Let’s face it, this past year has been… rough to say the least. Especially now, nearly a year after the pandemic has turned our world upside down, I think it’s safe to say that we’re all feeling the effects in one way or another. Despite the tumultuous times, I had so much to be thankful for: an engagement, a new house, a puppy, and a new sister-in-law, are just a few of the big life moments 2020 brought me.
Looking ahead in 2021, I have so much to be excited for with wedding planning in full swing, and starting a new job. When thinking about the goals I wanted to set for myself as we moved into the new year, I wanted to be gentle with myself and set attainable goals without becoming overwhelmed by several large goals on top of everything I want/need to accomplish this year. While wedding planning and prioritizing for the year ahead has predominately taken up my time (hence, the late blog post), I’m looking forward to holding myself accountable, and sharing my health journey and wedding planning stories, tips, & tricks on here this year!
Goals for 2021
Get my gut health in check — I’ve had stomach issues since I was 21, and am really working on taking the proper supplements and eating healthier to heal my gut this year.
Workout 3-5 days a week
Practice mindfulness daily
Make my mental health a priority
Read 50 books — this is a little less than I usually go for my reading goal, but with so much going on this year, I’m cutting myself some slack.
Drink more water
Create a better morning routine
I will control what I can control.
I accept myself as enough.
What are some goals you set for the new year, and how are they going?
First and foremost, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this scary, uncertain time. It’s incredibly overwhelming with the current circumstances of the world looming over our heads and always having it in our face with the news and social media. For a while, it didn’t exactly feel right to push out content at this time, but I’ve found that creating content and writing has been therapeutic for me. I, like many others across the globe, have found myself mentally and emotionally struggling during this time and this is the best way for me to deal with what’s been going on in my mind, so I’ve made the decision to continue to create and distribute my blog posts.
Today is the day that I thought I’d be returning to work and everything would start to shift back to our normal routine, but this is not the case. I’ll be honest, initially this didn’t seem like such a bad gig — a little more time to myself, a two-pace commute to my desk, having a consistent workout schedule. It all sounds pretty great! Now that we are about a month in, I’m finding that I’m having a much harder time with it all. My fiancé and I were in the middle of house hunting, and I was sure that we’d be in our future home within the next few months; however, with the mandatory shelter-in-place in effect in Michigan, our search has come to a screeching halt. Additionally, since he is a firefighter and can potentially be dealing with COVID patients on a daily basis, we have made the decision to socially distance from each other. After being long distance for four years, this should be a piece of cake, but I’m taking it a lot harder than I anticipated. Luckily, I’m safe at home with my immediate family, and we’re all safe and healthy with the exception of an increased feeling of cabin fever. I’ve been making a conscious effort to get some fresh air by going for walks a few times a week or just stepping out on our back patio, and trying to keep in touch with friends and family through texts, calls, FaceTime, and Zoom meetings.
I’m well aware that my own situation is peanuts compared to what others are going through. My heart aches for my little brother and the rest of the senior class of 2020 who are missing out on those final days of high school and college: sports seasons have been cut short, no prom, no spring break, missing out on those final days with their friends, and Lord knows about graduation or graduation parties to celebrate their achievements. My heart goes out to those who cannot gather for various milestones at this time — having to postpone their weddings, being unable to properly put on a funeral or celebration of life for those lives that are lost, and many more circumstances. Finally, my thoughts and prayers are constantly with those who are being directly affected by the virus — people who have and had the virus, their families, those on the frontlines: healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers (grocery workers, mail carriers, and many others) putting themselves at risk daily to help fight this and help others through this.
Despite everything, I’m making an effort to focus on many personal positives that have come out of this:
Working on my Health and Body: I now have a consistent daily workout routine with the help of two of my sorority sisters. Also, being at home has forced me to practice better eating habits and cook meals that are better for me (not including the chocolate croissant above — that is a special treat since it reminds me of happier times). In addition, I’ve developed a solid meditation routine. While I’m still not the best at turning my mind off, I notice that I’m getting better with every practice.
Wedding Planning: I have the time to start researching venues and vendors for our wedding. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve already found my dress (more to come on that later)! With everything so up in the air right now, we have yet to set a concrete date, but we’re aiming for Spring 2022, so getting a head start on planning has me super excited!
Blogging: As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been able to dedicate more time to working on my blog and creating more content. It has been very therapeutic to me to do something I’m passionate about.
