5 Things to do This Valentine’s Besides Going to a Restaurant

non traditional valentine's day date ideas

Every Valentine’s Day David and I wonder what we should do. Do we go out to eat and blow a lot of money on the pre-selected Valentine’s Dinner menu (which is always super expensive!) or do we stay in and pretend that there aren’t pink and red hearts everywhere? Decisions, decisions. While I still have no idea what we’ll be doing this year, I do have a few non-traditional Valentine’s Date ideas for you!

Go spend an evening with elderly

Have you ever seen an older man or woman sitting alone at a restaurant? I remember a story going viral of a man who was in a restaurant booth eating dinner next to a picture of his late wife. *Tears*. How sad! If you’re struggling to find something to do, visit a nursing or veteran’s home. Sit and chat with people, hear their incredible stories, and make their day brighter.

Go take care of animals

Ugh I can’t stand to see a sad animal! Even a bird! Take some time Valentine’s Day to volunteer at a shelter with your significant other and feed, cuddle, and love on some precious critters. They need to feel the love too!

Cook a meal together

Last Valentine’s Day, David cooked fettuccine Alfredo- the dish he made for our first date. I just love that man. It was nice to just share a meal and relax. Team up with your love and make a few dishes together! Settle in with a movie and enjoy each other’s company.

Go wine tasting

Yes, I know its February and cold. While vineyards may not be open, wineries sometimes are! When David and I lived in Kansas City, we were monthly members of Coopers Hawk Winery. Every month we’d get sent two bottle of wine and could go into their tasting room and do a wine tasting. It was always so much fun and learned a lot about how wine is made, where it comes from etc.

Spend the evening planning for the future

I love dreaming about the future with David. Sometimes when its warm outside, we sit on our back patio and just talk about things we want to do, what our plans are, and just enjoy each other’s company. Its so simple, but so great to do together!

Kate Spade New Arrivals!

Do you notice anything different about the blog today? Perhaps that it has a new name? That’s right! I’ve renamed this little blog of mine to “Witty N Pretty” and I couldn’t be happier. I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to start changing some things and I woke up today and decided I needed to make things happen. I was kind of nervous to do this but once I committed to the name and bought the domain name, I knew I had done the right thing. You’ll now find all of my posts on wittynpretty.com and my instagram account is @wittynpretty21!

On to the main event here, I was browsing Kate Spade’s website earlier and am thrilled by all the new arrivals! I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you. Before I do, I’m wondering if any of you have noticed her new collection called ‘Madison Chaplin’ costs significantly more than her other collections? The tote bag I was looking at cost $1,198! Truthfully, I’m not sure what makes this collection better than the others but if you know, enlighten me!

Ok, how adorable is that ‘Mrs’ tote bag? I just love it! I’m totally jealous that I’m not at least engaged so I can buy that thing! Then again, if I were engaged at this point in my life, I would be too poor to buy it. The same goes for the ‘Cedar Street’ bag next to it, which looks an awful lot like a Celine purse. Coincidence? I think not.

My love of bows knows no boundaries. I really like this silk blouse for the office! The colorful stud earrings would brighten it up nicely. I think the best outfits have a neutral base but colorful accessories!

The last few things on my lust list for Kate Spade new arrivals are self-explanatory. Passport holder, need I say more? These sunglasses though, are perfect for my very round face. I hate “bug eye” sunnies and typically opt for glasses with some angles to them.

What are your favorite new arrivals?


10 Tips For Saying Yes To The Dress From a Bridal Consultant

Happy Sunday! Alex from Ali Chat blog is writing today about finding the perfect gown for those of us who are engaged! If you have any tips or fun experiences be sure to leave a comment and go check out Alex’s blog!
First day on the job!

This is for all the other “Future Mrs.” out there.. I am extremely excited to share this post with all of you today!

If you have read my previous post on my blog, you will know that I just purchased my wedding gown (!!!). Now, being a bride, I know how stressful this can be. I was up many nights contemplating the pros and the cons of each and trying to wrap my head around which one was the one until I finally made my decision. So I know from personal experience what it’s like standing on the platform in front of all your family as you try to choose a gown that you will become a wife in.

But I feel that this list of tips might actually be a little more helpful than most because I managed a bridal salon for quite some time. I know the ins and outs of bridal gown shopping, not only as a bride, but also as one who sold them.

1. Know your budget

First and for most, you should know how much you are willing to spend on your gown. This is extremely important because if you go in without a budget chances are your consultant will grab higher priced dresses, and you

When I found my gown!

will leave disappointed. When you say your budget is a certain number, bridal consultants brains translate this to “find me a dress in the ballpark range of this number”. Now, as all of us brides know, we have a budget and we have to stick to it. So if you really can only spend $1200, tell them your budget is $1000.

2. Haggle 
Buying a wedding gown is a lot like buying a car, it sounds silly but its true (wait until you sign your life away on a gown contract). What a lot of brides don’t know is that the gowns are priced as such and haggling is part of the game. You should always ask for a sale, (I know that at Alfred Angelo, managers are told that sale prices are valid two weeks before and two weeks after the actual sale run dates), and then ask if there is anyway they could get that number lower to be more within your budget. Chances are they can.

3. Don’t bring your entire family

Myself and staff with Jason the designer!

I know this one can be hard, but believe me it is so much better for you and it makes your bridal consultants job 100x easier. The last thing you need is 20 different people blabbering on and on about their opinions of a dress that you may or may not like. At the end of the day it is only your opinion that matters, and your consultant will do her very best to find what fits your wants and needs. Her job can become cumbersome, however, when your aunt/grandma/sister-in-law are badgering her about a gown that they think you just have to try on. Less is more in this instance, and you will be less stressed at the end of the day, and so will your stylist.

