Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

I don't even know where to begin with my trip to Mexico! My mom decided she wanted to go somewhere warm for a while and since my dad doesn't like to fly very much, she took me! We chose the Dreams Puerto Vallarta resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We got to the airport at 4:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. It was early and a long day of traveling, but worth it! The plane rides didn't seem too long, but long enough! When we first got into the airport in Puerto Vallarta, after going through customs, the first thing they did was give us a shot of tequila! Haha! It was a small flavored shot. Mom had guava and I had pomegranate. It was good and they were trying to get us to take another, but we refused. No need to be drunk right away haha! We found our scheduled ride to our hotel. The road system in downtown Puerto Vallarta is scary! There are hardly any stop lights or stop signs and no lanes. Almost every street is one way and all the drivers just merge and rumble along. It's a bit freaky and I spent most of my time in the cabs (to and from the resort) watching out the window so as not to hyperventilate! The resort was wonderful! The view from our room was amazing! We had just enough of a palm tree in our view to make it nice and tropical without blocking the beautiful sunsets and ocean.

The food on this trip was amazing!! We ate outside the resort and restaurants twice and both times we were not disappointed! We ate at a place called Coexistence the first time we went into town for the flew markets, and the second time at a place called Oscar's. They were both great food and really nice people. Even the food in the resort was amazing! Our favorite place was the Seaside Cafe. The fajitas were incredible! I had them twice! The other really good restaurant in the resort was the fancy dress up one. We ate there twice and both had the same thing each time because it was so good! The only times we didn't have the best food were the night they set up a huge buffet out on the beach because it was so dark you could hardly tell what you were getting and by the time you went through and got back to your table the food was mostly cold, and then the lunch we had the day we went on the day trip, which mom ended up not even eating cause she got seasick. But other than that I was so happy the food was almost always good!!

In the resort we did a lot of just laying around! Haha! We spent a lot of the time on the beach area which was nice....yet not. They had people walking around the beach selling things. We finally came to the conclusion that they are hired by the resort (from what we can tell) to sell things to people on the beach to make more money. It got a bit annoying after a while, but if you said no they would pretty much leave you alone right away. We did lay by the infinity pool one day and then spent another part of one day in the pool with the swim-up bar. But for the most part we wanted the sand between our toes. :) They did always have something for entertainment during the evenings, though it wasn't always something good.... One night was a hypnotist which wasn't so bad. A lot like what I've seen around Bismarck, but since it was kid friendly it wasn't anything sexually orientated or anything, but he was funny. Another night was the Mexican Fiesta which was the night we ate on the beach and they had a mariachi band playing and some Spanish dancing. It was ok, but the band was way better than the dancers! Another night was comedy night but we never made it to that cause we just wanted to lay in bed and watch movies. Another night was casino night (the last night we were there) and we played Texas Hold'em. Mom ended up winning! It was hard to play though because they were playing as if it were a cash game and not playing with the "proper" rules and stuff and it was hard for us to bite our tongues and not speak up to have the game played correctly...but we still had fun! During the day there were lots of different things we could have tried to partake in, but we mostly just wanted to relax while we were in the resort. We did use the gym a couple times (but it was so incredibly hot and stuffy in there it was hard to work out!) and we always went into the little coffee shop each morning to have a cup of coffee. We did get to see one iguana while in the resort! He was walking around in the Seaside Cafe while we were having lunch one day! We also got to sea a humpback whale! We were laying out on the beach in the evening (about 5:30) and could sea a group of whales moving slowly and got to see one jump out of the water! It was so cool!

Out of the resort we went to the flea market twice. The flea market was a lot of fun...but annoying as well!! There were so many shops and they were all smack dab right next to each other so you couldn't tell where one ended and the other began and each and every single shop owner would try to get you to buy things. They wouldn't just ask if you needed help, they would almost badger you about buying something. "What you looking for? Best prices for you. Almost free today. Look around ladies. Lots of nice things; blankets, dresses. " It got annoying really fast....and most of the shops had the same things over and over. Granted some of them were really cool things because they weren't things you normally see around North Dakota...but they were for the most part all the same... We even had to walk across a suspension bridge a couple times to get to another part of the flea market. It was the worst bridge ever!! If I had been drunk, I never would have made it across! Hahaha! It was so difficult to walk across and keep your balance! The boardwalk that was right by the flea market was fun to see because it had so many different sculptures and such on it. Mostly by the same artist. We got to see their cathedral as well which everyone mentioned a lot.

