May 1, 2019

Currently: May 2019

admiring: the latest Gal Meets Glam dress collection.  I've been a fan of Julia Hengel's feminine designs since she released her first collection a year ago (as evidenced by this post and this post).  Her spring dresses this year have me dreaming about the bridal shower dress that I will need to purchase soon.  I have my eye on Norah and Polly.

finishing: my long training runs.  My first half marathon is less than a month away!  On Sunday, I plan to run 14 miles and then my training will taper until the race.  I have to admit, I'm looking forward to some shorter runs.  I'm also pretty darn excited (and nervous) for race weekend!

borrowing: a dvd.  From an actual video rental place.  Justin and I decided to have a nostalgic, 90s-style date night on Saturday.  We ordered a pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut, rented a movie from Family Video (we watched this one) and got a couple boxes of candy for dessert.  The date was so simple but so fun!  We felt like teenagers again and definitely plan to put this date on repeat.

remembering: our proposal weekend!  It's almost been a year since Justin asked me to marry him.  The closer we get to the anniversary of that special day, the more excited I feel to celebrate together during our annual trip to Traverse City!

playing: outside (if by playing, you mean doing yard work).  But I'm actually enjoying it (sidenote: does that make me officially an adult?)!  In any case, Justin and I are still clearing-out the dead stuff from last year and looking forward to planting a few new things this year.  I'm especially excited for our peach tree to produce more fruit!

Linking-up with Anne!

Apr 19, 2019

J'adore 4.19.19

Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately.

1.  Notre Dame de Paris.  Of course you saw the news this week about the massive fire that destroyed parts of the infamous cathedral, Notre Dame de Paris.  As I watched the footage and feared the loss of this beautiful, historic structure, I thought about what this church has meant to so many people.  I've visited Notre Dame many times and even attended Christmas Mass there in 2008.  Regardless of your religious belief, when you step inside the cathedral, you feel something -- the faith, the history, the architecture, the art, the literature.  I'm so relieved that the main structure was saved, that so many more people will be able to visit, and that the sense of purpose one feels while inside will live on.  By the way, did you ever notice that the graphic I created for this J'adore series is a picture I took of Notre Dame in the springtime?

2.  The Tracy Crosswhite Series by Robert Dugoni.  It's no secret that I love to read a good murder mystery.  I started this series of novels about detective, Tracy Crosswhite, several years ago and am always happy when I come across a new book in the series.  I just finished the fifth novel, Close to Home, and recommend these books to anyone who likes a suspenseful story featuring a tough-as-nails detective with a tragic past.

3.  Coconut Skincare Products.  It may be spring, but most days it doesn't feel like it around these parts.  But the brief glimpses we have had of the sun make me fully ready for the warmer months and the fun that come along with them!  For the time being, though, a few coconut-scented skincare products are helping me to channel summer.  I've been using the Acure Brightening Coconut Cleansing Towelettes for the nights that I'm too lazy to wash my face and the Georgette Klinger Coconut Cleansing Milk when I do wash my face.  Both smell like the perfect day at the beach!

Apr 17, 2019

April Encore

I've mentioned a few times that the budget is pretty tight around here lately.  Not only are Justin and I learning to combine finances, we're planning a wedding and saving for a honeymoon.  My single-girl pocketbook spent lots of money on new clothes, but that just isn't the priority right now.

I started this blog as motivation to remix the clothing that was already hanging in my closet but somewhere down the road, I kind of lost sight of that goal.

But now I'm getting back to my roots!  This is the first post in a monthly series I'm starting called Encore, which means "again" in French.  This month, I looked through my posts of past Aprils and chose a piece of clothing from one of the posts to remix!  I will continue this each month.  I'm excited to look at older items in my closet with a fresh perspective!

This month, I chose to feature a floral blouse, because who isn't in the mood for floral this time of year?  This top is also fun to remix because the print is so vibrant, there are so many ways to pull-out the different colors with different items of clothing and accessories.


I also chose to create an office-appropriate look with pants this year since last year I posted a casual and a skirt outfit with this blouse.  Which of the three looks is your favorite?

