Sunday, November 24, 2019

Engagment Photos Part 1

Hey what is up hello! Engagement photos are officially here! Our wedding is in the summer, and the next time we will take photos again will probably be winter 2021, so we thought a Fall vibe would be the best!

Number 1 blog photos and "candid" engagement photos are totally two different things. Blog photos you just stand there and get a photo of the outfit, engagement photos you really actually need to pose.
We one part were completely awkward and not prepared for this, and other part had a ton of fun and were so happy with the shots. It took about two hours in total (and a full day to get ready for the shots), where blog photos take about 30 minutes.
The whole thing was a good time and we are so happy we blocked off the day for the shots... and we caved and decided to get Christmas cards so this works great.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Truth About Orangetheory

Hey what is up hello! I posted the other day about going to an Orangetheory Class, and I got a couple DMs about it, so I thought why no share my experience. (flash forward to paragraph 5 if you do not care about my story).

A little back story on me. I have been athletic pretty much my whole life. I have always been a runner, I have always enjoyed working out. I can say I think I have been a routine runner since 2006. Then I started doing army stuff in 2013, and my fitness level went to another level. I wanted to beat the boys, so I started running log distance, and doing a ton of body weight exercises.Long story short I had some health issues in 2016 and I stopped running distance because one of my knees killed, and with one of my health issues I lost so much weight I stopped caring about what I ate because I could not gain weight for the life of me (to the point where it hurt to sit down). Flash forward to 2019, I am on my deployment, the thought of working out exhausted me, and my horrible diet caught up to be about 20 extra pounds.

I tried just about EVERYTHING to get myself back into a fitness routine. I did not even have a goal, I just wanted to feel healthy/fit again. I tried to run again (my knee still killed), I tried getting into weight lifting (I gained a ton of muscle, but was not losing any weight), I tried spin class (I hated it), I tried BBG (I could not even get myself into the gym I hated it so much).

I get home and my mom signed me up to go to an Orangetheory class with her. I was hooked!

What is Orangetheory?

Their motto is "Run, row, lift". You run/walk on a treadmill, row on a row machine, and do circuit training (abs, arms, legs). They also say it is science based, so you will burn calories even after the class (super hitt type cardio). You also have a heart rate monitor, so you can see if you are pushing yourself too hard, or not enough. Which is nice because another thing was I was getting frustrated that I was not as good as I once was. Then at the end of the class it sends you how far you went, and how many calories you burned. You are never on anything long enough to get bored.

Do you like it? 

This is the first workout I have done since college that I like. In fact I LOVE it. It is super self paced. I have even gotten back into speed training (which I NEVER thought was even possible with my knee) In fact I think my knee hurt for so long because I was going the same pace. My knee, for the most part, feels fine now!

Have you noticed a change?

I feel less fluffy and more tone from this. I have been doing this for 4 months now, and I love how it makes me feel happy after the class, and I already feel healthier. In fact I ate something the other day where I was just so incredibly bloated, and 20 minutes into the class I felt a million times better. I am not saying it is magic (the class kicks your butt), but I love how it makes me feel.

How much does it cost? 

It depends what area you are in. I do the 8 classes a month. In Michigan it was 65 dollars a month, Downtown D.C. it was 165 a month, and DC suburbs it is 99 a month.

Can I do it if I am new to working out?

Yes! If you are a walker you can do it. If you are an ex athlete you can do it. Seriously anyone can do this class and get results.

How do you stay motivated to go?

Remember? I only go twice a week! I need to start putting a long run in there, but I am giving myself grace and just making myself go twice a week. And I also do a strength training day once a week because #abs #shoulders.

Do you feel like you will get bored with the Orangetheory Workouts? 

They are designed where you will never do the same workout twice! Which I agree, I have not done the same one twice! Some days focus on going longer distances, and some days you are at each station for like 3 minutes at a time and rotate. Also I normally would do a rotation of running and circuits. Rowing is kind of new for me though, but it is a fun way to get cardio in.

What if you can not do something?

I would talk to the coach, they understand, but also if you can not do something (circuit wise) you can skip it or do your own thing. I went to the Beta store a couple of times (I did not like it so I switched places) and they had some weird things, and I just substituted them for something else.

