Monday, August 28, 2017

11 Wedding Tips for a Logistical Dream Day

Having both of our sets of parents be 4+ hours away, and lets be real; men don't plan weddings, I did most of the wedding planning myself. Calling my mom for advice only made things worse, because her experience was so different than mine and had a different vision than me. She was able to help financially, but not physically. I don't get how other brides plan weddings when their mom is long distance?! But I took the bull by the horns and did it all, and I did it all while remaining Type A about everything. I will say being Type A worked out in my favor, because everything when off without a hitch on our wedding day.

Some of these are solely money saving tips, some of them time saving, and some of them just to simply make yourself and everyone around you happy. 1-6 are things that worked well for us and I'm SO glad I did them. 7-10 are lessons learned and the best I can do now is just pass along the knowledge to others :)

1. Do. Online. RSVPs.
This is a fool proof way to avoid the awkward write in +1s on the response cards. We did ours through and it worked really slick. I purchased a personalized domain for $12 so it was easier to share (otherwise it's a long url with dashes). This also saves you $$ on the response cards and extra postage. I put our phone numbers on our website for the less "tech-savvy" people so they could call instead of internet. Seriously I couldn't say this enough. DO. ONLINE. RSVPs.

2. Skip save the dates
We are in the age of internet and texting. Save the dates are NOT essential. Especially if you send your invites out 3 months in advance. Make yourself a website through the Knot or Wedding Wire early on and start sharing the url with those who will be invited. I was lucky to have Adam's family on one large email chain and just shared it there. You can even password protect so the website can't get in the wrong hands. Save the dates are not only more $, but it's hard to know 6 months in advance who exactly you want to invite to your wedding?! How do people do it, I don't know!

3. Do your own makeup
This doesn't work for the ladies who have never done their makeup in their life. But if you do your makeup daily, chances are you can do it for your wedding. You don't want to go too heavy, anyway! Make sure to splurge on a high end foundation (I used a mixture of Dior Diorskin Nude and this airbrush foundation you can buy at Sephora), flirty lashes, and a pretty lip color.

4. Skip over the top vehicles
Limousines and party buses are cool and all, but not really necessary. If you've had anything to drink at your wedding, you shouldn't be driving a getaway car either. Use that time after your ceremony to sneak away with your husband and soak in the moment. SO GLAD WE DID THIS. Our photographer initiated this and I'm really glad.

5. Don't do passed apps, do late night pizzas
We opted out of the fancy bacon wrapped scallops and assorted aged cheeses. All I saw were dollar signs. Instead we had our venue bring out pizza at around 10 PM. Pizza was a hit!

6. Work with your DJ
Talk to your DJs a month a head of time and go over your ideal song list. Go over Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C. Like, if people seem bored, bring out a fun game (we didn't need to do this :)), if too many young people are on the dance floor, bring out an oldies song. Just have options in place and don't be afraid to tell them exactly how you want things. I loved our DJs and that was seriously the most fun dance party I've been to in a LONG time!!

7. Plan out your "thank you" speech
This is probably the only thing in my entire wedding planning process that I didn't plan. Adam mentioned earlier on that he didn't want to be the one to stand up in front of people. Sure, I didn't mind doing it. I'm normally a "wing it" type of person, but my mind was going a million miles an hour that day and when I grabbed the mic, my mind just kind of went blank. I still spoke well and thanked everyone, but I wish I would've said more.

8. Ask someone to take your gifts to your house the night of
I wasn't that on the ball with this and asked people just a few days before the wedding. No one really committed to it because they didn't know if they'd be able to or if they could stay that late, so the gifts actually ended up being left at the venue over night. Now, nothing happened to them, but it didn't feel good waking up the next morning knowing that they weren't with me.

9. Ask someone to be your personal attendant
I forgot a couple minor things at home, and we also ran out of votive candles. Everyone at the venue, including family, already had their hands full, so it was a little more chaotic than it should've been to run an errand or two. An extra set of hands solely devoted to this kind of stuff would've been handy.

10. Be efficient when going around the room and talking to everyone
We were essentially right on schedule our whole wedding day. At dinner, we maybe took a little longer to eat our food than we should've. But we also unexpectedly had champagne bottle service and were soaking in the novelty of that. When we started going around the room and talking to everyone, we started with our friends (which in hindsight, I'm glad, because we enjoyed drinks with most of our relatives the night before). We ended up talking to about 5 tables and then we were already being summoned to cut the cake. After cake cutting was first dance time and then we lost our chance to resume talking to everyone. Later on in the night we did get the chance to talk to everyone else, luckily. The only people we missed were those that had to cut out early.

