Thursday, December 26, 2013

After Christmas Positivity

The day after Christmas is usually a day I like to take off work and relax and reminisce about the memories I made this year. That was easy to do as a sales associate. Now that I'm an assistant manager, I am working today and can't really relax the way I want to. But that's okay. I've chosen to look at the positive side of things. And so far this is what I've come up with in list form:
1: Jesus is born!
2: Zach and I are happy and healthy and got to spend the whole day with our families yesterday.
3: I am blessed with an amazing family and am so grateful for their gifts.
4: I feel better when I'm able to give gifts to people, instead of receiving them.
5: I love seeing the look on their faces when they open the gifts I gave them.
6: When I leave work later I get to go spend more time with my family for our last Christmas celebration this year.
7: I'm completely content with my life and those in it. And you are apart of that!

I may have had to set my alarm for 5am this morning. So what?
I may have had to drive 45 minutes to get to work. So what?
I may have had to be at work at 6:45 this morning because the outlet mall wanted to open. So what?
I may have been stuck in traffic last night because of a disabled car when I really wanted to get home. So what?

In the new year I've made it my number 1 goal to look at the positive side of life more often than not. I know we all have our bad days, but there is always a silver lining.






I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Festive at Work

The week of Christmas every year, I try to be festive at work by incorporating red and/or green into my outfit. This year I gained a red and green scarf and decided to wear both today.



Since they are infinity scarves, I twisted them together to make it look more like one scarf instead of two on top of each other.

The other day while I was out shopping I found these adorable earrings.



And of course I'm wearing them today!



I'm definitely feeling festive at work! (If only I could find my light up Santa hat...)

Do you get festive at work during the Christmas season?

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Grinch

One of my all time favorite Christmas classics is "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas". What's yours?




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Orange Packages


Yes they do!
Zach and I received our save the dates!
I love them and I can't wait to show them to you!
But, I need to send them out to family first. (Don'tcha hate that?)

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Secret Santa Gifts

Last month, my dear friend Rachael set up a Secret Santa for bloggers, and of course I wanted to join in on the fun!


Well, a few days ago I received my Secret Santa gifts!

I opened the box, and my Secret Santa bejeweled the inside! I love it! I almost don't want to give up this box!
The first thing I saw was this note. I love that she made it rhyme!
Inside my beautiful box were all these goodies! 
The mug is so cute! I can't wait to make that hot cocoa one night when I'm home snuggled on the couch watching Christmas movies. And I have chocolates to eat while drinking my hot cocoa!
Of course I can't forget the beauty products! With as much as I straighten my hair, I'm sure it could use that 3 minute miracle. And I can't wait to try out my cleansing cloths. After I finish my store brand cloths. And you can never have too much chapstick! Especially this time of year!

I love everything I got from my Secret Santa!
And now I need to go stalk her blog! ;)

Did you participate in a Secret Santa this year?

Saturday, December 14, 2013

182 Days

I can't believe it.
It's been 14 months since Zach asked me to marry him.
And now we only have 6 months to go!
Half a year!
26 weeks!
182 days!

Okay, I'm done.
Moving on....

14 months is a long time to plan things, and we've got so much accomplished!
Here is our completed list:
-DATE!
-Bridal Party
-Have an "engagement party"
-Venues
-Flowers
-Officiant
-DJ
-Pre marriage classes
-Catering
-Photographer
-Wedding dress
-Bridesmaid dresses
-Engagement photos
-Save the dates
-Guest List
-Registries
-Website

That's a lot, right? I thought so. :)

Well here's our to do list (now thru February):
-Book our honeymoon
-Book cake baker
-Send save the dates (will be done this month!)
-Finalize dinner menu for reception
-Plan rehearsal dinner
-Decide/Rent men's formalwear
-Rent chairs for ceremony
-Book wedding night room
-Order/Address invitations

Not much for the next two months. After Christmas work is going to slow down so I have my free time back so I'll be able to refocus on the wedding and maybe get ahead on our to do list? That'd be great!

Happy Saturday!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Engagement Photos!!

Remember this post? Well, Zach and I finally got our engagement photos back!
I love them!
I can't decide which one is my favorite.
I have a picture frame that says "Always Kiss Me Goodnight" and I finally have a picture to fill it with!
I made this one my Facebook profile picture.
This is about the only one where we're both looking at the camera.
And the sunset was beautiful that day!
What is a Zach and Jess photo shoot without goofy photos?
The bottom right Zach was "boinking" my nose.

I love them all.
And I love us. 

Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Spreading Christmas Cheer

I did this a couple of years ago, but I want to do it again.

I want to send you a Christmas card!

All you have to do is this:
Send me an email at jrbrack407@yahoo.com.

In the email I will need:
Your name: (first and last, please)
Your address: (street, city, state, zip)

I would love to send them to anyone who wants one!

But, please!! 
Email me no later than December 8th!
I will be sending all my Christmas cards out on December 9th. 

