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  • Friday, February 28, 2014

    As a designer, creative consultant, and stylist, Justina Blakeney's eye for style and design is not only impeccable, but also provides her fans with a distinguishable, unique perspective. Always wearing a beautiful smile, Justina effortlessly integrates her roles as creative genius, mom, and wife into her lifestyle blog. Her Pinterest page is a source of endless inspiration and a reflection of Justina's love for creativity. Justina is an incredible act that is nothing short of inspiring! Read on for more information about her.

    Describe your sense of style in 3 words.
    Intercontinental, colorful, patternful.

    Would you say that your personal style is reflected in your design style?
    Yes! Very much so. I use textiles so much in my designs--it's almost as though I'm dressing a room in an amazing outfit. I think when someone has a strong sense of style it translates into all media.

    Has your style (fashion and/or design) been influenced by any artists, designers, or fashion icons?
    I'm inspired by Peggy Moffit, Frida Kahlo, Billy Holiday, and Alexander Girard.

    Quick Fire:
    Sangria or old fashioned? Sangria
    Twitter or Instagram? Twitter
    Keys, phone, wallet, and... Schiap lipstick by Nars

    Isn't the flower image from Justina's Ruche Instagram takeover awe-inspiring? Justina's passion and infectious smile make her easy to fall in blogger love with! See her previous interview with us here and be sure to stop by her blog for endless inspiration!

    xo,
    Ruche


  • Friday, February 28, 2014

    We believe that living beautifully requires some quality rest and relaxation -- stolen moments spent alone in order to reflect, look forward, and make peace with oneself. Take time this week to regroup by journaling in your room, at a cafe, or out in natural surroundings depending on your resources and where you find the most rejuvenation. To guide you in your solo time, here are three writing prompts you can respond to or use as inspiration:

    Print from the Zen Drawing Etsy shop

    1. Love Yourself: List ten qualities you love about yourself and your body. Make sure there's a combination of physical and non-physical traits on that list so that you feel appreciated inside and out!

    2. Focus on Others: Write down one way you will help someone or support a friend this week. Feel passionate about a specific cause or organization? Pinpoint a way you can get more involved! Jot down the actions you need to take and fill in your calendar with necessary to-dos after you finish your writing session.

    3. Dream: Write a poem or short story using the prompt "If I could go anywhere" to spark ideas! Begin by freewrite for a few minutes (no over-thinking, crossing-out, or erasing!) and then read through what you’ve read. You’ll be surprised how creative you can be under those conditions, and maybe your thoughts will lead to a bigger story or work of art!

    We hope you’ll embrace this much-deserved quality time and emerge on the other end of it feeling in-tune with yourself and motivated to live beautifully all week long. And remember, there are no wrong ways to journal, so let your pen lead the way!

    Live Beautifully,
    Ruche


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  • Friday, February 28, 2014

    Before we move on to all things March, let’s take a look back at this past month! Here are some of our favorite blog posts, releases, events, and overall highlights from February:

    1. February was an amazing month for music! Prep for your upcoming music festival by taking a look at our music festival style feature. For a hand-picked selection of catchy tunes, take a listen to our latest playlists, Sweet Sounds and The Great Outdoors!

    2. We’ve been preparing to spring clean with some inspiring DIYs this month! It’s time for us to add inspiration to our workspace, organize our kitchen, and bring some beautiful blossoms home to liven up the living room. We weren’t sure how well our plants might fare, but this guide to house plants from Design Love Fest helped us feel more confident in our green thumb!

    3. Our hostessing skills have improved this month since we’ve learned how to stock a bar cart for party-ready perfection. This post from A Beautiful Mess on the best white wines under $20 also helped us prepare for future soirees; no more time-consuming pondering in the wine section of the grocery store!

    4.  One our favorite things about February was without a doubt the big announcement that we’ll be launching a new bridal collection on our site! While you keep an eye out for the collection, take a look at our Engagement Styling Guide for tips on what to wear for each step of the way to your wedding day.

    5. You can’t get through February without focusing on love! We enjoyed revisiting some of our favorite literary love quotes and spending time contemplating what “love” means to us with this video.

    6. We had a blast tuning in to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on television this month. We were sad that ice dancing had to come to an end, but we’re proud of the US for bringing home 28 medals!

    7. Valentine’s Day or not, this heartwarming (and hand-warming!) DIY will always be a favorite of ours. We’ll continue making these for friends as the year goes on!

    8. Our wallpapers are now smartphone-compatible! We’ve loved gazing at our floral phone background this month.

    9. We’ll always be advocated for snail mail! We celebrated the tradition of the handwritten letter this month with our post on how to master the art of letter writing.

    10. It can be difficult to navigate proper etiquette in modern times, but thankfully the etiquette master, Emily Post, came to our rescue this month with solutions to our conundrums.

