Sunday, September 30, 2012

the sunday currently, volume 3.

reading the happiness project, by gretchen rubin. i hate that i haven't finished this book yet. i just haven't really been reading before bed at night, which is when most of my best reading is done. i plan to have this book done in the next couple of days, because i plan to blog about it this coming week. i'm trying to keep my reading rhythm up - once the stress of the wedding has passed, i think my mind will free up some space for more books.
writing a humongous stack of thank you notes. my writing hand is so sore, & i still have like three notes left to do. but, really, i love writing thank you notes - it's like writing letters to all of my favorite people.
listening to beach house on this rainy sunday. it is ridiculously relaxing. i also listened to them last night while on my thank you note writing bender. it was raining then too. really, it has rained constantly this weekend. i love it. i've also been listening to why am i the one, by fun. on my beachy bachelorette party, one morning - while we were getting ready to go down to the beach - i was eating a plate of scrambled eggs & kara & i were dancing around to this song. anna claire said, this is probably one of the happiest moments, even though this is one of the saddest songs. a favorite memory.
thinking i am really excited about the string quartet that's going to play in the wedding... which is now under two weeks away. a violin played in church today, & that's why the quartet is on my mind - i think string instruments are so moving - i can't wait to enjoy them.
smelling lola, by marc jacobs. i think it's going to be my fall/winter perfume. the smell of it always reminds me of scarves & christmas.
wishing we could just go ahead & get to the fun part of all this planning - the actual wedding! i'm tired of meetings, plans, & discussions... i'm ready for the fun!
hoping for some relief from recent stress. i always thought people were either whining or exaggerating [or both] when they talked about how stressful the last few months/weeks before your wedding end up being. well, as it turns out, they weren't whining. or exaggerating. or both. it's supremely stressful. and i'm ready for some quality relaxation time, people.
wearing a blue shirt, the scarf i was wearing when i got engaged, a purple millsaps sweatshirt, & the most comfortable pants in the world. the perfect post-church, lazy sunday outfit.
loving that justin stayed up late last night, researching jobs & careers for me. his support & enthusiasm about what i'll end up doing is unending, & i don't think he'll ever realize how much i appreciate it. and how encouraging it is. i also loved seeing the pumpkins - pictured above - last night in brookshires.
wanting to use all our new bath & body works lotions, at the same time. it's ridiculous how excited i get about things from that store. we got brown sugar & fig, dreamy vanilla woods, sweet cinnamon pumpkin, & black currant vanilla. deeee-licious!
needing a pumpkin spice latte & a shopping spree. the first one may just be granted a little bit later. it is starbucks sunday, after all. the second one, well... that will have to come later, after i've found a job in wilmington.
feeling warm & cozy in bed.
clicking the sunday secrets. like i do every sunday.


photo: pumpkins in brookshires \ iphone



what are you doing?



Friday, September 28, 2012

friday's fancies #43: these clothes melt stress.

friday's fancies #43: these clothes melt stress.
this week's friday's fancies theme is oufit crush, but i just knew
i had to create another autumn-centered look.
see the first one here. see last year's looks here & here.
by the way, i'm pretty sure these clothes melt stress.
just looking at them has made me feel more like
a human being than i did beforehand. the last few weeks
before my wedding are seriously ripping
me a new one [i know, classy]. but i think if i could
actually put this outfit on, i'd feel a lot better about
everything on my plate. and the plate of everyone around me.

dear next week, please be a little easier on me than this week was. i know you are the week before wedding week, but how about we pop a chill pill together & call it a day?

dear justin, can you believe it? only fifteen days until i'm mrs. christy. and only sixteen days until we're headed toward east coast bliss. AND only thirty-four days until we're finally living together in wilmington.

dear wilmington, did you hear that? only thirty-four days until we're reunited. i hope you're ready for justin & me to cross some items off our wishlist.

dear mom & dad, i could never thank y'all enough for all that you do for me, but i still want to say a really big thank you.

dear weekend, i will always love you.




link-ups:
fridays fancies \ {long distance loving}
friday's letters \ adventures of newlyweds

Thursday, September 27, 2012

love lists: september.

september has been a month of immense stress, what with the promise of this event on the quickly-approaching horizon. but that doesn't mean i haven't had time to rack up a list of things i've been loving in this autumn month...

