What I know now- a Bride’s reflection

I feel compelled to write this article for all the future brides out there. I was fully enthralled in the wedding planning and the stress that comes with it. There were things that I wish I had known during the planning stages that I had to learn the hard way. I have compiled a list of tips that I think all future brides should know.

Tip 1: View a variety of venues before selecting the one for your wedding. 

This one may sound like a no brainer but actually, when my hubby and I were looking at places we only had 3 or 4 selected. Why do I recommend expanding and looking at a few more? This gives you the opportunity to see the things that are deal breakers for you and the things you absolutely want at your wedding. I compare this to when you see a pretty dress on the clothing rack. It looks great on the mannequin but does it look great on you? Sometimes seeing something in person helps you decide. Not every venue offers the things you want, and some venues offer things you know you don’t need. Case in point, extended hours for me. Most of my family is older and a majority of our guests were not the party all night crowd. If your venue has an extended hour package they offer and its something you know you won’t need for your guests consider that when making decisions. Another thing I would say about venues is don’t assume the date you want is offseason. We thought selecting a date at the end of the fall season would guarantee us a venue. We were shocked and surprised to discover that a majority of the venues were already booked up from a year ago.

Tip 2: You will fight about money. 

Sorry kids, but no matter who is funding your wedding it will be a topic of heated debate in some respects. Why? Because funding you will find makes the wedding business go round. The trick is to know how to handle heated conversations like this. Understand that the main driving force behind it is stress before you say something you don’t mean to your parents or your soon to be spouse. In our case, we were in a significantly tight spot, as right in the middle of our wedding planning my hubby was laid off. We had to buckle down and decide what were the things we wanted to spend our money on? What was important to us? Those conversations are so important. It not only allows you to better know your soon to be future spouse, but it also helps you prioritize your funds. The two big things for us were photographer and food. Yours may be something different, but you will never know until you have that conversation.

Tip 3: Your family and friends unwillingly will stress you out. 

They don’t mean to do this but you will find that it will happen. The key to success with this is to realize that it is coming from a place of concern or sincere thoughtfulness. In my case we were often asked have you picked out this or that yet? My hubby and I were trying to balance getting our finances back on track plus living day to day. Often times, our answer was no but we are looking into it. You will discover that when you are researching venues for flowers, DJ, linens, or officiant that using websites like The Knot, or Wedding Wire are helpful. They provide you will a list you can read through and select from. However, I wouldn’t just read one review and pick the person then. Go and meet with them and see how they fit with the two of you. Worded a different way; select the tribe that vibes with you.

Tip 4: Don’t let the stress of the planning ruin the small moments. 

This is a tough one. But, it is very important to enjoy the small moments leading up to the wedding as much as possible. The actual wedding day will go by so fast. Try and make the best of the moments you have planning with your girlfriends, sisters, and or your mom. My mom and I did the majority of the meetings with the venues. This allowed us more time to bond and also gave us time to talk about a variety of different things. I learned more about my mom during those times, then when I was living with her. She threw my bridal shower and it was amazing. I had an Alice in Wonderland theme. Those are the moments that I cherish. Take stock of those moments as much as possible as they are the ones that are worth remembering.

Tip 5: Don’t let the vendors dictate your day. 

They are there to assist and provide a service for you and your guests. They are not there to rule your day. A funny story that comes to mind around this topic is my linen lady. She was a preferred vendor from my venue. Which means that she is used often by the venue and in some respects, she offers better deals when you use her. I went with a romantic fall theme. My colors will light blushes, neutral tones, bright pops of color like burgundy, and white pumpkins. So naturally, I wanted my linens to have lace. We met the lady on Mother’s Day weekend at the venue. She wasn’t dressed professionally and she made us wait. Then as I was explaining what I wanted she cut me off, and said to tell the venue to not put lemons in the water. The yellow in the water she exclaimed: “ruins the whole color palette.” The purpose of the meeting was not to talk about lemons in water it was, in fact, selecting linens from her. This is one example of why it’s important to stay classy but also be your own advocate about what you want on your day. I had lace on my tables with blush napkins, and I kept the lemons in my water.

My picks – Best beauty products

Recently I had searched and looked into many of my beauty products and discovered that quite a few tested on animals which killed me. I told my husband that from now on I wanted to be more conscious of the products I was buying and if they tested on animals. I have compiled a few of the products that I love and they don’t test on animals which is great.

