Floral off-the-shoulder

 

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Top: Billabong | Shorts: Tommy Hilfiger | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff | Sandals: J.Crew Factory | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Necklace: Eastern Market

During the last leg of our trip we stayed at Hotel Wailea  on Maui. It was stunning, but more on that in a later post.  On our first night in Wailea, we stopped in for dinner at Tommy Bahamas  at the Shops at Wailea , I had the Blue Lump Crab & Avocado Salad and would highly recommend it.

After dinner we looked through some of the shops, which is where I found this floral off-the-shoulder top.  I am a big fan of this year’s off-the-shoulder trend and I had my eye on a romper in that same print, so when I found this top I was thrilled. Here, I paired it with classic white denim shorts and jeweled sandals for a casual look while we explored the Wailea beach one afternoon.

 

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Wedding Guest Up-do

Step One

Starting with second day hair, I used Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo to refresh my hair and, more importantly, to add volume. I also used the Drybar Texas Tea Volumizing Spray to increase overall volume and add texture. This spray makes a big differnce when you pull apart your braid, but we will get to that later.

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Step Two

With a teasing brush, tease the hair at the crown. Smooth back the teased sections of hair.

Step Three

Divide your hair into three sections. Section out the hair you just teased, along with the hair along the back of your head, stopping about two inches above the nape of your neck. Braid this section of hair, secure this section with a clear elastic and leave the other two sections loose. I use the Goody Ouchless Mini Elastics most of the time, but find that these Snag-Free elastics from Sephora are a worthwhile purchase if you have thicker hair, or want to be able to re-use the elastic.

Step Four

Pull the braid to loosen it and add more texture. To pull the braid, hold onto a section of the braid about an inch below the piece you want to pull. Using just your fingertips, hold onto the exterior portion of that loop of the braid, and gently pull a section of those strands outward. Wrap the braid around into a bun and secure it with a bobby pin.

Step Five

Starting at your part, take one of the two sections left and separate a piece about an inch wide, then divide that into two. Wrap of of the sections under the other, then pull in another piece of hair, as you would do with a french braid. Continue to wrap the strands under each other, while adding in more hair, until you reach the end middle of the back of your head. Secure that section with a bobby pin or clear elastic while you repeat this step on the other side.

Step Six

Braid both sections and pull them to add texture. Once you’re done braiding those sections, wrap one of the braids around the first bun and secure with bobby pins and repeat with the other braid. Secure with a couple more bobby pins and finish with hairspray.

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Embroidered White Dress

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Dress: Mahina | Wedge Sandals: Katie & Kelly | Purse: Rebecca Minkoff

I have been going through our honeymoon photos this week and reminiscing about the wonderful time we had. We spent the majority of our time in Hawaii on the Island of Hawaii, affectionately known as The Big Island. While there, we stayed at the Waikoloa Beach Mariott Resort & Spa. We flew in through the Kona Airport, hopped in a cab and headed to the hotel. En route to the hotel I was blown away by the unique topography, there was so much  barren land on either side of us. As we drove along I was a little nervous that the lush tropical hotel I thought I had booked for us was a figment of  my imagination, then off in the distance, along the shoreline, I spotted a rows upon rows of palm trees and floral gardens.

The Waikoloa Mariott is situated within the Waikoloa Beach Village, just across the street from the Kings Shops & Queens Market. Having the shops right down the road proved to be very helpful. On our second day we walked through both shopping centers, I was on the hunt for something beachy, feminine, and unique. As we strolled through, I spotted Mahina and exclaimed “that’s what I have been looking for!” . This shop will chock full of girly prints and silhouettes, with a little added sass/edge – exactly what I had in mind!

Initially I wasn’t 100% sold on this dress, but it was one of those items that I couldn’t get out of my head so we headed back that night to pick it up, and I am so happy I did! Though it may not be the most versatile piece, I know this will be a piece in my closet I reach for time and time again. I love the embroidered detail and fit of the top, along with the cut out in the back and feel of the fabric. I wore this to dinner on our last night on the Island of Hawaii. We walked down to Tropics Ale House and enjoyed some incredible fresh fish and craft cocktails. If you stay in Waikoloa Village, be sure to add that to your restaurants list.

