Sponsored Giveaway!

Typically each month we have 3-4 awesome sponsors who are up for giving something rad away during the group post... but this month? SEVEN! Yes, seven. How awesome is that?! Valued at over $250, this one is a total doozy! Check out the sponsors and their pretty prizes below so you can enter to win! Happy Saturday!

Maisie currently hosts a blog devoted to all things wedding. From ideas to preparations, it's a long road ahead, and there's a lot of planning to do before her wedding next year!
She's giving away $40 of store credit to Asos.com, the one shop she knows will always have amazing outfits and accessories for any occasion. 

Aileen runs the rad online shop, Kintage. And she's giving away a $40 shop credit! Kintage is going into it's 2nd month and we're growing like crazy. We have some new arrivals coming in the next couple of weeks that we know everyone is going to adore.

"Hello, hello! My name is Kaley, and I'm the gal behind Cold Hands + Warm Heart. I'm a lover of baking, crafting and all things nerdy. I also run the online shop Honey Pie Headbands, where you can find whimsical hair crowns, vintage floral headbands, and cute button hair clips. When I'm not a busy bee working on new designs, I love to bake cookies, work on embroidery projects, play video games, go to craft stores + yard sales, read and snuggle with my pug, Dexter." Kaley is giving away a $35 shop credit to Honey Pie Headbands! 

"I'm Roxy - I teach math, play roller derby, and hang out with my 3 huge dogs! I also love creating cute things. :) Spend your shop credit on quirky accessories for women, children, and even men! Geekery for all!" Roxy is giving away a $40 shop credit to GrrFeisty!

"My name is Jaqueline and I am the owner/collector of all things vintage over at Lucy & Black! I love shopping for new shoes/coats/dresses whatever... but the best thing about buying vintage is that you know you won't see anyone else wearing the same thing as you. And since fashion is ever evolving and recycled over the years, those cuts/designs/attention to detail in vintage pieces will never truly go out of style. Besides, style is what you make it... so make it good. Lucy & Black features tons of vintage dresses, coats, shoes, rhinestone jewelry and more! We are offering one lucky honeybee a 50% off shop credit on anything they want, excluding already marked down sale items. p.s. we ship internationally! -xox jaq"

Betwixxt is the brain child of craft mom, Grace! She runs a blog and Etsy shop under the same name and chances are highly likely you've seen her Ron Swanson mugs floating around the blogosphere (partially because I like to reference them whenever I can. So fun!) She's giving one lucky winner a $35 shop credit to pick out pretty things of their choosing. You should also stop by her blog and see her new design we whipped up!

Lucy is the mastermind behind the UK-based jewelry shop Eclectic Eccentricity. You can find all types of accessories and pretty things to liven up any outfit. She's offering up her Dinomight jewelry set to the lucky winner. The winner will receive a stegosaurus necklace and triceratops earrings! 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 

In order to be entered to win this prize pack, please visit the sponsors above and let me know what you'd snag with your winnings! Leave a comment below and please be sure to leave an email address or Twitter username so I can contact you if you win!

For additional entries, please do the follow & leave separate comments below:
+ Follow each sponsor on Twitter (Up to 6)
+ Like each sponsor on Facebook (Up to 4)
+ Follow each sponsor's blog (Up 5)

Uh, that's sixteen ways to enter. Yeah, a little overkill maybe, but these are awesome prizes! Good luck! A winner will be drawn and announced at the end of next week!

Things I Love Thursday

And it's Thursday again! I'm fairly certain that my life is just a steady stream of them haha Today is for selling our Saab (well, starting to!), catching up with the newly-married Elle over coffee (ahh! Sailboat elopement! I die!), and launching several blog designs for clients. Recipe for a good day? I hope so! Here's what I'm loving this week!

