Latest Posts

let’s ring in the new year.

There’s something about the anticipation of a new year that makes me really contemplate how I use my time. I am sure that this feeling is pretty common among most of us, but I still feel a little melancholy thinking of how the past year went and how everything has changed over the past 12 months. Could I have made better use of 2017 to save more money, eat out less, and waste less time stalking random people on Facebook? Probably. Should I have forgiven myself sooner for past mistakes and taken better care of my body? Definitely.

But here’s the thing: shoulda, woulda, coulda. It’s easy to dwell on the negative aspects of 2017 – and honestly, I feel like there were a lot of them – but this is the perfect excuse to make 2018 a better year. If there is one thing I learned from 2017 it is that life isn’t always fair, but you are responsible for making your own life (and those in it) positive.

So here’s to less negativity, surrounding ourselves with loved ones and spreading good karma! I hope you have the most happiest of years filled with confidence, love, and kindness.

 

long time no talk.

After a little bit of a hiatus, I’m jumping back into the blogging world. During this time away we experienced our 100th sale at Shelby Lynne + Vin and are now expanding our product selection. Vinnie and I are still living with our favorite hooman, Steve, who spoils us rotten. And we’re both fighting the urge to start decorating for Christmas, which Steve refuses to allow until the day after Thanksgiving.

Going forward – I will be splitting up my posts into three different categories: adventures, thoughts, and shop updates. Before, I was struggling to figure out a pattern or a focus with each of my blogs – hopefully this helps a bit!

So thanks for sticking around for the ride.

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5 Must Do’s When Planning a Bachelorette

Oh lord; you have been placed in charge of planning your BFF’s bachelorette. Eek! Well, have no fear, I am actually in the midst of planning a Bachelorette Party myself. Unfortunately, that is all I can dish out about her party at the moment since my bestie wants to be surprised… Buuuuuut luckily for her and me – and now, you – this isn’t my first rodeo; planning bachelorette parties has kind of been my thing over the past few years and let’s just say, it has taught me more than a few valuable lessons.

So don’t stress out! You’ve got this – no matter your budget, schedule, or lack thereof. Learn from all the mistakes I have made and avoid repeating them yourself. Also, make sure to check out my Etsy Shop, which is designed to make your life easier while keeping your friends thinking you’ve got your shizz together and are one true girlboss.

Here are 5 Easy Peasy Must-Dos for Planning a Bachelorette:

1. Find out the Bride’s Expectations
First and foremost – find out what the bride is expecting. This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would totally not believe the number of stories I have heard where expectations were not clearly discussed. This is imperative for bachelorette parties. What if your bestie is not at all into the wild scene? What if she would prefer a relaxing spa day instead of a bar crawl that ends with hugging the toilet? What if she is super disappointed by spa day and wishes she could have danced the night away with her girls? You need to ask point blank. Find out if she will be uncomfortable with phallic objects everywhere her eyes go or if she thinks the whole thing is funny. Find out how large of a group she wants or who she would ideally like there. If you are worried about surprises, just don’t share details. Find out the number of guests, level of conservative nature, and maybe some ideas to use as a starting point.

2. Be Honest and Direct with Bridesmaids Regarding Budget
Money. Always one of the most uncomfortable topics to discuss – at least for me. Here’s what I have learned about navigating through the budget topic. First, be honest and direct with all the other bridesmaids regarding budget. You can easily send a group message and say,

“Hey ladies, thinking of some potential party ideas, but I am trying not to get too carried away if we have different ideas of budgets (I just am SO excited!) How much money is everyone planning on spending? Would everyone comfortable spending [whatever] amount? I know I may be in a better financial position than others and I want to make sure everyone is comfortable. Let me know and if you want, you can always send me a PM on the side instead of in the group message. It is really important to me that everyone is comfortable, so please be honest and let me know!”

This should help ease others into feeling more comfortable telling you what they want to spend. You can even throw ideas out there that are obviously going to be more costly and some ideas that are cheap to see what ends up sticking the most as well. The point is to be direct and honest. In order to be successful in collaboration you need to provide a safe place where people feel they can voice their opinions without being judged, etc.

3. Figure out the Major Details as Early as Possible, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
It is never too early to plan…. at least when it comes to the big stuff. Focus on the major decisions first before wasting four hours on Pinterest finding the perfect backdrop for photos. If you need a little more guidance on what constitutes as major decisions, look no further!

Big Stuff: Budget, Guest Count, Where, Lodging, and Dates

Small Stuff: Decorations, Games, Gifts, Transportation, etc.

General Tip: VRBO is a great resource if you are interested in having everyone together in one place; a house often proves to be more logical and cheaper than a block of hotel rooms. Also, make sure to ask around – you never know if one of the bridesmaids has a cousin with a condo in the area that they are willing to hand the keys over for a weekend.

