Grace to Create

Hi guys!

Thank you so much for following along with my journey. I have decided to redesign and relaunch Grace to Create. For new posts, please follow me at 🙂


How to Manage BEDHEAD

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[She of the Woods Photography]

Hi friends! I realized recently that I have changed my morning routine a little bit, at least for my hair. I’m not sure if it is out of laziness, or just the fact that I am forever running late, but I thought it would be good to share how I manage the craziness that is the top of my head every day.There is a new company called Casper that makes latex memory foam mattresses right here in the US. Their mattresses are said to be outrageously comfortable, which would certainly make me want to stay in bed even later! So here are a few tips for taming whatever you have going on in the morning;

1.) Accessories

If your hair is being crazy, wear that ridiculously cute hat you bought and thought you couldn’t pull off, or pull it back and tie it with a bow, or use a headband to mask the wackiness. Headbands are in right now; big, small, flower crowns, etc. Try a fun and unique hair piece, and save it for special days when your hair is EXTRA insane 🙂

IMG_8143 IMG_8145 [She of the Woods]

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2.) Blow dry

Even if your hair is dry, you can still use a blowdryer on it! Sometimes hair falls flat overnight or you get half of a wave in one spot. Just use your blowdryer and round brush and smooth out or add volume to the areas that got “weird” over night. Since your hair is already dry it should only take 5-10 minutes and will make a huge difference!

3.) Prep Yourself

If you like to wash your hair at night but you don’t blow-dry, 9 times out of 10 it will be wacko in the morning. Try washing and blow drying smooth before bed. That way you will wake up and your hair will already be more manageable!

4.) Up-do

Check out this post on a few simple styles that are quick and easy. If you don’t have much time in the morning, an up-do is a great way to solve your problem! Plus, there are so many cute styles that are in this year that involve untamed hair.




5.) Don’t touch it!

Messy hair is SO in right now! If it’s crazy, embrace it! Depending on your texture you may need to use the curling iron on a few pieces to make it look more intentional, but that should only take a minute. Let your hair be messy and match it with a fun and bold lip color.


For any kind of smoothing or taming, try an oil or wax. Here are a couple of my faves;




If you’re embracing the messy hair, try a surf/salt spray, or hairspray.




Thanks so much for reading, I hope this was helpful! Go and embrace your crazy hair 🙂 Happy October ❤

Blondes : cool vs warm

Hi guys!

I am so sorry for my absence, I have been so busy with the wedding planning! We are really getting down to the wire with only six weeks left!

Anyways, after writing my last post for the brunettes, I thought it would be appropriate to write for the blondes. I am hoping to clear the air on the differences between warm and cool blondes, and how to get to each one!

Warm Blondes

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Warm = golden, honey, bronzy tones that go beautifully with warm and glowing skin!

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A lot of times when you go from a dark color to any kind of blonde, you lift warm. Your hair has a level to tone system, it has to lift through reds to oranges to yellow until finally you get to that pale blonde. And usually when going from dark to light, I make it a slow transition, so I can stay away from damaging my clients hair as much as possible. That does not mean this color blonde is bad. It can be toned to hopefully neutralize any yellow into more of a pretty golden color, and sometimes can be toned to be more ashy and cool. However, if your blonde is not light enough and it is in the yellow area, toning it with something cool can often make it darker in addition to making it cooler, which doesn’t always work for someone looking to get lighter.

Many girls are looking for this tone of blonde, it is not always just a stop on the way to cooler, brighter blondes. One of my clients is a South County babe who spends her summers at the beach. She has naturally tan and glowing skin, and loves her warm golden blonde hair. And it’s pretty beautiful, if I do say so myself.


Cool Blondes

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Cool = ashy, icy, neutral, pearl tones that go great with cooler skin tones.


The first picture is a before and after of a natural blonde who wanted a brighter and icier blonde. We lightened all of her hair twice over the course of a few months because her hair was healthy and we knew she could handle it. It also helped that we followed with deep treatments 🙂 Her hair was perfect!

You’ll notice from the second and third pictures that “cool” blonde doesn’t have to be lighter. A lot of times it is but you can be a pretty ashy blonde without being as light as my friend Sarah, or myself..


(Sorry for the selfie).

My hair is pretty blonde, but in order to get it to that really icy, almost silver tone, we had to use a Schwartzcopf toner literally called “Ice” and one called “Glacier”. I’m sort of not stopping until I am Elsa.

Which is better for you

Warm blondes go well with warm skin tones; underlying gold, peaches, and yellow tones.

Cool blondes go well with cool skin tones; underlying pinks, blues and red tones.

How to Test Your Skin Tone

1.) Jewelry

Do you look better with gold or silver jewelry? Typically, women with warm undertones will look better with gold jewelry, and women with cooler undertones will look better with silver. Check to see which colors make your skin appear brighter and more alive.

