Wedding Day Wins!

So if you have read any of my previous posts you will know I am a newlywed. I got married January 28, 2018 after a 19 month engagement. I planned my wedding from beginning to end with the gracious help of my wife, my family and my bridesmaids. So being that I survived and had what was in my opinion the best wedding ever!!! I’d like to share some things that really elevated my day and made it that much more amazing!

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DON’T GO TO YOUR COCKTAIL HOUR

So Megan and I were insistent on going to our cocktail hour! The venue where we had our reception had the most amazing cocktail hour spread! Four stations that we hand chose, passed hors d’oeuvres, cheese and meats and fruits and veggies anything you could imagine! We told our photographer that it was super important to us (and because we had an AMAZING photographer) he made it happen. We finished our photos in time and we walked our newly wedded behinds into the gorgeous cocktail hour room… for about 5 minutes! We quickly realized that everyone wanted to talk to us (which in retrospect seems pretty obvious but we did not think about that ahead of time) and it was so overwhelming!!! We retreated to our bridal suite and boy am I glad we did! Our AMAZING bridal attendant brought tons and tons of foods into the suite where we were able to relax regroup and get ready for our party!! I highly, highly recommend spending your cocktail hour with your partner it may be some of the only time you get together all night!

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Have A Backup Plan

What I mean by this is be prepared! My wedding day unfortunately started with a rainy morning. Because I got married in the winter we had to do a first look so that we were able to take photos outside and capture the sunlight before my 5 o’clock ceremony.  I had originally planned to have our first look outside at a local park in a gazebo (dreamy I know :)) however that clearly was not going to work in the rain. Luckily I had decided on a back up plan days prior and was able to calmly make a sound decision that morning along with my wife and my photographer. A few days before the wedding my wife and I visited the hotel where we were going to be getting ready at to check out potential first look spots, and we were able to use a beautiful spiral staircase that I absolutely loved. Had we not been prepared who knows if that morning anyone would have known there was this hidden gem for us to use as our backup! 

Book Off Season

Guys… this is HUGE! I could write a post entirely about the perks of having on off-season wedding! But truly this was one of the best decisions I made. Like many couples now days my wife and I paid for our wedding ourselves. This can be a tremendous burden on a couple. Also like many engaged couples Megan and I were renting an apartment, had 2 cars, a pet, student loans the list goes on and on. We had originally hoped to get married in the spring ( I mean who doesn’t love a spring wedding?!) however once we discovered the cost that comes along with a beautiful lush spring wedding we realized that may not be in the cards for us. Growing more and more frustrated we decided to open our minds to a wedding during a less optimal time of year. When we toured the venue we ultimately booked with it had a super romantic feel with stunning Christmas lights strung outside that made the trees sparkle. Megan and I knew that we were willing to compromise the date to be able to afford this magical venue. And omg was it worth it!!! Our catering manager gave us an incredible deal that not only fit in our budget but completely surpassed our expectations! We were able to have add on’s that during peak season would have never been affordable for us. At the end of the day I know it can be difficult to stray from a vision, however I would absolutely suggest at least entertaining the idea of an off-peak season wedding. For me it was the difference between a fairy tale and a huge headache!

Rent A Photo-booth

Alright before you judge me and tell me how “over” this trend is let me explain… Originally I wanted NOTHING to do with a photo-booth, I too thought that it was completely over done and often times cheesy. However both Megan and my mother were super insistent that we have this at the wedding. I did agree to at least look into it and see what it could add to the reception. Megan and I booked our DJ pretty much right after our venue after meeting them at a bridal expo and having a great meeting with them (spoiler alert I was NOT happy with them after the wedding) and this particular DJ company offered several types of photo-booth packages. One of the options was for what they called a “super booth” which was a large screen tv that was completely interactive with lights, music, fans and props. It was a completely new take on a photo-booth and made it much more interesting for me. Well my guests absolutely loved it! The best part is that we got a disk with all of the pictures taken at the booth… omg I have never laughed so hard! It was a fun different element that made my guests happy and really elevated their experience!

