Weekend Links / / Family Visits

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I’m going to be brief here as we have family staying with us for the next couple of days! Jordan’s dad had a business trip planned to Nashville and we asked if Jordan’s youngest sister could tag along! Thankfully, they don’t mind cramming into our small apartment.

They arrived just in time for dinner yesterday, so we took them out for some good ol’ southern BBQ. We live near several good ones, but my favorite so far is Martin’s Bar-B- Que Joint.

And now for the links!

/ / While reading, A Cup of Jo, I was reminded about the newest season of City.Ballet. Did you watch the first season? Each mini episode follows a different dancer or choreographer from the New York City Ballet. I’ve always been a little obsessed with dance. If a movie or television show (Bunheads, anyone?) centers around dance I am most certainly watching it. In high school, one of my favorite movies was Center Stage (and maybe still!). Dance is a beautiful form of expression.

/ / Caroline, the master of capsule wardrobes, shared her tips on wearing socks with ankle boots.

/ / I’m a total sugar girl; a girl after my father’s heart. 🙂 I do try to be wise with my sugar choices, but I’ve only recently discovered “sugar” can be replaced with things such as dates! Niamh’s Refined Sugar Free Cookies would be a great alternative to satisfy any sweet tooth.

/ / I’m a recent convert to black tea and Daisy’s Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies would be the perfect pairing to an evening cup of tea.

/ / During the month of October one of my friends, Emily, took a step back from blogging. Breaktober she deemed this creative break. She recently shared a few lessons she learned and it was a good reminder for me as well. It’s so important to listen to yourself and take a couple steps back when life becomes unbalanced. In this age of social media, it can feel like the world will quickly forget about you if you don’t post that photo to Instagram. I know I’ve felt that pressure.

Happy Weekend, y’all!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Throwback

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^Anniversary trips to Curtis Orchard in 05′ & ’10, respectivly.

Jordan posted a throwback thursday photo to Instagram yesterday. This led me to look through my iPhoto albums, finding several pictures I had forgotten about! October 14 marked nine years together. I still vividly remember the day where we became “official” (Even my outfit! Leggings, short jean skirt, & my fighting Illini t-shirt). Other moments from these past nine years aren’t as clear. So, I’m thankful for photographs to help jog my memory. Purchasing our DSLR camera three years ago was one of the best purchases we’ve made!

Last Saturday, Jordan and I finally signed up for a library card. I feel like that is official resident status, right? We browsed for a bit to figure out the vibe of this library branch (we are able to go to any of the Nashville libraries). I checked out an audio version of Jane Austen’s Emma from Books On Tape. I love listening to British accents!

Now onto my favorite links from the week!

/ / Amy Poehler’s great interview on Fresh Air.

/ / Natalie Jean’s round-up of 90’s fashion trends that are back. This had me cracking up and while I’m rocking a few of these now, I’m glad the cut/fabrics are better now!

/ / Bed and Breakfasting by Ashley. I found Ashley’s blog before I moved to Nashville and her recommendations around town mean even more to me now that I live here! Ashley and her husband stayed at the cutest little B & B along the Natchez Trace. It looked like the perfect little getaway.

/ / Cassie on her blog, Sage The Blog, started a marriage series. Each week she features a different blogger discussing an aspect of marriage dear to them. My blogging friend turned real-life Nashville friend, Rebecca, shared on fidelity this week.

Meaning to truly show my husband fidelity, I need to support his dreams and give him a safe place to express his desires without feeling like I am judging him.

Despite that fact that he is often an action-oriented person, Jordan is totally a creative and a dreamer. I hope that I’m always able to be his safe place to share his dreams.

What have you been reading this week?

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Toting with Off Switch

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In high school I was really into tote bags. I would decorate blank canvas bags from craft stores by modpodging pictures torn out of magazines. Recently, I found my college messenger bag with a worn off picture of John Mayer glued to the front. Boy, did I love him, I mean it … I loved it, the bag.

Eventually after college, I veered from the canvas tote bag. The thing about purses is unless you pay for quality materials they fall apart easily. About three years ago, I paired down my collection to one Coach leather purse and some clutches for special occasions, plus one small crossbody bag from Kenneth Cole. I loved my crossbody purse, but after years of daily use it began to fall apart. The only downside about that purse was its size. I often brought another bag with me to keep in the car. I had reached bag lady status.

