Monthly Archives: February 2013

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Now that the moving is done, it’s time to unpack

moving_boxes
Oh how I hate moving. Something about moving furniture, boxes, trying to stay organized is one of the most tiring things I can think of.

J and I are officially in our new place; however, the unpacking has begun. It’s a challenge combining two people’s apartments into one house. Compromise is huge. J has dealt with the fact that I get more of the master closet than he does, but I have accepted that I now have a Bud Light picture hanging in the kitchen. It’s all about compromise people. I’m trying hard here.

While moving I’m sure that there will be items that you no longer need/want to keep. For instance, I have a lot, a lot of clothes. So, I went through while packing and unpacking to see what I don’t wear on a normal basis. I’ve collected about 6 garbage bags full of clothes to donate. Now I’ve done my research and have decided to make my donation to Missouri Council of the Blind that is here locally.

This week will be long and feel like it’s going to be some time before all of the boxes are unpacked. Just keep working, one box at a time. I had a goal to get the kitchen in order, most of the master bedroom, and the guest bedroom (mainly because my Mom and sister are coming this weekend). Slowly, but surely it is coming together.

Cheers,

Mere

The Simple Things

How To Rank What’s Important At Your Wedding

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photo credit

Earlier this week I posted about how J and I are budgeting for our wedding (check it out here).  I mentioned prioritizing what is important to both of you for your wedding.  J and I both had different ideas of what was important, so we had to come together in agreement.

I have some tips on how to rank what is important to you:

Tip 1: Have both of you come up with a list or an idea of what you want your day to look like.  Then once you have an idea, talk about it with each other.  See which parts match up and make those a high priority.

Tip 2: Discuss the differences.  When J and I were talking about photos of us as a married couple we realized that we had a problem.  You see, I wanted to see each other before the wedding to take our pictures.  I figured it would save time between the ceremony and reception so that we could have the ceremony later in the day and a shorter reception.  However, it was important to J that he not see me until I was walking down the aisle.  After discussing our views for a while, I finally realized just how important it was to him.  So, now we have bumped our wedding time up and added a cocktail hour so that we can have pictures taken after the ceremony.  We understand that taking pictures after the ceremony is going to increase our budget because we will be having a cocktail hour, but it was great to learn what was important to him and listening.

Tip 3: Don’t get emotional when talking about it.  I am one that can go from 0 to 90 in less than two seconds when it comes to discussing a topic.  J is really good about calming me down and making me breath.  So, just remember that the two of you are just having a conversation and nothing is set in stone at that moment.  If you need to walk away and think about it for a day, that’s okay.

So, sit down with your future spouse and discuss what matters most to you.  Remember this is your day, so make it what you want.

Cheers,

Mere

Good Buy on a Printer

J and I were talking about investing in a printer for our new place.  It’s a struggle now that I’m not a student to print anything out.  I used to just e-mail myself and then head to campus for printing.  Now, I can’t do that.  Being an adult can have it’s down moments sometimes. haha

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Anyway, I found this printer here on Office Depot’s website.  It is originally $199 printer and on sale for $99 (through this Saturday). That’s about a 51% savings!  Now, I called the store and talked to an employee who instructed me on using a coupon online.  Well I was highly disappointed when the coupon code wouldn’t work for a technology item.  I refused to be defeated, so I started an online chat with a customer service representative.  After two conversations with two different agents, I was allowed to apply that $15 off coupon through her.  Now we’re talking here!

Let’s do the math:

199-100=99 (51% savings)
99-15 coupon = 84 (58% savings)

Wow! I’m one happy lady!

Cheers,

Mere

Morning Ritual

Photo on 2013-02-18 at 07.08 #2
Each morning about 6am, Tiny wakes up and is ready to start playing. Now, Maggie and I are not the best in the morning. We like to sleep late. Let me clarify when I say sleeping late. For instance, when I have to be at work at 10am then I get out of bed usually about 9:10. I always get ready, look decent, and make it on time.

