5 Helpful Links and Tips on Planning a Wedding.

5 Helpful Links and Tips on Planning a Wedding.

Congratulations!  You (or someone you are very close to) are engaged to be married! Or are you planning a wedding in hopes of being engaged soon?  Or whatever your reason, I’m so happy you decided to check out this post to skip a few tedious site-searching minutes.

Since I just married my husband 8 months ago, I have a few things still fresh in my mind that I found most helpful.  I know several people getting married within the next year, so I hope they have time to check these sites out.  Our wedding budget was $10k, so this list might be more helpful to those that are going the do-it-yourself (DIY) route. We had a budget for many reasons, and I’m glad we were able to go well under it. However, if you have the budget for an extravagant wedding, then just get a wedding planner and save yourself the stress. You can still look at Wedding Wire (see below) to find a good wedding planner. I hope you find the following links as helpful as I found them.

Five Helpful Links for Wedding Planning

Helpful Wedding Websites

If you’re planning a wedding, you might have already found a few helpful websites. These are some of my favorites. (Some of you may already know about theknot.com, which I found to be rather confusing and too high-class for my taste, so since I didn’t really use it for my planning I decided not to list it.)

weddingwire.com

Wedding Wire has a list of a lot of venues and vendors (including ratings) from Wedding Wire members. I mainly used this site to find vendors, but they also have an inspiration tab. Their app also gives you the checklist you need to stay on track before, during, and after the wedding date. I liked how the app was accessible through my phone for me to check what I needed to complete and how my overall budget was doing at that time. They also have a wedding website creator; however, I didn’t use it.

ewedding.com 

Ewedding is a free hosting wedding website maker. You can personalize it to your liking. I found it to be more appealing than the website creator from theknot.com. I think I must have made my wedding website through Ewedding, because it had the most flexible design options.

honeyfund.com 

Honeyfund is the site I used to make a credit card wedding registry. They charge you 1.50 for each transaction. So if someone gives you $50 then you’ll only get $48.50, but it’s convenient for those who can’t send or give cash/check in the mail or in person, respectively.

vistaprint.com

Vistaprint’s site can be a little expensive; however, they always have coupons and special deals. I made my invites for 25% off and then my thank-you cards were on sale too. INVITE25 is the coupon code I used — not sure if it is still available. If you’re on a budget, try using postcards as thank-you cards. They also have Groupon deals for Vistaprint every once in a while.

weddingfavorsunlimited.com

Weddingfavorsunlimited.com is where I purchased my wedding favors. They had the best prices for travel tags. Shipping prices can be a bit steep though. I would still look around at other websites if you’re thinking of a different type of favor. This website at least offers you good ideas.

Bonus if you didn’t know already…

pinterest.com

Okay, I know I said five and this is number six on the list. I figured probably 95% of people who are planning a wedding already know about this website, because it’s a MUST! Basically, it is a visual/virtual bookmarking site that lets you find and save ideas (pinned by people all over the world) in which you may be interested. I use this for researching pretty much everything, from how to create anything “DIY” to what I should make for dinner. I’ve discovered a lot of my favorite hobbies through Pinterest. I would have never started a blog if it weren’t for the pins I found through Pinterest on how to “easily” make a blog. It also has many funnies in there if you’re looking for a good laugh. And Pinterest provided me with the inspiration for the main design of my wedding. If you don’t like it after using it for about 15 minutes, then I guess you’re one of the lucky non-addicts.

Enjoy Planning!

I hope these websites will be as easy for you to navigate through and enjoyable as they were for me. If you found any websites I didn’t mention to be very helpful, please mention them in the comments below so other readers (and myself) can learn more.

DIY Gift “Open When” Letters

DIY Gift “Open When” Letters

open when letters

“Open When…” Letters are a DIY project for the creative spirit, as well as the lazy ones.

Open When… letters is a fun way to show someone how much you care about them, without spending more than a few cents on ink and paper, and as much time as you want.

Oh, the days are creeping up to February 14th… and the pressure is on to find that perfect gift for that special someone. Heck, even for your best friend or family members. Valentines Day doesn’t have to be something we only celebrate romantic love, it is a day to celebrate all love. If you’re single, you don’t need to be discouraged by this post. I think you could make these cards for anyone that makes your life a whole lot better, that could be a friend, cousin, sibling, parents, etc.