In NYC, over the summer, I bought a Dean & Deluca tote and I wondered, “Why did I veer from my high school ways?” Unlike some other manmade materials, canvas is durable and washable. I realized quickly a regular purse wasn’t necessary for my current lifestyle. I keep makeup and catch all’s such as receipts or gum in small zip containers, but I still have plenty of room for extras: snacks, reading material, a scarf, umbrella, or my camera. I like to be prepared. 🙂

I love my Dean & Deluca tote, but I wanted one that was a bit smaller. Enter the Be Kind tote from Off Switch. It’s the perfect everyday size and I don’t miss having a traditional purse.

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/ / What kind of purse/bag do you use daily?

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Weekend Links / / Just Shelling Around

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Hey all! This week has been full of early mornings, afternoon naps and oatmeal raisin cookies. 🙂 My pantry is almost fully stocked; the latest addition, raisins. Stocking a kitchen is a lot of work and involves several grocery stores (Flour may come from one place, but I don’t like their peanut butter. Now I need to go across town…) I remember trying to do this when we first got married and coming home with random ingredients that didn’t quite fit our needs.

In other news, we finally finished the last season of How I Met Your Mother. I got emotional as we watched the last few episodes. The series is so good that I kind of just want to start from the beginning again. I don’t want spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but I’d love to discuss it with you. Email me? I have a lot of thoughts!

Let’s dive into the links, shall we?

/ / Have you watched any Marcel the Shell with Shoes On videos? Writer/actress Jenny Slate and her husband, Dean Fleischer-Camp have created a wonderful series (and children’s book) following Marcel throughout her day.  Their third Marcel video was released this week and Jordan and I are a little obsessed!

/ / As soon as our moving truck was unloaded, Jordan spent the next several weeks building his new website. I am so proud of him! It was quite the task to undertake on top of his normal work load. I love the color scheme too!

/ / I’m working through back issues of Real Simple and bookmarked this baked egg dish. Shakshuka is traditionally a turkish meal and I loved the simplicity of it. I subbed kale for spinach because I had that on hand and added peppers. We eat a lot of eggs but this feels distinctly dinner (vs. omelette’s) and is a great vegetarian meal.

/ / Learning to Thrive in the Waiting Season. This season of infertility leaves me feeling very in-between. Far too many days are spent fighting self-destructive thoughts such as, “I’m wasting good precious “fertile” years.” Katie reminded me that in all seasons it’s important to live intentionally.

Teresa beautifully shared her thoughts on being in limbo. It’s encouraging to know I’m not the only one that feels frustration during transitional phases. This has exposed my inner desire to want to be in control.

Cheers to your weekend!

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Crowns, Dunhams, and Gilmore Girls

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Nashville has been wet and rainy for the last week and a half. And while the clouds have given me a nice excuse to curl up and read a good book (finally finished Julie & Julia, now on to Lena), we’ve been craving exploration. Any time I’m cooped up in a space for too long, I start to feel a little claustrophobic. Finally it looks like the weather is going to clear up in the next few days!

In our apartment, pictures are slowly being hung and drawers organized. Our place has begun to feel more like home.

Cooking has become more regular, thanks to Blue Apron. Also baking, thanks to Pinterest. I made apple bread the other day, but I sort of wish I had just made apple pie.

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Onto the links!

/ / Kate reviews Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham.

/ / Niamh’s tutorial for paper honeycomb crowns. These would be great for kids (or adult!) birthday parties or perhaps a Christmas party.

/ / We had been warned about the lack of a pizza scene in Nashville. Coming from Chicago, where good pizza is literally at every corner, I knew that would be hard to get used too. Ashley recently visited a pizza place in town that promises to be in the style of Chicago deep dish. I’ll ditch being dairy-free for a night and let you all know if it lives up.

/ / Tj always has the best braided hair tutorials. My hair is growing out and I can’t wait till my layers are a bit easier to work with to try this style.

