Pre-ception Wedding Flowers : Wedding Talk

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Happy Friday guys! 

October has FLOWN by and I'm currently getting ready to leave out of town again for work, ugh. This time I'm going back to Mexico where I was about a year ago. If you don't know how that trip went you can read about it here, oui freaking vey! You'll be happy to know that I booked my hotel myself this time, we have our secured driver cleared and lined up and a full schedule laid out for us. I'll be carrying on my luggage, I have a work cell that can call, text and FaceTime internationally so basically things should go much smoother than last time. Fingers crossed yo!

Last month we had our pre-ception party and I've thought about how I wanted to share things with you all, the pictures, the video footage and cost of everything. I personally am never afraid to ask someone how much they spent on things. If we were having coffee or Chipotle together, I'd straight up ask you how much you spent on flowers, your dress or your hair and makeup crew. I really have no shame in my game. If I want to know something, I'll ask, plain and simple. I'm not judging you for what you've spent or haven't spent, I just want to know if I'm getting a good deal with the research I've been doing!
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While planning our pre-ception I knew I wanted fresh flowers but refused to spend an arm and a leg on them. I love flowers and I understand why people obsess over them, I really do, but the thing is, THEY DIE, and they die within a week no so.

After talking to my mother and sister in law who are flower experts, I knew I wanted to use Trader Joes for the pre-ception flowers. I always hear about how expensive flowers can be and I knew I wanted to use something local and something not a bajillion dollars. In comes Trader Joes and for a very reasonable cost and an abundance of flowers to choose from!
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For $130 I filled 20 small vases (pales) and by I, I mean my florist. Let me introduce you to the owner and flower extortioner, Amy of MI Honeybee Flowers, AKA my sister from another mister and that mister would be my soon to be father-in-law. Basically, one of Jerek's sisters.
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Here is some background of Amy in case you haven't met her before, which in if you haven't than that is very unfortunate! 

Amy graduated Kimball in 01' and worked at Dynamic Flowers in Royal Oak for over three years. She has done flowers for a variety of special events (baby showers, wedding showers and weddings.) Since having her son earlier this year, she is making her business more official! MI Honeybee Flowers is focused on floral design and event consulting. She wants to make your event vision come to life and ensure that it's beautifully unique to you, easy and affordable. She would love to grab a coffee or a drink and sit down to char about all things wedding flowers and decor! She can be contacted at amy@mihoneybeeflowers.com.


Call me bias but Amy is the bee's knees, okay, pun intended but in all honestly, she is one of the most hard working women I know. Her resume is killer, she graduated from Michigan State with her bachelors and then proceeded to work and volunteer in Detroit for basically pennies while getting her masters in Urban Planning at Wayne State. She's also worked for Governor Granholm! This lady has done and is doing it all and I'm proud to call her my florist, best friend, and most importantly, Godmother to the boys. She also recently added mommy to her resume to my beautiful nephew Emry. If you watch any of my vlogs you've probably gushed over his smile, cheeks, rolls...I could go on and on!

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Amy was there with me picking out the flowers the day of the event, telling me I needed more eucalyptus and to worry less. She spent hours at my mom's house prepping and arranging everything from flowers to decorations so that I could relax and drink my Starbucks. The vases (pales) were borrowed from a girlfriend at work and the wooden coasters were cut from branches already at my moms, so like I said, all of the flower arrangements were legit $130!
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From my small event of 80 people she then turned around and prepared all the bouquets, table arrangements and decorations for a huge wedding in downtown Detroit at the yacht club a week later. If you are planning a baby shower, wedding or corporate event consider hiring Amy! I'm not promoting her because she's my sister-in-law, I'm just letting you all in on this hidden secret of Metro Detroit! Because when she books more events, than I get to watch Emry, and if I watch Emry then my need for #3 is put at bay and Jerek would appreciate it greatly I'm sure.

In all seriousness, Amy does amazing work and can accommodate any budget (did I mention she did all of mine for $130!) so drop her an email and set up a coffee date to discuss your needs and Amy will make it happen. Plus, coffee dates also mean I get to watch Emry. BOOM!

