101 THINGS IN 1001 DAYS

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

In the spirit of the new year and inspired by Design Darling's Mackenzie Horan's list, I'm going to lay out a list of 101 things I want to accomplish in the next 1001 days. 1001 days = 2.75 years, a big chunk of which is leading up to my wedding, so this list will definitely include some wedding related items that I want to do.



Today is January 3, 2017 and I have a small goal of getting to at least half of these things by my wedding day on May 5, 2018. I don't see the list as a strict, binding thing, but I view it as more of list of higher goals of things I want to do, see and experience. I think it can be fluid; I can decide against things, swap them out, or alter them based on where I am in my life and what's going on.


So here goes!


  1. Start a personal journal.
  2. Cook a recipe once a week from a cookbook.
  3. Try one new workout class or studio per month.
  4. Book hotel blocks for our wedding.
  5. Be more understanding and patient with people.
  6. Read one book per month.
  7. Travel to a new city in Europe.
  8. Learn how to make a new cocktail.
  9. Visit a new city in the US.
  10. Cook a full meal and make cocktails for my fiancé to surprise him.
  11. Get more into interior decorating.
  12. Buy a pair of new glasses. 
  13. Watch all The Godfather movies.
  14. Cook a full meal and make cocktails for my parents.
  15. Buy a wedding dress.
  16. Join a fantasy sports league.
  17. Clean out my closet and get rid of stuff I haven't worn in a year or more.
  18. Cut out carbs for a week or more straight.
  19. Donate or volunteer with a charity.
  20. Get bangs. (maybe after my wedding?)
  21. Go see a classic movie at the theater.
  22. Go to a place I've never been in Massachusetts.
  23. Purchase a fancy camera and learn how to use it.
  24. Attend a professional (or college) sports game in another city.
  25. Try a cuisine I've never had before.
  26. Book our honeymoon.
  27. Find amazing wedding gifts for the 4 weddings I'm attending in 2017.
  28. Do a juice cleanse for a day.
  29. Get a massage.
  30. Get a facial.
  31. Adopt a dog.
  32. Purchase a home.
  33. Bake a cake by myself.
  34. Order address labels.
  35. Create a wedding website.
  36. Design save the date cards.
  37. Order wedding invitations and thank you notes.
  38. Book a wedding photographer.
  39. Book a wedding DJ.
  40. Book a wedding florist.
  41. Figure out a bachelorette party plan.
  42. Make homemade hummus (when I get a food processor).
  43. Go to an indoor trampoline park.
  44. Do a paint night again.
  45. Attend a marketing class. 
  46. Go see OU football play in Norman.
  47. Go to a Patriots regular season game.
  48. Try 1 new restaurant per month.
  49. Make my fiancé breakfast in bed.
  50. Start getting my eyebrows waxed.
  51. Run 4 miles.
  52. Always remember to use Ebates when online shopping!
  53. Do a duck tour in Boston.
  54. Go to Plymouth Rock.
  55. Make something DIY.
  56. Go on a boat ride.
  57. Watch an older TV series from start to finish like The Sopranos or The Wire.
  58. Fill out a March Madness bracket.
  59. Take a golf lesson.
  60. Try out a spray tan.
  61. Go see a comedy show.
  62. Take a cooking class.
  63. Use up more makeup before buying more.
  64. Blog more often.
  65. Transfer this blog over to WordPress and get a new template and/or name.
  66. Cut the cable cord.
  67. Visit the Sam Adams brewery. 
  68. Save money from every paycheck.
  69. Take clothes and accessories to consignment more often.
  70. Take mental health days from work every once in a while.
  71. Purchase nice noise cancelling headphones.
  72. Do a side-gig on Upwork.
  73. Attend a political rally or city council meeting.
  74. Do an at-home spa day.
  75. Re-wear some of the fancy dresses I love.
  76. Wear my glasses once a week or more for a full day to give my eyes a break.
  77. Take social media and smartphone breaks periodically.
  78. Pick out bridesmaid dresses for my wedding.
  79. Worry less about things outside my control.
  80. Create a wedding playlist.
  81. Invest more in my Roth IRA.
  82. Grow an herb plant.
  83. Take time to read all the magazines I get in the mail.
  84. Make more of my own playlists on Spotify.
  85. Attend an outdoor concert.
  86. Volunteer at a pet shelter.
  87. Go on a spontaneous weekend or day trip.
  88. Go to Block Island.
  89. Go to NYC - haven't been in forever!
  90. Take my good shoes and boots to a cobbler.
  91. Take things to the dry cleaner and get things altered.
  92. Take a relaxing bubble bath.
  93. Attend a Boston blogger event.
  94. Pack lunches and prepare dinner in advance of the week.
  95. Read the newspaper.
  96. Put my smartphone down while watching TV - commercials don't count!
  97. Don't reach for my smartphone while driving.
  98. Keep up with doctor and dentist appointments.
  99. Visit one of my favorite places - Kiawah Island.
  100. Save up loose change.
  101. Throw out all my junk mail.


