Thursday, February 15, 2018

Flower Girl


Will you be my Flower Girl?!?!?! 

I remember being a flower girl when I was young!! I was a flower girl in a few family weddings and it was ssoo much fun!! 

Ah flower girl memories... I remember learning to dance to the Macarena and dancing my little heart out!! I remember tapping my glass so the bride and groom would kiss!! I would tap my glass so much that my mom would tell me to stop...hahaha...but I thought it was so cool that an entire room would tap their glass and cheer as the couple kissed!! I remember trying to catch the bouquet...I remember making a video for the bride and groom...I remember eating yummy cake...I remember making a tunnel for the send off...I just have so many great flower girl memories!!

I also remember the dresses I wore and the gifts my Aunts gave me. Aunt Krista gave me the Aladdin VHS and Aunt Cindy gave me a Barbie dressed up as a beautiful bride!!  Oh....Barbie!! haha...anyway here's what I put in my Flower Girl Box:

$1 Pink Bottle from Dollar Tree (added her name using my Cricut)
Flower Girl Card (purchased a set from Etsy)
$2 Pink Bag from Hobby Lobby (use 40% off coupon)
Markers (not in photo)

I can't wait to pick out her dress and help her make some flower girl memories!! 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Ring Bearer


Will you be our ring bearer?? There are so many cute ideas on pinterest, google, etsy, and instagram. Yes I search for ideas everywhere I can think of!! haha...but the trick is to make these cute little ideas for a reasonable price...especially for the ring bearer and flower girl.  They're kids...they won't ever remember what you made them and if you buy them a $50 shirt they'll end up outgrowing it in a month...haha. 

Here's what I put together: 
$1 kids sunglasses from Dollar Tree (added his name and "Ring Security" using my Cricut)
$1 iron-on "Ring Security" decal from Hobby Lobby ($5 on Amazon)
$2 tshirt from Hobby Lobby (this is the hardest part...figuring out kid's sizes!! i mean they all look small to me!! hahaha)
$1 Ring Pop (not in photo)
Ring Bearer Card

I made the card using a manila folder to make it look like a "top secret" file and some cardstock.  Then I googled some images and printed it off...here's the inside of the card:


Luckily he accepted the mission!! And he's going to be adorable!!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Flying Man Brewery

You never know what new adventure is waiting for you just around the corner!! 

Have you ever had to drive to the other side of town and been left with a little extra time to kill? Well that's exactly what happened to us this weekend and it ended up being a great mini adventure!! 

Neil and I were out running errands when we decided to pull up our maps to see if there was anything interesting in the area. We found Flying Man Brewery and decided to stop by for a flight of beer. I'm sssoo glad we did because their beer was awesome!!! I loved their Water Bomber Watermelon Wheat Beer, Weedhopper Honey Wheat Beer, and Supersonic Blonde Beer!! Yummy!! Definitely one of my top favorite breweries in Austin now!! Can't wait to go back!!

So the next time you're out running errands and have a little time to kill just see what's in the area...you never know what you'll find!!

http://www.flyingmanbrewing.com/

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Wedding Planning


It's a snow day here in Austin so that means I'm working on some wedding planning!! I feel like wedding planning has become my second job...I'm working on it all the time!! And no that's not a complaint just a fact...wedding planning keeps me pretty busy!! I normally think it's super fun but every once and a while I get a little overwhelmed with all of the options....there are like 500 options for every decision.

So with all of these options and decisions...where do I start?? Should I just hire a wedding planner?? How do I even find vendors?? How do I narrow it down?? What are some good resources?? How do I keep everything organized?? How am I going to stay within my budget?? How do I handle the stress?? These are just a few of the questions that I asked myself after we got engaged. So I thought I could help answer some of these questions for those of you who recently got engaged....

