I know, the title sounds a bit cocky. However, I think we should all be aware of our talents and I think DIY decor runs in my family. I learned a lot from my mom and my mom usually helps me on the parties I've decorated for.
Today, I'm going to share some photos from my wedding and my mother-in-law's 50th birthday party. Keep reading for a few tips to decorate your party venue beautifully!
1: PHOTO BACKDROPS ARE A MUST!
I spray-painted the white roses gold to give it a timeless look! We borrowed the pillars from the church and added some plants for a gardenesque look.
Other photo backdrops include a backdrop made of PVC pipe, a painted mural, and more. Figure out what makes most since for your party and do that!
2: THROW OUT THE TRADITIONAL GUEST BOOK!
3: BUY CHEAP, SPRAYPAINT'S YOUR BEST FRIEND!
4: DON'T BE AFRAID TO DIY
I could sit here all day and tell you DIY projects that you should do for your party. At the end of the day, DIYing is almost always cheaper than purchasing the product!
5: USE ODDS AND ENDS TO MAKE CENTERPIECES
6: MAKE A TABLE POP WITH FABRIC
7: ADD GREENERY FOR A FRESH LOOK
On each of the tables at my mother-in-law's party, we added a little succulent plant inside of the bird cage. This brought a bit of nature to the table without overwhelming the coordinated decor.
This is an awesome idea because the plants can also work as party favors. I certainly didn't need 12+ succulents and three bigger plants to drive back home three hours with!
DIY TO SAVE MONEY FOR THESE THINGS:
2. THE FOOD: Trust me, it is always better to save up for some sort of catering, even if they just drop it off and guests can serve themselves. Having to refill everything when you just want to enjoy the party sucks!
3. TABLECLOTHS AND NICE PLATES: The one thing I always splurge on is tablecloths. That's because the dollar store seldom has a good selection of colors. Instead, I usually go to a party store like Party City for my tablecloths. I usually get the plates from there, too!
For me at least, it is officially summer. That means it’s time for sun, hopefully some pool time somewhere, and fun and colorful projects.
While visiting my family for Memorial Day weekend, we decided to do a craft. Instead of choosing something like a canvas, we decided clothing would be more useful for everyone!
What you’ll need:
STEP 1: BLEACH THE SHIRT
I spiraled my shirt the way I wanted it to look and kept it that way the entire time. If you want one that looks similar to mine, you can pinch the shirt in the middle and twist until the whole shirt is twisted together.
head to your sink, wet your shirt, and pour bleach on both sides. Using a gloved hand, massage the bleach into the shirt. Since it is nice and warm outside, I recommend sitting your shirt outside while the bleach does the job. It doesn’t take long. Check back in 30 minutes to find the shirt has turned white or light orange in certain places.
STEP 2: ADD YOUR DYES
Bring in your shirt and rinse it with water. Remember, leave the rubber bands in place so that you know the tie-dye will hit the bleached areas.
After that, add colors to your shirt in whatever places you desire. I noticed that all of the colors did show up, but lighter colors didn’t shine through as well. One tip on my tie-dye box said you could add less water to the dye bottles for a more intense color! I’d recommend doing that with lighter colors!
after you’re done with this part, take your shirt back outside to dry. Leave it for 2-24 hours. We left ours outside for maybe 4-5 hours.
STEP 3: WASH AND WEAR!
After you’ve let your tie-dye shirt “cure,” remove the rubber bands and put your shirt in the wash on cold. Add detergent/fabric softener! I was worried that mine having a bit of a bleach residue would ruin the other shirts, but it didn’t. However, wash with other things at your own risk!
after you wash the shirt, dry it and wear it!
If you’re a visual learner, check out this video for the process!
So, with my tax return and a little bit of extra money I had after paying bills in hand, we set off to put on a budget wedding. Here are the individual things we did to make the wedding more low-cost:
As previously mentioned, we chose to have our wedding in the church we were attending. It was free and we knew that it would accommodate just about the right number of people. There were some down sides to this, of course.
Because it was in a southern Baptist church, we didn’t share a first dance. That is something that I regret, but that is more because we didn’t have the cash to spring for a nicer venue for the reception. We had the reception in the church’s fellowship hall.
The good thing about this was that it was free and it was easy to reserve the space.
We used some of the leftover fabric from the hearts on our table. We bought some little, stained-glass vases from a craft store and filled them with fake flowers, butterflies, and pinwheels from the dollar store. I bought most of my décor from the dollar store!
I don’t have exact numbers, but I came out way under $100 for the yarn, and my mom made them for me for free!
I had a friend from work take photos at my wedding. She did it for me as a gift for my wedding. She didn’t have much equipment, and I had to edit these for myself. It was free and I got what I needed. But, I know that a lot of my family wish there were more.
I’m not going to complain because it was free and I’m glad I have something!
