Friday, December 23, 2011

Music To My Ears

I love music.  When I want to be more energized, I'll listen to more energetic music like The Black Eyed Peas.  If I want to relax before going to bed, you'll catch me listening to calmer music such as Enya.  I'm here to share with you the different ways to listen to music through the internet and TV.  Perhaps you will find a new favorite way to listen to music.  

I have mentioned Pandora once before but I feel the need to talk about it more.  Pandora is by far my favorite way to listen to music.  You can do it for free w/commercials or pay for a year subscription.  You can get an app for it on your phone.  Any type of music you can think of is on there: alternative, solo piano, nature sounds, country, New Age, Film Scores, French Cafe, Teen Pop and Chicago Blues to name a few.  I highly recommend getting an account on there and exploring.

Online stations
Online stations fall into two categories: ones like 101.9 The Mix that are an actual FM radio station but you can listen to them online too and then there are the ones that are just played online like Third Rock and Q101.  Since I live near Chicago, my listening is influenced by what is played around here and this is by no means an entire list of online stations out there.
  • Third Rock 
    • This station is becoming one of my favorites.  It is a radio station that was made by NASA in order to connect with the public more.  Occasionally a NASA update is mentioned but not too often and the music is selected very well.  It is rock but it is a whole variety of rock.  You'll here familiar artists but also some ones you may not have heard before.
  • Q101
    • This is a unique station in that it used to be an FM radio station but it is no longer.  Now it is played on their website and you can listen to it on your phone through an app.  They still play alternative rock like they did before except now you no longer have the DJ's.  The only negative is that their commercials all sound like infomercials that make me want to turn off the station.
  • 101.9FM The Mix
    • This station plays a wider variety of music such as alternative, rock, and pop.  They do have DJs and promote local concerts just like a regular FM station.
What's nice about this page is that you can watch old and new music videos.  Not all artists are available but there is a pretty good selection.  You can also listen to their stations like the 90's station.  

If you have iTunes you can go to the Radio section and find a big variety of stations that you can listen to for free.

TV Cable
If you have Comcast cable, you can go to the radio stations on the TV.  Again, a pretty good variety.

Those are the many ways I have listened to music over the past several years.  This is by no means a complete list and you are more than welcome to share how you listen to music.  I hope you have a wonderful holiday filled with music that puts a smile on your face and gets you tapping your foot.  :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Baskets Everywhere!

I love baskets.  They have so many uses, they look nice, they come in all sorts of sizes, and you can buy them for really cheap if you look in the right places and at the right times.  So here is my dedication to them, a blog entry.  

 Different Uses for Baskets

1.  Under End Tables
Place them under end tables to hold all of your crap, I mean stuff.  :)  I have one under each of my end tables in my living room.  They hold pens, pencils, playing cards, cup holders, and remotes.  As a result, I've realized how little I use those things and I should really just put them somewhere else.  

2.  Next to a Printer
You can put extra printer paper inside the basket or paper that you printed off but intend on recycling later on.

3. As a Hamper
I separate most of my clothes into three linen bags which is the standard number of laundry bags for a laundry sorter.  I found that I needed a 4th one to put clothes that need extra special care (i.e. hand wash only) so a basket was my solution to just throwing the clothes on the floor.

4.  A Place to empty your pockets
I use a basket on top of my husband's end table on his side of the bed.  It's fine if he empties his pockets but I want everything in one small basket so it looks neater.  

5.  On Closet Shelves
I use one for putting my husband's handkerchiefs in, one in the winter time to put winter hats into and another I use to put winter mittens/gloves into. 

6.  Flower Girl Basket
I bought one for my wedding, lined it with cloth and glued it with ribbon. 

7.  Tool Holder
I use a shallow but wide basket to put my garden tools in when I take them outside.  

8.  A Seasonal Organizer
I have one I put all of our suntan lotion and bug spray in.  In the winter it hides underneath our sink and in the summer time I bring it back out.

Some Places to Buy Baskets
1.  Salvation Army/Goodwill
You are bound to find a basket for less than $5 at either one of these stores so I would recommend going to them first.

