Monday, February 1, 2016

How my husband's bachelor pad almost killed me

Lately I've been on a cleaning kick. This has happened because when Keith and I got married I moved into the house he'd lived in alone for the past 4 years and "bachelor pad" doesn't even begin to describe it. I'm talking skulls and football helmets on the mantel, a deer head on the floor, Star Wars and James Bond posters on the walls, a ping pong table in the dining room, and more. Our home is the exact opposite of "Pinterest perfect" and it's so manified that I'm embarrassed to invite people over.

Want to see some pictures? Ok let's take a tour inside of my lovely Pinterest-y home.

If you need to use the restroom when you visit this is what you'll get. The "Sexy Cats" book is my addition.


This is the mantel. The fireplace doesn't work because of something to do with the floo and being dirty, idk. We basically have "his" and "hers" sections of the fireplace and I think it's working really well for us, wouldn't you agree?


When you first walk into the house, this is the sight which will assault your eyeballs. Super feminine. I've since changed this part by alphabetizing all of the DVDs. The section looks the same but I feel better about it.


All those nooks and crannies are perfect places for dust and cobwebs to collect. Krista told me it's because there are just a lot of spiders in the mountains, and that's annoying. I've been vacuuming like a crazy lady lately because if I can't change the house [yet] at least I can change the amount of spiders in it!

OR SO I THOUGHT.

The other night, at about 10:30pm, I was vacuuming in our bedroom right next to the bed. I was just minding my own business and being a clean person when I moved my pillows slightly and GOT ATTACKED. I've always been afraid of being attacked in my home (I blame the scary movies we watch) and this night IT HAPPENED. I moved the pillow and out jumped a spider the size of MY SHOE.

My Barbie's shoe, but still, MY SHOE.

I screamed bloody murder and immediately vacuumed that sucker up, screaming frantically the whole time. Then I stood there, shaking, while I comprehended the fact that I ALMOST DIED. 

"What the [censored] am I supposed to do now??" I wondered to myself, shaking uncontrollably. I gathered myself and walked upstairs to where Keith was playing Elder Scrolls with his friend (virtually, so cool right? -__-) and said, "Um, Keith, I need you to come downstairs RIGHT NOW PLEASE."

To my surprise he obeyed and when he got to the bedroom I basically started bawling.

Through my blubbering, I explained, "I was vacuuming and I moved the pillow and a spider the size of A QUARTER jumped out and I vacuumed it up but I need you to check the rest of the bed and under the bed and the closet and outside and did I mention it was the size of a shoe and I ALMOST DIED."

He responded by saying, "It was only the size of a quarter? That's not bad. Usually they're the size of a half dollar."

So then I slapped him and continued my mature and appropriately reacting behavior by sobbing harder. After he'd sufficiently checked the bed, I vacuumed the bed, between the mattress and box spring, under the bed, under the nightstands, around the baseboards, then emptied the vacuum container into the kitchen trash and then took the kitchen trash to the trash can in the garage,

and then I burned the house down.



Obviously not, that last part, but I don't think that would have been unreasonable. All I can say is at least the spider didn't jump at me, because that has happened before. Remind me why I still live here?? Just kidding. Sort of.

The moral of the story is that if I had a girly Pinterest-y house peonies instead of football helmets on the mantel, I probably wouldn't get eaten alive by spiders in my sleep.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Our Wedding: The flowers (and how they almost ruined everything)

When we were planning our wedding, the flowers gave me a huge headache. We've all read those articles that tell you how to "Buy ALL The flowers for your wedding for just $100!" and things like that. Like a fool, I believed that. I think when we first did our wedding budget I planned that we would spend $500 on ALL of the flowers, and while that could be done for some weddings, it couldn't be for ours.

Here's how you can ACTUALLY spend less than $500 total on flowers:

1) Don't live in California.
2) Don't buy anyone corsages.
3) Make all the bouquets and centerpieces yourself.
4) Only use baby's breath and a few clearance grocery store roses.
5) Don't plan on lining the aisle with rose petals.

We used a florist that my family has known for about 30 years. To be honest, I wasn't thrilled about using her, but I felt like I had to. Side note: you really don't have to do anything for your wedding. It's your wedding. I learned this the hard way. I first met with her about 6 weeks before the wedding. My dad and I went to her shop on a Saturday morning when I was in town for some family occasion and she asked me what I was thinking for the wedding. Here's what I told her I wanted:

-My bouquet to have English roses, ranunculus, succulents, gerber daisies, and baby's breath.
-White and pink rose petals lining the aisle.
-7 boutonnieres and 12 corsages.
-6 bridesmaids bouquests with English roses, ranunculus, gerber daisies, and baby's breath.
-20 small bouquets of baby's breath and white stock to line the aisles and go on tables.
-Assorted white and pink flowers to decorate the cake.

