Thursday, April 17, 2014

Guest Post: Christy at Planes, Trains and Running Shoes

Today I have a fellow DC area blogger for you, who is also planning her wedding (pretty soon we'll be hearing the wedding bells ringing for Christy!) I read Christy's blog, Planes, Trains, and Running Shoes way back when I was in a Long Distance Relationship. Luckily, she and her fiancĂ© both live in the same city now, though! Check her out--I'll just be over here, drinking a mimosa on the beach  (yes, I feel your glares at me...I'm ok with it) :)

Hey there! I'm Christy and I blog over at Planes, Trains and Running Shoes where I chronicle my daily adventures in running, traveling, living life in DC and more, recently wedding planning! It's a little crazy to be guest posting for Jenn while she's busy getting married/honeymooning because that will be me in just 5 short months! I don't really remember when Jenn and I started reading blogs, but it was through the wedding planning process that we really started to connect! Jenn and I have a lot in common: we live in the same area, are both planning weddings, love to read, love to cook and we both started out in long distance relationships. I've loved reading all of Jenn's posts about wedding planning, so for my guest post, I'm going to let you know a little about myself through the details of my own wedding!
  The Who: You already know that I'm Christy. I work in DC doing nonprofit fundraising. On my blog, I call my fiance The Pilot. He's a commercial airline pilot.
We met in high school, started seeing each other during our senior year of college and have been together ever since. We moved to DC in December 2012 and absolutely love it!
  The What: We got engaged at our favorite spot in DC - the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. To incorporate our mutual loves of both travel and DC, we're having a travel theme wedding in the heart of DC.
From our engagement photos...right in the spot where we got engaged!
The Where:  I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. He grew up in central New Jersey, where I moved during high school and where we later met. With my family split between Texas and New Jersey, his in New Jersey and our friends living in far off places like Florida and Hawaii, it made sense for us to get married in DC. After all, no matter where we did it, most of our guests would have to travel! DC's Old Ebbitt Grill is a quintessential DC institution. Established in 1856, it is DC's oldest bar and restaurant. While the restaurant isn't in its original location, its new location - across the street from the White House - makes it a prime spot.
We'll have our ceremony at our church, move over to the National Mall for pictures, and then to Old Ebbitt for a rooftop cocktail hour (featuring the restaurant's famous raw bar!) before moving down to their Atrium for the reception.
  The When:  September 13, 2014 (I'll skip over the why because I think that's pretty obvious!)
  The How:  We're incorporating our theme through the entire wedding. From the airplane cufflinks The Pilot will be wearing to a world map seating chart and tables named after places we've traveled together. The signage directing our guests from place to place will be reminiscent of an airport and I can't wait to see how it all comes together!
He'll wear a tux and I'll wear a custom designed ball gown...made entirely by my mom! We have 4 bridesmaids, 4 groomsmen, 2 junior bridesmaids (my nieces), a flower girl and a ring bearer (my niece and nephew).  Wedding planning has been a lot of fun and I've loved reading Jenn's posts about it! She actually recommended her florist to me and I'm so excited to see what both of our wedding flowers will look like!
So, there you have it! Congratulations to Jenn! I wish you and MG all the love and happiness in the world! Have fun in Antigua!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Guest Post: Megan at Fried Green Pickles

If you like pickles, the title of this girl's blog will make your mouth water! Megan is a super sweet blog friend who has definitely provided me with advice and encouragement through the wedding planning process. I watched her plan and then have her wedding a little over a year ago, so it was super fun that she agreed to guest post for me while I'm off celebrating my new nuptials!

Hi everyone! I'm Megan from the blog Fried Green Pickles, where I just talk about the normal day-to-day things that happen in our newlywed life. You'll see lots of pics of our dog, Brady, yummy recipes, and random things I'm loving each week! I hope you'll stop by for a visit! 

Since my husband and I just celebrated our one year anniversary on March 30th, and Jenn just tied the knot (woohoo!!), I thought putting a list together of one year anniversary gift ideas would be helpful to Jenn, and any of you other newlyweds!
One Year Anniversary Gift Ideas

Framed First Dance Lyrics - This could also be your vows. Hang them in your bedroom so that you can read them and think about that special day, every day!

