Archive for January, 2015

6 Ways to Know Your Bra Doesn’t Fit Right!

January 22nd, 2015

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve most definitely made the mistake of seeing that perfect shoe, or dress, and deciding that you MUST have it, but then you realize it’s not available in your size… oh no!! So you fudge a little, and buy a “close enough” size and decide it’ll be fine, because […]


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If you’re anything like me, then you’ve most definitely made the mistake of seeing that perfect shoe, or dress, and deciding that you MUST have it, but then you realize it’s not available in your size… oh no!! So you fudge a little, and buy a “close enough” size and decide it’ll be fine, because it just looks so good!  But, the shoes are never quite wearable because they hurt like crazy, and the dress is a little uncomfortable because you’re always tugging on it… Sound familiar?!  And, if you’re even more like me, you’ve done this once or twice with a bra!  It’s just so beautiful, it’s ok that it’s a little tight, or doesn’t fit quite right… I look good so I’ll still wear it!  I’ve ended up throwing away all my bras that don’t fit perfectly, I got tired of telling myself I would wear it because it’s pretty, when in reality it just doesn’t feel right.  I’ve seen SO many girls in bras that don’t fit right, and it’s made me realize that maybe they just aren’t aware that there is a better option for them out there!  So I thought I’d share six simple tips that will let you know if a bra just isn’t fitting you right… Let’s get you into something that feels and looks perfect!

1. When you put your bra on, and then put your shirt on top, can you see a line where the top of your bra runs across your bust?  This should be completely smooth with a well fit bra.  The bra shouldn’t be sagging out a little (it’s too big!) and your bust shouldn’t be squeezing out of it, creating a ridge (it’s too small!).  Almost any lingerie store will measure you to get you into a bra that fits perfectly, and even if you’re in something that’s your size, it could simply be the wrong style for your shape…

2. Does your upper back hurt?  Your bra is not giving you enough support! Try one with wider straps, fuller coverage, and a wider band around the back.  It could also mean that your bra is too small: the band is too tight and the straps are pulling much too tight on the cups, giving you too much support, and working too hard to do the job!

3. Is your bra creating unnecessary cleavage when you put it on?  Unless it’s a pushup bra that’s squeezing you in and pushing you up, and completely adjusting the way your breasts sit, a well fit bra should not add any additional cleavage than your natural shape allows for.  In a well constructed bra, the center gore (the area between the two cups) should be an average of 3/4” wide.  This can change slightly in the sizes that are at the far end of the spectrum, but not by much.  This space allows the proper support, and placement of your breasts.  If your center gore is much wider than that, you are most likely in an older bra that is stretched out and has seen better days, it’s not providing the support you need. And if it’s much narrower than that you’ll be squeezed together too much, a bit uncomfortably so! (It could simply be due to putting your bra in the dryer and it shrinking, or it could be an issue in the bra itself.)  (Obviously if you’re wearing a bra that’s intended to provide you extra cleavage, then go for it!!)

4. Do you have to stretch your bra to the tightest clasp on the back for it to fit?  If so, most likely you have stretched the band on your bra out too much, and it’s no longer giving you good support.  When you purchase a bra, it should always fit you best on the middle clasp, providing enough support without stretching the bra to it’s max and starting to destroy its ability to hold it’s shape.

5. When you look at yourself straight on in the mirror while wearing an underwire bra, can you see the underwire the majority of the way around the cup, or are your breasts covering it at certain spots? (ex: Are they hanging down and covering the bottom of the underwire? Are they not being pulled together enough and covering the outer sides of the underwire? Are they being pulled together too much so you can’t see the center sections of the underwire?)  To know your bra is fitting right, you should see the underwire all the way around; this means that your bra is giving you enough lift to not hang low, and enough support to stay centered, and not be too spread out or crammed in!

6. When you look at yourself sideways in the mirror, when you don’t have a shirt covering your bra, is the band around your bra relatively even and level around your body or is raised higher in the back, and falling lower in the front?  Another way to look for this problem is by asking yourself if you’re constantly tugging on the back of your bra to pull it lower because it’s riding up.  If it’s falling lower in the front, you are either in an older bra that has lots its ability to give good support, or you are in a bra that doesn’t fit properly and can’t balance your support around your body.  You can fix this by searching for bras with wider support bands around your back, and wider, higher quality straps, or simply by updating to a new bra!

