Bridesmaids Proposal

The Tradition of Asking

Yes, it sounds silly, the thought of asking your best friend to be your Bridesmaid. What is the tradition behind asking and why should you ask rather than assume? Because being a Bridesmaid is a lot of WORK. Believe me, I was Maid of Honor for my sister’s wedding and I did plenty of work for the wedding. Last year I planned a bachelorette party for 17 girls and an amazing bridal shower! So yes, you do have to ask your friends to be your bridesmaid, because it’s a time commitment and financial commitment. read more

Guest Post: The Dizzy Cook

I’m excited to welcome Alicia Wolf from The Dizzy Cookfor my second guest post! I first met Alicia three years ago, through my boyfriend Justin, and a lot has happened since then. In 2016 Alicia was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuritis and Vestibular Migraine, two vestibular disorders that are not commonly known by the medical community, which makes them difficult to diagnose. To put it simply, your vestibular system (inner ear) is what is responsible for your balance. Vestibular Migraine is not what one would think of as a “migraine headache”, but is characterized by extreme light sensitivity, vertigo, a feeling of imbalance or unsteadiness, a lightheaded or floaty feeling, and dizziness – hence the name “The Dizzy Cook”. This chronic illness would previously leave Alicia bedridden for days. She says, “I’ve gone from bedridden to extremely active by following the Heal Your Headache Diet”. read more

Ugly Christmas Sweater Ideas

It’s that time of year again and everyone is in full holiday mode. There are so many parties to attend: office parties, family parties, and parties with friends. Don’t be Scrooge and show up in a grey sweater. Put on your holiday best for your next Ugly Christmas Sweater party! Here are a few ideas that aren’t so ugly for your next party.

Hover over image to shop

 

Shop By Category

Dresses

I was obsessed with my dress I found this year. Here are some of my favorite picks from Amazon, Target and more.

Sweaters

Who says your sweater has to be UGLY for the Ugly Christmas sweater parties. Here are a few cute options I found from Shein, Amazon and more.

Accessories

I fell in love with these accessories I found online. I bought the light-up necklace for myself and the bow jewelry as gifts for a few friends.

Surprise Proposal, I said YES

Engagement photos dallas

How we met

Justin and I have been dating for 3 and a half years and it all started with a swipe right. Isn’t that how everyone meets now? Our first date was a total flop.  I don’t know why the date was so bad. It was a Tuesday and we had decided to get dinner after work, maybe it had been a long day for both of us. We decided to give it a second try and go on another date…. obviously I’m glad we did!

Planning the Surprise

This past weekend my boyfriend, now fiance, planned the perfect proposal. I had mentioned I wanted a photographer to capture the moment and luckily Justin was listening when I had suggested that. He had planned for my friend Sarah, from Sarah Kelly Photography, to drive to Dallas for a day and take photos of the proposal. For them to surprise me took a lot of planning. They came up with the idea of making the photo shoot seem like my idea. Sarah told me she was trying to build her portfolio and asked if she could take photos of me and Justin. Without a doubt, I wanted a photo for a Christmas card and I said yes. I had asked Justin if he was available Saturday to take photos…. of course, he was free, he had planned it. He faked being reluctant to take photos and said he could only spare 20 minutes.

Engagement photos dallas

Flat coated retriever

All photos are taken by Sarah Kelly Photography

The Proposal

On Saturday I was a little suspicious and hoping Justin would propose on our way to the “Christmas Card” photo shoot. 30 minutes into the photo shoot he hadn’t proposed and I thought I had gotten my hopes up for nothing. I knew he was going to propose soon, but I didn’t know if he had already bought a ring.  At one point he was taking care of the dogs and I mentioned to Sarah that I was so bummed he hadn’t proposed yet. Little did I know he was just about to pop the big question.

The sun started setting, Justin turned to me and said, “Rachel, we aren’t just here for a photo shoot.”. I was beyond happy and started crying over his well-prepared speech.

Engagement photos dallas

Engagement photos dallas

Engagement photos dallas

Flat coated retriever

We’ve had some amazing times together. Our trip to Portugal, traveling to NYC for my birthday, getting to meet each other’s families, raising a puppy… Going down memory lane makes me nostalgic and energized to create more memories together. I’m so thankful for Justin, our friends, and family for making this past weekend one to remember.

