I’ve Become a Pin Collector.

I collect pins now. Something, I never thought I would do.

Well….. sort of…. you see I have always collected Pins from the Disney Parks.

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I was about 8 years old when I got my first pin and pin collecting was just starting to really take off . ( I did not know that at the time) The first pin, I ever got was Winnie the Pooh with a baseball mitt and baseball and/or softball. That specific trip I added quite a few gems from my collection and that next year would discover that pin collecting and trading had become HUGE.  I personally never traded pins, but would bombarded by greedy adults looking at my lanyard, asking for trades.  It was a time. I remember Disneyland having specific pin trading spots and special pin launches that would see INSANE lines.  I always collected pins because I found the art of them pretty and I choose my pins as whatever “called to me” or marked the a special occasion. Now my Disney Park collecting has really halted. I no longer am a little kid who would go frequently with her parents or an early 20’s woman living 30 minutes away from the park with an annual pass. I now live 6 hours away with two toddlers and a fiance who likes Disneyland but does LOVE it they way I do. So they way I collect has changed. Now when we go, we each get a pin with the year. I pick a Personal Pin for myself, Andrew and I pick out a pin for each other and we pick out a pin we feel represents each of the boys. (When they get older they can pick a pin of their own choosing as well. And these pins are on canvases that we have in our rooms. Each pin carrying a moment in time for me.

I never was really interested in enamel pins outside of that.

The past couple of years, I had noticed enamel pins of all sorts coming back into style. One of Andrew’s sisters would ask for any kind for birthdays and Christmas. I started seeing accounts I followed on Instagram making them and I thought… well I could do that.. I could design them. (which I may say designing and getting them manufactured in another post)

So, I designed my first pin.

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The moment this pin arrived, I was in shock. I designed that and it looked SO good! and Not only did it look amazing and not only did I feel insanely proud.  It SOLD OUT within a week and a half of listing. With that , I started designing more pins and currently have 5 manufactured pins, 1 of those is sold out and I have another currently in production. And a handful of designed and available for preorder. Check them out here.. Boltinabottle and/or Bolt In A Bottle Etsy.

Even then I wasn’t interested in collecting pins. However, as I began this journey I started getting more into the “field” following fellow designers and not only liking their designs but realizing if I want to succeed, I need to support fellow Pin Designers. It’s started fairly casual. I bought a twos pins, each from designers who would inspired my start and then I became addicted. After only a month…. I have acquired 8 pins. That is not including 5 that are my own designs, 2 that were gifted to me, the 3 I bought for Andrew and 4 that I just bought and will hopefully be shipping soon. I even bought a cheap backpack off of Amazon to display my pins.

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It’s a hobby that I guess I always casually had but has now took on a new role as well. I look forward to sharing my pins collection in more depth with you soon =)

Why South Carolina?

The Beginning Story of our wedding journey Part 1 & Part 2

After announcing that we had booked our wedding venue in South Carolina. We got this question (and probably will continue to) get this question a lot. As I mentioned previously, we have zero ties to South Carolina. So how and why did South Carolina become our winning state is kind of a long winded explanation. (which I will explain) but the obvious answer.. It’s Cheaper and the boring answer. It just happened that way.

I talked about how we just began looking into other states because anywhere else was cheaper than California, but that’s a wide net to cast. I kept kind of leaning towards the south from the beginning. I am someone who likes traditions and the idea of southern traditions has always been something I was pulled towards.  One of my top favorite TV shows is Hart of Dixie. I love Sweet Home Alabama, Nicholas Sparks book (and of course the movie versions of The Notebook & A Walk to Remember) and any 90’s to early 2000’s rom-com with a wedding in front of a giant beautiful mansion like home. In otherwards, I had completely romanticized the South and a southern wedding. I mean plus the song I plan to walk down the aisle to even has a lyric “you were made to shine under southern stars…” so how literally perfect would that be.  So I was drawn to the south.. but I didn’t know where to even begin. Did that mean.. Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, or Mississippi… (definitely not Florida). Then I remembered that Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds had a romantic southern wedding in the South.

