Traditions [Wedding Wednesday]

Ahh, it sure feels good to be back around these parts! Let’s just say, as much as you may think you want an excuse to sit in a bed all day and watch TV for three straight days…you really, really don’t (unless it’s in your own bed at your house and you aren’t hooked up to a computer).  I was sprung from the hospital mid-Friday, and then had the most crazy, fun, sentimental, exciting, love-filled weekend EVER. It was pretty awesome. I’ll save the epilepsy speech for another post (one I’ve already put off for way too long), and instead, I’ll talk about traditions.



I think that all of us in wedding-land have been hit with the idea of traditions. Honestly, the only traditions that came to mind for me when I got engaged were the bridal traditions (something old/new/borrowed/blue, etc.). Don’t get me wrong, these traditions are definitely important, and they’re important to me! I already have my old (lace from mom’s dress), new (my dress), and borrowed (earrings from my grandmother that my mom wore for her wedding), and I’ve got an idea for the blue…I digress. The traditions I want to talk about today are the ones I’ll be making with Zach, and as we’ve delved into November (I literally missed the first week, so I’m in shock when I realize it’s already November 12th!), the topic of the holidays has come up quite a bit.

First, I need to take a moment to rewind to my previous statement. The only traditions I thought of in July were the bridal traditions. The second we walked into our first registry (Bed, Bath, and Beyond…it was kind of a nightmarish experience), the registry manager asked us this question: “What traditions do you see yourselves taking on when you get married?”. Can I tell you what our reaction was? No, no, no…let me show you.



We were literally just sitting there staring at her, then looking at each other, then looking back at her…for a silent two minutes. I wish that was an exaggeration, but this woman did not help us understand for a solid few minutes. It was awkward. But then she began to get us thinking. Holidays, events, parties, special things like that; what were we going to do for them? While we both said we didn’t plan on doing any of that (which is mostly true; we have no kids, no plans for kids yet, and we both have a lot of family commitments when it comes to those things). We both have had our own separate familial traditions for 23-26 years, and just didn’t have any plans of making these traditions for ourselves until kids were in the picture. Then the Thanksgiving debate arose…

Do we go to grandparent A’s house? Or grandparent B’s house? DO we stay home? It is Dylan’s (my little brother) 21st birthday, I’m sure he doesn’t want to be out of town for that. Do we just do parent’s houses? Thankfully, my parents answered the first three questions; no, no, and a BIG no (who want’s to celebrate 21 with their family Thanksgiving?). However, that was when Zach and I began to think of what WE wanted to do. I think two weeks ago was the moment where we kind of understood what the elusive registry manager meant; the traditions are the choices we are making as we go into this whole matrimony thing. We don’t have to do what we don’t want to do when it comes to holidays (even on the 4th of July – we could do whatever we want!); this is the time of our lives where we sit back and think about what things we want to do with our families, the things we want our kids to grow up doing.


Two weeks ago, Zach threw out an idea that I just loved; since nobody in our families were making any big holiday plans, why didn’t we just make a mini-Thanksgiving feast at our place? As soon as he said that, I not only melted into a puddle of happiness, but I said yes! The man was reading my mind. I wanted to get a chance to see what marriage would be like on those holidays where our old traditions were just that – old. We started to think about our traditions, what we want to do until we start making traditions with a Jones baby. Honestly, I think it was the most exciting marriage talk we have had. It was a time when we just sat back and reaffirmed why we are getting married.

We don’t want to be the family that throws all of the big random-holiday parties (here’s looking at you, Memorial Day). We don’t have friends to our place right now because, honestly, we are about a thirty minute drive from all of our friends. We probably won’t ever host a Thanksgiving dinner at our house until we have children, and even then, it won’t be an every year type of thing. Instead, we want to have a private celebration for each holiday. This Thanksgiving, we’ll spend the day with our families, one in the morning and one in the evening. We’ll celebrate our mini-Thanksgiving that Saturday night, stuffing ourselves just one more time before heading out to see a Christmas light display near our house. We’ll ride in the car in our pajamas, listening to Christmas music (even though Zach hates it), and we’ll enjoy our first new tradition. This year, we’ll wake up in our home to open the presents under our tree. We won’t gather around at midnight like we have in the past so that we can wake at 7 and drive to our separate families to spend Christmas morning with them. Instead, we’ll lounge that morning, watch A Christmas Story, and then head off to our families homes together.

I think that as the holidays descend upon us (I’m already breaking out the holiday tunes…no shame!), it’s time to think about the traditions that marriage brings with it. You get to create your own celebrations, your own events, your own memories; and in the end, that’s what marriage is about. Bringing together two sets of traditions and making them into one family. I can’t wait to see the traditions we make as our lives change together, it’s a pretty awesome thing!