Photo Book from your First Year of Marriage - This is actually one that I did for my husband, Cameron. I went through all of my pictures on my phone, Facebook, and Instagram, and picked out significant and even non-significant things that we did together throughout our first year of marriage! How fun will it be to look back at it 10, 20, 50 years from now?? I think this may be a yearly tradition. 

Concert Tickets - This is a pretty common paper gift, but if a good concert is coming to town, it's a great one! I bought Cameron (and I) tickets to see Ray Lamontagne in July! Can't wait! 

Framed Photo from His Favorite Place - For my husband, it would be a picture of the Stono River here in Charleston. During the summer, we are on the boat every weekend, and even got married overlooking the Stono River! It's a special place for both of us. 

Masculine Stationery - I know guys don't get giddy over stationery like us girls do, but it's good for them to have. Perfect for sending a hand written note after that job interview. Just a simple navy blue or black monogram (block, no script for guys) on some thick white paper will do the trick! 

I hope this helped anyone out there that was having a hard time coming up with the perfect gift for your man!
Jenn, I hope you are having an amazing time on your honeymoon with your HUSBAND! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Guest Post: Samantha at "It's all in the details"

Today I've got the lovely Samantha from It's all in the details, to keep you all company while I'm away. Samantha and I have especially bonded over wedding planning, details, etc. Since she lives close to me, we've also been able to talk vendors and other details, too. She's a super sweet girl, so go get to know her!
P.S. Happy tax day, and happy birthday to Miss P!nky :)
Hi friends! Yes, we're already friends. Didn't you know? Anyways - I'm Samantha and I blog over at It's all in the details. While Jenn's off being lovey dovey with her new hubs, she asked me to stop by and give you some wedding low down. Or rather, I should say wedding planning low down because I have yet to tie the knot.

Ward Photography
Some of you might be thinking - you're so lucky, you still get to enjoy your wedding day! While I know there are others of you out there that are thinking - oh you poor thing, I was so happy when the planning was done. I know that might sound harsh to the ones of you thinking the former, but I have a few friends who were more than ready to just get the party started. However, I'll admit - I'm not one of those people.

Don't get me wrong, I'm SO excited for our wedding day and to marry my fiance, JC. But I have a thing for might stem from my love of details (hence the blog name). And since I've been enjoying wedding planning for a good 8 plus months now, I thought I share with y'all what I've learned thus far.

one. If you have a specific date in mind, make sure your other half is aware of said date, so he knows that there really is a deadline for him to propose. I knew I wanted September 27th, 2014 to be our wedding date. I made sure JC knew this, along with the fact that I really wanted more than 12 months to plan our wedding and to enjoy our engagement, so he was able to time his July 2013 proposal perfectly ;)

two. Find your venue as soon as possible! Regardless of whether you have a date in mind or not, venue is probably the most important thing on the wedding checklist (photographer just behind that). It's what sets the theme for the entire event and in turn, most decisions are based around the venue. Now if you do have a set date in mind, do this within a week of your proposal like JC & I did. You don't want to find a venue that you love, then find out that it's already booked for that date.

Our venue - Mount Ida Farm.
three. Determine your deal breakers and then make sure to ask the right questions around said deal breakers to each vendor - especially venues. You never want to go visit a venue, fall in love, then learn it's way too expensive or they are booked for your date and every other date around it. 

four. BUDGET. This one should probably be first on this list since in reality it actually is the one thing that EVERYTHING depends on. Also, figure out from your parents (or whoever is paying) if they are going to budge at all. Ha.

five. Hire a wedding planner. Now you may be thinking - Samantha, I thought you said you loved planning, why do you need a planner? Well, let me tell you. First, my venue requires, at the very least, a day of coordinator - someone the event director at the venue can go to on our wedding day instead of bugging me. Secondly, the last thing I want to be is stressed out on our wedding day. I want to be pampered, I want to relax, I want to drink mimosas gosh darn it! I ended up hiring someone to help out a bit more than just on the day of, but only because her next package up from day of coordination included free rentals and who says no to free? Not this gal. It has turned out to be the best decision ever. Wedding planners have connections to people you'll never find online. It may have cost us $300 more, but she's saved us far more with other vendors with her connections alone. I HIGHLY recommend.

six. Get your dress early. I have had so many friends have issues with their dress once it's come in for their first fitting or not coming in on time. I got my dress in September, over a year before the big day. I picked it up from the salon in February, was able to try it on and make sure everything was as it should be and now I have plenty of time to get the alterations, customizations and fit juuuuust right!