/ / Netflix revealing Gilmore Girls would be available for streaming didn’t really phase me as I already owned all seven seasons on DVD. Prior to Twitter and the social media storm, it was hard knowing if your beloved show was in fact beloved. I was that 14 year old girl on fan forum websites discussing favorite “shippings”, looking up Nielsen ratings, and hitting record on the VCR each week. I knew a couple people (besides my family who became hooked) who watched Gilmore Girls since the beginning, but over the years I’ve also loaned my copies to new fans.

My heart, while a little shocked, has been so happy to see the outpouring of love thrown on Gilmore Girls.

A few Gilmore articles to note: the New York Times op-ed discusses GG obsession. Hep Alien had a reunion. Wired breaks down how to watch all seven season. How GG deals with money and love.

/ / What articles and blog posts have you been reading?

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Lately

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Looking around, I can’t quite comprehend what I did this week. How did we reach the weekend? We don’t have too much planned for the weekend besides a little work, football, and hopefully a night out to see Gone Girl! Did you read the book? It was a thrilling read.

And here are my weekend links!

Make / / Earlier this week my friend, Teresa, and I swapped recipes on each other’s blog. I plan on gathering the ingredients to make her frittata soon! Also, Lindt dark chocolate with coconut is the perfect sweet treat.

Read / / I’m reading Julie & Julia after discovering it while unpacking, this blog that I’m rediscovering, and this magazine.

Listen / / Jordan and I have been listening to this playlist while working. He made it for our road trip to Nashville, so it’s full of fun, energetic pop tunes.

Watch / / Jordan and I don’t have cable here, so we decided to renew our Netflix subscription. The other night while browsing we landed on this sweet French film, Last Love, about a man reconnecting with life after his wife passes. It stars Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy. I love finding unexpected gems.

Also, I started Scandal and I’m not sure why I waited so long!

/ / What are your weekend plans?

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Style Obsession / / Clogs

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Photo Links / / 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

There are many fashion styles I feared would never resurface: overalls, adult backpacks, (tiny) floral patterned dresses, but most of all clogs. (Basically everything Angela Chase wore on My So-Called Life.) I had clogs growing up, but they certainly weren’t cute. They looked more like these (except the inexpensive/cheap store brand). A few years ago, I started seeing clogs resurface on the streets of Chicago. I wasn’t exactly sure what I thought about them, but slowly my mind began to change especially after seeing how they were being styled (here, herehere & here).

Last winter I went thrifting for sweaters and found a lone pair of clogs just waiting for a new home. By some miracle they were exactly my size and have been a perfect addition to my closet!

I’ve talked before about my desire to purchase quality over quantity in regards to fashion. I used to buy cheap $20 shoes constantly and more often than not, they revealed themselves to be completely uncomfortable and poorly constructed. I’ve weeded most of those shoes out of my closet and have begun replacing them with higher quality products (I still have this pair on my wish list). Despite what you might think of wooden soles, clogs are extremely comfortable and durable shoes. I look forward to having them for many years to come!

Have you been wearing something lately you thought you’d never try? What are your thoughts about the resurgence of clogs?

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Weekend Links / / We Need a Dog Issue

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Nashville is beginning to feel a little less like vacation and a little more like real life. We’re finding our rhythm; Jordan more than I as my first day of work isn’t until later today. We have a few events lined up this weekend: seeing friends (and Real Friends), exploring this city and especially enjoying the warm sun still very much alive in TN.  I’m excited to live somewhere that has a longer autumn season. Fall in Chicago, though awesome, is over too soon.

On a completely other note, Nashvillians LOVE their dogs. Seriously, I think we’re the only people in our unit that doesn’t own a dog. I’m hoping to become friends with a pair of golden doodles. Maybe a dog treat and a scratch behind the ears will do the trick.

A few gems from the internet this week:

/ / Susanna shares about when dreaming hurts. We are all encouraged to have dreams and goals, but what happens when those plans change. Sacrifices might be made throughout life, but new dreams can grow.

/ / As a creative, Megan shares why she chooses to run to help keep mental clarity. I’m still getting the hang of running, but now I’m super intrigued to read, Born to Run. Maybe I’m taking this running approach all wrong.

