Wednesday, August 23, 2017

3 Reasons You Should Read When Dimple Met Rishi

Hey guys! Checking in chat about our July book club pick, When Dimple Met Rishi.  Did you read it? Did you love it? We've got 3 reasons why you should read it if you haven't!

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.
Again with the Diversity
Jen Says:
We seem to have a trend lately of picking books with more diverse people.  People who are different than us and it has been such a joyful experience.  I loved falling into Rishi & Dimple's world as two Indian Americans trying to navigate the coming of age, defining who they are and trying to decide which parts of their culture is important to them and how to incorporate that in their lives.  We all tend to want to do things a little differently than our parents do and that can be hard waters to navigate through.  Ultimately parents typically want their children to be happy, but life doesn't come without strife. 
Heather Says:
I've really loved our recent trend of picking diverse books. I don't know if it was exactly intentional, though I am always interested in diversifying my reading. I think there's been a huge explosion in YA especially with adding in more diversity and I am here for it. It was super interesting to read about Indian culture and how two teens interpreted their families expectations differently. As someone who is now a parent and moving further away from my teen years, I related to the parents wanting what is best for their children, but I also remember how fiercely you want to carve your own path in this world  when you are in high school. When Dimple Met Rishi perfectly captures these feelings. 
Love Big or Go Home

Jen Says:
 I think we all struggle between listening to our head and listening to our hearts.  Trying to figure out what makes the most sense, what is the most logical and whether it is the right time.  Love is crazy, messy and honestly doesn't always make sense. Sometimes it hits you out of nowhere and when you are least expecting it, even if someone is pulling strings in the background the way both Rishi's & Dimple's parents were.  I loved watching the two of them stumble through the falling in love regardless of parental interference.  I love how even though the timing wasn't necessary perfect, they still through caution to the wind and loved big and hard.

Heather Says:
I seriously love how Dimple and Rishi were able to explore to possibility of falling in love at the "wrong" time. They are in the summer before they leave for college and Dimple has zero plans to fall in love any time soon. Then here comes Rishi who believes he is walking into a an arranged meet up that his parents set up. I think we all assume love will come along at the perfect time but honestly it seems like love is ready to pounce when it's exactly the wrong time. It felt so real and organic watching their relationship unfold, first as friends and then taking that next step towards a relationship. 
Rom/Com Feels
Jen Says:
In my opinion, this book is the recipe for the perfect romcom.  It's quirky, fun, cute and really silly at times.  You have your classic "SOMETHING IS GOING WRONG" moment and then the perfect make up and a pretty great ending. Friends, this is definitely one of those feel good books that help me escape from the horrors of the real world with ease.  This is a perfect, summer, sit on your porch with some lemonade (or some wine) and read until the sun goes down type of book.
Heather Says:
I literally just watched You've Got Mail for the first time a few days ago and this book has all the pieces for the perfect romcom. The first meeting is hilarious and awkward. Then there's the friendship that blossoms into more eventually. Like Jen said, this is such a fun, feel good read. It was the perfect summer read and I felt like I was smiling and laughing the whole time. 


Bonus photo of the girls who loved the cover of the book and wanted to recreate it with their own Starbucks. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

4 Wedding Planning Tips that are Saving my Sanity

I am in the thick of wedding planning right now and I'm def hitting some wedding planning fatigue. It can be an overwhelming process. I used to wonder why people hired wedding planners, but now that I'm planning my own wedding, I totally get it. It's a lot to do on your own (even with input from your partner) and it can be easy to lose the fun of the process. I don't want this blog to be super heavy on the wedding talk, but it's one of my favorite things to read about (even before I was engaged). Here are a few things that have been saving my sanity in the craziness of wedding planning. 

1. Take lots of breaks 
Look, maybe it's just me but I can get really overwhelmed with wedding planning. The industry has this crazy inflated cost associated with it so while you have an idea of what you'd like, it doesn't always line up with your budget. For me it was photography. I went to school for it, I follow a lot of photographers, I know what I like. So when I started looking at prices and realized that my 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th choices were way out of our budget, it got really overwhelming and upsetting. It helps for me to step back and put a hold on all wedding planning when I recognize those feelings starting to overwhelm me and stress me out. Just closing out of Pinterest or wedding websites or emails and just breathing is my lifeline. If you look at any wedding planning lists online, I'm behind on booking vendors and planning in general, but it's fine. Don't let what is supposed to be a fun, amazing day celebrating your love turn into a thing that stresses you out and makes you cry. Take a step back as needed you beautiful starfish. 