seven. Don't expect your fiance to help much. Honestly, expect that when they do try and help, their help is not needed and will be more of an annoyance than anything. I'm just kidding, I love when JC chimes in with his opinion - although more often than not his opinion is the opposite of mine and since he doesn't have a wedding opinion often, I always feel obligated to go with his choice. Except that time I said I wanted gold accents and he told me gold was tacky. On September 27th, everyone will see how much I paid attention to that opinion. 

eight. When in doubt, blog it out. I cannot tell you how many times I have had reservations or questions about something regarding the wedding (budget, bachelorette parties) . Nine times out of ten, I've taken those issues to my blog and I've gotten amazing feedback/suggestions! I can honestly say, my wedding posts are typically the posts that have the most comments on them. Wedding Wednesdays are my happy days. 

nine. Beware of Pinterest. Sure, Pinterest is great and there are more ideas than you could ever know what to do with. But because of the plethora of ideas, it's sometimes hard to focus. If you're like me and you had a wedding board before you ever got the ring, you'll likely need to create a new board. Lord knows I had every idea under the sun on my first board. I needed a new board to help narrow down my ideas. And hey, it doesn't hurt to narrow them down even more to specific categories like flowers, stationery, photos. I've found this super helpful, as now I'm able to send the specific board links to the appropriate vendors I've booked, so they have an even better idea of what I'm looking for in the end.

ten. HAVE FUN! Enjoy the planning process. Don't let it stress you out! Include the most amazing people in your bridal party. And most importantly, take the time to make sure that your (and your fiance's) day is exactly what you want it to be. Sure, the focus is truly on the marriage, but I think it's important that you also have the exact day you've always dreamed about. Throw some little things in here and there that speak directly to you and your future hubs. Even if no one knows the meaning behind them, you'll know and later on down the road, you'll be able to look back and remember exactly why those details were included in your special day. 

See? Now do you believe me when I say I think wedding planning is so much fun?!

Congratulations Jenn! I'm sure you and MG are having the time of your lives right now, while we're all back here at our desks being very jealous. You deserve it!

And last, but not least, thanks for letting me stop by and ramble for days ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Guest Post: Shay at sweet silver linings

After a weekend of wedding festivities and making memories that will last a lifetime, MG and I are off to Antigua today, to enjoy the first days of being husband and wife!
I'll have lots of wedding pictures and things to share when I get back, but for now, my blog bestie, Shay, is here to entertain you while I'm soaking up the sunshine!
Shay is one of the funniest people I know from blog land--she and I totally get each others' personalities and sense of humor. And, I need to mention Shay helped me a TON with some of the wedding things (programs, wine labels, etc etc etc). I owe her a bunch for all of her help! She's the best!! So, go get your read on...

Hi Going the Distance readers! I'm Shay and I used to blog over at Sweet Silver Linings... while it's true that my poor blog has been neglected for a while, I was thrilled when my online bestie asked me to guest post for her while she's away soaking up the tropical rays on her honeymoon!

With that said, since the newly married MRS. MG is going to Antigua for her honeymoon, I thought I'd suggest a few essential items I hope she's got packed in her suitcase!

  1. You're on your honeymoon. On a tropical island. You definitely need a HOT bikini to rock that hot bod you've been working so hard for these past months. This one from Victoria's Secret is simple, yet sexy! Work it girl!
  2. Ray Ban sunnies make the world a better place. Or any cute sunnies that will not only block those strong Caribbean rays, but also look tre chic!
  3. While you may be splashing around with your new husband in the ocean, you can still look amazing with minimal make-up. I use this Dior Show Waterproof mascara. This stuff is legit and doesn't budge!
  4. A cute monogrammed beach bag with your new initials is a great thing to carry all your essentials along with those nice hotel towels that you're not supposed to take with you! Hehehe, i won't tell!
  5. SPF! If you don't bring anything else, make sure you bring this! I love this Neutrogena one, its not greasy and absorbs nicely!
  6. And last but not least, who doesn't love a good gossip mag while catching some rays... and if your husband is like mine, he'll even take a peek at it, you know, while giving the lecture on "why do you read this garbage"... LOL!
Jenn, I wish you the happiest day for your wedding. I am SO sad I won't be able to make it there, that would have been the best blate ever. I wish you and MG a lifetime of good health, happiness and wonderful times! Have a blast on your honeymoon, get a tan for me!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Guest Post: Jessica from {The Newly}

While I'm getting myself prepped for the Big Day (tomorrow!!! EEEK!!!), I asked one of the sweetest blog friends that I know to come and guest post for me while I'm busy getting the last minute wedding stuff done!
Jessica is a super kind woman, a mother to the most adorable little boy you've ever seen, and a wonderful friend and support to me! Without further ado...

