Friday, November 10, 2017

Tips for Unique Engagement Photos

It's no secret, Thomas and I LOVE the city of Dallas. It's home. It's where we live, and, more importantly, where we fell in love. We wanted to do something unique that really represented us for our engagement photos. So, we decided on The State Fair of Texas! 
We have been season pass holders every, single year since we began dating and go at least a dozen times each year. We love the food, the atmosphere, the people, the football, the everything! But, since the fair is such a busy place, and there are always a ton of people, we knew we were going to really have to be on top of the planning and strategy for the shoot!
Once we found an amazing photographer, who was crazy enough (and insanely talented) to go along with our idea, we set out for a sunset engagement shoot at The State Fair of Texas!
Photographer: Nat Chittamai | Instagram | Facebook
Chose a location that totally represents you.
This was a no brainer for us. We wanted something that SCREAMED "Thomas and Tiffani," so we chose a place where we had so many wonderful memories, a place that meant a lot to us, and one that all of our friends and family would literally say "These are SO YOU," which they did.  
Bring your support system!
Especially if you are going to a busy place, somewhere there is a lot of traffic, or a decent amount of foot traffic, you need people there! Whether it's to hold your lipstick, and all the little extras you brought along, or just for emotional support, bring them along. Having someone else there adds a different dynamic, and might make being in a busy place less awkward.
Don't be afraid to share your ideas with your photographer!
When we first contacted Nat he recommended we start a Pinterest board, so we did! It gave Nat a good idea of the photos we wanted, and let him see what we are looking for. Having engagement photos in a unique location, that not many people use, make things a little more difficult, but having a baseline idea of the kinds of photos we wanted beforehand made it so much easier to go through the motions during the engagement shoot.
Bring props that mean something to you!
The whole point of having a unique engagement photo session is to be unique! So do it! Bring props that are unique to you guys, your location, or something you love! We snagged this "Howdy, Folks!" printable from Whiski Designs the minute we saw it go up on their Instagram! It is so cute, and was the perfect accessory to our engagement shoot at the state fair!
Tell people around you what you're doing!
Sound silly right? People should just know you're in the midst of a photo shoot, but they don't. Let people know. They'll often give you a little extra! In our case, we were graced with free cotton candy (see below), our photographer and moms were able to ride the carousel with us, and a few other things. Especially if people are staring, and trying to figure out what they're doing, let 'em know! Everyone loves hearing about an engagement! 
Have total confidence while shooting!
When shooting unique engagement photos, you are bound to have people staring. Whether you're in a park, and wearing crazy clothes, or in the middle of the State Fair of Texas with a photographer in tow, OWN IT! Know people are just curious, and you have to be confident in order to get the best pictures possible!
Don't worry about peoples' reactions!
If this isn't your life motto (it's totally mine), live by this, y'all! Don't worry about everything going on around you. Engagement photos are supposed to show how in love you and your significant other are, and of course, to show off the gorgeous asset on your left ring finger! Get lost in the person you are with, flirt, laugh, and enjoy each other. Don't worry about anyone else... Except maybe your photographer!
 If you are interested in seeing more of our engagement photos, head over to our wedding website and check them out -> SweetHomeAnderson.com
Also, if you are looking for an amazing engagement photographer in Dallas, be sure to check out Nat Chittamai!
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Thursday, September 28, 2017

State Fair of Texas Bucket List

To most people, there are four seasons in a year, but in Dallas, we have a fifth (maybe a sixth and seventh depending on who you ask #Football) but that fifth season in Dallas, would be FAIR SEASON! Starting the last week of September, and lasting for 24 glorious days, The State Fair of Texas is filled with fried food, fabulous attractions, and fun times! You can read about ten of the top things to do at the State Fair here!
Since The Fair is one of the main things Thomas and I do every year, we thought this year we would do a round up of the bucket list items that everyone needs to do whenever they visit The Fair!


Eat a Fletcher's Corn Dog 🍴
Take a picture with Big Tex 📸
Ride the Texas Star Ferris Wheel 🎡 
Texas Fight or Boomer Sooner at Cotton Bowl Stadium 🏈
Win a prize at the Midway 🏅
Catch a show on the Chevrolet Main Stage 🎤
Try a crazy fried food 🍽
Soar above the fair on the Texas SkyWay 🚠
Enjoy some wine in the Wine Garden 🍷
Watch the Starlight Parade 🌟
Follow along with the Wild West Pet Palooza 🐶
Channel your inner Texas in the Go Texan Pavilion 🏛
Shop your way through Pavilions and Market Buildings 🛍 
Eat your way through the Tower Building Food Court 🍽
Oink oink at the pig races 🐷
Check out the latest vehicles at the Automotive Building 🚗
Ride DART to the fair 🚆
Down a beer at the Magnolia Beer Garden 🍺
Catch the Mattress Firm Illumination Sensation show at the Esplanade  
Pet your way through the petting zoo 🐴
Meet Big Tex mascot ❤️

If you'd like to download the bucket list in PDF version, you can snag that here!
Did we miss something you think totally needs to be on this list? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fall Activities in Dallas + Link Up

