Thursday, December 18, 2014

My 2015 Blog Goals + Giveaway

As bloggers, there are always improvements we hope to accomplish.  I would like to bring in the New Year with a bang! 2014 was one of the best years of my life.  I married my best friend, we went on an amazing honeymoon, we bought our first home, and so much more!  
I started a Weekend Recap with Bella, ran a few giveaways, created an Etsy Shop, Made my first Facebook page, and made new blogging friends. With that said, now that I have more free time {as I am not longer planning our wedding}  I can focus on getting things accomplished on this little ole' blog of mine.

Here's my current list I've compiled of what I'd like to accomplish in the upcoming 2015 year:

-Gain more blog followers
-Participate in more linkups/ giveaways
-Expand my Etsy shop
-Learn new design ideas and strategies
-Collaborate with new bloggers 
-Be more creative with your blog posts, create new ideas
-Lisa, you need to seriously use that Canon Rebel T3i you were gifted two Christmas's ago.  Start using those photos instead of your iPhone ya nut!
-Create new buttons


Linkup your Blog Goals for 2015!  (all I ask is that you include a link back to my blog in your post)






The linkup will run from Dec 16-January 4  

Aaaaaand, who wouldn't like to bring in the New Year with a *BaNg* ?  Thanks to Fresh Faces for making this Giveaway possible as well as all these lovely bloggers below-- you can win $375 !  Make sure to spread the word, this #giveaway is one you surely do not want to miss out on!




a Rafflecopter giveaway







Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Choosing Your Wedding Party



Happy Wedding Wednesday, beautiful people! Today I'd like to go over how to go about choosing your wedding party.  For some, this may be the easiest task while for others it could be difficult if you are trying to keep your wedding party a certain count.    Not all weddings are the same, that's the best part! You get to be in control of how things are planned!

For instance, I only had 4 Bridesmaids and my husband had 5 groomsman.  It didn't have to be the perfect numbers on both sides.  So at the wedding, I had one of my silly bridesmaids walk in with two of the guys.  



























































I felt like she was the best fit to walk with two guys because she's fun, upbeat, and I knew she wouldn't feel awkward with two guys.  

My reasoning for only having 4 girls:  I have more guy friends, and a lot of the girlfriends I have I do love, however, I didn't necessarily want to have too many girls to work with during the wedding planning process.  When I thought about having more girls, I got stressed, so I kept it minimal, but liked having the even number on my side.

My husband, however, had tons of options but he chose his top 5. (Well, one of the guys is one of my best friends so he had him on his side!)  Here are some tips if you are having a difficult time choosing your Bridesmaids/Groomsman:


Think twice before you ask. You can't just ask and then tell them you were kidding.  You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  However, if they opt out, that's a whole different story. I know that's the first thing you are the most excited about when you get engaged and it may be tempting to ask all of your favorite friends to be in your wedding party the minute right away.  But seriously ladies,  breathe a little, take your time.  Sleep on it for a month if you have to.  (I almost asked a fifth girl, but decided it probably wasn't the best idea because she is kind of flakey-- and I didn't want to deal with the stress of counting on her to be at the events and participate.)  Ask yourself: Do you imagine you'll be just as close to this person in five years as you are now?  Because you WILL have photos of them that you'll look back on in the future and you don't want to have any regrets.

If you are in a debate about asking someone to be in your wedding, consider how they'd fit in with the rest of your wedding party. If you don't think they'd be a perfect fit with the rest of your Maids and Men, then leave them off the list.


Let your Wedding Party know what is expected of them.
What sort of a roles do you want your wedding party to play? Give them a realistic list of what you expect. Such as to help address wedding invites, dress shop with you and attend all of the pre-wedding parties? Or will it be enough for them to just show up the day of? If it's the first option, I'd think twice about asking friends and family who live too far or have a difficult schedule to work with. You don't want to stress yourself out and set yourself up for disappointment. 

If you do have friends who live out of town and want to do everything they can to help, send them simpler tasks or have them book the activities for all the upcoming events such as the bridal shower and bachelorette party.

Include your brothers and sisters.(If you have them)
These individuals are going to be in your life whether you like it or not. But, if you come from a big family and you can't possibly include everyone, draw the line at teenagers. Maybe  make the younger ones ushers or have them greet guests and pass out programs. We had my husbands younger brother be an usher, that way he was included in the wedding.