4. Always have a Backup Plan
Ah, a backup plan; only appreciated (or missed) when you truly need it. Make sure you have a backup plan. I don’t mean an entire second party (although that could be fun). I mean in terms of logistics. For example, if someone bails last minute – and trust me, someone is probably going to bail – make sure that all the girls are prepared (or more specifically, you) to cover the last minute costs that may come from the ball being dropped. If the karaoke taxi you scheduled drops the ball and doesn’t show, make sure you have uber already downloaded on your phone. If the bar you want to go to doesn’t take reservations and the line is seriously out the door, have a few back-ups that you can hit up first.

It never hurts to have a backup plan for any and all logistics.

5. Remember You Cannot Please Everyone, But You Can Please the Bride
This might be the hardest lesson to learn for a few of you readers. For people-pleasers like me, it can sometimes be difficult to accept that not everyone is guaranteed to have a great time. There are going to be girls that thought you all spent way too much money, that it was too rowdy, that it was boring, etc. Unfortunately, that is just the nature of bachelorette party planning.

However, you need to remember that the only person that you should aim to please is the bride. She is literally the only person that needs to have a good time for the bachelorette party to be a success. Regardless of what anyone else says, make sure that you are focusing and addressing her wants and needs.

Through my experience, I have often found out a bride typically is consumed with worry whether everyone is having a good time or not, but also struggles with not wanting to settle either. This is where you come in; be the decision-maker, be the leader, be the boss.

You are the captain of the Team Bride Cheer Squad – keep your girls in check and follow those five must-do’s and everything is sure to fall into place. You got this.

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FOMO

Ah the first day of school… Totally not going to lie, I found myself combing through the dozen photos and posts of my facebook friends sending their children off to their first day of Kindergarten yesterday. I know, I know, I don’t want children right this second (take a deep breath, mom), but I couldn’t help but feel the constant little tug on my heart, wishing that I could have partaken in the same emotions that many of my friends experienced yesterday as parents. Maybe it was my socially constructed biological clock ticking, or maybe it was the typical bi-monthly fear of missing out (FOMO) garnered from stalking everyone’s highlight reel online, but whatever the reason, yesterday had me feeling sort of down.

Well I’m here to tell you that unfortunately these sorts of feelings never truly go away. They tend to creep back up every so often, but it is extremely important to remind yourself that you are where you are meant to be in life. Yes, while in your case you may be bummed because everyone –literally everyone – around you is getting engaged, or married, or landing that dream job, and you’re stuck at the first job you got out of college, in a one-bedroom apartment, eating leftovers for days – and I mean DAYS. The point is you will most likely find yourself yearning for something more and fear that you are behind everyone else at least a dozen or so times in your life.

And that’s okay.

It actually can be really good for you. The trick is to use all that energy and emotion towards something productive. Here’s what I am talking about:

This holiday weekend I did a complete re-haul of shelby lynne + vin (as you may have already noticed). I re-branded my website and Etsy shop, added a few more listings, joined Instagram (that I will post more frequently on so help me God), and I even re-constructed my Pinterest to be relevant to my readers – sorry to all of my friends who followed my amazing style and recipe boards! I did all of this because after some careful research and even a few online courses, I decided that I am going to take my dream more seriously. And here’s my little tiny secret. My dream of working from home and creating work I love came – partly – from the FOMO. I would see all these amazing #girlbosses doing these incredible things and I wanted to be a part of it. I knew I could be a part of it. So I decided to channel all of that self-doubt and fear into a productive energy to get sh*t done. And here I am, feeling confident and awesome.

I know your friend may be getting married before you, or even having kids (yes, kids – plural), or working that dream job you wish you had, but this is the perfect time for you to focus on what you truly want and go out and do it.

You are an amazing person that deserves to treat yourself and be happy. Don’t let someone’s highlight reel make you feel like you are doing something wrong or that you are somehow inadequate.

Everyone has bad days and everyone gets scared that they are missing out. But let me tell you, your friends who are going through all of these major life decisions and “living the life” are more likely than not terrified that they are missing out because of your own highlight reel – you’re just too blind to see it right now.

Now beautiful girl, go out there and rock it.

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baby showers: to go off registry or not?

This weekend I celebrated the upcoming arrival of one my favorite couple’s baby. After assisting with the invitations, it was so wonderful to see the party come together. They chose to do more of a barbeque of sorts – thus including men – so everyone was able to enjoy themselves and show their excitement and support for the couple in a very casual and relaxing setting.

I have talked before about accepting your specific narrative and pace in life – which you can read again here but one aspect I did not mention is that you have an opportunity to learn a number of tips and tricks from waiting a little longer than your friends and family to hit these major milestones. Observing those close to you go through these experiences can give you a number of lessons to put in your back pocket until it’s your turn. Not to mention, you quickly become a bit of an expert at how to be the perfect guest at showers and weddings.

