Sunday, December 30, 2012

New year, new look

What do you guys think of the new blog template?  It's very clean and simple...adjectives I wish I could use to describe my bedroom and my office, however crammed and messy would be more accurate!

A few weeks ago, I purchased a wedding invitation digital file off Etsy which I hope to have letterpressed.  I loved letterpress invitations from the beginning, but never thought it would fit the budget.  Well, I discovered Mercurio Brothers Printing Press, which has great reviews on Yelp and the Knot.  It still doesn't entirely fit the budget, but God willing our invitations will be printed here! I can't wait for the reveal.  I hope to place the order by next week.

I am also going to order the envelopes soon so I can have them calligraphered!  I have a family friend who does calligraphy so I hope she can give a good price.  If not, I do know of a calligrapher who charges 75 cents per envelope...not bad, but on top of everything else it's kind of ridiculous how much it cost to send a wedding invitation.

What It Takes to Invite Someone to Your Wedding
-spend countless hours on wedding websites and Etsy, choose an invitation design
-choose a printing style-flat? thermograpy? letterpress? Things no one besides you will understand.
-choose enclosures-reception card, RSVP card, map, all basically ways to cost you more $$$
-order envelopes...inner and outer, how could you think one envelope is enough?
-receive invitations, then assemble invitations-call girlfriends, order pizza, arm all attendees with twine
-don't forget to include your wedding website-but not on the formal, expensive invitations that you just spent so much $$$ on
-however, do not include your registry anywhere on these things...
-pay someone to address envelope in a half-illegible manner
-stamp envelope, remember the traditional wedding band stamp is now passé, instead please meticulusly choose an assortment of stamps for the outer envelope (some of which people want you to pay double the worth of the stamp, I think not)
-mail...then impatiently wait for the RSVP!  I spent $1.50 on that RSVP alone (enclosure, self-addressed envelope, stamp), please mail it back to me. Expect to make some phone calls.

That said, this is my inspiration for the envelopes.  The post office is going to love me, right?  However, this will satisfy all of the old church ladies who told me I wasn't incorporating my wedding colors enough.  And a really beautiful invitation will calm my soul when I think about how much time and money I spent making it happen.

In other news, this all started one year ago.  One year ago, Aaron asked me to be his wife.  He really did.  He did not say, 'will you marry me?'  He said, 'will you be my wife?'  I said 'yes!'  This is why now I spend hours a day thinking about stationery. :-)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

End of the Year

With the new year approaching, I find myself reflecting on the past year.  Getting engaged, preparing myself to to live with someone else and learn how to compromise...still working on that. :-)  Being a medical student, working in the hospital, feelings of missing out, time management, dealing with life, death, families and socioeconomics...still a lot to learn regarding those subjects.  The best thing about this year was definitely spending my time with new people, new friends, new family.  This was my first Christmas spent entirely with Aaron's family and although I was a bit homesick at first, I enjoyed myself.  And of course, spending time with the "old" family and friends has been enjoyable as little sister turned 21 and now we can go out together.  Weird at first, but overall good!

I've also been thinking about tragedies this year and I keep thinking of the presents under the tree that will never be opened by those who lost their life in the Newtown shooting. :-(  There are so many misfortunes that happen across the world everyday...just yesterday an Irish pub, The Hibernian, in downtown Raleigh caught fire and burnt down.  Also on the subject of fire, there was that man in New York who set fire to his house on Christmas Eve and shot and killed two firemen rushing to his rescue.  Pretty disgusting.  While I'm happy to be going into mental health and hoping to prevent a few of these situations in the future, I have a mixed feelings about my next rotation, forensic psychiatry.  I think the background will be good for me, but in the future I prefer to work with people before the crime, imprisonment and shocking stories.

So on a brighter note, what are my resolutions for next year?

-Cook more :)
-Take time for the cooking, decorating, working and even my progress note writing for patients
-Be on time :) (repeat resolution!)
-Be a friend to Aaron... not a moderator or a mother.  Living at home makes me yearn for more freedom, so I'm trying to remind myself that when I move in with Aaron he will want a partner, not a parent.

In addition to becoming a wife and doctor, I think I'll have my hands full with these resolutions!