The other thing we did outside the resort was one day trip. We chose on that went to Majahuitas and Yelapa. The day started off ok, we got to the port and right away though there were people trying to get money from you...they had a sea lion you could take photos with and then two guys walking around with a parrot taking photos with you. They of course would just print out the photos and wanted you to buy them when you got back. I did end up buying the one with the sea lion just because it was something I know I'll never do again. I got to hug him and he kissed my cheek, haha! It was pretty cute! I just hope the animals get treated ok when not in the public eye....Once we got on the boat they did a bit of a guided tour along the shoreline as we went to Majahuitas. Mom and I both ended up seasick...we weren't aware we were supposed to come in our suits and had just brought them with us so we had to change while the boat was going over waves in the tiny bathroom on the catamaran....mom got really seasick and I got it a little bit. Once we got to Majahuitas we just stayed in the bay so we couldn't even get on land for a little bit. You could snorkel or kayak in the bay but neither of us did. Mom still didn't feel good and my water fears kicked in and people said they weren't seeing anything anyway because the water was so unclear because of the weather changing. After an hour there we went to Yelapa. This was actually cool because we hiked through this little town that only got electricity 8 years ago! It was interesting to go through and see how people lived there. We passed one guy who made gorgeous things out of rosewood but of course because it was rosewood it was really expensive. Once we got to the top there was a waterfall! It was so cool! It wasn't huge by any means but it was really cool and we got to go in the little pool and wade over to it if we wanted! I figured I wasn't sure when I would get to do it again so I did! The water was so cold!! It took my breath away but I got to go under the waterfall and my mom took a couple photos for me. It was such a rush!! Mostly cause the water was so cold, but it was the first waterfall I had ever been in! I loved it!! Then after that we hiked back down and through a different part of the village and saw their grocery store (which was crazy!) and their church. We kept going until we got to a river. It wasn't very wide, but we ended up have to wade across it to get back to the beach where the boat was going to be. I thought they were joking!!! But they weren't! It never went higher than our belly buttons, but it was a bit freaky for me with my water fears! We got down to our swimsuits to keep our clothes dry so I didn't have my shoes on and started panicking at the end a little bit but mom talked me through it and I was ok. Still freaky and crazy though!!! Then we got to the beach on Yelapa and were there for about 45 minutes before heading back onto the boat. On the beach there were two guys walking around with these huge iguanas! They were about 6-7 feet long including their tails! You could take pictures with them with your camera if you wanted, but you had to pay them $5 to do it. I got a picture of the iguana on the beach and that was good enough for me. Mom was a bit freaked out by them! Haha! Once we got back on the boat things were much smoother on the way back so we were both ok. And the crew put on a hilarious show towards the end of the ride! The photos are hilarious and I got a couple videos!!!
On the way there we saw dolphins swimming just a few feet away, on the beach we saw a sea turtle jump out of the water from a wave, then on the way back I saw a sea turtle swimming in the water by the boat! It was pretty cool!!
The crew was amazing! All of them at least once if not twice checked on my mom to make sure she was ok and still enjoying herself! They were awesome!

We ended up just having one of the best vacations we have ever had! We have both had great vacations, but this one was just perfect! We got the right amount of time in the resort and away from it. We had amazing food practically the entire time! The weather was great! And it was nice to not get sick of each other and be away from the normal drama and stress in day to day lives. We were actually sad to leave and it was really bittersweet to come home.

The only thing I would have changed was the ocean. It was great to be by it, but according to my mom it is much calmer on the other side of Mexico. The waves were so rough by our resort that at night it sounded like a blizzard or huge wind storm, so we didn't get the best sleep while we were there. It was also pretty fishy smelling. Not the worst thing for the vacation, but not the best either. It was truly a fantastic vacation! I wish I could have brought the weather back with me! It makes me even more excited for summer!!!

The trip home seemed longer than the trip there, but as soon as we got to MN we got a "normal" beer haha! It was so good to have a bud light again (even if it didn't have clamato! Haha!). And it was good to be home. Back to my bed and the familiar things around me. Vacation is always fun, but it's always good to be home!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summer Slipping Away

This summer has been....well it's just been crazy!!! Having my photography business up and running has definitely kept me on my toes and shown me exactly how crazy my life may be if I keep this up! But it's kind of great! I have taken some really fun photos and it is something that I truly enjoy...yes...photoshop is currently the bane of my existence....but that's a side note ;P

I have been absolutely just photo editing my life away lately! But it's so worth it! I have one wedding left to edit, then another wedding I'm shooting at the end of August, then photos I took for fun that I still need to edit!! Holy photos!! Definitely got some really fun and amazing photos though!!! And a big thank you to all those who let me take photos of their big day and such!

