Wedding Salon Bridal Event Giveaway

wedding salon logo

If you’re located in the New York City or New Jersey area and are engaged to be married, I have a great giveaway for you today! This giveaway is brought to you by The Wedding Salon, the nation’s #1 premier luxury bridal showcase, where couples can discover the leading trends and best resources for their wedding.

Tailored to the sophisticated couple, the Wedding Salon partners with The Knot, BRIDES Magazine, Kleinfeld, Wedding Wire, Carlo’s Bakery and more for a night of cake tastings, cocktails, beauty makeovers, entertainment, the ultimate swag bag and more. Their next showcase will be held at The Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City from 4-8PM on Monday, November 174PM-8PMth.

bridal event

dessert tasting

wedding makeup

giftbag wedding

Highlights of the Event:

  • Cake tastings by Carlo’s Bakery from TLC’s hit TV show Cake Boss
  • Beauty suite featuring makeovers by Lancôme at Bergdorf Goodman
  • Gown previews from Jenny Yoo
  • Men’s Formalwear by Lord Willy’s and Louis Purple
  • A chance to meet with Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings and top spots including Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Tahiti to start planning your perfect destination wedding or honeymoon.
  • Registry options from Bloomingdales and The Container Store
  • Honeymoon giveaways and raffles including a 3 night stay at Le Sereno in St. Barth’s
  • Gorgeous reception table designs from Gracious Décor, ESPoused Events and Fleurs Du Mois
  • Venues and destinations such as Secrets Resorts and Spas & Zoetry Wellness and Four Seasons Punta Mita
  • The opportunity to score a luxe goody bags featuring the latest bridal magazines and products by Fekkai, Essie and so much more
  • And so much more!

Two lucky winners will win one ticket each for them and a guest to experience luxurious evening at Wedding Salon (a $75 value) If you want to join in on the fun yourself, you can register at or try your luck with the giveaway below. I will be attending the event myself and hope that whoever wins the giveaway would love to meet up and chat about blogging, weddings and more. :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Styling a Winter Jacket

When I think of winter jackets, my mind usually wanders to the huge puffy ones that make me look like a marshmallow. But the truth is that there are a variety of stylish winter jackets that actually keep you warm and make you look good while doing so. The key is to find a style and fabric that works on your frame- whether you are tall and lanky or petite and curvy. Here are a few ideas of how to style a winter jacket.

The first way I would style a winter jacket would be for work. Underneath the jacket is a cute floral sweater-dress (and tights, obviously, which I forgot to include) that can easily transition from day to night. For more cute dresses, check out George. Pearls and nude booties go with just about any outfit, including this one. The fun blue satchel contrasts with the dark pink coat.


winter jacket style

Joules Deep Pink Quilted Jacket  |  Cream Pearl Earrings  |  Navy Floral Tunic Dress  |  French Navy Satchel  |  Cole Haan Chesney Bootie

A more casual way to wear the winter jacket is with your favorite pair of jeans (my go-to). A bow-neck blouse and beaded bracelet add a feminine touch to the look, while the brown booties keep things casual and warm. For extra cold weather, throw on a patterned scarf for extra warmth.

style a winter jacket

Joules Deep Pink Quilted Jacket  |  Chelsea Brown Leather Boots  |  Caramel Beaded Bracelet  |  Woven Scarf  |  Skinny Jeans  |  Cream Tie Neck Blouse

How do you style your winter jackets? 

10 Thoughts I Had Immediately After Getting Engaged

engagement quote

In case you missed it, a few weeks ago I got engaged. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of congratulations and many, many questions from family and friends about wedding dates, themes and more. Since being engaged is new and foreign to me, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of the top 10 thoughts that went through my head immediately after getting engaged. Have you gone through these as well, or am I just crazy?