♥ this kitty bath ♥
this puppy in a cookie jar. what? ♥
♥ this uncle blazer illustration (i love workaholics) ♥
♥ these ladies! (amy poehler + kristen wiig) ♥
♥ this "blueprint for the day" ♥
♥ this. ♥
♥ this bathmat turns red when wet apparently just  comes like this (!!! very Dexter!) ♥
♥ this. lol ♥
♥ there's nothing about jason segel i don't like. ♥
♥ this illustration. ♥

Other Awesome Things:

// I absolutely love this wedding bouquet. Succulents are my favorite. I'm also super crazy about this one.

// Foodie Finds: Blackberry Oatmeal Pie Bars -- Rosemary Sea Salt Pretzles with Rosemary Cheddar Cheese Sauce -- Mexican Quinoa -- Mini Banana Cream Pies (These would be so perfect for the wedding!)

// I love this idea for bulletin boards inside your cupboards! Perfect for recipes, coupons, and shopping lists!

// Ashley's entire blog is super stinking adorable, but I really love this Vintage Treasure Hunting post she wrote. Reminds me that I haven't actually been thrifting since before Toby moved in!

// Someone needs to buy this bag from Kintage like now. Before I do. Because I don't need to spend $40+ on a purse. But it's so prettttttty! (And a kicker? You can get 10% off everything at Kintage with the code KAELAH so go buy pretty things and let me live vicariously through you!)

// Wardrobe Wishlist: I love this sweet yellow dressthese shoes are so fun! -- and the color of these! -- I got these in the mail a few weeks ago and still haven't worn them (though mine are brown leather over black!) -- Considering I get a BB Dakota dress in every Stitch Fix package (I love them though!), I really hope I get this one at some point! -- and this isn't wardrobe related but I love (and collect) novelty salt and pepper shakers... and I love this one! and ladybugs too.

// Maisie is considering a rainbow color palette for her wedding and this post was super inspiring!

// I pretty much love every post on Rachel's blog and the look, too. It's so bold and fun. Beautifully designed with a punch!

// Life has been crazy busy lately (but when is it not?) and I've been missing this lady! She's in the middle of moving house so things are crazy for her, too. Wish her lots of luck!

// You've got a couple of days left to enter the Eager Beaver giveaway over here! You could win a Kate Spade passport cover!

Happy Thursday friends! What are you loving this week?

Wedding Wednesday

I just happen to be friends with a lot of engaged people, both online and off, so with their wedding days approaching I've been noticing an increase in stress and all around panic. One girl I follow on Instagram posts every single day about wedding plans and a countdown (which I love seeing, otherwise I wouldn't follow her!) but she's constantly talking about being in "panic mode!"... Her wedding is three months after mine. Did I miss something? I get that planning a wedding is a big deal and while some people wing it, I'd like to have a little structure, but I'm wondering if I'm being too lax. Things will fall into place, right? (I say this like 2 weeks after I almost had a meltdown about my dress... man, it's a crazy rollercoaster!) 

Anyway, Mike and I have been looking up honeymoon destinations for the past two days, and trying to get a mental idea of how much needs to be saved, what we need to do, blah blah blah. We don't even have a rough guest list made yet (and it's barely 5 months out). Still, I feel like things will come together and all will be well. But while we're talking about finances, I've been weighing what takes priority for our wedding and how we're going to pull it off ourselves. What we'll save on and what we'll deem worthy of a splurge.
Photography: This is really the single most important item to us. Having photos of our day will be far more enjoyable than a dusty ol' dress in my closet, or shoes that I'll probably never wear again. Not to say I want to forget about those entirely, but photos will probably be our only real splurge. We're incredibly fortunate that our parents have offered to gift us our photographer as we're paying for everything else ourselves. That kind of help was so gracious as we don't know how we'd manage it on our own at this point.