2. Balance the fun with the tedious 
Guys, when finding vendors you are going to be sending so. many. emails. Like an insane amount of first contact emails and it's so tedious to feel like you are just non stop emailing people trying to get price lists to see if this person fits into your budget or if you have to keep looking. Not only first contact emails, but once you do find a vendor or two you want to move past the initial price list, you have a lot of back and forth emails with the vendors to decide on little details. Just typing all that felt tedious. This kind of ties in with taking breaks, but when things feel more tedious than fun, I like to work on the fun things. Bachelorette party ideas, songs you want played at the reception, honeymoon ideas, pinning all the things that catch your eye. All of those are fun things make for a nice balance to the millions of emails you will be sending while nailing down details. 

3. Think outside the box 
The biggest stressor for me so far has been finding vendors that fit into my idea of what I want at my wedding while still being within budget. The one vendor we have is the ceremony/reception venue (including the bar package the venue provides). It's an indie art gallery in a part of St. Louis that Jarrett and I spent a lot of time in when we were dating. At first, we spent a lot of time looking at traditional wedding venues and being really discouraged by the price tag attached. Most of them had really expensive bar packages and restrictions on catering options, which for me is big since I'm vegetarian and a foodie so I want some really delicious food at my reception. I randomly came across our venue on Instagram and was really surprised that it fit what I was looking for. It had an affordable bar package, which was important since we wanted to pay for an open bar for at least a few hours of the reception. It has an open catering policy, they flip the space, we have an inside space that can be decorated as we like and we don't have to worry about back up plans in case of rain. All of the vendors I have loved and clicked with have been something that wasn't listed on The Knot or Wedding Wire. They are cool people doing cool things that aren't necessarily a traditional "wedding" thing. There's an insane markup when you add "wedding" to something so looking outside of the traditional wedding box has been the best thing I've done. 

4. Wait for that gut feeling 
I've spent a lot of time looking at places that are beautiful and great. I've talked to a lot of people who are doing amazing work in photography or videography or catering. But not all of them have given me that gut feeling that this is the thing for us. So many things have been great but with our ceremony/reception venue, it was this instant gut feeling that "Yes! This is the thing!" It hit all my boxes being something that was in budget but was also not super popular. I'm from a small town and all the weddings I've been to have been basically the same. At the same local-ish winery, the same DJ, the same basic formula. While I am not trying to throw shade, I didn't want something that was the same as every one else in town. Holding out for that zing in my gut has helped me feel like I'm creating a day that perfectly celebrates our relationship without compromising. I think all anyone wants is for their day to feel like it's 100% special and reflects you as a couple. Don't settle for something because everyone is doing (or has done) it. Wait for the things that make you feel excited and like this is the exact right decision. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Trends and Confidence

Hey friends! In Missouri, where the weather can extremely change in the course of minutes, I feel like we are always trying to predict the weather and completely failing. I'd heard fall was going to be super warm and late this year, but someone else I've talked to had heard completely different that it would be coming early for the Midwest but late for the west coast? IDK, what is going on, but it's only like 70 today with no sun so I kind of feels like fall which I'm always cool with, yah know? Basically, fall is always our jam but I think it's safe to say Heather and I aren't quite ready to embrace fall weather quite yet.  We both have some great summer wardrobes we are still rocking.

Lately, I've become a sucker for trends. I don't know if its because I'm becoming more immersed with being a fashion blogger and want to be up to date on all the cool things or if it just helps me feel young by embracing new things? IDK, but man, my love for trends is growing and growing. This spring/summer a couple of big trends have been funky sleeves and block heeled slides. I jumped straight into both trends and I could see them both sticking around for a few seasons. I've never been much of a heels person but block heels really make heels so much more manageable. I've bought at least 3 pair of sandals. I also have started doing just a bit of fall shopping and found 2 pairs of block heels on sale in more of a fall/winter style of shoe.  Different sleeve styles are fun and can really transform a look from sporty to girly and romantic. I usually always pair this jumper with a striped shirt and converse so I feel trends help push my style into directions I wouldn't normally push it myself.