She gave me some great ideas and when I left that meeting I was super encouraged and excited. When Keith asked me the price I said, "Oh... we didn't talk about that... but I bet it will be cheap since we've known her for so long! Don't worry."

I'm an idiot.

Two weeks before the wedding my mom and I went to her house to discuss more details and talk pricing. We were sitting at her dining room table and she went over everything I wanted and then when I asked her how much she thought everything would be, she said,

"Well, if you pay cash and I don't have to charge you tax, and I get everything at cost, you're looking at about $1875.00."

You guys, I almost fell out of my chair. I think I was speechless for a full minute (which is a long time when somebody is waiting for you to respond) before I finally asked her how we could cut the cost. She went over a few scenarios and finally got everything down to about $1200 before finally asking the question she should have asked and I should have stated the very first time we spoke: What's your flower budget? I told her that honestly, we were planning to spend less than $500. I don't know how she didn't laugh.

She then went on to tell me that she frequently meets with brides who have a similar budget to mine, and that she had to explain countless times why flowers are so expensive:

1) California is in a drought so any plants are expensive.
2) Florists have to charge for their time.
3) Flowers are effing expensive.

Okay, number 3 is just mine but the first two were valid points. She seemed to understand why I had no idea about this sad truth about weddings, and we finally worked out a plan. I ended up paying her less than $500 for the flowers and her services. Keith and I had a lot of talks about the flowers and the florist and I went back and forth about a lot of things before we finally decided on a plan:

1) She would order baby's breath and white stock and we would make the centerpieces and bridesmaid bouquets ourselves.
2) We would not have any flower petals lining the aisles (the bags of rose petals were close to $90/bag and she estimated that we would need at least 4 bags).
3) She would make my bouquet since I wanted that to be nice (if I were to do this again, I would have made it myself).
4) She would only make corsages for the moms and two grandmothers and only 4 boutonnieres total.

In the end, I was pretty happy with most of it. I was really glad we didn't spend a fortune on flowers, but let me just tell you:

The corsages almost ruined my wedding.

We'll get to that in a minute. First let's discuss other things. The Thursday before the wedding we picked up like, 4 giant bunches of baby's breath and 48 individual stock flowers (if you don't know what those are just keep reading and I'll show you; I didn't know either). My mom and I and some angel friends from Arizona put them into individual vases which looked like this:


"Stock" is the flower that is in the vases. The bottles are empty bottles of Statbucks iced coffee that my mom collected, covered in burlap and a piece of twine, and put a a paper flower that SHE MADE onto. The wooden piece the vases are on is called a "wood cookie" and Keith's parents MADE them. We live in a forest so they found a bunch of sliced wood and sanded and varnished it. I LOVED our centerpieces and they were basically free!

Some of the vases had baby's breath instead of stock, like so:



Below is a picture of the aisle. I sort of wish we had done flower petals along the aisle, but it wasn't worth the $360 (at least) it would have cost us.


For the flowers Baby Kate dropped, I used what I think it a very original idea: she dropped the dried petals of some roses Keith had given me while we dated. 


We had some of Keith's roses in a little basket with some baby's breath by the guestbook (also made by my mom... I have to do a whole post on how my mom made all this stuff).


We also had the florist provide the flowers for the cake. The frosting for the cake is what the bakery called "messy icing." Our florist gave us the flowers and our amazing baker put the flowers on the cake. The cake stand is another wood cookie that Keith's parents MADE. The cake is by far one of my favorite parts of our wedding! (That cake stand is going to be an end table in Keith's parents house, eventually.)


Now, let's get to how our florist almost ruined our wedding: the corsages. When she and I discussed the corsages I told her, "very simple and small, preferably white or light pink roses. VERY SMALL AND UNDERSTATED AND SIMPLE." I said "small and simple" many times before my mom said, "Juel, I think she knows how to make corsages" and the florist assured me that "she's done this a lot so just trust her."

The morning of the wedding I drove to her house to pick up my bouquet and the corsages and she told me, "I have a surprise for you: I changed the corsages a little from what you wanted! You'll love it." Of course I pretended to love it and my sister and sister-in-law who were with me really thought I loved them until we got in the car, began driving, and I started shouting expletives because THE CORSAGES LOOKED LIKE SOMETHING THAT BELONGED AT THE MAD HATTER'S TEA PARTY. Unfortunately this is the only picture I have of the travesty that was the 4 corsages that I paid $100 total for:


For reasons I will never understand, she stuck those metal neon spirals onto all four of the corsages and I about had a cow in the car. I was driving (stupid) and during the 15 minutes I shouted things like,

"WHY DOES SHE HATE ME?"
"DOES SHE REALLY THINK THIS LOOKS GOOD?"
"WHY IS SHE TRYING TO RUIN MY WEDDING?"
"WHAT ABOUT THIS IS SIMPLE AND SMALL?"

