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?!

You’ve Been Boo’d 2018

It’s the first of October. Which means a lot of exciting things for me.. Fall, My Birthday, Halloween and activities related to all those things!  Since having kids, one of my favorite things is to get my Pinterest Mom, crafting on! If you are in this world already then you have probably already heard of getting “Boo’d” and if you are not… it’s a fun little activity for parents, kids, neighbors, etc. Like last year, I am participating again and want to share that with you!

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This year I went a little “extra” and created felt treat bags (which are also for sale on my etsy shop) and I created my own instructions and signs that you can also print out and use!

In my bags I filled them with little inexpensive Halloween knicks knacks and treats and for the super little ones I found adorable Halloween themed sippy cups at Target. What’s also nice, is that you don’t have to go crazy or over the top either.

I would LOVE to see your Boo’d Treats! So please use the hashtag #alittlebitBOO if you particpate.

Our Summer Family Photos 2018

I AM BEYOND EXCITED ABOUT THESE PHOTOS!

I am someone who LOVES capturing moments and taking family photos during all stages of life as much as possible. In June, I was already planning on getting family photos done. Mainly, cause when Bennett was 3 months old we had photos taken by friend of mine which we absolutely loved and I wanted to take photos around the same age for Owen. Another thing is, we have been very fortunate to work with different photographers and I specifically love working with new photographers and help them build their portfolio.

I want to preface this with saying I love every photographer we have worked with before and I would totally work with them again. BUT The photos  I am about the show you are HANDS DOWN my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE Photos we have EVER taken as a family.

So, to back track… Earlier in the month I was getting ready to start looking for a photographer for Family photos when I received an E-mail from Julia asking if we would like family photos with her. I looked up her work and immediately responded YES! It was like serendipity. We picked a date, time and location and I eagerly waited for the day to arrive.

We selected Elizabeth Gamble Garden in Palo Alto,CA and when we arrived, my jaw dropped. We had lived 15 min. away from this place and had never been. It was this perfect little garden with so many nooks  and crannies offering for a multitude of fantastics shots and a beautiful historical home nearby as well.. in our hour there we didn’t even cover most of the location. We could go back and have a whole different photo shoot experience.

Working with Julia was just amazing, she is a sweet quite women with young children herself and what I loved is that she is very flexible and she moves quickly. Bennett is a a kid on the go and he doesn’t really stop long enough to take a beautiful posed photo (it can drive me crazy) and if you want a wall worthy photo from him you need to be on your toes and Julia was just that!

I could gush about this experience forever but overall I am so grateful to have met and connected with Julia. She is sweet and professional, but also relaxed. I like that she was great with candids, but also giving directions too. If you are in the Bay Area. I HIGHLY Recommend you check her out, on top of that her sessions are VERY affordable and she has even been SO KIND as to offer my followers a discount code Kelsey20 at the booking and get 20% off your session (promo expires 09/01/18)  Seriously, this is an AMAZING deal with or without the code!!!  I am only showing you a small portion of the photos she took and Andrew and I have yet to decide which ones we will be printing to put on the walls cause there are just too many great ones to choose from.

20180619-DSC_996720180619-DSC_022520180619-DSC_0073Do not be surprised if our Christmas Photos this year are taken by her! Go over to her website Shelepova Photography and also, check out her blog post featuring us.. here. And do not forget to use the code Kelsey20 for 20% off your session when you book with her… cause you would be crazy not to!

How Do You Find Time?

No Seriously, this is mainly directed to the mama’s out there.. specifically stay at home moms who don’t use childcare… but how do you find time in the day to get anything done? With to little ones on different schedules, I find it hard to get anything done during the day.  I wake up every morning with big plans and great intentions but most of my day look is planned around a time with they hopefully both nap and whatever errand we have to run that day and than filled in between with play time, diaper changes and feedings and by the time the day ends I have found i haven’t accomplished much else.

I want our days to be filled with meaningful entertainment and activities for the kids, my house work getting done and being organized, exercise, getting blogs posts done, uploading youtube videos and getting my personal work done as well and maybe reading a few pages of a book.

My biggest struggle I find is that Bennett is at an age where I can’t really leave him alone in a room , cause he now not only climbs on everything but gets into EVERYTHING no matter how childproof  I make it and our home is small. So we don’t have a dedicated play room, where i can throw him in and not worry about anything happening. Owen is 3 months old so my ability to do stuff his based on his attitude and his schedule. AND even if I get a miracle of them napping at the same time, i usually just want to have ME time and once Andrew gets home, I just want to have time with him ( he works 6 days a week… so the few hours a day we get together mean a lot)

I had started a plan to wake up at 6-6:30 AM and go running before the kids wake up. That way Andrew is still home with them. BUT I find myself wanting to sleep in if Owen woke up at 5AM or a few times during the night. I like my sleep and I am a night owl. So today I decided to start a new plan. Instead of going back to bed after taking care of Owen in the morning. I am going to wake up and start my day. That means I may wake up at 3AM or at 6AM and anywhere in between. BUT I will NOT go back to bed. I will wake up and start working, clean whatever needs to be cleaned or organized and workout/go for a run.  Now.. sleep is important but I can either nap when the kids nap or if I have to get up super early go back to bed before the kids wake up.

SO Mama’s i need to know HOW DO YOU DO IT?!  I know it is possible. I know it can be done… but How do you find the time?!  My plan my be crazy and I may fail at it.. but I have to TRY something new, cause the current system I have isn’t working.

 

 

 

 

Bennett’s 2nd Birthday Party: Curious George Theme

So late last month we celebrated Bennett’s 2nd Birthday Party. We had it later in the month because Bennett’s actual birthday on the 3rd was just too close to Owen’s birth and I knew I wasn’t going to be up to planning a birthday party SO soon after giving birth. In fact, usually I start planning a party months in advance and although i had an IDEA of what i wanted for Bennett’s party; I didn’t begin until about a week before and most of the supplies I got were from the Dollar Store, some Target and Amazon too.

For the past few month before, I also debated between whether his theme should be Curious George, Cars or Baseball. He loves all 3 of those. However, I figured baseball & cars are things he will most likely still like as he gets older, but Curious George represents his current age very well. Since I love planning parties and have such bad luck with them (usually the weather) I decided to give myself slack this time around. I was going to keep it very simple and casual and not stress about it.  And that paid off. Cause just like every other party I have had before, the weather was my nemesis. The WHOLE Week, the weather had been perfect, but of course the day of the mainly outdoor party it had to be overcast weather with some light showers. Which led to  very anti-climatic decor as I couldn’t really decorate outside. BUT i didn’t panic and just accepted the day for what it was and what was accomplished looked nice.

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For food we kept it simple with Sloppy Joe’s I Made, pizza from Little Ceasar’s, Fresh Veggies, Pretzel Chips and for Dessert. Funfetti Cake w/ Lemon Icing, Banana Cupcakes w/Cream Cheese Frosting and Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Chocolate frosting all of which I made and decorated.

 

The weather did get better towards the end and the party overall was nice and Bennett had a bajillion cupcakes and enjoyed himself thoroughly which is all that really matters at the end of the day.