  1. I’m old. Yes, I realize you can get engaged at any age- whether you’re 18 or 38- but making a lifelong commitment to someone is one of the more common life experiences that makes you feel “grown up”. When I was little, I always imagined myself looking and acting older when I got engaged or married, which is weird. But no- I still have the face and body of a 16-year old and hopefully they make wedding dresses that cater to that.
  2. How the hell am I going to pay for a wedding? Seeing as the average wedding costs about as much as one year of my college tuition, (which I will be paying off in loans until I’m probably 50 years old), I can’t even begin to think how we’re going to be able to pay for all of this. Yes, I realize you get some of the cash back as a wedding gift, but still… The flowers alone cost thousands of dollars and they die 3 days later.
  3. Shiny ring… shiny ring… shiny ring. I can’t stop looking at my ring and admiring it. This doesn’t mean I’m a self-obsessed, narcissistic person who only likes material things, but when you’re wearing a gorgeous diamond, it’s hard not to like it. And I’d actually be offended if I was James and my fiance wasn’t beaming every time she looked at her finger. The point of a ring is obviously the bond you’re sharing with your fiance and your promise to get married, but it’s also supposed to be pretty and make you feel good. And mine does. And no, I’m not sorry for that.
  4. How did I get this lucky? Everyone dreams about meeting their soulmate and spending the majority of their life with someone special. Whether you want to admit it or not- we all have those innate needs of being loved and sharing that with someone else. I always think to myself, “How did I get so lucky to find James?” How did I find someone who shares common interests and beliefs, makes me smile and laugh and treats me like I’m the best thing on the planet?
  5. I’m going to have to change my last name. I adore my last name. It’s cutesy, funny and unique (it’s pronounced “my-lady”, FYI). I’m also a writer, which means all my bylines on the internet and in print reads as Rachel Maleady. But after I get married, that will change to reflect James’ last name. So naturally, I’m anxious and nervous about how this well affect me as a writer and also for my SEO. When a future employer tries to Google me, will anything even show up? Is there a porn star or someone else with a tainted image who just so happens to share my new first and last name combination? #thestruggleisreal.
  6. Are people going to de-friend me now? As pathetic as it is, some people become jealous monsters when their friends/peers/frenemies get engaged. I know, it’s bizarre and no, I hope I don’t have anyone in my life who would do this, but who knows. It’s happened to me before (when I started a new relationship, when I got a new job, etc.) and I’ve watched it happen to friends and peers who have gotten engaged recently. It’s sad that my mind wanders to this, but shit happens. I’m happy to report that so far, everyone has been extremely supportive and I’m so thankful for that. And I don’t think I’m important enough for anyone to be jealous like that- come on now.
  7. I should stop buying rings now. I used to be an avid ring wearer- I wore a few silver rings on each hand. But now that I have a sparkly engagement ring, it looks cluttered and tacky to wear other rings along with it. So now I will stick to necklaces and bracelets so I don’t look like a misinformed fashion blogger. Keep it simple, ladies!
  8. Will less guys hit on me now that I have a huge, noticeable rock on my finger? I know that sounds terrible, but it’s true. I can’t tell you how many creepy guys have made comments like, “Well I don’t see a ring on your finger” when hitting on me. Side note: Does this mean I’m getting old? All women deal with their fair share of creeps hitting on them, so naturally I’m curious if an engagement ring will do anything to halt these attempts.
  9. How many times am I going to scratch myself with this thing? I do crazy things when I sleep, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I wake up often with weird marks all over my face/body from my ring. I realize that I could sleep without it on, but I’m worried that I will forget to wear it if I don’t sleep with it on.  I’m also worried that it’s going to catch on my sweaters and ruin them. First world problems, I know.
  10. Dress shopping is going to be so much fun! I loved shopping for the perfect prom dress back in high school, and wedding dress shopping is ten times more exciting (and expensive). Can’t wait to try on a bunch of different styles and find “the one” to make the day extra special.

Blake Lively Braid Ponytail Tutorial

braid ponytail tutorial

When it comes to celebrity hair styles, Blake Lively takes the cake for many of us (including me). Her effortless, messy waves and beachy blond hair are just perfect. One of her latest hair styles that I’ve been wanting to replicate is the high ponytail braid, seen above. So I decided to try to replicate her look on my own with the help of a few Dove hair products- their new Pure Care Oil line.

Dove Pure Care Oil hair care products have a variety of benefits. They are great for all hair types (mine is thin and naturally wavy, for example), and leave a light, non-greasy finish (which is rare in most hair oils). The line promises 5 times silkier hair when you use the trio of shampoo, conditioner and treatment (vs. non-conditioning shampoo) and to nourish your hair without feeling heavy. The dry oil features a blend of African Macadamia oil and Coconut oil, two big ingredients on the beauty market right now.

My personal favorite part about the dry oil was the scent- it’s powdery but not overwhelming, and nothing like the overly-fruity scents of many other hair products.

Blake Lively Braid Ponytail Tutorial

dove advanced haircare

brush hair back

Brush hair back with a boar-bristle brush to smooth the top layer. You want the ponytail to be sleek and tight.

dove pure care

dove pure care dry oil

Next, apply the Dove dry hair oil to add extra sleekness and tame any stray hairs.

upside down braid

Then braid your hair. Mine is so long that I have to do an upside-down type of braid and them flip it over my head. It actually helps add some volume, who knew? Secure with an elastic.

long braid hairstyle ponytail braid

braids for long hair

You guys think I could be a hair model? Nope, me either.

 blake lively copycat braid

The finished look. Too bad I didn’t come out looking like Blake.

Dove Hair is currently daring women everywhere to try Dove Pure Care Dry oil, risk-free now through December 31, 2014*. Share your silky results with the hashtag #silkyhairdare. And use #silkyhairdaresweeps for a chance to win** $20,000 in prizes up for grabs. Visit for more information. Purchase in Mass, Food and Drug retailers nationwide.

*If you are not completely satisfied with the Dove Advanced Hair Series Pure Care Dry Oil system, Dove will refund your purchase (from 9/21 – 12/31). Visit for details. 
**No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. The Dove Silky Hair Dare Sweepstakes is sponsored by Conopco, Inc., d/b/a Unilever. Open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. & D.C., 18 & older. Begins 12:00 p.m. ET on 9/25/14 and ends 12:00 p.m. ET on 11/20/14. For Official Rules, visit

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Fall Foliage & Pumpkin Picking

Every year, James and I enjoy doing fall things- both in Upstate NY when we go to visit my parents and here in New Jersey. Over the years, at these fall events we’ve pet baby goats and cows, ate our weight in apple cider donuts and fudge, and even got to hold baby bunnies (they were so tiny and warm and you could feel their hearts beating right against your hands). Here are a few snaps from the weekend we got engaged and this past weekend. You can tell which photos are from NY/VT and which are from NJ- the closer you are to New York City, the less beautiful and colorful the trees are. Sorry city dwellers, but it’s true. Although I live in a rather rural area of New Jersey with lots of trees, it still isn’t as beautiful as Vermont and Upstate New York where I grew up.


Vermont & New York

vermont pumpkins


james and trees

vermont foliage

vermont trees

New Jersey

couple eating

corn maze

perfect pumpkins

fresh veggies

indian corn

tiny pumpkins

vintage truck

weak fall foliage