1. sparkly, festive party dresses.
i picked up two dresses from francesca's collections this month, one for my shower, & one for my rehearsal dinner. obviously, i can't post a photo of the rehearsal dinner one, but this post showcases the one i wore for the shower. there is absolutely nothing like wearing a sparkly, twirly, princess dress. i talked a little more about that here.
 
2. starbucks pumpkin spice lattes.
honestly, no explanation is really needed, except that i love these things. i really do.
 
3. the autumn season.
candy corn. the sparkly halloween wreath on our door. boots.
 
4. sinful colors nail polish in leap flog.
may i present to you: the jade manicure.
 
5. spoiled nail polish in i don't drink cheap wine.
because there is little better than wine-inspired manicures.
 
6. the re-discovery of my green & teal earrings.
these things practically glow in my earlobes. and i like that.
 
7. tyler candle in dolce vita.
all i need to take me back to late afternoon sun streaming in the windows at our quaint kinston apartment.
 
8. my family shower.
as mentioned above, read more here & here.
 
9. my engagement ring.
i didn't think it was possible, but i've fallen even more in love with my ring this month. maybe it's because my wedding is coming up. maybe it's because our engagement anniversary is coming up. either way, i can't keep my eyes of that beautiful bauble. see it here.
 
10. colgate optic white toothpaste.
this stuff has aided me in prepping my smile to be wedding ready.

and now october is right around the corner... & that means wedding month!

 
photo: an autumn afternoon walk \ instagram

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

thoughts after the shower.


i'm not certain, but i really don't think there's any feeling better than wearing a bright, sparkly, billowy dress to your wedding shower. as if you don't already feel special enough that day, the added bonus of feeling like the belle of the ball just pushes your excitement quotient over the edge. 

this past saturday, as i flitted from room to room, speaking to this guest & that, nibbling on petit fours, i realized: these are the pre-wedding moments i'll treasure. and with each shutter click, i stood tall in my purple suede stilettos, feeling proud of the festive outfit i pulled together the day before. 

i can't really adequately express my gratitude to kara, julianne, & jennifer - my hostesses - or my mom & dad - huge facilitators of this beautiful brunch - or the many, many folks who traveled - some for hours, others a single neighborhood block - to celebrate with me...

but as i lounged on the couch, post-party, sipping on one of the remaining mimosas, my mom, kara, anna claire, & i recapped events of the day while michael buble warbled on about love in the background. as the conversation wound down & we all fell into hushed, exhausted silence, i looked at the folds of bright orange chiffon puddling onto the couch beneath me, & thought to myself: today is a day i'll always remember.


photo: my party dress \ instagram 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

a family shower, in photos.

tomorrow i'll be sharing thoughts on my wedding shower this past saturday,
but today i'll be sharing a compendium of photos from the event.
i greatly enjoyed this shower, & i think the photos will be
all the proof you need to see an excellent time was had by all.
 
like i said, thoughts coming tomorrow...


photos: family wedding shower \ iphone

Sunday, September 23, 2012

the sunday currently, volume 2.