The rings: This is another area we feel strongly about. We definitely want rings that will fit our styles and last forever. However, that doesn't necessarily mean they need to be expensive. I talked briefly last week about ordering a new engagement ring that we both found and fell in love with.. well, it's here! It was delivered on Friday and I don't think I've stopped staring at it since. (Peep below!) I've been looking up rose gold wedding bands and have found a few via Etsy that look promising, and we're headed to a jeweler soon so Mike can try on a few styles and get a feel for what he likes. I love that there's something special about our jewelry... be it handmade, hand hammered, or antique (my new one is!), it just feels more "us" than something purchased out of a glass case (but I'm totally not knocking that!). My new engagement ring is an antique cushion cut morganite stone surrounded by a halo of 16 diamonds and then 3 diamonds on either side of the rose gold band! It couldn't be more perfect if it tried.

Honeymoon: Um, they're expensive! Geeze louise! We've been tossing around a few ideas for what we'd like to do but we haven't really found it yet. Our first idea was to fly to Portland, take the train to Seattle, and then the ferry to Vancouver all in the span of a week or so, but just seeing how much just the flights + hotels cost, we'd rather be able to enjoy ourselves more while there. With that being said, it's still on the table, maybe less Vancouver. We're also looking at a roadtrip + weeklong getaway somewhere like Hilton Head Island, SC, or even in North Carolina where we were engaged. And finally we've been charting out some mid-October cruises to Mexico/Bahamas that sound fun. I guess in terms of our budget, the honeymoon will be a splurge regardless of where we go, but hopefully we will get our money's worth! Afterall, a wedding is about being married right? I'd like to enjoy some time with my new husband! Have any of you been on a cruise? Where did you go on your honeymoon?
The dress: I've watched a lot of Say Yes to the Dress in my day. A lot. And I know it's not uncommon for brides to spend $25,000+ on a wedding dress. You know what? That's awesome! Go you. I just don't feel like that's something I need to splurge on. Currently I'm toying between the idea of my backup dress and a handmade dress from Etsy, and it'll most likely come down solely to our budget and if the alterations I'd like can be done or not. If we can swing it, I'd love to, but I'll probably also weigh it against where our honeymoon is and what we could do with that money instead! I've seen so many weddings with $100 dresses or even Forever 21/H&M dresses and they were darling. A wedding dress doesn't have to be extravagant. 
Mike's outfit: We want a very casual-type of wedding, especially when it comes to our attire. Luckily Mike already owns almost everything he'd need to wear, and if he doesn't, we can get it without much of a fuss. This is one of those times I'm really glad he likes to wear dress pants and button-ups/bowties on any given day!

Catering: Well, we can't get a solid answer on this one yet. We have an idea in mind for catering (picnic style), but we have yet to receive a quote. If it's just too high then we'll probably revert to our original idea of a dessert/sweets bar and a boat load of pies! We're lucky to have some very cuisine-inclined people in our family so if it comes down to it then maybe they can lend a helping hand or two! I mean, it's a southern farm wedding afterall... I guess a big ol' BBQ would suffice!
Decor, florals and rentals: Since our wedding event is happening outside, we're really really praying for good weather. What if it rains? What if it's unusually cold in October? What if it's still blistering hot? Well, we're hoping for the best! We hope that the option exists to move the festivities inside the barn, but this barn is wayyyyy out in a field. Like, way out. (Cross your fingers for us!) But we like the idea of hay bales for seating (cliche, but I don't care!) and a lot of DIY/thrifted stuff. I'm really going to have to start pestering my friends to come over for craft nights soon to help! We're really really hoping that some family friends can lend us some hay bales, but if not, at least those shouldn't be too expensive. We got really lucky with the venue being free so let's hope that kind of help continues! We feel really really really fortunate to have so many kind people lend a helping hand or offer up their property/services. I guess it helps to have parents that people like! We plan on making our own floral arrangements (yikes!) and keeping them very very simple. We've found a few wholesale florists around town so we'll be headed their way soon! If the weather is crummy then we'll have to rethink our entire reception but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it! 

