HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY BEAUTIFUL WOMEN! I have been planning this post for weeks and am SO excited. Tomorrow may be all about romantic love and your significant others, but today is all about your ladies and the amazing women all around us. I teamed up with some amazing vendors to bring you this gorgeous styled shoot – and was intentional in picking who I wanted to work with. My goal was to get to know the small business owners of St. Louis – more specifically, the women in business. I connected with Erin Stubblefield-Sexauer (if you’ve been around for awhile, she’s not a new face. We love her here on B&A) for the images, Simone Faure for the incredible desserts (I am not kidding – everything I’ve eaten of hers is to die for, and not to mention belongs in a magazine with how gorgeous they are), and Sara Ward for the stunning floral arrangement (again, magazine-worthy). Read on to discover how you can empower your favorite women today and get some inspiration for next year’s Galentine’s Day party!
Because everyone deserves to feel empowered. We have a role to play in the lives of the women around us and it’s to build each other up – not tear each other down. Too often, women are our own worst enemy and instead we should be each others BIGGEST advocates. We need to stop standing in our own way and support the women and girls in our lives. It’s a no brainer, really.
I think we forget how hard it is to be a woman sometimes, and are so hard on each other. Instead of the judgement we usually harbor for others, take today to make a step in the right direction by getting rid of the judgement and introduce compassion into our lives instead. Make it a point to be kind and understanding to the women you come into contact with today and then carry that over into EVERY day.
Challenge them to be brave and bold in their decision making.
We all could use a little nudge in the right direction when it comes to making hard decisions. Challenge the women in your life to be BOLD and BRAVE when making their decisions and not just take the easy road. Remind them how amazing they are and help push them in a direction that will help them grow and succeed.
Support them – even when they fail.
This one is hard. It’s tough to fail and depending on how big the fall was, it can be even harder to get back up and try again. Be there for your girlfriends and support them 100% – always. It can be easy to just leave a friendship when things get hard for someone else, but think about how you would feel in there position. We all need our people, and we all need women we can lean on when things aren’t going perfectly in our lives.
Demand that they stand up for themselves when faced with discrimination.
This is a big one. We know as women that things aren’t exactly equal in a lot of things. That’s the purpose of feminism, right? Equality for the genders. I know I’ve personally experienced discrimination in the work place and in school and it isn’t easy to stand up for yourself or demand that you get what you deserve. Help each other with that and don’t let people walk all over you.
Focus on their strengths and talents.
Instead of focusing on failures, focus on what you are good at! Help your girls find the skills and strengths they have and can succeed at. Figure out how to capitalize on those skills and move forward in that direction.
Help them eliminate the negativity.
This is a tough one – nearly impossible most of the time. It’s SO HARD not to be negative about a lot of things but if we want to empower our sweet friends, it’s time to ditch the negativity. Stop the gossip (that doesn’t help anyone) because all that accomplishes is tearing other women down and as we stated above, that is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. There is enough going against women – we don’t need other women to be part of that problem.
Show them their worth.
Remind your girls how WORTHY they are. Worthy of love, worthy of respect, worthy of equality, worthy of success. They are WORTH so, so much. Remind them of that DAILY. We ALL need to hear that more often: from ourselves, and the women we love.
This is important. Don’t just sit there and think about how you can help the women around you. DO IT. Make a plan of action and then go for it. Don’t wait around for others to do things for you. You are strong, independent and amazing. Go for it.
Decor: Bed Bath & Beyond
This spread was created with the amazing decor options at Bed Bath & Beyond. I used their Kate Spade striped table runner, pink cloth napkins, stunning champagne glasses, simple (but beautiful) white plates, the most perfect cake stand and those ADORABLE ‘XO’ dishes.