2.  Michael's/Jo Ann Fabrics/Hobby Lobby
You are bound to find baskets here too but not for so cheap unless you get them on sale which does happen on a fairly regular basis. 

3.  Wal-Mart/Target
You can find baskets here but again, not as cheap as you would at Salvation Army or Goodwill. 

Of course, there are many more uses and places for baskets but I'll just end it there.  I hope this gets your brain thinking.  The next time you receive a gift basket, try to think of a way of using that beautiful basket before you decide to throw it out.

As usual, I cannot end this blog without throwing in some pictures I've taken since my last blog.  These are from the Museum of Science and Industry.  My brother and I try to venture downtown to a museum at least once a year. The first picture is from their Science Storms exhibit. 
The second picture is from their U-505 submarine exhibit.  Every time my brother and I go over there we find something else we have not seen.  This museum holds a lot more than you would think staring at it from the outside.  I highly recommend making it out there some day.  Did I mention they have a Dr. Seuss exhibit right now?

My next trip downtown I intend on going to the Field Museum.  They have a chocolate exhibit until January 8th.  Enough said.   

Sunday, September 4, 2011


It's that time of year where zucchini is growing in your yard and you don't know what to do with it or at least I don't.  I'm learning.  As with every vegetable that grows in my garden, I make it a point to find new recipes so nothing goes to waste.  Here are some recipe ideas and tips for zucchini.

  • Zucchini bread - I use a family recipe so I don't want to put it up on here and plus there are a ton of recipes online.  If you want to make zucchini bread later on, you can always shred the amount of zucchini that you need, put it into a plastic bag, and freeze it for later use. 
  • Eggs and zucchini - I've come across two recipes with eggs.  One I saw in a book I want to buy called The Kitchen Garden Cookbook.  It has a zucchini omelet recipe.  The other one is zucchini with eggs and parmesan.  I made it and loved it.  Here's where I got the recipe.  The Garden and Grill: Gagoots!!
  • Grilled zucchini - Here's one very simple recipe that a friend gave me: You cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  In the hollowed out zucchini you put a little bit of cheese and dill on top then another type of cheese that you can sprinkle.  Then you grill it or broil it.  What is great about this recipe is that you can experiment with different types of cheeses.  I've put brie in the center and mozzarella on top and it was super tasty.
  • Zucchini Casserole- I received a recipe for this from a friend and I have yet to try it but I'm sure it is tasty.  Again, there are a bunch of recipes for this on the net and I don't feel comfortable sharing the recipe I have.  Sorry!
That's all I have so far.   I hope this helps.  If you have any ideas, feel free to share them.  Happy cooking!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Going Out to Eat

I'm not a fan of going out to eat.  For one, the portion sizes are huge so I'm tempted to eat more than usual.  Secondly, it's usually not healthy.  Lastly, it's usually more expensive than eating at home.  Nonetheless, we still do, just not often.  When we do, I try to combat these negatives and here's how.

Portioning off food 
Instantly when I get my plate I look at it and decide how much I'm going to eat.  This does take some will power to stop eating when you say you will but if I don't listen to myself, I usually regret eating too much.  It helps if you aren't super hungry b/c if you are, you usually eat more than you should b/c you THINK you need more than you should.  Does that make sense?  So again, when I get my plate, I take my fork and separate only what I will eat.  With the rest, I take home as leftovers.  This keeps me from wasting food and money and a $5+ meal turns into 2 or 3 meals.  Yea!

Resist the meals
When I eat fast food I usually don't get a "meal".  So at McDonalds, Subway, Arby's, Wendy's, wherever, I don't ever get the #1 or #2.  I get a sandwich b/c that usually is enough food as it is.  If you have a wonderful significant other that you like eating with, you can share food.  So my husband gets the meal (sandwich with a side and drink) and I just get a sandwich and we both eat the sides and drink.  That way we both get some fries, some drink but not too much and we save money. 

Try drinking a whole glass of water before you start eating the food.  You'll find you eat less.
In most restaurants, you can ask for a cup for your water and they won't charge you.  It's free and healthy!  Or you can just bring your own bottle of water to a fast-food restaurant.

