Monthly Archives: November 2013

You are browsing the site archives by month.

Our Wedding Photos :: The Details

wedding photosI’ve already showed off some of our wonderful wedding photos in this post here.  But today I wanted to talk about and show off some of wedding day details.  I worked hard at planning our wedding, I had help from an awesome wedding coordinator, from our friends, and from our family.  I found small touches that illustrated the type of couple that J and I are, but still keeping some tradition alive.
wedding photos wedding photosJ doesn’t care for champagne, but I still wanted to do a toast.  Our venue hosts over at the Savoy came up with this genius idea – champagne for me and Bud Light for him.  Also, I wanted a guest book that we could display in our home, that was unique and colorful just like all of our loved ones.  I hand painted a tree on a canvas, bought some ink stamp pads (and some ink removal wipes) and there you have it!  Our own personalized guest book.  Sitting with our guest book was a handmade R covered in twine that my best friend and one of my bridesmaids gave to us for one of our showers.  It fit in perfectly!
wedding photos wedding photos I designed all of the paper goods for our wedding.  I talked about that in this post here and gave a tutorial how to create a Chevron pattern.  Plus, I love sweets.  Anything with loads of sugar is the best.  Our favors were a candy bar that we had chock-filled with goodies.  The one thing I did not consider was how all of the blue and purple candy would turn everyone’s mouth different colors.  But at the end of the night we had very little candy left, so I guess no one minded.wedding photosCheers!

All photos by our fabulous wedding photographer: David Coleman

Happy Thanksgiving

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com

J and I will be traveling to see my family.  Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  My Dad’s side of the family tries super hard for all of us to get together.  As we get older and are getting married it’s becoming more difficult for all of us to get together.  Even for J and I.  You see, we decided after last years debacle and 15+ car ride over the Christmas holiday that we would not do that to ourselves and any future kids.  So, we will switch holidays.  I get Thanksgiving with my family during odd-numbered years and he gets Christmas with his family; then we switch.  It’s only fair and we are willing to negotiate if need be.  I hope your Thanksgiving is stupendous and you get to share time with those you love… and eat too much!

Cheers!

Thankful for in 2013

thankful

Here we go the post of what I am thankful for in 2013.

I’ll try to keep it short and sweet, but you will get the point.

J & I got hitched and it’s pretty amazing to think that I now am half of a whole.  You can read about our perfect wedding day here. // Maggie, the best dog a girl could ask for.  You see, it used to be just Maggie & me.  We would travel, lived alone, and took care of one another. // Tiny – the new pup on the block.  She was saved from the side of the highway back in January and I am pretty sure she made our home complete // family // my best friends // finding our townhouse days before our move back in August to a new city // having a job // good health // thirst for knowledge // merelynne.com // all the memories I made from 2013.

Last Thanksgiving was our first one together and we spent it in his apartment – just the two of us.  He had to work the morning of Thanksgiving and we both had to work on Black Friday.  We couldn’t travel to see family so instead we made it work with just us.  I cooked the driest turkey known to man, baked soggy biscuits, and Christmas shopped online.  This year we will be with family, eating great food and laughing.

Cheers!

Personal Finance: Learn From Others

When growing up you probably looked up to your parents, teachers, older siblings, or other mentors that were in your life.  You may have even tried to imitate them, just as I did my older sister (except for that blue lipstick phase she went through – she was on her own).  It’s no surprise that we learn most of our spending and saving habits from those we surround ourselves with.

My Dad is good with money and I think that is where I get a lot of my personal finance passion from.  I love seeing money grow by investments and trying to calculate out the future value of a dollar.  I know, I know – I’m a strange duck.  But that’s okay!

It’s important before going out on your own, or if you are out on your own before making mistakes to learn from others about their personal finances.  Now, I am not stating that you need to go digging into your boss’ bills or expense records because that would be wrong, very wrong.  But what I am saying is ask questions and then listen to the answers.

Here are some questions to get the conversation started:

– approximately how much do you save out of your paychecks?

– do you follow a monthly budget?

– how did you create your budget?

– do you see a financial planner?  (FYI – I always recommend seeing a financial planner, this is their job and it is what they are trained to do!)

– what are your life goals?

From there just let the conversation flow.  Learn from people around you when it comes to finances, or any area.  People would be willing to talk about what works and what didn’t work for their families.

Our Wedding Photos

1474659_10152413460604698_1737474596_n

Our Wedding Photos are absolutely wonderful. OH MY GOSH!

Seriously, I could have dreamt of anything better. Our photographer, David and his wife, Sarah are a phenomenal team.

wedding photosI thought our engagement photos were freaking awesome (you can check out our engagement photos here.) and then I saw our wedding photos.  David out did himself.  We look great.  You can’t even tell that it was barely 50 degrees outside and I was freezing.  But you know me, I wanted an outside wedding with lots of pictures so that’s just what I got.  Don’t mind that the week after the wedding J and I both came down with strep.  Oops!

wedding photos
I’ll post more photos of our wedding day details soon.

Cheers!