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Becoming Mrs. Alexander

Friday, January 29th, 2010, the day that forever altered my life. It began uneventfully, I went to class – I was in college, majoring in Business Marketing at the time – came home and studied for a while then met some friends for dinner. We were celebrating my friend Adam’s birthday, my friend Jessica’s younger brother was hosting a party at their parents’ house that night to celebrate his friend Steve’s birthday. Jessica and Adam have been close friends of mine for a number of years, and Steve and Josh grew up together. Jessica brought me to the party and Steve brought Josh, the feud over who is responsible for our relationship is one I doubt will ever end. I will forever be on #teamjess!

When I arrived at their house, I had no expectations of anything substantial happening that night, and I certainly didn’t expect I would meet my husband! Josh and I talked all night, and a few days later we went on our first date. The following Sunday, while watching the Super Bowl, he asked me out. Now six and a half years later, here we are. Our time together has been a great adventure that has flown by; we have traveled together, bought a home, fostered a Future Dog Guide puppy, started and grown our careers, and now started this blog. Below are some of my favourite photos of our years together thus far.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014, Josh took me out for breakfast at our favourite place – Ben & Florentine’s. After breakfast we headed to Hilton Falls Conservation to hike to the falls. As we were walking to the falls, Josh kept trying to steer the conversation toward talking about what I was looking forward to in our future, but I was not getting it. As we approached the falls, we noticed that the river atop the falls was calm and shallow enough that we were able to walk across. We stood at the top of the falls for a while looking out at the view and talking. He was eventually able to steer the conversation the way he wanted and while we were standing at the top of the falls he reached into his backpack and said he had a gift for me. He pulled out a mid-sized white cardboard box and handed it to me. When I opened the box all I saw was a whole lot of tissue paper. Under all that tissue was small round container with a jeweled stiletto on top, wrapped in a hot pink bow. When I got a good look at the container I noticed it had our initials engraved on it with a heart. As I removed the bow and took off the lid Josh dropped to one knee and I finally realized exactly what was happening. Honestly, I was so flustered I don’t remember exactly what he said other than ‘Marry Me’. I cried happy tears, which Josh said was his goal, and laughed because right where he knelt was on a big tree stump and he was wobbling all over. We spent a few minutes after just enjoying being engaged and on our own, so we thought.

Once we got to the other side of the falls where the main lookout is a man came over to us and said he had noticed what was happening and started taking pictures. He took down Josh’s email address, snapped a few photos of Josh and I together and congratulated us. We are so grateful to him for having taken some photos and sent them to us; I cannot express how much we appreciate it!

We spent the next four hours just relaxing by the falls and touring around the conservation grounds without anyone, aside from the strangers who saw what happened, knowing we were engaged. I highly recommend that if you can take time to enjoy it with just the two of you that you do; that time together was so special and is something I will never forget.

Once we announced our engagement, it was a bit of a whirlwind of celebrating with friends and family. The night of our engagement, we went to Scaddabush with our friends Matt & Cassie, who got engaged a few weeks prior. The following day I stopped by my best friend Alexa’s parents place and was greeted with a full spread, champagne, and sparklers. I have to take a moment to gush over how amazing our friends and family are, and how incredibly loved they make us feel. We are truly blessed to have people like them in our lives!

My mom and my girlfriends know me very well and did such a beautiful job of putting together a great shower, bridesmaid brunch, and a really fun bachelorette party! For my bachelorette, I mentioned a few things that I liked to Alexa but asked her to keep the days plans a surprise, and she did a marvelous job of ensuring none of the girls spilled the beans. We started at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a spa with a bar inside what could be better!?, then we headed next door to Wilbur Mexicana {if you know me, you know I LOVE Mexican food!} where more girlfriends joined us. After dinner we headed to Elle Fitness and Social. I had mentioned about a year back that I wanted to do a Coyote Ugly dance class but I was tricked, by my sneaky friends, into thinking it was not available – I am so glad it was! It was so much fun to get to dance with all my friends, then dance on the bar at the end. To end the night we got dressed up and headed over to Wildflower. For only having given them some ideas of what I wanted, they nailed it!

All the pre-wedding events were so much fun, and I am so glad I was able to enjoy them with all these ladies. Below are some photos from each of the events.

Friday, July 1st, 2016 was a dream! I married my best friend and had so much fun celebrating. We had such a great time, and couldn’t stop smiling. We have only seen a sneak peak of our wedding photos , with many more to come in a few weeks. Once we have the rest of the photos I will share a full wedding post. For now, I am just thrilled to be able to share a few photos with you and, more importantly, to be Mrs. Emelia Alexander!

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Wedding photography by Deanne MacRae