LJO to LJK: Five Months to Go!

The fact that it is already time for another wedding planning update blows my mind–we started our engagement with 17 1/2 months till our wedding date, and while it felt like forever at the time, I can hardly believe how quickly it is going. I think the holidays are going to make this month speed right on by, and I get butterflies just thinking of putting up my 2015 calendar! I’m pretty happy with how much I accomplished this month, the major task being making a huge list of EVERY thing we need to do before May. Even though it’s pushing 120 items long, having it all organized and in one place is a huge relief!

striped bouquet ribbonSpindle Photography via Southern Weddings–one of my favorite recent weddings!

Completed in November:

  • I wrote our master to-do list and Dave organized it in a handy spreadsheet
  • We received our wedding monogram and invitation proofs!
  • I talked with my sister about bridal shower inspiration
  • We went on our church Engaged Retreat
  • I bought a few fun details and bridesmaid gifts, thanks to Black Friday sales!
  • We placed our lighting/draping order
  • We visited the venue for my Syracuse bridal shower
  • Mrs. Kirk bought her dress
  • My dad and Mr. Kirk bought their suits
  • I amped up my pre-wedding workout routine

On our list in December:

  • Go try on our wedding rings!!
  • Book our wedding night hotel
  • Book honeymoon hotels (we’ve booked one of four so far!)
  • Finish reading the book of possible ceremony readings from our church with Dave and choose the ones that mean the most to us
  • Order supplies for a DIY project
  • Work with our stationer on our invitations
  • Continue to collect small details (a few are on my Christmas list!)
  • Continue to work out regularly and eat healthily, even through the holidays
  • Schedule a big planning meeting with Fearrington for January

December Goals

Hooray, it’s December!! After a very joyful (and snowy!) Thanksgiving in upstate New York, Dave and I are back in NC and have already decorated my apartment for the holidays, lit the first candle on our first Advent wreath, and watched Elf–a perfect start to this month of prayer, celebration, and family. December has also always been my favorite month to blog, and I am extra excited about all of the holiday posts I have planned–some of which I’ve been dreaming up since last year! Before diving in, here’s a November goals update and my plans for finishing out this year strong.

 Christmas party invitationsFrom my Gingham and Gold Christmas Party

November goal progress

1. Write and design a new About page for Something Pretty. See it here!

2. Log 30 miles of running. UPDATE: This was an ambitious one for me, and while I didn’t quite make it, I logged more miles than any previous month this year and am on track to finish 100 miles of the year–one of my big 2013 goals!

3. Make a preliminary list of Christmas gift ideas for family members and close friends. So excited about this–I love Christmas shopping!

4. Finish unpacking the last few boxes in my new apartment.

5. Hang up pictures in my bedroom. UPDATE: I changed my mind about where to put my gallery wall and am switching out some of the pictures, so this is delayed but in progress!

My goals for December:

1. Prepare for Christmas through faithfully praying these Advent reflections and the ones in the books my church provided.

2. Host a Christmas cocktail party.

3. Photograph and blog Christmas Style Week–five days worth of Dressed Up posts for five different festive occasions. So excited about this!

4. Finish running 100 miles of 2014.

5. Send Christmas cards.

My monthly wedding update will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned for that as well! What are you hoping to cross off your list this month? 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know I’m a few days early on this post, but Dave and I are kicking off our Thanksgiving adventure tonight, so I’m signing off for the week already! We are both SO grateful that the ability to work remotely for both of our jobs means more precious days spent with family–with his in Syracuse and mine in Texas, we see them far less than we want to, and every day counts! We’ll be starting our drive to upstate New York tonight, and I can’t wait to spend 10 1/2 hours in the car with Dave. We’ve been making a list of fun things we want to talk about, and of course, we’ll be listening to Christmas music the entire way home next weekend! This will be the first holiday I’m spending with his family (as well as mine and Dave’s first Thanksgiving together!), and I am really looking forward to seeing the traditions that have colored his Thanksgiving memories.

