Friday Faves

(photo from mini golfing last night)

The feeling of coming home is like nothing in itself.

I was traveling all week for work and while having a little alone time is all great fun I was going out of my mind! I didn't know what to do with myself! I filmed a new video, edited and uploaded it in a day. Something that NEVER happens because #kids! If you haven't seen it you can watch it here. My easy everyday makeup look.

No one was bugging me for more milk, no one to ask me to play games with and no one to fall asleep next to. It's a very lonely feeling to be honest. I'm so used to being with the boys anything more than a day or two is very hard on me. Jerek was on ultra dad duty and killed it like always. Had kids to school on time, worked, played and kept them very happy.

This weekend we have one of my best friends son's first birthdays and that is really it! I want to get some cleaning and organizing done around the house because there are just piles of stuff to sell, donate and toss everywhere I turn (totally my fault!) Besides de-hoarding my house I want to spend some quality time at the gym, and not just at the pool lounging but getting my butt back into gear!


:| I've had my eyes on these and these Nike shoes lately. I want something I can wear to the gym but also with leggings or a pair of shorts that still say she looks semi put together when I leave the house in the summer.

:| I'm starting to plan Skylor's 3rd birthday coming up at the end of July. Last year we got "him" (hard to say just for him since it's for both boys) this trampoline and it's been amazing for the boys and anyone that comes over! I need to figure out what we should get him this year. I will probably get him this helmet since he's out grown his current one (and he loves dinosaurs) but I want to find him something special too!

:| I tweeted about having a flash sale of 40% off the entire site on Wednesday (it's over now.) I jumped on that train and bought a few items which I will show in a video once they arrive. For a preview I got this cute off the shoulder dress and this very basic gray maxi dress along with a few other pieces. I've already started tacking my order because ONLINE SHOPPING IS THE BEST!

:| Speaking of online shopping, I also got this lens that I'm excited to shoot with! I have 2 weddings I'm filming video for at the end of July so I want to test it out prior. Tracking says it should be here tomorrow so hopefully I can get this baby working this weekend! Stay tuned!

:| This weekend I'm hoping to try and make a few cold salads and a vegan chili that I've pinned to keep on hand for this next week and make our lives a little easier with lunches.

Leave any 3 year old birthday gift ideas below because I have no idea what to get the little munchin! Have a great weekend and enjoy the weather! PS. Katie, have your baby already girl ;)

xx Chel

One Year Later


Sunday is Father's Day and this year it also marks one year from when I originally shared one of my most honest and open hearted posts to date. A post I had sitting in my draft folder for months, almost years.

By opening up my heart and letting my fingers do the typing it's ultimately helped others.

Others I didn't know would need it.

As the months go by I watch the boys grow up into tiny humans with ears that tend to not listen and I yell more than I would like to. With summer approaching and our windows are wide open I wonder what the neighbors must think of me.

But I don't care,
I want more.

More kids.
More chaos.
More lives to worry about.

I still open emails from strangers; some not so strange, girls I went to high school and college with, some from a mom group I'm in. They thank me for my post a year ago and how it's helped them find peace between the pain.

Lately many families I watch on YouTube have been struggling with miscarriages. It breaks my heart, makes me think back to a few years ago when I was them.

I don't know if I can say I'm 100% pass everything because as I find myself obsessing over having another baby, tracking ovulation, thinking of names, I also find myself envisioning us right back in the ER room. I'm scared it could happen again, perhaps further along this time.

But this fear will not cripple me, it will not consume me.

In 2011 I got the words Lebe für heute [live for today-in German] tattoo'd on my back left shoulder. A constant reminder that tomorrow is promised to no one and that every day can be filled with happiness if you allow it to be.


I'm not sad this day happens to fall on Father's day this year, it's almost liberating in a sense. Jerek is the dad I dreamed about marrying. One who loves his kids and family with his whole being. While I'm scared it could happen all again, the risk is worth the payoff. Life can be challenging and really fucking hard at times. Secure your helmet tightly on your melon, put your best foot forward and press on. When there is an obstacle in your way you figure out how to move past it. It may take some time but always keep moving, keep living for today.

xx chels

How To Find The Perfect Wedding Dress

| All photos are by the amazing Monroe Fox Photography |

Wedding dress shopping.

