Monday, March 2, 2015

Eats: Breakfast poutine

Well hey there guys! Yes, I'm still here and still blogging. I've been a little overwhelmed with getting our wedding invitations ready to send on Saturday; I kind of waited too long to print my designs and order my envelopes, and now I'm scrambling to address, stuff, stamp and seal everything. After spending most of my weekend on that project, I think I've finally caught up. Hand-calligraphing 130 invites is no small feat!

But this isn't a wedding post; this is a post about some freaking awesome food I made a couple of weekends ago. I was inspired by something Sydney got for breakfast a while back: breakfast poutine. I've been wanting to tackle a poutine recipe for a LONG time now, and combining it with my favorite meal--breakfast--was just too good to pass up.

3-2-15

I don't like to toot my own horn, but it. was. incredible. This was mostly because I used the best cheese I've ever eaten in my life. Traditional poutine uses cheese curds, but I had this incredible black truffle white cheddar cheese I picked up on my way back from my parents' house in February. Between Columbus and my parents' town, there's this place called Grandpa's Cheesebarn. I've been passing this establishment regularly for the past eight years, and only recently decided to stop in. Those eight years may have been one of the biggest wastes of my life. If you like cheese and are anywhere near Ashland, Ohio, you have to go. No question; it must be done.

Anyway, the dish itself was easy. I used some frozen hash brown potato cube things in lieu of french fries, topped them with the cheese and some brown gravy, then threw an over-medium egg on top of that and served with a side of bacon. I could straight-up eat that dish for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The truffle cheese is gone, sadly, but I'll be venturing up past Ashland later this month so I'm sure I will stop in again and I may or may not drop a good $40 on cheese. Again.

Have you made any epic meals lately?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hey Elsa, the cold bothers some of us

It's official: If I'm not at work or working on an assignment, I am in full-on hibernation mode. I had yesterday off for President's Day, but took today off as well thanks to either a stomach bug or something I ate yesterday. And with the frigid temps outside, all I want is to hide under 18 thousand layers of blankets and sleep until it's spring. Heck, I'd take temps in the 30s if I could get 'em; it's 17 right now (4 with the wind chill) and we're not supposed to see anything above freezing until the weekend...when we're supposed to get another dump of snow before the temps plummet down to highs in the 20s again. I don't know if this is winter's last dying gasps or if things are gonna stay this crappy until after Daylight Savings kicks back in, but I sure hope it's the first.

But enough about how much I hate the cold and the snow.

2-17-15a

2-17-15b

2-17-15c
t-shirt: H&M
cardi: Forever 21
jeans and flats: Target
necklace: Jane.com

I'm fairly sure I've blogged an outfit like this before, but I have this lovely new, unshrunk mustard cardigan and I went to a trusty ol' standby for styling it. Honestly, I've been doing a lot of repeats lately; this weather just saps all the energy out of me and makes it hard to style an outfit creatively. But I said I was done complaining about the weather, right?

I guess it could be worse. Now I have an excuse to stay in and work on projects in the evenings and on weekends; I don't feel like such a recluse for spending my Friday nights with a hot glue gun when everyone else I know is doing the same with Netflix or what have you. And the central Ohio area has been spared a lot; we've received nothing compared to the feet of snow that's been dumped on New England this year. Still, I find myself daydreaming more and more about the Mexican beach where Matt and I will be spending our honeymoon. We're inside the three-month mark now, and I couldn't be more excited!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I'm guest posting today!

Howdy folks! Today I have a guest post up on Work Clothes, I Suppose, while the lovely blog owner Bri is on her honeymoon. On an African safari. As you do. Anyway, check out the post (and the rest of Bri's awesome blog) here!

Monday, February 9, 2015

It's the final countdoooooown

Well, kind of. Today is February 9, so in three months — on May 9 — all my hard work over the last year and a half will culminate in me marrying the love of my life. Sorrynotsorry if that's cheesy and you're gagging over your screen right now; the fact is, it's probably the most exciting event of my life thus far. And I'm not about to downplay that!