 

These are just a few easy descriptions for knowing if you’re wearing the right fit or not, some of them are based on aesthetics and some based on feeling, but they’re all good signs for knowing when it’s time to switch!  A bra doesn’t last forever, it will slowly lose it’s support, and shape, and it’s important to stay in one that fits you just right, because it changes the way everything feels!!  Good luck, and if reading this makes you realize it’s time for a shopping trip, I hope you have so much fun!! (And maybe ask someone to measure you while you’re in the store!)

xoxo

6 Ways to Know if Your Bra Doesn't Fit Right by Katherine Bignon

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French Cooking: A Simple Rice Salad

January 20th, 2015

We go back to France every year to visit my family that I lived with over there, and my husband’s family, and one of my favorite parts of the trip every year is the FOOD (I mean, why wouldn’t it be?!), and the way mealtimes are cherished and enjoyed! I learned how to cook when […]


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We go back to France every year to visit my family that I lived with over there, and my husband’s family, and one of my favorite parts of the trip every year is the FOOD (I mean, why wouldn’t it be?!), and the way mealtimes are cherished and enjoyed! I learned how to cook when I lived there, which is probably where my love of all things fresh, and organic/non-gmo comes from, along with mixing foods and seeing what you come up with! (The mom I lived with was a total GENIUS at combining foods!)  And my mother-in-law is an absolutely incredible cook!  I come home every year with a list of all the foods she cooked so that I can add them to my running list of go-to meals for our family.  So, in honor of my venture this year into the French cookbook, (the one passed down in my mother-in-laws family!) I thought I’d share one of the recipes I learned from her.  It’s a simple one, with so many ways to modify and spruce it up, the possibilities are completely endless!  It’s a perfect recipe for those days when you make way too much rice to go with your meal (if you’re like me anyways!) and have a ton leftover in the fridge for the next night…

A Simple Rice Salad

2 cups rice, cooked, chilled or still warm (I LOVE the salad when it’s still warm from the rice!)

3 hardboiled eggs, peeled and diced

1-2 tomatoes, diced

swiss or gouda cheese, diced

ham (or other deli style meat), sliced or diced

Raspberry or Balsalmic Vinegar

Olive oil

Dijon Mustard

Garlic clove

Salt

 

Toss the diced ingredients into the rice, and mix

Dressing: The “official” dressing for this salad is based off of raspberry vinegar, which is something I have been unable to find in the US.  It’s different than raspberry vinaigrette’s, it’s an actual vinegar, that has a lighter flavor than balsamic.  So, if you get lucky and happen to find it, yay!! but the salad also tastes great with Balsalmic!

So, equal parts Raspberry or Balsalmic Vinegar and Oil, and then add an additional dash of the vinegar just to top the flavor off.  (Use olive oil if you want a stronger oil flavor, or avocado or canola oil if you don’t want to taste the flavor as much!)

Add a spoonful of a spicy mustard, a crushed clove of garlic, and some hearty shakes of salt.  Mix it all up, pour over the salad in the desired quantity and enjoy!

This recipe works great as an entire meal in one, or as a side to another dish! And because it’s served warm or chilled, and can be pre-made and sit in the fridge for a day (if you do this, save a little extra dressing to put on it again before you serve to freshen it up), it makes a great picnic meal!  It’s one of our favorite summer beach meals!!

This isn’t a recipe you’ll find when you sit down at a fancy schmancy French restaurant, and if you never venture into a dear friend’s house while you’re in France, you’d probably never see something like this, but it’s a lovely, simple, home cooked meal that is served to us almost every time we go back, and I love it!  Cold mixed salads, of all variations, are the heart and soul of many a family-style sit-down lunch in France.  Imagine this one, or one based on corn filled with shrimp, tomatoes and peppers, or one with a base of tuna with a little rice, cucumbers and tomatoes, all topped with a vinegar dressing and served with baguette on the side and a lovely glass of red wine.  I love that mealtimes in France are something to be cherished!  The whole family sits down together to a fresh cooked meal, for lunch and dinner, and it’s not an “eat as fast as you can and run back to your other stuff” type of experience, it’s a chance in the middle of your day to enjoy food, enjoy conversation, and rest together.  These are the type of memories I want my children to grow up with!

I hope you enjoy the salad, we’re loving it at our house today!

Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped Gouda

We chose to use Gouda for this salad, instead of swiss, I like the flavor a bit more!

Prosciutto

I used prosciutto instead of ham this time

Eggs Chopped Eggs Rice Adding the Ingredients Dressing Pouring the Dressing Simple Rice Salad

Bon Appetit!

