Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pros and Cons of a Summer Wedding

Our apartment is freezing today and I'm snuggling with DH for warmth along with a couple layers of comforters.

I thought of our summer wedding since our 6 month anniversary is approaching soon.

My parents got married in June.  We got married in June.

Why do people decide to get married in June and others in different months?

Some ideas I'm listing here for anyone who's deciding what time of the year to get married.

Pros of having a summer wedding

  1. More people can take time off to travel to your wedding; by then they would have accumulated a week's worth of vacation pay.  Except if you started a new job in April (me).  
  2. Flowers are plentiful, variety of options and less costly
  3. You can celebrate your wedding anniversary when the kids are not in school
  4. Fruit is plentiful during this time as an item on your buffet menu.
  5. Other brides: you can buy their reception decor for a fraction of the cost when their wedding is over.
  6. Better gifts.  If you have your wedding soon after the winter holidays, chances are people will be broke.

Cons of having a summer wedding

  1. Compete for reception and/or ceremony location
  2. Reception and/or ceremony location rental is pricier  $$$$$$$$
  3. The weather can be hot, especially if you have layers and layers of ruffle and gown.
  4. Compete for decent wedding photographer
  5. Less room to haggle for food and venue rental costs
  6. Other brides: your guests will have to decide whose wedding to attend.  My cousin's wedding was three weeks after mine.

Any other pros/cons you can think of?  Share below.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

7 Pieces of Wedding Planning Advice to Ignore

When you pick up a bridal magazine and flip through the wedding planning advice section... the  "advice"... is really a tactic for vendors to make more money off brides and in the case of department stores, suck you in as customers for life.

  In the case of today's post it should read "Bad Wedding Planning Advice:  EXPENSIVE as S___!!!!!
*not liable

Below is a list of costly wedding advice that you should not take heed to doing.

At the bakery:

"You'll need a wedding cake and a groom's cake"

When shopping for a Gown:

"You'll need one gown for the ceremony and another gown for the reception, and different undergarments for both"

At the jewelry store:

"You need to budget two month's salary for her engagement ring"

At the department store:

"Register for everything at various price points so that your guests can know your tastes and have several options to purchase a gift for you."

At the photographer's studio:

"Your wedding will be a complete blur. You'll need coverage from two photographers from the time you wake up in the morning to get ready and all the way to when you walk into your hotel room.   You'll need albums and DVDs for your family too."

Before your trial hair-do:

"You need at least three sessions to do your bridal hair.  One for your bridals, one for trial and one for the day of.  We can add additional trial runs to achieve your perfect look."

At your trial run for your wedding day hair:

"This smoothie is awesome.  The berries are from the Amazon.  You drink it twice a day a week before your wedding and you won't have any breakouts."

As long as you aren't capricious and not have a perfect day mentality, you'll be able to sort out what you want and don't need or don't care to have at your wedding.  You will be able to sort out the unnecessary and good advice on wedding planning.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Be Good, Be Wise, Be Wonderful

Last week I registered for a free event at the Conservation Garden Park in West Jordan titled:
"Quality on Any Budget, Selecting the Best Home Furnishings"

A home blogger from RC Willey is the keynote speaker so I wanted to attend, grab some tips to share on my blog and possibly meet new friends.  If you are reading this and can make it, you should go!!

Unfortunately I won't make it tomorrow.  I'll explain why.

Four years ago, I was a proselyting missionary in Brazil for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Each mission of the LDS Church (I think there are over 300) in the world is directed by an older married couple who are also missionaries; generally known as the mission president and his wife.  They make sure that all of the younger missionaries like me are safe, happy, and healthy as a missionary.

Lots of things happen to missionaries when they're far away from home.  There is very little contact from the missionary to the family so if anything happens to the missionary, the first contact for families of missionaries is through the mission president and his wife.  A special thing about mission presidents and their wives is that they are second parents to the missionaries, they care a lot about how the missionaries they're responsible for are doing.  They even care and wonder how you're doing and even after the missions are completed.

My mission president's wife, Sister Shawcroft helped me a lot when I got very sick on the mission, it was always comforting to talk to someone in English because trying to explain your symptoms in Portuguese was stressful.  I always enjoyed her hugs and her brownies that she made as a birthday treat for missionaries.  There wasn't brownie mix in Brazil when I was there!  

That being said, Sister Shawcroft, passed away on Veteran's Day due to a rare form of cancer in the brain that she lived with for four years.  I won't be able to attend her funeral this Friday because of work, but there is a viewing at the same time as the Garden Park event, so I felt I must go to that to pay my respects to the Shawcroft family and to see her for one last time.

She was a very kind and gracious lady, and definitely had a Christ-like demeanor, which is evident in very good missionaries. 

I have a picture of me and her on the mission but it's in my old PC and the battery's dead  >:-(
Once I retrive my files from the old computer I'll post the picture here.  

