a simple, [mostly] homemade beauty routine

beauty IIHi, my name is Erin and I have a confession: I’ve gone all-out hippie. I always smell of herbs (not those herbs)  and I dream about composting and layering ethnic fabrics all over my home. I prefer to sit on floor cushions and would rather drink kombucha than a margarita. Well, most of the time.

Hand-in-hand with my crunchy tendencies go my green-and-clean beauty routines. For the past year I’ve been working hard to detoxify my beauty and body care products, and the more I research it, the more I love it. I’ve gone from purchasing products to making my own, and not only is it saving my money but my skin is reaping the benefits. Let me tell you a little about what I’ve been doing lately.

In the mornings I wake up, drink some water, and make myself a mug of apple cider vinegar tonic. Inspired entirely by my friend Jane at Raw Milk Marathon, I boil water and measure out 1 Tbsp. unfiltered raw apple cider vinegar, 1 Tbsp. local honey and a few dashes of a cinnamon-tumeric combo, plus some fresh grated ginger if I have it. That, plus 8 oz. hot water, makes a stimulating tea that tastes exactly like hot apple cider and does incredible things for my digestion and clears up my morning brain fog. Take note of this, because it’s remarkable: digestion affects skin. Isn’t that crazy? It’s amazing, and I learned it from Liz Wolfe’s Skintervention Guide.

Whenever I remember in the mornings I like to do a quick lymphatic massage and some dry brushing to stimulate circulation and wake my body up. I’ll usually splash my face with water or a spritz of a toner, then moisturize and add makeup, if necessary for the day.

The bulk of my cleansing happens in the evenings. I cleanse my face with the oil — not surprisingly, it’s called the Oil Cleansing Method — using only hemp oil these days. To oil cleanse, you simply massage a small amount of oil into the skin on your face, then steam the skin with a washcloth soaked in warm/hot water. The warm washcloth opens the pores and will also eventually help remove the excess oil. I do this cycle a couple of times before gently wiping my face with the washcloth and finally splashing my face with warm water.

For a while I was using a combination of olive oil, castor oil and tea tree essential oil, which worked well enough, but I was craving some experimentation and hemp oil fit the bill. I’ve also cleansed with straight jojoba oil and coconut oil before, and those were also good alternatives — I still remove mascara and other stubborn makeup with coconut oil. After cleansing I spray on a toner, like Lovely Lady Everlasting toner or a homemade apple cider vinegar toner (from the Skintervention Guide). Now I’m spritzing with plain orange blossom water and it’s incredibly refreshing.beauty III

To moisturize, I apply some more hemp oil or any variety of salves and oils I have stockpiled. I have a bottle of Tarte Maracuja Oil that I like, a little tub of Green Pastures Beauty Balm, some Lovely Lady Everlasting-Argan Immortelle Facial Nutrient, and a tin of Zum Rub in frankincense & myrrh. They are all different and beneficial for different situations, but lately I’ve been using the Zum Rub exclusively to combat breakouts and it’s worked really well. Speaking of which, I use tea tree or lavender essential oils for spot treatments or a dab of Primal Life Organics Banished Primal Blemish Serum for more serious breakouts. (Which are, thankfully, rare these days.)

I exfoliate my face gently with baking soda, and I exfoliate the rest of me with dry brushing before the shower and my homemade coffee scrub while in the shower. I wash my body with Dr. Bronner’s liquid castille soap or an herbal-infused Lovely Lady bar, and moisturize with Everyday Shea unscented shea butter lotion or plain coconut oil.

I brush my teeth with homemade tooth powder and finish with a swish of hydrogen peroxide and flossing.

My deodorant is another homemade concoction, made with coconut oil, baking soda and lavender + orange essential oils. I recently won some goodies from Primal Pit Paste and I’m eagerly awaiting their arrival in the mail.

Every Sunday evening I try to make the time to apply a cleansing mask, and for a few minutes I feel like I’m at a spa. My current favorite mask  is a mix of equal parts clay, cocoa powder and maca powder, combined with water. Find the recipe here. In the evenings I also try to drink some herbal tea — I love Traditional Medicinals brand Detox tea and Roasted Dandelion tea — for its relaxing and liver detoxifying qualities. Quality sleep and regular liver detox can also help with skin health and vitality.