2.) Natural Hair Color

Usually, people with cool skin tones are naturally blonde, brunette, or have black hair with blue or ash undertones. People with warm skin tones usually have natural warm blonde hair, red, or brown/black with copper or golden undertones.

3.) Your Veins

If your veins appear more blue, that is usually because you have cool undertones. If your veins appear more green, you probably have a warmer skin tone.

So remember, if you find that your skin is full of warm undertones you should go for a warm or golden blonde.


If you find that your skin has cooler undertones, go for an ashier and cooler blonde.


Thank you so much for reading! Hope this was helpful for my fellow blondes 🙂 Have a lovely Monday afternoon, and happy fall! ❤


Brunettes ; Transitioning from Summer to Fall

Hi friends!

With August coming to an end, fall is right around the corner (how crazy is that?). I wanted to write for my brunette girls. I am always sharing pictures of ombre’s and highlights and reds and not that all of those are not sooo fun, but I never talk about the brunettes! Which is sad, because I am one (shh, don’t tell anyone) 😉

What I want to say first to anyone who is a brunette or looking into being a brunette, is that you should always have dimension, at least in my opinion. For most natural brunettes, you will already have dimension from being in the sun or not being in the sun or just not having any color in your hair. My nieces have these beautiful highlights in their hair that just show up every summer; people pay a lot of money to have hair that gorgeous!

For anyone who is a brunette, there is a great way to easily transition from a beautiful warm summer brown to a rich and cool autumn brown.

A lot of my brunette clients this summer have wanted some balayage highlights or ombre’s. I am still definitely not over either of these trends, especially when they’re done in a soft and natural way. For these girls, I would suggest sticking with warmer/golden tones for the summer. Summer is about being tan and being well rested and wearing less makeup, so match your hair to that. Invest in soft bronzy and honey golden tones.

Colors like this ;

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Here are a few I’ve done this summer ;

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photo 1

For fall, this can actually be a very easy transition!

Stick with your dimension. That should stay all year round 🙂 But go for a cooler tone. Whether you stay at the same level or go darker, your browns should be cooler, icier brunette tones for cooler seasons. These are a few of my favorites;

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To go from summer to winter, just get a glaze! You’ll just need to do an all over color, roots-to-ends, that will tone the honey and goldens to cool ashy colors. If you have any kind of highlights, it would be a good idea to use a different color on the lighter pieces, so you still have the dimension. It’s the perfect way to transition into the next season!

Thank you so much for reading! Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions! Happy season of pumpkin flavored everything ❤

Preparing for the Big Day

Hi friends!

I hope everyone is able to enjoy some Netflix and snuggling on this gloomy, rainy day! I just wanted to take a few minutes to share some more of what has been happening with my planning so far.

I know the wedding is really not exciting to many readers, but it’s something I have been very busy with lately and something I am loving being able to do, so I wanted to share some of my thoughts.


When I was first thinking about this post, I was thinking about sharing how as a bride you should do your best to not get stressed.

EVERYONE I know keeps telling me this. And I agree! But I feel myself getting a bit defensive every time I explain that I really have not been stressed so far. Other people are often times getting more stressed about the wedding than Jon and I 🙂 Perhaps I have even been a little too relaxed.

However, I still have two and a half more months to plan and get things together. One of my close friends is getting married in a few weeks and she mentioned that they have reached a point where they actually are now stressed and just want the planning to end. This is a bride who was more relaxed than any bride I have ever met in the beginning of their engagement. So I have no idea what I will be like a few short weeks before the wedding. So I guess what I am trying to say is, if you’re going to get stressed, at least wait until you’re closer to the big day 🙂

Date Time

Another thing I have realized since being engaged is how important it is to enjoy date time with Jon separate from planning time. I like to throw all of my wedding plans and ideas at Jon at once and then we spend hours discussing the possibilities, and this has been super fun, and sometimes its caused a few arguments, but it’s something we do quite often. In the last month we have realized how important it is to enjoy each others company and take advantage of time together outside of planning. I can’t wait to marry Jon and I am having a blast during this process, but I don’t want to sit at the dinner table our first day of marriage and have nothing to talk about with no planning to discuss.

Guest List

Our guest list has been a little stressful. It seems like every time we get our numbers down our parents, Jon or myself realize another couple or family that we would like to invite. Some people will tell you it’s important to invite who you want to invite and to not worry about other people, but I am a person who really worries about other people. There are so many weird wedding politics that need to be remembered when planning a guest list. And, we are a part of a big church community that we have come to know as family and it is really heartbreaking to think about the members of this community that we won’t be able to invite. Unfortunately I cannot say this hasn’t been a stressful part of our process, but at least it’s been the only super difficult part so far. As far as guest lists go, I have no advice, anyone have anything for me? 😉

Fun Stuff

Jon and I are a little weird. One thing that I heard multiple times from multiple people was to do whatever we want when it came to details. It’s tradition to have a big wedding cake and hor d’oeuvres and a big meal, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but Jon and I wanted to do things a bit differently.

