Dog Food Allergies & the Clean Label Project

Mr. Grohl is on today's blog! I continually see a lot of people whose pups are having a hard time with their food and allergies. And we've been through a lot food wise with this little guy. When we first got him, he had allergies and itched all the time, and unfortunately, it didn't stop there due to what I was feeding him. So today's blog I'm talking about what we did to figure out what he was allergic to, and how we battled further stomach problems.

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Floral Crown Workshop

Two weeks ago I took a {much needed} break to visit my work wife, Caitlin of Third Clover, and attend a Floral Crown Workshop in Maryland. It was so nice to get out of town a little bit and do something different yet still creative. Lately, I've been in a bit of a creative slump and I was having a really hard time pulling myself out of it, so doing something different was just what I needed!

It was a really cool event out at M&M Plants & Flower Garden. When we got there, they had a potluck and wine waiting, buckets and buckets of gorgeous flowers and all the fixins' to make a flower crown. 

To start out, we had some instruction on the basics of creating the crown and there were some awesome florists and floral designers there to help. Once you picked out your flowers, you just kind of went for it! I started with the basis of the crown part, basically a few pieces of metal wrapped in the green floral tape. Then I added in greenery to fluff the whole thing up, and the final step i took was adding in small bouquets of flowers all along the crown. Now, by no means did I do this 'right' but I think it turned out okay!

There were lots of different ways to do the crowns, wire, floral tape, floral glue, so it was nice to see how the different mediums work and how people used them (especially since I'm doing my own florals for the wedding).

I had a ton of fun getting to know some new lovely ladies that also work in the wedding industry, and of course spending lots of quality time with Caitlin. Supporting local vendors by attending their workshops is so much fun because not only am I helping them out, but I'm also learning something new! 

So if you're looking for something new and different to do, I would definitely check out your local area for a floral workshops, or maybe a cake class or calligraphy- even if you're nervous like I can get, it's totally worth it and so much fun! 


Petals by the shore

M&M Plants & Flower Garden 

Petal Patch Flower Farm

Belle Blooms Farm

Hidden Ridge

Rose Gold Events & Styling

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 the flower selection was amazing

the flower selection was amazing

 teaching us how to do it

teaching us how to do it

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Lindsey & Christopher | VA Beach Wedding

Happy Wedding Wednesday here on the blog! I am SO excited to share this gorgeous Virginia Beach Wedding with Lindsey and Chris and photos by Audrey Rose Photography because they are STUNNING. From the beautiful dusty blue bridesmaids dresses to the luscious greenery in the bouquets to the classic venue, this wedding is just dreamy! 

I know I'm biased, but my favorite photos are the ring shots with the invitation in the background. I mean, it doesn't get much better than that.

Lindsey and her mom, Sarah, were so much fun to work with and it was also fun running into them around town even after the wedding (one of the reasons I love working in a small(er) town like Fredericksburg- I run into my brides around town all the time). 

Check out the gorgeous photos below and the list of amazing vendors below! And if you love invitation, check out the template The Melanie on our website to see how you can customize it and make it your own!



Photography  |  Audrey Rose Photography

Venue  |  Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

Planner | Sunkissed Events

Bridal and Bridesmaids Dresses | David Tutera from That’s My Dress

Hair | Stephanie Michelle Hair

Makeup | Dhalia Edwards

Florals | Palette of Petals

Invitations | Twila & Co

Catering | Chef by Design

Cake | Incredible Edibles Bakery

DJ | Astro Entertainment

Rentals | Distinctive Event Rentals

Groomsmen Attire | The Black Tux

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Wine & Design Class

Now that I’ve gotten two wine and design classes under my belt (and I didn’t totally suck at it!) I’m excited to share photos from the classes and announce that we have more classes coming!

I won’t lie, I was super nervous that first night. I wasn’t sure if I was going to remember everything or be a good teacher, but everyone seemed to have fun, and that’s definitely the most important thing! One of the things the class reminds all of the participants of is that nothing about the class is graded. This painting is just for you and for you to enjoy both in the process of painting and to take home.