Allow one indulgence
When I'm in line at a sandwich shop, I stand for quite a long time deciding.  It's not because I'm unfamiliar with the menu.  I'm deciding on the one "bad" thing I want to eat.  For example, I want the ham sandwich which I like on Italian herbs and cheese bread with a side of mayo and a slice of cheese.  All things that are not too healthy but I can't cut all of that out of my sandwich or I will start to hate being careful with what I eat.  So I'm deciding, do I want to take the Italian herbs and cheese bread out and replace it with whole wheat?  Or do I want to take the cheese out?  Or do I want to take out the mayo and replace it with oil or vinegar or mustard?  Well, the last time I went I got a 6" ham sandwich on whole wheat bread with cheese and oil and vinegar.  I love my cheese.  

Well, I hope this helps someone out there.  Sorry, I don't have any pictures.  Just to let everyone know, you can follow me on Twitter.  I will open my account to the public again but if it looks like your account is simply for spam purposes, I will block you.  Until next time!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Adding variety to life

Howdy y'all! =) The other day I was thinking about how I get bored of some things easily, like food. I'm not sure if other people get this way too, but just in case, I decided to blog about it.
I get bored of eating certain types of food. Sandwiches are a good example. I get bored of eating the same thing all the time so then I don't want to eat it and then I let the food go to waste and instead I spend money on fast food and eat something unhealthy. Not a win, win situation. So I've come up with ways to add variety or to spice up the mundane while staying pretty healthy. These work for me anyway.


Bread- You can use whole wheat bread, bagels, french bread, rolls (hamburger, sub or kaiser) or croissants (well...not that healthy). My favorite are the bagels, personally, which in of themselves, come in a variety of flavors (i.e. onion, plain, raisin, or egg).

Cheese- There's such a wide variety of cheese out there. My favorite are colby jack, cheddar (mild or sharp), and provolone but of course there is also american, swiss, pepper jack or colby. I recommend sticking to one slice on a sandwich.

Lettuce - Romaine is my favorite and iceberg is my least favorite. You can also use spinach. I've heard cucumbers are good, too, but I've never tried them.

Well, sadly, that is all I have for you today.  Look for my next blog on tips on how I try to stay healthy while going out to eat.  Ciao!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Being Dumped On

I'm feeling philosophical, which happens sometimes, usually when I am alone.  Unfortunately, for all of my lovely readers, there will be lots to read, but I'll include pictures.  =)
I did not sleep well last night so I just got up "early" (8am really isn't that early for some people) b/c I just gave up on a good nights sleep.  I know why I wasn't sleeping well and it is b/c of something that happened yesterday.  Two good friends of ours just had a little baby girl.  Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy for them.  She's absolutely an adorable 8lb. baby and I look forward to seeing her again.  It's just that the event reminded me of how I'm not where I want to be in life.  Right now, I want a teaching job and I want to try having kids.  Ideally, I want to be pregnant by the time I'm 30.  Right now, we don't have the money for it.  Now before everyone starts saying, "You'll never have the money for kids!" or "There's never a right time to have kids!" I don't exactly agree.  Yes, kids cost lots of money and it will never feel exactly like the right time but there are better times than others.  Right now, we just bought a house so we are paying a good amount of money towards bills every month and we have some spending money but not much.  We are just barely comfortable with what we have now b/c only one of us makes a decent living.  It's stressful enough w/o kids.  
Anyway, the whole point for writing this story is that I want to share some ways that I have learned to make myself feel better.   

1. Open the windows, or at least the blinds/curtains, and let some light in and a fresh breeze.
2. Eat something
3. Listen to some music
4. Sit outside and soak up the sounds of nature.  Enjoy the breeze that runs through your hair.  Enjoy the sites of birds bouncing from branch to branch.
5. Read an inspirational quote, or blog or YouTube video of someone you find inspiring.  If you don't know any quotes, keep saying to yourself, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming." :)
6. Remind yourself that if you don't keep trying, you DEFINITELY won't accomplish what you want.
7. Just do it!  Another words, if you have something you should be doing, just start it without dwelling on it and before you know it, you won't want to stop what you are doing.
8. Meditate

I hope this helps.  I shall leave you with an adorable picture of a baby that is wearing a hat I knitted for her and a picture of a butterfly I just recently took.  Thank you for following!