/ / Emma Watson gave an incredible speech to the UN on feminism. While, growing up, we didn’t talk much about feminism (except that one time I asked my mom if she experienced bra burnings in the 70s… she did not). My parents nurtured a healthy home environment environment; I had the same opportunities as my brothers. So in a way, they were teaching us a healthy view and value of feminism.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong. … It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, not as two opposing sets of ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining ourselves by what we are — we can all be freer. And this is what HeForShe is about. It’s about freedom.”

You go, Emma! View the website: #heforshe

/ / What have you been reading?

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/ / Linking with Meagan.

Weekend Links / / Our Last

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^ The pre-family-picture pictures are always the best. I love that Jenna is standing all stoic waiting for the rest of us to follow suit.

This was a good, but also bittersweet week. It began with visiting Jordan’s grandparents. Over the past nine years I’ve been embraced as their own grandchild and it feels really special. They live about two hours away, so we took a mini road trip with his youngest sisters. On Sunday, Jordan and I celebrated our birthday with our families. It’s quirky sharing a birthday, but we’ve grown to love it. For dinner, my dad made his famous Cincinnati Chili, but we each chose our own cake; you can’t share everything!

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My mom baked my favorite cinnamon chocolate cake, which complimented my mother-in-law’s homemade ice cream cake! In between packing and moving preparations, we had dinner dates with family and friends. This is our last weekend as Illinois residents, but I still haven’t fully grasped what that all means. People continually ask me how it feels, but honestly it’ll take a couple of months for this new reality to actually seem real. My last day of work is on Monday and we leave on Tuesday. Most of our belongings are packed away, but I’m sure I’ve missed something.

Please pardon me as I become extremely frantic over packing details.

These articles/blog post/interviews served as great inspiration and perfect procrastination material.

1 | When I grow up. It’s daunting to determine what we will do when we grow up. I appreciated Rebecca’s honest words about her journey through different education decisions, careers, and life choices. Maybe our life path isn’t what we set out to accomplish, but life is created in those unexpected moments.

2 | Fresh Air interviews Joan Rivers. A compilation of three interviews Terry Gross has had with Joan over the years.

3 | On turning 30. For her 30th birthday, Sarah shares 30 things she still has yet to learn. The older I get the more I realize I always have more to learn.

4 | The secret to 80 years of marriage.

5 | Chelsea’s list of 10 lies every girl tells herself had me cracking up. Particularly the one about not regretting chopping your hair off. I’ve definitely been there and done that!

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Backyard Serenade / / The WillowWacks

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Social media gets a lot of flak. The blame of society’s problems seems to be placed on the ubiquitous selfie and Facebook in general. But the reality is, I have maintained many long-distance relationships that probably wouldn’t still exist without social media. I didn’t go to college far away but a lot of my childhood and high school friends did…some had job opportunities that brought them back to Chicago, but many never returned. I like that I’m able to see the highlight reel.

Lauren was my dreamer friend. The friend who pretended Peter Pan was real (I had a big Tinker Bell obsession) and wrote me secret notes in invisible ink. I distinctly remember Lauren notifying us in high school that was going to major in glass blowing (what?!). Unlike many other “traditional” college majors chosen by friends, she actually landed a job after graduation in her field (Arts? Who would have known?!) during the great recession of the mid oughts.

After landing her job, Lauren moved to Florida (one of the few that was smart to leave Chicago winters behind). Last year she married Micah (her college boyfriend) and they started playing music together. Lauren messaged me last spring, filling me in on their plan to visit friends/family all over the US, weaving in opportunities to play their music live. She wondered if I would still be in town (yes!) and I asked if we could take pictures to document the night (yes!).

I enjoy supporting friends while they pursue their dreams. I love that they are following their passion!

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The WillowWacks performed the perfect kind of backyard concert. They played mostly originals, but some fun covers were mixed in as well (Devo + Paul McCartney to name a few). Each song had their unique spin on modern day folk music.

One song that Lauren wrote, St. Scott, moves me to tears every time I listen to it. It holds a lot of significance from high school and I was glad to hear it live. You can sample and purchase their EP here!

Follow along with their summer RV adventures of The WillowWacks:

Website | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram

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^They have a series on YouTube called, Between Two Lamps. 🙂 My favorite is Comes Back Deep.

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^ Lauren rocks a ukulele bass like no one else I know!

Thanks for the great summer night!

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