The work out bug has kicked me in the ass again. I have been jogging for two whole days in a row!! I know, such an accomplishment! Hahahah!!! I knew it would be like this. It has been for quite some time. I get a huge workout bug, go at it great for a couple weeks, then poop out. And right now, I'm back at it. This time though I went and bought a new pair of shoes and some new work out clothes! I'm thinking this may help me to kick my butt into gear cause if I get to wear cute clothes to do it, why not work out, right?! Haha! Hey, if it helps me stay on a work out schedule, I'm all for it!! :P

Summer is pretty much over, which is kind of sad, but fall is my favorite season!! :D I will be starting co-ed softball in September (hopefully practicing before a lot!) so that will take up some of my time but should be fun! Last year was my first year so I'm hoping this year I do a bit better haha!

With winter coming, my main goal is to keep up with a work out schedule and CRAFT, DIY, CRAFT, DIY!!!! I have been Pinterest-ing like crazy and can't wait to try some of the fun crafts and DIY projects I have pinned!! I've tried a few things and have loved them so far! So fingers crossed!!

Also with my new found motivation for working out, I'm thinking about switching gyms. I have been at Anytime Fitness for a few years now and it's not horrible for being $30 a month, but the months that I don't use it I just feel so...blah and like I just flushed my money away. I like the gym....and it's great that its in Mandan....but I would LOVE to do some classes and they don't offer any at all!! I really want to try a kickboxing class, body pump class, yoga class and of course a zumba class!! So I'm thinking about going to Gold's Gym which would suck because they are in Bismarck, but they have classes and if that's something I'm really wanting to try I think it would be worth it. Plus they have a special going on right now so it would be a great time to switch! So I'm going to be checking that out here really soon! Who knows! I would love to go to the YMCA so I could go swimming....but their memberships start at $40 and go up from there and I really don't want to spend more on a gym membership especially if there are months where I barely us it or not at all no matter how much I'm trying to change that....

Here's to hoping fall brings as much love and joy as summer did and hoping for a wonderful rest of the year!!!

Much love to you all!!!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Random health stuff

Well, finally got to go grocery shopping last night!! It's amazing how rare Drew and I go grocery shopping just because it's not something that's at the forefront of my mind and we rarely have time to actually take a full on trip to the grocery store!
I finally got something else figured out for my attempt at eating healthier all the time. For the most part I have a hard time with eating meals because I'm usually so on the go that I don't have the time to make anything, so I have come up with a couple things that are great for on the go! These are things that most people already know and all that good stuff, but that I'm trying for the first time.

I was really wanting to find a good recipe for a homemade granola bar type of thing that wasn't overly packed with sugar and/or sodium or anything. It seems like almost no matter what all types of granola bars are either over packed with those, or don't taste good to me. (I really don't like any sort of almonds or peanuts or anything and most of the "healthy" ones usually have something like that in them) I never really found a good recipe, so I decided to make my own chex mix instead.  I did 4 basic ingredients: corn chex mix (the cheap version), cheerioes (again, the cheap version), fat free pretzel sticks and raisins.
I have a hard time when chex mix gets over salty or something because the saltiness of peanuts or something gets all over the rest of the ingredients and it just tastes gross to me. With the things I picked they all tend to not get all jumbled together and works better for me. I know that's being extremely picky, but hey, I'm the one that has to eat it.

The other thing I figured out (which shouldn't have been so hard to think of) is pre-making salads. I don't mean the whole thing, but I like to use lettuce and spinach when I make a salad but hate the process of tearing up the lettuce (since I buy a head of lettuce, not a bag) and such, so I started putting them in ziploc bags together so I can just grab one of the bags when I want to make a salad. (Yes, I am that lazy and sometimes just that on the go that I don't have time to do this at the moment) Since I just started doing that I'm not really sure how long a bag will last before getting gross, but I'm guessing at least 5 days. Hopefully!

I also picked up a bunch of more fruits and veggies and got them all washed and prepared and put into separate containers and ziploc bags to make them more grab-able for me. Hopefully that helps keep me on track!!

It also sucks lately that I haven't had time to do my work outs I was doing. Since I get off work at 5 and usually have rehearsal right now at 6 until around 8:30-9 it doesn't leave much time to do a workout. Busy busy busy busy busy!!!!

The photography thing has been going well though!! So far I have two weddings photographed and have my 3rd one this weekend! Then some other stuff coming up later in the summer. Now all I have to do is sit my butt down at get some editing done! Learning photoshop is no easy task!!!

Hoping everyone is doing well!
Much love,

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hello Sailor!