11. love your husband and remember this day is about you two!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Empty Feeling After Your Wedding

I am coming off the wedding high and it feels weird. Bittersweet doesn't quite describe it. There's a lot more layers to it than that.

There's that "cup runneth over" feeling. I got to see family I haven't seen in YEARS. Some I haven't seen since I was like 10. The reunion was amazing. Our dearest friends and family were there. We had a blast. Everything went perfectly. The abundance of music, the scenery, and elegant garden decor; it was all beautiful. I had little girls literally thinking I was the prettiest princess they've ever seen, and following me everywhere. And most of all, I now have a husband! The only thing really different about that is actually saying "husband". Because come on, we were basically already married. Now we know that it's officially forever, though. It was all amazing and surreal.

Then there's the feeling of "it came and went too fast". I have been spending all of my free time, and then some, on planning this wedding. It has been my life the last year (more so the last 3 months it really started to consume me). The day felt rushed for the first half, but it luckily slowed down. I did my best to stop and enjoy it, to take some time alone with Adam. It still seemed to end so soon. Now all I have is leftover cake. But there's also the residual effect of the gifts we were given :) The beautiful bouquets of flowers have all died, everyone is back home and back to work, Adam's suit and my dress are hanging there waiting to be stored. I haven't cleaned our house; there's still piles of laundry everywhere and leftover wedding decor waiting to be sold. Everything is still stagnant. I haven't quite moved forward yet.

There's the feeling of initiation... into the adult society. I have hit all the basic young adult milestones. There's always new ventures, I know; next baby, next house, next career move. But it won't ever be a"first" anymore. I have to come to peace with that.

I feel full but empty. Excited but distracted. Energetic but tired. Too many contradictions are just leaving me confused. How am I supposed to feel? I'm happy to be married, but the wedding hangover has left me drained.

I KNOW it will wear off. And best of all, we get to go to Europe in about TWO WEEKS! I think this will cure so many things. I need to press reset, recharge, and best of all, connect with Adam.

Here's to everyone enduring the weird wedding hangover; may you all have a chance to reset and connect with your new husbands!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Managing a Three-year-old's Hair

Luckily for Mira, her mom has naturally curly hair and knows how to manage it. Her hair is JUST like mine - naturally bouncy, spirally, tight curls from the root to the end. As I've gotten older mine have tamed wayyyy down, but all my pictures from childhood tell otherwise.

A lot of people ask me my routine and which hair products I use on her. After washing I make sure to use conditioner, rinse and towel dry, spray with a leave in conditioner/detangler, brush brush brush (even though she hates it), and use either a gel or styling cream to hold the curls in. Once it's dry I just don't brush it anymore. Nope. Not even a little bit.

My favorite product line for Mira is SoCozy. It's a salon haircare line made for kids and they have it at Target. I've used just about every single one of their products and just received their new line, "Boing", made for curls. Perfect. They make detangling spray, gel, and styling cream too.

Before even looking at the flavor, I noticed it smelled like delicious ice cream, and not too overpowering either. Then I noticed it was called "sweet cream". Touché. Mmmm though. 

Now if she would just let me braid her hair or put in barrettes..... At least the curls are shiny and beautiful!

ALSO, SoCozy is hosting an awesome sweepstakes. You could win an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood, Florida (worth $10,000) for 4 people! All you have to do is purchase any SoCozy product from Target, CVS, or Walgreens during the month of January and save your receipt, you'll then upload it to the sweepstakes page. <-- Check out the other deets! Super awesome giveaway!!

Does anyone else have a specific routine for their kids' hair?

This post has been sponsored by SoCozy
Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Allowing Tomorrow to be a Good Day

There are far too many everyday things that I turn into something bigger, more special, than what they have to be. Why? Because I have this fear of time slipping by too quickly. I fear a life not lived enough or feeling too short. I fear that all these moments will be forgotten and not enough of them will be remembered as fun and special. I want to turn the mundane and ordinary into something more magical, something that's "us".

It's why I make a big deal out of holidays and birthdays and stretch out the entertainment for a month, rather than a few days. It's why I plan little weekend getaways and have an unrealistically loaded bucket list of stops to make in a new city. It's why I make rituals of all three of us cooking breakfast and dinner together and need to make a dance party out of it. It's why it drives me crazy if we don't take Mira to the aquarium or children's museum one week and why I feel like the worst parent ever if I don't take her to the library when I have free time.

Is it a bad thing to just want to try and make everything memorable? No. I'm trying to make moments and holidays stretch out longer, trying to add more pizzaz to daunting tasks like cooking and cleaning. I'm just doing what I think is to make life rich and full. It's not bad, but it is setting a precedent; a bar that I will have to always keep up and will feel like a huge let down if not reached.