Developing Personal and Professional Skills: I’ve allocated more time to improving myself on both a personal and professional level, utilizing platforms such as Coursera and LinkedIn Learning. This is something I’ve been trying to do for a long time, but time didn’t always allow for me to get through the course; now, I have zero excuse to not get through them!
Reading: Slowly but surely, I’m been working on my rather large to-be-read pile. Currently I’m working on The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, and I’m totally captivated by this story. To discover more books that I’m reading, have read, or what I’m looking to read next, check out my Goodreads profile. My goal this year is 55 books, but I’m always hoping to surpass that goal!
A Deeper Appreciation: As they say, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”. Boy, has that really hit home with me during this time. I’ve always thought that I appreciated the little things, but this has taught me not to take little joys for granted.
A Glimmer of Hope
At the end of all of this, I’m really hoping that people prioritize what’s really important in life, and don’t take our freedoms and privileges for granted. Hug your loved ones a tighter and cherish the time you have with them. We will persevere.
Happy 2020! It only took me 3 months, but I’ve finally had the time to write out my first blog post of the year, and it’s an exciting one that I didn’t think I would be writing for at least another year. 2020 has been a whirlwind thus far — January seemed to take FOREVER and then February flew by and I feel like I haven’t had a chance to catch my breath lately as things are getting crazier because….
It was a complete and utter surprise. We’ve talked about getting married for a few years now, especially after being together for 6 years and doing long distance for 4; however, I didn’t anticipate anything happening for at least another year.
For years I’ve told Ryan that I had a list of rules for when he proposed:
1.) My nails needed to be done – not hard since I’ve been getting them done religiously for 2 years.
2.) He had to ask my dad for permission.
3.) Make sure that there is someone there to photograph it.
4.) Please do not stick the ring in food.
5.) Don’t do it at a sporting event.
Seems bratty, but I know what I want and I’m always sure to articulate it. Plus, luckily for me, he abided by all of these rules haha!
Now that I’ve had some time to digest it — mind you, it feels like a dream — I still can’t believe how well Ryan pulled everything off. Everything was absolutely flawless! I never knew what to expect from him, but it couldn’t have been more perfect and well thought out. Going back to the place where we had our first date and really started to fall for each other was the best way to jump start forever.
How it all went down…
It all started earlier in the week when my best friend reached out to us and asked if we wanted to go ice skating at Campus Martius in downtown Detroit with her and her husband. What a perfect way to throw me off, right?! When the plans were set, I had a fleeting thought of, “how awesome would it be to get engaged where it all began”, then I completely forgot about it until following the proposal.
When the day came, we met at their house to all drive down together. Everything seemed so normal on the car ride, aside from no one jumping on my suggestion of Shake Shack for dinner, which I thought was odd, but I didn’t think anything of it. During the ride I recounted a strange dream I had the night before about a wedding. Again, I didn’t think too far into this because it’s normal for me to have strange, vivid dreams. I mean, really, I could write a book on all of these dreams.
We headed to the rink, strapped on the skates, and began skating. Mind you, I cannot ice skate to save my life, so it’s more so Ryan pulling me around the rink as I attempt to stay upright. As we made our way around the rink, I couldn’t help but think about how grateful I am that Ryan is so patient with me when we go skating (he’s a hockey player, so he’s pretty darn good at it).
About an hour in, I was ready to be done when Ryan said, “come on, let’s just do one more lap”. Hungry, tired, and with aching feet, I obliged. Halfway through the lap, he turns to me and says, ” you know that dream you had about the wedding? I think you had the wrong person.” As Taylor Swift’s “Lover” played in background, he pulled the ring box out of his pocket, gets on one knee, and asks me to marry him. Of course, I said yes!! Well, more like nodded my head yes because I was so shocked that I could barely speak. He sweetly asked if I wanted to put the ring on because I couldn’t pull myself together or comprehend what was happening.
Afterwards, our friends snapped some photos of us and we went to 24 Grille where Ryan made reservations for us — hence the Shake Shack rejection — which was absolutely delicious. It was so special to have our best friends there to celebrate this milestone with us!
We have yet to start the planning process since we’re currently house hunting, but I’m so excited to share wedding content as we start our planning journey. In the meantime, please share any of your best wedding planning tips, tricks, or resources below or on my Instagram post!
One of the most fun aspects of planning a wedding is planning the bachelor/bachelorette party, but how does one go about planning a joint party for the bride and the groom?
I recently stood up as the Maid of Honor in my best friend’s wedding. It was my first time standing up in a wedding as a bridesmaid and I didn’t really know what to expect. One thing that I knew I would be responsible for is planning and executing the bachelorette party. My friend and her now husband decided that they wanted a joint party out of town, so I started to build my arsenal of ideas early on to make all of their bachelor-bachelorette party dreams come true.