Edit: When I say "Eat something", I mean that you may be in a sad mood b/c you are hungry. Eating something healthy, of course, is best.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gardening and getting a job again

Lots of pictures in this blog so you have been warned.  Gardening!  It makes me happy to see all of the different plants in my new garden.  It's a surprise every week b/c I didn't plant any of the flowers. The previous owners did.  I am happy I am not working much this summer b/c the garden is keeping me quite busy.  As the flowers come up I am researching on what I need to do to each plant to keep it healthy.  I am also keeping track of where all of the plants are and of course weeding and watering quite often.



Black swallowtail
I am getting wonderful pictures of wild life.  All sorts of bugs and birds that I have never seen up close.  I grew up in the city and as a result my husband makes fun of me when I tell him I have never seen a certain animal or bug in real life i.e. pretty much any bird but a crow.  I have seen a nest with babies calling for their mother.  I have heard a bird chirp that sounds like a drop of water.  I have seen bees pollinating my flowers.  It's beautiful and here are a some of my favorite photos of the wild life.

I have had a great harvest so far.  I have had quite a few strawberries, zucchini, lemon balm, basil, mint and dill.  I did plant all of those.  As a result, I am experimenting with some recipes and drinking more tea than usual.  If ANYONE needs lemon balm, please tell me.  I have one plant and I am drying lemon balm at least once per week and the amount I get just keeps growing.  
I love that I am able to do all of this.  I've been wanting to grow things from a garden for so long so it is quite satisfying.  I am already thinking about next year and how I can make the garden my own.

Lastly, I am still looking for a job.  I am keeping my hopes high.  People do get hired just a couple of weeks before school starts.  I have had some pretty good interviews and I still didn't get the positions so I am pretty sure the economy is hurting me more than myself.  Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.  =)

Here are a couple of tips for interviewing...research the job beforehand and make it apparent during the interview that you researched (i.e. mention the motto/mission statement of the company or school), also, bring questions to the interview.  So for my interviews, I often ask questions about what I feel is important to have in a job such as collaboration and mentor programs for first-year teachers.  I have been at places that are terrible at collaboration and I have seen the positive effects of when collaboration is implemented well so I obviously want a school that collaborates well.  Well, salut, for now.  Live long and prosper.  :)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Running and Getting a Job

Lately, I have not felt the desire to run.  The only inspiration I have is from the running program I'm volunteering for and my husband.  I have a strange relationship to running.  I like what running physically does for me.  It keeps me in shape.  I gain muscles in my legs.  It helps me maintain weight and sometimes loose a little.  Overall, I feel running is the best way to stay in shape so it is my exercise of choice.  On the other hand, I hate running.  I don't like the pain.  It's a challenge that I feel is sometimes impossible to overcome and I think those who love running are crazy.  I have never loved running.  Despite the hatred, I just recently have come to realize I will never quit.  I've been off and on running since 2001.  Why haven't I quit?  For the reasons above.  My physical health is important to me.  

Last year I ran in several races, mostly 5Ks.  This year, I haven't run in a single one and I haven't signed up for any either.  First off, I work on weekends and most races are on the weekends.  Secondly, they are expensive.  Third, you get a lot of the same old crap race after race.  I really don't need any more t-shirts.  There is just one race I want to run in this year and it is the Hot Chocolate Race in Chicago.  I get excited just thinking about it.  =)  It is on the weekend and it is expensive but I get to be in downtown Chicago.  My favorite city in the US.  (Paris being my fave outside the US).  I also get an awesome jacket, not a t-shirt.  I get chocolate after the race AND lastly, they have a 15K which I've never raced.  Yea!  So if you like Chicago, chocolate, a cool jacket and a challenging, but not too challenging run, sign up.  Hmmm...Chicago, chocolate, cool jacket, and challenging run... the big 4 Cs.  Anyway, if you want to know how my race was last year, just go here

I have some pictures I've taken as of late and I feel the need to share them.  I just recently moved into a house, (Yea!) and I've been taking pictures of all the flowers that have been popping up.  The irises have been my favorite. 