Three months left also means that it's starting to be crunch time. Plans are being finalized, crafts are being finished (or in some cases, started), and general panic is beginning to ensue. Don't get me wrong, it's really great to be this close to The Big Day. Matt and I were just talking last week about how nice it is to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. But there's still so much to do! Planning a largely DIY wedding for 250 people (heyyy, giant families!) is no easy feat.

Because I've had little time for outfit photos or any other kind of content generation, here are some wedding-related snaps from the last several months...including a sneak peak of my dress ;)

2-9-15a

2-9-15b

2-9-15c

2-9-15d

2-9-15e

2-9-15f

Any married readers out there have any advice for me in the last couple of weeks and months? I feel like I need all the help I can get :)

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Budgeting Bloggers: January

I'm so late to the game for January's clothes budget, but better late than never, right? Sure. This month was on point, you guys...for a minute. I was right at my $100 budget after a massive Forever 21 shopping spree with my mom and sisters at the beginning of the month. I had gone on a shopping hiatus in December to help finance my holiday gift-giving, so by the time January started I had a nice long list of basic must-haves. I knocked it all out in that one trip.

Aaaand then I realized how sartorially unprepared I was for a mid-January 5k, even if it was in South Carolina. The forecast was calling for temps in the 30s during the time of the run, so I had to run back to F21 for some inexpensive cold-weather layers. Fortunately, I managed to only get what I needed, despite seeing a ton of other pieces I really wanted. Matt was with me, which really helped me not go into shop mode. He got bored in the time it took me to find the three pieces I had pre-selected online, haha.

2-3-15

All items are from Forever 21 this month.

1. Basic sweater in taupe. The biggest hole in my closet was simple sweaters. I've been wearing the same few sweaters on constant repeat lately and it got sooo old. | $12.90 {exact}

2. Mustard cardigan. This has been on my shopping list ever since I accidentally shrunk my last one (from The Limited). Now if this one shrinks, I at least am not wasting a ton of money. | $8.90 {same sweater, other colors and similar}

3. Basic sweater in gray. It's kind of boring, but gray is basically my favorite color for clothes. It goes with ANYTHING. | $8.90 {exact}

4. Marbled blue sweater with lace/crochet cutouts. Need I say more? | $13.90 {exact}

5. Basic long-sleeve tee in oatmeal. Because I only had three long-sleeve tees. For shame. | $5.80 {exact}

6. Moisture-wicking athletic top. No one likes a sweaty t-shirt when you're running in the cold. | $12.80 {exact}

7. Track jacket. Also moisture-wicking, this turned out to be exactly perfect for the just-above-freezing temps. | $24.90 {exact}

8. Moisture-wicking, mesh-paneled leggings. These also were basically perfect. A little too warm for indoor runs, but great for chilly outdoor temps. | $19.90 {exact}

9. Teal v-neck sweater. Sadly, the sleeves on this one are just a *tad* short for me, but it looks cute with them bunched up to mid-arm. | $13.80 {exact}

10. Basic leggings in gray. Bought mainly for workouts, because the thin material doesn't do so well in the "not showing your underwear" department. | $3.90 {exact}

11&12. Basic leggings in black. A little better coverage than the gray, I bought the last medium and large pairs in the whole store--everything else was a small or extra-small. | $3.90 each {exact}

13. Skinny jeans. I've been losing some weight lately (hooray!) and needed new skinnies. Turns out, F21 wasn't the best place for them; the only pairs that fit my calves are still way too big in the waist. Ah, well...they're cheap. | $12.80 {exact}

14. Dark skinny jeans. See above; these are even cheaper, thankfully. | $7.90 {exact}

Grand total with tax: $165.87. Over the $100 budget for sure, so I'm not buying clothes again in February. Womp womp :( Still...worth it!

