Wedding planning help + Let’s get real!

WoodWeddingSigns

Let’s get real when we talk about weddings and wedding planning.  While I was planning my wedding last year, I found myself on Pinterest and blogs reading anything I could to help the process, I started to feel they were all repetitive and way too much sugar coating.

My goal is to keep it real with you from tips and tricks to what obstacles to expect. It isn’t all fun and games… there are moments of major stress, tears and just being pissed!

Don’t get me wrong I LOVED planning our wedding and had a great wedding day.

Things to consider:

  1.  Wait….Check out venues before setting a date. I suggest even doing a lot of the planning before setting anything in stone. This takes the pressure off of meeting deadlines and for the indecisive bride like myself. This also helps paint a realistic picture of what your budget is actually going to look like
  2.  Budget.…. you will go over it…. even in the moments you think we will stay under… nope. I applaud you all that stayed under you first budget idea.  I know before we even started planning, we had a number in mind and then we were slapped with reality.  Make a list of priorities and go from there. You will read endless posts on how to save on your wedding…. they all say get a free venue…. No shit! Not everyone is so lucky to get such a hookup.  I will make a whole post on venues and creative options. Stay tuned.
  3. Think about your crowd and their budget when planning, mostly for a destination wedding and when registering for gifts. We wanted to have a co-ed wedding shower but we knew that most of our buddies did not know what to do with a registry and Alex being a chef, we really didn’t need anything. So, we had a stock the bar party, our guest brought a bottle for the bar and one for the party. It was great because we used a lot of the alcohol for the bachelorette  and Bachelor party, which saved money.
  4. Be Direct!!!! Ask for what you need and tell people what you expect. Some people won’t know what to do or how to help and they are willing but waiting for you. It may feel awkward but do it, you may be end up  feeling like you are doing it all alone and stressed. I thought way too much about not wanting to bug people or ask too much of them. It is the one time you can ask your friends and family for help or tell them what you needed or expect…. it’s the bride card… use it nicely but use it!
  5. DIY or Not: Some projects are always best DIY but there are some things that just make more sense to purchase online to save time and money.
  6. MATH: Any time you like something then times it by how many you actually have to buy… obvious one right…. well when you see something that is great and only $1…. yay! Well, now you need a 100 of them,no longer as affordable. There are few things in weddings you only need one of.
  7. Just don’t do it. If there is any aspect of the wedding planning or traditions you are not a fan of, just don’t do it! Weddings now are all about making your own traditions. For example, we didn’t do bouquet toss or garter toss. I just wasn’t into it. Again, a time I thought about my crowd.
  8. Slowly but surely! You will get it all done, you will have a billion list and it will all come together!! Something I wish I did was prepare even more. If you think about it, do it. There are some aspect of the planning or getting things that I thought would be quicker and I would handle them closer to the wedding, I wish I hadn’t! Just do it early.
  9. Options: Present options to your partner, make sure you love all those options. This way it makes your partner feel involved and you don’t have to all of sudden add some crazy aspect into the wedding because the significant other has some wild idea.  Alex had full reign when it came to the cake, cake topper and food. The rest I  provided options 1-5 etc and he picked from that. Some of you will have a partner that is all-in with you but, for the most part, the planning lands heavily on one person. For example, Alex wanted lime green ties and blue flowers…. yeah, no! 🙂
  10.  Enjoy it! I know, I know everyone will tell you this. There were times that I had to chill on the wedding planning and I allowed myself to. I wanted to enjoy it and not have it stress me out. I believe you are a Bride for life.

Share with me your big wedding woes or tips and tricks!

X- A

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What’s In My Carry On Bag | Must Haves


There are a few things I will always have in my carry on bag, no matter where I am going.

  •  Backpack – I personally prefer skate or snowboard type backpacks. They tend to have a lot of pockets and straps. Volcom is a personal favorite.
  • H2O- it’s a must to have a water bottle and stay hydrated. Most airports now have refillable water stations. I am loyal to Nalgene and my husband cannot live without his 🙂
  • Socks- I tend to get cold feet on planes and I have learned my lesson on being miserable. So, socks are a must.
  • Eye mask- For those that haven’t experienced the wonders of an eye mask, I’m sorry. Flying with an eye mask is a game changer.
  • Pillow- Save your neck and enjoy a nap.
  • Headphones – Duh
  • Lotion-  I hate dry hands… it drives me nuts! The little eos one is perfect!
  • Lip blam – I can get the worst chapped lips. I travel with so many lip balms! One of my favorites is Jack Black‘s mint lip blam.
  •  Antibacterial wipes- clean your seat area…even if you look crazy.
  •  Cleansing wipes- Personally I like to feel refreshed after a long flight and cleansing wipes can make you feel like a new person.
  • Wristlet , Fanny pack or any small purse contraption – This is best for getting through the airport and not having to go in and out of your backpack. I personally love my fanny pack!!!
  • Notebook – I don’t care how many note apps there are on my phone, I like to write it down. It’s great to have to make travel plans, schedule, play games with your travel partner etc.

