Friday, February 27, 2015

Wedding: 5 Month Marker


My sincerest apologies, folks, for skipping right over the sixth month marker.
For the love of God, put the tissue down!!  It isn't that serious!!
Truth be told, I really didn't do anything during that sixth month.
I was going through some career havoc and was way too preoccupied to plan a wedding.
I turned down the new job to accept a better offer from my current job and got disowned by a relative.
...and, now, back to the wedding...


1.  Wedding Wire
Ladies and gentleman, I signed up for Wedding Wire.
This application/website is almost as good as a real life wedding planner!
This tool not only keeps you organized, but it helps you budget and record payments.
It also has a vendor look up tool that you can filter to your area with real life reviews.
There is also an area on the website filled with pretty pictures dedicated to inspire you!
Out of everything I did this month, this was by far the biggest accomplishment.

2. Finalized Guest List
The catering hall holds a maximum of 132 people.  I'm inviting 141.
It was really difficult to pick and choose who I wanted to spend my big day with.
Due to limited space, I had to make a big girl decision that second cousin invites is just too much!
Here's to hoping a few people can't make it! Stress much?

3.  Gathered Addresses
I annoyed everyone and their mother until I got the last address that I needed!
Now I just have to put it in the correct format and pass it along to the calligrapher.

4.  Invitations Are In!
After all that tedious work, the invitations have finally arrived.
They are absolutely gorgeous!!  They were totally worth all that eye twitching!!
I have pictures, but I'm not sure if proper wedding etiquette allows me to post them.

5.  Booked the Dj
We made the final decision to book the friend from my job.
He may not M.C. to the extent of dancing with my relatives, but he does make announcements.
We did decide to rent lighting in addition to what he already has just for a little extra pizzazz!
This was totally worth the savings!  He's saving us almost $1000!

6.  Booked the Photographer.
Let me start by saying I had no idea how ridiculously expensive photography was!
Minimum wedding packages range from $2,500-$3,000.
Those numbers made me sick, so I contacted the catering hall and they got me a great deal!
I hired the perfect photographer for a full 8HRs of coverage and unlimited pictures.
I will not be getting any prints or albums, but I do get a flash drive full of all the high quality pics.
Score, score, and score!  You have to be a millionaire to get married in NY...

7.  Booked the Videographer.
This is the same situation as the photographer.
The catering hall referred me to their preferred vendor and we met at my nook in Starbucks.
He was the sweetest guy ever and was completely compassionate about my budget issues!
He is going to make me (2) DVD copies of my big day including the church and the reception.
Since he's filming the church for free, my mom will feed him while he waits for the reception.

8.  Made Appointments with Flower Vendors.
I hope to meet to meet a florist I love and book it next month!
Here's to meeting the florist of my dreams that doesn't cost millions of dollars.

9.  Contacted Cake Vendors
The catering hall also recommended a cake vendor that I hope to meet with soon.
I already sent them a picture of my dream cake and am waiting for them to get back to me!
Oh, how I can't wait to taste all the yummy cakes!

10.  Picked The Readers
I may not know what the readings are as of yet, but I do know who'll be reading them!
I asked two of my younger cousins to do the readings and they graciously accepted.
Now, if only I could find a contact in the church that I'm not afraid to ask a million questions!

What are you wedding planning tips for the 5-month marker?

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Jax Seal of Approval: Poshmark

I recently made an amazing discovery called Poshmark.
Poshmark is an app on your cell phone that is a mix between ebay and a consignment shop.
It's a great tool to sell the clothes, shoes, and accessories that you own but no longer wear.
No, I'm NOT getting paid to write this post.  Poshmark has no clue that I even exist...
To make a long story short, Poshmark let's people shop in your closet and you in others.

Jax's Poshmark Closet
...I'm totally not marketing my stuff right now.  This is to show you a real life example...



Pros of Using Poshmark

1.  User Friendly
The app is extremely easy to use.
To list an item you click "sell" and then take a few pictures directly in the app.
Trust me when I say that if it wasn't super easy to use, I wouldn't waste my time.

2.  You're Protected.
Poshmark has a whole bunch of rules & regulations that protect you.
As long as you list your item accurately and don't sell damaged goods, they'll back you up.
They protect you as a buyer also.  It's the seller's responsibility to fully disclose everything.

3.  Poshmark Deals with the Shipping.
After someone makes a purchase, the seller will receive a prepaid shipping label.
Your prepaid label will also give you a free box at the post office.
I mean, what's easier than hitting print, taping on a label, and dropping the package off!