Consider the size of your wedding party.
The average wedding party size is eight – four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. Use that as a guide when you decide. Start choosing those who HAVE to be in your wedding, then go from there.  Just keep this in mind: More isn't always merrier. The more bridesmaids or groomsmen you have, the more people to coordinate with (and more opinions they will have in regards to planning and such) find a flattering tux or dress for, and work around schedules with (can you imagine trying to find a free weekend for a bachelorette party with 12 or more bridesmaids?). We already had enough difficulties getting three girls together (1 lived out of town), I couldn't imagine trying to coordinate with any more than that.

There are plenty of other roles if you can't fit them into your wedding party.  Such as an usher, ceremony reader or candlelighter.

Choose responsible honor attendants.
Choosing your best man and maid of honor may be difficult if you have several close friends or family.  You will want to choose the most reliable as they will be responsible to take on some big wedding planning tasks and to hold on to your expensive rings).  You'll also want to choose friends who are good at providing emotional support, because there just might be a few prewedding meltdowns. (It also helps if they're fun, since they'll be planning the bachelor and bachelorette parties!). 

If your best friend isn't always the most dependable person, it's perfectly okay to have two best men or maids of honor. Pick your unpredictable BFF and another friend you can rely on for the big, important duties.

Don't ask someone just because they asked you.
Just because they asked you to be in their wedding, doesn't mean they need to be in yours.
It's probably best you ask people who you are close to and talk to at least a few times a month.

*Linkup for Wedding Wednesday with me! Grab the button below:
Showered With Design







Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wedding Q+A Series With Made In The Shade

The lovely Bride Q+A Series continues on this beautiful Tuesday!  Today I have Rebecca from Made In The Shade stopping by to share her Wedding Story with all of you!

Hi! I'm Becky!

When did you get married ?
 June 8th, 2013 - the day of our first date, 3 years later!

How did you meet?
We are both nurses, and met at the hospital one day while I was working as a student nurse and he was having his nursing clinical. Now I always have someone to tell my gross stories to!

What was the one thing you were most passionate about?I cared the most about my dress (which had pockets!), that the flowers were real, and the venue.

What was the most awkward thing about wedding planning?
Knowing when to pay the vendors when its close to time for the wedding - convos about money are just so awkward!

 How many bridesmaids did you have? How did you go about choosing them?
I had 6 - it was just a number that worked out for both my husband and I. I had my sister, a previous room mate, and 4 nursing school friends!

How long did it take you to find your wedding dress?
I actually had 3 appointments booked at 3 stores, but found it in the first one. I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted - pockets, strapless, and a little bit poofy!

Spill some deets that went on. We wanna hear drama:
I didn't have too much drama thank goodness! The florist did deliver the flowers several hours late, but other than that it all turned out great!


What was your color scheme, and what made you choose it?
I love the color mint green, and knew we wanted daisies and hydrangeas. So mint, white, and a little yellow were our colors!


Did you do any DIY projects/etc?
Yes!! My wedding was full of DIY's, from the centerpieces, backdrop behind the table, floral arrangements, favors, table runners, etc! I was my own wedding planner and loved every minute of it! You can go to the link below to find how to DIY some wedding ideas of your own!
http://www.madeintheshadeblog.com/p/diys-at-glance.html#.VG1QPcnIliY


If you don't mind sharing what your budget was, and if you stayed
 on track or went over budget?
Our budget was about $12000 - 14000. We stayed pretty true to that, but we did a lot of DIY work, I got a lot of things off of etsy, and I was my own wedding planner to save a lot of money. It can be done, but you just have to do a lot of things yourself instead of paying someone else!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding day?Our first look together, and our first dance. I also really loved our photographer!

What was the most stressful thing about your wedding day?
It actually wasn't the wedding day, it was the rehearsal dinner. Because we didn't have a wedding planner I was overwhelmed. I recommend if you go this route to designate a family or friend to answer all the questions at the rehearsal for you!

If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
Absolutely nothing! I loved every minute of our day and would replan it all in a heart beat!

What's your best piece of advice for future brides out there?

Try to stay stress free, no matter what you'll be so happy on your wedding day you won't care about much else! And if you are looking to save money, DIY is the way to go!

