While browsing through save the date ideas a couple of years ago, I found a unique approach that I instantly fell in love with.
I have been obsessed with reading from the moment I learned how, and although I didn’t want a literary-themed wedding, my husband and I found a lot of creative ways to incorporate my passion into the event.
The first way was by having a bookmark as our save the date!
got so many compliments on our save the date; people loved that it had
personal meaning, but also that it was something they hadn’t seen before
and could actually use.
decided to put together a list of other creative save the date ideas,
for those who are interested in doing something a little different.
Here’s the list of unique and functional save the dates!
Bookmark This is my very own save the date! We used one of the pictures from our engagement photo shoot. As I mentioned, we got a lot of compliments on these and people did actually use them while reading. They were made by RaspberryCreative on Etsy, who has a ton of beautiful wedding stuff in her shop! We also got door hangers for our wedding hotel made by her.
Concert or event ticket If you or your spouse are big music or sports fans, this could be a great option for you. I’ve seen this done a few different ways, all of which were awesome. This not only allows you to add some personality to your save the dates, it makes for a great keepsake afterwards. The example above can be found here on Etsy.
Boarding pass/luggage tag These are perfect for those interested in travel or for an actual destination wedding. My cousin and his wife did something similar leading up to their wedding in Puerto Rico and I still remember it years later because I found it so clever. A boarding pass can be very cute, like this one from Etsy, shown above. A luggage tag is also a great option and, depending on the type you send, your guests can use it when they travel!
Confetti pouch Get the celebration started a little early by sending your guests a mini bag full of confetti! These are so fun and adorable, and will likely make everyone on your guest list smile (as long as you ensure the pouch is sealed shut before sending them the bag, haha). Here is the link to the example shown above.
Scratch off This is another fun one that your guests can interact with. Have your actual date be revealed after they scratch off the spots on their save the date card! This can be tied into a theme or stand on its own, but either way it’s something for your guests (and both of you) to remember. Example from above is here.
I love all of the ideas above, and I really love that my husband and I decided to think a little outside the box with our save the date.
It set the tone for our wedding early on; not in the fact that our wedding was book-themed, but that it was a perfect representation of who we are as both individuals and a couple.
I hope you find inspiration in these ideas, and that you’ll share your own wedding ideas or plans with me!
I love weddings and would be thrilled to hear about your own personal experiences, past or present, in the comments below.
I know I haven’t…but my husband and I have been trying to make progress little by little whenever we have a few hours on the weekend.
I’ve discovered a few cleaning tips, tricks, and products that can help make things easier for you, just as they have for us.
Check out my recommended cleaning hacks and cleaning products below, click the images to purchase, and don’t forget to leave your own suggestions in the comments! ❤
Reusable Dryer Sheets: You’ve probably got these guys stored wherever you do laundry already, but did you know they can be used for household cleaning after you use them in the dryer? Used dryer sheets don’t need to be thrown away; they can be used to clean off mirrors and other glass surfaces, coffee tables, and even the inside of your toilet (preferably not all with one dryer sheet…lol). This is a great hack because it’s likely something you’re already using and therefore doesn’t cost you anything extra. Cheap (or free) hacks are the best hacks, no?
Drill Scrub Brush: I kid you not, my husband actually bought a drill just so he could clean our bathroom floor with this scrub brush. But hey, don’t knock it. Not only was the process a bit more amusing for him, he got our bathroom floor (grout included) spotless by using this drill scrub method. The brushes themselves are pretty cheap. We’re going to try doing the shower walls with it next so I’ll keep you all updated.
Dish Soap for Stains: This is more of a clothes cleaning than house cleaning hack, but still applicable, in my option. Did you know that dish soap can get almost anything out of clothing? Spill some marinara sauce on your white sweater? Get a grease stain on a t-shirt you love? Swipe your shirt sleeve with mascara while trying to get ready at the crack of dawn? Next time you get a tricky substance on your clothing, sheets, or a towel, put it under warm water, add some dish soap, and rub gently. You’ll be amazed at how well this works and all of the different things it works for.