4.  No Paypal
After Poshmark confirms that the buyer's funds have cleared, you have (3) payment options.
You can purchase something on Poshmark, get a check, or have the money put into your bank account.
Some people may see this as a negative, but I don't have a Paypal and I don't want one!

5.  You Price Your Items
You make your own price for whatever amount you feel the item is worth.
They even have a NWT (new with tags) option so you can flag the item as such.

6.  Communication
There is a comment system that allows you to communicate with the buyers and sellers.
The comments are public and can’t be deleted which eliminates future inquiries.
Besides, you get to chat with other stylish people that share your taste!  Hello fun!

7.  Offer Button
If a buyer is interested in your product, but doesn't want to pay full price, they can make a private offer.
This is a pro because people can haggle privately instead of in the comments section.
Remember, the comments can not be deleted, so if you agree to a lower price you can't back out.

8.  Sharing Button
You can take an item in your closet or someone else's closet and share it to all your followers.
This is great because it's Poshmark etiquette for fellow Poshmarkers to return the favor.
Sharing someone's item to all your followers allows for a lot of exposure which is great! 

Cons of Using Poshmark

9.  You Only Keep 80% of Sale.
Poshmark charges you a 20% fee for items sold through their application.
When pricing your item, you may want to keep this in mind.
Remember, they are paying for the shipping and they are protecting you with that cost!

10.  Used Items Sit.
The few items that I had flagged as NWT sold surprisingly fast.
The older, used items have been sitting idle in my Poshmark closet for a while.
I guess that means lowering the price to a really, really good deal!

This has been a great way for me to clean out clutter from my closet and make extra cash.
 Now, if only they'll create an app for our men's closets too!
Poshmark get's the Jax Seal of Approval!

Have you or will you try Poshmark?

Monday, February 23, 2015

List: How to be discreetly more active.

Do you all remember this post from last week?
You know, the one that was all about healthy life swaps!
I've been rocking the squats, eating breakfast a little later, and serving myself smaller portions.
It's only been a week, so I'm not saying I see a difference, but I definitely feel better.
There are some areas that I need to focus on more like drinking water and substituting my coffee.
Although I did buy a new tea.  It's black tea with ginger and really delicious!

Squats aside, I need to get up and move way more than I already am.
I wore one of those step counter devices the other day and was disgusted at my finding.
On an average day, I only walk around 3,000 steps.
That's honestly disgraceful considering a healthy amount of steps is around 10,000 daily.
Thank goodness I disgraced myself because it inspired me to start brainstorming.
Can be bought from amazon.com.

How to be more active without really knowing it.

1.  Try and multitask.
As the lovely Allison from La Dolce Vita pointed out in the original post, multitask!
One great suggestion she had was to watch TV and work out during the commercial breaks.
I always knew she was amazing, but this pretty much confirmed it!

2.  Schedule it in.
Many people have a daily schedule and don't even know it.
If you make "being active" part of your schedule, you won't even realize the extra activeness.
Every day I take a 15 minute break at 3pm.  Why not walk a few laps around my building?

3.  Movie style it up.
Have you ever watched a movie and saw the character do things that you wished were normal?
I think we should all sing and dance while vacuuming, washing dishes, or even cooking.
This would not only burn some serious calories, but would totally make us smile!

4.  Challenge yourself.
If you're anything like me, you will have a very difficult time turning down a challenge.
Challenge yourself to do a certain number of squats a day or walk a certain number of steps.
I challenge myself to lose 5 pounds.  Oh, if only this was that easy!

5.  Take the scenic route.  
Instead of walking directly to the copy machine, try walking the perimeter of the office first.
Instead of going to right what you need in a store, walk around and browse.
There are so many times when I could walk and enjoy, but instead I rush myself for no reason.

6.  Plan an active date.
Instead of my next friend date being a mani/pedi, maybe we will go tour a museum.
Instead of my next hubby date being dinner and a movie, maybe we will walk along the beach.
Being active while enjoying good company sounds like a GREAT idea to me.

7.  Dream shop.
Go to a store just to look at things and walk around.
Walking is great exercise, and you'll be surprised at the inspiration you may find.
Just, maybe, sort of, leave your credit card in the car.  Yea, definitely do that!

8.  Duplicate actions.
The next time you're taking a can of diced tomatoes off the top shelf, put them up and down 5 times.
The next time you're taking in the mail, walk up and down the stairs a few times.
You may feel silly doing this, but you'll be burning calories without even realizing it.  Score!

9.  Do it standing up.
How many times a day do you sit down to do something you could do standing up?
I'm very capable of peeling potatoes, doing my make up, and changing Mushy while standing up!
Does standing actually count as being active?  Well, it's got to be better than sitting, no?