 

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A Styled Valentine’s Mini Session in Richmond, Virginia

January 19th, 2015

Good morning girls! There’s a fun project in the works and I’m SO excited to share the details with you, and invite you to be a part of it!  Remember in Friday’s 2015 goals post, I mentioned the Lingerie Library I’m creating and the events I want to put on?  Well the first one is […]


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Good morning girls!

There’s a fun project in the works and I’m SO excited to share the details with you, and invite you to be a part of it!  Remember in Friday’s 2015 goals post, I mentioned the Lingerie Library I’m creating and the events I want to put on?  Well the first one is already in the works!  I have teamed up with Ashley of V.A. Photography and Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events (dream team!) to put on a pre-Valentine’s event in Richmond, Va for all you girls out there who have ever been interested in Boudoir-type photography and are looking for an amazing styled experience with an incredible team there to cheer you on!

We’re setting up in the Parlor Suite of the Linden Row Inn, in downtown Richmond, Virginia, for the day on Saturday, February 7.  Kat is putting together an amazing styled set-up, (think girly, peach, and fluffy blooms!), and we’re welcoming girls in for a 30 minute mini-session, to be photographed by Ashley!  There will be a rack of one of a kind lingerie provided for you to play dress up in during the shoot, champagne and chocolates to add a little extra fun, and you’ll even have your hair and makeup done, so you’ll be ready for date night come evening!  All you have to do is show up ready to be loved on and dressed up, and you’ll be perfect!  You’ll have the gallery of your images back to you in time for Valentine’s Day!!

We’ll be there to cheer you on, help you pose, and fit you into the clothes that perfectly flatter you, and we would LOVE to have you there with us!!  If you’re interested in more information, and booking, send me an email at katherine@katherineelizabethbridal.com, I can’t wait to hear from you!

 

When: Saturday, February 7

Where: The Linden Row, Richmond, Virginia

What: A 30 minute styled Valentine’s mini session, with lingerie, hair and makeup provided, along with Champagne and sweets!

Lingerie: Think tulle skirts, silk robes, soft bras, and lots of pink!

Cost: $300

 

Here’s a peek at our inspiration board to get you even more excited…

An Inspiration Board for the Valentine's Mini Sessions in Richmond, Va, by Katherine Elizabeth Bridal

An Inspiration Board for the Valentine’s Mini Sessions in Richmond, Va, by Katherine Elizabeth Bridal

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2015 Goals | Bridal Design, Custom Lingerie, and Personal

January 16th, 2015

2015 is off to a pretty amazing start here in our house, with lots of fun adventures, and lots of busy-ness!  I’ve already been off to one conference and had a weekend away, and Guillaume is gone this weekend to Atlanta for one for him!  My business is growing, his ministry is growing, our kids […]


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2013 Shay Cochrane

2015 is off to a pretty amazing start here in our house, with lots of fun adventures, and lots of busy-ness!  I’ve already been off to one conference and had a weekend away, and Guillaume is gone this weekend to Atlanta for one for him!  My business is growing, his ministry is growing, our kids are growing… you get the picture!  And… I’m GRADUATING this year!! Woohoo!! So before we get too far into the year, I wanted to be honest, and vulnerable, and share my vision for and biggest goals for myself, our family, and this business for 2015!

Without being cliche or planning it, the list I sat down and typed has 15 things on it, and I want to share them with you!

1. Clean, Purge, and Stop Spending! Manage to run a consistently clean house, filled with only the essential, and meaningful things.  We have so much extra junk floating around in our house, and I think it’s a huge reason why we struggle with keeping things put away and clean.  (That’s a huge thing for me to be willing to say… I have a huge pride issue with keeping a clean house, and I make it spotless before someone shows up at my house, but on a day to day basis, it doesn’t stay that way, and that’s not the life I want to live!)  So purge the unnecessary, and live a simpler, more intentional life inside our house.  (It naturally follows from this that I need to cut out unnecessary shopping, and filling our house up with these pretty, but unnecessary items, so I’m considering a contentment challenge…)

2. Wake Up! For me, personally, I would love to be better about having a consistent morning routine.  I need time to get my day going before the kids wake up.  Time to drink a pot of tea, read my Bible, and get a little blogging and writing done.  And I have never been one to respond well to the alarm clock in the morning… This is probably my biggest personal goal for myself for this year!

3. Start using essential oils!  I’ve been talking about doing this for so long, I need to just place that order, do a little research, and go!

