How To Style Your New Ankle Boots

IMAGE SOURCE: ALDO SHOES

IMAGE SOURCE: ALDO SHOES

Transitioning from winter fashion to springtime looks can be tricky, especially if there’s still a little snow on the ground. It’s still a bit cold and it’s definitely too early for sandals, but it’s beyond time to retire the boots - what’s even left to pair with that adorable pair of ripped jeans you just picked up? We love an adorable pair of suede ankle booties, especially paired with some distressed denim! Today's pick are these cuties from ALDO.

The best part about ankle booties is how versatile they are. Whether you’re looking to pair a comfy pair of shoes with something a bit fancier or you’re trying to amp up a more casual outfit, they make a great addition to any look! They aren’t big and bulky like a pair of riding boots, so they can look cute and dainty while still keeping you warm.


KEEP IT CASUAL

IMAGE SOURCE: Express

IMAGE SOURCE: Express

For a little touch of spring, grab some cropped jeans to pair with your new ankle booties, like this pair from Express. The dark wash denim is the perfect compliment to these suede booties, and the trendy distressing on the bottom is sure to draw more attention down to your new shoes! If you don’t want to buy a new pair of jeans, just remember the number one rule when it comes to rocking ankle booties: make sure your ankles are at least a little bit exposed, so be sure to cuff your jeans!

 
IMAGE SOURCE: ASOS

IMAGE SOURCE: ASOS

Pair the look with a more casual, understated top since the jeans and shoes do most of the talking with this look. A simple white v-neck would look great for a casual lunch day out with the girls, but you can add a little more texture with a top paired with a colorful cardigan for a flirty springtime look!


DRESS IT UP

IMAGE SOURCE: LULUS

IMAGE SOURCE: LULUS

Heels can be a girl’s worst nightmare, so if you’re dressing up for a March wedding, opt for booties instead! A heeled bootie still gives you height and makes your legs look longer and slimmer, but they’re much more comfortable than any stiletto heel out there, so you can dance the night away without ditching your shoes! These ankle booties would pair really well with a floral print dress, romper, or jumpsuit. We love the idea of going with a romper like this one from Lulu's for a spring wedding. That way, you’ll be comfortable all around, and you’ll still look fantastic!

 
IMAGE SOURCE: NANA MACS

IMAGE SOURCE: NANA MACS

The floral pattern in this romper works really well with the tan shade of these booties, but if you’re feeling extra adventurous, grab a colorful blush pink pair for a bigger statement. Gold accessories would really complete the look, too. Throw on some gold hoops and rock a textured up do to really show off the open back of the romper, and you’re ready!


How To Expertly Style Your Blazer

IMAGE SOURCE: LULU'S

IMAGE SOURCE: LULU'S

Spring 2018 is all about reclaiming and reviving old trends, and one of our favorite ones so far is rocking a new blazer in a fresh fashion! This piece from Lulu’s is the perfect addition to any closet because it’s trendy, timeless, and versatile. Whether you’re prepping for an interview, looking to revamp your office look into something a little more chic, or just want to dress up for a fun springtime brunch, we’ve got you covered!

 


IMAGE SOURCE: EXPRESS

IMAGE SOURCE: EXPRESS

KEEP IT CASUAL

This blazer is perfect for one of those early March mornings where it’s a little too chilly for a cute sleeveless top or dress, but you still want a pop of springtime glam. The nautical stripes are super on-trend, so make them the focal piece of your look by pairing it with a white top with minimal (but still fun!) details. We love this one from Express, especially paired with a medium wash ripped jean. The unexpected combo of the distressed denim with a put-together blazer makes for a striking daytime outfit! You could also make the look even more casual by rolling up the sleeves of your blazer, and pair it with some strappy sandals or neutral wedges. Add a dainty necklace to compliment the lower neck of the top and toss some beach waves in your hair to add some texture to your look.

IMAGE SOURCE: NORDSTROM

IMAGE SOURCE: NORDSTROM

We also really love the idea of adding a pop of color back into the blue and white look with a small cross body bag. Don’t shy away from red, either - we love this one from Nordstrom! Not only would it be the perfect statement piece to complete your look, but it’s the color of the summer, too!


DRESS IT UP

Love the last look, but can’t wear jeans to the office? There’s tons of other ways to style this adorable piece professionally! If you’d like to keep it easy and effortless, a white dress is the perfect go-to to pair with this blazer. Shift dresses are so in right now, and they’re perfect for office wear because they’re modest but still fashionable. This one from Lulu’s would be the perfect piece to let your fun new blazer be the focus of your look, and it’s easy to style with just a pair of nude pumps and some tights.

