On My Mind

Happy Monday, y’all! We’ve made it through more than half of the work day; I promise that if I can make it through, so can you! While I would love to do a weekend recap for everyone (cause I know you are just that interested in how I spend my days), it really just wasn’t all that extraordinary on paper. Here’s how it goes:

-my car broke down on Thursday

-I went to Target with my mom on Friday to get a nice flannel scarf (I heart plaid).

-Saturday started at 8 am with Zach and my dad trying to fix the car…and further breaking it.

-Sunday included relaxing with the future in-laws, hitting up the new H&M, and ended in a freezing rain while trying (and failing) to fix my car.

Not so exciting, right? But it was just what I needed. We really got some time to relax in between the car mishaps, and it was awesome! Instead of dwelling on the weekend today, I just wanted to put my random Monday thoughts down on the proverbial paper.

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// I am trying to get the blog self-hosted on wordpress.org, and am struggling. Does anyone have any tips/advice/good resources I could use to help with the transition? I am super computer illiterate, but am ready to learn make this space my own.

// My MOH and I threw around some premature bachelorette party ideas this morning. I am loving the idea of a mini-getaway with my 21 and over maids for a party weekend in a nearby city. Nashville, Cincinnati, somewhere! I’m getting excited 9 months early!keep-calm-and-wait-for-the-bachelorette-partyvia.

// I love planning. So much. Not just in wedding land, but in my life. I currently have three planners on my desk and I’ve just been going through and updating them all. Makes my heart flutter!

// Speaking of fluttering hearts, my fiancé has been super awesome, especially after a hard weekend of slaving over my dumb car. He ROCKS.

// I maybe started listening to Christmas music in my office today…NO SHAME.

// We’re making Thanksgiving plans with our sides of the family this week and I am super pumped to eat like a boss. Plus I’m excited for our mini-Thanksgiving party for two next Saturday!!

// Which also brings me to one issue…I haven’t been to the trainers in weeks. I really need to go back (once the doc OK’s me!).

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// I’ve been thinking about puppies lately…too bad I won’t get a little puggle wuggle for my house until next February at the earliest!

// I’ve been on a closet overhaul/online shopping extravaganza lately…and I’m not hating it. But my wallet is.

// Speaking of my wallet, I really need to get this assistantship I applied for last week. Send all good thoughts this way! Nothing like making money and getting great experience for my future career!

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Now, I’ll let you all get on your merry Monday way! What’s been on your mind today?

Weekend Recap [Date Night Every Night]

Hi everyone! This little recap will be short and sweet; I had such an amazing weekend that this Monday is just bringing me down…but hopefully a butt-kicking session at the trainers today will change that! Let’s go ahead and see just what fun I was up to these past few days…

On Friday, I pretty much hopped right on out of my office into the freezing cold, 30 degree evening it was. Cold, rainy, and gross is the best way to describe it! I wasn’t feeling up to the trick-or-treaters (or trying to corral my pup all night), so I shot to the grocery, grabbed some candy and a pizza, and when I got home, I turned off all of the lights. I shut all of the blinds, closed the curtains, baked my pizza, poured all of the candy into a giant bowl, and I went up to my room for the night. I ate too much, read a ton, and watched about ten scary movies (exaggeration much). It was awesome. I had such a great time away from the elements and everything else outside, and I just relaxed. Ahh, what I’d give for another Friday!image2Saturday called for a long, wonderful day of relaxing yet again! Zach and I like to choose a day each weekend (or preferably, the whole weekend) to make zero plans and just enjoy a day at home. Saturday was the first one of those days that we have had since Zach had his appendix removed the first weekend in August! It was long-awaited. But it was glorious! We stayed inside to stay warm, and then around 5, we headed to town to catch a showing of Gone Girl at the Movie Tavern. Easiest dinner-and-a-movie spot around! We loved the food, I loved the movie, and then we grabbed some Baskin Robbins on the way home. Which brings me to a confession: true life, I love to eat ice cream when it is below freezing outside.

