Wedding Planning 101


 I am the girl who has planned her wedding for years on Pinterest, even before I met the man I wanted to marry. I have tons of wedding inspiration pinned, and I already had a vision for my special day before we started planning our wedding. However, once I got engaged, I quickly realized there is a huge difference between finding inspiration and ideas for your wedding and actually planning it. There are so many details and aspects to wedding planning, so I've put together my best tips for the newly engaged girl trying to navigate wedding planning!

There are truly so many details and aspects to putting a wedding together, so my best tip is to start as early as possible. We started planning our wedding a year in advance, and I'm so glad we started as early as we did. It definitely helped reduce stress, and most vendors start to book up around a year out. Starting early is the best way to ensure you get the venue and vendors you want, and it gives you plenty of time to choose your details (and save up money!)

If you are paying for your wedding yourself, make sure you set a budget. This was something we never really did at first, and let me tell you from experiences, things can get out of hand real fast! Make sure your budget is reasonable and write it down. DJ and I saved up for awhile to prepare for our wedding, and I'm so glad we did. We definitely ended up spending more than we wanted to, but we stuck to a reasonable budget. You can have the perfect wedding on a budget, I promise. You just have to be resourceful and do your research!

There are so many things that you can make yourself instead of purchasing that will save you tons of money! As long as you start early and give yourself enough time to get it all done, its definitely worth it! Plus, it's cool to be able to tell your guests that your wedding details are handmade! For our wedding, we made our own favors, seating chart, signs, table numbers, and even our flower girl bucket and ring box. It saved us a ton of money and I love looking back at all of our personal details. 

Etsy is a bride-to-be's best friend. You can literally find anything on there, and they have the cutest wedding decor. After our wedding, I started my own shop, November Boulevard, and I have some custom wedding decor listed there as well! It is only in the beginning stages, and I'm hoping to have more up in the shop soon!

In my opinion, this is one of the most important part of wedding planning. With all of the social media and wedding websites out there that share wedding inspo, its so easy to get caught up in too many details. If planning is starting to feel overwhelming, take a step back and ask yourself if all of the little details really matter. You may not need the fancy programs or monogrammed napkins. Sometimes as brides, we get so excited about the little details and we want everything to be personalized and picture-perfect, but your special day will still be just as special without it,

This one seems so obvious, but when you're planning a wedding, it is very easy to lose sight of why you have a wedding to plan in the first place. A wedding is a celebration of marriage, and while every bride wants her wedding to be absolutely perfect, the reality is that there will be something that goes wrong. At the end of the day, you still get to marry the person you love whether or not your centerpieces are perfect. When I was planning my wedding, I was very caught up in the details. But when I was there, at my wedding, exchanging vows with my husband, the details no longer mattered. Just remember the end result, and try to keep wedding planning fun and as stress free as possible!

Are you planning a wedding? I'd love to hear how its going! And if you've been through the wedding planning process, what are your best tips?

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life in the valley of the sun

Growing up in Arizona, I never had a true appreciation for the state. I thought it was too hot, too boring, and too ugly. But recently I've come to realize that Arizona is truly an amazing state, and Phoenix is a great place to live. When you live in Montana for a year away from all of your friends and family, you get a wake up call ;)

So in honor of the great state I live in, I wanted to do a post all about Arizona and some of the amazing things it has to offer! Plus its an excuse for me to share some of the fun things I've been doing lately *hairflip emoji*
Things to do: Arizona
Professional Sports
NBA Phoenix Suns
We're pretty lucky here in AZ that we have every professional sports team. David and I recently went to a NBA game and watched the Suns v Rockets. It was such a fun experience and our seats weren't half bad! We're so looking forward to baseball season right around the corner and we're even going to a Coyotes game with Carissa over at T is for Townsend next weekend! Yay sports....and beer.
NBA Phoenix Suns
Arizona has so many amazing places to hike. Even just in Phoenix alone, the hiking is amazing. But head up north, the scenery is breathtaking. Getting outdoors is definitely a goal of ours this year. Even though in like 2 weeks it'll be too hot to even go outside period. 

Phoenix hiking with dogs
Wine Tasting
Last month it was my good friend Carissa's birthday. We headed up to Cottonwood for a weekend of wine tasting. 
Wine tasting in Cottonwood, AZ
I could probably write a whole post on that trip, but Carissa already did that so you can read it here. The only part she forgot to mention was when the guy at the first tasting room presented a wine as "meaty" and "pot roasty" which really, really makes you want to drink it. Gag. Our weekend was filled with wine and pizza and laughs and birds on heads. And it was so fun.
Wine tasting in Cottonwood, AZ
Cooking Classes
 David and I went to a cooking class on Friday night at a little placed called Sweet Basil. It was a gourmet couples class, and we made super yummy food. On the menu was lobster pasta, salad, melon wrapped in prosciutto, quinoa salad, wine, and dessert. It was such a fun date night, and we realized that we need to be more creative with the things we cook at home!
Cooking Class Scottsdale, AZ
 I love anything antique, vintage, and rustic. So when we heard Sweet Salvage was this past weekend, we had to go. Its a four day vintage market they host once a month, and its honestly so amazing. 
Sweet Salvage
We found so many cute things, I wanted to buy it all. My bank account wasn't as eager to buy everything there as I was, so I ended up only leaving with a shirt. But I can promise you I'll be there next month with a little spending money.
Sweet salvage

But anyway, I picked up the cutest shirt from the sweetest lady, Rachel, from Twenty6Designs. All of her work is freehand and it is so amazing. Check out her shop @Twenty6Designs on Instagram and I promise you wont be disappointed!