IMAGE SOURCE: LULU'S

IMAGE SOURCE: LULU'S

IMAGE SOURCE: EXPRESS

IMAGE SOURCE: EXPRESS

Another great option would be to play up the nautical look and feel of the blazer a little more by pairing it with a pair of navy pixie pants. Try different textured tops underneath for a twist, like a white satin blouse. Pull your hair back into a full, voluminous ponytail of curls and add a simple pair of nude heels or flats to keep it professional for an adorable office chic look!


How To Guide: Halloween Parties

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Halloween is just around the corner, so let your inner child free with a fun and spirited party! Have nothing planned yet? We’ve got your back! Follow our entertainment guide for awesome recipes, decor, and games guaranteed to make your party a success.


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We decided to keep the food and drinks elegant, classy, but still spooky and Halloween themed! For appetizers we chose bite size and portable foods so you can easily mingle and save room for the entrèe and dessert. The entrèe should be beautiful and delicious, and the dessert should be fun and lively!.


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Drinks should be festive and enticing. Think dark colors and bright garnishes. Experiment, and take your mixology skills to a new level!


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The decor can be as over the top or subdued as you like! Want to scare your guests? Place creepy skeletons and masks about the house. String spider webs everywhere, and hide motion activated decorations to scare unexpecting guests. Want to keep it simple or have less of a clean up? Decorate with colorful pumpkins, leaves, and lanterns. Place some crows or bones across the mantle and on side tables.


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If you want a sit down dinner, make your table the focal point of your decor. Use dark table linens and plates. Make a table runner of flowers, skulls, and tall candlesticks. Scatter some creepy crawlers on napkins and flatware. Your guests will love the creativity!


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It’s not a party without some fun and games! Go all out and make the whole night a murder mystery game involving all your guests, or hire a fortune teller! On a smaller scale, carve pumpkins, play charades and pictionary with a Halloween theme, or assemble the classic donut-on-the-string eating contest!

Setting the Perfect Table

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Everyone loves entertaining! Whether it be a dinner party, family get together, or celebration of a holiday or special occasion, your table setup is the perfect way to showcase your style. The dinner table is the centerpiece of your home and the perfect location to really illustrate your aesthetic and wow your guests. However, determining your aesthetic and picking the right pieces to really shine can be a difficult task! To help make this easier, we’ve compiled a list of “must-have” items on every table, regardless of style, to ensure you have everything you need to complete that perfect look. Not sure what your look is? No problem, we’re sharing some of our favorite inspirational images of various table styles to help you out! 

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  • Table cloth 
  • Matching dining set 
  • Chargers 
  • Linen napkins 
  • Candles and candlesticks 
  • Florals 
  • Full set of utensils 
  • Various glassware 
  • Serving dishes 
  • Table runner or similar draping fabric 
  • Additional small decor items 

For more formal events, consider adding a few extra special touches, like menus and name cards, to really finish off the look!

 
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What’s the number one design element on your list that you just can’t live without? Or your favorite style? Let us know!

Creative Ways to Pop the Question

IMAGE SOURCE: BLOGLOVIN

IMAGE SOURCE: BLOGLOVIN

One of the most stressful and exciting days, aside from your wedding day, is the day you decide to propose to your significant other! With a once in a lifetime chance, you want this proposal to be perfect and memorable for the both of you.

IMAGE SOURCE: ALBERTO LAMA PHOTOGRAPHY

IMAGE SOURCE: ALBERTO LAMA PHOTOGRAPHY

IMAGE SOURCE: WEDDING PARTY

IMAGE SOURCE: WEDDING PARTY

Take your loved one to your favorite place, one that is special for the both of you. By proposing at, let’s say, your favorite park, restaurant, or beach, it will make that place even more special!

To make it very public for everyone to see, try having a skywriter spell out your proposal in the sky, or have a plane with a banner trailing along asking the big question!

Have a flash mob or a public band/choir to help build up the excitement of asking your significant other to spend the rest of your life with you!

 

image source: cultural bindings

image source: cultural bindings

Want a more sentimental and private proposal? Go to where you two had your first date together! It will make that day and place incredibly sweet and special!  

Send your lover on a scavenger hunt using notes and clues that include memories, inside jokes, and photos of you both. The overall hunt will tell your love story, and end in a proposal! 

image source: lovely rustic weddings

image source: lovely rustic weddings

Similar to a scavenger hunt, leave little love notes around your house for them to find, leading up to you with the ring!

