My Weekend Lookbook: December 2-4, 2016

Happy Monday Friends!

 

I’m back again today for another weekend lookbook inspired by Ashley Brooke Designs. This time of year is just my very favorite, and I thought the giddy-ness I had all weekend should be channeled into a blog post. Let’s hop right in!

 

saturdayFriday: Thank you Mr. Postman

 

I am an avid online shopper. It’s actually a problem. This cyber Monday I went a little cray (so many good deals!!!!). I went into full blown Christmas shopping mode, and managed to check almost everyone off my list! The UPS man (and Fedex…and the regular mailman) and I are going to become quite close friends over the next few weeks because they have been stopping by my house multiple times a day!

 

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Saturday: Hustlin’ Hustlin’…

While I normally am a stickler about not working on weekends that we don’t have weddings, in just a few days I am taking some time off of work for the Holidays (and can’t wait!). I am so excited to check the final things off my to-do list that I decided to put in a few hours on Saturday. I cozied up with tea, the new season of Gilmore Girls on Netflix, and my laptop and worked from the couch!

 

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Sunday: Pure Joy

Sunday was a very happy day. Mostly because it was our first heavy snow of the season! My Dad and I drove around enjoying the pretty view and stopping at 4 of my favorite places, Smash Burger, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, and Krispy Kreme. I mean does it get better than that? I just kept saying all day how happy I was that it was snowing. Truly nothing makes me more joyful than the Christmas season.

This week I started a new Advent Study by Ann Voskamp that is making me so grateful for the season. It has been tying in so well with my BSF lessons proving that the word IS indeed alive and active! There is so much of this season to be thankful for. The gift of the birth of a Savior that allows us to have a relationship with our Creator, though we are so far from deserving one. Sweet moments like the first thick snowfall (even if it means losing power), driving through the city, and spending time with family are just beautiful reminders of that gift.

Have a wonderful week!
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Thanksgiving Inspiration

What I really love most about Thanksgiving is time with family, a warm meal around a table together, and counting the blessings the Lord has lavished on us. Thanksgiving isn’t about a pretty tablescape or the meals being perfect, but since I love a good inspiration board I thought it would be fun to put one together around this warm and fuzzy feeling holiday. Wishing you a happy Thanksgiving!Thanksgiving Inspiration

 

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My Weekend Lookbook: November 19-20, 2016

Happy Monday Friends!

Today I thought I would take a page out of Ashley Brooke Design‘s book and share a little weekend lookbook! I am always taking iPhone pictures (and sharing a lot of them on Instagram) but I thought this would be one more fun way to put them to use! Wedding season officially ended last weekend, so this weekend was filled with fun Christmassy activities. It was the best. There really is nothing I love more than the Holiday season.

Friday: Tale as old as time…

Friday evening my sisters, mom and I got all dressed up and took my Nanny out for her birthday! Italian food and Beauty and the Beast at the Civic theater! I was blown away by the performance! I always love seeing plays, particularly musicals, but this was a notch above. It was absolutely phenomenal! If you get the chance to go, do it!
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Saturday: Straight up Hallmark movie…

On Saturday we headed out to Frankenmuth. I had never been so we visited Bronner’s and walked around to the little shops and I am now officially obsessed. It literally is like the set of a Hallmark movie. It was a very happy place for my Christmas-loving heart. sunday

Sunday: Christmas tree hunting…

On Sunday we made our yearly trip to pick out a Christmas tree! We did it in about 5 minutes flat, as per usual! 🙂 I love our tree this year and it is always so happy coming down the stairs in the morning to see and smell it in our living room!

 

I hope your week is filled with family, rest, and good food as we celebrate how much we have to be thankful for!
Best wishes!
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Be Kind Always

katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1923The perfect tee can go with almost any outfit.  Dress it up.  Dress it down.  Wear it with pajamas.  Wear it to a gala.  Wait…I’ve never been to a gala of any sort.  I’m just saying the possibilities are endless.

katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1919www-gifcreator-me_bvccnu-2You had to know this would involve canvas tennies, because really they are all I wear!   katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1920I’m not gonna lie, I tend to be a little picky about my t-shirts.  I like them soft and comfy, but not slouchy.  Structured, but not too fitted.  And most importantly, I don’t want them to shrink the first time they get washed!  I want to be able to wear and love them time and time again.  I’m so happy I that Mandy from The Blue Envelope and I connected because she has done it!  The perfect graphic tee!