But, above all, a healthy diet and good stress management are key to maintaining good skin. I take a few supplements here and there to help out with the process, but by keeping my food in check, my rest plentiful, and my reactions to stressful situations positive, I can manage skin health and rely less and less on products. Because really, natural beauty is truly the most beautiful!

wake-me-up coffee scrub

SONY DSCI can feel a metaphor in here somewhere. Sloughing off the old to make way for the new, shedding dull skin for fresh growth, rebirth. Somehow the creation of this exfoliant is inextricably linked with where I am currently. Our movers come next week, and shortly after I will ship my car and take one final Ikea trip. By the end of next month, we’ll be out of here and on our way to our new home.

And in this transition phase I am feeling itchy, emotionally. All of the plans, the time crunch, our belongings packed hither and thither are rubbing me the wrong way and I am not reacting as gracefully as I wish I could. I’m starting to rely much to heavily on afternoon screenings of Parks & Rec and homemade waffles — too much of a good thing can be, well, too muchSONY DSC

But looking at all that’s around and all that’s ahead makes me excited for what’s next. It’s multi-faceted, filled with travel and simplicity, living with less.

Through it all it’s good to remember to pause, to take care of myself. I made this scrub out of things I already had around the house, and although it cost very little to make when I first used it I felt a sense of luxury and relaxation I hadn’t experienced in a while. Something about the warm coffee aroma mixed with the cloves spice reminded me of my college coffee shop and the mornings I would spend there after my early Spanish class, working on a big cup of black coffee, an apple and a granola bar. I knew the regulars, imagined their stories, watched the food service workers unload the trucks at the back of the cafeteria and listened to the baristas banter over opening chores. It was my ritual every Monday-Wednesday-Friday to sit near a window or out on the patio if the weather was nice and watch the campus wake up.

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In a way, I am on my way to waking up. Through this hurricane of change and preparation my sense of curiosity has been blunted by the all-too-present “to do list.” The pressing needs of the immediate moment smother the desire for adventure, the task right in front of me — wash and pack the linens, post the piano to Craigslist, take a load of books to the thrift store — takes precedence over what I’ve been dreaming about.

Standing in the shower, scrubbing the rough patches of skin on my elbows and knees, I thought about the me of four years ago, lonely and lost on the patio of a cafe, clinging with my little hands to a buoy of ritual. And now, clinging to some semblance of familiarity, of comfort, to transition into the newest phase, I see so much of what was to be in that person.

I still have some of the same rough patches, some of the same feelings of being lost in a great big ocean of “shoulds.” But in the same way that cicadas shed their skins when the seasons change, slipping out of the old for a fresh perspective, I’m seeing a little of the same transformation.SONY DSC

Wake-Me-Up Coffee Scrub

1 c. dry coffee, finely ground

1 c. coconut oil or your favorite liquid oil: jojoba, hemp, olive…

15-20 drops clove essential oil

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cinnamon

To melt the coconut oil, place the sealed jar in a sink of warm water until the oil liquifies. Measure out desired about (one half to one cup) and shake in 15-20 drops of clove essential oil. Cypress or another earthy, spicy scent would be delicious and equally stimulating to the circulatory system.

In a separate bowl, sift together coffee grounds and spices. Stir into oils with a non-metal spatula until smooth. Pour into a jar and keep in your shower — the steam and hot water will liquify the coconut oil if it solidifies in a cold bathroom.

Apply anywhere that needs a good scrubbing or a boost in circulation and massage into skin in wide, circular motions.

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Additionally, I just found out that today is National Coffee Day — fortuitous, as I had no knowledge of said holiday before I drafted this post! This morning I’m drinking a variation of butter coffee, this time with coconut oil, Pure Indian Foods Digestive Ghee, grass-fed gelatin and a little dab of local honey, all blended up until frothy and perfect. This is my version of a pumpkin spice latte, and I definitely prefer it to the over-priced, over-sweetened version from Starbucks. What are you drinking this morning?

simple, homemade cleaning supplies

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Simplify, simplify, simplify. This has been my song of late. I’ve been working hard to pare down our belongings and, in the process, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about living cleaner and wasting less.

Waste not, want not. That’s the refrain that I hum in a round with the first tune, wondering all the while how I got to be such a child of the disposable era. My grandparents are incredibly frugal, and my great-grandfather most of all; a trait he held onto from his Depression-era childhood, no doubt, and he is waste-less to an almost frustrating extreme. My family likes to tell the story of one Christmas in which we got him a new horse blanket to replace an old one ridden with holes and worn to shreds. A few months later my dad found the new one in the barn, still pristine in its original packaging – my great-grandfather was intent upon using the original until it could be used no more.