And my sisters, the angels, just listened to me and promised they would fix them. My sister in law Amy is truly an angel from heaven because she turned the above photo into THIS:


They're beautiful and I love them!! Thankfully we had ordered the rest of the corsages and boutonnieres from a place I googled and then discussed pricing while in a Smart and Final in Redlands, and they were only $12 each and they were exactly what I wanted.

Below, my mom is wearing a botched corsage and my dad is wearing a perfect boutonniere.



I don't know why anybody had wire cutters on the day of my wedding but I'm forever grateful to whomever it was and I really couldn't care less about the why.

We made the bridesmaids bouquets the night before the wedding with baby's breath we'd ordered from the florist and roses we got from Ralph's the night before the wedding. We had the maid and matron of honor use pink roses, and the other four girls had white roses. They did this all on their own. I tried being in charge but all that happened was I held a half bouquet in my hand and ran back and forth from the kitchen to the living room to the parking lot and finally Cortney (far right) took them from me and said, "We're doing the flowers, go deal with whatever you need to."

And that's when my dad and I took a drive to pick up the keys to the hotel the bridesmaids were staying at that night, and I sobbed in the car. He was confused at first and asked me what was wrong and I just said, "Nothing is wrong I'm just getting married tomorrow!" Smart man that he is just replied, "Okay," and put his hand on my shoulder and let me cry.

The bouquets turned out perfectly.


My bouquet cost us about $200 I think, and I'm half happy with it and half not. I feel like I could have just done it myself. It had pieces of it just hanging off, which I had specifically said I did NOT want so I shoved them up into the bouquet, and it just didn't look as uniform as I wanted. But when I see pictures like this, I don't really see the mistakes in my bouquet... do you?



I love the succulents.
So, four months later, how do I feel about the flowers? I feel that I may never forgive our florist for what she did to the corsages. Those caused me so much stress and anger on a day that shouldn't have been filled with that. I absolutely LOVE how everything else turned out, especially the cake. And I love how our photographer Kristina Adams took so many fantastic shots and incorporated our simple flowers:


Here's what I learned:

1) ALWAYS discuss your budget first. Literally before anything else.
2) Have a plan, a backup plan, and another backup plan.
3) Don't have specific flowers you want. Instead, have a specific type of flower you want. I told our florist I loved ranunculus but since those weren't in season, we used dahlias and I loved them.
4) Don't be afraid to buy some stems at a grocery store.
5) Don't be afraid of doing anything yourself.

So there you have it: how the flowers almost ruined my wedding. Seriously, we still discuss those atrocious flowers and I live in fear of running into the florist when I'm at my parents house one day when I'm home... she'll know I'm mad at her. I won't be able to play it off, I'm sure.

So there you have it. How much we spent on our flowers, why, and how they turned out.

Do you think our flowers were worth it?
Would you have spent more or less (or did you) yourself?
Would you do the flowers yourself?
Did I overreact?
DO YOU LOVE THEM.
Xoxoxo
love you all.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

I WANT A CAT AND I NEED YOUR HELP


I want a cat.

I've been wanting a cat for years, and lately my mission in life is to convince Keith to say "yes"  so I can bring home a cuddly ball of fur. People keep telling me to "just go get a cat, what would be wrong with that?"  but um, I try (try) to have a little more respect for my spouse than that. So instead of just going out and getting an adorable little feline, I settle for sitting next to Keith on the cough and muttering, "I would be so much happier if I had a cat right now," or petting one of the dogs while saying, "DON'T YOU WISH YOU HAD A CAT TO PLAY WITH?" or, my personal favorite, saying this to Keith:
"If you're not going to give me a baby yet you could at least give me a cat."

Shockingly, I'm still cat-less. So now I'm resorting to passive-aggressively blogging and tweeting about my feline desire. Thus, I present to you:

5 reasons I should get a cat
1. Because the get scared by cucumbers and that reminds us all that we should have a healthy fear of vegetables.
2. Because cats and dogs interacting is HILARIOUS and filming the two of them together will guarantee my internet fame.


3. Because this is me.


4. Because cats are self-sufficient and can stay home by themselves as weekend as long as they have food and water. So basically you don't even know they're there.

