Monday, July 27, 2015

Life: Just married.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm officially a MRS!
I'm writing this in advance, but I'll give you all the juicy details when I return.

Right now I'm basking in the sun in West Palm Beach, Florida.
I'm sipping Pina Coladas and enjoying some much needed alone time with my HUSBAND!
We're enjoying fancy meals, romantic evenings, and other unnecessary indulgences. least, I hope we are!  Here's to a week of sunshine...

R&W is on vacation.  See you all in a week!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Life: Happy Birthday to my man!

I would to wish my future husband a very happy and fulfilling birthday.
May all of your dreams come true and may all of you wishes be granted.
Thank you for being such an amazing partner and an even better father.
I can't believe that we will be getting married in two days.  How's THAT for a birthday gift?!  ;)

We will be celebrating with family and a small cake.
The intimate celebration will be followed by our wedding rehearsal in the church.
We love you and are honored to share another birthday with you.

Please join me in wishing my man a very happy birthday!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

List: The ultimate wedding checklist.

On Sunday, July 26, I will be getting married!
This wedding has been two years in the making and I can't wait to live it.
There is a lot of stress, hard work, and meticulous planning that goes into this one day.
Hopefully my OCD and tracking skills can help someone else make the process a little easier.
As promised, my Google searchers, here is the combined wedding check list made from experience!

The Ultimate Wedding Check List.

Nine Months
­­__  Sign up for a helpful wedding app.  **I loved WeddingWire.
__  Make a wedding budget.
__  Decide where you like to have the ceremony.
__  Book the ceremony venue.  **Don’t forget to ask questions.  My church had many requirements.
__  Pick your colors.
__  Pick your bridal party.
__  Ask your bridal party to be a part of your wedding.
__  Search for reception halls. 
__  Pick and book your reception hall.  **Don’t forget that you will need to pay a deposit.
__  Create a potential guest list.
__  Make a dress shopping appointment.  **Clear the date with all females in the bridal party.
__  Research and pick an invitation vendor.
__  Start budgeting and brainstorming for you honeymoon.
Eight Months
__  Design your invitations and wedding envelopes.
__  Book your honeymoon.  **Flights and hotels are less expensive the earlier you book them!
__  Pick your bridal party’s gowns.  Have them sized and ordered.  **They take 4-6 mos to arrive.
__  Get an idea of how you want the groom and groomsmen to dress.
__  Pick your wedding gown.  Have it sized and order.  **It takes 6-8 mos to arrive.
Seven Months
__  Finalize your guest list.
__  Gather all necessary addresses.
Six Months
__  Finalize the invitation proofs and place the order.
__  Research DJs and book the one that you like.
__  Research limousine companies and book the one you like.
__  Purchase gifts for your bridesmaids.  **This could be something they wear the day of.
Five Months
__  Research and book a photographer.  **Inquire about packages and your rights to the photos.
__  Research and book a videographer.
__  Research and book flower vendors.
__  Research and book cake vendors.
__  If marrying in a church, ask two people to recite your readings during the ceremony.
Four Months
__  Hire a calligrapher to fill out the invitation envelopes.
__  Have your florist put together samples and start finalizing your picks.
__  Book a cake testing and finalize your cake order.
__  Start gathering decoration ideas for the ceremony and the reception.
__  Book a trial appointment with a makeup artist.  Once satisfied, book the day of appointment.
Three Months
__  Put the invitations properly together.  Stamp all the envelopes.
__  Mail out your invitations and start recording your responses.
__  Buy the wedding rings.  Have them sized and engraved.  **Invest in a warranty!
__  Finalize your centerpieces.
__  Decide on wedding favors and purchase them.  **We donated and framed a beautiful certificate.
__  Pick out the tuxedos and inform the groomsmen to get sized.
__  Purchase gifts for your groomsmen.  **We paid part of their tuxedo rental.
__  If marrying in the church, schedule pre-cana.
Two Months
__  Purchase unity candles and a stand.  **Candle factories sell beautiful handmade ones.
__  Book a trial appointment with a hair dresser.  Once satisfied, book the day of appointment.
__  Make a beauty plan for the day of with your girls.
__  Pick a place to hold your guests between the ceremony and the reception.
__  Order all matching stationary to go with your theme.  EX:  Place cards, favor gift tags, etc.
__  Purchase shoes for the wedding and start wearing them in around the house.
__  Buy wedding colored colors as extra d├ęcor for the guests tables.
__  Complete and pay for pre-cana in full.
__  Invest in a cake topper.  **Lenox has gorgeous ones that you can showcase for life.
One Month
__  Have all the bridesmaids get a final dress fitting and get appropriate alterations.
__  Schedule your wedding rehearsal date. **If planning a rehearsal dinner, finalize all preparations.
__  Meet with your officiate, and make all final plans.  EX:  Readings, gospels, etc.
__  Start the wedding dress fitting process.  Schedule at least two fittings and make alterations.
__  Create a themed way to hold your gifts.  **I used a pink and gold bird cage to house the cards.
__  Purchase gifts for the parent’s of the bride and groom.
__  Meet with your DJ.  Make a plan for the day of and discuss music choices.
__  Get your wedding license.
Two Weeks
__  Gather your final count and tell your caterer.
__  Give your final food choices to the caterer.
__  Create a seating chart.
__  Hire a calligrapher to fill out the place cards.
__  Go for a final fitting and schedule a date/time to have the dress ready for pick up.
__  Meet with the ceremony musician and make your final picks.
__  Purchase all decorations.  Ex:  Chair sashes, framed pictures, etc.
__  Get a guest book and a nice pen.
__  Do all last minute touches to your favors like tie ribbon or gift tags.
One Week
__  Bag bird seed or bubbles for the ceremony.  **Rice is no longer allowed.
__  Finalize any rentals.
__  Confirm appointments with all vendors.
__  Pay off all necessary balances.
__  Pick up tuxedo.
__  Pick up wedding dress.
__  Bring all necessary items to the reception hall and discuss with the event planner.
__  Put all tip money in labeled envelopes.
__  Give everyone their responsibilities for the big day.
__  Pack your suitcase for the honeymoon.