If you do decide to give this a go I hope you customize it to your heart’s desire!  I didn’t come up with this idea myself. How dare I share an idea that isn’t mine. I found several posts about it on Pinterest so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to add more ideas. After reading a couple I decided to customize this idea to my heart’s desire. Several people have posted this, and honestly, I have no clue who came up with this idea originally so I can’t share a link to the original creator.  However, this blog is the one that inspired me.

Another Note

“Open when” letters aren’t for Valentines Day only. You may use them as gifts for birthdays, Christmas, or if you have a child going to live somewhere new.

I made six letters total.  There are plenty of letter topics to choose from. Besides I made these two years ago and my husband hasn’t opened one of them yet. It’s great he hasn’t had any of the feelings, but now I wish I made one for when he has a cold, or when he’s had a crummy day.  If you’re giving it to a lady you could give Open when it’s that time of month.

Within each envelope, I added photos that went along with each subject and a coupon that he could use to give to me.

Here are the letters I made to my husband… He still hasn’t opened them yet.  For each envelope I had a personalized letter that I wrote to him, just saying what I would do if I were with him during that time.

Open when you are stressed out

When Stressed Out

For this letter, I added a picture of us when we were being silly.  I don’t even remember the circumstances. Sometimes bubble wrap helps with stress so I added that.  Then lastly, I included a little coupon for a massage, I don’t know anyone who thinks a massage doesn’t relax the mind and body.

Open when you need a good laugh

This was one of my favorites letters to make.  I was able to find a few things from Pinterest that made me laugh. My favorite was a Will Ferrel meme that says “Why Periods? Why can’t mother nature just text her and be like, “Waddup girl, you ain’t pregnant. Have a great week, talk to you next month.”  I figured my husband might find that funny considering how much I complain about periods.  I also added a coupon for a tickle attack.

Open when you are angry

I don’t know if I should have made this envelope, because one, I’ve never seen my husband angry, and two I really had no idea what to put into this letter.  I just added a few photos of being calm and a baby looking angry.  Lastly, I added a coupon for support, which I am embarrassed to say I didn’t come up with anything else.

Open when you can’t fall asleep

I did a little research for this letter. I found on a how-to site that had “12 ways to help you fall asleep” and printed it out with a little color.   Also added a calm chamomile tea and a lullaby coupon.

Open when you are feeling sad & lonely

So Puss’n’Boots is one of my favorite animated characters, the “I hopes you feel better” meme made me feel better, so I thought it could help him too.  I added little things to this one, as well as a cuddle time coupon.

Open when you need to be reminded of why I love you

Finally, with this letter, I had a hard time to express how much he means without being there in person.  Of course, I wish I picked another topping because I don’t think he would ever doubt I love him, and there isn’t much to show without being there with him.  I added a picture of tigers caressing (because our spirit animals are tigers) and a coupon for a great kiss. The red hands are cut outs of my hands that say “I love you… this much”. I placed a long ribbon taped between the hands.

So now that you’ve seen what I created two years ago, I would love to see/hear what you decide to do for Valentines Day. I’m still stumped on what to do for this year.

Make Your Own Greeting Cards Book

Make Your Own Greeting Cards Book

greeting cards book main photo

After coming home from our honeymoon, we had a bunch of beautiful wedding cards from family and friends all around the world. I want to cherish these cards and look back at them for years to come. There were so many wonderful cards and sweet messages with fantastic marriage advice. I asked myself, “How does one gather their greeting cards without putting them in a box that ends up collecting dust?” That’s when I came up with an idea to make a greeting cards book. Now I’ve seen one other person do the same thing, but, of course, I didn’t do it exactly the same way. I feel like my way was the easiest and most frugal way of doing it.

Of course, you can use this method for any special date and you don’t have to do it exactly the way I did it. Create it the way that works best for you. Make a book out of the cards you received for your wedding, baby shower, graduation, birthday, Christmas, or any celebratory event where you received many greeting cards.

