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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Get to Know Us

Hello! My name is Natasha and I am the Official, Bride-to-Blog, for HarpersLove. This means I not only get to work with one of the coolest mommyprenuers out there, hey Michelle, but I also get to be a part of this custom, fine jewelry line, that is designed by the people who will actually be wearing it, you! Another rockstar thing about my position, is I get the privilege of writing the wed-day Wednesday blog to give tips and connect with other brides, wedding planners, people who know stuff, to share wedding information. At HarpersLove we love brides, and being a Bride-to-Be myself, will give me some insight into this wonderful wedding world.
My best friend, and the love of my life, Brian, proposed to me on March 15, of this year and I have been on cloud nine ever since! Well mostly…. Getting engaged is the fun part, it is a feeling that I will never forget! I still get butterflies when I think about the proposal! The wedding planning part…. I’m not going to lie, it’s fun too, just in a stressful, I wanna pull my eyelashes out one by one kind of fun, kind of way. I have about 10 months to go until our big day and I hope this can be a space to connect with others, learn some things, and share some things that I have learned too! I promise I will try to keep the venting to a minimum! 
Check out a few of our engagement photos done by the magnificent, dynamic duo: Brooke and Roy at Brooke Peterson Photography! (If you need a photographer in Montana, this is where it’s at!)
My fiancé was being shy…. 
I don’t think you want to know what he was saying! 
Even from the side he’s a cutie! 
We are both from Colorado and because of his job in the United States Air Force, we are currently living it up in Montana! (If you follow HarpersLove on Instagram, you may see some of my posts about our #MontanaAdventures!) It is a different world up here in Big Sky country, but it sure is beautiful! As some may say, “Home is where the heart is” my heart is most definitely with him, so whenever we are together, we are home! 
Okay that was mushy, but very true! Now that you know a little about me, we want to hear from you! Make sure to follow us across your social media sites and be on the look out for wed-day Wednesday posts as I may need advice about weddings, or just about life in general! There may even be hidden treasures, promos or specials that you can learn about for HarpersLove!
Looking forward to hearing from you!
LOL, (my mom thought this meant Lots of Love, that’s cute, I think I’ll use that as my sign off!)  
HarpersLove Retail Liaison I Social Media/Blogger I Bridal Ambassadress 
email me: natasha@harperslove.com
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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Art of the Road Trip

It is summer and that means that families are on the move. As a kid, I had the fortune of traveling every summer to visit my family. One summer would be spent going to Italy and spending it in Naples, Italy. The next summer, my mother would take my brother and I on a cross-country road trip to visit my grandparents in Mississippi and along the way, she would chart out many adventures for us. These two destinations could not have been more different. These experiences were very special to me and they continue to make their mark on my life even as an adult. 
My parents met in Italy when my Dad was stationed there while in the Navy and when I was 3, we moved to the USA. The fact is, my parents came from two different worlds and settled in a new world together. They were both far from their homes and the annual family vacation was about connecting with their roots rather than going to Disneyworld. Visiting grandparents is always a very special moment and being able to explore their cultures and their experiences is even better. When we were little visiting our family in Italy, we spent time in the city doing city things and then we would spend several weeks camping Italian style along the Amalfi coast. When visiting my grandparents in Mississippi, we were working in my grandmother's store, or riding tractors, fishing, anything outdoors basically. We never even asked to go to Disneyworld because our summers were packed with awesome adventures.
When I was a kid, it was very common to pack your family up in a car and drive long distances because air travel was still out of the question for many families. Today, it feels like if you have to drive more than 3 hours with young kids, then families prefer to fly which makes me think that we are losing the love and art of the family road trip. The Art of the Road trip is simple; have a plan as to where you will be sleeping, pack your food (keep it simple), be open to changing schedules / take rest stops, love your GPS and have some entertainment for along the way. My mom made sure we had a pool at every HolidayInn that we stayed at and that we had plenty of beach stops where possible. We had the opportunity to learn about our country and history with my mom who was still new to this country and was learning about it herself. 
After many months of discussion and planning, I decided it was a good time for me to take my kids on their first long distance road trip. My husband, who is NOT a traveler at heart, could not join on this adventure and my mother had no desire since she had been there, done that. So it was going to be me and my 3 and 5 year old on the road to Mississippi for 9 days (NJ - MS is 21 hours straight! yikes) No problem for me because with careful planning and a very well organized system, my kids and I were not only going to survive this, we were going to have a blast. And a blast we did. We saw places that I would otherwise never go to (I mean these are not on my travel lists) and my kids loved hotel living. 
When we finally got to my grandparents home, they had an all new set of adventures by being in a very rural environment and enjoying a sense of freedom that they could not have up here. On our way back, I squeezed in a visit with my grad school buddy in DC and our kids both shared a new adventure. The last day of our road trip was spent in DC and my husband took the train in and spent the day with us. At this point, the kids had enough of me and my husband was pretty much the man for the day.  I was ok with it! In the end, we were all exhausted but it was a terrific feeling. 
This road trip was awesome and everyone keeps telling me how brave I was but honestly it was a natural thing for me to do. My little ones were on their best behavior and yes, thank god for iPads! So if you are contemplating a road trip, go the distance! Your kids will love it!!!
Happy Travels!
In the car
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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wed-Day Wednesday - All About Cake

The best thing about weddings is that they are so personalized, and they truly give guests a glimpse into the couple's life and style. The personalization is seen in every detail of the wedding, even in the cake! Let's face it, some people go to weddings just for an excuse to eat cake! Okay, maybe that's not the only reason, but it helps! Of all of the things to decide and things to buy, wedding planning can be extremely stressful. So give yourself a break and have fun when choosing a cake for the big day! The tasting alone can be the best part! There are some people who aren't big fans of sweets, but for the rest of us, let us eat cake! With all of the fantastic flavors and combinations out there, there are many to choose from so try and try away! Once you have the inside flavor (or flavors) picked, then you can move on to the outside of the cake. This is where you get to be creative and let your personality show through! From traditional tiered cakes, to cupcakes, to the rustic, naked cake, or even to unique cakes made to look like castles or spaceships or whatever else your creativity can dream up, let your cake be another fantastic, customized, representation of you!

Let's Eat Cake

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