The Best Paint Gun Ever | Behind the Scenes

Today is a day that will go down in history as the best day ever. Seriously. Brian and I did a little happy dance as we FINALLY found a paint gun that will work for our little monograms.

The journey began over a year ago as I tested out many spray paints and sprayers without any luck. They either did not offer the custom colors we wanted to offer customers or created a terrible, spotted effect on the surface. Gross.

The number one priority for us is to create the best quality product that we can, and since we found no other viable options, we have lovingly hand-painted each monogram with two coats of paint.

In one last attempt to find another method for painting our products, I stumbled upon this blog post and was very impressed by the review as well as the design of the paint gun. It uses a mason jar to hold the paint, which is both adorable and ideal for us as we constantly switch up the colors we are working with. I was skeptical, but sold on the idea so I ordered it up. Friends, this little gun (rightfully named the Critter Spray Gun) works like a dream. It has a small, light spray that doesn't gunk or create globs. If you are looking for a paint gun for small projects, buy it - you will not regret it.

Lovey Dovey Darling | Critter Spray Gun

The best part is that this little gem has cut down on our painting hours significantly - no more late nights for us on the painting table. :)

Inspiration Boards | March 2014

We had our first taste of Spring here in NC (finally!) and I can't seem to get a romantic pastel wedding out of my head. There is something so lovely about a wedding full of tulle, gigantic garden roses, and twinkling sunset receptions. Pastels tend to be a bit overwhelming, but when you stick to just a few shades, the effect is not so sickeningly sweet. How amazing is this vintage tulle dress? And what about those amazing floral kraft paper wedding invitations with swirling white calligraphy? Ack, if only I could have two weddings! :)

Welcome Spring! Here is to gardens blooming, windows rolled down, and breaking out those springtime dresses!

Lovey Dovey Darling | March Wedding Inspiration Board - Pastels and Blossoms

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Product Photography | Behind the Scenes

Product photography is one of my favorite things to do, which is probably a good thing since I believe it is also one of the most important things for a small business to consider! It is so fun to start with an idea for a product, pick the design and details, and then finally see it come together in a photo. Here is a peek at one of our latest products (a personal favorite). The edited versions...

Lovey Dovey Darling Script Connected Wall Letters
Lovey Dovey Darling Script Connected Wall Letters

And here are the same photos before being edited and sized. Now tell me which photos would entice you to purchase more? Amazing what a difference a little bit of image editing can do!

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In case you are curious, I edit the photos in Photoshop Elements using the Florabella Colorplay Photoshop Actions. I LOVE these actions and use them all of the time.

Inspiration Boards | February 2014

While February is a short month to start, I feel like it has already flown by! With just a week and some change left in the month of love, I couldn't not include a romantic inspiration board! So even though Valentine's Day has come and gone, I am still loving the pops of rich red and metallic gold. A bubble gum pink often gets added to this mix for the holiday, and while I am definitely on team pink, I think the classic combo of red and gold is hard to top. I hope you all had a lovely day celebrating with your beau or loved ones and here is to making the love last the rest of the year!

Lovey Dovey Darling | February Inspiration Board - Gold and Scarlet Red

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Packaging Love | Behind the Scenes

Pretty packaging gets me every time. When we started our business, I wanted to invest right away (against Brian's wishes) and make sure our packages arrived looking oh so pretty. It is the first thing people see of your brand, and I think it adds that special touch. I think I finally got Brian on board with my theory, too. While wrapping up a package today, I realized I might have a problem. Gold and blush anyone? ;)

Lovey Dovey Darling Pretty Packaging - Kate Spade Agenda, Target Chevron Box, Calligraphy Stationary

Engagements | 7 Things Guys Should Know

Hard to believe that four years ago today marks the day Brian and I got engaged. (What?!) I love this time of year for so many reasons, but one thing that really makes it special is that these happy holidays months are when a lot of couples get engaged. Two of my close friends and I all were engaged within a week of each other (different years). Shout out to Amanda & Jenna!

While I know every couple has a unique engagement story and every guy has his own plan (which I love), I think there are a few key things that any girl would appreciate and love for her beau to do when he pops the big question. Here are a few ideas:

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1. Ask her Dad beforehand. Actually, I think it is great to ask both parents, but at least ask the Dad. I think this gesture shows a great deal of respect. After all, her parents are about to be your in-laws!

2. Have someone there to take photos. In my opinion, a professional photographer is well worth the investment. You will treasure these photos for ALWAYS. Understandably, this may not be in everyone's budget, so just have a friend or family member hidden with a digital camera. Trust me, she will want these photos!

3. Use her full name. It is super romantic.

4. Get down on one knee. I think this is a given, but just in case...

5. Have an idea of what style ring she likes. She doesn't necessarily have to pick it out, but knowing her style (even from a friend or sister's input) shows thoughtfulness. Plus, the moment she sees her dream ring will make that moment even better!

6. Write down what you are going to say. Not only will you avoid forgetting what you want to say due to nerves, but it will become a keepsake for you and your soon to be bride! The sad thing is, I honestly cannot remember anything Brian said when he proposed. I was so surprised and excited, I completely forget his speech. :( He can't remember what he said either!

7. Have her family close by. The second a couple gets engaged, they want to shout it from the rooftops. By meeting up with the family to share the excitement, it is like the icing on the cake.

