This day and age, technology has taken over. Trust me, I am 100% guilty of letting it take over my life as well so I am not throwing shade at all. Just making the statement that people tend to turn to their tech pieces before anything else. From texting, to the internet, to movies and even books, our phones have become that item that we cannot live without. With this new world of technology, one of the other things I feel has become a lost art is a handwritten letter. It is so easy to pick up your phone and shoot someone a text to say hi, ask a question, etc. Because it can be so instant, what is the purpose of sending a letter these days right? We want that instant gratification. We want the answer right now. Well, I am going to try to work on that "need" in my life (really working on my patience)...and it is going to start with a handwritten note.
Wow....I truly cannot believe that Gracefully Taylored is turning TWO today!! It seems like just yesterday I began this blogging adventure. I can still remember sitting on the couch with my sweet husband talking about this "dream" of mine. At the time (after about two years of wanting to start the blog) I was using the excuse that I did not have a name. I mean, that is extremely important and I wanted it to be right. But I wont lie, I was still scared of the commitment. It was a new relationship, first date jitters kind of thing. What if we didn't work out? What if it wasn't right? What if we didn't mix well? Then you have to bring the outside world in to it. What if people didn't like it? What if I fail? There were ONE MILLION questions going through my mind honestly. So many in fact that it was truly hard to focus on the potential good. But going back to that night on the couch, talking about the name...that is where it happened.
Well, today is the day. Three years with this man of mine! I cannot believe we are celebrating three years of marriage today, but I have to say these three years have been pretty great. Between raising our fur baby, traveling the world and just doing life together, it is always a lot of fun with him. I am so thankful to call him my husband and cannot wait to see what else is in store for us.
I am a sucker for pretty arm candy. From bracelet stacks, to dainty details, to a beautiful timepiece, I love it all. A few months back I came across a brand called Christian Paul and fell in love with their classic timepieces. I love a big watch face, so that paired with a simple and classic look had me from the very beginning. I have been so proud to wear my new timepiece around and love all the compliments I get!
I have to say, Jon Luke is a very patient man. He puts up with a lot being married to me. I know people say he knew what he signed up for, but at the same time, he continues to put up with it DAILY, which I am thankful for. One of the things I'm sure he gets tired of is the constant need for pictures. Whether we have to stop somewhere and take one (usually multiple times before I find one I like), I make him wait to eat his food, or I make him participate in full on shoots with me...I can guarantee you it is not something he looks forward to. BUT, he does it, and does it (most of the time) with a smile. This means more to me than I am sure he knows, and is one of the many reasons why he will be my forever Valentine.
Happy Friday! I hope you all had a fabulous week and are looking forward to the weekend festivities. I know I am! So last week, I ventured over to Auburn for a quick second and was able to see some of my favorite people. While there I visited Side Track Coffee for the first time and literally fell in love. It is one of the most unique coffee shops I have ever been to guys. So when you walk in, you can see the wall of drink options and there are no numbers or prices. Once I got to the counter and ordered, they told me that I pick how much I want to pay! Wait, what?!? I have never experienced that and literally had no idea what to do. After a few minutes of panic (they probably thought I was hilarious), I selected an amount and sat down to do some work. A few minutes later, one of the most DELICIOUS cups of coffee was brought to my table and I was quite possibly the happiest girl ever.
Well hello 2017! I cannot believe we are now at the start of another year, but I am so ready to see what 2017 has in store for us. This past year was one of growth for Jon Luke and I, but I can feel that 2017 is going to be even better. I have set new goals for myself for this upcoming year and am excited to see where life leads me. Thank you for your continued support of Gracefully Taylored, and the love you have shown me through out this blogging journey! I hope you all had a safe and happy new year and are also looking forward to great things! Happy New Year everyone!!
Well 2016 is coming to an end and I have to say that this has definitely been a year of learning. My patience has been tested and I have felt extremely weak at times. I have messed up and made mistakes. I have done things that I regret and have said things I wish I could take back. I cannot tell you that I was perfect, but I have to say that I am glad I am not. Thank you 2016 for allowing me to mess up.
This year we are spending Christmas with my family in Texas and even the little Murph man gets to come! I am so excited to be home and love that my little family comes together with my big family in celebration of the holidays. I have to say, I am extremely thankful for this little family of mine as they both put up with my daily need of pictures, love and matching plaid. These two boys mean the world to me and I wouldn't want to spend my Christmas with anyone else!
Well we are nearing the end of the gift guide season, but we cannot forget those handsome men in our lives right? Whether it be your husband, boyfriend, father or brother, they need a visit from Santa also. I have rounded up some ideas for those fellas in your life so it is not too late to get another gift under the tree! Happy shopping!