*starting next week, the sunday currently post will go live
at 12:00 p.m. central time, every sunday. this will give
everyone a chance to prepare their posts & link up accordingly!*

reading the happiness project, by gretchen rubin... & identifying with it immensely. when i was reading it a couple of nights ago, i highlighted a few whole pages in a row. i feel like i'm learning quite a lot from mrs. rubin - & i'm excited about it.
writing blog posts about the wedding shower that happened yesterday. i had such a great time! i can't wait to put my experience & thoughts down into words.
listening to birds chirping as i sit on the porch, pumpkin spice latte in hand. something i've been doing this year while i sip on PSLs is to picture a big, creamy slice of pumpkin pie - with crumbly crust & a big dollop of whipped cream on the top - & pretend like that's what i'm eating. it works. it's lovely.
thinking i couldn't be more ready for the wedding to get here. the more the time winds down, the more the stress winds up. i'm pretty sure being so stressed out is the reason i'm currently sick. and i don't like it.
smelling pumpkin spice latte, of course. and the smells of a warm fall day outside.
wishing for a calm week during which i can accomplish loads of important things. vague much? well, i'll elaborate: i hope to finish my wedding party gifts, to get my final guest count & paperwork over to nottoway, to do a good job working for my dad, to get my wedding dress re-fitted, to take libby lou to the vet to get her sutures out, & to apply to at least five more jobs in wilmington. whew.
hoping i can accomplish all of the above. when i write it all out, i realize how much it really is.
wearing workout clothes. because wearing workout clothes is the first - and most crucial - step to working out.
loving that my sister has been in town this weekend. i think one of my favorite parts of the weekend was falling asleep to the wonder years every night. she's sitting on the porch with me - & my parents - right now, & i already miss her.
wanting to go for a run in a little while. you'll be pleased to know that i actually got up in time to run before my wedding shower yesterday. [i know, i was impressed/surprised/in disbelief too].
needing to go to church this evening. and to write in my ink-and-paper journal, as i discussed here.
feeling sick. like a big sick sicky. i haven't felt well since wednesday of last week. i finally took some medicine this morning. i hope i feel almost completely better by at least tuesday.
clicking nothing at all. this is my first time on the internet this weekend... which i'm kind of proud of.

what are you doing currently? link up below.


photo: from the shower \ iphone



Friday, September 21, 2012

wishes for this weekend.


to be filled with easy joy.
to have a lovely time at my shower.
to have beautiful, curly hair.
to consume many sweet confections.
to experience crisp, cool weather.
to take many, many photos.
 
 
 


photo: afternoon run \ instagram

Thursday, September 20, 2012

26: the september review.

i've made quite a few goals for my twenty-sixth year here on earth [see them here], & i think it's important to keep track of my progress, to ensure i accomplish as many of those items as possible.

first, let's start off with the failure-of-sorts. one of my goals was to write, every single day, even if it was just one word. and well, i'm a little unsure if i've really accomplished this. when i made that goal, i intended to write in an ink-and-paper journal - that is to say, on paper. that is to say, blogging wasn't going to count. if i counted blogging, i'd have almost every day covered, but not all of them. furthermore, i write in an ink-and-paper planner every day, sometimes recording events of the day, sometimes just recording lists. if writing in the planner counts, then i'm covered. but really, i want to amp up my actual journaling skills. so i'm going to take this mini-failure & use it as inspiration, a renewed push to achieve.

a great many of the items on the list are time-sensitive, & well, the time for those events simply hasn't yet arrived. but next month, i think i'll have a lot more progress to track. and as i'm learning through reading the happiness project, by gretchen rubin, the growth & progress acquired while accomplishing tasks & working toward goals, produces happiness.

i'll wrap up with a success story. one of my goals is to keep a record of all the books i read this year, & follow up with a corresponding critique. so far, i've completed two books. you can view the write-ups here & here

all in all, i think i'm headed in the right direction - now, just to keep it up!


photo: good morning coffee \ instagram

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

a critique: where we belong, by emily giffin.

