Tag Archives: Wedding

Pub Date [6] – Christmas!

Pub Date

Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!

This month’s theme: CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS IS COMING, YOU GUYS. Less than a month to go and I’ve already decorated with outside lights (the first since I lived at my parents’ house!) and I think we’re getting our tree this weekend. (Live tree — we go to cut it down. Big stuff!!) For some reason, I’m WAY more excited about Christmas this year than previous years. Maybe because we get to decorate the house a lot more? Maybe because the Christmas spirit is catching on? I’m not totally sure… But I’m totally celebrating already!

A lot of people read some annual Christmas or wintery reads, but truthfully, I don’t really have any (though I will be trying to watch Elf and some good selections on ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas!) so I’m going with a book that I’ve already read and comes out NEXT WEEK (December 9th): Top Ten Clues You’re Clueless by Liz Czukas! I actually didn’t realize when I first started the book that it took place on Christmas Eve (or I did know that and totally forgot by the time I started it) so that was a pleasant surprise. Anyway — this book immediately put me in the Christmas spirit (back in October!) and I think it’s a super fun read for around the holidays. If you want to know more about the book, I reviewed it just a couple weeks ago!

You can also find out more about the book on Goodreads or order it from Amazon or Barnes & Noble! (More places too! Check your local indies!)

bell's christmas aleA Christmas beer. Well. I am not a HUGE fan of holiday beers. Some Christmas-y choices with spices are just too much for me and a lot of winter beers tend to be dark or heavy on the hops for some reason, so I was scared to try a designated Christmas beer, so I went with Bell’s Christmas Ale. I’m fairly confident in the beers that Bell’s makes and I usually enjoy them soI tried this one and I think it’s really quite good! The added flavors are not too strong and honestly, nothing about it really screams Christmas, but I’m totally okay with that because usually those flavors are too over powering. Two Brothers (a local brewery) has a Peppermint Bark Porter that sounds delicious in theory but I hate chocolate mint and I don’t like minty drinks (except for Shamrock Shakes) so I don’t think I would have gotten along with that one, but if you like those flavors, see if you can find that in stores! I’m interested to hear what you think.

Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!

Recent Beers 

  • Powder Hound Winter Ale by Big Sky Brewing. American Amber/Red Ale // 7.20% ABV. I haven’t had this beer in a while but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a wintery beer. (Last winter? Ha.) I remember it being a lot more hoppy or maybe my palate has just evolved over the years! Anyway. I thought it was really good! Still a little hoppy for people who aren’t big beer drinkers but that’s common for ambers and reds.
  • Cranberry Ginger Shandy by Leinenkugel’s. Fruit beer // 4.20% ABV. I know I talked about this one last month too, but I think it’s a nice choice for Christmas! Again, I don’t like either ginger OR cranberry but they go great together in this beer. Light, fruity, and nothing too overpowering — I think it makes a nice Christmas shandy! Except I don’t know how to recommend this to you when the other two beers in the sample pack that’s widely available are terrible. Eek.
  • Belgian Freeze by River Horse Brewing Company. Belgian Dark Ale // 8.00% ABV. This was a beer that Alyssa and Amy brought from New Jersey for me! I didn’t see it out of the bottle so I actually didn’t know this was a “dark ale”! Oops! It definitely was a little stronger and had a lot more of a heavy flavor than the lighter Belgians, though. Very delicious but I can really only drink one before it starts to sit heavy in my stomach (and before I start to get tipsy at 8% ABV!) but it’s quite tasty and I love trying beers from new places!

** Beer styles and alcohol content from Beer Advocate **
** Drink responsibly ** 

Are you a beer fan? On the Untappd app? Add me as a friend!

Guest Post from Johannah (The Broken Shelf): Homemade Personal Library

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from Johannah who runs the blog over at The Broken Shelf. She came up with the idea for instructions on how to make your own homemade library which I think is pretty cute and fun! See her post below!

Homemade Library

Hi! Brittany had asked me to do a guest post while she is off getting married and enjoying her honey moon! I’m so excited for her! I can’t wait till I get married next year! I hope she posts pictures!