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my handsome movie date being oh-so serious.

Sunday morning, I left he house around 11:30 to meet up with my family for some family photos! It was a birthday-early Christmas gift for my mom who never gets any good pictures of our whole family together, and seeing as our family will be growing next September, I figured what better time to get the gang together! Apparently they were expecting Zach to join me, but I had thought it was going to be the family minus future husband. Whoops! I felt kind of awful for leaving Zach out, but he was pretty pleased. He’s still camera-sick from our two-hour engagement session. I came home and finished up some homework, and soon after took a little daylight saving time nap. I woke up around five, and we decided to swing by and see some of our friends (and give them some baby gifts for their swiftly arriving daughter!). We lounged in Babies-r-Us (Zach says I have “the fever”. He may be right), visited friends, hit up the Whole Foods Market on the way home, and enjoyed the rest of our night with our little family.

image1Nothing like a dog snout to say “I love you humans, NOW PAY ATTENTION TO ME! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well! I am hoping for a little engagement session sneak-peak on Wednesday! See you soon!

Linking up with Bianca and Meghan

Weekending

Your Timeline, Not Theirs [Wedding Wednesday]

Hi y’all! Happy Wednesday! I have to admit, I will be a much happier individual come 7:30 tonight (after my class presentation…), but until then I think I can dwell on some happier thoughts. Like the fact that the semester is over with in t-minus 6 weeks! I graduate in t-minus 415 days. I get married in even less! And on that note, lets run far, far away from the topic of school and head into the safe arms of wedding planning.

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If you all are anything like me (type-a, anyone?), the first thing you began to think of after the bliss of the proposal, or even before the proposal, is the planning! You will pick up a wedding planner or planning book (or books, in my case), and you will start to look at where you are, what you need to do, and where the book says you need to be. Alas, as soon as I began to see all of these demands that you “must do A before B, and A needs to be completed by this month”, I was worried. In fact, if you ask Zach, I was in an absolute terrified panic! We couldn’t do any of these things when they needed to be done; our date couldn’t be set until three months later; we were doomed!

(Please tell me you can taste the drama; I assure you, I was reeking of it for a few weeks at the beginning of the planning process.)

I think that this whole situation could have gone a number of ways; one, I could have absolutely read in to all of these mandatory suggested timelines and I could have panicked for the remaining 14 months of wedding planning. Two, I could take a big step back, look at the items I needed to do for my wedding, and create my own timeline. While I did continue the anxious complaints for a few weeks after this realization, I finally took the matter into my own hands, took that step back, and I made my own timeline.

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A book I got for myself (and my BFF when she got engaged) was A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene. One of the first things the book addresses is just how much the wedding industry can really push its ideas and its deadlines onto your plate. When I read that sentence, I immediately knew that I just needed to start looking out for Team Jones (laugh all you want, I just couldn’t say number one – there’s two of us, now!). Instead of letting these wedding industry-published guidelines guide my planning journey, I sat down one afternoon and created my own timeline based on the needs of our wedding. And you know what? I just melted into a pile of organized happiness. I felt like I was in control again, and I was ready to run with my own timeline!

Here’s how I started out; I looked at the different suggested items on the timelines in my books and other magazines. I looked more at the items than the months listed so that I was more focused on what our timeline looked like individually. We knew the date wouldn’t be set until – at the earliest – late October, so we planned accordingly. We know what we do and do not want at out wedding, so we knew that we didn’t need to hear bands try-out for us. We didn’t need to do a huge cake tasting thanks to my gluten sensitivity and the fact that we had already picked our cake shop due to their gluten-free capabilities. We won’t need to look for a caterer because they are a part of the venue, and so on. Each wedding has unique attributes that either the wedding books miss, or that the wedding doesn’t need that the books include. This is what I came up with in my Google Docs for just an easy to follow wedding timeline (or my wedding goals as I like to call them):

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As you can see, I’ve already got a lot crossed off from September until the beginning of January. Just because I’ve crossed something off two months from now does not mean that I’ve screwed up my planning; rather, it is just an item that I got to before it’s due date! I think that looking at the list this way helps me see what all I need to be working on when and how soon it is due. We had to block the rooms early due to a home football game the day of our wedding – and it’s the rival game at that! So, needless to say, that point became more urgent than we had thought originally. Having my own individual timeline has really helped me see where I am and where I need to be, not where a wedding magazine thinks I should be at this point in my wedding planning.