I also have a new nephew and a new cousin. Well, the cousin isn't that new.  I just don't get to see that family very often.  
Lastly, I have a couple of tips for people looking for a job. There is a website called LinkedIn.  You can post your job experience on the site and find friends on there too but it is strictly networking for career purposes.  You cannot become friends with people who you don't know.  You can also join groups such as a group for alumni for your school.  Another tip I have for trying to get a job, print business/networking cards.  I got mine through Vistaprint.  Carry the cards around with you so when someone wants to know your contact information you can just give them a card.  You may be surprised by what happens.  I gave mine to someone and they said that they used to be a principal at a former school and starting asking me where I would like to get a teaching job.  The last tip I have is to send a thank you card to the people that interviewed you.  I just print my own with index sized cards I bought at Wal-Mart.  I have more tips I can share but I will save those for another day.  I leave you with an inspiring quote that helps me get through the tough times of applying for jobs over and over again.  

Believe in yourself, and you will succeed.  A plus tard!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Cheap Wedding is Possible

I was happily married last May to a boyfriend of 6 1/2 years so to say the least, I had a lot of time to think about what type of wedding I wanted.  I knew I didn't want to spend a lot of money on my wedding b/c by then I had asked around about the amount of money people had spent.  I heard $10,000 and $15,000.  I knew other people that had spent more than that just based on what their wedding looked like.  You can tell a lot from decorations.  Location and flowers can be very expensive.  I'm not the type to spend a lot of money on anything unless I have to and knew there were cheaper ways of having weddings and still have a wonderful time.  My goal was to have a pretty wedding with blue, silver and white as my colors but mainly just to have the best time that we could possibly have.  My wedding was $6000.  I had about 100 people at my wedding and it lasted from 5:30 PM to midnight.  Many people told me that our wedding was the best wedding that they had been to so being cheap does not mean you cannot have a good time.  So here are some tips.

I went with blue and white silk flowers and made my own bouquets.  Real flowers are expensive and not very economically friendly being they usually need to be shipped in from some distant place.  You can also keep these flowers as a momento unlike real ones.  

I bought my bunches of flowers, ripped them apart so that each flower was separated from each bunch, then gathered what flowers I wanted in each bouquet, wrapped wire around each bouquet, and then wrapped and glued white ribbon and silver ribbon on to each.  I used a knife to separate all of the flowers from each other.  If you have someone to help you it will be much easier as well.  You can also buy silk boutonnieres from a craft store. 

Table Numbers
Marth Stewart's wedding website was my friend for a couple of things.  I went to her website, downloaded and printed templates for the tables numbers, and then glued them onto cardboard I had from boxes that the gifts came in.

Card Holder
I took one of the deeper boxes our presents came in, wrapped the box blue and the lid silver, cut a slit in the top so it was big enough for a card to fit in and a printed up a sign that said "Cards."

Center Pieces
One of the most expensive ways you can have a centerpiece is by doing bouquets of real flowers.  I went to the dollar store, bought some shallow bowls for a buck a piece, filled the bowls with water (you can color the water too), and put silver and white floating candles on top of the water.  I also bought fake blue petals and had them scattered on the tables.  I also saw at Micheal's some premade flower pots with fake flowers that were not too expensive.

Wedding Party Favors
I don't really have advice on how to buy these cheap but I did go to Goodwill and find gift bags for a dollar to wrap them in.

I also really wanted something personal for the those participating in the wedding b/c I feel like these are often very generic gifts so I started looking for things when we got engaged.  I bought a variety of gifts.  I knew my one bridesmaid liked turtles so when I went to New Orleans I bought her beads with turtles on them.  She loved them.  My DJ, who was a friend as well, is a volunteer firefighter so I bought him fireman beads.  I also bought him a cigarette lighter with his initials which is more of your typical wedding gift.  It's all of a matter of taste but don't restrict yourself to the typical wedding gift.

