Current Fashion Wishlist

Having just thrown a wedding and gone on a honeymoon in Ireland, we aren’t exactly rolling in the dough to go on a shopping spree. I suspect I’ll be taking quite the shopping hiatus for a couple of months so we can recover, but that doesn’t stop be from looking! I figured I’d skip the shopping for a couple of months, clean out the closet and sell a few things I don’t wear anymore, and then be ready to hit the sales in no time!

Fashion Wishlist

1. These shorts caught my eye as soon as I saw them! I’m almost strictly a blue jean-short kind of girl, but these are definitely on my list to purchase this year. Another plus is that I love the fit of American Eagle shorts, so I know these would be some of my favorites! Plus they’re only $30 AND buy one, get one half off.

2. These pants just look insanely comfortable. They would be great for slightly cooler summer days when shorts or a skirt can’t cut it. They look light weight enough that they’d even be able to work in the summer heat. They’re a little more than a like to pay for pants (around $100), but I can budge for something I know I’ll wear a lot.

3. I featured this top from Maurices in my last color crush post, and I just had to share it in this one as well. Maurices has been one of my favorite stores for years, so it’s no surprise that my favorite top right now is there!

4. I love this dress! To be honest, it’s not that practical for me. For me dresses need to be either professional enough to wear to work or casual enough to wear for a lazy summer day. This one doesn’t fit either of those, but I had to add it to the list nonetheless. The price is decent at $50, so I’ll keep it in mind in case we have any events come up!

5. I was never a huge shoe girl. Through high school and college I wore tennis shoes daily when the weather was cold enough to force me to (so like 9 months per year in Wisconsin) and cheap Old Navy flip flops the rest of the year. Then I had one dressier pair of pumps that I would wear to formals, etc. That was about it. It wasn’t until I got my first real job that I started to purchase practical footwear that could be worn in the workplace. I’ve finally built my staple collection enough that I can start to buy shoes that are a little more fun, but less appropriate for daily wear. These shoes are seriously awesome, and I love the color! You also can’t beat that $35 price point!

I’m Back!

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In the 9 months I’ve been writing this blog, it has absolutely become a part of my everyday life. Between writing and scheduling posts, interacting on social media, editing pictures, etc, there is always something to do. For the past two weeks, I’ve been totally disconnected from the blogging world. Now, I had a good excuse.

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that two weeks ago I did this kind of awesome thing – got married! On May 24 Dave and I officially got hitched, had one heck of a wedding reception, then jetted off to Ireland the next day for our ten-day honeymoon. So needless to say, the blog was pushed aside for a few weeks. I’ve missed it though, and I’m super excited to be back!

Since you all have become an everyday part of my life, I’m dying to tell you all about the wedding and the honeymoon. As much as I would love to share all the excitement that has been the last two weeks, there is no way I can talk about my dream wedding and ten entire days across the country of Ireland in one blog post. I’ll catch you all up eventually, but it’s probably going to take a few posts!

Mostly, I just wanted to check in today to let you all know that I’m back, I’m sorry for the crickets the last few weeks, and I promise I’m going to be upping my blogging game from here on out.

On that note, I’ll use this excuse to segue into some very exciting news! I’ve mentioned more than a few times that I’ve been working on migrating my blog to self-hosted WordPress and completely revamping my blog design. I started working on the design ages ago, knowing I wouldn’t have the time to completely make the transition until after the wedding. Well, we’re passed the wedding and now I have time! If everything goes according to plan, you’ll be seeing a brand-spanking-new blog when you visit Very Erin next time this week! Of course, that’s if everything goes according to plan.

I’m so excited for this change! And so ready! Plus I’ve already changed my marital status and last name in the last month, so I might as well keep them coming!

Tips for Packing for a Vacation

As you know (because I won’t stop talking about) Dave and I are finally off on our Ireland honeymoon! Traveling overseas is exciting, especially when you have gone as long as we have without a real vacation. But it can also be stressful when you consider the amount of preparation that goes into an international vacation. Once you’re passed the basics of booking a flight, hotels, etc, there’s still the daunting task of packing.

