Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Break!

Happy almost Thanksgiving! Josh snapped this photo of mac and I on Marlborough this week, bundled up for a walk. It's really starting to feel like winter, especially now that this stoop will probably be covered in snow soon!

Anyway, I am taking some time off from work & the blog this week to enjoy Thanksgiving break. There will be lots of family time, hopefully some skiing, and tons of delicious food, of course. I hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day!

Friday, November 21, 2014

The week on Marlborough 11.21

Happy Friday! It's been a cold one. Last weekend we had an equally chilly day-long bar crawl/scavenger hunt in celebration of Ayla's birthday, which was so much fun. The crawl started at 2pm at the top of Boylston street at Dillon's and ended on the end of Charles street at Beacon Hill Pub, with a formal list of things that each team had to find, photos we had to take, and bars we had to stop at along the way. Yes, that is Maria getting a shoulder ride from one bar to another, Claire giving a complete stranger a foot massage, Ayla & team chugging beers with more complete strangers, and Maria getting her nails painted by yet another random stranger. It was so funny to see how each team started out so strong and competitive, knocking challenges of their lists left and right, and then slowly lost track of their scores and lists all together and were just having fun. I don't think there was ever a clear winning team (cough team 2 cough), but either there were smiles all around at the end of the night.

This weekend we are continuing the fun with a big Friendsgiving. Josh and I are going to be contributing these and also were planning on making an apple crisp, but then I saw THIS and it was kind of a game changer, so now I'm not sure. Either way, knowing our friends, it will be filled with delicious food and good cheer. This Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for my friends. I may be bias, but I think I have the best ones.
Here are some fun links from around the web this week!

  • The best ads of 2014. The #2 spot (devil baby) kills me everytime! 
  • Another great laugh - celebrities read mean tweets about them. 
  • So cute (and so much face paint), that you just can't get mad. 
  • They noticed a glass box and went inside but they never expected this
  • One of my fave bloggers, Design Lovefest, designed the new Meghan Trainor video and it's so cool!
  • In LOVE with this DIY vintage trailer makeover.
  • The kid rendition of "Baby It's Cold Outside" is so cute!
  • A pretty fall cocktail I want to try. 
  • Ellen and Portia's 2014 Christmas Card.
  • If you need me this Saturday, you can find me here.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Creating a (non-traditional) wedding registry

^ image via Domaine Home

When my mom told me to start thinking about a wedding registry in advance of our engagement party in December, my first thought was "but we don't need anything!" Like many modern-day couples, josh and I are already living together and have a lot of the items a typical wedding registry includes. We are settled in an apartment that we've loved completely decorating and furnishing together, and also has absolutely zero room for more "stuff." It gives me anxiety just thinking about where I would keep a standing mixer or a turkey pan. All of those typical registry items would be amazing for when we move out of the city one day, but for now I feel like I am already always looking for creative ways to hide clutter and maximize the (already full) storage space we do have.

Which brings my to my next point! When josh and I began talking about what would be the most helpful and special gift to us at this time in our lives, we both jointly landed on a home. And when we started looking into registry options, we came across an awesome site called Hatch My House, which allows wedding guests to contribute towards a down payment on your first house. And even though the site is set up in a way that feels more like a registry (you can buy a window, the staircase, or even the roof!), it is still definitely alternative and we worried about meeting some opposition by those with more traditional registry views. We thought about it a lot - is it inappropriate or tacky to ask for money? Would we be horrified if we were invited to a wedding and the couple asked us to help with a down payment? Do people just really love giving physical gifts? Obviously the site gets these questions a lot, because they have a whole FAQ page about them. :) But I think they pose a great question: What comes first, the dining room or the china for the dining room? In the end we decided that most would understand that after living together for two years, josh and I have a lot of things but the next step and most important shared goal for us is saving for a house to put them all in!
So what we ultimately decided on is a happy medium, a main Hatch My House registry and then a small gift registry using (I love how it allows you to register for items all across the web in one place!) with household items that we may not have room for now, but we really will need or would love to have in the future. Most things will be shipped to my parent's house (thanks for clearing out the garage, mom & dad!) and stored there until that time comes. As someone who loves home products & decor, my worry was that if we didn't register for some gifts, we'd end up with a load of things that didn't fit our style, we didn't need, or maybe even that we already had! So we think that this combination is perfect for us - it allows us to register for some products we really love while not making us feel "forced" to register for a bunch of items we don't need.
^ Photo via the EveryGirl

Obviously every couple is different and has different needs at the time of their wedding, but josh and I just started this process and wanted to share what we've learned so far in case it's even a teensy bit helpful to other couples who are in a similar situation to us down the road. I'll report back in a seperate post about what types of gifts we're registering for, what we've found are the best sites to find unique items, and how our "house registry" is resonating with people. It seems like no wedding topic brings out peoples' "real" opinions like the registry!

