Our Havenly Experience

Becoming a homeowner earlier this year was a HUGE milestone. We moved in, unpacked the boxes, got our furniture unwrapped….. then took a look around and realized we needed an interior designer!

I’d like to think I have a good eye when it comes to interior design. However, we really needed some help with the living room and I’m so glad we got design ideas from Havenly. Havenly made the whole process SO easy and I loved working with our designer Sarah Jones

You can use my referral link, and get $50 off a Full design package or $20 off a Mini design package . read more

Wedding Planning with Eventective

This past month I have had a blast wedding planning. We started looking at venues for the ceremony and reception and I’m excited to share that we have decided on the venue and a date for the wedding! Keep reading to find out what venue we picked for the ceremony.

My Thoughts on Wedding Planning

Wedding planning sounds easy, right? Pick a color for your wedding, pick a place and call it day?

In reality… wedding planning is complicated and comes with a side of family drama. I’m starting to realize why brides get wedding coordinators. I was thinking about getting a wedding coordinator until I found out about Eventective. Eventective is a brides go-to wedding planning website to get real-time quotes for vendors all across the country. read more

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

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Proposal

 

Life update: Puppies and Holiday Plans

Thanks for following along as I continue to grow my blog. This is my first “life update” post. Comment below if you enjoyed it and want to see more. Today I’m talking all about life as a “Dog Mom” and my holiday plans.

Dog Mom Life

If you’ve been following along on Instagram you know I adopted a puppy in August and since then I’ve had my hands full. Literally full… Like picking up Reagan, the puppy, or picking something out of her mouth lol. She is a sweetie, but a lot of work. We adopted her from Shasta Flat-Coated Retrievers out in California. She came home to Dallas right at 8 weeks and that is the minimum age to be separated from the litter. She was 10 pounds in August and is now 30 pounds! Fully Grown she’ll be about 50 pounds.

Reagan, the puppy, has a great time playing with our older dog Winston. Winston is a 5 year “young” Flat-coated mix from GRRALL. The toughest part about raising Reagan was the health scare we had last month. Reagan started vomiting and wouldn’t eat or drink for a day. We brought her to the vet and they didn’t know what was going on either. The second day the vet did an X-ray and discovered something in her intestines.

We brought Reagan to the surgery center to remove the “foreign object” from her intestines. Turns out she had eaten a lot of our other dog’s hair and it just got stuck….. It was a stressful week for us. Reagan had to stay in the ICU for three days to recover and I took three days to look at my finances and create a budget. Dog surgeries are expensive- get dog insurance.

Since then, Reagan has fully recovered from the surgery! She had another health scare at the start of October. This time she was able to pass the hair wad (TMI?). Now on my restricted budget, I am reprioritizing many things. I haven’t been able to go on a weekend get-a-away and I hope to be able to go on one soon.  After all, that was the reason I started this blog- to give you travel inspiration.

Holiday Plans

I am looking forward to seeing my family for the holidays and eating some delicious home cooked food. For Thanksgiving, I’m headed to Houston to see my parents. We are road tripping with the dogs. It’s a four-hour drive from Dallas and it will be Reagan’s first road trip. I hope to take the dogs to Galveston so they can see the beach for the first time while we are in Houston.

The real fun is our Christmas plans. Justin and I are thinking about driving to his families house in North Carolina… 14 hours with 2 dogs in the car. Call us crazy, but it’s so hard to find a dog sitter over the holidays, especially for a puppy. If we do go to North Carolina, it will be the first time not spending Christmas with my family- talk about a milestone! We haven’t finalized our plans so I might end up staying in Dallas.

That’s all for now, 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. Next week I’m starting a new series of guest posts. My first guest post will feature Kelsey Barnes! Stay tuned.

Best,
Rachel

 

Instagram Story Highlight Templates

I love the Instagram story highlights and when I went to create an “About me” I couldn’t find any Instagram templates that I liked so I created my own on Canva.

I hope you enjoy these free templates!

Click on each graphic, then download and upload to your Instagram story. Let me know if you have any design requests.

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

 

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Vertical Garden Inspiration

This spring we started gardening with a vertical garden and have enjoyed the fresh herbs and produce. Here’s a guide to set up your own vertical garden and tips for successfully growing produce.

What to Plant

In our garden, we are growing tomatoes, peppers, green onions, chives, thyme, mint, basil, and strawberries. Check what grows best in your climate depending on the season before planting seeds. Urban Farmer is a great resource for learning about farming and understanding the best planting schedule based on your climate.

How to Start Your Garden

If you’re looking for a starting point I found a lot of great options online to get a vertical garden started:

This vertical garden pocket hanger is a great quick solution to start your garden.
This second option is wall potted plants. It is a little more expensive, but comes with the irrigation system.

How to Keep the Garden Alive

The success of my garden is due to the drip water irrigation system. I installed an irrigation system that is on a timer which made all the difference in keeping the garden alive. You can easily order an irrigation system from Amazon like the one pictured below, here. Also, I put the irrigation system on a timer with a faucet timer which helped tremendously.

