoshopped out.  Personally, my top wrinkled very easily so I made sure to keep it on the hanger until the very last minute.  I also brought this spray for any last minute creases that might come up. Even sitting in the car for an extended period of time can wrinkle a shirt, so be sure to pay attention to this.  Change at your location if possible or keep clothes on the hanger until the last possible second. Also iron your clothes before the shoot!

how to prepare for your engagement photos

I’ll be sharing more of our photos on the blog in due time.  Leave a comment below describing any tips you have for future brides on how to prepare for your engagement photos!

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Fall Home Decor + Wish List

Fall Home Decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

fall home decor

| Blanket | Candles | Table | Rug |

Fall Home Decor Wish List

fall home decor

1. Pillow. | 2. Pillow | 3. Blanket (shown above) | 4. Candle Holder | 5. Clutch | 6. Vase Fillers | 7. Mug Holder | 8. Lantern | 9. Acorn Candle |

Hey Friends! I’m sharing a few of my Fall Home Decor pieces today (featuring Peanut!).  I also made a little Fall home decor wish list, including items I’ve had my eye on.  I like to spice things up a little every season and bring something fresh into the house.  I love adding fresh flowers every week to brighten the room, Fall scented candles for a seasonal smell and cozy blankets to make the couch inviting.  These blankets (that Peanut loves to curl up on!) from West Elm are super super soft and perfect for the Fall season.  Plus they come in a bunch of neutral colors that would accent almost every type of home decor.

Thanks for stopping by!!

What are some ways you love to bring the season into your home?

This is not a sponsored post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  Just sharing some things I love. 🙂 

 

 

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Life Update: August

Hey Friends! I wanted to get on here and give you a little life update.  I did one at the beginning of August but SO MUCH has happened since then.  It is crazy how quickly the time goes by and how fast things change.  I might try to do these once a month or every couple of months, depending on how popular they are.  If you follow my Instagram–> you’ve heard some of these changes in real time. 😉

Also, you can now shop my Instagram much easier–> simply go to the Shop My Insta page on the blog.  Click on the picture and all the products are linked/listed! If you follow me on Instagram, download the LiketoKNOW,it app in the App Store.  Then like or screenshot my pictures to ‘shop’ them! Or you can go to the website.

I got engaged!

engagement

Dave popped the question during a planned surprise weekend visit from both of our families! They were in town to (supposedly) surprise Dave for his birthday.  However, the joke was on me because Dave knew they were coming the entire time and planned the engagement around that.

couple

Link to shirt in this blog post.  Jeans are linked here. These are my favorite wedges, EVER.

engagement shirts

Her Top |His Top| Jeans | Purse

How cute are these shirts?? Dave ordered them for our engagement and surprised me with them after!

Our Families Came To Nashville

rooftop bar

This was sort of combined with the engagement.  However, until it actually happened, I thought I was surprising Dave for his birthday by inviting both families down to Nashville for the weekend.  Instead, the weekend turned into one big party-celebrating Dave’s birthday, my Mom’s Birthday and our engagement.  It was so nice to have everyone in town, for my parents to see our house and to spend some much needed time with my sisters! This picture was taken at the rooftop bar of the Thompson Hotel, L.A Jackson! If you are in Nashville, you must give this place a visit!

Sweet Water Decor Boss Lady of the Week

Ruffled top

I was chosen to be Sweet Water Decor’s Boss Lady of the Week.  You can check out the article here! I love their cute coffee mugs and adorable home decor items!

You can see this outfit in the blog post here.

Some Other Big Posts This Month:

I did this makeup tutorial! Did you catch it?

makeup tutorial

Fall transition

Since Pumpkin Spice is officially here, it’s basically time to get out your Fall sweaters.  I wrote a post on how to use some of your Summer pieces into the Fall season. See the post here.  It includes these 4 outfits!

Fall transition

Fall transition

Finally, THANK YOU to everyone who has been following along for the Re-Launch of Lauren Em.  August was such a great month and the blog had so much growth! I cannot wait to show you what I have in store for September!

