We Did It.

We got married!

Emma & Andy's River Roast Chicago Wedding - Sarrandipity Blog

It’s been almost three months since Andy and I got married, and it somehow feels both like it was just yesterday and like it was years ago at the same time. Considering our nearly two-year engagement, at times it felt like our wedding day would never come—even the morning before the big day, it didn’t feel completely real to me. And now that our wedding has come and gone, I can’t totally believe it happened. It was a blur of a day (a really kickass day, with almost all of our closest friends and family in the same room—one of the best feelings in the world). Fortunately, our fantastic photographer, Kenny Kim, captured pretty much every amazing, fun, emotional, and hilarious moment—even ones we didn’t know were happening—so we can look back on them whenever we need a reminder that this whole wedding thing wasn’t just a figment of our imaginations. All of Kenny’s photos were unbelievable, but there were more than 1,000 (seriously), and I’m guessing very few of you are invested enough in our lives to want to click through all of that, so here’s a condensed collection of some of our favorite shots (Click on any of the thumbnails to open the slideshow). Enjoy!

Emma & Andy's River Roast Chicago Wedding - Sarrandipity Blog

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Are Some People Hard-Wired To Be Homophobic?

A new study shows some people may be hard-wired to be homophobic.

In a piece I did for Teen Vogue, I shared the results of a study that discovered some interesting things about homophobia…

Though we’ve celebrated many wins in LGBTQ representation and rights recently, there’s no doubt that homophobia is still a huge problem. Now, researchers are studying just what causes homophobic attitudes and behaviors are coming up some fascinating results.

A recent study of Italian university students, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicinefound a link between those who have negative views toward gay people and those who have higher levels of psychoticism, a personality trait manifested in hostility, anger, and aggression toward others, according to Live Science. The study’s researchers, including lead researcher Emmanuele Jannini, asked 551 students ages 18 to 30 to complete questionnaires that measured both their homophobia and their personality traits. Participants ranked their agreeability with statements like, “Gay people make me nervous” and, “I tease and make jokes about gay people,” that helped researchers gauge their levels of homophobia. To judge the personality side, researchers asked questions about the students’ attachment styles (think: being distant, or clingy and insecure) and coping strategies (how they deal with certain bad situations) when it comes to relationships with others.

Continue reading on Teen Vogue

Photo via The Wallbase HQ

The Pros and Cons of Being a Freelancer

Pros & Cons of Being A Freelancer

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Contrary to what it may seem, I haven’t given up on this here blog. Rather, I let wedding planning (3 weeks to go!) and freelancing get the best of me and my time. I can’t say how much I admire bloggers who publish beautiful, entertaining, and consistent content, all while managing full-time jobs, families, and whole lot of other stuff. It’s no easy task, and one I haven’t quite mastered yet—but I will keep trying. Starting now.

I can hardly believe it, but it’s been eight months since I quit my job and went full-time freelance. It’s been a challenging and amazing experience thus far, and I couldn’t be happier. Every day brings something different, but in a nutshell, here are some pros and cons of this new career path I’ve chosen:

Pro: I make my own schedule. There’s no doubt about it: The flexibility of being a freelancer is amazing. Ultimately, I have to get my work done and put in tons of hours pitching, writing, editing, and networking. But how I arrange those hours is mostly up to me. I can sleep later in the morning and make up for it by working later into the night. I can go grocery shopping at 2PM when the Iines are nonexistent. I can go to master’s swimming practices at noon on Thursdays. I can take a Friday off if I plan ahead and front-load my work for the week. It’s nice.

Con: No one keeps tabs on me but me. It’s certainly liberating being my own boss, but it also means the motivating, decision-making, and scheduling falls squarely on my shoulders. No one is going to tell me it’s a bad idea to take that Friday off. No one is going to tell me whether or not to accept an assignment, and how much I should get paid for it. No one is going make me sit down and send pitches until 5PM. And no one is going to stop me when I take on too many projects, or help me with the work when I’m scrambling to get them all done.

