Monday, January 28, 2013

Random Follower Monday

This is a new series.. Not sure if I'll stick with it but what a great way to promote other bloggers! Just a blogger trying to help out other bloggers by spreading the word and staying cheerful!

I'd like to start off by introducing Kelsey from Keeping Up With Kelsey. I immediately felt a connection with Kelsey the moment I found out she lives in Nebraska since I just took a trip there in December to meet my fiances' family and to see where he grew up. Her everyday life seems to be exactly what I experienced the seven days I was there.  She is downright one of the most adorable bloggers. She lives in a small town on a farm, just like my fiances' fam. How cool is that?  So much in common! Her blog is full of sharing tips and tricks on various subjects ranging from couponing, to DIY projects, to recipes. Make sure to check her out-- you won't be disappointed!


If you are interested in being a part of my series, please contact me. I don't charge for this, it's just a way for me to help my fellow bloggers out! I am starting this off by going through my list of favorite blogs as well as bloggers who follow me via GFC

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coach Factory Sale

 Coach Factory on eBay

Who doesn't love a great deal? Especially when we are talking COACH here!  Ebay is having a COACH sale until  January 25, 9PM Pacific Time. And with Valentine's Day just around the corner, your hunnie needs to hurry on over before this sale ends!  Don't have a Valentine to shower you with some Coach lovin'? Don't fret, you can totally afford these handbags and wristlets at these amazing prices.

You can get this little gem $358.00  for only $125.30.
Originally Priced at $358
You save $232.70 

COACH Leather Double Wrap Turnlock Bracelet 
I am so digging this yellow bracelet, could be yours for only $20.70

These gorgeous gold bracelets , only $41.30

or this black leather bag, $62.30

Wanna buy something FOR your hunnie?
Coach even has soem nifty, classy money clips,
ONLY $20.30
this Fab pocket knife, below,  for $34.30

PLUS,  you will SAVE $50 WHEN YOU SPEND $250

I could totally pick at least 6 purses I fell in love with on the site! Check them out before the sale ends!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tips on Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Oh the joy of wedding planning. It starts off with that special moment when you are proposed to ( or proposing to someone ), the non-stop admire you have for your gorgeous sparkling ring.  That smile you wear on your face constantly.  Tho "ooh's" and "ahh's."  Why yes it is all so exciting and enchanting.. begin to realize all the work involved in planning and designing a wedding.
Don't stress out so much darling. There are ways around becoming a Bridezilla, and ways to avoid any Horrible mishaps and things gone oh so wrong.

First things first.. RESEARCH.
You have got to start somewhere, and you might as well really get to know what your looking for, and what questions to ask. Check out my post on Important Questions to ask your venues  HERE
You may get an idea on what to ask your other vendors for your wedding, and get an idea of how it all works.

I started off by Writing down the MOST Important things I MUST(want)  have:
1. Venue- including food
2. Coordinator- ( My Venue requires)
3. Photographer
4. Flowers
5. Officiant

Then I made a list of Additional Things I would like to have, but unsure if they will all work with our budget.
.DJ/ Lighting
. Photobooth
.Candy Bar

This list is not COMPLETE, there are many other little details I will go over on a later date.

I first researched every possible venue in Orange County-(Where I live). As I said in my previous blog post, I made a separate wedding email account so I can organize my emails from my personal life. ( Trust me- it made things so much easier!)
I went on the websites to check out the photos of the location to see if it was one  I was interested in, and would write down all the ones I found intriguing.
The ones I found to be of my liking, I inquired to find out the pricing. ( This really helped me narrow them down)
I made time to visit the locations in person( I started with a certain city, and moved on to the next) to see what they really looked like in person and if I was interested in learning more. If I was interested in that venue, I would make an appointment with  the venues sales coordinator.

I ended up narrowing my top 3 in a matter of days. ( It really helped by visiting all my possible options- some had aMazeballs photos, and in person looked like a dump.- Don't judge just based on photos alone!)

I made an appointment with the hotel I chose to discuss and take a tour of the ballroom, the ceremony locations, the ballrooms, and where the cocktail hours would be. I fell in love instantly when I found the right place! Now all I had to worry about was the price!  Luckily my dad was able to talk down the price.  So don't just settle! It doesn't hurt to ask. Although she wasn't able to give us a direct answer that day, because she had to speak to her managers, but she got back to us within a week!

Now that I got the venue picked out, my next step was to research a photographer for my engagement photos and for the wedding day. The best advice my friend gave me was  "Ask the Photographer to view an entire wedding album"
You'd be surprised even with professional photographers don't know how to capture an amazing photo without the help of touching it up later with Photoshop.