I hope this helps, and if you all need any advice or have any other questions regarding this whole process, please feel free to ask! Just remember, this isn’t just something you can copy and paste. You can easily take the same concept, but make sure to apply your needs to the list, not the needs of some preconceived bride!

As a quick catch-up, I think now is a good time to show you all where I am on my planning goals for October (November starts on Saturday – WHAT?!):

October (11 months):
•Get ring insured (I SUCK. I’m getting the appraisal on Friday)
•Engagement pictures (10/20 @ 5pm)
•Begin registering for gifts
•Make the guest list FINAL
•Finalize the budget
•Choose top three dates
•Book the date!
◦Contact venue and photographer to see if top date is available

Linking up – like always!

Wedding Wednesday

Where We’re At [Wedding Wednesday]

Howdy, howdy, howdy! Welcome to, yet another, Wedding Wednesday!

I must say, I wasn’t sure whether or not I’d be here this week, for a number of reasons. Zach and I are basically sitting ducks until he gets his work schedule, there really isn’t much for me to do this month that I can do without said schedule, and, to be honest, we haven’t really been in the wedding planning mood lately. It’s nothing bad, by any means, it’s just difficult to talk about what we want to do and like when, in reality, we don’t have the base to build our wedding on! So, instead of getting down on ourselves (or, really, myself), I decided to start a little baby segment that I’ll employ whenever our wedding weeks are lagging. In this lovely little chat, I’ll just go over what we have down, the ideas we’re formulating, and where we’d like to be in a month’s time. Without further ado…

wherewereat[venue] Right now, we have one thing down for certain: we are stuck between two venues. Right now, it’s the battle between venue three and venue four. Unfortunately, it is looking more and more like venue number three can’t happen…for a number of reasons. I’m kind of sad/stressed that it might not be a contender, but at the same time, we have one other top venue to choose (pending availability…). This point right here is why we have been avoiding wedding talk. It’s just gotten so down-to-the-wire as far as setting the date goes that it’s hard to think about without worrying!

[wedding party] We also have the wedding party completely chosen, including ring bearers, ushers, and readers! It was pretty difficult to choose the ring bearers because of two reasons: one, we have about…three small children to choose from, two of whom are VERY young. Two, we had to cut the flower girl because, pursuant to issue number one, we have NO girls to choose from. Seriously. None. So, we just decided to cut the flower girl, and go with two ring bearers. Totally doable! I’ve got my bridesmaid invitations just about ready to go, but I can’t share them until after November 8th. Because…

[dress hunt] We also have the day of the dresses scheduled and ready to go! On November 8th, me and my best gals (7-8 girls…I NEVER thought I’d bring so many people to the dress hunt!) will hit up three local bridal shops and, hopefully, I’ll find a dress I love! I’m not too nervous about the dress shopping to be honest. I know my price range, and I’m really just excited to experience this with my closest friends and family!

[color scheme] We have also changed and chosen our colors for the wedding, as I mentioned in Monday’s post. So, I guess I can count that as finished as well!

[engagement session] Obviously on our “in progress” side of the list are the engagement pictures! Zach now has his shirts for the two outfits, and I found some cute booties to wear. Now, all we have to do is finalize the location(s)!

[wedding party] While this is also on the finished list…Zach really needs to figure out his best man! He kind of just word vomited an open invitation to be in the wedding party, resulting in five guys wanting the bid. But ultimately, it’s up to him who goes where!