4. Blogging! Along the lines of the previous goal, one of my goals for 2015 is consistent, and frequent blogging.  I love to write, I love to pour my heart out on paper, and I love the business that I’m growing, I just need to be better about sharing it!

5. 6 new bridal clients.  This is one of my growth goals for the year!  My dream is to work with a bride that lets me create her wedding gown, and then a lingerie collection for her honeymoon (which leads into the next goal!) I want to know her from the beginning of her marriage, and form a relationship that will last well into her marriage, because marriage, and encouraging the growth and development of strong and beautiful marriages is a huge passion of mine!

6. 6 new lingerie clients!

7. A rebrand and a new website!  I have been “not in love” with my site for too long now…  And I can see my new brand so clearly in my mind, I just need to get it onto paper and screen!!

8. Marriage Mentoring! I would love to have the opportunity to mentor a couple going into marriage.  Our pre-marital counseling is one of my best engagement memories, the couple we worked with was amazing, and they helped us start our marriage with an incredibly strong foundation.  Since then, and every time I hear a couple struggling and having a rough time, I get this urge to take them to coffee, and sit down and chat and pray and help them work through it!

9. Business Mentoring! As I grow my business, I would love to work into the opportunity to mentor other small business owners.  I know I am not at a point professionally to offer this yet, but I want to be honest, and up front that this is a dream of mine, and whether or not I get there in 2015, I want to at least be working towards that!!

10. Portraits! We’re coming up on our 5th anniversary this year (woohoo!!) and I would love to book an anniversary/family portrait session to celebrate that.  I know this may be a weird list to put that on, having that as one of my official goals for 2015, but this is something that I’ve talked about doing for so long, and have never actually taken the time to make that dream happen, so here it is, in writing!  (And along with a portrait session, a little getaway would be pretty nice too!)  I didn’t end up designing my own wedding dress, but I would love to design something for this!

11. A Shop! Once I finish the rebrand process, I want to open up a small online shop with a few standard lingerie pieces for clients to order without going through the entire custom process.  Silk robes, tulle skirts, some sleepwear… things like that!

12.  A Lingerie Library and Events! I am in the process of developing a “lingerie rental library” with pieces for someone to rent if they’re doing a boudoir photoshoot (Read Wedneday’s post for an amazing boudoir photography experience!!).  It gives women an option in between paying the price for something custom, but not having to resort to something that every other woman could buy at Victoria’s Secret.  So, with the development of the library, my dream is to host at least two “events” of my own this year with the pieces, pairing with a photographer and a planner to offer a boutique type photoshoot experience where women can put together an album for a wedding gift, or anniversary present, or something like that!

p.s. One has already been planned!! Did you see yesterday’s Instagram invite?  More info coming to the blog on Monday!!

13. Cooking Natural! Cooking is a huge passion of mine, in case you didn’t know!  I love cooking from scratch, playing around with foods, and one of the best parts of my day is when Guillaume gets home and plays with the kids and I close myself in the kitchen and have time to myself to cook.  (The beauty of these vintage houses is that the kitchens have DOORS on them!)  I have a list of cookbooks I want to read this year, all along the lines of getting back to the basics of cooking, and cutting out all processed foods.  I would love to live a consistent farm-to-table lifestyle, with no processed foods, and everything from scratch.  Will I succeed 100%? Probably not!! But I would love to be able to do as much as I can towards this, for the beauty of the food, but also for the health of our family!  There’s so many things I think we could fix health-wise with just some simple diet changes!!  So books like, The Nourished Kitchen, The art of Fermentation, and Nourishing Traditions are high on my list for this year!!  We have a local farm where we can get most of our meat, and all our dairy products delivered to us weekly (how fun is that?!), and we already get a huge chunk of our meat from my dad’s hunting adventures and summer fishing in Alaska, so we’re well on our way to a good start, but I know there’s more to be done!

14.  Cooking French! Just to warn you, this one’s about food too.  And quite possibly the next one…  Like I said, it’s a passion!!  We were given a French cookbook as a wedding gift by an old college professor of mine, and I’ve used it over the years, but never really dove into it.  And then I found out this past summer, that this cookbook was actually a family tradition on my husband’s side.  It was given to his grandmother when she married, and then she passed it onto Guillaume’s mom when she was married, and she still has it and loves to cook out of it!  How sweet is that?! So my dream for this year is to cook through it, learning the art of French cooking and turning those recipes into regulars in our household, all the while applying the principles from the previously mentioned cookbooks!

