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Everyday E-Session – Josh & Ashley

If you are familiar with Lynchburg, you know that a great place to grab lunch (or coffee or a sweet… say a cappuccino brownie?) is Magnolia Foods. To be honest, I haven’t peeked in since they installed the new bar area, but I can’t wait to check it out like Josh and Ashley did for their engagement session.

From coffee at Magnolia to a walk down Rivermont Avenue, I feel like we are just spectators along for a fun glimpse into their day together… a day which ends in a portrait with their sweet pooch, Brazos. Also, I’m happy to introduce you to the mother/daughter photography team of Alysson Copeland Photography and Yvonne Sanders Photography. Cute couple and gorgeous ring included… take a peek!

Magnolia Foods Engagement Session
Coffee Shop Engagement
Lynchburg Engagement Session
Coffee Engagement Session
Outdoor Winter Engagement Session
Rivermont Avenue Engagment Session
Snow Engagement Session
Engagement Ring
Engagement Session with Dog
Craving more cute e-sessions? Just click here!

For the Love of Lavender

Did you realize that Central Virginia has two lavender farms? If not, you should pick up a copy of our 2014 wedding issue of clutch, the bride’s guide to have and to hold, and you can read all about two wonderful lavender farms right in your own backyard! Inglewood Lavender Farm is in Nelson County, and Evergreen Lavender Farm is in Appomattox County. Both farms offer tours and cuttings in season, and they also sell lavender products year round. Lavender makes a great addition to a wedding (think favors or even herbs for meals), and both farms are fun for out of town wedding guests to visit during their stay. 

Evergreen Lavender Farm

We asked Bonnie Swanson, of Evergreen Lavender Farm to tell us a little bit more about the plants and their uses. She also has two recipes for you to test out on your skin! You may have seen Bonnie around… if you have been to the Lynchburg Community Market, you may have seen her smiling face as you encounter her stand filled with the fragrance of lavender. Next time you hit the market be sure to say “hi” to her. You will be glad you did! Now hear from Bonnie…

Lavender is one of my favorite herbs. Not only is it beautiful, aromatic and relaxing, but it has many uses in culinary, beauty products, teas, tinctures, and so much more! Throughout history, lavender has been the favorite of royalty: Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, and Queen Victoria, to name a few. Don’t worry, it’s definitely for us common folk, too.

Evergreen Lavender

So, what is it about lavender that attracts us to this herb? It definitely is a beautiful plant. Looking out onto a field of lavender is a treat for your senses; the color, fragrance, and activity of the pollinators (bees!) all come together for a delightful sensory treat.

Although lavender is normally thought of as purple, it can range in color from white, pink, light blue, deep blue, to a full range of purples. There are dwarf lavenders, medium and very large sized lavender to fit into a landscape design if you are interested in growing your own plants. Lavender loves the sun, and it is easy to grow once it is established, however soil preparation is key. They love well-drained soil and a good yearly haircut.

Evergreen Lavender Farm Flowers

There are many benefits of lavender… much more than most people expect. According to Natural News, this herb’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it an effective wound treatment. Lavender stimulates the cells of a wound to regenerate more quickly and prevent scarring. It’s also useful for treating headaches, insomnia, fever blisters, acne, disrupted digestion and even anxiety, stress and depression. Not everyone has fresh lavender to make tinctures, so the essential oil is a convenient way to enjoy its benefits. It truly is a medicine kit in a bottle.

Evergreen Lavender Farm at Lynchburg Community Market

Society has programmed us to think that beauty products need to be expensive to be effective, but I assure you that’s simply not true! Would you believe that many beauty products can be made in your own kitchen? Lotions are combinations of oils and emulsifiers, while soap combines oils or fats with lye. Yes, you do need lye (sodium hydroxide) to make soap, otherwise your bathing with detergent, which is a petroleum by-product. The best reason to make your own body products is the satisfaction that you know exactly what’s in it, and that is so important nowadays! Unless you’re a chemist, you really don’t know which compounds have been added to increase a product’s shelf life, make it more appealing or to keep it from separating.

