Thursday, December 1, 2016

the most wonderful time of the year

Woolrich Century Duffle Coat

It's such a cliche, but I just love the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The winter weather is just starting, all the good sales are going on, you get to buy presents for all your loved ones, and you get to decorate for the holidays! I love Christmas decorations, and basically insist that we keep our Christmas lights up on our house until mid February. Unfortunately because we are traveling still quite a bit until December, and because CR isn't even back to living at home until January, we are not getting a Christmas tree this year.

Luckily, I still got some of that Christmas tree excitement when we stopped by one of my favorite spots in Rochester, the Pittsford Dairy, this past weekend. They had all of their trees and decorations out, which gave me just that amount of holiday cheer I needed. For our adventures that day, I wore my new Lucky boots - they are a bit higher than normal to the knee boots, and are lined partially with this amazing faux fur that adds a bit of warmth. I thought they paired perfectly with my Woolrich coat. I've long admired the classic American style of the company, and since I've spent the last three years living and working in PA, I'm excited to finally own a piece of this US based company. Thanks to a great coupon code on Shoebuy, I got both for a steal! They currently have a 30% off sale (+ free shipping!) with code DECEMBER30 (some restrictions apply) that runs from now until 12/18/16 (11:59PM). 

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Coat: Woolrich c/o Shoebuy [exact]
Sweater: Loft 
Pants: Express [exact]
Shoes: Lucky c/o Shoebuy [exact]
Scarf: Nordstrom [similar]
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Thank you to ShoeBuy and ShopStyle for sponsoring this post!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

wedding wednesday: the venue

one | two | three | four | five | six
When we got engaged last month, so many of you ladies said you wanted to know about our wedding planning process! I, of course, am more than happy to discuss ad nauseam, but instead, I'm hoping to do posts here and there as the big parts of the wedding come together, so for my first post in this 18 month series, I'm going to talk about how we found our venue site!

Before CR and I even got engaged, we had several discussions about what we each wanted in our future wedding. I was not raised in a religious household, and although CR was, we both individually did not want to get married in a church. I think if he had wanted to, I would have done the necessary steps for that to happen, but it was really nice that we were on the same page about having a non-church wedding. CR obviously didn't really have thoughts on where he actually did want to have the wedding, so when I brought up the idea of a barn wedding, he was all in. I personally love the idea of a barn wedding for several reasons. One, I just think they are gorgeous - anything with sparkly lights, lots of flowers, and the contrast of wood with lots of white is my favorite. Second, I like that you can have the whole wedding festivities in one place, from rehearsal dinner to the ceremony to the reception, as they are typically booked Friday-Sunday. Third, since it has indoor and outdoor space, there's a back up in case the weather is bad. And fourth, having a more bare backdrop (as opposed to a hotel banquet room) gives you more options on personalizing it and having it look the way you want it to. You also get a bit more space than just a banquet hall, so you can fun activities like lawn games and so on. Basically when I said lawn games, CR immediately agreed!

Next we had to decide where to even have the wedding. I'm from Wisconsin, but the only people that live there are my parents and a few friends from high school and college - all in all, about ten people. My extended family lives in Germany, and my college and medical school friends are all over the country, so in the end, my side of the guest list was going to have to travel no matter what. CR, on the other hand, is from Rochester, New York, where about 90% of his very large family still lives. We just knew that it really made the most logistical sense for us to have the wedding somewhere in upstate New York - that was the easiest thing for us to decide on so far!

Wedding barns are "the thing" nowadays (probably because of the reasons mentioned above!), so we narrowed it down to about five wedding barns within an hour of Rochester. We compared availability (many have online calendars that show bookings, which is so helpful!), capacity (we made a rough draft of our guest list so we had an idea of how many people were going to be invited), amenities (onsite bathrooms, AC or heating, deck or no deck), the caterers used, and the price and what that includes (how many days, tables, chairs, decorations). From there, I had my favorite picked out just based on pictures, but was also interested in a few others, so we emailed them for details and to set up times to check them out.

With engagement season in full swing, and seeing that many of the barns were already partially booked for 2018 (and some already in 2019!), we wanted to get moving on at least looking at the venues. We had discussed timelines and agreed that there was no way this was going to happen in 2017 - between the match happening in March, finding a house, graduating in May, going on a post-graduation trip, moving, and starting intern year at the end of June, it was all just way too much, so an eighteen month engagement sounded perfect to get our lives in order, actually enjoy this time, and still have the late spring wedding I was hoping for. Since we live five hours away in Ohio, we don't have a lot of chances to come look at the places in New York, so we asked the venues if there was any way we could see the barns the Friday after Thanksgiving.