If I left anything out, please let me know.
I mean, I really want this to be the ULTIMATE list!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Discussion: Bluetooth Talking Gloves

The other day I saw something that really baffled me.
Now, I totally understand that a lot of things baffle me, but this REALLY got me!
I saw a grown man sitting in a pizzeria with his pinky on his mouth and his thumb on his ear.
He was having a full blown conversation... with his hand!!!
I immediately thought the guy was just a crazy person and pointed it out to my friend.
My friend laughed at me like I was the one out of the loop.
Now I know that I'm a little behind with the latest apps, but come on now!  This was serious!


Can be bought here.

Introducing:  Bluetooth Talking & Touch Screen "Hello" Gloves
It's apparently the next big thing!

These gloves can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
Once the left glove vibrates to acknowledge the call, you speak into the pinky and listen through the thumb.
The glove's battery life is displayed through your actual phone.
Why would anyone want to actually do that!?

What do you think about these Bluetooth Talking Gloves?
...and, if you own one already, please let me know why!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wedding: One Week Marker

Well, it's really one week and a day from today, but it's close enough!
I really can not believe how quickly the time flew since I got engaged on July 26, 2013.
Not to mention, it's been NINE months since my first wedding post.

Related:  Also see these wedding posts -->

one wedding checklist; one week wedding to do list; wedding planning guide

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

What to do at: ONE WEEK until the wedding

Final Count & Guest List
I've been utilizing an Excel spreadsheet that's full of important guest information.  If you don't like excel try this wedding organizer.  It's cheap, pretty, functional, & makes a good keepsake.
You should list every invitees' full name, address, and their proper titles.  I've been filling out the sheet with who is attending and who isn't as I get my responses.  I hunted down the people who forgot to respond, and got my finalized guest list and count.
Remember when I was nervous that we wouldn't fit?  We fell at a perfect number of 111 guests!

Seating Chart & Place Cards
Using my completed guest list, I was able to make my seating chart.  I also made a separate list for my calligrapher to fill out my gorgeous place cards.  She filled out the place cards beautifully and they are packed away to bring to the hall.  Check out these rustic looking place cards and wooden table numbers to use the day of!
Just a heads to anyone who has never done this:  making a seat chart is a real pain in the butt!!

Final Fitting
I had my final fitting for my wedding dress and it couldn't be more perfect!
It's scheduled to be pressed and ready to be picked up the Thursday before the wedding.

Ceremony Music
I coordinated with the ceremony musician and he gave me a CD filled with possible song choices.  I listened and followed his handout making all of the final song choices for the ceremony.
I still can't wait to hear the "Here Comes the Bride" music as I walk down the aisle!

I sat down and purchased all of the decorations I felt were necessary to make my wedding gorgeous.  The place card table will be adorned with vases, fake flowers, candles, and our painted wooden initials.  The guest book table will be decorated with picture frames, candles, and a bird cage card holder.  I ordered gorgeous organza pew bows to decorate the church during the ceremony.  I purchased ballerina pink organza bows for the bridal party's chairs at the reception.  I also ordered gold signs that read "Mr" and "Mrs" for our table at the reception.  Gold table card numbers were bought to replace the hall's not-themed silver ones.