15. A Family Cookbook Memoir! Last food one, I promise!  I want to journal/blog my way through this and begin to create a cookbook for our family that I can pass on to Piper one day.  All of our favorite recipes, our journey of learning how to cook from the basics, and our journey of cooking French!

So, in a nutshell, my dream for this year is intentionality.  Intentionality in my business to keep it growing, intentionality in our home to keep it a healthy and peaceful environment, and intentionality with our family, to be there, and be present, and do the things that matter most.  This isn’t on the above list, but I would love to live a life where social media is only used during specific times of the day, where it never comes between me and my marriage, and me and my children, so that I have the time to do the things like teach my daughter how to cook and write about it for her to have the memories later.

So, there you have it!  Help me stay accountable!!

xoxo

 

p.s. Aren’t Shay Cochrane’s Stock Shop images always so stunning?!

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Boudoirathon | A Richmond, VA Styled Shoot with Custom Lingerie

January 14th, 2015

There’s something so incredibly beautiful when someone is willing to take a chance on you!  When they say, hey, show me what you can do, I KNOW it will be amazing!  That’s the moment where some of the deepest friendships are formed, and the sweetest memories are made.  I’m still stunned, and honored, when someone […]

 

There’s something so incredibly beautiful when someone is willing to take a chance on you!  When they say, hey, show me what you can do, I KNOW it will be amazing!  That’s the moment where some of the deepest friendships are formed, and the sweetest memories are made.  I’m still stunned, and honored, when someone reaches out to me and says that they would love for me to create their dress for them for their wedding day, or their lingerie for their honeymoon!!

I had one of the best “take a chance on you moments” ever a few months back when two girls who I had never met, got in touch with me asking me to design a few pieces for a styled shoot they were doing.  Kat, with Dear Sweetheart Events is a dear friend of mine, and she was styling the shoot for them, and when she heard it was lingerie, she suggested they reach out to me for a few custom pieces, instead of using something off the rack!  (I LOVE that girl!!) We started chatting, and turns out the shoot was so much more than just a styled boudoir shoot… These two girls, Annmarie and Jessica, were in the process of launching a new photography adventure, entitled “Boudoirathon”, a concept so fun I IMMEDIATELY fell in love!! In their own words, this is who they are:

Boudoirathon with Jessica and Annmarie is a boutique experience intended to empower women and instill confidence in them. By combining glamour, styling, and photography, Jessica and Annmarie highlight both the inner and outer beauty of their clients. Together, through a boudoir marathon, they provide women the experience of shedding vulnerability and expressing their most honest self.

 I LOVE this!! These girls travel around, and host two day long “Boudoirathon’s” shooting the girls in gorgeous hotel rooms, mainly in Massachusetts but they have the dream to be doing this all around the country! The girls are encouraged, empowered, and made to feel extraordinarily beautiful in their own skin.

The styled shoot they were putting together with Kat was for their website launch (and you can find a couple of the images from the shoot scattered around their gorgeous site!! ) and what started with asking for 2-3 pieces turned into an 11 piece collection that we all fell in love with!!  I can’t wait to show you all the stunning images, but for now, here’s a little peek and there’s more scattered throughout my instagram!  The girls are waiting to hear back on a blog submission before we can show you the rest!! (Woohoo!!!)

Putting this collection together stretched me like nothing else has, I learned so many things, and honestly, gained so much more confidence in myself! (It was like they were photographing me or something!!  These girls just have that effect…)

I am SO grateful that they were willing to take that chance on me, and trust me to create their vision for them, and I’m so grateful for friends like Kat who believe in the work I do and are willing to help put my name out there!  I had the amazing opportunity to meet Annmarie last week at Creative at Heart in Virginia, and she is just as sweet in person as she looks!!  I hope you have the opportunity to meet her one day too!

The shoot was at the gorgeous Paisley & Jade studios in Richmond, Virginia.  Kat with Dear Sweetheart Events did all the styling, Calligraphy was provided by Taylor Sites, (who also modeled!), Hair by Brianna Adams, Makeup by Nikki Benedikt, and Bonnie of B is for Bonnie Design shared a gorgeous gold foil print for the styling!

Katherine Bignon Sketches for Boudoirathon Styled Shoot

Floral Bralette and Tulle Skirt Custom Design by Katherine Bignon for Boudoirathon

Custom Floral Robe and Bustier for Boudoirathon by Katherine Bignon