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In Fashion, My Journal on
March 15, 2016

How I Saved Almost $1,000 on my Wedding Dress

The dress of my dreams ended up being from the Goodwill!

Recently I wrote a comprehensive post on how to get married for under $10,000 (exclusively on VisiHow) and afterward fell totally back into the moment of my wedding day and all that it meant to me, prompting me to go back through my wedding related blog posts. To my horror, I realized I had not written a post about my wedding dress! My thoughts on what my wedding dress would be a few years ago versus the process I went through to actually chose my dress were completely different, so I knew I needed to share with you how I ended up with the dress of my dreams and saved $1,000 jut by being flexible.

Several years ago, I shared my first wedding vlog where I talked about how my dream dress was the Snow White Alfred Angelo Disney collaboration, for $1,199. Considering my wedding Budget was $10,000 – that’s a huge chunk of the budget!

My original dream dress versus my used wedding dress:

Is it okay to buy a used wedding dress?

Looking at the two dresses now, I’m startled by how similar they look as I didn’t intentionally go out looking for the same style. Honestly, if my budget had been bigger I may have never considered shopping around, but boy am I glad that I did.

It all started around February 2014, when I had found a wedding package with Grand Salon Reception Hall. As I was doing the numbers and seeing what was left in the budget, I thought to myself “Would I be heartbroken if I didn’t get the Snow White wedding dress?” and to my surprise, I wasn’t. I always thought it would have to be THAT dress after seeing it online that first time many years ago, but my heart was more open minded to other options that I had anticipated.

So I started looking around Etsy and adding some lower cost items to my Pinterest board, keeping my mind open, and then one day my Mom and sister called me in a rush telling me that they had found the perfect wedding dress for me at the Goodwill for only $60. Technically, it was $100 but my Mom was able to get the price to $60 because she’s just clever at things like that.

If you’ve never been to the Goodwill, it’s a store where they sell gently used items at a steep discount. Every item they sell is a product they received from a tax-deductible donation.

I wasn’t able to tell much from the photo she texted me but they were so enthusiastic about it that I said to go ahead and make the purchase, taking a risk on the potential of such a steep deal (wedding dresses are non-returnable at the Goodwill).

When I came back from my vacation and saw my Mom again, she passed off the dress and I tried it on. To my surprise, it was almost a perfect fit.

Trying on my dress for the first time in my sister-in-law’s bedroom:

Used Wedding Dresses

We only needed to bring up the length in the front, trim a bit around the bust, and add some buttons in the back to pick up the dress for dancing.

And boy was it fun to dance in!

The alterations ended up costing about $200, bringing my total cost of $260. That means I spent 80% less than I originally planned, an almost $1,000 difference from my original dress.

As I was prepping this post, I searched my dress for a tag and found one printed into the dress. The website is no longer live, but the brand is NY Atelier Vestidos de Novia (Bridal R Us). I’m sorry I can’t give any more information than that, all I can say is that I’m really glad the previous owner donated their dress. It really made me feel beautiful on my special day.

So, I hope that this post helped show you all what other options are available. Your dress dress may very well be in a thrift store!

Do you have any ideas about your wedding day that you feel are more flexible than you originally thought?

More posts about my wedding will be coming soon, even though it’s two years later! I want to make sure I fill in those content gaps and let you all know even more about my special day.

In Fashion on
October 29, 2015

? DIY Hogwarts Alumni Halloween Costume ?

Hello Kind Friends. If my Ultimate Halloween Costume Guide wasn’t enough for you, today I’m sharing  an easy DIY costume inspired by the Harry Potter universe. Did you always want to attend a wizarding school? Be a Hogwarts Alumni this Halloween.

The only things you really need for this project is an iron on transfer paper and then any other witchy accessories you’d like to have. In the video I also share an easy felt with hat tutorial, it is so comfy and won’t get in the way of party goers since it has a floppy look.

DIY Video:

Hogwarts Alumni Costume Shirt Instructions:

  1. Find a Hogwarts Alumni logo that you’d like to use and save it to your computer
  2. Flip or mirror the image as given in your iron on transfer instructions
  3. Print the logo onto the transfer paper
  4. Cut out the logo and place onto the shirt with the ink facing down
  5. Heat the logo onto the shirt as provided by your instructions
  6. Once the design has cooled, lift up the transfer paper

DIY Hogwarts Costume

No Sew Witch Hat Instructions (using a tutorial from Alejandra Styles):

