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!

My_Favorite_Things_Linkup_2014

The Hunt Continues [Wedding Wednesday]

Hello again! Welcome to another round of Wedding Wednesday! Much to everyone’s surprise (especially mine), this post is actually on time! Insert all the shocked emojis you want, but it’s true. I’m here, and it’s time to get into the wedding mood. In the past two weeks, two more people in my life have gotten engaged! I think that, while I’ve been watching far-off friends (more like acquaintances) getting engaged via social media, it was not yet time for the people in my life to settle down…and now I’m thinking that time has come! We’re looking at four weddings in the next two years. That may seem like a small amount, but those are only the sure-thing engagements. I still have a great deal of friends who are in serious relationships, at least two of which I see taking the step towards marriage in the next few months! It makes me so happy that I get to share this time with my nearest and dearest, literally exchanging wedding-planning notes and all!

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Now, onto the more selfish topic of moi (and Zach, don’t forget about him!). I completely skipped my Wedding Wednesday post last week, which was fine. Except now I’m backed up on the venue hunt! So, today, we’re going to introduce venues number two and three! If all goes according to plan (crossing my fingers, toes, and anything else crossable), our wedding will be at one of these spots, but I’m not revealing any favorites until the contracts are signed, dotted, and crossed. Each venue is still a possibility at this point, seeing as Zach and I both really loved all of them! Central Kentucky is such a great place for amazing venues, and at such a great range of prices. It’s making this whole planning thing much easier!

Now, on to the venues. I would like to formally introduce venue number two! This venue is still technically in Lexington, and it is just a few miles away from venue number one. However, they are polar opposites in the looks and type category! This venue is technically a horse training facility! You may find it strange, but we’re in the Bluegrass State. Horses are everyone’s neighbor (Get it? Neigh-bor? Oh, I crack myself up). Anyways, the specific area we are looking at in this venue is an old holding area for horse sales. They no longer do the sales at this site, which is great for us; think about the smells that could emanate from the space! The area holds up to 300 guests, has a warehouse/rustic feel to it, includes a bar, and a staging area for the catering! It comes with tables and chairs to fit 160 guests, which is right in our ballpark estimate, and we also get to work with an amazing event planner to make sure everything is looking nice. We are allowed to decorate however we want, come in early on the day of (or book for the day before and day of for a reduced price!), and all of that jazz. Now, time for the round everyone loves when searching for a venue…MONEY!

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Remember our scale? Well, if not, let’s have a refresher; $ (much lower than the budget) to $$$$ (dream on, girl). Here’s a very brief overview of the things included:

  • venue space
  • tables and chairs for 160

And…that’s it! This venue is very basic; it’s an open space with some already built-in character, but it also calls for some personal touches here and there. The great thing about it is, if nobody else is hosting an event the Friday before, we can come in as early as we want on Friday to start setting the space up! For no additional cost! Here’s what we would need to bring in to the venue for additional costs:

  • Catering (outside or preferred)
  • Servers (outside or preferred)
  • Beverages (outside)
  • Alcohol (provided by venue for additional cost)
  • Ceremony space (if different from venue space)
  • Linens (outside or preferred)
  • Cake (outside)
  • DJ (outside)
  • Photographer (outside)
  • Extra tables and chairs (if needed, can be rented through venue)
  • Set up and tear down (free, but is family and friend labor)

So, as you can see when comparing venue one and two, this site is much less all-inclusive. This holds pros and cons of its own. Let’s start with the con (which isn’t all that much of a con, really): we’d have to do a lot of the work, but this means a more personalized look and feel to the wedding. Also, we’d have to crunch all the numbers for all the non-included vendors in order to see the budget. Which is just a huge time-suck, but is totally doable and necessary. Wanna hear the pros?