I plan on using any and all resources I can to find cheaper alternatives to things I'm after. I've been scouring resale sites, Craigslist, and flash sale sites in hopes of finding a big ticket item for less. I've been lucky enough to find some mismatched items on CL, and get some decor on Fab + Ideeli. Today Rue La La launched a 48 hour boutique sale featuring dresses from Badgley Mischka, Nicole Miller and Jenny Yoo. Here are a few of my favorites! (Some of these dresses are $99... and headpieces are $10! If you're planning a special event, check it out!)
20's inspired dresses: One // Two

70's inspired pieces: One // Two (Seriously considering both of these!)

Modern dresses: One // Two

What did you save/splurge on? (or what's your plan for your wedding day?)

Instant Replay

Sometimes I just have to pinch myself when I look around. I'm really really privileged to be able to work from home and spend my days constantly surrounded by all of this cute. Misbehaving kitties (our poor blinds!), cuddles galore, and a whole lot of sleepiness (read: snoring), I wouldn't trade it for the world. Maybe that's a bit silly, but sometimes it's nice to reflect on the little things. 

Today is for organizing our borderline-Hoarders-worthy house (It's not that bad! But 2 weeks worth of event prep has left it scattered and I'm not stoked on it) and to finish preparing this week's posts here on LCH. Hope your weekend was wonderful! 

PS; Got any organization tips/tricks/websites worth checking out? My office is now my studio, too, and there's just not enough space!

Featured Sponsor: Eager Beaver (+ Giveaway)

Okay, I'm just going to put it out there, I love Sara. I love her outlook, I love her site, I love her whole deal... it's good. What I love even more is that I get the opportunity to share inspiring ladies like Sara here on LCH. Remember Stephanie's post last week? So many rad gals to meet! Here's her story!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
Do you mind telling us a little bit about Eager Beaver and yourself? How did the idea for EB come about? 
I’m Sara Kinninmont, a writer, dreamer, adventurer, and, most importantly, an Eager Beaver. I created my website as a means of not only combining my loves, but in hopes of inspiring myself and others to Live Like You Give a Damn!
I started keeping a list of fun to-do's back in 2007. It wasn't until December of 2010 that I decided to create Eager Beaver. Once I had the name and the tag line, there was no denying that it had to happen.
Incidentally, the original list now has over 6000 things on it!

The sidebar of EB boldly states the "Top 5 things people wanna do"… all 5 of which I think would be awesome to experience. How do you come up with the ideas, or are they user-submitted?
I’m always fascinated by the Top 5s. It’s interesting when they differ from my own and when I see an item on there that I hadn’t expected so many people to connect with.  So far, all of the items on the list are ones that I’ve dreamed up, but I am always open to suggestions and would love to hear them. I try and make a concerted effort to cover a broad range of interests and geographic locations. The list is by no means only things I want to do. I certainly don’t ever see myself “wearing a Speedo with confidence.”

If you had to pick 3 things off your list that you're eager to get done as soon as possible, what would they be? 
I LOVE animals. An absolute must for me is to watch a baby elephant in the wild
Lately I’ve been dreaming of an epic cross-country road trip, preferably the US. I think it’s something that must be done at least once. 
And third, I want to eliminate “coulda, shoulda, woulda from my lexicon.” I’m not horribly prone to it. I believe things happen as they should and try not to worry too much, but there’s always room for improvement.  

What are some list items you've accomplished that you're most proud of?
In terms of physical bravery, the skeleton was amazing. I felt invincible afterwards. The CN Edgewalk was also great. It was strange because I had no butterflies. I just felt at peace up there. Anything that takes you out of your normal comfort zone expands the very definition you have of yourself. Whenever I feel doubtful about my ability to do something, I think about how I hurdled head first down an icy track going 96kms an hour. That normally puts things into perspective.  

What would you say inspires you on a daily basis? Any specific people, places or events?
In terms of ideas for the list, inspiration comes from paying attention and lots of reading: blogs, magazines, books etc.
Inspiration for Living Like You Give a Damn comes from my family, namely my parents. I was essentially raised to live this way. No matter how hair-brained the idea, my parents were supportive. Whether I wanted to take synchronized swimming lessons or lapidary classes, they were game, regardless of the fact that I very rarely showed an actually affinity or talent for any of it. They also stressed the need to try everything once food wise. If I didn’t like something I never had to have it again, but I had to try it once. Because of this, my favorite food when I was a child was escargot. I was never told they were gross therefore I never thought there were. 