We took these pictures back in June (I think...July was a crazy month ya'll) and it's almost surprising to me how confident I look wearing this outfit.  I probably struggle the most with my confidence, especially in social situations, so it's nice to see confidence actually shining through.  I'm sure that is partly to do with it only being the two of us during outfit shoots and I feel the most comfortable with Heather but I would like to think I own part of that confidence. Dressing loud, so to speak, or wearing outfits that aren't necessarily mainstream, tends to draw attention which can be good and bad for my shy heart. It helps me interact with people I wouldn't normally while pulling me out of my little protective shell which I cling to at times.  But sometimes that attention is unwanted and can make me feel slightly defensive about my personal style. 

I also have issues with my confidence with my personal style among my peers. I will forever be comparing my outfit to the all the peers around me which tends to make me even more indecisive about picking out my outfit. I'm trying super hard to stop comparing myself and my style to others and to just own my style. This is easiest on the weekends at home with my husband or hanging with my bestie. I'm always a work in progress.

Outfit Details
Top {H&M} / Jumper {Forever 21-similar} / Slides {Forever 21-only available in black} / Cactus Purse {Forever 21-sold out} 

The weather has cooled down so much since we took these photos in maybe June? It's been awhile y'all. I'm currently enjoying having my windows open until it decides to heat back up. This outfit was kind of a surprise for me. I don't usually tuck in my tops and haven't worn a mini skirt since 2009 so I was pleasantly surprised by how cool I felt in this. I also loved how flattering it ended up being. I love the way clothes can change your mood.  I've been in a little bit of a confidence drought lately. I have been eating like crap, which makes me feel like crap, and at 30 the weight just doesn't fall off the way it used to. For me, it's been important to focus on loving my body and realizing that eating better and exercising is a form of self care. I'm not losing weight because I hate my body but because I love it and I want to treat it right. 

No matter how I feel at times, I think it's super important to always project incredible self love for my children. They love to poke my "squishy" stomach and arms, but I always just try to tell them how cool it is that our bodies are all different but are capable of amazing things. I was talking with some friends recently about how crazy it is that we absorb things from our parents that carry over into adulthood and usually it's body hangups. It's so important to me that my kids celebrate all bodies and love the one they have, no matter what. 

Loving my body is a work in progress. Something I'm working at constantly, and often feels like a "fake it 'til you make it" kind of deal. But I love myself and I love the way I look in this outfit. I love expressing myself with the clothes I wear. So here's to celebrating our bodies and loving every second of it. I already feel kind of jazzed after this pep talk. I'll be here all week! 

Outfit Details 
Tank {Target} / Skirt {AE} / Shoes {Forever 21} / Singlasses {

Monday, August 7, 2017

July Rewind

I spent July catching up on the super sweet series "To All the Boy's I've Loved Before" by Jenny Han. It's a trilogy and it's sweet as hell and I literally recommend it to everyone.   It is the most perfect of light summer reads. Also, as I was reading it, the movie was announced so now I feel too cool for school having already read the series.

Ya'll, Game of Thrones started back up this month and has big a BIG deal in my house. I've also been watching some Pretty Little Liars on Netflix. I used to watch the show and then got away from it but now I'm interested in it again since the finale aired not too long ago. I'm still also obsessed with Beverly Hills 90210. Oh, also, if you get a chance, HBO has a pretty killer special on Dr. Dre and Jimmy Lovine which I highly recommend. Any type of biographical show/movie is my jam.

I'd like to tell you about this great new podcast I'm listening too but I'm still very much absorbed with Best of Friends podcast. It will forever be my jam and I just don't know if I have time in my life to listen to multiple podcasts that are currently putting out new material. There just isn't enough time!!!

Also this month 
I took an entire week off in July which is pretty out of character for me. Work life has been stressful but taking time off might have been just as stressful? The first couple of days I felt super high strung about it but I was able to mellow out and get a pretty good chill on.  I thrifted, ate out a bunch, cuddled kitties constantly, read and crafted to my heart's content. It was pretty great.