Tips for Packing for a Vacation1

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1. Make a Packing List. This is absolutely vital for me when I’m packing to go away. Part of it is that I love making lists and legitimately enjoy the process. Also, I know I would forget things if I didn’t make a list. I’ve definitely gone away for a weekend or more, only to discover that I hadn’t packed any deodorant, underwear, etc. Save yourself the extra shopping trip as soon as you arrive and realize what you forgot!

For me, it’s helpful to organize my list. In one section I’ll have clothes. In another I’ll have toiletries. In the final section I’ll have extras like phone charger, book, camera, etc. For the honeymoon I also did separate sections for carry-on versus checked luggage.

2. Make All Your Clothes Match. When you’re packing for more than just a few days, I recommend sticking to a particular color scheme, at least for basics. If you pack a brightly color skirt or pair of pants, you’re likely only going to be able to wear that for one outfit. A pair of jeans or black maxi skirt go a lot further and you can wear them with just about anything. For accessories, pick neutral colors so they can be worn across outfits. Dave and I are going to Ireland for 10 days and if we each packed 10 tops, 10 bottoms, etc, we would be carrying a much heavier suitcase.

3. Carry-On Only. This doesn’t work for all trips, but I definitely recommend sticking to just a carry-on suitcase when possible. I did almost two weeks in Europe with just a carry-on bag, as well as a week in Brazil. Did I have to re-wear clothing? You bet. But it was so much more efficient to pack only what I needed and save the time and money that goes into checked luggage. Plus this forced me to only pack what I knew I needed as opposed to packing a bunch of “just in case” pieces.

4. Pack Travel Size. Unless your trip is like a month, spring for the travel size toiletries. There is absolute no reason you need to carry around two pounds of shampoo when three ounces would be more than enough. When you consider all the toiletries you have (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, contact solution, etc), you’re talking a LOT of weight if you bring the full size containers. In additional to the hassle of carrying around an extra heavy bag, you’re also wasting valuable space in your suitcase.

5. Make Essentials Accessible. When you’re packing, consider what you’re going to need to get out of the suitcase first. It doesn’t make sense to have the dress you’re planning on wearing the last day of the trip at the top of the suitcase. And it would be a huge hassle to get to TSA and realize you’ve packed your passport at the very bottom. They won’t appreciate that, and neither will the people behind you in line. I always put those important documents in a separate, more accessible purse. Then I try to layer my clothing in the order I’m going to wear it.

6. Dress Comfortably. Pick the most comfortable item from your suitcase and wear that on the plane. Especially if you’re going overseas or on a red eye. It also wouldn’t hurt to wear your larger items (sweatshirt, etc) so they aren’t taking up all that space in the suitcase. Planes tend to be chilly anyways, so you’ll probably appreciate the layers.

What are your best tips for packing for a vacation?

June Goals

June Goals

First, let’s take a look at my May Goals and see how I did. I’m warning you, it’s sad. I’m rationalizing by telling my self real-world May was only 22 days for me, since everything after was wedding weekend and honeymoon.

+Get Married. (Probably? I’m writing this post BEFORE the wedding so I can schedule it ahead of time, so I can’t say for sure. I guess, let’s go with yes.)

+Create to-do lists for wedding planning so I’m not saving it all for the last minute. (I actually think I did okay here. All the big things I had left to do were finished at least a week before, so the final week was just little things).

+Follow a meal plan. (Nope. Failed so bad.)

+Finish new blog design. (I didn’t finish it, but I made a TON of progress! It was hard to get to it much because my priorities had to be wedding, then blog, then new design. And obviously my real job squeezed somewhere in there.)

+Schedule posts and social media for two weeks I’ll be gone. (Yes! I was really worried it was going to go dark for two weeks, which is like two years in social media time. Thanks goodness that didn’t happen).

+Take more frequent walks. (Sadly, this one is a no as well. But definitely next month!)

June Goals

+Follow a meal plan for real. I’m serious this time. I actually wrote the meal plan and shopping list before leaving for the wedding/honeymoon so I can just go grocery shopping without much preparation when we get back. That way we don’t have a week of fast food while we transition back into the real world.

