‘Tis the season for a A LOT of things. Sure, we have the holidays, but quite a bit of engagements happen around this time (and not just mine). Something about the snow, lights and holiday happiness can really prompt the forever kind of love.

Two years ago TODAY, my husband asked me to marry him.

The first night of engagement is surreal. Did that really just happen? Please don’t forget the incessant #LetThePlanningBegin hashtags. Once you get the BIG things out of the way, like venue, dress and chicken or fish, you get down to the DETAILS.

Details are all that and a bag of chips. Looking back at my wedding photos, there are definitely some things I would have liked to have been a little different. The highest on that list? Place cards.

Yes, I was the DIY (not so DIY) bride. I wrote approx. 100 place cards. Letters were uneven, names weren’t in the middle of the card, my hand was tired and I hated them. Not to be cocky, but I’m about to save you future brides + grooms some time and headache. Also, make your wedding look BOMB.

Allow me to introduce you to

Wanderlust Calligraphy Co. is a new business specializing in custom calligraphy. From custom quote pieces to place cards to gift tags, this chick provides GORGEOUS work. I think photos say 1,000 MORE words than I ever could. Let the below do the talking…





This easily adds a touch of class and personality. To me, it makes a quote even that more special. Bummed that I wasn’t able to have this talent at my wedding, I opted for a custom Wanderlust Calligraphy Co. piece featuring lyrics from our first dance song. This is probably as sappy as I can get.


I feel like this would instantly make my wedding Pinterest worthy and calligraphy is HOT right now. Its seems so effortless, yet its absolutely stunning. Again, DETAILS. Perfect for weddings, but just as special for adding a little glam to that present or being a gorgegous gift on its own.

If you want to see what Wanderlust Calligraphy Co.’s is up to and how to get your very OWN custom, amazing pieces, visit her Etsy Shop, Facebook + Instagram.

Chat soon-

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature


Life lately hasn’t left much room for celebration, but today we’re celebrating a life and an EIGHT month wedding anniversary (TBH: when I started writing this, I thought we’ve been married only seven months…I guess we’ve been consumed with other life events.)

First, I want to acknowledge my baby brother’s 21ST BIRTHDAY! WAAAHOOOO! I can’t believe he’s been in our lives for 21 years. He’s unique, talented, funny and an overall good person. I look forward to seeing him accomplish more and more. Another year grateful to be his sister. After all, no one quite gets you like your siblings.

The Brunete Blend-Jack Birthday

Second, its mine and Grant’s eight month wedding anniversary! Wow, typical, but time really does fly. I have no idea where I would be without him. He’s been there on my happiest day and he’s been there on my saddest- both of those happened within four months of each other. I want to take a moment and thank him for being in my corner, being patient and kind when I can’t seem to pull myself together, and loving me to an extent I cannot comprehend. A dream man I painted in my head years ago walked into my life my junior year of college and after thinking he wouldn’t be interested in me, we got married three years later.

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To my husband, I’m really happy I met you. My family is really happy they met you. You are loved and appreciated beyond measure.

Nothing like starting a Friday off on a happy/emotional note, because who doesn’t want to tear up in their avocado in the morning? HA! Now that all my cheesiness is out, wishing you all a happy and cool weekend { Chicago, its supposed to be like a million degrees– get to a pool ASAP, Indy is. Will report back with puppy pool photos šŸ™‚ }

Cheers to the weekend!

The Brunette Blend-Samantha-Signature

We’ve officially been married two weeks. I’m flipping through our Polaroid guest book and family snaps to hold me over until our official photos come in. It was over in the blink of an eye. It still feels like a day dream. Needless to say, getting back into the swing after a wonderful wedding and honeymoon is difficult. I’m happy to be home, but I think I’ll reminisce a bit more…
The Brunette Blend - The Honeymoon
We chose Florida for our honeymoon, because I’m not about hurricane season and 326348163 hour flights. I plan on visiting a tropical place, but our honeymoon wasn’t the time. We were looking for a mini escape+sunshine and we were lucky enough to stay at two beautiful resorts.Ā If you follow me on Instagram (@TheBrunetteBlend) or Snapchat (BrunetteSnapz) you got a little peek into our newlywed getaway.