  1. Download the template from Alejandra
  2. Print the template
  3. Cut out the template pattern from your printer paper
  4. Place the template on the fold of a large piece of felt with a piece of tape in the middle to keep it secure
  5. Cut out the template from the felt(I used 1 yard and had extra fabric)
  6. Using a hot glue gun, glue the triangle piece together and pull it inside out to hide the seam
  7. Glue the center of the circular piece and fold it over the cone piece so that the glued edges join the edge of the cone (look to the video for a visual of this step)
  8. Cover the rim of the hat with something decorative to hide the seam, I used polka dot washi tape

Clothing options:

  • Long black skirt or skater skirt
  • Other Hogwarts memorabilia clothing (you could also make a sweater using the iron on transfers and your Hogwarts house crest)
  • Black boots or flats

Accessory options:

  • A wand (or a polished stick from outside)
  • Amulets
  • Potion jars (it would be funny to take out from your purse during parties)

I hope you all enjoyed this simple DIY project. It only took me about two hours to put everything together so it’s great for a last minute party.

If you still need more costume ideas check out my Ultimate Costume Guide. I’d also recommend you bring Witch’s Brew to your party.

What are you dressing up as for Halloween? Let me know in the comments!

In DIY, Fashion on
October 27, 2015

Over 80 Last Minute Halloween Costume Ideas ?

Hi there Kind Friends!

With Halloween being this weekend (holy crap) and many themed parties on the horizon, I’m here to share with you over 80 Halloween costume ideas that can be put together in a matter of days. The majority of these ideas come from a collaboration with Andrea’s Choice and Cook1emonster (linked below) on YouTube but I’ve also added some relevant links to similar tutorials you can use as well as costume supplies from Amazon Prime, since they are about the only place you can order from online this week and still get the products in time.

So, let’s get started.

Pinable image:

Almost 100 different last minute Halloween costume ideas and DIY projects


Easy Last Minute Halloween Costumes:

  1. Hogwarts Alumni student (Easy DIY tutorial)
  2. Elderly woman costume (with white hair spray and a borrowed outfit and cane)
  3. Skrillex (wig, with fake shaved part)
  4. Katniss (dutch side braid and army inspired outfit)
  5. Kim Possible (green pants with a black shirt and gloves)
  6. Michael Jackson (there are many memorable costumes you can mimic here)
  7. Princess Leia (white dress with your hair in braided buns)
  8. YouTube video screen (DIY examples)
  9. Ninja Turtles (DIY examples)
  10. Cosmo and Wanda (pink and green wigs with a paper gold crown)
  11. Tooth Fairy (Lauren Conrad has a gorgeous DIY for this)
  12. Typical Tourist (Hawaiian shirt, leighs, big camera)
  13. Marilyn Monroe (any white dress, blonde wig, red lips)
  14. Satan or the Devil (any black or red outfit with drugstore horns and tail)
  15. Glowzel (make your own green lisptick by combining melted chapstick and green eyeshadow in a small jar)
  16. Cookie Monster (wear a blue dress and tape on cookie clip art onto the dress)
  17. Maklemore (How to dress like Maklemore)
  18. Elsa (blonde braided wig and a blue dress)
  19. Chocolate bar or candy bar (examples)
  20. Clark Kent (wear a superman shirt under your work clothes)
  21. Grumpy Cat (Grumpy Cat makeup tutorial)
  22. Disney princess (wear a dress in the colors of the princess, add a crown, and a nametag)
  23. Rosie the Riveter (flannel shirt, Rosie hair tutorial, and a red lip)
  24. Toddlers and Tiaras inspired costume (where an old princess dress from a previous costume, or just something very shiny and girly, along with a tiara and pacifier)
  25. Mario and Luigi (where red and green outfits with suspenders)
  26. Orange is the New Black characters (orange jumpsuit or scrubs)
  27. Sports player (sports jersey, black smudges under the eyes, and sneakers)
  28. Beyonce (tutorial from Elite Daily)
  29. Miley Cyrus (tightly wond buns and very little clothing)
  30. Minion (very cute costume DIY from Bethany Mota)
  31. Miranda Sings (red lipstick, ugly cat shirt and sweat pants)
  32. DIY costume shirt (write “costume” on an orange shirt)
  33. Where’s Waldo? (red striped shirt and glasses)
  34. Regina George (inspiration)
  35. iPhone 6s (pink dress, iPhone logo taped on the front or transferred using iron transfer paper)
  36. Audrey Hepburn (black dress and pearls)
  37. Starbucks employee (apron, slacks, taped on logo)
  38. Pumpkin Spice Latte (DIY from LaurDIY)
  39. Cereal Killer (wear a black outfit and secure cereal boxes to the clothing, carry a fake knife)
  40. Bootleg Wolverine (tape plastic utensils to your hands)
  41. Crazy cat lady (where a robe, curlers, and carry around toy cats)
  42. Mary Poppins (black dress, black umbrella, red lipstick, and a big bag)
  43. Powerpuff Girls (inspiration)
  44. Inside Out characters (tutorials for: Disgust, Happiness, Fear, Sadness)
  45. Cruella DeVil (tutorial)
  46. Red Riding Hood (large red cape of cloth and a basket)
  47. Nikki Minaj (there are many costumes you can imitate here)
  48. DIY 401 error costume not found shirt
  49. Mime (black striped shirt, white face paint)
  50. Sia dancer (nude leotard and a blunt-cut blond wig)
  51. Will from The Fresh Prince of Belair (inspiration)
  52. Strawberry (red dress, black seed marks with marker, and a green headband)
  53. Queen of Hearts (tutorial)
  54. Mad Hatter (buy a large top hat, where a crazy looking costume, bring playing cards and tea)
  55. Internet troll outfit DIY (examples)
  56. Sandy from Grease (black skinny pants, black tight shirt, ringlets, red lips)
  57. Farm girl (flannel, overalls, straw hat)
  58. Emoji costumes (happy face from LaurDIY)
  59. Victoria’s Secret model (where a silk VS robe and lingerie)
  60. Effie Trinket (tutorial)
  61. Peter Pan (green outfit and tights, carry around a fairy toy)
  62. Wendy Darling (blue dress and ringlets, maybe a teddy bear toy)
  63. Snapchar filters (Rainbow snapchat DIY filter tutorial)
  64. Wizard or Witch (easy DIY witches hat from felt)
  65. TJ beanie baby (animal onsie and a DIY TY tag)
  66. Steve from Blue’s Clues (blue striped shirt, khakis, a blue dog toy)
  67. Amy Pond from Doctor Who (my halloween tutorial)
  68. How to Dress as Doctor Who #9-12
  69. Kardashian’s (mimic their outfits and sleek black hair)
  70. DIY unicorn from LaurDIY
  71. 1 minute ninja tutorial
  72. A doll (skater dress with round red or pink blush cheeks)
  73. Robber (black outfit, black mask or beanie, a white pillow case with a money symbol drawn on)
  74. Decades costume: 20s makeup tutorial & fingers waves tutorial
  75. Decades costume: 30s makeup tutorial
  76. Decades costume: 40s makeup tutorial
  77. Decades costume: 50s makeup tutorial
  78. Decades costume: 60s makeup tutorial
  79. Decades costume: 70s makeup tutorial
  80. Decades costume: 80s makeup tutorial
  81. Decades costume: 90s makeup tutorial
  82. General pin up hair tutorial for vintage costumes
  83. Minnie or Mickie Mouse (dress and or suspender outfit with ears)
  84. Kitty cat (ears, whiskers, and a cute outfit)
  85. Biker chic (black outfit, leather jacket, temporary tattoos)
  86. Adam and Eve (green and brown underwear or dress with glued on leaves from the craft store)
  87. Baby (PJs, pigtails, and baby accessories like toys)
  88. Ballerina (leotard, ballet shoes, leg warmers)
  89. Vampire (black outfit, teeth, red lips)

Phew! It took over three hours to put this list together. I sincerely hope it helps you this Halloween.

Videos many of these costumes are in reference to:


A few other tutorials are linked above so make sure to click around.

Let me know other costumes I can add to this list in the comments! Don’t forget to also try alcoholic witch’s brew, it’s a crowd pleaser.

In Fashion, Review on
July 16, 2015

Bellabeat LEAF Unboxing – Wearable Tech/Health Tracker that is STYLISH!

bellabeat leaf review and unboxing

I am flipping out because the Bellabeat LEAF is finally here. I pre-ordered this item three months ago and have been fan girling over it ever since. After checking my mail three times today, my package was finally here. Since there has been so much anticipation for this product, I filmed an unboxing to show you all. In a month or so I’ll film an updated review telling detailing if it lived up to the hype so make sure to leave any questions you have about it in the comments so that I can address them in the review.

Video unboxing:


If you haven’t seen or heard of the Bellabeat LEAF, it is basically a health tracker made specifically for women’s needs. It functions as a menstrual cycle tracker, stress reliever (through breathing exercises), step/activity tracker, smart alarm, sleep tracker, and more. It’s basically amazing. What really attracted me to the LEAF though is the gorgeous design. So many similar items on the market are just ugly or very plain. Most of them also have more of a sporty look, when that is not my style at all.

beallabeat leaf silver fitness tracker

It comes in silver, gold, and rose gold. I purchased the silver leaf for $119 at the pre-order price and I believe the gold/rose gold will cost $150 for preorder. I don’t know what the price will be yet after the official launch. You can currently get on the waitlist for the third batch of pre-orders, estimated to be available this August.