+Take more frequent walks and take Leia to the dog park! My best friend is getting a puppy, so he/she will obviously be best friends with Leia and they can play together at the dog park 🙂

+Relaunch the blog with a new design. I’ve been talking about this relaunch forever, but it’s really happening this month!

+Unpack and do honeymoon laundry in a timely manner. I’m not saying it has to be done the day we get back, but it better not still be there by the time I’m writing my July goals

Hopefully I do a little better this month! What are some of your goals for June?

Color Crush: Mint

Color Crush- Mint

Mint is one color I’ve fallen in love with this year. I’ve been using it a lot more and I found it really inspirational when I was working on my new blog design (hint, hint). I’m definitely overdue for a fashion post, so today I’m going to share a few mint pieces that I think are absolutely perfect!

1. I’ve said on here before and I’ll say again that I’m not a huge jewelry person, especially statement jewelry. I love it on other people, I just don’t love it on myself. That said, this necklace is amazing. I just might break my rule for this one!

2. We’re obviously making our way out of sweater season, but I still wear cardigans year round (hello, office air conditioning). This sweater is simple but bright and could go with something as basic as a black pencil skirt.

3. I’m not very adventurous when it comes to shoes. Other than one pair of red flats, all my work shoes are black and nude. I do love this mint pair of kitten heels though!

4. This top is one of my favorite pieces in this post! The ruffles on the front give it some movement and energy and I just thing it’s really fun. I would wear this to work with a cardigan or blazer, or on the weekends!

5. I think this is my other favorite piece! I love two layer skirts like this one, and I think one in mint would be perfect for summer.

6. I never spend more than like $10 on sunglasses, so these are a little out of my price range. But that doesn’t stop me from staring at them wishfully!

7. I’m not sure I would be able to pull off this dress from ModCloth, but I love it anyways! Someone who can pull it off, please buy it and send me a picture.

8. You can never have too many handbags. Dave thinks you can, but he’s wrong. I could use a mint one in my collection, and this bad boy might just be the winner.

Lessons I Learned Wedding Planning, Part 1

Today I wanted to share with you some of the lessons I learned while planning my wedding. I’m not an expert on weddings, nor a professional in the wedding industry. But I did just spend two years planning my own wedding, and I can tell you I learned a lot from it. I’ve both read and written a lot about weddings and wedding planning, something I’ll continue to do going forward to share the things I learned with brides-to-be. As you can see from the title, I’ve labeled this post as “Part 1”. Though the wedding has passed by the time you’re reading this post, I’m writing it a few days before. And I know that when I sit down to write Part 2, there will be so many lessons learned on the day of that I can’t possibly imagine right now. For now, enjoy Part 1 of the lessons I’ve learned while wedding planning.

Lessons I Learned Wedding Planning, Part 1

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1. Start early. When Dave and I got engaged, we set our date for two years away. It was difficult picking what seemed like an imaginary date in the future to have our wedding, but it was definitely the realistic and responsible thing to do. But that didn’t stop be from starting the planning right away. And you know what? It payed off. There wasn’t a single vendor I was interested in who had to turn me away because they already had my date booked. And in some cases I was able to sign a contract at 2013 or 2014 prices instead of 2015 prices.

It also helps reduce the stress of wedding planning so much. We were really able to take our time and not look at a check-list, worried we were falling behind. Here’s how it went. In September, I bought my dress (some people will tell you not to buy that early because you’ll fall in love with something else. I solved that by not looking at any other dresses, and I’m more in love with my dress than I was then). Then I didn’t do anything for awhile! In November we booked our venue/caterer, and took a couple of months off for the holidays. We didn’t book the next vendor until January, and the next one a few months later. By the time we hit the one-year mark, the vendors and large details were already worked out and I had an entire year to focus on DIY projects and small details.

There were definitely downsides to having a long engagement, but there were zero downsides to starting to plan as soon as I could. Whether your engagement is six months or two years, get an early start.

