Friday, October 17, 2014

That Time I Got Artsy

I am in no way, shape or form artistic. In high school everyone had to take a basic art class, and I struggled A LOT with the drawing and painting parts of the class. I would get so frustrated because I followed every direction, and still what was on my paper looked like a three-year-old did it. That being said, let me tell you about my experience at my very first paint night.

My best friend and I have never done anything creative together, so she was all "we should do something fun" and I was all "okay, let's do a wine and paint night!" Because, remember I'm an artist. So she picked the HARDEST painting to do and off we went. Luckily, we were literally the only two people in the class. So it was basically like a one-on-one class and that was good because I needed a lot of personal attention/help. So here's what the painting is supposed to look like..



And after a lot of stroking (teeheehee), blending, dabbing, wisping (I am just making up words now..), we were done. There were times throughout the process that I thought "Oh my God, this looks horrible. A child could have done this better." But then somehow at the end it all came together, and when I stepped away from it, I was actually pretty happy. Without further ado... our artwork:

Oh, and it should definitely be noted that we forgot our wine. I think wine might have made things better, but we will never know. All in all we had a good time, and I think I'd do it again. And pick a picture that didn't have every color known to man in it.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: A Mixed Bag

It seems like lately all I have had on my mind is the wedding. Maybe that's because I realized that we only have 7 more months until the big day. Which may sound like a lot of time, but the last 10 months that we've been engaged have seemed to fly by, so I know it will go quick!

So today I just wanted to throw all of my ideas/thoughts out there because having them just swirling around in my head is not a good place for them. Plus all you other brides out there are always so helpful and I am hoping you can provide some insight/suggestions/thoughts for me.

Sparkler Send Off: So this is the latest wedding add-on I have come up with. Since our venue is technically in a shopping center, I thought this would never be allowed or work. But then I started to really think about it because sparklers are so pretty and it would be fun. So of course I emailed our wedding coordinator and she told me "Of course we can do that!" So now I am almost 100% certain we are going to do one. I just have a few concerns.. What if people can't get their sparklers lit in time? What if the outdoor space isn't really going to work? What if too many people leave before we do it and then it just looks stupid? What if the photographer doesn't get the pictures right?

I guess I am just wondering if this is something that we should do. The cost if pretty low, and the venue says they can do it, so I am assuming people have done it there before. I cannot believe I am stressing out over sparklers.


Transportation for Tony + Me: Again, another add-on that I was thinking about and have looked into. The hotel we are staying at does offer a complimentary shuttle service, but I want our guests to take advantage of that more than anything. Turns out, there is a lovely limo company that will simply pick Tony + me up from the reception venue and drive us the 3.5 miles to the hotel for a mere $150. That may sound like a lot, but it includes "red carpet service" and "Just Married" signs - and the tax and tip for the driver. Plus it will look nice for photos as we go through our sparkler line and get into a nice Lincoln town car. Do I sound like a crazy bride yet?



Wedding Videographer: I did pull the trigger on this one and booked one! I am really excited and cannot wait to be able to relive our special day whenever we want to. Which probably won't be a lot (HAHA), but hey you never know. At least I know we will probably watch it on our anniversaries.

Other Random Things I Have Been Thinking About: 

-The guys' tuxes. I was a little worried about getting the right colors for the ties/vests for the guys' tuxes, but I was able to order the exact color swatch of the bridesmaid dresses, so we should be good. Also, Tony is being pretty on top of things when it comes to the guy's formal wear. He was the one who suggested him and me going and picking everything out by the beginning of November.

-Favors - I think we know what we are doing for this, but I just need to figure out how we are going to present them.

-Losing weight for my dress - obvious stressor that I am currently working on, but I am not going to really freak out about it until January. That's fair, right?

-Gifts for my girls. Again, I think I know what I am going to get, but I don't want to buy something too soon and then change my mind. That happens a lot. Surprise, surprise. 

Okay, so I think that's everything going on in my mind right now wedding-wise. 226 days to go!