Linking up – like always!

Wedding Wednesday

 Engagement Photo Preview

Oh Hey, Friday! [Dreaming]

Hello and…HAPPY FRIDAY! We’ve made it. Hallelujah emoji right about…here.

sdafawerI can’t believe this week is already over; probably just another benefit of skipping a boring Monday! This week has been filled with wedding planning, school stress, and an overload of papers on my desk at work, so today I am going to get my Oh Hey, Friday on with a little time to focus on some dreams of mine!

[one] Zach and I have been talking a lot about the future lately, and not just in the obvious wedding-tone way. We – well, I – have been talking about what we want to do with our lives. Great topic for two individuals who have already graduated from a higher education institution, right?! So anyways, this all boils down to the fact that I generally despise grad school and I’m still not sure that I’m in the right program. It’s all fun to learn, but I’m just not sure it’s where I can see myself working. Issue here? My undergrad degree will get me nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. So, I have to do something. My dream? I want to write. I don’t care what, and I don’t care how, but I just want to write. I have had stories floating through my head since I was a child, and I was a part of the creative writing class throughout high school. Why I never continued throughout college is a question that has been at the top of my mind lately, but I guess hindsight is 20/20, right? Dream number one: writing (as my day job).



[two] I think that this one falls in the category of dreams for everyone, but I think it’s necessary to write out; I want to travel. I want to explore places far and near, and I want to do so at my own pace. I want to guide my own tours, I want to live like the locals, and I want to eat delicious food. I want to visit Italy and Ireland; I want to walk where Shakespeare walked and I want to see the beauty of Santorini. I want to go to Brazil and experience the sights and sounds – and food! I just want to go, go, go. And I have to say I got lucky to find one person to spend my life with who wants to see it all with me.

[three] I want to have a family (which goes without saying). I mean, I’m not looking for kids in a year, or even two years. Maybe I’ll think about it around 25, but for now, I will just dream about the curly-headed kids I will have and raise with my curly-headed fiancé.

[four] I will – I repeat, I WILL – own a pug someday. This has been my biggest dream yet, and Zach can definitely attest to that. We almost adopted a dog in late August, but decided not to do so yet. With our schedules, that poor pup would never have any fun free time! But someday, I will own a pug (or a puggle, or a pughuahua [Chihuahua/pug mix that I totally made up]) and I will love that dog for all of its life. This is a dream that will easily become a reality.


via. (pugs of westeros, anyone?)

[five] My last dream is already coming true, although very slowly, and it’s very cheesy. I’m going to spend the rest of my life with my absolute best friend; the person I could not live without, the person who talks me off the ledge and who gets me laughing when I need it the most. But most of all, I get to spend my life with someone who pushes me to pursue the dreams I have while also keeping a tight grip on reality. Honestly, I couldn’t ask for a better dream come true than my life with my best friend.

Happy Friday!

I’m linking up with Karli and Amy for Oh Hey, Friday.

I am also jumping back into Five on Friday with these lovely ladies: Darci, April, Christina, and Natasha


Surprises Around Every Corner [Wedding Wednesday]

Hi there, beautiful readers! I hope you all have had a fantastic week already. Mine feels like it’s just starting; between a four-day weekend (Friday-Monday was a nice break), most of which was spent with my BFF and her man, and then two days of time spent with my love, it was non-stop fun! While I’m sad to see it all go so soon, I am even more excited to start my 23rd year of life. I get married during this year, I get to plan a wedding this year, I get to (almost) finish grad school this year, and I get to spend extra time with the people I love! I think 23 just might be my best year yet!

Anyways, barring any more tangential speeches, I think it’s time to get started on this lovely Wedding Wednesday. Why, you ask? Well, dear readers, besides the fact that (duh) it’s Wednesday…



WE SET A DATE! AND WE HAVE A VENUE! AND A CATERER! AND A PHOTOGRAPHER! Whoa, I need to cool it with the caps, but I am just so dang excited! I can’t believe it all came together so well – and so quickly at that! Yep, all it took was a few phone calls and everything was ready to g- JUST KIDDING. What would life be without a few twists and turns? On Wednesday last week, as I was beginning to stress over our lack-of-date, I decided to email the remaining venues and see what dates they had available. Venue number three was very quick to respond, but with some dismal news; all but one September 2015 date were gone, swept up by those a bit more pulled together than my fiancé and I…but, not one to get too down on myself, I said thank you, and I told the event coordinator I would email her soon to see if we could come see the space again. I sat waiting for the other venue to email me back, but heard nothing (I later learned that said event staff is off on Wednesdays to make up for their weekend work…doh!).

