Living, Marriage & Family / April 26, 2017

Our DIY-Inspired Wedding at the Tidewater Inn

This post is a bit overdue, but I’m so excited to finally share more of our beautiful wedding photos and details.  JC and I tied the knot last July at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Maryland.  It meant so much to us to celebrate in the company of our closest family and friends, and it is such a gift to be able to look back through our photos and relive the day.Neither of us wanted a big, formal wedding.  Our planning mantra from the outset was “no stress”, and we tried to keep the process as fun as possible for us and everyone involved.  We also decided early on that we wanted our wedding to be a reflection of our personal values and interests – less about tradition and more about us, complete with nerdy details and perfectly imperfect DIY touches.**Photos by Katy Rose Photography (Secondary Photography: Becca…

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Cruelty-Free Beauty, Living / April 26, 2017

Review: Teddie Organics Rose Water Facial Toner

Teddie Organics Rose Water Facial Toner is a pure, 100% organic rose water toner spray that keeps skin balanced and refreshed without irritating chemicals or artificial ingredients.  Teddie Organics does not test any of its products on animals.  Oh, and did I mention it’s affordably priced?  If you’re looking for a cruelty-free, vegan, non-toxic, and extremely versatile toner to help keep your skin in peak condition this summer, read on for the details! What it DoesThis single-ingredient, spray-on toner is surprisingly versatile.  When used as a traditional toner on freshly-cleansed skin, it provides gentle moisture, restores balance, controls oil, and soothes after-shower skin tightness.  Skin feels better prepared to receive the next step in your beauty routine.  The spray can be used throughout the day as a refreshing pick-me-up, and thanks to rose water’s natural anti-inflammatory…

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Living, Local / April 26, 2017

Spring Fever: Events & Activities in and around Northern Delaware

Happy Spring, everyone!  The weather here in Delaware has been so unpredictable lately.  We’ve seen everything from snow to 75-degree days over the last two weeks, but I’m cautiously optimistic that the worst of the wintry weather is behind us.  The sun is shining a little brighter, my house plants have perked up, and everything seems to be saying “ahhhhhh”.I don’t know about you, but when it’s cold out, I have a tendency to go into introvert hibernation mode and spend most of my free time camped out in the comfort of our house with a cozy blanket and Netflix or a good book.  Now that spring is officially here, I’m looking forward to getting outside and taking advantage of all our local area has to offer.Here are a few of the events, sights, and activities in and around Delaware I’m…

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Musings, Opinion / April 26, 2017

To the Good and Righteous People of the Internet Who are Offended By the P-Word… But, You Know… Only When Women Say It:

The below video is making the rounds on my social media feeds today.  It illustrates with indignation, as the most graphic and publicized celebrity quotes from last weekend’s Women’s March are replayed with captions, that “our children are watching” and ends with a pointed question:”What message does that send?”(Credit: Washington Free Beacon)Mimicking Hillary Clinton’s (in)famous Role Models campaign ad, the video’s point is well taken; there are certainly ways to champion a cause without resorting to profane language or sexually explicit imagery.But the video doesn’t tell the whole story.The Women’s March did not happen in a vacuum, and moral commentary on the March that ignores all of the events leading up to it is woefully incomplete.”Our children are watching”?Yes, they are.Our children were also watching when Donald Trump said one offensive and profane statement after…

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Living, Musings, Vegan Food / April 26, 2017

How I Became a Vegan…No New Year’s Resolution Required

Ah, New Year’s Resolutions… those little declarations of hopeful intent, those noble statements of purpose that begin with the best of intentions but often end in disappointment and self-loathing…*sigh*Ok, ok.  I know I’m being a teensy bit melodramatic, but I make a list of resolutions every year, and every year, I neglect them.  (Sound familiar?)  Life has a way of derailing even the best made plans and often does.  So this year, I didn’t make any.  That’s right; 2017 is on track to become the year of doing – not planning, not resolving, just doing.Case in point: I’m a vegan now!  I know that makes it sound like it was a decision I made on a whim, but it came about very organically.A little background: For the last 10 years or so, I have been a pescetarian, which means I ate…

