22 October 2014

Brussels, Belgium pt. 2

Another trip, another faded blue stamp in my passport. Our days in Brussels were filled with beer, sandwiches (the Belgians love sandwiches I guess?), more beer, croissants, friendly people, a way too much to drink night at the Delirium brewery, beautiful new clothes (from an Urban Outfitters which I haven't stepped foot in literally years at this point), and a new place to say we loved. 

I don't know if it's because I live in a country where even the simplest pleasantries are rare, or if it's because the people in Brussels were just fantastically nice, but I felt like I was spreading out my Midwestern-girl wings and soaking in the joys of pleases and thank-yous and smiles to strangers and cashiers and waiters and waitresses. It's addicting and both Ben and I felt a weight come over us when we re-entered Moscow. No more smiles.

Brussels was a bit like Amsterdam, a bit like all of Europe, but mostly it's own. It had a beautiful, old part of the city that we stumbled on from an amazing view from above and a really hip, new part of the city that we were lucky enough to find an inexpensive place to stay in (get ready for an upcoming Airbnb tips and tricks post). 

Things that were done:

-A quick stop at Delirium Tremens brewery turned into hours long conversations with everyone nearby. Great fun.
-I ate oysters and lobster. Ben always found it fascinating that I'd never had seafood (Midwest born for me, East Coast for him), but I hadn't. I honestly can't think of one thing besides tilapia. I always think of seafood being for rich people, but even when we went up to Maine, our campground's canteen had sea-plucked lobsters for sale for twenty bucks, but that was our beer money so we passed. I liked the oysters better, weirdly.
-The greatest sandwich of all time was consumed (picture above). Ben found a highly reviewed cafe near our place that was only open for three hours everyday. We wandered through the bizarrely quiet streets (seriously, Belgian people--why yo city so quiet in the day?!) until we stumbled on this half Parisian Tibetan restaurant and ordered small glasses of wine and a parmesan and tomato sandwich. OMFG.
-Wandered the streets talking about Russia, about ourselves. Less daydreaming these days and more of plotting. We want out and we have a deep determination in our stomachs to do so. We want to save money, we're debating traveling anymore, we want to go to Boston, to Boston, we just keep coming back to Boston. We take a lot of stabs at what our life will be like there and who we will be once we arrive.
-We discovered the joys of morning-sandwich. Definitely a thing now. 

I wish I had more insight into the museums and the galleries of the city, but we didn't go in any so I have no tips. I like walking around. I like seeing people walking around. I like finding good restaurants and bad ones. I like haggling over street art and buying small sacks of artisan chocolate. I like meeting strangers and begging them to bar hop with us. I like feeling like I really saw somewhere.

I don't know, go to Belgium and see for yourself. And don't buy any chocolate... the ones they give you with your coffee are the best in town ;).

21 October 2014

Brussels, Belgium pt. 1

As soon as we get to the airport, Ben and I always begin drinking. Our flight left at 9 a.m. so we started promptly at 7. Vacation!

Right before we left for Russia, we ordered Guinness beers with Ben's dad in the airport lounge. I was sick to my stomach and so anxious I probably only had three or four sips. However, since then, Ben and I have found ourselves ordering Guinness beers during all our airport waits. Like this time, they just seem to happen.

That milkshake is a stout one. It was awesome. 

So french.

Part two and my thoughts on our trip to Belgium will appear tomorrow...

13 October 2014

Wedding Inspo//Flowers

For my second installment of my wedding inspiration series, we will be discussing flowers.

I feel like flowers play a big part in setting the tone for the wedding.

You pick sunflowers, you have a big-yellow-sunshine-slapstick wedding. You listen to Woody Nelson and eat vegan cupcakes and everyone takes whiskey shots.
You pick red roses, you have a serious, Valentine's Day wedding. You eat steak tips and your first dance is to Moonlight by Glenn Miller. Maybe an old lover comes and sulks in the corner in a dark raincoat, but leaves as soon as you spot him.
You grab some dandelions and take them to the courthouse with you, because you're too cool to care or you're so cool that you've made up some weed-to-love metaphor. You ask the bartender to play "Have Love, Will Travel" by the Sonics and a flash mob comes in and dances the polka.

I spend a lot of time on pinterest looking for floral designs that are both muted and elegant at the same time. I don't want a color scheme, per say, but I have "off-limits" colors I guess. I want everything to blend into each other and be simple and sophisticated in the same sentence. Ya know? And by the way, I totally recognize that every bride has their own taste, this is just mine. 

While I like and appreciate the arrangement, the fern-ish leaves are just a bit too "Big Sur" for me. You could only pull this off in-between Redwoods. 
But I love the gray-pinks and those little white ball flowers (anyone know what they are?).
Found here.

How insane is that baby's breath bouquet? 
Aren't they just the sweetest flowers of them all? Couldn't you just fall asleep in a field of them?
They also just have such a versatility about them; you can dress them up and have a completely romantic, woodsy wedding, where you walk down the aisle to an Explosions in the Sky song or you can throw them in mason jars and set them around an all-white banquet hall up in New England and dance to Marvin Gaye all night long.
Found here.

Ah, the peonies. I actually don't know if I've come across any peony-centered weddings (I think they might be a pricey flower), but they're so perfect and elegant and feminine. 
I love how they look like they could bloom on and on forever. Just endless openings.
I think having a small bouquet of them and then some on each table (maybe in paper-thin-necked blue anthropologie glass vase I'm going to make my mom buy me) 
would look so chic and nice.
Found here.

So what do you guys think? Know of any good flower weddings? I really loved reading your comments about my dresses post, so feel free to throw your 60 cents in on this one too.


09 October 2014

Wedding Inspo//Dresses Edition

So, I'm engaged and all and now comes the beautiful part of planning for the wedding.

That sounded a bit sarcastic, I didn't mean it to be. I'm actually really excited and I can't wait to crack my knuckles and turn this wedding into a beautiful, fabulous, unique-to-me and-Ben-only, party. Since we got engaged, Ben and I have spent hours pouring over wedding blogs, looking at different flower arrangements and lighting fixtures, venues and catering options, listening to DJ's and calling photographers, all to curate some that really speaks to us and our tastes. I'm actually pleasantly surprised by how much interest Ben has shown. I knew he would care about the location, food, bar, general feel, but he's been so helpful and has added so many of his own ideas--it's been a really nice thing to do together!

I thought it would be fun to document a little bit of that process on this blog, so I'm going to start a little series here and share with you guys some of the things I've been kicking around in my head.

First up, dresses.

I'm actually not very concerned about the dress because I feel pretty confident about my own style and I'm not too hung up on the idea of finding "the one". I want to surround myself with a lot of options and I'll pick one one of these days when the mood strikes me. But I do have a general idea of what I want to look like which is helpful (think Carolyn Bessett Kennedy drinking dandelion tea at a Grateful Dead concert).

Here's some stuff floating around my top secret pinterest board (all my wedding pinterest boards are secret and have been for awhile because I couldn't bear for anyone to see how tragically uncool I am pinning wedding ideas and what not):

Don't you just want to kill yourself over the back of that dress?
Found here.

This is that Carolyn Bessette hippie-love child dress I was telling you guys about. 

Like cool, whatever-ballerina betch?
Skirt found here.

And this girl was like, too cool to even have a wedding. 
I dig everything about this. It's like she just woke up one morning, threw her hair into a pony and was like yeah, let's go do this.
Photo found here.

So that's sort of what's knocking around in my head right now. Give me your brutally honest opinions if you'd like:)
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