Seeing as I’ve only done two, I’m definitely still learning, but I’m getting better! It’s been a really fun experience working with all kinds of different people who see things differently and who’s brains work differently than mine. I think my favorite part of the process is seeing how people interpreted my instruction. And no one is wrong! We all see and hear things so differently that’s it cool to see how that comes out in paintings and details. Everyone has different questions or challenges, and each person relates to their canvas a little differently. And it’s been a really cool lesson on perspectives.

Interested in joining us for the next class?

Sign up for May’s Class here.

Photos by Vanessa Street


Lasik Eye Surgery

So, little known fact about me, but I used to be legally blind.

While I had glasses most of my life, eight and a half years ago things took a drastic turn. I got pink eye, which turned into a corneal infection. It changed some of the chemistry in my eye as a contact lense wearer, and I suddenly found myself allergic to contacts. Every time I tried to use contacts, I would get another eye infection where I could barely open my eyes. On top of that, my eyes began to worsen quickly, and I ended up unable to wear contacts, legally blind, and in bifocals. I was unable to see far away and then had trouble reading too. It was awful. I had to wear thick glasses that were constantly changing, I formed astigmatisms in both eyes, and if I didn’t do something about it, I would have had to declare that I was legally blind at the DMV to put it on my license. No thanks. 

The first eye doctor I went to about my corneal infection was extremely rude and blamed it on me, yelling at me for not doing what I was supposed to, which when you can barely open your eyes and your eyes are in pain, is the absolutely last thing you want to hear. How was I supposed to know?

So I switched eye doctors, and found myself at Dr. Tom Falkenberg’s in Fredericksburg. They not only took great care of me, but treated me with compassion and helped me rather than blame me for the situation.

A few weeks after my eyes finally calmed down and I had thick, bifocal glasses to see, we decided my best course of action was Lasik eye surgery. I was definitely nervous, but more than anything, I was so ready for the whole ordeal to be over and for things to go back to normal.

So in April of 2010, I had the surgery.

I was nervous for sure, but they gave me a valium, and that calmed me down. If you’re not a fan of talking about eyeballs, don’t read this next paragraph, and skip down two.

After your valium kicks in and they numb your eyeballs, the cut the top layer of your eyes and peel back, then prop your eye lids open so you can’t close or blink. It’s not really painful, because you can’t feel anything but pressure and you’re just kind of uncomfortable. Then all you see is almost like a crystal ball of lightning strikes for less than 30 seconds, and it’s all over, and they do the other eye. The place that top layer back on your eye when they’re done.

Okay gross eyeball talk over.

When they were finished, my eyes were a little sore, but it wasn’t too bad. My mom drove me home. I slept for a couple of hours, and when I woke up it was like a miracle. Out of reflex, I went to pick up my glasses, but soon remembered I didn’t need them. I could see everything without them. It was the craziest thing.

Yes, it is true there’s almost a little cloud floating around you for a few days. Lights seem a little cloudier or have a bit of a halo around them, and it just kind of feels a little foggy, but it’s definitely not bad. Actually the way I saw the halos in the daylight the day after my surgery was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen through the trees. I sometimes wish I could see that again.

For about a month, you can’t rub your eyes. You have to sleep with an eye mask or goggles on so you don’t accidentally rub your eyes when you’re sleeping or waking up.

Other than that, it was pretty easy! I was seeing 20/20 and without fog or clouds three days after my surgery.

Yesterday marks 8 years since the surgery and I can still see 20/20! Sometimes at night I still have halos around lights, but it’s not bad at all. The surgery was 100% worth it. It’s already paid for itself in not having to buy contacts for 8 years. My vision has been steady, and I haven’t noticed any differences. I realize that with old age, I may need reading glasses one day, but for now, I don’t need glasses of any kind other a pair I wear on occasion to shield my eyes from staring at the computer screen too long.

I’ve seen a lot of posts on Facebook about people not sure if they should do the surgery or not. If you’ve thought about getting Lasik or are on the fence, I would highly recommend it. I know it's scary, I mean, it's your eyes! But it's absolutely worth it. And if you’re in Fredericksburg, I would definitely go to Seiht and Dr. Falkenberg as he did an amazing job.