7.06.2017

Lilly for RMHC

Happy Thursday readers!

Gotta love shortened holiday weeks!

I hope you had a great 4th of July and are enjoying summer thus far.

Those that follow along on Instagram, know that I've partnered with Ronald McDonald House of Richmond again this year to promote their Lilly Pulitzer Give Back event that is this Saturday, July 8 from 12:00 - 5:00 pm at the Lilly Pulitzer Short Pump store!

I'll be there at noon for styling tips if you want to shop with me!

Allison, their Director of Development and my friend, and I had a great time last weekend visiting the store and styling looks. I've put together a little preview for those of you that are in town and might be able to stop by.

First up, is my favorite look! I browsed online before meeting Allison and knew I HAD to try on this dress!


The Rylan Silk Maxi Dress would be perfect for any summer soiree, especially one that involves dancing! The silk adds elegance to the bold print and the flowy cut makes this dress extra comfy! It runs true to size. 

Next, I wanted to find a look that would be appropriate for both work and play. Summertime is full of happy hours and fun events, and it's nice when you can go straight from work to a social outing without changing your clothes!


I love the versatility of the wrap above! It adds instant chic to an outfit and can be thrown over a tank when you're in the office and then ditched when you're ready for a night out! The Kelly Dinner Pants are perfect for when you want to wear white jeans, but the occasion calls for something just a bit more formal. They also have good stretch, which I find to be a key component to make any pair of white jeans or pants flattering. All pieces run true to size.

I also wanted to make sure you could see how super
cute the "Paradise Pink Bohemian Beach" print on the top is!

Last, but not least, I was sure to get a casual look styled. Shorts with a fun top and wedges are one of my go-to summer looks and Lilly shorts are my very favorite, so I knew where to start!


I am in love with these cobalt blue scalloped shorts! I might just have to get them as a part of this weekend's promotion! The scallops add both a dose of cute and a dose of sophistication! This big tote bag would also be perfect for a summer getaway. The shorts run true to size, but the top runs large. I am wearing a small in this picture, and would have sized down to an extra small, if they had it in store.

Bag Close Up

To browse some of my other favorites, scroll through below:



And last but not least, I wanted to take the chance to talk some staple accessories with you! You'll notice that I am wearing the same accessories with all 3 of these different looks. I actually packed a couple pair of earrings to switch things up while styling, but then felt no need. These pieces are tried and true and have been favorites for years now:

I am guaranteed to get compliments whenever I wear these 
and they are lightweight, which is even better!


Bryce gave me this bracelet for my birthday 4 or 5 years ago and I have worn it non-stop since!
It is a timeless style and can be easily stacked with other bracelets or a watch.

This cuff can be dressed up or dressed down and makes a statement while still being delicate! 
I wear mine multiple times a week.

These sandals (which are under $30, by the way!) are my favorite!
I love them so much, I actually bought a second pair on sale at the end of last summer.
I  may even buy a 3rd since they brought them back again this summer. They literally go with everything and are incredibly comfortable. Can't recommend enough...I wear mine at least 3-4 times a week!

Have you bought any Lilly yet this summer?

Have a great weekend!

5.12.2017

Five on Friday: Statement Earrings

Happy Friday readers!

Can you believe it?

TWO posts in one week!

Don't count on this becoming a trend anytime soon...

I have a confession to make. I've been having major withdrawals. I need to find an S.A. (Shopaholics Anonymous) meeting stat.

You see, since getting engaged, pretty much every spare penny has been going toward wedding expenses.

As the honeymoon nears, I've been dying for the high you get...you know that little flutter in your heart...when walking out of  store, shopping bag in hand.

We'll be honeymooning in St. Lucia (recommendations, anyone?), and all I can think about is bright, bold looks to wear with a new tan!

Last week, I was helping my mom find gold statement earrings to wear to the wedding, and couldn't help getting sidetracked by all sorts of fabulous, bold, bright pairs of earrings!

Here are my top 5 picks for the Five on Friday:

ONE

They're like fireworks for your ears!

TWO


I'm picturing these with a monochromatic look:

THREE

These keep popping up on my Instagram as a sponsored post, 
just screaming "Buy me! Buy me!" and at under $40, I just might!

FOUR


Neutral and a statement all in one...love!

FIVE
(under $50!)


Just like a good, flowy skirt, something about these just makes me want to dance
...preferably to live music, by a bar, in the sand.

What new pieces have you added to your wardrobe this spring?

What's currently on your lust list?

Have a great weekend!