Evergreen Lavender Farm Wreaths

Some of the ingredients for the following recipes may not be at your grocery store, so you may need to visit the health food store or order on-line. Here are a few simple recipes you can try.

Lavender Facial Toner - adapted from the book Organic Body Care Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp lavender buds
  • 1 cup pure witch hazel
  • 6 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 cup distilled water

Directions:

  1. Combine the witch hazel, lavender buds, and essential oil in an air tight jar and store in a cool, dark location for 2 weeks.  Shake the jar vigorously every day while the lavender is steeping.
  2. After 2 weeks, strain out the lavender buds using a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth.
  3. Add 1 cup distilled water and mix.
  4. Can be stored at room temperature and is best if used within 12 months of preparation.

To Use: Dab toner onto a cotton pad or ball and gently swipe across skin on face and décolletage (that’s your neck and cleavage area).

You can also steep the lavender buds in the witch hazel, or eliminate that step all together and just add the essential oil drops. This is a very quick and simple recipe that works amazingly!

Evergreen Lavender Farm Tractor

Simply Lavender Dusting Powder - thanks to Crunchy Betty for this superb recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup arrowroot powder
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup tapioca powder
  • 3 Tbsp. very finely ground lavender buds
  • 70 drops or 1 Tbsp. lavender essential oil

Directions: Combine dry ingredients in a large and whisk together.  Add essential oil, one drop at a time, whisking as you go. Break up any clumps that may form with your fingers. Transfer powder to a small container, and use after bathing.

I hope you try these recipes and enjoy the many benefits of lavender in your life! ~ Bonnie, owner of Evergreen Lavender Farm

* all photos are property of Evergreen Lavender Farm*

 

  • Sherry Walsh - Love this place and it’s owner’s! They do so much for the community and make you feel like family. One of my favorite places to visit.

  • Jennifer - So glad to hear it, Sherry! Bonnie is amazingly sweet (and knowledgeable, too).

Everyday Wedding – Gabe & Brittany

Uniqueness. This wedding has that word written all over it. From out-of-the-ordinary details like wooden discs and vintage bottles to tastefully oversized blooms in the bouquets, this event is full of ideas that are fresh and new. I love it! The bride, Brittany, was also bold and creative in her look choosing to don a Jackie O-esque gown and a short hairstyle. Brittany was true to herself and her tastes in every way, and it just goes to show that sometimes just going with your instincts and what YOU like works!

A twist to this story is that due to the fact that Gabe is in the military with an unpredictable schedule, this couple was already married in May of 2012, yet in November of 2013 they chose to celebrate with family and friends in a stylish, upscale way. I dare say that I love every element of this wedding! When you take a peek at their event, I want you to notice a few special details, including their first look.

If you are looking for creating your own true-to-you event take a few words of advice from Brittany… “I wanted a fall wedding with nothing to do with fall… and Amy {my florist} heard my cry! The result was breathtaking. I knew people were expecting different; I wanted to make sure I gave them just that! I felt that my wedding could be nothing short of fabulous if I stayed true to me, classic cuts and a pretty color palette.”

We agree that everything was pulled off flawlessly! Enjoy this beautiful wedding photographed by Mykkah Photography.

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View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
Gabe Wedding by Mykkah Photography
Groomsmen Wedding by Mykkah Photography
Brittany Wedding by Mykkah Photography
Bridesmaids Wedding by Mykkah Photography
First Look Wedding by Mykkah Photography
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
Gabe Brittany Wedding by Mykkah Photography
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany
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2014-02-23_0003
View More: http://mykkah.pass.us/gabe-brittany

 

Vendors:

  • Florals & Table Decor – The Arrangement Company
  • Photography – Mykkah Photography
  • Bridesmaid Dresses – J Crew
  • Earrings, Shoes – TJ Maxx
  • Gown – Church Street Bridal
  • Handkerchief – Etsy by Coquina Homer
  • Makeup – Carly Rae Lawrenson
  • Nails – Amy Nails
  • Venue – West Manor Estate
  • Church Street Bridal - Beautiful bride… handsome groom… gorgeous dress. Thanks for visiting Church Street Bridal. It was our pleasure to help dress the bride for this very special day. Congratulations to the happy couple.!!

