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‘Bachelor’ Contestant Shares Dating Advice For All Single Ladies!

If there’s anyone qualified to dish out dating advice, it’s sweet Sarah Vendal from the most recent season of The Bachelor. She didn’t find her happily ever after with Nick Viall but she’s continuing her search for love and having some serious fun in the process. Read on for her words to single ladies everywhere, including how the show changed her outlook on relationships for the better.

Tell us about your experience dating Nick on The Bachelor!

Sarah: Dating Nick on The Bachelor was a whirlwind from the get-go! When you’re chosen out of thousands of women who put themselves out there for this, you think to yourself “Holy moly, maybe he is the one for me!”…well, at least that was how my mind worked.

So from meeting him on night one to our first group date just hours after, it was an emotional rollercoaster. You want it to work so badly, but the little disconnects that are just normal dating red flags in real life for you to think about make you feel like the relationship is on eggshells. In hindsight, I knew he wasn’t going to be for me, and he knew that as well. It was very obvious who he was genuinely interested in, and I wasn’t one of them, which is so okay! Our conversations were just never there, and our chemistry was missing.

The whole experience teaches you so much about yourself and your feelings! We joke about it now, but really you learn to identify and verbalize your feelings like a professional. I also learned to take risks. You come back from the show and you feel like you conquered the world. In my opinion, that’s why so people change up careers, or where they live. You’re like, if I can survive that, I can survive whatever else I was scared to try before this.

How has being on The Bachelor affected your dating life today?

I do have to say dating after the show has set some crazy expectations. I mean, we were just conditioned to expect an engagement after 60 days, so if I’m talking to someone and we haven’t had the “What are we doing here?” talk after 30, I’m like…sooo, what’s the deal?

Jokes aside, dating after this show has become simplified for me. The Bachelor teaches you to ask the hard questions early on. While that never used to be my typical style, I found it has helped me to stay focused on what I want rather than spend time with someone who I know wants different things out of a relationship than I do. If you ask the hard questions on the show, the worst that can happen is…well, a lot. You publicly go home on national television. So scary, but you risk it anyway.

Post-show if you ask the hard questions, the worst that can happen is that you’re privately rejected and no one is the wiser. It’s much easier to accept rejection now, so you feel ok putting yourself out there more. But it has also made me more accepting, more willing to hear someone out I might not have heard out before, and it has made me all the more of a romantic. Sorry boys, but I’m still a sucker for roses – white ones!

Any tips for leading an adventurous, fun-filled life while searching for love?

Omgosh, so many! Say yes to things, but don’t be afraid to say no to something you don’t want to do. Being decisive used to be incredibly hard for me. I’m a people pleaser and I hate the thought of disappointing someone. However, the more I just decide what I want to do, the better I feel, the more effort I put into other things and people, and the more confident I am all around.

I also say spend alone time. Don’t be afraid of it. I LOVE taking myself to the movies, or to grab lunch. Also, make time for all your friends and make plans. I love having something to look forward to, especially with summer coming up!

Lastly, be open with what insecurities you have. I have them. Everyone totally does, men included! You never know when you might meet someone who fears the same things you do.

What does a perfect first date look like to you?

FUN! My goodness, if we can’t have fun right off the bat, I’m worried. Ultimately I want a best friend, but that doesn’t mean chivalry goes out the door (and for me that extends to the whole relationship). I look for a man who opens the door, walks on the side of traffic on the sidewalk, and for the first date, plans. It doesn’t need to be big at all, I just like to see that there was some thought put into it.

When in doubt…activities are best! Breweries, sporting events, hikes, walks, food festivals, the county fair, bowling, heck…take me grocery shopping for all I care. I’m just always drawn to things that can spark a flirty, sassy, and somewhat competitive conversation in the beginning.

I do have to say, at the end of the day, on a “perfect” first date, it won’t matter what we do. It’s just a feeling of attraction, respect, and curiosity for one another that I look for to see if there can be something more. We could literally be sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire, waiting for AAA and I’d be in heaven if those intangibles were there.

Fill in the blank: I’ll know I’ve found “The One” when __

I’ll know I’ve found “The One” when I say “Babe, I’m feeling Mexican tonight” and he says, “Blended or on the rocks?” I’m not serious, but I kind of am. This is the hardest question! I don’t know the answer, to be honest. But when I find him I’ll be sure to let you know what it is that made me know he was my one!

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Photography: Garrett Richardson | Videography: Jessica Casprowitz | Event Planning + Design: Events by Talissa | Floral Design: Compass Floral | Jewelry: Love Tatum for Shoppe California | Hair + Makeup: Suzie Moldavon | Hotel: The Inn at Laguna Beach | "My Happy Place" Custom Hat : BORN + MADE | Beach Cruiser: Pacific Beach Bike Shop | Beach Umbrella: Kerry Cassill | Signage + Calligraphy: Letters To You | Wardrobe Stylist: The Stylist LA

From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
10 Registry Essentials for Prettying Up Your Kitchen

The kitchen? It’s the spot in the house where everything seems to happen. From whipping up those romantic meals to late night snacks to gathering with friends + family to prep holiday meals. Which is why keeping your kitchen style on point is sooo important. So today we’re adding a touch of modern sophistication to the proceedings by turning to those who know how to do it best: Nambé. See our top 10 picks for registry must-haves that will pretty up your space below.

