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Pretty Envelopes

July 26, 2012

I never really understood why brides cared so much about what their wedding mail looked like until I became one (a bride, that is). Our STDs are nothing extravagant (we decided against engagement pictures because, well, what’s the point?), so I thought it would be nice to pretty up the envelopes they came in.

The things I do when I’m bored…

I got a cheap “Happily Ever After” stamp from Michaels for $2 – it was on sale, so naturally I just had to get it. And then I needed awesome, beautiful, silver stamp ink – for $8. Then the monogram stickers caught my eye. I got these for ManFiancé, because I just knew he’d love them. I’m trying anything and everything to keep him somewhat involved in this madness we call “wedding planning,” so I knew a nod to my new last name would do the trick. A package of 30 was $3, so I bought 5 packages to use for the STDs, invites, and thank you cards.

Ok fine, so I spent $35 on just the envelopes – something I would never normally do since they’ll be thrown away in 2 seconds without anyone really noticing (which is why I put it all on the back, they have no choice but to look at it!), but it adds a little more personalization and sophistication to plain ol’ boring envelopes.

We fancy, huh.

Summertime Simplicity

July 10, 2012

 

We’re in the thick of summer, which means 2 things: grilling and alcohol-soaked fruit. Yeah, I said it – and you know you were thinking it. This past Saturday, we hosted a fish fry with a few of our friends. Starting at 2:30 and ending at 2:30 (A.M.), you could say it went pretty well. However, a lot happens in 12 hours – so much so, that it would probably take a week to talk about it, so I’m only going to highlight the 2 best things about that day (for me, at least): grilled lobster tails and vodka-soaked watermelon. If you don’t love that, well then you just need to get the hell out of here…

 

{450 degrees for 5 minutes on each side; split them in half; and baste with butter, oil and old bay for another 5 minutes each. side note: make sure you cook the tails in butter long enough – they may look ready, but they are just getting more delicious and juicy. otherwise, they’ll be a tad bit stringy.}

{cut a small square hole, place full vodka bottle in the watermelon, then place in cooler with ice. the watermelon soaks up most of the vodka – and you can eat the watermelon sliced, and also make watermelon shots with the juice. dangerous and delish!}

{see? i DO use my potting station! HA}

There you have it – 2 ideas to make your summer simply delicious (and super fun).

Rainbow Bridge

July 6, 2012

 

Sorry I have been MIA for quite some time, but I just really haven’t had the desire to write… or do anything for that matter. I have some sad news to share, my dog, Brandi, passed away on June 1st. She was 3 months shy of her 11th birthday.

 

 

It’s taken me over a month to write this post, and even still, I’m having trouble finding the right words to say. I can hardly even see the computer screen right now, my eyes are filled with tears and sadness. She was my whole life – my best companion, my pal, the love of my life. It’s hard to describe the human-dog relationship, but she was such a part of our family, I even went as far as calling her my daughter. :)

 

 

We adopted Brandi when she was 1-year-old from a local Vet (who happened to be our Vet from our previous dog, Bessie, 4 years prior).  She was originally my brother’s dog, but after he went away for college and my mom started working more hours, I became her new mom. We hit it off right from the start. I’d take her for walks, she was a frequent host of many college parties I threw with my roommates, and everyone loved her – especially me. I must admit, it did take her awhile to feel comfortable. She was a little skirmish, and hardly trusted anyone (Lord knows what happened to her in the 1st year of her life), but she slowly came around – sleeping with me in bed, letting me give her treats, and eventually letting me pick her up and carry her around like my Baby.

 

 

 

Many people came in and out of our lives, but when I met ManFiance, I could tell he was perfect “Dad” material. It took them both some time to warm up to each other, but once they did, they were inseparable (except for when it was bedtime, she ALWAYS slept with me – he moved around too much). It was quite obvious they had fallen in love, too. And so began our life as a happy family of 3 – taking trips together with her in her bed in the entire back seat of my car, eating dinner on the couch with her staring up at us until we gave her a bite (which we always did – couldn’t resist those eyes), and just lounging around the house on a quiet day – she always being by our side.

 

 

 

 

Brandi was a lover a food – everyone who knew her knew this. “Driven By Hunger” we all used to say lol, and it was so true – she’d do anything for a bite, even if it cost her getting smacked on her butt. She also loved to be inside – we’d joke and say she was the worst Beagle ever – never cared to be outside, hated going on walks, could care less if a rabbit was in our yard, and always need to lay in at least 4-5 blankets. You could say, she liked the finer things in life, and boy did we accommodate. She was our everything.

 

 

 

When we first realized she was sick, she stopped eating her food. I changed it up, thinking she was bored. And although that worked for a few months, she gradually ate less and less, until she barely ate at all. We took her to her Vet, and blood tests revealed she had kidney failure. This was heartbreaking. We did everything we could – consulted holistic vets, gave her medicines and IVs, cooked chicken, rice, eggs, hamburger, soup, anything. We decided to leave her at the Vet for a few days for IV therapy, thinking we might have caught it soon enough to prolong her life. After 6 days in the hospital, we brought her home. She seemed so happy to be home.