When I started doing research for planning, I found that there were little to no posts about how to plan a joint bachelor-bachelorette party. So I decided to take the liberty to do it myself and bring you guys the hot tips and lessons learned during my time planning:
Talk to the bride and groom about their expectations. Before you do anything, ask the bride and groom: a.) What city they want to celebrate in. b.) What their must-do activities and must-see attractions are. c.) Any other must-haves to make the weekend the bachelor/bachelorette party of their dreams.
Start planning months in advance; DO NOT wait until the last minute. I started planning the party and gathering ideas immediately after the couple told me where they wanted to go. While the location changed as we got closer, I had both a Google document and Pinterest board going filled with ideas that could easily transfer. This also helps with budgeting; set a timeline for payments and purchasing decor, gifts, etcetera so you don’t blow all your money at once.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I admit it, I’m a total control freak and perfectionist; I get an idea in my head and need to follow through on it. However, between my full-time job, planning the party, and maintaining my sanity, I needed an extra set of hands or two. The bride’s brother and sister-in-law graciously offered their assistance and helped play a pivotal role in the success of the party.
Don’t worry about packing the schedule. It is not necessary (nor fun) to jam-pack the schedule so full of activities that you’re stressing out about making it to the activities on time and not having enough downtime. Remember: even though it is a bachelor-bachelorette party, people want to relax and enjoy their time, especially if they’re on vacation for it. I chose to leave at least one open day so that we could explore the town and do whatever it was we felt like doing at that time.
Spend a day of the trip — or at least a few hours — apart doing separate activities for the guys and ladies. It’s so important to give the bride and groom some time to focus on themselves with their guys or girls. Saturday morning of the weekend, the girls got massages at a local spa, while the guys went axe throwing. It was the perfect amount of time to focus on the bride and groom individually. Following these activities, we all met up at the hotel for a pool party prior to the evening festivities.
Do not sweat the minute details.I know — easier said than done and I may or may not have broken this rule myself since it comes with the territory of being a perfectionist, but should you forget something minor or anything go awry, chances are you’re the only one who realizes it. Don’t overthink what goes in the gift bags or whether or not you have enough decor these things do not make or break the event.
You absolutely CANNOT please everyone. There are only two people whose happiness matters: the bride and the groom. Double the attendees means double the opinions that do not matter. So long as the bride and groom are having fun and enjoying themselves, there’s no need to worry about anyone else.
Event planning 101: If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong. People will show up to reservations late and winging the night might not always go to plan, just roll with the punches. Use your best judgement to handle the situation, and move on. Remember that you need to enjoy yourself too after all of your hard work.
Do you have any more tips that you didn’t see here? Drop them in the comments!
Okay, I admit, I’ve been absolutely horrible about posting in the last month between work, my online class, and maintaining my sanity I haven’t been setting aside enough time to dedicate to my blog. BUT the class is over, I’ve got myself on a new routine, and I’ve been feeling SUPER creative lately so stay tuned for upcoming content.
If you follow me on socials, you’ll know that my best friend recently got engaged! I love, love, love weddings so I’m incredibly excited to help her with the planning; I’m sure I’ll include some planning posts on here in the future!
In other news, nothing really kicks into gear the need/desire to get in shape like a wedding. Not only have I pushed myself to work out at least five days a week, but I’ve started watching what I’m eating a bit closer, while cutting out pop. I also start my day with a glass of apple cider vinegar water. I was totally apprehensive about this, but I have to admit, it WORKS! It’s only been a week, but I’m significantly less bloated and have better digestion daily.
Keep scrolling to see what else I’ve been up to during my mini hiatus!
Jo Malone London Discovery Collection from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – English Pear & Freesia is my favorite!
Urban Decay Naked2 Basics Set, also from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale – I’m super impressed with all of the products in this set. I’m going to need to add the eyeshadow primer potion and All Nighter setting spray to my regular makeup routine.
Looking Ahead: Now that the facelift is nearly complete, I’m looking forward to bringing you some new content! I’ve been feeling awfully nostalgic lately, especially after going back through posts from when I initially began my blog, and I’ve been looking to write some posts similar to how I used to write. Prepare yourselves for a few more thought-provoking and fashion-related articles as I go back to my roots! Also, if you have anything you’d like to see on the blog, comment below or DM me on my socials and I’ll be happy to share.