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Blush Amsale Bridesmaid Dresses | fortune goodies
 So? What do you guys think?

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I share a sneak peek of my bridesmaids’ dresses! Pay attention to the dresses, not the girls. They are models and not my friends, although my friends are certainly pretty enough to be models (kissy-face emoji here). Anyway, as you can see, we’re going the mix-and-match route, and I’m loving how it’s looking!

It was important to me that my bridesmaids not feel like they’re in uniform. The ceremony is such a small chunk of the day that I want them all moving and grooving to their own style late into the night. My six ladies also span a wide range of heights, skin tones and builds, so assigning them all the same style or length of dress didn’t make much sense either. Instead, each girl picked their own (some with more nudging from me than others), and as of earlier this week, the dress order is in and I’m so happy to finally check this off the list!

Getting to this point wasn’t easy though. Since I’m new to this wedding-planning thing (as most of us are only brides the one time), I started the process with too wide a net. The more options the better, right? Not the case when it comes to bridesmaid dresses. I knew fairly early on that I wanted the girls in blush and noticed most designers did indeed carry colors of that name. Wonderful, I thought. But as the girls started trying things on, it became quite clear that designers have very different interpretations for the very trendy hue. I toyed with the idea of sticking to the original any-designer plan, but ultimately decided the dresses had enough going on already (different styles, lengths and even material) that I was better off keeping them to the same shade. I’m a big fan of the more eclectic bridesmaid style, but felt a little more uniformity would work best for our more formal venue. Once I figured that out, Amsale, with its huge selection of flattering styles, emerged as our designer of choice. If you like the styles you see, click through to see them on the Amsale site in each model’s original dress color. 

{Rohini Chiffon G781C / Megan Lace & Tulle G931 / Jillian Chiffon G874C (only the long version image is available online) / Kasia Chiffon G587C / Kate Lace G839L / Lisa Tulle G837U}

So if I had to boil things down to a few key takeaways for anyone else considering a similar mix-and-match approach, they would be:

– Don’t go too mismatched. By that I mean, if you’re doing different lengths, stick to the same designer same shade. If you want to go the more monochromatic look, consider doing all long or short dresses. Too many differences and you move into the shabby-chic category. And if that’s what you’re going for, by all means, go for it. 
Stick with the same designer. This might require some preliminary research on your part, but if the same shade is what you’re looking for, the same designer is the way to go. Amsale worked great for me. Limiting the selection (so.many.options.) will also be a big help.
Create an iCloud album to share pictures as girls try on and claim their dresses. Saves you from texting the same pictures over and over again and lets girls like pictures and share comments. 
Place one joint order. Not only will you get a 10% discount from your salon (standard practice), ordering them together guarantees the same dye batch.

But really, you might just want to pick the same dress for all them, because it will save you and your girls a lot of time and deliberation. Going into this, I very naively wondered why more brides don’t let their bridesmaids pick their own dresses. But after the many trips to different boutiques and several lengthy decision processes, it makes complete sense to me now. 

Still, I’m very happy we went the way we did, and know it will all be worth it. I’m so grateful my friends were good sports through it all, and I have every intention of making it up to them.

Special thanks to my dear Megan for working her advanced Photoshop skills to change all of the dresses to Blush. Not a single one of these pictures was originally that color. I have no idea how she did it, but I’m very impressed and grateful for her talents. My one big accomplishment was splicing together an example of Jillian’s dress. I could not for the life of me find a picture of her dress, so I had to do some cropping and copying to fake it. I’m quite happy with myself.

P.S. Looking for other bridesmaid inspiration, specifically in the request department? Check out how I asked mine here. 

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Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate - the best hot chocolate you'll ever have
I had every intention of posting a healthy smoothie recipe, because let’s face it, I need one and have no business making and drinking decadent hot chocolates. But it’s cold and I’m a baby, and with a recurring series devoted to fried food, you’re not coming to this blog for the leafy greens. So hot chocolate it is. And since I’m already throwing caution to the wind, I thought I’d share the richest, most delicious hot chocolate there is. Stop reading now if you’re trying to cut back on sugar and happiness. Proceed at your own risk, but I really hope you do.

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Pic Me Up - Atlanta
Dropping in with a quick and belated hello today. It was just one of those gross ones, you know? Where things are more difficult than they need to be. Thankfully, the work part of things is coming to an end and soon I’ll be off to my Zumba class (I’m obsessed), and then it’s soul-warming pho with my sis Kate. Today is Brian’s birthday, which might explain why I’m in my funk. He’s alone and nursing his cast (pictures from my time in Atlanta above), and I’m sad I can’t be there to celebrate with him. He’s a good sport though, one of the many reasons why I’m a fan. Please join me in wishing him a happy birthday and speedy recovery. 