Anywho, I’m Johannah over at The Broken Shelf. I had a hard time coming up with a post idea – I really did. Then I was at the book store with a few of my girlfriends. My one friend was going to buy a book. I said, “Don’t you dare! I have that book and you may borrow it and it is a lot cheaper!” HA HA!

See, a week or so ago I became a new home owner. I bought my first house with my fiancé! I’m SO excited to make it mine! I decided it will be called The House of Books & Brews. Because most of my friends borrow my books and drink tea – or the occasional wine. Ha ha! It’s just fitting. I mean if you had seen how many bookshelves I had filled with books. You’d think I run a library. And If you need Tea – I generally have A LOT.  Once all my renovating is done and I put all my bookshelves up and together it will look like a library. Ha ha!

78954561     Library

Who wouldn’t want their own personal library?! I love the idea! I can spread my love of reading through my living room! So today I wanted to share with you a few sites I’ve found to helpful in my adventure in creating my own library.

First, you need a Library Card – which I’ve included as a JPG for you all to download. You can also just use this blogs creative awesomeness. I can’t draw a straight line to save my life and my handwriting is very close to chicken scratch. So I just plan on doing mine all in Illustrator.

Homemade Library Card

Second, you need those cool ‘old school’ date cards – I found a relatively inexpensive site to order them from and they can come in different colors. And since I’m way too lazy and busy right now to make my own – plus at that price I’d be nuts not to go that route. You can also download this handy printable library check out date cards as well.

Third, you will need a way to contact them. To send them reminds when their book is due or a way for them to extend it. The way I planned on doing this was – basically all the people that are borrowing books are my friends. So, I already have their phone numbers. I just need a current email address.

Also, keep a list of books that are checked out and to who – you can do this in excel spread sheet or just a regular note book.

Last but not least you will need to stock pile up on tea or coffee. Best place to get it? Well that depends on where you live. I go to my favorite Shop in Hanover called Merlin’s. They have their own special teas & coffee’s. I also get K-cup kinds from Bigelow tea brands. I’m a diehard fan. Ha ha!!!

classical workplace

Thanks, Johannah! What a fun idea. Do you guys loan books to your friends? Or WOULD you if there was a better system in place? Do you have any special items for your own personal library?

A huge thanks to Johannah from The Broken Shelf for today’s guest post! Don’t forget to visit her blog as well!

Guest Post from author Nikki McCormack: Five Weird and Wacky Wedding Traditions

Hi, friends! I just got MARRIED and am now on my honeymoon in Aruba!!! I won’t be able to attend to my blog this week since Shane and I are having fun in the sun and relaxing, but not to worry — I’ve left my blog in good hands. All this week, I have a series of guest post-ers (and they all have some pretty great posts!

Today’s guest post is from Nikki McCormack, author of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, and she has a guest post for us today to fit with the wedding theme! Check out the five weird and wacky wedding traditions that she gathered up for everyone today!

Five Weird and Wacky Wedding Traditions

Getting married can be an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. Promising yourself to another person for life is a substantial commitment. Promising yourself to another person for life with an audience of friends and family looking on, like some kind of Broadway performance, just makes it that much more intimidating. It could be worse though. Count yourself lucky if you don’t have to go through one of these five peculiar wedding traditions while tying the knot.

  1. Blackening – A lovely custom still held in parts of Scotland where the bride or groom (sometimes both) have buckets full of a gross mixture thrown over them (usually the day before the wedding) and are then tied to a tree. After going through this, they can certainly handle the trials of marriage.
  2. Happy Tears – For the Tujia people in China, as an expression of joy, the bride is supposed to cry for one hour every day starting a month before the wedding. Ten days into the month, the mother joins her, and ten days after that her grandmother starts. By the end of the month, every female in the bride’s family is crying with her.
  3. Shoe Fight – In parts of India, the groom is required to take off his shoes while walking to the altar. The groom’s family has to protect the shoe while the bride’s family tries to steal it. Let’s hope the two families get along or this could get ugly.
  4. Blessed by Spit – At a Massai wedding in Kenya the bride’s father may bless his daughter by spitting on her head and breasts before she leaves the village with her new husband.
  5. Picking a date – A bride and groom of the Daur in Chinese Inner Mongolia determine the wedding date by killing a baby chick while holding the knife together. They gut the chick to inspect its liver and the date is decided by the appearance of the liver. If the liver looks bad, they repeat the process until they find a satisfactory liver. Not one for the squeamish.