One question in particular that I have been asked a number of times by others is whether or not it is appropriate or appreciated by a couple when a guest goes off registry. Through my own experience, I always make sure to consider five steps before making the final decision. I hope that sharing this insight, the next time you receive an invitation to any type of shower this post can help you confidently make the decision too!

Before deciding to go off registry:

  1. Determine an appropriate & comfortable amount you are willing to spend
    Budgeting is so important. As you will more likely than not find out, these types of events come in waves and you may find yourself dedicated to four baby showers, a bachelorette party, and two weddings in just one summer. Before you even look at the registry, determine how much money you want to spend. This will help you focus and stop the potential overwhelming feeling brought on by so many choices.
  2. Take a glance at every registry for an idea of what the couple is in need of
    This may seem obvious, but it is important to glance at every single registry before making any final decisions on what to purchase. If the host is registered at a number of places (i.e. Target, BuyBuy Baby, and Amazon), you may find out that the perfect gift that not only falls into your budget, but is substantial enough to reflect your relationship to the couple is on the last list you review.
  3. Compare what essentials have already been purchased and what is left
    Before deciding to go off registry, consider what other guests have already bought. If you notice that a lot of toys have been purchased, but no one has picked up a car seat or bath tub, consider choosing purchasing these items first. This does not mean you need to break the bank. If your budget does not fall in-line with bigger items, try purchasing plain white onsies, bottles, diapers, and safety items – which yes, are not the most glamorous of gifts, but are essential items that the couple will definitely need and appreciate more than something they didn’t include.
  4. If a big item is still waiting to be purchased, consider going in with a group
    After comparing what is waiting to be purchased, if you notice no one has decided to buy – for instance – a stroller, consider contacting a few mutual friends to see if you can comfortably afford to take on the bigger item. Remember, it is not about how much you spend, but making a couple feel more prepared.
  5. Play it Safe – Include a Receipt and a Small Registry Item
    After considering all the information you have gathered, if you still believe that you have an amazing gift that the couple will want, go off registry! Make sure to play it safe by including a receipt and consider purchasing a small item or two that were on the registry to go with it. One of my favorite items that I have purchased off registry for friends and family is a portable high-chair. It is basically a folding camping chair  in high-chair form. I have bought if for my outdoor loving friends, as well as those who travel frequently.

Going off someone’s registry can seem like risky business, but considering the five steps above can hopefully give you some confidence in making the best decision for your upcoming shower or event.

Baby Shower Invitations – Downloadable Personalized PDF

 

adventure is out there

Surprise! Vinnie and I have a new roommate. Over the past few weeks we have packed my entire apartment up – including every single one of Vinnie’s toys – and moved into a new apartment. We have officially added a third person to our household and Vinnie is quite delighted to have his second favorite human around to dote on him full time. We are almost completely unpacked and just about to hand the keys to my old apartment of three years back, so I apologize for my absence these past few weeks!

Needless to say, this is an extremely exciting time for us and I cannot wait for this new adventure. One of the best parts about this new apartment is that I will now have a studio – of sorts. And with this new space, I have already caught the inspiration bug. Over the next few weeks I will start introducing some more work that will go into my shop, along with a few new items and projects that are non-invitation based.

give a little bit

I love to volunteer. I think there is no feeling quite like knowing that you are making an actual difference in the world and impacting someone else’s life. Having a mother and father who drilled the importance of giving back to the community into me at a young age, has led me to a number of opportunities that I know I will truly cherish for years. It was one of the main reasons I chose the college I did and one of the first areas that I dove into when I moved to my current city.

But okay, pause. Right now you may be thinking, “Cool. I volunteer all the time too, this is, like, soo relatable!” Or what you are more likely saying to yourself is,

“Good for you Shelby, but I didn’t come to your blog to hear you brag about how awesome and charitable you are when I have absolutely no time to find a soup kitchen – geesh.

Well, fear not! I am not writing a post that puts you on a major guilt trip or makes you question your self-worth. Instead, I would like to share with you my latest volunteer work that, gasp, is something I did from home! Easy, right?

Recently, thanks to my awesome sister-in-law, I have been helping Wayland Main Street with creating a number of marketing materials for an upcoming event they are hosting. The group was gracious enough to give me full control in regards to the design and I think we came up with something that we all loved. Included in the package were: posters, table cards, gift bag flyers, maps with a full schedule of events, and a large formatted sponsorship appreciation board. This was a really fun project that continued to make me feel good after I sent in my work. Knowing that I was helping a group that may not have been able to access a graphic designer before is one of the best feelings I could have. And here’s the thing: this is technically volunteer work!

