Getting In The Christmas Spirit

Between getting our house ready and redecorating we have been exhausted. This past weekend was supposed to be about cleaning and finishing up our house, but that didn’t happen when we were invited to a Christmas party Saturday evening. Dave was smiling from ear to ear at the thought of a Christmas activity before he surgery, we went home, changed into some red and green, and then were off to drink Christmas sangria with some friends. It was a really nice break from all of the madness.

While we have had some major setbacks in our redecorating time before Dave’s parents arrive next Sunday, we found time to decorate for Christmas! I am so thankful for my family who made things much easier for us and have helped with painting, sanding, organizing, etc. There is still some more to be done, but isn’t there always? We will be working hard the rest of this week to finish everything before Friday night, when we are hosting a going away party for two of our great friends. I am probably crazy for doing this in the midst of everything, but I couldn’t help but offer. Parties, Christmas and friends, what is there to say no about?

I am excited to share some updates on our house later this week, but for now enjoy some pictures of our almost finished Christmas Tree! I say almost because I can not find the tree skirt we had last year, I may have to make a new one in my spare time.

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From Here to There {Jamaica pt. 2}

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I am excited to finally be sharing the rest of our trip to Jamaica! I can’t believe it was already 2 months ago. I miss that amazing water, awesome drinks and quality time with Dave like anything. At least I get to relive it all over again as I share our fun times with all of you!

Our third day was the first day with actual plans. We had so many options everyday for games, activities, drinks, meals, etc and we had to start planning some of them if we wanted to do everything we had in mind. We also had to keep in mind which things were happening on certain days to keep everything in check.

jam 2 jamWe made sure to start getting up kind of early so we could experience the most amount of time around the resort. It was really nice waking up early one morning and walking around everywhere with Dave. Their was a slight run in with the largest spiders I have ever seen, but I quickly ran away (with tears in my eyes) and tried to avoid them at. all. cost.

After our morning touring the resort, we spent some more time at our favorite place- the pool bar. After getting a few drinks we were off to Dunns River Falls. We had heard from everyone to make sure we made the trip to the falls, and while I am really happy we did it wasn’t the best or what I imagined, more on that in another post though. I recommend bringing some drinks onto the bus, it’s about a half-hour away and why wait that long for some more rum punch? In the end we did have a good time.

We made it back just in time for the Newlywed game at the pool bar, and spent the rest of the afternoon soaking in the sun. We had reservations that night at Eight Rivers, which I highly recommend. If you are able to eat there more than once, do it! We started to order one of everything just to try it, and still ended up eating it all. After our great dinner we spent some more time walking around the resort, and realized the Buda pool was still open. Another perfect ending to an awesome day.

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We started the next day with Scuba Diving! So much fun! I have never been to water this beautiful, and the fish were all different colors. I really felt like I was transported to another world. I wish we would have went diving everyday, but afterwards we were exhausted. Which only meant laying down by the pool bar…are you seeing a trend here? After catching up on a little rest we were off to the catamaran trip!

This trip was the best thing we did the whole vacation! The waters were rough so we weren’t able to go swimming in a cove, but I didn’t care on bit. The rum punch was constantly flowing, the boat was rocking, and everyone was having a blast. I can’t even describe the color of the water out in this part of the ocean, it was like a royal, no teal, no more blue…like I said, I can’t even put it into words! We made some more friends on this trip, and I couldn’t have imagined the trip being any better. I also was called up on “stage” to learn all of the dances, I have no fear when it comes to dancing that is for sure.

That evening was the beach party, another really fun resort activity. There were tables, chairs, and twinkling lights put all over the beach and festive music was playing while everyone ate. The food was also spectacular! One of the resort staff we became good friends with told us to make sure I volunteered Dave when they asked for guys to take part in a game…so of course, I did.

We didn’t know it until he was on stage with 13 other guys that he was now a part of a dance competition! I was instantly nervous for him, Dave doesn’t mind dancing with me, but alone he isn’t the best (sorry, Dave! I hope you don’t read this). The winner was determined by the audience, so I was hopeful a few people would clap along with me. When it was his turn to rock out he blew me away! Barbie Girl was the song he had to move to and he did amazing! He pulled out all kinds of moves from Magic Mike to Dirty Dancing it was incredible. The crowd was digging it! He moved on the the final round, when I had to join him. Let me just say, they instantly handed us the grand prize 😉

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After such an eventful night we were prepared for another drink filled day the next morning and didn’t plan on doing too much, but that didn’t last long. A few of the people we met were going to another water fall and asked if we wanted to join. We were promised this would be what we were hoping to get from Dunn’s River, so we obliged. Blue Hole was the 2nd best thing we did the entire trip! We were able to freely climb the falls, swing on ropes, jump off cliffs and swim through waterfalls. It was completely perfect, and the best thing is it only cost $10 to do it! Soooo worth it!

