Did you know that Conway has a great symphony orchestra? Yup. Yet another reason why I really love living in Conway. Every year, to kick off their new season, they perform a free concert inside Simon Park in Downtown Conway. Next Friday at 7:30 p.m., September 18th, is their kickoff free concert!
It’s been a minute since I last posted—because I got engaged on August 21st! If you’ve ever been engaged before, you can understand that a lot of daily life plans get thrown out the window the moment you say “Yes.” Our business has also been particularly busy the last two weeks so sharing my engagement story definitely took a back seat for a week.
How He Asked
Owning a business together and living together means that it’s pretty hard to surprise me. In fact, I’m particularly great at figuring out surprises without even really trying! He did a great job of not letting me catch on though. I was really completely in the dark until maybe a few days before when I started to suspect something was strange about our Friday night plans.
We hadn’t been out on a date since at least January! (I know.) So it was really strange for him to want to go out to Pasta Grill, my favorite restaurant in Downtown Conway. But I didn’t think anything of it until a friend wanted to grab dinner and he was really insistent on going out for date night dinner on Friday together.
Of course, he said it was because we’re thinking about moving out of walking distance from Downtown Conway restaurants and needed to enjoy it while we were here. Which is true. Which made me think maybe I was being silly thinking he was going to propose.
We got gussied up since we hadn’t been out for dinner in so long. When we got to Pasta Grill, there was a bit of a wait so we sat down in the waiting area. College students had just returned to town and there were two sorority-looking young gals sitting next to us on the bench. “Don’t you want us to take your picture? You need to remember these memorable moments!”
Yup. Even the girls at Pasta Grill knew what was up!
After a really lovely dinner, we walked over to Simon Park before heading home. We decided to sit down on one of the benches to enjoy the nice weather and a teenage guy on a BMX bike slowly biked by.
Joseph’s shoe laces need to be replaced and keep coming untied, no lie, so he bent down to retie them. And magically pulled a ring box out of nowhere. Apparently he’d been hiding it in his sock the entire night! (He wants me to underline that he McGyvered that and did trial runs that resulted in bruises a few times before. Man with a plan and determination.)
I was surprised, even if I’d started to catch on, and immediately said yes!
(After Joseph put the ring on, the teenage kid came out from his hiding spot and yelled “You go, man!” Ha! Also, turns out that his parents smuggled in some bubbly when they came for a visit the weekend before because I would have definitely caught on if he’d gone to get some!)
I absolutely love my ring and am so glad that we talked about what I wanted a few months ago. It’s super easy to go ga-ga over huge diamond stones—but isn’t what I really wanted. This ring is going to be with me for the rest of my life! And my practical self was looking for something that would be able to survive and fit my style for a whole lifetime.
There’s nothing better than a classic cut and setting. I told him I wanted white gold because it’s more durable, requires less polishing than platinum, and is great for keeping diamonds safe.
The thing is my family has a history of losing diamonds. My Nana ended up with a beautiful ruby ring after losing her diamond twice! So my major concern was that my diamonds stayed in there—forever.
Joseph found a very simple and classic five-stone diamond engagement ring with a larger center stone. It’s pretty unusual to have a five diamond engagement ring and there aren’t many like it out there. Even though it’s very classic, it’s still unique. I can’t say enough how much I love that!
The first question on everyone’s lips as soon as we said we were engaged was when our wedding will be. We haven’t even thought about it.
Our focus right now is on a few other big things in our lives and business and enjoying being engaged. I’m still not used to saying fiancé instead of boyfriend! But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to write all about our wedding plans when the time comes.
There’s no denying that I absolutely adore wearing dresses! I pulled out this bright dress that I bought around 9 years ago when I first moved to Arkansas. It was so unbelievably hot for me when I first moved here so I sought out a few light cotton dresses to survive.
These days, it’s much easier for me to handle Arkansas’ high temps so I hardly wear this dress. This dress is unbelievably loud and screams for attention because of the cut and color so it doesn’t feel like an everyday dress, though it easily could be. There aren’t many dresses like this out there!
The trick to wearing a bright, loud dress is to own it. The dress is going to attract attention so you need to be comfortable in it! If you don’t like how it looks on you or it doesn’t fit in a way you love, you’re probably not going to look great in it.
So pop out that hip and smile, girl, ’cause you fine.
Styling bright dresses like this one often calls for pretty simple accessories with clean lines. That doesn’t mean you can’t play with other bright colors though! The designs and colors just need to not be too crazy. After all, your styled bright dress is the center of this look so let it shine.
I added these simple but eye-catching blue cork wedges with a peep toe, perfect to pair with this flowy summer dress.
This dress called for beach babe hair! It really reminds me of Mexican prints and island vacations. I grabbed my favorite sea salt spray and scrunched away.
I kept my other accessories simple as well, with floral patterned aviator sunglasses and a necklace that’s been passed through my family. Rumor is that the necklace came from India or somewhere in the Pacific from an uncle who sailed around the world when he was younger. (I have another matching one that the strand broke and I really need to fix!)
So throw on that bright dress, toss on your shades, and strut your stuff. Own it!
Exact – $13
Summer is almost over, y’all! But that doesn’t mean that bright summer style needs to take a back set when we start to pull out those cardigans. (Who am I kidding, it’s going to be hot as hades in the South for at least another three months).
I really love bright statement jewelry and think it’s a great part of a wardrobe of any season, not just the end of summer! Here are some of my favorite picks for bright, fun jewelry right now.
Aren’t those glitter earrings delicious? If only I had my ears pierced…