So...I've been re-doing my bathroom decor...I have been overly obsessed with this whole nautical theme lately!! I just can't seem to get enough and I'm not quite sure why!! So after seeing this shower curtain on eBay:
 I knew I just had to do this!! I started searching for photos of nautical pin-up girls and one of them I found was this one:
Which is where I got the inspiration for the sign. This sign was the first thing (besides the shower curtain) I decided on and made for the decor change. 
I'm still shocked at how well this turned out for me since I made it. Usually the ideas I have for projects are amazing in my head and then just flop while I'm doing it or just don't look right at all, but I LOVE this one!!! I'll be posting a tutorial of it soon!
(For pricing guide, the letters were $0.99 a piece but were on sale when I bought them so I get them all for $6.53, the paint was $0.99 a piece and the twine was $1.47 but I got it on sale for $0.73 and the mounting squares I used to attach it to the wall were $1.00 for the pack from the dollar store)

I tried as hard as possible to spend as little as possible with this re-do. Especially since I have been trying to decorate my house and the one room that was completely done is the one room I made a specific theme for and re-did....yup.....of course that would happen...
But all in all (as of right now and I'm pretty much done unless I find something else I "have" to have) I spent $130....a bit steeper than I wanted to spend, but....oh well....a couple of the things I already had (just a couple) so I didn't spend the money for them at this time....

Starting from where you first walk in:
I bought this captain's wheel at Hobby Lobby. I wanted to do quite a few DIY projects to try to keep the cost down, but this was one I just bought. It was originally $19.99 but it was half off. 

This is the corner of the counter by the door. The thing everything is sitting on is one of those wicker place mats that's blue. I found it at a thrift store quite a while back for $0.25. The blue vase I found at another thrift store for $2. The two clear vases I already had from my previous decor in the bathroom but were only $1.00 each at Wal-Mart. In them I took some twine ($.073 at Hobby Lobby and the same stuff I used on the Hello Sailor sign) and dropped it into the vases. I just fed it in and let it all coil up as it went into the vase. Then I took another piece of the twine and tied a small charm around each, a sparrow on the shorter one and a skeleton key on the taller one. The white balls are actually cat toys I found at Pet Smart for $0.99 a piece. They have a little bell in it but thank goodness they don't make noise while sitting there! The other two tan balls I found at the thrift store for $0.25 a piece. Here's a closer look at the two clear vases.

For the soap dispenser I found this blue one at the dollar store and just used some of the twine to attach the anchor charm to it.

These two little nautical boxes I just found at the thrift store for $1.00 each. They sit on the other side of the counter.

This is the shelf that hangs above the toilet. It's actually a small cabinet that my dad made and was in the bathroom of the house I grew up in. My parents built their own house and didn't need this so they put it in my bathroom for me. The book on the left I found at the thrift store for $1.00, the glass in the middle I made using items from the dollar store: glass stones, sand, glass jar and string. The small red anchor box I found at Target in the $1.00 section before I even decided to re-do my bathroom in a nautical theme!

Here's a closer look at the glass.
The little hole to the right of the glass my dad had put in the shelf for my mom to store her hair dryer in. Pretty genius huh? ;) Yes, I'm biased and think my dad is the most amazing father of all times.  The only reason I don't use it and covered it up with the anchor box is because I don't get ready in this bathroom, I get ready downstairs.

These little boxes I bought at Hobby Lobby for $1.49 a piece. They were blue and red already but not the shades I wanted, so I used the paint I had used for the letters on the Hello Sailor sign to paint them to match. I'm not sure if I want to just leave them here or do something else with them, I just thought they were cute and added to the nautical theme a bit. 

When we re-did the bathroom with the shower and flooring and such, we had to build out a little bit to allow for the wider bathtub, so I ended up with this little shelf. (The two clear vases before used to sit here) I made this "Message in a Bottle" for it. I had the wine bottle already. I just rolled up a wrinkled piece of packing paper and put it in the bottle, then tied some twine around it and attached a little compass charm to jazz it up a bit.

Here's that corner of the room with the shower curtain! (The shower curtain I found on eBay for $25) I know the shower curtain is maybe a little risque....but I love it!!!! I have always loved pin-ups and it was the perfect thing for my new bathroom decor. You can also see the entire cabinet in this picture.

This white shelf I already had (purchased it from Wal-Mart for around $12). From top to bottom, the blue mirror I already had (found at The Arc thrift store for $0.50). The small red knick knack by the mirror I found at Community Blessings thrift store for $0.25. The red and white rope was actually a dog toy I found at the dollar store. The two red baskets I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby, $4.08 for the smaller one and $4.76 for the larger one. The basket in the middle was $2.00 at Community Blessings thrift store. If I remember correctly there was a third red basket in a small size, but I like the difference in the baskets. The top red basket has some rolled washcloths in it. I bought two red washcloths, two blue washcloths and a hand towel in each color from Kmart for $12.58 all together. The middle basket holds extra shower products for guests if they ever need anything, and the bottom one holds toilet paper.