[where we’d like to be] I think we all know what falls right here. By the end of October (the 31st, exactly), we want to have the date, venue, and photographer chosen, with contracts signed. Honestly, if we get here in a little over two weeks time, I don’t think we’ll have many stressful wedding thoughts!

Although it’s hard not to worry when you have a specific month you’d like to get married in, but can’t set a date (a unique situation, to say the least!), I think Zach and I both need to just sit down, talk it out, and see where we’re willing to bend a little. I’m not so into an October wedding date (at least not any further than two weekends in), and Zach’s not keen on earlier than September (summer weddings in town are not cheap!); I think, in the end, it’s going to take quite a bit of working and wiggling in order for it to work out.

The bright side? In less than one year, I’ll be married to my best friend! I seriously can’t wait.

[But really. I think I’ve suggested eloping at least ten times…this week…]

Happy Wedding Wednesday, y’all!

Wedding Wednesday

 

Weekend Recap [The Big Move]

Good Monday morning, lovely readers!

I hope you all have the most lovely weekend these past few days! While I am sad it’s over (mostly because I feel like it flew by and I missed out on a ton of sleep), I am also ready to tackle a full week…and my bestie will be here on Friday!! I am so beyond thrilled that Jess and her fiancé Nathan will be here all weekend, and it is the perfect thought to get me through this week! It’s technically my fall break today and tomorrow, but I still have work, a personal training session tonight, and a hair appointment tomorrow night to boot! I didn’t exactly leave myself much downtime. However, I am thinking of making this a short week and taking a long, four day weekend! A week from today I will be celebrating 23 years on this planet, and I’ve already taken the day off. Why not make it even better and take this Friday off, too?

Anyways, before I keep start gushing about the week to come, let’s see how this past weekend looked. Only with a lack of photographic evidence. On Friday, after leaving work and hitting the gym for a quick sweat session, I met up with my mom and sister at David’s Bridal to figure out what colors I wanted my bridesmaid dresses to be! I had my heart set on a peach/mint/gold theme, but my mind changed. I was fully ok with changing color scheme to meadow (top left green swatch) and wisteria (top row, second from left). The colors feel a bit more “fall” like to me, and I am just in LOVE with meadow. It is a beautiful dusty color, and it fit the bill!adslfkjhwape;ofbvasdfweferafI also found these delicious treats while doing the finishing touches on my bridesmaid invitations (the invites turned out better than I could have hoped – look out for the post in a future Wedding Wednesday post):

asefrawefwefOn Saturday, Zach and I decided to make a repeat appearance at our my favorite place in the world…IKEA! We got my desk, and I was so excited I could have cried. I’ll post a picture of the finished product when I am done organizing everything, but I’ll tell you the pieces we got to put it together: I got the largest Linnmon desk top (59″ x 29 1/2″), three Adils legs, and the Alex five-drawer unit, all in white. It. Is. PERFECT. It’s a huge desk space, and the perfect amount of storage, and I honestly couldn’t have been happier! Zach is now convinced I am meant to have a home-run small business because of how happy that desk makes me (I secretly love this because some day, when I want to work from home, I will bring this back up).

Side note? Although this trip and the assembly took basically all day…I put it together all by myself! I was so proud.

On Sunday, we honestly thought we would be cleaning the house all day in preparation for our guests. However, over a nutritious lunch at Steak n’ Shake, we decided it was time: I moved out of my parent’s house for good. Nothing left but a childhood dresser and two graduation gowns. Luckily, my little brother has a huge truck, so we were able to pack my bed frame, mattress/box spring, two tall bookshelves, and one small bookshelf into the bed…in one trip. I was a nervous wreck, Zach was very amused. Needless to say, we made it, everything else made it, and although I still have about four boxes to unpack, I am officially moved in to OUR house! It was fun, sad, exciting, and nerve-wracking all at the same time, but it’s done now. After a long, tiring weekend, the move is done, and we can keep on making this place our place.

asdfaewrweAnd on a cloudy Monday morning, I woke up in my home to find the love of my life cuddling our fur-baby (and taking over the bed). Having to leave this every morning is hard, but at least I know what I get to come home to!

