Hang Tight!

coffee succulent

Hi!

You may have noticed a slow turn out of posts in these last couple weeks, and that the blog is looking a little different with that black header. Rather than just go radio silent on this pause in posting and design change, I wanted to fill you in!

I’m looking into self-hosting my blog, versus continuing to have it hosted by WordPress.com as it is now. This will give me more freedom when it comes to customization and capabilities, at a better price. I’ve had such a good experience with WordPress, but in an effort to continue growing my blog, I know taking this next step will really push me to learn and control more on my own.

This transition comes with more maintenance and technical responsibility on my part, so I want to make sure I do it right – meaning lots of research currently being done. I’m quite intimidated, but love that this is challenging me and I’m getting to expand my knowledge in this area.  It’s a move I’ve talked about for quite awhile, and once this design renewal bump came around (hint the black line the header), I knew it was time to just do it.

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I’d love to hear about any advice or tools you love that relate to this blogger move! Any hosts you suggest?? Articles you found super insightful?? I know our online communities are such a resource in transitions like this. 🙂

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I hope you’ll hang tight as I work to make this change and stay tuned. Hoping to be back up posting in just a month – or less – because I’m definitely missing it!

Days By Day

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Hello March! + Links I’m Loving

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I think this is going to be a pretty exciting month…it actually already has proven to be. This morning, Eric found out he passed the first of two tests he needs to get his professional engineering license! Beyond proud. His hard work and big dreams constantly inspire me.

Tomorrow – I repeat tomorrow – we finally go back to Texas! I cannot wait, you guys. It’s only been a couple months since I’ve been home, but for some reason this stretch of time has seemed longer. I guess it’s because a lot has happen here and there since the last time, and that makes the weeks in between feel as thought they’ve doubled.

Anyways, this weekend we go to knock off several things on the wedding planning list: linens, florals, the color of bridesmaids’ dresses, cake flavors, engagement photos, and cake tasting. Whew. The constant indecisiveness inside me just screamed a little bit. Also, the Austin weather suddenly says rain for Saturday when we are taking pictures – prayers and good vibes the weather cooperates for a couple morning hours are greatly appreciated!

Trying to just stay positive, focused, and so thankful for all that we are even getting to do this weekend though – and not worry, I know that can help nothing (Matthew 6:25-27, 34). In the end it will work out as it should, and be wonderful no matter what.

Instead, I’m thinking of all the food I get to eat this weekend – um, hello Tex-Mex, Whataburger, breakfast tacos, Shady Grove, and post-downtown pizza. This was one of two times Whataburger has used this photo, very flattered…go mom! Spoiler alert though, I was in fact home from Chicago and not in college haha.

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The rest of this month will hopefully mean progress in some other planning areas…like the honeymoon. The travel bugs in Eric and I love discussing all these possibilities. Also to come, a week long visit from Eric’s brother,  birthdays, and hopefully more sunny days in The Windy City!

Before I sign off from all these thoughts that have come with greeting the new month, sharing a few links I’m loving right now – enjoy!

  • Leo beaming while he gets Oscar engraved {finally!} & the thoughts Buzzfeed plugged in.
  • Swooning over these Anthropologie dishes. And the serveware. And the bar accessories.
  • One of my fave bloggers is Helene over at Helene in Between – I love her spunk, variety of posts, and killer blogging resources that I’m trying to work through.
  • Sorry another Buzzfeed link, but hint it has a puppy + braces, I can’t.

 

Days By Day

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You Really Can Have It All

 

Tea and planner

Hi! Remember me?? Well, that week without a post flew by. I can’t promise it won’t happen again. Life has been busy the last few days, and I’ve been feeling the effects of the go, go, go once I get home in the evening. Anyone else? Yes, I thought so.

All that to say, I prefer being busy than the feeling of having nothing to do, but I have realized if I can’t get off work, run to the store, squeeze in a work out, and sit down in front of another screen at home to write each day – that’s 100% okay.

This totally applies to you too – we all need to cut ourselves some slack when we feel we are getting pulled in lots of directions and can’t excel at each one 24/7.