5. Because Keith has his dogs who are basically my step children and I need my own children because his dogs literally shove their buttholes in my face to show me my place. A cat would probably do that too but at least it would be MY cat so it would be like I asked for it.
So now YOUR job is to do either one of two things: leave a comment agreeing with me so I can show it to Keith and be like, "THE WHOLE INTERNET AGREES WITH ME SO STOP BEING AN OGRE," or leave a comment telling me why I WOULDN'T want a cat so I can come up with a retort.

Also click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jonathan Adler for Motorola


I'm a pretty big fan of simplicity. If you look at pictures of our wedding, you'll notice it was pretty simple with some little pops of color or pizazz (one of my bridesmaids had a sequin dress so I mean, hello). To me, simplicity is classic. It's timeless. And it's something I look for in fashion, interior design, and personal style.

This is one reason I'm a fan of the new Moto X Pure Edition Design Motorolla phones by Jonathan Adler. These designs are sleek and unique, and perfect for somebody who loves simplicity and style! Let's face it: we're all attached to our phones, and it only makes sense to have our phones be representative of our own individual style, and Jonathan Adler is a master at this.


Jonathan Adler's philosophy is to "build a timelessly chic foundation, then accessorize with abandon." I LOVE THAT. These designs are limited but you can see the full collection by clicking here.

I've included some photos of how I like to decorate using simplicity and uniqueness. On my dining room table I have a wooden cookie that was used as a centerpiece for our wedding as a foundation for a beautiful jug that was gifted to us for our wedding by a coworker, and inside I have some silk hydrangeas that were completing the wrapping of a wedding gift. Everything is simple but it all comes together to form my own unique style. And like I said, Jonathan Adler is amazing at this!


Make sure to check out this page to view all the new Motorola phone designs, even if you weren't previously in the market for a new phone. Trust me, as something you use almost all day every day, you want your phone to represent who you are.

This post is sponsored by Motorola but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Marriage is not all fun and games

I've been married for a whopping 114 days, which makes me an expert. Isn't the saying that you have to practice something for 10 years before you're considered an expert? Well I've been mentally preparing myself for marriage since I was about 15 years old which actually makes me even MORE of an expert since I was 15 twelve years ago. So this is 12 years of experience telling you all of about marriage.


Marriage is wonderful, yes, and of course I love it. I'm insanely happy to be married to Keith and I still have to punch myself to make sure it's true. (I meant to say pinch but I think punch actually makes my point much more nicely.) But, you know how they say the first year of marriage is the hardest? THEYRE RIGHT. Whoever they are, they're right. And I don't have any other years of experience to compare this one to but let me just tell you, it's HARD, and nobody really talks about the hard stuff. 

I always thought it would be romantic that Keith gets up for work at 430 and leaves at 5. I thought I would lie in bed with an angelic dozing smile on my face listening to the sound of him rustle through things getting ready for his day, and I thought we would kiss goodbye and I'd snuggle back into the covers for another 2 hours until my alarm went off.

Let me tell you how it REALLY goes: his clock radio starts yelling at us at 4:30 and I passive aggressively groan, roll over, and count how long it takes him to turn it off. Then he sits up but doesn't quite get up. He just sits there so the blankets are slightly off our bodies which lets ALL THE COLD AIR INTO THE BLANKETS WITH ME. So now I'm snuggling down in the covers but not because I'm sweet and angelic, it's because if I don't, I'll get frostbite. Next, the dogs I've to cuddle really close to me. This would be fine except for the fact that they're mastered the art of subtly pushing me out of the bed. I'll start in the middle and by the time my alarm goes off at 7 in like, hanging on to the bed for dear life.


But backing up, usually while he's in the shower I'm wide awake and thinking (STRESSING) over all I have to get done that day both at work and in my personal life (changing my last name is on that list every day but it still hasn't happened ... Is there a time limit on that? Hope not). I hear the shower turn off and I know he's slowly getting dressed and whatever guys do in the bathroom in the morning. I always get excited for the goodbye kiss but I don't know why. I always turn away and so does he. Why?

MORNING BREATH. Our marriage is still new enough that morning breath is still a clear and present danger, and we aren't able to look past it yet. And since he's already brushed his teeth it's just mine we're steering clear from. It's so bad that I myself try to steer clear from it. I have no excuses for this embarrassing part of myself. 

So then we both go to work and go about our days, and I kid you not that every day I think I'm going to cook us a nice dinner that we're going to enjoy at the table using our new dishes and silverware and the placemats my coworker made us. That dream usually lasts until about 10am when I realize I'm always much to tired to cook and plus there are a billion other things to do and football is probably on so really it just comes down to are we eating pizza or frozen tacquitos on the sofa tonight? And we always always always enjoy it, and i always always always say. "One of these nights we're eating at the table" and he just pats me on the head and says "shhhhh the packers might hear you."