'"i'll be right back," conrad said,
leaving the radio and air-conditioning on.
relieved that i didn't have to buy the test myself, i slouched down in my seat, switching the stations, wondering what last song i'd hear before i got the bad news confirmed. tlc was singing 'waterfalls' when he returned with a plastic bag and a somber expression.' - pg. 82

well, ladies & gentlemen, emily giffin has done it again.

time & time again, she wins me over with her heartfelt, wrenching, gripping prose that i would even venture to label 'suspenseful.' last summer, i was caught up in the drama of ellen & leo while reading tearing through love the one you're with, & then the tumultuous unfolding of events in heart of the matter, while venturing through south carolina & georgia with justin. and really, who can forget something borrowed & something blue? long story short: i have yet to be disappointed by an emily giffin novel.

so it didn't really surprise me that where we belong saw me keeping late nights, simply dying to know what was going to happen between marian, kirby, conrad, & everyone else involved in the story.

this book centers around secrets. the keeping of them, the reasons for them, & - ultimately - the telling of them. marian is a successful television writer with a big secret: she had a baby at 18 & gave her up for adoption. and her choice to keep the adoption open - to allow her biological daugther access to her files upon her eighteenth birthday - leads to a series of events - & a knock on her door in the middle of the night, that changes everything.

memorable moments:

'"he'd always rather stay at home, read, play solitaire,
watch old movies and television. he even bird-watches,"
she says, finally smiling a real smile. "he's nothing like
the guy you see in the courtroom."' - pg. 68
'conrad kep a running commentary going,
his opinions about music passionate and definite...' - pg. 73
'at some point, conrad put his hand on my knee and kept
it there, even as he took hard, sharp turns through his
neighborhood, moving it only to shift gears as needed.
when he pulled into his driveway, he took my chin and
made me look in his eyes. "it's going to  be okay," he said.
"i got your back."' - pg. 82

most of all, i think what i love about emily giffin's books is the meaningful & touching dialogue between the characters. i love the way she uses their exchanges to bring forth a bigger meaning. the meanings that summon tears, thoughts, & a sense of connection with mankind.

'"so i guess what i'm trying to say is that life is fast.
and it keeps speeding up. sometimes i lose track of the season
- or even the year. and we just have to make the best of
it all. our choices. our fleeting moments together."' - pg. 219

final grade: A+

if you haven't yet picked up where we belong, get to your nearest book store - or, like i did, download it to your nook - & get reading. you won't be sorry.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

the food + the music.

two fridays ago, my mom & i went for a tasting at nottowaynot only was the food delicious,
but the four-hour drive to & from afforded us some quality music-listening time.
my favorite things to taste were the creamy corn & shrimp bisque & the garlic mashed potatoes. oh, & the tortellini, too. people have been telling me that we won't have time to eat at our reception, but i sure do hope that isn't true.

-----

here is a collection of my favorite songs from that day.

freedom at 21 [jack white]
the king & all of his men [wolf gang]
itchin' on a photograph [grouplove]
i've got friends [manchester orchestra]
i will wait [mumford & sons]
shake it out [florence & the machine]
spiralling [keane]
take a walk [passion pit]
work [jimmy eat world]

listen on grooveshark here.


photos: iphone

Sunday, September 16, 2012

the sunday currently, volume 1.




here's something that makes me happy: 

i have been getting a lot of response
on my 'currently' posts, as well as people letting me know that they have been doing their own lists. for those reasons, i've decided to write a 'currently' post of my own each sunday, & then include a place for y'all to link up your posts if you'd like. i've thought about making these posts an every-sunday thing in the past, & when ashley mentioned that she may do that, i decided i would too. thank you all so much for your positive comments & encouragement.
reading the happiness project, by gretchen rubin. yes, that's right - that means that i pretty much speed-read where we belong, by emily giffin. and i loved it! critique cache post coming soon on that.
writing a million addresses on a million invitations. ok, maybe not quite that many, but it certainly felt like it as my hand cramped up this afternoon.
listening to frasier, on dvd. the ultimate in comforting television.
thinking that this year has been one of the most stressful of my life! i'm thankful for all the happy changes & events that have occurred [and are left to occur], but my blood pressure feels like it is sky-rocketing at present. i'm so ready for october 13.
smelling absolutely nothing. my nose doesn't always work the best.
wishing for a good night's sleep. tomorrow, it's time to wake up & get back to work. i'm really excited to go back to work, but i think i could also do with a day where all i have to do is catch up on sleep.
hoping the last few details of wedding planning go smoothly.
wearing a long-sleeved black & white striped shirt & some green & white polka-dotted pajama pants. pattern mixing at its best.
loving all the television that's available on netflix. now, just to decide what show's up next on my instant queue. i watched the pilot episode of the wonder years tonight. i loved it, but it made me so emotional! i need something light & uplifting for right now, i think.
wanting a huge pitcher of water.
needing to take a big chill pill. i let myself get so worked up over stress. the battle to manage it rages on.
feeling... can you guess? i've talked about it enough in this post for the entire week. yep, that's right, you guessed it - stressed!
clicking a whole bunch of new blogs! here are my favorites: piloting life, his little lady, daniella marie, & a snapshot of life.