On Thursday, I opened my email to…nothing. So, I sent another nice email, this time a little more urgent sounding, and got an immediate response. In the available dates, I saw it there. The dream date! It was free!! It wasn’t free the last time we had spoken to the coordinator, yet there it was! I just about fainted, but instead, I quickly replied that we would be there to meet her that night. Five o’clock came around, and my mother and I were wandering around, peeking into the windows of the venue. As it turns out, my email did not go through, so the coordinator had already gone home! I was more than a little dismayed, but after a kick-butt workout, I felt a bit better, and set up a meeting with the coordinator the following evening at 7.

Friday was a very, very busy day. Zach and I were cleaning the house basically from the moment we woke up until our guests arrived around 3:30. As soon as they got there, we started to get excited. Zach had to work, so my matron of honor and her guy were tagging along with me (and my parents) to see the venue! I was so stinking thrilled that I got to share that moment with my BFF of 13 years, I could have cried. Except I was just too happy. So I just smiled instead. We all piled in my car around 6:30, just in time to make it to the venue with some minutes to spare…or so I thought. As soon as we got closer to town, the interstate slowed to a crawl. We got off on our exit – and it just stopped. I had no clue what was going on, but I did know we only had 20 minutes to get to the venue – it was only four miles away! We resorted to our smart phones to figure out what was going on, and then we discovered that a popular event was going on – Big Blue Madness. Now, if you know anything about the University of Kentucky, you know that our basketball team is the best. Don’t deny it; U Conn can try to have its midnight madness, but it’s just not the same when you’re imitating greatness. Which leads me to my next point about the Cats – basketball is a religion down here. So, this traffic jam was basically a spiritual pilgrimage.

I was sitting behind my steering wheel freaking out because we weren’t going to make the meeting on time; we were pushing five minutes, and then it was 7 and we weren’t there…then the heavens opened up (not in a raining way). A lane of traffic disappeared and we were off. We were charging full speed (35 miles per hour…) in the direction of destiny! We made it at just ten minutes late, and as it turns out, my parents were running late, too. Thankfully, the coordinator is AWESOME and she was still hanging around. She was setting up for a wedding the next day, so we got to see what it would be like for our 200 guests to sit in the space; we saw what it would look like at night, felt the weather and it’s effect on the space, and my dad (who walked into the venue saying he was “along for the ride”) asked just about fifty-two questions. No joke. I just walked around the place in a daze. All I could say to myself was “This is where you’re going to have your first dance”. “This is where you hug and cry and laugh with your best friend”. This is where you will stand and look down on your family and friends as they celebrate love and life and the unity of you and the love of your life”.

Let’s just say I was getting sentimental, and I was sold.

As my father wandered off to try EVERY PART of the facility (bathrooms? they run well. upstairs? it’s just as large as the downstairs, just without the center!), my mom looked at me, and we knew that was it. I looked the coordinator in the eyes and said “I want that date”. I really wasn’t a hard sale, I’ll tell you that much. As my dad rounded back down the stairs, he said “Well, despite the convenience factor (I, of course, had a dream wedding date that just so happened to be the same day of the rival football game…) it is pretty nice”. We just told him the decision had already been made. We arranged for the contract to be emailed to me on Sunday morning, along with a payment link. And that was that.

rmrbThat was how I chose…venue number four! I absolutely was IN LOVE with venue number three, and while venue number two was amazing, it was a little too bare-bones for us. However, when it came down to it, venue number four was just about downright spectacular. It is the cheaper (but more characteristic) version of venue number one. So much of the rentals are included in the price, and the catering is run through the event coordinators; it was just perfect. It has it’s own character, so we don’t need extravagant décor. We can just work with what we have – and I LOVE that. LOVE LOVE. This venue is just spectacular, and I absolutely cannot wait for the day (just under 11 months from now!) when I get to dance the night away with my husband.

Everything is falling into place – rapidly! And with that comes some good and some bad. I think I’ll wait for another Wednesday to talk about that. In the meantime, look out for a raving review of our photographer (we took engagement pictures on Monday), and some more little details that will pop out in the near future! Thank you all so much for coming along on this journey with me. It really is great to have a community of women who have or are going on the same adventure – all of the advice and stories are just blowing my mind while also helping me take each step at a time.

Linking up – like always!

Wedding Wednesday

The Hunt is Never Over [Wedding Wednesday]

Hello, October!

I cannot even begin to tell you why this month is so exciting to me – oh, wait – yes I can! LIST TIME.

…pumpkins, pumpkin spice lattes, fall scented candles, birthdays, guests, Halloween movies, Trick-or-Treat, leaves changing colors, cooler weather, the end of one class and the beginning of another, and the list could go on.