Save the Date Mistakes

The main purpose for distributing save-the-dates is to give your wedding guests an advanced notice of when your big day is. By sending them, your guests are able to take off work or arrange travel plans far in advance in order to celebrate your wedding day. Although save-the-dates are simple and easy to send out, there are some common mistakes that people tend to make:

The main purpose for distributing save-the-dates is to give your wedding guests an advanced notice of when your big day is. By sending them, your guests are able to take off work or arrange travel plans far in advance in order to celebrate your wedding day. Although save-the-dates are simple and easy to send out, there are some common mistakes that people tend to make:

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Image Source:  Esty

Image Source: Esty

 

Save-the-dates should be sent 4-6 months prior to your wedding date. A couple should only send them once their venue is also booked, in case your dream venue is booked the day you already printed on the save-the-date.

Be sure to add your location to the save-the-date for guests who are located far away. By doing so, guests are able to secure travel accommodations!

The worst is customizing your save-the-dates and receiving them in the mail only to notice spelling or grammar mistakes. Be sure to proof read everything before ordering them!

Image Source:  The Knot

Image Source: The Knot

Save-the-dates should only include the couple's names, the wedding date, location, and wedding website (if applicable). The actual wedding invite will contain more details for guests. Keep the save-the-dates short and simple!

How to Pick the Right Color Palette for Your Skin Tone

Picking out what to wear may be the hardest part of your day, especially trying to decide what colors to wear. You may not realize this, but just like matching your makeup to your skin tone, your skin tone plays a large role in which colors compliment you the most; therefore, we have made you a go-to guide on what colors to lean towards based on the tone of your skin! 


If your skin tone is warm and has a golden undertone and olive complexion…

Oranges, Golden Yellows, Ambers, and Reds

Olive, Turquoise, Magenta, Orchid 

Taupe, Creamy Whites

 
 
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If your skin ton is cool and has a blueish undertone with fair or very dark skin…

 
 

Ruby, Bright Rose, Pinks

Bright Blue, Royal blue, Emerald, Lilac

Gray, Navy, Winter White 

How to Contour

Contouring and highlighting your face are tasks that every girl wishes to master. Although we are not all equipped with a glam squad to flawlessly apply our makeup like Kim Kardashian, we have found an easy step-by-step tutorial on how to get those cheekbones chiseled and those eyes bright with just a few simple steps using different shades of your favorite foundation! All you will need are three different shades of foundation: your skin tone, one that is one or two shades darker than your skin tone, and one that is one or two shades lighter. 

1. Prepare your skin and apply your normal skin shade foundation as you typically would.

2. Use the darker foundation and start “tracing” your face: your temples near your hairline, the hollows of your cheekbones, and your jaw line. For a starter tutorial, it is easy to make a giant “3” on each side of your face, with the top of the “3” tracing your temple, the middle your cheek, and the bottom your jaw. 

3. Use the lighter foundation to highlight underneath your eyes, the bridge of your nose, forehead and chin.

4. Blend the created lines smoothly with a makeup sponge or beauty blender. 

5. To finish, lightly apply loose powder on the entire face.

Tada! You now have that flawless facial structure and glow without needing that glamor squad! Go out, try different shades, and happy contouring! 

How to Find a Perfect Foundation

We’ve all been there—helplessly staring at all the products the eye can see, lost in the vast land of foundations, and completely and utterly unsure of which to buy. To make decisions easier, there are a few steps to take in order to find that ultimate foundation that is just right for you!  


Understanding your skin type is a huge part in the decision process of buying foundation that’s right for your skin! If you have dry skin, try using double-duty liquid foundations that not only smooth out your skin’s surface, but also hydrates it, giving you that glow your skin so desperately craves. If you tend to have more oily skin, stick to either mineral powder foundations or oil-free liquid foundations. Powder foundations help control shine without adding any excessive dryness to your skin! 

 

This step might be a little more difficult, especially if you aren’t purchasing from a department store that allows you to sample different foundations and shades. One helpful tip is to choose 2-3 shades that look similar to your skin tone, and try to hold them up to your face in an available mirror with natural lighting. As the seasons change, you may need to buy different shades depending on if your skin tends to darken in the summer and lighten in the winter. 

Now that you’ve determined your skin type and shade, you need to know how to properly apply the foundation! To avoid the obvious makeup line around your face, try using a foam sponge to easily blend the foundation throughout your face. By doing so, the makeup appears more natural to the eye. To finish, lightly dust your face with some loose powder, and you're ready to go! 