While blackening sounds like it could be fun, as long as you’re not the one getting married, most of these traditions aren’t that appealing, at least to me. Fortunately for me, all I suffered for my marriage was a money dance after the ceremony. Given other options, I’m calling that a win.

Congratulations, Brittany!

NikkiMcCormackNikki McCormack is the author of The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, the first book in a steampunk YA series from Entangled Teen (September 2014). She started writing her first novel at the age of 12, which she still has tucked in a briefcase in her home office, waiting for the right moment. Despite a successful short story publication with Cricket Magazine in 2007, she continued to treat her writing addiction as a hobby until a drop in the economy presented her with an abundance of free time that she used to focus on making it her career.

Nikki lives in the magnificent Pacific Northwest tending to her husband and three cats suffering varying stages of neurosis. She feeds her imagination by sitting on the ocean in her kayak gazing out across the never-ending water or hanging from a rope in a cave, embraced by darkness and the sound of dripping water. She finds peace through practicing iaido or shooting her longbow.


The Girl and the Clockwork Cat: Amazon, B&N, Goodreads
Nikki McCormack: Website, Twitter, Facebook

Thanks, Nikki! I have never heard of any of those before so that was so interesting to learn! I think I would agree with you… I’m glad none of those are traditions we have for our weddings! (Although shoe fight? That one could be fun…) They were all incredibly interesting to hear about and I wonder where some of them originated from…

A huge thanks to Nikki McCormack for guest posting on the blog today! What do you think of the five weird and wacky traditions? Have you heard of any of them before? Do any of them sound appealing to you? (Shoe fight, anyone?)
And don’t forget to check out Nikki’s book, The Girl and the Clockwork Cat, on Goodreads!

Pub Date [5] – Wedding!

Pub Date

Hi, all! Welcome to back to our new feature called PUB DATE where Estelle from Rather Be Reading, Andi from Andi’s ABCs, and Maggie from Just a Couple More Pages and I all team up to pair books + beers in harmony! Each week, one of us will features a beer and a book of our choice, each with a different theme for that month!

This month’s theme: WEDDING

I am getting married, TOMORROW, people! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. But no, really, I’m extremely excited! I’m really glad to be done with wedding planning because, WHEW, that’s no joke. (And I totally didn’t believe how much work that would be.) It’s been a lot of fun planning my wedding but it’s had its ups and downs and mostly? I’m just exhausted! I’m ready for the big day and spending time with our closest friends and family. I cannot WAIT to share pictures with you too!

I realized the other day that I don’t think I’ve ever written much about my relationship with Shane on my blog and really that’s because I just haven’t written a lot of personal posts. I love keeping it mostly bookish but now that I’ve been blogging for over two years, I’ve gotten to know a lot of my blogging friends really well, even if I haven’t met most of them in person! So today, on the eve of our wedding day, I wanted to share some fun facts about Brittany and Shane!

thankfully someone took a picture on the night we met!