So… I did what any rational social media millennial would do…. and I googled it.  Boone Hall Plantation just outside Charleston, SC.  Upon entering the website I had fallen in love. Specifically, with the entrance and behind that the beautiful avenue of oaks.

Plus! it was insanely affordable. Less than what a down payment to secure a venue in the Bay Area would cost! I was in love!!!! BUT Andrew wasn’t sold.  When I brought this up to Andrew at the end of 2018. He wasn’t too sure about a wedding in the South and especially one in August (our original wedding month). You see while I had romanticized the South. Andrew had this idea of it just being a bunch of hicks and hillbillies. He’s still not too convinced to be honest.

At this point you probably still aren’t sure how we chose South Carolina… cause Andrew put his foot down. Well, after the Super Bowl Incident. We decided the start looking all over again and we decided we were going to hire an event planner. So, I did research and sent inquires out to Event Planners all over and while I was doing that an event planner’s AD popped up on my feed on Instagram. Simply Southern Events. I looked at her work and saw she was based in Southern California and I shot her an email. Knowing full well Andrew wasn’t fully on board.. but he knew I was sending e-mails to planners all over the US.

Within a week,  I had talked to handful of planners… all were nice and most in California weren’t positive they could even plan in our budget (which we expected, but had to give it a shot) and then I had my phone call with Danielle of Simply Southern Events and within one minute of the conversation I thought to myself ” oh, I feel like I’m talking to a friend” and I kid you not right after she said pretty much the same thing to me on the phone and right there. I knew we were probably going to hire her. I mean I pretty much told Andrew, we were hiring her the second I got off the phone with her. He did like how she ran comps for us, before she even knew she was hired by us. And although, he was not sold on South Carolina, he was sold on South Carolina’s affordable-ness.

And that may be a boring, chaotic, sort of meaningless story.. but that is why/how we chose South Carolina.  It was just a the perfect storm of factors mixed together and now you might be saying… but Boone Hall Plantation isn’t even your venue?! Which to that I say you are correct! And maybe, that will be another story (unless I covered it in my last post).

Owen’s Little Italy 1st Birthday Party

 

 

One Week Ago. My Youngest Owen Turned 1! We celebrated his actual birthday with a little photoshoot on his side of the room, with some balloons, a few gifts from us and grandparents and his first cupcake.

 

The next day we went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant and on Sunday we had his birthday party! We did a Numero Uno – Little Italy Theme. I like choosing uncommon themes and knew I had to do it after seeing a similar themed party on Instagram. Now generally when I plan parties, I start planning and getting items and invites ready and sent out months before. But to be honest, even though I had researched the party theme ahead of time.. time got away from me and I didn’t start getting things ready until the week of. Thank god for Party City, Target, The Dollar Store and Michaels all being close by and really Amazon Prime.  I will say I ran out of time and didn’t get to decorate as much as I would have liked.. But I am pretty happy with the results regardless.

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I just realized I didn’t take pictures of the actual food or the Italian Soda Station I made! Oops!

Making the theme Little Italy really made the food options easy and honestly, I had to calm my self when it came to the food, cause if it were up to me, the budget and time.. there would have been SO Many more options.

The Menu was Spaghetti and Meat Sauce, GF Cheese Raviolis, three different pizzas, Lasagna, and Garlic Bread.

The Italian Cream soda station was fun too.  We had 4 flavor syrups to choose from (thank you World Market!) Smores, Peach, Vanilla and Cherry. Regular San Pellegrino, and Half and Half.

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Dessert was simple, Chocolate & Vanilla Cupcakes, Cannolis and Italian Ice.  PS those Cannolis were bomb and I am so proud that I made them (super easy to do, and I bought mini pre-made shells on Amazon, best decision!)

However, the cake was my pride and joy. Probably the best cake I have made thus far.  It was lemon with vanilla frosting and topped with Cannolis and it looked like i got it at a bakery. Too bad Owen doesn’t have a sweet tooth like his big mother and Mama.