What I'm Wearing
Blouse: Old Navy (similar, similar)
Cardigan: Target (similar)
Pants: LOFT (similar)
Flats: Land's End (similar)

Apr 15, 2019

My Top Five Michigan Races

Over the last couple of years, I've mentioned running more and more on the blog.  It's a hobby that I now feel passionate about but didn't at all see coming.  Two years ago I couldn't even run a mile, now I'm training for a half marathon!

In the time that I've grown to enjoy running, I've participated in a bunch of Michigan races.  It's a weekend activity that Justin and I like to do together (and by together, I mean he runs way ahead of me and then celebrates at the finish line with me).  I've run so many enjoyable races that I had a hard time narrowing this list down to my top five.  But if you live in Michigan (or are visiting), these are the races I most recommend running in the mitten state!

1.  Bayshore Marathon/Half Marathon/10k: Okay, so the fact that Justin proposed on this race course definitely helps it jump to my number one spot!  But aside from engagement rings and fiancés, much of this race stretches along the coastline of the Old Mission Peninsula with beautiful views of the bay.  The race is held on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend so the weather is usually mild and there is a celebratory feeling in the air. 

2.  MSU Federal Credit Union Dino Dash: In my opinion, Michigan State's campus is one of the most beautiful places to be -- especially during the fall!  So running 3.1 miles through campus on a crisp October morning is a true pleasure! 

3.  Bier Distillery 5k: If you like scenic nature runs or delicious cocktails (or perhaps both), this is a fantastic race!  The route takes you along the White Pine Trail (one of my favorite places to train) and you get a cocktail made with in-house spirits when you finish.  This race is coming-up in a few weeks.  See you there?

4.  Lake Michigan Credit Union Bridge Run: This race really showcases downtown Grand Rapids!  You run right through the heart of the city and get to cross a few of the big bridges.  The race takes place during September, so the weather is great for running!

5.  Reeds Lake Trail Blazer: What better way to kick-off your 4th of July celebration than with a 5k?  Justin and I ran this race together during our first summer together and decided that we want to create the tradition of running it every year.  Running through beautifully manicured East Grand Rapids surrounded by families celebrating the holiday is lots of fun!

If you're a runner, tell me about your favorite races!

Apr 12, 2019

J'adore 4.12.19

Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately.

1.  Hard Seltzer Water.  Now that the weather's warming-up, I'm craving lighter and crisper drinks when it's time to enjoy an adult beverage.  I've been seeing lots of advertisements for hard seltzer water and now seemed like a perfect moment to try them!  I purchased a multipack of Henry's Hard Sparkling Water to sample first.  So far I've tried the pineapple and the peach mango flavors.  Both are delicious (although pineapple is my favorite) and refreshing.  Here's a fun article I found about the top 7 hard seltzers so you can choose one to try for yourself!

2.  Woven Accessories.  Whether you call it raffia, wicker or woven, these shoes and bags are having a moment!  My clothing and accessory budget is rather tight at the moment but I thought a pair of woven shoes would be a perfect and easy way to update my spring wardrobe.  This pair came in the mail today and I'm so excited to wear them.  Not only are they cute, they're comfy and fit true to size!  They also check the box for the mule category -- another huge trend this season.

3.  Lilac NailsIt may be cheesy, but I love when my nail polish matches the season.  For my latest manicure, I chose the lightest purple I could find (similar to this color).  It's my favorite manicure lately and I think I will continue the pastel nail trend throughout the spring and into the summer.

Apr 8, 2019

Wedding Planning: The Flowers

Does the start of spring have you thinking about sunshine and blooming flowers?  I've been thinking a lot about flowers lately but not in the sense of "April showers and May flowers."  The most recent big task on the wedding planning checklist was choosing a florist!

After researching lots of options in the Grand Rapids area, we've chosen to work with Gail Vander Laan Floral.  We met with Gail at her home studio and were impressed with her ability to see our vision and work with our budget.  Of course we will all have to to wait until December to see the vision come together, but here are a few of the inspiration photos we showed Gail.

For the bouquets, we are sticking within our color pallet of navy, cranberry, blush and gold.  Gail will incorporate several different kinds of flowers in cranberry and blush with pops of blue berries and some greenery.  The shape of the bouquets will be somewhere in between an overgrown, wild look and a perfectly semetrical ball of flowers.

