Thursday, August 15, 2019

the summer i spent planning a wedding

I'd like to say that I've been relishing in the slowness of summer, but that would be a lie. I haven't thrown a hamburger patty on the grill (or watched anyone else do it, for that matter) or spent a full day on the beach sans lightning bolts and downpours.

Instead, I've been tying up loose ends and booking last minute wedding vendors. Rather than soaking up the hot summer heat, I've been taking my time and trying to enjoy every last second of wedding planning before it's all over in just 58 days.

When we got engaged in June 2018, we had it in our head that we wanted to get married on the anniversary of our first date. It fell on a Saturday in October 2019, so it felt like it was meant to be. With it being over a year away, it would be a long engagement, but I was making approximately $300 a week working as a server, and I didn't feel like I was in any position to start spending money on a wedding just yet.

In truth, I knew that this season of life would never come again, and that I wanted to soak up every moment - the good and the bad. And believe me, there's been a bit of both.

Nearly a week after accumulating a shiny new diamond on my left hand, I was perusing Pinterest and Style Me Pretty, browsing venues, and day dreaming about jewel tone color schemes...before changing my mind sixteen times, of course. When you first get engaged, the wedding world is your oyster. That is, until you realize your oyster prefers to eat all your money instead of plankton.

So we talked it over quite a bit. Do we really need a wedding? Is it worth it? Should we just elope? Hop over to Norway with a travel photographer for some bomb photographs, jet off to the Maldives, head down to the courthouse. After all, we'd been together for nearly five years at the time. Did we need the "show"?

These questions consumed my mind until one morning after I woke up from my first wedding-related dream. We were having a simple backyard wedding. It was dark outside, but we didn't have any lights. I was sitting next to Ryan at our sweetheart table, and I was trying to talk to one of our guests when I realized it was too dark to see them. Then I realized that hardly anyone was there at all. I turned to Ryan and I said, "I guess...I just wanted something more than this."

Strange as it was, that's when I knew. Subconsciously, I wanted a big day, and as it turns out, Ryan did, too. Nothing extravagant, no going crazy over minute details, something semi-small. But nevertheless, a wedding. Now we're 431 days post-proposal day, and I'm less than two months out from having a husband and, you know, being a wife, and claiming that responsibility in front of 100 of our family members and friends, and I am pumped.

I wanted a longer engagement because I knew this time in our lives was going to just fly by, and it has. The Monday morning following my bridal shower, I dragged myself into work with a little less pep in my step because it was one less thing to look forward to in my little wedding world.

So for the next 58 days, I'm going to try to savor every last moment of "being a bride." Every plan, every email, every decision, even when it feels overwhelming. Because to be honest, it's been pretty damn fun...especially all the food I've gotten to eat. 10/10 recommend having a wedding solely to have cake tastings, FYI.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

what's up with the wedding? vol. 3

If you'd like to catch up, here are the links for volume 1 and volume 2.

At this point in our engagement, I'm constantly getting asked, "how's wedding planning going?" 

Usually the question is prefaced with or followed by a statement along the lines of "sorry, it's probably annoying to answer that all the time," but truthfully, I'm enjoying the process. It's crazy to think that our big day is just about four months away! I think starting a new job has made it feel like the year is flying by, and this wedding is going to be here before we know it. We're already less than 100 days away and we've been engaged for just over a year. AH! Here's where we're at now:

Black bridesmaids dresses! I mulled over this decision for a truly absurd amount of time. I initially wanted an ombré of grays, but when I got color samples in the mail and held them up to my dress, I realized that the color palette was completely off. I dabbled around in dark pinks and taupes and considered purples until I saw the photograph above and thought to myself, "yep, yes, YAS black it is!" So I picked a few different options from Lulu's (cheap and cheerful) and the decision was made.

Invitations have been sent: I ordered samples from Minted a few weeks ago, and while I loved the designs and the quality, I just could not get behind the astronomical cost behind an item that our guests will have on their fridge for a couple of months before throwing them away ($300+ after a discount just for invitations...not including cards for details, RSVPs, what have you). A friend of mine told me that she ordered a digital template off of Etsy and used Vista Print to print them. I bought this suite set on sale for $12 and sent them off for printing with Magnet Street for 50% off! They printed beautifully, and I couldn't be happier with the result.

Deciding on a florist: I probably should have figured this out a few months back, as some great florists in my area are already booked up for my date. Whoops! I put this task off quite a bit because, to be honest, it felt like the most daunting. I know next to nothing about flowers, other than they are expensive AF. When reaching out to florists, I initially sent out a lot of inspiration pictures, only to realize that they had no rhyme or reason to them - no set color scheme, different sizes, etc. I'm only getting wedding party bouquets, boutennieres, and corsages, and I've been quoted between $600-$1200! IT'S INSANE.

Honeymoon: we were dead set on an all-inclusive resort. I've never been to one, and because I was in the midst of starting my new job and figuring out how to be an SLP in real time, I knew I'd feel overwhelmed with wedding planning and didn't want to do a bunch of additional honeymoon planning. Alas, safety was a giant concern for me, as was privacy, and a lot of the bougie hotels that I felt met my standards were a few thousand bucks out of our price range. After tons of careful thought and research, we decided on the island of Kauai, Hawaii! We'll be staying at an AirBnb with an absolutely gorgeous view of the North Shore, going on adventures, and exploring the island for six days. Neither of us have ever been to Hawaii and we are so excited!