GĀ set up an unforgettable sunset catamaran cruise. Just us and Captain Terry, who was a total BA. He lives on a sailboat, NBD. We were able to see dolphins, sea turtles, and a beautiful sunset. We sat on the back and ate shrimp cocktail. Ended it with a little pop, fizz, and clink. *insert new champagne emoji*

The Brunette Blend - The Honeymoon Sunset Cruise

Each night we were able to feel the sand in our toes and catch a sunset after dinner. We had little surprises along the way. A little shark washed up, I tried splashing water on it, Grant tried getting a stick. A family from England came over and proceeded to pick up the undead/dead shark and have a photo opt. Gross, but they did toss him back in the water for us. I guess we were all lifeguards…After that, we saw crabs and tons of beach life (is that a thing?) Here was my favorite thing I found on the beach…

The Brunette Blend - The Honeymoon Husband

Here areĀ mini highlights: found a PERFECT sand dollar, fed a giraffe, and one of many killer sunsets. Not pictured: getting a piggy back ride from the beach.

The Brunette Blend - The Honeymoon Snippets

Ok, ok! Enough about the honeymoon, lets talk about this deliciously sweet drink I got at dinner.

Fleur D’Lis

@ Chart House
(photo courtesy of

The Brunette Blend - The Honeymoon Chart house Cocktail

If you don’t care for a sweet cocktail, move along. This. Is. Sweet.

It is a tropical tasting drink with:

-Malibu Coconut Rum

-Midori Melon

-Peachtree Schnapps

-Splashes of Orange and Pineapple juice

I was only able to get the ingredients , BUTĀ I plan on experimenting and figuring out how to make this exactly. So once I can, I will share! Perfect for a girls night or sippin’ on the porch.

Snapping back into a rainy Chicago night. I made our first dinner that didn’t include chicken– it seems that has become a staple here. I took a stab at a recipe that was similar to something my mother would make. A sweet pea andĀ prosciutto pasta tossed in an alfredo sauce (made from scratch by the way.)

Cheers to warm memories and crisp fall evenings!

The Brunette Blend - The Honeymoon Samantha<

xo S

Our wedding is creeping up! October 10th is just around the corner and we are running around like crazy people! I swear, there aren’t enough hours in the day and our weekends are booked like no other. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been this busy in my life. I don’t mind, but I’m looking forward to the crisp fall and being snuggled in a blanket burrito…but until then WE WERK!

As my mom, bridesmaids and I decide on what shoes, what centerpieces, and everything in between– what are the boys thinking? Grant has a countdown on his phone (so sweet!) and was eager to pick out his tux for the wedding (Vera Wang, you know how to dress a guy!), but is there anything else? Usually, it is us brides making decisions and focusing on every little detail. SO, I sat down with my groom and the best man. I figured it would be fun to do a little wedding Q&A. If you want a sneak peek into what happened, lets just say we would be having a VERY casual wedding featuring black flowers…I know.

Meet Grant (G) and Andrew (A). A little background on these guys. They’re best friends from high school. The kind of boy best friends that cheer each other on, but give each other a hard time and it is HILARIOUS! Andrew also helped us moved TWICE, he’s the ultimate.

Without further adieu, I present to you the mind of these two wedding planners…

How do you feel about getting married, Grant?
G: Good.
A: Grant is ecstatic and can barely contain his excitement. He talks about it everyday and how he is so lucky to have such a beautiful bride.

Andrew, if you were to throw a bridal shower for Grant, how would it go down?
A: If I were going to throw a bridal shower for Grant? I would throw a groom’s shower, not a bridal shower. Is it a groom’s party or a bridal party?
S: It can be a grooms party.
A: A grooms party, cool. Much better. First we would go to the horse track to get the day started– betting on some ponies and having a good time. Go out for dinner at Ditka’s…
G: Ditka’s is disgusting, put Morton’s.
A: And after our wonderful dinner at DITKA’s, we would head over to the piano bar and troll the piano man with Garth Brooks requests. Then probably go back to the apartment, watch some Netflix and get hyped for the wedding.

How do you feel about wearing bowties?
A: I’m stoked.
G: Great. It’ll be chill.

Brides usually are very into what flowers will be at the wedding. Grant, you just recently went to the flower shop with me. What flowers would you have at the wedding?
A: Only flowers that are worth the bride’s special day.
G: Black ones, because black matches everything. Is there such a thing?

You are walking down the aisle. What song is playing?
A: A pre-wedding hype song?
G & A: Africa by Toto.

How would you decorate the wedding cake?
G: It would be a DQ Cake. An icecream cake.
A: Whatever my wife likes….
S: That didn’t answer the question…

Do you have any fears about the wedding?
A: Nothing. I am completely at peace with this wedding.
G: My biggest fear is that my beard won’t look good.