Do you get stronger from this class?

It is not a "lifting class" I would say you weight train for sure. People that worry about getting too big, this is a good class for you. You do enough weights to keep your body burning for longer, but I do not see this being a class where you "get big".

What shoes do you wear?

Brooks! I love brooks shoes. In fact I am getting these shoes: Ice Cream. I think they are so fun, and I ONLY wear them to run or OrangeThoery. I have better runner friends and they all agree brooks ghost are the best. Yes the are ugly but you knees and feet will love you.

Why do you stay with OrangeTheory?

1. My body loves for me to run. I get my best results from running. (and a healthy diet)2. It is only an hour a day. 3. I can go only twice a week and see results. 4. I feel AMAZING after the class. This class seriously made me feel like myself again.


Monday, November 4, 2019

Dresses for Your Engagement Photos

Hey what is up hello! Engagement photos are a big part between the process of getting engaged and getting married. I know it is a super easy way to cut on the budget, but there were a couple of reasons we really wanted engagement photos.

Recently I saw my grandma's wedding photos and I thought that it would be nice for something to pass down. 

You only get professional photos for your wedding and how many photos do you want in formal attire?

If you have the time and resources, why not?!

Here were some of the dresses I was thinking about. I wanted a fall vibe, and I almost  went with the yellow floral dress pictured above. Below are some other options, and a sneak (not pointing it out) peak on what I did wear.

Also a tip for what to wesr for the shoot is wear what makes you comfortable. I LOVE the maxi boho dress photos. However, I have never worn a maxi boho dress in my life, and I probably never will. I probably will never wear a flower crown ever. We personally went with a more casual feel, because we spend about 90% of the time not at work in workout gear! Haha! Wear what makes you comfortable and go with that!

Shop the look here

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Pink Pants Three Ways

Hey what is up hello! I do not know about you, but I am a stylish gal on a budget. I also live in DC so space is scarce. That is why I love to be able to take a piece and wear it a couple of different ways. Here is how I styled pink pants 3 different ways. 

Number One// the place I spend the most time is work! I focus most of my wardrobe fund on what I can wear to work, and if I can wear it after work that is even better! I love the pink pants paired with a black top and make it even better with a super cute blazer

Number Two// Pair the pink pants with a white blouse. You can still wear this to work, and even better you can pair that with a jean jacket for AFTER work. I love this casual style for hanging out with the fam, or going to book club after work. 

Number Three// Ready to move a groove. I love a good two piece set, match this with a cute crop top, you can head to the beach, or a night out on the town. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Why I started a Boutique

Hey what is up hello! I started a boutique (found here). Let me tell you, I love fashion, and I have always wanted to open a store. So here we are! Lets jump into it!

Where did the name Norm & Jane come from?

So I have always wanted to own a line of luxury handbags/ shoes. I wanted to do everything from scratch and something totally new, and I wanted to name that after my mom's name. However, I am not at that point of my life for that. The name she goes by is "Jane", I played around with that. I have no clue how this added to the equation, but Norm is my parents dog. Norm is the best dog ever, so this all came together.

Also if you ever questioned where the blog name game from, it might have also come from my family (here)

Are you working with someone to get the clothing items?

I think people thought I was part of an MLM. Actually everyone besides my mom did! I am not part of ~*anything*~ I am like any other boutique you would see around you. I have my own suppliers, I have my own online store, I do my own marketing.

So where do you get your clothing items from?

This is what makes every single boutique unique! There are hundreds to thousands of places to get your boutique items. There are a couple of major cities to get your items from and I mainly get all of my clothes from LA suppliers!

How did you find the time to open a boutique?

I was on a military deployment for 9 months. There was so much off time when you do not fiends or family around. Yes I was working 12 hours a day, but also I had nothing to do with the other hours! I had a lot of time to research, come up with a business plan, het all the legalities set up, and put in the ground work to start. Here we are!

Why did you open a boutique? 

I honestly tried to open 3 other businesses, (two service based, 1 product based). And I could not for the life of me get it off the ground. I tried everything. I went to try a boutique thinking that it would be just as hard.EVERYTHING CLICKED! 

