Wedding planning has begun…Let’s catchup

June 16, 2015

a and be bridal Minneapolis | Kitty Cotten

It’s been an embarrassing long time since I last posted here. So, it’s about time we catch up! Exciting stuff has happened in the past two months along with plenty of stressful hurdles to to navigate. As many of you know Joel and I got engaged, but that was back in August 2014 and not much has happened on the wedding planning front. Well, actually I didn kinda sorta try to plan a wedding here in Minnesota, but it just never felt right. I was overwhelmed and our families were getting antsy. Then about a month and half ago Joel and I were driving somewhere and I threw an idea at him, “What about we get married in Costa Rica?” Keeping his eyes on the road he said, “Sure.” In all that exciting glory we committed to a destination wedding. So, in the past month or so I’ve crazily planning a wedding in Costa Rica!

Destination wedding in Costa Rica | Kitty Cotten

But it wasn’t all adorable sloths and stunning sunsets. Halfway through, I panicked. I’d picked a hotel and reserved a wedding date at a place I just didn’t love. By now we’d told most of our family and friends the hotel, so changing it felt like a really big deal, but I knew in my gut it wasn’t the right place. A very stressful week ensued of endless pro’s and con’s lists of other hotels until I found one that was just right. So far my style of wedding planning has been a lot like the story of Goldyilocks, which is funny because I wouldn’t consider myself an indecisive person. But a people pleaser…definitely.

Location shenanigans aside, I found the most beautiful wedding dress at a and be bridal in Minneapolis! I wasn’t sure if I’d wear an actually bridal gown, but when you find the right dress you get this wonderful ‘I can’t wipe this smile off my face even if I tried’ feeling. I’m smiling at my computer just thinking about it. How’s that for cheesy.

Below is a peek at the invitation I made for our wedding, which I’m patiently waiting for printed version to arrive in my mailbox. I can’t wait to share with you guys all the details, DIY’s, and mostly the lessoned I’ve learned trying to plan a wedding. Up next, will be our ‘engagement’ photos. I put engagement photos in quotes, because sometimes I think engagement photos are way to corny and weird. Spoiler alert: there are no hearts, chalkboards or balloons. Thanks for sticking in here and reading this longwinded post. Let’s hang out more!

a and be bridal Minneapolis | Kitty Cotten a and be bridal Minneapolis | Kitty Cotten Destination wedding in Costa Rica | Kitty Cotten

Spring Break Lookbook

March 25, 2015

I have to admit I’ve been mentally packing for our trip to the Dominican Republic for about the past month, because I’m a crazy over planner and serial organizer. I mean, I live by my packing cubes. I’m such a dork. Anyways, I decided to put my type-A personality to good use and make a fun, short spring break lookbook video pairing 9 outfits as inspiration for your next adventure in warm weather! This is my very first video lookbook posted to my youtube, so let me know what you think and if I should do more of them in the future! Now, on to the outfit details of each look. You’ll see lots of repeat multi-purpose pieces in each outfit, so all you’ll need is a carry-on to pack!

Spring Break Outfit


Panama Hat – J.Crew ($ 58)
T-Shirt – American Eagle ($25)
Shorts – Levi’s (similar pair: $54)
Tortoise Sunglasses – Amazon ($5)
Bucket Bag – TJ Maxx (similar one: $49)
Bracelets – MadewellBauble Bar  & J.Crew



Panama Hat – J.Crew ($ 58)
Flamingo Print Blouse – Madewell (similar one: $72)
Shorts – Levi’s (similar pair: $54)
Tortoise Sunglasses – Amazon ($5)
Bracelets – J.Crew & Bauble Bar



Panama Hat – J.Crew ($ 58)
Blouse – J.Crew (similar one: $79.50 on sale)
Shorts – Levi’s (similar pair: $54)
Black Sunglasses – Amazon ($10)
Bucket Bag – TJ Maxx (similar one: $49)
Bracelets – J.Crew & Bauble Bar



Panama Hat – J.Crew ($ 58)
Black Sunglasses – Amazon ($10)
Tank Top – Forever 21 (similar one: $14)
Shorts – Target ($20)
Bucket Bag – TJ Maxx (similar one: $49)



Panama Hat – J.Crew ($ 58)
Kimono – Target ($23)
Tank Top – American Eagle (similar one: $35)
Shorts – Levi’s (similar pair: $54)
Bracelets – J.Crew & Bauble Bar
Tortoise Sunglasses – Amazon ($5)



Tortoise Sunglasses – Amazon ($5)
Tank Top – Target (similar one: $28)
Skirt – Sheinside (similar one: $67)
Bracelets – Madewell & Bauble Bar



Black Sunglasses – Amazon ($10)
Bird Dress – Sheinside ($13)
Bracelets – Madewell & Bauble Bar
Bucket Bag – TJ Maxx (similar one: $49)



Panama Hat – J.Crew ($ 58)
Romper – Target ($25)
Tortoise Sunglasses – Amazon ($5)
Bracelets – Madewell & Bauble Bar
Bucket Bag – TJ Maxx (similar one: $49)



Black Sunglasses – Amazon ($10)
Romper – Forever21 (similar one: $25)
Bracelets – MadewellBauble Bar  & J.Crew

In-flight Travel Essentials

March 24, 2015

I love traveling, but it can be stressful at times. Here’s a video with all of my must have in-flight travel goodies to make traveling easier and a bit more relaxing. The only thing I forgot to add to this video was a snack. I always have snacks on me when traveling! Subscribe to my channel on YouTube:

How to Properly Wash & Care for Your Swimsuit

March 9, 2015

How to Wash & Care for Your Swimsuit
SWIMSUIT (Highly recommend Nani Nalu Beachwear in Minneapolis if you’re in the market for a new swimsuit! That’s were I found this suit) // HAT // NECKLACE  (Sign up for 1 month free of Rocksbox with the code:  kittycottenxoxo ) // SUNGLASSES

Always hand wash your swimsuit. Never wash your swimsuits in the washer and never dry them in the dryer. Both will quickly destroy the fabric and deteriorate the elasticity of your swimsuit. How to properly wash your swimsuit: Fill a sink with cool water and add a small amount of swimsuit cleaner. Let the suit soak for 15 minutes, then gently massage with hands to work the chemicals and dirt out. Drain the soapy water and rinse until the water runs clear. Never wring or twist the swimsuit.

