These Are A Few of My Favorite Things…

HI there! I know, I am just as surprised as you are. A blog post…on a Tuesday! Here’s my secret…I used that little post scheduling tool. Makes it a bit easier for me to fit an extra post in each week! Today I am joining a really fun link-up, These Are a Few of My Favorite Things! It’s all about this gift-giving season (and getting in that Christmas spirit). With Thanksgiving just a little over a week away, it’s time to see what’s on my wish list!

My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things by organizingatrainwreck featuring a flat woven wool rug

[one] This scarf is screaming “Rachael! Buy me!”, and I am trying to hold off! It’s the perfect maroon color (my college colors), and it will be just right for my winter wardrobe. Can Loft do no wrong?

[two] Leopard print flats, my friends. These suckers need to be in my closet, pronto! I have been searching for some cute, comfortable leopard flats, and I think it’s time to indulge. They are definitely nearing the top of my wish list!

[three] The Instax Mini 25 is pretty much awesome. It’s literally a mini Polaroid camera! Except it’s a Fujifilm, so I’m pretty sure it’s blasphemy to say the “P” word here. Anywho, I would absolutely love this camera for Christmas. It can fit perfectly into my purse, and I can snap a quick picture wherever I go. I love to make memories, and I especially love to keep them. This would be a great addition to my camera family!

[four] FLANNEL PJ’S. Can I get an “amen”? (Jess, if you’re reading this, I know you’re saying it with me. I have the pajama collection of a teenager, and I want to get the pajama collection of an adult with the heart of a teenager. These Target PJ sets? The answer.

[five] Rugs are always on my miiiiiind… This rug would be the perfect addition to our rapidly changing home! Hopefully, come spring, we will have new flooring downstairs, and this rug would look mighty fine in our dining room!

[six] Again with the maroon! Loft tops are my life, and this one is no different. It’s the type of no-collar neck that I love, and it just looks like it would be so comfortable to wear all day, every day! I hope it finds a home in my closet soon…

[seven] …again with the Loft! (Sense a pattern here?) Although it is winter, I still need to spruce up my spring/summer wardrobe as well! Jeweled tops are a hit in my book, and I would love to wear this layered or when the spring time comes around!

[eight] What better item to wrap it up with than…another top from Loft! This striped long-sleeved tee would be great for work or play…or whatever is in between! It is soft, loose enough, and just simple enough to go with anything!

We all love to get these wish lists together, but what I am most thankful for this year is the gift of celebrating with everyone I love! I am so excited for Christmas this year, it’s going to be a blast! What are you looking forward to the most this holiday season?

Linking up with April, Elise, Katie, and Zelle!


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

Time for Some Updates


So, Christmas is done…and the New Year has started…when did that happen again?! I completely disappeared from all things social media, and I’m so glad I did. I got to take a wonderful break, spend all of my time with the people I love, and I just overall had an amazing week! I’m truly sad to see it go. Zach and I started our Christmas almost a month ago thanks to my huge family, so after six family gatherings, we were more than ready to take a break. Since we aren’t engaged, we still like to take time on Christmas Day to relax with our own families and spend time enjoying the traditions that we already have in our lives. We have our own Christmas tradition of staying up late Christmas Eve and opening our gifts to each other at midnight, and I love it! I love making traditions of our own.

On Christmas morning, I headed over to my parents’ home in my footie pajamas, snuggled into my favorite chair, and enjoyed spending time with my loved ones.


(In case you couldn’t tell, my wonderful parents, shown here, surprised me with an amazing new DSLR!) After presents, a rallying game of Monopoly, and a marathon of Spaghetti Westerns, I headed home to Zach, and proceeded to sleep for fourteen hours. No joke. I guess you could say it’s been a busy, stressful semester! I so needed this break to restart myself and get into the groove of some new routines.