Seriously I love clothing, I love fashion, everything came together so easy. (Post three other fails) I love it and I think it is my natural calling.

Are you happy you opened a boutique?

Yes, every second I learn so much. I love working on it and growing it! Plus I love seeing everyone enjoy Norm and Jane's clothes!

Are you working your boutique full time?

No, I still work my 9-5. I actually just a  communications roll that I am super pumped about! That is actually a big impact on Norm and Jane I found that business clothes for women are either super bland, or you are going clubbing. You want into a store womens clothes are going out or super casual. While the men's side have all these button downs, suit coats, and business attire. I remember going to an interview and I could not even find a button down that was appropriate to wear. That where Norm and Janes theme came from. An outfit you can wear to work and still feel trendy

Monday, October 14, 2019

Hey what is up hello!

Hey what is up hello! I am popping in to say hey! If you are in half of the country fall has not hit yet. DC it is crisp, but it is still so hot! I love this fun outfit. Plus I am heading to mexico here soon, so why not have fun with this two piece.

I know I have not been blogging for a while. There has been a lot of changes this past couple of months (all good!) but also just a lot going on and a lot to adjust to. Thank you for bearing with me. Here is a little on what is going on.

DC Life: I actually for the first time this weekend went to the monuments. (I have been to dc like 100 times before so I have seen everything before) BUT it was fun to go again.

Weekend: This weekend my college friend and my cousin were in town! It is fun to be in a city where things are going on all the time. We ran the army 10 miler. Which I felt under prepared, but it is all done! I might actually continue to distance run... #TBT

Finds: Y'all... I am trying to find an engagement photo dress, and I can not find one. Here is everything else I have found.
-Need these shoes.
-Loving some heart earrings.
-Does anyone else love the skalla sisters? This bridesmaids dress
- Old Navy has been killing it.
-I bought about 7 of these.

Amazon Purchase: Y'all these Probiotics changed my life, never listen to a random girl on the internet, do your own research. I tried every single probiotic, but one for specifically for women has been amazing. (here)


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

After Party Sale 2019

Hey what is up hello! As you might know the Lilly Pulitzer after party sale is going on right now. I have loved Lilly for years and years and years. My sister and I even at a young age looked like two retired pals because we walked around in our bright flowery skorts and visors. 

Anyways I always find that I look at my Lilly items summer after summer to wear around. It is a classic preppy look that I love year after year. That is why I love the Lilly Pulitzer after party sale.

Here one of the items I got. (I always wear rompers on the weekends). And below is some of my favorite items from the sale.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Work Wear Nordstrom Sale

Hey what is up hello! We all love the Nordstrom Sale, I think everyone has beat this sale to death. I am loving rich colors for fall. I love loose clothing that I can move around in. As always, I love solid colors and color blocks. Here are some of my favorites to wear to work.


Monday, July 22, 2019

I Moved!

Hey what is up hello! I moved! I told everyone that I would announce this Monday, and I meant this Monday... Duh! No I am kidding I just stink at blogging while every single part of my life just changed. (okay, I am done being dramatic). Lets get into the moving blog.

Where did I move?

I moved to DC! I have always wanted to move to New York City, D.C., or Raleigh, NC. Pretty much I have always wanted to be be in the Mid-Atlantic area.

Why did you move?

Did I say "I"? I meant "we". Alex and I are engaged (see here), and a big part of where we went was due to his residency. There were a couple of cities, and we narrowed it down to three places we wanted to go. Then about the last two months we narrowed it down to two places. It came down to Michigan (our hometown), and D.C.

Do you live downtown?

No! We actually live in the "suburbs" I metro to work (with little walking commute), but when I get home I can still drive to a whole foods and have free parking. Win win for this gal.

What does this mean for the blog?

Nothing changes! Well... probably better content. Other than that, nothing but more content for you all to consume?

How do you honestly feel?

Before I got my job I felt so out of my league, but the second I got a job I felt so pumped and so excited and it finally felt like everything was coming together, as bad as that sounds. I am so excited to be in a big city, and far enough to feel at home in the suburbs.

What are you doing in the city?