-Really ask your photographer questions. How long have they been shooting weddings. If they knew how to operate a camera before all the digital madness, then they might just really get the photos you admire. Really research the photographers, and the wedding albums they provide.
I put together a list of the BEST advice on choosing a photographer from a Professional Photographer- who I recommend if you live in the OC area - Michael Jonathan - prices are extremely reasonable as well :

-How long have they been in the business?
-Ask to see an Entire Wedding Album from start to finish- not just 5 pretty pictures on the site that have been heavily photographed (If they can't provide that.. thats a red flag)
-Check out the photographers blog, see how often they are shooting, if you only see a few images from a blog post, somethings up.
-Really ask questions, be prepared to know what you want.

Hope that helps! I haven't chosen a photographer just yet ( I still have 18 months before my wedding, so I have about 8-10 to really decide) but he is number one on my list.

Thanks for being a part of this journey with me. As I go through the many phases of wedding planning, I will discuss and come up with tips to help you. Any questions please just ask! We are all here to help each other out, right?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Garlic Mushroom Chicken Recipe & Outfit Post

 This is such an easy recipe, and since we are living in this busy lifestyle, it's quick to whip up!
- 2 cans Cream of Mushroom with roasted garlic soup ( Campbells)
- Box pasta ( any will do)
-Minced Garlic
-1 medium white onion (diced)
-Fresh Green beans
-Cayenne pepper (dash- if needed- for green beans)
-Vegetable Oil
-Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

You will need 4 pots/pans.  One small one to make the sauteed mushrooms, one for the green beans, one for the pasta , and one for the chicken.

1. Start making the pasta in pot #1, just as you would for any other pasta/noodles.
2. Add 1 tbspn vegetable oil to pan #2 on MED heat.
3. Add about one Spoonful of butter to pan #3 and one spoonful of butter to pan #4.
4. Add green beans to pan #3 along with a spoonful of garlic, and mushrooms + 1/2 cup diced onion, and garlic to pan #4. Stir occasionally and cover. Takes about 5 mins for both mushrooms and green beans to cook.
5.  Add chicken, 1 cup onion, and a spoonful of minced garlic to pan # 2, cook for 7 minutes each side, then add both cans of cream of mushroom along with 1/2 cup milk.  Add the sauteed mushrooms from pan # 4. Stir and cover for 5 minutes.
6. Add Mozerella Cheese to chicken dish.
7. Drain pasta and serve Chicken over the pasta, and the green beans on the side,  Add additional mozzerella cheese if desired.

Enjoy!  IT is a delicious and quick meal! I only cooked for two, so you can double the recipe if needed.  I did have leftovers, so it made about three servings.

 Chicken, onions and garlic
 Green beans ,garlic butter, and a dash of ceyenne pepper.
 Mushrooms, Butter, onion, garlic
 The finished chicken with garlic mushroom sauce.

& Also a quick Outfit post.


Top (Foreign Exchange- Similar). Shoes (Bakers-Similar) . Bracelets. (Etsy, Tiffany & Co., and Juicy Couture- Similar.) Necklace ( Tiffany &Co- Similar)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Beginning of Wedding Planning

Untitled #11

Boy do I have some great tips for those of you planning your own wedding. These are all based on my own experience.

 The first few things you should do is

1) Make a Wedding Email-- not even kidding you-- you will sign
up for a million different venues/flower arrangement companies/
DJ's/LED lighting/ cake companies/ etc.  Trust me, this way you
van also stay organized and keep all your wedding
companies/vendors in one place.

2) Find Your Venue, or at least start visiting them/making lists/
writing down the pros and cons of each location/ make any
appointments to meet up with a coordinator to show you around--
whether it be a Hotel or a Park, or Winery.  They will give you the
whole tour and be able to answer any questions you may have.
Your reception venue really sets the tone for your wedding.  It is
the first thing your guests see as soon as they arrive, and it's
also where they are going to be spending most of there time. ( 4-6+ hours)

Here are some questions when visiting a venue you should ask. ( First of all bring a notebook and pen- you'll want to write down answers to questions asked, and cost estimates, and all that good stuff you may forget down the line) :

Q) How many events do you host a day? & Do you host more than one wedding at a time?

If your wedding is in the morning( AM) , you may feel like you’re being rushed if the venue needs the space for an afternoon party. Or if your party is later in the day, you could show up to a
banged up venue and a tired cranky staff.

Q: Is there a day-of coordinator that comes with the package or
do I need to find my own?

Is there going to be someone to promise that the tablecloths will be white and the napkins will be periwinkle and there will be a table with purple cloth for your guest book—or whatever—it’s best if there’s someone from the venue on the day of your wedding to make sure all the little details fall into place, and to make sure all the vendors show up on time, and have a backup plan.

Q: What’s the maximum number of guests you can accommodate in your ballrooms for the reception?
Someone should be able to tell you how many people the venue seats comfortably with tables and chairs in the location, and what the maximum number of people is based on fire code ( also another question to ask if you are expecting to have candles). Some venues will say 200 people, max, and then be willing to slip in 10 or so more, as long as it’s legal. You should definitely know what the cutoff is. Some may have a few ballrooms available to accomodate different amounts of people.