Pro: I get to change it up. Because I’m not tied to any one company or publication, I’m able to keep my work varied and explore all different opportunities. One day I may be writing an article about wedding planning, and the next I’m interviewing a singer on tour or researching beauty trends. Some days I write all day, while others are more editing-heavy. The variety keeps me motivated and inspired.

Con: I have to keep track of it all. Once upon a time, I completed one W9 and watched money appear in my bank account twice a month, and that was that. Not so much with freelancing. Every time I add a new company to my roster—even if just for a small, one-off project—I have to submit a new W9, and sign a new contract. I have an insane spreadsheet of all my assignments, and it’s up to me to adhere to the deadlines, send invoices (per each company’s guidelines) in a timely manner, and keep track of if and when the checks roll in. I’ll spare you any discussion of tax season.

Pro: I don’t have to leave home to work. I can wake up in the morning and five minutes later be sending emails on my computer while eating cereal, still in my pajamas—and I often do. If it’s freezing outside, I may just spend the whole work day in an oversized hoodie and slippers. And if it’s hot, I may throw on a bathing suit and bring my computer out to my back deck for simultaneous working and sunning. No commute necessary.

Pros & Cons of Being A Freelancer

My only coworkers can get a little creepy.

Con: I don’t have to leave home to work. Working from home is awesome, but it can also get lonely. Without the camaraderie of an office (and I had the best coworkers in my old office), it’s not unusual for me to go an entire workday without speaking out loud (or only speaking out loud to my cats, which is probably not better…). Though it’s easier for me to just sit down in my makeshift home office and get crackin, I sometimes make myself go to coffee shops, or buy lunch somewhere, just to get some human interaction.

Pro: Every dollar I make feels like success. I’m not saying I didn’t earn my salary when I was working for another company; I did, and I know everyone else does, too. But there’s an extra special sweetness to cashing my checks now, knowing each one of them is a direct result of something I did: an article I wrote, a blog post I edited, an idea I pitched. It feels good.

Con: There’s no such thing as paid time off. Or paid “lazy days,” for that matter. When I had a salary and I was having an off day—maybe I was up late the night before, maybe last week was insane and I was burnt out, or maybe it was the third Polar Vortex of the year and I was just over it—I could sometimes get away with slacking off just a tad, or doing the minimum for that day, and still get paid just the same. Sure, if I’m not on deadline, I can take some easy days for myself (Yes, I love what I’m doing, but there are days when even work I love is still just work)…it just directly affects my paycheck. Case in point: I’m taking a couple weeks off for my wedding in July, which means turning down some assignments, in turn minimizing my income for the month. If I want to make up that lost cash, I’m going to have to really hustle in August. 

Pro: I’m doing what I want to do. Even on the days so busy I feel like pulling out my hair; even on the days so dead I feel like I’ve hit a wall; even when I’m agonizing over tough assignments; even when I go weeks without getting a check in the mail…it’s worth it, because I’m in the career I want, and doing something I love.

Fellow freelancers: Anything to add?

Model Behavior

Chicago Wedding Photo Shoot - Sarrandipity

Guys, Andy and I are officially models. Kind of. We both recently met the lovely Jennifer of Jennifer Claire Photography. She happened to be in the midst of planning a styled wedding shoot for her portfolio—along with Erin of Dotted Events—and asked if we’d be interested in modeling for her. And because, honestly, everyone on earth has at least a bit of an ego, we jumped at the chance. So, approximately four months before our actual wedding, we played dress up as bride and groom for a fake one. A little strange at first, but we got used to it…and it was fun freaking our friends out with the photos posted on Facebook and Instagram. Without further ado, some of Jennifer’s great photos of our little wedding test drive.