What are your must have travel items?

x- A

Lazy Babe Booty. 

Let’s keep it real… We all aren’t that great at keeping  up our workout regime and eating healthy. So what’s the one thing that kills that guilty feeling, gets you moving and makes you feel it the next day…. JUMP SQUATS.  

  
 Doing a quick 25 in those moments of feelin shameful that you’ve been so bad. 🙂  By simply adjusting your stance and toe direction, you can target different regions of your bum and thighs.Do a little or do a lot but no matter what get movin. 

Xo- A 

What are your go to quick workout moves? 

Fall Body Refresh

One of my favorite places is the Korean Bath House! Since it is a bit pricey and I don’t always have the time for a day spa experience. I decided to share my alternative for all you spa lovers  or those too nervous to strip down butt ass naked and get scrubbed down by a stranger. If you decide to go to the Korean bath house with another person, make sure you are really close. You will being seeing ALL  of each other and others…if you catch my drift.

The Korean Bath House at Home.

STEP 1: Step into hot shower. Start with washing your face while your body relaxes and skin softens.

STEP 2: Step away from the water. Time to exfoliate… this is not little bitch exfoliation…this is deep down, sometimes ouch exfoliating.

The gloves are the best,laziest and easiest way to scrub down. They are also just like the Korean Bath house gloves. This step should take at least 15 minutes. Its’ gross but you will see balls of dead skin rolling off and in a sick way it’s satisfying. After a summer of soaking up the sun it is time for our skin to shed and soak up some moisture. Once you are scrubbed raw, its time to really relax.

STEP 3: Start bath and create mix in the fabulous Honey Milk Bath. Soak in the bath for 20-40 minutes. Rise,dry and moisturize with your favorite lotion or oil. I am a personal fan of old school baby oil.

STEP 4: Drink a lot of water!

 Hope you all enjoy your mini spa day!

xo- A

Wedding Dress Shopping!

 

The Dress… the one and only dress… the most important dress you will ever wear….it has to be perfect… so much pressure and such a big decision… I was stressed lol.

A few weeks a go my mom flew into town and my soon to be sister in law came to join me and my local bridesmaids to find “the dress.”

With a smallish budget and no idea what I wanted, I figured starting at a big bridal store would be best. Since they often  have every cut, style, color and type there is. I first started at David’s Bridal, the poor consultant was trying to get an idea what I was looking for and I tried to tell her everything. 🙂

Me: ” Well I love simple and flowy but I also like a bit of glamour and fitted. I like lace but I also like the clean freshness of just simple white, I want something tight but I also like flowy .”  I am nuts!

The poor girl  just start pulling one of each and decided we would go from there!

I went into this little dressing room and had to put on a corset bra contraption and a skirt slip which solved my worries of not wearing matching undergarments or that the consultant being too modest and  seeing my cheeks… I got no shame in my buns game 🙂

Back to the dress…. I came out and everyone was in love! I loved it too… kind of. The illusion neckline was perfect and fitted with a lowered waistline where it flowed out beautifully. My hesitation was the lower waistline, it sat where I felt at my widest part of my hips… my friends and family disagreed.  So it was great but not the one.

The consultant wanted me to try the dress on with heels, so she brought over some shoes…. Not just shoes but  THE SHOES!  Shoes haven’t been on my mind during this wedding planning process but wall-‘ la my shoes…nothing but perfection.image

I felt like Carrie Bradshaw when she opens her new closet and see’s her blue heels.

I tried on several dresses and just couldn’t decide between flowy big skirt or fitted. Since I am short and look young, I don’t want to be seen as cute on my wedding day but  more of  holy shit she is gorgeous and sexy. 🙂

So, I needed a break and lunch.. In N Out…is  never not good. I started the day feeling bloated and having a “fat day” my amazing girl assured me that if I feel like that now and try on a dress and feel good in it, just imagine how I will feel when I don’t feel fat and bloated. This also justified me pigging out on In N Out before my other appointment. 🙂

Then we headed to my second appointment at a small beautiful bridal boutique called The Bustle. As I walked up, I saw my name on a chalkboard sign  welcoming me, I was instantly excited.  Once we stepped inside, we were all greeted with Champagne…. it was exactly what we all needed. 🙂

We pulled some dresses and got started.  Well, there was no slip this time…lol.  I stepped into several dresses that were not the one but THEN…..  I walked  out in one dress that had everyone in AWE.  It is the perfect mix of my fitted and flowy and it was The One! Time for another glass of Champagne!!

