Tuesday, December 24, 2019

live from christmas eve

Coming at you live from my couch on this Christmas Eve morning. I worked a whopping one day of this holiday week yesterday, and I'm kicking off the rest of this six day holiday weekend while watching The Nightmare Before Christmas (I finally caved and got Disney+) while sipping coffee with peppermint mocha creamer. Florida is uncharacteristically chilly for this time of year, hovering in the low 60s with gray skies, and because I relish in this weather, I am loving it.

It's easy to get sucked into a game of comparison this time of year. She's getting that for Christmas, they're going to a ski lodge for the week, how did he get that much time off work, we didn't go to any Christmas parties and they've been going to one every weekend. Even now, as I'm writing this post, I thought to myself, "did we even do a whole lot to celebrate this year?"

For us, this Christmas has been an accumulation of little moments.

- setting up the tree just before Thanksgiving while watching The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
- buying peppermint mocha creamer
- hanging up multicolor lights in our bedroom and flickering white lights in the kitchen
- breaking out the Christmas coffee mugs
- making Oreo truffles for a holiday cookie exchange
- decorating my office with wintery window decals
- holiday shopping with my best friend and her sweet little babe
- having an ornament exchange with the best coworkers
- taking pictures in front of a giant Christmas tree in Savannah with my husband
- eating alllll the Christmas cookies...all of them
- watching my favorite movies like The Family Stone, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Love Actually.

Gift wise, Ryan and I are keeping our exchange low-cost this year. Gift giving is kind of weird as a married couple - his money is my money, and vice versa. We both agreed that our honeymoon in Hawaii was the best gift we could have given each other. Our hope in the new year is to buy our first home, so our financial focus is geared more toward that than presents this season. Who knows, maybe we'll be hosting the holidays this time next year?

Alas, I'm talking about Christmas like it's already over, even though it's just getting started. We're heading down to Fort Myers to visit my in-laws today, where I plan to drink prosecco with rosemary garnish, whip up a fantastic Christmas breakfast, and enjoy our first Christmas as a married couple.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas (or a happy Hanukkah)! What are your plans for the holiday? Any last minute shopping to do?


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

our wedding day: getting ready

On October 12, 2019, I woke up thinking, "it's finally here - my wedding day." Nearly 500 days since Ryan proposed, we were about to get married on the six year anniversary of our first date, just steps away from the popular Italian restaurant where Ryan and I shared awkward but charming get-to-know-you banter while I had spinach in my teeth.

For getting ready, it was important to me for us to have enough natural light for photos. I'd looked into nearby AirBnBs, but I really wanted to be central to everything and everyone else in the hotel block, so I opted to book a suite at the hotel. With two beds, a couch, and a little balcony, we had plenty of room to spread out and get ready. Most importantly, we had a small kitchenette to suffice our snacking needs throughout the day.

One of my bridesmaids, Stephanie, stayed in the hotel room with me the night before, and it wasn't long before hair and makeup knocked on our door at 8:45 a.m. to start setting up. I began to set up plastic champagne flutes, Trader Joe's apple cider donuts, and pancake bread for my bridesmaids and family, though we didn't actually pop any bubbly until about 10ish (likely for the best!). My bridesmaid Jaime's husband scooped us up Starbucks + brought in our Publix lunch (popcorn fried chicken nuggets, sandwiches, and fruit) about a life saver.

Before long, all six of my bridesmaids + my mom and mother-in-law were in the thick of getting ready. Robes and gifts had been distributed, and everyone was dressed in dusty green florals. The room smelled of hairspray, Lizzo blasted through a "beer can" speaker, and every five minutes someone mentioned "I can't believe it's finally here!"

I was so excited to get ready alongside my girlfriends - it's a big reason why I had a larger amount of bridesmaids. I couldn't imagine not getting ready with everybody, and I really wanted cute robe photos (because, duh). In truth, we were a little bit behind schedule. Everyone else's hair and makeup touchups went about an hour late, which cut into our "getting ready" photo time and made everything feel a little bit rushed at the time. By the time everyone was finished, I was already supposed to be at the venue doing my first look with Ryan. I tried not to let it stress me out, and ultimately, it didn't. I think that's what makes every wedding day unique - the unplanned twists and turns and mishaps always make for good stories.

