Sunday, April 5, 2020

Sunday Night Thought


Friday, April 3, 2020

Guest Post :: How To Host An Elegant Rustic Wedding

It is seriously amazing how many options there are out there for a wedding as far as venues and themes go. Where I live, in Nashville, TN., rustic weddings have gained a lot of popularity over the years. Today Harriet Thame, from Crockwell Farm, is guest posting on the blog today and is sharing a few tips on how to host an elegant rustic wedding!
Many couples relish the idea of getting married on a charming farm or inside an elegantly decorated barn. However, are you aware that rustic elements can turn into refined aesthetics if you apply the right touch?

Yes, you can have a sophisticated wedding using the rustic decor inside the venue. All you need is some sound advice from farm wedding planning experts. Here are some of their tips that you can use.   

 

What will you wear?


1.      Classic farm or barn attire

With this theme, the bride and groom can walk to the altar incorporating a few items of, or all, traditional wear. The wedding guests can also opt to wear smart-casual or formal attire. The choice is yours.

2.    Rustic attire

The rustic style is inspired by simple elegance. You can incorporate a rustic theme into your wedding attire by making use of metal or timber elements. To further enhance the rustic ambience, use unsophisticated flowers or bouquets to decorate the venue.

A relaxed and laidback wedding ceremony and reception are enough to create a rustic feel. 

3.    Vintage attire

If you’re fond of the roaring 20s, or even the 40s, why not wear the clothes of those bygone eras and relive those memories? To complete the wardrobe, the bridal party can have their hair and make-up done to reflect those glorious years. You can also decorate the venue with the appropriate designs. 

A cocktail wedding rather than a formal sit-down dinner is more appropriate for a vintage wedding. Imagine having a cocktail party to the sounds of the 20s – jazz music. You can even include other vintage themes such as photo booths or wedding cars.   

A vintage nuptial is often a formal occasion. However, the bridal party and guests don’t have to opt for traditional formality.

4.    Garden or outdoor attire

Outside ceremonies are perfect for couples who want to create a relaxed mood. As a result, the dress code can range from formal to smart-casual.

After the ceremony, you can continue the festivities by creating a festival-inspired theme. You can add food trucks and parlour games to entertain your guests.  

5.    Fantasy attire

Farms can also be a suitable wedding venue for couples who like to add some fantasy to their nuptials. Steampunk or sci-fi outfits will look great behind glorious backdrops of farm fields and foliage. 

You can also have the bridal party wearing traditional formal garments and choose between a sit-down dinner and a cocktail wedding.  

 

Prepare the venue for the ceremony and reception


If you want to have the ceremony and reception inside a barn, then you’ll need to decorate it accordingly. First, most barns have the existing architecture for an elegant wedding. Therefore, to create a balance between country and style, start with the drapes. Consider decorating the interior with delicate hanging curtains and other drapery.       

For the lighting, chandeliers can elevate the barn into a sophisticated reception venue. You can enhance the romance in the air by using suitable greenery to decorate the chandeliers and other lighting. 

If you’re not sure about having your reception in the barn, consider having it outside. You and your guests can eat and dance under the sun, moon and stars without any space constrictions.

Since you’re out in the open, consider having the cocktails during the golden hour. This is the time when the sun begins to set on the horizon. 

 

Present the food in style


Aside from choosing flowers, you can elevate the table’s centrepiece a step further. Why not add some farm-to-table organic elements, such as a bowl of:

·      Figs. 
·      Plums.
·      Artichokes.
·      Pomegranates

You can adorn the table with classic farm implements, such as antique glassware, wooden spoons and some garden florals. A minimalist approach or ‘less is more’ attitude can enhance your table design. It creates a feeling of a farm wedding set in a modern age.

Since the venue is a farm, why not consider obtaining the food from local producers? You can build your menus around those fruits and vegetables in season. However, your food likes and dislikes will determine the final menu.

