P I N S P I R A T I O N :: wedding edition

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Wedding planning has been so much fun! It's gotten to a point where we have most everything set in place and now we get to dream about the little details and decor. I love coming across great ideas, but my biggest task is finding things that are "us" and not just something I think is cute. Here is some wedding inspiration I've come across - elements that aren't necessarily us, but I still think are wonderful. Perhaps it'll be helpful for you!

xo. melisa


M A K E :: lingerie garland

My best friend Kelsey is getting married in just a few weeks, so it's been so much fun planning her showers! For her lingerie shower, I wanted to add some cute decor, so I whipped up this super easy garland to use for the party! 

Y O U  N E E D :: paper (experiment with different patterns & textures), scissors, sewing machine, thread

E A S Y  A S  1 2 3 :: begin by cutting out a template of your shape; you'll use this to cut out the rest. then begin to trace your shape onto the sheets. if your design is as simple as mine, then you may just skip the tracing step and just cut by laying the template on top, as you cut. ay your shape down on sewing machine and begin running it across the top. leave some space in between each shape to make it more loose, then add another shape and continue sewing. you can always sew a ribbon at the end of each garland, if you wish to tie it to something.

You can use this technique with any shape, for birthday parties, engagements or weddings! I'd love to see what you come up with! Leave a link in the comments with any photos you take!

xo. melisa


tips + advice :: achieving the dream

Having a dream is easy, achieving it is a whole other story. Sometimes I think we settle with simply the idea of the dream - like we're satisfied with the thought that "at least we came up with an incredible dream", but no. That's not enough friends, and you don't need to sell yourself short. Sure, sometimes the dream may come out looking a little different in the end, but if you want it bad enough, it can happen. Let's say it together, It. Can. Happen. Alright, now that we're feeling a little motivated, let me share some tips with you on achieving your dream.

B E  Y O U R S E L F :: 
It's easy to start to compare yourself to others, but the truth is you are not them and sadly they are not you. Because you are remarkable. There is no other human being like you. You bring a whole set of skills to the table that is rare and special. Why do we insist on trying to fit into anyone else's mold? I honestly think it's because we're trying to achieve perfection, and just like with any recipe, we think a pinch here and and a spoonful there, taking out a few addiditves and we have the perfect cake! You are not a cake ladies! You cannot be perfect (sorry), but you can be a perfect you. It's cheesy, I know, but c'mon, we have to learn to love ourselves. If we can't start there, then how can we ever have enough confidence to go into the business world and conquer it, or to be the next Amelia Earhart, going into unchartered territories even when we're being mocked. You're only as bold as you believe you are and you can only go as far as you're willing to.

W O R K  H A R D ::
Some may feel like this is the only step, as it is crucial and generally the most time consuming. Hard work is innevitable to any project, goal or dream. It is crucial that you capitalize on these small beginnings and not take for granted the hard work and effort that you put into your dream now. Because what they say is true - hard work does pay off. There will be a day when the late nights, crying fits, and just plain exhaustion will give way to a beautiful and brighter tomorrow. Hang in there.

Furthermore, be practical with your time. Don't work yourself into the ground and cover it up by saying, "well, I have to work hard..." No. If you're dead, then your dream is no longer. So take care of yourself! Know when enough is enough and call it a day. Utilize your time wisely and plan accordingly.

D O  W H A T  Y O U ' R E  P A S S I O N A T E  A B O U T ::
Reexamine your dream; make sure it is in fact worth all of the time and effort you're putting into it. If it's something you're truly passionate about then the work won't always be work, it'll be fun and enjoyable. It will be a joy to go to work and invest in something you believe in. Follow your heart and trust your instincts. There are characteristics that are innate to your being that are propelling you towards something great. So when you feel an urge to move, for goodness sake, take the leap!

N I X  T H E  C O M P L A I N I N G ::
I fall victim to the complaining monster all too often. It's natural to air your frustrations or worry, but at some point, enough is enough. First of all, because your loved ones (no matter how much they love you or say they don't mind) do not want to hear you complaining constantly. We have to be secure enough to know that people see our battle, they may not feel it but they know it's there. Secondly, we can't find strength in people knowing our weaknesses, we should find strength in knowing that our trials are merely practices making us stronger each day. Believe that "what I'm doing is building my own personal empire, something I am proud of and I consider it an honor to be a part of." 

I should state, it is healthy to have a confidant, someone to lean on and go to for advice and help. This is healthy. If you can schedule a time of the week to meet with such a person and be able to talk through the things you would normally complain about on a daily basis, that would be great! Complaining only makes you more aware of the issues. Talking gets you answers.