If there's one thing (almost) everyone loves, it's fall! In Dallas, "fall" shows up for about a week at the end of November, and it's magical. But the season starts long before that, so we know to embrace the 90 degree temps in the middle of October and roll with it! I have lived in Dallas my entire life, and while I know we don't have the traditional fall, I love the fall we have in this city! 
I've teamed up with a few different bloggers around the country to give you guys some of our favorite fall activities in our city! After reading all about fall in Dallas, use their links below to head to their pages and see what cities they are writing about! 
Autumn at the Arboretum 
If you ever find yourself in Dallas in the fall, and can't imagine what to do on such a beautiful day (and you don't want to do anything else on this list), get your booty to the Dallas Arboretum. With close to 90,000 pumpkins and gourds gorgeously displayed, you won't be disappointed! There's also a fairytale carriage (even Cinderella would be jealous), hay mazes, and of course, rows and rows or amazing pumpkins! Grab a few friends, bring a picnic and enjoy the sights on the lawn!
State Fair of Texas 
If you've ever been to Dallas in the fall, you know the State Fair is one of the biggest attractions! Well it doesn't run for the full duration of the fall, it offers so much to do the first four- five weeks of the season! You can read a little more here and here about some state fair fun! The State Fair of Texas runs from Friday, September 29th - Sunday, October 22!
Dallas Cowboys 
While tickets maybe expensive, finding a fun bar or a friends house to watch the game and is a great way to pass the time in the fall! There's so many places around town that host giant watch parties, and after all, they are America's team!
Plano Balloon Festival 
The Plano Balloon Festival has long been a staple in North Texas! Usually, the first weekend (or close to it) of fall, you can see dozens of beautiful hot air balloons floating through the sky in and around Plano! You can also enjoy tons of food and games at the festival! A definite family favorite!
Blase Pumpkin Patch
Now this is a newish one for me! I found this amazing little farm last year while planning my BFF's bridal shower! They are just east of Dallas in Rockwall, and double as a blueberry farm in the spring, and I fell in LOVE y'all! The pumpkin patch at Blaze Farm is absolutely adorable, and the perfect place to take kiddos!
Dallas Farmers Market 
Saturday's are the hot day at the Dallas Farmers Market! There is always something going on! Fall is a great time to grab some local produce and spend the morning exploring the farmers market! If you haven't stopped in in a while, you will also be delighted to see some of the new additions to the DFM- The Market Hall- a giant food and goods hall with tons to buy, and even more to eat! Stop in at Lone Chimney Mercantile and pick up a few Dallas goods! They are a Savvy Southern Belle FAV!
Hall's Pumpkin Farm 
Hall's Pumpkin Farm in Grapevine is another great attraction that I feel not everyone knows about! They have a corn maze, pumpkin patch, and hayrides! They also have tons of areas set up for photo-ops, so be sure to bring your camera! 
Halloween Nights at Dallas Zoo 
October 27-30 The Dallas Zoo holds halloween nights! This kid friendly event is perfect to get in a little zoo time and enjoy tick-or-treating in a totally wild place! There are also tons of crafts, games, and fun things to do, along with seeing all of your favorite Dallas Zoo animals! 
Bishop Arts District
Enjoy a fabulous fall afternoon by grabbing lunch and taking a stroll through the Bishop Arts District! There are so many great restaurants, it's hard to just pick one! I always recommend Hattie's for brunch and Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. for everything else! And what better way to end an afternoon than with a slice of pie from Emporium Pies? 
St. James Episcopal Church Pumpkin Patch
This is pumpkin patch totally deserves noting. I have been going here since I was little (#EastDallasRaised) and it always amazed me how many pumpkins they fit in to that little area, and how beautiful the area was! This pumpkin patch runs Sunday October 1st- Tuesday October 31st!


Now that you've read all about some of our favorite Fall in Dallas activities, head over to these fabulous ladies pages and check out some of their favorite fall activities in their cities! 
  

  
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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

4 Pre-Travel Planning Tips to Make Coming Home Easier

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
You know the rush you get when the wheels of a plane lift off the ground, and you know your next stop is going to be your destination? I absolutely love that feeling. There really isn't anything about traveling I don't absolutely love, except the part where you have to come home and join the real world again. 
I can't even keep track of the number of times Thomas and I have come home from traveling, poured ourselves in to bed and been so irritated when we woke the next morning because we either had no coffee, no food, the house was a mess, or a combination of all three of those. A little over a year ago we decided to implement a few pre-travel must-dos to help keep us from wanting to kill each other the first morning back from a trip.
1. Clean your house before you go. This is a no brainer for me because I hate having a messy house. Coming home to a messy house is the quickest way to send me in to a tizzy. Finding clean sheets on my bed and no clutter filling the hallways when I walk in to my house for the first time after a trip is the best feeling ever.
2. Grab a few delicious Jimmy Dean Freezer Breakfast Bowls to have for your first morning back from vacation. No one likes being hungry, much less, being hungry and having nothing to eat. We always try to stock the refrigerator with a few things to eat on our first morning home. Jimmy Dean makes it so easy to fall in love with their amazing flavors and high-quality ingredients. These bowls are also perfect for a super quick and super delicious dinner. Plus, they're big enough to fill Thomas and I up.
3. Load up on coffee. I know, I know, not everyone has coffee running through their veins. But for those of us who do, or even slightly enjoy it... STOCK UP BEFORE YOU GO. Having a fresh cup of coffee with a delicious breakfast on your first morning home from your travels can totally be a lifesaver!
4. Fill your car with gas. Maybe you like going to the gas station and standing in the elements to pump your gas... Or maybe you can't stand it just as much as the next person. Fill up your tank before you head out on your travels. Having to fill up first thing in the morning after you
Whether you're just heading out for the weekend, or going on a two week excursion, coming home is inevitable. So why not make it super easy, and quite delicious?
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