Registry Do's & Don'ts

 

How to Build a Registry!


As you saw in our post How to Decorate as a Couple, when you combine living spaces each partner brings their own style to your new home. The same approach applies to building the perfect registry! It's all about taking inventory of what you have and creating a wish list of items that represents both partners' style and needs. So creating a registry should be a team effort, so hit the stores together. 

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Registries today are a fun and exciting experience. As the process of creating a registry has changed, so has what you fill it with. Don't feel like you need to have traditional items like sheets, china or flatware. Add things that will make you happy and that work for your lifestyle. Nothing worse then storing a bunch of registry boxes filled with items you will never use.

As we mentioned above, only add things that work for you. To be sure you ask for the right items, think about your home and your lifestyle. Are you an couple that likes to spend their time in nature, then registry for things you can enjoy outdoors! Are you a couple that spends their date nights staying in watching movies, then registry for a blue ray or a popcorn machine! Fill your registry with things that are useful but also enjoyable!

Register for items that have a wide range of price points! You need to be sure that your guests have the ability to choose things that work within their budget. We recommend to have a few high end gifts but make your registry well rounded with an array of gifts hitting a bunch of different price brackets; under $50.00, under $75.00 and under $100.00.

Each registry platform offers different gift ideas. Your traditional stores like a Target will have a little bit of everything but there are speciality registries that offer gift options like contributing to activities to do on your honeymoon etc. Just like you want to hit all the price points, be sure the registries that you pick have variety. Also be sure that at least one of them is a brick and mortar store so people have the option to buy your gifts in person.  We suggest that you have up to 3 registries that your guest can choose from.


Be sure to look for Registry Events!

Night at the Registry  hosted by Parsimony Inspired and Pottery Barn | Photo by  Melanie Zacek Photography

Night at the Registry hosted by Parsimony Inspired and Pottery Barn | Photo by Melanie Zacek Photography

Registry events are a great way to make it a night filled with filling up your registry and experiencing some great wedding vendors in your area. Sample delicious cake, meet photographers and get one on one help building your registry! Parsimony Inspired will be hosting one this spring so be sure to be on the look out!

 


Here are Our Top Registry Picks


Our Top Registries

How to Choose a Wedding Cake with Peter Gray

So many decisions need to be made while planning your wedding but few of those decisions are as fun and delicious as choosing the cake for your big day! A meeting that requires you to eat cake and frosting? Yes, please! Before you start running to your local baker, we wanted to take some time to talk all things cake, design and planning with Peter Gray of Pete's Sweets


PI: Pete! Thank you so much for sitting down with us today! We have been privileged to see you create in-person and you are truly confectionery genius! Where do you get your inspiration?

PGWhat we feel makes weddings special are the little details that tie back to the couple, so adding things like hidden interests (like superheros, sports teams, or hobbies) onto the back of the cake. This is a great way to add a personal touch without having to make a special groom's cake. As far as other items of inspiration, here at Pete's Sweets we draw inspiration from every detail of your wedding from lace on wedding dresses to custom scroll-work on invitations. It is wise to bring as many inspiration photos to help your bakery get a real feel for what you are looking for. While you know your wedding very well the bakery can only play off what they are given.  

PI: A common frustration that we hear from our audience is that they fall in love with an inspiration cake but when they finally sit down with their baker they realize that it doesn't fit their budget. Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to stay on budget but still capture the style they want?

PGNothing is more frustrating than falling in love with a cake and being crushed when it is priced out. Now being a wedding cake bakery, we have had our fair share of having to break the bad news to customers, however we suggest that you try to keep an open mind and not get hung up on super fine details or one particular cake (exactly as it is in the photo). Sometimes simply changing a few elements like reducing the amount of rolled fondant icing, sugar flowers, and edible ribbons can slash cake prices by the hundreds. Sometimes offering to provide items like fresh flowers, burlap or satin ribbons, or cake toppers can drastically reduce the cake's overall cost. 

PI: What are your favorite cake trends from 2016? Any predictions for what might trend in 2017?

PGPete's Sweets favorite in 2016 was textured cakes, 2/3 of our wedding cakes were some sort of texture (anything from a pedal texture to a drag texture). We loved the rustic yet elegant look that it achieved {and without any added costs}. As far as foreseeing trends for 2017, we have been getting a lot of interest in "Drip Cakes", meaning a ganache or caramel sauce being dripped over the edges. Another 2017 prediction is "Metallic," meaning gold, silver, or rose gold accents like toppers or ornate cake stands are on the upraise. And lastly, we have been getting a lot of requests for "Dessert Tables," meaning small cutting cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pastries, and candies are on 2017 brides mind to replace the classic wedding cake.

