Giveaway: Luxury, Organic Hair Oil Treatment from Kumari Luxury

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Today we are featuring a new, local Washington DC small business that just recently launched to bring natural, organic hair, bath, and beauty products to the marketplace AND take on the one-dimensional (and often unhealthy) view of women and beauty in society. Whoa – can we say powerhouse lady business CEO?! Meet Aarti, the founder and owner of the brandy new Kumari Luxury.

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Aarti shares, “You can see from our blog, that Kumari Luxury is about a happy, playful and peaceful way of life. I’m hoping that we can start sponsoring some discussion/Q&A type events in DC to start forming a dialogue about modern femininity, which I’ll definitely keep you posted about. Additionally, being a typically ambitious Washingtonian, I feel like life can can hectic before you even realize it. The products I’m designing are meant to be mini-retreats from our crazy lifestyles; a reminder to unplug and relax every so often.”

Pretty darn awesome, right? So now, to help Aarti celebrate the launch of her new business, she is giving away a bottle of their debut product, an organic hair oil treatment, to one lucky reader! The treatment would be a great way to get your hair looking super healthy before your wedding day.

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About the hair oil: basically, it’s a deep conditioning treatment made entirely of natural, food-grade ingredients and it’s 95% organic. The formula, which includes organic coconut oil and organ Argan oil, actually penetrates the hair shaft and nourishes the scalp resulting in healthier, shinier hair.

So get entering (using our easy Rafflecopter widget below) and extra chances for sharing the giveaway on Twitter! Enter by Sunday evening, October 12th and we’ll announce the winner in a week! Also, Aarti is running a campaign to raise some money to fund her new business, so feel free to find out more about her campaign (and donate!) here.

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Emily & Tim’s Yellow & Purple, Super Fun Artisphere Wedding

One part simple country club ceremony, another part art gallery reception with a theme of FUN! Emily & Tim rocked their wedding with bright purple and yellow colors, Monsters Inc details, and a rockin’ dance floor (with some seriously amazing dance floor shots). Thanks to The Girl Tyler for submitting today’s real Virginia wedding.

Emily & Tim’s Yellow & Purple, Super Fun Virginia Wedding at Artisphere

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Vendors:

Photographer:  The Girl Tyler | Ceremony Venue: Army Navy Country Club | Hair Stylist: Hair Gallery | Caterer: Spilled Milk catering | Groomsmen Shaving: The Art of Shaving | Reception Location: Artisphere Submitted via Two Bright Lights

We chose purple and yellow for two reasons: It’s the Fraternity colors of the Coed Honor Fraternity, Phi Sigma Pi, that we met in (I married my brother……lol). It also happens to be the colors of James Madison University which I was willing overlook seeing as I’m a Wahoo :-) I originally chose multiple colors (think the Skittles rainbow), but with Tim’s input we together decided that purple/yellow best represented us.

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My cousin, Marisa, was my make-up artist. She texted me the day of the wedding saying “should we tell everyone?” When she was like, “what isn’t Chris [her husband] responding!” she realized she texted the wrong person. She then told all of us that she was pregnant which was fabulous news because she had been trying for a little while and we were all soooo happy for her.

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My boss at the time, Carla, and coworker Holly were our “florists” They put together all the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnières and stayed up into the wee hours of Saturday morning to ensure everything was fresh and on time.

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Click inside for so much more of this awesome, FUN Virginia wedding!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make Paper Strawberry Terrarium Centerpieces

We love paper flowers as much as the next person, but today’s DIY tutorial from Ribbons & Bluebirds is something extra special and cool to do with paper – paper strawberries!! Jenn shares, “Well, summer is officially over – but that doesn’t mean you can’t have strawberries all year long!  I have been enjoying all kinds of paper flowers recently, but I wanted to think of something that was unique and summery and came up with the idea for these cloche terrariums.” Excited yet?

How to Make a DIY Paper Strawberry Terrarium Centerpiece

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Materials you will need:

  • Tissue paper in white, yellow, strawberry red, and pale green
  • Lime green crepe paper (or tissue)
  • Green cardstock
  • Wire
  • Modge Podge gloss sealer
  • White and brown/gold acrylic paint
  • Florist tape
  • Hot glue gun
  • X-acto knife
  • Scissors
  • A cloche or upside-down vase for presentation.
  • Template for leaves and petals, printed on cardstock, found here.

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Bear with us because this is a long one, but none of the individual pieces are difficult!

*Tips for working with floral tape* – Floral tape is only sticky once stretched – you will want to pre-stretch the beginning of each tape segment to get it to stick right away.  The rest of each piece should be held tightly and stretched as you wrap, to maximize stickiness on the wire and minimize glue on your fingers.