Hi, lovely readers! My name is Jessica and I blog about a little bit of this, and a little bit of that over at The Newly. I am wife to a soon-to-be doctor, new mama to a precious little boy, and recently embarked on the stay-at-home mom adventure.

When Jenn asked if I would guest post for her while she was away on her honeymoon, my first thought was, "Of course!" I love Jenn, and would do anything to help her out. My second thought was, "What the heck am I going to write about?" You see, since becoming a SAHM, my life - and particularly, my fashion sense - has changed. Just a wee bit. Getting dressed for the day used to involve stilettos and suits, blouses and blazers. Now, a clean pair of yoga pants or my favorite worn-in jeans are my outfit of choice most days. Despite this, I do try to keep on top of trends as much as possible. After all, I don't plan on trading in my skinnies for mom jeans anytime soon. 

Today, I thought we could talk about a trend I've been seeing on runways and fashion blogs alike. A trend that's perfect for spring. A trend that everyone from single fashionistas to fellow stay-at-home mamas like little ol' me can actually get in on. The neon trend.

We've been seeing neon popping up for a while now. It's made it's way into our favorite retailers, and is becoming more and more mainstream. I'll admit, until now, I've been too scared to try it on anything aside from my Nikes with the hot pink shoelaces and my yoga pants with the lime green waistband. But not this year, friends. Not this year. This year, I am ready to go full-on neon. Here are a few of the ways in which I'll be looking to incorporate the trend into my wardrobe.
Neons for 2014

If you're a bit hesitant about trying the bright trend, my advice would be to try it with your accessories first. Buy the shoes with the lemon yellow laces. Pick up that bracelet in neon orange you've been eyeing. Grab that highlighter pink bag. If you feel comfortable incorporating those items into your wardrobe, then move on up into clothing and shoes. 

For neon enthusiasts, remember: less is more. You should only wear one neon item at a time. After all, you don't want to look like a walking hazard sign. So, if you're wearing a neon top, opt for a neutral bottom and shoes. If you're wearing neon shoes, pair them with a subtle outfit - like a little black dress - for a fun statement, and fresh twist on an old classic.

Whatever you do, have fun! And be sure to pop by and visit me sometime over at The Newly:)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review: Black Box

I really wanted to get through another book before I went into honeymoon reading, especially after reading this book, because it had some depressing/sad events surrounding it.
I found Black Box on Amazon when I was looking for cheap books that had good reviews.
It's $4.99 on Amazon now, but I'm pretty sure I got it for less than that. Either way I bought it because it had almost 5 stars on over 300 reviews.

Here's part of the Goodreads synopsis:
Over the course of five years, Mikki and Crush cross paths on three separate occasions. Their first encounter changes Mikki's life forever, but their second meeting leaves them both buried beneath the emotional wreckage of a violent attack. Mikki is left with more questions and grief than she can handle, while Crush is forced to forget the girl who saved his life.

Now nineteen years old, Mikki Gladstone has decided she's tired of the mind-numbing meds. She books a flight to Los Angeles to end her life far away from her loving, though often distant, family.

Reading this book, I was confused about all of the different meetings that these two had because the meetings were discussed at different points of the book, or only briefly mentioned. It was distracting not to have the chronological order of events. 
I did like that it was a love story, but it seemed completely unbelievable and VERY unlikely to me. So that made it hard for me to really get into the story. Not to mention that I didn't really connect with Mikki. I also find it difficult to believe that "falling in love" would solve someone's deep seeded emotional issues.

Would I recommend this book? Maybe if it was in the $.99, but probably not for more than that. This is just MY opinion, and the book did get great reviews. I just personally don't understand why.

At least now I can start a new book on my HONEYMOON...NEXT WEEK! Catch you all after the wedding and honeymoon. I have some GREAT guest posts coming your way from some fabulous ladies so make sure you check them out!! :)
Catch you on the MRS side! :)