Monday, October 27

Our Glen Arbor, Michigan Wedding!

more perfect than ever imagined. view all photos by our photographer, Meg Van Kampen, here

Monday, April 14

craving spicy food

Tabasco Tile Mural (it's a real thing)

I have been an absolute fiend for spicy food lately. The spicier the better. 
Red pepper flakes, chili powder, Tabasco, jalapenos? YES. I want all the spicy things. 

I've always liked spicy, but the cravings have been off the hook lately! What could it mean?! 
Well, I'm not pregnant, so we can cross that off the list. 

After poking around I found out craving spicy food is a sign someone may be searching for more adventure and a change from the everyday bland. I can get behind this. I've been trying to kick my ass into gear to get to the gym more and each healthier, after all,  the wedding is only 114 days away! 

How might one practically infuse some fun and danger into everyday life??

Volunteer? Try Kickboxing? Try cycling? Take tennis lessons? Go to Latin dancing lessons with your partner? Change your hair?  (cutting your hair to fix a feeling is almost always a bad idea.) Ban cell phones in bed (seize the day!)?  

Well, when I find the answer I'll let you know. Until then don't even try to serve me eggs without Cholula. 

Cholula at Costco (source)

Saturday, April 12

michigan engagement photos by meg van kampen

It's absolutely surreal to finally share our engagement photos with everyone. Our wedding photographer Meg Van Kampen spent a full day with us helping to crate the perfect session just for us. Both Kyle and I were quite nervous as it really was our first time in front of the camera.  It was such a good learning experience and was a great first exercise as a bride to really let go and trust my highly talented professional. It takes a team. 

We started the day out at Aquinas College in East Grand Rapids, Michigan (Kyle's hometown). Meeting Meg just before noon, we were blessed with some really wonderful light, which you'll see in the images below is Meg's forte as a natural light photographer. Just...beyond. After the college we reconvened at a beach just north of Holland, Michigan on the shore of Lake Michigan. I was hesitant to do a beach engagement session (I couldn't tell you why exactly) but obviously you can't go wrong with a Lake Michigan sunset. 

For details on our outfit visit my good friend Jessica's blog as she really helped us create a mood board for the engagement session. I def recommend working with a friend or family member to plan and buy outfits - it takes SO much pressure off the day if you're confident and feeling good. 

Formal shot used for our engagement announcement in our hometown newspapers. 

Christmas Card! 

Jessica also did a recap of the engagement photos. It's so interesting seeing which photos were her favorite. Thanks to Meg for making this such a fun and successful session.

Friday, April 11

Hostess Gift Ideas

With the wedding date quickly approaching (only 112 days to go, but who's counting?) we've been showered with love from family and friends. I've actually been blessed enough to have three wonderful showers hosted in my honor.  The parties have all been unique and absolutely perfect in their own ways, each hosted by wonderful women who will be or are already a huge part of my life.

But how can you really repay someone for hosting a memorable, beautiful shower? There's no way...although hosting a shower for their daughter in the future is always a wonderful thing to keep in mind. But, until that day, a thoughtful gift will have to do.

I've read so many blogs giving advice on what to buy as a hostess gift, but for something as personal as a shower - a candle just isn't enough. Also I believe most articles with ideas for hostess gifts have the price point all wrong....a simple dinner party hostess gift is not equal to a shower hostess gift.

Women who host a shower spend HOURS and hundreds of dollars to put together a beautiful event. They clean before, clean after, plan the menu, test recipes, coordinate the potlock, think about dessert, buy flowers, scan Pinterest (for hours) decorate, buy alcohol, buy, send and address invites, coordinate RSVPs and stress's kind of a big deal to host a shower.

So, for all of that work, a $20 gift is just not enough. Spend as much as you can afford and be sure to let the hostesses know how much you appreciate and notice every detail on the day of the party.

My future mother and sisters in-law

My mom and sisters

The whole gang
In February my beautiful soon-to-be sister in-law Claire and mother in-law threw me a gorgeous, perfectly personalized shower at Claire's loft in downtown Chicago. I wanted to give them a hostess gift bag full of thing I'd love to keep for myself (that's how you know if a gift is good).  So I went to a few of my favorite retailers and filled a large reusable totes with household goodies.

A few other wonderful ideas... 

Have flowers delivered to their home 1-2 days before the shower. The hostess can enjoy them before, during and after the big day. 

SodaStream Starter Kit

Timeless Cake Platter and Dome from Crate& Barrel 

Saturday, September 28

pour some honey on me

I run on protein. No other snack can get me though a bad craving or can hold me over until my next meal as well as protein.

Enter my favorite new snack - greek yogurt and honey! I love this because I can whip it together in minutes (no prep/cooking required), the ingredients are whole and simple, and it's all good for me. My favorite yoghurt is the Fage 2% greek yogurt - it's just as creamy as the whole yoghurt with less fat and 20 grams of protein per serving!

image source
Fun fact: Honey is the only food that never goes bad!  
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