Aaron and I head home tomorrow and I'm looking forward to getting back to regular life! I'd like to take some time before school starts to organize a few rooms in my house, but likely painting Aaron's house will take up the rest of my vacation time.  Did I tell you we're painting? Aaron's house is a bit dated and still has wallpaper up, so I requested that we do some updating before I moved in.  Luckily, he agreed and we've been busy priming and picking paint colors!  Our new hall/guest bathroom will be a sunny yellow :) more color decisions to come!

Hopefully, y'all all are having a wonderful break!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

*this post is dated Christmas Eve but was written the day before...

Merry Christmas everyone!  Hopefully gifts are wrapped and your travels are going smoothly.  I am back at home and done with my residency interviews!  I went down South to Emory and also hung out with my cousin, Quiana and her son.

meet Ace.  He's too cute.

Then I swung up to University of Maryland in Baltimore, where the residents work at Sheppard Pratt, a historic psych hospital built in the 1860s.  Shepppard Pratt was designed by Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Gorgeous, huh?

In Baltimore, I stayed with Ebony, who is living the young and fabulous life as a pharmacist at Johns Hopkins!  She has a gorgeous apartment downtown.  I had so much fun, meeting her boyfriend and seeing HU friends Taronique, Tamiesha and Blaire.

Blaire, myself and Ebony at Anthropologie

Now finally I am home and DONE with my residencies interviews!  However, I'm still not done with traveling-Aaron and I are going to Gastonia for Christmas and then to my grandmothers on the 28th for her's a lot.  I don't think I've been home for a week straight in over a month.  I haven't been to church in over a month either, I haven't sung a seasonal hymn or visited a living nativity as Aaron and I did last year.  I haven't had the time!  I'm trying to embody the Christmas spirit and enjoy the family time, however, since I live at home at times it feels like family overload where no one leaves to go to work! Ahh! Cue The Waitresses and "Christmas Wrapping", 'Merry Christmas but I think I'll skip this one this year..."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Finishing medical school, trip to the grandparents

Hello!  I am finally back home-briefly!  Let me give a summary of what I have left of medical school

1.  Take Step 2 CS, an exam with simulated patients- December 13th
2.   Finish interviewing for residencies-Emory December 14, Univ. of MD December 18
3.  Finish classes-February 22nd
3.  Submit rank list for residencies-February ???
4. MATCH!  3/15
5.  GRADUATE!!!  5/12!!!
I am so excited!!!  I do have a bit of traveling left, I go to Atlanta this week for a board exam and interview, return home and immediately travel to Maryland for one more interview.  However, while I travel I'll be visiting some of my favorite people, two of my bridesmaids actually!  In Atlanta, I'll be stay with my cousin/bridesmaid Quiana and her adorable one-year-son Ace (Q's husband will be out-of-town).  In Baltimore, I'll be staying with bridesmaid/college roomie Ebony, one of my closest friends!  I'm so exited to be seeing everyone!  It makes the yucky part of school much more tolerable. 
I returned home after a delayed flight on Saturday and only wanted to sleep.  However, Aaron and I had a Christmas party to go to that night and then my grandparents's house on Sunday!  The trip to my grandparents was unexpected, they passed away a few years ago and now a woman is looking to rent their house.  We had to travel to Virginia to remove some of the furniture.  I was able to pick a few pieces for Aaron and I's house and a few pieces for the wedding as well.
Singer sewing machine I hope to put in my office
A beautiful china cabinet for our dining room!
Now we just need to fill it!
beautiful lace tablecloths I'll use for the wedding
Vintage suitcases and radio I can use for the wedding
and some baskets to hold programs
I'm pretty excited about everything we found.  I was also hoping to find some more glassware but honestly looking through all the boxes at my grandparents is overwhelming.  Even though I have a lot of glasses, having such a large wedding with so many tables has required me to obtain a few more pieces.  I've mainly been shopping for them off of ebay and have also obtained a few nice pieces from anthropologie. 
Blue moon & stars glassware that match my grandmother's collection
My absolute limit is to pay $20 for a piece, even then it has to quite large.  It takes patience and a lot of lost ebay auctions to abide this rule, but I have time so it's fine and only need a few more pieces.  With the prices people sell these pieces for, I could sell my whole collection after this wedding and make quite a pretty penny...however my mom would flip!
I'm excited about everything coming together for the wedding!  I've decided to do vintage postcards for escort cards and have been having fun collecting a few.  I'm also trying to choose a wedding invitation so we can order them and I have been stressing out about that...but it will work out!  I just need to keep repeating that.  And people have been talking about the wedding and throwing showers...yayyy!!! :-)

Saturday, December 8, 2012


So....bridesmaids!  Just this week Allison-excellent MOH-placed the order for Bridesmaid dressses.  Let me tell you what the experience was like.

story narrated by Bridesmaids...

