Currently I Am...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Currently I am ....

running around like a crazy person. After a bit of a dress fiasco on Saturday we left Chicago a little later planned. And by fiasco I simply mean when I went to pick it up it did not fit right and I panicked simply because it had fit like a glove literally every other fitting. Except the one fitting where it was meant to come home with me.

All is fine now. We made it through leg one of the journey and we're gearing up for leg two in a few hours.

We were able to spend a few last relaxing moments at Chris's parents' cabin, although as I sit here today feeling like I have a 100 things to do I'm slightly regretting said relaxing moments...

But there is always time for one more posed blog pic, you know what I mean? And yes, I'm wearing all of my new honeymoon attire like the ten year old that I am.

And now I am currently realizing I have no way to wrap up this terrible waste of a post as my mind has travelled to a million different places during the short amount of time it has taken me to write this. Travelled. One L or two? I shall never know.

I have to go. If you're coming to Steamboat, SEE YOU SOON!!!!

*also please remember elevation really does take a toll. when drinking. mountain hangovers are scary.

Anchored to Sunshine

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Chris and I are currently on part one of our journey to Steamboat, so today I have a friend taking over this space to tell you a little more about herself and her blog.

Introducing Amanda from Anchored to Sunshine.

1. Why did you decide to start blogging?

About five years ago I started to follow a few blogs. I had no idea what "blogging" was, let alone they made money off of it. I stared by following two bloggers, which then grew to five, which then grew to 15! After about a year of following, I finally started to understand. "Ohh, these girls are paid to wear this and to say that". But like bad reality TV, I was hooked.

Fast forward two years... those two years included a move to a new city (DC) where I knew only one person, two really un-fun breakups, and me sitting at home sipping a bottle of wine (that of course I finished alone) reading about these bloggers who all looked amazing and happy. My thoughts: Damn their lives look awesome! *sips more wine*

Fast forward one year (if you're keeping up, that is now two years ago from present day) and I had somehow found an amazing boyfriend, made friends in DC, and had an awesome roommate to help me finish the said bottle of wine, but I was still obsessed with these bloggers. Late one night, after the boyfriend had seen me creeping on one blogger for like two hours, he finally said, "Stop wasting your time, just become a blogger yourself!". That was pretty much it.

In the back of my mind somewhere I guess I always thought about becoming a "blogger" but always put it off until x, or y, or z. But he was right, there is never an ideal time to start anything. So the next day, Anchored to Sunshine was born! I've been blogging for a bit over two years now and have never looked back.

2. What are two posts you've written recently you really like and why?

This is actually a really hard question because I usually will love something when I post it and then look back on it a month later and think, "what on earth was I thinking??". So, that just means my favorite posts are recent ones that I haven't had that "what was I thinking" moment yet about:

Two weeks ago my boyfriend and I moved to Miami from DC. We moved for his dream job... and I quit mine and am now on the job hunt (side note, job hunting sucks!). But this little post pretty much summed up my life the week of moving. I'm usually not this much of a hot mess... I swear!

I am now 26, but all of the questions still hold true. Since moving to Miami, calls have also consisted of, "Mom, what temperature should I leave my AC at during the day while I'm gone?" and "What do I use to clean mold off my patio?". I swear, my mother knows EVERYTHING! If you have questions, you should call her too.

3. What do you love most about summer?

Summer + Me = Love

Summer and I are like... peanut butter and jelly. Like salt and pepper. Like red wine and chocolate. Like pizza and ranch dressing (don't judge, they are delicious together).

As I blabbed about above, I just moved back to the Sunshine State and my favorite feeling in the world is to sweat through my clothes. See, I told you I was weird :)

I love summertime heat! My three winters in DC were just too much for me. In Florida it's basically summer all year round. My uniform is a swimsuit, flip flops, a great book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other!

