#115 | First Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas

In two months, Erik and I will be celebrating our one year wedding anniversary. Time really flies!

I am having the hardest time trying to come up with gift ideas though, so I went to my good friend Google. One of the first results was for an About.com article, titled Traditional First Year Anniversary Gifts – Paper. About.com is usually decent, so I figured I would check it out. This is legit the list of ten gift ideas:

  1. Photographs and Picture Frames
  2. Books
  3. Board Games and Puzzles
  4. Stationery
  5. Tickets
  6. Paintings
  7. Coupons
  8. Love Letters
  9. Posters and Art Prints
  10. Calendars

It’s bad enough I feel like we’re an old married couple on a daily basis, but this article is suggesting I give Erik board games and paintings for our one year anniversary?! He’s 29! Not 92! Ugh!

I need help you guys! What are some great gift ideas for a first anniversary?

We can’t take a trip because we are going on a week long vacation two weeks later. Oh and he’s an IT professional so he has every gadget he could ever possibly need. I thought about getting him a watch because he doesn’t have one, but when I asked him randomly if he liked a watch in a magazine the other day, he made a face and said, “ugh I hate watches.”

Help :(

#114 | Rain Rain, You Can Stay, We’ll Look Awesome Anyway

So when I was growing up, I was taught that April Showers Bring May Flowers. Apparently, Mother Nature missed the memo this year. In April, we had a drought in CT and my plants (which had bloomed early due to temperatures 45 degrees above average in March) began to die. Now in May, when the weather should be beautiful, it looks like this:

OK. Yes. I am being a tad bit dramatic. But my pants are soaked half way up my calf right now and it’s making me cranky. So, that’s the situation.

Now it’s generally annoying whenever it rains. Rain turns my hair into a frizzy mess and generally just makes me want to curl up in bed and watch movies. So what do you do when it rains on your wedding day?

I got married in Connecticut on July 4th of last year. While rainy days are few and far between here in July, fast moving, afternoon/evening thunderstorms are an almost certainty. Once we were a week and a half from my wedding day, and July 4th finally showed up in the 10 day forecast, I made it my obsession to check the reports multiple times a day. Every time I checked, it was the same story. Severe t-storms 4pm – 7pm. (My wedding was at 5:30pm, outside on a beach.) What to do?! Hope it missed us. That’s all I could do.

Well, lucky for me, I woke up on July 4th and for the first time in 10 days, the weather report showed no signs of t-storms and we got an amazingly beautiful day on the water.

But whether it’s your wedding day, or just a Wednesday, weather is just one of those things you can’t control. So to show this rain who’s boss, here are some beautiful brides (and handsome grooms) who took less than stellar conditions from dear old Mother Nature, and made the BEST of them!

Image via FlashFlavor

Image via Iwan Photography

Image via M2 Photography as seen on Rustic Wedding Chic

Image via Thorson Photography

Image via Kgoodphoto as seen on Bow Ties and Bliss

Geez, now I kinda wish it did rain on my wedding day.

Did it rain on your day? Do you want to share rainy day photos with us? Send em over!

Ps. The Bachelorette starts on Monday and I’m not at all embarrassed to admit how EXCITED I am!! I love Emily and I hope she kept ABC in line and didn’t let them get their usual shade of ridiculous. Unfortunately, the arrival of a helicopter on NIGHT ONE has me a little worried that they may have found a new shade of ridiculous SO RIDICULOUS that Emily was blinded by the ridiculosity (<~ Trademark that. I think we’ll be using it a lot this season).

So here’s your Wednesday poll question. Who the EFF is in that heli? I swear to baby Jesus I will stop watching if it’s Bentley. (OK we all know I won’t. But I’ll write a really strongly worded blog post about it.)

xo

#113 | Frugal Friday Wedding Album Groupon!

Thank Grey It’s Friday. That’s what the G is for right? Christian Grey? Mmmm if it’s not, it should be.

I’m coming out today. I’m admitting that I am whole-heartedly in love with Christian Grey. When I finished reading a few weeks ago, I convinced all my girl friends to go read the 50 Shades books. Now they text me morning, noon, and night with messages like: “OMGGGGG!!!” “Shut UP! I can’t breathe!” and “I refuse to sleep.” All of this is making me want to read all over again. If you share my affliction, which we shall call Grey Syndrome, please share in the comments so I feel a little less alone.