10.  Walk and talk.
I love to have a great phone conversation or a juicy post meal convo.
That doesn't mean that I have to sit and talk.  I think it's a perfect opportunity to walk around the block!
Maybe I'll do this the next day I wear my step counter.  If I do it often enough, it's totally not cheating...

How do you stay active without really noticing it?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Home: Apartment Themes

The man and I were browsing through Pottery Barn to dream shop.
Dream shop is when you shop for something you know you aren't quite yet ready to get.
A decorating savvy worker approached us and asked if we needed help.
I told her that we hoped to purchase a home within a year, and were looking for ideas.
She smirked and said "Look around your living space now.  I bet you'll inspire yourself!"

Have you ever looked around your home and realized you are obsessed with something?
Of course I did.  I mean, obsessed is what the O stands for in OCD!
I do have lots of MushyFace pictures and tons of pig objects laying around.
Neither of those things surprised me.
I love my Mushy and pigs are something that always get an EEP out of me.
Besides, people love to get me piggy gifts and I really love to receive them.
I started to get discouraged because my home is filled with hand-me-downs and gifts.
They are all lovely, but none really scream "me".

That's when my amazing man pointed out that all the things I did buy, do have a common theme.
I am apparently obsessed with Paris.
...and I never even knew it...



Above are just a few obvious examples.
The Paris Wife is an excellent read, but it had very little to do with Paris.
There are plenty of other examples throughout my apartment, but I won't bore you all.
Although I do have the most gorgeous Parisian style mirrors hanging on my dining room walls!

The moral of the story is, sometimes the only inspiration you need is yourself.

Do you have a common obsession theme throughout your home?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Recipe: Italian Salmon

Many moons ago, when I first started my blog, I was dating a guy I called LLS.
LLS stood for land lord’s son.  Despite the unoriginal name, it was a very original relationship.
We won’t go there.  We’ll leave it at the fact that “waterworks” in R&W came from his unreasonable sobs.
This relationship helped me learn many life lessons that I hope to one day forget.
While that is true, there is one thing I have kept with me all these years.
The mother of LLS made the best salmon in all of the universe.

Italian Salmon





















(2) Pounds Salmon Fillet
(1) Packet Italian Dressing Mix
(1/3) Cup Vegetable Oil
(1/3) Cup Water
(1/3) Cup Balsamic Vinegrette
The packet will tell you to use vinegar, don't listen to it.  Use balsamic vinegrette.

The night before you plan on cooking the salmon, clean the fish and let dry.  Meanwhile, mix together all of the other ingredients in a separate bowl.  Poor the marinade into a Ziploc bag.  Place the fish into the bag and make sure it is facing down and overly saturated.  Place on a dish in the refrigerator and let marinate until ready to cook.

Preheat the oven to 350*.  Take the fish out of the Ziploc bag and place skin side down in a baking dish that is lightly coated with olive oil.  Bake for about 25-30 min until the fish is fully cooked.
Don't remove the skin before cooking.  This helps to keep the fish moist.

Serve with a green vegetable and potatoes.
...and on a fancy dish because it's so good people will think you mastered a difficult skill...
This is a house favorite despite where the recipe came from!

Have you or will you try Italian Salmon?

Monday, February 16, 2015

List: Healthier Life Swaps

As I’ve probably mentioned a bazillion times, I’m getting married in July.
…and, no, I really haven’t done all that much more planning since my last update
That means in a whopping SIX months, I’ll be wearing a wedding dress and then a bikini.
As if planning a wedding isn’t enough stress, let’s plan to rock a bikini the day after I say “I do”.
I'm dreading the attire, but I can’t wait for the hot sun and alone time with my hubby on the beach!

I’m by no means heavy, but my body is totally not ready for full exposure in a bikini.
These up and coming six months should be plenty of time to get myself to where I’m comfortable.
That does NOT mean that I will be dieting or start binge exercising.
All it means is that I will make a conscious effort to be healthier.
I also plan on buying my dream bikini first and hanging it on the wall as motivation.  Deff a do!

Healthy Life Swaps

1.  Eliminate ALL Junk Food
I know this one sounds obvious, but there are so many times when we I make an excuse for it.
I mean, how easy is it to stick frozen waffle fries in the oven as a side dish for dinner?  Guilty!