It's cute.

But really. We've fought over stupid stuff like.
"You love football more than you love meeeee!" (Guess who said that one)

"How did you break THAT cabinet door??" (He said that when I broke a corner door. It literally just FELL off the hinges when I breathed on it. Not my fault.

I always go to bed first and when he comes to bed he lifts the covers up to wrap them around is feet and it screws up my little cocoon that I've perfected. I've threatened to sleep in the other room because of this so I guess you could say... We're working on it?

One time I broke a controller for his xbox. Don't tell him. He still doesn't know for sure it was me. 

I wouldn't call this next one a fight, but we have a "discussion" about me getting a cat on a daily basis. 

There are some awesome things about being married though, i promise. Do you know how long it's been since I unclogged a drain? Like two weeks, but if I had asked him to unclog the shower drain he would have feigned happiness the whole time he did it. And I KNOW he enjoys all the meals I make him. He may complain about some thing but he never complains about my food. 

The best part is that he's more obsessed with The Bachelor than I am. Every Monday he's like DROP EVERYTHING ITS 7:58 THE BACHELOR STARTS IN TWO MINUTES ARE WE SURE ITS RECORDING?? And it usually takes us about an hour extra to get through it because he's making so many [hilariousi] comments about it. Some day I'll blog about that, but it is not this day (name that movie).


Anyway, I'm writing this in bed when in delirious again so I probably shared some mildly inappropriate stories (but none about s-e-x right? Those are way too inappropriate. I just can't. The TL;DR version is this: marriage is great but it's work. It's like eating a 4X4 from in n out: it's amazing, and you enjoy most of it, but at times you're miserable and wondering why you thought this was a good idea in the first place. Oh but then you get to a perfect bite of meat and cheese and secret sauce and you close your eyes and smile and you're like, "yep, this was totally worth it.

And since you're obviously wondering, YES I would be willing to speak at marriage conferences.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thoughts from my phone when I really should be sleeping

Are you aware that blogging from your phone isn't very easy? We'll see how long this lasts. I already typed "bloodying" instead of "blogging" so you'd think things can only go up from here, right! Let's find out together; I don't like being alone. 

That's a lie, actually. I have no problem being alone. It's just that I also really like being with one person in particular, and I like it so much I decided to marry him and share a bed with him. Do you know what's not the most fun thing ever? Sharing a bed with a man and two dogs. There's hardly any room for me and if I dare to suggest the the dogs need to move he's like, "but they're so cute and cozy!" I usually mumble something to the effect of, "yeah well if you don't lock them off and let me go back to sleep you're going to have three bitches to deal with today."

GET IT?

Next let's discuss whatever is happening with my finger. You may remember that on 2004 I smashed it though a window and there was blood and surgery and I lost almost an inch of tendon which has resulting in me having a slightly disfigured right hand. Anyway, Saturday I noticed it was itchy and starting to swell. Saturday night and Sunday evening the itching was nearly unbearable. And now this is what it looks like:


Do you see the swollen mess that is my finger!? I actually thing these pictures look like pictures of carrots that grow at inappropriate angles but I think I'm the only one who sees that. But I can't remember hitting my hand on anything or getting stung or bitten, so it's all a mystery that I'm hoping my boss doctor can solve for me tomorrow because I cannot live with this itching. I would rather step on one thousand tiny Legos.

Next, let's talk about my sister, Baby Kate's mom. Some people say we look alike and I kind of see it, sort of, sometimes. 


Obviously her hair is way curlier but what do you think! Could we play ourselves in a movie about our life? If we were trying to get through border control in canadia and our story was that we were sisters, would they believe us?
SPEAKING OF KATHRENE AND BABY KATE.


She's going to be a big sister in less than two months!!! I can't remember if I've told on the blog if it's a boy or a girl. Have I? Do you even care? Katelynne doesn't care at all. Seriously, you ask her about the baby and she goes and finds a rain puddle to splash in and it's pretty adorable. 

Oh did I leave you hanging?
Too bad.

I got to have a lot of family time this weekend and it was wonderful. As you know, my grandma celebrated her 100th birthday and we had a big party. She had a good time, except she couldn't hear much. We even had a microphone but she could hardly hear. I told her this is why she needs hearing aids and she said "BUT I AM NOT DEAF." Ok grandma, ok. I still love you. 

That's all because I'm feeling that loopy kind of tired where anything could happen and you can't be held responsible for the secrets that you spill. I will tell you ONE thing, since I'm nice.



ITS A GIRL.
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