  • Jennifer - I agree that she looked amazing… I love that dress. It’s so classically beautiful.

Everyday Wedding – Seth & Jessi

I am so excited to share today’s wedding with you! Some of the photos that I will be posting in the next few weeks are ones that I have been holding on to for two reasons… one was because I was saving posts for when the new blog went live, and the other is because I was waiting for the wedding issue of clutch to go to print! I know many of you don’t have an actual copy of our wedding issue in hand yet, but until then you can head here to take a peek at a copy online.

This lovely wedding takes place at the home of the Jessi’s parents, and believe it or not (I love this part!) Jessi’s parents were married under that exact same tree. I wonder how much the tree has grown in that amount of time? The pops of yellow and aqua coupled with the perfect weather make this wedding so bright and happy. Jessi actually picked aqua because Seth jokingly asked for a hue that would make his “baby blues” pop, and the lemon color was the perfect accent.

Personalized details such as the letters on the tree and the monogrammed necklace (what a great gift idea for a bride with her new initials!) add a special touch to this outdoor wedding photographed by Visions by Heather Photography. I hope it makes you swoon as much as I did when I saw it! To let you in on a little secret, Jessi herself is also a wedding planner, and her own wedding showcases her lovely talents. Enjoy this stunning wedding today!

Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com
Photo by Heather Cheatham of Visions by Heather www.visionsbyheather.com

As a sidebar, we asked Jessi a few things that her family had to do in order to get their home ready for a wedding. I know what I have to do at times just to get ready for company let alone a full wedding. Here are some of the things that they did to get their home and property in order:

  • repainted the exterior
  • landscaped both the front and back yards
  • installed new gravel
  • refinished the driveway
  • roped off fields for parking
  • planted bushes, flowers and trees that would bloom in time for the August wedding
  • researched when to cut the grass so it would be the perfect height

If you would like to read more about the story of Jessi and Seth’s wedding just click here to see our most recent wedding issue where their wedding appears on pages 34-37.

Also, we have to give great kudos to all of the talented vendors that made this lovely wedding happen, so be sure to check out the list below.

Vendors:

  • Photography – Visions by Heather Photography
  • Band – Trademark Band
  • Bridesmaid Dresses – Caryn’s Bridal
  • Cake – Montana Plains Bakery
  • Catering – Deb & Dale Davis
  • Dress – Anjolique Bridal
  • Flowers – Pharsalia
  • Groomsmen Attire – Joseph A Bank
  • Hair – Creative Images Hair & Makeup Artistry

 

 

  • Jessi Otey - Thank ya’ll so much for the absolutely gorgeous feature! (I’m a little biased) We are so thankful to be featured in your blog and in print! Have a fabulous weekend!

    xoxo Jess

  • Jennifer - So honored to feature your beautiful wedding, Jessi. You did a lovely job with everything!

About Our Magazines

clutch, the bride

clutch, the bride’s guide

We just printed our 3rd annual wedding issue, and our 8th women’s issue is ready to hit the stands! It’s exciting how much we have grown over the past two years, yet having both a wedding issue and a women’s magazine has offered a little bit of confusion out there. I just wanted to make some distinctions between our two publications so that you can fully know what we offer for both brides and women.

clutch, the bride’s guide to have and to hold

  • small inset photo on cover
  • annual wedding issue, which comes out in February of each year
  • filled with ideas to help you plan your wedding, perspectives from recent brides and also post-marriage advice
  • blue clutch logo with the “t” turned into a bridal bouquet

 

 

clutch, the girl

clutch, the girl’s guide

clutch, the girl’s guide to everything essential

  • larger photo on cover (we just made this change to help further distinguish)
  • quarterly/seasonal women’s issues
  • filled with ideas on home, family, children, recipes, the arts, fashion, beauty and also includes features on local people, events and businesses
  • pink clutch logo with the “u” turned into a purse

We love what we do around here, and we enjoy inspiring both women and brides. Be sure to look for our magazines all over Lynchburg, Roanoke, Salem, Bedford, Forest, Amherst and beyond, and be sure to keep up with our Hill City Bride and clutch blogs. Providing you with great content is something we are passionate about… happy reading!