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!

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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?

Oh Hey, Friday [Winter Favorites]

Happy Friday, y’all! I am feeling so much better this week. After a week like last week, it was the best thing to be free and be allowed to do what I want – even go to work! I was stranded yesterday (my car is sick), and I felt just how cruddy it is to be cooped up in the house. However, this time around, I did a little cleaning, organizing, and…online shopping!

I’m currently loving my job, but actively searching for another. I am in a field that is the opposite of my current field of study, and I  need, more than anything, to get an internship in my field. So, as winter fell upon us just two days ago, I began to look for some cute winter staples that will help get me through a few interviews, and hopefully will come along with me as I venture into a new position soon! I’ve been stalking different style blogs for some must-have pieces, and I’ve been checking in on some of my favorite stores (GAP, Loft, and J Crew, to be exact) for some good sale prices! I’m still on the hunt for one particular piece, but first let’s see what I’m bringing to my closet in the next few weeks!

[one] Starburst Jeweled Sweatshirt

imageServiceI am so excited to get home to this beauty on my front porch! This sweater from Loft will be the perfect winter addition. It’s perfect for layering, which is great for someone who works in a chilly office (me) and who likes to layer it up whenever possible (me)! It’s currently 40 percent off online, as well as everything else in the store, so check it out!

[two] Voila! Tee

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This is a bit of a fun one for me; when I graduated in May, I pretty much cleared out my closet from any fun tees. Not only that, but I also tossed a lot of my college tee shirts as well, mainly because they had aged after four years of constant wear! So, in a grown up manner, I am adding back in just a few cute statement tees for nights out and weekends running errands. This tee from Old Navy is simple, cute, and not too obnoxious! It’s also on sale, but only because they’re almost sold out!

[three] Ribbed Cowl Scarf

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I am in love with this scarf. I cannot lie. It is just simple, and cute, and will go with anything (thankfully). I foresee myself wearing this scarf daily, and I might even grab another before the season is over. If there is anything that gets cold on my body first, it’s my neck. And it gets painful. So this little buddy is going to be my lifesaver this year! It’s on sale at GAP right now for $19.00, and they’re also running a 30 percent off deal!

[four] Women’s Frost Free Quilted Vest

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I don’t even know what to say here. I think this is just a piece everyone should own! Sometimes, it’s not quite cold, but it’s not quite warm either, and you still feel like adding some layers. A simple puffer vest is THE way to go. I already have this piece, and for the past few weeks where it’s gone between 40 and 60 degrees, this jacket has been a life saver. It’s cute, easy to layer over a sweater, and when you add a scarf on top, it’s just the right amount of warm. This jacket is only $20.00 from Old Navy right now, and they are also having a little percent off sale!

[five] Shearwater Boots

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This last item is my final must-have, but also the only item I do not own. Up until last year, or even the last two years, it wasn’t necessary to own snow boots. In fact, even now it’s not really necessary to own some crazy, heavy-duty boots like I had when I lived in Ohio. However, these shearwater boots are perfect. They aren’t too tall, they have a shearling lining for some added warmth, and a waterproof sole so that you can walk through the slush and “snow” that central Kentucky gets during the winter. They would be the perfect addition to my shoe collection…if it weren’t for the $150 price tag. So, I am hoping that J. Crew throws out a little Black Friday online sale (because I refuse to step foot in the mall on that day), and that before the big storms roll through, I will be the new proud owner of some stylish, practical boots!

What are some of your winter must-haves? I love to see what styles everyone finds as they find themselves having to bundle up! Have a 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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

Oh Hey, Friday [Halloweenie’s]

Happy freaking Friday, everyone! If I said this has been one hell of a week, who here would agree? Well, as I imagine a classroom full of hands flying into the air, let’s take a moment to celebrate all that is the weekend…and Halloween!

[one] I am really disappointed to say this, but…we totally forgot to carve pumpkins this year! I was so ashamed when Zach and I made the realization on Monday night. What kind of Halloween freaks are we if we don’t get our pumpkin on?! It’s ok though, today I have vowed to drink nothing but pumpkin spice EVERYTHING.

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[two] I am also not dressing up as anything this year. HOW PATHETIC! We live in a neighborhood that is filled with little ones (and my parents do, too), but we just haven’t gotten out to hand out candy at all since we started dating. Zach has never handed out candy, mostly because he is a candy hoarder, but even if we did, tonight would not be the candy-handing-out type of night. Freezing temperatures plus rain equals…snow. Yep. I said it. Snow. No trick or treating for us!

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[three] Also, although I have every opportunity to go out, drink, dress up, have a great night, and eat lots of candy with my friends, I think I am going to make it an introvert’s Halloween at the Jones household. This means I will be drinking, dressing up (in my pajamas), having a great night watching Halloween movies, and eating lots of candy by myself. SCORE.

[four] All I have to say is, if any small children ring my doorbell, all they get is the sound of a hyperactive husky barking like a maniac. Happy Halloween? (I’ll be too busy languishing in my Reese’s Miniatures coma).

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[five] The best part of Halloween is, tomorrow morning, when I wake up, Jack Skellington will have brought me the best Hallow-Mas present ever…CHRISTMAS MUSIC ON THE RADIO! Mix-mas starts on the radio tomorrow morning, and our city is split in half; those who will be tuned in to 94.5 from now til Christmas Day, and those who will take the station off their presets until January first. Happy holidays!

(And 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

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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