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 =)

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…

 

& 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!

2019GoalsList-Kelsey

 

Good-Bye 2018!

This post isn’t going to be a sentimental one.  Besides, struggling with a small bout of anxiety and depression these past few months… what has  really kept me from posting on here lately is this cold we have had since Halloween, that hasn’t very really gone away!!!!So, my apologies for that.

2018 has just been an OKAY year for me and the family. We have had some good ups and some pretty bad downs… but over all 2018 has been middle of the road.

However, what this post is really about is the goals in 2018 I accomplished or didn’t.. lol I have wrote a post showing the checklist I made for 2018.

Before..

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& After…

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I have accomplished 12 out of the 18 goals for this year & 7 out of 18 of these goals I have sort of accomplished. (Become more organized,VLog More,Meal Plan More, Cook 1 New Meal a Week, Improve My Credit, Give Back, & Start a Book/CookBook) These are things i DID do, but I don’t feel like I fully completed them to be satisfactory enough to be consider completed. And Just 2 that I didn’t complete. Getting the boys baptized.. *insert eekk face here* but it IS happening in 2019 and travel more. We did go to So.Cal and Idaho this year… but those are kind of typical trips for us, so I don’t count it has actually traveling more.

Overall, I would say I did well. I accomplished quite a bit! 2019 will be interesting because I am adding a lot more to my Goals list, on top of the fact that I also have my Before 30 Bucket List. I will share my 2019 Goals List in a post tomorrow. For now I am going to try and rest and celebrate this NYE with the family. What were some goals you had for 2018 and did you complete them?!

Before I Turn 30 – A Bucket Lis

Today I am 29 Years old. Which means I and 365 days away from my 30th birthday.

Since 25, I have sort of dreaded every birthday. 29 being no exception, in fact even more so. I could never exactly pin down WHY i dreaded get closer to 30. Besides the standard.. I am getting Older, but although that does scare me in some ways… that was truly the root of WHY I felt that way.  Until earlier in the month when I finally figured out WHAT it was that bothered me about my 29th birthday and that fact that I am now closing in on 30.

I was sad and anxious about the fact that my life was not where I had hoped and pictured it would be by now.

That doesn’t mean, I don’t love the life I DO have at the moment, it just means I was hoping to have accomplished more and I know all the logical reasons why I am not there yet and I also, know the excuses too. However, after making this relevation about myself and discovering Rachel Hollis (review on her book to come) I decided to make a Bucket List of things I would like to accomplish by the time I turn 30.  This is not my lifetime bucket list (although, I should probably write that out too) and this is the 2018/2019 Goals List I made for myself and will make again in the new year. This is just a list of stuff I want to accomplish Before 30. I’m aware some are superficial, some are going to most likely NOT happen (Breast Reduction & Owning a Home) and some will be hard to obtain; while others can be enriching and empowering. As I accomplish these goals, I will cross items off the list; and I am sure Items will also be added to the list as I go.

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We Tried Home Chef for a Month..

Meal delivery services are pretty popular.. most popular probably being Hello Fresh and then Blue Apron. I have tried the first but not the latter. Last month, I was watching a youtuber I enjoy (KatekaGood) and she mentioned that her and her husband had teamed up with Home Chef and offered viewers a discount code. Because of this; I decided to try it. For a few reasons. 1) I was feeling lazy and uninspired as far as cooking new meals every other night and 2) It’s discounted, so why not?!

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As I had mentioned before we had tried Hello Fresh almost a year and a half ago and only did one week before canceling our subscription. Which was for a few reasons… it seems expensive.. but also, the food felt too fancy for us. Which is always a problem for Andrew and I… as, we are both pretty picky eaters. Although, we may give Hello Fresh a chance again.. we clearly last longer with Home Chef. So Here are our thoughts on it.

You begin the process taking a short survey on your food preferences and then they present you with the menu options they are doing that week, that fit those preferences. You can swap out those if you like something else on that weeks menu. However, we quickly learned that doing that will change your base price. So, we stopped doing that and just had whatever the recommend meals were. Which was a small con for me but was ultimately the big factor for Andrew to have us stop our subscription.  Anyways, after you do that and pick a weekly delivery date. Your Meals arrive in an insulated box and you take care of your meal planning from there. We selected 2 meals a week.

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I am going to start with the Pros of the service.

  •  The fact that we were trying meals we would have never made before and honestly NONE of the meals we had were bad meals.
  • They weren’t super fancy meals, each meal had an ingredient that I didn’t like food/ flavor wise, but could easily be taken out or substituted without the meal falling apart.
  • The Meals were super easy and pretty quick to make.
  • Although, this wasn’t our intention Andrew and I ending up making the meals together and it became a nice bonding activity for us and something I looked forward to on those nights.

The Cons

  • The price changing when selecting different meals
  • Small Portions – The meals usually come with one main protein and one side dish. I understand that the meals are probably made to typical serving size and all that. But normally I get full super quickly, like embarassingly quick; and I found myself still very hungry after the meals.

 

The Price overall is up for debate in regards to Andrew and I . I personally think we saved money as we only spent $50 bucks a week on meals for two of us. I will save, since serving sizes were small, we didn’t have leftover so we still had to “spend money” for meals on days we weren’t using the service provided meals.  Which when we normally make our 2 meals a week, we have leftovers to cover those days.. but we also spend about $150 a week. So, Andrew will have to finish the budget for August to let me know if we ended up saving money or not. BUT for now the subscription is canceled. However, we did enjoy it and if we were not on a budget, we would probably continue to use it. We also will be continuing to make the meals we learned to make this month.

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My Favorite Meal we made was the Pork Tenderloin with Pesto Cream Sauce  and Andrew’s was a tie between the Chicken Stuffed Tacos and Tortilla Chicken.

If you are interested in using Home Chef you can use this link to get $30 off your first order.