So those are some of my favorite things to do here in the Valley of the Sun. What are some of your favorite things to do where you're from? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to hear!
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hello, world

Well hello lovely people, and welcome to my new and improved corner of the interwebs! After a long, long break from the good ol' blog, I've decided to bring it back, dust it off, revamp it a little, and get back to it. Welcome to Nixon Oaks- my fresh start.

If we've never met, Hi. I'm Brianna. I'm a recent college grad who used to be a blogger. Then wasn't a blogger. And is not trying to be a blogger again. Nice to meet you! If you stick around these parts, you can expect a little bit of everything- recipes, crafts, life, love, too many pictures of my dogs, some local Phoenix stuff, and wedding planning because HELLO IM GETTING MARRIED! 

I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ where we wear flip flops all year round. I graduated from the University of Arizona (go wildcats!) a little over a year ago, and then I packed up my shit and moved to Montana. I know what you're thinking. People actually live in Montana? Yes. Unfortunately they do. 

So what brings a girl in flip flops to the state that has more cows than people and only has a winter season? Well, let me introduce you to the fiance. 

Blog, meet David. Air Force veteran turned real estate agent. He's also my best friend and I cant wait to spend my whole life with him, but let's save the mush for another post, shall we?

So anyway, I moved to Montana for a year where it was really cold but also really fun and beautiful. David separated from the Air Force and we moved home to AZ in January. We're finally all settled in to our apartment with our two little fur babes who I happen to treat like my children. #basic

Blog, meet Oakley and Nixon. They're the most spoiled dogs on earth and they use that to their advantage. They also like to eat carpet and anything else that is valuable. We love them.

I'm so excited to be back and start this new journey through Blogland. I'd love if you'd join me and follow along. You can follow all of the social medias for pictures of my dogs and funny snap filters. I'd also love love love if you'd leave a comment and tell me a little about who YOU are because I love making friends!

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friends, and welcome to my new and improved corner of the interwebs. I've decided to dust off the ol' blog and give it a facelift. New name, new posts, new errythang.


a year of adventure

I've just about lived in Montana for a year now. I graduated college, got a job, and moved to this snowy and beautiful state a year ago. It's crazy to me that we're already getting ready to leave. It has been such an amazing year, and so much has happened its hard to believe. One of my favorite parts about being in this state together is all of the travelling we've been able to do. Before we lived together, we got to explore Europe together. Which was amazing. But there's something special about spontaneous weekend trips together to places we've never been.

We day tripped to Missoula (go Griz)
We went to Bozeman and got to see Yellowstone National Park

We got to travel Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park (with our selfie stick)

And we got to go to Spokane, WA and Coeur d'Alene, ID for my 21st birthday!

A photo posted by Brianna (@brianna_clark_) on

A photo posted by Brianna (@brianna_clark_) on

Next up is Billings for a Chris Young concert, and then it'll be time for the long trip back to AZ! It's been such a fun year travelling around the Northwest! And I must say, I have the best travel partner ever! I cant wait for a lifetime of adventures with that guy.
Where's your favorite place you've traveled to this year?
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fall favorites for the basic white girl

It's officially the best time of the year! Fall has a special place in my heart. The scents, the lattes, the movies, the snuggles. It all makes me so happy! So I thought what a better way to express my love for the season than a favorites post, right? Lets get to it!
I feel like any basic white girl loves all things fall, right? One struggle of being basic is the obsession with bath and body works candles. They're irresistible and also expensive considering I already spend all of my money on Starbucks. But anyway, my favorite candles in the fall are pumpkin spice cheesecake and marshmallow fireside from Bath and Body. Talk about heaven in a candle.
So here in Montana its basically too cold to leave the house already. So I figured if I'm going to be at home a lot, it needs to be pretty and festive, right? Aka I needed an excuse to go to Target and spend too much money. Not only did I spend too much money, I also decorated like a month too early, but I'm a little obsessed with the stuff I got.
drink up, witches!
The obsession with my bar cart is a year round thing, but I love love love the cute Halloween-y things I found for it. Now I just need some good drink recipes, ladies! You can leave those below!
Every other fall-obsessed blogger will tell you their favorite Halloween movie is Hocus Pocus. Because obviously, its the best. It's a classic. But dark side comes out this time of year, and I love The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Corpse Bride. Anything Tim Burton this time of year makes my heart happy. Currently trying to find Nixon a Jack costume. Stay tuned.
Last but not least, the last of the basic white girl favorites, dark lips and nail polish.
Excuse my bad nail job, that'll be taken care of soon, I promise.
Also can we talk about the new Starbucks cups for fall? OBSESSED. But sadly here in The Middle of Nowhere, Montana, they keep running out before I can get my hands on one. But don't worry, I go every day so you can expect a basic white girl starbs selfie any day now. 
What're your favorites this time of year?
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