Also, Talenti’s Carribbean Coconut gelato is my new favorite thing. 

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Fortune Finds87
I hope this Tuesday finds you well. Mine is already looking much better than my Monday (a sleepless night and early morning flight = no blog post yesterday), so I’m happy. Here are some of the things piquing my curiosity on this chilly morning. Stay warm out there!

1. Better sleep has long been on my list of priorities, but no matter how early I tell myself I’ll go to bed, I never stick to it. Never. With that said, these tips are worth trying. (Cupcakes & Cashmere)
2. A simple guide on how to dress for special occasions. I wish I had more such occasions to dress for. Actually, no, that’s a lie. I’m perfectly in my PJs, thanks. (Lauren Conrad)
3. A beach vacation sounds so lovely and necessary right now. Here’s a roundup of some of the best places to swim in the whole wide world. Major climate envy. (Huffington Post)
4. I can’t wait to trade my boots in for nice new flats like these. (Madewell)
5. I love my blogs, but I’m fully aware that they’re not always the best representations of real life. Surely, not everyone is so happy, always shopping or photogenic. So when a blogger like Grace opens up and shares about her big career change and her struggle keeping up her blog and appearances, it really resonated with me. It’s something all us busy ladies can appreciate, blog or no blog. (The Stripe)
6. Cartoon characters and the well-known actors who voice them. (Distractify)
7. So I’m thinking about a funfetti cake for our wedding (pink and red sprinkles only with raspberry buttercream in the middle), thoughts? This list of funfetti wonders has me thinking I’m on the right course. (Community Table)
8. Now that we’re less than 6 months from the big day, I’m on a crusade against blemishes, wrinkles and whatever else constitutes as bad skin, starting with black heads. (Refinery29)

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Year of the SheepHappy Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram! Fun fact: It’s the same Chinese character “羊” for all three words, so you can use them interchangeably. Year of the Ram is what you’ll hear most often in English, because it sounds a lot cooler than Year of the Goat, but if we’re going to be completely honest with ourselves, the latter holds truer to the Chinese Zodiac. Sorry to disappoint any of you would-be rams out there. With that said, I hope everyone has Chinese food in their plans today. Brian and I certainly do, but other than that, we’re taking it really easy (he’s recovering from surgery, me from my cold), and the same spirit will likely extend into the weekend. Translation: this will be the last you hear from me this week. Now, if I were a 10 on the Chinese scale, I’d take the whole month off, because in China, that’s the standard vacation time for the occasion. Lucky for you, I’m more like a 7 (or a 3 according to Brian), so I hope to be back at it and in full health on Monday. 

Until then, I’m wishing you a happy and healthy new year!

Image via Zenbrush on Etsy. Check it out. 

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Fortune Finds86
I hope this Tuesday finds you well. I’m a little under the weather myself which would be fine under any other time-off-from-work situation, but because Brian is currently undergoing foot surgery and I’m supposed to be the one taking care of him, the timing isn’t so great. Thankfully, Brian shouldn’t be a high-maintenance patient, or so we expect… Anyway, here are some of the things keeping me distracted on this big day. 

1. The best foods for your abs. I need all the help I can get. (Redbook)
2. Since I knew I’d have quite a few hours to kill in the waiting room, I sought out a fun read to distract me from the joys of being in a hospital. Amy Poehler’s Yes Please was an easy choice to make. (Amazon)
3. My latest Instagram follow. Pictures of adorable toddlers recreating Hollywood moments. (Toddlewood)
4. I love this wedding binder. I’m too far along in the process to switch to something new (I’m using a much less flashy plain white binder), but had to share this for anyone starting a binder of their own soon. (J.Crew)
5. Some of Pinterest’s most pinned recipes all in one place. (Food)
6. “Mansplaining” explained. Am I right, ladies? (Business Insider)
7. Brian and I watched Boyhood last night. He hated it (long and had problems with the ending), I have mixed feelings. Have you seen it? What did you think? I’ve now seen four of the eight Best Picture Nominees. Since there’s not much time left between now and Sunday’s Oscars, BuzzFeed has a quiz to help you pick what to see next. I got The Grand Budapest Hotel. (BuzzFeed)
8. How to get the most out of your blowout with four days’ worth of tips. I can only ever make it for two. (Elle)

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