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation Review: Wedding Talk

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With our wedding less than 6 months away I've been on the hunt for foundation that will last through the heat in Mexico for my wedding day. When we started planning a destination wedding I knew I'd be doing my hair and makeup from day one. I get stressed thinking about relying on others for these two things because I enjoy doing my own hair and makeup and most times, think I do it better than I've had paid for before.

I've since decided that I will get a hair trial done the day we get to Mexico and we'll go from there. My makeup is another thing though, and I won't be budging on it. I know many people say airbrush is amazing but since I'm doing my own and I don't plan on buying an airbrush machine like ever I've been on the hunt for a full coverage, long lasting, non-drying, non-cake face foundation, phew, that's a mouthful!

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I've heard nothing but amazing things about the Too Face Born This Way foundation so off to the store I went! So far I've been using it every day for over a week now, and everyday I love it more and more! The reason I wanted to try this foundation is because I have combination to dry sky, more so dry in the winter. It is fragrance free (making it a good option for those with sensitive skin *raises both hands up high*, not tested on animals and has a pump! I can't tell you how much I love a foundation with a pump, it's mess free and much more sanitary.

The coverage is medium to full but 100% build-able. While I've been wearing it more on an everyday basis (so more sheer) than I would for our wedding, I would build it up a little more to ensure it lasts through the day and night. The foundation claims to 'blur the lines between skincare and makeup. It is made to moisturize and brighten the skin. It conceals uneven skin tones, blotchy areas or post-breakout red marks (IE: my chin in these before pictures!)

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I've never been able to wear 'matte' foundations because my skin is so dry the patches are magnified and I look like I have a lizard face. One of the best parts about this foundation is there are 18 different color options to choose from, which can be rare when foundation shopping. I usually have a good eye to pick out my own color but this time I decided to leave it to the professionals and had someone color match me. Come to find out she went one shade darker than I would have thought. This was because it had less pink undertones and while I pull pink no one WANTS to have red/pink skin! Genius I tell ya! The color I'm in is Warm Nude and it matches perfectly!

I won't be wearing this every day because I don't normally go for a full coverage look for work but for testing purposes I've been wearing it every day for the last week. I will defiantly be using this for special nights out (whenever those may be!) as well as our wedding, etc. Look at how well just two small pumps covered my entire face, all my blemishes and redness are gone! For me, the Born This Way foundation applies best with a beauty blender but I've also used my foundation brush too. I personally prefer having the moisture in the beauty blender to help apply to my face, especially in the winter.
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The next test will be finding an eye look and lipstick for the wedding day so stay tuned!


How to Style a Lob + Video


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About a month ago I drove my hairdresser nuts by texting her non-stop, begging to chop my hair off. You see I usually send Jamie a bajillion photos of 'how I want my hair' to be and then she kindly reminds me that I'm spontaneous and to think things through. So naturally I went in a week before our pre-ception party and told her I still wanted to chop it all off. So she finally gave in and I love it!
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So as always, I went in with some photos to base it off of and we went from there (here are some of the photos I brought in.) I also wanted to darken my base since the fall was approaching and I've been rocking a bright blonde hue for a while now. Most people would think I'm crazy for doing such a dramatic change up right before our party but that's what I do, I get bored, antsy and stressed right before big things are happening. I also like change, unlike most, I like that uneasy feeling of not knowing my reaction, plus, hell, IT'S HAIR DUDE!!!
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It's been a solid month of getting use to using less shampoo, extremely fast blow drying and learning how to style my new lob. I've gotten many many requests to show how I curl it now that it's shorter. For some reason people always think they can't use the same tools as girls with long luscious locks, and that is totally not true.  So I decided I would show you how I'm using my NUME wands, you know, the one I'm ALWAYS raving about, to show you how you can curl short hair! If you want to see me with longer hair using the wand, here is the video for that. PS. I know I'll get asked, so the lip color is Wet n Wild-Vamp It Up and it is super affordable and one of my favorites for the fall and winter!