I'm super excited about the centerpieces!  We are going to be doing a combination of round tables and rectangular tables and no two centerpieces will be exactly alike.  For the rectangular tables, we'll have a garland of evergreen down the center of the table with flowers in our color pallet tucked into the greenery.  The round tables will feature centerpieces with the same elements.  Each table will have a collection of mercury glass candle holders as well.

I absolutely can't wait to see what our flowers will look like on our big day!

Apr 5, 2019

J'adore 4.5.19

Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately.

1.  Michigan State Basketball.  Oh my gosh, did you watch the MSU vs. Duke basketball game last weekend?!  Talk about a nail biter!  If you've followed my blog for awhile, you probably know that I'm a huge MSU fan.  I come from a family of alumni and we bleed green.  I mean, my cat's name is Izzo (named after the Spartan basketball coach, Tom Izzo) for pete's sake.  I'm pumped that my team has made it to the Final Four and I'm looking forward to an exciting game on Saturday.  Go GREEN!

2.  Budget Bytes.  I don't blog much about food, but when I do, it's usually to talk about a recipe from my favorite food blog, Budget Bytes.  All of Beth's recipes are easy, budget-friendly and so so delicious!  A couple recent favorites are Sweet Chili Chicken Stir Fry Bowls and the Loaded Mashed Potato BowlsThis recipe may or may not be in the oven as I type!

3.  Schitt's Creek.  Admittedly, Justin and I watch a lot of drama television.  But every once in awhile you need to watch something funny!  And Schitt's Creek is just the thing.  This half-an-hour sitcom features a wealthy family who have lost everything and have to move to a town that the father purchased as a joke many years ago called Schitt's Creek.  The first few episodes were a bit slow for us but we've really gotten into it!

Apr 3, 2019

Currently: April 2019

experiencing: increasingly long training runs.  I'm really in the thick of training for my first 1/2 marathon.  That means that I'm running farther than I ever thought I was capable.  Preparing for this race has been harder than I expected - I've just really had trouble getting into the running groove and improvement has been a challenge every step of the way.  But last weekend I ran eight miles.  That feels pretty darn good!

appreciating: intentional outings.  Justin and I have really tightened-up our budget lately (it turns out that wedding and honeymoon planning can be expensive, who know?).  Instead of being bummed by fewer evenings out, it's given me a deeper appreciation for the dates we do have planned.  I find myself looking forward to and savoring them more.  I'm really looking forward to trying the restaurant, New Hotel Mertens, with a group of friends this month.

wishlisting: lots and lots of stuff for the house.  This past weekend, Justin and I purchased new dressers and nightstands (we had been using mismatched pieces from our single days).  While we recoup funds, I'm anxious to purchase a new bed (we're considering something like this) to complete the furniture update.  And we've registered for new bedding that will refresh the entire room!

posting: wardrobe remixes.  That tight budget I mentioned earlier means that I don't get to buy as much clothes as I would like lately.  But you know what, I started this blog to hold myself accountable to wardrobe remixing and I think I need to get back to my roots.  Expect to see some new outfits featuring older pieces around here soon.

considering: bridal shower dress choices.  My wedding shower isn't until July, but that doesn't mean I can't start thinking about which dress to wear!  I know I want to wear a white sundress so I have been scouring all of my favorite retailers as spring dresses start popping-up!

Apr 1, 2019

Spring Bucket List 2019

Hey there, friends!  I don't know about you, but I'm so glad that spring is in the air.  Winter is my favorite season, but this one really wreaked havoc on so many of us.  But the rising temperatures, the sound of the birds in the morning and the sunshine are giving me a new pep in my step!

This re-found energy has me ready to tackle another seasonal bucket list!  But before we get to my spring list, let's take a look at what I accomplished this fall (because I never got around to writing or completing a winter list this year).

1.  Go wedding dress shopping.  I did!  And I bought a wedding dress!  For my first wedding gown try-on, my mom and I went to BHLDN in Chicago.  It was the perfect first experience.  My consultant made me feel like a princess, the private try-on suite was beautiful, the rosé was delicious and I loved trying-on so many beautiful dresses.  Ultimately, though, I didn't find the one.  In January I went shopping with my mom and my best friend, Nicole.  We had a marathon dress day spanning three different stores in two different cities.  But I found it!  The dress of my dreams!  I can't wait to show it to you...but not until the wedding.