You've been hard at your list for half a decade now… do you plan to keep adding and attaining as long as you possibly can?
I do. But not just for the sake of checking things off, but more so as a continuing journey of uncovering pieces of myself. I certainly don’t love everything I try and many of them are a one-time thing, but you also never know when that one thing you push yourself to try might be your new favorite thing. 

What is a typical day like in the life of Sara? Is there such a thing as "typical" day for you?
Right now things are a bit quieter than normal. I’m doing the research for a travel book I’m writing. A typical day involves lots and lots of reading and a visit to the library. Despite the seeming monotony of it, I get as excited about finding a nugget of information I want to share with other EagerBeavers as I do from bungee jumping. 

If you could build Eager Beaver into something even bigger than it already is, what would you do? How would you share the EB bravado with the world?
Ideally, I‘d love to reach as many people as I can with the list, not so much with the intention of making them want to do all of the things on it, but to make them think about living with intention. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut. Whether it’s always watching the same show, listening to the same music or eating the same food, we make choices daily out of habit. What about instead of subs for lunch you try that little Vietnamese place you always walk by and have a banh mi instead. Maybe just once watch a documentary instead of your latest HBO-obsession. It’s easy to do as you have always done, but trying something new can be deeply satisfying in ways you never could have imagined. 
I see EagerBeaver as a tool for inspiration. The book I’m working on will be an extension of that, full of ideas for things that will break you out of your comfort zone and hopefully have fun in the process. 

Okay, enough faddy duddy serious talk, let's get silly. What is the absolute most-ridiculous silliest-thing-ever item you've check off of your EB list? 
“Embracing entomophagy” – bug eating. I ate some salt ‘n vinegar flavored crickets. If you can get past what you are eating, they’re actually not bad. Eating weird things is never really an issue for me.
The difference between delicious and gross is really just a social construct. North Americans love cheese and cannot imagine living without it, but many cultures find it disgusting. Vice versa with bugs etc. 

How about the silliest/most ridiculous one you aspire to?
Maybe it’s a Canadian thing, but peeing my name in the snow. A girlfriend even bought me one of those pee funnels. For some reason, the idea of actually doing it is more nerve wracking than sky diving for me. 

If you could advise the Honeybees in anyway, about how to make goals and attain them, what would you tell them to do?
Doing things out of habit can sometimes mask fear of the unknown. It seems safe because we know what to expect from them, but that safety is an illusion. Remember that everything you now do regularly and likely take for granted, like riding a bike or sending an email, was once brand new to you. You had to move out of your comfort zone to do it. It’s not about doing things “before you die” but making the most of your life in the moment. For me, having live too little and not having take advantage of life’s abundance is far more frightening than death. 
Go out and Live Like You Give a Damn!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
Okay, so are you inspired yet?! Just reading what Sara has to say about Eager Beaver (and living with intention, in general) is just so seriously awesome. Seeing things like this really make me want to get out and do something rad... something that I may not have otherwise done.  (But probably not pee my name in the snow... I don't know... maybe.)

Now Sara wants to help motivate you to really live out your dreams (both big and small!) by offering up one lucky winner an amazing Kate Spade passport cover! Travel the world, see the sights, and check things off of your list! 

In order to be entered to win, just pop on over to the Eager Beaver and sign up for her site! It's a simple, painless process and it'll put you among hundreds of other individuals seeking out adventure in life! Please leave a comment below after you've signed up and let us know what you'd like to check off of your list!

For extra entries, please do the following and leave a separate comment below for each!

You've got a total of three chances to win! A winner will be drawn at random next week and contacted shortly thereafter. Now let's hear about things on your list! Good luck! xo