Wedding Favors
A while back we made a donation to Make A Wish Foundation in lieu of favors.  The month after that, we ordered little pink and gold cards to let the guests know what we did.  We purchased a beautiful gold 8x7 picture frame to display the certificate from Make A Wish.  My cousin made additional favors, chocolate lollipops for us to tie the cards onto lay onto each table setting.

Bagged Bird Seed
We bagged 100 tiny bags of bird seed and placed them in a perfect white basket for the ceremony.
You can no longer throw rice and who wants bubble prints on their wedding gown?  Bird seed it is!

Food Choices
We sat down with the caterer and picked the perfect food choices for the event.  We picked 10 fancy passing hor d'oeuvres, 2 carving stations, and 4 main courses.

DJ and Lighting
We met with the DJ and picked our final music choices.  We also made a game plan for the night including what "wedding" things we were going to do.  After the meeting, we rented additional up lighting to make the room look like a party!

I waited until 3 weeks before the wedding to purchase a veil because I wasn't sure I wanted one.  After a two year internal debate, I decided to rock a veil for the ceremony, but not the reception.  I purchased a VERY reasonably priced veil that looks lovely with my gown.
I still don't love the veil, but I like the tradition behind it.  I feel it takes away from my dress.

Flower Girl Dress
I took daughter to my favorite seamstress to have her dress custom made.  I haven't received the finished product yet, but it should be here any day.
Let's just say that the theme to her dress is POOF.  We're talking imperial waist and then POOF.

This next week until the wedding will be filled with confirming appointments and paying off vendors.  We will pick up my husband's tuxedo, my wedding dress, and the flower girl dress.  The rehearsal is Friday which is one of the last big things for us to complete.  We will also make sure to fully pack our suit cases for the honey moon prior to the wedding.  Then we'll be stuffing labeled envelopes with tip money and getting ready to enjoy the big day!
Here's to a perfect day that's been 2 years in the making, literally!

What's on your list for the 1 week marker?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

List: Ten reasons why you need a bigger living space.

I really, really, REALLY, hate clutter.
Yet I love to save everything.  Go figure!
While I love my apartment, my landlord, and the town I'm in living...I think it's time to move on.
We are hoping to be able to take the next step and buy a house after the wedding.

Mushy is going to be in public school in a couple short years.  I want her to feel stability.
Not to mention, the amount of money we pay to live here is VERY close to a mortgage.
Those reasons aside, sometimes think that MAYBE we should wait a little while more...
...but then I look around and change my mind.
We just really need a bigger living space before things start to explode onto the driveway.

I know that this process takes lots of time and commitment, but I'm totally ready to start it!
...and, every time I start to chicken out, I'll just take a quick look around...

Ten reasons why you may need a bigger space.

1.  Half of your stuff is still packed in boxes.
If it's been over a year, and you still have several boxes filled with things, it may be time to move.
I have 6 or 7 filled boxes because I just don't have the space to put the unpacked contents.

2.  You use other people's homes as storage.
When you need to call people to utilize their basement and attic, it's time to find your own.
I have so many things "stored" in my father's dry cleaners that he should charge me fees!

3.  You find yourself not getting new things.
When you can't get a computer because the only space you have for it is the kitchen table, move!
I dreaded a bridal shower simply because I don't have anymore space for stuff.

4.  You can't fit a real couch in your living room.
When your living room is a love seat and folding chairs, it's time to find more space.
My living room is a love seat.  My man, Mushy, and myself don't even fit on it at the same time!

5.  Your trunk is filled with "home" things.
When the trunk of your car becomes additional cabinetry, it's time to reevaluate your home.
Our trunks are so full that it's hard to even fit groceries in our cars!

6.  Your closet spits at you when you open it.
When you open your closet and things fall down onto your head, it may be time to find more closets!
Every time I open my hallway closet, my Swifter mop hits me in the gut!

7.  The floor becomes an acceptable "place" for stuff.
When you have a designated spot on the floor for things, it may be time to find a new living space.
"On the floor behind the dining room table" is not an uncommon answer to "Where is that"!

8.  Random items serve as a decoration.
When a common item acts like an acceptable decoration, it may be time to move on.
Our stroller and vacuum stand in the living room like an artistic statue in my apartment!

