Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Social


 
 




1. What is one thing you hate doing?
Unpacking. It never ends.




2. What is the one thing you hate shopping for?

Jeans. The butt and thighs make things difficult. And short jeans are a big joke.


3. What is one thing you love doing?
I love having date days with my husband. Always have so much fun.


4. What is one place you love going?
I don't have a one place I go back to again and again. Unless the mall counts.

5. What is your favorite thing to do that you do daily?
Drink coffee. No, really. Without it, there wouldn't be a day where I got anything done.




See you on Monday!


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Much Relaxed Weekend

All I want to do is relive this weekend all week and next weekend. I spent a full two days with my husband which is exactly what we needed. With my work schedule we haven't been able to spend a full 24 hours together just us since probably our first anniversary trip.


Saturday we started off with a nice brunch. I ordered a fancy cappuccino. Because, why not? I'll take another and another.



We then made a stop at Homegoods. Brian's first trip and let's just say, he was hooked. Had a cart full of curtains after I lost him for 5 minutes.


So. Happy.

I would also like to say, matching pillows, curtains, couches, etc. is hard. Now I know why people hire people for this stuff. We loaded and unloaded this cart a minimum of 10 times. 

Only one of these made it home with us.

Next stop was Princeton. An afternoon coffee and snack at Starbucks. Where I was sad that they held out their Pumpkin Spice Latte on me. Then, we grabbed a few drinks, really talked. And ended with a nice dinner.


This Mint Sangria, not a fan.

Our Sunday was really low key and relaxed. And it was the absolute best. Husband even made me a nice breakfast. It will definitely be a repeat.
A Monte Cristo
I was hoping for a trip to Thrift Store, but apparently they aren't open on Sundays. My thrifting will have to wait. I am actually very excited for that future trip. I soothed it over with some frozen yogurt though. So it made up for it.



Let's take a repeat on this weekend, shall we?
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunday Social




What are you most looking forward to about fall?



Decorating in the new place. Possible vacation.

What is your favorite sports team?
Yankees. Patriots.






If you could go back to college is there one thing you would change?
I would have done at least one more internship and started applying as soon as my senior year for jobs.

What is your favorite class you ever took? HS it was Cooking class. Always fun to see what I could actually make. Favorite college class was my wed design class. Loved learning how to utilize Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver.

Reach into your purse: what is the first thing you grab? Wallet?



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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Opinions. We All Have Them About Ice Buckets.

Sometimes I hold back. Actually, a lot of time I avoid giving my opinion and speaking my mind too much. Confrontation and arguments give me anxiety so I tend to err on the side of caution.

But I've decided that it is just silly. Especially because I have this blog to share my life and what should be what I want to say. And today I want to give a little rant, a lot of my opinion on dumping a bucket of ice over my head. Basically, to all the haters.

 I am sure that by now you have seen or heard about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. What started out as a fun social media challenge between sports fans, turned into raising awareness and money for ALS.

On July 14, [Chris] Kennedy recorded video of himself taking the Ice Bucket Challenge. He then called out three others, including his wife’s cousin, Jeanette Senerchia, whose husband, Anthony, is suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – more commonly known as ALS.-via 
This couple chose to make their donation to ALS at the time, then their neighborhood rallied around their organization for them, then it spread to his college and well, you know where it has gone. It seems everyone has really taken to the challenge.



It has seriously become a media firestorm around ALS, the awareness of it and the Ice Bucket Challenge. And because it has become so prominent around social media, everyone has their say and opinion. And some of them really get me going.

// What are you really doing by pouring a bucket of ice over your head? The ALS ice bucket challenge was meant to raise awareness for a disease that many people don't even know about. How many times have you heard about ALS in the past year BEFORE the ice bucket challenge went viral? My guess is not very many. Just as you wear pink for Breast Cancer Awareness or blue for Autism Awareness, ALS will now be known for ice bucket challenge. Participating isn't a fad, it isn't for popularity, it's for awareness of a disease.

// People bringing other people down. There are people that are criticizing people for accepting the ice bucket challenge because that then means they are choosing to get out of donating. When, in fact, many people are participating in the ice bucket challenge AND donating. Imagine that.

The ALS Association has since said that it has raised $15.6 million as a result of the challenge, nine times what it normally raises in the same time frame. Another ALS charity, Project ALS, told the Washington Post that its donations were 50 times normal. ALS TDI, another ALS charity, says that has raised $580,000 since the beginning of August, 10 times what it normally receives.- via Forbes

// Making the choice to donate to another charity. There are people that are posting they accepted but will donate to another charity they prefer because it means more to them. But honestly, we all have organizations that are close to our hearts. I have a few and I already donate to them every year because they are near and dear to my heart. On Mother's Day, I give to The American Cancer Society. At Christmas, I donate toys to underprivileged kids. And in March I make a donation for DVT Awareness. Even though these are organizations near and dear to my heart, there is always room for me to give to other organizations. Organizations that are raising awareness. We all have a little extra room to give a little more. Please do not make me feel guilty because I am choosing to donate to this charity because of this challenge. It's kind of the point. But feel free to do it because it makes you feel better.

