March Goals

I started February feeling a little bit overwhelmed, but it turned out to be a really great month. Looking back, I think what made it so good was that it felt very balanced: lots of time with the Lord in prayer (I’ve been reading Blessed Is She every morning before journaling and I absolutely love it!), really sweet time with Dave, great workouts and healthy eating (this and this are my current favorite recipes), travel, and time with friends. No question, the highlight of the month was Valentine’s Day. Dave surprised me by showing up at my door at 4 A.M., told me what to wear, and brought me to the car. Two hours later, we were alone on Wrightsville Beach with a thermos of hot coffee, watching the sun come up over the ocean. It was the perfect surprise date and the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had. We kept joking that if we weren’t already engaged, this would’ve made for a darn good proposal setup!

Valentines Day 2015

Did anyone know I have glasses? I have worn them in public maybe twice ever, but I love this picture, so I’m posting it anyway :)

February Goals

  • Prayer journal at least three times a week
  • Go to Confession and a Holy Hour with Dave
  • Reread Love and Responsibility (Got sidetracked by picking up a different book first–see below!)
  • Complete the Tone It Up Love Your Body series and start their Bridal Edition
  • Run 40 miles (Almost! Finished the month at 35)
  • Clean out my closet and donate/sell items I no longer wear (left over from January) (Made $107 selling to Plato’s Closet!)
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day!

March Goals

  • Celebrate Dave’s 26th birthday!
  • Continue prayer journaling at least three times a week, and reading Blessed Is She every morning
  • Finish reading Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves (Incredible book so far…highly recommend!)
  • Start rereading Love and Responsibility
  • Stay consistent with the Tone It Up Bridal Edition
  • Run 40 miles

LJO to LJK: Two Months to Go!

I am getting married in TWO MONTHS!!!  I have sometimes struggled a little bit during our engagement with not “feeling like a bride” (I don’t know exactly what that entails, but all I knew was that I wanted it!), but now that RSVPs are showing up from across the globe, my mom and future mother-in-law are in full-on bridal shower-planning mode, and this to-do list of mine is dwindling by the day, it really is starting to feel real. With the things on my list this month, I think this will be one of the craziest and most fun months of planning yet, and I want to soak up every bit of it!

chic coupleBy Kate Murphy via Ann Street Studio

Completed in February:

  • We mailed our invitations!!
  • We met with our reception florist to discuss ideas and inspiration.
  • We found and purchased a bunch of details for our reception.
  • We worked on our timeline.
  • We found a first look location!
  • We chose desserts for our dessert table.
  • My veil arrived!
  • I sent my bridesmaids all of the wedding weekend information.
  • I started brainstorming for my bridesmaid brunch.
  • We sent the text for our menu to our stationer.
  • I did my hair and makeup trial!

On our list for March:

  • Figure out my wedding jewelry.
  • Finalize our ceremony readings and music.
  • Meet with our church music director.
  • Write the text for our programs.
  • Make a playlist for our cocktail hour.
  • Decide on our signature cocktails.
  • Order some reception signage.
  • Make our escort card display (this is on Dave’s list!).
  • Collect family photos.
  • Finish our play/do not play list for our DJ.
  • Meet with our videographers.
  • Go to my first dress fitting!
  • Eat super healthy and exercise like crazy in anticipation of said dress fitting :)
  • Celebrate at my Texas bridal shower!
  • Celebrate at my bachelorette party!
  • Celebrate at my New York bridal shower!

Packing for Rome

I’ve mentioned before that I love planning outfits for vacations, and I have a feeling that my honeymoon will be my favorite trip to pack for yet! Since we’re going to be doing a pretty big variety of activities–from walking around the city, to visiting churches, to going on boat trips, I’m doing my best to plan extra strategically. When packing for a long trip, a few tips I like to keep in mind are to pack in a similar color scheme (or one that can be easily mixed and matched), and to bring pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. I also always come up with specific outfits before the trip so that I can see any holes in my packing list–I hate getting to my destination and coming up with the perfect look for the day, only to find that a belt or necklace that would complete it is back at home!

Fingers crossed, the temperature in Rome will be perfect when we’re there–warm, but not too humid yet. My goal is to look polished, spring-appropriate, and chic, while still being comfortable enough for lots of walking and time outside. When I sifted through some of the looks I’ve gathered for inspiration, a few themes were readily apparent: ladylike dresses, button down shirts, and of course, lots of stripes.

ladylike dressesVogue, Ivory Lane

button downsVogue, Gal Meets Glam

stripesKelly Golightly, The Fresh Exchange

With that in mind, here are a few pieces that I own and will be packing, or have put on my wish list!

