Let the REAL Wedding Planning Begin!

NotSo30s - Wedding Planning Checklist

Finally… The wedding planning ball is rolling… Slowly… But rolling nonetheless!

I transferred my wedding planning checklist to this AMAZING app that I found (I’ll tell you ALL about the app tomorrow), and I shared the list with my fiance. This week I have already knocked off about 5 check boxes. I think in the last 2 months I might have checked off 5 check boxes, so progress is definitely being made!

We are still tied down financially as we house hunt, but I’m not letting that stop me any more! I can plan! I can reverse engineer! I can make lists of items to buy! I can do a LOT without having to spend money yet. Thennnn, once we find our perfect home and close on it, I can make the purchases/down payments I need to! Everything will already be lined up!

Last night alone I discovered how expensive formal suit  rentals are for men! WTH! You don’t even get to KEEP the suit. At least bridesmaids get to keep what they purchase… So our hunt for groomsmen suits continues. The good part is, we already have a game plan!

So to all my brides-to-be out there… The BIGGEST and BEST advice I can give you is have a checklist for EVERYTHING that needs planning/coordination for your wedding! Set deadlines! Check of boxes EVERY week (even if you do something small, you did SOMETHING!).

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How to Save Money at Ulta or Sephora

I have an impulse control problem… Or maybe it is a blind-to-reality problem… Which ever is the best way to classify it, it always occurs when I enter either Sephora or Ulta.

Why would entering these stores make me blind to reality? This is too easy to explain. Before I walk in I know my budget… The status of my bills… The balance in my bank account…  All this information just tells me that I don’t have the luxury to walk into a store and buy what ever I want. I need to be selective and money-conscious.

Then I walk through the doors…

Then I forget what a budget is… I forget what moderation means…

My eyes sparkle as I see all the latest and greatest products that are available. Now, I’m not a girly girl. I’m not a makeup pro and I don’t check the mirror 20 times a day. I do, however, like new products, “playing” with make up, and the feminine feel that I get from beauty products. It is a bit of a rush.

With house hunting I haven’t been able to splurge at these stores as I would have before. I can’t avoid these stores altogether, either. (I buy my Shampoo/Conditioner at Ulta… Some make up at Sephora…) But as soon as I walk in the door, all common sense and impulse control is GONE.

I had to think of a way to be able to walk into these stores, buy the one or two things I needed, and walk OUT without making any impulsive/unplanned purchases.

INSERT – Fiance

Here he is... Blocking the nail polishes and making me walk straight to the register...

Here he is… Blocking the nail polishes and making me walk straight to the register… You can SEE his impatience. HA!

I made a trip to Ulta with my fiance and before walking in I told him I only needed to buy shampoo and conditioner. I was in and out of Ulta within 10 minutes. It was unheard of. It was unprecedented.

Don’t get me wrong… I was getting distracted! You have to walk THROUGH the store to get to where my shampoo and conditioner are placed. The nail polishes… The makeup… It all grabbed at my attention. My fiance, on the other hand, kept me on point! He made sure I went straight to what I needed and then straight to the register. Honestly, I laughed. I felt as if I were an animal being corralled.

So are you trying to save money when you go to Sephora or Ulta? Do you get home, look at your purchases, and immediately have I-Spent-Too-Much-Money regret? Here is my recommendation to save money…

Take someone with you to the store who would DESPISE being in that kind of store! It doesn’t have to be a significant other… It can be a friend, family member, co-worker, ANY ONE! Just so long as that person would want to leave that store as soon as they walked in!

This technique WORKS. I have saved TONS of money. My bank account loves me for it. My fiance loves me for it.

The Stigma of Seeing a Therapist

Today I shall be seeing a therapist for the first time ever. I say that statement without shame and without worry. Sadly, there seems to be a stigma with admitting that one sees or will be seeing a therapist. Honestly, I don’t see why.

If a friend came up to you and said, “I think I might be having some blood pressure issues, I am going to make an appointment to check it out”, you would probably commend that friend on taking care of their physical health and seeking treatment.

I believe the same support should be given to those who seek assistance for their mental health. A person does not have to have a mental disability or a personal, catastrophic tragedy to seek out the assistance of a mental health professional. With the varying types of mental health professionals there are varying degrees of need for such support.

