Sunday, April 19, 2009

Date Nights (Under $20)

Found this article. Loaded with some really great ideas for cheap and fun dates. Good if you just started dating or have been married for 50 years!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rethinking Centerpieces

Here are some centerpiece ideas I enjoy. A lot of them save money because you are saving on flowers and buying used containers. Secondly they are mostly good on the environment-used items and less cut flowers again.
Isn't this an adorable idea. Imagine buying all different cocktail glasses from thrift stores-or better yet-acquire them from people you know!
My favorite idea is mixing used bottles, bud vases, and glasses/goblets for single flower stems and flower heads. These few pictures are the closest I could find.

linkHow about cake centerpieces. A two in one. Then you can provide all sorts of flavors for guests to choose from. The best route-homemade. They could look much prettier than this, but it is all I could find.
Buttons! In mixed, used bottles...
used books...genius

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ideas I Love: Homemade Photo Booths

I am doing one of these at my wedding. The photos will go into a scrapbook, hence replacing a guest book. I also have a huge box of props for guests to play with. Yay...I can't wait. You can use poloroids, set up a camera to automatically take pictures, or have some one in charge of taking pictures! This costs close to nothing and is so much fun!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Photographer

It has been a while since I posted anything. I am currently excited about photography for my wedding and my photographer, so here are some of her pictures.
She is a college student majoring in photojournalism aspiring to become a wedding photographer.

Advice: If you are looking to hire a talented photographer for a good price, look on college campuses. Students are often looking for ways to build their portfolio and have not become 100% professionalized, so you can usually get a good deal!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ideas I Love: Non-White Wedding Shoes

Mine are hot pink. You will be able to see them after the wedding. For now, enjoy these!

Bridal Shower #2

This shower was a blast for me...composed of all most all of my favorite women from all parts of my life. My favorite part was a game in which everyone wrote an anonymous memory that they had with me...then everyone had to guess who shared the memory. It was funny..and sometimes sappy. I guessed all but one!
These are my three moms: stepmom, mom, future mom-in-law.
Another fun game involved people drawing a picture of my dream house while holding the paper plate on top of their heads...made for some fun pictures.

I made sorbet for the was a delicious hit!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ideas I Love: TOMs Shoes

For every pair bought, they donate a pair to a child in need of shoes. Sweet deal...this is what purchasing products should look like.

Ideas I Love: Non-floral bouquets

For my wedding, I can't imagine not having flowers. I just love them and my Grandpa owns a lawn and garden store that sells flowers. Nevertheless, I love these alternative bouquets...probably more budget friendly as well.


The rest courtesy of OffBeat Bride.

Christmas Ornaments and Paper


Ways to Have Fun at Wedding

Remember how I said "You will have fun if your guests have fun." Don't let yourself be limited by the traditional dancing only rule...although I can't imagine not dancing ;)

Here are some things I will be doing to ensure guests have fun (hopefully they like them.)

1. Photobooth with props instead of guest book. (more on photobooths to come)
2. Popsicles instead of cockatil hour. (the kids will enjoy it too!)
3. Activity sheets for the kids (and kids at heart.) My fiance is in design mode. I will post it when he finishes.
4. Instead of clinking classes, guests must serenade us with a love song for us to smooch. Sure to bring laughter.
5. Board games, coloring pages, and playing cards for those who don't enjoy dancing (or get worn out.)
6. Special dances including one honoring all married couples and a dance contest with us as the judges!

Here are some great ideas suggested by 2000 Dollar Wedding:
1. Cooking S'mores around a campfire
2. Soaking in a hot-tub
3. Playing volleyball
4. Offering a swing dance lesson
5. Playing board games (e.g., Jenga, Scrabble, Uno)
6. Playing horseshoes
7. Taking pictures in a photobooth
8. Playing lawn games (e.g., Bocce Ball, Croquet, Badminton, Horseshoes, etc.)
9. Jumping on pogo sticks
10. Having a hula-hooping contest
11. Doing a scavenger hunt
12. Playing BINGO
13. Hosting a talent show
14. Hiring a fortune teller, palm reader, etc.
15. Playing middle school games (e.g., tetherball, kickball, dodgeball, hopscotch, four-square, etc.)
16. Playing ping-pong or pool
17. Competing for prizes (e.g., potato sack race, bean-bag toss, etc.)
18. Making big bubbles
19. Playing card games (e.g., poker, rummy, hearts, uno)
20. Playing Frisbee golf
21. Playing charades or pictionary
22. Renting an air-hocking table
23. Offering chair massages
24. Busting open a pinata
25. Eating fondue
26. Making crafts at a craft table
27. Renting a juke-box
28. Playing casino games
29. Sidewalk chalk
30. Graffiti wall
31. Hosting a parade
32. (Having wedding at children's museum)

Wow if most weddings incorporated some of much more fun would they be!


If you don't buy used or borrow, shop handmade at Also check out their wedding blog.

