7 Months to Go Until Our Big Day!

7 Months to Go Until the Big Day!

I can hardly believe that today means seven months to go until our big day. When we set our date way back in June for July 2015 I thought, “Wow, July is so far away!” Now I’m thinking, “Seven months, really?!” Though honestly Nick and I are killing it at this wedding planning game. So far I’ve kept the stress sessions to a minimum and am really enjoying the whole thing (except for paying for it of course). I also think we’ve done a good job of keeping in mind what are priorities are. We want the day to really feel “like us” and have kept that in mind with every decision we’ve made. Here’s what’s happened so far:

Seven Months to Go Until the Big Day!

When I look at this way, we’ve gotten a lot done in three months. I’d have a hard time picking a favorite part right now. Maybe getting my dress at the most perfect little bridal shop outside Philadelphia (seriously, my mom and I were the only clients all afternoon!). Or it could be our engagement photo shoot and how our amazing photographers captured us so perfectly. I also loved asking the girls to be my bridesmaids. See? I am really enjoying the wedding planning process! Which is good because there is plenty left to do:

7 Months to Go Until the Big Day!

When I look at that list I start to get a little overwhelmed. My mom has been amazing as well in helping keep me on track and doing some things I wasn’t sure about, like finding a great and affordable florist. Next month we’ll be going for our tasting at our venue and I’m itching to start on some crafts. Stay tuned for another wedding update next month!

Tis the Season for Some Christmas Beer

Tise the Season for Some Christmas Beer

The time I have been waiting for all year has finally arrived: it is Christmas beer season! While every “craft beer enthusiast” was losing it over the multiple taps of pumpkin beers throughout the fall, I was just counting the days until they released the winter holiday beer. The typical Christmas beer is not so different from the much loved pumpkin beers: ales with lots of spices. The spices this time are the spices of your favorite holiday cookies and treats like nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. These beers taste like a night curled up watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with a roaring fire going in the fireplace. Or a rowdy ugly sweater bar crawl sloshing through slush-filled city streets. Take your pick.

Tis the Season for Some Christmas Beer1. Sly Fox Christmas Ale // 2. Full Sail Wassail // 3. Brooklyn Winter Ale // 5. Breckenridge Christmas Ale

Tis the Season for Christmas Beer1. Shiner Holiday Cheer // 2. Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale // 3. Lagunitas Brown Shugga // 4. Flying Dog K-9 Winter Ale

Unfortunately the Christmas beer season is really short and most of these beers will be off the shelves shortly after the new year begins. Anyone up for a Christmas beer tasting party?

Monday Links to Love

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Another Monday and my second to last one until winter break! Ah, 6 1/2 days stand between me and 10 days off. I’m pretty sure I can do it but, darn, this time of year is rough. I really just want to be in pajamas watching Christmas movies and drinking 5 cups of earl grey a day. But until then, here we go Monday!

* 10 fabulous but relatively unknown American spots. Woohoo Wildwood!

* How interesting: where young grads are choosing to live now

* “You’re exactly where you need to be”: what Melyssa of The Nectar Collective learned from her first yoga practice

* Funny but true: 15 things you’ll find in every fashion girl’s apartment (just check instagram if you don’t believe me)

* What little girl didn’t want to be a rockette when they grew up?

* Another dream job: going inside the Lush factory in Vancouver. I want a sticker with my face on it!

 Having a bad day? Struggling through the holiday season? Just need a little something extra? Watch Billy on the Street’s fabulous Christmas caroling with Amy Poehler. You won’t be disappointed.

Wearing: The Not-So-Ugly Christmas Sweater

The Not Ugly Christmas Sweater

The Not Ugly Christmas Sweater

The Not Ugly Christmas Sweater

sweater: jack wills, jeans: f21

Last year for Nick’s birthday we organized an ugly sweater bar crawl with our friends. I borrowed an old sweater belonging to my Dad that I always considered an ugly sweater because I had always viewed it as an ugly sweater. It is mixed red, yellow, green in a thick wool with some weird holiday designs. Wouldn’t you know that two different girls told me how cute that sweater was? Okay, so I have trouble nailing the ugly sweater deal but that just goes to show that I have an eye for cute Christmas sweaters. Which is how I picked up this Fair Isle beauty from Jack Wills. The verdict’s still out about Jack Wills; this British company is like a strange J.Crew/Brooks Brothers/upscale Urban Outfitters hybrid with British flag motifs everywhere and super short dresses. But I kind of like this sweater, it’s a nice wool for the holidays, and it was a bargain so why not? You’ll have to tune in later to see if I find anything else there.