Scrub Mommy Sponges: My aunt gave me these for Christmas a few years ago and I haven’t used another sponge since. These sponges are durable and useful, with one tough (yet gentle enough not to scratch) scrubbing side and one smoother absorbent side. They are great for washing any type of dish, cleaning counters, and cleaning off appliances as well. Plus they come in cute smiley-face shapes.
Robot Vacuum: Sure, having a robot vacuum probably feels a little bit like cheating, but you can’t deny how convenient it is that these things exist. It’s not as necessary right now as I live in a two bedroom condo, but once I move into a full-size house I know I’m going to appreciate our robot vacuum immensely. I can have it rolling around on the floor cleaning up while I’m taking care of other household chores. These are a little on the pricier side, of course, but if you invest in a well-made one, I think it’s totally worth it.
One of my favorite things to do on weeknights is relax in my bed and binge watch some old TV shows.
Lately, my guilty pleasure has been old teen dramas ranging from the late 1990’s to the mid-late 200’s.
All of these are shows I’ve watched before (most of them multiple times) but I still find myself pulled into the drama and I love every minute of it.
I guess, with so much happening during the day, it’s nice to have my mind occupied by something else; plus, it’s a little nostalgic being reminded of the things that we thought were so important back when we were in high school. 😉
Here’s my ranking of 10 of the most popular teen dramas from the 90’s and 2000’s, plus which popular streaming services you can find them on.
10. The OC This is your typical California teen show, and was also my first exposure to Rachel Bilson, who is currently one of my favorite actresses! It’s a cute show about best friends, boys, and high school and is basically what you’d expect from the early 2000’s, but tapers off a little for me around the last two seasons. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say that some of the decisions of the show makers left me confused and focused on what I wished the ending could be, rather than what it was. You can currently stream episodes of The OC on Hulu!
9. Dawson’s Creek Ok, so I’m probably going to get grief about putting this one so low on my list, but I just never got into Dawson’s Creek the way a lot of other people did. It certainly had a cute love story and lots of great drama, but it couldn’t hold my interest as much as the other shows of its time for some reason. This one is also available to stream on Hulu.
8. Laguna Beach Dubbed “The Real OC,” Laguna Beach was a documentary-style show on MTV that followed a cast of real teenagers throughout their last couple years of high school. I honestly can’t tell you why every teenage girl was so obsessed with this show back in the day, but I still find myself drawn into the episodes whenever re-runs are on. This is another one that got weaker as the show went on, in my opinion. By Season 3, the original cast had all graduated and a new crop of students became the focus; that’s where I lost interest. All three seasons are currently available on MTV.
7. Greek This ABC Family (now, Freeform) show was about Greek life at college, and even though I didn’t participate in Greek life myself, I found this show really entertaining. There’s a great on-and-off love story woven throughout all of the seasons, and I found myself on the edge of my seat every step of the way for this couple. Overall, this show is really cute and I would definitely watch it again. This show is available on Freeform or Hulu.
6. Gilmore Girls This is another show that many other girls my age would probably put much higher on the list. For some reason, I just couldn’t get into Rory and Lorelai as much as everyone else (even though my sister’s old nickname for me was Lorelai). I did love how into reading Rory was, though, and there were a couple of juicy love stories in this show that caught my interest. I still haven’t, and probably won’t, watch the Netflix reboot. To help you get caught up for their new show, Netflix has all of the old Gilmore Girls seasons available (in addition to episodes of the reboot series).
5. Friday Night Lights This show makes me so happy and sad at the same time. I absolutely loved it, but I feel like it could’ve been even better if it wasn’t a victim to the writer’s strike that happened in 2007/2008. I loved all of the characters, the dramatic high school story, and the exciting football scenes. I have a soft spot for any show that combines sports and love stories; and yes, that is a bit of foreshadowing for what’s to come in the remaining four TV shows for this post. Getting back to Friday Night Lights, the only reason this show isn’t higher on the list is because I wanted more of it, and I felt that a lot of pieces abruptly cut off. You can watch all of Friday Night Lights on Hulu and select seasons on Amazon Prime.