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Overall, the party was a success. If you have read my previous posts about how we have odd luck with weather. This party was no exception. Just like Owen’s Baby Shower we planned for rain. It had been a down pour the whole month and more leading up to the party and ran was forecasted for the day. Although, that wasn’t incorrect. The whole party was planned for inside our small, not open floor planned home and the weather was nice was the whole party. In fact thunderstorms begun minutes after all the guests left. Most importantly Owen seemed to enjoy is party and thats all that matters.

Up next is big brother Bennett’s golden 3rd birthday in April!“

When are You Getting Married?- Part Two

Read Part One Here

By Early July 2017 I found out I was pregnant with Baby Number 2 are our focus became on preparing for him and on March 8th, 2018 he was born.  Technically, we still could plan a wedding for our original August 11th, 2018 date but we would really have to compromise a lot and we only ever discussed it vaguely. From time to time looking at venues etc.

In June, we really started to talk about planning for a wedding in 2019, maybe and we really started considering looking at wedding venues out of state, or even out of the country, and weighing the pros and cons of each experience.

This is where I think it is a good time to confess something. An insecurity of mine, but not just an insecurity but almost a fact that had been proven and shown in ways to me time after time. Nobody cared/cares if Andrew and I got married. Nobody really ever asked when it was going to happen, nobody was super excited when we got engaged, nobody offered to throw us an engagement party and mostly, every time I even attempted to discuss wedding planning and discuss how it was hard for us to have a wedding due to our large party size and how expensive it was in this area.  I was met with disinterest, or straight up discouragement.

  • “Why don’t you just elope?”
  • “You can just have it at a park?”
  • “You don’t NEED to have a big party”
  • “Why don’t you just have it in your backyard”
  • “Just have a potluck”
  • “A Wedding is just about you two, getting married.. not a party”
  • “Oh, if you have it there/then. We definitely won’t go”

Hearing these things was not only frustrating but super saddening. Especially, since a lot of these people, were people who had big beautiful weddings themselves. I couldn’t help but hear ” you are not worth it, we do not care about you”, “we can have a nice wedding but YOU can’t” and “You are being unrealistic” every time someone said something to that affect. I mean honestly I can think of only 2, maybe 3 people who have spoken in a positive manner about our wedding. With all of this going on in my head wedding planning became a very sad experience for me (and I LOVE event planning) but every time I attempted to begin planning our wedding again, I would get severe anxiety and usually end up bawling my eyes out. On several occasions telling Andrew “I must have been a shitty person in my past life.” (I’m not saying I’m an amazing person, but i think i am overall a decently good person and friend) and yet, I felt like NOBODY… family or friends cared at all about me and kind of made me not want to have a wedding anymore, but Andrew still did. So keep all this in mind as I continue on with our story.

Come end of June/July one of my closest friends got engaged. And to make this very clear I am OVER THE MOON excited and happy for her and her fiance but I watched people who showed little interest in my wedding planning process become super excited and interested in hers and obviously, I felt a small pang of sadness and jealously again. Soon after she announced that they had books their wedding for Fall of 2019 out of state. (They live out of state though). And I watch people become super excited for an out of the state wedding. This gave me some hope that maybe Andrew and I could also have a “destination” wedding.  And obviously, I was a little sad that her wedding would be in 2019, because I knew that we couldn’t plan ours for 2019. I mean we could have (and she even said we could) but I didn’t want to take away from her time as a bride to be, and since our bridal party would be virtually the same, I didn’t want to also stress them out and honestly, I knew if they had to pick between us. They would choose her.