Inspiration Boards | November 2013

While November is quite a busy month in preparation of the up-coming holiday season, it is also a lovely time to get married in the South! Even though the colors around us are brown and orange, it is easy to mesh these with a pop of color - like one of my favorites, coral. :)

November Wedding Inspiration Board: Coral and Kraft | Lovey Dovey Darling

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Goals | November

Gah, October was crazy! Sadly, we didn't get to do many of our fun October things, but I am hoping we can catch up this month. :) Here is how we did: 

  • Go to the State Fair
  • Get a Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • Ghost Tour

And that is it! I am so ashamed. This month should be (read: better be)  less chaotic so that we can squeeze in a few more fun fall things before winter is here. 

  • Horse back riding (We have a Groupon!)
  • Vineyard Tour (Another Groupon)
  • De-clutter our house (potential yard sale) 
  • Get all Christmas shopping done! 
  • Send out Christmas cards
  • Start my 2014 marathon training
  • Find Thanksgiving recipes
  • Trip to Morganton

What are you all up to this month?

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Instagram Re-Cap | October

Hope everyone had a fun Halloween. :) The month of October for us was nothing short of crazy. We have been working so much on the house and really didn't have a lot of time for fun things, so I apologize in advance if this post is a little lack-luster.  

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1.  We FINALLY finished landscaping our backyard (with roses, camellias, and hydrangea of course). It has taken literally two years to accomplish this beast, but it looks so much better and the hard work was worth it. :) I can't wait to see what the backyard looks like next summer!

2. Lola went to visit our favorite groomer, James, to get her summer 'do.

3. It was a happy day in the Burns household since (after two years) we finally have in-house laundry! For those who feel like laundry is their least favorite thing to do in the world, try going to the laundromat every week. You will quickly change your mind. :) 

4. Amidst the craze, we did manage to squeeze in a few "wine on the front porch" evenings in this gorgeous autumn weather.  

5. Thankful to have so many thoughtful people in my life. 

6. A visit to High Point Market! Isn't this painting lovely? 

 

Hope October was a great month for you all as well! Can't wait to see what November brings!  (Follow me on Instagram if you wish! @loveydoveydarling)

Our Weekend | NC State Fair

I think the North Carolina State Fair is by far my favorite date night activity. Plus, it makes it extra special that it only comes around once a year. Brian and I have been going every year since we started dating in 2006. He used to volunteer at the Cheerwine Booth (doesn't get much more Southern than that!) and I would visit and swoon. :) We actually don't ride any of the rides, but opt to sample a LOT of fried food (deep fried Snickers anyone?), admire the blue ribbon blooms, take a look at the very talented students' artwork, and visit the cutest, fuzziest baby chicks where I try to convince Brian (unsuccessfully) that we need to take some of them home with us. It is the best. Here are a few photos from this year.

NC State Fair Carousel
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Ship Artwork
Baby chicks
Sweet Potatos
Camellia
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Ferris Wheel
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Lavender Rose
Apricot Roses
Purple Flowers
Ice Cream
Fireworks

Seasonal Blooms | October

I really like flowers. I only buy plants for our yard that will flower. When I was a toddler, I once picked the flowers off of headstones in a cemetery (terrible, I know).  I REALLY like flowers. With this in mind, I think it would be fun to showcase certain flowers each month that are in stock and perfect for a wedding that time of year (at least in most areas). Here we go with our first post!

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DIY | Couples Halloween Costumes

I have always wanted to make coordinating costumes for me and Brian. Something different that no one else would wear. Every year, time seemed to escape, and we end up grabbing last year's store-bought costumes from the back of the closet. My sister (who is Queen of Halloween) won't be here this year to throw her fabulous Halloween party, so I am not sure we will get to bring any of the below costumes to fruition, but I hope these help get the creative juices flowing for you and your beau's get-ups! 

Gatsby & Daisy, Carrie & Big, Mary Poppins & Bert, William & Kate, Bonnie & Clyde, Cory & Topanga

Gatsby & Daisy, Carrie & Big, Mary Poppins & Bert, William & Kate, Bonnie & Clyde, Cory & Topanga

Inspiration Boards | October 2013

October really is a beautiful time to get married. I love the contrast between the orange-y leaves and baby blue skies (makes for some pretty killer photos, too). I think some people have a difficult time imagining a color palette for this month. I know my mind instantly goes to the Halloween theme: black, orange, and scary. Not really ideal wedding material. The warm colors of this month actually allow you to create a really warm and cozy atmosphere that can be quite classic and romantic. Imagine a s'mores station, plush fleece blankets for guests, and tapered candles as far as the eye can see. You digging it yet? Here is my take on an October Wedding. Oh, and don't miss out on that gorgeous dress.

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Engaged | McKenzie + Blake

On Sunday, I was able to spend the morning with this newly engaged (and quite adorable) couple at Fred Fletcher Park. After emailing back and forth with McKenize, I knew they were going to be a fun pair to shoot, and they were so effortless in front of the camera. You can tell they are just smitten with each other. Every time these two love birds looked at one other, their eyes literally lit up. I had so much fun capturing this sweet time for McKenzie and Blake. Thanks you two for spending the morning with us!

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Our Weekend | Crystal Coast

I am very fortunate in the fact that my parents have a cozy condo at Atlantic Beach. I am even more fortunate that they let Brian, Lola and me tag along for weekend trips quite often. This time of year is my favorite time to go. It was still warm enough to sit on the beach in a bathing suit, but it is cool enough that the summer vacation season is over and we pretty much had the beach to ourselves. Lola had a grand old time sprinting up and down the shore. :) We even got to cross off one of our activities on the Fall To Do List by going on a walking Ghost Tour of Beaufort. If you have never been to Beaufort, I would highly recommend the trip. It is my absolute favorite place in North Carolina and is chock-full of charm. On the way home, we made a detour to Bath, NC (the oldest town in NC) and squeezed in a bit more sight-seeing before the weekend was through.

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