I’ve hit that part of wedding planning where I compulsively scrutinize every. single. detail. Seriously, the centerpieces? Obsessing. I might (might) have stumbled upon something I’m fully happy with last night, but that can change at any second. The flowers? Totally have no idea what I want to do with mine. I was something amazing, cascading, but I have no inspiration. I can’t find a single thing online that I absolutely love, and that spills over to the bridesmaid flowers I loved just a couple months ago. Ahh! I have never been anything that even remotely resembles a perfectionist, so why is this coming out all of a sudden? Don’t get me wrong, I’m having a blast making stuff, and I doubt I’ll ever have the opportunity again to be able to throw myself completely into such a lavish project, but I wish I could just not be so anal about everything all of a sudden. It’s weird.
It’s not to say that I should be spazzing out about anything. We booked an awesome photographer on Saturday that seemed as excited about taking the pictures as we are about having them. We’re going to do some poses with Justin’s bike, how cool is that? She practically lit up when I suggested it! So that’s one worry done. We still need to pick out our rings. I have an excellent idea about what I want, and Justin basically picked his band out when he picked out my engagement ring. I’d just like to have them safely ordered.
I really want my dress to come in soon. More than anything. I can’t wait to put it on and find a veil to match. I keep looking at pictures on the website of the dress and it’s killing me that I have to wait until sometime in April. Stupid special order. Being tall has its benefits, but I had to wait 4 months to get my dress because they had to add extra length to it! It’s frustrating. I also want to gush and go on and on and on about it, but I don’t want Justin to have the slightest idea about what it looks like. Hell, I might try to convince him its fire engine red. heh. That would make for quite a statement! Honestly though, I cannot wait to put it on again. I also can’t wait to take pictures!
I also cannot wait to kiss my husband, that will make my heart explode with happiness =)

So Justin and I made a deal. We are giving up…plastic! Credit cards, that is. We’re both pretty bad when it comes to using the plastic money. He is a lot more financially savvy than I am, but we need to get it all under control and get ourselves out of the debt that we have control over. Obviously I cannot pay off my car easier than I can pay off my cards, so that’s our goal. The cards gotta go! You’ll see on the right of the page I added a new little section for my debt-to-be-eliminated. I got the idea from an awesome blog I recently became a fan of, My Daily Dollars. She even has a section dedicated entirely to a wedding on a budget, and in case you haven’t read anything before this post, weddings are my other obsession. score one for me =)

This world is pretty crazy. Money is really the center of living. I can safely say that with Justin in my life I could be poor as dirt and it wouldn’t matter as long as he was poor as dirt right there with me, but since we are not poor (we actually make more combined income that the family average for the city of Butler, which I’m very proud of) we do like to indulge more often than not. I have a very serious blessing in my life, when I graduate I will not have thousands of dollars in college loans floating over my head. My parents are seriously amazing and helped me every step of the way. This is a major factor in why I chose to do my growing up a little pre-maturely. They pay my school bills, but I save them any further financial struggle by paying for everything else. This motivates me to go to work every day. If you know me, you know I hate my job with a burning passion. Unfortunetly, the job pays better than some when you actually have that 4 year degree in hand, which is kind of depressing, but it pays the bills and then some.

Anyway, to get back to what I was getting at. Justin and I have two very expensive goals for the next couple years. One is to purchase a house. The market right now is great for first time buyers, and I’ve been researching like a mad woman so we do not get trapped into any serious home-buying mistakes. The other expense, of course, is the wedding. Granted the affair is not for almost two years, it’s still going to be quite the pricey party.

So here’s a couple things we’re changing about our lifestyle:

  • Cash only. As I stated before. We’re a bad credit card couple. We’re going to stick to only having $100 each, cash in hand, per month. This is for silly extras like going out and whatnot.
  • Save the drinks for the weekend. We have a habit of picking up a six-pack a few times during the week to have after work. There’s really no need for this, and it is almost always bought on credit. Now we take that money and save it for something fun on the weekend.
  • Create a budget. This still needs to be done. I need Justin’s math brain for some help with this. That and he’s an excel pro, he has tracked every financial move he’s made since he was 16 on this massive excel spreadsheet. It’s absolutely amazing. Kinda frightening, but amazing 😉
  • Manage the kitchen. We spend a lot in food. We eat out way more than we should. When we’re at work it’s super easy to order pizza, Chinese, or run up the road to McDonald’s or Wendy’s. Not only is it unhealthy, it’s not financially smart. I’m going to get a head start on being a kickass 50’s style housewife (I was so born in the wrong generation). I’m essentially in charge of what enters our kitchen. I found a couple pointers online, as well and another great website, Almost Frugal Food, which is a great read, and another by the same person, href=http://almostfrugal.com target=”new”>Almost Frugal. A nifty thing about this author is she lives in France, lucky. (btw, any blogs I find worth mentioning you can find to the right on the blog list) I also recently signed up at Coupon Mom. I know, don’t laugh. I’ll be a mom one day, I’m just practicing.
  • It’s the groceries I want to master. I never pictured myself a coupon person. My mom never did, but with prices rising lately, it seems almost silly not to. even if I spend an hour working on it (which I’m sure I’ll do at work, ha) and save just 10 dollars off the bill, I’m sure it will be worth it. There’s another website, TheGroceryGame.com that actually sounds kind of fun, the only catch is you have to pay. It’s not very expensive, only $1 to start at $10 every 8 weeks. I’m a little wary of paying for something like that just yet, so I may ask around. Don’t suppose anyone out there has used it? Let me know if it’s worth getting in to.

