Monday, January 16, 2017

Bar Cart 101

I never thought I would buy a bar cart. I rarely have a drink or throw a party for that matter.

So what's the point?

When Tim and I moved into our townhouse we overlooked the typical newbie things and didn't realize how little kitchen storage we had. I mean we have one silverware drawer and a half drawer.

Especially for all those kitchen items on our registry...

I also had been building up a generously sized party collection for our wedding, because I wanted our getting ready photos to be #extracute.

All of this lead me to a big storage problem, and the bar cart was an easy way to solve that!

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My Bar Cart Details:


I saw this cart at Target and it was the most affordable one I came across. I definitely didn't want to drop $200+ on a cart to hold the cocktails I'll probably never make but keep pinning on my Pinterest. It also helped that it was free thanks to a gift card from Delta for losing our luggage on our honeymoon.

Putting all of this on the cart opened up a whole cabinet in our kitchen, so now our Corningware has a home in a cabinet where it belongs. I'm considering adding some marble contact paper to the wood to lighten it up, but for now I kind of like the masculine touch it adds.

You can see I've collected a lot of pineapple type items, all which have been gifts throughout the last year. I have a few bottle stoppers, both gifted from Tim's sweet sister this year. The LOVE bottle opener was a gift from a Swoozies Bridal Showcase, and the leaf bottle opener was a wedding favor a few years back, but I found it here!

The Pineapple platter was from the Lilly Pulitzer + Target collection and it's a funny backstory to how I actually have it today. I wasn't expecting the madness that came along with shopping the collection. I mean I actually don't own anything Lilly. So in the madness that was grabbing everything I saw available, I bought this platter. Did anyone else experience people hoarding things for trade  At the time, I didn't have any need for it, so my mom offered to buy it and gifted it to her friend. I always admired it, so she ended up re-gifting it to me at my bridal shower. So in the end, my mom paid me for it and I ended up getting it back.. haha!

The dotted champagne glasses were a find at Hobby Lobby that I purchased for us girls getting ready on wedding day, along with these best day ever cups from Swoozies.  My tassel is from my bridal shower and you can purchase it off Etsy (link!). The J cheese board was a gift from my cousin. A lot of little decor (rose towel, hooray and cheers stirrers, polka dot straws, marble tray) was found at HomeGoods. They recently have caught on to this bar cart trend and have a row or two of bar related items in my local store. 




Traditional Bart Cart Components:

  • Ice Bucket
  • Glassware - I have both copper mugs and champagne flutes. Customize this to fit your taste! 
  • Wine and bottle opener 
  • Shaker / Tumblr
  • Bar Spoon or stirrer 
  • Pitcher
  • Bottle Stopper 
  • Straws 
  • Mixers + Garnishes 

The Accessories to Make it Your Own:

  • Cute Coasters
  • Personalized napkins - I still have napkins from my bridal shower #treatyoself
  • Coffee table books
  • Candle + matches
  • Add a tray for interest - I found my marble tray at Homegoods
  • Extra kitchen towels
  • Extra serving plates 
  • Fresh flowers 

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Bar Carts Under $200:



Other Functional Uses of the Cart + Style Inspiration 



Just because it's called a "bar" cart, doesn't mean you have to use it as one!

Coffee Cart: I also love the idea of using it as a coffee cart if cocktails aren't your thing or if you're underage in college. I would have been the hostess with the mostest during my studying days if I busted out a coffee cart for my girlfriends! 

Bedside table: For some added interest in your bedroom you can use a cart as your bedside table. 

Bath Cart: If you're limited on storage in your bathroom consider using a small cart to store a few towels on the bottom and some pretty toiletries and bath soaps on the top! I found this image on Pinterest and I can't find the original link to give credit, so if it's yours let me know!

Dessert Cart: If sweets are more your thing, another way to use your cart is as a dessert cart! Cute for bridal showers, bachelorette parties, birthday parties, and whatever else you have planned.









    If you're not ready to fully commit to a cart, I've also seen some really cute bar tray options. If you've styled your bar cart of know of other ways to use it, let me know in the comments! 

    Cheers to Monday,
    xo Amanda John


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    Tuesday, January 10, 2017

    Gifts for the Mrs




    December is the most popular month to get engaged, so what better time to share a gift guide for all the new brides-to-be out there!  If you're reading this, I'm sure you have a friend (or ten) that just announced her engagement on Facebook so here's a little guide to get your started on a sweet little congratulations gift for your bestie bride. I got married on 10/14/16, and although I'm not sad the planning is over it was such a fun and anticipating year leading up to it! If you want to read a little more about my wedding, you can check out my wedding series here.  