here's to a week of happiness, peace, & productivity.


photo: kinston hydrangeas \ instagram

Friday, September 14, 2012

friday's fancies #42: festive fall finds.

friday's fancies #42: for autumn.
sweater | shirt | mug | scarf | boots | loafers | bag | ring

can i pretty please have all of these items? the cozy cable knit sweater conjures thoughts of bonfires & halloween candy. the slouchy shirt, thoughts of saturdays curled up on the couch, reading my favorite book. i'd happily sip sweet caffeine confections out of this edgar allan poe nevermore mug. some think cold-weather clothes are frumpy, but i think this festive scarf could convince them otherwise. the season of falling leaves absolutely wouldn't be complete without a good, solid, go-to boot... & i'll take this selection in every color. and for a bit more polish, throwing on these glittery loafers would do the trick. the big bag of my dreams would sit perfectly on my arm, complementing the warm colors of fall,
with a touch of navy & eggplant. and that ring... that whimsical, nostalgic ring.
 
what are you dreaming of this fall?

share your finds here.




Thursday, September 13, 2012

1 month!

 
one month.
thirty days.
 
that is all that's standing in between us & our wedding day.
 
yes, that is justin wearing my sunglasses.
yes, that is justin circa 2006,
on the way to a florida game in gainesville.
 
i was looking back through some of our old photos last night, contemplating our relationship, how far we've come since we met at eighteen. it's hard to fathom that nearly eight years have passed since this all began - since i turned the corner at the fraternity house & introduced myself. just reflecting on all of that - you know, the important stuff - made me realize how trivial all the last minute details of wedding planning really are. so, rather than record the list of what's left to do here today, i just want to stew in the moment - to let myself simply feel the excitement.
 
because now we're just thirty days away.
 
 
photo: justin, circa 2006 \ point & shoot

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

critique cache september: graceling, by kristin cashore.

it's not that i didn't like graceling - really, that's not it at all. but it did take me entirely too long to read.

and you know, maybe i was just going through a literary dry spell, because those happen.

every time i picked graceling up, though, i was sucked into the story... for a little while. i think it may have to do with kristin cashore's writing style - i'd be hooked, reading about a thrilling situation, or getting worked up over katsa & po's relationship, & then she'd just... switch gears. i know that's a tactic many authors employ, & sometimes i don't mind it [or even notice it], but in graceling, i found it a bit frustrating, like it disjointed the story.

in a similar vein, when not reading graceling, i didn't miss it... didn't yearn for it. and to me, being lonesome for a book is the gauge by which i measure my affection for it.

so graceling... i liked you, but i didn't love you*.

memorable moments:

'a torch on the path nearby caught the glimmer of small gold hoops in his ears.' - pg. 14

'"i trust you," he said suddenly. he stepped out of her path and waved her forward. she thought him very strange, and impulsive, but she saw he'd relaxed his guard, and she wasn't one to waste an opportunity.' - pg. 15

'the city was waking, and the streets smelled of baking bread.' - pg. 22

'perhaps if katsa had six older brothers, she would also have six friends.' - pg. 71