Have a happy Monday, everyone! [I promise I’ll try to document life in pictures more than I do now!]

Linking up with Bianca and Meghan!

Weekending

Engaged [Wedding Wednesday]

Hello, beautiful readers! Happy hump day, and welcome to another wonderful wedding Wednesday!

I hope you all have had an amazing start to your weeks; mine has been a hectic race towards Thursday, so with just a day between me and that fateful occasion, my Wednesday has become a very happy day. Zach and I have had such a busy past few months with school starting (two different full time jobs and two different class schedules – YUCK!), and unfortunately we have had no time to slow down. This month is no different! I had two huge papers to write and turn in this weekend, so I pretty much holed up in the bedroom with my laptop, and ushered my man out of the room each time he got bored. You have to do what you can to keep focused on boring papers! This coming weekend is a working weekend for Z, and then we’re celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday on Sunday afternoon. Then, the weekend following, my best friend and her fiancé will be here (!!!) for the weekend. I am SO EXCITED! Best birthday present ever. Twenty three is looking good already.

With such a busy month ahead, there is one day in particular that both Z and I are looking forward to – albeit, my reasons are different than his. He took the day off for my birthday in order to spend some extra time with me. I took the day off because, well, it’s my birthday, and I want to spend time with him as well! The added bonus? We both found a day during the week where we had a free afternoon and evening. So, like any clear-minded bride would do, I found a spectacular photographer, and booked her for my birthday evening. Engagement photographs, here we come!

I can’t even begin to explain how stinkin’ excited I am to have these photographs taken. Here’s the brief gist of it: Zach hates taking pictures. Ta-freaking-da! I would fall head over heels for the guy who stares off into the distance (on purpose) when I try to take a picture of him. Selfies? If you ever see one on my Instagram, just keep this in mind: in order for me to take said selfie, there were at least five prior attempts where I’m smiling and he’s making a face, I’m making a face and he’s smiling, he’s staring into the distance like there’s an alien in the sky, and any variation of the aforementioned poses. All I ask for is a picture of us that looks like we love each other. It doesn’t have to be cheesy, it doesn’t have to involve throwing me in the air or twirling me around; I just want something that will look good in a frame on the wall.

With less than two weeks to go before the session, I have been freaking out over what I should be wearing. I think I have the outfits planned out (with the exception of shoes; I just want some short brown boots!), and to be honest I don’t care about the poses. I chose our photographer for a reason: she knows what she’s doing, and I think her photography is breath-taking. So I’m leaving the rest of it up to her. My big issue at hand? Where to take the pictures! It’s going to be mid-October, and the weather has ranged in the past week form the high-70s to it’s current 60 degrees and pouring rain. As any like-minded person would do, I referenced the online “Bridal Bible”…

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[prepare yourselves for a photo-heavy moment here. bear in mind these are not my property! visit the tags below the images.]

I’ve come up with a few different options that work for indoor and outdoor locations, and with areas we can get to quickly locally. First up is the typical country outdoorsy field photos. I don’t mean typical in an offensive manner at all; rather, I think that these are absolutely beautiful and a definite great option for us considering our location!

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The second option for the outdoors is a downtown location. Thankfully, we live in a somewhat big city, so we have a gorgeous downtown with both tall skyscrapers and tiny brick historical homes.

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I am really thankful that we live in a nice sized city because not only do we live minutes from downtown and minutes from the farms, but we also have a ton of really cool local joints that would be amazing to have our engagement photos taken at! The first indoors option I have is…a bookstore. I can’t help it! I was an English major for a reason! To me there is something romantic hidden in between the stacks of books…

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Another idea that goes hand in hand with the bookstore is the café. We have a great selection of both in town, and I mean really, how cute is this picture? I think quirky pictures are going to be abundant in our session.