This week I came across a Groupon for a Keepsake Book from Photobook America. I see lots of Groupons and LivingSocial deals for photobooks so I don’t really think much of them. They are all the same. I made a free one with a Shutterfly code after my wedding and that will be fine. OR WILL IT.

I opened the Groupon and clicked through to Photobook America and saw their Pro Series photo books. You guys, they are AMAZING. I bought the Groupon and I’m gonna spend a little while making my wedding album (I have til November to use it), but I just wanted to share it with you because I think that these books look incredible for the price! If you got an album as part of your photography package, consider this deal for a parents album or just a second to keep around the house.

The Groupon allows you to spend up to $115 at Photobook America for just $35. Pro Series books start at $300, so the Groupon would give you $115 off. Or they are currently running a 40% off special on all photobooks. Do the math and see what makes more sense on your order. (We had a Groupon credit so we didn’t have to pay the $35.) The base price includes 80 pages, but you can pay for additional pages up to 300. Check out some pictures below and let me know if you snag this deal before it’s gone!! Have a lovely weekend!!

PUR Perfect Bound with reinforced spine backing

Professionally handcrafted, these beautiful presentation boxes are matched with your book’s cover for both an exquisite look and perfect fit.

Choose from 216 gsm Premium Silk or 170 gsm Matte Textured (shown) pages

Available in four sizes: XL Landscape – 17.5” x 12”; Landscape – 16” x 12”; Portrait – 12” x 14”; Square – 12” x 12”

Blind title stamping gives your book that added dash of personality and style

Photo credit: All photos in this blog post are from PhotobookAmerica.com.

#112 | Wedding Wednesday: Plant Favors + More Proof I’m the Queen of Procrastination

You guys, it has been amazingly warm in the Northeast. It’s supposed to be 80 tomorrow. In Connecticut. IN MARCH. If you don’t live here, you probably don’t get it, but trust me, it’s insane. It’s making me want to do all kinds of things, like run out of the office and drive over to the beach with my pup so we can play in the sand and get tans (well I’ll get a tan, he’s already chocolatey brown). Instead I’ll probably just hang out in this cubicle all day and day-dream about wedding favors (which we’ll hear more about soon).

First, I wanted to tell you guys something. I finally went to Social Security and applied for my name change!!! Yes, it took me 8 & 1/2 months. The only place I ever changed my name was Facebook. People would call me and leave voice mails letting me know my maiden name was still on my VM message, my mom told me to order new checks with my new name, and everyone asked when I would change my GMail account. I didn’t know how to tell them… I still hadn’t changed it. We all know I’m a huge procrastinator. I’m sure you remember when I told you how long it took me to just pick my wedding dress up off the floor! (It still hasn’t been cleaned. Don’t be mad at me, I’m making progress.) That’s truly all this was. I told everyone that I was taking Erik’s name and I fully intended to. But then I saw the process and just freaked out. Turns out that doesn’t fix anything.

So after going to Social Security (they allow you to apply by mail but you have to provide the original copies of your documents, including your drivers license, so uhh, yeah, I went in person to avoid the whole: getting arrested for driving without a license thing) I’m not sure what I was so afraid of. I took a half day on Friday and headed straight to the SS office. Mine is open Mon-Fri, 9:00am – 3:30pm (wicked convenient hours amiright?!?) I kid you not when I tell you I was in there for five minutes total. I took a number, sat down, they called my number about 1 minute later. Asked me my social. Asked to see my marriage license. Asked to see my driver’s license. Confirmed my new name. Sent me on my merry way. In BRIDGEPORT, CT. (Bridgeport is a city… a very poor city… with a lot of occupants… the speed of this trip amazed me.) So now I’m on a new level of excited. I can’t wait for my new social security card to come in the mail so I can go to the DMV (which is also in Bridgeport but no where NEAR as easy as the SS office. It’s like a whole new dimension of hell.) After I get my snazzy new license, I can start changing my name everywhere. I think I also have to change my passport…. which I just renewed for our honeymoon… awesome. Double paying. Oh well.

Ok enough dwelling on the fact that it takes me 12 times longer than normal people to do anything! Let’s get back to those wedding favors.

We’ve all seen lots of plant favors around lately, correct? You know, like these:

  1. Succulents — Photo by Mary Swenson  via Project Wedding Blog
  2. Moss — Martha Stewart Wedding Blog
  3. Custom Seed Bags — Wedzu
  4. Plant-able Seed Hearts — recycledideas on Etsy
  5. Topiaries — Wedding Favors Unlimited
  6. Herbs — Brides
  7. Sunflowers — TheKnot

I think plant favors are super cute. Especially when you can replant them at home (If you have a green thumb).