We were all thrilled and exhausted!  Now, I just wait and wait and wait and wait for it to be made. I hate waiting!

Some tips when going dress shopping:

1. Have some what of a vision but don’t be to stuck on one thing. Often you will be surprised. Each one of my consultants commented about how the things brides often say they don’t want, they end up loving it and getting it. 🙂

2. Don’t be too modest. The consultant was up close and personal with me and they did not seem to care a bit as she was  pulling the dresses over my bum.

3. Remember your budget, don’t try a  dress you cannot afford and keep alterations in mind. I was shocked at the cost of alterations. Each layer of your dress is extra in alterations. Look for shops that have free alterations included.  I opted for what is called a hallow hem to hopefully save on some alteration fees. Since I am short, I know I would need it hemmed and with 5 layers…. that was going to get really pricey. A hallow hem is when they measure from your neckline to the floor in the shoes you want or about the height you are going for and have it cut to that measurement instead of the standard. Which I think mine was 57 inched and I only needed 51.This cost an extra $100 but to have it hemmed at the original length would have cost me $300 + if I didn’t do the hallow hem.

** My mom and I realized whatever you think the cost is in regards to planning a wedding, make sure to add some extra on to everything for all the fees and taxes.

4. Wear a strapless bra this was the most helpful! They have pads for you which is amazing!!  The boob inserts were an epic difference 🙂 for those that need them. Underwear doesn’t seem matter, just some that don’t give you any indents.  I have read several things online that stress wearing really cute matching undergarments. Wear clean and comfortable for you!

5. Bring heels to smaller boutiques but if you go to larger stores like David’s bridal, they will give you shoes to wear and hope you will buy.

6.  Get honest feedback. I told my girls to be honest about everything and they were. They told me when my hips were looking wide, when it did nothing for me at all and when my boobs needed some extra somethin, somethin. lol. Along with how gorgeous I was in the others. 🙂

7. Eat! I was starving after one appointment and exhausted. I never thought it would be tiring but it really was!

8. Have fun and don’t focus on the dresses that don’t do it for you but keep your eye on the prize… the one that makes you feel amazing. It’s easy to get caught up in the ones that don’t fit, the size, the ones that were not flattering and all of  that can ruin your whole experience. You want to feel like Beyoncé all day 🙂 Don’t let negative self talk get you, know you are gorgeous and that when you find your dress you will have your moment! Your man loves you just the way you are and will think you are stunning in any dress. So have fun and feel like  the amazing bride you are and sip champagne. 🙂

9. Stay true to yourself. Don’t let your friends styles influence you into something that doesn’t represent yourself. It is easy to go with public opinion but only yours matter.

10. Have fun and take the moment in!

 

X- A

 

Friday’s Cocktail! | Sangria madness

With  a major heat wave hitting southern California, I am in need of a refreshing cocktail. Sangria is one of my favorites but only if done well.

Recently I had a Sassy Sangria at The Patio in Mission Hills, SD. Essentially a sangria with some tequila… it sure will get you sassy 😉  The Patio is a fabulous restaurant that is all about local ingredients and being sustainable, on top of that it is absolutely stunning with great  ambiance.  It is an open kitchen with a  wall of lush living plants and a mix of rustic wooden and elegant heather blue turfed chairs. Your plates will look like art and your taste buds will be dancing.  It is a must try in San Diego!

My other favorite sangria place an happy hour in general is Costa Brava in Pacific beach, SD. It is a Spanish tapas place with $8 pitcher of delicious fresh fruit sangria… I could have an IV of this stuff!!!  You will need some munchies, so.. try everything on the menu 🙂  really… its soo good!

Start your weekend off right with a fabulous glass of sangria and use this amazing chart from wine enthusiast to try something new. Mix it up and get sassy!

Share your favorite cocktails or go to places in your area!

xo- A

Bacon Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

You know those dinners that are so good that you are picking at it during the whole cooking process…. well Bacon crab stuffed mushrooms is that dish for me. This is a by taste recipe… Alex and our buddy Kellen made this happy creation and now it is a staple.

You can make this as low fat or low carb as you want.

Ingredients-

-Crab legs- chop it up!

-Red pepper- thinly diced…. about one big one.