Last week I shared with you all that we decided to design our Christmas cards with Mintedthis year (see here). Well they came in the mail and I LOVE THEM! They were printed so beautifully, both the cards and the addresses, and I cannot wait to send them to our loved ones. For now though I wanted to share the completed design with you!
When “the weather outside if frightful, and the fire is so delightful,” all I want to do is stay home. I absolutely LOVE a cold, rainy day where I can stay in my pajamas, curl up on the couch and watch movies all day. There is just something about the frigid temperatures that turns me in to a true homebody. So with that in mind, today I wanted to cater the gift guide to the homebody in your life! You know you have that person who loves to stay home and be lazy, (which is absolutely ok!) so you should cater to their desires this Christmas season. I have rounded up some ideas I know I would love for my lazy days so hopefully this will inspire you as well! Stay cozy!
I will be the first to say that on a regular basis, I prefer to live in my gym clothes. A good pair of leggings and sneakers…yes please. So with that being said, I have decided lately to actually up my gym game and really get my workout on. Not that I haven’t been doing anything, but I have definitely been a little lazy as of late. So now, I have gotten back on track and am ready to hit the gym!
"We are not here to play the game, we're here to change it." - Arianna Schioldager
That was probably my favorite statement from my weekend in Atlanta at the Create & Cultivate Conference. Let me tell you guys, it was pretty amazing. To meet other creatives and spend time with people who have walked in the same spot I am currently walking in. Then to hear from amazing women who were also at one point where I am now. It was truly a weekend full of inspiration and encouragement so I am sharing some of my favorite moments below!
I am an active person. I am constantly on the go. Working out, time in the office, blogging, spending time with my family – yep I am guilty of over commitment. My days are jam packed, and my schedule stays busy, but I do love it. I am just that way. I love being on the go and staying busy. It is just who I am. With that being said, I need a strong antiperspirant to hold up to my active lifestyle. Well I found it. The Dry Spray Antiperspirant by Dove is exactly what I need to keep me fresh while I am always on the go!
"She was beautiful, but not like those girls in the magazines. She was beautiful, for the way she thought. She was beautiful, for that sparkle in her eyes when she talked about something she loved. She was beautiful, for her ability to make other people smile even if she was sad. No, she wasn't beautiful for something as temporary as her looks. She was beautiful, deep down to her soul."
I have to say, I am guilty of over committing myself. This is evident in several areas of my life, one being scheduling (I am 100% convinced I can do it all) and the other with planning events/posts/parties (I want everything to be perfect). I do take pride in this most of the time, but when it comes to the little things and my constant need of perfection, I can get stressed out easily. Lately I have tried to remind myself that it is not always about how grand, or pretty something can be, but more about keeping things simple. I try to remember what the main purpose of the event is and make sure that is taken care of to the best of my ability. The little things that surround it can help, but they are not always necessary. Does it matter if my best friend's birthday party has all her favorite food, décor, a photo booth and gifts? No, she wants to be surrounded by the people she loves (and it could probably be at a Chick-fil-a). Will people look down on me if I am not at every event, every work out class, or every happy hour? No, because they are probably glad that I am at home resting and spending time with my family. Because that is what really matters. I need to remember that. It is not necessarily about being grand, but about keeping it simple and taking advantage of those little moments.
So by now I am sure you all can tell that I LOVE pictures. Last year Jon Luke and I went to Paris to celebrate our one year anniversary and I thought it would be really special to have pictures taken while we were there (I will have to share those soon). As the blog has grown, we have had the opportunity to work with many amazing photographers around the U.S., providing us with fun pictures of the two of us. All of that being said, this got me thinking for our trip to Greece. I began to do some research and decided again that it would be special to have pictures done while in Santorini. Again, I know…this is very excessive. BUT, I am SO happy we took these photos and am so thankful for Les Anagnou Photographers! Paul and Yiota were amazing to work with, and we had so much fun wandering the streets of Santorini with Yiota to capture these amazing images!
I am an accessory fanatic. I love unique pieces that stand out on my arm, making bold statements. I prefer to layer my bracelets, stack my rings or, most importantly, find beautiful watches that can stand alone on my wrist. Over the past two years, my watch collection has grown from my one gold timepiece to a variety of options from sporty to chic. Recently, I came across Wood Watches by JORD and am OBSESSED. Just like the name says, these unique timepieces are handcrafted from beautiful wood. Cool right? I had never heard of this before, so naturally I was intrigued and wanted to see for myself what these wooden watches were all about.
