Wedding technology: websites, social media & more!

bridal, honeymoon, online, social mediaOh how times have changed…When I was out in the dating pool, most of my friends and family couldn’t comprehend the influence technology had on my love life.  Now that I’m preparing for my wedding, I am overwhelmed with the amount of technology available.

I remember when my sister got married about 10 years ago, she had a three ring binder to organize everything and cut out photos from magazines…Now, we have spreadsheets and pinterest. Did you know Google has a template you can use to organize your entire wedding? Seriously. It’s a little out of control, but then again, so are most weddings.

You can use WedKit to create an iPhone app just for your wedding.

I am using a spreadsheet to track things like who RSVP’d, what else needs to be done, how much stuff is costing…ok, I’m not really doing that last one, but I probably should.

To track ideas for the reception, dresses and hairstyles, I’m using Pinterest. I’ve even thought about hiring someone to live stream the wedding…It’s way too expensive. If we do broadcast the wedding, we will use Google Hangout because you know…it’s free.

We will be using Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to share various moments. I’m still trying to come up with a hashtag. At first, I thought I was being unique about having a hashtag for the wedding, but apparently, it’s getting a bit mainstream. That’s not going to stop us from having one though. It has to be reflective of ourselves…not just our names with the word wedding jammed at the end. How about #TwitterLoveWed? I mean since that’s how Paul and I met, it seems appropriate.

And yes, we do have a wedding website. I mean we aren’t going to send out actual invitations to people since we aren’t having that many. I did try out this thing called Capsule. It seems pretty interesting. It’s an easy way for your guests who use instagram to have their photos feed to your wedding website. Of course, it’s a way for them to get your photos and then sell them back to you in a book.

Then there is our registry…the honeymoon registry that you can only access online.

Can you imagine what will be available in the next 10 years?  Maybe people can hire robots to do everything for them…and all they would need is some medicine from old people for fuel.

Five Predictions for 2014

humor, funnyDid you know I have a crystal ball? Seriously. Mostly, it just looks pretty in our home, but today I put it to use. What does the future hold? What will happen in 2014? Yes, I made predictions!

1) A celebrity will do and/or say something stupid, ridiculous, and distracting. Come on, people haven’t you figured this crap out yet? It’s a public relations stunt. Someone somewhere is paying someone else somewhere else to talk about something. It doesn’t matter who it is or what they did. People of all types do and say dumb things all the time. It shouldn’t be newsworthy, but sadly it is. Stop paying attention to the shiny object.

2) Something will be at war that can’t actually be warring. Christmas is usually a good topic, but I think people are bored with that subject. I’ve seen cupcakes, Halloween, and storage lockers go to war on TV. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Apologies to Edwin Starr. Can we just stop having things battle that are not inherently at odds? Why can’t TV shows just teach us something? There are other plots aside from A vs B, even if they are manufactured through the editing process.

3) The government will do something you don’t like. Have you voted? If not, be quiet. If so, do something about it during the next election. Also, pick up a spy novel every now and then. These “revelations” about spying are not revelations to people who read that genre.

4) Some incredibly dumb woman will become famous and have no discernible talent. Unless of course you count the ability to create a sex tape a talent…maybe it is. I don’t know. Here’s a question, how come a man hasn’t become famous by releasing a sex tape?

5) A meme will appear on the internet (Facebook more likely than not) that was disproved 10 years ago by Snopes.com, but one or more of your friends and/or family members will think it’s true. Like this status if you love puppies and kitten, ignore if you’re a heartless asshole.

Bonus: I will assume a reputable news site has reprinted a story from theOnion.com (or other parody site) because truth is stranger than fiction. And in one case, I might be correct!

Double check that pin: The dark side of Pinterest

Pinterest-ImageYou’ve wasted…I mean spent…hours on Pinterest. So many shiny objects to distract me, but my usual skeptical instinct is not enforce.

That pretty photo of chuck roast, do you know where it came from? That nifty picture of a headboard you’ll never make…where did that originate? None of these questions cross your mind.  You’re pinning!! You’re thinking of all the cool stuff you’ll do one day, but never actually get to do. You’re not thinking of spam or hackers. I’m guilty of doing this…mostly because I’m lazy, but also because I’m a little naive.

While at Bloggy Boot Camp, someone mentioned the nefarious side of Pinterest.  There are spambots on the Pinterest.  That pretty photo might not point to the site listed.  It could direct you to a site rife with viruses.  See this cool phone nook idea?

Bad pinCute right?  When I lived in San Francisco, I used to see these phone nooks in all of the cool old apartments. Of course, they were for landlines, but this is for charging your cell phone or storing your purse. But I digress.

See the website listed on this image?  Seems legit right? WRONGPinterest warning

Luckily, Pinterest is getting better about sniffing these things out…which is good for those of us distracted by pot pies.

So, my friends, do everyone a favor and double check the link from which that pretty picture came. You might be spreading the spam if you don’t.

The best thing to do is pin directly from the source. That way you know you’ve visited the site and actually saw the blog post or article detailing how to create that cool phone nook.

Coffee addiction enabled

coffeemakerWhile at BlogHer13, I won something… a Keurig coffeemaker. All I did was tweet about how I enjoyed the Brew Over Ice tea. They put a giant chunk of ice in a plastic cup, put it under the Keurig and bada bing! Perfect iced tea. I actually went back for seconds…

While I have enjoyed using these machines at other people’s houses, I could never bring myself to buy one. Cost was a factor. The machine seemed expensive and the coffee cups didn’t seem like a good buy. Plus, I didn’t want to have to buy bottled water just to have coffee. That seemed ridiculous.