So my birthday is right after the 4th and I literally did nothing to celebrate it. I'm not super big on JEN SPOTLIGHTS so being center of attention can be literally some of the most anxiety ridden times for me.  Spending the day at home in my own little world was the best way to spend the day. But in case you are curious, I am now 31 which seems a lot older than 30 for some rea 

Porch Life
So, I've been spending a lot of time just hanging out and reading on my front porch in the sunshine during the days or watching the sun go down at night.  I even busted out some of the lawn furniture to make my time more comfy and cozy. I'm planning on leaving it out through the fall so I can cuddle under a blanket as I read in the evenings. Our street is a little noisey, but I still find it so peaceful.

Two books really grabbed me this month. The first was Surpassing Certainty: What my Twenties Taught Me by Janet Mock, which I read for feminist book club. I loved reading all about Janet's mistakes and growth in her 20s as she navigated the world as a trans woman. It's a perspective I don't have a lot of experience with so it was eye opening and I related to a lot of the struggles Janet went through, specifically about marrying young to someone in the military. I also really liked The Fact of  a Body by Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich. It was pretty heavy, part memoir and part true crime, it examines the case of Ricky Langly, a man who struggled with pedophilia his whole life before murdering a 6 year old boy in 1992. The book goes over the case while also examining the authors own experience with sexual abuse by a relative when growing up. See, heavy shit dudes. Even with the heavy subject matter, it was captivating and a deep look into a case that I had never heard of.

I haven't been watching as many things this month, if only because by the time I get home from work, eat dinner, and maybe workout, I'm ready for bed. We did spend a weekend watching all the Paranormal Activity movies, which get worse as they go on but still have those jump scares that get me. We caught up to the current season Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which was Jarrett's pick for our short tv show we watch together. We just started Bojack Horseman for my pick since I've heard a lot of good things about it and so far I'm into it. 

I haven't listened to many new things in July. I have been looking forward to the weekly installments of My Dad Wrote a Porno, which is the funniest podcast ever. I am trying to catch up on My Favorite Murder and Breakfast for Dinner, two podcasts I am usually current on but am currently pretty far behind on. 

Also this month 
One Year memorial 
It feels impossible that it's already been a year since my mom died. My sister Stephanie flew into town (she lives and works at the Grand Canyon) so I was able to be together with both my sisters to do something to mark the year. Our mom was cremated and her ashes have just been sitting in my junk room (I know, I know) but we got some small urns so we could each have a part of the cremains and then had a biodegradable urn that we used to plant a tree with the remainder of her ashes. It wasn't much but we were together and it felt like the right way to spend this weekend. 

Lake Days 
Jarrett's sister lives in Iowa and rarely gets to make the trip to Missouri so when she was able to plan a trip to spend some time at his dads lake house, we made time to make that happen. We always have a good time at the lake and this time there was a new jet ski and some kayaks to take out on the water. It was a blast being able to swim and be on the boat and just be active for a few days. Plus it was great to get to build relationships with his niece and nephew that we don't get to see. His niece is also named Morgan, so we had a Little Morgan/Big Morgan thing happening all weekend. 

Back to Work 
I went back the first week of July to my full time job after being on a leave of absence. I was so anxious about it, but I've been feeling really motivated and excited to be back, which is kind of surprising. It reinforced for me how beneficial the leave was for my mental health and puts a spotlight on the work I've done to make myself well again. I definitely feel this sense of hope and belonging that I kind of lost touch with before. I've been building new relationships and working on reaching out more and not isolating myself which is my go-to reaction when I'm deep in depression. So yeah, all good things happening! 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

June Rewind

Full disclosure: I just realized this was sitting in our drafts, so I went ahead and posted it, even though our July rewind will drop tomorrow morning. Enjoy all our favs from June a little late!

The new Giant Days debuted in June and I immediately devoured it. It's my absolute favorite and I wish the frequency of releases could increase. I also read Fireworks by Katie Cotugno mostly because it felt like a seasonal read and I like it pretty ok.

GLOW! If you haven't caught this show on Netflix yet, postpone your life and binge. It's full of strong ass wrestling broads who aren't afraid to throw a cunt punch or two. Wrestling reminds me so much of roller derby which I'm obsessed with. I've also randomly started the original Beverly Hills 90210 and am currently getting a majority of my fashion inspiration from these very experienced teens.