So, 2019 rolls around and Andrew and I finally had gotten to a good place with wedding planning again. I started to be a little more excited and Andrew and I decided on a possible date of August 2nd, 2020 (which is the day we started dating). We started looking around again for venues and keeping ALL options open. I had found several locations I was interested Beringer Vineyard in St.Helena, Castle Green In Pasadena, we were even considering Kohl Mansion again, Thornwood Castle in Washington and I had stumbled across Boone Hall Plantation in South Carolina (That I became kind of obsessed with, but Andrew just wasn’t sure about). We looked at Italy, Scotland, and France.  But the problem looking out of state and even out of country is Andrew and I didn’t know where to start. We only lived in California so we really didn’t have any connection to anywhere else (besides Idaho and I didn’t find a venue I loved).  But we were open to looking.

Then came Superbowl Sunday. The day that changed everything really. Andrew and I went to Beringer Vineyard. The boys each went to a grandparents and Andrew and I drive the hour and half to Napa Valley. The day was magical.  We toured the venue, drank LOTS of wine, had lunch a fun restaurant (Which has the best fried potatoes EVER)  and even went and looked at investment properties. It was much needed couple time for us. We even got home just in time for a Super Bowl party.

I won’t go into details of what happened as it is still raw and personal. But is was pretty much very similar to the previous  discouraging sentiments above and ended with me running out of the party in tears. I spent most of that night bawling. I was completely deflated. Andrew tried to be supportive but I couldn’t see a silver lining. Again, I was proven correct. No one cared about us.

The next morning, I woke up with a new sense of self and I told Andrew. Screw it. We are going to have a wedding. We are going to find a location wherever it is and I don’t care anymore who decides to go. EVERYONE was being so negative about the experience and had ruined what was suppose to be a happy time for me. So, I’m done trying to plan around what will be most convenient for everyone else.  Andrew was hesitant but saw my point. With that I have one more condition. We are going to be hiring a wedding planner. Someone who will know my vision and work with me but essentially do it all, cause I couldn’t stand to look at one more venue, vendor, anything wedding related anymore.  Andrew, agreed and I began my research and I sent out several e-mails to wedding planners all over the US, scheduled interviews and began the wedding planning process for 2020 with a very renewed sense of hope.

 

 

 

So When are You Getting Married?! Part One

We are finally really, officially, planning our wedding and I think I am going to share the whole process here for you guys. But to give you some context of how we got here and the struggle it was to get HERE thats what this blog post is going to be about.

On December 11th, 2016 Andrew and I got Engaged.

By January we had already begun the wedding planning process. We picked the date August 11th, 2018.  It was a combo of the month we started dating and the date we got engaged and then gave us a year and half to plan.  Also, Andrew later pointed out that it was 8/11/18 which was the same forward and it was backwards and that was kind of cool. So, January – February we dedicated our time to looking at all the beautiful venues in the area.

Now let me breakdown some things for you (factors, requirements, etc)

  • We were paying for the wedding on own, so we had a decently tight budget
  • Not only do we live in California, but we live in the Bay Area where the Average wedding is about 40K
  • We needed a venue within 2 hours of the Bay Area. We have older grandparents who could not travel far.
  • We had a solid guest list of 130. and that was JUST FAMILY and super close friends that were basically family. That wasn’t regular friends, that wasn’t co-workers, family friends, plus ones. Nothing.
  • And this one was a personal preference but I would have liked somewhere historical.

So, if you are not aware with wedding planning and for our area, I was asking for the holy grail. Mind you, because of our budget and limitations I wasn’t asking for my dream wedding. I was compromising on a lot to just have a decently nice wedding.

We visited a total of 6 Venues. Nestldown in Santa Cruz Mountains (gorgeous, but WAY out of our price range). Grand Island Mansion in Walnut Grove ( I loved it, was in our price range, but the drive to the venue was sketch. Can’t ask granny to be driving that at night), The Perry House in Monterey (it was okay,  I just didn’t love it), The General’s Daughter in Sonoma (Which was nice, but just didn’t feel like THE place) , Rengstorff House in Mountain View (also pretty, SUPER affordable, but we decided against it since it is inside of a park, that would still be open to the public) and then Kohl Mansion in Burlingame.