Where do you start??
  • Just start!! Don't overthink it!! Set up your Pinterest boards and go!! Although realistically, picking a general time frame (season/month) and setting your budget is a good place to start...hahaha
  • I would also suggest sitting down with your fiance and answering the following questions together: 
    • What is the vision/purpose of your wedding? Write down your vision/purpose so that you can reference it later and remind yourself of what's really important. 
    • What are your top priorities for your wedding? This should help you determine your budget, if food is a top priority then you'll probably want to spend more money on food. 
    • How will you handle disagreements? Neil and I decided we'd place the options in a hat and pull one out randomly. We haven't done this yet but at least we have a plan that we've both agreed on beforehand. 
    • How will you delegate the responsibilities? Yes you need to include your fiance in the planning process, it's his wedding too!! Plus you're going to be together forever so it might be a good idea to practice teamwork now.
Should you just hire a wedding planner??
  • Wedding Planner = less stress + more money. They definitely do all of the heavy lifting for you but for a price!! I didn't want to spend that kind of money on a wedding planner...I am, however, hiring a Day of Coordinator. I've heard a Day of Coordinator is worth the money to help relieve some of the stress on the big day. 
  • So far I will tell you that if you're willing to put in the work and you can stay organized then you don't need a wedding planner. Planning a wedding yourself will be a lot of work, but it'll save you a lot of money!!
How do you even find vendors??
  • I always start with the Wedding Wire App and The Knot App!! These apps are AMAZING!! I've found almost all of our vendors on these apps!! Sometimes I've used Yelp and Google if I needed more information. 
How do you narrow it down??
  • Once I have a list of vendors I narrow it down by number of reviews, cost, and response time. Normally that shortens my list by quite a bit!! Then I show my fiance the shortened list and he helps me narrow it down from there. We then set up a meeting with our top 2-3 vendors and from there we go with our gut feeling...hahaha. No that's not very scientific but at the end of the day why stress over it...if you have two good choices then just be happy you found some good choices and follow your gut!!
How do you keep everything organized??
  • If you decide to do all of the planning yourself, then you're going to have to be organized!! I use a Google Sheet to keep myself organized. It keeps everything in one place, plus I can look at it on my cell phone!! Here's the template I created: Wedding Planning Template. Notice on the bottom of the sheet are several different tabs for the different types of vendors you'll be needing.  
  • Create a folder in your email for all of the wedding info you'll receive. I'm not just talking about the info from vendors, everyone you know will want to give you info. Example: One of Neil's coworkers gave us the contact info for her hair stylist. I don't know if we'll use her hair stylist but it was thoughtful of her to share that information with us so it's saved in that Wedding Folder.
What are some good resources??
  • I've already mentioned the Wedding Wire App and The Knot App...both great resources!!! I also bought this Wedding Planner & Organizer Binder and I have to say it's a must!! I bought a ton of books, planners, resources, etc...but this is the only one that really helped me!! It gave me a list of questions for each vendor and really helped me feel prepared!! 
How am I going to stay within my budget?? 
  • Craigslist has been AMAZING!! I've gotten some pretty great deals on decor off Craigslist. 
  • Bride to Bride Facebook Group!! A group of brides reselling their wedding stuff but also providing helpful tips/resources.
  • Don't forget Google!! I seriously google things like "where can I buy cheap wedding votives?"  Normally a wedding discussion board pops up answering all of my questions!! These discussion boards have helped me with "real reviews" on some of the online options available nowadays. 

How do you handle the stress?
  • Don't stress over the small stuff!! No seriously...why stress over small stuff?? You know how hard it was to find Neil...now that's the hard part!! That took 29 years to find!! Blue napkins verse white napkins...who cares!! 
  • Celebrate the little things!! Neil and I decided we'd go to the arcade every time we signed a contract!! A nice way to make the wedding planning fun!! 
  • Self Care!! Don't let the wedding become your life...take care of yourself and your fiance!! If you need to dedicate one night a week as "no wedding talk night" then do so. We decided Tuesday nights was our "No Wedding Talk Night" but we haven't really needed it. 
  • Don't be afraid to delegate!! Reach out for help if you need it!! Today I called Neil and asked him to handle the details of our honeymoon. We've done a lot of the major honeymoon planning together but I don't have time to figure out which bus we should take from point A to point B. It's so nice knowing that he's there to help and that I can trust him to handle things. 
I hope this post has helped answer some of your questions and provided you with some helpful tools!! I know there will be a ton of questions along the way but having a system in place and knowing where to go for those answers can be super helpful!! If you're stuck just remind yourself "Finding the man is the hard part, so don't stress about the rest!!"

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Boxwood Wreath

I LOVE Boxwood Wreaths!! But like most of the things I like/want...they're expensive!! I was at hobby lobby one day and I found this boxwood wreath for $50!! I don't want to spend $50 on a piece of decor (at least not something so small). 


So instead of spending $50 on the wreath, I spent about $14 on some boxwood garland and a grapevine wreath. Yes...that's right I spent about $14 on this DIY project!! 

I started by pulling off each piece of boxwood from the garland. I then hot glued each piece onto the grapevine wreath. I glued one row of boxwood and then another row on top of that row.  I continued this process until the wreath was complete. I then filled in some of the holes with the extra boxwood pieces. I used all of the boxwood...I wanted my wreath to look as full as possible!!

Here's the end result!!  I LOVE it!! It looks just as nice as the ones I've seen at the stores...but it didn't kill my bank account.  YAY!!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Blogger Recognition Award

Guess what?!?!?!? I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award!! The Blogger Recognition Award is when bloggers recognize a new blogger for their work and then that blogger recognizes a new blogger and so on. It's a great way to encourage new bloggers, make new connections, and build a blogging community.

It's also a way to say "OMG someone other than my mom read my blog!!! Keep Blogging!!" hahaha...at least that was my first impression!! But now I'm realizing it's a great way to find some other bloggers who are just starting off, encourage them, and follow their blogging journey.

I was nominated by fellow bloggers Nicky and Laura, from Woman In Progress!! Huge Thank You Ladies!!

Now I have to follow some rules in order to accept my nomination (I got them from Nicky & Laura). My nominees will have to follow the same rules in order to accept their nomination and award.