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DIY / April 12, 2017

DIY Bride: Hand-Painted Wedding Invitations

Today I thought I’d share the details behind my hand-painted wedding invitations.  This was a BIG project.  In hindsight, individually hand painting 75+ wedding invitations, accommodation cards, and RSVP cards was maaaybe not the best use of my time or the best thing for my pre-wedding stress levels.  That said, I loved the idea of hand-painted invitations, and I was very happy with the end result (if not my somewhat cramped fingers).We had originally planned to order our invites from Wedding Paper Divas (our save-the-date source) or Minted.com. The cost for the style we needed was going to be upwards of $400 – $500, so I thought this might be one area that we could save some money with a little DIY love and elbow grease.  JC was on board with the idea (especially the spending less money part) as long as I…

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Book Reviews, Musings / April 26, 2017

Review: Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Title: Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to LeadAuthor: Sheryl SandbergGenres: Biography & Memoir, BusinessPublisher: Knopf (March 11, 2013)Format: Hardcover (240 pages)ISBN: 978-0385349949My Rating: 4/5Let me start by telling you what Lean In is NOT: Sandberg’s part-memoir/part-feminist call to action/part-career guide is not a perfect, one-size-fits-all road map for every woman; it is not an all-encompassing solution to the very deep-rooted and complex issue of women’s inequality in corporate America and throughout the world; and it is not a book that claims to know, firsthand, the struggles of the underprivileged or racial minorities.Sandberg makes clear that Lean In is just an opening dialogue to a much larger conversation.  She also acknowledges that her experience as a Harvard-educated, affluent, white woman is one of privilege, and she…

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DIY / April 12, 2017

DIY Bride: Bride & Groom Chair Signs (from a Galaxy Far, Far Away…)

I always knew I wanted to incorporate some DIY projects and personal, homemade touches into our wedding.  So, when my step-daughter, Aubrey, presented me with Han Solo and Princess Leia plush dolls and told me I *had* to incorporate them into the wedding, I gladly rose to the challenge.  (And let’s be honest – JC and I are pretty big nerds, so incorporating a little Star Wars into our nuptials wasn’t that much of a stretch!)It didn’t take long for us to settle on the idea of Star Wars inspired bride and groom chair signs.  Once that was decided, the text was a no-brainer.  Any self-respecting Star Wars fan knows this iconic scene from The Empire Strikes Back, when Leia tells Han “I love you”, as he’s seconds away from being put into carbon freeze, and he replies with classic Solo-swagger, “I…

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Living, Marriage & Family / April 26, 2017

Our Wedding Video: The Book of Love

Happy Friday!  Today, I am incredibly excited to share our wedding highlight video created by the talented Elias Muhammad at Advocate Media.  We hadn’t discussed hiring a videographer in the months leading up to our big day.  By happy coincidence, JC met Elias and had the foresight (albeit somewhat delayed!) to book him only a few days before our wedding.  I’m so happy he did!  The day was such a whirlwind, and it is a gift to have the ability to relive the big moments and take in the details.The song featured in the video, Peter Gabriel’s The Book of Love, holds sentimental value for us, and I can’t think of a better song to capture the feeling of our relationship and wedding day.  Here is one of my favorite verses, though reading it without the gorgeous melody loses a little in translation:The book…

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Musings, Opinion / April 12, 2017

Positively Political: Rejecting Old-Hat Party Politics in 2016

When did negativity become so damn synonymous with politics?I know how naive that sounds.  In truth, politics have always had an inherent aspect of negativity.  For as long as there have been political issues and cultural divides, there have been parties on one side voicing criticism of the other.  The better question may be: when did we let negativity hijack the national discourse?  When did it become more about what the other person is doing wrong than about what we are doing right, or better yet, what we can all do together?In the three presidential election cycles that have passed since I’ve been of voting age, I have witnessed negative messaging take on new, insidious and increasingly visible forms.  The prevalence of social media hasn’t helped.  We now live in a 24-hour media culture, where a 140-character Tweet seemingly has the power to divide…

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