We ended up booking two appointments with the barns last Friday, including the one I was interested in. We saw a different barn first, and it was very nice - big open barn, pretty lights already up on the beams, on site bathrooms, and the option of having a live band. There were several things we didn't love as much - it was a bit rougher around the edges, the ceremony locations weren't our favorites, some of the decorations were not what I would have personally gone with, and they wouldn't let you use a different caterer for your rehearsal dinner. All in all, I liked it, but wasn't in love with it.
The second barn was the one I liked based off of their website. It's a fairly newly renovated barn - they just wrapped up their third year of holding weddings there, so there were a lot of features that we really liked. The floors were new (but looked like the belonged in that barn), the deck outside was beautiful, they are in the process of building a wood bar on the deck, the barn has AC, the bathrooms are in the silos (so cool!), and we liked the ceremony sites better. A couple things that were bummers were they no live bands are allowed, and they don't allow sparklers. We just really loved that it felt like a modern wedding site but in a rustic location, if that makes sense. Overall, I could just actually picture our wedding here, and was already thinking about how I wanted to decorate.
So we pretty much decided this was perfect for us! While we had originally talked about doing a May wedding (CR's parents' anniversary is May 26th, which falls on a Saturday in 2018!), we went with June 2nd so we wouldn't interfere with our siblings' college graduations and Memorial Day weekend. So, with hopefully everything falling into place with the Match and our future vacations, we are 550 days away! Not that I'm counting ;)

Monday, November 28, 2016

november budget

J.Crew top: originally $88 + 25% off = $66
Loft cardigan: originally $70 + 40% off + rewards = $0
Loft blouse: originally $54 + 40% off = $34

November total: $100

Quarterly budget: $500 - $100 = $400 for December and January

Because of how much I've been traveling for the past month, there hasn't been a lot of time left to shop! Which is great for my wallet and savings accounts ;) I, of course, did manage to find a few things though that I'm really excited about. The J.Crew top is one I've mentioned before - I ordered it during a 25% off sale (not nearly as great as the 40% off + free shipping they have right now!), and have worn it twice already. If you're interested, I got the 10 tall, which helps it not be as boxy on me. In addition to that purchase, I went shopping with one of my girlfriends a few weeks ago during a weekend visit, and I picked up a super soft cardigan and plaid tunic during a 40% off sale (they currently have a 50% off sale!!). Both have been worn numerous times, especially the cardigan (I'm wearing it as I type!). 

I did do a bit of online shopping during Black Friday - during J.Crew's sale, I ordered one of their classic plaid shirts that I'm hoping looks as cute in real life as it does online. Ann Taylor was (and is) having a 50% off everything sale, so I finally ordered that sweater I've been talking about for weeks, as well as an unusual shoe purchase for me. Can't wait to see how both work out for me! If I keep any of them, I'll include them in next month's post (the great thing about having a quarterly budget!). 

If you have your eye on anything on what most consider the best online shopping day of the year, here is a quick round up of the sales going on:

ANN TAYLOR: 50% off everything 
ASOS: 30% off everything
BANANA REPUBLIC: 50% off everything, no exclusions 
LOFT: 50% off everything + free shipping
MADEWELL: 25% off your entire purchase
MODCLOTH: 30% off everything + free shipping

and as always, it's your turn to share!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

top three [11.27.2016]

my Black Friday purchases: plaid shirt (40% off) | shoes (50% off) | scarf (47% off)


on the internet


  • I am having the hardest time finding toppers that fall between a casual cardigan and a business formal blazer. Do you have any recommendations for a structured "third piece" that can help make outfits feel more complete, but aren't as stuffy as a suit jacket or blazer? I would love something versatile enough to pair with a tank top shell and pants/skirt for work, or over a dress.
  • I'm beginning my bar course soon in preparation to take the bar in February. How did you stay disciplined and on schedule when studying for boards? It's going to be a long 8 weeks of studying and I would appreciate any tips you have!
    • For me, it was all about having a schedule set up for every day. I knew exactly what I needed to get done each day - what pages I was going to read, what questions I was going to do, and what notes I was going to review. It kept me on track, it kept me motivated to check things off the list every day, and it kept my anxiety at bay because it can be really daunting to look at all you have to learn over that time period, but breaking it up into daily chunks makes it all seem so much more manageable. Other things that helped was making time most days to work out, cook real meals, and get good nights of sleep - you can't run on empty, and this is a time you really have to dedicate yourself to your studies! I also always had my little things that made the experience better - pandora one so I wouldn't have to listen to commercials, my noise canceling headphones to drown out my dogs, lots of bubble water, and my favorite pens!
  • My parents keep asking me what I want for Christmas, but I'm at that age where I don't really have any wishes! What are you asking for this year?
    • I'm struggling with that same issue this year! I think eventually you just get to that age when you just buy the things you want, instead of waiting for the holidays. On my wish list this year I have an Apple Watch keychain charger, a humidifier, and a nice candle. With our upcoming graduation, move, and wedding, we really aren't asking a lot from each other and our families. 

on franish

notable sales

at home
  • We booked our wedding venue!!! I'm kind of shocked how quickly that happened. We knew what kind of venue we wanted (a barn) and where (upstate New York), so when we were up here for the long weekend, we looked at a few of the most popular one, found one that had basically everything we wanted, and just went for it! It's all going down June 2018 - it seems so far away, but then I look at everything we have to do until then, and it seems much closer than one would think. 
  • This weekend we ran our Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving - it was a little over four miles in the cold rain, but it was actually pretty fun! Plus it made me feel just a little bit better about all the stuffing I had later in the day. I hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving as well!
  • If you have a second, I'd be so grateful if you could vote for me for the Everyday Style award. Thank you!!
  • PS: Happy Birthday, Mom!

