Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove

The Jane Austen Festival at Locust Grove was every bit of charming that I hoped it would be.  I listened to the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack and sipped on strong tea in my favorite tea cup the night before to fully prepare :) - you might enjoy doing the same while you peruse this post!  I went with my friend Cassie, and we loved getting to share excitement over all of the beautifully crafted goods from the vendors.  It's not every day you get to smell Nefertiti's perfume recipe (more on that later).  Here are some photographs to entice you to make the trip to Louisville for the 10th Annual Jane Austen Festival next year!  I've also linked my favorite vendor in the post so you can tackle your Christmas gift list early.  

Then we walked over to some clothing and umbrella vendors, although I have a feeling what we saw were too fancy to be called umbrellas and probably have a period-appropriate name.

This was probably my favorite vendor of the festival - LBCC Historical Apothecary.  They were very knowledgeable about all of their products and had plenty of stories to tell behind the recipes (that are hundreds of years old!).  I wanted to buy everything!  They thought of every detail, and made a lot of the display pieces that showcase their goods.  Just look at that packaging!

This was where they let us sample Nefertiti's perfume, which was one of my favorites.  Like you'd expect, it was exotic, but I could imagine wearing it every day!

I'm planning to go next year with my Christmas shopping list in hand.  Wouldn't these goodies make for unique gifts?  (hint, hint, Derrik) :).

Summer Beauty Favorites

Summer is a great time to bring in some new beauty products.  This time of year is usually filled with plenty of happy events you're going to want to look and feel good for, so if you're having your wedding, baby shower, or attending one, this is for you.  Why keep your favorite beauty products a secret?  I've added a few game changing products into my routine and I think you're going to love them just as much as I do.

Tarte's Full Coverage Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation is my favorite for when the weather starts warming up and you need something that isn't just going to slide off after a few hours.  It does a good job covering redness and feels weightless on the skin.  I love feeling like I'm not wearing any heavy makeup on my face, and this does this trick without compromising the benefits of full coverage.

This Pixi Lower Lash Mascara was in my Christmas stocking.  It's genius and you need it!  No more tarantula bottom lashes for you.  And since it's only available at Target, you can go smell the new spring candles and home decor sales with a Starbucks Chai Latte in your hand while you're at it.  Go ahead, treat yo self.

I owe the Tarte foundation, this primer spray and the lower lash mascara to my favorite beauty blogger, Kate of The Small Things Blog.  She never steers me wrong.  Derrik walked by the first time I used the primer spray and said "that smells so good!".  That's always a good sign for me.  Kate mentioned it's comparable to the Matrix primer spray, but at a lower price point.  I tried it on a whim and now I can't go a week without it.  It cuts my drying time down in half.   

This RMS Lip2Cheek in Demure was my favorite new product throughout winter because it added some much needed moisture to my cheeks.  It helps give that dewy glow even if you're dealing with dryness.  I'm going to keep wearing it into the summer to see how it wears in warmer weather, but Demure is the perfect pink!  It's just the right amount of muted mauve with rosy hues.  You can see in the picture above it just adds a fresh flush that looks like it came from your own skin, rather than something powdered on.  While it's supposed to work for both cheeks and lips, this particular color looks washed out over my normally rosy lips, so just keep that in mind as you're choosing which color you'd like and whether you want to use it for both.  I bought mine from Anthropologie but you can also order it directly from RMS.

Which beauty products are your tried and true favorites?  Are there any I should try?

Dream Location: Lake Como

Lake Como is such a beautiful destination!  Talk about a dream wedding location.  Lake Como is on my list of dream destinations to photograph a wedding, and rightly so.  It's incredibly romantic. 

Some of the mountains made me feel like I was in Jurassic Park, but with an Italian feel and totally free of dinosaur danger.  I went with one of my best friends, Reka, the year before I got married.  Derrik and I had been dating a few months at the time.  I remember the long list of different international calling apps he looked into so we could stay in touch during my trip.  It was so sweet.  

One of the best moments was when the ferry dropped us off in Varenna.  It was dusk, so the glow of the sky mixed with those classic Lake Como views left us giddy.  It was a beautiful introduction.  Then we tried to find our hotel...

In retrospect, we probably should have done more research on how long it would take for our ferry to arrive at Varenna.  The ferry ride was actually one of my favorite things of the trip, but we weren't expecting for it to last three hours.  It ended up taking an hour or two to find our hotel on foot.  Reka wasn't phased one bit, while I was the one who needed some reassurance that our evening wouldn't turn into the plot of the Taken movies.  We did eventually find the hotel, after walking up roads that placed us well above most of the town (right alongside the lake - so picturesque!).  All was right when we woke up to this view...

We stayed at Eremo Gaudio.  Simple rooms, great views!  Make sure to check if there's air conditioning when you book a hotel (we didn't think to ask and ended up being pretty warm during the night even though it cooled down nicely outside).  We were there in August, so it might matter less depending on the time of year.  

Don't you just want to jump into that water and splash around?!

The picture above was our daily breakfast view.  Not bad, right?  It was a peaceful way to start off our adventures.

My biggest regret of my trip to Europe, particularly Italy and France, was not eating enough carbs.  There, I said it.  I was trying my hand at Paleo at the time (bless you Whole 30 people!).  I remember eating boiled eggs, dried out swiss cheese and scraping a tiny Nutella packet clean (not Whole 30 approved) as I took my time savoring that "I'm really here!  This is happening!" feeling while I looked out on Lake Como from my hotel patio.  I think the moment could have been better with a croissant to give that Nutella a proper job. I digress. I could really eat anything with these views in front of me.  My next goal is to go back with Derrik.  It's by far the most romantic place I've ever been (even more so than Paris, at least for me).

There are multiple areas on Lake Como to explore.  I went to Varenna (furthest from where the ferry rides depart near the train station).  By the end, I hope you'll be adding Lake Como to your travel list!

This was the view from one of the hotel patio areas.  The perfect spot to break open a fresh new book and doze off into a effortless nap.  

Dinner by the water.  Get there early for a front row seat!

Living dangerously and testing the theory that Italian carbs are calorie-free.

I'm ready to return.  Who want's to have a wedding at Lake Como?