2.  Send-in some clothes to ThredUp.  Nope, I flat-out didn't do this and only out of laziness.  I still have an empty ThredUp bag to fill!

3.  Go for one outdoor run (I usually run at the gym).  Check!  Justin and I trained for our Turkey Trot 8k (photographic evidence above) at our local White Pine Trail.  I've been loving this spot more and more this spring as I can start training outside again.

4.  Watch all of the Halloween movie franchise in preparation for the new movie coming-out.  Yes!  This was actually kind of hard to accomplish.  Taking time out of weekday evenings to squeeze eight-or-so movies into one month had us scrambling.  But we did it and we enjoyed the new movie at the theater!

5.  Purchase some gear to wear to a local high school's football game.  Just call me a Northview Wildcat!  Is it weird that I'm already looking forward to football season again?  I love a good hometown game as well as my Spartans!

6.  Do 30 days of at-home yoga.  Want to know how many days of at-home yoga I did?  One.  Yep, only one.  Major fail!

7.  Attend Art Prize (a big-time art festival in Grand Rapids).  Justin and I had a really fun date night at Art Prize and a new-to-us Grand Rapids restaurant.  It's always exciting to see what these creative artists come-up with every year.  The piece above features clothing pinned to lines, each item has a snippet of conversation the artist has overheard.  Really interesting!

8.  Make something pumpkin flavored.  Another nope.  But I did cook a lot this fall so I'm not too upset about it.

9.  Try a new top ten Grand Rapids restaurant each month (a continuation).  Justin and I completed our top ten Grand Rapids restaurant list in 2018.  You can read about our experience here.

10.  Taste each of Sweetland's (a local coffee joint) special fall drinks.  You know, I don't think I completed this.  But I did try all of the ones I was interested in.  So I think I'm going to count this as a win.

7ish outta 10 ain't bad!  And here's what I plan to do this season:

1.  Pick a wedding rehearsal dinner venue.
2.  Run (and I mean run -- no walking) my first 1/2 marathon.
3.  Continue trying one new Michigan breakfast place each month.
4.  Clear-out our house clutter with a garage sale.
5.  Use only gift cards and store credit for spring clothes shopping.
6.  Frame a few engagement photos to hang.
7.  Take an inaugural 2019 bike ride.
8.  Stock-up on produce at the Rockford Farmer's Market.
9.  Buy fresh flowers for the house.
10.  Have an old-school rental movie night complete with candy and pizza.

What exciting things do you have on the docket for the next few months?  And thanks, Leslie, for hosting this seasonal link-up, even though I'm late to the party.

Mar 26, 2019

Wedding Planning: Color Inspiration

For as long as I can remember, I've pictured my dream winter wedding in shades of blush pink and champagne.  But then something kinda funny happened.  When I started planning a real wedding with Justin, the colors of my single girl dream wedding didn't quite fit.  Those colors are very me but not very us.  Don't get me wrong, Justin would have happily gone with the color scheme of my choice, but I wanted to pick a pallet together -- something that reflected us as a couple.

For our sparkling winter wedding, we've chosen a color pallet of cranberry, navy, blush pink and gold.  We think that these colors will create the elegant, warm and cozy winter vibe with a touch of shimmer that we're hoping for.  Plus, blue is Justin's favorite color and pink is mine, so both are being incorporated into the evening.

I'm excited to continue to share little details of our wedding planning process with you.  Coming in the next couple of months are flower inspiration and a bridal shower dress try-on.  Are there any other topics you are interested in reading about?

Mar 1, 2019

J'adore 3.1.19

Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately.

1.  Manifest.  Justin and I rarely binge-watch shows, but oh my gosh, we cannot stop watching Manifest.  Within the first ten minutes of Episode 1, you learn about a group of passengers who step-off Flight 828 to learn that their plane has been missing for five years -- but they feel like they've only been gone a few hours!  The plot is so compelling, the characters are interesting, and you really empathize with the complexity of emotions that each of them feel.  You can watch Manifest on Monday nights on NBC (although Justin and I stream it).

2.  Blue Diamond Habanero BBQ Almonds.  I may or may not be eating this delicious snack as I type!  My co-worker got me addicted to these almonds and now I've passed-on my obsession to Justin and my dad.  They are a little sweet and a little spicy (but definitely not too spicy like the name implies).  So good!

