The Podcast List

Travel Bag | Headphones | Scarf
The holiday season is upon us, which for many, means lots of time spent traveling. Whether you're flying, driving, riding in a train, or anxiously awaiting the arrival of loved ones, there's bound to be some down-time over the holidays. And that is where this list will come in handy! Mike and I will be spending a lot of time in the car, driving to and from Wisconsin (and surrounding areas), so we'll need some good stuff to listen to for passing the time. 

I love listening to podcasts. To me, it's a step up from listening to music and a step down from watching a show. With music, I can get pretty lost and tune it out. With a show, I find myself wanting to actually look at the screen to know what's going on. With a podcast, I get the best of both worlds. Something interesting to listen to coupled with the freedom to move about the room (or otherwise) without feeling like I'm going to miss something important. 

Podcasts I've listened to and loved (or currently listen to and love):
My Favorite Murder
Dirty John 
Serial, Season 1
How I Built This
Stuff You Should Know
This American Life
Up & Vanished
Missing Richard Simmons
Someone Knows Something
True Crime Garage
Murder on Orchard Street
In The Dark
(some of these contain sensitive topics/explicit language - check the ratings before listening, if you're sensitive to that!)

Podcasts that have been recommended to me*:
Real Crime Profile
Boss Files
Girl Boss Radio
Young House Love
The Eric Metaxas Show
The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey
Wine and Crime
This Is Why You're Single
The Black Tapes
True Crime
Wrongful Conviction
Time Suck
Case Files
74 Seconds
The Next Right Thing
Thinking Sideways
Terrible, Thanks for Asking
30 for 30
Generation Why
The Popcast
Missing Maura Murray
Pod Save America
Martinis and Murder
Alice Isn't Dead
Already Gone
The Moth
Small Town Murder
Queen of Crime
Happier by Gretchen Rubin
Off the Vine
Sword and Scale

I haven't personally listened to any of the podcasts in this list, so I can't speak to the content, language or quality!

*based on my preference for true crime and/or learning something new

We'll definitely be diving into some of these during our holiday travel!

Cyber Monday

It's hard to believe the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has already come and gone! It seems to go by faster and faster with each passing year. This is my busiest season, by far. I suspect it's quite busy for most of you, as well. End of year work commitments, holiday travel, family time, the list goes on. The Christmas break always comes at the perfect time - right before I'm completely burnt out and about to collapse 😉 I've got a lot I still want and need to accomplish in 2017, so I'm pushing through strong until my last official workday of the year (which will come sometime before Christmas).

Alright, enough of that talk. Let's chat Cyber Monday sales, shall we? Friday, Saturday and much of Sunday, I was pretty occupied with things, so I didn't really have a chance to do much shopping of the sales. I kept seeing things that other bloggers/influencers would share on social media and was tempted, but would quickly be distracted and move on. Last night, though, I finally caught the cyber weekend bug and did some shopping! #FOMO

Notable Cyber Monday Sales:

Elisabeth Ashlie is still running the 20% off sale through 11:59pm today! 

J.Crew has 40% off + 10% off (still not sure why they don't just call it "50% off"...).

Madewell is still running 25% off. Take advantage!
I took advantage of the sale and ordered this, these, this cute shirt, and these jeans.

LOFT still has 50% off + FREE shipping!

Rifle Paper Co. has up to 30% off.

Anthropologie has 20% off + FREE shipping over $100!

Nordstrom Sale items worth looking at:
Classic tote (this never go on sale!), cozy cardigan (I've been told this is a game changer), cute leggings, the perfect bootie, a beautiful investment coat, and my favorite cardigan.

Happy Browsing!

Coffee Conversations

Good Morning and Happy Black Friday! If you celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday, I hope it was a day full of delicious food, loved ones, and a grateful heart. I'm certainly grateful for all of you! 

We spent the day with my in-law's, which was relaxing and wonderful. Later in the evening, a few of us made our way to Target, just to see if anything was worth buying. Mike made out with a bunch of new clothes (from the Goodfellow Co. line - most of which were 50% off!) and I left with a full-priced mascara. Truly, that was one of the very few times that I've ever left Target with just the thing that I actually needed. Figures

Noteworthy Black Friday Sales:

20% off at Elisabeth Ashlie

50% off at LOFT
 (This favorite of mine is on sale!)