It is crazy to think that Jon Luke and I are celebrating our two year wedding anniversary today! Thinking back to March 1, 2014, I can distinctly remember the excitement and nerves I was feeling that day. It was during this moment above, when I was walking down for our first look, that I vividly remember thinking "wow I am about to make him my forever." While many would be terrified (I can't lie, I was definitely scared, but in a good way!), I had so much peace and comfort knowing that the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with was (and had been) patiently waiting for me at that cross. Our adventure began long before that day, but it will always go down as my favorite memory we have shared together. Happy anniversary Jon Luke! Here's to many more!
Love is in the air! Valentine's Day is right around the corner, but you still have time to find the perfect gift. Whether you are looking for your special someone, or your best friend, it can be a lot of fun to pick out that gift they will always remember. I have linked some great options for the special people in your life so take a look and happy shopping!
Happy Mardi Gras! The past few days here in Louisiana have been one big Mardi Gras celebration, ending today on Fat Tuesday. As I said in a previous post, I have loved being in Louisiana these past few years, and really learning about the Mardi Gras traditions. Of all of the festivities, I think the parades and the king cakes are some of my favorite aspects of Mardi Gras. How much fun is it to go catch some beads, and then go home and indulge in some tasty cake?
It is almost Valentine's Day which means the stores are filled with heart shaped boxes, large teddy bears and an unlimited supply of red roses. While I think it is important to celebrate your significant other all year round, Valentine's Day creates a great opportunity to focus on the one you love. The Valentine's Day gift can be a difficult one to figure out, but remember, it is about the people you are with and the experiences you share so gifts can come in a variety of ways!
With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to share some date night ideas. Jon Luke and I are big on continuing to have "date nights" even though we are not technically dating anymore. Before we got married we were given a lot of great advice, and one of the things was to continue to date your spouse. I love this thought and it has stuck with us through out our (almost two!) years of marriage. With that being said, sometimes our date nights are super casual, but other times we like to dress things up a bit. I love incorporating my every day work attire, but it making slightly sassier with different heels, or a crop top. For this look, I took one of my favorite pencil skirts, added these awesome lace ups and boom! The perfect (and simple) date night look was born.
When you ask me my favorite time of the year, I will without a doubt tell you Christmas time. The music, the décor, being bundled up by the fire - it just makes my heart so happy. Growing up, Christmas was always a pretty big hoorah at my house so that probably has something to do with it as well. I can remember waking up at all hours of the night thinking I heard Santa on the roof, too excited to sleep. Even as I have gotten older, I am still filled with the same amount of joy during this season, but in a different way. Being able to give gifts now (playing Santa myself) and spend time with the people I love make this season so special. While it is difficult to get wrapped up in presents and "things" at Christmas time, I always try to remember what Christmas is truly about: celebrating the birth of Christ and spending time with the people I love most. I continue to pray that I will not lose sight of that.
I could not agree more with this statement. Seeing the world and experiencing new places is something my husband and I love to do. It is so important to be open minded and willing to learn, and what better way to do that then by submerging yourself in new cultures. Seeing the world is on my bucket list, because why should we limit ourselves?
As we near the busiest and best (online) shopping days of the year, I wanted to share some stocking stuffer ideas for her and him. I love little gifts that may not have necessarily been on my list, because they are the perfect surprise! Putting thought into a gift (even something small) is always meaningful and I love being able to do that for people in my life. I thought about items that I love (and would love in my stocking!) to help give you ideas for the people in your life who may need a little something extra in their stocking!
So I have to say that when it comes to the in-law department I have be EXTREMELY blessed. I married in to a wonderful family and I love how we are all so close. While Jon Luke and I were dating, I would always here stories of his childhood and I loved knowing that this family would soon become a part of mine.
This weekend we hosted our very first "Friendsgiving" dinner party. If you are unfamiliar with the term, "Friendsgiving," it is basically an excuse to have another Thanksgiving meal surrounded by your friends. We gathered together, ate, shared stories and took time to appreciate the friends we have in our lives. I am so thankful for these relationships and loved being able to show them how grateful I am for them!
Only three more weeks until Thanksgiving!! Can you believe it?? While I thoroughly enjoy Halloween and the festivities that accompany it each year, I LOVE the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. I feel as though Thanksgiving is the perfect preparation time for Christmas, and I love celebrating with friends. This year we will be hosting a "Friendsgiving" meal, so I have wanted the house decorated ever since it was appropriate to put out a pumpkin. Neutral colors and a cozy feel are what I am striving for currently and I love it!