'the days were beginning to shorten. the air would crispen soon, and the castle would smell of wood burning in the fireplaces. the leaves would crackle under her horse's hooves when she went riding.' - pg. 75

'"i know when someone wants to hurt me, and how," he said. "i know if a person looks on me kindly, or if he trusts me. i know if a person doesn't like me. i know when someone intends to deceive me.' - pg. 103

final grade: B-

*there was, however, an excerpt from cashore's bitterblue in the back of the book, which i found more compelling. i may check it out.

what have you been reading lately? listening to? watching?
share on your blog, then link up below.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

i remember.


words can't really describe the kind of sadness i feel on a day like today.
it is a wistful kind, making me yearn for simpler days, days free from fear.
it is a kind that makes my heart hurt for those lost, & for those left behind.

but with that sadness, comes thankfulness.
thankfulness to be alive, to be safe, to be free.
and with that thankfulness, the urge to love fiercely.

i will always remember.
and that memory will push me to be thankful for every day.
every breath.


photo: southport, north carolina \ iphone

thoughts after the tasting.


I'M ONE lucky girl: between friends' weddings, bachelorette parties, & now a tasting for the food at our reception, i have been traveling up & down the great state of louisiana like crazy. and, you know, i am insanely busy. and there are times that i get overwhelmed. but when i take a deep breath & really think about it, i know that i'll always look back on this time of twelve-mile-long to-do lists both fondly & nostalgically.

this past friday, my mom & i jumped in the car, hit the interstate, & traveled once again down to south louisiana, exiting i-10 right before going over the big bridge into baton rouge. my dad couldn't make it - our air conditioner broke the night before, & the animals couldn't be left alone in an increasingly warm house.

we left early, knowing there was an lsu home game that weekend, knowing the probability of traffic. but that day, it was clear skies & clear roads to match. and when we arrived early, we decided - ravenously - that we needed something to eat. so, we stopped at sonic for a snack of popcorn chicken & french fries. and as we sat & ate, i reflected on how silly it was that we were eating before a tasting. i laughed to myself.

and then, as the distance between us & the place
justin & i are getting married - in a little over a month -
grew less & less significant, it hit me:

i am getting married.
i am getting married at nottoway.
i am getting married at the place i've always wanted to get married.
i am fulfilling my 11-year-old, off-handed, that's-a-million-years-away, wish.

i couldn't - really couldn't - be more grateful. or anxious. or excited.

and i don't really think it'll feel real until the day arrives,
though i know i'll continue having flashes of clarity, of reality.
but for now, i'll just wait.



photos: the rotunda at nottoway \ iphone

*oh, & the food was delicious. and the soundtrack, equivalent. i'll soon be sharing.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

starbucks sunday: pumpkin spice currents.

today - starbucks sunday - has been a day of early church. of nail polish purchases. of neighborhood runs. of pumpkin spice lattes. of taking two puppies for a walk in the autumn-infused air. of reading on the porch & putting off laundry.
 
-----
 
reading where we belong, by emily giffin. and in reading it, i successfully put off doing laundry for at least 45 minutes today.
writing cover letters. i have to find a job in wilmington.
listening to alt nation with my mom on our mini-road trip friday was blissful. i love the killers' new song.
thinking it's time to slow down & calm down.
smelling fall-time in the air. it's the first day it's felt cool outside & i have dreams of sweaters & tights swirling in my head now.
wishing things would just go back to normal.
hoping this week will be better than last week. i am in need of some low-stress productivity.
wearing work out clothes, which is awesome, because that means i've worked out today.
loving the walk i went on with the puppies today.
wanting the cool air to stay around a while.
needing to go hop in the shower. and finish my laundry. and read more of my book.
feeling a bit anxious, but still rather content.
clicking through new blogs, finding new favorites.
 
-----
 
here's to a week of clarity, comfort, & at least one other trip to starbucks.

 
 
photo: nook & starbucks \ instagram