March 5, 2014

Martha Stewart Wedding Party

Tangy mimosas to kick-start the event, while waiting for Darcy Miller to speak

We’ve made some really great progress on our wedding so far, and I’m proud that we’ve done so much in so little time. Even though all of the major details are squared away, when I heard the Martha Stewart Wedding Party was rolling into Chicago, I knew that the fiancĂ© and I just had to go. Case in point: watch the video here. It was a fabulous way to spend a Sunday morning, and I left inspired and hopeful for our own occasion this October.

Even the programs were beautiful
Major flower lust going on throughout the ballroom
Pink coordination--just look at those adorable customized drinks!
Delicious bite-sized cupcakes and orchids to celebrate our decision to honeymoon in Hawaii
My favorite place settings, featuring mismatched vintage china
Bag of swag to enjoy after the event; excited to try a few new L'Oreal products
The Ritz Carlton is everything you'd expect it to be and more

March 3, 2014


Sugarfina invitations for my bridesmaids--all 5 of them said yes!

I feel like I haven’t even had the luxury of spending much time at home lately. Work’s insane, wedding planning is fairly demanding on the front end, I’ve had a lot of hectic weekend activities, and I recently suffered from a pretty catastrophic car accident. You know it’s been a rough winter when it feels like you live in the dark, and you celebrate the one 40 degree day by going for an hour-long trudge through the slushy sidewalks outside. It’s times like these that you have to focus on the little things…

Dog-sitting Flossy; speaking of trudges outside….
A gift from my sister, and one of our new nightly traditions
Expanding my skincare routine by trying the Tata Harper line 
A crazy colorful birthday gift in my favorite color from my friend Minie

March 2, 2014

Over It

Though most of my personal goals have been undeniably wedding-centric as of late, I thought it might be a good idea to balance them out with some stress-free, non-nuptial activities that I can enjoy while I desperately wait for it to warm up outside. Sure the Lake looks amazing in this weather, but other than that, I’m kinda done with the winter.  Some things to tide me over until Spring rolls in:
  1. Attend the Martha Stewarts Wedding Party at the Ritz Carlton (okay, this is so fun I don’t think it counts as a wedding activity)
  2. Submit my garden plot renewal contract and start planning this year’s crops
  3. Spend a long evening on the couch watching all things Oscars-related, including the always-awkward E! red carpet pre-game
  4. Spend even more time on the couch, finishing up the second season of House of Cards
  5. Finish reading The Son and start in on Night Film
  6. Send in my tax returns early!
  7. Keep up with the morning "Booty Calls," courtesy of my new favorite trainers
  8. Raise a spoonful of jambalaya in honor of Fat Tuesday
  9. Escape to the American Club for a belated birthday celebration
  10. Celebrate the second birthday of sandcastle!

January 23, 2014

sandcastle + minted

Rustic customized bride and groom seating

As we started thinking through the details of our wedding, it occurred to us that we’ve attended nearly 25 weddings over the years that we’ve been together.  Whereas we used to open up our mailbox to find stacks of wedding invitations, we’re now more likely to discover that a birth announcement has found its way to us in the mail. Regardless of the milestone, I’ve come to associate happy news with colorful cards, which is why I was thrilled when Minted invited me to explore their gorgeous website and design a few of my own.

As I quickly learned when browsing through images such as these on Minted and its adorable sister blog Julep, the opportunities to get inspired and be creative are truly endless. Even though we haven’t cemented a date for our wedding, I’m already thinking about ways to personalize our event and set the tone for a memorable celebration. In the meantime, I’m also scheming with friends to plan the ultimate bachelorette party, a festive occasion that will, of course, be commemorated with fun and girly invitations.

And because love is in the air, I’m also drawn to their Valentine’sDay card collection. Last year, I made my own cards, but this February, I’m ready to take things up a notch and I think that these may be the perfect way to send kisses to my friends and family all over the country in anticipation of seeing them on our big day.

Beautiful calligraphy detailing and a muted color palette
Hand-painted candles in sherbet hues
Escort cards with autumn touches
Celestial mood lighting
Gold glitter-covered vases with single stems

This post sponsored by Minted and all images provided courtesy of Minted's blog Julep. All opinions and enthusiasm for planning a unique wedding are my own!

January 22, 2014

Fight or Flight

After hitting up Madison and then concluding our visit with my family, the engagement celebration train headed north to the cabin, where we experienced cold on a hurts-to-breathe-outside level. I was more than happy to sit by the fire and tear through a few books (including this and this) while Mike ventured out to capture the over-stuffed wildlife and ice-encased trees.

Yes, that's a tiny little (real!) lighted Christmas tree in a field. Isn't it the cutest?
See. I wasn't kidding when I said it was cold outside. And this wasn't even the low.