9.  Your children's things start to spill out into the hallway.
When it's common for toys to spill out of your child's room, it may be time to find a bigger room.
My daughter's "big" toys need to spread out between her room, the hallway, and our room!

10.  You dread having company.
When you dislike gatherings becuase you don't have room for people, it's time to find a bigger place.
I love entertaining, but I avoid it becuase I just need more room for things and my guests!

What signs let you know it's time for a bigger place?

Monday, July 13, 2015

List: Ten false stereotypes men gave women.

This post is dedicated to the ladies!
How often do you find that we are stereotyped and throw into inappropriate woman “categories”?
Pretty darn often!!!!  Hmph! 

Men are always going around saying all different sorts of crazy things to rationalize their own stupidity.
They are constantly putting us down and blaming things on our gender.
Newflash boys: We can do almost everything you can do!!!
…and we usually can do it better….
The thing is, the majority of the time we just choose not to.
Why would women choose not to do things that we are more than capable of?
It’s simple!  Men like to feel “useful” and “needed” so we ask you to help us out.
Besides, chivalry and gentlemanly demeanor is expected from the male species. 

You know that bug that was about the size of a period at the end of a sentence?
Well, guess what?  I could have easily destroyed that evil creature myself!!
You know that really heavy box that I asked you to lift for me?
Well, I really couldn’t lift that…
That would be the “almost” I was referring to above. 

Common Stereotypes Given to Women by Men.

1.  Driving
As if our gender has anything to do with our driving capabilities.
We just have a few more things on our mind than you.  Our focus is a little off… 

2.  Weak
Just because we are females doesn’t mean that we can’t handle ourselves in a hostile situation.
While we would prefer to not have to defend ourselves, we aren’t all that dainty.
Besides, aren’t spike heels meant for beating muggers over the head? 

3.  Blabbing
Women are expected to do all the talking all the time.
Just because we are females doesn’t mean that gossiping is our favorite activity.
Ok, so maybe this one is sort of true, BUT I know many men that love to hear the juice too! 

4.  Pamper
Mirrors aren’t always a girl’s best friend!  We don’t all love to pamper ourselves.
Actually, we hate all the time and effort it takes for us to look decent for you!
Why can’t men just appreciate their hot date and not complain about the time it took to look like that?! 

5.  Menstrual
We are grouchy because you pissed us off, not because of our period that ain’t due for another 2 weeks.
Oh, this one IRKS me… 

6.  Poker
Women are masters in the art of the poker face.
You know that stone cold look we give when we saying “nothing’s wrong”?  That’s a poker face at its finest!
Just saying… 

7.  Crazy
Any stupid little thing we do gets us women labeled as “crazy”.
I know women that are crazy.  Date them for a while and then we’ll talk!  Hmph… 

8.  OMG I Broke A Nail!
If a woman gets pissed off that they broke a nail, they are automatically labeled stuck up and prissy.
This is NOT the case.  We are pissed off because that nail cost us 40 bucks and an hour of our life!
Think about that the next time you tease that we broke a simple nail!! 

9.  Math
Women are always told they stink at math.  I challenge you all to a math off RIGHT now.  You’ll lose.
Maybe I’m just bitter because I work in accounting with a bunch of Asian men who always throw “American White Girl Math" in my face.  Back off and watch my computations!! 

10.  Football
It’s automatically assumed that a woman doesn’t really “know” football or anything to do with it.
Women also can’t possibly be interested in fantasy teams either.
Guess what?  I love football and I beat all the boys in my fantasy league! 

What completely untrue female stereotypes have you heard??

Friday, July 10, 2015

TV: Fringe

As I've mentioned previously, my man and I have a nightly ritual of watching a TV show before bed.
This is the one "we" thing we make sure we do together.  I mean, hello cuddling and conversation!

The last show that we watched and LOVED was Smallville.
I still stand by this show.  If you haven't indulged yet, please do so right away!
After such a light hearted and enjoyable show, we wanted to watch something to make us think.
After browsing through a few recommendations, we decided on Fringe.
We were told that this show would have us on the edge of our seat and our brains moving!
No worries!  You know that I'll give you my honest opinion of the series.

The first word that I would use to describe this show is interesting.
It certainly had unique ideas and a different dynamic to anything I've ever seen before.
Seasons one through three were really enjoyable and fit the descriptions that were given to me.
Seasons four through five were not awful, but certainly did take a turn in the wrong direction.
The last two seasons had an unappealing change in dynamic and became overly complicated.
Although I do have to admit that the show did secretly make me want to be an FBI agent.