Chris D'Elia has a new comedy special on Netflix. I always remember the fun fact that he is Justin Bieber's favorite comic. Anyway it was pretty ok. I would also recommend the Stand-ups - a comedy series on Netflix. It's a mash up of several different half hour stand-ups. It was pretty greattttttttt.

Also this month 
Discovered Poshmark
I know I'm late to the game which is pretty on brand for me but I'm pretty into this amazing app. I bought a couple pair of vintage shorts and a pair of acid wash jeggings and I feel kind of addicted to searching for vintage treasures. I'm hoping to gain the courage to attempt to sell some of my cast aways.

Garment making continues
So I haven't really lost any steam in the sewing department. I made a couple of skirts and a dress this month. My new goal is to do some refashioning from thrift store finds. Already got my first refashion all planned out and thrifted. I just need to buy the additional supplies.

I used to write stories all the time. Until recently I haven't really had any ideas but I've been tossing an idea around my brain for a bit and I feel like I'm getting closer to putting a pin to paper or at least start making notes on my phone. I know this is super vague and dream like but I feel like coming up with a solid idea is worth celebrating. 

This month was all about the library books. Highlights of my reading binge would be Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway, Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud by Elizabeth Greenwood, and South and West by Joan Didion. All were completely different but held my attention. I'm on a real Joan Didion kick lately and can't wait to pick up some more reads by her soon. 

The month of the binge watch! I am going back to work at the beginning of July (probably by the time you read this) so I tried to finish up as many tv series I've been watching on Netflix. I was able to catch up on Pretty Little Liars before the finale so I could watch it with my sister. I also started and finished The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and season 5 of Orange is the New Black. I loved them all so much, but I think Kimmy Schmidt really hit it out of the park this season (I still have "Boobs in California" stuck in my head). 

I haven't been listening to much this month, but I'm cleaning I love to throw on a podcast. This month has been all about My Brother, My Brother, and Me with the hilarious McElroy brothers. It took me awhile to get to this podcast, but I have been working my way back through the extensive catalogue of episodes. They constantly make me laugh out loud. The answer listener questions and also read Yahoo Answers questions that can be pretty bonkers. Definitely my new favorite find. 

Also this month
 Wedding Venue booked 
After spending hours researching and one weekend looking at places, we ended up booking a venue that was not on my original list at all. Thanks to Instagram, I found a really cool art gallery in a neat part of St. Louis. The street it's on is a place we spent a lot of time as a couple at the beginning of our relationship so that gives it a little something extra as well. It was definitely a place that we walked into and both felt like "this is it." I might blog about the process a little more, but we will see. 

 Feminist Literary Society meeting 
I've been a member of the St. Louis chapter of the Feminist Literary Society book club since January. Every month I read the assigned books but I have never made it to a meeting. In June I decided that I needed to get out of my comfort zone more so I went to the June meeting and it was such a great decision! I had a blast discussing The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood and met some cool new ladies. I'm really looking forward to the July meeting now too. 

The girls first Cards game 
Jarrett is a huge baseball fan and I'm a huge fan of eating overpriced nachos, so we finally took the girls to their first St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. They loved it! We had nachos and sat in the nosebleeds but it was pretty fun. They thought the mascot Fredbird was hilarious and are still thinking of ways they can meet him. I can't wait to take them again this summer. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

August Small Goals

HEY HI HELLO HOW IS IT ALREADY AUGUST? I accidentally hit caps lock but I'm still shocked by how fast July went by so I'm leaving it. I feel like I just decided on small goals and then the month was over and I completely forgot to look to see what any of them were. So here we are. I got a pretty decent amount done even without consciously remembering to keep up on them so I'm happy. I went back to work this month and I feel like I spent the entire month just recalibrating my life to being on a work schedule again. I do think I've got a good handle on it now so I am hoping that August has a much better work/life balance. So let's dive in and get to the goals y'all. As always, we are linking up with Nicole at Writes Like a Girl so def. go check out the other goals that some cool ladies are working on. 

