Father’s Day Gift Guide

Ties, shirts, and photo gifts may be okay gifts, but they’re severely overdone and predictable for Father’s Day.

This is your dad we’re talking about- the guy who rocked you to sleep when you were screaming your head off as a baby; the guy who taught you to throw a ball, fire up a mean grill, and stand up for yourself.

This is the man who taught you all about respect, the importance of following through your commitments, and how to tell the best piece of steak to leave for your last bite.

He protected you from thunderstorms, bullies, and secretly from your mom when you got in trouble.

This is your dad – stronger and tougher than anyone else’s dad – so think outside the tie with this dad-approved gift guide. From intellectual and sporty to the man who has it all, you’ll be sure to find a gift idea for your budget.

The #1 Thing to Ignore on Invitations

You sort through the mail, just like every day – bill, bill, junk, credit card application, bill, junk, hand-written letter. Oooh, now we’re talking! You excitedly open your letter to find an invitation and you do one of three things:

1. Check your calendar and realize you’re free;

2. Check your calendar, realize you’re free, but you do not want to go;

3. Check your calendar and realize you have a conflict.

From personal experience and from the experience of my family and friends, I have noticed a bothersome trend with party invitations. Whether it’s for a wedding, birthday party, engagement celebration, shower, or anything in between, what always happens in the weeks leading up to the main event? As a hostess, you’re stuck with a long list of no replies that you have to awkwardly hunt down. That’s why the number one thing you should ignore on invitations is the RSVP date.

How to Coordinate Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

When I got married in 2013, I had never been to a wedding with mismatched bridesmaid dresses but knew it was something I wanted for my special day and my special girls. All of my bridesmaids were very different, each with her unique style, taste, and personality, and I wanted their dresses to reflect that.

I believe the mismatched bridesmaid look is not merely a passing fad; I believe it’s here to stay, and for good reason. Mismatched gowns not only give your bridesmaids options of dresses that truly suit their style and body type, but they also add a unique and romantic element to your wedding. In fact, I think this will become the new tradition – it just makes sense, doesn’t it, to have your girls wear something that perfectly suits them that they love?

Choosing different bridesmaid gowns may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow my simple guidelines for how to coordinate your mismatched bridesmaid dresses to start putting together your own aesthetic in a cohesive, beautiful way.

Our Romantic Lake Wedding

When I look back at my wedding pictures and watch our wedding video, the happiness and energy from our guests is palpable. When guests still comment years later that ours was a standout event, it warms my heart. I can undoubtedly say that my whole wedding process- from planning to closing the venue out- was 100% enjoyable and memorable.

The day before the wedding, my sister and I were getting our nails done- she wanted to remind me that I was, in fact, getting married tomorrow. She felt she had to remind me because I was so calm, happy, and collected, without a care or stress in the world. I had everything going for me and all the love and support from my family and friends that made my engagement so exciting and my wedding so overwhelmingly magical.

Even as I was getting my hair done on my wedding day, I knew it was a special day and I knew I was a key player in that day, but it just felt so easy and normal, despite all the fuss. Little did I know that every detail of our romantic lake wedding would truly go just as planned.

My Unremarkable Last Nursing Story

When I started thinking about weaning my daughter, I would read women’s last nursing stories and sob. I’m not an incredibly emotional person, but Ginny and breastfeeding really changed me, and the thought of ending something so special hurt my heart. I loved nursing – I felt pride in nourishing my baby from my own body. I cherished the comfort and peace I brought her in our special snuggle sessions. I loved every stage of our nursing relationship, from the eager sloppy slurps of a newborn to the casual gulps of snacking toddler.

I always thought I would nurse until one year, and then when Ginny’s birthday came, I knew we weren’t ready. I decided to take it day by day instead of setting a deadline for us. Because of some health reasons, I decided to start weaning at 14 months and was completely finished by 15 months.

How to Date Your Spouse

My husband and I have been together for 9 years and married for 3. I remember at some point in our relationship a few years into dating, my mom gave me advice. While it was great that we were so comfortable together and in our routine that we would have the time of our lives staying in and watching Netflix all weekend, why didn’t we get out of the house and do something different? Why didn’t I get out of my sweats and get my butt off the couch? Great advice, mom!

Then after I had my daughter, I never wanted to leave the house for many reasons: I wasn’t feeling confident in myself so I didn’t want other people to see me; my hormones and maternal instincts made it difficult for me to leave my precious babe; and I was just tired. But luckily with the encouragement of my mom and husband, we got back into the dating routine again. After only a few months off of our dating game, I quickly realized the importance of us dating each other and how that was an integral part of our thriving relationship. I’ll share with you some tips on how to date your spouse based on what has worked for me.