5.10.2017

Wedding Inspiration

Hello Old Friends!

Remember little old me?

I can't believe this is just my second time posting in 2017! The window for a new year's post has come and gone, as has the window for a SIX year blogoversary post, BUT, my wedding is still 24 days away, so I don't think I've missed the window for a wedding inspiration post.

First things first, though, I can't say I haven't missed this space: I've missed it dearly, but when planning my new year's post that never was, I decided 2017 was going to be a year of, dare I say, apathy? No...that's not quite right, how about imperfection? Acquiescence? Unapologetic-ness?

You see, I think a part of the reason I never wrote that post was because, I couldn't find the right word to embody my goal for the year. I really wanted to choose one definitive word to drive my year ahead, yet, every word I came up with had a negative connontation. Let me tease it out for you. These words that came to mind - apathy, imperfection, acquiescence, unapologetic-ness - what they meant to me for 2017 was being more carefree, less of a perfectionist, accepting my limits, and not feeling bad about it.

I've never been shy in sharing that I'm a perfectionist (in fact, I mentioned it in one of my very first blog posts here), and while I think being a perfectionist has it's positives, it's also just plain exhausting!

As I embarked upon 2017, I knew that I'd have to be willing to cut myself some slack to stay sane whilst planning a wedding in six months, and managing a new job, that has been a great "career" move, but not the best "life" move.

All that being said, I never intended to abandon the blog to the extent I did, but it's one of the many balls I've had to decide not to juggle these last several months. I do miss the creativity, therapy, and connections blogging brings, but am grateful that I've been able to be an "Instagram-blogger" during my absence here.

So, unapologetically, that's where I've been. I'm hoping to be back more soon, but make no promises. I have lots of blog posts in the "queue," but then again this post has been in the queue, 75% written, since January. Apathy, imperfection, acquiescence, unapologetic-ness.

So without further adieu, here's my wedding inspiration post. I'm not going to adjust it too much from it's original version in January, but have a huge grin now at just how much I've accomplished since then. Pat on my own back? Don't mind if I do!

As you know, our engagement has been just over 6 months. I initially worried I might be crazy for choosing to have a short engagement, but things have all come together quite perfectly, albeit quickly!

If any of you are considering a shorter engagement I say go for it...if you already know what you want. For me, let's be real, Bryce and I have been together nearly six years, so I've been planning my wedding for years! It's really been just a matter of getting my ducks in a row and bringing my vision to life.

To set the backdrop, I'll first share our venue, the venue I've dreamed of for years: Tuckahoe Plantation. Not only is it the boyhood home of Thomas Jefferson himself, but it's also less than 20 minutes outside the city of Richmond, and just minutes from where I grew up! As you can imagine, it books up far in advance, so when June 3 was available I felt like it was fate! The crepe myrtle lined ceremony site is utterly gorgeous and reason enough to get married there (see here). We will have our cocktail hour in their main gardens, followed by a tented reception in front of the house itself. I am so giddy with excitement just typing these plans I've anticipated for so long!

Now what is this wedding I've been planning for years, you ask?

Let me show you...


When describing my wedding to vendors, friends, etc, I have shared that I envision a classic Southern garden soiree, but with a modern, fresh, and somewhat whimsical spin! Y'all know when it comes to fashion and interior design, I'm classic and traditional...with a twist...and I envision no less for my wedding day itself. Our colors are lilac and green with black, white, and gold accents. Oysters are also a bit of a theme. 

When I first wrote this post, I initially had drafted a "nitty gritty" section where I dove into a more detailed description of the different elements, but now that the wedding is so near, I'd rather let the specifics remain a surprise. I will share, however, that much of the inspiration board you see above remains on point with our final plan.

Any guesses what elements from the board will, or will not, be a part of our big day on June 3?

Have a great day!

1.06.2017

The Proposal

TGIF readers!

I know it's been a while...more on that in my New Year's post coming soon...but I am happy to be sharing a bit more about Bryce's proposal and our engagement with you here on Alexandra Bee Blog today. I had originally planned to share some wedding inspiration with you, as well, but realized that needs to be separated into it's own post altogether!

Those of you who follow along with me on Insta have been itching for this post and I'm excited to finally get my act together!

It's a long one, so grab a cup of hot cocoa, or, a cocktail and settle in!



For those of you that have been longtime followers, you know Bryce and I have been together for quite awhile. Our first date was July 7, 2011, to be exact! That being said, I might have had a bit of an idea an engagement was coming soon...and at the very least can say that I was maybe just impatiently awaiting the 4 little words "Will you marry me?"