We are getting married at our church in Providence and sending ourselves and our guests to Newport for a big party on the beach. We are both pretty low key people, so we wanted our wedding to be fun and relaxed. We are having gourmet sandwiches with yummy side salads, and fun and different appetizers. Everytime I tell someone we are having gourmet sandwiches they think I am weird. But let me tell you, these sandwiches are delish! We had our tasting last night and we are absolutely thrilled with the food. Check out More than a Meal catering, they are AWESOME!

We have also decided to have a donut cake for our cutting of the cake portion. We won’t necessarily be serving these donuts to our guests, since donuts can get stale quickly, but we will be enjoying them 🙂 Jon is really not a dessert person but he is incredibly weak when it comes to donuts. We are going to order some delicious treats from Allie’s Donuts and shove them in each others faces for all of our guests to see ❤


Jon and I are on a bit of a budget. We aren’t going crazy for our wedding but we want to make sure that our guests enjoy themselves and have a good time, that hopefully they won’t have to suffer from our minimal spending 🙂

There are SO many ways to save money and still have tasteful wedding, at least I hope so considering I am still a couple of months away.

Weddings are definitely not cheap and it all adds up quickly, but it’s also just one day so if you have to budget your spending, remember you’re only going to wear that dress for a few hours 🙂

I bought my dress at David’s Bridal for $99, and I am in love with it. We’re going to hire Stop&Shop to do our flowers because they’re incredibly reasonable and they do a beautiful job. We are lucky enough to share life with many creative and wonderful people who have graciously given us some awesome deals.

AND we are saving a whole bunch of money by getting married in the fall (off season) on a Sunday. That actually isn’t even why we chose that particular time or day but it just worked out for us wonderfully!

It also helps to find a venue where you can choose your own caterer. This requires a bit more work but it is a great way to save money. Many venues make the majority of their money from food and if you find your own caterer you can look for one within your price range, let them know your budget, and edit your menu accordingly.

If you are on a budget, be wise, it is only one day. It will hopefully be one of the best days of my life, but I don’t want to go into debt because of it.

If you’re not on a budget, go crazy 😉

Enjoy your Man

My poor Jonny has seen some of the worst parts of me during this planning process, and during our time together in general. I am so very lucky to have a man who loves me and treats me with such kindness and respect. Every day I remind myself to love him well, in the way God created us to love each other, and to let him know how much I appreciate him. I would love to encourage all brides to remember this, to love your men, and let them know how much they mean to you.

I am still two and a half months from my big day, and I know there is a lot to come, but I am trying my very best to enjoy every minute of it, because I will (hopefully) only get married once 😉

Here are a few shots from our engagement shoot because our photographer is amazing and we love these photos! Check out She of the Woods immediately!! ❤

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SheoftheWoods - MaddieJon-73 SheoftheWoods - MaddieJon-64

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SheoftheWoods - MaddieJon-7 SheoftheWoods - MaddieJon-6


Thanks so much for reading, happiest of rainy days ❤

And, please check out Dropcam’s #PreppinForTheBigDay campaign!


National Lipstick Day

Happy happy happy National Lipstick Day! What a beautiful thing to celebrate.
I just wanted to share a few of my faves today! Nothing crazy but it’s time to enjoy a product I hold near and dear to my heart 😉
I love lipstick, and I love to mess around with many different colors. It’s a great feeling when you find the right color for your skin tone and an even better feeling to be bold and rock a really bright color.
Anyways, enjoy, my top lip picks. Celebrate well today and go buy a new color, you deserve it ❤



[From left to right|Snob, Impassioned, All Fired Up, Flat Out Fabulous, Up the Amp, Heroine, Cyber.]
Happy Tuesday ❤

Mrs. Mancuso

Hi guys!

I just wanted to share a few photos from a shoot I did with my friend Jen. Let’s be honest, I’m no She of the Woods, but I like to snap a few pics now and then. I wanted to take pictures of Jen because first of all, she is stunning. Secondly, she has beautiful hair and it has been so much fun playing with her color every time she visits.

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Jen has been red FOREVER so it was a little bit easier to make her color brighter and bolder once I got my hands on her hair. We just decided to add some of the copper recently to change things up a bit. Jen is the cutest and she is super fun, she needs to have beautiful and bold hair to match her personality ❤

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I am always thrilled with how Jen’s hair comes out. It literally  ALWAYS looks good no matter how she styles it! Not all of us are so lucky 🙂

Thanks for reading and checking out a few of my shots! Jen was the perfect model and I am so lucky to have this beautiful lady in my life!