// Everybody is wasting clean water. I for one poured water down my drain from my shower. If I am correct, that water gets sanitized then put back into bodies of water.That covers that. What about the water dumped outside you say? It is definitely not wasted. Going back to grade school with how water evaporates into the atmosphere, goes into the clouds. Once those clouds are full it comes back down as rain and the process keeps going and going. Essentially, water is never wasted. And if I can just say, pools. They are everywhere and I am certain you swim in that water.

// It's all just a bunch of peer pressure. People say that the don't think it's right to be peer pressured into doing something or donating to a certain cause. Just because you do not want to participate, you HAVE to donate to this very specific cause or on the other hand, succumb to the peer pressure of pouring ice water over your head. And here is what I have to say about that. Peer pressure to raise awareness for something? Peer pressure to donate to a cause I didn't know very much about before so I wouldn't have even considered it? That's the best kind of peer pressure I will give in to. Much better than the peer pressure that will probably have women wearing overalls again in the coming months.

So bottom line, just dump a bucket of ice on your head already. Or don't and give me your opinion on all of this. Because since I gave mine, I know everyone has their own. It's what makes the world go round. But I do ask, that you watch this.


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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Win Some End of Summer Cash Money {Giveaway}

Well, hello there everyone. I've been in and out of this place the past week. I guess August is getting the best of me. But I am all about it getting on with it's bad self. I can just smell the pumpkin and apple for fall.

I've got a very special treat for you today. Kelly is having a birthday and I am helping her celebrate by giving away some cash money. Such an easy way to end your summer with a little more moolah in your wallet!


Special thanks to all the lovely ladies below for helping me pull this together! 



This giveaway goes through Monday night with a winner being announced on Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway







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Saturday, August 16, 2014

He Put a Ring On It

...3 years ago.





Happy engagementversary sweet husband!
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

If I Had Another Wedding...My Wedding Do-Overs

One minute you are still in shock that you are most definitely engaged and have to plan a wedding. And then the next, you are frazzled just weeks before your wedding.

In the end, you got married to the man of your dreams and actually made it through the wedding planning. You are glowing that newlywed glow for a few months before you really start to think about that day. Smile about the best day of your life.

A few months ago, I told you the 10 Things I would Do All Over on My Wedding Day.  Every single one of them, still would do if we got married again. On the flip side, there are a few things that I would definitely reconsider when planning the wedding. 

Things I would now like to pass onto future brides. Who probably won't listen anyway because let's be serious, do brides ever listen to other people's advice?



Venue-Looking at Plan B

While I absolutely loved my venue, I wish I would have really looked at the rain option. We feel IN LOVE with our venue for the sheer fact the outside ceremony would be right in front of a fountain AND our cocktail hour would be outside. Something very unique to weddings.

Plan A


We got so wrapped up in Plan A, we didn't research Plan B as much as we should have. Unfortunately, it did decide to have a tropical storm the day of our wedding and we had to go with Plan B. And I will say, with Plan B we were way overcharged. Our guests were cramped during cocktail hour (Was told it would fit 150 and we only had 125), the windows were open during our ceremony with a nice view of umbrellas (Oh, and a man was running back and forth outside multiple times during our ceremony)

Plan B


The service we received didn't quite make up for the deficit. Oh, and apparently bubbles weren't allowed inside so I was stuck with 200 unused bubbles that I tied ribbons to...I know it's hard to even think about rain on your wedding day, but make sure to plan for it. And then plan again in your budget.

Favors
This is somewhat of a hot topic when it comes to weddings. Some people say it is rude not have something for your guests to take home. Others say it is a waste of money because all people do is throw them away or they collect dust. I was one of the latter. My original plan was to make a donation to a charity rather than spend the money on favors. Lets just say, in the end the favors won out but I would not do this again. Just say no.

Researching Vendors
Fact: I saw my photographer at one bridal show and was hooked. We went to a visit 6 months later, they offered us a deal if we booked then and we jumped at the chance. I mean, we already loved them what was the wait? I had researched others but couldn't get over their "show" at the bridal show.