First things first, though, let's backtrack a little and talk about ring shopping!

I'll be the first to admit that I didn't initially think I wanted to be a part of the ring shopping experience. I'm so glad, however, that Bryce insisted I be included. It's so interesting trying on rings, and it's crazy how different the styles can look on your hand than in pictures online or on other people. I ended up with a ring that was completely different than I envisioned or even thought I wanted (similar to my wedding dress shopping experience, too!).

The first time we looked at rings, it was a rainy spring day and we started the day with brunch at Can Can, our first date spot. After brunch, we made our way to a local jewelry shop to peruse rings. I was certain I wanted a round, three stone ring (like this). I tried on multiple three stone styles, though, and nothing felt quite right. I was also certain that I did not want a ring with a halo. I found halos to be beautiful, but felt like they were the "in" ring. I wanted classic, not trendy. That being said, Bryce begged me to try on a specific round halo he saw. This one was a little different than the others, as the halo was quite delicate and the center stone was set as a pave sitting up above the halo. I still knew that it wouldn't be the ring, but decided to oblige him and try it on.

Y'all--I put the ring on and immediately knew. It was "the one!" Bryce knew all along, better than me, which ring would be perfect for my hand, for our engagement.

Quite a while passed, and Bryce went back to the original jewelry store and several others to look again and again. A little over a month before our engagement, he asked that I go with him a second time to look. He wanted to be sure that the ring I would look at the rest of my life was just right.

That weekend we went to one jewelry store he had not yet visited: Adolf Jewelers. (I'm putting in a plug here, because, local friends, Adolf's is the place to go! They were wonderful in every way!)

Our experience was so fun and we realized that yes, the first ring I chose was perfect. Adolf's then ordered diamonds for the setting we selected and we went back the following week to pick our diamond. I'll share here that I really didn't picture myself being quite so involved in the process, especially not choosing the diamond, but again, I  am so glad that I was. It was fun and exciting, not to mention, I received quite the diamond education from Mr. Adolf himself! After we selected the diamond, we were told it should take about 3 weeks for them to build my setting for the diamond and have the ring ready. The countdown was on!

It took a bit longer than first estimated, so I was in constant anticipation!

The night that Bryce proposed finally rolled around. It was November 22, two nights before Thanksgiving.

It was a Tuesday night, and here I'll share the first of two proposal requirements I asked of Bryce: You might wonder why a random Tuesday? I have always told Bryce to make an ordinary day extraordinary when proposing. I didn't want anything predictable (think birthday, holidays, etc), and now November 22nd will always be special to us!

I got home from work and Bryce suggested we go out to dinner. While I tended to Millie, he got the car started. Once I made it to the car, he immediately started driving. I was a bit suspicious as we normally go through the never-ending discussion of where to go to dinner (anyone else go through this!?). He started driving and was headed downtown. When we got off the expressway, he suggested we go to a favorite Mexican restaurant, Casa del Barco. He was driving straight there, and I became quite confused. Surely if he was going to be propose, it wouldn't be in the middle of a Mexican restaurant. At the last minute he turned, and it appeared that he was headed to Sine, the bar where we first connected during a mutual friend's birthday celebration. The wheels were turning now...until he drove right by Sine. At that point, I was completely confused as he drove around the neighborhood of Church Hill, suggesting several different dinner spots.

We came upon Libby Hill Park, a local park that has fabulous views of the entire city. Never having been to the park after dark, I commented on how gorgeous it looked at night as we drove by. Bryce then suggested we pull over and take a look. At this point, I knew something was up. It was freezing cold outside, so the fact that Bryce suggested we stop the car and get out was a huge clue!

We got out of the car and made our way to the edge the hill, taking in the city below. Bryce popped the question, remarking that he had chosen the location because it captured Richmond. We've both always called Richmond home, and bonded over that fact early in our relationship. He then retrieved a nice bottle of champagne that he had snuck in the car while I took care of Millie.

We enjoyed the champagne, albeit I was shivering the entire time, and were just full of giddy excitement!

Here I'll share the second requirement: I don't want anyone watching (i.e. no cameraman hiding in the bushes, no busy public place, etc)! Now, wouldn't you think a public park would be pretty secluded on a freezing cold Tuesday night? Well, guess what, it wasn't! People were coming and going like crazy! Bryce had actually scoped out the spot with the best views for the proposal, but ended up popping the question a bit further from the road down the hill where people wouldn't see! We did walk over the spot he had planned, however, and enjoyed it while sipping our bubbly!