Those that purchased in the first and second batch of preorders will receive the necklace and bracelet accessories, along with a second necklace and a battery replacement kit (in a second shipment). The third batch may come with different accessories. After the full launch, more accessory items should be available through the Bellabeat store.

bellabeat leaf first impressions - wearable tech/health tracker

Forgive my sweaty face. I had actually gone on for a 45 minute walk before my LEAF arrived. I think it feels the most comfortable as a pin (shown in my video) but the necklace look is also very pretty. I’m very excited to use this product and if I end up loving it as much as I think I will, I may consider also getting the rose gold version.

What do you think of the LEAF? Do you have any questions you want me to address in my follow up video?

Join the waitlist on:

In Fashion, Sponsored on
April 7, 2015

Music Festival Fashion and Essentials with rue21

Cute Spring fashion with rue21

Hi Kind Friends! Today I’m talking to you about music festival fashion (in collaboration with rue21). All over Instagram I’m seeing pictures of Coachella and all of the hundreds of other festivals starting this April. Are you going to any? Here is a list of festivals so you can find one in your area.

I am not going to participate in a festival myself (I just can’t stand the heat!) but there is something about the fashion choices of these festivals that has me dreaming of florals and cute hippies (and hipsters). I could just scroll through my Instagram and Tumblr liking these photos all day.

Spring Music Festival Fashion with rue21

Festival Fashion:

Some of the go-to festival fashion include floral crowns (I really want this one), woven sandals or combat boots paired with black skater dresses, high waisted shorts, crop tops or lace bralettes, and lately, the foil jewelry tattoos.

Backpacks are an essential for festivals (or even just a long day at the park or beach) and rue21 has this really cute black fringe backpack in their Festival Ready section. Backpacks are much easier to carry when you have to be walking around all day.

Last but not least, you need styling sunglasses. Heart glasses are seen everywhere during festivals, though I’m more of a fan of the big bug sunglasses. They take over my small face but I just love them.

PS Did you know about this joggers trend? I felt a little out of the loop when I found out about that one.

Festival Essentials:

If you are heading to a festival you need sunblock, water bottles and snacks (check if they are allowed at your venue), picnic blankets, and some beauty products for touch ups (like deodorant). I found this cool list on Pinterest you may find helpful:

Festival Essentials and Fashion Picks from rue21

What do you wear or bring with you on a long Spring and Summer day? What’s your favorite new trend?

I live in high waisted shorts and smell constantly of sunblock during the hotter months!

[Fashion images found on rue21 and their Instagram]

In Fashion, Happiness, Review on
January 9, 2015

Lokai Bracelet Review – A Bracelet with Elements from Mount Everest and the Dead Sea

lokai bracelet review silicone

Hi Kind Friends! Today I am pumped to be sharing with you a Lokai bracelet review. The Lokai bracelet is a silicone bracelet that holds water from Mount Everest and mud from the Dead Sea – the highest and lowest points of the world.

What an amazing idea, right?! It’s a unique piece of jewelry that I was so happy to get this Christmas.

See the video below for my impressions after wearing it for a few days. Make sure to also leave a comment if you are considering this purchase and have any questions.


One important thing to note about the white bead (the one that has water from Mount Everest) – the water may evaporate with time. I don’t mind that but I know for some people that has been a deal breaker.  I’ve heard about this happening from a few different reviewers that have cut open their bracelets. It is mentioned (in a very buried kind of way) in the FAQ on their website.

Do you have any inspirational jewelry?

In Fashion on
November 7, 2014

What’s In My (Park) Purse + Ring Shopping OOTD

ring shopping ootd

Hi Kind Friends! Today I am sharing with you what I bring with me during my weekly walks at the park with Mustache and also what I wore that day to go ring shopping with Chris. I hope you find some outfit and purse inspiration.


Canvas Bag: I Like Big Books and I Cannot Lie c/o CafePress (CafePress iPhone case review)
iPhone Case: Rifle Paper Co. (Rifle Paper Co. Haul)

– OotD –
Sweater: Holister, used at Plato’s Closet
Pants: Jolt, from a garage sale
Lace Shoes: Payless
Purse: Plato’s Closet

Vlog: Ring Shopping!


Thank you all so much for your support! I can’t wait to show you more about our wedding soon.

What do you bring with you to the park? Did I miss anything I should have brought?