  • We met at a Halloween party in 2010. We don’t exactly remember the date (although talking about it, we realized it was probably the week before Halloween that year) so we just celebrate our dating anniversary on Halloween… except now we will have a wedding anniversary to celebrate! It’s also part of the reason why we chose November 8th as our wedding date. We thought it would be nice to have that anniversary close to/the same as our dating anniversary 🙂
  • At said Halloween party, I was dressed up as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Shane was dressed as Lenny from Motorhead. We didn’t exactly go together but we clicked right away. (And everyone thought I was dressed up as an Amish person.)
  • On one of our first dates, he took me to his favorite bar/restaurant and I was trying to steal the check from him and accidentally knocked half of a beer into his lap. Thankfully, he laughed!
  • We took our first vacation together when we had only been dating for about seven months. I guess that’s a reasonably long time when you’re in your 20s to go away on a trip together but I was afraid to tell my parents that we were planning a vacation together haha! We went to the mountains of Wyoming (which is a place that’s very special to Shane) and it’s still one of the best vacations we’ve had to date.
  • There were many, many times that I was terrified I scared him away when we first started dating (because I had done this with previous crushes before) but he never left. That was how I knew we would last. He put up with my stupid crap and after he didn’t freak out and never talk to me again — and actually tried to pull me out of those stupid funks — I vowed to quit acting like an idiot and just be cool. It’s one of the ways being with him has changed me for the better, helped me grow up, and really aim to become a better person both for our relationship and for my own well being.
  • We have been on many, many vacations since our first and traveling together really means a lot to us. I can’t wait to see what kind of vacations our future holds!
  • We moved in together in August of 2013 when we bought a house together. I was scared to do this not because I thought something would happen but my parents are very much more traditional. But due to some other things that have happened in our past, my dad was fortunately able to see where we were coming from, why we wanted to move in together, and that we planned on getting engaged in the very near future (at the time when we were buying our house) so he was very supportive and helpful and not at all upset.
  • We got engaged on August 5th, 2013 — the night we moved into our house. I had wanted to get engaged before we moved in together so I was a bit sad that we hadn’t gotten engaged yet, but Shane had it planned out. He popped the question when we were eating pizza and drinking beer on an air mattress on our living room floor (we didn’t have the bed there yet) and it doesn’t sound like anything extravagant or fancy but it was just perfect and very us. I love that it was on the first night we spent in our new house and that it didn’t have to be a crazy, huge gesture to be romantic. It was very romantic in its own way and fit our personalities perfectly since we’ve very low maintenance people!
  • Planning our wedding was probably the most trying part of our relationship so far because we’re just NOT planning people. We like to play things by ear and planning things starts to make things stressful. Despite everything, I think we did a pretty good job! (Although I guess we’ll find out on the wedding day. And I hope to never plan anything of this proportion ever again.) We had a few bumps along the planning road but really only mostly because it’s hard planning things around your family. Those are the places where people are most sensitive so that was to make everyone’s family happy while making ourselves happy too. But just know that no matter what, everything works out in the end!
  • We’re getting married in a very cool antique chapel, full of wooden walls, ceilings, and floors and stained glass windows. It’s the perfect place for us. Our friend (one of Shane’s best friends) is marrying us and I’m so happy to have someone we know and who knows us to perform the ceremony. Our reception hall also has cool wood ceilings and it’s a nice, intimate space. (Well, as intimate as you can get for 200 people!)
  • We’re going to ARUBA on our honeymoon! I’ve never been out of the country except for the Canada side of Niagara Falls so I’m really excited! We’re not HUGE beach people (hey, we needed to go somewhere warm in the middle of November) so we picked Aruba because it seemed like a great place to find things for people like us to do within our budget. I think it’s going to be a great time.

I can’t wait to show you all of the wedding pictures when the honeymoon is over!!! Thank you so much for all of your wonderful love and support throughout the wedding planning process and I can’t thank you enough for all of your warm wedding wishes! <333 I wish I could invite so many blogging friends to the wedding but 200 friends and family was already pushing it 😉 But I do thank you for being there for me as a community when I needed to vent or someone to shout out wedding questions to. The blogging community is a big part of my life and even if you don’t realize it, you helped me plan this wedding too!