This venue is easily a $. Maybe even half a $. It is SO AFFORDABLE! The alcohol prices are even relatively cheap, the linens she rents are VERY inexpensive (but still great quality), and she has a recommendation or two for everything we still need. She recognized that most of her brides are trying to stick to a certain budget, so they like to find vendors who provide quality service for a low price. Which, duh, I LOVE! She was awesome, and if we were to choose this venue, I think it would be the smoothest sail of my life. The venue is still open on our date, and various other dates as well, which makes me breathe a sigh of relief.

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Now, let’s visit venue number three. We saw this venue last Friday, and let me tell you, it was THE perfect September day. It was the kind of day I hope our wedding falls on. It was just right as far as the temperature goes, and the sky was a clear blue. I pulled into the parking lot and quietly sobbed for a second, it was so beautiful. Or that could be because someone’s car spit up a semi tread when I was on my way to the venue and left a HUGE dent in my bumper. Poor car. Anyways, pulling into that parking lot and seeing the venue just made my day so much brighter! This venue is definitely one-of-a-kind. It was, at one point, a boarding school for girls and a convent. Then just a convent. Then a public site owned by the city. Now, it’s privately owned, and being used as a wedding venue among other things! There is also a Montessori school on site, as well as a senior center (both of which are closed on the weekends). It is such a unique space, but I knew going into the tour that the space I wanted to see was not the boarding school itself. No, the space I wanted to visit was the barn out back. It has been refinished to be weatherproof, include brand new bathroom facilities, and, here’s the kicker, comes with a rental of 12+ acres of land. Rolling, lush greenery is just outside the barn, and it is stunning! We both loved the feel of the barn, as it was not too country, but more on the rustic side of things. It has a concrete floor, comes with banquet tables and chairs for 160, and has a huge patio that overlooks the green space.

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Now, here is our Big Problem. This specific venue only holds up to 160 in the barn, and can fit an additional 100 seated on the patio. This is a bit of a concern for both of us; we already have a guest list topping out around 200, and even when we were visitng the venue, we were afraid that the inside of the barn looks just a tad bit small to fit 160 plus guests, a cake table, gift table, our couple’s table, the food, a DJ, and a dance floor. As much as I wanted to disagree with Zach, he was right. The interior is just a tad bit smaller than our guest list would need. But, there are options with this venue. We can use tents anywhere in the green space, and we can also use tent flaps on the sides of the patio. There are also two huge doors on either end of the barn that can open up to two parking areas. If we rented a dance floor and put the DJ out there, it would open up more space for seating. Basically, with this venue, we will either have to get creative, or get our guest list back down to the 120s. Both of which are options I am completely comfortable with.

Let’s hit the dollar signs at this point. I’m pretty sure by my discussion above you can guess what this venue includes:

  • venue space
  • tables and chairs for 160 (banquet tables only)

…and that’s it. Right on par with venue two, this venue offers only the bare minimum, which is not entirely a bad thing. As I’ve said, the only real con for this space is that it may not be big enough, and we both really wish it was. It is literally the perfect venue, gives us exactly the casual, rustic feel we want, and…its only a $-$$ price! It is right at the low to perfect end of our budget. We can’t come in the Friday before to set up, even if there aren’t events going on (unfortunately), but, we can rent the venue for the Friday before for half the price of the Friday price, which is already discounted! It really hits the nail on the head as far as our budget goes. Just for reference, here’s what we’d need to pay for in addition:

  • Catering (outside or preferred)
  • Servers (outside or preferred)
  • Beverages (outside)
  • Alcohol (provided by us, requires liquor liability license)
  • Ceremony space (if different from venue space)
  • Linens (outside or preferred)
  • Cake (outside)
  • DJ (outside)
  • Photographer (outside)
  • Extra tables and chairs (if needed, can be rented through venue)
  • Set up and tear down (free, but is family and friend labor)

It’s still very open, and although I thought the lack of a staging area for catering would be an issue, I’ve found a great number of caterers who are OK to cater to this venue. Which is good to hear for me. I think one huge pro for this venue with both Zach and my dad is that we can bring our own liquor. We have to get a liquor liability through the venue’s insurance, which is basically just a temporary liquor license, but it’s very cheap, and would help us save money on alcohol and also allows us to bring whatever drinks we want!