One thing I have had a hard time realizing is it's okay to have a series of normal, quaint, boring days. It's okay when there isn't anything specific to look forward to when I lie down at night. Sometimes it's okay to just look forward to tomorrow just because it's tomorrow. What am I teaching my daughter and what am I setting her up for if I constantly have to have something special lined up? I haven't taught her that tomorrow is going to be a good day just because it is; because we will make it good; we will allow it.

I still like to make things special, but "Tomorrow will be a good day", is the only affirmation we need. 
Monday, January 9, 2017

My 2017 Bucket List

Hey guys and happy January! Whether you do resolutions or not, I think making a bucket list is a helpful thing to do. You can make it for the year, or just a month or season, but regardless it's something to keep you accountable in achieving goals and making things happen. Think of it as one giant to-do list for the year :)

2017 Bucket List:

Spruce up space
Buy new rug for living room
Buy large piece of art
Buy TV console
Buy new felt drawer set for bedroom

Take Mira to first movie
Take Mira to Nickelodeon Universe + Sea Life Aquarium for birthday
Take Mira swimming and skating more often
Donate some of her old clothes
Plan fun, memorable birthday party
Volunteer to walk dogs at Animal Allies

Have a spa day - full body massage
Keep track of miles ran
Meditate for 5 minutes every day
Have one week where you consciously don't complain about anything
Work in flex dieting/iifym more frequently
Work on daily affirmations

Go tent camping
Take a roadtrip to a new place
Stay in a B&B
Go to a concert
Do a tarot card reading
See a broadway show at state theatre
Do a wine and canvas class
Attend Japanese tea ceremony at Como Zoo & the Lantern Lighting Festival
Have more picnics
Travel through Switzerland and Austria

Knock out books on book list - 1 per month
Go to yoga once a month
Blog/write more frequently
Explore making new dishes from other countries
Drink wine with dinner & try new ones every time
Play piano more
Take more photos
Rent Nikon D750 or D810 to try out for a week
Write an ebook & self publish
Read from more news sources daily
Take a free online coding class

Buy genealogy spit kit
Put away more into savings monthly
Put more into Mira's savings monthly
Buy new car
Buy new luggage (already done last week!)
Get bikes (recover our old ones from home?) for the family

Get rid of clothes you don't wear
Donate said clothes
Start own charity foundation
Advocate more for charities/orgs you care about

What does your bucket list look like? 
Do you have any similar goals?

I'd love to hear your ideas!
Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide For Her

I tell myself every year that I'm going to put together a gift guide on my blog and it seems that I forget some years! Below are some fun favorites that would be great for girlfriends, sisters, daughters, etc. Le Labo has an extremely popular scent; Santal 33. It's really beautiful and unique so I'm curious as to how the other scents smell. That Anastasia Beverly Hills palette has been sold out a few times from Sephora this year, but I believe it's currently back in stock. How funny is the pizza sweatshirt though?!

I'm kind of obsessed with dry shampoo and Living Proof products smell sooo good. That luggage tag is so perfect, and the brown weekender bag makes a perfect pair for it. Leather (or pleather) moto jackets are surprisingly a very chic outfit piece right now, I can't believe I don't have one. Snatch those macaron ornaments up, there's still time to add to your tree!

Lastly, a few other gems I found:

Adorable ornament from Anthro

Different shaped gemstone necklaces from etsy

Come on, who wouldn't want to take this to the gym?!

Who else has some recs?! Not like I can buy all these things right now, my bank account is telling me I should be making homemade coupon books for everyone this year. 
Sunday, October 30, 2016

Oops, I said 'Yes to the Dress' Twice

Dress shopping. What a fun experience! (And honestly a little stressful). I grabbed a fun downtown Minneapolis hotel for 2 nights and drove down to the Twin Cities to shop for wedding dresses.

I originally just booked one bridal boutique; a&bé bridal shop, and they allowed up to 4-5 seats. So I had my mom, sisters, and future MIL meet me down there. This was booked two months in advance. The day before I drove down, my mom texted me and said I probably should've booked at least one other place. Duh! So I snuck myself into two other bridal shops last minute; Che Bella Boutique and Posh Bridal. Two other great places.

Adam and Mira came down as well and took the opportunity to do some hotel pool swimming, zoo visiting, and Valley Fair. Mira is obsessed with swimming. She literally woke up at the crack of dawn, opened the drapes, and would say, "it's light out! Wake up! Let's go swimming!".

I'll explain later what I mean by saying "yes to the dress twice", but for now I'll give a little review of each bridal shop.