Best Witch Hazel Astringent 

FF95D68F-713B-4BF9-A624-8714E28B617EI love Dickinson’s, Witch Hazel Deep Cleaning Astringent. It gets all of my makeup off, it is cleans my pores beautifully.
I have an oily complexion and this stuff helps keep my oil production at bay and leaves my face with a cool refreshing feeling. They are environmentally friendly and they never test on animals!

 

Best Eyeshadow 

I have sensitive skin in general so finding eye makeup that doesn’t make my eyes itchy or irritated has been a challenge. I also wear contact lenses so that has also made me mindful of what I am putting on and around my eyes.  My pick for eyeshadow is Pacifica eyeshadows. 13DA794C-C1AD-46E2-B661-0A1F9B112F8C  I love the colors that they offer and they have not caused me any eye irritation or issues. Pacifica is vegan and cruelty-free and they offer a great recycling program for their products. You can request return labels from the website and they will send you a pre-paid label and take your empty tubes and recycle them for you!

 

 

Best Mascara and Lip Balm

It should be no surprise that for mascara I love Pacifica Stellar Gaze. It gives me great volume and I love how long my eyelashes look with it on. 518766C6-3A76-46AB-9EEE-0C052D59D754Being fair skinned and freckle-faced selecting lip colors, in general, is often trial and error. I love Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm because it gives me the benefits of a balm with the hint of color.

 

 

Best Powder Foundation

The last product and the one that is the newest in my collection is Burt’s Bees powder foundation. I have sensitive skin and an oily face at times. This powder does a great job mattifying my face and has not caused me any irritation.

e6af6f41-ed24-491a-8e37-f12b4d819c82I hope that if and when you try these products you have as much success as I have. I plan on continuing to be more conscious of my choices and selecting products for myself and my family that represent the values that I hold dear.

***Disclaimer** I did not receive any payment from any of these companies for my review. The statements made are of my own experiences.

 

New Year New Mindset

As this year comes to a close, I am reminded of all the things that have transpired during 2018. 2018 was a volatile year not only for our country but for myself and my husband as well. While wedding planning, and hoping to have the wedding of my dreams, my betrothed lost his job suddenly. It hurt us not only financially, but emotionally, and mentally. We both struggled to get into a better mindset to tackle the problems that we faced. Grandma Kay

I would remember some of the conversations that my grandmother and I had when I was younger. She had grown up during the great depression and had a very authentic view of the world. She used to say “no matter what hardship you face the actions that people will take note of and notice are the ones that show courage.” My husband and I thankfully made it through, ended up moving to a more affordable place, got new jobs and of course we got married! But, now that we have reached one of the last days in 2018 I look to the future and wonder what it will hold for us. I remember something my grandmother used to use to change my point of view, and she unknowingly inspired me to look at the New Year with a new frame of mind.

My grandmother used to always say when I would ask her “does this shirt go with these pants?” She would give me this look and then motion out the window with her hand ” look out into the garden, do you see those colors next to each other in the garden?” I would look and say “Yes grandma I do!” She would smile and say ” well if its good enough for mother nature it should be good enough for you!”

This old adage can be applied to a variety of things that we face throughout the day. Variety is the spice of life and having a combination of people, religions, art, and colors surrounidng us are what makes life so amazing and worth living. I remember visiting The Metropolitan Art Museum in New York, and my mom and I looked at a beautiful mosaic. The mosaic was filled with so many different colors and shapes, and I was absolutely stunned by it. Unlike previous years where I decided I wanted to learn a new hobby, or spend more time with my friends in family. My new mindset for 2019 is this, embracing the beauty around me and taking a moment to pause and enjoy it. If its good enough for mother nature its good enough for me! I hope everyone has a happy and healthy start to 2019!

The Bear in the Orchard

The image below does not show the true majestic elegance that Tim and I observed one afternoon. The bear in truth was strolling with purpose and no matter how Tim and I tried to capture an image it became a blurry image of trees.

We had been out shopping for white pumpkins for our fall themed wedding and during the drive from one farmer’s market to another, we came across an apple orchard. The orchard was located on the right and as we approached it up ahead we saw a large black mass moving across the street. I exclaimed, “I think that’s a bear!!”  To which Tim replied skeptically, ” you sure?” As we slowed down to watch it move through the orchard it was confirmed. The bear was moving towards the apple trees most likely for a delicious snack. We turned our Volkswagon to the right and drove on a small dusty road in an attempt to at least get a clear photograph without trees. But the bear was keen to us and just kept walking and as it moved the branches seemed to shelter it as it disappeared from our view. We sat stunned for a few minutes, and then backed out and continued on our way.

