Mid-Summer Update: I’m Alive!

How is summer already halfway over? It’s crazy to think that I only have one more month until I head back to Chicago to start my last year of college. Time is just flying by; I feel like every time I blink, another week passes.

I am so unbelievably sorry that I took such a long hiatus from this blog! My life has been pretty much non-stop busy since I left Chicago. Between working twice as many hours at the bridal boutique, a few health issues, and frantically scrambling to meet costume deadlines, something was bound to fall through the cracks. I’m just sad that it had to be my blog!

Admittedly, part of the problem is that I’m really frustrated by the layout options for WordPress.com. I need to go through the process of transferring over to the WordPress.org hosting option, if only so I can have my domain and much more control over the design of this website. I’m such a visual person so part of me kept justifying my procrastination with excuses like, “Well, your blog is ugly, so there’s no point in updating it until you can make it look good!”

(I’m crazy, I know. No need to remind me.)

But I’ve given myself a kick in the rear, and hopefully I’ll be able to stick with my regular posting schedule from here on out! Goodness knows I have plenty to talk about now that I’m back at the boutique.

I’ll be sure to get into all of that in a separate entry, since it’s a lot to discuss. In the mean time, here’s just a quick rundown of what’s been going on in my life this summer:

  • I have a ton of new responsibilities at the boutique, including a promotion to the Social Media Manager. I’ve also been doing a lot more consulting work, and somehow I’ve become one of the most effective consultants. I’m not quite sure how! But I average about four to six dresses per week.
  • That being said, I’m 100% certain that I don’t want to work on the sales side of bridal fashion as far as my future career is concerned. It’s been fun as a learning experience and a “first taste” of the industry, but I can’t see myself being happy doing this for an extended amount of time. I’m eager to keep pursuing my goal of being a wedding planner, especially for Disney.
  • On a totally different note, I’ve been going through some health problems involving my hormone levels and a possible virus. My doctors have me on a pretty rough hormone supplement, and they also had me switch to the Paleo diet. I’ve been on both for about two weeks now; it was definitely an adjustment, and minus some pretty unpleasant side effects from the drugs, I’m starting to feel a bit better!

Also, I want to give a quick shout-out to the Premier Bride’s blog for the pingback while I was away! They ran a post about choosing your bridal party and included a link to my entry about that topic!

Anyway, I hope all of you have been enjoying your summer so far! Have you done anything exciting, or is there something you’re looking forward to?

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A Matter of Milestones

I’ve been 21 for three days now, and as I predicted, absolutely nothing has changed. I haven’t gone out drinking every night, my responsibilities haven’t changed, and I certainly haven’t been any more motivated than usual. (In fact, I’ve spent the past days napping in front of the TV doing positively nothing. How’s that for being an adult?)

Even though my birthday was on a weekday, Courtney and I still went out for drinks to celebrate. We chose Sweetwater Tavern, mostly because it’s right next to our apartment building, but also because their menu looked amazing. We split a Waldorf salad and a chicken quesadilla, both of which were absolutely delicious! After we tried a maple and Bacardi drink that neither of us liked, we decided to stick with the fruity ones, which even our waiter said were much, much better.

My third drink was a cranberry mojito. Be still, my heart! (Personal photo.)

My third drink was a cranberry mojito. Be still, my heart! (Personal photo.)

We ended up having a wonderful night, but I have to say, even though we were celebrating my first day of adulthood, I had never felt so young. The other patrons were older, the majority in their thirties or forties, so the two of us definitely stood out as the youngest ones in the bar. It was exciting, yet at the same time, I couldn’t help but feel like this milestone had come far too soon. Didn’t I just start college? Wasn’t high school graduation just a couple of months ago? Hadn’t I just gotten my driver’s license? And now, suddenly, I was sitting in a bar, ordering drinks. Being an adult.

It’s strange to think that in the early 1900s, I’d be getting married at this age. The average age of first-marriage brides from 1900 until 1940 was 21, and over the following 30 years, it dropped to 20 (source). So if I had lived in the ’60s, I’d already be married by now! That’s absolutely crazy to think about.

While I’m excited for that stage of my life, there’s no way that I’m ready for it at this point. The average age of brides from 2007 to 2011 was 26 (source), but more than a few people I went to high school with are already married – some are even having kids! Props to them, absolutely, but I’d personally like to postpone that for a little while longer. The next life milestone can wait!

What age did you get married, or what age do you see yourself getting married?

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Introductions: The Girl Behind the Tulle

As I’m sitting here in Panera Bread, spending my final underage day sipping a quite non-alcoholic chai latte, I can’t help but think that my world is going to turn upside-down in a matter of nine hours. Will I wake up tomorrow feeling like a responsible adult? Will I suddenly be motivated to pursue my dreams with a renewed sense of vigor? Or will I just have an immediate, irreversible craving for alcohol?

I know I’m being silly, and more likely than not, I’m going to wake up feeling the same (with perhaps a little more enthusiasm to greet the day than usual). I’ll go to class in the morning, spend the afternoon doing homework in the library, then possibly go out to the tavern next door to our apartment with my best friend for a celebratory drink. Other than that, nothing will be different, with the exception of my new-found ability to order any fancy drink I want when I’m at a restaurant.