This week I found my new favorite plant for favors: air plants. I think these are the coolest little things ever. There is so much you can do with them because they don’t need soil! Check out some of the options I found:

Wall Terrarium (Click for DIY Instructions from Ruffled)

Follow dani marie's links to DIY these corked air plants, or click her source link to buy them pre-made from Etsy.

Having a beach wedding? Look at this cool take on airplants. Easily DIY'd or purchased from this vendor on Amazon.

I’m sure you guys have a ton of other ideas for what to do with these versatile little plants! I’d love to see them or hear how you’re using them in your wedding. Shout it out in the comments.

Love

xo

#111 | Wedding Food & a Shake Update

Oh hey there!

You guys, I was so excited to get such an awesome response to my post on Friday about drinking my shakes and getting healthier. Here on the blog, by email, and on Twitter, people wanted to hear more. So below, I provided a step by step picture tutorial for the shake I made this morning.

But, before we get there, there’s another thing I want to discuss: weddings. This is a wedding blog after all :)

If you read my post on Friday, you know that last week I basically jumped on the vegan wagon. I didn’t realize I was doing it at first, but I feel so amazing, I’ve decided to make it a legit thing. I did my research, bought my vegan one-a-day veggies to get the few things I’ll be missing (mostly B12) by not eating meat and dairy, and I’m off to the races. Of course it doesn’t help that I’m also gluten intolerant (really slimming out my food choices).

My friends are all a buzz about how I manage to eat…if I’m basically starving all day…if I’ll ever be able to go out to eat with them again…and the like. I’ve assured them, I’m totally fine. I ate out on Friday. I ordered a salad, minus the meat, cheese, and croutons. The waitress looked at me for a second and then asked if I was vegan. I replied, “trying!” and she said, “me too!!” We chatted for a second about alternatives on the menu (there were none), we had some laughs, and she recommended some great books for me to read. I was feeling SO AWESOME about my decision.

(Disclaimer: I’m not going vegan because I feel like it’s morally wrong to eat animals and I’m not going to throw red paint on anyone who eats or wears them. I’m adopting a vegan diet because I feel it’s healthier and will significantly decrease the odds of me getting cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. when I’m older. I don’t judge those who eat meat. I love meat. I just really wanna live a long, healthy, fit life, and this is how I’ve chosen to do that.)

Back to our regularly scheduled blog post already in progress: At this point, I remembered that we have like eight weddings this summer. The first starts in a week and a half. I’ve already sent back the response card, selecting a steak I’m sure. A wedding is not a restaurant. I can’t just order a salad without any meat. And this is a plated dinner, so I can’t just pick and choose the stuff I want. This is an actual problem.

So on Saturday I called the groom and asked him if they had given final head count and meal selections to the venue yet. He said no. I asked if he knew what the vegetarian option was, he said it’s pasta.

DOH! Stupid gluten.

I never even thought about this stuff when I was planning my wedding. We did stations, and I’m pretty sure there was enough of a variety to get everyone taken care of. There was a grilled veggies station, a meat station, a pasta station, a salad station, a starch station, and then the biggest venetian table I’ve ever seen with everything from fresh fruit to cheese cake and shots of chocolate liquor.

But that was just what happened to come with my package. I didn’t even think about people with different food needs. As if there isn’t already enough going on, is this another thing that brides (and grooms) need to be thinking about when planning their weddings? I wanted to know what you think. Are you a bride planning your wedding? Do you have healthy, vegetarian/vegan options available? They don’t need to be as elaborate as this:

blog.koyalwholesale.com via Pinterest

Although come on, how awesome does that veggie table look? But are you making changes to your menu in any way to account for allergies or different diets? Did you choose foods based on your dietary needs? Or what you think would accommodate most of your guests? Are you using a caterer/venue that specializes in local/organic food? I’m just so curious :)

And now………… to the shakes. As I mentioned up top, this is the shake I made this morning. I’m currently drinking one as I type this!

Kale

Spinach (organic from Costco)

Carrots (organic bulk from Costco)

Celery

Tomatoes

Apples (organic from Trader Joes)

Almonds

Flax Seed

Strawberries

Mixed berries

Orange Juice (organic from Costco by the gallon)

Pulsed slightly (greenish brown at first)

Fully blended

Now the final color will depend greatly on the ingredients. Erik’s looks like this:

Erik's shake

And Erik’s is much thinner than mine because he adds more liquid. Specifically, more water.