4.  What about blogging has been most challenging?

I started blogging because I love reading about other bloggers. I'm one of those weird people who like to know everything about someone. Either my best friend or garbage man, I want to know their whole life. But I'm actually not a super social person (whoops). I usually get information from watching people (my boyfriend says I'm not very subtle, although I beg to differ), asking super inappropriate and prying questions such as "what did your mom think about you getting a tattoo down your arm at such a young age?", or by snooping in their fridge and bathroom medicine cabinet.

You're probably sitting there thinking, "what does that have to do with your biggest blogging challenge??". Well that's just it, I'm so busy reading other bloggers' posts, stalking people on Instagram, or trying to see what is in the background of a blogger's photo (because I know there is no way they can keep their bathroom that neat) that I never have time to actually blog for myself. I sit down to focus on my blog for an hour, and three hours later wind up four years back in the archives of a travel blogger based in Bali... I have problems.

5. What advice do you have for new bloggers?

Dive in head first and prepare to fail! Seriously.

This is no joke. I failed. For the first few months the only people who read my blog were my mother (who told everyone and THEIR mother), my boyfriend (duh, he didn't want to cross me), and my roommate (since she kind of had to). I repeat, for MONTHS those were the only people who read it.

Then one day I woke up and had a new follower and my jaw pretty much hit the floor. SOMETHING. FINALLY. WORKED! I still have no idea what that "something" was, but hey! Who cares! It worked.

Now I won't say it gets easier from there, though. Every week I fail as a blogger. Forget to take pictures, run out of time to post, or don't engage on social media for days. And hey, I'm still alive! My blog is still up. The world has not come to an end. Don't put too much pressure on yourself :) You can be a successful blogger if that's what you really want to be. Just keep the bottle of wine close by and never lose your confidence or spunk!


Check her out on Instagram @amandanbrooks

Comments turned off today, head over to Amanda's blog to say hello!


Friday, July 15, 2016

This was taken on the eve of my 21st birthday. I thought Chris was still in Spain but he surprised me at The Bar The Bar at midnight. After living away from each other for six months it was a really awesome surprise.

But more importantly, check those French Tip acrylics I've got going on. Money can't buy that class. *Actually it can and it was probably $38 which is super pricey, so they were clearly just special occasion birthday nails.

I have to pick up my dress in an hour. Parking is impossible downtown so I'll probably cab it, unless I want to lug my wedding dress on the Red Line-but then I risk it smelling like the Red Line (aka urine.) So on second thought I won't be doing that.

I haven't packed. I have to buy a few more gifts. A few more Target runs. The last thing I should be doing is scrolling old photos on Facebook for a blog post. But here I am. I'm excited and giddy and in a really good mood thinking about what lies ahead.

Yesterday was the opposite. I was full of anxiety and stress and I didn't even know why. I played "Therapist," a game I like to play often, where I just ask myself out loud, "why are you freaking out?" Usually I can give an honest answer and figure out what's bugging me, but yesterday I couldn't. I was just a mess. I had to take a 3 p.m. nap just to settle the F down. It was weird.

I think every vendor/printer/band/everyone wedding related was emailing me yesterday asking for last minute stuff. So yeah, I guess that was the reason for some of the stress.

But then I read this post by Christy and it couldn't have come at a better time. Marc Maron's story won't be forgotten soon, I'm just a girl on a couch. I don't know why that story is so comforting to me, but it is.

Now my time is up because I need to go pick up my wedding dress. After that, I shall pack. And then tomorrow morning we'll leave Chicago because WE ARE GETTING MARRIED.

After nine short years of courtship, and a brief stint of being "common law married" because Kansas is weird,  Chris and I are finally tying the knot. Gettin' hitched. Doing the thing.


k thanks byeeeeeeeeee.

*I may be MIA for a bit on here, but you know I'll be gramming and snapping @thedailytay like it's my job. **because it is.

63 Things Every Bride MUST DO The Week Before Her Wedding

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Guys, I'm checked out.

I'm so checked out. I'm in vacation mode and it's like pulling teeth for me to concentrate on anything. Bloody and painful and me screaming every 30 minutes I NEED MORE GAS!!!

I have one last shipment of t-shirts coming in today that I have to knock out and then I'm turning my baby, I mean business, over to my assistant for the next three weeks.