25% off at Madewell
(These jeans - which I'm wearing in the photo above, this cardigan, and this perfect tee are all staples in my closet.)

50-60% off at J.Crew Factory
(I wear these vests all the time! I'm considering scooping up this cozy version, too.)

10% off when you spend $30 at Cooking in Pearls
(Get these notepads for everyone you know. And yourself.) 

50% off at Old Navy

25% off at Tarte
(This is my favorite mascara.)

25% off at Origins
(Best face mask ever.)

40% off at Aerie

We're driving to Williamsburg later this morning, so I'm planning to do a bit of really perusing these sales in the car. If you're shopping today (or this weekend), may the odds be ever in your favor.

Gift Guide: Gifts Under $50

1. Madewell Bag Tag * - the cutest little accessory for a bag! 

2. Sole Society Blanket Scarf * - to keep warm and cozy all winter long

4. The Five-Minute Journal - to start (or end) the day with a grateful heart -- the gift that keeps on giving!

5. Madewell Pouch Wallet * - perfect for smaller cross body bags. (Plus, you can personalize it and it will still be under $50!)

6. Mini Leather Roll - for the girl who loves to travel or just has a whole lot of stuff

7. Fresh Sugar Lip Beauty Box - these are my absolute favorite lip products -- this is such a great gift!

8. Baublerella Bling Brush - I use this to clean my ring and it works like a charm. A good idea for a newly-engaged gal or the girl who is always wearing jewelry!

11. Cooking in Pearl's Notepads - If there's a notepad lover in your life, buy her these. Lindsay (the gal behind Cooking in Pearls) is a dear friend of mine, so I'm a bit biased, but I use these every single day! Such great quality and the perfect size to make to-do lists, packing lists, grocery lists, etc. 

13. Portable Charger - this saved us on our Honeymoon through Europe. It's a great option for your friend who always forgets to charge her phone at night, or the one who has a lot of travel coming up!

P.S. The items with the * are currently on sale!


Saturday Style

If you were to ask me my idea of the perfect late Fall, weekend outfit, this is what my brain would picture. Neutral, comfortable, and chic. (I don't actually use the word, chic in real life, but I can't think of a better word right now). I have a similar wool coat from a few years back and love to pair it with more laid-back items to both relax the coat and fancy up the casual. It works well! 

I think we're finally in a weather pattern where I can start wearing cold weather accessories - hats, scarves - and not feeling sort of ridiculous going out in public. Some people are a little aggressive with their winter hat wearing - I like to wait until it actually serves a function, other than looking cute. The day after Thanksgiving, we will be spending a lot of time outside, so I need to look through my scarves and hats and figure out which lucky ones will be coming along with us! 


All Things Wedding Q&A, Part Three

How did you handle differing of opinions between your parents and in-laws throughout the process?
The only person who I really differed in opinion with was my mom, and it was only on a few, minimal details. She is more traditional in her thinking of a wedding - all white, fancy, traditional. I was not that way. It took a little coaxing and convincing on some points, but at the end of the day, she wanted what I wanted, so it all worked out! It can be a delicate situation, though. Emotions are elevated - it's an important day with a lot of expectation, so it can be easy to be super sensitive. Communicating and being patient are really important things. 

Anything you wish you would've done, but didn't?
I wish I'd had more time to greet and chat with everyone who attended! The day went by so quickly and there was so much going on that I didn't get to talk with everyone. Other than that, there isn't anything that I felt like we were missing!

Any ways to save money?
There's a ton of ways to save money when planning a wedding! The best thing you can do is go through a list of all of the things that you think of when attending/planning a wedding - venue, food, drinks, dessert, favors, DJ, videographer, etc. Rank them by importance and determine which of them you can do without. Once you have your narrowed down list, go through and brainstorm ideas to DIY it -- do you know someone who is an amateur photographer and will shoot your wedding for a discount? Do you know someone who is super organized that can help you with the planning so you don't need to hire a planner? Things like that can make a huge difference in the final bill. Try not to get sucked into all of the traditional expectations of what should be at a wedding. It's your and your husband-to-be's day - it should reflect you guys and be true to who you are. 