 

 

After 2 days, no sleep, and countless times trying to get her to eat, we brought her back to the Vet to get her levels checked. They were through the roof – there was nothing else to do. ManFiance called me at work, telling me it was time to put her down. That was the worst day of my life.

 

 

 

 

We brought her to the Vet, and I’ll never forget this, our Vet said to me as she hugged me, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t fix her.” But she did fix her. For years, Brandi was so sick we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her, but this Vet did. It changed Brandi’s life and ours, and the last few years of Brandi’s life – she was the happiest and healthiest she had ever been. It was a blessing finding this Vet, and I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with anyone else.

Brandi died peacefully in my arms. She fell right into me and I knew she was gone. A sense of relief washed over me, but I am still filled with sadness. I think about her every day. I cry every time someone mentions her name. I ask when I will stop crying but I haven’t. Time will heal all wounds, but for now, I’ll wait until we meet again. Over the Rainbow Bridge.

 

 

 

STDs

May 23, 2012

 

Save the Dates are an essential item to consider while planning a destination wedding, and it’s often overlooked in the wedding budget. I’m not one of those types that will spend hours upon days upon months stressing out over something that will eventually be thrown in the trash. I hear horror stories all the time of how brides have succumbed to spending several hundred dollars on paper, just because they needed to have lace on it.

That is just so not me.

When we originally picked our date, I actually found an online promotion that was running for free postcards on Staples.com. Score! I scooped up 100 for $20 (I only had to pay for the shipping). Although it was a little strange to have info printed on the front and the back, it was practically free, so I didn’t really care.

Then, we had to change the date… 1 week before the engagement party. Typically, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal because they were technically free and surely I could find a similar deal – but, I wasn’t able to AND we wanted to give them out at the party to save money on postage. We considered asking our friends and family who had already received their STDs to just cross out the old date and add the new, but I decided “yes, I’m cheap but not that cheap.”

So, after much searching, I was able to find the same design (turns out Staples uses Vistaprint, too) for a lot cheaper than most stationery websites.

100 STDs plus envelopes for $60 – not bad… AND they were real STDs (not postcards like before).

Luckily, they came in the mail just in time for the engagement party, and we set them out on the gift table so that everyone would see them.

 

 

This ended up saving us some money and the hassle of getting everyone’s addresses right away (even though I still need to do that eventually).

Do you have any money-saving tips when it comes to this type of stuff? I’m even considering making my own invitations (or at least making my friends do it).

Don’t say I didn’t warn ya! :)

Pot Plants

May 21, 2012

I realize that the headline is a little misleading, but this post is completely legal. This past weekend, my friends and I took a break and didn’t see each other at all. It’s amazing how much stuff you can get done when you’re not drinking (with friends).

Most of my time was spent outside – not only because the weather was beautiful, but I needed to sweat the Bud Light Platinums out from our Friday Night dinner date. And my skin needs some damn pigment on it. Luckily, much of the beer had come out of me because it was 90 degrees, but my skin’s pigment is still not much darker.

Life is good when you’re a daywalker.

Back to pot plants – I transplanted and planted a bunch of plants this weekend, hence the name of this blog post (and, it brings in a boost of site traffic from all you people with less-than-angelic minds).

The potting station was a great help – I keep all of my tools, empty pots and extra soil in it – so it’s there when I need it and keeps me from running through the house in dirty sneakers trying to find something.

Here’s a quick recap/tour of my pot plants:

 

 

{got some seeds from Goodwill for $.49 a pop}

 

 

{the seeds need to start indoors before I transfer them to the garden box. I labeled them with leftover drink umbrellas from the engagement party – this will only work if left in a covered area.}

 

 

{can you believe this is the same aloe plant as originally seen here? I bought this plant stand at Walmart for $5 – it’s about time for this baby to go on display!}

 

 

{no pot plant is complete without a little friend – got 2 of these guys for $1 at Tarjay.}

 

 

{ah! there’s the other little guy. so friendly – especially when it’s accompanying a plant called the “devil’s backbone.”}

 

 

{I finally put this plant in a bigger pot, and now he’s growing – making this momma very proud.}

 

 

{ever since I saw a yellow Bougainvillea, I had to get one. let it be known, I ALWAYS get what I want.}

 

 

 

{we’re removing the rose-bush since it really doesn’t provide the privacy I’d like. don’t worry, I’m just moving it to another spot (at the front of the house), much to ManFiancé’s dismay.}

 

{perfect spot for my newly planted sunflower seeds. hopefully they grow up to be pretty and big.}

 

{I just kind of threw a wildflower mix on this part – not really sure what to do here. we’ll see how it comes out… AND the mix I got is supposed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. fingers crossed.}

 

{the orange roses are finally blooming, but they’re not long-stemmed yet.}

 

{solution: put ’em in a shot glass. we have plenty of those around these parts.}