Beginning this Monday, I am starting back at work and beginning my new schedule, which means it’s time to figure out where the things I want to do can mesh with the things I need to do. As a goal for my entire year (not a resolution, a goal), I am going to set some easy but useful goals for myself each month! Goals seem to inspire me to do the things I want – and should – do, so I think it’s the best way to start this new, blank year.

January Goals:

Stay on track for the new budget (envelope system, here I go!)

Find time to work in at least 4 workouts a week, at home or the gym

Write at least 4 letters this month, and plan to continue this each month

Figure out the bookshelf situation (future blog post about this organizational hazard!)

Read one leisure book (post-break book, during the semester)

Stay on top of all assignments/classes/reading for the month, and keep it up!

Cook two dinners a week for the family, Mom deserves a break

Blog 3 times a week (shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, was doing it already!)

I’m so excited to start a new year and to experience all of the adventures that will come with it; graduation, jobs, graduate school, and moving back out on my own are on the (very close) horizon, and I couldn’t be more ready! The start of a new year brings with it so many demands of bettering your life in health and mentality, and I think that it’s a great start, but don’t let it intimidate you any more than starting a new routine mid-October. Find a way to make this new year about learning, experiencing, loving, and having fun!

Have you made a list of any goals for the month or year? I’d love to hear about them!

Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal

I think it’s that time of the year.

Christmas starts earlier each year, and while many people hate it, I enjoy getting into the spirit a month early. When my local radio station began to play Christmas music on November 2nd (Halloween was delayed this year), I immediately tuned my car radio, bathroom radio, and all other music players to the station. I just love the holidays! October through December are honestly my favorite three months, regardless of the lack of sunlight and tans.

Growing up, I used to be like this when Christmas rolled around, even without the extra month of preparation.


My brother and I were constantly excited, even if we just got our gifts for mom and dad a few days before the 24th. It didn’t matter how long the Christmas movies had been playing or when we put the tree up, the excitement just came naturally. As the years went by, my young mind started to realize how quickly events came and went; at not one, not two, but three weddings of various cousins, I bawled as we left because I just couldn’t believe that it was done already. My parents always thought I was just tired or wanted to stay longer at the parties, but I was genuinely just sad that it was finished. The celebration that we had spent months anticipating had come and gone, and to me it felt like it had only been a few minutes. When I started to realize how quickly the holidays passed by, I decided that I would try to make them last longer. The year I realized this, I was sitting by my grandma’s Christmas tree after opening the coolest sock monkey ever, and I just couldn’t believe that it was over. Where did Christmas go? How was it over? I really didn’t understand how this day I had been waiting for was gone.

As I’ve grown older, I have also learned that Christmas isn’t about the awesome sock monkeys, but its more in the chance to celebrate with all of my family and friends. When we moved south during my freshman year of high school, I understood this even more, and also found myself grateful for the spread of Christmas celebrations we had to attend. Having a large family has its benefits, even if my dad complained during every 4 or 6 hour trip north. The opportunity to travel for the holidays makes the experience much longer. And while ten-year old Rachael would have absolutely loved this, 22-year old Rachael is getting just a little bit swamped. I’m looking a little more like this lately…


I don’t mean the drop-down drunk part, although I have been keeping the beer and wine close as we hit up each Christmas celebration, but I mean the part of me who is completely exhausted and wishing that Christmas was a little easier. I’m realizing now that I can’t have both things that I want; a long Christmas without twenty-something stops in between Thanksgiving and New Years. It’s an exaggeration, I know, but it makes sense to others with large, spread out families. I love getting to see everyone, and when it’s over, I still get sad, but I don’t cry like I used to. I curl up in bed, and watch a Christmas movie in the privacy of my own place. I think as I grow older, I’m realizing that while these countless trips are irritating, there is going to be a day very soon where not all of these trips will be able to happen. It’s difficult to stay cheery when you are tired of traveling, but its even harder to take these precious moments for granted. Instead of being a Grinch, I need to find a happy medium. I need to find balance so that I can still enjoy the celebration to the fullest without bursting at the seams.

Until then, I’ll need to find a sippy cup for my Moscato…