If you were able to choose your wedding wardrobe, what would you wear?
G: V-Necks. Black V-Necks. With black sweatpants.
A: Whatever my wife wants me to wear.
S: Andrew, I’m seeing a trend…

If you could change anything about the wedding, what would it be?
A: I didn’t want salmon…I said it four times.
S: Salmon isn’t an option….Grant?
G: I wanted salmon. No, I’m joking. I want a destination wedding.

Wedding favors. What would you give your guests as a thank you for attending?
A: For my wedding…Party favors. Geez. A flask with the last name and wedding date.
G: A golden a retriever puppy and if they don’t want it, I get to keep it.

After this, our conversation was mostly just laughs instead of questions. We made cookies in our new mixer, so we had to tend to those. Cookies always win. There you have a sneak peek into the minds of the wedding men. Do you have any good questions to ask them as the wedding approaches? As you can see, they are good for a few laughs.

To all our grooms and bestmen out there, we’re sorry your wedding may not be super casual and we hope your facial hair(whether that be clean shaven, scruff, or full blown beard) is on point. We also wish you the happiest days with your partner and to ride off into the sunset with your “hype song” blasting.

The Brunette Blend - Ask the Boys Wedding

Remember when spring was like 10 minutes ago? SOOOOO LAST SEASON, right? We’re in the middle of July. Everything is stuck on the fast forward button. Before we know it, it will be fall and that means October. October means I go from a Miss to a Mrs…what is happening!? I swear 20 minutes ago it was December and I was standing fiance-less on my front steps looking at my boyfriend drop to one knee.

LIFE IS HAPPENING! It feels like it is all happening at once, but I guess that is what keeps you on your toes. When you get engaged, you go through a spectrum of emotions: happy, giddy, running through a field full of flowers to crying on your keyboard asking why you didn’t just elope. HELLO DISNEY PRINCESSES HOW DID YOU PLAN A WEDDING IN ONE DAY!? If you’re engaged or helping plan a wedding…you know. Oh, I know you know.

Thankfully, it doesn’t last forever. Eventually, you get through all the hair pulling and on to the fun.

I’m getting excited for the big day. Things are starting to come together and it feels good to be coloring in the lines now….below are the current pieces that are bringing things to life.


These beauties will be the death of you. Well, in my mind, the death of me. I LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOVE fresh flowers. With 6 bridesmaids and X amount of tables, it isn’t the smartest or budget-friendly item. My cousin just had a BEAUTIFUL wedding last month and her flowers were stunning. You would have never known their stems had never been in water…yep. Artificial flowers. They looked great in person and fabulous in photos. No one knew the difference. A great idea is a great idea and I’m taking note. My mom and I have been experimenting with our own arrangements…take note the photo below is our rough draft, hence some stringy roses šŸ™‚

The Brunette Blend - Wedding Blends Flowers

Dressing the Table

There are so many variations and ideas when it comes to creating a center piece. Flowers are a big one, but I think votives and vases are making a statement, plus you can totally use them again! They’re usually inexpensive for a plain version. That doesn’t mean you have to have a centerpiece full of clear votives. Since the wedding will be featuring a lot of gold, we glitzed out our $1 votives. I’ve seen similar styles range from $10 to $30+. With spray glue and glitter you can create a magical, statement-making votive for a few bucks, if that. (Placing it on gold charger just adds to the glitz in my book.) Still working on adding pops of color to the gold dripping center piece, any suggestions!?

The Brunette Blend - Wedding Blends Table Numbers


I couldn’t imagine standing up there without those ladies by my side. I am so excited to share the day and get dolled up with them! I definitely don’t want to burn a hole in their pockets with expensive dresses and shoes. I originally thought I would mix and match my girls with rental dresses. Well, with the clock ticking and no guarantee we would have those exact, proper fitting dresses, I caved and chose one dress for all. The more I look at the dress I chose for them, the more excited I am to see them all ROCK it! As every bride says, “you will be able to wear it again!” I sincerely hope they wear this chic black sheer, stripped dress. With a gorgeous neckline and great fit, I know they are going to feel comfortable, confident, and feel their absolute best! Who doesn’t love a great LBD? $70 (or less with coupon) THANKS DRESSBARN xox

The Brunette Blend - Wedding Blends Bridesmaids

The Dress

Dress is in and couldn’t be any more perfect. Its a classic with a twist. A sneak peek of the details on the bottom šŸ˜‰

The Brunette Blend - Wedding Blends The Dress

So my fellow brides, CONGRATULATIONS & how is the planning going? What are using to bring your visions to life? Any tips or tricks to share? Keep workin’ it and talk soon.