We got the pumpkins of course and they looked great at our wedding. When people asked how we got so many white pumpkins I told the story of the bear and our drive. When we moved up north I expected to see more wildlife but never expected to see a bear. It was truly an impressive sight, and I have often wondered about the bear. I hope the bear had a wonderful apple feast and as the weather here has changed drastically in the past few weeks I hope the bear is sleeping safely in its den. black-bear-1019063_960_720

This thirty-something is getting hitched in 48 Days!

As fall brings about change it seems fitting that I too am undergoing my own set of changes. In just a few weeks I will have a new last name and a new extended family. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think something like this would ever happen to me. I never thought I would meet someone who I wanted to be with forever, or he would want to be. This thirty-something is finally reaching a true milestone. I remember scrolling through Facebook a year or two ago and thinking when I saw all the engagement photos and married statuses “I truly am a late bloomer.” But, late bloomer or not I finally get to have my day in the sun. Canva - Leaves falling on ground

We chose fall, it happens to be my favorite season and neither of us enjoys sweating to death in fancy clothes. I was smart enough to start researching places early because fall, as I realized, is just as popular as spring now. After previewing numerous venues with escalating price tags, we chose a historic inn with a rustic feel. The ceremony will be held outside under a large tree in a meadow. We were told by the venue that the tree is known for its beautiful fall color so we knew we just had to do it. This is, of course, providing that New England weather does not throw us a curve ball. Naturally, we decided to do things slightly differently, so we have a bagpiper for ceremony music. We wanted people to walk away thinking this is not like this person or that one.

In true wedding hubbub style, we agonized over excruciating details like food, sides, table clothes, suit and shirt colors, hair, makeup, and flowers. But, as we are down to the very last we can now see all our efforts paying off. I would say here and now wedding planning is not for the faint of heart, nor is it for the broke. We made many sacrifices this past year and a half to get to this point. Our only hope and wish is that our family and friends attend our event and they truly enjoy their time. As it will be the first day we embark on the journey of life as one. ~

Country Girl moves to the City

This year has been a wild ride so far. There were times during it where I have to admit I wasn’t sure what was happening or how it was all going to work out.

I had been actively searching for a job throughout last year and the start of this one. It was depressing the amount of resumes I sent out with no response back. My decision to enroll in school again came after several years of debate. I wanted to make more money and I wanted to give myself skills that would give me the opportunities I was looking for. I also hoped it would show as a plus on my resume. Months of sending out resumes and barely getting any feedback led me to feel like failure. When I finally reached out to several staffing groups that is when I landed myself the job I am in now.

Not in a million years did I think I would finally be in a place where I have my own cubicle and my name plaque on the side. I take the train into town to work, which has been both exciting and claustrophobic at times. Each day I stare up at the tall buildings with awe on my face like a dope. It is crazy to admit but this is the kind of excitement I have been looking for. I can finally dress like a professional instead of the uniforms I had worn in the past or the really casual laid back atmosphere of the job before.

It happened so fast that I barely had time to take stock of all of the stuff I would need for the new job. I interviewed on a Friday and I got the call the following Monday.  My one year anniversary with my wonderful boyfriend was during the second week of my training. He had recently started a new job too and was looking forward to getting his career on the fast track himself. We both were starting out fresh, but together which made it not seem so foreboding. To celebrate our anniversary from one of the tallest buildings in the city was fabulous. But, to have him ask me to move in? Well, now that is even better.

I finally feel like my life is coming into its own. Perhaps this is what they mean when they say “good things come to those who wait.”

Top of the hub

Measurement and Scales

And I was weighed that day silently. I could tell from the look in your eyes that there was something wanting. That among all my freckles and hair, my graces, you had segmented me out into black and red lines. I was missing the parts that mattered most to you. I was absent of the things that you had hoped for. The things I did have, were… just…not enough. I was at a loss of course, because that phantom invisible scale had found me again. The one that everyone uses but doesn’t like to talk about at parties. I was ranked in each category unbeknownst to me, while dinner was being served. I was given a grade next to each on the list. But those numbers, they just didn’t add up for me. I had a remainder you see, I didn’t fit in those clean cut boxes. I spilled over and out of some and I barely filled the box on others. I was a recipe all gone wrong, and you were expecting a culinary masterpiece. I was a disappointment. The weights were heavy and not in my favor. The saddest part, the scales you use and those boxes you fill will never really equal the happiness you seek. But, yours truly with my remainders, my frizz, and my half full boxes will be all the better for it. Thats a sum you can’t figure with numbers and scales.

I apologize for my hiatus. Sometimes it is important to reflect and I needed time to do that.