 

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9 Lessons I Learned My First Year After College + OTS Lace Look

Hey Friends! Happy Monday! This is going to be a little bit of a different post then my normal fashion content (but there is this super cute Daytime OTS Lace Look!).  My sister just graduated college and she’s been coming to me with some questions about adulting-credit cards, whats the right next step for her, etc.  It got me thinking about all the lessons I’ve learned since graduating college in 2015.  I thought I would share some of the lessons I learned today.  The first year after college is such a transitional time in someone’s life and I wish I had known some of these things after I graduated. So here it goes:  9 Lessons I Learned My First Year After College.

1. Make A 5 Year Plan

For people that are not Type A, like myself, this might be a little harder.  Especially if you have no idea where you want to be in five years.  However sitting down and just thinking about a general direction you want to go in can be extremely helpful! Life will change on the way, but having a path you know you want to follow can help when making bigger decisions!  If you want to go to medical school eventually, knowing what the entrance criteria is can help map your first year after college.  You want to travel, how are you going to make that happen? If you want to move out of your hometown-where do you want to go? Are you going to move with someone? What do you want to do? Life changes, mine certainly did-see this post here– but having a plan can keep you from wasting time or just spending a year in the same spot with nothing to show for it.

2. Travel Often

Use this year to travel as much as you can! Life gets busy and the world is a big place-take advantage. You finally have the time (no more finals to study for) and some money in your pocket (no more minimum wage jobs at the school bookstore). I wish I had traveled more my first year-it is still on my bucket list every year.  This year of transition, you probably do not have as many responsibilities and now have the freedom to go places-even if it’s just a weekend trip.  Bring your friends and go explore!

3. Move Home-If You Can

This helps point #2.  If you can move home-do it! I know that’s probably not exactly what you want to hear. Your friends are all moving to the city and you don’t want to be stuck at home.  However, this is a really smart financial move your first year after college.  Moving home allows you to save money, travel more (see point #2), pay off your college loans and generally have more financial freedom then your friends.  Look at it as an investment in your future-you can still get that chic city apartment next year! I moved home my first year after college and honestly it was the best decision.  I still had to pay rent (thanks Mom!) but it was nothing compared to what some of my friends were paying for a city apartment. If this is not an option-grab some friends, and find a cheap housing option that maybe is not in the most popular area in the city.

4. Date Other People

This is a hard one, but hear me out.  Unless you are going to marry your college sweetheart (and you are 100% confident in this!), date other people.  The world is full of young millennials who are doing some amazing things, and you deserve to see what’s out there! You deserve to explore, figure out who you are and who is best going to be your life partner.  I was in a five year relationship all through college and I realized right before I graduated that maybe there could be more.  If your dreams are bigger then his-take the leap of faith in yourself!  You’ll be amazed at what the world (and someone else) can offer you.  I’ll give you a hint-it will blow your mind! Dating other people opens you up to new experiences and allows you to find someone who is truly your soul mate!

5. Have Fun!

This one should be obvious but I needed to remind myself of this.  Going through nursing school in college, I was not partying every single weekend.  You could say I didn’t have the most traditional college experience-thank you 6 a.m nursing clinicals! As someone who spent most of the four years committed to their studies-that same work ethic transferred over when I started my first job.  So I had to remind myself, it was okay to try a new restaurant on the weekends or hit up a new bar in the city! Let loose! Try new things-sky diving, music festivals, road trips, etc. Anything that interests you!

6. Credit Is King

This is a fact of life unfortunately.  Start to pay attention to your credit (if you are in college, START NOW) because it will be a large factor in big financial decisions moving forward.  Buying a car or signing a lease, all very exciting parts of adulthood, require a decent credit score.  Becoming aware of where you are on the credit scale is the first important step.  Taking steps to improve your credit score is next. Be proactive! Learn what factors affect your credit and figure out which ones you can improve on now, to bump up your score.  This step is a marathon, so always be aware but know that large improvements do not happen overnight.  Pay your bills on time, every time and keep making progress! 🙂

7. Try New Things

This one is a little different then #5.  When I say try new things, I genuinely mean try something new-for yourself! Start a blog, join a running club, learn to cook (things other then macaroni and cheese or spaghetti), or even commit to your workout routine (finally!). You have the free time to do it and doing something for yourself will reap rewards in other areas of your life.  It’s just good for the spirit!

