Wedding, Engagement Ring Etiquette: What am I supposed to do here?

bridal, wedding, jewelryI love my engagement ring. Granted, I never really wanted one because they are just a marketing ploy by diamond companies to sell diamonds. But the ring Paul gave me is so sparkly and it has a lot of meaning for him, so I love it.

The problem is that I don’t know how much I’m supposed to wear it. Does anyone know proper engagement ring etiquette? When am I supposed to wear it? All the time? Can’t I take it off to clean the dishes and the toilets? What about when I take a shower or go to sleep?

So, of course I googled it.

The problem is that my questions weren’t answered.  I just had new questions. Wait. What am I supposed to do the day of the ceremony? Do I wear my ring on my right hand and then move it after the ceremony? There’s an order to which ring goes first on my hand?

That’s when I realized…fuck it. I’m going to do what I want. I’m going to do what feels practical. I don’t care what anyone else thinks. I just don’t want to ruin the ring or, god forbid, lose it.

I don’t know what I’m going to do at the ceremony. I might wear my engagement ring on my right hand until after the ceremony.  I might wear it on my left and just switch the rings after.  I know I won’t be giving the ring to someone else to hold until the moment in the ceremony when Paul puts the wedding band on my finger. I’m a control freak. If anyone is going to lose the ring, I’d rather it be me. I don’t want to be pissed off at someone when I could have prevented said anger.

If/when you get/got married, what would/will you do with the engagement ring?

Wedding Advice: 5 things no one tells you and neither will I

Did my  crafty title suck you in?  Of course, it did.  It sounds like one of the plethora of Buzzfeed posts.

Here’s the thing about planning weddings: They are stressful as fuck.

weddings, nuptials, freak out, calm downIt doesn’t matter if you are running off to Vegas to get hitched in front of a few close family and friends like me or if you are planning a huge shindig with 200 people.  It’s going to stress you out.

I’m a control freak. I fully admit it.  My biggest problem is managing the money.  This wedding is turning into a money monster and only 20 people are coming.  At every corner I find myself draining more and more of my bank account.  While I managed to pay less than $50 for my dress, the amount I spent for the photographer gives me minor panic attacks when I think about it.  I know in the end it will be worth the price, but right now I’m having a little freak out.

We’re not going into debt for the wedding.  I refuse to start out our marriage in debt.  If we honestly cannot afford something, it’s not happening.  There’s nothing wrong with living within your means.

Then of course, I worry about silly things I cannot control. You know, like, people dying before the ceremony. Will everything go off without a hitch? Did I remember to take care of everything? People talk to me about what I’ve been doing to get ready and then they ask me…did you take care of blah, blah, blah?  I wasn’t even thinking about that! Dammit! Now I have to spend more money because if I don’t have blah, blah, blah, I’m going to be annoyed.

I try to make lists.  It does help me get some perspective.

That’s my real problem. I keep losing perspective.  When I stop and think about this wedding and reception, I get a happy feeling.  I can see in my mind, Paul and me smiling. I can see the guests having a good time.

Here’s my advice to you, unless you are just going to elope, don’t take on any other hobbies or commitments while you are planning your wedding. I had to contend with the coldest goddamn winter Minnesota has seen in 30 years or something.  Believe me, that was a stressor I didn’t need.

Personally, I only have so much brain power to go around.  I swear my stress is making me have holes in my memory. When you have alot going on, it’s tough to remember everything.

Also, don’t go on a diet.  For the love of all that’s holy, just accept yourself as you are.  You are beautiful. Say it with me, “I am beautiful.” If you just want to feel healthy, then by all means, start eating better and getting some exercise, but don’t do it because you want to look good in photos.  You are going to create stress for yourself when you don’t need it.

Let your personality come through at your wedding and reception.  There is no law that says you have to wear a $3,000 white gown.  You don’t even have to wear white if you don’t want.  Heck, you don’t even have to wear a dress if that’s not who you are.  Do what you want.  Don’t do things to please others because then no one is going to be happy.