Also, for your safety, please don't leave any personal information or addresses in the comments. This is a public blog and I don't want crazies getting ahold of your information. 

Disclaimer: I cannot be held responsible for any information posted by another blogger/user.

Do you want a Christmas card? Send me an email!! I can't wait to hear from you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Turkey and Lasagna

As I was getting ready to write this post, I realized I had prepared a "What I'm Thankful For" post and completely forgot to post it on Thanksgiving. Oh well. I was so excited to spend time with Zach and my family that I wasn't really worried about anything else. Forgive me? Good!

My Thanksgiving was very relaxing, unlike last year. Which is GREAT!! Everyone got along and we all ate too much delicious food.

Zach and I of course had a little photo shoot. Like always.
I wanted a good picture of Zach and I, and in order for me to get that, he wants a goofy picture. Compromising at it's best.
Then we had to do our own sillyness after sitting back down.
Then my nephew wanted to join in. He loves doing silly photos.

Last year on Christmas, we got a family photo, but Zach wasn't in it, and my brother's ex-girlfriend was, so I suggested we do another one since everyone was together.
Besides the glare on my grandma's glasses, and my grandpa not smiling, I think we all look good for only one try!

After leaving my grandma's, Zach left and met up with some friends to go Black Friday (or Thursday for some places) shopping, and I just laid around the house until I had to go to work at 9 that night.

I worked 9pm-9am and Zach would call me occasionally to let me know the deals he scored. He wasn't looking for any big ticket items, he just wanted to see what it was like. This was his first year shopping that day. He scored some movies for pretty cheap, picture collage frames for me for $7 each, and a waffle iron for $4.50. He was pretty excited about the waffle iron. Still kind of is!

Friday after getting off work, I went home and slept. I set my alarm for 2pm, because we had another Thanksgiving that evening. I could have slept the whole day, I was so tired. But I didn't. I woke up and showered and got ready for Thanksgiving. I was excited to see the rest of my family that night, but I was so out of it all night. Zach would talk to me about wedding stuff, but I was too tired to worry about anything, and I kind of snapped at him a couple of times. He forgave me, of course, because he understood how tired I was.

We had Lasagna for dinner, since everyone had too much turkey the day before. After dinner, we made lists of what we want for Christmas and exchanged names. I didn't even think about getting any pictures of the evening, but it's okay. Not everything needs pictures, right?

How was your Thanksgiving?

P.S. I haven't had soda in TWO WEEKS!!! How awesome is that?!?!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hello Holiday Season

Hello December, Goodbye November.
Hello Christmas, goodbye Thanksgiving.
Hello Christmas decorations, goodbye plain house.

Hello busy work season.
Hello planning, goodbye spontaneity.

Hello gift giving, goodbye selfishness.
Hello more family time.

Hello new boots!
Hello Christmas music, goodbye regular music.

Hello Christmas cards!
Hello 6 months until the wedding!!!
We're now at 195 days!
Hello Christmas cups!

Hello giveaway winnings! I'll be sponsoring these lovely ladies, Sara and Bailey!

Happy December!
Nestful of LOve

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmas, then Thanksgiving

Yep. We're that family. The ones that decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.

But, we have a tradition to uphold. My dad and stepmom got married 18 years ago yesterday. And since then, we've always put up the Christmas tree on their anniversary.

We were all decorating and talking about different things when my sister said we should sing to the tree like they do in Charlie Brown.

So my dad grabbed my sister and they starting "oooohing" at the tree. 

The tree in all it's finished glory before the angel. Both my brother and sister tried to put up the angel.

But my sister succeeded. Then we all decided to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.


Do you have any holiday decorating traditions?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dinner with Granny

Brandy, being the awesome blogger that she is, tagged me in a 5 Things tag and I am so excited! I used to do question/survey things all the time back when Myspace was still popular. 

Here are her questions for me:
1. If you could have dinner or hang out with any 3 people, dead or alive, who would you choose?
I would choose my granny, my grandma, and my mom. My granny died when I was 5, but I would love to get to know her more now that I’m an adult. And I know that the four of us would have a great time chatting and catching up with each other.
My grandma, me and my mom.

2. What is one (or more) song(s) or song lyric(s) that has meaning to you?
I honestly don’t know of any songs or lyrics that have meaning to me.

3. Is there anywhere you would love to vacation or visit but have not or will not? If so, where and why?
I want to go to Europe. I just need to save enough money to travel to the different countries I want to go to. And get a passport. And save enough money for Zach to go with me.

4. If you could choose (with money not being a factor) what career or job would you love to do or attempt to do?
I would love to work in graphic design. I think it would be neat to be “behind the scenes” per se, of a website. I would also love to be a candy maker like Willy Wonka. How cool would that be?!

5. What 5 songs will you never get tired of hearing? Any particular reason?

This is a tough one. Because Christmas is right around the corner, I’m going to say seasonal songs. Like the *NSYNC Christmas album.  