My plan from here on is to update this list with my progress as I go - while allowing myself to make changes if need be. It's supposed to be a fun thing for me to try to accomplish and while some of these things are hard to measure, I will try to think of a few examples of each of the more abstract things so I can reflect on whether I've made any progress or taken any small leaps.


Happy new year everyone! If you are doing one of these lists, please let me know in the comments, I'd love to read them! Or feel free to link to mine if you are gathering other lists!



Sephora VIB Sale Picks!

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's that time again! The Sephora VIB sale is back! Now's the time to get 20% off your favorite products and to pick up your tried-and-true products as well as big ticket items.

Unfortunately, they aren't extending the sale to Beauty Insider members this year - only VIB and VIB Rouge members. 

Here's the list of items I'm considering and ones I recommend to fellow shoppers!





Hourglass powder in dim light - great as a setting powder for all over the face




Clinique palette in pink honey - all great warm neutral shades, really wearable



Nars blush in orgasm - a classic that works great on many skin tones




Too Faced Better than Sex mascara - can't go wrong with this one, easy to apply for fluffy, long lashes!




Buxom full on lip cream in white russian, bellini or dolly or really any color!




Giorgio Armani luminous silk foundation - only the best foundation ever! Totally worth the price and one bottle will last you over a year. Plus, tons of shades available! 




Living Proof perfect hair day dry shampoo - one of the best dry shampoos I've tried, a bit pricey but with 20% off, it's worth picking up! 





What are you picking up at the sale? Please share below in the comments! 





-Lauren







Engagement Party Dresses

Monday, October 10, 2016

For an engagement party, if you're the guest of honor you definitely want to stand out. That said, you don't have to wear white or a dress -- there are plenty of great options that are outside the norm and still totally appropriate for a party to celebrate an engagement.

Here are some of my favorites:




















What do you recommend for an engagement party?




-Lauren



Kiawah Island and Charleston, SC - Vacation Recap

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

This is the second consecutive year in a row that we've visited Kiawah Island and Charleston, SC for vacation. It's definitely one of my favorite spots to visit in the United States, plus it's such an easy flight for us from Boston and I'm already familiar with the area since I used to vacation there as a kid. We rented a VRBO on Kiawah but rented a car and spent a lot of time in Charleston as well. There is so much to see and do and it's really the best of both worlds! 


Started the trip off right with a visit to Holy City Brewery in North Charleston - great spot for flights and snacks! 


Checked into our condo and had this awesome view from our porch.



We also walked around our area of Kiawah -- never a bad view! 




Then we made our way to the beach - only a short walk from our condo!



The next day we hit up Palmetto Brewery - another great spot with outdoor games and great food and beer.



That night we had dinner at a great southern restaurant, Poogan's Porch, right in the heart of Charleston.




We checked out the Ryder Cup Bar at the Ocean Course at the very end of Kiawah Island -- probably one of my favorite spots from this whole trip!










We also went to a few more amazing restaurants and sights around Charleston:


Jeni's Homemade Ice Cream - so amazing and worth the hype!


Same with Callie's Hot Little Biscuit - all it's cracked up to be!


Pineapple Fountain

Rainbow Row

Hominy Grill



All in all it was a great trip and totally felt like the vacation we needed!



-Lauren





5 Tips for Finding Your Wedding Venue

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Thank you to my sister Ali for contributing this guest post! She's a bit ahead of me in the wedding planning process and has already been through this initial step! 




