my band!

I know, I know. I've really been slacking on the wedding updates! When you're planning a wedding from thousands of miles away, sharing visual pieces is a tad tricky...but, now that we're back in California, we'll cross off a few more "to dos" and by next week we'll have met all of our vendors face to face!

But, I haven't been totally slacking. I swear. Before getting engaged, I dreamed of a vintage engagement ring...Gabe was a tad nervous about that, so he wisely had my ring custom made. But after seeing the price for a matching diamond eternity band, I knew it just wasn't in the budget. And I really didn't need more diamonds. (Wait. Did I just say that?)

Why not get my "vintage" kick in with the wedding band, though? A few days before Christmas I stopped at an antique store in Stillwater, Minnesota, and bumped into the most beautiful Art Nouveau vintage wedding band from 1930. It's a gorgeous thin yellow gold band with flower motif all around...the fit was perfect and it added a really great texture without looking too mismatched. I bought it on the spot. Gabe isn't always into vintage...he's every bit "modern" to my "nostalgic" tastes. But he loves it too...and I also think he loved that we saved several hundred dollars.

Two weeks later and I'm still in love. I may or may not be slipping it on every few days just to make sure it still looks great. :)

What kind of band do you have or dream of wearing someday?


the day after.

I like to believe that Christmas extends through New Years Day. Somehow, these five extra seasonal days help me feel a little less blue on December the 26th.

Even though our all-Christmas radio station has switched back to hum-drum usual tunes, it makes me a little cheery that my apartment is still decorated for Christmas. Sure, I won't be there for the next two weeks, today we leave for Sacramento..but I couldn't have parted with my Christmas lights + tree just yet! The mistletoe still hangs in the doorway to my kitchen, and perhaps we can snag one more smooch under it before it's got to come down. :)

Off subject topic: I recently received requests on my Facebook page for a photo-focused post! I'm ultra happy + flattered to put this together! An expert I am not, but I have done my fair share of trial and error...so perhaps I can share how to get started, which equipment is necessary + fabulous, easy editing and so forth. 

Sound okay? If you have a question, just drop it in the comments here so I can start working on that post! :)


a very special guest post.

Hello and hope you are all enjoying the holidays! I’m Gabriel, Bethany’s fiancé and the ineloquent writer filling in for her today.  I promise she will be back soon. It’s just that I rarely feel like writing, but the holidays are a subject about which I’ve recently gained some understanding. 
For the past 14 years I have either been in the military or serving with the military in some form or another. I can count on one hand the number of birthdays and Christmases I have actually been home to see. Over the years, when you are gone for more holidays than you’re home, you tend to let yourself think that a holiday is really just another day.  You tell yourself there’s nothing special about the day; nothing to really miss.  Over this last month though, I have realized that this is just a coping mechanism.  Once you admit that you are missing out on something so special, so often, it suddenly becomes a big deal. You realize you’re missing out on a lot. 

This Christmas will be my first at home in years.  And I say “at home” because since meeting Bethany, I think of my home as wherever my beautiful fiancé is. It is not really a place that makes my home, but a person.  Knowing that we’ll wake up on Christmas morning, see each other and open presents together makes me realize that I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. Being gone for so long, I kind of lost sight of that.  They say you never really know what you have until you lost it, but I had the reverse of that. I never really knew what I was missing until I found her. Spending Christmas with Bethany is the best gift I could possibly receive.
So, the best gift I can give to others is to remind them of the gift of experience.  No matter how stressful Christmas can be with friends and family, don’t let yourself miss it.  Stop and take it all in. After being away for so long, I know for sure that it’s the best thing in the world.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and hope you enjoy every moment with family and friends.


a very retro christmas

This weekend was a blur.

But a few things I remember from it were...meeting a bunch of really lovely girls at Give Crafty in Minneapolis...staying at an ultra cute hotel so I could knock out some Christmas shopping at the Mall of America. And...finally finding something to wear to pick up Gabe at the airport tomorrow! Yes, I'm one of those girls who obsesses over that airport greeting outfit. But when it's been six months (and you've lost twenty pounds since then!), I think a little obsessing is earned, right?

After a drive to Anthropologie on Sunday, I made the mistake of telling a sales associate what I was shopping for. She squealed and starting pulling every item known to man, while I was sent off to the fitting room! Girls...she brought everything from purple skinny jeans to slinky black dresses. I am not exaggerating when I say I tried on at least thirty things and was overwhelmed.