A time every girl dreams about.

Trying on dresses, feeling like a princess, crying when they've found the one.

Like most things wedding related I was dreading it.

I didn't mind trying dresses on, wasn't really worried about my weight, nor did I care to look like a princess, in fact I wasn't even sure I'd cry like everyone says they do.

I wasn't dreading so much finding a dress but finding one I liked that wasn't a shit ton of money.

I knew the styles I liked because I had pinned a ton. But I also looked at the prices of those pins and knew most were far more than I wanted to spend.

Something I just don't understand is when people spend a mortgage payment, or ten, on a wedding dress! I don't care what anyone says it's INSANE.

If you've been married think about how much you spent on your wedding think about what trip(s) you could have gone on instead.

Yea, makes you feel real dumb doesn't it.

That's how I feel about that. Travel over clothing, ALWAYS.

Last year I wrote a post here on how I found my wedding dress, the cost, etc. If you follow along on Snapchat (@eastwillowgrove) or on Instagram you've seen a few pictures from the wedding. Today I wanted to share the dress in more detail.

As mentioned I found my dress at David's Bridal, not somewhere I thought I'd find it to be honest. I always thought they had cheeseball dresses so I was pleasantly surprised at the selection and the fact that I loved my dress almost instantly upon trying on.

I went  shopping knowing that the absolute most I was willing to spend was $1000.


And that was if I didn't think I could live without the dress. Who the hell thinks they "just can't live without a dress?" I honestly wanted to spend $500 or less. My dress was $500.


After I had decided it was the one my mom told me she was going to give me $500 toward a dress regardless so she basically bought my dress for me!

It was perfect.


It had that beachy boho vibe I wanted. There wasn't too much structure as I knew a fitted dress would look out of place in a wedding in Mexico.

But it fit me perfectly and most importantly I felt fucking beautiful in it.

As a mom my body isn't exactly how it was before kids so feeling beautiful is sometimes a challenge.


It had an empire waist so I didn't have to stress about it looking unflattering on my mommy midsection.  I also went braless and my funbags sagbags didn't look half bad! I knew I didn't want strapless when we were looking and I loved that this had a sweetheart shape bust line but it had what they call an illusion tank.

Here is the link for the dress if you want to see it on a 5'9 model but I think I looked pretty damn good in it myself!

I've thought about selling it because like I said, travel over clothing but I decided against it. I'm hoping maybe one day I could pass it on to a niece or daughter-in-law; because we know I'll most likely only have all boys #notmadaboutit #houseofboys I might even be buried in it. Is that morbid of me to think about?

As I've mentioned before, find a dress that makes you feel beautiful. If that is a $50 dress from Zara, wear it! If it's a $10,000 from a shop in London, wear it, but know you could be traveling the world on that kind of money! Your wedding dress is suppose to scream you.

Brides are often so caught up in the wedding chaos that we think we're suppose to do this, to wear that, to think this. It's fucking exhausting!

If you're wedding dress shopping don't dip out on David's Bridal, they might just surprise you!

XX chels

PS. to view any wedding related post you can click on the Wedding section under topics here to the Right. Or you can click here if that is better!

Father's Day Gift Ideas

I like to think that every day is Mother and Father’s day but Hallmark likes to remind us that we get one damn day a year and the rest belongs to the kids, or some national cupcake, pancake, talk like a pirate day.


I won’t lie to you and say that I tell Jerek every day I’m grateful for him but I try my very best to do so! Some days he gets yelled at in a hormonal rage that he isn't doing enough and other days I’m squeezing him so hard because he’s been doing it all.

I'm a real physco over here.
But most days we tag team that shit.

These past [I wanna say 9 months at least] he’s been THE ultimate dad though. I've been away from the home more than I ever have since becoming a mom; whether I'm traveling for work, traveling for fun, shooting weddings or taking lash appointments, he’s been running that parenting job like a fucking boss...all while managing a team at work and working overtime. Find yourself a Jerek and you will live a happy life. BIBLE.

