our registry

registry

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James & I weren’t sure if we wanted to do a registry for our wedding or if we would just leave a place for gifts & cards the day of. in the end, we took the middle route. we provided the link to our registry on our wedding website but made sure to emphasize that gifts were optional. we also arranged for a card/gift table at our reception.

we were very intentional about what we wanted to put on our registry. we were having a small wedding to begin with (only about 40 guests), so we knew we had to be selective about our choices from the get-go, but even if we had had a larger wedding, I think we would have kept the same process. over the 8+ years we’ve been together, we had amassed a collection of household items that are traditionally found on a registry – dishes, cutlery, etc. while the pieces we do have aren’t china or anything extremely special, we love them & didn’t want to ‘upgrade’, so to speak (these are our dishes – we have them in the dark grey & soft blue shades). what we ended up putting on our registry then were items we didn’t have and could use for a good while in the future. we had gotten rid of our random assortment of pots & pans, so the first items we added were these pots & pans and the matching tea kettle from kate spade in the turquoise color. I loved the retro color & the clean lines, and James actually felt the same way when I showed them to him. we also opted for a set of simple glasses that can be used for anything, including wine (we got the classic 8.75 oz size). the fact that they’re pretty much unbreakable is a bonus!

I was very conscious of prices when it came to our registry – I didn’t want people to feel as though they had to spend a lot of money on a present – so of the 20 or so items we included, we only had 3 items that were above $50: a Le Creuset pot, a Nespresso machine, & a KitchenAid mixer. we made each of these items group gifts, giving our friends the option of pooling together & splitting the costs. a bunch of our college friends did just that and gifted us the Le Creuset pot as a group, while James’ best friend surprised us with the Nespresso outright. although we had the mixer on our registry, we were actually glad that it didn’t get fulfilled – it would be awhile before we could use it, and our friends & family had been beyond generous already. we also received some gift cards that we used towards other purchases, such as these napkins (in flax), this trivet, and this espresso cup set. aside from the individual gifts listed on the registry, we also had the option for a cash gift that we jokingly labeled ‘the honeymoon fund’. we left it open-ended to give everyone the flexibility to give however much they wanted.

most of these items are currently in storage as we’re in a weird long-distance transition period, but James & I divvied up two items: he has the Le Creuset in boston while I have the Nespresso here in chicago. he’s been loving tinkering with one-pot recipes & I’ve been loving having homemade lattes & cappuccinos in the morning. so far, we’ve had zero regrets about our selections, and we’re so thankful for the generosity of our friends & family.

 did you have a registry? any regrets over what you picked? any thing you would have added in retrospect?

words for the week

marriage

tomorrow marks our first month of marriage, so it seemed apropos to make this week’s wftw about marriage. we’re only a month in on our marriage, but I already know these words to be the absolute truth. ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘forgive me’ are just as important, if not more important at certain times, as ‘I love you’. sometimes love is so intense that it becomes so easy to disappoint each other. that’s when forgiveness shines, providing a counterweight of quiet grace.

wishing my husband a happy 1st month of marriage & all of you a good start to the week.

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summer makeup

summermakeup

you know those people who never seem to sweat? I’m most definitely not one of those people. in addition to when I’m stressed and when I’m exercising, I also sweat when it’s hot out. so when the temperatures start rising, I stay away from heavy makeup that I know will just come right off. most days I put on moisturizer, sunscreen, curl my lashes, and slap on some color on my lips, & call it a day. but when I want/need to look a little bit more made up, I add a couple of other products.

for my base, I’ve been loving bare minerals complexion rescue (my shade is spice). I started using it back when I began clinicals. I liked that it evened out my skin tone while feeling really light & cooling. I do have to say that this is definitely a sheer coverage product, but I love it for that reason. I’ve also been really liking the glossier stretch concealer because it’s got that creamy, light consistency that I prefer for hot weather. I’ve been a longtime fan of the nars concealer & the burberry one, but both felt a little too heavy for the weather right now for me. for blush, a tried and true favorite is chanel malice, a really pretty, no-fuss peachy pink that looks really good when I’m darker. if I want a little bit more color on my lips than a nude gloss, I’ve been reaching for glossier generation g in crush. I like that it’s matte but doesn’t feel cakey or drying. the color is a really pretty pink stain, like you’ve just had a cherry popsicle. I also like that when it does fade, it does it in a really pretty ombre kind of way that looks natural and not overdone.

I usually leave my eyes bare during the day and just curl my lashes, but at night, for some added drama, I’ve been really liking using the laura mercier caviar sticks in copper & khaki. I used the shades amethyst & cocoa a lot in the fall/winter, but I’ve been loving these two shades as a change in pace. I like using them both as a blended all-over lid color & as a smudged, no-fuss liner. I then top off with some mascara, which lately has been the dinoplatz escalator one. the packaging is super cute, it doesn’t smudge, & it holds the curl in my stubborn, little lashes.

the last two products I’ve been using aren’t makeup, but they’ve been even more crucial. while my face tends to get dry in the winter, in the summer it’s pretty much an oil field, especially around the t-zone. these blotting papers have been lifesavers for keeping my face from looking like a greasy mess. I love that the sheets adhere to a little puff & that the case comes with a handy mirror. lastly, the tatcha luminous skin mist is a great midday pick me up. I’m not sure if I buy the necessity of having a mist in one’s makeup routine, but a spritz in the middle of a hot day is unbelievably refreshing, and it does help revive the makeup that has gone flat throughout the day.

words for the week

mrrogers

it’s been an incredibly sad couple of days for the country. the senselessness of it all is maddening. I’m sending you all love and hope. we all need some, all the time.

spring scents

spring scentsI’m quite loyal to perfumes. although I’ll try out a free sample now & then, I only own 3 full-sized bottles: one fall/winter scent, one spring/summer scent, & one special occasion scent. I prefer my warmer weather scents to be lighter in general, and I’m partial to citrus and water notes. for the past 5 years or so, my spring/summer scent has been dolce & gabbana light blue, which to me smells like citrus & ocean.