OH WAIT, IT DOES! This month I get to take engagement pictures with Zachary and our wonderful photographer (whose name I will not say until I book her. Superstitious Rachael wants to make sure she can still shoot the wedding before shouting said photographer’s name from the rooftops). I also get to…SET THE DATE! Which means booking venue, photographer, and DJ (and caterer, if that is necessary), and FINALLY getting to send the cutest bridesmaid invitations ever. Which I’m still planning. But they are sure to be cute!


Ok, enough of the fake drama. I’m just really excited that it’s October finally. Favorite month, eva. Except for the part where this week alone I have two research papers due, and I have to have a presentation ready for class tomorrow…and we were informed of said project last night. WOO! Rachael on excess amounts of coffee is a scary, jittery machine. But a powerful machine, none the less. On to the wedding post!

So, after putting up last week’s post about venue number three, and as some of you may already know from my hey, Friday post…I did something every bride is warned about. I didn’t necessarily have second thoughts; I’ve really found some venues that I love in our venue search so far, and I know many of you can tell! However, I just wanted to make sure that I had scoured through all of my options. I wanted to be sure I hadn’t missed anything. Just when I thought my search was over…I found venue number four. It is a doozy, I’ll tell you that much! Get ready for the tale to end all tales.

(Not really, I’m just excited that I got to add one more FANTASTIC option to our already fantastic list of options.)

Venue number four is set smack dab in the middle of our hometown! Well, Zach’s hometown, my Kentucky hometown. Anywho, it is literally in the last place I would think of looking, but it is also a venue that I had already seen…a number of times. When I came across the venue on a wedding website, I smacked my forehead wondering how in the world this venue had slipped past my mind! Bridal brain, it’s real. So, the very second I told Zach the hunt was back on, and he agreed to meeting at another venue, I emailed the staff and asked if we could see the venue. The quickest response ever shot back into my inbox, complete with pictures of the venue for events, the catering choices (so many choices), and the price of rental plus all included items. She also said she was free that day to give us a tour, as she would be setting up for a corporate event. Quicker than I said yes to my future husband (just kidding…kind of), I replied that we would meet her at noon. I should probably mention that this email exchange occurred over two days. I sent the email on Thursday, and got the response on Friday…at 10:30am. So, one kind hearted, painless phone call to a sleeping fiancé later, we were going to visit venue number four.

This venue, like I said, is literally in the middle of downtown. Right next to college apartments (really nice apartments, thankfully), a college campus, the commerce buildings downtown, and quite literally everything I had been avoiding when thinking of venues. As soon as we pulled up to the venue, I began to get a bit nervous. As much as there is a great deal of distance between the venue and the apartments (there’s a huge field and horse track that separate us from civilization, much more than you can see in pictures), I could still hear traffic, and I was just overall nervous about being so close to so many random people. However, the second we entered the venue (a historic barn, none the less), all my fears faded. Besides the fact that it became utterly silent, not in an eerie way, I couldn’t help but fall in love with the inside of the venue. It. Was. Gorgeous. I have to begin by saying this is not your typical barn; rather, it looks barn-like, only with polished concrete floors, open three-story center, and beautiful white interior. It has so much simplistic character that we really wouldn’t need much besides our centerpieces for décor. Plus, the venue coordinator had pulled us in during set-up for a corporate event, as I said. This was a blessing beyond belief! I got to see the whole thing set up for over 200 people (yay), with over half the barn to spare for DJ and what-have-you (YAY), and complete with access and use of the entire second rotunda (YAY!!). It fit the bill in so many ways, and I still cannot believe it. As my grandma said when I called her later that day, “Rachael, if you don’t choose this venue, I think you may be blind”. Thanks, grandma.


We only spent a short amount of time there because I had to get back to my office, and they were still trying to finish setting up the venue. We wandered around on our own for a bit, visiting the outdoor ceremony area, and seeing where on the site we could hear traffic, and where we couldn’t. Which was pretty simple. In the parking lot? You can hear everything. In and behind the barn (AKA the only places our guests will be)? Silent. Like you walked into a bubble that is sound proofed to the rest of society. It was amazing! Let’s go over what else won us over – like what all the venue includes!

They are priced similarly to venue number one, not in the price range way, but in the way they set up their pricing. They have a set venue rental fee that allows 6 hours for the event, but all day access for set up. Here’s the breakdown of what’s included in venue number four:

  • venue space
  • tables and chairs
  • linens
  • set up and tear down
  • catering (price per head)
  • servers
  • beverages
  • bartenders
  • all needed china, glassware, silverware, etc.
  • cake table
  • gift table
  • some décor available (if needed)
  • day-of coordinator
  • free guest parking directly adjacent to the site

As you can see, the only thing this venue does not include that venue one offered is discounted guest rooms and a bridal suite (because this is not a resort, duh). But, that also means one thing…

(Here’s the scale one last time: $ [much lower than the budget] to $$$$ [dream on, girl])
This venue right here landed a spot on the rating scale at…$$$!!! It is basically right at our budget for the wedding. It is spot on. The only things that are left on that particular budget are DJ, cake, and photographer/photo booth! It fits right in at the perfect price, and is so customizable that, as the coordinator was telling us, if we give the caterer our budget, they will show us which meal options will help us stick with said budget. IT IS AMAZING!