That looks so gross to me I can’t touch it. So I add more berries and less water so mine looks yummmmerific.

Yummmmmm :)

Extra exciting: I’m down another pound. YAY :)

So share in the comments. Answer any of the question I asked above about wedding food. Let me know what you’re doing to get healthier. Do you have suggestions for me?

xo

#110 | Let’s Talk About Weight, Bay-Bee

It’s finally Friday! What a wonderful feeling! Today, we’re gonna depart a little from the usual sparkly, pretty, wedding stuff and talk about something a little more per-so-nal. It’s a wonderful roller coaster I like to call: my weight. And I’m gonna use the real numbers here.

Back in May, I blogged about my journey to hit my goal weight of 135 in time for my wedding in July (coming from 166.5 in November). I got within a pound or two thanks to an amazing nutrition plan, an awesome team of trainers, and a LOT of hard work. I was so proud of myself. I had to trade my wedding dress in for a smaller size twice and then had to have the smallest one taken in even more!

healthyfitandtoned.tumblr.com via Pinterest

Then I got married. I went on my honeymoon. I came home. And I got laid off. I spent all my free time applying to jobs, interviewing for jobs, and sulking about being laid off. I stopped eating the way I was supposed to eat and I stopped working out completely. I was one of those girls who got in crazy amazing shape for her wedding and then just let her self go. CRAP. And to add to the fun, I found out in August that I’m gluten intolerant.

So I got a new job (that I actually really love by the way) and things were looking up. I was eating OK, but not great. I was having salad everyday from the cafeteria at work (it’s the safest thing down there if you can’t have gluten), but I added things I shouldn’t, like big piles of cheese, bacon bits, and dried cranberries (stupid added sugar). And I still wasn’t working out.

Then this past Sunday I was feeling pretty crappy. I was tired, I felt bloated, my pants weren’t fitting right anymore. I knew it was time to face the music. I stepped on the scale and wanted to cry. 146.9. I had gained 10 pounds since the wedding. It wasn’t just the weight. It was how I felt. Tired, sad, unmotivated. I knew from working with my nutritionist that my mood was directly related to my food. I was eating crap, thus, I felt like crap. I decided to try something new.

A little before the wedding, Erik started a diet almost entirely of shakes. He was never overweight, but had started to get a little bit of a belly. He’d been watching a lot of documentaries about how many illnesses are caused by poor diet and decided to make a change. He’s lost more than 20 pounds since the summer, with NO CHANGE in activity. He had to buy new pants and drill new holes in all his belts. Plus, he feels amazing! So I decided to do it too.

onceamonthmom.com via Pinterest

I have one shake for breakfast, one for lunch, and one for dinner. In between meals, if I get hungry, I have a snack of either: nuts, seeds, fruit, or vegetables (or any flavor of Lara Bar which doesn’t have chocolate). Surprisingly, I don’t snack very much, because I’m not very hungry. My shakes are full of such good food, that my body is actually nourished by them and doesn’t want to snack all day. (Crazy right?!)

Wanna know what’s better? I got on the scale today, and guess what it said: 141.6. I’ve lost five pounds in under a week (weighed at the same time of day, under the same conditions, in same weight clothes).

nattybydesign.blogspot.com via Pinterest

Just to clarify: We are not juicing. When you are juicing, you throw away the fiber of the fruit/vegetable and only get the sugary liquid. For that reason, some people experience stomach discomfort when juicing. You’ll lose weight fast, but you won’t be getting all the benefits of the fruit and veggies that live in that yummy fiber! We throw everything in the blender whole: vegetables, fruit, nuts, beans, seeds, I even toss in a teaspoon of cinnamon for a little extra kick! They are sweet, easy to make, portable, and JAM PACKED with healthiness.

Now eating a diet of raw, organic, veggies, fruit, nuts, beans, and seeds can get a little pricey, so here are some tips for saving a couple bucks:

  1. Check your local bulk/warehouse stores. We have a Costco and BJ’s nearby. Costco sells organic spinach and carrots for really cheap. We buy big bags of frozen organic fruit from BJ’s.
  2. Stock up when things go on sale and freeze them. Frozen veggies only make your shake colder and yummier.
  3. Buy in bulk whenever possible. When it comes to nuts, seeds, and beans, we buy them in the self serve area of Whole Foods instead of buying a packaged brand name an aisle away.