Jen's July Small Goals 
1.  Make a jumper.    Jumper is cut out and ready to be sewn together. This month reallllly got away from me.
2.  Go thrifting.   I took a week off in early July and my sister happened to be off too so we had a thrifting day. I found some great brand new jumpsuits from target and a sweet pair of 90s printed denim shorts that are legit my favorite thing right now.
3.  Graphic tee freeze.  Man, I did so good on this one, up until the last couple of days of the month. There was a couple of sales and a very stressful couple of works weeks so I splurged.  I only bought 2 and they were on sale so I think I'm counting this goal completed. Feel free to throw shade my way, I don't care.
4.  Squirrel Girl catch-up.  Soooo, I ordered what I thought was all the remaining volumes just to discover there was one I was unaware of.  I've ordered the missing volume and I reread the first 2 volumes so I'm on the right track to crush this goal in the nest couple of days. This is my main priority this week so goal crushed.
5. Desk quilt.  Ummmm, didn't do great with my crafty goals this month. I did get most of the top finished but I need to add a top and bottom boarder. I'm not giving this one a completed yet, because that would be literally cheating.

So 3/5 kinda, sorta completed goals. Don't nit pick me. :)

August Small Goals 
1. Finish Jumper/Desk Quilt.  I'm combining the two goals I didn't complete last month into one goal to hopefully knock out this month. Wish me luck!  I'm also pledging to not start any new projects this month. The starts and finishes are so sweet but the follow through can be hard.
2. Organize Fall Clothing Sewing Projects.  I can't believe how fall is creeping in and I'm actually not even close to ready for it but I am ready to start planning my fall clothing projects.  This month I'm going to try to organize/figure out what my sewing priorities should be for my fall wardrobe. Hopefully I'll purchase a pattern or some fabric to get the ball rolling.
3.  Catch up on Yearly Cross-stitch projects.  I don't know what happened exactly, but most of this month I've felt completely burned out stitching wise. I've done such a great job this year staying caught up on both my samplers and this month I've fell behind. We are entering a new month so new installments are coming and I know holiday projects will be right around the corner so staying caught up feels like a must. 
4. Drywall.  So basically since we bought our house (8 years ago) we've been in a constant state of remodeling, a huge project my husband started. He has decided he hates mudding drywall. I get it, it sucks. However this project has been at a standstill for months....probably years.  My goal is to get the mudding finished to the point we can use the texturizing tool to help cover my imperfections (literally learning as I go). My husband has kind of dropped the ball but at the same time I need to own up to my responsibility to the project. Any helpful hints are more than appreciated.
5.  Clean out Short-Sleeve Shirt Drawer.  I feel like I'm in a constant state of cleaning things out and purging. I was trying to find a shirt yesterday and literally had to dump the entire contents of the drawer out and so many things I saw I am just over so hopefully I can squeeze this in one evening after work out something!

Heather's July Small Goals 
1.  Say yes more This one was hard to qualify but I'm going to say I did it. I joined a Women's planning team at work to plan women centric events, I continued to go to feminist book club, and I've stuck to plans I had with friends. 
2.  Get laptop repaired  Fail. I ran out of time and money to get this done. For now my work laptop will have to continue to pull double duty. 
3.  Yoga 2x a week and Zumba 1x a week  While I did work out semi-consistently, I didn't always stick to this schedule. Zumba classes are hard to get to now that I'm back at work. 
4.  Book 2-3 more wedding vendors So I'm counting this even though I don't have the booking officially done. But I do have some consultations set up with a photographer and caterer in the next few weeks, plus I'm in email contact with a few others. So while I don't have solid bookings, I am working on it pretty consistently. 
5. Celebrate my mom We did it! My sisters and I bought a biodegradable urn and planted a tree with my moms cremains. It was simple but beautiful. It was so powerful to be together and to be able to have this symbolic ceremony with my sisters. 