One of the good ones


We should have waited. Seeing our final wedding album, the final pictures. Our money could have been better spent I'm sure even though we got "a deal." My photographer didn't listen to my shot list on our phone call, there is ONE shot of our first kiss as husband and wife and our wedding album left a lot to be desired. In the end, the upgrades (second photographer, larger wedding album, groomsmen getting ready) would have cost us an extra grand. Which definitely was not in out budget and what I had been awed by during the bridal show.

However, our minister and DJ were two vendors we loved and would choose again and again for our wedding.

Experimenting with Different Hairstyles

When I went for my hair trial, I had 3 different pictures that I wanted to try. She tried the first one but told me it was "too 90's." On to the next one. That was it. The next one was the one I picked for my wedding day.




I never tried a half-up do or a completely down hairstyle. I was concerned with the summer heat which led me to an updo. Thinking back, I wish I would have asked to just see the down option because I have serious hairstyle envy when I see weddings now.

Not that I didn't like my hair or hairstylist because I did. Just wish I would have given myself more options so I was absolutely sure that day that it was what I wanted.

Even with all of this, this handsome fella, still mine mine mine.



What would you have done differently during wedding planning?
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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Everybody is Fighting a Battle

It was utter and complete shock when learning of Robin Williams untimely death. Especially, when his representative released the statement that he had been battling "severe depression" and it was suspected suicide.

The guy that put a smile on so many of our faces was depressed. The guy that caused us to break out in laughter the past 15 years was depressed. The guy who seemed to have it all, a wife, kids, fans. The guy we have all grown to love felt like there was no other option available to him but to take his own life.



It shows that you never know what another person is going through. We judge people so quickly by their actions, faces but unless you truly know them, you have no idea what actually could be happening in their lives.

Everyday, every person is fighting their own battle. It could be the person sitting on the train next you taking up a whole seat because they do not want anyone to sit next to them. They would rather stew in their own angry thoughts.

It could also be the person in front of you in the grocery line yelling at the cashier because something was rung up wrong when in reality, they are just mad because they have to count pennies to pay for groceries.

It could also be the coworker you see every single day, bounce into the office, smile on her face. That smile could be covering up years of hurt in her heart.



You never know another person's battle. You never know what the other person is going through. This is an unfortunate example of that. Robin Williams was a comedian, actor that put smiles on our faces, year after year. He could be found cracking jokes on a night time show or in of our favorite movies. In the end, his own laughter, his own smiles couldn't shut out the darkness that had consumed him.

I have been through a battle that I never thought I would get out of. A battle I felt like no one else understood when I lost my mom. I smiled big so no one would see my hurt. I smiled through the tears.



That smile covered the hurt I was feeling inside. There were days I wanted to lay in bed and never get out of it. There were days I wasn't sure if they hurt in my heart would ever go away.

It was also the days when people included me in their conversations, days people smiled at me and made me laugh, days people just tried to understand what I was going through. Those are the moments that made me get through. Made me smile for real. Made the hurt just a little bit less. It's what kept me from tumbling even further into the darkness. People might not have known the exact words to say but knew I just needed to laugh. Just needed to feel like they cared.



Just remember when you are quick to complain or yell back at a rude person. Remember that even though they may be clothed in the highest end fashion, there may be battle they are fighting inside. Remember that when someone is having a bad day, see what you can do to help them out.

Give a smile. Say hello to a stranger. Tell your family and friends how much they mean to you. Really connect with the people in your life.

Be nice. Be kind. Every one is fighting their own battle. And you never know when your simple kindness or smile will turn their day around.

RIP Robin Williams. My favorite genie, doctor, nanny and Theodore Roosevelt.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

|Currently|

...Not Here. 



|Reading
Just finished a book, ready for another. It's been awhile since I have had a new read. The new Emily Giffin book is calling my name.

|Enjoying
Saving money. Weird, right? I actually really enjoy looking for coupons and deals on our groceries and seeing how much I didn't spend for the week.

|Listening To
Some country on iTunes to fuel my morning blog post and jumping in to my new virtual assistant job!

|Photographing
 Not as much as I should. Need to get the camera back outside. But otherwise, my phone has seen a lot of Lily pictures, coffee pictures.

|Feeling
A lot overwhelmed. With the summer coming to a close, I feel like I haven't done nearly as much as I wanted to. Days off were spent packing, unpacking and going on interviews. Juggling time with my husband, family, friends while only have 2 weekend available a month is hard. Here's hoping this month I can squeeze something else in that mix. At least for my sanity.


Linking up with Jenna and Anne. Grab the prompts and join in!
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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Happy Credit Card Dance

Why would we ever do a happy credit card dance?

Because as of today, we are OFFICIALLY {CREDIT CARD} DEBT FREE!