Cocktails often mean serving alcoholic drinks. However, you can present your guests with non-alcoholic alternatives. For example, you can serve mocktails. One recipe includes infusing your favourite syrup with fresh rosemary or thyme. Add fresh sprigs of the herbs as pretty garnishes.

To complete the elegant setting of your wedding, consider adding:

1.      Escort cards

You can create a unique twist by using seed packets for these. They are an excellent theme for a farm wedding. 

2.    Vintage items

Antique objects can provide your wedding with a touch of class. Consider creating elegant signage using vintage mirrors or perfume trays. You can also add a personal atmosphere by incorporating some metallic elements in the welcome signs or menu displays.

3.    Incorporate seasonal and traditional elements

Each season has its own features that you can incorporate in your wedding. For example, if you have an autumn wedding, consider including a color mix of fig, marsala and plum. These colors will also look good with classic wedding neutral shades. This combination will make your autumn wedding design look timeless. 

You can also consider incorporating traditional farm implements and items, such as wooden boxes or bales of hay. You can have your photos taken in a corner behind farming items, such as fruit, lush plants, and suitable rustic decor.

4.    Custom signage

Signage is now standard for weddings even in farm venues. Consider creating some modern touches by incorporating foliage and flowers. Contemporary signs look good at farm nuptials 
   
5.    Grand entrance

The entrance to your barn wedding ceremony is an excellent start to showcase your wedding style and choice. You can highlight the rustic and elegant display by making use of tall flower arrangements and stunning drapes to make your entrance stand out.    
  

Conclusion

Farm weddings have become popular because they offer more options than other venues. You can have both the ceremony and reception amidst picturesque surroundings. Despite the rustic theme, couples can also turn their wedding into an elegantly stylish affair. From the clothing to the menu, you can incorporate various features that are unique to farms or barns.   

Author’s bio:
Written by Harriet Thame, marketing head at Crockwell Farm.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

My Current Daily Routine

For me personally it has been a challenge for to settle into a new daily routine just because everything seemed to change overnight, literally. I’m usually pretty good at taking things in stride and adjusting to things, but it usually takes me about two weeks to settle into anything new. 

I am still slightly in disbelief over how much the entire world has been affected. It really does make you appreciate the small things in life, like going out for a glass of wine with a friend, going for walk without having to consciously make sure you are ‘social distancing’, being able to actually sit down at a restaurant, or the smell of the mall… 

It is possible to find a few bright spots in almost every situation so for now I am enjoying getting to sleep in a little later than I normally would, spend a little extra time with family, and reach out to friends {via phone/email} that I haven’t talked to in awhile, and just being able to take a little extra time to take care of myself. 

I will definitely welcome the moment with open arms when we return to a state that somewhat resembles normalcy, but for now here is the schedule I have settled into 
Good Morning// I usually wakeup around 6:30ish on a normal weekday, but my new wakeup time seems to fall between 8:30 and 9:00 {not having to set an alarm clock makes a difference…}

Workout// Normally when I workout I either go to a yoga class or go to a gym to use an elliptical. Since that isn’t the best option right now I have started using this yoga youtube channel and I usually end with a few lunges 

Breakfast// Since I haven’t been as active as a usually am, I’m obviously not as hungry so I usually just settle for a yogurt and some fruit 

Shower// For me personally, I just have to have a shower, get dressed, brush my hair, and put on some makeup, even if I’m not going anywhere. It just makes me feel better and I find that it helps me to be more productive 

Blog// Usually by this time it is going on 12 o’clock and I usually spend a few hours catching up on emails and working on this and that

Lunch// On a normal weekday I’m not a big lunch person… like I said a little earlier on, I haven’t had my normal appetite just because my activity level is lower, but I might take a break and have a small sandwich for lunch

Blog Some More// resume blog work after lunch

Dinner// 

Unwind// after dinner I usually try to find something light to watch on TV just to get my mind on something else {I have the news playing in the background throughout the day K probably a little bit of an overload…}

Time for Bed// You can check out my nighttime routine here!