All photos by our fabulous wedding photographer: David Coleman

I’m Secretly Weird

secretly weirdWhen I was younger, like high school age, I would love when I would get sick and had to stay home from school. Not because I love being sick, no.  I am not that messed up. I really enjoyed having nothing to do and a reason to sleep all day. My parents were always concerned that I was trying to do too much and would get myself sick from the lack of sleep and busy lifestyle I lived.  Now if I only I could go back and just start skipping school like normal teenagers then maybe I wouldn’t have this love/hate relationship with being sick as an adult.

Nowadays it’s not easy to call in sick to the real world.  In high school all I had to do was convince my folks that I was too sick to get out of bed then send one or two texts and I was home free.  But now, oh man have the times change.  I have to wake up early because I feel that a 2 hour notice to your boss is minimal, which means I have to wake up by 6am to make that call.  Then on top of that I still have bills that need to be paid, clients at work expecting their services to be completed, documents to file and a house with a husband & 2 dogs to care for.

But yet, somehow when that first twinge of a throat ache or body aches sets on, I secretly rejoice for a brief moment.  That short-lived moment where I know that a couch, my pillow and fluffy blanket are in my immediate future.

Why am I so weird? Now I would like to clarify my sanity by saying that the brief and shining moment of “I’m getting sick! Yippee!” Quickly fades into “Crap, I don’t have time for this because I am an adult.”  Maybe one day I will be normal and hate getting sick from the beginning or, should I dare type it, be someone that goes straight to the doctor with the first sign of a throat ache.  That might be a bit too far in the opposite direction for me.

Advice To My 21 Year Old Self

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com

Older and wiser seem to be true with each year that passes.  I can look back on my years in high school, college, in the graduate degree program with fondness.  Each section of my life is better than the last, and for that I am happy.

I’ve written a post about going back to college and what I would do differently, which you can read that here and I’ve written a letter to incoming college freshmen, which is here.  But there are so many facets to that time of your life that maybe we should just keep it simple with the advice.

Here is what I would love to tell my 21 year old self:

1) take risks
2) go to Taco Bell at 3am
3) say yes more to adventures
4) love yourself
5) be your biggest fan because your professors, bosses and sometimes even friends won’t
6) wear better shoes, your future feet will thank you for it
7) start running, it’s harder to get in the habit when you work full time
8) don’t get wrapped up in the small stuff, if you won’t remember it in 5 years then don’t stress
9) intern more, get more experience in a variety of fields
10) tell your parents you love them every chance you get

Cheers!

10 Tips To Start Your Day Off Right

ImageChef Word Mosaic - ImageChef.com

I love advice from others, but sometimes you just have to learn things the hard way.  Most of the time when it comes to sleeping, or not sleeping enough, you come across ideas that tend to stick out.  At this point in my life with everything I am striving for, such as working hard to start a career, having this lovely blog that I post on, being married, loving two dogs unconditionally, and having a passion for DIY projects it’s hard to get enough sleep.

But the biggest tip I ever received was never to get more sleep, but it was to start your day off right.  So, here are my 10 tips to start your day off right:

1) wait to check your email
2) give yourself time to decompress in the morning
3) plan the night before – what is the biggest thing you have to get done tomorrow?
4) know what you are going to wear before you get out of bed
5) pack your lunch the night before – saves money and stress of having to do it before you leave
6) eat breakfast
7) take care of urgent tasks as soon as you get to the office
8) pick 3 things to get done for the day whether it be work related or personal – what will you be the most upset with if it doesn’t get done?
9) say good morning to your coworkers – it won’t kill you to be nice and it might be recipricated
10) leave in plenty of time to get to work on time

Cheers!

What Are You Afraid Of? Facing Your Fears

Take a deep breath.

Your parents and loved ones are still going to love you.  You aren’t going to disappoint anyone and if you do, then perhaps you didn’t mean that much to them in the first place.  If you make the wrong decision then more than likely, it won’t be the last decision if you ever get to make.  You can change your mind and shift gears.  Years from now, if you realize it was the wrong decision then you can make a new one.  You are able to point your life in any direction that you want.

You will still be loved at the end of it all.  Sick of a job then pick a new one.  Want to get into a new field then study up on one that interests you to learn as much as you can about it.  Don’t like the city you live in then save money and move to a new one.  Tired of the daily grind then find something, anything that you are passionate about it and go for it.

face your fears

It’s easy to tell yourself these things, but it’s another thing to actually do it.  So, take a deep breath and leap.  You will land on your feet.  It might take you some extra time to perfect that landing, but you will do it.

Here’s to taking chances, changing your life for the better, and being happy.  You have to be your own knight in shining armor.

Cheers!

Things I Just Don’t Understand

Things I Just Don't Understand
Allergies.  Why are some people’s allergies worse than others and why am I one of those people?

Selfies.  I may be victim of taking a selfie or 2, but I do not understand the selfie phenomenon.

People who are afraid to dance in public. Live a little.

My obsession with Pretty Little Liars, Ravenswood, Drop Dead Diva, and Witches Of East End.

Those that wear leggings as pants, they are not pants.  Please, I beg of you, wear a shirt long enough to cover your butt and woohoo.

Football technicalities.

Irrational fears of masks and face paint.

How some people could dump animals.

I could keep going, but I feel that could be one more thing I don’t understand – the perfect time to end a pointless post.

Cheers!