But before that happens, I wanted to take the time to introduce myself and my life so far. (All photos are personal.)

So what’s there to know about me? My name is Nina. I grew up in southeast Michigan, and even though I’ve been living in downtown Chicago for the past three years while attending school, I still call Michigan home. And I think that will be true even if I end up moving across the country!

One of the hardest things about living in Chicago is being away from my family. I have a mom, a dad, a younger brother (who’s going to be graduating high school in a few months), and a trusty border collie named Trek. My mom and I are extremely close; we’re no Lorelai and Rory, but we’d like to think we could give them a run for their money. I miss her more than anything else while I’m at school, and she’ll always be the most important person in my life.

We're both avid Harry Potter fans, and in 2011, we finally went to visit the Wizarding World in Orlando!

Though we don’t get to do it often, our favorite vacations are mother-daughter trips to Florida. (In 2011 we finally got to visit the Wizarding World – we’re both avid Harry Potter fans!)

In Chicago, I live with my best friend, Courtney. We recently rented our first “grown-up” apartment this past December. It’s right on Michigan Avenue, and it’s one of the few things I actually enjoy about living in this city. Not to mention, living with my best friend makes it possible to tolerate the awful weather that we have for 70% of the year.

Ahh, nothing like a fresh new apartment.

Ah, nothing like a fresh new apartment.

I’m a writer, a self-proclaimed health freak, a Caribou Coffee junkie, and a corgi addict. I care far too much about television shows, movies, books, and fictional characters in general. I’m also one of those feminists who greatly enjoys being domestic, especially when it comes to baking and sewing. As much as I hate cold winter weather, I love skiing, but I’m also an avid runner, swimmer, and weight-lifter.

This past October, I ran my first half-marathon with a couple friends in the Chicago Monster Dash!

This past October, I ran my first half-marathon with a couple of friends in the Chicago Monster Dash!

My obsession with weddings has been a major factor in my life since I was a little girl. I didn’t always want to work in bridal (like any kid, I went through the phases of veterinarian, marine biologist, movie director, and so on), but now that I’ve finally begun working in the industry, it’s really a dream come true. Which is why I’m so excited about starting this blog!

I love getting to play dress-up at work. This is Casablanca 2056 - definitely a contender for The Dress!

I love getting to play dress-up at work. This is Casablanca 2056 – definitely a contender for The Dress!

I’ve always been a writer, even from a young age, and I’ve had plenty of online journals throughout my life. However, I’ve never really taken it seriously and most of those journals were just used for social networking purposes. And now that I’m on the brink of true adulthood, I figured it’s about time I had a blog that I can use to help myself grow as a person. It’s already inspired me – hopefully it will inspire you, too!

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Introductions: Meet Your Consultant

I’m going to be completely honest: I’ve delayed writing this post for the past two weeks, and it’s taken me around an hour of staring blankly at my computer screen to actually start typing something. This hasn’t been due to a lack of inspiration (trust me, I’ve come up with at least a dozen ways of writing this post). Rather, it’s because none of those ideas have been right. None of them felt like they would be the perfect way to introduce myself and this blog.

And that, I guess, is a better introduction to who I am than any generic biography I could spit out.

Right now, I’m at a point in my life where it feels like everything I do is going to have some sort of critical impact on my future – whether it’s what classes I choose to take, what professional contacts I have, or what cereal I buy at the grocery store. I’ll be turning 21 on Tuesday, which is just four days away, and it’s hard not to think that I’m reaching the Point of No Return.

From here on out, there’s no more being indecisive about my future, no more fooling around when it comes to jobs, no more procrastinating until the “right time.” I will officially be An Adult™, and every waking moment will be spent suffering under the pressures of my new-found responsibilities, as well as the past choices I’ve made that can never, ever be altered.

At least, that’s what I’ve been told. But I know that it couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Yes, I’m at a stage in my life when I do need to consider my future. It’s good to have a plan and work towards it, but it’s also important to realize that this plan can and will change. Let’s face it: nothing is certain, and realistically, the plans I have for my future are going to keep evolving on an almost daily basis. Who knows – this blog may not even be relevant to my life a year from now, as my career could go in an entirely different direction.

For the time being, though, I’m pursuing my current dream: being a wedding consultant.

Specifically a Disney wedding consultant, but we'll get into that later. (Photo via BridalGuide.)

Specifically a Disney wedding consultant, but we’ll get into that later. (Photo via BridalGuide.)

Weddings are something that I’ve always been passionate about, and with my knack for design and organization, it feels like the perfect career for me. I’ve been working in bridal for a year already, and it’s been an incredible experience with that sense of rightness I searched for when writing this post. So, as of now, that’s my goal!

This blog will follow my journey as I chase this dream, as well as my adventures in so-called “adulthood.” What’s in it for you? Inspiration, wedding and bridal design tips, and an inside look at the wedding industry as I find my way through it! (There will probably be food, too. Lots of food.)

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!

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