Wedding Wednesday

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why I'll Never Be A Reality TV Star

I have to admit that I get sucked into reality TV quite often. My newest addiction is Total Divas. Before I ever even watched the show I was all like "wow, these girls look super slutty and annoying." And now I find myself feeling bad for Nikki and really liking Natty. And if you don't watch the show sorry for that completely vague statement.

So since reality TV is so popular I was thinking why couldn't I have a show?! And I answered that question with about a million different answers. And I wanted to share with you all today why I could never, ever, ever be a reality TV star.

I would have a hard time not looking at the cameras. I mean really, how do these people not just want to look at the camera and say something? I would probably become friends with the camera people and start including them in my life, which would mean looking at them when I was talking. I'm just saying, I think it's got to be hard to not want to look at the cameras that are constantly following you around.



Asking for redo's constantly. Obviously I wouldn't want to come off at a major biotch, so I would always be saying "hey, can we do that over? I sounded a little mean there." And that would defeat the whole point of reality TV so they would probably fire me. But I wouldn't want people to think that I am a mega mean person when it's that time of the month and I can't just tell them that because you're not supposed to look at the cameras and oh my God, this is why I will never be famous.

The obvious fact that my life isn't that interesting. Yeah, this is a biggie as to why E! or MTV or WE will never want to roll the cameras on my life. Here is how the majority of my time is spent: Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready, go to work, maybe hit up the gym when I feel like it, come home, make dinner, watch TV, go to sleep. And then on the weekends I do normal people things like grocery shop, laundry and the occasional dinner out. Sometimes I get crazy and travel here and there, but not in my private plane or anything. And I definitely don't have my own hair and make up person following me around while I do my mundane tasks. 



I would really hate to have to look presentable 24/7. I think the fact that sweatpants and a tshirt are my favorite attire might be a problem if constantly on TV. I would never wear heels. My hair would be up in a messy bun 80% of the time, and if it's the weekend chances are I am not wearing any makeup. The Kardashian's would be SO proud.

I'd probably weigh over 300 pounds from all the lunches and dinners out. Seriously, that's all these people seem to do. However, you hardly ever see them actually eating and/or drinking whatever they order. If it was me constantly going out to eat, I would always be drinking wine (and have the cameraman drive me home) and getting dessert. Because I'm famous and money is no object.



So there you have it, all of the reasons I will never grace the small screen. Too bad I'll never have my life out there for people to criticize and be driven around from brunch to lunch to dinner. For now I will just go back to being addicted to those people who are the stars of "reality" and just imagine how my life would be if I were them. Do you think you could be on a reality TV show?!

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To Video, or Not to Video?


So I am finally participating in Wedding Wednesday again. With less than 8 months to go, things are starting to come up on me quickly. That main thing being that I need/want to lose like 25 more pounds and at this point, that's feeling like a really hard thing to accomplish. Moving along..



Over the last few weeks I had been doing some research into a videographer. I know originally I thought this was something that we didn't really need and basically just unnecessary spending. But after seeing how amazing other bride and groom's videos have turned out, I am really reconsidering it. So like the thrifty bride that I am, I got price quotes from multiple videographers and found someone who had an amazeballs price. Almost half of what everyone else was going to charge.

Obviously I started thinking that these people must suck because why are they so cheap? Come to find out they are trying to reestablish themselves in the area and are just trying to get clients at this point. Okay, that works for me. And they told me that their price included travel, 5 dvds, a still photog (a little added extra), and mics to have on during the ceremony. 

Tony wasn't too hip on the idea of having another vendor to pay for and be there on our day. But when it came down to it, I think he knows that it would be special for me, and a great gift to give our parents, too, so they can always remember the day. 



So I want to know, other brides out there - how was your experience with a videographer? I haven't officially signed the contract yet, so please tell me if you think I am making a mistake and if it is just a wasteful thing I will never actually go back and watch.

Wedding Wednesday

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wednesday Confessions

Happy hump day everyone. We are almost to the end of the week, and after this week I am in need of a relaxing, no drama weekend. So here I am to give you my random confessions and get some things off my chest. 

I confess.....