Unfortunately this was our last day in paradise so we soaked in a few more hours around the resort and already started to miss our wonderful vacation. We had such a perfect time and I can’t wait to go back to Jamaica! We have a few more places to go in-between though!

Dave also made a great video to summarize our wonderful vacation! I’ll be posting more about the resort and things to do soon.

Wedding Wednesday {How To Choose A Color Scheme}

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One of the first questions I am asked when people ask me about my wedding is “what are your colors?”. At first this surprised me, but the more I was asked, the more I understood why people were curious. I have known for years what my color scheme would be because they are my favorite colors, but then I realized I needed to be careful with everything else if I went with my original color choices. So things had to change.

Once I started setting up weddings I got a much better idea of how colors work together, and which type of wedding people were having. There are all kinds from casual to classy, beachy to ballroom, and everything in between. Besides from talking with your Fiancé about budget and possible venues, deciding you color scheme should be one of the very first things a newly engaged couple should discuss. The colors are a deciding factor in most things like, theme and location, and can majorly help plan big details along the way. You wouldn’t exactly want a classy black-tie gala styled wedding in a very rustic barn, and you wouldn’t want a bright colored very laid-back wedding in a ball room.

Here are my top tips to choosing your wedding colors:

1. Location is a big part of choosing your color scheme. The area surrounding your wedding will add to the colors you chose, for example, if you are getting married in a vineyard, deep and natural colors will be brought out from the things around you. If you find a location that doesn’t match up with the colors you have chosen, try and stay within the same family but maybe change the hue a bit. You don’t want your decor to be a distraction.

2. Go with the seasons. You will want to stick within a certain hue for each season, if you think about the normal decor that comes out around each time of year you will see the basics for each season. You can also use this trick to add texture to your wedding, think sandy tones for a beach wedding or gold accents for a classical wedding. This was the problem I ran into, I wanted darker shades of purple (Go Ravens!) and green, but I wanted an early summer wedding. In the end I went with lavender and mint because it matched the weather and didn’t seem dreary being outdoors.

3. Look at the color wheel. If you plan on sticking to a single color in different shades you won’t need this step as much, but if you are using two or more colors look at the color wheel when deciding. If your colors are opposites you are in a safe range, these colors typically compliment each other, if they are not touching at all, you may want to tweak something. You could also go the route of monochromatic and choose one color in multiple shades, or analogous and look for colors directly next to each other.

4. Pull in neutrals. A nice way to stick with a single color and still add some definition is to pick a shade that stands out and then pair it with a more neutral color. A great example of this is the currently the most popular wedding color scheme of blush and gold.

5. Go with the vibe. Different moods will allude to certain shades of colors. Think dramatic or relaxed, casual or classy, and then go with what tones you think will match the mood of the wedding you want.

6. Go for a walk. Being surrounded by nature or strolling through an art museum will help you get creative and look at colors you wouldn’t normally picture together. A big bonus would be walking around the areas on your list of venues.

7. Be flexible. You will always want to give a straight answer when people ask what your color scheme is, but don’t let this nail you down to an exact choice. It is nice to have some things a few hues off throughout your wedding, and in the end the linens probably won’t be the exact shade of the bridesmaid dresses anyway but everyone will be having such a fun time at your wedding, it won’t even matter. As long as you are happy, everyone else will be too.

8. Attire. What colors will look good in a Bridesmaid Dress or on the Groomsmen Ties? If you plan on going abstract with your color scheme, find some dresses online and see if you like how they look before you finalize what you want.

As always I am linking up with the lovely Kristyn from Chits and Giggles, and we would love if you joined us!

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December Hopes & Plans

Here we are, December 2nd.

24 days until Christmas.

30 days until 2015.

33 days until I start traveling again, meaning a lot to get done.

202 Days until our wedding.

Where has this year went? It truly has been one of the best years yet, but I will leave all of those details for my last post of the year in just 4 weeks! I have a long list of hopes & plans for this month, so hopefully some of you can help me stick to them!

December Hopes & plans

1. Decorate- I put up our stockings over the weekend, but that is about as far as I made it. I attempted to start the outside lights, but then realized I don’t know what I am doing and stopped. Dave will handle that sometime this week.

2. Finish Downstairs- I posted last week about Dave and I finally having both floors of our house. Hopefully, we can get all of the painting, refinishing, furnishing and decorating done before his parents come to stay with us during and after Dave’s surgery.

3. Christmas Shopping- I only have 3 out of 14 people marked off of my Christmas shopping list. Can you say last minute? I never wait this long to have everything purchased and wrapped, but this year has been a whirlwind.

4. Schedule Posts for post Surgery- I have some topics planned already, I just need to sit down and type them. I may or may not have finished some DIYs last week that I can’t wait to share!

