Before the Wedding – Patron Shots, Tacos & Hip Hop

I want to recap you about our wedding in three separate blog entries. The before, during and after. So let us talk about the days leading up to the big day.

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How to find the perfect wedding venue

I never wanted a big wedding.

To be quite honest, I always imagined myself having a Vegas wedding. I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on one day of my life for it all to be over in one blink of an eye.

When Ryan proposed my heart was set on a small wedding with close family and friends. We started looking into Vegas, saw packaged options and realized that a Vegas wedding was in no way a cheap option. Factoring in rooms and lodging for our family and friends the cost was almost reaching what I initially did not want to spend.

Vegas would also eliminate a lot of people and after a few months of comparing prices and packages we decided this was not the best option.

What now?

Small wedding. That was still my goal. These are the factors that I had to deal with.

  • Guest List– How many people do I HAVE to invite and how many of those people will be super mad if I don’t invite them?
    • Guest list is one of the most important aspects of choosing a venue. Many places have a cap at how many people are allowed in their facility. Start with an A list which are people that absolutely have to be there. Then move to a B and C list. The people on the A list plus a few (maybe 10) is the number that you want to use when looking for venues.
  • Date– When will this all happen, and will the place I want have this date available.
    • You found your venue! Wait… is the date available? My best advice is to have a few dates open. When we decided to put the deposit down on our venue all of our preferred dates were gone, we loved the place so much we decided on a later date in 2017 making it a 2 year engagement. I believe it will be well worth it.
  • Amount of time – How long should my event be?
    • What was surprising to me was that there were so many venues with limited time. Many of the ones that we saw has a cap of 5 or 6 hours. I didn’t like the idea of being rushed on my own wedding day. Which is why this was a high priority item.
  • Budget– How much do I really want to spend on this thing?
    • Budget in most cases can determine your venue as a whole. There are many different prices in venues. Some all-inclusive venues charge per person which makes it easy to determine how much you will be spending.
  • DIY vs. Package -Do I want my own vendors?
    • This was one of the hardest decisions when selecting a place. I knew that packaged deals would have been the best option for less hassle and stress, but at the same time I wouldn’t be able to be as involved in every decision. If I was going to spend all this money on our wedding, then why not make it exactly how I want it.
  • Alcohol– Do I want an open bar?
    • A lot of times we would fall in love with the venue, with the package, the scenery, the hours and then…. they would go over the bar options. Ryan and I decided very early on that we wanted to have an open bar. We loved the idea of taking care of our guests and allowing them to have fun on our special day. Which is why we decided to go with our venue where we are allowed to bring in our own alcohol.
  • Groom– What does the groom want?
    • Lastly, but probably the most important would be to incorporate what the groom wants too. I am so happy that Ryan and I have worked as a team to plan this wedding. We have both put in countless hours so far to make sure that everything is taken care of. Yes, we have a lot of little disagreements and that is completely normal. I want this day to be a representation of both of us and make sure that when we look back, we see this as one of the most beautiful days in our life.

After almost 7 location viewings and dozens of online requests for information we finally chose a place that made both of us happy.

I hope you enjoyed this list of what to consider when looking for a venue. I have 344 days left until this day and I cannot wait.

Love you all

 

 

Gwynnie Bee Review – I’m Obsessed

I have to tell you about this clothing rental service.  I was a little skeptical at first, not really knowing what to expect.

The name of the service is called Gwynnie Bee, they are a clothing rental service for sizes 10-32. You start off by selecting your plan, the most popular is to choose 3 pieces. You fill your closet with at least 25 items and then you just wait for your first package to come!

I know what you are thinking, a rental service? Like, other people wear it before me?

Yes, but to make you feel better Gwynnie Bee goes through an extensive clothing washing system that you can check out in their website.

Once you receive the clothing, you get to keep it for as long or as little as you want. I wanted to take advantage of the free 30 day trial so I decided to return the items as soon as I wore them. I was able to try out 11 pieces!

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They send an envelope that you just stick the clothing in and send back when you are done. It’s already pre-paid!

One of the best things to come out of this trial is the fact that you are able to purchase the clothes at a very low cost if you end up liking it. I purchased Gabby Skye at a very low cost.

I cannot tell you how many compliments I received when I wore the clothes from Gwynnie Bee. I had never felt so chic in my life.

The service after the trial is a little expensive which is why I decided to cancel after the trial. The wonderful thing is that you are able to refer friends and family. For every referral you receive $25 towards your subscription. I will definitely re-subscribe once I get a few referral points.

I highly recommend Gwynnie Bee, try it out for yourself with my referral code here with a 30 day free trial. Totally completely free, I did not pay a penny and I had the most amazing wardrobe for 30 days.

 

 

Perfect Fall Day

Yesterday was the first day that it actually felt like fall.

The leaves were falling, there was cool breeze and I felt like I actually needed a sweater.

This got me thinking about what would be the perfect thing to do on a fall day.

I love sleeping with my window open, I think waking up  underneath the covers on a fall day has to be a great way to start.

Making myself a hot drink, either coffee, tea or a nice apple cider has to be the next step.