Once we returned to the car we called our parents and made our way back to Sine to have a drink. We sat at the exact spot where we talked and talked the night we met, and used that time to share the news with some of our other best friends.

Next we headed to our most special date night spot, Edo's Squid and feasted! Finally, we made our way to Can Can, the location of our first date, for dessert. The night couldn't have been more perfect, and I loved that it happened right before the holidays, so we were able to spend Thanksgiving and Christmastime celebrating with family and friends.

The picture at the top of this post was taken at Can Can the night we got engaged, and now, I can't resist sharing a favorite engagement photo, also taken at Can Can! I need to tune back in soon to fill you in on wedding plans (Our date of June 3 is right around the corner!), share the rest of our engagement photos, and also talk thoughts on the new year! If we get the snow they're predicting this weekend, I may have some time to hunker down and write!


Did any of you get engaged over the holiday season?

What are your requirements for the perfect proposal?

Have a great weekend!

12.09.2016

Pink Door Holiday Tour

Not just a Happy Friday over here, today...an ECSTATIC Friday, readers!

What a week!

How are you doing?

I'm doing well, but a bit overwhelmed by life at the moment. As y'all know, I started a new job at the end of the summer. It was a prime career move and I love what I'm doing, but I just have quite a bit to do...all day, every day. I have a seemingly never-ending to-do list and at the end of each day, I am beyond exhausted. I also spend a lot more time at my desk than in my prior role, so picking up the computer at the end of the day isn't overly tempting. 

On top of that, those of you that follow along on Instagram know that Bryce and I got engaged right before Thanksgiving. Our dream venue, Tuckahoe Plantation, had June 3rd available, so we decided to go for it! We've had more champagne in the last two weeks probably than in the last two years and are over the moon excited, but that means on top of the crazy new job and the general "busy" that comes with the holidays, I am also working to plan a wedding in six months! Post coming soon-ish with wedding details!

Do you forgive me for my absence yet?

All that being said, I was honored to be invited to join the Pink Door Holiday Tour. I regrettably would classify myself as more an "Instagram blogger" these days...aka, I used to blog all the time, but now I mostly just Instagram, so I was thrilled that despite my lack of regular posts, Annie, still included me!

So without further adieu, come on in!


I decided this year to just focus on our living and dining rooms. I've placed some decorations throughout the rest of the house, and of course have my favorite Grinch Flannel Sheets on the bed, but decided that I cared most about the two main, and most formal, rooms in our house!

First up was the mantel! You may remember that last spring, I updated the mantel to display our colleection of silver pieces (post here)! It has proven very versatile, as I filled the julep and Jefferson cups with hydrangeas in the summer, pumpkins in the fall, and now ornaments for Christmas!



I was so thrilled to add a third stocking to our mantel this year for Miss Millie! These Mark & Graham Stockings (on sale!) have been a favorite! I love that they are neutral but can be spruced up with ribbon for any look you'd like!


I also enjoyed sneaking a bit of pink into the mix this year! I lalalalove these pearly pink ornaments!

Next up was the Christmas tree.


Most times of year I feel like this room is a bit too masculine for me, but I think it really shines at Christmas!




Bryce and I both have quite the ornament collection, and I am fortunate to have several, like this one, that have been handmade by my grandmother over the years! Every year she claims "This is the last year!" when gifting us our ornaments, because they are so time-consuming to make!






And last, but certainly not least, was the dining room--which I struggled with the most this year. I love setting a table, but just couldn't get it quite right. I was so pleased with this look from last year and tried to recreate it. Those hot pink candles are long gone, though, and really were an integral part of the whole table. I tried a very funky variation with lime green candles this year, but it was just a little too out there, and clashed with the living room decor. I decided to give the basic white candles a try and immediately loved them! They set the tone for a more subdued table that I'm really digging!



Please ignore the dog crate: This post is all unedited, real life...and a dog crate in the middle of our dining room is the reality these days. I wouldn't trade it for the world, though! 


I bought these gold fern leaves at A.C. Moore over the weekend, knowing I'd find a use for them and am completely smitten!




Even the bar receive a litle bit of zhushing!


Now here's to seeing how long the table will remain this clean!

And, just for fun, check out Bryce as Cousin Eddie at a Christmas Vacation party this past weekend!


Have you decorated yet?

What's your holiday style!?

Have a great weekend, AND...

be sure to check out all the other lovely participant homes below!


Pink Door Holiday Tour