This will be another blog post, but as my whole business career has been... I will be in business support! I will go into more details later, but you will know exactly why I chose this job;)


Tuesday, May 28, 2019

TMI Tuesday: Natural Deoderant

 Hey what is up hello! Happy TMI Tuesday today's topic Deodorant! Not just any deodorant, aluminum free deodorant!

You can do your own research on why you don't want aluminum in your deodorant... like seriously go google it right now!

And aluminum free deodorant was one of my top post ever (check it out), so here is a new option I am LOVING! 

Green Goo Helps deodorant is not an antiperspirant BUT it really acts like one. Plus it smells like whole food beauty department. I have tried EVERY non aluminum deodorant and this one is by far my favorite! (also blow are some of my other favorite options)


Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Wedding Wednesday NO. 4// Wedding Guest Apparel

Hey what is up hello! Happy Wedding Wednesday! So today's wedding Wednesday is not my wedding, but for any wedding you might be attending. Fun fact I was invited to  EIGHT weddings this year. Yes, you read that right. Most of my friends are about 5ish years out of college, and I guess we are all taking the plunge;) I am actually so excited for all of this because I get to go all over the country (no west coast peeps though) and celebrate my friends and family! 
My tip for what to wear to a wedding has a ton to do with 2 things. 1. What is the venue like. 2. What time of day is it? A 6 o'clock reception is traditionally going to be black tie, where a day wedding is going to be more casual. 

Then for the venue, a ball room is going to be more formal (think cocktail dress), where a barn or beach will be a little more casual. The couple might also say on the save the date, the wedding website, or the invitation. 

Whatever the dress code is remember, this is the couple's day. This is not your day. You are celebrating the couple, the dress code is just that. A dress code. You are not going to remember what you wore, you will remember the great times you had that day!

Also, if you are a plus one, steer clear of going over the top on what you wear. (think solid colors) As a guest stay away from anything overly muted, you don't want to look like you are wearing white. On the other side of that, if you are good friends with the couple you can always ask what to wear or if it is a good option. I mean I would totally have everyone wear millennial pink sparkles, pastel blue, and navy if I had the choice. BUT I am not a Taylor Swift music video so that is not an option haha! 

Here are some of my favorite picks for this season:


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

TMI Tuesday: Leave-In Conditioner

Hey what is up hello! Let me tell you soul sister I have dry hair. Yes, as dry as that desert in the background. It is so dang dry that is knots up into 4 dreadlocks about once a month.

I tried literally everything on my hair, and it would still stay super dry and tangled. My hair laughes at conditioner, and will actively drink any oils or creams that I put on my hair.

Until I found this leave in conditioner. This is also the only conditioner i have ever seen have a before and after photo when you go to buy it.

This is an intense Ouai that you spray after you shower. It leaves your hair so smooth and silky. I'm not a big scent person, but i smells amazing. I will make you smell like you charge you crystals when there is a full moon, and you regularly do hot yoga so that you can center yourself. (Neither of which I do). Also the scent doesn't linger, which I also LOVE!

Anyways for the dry hair out there, this is your match made in heaven!


Friday, May 17, 2019

Small Business Spotlight: Red Dress Boutique

Hey what is up hello! I love a good boutique. Also I am trying to get more into buying smaller. I feel like the way social media is going with the algorithm, social media is making it harder and harder for a small business to thrive without paying for Instagram ads. (some business can afford this, and some can not). 

Also with the blogger affiliate links, bloggers do not make a commission from brands, and small businesses are barely on affiliate links. (I believe this is because, again you have to pay a commission to be on the apps). 

That being said, I love small businesses and boutiques. I mostly shop online. I love when boutiques post their new products on their Instagram stories. I can just flip through what is new, and it is honestly the fastest way to see new products.

Red Dress Boutique does a GREAT job of this. I have been following them for years (They are a Georgia brand, and I grew up in Georgia). Also before the bachelorette, Hannah G. was/is one of their boutique models! I don't have favorites, but they are for sure my favorite. 

Also to just add a little history, Red Dress Boutique was on Shark Tank . The owner, Diana Harbour is a total boss. you really need to check out her Instagram and look at the "Ugh Amazon" stories. She dives into how much faux fashion not only effects luxury brand, but also small businesses. 