Rome packing list

Chambray shirtdress, straw hatstriped dresswhite button down, blue linen skirt, lace shift dresswayfarer sunglasses, leather sandals, leather flatscuff braceletgold sandals

Stay tuned for my packing list and inspiration for the second week of our trip (in Lake Como!) next! :)

Our Honeymoon! Where We’re Going

I’ve had a countdown till our wedding on my phone for months, but you know what I forget about sometimes? The fact that the very next day, Dave and I are headed off for our honeymoon!! I am GIDDY with excitement about where we’re going–we share a passion for Europe, so we knew immediately that we wanted to take this opportunity to go on a trip there. We toyed with the idea of going back to Austria, where we met, but decided to mix it up a little with another place that is super meaningful to us. Even though we officially met in Austria, the first night we ever really hung out was on a school trip to Rome. Some friends and I had gone to Cinque Terre while most of our class was in Rome, but we met up with everyone on the last night before we all headed to Assisi. A bunch of us spent the night running around the city until 4 A.M., and as you may have guessed, my future husband  was one of those people :) So, for our honeymoon, we’re so excited to be going back to Italy!!

We’re leaving the day after our wedding, flying into Milan (saving us a ton of money), and then hopping on a train to Rome. We have great memories of riding trains across Europe together during our semester abroad, so it seems like a fitting way to start the journey of our marriage. We’ll be spending a week in Rome, and since we’ve both been there a handful of times before, our plan is to revisit our favorite spots, wander aimlessly down the cobblestone streets, and eat lots and lots of pasta :) And of course, see the Pope!

rome-carin-olsson-4rome-carin-olsson-2rome-carin-olsson-3rome-carin-olsson-6All photos by the talented Carin Olsson of Paris in Four Months, via this, this, and this post

After a week in Rome, we’ll be going to a new place for both of us: Lake Como. Y’all…just look at these pictures. It seems so magical! We were originally thinking of going to the Amalfi Coast, but with our flights and schedule, Lake Como made more sense, and I’m excited to go somewhere that’s a bit less tourist-y. For this leg of our trip, we’re renting an AirBNB apartment, and we’re planning to relax, do tons of exploring, cook up meals in our little kitchen with farmer’s market goodies, and drink wine on our porch. I. Cannot. Wait. :)

lake como 4lake como 1lake como 5Photos by Claire Graham via Style Me Pretty Living

To get my mind off of the ice and cold we’re experiencing this week, I’ve started brainstorming what to pack for our two-week trip. I love planning travel outfits and will be sharing some of my inspiration next week–stay tuned!

Have you ever been to either of these places? I’d love to hear any recommendations–from pizzerias, to gelato shops, to cute streets to walk down! :)

Five Looks: Casual Valentine’s Day

As much as I love Valentine’s Day, the idea of putting on a cocktail dress in the cold and then fighting the crowds at a restaurant is less than appealing. Instead, my kind of Valentine’s Day date is casual, fun, and inexpensive, but still special. Even a pretty ordinary activity can turn into a memorable date if you treat it like one, so plan ahead, keep your phones put away, and get a little dressed up. :) Here are five looks that would be perfect for a low-key date tomorrow!

The Everygirl Gal Meets Glam Refinery 29 Make Life Easier Design DarlingThe Everygirl, Gal Meets Glam, Refinery 29, Make Life Easier, Design Darling

I love that all of these outfits are cozy and seasonal, but still festive, thanks to a few purposeful pops of pink (from blush to salmon to hot pink). Looking for something to do in one of these cute outfits? Here are a few ideas:

1. Cook together. Bonus points for choosing a recipe from a cookbook instead of the internet and shopping for ingredients together.

2. Play tourist in your own city. Look up the top attractions in your city on Trip Advisor or 10Best.com and check a few off of your list.

3. Instead of going out for dinner, get up early and meet for breakfast! I love this idea–being out and about early on a weekend morning is so peaceful, and it would be such a sweet way to start the day.

4. Take a day trip. Pick a small town or attraction within an hour of where you live and go exploring.

5. Snuggle up in a bookstore. Get lattes, sit close, and flip through magazines or books together. I love doing this in the travel section and dreaming about future trips!

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! What are your plans for tomorrow? Dave won’t tell me anything about what we’re doing (except that he’s cooking dinner–yay!), so I’m excited to see what he has up his sleeve!