Guest Favors
These, of course, can also be expensive.  My goal for these was to have something that was not expensive, something that was not going to get thrown away afterward, and to have something that showed my appreciation for the guests.  For my wedding I had a variety of candy in blue, white, and silver.  I bought most of my candy from Candywarehouse with the exception of chocolate. 
I did not buy the chocolate from there b/c they would have had to ship it overnight thus being more expensive.  I just bought chocolate from Wal-Mart.  All of the candy was quite yummy and I had tons leftover.  You can get candy that has wrappers with your name on it or M&Ms with your name on it but I thought the price was not worth it.  Instead I decided to buy blue and white bags with blue and white ribbon with silver stamps on them that said Thank You.  

I also bought glass containers from Salvation Army, Goodwill, and the dollar store to hold some of the candy and I went to Martha Stewert's website and found a way to hold my suckers.

The one thing I kept in mind when I was looking for these was that 99% of them were going to get thrown away no matter how pretty they were.  I also knew the more color, usually the more expensive so I stuck with white invitations and black ink.  I found my invitations at Michael's on clearance and I got them printed at Wal-Mart for pretty darn cheap.  All I needed to do was write up what I wanted on the invitations and emailed it to them.  I also had a wedding website with more information (i.e. driving directions, things to do) which cut down on printing as well. 

Garter-I had two garters, one to keep and one to throw.  I made my own garter by crocheting it white, running silver ribbon and elastic through it, and putting blue beads on it.  My other garter was one I bought from Michael's.  I know everyone can't make their own garter but if you know someone that can it will mean more to you and save you money.  Mine had my colors and it had three charms on it that meant a lot to me.

Veil-Veils are a cheap piece of material so I find it ridiculous that wedding stores charge you at least $100 for them.  When I was trying on my dress they put one on me, I liked it, I asked how much and I said, "No thank you."  I made my own.  You can go to a craft store like Micheal's or JoAnne's and buy one and dazzle it up as you like for much cheaper.  I bought the veil, glued it on to the comb and beaded my veil with blue and white beads so it matched everything else all for no more than $10.  

Flower Basket-Again, I made my own.  I shopped around a bit until I found a small basket that would be easy to reach into to get petals.  I bought some white fabric and blue fabric and silver ribbon.  I put both fabrics inside the basket, estimated on how much I needed, took the fabric out, sewed them together, cut the fabric so there wasn't too much excess hanging over the basket, put the sewed fabric back into the basket, and wrapped the fabric around the top of the basket so you can see some of the fabric from the outside too.  I wrapped the silver ribbon around the basket and glued and sewed it so it would stay in place.  

Ring Bearer Pillow-I took the same fabric from the basket and sewed a pillow up.  I bought some fake rings from a craft store and sewed those on as well with a silver and blue ribbon around them.

Sand Ceremony Glasses-For some reason when you say you want a set of glasses for a certain type of ceremony, the price doubles.  Our main glass the sand was going into was actually a memorial glass and the tubed glass with the sand in it I bought for cheap at some local store. 

This is not so easy but I'll try to give you some advice.  If you are going to have your wedding at a place that only allows their food, it will likely be more expensive.  If you can get someone from the outside to cater, it will likely be cheaper.  Obviously, if you have a full-on meal with waiters coming to your table, it will be more expensive than a buffet.  If you use plasticware it will be cheaper.  I went with a buffet style.  We also had some appetizers but only enough for the guests to have one each b/c the dinner was to follow shortly afterward.  I only had the appetizers to give them something to do while we took pictures outside.

As for dessert, there really is no way to make it cheaper as far as I know.  We had a small cheese cake for the two of us and a variety of cupcakes and mini cheesecakes for everyone else.  It really wasn't cheaper than having two or three cakes for everyone.  Part of the reason we didn't go with cake for everyone is for the fact that a lot of people don't like cake.  I myself don't even like regular cake. 

At first, I wanted open bar and then I found out the prices.  We decided to have a $100 tab for the wedding party, one keg for everyone, free soft drinks for everyone and paid alcohol for everyone else.  Remember, if people need to drive, having open bar may not be the best option.

For our toasting flutes, I bought personalized plastic ones.  I could have gone cheaper with non-personalized ones or more expensive with glass so I went with the middle ground.  I wasn't too sure of the plastic but then I realized that no one but us would realize if they were plastic.  I've never been to a wedding where I noticed what type of toasting flutes the bride and groom had.

