our registry


one | two  | three | four | five

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


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.


lovely things | valentine’s day

calligraphy kit  |  teardrop earrings  |  scratched circle studs  |  watch bands  | lip balm  |  hex studs  |  ring  |  mug

james & I don’t make a big fuss about valentine’s day these days. if we do go out for dinner, it’s never the day of & we’ll likely choose a low-key place where we’re regulars. if we do choose to eat at a fancier dig, it’s a place we’ve gone to before for some other special occasion & loved. as for gifts, we keep things simple there, too. I usually pick him up some book he’s been eyeing or if needed, a refill of his favorite cologne, plus a card. a card is a must, because really, it’s the thought behind the gift that makes the whole thing.

since we’re apart this valentine’s and he won’t be coming to visit until the weekend after, james asked me to put together a little collage of little things I’d want as a gift. I would love to receive any (or all some, ha!) of these items, but honestly, having him back for a couple of days is the best gift in itself. mushy, but true.

the new normal


james left for boston on sunday and I’m adjusting to the new normal. it’s been easier than I thought it would be – being busy with school, work, & this blog really helps the hours/days fly by, so I’m thankful for the distraction. it’s only in the little, random moments that I find myself lonely: doing errands on the weekend, just before I fall asleep at night, when I wake in the morning to find the side next to me empty, and on the commute in to and from work. I walk around feeling as though something’s missing, and then I realize, oh, james is missing.

all things considered, we’re holding up as well as can be expected, so I’m grateful for that. I’m also immensely grateful for cellphones & skype & facetime & all the other ways we can communicate with far-away loved ones these days.

have you been in a long-distance relationship? any tips? :)



a may wedding


happy monday! hope your week is off to a great start. I’m taking things a little bit easier today as our weekend was busy with wedding planning. I bought my wedding dress on saturday morning, then we had dinner with our friend jesse that evening, during which we informed him that in addition to being one of the groomsmen, he would also be the unofficial MC. we spent the night in his apartment then the following morning, we did some light grocery shopping before heading over to one of my closest college friends’ apartment to ask her if she’d be a bridesmaid (she said yes, phew). after that, we sort of decided to pick out wedding bands on the spot in between the two playoff football games, so we did just that. james’ band came home with us the day of but mine had to be sent off to be resized. I’ll have pictures up once I get them in. james opted for a tungsten ring and I opted for a thin 3/4 diamond band with a prong setting.

it’s been a little surreal & exhausting getting all these plans made and/or checked off in the past couple of weeks, but we’re having a blast doing it at our own pace & as stress and drama-free as possible. we want to enjoy these few months before our marriage & really take the time to appreciate this moment in our lives.