Instead, I’m tossing out things left and right – single-use containers, old things of mine that are still useful but no longer desirable, food scraps that have plenty of potential for nourishment. Since when did it become acceptable to discard paper plates and napkins and towels like it all just disappeared into thin air?

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There’s enough potential discussion here for an entire blog post – instead of continuing with the rant, however, I want to share a few ways that I’m making our household a little greener and cleaner, a little simpler and a little less wasteful.

When citrus was in fine form this winter I started thinking about how I could get some use out of the vibrant, fragrant fruit peels that I had been previously tossing in the trash. A quick web search gave me the idea to steep them in vinegar to make my own citrus-infused, all-purpose cleaning solution. Now I have a collection of citrus-infused vinegars – lemon, lime, orange-grapefruit – that I use for all manner of things around the house.

A quick spritz from a spray bottle cleans my bathroom surfaces, while a splash in my dishwater keeps hard water spots at bay. I add some baking soda to scrub my bathtub, and use the same mixture to clean the toilet. The same vinegar goes into my laundry to make everything super-soft and add an extra dose of disinfectant.

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We don’t have a dishwasher, so cleaning the pots and pans is an in-the-sink ordeal every day. Add to the equation the local water – it’s infamously bad – and I have a potential for grimy dishes all day long with a lot of my money going to Dawn dish soap. But I’ve found an alternative in Dr. Bronner’s Sal’s Suds – an all-natural, super-strength, multi-purpose soap. A couple teaspoons in a sink of hot water, plus my vinegar, makes for an inexpensive and eco-friendly dishwashing alternative.

I use Sal’s Suds around the house for anything that needs a deep clean, particularly the floors. Again, the formula is simple: soap + vinegar + water. I recently invested in some reusable cleaning cloths from Natural Linens on Etsy to replace my disposable Swiffer wet mop pads. A couple of these soaked in my cleaning solution and tucked around a Swiffer mop is just as easy as conventional mopping, only instead of contributing to my week’s waste at the end I just toss the cloths in the laundry.

I also make my own laundry detergent, and have been for a couple of years now. I use this recipe and like the combination of citrus and lavender-scented soaps in the mix. I’ve been considering switching to Soap Nuts but I hear mixed reviews. Any thoughts?

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I’ve been slowly but surely working through a bulk box of scented dryer sheets, and hoping to find a less wasteful alternative once that batch is used up. However, in the interim I’ve been finding new uses for my spent dryer sheets – like polishing the stainless steel hardware in my kitchen and bathroom. The waxy finish the dryer sheets leave behind help keep fingerprints and watermarks at bay for a little longer than usual, and I feel better getting some extra miles out of what would have been a single-use product.

I’ve been learning more about homemade cleaning solutions made from essential oils, and hope to implement more of those formulas in our new home. (I don’t want to make a batch of cleaners that I can’t take with me before the move.) Some key players in the world of essential oils-cum-cleaners include: clove, rosemary, tea tree and thieves essential oils. All of these are antimicrobial and have disinfectant properties, plus smell like a garden. Bonus!

In other parts of the home, I’m working toward making greener shifts. I prefer burning pure beeswax candles over anything else nowadays – they don’t release any toxins, unlike many synthetic fragrance-laden candles, and instead clean the air and impart a warm, honey aroma. I’m hoping to invest in one of those cool rolls of reusable “paper towels.” I’ve seen a few on Etsy that are made of absorbent fabric, in which each sheet is affixed together with Velcro or snaps to mimic traditional paper towels. It’s defying convention while still appearing to be a conventional product!

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I’m slowly switching from plastic sandwich and snack bags to reusable cloth bags for packed lunches, and I’d like to get my hands on some Bee’s Wrap after I go through my store of aluminum foil, plastic cling wrap and waxed paper. I just ordered these to replace my oft-used plastic freezer bags. I’ve always used glass Pyrex containers and mason jars for storing leftovers and packing meals to-go, but there are certainly many ways where I can improve in the realm of food storage.