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Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

This is probably some of the most basic advise I could give you but if you take only one thing away from this post let it be this… do not panic! Things WILL go wrong. Hopefully nothing too major but even so do not let circumstances out of your control ruin your wedding day. At the end of the day you can only plan and predict so much, do yourself a huge favor and go with the flow. If it rains go with plan B, if your flowers are ivory instead of white roll with it, if your limo shows up late take a deep breath and remember why you are doing this in the first place. In 20 years you will laugh about those mishaps but you will always regret not letting it go and having the time of your life!

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Hope this helps!

xoxo Erin

 

Easter Prep!

pexels-photo-953075.jpegThis year I am hosting my wife’s family for Easter! This will be my first time hosting a family holiday and so I have been doing quite a bit of planning and prepping so that the day goes off without a hitch! I’m going to share with you my general time line for prepping as well as some details of my Easter plans…

Depending on the size of your party you can of course tailor these plans to work for your event.

two weeks before:

You will want to decide on a theme for your party or event. Picking a theme does not need to be over complicated or fancy however choosing a general idea or theme will help you while making decisions on decor, food, anything you need to rent or buy as well as what you should wear. I’ve decided to make my Easter theme very spring inspired with a large emphasis on flowers.

Once you have your theme chosen you will want to come up with a general idea of how much you want to spend on your event. Again this does not need to be extravagant but it’s always best to know generally how much you want to spend so that you are not going overboard on items that are not necessary.

You will want to make sure you have enough table space for all of your guests to have a seat. You are also going to want to make sure you have enough plates, wine glasses, champagne flutes, soup bowls, serving platters, napkins, etc, etc… if you do not always reach out to family and friends before you go around buying new things just for a party (this is where you can blow your budget if you’re not careful). For example my dinning room table seats 6 normally however i am having 11 guests for Easter so I reached out to my mother in law who had a folding table I can barrow. I am going to arrange it at the end of my table creating a long table with enough room for everyone. 

This is a good time to being menu prepping as well. This will give you some time to reach out to guests and see if there is a dish someone wants to bring to share, if there are any allergy’s, preferences, dietary restrictions etc.

My Easter Menu  

Starters:

Cheese Board including assorted crackers, cheddar, Munster, pepper jack & brie

Traditional anti pasta spread

Homemade bruschetta

Dinner:

I am a vegetarian so my mother in law offered to bring the meat 🙂

Homemade sauce used in a baked ziti with gf pasta

Candied yams (requested by my wife)

Mashed potatoes

Green beans

Deviled eggs (my sister-in-law makes these)

Desert

Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes  with vanilla frosting and an adorable flower design on top made with m&m’s ( i found the inspo for this on pintrest)

Cocktail 🙂

Spiked homemade Arnold Palmer’s

one week before:

At this point you will want to start shopping for any decor needed for your themed tablescape as well as non-perishable food items. I picked up a table-cloth and some beautiful floral cloth napkins that will match my spring theme. My spring centerpiece on my dinning room table is a birch box of blue hydrangea so I will be using that on my Easter table as it fits beautifully with my theme as well. 

Some additional items you will want to make sure you are stocked up on

  • towel paper
  • hand soap
  • air freshener
  • Tylenol
  • bottled water
  • band aids
  • paper towels
  • crafts for children (I picked up adorable Easter themed wooden ornaments that came with a paintbrush and paint for $3 each at the target dollar spot)

three days before:

This is a good point to do a deep clean of your bathroom. Scrub your toilet, shower, pay special attention to the floor around your toilet. Give your medicine cabinet a freshen up. Stock under the sink with items that your guest may need but my not want to ask for (feminine products air freshener, extra toilet paper.) I would also suggest doing a deep clean of whatever room your guests will be spending the most time in. (You will want to go back tot his room the day before your event to freshen up but give yourself a few days before so that you can really get in there and make sure there will be no surprises the day of.)

