Our Favorite Spring Bouquets

Here at VOF, we are ready for spring. It’s been pretty balmy in our neck(s) of the woods lately (sorry, Northerners), so we thought we’d put together some floral inspiration to match our cheerful moods. Enjoy!

Landon JacobFlorist: Fern Studio Photographer: Landon Jacob 17f381de75ed88022c8a37f7e78ddf74Florist: Green and Bloom  524d80f418451$!400x Photographer: Munster Rose  bloom_02.ashxFlorist: Bows and Arrows Source: D Weddings  edi_0230_000074200032$!400xFlorist: NLC Productions Photographer: Braedon PhotographElegant-Peach-Garden-Style-Bouquet-300x450Florist: McKenzie Powell Floral and Event Design Photographer: Michele M. Waite Photography  fe6ab03fa51c7226df699f5e47b306f5Florist: Erin Keller Photographer: Ciara Richardson  gold-rustic-wedding-ideas-20Florist: Stems of Dallas Photographer: Half Orange Photography  Jessica-Sneak-0074Photographer: Erin Hearts Court Photography landon_jacob_blush_reem_acra_wedding_dress_7-619x840Florist: Fern Studio Photographer: Landon Jacob Landon-Jacob-PhotographerPhotographer: Landon Jacob Cassidy CarsonFlorist: Bows and Arrows Photographer: Cassidy Carson  stylemepretty_mrhaack_49$!400xFlorist: Jesi Haack Design Photographer: Mr. Haack  twinlens_erinkeith_023$!400xFlorist: Marisa’s Millefiori Photographer: Twin Lens Elizabeth MessinaFlorist: Historic Cedarwood Photographer: Elizabeth Messina

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Blush & Indigo Wedding Inspiration

Once you’re gotten most of your major vendors booked, you can really focus on the fun part of the wedding planning process – design and styling. There’s no lack of inspiration out there, particularly on some of our favorite wedding sites, Snippet & Ink, Style Me Pretty, and 100 Layer Cake. One of the most helpful ways to hone in on your vision and to share that vision with others is to create an inspiration board. Pretty much every blush/white/gold wedding I see makes me swoon, but I’m spotting that wedding palette pretty regularly these days (read: lots of swooning). To do something a little different, add some accents in a contrasting color. I’m loving both deep hues and vibrant colors this season. Click through the pictures below for more information and inspiration (I spy some work of our very favorite Amanda O’Shannessy). Enjoy!

lily-of-the-valley-bouquet-custom-lace-dresseclectic-el-capitan-wedding-17pair3gramercy_stationery_suite_rustic_glam_wedding_1wedding pallete3pair4cakepair1

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The Friday Report

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    Photo by Lauren F. Liddell

Welcome to 2014, y’all! Every Friday we share our favorite links we’ve discovered throughout the week, just in case you need some help pushing through those last few hours of your work day.

20 Things We Should Say More Often

We love the idea of New Year resolutions so much, we can’t help but share this Life List. What’s on your life list?

Nerding out over this emotional body mapping.

I can’t read Swedish, but I sure would like a lesson in food photography.

We’ve resolved to read more this year, so this book suggestion generator is my new BFF.

Everything about this.

I know the holidays are over, but I think I just discovered the best gift ever for creative types.

Feeling inspired by this bourbon bar.

Do you think Kim bought one of these for Kanye for Kristmas Christmas?

Favorite Instagrammer: @thevowsoffriendship (shameless, shameless plug)

Best Sale: J. Crew (Code: Sale40)

Favorite Fashion Blog: Happily Grey

Need to know: Hold that selfie, Snapchat was Hacked

Best Useless Information: Five-minute Mug Cakes

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Turn your Thanksgiving Leftovers into Something Spectacular!

Who can deny how great a turkey sandwich tastes the day, or maybe 2 days, after Thanksgiving, but after awhile, there are only so many turkey sandwiches and left overs you can eat. However, if  you are like my family, you cook WAY too much and have enough turkey to last weeks after Thanksgiving day. Here are some creative and delicious recipes that I came up with this year to use up those leftovers in a fun and scrumptious way.

Slow-Cooker Southwest Turkey Chili: Warning: This recipe is SO EASY and all your friends and family will be impressed, I promise!

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Ingredients:

2 cups chopped leftover turkey

32 oz container of chicken broth

1 14 oz can of ro-tel diced tomatoes and chili.