We are big believers in using reusable tote bags for grocery shopping around here, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much plastic I still consumed with produce bags. Even when I buy my fruits and veggies at the farmers market they still want to give me a plastic bag to store everything in! The solution? Reusable bags, just like those I use for shopping, but smaller and breathable. I’ve found a few organic cotton muslin options online that I’ll be investing in sometime soon.

Another “to do” item on my green home transformation list is to purchase some houseplants that purify the air. Peace Lily, Mother-in-Law Tongue, Boston Fern, English Ivy and Rubber Plant are just a few that do double duty in the home. For outdoor living, I’d like to make a big batch of homemade citronella candles. Mosquitos love me – I’m sweet! – and there’s nothing I’d like more than to stir together a big pot of beeswax and citronella essential oil to make sure that those pests stay away.

Are you making any changes in your home this year? This journey has been a gradual one, but it’s been rewarding to know that my home is simpler and cleaner in a healthy, wholesome way, all thanks to a little effort and research and the work of my own hands.

a quirky dip-dyed chair

5436ec22e8a811e285af22000a1fb30f_7A tip for anyone planning to move in the next few years, here’s a little advice. Don’t wait until a couple of months before you leave to finish all of the projects you’ve been “meaning to do.” What will happen is this — a sudden sense of urgency will come upon you to complete all of the half-started attempts to find the perfect rug, re-upholster an armchair, paint a masterpiece. The pressure of a deadline increases exponentially when coupled with a tendency toward perfectionism (raises hand), and so the best options are to: a) start working on your projects before you have a pressing deadline to meet or b) relax, take your time and enjoy the process.

Another good idea is to start small. One of my goals for 2013 is to refinish the stack of secondhand furniture I’ve picked up over the last year, including two end tables, a dresser, and an armchair covered in worn yellow velvet but with the most incredible architectural bones. In an attempt to pump myself up for the projects ahead I began with a quick and easy project, this dip-dye style chair that I hope to use in my future workspace. It took a total of two afternoons to finish, including sanding, painting, drying, a coat of polyurethane and another drying session. It turned out to be really cute, and it’s just the type of instant gratification that I needed to keep me focused on my grander goal ahead.

Dip-Dyed Chair

You will need: a wooden chair, medium-grade sandpaper, masking tape, a small pot of paint or a can of spray paint, spray polyurethane, a drop cloth and a large, airy workspace.

Determine the line at which the paint will stop and tape that section off. Gently sand the sufaces you will be painting, and wipe them off with a damp rag. If you have any mineral spirits handy, a quick swipe of that after the sanding will clean off any remaining residue and open the wood grain to prepare for painting.

With a small brush, or with a can of spray paint, give the prepared area two coats of color — make sure to let the first coat dry completely before going over again with a second coat. Let the paint dry overnight or for another day, then gently remove masking tape to reveal a crisp boundary between paint and wood. Coat with a thin layer of polyurethane and let dry overnight until it is no longer tacky.

Inspired by this.

 

oh true apothecary

SONY DSCI started working on my May goals with perhaps the oddest one: make my own toothpaste or, in this exact case, tooth powder.

It was easy. I used this excellent recipe from Wellness Mama, tweaked to my personal taste. Grinding herbs and powders in my mortar and pestle made me feel very witchy, like the mysterious-gypsy-herbalist-with-a-cabin-in-the-woods that I wish I was.

I’m keeping my powder in a little glass jar in our vanity cupboard in the bathroom. When it’s time to brush my teeth, I simply wet my toothbrush and dab it in a little of the powder, and scrub away. It really makes my teeth feel clean, and my mouth fresh. Don’t be alarmed when the Bentonite Clay turns your toothbrush and your sink brown — yes, it tastes a bit like dirt — because it all washes right out.

Re-mineralizing Tooth Powder

4 Tbsp. Bentonite Clay

3 Tbsp. Calcium Magnesium powder

1 Tbsp. baking soda

2 Tbsp. powdered mint leaf

1 Tbsp. cinnamon powder

In a mortar and pestle, grind nine Calcium Magnesium tablets into a fine powder. Combine in a bowl with clay, baking soda, cinnamon and powdered mint leaf. (You can order powdered mint leaf online. I had some dried mint from last summer’s balcony garden harvest, so I ground that up in my mortar and pestle and saved a little cash in the meantime.)

I mentioned that the clay tastes a bit like dirt, and it does, but in the most pleasant, earthy way. The flavors of the cinnamon and the mint help make the powder feel a little more like using regular toothpaste, but with a subtle flavor.

