Wednesday, July 30, 2014

First Anniversary {Traditional} Gifts

You guys.  We had the most amazing time in Charleston.  I'm so sad to be back -- I miss the nightly wine and cheese hour, our cute hotel, the food (ohhh, the food) and even the heat.  I'm still processing the 300 something pictures I managed to take -- 250 of them being pictures of houses and flower boxes -- and hope to have a full recap up tomorrow!

This trip was to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and while we considered it our main "gift" to each other, we still wanted to get each other a little surprise something.  We decided to follow the traditional first anniversary gift of paper and keep it on the cheaper side.  Nick got me the most adorable coffee table book of Charleston pictures -- love.  I was a failure and still haven't gotten in his gift in... it should be here soon though!

Here are some reasonably priced ideas to celebrate your first year of marriage!

+ Tickets
Tickets to a concert, musical, sports event, anything!  Or you can go all out like Nick and I wanted to do (hey, you only get one first anniversary!) and go for airplane tickets :)  I'm kicking myself now for not saving our plane tickets and other tidbits from this past weekend so I could frame them in a shadow box like this.  Adorable.

+ Art Prints
There are sooo many amazing art prints on Etsy -- that you can even customize!  Since we're wrapped up in all things regarding moving, this custom house portrait is my absolute favorite.  Some other great customized ideas are a wedding portrait painting, wedding vow/first dance song/poem print and a bouquet portrait.

+ Notebook
Leather notebook/journals are always nice to have, bonus points for getting it monogrammed.  There are also fun ideas other than just a blank book.  This One Line A Day book would be such a sweet way to record little moments from each day of your marriage.

+ Calendar/Photo Book
Shutterfly is my go to for this kind of thing.  For really reasonable prices, you can make a book full of pictures of your wedding, honeymoon or memories from the past year.  I made a wedding photo book for our parents for Christmas and we also have a calendar of wedding/honeymoon pictures that hangs in our kitchen.  Both are super great quality and I know there are a lot more Shutterfly orders in my future!

Nick's gift is included in this line up but I don't want to give it away in case he's reading ;)  What did you do/are planning to do for your significant other to celebrate your first anniversary?

Linking up with ShannaJordon and Liz

Monday, July 28, 2014

One Year of Pure Happiness

Yesterday, July 27th, Nick and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary.  It sort of blows my mind that it's been an entire year since that perfect day.  It has truly been an awesome year.  Nick is my best friend and I can't imagine doing life with anyone else.  He makes everyday better than the last and I constantly feel like the luckiest girl in the world.  He's loving, loyal, hard working, caring and is the only person in the world that can make me feel better no what I'm going through.

I've always heard that the first year of marriage is the hardest and for us, it was the complete opposite.  This first year has been the best one of the seven we've spent together so far.  I didn't think much would change once we got married considering we had lived together for so long prior, but everything changed.  We're now our own little family and I absolutely love that.

I can't wait to see where the next year takes us -- moving will be a big, big change for us but as long as I get to wake up everyday next to my best friend, then life is good.  Cheers to one year down and soooo many more to go!

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up.  But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone?  Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves.  A cord of three strands is not quickly broken."  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

**For full wedding recap posts, see HERE!  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five Very Random Thoughts

We made it -- it's Friday!  I'm going to keep it short and sweet today and share five random things from this week.  Let's get right to it!

+ I cooked bacon in the oven and it turned out surprisingly amazing.  I was worried it wouldn't taste the same or cook right but it totally did and I'll never go back to that frying pan mess again!  Click here for the recipe I followed.

+ This article about Instagram is hilarious.  And this article is for my fellow Friday Night Lights lovers!

+ I've mentioned before that the apartment next door to us went for up for sale as a foreclosure last year and some questionable neighbors moved in.  It's a girl and her boyfriend and they fight ALL.THE.TIME.  About once a month, we're woken up in the middle of the night to them screaming at each other.  I legit heard these words come out of her mouth before: "Just knife me!  Why don't you just knife me?!"  They are seriously insane.

Anyway, Wednesday night we were woken up at 4:45 am (just getting home from the bar I suppose?) to them screaming.  It went on for a little bit until another neighbor yelled out his window "Hey apartment ###, shut the f*ck up!"  They did shut up, I will give them that.  Thank you to my fed up neighbor for voicing all of our opinion, you are my hero.

+ I want these!  I've never bought shoes from Forever 21 before... good/bad idea?  I need a new pair of black pumps and the price is definitely right!

+ You guys.... I think we have a house!  We've agreed on an offer with the sellers, our deposit has been put down, an inspection date has been set.... I think it's really finally happening!  Hopefully I'm not jinxing things by posting this ;)  This is the farthest we've ever gotten in the buying process so cross your fingers/say a little prayer for us that this one works out!

I hope you all have a wonderful day!  We are up to something very fun this weekend so make sure to follow along on Instagram :)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of The Year

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale... the holy grail of sales!  I've done a bit of damage there in the past couple of weeks and wanted to share my favorite finds.  The selection this year is ah-mazing and I literally want to buy everything!  Here's a quick round up of what I've gotten so far...