3.  The Ariana Grande Playlist on Pandora.  Normally Meghan Trainor is my go-to playlist for running but I've gotten really into Ariana Grande lately (I know, late to the party).  Her new stuff, like this song, is  so catchy and sassy.  And did anyone else catch the 'NSync song that she sampled in this song (I'm pretty proud of myself for pulling that discovery out from the recesses of my middle school brain).  This tune is perfect running motivation!

Feb 28, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Teal Skirt

Happy Throwback Thursday!  Today I'm participating in my friend, Shelly's, new monthly link-up all about blasts from the past!  February's prompt is an easy one -- share an old blog post!  So here we are, a post from August of 2015 in which I feature my favorite, often-worn teal skirt purchased circa 2006.  And you know what, I just wore this skirt on Wednesday!  I still love it and I still think it's super versatile.  It's kinda fun to see how my style (clothes and hair) have evolved over the years.  Which look is your favorite!

When Bri announced that this month's Third Thursday Threads theme is "Skirt Two (or more) Ways," I became curious as to the many ways that I've worn skirts during the past few years.  As I scrolled through the days, months and years' worth of posts, I noticed something.  I noticed that I wear my teal skirt tons!  This skirt starred in my second-ever blog post and has appeared as recently as April.  In fact, it has made nine blog appearances (not to mention the dozens of times I've worn it without photographing my outfit)!  Based-on statistical data, I do believe that this is my favorite skirt!

Original Posts: 1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9

While I'll admit to a love of shopping, when I find a piece that works, I wear it!  I've owned this skirt for oh, maybe eight years.  It's funny because this skirt kind of flies under the radar in that I don't realize how frequently I wear it.  When I think of it, though, it makes sense as a closet staple!  One of the reasons that I love this skirt so much is that it is comfortable.  I never pull at it or worry that it's too short.  I also reach for this skirt often because it's versatile.  As you can see above, it goes with patterns, a varied color palette, neutrals, so many accessories and lots of completer pieces.  The options feel endless!  In fact, I just might wear this skirt tomorrow!

Which look is your favorite and why?  Do you have an item of clothing that has stood the test of time?

And just in case you need a teal skirt in your closet, here are a few I've found (I personally think the one on the bottom right is perfect):

Feb 18, 2019

The Year of the Grand Rapids Restaurants

About a year ago, Justin and I decided that we wanted to add some variety to our local dining experiences.  I had only lived in Grand Rapids for six months and we found ourselves only frequenting Justin's favorite restaurants from before we met.

To add more spice to our dining choices, we looked-up the top twelve (well, thirteen- we started in December of 2017) restaurants in Grand Rapids according to online reviews and decided to try one new restaurant each month.

We had so much fun trying new places together and date night felt a little extra special when planned so intentionally.  We enjoyed this experience so much that we've deemed 2019 the year of the Michigan breakfast!  We are going to try a new-to-us breakfast place once a month.  But before I get too far into 2019, I want to tell you about all of the amazing restaurants we tried last year.

Marie Catrib's: Unfortunately, the top Grand Rapids restaurant on the list, Marie Catrib's, is no longer open!  I'm so happy that I got to try it before they closed their doors, though.  We tried Marie Catrib's for breakfast even though they served delicious food all day.  The restaurant was known for great, locally-sourced food with a Lebanese twist.  Breakfast did not disappoint.

The Green Well: The Green Well is an awesome stop if you're looking for a favorite dish but made with a little twist (and made really well).  It's not too fancy but definitely not a dive.  A perfect restaurant to add to your rotation of favorite stops.

Leo's Restaurant: Leo's is definitely a special occasion ($$$) kind of a place.  Luckily, February was the month to try this seafood restaurant, so Justin and I spent Valentine's Day enjoying lobster and scallops at Leo's.  The food was good, but honestly, neither Justin nor I were terribly impressed given the expense.

San Chez: If you love tapas and a good cocktail, San Chez is the place for you!  I've now had several meals at San Chez and it has been delicious every.single.time.  I like it so much that I planned my office Christmas party there.  It was a hit!

HopCat: HopCat is already one of our favorite restaurants (our first date was at the HopCat location in East Lansing, Michigan).  They serve a fantastic variety of craft beers, many of them from Michigan, and if you haven't tried the Cosmik fries (previously known as crack fries), you MUST!