 

Thank you for reading along as I continue my blogging journey.

xx, Rachel

 

Shop all the products mentioned in this post

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Saranghae Skin care: Stop & Skincare, It’s Simple

Skincare ROUTINE, stop right there. Who has time for a “ROUTINE”? Most nights I find myself working late and falling asleep with my contacts still in and the lights still on. I made it a goal for this year to find more time to take care of myself and establish a routine so I wouldn’t wake up with dry contacts and an oily face.

A month ago I discovered Saranghae. Thank goodness I did because not only has this skincare helped my oily skin, it’s helped me become more intentional about my “routine” before going to bed.

From middle school through Sophmore year in college, I struggled with acne and finally took Accutane to reduce breakouts. After taking Accutane my skin looked great, so I started to neglect the importance of face masks and eye cream.  I would do a daily routine of washing my face, sunscreen, then lotion, but nothing more than the basics.

I knew I needed to start using skin product when a few people at work would comment, “You look tired today”.

I think this is the most offensive comment

I was not tired. I am getting older and developing circles under my eyes. For real, how do you respond to that comment, “Thanks for noticing?”

Luckily, I started the Saranghae 5-step skincare routine at the beginning of June and I’ve seen significant results. Most importantly, no one at work has asked me if I’m tired this week. All jokes aside here’s all the details on the 5-step skincare routine.

About Saranghae

Saranghae is an award-winning Korean 5 Step Anti-Aging skin care routine that heals, regenerates and protects your skin. Saranghae’s focus on natural ingredients, highly effective products, and excellence in customer service has helped them become the fastest growing Korean skin care brand in the United States.

For more information visit: www.lovesaranghae.com

Connect on Social Media with Saranghae 

Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest |Youtube | Twitter

This post was written in partnership with Saranghae, all views expressed are my own.

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5 Reasons Why I love Essiac Tea

Real life- I haven’t been taking care of my body as well as I should.

I would tell myself:
I’m young, I’ll worry about it later
I’ll workout tomorrow
I’ll eat healthy next week
 
I’ve been inspired by friends that are making their health a priority and I have decided to do the same. I had been prioritizing happy hours, my career, and other things before my health and have finally started to take steps to make my health a priority. Drinking Eassic tea is just one of the many ways I’m taking control of my health.

 

Here Are 5 Reasons Why I love Essiac Tea read more

9 Best Dog Spots in Dallas

Meet Winston, he’s a Flat-Coated retriever adopted from the Golden Retriever Rescue Alliance.  He’s 5 years old and has brought so much joy to my life. Every morning he wakes up happy with his tail wagging ready for a walk. The real fun is on the weekends when we go explore dog parks or new trails. If you live in Dallas and have a dog, I hope you find this blog post helpful!

Top 9 places to take Winston:

1. Mutts Canine Cantina

Mutts Canine Cantina is located in Uptown. This dog park is geared towards humans and dogs. It has a bar and limited food menu. It’s so relaxing to grab a beer and watch your dog play. There is an entry fee of $6.

2. Kylde Warren Park

This small dog park is located at the corner of Klyde Warren Park downtown. See map below for location of all the dog parks.

3. Katy Trail

This is a great walking trail to bring your dog for a walk. There are lots of water fountains on the trail for your dog. The trail is 3.5 miles and you can walk to the Katy Trail Ice House!

4. Katy Trail Ice House

This is the best restaurant in Dallas to take your dog! Enjoy some good BBQ outside while your dog relaxes under the table. Every time I go here I see at least 10 dogs.

5. Deep Ellum Dog Park

The Deep Ellum Dog Park is unique park located under the highway. Bring your  dog here for a good time off-leash.

6. White Rock Lake Dog Park

If your dog likes to swim this is the perfect dog park. There are 3 parks a swimming park, small dog park, and large dog park. It can get busy here on the weekends, but Winston always has a great time.

7.  Swiss & Liberty Dog Park

This is a great fenced, off-lease park. It’s free to bring your dog, but beware that you’ll need to bring water for your pup!

8. Griggs Park

Griggs Park isn’t a dog park, so on-lease is required. It’s a great place to take your dog for a walk.

9. Glencoe Park

Like Griggs Park, Glencoe park doesn’t have a fenced area for dogs, however, it’s a great place to take your dog to meet other dogs!

 

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DIY: Mother’s Day Cards

Mother’s Day is less than a week away and there is still time to make your mom a custom card. I made my mom this card and got her a bunch of goodies from Trader Joe’s because she loves Trader Joe’s but doesn’t live near one. I already know the blueberry scone mix will be her favorite.

This card design can be re-used for any occasion, just add your own text! To make the card, you’ll need a Silhouette Cameo or other craft cutter and construction paper. I snagged this construction paper at Target last weekend- link here for the paper.

I know, some people are probably thinking…. What the heck is a Silhouette Cameo. I’ll do a full blog post about it later. Short version- It’s a craft cutter that is awesome. Also, you might be thinking,  “I thought this was a travel blog. Why are you writing about crafts?” This is a valid question lol. I’m not sure the subject or direction of my blog so I’m just having fun with it and writing whatever I want to write about.

To start, download the files at the bottom of the post.

Arrange them in the Silhouette studio and press “Send” on the top bar. Color coordinate the outside lines to cut and the inside lines to sketch. Press “Send”

Right Click-> Download linked file

DXF: Outside cut lines, Inside sketch lines

SVG: Outside cut lines, Inside sketch lines