My wedding-themed book of choice is THE BRIDE WORE SIZE 12 by Meg Cabot. This is a special book for me in many ways… One is that I started reading the Heather Wells series quite a few years ago because they were some of her favorite books and this series is one of the ones that really got me back into reading again. It’s wedding themed because Heather Wells is getting married and I was THRILLED. It’s a bit of a spoiler if you haven’t read the series yet, I suppose, but you can jump to your own conclusions anyway! It’s also special because I was reading it on my Kindle when Shane and I were in downtown Chicago for the Redbull Flugtag event. I mean, the fact that we were there for Flugtag has nothing to do with it but I can remember where and when I was reading it and the fact that Shane was there and letting me be happy reading instead of just standing around haha. So okay, it’s really not significant at all but somehow it is!

The Heather Wells books are just plain fun and if you’re looking for a light and fluffy adult series, I highly recommend this one! I also hope Meg Cabot writes more because I need to find out what happens AFTER this wedding!

gatecrasher beer

This was wedding central by our front door! Everything that needed to go to the hall + bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts!

I had a bit of a hard time finding a wedding themed beer…? We actually made some beer FOR our wedding but I already featured a homebrew for fall so I didn’t want to bore you with more label-less bottles because what’s the fun in that if you can’t try it? Anyway… I found a beer at Binny’s called Gatecrasher and let’s hope we don’t have any crashers at our wedding! (I actually wouldn’t mind if they were friends who came just for the reception, but no ACTUAL wedding crashers.) Have you ever thought of how hard it is to crash a wedding? That thing would have to be HUGE. I mean, I don’t know ALL of Shane’s family because he has a lot of out-of-town relatives but he knows almost all of mine. I think it’d be very hard to sneak in weddings and go unnoticed!

Anyway. The beer is an IPA and even though I’ve been avoiding the overly hoppy beers, this one actually was not super hoppy. I really enjoyed it! It was a smooth, easy drinker and I actually really enjoyed it! I always like drinking local beers too (this one is from Temperance Beer Co in Evanston, IL) and I also think local beers always taste fresher!

Thanks for joining us for another edition of Pub Date! Missed any posts? You can catch up at any time on my blog page for the Pub Date Feature!

Recent Beers 

  • Lavender Wheat Beer. Homebrew // ABV ?? I was just at one of my best friend’s weddings last weekend and actually one of THEIR friends made a homebrew for the wedding! It was a wheat beer but apparently “dry hopped” (and yes, they had it in quotes too. Why? I don’t know) with lavender, but the lavender taste was SO strong that I was guessing it was more than just dry hopped with it. (Lavender extract, maybe?) It was good but I could only have one because the lavender taste was pretty strong! (And since it was a homebrew and I hadn’t eaten yet, the beer itself was probably a bit high in alcohol content!)
  • Cranberry Ginger Shandy by Leinenkugel’s. Fruit beer // 4.20% ABV. I actually bought this variety pack of shandies because I wanted to try this one. I don’t like cranberries and I don’t like ginger… but somehow this just totally appealed to me. And it was really good! I liked the cranberry because it was a nice fruity flavor without being overly sweet. HOWEVER. The other two beers in this variety pack? NOT GOOD. The Harvest Patch Shandy was was good at first but the spices were so strong that it was hard to finish even one beer. The Old Fashioned Shandy? TERRIBLE. It’s supposed to have oak flavors but it tasted like I was honestly chewing on bark. I ended up pouring it out and I NEVER waste beer.
  • Rapunzel by Arcadia Brewing Company. American Pale Wheat Ale // 6.40% ABV. I bought this one in a make-your-own six pack and I know Arcadia usually had pretty good beers. I really, really enjoyed it! Like I said before, I’ve been kind of avoiding more hoppy beers but I really like American pales versus IPAs because they have a nice hop flavor but aren’t too terribly strong! I’d recommend this one.

** Beer styles and alcohol content from Beer Advocate **
** Drink responsibly ** 

Are you a beer fan? On the Untappd app? Add me as a friend!

The Book Addict’s Wedding [1] – The Dress

Hi, friends! I’m trying something new here where I post a few updates on my wedding planning and wedding thoughts. I didn’t really want wedding things sort of “taking over”, so to speak, so I’m making little notes and thoughts along the way and will post on weekends!