Chicago Wedding Photo Shoot - Sarrandipity

Chicago Wedding Photo Shoot - Sarrandipity

Chicago Wedding Photo Shoot - Sarrandipity

Chicago Wedding Photo Shoot - Sarrandipity

Chicago Wedding Photo Shoot - Sarrandipity

Photography: Jennifer Claire Photography
Event Design & Coordination: Dotted Events
Venue: ZED451
Floral Arrangements: Ellen Sparks
Gown: Jenny Yoo Collection
Tuxedo: Haberdash
Accessories: The Left Bank 
Hair & Makeup: Lavender Park
Wardrobe Stylist: Patrick Niles


7 Very Specific New Year’s Resolutions


I’ve never been much of a resolutions person. I always saw the idea as being too vague and unrealistic. I mean, am I really supposed to make a goal for the entirety of one year and not get sidetracked or forget about it? I’d rather just assess my life as the months pass and make changes as needed.

Except for this year. This year, I decided to try this resolution thing out. And, while I did make a couple lofty and vague resolutions (Give up Regrets and FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out, if you must know), I’m mostly focusing on some very specific goals for the coming year. If I can check all of these off my list, well then, perhaps I’ll reward myself with some FOMO and Regrets.

1. Read a paper book 

I’ve been using a Kindle for years now, and I love it. The convenience is amazing, and the only downside is how easily I can go on spontaneous and excessive book-buying sprees with just one click. That said, I have a sizeable collection of unread paper books collecting dust. They’re books I really want to read, like Not That Kind of Girl and Stories My Grandmother Told Me (a brand-new gift!), but when it comes time to start something new, the Kindle always wins out. I mean, it takes up minimal space in my purse, syncs with my phone and iPad, and allows me to read in bed with all the lights off. Can you blame me? If I can read just one of my old-school paper books this year, I’ll be happy.

2. Finally Make The Polenta That’s In My Cabinet

I hate cooking, I really do. But I’m trying to do more of it, especially now that I work from home and have much less of an excuse not to. This past summer, I was wooed by a polenta dealer at the local farmer’s market and decided to buy some. I like polenta, and its often paired with cheese, which I love, so I figured it’d be a great thing to try out. But as of now, the farthest I’ve gotten with it is thinking about making it for dinner a few times, only to settle on something quicker, easier or more familiar. This year, I take on the polenta. With cheese.

3. Find a System For Organizing My Important, Grown-Up Papers

The thing about doing grown-up things like buying a car, buying a condo, getting married, and working for yourself is, there tend to be lots of important documents that go along with them. It seems like every day, something new comes in the mail that we need to keep track of, and we have no system by which to do so, other than creating various piles throughout the condo with zero rhyme or reason. It’s starting to slowly drive me mad. I only hope I’ll get the system figured out before that happens.

4. Figure Out How to Cancel Those Catalogs That Keep Coming In The Mail 

I can’t believe paper catalogs still get sent out—it’s the age of online-shopping, people! Sure, occasionally I’ll get sucked in and actually browse through one (looking at you, Athleta), but it’s completely unnecessary and I can live without. What’s even more maddening though, is that the majority of catalogs that come to my address are just leftovers from previous residents. No, I don’t want to buy anything from Quilts Monthly, thankyouverymuch. I must figure out how to stop these from coming, for the sake of the environment and my sanity.

5. Follow a Skincare Regimen

I’ve never been great about skincare. I only recently started to consistently remove my makeup at night, I rarely apply moisturizer, and I use drugstore face wash. Truthfully, I’ve always taken my somewhat decent skin for granted. But, as I approach—gasp—30 (this year!), I’m starting to wise up. (Meaning, I got a facial recently and the esthetician gently shamed me about my skincare routine, or lack there of.) I’m already getting better about using face lotion every morning and night, and I just caved and spent a painful (for me) amount of money on “grown up” cleanser and “buffing grains.” I better be glowing by the end of 2015.

6. Drink More Wine 

Kind of. I love wine, but I’m not a huge drinker and almost never have a glass of anything while I’m just hanging out at home. It’s so rare, in fact, that I buy those mini four-packs of wine so that when I do want some at home, I don’t have to open a whole bottle that I know I won’t finish before it goes bad. That said, somehow, my fiancé and I have amassed a rather large collection of vino over time, and it’s just sitting there, taking up space in our cabinet. Yet every time we go to a BYOB restaurant or a friend’s house, we buy a new bottle to take, claiming we want to “save” the ones we have, for God-only-knows-what. This madness needs to stop, and that can clearly only be done by more consistent consumption.

