Wednesday, March 5, 2014

So You Are Going To Be In A Wedding: The How To Guide On Being The Perfect Bridesmaid

This year has been many of lasts and firsts for me.  I am finishing up my last semester of college at Texas A&M (insert whoop and a few tears here) and have started looking for my first big girl job as a teacher.  But for anyone who has ever been 22 and graduating knows it also means everyone and there cousins are getting engaged, married, and having babies! Let's just say I am one of those saying, "If another one of my Facebook friends gets engaged I am going to chunk this computer!!!" Well my best friend and roommate of two years was one of those lovely friends that found her man and some how convinced him to marry her.  And so begins my life of bridal showers, bachelorette parties and the most dreaded bridesmaid dress shopping. Now, that my life is starting to slow down some and this fun is coming to a close...for now. I figured I would take the time to type up a How To Guide on surviving being a bridesmaid.  Sooo, here I go. 

Bridal Shower/ Bachelorette Party  
1. Establish who is going to head the event up. Splitting the responsibility up among the people throwing the parties is great in theory but we all know that does not always work too well.  In my case I asked if the two other girls would mind if I took the lead and kept them informed, gave them options, and asked for their input. 
2. Determine how you will pay for the party.  Will you split it all at the end? Will someone front all the money and then determine each persons share? Will you go as a group and buy everything together and split it up that way? Will you buy it as you go? What is your budget? 
3. Plan several weeks/months in advance.  My group started to talk about this in late November but didn't start really planning till mid December and the party wasn't until the last week of January! By planning in advance you will avoid the stress of last minute running around.  It will also allow you to get all those adorable things people, like myself, sell on etsy because sometimes it takes a few weeks to get things shipped.  Bride To Be Sash
4. Save money by: shopping sales, using coupons,  and making your own stuff instead of buying off etsy.  
5. Another idea to save money is what we did, we combined the two parties together and did a all day/ weekend party. 
6. Search pinterest for inspiration. 

Leading up to the big day
1. Rent your dress if possible instead of buying one! Come on, how many times will you wear that dress again? Umm NONE! I was able to rent my dress from a company called Little Borrowed Dress. It was cheap and  easy but with that being said expect a "cheaper" dress to arrive.  I wasn't too fired up about the dress when I tried it on and I messed with it the whole night because I really was in between the two sizes I ordered but would I do it again? Definitely! So far returning the dress was as easy as getting it! It arrived two weeks before the wedding and unlike several other places they ship you two dresses in two different sizes for the same price! Out of all the rental sites I found (which are few and far between) I found this one to be the best one for the best price.  Even though I did not love the dress on me I will say in several of the pictures I have seen so far from this weekend it photographed well.
2. Make your appointments early! Hair, makeup, nails, and even spray tanning if you are like me and are pretty pale and your color is really light you will need it! You can also save money here is you do the obvious and do your own but sometimes the brides insist that you get your hair, make up, and nails done professionally (luckily my bride isn't one of those). 
3. Give the best gift your bride will ever get and she will actually use it! I gave my cousin a bridal survival kit that I actually made and she swears she doesn't know what she would have done without it she used every single thing in the kit! Here is a list of a few things I put in it: hair spray, bobby pins, clothes pins, deodorant, tooth brush, tooth paste, mouth wash, tissues, stain remover, advil, lint brush, hair brush, comb, and maybe even add a little bottle of liquid courage. Another idea is giving her a wedding planner for her to keep all the important things in one place! 
4. Call the bride every so often to check on her.  Don't call her every day or several times a week (unless she asks you too) but call her maybe once every week or so to see if there is anything she needs help on or to let her vent about the disaster with the floral arrangements or how she couldn't get the DJ she wanted.  
5. Last but not least remember it is HER day NOT YOURS! If she picks an ugly dress suck it up! If its an outdoor wedding and its raining and you have to run out in the rain to get things for her and ruin your hair and make up, don't complain! Be helpful make her glad she asked you to be apart of one of the most important days in her life! 

Things no one talks/warns you about! 
1. The cost! Between the dress, shoes, make up, hair, nails, gifts, parties, gas to get everywhere, the hotels and maybe even airfare it is going to cost you A LOT!!! 
2. Dealing with other bridesmaids! You think the worse part would be the bride? Think again! I personally haven't experienced this but I know several people I am close friends with have and trust me the stories I have heard! Sometimes you need to be that person for your bride who doesn't cause the problems but tries to solve them.  
3. MAKE THE BRIDE EAT!!! Shove it down her throat if you have to! Now this one I will tell you I was told by the grooms family a hundred times but I knew my bride well enough to know I had to make her eat even though she was too nervous.  I lived with her for almost three years and trust me no one wants her to ever be hungry! 
4. Be prepared! Planing for anything and everything like: a drunk bride, if it is raining, snowing, or the coldest week in March Texas has ever seen (yeah they had to shut down the schools this week where the wedding is being held! Our rehearsal was outside in 40 degree weather, raining and strong winds needless to say we were popsicle).  Have someone to be in charge of the brides phone and responsible to handle all issues that might come up. The bride shouldn't have to worry about whether or not the cater is lost and is calling for directions or if their friend who has never been to a wedding before is just calling to talk to her while she is getting ready! Be prepared!  