// I had a really bad day yesterday and felt that I deserved a long island iced tea. This really isn't that bad, but I don't usually drink on weeknights, let alone have hard liquor. But I did and did calm my nerves a little and make me care just a little less.



//  I really want to get the new iPhone just so I can be cool like everyone else. But I don't have the chance to upgrade until next November, so I contemplated asking Tony to buy me one for Christmas. Then I realized that was just ridiculous because it would cost like a bazillion dollars and we're kind of having a wedding in 8 months.

// I still haven't gone to the gym this week. After not going at all last week I told myself I would get back on it this week, but that hasn't happened. The only thing that makes me feel a tad bit better is that I did the walking trail yesterday at work, and plan on doing it again today. But I know that's not really good enough.

// I am feeling a little bit anxious and overwhelmed by all the TV there is to watch this week. Yes, this sounds silly, but it's real people. So far I am caught up on what I need want to watch, but Thursday is really going to throw me off - three shows, and one of them is on WAY past my bedtime. So we will see what happens there. 



// The most hurtful thing anyone can say to me is that I don't care enough. This sounds like a random confession, I know, but it's the absolute truth and part of the reason I had a mid-week drink. I am such a thoughtful person, dammit, so do not tell me I don't care.

// I am getting really antsy lately and just want to be married already. I am starting to think about our future more and more and I just want to get things going. Less than a year!

// I painted my nails really cute this week and nobody has even noticed. And it makes me a little bit sad. #firstworldprobz

// I really need to go shopping for new shoes for work, but I know if I go shopping it will lead to new sweaters and dresses and that is not something my bank account needs right now. But I will probably still do it because new shoes.


And that's all the confessions I feel like sharing for now. Maybe I will get my act together and give you all a wedding planning update next Wednesday. But don't hold your breath because I'm not really sure that there is anything exciting for me to report.


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Friday, September 19, 2014

High Five Fo Friday

So glad we are finally at Friday. This week kind of seemed to drag on and that's probably because it was my first full work week in almost a month. Tough life, I know. But anyways, I feel like I am sort of back on my blog game & wanted to link up with Lauren for H54F!

1. I have completely and totally been binge watching Parks & Recreation and I LOVE it. I want to be best friends with Leslie Knope so bad. And Ron Swanson because he really reminds me of Tony - but in the good ways. Also, I am almost through season 5 and am starting to wonder where I can watch season 6 for free, so if you have any suggestions TELL ME NOW (please?) And of course, P&R GIFs for your enjoyment.


2. I tried dry shampoo for the first time ever this past weekend/week and I have to say it's really a game changer. I mainly wanted to try it because I'm lazy and washing, drying & styling my hair every day is a lot of work and I just don't have the energy for all that. So by not washing it every day I was able to give off the illusion that I put a lot of work into my hair for more than one day this week. WIN. 

3. Confession: I was a complete & total lazy lard this week. I did not go to the gym one single day and I really do feel awful about it. My only excuse is that I had other commitments on Monday & Wednesday nights, but that's really not good enough. So I am promising myself (and this blog) that I will have my not-so-little butt back in the gym next week!



4. Another confession: I am mildly addicted to the Kim Kardashian game. I know I have talked about this before, but it's gotten bad guys. Like I am paying $5 a day to get more energy to complete fashion shows and dates and whatnot. And my fake boyfriend on the game is constantly telling me I don't look good enough on our dates (#rude). All of this wouldn't bother me if I didn't really despise that whole family and everything they stand for. But the game is fun, soooo...



5. I have a jam packed weekend ahead of me & I am really happy about it: pottery painting tonight, baby shower & bonfire tomorrow, and of course, football to watch on Sunday. And the fact that I am making crab dip and pumpkin cupcakes for two of these happenings also makes me really happy because I just love both of those food items. Which makes me not going to the gym this week even worse. Ugh, the struggle.

So I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend and hopefully next week I will be back with even more fun & exciting content. (notice the sarcasm.)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Fall Bucket List


Ah yes, Fall is upon us. Okay, well technically we have like 5 more days until it is officially Fall, but stay with me here...