So my point with this post, other than updating you on what I have been working on and hopefully enticing you to message me about your latest non-wedding project, is to remind you that volunteering can seriously be something you already do. Take a look at your skill set for a quick second and think of how it could help a group or an individual that may not have the expertise or experience you do. Volunteering is not strictly assisting your local homeless shelter – although you definitely should check yours out! Maybe you are amazing at proofreading or maybe you are really good at gardening; I promise you that there are people in your local community that need help and you would be their perfect candidate. When all we hear in the media is how horrible and dangerous everything and everyone is, be the person who shows others that there is still good in the world and give a little bit.

25 years

This weekend I celebrated my 25th birthday. While nothing really major happens when you turn 25, except for insurance costs decreasing and the magical ability to drink decent amounts of alcohol without feeling like crap for two solid days disappears, I still felt like this was a big milestone. Okay, maybe not big, but how about decent sized?

When I was young, I always thought at this point in my life I would have a house, a husband and one kid (or be pregnant with said kid). I would be this awesome adult who had her entire life sorted out and an amazing career to boot. Instead, I live in a one-bedroom apartment, have a pretty wonderful boyfriend, and a spoiled rotten dog for a roommate. While I like to think of myself as an awesome… person, adult(ing) is something I struggle with every day. I am not a morning person – although I hope to become one, my closet and bedroom notoriously look as though I just missed the last tornado to Oz and I always wait for the low fuel light to come on before stopping to fill up. As for my career, hah! Nobody really prepares you for uncertainty. Great mentors encourage you to follow your passions by constantly feeding you lines about doing what you enjoy throughout your entire childhood, but what if you don’t know what you enjoy? What if you just don’t like to work and anything you would do for work isn’t exciting and fun? What if doing a job that encompasses a passion of yours turns into something you dread?

If I was asked to nail down the biggest struggle I have had in my early twenties it would be: giving myself a break when it came to aspirations and accepting uncertainty. I loved school. I loved having structure and a timeline to work off of – just do your homework and take these tests, and then you will graduate, and then go to college, and on and on and on. After graduation, it felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. I had no idea what were realistic timeframes to accomplish what I set out to do. I expected to land my dream job within the first year out of college – a year is a long time, right? I anticipated moving into a really nice apartment and having a fabulous wardrobe to go in my huge closet. But when I got to the real world I felt like I failed. All these goals I had made for myself were not being met in what I believed to be a timely manner. I started to see everyone around me slowly picking up the pace, while I was left behind grasping my side and panting for more air on the mile run called adulthood. Not to mention that I constantly compared myself to everyone else’s Facebook page – I mean highlight reel.

On top of not allowing myself enough time to accomplish my goals, I simply could not handle how any and all plans I made for the future would crumble within a matter of days, weeks, or months. So many aspects of my life would change in such a short period of time in my early twenties;

I had my heart broken, graduated from college, moved back home, dated the Daniel Cleaver of my romantic comedy, moved to a brand new area, had no friends nearby, all to find out that I did not even love my job.

While these times were beyond difficult, so many wonderful moments grew from these experiences; I learned to enjoy being alone, adopted Vinnie, met and started dating my own Mark Darcy, started to freelance much more and gained some confidence I never knew I lacked. Basically, it took all of these difficult years to realize that where I am now is exactly where I need to be and everything I have gone through is pivotal to my personal narrative. While I may not be exactly where I thought I would long ago, I wouldn’t have it any other way. 25 might not be a huge milestone, but I can’t help but see it as hopefully the finish line of my insecure early twenties.

sneak peak

This year I have been blessed with a number of bookings of the wedding variety, which is exciting to say the least. There is truly nothing as rewarding as helping a couple with their big day. One in particular this summer is that of a good friend, who recently got engaged to his girlfriend of almost 2 years. I was honored and thrilled that he asked me to design not only their bridal shower invites, but their wedding invites as well. After asking for a bit more detail about their tastes and vision, I was able to come up with a design that spoke to each of them perfectly. Here’s a sneak peak at this country couple’s bridal shower invites. Stay tuned for the wedding invites!

welcome to shelby lynne + vin

My first blog post – eek! You have probably stumbled your way onto this page because you know me personally, or have been pressured by a colleague and/or friend – ahem, thanks mom – but regardless, I am beyond excited that you have read at least this much before losing interest. Yes, I am starting a blog! Cue the dramatic music. My goal is that blogging will help document and compliment my etsy shop and wedding wire account with which I have recently decided to spend more energy and time on. And who knows? Maybe this blog will provide you with some entertainment, knowledge about freelance graphic design, convince you to work with me on your next project, or at the very least show you some cute photos of my pup, Vinnie.

If you do not know me personally, or if you have not been recently overwhelmed with text messages from me the last few days, please feel free to check out my about page. I am so excited to get started and share with you the details of some current projects I am working on and the awesome people I am working with! If there is anything you would love to see me post about, or hey maybe even just introduce yourself, please feel free to do so in the comments below.