We don’t add any supplements to our shakes. The protein in our shakes comes from foods that are naturally high in protein (like nuts and avocado). We also don’t add dairy of any kind. (Basically I think we went vegan without meaning to.)

I think my biggest problem this last time around, was that I was so focused on hitting a certain weight by July 4th (wedding day) that I forgot to look beyond that day. I wanted to look amazing in my wedding dress, and I think I did, but my goal shouldn’t have been to weigh 135 for one day, it should have been to maintain a healthy body for life. I knew that, but I didn’t follow through, and now I know that’s what I have to work on.

health-girl.tumblr.com via Pinterest

I feel reinvigorated. I feel excited. I feel proud. I’m done with weight goals. I’m only setting fitness goals from now on. I want to see visible ab muscles this summer (I’m not talking about a six pack, just definition). I want to run at least 3 5k’s this year. I want to encourage other people to take healthy steps with their nutrition.

So if you struggle with weight, know that you aren’t alone. But also know, that you can do something about it if you choose to. What’s your story? Share it in the comments. Have questions about our shakes? Ask away! As always, I love to hear from you :)

xo

UPDATE:

I was asked on Twitter for a recipe and it wouldn’t fit there, so I’m adding it here. This is my “usual” shake. Note: I make a large batch each night and put it in a glass jug for the next day. This recipe makes me approx 3 shakes. This is the order I put them in the blender (light on bottom, heavy on top will push the food down into the blades and ensure smoother shake). We have a Blendtec blender and I hit the “smoothie” button twice to get the consistency I like.

  • 1 Large Kale leaf (or 2 small leaves) broken in a few pieces
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 2.5 carrots full sized carrots (i give the last half to my greedy puppy)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1/2 of one large tomato (or one plumb tomato or a handful of grape tomatoes)
  • 1/2 of one apple
  • 1 handful of almonds
  • 1/2 tablespoon of flax seed (approximately. I just kinda shake it in there)
  • 1/2 cup of pinto beans (soaked overnight)
  • 1 handful of blueberries
  • 2 handfuls of mixed frozen berries (strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries)
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • water if needed/desired (will be thicker without it. I don’t use water, Erik does.)

# 109 | Win Your Wedding Photography (One Way To Get Way More Than You Pay For)

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I won $70 at the casino, so I’m in a great mood :)

I’m gonna get right to it today. If you read the blog on Friday, I talked about wedding budgets. While I definitely understand the need to have a budget, and the fact that some people have much tighter budgets than others, you need to understand from day one that when it comes to vendors, you get what you pay for*.

There areas where you need to spend a little more to get the quality you want. I firmly believe that photography is one of those areas. There are very few thing from your wedding that you will have FOREVER. Unless you go silk, your flowers are going to die. The music and the food only last the night. You probably aren’t going to wear that dress ever again. Every element of your wedding works to make that day what it is, but when your day is over, it’s your photos (and your wedding video) that will hold onto the emotion of that day forever.

I placed that little asterisk a couple paragraphs up because I am aware that sometimes, you get more than you pay for. Maybe you know the right people and can get great deals without sacrificing quality. I have a family member who makes wedding cakes for a living. She made my cake as a wedding present. That was a huge budget helper! But if you don’t, there’s another other way to get killer quality without paying for it: WIN IT!

If you are a frequent visitor to wedding blog, you see lots of contests. Some are OK, some are really good, and some are just downright unbelievably amazing to the tenth power. Last week I came across this contest and thought I just had to share it with you. Candice Cossel of Serendipity Studios is giving away a wedding photography package for one incredibly lucky 2012 bride. I know just how lucky, because I’ve had the opportunity to work with Candice twice! She has an amazing eye and insane talent behind the lens, but it’s more than that. She has this way of making you feel like she’s your long lost best friend from childhood. I felt so comfortable when she was behind the camera. And if that endorsement doesn’t say enough, look at her photos:

^^ See what I mean about capturing the moment & emotion of your day?!? ^^

Sometimes, when I look at her photos, I forget to breathe.

If you want your day captured in photos as amazing as this, then what are you waiting for?!? Link over to the Serendipity Studios blog and enter to win! And if it turns out you don’t win the contest, well I’d still call Candice anyways. Because investing in an amazing wedding photographer is one of the most important things you will do while planning your wedding.