Ends that still need to be met: cake and desserts, a few decor items, jewelry for the big day, deciding on a wedding band, figuring out our "first dance" song and finalizing the rest of the playlist, choosing our officiant's speech, finding shoes, booking honeymoon activities, buying necessary gifts, booking the rehearsal dinner...okay, not a fan of this list. Turns out I still have a whole lot to do. YIKES.

Hoping to keep you updated as the last few months of wedding planning begin to dwindle. If you have any questions (or words of encouragement, ha!) drop them in the comments!


Friday, May 31, 2019

currently, 2019.

I haven't done a Currently post since September 2018 (what!), and half of this post has been written since April (hence alllll the things in the "watching" section...we've been through a lot!). 

Photo by: Ayana Lage

Here's a wrap up of everything I've been watching, reading, and buying so far in 2019:


Schitt's Creek (Netflix) - I've been hearing about this show for months and months, and we finally hopped on the bandwagon...and we are here for it. Think It's Always Sunny meets The Mick? Super dry humor, which is right up our alley.

Game of Thrones (HBO) - It's taken me a long time to get past the first season of this show. The episodes are a full hour long, and you really have to pay attention to the details, so it can't be one of those "in the background" shows. Once I made it toward the tail end of season two, I was hooked! I don't think I'll be able to finish all the seasons before the new one starts, but I'll get there eventually.

You (Netflix) - First of all, Penn Badgley is my love (fun fact: I met him at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn a few years ago, and he was just as handsome/nice/great IRL). Second of all, I found this show to be so conflicting because even though he was the "bad guy," I was rooting for him the whole time! I ended up reading the book after the show in attempt to get more answers...still a good book, but not helpful. I'd say either read the book first and then watch the show to see it all come together, or watch the show and don't bother reading the book.

Veep (HBO) -  Another one that we have taken forever to get through, but I have no idea why. Serena Meyer is one of my favorite characters on television, and the humor is just so quick and perfect.

The Sinner (Netflix) - (just season one) I haven't moved on to the next couple of seasons because I heard the first one was the best, and also because it's just a lot to take in. Still, highly recommend.

Someone Great (Netflix)- First of all: I love Brittany Snow, so this was an automatic done deal for me. Secondly, this script is just too good. Thirdly, this movie felt so raw and real, and while it's funny, I think it might pull on your heart strings a bit, too.

Dumplin' (Netflix) - I watched this one night during my three weeks off from work, and it's the perfect feel-good movie for a night-in by yourself or with girlfriends. Jennifer Anniston kills it (as usual), but Danielle Macdonald really stole the show

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Netflix) - an oldie, but such a goodie. I can't believe I waited all this time to see it.

Bohemian Rhapsody (Redbox) - I knew a few Queen songs here and there (who doesn't?) but I wasn't super familiar with Freddie Mercury and his backstory. This movie was amazing, and I'd recommend it to absolutely everyone.

The Greatest Showman (HBO) - I'm late on the uptake here, I know, but I'm not always a giant musical fan. That said, this soundtrack is SO GOOD. I KNOW, you already know. Sigh.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Netflix) - I just saw they added this to Netflix, and I'd been searching for it on our steaming accounts months ago to no avail, so you better believe I turned it on the second I saw it was available. It was the perfect background noise to my weeknight dinner making a few weeks back.

About Time (Netflix) - I'm not sure how I waited so long to see this one, as it's right up my alley. I love a good British-based flick already, but add in Rachel McAdams and I'm sold. This storyline was so cool, and I was intrigued throughout. Like a rom-com, but better.

Chernobyl (HBO) - Not exactly an uplifting show, but a necessary watch, as it is 100% true and 100% insane. It's a mini series, so only five 60ish minute episodes. For lack of better words: terrifying.


The Time Traveler's Wife - Late on the uptake AGAIN, I know. I've actually held out on watching the movie all these years in anticipation of reading the book and now I'm nearly halfway through it. It's such a neat concept.

Still Me - The final book to the Me Before You trilogy. I was hesitant to read this after not loving Still Me (book 2), but I devoured this book. I love Louisa Clark as a character, and this story was really well developed and intriguing. 5 stars - highly recommend if you love the Me Before You books!

How to Walk Away - I read this at the beginning of the year, so in truth, I can't remember much about it other than I gave it a 5 star rating on Goodreads!

Matchmaking for Beginners - I wanted to love this book, but I just didn't care much for any of the characters. I thought the dialogue was a bit cheesy and weird, which fell in line with basically the entire story line. It has pretty good reviews, so maybe check it out anyway? I'd pass, but that's just me! 3 stars.

Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-Loop Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood - Ryan bought me this book for Christmas after I pointed it out to him at a bookstore in D.C. (such a muffin, that guy). I adored this book, from Mari's little life blurbs to her beautiful but simplistic watercolor pictures. It was a nice change up from fiction novels. 5 stars.