For today’s Currently, instead of talking about three things from this week – I’m focusing on one and explaining the talk behind it…

{Feeling // Motivated}

This ties back to a speaker we had at work through our women’s organization. The author Yvonne James Furth, former President of Draft Worldwide (now ad agency FCB, where I interned a couple summers ago), came to speak about a book she co-authored. It focuses on putting mindfulness at the center of your life.

Yvonne, and co-author Molly Rudberg-Leshnock, wrote From the Yoga Mat to the Corner Office: A Mindful Approach to Business Success  that speaks to finding and consistently exercising balance in your life. The most unique part of this motivational book is that it ties aspects of yoga to your everyday routines – like breath, focus, balance, flexibility – by demonstrating how you can put this certain aspect to work on the mat, and at the office.

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We left the talk with a free copy of the book that I’m so excited to read through. I also took away a big nugget of wisdom that I’ve always been behind, but think I often lose sight of in all that’s going on. I feel refreshed after hearing it again from someone like Yvonne.

Ready for this truth?

You really can have it all.

Each day, we are juggling so many things and we can feel like there is just so much going on – like we are just going to have to pick and choose what we want to pursue. We’re juggling family schedules and that quality time at home. We’re juggling projects at work and meetings we have to organize. We’re juggling our friends and the social lives we are attempting to we keep up.

Oh, and I almost forgot ourselves…we’ve still got to make sure we can address our own hobbies – reading, blogging, exercising, building, growing, and all the other verbs we do because we love them.

What Yvonne had to say, and what I’m sure I’ll find in her and Molly’s book, is that you can totally tackle all of these things, you can have it all. The key is knowing that you won’t always be perfect and excellent at all of them, all at once. 

When we are at work, we work – and here’s the hard part – when we aren’t, we’ve got to set boundaries for ourselves. We’ve got to leave the office, or whatever other commitments we have, feeling proud of the day’s efforts, but ready to break for what other priorities we have – or just to simply give our minds a rest.

If this doesn’t apply necessarily to work for you, I think it really applies to other personal goals too. I’m definitely learning to apply it as I try to grow my blog. This blog brings my hobbies together. I want to give it everything I have and knock off my list of associated to-dos, but when I’m exhausted – letting myself watch a movie with Eric, or laying in bed a bit early to read, is so okay and so necessary.

Aside from our tasks, we’ve got to be good to ourselves by allowing us time to grow, explore, play, laugh, and learn by pursuing our passions. When we are with loved ones, we have to let ourselves be fully invested there, and putting the hundreds of pings and screens seeking our attention on hold. This time give us the energy to do all the other stuff.

Of course, there will be days when you do have to get back online after a dinner with friends or family, but the important thing is that we allow ourselves to enjoy those other parts of us in between it all, and not feel guilty.

In really busy seasons of life, it’s just going to take a bit more effort to allocating time for each – and most importantly, allocating time to relax. Instead of letting the feeling of not hitting everything on your plate at 100% slip in, we need to be proud of the moment’s victories, and know that we are crawling into bed with more opportunities that we will rock at tomorrow.

You can have it all. You just have to be easy on yourself and good to your soul while doing it.

Thanks to Yvonne for such a great talk that inspired some good reflection this week. Happy Weekend, everyone!

Days By Day

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Currently 2.19

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This week’s Currently coming at ya a little later than I would’ve hoped…but better late than never, right?? If you’re new to the blog, you can check out my first post in this series here. 🙂

Happy Weekend, folks!

{Reading // Bossypants by Tina Fey}

I’ve always loved Tina Fey, she was a favorite of all my girlfriends on SNL, as I’m sure she was for a lot of people. All about female empowerment, laughing at yourself, and being real – my kind of lady. I remember this as the first female comedian’s book to really take the market by storm, and I loved Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, so I knew I was overdue in checking Tina’s out.

The part two excitement to this is that Bossypants is the very first book I’m reading on my Kindle Fire, a Valentine’s treat from Eric! Anyone who knows me, knows that I was anti-Kindle for a long time. Not regarding the product in general – I thought it was such a great idea – but I just love the feeling of a real book in my hands and seeing progress with the thickness of the pages.

It was after books were getting bent up in my work tote, and hard to read when having to stand on my commute, I figured I should give it a go. Still adjusting and won’t be giving up physical books completely, but loving my Kindle so far!