Even so, we got a lot of great "getting ready" photos, thanks to our wonderful photographer, Emily Mathewson. If you're in Florida (or even if you're not!) I highly recommend her. She did an outstanding job, and I feel like I gained a friend in the wedding planning process!

And of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't share some "getting ready" photos from Ryan's side of the day. He looked so handsome! I felt like one lucky bride...and I suppose that now I'm one lucky wife!

I'll be sharing more in the coming weeks! Be on the look out for our first look, the ceremony, and reception pictures. I can't believe this day has already come and gone, and I love revisiting it.


Friday, November 29, 2019

thanksgiving wrap up + my black friday buys

Happy Friday, guys! I hope you had a wonderful, fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday. We woke up at 5:45 a.m. to head over to our local Turkey Trot for a 5k (yes, we're that couple, but not in a competitive way...we just like the tradition!). We park at my best friend's house, walk over to the race, and then head back for cinnamon rolls afterward every year. Following the race, we posted up on the couch at my parents' house to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with a few mimosas + coffee before helping out with the holiday feast. I made ham and Trader Joe's cornbread stuffing, and drank some wine, of course. It was our first Thanksgiving together as a married couple, and we're hoping we'll get to host for the first time next year in our new house (that we don't own yet, but try not to think about it).

Now that the holiday is over, everyone's mind is on to the next...Christmas! And Black Friday shopping.

It's so easy to over-consume this time of year. In truth, all of these sales have beens stressing me out. I know Black Friday and the following weekend is a good time to stock up on gifts for other people, but there are actually a lot of things we've been needing to replace (e.g. our living room rug, things from our registry, a new couch), plus I'm working on adding more "quality" items to my wardrobe (and donating not-so-flattering items), so it is very overwhelming when "all the things!" go on sale at once.

Still, I've tried to be mindful about my purchases, and we did make a few. Here's what I've gotten my hands on thus far (note: these may contain affiliate links, which means I'd make a few cents or a few bucks if you choose to purchase through my links)...

What I've Purchased:

Curvy High-Rise Skinny Jeans in Moreaux Wash - marked down to $89 from $128. Not a "steal" by any means, but I've heard great things about these jeans and I'd love to see if they're actually worth it.

The Perfect Vintage Jean in Ainsworth Wash - same price as the curvy jeans. I don't have a pair of jeans in this wash/style so I was interested to see how I like them.

Samsung 65" Class RU7100 Smart 4K UHD TV - our television recently gave out on us, and we're borrowing one from Ryan's friend in the meantime. We were planning on waiting until we bought a house but figured there's no time like Black Friday, so may as well splurge! Samsung didn't link through ShopStyle, and Target has it at the same price we bought it for, but we used Rakuten and ended up getting $70 cash back after our welcome bonus.

Rib-Knit Cuff Chenille Open Cardigan (A New Day) - okay, I bought this earlier this week, but only after I spent a few days mulling it over and I love it so much. I already had it in black from last year, but I bought it in red (PS: it is absolutely not red - more like a dusty pink) and I got it for my sister in blue which is such a pretty color. For $20, this comfy little guy is well worth the buy.

Definitely recommend using Rakuten if you haven't tried it, especially if you're a big online shopper. I ended up getting an extra $5 back from buying those jeans at Madewell, too.

What I'm Thinking About Purchasing:

Furbo Dog Camera - It tosses treats to your pooch through an app when you're not home, and you can see all of their whereabouts! HOW FUN.

Marled Funnel Neck Coat - After all the deals, it's less than $70 which is a cheap thrill for a seemingly good coat! We're going to Savannah in two weeks and I don't have a cute "fashiony" coat...just an army green puffy one from Columbia. Debating on if I really need it, but it's tempting...

Have you bought anything this weekend? What's peaking your interest?


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

working to live vs. living to work

I'm not exactly a career driven person.