*My assistant is not a dog this time around so I'm a little nervous. But I know it will be fine.

I spend my nights on Pinterest looking at articles that say things like "20 Things Every Bride MUST DO The Week Before Her Wedding." Or "10 Things EVERY Bride Forgets To Do Right Before Her Wedding." "701 Things a Bride Will REGRET She Didn't Do At Her Wedding."

My advice for newly engaged people, take care of all the little details you're so excited about at the beginning because at the end you will not give one shit. Sure, a well written and clever ceremony program sounds fun at first, but when you don't have it printed one week to go you're like, let's just make a copy of someone else's. Will anyone really notice if the names are different?

But those articles on Pinterest tell me otherwise. If I don't get everything done just perfectly, the wedding will be a disaster.

I know, I know, I'm the idiot for reading them. But where are all of the articles for grooms? Why must all the pressure be put on the bride? We do it to ourselves partly, but I have to think we do that because so much of society is telling us it's ALL ON THE BRIDE.

Most of the articles are shit. Today the one I read was all about 35 beauty things every bride MUST DO.

5 Days Out:
*Avoid High Carbs and Salty Foods!
*Get Teeth Cleaned and Whitened.
*Up Your Water and Sleep Intake.
*Visit The Dermatologist.
*Get An Eye Treatment To Remove Dark Circles and Puffiness.
*Get Eyebrows Threaded or Waxed.
*Touch Up Hair Color.

24 Hours Out:
*Manis and Pedis.

12 Hours Out:
*Shave Off Every Hair Follicle and Freckle.
*Remove Face.

2 Hours Out:
*Put On Halloween Scream Mask.
*Sit In A Kiddy Pool Full of Canola Oil and Chia Seeds To Reduce Swelling.

30 Minutes Out:
*Watch As Head Explodes.
*Quick Mani/Pedi Touchups.

I want to look nice on my wedding day, that goes without saying. But sometimes I catch myself getting all caught up and just thinking WHY? Stop. I haven't gotten my eyebrows waxed in 100 years, they've never been threaded because that scares me, so why would I start now? Chris knows what he's getting into and it's not good eyebrows.

Will my eyes be puffy? Probably. Again, not a surprise here. I like salty foods and I like a glass of wine or five. I'll work with what I have and that's good eyelashes. The rest will have to do.

Does this mean I won't freak out on "THE BIG DAY" about the way I look? Absolutely not. There will always be freak outs.

By God, there will always be freak outs. -My Best Friend's Wedding.

Or maybe he says "dancing." There will always be dancing. Same difference.

But seriously, I should probably work on getting those programs printed today. I'd hate for our guests to arrive at our ceremony and be all confused about what they're attending... you know what I mean?

Okay I'm done. I've lost it. I think I'm going to crawl into my safe place (Harlow's cave bed) and nap for an hour.

The Honeymoon Pack List

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In the beginning we thought about a European honeymoon. Chris wanted to road trip down the coast of France and Spain. I wanted to see Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast.

Sounds nice, right?

Driving in a teeny tiny car for hours and hours. And hours. Most likely arguing and saying things like, "how should I know where we are? I didn't plan this." And "I'm not trying to backseat drive but you were about to hit that bicyclist!" And my favorite, "fine pull over, I'll drive. I don't give a damn. I'll drive. FINE." *One of our favorite things to do on vacation is argue while driving.

And then spending our nights sleeping in "luxurious" European hotel rooms... I don't doubt that France, Spain or Italy have nice hotels. I've just never had enough money to experience one. 

And so after attending so many of our best friends' weddings these past few months and coming back absolutely exhausted we figured we should opt for something a little more low key and relaxing. 

We decided on a place where I can plant my happy ass in this very bathtub, with a book and a pina colada in my hands while I look out over the beautiful blue waters, all damn day if I please.

A little place of heaven called Antigua. With the second half of the trip spent in the British Virgin Islands.