    You can shop this post by clicking the image in the picture above or in the widget below

    1. Blossom Garter Set:  Gifting a garter is a nice thought because it's something to cross off her list and also a chance to spoil her with something she may not have room for in her budget! For whatever reason, I had trouble deciding on a garter because I knew it was something I wanted to pass down to my daughter one day and would be great as a friends future something borrowed! You can also get a gift card to a place like The Garter Girl if you're not sure which style would fit her vision. If you missed my post and video on all of the bridal accessories I choose, you can read more about it here.


    2. Mrs. Necklace: My Mom gifted this to me and I wore it at the reception with my bow reception dress.  It was the perfect dainty declaration to wear throughout the night and on our honeymoon. I remember wishing for the necklace long before it was my time to wear it ;)


    3. Bling Brush: I reach for this on the go jewelry cleaner weekly to sparkle up my diamonds because I don't have the time for a frequent dip into a professional cleaner. Although it doesn't do as well of a job as Shane does, I love to get some extra shine it in with this when I can!  


    4. Wifey Tee: This would be perfect tee for the morning of and comfy honeymoon attire. 


    5. The Mrs. Box: Definitely a splurgy ring box, but I'm sure she's been eyeing it on Instagram since before she was even engaged (guilty!). This box will make her detail shots extra pretty, and will serve as a great home for her rings for years to come! If you're not sure what her wedding colors are, I would recommend getting a gift card (don't forget to add the monogram!) for her to pick out the right one. I bought the Havenhart box with a gold calligraphy initial. Here is a picture on my Instagram and you can see it in my wedding accessories post. 


    6. Picture Frame: I was gifted this myself from a sweet friend and currently have our invitation inside (see here on Instagram). I adore the shape of this gold frame!


    7. Luggage Tag: Hopefully on her honeymoon Delta won't lose her luggage like they did for Tim and I ;) 


    8. Wifey Mug: She'll appreciate an extra special mug to sip on the morning of and after the wedding to remind her of her special day!


    9. Southern Weddings Planner: I used this thing all throughout my engagement and it still serves as a memory book afterward! This planner definitely deserves a post on its own and is already in the works! 


    10. New Monogram: My mom gifted me my new monogram for Christmas last year, and it was one of my favorite gifts that year! Here in the south, we really appreciate our monograms ;)


    11. Kate Spade Bow Box: How sweet is this little bow box from Kate Spade!? Basically, anything under the bridal tab on their website if a great gift idea in my eye! 


    12. Silk Sleep Mask: Every bride needs her beauty sleep, plus it will be a great addition to her carry on for the flight to her honeymoon destination!


    13. Bride2Be Clutch: I used this clutch for my DIY engagement pictures. It would be perfect for her pre-wedding festivities and rehearsal dinner, too!







    xo Amanda John
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    Monday, January 9, 2017

    Pink Hunter Boots on Sale

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    Yes, in the south we freak out about this much snow.

    If you're a size 6 or 7 in Hunter boots then you're in luck because there's a pink pair of Hunter boots on sale here.  I'm a size 7.5 or 8 in regular shoes and wear a 7 in Hunter boots for reference. It never fails that I get a compliment or two when I wear these because they're so fun for a rainy day but they're also a unique pop of color you wouldn't normally see in footwear. 

    My bow gloves and set were a Christmas gift from the Kate Spade outlet, along with this amazing tassel scarf from the J. Crew Factory. I did find another bow beanie option here as well! My herringbone vest has been a fall and winter wardrobe staple for me the last few years I've had it. I'm worried they aren't going to bring it back next year because it's been around for a while and the price is much lower than I've seen it before, so if you're thinking about getting it I wouldn't wait too long! 

    These Zella leggings are worth a mention because I've been a Lulu Lemon snob the last few years when it comes to leggings, but these have impressed me! I purchased them during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, and I definitely plan to pick up a few pairs when it comes back around. The material feels slightly thinner but somehow more durable, and they wash really well!

    I was so happy to finally get to spend a Saturday with Tim, even if we were trapped in the house with icy weather conditions. We're both home bodies, so we really didn't hate it. He always works on Saturday and plays soccer on Sundays when we're both off of work, so it never really feels like we have a full day together. We actually filmed the husband tag for my Youtube channel in case you missed it in yesterday's post! 


    Sizing Details:  I'm wearing a size small top, bottom, and vest.  If you don't plan to zip up your vest, I'd recommend sizing down for a more fitted look, but I like to have the option to zip it and have a little extra room. I sized down to a 7 in Hunters and although there's no extra room in them the size 8 would fit way too clunky and big. 

    For reference:
     I'm 5'5'' (slightly rounded up)
    Normal top size: Small
    Normal bottom size: 4 / 27 
    Shoes: 7.5-8




    xo Amanda John