Does God Really Bless America?

So I have been trying to figure this out for a time now. We are a nation of Christians (supposedly) who think that the reason we have so much money and prosperity and comfort and power is because God is blessing us. Well I am on this journey...and came to a firm conclusion that God does NOT indeed bless America. I just kept wondering...Christianity means following Jesus. Jesus said to love the Lord, love your neighbor....oh and love your enemies.

So how can a Savior who says to turn the other cheek, preaches peace and forgiveness, chastises Peter for cutting off the ear of a soldier about to take him to face death (and "glues" it back on with his Heavenly powers),walks humbly to the cross and faces humiliation.... how could this God ever bless people who kill and destroy. I just don't understand that. I mean our nation is ran on an economy that not only neglects the needs of poor....but creates the poor. A nation whose response to attacks and murder of our people is to continue the slaughter of people outnumbering the murders of saying that American lives matter more than theirs. (I don't think so.) A nation who puts profit before human lives. If God blesses that, then I don't want to have anything to do with him.

However none of that matches up with the life of Jesus Christ. I have to wonder if the "Christians" that run our country or support this image of life in the kingdom of God have opened their Bibles lately. All of my ramblings and thoughts were further confirmed in the book Jesus For President by Chris Hall and Shane Claiborne. Here are some excerpts:

"Some folks may be really bummed to find that 'God Bless America' does not appear in the Bible. So often we do things that make sense to us and ask God to bless our actions and come alongside our plans, rather than looking at the things God promises to bless and acting alongside of them. For we know that God's blessing will inevitably follow if we are with the poor, the merciful, the hungry, the persecuted, the peacemakers. But sometimes we'd rather have a God who conforms to our logic than conform our logic to the God whose wisdom is a stumbling block to the world of smart bombs and military intelligence." (pages 199-200)

On the economy: "Another, possibly the greatest, unholy aspect of our economy is its exploitation of people. While our economy floats on cheap oil, it too is carried on the backs of cheap laborers. If we ask, why do so many of our products come from China? We can certainly say this is aided by cheap oil for shipping, but it's essentially founded on easily exploited labor. The hundreds of thousands of jobs that have been lost in the United States testify to 'job creation' in foreign countries. Left in the wake are our neighborhoods, blighted with hundreds of abandoned factories and hundreds more abandoned homes. Christian have no problem with helping the poor. But question whether our 'blessings' are borne on the backs of the poor and things get messy. The call to 'make poverty history' needs a partner:'make affluence history'" (pages 188-189)

And now Fredrick Douglass: "Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference--so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked...I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity."
(quote found on page 176 or Jesus For Preident)

Well thankfully I don't plege allegience to the flag of this country, I pledge allegience to the cross of Jesus.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Ideas I love: Trash the Dress

"Go ahead, you know you want to. Trash it. Get it dirty. Get it wet. Roll around in the mud. Drench it in the ocean. Totally trash it.

Why? … Why not? You’ve made a commitment to your husband. He’s your one and only true love, right? Then you’ll never need the dress again. And no, your daughter won’t wear it in 20-30 years. So you have two choices:

1) Suffocate it in plastic and throw it in a closet
2) Show your husband how committed you are by trashing the dress, and get some great fun pictures while you do it! " (

The good news is that you can dry clean your dress...and keep it if you want. The bad news may decide to use paint....

I want to do this soooooooooo bad. Watch trash the dress sessions unfold here. You can also watch other great still motion videos.

Spreading Your Joy Beyond Your Wedding Day

1. Dollar Dance: Have the traditional dollar dance and donate all the money to a local cause.

2. Alternative Gift Registry: You can add things from all over the internet on here-fair trade, eco friendly, donations to charities, used items, artwork by your friends and family. Try to avoid big corporate stores as much as possible. Unfortunately, if you are starting out-it is harder to this. They just don't produce fair trade skillets and microwaves.

3. If you decide on big flower arrangements, send them to local nursing homes afterward. They are sure to brighten someones day.

4. Send left over food and cake to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen

5. Fair trade favors and gifts ;)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bridal Shower #1

My top three favorite parts of my first bridal shower...

1. Chocolate fountain: with about 15 different yummy items to dip in it...and you know I tried them all.

2. Elvis song game: All of the answers to the game were Elvis Presley songs. For example, "When Leitia comes home sore from a hard workout at the gym, what will she say to Ben?" Answer: "Love Me Tender" It was Aunts did a great job. (If you don't know, I am a huge Elvis the game fit me perfectly.)

3. Decor: How creative is this? My main wedding flowers are tulips and gerbera daisies. Do you get it? "Two Lips and Gerber Daisies" haha amazing!

Just some examples on creativity for a bridal shower. My Aunts and Grandma did a great job!