I love that her designs have adorable graphics and heartfelt messages.  The first time I put this T-shirt on I fell in love.  Just ask my family.  I wear it several times a week!  It is soft (seriously, SO soft!!), but holds it’s shape.  I’ve washed it many times and it stands the test.  And, the graphic is adorable!  I keep finding more and more things in my closet to pair it with.  It has truly become a staple.  I think I’m going to have to order this one as well.  I know I will get so much use out of it.

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Today I’ve decided to share two of my favorite ways to style this tee.   White jeans were a big favorite for me this summer.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t a huge fan of this Target pair (they stretched out within the first hour or so of wearing them), but, I am already on the hunt for next years white jeans! For my next look, I paired the tee with this polka dot skirt I found at the Kate Spade outlet for 80% off.  I’m pretty sure this skirt is my soul mate.  katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1916katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1922For both looks I added a chunky necklace for an extra pop!  katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1917 katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1921 katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1915 katie-grace-photography-grand-rapids-michigan-wedding_1924Be sure to check out The Blue Envelope! I can’t recommend their shirts highly enough!

Look 1: //Top: The Blue Envelope//Jeans: Target//Shoes//Necklace//Sunglasses//Ring//

Look 2: //Top: The Blue Envelope//Skirt, Similar//Jean Jacket//Shoes//Similar Necklace//Bracelets//Similar Watch//

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The Battle of the Planners…

Let’s just go ahead and get something out in the open, I am an office supply junkie.  It’s a problem.  I am the type of person that shops for my planner a 3 months before the new year begins.  I take my planners seriously people!  They are an essential part of my daily life and committing to ONE for an entire year?  Whoo, that is not an easy feat.  This is the time of year that companies start releasing their 2017/2018 planners so I am in the planner zone!  Not to mention, my job requires scheduling things very far in advance (2018, I’m looking at you).  I currently have all my 2017 dates in my iCal account.  This makes me nervous.  I’m worried that with one wrong click I could loose lots of needed information!

I tend to try a new planner each year; finding one that suits my needs for my current season of life (although I did go two years back-to-back with the same Lilly Pulitzer planner in high school).  I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little stuck on what to buy for next year.  That is why we are here today…it’s time for an epic battle. The battle of the planners.  Prepare yourself.

Here are a few things that are important to me in a planner:

  • a front pocket to store notes, papers, and other various loose ends,
  • laminated tabs for each month,
  • both monthly views and close-up views of each week/day,
  • a “notes” section for all the things I forget/random ideas that hit me,
  • spiral bound so I can keep it open on my desk compactly,
  • pretty colors 🙂

Additional perks for a planner would be:

  • features to help with goal setting. This is something I had in my Day Designer a few years back and it was so helpful to keep me focused and on track throughout the year.
  • To-Do list and hourly format (I know, I’m picky)

This year, I’m debating between using a daily planner or a weekly planner.  I have tried both, and I am torn.  At times, I’ve found daily planners overwhelming.  It can be challenging to not see your whole week at a glance.  In the last year, I have become a big fan of time blocking as a method for productivity.  I think a daily planner may cater to that nicely.  In addition, I frequently find my daily to-do list too long to fit in the “daily” section of a weekly planner.  But I love that weekly view…THE STRUGGLE.

I’ve rounded up my top 4 contenders for 2017.  Yes, believe it or not, there were even more on the original list.  Let’s go through them together, shall we?

The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley

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Oh how I love Emily Ley.  I love her, I love what her brand stands for, and I loooove her products.  For 2016 I chose her Weekly Planner and I am head over heels in love with it.  While it doesn’t have a “notes” or “goal setting” section, I am willing to make the sacrifice because it checks off literally every other item on my list!  I had fallen in planner love.  They recently updated their weekly calendar for the 2017 year.  While, I do love the changes they made, I don’t know that they are the best fit for my preferences, so I am on the hunt again.  I would love to stick within her company because I just love it so darn much! 

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The pros: 

  • Beautiful designs
  • “simplified” sections of each day making it less overwhelming
  • both hour-by-hour and list views of each day
  • laminated tabs
  • inside pocket
  • notes section
  • spiral bound
  • you can monogram your cover…I mean come on, how do I say no to that?
  • I’ve seen her test different pen options and verify that none leak through

The cons: 

  • am I ready for a daily planner?  Am I emotionally stable enough for that people???  Who knows!!
  • no goal setting worksheets (although her blog does provide lots of help in this area!)