-Onion-  thinly diced…. about the same amount as red pepper.

-Bacon– there is never enough… chop it up!

-Salt and pepper

-Cayenne or red pepper flakes- I like a little kick to it and I am not spicy eater.

-Moisture- We usually use some soft cream cheese and little sour cream- I know not the healthiest but it still is low carb 🙂  You can use mayo, yogurt or even an egg.  The cream cheese mix can also be used for a delicious dip. 🙂

-Parmesan- to Alex it is very important that it is fresh Parm. quarter for in the bowl and the rest for the end.

**Mix all the above and then stuff it into your mushrooms.

We use big portabellas and bake them on a rack to avoid the mushroom getting soggy.

The last few minutes is when you add fresh parmesan on top and put it in the broiler for a few minutes…. it creates a perfect little crust.

Ta daaa…. you have a delicious low carb/low fat however you like dish!

 

 

 

Wedding planning with your man.

Now we all know  the wedding day is all about the both of you… but let’s be real… the bride is the one that is making that day happen.  I am sure there are some exceptions out there. 🙂

When wedding planning began, I asked Alex what are some things he would like… his response ” I like when guys wear vans.” Well, Isn’t that helpful…

Then when it came to his attire for the day, he became full-blown groomzilla. Sorry, but a lime green tie isn’t happening. He is really fighting for his lime green tie… when I brought up the fact that my girls will not be wearing anything close to lime green, his response was classic… ” sorry, not everyone can look as good as me in lime green… but I am wearing it.”  This is coming from the guy that was wearing socks and Birkenstocks with basketball shorts…. which made him lose all credibility.

When it came to getting his thoughts on a wedding dress… he told me I can wear whatever I want, because he is going to wear what he wants.

I finally got him to look on Pinterest with me…. well,that was interesting. He would point out a mermaid cut …..Alex: ” what is that, why all this fluff shit ( as he waves his hands around the photo)

Me:  Okay on to the next…..

him: Why are there flowers… that’s dumb…and the next… I mean that’s not bad…

me: What do you like about it ?

Him: I don’t know… it isn’t as bad as the others.

me: how about this nice low back?

him: I mean.. you’re naked…. ( coming from a guy that has never expressed me having to be modest)

me: WHAT….. well, you no longer have say!

Sums it all up lol.

I have realized that Alex has no idea about weddings and he has realized this too and finally said..” “Babe, it seems I do better when options are presented and I just say yes or no.”

So true… when wedding talking with my girlfriend and fellow bride planning a wedding, she was having the same issues with her groom.  They either have no idea or elaborate ideas they won’t let go of.

A strategy is then needed…. only present what you would be comfortable with and then it gives him some freedom to pick within boundaries. 🙂

With Alex’s busy chef  schedule I ended up making a secret pinterest board for the both of us and downloaded the app on his phone. This way I could pin all the things I wanted to run across him and he could check it out on his downtime.

I started to feel bad that once he came home, I started asking so many wedding questions or trying to show him things…. that was a little over whelming for him. The board helped solve that problem.

He actually really likes this pinterest board for us and has even suggested making one that is called ” done deal” which means we approved it and that is what we are going with.

I want to make sure that our wedding day represents both of us but I want to be realistic in the fact if I let him have a free range… it would be a total mess. 🙂

Some tips on wedding planning with your man:

1. ask him to describe what he has always thought of when thinking of his wedding day.

2.  Get the vibe…. use adjectives to get a description down.  Whimsical, industrial, rustic… etc

3. Create a Pinterest board for both of you… and explain to him how it works.

4.  Make a list of what’s  most important for him. Alex wanted great food and venue… he said he wanted to feel “wowed.”

5. Don’t provide ideas or pictures of things you are not willing to have part of your day.

6. Have fun and remember it’s suppose to be a wedding of two loves and  not a birthday party. 🙂

Happy planning 😉

X- A

The Ultimate Wedding planner & checklist!

 

Well, I didn’t think I could love Google docs/drive more than I already did… but it’s official, I do! Google has an entire comprehensive wedding planning checklist and spreadsheets for everything…. with all the formulas already done for you!!! Who needs to count when Google does it for you!! 🙂  I feel much better about using google vs the other random wedding site for tracking all my wedding details. Checkout this wedding planning lifesaver—> Google Weddding

What is your go to for wedding planning?

X- A

Dark Western | Fall Fashion 2014

Fall is just around the corner and I couldn’t wait to share  the Dark Western fall fashion trend! I am loving it!
  ** Look out for the rest of the up coming  fall fashion trends here on B.D!
 X- A.