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{Eating // Brunch…at work?}

What is this? I am eating brunch on a weekday? At my office? Score.

We’re fortunate to have Bagel Friday at work, which is major fuel to get to the weekend. This week though, major bonus. Contestant from NBC’s The Voice and local Chicagoan, Mark Hood, stopped by to perform at a special Gospel Brunch. There were waffles, chicken, eggs, and bagels galore, so I was a happy camper. What a nice treat after a busy week.

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{Planning// Austin Trip}

In just two short weeks, Eric and I will be headed back for a jam packed weekend! It’ll be so wonderful to see family and friends, but also feel really good to knock out some more things on our list of wedding to-dos.

We’ll finally be taking our engagement photos – very excited! Also, kind of nervous…haha am I cool and not awkward enough for this? Our photographers for this shoot, and our wedding, will be the lovely Kelsey and Talon of Feather & Twine. This adorable duo also got engaged in Paris (Is this meant to be or what??), and married just last fall. We are so, so looking forward to meeting them in person. If you haven’t checked them out before, you can join us in being in awe of their talent at their journal here.

Also on the ATX agenda – cake tasting, floral, and linen appointments, and maybe even some bridesmaids’ dress shopping. These last few weeks have been a lot of emails and phone calls, but I’d say we are doing quite well for planning from states away!

Days By Day
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Tacos + Laughs = Ideal Valentine’s

Snowy Valentine's

Now I didn’t want to make a post all about our Valentine’s Day, but Eric and I did some of our favorite things at two awesome Chicago spots, so I had to share and encourage you all to go check them out!

These things we love are eating tacos and watching live comedy, but before I get to that, I first have to address what an absolutely B E A U T I F U L day it was. Snow fell steadily the whole time. While it was definitely cold, it was also totally magical, because it was the first real morning to night snowy day we’ve experienced. I’m sure that’s just the non-native Chicagoan in me speaking, and if it’d been like that all winter, we would’ve been over it haha.

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We brunched, of course – I don’t think I know how to do anything else on weekend mornings – and as we sat looking out the windows of The Monkey’s Paw, we couldn’t help but talk about how much it kept coming down! While we originally were aiming to catch a bus home, the long walk back actually gave us time to squeeze in some photos. *Winter tip we’ve finally figured out – you must snap these photos fast or the cold will kill your phone, and you will be stranded if you don’t know where you are…*

Ok, now back to the tacos. Well to preface, Eric rocks at Valentine’s Day. He loves it, and I love that about him. Its always such a fun day for us, because we don’t make any overly fancy plans or have to get all dressed up, we just be our normal, ridiculous selves and run around town trying out new things.

He made reservations at a nearby restaurant called Barcocina – this beautifully decorated place with specialty tacos and awesome margs we’d been dying to try. We indulged in the queso fundido, Korean Short Rib, and Pineapple Pork tacos. YUM, y’all.

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Um, funny story though – we initially arrived at the restaurant and were given a $60 dollar set Valentine’s menu that  was apparently the only available option for the night. Eric and I looked up at each other, and begin to laugh with wide eyes once the nice waitress walked away.

It all sounded delicious, but four courses was so not our vibe, and as much of foodies as we are, we couldn’t validate spending $120 on food for one meal really ever. We also were so looking forward to finally trying out the tacos we kept hearing about!

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We were going to get drinks anyway, but the restaurant was so nice in letting us order off their normal menu in the end. We felt super reassured in our reaction to the set menu, as we ended up seeing every group/couple around us do the same – turns out the people just want to share their love and their tacos, cheers to that.

Barcocina’s food and service rocked – I definitely recommend.  I’ll totally be going  back for margs with the girls, or a big group to mix and match some tacos.

Post-dinner we made our way to one of our absolute favorite places in the city – The Second City theater. Eric surprised me with tickets to their 104th Revue – Fool Me Twice, Déjà Vu. This was definitely a full on couple hours of funnies. We loved how the whole deja vu aspect was so cleverly woven throughout the whole thing.

If you are in town visiting The Windy City, you must go – and if you live here, you likely already know what a must Second City is. I haven’t seen a bad show at this famous comedy spot yet. Did you know Amy Poehler and Steve Carell are Second City alumni??