1 6 oz can of tomato paste

1 /2 blocks of cream cheese

1 cup crushed tortilla chips

1 Tbs cumin

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

1/2 of a large red onion, diced

3 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 bag (1 lb) frozen bell peppers

1 can black beans (drained)

1 can corn (drained)

Any other frozen or canned veggies you may like

Salt to taste

Sour Cream (to top it off)

Fresh Cilantro (to sprinkle on top)

Fresh lime (for garnish)

Tortilla chips (to scoop with chili)

Chopped Avocado (for garnish)

Instructions:

Chop all necessary ingredients

Sauté red onion, jalapeño, garlic, and a pinch of salt under onions are soft

Pour sautéed ingredients into a large slow cooker, add remaining ingredients (with the exception of the crushed tortilla chips and cream cheese) along with about a  Tbs of salt and stir.

Put the slow cooker on low for 8 hour.

After 3 hours, add the cream cheese. Push the blocks under the chili mixture and let the mixture continue to cook.

After about 1 hour, stir melted cream cheese into chili. You will need to continually mix the cream cheese about every 30 minutes until it is fully incorporated into the chili.

In the last hour, stir in the crushed tortilla chips.

Serve with chopped avocado, a dollop of sour cream, fresh squeezed lime, and chopped cilantro. Serve tortilla chips on the side.

Enjoy!

Ranch and Green Bean Casserole Twice-Baked Potatoes: I know this might sound funny, but trust me! This combination is heavenly during this season!

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Ingredients:

1 Packet of Ranch Seasoning

4 Russet Potatoes

1 cup leftover Green Bean Casserole

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1 Tbs black pepper

Sour Cream and Green to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Poke holes in the potatoes using a fork (on all sides) and wrap individually with aluminum foil.

Bake potatoes on rack for about 1 hour, or until potatoes feel soft to touch.

Remove potatoes from oven and remove aluminum foil. Let cool for about 20 minutes, or until comfortable to touch.

Once cool, cut a “canoe” shaped slice into the top of each potato and dispose of the cut out potato skin.

Scoop out center of potatoes and put in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly, until light and airy.

Scoop mixture back into potatoes, filling the empty potato skins and creating a mound on top.

Bake on 375 for about 30 minutes. Finish on broil for just  a few minutes to achieve a crisp on top.

Top with sour cream and green onions and serve! Try adding some leftover turkey to these babies and making them a meal in themselves! 🙂

<3wc

The Friday Report

dresses

Try not to drool…

We’re coming off a high from finding C’s PERFECT wedding dress last weekend, and it’s got us in full-on wedding mode. Today we’ve got a list of the best wedding ideas that have caught our attention lately. Enjoy!

Shoes for the glam bride and the casual bride. We’ll take both, thanks.

First off, we love the idea of the uniform Pinterest board cover photos from Gem Jackson. And the girl has some majorly awesome wedding pins worth coveting.

Martha Stewart Weddings will always be our favorite source of inspiration. Check out these great favor ideas.

A perfect idea for entertaining the younger crowd at your wedding.

They say hindsight is 20/20, so take post-wedding advice from recent brides.

Favorite Instagrammer:  @MollyJacques (major calligraphy swooning ahead)

Best Sale: Nordstrom’s Half-Yearly Sale

Favorite Food Blog: Table for Two

Need to know: How to beat airlines at the excessive fee game.

Best Useless Information: Fluffy Bunny. I WANT.

A Thought for the Day

A Thought for the Day

Sipping a warm cup of coffee and reading a novel… One of the many things I rarely have time for anymore (minus the coffee, I rarely go a day with out that 😉 ). Yesterday, one of our favorite blogs, Thought Catalog, posted a wonderful list of 18 Things Everyone Should Start Making Time For Again.

This past weekend W came for one of the most amazing weekends of my life. We went wedding dress shopping and stumbled upon a killer deal for Rag & Bone bridesmaid dresses as well. I’m trying to keep the details a secret, but I cannot wait to share photos with you in the future. The primary realization of this weekend, however, was how lucky I am to have the most amazing MOH and mother in the world, and while I sipped my coffee this morning and read Thought Catalog’s article, it struck a chord with me. Wedding planning, grad school, and work tend to consume W & my lives, and at times we both forget to make time for ourselves, but maybe it’s time to make that change.

I hope you all enjoy this article as much as I did, and maybe it will help you make some changes as we start to approach the New Year.

<3wc

The Friday Report

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Another snapshot from last weekend’s gallery wedding.

Here at VOF, we’re looking forward to a weekend of relaxing. From weddings to overburdened workloads to grad school tests and projects in the past few weeks, we’re exhausted!  With my parents coming to visit soon there’s still pressure to finish our bathroom remodel and deep clean every inch of our house (OCD runs in the family), but I’ll be sure to take at least a few hours to myself this weekend to recharge.