Next would be to start getting ready, the best outfit to wear in the fall would of course be leggings or thick tights with boots, a large over-sized sweater and a scarf. Being comfortable and stylish at the same time is ideal for fall.

Once dressed, the best thing to do in the fall would be to find some kind of pumpkin patch or apple picking location so that you can be surrounded by people that love fall as much as you do!

Other ideas would be to find a nice coffee shop with nice big windows so that you can admire the great fall colors.

Last year I made sure to hit up a pumpkin patch more than once with both my godson and my niece.

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Once you get home, the perfect fall day would end with taking a nice hot shower, changing into clothes you can lounge in and relax for the rest of the night. The way that I like to relax is by watching a movie, or catching up on some of my favorite TV shows.

I hope you guys enjoy your fall!

Blogging Conference? What I hope to gain from #blogher16

I think the first question that I get when I tell people (non-bloggers) that I am going to a blogging convention is, “What is a blogging convention?”

To be honest before I went to #weallgrow I had no idea what a blogging convention was all about. I was nervous, excited and completely clueless about what I was getting myself into. To make matters worse I was going at it all alone.

I have to say that I now know what a convention is all about and below I will outline not only what it is about, but also what I hope to gain from #blogher16.

  1. Meeting the brands – These conferences bring the brands to you. The most important thing about being a blogger is knowing what brands you want to work with. Researching companies and creating a blog or video to highlight their products is what these companies are looking for. Conferences make it easy to meet, talk and exchange information so that later you can possibly work with them.
  2. Being among like-minded people – Nothing feels better than being around people that think like you, being in a space where you can feed off each other’s energy. There are times that you become stuck creatively and being around bloggers wakes that urge to create, write and film. When I left #weallgrow I was inspired, I was ready to go home and write my fingers off. I’m hoping for the same with #blogher16.
  3. Networking– Possibly the most important part of attending a blogging convention has to be networking. I cannot begin to explain how important it is to know other bloggers. I made so many great friends and have continued to keep in contact with people that I met at my last convention, they inspire me.
  4. Learning from the workshops – So much thought goes into these panels and workshops. The people leading the workshops are experts in the topics that are presented. The most amazing part is that they are sharing their secrets with you, they are helping you become a better blogger.

Those are the top 4 that I consider being benefits of attending a blogging convention. Others include living in a hotel for a few days, picking up swag and meeting famous keynote speakers.

Goodnight Y’all #blogher16 starts tomorrow!

What did I learn from Princess Jasmine?

Aladdin was a great story about being yourself, finding out what really makes you happy and fighting for what you think is right. Of course there are also topics about keeping your word, making lifelong friends and the whole money doesn’t matter thing.

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How do I fail with purpose?

One of my earliest memories that I have of failing is when I was learning to ride my bike. I was so afraid of falling that I ended up not braking in time, slammed into a curb and fell on the grass face first.

Failing is such an ugly word.

The word itself has such a negative connotation.

I have slowly learned throughout the years that failing is just a part of life, it makes you the person that you are today.

In school, I remember my first time ever failing a test in Geometry and thinking that it was the end of the world. I even tried to hide my progress report from my parents

I think the worst I have ever felt about failing was my sophomore year of high school. My school had implemented a testing system in which you had to pass all history tests in the semester in order to graduate. If you failed one test, you were done.

I was very stressed out at the time and I ended up getting the answers to one of the tests from a friend. What I did not know, is that the same answers were being circulated to almost every other sophomore in class. I used the answers, as almost everyone else did, and got caught cheating.

I remember feeling the lowest of low, feeling as if I let everyone down. They called my parents and said that I would have to take the test over again in a room with just the teacher,  I remember feeling like a criminal. I passed with an A the second time around, but I think the biggest accomplishment that year, I learned I would never cheat again.

Failing happens so many times, but here I am, my world has not ended.

Failing with purpose is when you know that you might fail at an objective but you go for it anyway. You do not let fear take you, you set a goal and attempt at achieving it and gain something in return.

Recently a new position opened up at work. I have only been with the company for a year and I knew that I was going to be up against people that had more experience. I was afraid to show my interest in the position because I knew that there was a big chance that I was not going to get it.

I decided then and there that even if I did fail, I was going to go through the experience and process of applying internally.

I submitted my resume, practiced my presentation, studied my equipment and awaited the day I had to present.

When I was done I thought I did amazing. I was so happy that I had practiced for so many days and I felt like all my efforts had paid off. I knew in my head that I had this position, I knew that I had done everything in my power to achieve this goal.

I didn’t.

I was up against 6 other people.

As I sat in the room with the managers telling me that they loved my presentation but they decided to go with other people all I could think of was, what did I do wrong?  I thanked them for the opportunity to show them what I had to offer and asked them to consider me for other like positions in the future.

I failed.

As I sit here, almost 8 hours after I heard the news I now see that I failed for a reason. I failed in order to become better, in order to want it more, to need it more, and to appreciate it more once it is mine.

I will let this experience along with all my other experiences become the part of me that perseveres.

I will not give up, and I will continue to fail with purpose.