The Rules

  • Write a post about the award
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  • Write a brief story about how your blog began
  • Provide at least two pieces of advice to newbie bloggers
  • Select 15 blogs to nominate. It can be hard to find new blogs, but it's also a lot of fun to see what everyone else is doing.  If you're having problems finding new bloggers search Instagram for "newbloggers" and see what pops up.
  • Contact each nominee and provide a link to this post

How My Blog Began

Honestly I wrote an entire post about the start of my blog here. The short version is I had graduated college, got a “real job”, and wasn’t sure what to do next. I’d reached a majority of my life goals…so now what?? That’s when I decided I needed some adventure/excitement in my life, but how do you do that on a teacher salary in a small town?? Well you change your perspective and start finding adventures in the little things in life. The purpose of my blog is to document these mini adventures and to encourage myself (and others) to try new things.

Advice for New Bloggers

Well it feels a little odd writing advice for new bloggers since technically I still feel like a new blogger. Not sure I’m qualified to give advice yet…but here goes!!
  1. If you’re debating about starting a blog just start!! Don’t wait!! You’ll never feel ready...no matter how many articles you read or how many tutorials you watch that feeling of “I’m ready to start” will never come!! You’ll never feel 100% certain of your decision to start blogging…there will always be some type of fear or uncertainty or anxiety.  If you have an hour a week, a computer, and a vision…then you’re ready!! GO!!
  2. Create a blogging calendar. A blogging calendar helps me keep up with my posts so I don’t get behind. It also helps me avoid posting 3 times in one day and then skipping the next month. 
  3. Let your voice/personality come out!! When I first started blogging I was worried about grammatical errors or the fact that I like to use periods as spacers…..like this….hahaha. But then I read an article that talked about your writing style/voice as a blogger. The people reading your blog are reading it because they like you, your personality, your ideas, and your voice!!  Don’t worry about the technicalities of writing…just write what feels right and let your personality come out!!  
  4. Good photos are a must!! This is the part I still haven't mastered...haha. I know good photos are important because they are what draw people in...I just don't like spending time editing photos!! haha...but yes good photos are a must!! 

I nominate the following bloggers (not all are new but I just love their stuff):


Cooking 1 Handed  One of my friends from high school started a blog. Watching her blog has really motivated me to step out of my comfort zone a little and start blogging again!! She writes about cooking one handed...a baby in the other!!

Fashion Coup where Katie is taking over Fashion with Jesus and modesty.

Casa Blanca where Arielle is talking about mommin, fashion, and life.

Shopping Makes Me Happy--admit it you're already in love with that title!!

Farr From Perfect--a little bit about life and style...plus great photos!!

With Love From Texas--lifestyle, home, and marriage from a Texas girl!!

Glow Up Already--about growing up, glowing up, and figuring it out along the way.

Two Feels Write--2 best friends + 2 English degrees + life = awesome blog

Ashley Scotti--Fashion, faith, and life of a college student

Versed In Fashion--fashion and beauty tips...like actually helpful tips (vaseline as a makeup remover..what?!?!)

Wine in a Coffee Mug--where Lauren is writing about life as a balancing act

On Cloud 12--living past cloud 9 and realizing that happiness is within your reach.

Flourish and Thrive--Making changes in life to make 2018 her year!!

Young Polished Professional--making an ordinary life a little more than just ordinary

The Sarah Ever After--Sarah's sharing life's adventures as a mom and wife from Virginia Beach.


Keep up the good work ladies!! I love each and everyone of your blogs!! I spent over a month just looking for bloggers to encourage and that I actually enjoyed reading...so thank you for sharing a bit of your life with me and I look forward to following your journey!!

Friday, December 22, 2017

White Chocolate & Cherry Shortbread Cookies


 Well this is our second year of baking Christmas cookies at one of my mom's friend's house. We listen to Christmas music, sit by the fire talking, and play with her cute little dog while the cookies are baking!! It's a fun and festive afternoon...and we might do a little snacking while the cookies are baking...hahaha

At the end of the day we grab a little tub (or two...or three) and fill it with all of the different cookies. These ladies have so many yummy, creative, and flavorful cookies that it's hard to choose a favorite. But if I had to choose...I'd say the White Chocolate & Cherry Shortbread Cookies are probably my favorite!! See the yummy recipe below...I promise you won't be disappointed!!

Ingredients

2/3 cup maraschino cherries (drained on paper towel)
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
12 ounces Ghirardelli White Chocolate (half for cookies, half for drizzling)
1 tsp almond extract
2 drops red food coloring
2 tsp shortening

Steps

1. In a large bowl combine flour and sugar. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs (you may need to use a food processor for this). Stir in the drained cherries and 4 ounces of the chopped chocolate. Stir in almond extract and food coloring. Knead mixture until it forms a smooth ball.
2. Divide dough in half and roll each half into a cylinder approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Roll the cylinder up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
3. Preheat oven to 325. Using a sharp knife, slice the chilled dough into 3/8 inch thick slices. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottom are lightly golden. 
4. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the remaining 8 oz of white chocolate and shortening. Heat for 30-45 seconds, stir, and heat again. Once it starts to melt, shorten the amount of time you microwave it each time (try 10-15 seconds). Be careful not to burn the chocolate. Transfer the melted chocolate to an icing bag. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies and let them set.