Not to mention all their clothes are extremely cute! Every time I wear a dress or romper from them, I always get compliments! They have great statement pieces for every occasion. Here are some of my favorites for this season. (I am loving tow piece sets fyi)


Thursday, March 21, 2019

Spring Transition Wardrobe

Hey what is up hello! If you are in the south spring is right around the corner. If you are from Michigan, you want spring, but you probably are not going to get it for 2 more months. That is where a spring transition wardrobe come into play!
Here is what I am loving for spring:

My favorite trends for spring: I am loving pink. It has not been my favorite color in the past, but this season I am loving it. Tweed! Seriously is so classic, and I am loving it. Flared jeans are perfect for staying warm, but giving an updated spring look! Also, this is a pro tip. throw a blazer over a dress to keep you warm. I feel like it is the updated school girl cardigan. You look like a put together women. 


Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Hey what is up hello! For the venue... I am in the Middle East. I can not travel to 20 venues, make an excel spreadsheet, and look at the pros and cons, the prices, and area. (Lets be real I know the area... BECAUSE!)

We are getting married in Michigan! Both Alex and I are "from" Michigan. I was born there, moved to the south, then moved back for college, and moved away afterward. I am "from" no where, BUT my whole family lives in Michigan. 

So talking about the why we narrowed down to a Michigan venue. What were our other options?

Destination wedding: This was my top pick. Not necessarily due to wanting to get married at a beach. It is sooooo much cheaper for a couple to get married at an all inclusive resort. Yes, your guest end up eating the cost. They have to pay to get out there, but most resorts do free weddings or a small fee for flowers to get married there. I have a huge family and this would also create a smaller wedding, which I wanted. 

Cons: Not everyone can make it. Immediate family can which I wanted. HOWEVER Alex wanted everyone to be there (He has a much smaller family) Also my mom wanted a big wedding. Which since we have been engaged I have heard of so many catholic families allowing a destination wedding, and their family forcing  throwing a big after party. So my mom nixed that and went straight for the after party. Which a wedding is about family, so it just made sense. 

Waiting Until We Find Out Where We Are Going: We are going somewhere in July. That is that. I ALSO wanted this. This would also be a "Destination Wedding" for my family. And half of A's family would be near. It would be fun for everyone to get together in a new place. Again, we do not know where we are going, so we could not plan it right away. 

Michigan: This was the winner! Again we are both from Michigan. Our families live there. Most of our friends from out of town are from Michigan. I also knew a handful of Venues, I knew what they looked like. We are having it on the East Side of the State, so that people who have to fly in, the airport is right by there!

As for the Venue, again for safety reason I will not share it on the blog until after. BUT we are doing it at a stunning ballroom. There is also a golf course and hotel on site so everyone can walk to the venue and there is plenty to do for out of town guest. Below is a little tiny sneak peak (Photographer can be found here)

I will say this, when we were in a frenzy to get a venue, a lot of places were like we start at this price (About 15k over our total budget) and we do not have off season pricing. This is when the search was on over drive. Low and behold the venues wanted to negotiate with us, they emailed us a week later and they were about 2/3 the cost. Which I get it, but I just thought that was so icky.

The venue we went with was super upfront about pricing. Plus it is all inclusive including rentals. linens, and clean up. Not only that, but because they are all inclusive they help us plan big time. Alex keeps saying I am way on top of things, and I am like no I am not the venue is. My favorite part, the place is so stunning we are so happy to have the big day there!

Overall, the wedding venue is amazing, close to home, a major air port, and we can not wait to say "I Do" here!

Thursday, March 14, 2019


Hey what is up hello! I know it is not Wednesday so I am a liar. Wedding Thursday just does not sound as good. I was going to do a post on MY VENUE, but I have learned so much about picking a venue I am going to tell you some tips I have picked up along the way. This is focused on budget saving tips that if you want to have a budget wedding these tips will save your life.  Here are some budget saving tips where you can have the nice wedding, have a cute venue, and you would never know that the budget was an issue because it will look so nice.

I will get into why I know all this information later (shocking), but here are some great tips to have the wedding of your dreams without the price tag. 