The Wal-Mart bag has the rest of the things I need to hang up yet. I have a small cast iron anchor (about 6" high and 4" wide) that I got at Hobby Lobby (was $3.99 but was half off when I bought it) that I need to hang above the door, and then I made some pin-up girl prints that I need to hang yet as well, just haven't had the means or the time yet. They will hang under the Hello Sailor sign. 
I also bought some netting from a gal on Bisman Online for $5 that she had used for a beach wedding and I'm going to try to hang it from the ceiling in some fashion to give it a nice look. 
The last thing I want to do is make a sign for the door. I was looking around on eBay to see if there was any other fun nautical stuff I could find and I ran across one of those gold brass signs that look like it goes on a ship of some sort. It said toilet and I thought that would be cute to put on the door. But then, I ran across one that said...poop deck!!! I busted out laughing to myself! I know that the bathroom in nautical terms is not the poop deck...but it makes me giggle so much!!! I was going to buy it, but it was only about 6" long and I wanted something a bit bigger to hang on the door so I'm going to make my own sign, just not 100% sure how yet haha!

Almost the only thing I didn't buy for this re-do was new towels (body towels) and new rugs. I would much rather get new ones, but I've already spent too much as it is and the grey ones work just fine! I'll post more pictures when the rest of the pin-up girl photos are up and such!!

Hope everyone's week is going well!!!

Much love,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wedding Season

We are in the midst of that time of year again! Wedding season!!! I have only begun doing photos on my own this year, but before that I worked with another photography company for three years helping with wedding photos. This is a list of things I have learned through that process about your wedding day. I have never attempted to plan a wedding and no, I don't know everything about weddings, but these are some of the tips I have learned from just doing photos for 3 1/2 years that brides (and grooms and bridal parties) should keep in mind.

1. Be prepared. Even if you are planning a wedding in a couple months instead of a year in advance, make sure you have everything prepared. The last thing you want to be doing is finishing bouquets or favors on the morning of your wedding day.

2. Delegate. If there are tasks that cannot be done until your wedding day (i.e. decorating the church/reception, picking up the flowers and/or cake, picking someone up from the airport) make sure you delegate these tasks to someone that day so you or your bridal party or parents do not have to worry about these things. You will want your parents and bridal party with you almost the entire day for photos. Try to give these tasks out to a person or persons who will not have anything else going on before the ceremony.

3. Have a wedding survival kit. A tote bag or clutch that will have anything you may need for last minute emergencies. Some recommendations to put in the survival bag:
Safety pins, a tide stick, oil blotting sheets, lip gloss and any other makeup you may need for touch-ups, bobby pins, a comb, perfume and deodorant, powder, needle and thread, breath mints, band-aids, aspirin/ibuprofen, lint roller
These are of course just suggestions, but better to be well prepared then not at all.

4. Make sure you eat!! Even if you aren't feeling hungry, make sure you eat. And drink lots of water! Keep yourself hydrated! No one wants anyone to pass out at a wedding!

5. Make a timeline. If you print out a timeline for when everyone needs to be at the ceremony for pictures beforehand, you won't have to worry about people calling you and trying to figure out when they need to be where. It may seem silly, but it will make the day run that much smoother.

6. Don't drink before the ceremony. It's fine to do just one drink before as a toast with your bridesmaids or groomsmen or something of the like, but make sure you limit yourself to that and only that. You will have a very long night ahead of you filled probably with everyone and their mom wanting to buy you a drink. Pace yourself. Yes, your wedding is a celebration and a party, but you want to remember it.

7. Lay everything out the night before. Every thing you will need that day have lain out and set aside so you don't forget anything. If everything is already out and ready to go, you won't have to think so much about making sure you have everything the next day.

8. Talk with the people involved in your wedding before the big day. EVERYONE!!! Make sure the bridal party knows what the day will all entail. Make sure your parents and family members know their roles and what time to be there. Talk with your photographer about what kind of photos you want, where and what time you need to start photos to be finished by the time the ceremony starts with some time in between to relax before the ceremony begins. The more you talk to people and make sure they all know what is going on and when, the less stress you will have on your wedding day.