I don’t know if my sense of scent has changed or if the formula has changed, but I sprayed a little bit of light blue on a couple weeks ago and it did not smell the way it usually does. my favorite part about this scent is the tartness of it, and this time around, it wasn’t there, making the perfume rounder & less sharp. it was ok, but it wasn’t the scent I remembered. I thought maybe I was just being weird or OCD, so I kept using it, but every time, I smelled a softer, rounder scent. I even tried a spray of the tester bottle they had in-store as I was out last week and again, it seemed like the scent had changed.

so I’ve been on the hunt for a new spring/summer scent since. I’m sampling the three above currently. I have a deluxe sample & the solid version of nirvana white, and I’m noticing that there’s a slight difference between the liquid & solid version. the solid version is more subtle, which I think I prefer. brit sheer is the brightest-smelling of the three – it’s definitely a light, happy scent that still manages to be fresh & not too sweet. lazy sunday morning is aptly named – it smells like clean sheets & a relaxed, sunny morning. it’s a little different for me as it’s not very citrusy, but I like how clean & nostalgic it is. I’ve yet to commit to one enough to warrant a full-size purchase, but I’m enjoying rotating between the 3 in the meantime.

do you have any recommendations for a spring/summer scent?

the friday five

IMG_3170my bridesmaid’s bouquets

I’m still making my way through all the pictures from our wedding & our honeymoon, but I wanted to share a handful of photos in the meantime until I can get a proper post up. we were married on may 21 in chicago, and we headed out for boston 2 days later. we stayed in our apartment in salem, mass for 1 day before heading up to portland, maine for 3 days. we headed back down on the saturday of the holiday weekend, before vacation season got fully underway. we spent the rest of our honeymoon chilling in salem, which was pure luxury for us since we currently live apart & will continue to do so until july of next year. it was nice to just stay home, spend some much needed time together, & relax.

have a lovely weekend!

IMG_3191made me laugh after a great breakfast at a local diner

IMG_3198the barrel room at allagash brewery

IMG_3199the cute little kitchen in our airbnb apartment

IMG_3207by the water in portland, maine

american classic

classicamericana

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spending some extended time in new england has brought out a nostalgia for classic american sportswear. there’s something timeless about pieces with clean lines in traditional colors. we took a little day trip up to the freeport, maine area on our honeymoon, and after visiting wolfe’s neck woods state park, we dropped by the 24-hr l.l. bean store in town. I didn’t walk away with anything that day since I only brought a carry-on for the trip, but I did make a mental note to check out a handful of pieces online later. I’m always in a little bit of a nautical mood when the summer comes around, so it’s not surprising that I’m eyeing up some striped pieces. the boat & tote has been an american classic since 1944, and the leather handles on this version is a really lovely update. lastly, this field jacket is so, so good. I tried it on in store, and the fit & the details were spot on. I love the way the collar lays & the cinch waist.

hello, summer

salem.jpg

hello, world! today is the 1st of june, so it seemed fitting to start blogging again. I’ve been seriously MIA the past couple of months for numerous reasons, the two biggest being 1) nursing school; and 2) getting married. more on that later, but just saying a quick ‘hi’ with a shot taken on the last day of our ‘minimoon’ on the water in salem, mass. the ocean is my happy place, and I already miss my husband & the smell of salt water terribly (as I’m currently on a plane somewhere over the midwest on my way back to chicago).

I hope you all had a lovely memorial day!

wardrobe essentials

  grey tee | white tank | striped tee | slouchy sweater | white button-down

chambray | black jeans | white jeans | dark jeans

knit dress | ankle boots | wrap cardigan | leopard flats

ever since getting serious about simplifying, I’ve been thinking about what I consider “essentials”. for more serious things, essential = vital. for more trivial things, like my wardrobe, essential = basic. I used to think that “basic” sounded so lackluster, the opposite of special. but when I think about how they’re the most hardworking, most well-loved pieces of my closet upon which everything else is built, it brings to mind perhaps a more accurate definition of essential: indispensable.

these are the pieces that feel the most “me”, the pieces that require no thought at all but still make me feel put together. and so, if I had to cull my capsule wardrobe down to only the pieces that were indispensable, these are what would make the cut.

what are your wardrobe essentials?

dry skin saviors

dryskin1

as mild as this winter has been (knock on wood), my skin is still as dry as a desert. in the past I wouldn’t care as much about doing something about it, but as I’ve gotten older and ever since I started to have instances of eczema, I’ve really taken the time to hydrate my skin properly, especially in the cold. these are my go-to dry skin saviors.

for exfoliation, nothing beats the l’occitane pate delice in my book. I’ve tried other body scrubs and they were all either too harsh, left behind a residue that I didn’t care for, and/or smelled weird/too strong. this one is none of those things. the smell is amazing. it’s almond-scented without being cloyingly sweet. it leaves my skin feeling soft & new without irritation, and it washes off cleanly.

and on to the lotions. kiehl’s creme de corps is such a lovely product. it doesn’t feel greasy, moisturizes really well, & leaves behind such a nice sheen on the skin while still being matte. I don’t know how it does it, but it does. aside from doing all of that, it also doesn’t feel thick at all; in fact, it almost feels like you’re wearing nothing! I use it all over my body. I use the first aid beauty ultra repair cream as an extra layer of hydration over eczema-prone or incredibly rough spots and when I’m having a little bit of an eczema recurrence. I love that you can use this all over the body, too, as well as the face!

 what are your go-to products for dry skin?