This is one of many small changes I’ve been making in my efforts to simplify and green-ify my home and beauty products. This tooth powder joins homemade deodorant, oil cleansing, homemade laundry detergent and citrus vinegar wash, plus the hunt to find the perfect non-toxic mascara.

That herby witch cabin in the woods gets nearer to reality every day…

wedding recap

Our photos are in and they are INCREDIBLE. It could be that I’m biased because it was my own wedding and I get teary every time I look through them, and also perhaps that I just adore our photographers and consider them dear friends. It also could have to do with the fact that our wedding day was the very best day of my life, the day in which I felt the most loved.

Starting from the beginning, here’s how it all happened:

On Saturday night we had a little rehearsal in the park and then our family and friends joined us for a casual dinner at Hog Haus, a local brew pub and restaurant. We drank delicious, house-made beers, enjoyed good conversation, and then ended the night with a celebratory gin and tonic and a round of pool at a favorite tavern. Most of our guests stayed at the same hotel my parents and I stayed in the night before the wedding, and so when we woke up at 6:30 a.m. the next morning I ate oatmeal with some dear old friends and greeted that special day with so much love. The wedding party and tons of family friends met us at the Pratt Place Barn to start decorating at 7:30 a.m., and this truly was one of my favorite parts of the day. My parents’ friends, members of my church family, my best girlfriends and their boys all pitched in to unload trailers full of DIY’d goodies and family heirlooms my parents hauled from home, chairs and plates and tablecloths from the rental companies…it was one of the greatest exercises in teamwork I’ve ever seen. And everyone’s willingness to help and sacrifice of their time and energies was incredibly special.

From the beginning of the wedding planning process, Andrew and I have always wanted our day to be about community. First and foremost, we wanted to celebrate our love and, of course, get married, but we wanted to credit our loved ones with the place they have had in our lives and to honor their love for us. The morning of the wedding was all of that and more, thanks to the great effort of family and friends. And it was fun.

Nearly everything we used to decorate the barn — our reception area — was a family heirloom, and what didn’t come from the attics of family members came from the many thrifting trips made over the course of our year-long engagement. Everything was hand-selected to match our aesthetic, which I ended up dubbing whimsical-vintage-countryside-casual, or something like that. We collected old books, mismatched brass candle sticks, mason jars, doilies, eclectic pastel-print calico, burlap, old photographs, floral-print china, and so much more. In the first moments of this wedding’s inception it all seemed very original, but as I continued planning and scouring wedding websites, I saw so many other events that were based around the same idea as ours. But what made ours so special was the history involved — everything told a story. Our special day was a very physical labor of love, from the hand-stitched bunting to the family quilts to the scavenged wood signpost. Everything present was touched by someone we loved.

Above: A photo wall displayed our past and our present, with family wedding photos and baby photos to boot. The head tables were draped with DIY burlap runners, homemade calico napkins, and floral plates collected from all over.

Above: This is the saddle my paternal grandfather made for my birthday one year. It’s small enough to fit an eight-year-old me and my paint pony, Shorty. We put it out in front of the barn with some potted plants from my mama’s garden and a hand-painted welcome sign.

Above: This is our cookie bar with sweet favors for our guests, with a quilt made by our family friend Lise in the background and my best friend’s Nanny’s borrowed tablecloth on the table. The sweets all held special significance for us: I made batches and batches of my Grandma Rosie’s nightie-night cookies; my grandma made batches and batches of my grandpa’s famous peanut butter fudge; our friend Christa made several dozen sugar cookies from a Van Genderen family recipe; and cousins from Montana with their own caramel company, Good Karmal, made customized caramels just for us. (You’d better believe they were gone in an instant!) Our programs are to the right, made at home with friends and family around the kitchen table.

Above: A talented family friend, Karen, made our red velvet cake, and a vintage book about marriage served as our ring-bearing vessel. It also showed up in our engagement shoot.

My mama and I left the barn around 10:30 to start getting ready, even though she never actually sat down until an hour or two later. My bridesmaids joined me while we were getting our hair done, and we all applied our makeup together in front of a wall of mirrors while drinking pink champagne from grey-striped straws.

They all got dressed — and looked so perfect in the dresses of their choosing! — and amidst giggles and tears they helped me to put on my dress. It was a magical moment. I finally felt like I was supposed to be getting married, that I owned the dress and that this day was my own.

