Thursday, April 6, 2017

The "OMG-You're-Proposing" Pose

I never thought it would be me. Oh, sure, I figured I would get engaged. But what happened next? Never pictured it.

It's THE pose. You know, the "OMG-You're-Proposing" pose, the one you've seen in approximately 12 out of 21 seasons of The Bachelor. Hands over face, intense squint masking tears, doubled over... It's me. There's proof.

I figured THE pose would be an impossible feat that required lots of secret living room practice like the "smize" or the sorority squat. I was wrong. It is, apparently, the natural human response when someone asks for your hand in marriage.

Anyway, in case you missed it, I got engaged! A month ago, so this post is overdue. Austin asked me to be his wife (!!!) on the third floor of a bicycle museum, and our talented friend Joe Bulger (Bulger Creative Co.) was there to capture it all, hence, how I know I did the pose. Here are a few favorites that Joe took:

You can see more from our engagement session over on Joe's blog. xo!

Monday, February 13, 2017

6 Things Every Girl Wants for Valentine's Day

If you've been with me for the last two years, you might remember "9 Things Every Girl Wants for Valentine's Day," and I must say, the results were great for me personally. I got a boyfriend AND carbs, so that's a win-win. If those nine ideas didn't work out as well for you, though, here are six more ideas:

1. Kisses

Some may say I'm jumping in on the deep end here, but every girl wants a kiss!*

*I would be REALLY sure the girl wants a kiss if you're planning to give a kiss on the lips. Chocolate kisses are typically more acceptable.

2. A Mix Tape

Go old-school and make your Valentine a romantic mix tape! Or go new-school and make the gal a sweet Spotify playlist. Sometimes the simplest gifts are the most thoughtful.

3. Jewelry

If she already has five gold necklaces, she probably wants a sixth. You know, for options.

4. Social Media Likes

A safe—but effective—strategy, especially if you're unsure where you stand with the lady you fancy. Give her some Instagram likes! And Facebook likes, or loves if you're feeling generous. Make sure to like all her recent tweets and pins on Pinterest. You could even tell her you like her IRL.

5. Bacon

Still unsure what to get your gal for V-Day? Well if brunch is her love language, then there's nothing more romantic than bacon. Think of the options: breakfast for dinner, a bacon cheeseburger, a BLT, or even something #whole30 (you'll probably have to look up that recipe yourself).

6. A Matchmaker

If all else fails, have a good friend jump in and play matchmaker. Trust me — you'll thank the guy later.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

An Easy, Breezy Cheese Board

I'm here to talk about my passion for cheese. Cheese boards, more specifically.

Give me a party that's got a cheese board, and I'm there faster than you can say "gouda". Extravagant cheese boards usually pop up like magic unicorns at holiday gatherings and parties. Consider this: Should unicorns and large plates of cheese be reserved for special occasions, or should they be promoted to "any-ole-random-day" status? Marie Antoinette said let them eat cake, and I say let us eat cheese!

So here's the thing about cheese boards — they can be over the top, in terms of options and price. Or they can be really simple, and in the right setting, that can be just as good. If you're hosting friends on a random weeknight, you don't have to go all out. In fact, you can probably whip one up with common items you could already have in your pantry or fridge.

You'll obviously need cheese because that's what makes this a cheese board and not simply a snack board. Usually it's best to have one soft, spreadable cheese and a hard cheese. Personally, I snack on parmesan in the evenings and use goat cheese in a handful of my go-to recipes, so I had these on hand. (Maybe I'm a little bit of a cheese hoarder, but hey, don't judge). After you have cheese, get creative with what else you have on hand.

I think jelly is the best-kept secret to "fancify" your cheese board, especially if you've got goat cheese on the plate. Trust me on this.

This was the plate I made with some common snack/lunch items, but you could add nearly anything munchy you enjoy nibbling on. Hard salami, pears, kalamata olives, etc. would be good additions. Then, add a friend or two, and you've got a great weeknight!

Oh, and make sure to tell lots of cheesy jokes. (I'm sorry. I had to.)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

My 2017 Goals

Happy 2017, friends!

Earlier this week, I sat around in a hot tub with some of my good friends, and we talked about our goals for the year. One of my goals is to not go hot tubbing in the winter with a head cold, but hey, we’re all working on something. Over the years, I’ve gone from being a bit lazy and lost when it comes to self-direction to finding so much energy from creating and achieving goals. I know some people say creating goals stresses them out, but for me, it’s all about baby steps and writing ‘em down.

I’ve started writing a list of goals for each year in my personal journal, and since it’s so fun to look back and see what I hoped/prayed for and what I accomplished, I decided to share a few of ‘em here!

1. Host More People in my Home
Whether it’s for a quick after-work cheese plate or a three-day weekend, I want my apartment to be a place family and friends feel welcome and rested.

2. Take a Trip Overseas (and travel more in general)
Since high school, it’s been rare for me to be in good ‘ole Springfield without seeing much more of the world, but 2016 was different. I didn’t travel much this year, and while I love my hometown, sometimes a gal's gotta put her passport to use.

3. Cut the Clutter
While I’m certainly not planning to buy a tiny house and become a minimalist (SO admire that lifestyle, but then I walk in an Anthropologie and lose all self control), I do want to purge some unnecessary things from my life. (Lookin’ at you, high school prom dress.)

4. Write More (and Read More!)
This goal has three parts:
- Blog more than I did in 2016
- Continue writing for organizations I admire
- Send more handwritten letters.

On the reading thing, I read a lot for work. It's kinda my job. BUT, that being said, I want to read more for myself this year.

It probably goes without saying, but the best part of the hot tub time wasn’t telling everybody what I wanna do, but hearing about their dreams for 2017! Comment, email, text or message me your goals. I want to hear ‘em!

Outfit details: Coat - Vince Camuto (last season, similar here), Turtleneck Dress - c/o StyleWe, Orange Tunic - H&M (out of stock, similar here), Boots (Similar)