As much as I would love to say our decision is made, I think it stands to say that three of our potential venues are golden tickets in my book. One of those venues is, and has been, marked off of our list. Can anyone guess which venue that is? Anyone? Buehler?

Venue number one has been off our list since we got the numbers. It is just way too much money for a venue that we weren’t all that in love with. The all-inclusiveness is what we were so in to, but it’s not worth it for a venue so overpriced and a venue that just isn’t “us”. I know a million other people may love that particular venue, and there is nothing bad about it! It was gorgeous, and had kind staffers, but it’s just not for us. So, venues two through four still stand. And now, we play the waiting game until the end of this month! At least it’ll be a fun-filled month to enjoy until then!



Now, let me update my little monthly wedding goals. Last month was a hit and miss assignment, and this month will be a little tough… but I’m determined to stick with it!

September Wedding Goals

[one] Get engagement ring insured [I suck, and my grandma scolded me. THIS HAPPENS IMMEDIATELY!]

[two] Figure out a beauty regimen

[three] Get new gym membership with Zach

[four] Finish making venue appointments

[five] Visit venues: take notes, take pictures, and ask every single question in my mind

October Wedding Goals

[one] Get engagement ring insured

[two] Engagement pictures

[three] Begin registering for gifts

[four] Make the guest list FINAL

[five] Finalize the budget

[six] Choose top three dates

[seven] Contact venue and photographer to see if top date is available

[eight] Book the date!

Linking Up for Wedding Wednesday!

Wedding Wednesday

If You Make a House a Home…

I’m pretty sure we all remember those books. Whether we were reading them ourselves, reading to a younger sibling, or reading to our children, we know what happens If You Give a Moose a Muffin, or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. You haven’t been graced by these hilarious books just yet? Well, let me give you a brief overview…


If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want more cookies. And more things…and more cookies…and more, and more and more. Get it? Now, let’s move on to today’s subject, which is “If You Give a Rachael a Blank Canvas of a Home”. Can you guess what happens? Rachael will want to paint, and fix the flooring, and get new dressers, and get a $400 dollar desk because it’s perfect and would look fantastic in the neutral haven that is her office. See the picture? Well, Rachael was given hold of the reins this past Saturday with a LOVELY trip to IKEA. While I had to hold myself back on quite a few purchases, Zach and I began with some small details for our home. We found curtains for every window (except the dining room), the perfect lamp for the guest room nightstand, a coffee table for the man den, and even picked out our table décor for the reception! We went hog wild, and I so wish I had rolled around in the mud a little bit more. But, because I’m trying to space these purchases out (and am already planning my next trip for mid-October…), I held back, and decided to make some inspiration boards for my next three victims – er, rooms.

Insert Polyvore, the website I used to try to create stylish outfits on. They actually have home décor inspiration sets now, so I took full advantage, signed up for another account, and began to dream away.

Master Bedroom
This beauty is my master bedroom inspiration. It is actually based upon a few pieces that we already have (the bed frame, bed spread, and curtains) and a few dreamy pieces (of which most are an actually possibility!). We already have a brown-grey scheme in the room and master bath, so I’d like to kind of round out the neutral tone with some wooden accent pieces. Zach has given me free reign of the rooms with the exception of his man den and the dining room, so I am going all out with the dressing table from IKEA! I love it and it fulfills all my girlish whims. The dresser is also a hopeful soon-to-be dream. We have a GIANT ratty cherry dresser in the room now, and while it is great, it is just a bit too big, and looking a little too worn for my taste. Hopefully in the next year or so we can be working towards this. In the next month, however, we will be painting this room a bit of an eggshell neutral tone!
Guest room

Now onto the guest room. This room is actually on the top of my to-do list because…we’ve got guests visiting in less than a month! I am so, so excited for my best friend and her fiancé to come down and visit us for the weekend before my birthday, and I really want their space to feel like a home away from home. We already have the curtains for this room, which honestly has made a world of a difference in the feel of the space. It is more light, and looks HUGE, which is awesome. I also have the wire mail sort from HomeGoods (it is actually a bright aqua!), and my desk is not that white beauty just yet, but it functions for now. Unfortunately, most of these items are still not in our possession. I would love to get the dresser and bed frame before they come to visit. The bedding will be purchased no matter what, and the bed is still on a rolling frame, but this design just screams comfort to me. I am actually also working on a DIY project with an existing piece of furniture we have to create a white ladder shelf for the room to hold snacks, a clock, and extra blankets! I can’t wait to share the finished product in this room.