4. Degrassi: The Next Generation In a way, I feel like I grew up with the characters of Degrassi. This series ran for ~14 years and it covered absolutely everything you could possibly have to deal with as a teen: breakups, friend drama, embarrassing moments, and several other more serious topics like rape, drug use, and STDs. It’s kind of odd to say, but I feel like I really learned a lot from this show, and all of the serious issues they included were done tastefully and successfully, in my opinion. I used to watch this with two of my best friends on Friday nights, so thinking back to the show also reminds me of happy, carefree times. This show will always be special to me. There is a Degrassi YouTube channel with most of the seasons available to watch.
3. 90210 This spinoff of the original Beverly Hills show is another one that drew me in right from the beginning. One of the main characters, Annie, is actually played by a Degrassi alum, which is what originally drew me to the show. This starts off following another class of California teens, but the show expands to many different characters and story lines throughout the seasons. I’ve watched this series all the way through twice, and still follow some of the actresses on Instagram because I grew to love them. The show is currently available on Amazon Prime.
2. Gossip Girl So, I actually didn’t watch this show until a couple of years after it ended, but the first episodes I streamed had me hooked immediately. This show is your typical teen drama, but focuses on the elite, super rich side of New York. I love that this show takes place in the city, I love that it is centered on fashion, and I love Blake Lively and Leighton Meester (I also really, really love Chuck and Blair’s relationship…but who doesn’t?). My cousin is obsessed with Gossip Girl, and she’s the one who got me into it. I’m so glad she did because this is a great show to binge, especially if you want to get pulled into the story and forget about your own stress for a while. All of Gossip Girl is available on Netflix.
1. One Tree Hill I cannot even begin to describe my love for this show. Yes, I was horrified to hear the allegations against creator Mark Schwahn not too long ago, but this show and all of its beautiful messages still remain unblemished in my mind. OTH starts out as another high school drama, but it goes deeper into the relationships of the characters and who they are as people more than any other teen soap I’ve seen before. The main character’s love for literature speaks to my heart, and there is so much amazing music and art included in, and created for, this show. A really great decision the writers made was to skip over the college years; so we see the cast go through high school, and then jump to them being in their early 20s. It sounds weird, but it worked so well for the story. My favorite thing about this show is getting to see the evolution of each character throughout the 9 seasons (ie, 13 year time span) of the show. The transformation of some key people is not only amazing to watch, but it’s absolutely believable. This show taught me so much about myself and what I want out of the world; it inspired me and touched me deeply, and I would absolutely recommend it to a woman of any age. My husband and I recently watched it together and he loved it, too! One Tree Hill is currently on Hulu!
What are some of your go-to teen drama shows? I feel like shows in the late 90s/2000s were so much better than they are now, but everyone probably feels that way about a certain period of time that’s special to them.
It’s silly to think that a TV show, especially one that’s made to be over-the-top, could actually have an impact on its viewer; but a lot of these shows stuck with me over the years.
Going back to watch an old series sometimes feels like wrapping myself up in my own teenage blanket, remembering how I saw the world at such a crucial point in my life, reflecting on who I was and who I turned out to be.
Comment below with your recommendations for great dramas I can binge watch at night, or with a special show that means a lot to you.
I love to find out more about you guys, so please don’t hesitate to share!
Today I want to talk about my most used phone applications, including the ones that I use most for blogging as well as in my personal life.
I do try to limit my screen time, but like most other people today, I am on my phone a lot.
The cool thing is, there are so many apps that help with productivity and tracking progress, and that’s what most of my frequently used apps help me with.
Here’s a list of my go-tos and what I love about them.
Notes – The notes app is standard on iPhones and I’m sure there’s an equivalent on other phones, as well.
As a writer, I use the Notes app to take down random ideas or inspiration all the time.
I use Siri to create notes while I’m driving so i won’t lose a good thought, and I even write some blog posts on here while on the go and then transfer them to my laptop to add into WordPress when I’m ready to finalize and post.