Now at 6am Maggie and I are getting up with the pup. We head into the family room, turn on the news, and start checking emails and favorite blogs. This morning; however, both dogs felt the need to lay on top of me… literally.

It’s the small things like this moment that melt my heart and make have two crazy mutts worth it.

Happy Thursday!

Cheers,

Mere

Wedding Budget Tips

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photo credit.

Budget. That word alone can usually cause stress in most people, including me.  However, it is imperative to have/know your budget when planning a wedding.  There are several ways to determine your budget and I was lucky to have parents that helped A LOT with my budget.

TIP 1: I determined that amount of money that J and I would have to plan our dream wedding after talking with my parents.  Then in my typical fashion I cut my budget by 15%.  Wait… what?! I cut money out of my budget? Crazy, huh?!

Well… hear me out before you think I’m that crazy.  In my mind, I know… I just know that unexpected charges or needs will come up during the planning process and I don’t want to be scrambling for money.  By taking 15% of the budget away on paper then I know that if an emergency arises, we are safe and okay with money.

TIP 2: Prioritize the important parts.  When J and I started thinking about what we wanted our wedding to look like we had to prioritize what was most important to us.

We came up with three categories.  First, highly important.

Photographer
Venue
Music
Cake

Next, important.

My Dress
Food
Flowers
Groom’s Tux
Groomsman Cake (well in J’s case a cookie cake)
Hair & Makeup
Stationary (invitations & thank you notes)
Favors

Finally, not that important.

Bridesmaid Dresses
Transportation
Seating Chart

Tip 3: Knowing your guest number limit.  J and I started crunching numbers and decided that we would ideally like to invite 175 people.  Knowing that on average 20% of those invited will not be able to attend.  That would leave us at about 140 guests.

Tip 4: Don’t forget about tax and gratuity.  Those charges can add up pretty quickly.  For example, let’s say that you’ve budgeted $2,000 for flowers.  You start talking roses, lilies, carnations, baby’s breath and next thing you know the subtotal is $1,999.  You’ll be surprised to learn that your total will be over $2,140 (at least in Southwest Missouri because our sales tax is 7.06%).

Don’t be afraid to ask your vendors what the tax rate is and how it is applied.  I learned that there is no tax on linens because the vendor pays the tax during the purchase and cannot pass that on to each customer.

Also, gratuity is another hidden budget balloon.  I talked to one caterer that charged a pretty high gratuity, which after the tax put her way above my budget.

Tip 5: Ask your vendors if they are running any specials for booking that month.  Since I started planning in February for a November wedding a lot of my vendors were running specials.  For example, my caterer through in a house salad for each guest at no charge, which will save us about $2 per guests (140 guests x $2 = $280 savings).  Also, my venue had a free champagne toast for booking… that saves a lot of $$$.

Hope these tips are helpful during your wedding budget planning! Let me know what you think!

Cheers,

Mere

I said “Yes!”

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It’s official, J and I are engaged!

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I still get a big, goofy smile on my face when I say that sentence. I have been in la-la land planning, dreaming the perfect wedding.

I hope to share ideas and DIY projects that we will be incorporating into our wedding.  So far, I’ve ordered a few items from Etsy.  A lovely save-the-date sign from ArmyMOMOfTwins for our engagement photo session and because her signs were just too hard to pass up I also ordered a Mr. and Mrs. sign for our reception chairs.  Check out the save-the-date sign here and the reception chair signs here.

I had a hard time deciding which projects that I wanted to make myself and which ones I would order from Etsy or have someone else do.  I finally reached a decision maker that was too hard to argue with… If it is going to cost more to get the materials needed to make it than it would to purchase (including shipping costs) than I would order it.  It was simple money-saving tactics that persuaded me.  I don’t need a bunch of paint, ribbon, and other items that I will not use for another project.

I hope to share my projects, ideas, and final outcomes throughout the planning process.  We have about 9 months till the wedding, so I have some work cut out for me.

Cheers,

Mere

photo credit