D O N ' T  L I S T E N  T O  T H E  N A Y S A Y E R S ::
Can I just say, from personal experience, that sometimes, people have no idea what they are talking about. Yes, sometimes people are purely selfish and terrible. Not everyone is going to agree with your dream. Not everyone is going to back you. Not everyone is going to share kind words with you and in fact they may try to tear you down. This mostly stems from their own issues of inadequacy or their inability to imagine the impossible. You however can, you see beyond the expected and understand that possibilities are indeed within your reach. You must have confidence and boldness. When you're asked to step out of the boat and walk on water, you have to do it! Even when the people around you don't understand it, don't believe it and are telling you not to. It's unfortunate that not everyone has the best intentions, but I do firmly believe that there are few that we encounter that would shut our dream up, because they care. It's because they understand the pressure, the amount of work and effort it'll take out of you, the tired nights and what it may do to you emotionally. They understand on a deeper level how it might change you if you fail, and we can't blame them for being realistic. And at times their voices will come in and try and quiet your passionate heart, but in those moments remember to be strong and not so easily swayed. 

Please note that you are the only one who can judge a person's true intentions when it comes to your dream. If they have your best interest at heart, listen to their concerns, but with all things, take everything with a grain of salt. Use your ability of discernment to take in the good and let the rest fall by the wayside.

T A K E  Y O U R  W E L L N E S S  I N T O  C O N S I D E R A T I O N ::
Staying healthy is a responsibility. It's something that must be tended to if we are wishing to operate to our fullest. This covers everything from our mind, body and soul. A little rest and relaxation is crucial. I'll be the first to admit that not doing anything - as in having free time - is very difficult for me. Mostly because I have every hour of my day planned with something, so anytime I don't, I immediately think, "okay, who can I meet with, or what can I work on, since I have time." People, that is so not okay. I literally have to force myself sometimes to just sit in bed and watch a show without doing anything else. My first instinct is to grab my computer and work on a post while I watch, or work on some sort of craft and deem it hobby. Which, may be true, but for me, it gets me in "work mode" and that's the opposite of what I'm trying to achieve. Work in time to relax, because you deserve it.

H A V E  P A T I E N C E ::
It's going to take time. I'm sure you already know this, and honestly it's the one step I know the most about. So much of my life has seemed to have taken 5 times as long to get to than I would've planned. When we envision our life, it makes the most sense to plan for things to just happen, but that's not always realistic. the one statement I've held on to when it comes to being patient is "If it's worth having, it's worth waiting for." If I'm not willing to give up on it, then it must mean something more to me and therefore, it is worth my energy and my time. Be patient and persevere.

E N J O Y  T H E  M O M E N T ::
We talked about the work, the worry, the people who may not believe in you, the waiting and now what... ? The fun! Yes, you can actually enjoy this time in your life. However hectic or crazy it may be, it is still your life and it is still you making your dream happen! That is exciting and something you will never get to relive! I do this thing with the Mr. where I'll randomly stop what we're doing and say "this is real, this is our life.". It's good to take a step and just breathe it all in. Sometimes stating the obvious can be the most revelational thing. We get so used to being who we are because we're changing slowly each day, but have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and thought, I look different? We're changing right before our eyes, and we rarely even recognize it. In the same way, our lives are changing everyday in tiny ways and we need to stop to recognize it! Enjoy this time because you won't get it back - it'll be the days that you look back on when you're living your dream, and think back fondly on. 

I hope this was helpful for you and where you're at in life. I believe that we are all capable of doing and being more than we ever thought possible, if we're only willing. If you want change, then start to change; only you can change your circumstance! Go after the dream!

For other helpful tips and advice, you can scroll through this archive.

xo. melisa


bits + pieces

We had the most fun weekend ever! It was full of wedding dresses, laughing, eating and family time! I am happy to say that I found my dress, and no it is not the one in the photo! I really wish I could show you guys and it's kind of killing me that I have to keep it a secret for five whole months! The Mr and I also booked our venue and secured our date! We are checking things off of our list left and right, it's awesome. 

xo. melisa


WEAR :: full steer ahead

 details // top c/o StyleLately, pants : h&m, boots : target, bracelet : thrifted

I'm off to Houston today! I'm meeting up with my mom, sister and stepmom to pick out my wedding dress! It's going to be such a fun girly weekend! eee!

xo. melisa


A GIVEAWAY WITH Rosemary Paper Co

I'm so excited to bring you a giveaway from one of my most recent favorite online shops, Rosemary Paper Co! Y'all. Eunice makes the sweetest prints and I can't wait to have one in my home! The mr and I will be sharing these mugs very soon! They're my favorite! 

As a sweet gift from Rosemary Paper Co to all of you, they're offering one lucky winner a kitchenware print! To enter, simply share the name of your favorite recipe (and your email) in the comments below. Giveaway is open until June 20th, and the winner will be contacted shortly after. Good luck! 

xo. melisa


L E W E D :: the proposal

I'm so excited to finally share our full proposal story! To begin, here's a little back story... Elisha and I met when we were in high school. We "talked"for about a year, before we officially started dating. Our first Summer together was actually spent apart, while I was visiting my Dad in Houston and he was running an internship program back home. We emailed each other at least once a day & learned so much about each other! I actually printed off all of our emails and gave them to him as a gift for an anniversary. There were about 150 pages! 

After that Summer I came home and we started living a dream. Over the course of two years we had incredible dates, laughed so much, shared memories, went on trips, did ministry together, learned from each other, had rough times, grew up, and were better because of one another. Looking back on where we started and who we were then, it amazes me that we've been able to grow and continue in the same direction. Eight years later and it still seems like just yesterday.