9. Have a meeting with your photographer before the wedding day. Photos are usually something very important in a wedding and usually take up a good chunk of time of your day. Make sure you get a photographer that is willing to listen to you and work with you. As much as a photographer needs to be bossy and get everyone to pay attention and in a position to make your photos look good, they should still be able to work with you and make it a fun experience. Talk to them about your locations. If it isn't a location they are familiar with, try your best to tell them about it, or possibly take them to the location so they are prepared for the backgrounds and such they will have to work with. Make sure they know of any specific shots you want and talk to them about the feel of the wedding you want. Some people like really posed, traditional pictures, some don't. Make sure you get a photographer that is willing to do the types of photos you are looking for. Listen to your photographers suggestions as well. Don't let them run your wedding, but remember that they have usually done quite a few weddings and know what they are talking about.

10. If you and your fiance would rather not see each other before the ceremony, schedule your wedding accordingly. The photos of you and your fiance, the full bridal party, and the full family photos will not be able to be done until after the ceremony so have your ceremony earlier and make sure your guests are entertained or have a good cocktail hour at your reception area to accommodate the time it will take for you to get the rest of the photos you will need after the ceremony.

11. Remember that your guests are going to be waiting on you between the ceremony and reception. You don't want to make them wait too long. Yes, it's your day so you want to have it exactly your way, which is not a bad thing, just make sure you remember that your guests will be waiting on you for dinner. Try to only have an hour to an hour and a half in between when guests arrive at the reception to when dinner actually starts.

12. Delegate how you spend your money. Know your budget before you even start planning. Make a list of the things you want incorporated in your wedding, listing them from most important, to least important, and spend your money accordingly. This will help to insure you get the things at your wedding you really want while sticking to your budget. If photos are most important to you, do your research and spend the extra money on a good photographer. If you want the dance to be the focus, make sure you have a good band or dj. You get the point...

13. Make compromises. If you and your fiance can't compromise on things with the wedding, how are you going to compromise on things in life? If your fiance wants to wear camouflage tuxes, compromise and let him have camouflage vests or ties instead of tuxes. Just as an example. It's his wedding too.

14. Do a trial on your makeup and hair. And do not try any new products on the day of your wedding. Allergic reactions are not something you want to deal with on your wedding day! And make sure you know exactly how your hair is going to look for your wedding day, including any hair pieces you want and if you're going to have a veil.

15. Make it personal. Your wedding day is supposed to be about you and your fiance joining your lives and celebrating your love for one another. Have your wedding represent the two of you. Whether that be by location, food choices, your home-made wine, a slide show, a destination wedding, whatever it is, make sure the entire day is in celebration of the two of you and that it reflects that.

16. Have fun!!! You put in all the time and money to get your wedding just how you want it, now enjoy it!!! When the big day comes, don't let the little things bother you, it's not worth stressing over. If some big emergency comes up, make sure you have someone there to fix it. There shouldn't be anything you really need to worry about on your wedding day.

I hope these bits and pieces are able to help anyone heading out to plan their wedding this year or next or in the years to come!!! If anyone wants help with anything feel free to ask me! I kind of love weddings. :)

Hoping everyone's summer is starting off well and congratulations to all the newly married or about to be newly married couples!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Life is crazy!!!

Life is so crazy busy for me right now I'm not even sure where to start with a new blog post!! Anyone that follows this blog probably follows my Facebook too so the life stuff is already out there, haha!

I am SOOOOO excited about my photography stuff taking off! Maybe not really fast, but it's taking off for sure!!! After doing my first two weddings I can officially say I think this is something I could make a career out of! If not a career than an amazing side job!!! It's something I definitely don't want to quit doing and want to do more and more! So now to get the word out there!! If anyone knows of anyone needing senior pictures, engagements, baby/pregnancy pictures, family photos or wedding pictures send them my way!!! My prices are reasonable and you still get some great photos!!! (At least I think so :P )

The diet and such....eh....I'm still being really cautious about what I eat and such (and still eating and drinking "bad" stuff here and there like I knew I would) but the exercise has (as I imagined) proved problematic. I just have trouble fitting it in sometimes! Yeah, I can do quick 15 minute things here and there, but that just never feels like enough and I never really remember to do them. And of course there's no way I can drag myself out of bed any early than need be...and when I do get in a work out, I feel the need to shower immediately after because I sweat so much with the workouts I do. I know you don't have to sweat to get a work out, but it just makes me feel like I get a better work out haha! Also, my knees have been giving me more problems lately and acting up and hurting and such so doing some of the workouts on the Jillian Michaels DVDs is really painful :(
Some things that have been working for dieting. The detox tea I bought was not good as hot tea, so I started taking 4 tea bags and putting them in a 1 quart pitcher of water and setting them out to make "sun tea". Then I would put it in the fridge to make a cold tea and to drink it I would fill a glass with 3/4 tea and 1/4 lemonade for "sweetener". It has a taste and is still the detoxifying tea but also isn't overly high with calories since the tea really doesn't have any calories and the little bit of lemonade doesn't add much for calories either.
I have been doing lunch at home a lot more and if I do eat fast food I do my best to eat at Subway (which can of course be just as bad for you as McDonald's or something of the like) but I have been doing my best to make a healthy supper and have leftovers or make sandwiches and such at home. Also, since it's summer fresh fruits and veggies are so much better right now!!! The fruit/veggie market that's not far from my house is now open and I've already made one trip there and plan on another one very soon!