For the strawberry blossoms:

Step 1: Begin by cutting out your cardstock template. For the blossoms, you will need the petal template and the “star”.

 

Step 2: Cut a 1” wide strip of white tissue paper with 4 layers, at least 5” long.  Cut this strip into 5 1” squares (each 4 layers of tissue).  Hold one stack firmly with your thumb, lay the petal template on top, and cut out the petal shape with scissors.  I find that the x-acto knife tends to drag and tear the tissue, so scissors will work better here. Continue to hold the stack firmly as you rotate to cut the petal – this will help stop the tissue layers from shifting.

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Step 3:  Once you have your petal cut out, continue to hold firmly with your thumb towards the “stem” of the petal.  Using your other hand, twist the stem of the petal while using your thumb to encourage the tissue to crease into a cup shape – the twisted base will keep the layers of tissue in place without separating.  Repeat 4 times, for 5 petals total.

 

Step 4:  Trace the star template onto green cardstock, and cut out using your x-acto.  In the center of the star, cut lines in the form of an asterisk ( * ) symbol – this will help you slide the stem through the leaf and petals.

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Step 5: Now begin to assemble the flower, starting with the bud center.  Cut a 2” strip, single ply, of yellow tissue at least 6” long.  Cut off two 1.5” lengths, and leaving a longer piece about 3.” Cut this longer piece into a fringe using scissors (or special fringing scissors, if you have them.)  Take the two 1.5×2” pieces, and crumple one into a flat ball.  Take a piece of wire and press the ball onto the wire, and then wrap the second rectangle of tissue around the ball and wrap with floral tape to secure.  Then, take the fringed piece and wrap it around the base of the ball, fringed edge out, to create a halo of fringe around the ball center.  Wrap this with floral tape also, and trim the fringe to approximately ¼”.

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Click inside for the rest of our DIY Paper Strawberry Terrarium Centerpiece tutorial from Ribbons & Bluebirds!

Julice & Steve’s DIY, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

Thrift store finds, DIY bouquets from herbs, pops of orange, and dreamy photography courtesy of An Endless Pursuit. What more could I ask for in a gorgeous real Maryland wedding submission?! (Answer: nothing). Julice & Steve poured their hearts and souls into their wedding and the end result is so beautiful. I know you guys are going to love this one.

Julice & Steve’s Natural, Picnic Themed Woodlawn Manor Wedding in Maryland

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Vendors:

Photographer: An Endless Pursuit | Venue: Woodlawn Manor | Catering: Stone Soup Catering | Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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My main goal was shooting for a picnic type feel. Very casual and let nature just do its thing as far as visual aesthetics, and decorations went. I relied heavily on the trees, gardens, fences, little shacks, and the grass area from our venue.

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I chose herbs and such as our bouquets and cake decorations because I didn’t want to hire a florist and pay $3,000-5,000, even 10,000 on flowers! Therefore I opted to make my own bouquets and boutonnieres, herbs were the most affordable, easy to work with, could withstand a few days after we had assembled them.

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The reason I chose blue plaid table runners is because my favorite artist Degas used a lot of blues and orange complimentary colors, which is why I chose orange flowers.

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Click inside for the rest of Julice & Steve’s adorable, picnic themed, Woodlawn Manor wedding in Maryland!

A Fashion Forward, Modern Washington DC Wedding Styled Shoot

A little “fashion forward” wedding inspiration from you today from one FABULOUS team of DC wedding vendors! Alison Harper & Company teamed up to bring you the STYLE with a super edgey and modern bride & groom fashion shoot. Happy Friday and hope you all have a GREAT WEEKEND (Go Penn State!!).

A Fashion Forward, Modern Washington DC Wedding Styled Bride & Groom

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Vendors:
Venue: Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. | Photographer: Michelle Lindsay Photography | Suits: Christopher Schaffer Clothier | Dress: Fabulous Frocks of Alexandria | Florals: Studio DBI | Hair & Makeup: Alison Harper & Company | Garter: The Garter Girl | Head Piece: Katie Burley Millinery | Lighting: Yours Truly Lighting & Decor

From Alison Harper & Co:

We wanted to style the couple in a little more of a modern and editorial style. We wanted to see an over the top dress and a very dapper groom. We were lucky enough to have access to the beautiful corcoran gallery of art. They allowed us to shoot Emily and George in the stunning room, I refer to as the Marie Antoinette room. This gold gilded room was rarely open to photography and only intimate wedding events. Emily was stunning and she and George hammed it up for us. They were great to work with. Emily even said she’d have to get a dress this stunning for her own wedding with George when they are ready!

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I mean. Stunning right? Now GO OUTSIDE and enjoy this GORGEOUS weather.

