Thursday, July 6, 2017

Jack Rogers Platinum and Gold Sandals

I just bought my first ever pair of Jack Rogers sandals, ostensibly to wear to wedding-related events, but also to wear every day because they are super comfortable and very cute. I thought about buying these for a while before I made the full decision, and a thing that caused me some anxiety was what color to order.

Online, platinum and gold looked to be almost identical. Our wedding colors are navy and gold, and I do wear a lot of gold jewelry, but the only comment I could find on the issue was something along the lines of "I prefer the platinum because it matches both silver and gold jewelry." There wasn't really any advice out there otherwise, and I just couldn't decide.

So, of course, I ordered both colors. (Thanks for free return shipping, Nordstrom!) I just had to see for myself. Honestly, the difference is extremely slight, and you'll be happy no matter what color you get, but I think these photos show off the difference pretty well.

The gold is just slightly brassier and more noticeable than the platinum. If you're looking for something bold, go with the gold. The platinum is still definitely what I would consider in the gold family, but it's more muted and subtle, so if you're a little quieter in your fashion sense, you might prefer that.

Ultimately, I went with the platinum, since I feel like it's a little more versatile, and I'm very happy with my choice! They made their debut at my friend Gina's wedding in May, and even without having worn them before, they were comfortable for dancing the whole night away.

I also ordered an 8 and an 8.5, and I went with the 8. It felt a bit snug at first, but I assumed, correctly, that the leather would stretch a bit, so I'm pretty glad to have gone with the smaller size. I'm hoping to order a pair of their monogrammed loafers for the wedding, though, and I'll probably go with the 8.5 for that, since I feel like my toes might be a little cramped in these, if they were closed-toed.

Anyone here have a pair of Jacks? Any advice for first time buyers I'm missing?

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: The Invitation List

Can I tell you that the hardest part of the wedding for me has been, hands down, creating the guest list. Before we got engaged, R and I dreamily talked about a tiny wedding with just 25 of our very closest friends and immediate family, but even then, I knew that wouldn't happen. "We can't even throw a potluck without inviting 90 people," I said, and this was true. We've thrown a lot of potlucks and all of them have had more than 25 people.

My problem is that I love everyone. At one of our pre-Cana sessions, R told our priest, "Kristin has more friends on Facebook than the entire population of the town we live in now." This was not an exaggeration. He's correct: I have 1,110 friends on Facebook and the town we were living in at that point had 977, according to the 2010 census. And this isn't a case of me trying to get internet famous (the way it, admittedly, might be on Twitter or Instagram). I can recognize every single person on Facebook and tell you how I met them. I feel a genuine connection with every one of them. I feel a genuine love for them, whether it's because they've comforted me while I cried or because they taught me how to make guacamole or because we both took the same Chinese literature class together. I love them all.

I love every person who has ever come to one of our parties, who has kissed me once on each cheek at a gallery opening, who has slept on our couch when they were visiting from out of town because other plans fell through at the last minute. I love my thin connections, the friends I barely spoke to in high school but whose small businesses I want to succeed and whose children I love seeing photos of each day. The girl who rode the bus with me and cried once because she thought she was having a miscarriage, who now has two daughters. The boy I had a crush on for years and years through school, who seems now to be living my dream life. My coworkers and my friends who love books and poetry: an endless parade of brilliant and luminous people I always wanted to know better.

And of course, my thickest connections. Can't we all live together anymore? Can't we all be endlessly intertwined, cooking each other dinner and watching television together on the couch and hosting dance parties every weekend? Couldn't life be an unending romp through the country club of college?

Needless to say, we're not having all of the hundreds of people I love at the wedding, as much as I sometimes dream that could be done. We're having one hundred of them, and slicing down a list of our most beloved has been the most difficult part of planning so far. We just sent out our save the dates, and I couldn't be more excited to see everyone who received them. It's just a little bittersweet to think about the people who didn't.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wedding Wednesday: Save the Dates

With about four months to go until our big day, we sent out our Save the Dates a couple weeks ago. Can I tell you that using Paperless Post for these was the best idea I've ever had? And I'm not being paid to say that, although, Paperless Post, if you're out there, I'm more than open to taking some cash!