Best,
Rachel Sheppard

Engagement photos dallas

PIN IT

Proposal

 

Nordstrom Rack Picks for Christmas

Many people are shocked to hear that you can shop at Nordstrom Rack ONLINE!! I’ve rounded up my favorite picks from Nordstrom Rack below. Nordstrom Rack has all the same great products and brands from Nordstrom and discounts them after the season is over.  You can get all your favorite brands at discount prices and use your Nordstrom Gift Cards. You do have to pay for shipping and return, but you can return in store if you don’t want to pay the shipping fee. Shipping is a flat fee of $6 and free for orders over $100!

Comment below if you find any great finds at Nordstrom Rack!

The image below is clickable! Hover to see “+” and click the plus sign to go to the product.

Some of my favorite brands I found at Nordstrom Rack

Tory Burch| Urban Decay | Kendra Scott | Madewell

Gift guides: Monogram, Home, and Traveler

The holiday season is in full swing with decorations going up and holiday shopping. This year I made a few gift guides that I hope you enjoy and are able to find something you like!

  • Monogram Gift Guide
  • Home Gift Guide
  • Traveler Gift Guide

Monogram Gift Guide

We all have a friend that loves a good monogrammed gift. Here are a few ideas ranging from earrings to stationary.

1  Bauble Bar | Alpha Ice Pendant
2  Bauble Bar |Block Acrylic Monogram Coaster Set
Marley Lilly | Monogrammed Reversible Disc Earrings
4 Mark & Graham | S’well Water Bottle
Amazon | Kate Spade New York Women’s Initial Thermal Travel Mug Tumbler, 16oz, S (Pink)
6 Paper Source | Monogram Border Stationery
7 Mark & Graham | Dreamy PJ Set, Navy
8 Mark & Graham | Blanket Scarf with Fringe, Ivory and Charcoal Window Pane
Mark & Graham|Travel Jewelry Case
10

Marley Lilly | Monogrammed Jewelry Tray read more

Hermes and Cartier Designer Bracelet Dupes

Designer Dupes: Love them or Leave them??

I snagged these designer dupe bracelets last spring and wasn’t sure what to think about them. Designer dupes are one of those things that you either love or hate. On one hand, I do love getting a $600 look-alike for $20. On the other hand, the dupe isn’t going to have the same level of quality. What do you think of designer dupes? Comment below! 

These bracelets make for a fun gift for the holiday season. Most of these bracelets are under $20.  Shop the image by clicking on the bracelet:

Paired the designer bracelet dupes with this plaid poncho from Nordstrom, a black tank top, and my favorite JCrew factory jeans. I’m 5’3″, so these jeans, with a 28″ inseam, are perfect for my height. I have these jeans in 4 colors…. that’s how much I love them!

designer bracelet dupes

designer dupes

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my email list to get notifications about the latest blog posts.

Best,
Rachel

 

Home Office Redesign

I had a blast changing the guest bedroom into a home office and craft room. My only regret was not doing before/after photos! This room used to be the guest bedroom and had more or less turned into my extended closet. We weren’t using the space so Justin wanted to make a more usable space and turn it into a home office.

 

We raised the curtains all the way to the ceiling to “expand” the room. Older houses or condos have the curtain rod right at the top of the window. However, if you raise the curtain all the way to the ceiling it really expands the room. you can still see the holes in the wall where the curtain rod used to be… cleaning those up next weekend. 🙂

The desk, rug, and dresser all from the Crate & Barrel outlet store in Dallas (linked here). I feel like not too many people in Dallas know about the Crate & Barrel outlet. I’ve found some really good deals there. Some of the furniture has been returned or slightly damaged, but you can get 40% off a sofa or new dining table and fix it up. You also have to arrange for pick-up and delivery, so find a friend with a truck or rent a u-haul if you’re buying a big piece of furniture.

I love this new letterboard that I found at Home Centric. I linked similar ones from Amazon.

My favorite part of the room is this wall with the 9 square photos frames. These photo frames are just under $50 and such a steal! This dresser is full of crafts. I can’t wait to get started on some holiday crafting.

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my email list to get notifications about the latest blog posts.

