Introducing: My very first bridesmaid gift set!

For all you brides out there struggling to find gifts for your bridesmaids: look no further!

I recently released some Fairy Tale-Inspired necklaces to the Etsy shop with my Fall Collection and thought, “How cute would these necklaces be for bridesmaids? I could put a little note inside that says, ‘Thank you for helping me live my fairy tale’ or something of the sort and it would be perfect!” So, I listed them all separately, put a little note about my genius idea in the listing, and went about my business.

Well, after some thought, I decided to create another listing for the set and give a little bit of a discount to see how that goes! At this very moment, you can find a Bridesmaid Gift Set here that includes 5 fairy tale-inspired necklaces for just under $100. Ultimately, the savings is $30.00 compared to what you would pay when buying them individually. Pretty solid, right?

You can find some pictures of the necklaces below! Questions? Comments? Ideas for other necklaces? Leave a comment or e-mail me at kayla@prohibitionandpearls.com. I love hearing from you!

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Why should you use paper flowers for your events?

As I’ve mentioned about a thousand times now, I absolutely LOVE flowers. I love peonies, hydrangea, dahlias, roses, wildflowers, sunflowers, the list goes on. I love how beautiful they are and I love how I feel when I have fresh flowers in my home. I enjoy looking at them, smelling them, and genuinely appreciate that they came from nature. The problem is that they can be so incredibly expensive. The frugal, practical part of me is always whispering, “…but they’re going to dieeee!” and I can’t help but listen. As a girl on a budget, it’s sometimes hard for me to justify spending $15 on something that I know is going to wilt away, no matter how much I know I’ll appreciate it when it’s flourishing. Taking this a step further, how much do we actually spend on flowers for all of our special events? As someone who’s getting married in 13 days and having a fairly small wedding, it was going to cost over $1,000.00 to have flowers the way I wanted them at my wedding. This may be the exception, not the rule, but that’s still a pretty steep price for (again) something I know is going to die. More than that, once they die, they have little to no value to me. Sure you can dry a few bouquets, but really, what do you do with those? If only there were someone who made flowers that never died so that I could enjoy them on my wedding day and use them for other things after…

OH WAIT! That’s me! I’m that person!

I made the decision about a month ago to make all of the flowers for my wedding and I haven’t looked back! Sure, it’s a little bit of work, but it’s completely worth it. I’m making these massive bouquets as centerpieces and not only will I not have to worry about them wilting, but I’m going to give them away as gifts for my guests so that they can use them as decor in their homes! I’ve compiled a mini list of other reasons why you should use paper flowers for your events. Check it out and send me your suggestions! And if you’re interested in me making paper flowers for your events, make sure to check out my Etsy store! I love doing custom orders and weddings are my FAVORITE!

Why You Should Use Paper Flowers

Some serious catching up!

Hi everyone!

I know it’s been a long time since my last post, but I promise you I have a great reason for my absence!

Around Thanksgiving, I was experiencing some bloating and a pretty severe pain in my lower right side so I went to an Urgent Care in my area to make sure my appendix wasn’t about to burst (Good news: it wasn’t). I was diagnosed with something not at all severe, given antibiotics, and sent home to recover. After a few days on the antibiotics, I felt great and resumed life as usual!

Fast forward to the beginning of July and I was experiencing the same bloating and pain, in the same place, so I went to Urgent Care to get the same antibiotics. They tested me for my previous ailment, but those results came back negative. After an X-Ray, they determined that I would be better off heading to the Emergency Room since there was nothing they could diagnose. Nine hours and several tests in the ER later, they found a very large mass attached to one of my ovaries. At that time, the attending doctor  told me that it appeared to be cancer and that it “didn’t look good.”

I have to pause here and explain to you the disappointment I had with this doctor. In my nine hours there, I saw her for an approximate combined time of 30 minutes. When she delivered this news to me, she was very cold and she left the room immediately after. She didn’t give me a chance to ask any questions or ask for further direction. Luckily the nurse let me know that an OBGYN would be there shortly to discuss some of this in detail, but this person didn’t come for over an hour. For an entire hour, I was coming to grips with the fact that my life could be ending and praying that this whole thing was just a colossal mistake. I know it sounds dramatic, but I truly thought, based on the fact that she said “it doesn’t look good,” that I was terminally ill. I have never been so scared in my entire life.

