Thursday, September 12, 2013

Updates and things to come

It's no big secret that I haven't been into blogging lately.  My mom asked me the other day if I still had "that blog". Yep, sure do.  It seems like instagram is the new blogging. Many of the blogs I read (and love) are posting less and less.  I'm convinced it's because everyone is on instagram telling folks what they're eating, seeing, doing, watching, decorating, etc instead of blogging it.

We moved into a new apartment and have been getting settled.  I'm also preparing to begin my internship in October.  Oh, and planning a wedding.  This next year is going to be crazy. Plain and simple. I'm trying to think of it in baby steps and taking each thing little by little.

I remember someone saying to me that a year and a half was too long to be engaged. I'm starting to agree. It's a lot of time to change your mind about colors and details.  Pinterest can be the devil. So I'm committing to a few things.

I'm set on coral and navy...with touches and details of navy and white stripes. But not that dusty coral. A bright, fun coral.  I know I want lots of white hydrangeas and pink peonies.  I'm hoping to incorporate a good bit of fun details and signage.

Wedding inspiration: 

via 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

I found my wedding dress! I tried on a lot of dresses. A. LOT. The one I ultimately picked is nothing like I thought I wanted. But I love it.

We are still undecided on a rehearsal dinner venue. So please, send me your recs for good restaurants/venues in Wilmington. We're thinking maybe The Balcony on Dock but aren't totally sold.

I started watching Breaking Bad in July. Like everyone else and their mother, I'm now addicted. Now is probably as good a time as any to mention that I watched the entire season 1 of Orange is the New Black in 2 days. Couch po-tay-to for the win.


So, I blogged.

Hope your Thursday is going just swimmingly.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Hello there!

So, I took a little (unintended) break from blogging.

Let's see. Lately...

This wedding planning business is a beast.  Instead of blogging, I've spent most of my free time perusing Style Me Pretty and the I love Southern Weddings Magazine website.  There's a whole lot of pretty out there.

Recently, we finished up our marriage prep course at a local church we're trying to get involved with. The church offers this class for engaged couples that meets once a week for about 2 months. The classes cover lots of topics and provides time to meet with the pastor.  We have truly gotten so much out of it. They also set you up with a mentor couple within the church.  Our mentor couple is kind of the best. They are such a shiny-sweet-yet real example of a Christian marriage. Every time we leave, TG and I are both all "Man, I want to be like them when we grow up".

I digress.

We are also on the hunt for a new apartment. Chicago apartment hunting is kind of tricky and once you find a place you have to act quickly.

I added the bloglovin' link in case you're dealing with the end of Google Reader like everyone else in the blog world.  Why mess with a good thing? Anyways, I'm actually enjoying the bloglovin' app and how easy it makes it to read blogs from my phone.

We had a little car accident last week. Someone pulled out of an ally and smashed one side of TG's car.
So, I'm back to enjoying the sights (and smells) of public transportation for a bit.  If I'm being honest, I've sort of missed taking the El to work and enjoying coffee/reading each morning.

Summer has finally set in around Chicago.  However, today doesn't really feel like it. I believe it's like 65 degrees right now. So weird. Either way, the festivals and patio dining are in full force. We're hoping to enjoy some outdoor time over July 4th and this weekend.

I have exactly one month until my vacation with my family in NC. That week we all spend together at Ocean Isle each year is heavenly.

I miss the south a little in the summertime. And a whole lot during Chicago's winter. (We're coming back for you one day, NC!)

Anyways, I'm hoping to get back into some sort of regular blogging. I still very much enjoy reading blogs and hate getting into ruts.

Oh! If you have any unique rehearsal dinner ideas/venues, I'd love to hear them. We're trying to nail down a place in Wilmington but after seeing so much pretty on Style Me Pretty... I'd like to find something a little more unique than a restaurant.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Katie's Wedding Weekend

One of my best friends, Katie, got married a couple weekends ago. Her wedding weekend was beyond gorgeous and just perfect. 

I headed down to Wilmington on Thursday and joined the other bridesmaids at Katie's parent's house.  It was so great that we were all able to stay together as we got ready for the big day. It made the weekend so much more relaxed and fun.  

The weekend was sort of a blur.  I kept thinking about how quick weddings go.  Months and months of planning boil down to like 6 hours.  I really want to be mindful of this on my own wedding day so that I can enjoy every moment to the fullest. 

Rehearsal dinner on the water at Bluewater Grill. 

Getting ready at Blush salon before the ceremony


Trolley ride to the ceremony

Bridesmaids post-ceremony

Katie was absolutely stunning, duh.

I snapped this shop as we were getting ready before the ceremony. Love the look on her mom's face!

The reception was held at the Surf Club at Wrightsville Beach.  Plenty of dancing, good food, a Pinterest worthy cake, plus color coordinated macaroons. Such a fun wedding weekend. It was pretty perfect! 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Brain Dump

On the wedding front...things are moving right along! We will be getting married in Wilmington, NC on May 30, 2014!