So this is update #1 and although I’m already mid-way through the wedding planning, I’m just starting now. Oops, sorry! So I’ll just fill you in a little bit to start — So far I’ve got my hall, chapel, and DJ booked. Check is in the mail for our photographer and I just sent out a feeler to a florist to see what they can offer in terms of flowers (which I really know NOTHING about). I went dress shopping over Easter weekend and guess what… I picked one!! I went back just this past Sunday and put my money down for my dress and it has been ORDERED. What a weird and exciting feeling! (And also a motivation to start doing arm workouts hahaha)


So I purchased my dress from a little shop in the suburbs and it was SUCH a pleasant experience. It was the first place we went to and my mom and my sister came with me for the dress shopping experience. I was so happy to have both of them there, especially since my sister lives in Wisconsin and I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like! The staff was so incredibly helpful and friendly and the lady I was working with really listened to all of my feedback and picked incredibly appropriate dresses for me, but still pushed the limit a little bit to make sure I was really trying on a good variety. The very first dress I tried on, I fell in love with. I put it on and actually got a little teary! I told myself, “No, no, it’s the first dress and you’re just emotional about wedding dress shopping” but I tried on many more dresses that day and that was the only one I really LOVED. It was really the only one that felt like ME. I pondered it over for almost a full week and I came to three conclusions: 1) I hate appointments and really didn’t want to go hopping around to other bridal shops that take at least 45 minutes to get to, 2) If I decided to go another weekend, my sister wouldn’t be able to come with again and most importantly 3) I really liked that dress.

Deciding to buy it was a really scary thing though! I’ve bought plenty of prom dresses (most of which just happened to fall at my feet and totally on sale) but come on, buying a WEDDING DRESS is not like buying a prom dress. This is THE DRESS. The most important one of your life. (Unless maybe you’re going to a major awards show or something.) I just felt a lot of pressure to make sure it was the right one. Were misty eyes enough to tell me that or should I have been bawling big, fat tears? True, it was a motivating factor that I didn’t want to go to other appointments because they just take up so much time but that should never be the reason WHY I buy my dress. With such a big decision on my shoulders, I just couldn’t tell if I really felt like this was THE ONE or if there really was something better out there. I debated about it for most of the week and finally decided that this was my dress. I kept looking back at the picture my sister had taken with me in it and still really felt like it embodied both me and the general feeling of what I wanted my wedding to be. It fit well and was well within my price range. But most importantly, I kept looking back at the photos of all the dresses I knew I wasn’t going to pick and how much I hated those and loved THE ONE.

I think the hardest thing for me is that I’m not a dress person. The only fancy dresses I’ve really bought were for prom and they were just purchased because of price range and convenience. Those shouldn’t be the same reasons I bought my wedding dress, right? Well I finally realized that they SHOULD. I can’t remember who told me this (or if I had read it somewhere), but I had to go back and think about this:

Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not supposed to be — don’t make things harder than you have to.

Sure, finding my dress seemed to easy — or was it supposed to be easy, like my big dress purchases had been in the past? I was always told you just KNOW when you find your wedding dress and yet, I had so many feelings like I just wasn’t sure. I talked it over with my mom and she asked me this: “If you buy it, do you think you’d have buyer’s remorse? Would you want to go look for other dresses?” And I knew the answer to both was no. Every other dress I had tried on that day, I was comparing to the first and how those just weren’t it.

I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase it! I had my dress fitting just this past Sunday and put my money down for my wedding dress. It will take a few months to come in and I should be getting a phone call in September when it arrives for another fitting! Very exciting things. It’s also always nice to have another thing crossed off my list because I know they’ll just keep coming and coming!

As much as I’m sure you all want to see it, I’m actually going to refrain from posting pictures of my dress on the internet for now! Shane and I want the reveal to be a surprise and it’s hard enough trying to keep the pictures a surprise from him so far with pictures being on my phone when I go to show him pictures of other things! I promise I’ll be posting pictures after the wedding but for now I’m keeping photos of the dress moderately private. We’re REALLY good at spoiling things for each other so I’m trying REALLY hard! 😀