I'm not even all that motivated by money. When I was a server at a restaurant, I'd rather have the weekend off to spend with my family and friends than make $200. Well, I'd rather not deal with checking fake IDs and dealing with sassy college girls, but that's beside the point.

Photo by Jessica Arends on Unsplash

Now, don't get me wrong. I want to make money. Life would be easier if I had more money (or would it? as they say: more money, more problems). And I love my career - I want to be the best speech pathologist I can be for my patients, and I'll happily research and complete my continuing education units to get there, but it isn't my end-all-be-all.

In a world where being your own boss is the new dream job, I sometimes feel out of place when I say that I'm happy with there I am. I truly don't mind working for somebody else. I'm okay with having a routine. I'm okay with having a job where I take PTO, because that means I can be "all done" when I'm all done. I'm okay with going to work, working hard, and then going home to my regular life.

I find success in my career every day. Small success, big success, sometimes life changing success, and I absolutely love it. But when I go home at night, I want to be home. I want to spend time with my husband, read a book, write a blog post, snuggle my dogs. While I value my job, I also value my personal relationships and my mental state.

It's kind of funny - I've had trouble finding lifestyle podcasts I can resonate with because of this mentality. I feel like they're all targeted toward those who can't seem to find the balance. I've always thought, "well, maybe I'm not motivated enough to care, or I'm doing something wrong - I don't care enough, I'm not busy enough." But that simply isn't the truth. I don't think I have it all figured out, but I do have my priorities in line. They just might be different from all the entrepreneurs I follow, and that is perfectly fine.

Maybe I don't need influencers and podcasters to tell me how to rest. Maybe it's okay to know how to rest - and to do it frequently. We don't all have to work ourselves into the ground to be considered successful, and that doesn't make us "less than," nor does it make us any better.

All I'm saying is, in a time where busyness is glorified, where side-hustling is the new craze - it's okay if that's not your vibe. It's okay if you're working for somebody else. In fact, it's okay if that's all you ever want or care to do.

It's okay to be okay with just one cup of coffee per day.
It's okay if you're not all that worried about the state of your to-do list.
It's okay to say "all done" 10 minutes before you're really supposed to be all done.

Maybe I'm the only one who needed this come-to-jesus moment. But I want to share my recent thought process regarding this topic, just in case you needed to hear it, too. What are your thoughts on this topic? Are you a work-to-live or a live-to-work type?


Monday, November 11, 2019

post wedding + honeymoon ramble.


This is the first time I've actually sat down with the intention to write a blog post in a long, long time. I've thought about it. I've wanted to do it. I've had things to write about, as much has gone on in the last two months since I've posted. But here we are, nearly halfway through November, and while I've never felt so disconnected from this space, I'm going to attempt to find my flow. And we all know that any good flow begins with a disorganized ramble, so let's begin.

+ We got married on October 12, 2019, exactly six years after our first date. Months and days and hours of planning behind us, we finally had our wedding day at our dream venue on a beautiful night, surrounded by family and friends. It wasn't perfect - there were things I wish I remembered to do, things I wish I had done differently, things that went wrong - but the majority of it was perfect, for us. Much, much more to come on this topic!

Photos by Emily Mathewson Photography

+ We honeymooned on Kauai (in Hawaii) for six days. OH. MY. GOD. SWOOOON. Kauai has our hearts forever. It likely changed us forever. It's the kind of place where you feel so far removed from your usual hustle and so enamored by nature that you either, a) forget who you are a little bit, or b) find who you are a little bit. 10/10 recommend. If Hawaii has only "kinda sorta"been on your bucket list, move it up to the top.

+ We are in the process of buying our first house together. Well, we are in the very early stages, but we finally secured a real estate agent, and we're scoping out neighborhoods with purpose. I love our cute little apartment in the middle of everything, but I do not love our neighbors, and I do not love our lack of backyard and closet space. We're ready to move on up and out!

Hopefully you'll see a bit more of me around these parts. Now that I'm done with wedding planning, I'm itching to get back into a hobby - more specifically, writing. Love you, mean it.

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