One thing to keep in mind: When you make the book, you must be confident you won’t be getting any more cards for that special event. I got excited to make mine right away, but I didn’t realize I would get more cards months after our wedding. Try waiting at least 6 months after the event — most people will send their cards to you by then. If it’s for your birthday or Christmas, you probably only need to wait a month.

Material and Tools Needed

Cardboard (a box from anything will do, I used a shoebox)
Twine (a large amount, depending on how many cards you have)
Cloth (for the exterior of the cover)
Scissors
Glue (Mod Podge)
Sponge Brush (if using Mod Podge)

Step 1

Cut up 2 pieces of cardboard to be a bit taller and wider than your largest card. These will be your front and back covers.

Step 2

Take the width of all your cards and measure the thickness. Now cut a piece of cardboard that is 1 inch larger than the thickness of your cards together and match the height of the cardboard covers. This piece will be the binder.

binding of the book

Step 3

Get the binder cardboard and wrap the twine around the inside of the cards and the back of the cardboard. I used my wedding colors for the twine, but any color twine is good.

This part will take the longest. Be patient and make sure you have the twine pulled tight.

adding twine around the book

Step 4

For those cards that open horizontally, I glued the back of each card onto an opened envelope that was cut on the sides so that it would open vertically, like the rest of the cards.

envelop for horizontal open cards horizonal opening card

Step 5

Once you’re done with wrapping, cut the twine and glue the end to the back part of the binding, I added tape to it as well.

binding and twine done and tight

Step 6

Glue the outside of the binding and two covers. Place the back of the book cover onto the cloth. Wrap the cloth around the binding and the front cover.

glue cover of bookputting the book together

Step 7

Once you’ve glued the cloth around all the sides, glue the rest of the cloth and fold it inside the covers. To add a little personal touch, I added pieces of some of the written envelopes inside the cover. Wait for it all to dry. (Drying takes around 2 hours.)

pasting cloth onto cardboard cover

Step 8

I wrapped a little golden bow to the binding for added beauty — this is optional of course. Voilà! You’ve made your very own greeting cards book.

side view of closed book with bowbottom view of open book

I’ve now learned my lesson with these photos, and so I apologize for not taking pictures for each step. Maybe for my next DIY project, I’ll just do a video so that I don’t have to remember to take a photo every 2 minutes. 😉

I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial on making a greeting cards book.  If you would like to see more, please let me know in the comments. I would love to see your DIY Greeting Cards Book, if you make one.  Have a lovely, joyful day!

Guess What? – A little BIG Announcement

Guess What? – A little BIG Announcement

It’s finally here! This is my first post for my long awaited blog that I’ve been dreaming of starting for years. I just always let things distract me, but this year, 2017, I decided that I’m done with distractions. I finally broke through those walls and MADE IT HAPPEN!

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I guess I’ll just explain what’s in my belly …

guess what with cups

Guessed it yet?

Well, I assume most of you who are reading this know us, and if you didn’t hear already … Trevor and I are pregnant!

We are 6 months along, and the baby is due on May 1st. Want to guess what the gender is? We don’t know either. It’ll be a surprise to discover the gender when the baby is born, just like in the old days. Yes, we’ve heard it all before: “Are you crazy? How can you wait?” Honestly, it’s not a big deal to us. We like that we will get gender-neutral items for the first baby so we can reuse anything for the second child, if the child ends up being the opposite gender. And it’s not like knowing the gender would change anything about our future plans anyway. We know we absolutely love the baby all the same. We don’t consider being pregnant as “we will be parents when the baby is born.” We are a mother and father already, as the days of being parents started the moment the baby was conceived. Of course, we didn’t totally know that we had filled those roles until a month or so after the baby’s conception — the easiest time of parenting.

standing photo with baby clothes

We didn’t plan this. We really wanted to experience at least a year of being a married couple before our first child arrived in our lives (just married in June ’16). However, I guess God had other plans for us and realized we were ready for the next step already.

So far, during this pregnancy, the hardest movie for me to watch was “Finding Dory.”  Gawsh, the tears were streaming down my face as if I was turning into a river. Oh, and it was not helpful that I was in the middle of a crowded airplane, with no one around me understanding my emotions.