And I am SO EXCITED. We both are. We're like two little kids who have never been on a vacation before and are heading to Disney World next week. We even watched a short vid on Netflix last night called "Travel Antigua." I'm not kidding. We're those people. Fun fact: it's pronounced An-tee-ga, not An-tee-gwa as I previously thought.

The last part of our trip will be spent in Tortola.

I'm currently sitting in a pile of t-shirt orders that need to be shipped just staring at these photos day dreaming of what lies ahead. So close, yet so far...

So what does one pack for ten days in paradise? Not much. Bikinis, coverups, and sun hats. And lots of books. I'm going for all the fluffy beach reads. So far I have The Vacationers and The Nest. If you have a good suggestion, let me know!

For coverups I'm going all in and bringing all the silly white tassel outfits like this romper, these shorts, and this beach dress, because WHY NOT?

Also packing a lot of bikinis similar to this striped off the shoulder top because they're easy to wear under overalls -which I plan to wear frequently between going to the beach and walking to the beach bar.

And floral print everything. My fashion inspiration for this trip is DJ Tanner a la Tanner's Hawaiian vacation. Thinking this crop and skirt and repeat.

Or maybe I should go for Uncle Jesse's vibe since he's obviously killing it.

Sadly, Chris informed me my pizza raft and new pizza towel (which I bought just for this trip, duh) have to stay home because the small planes we're traveling on to each island charge $100000 for each extra suitcase. What's a honeymoon without a giant pizza towel? I guess I'll find out.

What other honeymooner insider tips should I know? If there's something really important I'm forgetting to pack, do share. This is my first honeymoon.

Harlow's Morning Routine

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Harlow is an odd duck. I'm quite certain he has more rituals and routines than the average human.

For example every night he goes into his cozy cave, aka his bed before the bed, around 9 p.m. He sleeps in the very back of it, until around 10:30 p.m. when he comes to the front, all sleepy eyed and groggy and looks to Chris and I to see if it's "real bedtime" yet.

If we're still watching TV I'll say, "you can go to bed Har," and then he'll get up and walk to the bedroom. But we better be in there within the hour or he'll come back out and peak from the door like, "where are you guys?"

His morning routine is just as peculiar. He won't move from the bed until I do. Whether it's 5 a.m. (rare) or 8:00 a.m., Harlow doesn't move until I get up. He'll moan and sigh and scratch his paws against the wall like he's dying of boredom, but he just won't leave until I do. Which is even funnier considering the only thing he's waiting to do is move to the couch for his morning nap.

Other odd Harlow quirks:

*I have to say "bye Harlow, I'll be right back," whenever I leave the house, whether it's for five minutes or five hours. I'm not kidding, if I leave without a proper good bye he'll bark and freak out. But when I simply say "bye Harlow," he knows to head to his spot on the couch and doesn't seem to mind.

*He has to have a blanket near (or on him) whenever he sleeps. Even in the dead of summer.

*He also needs a pillow.

*He greets every person with a toy in his mouth. You can tell how much he likes you based on what toys he brings. Chris gets the best toys.

*When he has eye gooeys he'll practically bring you a tissue to clean his eyes. Harlow is almost compulsive about being clean.

*He loves eye contact and will stare deep into your eyes, often slapping you with his paw until you until you stare back.

*If you're on the couch, Harlow has to be on, or touching you at all times.

*His dog bowls must always be full. He rarely eats a bowl of food per day, but if it gets empty he'll whine at the bowls to ensure I fill them back up.

He has me trained well, huh?

It's because of some of these quirks, and simply because I know my dog inside and out, why we've decided to leave him in Nebraska next week.

I repeat, Harlow will not be coming to our wedding. He will not be Chris's best man, or my dog-of-honor, as I've always hoped.

It kills me. It honestly does. But I know it's for the best. When I really thought about it, I knew that I couldn't bring Har to Steamboat and drop him off at a dog sitter only to see him for about an hour a day while I went off to do wedding things. He'd hate that and I'd hate that. I imagined us saying good-bye and both just staring at each other like Jack Dawson and Rose, "I'll NEVER LET GO!"