Go here for more wedding pictures and ideas!
http://www.madeintheshadeblog.com/p/our-wedding.html#.VG1RVMnIliY
-----------------------------------------------------------
Thanks so much Rebecca for being a part of my series!  Your wedding day looked so magical!
Are you interested in showcasing your wedding on my series?  Email me for more information. Also, if you are interested in being a part of the Wedding Bloggers Connect database, you can do so below.
  
Showered With Design 
Don't forget to stop by tomorrow for Wedding Wednesday and linkup with me!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday Friends! Can you believe Christmas is next week!!! Oh my goodness insanity! Today I am co-hosting with Bella for our Weekend Recap! 

The husbands brother and fiance were in town so we went out with them Friday night to the local bars.  I love how the bars decorate for Christmas with all the lights and such.
We drank a little too much.

Saturday we woke up around noon and went to Lucilles BBQ for lunch with a group of friends.  My cousin met up with us to grab some grub too!  We did a little shopping and then came home to get prepped for our Christmas Party.  I dressed up the pooches before the guests arrived.  I had to try on his Hot Dog Costume before giving him a cute sweater to sport.


My sweetie in his cute Santa outfit.


I didn't wear an ugly sweater the whole night, but my girlfriend brought a few over so we can take photos in it!  A few of our friends ended up wearing there's to the party!



Sunday we basically wasted a whole day and didn't wake up until 5 pm.  Once we finally got up, it was already dark outside.  Talk about having a panic attack not realizing what day it was! We ordered Islands curbside take out and watched a few shows before heading back to bed. 

How was your weekend?  Linkup with us and share it!

 






Thursday, December 11, 2014

Unique Christmas Decor

I'm just going to come out and say it.
I am a FREAK when it comes to researching.

Not kidding.

So when Christmas was approaching, the first thing I did was research unique Christmas decor ideas.  Something different than the usual average decor that everyone and there cats grandmother has.  I found a few to be pretty much amazing, and here they are:

[ONE]



This my friends is made from an upside down tomato plant cage.  Yes friends.  How simple is that?  Throw some lights around it and add a topper and you've got yourself the easiest decor I've seen in a while.
Love love love this idea!














 





[TWO]

If you are really struggling for ideas with no money to spare. Then this is just for you:


You literally throw some books in a pile and wrap some beads, add a star and you've got yourself a unique tree to have on display wherever you please.















 









[THREE]


If you have a lot of random bottle hanging around your crib, then this is the project for you.  Not as simple as the previous ideas, but talk about a "Wow" factor.

I would totally be game to do this if I had a bunch of bottles AND the time to do this.   It would be so cool!
Could you imagine all your friends talking about your totally awesome Christmas tree idea?  You'd be the talk of the town for weeks!















[FOUR]
 

 This is perfect if you have some frames, boards, or similar lying around your home.  Just cut up or print out your own snowflakes, or other art and string them in with a clip!  Simple, cute and unique!















[FIVE] 

If you are looking for an alternative to number 1, then this ladder would be perfect for you.


Source

Especially if you have a random shabby old ladder lying around your house. (Who does ?)   I love how you can decorate it with lights, add some bulbs and maybe a plant on top that was already lying around your home.
I would also probably add some ribbon in the mix.































Do you have any unique Christmas decor that you are dying to try?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Things I've Learned While Planning Our Wedding.

People will not RSVP {no matter how hard you try} - This meme says it all:

It's true.  You would like to think when you self address an envelop and provide a stamp to send back an RSVP, that people would think it was easy.  Sorry Girlfran. No matter how hard you try, there will be a select few {or more} that will refuse to RSVP.
You can expect a text or a facebook message the day before or wedding {or on your wedding} IF THAT.
 
Even those who are nice enough to mail an RSVP may not even show up. {Sucks doesn't it}...they'll come up some lame excuse to not come last minute. I'd like to send a big thank you to those who RSVP'd and didn't bother showing up, I'm glad we paid for your dinner which was not cheap. Thanks for that.

 
Don't expect your bridesmaids to help.  I guess I just thought they would have done the research {As I would have} and help the Bride the day of.  My poor pregnant Bridesmaid who did my hair and makeup barely got to get ready because the other girls wouldn't help clear her stuff up after she tried asking them to.  Yes some {or all} may make an effort to help.  {If that's the case-- I envy you}


The day goes by ridiculously fast.  You may not even notice some things.  {Thank goodness for photos and videos}. Try to make an effort to go to each table but do it quick, otherwise you'll miss half the night talking to people when you could be getting your jig on on the dance floor.  My best advice: Go to the guests you see less often first, then go by the ones you see on the daily.