Wedding Photography: Social media and trends

Your wedding photos are an important aspect of the day.  Most people hire someone. Now, you know the professional will not be the only one taking photos…not in this social media day and age.  Personally, I’m encouraging people to take as many phone photos as they want during the reception and share them on Facebook and Twitter.  In fact, I’ve even made some props to help them out.

Yes, I’m succumbing to the photo booth prop rage.  And of course, I will include a printable (or four) at the end of this post.  But first, I’ll tell you how to create your own.  Yes, you can buy these on Etsy or somewhere else on the internets, but when you are a control freak like me, you make your own.

It’s not that difficult.

Back when my sister got married, twelve years ago, the instant cameras at the tables were the big thing.  Now, it’s holding up a piece of paper glued to a stick.

That sounded lamer than I meant.  It was kind of an interesting exercise for me creatively.

I used Picmonkey to make all of my images.  If you upgrade to the Royale (not with cheese) version, you can access some really cool comic bubbles.

  1. First choose the design option.  There’s an 8 x 10 canvas available which is perfect.
  2. Pick your comic bubble or label, add color to it if you want.  About two should fit on a canvas.  You want it to be rather big, about half of a page, so it will come out well and be easy to cut out.
  3. Now you can add text to the bubble. There are a variety of fonts available.  I say make it chunky & simple so it’s easy to read in photos.
  4. If you are super creative, you can add in images, create mustaches, bow ties, or sunglasses.  I’m not, but I encourage you to do so!
  5. When you are done, download it as a PNG file.  If it has text on it, the text will look fuzzy if you choose JPG.
  6. Print it out on a color printer.
  7. Get some craft sticks from a hobby store or possibly Target.  Also, get glue.
  8. Cut out your photo props and stick them to the sticks.

It’s that easy!  Oh yeah, here are the printables I promised.






Why are weddings so expensive?

BudgetWeddingTipsI’m pretty sure a budget wedding is a myth like a unicorn.  Unless of course, you actually elope and just go to City Hall one day while on break from lunch at work and your reception is a sandwich from Subway. Hey, they have $5 footlong sandwiches.  That will feed at least two people!

Throughout this wedding planning adventure I have come to realize that shit is expensive. Although, I’m pretty sure people are gouging brides and grooms, but I don’t have enough evidence to prove this theory.

You know that stuff you see all over pinterest that looks all shabby chic, vintage, and handmade?  None of that is cheap. Even if you are lucky enough to have the talent, time, and patience to create that barn door chalkboard on which to display the wedding agenda, you still need the cash to create it.

Also, those apothecary jars full of light orange jelly beans look really pretty on the tables, but who in the hell will eat them? Unless they are Jelly Belly, yuck.  And if they are…spendy! What the heck do you do with them when you’re done? Use them as decor in your house?  Hooray for dusty jellybeans.

At my wedding, we are having 25 people, not including me and Paul.  I thought I could do the whole thing for under $5,000. Um. No. Maybe if we weren’t getting married in Las Vegas, but it seems at every turn I am getting nickeled and dimed…well, more like ten and twenty dollars.

Photography is insanely expensive.  Yes, I know it’s artistic and these people are making a living.  It’s just that I am still reeling from the sticker shock. I can’t find a decent photographer for under $1,100 and expect to get digital negatives.

We aren’t even having most of the traditional crap you find at weddings.  There will be no cake.  There will be no DJ. An ice sculpture of Goldy the Gopher? No. Sorry, Paul. Although, it’s cold enough in Minnesota that we could probably do it tomorrow on our patio.

Ok, I did get some favors, but they were not expensive.  I think I paid like $50 for the whole lot including shipping. And I don’t have to shove bags of jordan almonds together.

So, we cut back in places that really don’t matter to us…like the DJ and the cake, but we splurge on things that will last a lifetime…like the photography.

Was anyone else shocked by the price of things when they got married or am I just a cheap ass?

New Year’s Resolutions for 2014

NewYearsResolutionsWhat I really need are goals for 2014, but I’m going to phrase them as resolutions because that’s more marketing friendly, right?


2014 is the year I turn 40.  Yep. I cannot believe it.  I still feel about 30.  I loved my 30s, but my 40s will begin with the love of my life at my side, so I’m ready to set some goals to enrich and possibly en-wealth (I know that’s not a word), myself.

