Wedding To-Do List (570 Days to Go)

Wedding To-Do List

Yeah, you read that right! 570 days left until our big day! It seems like a lot until I remember it was past 800 when we first set our date. Of course I’ve been panicking a bit thinking about how the wedding is next year and we still have a lot to get done. You see, I’m a worrier. Even though I wanted I long engagement to really enjoy the planning process, once in a while I still find myself worrying about things I really don’t have to worry about yet.

So to combat my panic, I decided to make a list of some of the things we still have to do for the wedding.

Buy the dress

The dress. It’s been on my mind a lot actually because I’m hoping to get my appointment scheduled at the bridal shop soon! I know some people thing buying a dress with a year and a half to go is too soon. But I don’t change my mind once I decide on things, so I know I’ll continue to love whatever dress I do get.

Book the DJ

My twin sis had THE BEST DJ at her wedding last year. Unfortunately, her wedding was out of town so I can’t use the same person. I do want someone who will have everyone on the dance floor all night just like hers, though. I read a bunch of reviews and got some recommendations, and I have 2 I want to contact. I constantly worry though that they will book up before I reach out to them. (Note to self – instead of stressing, just send them each an email!)

Refreshments for after the ceremony

The fiancĂ© and I are still debating whether or not to serve some light refreshments and booze at the ceremony space. You see, we booked the most amazing venue for it – an old warehouse – and paid extra for the entire first floor of vintage pinball machines and to have the venue all day. We’ll only be having the ceremony there (probably around 3PM), and then the reception is at another place at 6PM. We want guests to feel like they can stay and enjoy the pinball machines and each others’ company until the reception. So I found a caterer in the area who can provide bartenders (we would provide the booze) and basically whatever foods/snacks we wanted. I have to see what their prices are though. If licenses for booze weren’t an issue we would honestly just provide it and have the guests serve themselves, but we need to have a licensed catering company on site if we have food and alcohol.

Blocking hotel rooms

I actually know that I want to get this taken care of over the summer. My mom already offered to visit some hotels near our reception venue with me, and since the wedding is downtown right at the start of hockey season (and right near the arena) we want to block rooms well in advance. We know we’ll have a good amount of out-of-towners, plus a lot of local family and friends have already told us that they will stay at a hotel too so they don’t have to worry about driving afterwards.

So that’s my list. It’s not inclusive, if it was the list would be never-ending! Are you planning a wedding? What’s currently at the top of your to-do list?

 

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The Case for Taking Spontaneous Trips

Spontaneous Travel and taking a spontaneous trip

Remember how awesome it was when you were in college or still not working full time, and you could travel on a whim? Maybe not with a lot of money in your bank account, but still. I miss that. I have fond memories of buying concert tickets at the last minute and then driving hours to see one of my favorite bands in concert in another city. Those are some of my favorite shows, too, probably because of how freeing it felt to drive far away and listen to live music.

Sometimes I have an urge, not necessarily to go far away, but to grab the dogs and fiancé (the cat would hate me if I tried taking him from the house) and go on a spontaneous day hike or short trip.

Unfortunately, once you enter the work force it’s hard to be spontaneous. You need to know exactly what future dates you want off. You need to make sure a bunch of your coworkers don’t already have those days off. You need to make sure you have enough vacation time left. And then your boss has to approve your time off request.

Ruins the mood if you ask me!

There’s nothing like getting away for a while to cure a bad mood, and sometimes a person just has to take a mental health day. Raise your hand if you think companies need to give their employees a bit more paid time off! Personally, the amount of paid time off I get each year sucks. If my guy and I had similar work schedules it wouldn’t be such an issue for us because we’d have weekends. But he works weekends and evenings and I work weekdays, so we don’t get much quality time together unless one of us takes off from work.

So what about you? Are you able to spontaneously take a day and get out of town? Or are you stuck hoping you’ve got enough sick time left so you can call in on a gorgeous day and take that hike?

I want to know!