How did you do on your budget(s) last month?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Keeping busy

1-30-15a

1-30-15b

1-30-15c
sweater: Forever 21
khakis: Old Navy
boots: Madden Girl via Famous Footwear
necklace: gifted

I had intended to make today's post my January clothes budget recap (to link up to Fran's Budgeting Bloggers series, but this week month kind of got away from me. Spoiler alert: This sweater is in the recap. Spoiler alert #2: I spent every penny of my clothes budget, and then some, at Forever 21 this month. I'm a little embarrassed about that fact, but also not at all embarrassed because I needed a lot of sweaters and now I have them :)

Anyway, I guess I'm adding "write a January budget recap post" to my already miles-long to-do list for this weekend. I'm doing two interviews for a Columbus Bride story, writing another story that I've finished interviewing for, going to the climbing gym with Matt and his aunt to show her the ropes (AAAAHH I'm sorry, I'm sorry, terrible puns are my kryptonite). I also have to start my taxes, work on some photos for said Columbus Bride stories, do some general wedding prep and go to a meeting on a photography project I'm involved in. And finally, I have plans to hang out with my friends Chasity and Kate; the three of us (and Matt) are going to a show on Saturday, and then just us girls are getting together Sunday to watch Super Bowl commercials and do some wedding crafting. Sheesh. It's gonna be one of those "I need a weekend after my weekend" situations, I think.

How are your weekend plans shaping up? Hopefully you'll have a little more downtime than I do!

P.S. I totally forgot to talk about my new backdrop! Here it is :) I love it. It's been such a boon to both my blog photography and my budding semi-professional shoots as well. This was my second outfit shoot with it, and clearly it's a lot harder to figure out if my feet will be cut off when I don't have a point of reference at the bottom of the frame. I wound up repositioning the camera to get my feet in the shots, but I ended up not liking any of them anyway. Womp womp.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Outfit, projects, equipment, schedules.

1-27-15a

1-27-15b

1-27-15c

1-27-15d
sweater: The Limited via Discount Fashion Warehouse
sleeveless collared button-down: New York & Company
khaki skinnies: Old Navy
boots: gifted (Old Navy)
necklace: giveaway win

Yeesh. End of January, where did you come from? I feel like lately, I think that every month will be easier than the last...only to find out that it's not. "Oh, once the holidays are over, things will settle down." "Oh, once I finish these photo shoots, life will be calmer." "Oh, once this freelance deadline is passed, I'll have some free time." But then I realize that after the holidays, and the three newborn photo sessions, and the writing deadlines, I'll still have about eight bajillion wedding crafts to finish. So...June? Yeah. Once June hits, I'll be able to take a breather. Possibly.

In other news, these are the last indoor photos you'll see with my curtains and a bar cart as a background! I used some Christmas money and a gift card to buy what essentially is a beginner's indoor portable studio. There's a lovely white backdrop, and a mediocre light kit. It's great in that it has two umbrella stands and a naked bulb stand, but it's not so great in that you can't really angle the umbrella lights...you can only adjust the height. Still, for a first set (and for how little I paid), I can't really complain.

The new setup means my newborn photo sessions went wonderfully; I have two of them finished and am just trying to find time to upload the photos to my portfolio site. I'll be sure to share a link when I do because these kiddos are ADORABLE. I love babies. Especially tiny little newborns. They're so precious!

Anyway, yeah. Tangent much? I have no idea what I really wanted to say about this outfit/life in general this morning. Other than maybe, is there anything easier than throwing a collared shirt under a sweater and adding a big necklace? I am digging this look lately and I swear I wear some variation of it at least once a week. Yeah nope, still super random/tangental. I'm trying to get back into the habit of waking up early to do some yoga and mini projects (like more frequent blog posts, ahem). Sooo my coffee hasn't quite hit my brain yet, I guess? Yeah, let's go with that.