If you saw my Birthday Styled Shoot post (see it here), you’ll remember I used BB&B decor for that shoot as well. Their decor is SO versatile – I honestly won’t shop anywhere else now. You can find everything you need to host a party, decorate your home, etc. I was so surprised when I realized Bed Bath & Beyond has more than just your basic housewares – but so many accessories and decor pieces as well (be on the look out for our new bedroom art piece in our bedroom tour coming soon – it’s GORGEOUS and so affordable).
I also prefer to shop online and BB&B makes online shopping SO easy. There are always amazing coupons and deals and I never have to leave my couch. Winner, winner. 😉
If you live in the St. Louis area – you HAVE to make a stop at Simone’s bakery. It’s a work of actual ART. Each dessert piece blew my mind. We had macarons, cakesicles and a pavlova at this shoot and lemme tell you – not only are they breathtaking to look at, they taste even better.
The cakesicles have a special place in my heart because, cake, but I also couldn’t stop eating the macarons. I am usually not the world’s biggest fan, but these has such a sweet flavor with this incredible jellied center and needless to say, my mouth is watering just thinking about them. I was blown away with the sheer beauty of the pavlova and it tasted even better than it looked if that’s possible.
Simone owns the shop, and is such an empowering person. She is a mother, a business owner and a baker (more like artist if you ask me). I had a chance to sit down and talk with her and am in awe of how much she’s accomplished. I feel so blessed to know so many incredible women in business.
Sara Ward is also AMAZING. Again – the women in business in St. Louis are so empowering. This is single most beautiful bouquet of flowers I’ve ever seen. The cherry blossoms were the perfect touch (but Sara already knew that). When we were chatting about this centerpiece, I told her the color scheme and then let her roll with whatever she felt in the moment and it did NOT disappoint.
Sara has always been inspired by art and nature and it shows in her work. She has worked on countless weddings and events and loves her work in floral arranging. Fresh flowers are one of my most favorite things in the world, and when they’re this gorgeous, it’s easy to see why someone would want to spend all day long around them, too!
If you are in the St. Louis area and need flowers for an upcoming event, Sara is your girl.
Leah is one of my favorite people – she is SO sweet, incredibly hardworking and amazing at her job. She’s the curator and owner of Shop Whiskey Neat (you may remember them from my Blonde & Ambitious Collection that launched in November)! I am obsessed with every outfit she stocks in her shop and honestly, for the price, her clothing can’t be beat.
I love that she hand picks each item that goes into her store. She and her husband are like ultimate #relationshipgoals and they are an unstoppable duo – they are HUGe things in store for their little shop and I love that I support an awesome girl boss when I shop her clothing. <3
This is my home girl – she’s been doing my blog photography for almost a year now (crazy) and I’m kind of obsessed with her, not gonna lie. Not only is she my talented and brilliant photographer, she is also a dear, dear friend of mine and I am a better person for knowing her!
I am always in awe of how beautiful her images are – she has the perfect eye and is SO professional. If you are looking for a wedding or engagement photographer in the St. Louis area – you don’t need to look anywhere else. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a bad word said about Erin and plus she’s also hilariously funny so what more could you ask for? Literally nothing.
What I’m saying is book her ASAP.
This venue is the same one I used last month for my birthday shoot – it was AWESOME. The venue is incredible and the staff is even better. I am in love with the open windows, white walls and unique light fixtures. We love the wood topped tables and the white chairs – it doesn’t matter what your decor is, the Willow will match and coordinate with it all.
In their words, “Everyone at Willow is dedicated to making your event singular and amazing. Whether your event is a seated dinner for 250 or a cocktail party for 300, each event is tailored to your unique taste and style.” So whether you are doing a birthday soiree or a wedding reception, Willow is your one-stop shop!!! 🙂
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I hope this inspires you to go and give your girls a HUGE hug and get on that empowerment train. I know you know some amazing women (we ALL do) so take advantage of that and love on them a little extra today.
Let me know if you loved this post in the comments below and what your Galentine’s Day plans are this year!
This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SchwarzkopfGliss #blissofGliss #CollectiveBias...