7. Wear Jeans Once a Week 

I work from home, so theoretically I could work in my pajamas all day, every day if I wanted to. I don’t, though, because I feel like showering and getting dressed helps put me in a productive mindset. So every day, I do just that: Shower and get dressed…in leggings and various oversized, comfy tops. As I type this, during the first official Polar Vortex of 2015, I’m wearing fleece-lined leggings and the coziest cardigan ever. While it’s comfortable, the problem with this uniform is that all my other wonderful clothes get neglected. And, let’s be honest: Without wearing jeans, I have no way of keeping tabs on my potentially-expanding-winter-waistline. So, tomorrow, I’m going denim. Or maybe Friday. We’ll see.

What are your resolutions? Tell me in the comments!

Gift Guide: 15 Cat-Inspired Gifts

Cats are the source of so much love, whether it’s in the form of real-live pets, viral videos, or Lifetime movies. I myself have two cats who I love very much (admitted cat lady, right here), and I’m certainly not the only one who’s semi-obsessed with our four-legged, purring friends. If you’re shopping for the cat-lover in your life, take a look at these fantastically feline products. Right meow.
Cat Paw Sterling Silver Stud Earrings
Subtlety is the name of the game here.
Safari Animal Bottle Stopper
Wild cat for the wild wine drinker.
Cat Elbow-Patch Sweater
Elbow patches: Great. Cat elbow patches: A-meow-zing.
$42, ASOS
Cat Eye Mask 
Do not disturb this cat.
$24, Catbird
Pendulum Clock 
Retro amazing-ness.
Video Kitty Tumblers
And you can drink more than just milk out of them.
$35 for Set of 4, Uncommon Goods
Lovecats Ring
Dainty, just like a cat. Right?
$32, Catbird
Snow Tiger Crewneck Sweater
Purrr for the Brrrr
The French Cat Book
Classy catspiration
Antiqued Copper Yoga Cat
$32, Pier 1
Cat Eye Sunglasses
Cat eyes that look like cat ears.
$51, ASOS
Cat-MugMugtail Cat Mug
For sippin on that cat-feine.
Touch Screen Cat Gloves
For keeping those paws warm.
$11, ASOS 
Cat Detail Leather Flat Shoes
A pop of color and personality
$53, ASOS 
Jonathan Adler Salt & Pepper Shakers
Kitschy kitties for the home

Gift Guide: Unique White Elephant Gifts That Don’t Suck


I used to hate white elephant gift exchanges, because I was under the impression that the only inexpensive gifts you could get that would be universally appealing were, well, terrible ones. But, thanks to the Internet and stores’ increasingly creative check-out line displays, my eyes have been opened to the endlessly creative and awesome products out there. Here, just a few white elephant gift ideas that unique and not at all lame, all under $25.

Cocktail-KitOld Fashioned Carry-On Cocktail Kit
Making crying babies on flights more manageable for everyone. $24, Nordstrom


Scratch-Off Mini Wall Map
Perfect if you hang out with a bunch of globetrotters. $24, Flight001

Bluetooth Camera Shutter Release
Because it’s a selfie-obsessed world out there. $10, Nordstrom

Photo Clip String Set
The selfie-obsessed need somewhere to put all those snapshots. $14, Urban Outfitters

Ice Ball Flavour It
Because flavored water is the jam right now. $16, Brookstone

Spot It
I swear to you, everyone will love this game. It’s addicting. $9, Amazon

Smartphone Macro Photo Lens
It’s time your friends up their Instagram game. $20, Urban Outfitters

Balloon Modeling Kit
I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of becoming a balloon-animal expert? $12, Uncommon Goods

Mini Ice Cream Sandwich Maker
Um, yum. $15, Amazon

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