These are just some things I have experienced, read about, or been told by other people so I figured that I should write them down.  That way that bridesmaid who has never been one before like myself has something to go by and knows what to expect! With that being said "We're going to the chapel and Ana is going to get married!"

Monday, September 30, 2013

Clean Eating Pizza

A while back I showed y'all how to make salads in a jar and now I am going to show you another one of my favorite meals...PIZZA!!! This is a easy and delicious! So here is the recipe.  

Recipe: Clean Eating Pizza 

HEB Thin pizza crusts (found in the pizza section
Homemade Sauce
Any vegetables or topings you want (My favorites are: mushrooms, red onions, spinach, feta, artichokes, and turkey sausage)

How to make it: 

1. Preheat your oven to 425 (if you are using HEB brand pizza crust) 

2. Make the pizza sauce (which can also double as spaghetti sauce).  It takes on can of tomato sauce and one can of tomato paste with a lot of Italian seasonings.  These are my favorites. Heat the two in a small sauce pan

3. Once you have made the sauce spread it on the pizza crust using a spoon.  

4. Now take any toppings you want on your pizza and spread them around, the thinner they are cut the faster and better they cook.  Here is what my two pizzas look like

Also here are some of my favorite toppings

Sorry the picture is blurry!

5. Cook for about 10-15 minutes. 

6. Cut and enjoy! 

 Yummy Yummy in my tummy, without getting a bigger tummy :)


Saturday, September 28, 2013

And the winner is.......

Congradulations Ashlyn! You are the winner of the earring holder and a gift card to Olive Garden! I will email you to get your mailing address to ship it to you some time this week! Thank you for all who participated! 

On a side note.  I plan on sharing my recipe for clean eating pizza some time this weekend so check back soon!

Friday, September 20, 2013

My TV Debut Plus Contest!

Howdy y'all!!! I filmed with Fox 26 a few weeks back and today my segment aired with them! Because of this I wanted to show you, the segment, a few photos from the filming and have a contest for you to have a chance to win the earring holder from the segment and a $15 dollar gift card to a restaurant! Hope you enjoy! Thank you to everyone who has made my blog a huge success thus far!!! 

Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Do you know that book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie"? Well if you take a blogger/crafter into a thrift shop, she is going to shop! Here is how we tried to hide our finds while waiting to be filmed.  Seriously people in thrift shops will take the stuff right off your table when you are trying to film! I had a lady try and walk off with my camera that was less than one foot away from me! 

Now for the part y'all are all interested in...the contest!!! 
To enter you must become a follower of my blog.  Anyone who enters and doesn't show up on my blogs list of followers, on the right hand side of my blog, will not be eligible to win! If a winner is selected that is, out of the country or not a follower of the blog, I will open the contest up again for one day to select a new winner.  You must live in the US to participate but feel free to still follow my blog! 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chalkboard Refrigerator for Renter!

This is will be a simple and easy DIY for those of you who: one are renters (like myself) and cannot paint your refrigerator or two you don't want to paint your refrigerator to realize you want to go back to what you had before

Things you need: 
  • Chalkboard contact paper 
  • Scissor
  • Credit card (to get any air bubble out that might occur)
  • Patience  
How To: 
  1. Cut your contact paper to the size you want to cover on your refrigerator
  2. Pull back a little of the backing on the back side of contact paper and position where you want it. 
  3. Work in small sections and run your hand over the contact paper as you put it on the fridge.  I found an up and down motion to be the best for eliminating the number of air bubbles.  The first time I did this I did it differently and had HUGE bubbles every where! 
  4. Take some chalk and write good job to congradulate yourself! 
  5. Stand back and admire your handy work. 
I used 3M's Chalkboard Contact Paper that I found at Walmart during the back to school time.  I will warn you that some of it had nicks in it and I couldn't use that section.  If I had more I would cover the bottom door of my fridge but because I did this one time before and didn't like how it came out I didn't have enough.  Also the size was just perfect for the freezer door of my refrigerator not so perfect for the frig portion.   
So there you have it.  Simple, easy, cheap, and removable!  

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Come Tour My Apartment

Howdy!!! Sorry I have not posted in a while but its September so that means: school starting, moving apartments, and seeing friends I haven't seen in months! These are my last few months here in Aggieland and since my parents are the best parents on the face of the earth they allowed me to get a one bedroom for this semester! I have spent the last week packing, moving, and settling into my new humble abode.  I am absolutely in love with my apartment and am sad that I have to move out in December! But with that being said y'all are here to see what I have done with the place so here it is! 