Do not use detergents to clean your swimsuit. Always use a swimsuit cleaner like this one. Opt for one that is natural, alcohol-free and fragrance-free.

Always layout your swimsuit to dry. Don’t hang. Place your swimsuit on a flat surface out of the sun to allow it dry, this will keep the color from fading in the sunlight.

Don’t let chlorine dry into your suit. Rinse your suit in the showers near the pool before laying out or keep it damp until you can rinse. You could also store your damp suit in a plastic bag until you’re able to rinse it out at home or in the hotel.

Apply your sunscreen and allow it to absorb into your skin before you put on your suit to avoid getting sunscreen or oils on your swimsuit.

Rinse your swimsuit before getting into a pool. This will help reduce the amount of chlorine absorbed into the fabric.

Sit on a towel or blanket to avoid snagging your suit on rough surfaces.

Avoid hot tubs. The chemicals and heat accelerates wear on the fabric.

Alternate your swimsuits to allow for the previous day’s suit to fully dry and return to its original shape when you’re on vacation.

Packing List: Minimal Beach Vacation Makeup

March 6, 2015

Packing List: Minimal Beach Vacation Makeup Packing List: Minimal Beach Vacation Makeup Packing List: Minimal Beach Vacation Makeup

I don’t usually wear or pack too much makeup for a beach vacation, instead just a few pieces to create a natural, pulled together look. When I’m on the beach I always wear SPF on my face and lips. Sometimes I’ll pop on a tiny bit of waterproof mascara and sheer out a lipstick over my lip balm. That’s it. The rest of the makeup is versatile to create a few looks whether I’m going for dinner, having drinks at the bar or headed into town for a night out. Continue Reading…

February Favorites

March 4, 2015

B E A U T Y:
LAURA MERCIER tinted foundation
TRADER JOE’S lavender salt scrub
ELIZABETH & JAMES black nirvana perfume
SONIA KASHUK satin luxe lip color “very berry”
MAYBELLINE color tattoo leather “creamy beige”
SALLY HANSEN miracle gel top coat

S T Y L E:
SUNGLASSES black and gold round
SUNGLASSES tortoise clubmaster style
KIWI SELECT suede and nubuck cleaner
SAM EDELMAN petty boots

F O O D:

Sunglasses & Beach Hat Pairings (Under $70)

March 2, 2015

Cheap Sunglasses and Beach Hats

Hat ($58)
Sunglasses ($10)

Hat ($25.50)
Sunglasses ($16)

Hat ($49.50)
Sunglasses ($10)

Hat ($15)
Sunglasses ($40)

I’m 50 shades of pale, so a hat is one of my beach necessities (and lots of sunscreen of course). Plus, I think a hat is the perfect way to add a bit more style to the basic bikini. Top that off with a funky pair of sunnies and a margarita on the rocks and I’ll never leave that sandy beach.

For me, cheap sunglasses are the way to go on a tropical vacation, that way if you have a few too many cervezas and loose track of them you’re only out a few bucks. I bought those two pairs I noted above from amazon and was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been lusting over these pricey Karen Walker Harvest shades for awhile, then I stumbled on that top pair of sunglasses with a similar vibe for dirt cheap and I was all – buy now with one-click. High five.

March Vibe: Tropical Wanderlust

March 1, 2015

Tropical WanderlustTropical WanderlustTropical Wanderlust

Things are changing around here. After lots of brainstorming I’ve decided I’m shifting my blog to more of a lifestyle vibe (sorry in advance for using ‘vibe’ too often in this post, but it’s stuck in my brain right now and I can’t help myself). I’ll continue to share personal posts, but I really want to do something a bit different here. I want this space to be about more than just documenting my life, I want to share beautiful things while valuing the importance of meaningful beauty and living with a purpose. I’m hoping to find a balance between sharing aesthetically pleasing pieces and discussing things that motivate and inspire me in life.

So, I’m taking a leap of faith here and trying something different to give more to this blog. I want to discuss travel, personal style, beauty inside and out, relationships, advice from my experiences, celebrations and entertaining, and personal stories and struggles. I’m really excited for this change. I hope you enjoy what I have planned!

Many blogs have weekly columns, I’ve tried that in the past, but usually end up getting burned out trying to keep it fresh. Instead, I’m going to give each month a theme or topic or vibe as I’ve titled it for this post. On the first of the month I’ll introduce the vibe. Oh man, I really need to come up with a better word than vibe. It sounds so corny now and like something my mom would have said in high school. If you have a better one PLEASE comment below, because thesaurus is running out of synonyms!

The entire month of March will be devoted to the idea of Tropical Wanderlust. I’ve chosen this vibe because at the end the month I’m headed to the Dominican Republic with friends, but it’s also spring break season! I’m going to have a few style roundups for your next beach getaway, tips and advice for traveling with friends, my bare bones beach bag beauty (whoa, say that five times fast), in-flight essentials that make traveling so much better, and photography thoughts for documenting your next trip. I’m giving myself a goal of posting 3 times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)! So stay tuned and get your passport ready! Things are warming up around here.

Photos: 1 / 2 / 3