Dining Room

Now this…this room is a completely doable project…it just means we have to finish staining all of our furniture. We are planning on putting in laminate wood flooring in the dining and living rooms downstairs, and I LOVE this darker wood color. We have the table and hutch already (not these exact pieces, but very similar ones), and they are ready and waiting to be stained. This dark color would go great with a sage rug underneath the furniture, and some brown-beige curtains hanging in front of our large window! I think that Zach will be liking this design as it is very much his style (Me? Light woods and neutrals. Him? Dark wood and earth tones. Close, but a little off). I think that in the future we can update our four seat table with some new, dark wooden upholstered seats. For now, our chairs will do just fine!

If you have any tips on how to save, where to find bargains, or great DIY projects that can work for these goals, I’d LOVE to hear all about it! At this point, any little help counts!


I figured that, with this huge house update coming up, I would go ahead and update you all on my 101 in 1001 list! Since the beginning of the summer, we have either nailed or began so many goals, and it was about time I got it all up-to-speed.

101 in 1001 Update

DIY three things (2/3)

 [With my ladder shelf project, I’ll be bringing my total to 2 DIY projects!]

Create a work wardrobe (blouses) (dresses) (dress pants) (blazer) (shoes)

[I’ve got my work wardrobe updated! When I graduate grad school, I’ll have to update to a more professional look, but for now I just needed nice jeans and some blouses.]

Meal prep for an entire month (Week 1) (Week 2) (Week 3) (Week 4)

[Done and done. And I’m still going! This is the first week I haven’t been on point in over 5 weeks.] 

Eat something besides cereal for breakfast for one week

[Done! I did a juice breakfast for a few weeks, and now I’m all about toast, nutella, and strawberries. Yum!]

Cook dinner from a recipe (not a box) for one week

[Read: meal prep. Oh, yeah.] 

Earn master’s degree


Read 52 leisure books (6/52)

 [Still in progress, and made more fun with my badass book club!]

Get engaged

 [My fiancé is awesome.]

Move in together

[Will be done as of this weekend!] 

Go on 20 official dates (4/20)

[King’s Island and IKEA date this past Saturday. SO FUN.] 

Plan a wedding

[In the process now!] 

Get a massage

Get a facial

[Both of these happened in August. Best day of my life.] [Besides getting engaged.]

Wednesday Nightcap


[one] Today I feel like that picture up there. In fact, I’ve felt like this the past few days. Zach is a little bit worried, but it’s just how I am. I like my quiet time; without it I can’t recharge, and then I get to the bad mood stage.

[two] Graduation is in 24 days. It seems surreal, and ridiculous, and I just can’t believe it’s here. So, of course, I had to scour ModCloth to find the perfect dress. And did I ever! You all can see it with the rest of the world on May 10th.

[three] Pizza. Pizza has never tasted so good as it does tonight. Yummy!

[four] After reading that last one, maybe pizza should skip the menu for the next few weeks. Florida is just a few days after graduation, and I wanna be in my bikini 99.9 % of the time.

[five] This weekend was a long one. One that I really would like to not ever repeat. But this coming weekend? GONNA BE THE BOMB! So many fun things planned. Keeneland, exploring the city a little more (thanks to a mapping project), and spending Sunday with some awesome family members.

[six] That being said, yesterday is a day I have already erased from my memory. Snow? What snow? I only remember that April has been full of sunny, 70 degree days. No snow. Psh.

[seven] I just ordered Jessica‘s book What I Wore: Four Seasons, One Closet, Endless Recipes for Personal Style. I love, love, LOVE her blog, so I have a feeling I will feel the same for this lovely book! If you are looking for some ADORABLE pregnancy looks, or just any amazing styles, check it out. You will not be sorry!

[eight] Spring has brought on a cleaning fever in me. I have successfully gone through my closet, my wardrobe, my desk, and my dresser top (not empty, it actually houses a lot of my junk). It has felt so good to de-clutter my life. Now if only I could get into my boxes downstairs…

[nine] My wonderful boyfriend came to campus to buy me lunch today. Have I mentioned before just how amazing this man is? Cause he is the best. Better than any of the above eight points.

[ten] Life is just a crazy place, ya know? I really can’t wait to see what’s in store for this life in the next few months!

April Goals

Me? Late to post my April goals? Never…..