1) Create a business plan for my blog. It’s time to stop pussy footing around and approach my writing in a more business-like manner.  I’m determined to increase all kinds of stats and actually get some income from my efforts.  The day I spent at Bloggy Boot Camp inspired me to change my mind and get things done in the blog world. Creating a plan will be the first step.

2) Stop going out to lunch.  This goal will help me in two ways.  First, I’ll lose some weight because I won’t be overindulging in burgers and french fries on a regular basis and second, more importantly, I will save a ton of money. If I can get my daily lunch cost under $5 per meal and still feel satisfied, I totally win.

3) Watch one new movie each month.  I love watching movies and seem to keep watching the same crap all the time.  OK, it’s not crap because I like the movies, but I want to expand my horizons.  I want to see some classics I have yet to enjoy.  I want to see new releases BEFORE they hit the DVD rack.

4) Read one new book every two months.  It’s really tough for me to find new books to read.  I love fiction.  I want to read more non-fiction, but it’s kind of boring.  Books on my Nook can be really cheap, so there’s no excuse for me to avoid this from a monetary standpoint.  I welcome any and all suggestions.

5) Make one new dish each month.  I’ll try to make it fairly healthy, but Paul is kind of particular about what he eats.  He is however, willing to try just about anything.  My real cooking fear is not the process, but the time management.  When should I start what? How long will it take me to prepare the meal in toto?

I’m trying to make these goals or resolutions as specific as possible.  When they get general (I want to lose weight! I want to be rich!) they feel impossible to reach.

More bumping: Lego Minifigures Series 11

Scientist, Rock Climber, Yeti, Waitress, Elwood Sax Guy, Constable, Welder, Robot Gal, Elf

Scientist, Rock Climber, Yeti, Waitress, Elwood Sax Guy, Constable, Welder, Robot Gal, Elf

As you might recall, in September, Paul acquired a few of the “grab bag” type minifigures from Lego.  A few weeks ago, we went to the Mall of America Lego store and acquired a few more.

We used the combo bump code & feel up method to try and determine what minifigures lie in the green bags, but sadly, we still don’t have a gingerbread man.  The waitresses’ tray feels very similar to his head.  Plus, the bump code wasn’t the same one as the waitress we already had.

One of the people at the Lego store said that the problem with the bump codes is that there could be manufacturing defects in the bags, so the bumps aren’t very reliable. Could be. I mean you can see the doubles in the above image that have different bumps.

I guess that’s part of the fun though, not really knowing what’s in the bag until you open it.

I still want that gingerbread man!

How to paint a chair?

IKEA, paint, red, do it yourselfFurniture and I have a complex relationship. I have a tough time committing.  It’s rare for me to find exactly what I want…at a price I can afford. If money was no object, I’d have no problem buying a dining set.

But, sadly, I have to earn my money like the rest of the unwashed masses.  So, I decided that I would just create what I want.

OK, I didn’t build the chair. Technically, Paul did that, but it was a set of IKEA chairs.  I could have done it, but he completed the task before I could even think about beginning it. He’s awesome like that.

But I digress…

So, I decided to paint these chairs a lovely shade of red called Ladybug.  I chose red because I’m using feng shui for my design paradigm and the color will bring some good chi into that area of our home.

Did I mention I’ve never painted a chair before in my life?

I know how to paint things. I’ve watched my parents paint numerous walls in their homes. I know how to prepare, get brushes, drop clothes, paint trays, tape…well, I didn’t need tape, just all that other stuff.

Luckily because I’d bought IKEA chairs, there was no need to sand.  Plus, the paint I bought already had primer in it, so the guy at Home Depot said I wouldn’t need to buy it separately, unlike shampoo and conditioner.

The thing was…where do I start?  I looked at it logically.  I would need to move the thing around, so I should probably do the seat last, start at the top in the back and work my way down.

Oddly enough, this was a correct way to do it.  Although, I wonder if there really is a correct way to do it.

I’m just proud of the fact that I didn’t have to Google something to figure out how to do it.  I just opened that can and went to town.

Wait, that didn’t sound right.