Finish your grocery shop! Especially if you are hosting a holiday! No one wants to be in the mad rush of the last-minute shoppers.

two days before:

Depending on your menu you may be able to start prepping your food at this point. For example I will be serving a cheese platter, this would be a great time to slice the cheese and store it in Ziploc until I need it. 

This is also a great time to set up any decor as well as set up your tablescape

tidy up around the house!

  • dust and clean all windows and windowsills
  • windex all glass surfaces and mirrors
  • wipe down/vacuum the couch
  • wipe down the garbage
  • wipe down the kitchen appliances

Run through your to do list and make sure you are not missing anything

day before:

Prepare any foods that will last in the fridge over night.

I will be prepping my candied yams as well as my baked ziti up to the point before they go in the oven so they are ready to go when I get back from church on Easter Sunday. I will all so be baking my cupcakes (I wont frost them until Easter morning) I will put my anti pasta platter together and stick it int he fridge. My bruschetta doesn’t hold up well in the fridge so I will be making that fresh Easter morning as well) I will also be brewing my tea for my homemade spiked Arnold Palmers so it is nice and chilled. 

Set your table! Don’t forget sweet personal touches like place cards, I’m using seed packets 🙂

  • vacuum & mop the whole house
  • give the bathroom sink a wipe down
  • wipe down the toilet
  • do a walk through of each room to make sure everything is as you want your guests to see it

day of:

Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time! I know for me church service is at 10 am so I will need to be up early enough to start my pot of sauce before we leave. My plan of course is to have most everything else prepped so that once I am home from church I can just start pop-ing things in the oven and serving the starters!

I hope this was a helpful read and it inspires you to host an event in your home!

Happy Easter!

xoxo Erin

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Tips and Tricks on how to keep Fresh Flowers alive longer

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I love having fresh flowers in my home, but all too often I would find myself getting them home and in a vase only to be throwing them away 3 days later…

Threw this frustration I have managed to come up with a few pretty effective ways to keep my fresh flowers alive longer..

Tip #1:

This is pretty basic and you are probably already doing this but in case you are not, always trim your fresh flowers before you transfer them to a vase. You want to trim about 1 inch off the stem at and angle ( my mother taught me to do this under running water but I’m not sure if that actually affects the outcome.)

Pro tip: use floral shears to avoid crushing the stems with dull scissors

Tip #2:

Also somewhat basic but important nonetheless. Always use the flower food packet that comes included in your bouquet. This will absolutely enhance the longevity of your flowers and keep them looking bright and fresh longer!

Tip #3:

Use warm (not hot) water in your vase, this will encourage your flowers to drink up!

Tip #4:

This is truly what i believe to be the most beneficial tip

Change your flowers water every few days. You will notice the water level in your flowers vase diminishing, keep your eyes on this if your flowers do not have drinking water they will die faster. I usually do this every 2-3 days depending on the water level. You may also notice the water getting cloudy, this is also and indication that the water should be changed. And remember when you change out your water it should be warm!

Pro tip: You will also want to remove any leaves that fall off the flowers and into the water. These leaves with decompose in the water and cause the flowers to die much faster.

Now I by no means have a green thumb, but I do have a bouquet of flowers in my kitchen that I’ve had for 2 weeks looking as bright and fresh as the day I received them. Follow these tips so you too can enjoy beautiful fresh flowers for longer!

xoxo Erin

A little bit about me

pexels-photo-744662.jpegHi there!

My name is Erin, and I am a newlywed. 

  •  I am obsessed with cleaning my apartment
  • I have arguably the cutest dog ever
  • I’ve been with my wife for 7 years & married for 1 1/2 months
  • I’m the middle child
  • I recently quit my job because it just wasn’t making me happy anymore
  • I am not a morning person
  • I love making people laugh
  • I hate doing dishes
  • I am always hot & I have to sleep with a fan on even in the winter
  • I am very stubborn & an absolute control freak

I hope to share product reviews, cleaning tips, yummy recipes, planning and organization motivation, meal plans and hauls. Beauty tips and tricks, fashion and styling and anything else having to do with being a wifey!

xoxo Erin