I was thinking about all the Fall-related things I want to do over the next few months, and it made me think that I should just tell all of blog land my ideas that way I have to do them, forcing myself to have a good time. So without further ado, here is my 2014 Fall Bucket List:

// Go the the National Apple Harvest Festival and buy all sorts of delicious Fall treats

// Carve a pumpkin in a new way - like with a drill (something I saw on Pinterest)

// Drink lots of pumpkin spiced lattes / flavored coffee

// Buy 3 new scarves

// Make a pumpkin roll

// Spend time around a bonfire with friends

// Make hot apple cider in the crock pot

//  Do some kind of crafty project with real leaves

// Go apple picking at the local market

// Have a date day/night that includes a hay ride

// Host a girl's night in

// Try pumpkin beer

// Buy more fall-scented candles

// Keep my nails painted a fall appropriate color

Ah, I am getting more and more excited by just making this list! Looks like I have a lot to do between now and the beginning of December - because that's when it starts to get really cold and I consider Fall to be over.

Tell me - what's on your Fall bucket list this year?!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

I've Been A Super Bad Blogger

Yep, it's true. I have barely blogged, let alone commented on other blogs. So I am sorry. But today if you are coming here you get to hear about my weekend. And I am going to say my weekend sorta-kinda started on Thursday night because I only had a half day on Friday and it felt like a longer weekend because of that. Okay, moving along.

Thursday night Tony & I headed down to Baltimore to watch the Ravens take on the Steelers. This is a huge rivalry game and if you can go to the game, it's definitely not one you want to pass up on. We get to park in a super secret (not really) parking lot because of where Tony works, so we were able to get down there about an hour before the game and not have to walk too far. Fortunately the Ravens pulled out a big win and we had a great time screaming and cheering the whole game. Also, props to the Ravens organization for doing a really nice 9/11 tribute!



Side note - no, I don't own a Ray Rice jersey. Second side note, contrary to popular news stories, no there were not "tons" of people wearing Rice jerseys. MAYBE a dozen. Out of 71,000 fans. (Okay, so I didn't see ALL 71K fans, but I saw a lot and there were not many of those jerseys.)

Like I said before, I worked a half day on Friday, so the work part went super quick. My plans for the night consisted of making a home cooked meal and binge watching Parks & Recreation with one of my bridesmaids. And that plan was executed perfectly :)

Saturday was a day that I had been looking forward to for quite some time - bridesmaid dress shopping! I will admit, I was a little nervous it was going to be hard to find a dress that everyone liked & wasn't through the roof price-wise. We all had a fun time and I was secretly a little jealous that I didn't get to try on a bunch of pretty dresses!

After much deliberation we all agreed that the above dress was the winner! I didn't take any pictures of the back, but trust me when I say that it is simple, yet very pretty. The price was a tad higher than we had hoped, but I was able to get the store to take $20 off per dress. Oh, and the dress will NOT be in blue. My MOH's will be in Eggplant, while everyone else's will be Purple. 

Sunday was the perfect Fall day for me. All the windows were opened, football was on the TV, pumpkin-scented candles were burning & I had plenty of time to cook and get laundry done. Seriously the perfect relaxing day. In the evening Tony & I had a mini surprise party to go to. I may have had a bite of the best cookie cake known to man. 

This was such a nice little weekend and I am feeling refreshed & ready to take on the week! Next weekend is already looking pretty packed, but this is really what I love about Fall. What did you all do this weekend?!

(Linking up with Bella for this one!)

Weekend Recap

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Vacation Recap: Niagara Falls, Canada

So I am back in the USA, and let me tell you, my bank account is very happy about that. And like the good blogger that I sort of am, I am going to give you the full recap, along with my recommendations if you were to do the same trip. 

We began our 6+ hour journey on Friday morning and made sure to bring along LOTS of snacks for the car ride. Because what else is there to do in a car for that long? I am happy to say that the girls in the car only asked to stop and pee ONCE during the entire car ride there. Sorry there is not really any pictures I can show you from the car ride.. because it was a car ride. So yeah.

