Monday, July 24, 2017

Honeymoon Dreaming

Wedding planning is so much more stressful that I anticipated. I always kind of thought we would elope to Colorado and get married in the mountains, but after thinking it over more, we decided St. Louis would be more practical so we could include more of the people we love in the celebration. We've locked down a venue, I've found my photographer, and I'm slowly making my way through the other vendor checklist, but I don't want to overwhelm myself by doing too much.  So what is a girl to do when she needs to take a break planning but it's anxious as hell about her wedding? Obviously it's dream up places to honeymoon once the wedding is over.

To me, a honeymoon should be a big deal. Your first adventure as a married couple should be something big and great and super cool. I know not everyone feels this way, but I totally do. It's why when Jarrett suggested Florida I got borderline offended, mostly because he said we couldn't go to the Harry Potter theme park which was basically a Florida deal breaker. WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT THEN?!

So my procrastination has brought you this list of my top honeymoon choices. Since it's not something I can book yet, it's the easiest thing to dream about when I can't work on anything else. Still, I'd love to hear about your honeymoon and basically any advice on the wedding planning process anyone wants to send my way. 



Tulum, Mexico
Photo: Habitas Tulum

Ok so Tulum is probably top of my list right now. I had looked at a few other places in Mexico until I read a blog post by Gala Darling talking about Tulum and basically decided if I go, this is the Mexican hotspot I'm running too. I have my heart kind of set on staying at the Habitas resort, which has an outdoor shower and fancy glamping style tents. 

California Road Trip
Photo by me 

I lived in San Diego, CA for almost 5 years, so I have been wanting to go back to the West Coast since I left basically. I think it could be really cool to take a big California road trip. Starting in San Diego, checking out LA, Palm Springs, maybe even San Fransisco if it didn't take too long. I didn't get to explore too much of California while I was there, and I definitely wasn't a foodie like I am now, so it would be like getting to see a favorite place in a whole new way, especially since Jarrett hasn't spent much time there. 


Pacific North West

I've always had this dreamy love for the PNW. As much as you can love a place you've never been. All the gorgeous lakes, lush green forests, waterfalls, and those foggy rocky coasts. It's a place I've always wanted to go and I think it could be a really cool honeymoon to take if we want to mix a little adventure in with our relaxing. All those pretty hikes might spoil me for life though. 


European Adventure

I've wanted to go to Europe for 10 years, maybe longer. The history that just surrounds a place so old calls to me. European vacation could describe so many different trips. We would most likely take 2 weeks for our honeymoon, so that leaves only so much time to fit places in. I want to see so much, Ireland, Iceland, the Scandinavian countries, England, France, Greece, Spain, Germany, Italy. All of it. So narrowing it down to just 3 or 4 countries would be hard but could definitely feel like the trip of a lifetime.  

Hawaii

I think we would try to hit up Kauai but any of the islands would be a dream. Hawaii fits a honeymoon that has adventure but also a ton of time to chill on the beach, with the added bonus that you don't have to get a passport. It's insanely gorgeous and I have always wanted to go here too (wow, what a familiar theme for this list!) so I think it has a decent chance since Jarrett is wanting to do a more traditional beach honeymoon. Plus I could finally feel like I'm living in Jurassic Park but without the dinosaurs wanting to kill me. 

NYC

New York City is the kind of city that would feel overwhelming in the best kind of way. I want to spend my time walking every where and eating all kinds of food. Petting all kinds of dogs. Adventuring into the subway and hopefully not getting too anxious about it. The architecture and the different boroughs would be so cool to explore. I feel like it's the kind of city that I could fall in love with and still never get to see it all. 

Costa Rica

Something about Costa Rica just calls to my soul. Like Hawaii, I think it would be a good blend of adventure and relaxation. Plus I hear they have outdoor showers and I would totally love to have a jungle bungalow with an outdoor shower. I think I've always had Costa Rica in mind since I saw Jurassic Park when I was little and knew that Isle Nublar was off the coast of it. I'm guessing you've noticed a theme that Jurassic Park was my favorite movie growing up and is unexpectedly informing a lot of my possible honeymoon choices. 


Thailand

You should know that I love a good Thai curry. I have been unsuccessful in creating my own at home, and I've heard so many good things about the food in Thailand. Another place that balances my craving for adventure with the availability with beautiful beaches. It would be such a once in a lifetime experience, so it's one of the ideas that I am leaning more and more towards. It helps that I have a friend who currently lives in Thailand and all of her photos give me major travel envy. While this might be my favorite idea, I think it also might be the least likely to happen, which is kind of a bummer.