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5 Ways to Boost Your Confidence

Boost your confidence and self esteem

Do you ever feel like your self-esteem needs a lift? Yeah, me too. I’ve always been a very positive and optimist person, but even I find myself feeling less than awesome sometimes. Here are my tips to boost your confidence and let your true personality shine:

Put on some bright or bold lipstick

It doesn’t have to be in public! My favorite lip color is a random pinky coral from my grocery store. I don’t even know the brand. When I need more confidence (like if I’m applying for jobs or prepping for an interview, or even when I launched the blog), I rock it at home. Lackluster day? Lipstick while you blog! Too many chores? Lipstick and vacuum!

Exercise

I know, I know. Everyone and their mom says that exercise makes you happy and you’re sick of hearing it. But guys, it’s actually true. I get into these moods sometimes and they’re hard to shake. I’ll have no motivation and I’ll start thinking of all the things that might/might not happen. Then I force myself to stick to an exercise routine, and I end up bouncing back almost immediately. Not only is regular exercise good for your over all health, it also boosts your self-esteem and confidence. Take control of your health and your mind will feel it too!

Eat healthy foods and don’t overeat

I know how it goes (and I’m guilty of it too) – you aren’t happy with yourself, so you binge on crappy food to feel better. Except you just feel worse because now you’re off your diet, and whatever you ate might have even made you sick (I know first hand since I don’t dairy and will suddenly go on a crazy cheese/ice cream binge after months of not having it, and that is not a fun feeling afterwards). Eating well boosts my confidence because I don’t feel guilty about what I’m eating, and I also don’t suffer from it physically.

Listen to some girl power music

Whatever makes you glow and throw your fists in the air in solidarity with women! For me, that’s Sleater-Kinney and Avril. Taylor works, so does Beyonce or any other artist who makes you feel empowered.

Hang out with your ladies

Hands don my fave and #1 cure for a low self-esteem is to surround myself with confident lady friends. If your gal pals don’t make you feel awesome, find some new ones! Every woman needs a strong tribe to pick her up when she’s down.

Boost confidence and self-esteem

So that’s it, my list of 5 go-to tips to use if your confidence is low and you need to get it back. What works for you?

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So You Hate Your Day Job (Don’t Give Up On Your Dreams)

Confession time! Growing up, I always told myself I’d never work in a cubicle. Fast forward through my childhood and adolescence, and I’ve now been working almost 6 years in – you guessed it – a cubicle. First, I was a customer service rep for French Canadian customers (I did love my customers, and I owe them my French Canadian accent that I now speak French with, also this job wasn’t the worst since I do have a French degree). Now, I’m at a bank. Yay corporate America. Woo sarcasm.

(On another side note (because I apparently REALLY love parentheses) ask me some time about the differences between my CS job at a pretty liberal distribution company and a super conservative bank! HA! Talk about culture shock!)

I’m not writing this post to depress any soon-to-be college grads who hope to avoid the corporate world. In fact, I hope this post motivates you not to settle and helps you make the right decisions.

The issue is that sometimes you have to settle, and sometimes taking that stuffy 9-5 with a cubicle is the right decision. You have student loans to pay. Then your car dies and you need a new one. And one day you wake up and own a whole fucking house, complete with mortgage and an ever-increasing “fix it” list. (Have I mentioned that I still feel like I’m 15 even though I’m almost 28?)

I went to college for French, something I love. And I encourage everyone to study what they love, even if it’s more of a hobby than something you would love a career in. After all, as long as you have a degree and the job market is in fair shape, you will probably find a job, just not necessarily the job.

My problem is that I’ve never had a career goal in mind. I never knew what I wanted to be when I “grew up.” I still don’t, and I think that’s partly why I got stuck in a rut (read: cubicle).

It’s just recently that I started to think about what I really want in a job/career. I know I want to work from home, and I know I want more freedom than a 9-5 can offer. So that’s a start. Now you try it – think about that dream you had growing up. Did you want to work from home too? Did you want to work at a non-profit and make a difference in the world?

Chances are good that I (and maybe you) will never have that “a-ha!” moment where I suddenly know exactly what I want to do with my life, and that’s okay. If I keep the goals I mentioned above in mind though, I can start to focus my job search and career around them, and hopefully get in a better place in the future.

So it’s time to tell the truth – are you where you imagined you’d be when you were a kid? Do you have your dream job or know what it is? Did this post resonate with you? I want to know!

Whew, that was kind of serious. I swear my next one won’t be such a downer!

 

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