I also designed my own invite, because I’m a graphic designer. I also made a little activity book for the kids to keep them entertained during the more boring parts of our nuptials. I did blur some information and names, but you see the basic idea!
The food was also good because of the hand cooking J, but I wish it was less intense. I would recommend doing some sort of catering, but we just didn’t have the money for it!
This photo is my favorite. My brother had returned a ring to me that he gave me when I was younger. It made me cry!
MUCH THANKS TO:
Another month has blown by, which means its time for me to tell you some of the things I loved this last month. Let's get right into it:
COLOURPOP X DISNEY VILLAINS: HADES | $25
ULTA X AVENGERS SUPERCHARGED - $8
TARTE SUGAR RUSH ITEMS | ~$25
TIKTOK MAKEUP LAPSE VIDEOS | FREE
I uploaded one of my timelapses onto YouTube so you could see what I'm talking about. Tik Tok is kind of like Musicly and Vine put together. I like using it to make videos of my "transforming" into my makeup. I think that it gives me confidence, even if I'm still not the best at doing my makeup. I feel like I'm improving, and that's what matters to me!
THE INNER WORLD | $8
FRIENDSHIP COLLAR | ~$40
SO, THAT'S IT!
Those are all of the products that I've loved from April! I'm looking forward to a few other things in May:
What did you love this month? Let me know in the comments or Tweet it to me!
LEGAL: All photos in this post are my own.
So today, I wanted to share with you the good, bad, and ugly parts of being in a sorority. Keep in mind while reading this that I’m speaking from my own experience at a smaller university. Everyone will have their own experiences. Without further ado, let’s get into this!
I am absolutely thrilled that I joined a sorority for a number of reasons. However, there are unfortunately more bad and ugly things to consider before you choose Greek life on your campus.
The first really good thing about joining a sorority is, if you join the right one, you are surrounded by a number of like-minded individuals who often care about the same things as you do. I loved that about my sorority!
Next, I really appreciated that, at my school, academics and involvement were always highly praised in the Greek system. I was awarded the Greek with the highest GPA award two years in a row. Our Greek system also gave awards for social events and philanthropy.
I learned that leaders have a really stressful job. While in my sorority, I served as both Vice President/Rush Chair and President. These were both extraordinarily difficult positions to hold, but I did the best I could with the life knowledge I had.
THE BAD AND THE UGLY
I’m just going to combine these two because they both can apply to all the situations I’m going to name here.
And if issues with other organizations aren’t enough, you will likely have situations where there is some sort of disparity in your own organization that causes fighting and issues among your members. This could be because of attendance, academic status, leadership issues, and more. If you’re in any position of leadership during these things, it all falls on you. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying neutral in your opinion.
All-in-all, I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t gone Greek. Some closing thoughts are that hazing was never an issue for me. My college has a no-tolerance hazing policy, and I believe there are state laws that are sort of against it, too. If you’re worried about that, talk to the Greek life coordinator at your college about that.
As a member of a University staff, and as a graduate myself, I think that college is monumentally important. Not only is it important to help you earn a degree that can be used in a career, but it is also important to help you acclimate to living life on your own and to becoming a good citizen within a community.
But, there are undoubtedly things that I wish I had known before I enrolled! Since people are starting to get acceptance letters, I thought this would be a great post to make. If you want to learn more, keep reading:
1: YOU'LL PROBABLY HAVE A BREAKDOWN
According to the Association for University and College counseling Center directors, 95 percent of college counseling center directors say that psychological problems are a growing concern on their campus. This is why it is so important to never be too prideful or scared to seek out help. Most colleges either have a center for mental health services, or they have outside resources that can help you!
2: IT'S OK TO SAY NO
So, whenever I got in to college, I got really involved. I was in a number of clubs and organizations, including my sorority, and I was also really involved in my major. It took me until my senior year to realize that it is OK to say no. Remember that you are there to get your education. Not to plan social events, work on outside projects, etc.
3: COLLEGE FRIENDS WILL BE YOUR BFFS
I believe that this has to do with the fact that you are friends with these people during one of the most challenging moments of your life. On top of that, you finally understand when you graduate that you don’t have to talk to someone every single day to be their friend. All of my friends and myself have our own lives. But, we make a point to pick up where we left off when we see each other again!
4: PREPARE FOR DRAMA OF SOME SORT
She brought back guys and her cousin to our room most nights. When she came in, she would wake me up and be really noisy and turn the lights on.
Sometimes, your RA or RC won’t understand how bad the situation is. When this happened, my mom actually had to come down and confront my RC because she wasn’t doing anything about the situation. But, it all got handled and I didn’t have any more problems. After that, I moved in to my sorority house. Is it even a sorority house without drama? No.