Founder's Brewing Co.: Founder's is probably the most famous brewery in Grand Rapids.  My favorite beer on tap is the Rubaeus on nitro.  To go with the beer, Founder's serves great, casual food like delicious sandwiches with pasta or potato salad as a side.

Brewery Vivant: Admittedly, Brewery Vivant was already a favorite restaurant of mine before this experiment.  Farmhand is one of my favorite beers and I love the unique menu served at the brewery.  The dining room also has a really cool vibe- almost like you're in an old church!

Grove: Grove was a restaurant I was really looking forward to trying but it fell a little flat for Justin and me.  Don't get me wrong, the food is delicious -- just served in really small portions for kind of a lot of money.  We enjoyed our food at Grove, then had to go to our favorite dive bar to fill-up on quesadillas.

Bistro Bella Vita: This might be our favorite find of the restaurant experiment!  Bistro Bella Vita serves a combination of French and Italian cuisine with delicious wine and cocktail choices.  We lucked-out and hit Bistro Bella Vita during restaurant week so we were able to sample appetizers, main courses and desserts.  We highly recommend this restaurant!

Butcher's Union: Butcher's Union was another great find this year!  The restaurant is known for their variety of whiskeys and quality meat.  The cocktails and steaks that we chose were so well-prepared and the ambiance made us feel like we were on an episode of Mad Men.

I forgot a picture of this one!

Terra: Known for their wood-fired pizzas and locally sourced foods, Terra is another great restaurant to add to your regular rotation.  Casual but with character, the food was delicious!

The Old Goat: Oh man, a bunch of homemade soups that you can sample before choosing?  I'm in!  The soup is delicious but so are their other options!  This will definitely become one of our regular restaurant choices.

Oops!  I was too busy enjoying wine and steak to take a picture of this one.

The Chop House:  Here's another special occasion stop in Grand Rapids.  We brought my parents along for dinner at Chop House as our Christmas celebration together.  The steak and wine were outstanding!  And the servers are so professional that they will make your dining experience one to remember.

Feb 15, 2019

J'adore 2.15.19

Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately.

1.  Instagram Account: deservingdogs.  If you're an animal lover, this Instagram account will melt your heart.  Acount owner, Angela, is a self-described "dog healer"and rescues dogs who need a little extra love, like Freddie Mercury.  Oh my heart!  I could watch videos of that little cutie all day!

2.  Nickel and Suede Earrings.  Thanks to Shea, I'm officially addicted to these light-weight leather statement earrings!  I bought two more sets a couple of weeks ago.  I added an animal print and this pretty purple pair to my collection.  

3.  Let the Great World Spin.  I just finished Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann for the book club I joined in November.  It definitely doesn't fall into my typical genre (murder mystery, suspense), but I really enjoyed the book!  It's a series of short stories that are somehow all connected- but not in a cheesy way.  The stories take place in 1970s New York City and show a kind of dirty yet intensely human side of the city.

Feb 12, 2019

Wedding Planning: Will You Be My Matron of Honor?

With our wedding only ten months away, Justin and I have officially entered the decision making part of wedding planning.  No more lazy evenings spent pinning bouquets to our wedding Pinterest board.  Now it's time to book the florist (and the DJ, and the pastry chef...).

While it's a bit surreal to begin making these decisions, we did make one very big decision immediately upon getting engaged: who will be standing by our sides when we say "I do."  We won't be having bridesmaids and groomsmen, rather I will have three matrons of honor and Justin will have three best men.

My three lovely ladies consist of my sister, my best friend whom I met in second grade and my other best friend from college days.  I was maid of honor in all three of their weddings and they are all so equally important to me, that I wanted each of them to have this special title.

Similarly, Justin's three best friends hold such a big place in his heart, he wanted each of them to be his best man.  Justin's sister will also be standing next to him on our big day as the "best sister."

Justin and I had a good time choosing gifts to help us ask our favorite people to be a part of our wedding.  I wanted something fun but also useful that won't just get thrown away when the wedding is over.  I found this beautiful gift box from the Etsy shop, Little Flower Soap Co.  I love that my ladies can be a bit indulgent with the bath salts and candle but then throw the empties away when they're used-up!