The song that’s getting our feet tapping to the beat: I am the Lion King

Inspiration for my upcoming engagement photo session?

The importance of having a mentor.

We’ve already expressed our love for tassels, here’s a DIY you can wear. (And no, it’s not like that, get your mind outta the gutter.)

This heartwarming feature on brides wearing their mother’s wedding gowns has me wishing my mother had kept hers!

This fascinating editorial Flickr feed is oozing with talent.

NOLA Fashion Week has arrived!

Favorite Instagrammer: @ThanksIMadeIt

Best Sale: MILLY NY

Favorite Fashion Blogger: Frankie Hearts Fashion

Need to know: So I guess we’re yuppies.

Best Useless Information: The best foods from around the globe

Engagement 101

engagement

Newly engaged? Congrats! But what comes next? Getting engaged is exciting…but also slightly overwhelming. After the first few hours of bliss with your honey, the reality of the long road of wedding planning ahead starts to set in. The VOF girls are here to guide you through the first few weeks of your engagement with the hope that you can minimize stress and make more time for enjoying the fun that comes along with being newly engaged.

1. Tell Everybody

This may sound easy, but it will consist of telling and re-telling and telling again the story of your engagement, complete with every minute detail. Depending on the size of your family or social circle, this can potentially be exhausting. But who exactly should be called first? We recommend calling parents, siblings, and close friends first (in that order), but personal circumstances can call for different priorities. Only you know who deserves that first phone call. If you’re lucky, all of your closest friends and family could be involved in the proposal, like this amazing engagement story.

Beyond your closest relationships, we suggest calling extended family, other friends, close coworkers, etc. Only then is it appropriate to post the big news on social media. To avoid offending someone you might have forgotten, put off posting the engagement to Facebook for a few hours after you finish your phone calls, just in case you realize you forgot to give Aunt Jane a ring.  (It’s also important to consider those who don’t have access to social media!)

Finally, you may want to let your hometown media know about your engagement, so check into the policies of your local paper to see if they require you know your wedding date/location or only print within a certain number of days of your wedding. You’ll most likely want to wait until you can include engagement photos anyway, so no need to jump the gun on this one!

2. Nail down a budget

Here comes the awkward part: money. You need to figure out who exactly will be contributing what. If you foresee either set of parents helping pay for the big day, you need to sit down and have an honest conversation of what type of budget you’re looking at. If you’ll be funding the wedding yourselves as a couple, look at your projected budget for the upcoming year (or months in some cases) and estimate how much you can realistically set aside.

It’s important to get a good idea at this point of what you’re expected to pay for. If your parents are willing to fund the wedding, but expect you to pay for the honeymoon or bridal party gifts, try to nail down a number for what you and your future hubby can afford to keep from going overboard. No one wants to start a marriage in debt from their wedding, so keep in mind that some of the most beautiful and sentimental weddings have the smallest of budgets. This is not the time to play Keeping up with the Jones’, it’s a time to celebrate the start of a new chapter of your life as husband and wife.

3. Develop a guest list

Developing your guest list can go hand-in-hand with estimating your budget. Almost every cost in your wedding will be determined by the number of guests attending. Start big and think of anyone and everyone you might possibly want to invite. Next, divide that list into three categories: a ‘must invite’ list, a ‘really want to’ invite list, and a ‘will invite if possible’ list. In the meantime, ask both sets of parents to provide you with a list of people they’d like to invite, especially if either set is paying for part of the wedding. Let them know that you’ll do your best to accommodate their lists, as is realistic with your budget.

After creating your list, you should determine how many guests you can realistically afford to invite (obviously this number may change based on vendor prices, but a good place to start is $100 per head). From there, try to come up with a number of the invitees who you think will actually attend. For some couples, you can expect an 80% attendance rate, especially when the bride and groom are from the same area. Many times, as with C & myself, half your guest list will be asked to travel a very long distance; in these cases, you’ll probably want to reduce your attendance rate somewhere around 2/3.

You may need to revisit your budget and guest list many times during the planning process, but it’s good to find a solid starting place before contacting venues and vendors, so you can have an idea of what size event you’ll be hosting.

4. Decide whether or not to use a Wedding Planner or Coordinator

I know it can sometimes seem crazy to shell out a portion of your precious budget to have someone help you plan your wedding when you have plenty of time to do it yourself, but you might be surprised. In many cases, hiring a wedding planner can actually save you money by helping you make the most of your budget. Hiring a wedding planner will not only provide access to the absolute best vendors in your region, but it will also provide peace of mind that your day will run smoothly. A wedding planner will likely cost between 10-20% of your total wedding budget.

