Thursday, July 31, 2014

Navy and Gold Nautical Wedding

I'm still feeling summery and craving some time on the water so this weeks wedding theme is a nautical, navy and gold themed wedding.  I'm imagining the setting for this event to be somewhere on the East Coast but I suppose it could work for any couple anywhere that loves the water.  I want this wedding to look more preppy and cohesive than some of the other weddings I have designed, but to still maintain an element of fun.
First off, the absolute perfect setting for a wedding like this would be at a marina or boat club.  An outdoor ceremony with the water in the background would be so stunning! I can imagine the ceremony taking place in front of a gazebo right on the water with a string quartet providing the musical accompaniment. I would love to have the same venue for both ceremony and reception so guests can just seamlessly mingle with each other immediately after the ceremony without having to drive to a separate location.  I am absolutely in love with this venue, East Hampton Point Resort, in Long Island, NY.  It has everything I imagined for this wedding, although the price is rather expensive.
East Hampton Point

Secondly, I think the bride should wear something very elegant and flowing, but not too big or princess-ey.  I absolutely adore this Oleg Cassini gown from David's Bridal, and while its original price is a bit on the high side, it is now on sale for a huge discount! The bride's accessories should match the elegance of her gown so I'm thinking pearl jewelry and a beautiful long, embroidered veil.  To keep with the navy and gold color scheme I want her to wear gold or navy shoes and carry something similar to this yellow, blue, and white bouquet.  The bridesmaids would wear blue dresses with gold sashes and gold shoes.  They would also accessorize with simple pearly or gold jewelry and carry similar bouquets.   The groom and groomsmen would wear either tan or navy fitted suits with yellow and white boutonnieres, bow ties, and pocket squares.   

Oleg Cassini
 Finally, I want to incorporate a little bit of the nautical theme in the reception without going overboard and making it look tacky.  I imagine that there would be a few classy rope and anchor motifs sprinkled throughout the decorations and table settings, and possibly on the wedding cake as shown below.  I want the majority of the focus to be on the navy and gold color scheme with just a few nautical touches. This blue and gold stationery from Ladyfingers Letterpress is so pretty and elegant! Mostly white table settings with navy and gold accents and centerpieces would perfectly set off coordinating place settings and menus.  

For more nautical inspiration, check out my Pinterest board. Thanks for reading, and please share this post if you enjoyed it!
Anchor cake


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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Review: Artful by Peter David

*I received this book free of charge through the First Reads giveaway program*
I admit, I've avoided the popular classical literature x paranormal crossover until now.  However, Artful by Peter David seemed really interesting and I was very happy to win a copy of it from

The book starts out with a little bit of background explanation of who the main character is and how his story relates to Dickens' Oliver Twist.  The main protagonist of the story is the Artful Dodger and this book delves into his paranormal adventures after the end of Dickens' story.  I actually really enjoyed the story, although the story telling could become a bit convoluted at times.  I was also slightly confused by the pace of the story because it seemed like it took a long time to get to set up any "real" action but then after the action started it was extremely fast paced.   I would have enjoyed the story more if much of the background information had been integrated into the entire plot instead of packed into such a long and drawn-out beginning.  I also would have liked to seen more development of the vampire mythology instead of just a few paragraphs discussing the origins of the vampires.

Overall, I would recommend this book to readers who like the fantasy/paranormal genre. It would probably be a good read for high schoolers and older readers who have already read Oliver Twist, but reading Dickens is not necessary to enjoy this book.

Artful on

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Win the July Eco Emi Box!

Here's another great giveaway brought to you by Emilee of Deals of Sweetness! 

Eco Emi Giveaway Sponsored by Eco Emi

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Eco Emi Giveaway
Eco Emi is the first eco friendly sampling service. They offer the opportunity to review five to ten samples of natural, organic, green, eco-friendly products sent right to your door wrapped in chic earth friendly material made from 100% recycled bottles. All of this for only $15 per month! All of their packages are adorned with 100% organic or vintage ribbons or they will often use 100% bamboo yarns. Part of the fun is that the package will look a little different every month. You will have the luxury of trying out an array of green products in the comfort of your own home or over a cup of herbal tea with close friends.
Emilee from Deals of Sweetness has been loving Eco Emi boxes and shared her thoughts on the June Eco Emi Box in her eco-friendly subscription box review.
Would you like to try great eco-friendly products? One winner will receive a July Eco Emi Box! (Products vary from those pictured.) This giveaway begins on 7/27 and ends on 8/9 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from Deals of Sweetness and Pea of Sweetness received free product(s) to facilitate her review. No other compensation was received. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Free Pattern Friday: More Teddy Bears

My apologies for this week's free pattern Friday being a day late;  Adjusting to a new work schedule is exhausting.  Anyways, my three new free patterns this week are more adorable teddy bear patterns.  I really like teddy bear blankets for babies and toddlers and I have several new nieces and nephews due in the next few months so I thought I would share these cute graphs.  As always, these were made for non-commercial purposes using 's free pattern wizard and are not to be sold.  All three of these are hosted on the free pattern store (links in captions), which does require free and easy registration to the website. Also, as usual feel free to personalize these blankets with different colors, borders, etc..., and share your pictures with me when you finish! I would love to see all of your amazing, unique creations.

One additional note, these are all fairly large blankets so feel free to reduce the amount of background around the bears if you want a smaller throw or cuddle blanket.