Sister Shawcroft always had a phrase to share with everyone

"Be good, be wise, be wonderful"

Sister Shawcroft certainly was a good, wise, and wonderful woman!

One last story I'll share before I went to bed about her being all of these three things.  After the mission, I was engaged to another guy and that didn't work out.  It really sucked notifying everyone six days out from the wedding.  On June 5th 2011 (my defunct wedding was June 3rd) she emailed me this:
Dear Sister Riquelme,
Please know you are in our prayers. The right one is still waiting!
Com Amor,
Sister Shawcroft
She was right!!!!!  I really appreciated all of her kind words and optimism as well.    

I was privileged to meet this lady as a missionary.  

The last time I saw her was on my wedding day on June 1st, 2012.  I was so happy she came and I'm pretty sure she was very happy knowing that I ended up finding my "right one"  

You can read her beautiful obituary HERE

I can't wait for tomorrow, it will be tough, but there will be strength too because of all the love everyone had for her.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DIY Reception Food Part I

A lot people planning a wedding choose to prepare their own food for the reception and save some serious $$$$$$.  Many avoid this route but it can be done if you read these tips

Things to consider when doing the self-catering for reception food.

1. Number of guests-try to set reasonable limits, it's easier to self-cater 100 people than 300 people (more than 150 is very difficult).

2. Your kitchen and especially...your refrigerator space.  You will need to arrange with friends and family for extra refrigeration space. Example, A cookie bar is very simple, delicious and elegant option for a wedding but if you are baking hundreds, you need to make dough in batches and freeze them until the event.  You will need more freezer space as it gets closer.

My creation

These pictures are from an excellent blog post on logistics of baking lots of cookies for a wedding.  You have to read it HERE  This was where I decided on our cake recipe too!!

3. Before reserving a venue that lets you bring your own food, check the kitchen you'll be using.  Pick the venue with the best kitchen available.

A good kitchen has:

  • Plenty of oven space and racks.  This is important if you need to heat several items at once.  
  • Plenty of fridge space.  It sucks if you need to empty out the fridge the day of the event to make room for your chicken salad and sliced veggies.  
  • Plenty of counter space.  You have a lot of platters or perhaps plates to set up.  

  • If the kitchen isn't your own, you need to check what supplies come it it, does it have serving dishes, salt and pepper, serving spoons, knives for slicing, chopping, and carving?  Does it has dish soap and towels?  Oven mitts?  Rolling pins? This is why you need to check in advance so you can avoid buying things at the last minute.  

4. GET HELP, volunteer or paid.  For my wedding my mother-in-law had her friends from her church group help with the food during the reception.  Before the wedding, she said that she helped at every one of her friends' daughter or son's wedding so they better help her in return.  Haha :) My MIL is great, who would say no to her??

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rain Cloud Baby Shower

Saturday was my SIL's baby shower.  She is expecting a boy for her Christmas present!  (he's due the 22nd of December so that pretty much counts...)

My other SIL asked me to do the decorating.  I had never decorated for a party so that was exciting.  I wanted to make the baby shower as lovely as our wedding; my in-laws went out of their way to make our reception special so I wanted to do something super nice in return.

I began looking at pictures for inspiration.  Especially these two:

(I swear I've seen this picture before in a magazine, I don't think it's Martha Stewart but it's BHG...I've seen tons of bloggers claiming it's theirs but until I find the right source to credit...this belongs to no one!)

This is from Jengerbread Creations.  Her ideas in her blog melted my anti-DIY heart.  
Her blog and picture can be found  HERE

I also went to YouTube for a quick tutorial to see how paper rain clouds are done.  It's really good to watch. 

So I decided to give it a try....

I concluded that THREE RAINCLOUDS ARE PLENTY. According to me, the person who avoids DIY.  They're a lot of work :-P

I'm so happy I married Dave. He helps me with anything!

I don't own a sewing machine so I didn't sew the raindrops like they did in the video.  Dave helped me by poking two holes; one at the top and one at the bottom of each rain drop with a needle and threaded the rain drops in. That turned out to be a good thing because the rain drops ended up being a bit long once hung and touched the table.  We just cut the string at the end and adjusted the length of the drops.  

All you need to make these rainclouds is:

  • A pack of white tissue paper from da dollah store.  One pack of 20x20 is enough for three rain clouds.
  • Bendy wire
  • Fishing line
  • Cardstock with color of your choosing.  I picked blue.  

I bought diapers as a gift but when I went to Home Goods here and there, I saw some boy nursery items that were so irresistible and figured if I couldn't have it (I don't have children yet), someone else should and that person should be my SIL.  My SIL and her husband are doing a sports themed nursery.  All the things that you see on the food table that isn't food...I got it at Home Goods!  They were perfect to display on the food table. 

How can you not resist the basketball onesie???

I married into a family of foodies.  I didn't cook anything, but I arranged all the plates and whatnot to my liking.  More and more food plates came in before the shower so we expanded the table and rearranged a few items. 