There are no ugly sweater parties on the holiday party radar for Nick and I. Actually the holiday season has been pleasantly quiet so far. I adore seeing friends and family over the holiday season but, after hosting parties the last two years in our tiny apartment, I am more than happy to just hang out with Nick and enjoy our holiday decorations in peace. We have also unfortunately left much of our Christmas shopping until now. I’m a planner and try to pick up cute gifts throughout the year but not this year. So maybe it’s good to stay off the party circuit, for this year at least.

My Holiday Home

My Holiday Home

Our tree officially made its appearance the Saturday after Thanksgiving and for this I have no regrets; time to get our holiday home ready!. These holiday days are simply flying by and before you know it I’ll be dismantling the tree and putting it back in its box. Or maybe in the dumpster because after all the difficulties we had with the tree this time, we vowed to grab ourselves a real, live tree next year. Which will hopefully mean we’ll be in our very first house next year! But this is what we’ve got for now, an artificial tree that we bought together the very first Christmas when we started dating.

I simply love everything about the holidays because it is all about traditions. Nick and I have spent the past six years creating our own traditions born out of traditions with our families. One of my favorite traditions from my family is always buying an ornament from the tree on any trip we take. Nick and I have done the same and we have guitars from Nashville, a crab from Maryland, a gingerbread ornament from Longwood Gardens that’s still kicking three years later. We love to take them out of the box, carefully unwrap the tissue, and saying “Where is this from? Oh!” We inevitably get lost telling stories from all our travels. I can’t wait to pick up more ornaments in 2015.

A new tradition for Nick and I is decorating. Of course our families decorated the house for Christmas but now it’s our turn. I wish I could go all out but Christmas decorations are expensive. My deal is I would rather have more money for presents than go broke on holiday decor. Plus a small space means small decorations. Thank you, Target, for your sweet Christmas decoration section that wins every time.

My Holiday Home

My Holiday Home

My Holiday Home

My Holiday Home

My Holiday Home

My Holiday Home

My Holiday Home

I am so happy to have a small home to decorate and make cozy this holiday season. I love also getting the chance to make traditions and new memories as Nick and I build our own little family, just us two. So excuse me while I go cozy up under the twinkle lights and listen to She&Him on vinyl.

How are you decorating your home for the holidays?

Our Engagement Pictures

*Totally image heavy post and I don’t even care*

Back in October Nick and I did one of my favorite wedding things so far: taking engagement photos! I think I’ll probably say every wedding-related thing is my favorite thing. While there have been stressful bits here and there overall I am just so excited by everything. Since I’ve been pinning to a wedding board for more than 3 years prior to actually being engaged I think it’s safe to say I am ready and willing to plan this big day with my love.

Now back to the engagement photo shoot: Nick and I met our fabulous photographers, Mary and Roy, in Philadelphia because, where else? Philly is such a big part of our love story that I couldn’t imagine taking pictures anywhere but there. We chose to take our pictures in the Society Hill section of the city because it always feels so quintessentially Philly: brick row homes, wrought iron fences, cozy and secluded boxwood gardens. It’s the Philadelphia of your history books. We had the added benefit of it being October with golden tipped trees and dusty leaf piles. Seriously, I have to let the perfect photos speak for themselves.