My dress was the “Vanessa” style by Wtoo, purchased at Low’s Bridal in Brinkley, Ark. last summer. What an exciting trip that was, made with my mama and my childhood friend Makayla. My something old was from a little local vintage shop — two gold straight pins for my hair, with flowers made from pearls at the top. My somethings new were my dress and veil, and my something borrowed was the gold and pearl flower brooch I wore to cinch the ribbon at my waist, a token from my Grandma Rosie’s jewelry box. My something blue was pale toenail polish, inspired by Mille on her wedding day. Here are some of the bridal portraits I took in April with Bettencourt-Chase Photography.

With the help of my girls and after a hug from my sweet mama, I made my way up the steps of the Pratt Place Inn and, with my skirt hiked up around my legs, tiptoed to the grove of trees where Andrew was waiting for me. I was incredibly excited to show Andrew my dress for the first time — we were going to have our “first look” and do photos with the wedding party and families before the ceremony.

He loved my dress. He looked so handsome and happy. I gave him a hankerchief I made from a vintage tablecloth. He wore it as a pocket square and keeps it in his closet now.

After that, it was all a blur. Wedding party photos, family photos, seeing the decorated barn for the first time, watching our guests arrive in droves, and waiting with baited breath for our wedding to begin. The day was sunny and breezy and perfect.

Above: My handsome groom and some of his groomsmen. They wore grey slacks and vests, white oxfords, black shoes, and light blue striped cotton ties made by a local Fayetteville designer. Andrew’s chambray tie was from bowtieandcotton on Etsy. Andrew’s little brother was a ringbearer, and wore a bowtie that matched Andrew’s straight tie. I convinced my daddy to wear a bowtie (truthfully, he didn’t need much convincing) and it also came from bowtieandcotton.

Above: Our dear friends and family made up our wedding party. My girls picked out their own blush-colored dresses, and wore nude shoes of their choosing. I was initially a little nervous about leaving the dresses up to them (only because I’m a little bit of a control freak), but I trusted their collective good style and was not disappointed. Look how well those sweet girls matched with my blush peony bouquet! Unfortunately, one of my best friends growing up, Amelia, was supposed to be a bridesmaid but couldn’t make the trip from California to Arkansas because of a serious head injury. She is safe and healthy now, though, which is all that matters to me.

With everyone we loved there with us, nothing that went wrong could dampen my happiness. I was calm and incredibly happy.

And emotional, of course. Here is my precious dad and me, both trying our hardest to be brave. We did just fine, thanks to a certain joke-cake and the fact that the aisle was mercifully short. I’ve been so blessed with handsome, kind, and funny fellows in my life, and he is certainly one of my most favorite.

Our ceremony was beautiful and personal, thanks altogether to our pastor and friend, Mike. He’s known us both through our college careers, and guided us through pre-marital advice during our engagement. He read Scripture to us in a way that has continued to challenge us every day to choose to love one another, and to love one another with the gracious, giving love of Christ. He made us laugh, he made me tear up, and he was such an important part of our day — he married us, didn’t he?!

My dear friend Rona also read a special poem aloud during the ceremony — e.e. cummings’s “somewhere i have never travelled.” It has special significance to our love story, and was made all the more special by her reading. She came all the way from Korea to be there for us.

After the pronouncement of man and wife, we had a little alone time together before starting the reception with dinner, cake, dancing, and much merriment. Andrew and I danced to “Our Love is Here to Stay,” a duet with Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, while my dad and I danced to “The Wedding Samba” by Edmundo Ros and his orchestra — and had a great time with it. The evening was all a blast and went by entirely too fast before we were out the door and on our way to the honeymoon, guided by the light of dwindling sparklers and a just-eclipsed moon. The day was exhilarating and almost too perfect for words.

And the day was incredibly photographed. I have a million more pictures I wish I could share but I certainly don’t want to overwhelm you all…unless, of course, you want more photos. Just give the word and I’ll be happy to oblige. It is a day I am happy to relive over and over again.

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Venue: Pratt Place Barn, Fayetteville, AR

Photography: Bettencourt-Chase Photography; videography, Chad Harcourt

Rentals: Eventures

Flowers: Flora

Catering: The Event Group

Ceremony music: Su Hong and Austin Brown

DIY: decor, music, signage, invitations and programs

Dress: Wtoo “Vanessa” from Low’s Bridal; veil, custom