We recently went to Nashville for a belated surprise 30th birthday trip so I’m trying to tame myself from showering him in some big gift weeks later. Although he deserves the entire world I like to think I give him that though; the boys and I are his entire world aren't we?

Narcissist much Chelsea?

If you’re anything like me and belong to a mom group on Facebook because you have no idea how to raise these little hellions and need the support of others to do so you might have posted something along the lines of “HELP! Need Father’s Day ideas, STAT!”

This was me last week and these women are the best when asking for help! So if this is you too then I have some great ideas for you. This way you don’t need to post that same cry for help and people will just think you have your shit together.

Because you do.


Other ideas include tickets for a surprise getaway, whether it's local or far away it's something to get excited about and look forward to. This also goes for concert tickets, a race or movie tickets, something he's talked about but maybe wouldn't buy for himself. A pack of golf balls and a new glove paired with a round of golf usually are a great gift for most men. Or you can buy them a new bag and tell them to leave you alone for a few hours early in the morning and go golf! A win win in my book really.

A roll of quarters and a car wash kit would make Jerek's day, he likes to keep black Betty nice and clean, me on the other hand wash my car about twice a year. For the traveler, a new passport case and coffee mug to take along to work or on a new adventure is very affordable. Or if your feelin spendy and know you guys are going on a vacation soon you could always get a him a new camera which really you would just end up calling it your own if you want.

Underwear and socks are always needed in my house; I think Jer still has underwear from 8th grade that I fold from time to time. Also, who wears matching socks anymore? Our dryer at one point was eating them by the load so I always throw these into Christmas, birthday and Fathers day gifts.

The most obvious gift not pictured is letting them sleep in (with NO nagging) and making a meal for them. Showing your baby daddy that you care about them through food is something I think everyone enjoys! It doesn't have to cost a ton either. Or if cooking isn't your thing, you could go grab donuts and coffee from their favorite place, have the kids make a homemade card and serve them in bed. BOOM, easy peasy!

Hopefully I saved you time and energy and gave you some ideas for the upcoming weekend! And if your man is wowed by your excellent choice in gift, no need to thank me, it can be our little secret!

x Chels 

Destination Wedding Planning- Wedding Talk: Flowers

[All photos are taken by Monroe Fox Photography ]

With our surprise Nashville trip done and June in full swing I figured I should get back into the wedding talk since I have so much to share but haven't really shared it. SO lets slide into something fun and easy and talk about flowers!
Our wedding package included my bridal bouquet and 2 boutonnieres. I paid extra to have the girls bouquets made in smaller version of mine there in Mexico. Since I couldn't see any of the flowers in person I sent numerous emails and texts to my sister in law who runs a floral business to help me pick everything out. I knew I wanted some greenery with all white/off white flowers. She knew by the flower names what ones were available in Mexico that I could also get in white. The resort had sent me pictures of flower arrangements to choose from. After speaking with my coordinator she said I could choose an arrangement and then alter the colors of the flowers [as long as they came in the colors requested.] This is the picture [below on the left] that I choose but what I told my wedding planner in Mexico was listed below.

( I would like this arrangement/the style of it but I want to keep the Limonium flowers and then use a combination of Roses, Alstromaeria, Lisianthis, dahlia and Marguerite-all in WHITE-with some greenery]

As you can see just because this is the picture they show you, you don't HAVE to have those exact flowers. There were others I could choose from that were white so with Amy's help I incorporated them in and took out the pink ones. I left the bits of purple in because they went really well with the girls dresses and flower crowns

You can see the girls bouquets were just smaller versions of mine. I was very hesitant on what these would look like but they turned out beautifully! One of my favorite things from being in weddings is taking the bouquet home and sticking in a vase for the next month so I was bummed we couldn't take any of these with us (due to the flight and bringing outside items into the U.S)

Speaking of flower crowns! This was another add-on I could have had the resort florist make but if you read my post about our pre-ception and my sister in law who did those beautiful flowers you'll be excited to know that she also did the flower crowns, boutonnieres and corsages.