  • Savings Account Justin has his own savings account, and I will be starting mine next Friday My goal will be to put away $100-$200 dollars a month to savings.
  • Work More My actual scheduled hours per week is 32 every week. I am going to aim to do about 40-46, which I used to do, I’ve just been lazy lately. It’s always open overtime here, so after 32 hours I can work as much as I want. After you hit 40 hours you also get time and a half, so I’ve seen $1,000 paychecks, and those are beautiful. So after this week it’s back to the grind, especially with the holidays quickly creeping up.

    So, that’s it for now. I will start my grocery shopping adventure here soon and share my results, I’m kind of excited to see what the results will be!

  • So, I had a job interview today. Nothing special, just run of the mill office work, unfortunately my school schedule interferes too much, so no dice. That’s alright, I guess. I wasn’t sure how up for a change I really was, although it would be nice to get out of customer service. The customer is never right, don’t let them lie to you. I figure I have another year, I think I can stick it out. hopefully this time next year I will be done with my education and on to bigger and better things…like our wedding 😉

    What, you thought you weren’t going to be reading about it today? pshh. It’s my new quiet obsession, just don’t tell Justin. I promised I wouldn’t obsess. It’s not like wedding stuff is the only thing I talk about in daily conversation, I think I’m a pretty level headed bride-to-be (Wow! I’m a bride-to-be!) But seriously, it’s a great thing to day dream about when I’m feeling frustrated with where I am now. I have a few ideas here and there, especially for what to do about favors and centerpieces.

    Justin and I had our first kiss after hitting the bottom of a (quite large) bottle of wine. Justin called it the liquid courage he needed, haha. We’re a couple winos, so I’m trying to think of a way to incorporate wine into the wedding without making it the main beverage. One, because it would get pricey, and two, not everyone loves it as much as us. Another thing we love are candles. We probably burned through 100 candles during the winter months after we moved in in January, it was crazy. What do you get when you combine wine and candles?

    I came up with an idea like this. This photo courtasy of Kaboodle.com. Basically it’s a gel candle in a wineglass. Perfect, huh? Of course I’m not going to buy them all pre-made, that would be a bit pricey. I really am dead-set on doing 80% of all the little details myself, I love being crafty and artsy, and this is the perfect opportunity to experiment. Who knows, maybe I’ll get so kick-ass at it I can start a little side business on Etsy.com, haha.
    Anyway. This site gives you the run down on how to make gel candles, what you need, etc. I also want to put my own spin on things too. I will splurge to get personalized glasses, just because I’m all about personalizing…everything. ha.

    This is a design I came up with through the Discountmugs.com. So far they seem to have the best prices, as well as the best glass selection and personalization selection.
    Now all we need to do is pick some colors! I seriously have NO idea what I personally want to use, and I’m pretty sure as long as I don’t want to use bubblegum pink Justin won’t have any major problems. I was thinking though, since Justin’s new favorite color happens to be Orange, I thought a bright blue/light orange theme would look really awesome for an early summer wedding.
    Another little touch I want to add to the candles, basically because the centerpieces will have them, are those little stone gems, like these: Kinda like the pretty fishbowl effect =) This website looks like a possibility for lots of purchasing. I’ll put the stones down at the bottom of the glass before the gel candle part. I figure to add some variety some will be blue stones/orange candle gel, and others orange stones/blue gel. If that looks awful, I’m thinking of just mixing the blue/orange stones at the bottom and using clear gel. Maybe a champaign tint…oh the possibilities! Justin’s head is going to implode when he reads this…but he’s stuck with me =) It will be great to start experimenting with everything. I probably won’t start anything too hardcore until it starts getting cold out and I don’t want to be outside anymore. Our space bedroom is going to be overflowing with a ton of wedding stuff…and I can’t wait!

    You’ll also notice a new little page at the top called Wedding Randoms, I’ll start popping pictures in there documenting this whole thing from start to finish =)

    And finally, in case I haven’t bored you enough, here’s what I did yesterday!

    ’til next time!

    You’re going to be reading a lot about general wedding stuff. haha. I know the wedding is about two years away, but I really am going to do things gradually over the two years, mostly to hopefully avoid the bridzilla syndrome when it gets down to the wire.

    At lease, I hope 😉

    I promised Justin I wouldn’t drive him crazy, and I realy, really, really want to hold true to that promise, so this is really going to be an outlet for all my thinking-out-loud.

    You have been warned!

    This post is slightly image heavy, I just wanted to share the visual details of our engagement day =)

    This is where he proposed =)

    I took this about 15 minutes before he proposed. He was quiet, now that I think back. He’s hiding the ring in his belt pack.

    Me, T-minus 10 minutes before. I’m so oblivious.

    And there it is! Have you ever noticed it’s impossible to take pictures that do any justice to jewelry? Anyway, it’s so much mroe amazing in person, I can’t even begin to tell you. Justin did an amazing job!

    I’m trying to to get too gun-ho yet about planning, but I do plan on doing a LOT of DIY. So I’ll probably start figuring out what I want in the near future so I can work on things over time. I can’t wait! This is the best thing, best person, that has ever happened to me, and I am so lucky to have found a man like justin =)