Good bye bad credit and bad college reckless years. I will see you never again. I will learn from you and teach my kids to never be lured into free credit cards with a free sub. Yes, this happened. My ashamed face.

Without disclosing the amount, mainly because I am embarrassed, I had 5 credit cards by the time I was 21. What 21 year old should have 5 credit cards? None. That is the answer I am sticking to. Even when the statistics can speak for themselves.



My parents never talked money with us. Never taught us how to save our money and budget. My dad was and still is a spender. When my parents were married, my dad bought and bought things, vacations. The best of the best. The newest of the new. There was an understanding that Dad went to work to buy things but no sense of what money meant to buy all those things.

We weren't given an allowance to earn our money. Our birthday money was the only time we ever understood the concept that what we were given we could spend. If I can remember, we were given quite a bit. We felt pretty comfortable with the money we knew nothing about.

What I Wish My Parents Had Taught Me


Then, my parents divorced and my mom became a single mom. We were living paycheck to paycheck. Saving was the last option. I had 3 jobs at the age of 15 because I wanted to help my mom out. I saved and saved my money to put towards my first car. Paid in cash. I felt so proud, accomplished, invincible with my budgeting. But I didn't have bills or owe anyone money. Just a slight car insurance bill. The rest was fun money. I loved the fun money.

I clearly remember my first credit card application coming in the mail.I'm 18. I could have a credit card for gas. Nothing too big. It was thrilling to see my name on that card and be able to swipe it for my first gas payment. My only purchase that month. I paid it in full. See, I got this handled.

My excited face.

Then, came the Disney card. It gave me rewards for Disney purchases. Rewards that would save me money on Disney merchandise and trips. I love me some Disney. Sign me up! 

It then went Victoria's Secret, because, Victoria's Secret. Capital One for a $50 sign-up and CitiBank for student loan rewards and a sub. I thought I had it under control. Until, I didn't.

Balance went up, interest kept piling and I was out of work due to knee surgery. No one told me I could call and talk to them about it. Let's just say, things got serious and I have been paying for it ever since. It's cost me from saving towards for my future because I've been paying towards my past.

But today. Today, we are free. Free from that monthly payment. Free to dance around in that money if we want. If I can get the husband on board with that.

Pretend that's money
It feels so great to have that part of my bad financial past behind me. I am more determined than ever to continue on a good financial path for our future and our kids future. We will teach them about credit cards and managing money. They will be better set up for their future. Live and learn for our future kids I say.

Now, on to those student loans. I will throw a soiree when all of those are paid off. See you in 10 years.



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Monday, August 4, 2014

Well, This is New [August Goals]


This isn't a concept I came up with all on my own. I mean, it's kind of everywhere in the blog world. And I kind of love it.

This is the first month I will be starting to make monthly goals. I hope it will keep me on track, allow me to hold myself accountable. It will also allow me to look back every month, see my progress and aim to do more the next month.

My dreams. My goals. In the Clouds.




Blog
Install my new design(!)
Update/fix all my pages
Stick to my editorial calendar
Meet Kate from Classy Living!

House
Finish unpacking 100%
Buy couch pillows
Get Lily out of our bathroom

Personal
Wake up earlier
Run at least 4 times a week
Dive back into my planner to utilize my time wisely
Be intentional with my time with my husband  (no phones, distractions)


I'm excited to have a place to share my goals and see them written. Excited to see what I can do this month to move myself forward with my goals.

What are your goals for the month? Any exciting ones?

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Friday, August 1, 2014

What Accent? {Vlog Link-Up}

Ever wondered if you had an accent? When you hear other people talk and hear their accent it makes you think if other people hear an accent when you talk.

I saw this link-up idea floating around the idea from Juliette and Allie and since it has been awhile since you have all heard my pretty voice, I wanted to participate. Plus, I want to really know if I have an accent.

Allieology


Excuse the awkward angle, my rambling and any other quirkiness. As I said, it's been awhile.




Now, if you are so inclined and want to partipate and show of your accent, or lack thereof...

Here are the list of questions/things to say:

1. Your Name
2. Where you're from.
3. Pronounce the following words: Aunt, Roof, Route, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Pajamas, Caught, Naturally, Aluminum, Crackerjack, Doorknob, Envelope
4. What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
5. What is a bubbly carbonated drink called?
6. What do you call gym shoes?
7. What do you call your grandparents?
8. What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry groceries at the supermarket?
9. What is the thing you change the TV channel with?
10. What is the bug that when you touch it, it rolls into a ball? How about the one that lights up at night?
11. What do you say to address a group of people?
12. Do you speak any other languages? If so, say something in that language(s).
13. Do you think you have an accent?
14. End by saying any 3 words you want.


Let me hear your accent!

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