YOU Read this book after watching the show in hopes that it would maybe answer questions left hanging after the season finale. Alas, it didn't. The writing style was definitely different than I'm used to, but it still had me (oddly) rooting for Joe, even though he's an awful human. I rated it 3 stars, but while it wasn't my favorite, I'd say it's still worth a read only if you haven't watched the show yet. You won't find any unanswered TV show questions by reading the book!

I Liked My Life - Another highly rated book that felt a little bit "meh" for me. The storyline was intriguing, but I think the characters and ending kind of fell short for me. As always, I'd say it's worth taking a look for yourself, but this book just didn't do it for me. 3 stars.


DRESSES! I've rid my closet of things I don't wear so many times that I have next to zero casual summer dresses, and they are a necessity in this godforsaken Florida heat. I just discovered The Mint Julep while they were having a Memorial Day Sale (and you get $10 off your first purchase!) so I scooped up this and this. They haven't been delivered yet, so we'll see how they fit, but I'm excited to give them a try.

Shorts - another Floridian necessity. I've had a lot of trouble finding high quality denim shorts that last (that don't cost a fortune). I scooped up these babies at Levi's last weekend and after a student discount (still using my student ID forever, sorry not sorry) and a 40% off sale, they were only $20! Not sure they're still on that mega sale, though.

Loopy Case - Finally! I typically mull over any purchase that surpasses $25 for at least a few days, but I'd been wanting to make the switch to a Loopy case for months and I have no idea why I didn't hop on the bandwagon sooner. The Honey app found me a discount code for a few bucks off my purchase (code: getloopy...not sponsored!), so it was under $35 for the case and shipping. I got their seasonal periwinkle case with a coral loop and I absolutely love it.

What have you been up to? Any new reads, buys, or shows I should be aware of?


Sunday, May 5, 2019

sunday chats about apartment living

We've been looking at a lot of houses lately.

Not in person; we aren't quite there yet. But with the wedding inching closer, as we begin to unfold the paper map of our future, it feels as though our tiny apartment walls are rapidly closing in on us. Our severe lack of storage space, which we once considered to be "charming," keeping us minimal with our intake of additional knick knacks and clothing, now makes me feel like I'm in a constant state of disorganization. Our proximity to night life, which planted us walking distance to bartaco and our new favorite wine bar, also gifts us obnoxious neighbors and lack of street parking on weekend evenings.

It's been a year and a half since we moved into our humble abode, and I have loved this little space with its original, uneven hardwood flooring, natural light, crown moldings, and french doors. We're a short distance to running alongside the water, first-Sunday-of-the-month markets, and happy hours galore. But as we continue growing, both individually and as a couple, I think we are beginning to outgrow this sweet little place of ours.

I'm ready for a dining room table and real shoe storage. I'm ready to keep our silverware in an actual drawer as opposed to an IKEA bar cart. I'm ready to have a few extra feet away from our neighbors, with walls thick enough the guy next door doesn't activate our Amazon Echo every time he shouts "Alexa?" to his own.

Our lease isn't up until just after the wedding, and we don't want to rush the house-buying process, as we don't want to end up with something we don't absolutely love...which could mean signing for an extra few months, if needed. But all in all, we are ready to move on up, and move right on out.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

list of happy, pt 12

My last list of happy was posted two years ago. If you haven't been poking around these parts for that long, my "list of happy" posts are just that: things making me happy lately. 

- Three day weekends, every weekend. Four day work weeks are my jam, and they certainly lessen the Sunday scaries. And yes, even though I love my job, I still get the Sunday scaries.
- Watching Schitt's Creek with Ryan on weeknights. If you haven't started watching this show, ohhh my god (reference...if you know, you know) you need to start watching this show. It's kind of like It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia meets The Mick? So good. Plus, you can't beat 25-minute episodes.
- Our dwindling wedding countdown. 179 days, and I cannnnot wait. A dwindling wedding downtown also means a dwindling countdown until our honeymoon in Kauai! But in all seriousness...I am so looking forward to being able to call Ryan my husband. Even typing that out is so strange, but SO EXCITING.
- Upcoming travel plans. Colorado this weekend, Nashville in September, Hawaii in October. As much as I love a good routine, breaking the weekend mold with a little getaway is the best mental refresher.
- Going bare-faced...well, almost. Since starting at the hospital, my go-to makeup routine involves mascara and a little eye-brow touch up...and that's about it. Maybe some concealer if I'm afraid of scaring the kids with my zombie-like eye bags. I feel more confident in what I look like, and now putting on a full face of makeup for weekend shenanigans feels like a treat.
- Meeting my best friend's son 24 hours after he was born...that was a moment for the books. I didn't think babies could make me emotional, but I literally cried in the hospital room.
- Playing word games on my phone with my grandma, a cup of English tea in hand.
- Closing out my evenings with a few pages of a book.
- Waking up and realizing you still have five hours of sleep before your alarm goes off.
- Leaving work 45 minutes earlier than usual, which means getting home 45 minutes earlier, and getting to go for an evening run outside before the true Florida heat kicks in.

What's making you happy lately?

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