Destination wedding// You can have a fancy wedding, at almost no more cost than a week long vacation. Most all inclusive resorts will have a small fee for a wedding (thinking hundreds not even thousands.) or no fee at all. The fee will typically be the flower cost. The con to this: your guest are eating the cost. They have to pay to get out there. You are not getting a registry (not that it matters). However you get a vacation and it is so economic. Also not everyone can make it, so your families might not agree. 

Location, Location, Location// This is for cities where there are big suburbs. Not getting married in the city and getting married in the suburbs will cut cost almost in half in most cases. Yes it is fun to be down town, but I mean if you have an evening wedding you can stay at the venue and not have to worry about an after party. Just make sure you can still get a room block in walking distance or uber is available.

Non-Traditional// The second you put wedding in front of anything it hikes up the price. A wedding venue right next to a jazz club can have the exact same vibe, but totally different prices. Look into venues that hold events, but do not have the word wedding splattered all over them. (Pro tip: google corporate event venues in your area)

Off Season// Talk to your venue about "Off Season". If you just love a venue, and it does not matter what time of year you get married. Off season can vary by place. The mid-west it is November-April (we still have snow on the ground during ALL of those months). This could save you 10 dollars off a "plate" or could save you 10,000 dollars off the whole event.

All of these tips, are something a wedding planner can really help you save money on. A couple of thousand dollars up front to a wedding planner who has a book of vendors, can end up saving you so much money in vendors who are just giving you their starting rate. Some food for though! Good luck with the wedding venue hunt! 

Also here is my Pinterest Inspo Board, and here is my Pinterest Wedding Planning Tips


Thursday, March 7, 2019

Travel Shoes

Hey what is up hello! This should be the number one thing you think about when you decide you are going to be touring around a new city. There is so much you can do in a new place and you want to look good, but also feel comfortable. 

A trip can be totally ruined by bad shoes! When you are hiking a cute trail, going for a bike ride around the pier, stomping up old cathedral stairs, you want to be able to do it without feeling your feet with every step. 

Here are some cute ones that I typically gravitate towards! I do want to thank Jcrew for making sneakers and a normal outfit a fashionable look. I also like a pair of slides to just throw on!


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Wedding Wednesday NO. 1// When Is the Wedding?

Hey what is up hello! Wedding planning has started, meaning wedding Wednesdays are in full force. It will not be every Wednesday, due to us having a semi-long engagement. BUT it is an extremely fun chapter to be in, I promised myself to enjoy every second. Plus, I get to share it with my blogger crew! Just to let you all know, these post are going to be more technical and event planning based. Okay, lets get into the good stuff!

There were a TON of factors in what date we picked for our wedding:

Number 1, my cousin is getting married in early June, so we at least wanted to make sure we did it a month before or after, so that he could really enjoy his special day! We also talked to each other and coordinated just to make sure that everyone was good with dates. He has been my best friend since birth, we got engaged the same week, and now we get to wedding plan together and it is seriously so fun! (I feel like I kind of lucked out with this because we have pretty much the same timeline and we get to share all the deets with each other)  So June was out of the question! 

Then we were trying to have an off season wedding to cut cost, but our April date got snatched! (Right after Valentine's Day is the end of the average engagement season.) Which put the search on over drive for a minute, due to the fact I am across the world, and can not go see a venue.

So as far as dates went. I have always wanted to do a NYE wedding. (We had a family friend in the early 2000s do it and I LOVED IT) BUT This year was too soon. And next year was too far. Also it was in the middle of the week and holidays are already hard to get in the medical community (Business and Government are always shut down), let alone one that was in the middle of the week. 

Then we wanted the last week of "off season" (End of April), BUT the last THREE WEEKS were taken. Which added stress (Again it was not like I could just find another venue) BUT I talked to my mom and we settled on July. And by settled on I mean I am so pumped because July weddings are seriously the best.

With the search, we actually got a date that we wanted more, and worked way better with our (mostly A's) schedules. We are getting married July 2020! We will not be sharing the actual date until it is over for safety reasons. 

.We have a pretty long engagement with having 16 months to plan. (Average is 6-18 months) BUT by the time I get home from the middle east, We have a year to plan. 

We are are so pumped and excited! Cheers to July 2020! (Also you are allowed to post cheesy quotes for your own wedding right?)

Check out our engagement post here!
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