1. Prioritize.
Do some soul searching with your fiance and figure out what is most important for the two of you. Is it a stunning view? Is it eliminating the need for transportation? Is it maximizing the number of guests so you can include all your family and friends? Think about what you would be willing to compromise on, too. 

In my experience, I knew that it was most important for me to simplify and have everything under one roof. Eliminating the need for transportation was also important and kind of goes hand-in-hand. For me, this meant a hotel in downtown Boston. First: Hotel because I sleep there, get ready there, get hitched, and party all under one roof. One spot for everything, and I don't have to go outside but definitely could if its nice weather. My personal preference is an indoor wedding so I can have temperature and humidity control -- hair and makeup won't give me any problems! The idea of shuttling from location to location, getting in and out of a car doesn't sound fun to me. Second: being in downtown Boston means endless options for hotels, rehearsal dinner, and things for my guests to do before the party begins. 


2. Decide on the location first.
City and State. Once you nail these down then you can focus on the options in your area. 


3. Figure out your budget.
Goes without saying -- you have to know what you're working with. With that said, there is no harm in requesting quotes for places or visiting them if they are out of your price range. 

My fiance and I plus my parents saw 10 hotels in downtown Boston. We saw everything from a Hyatt to The Four Seasons. It was more of an education on what you really get for your money. Clearly there is a huge range in what you can get -- the Four Seasons is undeniably one of the best hotels in Boston with the most stunning views of The Boston Common and that comes with a big price tag.


4. Go see the places.
Photos only go so far. I learned this one, for sure. I pretty much had my heart set on The Langham Hotel. The photos online looked so beautiful and it seemed to have the perfect amount of elegance and class for the kind of affair I want to have. Well, that changed when I was actually standing in the space. I was disappointed -- the spaces were smaller than I thought. The ballroom had no windows and wasn't as elegant as I expected, and the whole venue was a bit like trying to fit a square into a circle, and we found ourselves asking the question, "How can we MAKE this space work?" when the reality was they were just odd spaces and it wasn't going to work for us.


5. Look for wedding photographer's blog posts and other galleries to see the place in action.
I found this super helpful. Google a venue's name along with "wedding photos" and tons of photographer's posts will come up with photos you can drool over. It really helps to see a space in action.


PS - Don't forget to have fun along the way! Enjoy the process, don't stress over the small stuff, and don't get discouraged when your dream venue isn't what you were expecting. The perfect place will surface.


Comment and share your experience or ask questions below!



-Ali

Big News! And a New Series!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I've been noticeably absent on the blog but now I have some exciting news to share. I'm engaged! My boyfriend proposed about two weeks ago and since that happened, I thought it would be a great time to get reacquainted with my long-lost blog! The kicker, my sister is also engaged, so we'll be doing some wedding planning at the same time. You may even see some guest posts from her.

So in the spirit of wedding planning, I'll be doing a blog series about what it's like to plan a wedding, what to do right after your engagement, how to look for venues, and more!

But first, here are some pictures from our amazing night in Boston, where my boyfriend proposed to me on the roof deck of Hotel Commonwealth in Kenmore Square.












Please let me know if you have any suggestions of what you'd like to see as part of the wedding blog series!!


-Lauren




The Best Work Bags

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

For me, a work bag absolutely has to fit my work laptop, a notebook and all of the stuff I'll need throughout the day. And honestly, it's pretty hard to find a bag that can do all of that! However, I've found a few options over the years that have worked pretty well for me so I thought I'd share for all the working girls out there! 


Lo & Sons: They have a bunch of different variations, but their bags are well made, sturdy and versatile. They are all made to hold laptops, tablets, notebooks and other items, all while being comfortable to carry. I have the OMG bag in black.



MZ Wallace: The quilted metro totes from MZ Wallace are unexpectedly good for work purposes! I just got the small metro tote in black and it fits my laptop, along with my cosmetic bag, wallet, sunglasses & more. 






Kate Spade: There are always different styles available from Kate Spade, in the store, at the outlet or at places like Marshall's. I got this tote a while back from my boyfriend's mom and absolutely love it! It looks nothing like a work bag but it's perfect to hold my laptop, a water bottle and much more. 



'






What do you use as your work bag?






-Lauren