L E W E D :: what to wear to a shower

Yesterday I was doing some planning with my bridesmaids and I remembered that I'm going to get to have showers! Being involved in ministry, you know a lot of people, and a lot of people get married and have babies soooo you go to quite a few showers. In all of my planning I kind of forgot that I get to have my very own! I'm so excited to share this exciting time with the people I love! Since I have showers, rehearsal dinner, and bachelorette party on the mind, I'm obviously also thinking about what I'm going to wear! Here are a few of my favorite places to shop online and a few dresses I'm currently smitten with.

BHLDN :: Who does't love this beautiful line?? I had the chance to go in and try on wedding dresses there and I must admit that it was the best experience. They give excellent customer service - we were even given macaroons! I noticed this dress when I went into the store and have had my eye on it ever since. The Charline Maxi is a bit more fancy, but it sure is beautiful!

Shabby Apple :: I love this shop because they have such a wide variety of dresses to choose from. I so appreciate their styling and vintage clothing. Each piece has a fun vintage flair; like this beautiful dress or this mega adorable swimsuit!

Chicwish :: It's no secret that I'm smitten with this shop! They have the sweetest dresses and accessories! This dress is one of my faves, but I'm completely obsessed with this one too.

Modcloth :: I love the variety of this shop, and the fact that you can always find something to suit your style. Seriously. They have like hundreds of looks and each is just as adorable as the next. I'm currently loving this dress and this dress.

Ruche :: This is always a fun place to shop, and since they've added a bridal section, I can't stop visiting! I love love this dress; it's perfection!

I read that it's customary to wear white to all of these, but I think any soft or pale color will do just fine. Or standout with a bold red! Why not? You're the bride! Do you have any favorite places to shop online? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

xo. melisa


W E A R :: le creme

details :: top c/o Chicwish, jeans / forever 21, shoes / target

happy monday all! I hope your week is off to a great start. my planner is filling up more and more by the minute, but I'm excited to have a productive week. the mr and I are getting a heap of to do's done and it's making me breathe easier. anyone else get filled with joy when they finally get to put a checkmark on their to do list?? 

xo. melisa


ENGAGED :: Month three??

I have somehow managed to go through two months of being engaged and am just now sitting down to write about my experience thus far. I fully intended on keeping an online journal of sorts to be able to catalog this season of my life - something I could go back to years down the road. And already, two months have passed me! But seriously, they just flew by!

So here we are in month three, we've accomplished quite a bit, but still have much to do. My to do lists seem to be ever-growing, but I have yet to reach a freak out moment. Pray it doesn't come! Every bride has told me that they had at least one; some even managed to make it all the way to the wedding day before their break. I'm just hoping mine is quick and painless for all involved. I feel so lucky to have such incredible friends and family to share this moment with. They've each been so helpful and supportive on every decision we've made thus far.

It's so fun planning something so big, like a wedding, with your best friend. This big project has really helped us see, even more, how well we work together. Each of us picking up where the other lacks and working through issues as a team. It's his birthday today in fact. It's crazy to think I've known him for 9 years of his life and through any and every change, we've moved in the same direction. I just love it! I'm realizing more each day, how lucky we are to have found eachother and how truly excited I am to continue spending my life with him.

Our big to do's as of now, are cake, flowers, invites and honeymoon. Once we check those off then we can start having more fun with decorations and such. Which, btw, I have so many fun ideas already and it's killing me not being able to share! 

Any of you remember this part of your engagement?? Any advice for me? I love any helpful tips!

xo. melisa


C O L O R C R U S H :: navy

1 . 2 . 3 . 4 . 56 .

Navy has been and will always be so classic! I was recently in a wedding and since the moment we got our navy dresses, I've had navy on the brain. I love that it's a staple color that can go with just about any bold or bright hue. I can't wait to get some more navy in my wardrobe. If you're navy smitten too, hop on over to my pinterest board!

xo. melisa 


bits + pieces :: youth camp

Youth Camp is always exhausting and fun! This year was no different. It was incredible to see so many of our students give their heart to God for the first time, let go of past hurts, and feel completely different about who they are; Elisha even had the opportunity to baptize a few of them! It was incredible! 
This week is always go go go, but nothing is quite as rewarding in youth ministry, as witnessing true change in a student. So I will always choose to go to camp; it's the best!

