Just Me aghan

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fashion Friday: Bridal Edition - Finding the Perfect Dress

With weddings still on the forefront of my mind I wanted to share with you my tips on finding the perfect wedding dress. When choosing your dress think about what you want before you venture out to the bridal boutiques. Before you even start looking at shops, think about your budget and the maximum amount you want to spend. Once you know what you are working with write out a list of optional stores in your area you want to check out.

Next think about your style. A full skirted ball gown might not be the choice for you if you are generally drawn to slim fitting maxi skirts. Do you like glitter/sequins, lace; how about bead work? Should the dress be shiny or matte? Do you want a train? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself.

Beadwork on my wedding gown.
Don't forget about accessories, if you are set on a floor length veil keep that in mind while looking. These are all aspects you need to consider in starting out your search for the dress.

It's easier to focus and not be overwhelmed when you know what you don't want. If you know you are against glitter and satin entirely, don't waste your time. Maybe look at one in person, then move on. Otherwise you will be in there for hours sifting through dresses.

wedding dress, mignon
Spinning in my gorgeous wedding dress.
To be in line with the trends just look to the styles on the street and think more over the top. My dress was like a fancy bohemian fitted maxi dress with lace. I absolutely loved my dress and wish I could have worn it for more than just a few hours.

If you've already went through the process that is wedding planning do you have any tips for other brides when picking out their perfect dress?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Love Your Mother Eco Fashion Show

This weekend is one of the biggest fashion events of the year for our area. The Love Your Mother Eco Fashion Show put on by Panache is being held at the new Volkswagen of St. Augustine this Saturday at 8:00 P.M.

Love Your Mother Eco Fashion Show
Photos: Admyar Photography
There are over 70 models total, and 15 or so different groups. Each group has it's own theme and uses only recycled items. You will never look at garbage the same way again after seeing the art these designers come up with! Proceeds will go to "Home Again St. Johns,"a non-profit organization that helps the homeless in our community. 

Love Your Mother Eco Fashion Show
The back of my outfit. Don't you love the mouse?! It is the tie on my top.
Designer Michelle Dorminey and Blogger/Model Meaghan Alvarado
Designer Michelle and me in my outfit. Can't wait to see the finished look with the makeup she applies!
Our group, Electric Metal, was designed by the talented Michelle Dorminey and Lynda Namie. The two used cords, computer wires, computer mice, soda pop tops, electrical wires, and can lids to make the looks that will be modeled on me and the four other models in our group.

Designer Michelle Dorminey and Blogger Meaghan Alvarado
"Straightening" my 'do.

Thank you to the lovely and ever so friendly Nicole of Admyar Photography for these photos! It was great to finally meet Nicole and I can't wait to strut the catwalk with her in a few days. :)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

Eeek!!! This weekend, are you going to come see me? Tickets are available for sale at Panache and the VW dealership. Get your tickets now before they're sold out!

Here's a short clip with a couple more models outfits and a bit more about the show. 

For my out of town readers- stay tuned I'll be sure to share photos from the show back here ASAP. Stay tuned on Instagram  for some shots behind the scenes the day of too! ;)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Georgia Trip - Part 1, The Wedding & Atlanta

This past week I took a trip to Northwest Georgia with my husband to help a college friend with her wedding. She contacted me a few months ago to help with the wedding planning and coordination. We took our time making our way the 7+ hours north and stopped in Atlanta on the way up.

Downtown Atlanta at Night

I had been to Atlanta about 10 years ago but it was Dee's first time. We were there only a short while, less than 24 hours, but took the time to check out downtown from the Sundial Restaurant and Bar at the top of the Westin.

Sun Dial Restaurant and Bar, Atlanta, GA

The Sundial is 72 stories high and rotates 360 degrees about every half an hour so you get a full view of Atlanta and beyond. Drinks were on the pricey side but that was expected with the atmosphere and spectacular view. Even the elevator ride up was breathtaking, but also nerve racking. Dee and I were both backed up to the wall from the windows with shaky legs. 72 stories is really high, and yes I've been skydiving but this was different. There was no parachute strapped to my back! ;)

Sun Dial Restaurant and Bar
The wedding was beautiful and set in a gorgeous venue in the mountains of Lakemont, Georgia. Pinterest projects filled the Pavilion at Lake Rabun making for the perfect shabby chic wedding. The rain slowed everything down a bit and moved the ceremony inside, but once the bouqet was tossed I finally could relax knowing that the bride and groom were happy. With the majority of my job complete until the guests left it was time for a glass of champagne to me- cheers to the new Mr. and Mrs. Carter! It was really nice seeing old friends from college and making some new ones too.

Wedding at the Pavilion at Lake Rabun
Just Married!!

Wedding at the Pavilion at Lake Rabun
The beautiful wedding cakes provided by Publix.

Wedding at the Pavilion at Lake Rabun

Being in Georgia reminded me of western Maryland and brought back many memories for me. I think we were about 3 weeks early to see the leaves changing, but we did take the time to do some hiking while were in Lakemont. More on that in my next post though.