Oh and P.S. - here are some other "alternative" registries that we came across while researching and I thought were really cool.

  1. Honeyfund: allow guests to help contribute towards an epic honeymoon.
  2. CSA box: Register to get monthly fresh veggies! 
  3. Card Avenue: If you aren't quite sure what you will need, register for gift cards to buy items down the line!
  4. Bottlenotes: A great gift idea for the wine-loving couple. Yes, you can register for wine.
  5. I Do Foundation: Allow guests to donate to the charity of your choice! 

And for more wedding posts, click here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

This week on Marlborough 11.14

^ bathtime for mac this week!

Happy Friday! This week was a bit confusing after getting so ready for the holidays in preparation for this event, and then coming back down to earth and realizing that it's not even really that close to Thanksgiving. Josh had to tell me it was TOO early to get a tree, but all I want to do is start breaking out the string lights and stocking and ornaments and get the Christmas party started. I guess for now I'll just have to be content with some hot cocoa and a warm fire (we had our first one this week!), but I am very eagerly awaiting Christmastime this year.

What is everyone up to for the weekend? I will be celebrating one of my best friends' birthdays tomorrow on a day-long scavenger hunt-style bar crawl (think this), which should be a lot of fun and result in some hilarious photos. Then on Sunday, we will be heading down to Westport for our first site visit with the Mstarr team for our wedding. So many decisions to be made!
Here are some fun links from this week...

  • This puppy takes naptime seriously. 
  • I'm pretty excited for this new HGTV show. 
  • Kate Spade's new ad featuring Anna Kendrik is great. 
  • I love this DIY giant snowflake marquee
  • And these easy DIY ombre Christmas ornaments. 
  • 22 kids and their big dogs
  • My new cozy hat I just snagged for winter. 
  • Does anyone else subscribe to the Skimm? It's my new favorite newsletter! 
  • 4 things you didn't know about the mansion in Taylor Swift's new music video. (Ok I'm admitting it, I kind of like the song)

Until next week! xx

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Home for the Holidays Blogger Event

^ a pretty baller giant paper garland made by our talented content team.

Our first blogger event here at Wayfair last weekend was so much fun! If you were following our #HFTHBoston hashtag on Saturday, you may have seen some sneak peeks into everything were were up to. But for those of you that didn't, I wanted to share some photos from the day and a little bit about the conference schedule. Planning this event took a tremendous amount of work, but thanks to helping hands across several teams at Wayfair, our amazing sponsors, and the incredible Kate & Alison of Boston Bloggers, the day flowed absolutely seamlessly. And even though it is a bit early, it was SO much fun to get into the full holiday spirit (Christmas music, gifts, garland and all)! It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

So here's how the day went down...

(all photos via Third Eye Chic Studio)

Check-in started in the morning, and all bloggers received a nametag, notebook, and agenda designed with calligraphy from the amazing Sara of Ink Revival. The beautiful, handwritten touch she gave to all of these pieces really made the event. Oh how I wish I had those kind of skills...
After check-in, the day started with a keynote speech from DwellStudio founder and Wayfair executive Creative Director Christiane Lemieux, and Heather Armstrong of arguably the most famous "mommy" blog ever, These two ladies are already good friends and have such great chemistry, so needless to say everyone was fully engaged in their conversation about building a blog from the ground up. Christiane was actually a top trending topic in Boston on Twitter during this keynote!
Then we jumped into sessions! The first was a DIY holiday gift tag session led by Kate of the blog Domestikated Life. She taught the group how to make 5 different easy and creative gift tags for the holidays, and let them go wild making some of their own to take home. We had quiet the colorful shopping cart when shopping for this session (yarn, glitter, burlap and paint chips are just some examples of the materials we used)! 
Next was a DIY pennant banner session hosted by myself and my colleague Shelby. Because who doesn't want a cute pennant banner hanging over their mantle for the holidays? And they are so easy to make that even bloggers who didn't have much DIY background came up with such pretty and creative banners.
Then there was a holiday tabletop decorating session, featuring tips and style tricks from Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty. She ran this session 4 times throughout the day and every table came out prettier than the next! We had stocked shelves with tabletop supplies from each of our brands, including Wayfair, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, and DwellStudio. And if you love any of the products you see in these photos, you can find them all here.
We also had a classroom-style session on SEO tips for blogging, led by members of our SEO team here at Wayfair. We got lots of nice feedback from this one, with bloggers saying it was the best and easiest explanation of SEO tips they had ever heard. Our SEO team did a really great job at breaking it down in a way that was easy to understand!
For the final session of the day, we gathered everyone together again for a holiday menu planning chat with Jeremy Sewall, the award-winning Boston chef of Island Creek Oyster Bar. He even gave an oyster shucking demonstration and came stocked with enough for everyone to try.
Then it was time to crank up the Christmas tunes and enjoy some vino! Luckily the lovely team over at Andegavia sponsored our cocktail hour and provided some delicious wine for everyone to end a great day with. They were definitely the prettiest boxes of wine I've ever seen. We also ended the event with an informal Yankee Swap, where everyone was able to grab a gift from Wayfair from under our (faux) tree. Are you starting to get excited for Christmas yet?