Kelsey & Peter’s Crafty Virginia Wedding at the Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Kelsey and Peter are a super fun and thoughtful couple. They wanted to strike a balance between DIY and not-DIY, both to help keep the budget down and because the bride is fabulously crafty. Their wedding was very simple and classic with a couple of cute or silly twists (e.g., the placemats).  Kelsey spent weeks printing invitations (her father is a celtic-knot artwork guru and helped with the design), spray-painting various objects (she is now going through spray-painting withdrawals), and creating gifts (the bridesmaids’ robes were all handmade, for example). Kelsey spent the morning of the wedding finishing the table numbers, and keeping busy definitely helped keep her calm and happy. Thanks to Jenna M Miller Photography for sharing!

Kelsey & Peter’s Crafty Virginia Wedding at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

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Vendors:

Photographer: Jenna M Miller Photography | Venue: The Atrium at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens | Catering: Great Blue Heron Catering | Cake: Edibles Incredible | Bride’s Dress: Nouvelle Amsale  | Bridesmaids Dresses: eShakti  | Hairstylist: Erika Bergsagel | Makeup: Sherri Crane | Florist: Karin’s Florist | DJ: Kirkabee Deejays 

 I also made the robes for the bridesmaids, that was a biggie. I wanted them to have something special to let them know how much it meant to me that they were there, and to have something cute but also practical to wear day-of for hair and makeup, so I went out and bought the softest fabric I could find in different colors (they each needed their own, of course, carefully selected to flatter each individual) and made their robes. Thankfully I had a lot of snow days last school year or I don’t know that they all would have been done in time!

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My dad creates, studies, and teaches classes on celtic knotwork, so we asked him to design a knot for us for our invitations. He then worked with us to create the knotwork that became the borders on the invitation. Really lovely. My pearls were gifted to me by Peter over time- earrings for Christmas, bracelet for Valentine’s, necklace for my birthday- with the intention of wearing them to our eventual wedding.

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The colors: Honestly, one day at the beginning of planning I was thinking about colors for the wedding and I looked down at my outfit and was like “huh, light blue, dark blue, and orchid look good together.” Then I looked at my white kitchen table and saw my light blue placemat next to my orchid placemat with my dark blue dishes and that was it. Lightbulb moment.

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Dress: I had to find a dress that was classic, clean lines, pretty details, AND it had to look good with pearls. back when we had been dating for a year or so, Peter had given me a set of pearl jewelry in stages: earrings for Christmas, bracelet for Valentine’s Day, necklace for my birthday. He asked one of my friends for help choosing the set and confessed that he hoped the next piece of jewelry he would give me would be an engagement ring (and that he was hoping I would wear them on our wedding day). My mom, who went with me to all of the dress shops, had only one rule about the dress: it had to be made out of “good fabric.” I found the one at Nordstrom Wedding Suite in Tyson’s Corner. It was down to two dresses, both of which fit the bill, so I brought a team of friends with me to help me make the decision. I came out in one and they all smiled and said “that dress is BEAUTIFUL.” I came out in the other – the Nouvelle Amsale gown I ended up with – and they all started crying. That was the response I was looking for.

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Click inside for more pictures and details from this beautiful Virginia wedding!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make DIY Fance Notecards with Erasers

It’s Wednesday! You know what that means – a super duper awesome rad DIY tutorial from the ever-amazing Ribbons & Bluebirds! Today Jenn is sharing some DIY goodness on how to fancy up your postcards, notecards, and envelopes by just using an eraser!! This would be a perfect DIY to gussy up your thank-you notes, your RSVP cards, or maybe even your escort cards. Really – the possibilities are endless! Take it away Jenn!

I love stamping as a great easy way to add embellishment to paper goods, but I don’t love that you have to actually buy a separate stamp for every design you might want. Enter the simple eraser stamp – finally those #2 pencils from your grade school days are useful again! Obviously this technique won’t work for more intricate (or large) designs, but it is so simple to grab a pencil and start stamping!

DIY Tutorial: How to Make Fancy Notecards with an Eraser Stamp ~ with step by step instructions!

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Photography & Tutorial by Ribbons & Bluebirds

You will need:

  • A pencil with rubber eraser (yes, a mechanical pencil would work!)
  • Stamping ink pad
  • Blank notecards
  • Embossing powder and embossing heat tool (optional)
  • Pen for your message

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Step by Step Instructions:

Step 1: I chose a gold ink pad because I knew I wanted to use a gold embossing powder detail, but any colour will work! Press your pencil eraser into the ink pad – it may take a few dabs to get the whole top evenly covered. Then press onto your notecard, and voila! It is really that easy. Add stamped dots to the notecard in whatever pattern you like.