1. POP 4-Piece Place Setting, Slate 2. Forte Wine Chiller 3. Moderne Cake Plate, 11” 4. Frond 5-Piece Place Setting 5. Meridian Tea Kettle – White 6. Mikko Ice Bucket with Tongs

Whether you’re on the lookout for decorative pieces that really stand out or serveware that will leave all of your guests talking, Nambé and their lineup of sophisticated everything is most definitely where it’s at. We’re currently obsessing over their new stoneware collection available at Macy’s, POP, a lineup of beautiful neutrals (hello, slate) and vibrant colours that are perfect for mixing and matching. It’s clean lines meets timeless design meets casual dining and, honestly? We can’t get enough. Oh, and don’t even get us started on the new serveware collection available at Bloomingdale’s, Cabo. The perfect union of Ash Wood (a switch from Nambé’s traditional Acacia wood) and Nambé Alloy, it’s that contemporary take on entertaining you’ve been looking for. Think a little rustic, a little beachy and a little modern. We love.

7. POP Colours Mugs 8. Cabo Salad Bowl with Servers 9. Forte Salt & Pepper Shakers 10. Cheese Block with Knife and Spreader

We’ll be honest, narrowing down 10 of our fave Nambé pieces was virtually impossible, but we know you’ll be heading to Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s to be doing some digging of your own. I mean, who else boasts a seriously stunning concrete collection (hello, Forte) that includes both serveware AND decorative pieces that will leave all of your guests talking? Think classic Nambé Alloy with food-safe lacquered concrete and thermal properties that will keep food chilled. Basically, it’s as functional as it is beautiful and we insist you show your registry some Nambé love.

Head to Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s today to start browsing all of the Nambé goodness, then be sure to check out Nambé in the Macy’s Flower Show from March 26th – April 9th, 2017 in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

the-giveaway

What: Nambé is giving away four (4) 4-Piece Place Setting of their new POP Dinnerware in the color of your choosing! (Ocean, Chalk, Sand or Slate)

How: Simply head to Macy’s to check out the Nambé POP Dinnerware Collection and leave a comment below telling us which piece and color is your favorite! (Ex: I love the Soup/Cereal Bowl in Ocean!)

Who: Four lucky winners, chosen completely at random, will be announced right here on SMP on Friday, April 14, 2016. For terms and conditions, click here. Good luck!

Wedding Registry Trends from Food52

There are some items that are registry givens (KitchenAid mixer, we’re looking at you) but what about the trends of right here, right now? Food52 is sharing their picks that are shining extra bright for today’s brides-to-be. Some are classics that will always stand the test of time and others are just, well, extra special for 2017. Either way, they’re wedding registry winners in our books – take a look!

Long-Lasting Basics

When you find those solid workhorses for your kitchen and for your table, you don’t stray, you’ll be using these pieces forever! It’s never a bad idea to invest in the classics: cookware, tools, glassware, and dinnerware.

Mixed Metals

We’re seeing a lot of glimmer and shimmer these days – copper and brass have an old-school vintage feel while bringing a modern shine to the living room and kitchen. We’re loving it on flatware and barware.

Wood

A touch of wood (without going full on cabin-chic) brings a welcomed warmth to a new home. Sprinkle it here and there with wooden boards and generous serving bowls.

Multitaskers

With minimalism all the rage, couples are paring down their homes. Kitchen tools that multitask (like a baking steel good for the oven and the stovetop) do more while taking up less space.

Registry Save vs. Splurge
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Registry Save vs. Splurge
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Food52

A Gorgeous Berry Color Palette for a Luxe Ranch Wedding

Leave it to Joel Serrato to photograph one of the most striking weddings I’ve come across in quite a long time. No surprise, the equally amazing Smith + James Events was behind the planning and design, playing up the beauty of Santa Barbara in a serious way. There’s no question, Christine and Joshua’s berry-hued love affair is worth every last second spent in the gallery.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Ranch

From Tory Smith of smith + james events… Christine was an amazing bride who put a lot of trust in us to make her wedding day beautiful. Her one request? She wanted color – which we were thrilled to hear! At smith + james, we approach every wedding we design by first taking into account the venue and its surroundings. It’s important that all the details make sense within the environment and don’t feel forced or out of place.

The San Ysidro Ranch is a warm and inviting hotel set among the lush, Mediterranean-inspired Santa Barbara landscape. This setting played a major role in our inspiration and we ended up going for a refined yet organic feel. Santa Barbara is a town of unpretentious luxury, and we wanted to bring that vibe to the decor. We went with textural, elegant florals in vessels of wood and glazed terra cotta evocative of the area. We were really happy with the way the whole day came together and even more thrilled to have been a part of Christine and Josh’s love story.

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Photography: Joel Serrato Films + Photographs | Floral Design: Heirloom Design House | Hair + Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Calligraphy : Anne Robin | Venue: San Ysidro Ranch | Paper Goods: Amber Moon | Planning + Design: Smith + James Events | Tabletop Rentals : Casa de Perrin

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