All photos were taken by our very talented photographer, Surabhi of Third Eye Chic Studio. To anyone that came, thanks for being so lovely and for making this an event that's going to be hard to top! I hope you feel inspired to create some amazing holiday content for your blogs. And to everyone reading, I hope these photos make you as excited for the holidays as this event made me. :)

Friday, November 7, 2014

This week on Marlborough 10.07

Happy Friday! With how busy of a week it's been, it's hard to believe that Halloween was just last weekend! The deer makeup was a little tough, but I think in the end (and super last minute!) josh and I definitely pulled off some successful deer and hunter costumes.

This weekend is finally our much anticipated and first ever Wayfair hosted blogger event that I've been working on for a few months now. We are putting the finishing touches on our office today in preparation to welcome 100+ bloggers tomorrow, and I'm getting excited to get in the holiday spirit! You can read more about our "Home for the Holidays" blogger event here and follow our hashtag #HFTHBoston throughout the weekend to see it all come together. With some amazing DIY sessions, expert speakers like Abby Larson of Style Me Pretty, Heather Armstrong of Dooce and Jeremy Sewall of Island Creek Oyster Bar, and some incredible food and drink sponsors, it's shaping up to be an event for the books.
Here are some fun links for this week!

  • Daily does of cuteness? This baby sea otter learning to swim.
  • Jimmy Kimmel does it again with the "I told me kids I ate their Halloween candy" montage. And it's so mean but so funny. 
  • And I posted this last week but I had to again because it's SO hilarious. 
  • A really yummy looking tart for fall gatherings.
  • Fierce. period. 
  • The song I've been jamming to all week!
  • The top french fries in Boston. I definitely agree with some of the picks on this list. 
  • I love this Rosa Clara wedding dress (it's actually the first one I ever tried on)! And the Fig House never fails to disappoint. 
  • I'm still in a little but of denial that it's not summer anymore, so this article on the "35 ways to love a New England winter" was much needed. 
  • A house that's not for the faint of heart. 
  • This sofa gives a whole new meaning to nesting. 

Have a wonderful weekend! And don't forget to follow #HFTHBoston on Instagram tomorrow to see all the holiday fun we're having here at the Wayfair office. :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

7 creative ways to ask your bridesmaids

Asking all my bridesmaids to be a part of our wedding has been one of the most fun parts of the process so far. There is no way I could stand up there next summer without the love and support of my girlfriends. And I knew that when I asked them, I wanted to do it in a fun way. So of course, I took to Pinterest, and I thought I'd share some of my favorite ideas I came across!

1. A simple card. Mail these to all your maids or give them to them in person. I saw so many pretty ones while I was browsing the web!

2. Custom Wine Labels. Wine is a girls best friend. Get a bottle for each of your bridesmaids and then spend the night drinking them together.

3. A balloon! Such a cute idea to "pop" the question in a literal way.

4. A gift bag or basket. Go all out with a complete box or basket filled with celebration-worthy goodies.

5. A Flipbook. Use a company like Printstagram to print a TinyBook full of photos for each of your girls! These could even be childhood photos or photos of past experiences you've had together.

6. Bridesmaids Brunch. If you're lucky enough to have all your bridesmaids in one place, host a brunch and ask them while you are all together!

7. Mini champagne bottle packages. Creative DIY ideas like the ones above provided a lot of inspiration for when I asked my own bridesmaids, where I combined a few of them. To make a little "will you be my bridesmaid?" gift for all my maids, I ordered some custom bottle labels from this Etsy shop and picked up some mini champagne bottles from the liquor store. Then, I let all the bottles soak in hot water for about an hour so that peeling off all the existing bottle labels was easy. Once they were dry, I applied the stickers that said "Cheers. Will you be my bridesmaid?" to transform them into the perfect bottle that would serve two purposes: to "pop" the bridesmaid question and to also "pop" physically for a little champagne celebration.  I was able to get together with all my Boston bridesmaids physically to cheers together, but for the ones that live afar, I put together a little package to ship that included a gift bag, personal card, paper straw for sipping, and a fun engagement ring ice tray. Probably not the best thing to ship (I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to mail glass, liquids, or explosives) but thankfully they all arrived in one piece and probably with and even bigger "pop". :)
^ // Bags: Oh Joy for Target// Cards: Etsy // Straws: Wayfair // Ring Ice Tray: Wayfair // 
Labels: Etsy // Champagne bottles: Martignetti Liquors //

Cheers! Thankfully they all said YES.