 

Our Top Picks for Yummy Inspiration


 

About Peter 

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Peter Gray is a graduate of New England Culinary Institute, he went on TLC's Next Great Baker (hosted by Buddy Valastro AKA: The Cake Boss) where he competed against 12 other incredible bakers. After being on the show he was offered an opportunity of a lifetime to open Pete's Sweets in East Longmeadow, where we have grown time and time again. We have a full time staff that bakes all the classic home-style treats you remember from your childhood. We now host classes and birthday parties so we can pass along the art of baking.  
 

 

You're engaged! Now what?

You're engaged! Now what?

Question popped.  They said yes! So exciting, congratulations! After you have stopped crying and called your mom, here are the first few things to jump start your wedding planning process.

Step One- Get the Word Out! 

In the era of social media, we think you should pause before making it Facebook official. This is such a big and personal moment of your life, we think it requires a real human connection to share it. So depending on who you want to tell and where they live, either pick up the phone, stop by for coffee or start your Skype video. These moments of real connection only add to the special feeling that the engagement brings. Once you have shared the news with all your close loved ones, time to start posting, Tweeting and Instagramming. 

Step Two- What season speaks to you?

Close your eyes and envision you and your partner on your wedding day. What do you see? Snow covered mountains? Crisp air and falling leaves? Sand under your feet? Or trees budding with the smell of dew in the air? This will let you know if you are a winter, fall, spring or summer couple. From experience, this is the easiest decision to make.  A lot of the time the season you pick will influence your design. Once you know your season, pick a date and start planning!

Step Three- Draft Your Guest List 

This daunting task rates as one of the hardest parts about planning a wedding. While a standard approach is to draft a budget and then a guest list, we like to switch it up. We find that couples have an easier time starting with their big wish list and then once a budget is established, whittling it down based on their established per person costs. It makes taking people off the list a little more logical than emotional. 

We suggest making a spreadsheet and have a tab for "A" and a tab for "B."  The "A" list should consist of close family members, close friends and any other must haves. The "B" list should consist of anyone that you would love to have there but don't have the budget for. 

Be strategic when sending out your invites! The standard is to mail out the invitations 6-8 weeks before your wedding date. We suggest mailing to your "A" list 10 weeks out. This will give you an extra two weeks to send out invitations to your "B" list as you receive regrets from the "A" list. Not everyone will be able to join, so if you stay on top of the RSVP list you will be able to supplement from your "B" list and end up having the exact guest list that you were hoping for!  

Step Four- Let's Talk Budget! 

Whether you want a lavish affair or an intimate backyard wedding, you need to have a budget that works for you and helps you make informed decisions as you go through the planning process.

The first step in budget planning is to have honest conversations with yourself, your partner and any family members that might be contributing to the wedding. We suggest talking with each family separately. This allows the conversation to be honest and private. If there are family members that are going to contribute, ask them to commit to a certain dollar amount so you know what you should be adding to your overall budget. 

As you will come to understand your budget is a fluid thing, you will adjust it as you go. For your reference here is a standard breakdown of how your budget should be allocated but make it work for you and your wants and needs

Reception: 48%-50%
Ceremony: 2%-3%
Attire: 8%-10%
Flowers: 8%-10%
Entertainment/Music: 8%-10%
Photography/Videography: 10%-12%
Stationery: 2%-3%
Wedding Rings: 2%-3%
Parking/Transportation: 2%-3%
Gifts: 2%-3%
Miscellaneous: 8%

With these first few steps you will be on your way to planning an amazing and meaningful day for both you and your guests! Have any questions or other concerns? Comment below and we will do our best to answer them!


 

 

 

 

 

Moody Romance Bouquet Obsession

Did you see our moody inspiration board? Yes, we are obsessed too! As winter approaches these deep and dark colors provide a element of romance and drama against the white winter days. Think deep purples, pinks, reds, blues and you have yourself a romantic scene! This newest trend is dark, enchanting and modern. 

Feeling inspired by these amazing colors, our floral designer created this wild and romantic bouquet to give you more moody inspiration.  

FLORAL INGREDIENTS 

Vintage Purple Calla Lillies 

Alstroemeria Charmelian 

Monique Purple Mini Carnation Flowers

Hypericum Berries

Red Roses

Hot Pink Roses

Tiepolo Fuschia Carnations

Italian Ruscus