NUME DISCOUNT CODES:

NUMEFORME- ANY wand + free trial size Shampoo & Conditioner: $26 (till 10/25)
GETMYJAMON-Curl Jam  + round brush: $89 (till 10/20)
BOGO39- Any 2 wands for $39 (10/31)
LUVMYWAND- All wands + Thermal pouch + Argan oil: $38 (till 10/31)
111OFF- All sets $111 off (10/31)
MEGAMEGA- Megastar Straightener + microfiber hair wrap + thermal pouch: $67 (10/31)
DRIESFAST- Blowdryer: $59 (10/31)

Don't forget to watch the video for a sneaky little giveaway!



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Shopbop Sale: Friends and Family Discount

Last night I stayed up till 2 am because I was attempting to make up all the personal time I felt I've lost these last few weeks with how busy I've been. My alarm then went off at 530 am and I realized that perhaps that 2nd Griffin Claw wasn't the best idea, but it wasn't my worst so #YOLO

My mental health is hugely important to me as a mom. If I'm not mentally all together I end up yelling and acting like an all around imbecile to everyone I encounter! Online shopping is something that brings me joy and stabilizes me in times of breakdowns. If you couldn't tell by my Facebook post Tuesday night, I've been a little unstable lately due to projects and pressure at work. Coming home from a long day of work to find a package on your doorstep brings me happiness in a way that a mall does not. Who else is with me, can I get an amen?!

Twice a year Shopbop has their friends and family sale where everything online is 25% off, yeah guys, yeah! Last night I did the whole "lets fill my cart up but not press purchase because I don't get paid till Thursday" thing. Let me tell you, it felt magical and the stress I came home with was instantly relieved but my wallet is begging me to say yes to one or two things. Now the question is what do I remove and what do I purchase, decisions, decisions.

Since Shopbop is filled with designers the price tags are not usually ones as low as Target or Forever 21 so I normally window shop, ain't nobody got time to pay full price! However, when there is a great sale going on, you can snag some amazing finds, just like you would at Nordstrom Rack! Without further BSing, here are some of the contenders hanging out in my shopping cart, waiting for me to pull the trigger. Don't worry Jerek, I won't say yes to all 9 things, I know you were wondering that! Realistically, I have about 2 pairs of jeans that fit my bod so I most likely will be purchasing the jeans. Those boots, those boots have been calling my name for the past few winters so well ya, those might be purchased as well! If you're feeling like you need to take a mental health day, I say do it and shop away! Enter INTHEFAM25 at checkout for 25% off but don't wait because the sale ends tonight at midnight TONIGHT and they only do this twice a year! They also have mens, kids and maternity so get going!

Who watches the kids when you're gone?

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I get this question a lot. More than I feel is normal to ask someone.

I've mentioned before that I've been traveling for work more and I've been consumed by our pre-ception party as well as other weddings I'm in, attending or shooting video for.

Without fail I get friends, family, co-workers, even strangers asking me who is watching the boys when I'm not around. I'm sure my facial reaction is probably scary once the question is presented to me. The look of 'what do you mean who watches the boys when I'm not around???"

My answer is always the same.

Jerek.
Jerek is.
Their dad,
you know,
the other person that raises them with me.

Some people stumble over their words after my answer and usually say 'oh yeah yeah of course, I just wasn't sure' and then do this awkward smile and don't make eye contact with me further. I'm sure some people genuinely don't know our work schedules or daycare situation and wonder when I'm gone who picks up, drops off, etc. So in that sense I get the question but for most of the people asking I always want to ask them, 'who watches your kids when their mom isn't around?

My answer use to be 'Jerek does, he's the next best thing to me.' I've stopped saying that because that's not true, he's not the NEXT best thing, he's as equally as good as I am as a parent, hell, some days he's better! While I'm traveling for work or staying well past my normal working hours Jerek's making sure he's leaving work on time to get home and let our aunt leave after watching the boys for 9 hours. He's driving to daycare to pick them up and starting dinner, never complaining about when I'm going to be home, just excited to see me when I get there. Some days when I'm out of town he's doing all this and then coming home to make dinner, get the boys ready for soccer and then home and ready for bed. He's doing it all without me because he's a father, he's their father and that's what you do. That's how we parent, we are a team and some days I'm pulling more weight around here and others he is. But for the most part we contribute 50/50.