I've needed new tennis shoes for forever now but haven't been able to find the right pair.  Well, I finally did with these Nike Free's.  Comfortable, light weight and (best of all) are PINK -- who can turn down pink tennis shoes?!  They *almost* make me want to work out ;)

I was torn between these and the infamous Zella leggings but these fit me so much better -- and were $10 cheaper!

As soon as the sale started, I headed to the accesories department to pick up this necklace.  I was about to pay when I saw this here Bauble Bar gem... and fell in love.  The other necklace was quickly discarded and never thought of again (seriously, until right now). 

A lighter winter coat was on my "to buy" list all last year and I never found the perfect one.  I was torn between this Sam Edelman one (pictured) and this Michael Kors one.. which note: if you like the MK one, go to Nordstrom Rack.  They have the same exact coat for $20 cheaper than Nordstrom!  Anyway, spending money on a winter coat in July was lame but I'll be so happy come November! 

So far I've only let myself purchase items that I have really been *needing*.  I do have a couple more things I want to pick up but I'm trying to spread them out so my husband doesn't catch on ;)  Here's what's still on my wish list...

This Barefoot Dreams robe is about the last thing I NEED but I want it so bad.  I'm a sucker for robes and when I saw it in the store, I knew I should stay away.  But I couldn't -- I tried it on and now I can't stop thinking about it!

These Frye boots have been put in and taken out of my online shopping cart about 10 times now.  I need black boots and I l.o.v.e. these but although they are on sale, they still aren't cheap.  But then again, when are you ever going to find these boots for this price??  You see my dilemma here.

Tell me what you've bought from the sale!  Give me some more things that I just NEED to buy -- my husband will love you for it :)  Happy Thursday!
Linking up with Annie

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Blogging Perks

Disclaimer: I am not a fashion blogger.  So take these pictures with a grain of salt... ie. ignore my 5 day old hair, volleyball bruised shins and serious lack of a tan considering it's the end of July.  However, when contacted by a company that is willing to offer me a free dress in exchange for a review, why yes, I will attempt to become a fashion blogger for the day ;)

Dress c/o eShakti HERE // Earrings (in Slate Catesye) HERE // Watch (on sale!) HERE //
Purse (similar) HERE // Heels (in Dijon) HERE

eShakti is an online women's apparel store that offers everything from dresses to tops to skirts to jackets.  So literally, everything.  But the best part of all?  eShakti will customize your order to fit your specific body type.  Being on the short side at 5'3", the problem I most often run into is that things are too long on me.  I was ecstatic when I realized that I could customize this dress to the exact length I wanted it -- for no extra charge!

I decided to go with the "mini" length and it's perfect for my short frame.  For this specific dress, I also had the option to remove the detailing on the bust -- but why would I do that?!  It's my favorite part of the dress!  However, options are nice to have and in a world where we all shop at the same stores for similar products, it's nice to be able to have a dress that is 100% you!

I'm a sucker for a pretty white dress and this is another perfect addition to my collection.  Thank you eShakti!  Make sure to stop by and check out their website -- also, sign up today and receive $25 off your first order!  Happy shopping :)

Linking up with Shanna and Liz

Monday, July 21, 2014


Hellloooo friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend and are ready to tackle the lameness that is another Monday.  We had a good one that (as usual) went by way too fast.

Our weekend started out a bit early on Friday morning when we packed up and headed back to Michigan.  Nick had a work golf outing... and I had to spend the day at Panera.  Speaking of Panera, did you know they have a 30 minute limit on their wi-fi?  Talk about a rude awakening when I was kicked off the internet at 11:35 am and had to wait until after 2 pm to log back on.  I planned on hauling myself over to Starbucks in protest but Nick had taken the car so I would have had to walk... with a huge purse and seriously heavy computer bag.  So I sat at Panera and waited it out.  It was a really great Friday. (Not.)

Anyways, Friday was all up hill after that.  Nick picked me back up at 5:30pm and we made the trek to my hometown of Holland, Michigan.  We went out to dinner with my family and then Nick and I headed out to the beach to watch the sunset over Lake Michigan.

Let me just say that I l.o.v.e. Holland in the summer.  I would live on the beach in a tent if I could.  Holland State Park is definitely my happy place and Friday was a picture perfect night -- very literally with the pictures considering I took about 40 of them.

Saturday morning = house hunting.  We saw a few places and really like two of them so it was a good day.  Afterwards, it was right back home to Chicago.  Not before stopping to pick up a Papa Johns pizza and bottle of vino, all the makings of a fabulous Saturday night at home.

Busted eating from their blackberry bush!

Sunday was the usual.  Church, cleaning, errands, dinner and some TV watching.  We did manage to squeeze in a trip to Nordstrom to do some shopping -- I'll be sharing all of my finds later this week!

Enjoy your day and remember, only 5 days until the next weekend :)
Linking up with LeeannCarly and Biana