Thank goodness for our coordinator to keep us on top of things {although we didn't get to eat}. She really did amazing and had two assistants making sure we didn't run into each other throughout the day and made sure we were on time, and moved some items from the ceremony to the reception before guests arrived.  She was wonderful.  Seriously guys, I recommend at least hiring a day of coordinator!  Who else is going to line up the guys, and make sure all the vendors arrive on time?  Trust me, that's the last thing you want to deal with on YOUR wedding day.

Bring flats.  You will not want to be running around in heels all day. {It's a LONG day}


Have fun, laugh all day and all night. {The camera will most likely be on you anyways}.  Make sure to give your photographer a list of the photos you need to have.  You will be too busy the day of to remember.  Trust me you will have a lot on your mind.

*Linking up here, for Wedding Wednesday!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Greeting Card Shop




Are you one of those types of people who would love to mail out personalized unique Birthday cards, but always run out of time to go out and buy them?  Nowadays cards are between $3-$5 just for your average basic card.  Did you know, The Greeting Card Shop features thousands of cards (not just for birthdays) for only $1.99 ?   Plus, you can ship them directly to the recipient at no additional cost!  You can even add on a gift-card or flowers to send along with the card!  It's one of my all-time favorite online shops!  

If you are a forgetful person, like myself, you can schedule cards to be sent any date you choose.   I like to schedule them all at once so I don't forget, and can get it all done at the same time! Especially because right now you can buy 5 for the price of 4 cards! 5 cards for $7.96!   

From Holiday Greeting cards, to Anniversaries, to Birthdays, to Weddings to Graduations.  The Greeting Card Shop has got you covered.  Check out their entire list of cards here.






TheGreetingCardShop.com

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday lovelies!  I hope you all had a productive and fun-filled weekend! I am co-hosting with Bella from Bella And The City for our Weekend Recap!
Make sure to grab our beautiful button below and linkup about your weekend!
Showered With Design


Friday evening I was pretty much a grandma. I never thought I would find myself home on a Friday evening with no motivation to even want to go out.  The hubby spent most of Friday getting our yard to look clean and organized.  You may be thinking, organized?  Well he trimmed some of the trees back and placed red bark in to make it look clean.  So I was nice and let the hubby go out with his friends while I got some things done around the house, and mostly got caught up on some of my favorite TV shows: Nashville and Stalker.  Have you seen either of these shows?? I am obsessed {to say the least}.  I also worked on a few personalized ornament orders I had.  If you're interested in making a purchase, check out my Etsy shop for more details.



Saturday morning I woke up early to head to the mall with my mom.  We of course had to stop at Starbucks on the way.  I am in love with the Gingerbread latte, so that's what I ordered.  Then we took off to brave the crowds at the mall. We were able to get the majority of our Christmas shopping done! Such a relief!  We did, however, see a lady come into Victoria's Secret shopping with her two dogs.  We giggled to ourselves as she walked by.  I have never seen anything like it! Who takes there dogs to the mall?  Apparently it's not so strange, because I posted the photo on my instagram/facebook and a few friends said they do that! Too funny! After the mall, my mom and I went to lunch at El Torito and I came home to grab my husband so we could pick out our Christmas tree.



We stopped by a few tree lots until we found out Home Depot had the best price for the size we wanted.  One of the tree lots had some HUGE trees.  It was so crazy! We took our tree home to set it up and grabbed some dinner.  We decided to go to an early showing of Dumb & Dumberer.  We've been wanting to see it since it came out, but didn't want to watch it in a busy theater.  I have never been a fan of huge crowds so I either wait a while or wait till it comes out on DVD.  I love simple date nights!




Sunday I worked on my girlfriends facebook page for her business and then worked on some more custom orders.  Ya'll should help a gal out and "like" her facebook page. I decorated our Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music and organized my desk.  When the hubby got home from giving some kids baseball lessons, we went to the mall to finish his Christmas shopping.  We grabbed Happy Hour and came home to relax in the spa.  It was a great weekend to say the least.  I am so sad it's over!




How did you spend your weekend?

*Also linking up with these beauties