This app is free and easy to use, and is continuously getting more advanced, which I think is pretty cool for a standard phone app.
Instagram – As much as I complain about social media, I do love Instagram.
I like being able to see little snippets of people’s lives and am always surprised by the photography skills of some of my friends and acquaintances.
I like Instagram better than other social media apps like Facebook and Twitter. I feel lien people just use those to complain or be nasty to others these days, and it’s a little easier to ignore that stuff on Instagram.
I also just like posting and browsing pictures of outfits and other lifestyle inspiration that people I follow post.
I definitely have not had as much time as usual for Instagram lately, but I do enjoy using it for both blogging and personal purposes.
Goodreads – Those of you who read regularly are probably familiar with this app, but if you aren’t then you should definitely check it out!
Goodreads is an awesome community, reading tracker, and review system for readers all rolled into one.
It allows you to rate books you read and see ratings from others if you’re considering a book.
It allows you to keep lists (i.e., shelves) of your read, to be read, and currently reading titles and has challenges that you can set for yourself; Goodreads is what I used to track my 50 book reading challenge last year.
Another cool thing about Goodreads is that a lot of authors get involved with it, so I’ll occasionally get emails about virtual Q&A sessions with my favorite writers or other updates directly from them.
Nike+ Run Club – I’ve been using this app for almost 10 years and, although it has changed a lot over time, it’s still my favorite run tracking app.
I find it super easy to use, plus it has all of my running data (and all of my PRs) from throughout the years.
My favorite feature on the app is that your friends can send you “cheers” in real time when you go on a run and you literally hear cheering cut into your headphones at random times throughout your workout.
I hate paying full price for things, so if I see something I really like I save it on the app (super easy to do once you download it) and I get notifications about it from then on!
The app notifies you if something is low in stock/out of stock, back in stock, and on sale.
I just got some great new shoes this weekend because the app notified me that they finally went on sale; I may have had to wait a couple of weeks, but I got the exact pair of shoes I wanted without having to pay full price for them.
Ebates – This is another app I wrote about in my save while shopping post, and have buzzed to my family and friends about for a couple of years now.
Ebates is an app that you use to shop, or a browser extension you can add, that track what you buy and gives you cash back on purchases from qualifying stores.
It’s a free and easy way to get additional discounts on things you want to buy!
Those shoes I mentioned buying this weekend? I got them for 30% off from Macy’s thanks to Shoptagr notifying me that there was a sale, and then got an additional 10% cash back from Ebates.
All of that discount came just from downloading a couple of apps on my phone…so awesome.
PicMonkey – So, I prefer to keep it as real as possible whenever possible, but sometimes you have to do a little photo editing for your blog.
My editing app of choice is PicMonkey, which I found by reading through a few lists of the best apps for bloggers.
It was an app that I had to buy in the app store; the only one on this list that requires payment, but it wasn’t expensive and it’s been useful to me since starting this blog.
The app is great for adjusting lighting, color, and adding some cool filters or effects
Pinterest – I can’t even count the number of amazing tips I have found on Pinterest, especially while planning my wedding.
Between my husband and I building a house, me being a Matron of Honor for my sister, and me constantly needing creative stimulation for my job, Pinterest has been a bottomless well of information and inspiration for me.
I can get caught up and spend hours poring through all of the great posts and pins, but my favorite thing about Pinterest is that I’m not just killing time on it, I’m actually finding things that will help me with what’s going on in my life.
There are a bunch more apps that I use regularly, but I think seven is a good amount to highlight for now.
All of these help me be productive in some way, and I’m happy to know that a lot of the time I spend on my phone is used to get things done.
It’s so important to relax and be able to do things that you enjoy, but it’s also important to spend the necessary time on your responsibilities.
It’s all about balance, and I’m glad that my cell phone and the apps that I use every day help me find a balance between work and play. ❤ 🙂
It’s April 15, which means I’m officially halfway through my 30 day blogging challenge!