Best,
Rachel

Winc Wine Night

It’s no secret that I love a good glass of Chardonnay. Lately, I’ve been sticking to the same wine labels and haven’t tried anything new until I found out about Winc. Winc is a monthly wine subscription service that delivers 4 bottles of wine right to your door.

Try your first month for $40.

To start, you take a quiz to determine your Palate Profile. Then Winc recommends four bottles of wine for the month. The recommendations improve each month based on your feedback. There is a wide selection to choose from including a variety of “classic blends to obscure, single vineyard fringe projects”-Winc.com

For my first month, I select the wines below

  • 2017 Pretty Young Thing Rosé
  • 2017 Summer Water Rosé
  • 2017 TBT White Wine Blend
  • 2017 Pacificana Pinot Noir

You can get a discount on your first month of Winc

I was pretty excited for my first wine delivery and celebrated with my boyfriend. We had a little wine night to celebrate the end of a really big project for him. He has been working crazy hours for the past month so it was nice to relax for a little bit.

The wine from Winc was great. I would definitely recommend getting a subscription if you want to try something new or treat yourself! You can also send a box of wines to a friend for Christmas.

My Favorite Wine “Accessories”

Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to sign up for my email list to get notifications about the latest blog posts.

Best,
Rachel

Guest Post: Kelsey Barnes – Classy Outfit Formula

I’ll be starting a guest post series on Simply Sheppard to feature other bloggers that I’ve connected with and I’m inspired by. I hope you enjoy this series and enjoy following new bloggers.

For my first guest post I’d like to introduce Kelsey Barnes. I first met Kelsey while at SMU back in 2010! Fast forward to 2018 and we’ve reconnected through blogging. Since our Freshman year at SMU Kelsey has started a career in NYC, and now moved to Amsterdam and is living the expat life. In addition to blogging Kelsey does freelance work and is training to become a spin instructor!

I love following Kelsey on Instagram (KelseyyBarnes) because of her authenticity and unique content. Oh, did I mention her breathtaking pictures of Amsterdam and multiple travel guides throughout Europe?

One of my favorite blog posts from Kelsey is her “Classy Outfit Formula” blog post. Read below and enjoy the guest post!

From www.kelseyybarnes.com:

I love fashion, but sometimes it can be really hard to decide what to wear. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in leggings and a comfy top while working from home. This makes it even harder to decide what to wear when I need to look like I’ve got my sh*t together. Which is why I’ve developed an outfit formula for when I want to look put together, but I also don’t want to put in a ton of effort.

Last week, I met two girlfriends for a drink at the cutest all pink restaurant in Amsterdam, Mama Kelly. I’m not kidding when I say this place is pink – everything from the velvet booths to the bar to the cocktails. I wore an outfit based on my formula, and it worked perfectly for the setting.

I always start with dark skinny jeans. I wear this distressed pair (that pair sold out, similar here)  from Gap often because they’re so versatile. A dark wash always elevates every look. Even with sneakers and a t-shirt, these jeans manage to look just that little bit nicer.

Next, I add a blouse with an interesting detail. I picked this lace panel top up in my last Shein haul, and it’s just too cute. I love all of the girly details like the lace neckline and the slightly puffed shoulders. Going with something that’s a little dressier helps to elevate your look, but you could look just as put together in something basic. I’ve linked some tops in the below carousel that are perfect for looking put together with minimal effort.

Lastly, throw on a cute pair of block heels and grab a bag. I hardly ever wear heels anymore, but it’s so true that they instantly make you look like you’ve got it together. I wore a Kelsi Dagger Brooklyn block heel because I didn’t want to go too over the top. This is Amsterdam after all, and no one dresses up here. I grabbed my YSL clutch to carry my phone and was good to go.

Dark Denim + Interesting Blouse + Block Heels + Clutch

Just four items. All pretty simple, which is why I always go to this outfit formula when I don’t know what to wear. It’s perfect for so many situations, dinner with the girls, date night, even an interview. Just change up little things here or there to fit the situation. For example, for an interview, you can just change the denim to a pair of nice cropped pants.

Do you have an outfit that instantly makes you look put together? Let me know!

Xx, Kelsey

Mix and match below to find your perfect outfit!

I hope you enjoyed this guest post from Kelsey!  Sign up for my email list to get the latest blog post right in your inbox. More guest posts to come. Send me an email at simplysheppard@gmail.com if you’d like to be featured.

Best, Rachel