If you’re a Type A, planner type of gal, a Day-of coordinator may be a better fit for you. With prices ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, you can still retain that peace of mind without giving up control. Find out more about Day-of Coordinators in this article. Ultimately, every bride will need something different, but don’t write off a wedding planner from the get go!

5. Select a Venue

Finally (well, not finally, you have a long road ahead girl), you’ll want to start looking for a venue that both accommodates your guest list and your budget. Finding the perfect venue depends on many different factors. Some require you to use their preferred vendors, others have early curfews, while popular venues may book up early and quickly. One factor you’ll want to keep in mind is the number of people on your guest list. A restaurant reception might have the right vibe, but will the restaurant be able to hold all 300 of your family and friends? Meanwhile, that beautiful loft space may catch your eye, but your 50 person guest list could leave the venue feeling too open or empty.  There are lots of factors to consider, so sit down with your fiance and decide what is most important to you as a couple. This will help you narrow down venue choices and find a date that is available and works for you and your families. If you already have a date in mind, this may narrow down your options even further.

When looking at prices, make sure to check what amenities each venue provides. A backyard wedding may seem like a cheaper option, but you’ll need to factor in table, chair and linen rentals. If you and your future hubby are from different places, try looking into venues at both locations if you don’t have your heart set on one or the other. You’ll be surprised by the vast difference in venue prices across different regions of the country.

Jan 2013 Cruise 106

M and me just hours after getting engaged. Obviously, I had not yet mastered the non-awkward ring pose yet…

M and I were out of the country when we got engaged, so I used the lack of cell and internet service as an excuse to really enjoy the bliss of being newly engaged before any planning stress set in. Being able to spend several days together without any distractions was irreplaceable (and almost like a pre-weddingmoon, people should really make that a thing). For C, she already knew exactly where she wanted to get married, so step 5 above was a breeze. Obviously the process will vary slightly depending on your situation, but loosely following this guide should make for smooth sailing during your engagement.

<3wc

The Friday Report

summer

Wait, it’s Friday already??? We apologize for no Wednesday Wish List this week, the past few days (weeks) have taken us VOF girls by storm. I’ve been exploring working in Denver and C has been wedding planning at lightning speed (making me feel like I’m falling behind)! Without further ado, here are some places on the interweb that have caught our eye this week.

Sometime you just need to lighten the mood. Thankfully, puppies and kittens usually do the trick.

I love this list about girlfriends, everyone needs a great friend (shout out to C and our “Tias”!).

I think cell phone companies had a hand in create this awesome/terrible app.

This real life (and beautiful) wedding just rekindles our Friday Night Lights obsession.

Who doesn’t want man-candy (read: ryan gosling) dangling from their earlobes?

A reminder from some little ones to keep things light.

For those of us who had an awkward year (or ten), we love this tumblr project.

Favorite Instagrammer: @sfgirlbybay

Best Sale: SHOPBOP

Favorite Fashion Blogger: DeSmitten

Need to know read: theSkimm (a daily news summary for busy women)

Best Useless Information: Alternate Brand Slogans

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The Friday Report

whitandcolleen

Hello loves! So ^that^ happened this weekend! My other half of VOF, the beautiful and glowing C, got engaged in Dallas! We know we promised a detailed weekend guide to Dallas (which is still on it’s way!), but we’ve been totally consumed with wedding details for the past few days. (I’ve been engaged for eight months now and I swear C has got more planning done in the past six days.) If you’re looking for more wedding-related posts, get ready because wedding planning is now in full swing at VOF headquarters.

To hold you over until we share our own engagement stories, go ahead and read the MOST AMAZING PROPOSAL OF ALL TIME. Grab the tissues, girls.

We were so excited to see this 101 things to do in 1001 days list from Design Darling. Stay tuned for our own list, and share yours with us in the comments! We’ll feature our favorite here on VOF.

We’re making a mental note to remember these genius parenting tactics in 10 years.

Follow this fascinating tumblr of Mike Learner’s entrancing photography.

Now here’s an invention we’re rooting for.

We lurve, loave, luff this Love List from Ashley Fine of One Fine Day.

Finally, if you haven’t seen Hot-Dog Legs circulating the internet yet, take a peek.

Favorite Instagrammer: @damselindior

Best Sale: ShoeScribe

Favorite Fashion Blogger: Could I have that?

Need to know watch: The Butler

Best Useless Information: Crystal deodorant rock…WTF?

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