5. Send Save The Dates- We finally placed our order yesterday after all of the back and forth choosing the photos. Since we will be sending these right around Christmas, we won’t be sending Christmas cards this year. I can’t wait for next years with our wedding photos though!

6. Update our Wedding Website- I have some really fancy ideas that I am hoping can come to life on our wedding page. Since Save The Date’s will be going out everyone will be looking at our page, it would be nice if it was clean and beautiful!

7. Drive Around to see Christmas Lights- Dave and I normally do this a few days before Christmas before he leaves for Buffalo with his family, but since he will be staying home yet unable to be in a car we are doing this early.

8. Bake Something!- Since getting out of Culinary school 5 years ago I haven’t had the urge to bake much, and I also haven’t had the time. I will be home a lot towards the end of the month, so Christmas cookies will need to happen!

9. Begin Marketing My Business- With traveling so much for my full time job, I haven’t been able to step my game up with my Wedding Planning business the last few months. I have a few consultations set for the beginning of the year, but I would love to start getting our name out there more.

10. Spend Time With Family and Friends- Now is the time of year to spend it with those near and dear to you. I want to have as much quality time with my friends over the next month as possible. It has been a great year and I have been blessed in so many ways, it’s time to end the year on a great note with more memories.

I am linking-up with Amanda from Marry Mint for Hopes & Plans!

The Upcoming Months

Before I get emotional over the next few months, or forget to post for an entire week I want to share something that is about to happen in my life that will cause some changes for a while. I don’t want to go to into detail but I will share a summary about what is going on.

On December 15th, Dave will be having open heart surgery for a condition he has had since he was born. We have been assured that everything will work out fine especially because he is so young, but it is still a scary experience. The procedure will begin in the early morning and will last a few hours if everything works out correctly.

Dave will remain in the hospital for about a week, and come home between the 21st and 23rd depending on his recovery. The doctors have suggested that he remain on bed rest for about a month, and then slowly start with very minimal activity such as working at a desk for a few hours, and going for walks. It will be a while before he is totally back to normal, but I am sure in time things will get worked out.

When it comes to being brave right now, Dave really takes the cake. He has had several surgeries before for multiple reasons but never something as serious as this, and he is handling it so well. There have been a few nights of tears and worries, especially when we found out about this back in February, but he realizes that it needs to happen and now is the time. I am so proud of him for overcoming any fear that he had, scheduling the surgery and doing everything he can to prepare for it.

While our families, friends and myself are all bracing to help him through all of this, it’s hard to think about the one person that you love the absolute most going through something so rough. It really has a helpless feeling along with it, but Dave’s bravery makes it that much easier.

I will be posting some updates throughout the surgery and recovery process, but for the most part I am going to try and stick with a normal schedule. All well wishes, prayers, good thoughts, etc are greatly appreciated ❤

 

We Are Expanding!

Last month I mentioned that something would be taking over several posts for the next few months. Now that it is totally official I can share the news that our house is expanding! I have lived on the top floor of a split level house since last summer and the amount of space was perfect. I had my bedroom, an extra room which is my closet, a very large living room and a good sized kitchen. When Dave moved in a few months ago it seemed like the space shrunk massively. We both just had too much stuff.

We knew that we didn’t want to move but something would have to be done. Lucky for us, our housemates on the lower floor had started talking about moving. The possibilities of having an entire house within the next year made our hearts happy and our Pinterest boards grow. We were hopeful that the move would happen next spring leaving us time to pay off wedding things, and then begin paying more for our house, but then we got a call that they were moving in a week!

One week to get together all of our funds to begin the process of furnishing, decorating and renting an entire floor more than what we currently had. We really didn’t think we would be able to get ourselves together and the landlord would have to rent to somebody else who would take over for another year. But Dave and I sat down, figured everything out, and we are doing it! The entire house has been all ours for 2 weeks now, and we began painting last week.

We have now added another living room, two bedrooms, laundry room, kitchen and bathroom to our floor plan and it feels great! We have so many ideas for each room, and I am so excited to have a room to keep wedding things and craft in for now. Once the wedding is over the room will turn into Dave’s man cave, but for now he is letting me take over.

The first room we are aiming to have finished is the living room which will be our office. I can’t wait to actually have a large and organized space to keep all of my stuff together and work from home when needed. I have been using a small desk and coffee table for over a year now. The second room we are finishing is the guest room. Dave’s parents will be staying with us for 3 weeks in December so hopefully we can have everything ready for them to use.

Here are some pictures of what the space looked like before we started making changes.

Guest Room

Guest Room

Living Room/Office

Living Room/Office

Wedding Room!

Wedding Room!

I can’t wait to begin sharing updates as we change each space!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a wonderful day with friends, family, football and food! I am so excited that this will be my very last holiday without Dave, yay for getting married in 7 months!

Also, if you are one of the crazies Black Friday shopping, maybe I will run into you 😉

Enjoy the day (and the wine!)

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