The stigma of seeing a therapist comes in when people start making assumptions and judgements. People assume that you might be “crazy” or have a mental illness. People assume that you are having some catastrophic personal crisis. People assume that only “weak” people need to see therapists. After those assumptions are made, then people start to judge.

I, personally, am seeking therapy for how I am managing stress. I’ve written about it already… My hands are absolutely full house hunting, wedding planning, working, and trying to manage my personal relationships. I have noticed that in the last 4 weeks or so I am not managing my stress in any manner that is considered healthy. My sleep is suffering. My emotions are on the worst imaginable rollercoaster. My fiance and I are not communicating as well as we usually do.  I become upset much more rapidly than normal. I feel as if I am not understood by those around me.

I know that with everything on my plate right now, and the negative way I am handling the stress, that this is a prime opportunity for me to speak to someone about how I am managing everything. Sometimes, you need to hear things from a neutral third-party. Sometimes, a person can give you some insight into your personality and your interactions with others that you may not have noticed.

There is nothing wrong with a bit of mental health self-improvement. We do self-improvement in SO many aspects of our lives. Work, physical health, financial, etc… Trying to become mentally healthier only helps to improve us as people overall. What we can learn can help provide a positive affect on the rest of our lives.

So today, I shall go into my first therapy session with my head held high. I don’t care about any assumptions or judgements made against me. I know that I am going to be doing something positive. It is time for a little “me” time…

Wedding Planning Dry Spell

198 days…

I only have 198 days until my wedding day… and I am currently in a Wedding Planning Dry Spell.

My feet are as warm as ever, and I can’t wait to become the wife of my awesome future husband.. but the plannnnning. All motivation, inspiration, and desire to wedding plan have flown out of the window.

I have gone through these spells before, but they were more out of laziness. This time it is different. I find that I have become more emotional lately, with so many aspects of my life causing me stress and putting me in a low mood. My wedding planning to-do list is still a mile long. I look at it, and then I find something else to do.

It doesn’t help that house hunting doesn’t allow me to schedule any appointments in advance. I feel like I need to be constantly ON CALL in case a property comes onto the market that I need to see immediately. I spend my lunch hours either running errands or online looking for houses. I spend my evenings worn out from my hectic work day. I get back on the computer looking for houses. I plan or go find dinner. I spend the little bit of time I have left in the day with my fiance.

Right now the priority in my life has been switched to finding a home. That is absolute NUMBER ONE. It has drained ANY desire I have to wedding plan. Some of my self-imposed deadlines are starting to pass, and honestly, I haven’t mustered up enough energy to care. In the last two and a half months I don’t think I have SEEN any of my friends more than twice. And I don’t mean hang out and spend lots of time. I haven’t SEEN any of them more than two times. But with house hunting, it is not like I can make plans.

My bridal magazines remained stacked in a corner of a room… My Save-The-Dates remain un-ordered… My bridesmaids and groomsmen still have not had their wedding attire coordinated/ordered… My guest list has not been finalized… My DJ has not been booked… My reception set up and decor has not been planned…

I wrote that list just now and all I can do is shrug my shoulders.

I’m hoping for a burst of motivation. If anyone has any, please send it my way!

How To Turn 30 Gracefully…

 

Here are my thoughts on how to turn 30 gracefully

That’s all I’ve got.

Who says you need to turn 30 gracefully? (Or 40, 50, 60, etc… for that matter.) Do it on YOUR terms. Just make sure you are the person YOU want to be. That you are a good person and making good things happen in your life. Don’t use this new phase or transition as a means to justify actions that are unbecoming of you as a person.

Although this year’s birthday had ups and downs, it will still on my terms. I had fun and I had wonderful people around me.

So for YOUR 30th birthday… Do it BIG!

…and here is a picture showing an EXCELLENT example of how I celebrated my 30th!…

It was a busy blur and I tried to make the best of it that I could. In the end, there was only one aspect of my birthday that was a downer – but all else made this birthday truly special. Here are to many more happy blurs.

Photo credit to my friend Gabriel Fernandez

Photo credit to my friend Gabriel Fernandez

Hello 30’s… and Welcome to “Not So 30’s!”