The characters were fun, relatable, and intriguing.
I mean, one of the main characters on the show was a cow.  How fun is that?!
When we finished the series, I immediately missed Walter and Olivia.
Walter was fun, brilliant, and a little crazy.  Olivia was beautiful, strong, and good hearted.
I have this issue of becoming attached to fictional charachters.  I's a problem.

While I wouldn't say that you're life is nothing without this show, it's certainly worth a watch.
By "worth a watch" I mean, when it's a free rental from the library.

Have you or will you watch Fringe?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

List: Ten things that make me feel old.

A recent conversation with a co-worker ended with him calling me “ma’am”.
I mean, am I really THAT old that I constitute being labeled as ma’am?  I think not!
That got me thinking that it’s not just my old soul that has me feeling ancient.
Maybe I’m just going through a quarter life crisis.  Is that even a thing?!

Ten things from the past that make me feel old.

1.  Furbys
This toy was HOT years back.  So hot, that my parents stood on line for hours to get me one.
Try explaining that to your Cuban in laws without feeling like an aged immortal!

2.  Cell Phones
I didn’t have internet on my phone until I was 22.
In fact, I didn’t even have a cell until I was 16 and it was a pre-paid virgin mobile flip phone!

3.  Baby Cousin
We’re all around the same age except for my baby cousin who’s 14 years younger than me.
I still introduce her as my baby cousin, but she’s a whopping TWELVE years old now.  Smh…

4.  Dial Up
I grew up with a dial up internet connection on my desktop computer with AOL.
Ask a teen about “You’ve Got Mail” or the dial up sounds while connecting to the internet.  Exactly.

5.  Snap Chat
A young co-worker asked me for my “Snap” and I had NO idea what this was.
I mean, for the love of God, who actually needs ANOTHER means of social media on their phone?!

6.  Lamb Chop
I got a crooked, confused look from my Mushy’s YOUNG assistant teacher when referencing Lamb Chop.
Keep this on R&W, but I might just still have my Lamb Chop pillow hidden in my room.  Hah!

7.  Aaron Carter
I attended a meet & greet Aaron Carter concert in order to meet my childhood idol.
He’s now an old drug addict that couldn’t even perform a whole show let alone “meet” you after.

8.  Real World & Road Rules Challenges
This defined my high school TV schedule.  Well, that and The Osbournes.
Does anyone even really know what these shows were about anymore?!

9.  Name Plates
All the cool girls in school had gold nameplates to rock.  I, sadly, did not.
Try explaining the twinge of jealously I feel to this day when I see one without looking old!

10.  Keenen & Kel
This duo STILL makes me laugh harder than any comedian that ever was on TV.
From Pier Es’cargo to Good Burger all the way to The Headless Knight, they invented LOL.

What things from the past make you feel old?

Monday, July 6, 2015

BlogHop: Question of the Month.

The very entertaining and talented Mike from A Life Examined has graciously decided to host a party.
Well, it might not be a party exactly, but it’s at least considered a gathering!
He has initiated a bloghop called Question of the Month and I’m honored to a part of it.
It was open to the world, but Jax can pretend that it’s an exclusive “gathering”, right? RIGHT?!

What are three things that you'd do tomorrow if you weren't blocked by fear?
Well, since he specified "three" things, I'll override my OCD and not make a list of ten...

1.  Change my career.
I've spent my entire life preparing myself to be a successful accountant.
In fact, I'm STILL lining up my life for this same career path.
My education and the majority of my work experience is in accounting or some sort of financial function.
If I wasn't bound by the fear of unpaid bills and failure, I'd pursue my dream career of journalism.
I am in the process of trying to move into sales.  Goodbye cubicle and HELLO pay increase and incentives.

2.  Get laser eye surgery.
I have awful eyesight that makes it impossible to see a damn thing without my contacts or glasses.
I'm not a fan of wearing glasses.  Contacts are expensive and sometimes uncomfortable.
If I wasn't afraid of going blind or unknown future complications, I'd totally get laser eye surgery.
Corrective lenses are such a financial burden that the surgery would save me money in the long term.
Besides, if an alien invasion did happen to occur, I can't see glasses or contacts being very practical!  Sigh.

3.  Get pregnant.
My little Mushy is past her second birthday and I never imagined my children more than 3 years apart.
If I wasn't scared of financial problems, impacts on my career, and body damage, I'd try to get pregnant now.
Being pregnant again scares the heck out of me.  The first time I didn't know what I was in for, but now I do!
Now that I sound like a completely selfish witch, you can't say that I don't spill it all for you guys!

What three things would you do if you weren't scared?


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