Did you do wedding favors?
We did not. Pretty early on in the process, I knew that was something that we would likely skip. It used to be expected to have favors, but it's shifted more to being a personal decision. About halfway through the planning process, I wanted to take on the task of making everyone a candle to take home with them - one that had the scents of the day - but quickly realized that was a task that I just couldn't take on. So, we didn't do favors! 

How much was Mike involved?
I would say mike was pretty involved. He and I had talked a lot about what was important to us, what we pictured for the day, etc. I made sure to get his opinion on what was most important to him and also find out what he didn't care about at all, so that I could make those decisions in meetings. The only meetings he attended were the tasting and with our DJ to select music. All other meetings were with my mom because she was helping me with all of the design for the day. He was always willing to share his opinion when I asked about specific details and was really good at keeping things in perspective for me when I got overwhelmed. I'd say we were a good team throughout the process! 

How did you know what dress you wanted? Did you go in your comfort zone or branch out?
The dress I ended up wearing for our ceremony and dinner was the first one that I saw online and the first one that I tried on at Bhldn. So, it was meant to be! I loved that it was a bit traditional, but also a bit different. It was comfortable, fit like a glove, and I knew that Mike would love it. It was a no brainer really. But then, I tried on my second dress and couldn't decide! The second one (which is what I ended up wearing for our dancing) was super comfortable and a bit more relaxed - something that would be really easy to dance in, which is what I was planning on doing during our entire reception. It was classified as a "party dress", which meant that it was a fraction of the price of a "gown". Once my mom and sister saw it on me, they convinced me that I should get both and wear them both! The chance to wear two dresses that I absolutely loved on my wedding day? Yeah, I'll take it. 

Do you have any tips for staying present on your day?
Oh gosh, this is so important! I don't know that I have many tips, though, because as hard as I tried, there's still things I don't really remember! If possible, try to make a schedule for the day that allows you to have some time to breath and take it all in. Our first look wasn't until the early afternoon, so I was allowed the entire morning to have breakfast and get ready with my bridesmaids - that was precious time! It was good for me to relax a bit before it all started and I was able to have fun with my girls. Having time with just Mike during our first look was wonderful. We got to really soak in the moment and the day with each other for a little bit. If you can, just keep reminding yourself to stay focused on what is right in front of you! If you get easily caught up in things, ask your maid of honor or bridesmaid to remind you to take it all in every once in awhile! 

Something else that really helps to stay present is to have the right perspective and expectations of the day. For me, the most important thing was the Mike and I were becoming husband and wife. Obviously,  I wanted everything to go as planned, since we spent so much time and money planning the day. But, I knew in my heart that, even if everything went wrong, it would still be one of the best days of our lives. 

How did you and Mike focus on Christ and a lifetime or marriage, not just the day itself?
Neither of us are particularly emotional, so we didn't really get caught up in all the hype of "it's our wedding day". Obviously, we were both very much looking forward to the day and saw it as an important day, but we were also very outspoken about the fact that it is just one day. At the end of it, no matter what happened, we would be married and that was what was important. Did I get caught up in the tiny details of the day and get overwhelmed? Of course. It's bound to happen. But, I would always check myself and remind myself that the single most important thing happening that day was the commitment that he and I were making to each other - everything else was just details.

We went through a pre-marital class with our church, which was beneficial! It can be very easy to get caught up in the details, stress, and pressure of planning your wedding day and forget what that day actually represents. We talked through important things like roles in our household, what it means for him and I to be a family, how our immediate family shape our expectations for marriage, etc.  It was really good for us to have conversations about and focus on our marriage versus our wedding.

What role did the groom's parents play in planning?
Mike's dad's girlfriend was a great help to me! She completely took over the rehearsal dinner and helped in planning and organizing my bridal shower on his side of the family. She and his dad are both relaxed, laid back people, so they were mostly along for the ride! Looking back, that was probably the most helpful thing during the whole process - having people around who were supportive and willing to help, but also without expectation and happy with anything.