Also, I have been getting more and more focused on getting my house actually decorated and organized to be a functioning, clean, appealing place to live. Drew and I just spent about $1300 on a new bed, box spring, frame, sheets, pillows and comforter. Worth it? YES! Oh my gosh! The sheets we got are made from bamboo and are the absolute most comfortable sheets I've ever slept in! Expensive, yes. Worth it, yes!

I have also set up a cleaning schedule for myself. I will do an entire post on that later though after having been on it for a bit to see how it actually works for me. The other thing I have been trying to focus on with the organizing portion is my business and craft room. I just can't seem to keep that dang room organized!! So I have been on the hunt for book cases and storage bins to try to help me out! If I find something that works there will be a blog on that as well.

Last but not least for right now is the decorating. I have been trying for a long time to figure out a good decor theme for my place and have narrowed it down to picking color schemes for each room and going from there. The kitchen (as of right now) is going to be pink and green, the bedroom black and teal, and the living room is to be determined. The upstairs bathroom is already teal and grey....I think I would probably do my entire house in teal but then everything would end up looking the same I think and I would probably not enjoy it much. The bedroom may go to champagne and black just because I think that would be a nice neutral scheme since the sheets we got are a dark purple and the comforter is a light teal. But they look good together so I'll either stick with that or go with other neutrals in the bedroom. Hopefully.....I always get so many thoughts going on in my head on what I would like to do and then they either never get done or never turn out how I thought they would.

Well now that this blog has become a jumble of nonsense and things that probably don't really matter...


Friday, April 27, 2012

Ink me up

Tattoos....everyone has their own opinion of them. Some love them. Some hate them. Some could give a crap less.
It is interesting to me to be looked at differently for having tattoos. After just getting my 8th and 9th tattoos, I noticed it even more since they are more visible tattoos. Wearing clothing to keep the tattoos open while they heal brought stares I never expected from some people. Most of my tattoos have always been covered up completely or not very visible. This one being completely out in the open for a few days has shown me how much tattoos are still judged. Whether in a good light or bad light, they are still extremely judged for the most part.
Some people view them as destruction of the body while others view them as an expression of art on the body. Either way, most people have something to say about tattoos.

The best advise I have on tattoos, do it for yourself. NO ONE ELSE!!!  You are the one that has to live with them. I know other people say "Yeah but I have to look at them" No, you don't. If you really have that much of a problem with them, I'm going to go ahead and assume you don't associate yourself with people that have them. After coming up with my most recent tattoo I had asked a few close friends/family about what I wanted to get and got multiple different responses. One of the best ones I got from a friend was "Don't ask too many people because you're going to get too many opinions and you won't be doing it for yourself anymore" (it was something close to that anyway) and she was completely right!!! A few people I asked didn't like the location in which I got my tattoos, but after just deciding it was for me and that was where I wanted them to go, I said screw it and went with the spots I wanted. They are still fully hide-able, but also easily shown. I can choose whether I let people see them or not. So after having asked people about my ideas, I tossed most of the opinions out the door and made my own decisions without really asking anyone. (My boyfriend still doesn't like the one I got on the back of my neck because he doesn't like the location, but it was my decision not his and he loves me still anyway). The only real advice I got was from my boyfriend a bit and from my best friend. She came with me on the day I got my tattoos because she wanted to watch a tattoo getting done since she is thinking about getting her first one and because my boyfriend ended up having to work and couldn't make it with me.  So basically she helped me make a final decision on the font and the exact placement of the tattoo. She was completely honest with me which is what I needed.