 

The To Do List Planner by ShePlans

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I have never tried a product by ShePlans but have heard great things from my friend Meggie over at Organized Life Design. I mean, she’s a professional organizer so I feel like I can trust her judgment! 😉

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The pros:

  • weekly edition
  • notes section for each month (each MONTH!!!!)
  • goal setting work sheets
  • pocket
  • laminated tabs
  • spiral bound
  • both weekly and monthly views
  • 2018 year at a glance (super helpful while booking weddings)

The cons:

  • not quite as colorful as other options (I figure since I wear all black I can incorporate happy colors to other areas of my life!)
  • Days are divided up vertically rather than horizontally and I like having more space to write.

The Life Planner by Erin Condren

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When I was in middle school my big sister Audrey got a cool job doing a creative thing in an office (…two of my dreams combined).  She needed a planner to organize it (…another dream) and *gasp* her employer even bought one for her (…I was fainting at this point).  She chose the Erin Condren planner.  I thought she was the coolest thing since sliced bread.  She used to leave it on our kitchen table and I would flip through it to see what she was up to, how cute her handwriting was on each colorful page, and how many goodies the planner had hidden inside it.  Is this getting stalker-ish?  I feel like it is.  Audrey, don’t be creeped out, just know my love for office supplies started young.  While my middle school self could not have imagined the beautiful planner getting any better, in recent years they actually have added even more variations that I love.  It may be the perfect fit for me this year.  Let’s hash it out.

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The pros: 

  • Totally customizable, you can choose from different page layouts, color schemes, and customize your cover
  • spiral bound
  • notes pocket
  • zipper pouch for pens, sticky notes, etc.
  • laminated tabs
  • and included book mark to save your spot
  • monthly views and weekly views
  • notes sections

The Cons: 

  • It is a little bulkier than the other planners
  • no goal setting worksheets

I don’t mind saying, this video kinda has me sold!

Shop Ban.do Agenda

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I have yet to see a product by Ban.do that I haven’t wanted to buy.  Bright colors, funny catch phrases, and adorable designs.  What’s not to love?  They (in my humble opinion) have done a huge thing right by not only selling a planner, but releasing a folio (adorably named “get it together”) to keep your planner, wallet, pen needs all in one case that zips closed.

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The Pros:

  • Like I said, bright colors, adorable quotes, and fun illustrations.
  • both monthly and weekly views
  • notes sections
  • pocket
  • laminated tabs
  • spiral bound
  • the folio is an option to add on

The cons: 

  • seems less sturdy than the other options (though this is just from my assessment on the website, so I could be wrong)
  • no goal setting sheets

 

If you have read this entire post, I want to be your best friend.  Clearly your love for planners will bring us together.  So what to do, what to do??  Writing this post has actually brought a lot of clarity and I’m thinking the Erin Condren life planner may be the planner for me!  That said, I’m still deliberating!  I would LOVE to hear what planner you use, what you like about it, and what planners you want to try!  Let’s chat in the comments or over on Instagram!  Planner lovers unite!

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Fall Goals – 2016

fall-goalsThe summer has been absolutely wonderful this year.  One of my all-time favorites!  While this summer has been awesome, I have noticed some lazy habits I’ve developed in the midst of the  busyness!  With Fall approaching and things slowing down a bit, I thought I would set some goals to get back in tip top shape headed into the new season!  In the past when I’ve documented or blogged goals I’ve found myself much more motivated to stick to them.  So, here goes:

1.  Get back on a normal sleep schedule:

Weddings, movie nights, and being outside till it’s black has been awesome! But with that comes sleeping in, being groggy in the morning, and starting my day late! I am always my most productive in the morning! It’s my “power-time” and I am almost useless past 10pm! We actually have a rule in our house called “no questions past 10 o’clock” which my mom has enforced since I was very little! It seems I may be taking after her in this area! To me it makes sense to start my day early, utilizing the time of day where my brain is at its strongest, and rest well at night!