The week of Christmas this CD usually goes on repeat in my car until after all of my Christmas celebrations have passed. Or any of the “good” versions of Christmas songs. Like Nat King Cole. Or Bing Crosby. You know, the good ones.

And now I get to tag bloggers to answer my questions! I tag:
Jessica @ You Are My Color
Nicole @ Grub N Marriage
and anyone else who wants to participate!

My questions are:
1. Who in your life do you look up to most and why?
2. What was your favorite movie growing up? Why was it your favorite? Do you still like to watch it today?
3. What is your opinion of Christmas music? When do you start listening to it, if at all?
4. What do you look forward to most on Thanksgiving? Why?
5. If you could go anywhere in the world, money not being an issue, where would it be and why?

Happy Sunday!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Are you non-traditional?

Zach and I aren't really traditional.
We pay for our own food when out to eat.
I drive more than he does.
I'm an independent person.

We also plan to live together before we get married, and last week we went and looked at a few apartments.
The only pictures I got that day and it was rainy.

The first place we looked at was a 2 bedroom townhouse. We liked that it had an enclosed patio, the complex was nice, and it was in our price range, but we weren't big fans of the floor plan, and to get a washer/dryer hookup the rent would have been at the top of our budget.

The second place we looked at was also a 2 bedroom townhouse. We liked the price and every apartment had a w/d hookup, but we would have to pay EVERYTHING and the complex looked a little rough.

The third place we looked at was a 2 bedroom apartment. This one is at the top of our list currently. We really like the floor plan, the price is right where we want it and we only have to pay DP&L, outside our rent. Plus there are so many more amenities. The whole complex is surrounded by trees and it is kind of hidden off the road, so it's difficult to find, unless you're looking for it. The floor plan we want doesn't come with a w/d hookup, but this place offers so much, I'm totally okay going to their onsite laundry facility to do my laundry. The other downside to this place? We have to go on a waiting list. The list they had when we were there didn't have any vacancies through January. Bummer, but it does give us more time to save money and such.

We do plan on looking at other complexes to see what's out there, but we're both really excited to start this new chapter in our lives. I wonder if any of the other complexes we look at can compete with our favorite right now...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Disney Funnies


I saw this on Facebook and made me chuckle. And I also didn't really have any post ideas last night, so yeah. There's that. ;)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Christmas for Friends

Yesterday, Erin Sallie posted about Christmas budgets and tools to use and such, and it got me thinking.
Zach and I have already figured out our gifts for our families. But what about friends? Coworkers?

Usually, I get my family figured out and I forget about my friends and coworkers until the last minute. This year is different. So much will be going on between now and Christmas that I'm really trying hard to plan as much as possible.

So what gifts do you give to friends and coworkers for Christmas?

Here are some of my ideas:
Gift cards: This is super easy. You could give their favorite store or restaurant, and you know they'll love it.

Gift bags: I like doing this for my girlfriends. I usually include little items such as travel lotion, lip gloss, $10 to Starbucks, a small candle, or really anything you wanted to give. I've also themed them before, such as making it coffee themed with a small thing of coffee, a mug, etc.

Ornaments: If you give them the gift before Christmas, they can put the ornament on their tree this year, versus waiting until next year. Hallmark ornaments are a great idea, and most of them are below $20.

Trinkets: This is a great idea for someone who collects things. For example, I love mermaids and I collect them.

DIY: If you are the creative type, making gifts is always a great option. The gifts become more personal and thoughtful and depending on what you make, they can be pretty inexpensive.

Baked goods: Who doesn't love Christmas cookies? Or brownies? Or anything food related? This is always, always, ALWAYS a great idea! Your friends may not like you if they're on a diet, but this is always a win for everyone!

What have you given to friends and coworkers in the past? Any other gift ideas? Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

November 5th

"Remember, remember!
The fifth of November
The gunpowder treason and plot
I know of no reason
Why gunpowder and treason
Should ever be forgot!"

This is the status Zach always posts on November 5th.
And has posted it every year for as long as we've been together.

So for this super short post, I leave you with this:
via

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Buckeyes

My weekend? Low key. Which is perfectly fine. :)

Zach and I got to spend time with just each other on Friday night. All we did was hang out at his house and relax.
He got us Halloween buckeyes and relived his brother and sister-in-law's baby shower. 

Saturday, I worked all day.

Sunday I was off, but my adorable nephew was over and we had a little photo shoot.
Excuse my no make up-ness, and my iPhone photos, but that's all I had at my disposal when he said he wanted to take pictures.

He also had this small conversation with my stepmom:
Grandma: "How do you know you're not a girl?"
Nephew: "Because. Girls have lots of hair and boys don't."

Love that kid. He's going to be 5 on Christmas Eve!! I can't believe it! He's getting so big! I can't imagine how I'm going to feel when it's my own child turning 5.

Sami's Shenanigans

How was your weekend?