This month seriously just snuck up on me, and it is flying by just as swiftly! I can’t believe that in 26 short days, I will be waltzing across the stage to grab my diploma and skate my way into freedom! Or, at least, three months of full-time employment freedom. Then two years of additional schooling…but you catch my drift. This moment I’ve been waiting for since, well, forever, is actually HERE! It’s right under my nose and I cannot wait for May 10th. However, this one (major) event in my life is pretty much dictating my goals for the month. Let’s take a quick gander at last month’s goals, check my motivation, and roll on through the next three weeks!

March Goals:

Workout AT LEAST 4 times a week for one hour (no beating myself up here. life happens! check out this post for more)

Cut out all chocolate (half and half. i was doing so well until zach bought me a ton of sweets last weekend…)

Cut out all soda

Stay on track for the budget (check yourself twice a week) (bad. but trying not to dwell. I just need a swift kick in the ass)

Do not spend money on anything outside of the budget. Absolutely nothing. No exceptions. (see above)

Write at least 4 letters this month (BAD. this was supposed to be the easy one!)

Read two leisure books over spring break

Call a family member or friend 3 times a week

Continue to work on the camera (do some research!)

Yikes, not as good as I was hoping…oh well! It’s time to reevaluate, actually be realistic in my ability and motivation for the next month, and plan accordingly…

April Goals:

Focus on my health, not the hiccups

Cut out all chocolate until April 20th

Cut out all soda

Figure out where the budget needs to be, and stay motivated

Write those four letters!

Keep working on the camera (more about this mid-May)

Don’t skip any classes!

Do four things to commemorate the end of your undergraduate years

Be inspired, be motivated, be happy.

Now it’s time to continue this amazing month! Let’s hope that some fun plans I have for my life in the next three weeks can keep up with the hustle and bustle that comes with a huge life change. It’s the end of another chapter, and the beginning of yet another! Who knows what the next chapter will be about (grad school? marriage? moving? a career?), but it doesn’t matter just yet. For now, I need to put my big toe on the breaks, smell the roses, remind myself why I avoid cliches, and get ready for a new adventure!



In case you haven’t noticed just yet, or in case you’re wondering who the hell this is, some things have been changed in the past 24 hours! The Forgotten Blog is now Northern Girl, Southern Charm. 

I have finally purchased my domain (!) and I own the webpage. Nothing else is changing, It’s still me, Rachael; I’m still posting the same random life-happenings that have been around for the past three months, I just decided i was time to make things a little less “forgotten” and a bit more memorable!

Hopefully soon I will have a new, personalized layout (any takers?), and that will be the extent to which this little chunk of my life will change. For now…

Thank you all for stopping by when you do, and for leaving any notes for me that you do! I truly appreciate every view, and I would love even more to talk to you, the readers! My email is still the same (organizingatrainwreck [at] gmail [dot] com), and you can always reach me there!


Wednesday Talk

So today isn’t really going to be coffee fueled, but it isn’t a nightcap, either. I know some of you may be disappointed (if you are, just hold off on reading this until tonight when a drink is appropriate), but you’ll just have to hang with me for this one!


[one] This week has felt like an eternity already, and I’ve neglected to post anything so far. While I don’t feel the need to make an excuse, I feel the need to explain. My sweet pup Ezzie passed away naturally on Monday evening. I wish that I could explain why this hurt so much, and I know there are a million ways to put it, but I’ll make it simple here. We got this beautiful girl when I was in middle school, a few months after my first dog, Rocky, was put down. She was a pound puppy (my family is big on rescues), very shy but sweet, and had a helicopter tail. They told us she was just under a year old. Last November, when she began to show serious, life-altering symptoms of arthritis, we took her to the vet and were quickly informed that our baby was actually middle-aged when we adopted her. While I began to feel angry towards the humane society we adopted her from, I still don’t think I could ever regret the choice our family made. She had come from a severely abusive home prior to our encounter with her, and she would continue to be shy for the rest of her life, but having a loving family made the remainder of her life well worth it. I’m just glad she was put in our family and that I got to love on her while she was here. She had been doing much better than she was in November, and I guess that made her passing such a huge shock to me. I love this pup so much, and my heart is still breaking, but I will continue to try to remember that she is in a much better place now.

[two] While that change in my life has been the main – and let’s face it, the only – concern in my life this week, I have also had to take some strides towards my impending graduation. Today was the Grad Salute at UK, which is just a huge way of saying “we put every vendor you need to graduate in a really stuffy basement”, so, like any intelligent graduate, I went! Free t-shirt, free water bottle, UK Alumni membership, graduation registration, student loan exit counselling, The Kentuckian yearbook, yearbook picture, AND cap/gown/tassel ACQUIRED. Mission accomplished.