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Before I wrap up for today, I’ve got to share my favorite Valentine’s Day tradition…for each one we spend together, Eric has added another rose to the bundle of fresh flowers I get – pretty crazy this year we were already at four.

Happy Wednesday, loves!

Days By Day

P.S. If you like what you find here, I’d love it if you shared the blog with a friend! You can also follow along with all the shenanigans over on Instagram – @daynareyna

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Currently 2.12

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We did it again, made it to Friday, YAY. I don’t know about you guys, but this has been one long week with some big stuff  wrapping up at work! Those tail ends of projects are always so chaotic, but I’m staying positive because I know the end result is so rewarding.

Before jumping into this week’s Currently post…how cute are those Valentine’s cards that work had waiting on everyone’s desk this morning?? Happy early Valentine’s Day to you, your dogs, your friends, families, and S.O.s!

Okay – hope everyone has a great looooong weekend friends!

Sharing // Cheryl’s Valentine’s Treats

If you haven’t had a chance to try Cheryl’s cookies before, you’re missing out! I’m so lucky to have family friends back in Texas that send some of these my way year after year. This year’s box was full of Valentine’s Day buttercream iced cookies, in flavors from Devil’s Food Cake to Sugar to Raspberry Chocolate. There were so many – I loved being able to share a few with my work team as “Thank Yous” for all the help these last few weeks.

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Wearing // NARS Lip Pencil

In addition to every sweater I own  to fight the “Feels like” negative temperatures this week, I’ve fallen in love with the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil that came with my Sephora birthday gift (one of the store rewards programs I actually love!). The lipstick meets lip pencil gives a rich color that goes on smooth. The birthday sample came with two –  a deep red called Cruella, and a rosy pink called Rikugien. I love the pink color, working my way up to being confident enough to wear that red…

Side note: This picture features a dark purple manicure I treated myself to this week, because I’m in love with the color. Way dark or totally nude are my go to nail looks.

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Feeling // Thankful

If you’ve checked out my About page, I touch on how important my faith is to me. With all the changes and big events that have taken place in this last year, I am more reliant and trusting in God than ever before. He has showered me with blessings and opportunities, and even in times of hardship, I know in Him all things are good.
As I go further into 2016, my word has been Peace. I’m striving to focus my eyes on the peace that God places in my life and on my heart, even when there seem to be a thousand moving parts around me. It is for this love and stronghold my faith is constantly providing that I am feeling so thankful inside.
Days By Day
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My Top Super Bowl Commercials

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Superbowl Sunday is basically advertising’s biggest event of the year. Marketers and agencies spend months and millions in preparation, all in hopes for a spot on TV that snags the attention of everyone.

Did you know the average Super Bowl V commercial from this past Sunday cost $4.8 million?? According to Kantar Media, some even surpassed $5 million, depending on the timeslot. Flashback…Super Bowl I commercials averaged at $40,000. It’s no wonder why though – it’s a lot of potential eyeballs to reach. An average of 114 million people tuned in to last year’s big game.

I was one of them last year, and one of them a few days ago. The last game of football for the season, the biggest brand opportunity in my industry, and Coldplay sharing the stage with Beyoncé…how could I possibly not watch??

Friend’s gathered at Eric’s place for lots of chili and a BYODip party – I made queso, Becca made a taco dip, friends brought cheese spreads, artichoke dip, and more. It was quite the feast as we chatted, cheered, and Snapchat filtered our way through the game.

With all that being said, here are my TV spot faves. I’ve linked to each commercial on YouTube so you can enjoy your self!

  • Doritos // Doritos Dogs – I’m a sucker for anything with dogs, so these pups attempting to sneak into the store for some munchies was the cutest thing. Not sure if you saw that other, much stranger Dorito ad with the baby…you’ve got to hand it to Doritos for always grabbing our attention year after year with multiple ads though!
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From Doritos’ Super Bowl V Spot: Doritos Dogs 

  • Honda // Honda Ridgeline A New Truck To Love – YOU GUYS. I said I love dogs, but what I should’ve just said is that I also just love fluffy animals. And these fluffy animals are singing sheep. I was seriously cracking up, what an adorable way to highlight this truck audio feature.
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From Honda’s Super Bowl V Spot: A New Truck To Love

  • T-Mobile // Restricted Bling – If you aren’t familiar with Drake’s catchy Hotling Bling and the funky music video, you must familiarize yourself. I kind of have a celebrity crush on Drake (evident here), which is a huge reason as to why this made my list. But I also think it’s just a really funny and appropriate play on the whole song, which made it a hit.