2.  Eat Breakfast A Little Later
I start work and eat breakfast by 8AM.  By 11AM I’m hungry again and eat a second breakfast.
I'll grab a banana before I leave, coffee at 8AM, breakfast by 9:30AM, and nothing until lunch at 1PM.
…and by breakfast I mean a cup of Quaker oatmeal with a drizzle of syrup, NOT an egg & cheese sandwich…

3.  Be More Active, Even At Work
Every couple of hours, take a little walk around the office to get a cup of water or go to the bathroom.
On breaks, maybe do a few laps around the building or walk through a store just to be a little active.
I’m the queen of sitting on my butt all day at my desk.  That’s certainly in need of a healthier swap..

4.  Only Purchase Healthy Snacks
If you don’t want to be tempted to eat a gallon of ice cream, then don’t buy it.
Instead, swap the unhealthy snacks for something a little less damaging like hummus or fruit.
People will be disappointed when they surprise visit and I don’t have any chips or candy.  Sorry!

5.  Bring Your Lunch
Going out for lunch during your work break usually means over eating mass amounts of unhealthy food.
My cooked leftovers or my homemade salad may not be as luxurious as the dollar menu, but it’s healthier.
Not to mention, swapping lunch outings for the lunch room in the office will help save money.

6.  Play, Play, and Play
Swap resting for impromptu dance parties and tickle fights with the hubby to stay extra active.
Find that last burst of energy at the end of the day to have fun, laugh, and move around.
I love to lounge on the couch, but after sitting at my desk all week, that is NOT a healthy habit.

7.  Park Far Away
Instead of parking in the spot closest to the door, park farther away and take those few extra steps.
Not to mention that this swap will help your car out since it’s less at risk for dents and dings!

8.  Green Tea
An average day for me means 3-4 cups of coffee loaded with French Vanilla Creamer.
I will swap 2 of those cups for green tea without any additions.  This will save me serious calories!
French vanilla creamer makes anything and everything taste better.  Too bad it’s so unhealthy!

9.  Do Squats
There are so many times when I could squeeze in a few squats, and just don’t because I’m lazy.
Before using the ladies room, while doing your hair, or even while cooking you can do 10 squats!
This is totally a swap.  I mean you’re swapping doing squats for not doing squats.  Right??

10.  Drink Lots of Water
In between and during meals, make sure that you’re drinking plenty of water.
Swapping drinks with water will help cleanse your body, keep you hydrated, and make your skin glow.
I REALLY don’t like water.  I’ll swap my glass for a thermos with a straw to help it go down easier.


What are your healthy life swaps?

Friday, February 13, 2015

List: Not So Simple Abbreviations

A few years back, I received a text message from The Viking.
Back then it was considered funny for your father to be texting.  Omg, I really am old!
It was 6AM and I was getting ready for work.  The text read “DD”.
I sent back a question mark and he replied with “U DD?”.
Now, I know my father wasn’t referring to that but I didn’t have a clue as to what it really meant.
That’s when I decided to do what I typically do with stuff I just don’t understand.  I ignored it.
Twenty minutes later my father knocked on the door holding Dunkin Donuts.
I had to explain to him that people cannot just text random abbreviations because they won’t be understood!
 
Flash forward five years:  Jax was proved wrong.
Apparently everybody texts random abbreviations.
My social media sites are FILLED with abbreviations that I can’t even begin to decipher.
It’s not uncommon for me to stop reading an article to have to Google what something stands for.
I mean, really!?  Way to make me feel even more ancient than these things already do.
 
1.  SMH
Shaking My Head
Asking what that meant made my cousin shake HER head.
 
2.  FOH
F* Outta Here
Make sure you say it with a little bit of a tude.  I mean, that’s how it was said to me!
 
3.  TBT
Throw Back Thursday
Whoever created this had too much time on their hands.  So then WHY save time with abbreviations?
 
4.  WFM
Works For Me
Thank goodness Google WFM or I’d be lost in this conversation.
 
5.  NSFW
Not Safe For Work
I’m always seeing this one on Cosmo, but they never explained what it meant!
 
6.  OMW
On My Way
…this is yet another abbreviation my father taught me.  Sigh…
 
7.  IMO
In My Opinion
My baby cousin’s Instagram is filled with “So perf, IMO.”  I was all like, translation please?!
 
8.  TYT
Take Your Time
Well, I’m glad you’re not in a rush because I just wasted 2 minutes figuring that text out.
 
9.  YMMD
You Made My Day
That’s nice to know, but this long confusing abbreviation totally ruined my day.
 
10.  R&W
Raviolis and Waterworks
This can be found all over the internet.  Has anyone seen it yet?  I kid, I kid!
 
What abbreviations have left you puzzled?


Raviolis & Waterworks
My Photo
Forgive quickly & kiss slowly..

R&W Instagram

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