Here it is! The day I have been planning for since October 12th, 2012… Why that date? On that date I created a mission statement for this blog formerly known as “Oh No The Big Three Oh”… I saw my 30’s birthday down the pipeline and I wanted to give myself some goals to make myself a better and happier person.

Honestly, I feared turning 30. I expected to be completely distraught about leaving my 20’s, but as you saw from yesterday’s post – the fear is gone. I am happy, I have goals, I have great things going on in my life, I am surrounded by wonderful people. I am so completely grateful for everything in my life that today isn’t a cause for sadness, but a true day of celebration.

Today, I am not fearing my 30’s and saying “Oh No” to it… I am REDEFINING it. I want to do away with the stigma of turning 30! It isn’t getting or being old, it isn’t less fun in my life, it is NOT SO 30’s! I can live my life on MY terms and feel as young and happy as I want.

In the upcoming weeks I will be tweaking the look of this blog, introducing a new logo, and making this blog more of a priority! I now have a new email address and an Instagram account dedicated solely for Not So 30’s! Feel free to follow on Instagram (@notso30s) or email me at notso30s@gmail.com .

I want to thank each of you that has taken the time to read a post, comment, email me, and shared a link. Welcome to Not So 30’s… Redefining my 30’s, while not acting a day over 29!

NotSo30s

Goodbye 20’s… Some Thoughts for Those in Their 20’s…

Bye20s

For the last 10 years I have relished the fact that I could say I was in my twenties…

Being in your 20’s has always come with the assumption that they are the greatest years of your life. ESPECIALLY the first half of your 20’s. For some people this is true. It is usually a time where one is more carefree… There is the partying… Staying out late… Less responsibilities… More fun… Our 20’s are considered the PRIME of our youth…

…I see it differently now… Quite honestly, I feel as though my BEST years have been ages 28 and 29… and it is just rolling into my 30’s. I am loving my life, who I am, and the journey ahead of me. I get to redefine what being in my 30’s will mean! It doesn’t mean that I am “old” or “older”… I can still have the same FEELING of my 20’s, but with the growth and rewards of maturity of my 30’s. As I look back, I can see what I did right and what I did wrong. I want to share those thoughts with anyone in their 20’s…

Our twenties are the time where we decide who we are as individuals.

Our twenties are a time to learn life’s lessons and to find our identity. I can’t express enough how important it is to FIND who you are in your twenties. Don’t imitate another person. Don’t be greedy of another person’s life. You need to be positive, find what makes YOU happy, find what makes YOU a good person, and build a life around that!

Our twenties are a time where we set the foundations for our future.

Be financially wise.

I wish I would have learned this lesson a bit earlier in my twenties. I only really took control of my finances in the last two to three years. At about 27 years old I took control of my credit history and made it my mission to improve my credit history and score. Just last year I finally learned how to properly manage my income and how to actually SAVE money. If I would have started this process just a year or two sooner, I would already be a homeowner. My delay was due to my lack of saving and the time it took to improve my credit history. Don’t make this mistake. You don’t HAVE to buy a house at 25 years old… But if you are in control of your finances at that age, you will be ready to go once the time comes!

Learn your life lessons now.

Actually LEARN them. Don’t become blind to your situations. We all experience heart ache. We all learn that we make mistakes. There is NO excuse to repeatedly make those mistakes. When it comes to love, when you know who YOU are, you will know who the best person for you is. I am so glad for the heart aches I have experienced. I have learned that I need someone who makes me as much of a priority as I make them. I can’t sacrifice my happiness for the convenience of someone else. I have learned that I must respect the people closest to me. I need to honor the part they play in my life. I can not be selfish and do what I want without considering how it will affect other people. I also need to be the example of what I consider to be a “good person”. There are NO excuses to repeat mistakes after a lesson is learned. That is stubbornness. You will not move forward, improve or excel in life if that is the case.

Always goals.

Don’t live  a stagnant life. Always set goals and have aspirations… Then, work towards them! They can be career goals, personal improvement goals, health/fitness goals, financial goals, personal hobby goals… Always be working toward something positive! That is a way to truly enjoy and make the best out of life. When you finally take a look back at all that you have achieved it will make you feel confident and satisfied!

