Reading on the Go!

I started this post a few weeks after my wedding. I thought that I might share a couple of my pre-wedding reads (none of them had anything to do with weddings) and then 4 months passed. Even though that whole concept doesn’t make sense anymore I’m doing it anyway. I’ve also started graduate school (while working full time- my classmate from Germany says I’m crazy), and  I’ve managed to cram a few books in. Basically, everything I read was worth the time. Saying that, I didn’t want to just brush them off and just list them on the 2015 Bookshelf. Here are some short reflections on my reads.

Pre-Wedding Reads:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony DoerrAll the Light

I’m making my husband read it. He’s going to read it and he is going to love it. This book was beautiful to read. I’m a huge fan of World War II novels and Doerr did not disappoint. He crafts his book just as the locksmith crafted the neighborhoods for his daughter, with care and attention. While the novel starts off at a leisurely pace, the lives of these strangers begin to collide and the reader will be completely engrossed until the end. Yes, some parts read slow but push through because it really is worth it.


Bossypants by Tina Fey

This book really helped me get my head on straight before the big day. Tina made me laugh, cry (from laughing), and think (while laughing). The book isn’t so much a continuous memoir as it is a collection of stories. Tina’s thoughts and experiences presented me with a new lens to view my own accomplishments and goals through. Afterwards, I felt a lot more confident about where I am and where I’m heading. Sometimes, you just have to do it.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy KalingMindy

Mindy is as big of a Tina Fey fan as I am. She hilariously compares the two of them throughout her book, but reading them side by side unveiled how different they truly are. Both women are very humorous, resourceful, and intelligent. Mindy’s memoir, however, has a lot more pause for her analysis of a situation. It’s more organized and thoughtfully conceived. While still funny, Mindy has an undertone that makes you take everything with a grain of, what I call, serious salt.

BloggessLet’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

I’m going to see her and it’s going to be incredible. Jokingly, I refer to Jenny Lawson as my spirit animal. Throughout the novel I’d wake up my husband to read him sections. He would nod, respond with, “She’s you!” and promptly return to dreamland. Her perspective is one of a kind. I particularly recommend this to my friends battling chronic illness. It’s not too hard on the brain but is incredibly inspiring and funny. Lawson is a well-known blogger who has her own health struggles. Her humor inspires me to wake up and start fresh. Her second book, Furiously Happy just hit the shelves, so if you love her there’s more to read.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret AtwoodHandmaid

This is one of those books that I never had assigned in high school and also never came across in college (but should have read independently at some point). Basically, it needed to be checked off my list. After my reading I can definitely see how this would have caused a stir when it was published, and some parts of the story still call forth foreboding feelings. It’s well written and I don’t think it could have ended any other way. The ending was just right and I do recommend taking this novel for a spin. It wasn’t my favorite but it was valuable.

Everything Else:

In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad, book 1) by Tana French


My mind was blown. Not only was the case complex and challenging but the perspective was raw with characters and their relationships evolving radically throughout the novel. Part of the stark perspective stemmed from the personality of the first-person narrator who filters the entire experience. Be warned, this novel is very murky and very realistic. The language is also dense and incredibly well-crafted. French’s style is unable to be replicated. It’s not to be picked up for a bit of light reading.

Would you like a summary of my Macroeconomics textbook? Because it’s ruling my life right now and that’s what else I’ve read.

Okay, I lied, I did manage to get in Bardach’s 8 Steps (which I do highly recommend if you’re interested in public policy).


Enjoy what you read? 
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That Time I Got Married

Reader, I married him.

(When in awe, why not go with a little Charlotte Bronte?)

Three and a half years after our first date.

Two years after our first apartment.

One year after graduation.

Thanks, baby sister, for capturing this ;)

Thanks, baby sister, for capturing this 😉

We made it! We survived the craziness of driving 3 hours with our loony dog talking away in the back, last minute table decorating, and (the crowning achievement of the evening) nobody forgot their pants. Somehow I even managed to keep my anxiety in check and was able to enjoy the food and drink (yay wine!).

A lot of credit goes to our wonderful photographer, Danielle Vennard, who honestly made my day as stress 11182143_10153733597864239_2616020139747808658_nfree as possible by keeping things moving and having fun with our photos. I knew that the special moments were going to be preserved. I mean, look at this picture of my best friend and I.


That’s like our whole 13 years of friendship wrapped into one gorgeous black and white frame.

My family (the new and the original!) and friends who traveled from near and far truly made our day. There’s just something special about having everyone gathered in one place and it wouldn’t have been the same without them.

Now that it’s over, however, I am looking forward to getting back to my blog. I still have a mound of “Thank You” cards to complete, but I’m hoping to sneak away and throw out a few posts. So keep an eye out because I’m back!


An Inviting Evening

After going through the process of ordering invitations, which is a conundrum in and of itself, I wish someone would have briefed me on the hell that is invitation assembly. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

1. Receive invitations in the mail- ooh and ahh with fiance over the color of paper and fancy shmancy script. Take picture and immediately send to Pinterest/Best Friend/Parents.

2. Plot how to divide the arduous task of labeling and stuffing 100+ envelopes.

3. Brilliantly decide to print all the labels on the envelopes.

4. Buy new printer (4.5 star rating!) after previous disaster with Save-the-Dates.

5. Spend an hour looking at different shades of gold ink before picking a fancy-but-readable font. Do 1 test envelope. It looks perfect. Save the template.

6. Prepare to buckle down and print en masse. Envelopes are assembled along with the guest list spreadsheet.

7. Print first envelope. It looks horrible.

8. Adjust margins and print second envelope. Printer jams.

9. Dig stupid envelope out of new printer, close the document, and re-open the document. Third time is the charm.

10. Find out that the third time is not charming and four, five, six, and seven don’t look much better. Fiance proceeds to destroy an envelope out of sheer frustration.