-choose bridesmaids.  Refer here

-try on bridesmaid dresses, mostly solo, for 3 months and remain unsatisfied (this was harder than my wedding dress y'all)

-finally go to Charlotte and find the perfect dress there, try it on once and done

Jim Hjelm 5051
Silk dupioni? check!
Sweetheart? check!
Puffy skirt? check!
Comes in navy? check!

-get various price quotes for the dress, with the largest difference being $100 (what?!)

-BridalMart once again had the lowest price, but wait- was offering price matches with no tax and free shipping.  Great reviews on the Knot, so we went with them.

-ask girls to measures selves and send in checks

-approximately half of the girls report to me that their size makes depressed, obese.  Another states her bust size is two sizes smaller than her waist.  I console girls, request the the latter one get breast implants :-)

-the one girl who didn't have a problem with her size? didn't even measure herself.  Allison requests girl actually measure herself, so she does, then my mom calls my anxiously saying that my friend is too busty for the size she attempted to order and cannot order this size or she will "pop out" coming down the aisle...

How the other girls will look at you if you do, in fact, pop out of your dress...

-12/6/12 finally! dresses are ordered! Promised to come no later than March, hopefully earlier.

Now what?  Onto shoes and accessories.  I really want everyone to wear gold shoes, which my aunt threw a fit over during Thanksgiving.  She literally complained for 20 minutes and kept repeating that they should be silver.  Then my cousin chimed in as well.  It was the first time I met someone-outside of my mother-that had really strong opinions telling me what to do with my wedding.  And she wasted her breath, because bridesmaid shoes will still be gold!

Another Team Navy + Gold!  Take that!

After talking to Hooman, he suggested I let the girls pick their own shoes.  It's probably for the better, because if I picked the shoes no one would be wearing heels less than 3.5 inches.  I honestly don't understand the low heel on a 20-something-year-old - you're young! you're sexy!  Why on earth would you be wearing a 1.5 inch heel?!  But, Hooman told me to let my girls be comfortable, so I'll let them pick their own shoes...high heels encouraged, low heels acceptable.  

And accessories?  Not sure yet.  I'll probably let the girls pick their own necklace when their dresses come in (something else my aunt had a problem with, insisting they needed to be matching rhinestone necklaces).  The only guidelines will be that they can range from delicate to moderately chunky, but not overly chunky....yup, that's pretty clear, right?

Bridesmaids don't have to be clones...

So what's next regarding adventures in bridesmaids?  Bachelorette and bridal showers!  No idea what Allison and Quiana (my cousin) are planning, but I know they're putting their heads together.  We'll see!  

Time to travel!
I would love to show up to my bachelorette in that outfit...

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wedding Website

Have you visited our wedding website yet? :-)

And we have a video!  When we shot our engagement photos, our photographer had a friend, Brett Mullen, accompany him.  Hooman (our photog) and Brett are thinking about offering couples engagement videos, so he wanted to film us to make some samples and advertisements.  In return for being guinea pigs, Aaron and I got a free video!  It's so sweet, I love it.  We also sat with Brett and talked, to create a voice-over video where we talk about meeting each other.  I'm not sure what happened to that video, if it's still in the works or if it's on the cutting room floor-I suppose beggars can't be choosers!  All I know is, I LOVE this video!  :-)

to play it smoothly, press play and then pause to let it load first! then hit play again!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Today I write from Philadelphia!!!  I had an interview at Jefferson University yesterday-awesome program.  They stood out for having a really dedicated faculty.  I talked to Aaron on the phone last night and told him it's hard.  How can I make decisions about the rest of our lives when he's not hear to take in what I see? Aaron being Aaron, answered in a super reassuring way that we can always check out my top ranked place together, so he can see what I see and understand how it's a good fit not just for me, but for us.  We'll see.  I doubt any program directors have stumbled across this blog, but just in case I keep all of my program evaluations short and sweet.  However, it's true that Jefferson was awesome, as were a few other programs I interviewed, beyond the school, I have to take in other factors, like where can Aaron and I be awesome together, where we can be set and secure to start a  new life together.