Be positive and ENJOY life.

I’m not going to preach about being all happy-happy-joy-joy. That is just common sense. We all have our good days and our bad days. Your goal is to make the good days outnumber the bad. We don’t know how long we have on this Earth.

At my uncle’s funeral the priest said something that has stayed with me ever since… Live every day as if it were your first day, your last day, your only day.

 

Last 29 of 29: One Week Left…

In one week I will be turning 30.

Whoa.

Thinking it. Saying it. Writing it. When I do either of those things and realize that I turn 30 in one week, I am no longer “fearful” of the day. Turning 30 is going to be an amazing milestone for me.

I decided to dedicate the last 29 of my 29 to making the BEST of my time. Celebrating life. Doing big things!

In the last 22 days I have had an AMAZING engagement party thanks to those nearest and dearest to me. I started the journey of house hunting with my fiance. I have spent quality time with him and we have learned to cope with the stress together. I have spent time with my sister (as I will again this weekend) as she prepares to become a first time mommy. I have spent time with my brother and his beautiful family. I wish I saw them more often. I have worked hard in my career and started making future plans for growth. I have been reading books again! A passion that I have which I spent months without doing. I have BIG PLANS and goals for health and fitness that I plan on sharing. I also returned to volunteering my time with a program that is very special to me.

It all hasn’t been sunshine and carefree living. Not at all. I have been under an incredible amount of stress. Some days I handle it pretty well. Other days I feel as if I am on the verge on an anxiety attack. My days are PACKED with tasks, meetings, places to go, things to do. On days that I have a bit of free time I find myself firmly attached to my bed.

Yet, I make sure to open my eyes and appreciate where I am in my life right now. I am in a transitional period where I am preparing myself for what most call “settling down”. I am looking for a house in a community I can be a part of, and making that house a home with my fiance.

Turning 30 is my induction into my “grown up” life. Turning 30 is realizing that a lot of the dreams/goals I had in my 20’s will be coming to fruition. Turning 30 means that I have more control and impact on my life than ever before. I am so excited about what is to come.

I’m ready for 30.

Project Last 29 of 29… Recap of Days 28-26 To Go…

Here I am on a Monday recapping a great weekend! I keep counting down the days until my 30th birthday and I am seeing the AMAZING and POSITIVE things that are happening to me daily!

Here is a summary of just some of those amazing things…

Angie - Kitchenaid

28 Days To Go
This day was filled with a work triumph and a wonderful gift. I had an incredibly stressful day at work and the stress was focused on one account in particular. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to come through with a quote for the account, but with TWO minutes left in the day the quote came in. I left ecstatic!
As soon as I pulled into the driveway at home UPS was ROLLING engagement gifts into my doorway. As you will see from the photo above I was in LOVE with my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer. My mother has one and I have repeatedly said that when I moved out I would miss her Kitchenaid mixer and double ovens the most!
27 Days To Go
Two words: HOUSE HUNTING.
Saturday was a dream come true. Literally. I have always dreamt of being a homeowner, and I have spent MONTHS trying to get myself in a financial position to become one. Saturday just showed that with hard work my fiance and I can do anything. We learned a LOT on our house hunt and are looking forward to the search!

26 Days To Go
With 26 days left until my 30th birthday I spent the day running errands, taking care of my “to-do” list, and spending a bit of time with family. It was a busier Sunday than I anticipated and I ended up going to bed HOURS later than I had wanted to… Yet, this day felt like a success. It was a great feeling to see so many things checked off of my list.

Project Last 29 of 29… 29 Days to Go!

Today was a big day for my fiancé and me…

8 months ago we committed to working on our finances, becoming more fiscally responsible, and to become homeowners. We both live with our respective families. The time had come to make the leap into moving in together and have the responsibility of a mortgage.

With the help, structure and guidance of the NACA program…

Today we received our mortgage qualification approval.

It is one sheet of paper that changes our world. We have worked so hard for today. We can see in our near future that we will be FIRST time homeowners!

This is a FANTASTIC achievement for us just before my 30th birthday… And one helluva way to start my Project Last 29 of 29!