 

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From T-Mobile’s Super Bowl V Spot: Restricted Bling

  • NFL // Super Bowl Babies Choir feat. Seal – This adorable spot ran in a few different bits throughout the game. It totally made you chuckle with a statistic, and a bunch of children reppin’ their teams, that led to a very relatable message for me – Football is Family.
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From NFL’s Super Bowl V Spot: Super Bowl Babies

  • Jeep // Portraits – Tugging at the heartstrings was Jeep’s ad that showed all the that makes up the brand – its drivers. I loved the photography and sentiment that stood out nicely among the other spots. An employee at my agency also pointed out this is the only spot that ran on TV cropped and tailored as so, and fit perfectly on a mobile screen.
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From Jeep’s Super Bowl V Spot: Portraits

I was very happy the Broncos won! I am a big Peyton Manning fan for a few different reasons. I am also a total Coldplay fan, but thought their show was average for the game – Beyoncé  S L A Y E D  though.

Your thoughts on the big game and its commercials??

Days By Day

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Michigan Getaway

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In mid-January, I checked another state off my list when the Chicago fam made our way to the little town of Charlevoix in northern Michicagn. Becca’s dad owns a cabin up in some [currently] knee-high snowy hills, surrounded by big trees and next to her cousin’s vineyard. It sounds like quite the set-up, and trust me it is.

The cabin is not your average Lincoln log get up – it’s got huge ceilings,  five bedrooms, a clawfoot tub (ugh we didn’t get to use it, but like a CLAWFOOT TUB…dream bath), and loaded up with plenty of winter toys.

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michigan getaway

michigan getaway

We drove late on a Friday for about six hours and loaded up on groceries on the way in. There were thirteen of us, so after splitting the cost of all the goods and gas, we lucked out with a  weekend of fun at a steal of a price.

My advice for traveling with six boys? Have lots of food. When they ask for a snack the mean they will eat three frozen pizzas.

We stayed up late the first night, drinking wine and chatting until suddenly it was 4:00 am, and we were eyeing each other to see who would be the first to say they can’t stay up anymore. Saturday started with brunch and lots of ridiculous photos.

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A slightly embarrassing photo that shows our obsession with Drake.

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We had an intense snowball fight. I guess snowball fight mostly meant let’s gang up on each other and tackle someone. Um fun discovery though – Becca’s family has these little scissor looking things with cups at the end that make the literal perfect snowballs – I didn’t take a picture, but see what I’m talking about here. I’m not sure who won the fight in the end, but I did learn I need to work on my snowball throwing skills.

Sledding was another weekend activity! It was my very first time, along with one other gal pal, and that made everyone very excited. We piled on to the same “sled” – which did not look like the little wooden boards tied together I always imagined, but instead this long plastic tray of sorts – and were sent on our way. SO FUN. I’m not sure how many times we all continued to slide down and get our workout in by charging back up the hill,  but we were out there awhile.

 

Sunday a couple of the guys went skiing at a nearby resort. Some of us played around on the snow mobiles and ATV in the cabin garage. Snow mobiles I learned are very fun, but also dangerous. Not even because of the driver, but because the snow is blanketed over everything and you might not know if you’re about to get stuck on an actual giant broken tree branch – Eric and I’s real life experience. For five minutes, we thought we were going to have to run back and find Becca in the middle of the snowy forest, aka thought we were going to freeze to death. Thankfully a cool gang of snowmobilers helped Eric get it unstuck in two minutes and we were back on our way.

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Other fun activities included eating everything in sight, and visiting the little downtown of Charlevoix. Very worth it for the fudge and to see the left over snowmen from an earlier contest. Also, I was very tempted to buy these oven mitts – the person who came up with this idea for a Michigan oven mitt must’ve been cracking up when he/she realized how perfect it was. I did, but then again I do crack up at most things.