Entry way:
 I made the mirror above and the rug on the ground.  The three hooks are 3M Command hooks that are metal (oil rubbed bronze).  Tutorial for the rug will come in the next few weeks. 


 Shelves made by Dad and myself for old apartment worked great here to hold some stuff I couldn't bring myself to pack and to hold my baking dishes.

 Made the Texas string art years ago and fit just perfectly here.
 Anyone who knows me knows I love to bake.  I needed more counter space and a place to put my Baby, the kitchen aid mixer I got last year for my birthday, which by the way is less than a month away!!! This rolling cart by walmart works perfectly in this space!
Traci do you see the rooster!!!!
Entering the living room: 
These crates use to be in my bedroom in my old apartment but I had no space for them in my new bedroom and my mother came up with the brilliant idea of rearranging them and putting them along this wall.  I am not too wild about the fact that everyone sees all my paint and stuff for crafting but hey when you move from a 800+ sq foot to a 600 sq foot apartment you got to do what you got to do!
I have been wanting an old ladder to hang my blankets on like the one in this picture for a while but being a college student its hard to pay what people are asking for one of them. So when I came across this tutorial I made one the next day! I am in love with it!
 Notice the picture frame on the top? My craftiness rubbed off on my old roommate and she used a creative way to ask two of our friends and myself to be her bridesmaids! So excited for her and her fiance!
 Notice the picture frame on the top? My craftiness rubbed off on my old roommate and she used a creative way to ask myself and two of our friends to be her bridesmaids! So excited for her and her fiance

Living Room: 
 My mother is amazing she helped me hang my cross collection we were able to hang almost all of them using 3M Command products so there was not wall damage when I move out. 
 I built this ottoman and there will be a blog post over it in the next week as to why to NEVER build one!

 Yes I know the legs are not stained or painted.  I am still trying to decide what to do.  Why don't y'all help me. Here are the options: stained (dark walnut), painted (white/cream) or weathered (stained dark walnut then painted and sanded). Comment below your votes!


Thanks for checking out my new lovely home!  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Salad In A Jar

Howdy y'all! Some of you who know me know I have put on a few pounds since well senior year of high school but it got worse when I went off to college.  Freshman 15? hahah yeah it exists and it can be more than fifteen pounds.  Any who...I had, had enough and decided to try and loose weight this summer.  I have tried weight watchers online before, yes it works but I need someone motivating me and checking in on me so that did not last too long.  I tried my own creation of a diet with no carbs... yeah DON'T EVER DO THAT!!! It is not healthy or smart.  So when my friend from high school created a weight loss program and was looking for people to try it out I applied!  Summer Petro is nutrition major at Auburn (SSSSSSSSS, only you aggies will get that one) and is the lovely woman who created the weight loss/ clean eating business Funeral For My Fat.  I have been attempting to follow her plan for me the best I can, it can be hard but its not impossible.  Since I started the program with Summer I have lost about twelve pounds and between last month and this month I have lost 4% body fat without doing anything but following her meal plan.  So now that I have bragged about how amazing Summer is I am going to show you an example of how I do meal prep so that I stay on track! 

Salads are a big thing at my house.  I swear there isn't a meal my mother makes that doesn't have a salad on the side.  But living alone makes it difficult to make salads like my mom does.  So when I saw salad in jar I knew it would be perfect for me! Here is how I make them.  They are inspired by Salata (my favorite place to get a salad ever!!).  

What you need: 
  • Mason Jars ( large ones with wide mouths if possible) 
  • Lettuce ( I like roman, I tried red tip but it isn't as good)
  • Salad Dressing (I love La Madeleine's fat free cesar 
  • Any veggies/fruits you like in your salad (Cucumber, avocado, black beans for this one)
  • Barilla Plus Bow Tie Pasta  (cook according to the directions and let cool) 

How to make them: 
  1. Wash your lettuce and any veggies or fruits.  I wash my lettuce by cutting it and filling up the sink with water then washing the cut lettuce in it like a bath and spinning it dry in a salad spinner.  Cut and peel any veggies or fruits that need it.  
  2. The first layer in your mason jar is your salad dressingThe suggested serving on La Madeleine's dressing is 2 tbs.  I will be honest, that is a lot! I found this out the first time I made it so any where between 1-2 tbs is what you will need. 
  3. Second layer is going to be your veggies you want to marinate in the dressing.   I put my cucumber then avocado then black beans.  You want to put your veggies in order of denseness (denser on bottom).
  4.  Third layer is your Barilla pasta (make sure its completely cool before adding it!
  5. Your last layer is going to be your lettuce.  Make sure not to fill it too much so you can shake it later on down the road.  
  6.  When time to eat just, shake and serve on a plate or eat out of the jar! 
These should last about 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
HEB sells in the lunch meat section prepackaged grilled chicken you can top your salad with. 
If you have any questions don't be afraid to ask! I will post my other favorite recipe I came up with soon.