Austin, TX
Photo via Tumblr


I follow like an insane amount of bloggers from Texas and I'm kind of in love with the vibe they have going on down there. So much good food, all the cool walls to make Jarrett take my picture in front of. We both mentioned Austin as a place we think we'd love and are planning to go eventually, but it could definitely be the kind of place we spend out honeymoon in. 


Friday, July 21, 2017

Kickin it Freestyle

Hey friends! Sorry we've been pretty silent lately. First I took a week off work and then the following week I had a lot going on at work and felt super overwhelmed, emotional, unbalanced and just not myself.  When I'm not feeling myself, I become even more reclusive than I normally am (which is A LOT). This week I'm feeling pretty great mentally, so hopefully we can get back to consistently posting again.

A few weeks ago, Heather and I got together to do some outfit shoots and we were extreme willy nilly with picking themes so we just decided to do a couple of free styling shoots. Free styling is always so fun, there are no guidelines and we each pick an outfit we our feeling with little discussion between the two of us.  Our picks always end up being very different and I think it really helps showcase our individual styles even more.


I chose one of my favorite rompers to style. Rompers really are one of my favorite summer outfits. It gives the illusion you are wearing a dress, but you don't have to worry about being lady like with your actions.  Rompers bring me alllll kinds of confidence.  They make me feel fancy and comfy all in one go, plus they really do help keep you cool when it's like 100 degrees out.  I have a weird hang up about showing too much leg at work, but I'm working on it. It's just too damn hot for lots of fabric right now.


 
Rompers also immediately take me back to being a kid in the 90s, romping around.  Like most things 90's, it gives me mad nostalgia and I instantly need it.  I've been honing my summer 90's style even more lately with the addition of several pair of mom shorts which give me more confidence to wear shorts at work since they are sooooo long, even when you roll the legs. I think the feelings of "modest work wear" come from the attitudes I receive from people when I'm not dressing according to their version of professionalism. Like I don't know my shit or something just because of what I'm wearing.










Outfit Details
Romper {Forever 21-last season} / Mules {Forever 21-sold out}


Like Jen said, July has kind of been kicking our asses. I went back to work after 12 weeks of leave so it's been a huge adjustment getting used to working and commuting again. I work in a call center which can be incredibly mentally draining. My first week back I basically did nothing besides work, commute, and veg out on the couch. As the month winds down I feel like I'm finding my groove and motivation again. It's been really interesting to see the difference in where I was when I went on leave and how I feel now. I'm doing good, feeling like myself again, heck maybe even better than I was before. 



I have to admit, after I posted about trying Lularoe leggings a few months ago,  I kind of got obsessed and hooked. I was buying things all the time and then turning around and reselling them on Poshmark when the buyers remorse hit and I realized not everything works on my body. It's interesting since it's a company that develops clothes based on modesty, which is not something I would usually say describes my style. A lot of it is really soft and comfortable, like this dress and tee. It's hard to see but the tee has cats on it so obviously I was going to own it. This whole outfit is my jam and feels very "me". It makes me realize the good things about Lularoe (but I need to remember the downside, which is the price point isn't always worth it to me). One of my good friends is just getting started with selling Lularoe, and while I'm so proud of her for trying something new, my wallet and wannabe minimalist tendencies are keeping me from buying any more right now. 

I've been slowly making my way through Nicole's Feel Good, Dress Better workbook and this outfit feels like something that I wouldn't have tried without that guiding me. I'm so excited to dive even deeper into it this weekend. 



Outfit Details 
Mustard Dress {Lularoe Carly} / Shirt {Lularoe Classic Tee} / Shoes {Forever 21} 




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

July Small Goals


June is already over and we are sliding into the back half of the year. June has been one of the best months I've had this year. If you read my post about taking leave from my job, you know I've struggled a lot in the past year. I've finally turned this corner where I feel happy and healthy, which makes all the difference in the world. June was such a fun month. It finally felt like summer and I fit so much in that it flew by. I think summer is shaping up to be the best yet and I have so many fun plans lined up. As always, we are linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl so go check out all the small goals. 


Jen's June Small Goals
1. Frame my 2016 Cross Stitch Project. I literally completed this goal on the last day of the month.  It's even been hung too so it feels like a double accomplishment.
2. Wear Sandals. Man, this one was way easier than I expected it to be. I basically destroyed this goal.
3. Make 2 Garments. Gah! This month flew by and I can hardly remember what I did. I'm pretty sure I made a skirt and I remade my romper. I also made half a dress-the other half I finished just a couple of days into July. Guys, I think I'm counting this one.
4.  Morning Routine. If a morning routine consists of waking up, reading for a spell and getting ready for work, then I completed this goal. However, that wasn't exactly what I was going for so fail.
5.  Join a Sew Along.  Fail, fail, fail! I literally didn't even think about this one.  I must plan out crafty goals wayyyy better.