My first trimester was kind of a blur. Maybe it was traumatizing enough that my memory has blocked it. I’m defiantly not a fan of the nauseous side effects that this little one has brought up. There have been a couple days when I’ve still experienced that side effect. Thankfully, those days have been when I’m at home or church.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been one of the lucky ones experiencing fun food cravings. In fact, food hasn’t been my friend. I’ve already had to strike eggs and popcorn off my to-eat list, which saddens me because I love both of those. The effects of those two rascals have just not made them worth it. A month ago, I already started having acid reflux which is especially annoying when I want to sleep. Overall, I know that these feelings will be totally worth it in the end, as we can’t wait to meet our little one in May.

4 months pregnant

I know once the bump starts to become more obvious, we will be receiving a lot of advice. So far, we have appreciated all the advice we’ve gotten from family and friends. We would also like to hear great advice from new and seasoned parents reading this. So if you have some neat tips or tricks on babies/children, would you like to share it here?

Also, if you somehow had a baby with SAG insurance, please let me know, as there are so many questions I need to ask you.

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Re-purpose Your Old Calendars

Re-purpose Your Old Calendars

Do you have some old calendars you saved, because you love to look at the monthly photos? Whether they are still shots from a favorite movie, beautiful landscapes, or inspiring quotes from inspirational icons, why not make use of them instead of throwing them away once the new year rolls around? I am sharing two ways to repurpose your wall calendars.

calendar
To make wall art, all you need is a pair of scissors (or a straight edge cutter) and tape (or a picture frame).

1. Take out the staples from the outside of the calendar.

2. Separate and cut the middle of each page.



3. Cut off the top part just below the nail hole.

  
Then remember to make sure the other sides/months are cut properly too.


4. Hang them up, either with tape or inside a frame.  And there you have it, your own free art gallery.

     

I like to do this every year to change up the art work on my walls. And best of all it’s super easy and free (except for the frames, if you don’t have them already). Another reason I love this is because my hubby approves of these photos above our bed, without worrying about anything heavy falling on our heads.

You can also make matching magnets from the thumbnail photos on the back cover of the calendar!
All you need is a bit of card board, magnets, and mod podge (waterbase glue).

1. Cut them out as you wish with scissors or a straight edge cutter.

2. Place mod podge over the flat cardboard.

3. Place the photo right over the cardboard.

4. Once the mod podge is dry, add some to the magnet and place it on the back of the photo.
Decide how many magnets you want on the back of the cardboard — the more magnets used, the stronger the magnetic hold will be.

I hope you become inspired to do something with your wall calendars too. Please share pictures if you did anything to keep the art in your home.

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Before Wedding Slideshow and Wedding Highlights

Before Wedding Slideshow and Wedding Highlights

So as some of you may know, I do film editing as a hobby. No, I won’t have it become my job, because the rendering and coding can be tedious enough for me to dislike it. Also, after all the effort and hours it takes me to work on this stuff and then to hear only a few people enjoyed my work — out of the hundreds of people who have been given an opportunity to view it — it kinda hurts my soul just a tad.  I know I’m not bad at this stuff either; a lot of people have complimented my video in person and have said that I should become a professional editor.

If you enjoy the videos, please let me know so that I don’t feel like all this hard work was in vain. Even if it’s just one sentence, you’ll brighten my day. No matter how modest someone is, they do prefer to hear compliments on things they spent hours if not days working on.

For my family, friends, new people in my life, and of course my love, I made a little slideshow to share the growth of my relationship with my sweet husband, Trevor. This slideshow was for him and was shared at our wedding, but it is also a tribute to all those who have touched our hearts throughout our lives.  Since we are film fanatics — you kinda have to be when you work in the film industry — I intermixed a lot of clips from some of our favorite movies and TV shows.

I also made a quick highlights video with the clips from our wedding that our videographer gave us.  He wanted to make a highlights video himself, but he said it was going to be 30 minutes long. I didn’t need it to be that long, so I picked one song and made the clips flow with that.

Please don’t forget to comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts, even if they are constructive criticism.  Thank you!