Friday, March 27, 2020

Night Time Routine

I am no expert at all on mental health, but it seems like it’s a good idea to have a few daily routines in place just for the sake of unwinding and having some sense of normal. Over the years I have shared a few different versions of a nighttime routine {it definitely evolves over time}, but I always find it to be the most relaxing part of the day. Plus, after a long day there is nothing I look more forward to than a long, hot shower and finally being able to crawl under the covers. 
Remove Makeup// I couldn’t imagine going to bed without removing my makeup. Just the idea of everything that comes in contact with your face during the day and the general debris that floats around in the air just does not seem like it would be good for your skin… This is my favorite makeup remover at the moment and it is amazing

Listen to Music// I usually have the TV on or Music playing just for the sake of having bake ground noise; just having complete silence makes me feel a little antsy after a while. At night a make a point to listen to music that is more low-key like Frank Sinatra, Michael BublĂ©, or the Air Supply channel on Pandora {I know, make fun of me, but I just can’t help but like an old 80’s love ballot} 

Brush Teeth// This is another thing I don’t see how people can skip occasionally before they go to bed… Sometimes I even brush my teeth during the day if needed… I just hate that gritty feeling that some food can leave on the surface of teeth…

Shower// I always love how refreshed I feel after washing all the ruminates from the day off. There is seriously no better way to hit a reset button than with a shower

Night Time Facial Care// Who else is slightly obsessed with facial cream? Right now I love, love, love the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, it’s so lightweight and not greasy at all. I also like to use these eye masks, and then follow everything up with this facial roller

Netflix// You have to leave the eye masks on for 20 mins so I usually watch something that’s uplifting {who wants to watch something heavy before bed…} either on Disney Plus or Netflix

Read// If I don’t read before I go to bed it always takes me a little longer to fall asleep… I think just the constantly stimulation from the phone and computer through out the day causes me to be a little keyed up by bedtime and a book is always such a nice way to spend those last few minutes of the night before you finally drift off to sleep

Thursday, March 26, 2020

My Five Current Favorite Apps

With the current lifestyle change I have been on my phone and computer a little more than normal. Not the greatest habit, but sometimes when I’m nervous, procrastinating, or simply have nothing else to do I’ll scroll around on my phone. 

I’ve been trying to use apps that lead to more productivity, reduce anxiety, or are somewhat educational. Here are my top favorite current apps right now.
Asana Rebel// Since gyms have been closed I have been trying to be resourceful with trying to find different workout videos or apps to use and this one is a really great resource 

Duolingo// When I was in middle school and high school and was actually required to learn a foreign language I really wasn’t all that interested in the prospect of learning a new language with everything else that is your plate at that age. However, now that I am order I so wish I knew how to speak French or Italian. They are just such beautiful languages, and the history behind each culture is just fantastic. Duolingo is a perfect app to use if you’re interested in learning a new language and it is so user friendly  

Hey Color// Remember the whole adult coloring book wave that was so popular back in 2016/2017? I was never able to get too into that trend… For me personally I honestly found it more relaxing to just do a bit of free draw. This app is color by number and it is actually oddly relaxing, it’s probably the one time I’m ever going to the electronic version of something is better than the actual thing, but electronic adult coloring is actually better than real-life adult coloring books

White Noise// Between the news, not being able to follow my usual weekly schedule, and being in a bit more than I usually am, for me personally it’s kind of created a low level of anxiety for me that makes it a little hard to fall a sleep at night and then the next morning I can so feel the drag of not get a proper night’s rest. I recently started using a white noise app for nights when I am having trouble falling asleep and it actually works. 