Q: What’s the site/food per person fee? And what does that include? Is there a minimum revenue? Taxes?
Some venues will charge you $5,000 just for the space, others will include tables, chairs, and table linens. Some may include cake, and flowers. Don’t assume anything’s included—you may even need a permit for some places-- and at some venues, you even have to rent portable bathroom stalls! Yikes!

Q: Is there a space for me and the bridesmaids to get ready? Does it come with the package or is it extra? Do the Bride and Groom get a room the night of the wedding?
Many venues have a special room for the bride and her
entourage, but if your venue is a hotel, your only “getting ready”
area might be your room—and it will be a bummer to end your amazing wedding  night back in the room that you, your bridesmaids, and your moms spent four hours trashing earlier in the day.

Q:Can we bring in our own alcohol?
You’ll save a whole lot of money if you BYO—even if the venue charges a small corkage fee to open each bottle. Most Winerys only allow there own wines to be served or only allow wine and beer- no liquors. Make sure to find out if it's allowed! In most cases, they don't allow it-- because they are ultimately responsible for the alchohol license.

Q: Will we need to bring in a projector, microphone and speaker equipment?
Event venue spaces, such as hotel ballrooms and country clubs, usually have there own built-in speakers, so all the band will have to do is bring their instruments and plug in. If you’re considering getting married in a winery or museum, you might have to spend additional money on microphones.

Q:Will our guests have to pay to park?
If you’re checking out a space in a state park or beach and often some hotels have valet—or anywhere visitors normally have to pay to park—they’re probably planning on charging your guests. You can usually offer to pay for them ahead of time. So plan your budget around that too

Q:Are the facility and bathrooms handicapped accessible?
Even if all of your wedding guests are able-bodied today, you'll never know about tomorrow! Things happen.. Your

venue should at the very least have ramps in case—god

forbid—someone can’t use the stairs.

Q:How many hours do you allow a party to be here?
A five-hour wedding is pretty standard—half-hour ceremony,

cocktail hour, hour for dinner, and two and a half hours for

dancing. Some venues will charge by the hour if you want a

longer party, but don’t count on it. You might have to clear out to

make room for another wedding, or their policy might be to close

shop at 11 p.m., no exceptions.  Good question to ask for it to be open till midnight if possible.

Q: Is there a noise ordinance we should be aware of?
My cousin had her wedding at the park and the police showed up at 10 pm to make sure the music stopped. How late

you can stay will affect the rest of your day, so you should be

aware of the limitations.

Q:Can we choose the vendors, or do you work exclusively with a

certain set?
Some venues give you a list of photographers or DJs or caterers

they work with, and you’ll be stuck picking your vendors from their list. Make sure you’ve read up on the vendors ahead of time if this is the case. Ask questions, some may be willing to let you choose your own.

Q: Are we allowed to bring in decorations? How ’bout candles?
Museums, for one, often don’t allow streamers or anything that

would make holes in the walls. And lots of venues don’t allow

open flames. Usually hotels have a fire policy and only will allow a certain amount, or you will have to pay a fee to use candles.

Q: If the venue is a hotel: What room rate can you offer our guests?

Generally hotels block off a certain amount of rooms at a discounted rate. I would let your guests know ahead of time to start booking as soon as you find a venue and code. 

Hope this was all helpful to you! IF you think I may have missed any questions that would be helpful let me know! Shoot me a message I'd love to help you out!

Untitled #12

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wedding Ideas

Wedding Ideas

Today is going to be my second day looking at Venues for my wedding. I am too stressed-out excited for words. I have a meeting with this lovely lady to go over one of the venues I am in-love with. I really hope I find out some "good" information and its still within the budget! ** Crosses fingers **

So Anyways, I have a year and a half till the wedding, but I just want to start planning already! I am in love with the Tiffany Blue color and have always dreamed of my wedding being Tiffany Blue.  But I also have loved the Bright Orangey-Salmon color as well. So since they are complimentary, I may use them together! I love how the orangey color pops! What do you think? Any ideas?

I may change the color idea all together-- who knows!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sickness Prevention and Getting Through It

Tis the season for everyone and their mom to be sick, literally.  My mom was just sick last week, half the girls at the office are sick, my best girlfriend is sick-- so I am just surrounded by coughing, sneezing, sniffling folks! Lucky me.  I pray I don't catch anything ( & hope my flu shot helps).

Number one thing to do is wash your hands! And make sure to keep some hand sanitizer handy.  You touch your eyes, face, nose, ears, and mouth and may not even realize it. You never know who sneezed and touched that door knob last.

If you happen to be one of the non-lucky ones who caught something, never fear-- Campbells chicken noodle soup, some Nyquil and soothing hot tea are your go to Dr.'s!  --at least they are for me.


So put on some comfy PJ's, step into those fuzzy slippers, get your snuggie, light a soothing candle, and prepare to watch movies and tv all day.

Hope you all don't get sick!
But if you do, at least you'll have all the good stuff ;-).

What are some of your go-to, get-better essentials?

-xox Lisa