But then...this dress entered the picture. It's a festive kelly green and a sweet retro shape...not my usual vibe. Yet when I slipped it on, I felt very Zooey Deschanel! (That's a good thing.) It was a out of my normal pricepoint, but my employer was super kind with the Christmas bonuses this year...so I happily bought this gorgeous frock.

I'm a bit nervous to wear it, though, since I don't usually dress so retro-inspired! While I love the look on others, sometimes I feel like a silly poser trying to pull of the Zooey look. But, here's hoping it will pair well with tights, gold glitter flats, and a sweet vintage gold brooch passed down to me by my Great Aunt Mill!

Gabe's flight arrives in twenty six hours. There aren't words to express my excitement...and also the length of my To Do list! But I won't wax poetic about that, because doesn't everyone in the world have an enormous list at this time of year? Yes. We all do.

Here's hoping you're enjoying this week before Christmas and crossing off every last thing on your list! :)


...and the winner is...

...Doris Johnson, who surprisingly grew up in Wisconsin, like me, and then moved to Calfornia...just like I will in a few months! We're life twins, or something like that. :) Anyway, shoot me an email at wwrinserepeat@gmail.com and I'll drop this baby in the mail to you on Monday...along with about twelve other packages that are overdue to get into the post.

Thank you all so very much for entering. I feel like tons of new girls dropped commens on the giveaway post and I'm having a blast taking study breaks to discover these new places in the blog world! I only wish I had a bajillion dollars so I could purchase a calendar for each of you.

In other news, I've officially conquered the art history paper that's been looming over me and can now say that 75% of all stress in my life is due to procrastination and just plain stressing about stress. Know what I mean?

But, the above photo is an accurate summary of the last 48 hours of life in my world. Lots of caffeinated beverages, scads of books and, embarassingly enough, many, many hours in the same pair of pajamas. Oh and that Cheetah print Snuggie. Don't knock it til you try it...it's forgivably comfortable.

Tonight I've got a little party for one of my classes, and then am meeting up with my incredibly good friend + bridesmaid, Andrea, for coffee. She lives all the way over in Washington...I haven't seen her since before I got engaged and I'm beyond excited to hug her!

What are you up to tonight? Christmas cookies? Finals? Shopping? Do tell!


short and sweet: last day extra entry!

As you read this, I'm likely highlighting, typing and rubbing a lucky rabbit's foot that somehow I'll finish a beastly medieval reliquaries paper by Thursday at 3pm. So, I'll keep it short and sweet today...save all my words in hopes of meeting a lofty page requirement which seems oh-so far away.

But quickly-quickly, I'm offering a last day extra entry on the Rifle Calendar Giveaway! This thing is whimsical as all get out. So those of you who are ultra in love with it, just on pop over to the original giveaway post and drop an additional comment!

I'll be back on Thursday with the winner! Have a lovely, lovely Wednesday. :)


we might need a miracle.

It's getting to that point. You know, that point in December where you're not exactly sure how everything is going to get completed. Papers, finals, Christmas parties, nooks and crannies to clean, presents to mail, items to order, gifts to wrap...a fiance returning home from overseas.

The list goes on and on.

I'm trying to stay focused, but it's hard when there's snow outside, glittery crafts I'd like to make and a paper I'd looove to shirk. It's gonna take a mircale, I think. And maybe little pixie dust to get everything done around here in time for the holidays.

Are you feeling the crunch?


choosing joy in sadness.

My heart feels silly writing about snowflakes or lipstick today...yesterday, a dear friend's mom passed away after years of battling cancer. There's peace that she no longer suffers, joy that she's gone home to Jesus...but it's tough not to cry or feel heavy-hearted.

I knew her best through her daughters, who live with so much joy, grace and laughter. Clearly she taught her girls:

...to laugh extra hard at the funny moments.
...to find the beauty in most any situation.
...to bless others in all that you do.
...and mostly, to trust God with everything. Big or little.

So for today, tomorrow, as long as I can remember...I will honor all those things in memory of their incredible mama who has really, truly gone home for Christmas.


rifle calendar giveaway!

I love a new calendar. Crisp, clean pages...free from crinkles, coffee rings and scribbles. Flipping through leaves me thinking about what the coming months will bring: meeting my best friend's baby boy, a little school, marrying the love of my life...and then a lot of unknowns. When I spotted this Rifle Botanical Wall Calendar, I knew I needed it. A little visual grace, if you will, for a year that I feel might not look so graceful from the outside.

To celebrate the coming year, and all the excitement of 2011...I'm giving away an identical Rifle Botanical Wall Calendar to one lucky reader! Its the most beautiful calendar and the pages will make fabulous wrapping paper or scrapbooking bits after each month passes.