Good luck! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

xo

#108 | Frugal Friday Coupons + A Chat About Budgeting

It’s Friday and there are only four hours until happy hour!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait!

I planned a surprise for Erik for Valentine’s Day and it’s happening tomorrow and I didn’t even ruin the surprise! Which is amazing. Because I’m awesome at planning surprises and terrible at not telling people the instant I plan them. I still have 24 hours I need to keep my mouth shut… pray for me.

Usually in my frugal Friday posts I post a deal, and although I’m gonna link you to this week’s Michael’s coupons including a 50% off one item coupon, I’m going to focus today’s post on some ways I stayed frugal while planning my wedding and whether or not I think it was worth it. (Here are those coupons by the way. Feel free to change the zip code to match a store near you.)

As you know if you have planned or are planning a wedding, those things are EXPENSIVE! Now some people have tight budgets because of their means, other people have tight budgets by choice. I fell into the “by choice” category for a few reasons. The most important reason for me is that I want a bigger house in a better school district before we start popping out bambinos. I’d rather leave more money in the bank to go towards said house than break the bank on a wedding and stay in our current house forever.

There were areas where I spent more, and then there are areas where I spent less. But I promise you this: no matter the vendor, you get what you pay for. The areas where I scrimped, I could tell on my wedding day and I can tell looking back. Some of them I wish I had done differently, but I know that I did it with our future house in mind, and I’ve accepted the choices I made. When you make your decisions, make sure that you will be OK with them looking back.

For instance, I was determined to pay as little as possible for music. For us that meant a DJ and I scoured the internet for someone who I thought would do a good job for a low price. Our DJ did mostly a good job, except for the part where he queued up the wrong song for our first dance and then couldn’t find our song so we had a few awkward seconds of “oh shit what do we do” until he located it. I’m sure accidents like that happen to everyone and we could have paid thousands for some crazy DJ whose name everyone would recognize and it still might have happened. But I couldn’t help thinking it was because I was getting what I paid for. After going to weddings after that featured live bands, I wish we had gotten some really cool 90′s cover band who could have serenaded us with Third Eye Blind and Dave Matthews all night.

When we were looking at venues, we wanted something all-inclusive because I didn’t have a wedding planner (mistake number 1, but I’ll get to that later). The venue we ended up selecting gave us an amazing price (like legit I still can’t believe we got that price), but they have more than one wedding a day. They told us that they stagger all the weddings so you’ll never be getting married at the same time as someone else. That sounded reasonable to me. That was until the wedding party from the ceremony that occurred before mine decided they wanted to take pictures on the beach right next to where my ceremony was taking place, and they wanted to jump up and down and scream at the top of their lungs while I was trying to read my vows. I never considered that. To get an exclusive venue probably would have cost more or would have required a much more intensive search to find something in the same price range.

I think in the beginning, I saw having a wedding planner as a luxury that I couldn’t afford. Now, I think they probably could have saved me money and saved me from a few of these issues. Let’s be honest, they’ve done this before. They know what to expect and what to consider. They have relationships with venues and florists and DJs that I don’t have and they can get prices that I can’t get. They know of more venues and maybe could have told me of a place where I could be the only wedding and not spend much more or could have recommended a band that wouldn’t destroy my budget. I had never gotten married before. I knew what I read on blogs and in wedding magazines, but I thought I knew better. I’m not trying to say you need a wedding planner, I’m just saying that as a bride, I would have appreciated having someone with experience to guide me. I never even called to see what a planner would cost or the different services they could have provided me.

I understand the need to budget. I really do. And I know that not everyone wants the same things out of their weddings. To some people, having photographs good enough to publish in a leading wedding magazine is a necessity, to others, that seems frivolous. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are one of the majority of brides who don’t have a “sky’s the limit” budget, you really need to define your needs and remember that you always get what you pay for.

#107 | Real Wedding Video + Bachelor Thoughts + I Have Really Awesome Valentine’s Day Plans

Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I hope you are having a great day and that you get to spend it with the person or people you love!

I’m pretty sure I’m the only girl on the planet who doesn’t want to get flowers on Valentine’s Day. I have been telling Erik for weeks not to get me flowers and he was fine with that. Until yesterday, when all the guys at work tried to convince him that it was a trap and I was just saying I didn’t want them as a test to see if he “loved me enough” to get them anyways. Well he wavered momentarily. He picked flowers out and almost bought them. But then he remembered that he knows me and if I said I didn’t want them, then I mean it. He didn’t buy the flowers. I couldn’t possibly love him more for that.