The Pavilion at Lake Rabun
The view from the Pavilion at Lake Rabun

I'm thrilled I had the opportunity to help Lundyn & Elliot make some of the most cherished memories they will have in their lives. The experiences I had on this trip and the breathtaking views will be fluttering through my mind this week as we get back to work and the real world. It was nice to escape for a little bit, but I'm ready to be home. To be able to cook some of my own meals and get back on my 10K training schedule is totally needed.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In the Kitchen: Clafouti aux Pommes (Apple Flan)

Since it's finally fall (even though it doesn't feel like it in Florida) my first thought was apples. Especially since I'm on my way to Atlanta tomorrow with hopes of seeing some falling leaves! This recipe for Clafouti Aux Pommes or Apple Flan, is from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Don't worry it's not that hard to make and actually doesn't even require a mixer, you can use the same blender that normally prepares your frozen margaritas. ;)

Royal Gala Apples

Clafouti aux Pommes (Apple Flan) Recipe

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and core 1 ¼ pound of apples, this was about 4 ½ large
royal gala apples for me. Cut them lengthwise into slices ¼ inch thick, there will be
about 3 cups of sliced apples.

I love cinnamon!

In ¼ cup or butter, sauté the slices and then let them sit in the skillet for 30 minutes with ¼ cup of dark rum or cognac, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/3 cup sugar. Be sure to flip the slices gently as they tend to fall apart. I added a few extra shakes of cinnamon—it's my favorite spice!

Put the following ingredients into a blender:

Juices from apple sauté above, it should be about ¼ cup.
1 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1  tablespoon vanilla extract
1/8   tsp salt
½ cup   flour

Cover and blend on high for 1 minute.

No mixer necessary!

Pour a ¼ inch layer of batter into a lightly buttered baking
dish or pie pan. Set over medium heat for a minute until a film of batter sets
at the bottom of your pan.

Remove from the heat and spoon the apples over the thin
layer of batter.

Pour the rest of the batter over the apples.

Ready for the oven.

Place on the middle rack in your preheated oven and bake for 45-60 minutes. It is finished when a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

Before adding the powdered sugar. Check out the original post to see the finished dessert!
Allow to cool, the flan will deflate and not be so tall. Just before serving a big warm piece to your lovely guests (or yourself) sprinkle with powdered sugar.

You will be impressed with yourself if you make the Clafouti aux Pommes—the name alone sounds impressive! If you are looking for another apple dessert try this Apple Cider Pound Cake next. Oh fall, I love you so. ;)

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Busy with Writing, Wedding Planning, & Modeling

Sitting here this Saturday morning sipping my caramel latte from Kookaburra I'm thinking about how awesome this month will be. There's so much excitement going on right now, and the month is sure to fly by.

For starters, I've landed another writing gig! St. Augustine Social contacted me with an opportunity and I've signed on as a contributor for their magazine and site. I'm excited to be working with another publisher writing about St. Augustine. Stay tuned on my social media accounts to see some of the blog posts I write for them.
St. Augustine Social
St. Augustine Social

St. Augustine may first appear as a sleepy little historic town with a beach, but there really is plenty to do here for young, active families and individuals. With the growing number of young entrepreneurs in town, there are increasingly more ways to spend your free time. Our town is truly amazingwhy do you think so many people visit and then move here, or leave town only to come back? I can't wait to reach other locals and visitors to get them more in the know of what's happening here.

Next week I will be traveling to Georgia to help a college friend with her wedding. She and her soon to be husband hired me on as their wedding planner. More than just the day of coordination this time, I've been using my experience with weddings to help them figure out all the little details. Neither the bride nor the groom has ever attended a weddingthis blew my mind but it's not the first time I've heard it. I've enjoyed working with them and can't wait to get up there to make their wedding day be one of the best memories they will have. I think about my own wedding all the time and how thankful I am to have had a coordinator. No matter the wedding size it's nice to have someone else handle the stresses that day.

Lundyn & Elliot
How cute are these two? :)
Shortly after coming back from Georgia I'll be in a fashion show. Panache, a local salon and spa, is having their annual Love Your Mother Eco Fashion Show and I will be modeling again. The last time I was in this show was when I was working there in 2008 at the front desk. It will be fun to be back with many of the same designers again and see some old friends. All of the looks are made from recycled materials, the theme for our group this year is based around cords. Phone, internet, old computer cords, etc. I'll be sure to post some photos on the day of so follow me on Insta if you aren't already!

Panache Eco Fashion Show 2008
Backstage at the 2008 Eco Fashion Show. I'm second from the left with super short hair. Hubs is in the middle ;)
Well, back to Saturday morning life and too much caffeine running through my veins. I'm off to bark some more at my smallest dog  through the paper towel roll, he loves it. haha

Early morning shenanigans

Is fall a wonderful time of year or what?! What do you have going on this month?