I have yet to really regret any of my nine tattoos, of course it's only been eight years since I started getting tattoos and that could all change. But the thing I tell myself is, at one point in my life that was something extremely important in my life, important enough that I thought it was worth having on my body for the rest of my life. There is one tattoo that I got with a friend of whom I'm not friends with anymore that I may one day cover up, but right now it's still a really pretty tattoo and I'll wait quite a while before fully making that decision. Each one of my tattoos has meaning behind it, which to me is one of the most important things about tattoos. Part of them is the looks because to me, body art (tattoos, piercings, etc.) is art. Maybe not the same kind of art for all people, there are body modifications I would NEVER consider, but other people think enhance their body. To each his own.  But back to my original point, each of my tattoos reminds me of a point in my life and the emotion/meaning behind it. I don't get tattoos to frivolously spend my money and be stuck with something random on my body for the rest of my life.

On to the next tattoo topic. My tattoo advice on getting a tattoo and the healing/caring for it process.

First off, pick a good tattoo artist. Make sure you've seen their work and know that they are a credible tattoo artist. I have seen some pretty horrible tattoos...I'll leave it at that. Remember that this is going to be on your body for the rest of your life (unless you are willing to pay for really painful laser removal or pay more to have it covered up later). Just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into with who you decide you're going to let alter your body. Do your research!! Remember that you are going to get what you pay for. Sometimes a cheaper tattoo artist means crappier work. NOT ALWAYS MIND YOU!!! Just make sure (once again) you do your research.
If a tattoo artist is telling you that you need to alter your tattoo, know exactly why and what needs to be altered. For my most recent one I had to alter the font I wanted because my original font would have made the tattoo bigger than I wanted to allow more space so the letters wouldn't blend together and become a jumbled mess. If they are trying to get you to change your tattoo because they don't like it (which I've never had happen to me) don't let them. If they still try to change it just because they think "If you did this it would be way cooler" go elsewhere. This is on your body! They only have to tattoo it once, you have to live with it for the rest of your life!

Getting a tattoo. Obviously the no brainer, always asked question, "Does it hurt?"
Oh no, not at all, it's like rainbows and sunshine and magical unicorn kisses! YES!!! IT HURTS!!! It's a needle digging into your skin to embed ink in your skin. It's going to hurt!!!! The level of pain is what changes. Each person is different on different parts of their body. In general, the closer to bone or on bone you are, the more it will hurt. Its usually your meatier or fattier areas that are less painful. Again, this depends on the person. When I got my foot tattoo, it was one of my least painful. My wrist tattoo was my absolute most painful one! The most recent two I got on the back of my neck and the front of my shoulder by my collar bone have been my least painful. Each person is different and some people have a much higher pain tolerance than others so it will change from person to person.
When you are getting a tattoo, remember to breathe!!! I have passed out once from getting my first tattoo and almost did while getting my wrist tattoo. So BREATHE!!! The pain is temporary!
Also, eat before you get a tattoo. Not a huge meal, but make sure you have something in your system, especially if you get really nervous like I do. I always make sure to drink orange juice and have something sugary in my system before I get a tattoo since I have passed out before.
If the artist will let you, take pictures or video. I always love going back and remembering the process I went through to get my tattoos. And if later you don't want them, at least you had them just in case. Better to have them and not want them than to want them but not have them.

Taking care of a tattoo. Remember that your tattoo is a wound. Treat it as such and do as your artist advises. Do NOT soak in water for 1 month after getting a tattoo. Do NOT go tanning for 1 month after getting a tattoo unless you plan on covering it up. Do NOT pick at that scabs on the tattoo!! Your tattoo will scab and picking at the scabs will make it scar and will possibly pull the color out of your tattoo. Leave the bandages on for at least 1 hour after getting the tattoo and then wash it gently with warm water and antibacterial soap. Pat it dry and let it air dry completely before putting on a light layer of Tat Wax or Tattoo Goo. I live by those two tattoo healing substances. Some say they use unscented lotion instead, but I don't trust that. Make sure you don't but it on too heavily, dousing your tattoo in the wax or goo will not allow it to breathe at all. Be careful while your tattoo is healing. Like I said, it's a wound. It needs to breathe to heal and it needs to be left alone for the most part. The more a tattoo moves and is messed with during the healing process the more screwed up it will heal. The healing process takes about 1-2 weeks usually for the scabs to fully come off, and about another 1-2 weeks to be completely and fully healed. Plan for this!!! Do not get a tattoo and then plan to go to Mexico a week later....bad idea!

These are what I have learned from getting my tattoos over the years. I am not a tattoo guru and I don't know everything and anything there is to know about tattoos, but I do know how to take care of mine and have learned a lot through the years. I know tattoos are a really controversial thing. Just make sure when deciding to get one that you give yourself the time to think it over for a while instead of just jumping out there and doing it and possibly regretting it later.

I hope this may have been helpful to anyone thinking about getting their first tattoo or anything of the sort.

Hope everyone is doing well!! Happy Friday!!!