These last two venues are definitely exciting for us, because they have a bit more of the casual feel we both like for the wedding. It would be great if we could get the all-inclusiveness of venue number one in these two venues, but beggars can’t be choosers! We’ll have to see where we end up in a few weeks, when the date is chosen (!!).

For now, I’d love to hear your advice! Are there any unconventional venues that we wouldn’t have thought of that maybe we should try to find? Did you find any way of keeping the costs (and stress) low when you had to put together your entire team of vendors? I’d love to hear about it!

As always, I’m linking up for Wedding Wednesday!

Wedding Wednesday
Wedding Wednesday

[First] Five On Friday!

Alright, y’all, I think it’s time for a good old-fashioned link up! Today, for the first time, I’m teaming up with the good life blog, a. liz adventures, carolina charm, and hello! happiness for a….

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[one] Spring break plans!

It’s time to start getting a nice vacation plan together for Z and I. With me in school and Zach working night shift all week, we hardly ever get any time off together (besides the lightening-fast weekends). For the past two years, spring break has been our time to see each other during the day when I would normally be in class, and a time for him to squeeze in a little vacation time during the busy part of the year. Last year we hit up Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and it was AMAZING. We walked everywhere from our quaint little cabin room (complete with KING SIZE bed and jacuzzi tub!), enjoyed doughnuts in the square (which I can no longer eat), and just had a great time with each other in a new city for three days. This year, we are just beginning to figure out what we want to do and if we can afford to take a mini-vacation, and so far Chicago has been thrown around the most. So, either we’ll be seeing a whole lot of this, or we’ll be headed back to the beautiful Smokey Mountains!

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Chicago circa 2006!

[two] Movie Date Nights!

Tomorrow night, Z and I are going to see a super serious movie, one that I practically had to beg him to go to with me. I don’t know why guys are so difficult to persuade! Tomorrow, we are going to see…

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The Lego Movie! We have been dying to see this movie for months, ever since we saw the preview last summer, I believe! It looks hilarious, and since we are kids anyways at heart, I think it’s safe to say we’ll love it.

[three] Looking Nice!

Today, I made myself look nice. I decided yesterday that 22 is the age at which I decide to actually look good and put some effort into my appearance. Unfortunately I recently tossed most of my old makeup supply, so I couldn’t dress up the face too much, but I got the rest of myself looking good instead.

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Please excuse the cruddy selfie. How do you people do this and make yourself look good?!

[four] Pinterest Procrastination Obsession

Alright. All I have to say about this is that whoever created Pinterest is a genius / was a college student / should be my best friend. For real, I think I could live on Pinterest. But no, really, can I?! (PS, you should check out my boards. They’re out of control.)

[five] Makeup Replacement

Number five this week is makeup shopp – I mean replacement. Since I tossed so many essential items away over my winter break, I have finally decided it is time to update the collection. I found some amazing sales on Ulta yesterday (free shipping on $25 dollars and up, and $3.50 off of $10 or more!) and all of a sudden my feet were flying over the ground. Well, my fingers were flying over the keyboard. I did some extensive research at work on my own time, and I finally found the products I have been waiting for. Stop by next week to see the haul!

Have a great weekend and stay warm to those of you who are stuck in the snow-pocalypse!

The Blogmopolitan Quiz

Since I’m new here and all that, I have been catching on to some of the ropes of blogging. After first finding some wonderful and very entertaining blogs to follow on my own, I have found some really fun linkups in the midst of it all! I first saw this linkup in Taylor Rae’s blog from Taylored & Turquoise [if you haven’t seen her blog, make sure to stop by and check her out!], and I thought it was amazing! Most every girl has wanted to do the Cosmopolitan celebrity quiz, and here’s the opportunity!

The Blogmopolitan Quiz pt II

Feel free to head on over to Erin’s blog at Two Thirds Hazel and try it out for yourself!

x.