3/5 goals accomplished 

August Small Goals 
1.  Stick with Couch to 5K I have gained about 15 pounds over the past few months and it's gotten to the point where I'm just not comfortable in my clothes anymore. I started C25K this week and I am meal planning so I'd like to stick with this instead of giving up in week 2 like I usually do 
2.  Do some car maintenance  My poor car. I commute a total of 2 hours a day and it's been so neglected. I need an oil change, my registration needs to be renewed, and it needs a good deep clean too. I might have to replace at least one tire so this needs to be my priority this month. 
3.  Buckle down on my budget  We just paid a large deposit for our wedding venue (plus alcohol since we are paying for some open bar time!) and I had to pay off a fairly large personal debt with most of my emergency fund so I need to buckle down and save as much as I can, especially since we have a trip coming up Labor Day weekend and I'm wedding dress shopping in Chicago at the end of September. AHH! 
4.  Go floating  I haven't been floating on the river in like 3 years. I'd like to try and plan a time to at least go with Jarrett once before the summer is over. Maybe even a girls float trip? Idk but I want it to happen! 
5.  Finish putting together bridesmaid gifts  The most time sensitive of goals, since I have a bridesmaid's brunch planned this weekend for all my local bridesmaids to meet and I have not even started on this. So hi I'm about to spend this week doing some major friend crafting (ACT SURPRISED JEN!) 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

3 Reasons You Should Read The Upside of Unrequited

Hey book lovers! In June we decided to check out The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli. Becky wrote one of our favorite books, Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda (which was a book club pick in 2015!). Simon Vs. is still on my all time favorites list so I think I speak for both Jen and I when I say this book was kind of an automatic “yeah I need to read that.” Let’s do a quick recap on what the book was about: 

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. 

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

So here we are! This book was full of all kinds of squishy goodness. It was kind of a perfect YA read, even if I think Simon Vs. might have edged it out just a little. Becky Albertalli knows how to write really good and realistic YA. Enough gushing! Here’s 3 reasons you should read this book ASAP. 

Diversity like woah

Heather Says:
This book has so much diversity, which is such a lovely addition to the YA world. Molly is a self described fat girl who is looking for love, with lesbian moms and a lesbian sister. He friends make up a ton of different race and sexual orientations. It felt stuffed full of diverse voices while managing to feel authentic to the experiences of young adults who don’t identify as cis white characters (not all of them anyway). I really love reading stories about experiences different from my own, so this was such a positive for me.

Jen Says:

The author did a great job with mixing up different lifestyles and perspectives and the emotions that are associated. Not everyone agrees with things being outside of the norm and the path to acceptance and understanding is devastating and sweet all at the same time. This story felt very true to life which felt unique.

Realistic portrayal of teens 

Heather Says:
I mentioned it above, but the teens in this book felt real. As a 30 year old lady, I have to accept that I’m moving farther and farther away from understanding teens. It’s sad, but this book is one that made me remember what it was like to be a teen. It brings back those feelings of insecurity and friendships that will last forever and the feeling that the world is yours and how intense first love feels. It was fantastic and I liked being able to feel like a teen for a few hundred pages.

Jen Says:
Man, everyday I feel more and more like and old, out of touch, lady who is still the coolest she has ever been, in her own mind. So yea, I don't really relate to teens or their struggles currently. I remember what it was like, but the memory is becoming seriously vague and not so relatable. However, this book really brought me back to those feelings of constant awkwardness and insecurities as well as how all consuming a fist love can be. 

Love Love Love 

Heather Says:
Oh gosh there was so much love in this book it made me feel all warm and gooey. Molly’s moms decide to get married after being together for years, Molly is possibly falling for two guys, and her sister is in her first real relationship. Besides romantic love, there’s a ton of friendship love, which might be my favorite kind. Friends who show up and get you and just love you as you are.  Even love between siblings, where you fight but always have each other’s backs. Gah! Guys, this has all the love you could ever want. It’s fantastic. 

Jen Says:
For reals, reading this book was like filling myself with hot, gooey brownies straight out of the oven. You got to see so many different versions of love in this book. Some where sweet and cute and others were tough and messy. But in the end, love conquers all and people can grow and rise above their preconceived notions of right love and wrong love. Love is just love, yah know?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August Book Club

It's August already and we are here with another choice book club selection. This month we are digging in to A Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. I actually saw this book on Molly's list of the best YA she's read so far this year so of course I added it immediately. Molly is one of those bloggers/people that I just trust when she recommends something. I also had a friend at work say he started reading it so after multiple signs from the universe, I decided to see if Jen would be interested in making this our August book club selection. I'm so glad she said yes, especially since this is a library book and it's due back soon. 

What's it about? 
Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Join us and let's see what they hype is all about!