Saturday morning we started at Che Bella Boutique. I picked that place because I researched some of their designers and they had some really good ones I had been eyeing. I was the first appointment, so it was quiet at the beginning. We were greeted by sweet, friendly young girls with scones and water. My personal stylist let me pick out the dresses I liked and she would take them to my dressing room and stand outside waiting for zipping and unzipping. Once other appointments started coming in it did feel a little crowded, but it was a cool trendy atmosphere. I had good luck there but nothing stopped me in my tracks. I figured I could come back if something really was on my mind. My sisters were both taking pictures the whole time too so I could always review later.

Then it was time for Posh Bridal. It was in a ritsy part of Wayzata (not sure if there are parts in Wayzata that AREN'T ritsy?). I went to the Rack first, which was the sale part of Posh. I had some luck there and most things were half price! Moved on to the actual shop and we were greeted at the door with champagne and other treats. The energy was really high over there and everyone seemed to be having so much fun and so happy to see us. We had a huge part of the shop to ourselves, which was cool. Gorgeous plush white couches and chairs with big windows letting lots of light in. Huge fancy floor mirrors, and awesome wedding themed music playing. The only thing I didn't like was that my personal stylist was IN the dressing room with me the whole time, seeing me naked and all. Not really for me, but hey, at least she was helpful. The dresses I tried on there were all very different from one another, and most weren't really my style. Lots of them were "they are pretty on, but not for me" and definitely some hard no's too. I didn't mind the constant flow of champs coming our way though ;) it felt very celebratory.

Lastly, was a&bé. This one I was most excited about because it was the original one I chose. And I followed this shop on social media and was obsessed with all the designers they had. This place was very big and completely open. There were dressing rooms but otherwise it was all open space. The way I would describe it was it seemed very "New York". The people there were more serious and seemed to be more into the fashion aspect. My mom didn't really love the vibes. I didn't care, they had amazing dresses. My stylist was Olivia, and she was quiet and sweet. She had me walk around the racks and pick dresses with her and she'd write them down. ALL of the dresses I tried on I was in love with. They were a little more unique than the other shops I went to.

One common ground of all these dress shops: I seemed to favor all the Hayley Paige dresses :).

Well, I will spare some details, but little did I know I was going to be driving back down the following weekend because of my indecisive mind. Spoiler: I got a two piece dress. I ended up deciding to only purchase the bottom from a&be, so I went to yet ANOTHER dress shop that next weekend; Bridal Accents Couture (recommended by one of my bridesmaids :)) to look for the top.

Bridal Accents Couture was a very nice, beautiful, clean shop. The dresses were beautiful, and most were different designers from what I had tried on at all the other places. I was on the hunt for a certain Watters top that nobody in Minneapolis seemed to have, but I did find something similar and beautiful. I waited over 24 hours to call them back and say "yes" to it to make sure I was not going to change my mind. So yep, I said yes to the dress at two different places, two different weekends. This basically showcases how picky I am. But now I can say I sort of designed my own dress and can check it off my list!

I will look back and laugh at myself for being so indecisive, but it was such a fun, memorable experience. I'm happy with the way it went!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Engaged! Now What?

I'm so very excited to announce that (finally) I'm engaged! I mean we're engaged! For the last, I don't know, FIVE years (or ever since Pinterest was invented) I have browsed the wedding Pinterest category and made an embarrassing amount of secret wedding boards. I felt like I could have an impromptu wedding at any moment.


Weddings are so much more than pinning 4 carat princess cut rings and flower crowns. There's just so many real life aspects that really make me want to hire a wedding planner. I have emailed the popular venues in town and a couple are already booked for every single Saturday next summer through October. How!? I have browsed 70 million photographers in the area. How do you choose "the one"?!

How many people do we invite? We want it small, but at the same time don't want to leave anyone out. I want to be surrounded by all the people I love and cherish, but once you get over a certain guest number, the prices shoot up. Every single thing seems like a dilemma.

But. Yes, there's a but. It's all fun. This is my forte; planning. Coordinating. I have come to love it. Teenage me wouldn't believe it.

I have to talk myself down, though. I can not give into the pressure of having an over the top wedding. I don't need all the bells and whistles. I don't need to rent a limo. I don't need to have a mini orchestra. I don't need to serve filet minion. Every single wedding website and blog make me feel pressured into having this picture perfect magazine-worthy wedding, when in fact, that's not for me. I want it to be beautiful, but not obnoxious. Something cute, simple, and quaint. And those who know me, I gag at the word traditional anyway.

Any wedding tips are SO welcome, you guys!

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