4. The 8 month rule
This is the very latest that you should be ordering your gown. Most wedding gowns are made to order (yes, even at chains like Alfred Angelo and David’s Bridal), and for this reason they take quite a while to arrive. You also have to think about shipping time; even though your dress may only take 10 weeks to be made, it will probably still take an additional two weeks for shipping. Chances are your dress will not be made stateside and so it’s a possibility that it could get hung up at customs as well. Other factors like weather and Chinese new year (China practically shuts down for an entire month) can also hinder your dress from making a swift arrival. Eight months allows plenty of time for the dress to arrive, be inspected and repaired if needed, and then altered to fit perfect for your day!

5. Sizing
There are a few tips I have for sizing: 1) Understand that if you wear a size 2 regularly, there is a possibility that you

Bridal sizing? More like flowergirl size…

will be ordering a size 8 or 10 in bridal (I’m a 0 and I’m a 4 or 6 in bridal). 2) Measurements are a must to decide which size to order. Every designer is different and some run in european sizes.

6. Let your stylist choose dresses for you
Your stylist is trained to do just that: style you for your wedding day. They know the ins and the outs of dresses, and what looks good on every body type. Chances are, your stylist will find the dress of your dreams because that is her job 🙂

7. Verbal feedback
Tell your stylist what you do and don’t like about every gown. Verbalizing the certain aspects that you like about each gown will help your stylist choose gowns that you will like. And don’t ever feel like you are going to hurt her feelings by telling her that you don’t like a dress. She didn’t make it and all she wants is to please you. So by telling her you don’t like a certain gown, you are actually giving her a leg up on finding the gown you will like.

8. Top 3
When trying on gowns, rate each one on a scale of 1-10, 10 being I’m saying yes to the dress! Keep your top three in the room at all times, and once one is knocked to third place, take it out of the room. At the end of your appointment, ask to try those three back on but with accessories. Visualize and verbalize, until you find one that is your 10.

9. Not everyone cries

Business professional 😉

Shows like Say Yes To The Dress and other media has it burned into our minds that in order for it to be your gown, you have to cry. This is not the case. I’d say that over the course of working in the bridal industry about 40% cry when they find the gown. Also, just because you cry in a gown doesn’t mean it’s the one either. You could be crying for X amount of reasons: You finally realized that your getting married, your mom teared up when you put on a veil, the dress is so tight you can’t breathe. Don’t let sappy emotions and the thought of having that feeling stop you from getting a dress that you love. Not everyone cries, and that’s okay. All that matters is that you love it.

10. Have fun, and try as many on as you want
You only get to do this once, so make the most of it! Let’s all be honest, being pampered and playing dress up all day is every girl’s dream. So when it’s finally your time to try on wedding gowns make it last! Have fun, girlfriend! Try on as many as you want, and if you’ve found the one and you want to try on more, do it! Once you find THE one, all others will pale in comparison.

Go out there and have fun, Brides! It’s your day and your time! Go find a dress that makes you feel as beautiful as your fiancé does. You didn’t have to sleep on it before you said yes to their proposal, so why should you with your dress?



Weddings, Engagements, and Kids… Oh My!

The time has come in most of our young lives where seeing people get engaged and going to their weddingsPlanning_a_wedding isn’t just a nice celebration, its starting to become a norm. This ‘special time’ in our lives revolves not so much around the events themselves but more so around the pressure and internal sighs of seeing a new engagement or wedding and God forbid I say ‘baby’ announcement. For the people who are starting out on this new adventure in life this really is a special time for them and we send our congratulations. No really we do (or at least I do). To the rest of us, we’re having our own special time in this crazy new chapter of life.

Lord help any of us who have been dating someone for over a year because inevitably someone will ask when we’ll get engaged or if he or she is the ‘one’. Believe it or not, it usually takes longer than a year before we can be sure. So relax, just chill like we do.

I can’t get on Facebook or Instagram without a new engagement The_great_gatsbyannouncement or bridal portrait on my newsfeed. By all means friends, I’m glad your lives are happy and you have something to celebrate! However, the rest of us who aren’t quite there yet feel a little, how do I put it, bewildered? It was only a few years ago that we either started college or graduated college and now our beloved friends, roommates, and old pals are growing up so to speak. We’re left wondering where the time went and what the heck has gotten into these people? Just a few years ago we were talking about how we wanted to be young forever and live our 20s like it was an on-going party. Way to jump ship guys.

Nights out on the town with our group of friends are starting to dwindle in numbers between the frequency of nights and the amount of friends. Sooner or later these events will ultimately be replaced by dinner with the in-laws and date night with fiance/spouse. Both can be enjoyable events but sometimes there’s nothing like hanging out with your buddies.

Suddenly our friends are moving out of their coveted lofts/apartments and are thrilled with their new 3 bedroom house in suburbia. The two-door sporty cars they used to drive have been traded in for a four-door something. Our mail boxes are flooded with save-the-dates, we’re expecting announcements, and wedding invites that just don’t seem to stop coming. I literally have a fund set up for these sorts of announcements because its only appropriate to at least send a card.

Laying_by_the_poolThis special time in our lives has become a contemplative period where we just sit and wonder what’s going on and when will everything go back to normal? I’m slowly figuring out that it never will go back to ‘normal.’ Our youthful existence is slowly fading and we, or some of us, are becoming adults. This transition time is difficult and truthfully I don’t know how I’ll handle it. But for now I’m going to sit back in my lawn chair by the pool, sip my pina colada, and flip through Vogue. Why? Because today I still can!

P.S. I’m not jealous, bitter, or hater of love. I’m only a little lost and confused.