    February was such a wonderful month! What did you find yourself loving these past 28 days?

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Thursday, February 27, 2014

    Image Credit: Cassia Beck

    If you still associate the term “podcast” with the lifeless news programs and dry radio shows of yesteryear, it may be because you simply haven’t found the right one for you. Once you discover a few podcasts that suit your interests, you’ll never know how you went without them! Podcasts are perfect for long commutes and weekend drives, as entertainment during your morning routine or company as you cook dinner after work. Ready to discover your favorite podcast? Here are some places to start your search!

    For the Storyteller: This American Life
    Broadcasting from Chicago and hosted by the soothing Ira Glass, This American Life is a world-renown source of radio journalism. Each episode features various stories laced together by a common denominator, and showcases everything from scientific segments to personal essay. Where to begin? Browse through the archive to find a topic that peaks your interest!

    For the Curious: Radio Lab
    If you love picking up new facts or delving deeper into scientific topics, Radio Lab may be for you! Chock full of informative stories with a quirky, storytelling twist, Radio Lab highlights and elaborates on topics spanning from history and science to personal, everyday experience. No matter which episode you choose, you’re sure to learn something new about the world around you!

    For the Humorist: Comedy Bang! Bang!
    A weekly offering from Scott Aukerman, Comedy Bang! Bang! is a witty blend of interviews, chit chat and celebrity guests. If you like your pop culture with a dose of humor, flip through the past episodes to find a guest you’d love to hear more from. If you end up liking this podcast, you can always watch the television version or get tickets to the affiliated stand-up show!

    For the Film Critic: How Did This Get Made?
    Each episode of How Did This Get Made? focuses on a different film. The requirement? It has to be a pretty awful movie! The hosts of How Did This Get Made? watch (or rewatch!) the flick up for discussion and chat about how the terrible movie somehow made it through the production process and, in some cases, gained a cult following. Even if you haven’t seen that week’s film, the way the hosts break down key scenes and characters will entertain you more than the movie ever could!

    For the Sci-Fi Aficionado: Welcome to Night Vale
    This bi-monthly podcast brings you the latest news of a fictional desert town called Night Vale. The concept may sound odd and that’s because it is (in the best of ways!).  Listening to this podcast requires a good imagination and an interest in uncanny, eerie storylines. If you love the Twilight Zone and can easily immerse yourself in a fictional tale, you’ll love following the story arch of this clever podcast.

    For the Music Lover: Radio Three Sixty
    The tagline for Radio Three Sixty sums it up simply: Music for Strange Moments. If you have an eclectic taste in music and a penchant for ambient tunes, you’ll certainly embrace the ethereal, indie, and experimental tracks that DJ Darkhorse artfully stitches together on a monthly basis. This podcast is perfect to listen to while you work or commute, and you just might find yourself replaying episodes for favorite tracks.

    We hope you’ll fall in love with a podcast on this list! Do you have any podcast recommendations for us? We’d love to discover some new ones!

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Thursday, February 27, 2014

    Whether you’re the type to dive headfirst into the waves or can be found getting lost in a good book back on shore, you’ll be in need of two things for certain this spring and summer: a cute bathing suit and a cover-up to go with it! Shop our bathing suits and cover-ups to see you through a season of pool parties, beach days, and boardwalk afternoons.

    So what are you waiting for? The weather’s warming up and you don’t want to miss a moment by the water’s edge! Select your favorite combo and get out there, ladies!

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    The Ruche Engagement Style Guide has arrived! We know just how stressful wedding planning can be, so we compiled a guide to take you from your engagement session through to the moment you say "I do", with advice on what to wear for every occasion in between. Whether you’re a bride in need of the perfect wedding dress, ideas for your bachelorette party, or tips for finding a cute bridal shower outfit, our guide has you covered each step of the way!

    We know your wedding will be a gorgeous celebration of the connection you and your partner share. So take each day of planning as it comes and focus on loving beautifully, as that’s what this wedding is all about!

    xo,
    Ruche

    P.S. To stay up-to-date on all of our wedding planning tips and inspiration, be sure to subscribe to our bridal newsletter, “like” our Ruche Bridal page on Facebook, and take a peek at our bridal boards on Pinterest. Our new bridal collection is launching soon, so if you haven’t found your dream dress, it may be just around the corner!


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  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    First things first: what exactly is a first look? A first look is an orchestrated, intimate moment when a couple sees each other before the wedding ceremony. We know what you’re thinking; that’s so untraditional! But it’s becoming more of a new tradition as couples opt to have a private moment together before the ceremony. The groom is usually led to a secluded, scenic spot, where the bride then taps him on the shoulder. He then turns around and sees her for the first time, and the reactions of the couple are captured by the photographer.