2. Consult previous brides. There have been a few other couples in our life who were either planning their wedding at the same time as us or had gotten married in the few years leading up to our engagement. These women have advice to share. Listen to it! It was a cousin who had gotten married four years before our engagement who suggested we have a wedding the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. It would never have occurred to me to get married on a Sunday, but we had the benefit of of paying discounted Sunday prices AND none of our guests having to work the next day because of the holiday. So it was basically like a cheaper Saturday!

3. Choose the most important things to splurge on. Unless you have an unlimited wedding budget (in which case I would be jealous), you can’t splurge on everything. Choose a few things that are most important to you and make them your splurges. Figure out a way to cut back on everything else. We chose venue, photographer and honeymoon as ours. We went over budget on those, and cut elsewhere. We found a low price on an awesome DJ, which made that part easy. We didn’t spend much on flowers, decor, cake, or paper.

4. Know when to DIY. NOT all DIY projects are cheaper. They just aren’t! Know which ones will save you money versus which will cost you the same amount, but increase your stress level. The things that you can DIY can save you a lot of money. I designed our Save the Date cards and invitations in Canva myself and printed them for cheap at a local printer. We paid a fraction of what many people spend on invitations. I also bought silk flowers and made the bouquets myself. They look the same to me (because I don’t care much about flowers) and cost maybe $100 for all 6!

5. Know when to compromise. If there is something wedding-related that you disagree with your or mother-in-law where they care a LOT and you don’t care that much, it might be a time to give in. It’s an important day for them as well. Throw them a bone once in awhile.

6. Know when NOT to compromise. People are going to have a lot of opinions on your wedding. People from parents, to coworkers, to odd distant relatives. While it’s important to compromise, it’s also your wedding and it’s important to hold onto the things that are important to you. The only person who’s opinion is as important as your is the one you’re marrying.

7. Stick to your budget. When you get engaged, you and your fiance should decide on a number you feel comfortable spending. Try your best to stick to that. There are a lot of pretty, shiny things in the wedding industry that someone will convince you you have to have. Well unless that something is a marriage license, you don’t have to have it to get married. You and your fiance know your financial situation best, so it’s okay to say no to things you don’t need. One magical day is not worth a loan the price of a new car.

8. Don’t obsess. I had a two year engagement. If I turned every day and every conversation into all about the wedding, people would have gotten sick of me very quickly and I would have gotten sick of my wedding very quickly. Planning a wedding is a big deal, but it’s not the only nor the most important thing going on in everyone’s life or yours! Don’t let wedding planning take over your life and don’t let if have an adverse reaction on the relationships in your life.

I hope these tips can help you. Some I learned from making the mistake myself and others were mistakes that I missed, but noticed in others. Wedding planning can be an amazing experience, and it’s important to focus on the best parts of it!

Wedding Send Off

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There were surely times over the past two years where I felt time was moving in slow motion. When we hit the one-year point, already halfway through our engagement, it felt like we had an eternity to go. There were times I was furious with myself for having such a long engagement, even though I knew we needed that buffer after college.

Now that we’re just a few days away, I have no freaking clue where the time went. Wasn’t I just in college, hanging out with my boyfriend and thinking that maybe someday we’d get married? The engagement felt painfully long at times, but now looking back, it feels like it’s gone by in the blink of an eye.

As insanely excited as I am to finally be married, there are some things I’m going to miss about being engaged. It was fun! I love doing research and making spreadsheets, so that part was a dream. It was fun looking at amazing venues and eating free cake. Yes, I will those things. But more than anything, I’m excited to be married. And to have this whole planning ordeal over with! No one tells you how much planning goes into a wedding! Okay, maybe they do and I just didn’t listen.

This afternoon is officially the beginning of my wedding vacation. The wedding is on Sunday and then Dave and I jet off on our honeymoon!

You’ll still see blog posts while I’m away, just not everyday. There will be around three posts per week that I’ve pre-scheduled, as well as some social media goodness. I’ll miss the blogosphere, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for a little break!

Enjoy your Memorial Day and the next two weeks!