Rustic ThanksgivingClockwise from top left: Melanie Duerkopp via Style Me Pretty Living, via A Crimson Kiss, The Glitter Guide, Brooke Boling via Style Me Pretty, Martha Stewart, Oh My Deer, Joel Maus via Style Me Pretty Living, Food and Wine

One of my family’s favorite Thanksgiving traditions is to go around the table after saying grace and say something we’re thankful for. This year, I am most grateful for a family that stays close and connected no matter how far apart we are, for Dave being in North Carolina, for a job that fills my heart, for health and strength and the ability to exercise, for our wedding being only five months and eight days away (!!), and for the small ways God shows us how He loves us every single day. What are you thankful for this year?

P.S. For more Thanksgiving inspiration, take a peek at a few of my decor ideas and tips for planning a Thanksgiving Day outfit.

Dressed Up: Thanksgiving Dinner

I’m excited to introduce one of the columns I have been looking forward to starting the most! For as long as I can remember, outfit planning has been a huge hobby of mine–I remember writing out my first month’s worth of back-to-school outfits in sixth grade, and to this day, I keep a running list on my laptop of outfit plans for upcoming events and trips. In Dressed Up, I’ll be sharing outfits for special occasions, events, and days when choosing an outfit is particularly tricky. I truly believe that an outfit you feel beautiful and confident in can make even a bad day brighter, and while fashion isn’t the most important thing in the world, it sure is fun. :) With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I thought I’d start by sharing a holiday-appropriate look that is comfortable, but still polished.

thanksgiving outfit

mini pecan pie

casual thanksgiving outfit

essie after school boy blazer

fall layers

revlon kiss me coral lipstickGingham button down (similar here) | Camel sweater (on sale right now, and comes in 22 colors!) | Black pants | Wedge boots | Wishbone necklace (similar here and here) | Navy nail polish | Coral lipstick

Thanksgiving to me means good food, football, and hours spent sitting around the table or on the couch chatting with family, so comfort is a major consideration when choosing an outfit. Dressing in layers is an easy way to look like you put in some effort, so I paired a gingham shirt with one of my favorite sweaters–navy and camel is fall-appropriate, but a little bit unexpected. My favorite part of this outfit is my little wishbone necklace–the perfect Thanksgiving accessory! I love layering it with other delicate gold necklaces throughout the year.

What are you wearing for Thanksgiving? Also, if you have any requests for occasions you’d love to see outfits for, I’m all ears!

Setting the Table for Thanksgiving

I may be a few years away from hosting my own Thanksgiving dinner, but that has certainly not stopped me from dreaming up tablescapes and perusing my favorite stores for turkey day-worthy accessories. When it comes to the holidays, I love keeping things simple and understated, with a few sweet or cheeky nods to the celebration at hand–an idea that helped Dave and I so much as we filled our wedding registries with neutral, timeless pieces that can be dressed up or down. We’ll be heading up north to spend next weekend with his family in Syracuse, but if I was setting my own table for Thanksgiving, here are a few things I would love to include!

Thanksgiving table

1. The colors of magnolia leaves are a perfect starting point for a rich, rustic Thanksgiving color palette. I would hang this magnolia wreath on my door or lay it flat on my table with a pillar candle in the middle as a quick centerpiece.

2. These wishbone napkins have my heart–they’re subtle, but so fun, and I love the touch of burnt orange. They’re unfortunately sold out online, but I’m hoping to snap up a few at the Crate and Barrel store for future Thanksgiving dinners!

3. Confession: half my apartment is furnished/decorated in pieces from Target’s Threshold collection–I love that so many of their pieces look much more expensive than they are. Case in point? This chic bar cart, for just $130. A hostess has enough going on without having to bartend as well, so set up a drinks station and invite guests to mix up their favorites.

4. It might be the Texas alum in me, but burnt orange is my absolute favorite color for fall decor. This orange-dipped bowl would be just right for mashed potatoes, served family-style at the table.

5. Do y’all know that quote from Julia Child, “A party without cake is just a meeting?” I feel the same way about parties without a cheese tray. This wooden cheese plate is so unique, and the handles make it easy to transport around the house.

6. A simple table calls for a pop of something unexpected, and this patterned flatware certainly fits the bill.

7. I stock up on fun coasters that I can switch out and mix and match, and these sparkly gold ones might have to be the next addition–they’ll transition easily into Christmas and New Year’s!

Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? What are your must-have pieces for your table?