Ponds Cold Cream

beauty, familyVirginia HartComment

IMG_0778 I'm in Virginia right now for a few days for the first time since last Thanksgiving! My oldest niece is graduating from college this weekend so I tacked on a couple days to my stay and took the train down mid-week. Patrick's with his side of the family since his brother graduates the same day (we laughed and decided we had to divide and conquer) and although I miss that crazy clown, it's nice to have a couple days here by myself.

I came home last year a few different times, but it mainly felt like a whirlwind of wedding-related appointments and to-dos. It was kind of overwhelming, to be honest, so it really makes me appreciate this current pace of simply pooting around. We've spent our time wandering through T.J. Maxx, sifting through my storage bins I haven't seen in eight years, and crying through Anne of Green Gables. I was reminded of a slower pace of life as I tagged along for different errands in a town where everyone knows everyone and no one's in a hurry. It's refreshing.

So anyway, there I was, watching my mom brush her teeth before bed last night. I noticed she reached for her Ponds cold cream to remove her makeup so I became all inquisitive. It's always seemed like a weird concept to know, cream removing makeup and moisturizing your face at the same time. She explained that her mother used it, and her mother's mother used it, and it's one of those products she stocks in a spare closet and has used for as long as she can remember, insisting that the drying effects of soap can damage your skin. Naturally, I found myself sneaking her tub of Ponds into my bathroom to try, mentally adding it to my shopping list.

It made me think how quickly I concluded that if Mom swears by something, then by golly it must be good! A tiny example of so many other situations in which I follow her lead. I suppose I often operate under the moral compass of Mom knows best, and I can honestly admit I wouldn't be who I am without that guidance.

Here's to all the wonderful motherly figures out there and their variety of opinions and advice, spanning from beauty products to the bigger questions in life. Happy early Mother's Day, and thanks for knowing best.

A Trip to Virginia!

family, friendship, update, weddingVirginia HartComment

 Desperately in need of a haircut (my hair grows like a weed), I hit up the salon the night before I left for Virginia.

magazine & dog

I was flipping through the latest issue of BRIDE Magazine and squealed out loud when I saw the work of one of my favorite calligraphy teachers! ^^^

...and that cutie up there? His name is Hugo, and he patiently stands next to your salon chair waiting for you to scratch his ears. Patrick says he looks like I already illustrated him. I haven't, but I wanna!

nails and Lauren

shower mani! ^^^ I probably should have gone with some bride-appropriate beige but I said screw it and went with the brightest shade I could find. I have a feeling I'll be wearing it all summer long. [available here]

My niece joined us for dinner on Thursday night at the restaurant catering our wedding - such a treat! We had such big, exciting things to discuss. Love her to pieces.


^^^ 6 things I like to have with me when I travel: face towelettes, lip therapy, leave-in conditioner, travel perfume (love this scent!), a compact mirror (a gift from a friend), and a retractable brush (similar here).

picture and wine

I love being home and surrounded by things that give it that special feeling. Above is a glimpse of a piece from the original calligrapher in our fam, my oldest brother! I have so many of his gorgeous letters from when I was a little girl. My favorite line on this one reads, "If you hold a fairy in your eye it cannot escape, but if you so much as blink it vanishes --- it should be a very hot day --- you should be a little bit sleepy, but not too sleepy to keep your eyes open."

And after a morning at home, an afternoon spent selecting rentals for our reception (that part got me really excited!), we did a little wine-tasting :)

Amy sleepover

...and then I had a slumber party with my cute little MOH. ^^^

The second night we might have piled in bed with my mom and watched 3 episodes of Downton Abbey. The best.


The next morning I woke up to this! ^^^

flowers and emergency kit

That sweet groom of mine sent the most fragrant pink roses as well as seventeen surprise videos (!) to my mother, responding to questions she asked about us. He'd kill me if I shared them with anyone outside the shower, but his answers were mighty cute and it was funny to see which ones we answered the same. I had zero clue that whole operation was taking place. Little does he know I'm saving those videos for years to come!

The emergency kit of all emergency kits. ^^^  It's ginorm. There's even a separate medical one. Speaking of, my sister is already looking into some just-in-case sleeping pill option for the night before the wedding so if I pull a Steve Martin, you know who to blame ;) I giggled, thinking we were prepared for a natural disaster, only to find out my oldest brother is actually making us a real survival kit for our apartment.  We're a strange bunch.

with hostesses

 with the best hostesses! ^^^ I can't thank them enough.

with McAnaneys3

 Patrick's adorable mom & older sister ^^^ drove so far to be with us.

Everyone kept remarking how sweet they are and how lucky I am and it's absolutely true.

I can't wait to see them again in a couple weeks!

with mrs mac

 Mrs. Mac with the soon-to-be other Mrs. Mac. Crazy! ^^^

with mel and hollis

 ^^^ Dear, old friends/roommates/partners-in-crime/adorable mamas who came from other parts of Virginia to celebrate.

Goodness, I loved seeing their faces! I miss them so.

with lauren

 with my oldest niece! ^^^


 ^^^...and my youngest nephew :)

My mother also arranged a box of memory letters from different people. I opened the box and just seeing them stacked inside made me cry. I have a problem.  Most of the stories I remember myself (and they were a joy to re-live), but a couple I didn't...for example, one of my mom's memories was about my first bonding experience with a vegetable haha! Here's a snippet:

When you were about 2 or 3 years old, you were such a picky eater. The foods you would eat comprised a short list and you were very stubborn about your choices. We discovered there was a vegetable you would eat...corn!! Wonder of wonders! All of us were so excited (up until then, you would consume cereal, peanut butter, fruit, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and french fries). It was summer and we had fresh corn from the garden. Your big brother, Jon, buttered your first ear of corn and showed you how to eat it. You cautiously nibbled on it like a small bunny. Then, as you got into it, we all watched in amazement. After the 3rd ear, you took the corn-less cob and rolled it over your body and hair. You didn't just like LOVED corn! That night, you were a little disappointed when I said "no" to your request to sleep with the greasy corn cobs...

Oh, boy.


A gift ^^^  I'm saving to embarrass Patrick on the plane to Mexico ;) 90 days 'til we're in our bungalow!

I'm incredibly grateful for the people who celebrated with us over the weekend. I discovered I am not really good with the whole bride thing and spent half the time trying not to crumble. How lucky I am to have people who love me, ugly-crying-face and all. My niece shared some other pictures from that day here, if you'd like to see!