Once we arrived at Kohl Mansion I was in love, Andrew loved it too and I knew we had found my dream location. It was something straight out of Downton Abbey.  We ended up soft booking our date and I remember asking the planner how much the deposit was for the venue. She told me $500. and i remember saying out loud “WOW, that is it?! That is super low for a deposit!” and she said something to the effect of agreement. We left pretty sure we would book the venue but needing some time to really think about it.

Flash forward two weeks later. We decide by the next coming week we will officially book the venue. Andrew just wanted to get the finances in order first. That’s when I get an email from another wedding coordinator from Kohl Mansion letting us know that another couple had come and wanted to book right away for our date. Since, we had the date first it was up to us to pay the deposit at the end of the day to secure our date. Immediate panic set in, but I didn’t think it was too big  a deal as we were planning on booking the venue within a few days anyhow.  I talked to Andrew and he agrees we can book the venue, and I email the wedding coordinator to let her know we would like the venue and to confirm the deposit was $500. She responds back.. “No, $6,000” Immediately, I was both sad and angry.  Angry cause that clearly is NOT what we were told and sad cause I knew we did not have $6,000 to just drop right then.

After that experience, I was heartbroken. Up until the then I felt like I was FINALLY going to get a wedding ( I was married before, we ended up eloping)  and this made me feel like it was never going to happen. Finding a venue that fit all the criteria and wasn’t asininely expensive was hard work and all my energy had been diminished.  During this time Andrew and I had been trying to get pregnant with Baby #2.  We gave ourselves a time limit until June that way once the baby was born we still have time to do wedding stuff. However, after this I remember asking “Andrew what do you want more?, to focus on the wedding or keep trying for a baby instead?” He picked the baby.

To Be Continued…

 

Updates.

Wait, was my last blog post really in January?!

New year… new me… more content I promise guys… that post?

Wow it’s already March! And Owen turns 1 tomorrow! And I haven’t posted ANYTHING?! YIKES!

This happens though. I think of a lot of great content and don’t finish it or don’t even start it. and You have heard all of the cliche (but true things) between lack of motivation at times, to anxiety to not having time cause TWO little boys.

and while all of that is true and all of that plays into it. My primary focus has been instagram (@alittlebit_kt, @boltinabottle_etsy and @boltinabottle) and marketing on there. As well as working on my business! I have been making enamel pins (here) and it has been doing SUPER well! To top that off, I started doing custom illustrations (here) and that is doing REALLY well too! So all my time as been dedicated to THAT and promoting THAT and I kind of let blogging slide…

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Currently the 4 pins I sell. More to come designs to come and almost all of these are close to selling out! 

In other exciting news I have also FINALLY officially begun planning our wedding! Which is an experience I guess I could totally blog about as well! So really tons of content should be coming your way guys.

& Hello 2019

You know, I never really thought of myself has liking New Years. I just enjoyed it being another holiday and excuse to get dolled up and party. However, I was watching an instagram story by ArrowsandBow where she mentioned it is her favorite time of year, because she likes the feeling of a fresh start.

Some people are negative nancies. Cause yes, the fact is it’s just another day. We don’t actually get a re-start. But isn’t the concept nice? Isn’t that sense of renewal well refreshing? Cause even though I never really looked at much that way; the past 3 years I have and quite frankly, I really enjoy it. I enjoy getting new calendars (usually multiple) I enjoy getting planners and blank to-do lists and the feeling I get thinking this may be the year i become a real adult with my shit together and most of all I enjoy making my goals for the year to come.  I don’t do resolutions… although you could say they are the same thing and I don’t do vision boards (we did one year and although I like the concept, finding all the pictures you need can be tedious) So, I make a Checklist. Something I can hang on my little board over my desk and look at frequently to remind what I want to accomplish and what I already have accomplished and given last years worked pretty well for me, I am doing it again this year.

Although, I designed last years… I really designed this years! I drew the confetti sides and everything; which may be lame but gives me some pride and already goes into one of my goals for 2019 which is to design more.  Below is my personal list, which is also available as a Free Printable for anyone else who wants to use it!

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