Elisha was my first and only boyfriend. There were guys who I talked to, guys who wanted to date me, but for some reason I had the mentality that if I wasn't going to marry them, then I wasn't going to waste my time. Kind of a strange way to think when you're only 16, but I knew that I was going to date to marry. When Elisha and I started to get to know each other, I knew he was going to be my guy, the one I'd spend my life with. Again, strange thinking for a teenager - or I guess more common these days. 

From the beginning, we both knew we wanted marriage and that we couldn't wait to spend our lives together. After I finished my two year program, we thought it might be time. After some conversation though, I realized that I really wanted to go to college and move to Texas. That Summer he was offered a great job opportunity in Ft Worth, and I planned on attending college in the fall. Everything was lining up.

We decided that marriage while I was in school just didn't make sense. The idea of starting off fresh, with no debt, and with two jobs just seemed like the best option. So we waited. During that time Elisha was offered a Youth Pastor position in Wisconsin. He was there for over a year and needless to say, it was a trying time for both of us. Being in a long distance relationship is tough enough, but when you both have so much on your plate, it makes it even harder! I went to visit twice and spent a Summer there. This time grew us as individuals and made us stronger as a couple. Our time together was treasured and we learned to not take the other for granted; true appreciation for what we had together grew.

Elisha returned to Texas and began his new position as a Youth Pastor here in Mansfield. I graduated college and began working and helping out at our church. Our lives finally began to feel like we were on track and marriage could actually be real.

A year passed after having graduated and I was getting a bit antsy. I went through many seasons during our time together, but one thing I truly learned was patience. I knew that I knew, that we were going to be together forever & that our marriage was worth waiting for. So I waited. 

On May 31st, 2005 Elisha asked me to be his girlfriend. On May 31st, 2013, Elisha asked me to be his wife.

Elisha took me to eat dinner to celebrate our anniversary. He was acting a little funny, but I did't think much of it. We were on our way home and he seemed a little nervous - at this point I was hopeful, but thought, there's no way! We stopped to pick up some ice cream and he drove us into the park parking lot. I thought he was going to recreate our first date. We walked down into a a wooded area and once we turned the corner, I saw my family and some of our closest friends lined up with candles. I instantly started crying. I seriously could not even control the tears. He held my hand and walked me to the clearing. Our friend Branden was playing "I have and I always will", and Elisha was singing the words to me. When the song finished he whispered that he loved me, and I said I loved him too. This was the first time we'd ever said that to each other and we never meant it more. He got down on one knee and asked me what I had dreamt of hearing hundreds of times. I said yes (of course) and there was much rejoicing! 

Every part of this night was perfection. From the sheet hung to show our photos through the years to the giant wall created with Christmas lights, to the people I love most being there... perfect.

It was like an instant engagement party as we made our way back up to the park pavilion to eat cupcakes and toast with cider! To be honest the night is kind of a blur because I was so in awe that this day had actually come. Even now, looking down at my ring as I type, listening to this song... I'm the happiest I've ever been. I can't wait to be his wife, and I'm excited I get to share this with all of you.

xo. melisa

footnote: all photos taken by my sweet friend Kalli. We were so grateful she was able to capture this moment.


if the shoe fits

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The weather is starting to warm up and I'm drooling over wedges! I love wedges because they're the perfect balance between comfort and fancy. Here's a small collection of some that I've got my eye on! Which are your favorite??

xo. melisa


free shipping

After Renegade, I had every intention of updating the shop with all of the new necklaces, but then I didn't... and then I got engaged... soooo, this is long overdue, but I just added a few new True To You necklaces to the shop! I still have quite a few more to add so be on the lookout! 

I'm also offering free shipping now through Wednesday! Just use the code, "FREESHIP" whenever you checkout. And, if you're interested in a custom order you can email me!

This weekend was busy, but so much fun! The mr and I found our venue and it's perfection! We're enjoying every minute of the planning process; I'm sure it'll get hectic and stressful, but for now it's still a dream. I'm so in love with this man and I can't believe after eight years, I get to be his wife! 

I hope you don't mind me sharing "wedding stuff" with you, I just love the idea of documenting this season of our lives together! Also, thank you all for your sweet comments on here and instagram! I don't know that I was able to personally say thank you to each of you, but I want you to know they mean so much to me! Thank you for being a part of this special moment in my life!

xo. melisa


WEAR :: cats and dogs

details // pants :: hco, shirt :: c/o blondes make better tshirts, shoes :: target

This last week has been so fun and busy! I can't believe it's already been a week since I got engaged (it still feels crazy to say that)!!! We've nailed down quite a few things and are headed to one of the venues this morning. I will obviously keeping a majority of things a secret, but will for sure be sharing tons of wedding inspiration and of course a diy or two! 

Can we talk about this shirt?? I love this shirt! I mean, tiny cats and dogs with glasses?! I'm already sold. This has quickly become my most favorite tee. I love that 20% of the proceeds goes to help animal shelters in NYC. They carry several animal tees, but this one is by far my fave!

Hope you have a sweet weekend!

xo. melisa