Amy is the owner of MI Honeybee Flowers and does amazing work with real flowers so I knew she was up for the challenge of making everything I wanted with faux flowers! I wanted to go this route for 2 reasons, 1. to save money. The flower add on options carried a large price tag and 2. the ability to fully customize and bring a part of Michigan with us to Mexico.

With that in mind we needed to have everything assembled here and able to transport it to Mexico with us safely.

I started off by asking each girl to measure her head so Amy knew what she was working with. She then dragged me to Michaels one Sunday afternoon and I stood in the isles complaining about how I really don't know what I want. I'm really a bad wedding planner guys! So I did what any bride in 2016 does and I went to my Pinterest board. I had a private one only my mom and I could see as I didn't want everyone able to see my vision, or lack there of!

Here are couple photos I showed her for inspiration while flower shopping. I also sat and stared at her as she held together different color combos and said yeah that's pretty. and nodded a lot. I kinda let her have at it if we're being honest here! I trust her 110% so I knew what she would make would be beautiful. Plus, her and her husband would also be wearing these so I knew all was well!


The girls each wore different styles and colors of dresses so I knew the one thing I wanted that matched was the flower crowns. I wanted them to be simple as to not take away from the dresses but to also tie into mine. Amy did an amazing job, they fit every ones head perfectly without ever trying them on before hand! They stayed on all night and traveled in my suitcase effortlessly.
The one thing I knew while wedding planning was I wanted a flower crown. I just did. I didn't want some huge head dress that I could barely keep from breaking my neck though. Something that worked with the girls dress but was beachy boho like the style that we were going for. Again Amy killed it with my crown. You might even find me rocking it this summer with a black romper if you're lucky!

Moving onto the moms flowers. She made both mine and Jerek's/her mom beautiful corsages. I had asked her if we really should do this because I tend to think these can be super cheesy but she assured me they don't have to be! Again, she was totally right [not sure why I ever doubted her!] She used cute pearl elastic bracelets to adhere the small floral arrangements to and they were the least bit cheesy, defiantly glad I had her do them!
As mentioned above our package included 2 boutonnieres but since Amy was making the bridal party ones, I gave these two to Jerek's dad, who was our officiant/married us and to Tom, my moms boyfriend (she hates that word) our sound man, DJ and ultimate tech engineer!


For the guys I showed her the picture above and again said they need to be similar but NOT too matchy to mine or the girls. Home runs must be her thing because I think I loved these more than the flower crowns and I LOVED the crowns!


Another item that was included in our wedding package was a "head table centerpiece." Since we weren't doing a head table I knew I wanted to utilize everything that we were paying for. I picked this flower arrangement from the pre-made ones offered to us and said that I would like this one but with Lilis, roses and alstroemeria, all in white please!" They did a great job with this piece as well!

I used this on the table under the pergola for added decoration. We then had this moved to the reception after the ceremony was over.



So, I'm sure you are wondering cost so I'll break it down for you:
$125 at Michaels. I ended up returning $45 worth of unused flowers after Amy was finished. Making the 4 flower crowns, 5 boutonnieres and 2 corsages $79! BOOM!
$295 for 3 brides maids bouquets. As mentioned the bridal bouquet, 2 boutonnieres and centerpiece were included in our wedding package.

A total of $374 was spent on flowers! I know many weddings I've gone to that have costs thousands and dollars and I'm here to tell you it doesn't HAVE to be! Find a good florist and do a little research. Figure out what is really important to you and what works for your budget. I knew I didn't need or want any decorations at the alter because the view alone was breath taking!

If you are planning a wedding here in Michigan or in a land far away contact Amy! I promise you, you won't be disappointed! She has done both our small wedding of 30 in Mexico, our Pre-ception of about 90 here in Michigan and a ton of other weddings here in Michigan ranging from different budgets and locations, even a wedding on the Detroit people mover!!!

I realize I sound 100% completely bias as she's one of my best friends and sister in laws but I mean it when I say she's the bee's knees in this flower business! Get it, MI Honeybee Flowers! Anywho, happy hump day and wedding talk Wednesday!