About an hour later, the OBGYN came and explained to me that this mass on my ovary was incredibly large and had characteristics of a cancerous tumor, but they could not be sure until it was removed and sent to a pathologist. She explained that the mass would need to be removed surgically with, at minimum, one of my ovaries. If the tumor was cancerous, I would potentially lose my other ovary, my uterus, and go through chemotherapy after. Ovarian cancer in my age group is incredibly treatable and the survival rate is incredibly high, so even though I may not be able to have children, I would be alive. After this conversation with her, I had a renewed sense of hope. I was incredibly grateful that she was there to give me this information and that I didn’t have to go home feeling the way I felt after speaking to my first doctor.

So, I went home with an appointment to meet with another OBGYN so that they could refer me to a specialist. A couple of weeks and a lot of anxiety later, I finally met with the specialist. I cannot iterate enough how absolutely amazing he was. He was direct without being cold, he is one of the best in his field, and he gave me the best news possible; he didn’t think the tumor was cancerous. Of course he wouldn’t know until it was removed and sent to the pathologist, but he gave me even more hope.

About 3 days after my meeting with him, I went in for surgery to have the tumor removed. This is the first surgery I’ve ever had so, as someone who passes out when they have their blood drawn, I was incredibly nervous. I cannot sing enough praises about the people at my hospital, though. They were all extraordinarily kind, reassuring, and tolerant of my squeamishness. I have tiny veins, so unfortunately they did blow out a few of my veins in the process of trying to insert my IV, but that is my ONLY complaint. Everything else went beautifully. My surgery lasted only a few hours and I woke up to an army of my family there to support me-which is something I will never forget. The doctor explained that all of the testing they did on the tumor showed that it was just a borderline tumor-meaning it looked and acted like cancer, but was indeed NOT cancer!

I spent a few days in the hospital, but I went home an entirely new woman coming to grips with lots of changes. The tumor weighed 22 pounds, but I went home about 40 pounds lighter, I had a very large incision starting at my rib cage, going down the middle of my abdomen, and ending just below my pelvic bone so I had trouble doing anything but lying flat, I was missing an ovary and appendix, but the biggest change was in my mentality. I felt and continue to feel that I was given a second chance at life.

Everything about this experience pointed to me losing my life, but yet I’m still here. I’ve learned what is really important to me in this life and I’ve promised myself to always keep those things in sight. It’s so easy to get lost in the routine of your everyday life, but you have to remember that at any moment, everything can be taken from you. I promise to be thankful for each day I’m here. I promise that I won’t take advantage of the people who care for me and I promise to care for them just as much in return. I promise to preserve the meaningful moments and to forgive the unfortunate ones. I promise to do what makes me happy and to always do my best to make others happy as well. This life isn’t worth living if you’re not loving.

A Serious Upgrade

I’ve spent SO much time over the last week or so making some massive changes to my website. I still have a few very minor kinks to work out that I discovered this morning, but it’s officially live as of last night!

Some new features: I added photography information, galleries, and rates, I finally embedded a mini Etsy shop into my page, and I completely revamped my design.

If you check it out, let me know what you think! Here it is!

www.prohibitionandpearls.com

Kayla

Practice Makes Perfect

Happy Sunday, all! I have to be quick this morning, but I just wanted to share with you some of the photos I took yesterday. I had the best morning doing a mini photo shoot of the most adorable family ever. I’m not even close to being finished with editing, but these are a few of my favorites so far.

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In other news, I’m blonde-ish now! Warning: crappy phone picture imminent.

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I decided to spice it up for summertime. I love to change my hair so any excuse you can think of to do so, I’ve used.

Also this summer, I’m incredibly busy! I sold four pillows and have a custom order for 5 more, I’m taking a few courses so that I can graduate (finally), and I’m going to try to add a few items to my Etsy shop for the summer. Madness, I say! I apologize in advance if my posting is sparse in the next 8 weeks, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do!