[three] I spent the weekend with Zach and our friends, had the most awesome time ever, and sort-of, kind-of skipped most of my homework for the week…

[four] Midterms are rapidly approaching. And by rapidly, I mean I have three papers, three tests, and two projects due by the time I leave for Cleveland (which is in two weeks as of…today). If I don’t post for a while, at least you know why!

[five] Taxes. I really, really need to file my taxes.

[six] Zach and I are trying to figure out what to do as far as housing goes. As of right now, I’m at home with mom and dad. I love the rent-free zone, but I really want to see my man more than twice a week! Certain things need to happen before living together can happen (i.e. Rachael with a sparkly ring on said ring-finger), but it’s been really fun to brainstorm about the possibilities! And by possibilities I mean spruce up the current home that Z inhabits and make it our own, or continue to try to sell it and find a new apartment to call home!

[seven] Speaking of Cleveland up in number four, can I just say CLEVELAND HAPPENS IN TWO WEEKS?! Finally. I have been waiting for this since December. Can’t. Wait.

[eight] Also on the “can’t wait” list, Grandma is coming to visit in one month! Which also means graduation is just a little over two months away. SCORE.

[nine] This week’s mantra: “You can get through this. You WILL get through this. This isn’t as bad as it seems. YOU CAN DO IT.” How many times do I have to say it before I believe it or it comes true?

[ten] I’m really appreciating the friends and family that I have this week. During a really hard time in life, where situations arise, school consumes me, and my job seems to be finding the most random things for me to do CONSTANTLY, I have been able to turn around and find someone else standing there ready to ease the burden with me and help me breathe. I must be the luckiest person around!

A Day Unlike Any Other…

Today was going to be yet another day that I skipped over the blog. Or so I thought. I came home from the cold rain outside to a house full of Valentine wishes and chocolate; I came straight up to my room, adamant about not wanting to work out, and plopped myself in front of my TV. I forced myself to start my laundry after seeing the basket spill over onto my floor. After starting the first load, I pulled out a magazine (the February Self that I’ve been neglecting), cracked it open, and popped a few Kisses into my mouth. In between pages, I looked up to watch some TV, ABC Family to be exact. Two hours later, it occurred to me. In a flash of what I should call déjà vu, but won’t because déjà vu isn’t really what it means (thanks, Psychology classes), I remembered. I remembered one of the loneliest moments of my life. And really, I wasn’t miserable or anything, and I wasn’t really alone. It was my freshman year of college and I was sitting in my dorm room. This room, to be exact.


Whoa, freshman year. Where’d you come from?!

Well, that’s not quite as exact as I thought it may be, but lets just say, I really wish I had stayed in room 353 with my best friend (Jess, I know you’re reading this!). So this is that room. This is the spot that I was sitting in exactly three years ago. February 2011. I was sitting in my dorm room alone, which was not a rare event. I really enjoy my introversion, OK? I was sitting in my room enjoying a night alone during the week of Valentines day. My friends on the floor were scattered around; some out with friends, others with their families. The lucky few were with their significant others, in town and out. I, however, was trying to avoid a crappy ex, and was pampering myself with indulgent TV, chocolate, and some magazines. It was only a month after I decided to reapply to the University of Kentucky; a month after I decided that the life I had created – and absolutely loved – was not quite what I needed. I loved living right down the hall from my best friend more than anything, in fact, it was probably the reason why I made it a year. But by the time I had to return to Ohio after spending a month at home, I wanted nothing more than to come back.

That night, I turned on The Last Song. I watched the movie in between pages of a magazine (probably Cosmo) and loads of laundry. I plopped a few pieces of chocolate into my mouth and savored my life as it was. I was probably a little down; my best friend and her long-time love were spending the weekend together, my roommate was, well, a little crazy, and I didn’t have many friends in town. I missed my family, I missed my friends from home, and more than anything, my silly heart ached for someone to call my Valentine. One year later? I met my Valentine and had the most memorable Valentine’s weekend of my life. Two years later, I can’t even recall what I did (yes, I know, this was only last year, but I really don’t remember what Zach and I did). This year? I found myself here.


The view is pretty nice from here. 

Watching The Last Song. Reading a magazine. Switching the lights over to the dryer. Popping another Kiss into my mouth.But I am so much happier. I found my Valentine (hopefully my last one, too!). My best friend is a phone call away, but currently enjoying a night in with her guy (still going strong 3 years later). I have my family downstairs and my friends scattered around town, but I am just happy. The smallest things can change in 3 years, even if you find yourself exactly where you were before. No matter the irony, no matter the similarity in the situations, you are not the same person you were then. We all change, we all grow, we find new people, and sometimes we lose the old. And that’s ok. That’s just life. And today? Life is pretty damn good.