What was the most important thing for Mike?
The biggest thing for him (and me) was making sure that some of the most important people in our lives were involved in our day somehow. We had my brother-in-law (who has been a big influence on me, and subsequently Mike) officiate, our dearest friends in our bridal party, Mike's cousin do a reading, etc. We wanted our wedding to not just be about us, but also the people who have supported us and been by our sides (together and separately) throughout our journey.

What did you use for new, used, borrowed, blue?
I didn't really do the whole new, used, borrowed, blue thing! I honestly didn't think about it and nobody around me made a big deal of it. Thinking back on the day, I did have something that fit into each of those categories though! A bracelet from my mom, a new (and blue) undergarment 😉, my earrings, and bobby pins (not sure that actually counts, but I'm going with it).

What order should you go in when planning?
Square away the most imporntat things to you first - venue, date, vendors, officiant, etc. After that, just fill in the holes! Booking vendors and a venue are probably the toughest, especially if you're getting married during peak wedding season, so make sure to do that as early as you can.

How did the polaroid guest book turn out?
It was okay! Some people used it, a lot didn't, which is what I expected. We wanted to put it out for the people who are used to and enjoy writing in some sort of guestbook, but didn't have high expectations for it. I certainly don't regret doing it, especially since it was minimal cost, but it wasn't an important thing for us.

Our Amazing Vendors
photography: Jordan Maunder
videography: Imagination Designers
wedding planner: Shannon Gail
design, decor and event production: Revel Decor
DJ: Fig Media

Read other Q&A Posts:

Coffee Conversations

Mug | Leggings | Poncho

Good Morning and Happy Friday! My mom and sister arrive this afternoon for a visit, so I've been looking forward to today! Per usual, we have a list of things we're hoping to do together that's about 3 pages too long, so we'll be busy. 

Can we take a second to talk about how we're only ONE WEEK away from Black Friday? That is crazy! That is usually my busiest weekend for Elisabeth Ashlie, so I'm simultaneously excited and terrified for its arrival 😂 I don't usually shop all that much that weekend, but I'm going to try to think through gifting this week, so that I can be strategic about it. Sometimes I get too overwhelmed with all of the sales and stores and everything that I just avoid it completely! 

This perfect swacket (sweatshirt jacket) arrived yesterday and I can't wait to wear it this weekend. It's a great option for when you want to be warm and comfortable, but also look put together. The structure of the fabric holds up well without looking frumpy. (Fit is true to size) 

I tried one of my new polishes from Essie last night and love how it turned out. I opted for this color and it's perfect -- almost black, but reflects the plum in certain lighting. It's really pretty.

I've been out of the habit of wearing a watch, but this beauty may change my ways. 

I tried this new recipe for dinner this week and it was delicious! I added some stir-fried veggies to our bowls, too. 

Did you catch this week's posts?
A Look Inside Our Home: Our Master Bedroom
Gift Guide: Cozy At Home
A Look Inside Our Home: Our Living Space 

Preview of what's to come next week:
All Things Wedding Q&A, Part Three (TOMORROW!)
Gift Guide: Travel Goods
Saturday Style
Gift Guide: Under $50
Special Edition of Coffee Conversations: Black Friday

Hope you have a great weekend! 

A Look Inside Our Home: Our Living Space

I'm so happy to finally take you inside our main living space in our home! We live in a two-story townhouse, with bedrooms and my studio upstairs, so much of our time at home is spent in our living space. I fell in love with this place the first time we walked through it and was so excited about putting together our first home. It's been a work in progress and I've changed/added a few things since we moved in August, but it works really well for us now. 

Have a look inside:

Globe | Wood Decorative Box (from H&M, similar)

Glass Box (from Anthropologie, similar) | Aloe Plant (from Target)

Wood Tray | Marble Stand | Marble Coasters | Peace Bookend (from Target, no longer available)

Pillow Cover (from H&M, also love this!) | Chair

Bookshelf (from Sam's Club - similar, similar) | Mirrors and Frames (from Hobby Lobby) | Grey Mirror (antique) | Marble Candle Stands (from Home Goods, similar) | Wireless Speaker | Oil Diffuser

Gold Pots | Artificial Plants | White Candles | House Lantern (small, large) | Welcome Plate (from Jo Ann Fabrics)

Letterboard | Air Plant Holders (from Target)

Pom Pom Throw (from At Home) | Boxwood Topiaries | White Candle Stands (from Ikea) | White Pillows | Accent Pillow (from Target) | Couch (Style: Option H) | Three-drawer Table (from Home Goods)

Bar betails coming in a future blog post!