We did not hire a DJ unless you count our friend that set up the sound and pressed play for us for free.  My hubby and I took at least a couple of hours going through the music that we had in order to have fun after the wedding.  It was not easy b/c I have tons of music I like but I do not have tons of music that other people necessarily like or want to hear while they are partying.  For example, I like Evanescence, Hoobastank, and Three Doors Down.  Most of their music is not exactly the type of music you start dancing to at a party.  Every time I came across a song that I liked I had to ask myself if other people would like to start dancing to it or to start singing to it.  For example, any music by Justin Timberlake or Timbaland is probably pretty good to dance to.  The song, American Pie, by Don McLean is not a song you dance to but it is a song everyone likes to sing.  Yes, it is your wedding, but you don't want to bore the guests to death b/c then they'll start leaving early and that will make you unhappy.

I was lucky to have two family friends do all of my photos and at the end they put all of the pictures on a disc.  We do have to print them but it will still be cheaper than a professional doing it.  Anyway, at a wedding, there are so many people taking photos, you are bound to get some really good ones through them too.  A photographer is good for getting those shots that other people are unable to b/c they are sitting down in a place far from where the couple is.

My friends and family decorated.  I just needed to give them the decorations.  I was soooo happy with the results.

Wedding Coordinator
I did most of my planning which was not hard.  I just needed someone for the day of the wedding to make sure everything ran smoothly.  My friend who was trying to start her own business as a wedding coordinator did it for free as long as I gave her a testimonial.  Score!

I think this covers everything I saved money on.  So much went into the wedding I'm bound to forget something.  Remember you are not the only one trying to save money.  I told my bridesmaids that they could have any dress as long as it was the right shade of blue.  I told my ushers they could just wear their own black suits, they didn't need to rent them.  I even told my husband that he and his groomsmen could wear black suits and I wouldn't have cared.  I just wanted to be married to him and then have a wonderful celebration afterward with our friends and family.  Lastly, your friends and family can be a really good asset.  I know mine helped save me tons of money so I made sure they knew they were being appreciated.  Good luck!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Hot Chocolate and catching up

Salut!  I hope everyone's holidays were wonderful.  Today, it is a pretty chilly day so when I came home from work the first thing I wanted was hot chocolate.  I recently have been experimenting with putting extra yummy ingredients in my hot chocolate to make it taste better because in my opinion, it's usually pretty bland.  Some of the ingredients may sound strange but try them and you may surprise yourself.  
  • sea salt
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • honey or agave nectar
  • caramel
  • instant coffee, I use decaf
  • cayenne pepper
  • marshmallows
 In other news, in November, my Hubby and I went to a local state park.  I wish we went earlier so that we could have hiked more but I still managed to get some pretty nice pictures. My favorite picture was this one of the water.  I love the way the water looks like a silk blanket almost. 
 I like this one b/c it shows the brilliant blue the water was that day.
 I like this one b/c it shows how the tree is twisting.  It reminded us of our honeymoon b/c at the Grand Canyon the Juniper trees twist like this.
 I like this one b/c I love seeing the obvious depth perception with the sidewalk and I like how it is wavy.
My last picture is of a deer.  I took many pictures of a whole family of deer.  I think there were seven.  I spent at least 20 minutes taking pictures of them until some loud kids came and scared them away.  I find it kind of irritating when I'm in a quiet place like a state park and I hear loud people.  I like to take pictures and it is very difficult to do so when there are loud people around.  I also don't find the park as peaceful either as a result.  Part of the reason I like going to parks is just to relax and calm myself.

Lastly, I hope everyone has a wonderful new year.  I just have a couple of goals because I try not to set myself up for failure.  I feel most people do because their goals are too vague and they have too many of them.  My first goal is to gain more confidence in myself.  That will be measurable by how I do in future interviews.  Another goal is to knit more from my stash and more from my knitting/crochet books.  I guess that will be measured by whether I buy more yarn or books.  I have quite a bit of both and I reallllly don't want anymore.  I also hate seeing all of the yarn I have.  Well, thank you for reading.  Perhaps I'll make it a point to blog more.  We'll see.  Adios!