As much as I enjoy looking at can be a bit overwhelming.  It is equally amusing as I've come across some really strange wedding ideas. (Camo wedding bands, hunting save the dates "the hunt is over!", and plenty of lame "He stole my heart, so I stole his last name!" type stuff).

I'm in the process of working on a wedding website and finishing up our registries. So those things will be checked off soon.  I've been really surprised to find that there's not that much to do early on besides picking a date and venue.  I keep feeling like I need to be doing more but there's so much that you can't do until closer to the date.

I've been loving I love Southern Weddings Magazine.  Can't get enough.

I'm heading down to NC this weekend to go wedding dress shopping.  I can't wait to spend a few days with my family.  The following weekend we will be heading up to TG's lake house with friends to celebrate Memorial Day.  It will be so nice to finally get some sun. My skin is so very pale at this point. Fortunately, Chicago is supposed to really warm up (hopefully for good) tomorrow!  If I've learned anything about this city it's that you've got to take advantage of every single day during the summer. Winter is no joke up here.

As with any trip down to NC, there will be eastern NC barbeque...Anne's donuts...and a trip to Furbish.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Dish on dishes. (Registry help)

We went on our first registry date this weekend. TG was totally on board and participating but then gradually got bored.  I don't think we went to our first registry date prepared.

Every time I look at dishes, I'm paralyzed with fear that I'm going to choose the wrong China pattern.
Yes, I realize how absurd that sounds. And yes, this is what I talk about these days. China patterns. Centerpieces. Gah, even I'm a little annoyed.

So. I need some help. Married/Engaged folks: Tell me what you registered for / what I can't live without / the best items.

Also, is 4 places too many places to be registered?

Help me, Internets.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mexico, Charleston, & Springtime!

Hi friends! I have been bad about blogging lately. I've been crazy busy.

Let's recap, shall we?

A week after TG and I got engaged, I got bad news about the internship site I had secured back in December.  They backed out of working with all of their interns for the upcoming summer due to "transitions within the organization".  So, I was in a pickle and have been scurrying around trying to find an internship.  Again. It has been beyond frustrating.  I'm a planner and very type-A, so I don't love when plans change at the verylastsecond. Even though I have had to push back my internship start date, it looks like the new site (a hospital) will work out. Fingers Crossed! Prayers Up!

In March, we took our trip to Mexico for TG's Dad's 50th birthday celebration.  When we stepped out of the airport and into that warm air....I swear my soul was replenished.  Chicago winters are for the birds.  We had such a fun time spending time with family and friends.  Bonus points for the hotel pool/beach bar staff who made mean skinny girl margaritas. I read (The Family Fang), napped on beach chairs, and ate plenty of fish/shrimp tacos/ceviche.  TG's stepmom chartered a yacht for the day on Saturday which was fun.

More Mexico pictures to come...but iphone pictures for now.

Hopefully I don't look so...awkwardly positioned in the other pictures from the camera.

On the way back from Mexico, we were 2 of 7 people on the flight so everyone sat in business class. Win.

A few days after the Mexico trip, I ventured back down South to Charleston, SC for Katie's bachelorette party.  We rented a house on Isle of Palms.  We had such a great time together...complete with cake, party garland, and coozies.  We went out for dinner at Cypress (delish) and then out on the town on Friday night.  Saturday was rainy but we ventured out to Poe's Tavern for burgers.  Katie's maid of honor had some really hilarious games planned that included a video Q&A with the Groom/Jeopardy.

 Group shot minus Tess

Gray joined us during our bar crawl downtown. 

I flew into the charleston airport but decided to ride back with my friends to Raleigh and fly out of RDU.  This gave me the perfect window of time to visit with Amy & Joslyn.

I'm excited to stay put for a couple of weeks and enjoy Chicago as it welcomes spring...and hopefully some warmer temperatures.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We're Engaged!

After 5+ years of dating, TG and I are engaged. 

Earlier last week TG asked me if I wanted to go grab a drink at the Peninsula hotel on Thursday night.  The Peninsula bar is one of our favorite cozy bar spots in the winter (complete with a big fireplace and leather couches).   I actually texted my sister earlier in the day that I thought he might propose but then quickly dropped the idea.  Later that day, a mini blizzard turned my 20 minute commute into an hour.  We spoke on the phone and decided it wasn't a good night to venture back out. 

I arrived home to a very clean apartment and TG sort of pacing around the kitchen.  The next thing I knew, TG was down on one knee in our little kitchen saying the sweetest things about our life together and asking me to marry him.  I was in total shock.  And in lululemon leggings and a t-shirt (my glamour knows no bounds), I said yes. 

TG broke out the champagne (the good stuff) and we spent the next hour calling our friends and family.   My sister was first on my list of people to call, obviously. And then my parents and on down the line.  
 After talking to my grandparents, I cried big tears.  
Once I pulled it together (and showered!), we ventured out in the snow to the Chicago Firehouse for dinner and celebratory cocktails. 

TG told me later that he decided against proposing at the Peninsula after remembering that while I am a fan of fancy libations, I am not a fan of drawing public attention. True story.