To enter:
Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you're most looking forward to in 2012!

For additional entries (please leave one comment for each entry):
Subscribe to my blog, and leave a comment letting me know you're a follower.
Like my Facebook page, and double back to leave a comment letting me know you've done so.

This giveaway is open to all (US, Sweden, Brazil...wherever!) through Wednesday, December 14th. I'll announce the winner on Thursday, December 15th.

In the meantime...drop a comment (or three) and enter to win!!


filling in the empty spaces.

Gabe is on cloud nine about coming home for Christmas in two weeks, so I'm taking the holiday decor up a notch around here. Think even more glitter than usual, multiple stockings and seven extra strings of lights. Hello, enormous electric bill...I do not even care that you exist. I've informed Gabe that openly weeping with Christmas joy is the only thanks I'll need for the hours I've spent decorating. He'll try to oblige, he says.

Over the next two weeks, there are still a few awkward ledges + empty crannies in need of some holiday sprucing. So, when I spotted several pins + posts with plans to DIY these (ahem, overpriced) Anthropologie Mason Jar Snowglobes, I knew I had to hop on the band wagon and craft my own.

Here's the best part...it's totally a 4-3-2-1 craft format:

Four supplies needed (mason jar, mini tree, faux snow, hot glue gun).
Three minutes to create (or less, once you get crackin').
Two dollars a piece (if you've got extra glass jars around).
One heck of a cute craft (that you cannot screw up).

If you'd like a tutorial, it pretty much goes like this:

Hot glue bottom of adorably tiny tree to inside of mason jar lid.
Sprinkle a pinch of faux snow into jar. 
Twist jar closed.
Marvel over the $40 you just saved yourself. :)

But, it should be noted that I'm not the first one to do this. Check out this tutorial if you want more photos and an indepth set of instructions!


P.S. Big ol' thanks to everyone who popped over to my new Rinse. Repeat. Facebook page! I am loving the chance to share extra photos + chat with you in a new, more frequent way!


on facebook!

Here's something I've gone back and forth about: Facebook pages for blogsI've never found it strange that other bloggers had them--usually they're also selling products, services or they're just plain awesome enough to rock a Facebook page. But when I thought about creating one for this blog, I felt a little insecure and silly about it.

Recently I realized that while I love me some blog comments, often I'd love to have a casual dialogue with you, my readers! It's fun to know about your opinions,  hear about your day, your holiday plans. Blog comments aren't always conducive to that...while Facebook pages make it incredibly easy to have that relaxed, continual dialogue.

Also, I get reader mail from lots of fantastic girls who don't have blogs, some felt intimidated leaving a comment or had issues navigating the comment page. I'd love to connect with those girls, too! (Or guys. We're equal opportunity around here.)

So, yesterday afternoon I finally made a Rinse. Repeat. Facebook page.

If you want blog updates via Facebook, extra photos or the ability to chat about your love for cake and sweatpants...let's connect! Head on over to my Facebook page and give it a "Like"!


glitzy new years eve invites.

This weekend it snowed enough to keep me from leaving home most of Saturday. (I'm not complaining!) There were plenty of wise, mature things I could have done while snowed in...of course I did none of them.

Instead I made glittery New Years Eve Engagement Party invitations! Gabe and I are spending New Years Eve in California, at our very full home in Sacramento...with twenty five people. Both our families are getting together to meet for the first time--Gabe's enormous family is driving from around the state and my small fam is flying out from Wisconsin! Our best friends are joining us too...so the house will be full up.

Since we haven't done so yet, we thought New Years Eve might be a great time to celebrate our engagement: a festive little evening at home with lots of food, a pinch of glitter and some good tunes. Our families already know we're having a party, but I couldn't resist making an invite for the occasion.

The invite was pretty easy-peasy: The glitter boxes came straight from the Dollar Tree, and easily held the 3X5 gold embossed invite + a handful of festive hand punched confetti. Add a little paper doily, an embossed initial tag for each fam and a few inches of ribbon...and BAM. You've got yourself an invite.

Have you ever tried embossing? It's such a great way to make an invite a little fancier. Jacin over at Lovely Little Details just posted a fabulous DIY embossing video, which reminded me that I'd not used my supplies in over a year, so I set about building that into the invites. Take a peek at her video--it's a great intro to embossing.

Are you a big New Years Eve fan...do you already have plans? Or do you prefer to sit at home in your PJs, watching the countdown?


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