3/5 is a pretty successful month!

July Small Goals 
1.  Make a jumper.  I have a vintage, 80's-90's jumper sewing pattern that I'm pretty gaga about. I've already ordered the fabric so I'm making this the goal. Hopefully having all my supplies on hand will ensure I complete this crafty goal.
2.  Go thrifting.  It's no secret I'm always into deals and bargains. I've lately have become obsessed with highwaisted mom shorts and have bought a couple of pair of poshmark and ebay.   I feel like these items would be a ton more economical if they were found in the wild instead of someone catering to me specifically online. Thrifting and patience is the goal.
3.  Graphic tee freeze. Guys, the other day when I was putting my laundry away, I noticed my graphic tee drawer is almost full and I still have a couple of outstanding tee orders I'm expecting to arrive later in the month. I need to chilllllll. Time for a break before Halloween tees are tempting the shit out of me.
4.  Squirrel Girl catch-up.  So Squirrel Girl is hands down my favorite super hero but I'm a little behind on the series and I'm ready to make it a priority to catch up.  I try to interject "Eating Nuts and Kicking Butts" as often as I can.
5. Desk quilt.  Ok, so this isn't a quilt I cuddle with at my desk at work, although that sounds seriously amazing. The back of my desk is meant to butt up against a wall but my office set up doesn't allow that. The back is unfinished and unsightly.  My goal is to make a quilt to velcro on the back as a covering.  I want to basically make one row out of my sasquatch quilt to accomplish this goal. I feel like a sasquatch is a great office mascot.


Heather's June Small Goals 
1. Finish knitting sweater front Nope. While I did start on the sweater front, I'm only about halfway done. I overestimated how much time I'd get to work on this in the evenings, but I'm happy I have a solid start on it. 
2. Make a Return to Work plan Done! Only a few more days before I go back! While I have some anxiety about it, I'm mostly ready and excited. 
3. Narrow down wedding venue search Done! Not only done and narrowed down, but we have a wedding venue! It's an art gallery in a cool part of St. Louis that we used to spend a lot of time in so it also is meaningful. 
4. Have a "Girl Day" with Emily and Morgan Done! I was so happy we got to fit in a girl day this month. We went to Target, got some Starbucks, and talked about everything. It was so much fun being together just the 3 of us. 
5. Go camping Nope. I just ran out of time. Plus it got pretty humid here and I don't like sleeping when it's too hot. Maybe I'll move camping back to the fall? 

3/5 goals is pretty solid! 

July Small Goals 
1.  Say yes more I've noticed that when I'm in a particularly depressive/anxious mood, I withdraw from my world a lot, which makes things worse and is super unhealthy for me. I want to say yes to move invitations and hangouts with friends. I'm realizing I need to balance alone time and going out much more than I currently do. 
2.  Get laptop repaired  Guys. My laptop has not been working right since January, which would be a much bigger deal if I didn't have a laptop for work. I need to get into the Apple store and see about getting it fixed. 
3.  Yoga 2x a week and Zumba 1x a week  I've been adding in yoga and a weekly Zumba class with a friend to my routine and I've loved it. I want to keep up with it now that I'm going back to work and will have to get used to working 8 hours again. 
4.  Book 2-3 more wedding vendors  So my wedding venue is booked, the date is set, and that's about it. It's about 9 months away and I need to start booking other vendors. A photographer is my big one. My first choice photographer is booked on our wedding date, so now I have to start that process all over again. Beer me strength y'all. 
5. Celebrate my mom July 28th will mark one year without my mom. This past year has been hands down the worst of my life. Good things happened but my head and heart were in such a bad place for most of it. My sisters will both be in town and we have a mini celebration thing planned, so I'm actually looking forward to taking this day to celebrate who our mom was instead of mourning her. I'm sure it will be emotional, but also cathartic. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July Book Club


Welcome book lovers! We are heading into our 7th book club pick of 2017 and it's been a pretty solid year for book club.  Jen and I have loved the collaboration that's taken place this year and I think it might be something we continue with from now on. About a week before the new month we usually ask each other if we have any ideas for book club. Jen came through this time with two solid choices, both of which I happened to already have on my book shelf. I've been waiting to pick up When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon since I got it, but I've been trying to make my way through a pile of library books so it was waiting patiently on my shelves. Book club gives me the prefect excuse to move it to the top of my reading list and with the long holiday weekend in the US, it's the perfect time for some summer reading! 



About the book

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.