With the snow coming down hard outside and two pups by my feet, it could not have been more perfect or more us. 

Sorry for the terrible iphone picture and lighting combo

So yep, we are getting married. 
And we're just over the moon excited!

So are these two guys...
but they're sort of into their own love business, yes?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Bailey McCarthy's Houston Home in Matchbook Mag

The new issue of Matchbook Magazine went live yesterday.  Bailey McCarthy's (blogger behind Peppermint Bliss) Houston home was featured. I've read her blog for a while and have loved her other work so I was uber excited to see the Houston house.  After all, we share a mutual love for Beyonce & Chicago.  She is fearless with her design...and it pays off.

You guys.  It's so good.  

I don't think I've stopped thinking about this bedroom since yesterday.

Or this kitchen.

Go check out the rest of her insane house!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Brain Dump

I'm finally getting around to this little blog again.
I spent the entire weekend and Monday in bed with the flu.
On account of my sickness, we had to cancel dinner reservations at The Carriage House. Boo.
Luckily I had 2 seasons of Parenthood, lots of green tea, and plenty puppy snuggles.
And a very sweet boy to keep me company.
I tend to be a little on the dramatic side when I'm sick but, TG was a good (and patient) nurse.
He kept my cup full. (I love Sprite Zero when I'm sick--Aspertame be damned!)
He made CVS runs (3 kinds of medicine, the aforementioned Sprites, Vitamin Waters, & Chicken Noodle Soup, crackers...)
That romantic roommate of mine was on point.

Parenthood is definitely the most underrated show on television. So good!
We're planning to start watching Homeland soon since most everyone raves about it.  I'm also curious about The Newsroom. Am I missing any other must sees?

Have you seen the Vine app? I can't decide if it's fun or a little creepy.

We've had really yucky weather in Chicago lately.
0 degrees with a -12 degree wind chill...rain....snow...dreary...repeat. No fun.

Living in the South my whole life, I definitely took the warm days sprinkled throughout the winter months for granted. If you live in Chicago in January and February, you kind of survive on the hopes of sunny days, street festivals, and al fresco dining.

I'm already looking forward to some upcoming trips (and warmer temperatures) we have planned.
TG and I have a Mexico trip coming up in March.
Almost immediately after that, I'll be heading down to Charleston, SC with some girlfriends for Katie's bachelorette party.  So much fun in store.

How do you beat the winter blues?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Two of my good friends from college, Tess and Amanda, came to Chicago this past weekend. 
Festivities included a dinners at Ada Street & Paris Club. Brunches at Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba & The Bongo Room.  And lots of drinks in between.
But the real treat was the company. 
We all became fast friends through the forced fun that is often part of pledging a sorority.  Towards the end of first semester, I moved out of my dorm and into the spot that Tess’ roommate had left.  Then came the real fun. I cannot think about that time period without thinking of two twin beds in a cozy little room in Fletcher Hall. Late night dance parties. Dressing up for themed socials (revenge of the nerds was likely the best, although 70s was a close second). Staying up late and sleeping all day. 
Fast foward two years and I was sharing a room in the sorority house with Amanda. Some good talks happened in those peach colored walls. Along with a few good cries over an ex-boyfriend who now seems so irrelevant. (Funny how that happens).  We took on leadership roles as vice-president and treasurer. After all, this was only natural for two type-A gals with an affinity for being bossy.  On that same note, I'm reminded of a regional sorority conference where I dressed up as our national advisor using most of the pillows in our room. Ahem.  
This weekend, 7+ years later, and for about the 1000th time, we once again picked up right where we left off. So much has changed but the good stuff (and the stuff that counts) has stayed the same.  Two (almost 3) master’s degrees, multiple cities, and one engagement later, here we are. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Christmas, New Year's Eve, and in between!

The past couple of weeks really flew by.  The holiday season always seems like a whirlwind to me.  Before heading to North Carolina, TG and I went to Next for dinner.  His parents gave us tickets as part of our Christmas present.  This menu was Kyoto. While I thought it was good, I have to admit that I liked the Sicily menu more.  My flight wasn't until late Saturday night so Saturday was spent doing last minute shopping around Chicago. (read: fighting through crowds of tourists on Michigan Avenue).

There really isn't a better feeling than when my plane touches down in NC.  I get so excited that I usually can't sleep on the way there.  How ridiculous is that? 25 years old and I still get overly excited to see my Mom.

One of my best friends from home, Amy, picked me up from the airport just after midnight so we could have a sleepover.

My time in NC is always far too short...but some fun times were had.

In matching pajamas

Sister time and some seriously good food (per usual) at Grandma Louise's. 

Snuggles with Ritz. 


Before leaving NC, I squeezed in time with some of my favorite friends. 

New Year's Eve was spent up in Wisconsin at the lake house with plenty of snow...

...and plenty of champagne.

Unfortunately, by midnight we had already changed into comfy clothes.

I hope your Christmas was filled with family, friends, and as much love as mine was.  Happy New Year!