Justin chose to order custom beer labels and six-pack holders asking his groomsmen to "suit up" for our big day.  He then hand-chose craft beers (or pops for his sister) that he knew each of them would enjoy.

We are so very blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives and we are so excited to share our big day with them!

Feb 8, 2019

J'adore 2.8.19

Welcome to J'adore, my weekly space for sharing what makes me happy lately.  This week I want to write about a few products from one of my favorite beauty brands, Bare Minerals.  I've been a BM fan since college (Cupcake is my all-time favorite eyeshadow), but I've recently found a few new products to add to my regular rotation.

1.  Gen Nude Eyeshadow Pallette - Rose.  While I love my above-mentioned eyeshadow, sometimes loose powder make-up isn't convenient or worth the hassle.  For that reason, I purchased this pallet for everyday use.  I love the pinky neutral hues (that tends to be my M.O. when it comes to eye make-up).  And the colors have plenty of pigment but are still super easy to blend.  It's the perfect easy-to-use pallet for those workday mornings.  The pallet comes in neutral and copper as well.

2.  Lasting Line Long-Wearing Eyeliner.  I've struggled to find an eyeliner  that I like well enough to repurchase.  I've found liners that create too bold a line or don't have enough color.  I've used plenty of pencils that bleed a nice grey line onto my eyelid over the course of the day.  But the search is over!  I just bought a second version of this eyeliner.  It has staying power and is just the right amount of color.

3.  Butter Drench Restorative Rich Cream.  Calling all dry-skinned beauties!  I've found the thickest, most luxurious moisturizer.  If your skin is at all combination to oily I do not recommend this lotion because it's so so rich.  But if you're like me and have extremely dry skin in the winter, this stuff is the best!

Feb 6, 2019

Currently: February 2019

anticipating: wedding registry shopping!  In a couple of week's Justin and I will hit our local Macy's to start creating our wedding registry.  You better believe I've been enjoying some online window shopping in preparation.  For those married ladies and gentlemen out there, what is your favorite gift you received from your registry?  We'll have to add it to ours.

going: on a two-year anniversary getaway with Justin!  Since this is the last "dating anniversary" that we will celebrate before we get married, we're planning a weekend trip to East Lansing (the town where I was living when we met and where we went on our first date).  We will be staying warm and cozy at this adorable bed and breakfast.  Our only planned outings are for meals at some of our favorite restaurants in mid-Michigan.

making: lots of comfort foods.  With winter in full-swing around here, all I want to do is read a book under my heated blanket and cook warm, satisfying meals.  I love all of the variations of bubble-up biscuit casseroles from the blog Emily Bites.  Her Bubble Up Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Bake did not disappoint!  Justin gave it two thumbs up as well.

watching: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the fun and slightly creepier remake of one of my childhood favorites, Sabrina the Teenage Witch (Melissa Joan Hart 4ever).  It's always a bit nerve-wracking when one of your favorite shows comes back (please don't ruin it!) but the new version is just different enough that I feel I can enjoy both the new and the old shows.  Check-out Chilling Adventures on Netflix!

wearing: some new workout wear!  I've now committed to a half-marathon training program and I've rewarded myself with a couple new exercise pieces from the Gap.  I'm particularly pumped about this tank and legging combination.

Feb 5, 2019

Who I Am with Brand Squawk

Are you a fan of graphic tees?  I definitely am!  I think they are a fun (and sometimes cheeky) way to share who you are with the world.  When Collette, the mastermind behind Brand Squawk, gave The Blended Bloggers an opportunity to showcase a graphic tee, I was super excited to pick a new one.

But which one to choose?!  So many of Collette's long-sleeve tees, short-sleeve shirts and sweatshirts called to me.  But first wine could be my evening mantra.  But then, adventure awaits expresses my wanderlust.  And I totally love the message on this sweatshirt!

Ultimately I chose this baseball tee.  Running has been a bit part of my life lately!  This will be the year that I train for and run my first half marathon.  And the more I do it, the more I find that it really does ease my anxiety and put me in a better mood.  Running truly is cheaper than therapy!

So tell me, which graphic tee from Brand Squawk would you choose?  If you find the perfect tee for you, use my code whitney20 for 20% off your order!

What I'm Wearing:
Tee: Brand Squawk (exact)
Jeans: American Eagle (exact)
Boots: Sorel (exact)