Have a great day, loves!

Spotlight: Paper Flowers

For those of you that don’t know, I’m engaged to be married in September of this year (hooray!). If you’ve been through the wedding planning process, you know just how expensive your flowers can be. You have bouquets for the bridesmaids, boutonnieres for the groomsmen, corsages for the parents, and grandparents, and dozens of arrangements for centerpieces and miscellaneous decor. If you’re operating on a budget like me, a $1000 tab for flowers is just completely unrealistic. Now, I’m not saying it’s not worth it because I absolutely love all kinds of flowers and if I had an unlimited budget, I would put them EVERYWHERE, but unfortunately I do not and unfortunately, I’m juuust pragmatic enough to have a hard time justifying that kind of coin on my flowers.

You may be thinking, “But if I don’t have real flowers, will my wedding look cheap?” The answer is a resounding, “NO!” Well, if you use those gross-looking silk flowers, it probably will. But it doesn’t have to! You’ll just have to do what I did and get a little creative. I spent some time on Pinterest and became Pinspired by all of the paper flowers (yeah, Pinspired is a thing). They have a vintage flare which, if you haven’t guessed by now, is kind of my obsession and you can make them look as realistic or whimsical as you’d like! You can make bouquets by adding a stem, arrange hodge-podge piles of flowers without the stems on tables for centerpieces, add them to cakes and wreaths, put them in jars, have the flower girl use them instead of petals, the list goes on!

Here are some photos of what I’ve done so far. I’ve focused mainly on roses, but I’m going to try my hand at peonies very soon (my favorite flower). They’re fairly easy to make, but if you’re not crafty or not feeling up to making hundreds of these little babies, let me know and I would LOVE to make them for you! I have some for sale at my Etsy shop now, but let’s work out a bulk price! Send me an e-mail at kayla (at) prohibitionandpearls.com. I’m very reasonable. 🙂

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All aboard the fail boat.

So, I participated in a craft fair yesterday and simply cannot hide my disappointment. I did not sell ONE. SINGLE. THING. While I’d like to blame it on the fact that it was an outdoor fair on a cold, rainy day, I can’t because there were still plenty of people in attendance and other vendors didn’t seem to struggle quite as much as I did.

Days like this make me really question all of the time, energy, and money I’ve spent on my efforts to make my dreams a reality. I have goals and I have things I’d like to work toward, but I’ve been trying for almost a year now and I’m even farther behind than when I started.

Overall I feel hopeless and completely discouraged. Normally I’m a pretty positive, upbeat person, but I’m also human and have to say that this experience has shaken my generally sunny disposition. I worked tirelessly (literally…I was up until 4:30a the night before) at beefing up my inventory for this and even creating new products, but to no avail. I was, at one point, handing out single paper flower stems with my cards FOR FREE and people were saying “No thanks.”

What keeps the rest of you from throwing in the towel? How do you come back from a day like this?

P.S. Here’s a grainy photo of the pillows that didn’t sell.

 

 

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A Present For You

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you. I’ve gained quite a few followers within the last few weeks and I want you to know that I genuinely appreciate you. To show my appreciation, I want to give you a little something. Pretty much everything you’ve seen on my blog within the last few posts is available for purchase at my Etsy shop, so I’d like to give you all 20% off just for being yourselves! This is good until 5/11/14 at midnight, so if you want something, head on over to the Etsy shop and use the coupon code “WORDPRESS” to get 20% off your entire purchase. I just added a couple of digital downloads to the mix, too!

 

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Promenade

So, this weekend I did something incredibly fun and different. It was my sister’s senior prom and every year, I go back to my hometown and I do her hair and makeup. This year was particularly insane, though, because I did hair and makeup for FOUR girls. I have to say that it was one of the most exhausting, but most rewarding experiences ever. Everyone walked away feeling really beautiful and I was so excited that I helped to make them feel that way. And, of course, I had to snap a photo or two before they left. I’m so embarrassing.

 

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