SimplyE// I haven’t actually used this app yet, but I just love how the NYC library is offering over 300,000 audio books through this app for free. The only catch is you have to have a library card, which I haven’t had since college… but if you have a library card this is such a great app!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My 10 Favorite Quick and Easy Recipes

I know that with the current conditions we are all working with that cooking at home might be a little bit more commonplace than it usually is for you. I know for me personally I have not been eating out to speak of…not to complain, but I do miss the grilled cheese and hamburger at the RH CafĂ©… I have my fingers crossed that restaurants and other service industries open backup and assume their normal routine, but for now I thought it was a great opportunity to share a few recipes…

Maybe this is weird, but when I’m stressed I actually use cooking as a stress reliever and listen to either Christmas music or Frank Sinatra, depending on my mood. That said, even though I enjoy cooking to an extent, I don’t like standing in the kitchen for three hours to put together a meal… I feel pretty safe in saying that most people probably share my feelings in not wanting to spend an excessive amount of time cooking, so I thought I would share a few of my favorite quick and easy recipes! 
This is the perfect dish to cook on a cool day when you have nowhere to go. It’s super easy to make, cleanup, and it smells great while it’s cooking and taste even better

I love this dish – the filling is beyond delish and it always comes out looking beautiful. When I make this dish I usually sub out the ground beef for ground turkey, I add corn, and leave out the salt just because there is already salt in the cheese. You’ll have a decent amount of left over pepper filling; I usually save it for later to put in a lettuce wrap and make a quick taco, and of course you can always use the extra filling to make a few more stuffed peppers! 

I am such a big fan of Ina – all of her recipes always turn out amazing, even if they don’t always look exactly like the picture… good news: this recipe will definitely end up looking like the picture! You do have to allow about 8 hours for the tenderloin to marinate; I have also let it marinate over night before {is there such a thing as marinating meat for too long?} and it always turns out great

Okay, yes, I realize asparagus isn’t a meal, it’s a side, but I love it. I’m not a big chip person and I am always either snacking on bell peppers or asparagus… This recipe always taste so delicious and it goes with basically anything – as far as I’m concerned, it’s the neutral of the food world

This is 100% always a crowd pleaser and it is so delicious and easy to put together. From start to finish it takes a little under one hour to prep and cook. It’s a great lunch or dinner dish and you will always have left overs {unless you are feeding more than 8}

This is one of my favorite recipes simply for the fact that it is so easy to put together and I feel like it is pretty healthy overall just because you don’t have to add all the extra added toppings {if you don’t want to} that you have to with regular chili}. The recipe calls for 2 chicken breast, but I usually use 3 smaller chicken breast just because they cook up more tender and the little extra meat thickens up the chili mixture. 

You can’t say I didn’t warn you that I am a fan of Ina’s! If I could spend a day with her and Jennifer Gardner my year would be absolutely be made. This dish is super easy to make – the only time consuming thing about it is you have to let the tomato mixture sit out for about four hours

The amount of things you can do with a cast-iron skillet really does amaze me.  Call me lazy, but if I’m not going to get pizza out, I usually buy a frozen cheese pizza and cut up a few fresh vegetables to put on it. However, if you are more homemade pizza driven than I am, cast-iron skillet pizzas really are a great alternative to eating out.

Is there anything better than bbq chicken complete with cheese grits? For this recipe I usually buy the larger tray of chicken tenders {or 2 smaller trays if the large tray isn’t available} instead of using the chicken breasts. I also add in a little honey to the bbq sauce, even if it the sauce already has honey in it, and I cook the chicken about 3 minutes longer than the recipe says to. It taste great right out of the oven, heated back up, used to make a chicken sandwich, and you can even use the left over bbq chicken to cut up and put on you frozen cheese pizza… I mean, who out there doesn’t love a bbq chicken pizza…

This dish is so tasty and easy to make, minus the clean up. For this recipe I always squeeze a fresh lemon over the chicken once it’s cooked and garnish with a little freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley. For the warmer months of the year I sever it over fresh greens and a few vegetables. Then for the cooler months…not the healthiest thing in the world… but, I melt fresh mozzarella on the chicken, server over pasta, and top with a marinara sauce, and to top it off… you guessed it, some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Again, the winter version isn’t as healthy as the summer version, but it is definitely comfort food at it’s finest