2. Put my phone on the other side of the room:

Boy oh boy does my focus level change if my phone is not within reaching distance! It’s actually a little alarming! Rather than keeping my phone on my desk I like to put it on the table across the room and it boosts my productivity like crazy! I’m less distracted, and even if I’m not “on my phone” for some reason having it near me makes me a little more overwhelmed! Weird, but true! It’s the same outside of work. If I am having a conversation with someone but my phone is close to me it’s like I can’t fully engage in the conversation! Out of sight out of mind right? With this also comes plugging my phone in on the other side of the room at night, rather than on my nightstand. I’ve spent way too many nights up late on Instagram/Netflix recently.

3. Stop sleeping in my makeup:

Ew. I know. I know. It…it just happens sometimes…See #1 about weddings, movie nights, and being outside late!

4. Make an effort to stay creatively inspired:

I’m gonna sound like a hippie for a minute, just hang tight. Creativity is such a huge part of my job, but it’s also a huge part of my life. I have been crafting up a storm since I was very little! I am so so grateful to have a job that allows me to be creative and that’s why I want to make sure I’m taking even more care to stay inspired. I used to think the word “inspired” was corny and cliche, but I’ve actually come to realize it’s importance! When I’m inspired I’m more passionate about my work, more passionate about my life, harder working, more peaceful, and create better work! Whether it’s taking time to paint, read, blog, try something new I want to really push myself in this area!

 

What I love about setting goals is that it is a way to keep myself accountable and take tiny action steps that result in big changes! However, for me goal setting is not a way to tell myself I’ve not worked hard enough or assume that I’ve failed because I haven’t fulfilled this things in the weeks prior. I like to list things goals like this at the beginning of each month in my journal as a little motivation to take things one step further! I really do believe that small changes create huge results! And with that, I will end with one of my all time favorite quotes (which you will probably hear time and time again the more you read my blog).

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

 
Now you tell me! What goals would you like to set for the fall? I’d love to hear your ideas!

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You Know What Time It Is

With September’s arrival comes cooler temps, students returning to Hogwarts, and one very specific reason to celebrate: Pumpkin Spice lattes.

I’ve been a little absent from the blog this summer, but it would be impossible for me to let a September go by without posting about these little gems.  In case you are forgetting my enthusiasm, remember this post? Or, what about last year?  Does anyone remember the madness that occurred last year?  I do.

Y45A0434I’m quite thrilled about the change of seasons.  I’m ready for it to stop being 90 degrees every day, to be able to wear scarves, and for life to slow down a little.  Fall always gives me the push I need to settle into a routine and refocus my heart and time on things that matter most.  My goal for the fall is to set more intentional routines and be protective of my “off” time from work.  This summer has been wonderful.  I am sad to see it go, but I know next summer will be here before I know it.  I’m ready to enjoy this new season of rest.  And, I plan to fill it with lots and lots of Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  Happy Wednesday Friends!

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Summer

katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0720 It’s summer, so I’ve been wearing more bright colors lately.katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0713 Wait, did I say wearing bright colors? I think I meant standing by bright colors…katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0722 I have been loving this long sweater from Gap.  My sister was wearing it one day.  I liked it so much, I got on my phone right then and ordered it!  It is lightweight and perfect for summer layering.  Side note: Does anyone else immediately think of Lizzie McGuire and how many dusters Kate Sander’s cool cousin rocked?  Because that’s all I can think of when I look at long sweaters. katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0711 Recently, I picked up these shoes from Clarks in hopes that they would be comfortable enough for shooting weddings.  10+ hours on my feet with the 20+ pounds of gear I’m lugging around = a shoe struggle.  No conclusions on if they can handle wedding days yet, but I am kind of obsessed with them!  They are comfortable, easy, and they go with everything.  I highly recommend them.katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0723 And now, the part of the blog post you all have been waiting for…  A collection of photos of me trying to get a good jumping photo.  Brace yourself. katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0718 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0719   katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0715 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0716katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0717 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0714 katiegracephotography-katiegrace.net_0712

//top//sweater//jeans//shoes//similar necklace//bracelets//watch//lipstick//

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Happy 4th!

memorialday2016-35May your day be filled with loved ones, fireworks, and popsicles. signature-1

Friday Fun: Tassel Town

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Lately, I have been seeing tassels everywhere.  I gotta say, I’m lovin’ it!  It’s like a party all day every day.  I believe there is always something to celebrate.  Tassels seem like the perfect way to add a little pep to your step!  I am totally hopping on this trend and hoping to incorporate some of these pieces into my summer wardrobe!

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