Once we crossed the border and checked in to our hotel we all oohh-ed and ahh-ed about the view we had of both the American and Canadian Falls. Our room was really nice and we played around with the screen that opened and closed between the bathroom and bedrooms. Because we can be 5 year-old's sometimes. 


After all that, it was time to convert our money and get a drink! What I am about to say is probably offensive, but Canadian money is WEIRD. First off, it seriously looks and feels like Monopoly money. Secondly, they don't do pennies/1 cent. So you get screwed over when getting change back. And since this was our first experience in spending money, we quickly learned that everything is literally double the cost in and around Niagara Falls. NO LIE. And they tried to put a "tourist tax" on everything. But I had done my research and promptly told them to take this off of our bill since legally they cannot charge us this tax. Ashleigh - 1, Niagara Falls- 0.



We then ventured around outside, and eventually came back to the room to start showers and getting ready for dinner. The first dinner of the trip was at a Brazilian steakhouse called Brasa. If anyone has every been to Fogo de Chao it's exactly like that. And it was AMAZING. I am a bad blogger and didn't take any food pictures because I was too busy enjoying every meaty bite. So I apologize, but guys, you have to go there if you are ever in that area. But bring lots of money because it's pricy (like everything else).

After dinner we went to the Myst Lounge. This little place was very modern and to be honest, the drinks were a little watered down. But we had fun just sitting there, having a few drinks, and planning out our next day's adventures. Oh, and I got Tony to take a selfie with me, which is a pretty big feat for me.



Saturday morning we got up bright and early (like 9 am haha) to begin our adventures around the actual Falls. We started out by just walking down to the tourist area and taking some pictures. Then we started making our way to the Hornblower for the actual boat tour.

We had so much fun on the boat! Lots of pictures were taken, and we all completely rocked the red ponchos we were given. And once again, Tony was up for some selfies :) To my surprise, we hardly got wet. Just a little misted as we got close to the Horseshoe Falls.


After the boat tour, we got our tickets for Journey Behind the Falls, which is basically a tour that takes you down about 125 feet and through a tunnel to where you are basically on the same level as the Falls. Once again, another great photo opportunity. 




We spent the rest of the afternoon just walking around and going into different shops. It didn't feel like we walked a ton, but by the end of the night when I checked my FitBit, we had taken over 20,000 steps! Too bad that probably didn't even come close to canceling out the food and drink we had Saturday night. But again, it was all delicious. Oh, and Saturday night we also went to the Casino that was attached to our hotel for about 10 minutes. I lost 5 dollars and we were done. So no, I didn't hit it big and can now quit my job. Better luck next time.

Sunday we ventured down to Clifton Hill - a tourist area that has mini golf, lots of shops, a big ferris wheel and other little attractions. But since we are Americans and it was the beginning of football season, we found a huge sports bar and watched our team (lose) and ate pizza and drank beer. Tony and James tried to win a football throwing competition, but they were both terrible and we didn't get $50 off of our bill. But Carly did win a Bills jersey. But none of us are Bills fans and if there is someone out there who wants to buy a C.J. Spiller jersey hit me up and I'll direct you to the right person.

To console myself after watching the Ravens lose, I bought 4 big pieces of fudge that surprisingly made it home not completely eaten. Sunday night we all kind of just took it easy and had a yummy Italian meal, followed by ordering room service for dessert and watching the fireworks from our room. It really was a good end to a jam-packed trip. 

This was $12. But, it was delicious.

My trip takeaways:

-Niagara Falls is EXTREMELY expensive. And there are taxes/fees on everything. Like a parking tax. And an environment tax. 

-You really don't need to stay at a hotel with a view of the Falls. Don't get me wrong, it was really nice, but it would have been a lot cheaper to stay about 2 blocks away from the Falls.

-Two nights would have been fine. We really could have done everything we wanted to do in a day and a half. Again, another way to save money.

We probably won't be going back, because honestly, once you see the Falls you really don't need to go back. MAYBE one day with kids, but not unless we have more money. Did I mention how expensive everything was?

All in all, fun trip!

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