xo. melisa


bits + pieces :: new york

We had such a blast in new york and I'm glad I finally get to share about our experience. We took six of our students and leaders to partner with an organization that allowed us to minister to the people of NY. We stayed in a church from the 1600s, complete with a cemetery in the backyard, and showers in the basement. We had to sleep on concrete floors, and had only a box fan to keep us cool, but it was all worth it! I loved this trip so much because although we had the opportunity to go serve food to the homeless and work in a food pantry, we also got to do a few things that were more non traditional. One of the days we went on a prayer tour and visited nearly every bureau and had the chance to pray over the entire city; it was incredible. Another day we had an "immersion" day, where we were given $2 each and had the task of getting ourselves to a specific location and buy a meal for ourselves and a stranger with just two dollars. The entire trip was so rewarding. Honestly, the most memorable moments were those spent simply talking to strangers on the subway. Realizing that every moment you take the time to get to know someone, their life, their struggle... it's an opportunity to change their life even in the smallest way, and remind them that they matter. Those simple conversations were my absolute favorite!

This was my third trip to NY and I think it may have been my favorite. I can't wait to get back to the city!

xo. melisa


tips + advice :: mani at home

Kelsey's wedding is just around the corner and my nails were in need of some mega help. I love a good manicure like any other girl, but sometimes a mani at home can be just as enjoyable! And it doesn't hurt to have some budget friendly pampering. I thought I'd share my go to nail routine and a few of my favorite products with you. 

tools :: nail clipper, nail file, nail buffer, cuticle nipper, cuticle trimmer, cuticle gel remover, nail polish remover, base/top coat, nail polish (purchased at target + ulta).
trim :: start by cutting your nails to your preferred length.
file :: begin to shape your nail; either squared or rounded. I use a 180 grit medium filing board. then use a 4-way buffing block - which will allow you to even out, smooth, buff and shine.
soften :: fill a cup or small bowl with water and a little bit of moisturizing soap, to soften your cuticles. let them soak for about 3 minutes. apply the cuticle gel to the edge of your nail beds to further soften.
trim :: using your cuticle trimmer, gently push your cuticles back. take your cuticle nipper and begin trimming any excess. careful not to cut healthy skin.
exfoliate :: using a scrub, exfoliate your hands to make them extra soft! I use the tree hut sugar scrub and it leaves my skin feeling great! for pedicures I use this scrub; the scent is so soothing.
moisturize :: moisturize your hands and they'll feel like new. If you can have someone else massage the lotion in, it's even better! I use Johnson's Melt Away Stress lotion and it is simply heavenly! for pedicures I use this one.
polish :: this time around I did a french manicure. I use Maybelline's Color Show in Porcelain Party for the tips. Some other favorites are Mademoiselle by Essie, I Eat Mainely Lobster by OPI, and West End Wonderland by Butter. I also start with a base coat and end with a top coat.
dry :: I was recently introduced to drying drops and it's completely revolutionized my mani process! You must try; and thank me later!

Pretty simple process and the perfect way to treat yourself. You may know of some even better products; in which case, please share! I love finding new products to try!

xo. melisa


L E W E D :: will you be my bridesmaid?

Here's another little wedding peek! I've had so much fun adding little diy elements to this whole process. I can't wait to show you the bigger decorations, but that'll have to wait til after the wedding - I don't want to spoil the surprise! These little bottles were a fun way to ask my bridesmaids to be in my wedding! I designed the labels and added some confetti for extra fun! 

I know I've been kind of absent lately, but after our week in NY, we took our students to Summer Camp for the last week (and I celebrated my birthday!). We're finally home and I'm starting to get back into my routine. Excited to share photos of our adventuring. 

xo. melisa


L E W E D :: update

As of right now, we have set a date, booked our venue, booked our photographer + videographer, i've purchased my dress, my maid of honor has her dress and we have taken our engagement photos! So fun! There's still much to get done, but we're going to have to take a small break from planning. The Mr and I just came back from taking some of our students to New York and it was a blast! We're back for the weekend and then off again for a week of Summer Camp. It'll be go go go, but it's so worth it! I think it'll be nice to come back to all the wedding stuff with a fresh perspective. I can't wait to keep sharing wedding inspiration and fun diy's with you along the way!

I made the flower crown featured above, for our engagement photos. It was super simple and I can share a DIY if you'd like. I'm so excited to share more from our engagement shoot, taken by Kalli Carr

xo. melisa