You can see the design we selected above. We were originally hoping to letterpress our invitations at the Dartmouth Book Arts Studio, so I wanted something that looked kind of fun and typographical to match. We, uh, bought a house in the meantime, so that plan has fallen by the wayside, but I'm really happy with the design and since we've just picked out our invitations, I can say that they still have the same feel. I am someone who wants everything to match, so it's kind of fun to force myself out of the comfort zone and do mismatched stationary for the wedding.

I was mildly concerned that some of our guests (particularly some of my older family members) would have trouble opening or understanding the email, but the tracking on there tells me that of the 65 we sent, 62 were opened, and about 25 people even realized they can send us their address through the system. The tracking was amazing for me to have because I'm always paranoid about people not getting mail, and of course most people don't respond to mail anyway, so having this as a way to see who had seen it was wonderful.

We're having a somewhat casual wedding, so email felt totally fine to me, and for pretty much every single person but us, it's a destination wedding, so we had a lot of information to convey, and having our website featured so prominently was helpful.  I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Plus, the tracking also allows people to send us their addresses, which will help keep everything neat when it comes time to address our invitations.

I'd also do the invitations via Paperless Post because they make it SO easy, but I love stationary and paper mail, so I'm taking the opportunity to do a beautiful paper invitation instead. I'm looking forward to framing it under a photo from our wedding for our first anniversary. But, if you are a person who does not care about such things, a Paperless Post invite is 100% the way to go. It saves so much money and still gives a beautiful introduction to your wedding day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We Bought a House!

When I say that this purchase was the culmination of all my hopes and dreams, I am only mildly exaggerating. Welcome to Gray Barns.

 It has everything we could have asked for in a place: a name and some history, plenty of space for entertaining inside and out, and an in-law apartment we can rent out for a little extra money. Getting here felt like it took ages, because I have dreamed of owning a home since I was a little girl touring the Newport mansions and because started saving for a house down payment in 2010, long before I had any idea where that home would be.

But then, like all good things I suppose, it happened so quickly my head was spinning, and on May 19th, we closed and embarked on what's probably the biggest project either of us has ever taken on. We're fixing her up slowly, slowly, and documenting the process (along with some of the fun artifacts we're finding along the way, on Instagram.

It will take years until everything is really finished, but we're excited for the journey and to customize everything just so. Because of this, I wasn't really able to feel like we actually live here, and like we're not just staying for a while until something else comes along. But driving home last night, listening to the Beatles and looking out over the country roads I now drive everyday, something clicked and I'm feeling really at peace with things. It's a good feeling.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gratituesday: Tennis

A coworker invited me to take a tennis class with her a few months ago, and the lessons started last night. I remembered how much I loved taking tennis at Coles (RIP, Coles. You were so beloved.), but of course I got all anxious ahead of the class and convinced myself I would hate it. Happily, I loved it just as much as I did in New York. It was such a tremendous joy.

My wrists are a little sore from it (although to be fair, my right wrist has been acting up lately anyway), and I can definitely feel that my form isn't as good as it was in 2015, but it felt much more natural to me starting than it did back then. It's also a little more expensive here, but my hope is that the little group I'm playing with can take what we're learning in the lessons and perhaps take it up ourselves at a public court one day soon.

It was also a little surreal to walk around the fitness center where the lessons are run. It reminded me so much of the first gym I ever belonged to, Club Fit, which was fancy enough to smell good and have a little cafe where I would eat veggie burgers with Shelby and her mom. I did not realize, then, how fancy this gym was. In fact, I kind of forgot how fancy it was as I went to increasingly less fancy gyms, starting with the Sarah Lawrence gym, moving on to to New York Sports Club during their decline, and finally ending up at Coles, which had a pool and tennis courts but no climate control and a terrible smell of mold and body odor.

I didn't realize what a privilege it was to have had a membership there, to have had parents picking up my tab and wanting only the best for me, a chunky teen just learning for the first time to portion control and use a weight machine. There was so much I took for granted in my childhood. There is still so much I take for granted every day. Walking around the pleasant-smelling River Valley Club, I was reminded of home in so many ways.