Tonight I’m making ribs, gluten free cornbread, and sauteed green beans and we’re gonna snuggle up and watch the movie Erik picked out (A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas). Don’t be too jealous, I know I’m a pretty lucky girl.

So moving on, anyone watch the Bachelor last night? I watch it religiously and I’m not ashamed. I’m not even ashamed that when a woman came to the door last night at 8:07 to talk to me about sewage contaminating our public waterways I told her I would write her a check for whatever she wanted if she would let me get back to the Bachelor. Yes. That happened. (She wanted $52 by the way which I thought was reasonable.)

I’m not gonna do a big long recap, because there are people who are WAYYY better at that then me (nudge nudge The Knotty Bride). I’m just gonna say that I think a few things need to happen on this show (ps there are spoilers so don’t read these next few sections if you haven’t watched yet):

  1. Remember that episode in Ashley’s season where the guys were boxing for Ashley’s love and Ames got a concussion? How come the girls never get in the ring? I wanna see Kacie B go after Courtney. I have a feeling she’d be like a rabid monkey if you gave her permission to hit Courtney in the face. Amiright?
  2. Speaking of Ashley’s season, remember that dbag Bentley? Bentley + Courtney = reality show gold. Spinoff.
  3. I think it’s kinda crappy that these girls can say whatever they want in the interviews and then go on dates with Ben and be a totally different person (I’m looking at you Courtney. FYI you won’t be WINNING this season. Mmkay?). Makes him look dumb. I think that a couple of his close friends and/or siblings should be able to watch the footage from the first couple weeks and then show up when there are like 8 girls left and just call them all out.

Thoughts on last night in particular?

  • Lindzi says “important” weird and it was bothering me last night. She’s lucky I love her.
  • I’m team Kacie B. for sure. I just wish she would unleash some of that confessional/interview rage on Courtney in person.
  • Courtney, saying: “These girls aren’t competition… kill shot” is cocky. Following it up by saying “But I don’t want to get cocky” doesn’t make it any less cocky. ALSO. Did you just say that Kacie B is a little girl trapped in a little boy’s body? I hate you as a person.
  • Ben. Ben ben benny boo boo boo-boo-boo. Part of me appreciates that we are going to get to see the savage animal that is Courtney in her natural habitat, so that part of me says “OK, fine, give her the rose.” But the part of me that wants to believe that it’s possible to actually find someone on this show wishes you would stop being a typical dude. Stop giving roses to the bitchy model who keeps taking her clothes off.

That is all on the Bachelor. I swearrrrrrrrrrr.

So if you’re new around these parts, you may not know that wedding videos are my favorite thing, like EVER. I’m obsessed. This week, I came across the highlights video from Danny Gokey’s January 2012 wedding in Florida. Danny wasn’t my favorite American Idol contestant either, but he kinda won my heart with this video. His cute testimonial to his soon to be bride was great, but the planking on the stairs really put this one over the top for me. ENJOY! And have a great Valentine’s Day!

xo

 

#106 | My Married Lady Wedding Dress Dilemma!

Can we talk about my wedding dress for a sec? Remember that pic of it hanging in our window the morning of our wedding?

Here, this one:

Look how pretty, and more importantly, how clean it looks.

I’m about to admit something that I know might get me a lot of flack, but I’m hoping we’re in the trust tree here and I can say things freely without being judged.

I haven’t gotten my dress cleaned.

I literally haven’t done ANYTHING with my dress.

I took it off on our wedding night, laid it gently on top of my petticoat in the corner of our room, and then never touched it again. Yes I got married July 4th. Yes it’s been more than seven months. YES. I KNOW.

I don’t know what my problem is. I’m like terrified to touch it. I feel frozen. What do I do with it? Sure I get it cleaned. But then what? I can’t frame it in my closet like Adrienne Maloof.

And although I’d love to donate it, I have lofty dreams of a stunning day after shoot, so I’m not ready to hand it over just yet.

Oh and just for the record, my dress is dirty. Like wedding on a red sandy beach dirty.

So I’m begging you for help. Smack me out of it. Tell me what to do. Please?

Ps. Am I alone in this? Surely there must be someone else just staring at their dirty dress begging for the answer to just magically appear.

xo