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Philadelphia Engagement Photos

Monday Links to Love

snow drive

* Literally food for thought: how can we get better food (and some cases food at all) to low income families? A great article about using online grocery buying to support the neediest

* The coffee house revolution is coming to Philadelphia and I see many cups of coffee in my future

* Instagram is an interesting medium (people get famous using it?!) so I’m liking this Inside Instagram series on The Glitter Guide

* It’s time to travel in 2015

* Blame it on “lumberjack chic”: L.L. Bean can’t keep up with the demand for their famous duck boots

 * A hilarious read: The Secret Life of the Tiny-Dog Dog Park

Wearing: My Holiday Boyfriend (Jeans)

My Holiday Boyfriend Jeans IMG_28792

 

jeans: target, top: LC at Kohl’s, blazer and wedges: f21

There are many comfortable outfits in my closet because, let’s face it, I’m essentially a homebody. When Nick and I do go out, we frequent the same bars and restaurants full of people we’ve seen before so I’m not really out to impress. I haven’t gone so far as to wear sweatpants outside the apartment but I’m seriously considering investing in a pair of joggers (come on, they’re really just fancy skinny sweatpants). These boyfriend jeans fall into the category of comfortable but acceptable wear. The only problem is, how do I wear them when the weather gets colder? How do I make them appropriate for real life beyond casual summer bum wear? Here’s how I did it: get a nice tunic blouse, a fitted blazer, and a pair of wedges. The black and white color palette helps too. I can tell you I’m not going to wear this outfit when those 30 degree temperatures hit but for right now when we have decent, beginning-of-winter weather I can still rock my boyfriend jeans.

Tomorrow I will be searching my closet for something comfortable but dressy once again (honestly when am I not) because it’s a very special occasion: Nick’s birthday! We’ll be having a low-key celebration of dinner out in Philly just us two followed by drinks with friends at one of our favorite bars. I always tease Nick about how hard it is to shop for him with Christmas right around the corner. So I end up buying all the gifts at the same time and then struggling to decide which gifts to give him when. Sorry December birthday babies, you’ve got a hard life.


We Took the Road Less Traveled

All I Want to Do This Christmas

christmaswishlist2014

December is proving to be a hectic month already: starting a new graduate class while finishing an old one, fighting the crowds to get Christmas presents, and a rush to get work done before winter break. But I love this time of the year with the lights and hot chocolate and smell of pine in the air. A few years back I realized that unless I made December and the holiday season part of my “to do list” then I would let it pass me by. Since then I’ve made a short list of all the things I want to do before December 25th and try to cross them all off. This is the first time I’m sharing it on the blog and just doing that makes me even more excited for all the fun this month.

What are you up to this holiday season?

Through the Lens November

Through the Lens Link-Up November

It’s that time of the month again: it’s Treats and Travels and All That’s Glittered Through the Lens link-up! November passed by in a blur but when I went through my photos I realized it was actually a pretty great month.

1. Our Save-the-Dates went out the middle of this month, yay! I can hardly believe we only have seven months until we’re husband and wife. So far the wedding planning process has been only mildly stressful and I’m actually really enjoying all the planning. More on wedding stuff coming your way soon!

2. The turkey! Our Thanksgiving celebration was a little smaller this year due to family not being able to come in for the bad weather but it was exciting in that I got my hands dirty in the kitchen a little bit more. Some day I’ll be taking it all over so now’s the time to learn all the family recipes.

3. Nick and I spent a lot of time at our favorite bars this month. I love discovering new places but there’s something cozy and comfortable about a familiar place.

4 . I started to get back in the swing of things in the kitchen. Chopping away at some onions is the best therapy after a day of stressful teaching.

5. It’s always a good month when there’s plenty of me and Nick time. I’ve been neglecting him lately with the beginning of a new challenging graduate class so it’s my goal in December to find a good balance between school time and love time.

6. Starbucks is my new home office.

7. Oh goodness it’s finally sweater weather. It’s a little sad packing up those sundresses but switching up what’s in my closet has made getting dressed a little more fun.

8. Nick and I got a Keurig at our engagement party and I’m enjoying brewing a cup of coffee or tea when I get home. Over the short Thanksgiving break I enjoyed a cup while torturing Nick with Gone with the Wind (“how long is this movie?!).

9. At the very beginning of the month, Nick’s parents threw us an engagement party and people bought us some things off our registry. This new season of our life together is filled with so much love and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

What did you do this November? Join me over at Treats and Travels!

All That's Glittered