5: YOUR PLANS MIGHT CHANGE, AND THAT’S OK
Your advisors and staff members around your college campus can help you decide what might be the best choice for you. You have time, and it isn’t a reason to panic.
6: MAKE A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
This will help you make time for appointments, trips to the gym, homework and study time, time to call your family and update them on your day, and time with friends. This gives you a great work-home-friend-body-school balance!
I actually started writing a seventh tip only on work study, but I think that could be an entire post on its own. If you’re going to college, thinking about going back, or in your last years of study, I hope this can help you to improve your time in school!
HE EITHER SAID SOMETHING FUNNY OR WISE
HE LOVED ELVIS
HE WAS A PROUD VETERAN
HE WAS A CARING MAN
HE WAS A GIVING MAN
HE WAS A GODLY MAN
HE WAS A SUPPORTIVE MAN
Today's the day! Two years ago, I exchanged "I Do's" with the love of my life. It really has been a quick two years, but I feel like I've learned so much from them. So, in celebration of my two-year wedding anniversary, I wanted to share a few things I've learned. They aren't ground-breaking by any means!
I also want to show you how we celebrated this past weekend!
1. YOU'RE GOING TO FIGHT, AND THAT'S OK
Either way, arguing can actually build up your relationship. DO NOT go tell your partner I wanted you guys to get in a fight. No! Avoid it if you can. But if it leads to an improvement in your relationship, a few hours of talking and a few tears aren't bad!
2. YOUR MAMA DIDN'T RAISE YOUR PARTNER
3. GET A HOBBY TO STOP DRIVING EACH OTHER CRAZY
4. SUPPORT IS CRUCIAL FOR A HAPPY MARRIAGE
5. YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM CAN HURT YOUR PARTNER
6. BE BEST FRIENDS FIRST
HOW WE CELEBRATED
On Friday, I got off of work early. He didn't have to work. We went to Downtown Fayetteville, N.C. and visited Circa 1800 for lunch. He got a chicken sandwich topped with bacon and pulled pork, and I got a blackened chicken wrap! Afterward, we went next door to the new Caruso's Confections for a piece of three-layer chocolate mousse cake.
On Saturday, we had brunch at Metro Diner in Fayetteville, N.C. before heading up to Raleigh for an improv comedy show with ComedyWorks. We also visited our friend Lauren and her husband Aaron for a bit before heading home.
Since tonight is our official anniversary, we have a small chocolate cake to enjoy with one another!
I'm not going to lie. Between my personal and professional life, I've had a good bit of disappointments, especially in the last year.
However, I've learned that there ways to deal with that disappointment that will help preserve the relationships you have now and help you create new, meaningful relationships while in the midst of disappointment.
I do want to point out that I am not a therapist or a relationship counselor, but I do have the experience of being the giver and receiver of these things, and the following solutions really seem to help me in particular:
KEEP IT OFF SOCIAL MEDIA
Resist the urge to vent and complain about someone on your social media. Instead, try to reach out to a few trusted individuals in your life who you feel you can vent to. There are also a ton of free programs and chat rooms filled with anonymous strangers you can rant to. For me, I like to talk to my mom, husband, and really close friends about the stress in my life. It keeps me sane.
TAKE SOME TIME TO DECOMPRESS
Go to a movie, head to the park, or try a new hobby. Take yourself away from the disappointment to give yourself time to recover and to think on how you should go about addressing the problem.
MAKE A LIST/TRY TO SOLVE THE ISSUE
If it has to do with your disappointment in your personal life, take a moment to think about what you can do better. The sad truth is that we can't change anyone and we can't make them be something or someone they aren't. What we can change is how we react to disappointment.
I really hope that these tips on dealing with disappointment will help you down the line. I know that, for me, they have helped to save and repair relationships that would otherwise have no chance! Sometimes, you have to change your reaction.
If that person that is disappointing you continues, however, it can be a cycle of abuse that you need to go ahead and break and leave behind you.
When I was growing up, my mom and grandparents used to buy our house a gift. It was normally new pots and pans for the kitchen or a vacuum cleaner for the carpets. I decided this year to carry this tradition over and purchase our home an Amazon Echo Dot.
Ever since setting it up, I have purchased some items to go with it that have made my life so much easier! Keep reading to learn more about how the Echo Dot can improve your day-to-day life.
STRETCHING YOUR BRAIN
I now load up the machine with coffee grinds and water the night before. When I wake up, I simply say "Alexa, turn on the coffee machine." She turns it on for me and it can make itself while I get ready for the day. After that, I just have to add in my sugar and creamer and I'm on my way out the door!
PRO-TIP: You don't have to spend a ton of money on Amazon products. Check on Amazon to see if the plug, smartbulb, or smart TV is compatible with Alexa!
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*THIS POST IS NOT SPONSORED IN ANY WAY BY AMAZON!