8. Update Your Wardrobe

You are a young professional now! Dress like it.  Yoga pants and sweatshirts are no longer going to cut it.  Okay maybe I still wear them too haha! Seriously, update your wardrobe.  Invest in some good jeans, a nice pair of heels, and maybe a Moto jacket! You’ve earned it! And people will take you more seriously, both personally and professionally.

9. Everyone Has A Different Path

I learned this lesson early on.  Not everyone goes to college. Not everyone finishes college and some people change their major (two or three times). Some people join the military, others take a year to teach English in China.  Focus on your path.  Focus on your own journey and do not get caught up in the comparison game of where someone else is compared to you.  Remember lesson #1? Make YOUR plan, follow YOUR dreams.

 

Add to this list! share what lessons you learned in your first year as a young professional! 🙂

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Off The Shoulder Lace Top + 3 Date Night Ideas in Nashville

The Off The Shoulder [OTS] trend is STRONG this summer season.  It seems as if every other top is showing off the shoulders and I am 100% on board with that! It’s feminine, classy, and adds just that little extra something to the look.  Whether its a casual Saturday at a BBQ, date night or hanging out at the beach, OTS is a look that can make you look put together just about anywhere.  It comes in so many options too! Lace detail, fringe, classic, stripes, you name it–> its out there.  This OTS Lace top caught my eye because of it’s popping color! The lace detail was the icing on the cake and I knew I could wear this all summer long. P.S these jeans are buy 1, get one for 29.90 at Express!.  Also I’ve been dying to get my hands on these wedges for some time now! I’m so glad I finally bought them! They are similar in comfort to my other Marc Fisher wedges which I rave about in this post! Now that we have your outfit-onto some date night ideas!

Off The Shoulder Lace Top

Since moving to Nashville, Dave and I have tried to make the most of our weekends off and explore the city.  Nashville is a great city for couples and has a ton of options if you love great music and good food! Date night can be super simple with dinner at Bar Taco and then drinks to follow on Broadway to catch some [soon to be famous!] musicians! Here are some date night ideas if you are new to the city or just here for a weekend trip!

OTS Lace Top + Date Night Ideas

River Front + Sushi at Virago

I’m all about attempting to try most of the amazing food Nashville has to offer! There are a TON of places on my must-visit list and it keeps growing.  As a sushi lover-I knew I had to try Virago which is a contemporary sushi spot with great drinks! Before filling your belly with some asian cuisine, take a stroll on the River Front and feel the breeze coming off the river.  Uninterrupted time + sushi = a great date night in my book!

OTS Lace Top

 Arrington Vineyard + Dinner at Southern Steak & Oyster

Arrington Vineyard is top on my to-visit list! Dave and I both love wine and I cannot wait to taste what Tennessee offers! Plus it’s owned by Kix Brooks! What’s best after a day of drinking wine? A big, juicy steak! Or Oysters if you’re me.  The Southern Steak and Oyster has both! Which is perfect for Dave and me. PERFECT date night in my opinion.

OTS Lace Top

Food Truck + Bar Hopping on Broadway

If you’re like Dave and I, nothing is better then just spending quality time together.  Sometimes that means grabbing a beer and playing darts on a random Tuesday night! Other times that means finding cool food trucks and watching some live music! This date night includes both! Nashville has a great selection of food trucks.  My pick- The Grilled Cheeserie [because…grilled cheese!]. After some mouth-watering food, wander over to Broadway and just walk the strip! Grab a drink and enjoy the overwhelming amount of free live music!

Other Date Night Ideas:

Rooftop Bar (Nashville has a ton of these!)

Brunch at Biscuit Love (Can you tell I love the food scene in Nashville?!)

The Bluebird Cafe

Outfit Details:

Top: Socialite (on sale for $25!) | Jeans: Express | Wedges: Marc Fisher | Bag: Ted Baker (linked similar) | Sunnies: Quay | Necklace: BP

All opinions are my own.  This is NOT a sponsored post, just things I love that I wanted to share with you. 🙂

Comment below if Nashville is on your travel list or other great places to go! 

 

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