Philly!  I've completed a 10 week internship in the city before, 
so I've grown to know and love it

Now unto weddings...I suppose I should do our save the date reveal!  We sent our save the dates out around the 5 month mark, a little tardy since it's recommended to do so around the 6 month mark, but it doesn't really matter.  I think the true reason to send a save the date is to help you get organized and obtain a final invite list + addresses.  Now when it's time to send wedding invitations things will go so much more smoothly!

I was going to take super nice pictures, but I won't be home until Saturday and it's not worth really worth the wait haha.  So without further ado...

Our save the date!  I ordered the invitations from  They came out excellent-great price, look and customer service.  I would recommend them to anyone!

Next, I purchased a label template from Etsy.  My mom felt 150 addresses was a lot to write by hand, so she encouraged me to do labels.  I didn't want to look "cheap"-a horrible, nonsensical fear in wedding plan that will cost you lots of thought, headache and unnecessary expense- so I purchased these Etsy labels that were custom made for me, totally cute but not totally practical since there was no way to mail merge them and I would have to copy and paste the addresses in one-by-one.  It didn't sound bad at first, but the template was locked so there was no way to save a copy with addresses pasted in. I would have to copy, paste and print all in one setting.  Lucky for me, Aaron once again came to save the day.  He converted the file from pdf to word and found a way to mail merge all addresses into appropriate places.  And he helped me print the labels and slice'n'dice them with a paper cutter.  

Labels=labor of loves!
 We wrapped this around our envelopes with the return address on the backside.

Today Ebony posted a picture of our magnet on her fridge (among many others).  All of our hard work was worth it!  Not to mention all of the happy phone calls and texts we got from receivers!  Wahoo!  If you are reading this blog, know me and have yet to have gotten your's probably on Aaron's kitchen table. :-)  It's coming!  He's just hoping to hand deliver it to you!  

Off to explore more Philly!  While I await my UPenn interview I've been boutique browsing and searching for the best sandwich in town.  Fork and Pumpkin Market have been great.  Tomorrow I'm taking advantage of a spa special and getting a facial!  I think a monthly one until the wedding will be the plan.  Have a great hump day everybody!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Clam Chowder & Lobster Ravioli

Hi guys!  I had a wonderful, but busy time in Boston.  I interviewed at Tufts and Boston University/Boston Medical Center.  Both schools are great and do a lot of work with undeserved populations, which is what I'm interested in.  It's just a question of is Boston the right city for Aaron & I?  I've always been drawn to large, walkable cities with tons of culture and a great nightlife.  Unfortunately they have their drawbacks too, largely in expense.  My friend pays a little under two grand for an apartment with 2.5 rooms-a kitchen/living room, a bedroom and the bathroom.  It's small.  I'm really going have to really like Aaron to be living literally on top of him every second like that.  And the food, while delicious, is pricey.  Sit-down dinners start at $20 and go up from there.  Even a quick bite to eat, lunch spot can still cost you $8.  And the cocktails while ultra fabulous - not once this weekend was I disappointed- usually cost around $11.  Last, but not least, there's the fashion.  While my friend walked beside me carrying Ferragamo and Marc Jacobs handbags, others bustled past me with Gucci and Prada tucked under their arms.  We went to an awesome bar, Alibi, on Saturday night and I was simultaneously underdressed (in terms of formality) and overdressed (I looked so modest, I was analogous to a nun).  I felt so raggedy all weekend!  I haven't had much money to shop lately while juggling wedding planning, traveling for interviews and my usual lack of negative income of being a student.  I need more dresses, heels, boots and blouses!  Med school is making me lose myself.  For the last 6 months of third year I didn't wear eyeliner, and while it sounds minor I'm a firm believer in that this is how people let themselves go.  I need to get myself back!  I did some shopping in Boston and hope to do a little more "maintenance" in Philly as well.

Anyways, I traveled  far away from my point, which is Boston is wonderful, apart from being cold, but I worry the expense could seriously cramp our lifestyle.  Aaron & I love to go out and be social and doing that in Boston could have quite the effect on our savings.  We want to have a nice house one day and I want to work part-time and  not worry about money and I'm not sure Boston would help us prepare a foundation for that.  Who knows if we could even save a dime there?  You do get paid more to live in Boston, but I'm unsure if it works out.  We'll see.  I'm headed to Philly now for more interviews and more possible places to train and live!