I’ve been having so much fun writing these daily posts, and it’s been great having something to hold me to writing every single day.
For today’s post, I’m going to share some personal things about myself; these are things that a lot of people in my personal life know well, but things that may not have come up yet on my blog.
Let’s dive right in!
1. I love anything horror-related.
I’ve been watching slasher films since I was 6 years old, reading Stephen King since I was 11, and attending horror conventions since I was in college.
I don’t really get scared of any of this stuff, but I find it fascinating.
I’ve always been interested in dark and spooky things, and I love skulls, halloween, and anything that makes others squirm in their seats.
At my old office job, I used to dress up in elaborate horror costumes, and I won the contest for Scariest Costume all three years that I worked there.
I’m super excited for the Fall to come so I can share more horror-related posts with you guys, but you may see some before then because it’s just too far away for me to wait!
2. I was a dancer for 17 years.
Ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, lyrical, you name it.
I started dancing when I was 5 and stopped attending classes regularly when I was 22.
I never really wanted to stop, but most dance schools are for high school age or lower, and once I graduated college I could no longer take classes there, either.
I’ll still stop by my old dance studio once in a while, especially since my sister is now a teacher there, but dancing was something that I always felt naturally good at and had a lot of confidence in.
I’ll always miss practicing and performing on a regular basis.
3. My dream is to be an author.
I’ve been writing stories since I was in kindergarten, and I’ve been trying to write books since I was a teenager.
There is one particular novel I just started working on again, which I started when I was 22.
It’s a daunting task trying to write a full novel, and most of the time my self-doubt and fear of failure keep me from progressing as quickly as I should, but I’m working through that and am determined to finish this thing before I turn 30…which is in 10 months.
So hopefully I can actually hold myself to that..
4. I ran my first ever marathon in 2018.
I’ve been running for sport since I was 14 and ran the 200 meter, 400 meter, and 4×4 relay on my high school track team.
Once I graduated high school and started training to play college field hockey, my short runs turned into long distance ones.
After I stopped playing organized sports, I continued running 4-6 miles a day to keep in shape and to help release some of the stress I faced in everyday life.
Soon after I started working full time I decided to get back into running competitively, and signed up for some 5k races.
I eventually realized I wanted to run more, and started training for my first full marathon.
My dream was to run the NYC Marathon–racing throughout the five boroughs of my favorite city in the world, running the same course that legends would pound through mere hours before me.
I started training without doing enough research or taking care of my body, and I eventually got hurt.
That one injury cost me three full years of my running life, because it turned into a chronic condition that would put my running at a complete halt every time I felt like I was building up stamina again.
In December 2017 I had surgery to remove an accessory bone from my ankle, did rehab and trained smart for all of 2018, and on November 4, 2018 I completed the NYC Marathon with my family, friends, and fiancé cheering me on along the way.
To say it was a magical experience for me is a complete understatement; being able to accomplish something I’d wanted for so long, and finally crossing that finish line knowing how much I had to go through to get there, was life changing.
5. I love to cook and bake.
I mentioned in a previous post that my mom is a former chef, so she always taught me how to make things as I was growing up.
When I got older and started to cook for myself, I got even more interested in learning how to make different dishes, and discovered I have a passion for baking as well.
I’m still learning a lot when it comes to cooking and baking, but I’m getting more comfortable and have even created one of my own recipes, which is a big hit with my friends and family!
Once our house is done being built, I’m planning to work on my culinary skills even more, but I promise not to wait that long before sharing more recipe posts with you guys.
6. I have always been obsessed with love.
Since I was a little girl I was always interested in true love and relationships, and anything romantic made me feel all dreamy.
I had a few bad relationships in high school and college, which I attribute to me wanting to find the real thing so badly that I jumped into things before taking the time to wait and see if they were actually right for me and my life.
I’ve written a lot about love, and read a lot about it as well; most of my favorite songs are about finding, losing, or wanting love.