Because yes, our bond is very intense like that.

We thought briefly about renting a house, but we'd run into the same problem. Har doesn't love to be left alone in places that aren't familiar to him. Turns out I've accidentally raised a neurotic little dog answering to his every beck and call, and spending every waking hour with him. The fact of the matter is that we're going to be all over the place next week with activities that sadly aren't dog friendly.

And so Harlow will stay with his cousin Timber, at Chris's parents' cabin in a place that is full of smells he knows and loves. I'll know he's safe and happy and won't worry he's trying to go Homeward Bound on me- which is something I imagined he'd do if left with a sitter in Steamboat.

Thanks to one of your suggestions, Harlow will be at our wedding in spirit with us since our signature cocktail will be the "The Harlow." A drink that is mostly sweet, a little bit salty, and extremely clingy.

Also, I will most likely present a toast to him. *several toasts.

And now Harlow is letting me know it's time for walk 1 of 6 for the day. I better get going because he keeps a pretty tight time schedule, I'd hate to throw off his Tuesday.

Going on Hiatus

Monday, July 11, 2016

Last night I applied for our marriage license via Steamboat's online service. It was just step one and we'll still have to go get it in person next week at the Steamboat courthouse, but still. It was step one of this huge thing that is all going to start falling into place one week from today.

*Also, just for the record Chris and I aren't getting married on an actual "Steam Boat." I understand how that could be misleading if you're not familiar with small mountain towns in Colorado, but Steamboat Springs is an actual location. Clearing that up as I've had several questions.

And so I have one week to "wrap shit up" so to speak. We're playing things old school and going on our honeymoon the Monday after we get married, so when we leave Chicago at the end of this week we're essentially not coming back for three weeks.

Three weeks of vacation time. It sounds heavenly. It also sounds terrifying.

Vacation is the one time I miss working "for the big guy" in that I could take three weeks off and still see a lovely little paycheck magically appear in my bank account. When you work for yourself, three weeks off means means three weeks off. When I don't work, my business doesn't work.

I've known this was coming for a long time so starting in about February I've been working my ass off in preparation. The constant promoting, hustling, and all around grinding in T-Shirt Land hasn't been for nothing. But in the last few weeks I've purposely slowed it down a bit in order to stay sane while I try get ready for the wedding.

But slowing down in T-Shirt Land is scary. I constantly think of the old poster hanging in my middle school gym that said "when you're not practicing, your opponent is."

My opponent is slinging t-shirts harder than me right now but there is nothing I can do. Except for make weird sport analogies because that's how I often break things down in my head.

I'll have someone filling my orders and answering emails while I'm away, but since day one it's been only been me so I have to admit this is a little difficult for me to do. I've not taken this much time of from packing t-shirts since August of 2014 when my goal was "to sell 25." What will I do with myself? Perhaps I'll bring a few on vacation to pack and unpack simply as a security blanket.

And as for blogging, well as long as there's good wifi and good coffee on our honeymoon I'll be here. What else would I do? Hang out with the new honeymoon friends we're inevitably going to meet named Heather and Chad from upstate New York? Chad's a little clingy and Heather drinks too much and gets food stuck in the corners of her mouth and I can already tell I'm going to get annoyed with them and their stories about their favorite cruise vacations.

So what I'm saying is that blogging without a timeline sounds absolutely luxurious to me at this point since I've had to restrict myself so much lately.

And now I feel the need to apologize for this ramble of a post and I'll end here with a photo of me in my "Southern Farmer" outfit from Saturday. I look like I should be sitting on a porch drinking sweet tea talking about the "night bugs whistlin' a lot louder than usual." Probably on account of the hot summer we've had.

White overalls are hard to keep clean so I suggest keeping a Tide pen close when you wear them. Shoes, hat, shirt, ext ext. These shoes are called "The Harlow" so I mean, I had to get them.

Also full disclaimer, I'd like to pretend my posts won't all be wedding related this week, but... but let's not lie. That's what is on my mind so that's probably what you're going to get. My apologies in advance.