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Step 2: To make the dot design I am showing, start in the corners with a few dots close together. As you grow the pattern outward from the corner, space your dots further apart to give a gradient look. Optional: to add extra emphasis and embellishment to the corners, sprinkle embossing powder over the corner dots within 20 seconds or so after stamping them. Tap excess powder off, and emboss using your heat tool.

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Step 3: After your stamped design is dry, you can write a message on the front to complete your design, or leave it blank for multi-purpose use!

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*BONUS TIP!!* You can also use an x-acto knife to create shaped designs in your eraser, like little hearts or stars. To create a shape, use a fine-tip marker to draw your desired shape onto the eraser. Then carefully cut away around it from the top down, then again around the edges to remove the excess eraser. Be careful using the x-acto so close to your fingers!

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Don’t forget, a pretty envelope gets your recipient extra excited about your message :)

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How EASY but AWESOME right?! I could totally see someone doing this for an awesome escort display or to fancy up their RSVP cards for sure! Thanks again to the awesome Jenn of Ribbons & Bluebirds for sharing today’s super rad DIY wedding tutorial! Let us know if you end up using our tutorial ~ we’d love to see your end results!

Sarah & Riley’s Gorgeous Cherry Blossom Engagement Pictures in DC

Tomorrow might be the first official day of Fall but that doesn’t mean we can’t have gorgeous DC Cherry Blossom engagement pictures. Right?! Kicking off the week with a little gorgeousness from Porter Watkins Photography. Happy Monday all.

Riley & Sarah’s Gorgeous Washington DC Cherry Blossom Engagement Pictures

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Photography: Porter Watkins Photography

I love their short and sweet love story:

Riley and I met during our time at James Madison University. He was this gregarious, tidal wave of energy, and we hit it off instantly, never expecting to fall in love.

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Click inside for the rest of the beautiful engagement pictures AND the amazing proposal story in Iceland!

Caitlin & Susie’s Super DIY Literary Themed Wedding in Maryland

Words can’t really describe the feelings I get when I remember Caitlin & Susie’s wedding day this past May. I had the absolute honor of getting to be a part of their big day (as their coordinator) and I knew from the minute I met them, I wanted to be a part of their love, their relationship, and of course, their wedding day. And boy, was I right – their super DIY, complete labor of love, wedding day was something so so special. I have never seen so many family and friends that were so open, so welcoming, and so full of love. I was welcomed in by their families and friends, as if I had been a long-time family friend all along.

This wedding day was so full of happy tears, smiles, hugs, and absolute, blissful joy. I am so happy I got a chance to meet these two wonderful women and share in their special day. A warning ahead of time, this one is PICTURE HEAVY people. It’s nearly impossible to chose between all the gorgeous images Sarah Gormley Photography sent me!!!

 Caitlin & Susie’s Ultimate DIY, Literary Themed Wedding in Maryland

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Vendors:

Photographer: Sarah Gormley | Wedding Coordination: Me ~ Capitol Romance  Venue: Episcopal Church of the Ascension | Susie’s Dress: Wendy’s Cincinnati Bride | Caitlin’s Dress: Fabulous Bridal | Susie’s Shoes: Custom Designed Chuck Taylors | Caitlin’s Shoes: TOMS Wedding Wedges | Hair: Marlow Prado-Blankenship | Flowers: Eight Street | Cake and Cupcakes: Sweets By E | Invitations: Type Case Industries | Hairpieces: Etsy | Flower Girls’ Kissing Ball: Etsy | Decorations: DIY | Catering: DIYed (seriously …. by Susie!!) | Cake Topper: Etsy |

Cait & Susie’s wedding was also featured on A Practical Wedding!

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 We had a really wonderful vintage-spring-literary-fun wedding. Suz and I both really wanted a wedding that reflected us, both as individuals and as a couple. We are pretty different (opposites attract, yes!) but one thing we definitely have in common is our ridiculous love of books. Suz is an especially large fan of Jane Austen’s writing and I will pretty much read whatever you place in front of me, so when it came time to pick a trend for our wedding, books were an easy choice. The best part was having an excuse to track down every library-estate-book sale this side of the Chesapeake! We both really loved combing through stacks of dusty, old books and giggling at some of the titles. It was a wedding chore that wasn’t so much a chore, as it was an excuse for a fun date with my lovely wife-to-be.

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Colors were an easy choice; Susie loves anything bright and vibrant so she went with orange. Turquoise is my favorite and a perfect complement to orange so bam, easy choice. We decided not to be too strict with our color palette so you’ll see many different interpretations of turquoise and orange in our wedding pictures.

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Click inside for SO MUCH MORE of Caitlin & Susie’s Super DIY Wedding! Including all the gorgeous book page details and literary themed items!

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