We had brunch.  We had Costco quiche, cinnamon rolls, baked bacon, pineapple, chocolate covered strawberries, and a variety of scones.  Also baby shower mints.  

 From Home Goods: Bookends, frame, basketball onesie, and a soccer piggy bank

I wish I could rewind back to last weekend.  The food at the shower was soooo good!!!

I'm food hungry as well as baby hungry.  :-D

Thanks to Dave, I think we'll have cute babies :)

UPDATE 7/1/2013: We are having a cute baby!!  Read post HERE

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our living room wall progress

Last post I mentioned about the four Ikea frames we bought for $20.

When I came home from work today, I caught Dave hanging up the frames in their desired spot in the living room.

I love him so much!  He nails everything on our walls so PER FEC TLY.  

 The wall before...

And after!  Now the wall doesn't feel too empty.

(no pictures on the frames yet, haha)

What do y'all think?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Items that cost $20 to buy

On Saturday, I went shopping with Dave at Tuesday Morning, the Outlet, and Ikea.

Tuesday Morning isn't the best place for your buck to buy lamps and there isn't much of a selection for them.

There are interesting furniture pieces but it's pricey and there are some minor flaws with the furniture. It is worthwhile to go there to buy higher-end bedroom sheets; decent thread count and the price is very good for them.

At Tuesday Morning, we set our eyes on this basket!

We had been looking for several months for the right basket at the right price to go under our console table as a place to store our quilts.  The size, style, color, and durability of this basket was perfect.  The selling price was $20, that was the best price for similar baskets.
(sorry for the lighting but I'm not a photographer and didn't want to spend time editing)

The Outlet is next door to Tuesday morning so we made sure to stop there.  Lots of dining chairs, tables, and rugs for sale.

If you're looking for eclectic or extremely modern chair pieces, check this store out.  Didn't find anything that we liked and some furniture pieces had major flaws.  It's still worthwhile to at least check the store out, it's a hit-or-miss.

Since we were already in the Sandy/Draper area, we decided to check out Ikea.

The things we've bought from Ikea were the TV stand (expensive and very hard to assemble), the dining chairs, a potato masher, a vegetable peeler, and the rug.

I think a lot of stuff at Ikea is too expensive, especially when you have to assemble it yourself.  But there are things that look nice and affordable, especially for students that need to decorate their dorm room.

Another reason to check out Ikea is that you can buy brand new picture frames for a very good price!  If you can make time, you can spray paint your frames any color you want.  We bought four 8x10 frames for a total of $20 as well.

I am so excited, I know exactly where I want them placed and can't wait to show you all in the next post!

To end this post, I'll also include two more items that cost $20 each to buy, these pillows that are on our couch.
 Ruffle pillow from Target, bigger pillow from Home Goods.  Both sold for $20 at their respective stores.  

One day, I'll figure out how to buy several items for a total of $20.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why you should shop at Home Goods Early and Often

Tonight I went to Home Goods because I haven't been there in almost two weeks and it's Thursday.  My husband is so nice and smart, he doesn't want me to stay put in the house all night after coming home from work so we went together to look at some items at my favorite place in the world second to home with my husband!  The store had re-stocked and moved around some items, as anticipated (Home Goods in Murray always re-stocks every Monday and Thursday), which is the main reason I go there often.  Other decor stores don't restock as fast.  It is seriously a treasure hunt at Home Goods and you might see something that is the only thing there that is absolutely PERFECT, like our new bedding ;-).  Also you can't shop for anything online, you physically have to go to the store and see what's there!  They do have a store locator online so go there and find the nearest Home Goods store near you!  You won't be disappointed.

Currently at Home Goods I'm looking for the two perfect side tables for our bedrooms, two lamps, and some wall art.  We walked out not buying anything, but we were close to purchasing some photographic prints but decided to rest on that.  However...I saw one customer with her cart and I was sooo envious of her soon-to-be purchase, because it was the only one left at the store! Oh how I wish I was there earlier to snatch that wall art! She had this wall art wrapped IN CANVAS that read:

Argh...that would totally look perfect in my, I mean...our office/guest bedroom!!  I want the office space to have a "boutique" like feel to it.  A lot of pinks and whites...with flowers and crystal cut candlesticks...but not overly Paris Hilton-esque.  Her decor is super cute and glam-bam but I'm trying to steer away from zebra prints :)

I went and googled the poster online and found something very cool.  At, you can take a picture of your room and decorate it with wall art that you're thinking of!  That's great since I'm still up in the air with the white space adjacent to our dining room table.   

The dining area incomplete with empty wall space.  Centerpiece: Wedding gift, Dining table: Kohl's Paradise Valley Collection, upholstered chairs: Ikea, low-pile rug: Ikea

Bed and frame from Knight's Mattress.  Bedding from Xhilaration at Target. White shelves and desk from Crate & Barrel.  Chair was from roommate that moved out of apartment and she let me have it!

Anyone here can relate to their shopping cart envy experiences?  Do tell!