Letters (Hobby Lobby)

Gold Planter (from Urban Outfitters, smaller version) | Coat Rack (similar) | Pendant Lights (from At Home) | Welcome Sign (from our wedding)

I've shared details of where most things are from throughout the post (under the photos they're featured in), as well as here. If I haven't shared the source or linked to something, it's either not available online, very old, or was a gift! 


Gift Guide: Cozy At Home

1. Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Robe -- it's fitting that the word "dreams" is in the brand name for this robe because that is what it is made of. It's a bit spendy, BUT the perfect gift for a new mom, your mom, your best friend, or to put on your own wishlist. I'll never not buy a Barefoot Dreams robe and, according to what I've heard, I probably won't need to buy a new one for like 10 years. 

2. Crate & Barrel Popcorn Bowls -- perfect for curling up on the couch to watch a movie!

3. Stovetop Popcorn Popper -- listen, if you (or the people you're gifting for) like popcorn and don't currently make it on the stovetop, you're doing it wrong. This is such a fun gift to give and can be perfect for just about anyone - from your new neighbor to your best friend. 

5. 40 oz. Tumbler -- we have two of these in our home and they're nearly always in use. Perfect for staying hydrated while binge-watching a favorite show. 

7. Nordstrom Shorty Pajama Set -- I'm a sucker for hotel pajama sets, something about them makes me feel just a little bit fancier while lounging on the couch.

8. Elisabeth Ashlie Merry & Bright Mug -- everyone should be sipping their hot drink of choice out of a festive mug! 

9. Aerie Ribbed Sleep Leggings -- so cozy and fit true to size.

10. Silk Sleep Mask -- for a better night's sleep! 

12. Blush Hoodie -- to keep warm on the couch.

13. UE Boom Wireless Speaker -- we received one of these for our wedding and use it all the time. Great for background music while entertaining or listening to a podcast while relaxing. 

15. Color-block and Fur Pillow -- for all the added coziness to your favorite lounge spot. 

16. Christmas Tree Farm Soy Candle -- something about lighting a candle just sets the mood for ultimate relaxation. It doesn't hurt when they smell really delicious, too! 

17. White Marble Diffuser -- I love to diffuse lavender and eucalyptus to trick my mind into thinking I'm at the spa 😂

18. Apple TV -- for the ultimate binge-watching experience, of course. 

19. Fresh Beauty Mask Wardrobe  -- for multi-tasking or multi-masking!

20. Audible Subscription -- a great option for someone who loves listening to audiobooks. 

21. Ugg Slippers -- I slip these on every morning! 

A Look Inside Our Home: Our Master Bedroom

This is something that has been in pretty high-demand since I've shared some photos of our home on Instagram, so I'm happy to finally share it with you! There are a lot of reasons that we ended up renting this townhouse - one of the big draws being our master bedroom. It's a great size, has a double vanity sink in the bathroom and his and hers closets

The design aesthetic is quite similar to my last bedroom (pre-marriage/living with a man), which worked out well. I didn't feel the need to completely overhaul an ultra-feminine room with more neutral or masculine things. The dresser, chair, bench, rug, and nearly all of the accent and decorative pieces were things I already owned. We both really like how the room turned out - it's relaxing and serene and cozy. 

Take a look around!

For details on this wall, read this post

Hemnes Dresser in White Stain | Drawer Pulls | Mirror (from Home Goods) | Vase | Laundry Bin | Lamp Base and Shade | Marble Tray | Fiddle Leaf Fig Plant (from At Home) | Picture Frames | Shelf and Brackets | Be Still, My Soul Art 

Pendant Lamp (from Hobby Lobby, similar, similar) | Wingback Chair (similar) | Rug | Pouf (from Target, similar) | Silver Table (Home Goods, similar and similar) | Tassel Blanket (from Wayfair, similar) | Fur Pillow | Ladder (antique, similar and similar) | Marble Stand

Side Table | Mr. Sign (from our Wedding)

Fur Throw (from At Home)