Bear With Balloons

Bow Bear

Baseball Bear

I have a few more Teddy Bear patterns and a whole menagerie of animals to be featured in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Sponsored Links:
Leisure Arts 15% off Make Stuffed Crochet Toys. Use promo code ART15
Amazing Crochet Textures (w/ Drew Emborsky)
Kipas Bookmark Pattern

*This post contains affiliate links. Ordering through these links will not add any additional costs to your total order and I will receive a small commission, which will help reimburse me for the time and effort spent writing this blog* 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

$50 Success Creations GC Giveaway!

This is an awesome giveaway brought to you by Success Creations and Emilee of Deals of Sweetness. These gorgeous masks would be a fun wedding prop or great for a costume party! 

Masquerade Giveaway Sponsored by Success Creations

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness

Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

Success Creations Giveaway
Success Creations is a mask company proudly operating in Lakewood, NJ for over 25 years. They are one of the only companies in the entire USA that specializes only in designing some of the most gorgeous handmade masquerade masks ever created. Masquerade masks are all they do, and you will surely see that difference in the quality of their designs.
Emilee from Deals of Sweetness loves that Success Creations puts so much care in their designs and are handcrafted in the USA. See what she thought in her masquerade masks review.
Is there a mask (or masks) you love? One winner will receive a $50 Gift Card to Success Creations! This giveaway begins on 7/24 and ends on 8/6 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee from Deals of Sweetness and Pea of Sweetness received free product(s) to facilitate her review. No other compensation was received. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Red, White, and Blue Wedding

It may be a few weeks late for July 4th, but a red, white, and blue theme is still perfect for a summer wedding.  While most of the weddings I've seen with this theme are outdoors, I think during this time of year an indoor wedding and possibly the reception as well would be much nice indoors (Air-conditioned spaces, hallelujah!) Outdoor weddings are lovely but during the sweltering summer months of July and early August it is much more comfortable for everyone involved to not be sweating and swatting at insects all day.
Sweetheart Trumpet Gown

Beaded Taffeta Fit and Flare
For an elegant summer wedding, I imagine the bride would look fresh and gorgeous in a silky, fitted gown.  This fit and flare taffeta gown with beaded accents from David's Bridal looks both elegant and season-appropriate.  Depending on the bride's personal preference, any fitted or slim style of dress would be a good look for a July wedding.  This David's Bridal trumpet gown with a beaded, sweetheart necklace would also look fun and classy.  I think the bride could accessorize with either sparkly crystal jewelry or sophisticated pearls.  Again, depending on the bride's preferences, she could either wear a long, lightweight veil, or forego a veil and simply wear an elegant hair comb or barrette with a low updo. This rhinestone 'Firework' hair comb from Icing would look lovely right above a low chignon. Bright red or navy blue shoes would add just a pop of fun color.
Bridesmaid Dresses

 Bridesmaids would stay cool and comfortable in these strapless cotton sateen dresses in marine (or a darker blue), paired with matching pumps. The bridesmaids would also wear pearl jewelry and have similar low hairstyles that will keep them cool and sweat-free.  The bride would carry a bouquet of mainly white flowers with accents of red and blue, while the bridesmaids would carry red and white bouquets.  A great way to save money on bouquets for the entire bridal party would be to buy the flowers wholesale and then DIY the bouquets. has wholesale priced roses, hydrangeas, and snapdragons, which would all look stunning together in a summer bouquet.
White Garden Bouquet

I imagine the reception decor will be fun and bright.  I would like to see long tables with white tableclothes and tall red, white, and blue centerpieces (silk flowers are okay to use here). Cute banners and hanging decorations in red and blue would make a visually interesting backdrop. The menu would be fun and summery, consisting of barbecue-inspired cuisine.  Grilled or barbecued chicken, pork, and sliders with a gourmet condiment bar would be fun and filling. The usual potato and pasta salads and baked beans would also be present, classed up with exotic spices and ingredients. There would also be a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to snack on, while drinks would be bottled beers, lemonade, and sodas in glass bottles on ice.  Dessert would be a light angel-food cake garnished with whipped vanilla icing and more fresh berries, some soft sugar cookies decorated with red and blue sugar, and old-fashioned root beer floats served in frosty mugs.  Sparklers would be available as entertainment for the wedding guests and as a send off at the end of the night.

I hope this has inspired you to think about having a patriotic summer wedding! For more red, white, and blue inspiration, check my Wed, White and Blue board on Pinterest. I'll be keeping the summer theme going next week with a nautical wedding theme so check back next Wednesday!

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*This post contains affiliate links. I will earn a small commission from any products you purchase through these links and they in no way will affect the total cost of your order*

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kale and Chia Chips Giveaway!

Looking for a healthier way to snack? Like to try new and interesting foods? Enter for your chance to win a variety of kale and chia snacks! 

SuperEats Kale & Chia Chips Giveaway!

Win an assortment of Kale & Chia Chips from SuperEats!

Hosted by: Savory Savings & Gloriously Green Gal

SuperEats Prize Pack July 22 - August 5

Looking for a healthy way to get your salty snack in each day?  Why not try SuperEats Kale & Chia Chips?  These crunchy and flavorful chips are loaded with Vitamins A and C among other wonderful antioxidants and nutrients!  Krista over at Savory Savings recently had a chance to review the fun flavors and shared her thoughts in this SuperEats review!
How would you like to an assortment of SuperEats chips (valued at $50)?  If you would like a chance to win, enter with the Giveaway Tool below.  If you have won a SuperEats giveaway anytime from another blog in the last 12 months, you are not eligible to win this giveaway.  The giveaway will run from July 22 through August 5, 2014 at 11 PM CST and is open to US residents, ages 18 and older.  Entries will be verified.  Winner will be notified via email (consider adding to your safe list) – winner will have 48 hours to respond and claim prize or another winner will be selected.
Good Luck!