Quest for Fair Trade Chocolate

So I bought these wrappers from to give as gifts/favors to those at my rehearsal dinner as "thank yous" but I refuse to fill them with Hershey bars.
This week's mission has been to find fair trade chocolate bars to put in them, but most bars are far too BIG and EXPENSIVE. I looked at the local coop grocery store and nothing there will work. All I have found is Divine (pictured below from that will work...but I would much rather like to share all the exotic flavors that exist in the world of fair trade chocolate. Any ideas?

What is fair trade?

Why chocolate? (from

For now, chocolate is a bitter sweet…
  • 284,000 children toil in abusive labor conditions in West Africa’s cocoa fields
  • Cocoa companies pay prices so low that many cocoa farmers cannot meet their families’ basic needs
But we can fix all that...with Fair Trade certified chocolate:
  • Forced and abusive child labor are prohibited
  • Farming families earn a price that is adequate to meet their basic human needs
  • Environmentally sustainable production methods are required

How can I incorporate fair trade into my wedding?

There are also several places that make individual chocolates that people give for favors sometimes. Here is a starting list.


So I am really excited about starting this blog...should have done it months ago. However because I am excited and have so much built may be common for an average of 5 or more posts a day in the beginning. You can deal with it or leave. Really I don't care if anyone reads this, I will write on anyways. I just need the freedom of letting my thoughts out and the illusion that someone is interested. Also the way I do this is creating a different post for each subject, not each day. It keeps with my method of organization. And it is quite possible that my blog will continue post-wedding with a slightly different focus so yay!

Thank you, Crazy Me

PS I love pictures in posts so here is one of my puppy.

Read: Knot So Much

Read this blog post. While I do not feel as strongly as her and think you can get some good ideas from the Knot and other major wedding industry people/businesses, she makes a lot of really valid points that you should be aware of.

Advice so far...

Well I have 1.5 days to go until the BIG day....yikes!!!!!!!!!! Here is some advice for future brides...and I am sure I will have more nearer and post wedding.

1. This is about a life long marriage, not a one day wedding. Make sure you don't forget to plan the marriage, not just getting lost in wedding planning. Be sure to talk to your fiance and friends about non-wedding things throughout the process. Friends only want to hear so much. Don't drive them away. And remember your relationship with your fiance goes so much deeper than the wedding. With that said, HAVE FUN! When else will you get to throw a huge(maybe small) party with all your friends and family celebrating the love and joy you two have!

2. Break out of the box! Your wedding should express you and your fiance, not fit perfectly into the model wedding guides and tradition tell us. I am not telling you to throw ALL tradition to the side. I certainly am not...but you don't have to let anyone dictate how you celebrate your LOVE! (Check out some of my links on the side for ideas how to do so... and stay tuned for future posts.)

3. Think of your guests. I think to many brides get the attitude "It is my wedding and I'll do what I want." Yes it is your wedding and you want HAPPY GUESTS. Make waiting times short. Feed good food and drinks (even if you are only serving cake and punch). Most of all, provide ways for them to HAVE FUN! (more suggestions to come) Dancing may be fun for you and your fiance but not for many aged 50 and older. How else can you make your wedding fun for them? Or a fancy sit down meal may be enjoyable for you, but what about all the restless kids... If your guests have fun, so will you.

4. Borrow and buy used.

5. Let your girls pick their dresses. Really let them pick something they will be comfortable in and wear again. The dresses don't have to be matchy matchy, just give them some guidleines and set them loose. I made this mistake. Sorry to my girls who are now stuck with vibrant, apple green cocktail dresses...that are beautiful. However, we aren't the kind of girls that attend cocktail parties, so chances are there $120 plus alterations dresses will only be worn once...what a waste.

6. Enlist family and friends. Usually they want to help. This is our personal biggest money saver. (luckily, we know many talented people.) Let them serve cake, decorate, do your flowers, run the music, sing, design stationary. They probably would love to help.

7. Pick a beautiful location. Even if it costs more (which it doesn't have to), it will SAVE BIG on decorations. My place is ugly, but cheap and big so I need lots of decor..guh. Luckily I listened to one piece of my own advice: BORROW! Even better, hold the ceremony and reception at the same place: save on decor, rental fees, and gas.

8. Don't give favors unless thay are edible, charitable, or homemade. Really only your grandparents want coasters with your faces or wedding date on it...if even they do. Don't waste the time, money, resources.


It all starts with a ring

You need to know the evils behind the gold and diamond industry. Our pretty rings may be causing pain in others around the world. Here are a few ways to avoid the negative impacts of gold and diamond mining, although I encourage you to do some research on your own. Your wedding ring symbolizes your love and will be with you all the days of your life-make sure it sticks with your values. Uses recylced metals and conflict free stones. Has loads of handmade, beautiful, unique rings. Many of them used recycled metals or fairly traded metals and stones. Two of my favorites are: singleB: beautiful (work pictured bottom)and beyondtherockz (work pictured top).

Buy used: Try pawn shops and antique stores.

Ask your ring provider where your stone and metals come from. They should be able to tell you the source and whether the materials are conflict free or not.

Happy Engagement!