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The last idea I had for the indoor area would actually go best with the outdoor pictures. While I love the open area and the no-nonsense background of the fields, I also think that engagement pictures should have a little kick to them! If we get the chance to do outdoor pictures, I would really like to find a building or location that has a funky feature that we can use in our pictures.

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I really love the quality that each of these photographs brings to the story around it, but I think that the most important thing of all is the two people captured. The most astounding thing about each of these photographs is the emotion you can see from both of the people in the photograph! I really can’t wait until I get to have some unique photos of Zach and I that I can go back to again and again and get giddy about how lucky I am.

And it won’t hurt to finally get a picture of us up in my office. It’s been looking a little bare.

As usual, linking up for another Wedding Wednesday!

Wedding Wednesday

I guess now that I’ve gotten a few of these wedding posts up, I can start a collection down here! If you want to see any other part of my planning so far, feel free to click the link and read away!

The Engagement

Starting a Budget

Venue Hunt-Venue Number One

Venue Hunt-Venues Number Two and Three

Venue Hunt-Venue Number Four

Why Northern Girl, Southern Charm [The Beginning]

Good Monday morning!

Well, really, I can’t say whether it is or isn’t a good Monday morning just yet. But let’s just hope it’s good, and that we actually made it to Monday (those of us with some crazy weekend plans)…ngsc2

Today I want to go ahead and address this little thing that I realized last Friday I hadn’t ever spoken about. With the reveal of my little blogger haven over here to my real world friends, I had the pleasure of talking Zach about the title of said blog. I have to start out by saying, this blog has seen a good deal of names since it’s induction. To be honest, I don’t even remember what it was called when I first started it a few years ago. I actually deleted those posts and started new around this time last year! The first name I gave this blog during that revamp was “The Forgotten Blog”. Who wants to guess why? Anyone?

Well, if you’re still stumped, it’s because I forgot about my blogs really easily in the past. I’m just that creative. So, when I decided to get semi-serious about trying to get my life onto this page a few times a week, I decided to change the name to something with a little more meaning. That’s when Northern Girl, Southern Charm came about. As some of you know, and others may never have thought, I am a northern transplant to the “deep south”…of Kentucky (All my Georgia/ Carolinas/ Alabama bloggers, you may laugh now). Honestly, I had never considered Kentucky the south until I moved here from the border of Ohio and Michigan a mere eight years ago. After all, a state that borders along Indiana and Ohio can’t really be the south, can it?

HOW WRONG WAS I. Oh man. As soon as I moved here, it was like moving to a different country. The manners…the mannerisms…the clothing…the sports (JK, go Bucks!). I mean, it was NOTHING like my little hometown in Northwest Ohio. A complete and utter change. But you know what? I learned to love it. I never really adopted that twang Kentucky is known for, and I never was a debutante (not my thing, anyways!), but I have pretty much taken on all things Kentucky – which to me means I have that Southern Charm.

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I will still always count myself as a northern girl; I have the straight northern accent (which I think is just plain, but Zach says makes me talk a lot faster), I’m beyond pale, and I still love me some white Christmases. But ever since I’ve moved south, I’ve adopted the charm that comes with the Southern persona. I’ve adopted to the “ma’am’s” and “sir’s”, I have learned to love mint juleps, and even though they still make me nervous, I love the horses. The horse races, the horse farms, just the overall culture that horses bring to Kentucky. I love monograms now (more than ever with the impending nuptials!), I can’t believe I was missing out on Lilly Pulitzer planners throughout the majority of my life, I love those Cats (football, basketball, the whole gang), and I love game day with my friends. I tear up singing “My Old Kentucky Home” – and that right there is what makes me feel like I belong.

While I will always have my home in Northern Ohio, and I will always go back for those nearest and dearest to me, I have a home in Kentucky now, and I think I’m luckier than anyone to be a northern girl who found some southern charm.

Linking up for Let it Shine with Molly and Carly!

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