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michigan getaway

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The drive home with two boys mistaking themselves for a couple of rappers.

All and all, the weekend getaway was actually perfect. A real life winter wonderland experience! It was a great post-holiday reunion with all the friends. Since it was right after my birthday, they made me feel super special with a cake to wrap the whole trip up.

And when we walked back up to the apartment building Monday evening, Eric and I were mostly just amazed that in six-ish hours we drove through three states, and across all of Michigan. I think things like this will continue to be amazing – thank you, Texas.

Days By Day

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Currently 2.5

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Hi friends! If you missed my first post in this new Currently series I’m giving a go – check it out here. Otherwise, diving into the things I’ve been loving this week and want to share with you –

Eating // Homemade Pasta

Eric is such a good cook, y’all. I’m oh so lucky I get to marry a man who is quite talented in the kitchen and loves it. Earlier this week, we had spaghetti pasta with hot Italian sausage, garlic, cherry tomatoes,  red onion, and basil. I was able to snag extras for a couple lunches this week.

I’d like to claim we made it together, but it was mostly Eric’s work. Let’s not forget the tasty bread I dressed with olive oil and toasted in the oven though.

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Enjoying // ClassPass

This one-stop-shop monthly membership lets you access a large network of fitness studios, varying from cycling to barre to circuit training. A group of friends and I purchased their two week trial going on for $19, and have had lots of fun running around town trying all these cool studios. The trial is so worth it, you get to test out all these workouts and pretty much get your money back after doing just one class.

Sadly, our two weeks are just about up, and the monthly membership ($119) is a little more than I’d like to pay for a gym right now. I definitely recommend checking the trial out though if this grabs your interest!

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Looking // Wedding Colors & Bridesmaids’ Styles

Next month, we’ve got a big weekend to Austin planned to pick out wedding florals, reception table décor, and take engagement photos…AH. So excited and also feeling the pressure of making decisions – what’s new haha. That being said, this week I’ve been looking at lots of different palettes and working with my girls to decide what dress color they should wear.

Thank goodness for Pinterest, am I right??

Happy Weekend!

Days By Day

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Hand Lettering

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So last Friday on the first post of a “Currently” series I think I’m going to start doing, I mentioned that lately one thing I’ve been looking to dive into is calligraphy. After some additional research and chatting with people on where to begin, I realized where I’m really looking to start is hand lettering.

I’ve always loved books, writing, libraries, stationary…basically I have a love for words. I love how powerful they are. They have the ability to arouse laughter, heal a heartache, inspire a movement, form a prayer, and let someone know they’re your world. That’s pretty amazing stuff. I’ve also always loved being creative and playing around with beautiful writing, whether it was on a brown lunch bag or an office sticky note.

Hand lettering is the art form I realized I’ve been trying to explore that let’s me indulge in all of these things.

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Now, learning calligraphy is still something I want to, and plan to, accomplish. I just didn’t realize there was definite differences between these two word arts. Calligraphy is done with ink and can take quite a bit longer to get the hang of due to required muscle movements. Hand lettering can be picked up much more easily with its free-style motions and pretty much any supplies you want to work with.

After getting a recommendation from a friend at work, I checked out Paper Source to inquire about monthly hand lettering classes and supplies. *Side note: Paper Source is my personal Heaven – prints, cards, planners, pens, I can’t.* I signed up for the next open class in March, and purchased this awesome guidebook for beginning calligraphy and hand lettering because I just had to start on my own in the meantime.

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The book is called Creative Letting and Beyond – if this sounds like stuff you want to dig into, I highly recommend it. Four authors come together over four sections to explain calligraphy basics, how to being hand lettering, making beautiful letting crafts with chalk, paint, and even digitizing your work.

I also picked up a black Le Pen at this shop (the nice sales lady said Sharpie pens work great too), and pulled out an old sketch pad I had at home – good to go!

Some practice from the first few days –

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I’m excited to keep practicing and learning boarders, shaping, mixing fonts, etc. I know this was the right place to start crafting, because I think I can definitely channel it for some wedding decor! Progress to be continued…

Days By Day

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