When I was 25 I was lucky enough to finally meet the soul mate I had been searching for, and now that I have that dream relationship, had the dream wedding, and am living my Happily Ever After, I have to say, it’s even better than I hoped it would be.
You would think that after I spent my entire life building up true love there wouldn’t be anything real that could possibly meet my expectations, but luckily for me, that’s not true.
It sounds cliché but I’m so glad my past relationships didn’t work out; I’m so grateful for my past heartbreaks and let-downs, because I truly believe they led me to find my perfect match.
My husband and the love that he gives me are straight out of a storybook (well, our own quirky version of one) and I believe that anyone can find this type of happiness if they have enough patience and determination to stick it out and wait for the right person.
7. I’ve donated more than three gallons of blood in my lifetime.
They used to hold blood drives at my high school, and my best friend and I got into the idea of donating whenever possible.
It was an easy way for us to help others and to feel like we were making a difference in the world, so we started paying attention to when blood drives were happening in our town and going together.
There were plenty of times I was turned away due to low iron levels and one time when I didn’t weigh enough, but after donating consistently for years I’m now up to the equivalent of three gallons of blood, and I’m really proud of that.
I admittedly have taken a much too lengthy break from donating lately, and need to get back to it; so that’s probably another thing I’ll be working on in the immediate future.
8. I have a serious fear of heights.
Those who aren’t afraid of heights never seem to understand, but those who are know what I’m talking about.
Whenever I am high up or close to the edge of something (even if it’s just a second floor balcony) my body kind of goes into panic mode and I get terrified.
I think of this as a more physical fear than a mental one, because, logically, I know I am fine and safe, but my body just starts to freak out.
My husband does not understand this at all; in fact, he’s an adrenaline junkie and loves being up high.
I’ve tried many times to get over this fear or to force myself to do things that scare me so I’ll get used to it, but nothing seems to work.
I’ll just have to keep braving it and dealing with the weird physical symptoms that occur whenever I’m high up.
9. I never want to stop learning.
One of my favorite things about my job is that I’m constantly learning new things.
Things are constantly changing in the world of advertising, so you have to stay informed if you’re going to keep up.
In addition to that, I work in pharmaceutical advertising, so every new account I get assigned to means delving into the science behind a disease, disorder, or condition that affects the human race.
I always loved school growing up, and if I could take classes and learn new things for the rest of my life, I would absolutely do it.
One thing that’s kind of ironic is that I hated science while I was in school; I had the option not to take it my Senior Year of high school and opted out, but now I find the science–related part of my job to be the most interesting part.
10. I’m quiet, but that doesn’t mean I’m a pushover.
Whenever I meet someone they always, almost immediately, make a comment about how quiet I am.
I am not generally a talkative person; I’m more of a listener and always have been.
However, sometimes people see that I don’t speak up often and they assume that means I can’t.
Those people are wrong.
People are often surprised to find that not only do I have a backbone, I also have a voice.
And since I use that voice so sparingly, when I do use it everyone listens.
I’ve always expressed myself through writing, dance, and my affections towards other people, and I find it very hard to just talk to others casually.
When I’m conversing with someone it means something to me, and I’m very good at having open, deeply emotional conversations with people; yet somehow I suck at making small talk.
It’s even harder in today’s world because so many people are interested in discussing shallow things, or negative things, or other people, and I’m not interested in any of that stuff.
This isn’t me being condescending; if anything, I usually feel self-conscious about my inability to relate to others my age regardless of what age I am.
But when I feel that I or someone I care about is being wronged or taken advantage of, I do not hold my tongue nor do I hold back.
I trust my instincts and my point of view, and if I feel something isn’t right, I’m not too shy or scared to say something.
I’m also not afraid to stand up for myself or bite back when someone takes a verbal swing at me, but I always keep it classy, of course. 🙂
Well, there you have it…10 things about me.
I hope this was at least half as amusing for you to read as it was for me to write.
Most of the above speak to things I’m passionate about, and I enjoy how freeing it feels to be honest about who I am here.
This blog has given me an opportunity to share my views and myself with the wold. And so have you.