Friday, November 25, 2016

the best shopping day of the year

Ann Taylor: 50% off everything

Anthropologie: 30% off everything

Banana Republic: 50% off 5 items, no exclusions!

BaubleBar: 30% off everything

Express: 50% everything + free shipping

J.Crew Factory: 50-60% off everything (prices as marked)

Loft: 50% off everything

Madewell: 25% off your entire order

Mark & Graham: 25% your entire order

Nordstrom: extra 20% off sale items

Shopbop: 15% off orders over $200, 20% off orders over $500, 25% off orders over $800

Sole Society: 30% off shoes and bags

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

for you & for her (at 40% off!)

Years ago, when I first researched buying my first J.Crew blazer, I remember googling "when does J.Crew have a sale" because at that time, they very rarely had sales! I think I ended up getting that blazer with like 10% off.

Luckily for us, J.Crew has really changed their opinion on sales, and now regularly have 25-30% off sales...but this week, for the first time ever, they are offering 40% off! Which is a pretty big deal if you are like me and regularly enjoy window shopping, but don't frequently purchase anything because of the price. Below are some of my tried and true picks (most which I own, a few I have my eye on), as well as a few gift ideas if you have a loved one who really loves the Crew ;)

  1. Regent blazer: How many more times can I profess my love for this blazer?! While I've only shown it on my blog once, I have been wearing it non-stop for the past two months. It is so versatile, actually travels really well, and is just my favorite item in my closet right now. Highly recommend getting it now, if you've had your eye on it!
  2. Lace Peplum top: I just got this in the mail this week (I ordered it weeks ago but I was gone), and I loooooove it. I got the black version in a 10 tall, and it fits perfect. I've wanted a lace top with a slight peplum for years now, but they were always too boxy on me. Getting it in a tall makes it fit so much better - I'm planning on wearing it under my camel blazer on Friday for a night out with friends!
  3. Tuxedo blouse: I have a very similar version from Banana Republic that I wear constantly - it's the perfect top on it's own, tucked into a skirt, or worn under a blazer. It also comes in petites and talls!
  4. Lace Fit & Flare: I don't have this exact version, but it's so pretty that I had to include it! It's a collection piece, but actually one of their more reasonable priced ones, especially with 40% off!
  5. Perfect shirt: I have a similar version from last year, and wear it constantly during the winter months. This year's version has all the primary colors in it, which means you can easily mix and match it with items in your closet.
  6. #2 Pencil Skirt: it's a cult favorite for a reason. I have two, one in black and one in maroon, but would really love to own this green version as well. Bummed that my size is already sold out!
  7. Slippers: the older I get, the less tolerant of cold feet I become. I love the pretty pink color of these slippers!
  8. Crossbody bag: You will never go wrong gifting such a great bag (plus you can get it monogrammed, which is my favorite part!)
  9. Robe: CR's parents got me a robe last year, and I'm obsessed with it - it's perfect both for when you're getting ready in the morning, and just for Sunday morning lounging. 
  10. Phone case: leather + monogrammable, what more do I have to say?!

Monday, November 21, 2016

for your friend who really loves her smart phone...

I like to do a few gift guides every year, usually on topics that I am also interested in - previous versions included a gift guide for 1st/2nd year medical students, one for 3rd year students, and for your friend who just really loves organization. I've had this USB keychain in my shopping cart for months, which got me thinking about all the tech things I wish I owned. I'm 100% not a techie (I just really love my Apple products,) so here are some of my ideas for your iPhone obsessed friend (or yourself, no judgement!).

  1. Noise canceling headphones. I've had these for three years, and am obsessed with them!! 
  2. iPad cover: they also have a version you can customize yourself with pictures
  3. Portable picture printer. Love the idea of this - it's like a 21st century version of polaroids...with instagram filters (how meta)
  4. iPhone dock: a sleek (and more organized) way of charging your phone
  5. Hidden USB/lightening cord: this ones on my wishlist - it's chic and functional!
  6. Portable charger: provides 16 more hours of battery time (and it's pretty)
  7. Bluetooth speakers: We have a similar version, and use it all the time. We use it in the kitchen, use it in the garage during work outs, and take it along on camping trips!
  8. Keychain Apple Watch charger: the one item I really want - it's cute, it charges your watch, and it's easy to use on the go. 
  9. Cord case: just ordered this after messing around with all my cords way too long. 
  10. Cute tech gloves: no need to get frostbite while trying to return a text message - perfect for someone who lives in the colder parts of the country!
  11. Smart light bulb: kind of an oddball one at the end, but you can adjust these light bulbs from your phone. They apparently last 22 years?!