There has never been one doubt in my mind when I've left to run to the store, to go to work or I'm half way across the world that I need worry about Jerek being here with them. Some days I seriously question my parenting and am jealous at how calm and collected Jer can be.

I think I've gone to one soccer practice so far. one. Sure I've been there for every soccer game but it kills me inside, missing things, important things, to me. My mind has been wrapped in work work work and Jerek is getting worn out and I can tell. It's a lot to be a parent and work full-time and when your partner that you count on as your teammate isn't there it's 10 times harder. We've both said how grateful we are that we aren't single parents and doing this on our own. I commend all the single parents out there by choice, or not by choice, this shit is exhausting WITH a partner and I hope I never have to do it alone.

So Jerek this one is for you.

Thank you.
I know I haven't said it enough lately, 
most likely because I haven't been home or awake long enough,
but Thank you for being the dad I never doubted you would always be.
Your dedication to this family is appreciated more than you know.
I would be lost with out, our grass would be 10 feet tall 
and the boys would probably eat more ice cream than they should.
Thank you for making sure they aren't the last ones at daycare,
they eat the cheesiest mac and cheese 
and for being the hot soccer dad, 
this soccer mom loves the hell out of you!



Happy 2nd Blogiversary East Willow Grove



Hi.

It's been a while. Some of you are new so let me introduce myself.

My name is Chelsea and I am a 29 year old mother of two. I'm a boy mom with a beauty room and a love for coffee and brunch, preferably together.

I'm a girlfriend of 11 years and fiancĂ© for almost 1, our wedding is exactly 6 months from today in beautiful sunny Mexico! I work full-time in the Detroit auto industry while managing this blog, our daily lives on Youtube and running an Etsy shop. Recently I started shooting wedding videos and have developed a love for long boarding.

I make frequent trips to Target, am obsessed with finding things on sale and don't require a ton of sleep to function, I guess that's where the coffee comes into play. I have a dog who drives me crazy but can't imagine our house or life without him. My heart beats for relationships with family and friends as they are one in the same to me. I thrive on to-do lists and schedules but sometimes make big decisions on a whim.

I enjoy giving gifts much more than receiving them and have a hard time saying no to candy. I love social media, a good dance party and sleeping with the fan on. I could talk to anyone and rarely do I feel uncomfortable in awkward situations. I love adventures and the unknown but crave the security of home base.

I'm an open book, a filterless mouth and a passionate women. I am, East Willow Grove, a place where I come to document the good, the bad, the uplifting and the sad. I try not to hide in my struggles or relish in my fears because you only get one life and this is mine.

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Today is not really my blogiversary, Saturday the 26th was, but it was also our Pre-ception party and I decided to hold off writing this till after it was over. My brain has been running a mile a minute and my body can't keep up. I've started posts, filmed videos but have been too twisted around to know what side is up to click publish on anything.

I'm sure you could tell because this place has been a little scarce if we're going to be honest here. While traveling for work,  I've been planning a wedding, parenting and playing house with Jerek. Life has been nothing of boring or basic around here! This past year goals have been met, tears have been shed and new lives have been created. Jerek and the boys have been my light through the forest of unknown adventures and the reason for more laugh lines on my face.

My hopes for this next year on East Willow Grove are big. I want to travel more and showcase these adventures near and far with the boys. To post more outfit ideas from a mom's eye view and display looks for less. I want to archeive milestones while commemorating the everyday happenings on video through my YouTube channel. I want to shoot more weddings, births of new babies and time spent with loved ones.

Sharing it all here is something I enjoying doing, it's never a chore, never something I get sick of, in fact, I wish I was here more, even full-time dare I say. East Willow Grove is a place where all are invited, a place where I hope other mothers nod their heads and smile or can lift themselves up as I too try to navigate parenthood along side of them. It's a place where I had kids first, bought a house second and get married after, a place I am proud of, where I can be creative and a place where I've met new friends. East Willow Grove is more than just a dropbox for my thoughts, an external hard drive for my photos it's a place I come often to clear my head, to remember the moments and to engage with others.

Welcome, you can stay as long as you'd like.

Happy 2 years East Willow Grove, you are so loved.