I’m getting over that. Mostly because I don’t have to use bottled water with the machine I have. It’s got a filter built into it, so I can use water from the tap. Of course, I have to replace the filter every two months, so that cost should be factored into the equation, but I’m too lazy to do the math.

Plus, when I look for Keurig stuff, I get distracted. (Shocker!)

I want all the flavors.

I’m on a mission to bring back Irish Cream as a popular flavor. When I was a kid (pre-Starbucks mind you) I loved drinking that flavor of coffee with my dad and sister. It was sweet, but not too sweet.

Plus, I want to try the random flavors like blueberry, chocolate turtle, cinnamon… OK, I haven’t seen a cinnamon one, but there should be.

Also, I want all the tea, obviously. Iced tea, but also the Sleepy Time stuff I can drink when I’ve had too much caffeine. I also want to get that little do dad that lets you brew your own coffee/tea. It might be cheaper and I can still have my favorite coffee, Peets.

Yes, I’m aware I’ll have to clean that thing out, but it can’t be that difficult or annoying, can it? Then again, just about anything can be difficult or annoying with the right mindset.

However, it is nice that the coffee is made so quickly and since I’m the only one who drinks it, I don’t have to make a pot and possibly waste a bunch of it.

Relationship Firsts: An anniversary

KeychainFor the first time in my life, I am celebrating a dating anniversary. No, this isn’t one of those, “We’ve been together for a month, so let’s Facebook it to death, schmoopie” things. One year ago on August 31st, I met the man of my dreams. I can still remember seeing him come down the escalator at the airport. I think that’s the moment I fell in love.

For those who have read my blog, you know that Paul and I met through Twitter. For those too lazy to click through the links, we chatted for a year before he jumped on a plane and flew half way across the country to visit a woman he’d only known digitally.

Sometimes in life you have to take what seems like a huge risk.  Love and logic don’t always go together. In fact, I’m pretty sure they live in different worlds.

The last year of my life has seen many, many changes, not just the time zone in which I live.  I’ve actually been in an adult relationship for a year! YAY! Miracles do happen!

If you are feeling down about your dating life, I have this one piece of advice: Have hope. I truly believe there is someone out there for everyone.

Like I’ve said before, I cannot tell you anything else because most relationship advice is bunk.  People show up in your life when you are looking for them. I was looking for a boyfriend and finally found Paul. There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need a coach. People hook up (or get married) all the time who have had no training and fewer IQ points.  It’s probably just a timing issue.

I know I got lucky with Paul.  He’s a real live grown up like me. As you can see from the Valentine’s Day post, he’s also a “romance ninja!” I am thankful for him every day.

I still can’t believe I’m living with him in Minnesota. It’s amazing. I’m in love with this awesome guy and get to hang out with him every day! And he loves me and has just as much fun with me.

We’re still in that “honeymoon” phase. I hate that saying. It makes me think that this wonderful feeling of being in love will just disappear.  I think it will just deepen.

I hope, a year from now, I’m still randomly kissing his cheek because I feel like it. I hope, a year from now, we are still laughing at silly inside jokes about cat breakfast and paleo dog food. I hope, a year from now, we are looking for Peanuts Statues around the Twin Cities. I hope, a year from now, we are still holding hands while sitting on the couch.

Partying, Twitter style

Why would you party on Twitter?  Because you can win stuff. It’s obviously BYOB since you are going to be sitting in your home/office/or wherever you log on to the internet. It usually only lasts an hour. It usually is sponsored by a brand and centered on various topics like beauty, travel, wine…right up my alley.

Anyway, last month I participated in one of these parties put on by SheSpeaks.com.  It was all about hair care and sponsored by L’Oreal. Amazingly, I won one of the beauty baskets. You can see the photo below. It was chock full of stuff.  I tried the lip gloss.  It was a color I usually wouldn’t buy, but looked decent on me.

beauty, twitter, prizes, winning

I also tried the shampoo and conditioner. It’s part of the Advanced Haircare Color Vibrancy line from L’Oreal.  Basically, it is formulated for hair that has been color treated. I really liked it and will definitely be putting it into my shampoo/conditioner rotation.  The conditioner really made my hair feel silky.

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Take me out…to the ballgame

Baseball, TwinsA week and a half ago, I went to my first Twins Game.  I love baseball.  Going to a game is also a pretty great date.  Why?  It’s a great combination of factors.

It has sports which most men (and some women like me) enjoy. It’s usually outside, so you get fresh air and sunshine (unless it rains or you live near an indoor stadium). There is booze. There is food. There is people watching and souvenirs. Need I go on?

Baseball is slow, which is good.  You don’t have to watch every single moment of it.  You can chat with your date and not feel like you’ve missed something crucial.  Pay attention, but be leisurely about it.You can chat with the strangers around you. Baseball is the common topic from which conversation and a sense of connection can spring.

Baseball has such a rich and interesting history.  The men of old who achieved feats of athleticism (based on boozetalent not chemistry), the designated hitter, the games you went to as a kid…Plus it has a ton of random statistics (some of which seem ridiculous to me) and movie connections.

Hint: If you get bored, there’s always social media to pass the time… Honestly though, I doubt you’ll need it, but it is fun to get another badge from Foursquare.

It’s the great American pastime. Why wouldn’t it be a good date?