    Image via Style Me Pretty

    While there are a number of reasons first looks are a great idea, it’s ultimately a personal decision. If you’re on the fence about which decision is right for you, read on for five reasons you might want to do a first look.

    1. Time alone together on your wedding day:  The first look is often the only time a couple has alone during the wedding. Even if you saw each other the night before, there will be so much you want to say to each other on your big day! Having a first look allows you to take time to talk, laugh, and enjoy being alone before the whirlwind of friends and relatives. Relieving a bit of the nervousness and stress will also translate into beautiful, relaxed couple portraits.

    2. More couple portraits: Wedding photography is a big investment and your couple portraits are some of the most cherished photos you will decorate your home with. Doing a first look ensures that you won’t be rushed post-ceremony. By having more time, you give your photographer the chance to get more creative with compositions and settings, and to capture more of those candid sweet moments that happen in between poses. Between a possible schedule mishap or the need to get the reception, you might only end up with a quick twenty-minute portrait session after the ceremony.

    Image via Style Me Pretty

    3. A more relaxed photography timeline: If you do a first look, you can take most (if not all!) of your formal family pictures before the ceremony as well. As with couple photos, these family photos may feel more relaxed and joyful than pictures taken during the small window between the ceremony and reception. Instead of the wedding coordinator hovering over you during portraits to remind you of the fifteen minutes until your entrance, you can naturally transition from the first look into couple portraits and family photos. Once you’ve walked down the aisle, the remaining wedding party and family photos will be fun because no one is rushed.

    4. Cocktail hour fun: Even if you have a first look, that moment when you walk down the aisle will be just as special -- you’re joining your best friend in a life together, after all! But now, instead of seeing each other for the first time in front of 50 or 200 guests, you will have had that moment be intimate and private, preparing you for the festivities ahead. By the time you get the reception, you'll be free to just be with your guests, eat, dance, and enjoy the toasts, knowing what your partner was feeling earlier that day and with the reassurance that the photographer captured the pictures you wanted most.

    Image via Style Me Pretty

    5. In the event you cry: A final argument for the first look is both simple and sensible -- it could be the best choice for you if you’re someone who cries easily! If so, the first look can help for a couple of reasons. On one hand, the first look might allow you to get your tears out before the walk down the aisle, giving you time to fix your makeup and appear collected for the ceremony. On the other hand, if you don’t cry during the first look, you’ll be assured beautiful, tear-free photos with your future spouse, allowing you to feel free to cry all you need to during the ceremony itself.

    So Ruchettes, is the first look for you? Weigh the pros and cons of breaking from tradition, and go with the decision that best suits who you are as a couple. Whether or not you choose to see your future spouse before the ceremony, you’ll certainly have a beautiful wedding!

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014

    We’ve stumbled upon two of the cutest kitchen DIY projects, and just in time for the influx of seasonal spring crops at the farmers market! Make the most of your kitchen space with these creative takes on vertical organization. Whether you’ve run out of drawer space to store utensils or haven't found the right spot to grow fresh herbs, your solution lies in these darling DIYs. Try your hand at one of these projects and you just might feel inspired to spend less money on take-out!

    Vertical Kitchen Organization

    View the tutorial on A Beautiful Mess.

    Mason Jar Herb Garden

    View the tutorial on Camille Styles.

    You don’t have to wait until “someday” for a stocked, functioning kitchen -- all it takes is a little creativity! Will you be prepping your kitchen for the season ahead with one of these clever projects?

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    It’s about time for us to fill our homes and workspaces with the prettiest spring blooms! If you’re just as excited as we are, spend a quiet afternoon working on  a painted vase DIY project and you’ll be prepared to display your favorite flowers all season long. No matter your decor aesthetic or budget, you can adapt one of these chic DIYs to fit your tastes. Remember: these make amazing gifts as well!

    View the tutorial here.

    View the tutorial here.

    View the tutorial here.

    Which DIY might you be dabbling in this week? We can’t wait to display roses in one of those two-toned ceramic vases!

    xo,
    Ruche


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  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014

    No need to navigate the spring fashion trends alone -- our helpful checklist, Spring Forecast, is to the rescue! Simply introduce these essentials into your everyday wardrobe to create cute outfits fit for sunny spring days.

    Whether you’re looking for a new, structured purse to pair with your favorite printed tops or just love to collect lace day dresses, we have the prettiest on-trend selection of clothing and accessories you need. Why not spend spring mornings donning a pastel cardigan and slip on a striped maxi dress for a backyard party in the evening? And don’t forget to make space for embroidered shorts and a cute kimono in your closet! Mix-and-match these trendy clothing items with vintage-inspired accessories for a sophisticated, modern look that you can wear all through spring and into the summer months.

    We can’t wait to see how you give these spring fashion trends your own personal spin! Happy Shopping, Ruchettes!

    xo,
    Ruche


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