11. Sigh and start testing pens while avoiding fiance’s wrath. Think it might run out of ink.

12. Send fiance to store for wine and pens.

13. Bunker down and get writing.

14. Drink wine and keep writing.28eef70ca28777215acdc1f27c1dd150

15. Seriously, keep the wine coming. Drink with the left and shake out the right.

16. A couple hours later you are tipsy and done! HUZZAH!


17. Go buy postage.


Enjoy what you read? Check out more of my bridal adventures
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How do they do it?!?

Many of my friends have the gift of creation. With their own two hands they knit mittens, play numerous instruments, and make things off pinterest that actually look like the pictures. I, sadly, do not have their talents. However, my fiancé and I are on a budget and so we took on creating and mailing the ever-important save-the-dates by ourselves.

Our wonderful photographer (shout out to Danielle whose fabulous work can be seen here), helped us out immensely taking engagement photos that could then be used to create save-the-dates. After a few hours on Shutterfly, hubby and I found a design we could both agree on and sent out our order. We were flying high! Ahead of schedule! That was about….3 months ago? So we went from fully prepared to oh-shit-we-needed-these-to-go-out-yesterday.

I should start by saying that my fiancé’s handwriting is close to illegible. He’s a lefty and it’s not his fault that juicy, fresh ink smears across the back of his hand. The world is rather cruel to its left-handers. So to save me from the rather onerous task of personally addressing somewhere around 100+ envelopes we decided to buy address labels and return labels. And that only happened about a week ago. Whoops! In the meantime we had managed to collect addresses from his side, my side, and our friends who frequently migrate (stop that!). At the end of the day, we had at least collected the addresses (most of them), bought the labels, and purchased stamps (with interest- convenience fees on a Saturday) so there would be no need to return to the store…except after printing the return labels, half in gold and half in silver (Note: Check your printer settings before hitting print), the colored ink ran out (Note 2: Check if you have ink before you go to the store).


Engagement Session ❤

So we go and buy all this expensive colored ink (thanks HP), install a cartridge, accidentally print a test sheet on address labels, and are finally ready to go. Except gold keeps printing out in blue/green/grey. None of which are gold. And the settings are fine. A-ha! A scratch on the ink cartridge, but we bought TWO! Too bad the second cartridge also didn’t work. And then we printed a test sheet on purpose and saw, to our horror, the cranky old printer had died and could no longer read yellow.

So here is a word of advice from a very tired bride with save-the-date envelopes that don’t match. For the love of Disney, don’t print last. I’m not saying don’t procrastinate because, honestly, that isn’t going to happen for me. It would be hypocritical. All I’m saying is give yourself enough time to be able to buy a printer. Or hire a cartographer. Or pay to get the envelopes printed. Any one of those would work.

Onward to the next bridal adventure!

Have some fun bridal stories? Share!

If you enjoyed this little tidbit make sure to check out Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Bride and other updates on Wedding Bells!


Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Bride


For some strange reason, people feel the need to unload their infinite wisdom on brides/brides-to-be constantly. Don’t misunderstand me– as a young bride myself I can honestly say I appreciate learning new life hacks and welcome advice from individuals with far more life experience. But people sharing this advice can range from your father to a woman walking down the street who happens to see your ring. The former? Perfectly fine. The latter? Not so much.

I seem to attract a lot of the latter. Individuals I have never met feel the need to push their opinions on me. I’m not sure if it’s because of my age or simply terrible luck, but one thing is for certain– it’s rude. Unless you want to wish the bride congratulations or make a passing comment on the beauty of her ring, don’t stop. So here are some tips, from one bride to the world.

I Can Marry if I Want to– The other day I was working on a project, drinking out of my vintage 1990s Disney cup when a20140814_092454 woman spotted my ring and asked if I was engaged. I smiled, said yes, and went on to mind my own business. She, however, was not quite finished and decided to add, “Are you sure you really want to get married?” Now, there is that joking tone you have with your friends where they rib you about the ole ball and chain, but when a complete stranger looks at you with a straight face and asks if you’re sure about your upcoming vows it’s rather insulting. No, I wanted to say, I just woke up one day and texted my boyfriend “Lets get hitched” and he said yes. However, rudeness should not beget rudeness. I smiled. Bottom line: She’s getting married and it’s really none of your business why. If you want to ask me about something, ask if I’m taking my honeymoon in Disneyworld so I can update my glassware. The answer? Hopefully!

I’m Young and, Yes, I’m Still Getting Married– This is a fun one and can come from all sides. I once had a gent the same age as me immediately start listing divorce statistics when he found out my ring meant “engaged.” Now that I know the fail rate of marriage for individuals of all ages (and then broken down into decades) it totally changes my mind! No, no it does not. Age doesn’t always equal maturity and experiences, especially for something like marriage, cannot be compared. Stop listing numbers at me. I get it, the odds are against us, but we’re pretty stubborn.

We Take Care of Our Home– Pet Peeve Alert- “You’ve turned into a housewife.” This statement was an automatic response after I explained that I needed to head home to start cooking dinner. First and foremost, I hate the way “housewife” is used in that sentence. It demotes women who choose to stay at home when many people have sacrificed and fought to make that a valid choice. I also have a newsflash: If I lived alone I would still need to make dinner. It is no one’s business who cooks or cleans. Many couples share these responsibilities, and (in this particular instance) it happened to be my night to cook. I’m actually pretty horrible at it. If helping to keep up my home and taking pride in it makes me a housewife then so be it.

What else shouldn’t you say to a bride? What have people asked you?