Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fellow cat owners: I need yo help!

For those of you who don't know: I've recently acquired a cat. Or I guess I should say I captured rescued him. Shortly after Derek and I got married, we noticed this little orange ball of fluff roaming around our apartment complex. We hadn't seen the "mother" cat in some time, so assuming the worst (she got smashed in the dumpster) I started to worry a little for the fluff ball. I started throwing bits of food - actually leftover chicken and cheese cubes from our wedding - to him in the parking lot, but he never would come close enough to let me catch him.

Finally, after weeks of enticement, I was able to lure him inside our apartment with some sardines. It was pretty gross, but finally the little fluff was safe and warm and I was going to work on finding him a home. Long story short, we ended up keeping him. Because, really, who can resist that face and precious cuddles that go along with it. 

For the first few weeks, he behaved just as you would think any feral cat would behave - scared, skiddish, and not trusting or wanting much to do with myself of Derek. At one point, after we moved out of our apartment and into our house, we didn't see him for almost a week. Now he spends most of his days indoors, lounging around the house while us measly humans make a living to pay for his food and toys. He loves to cuddle, play, and do tricks for food now. He is (almost) a completely different cat (he still gets skiddish if we wear loud shoes that "clomp" when we walk). 

Just look at that sweet little muffin.

Here, he's saying "Mom can I just sleep wif you pweez?" How do you resist?!

The issue I'm having now is this: he doesn't like to sleep. Well, I should say that he doesn't like to sleep when we like to sleep. He snoozes in the evenings while we're eating dinner/watching a movie/tv but as soon as we start getting ready for bed, he becomes a wild heathen animal, and doesn't settle down for at least an hour. Then, usually between 2-3 AM, he wants to play again - either attacking our feet under the covers, playing in the mini-blinds, or any other rambunctious behavior not appropriate for anyone besides 21-year-olds at 3 in the morning. 

What should I do??

It's too cold to leave him outside at night (in my opinion) and he cries LOUDLY if we shut him out of the bedroom. My thoughts were to keep our bedroom shut at all times - even in the day when we're not home - and let him get used to not going in there at all. But will he continue to cry? He knows we're in there, he can hear us, and I know that all he wants is to be near us and it makes me sad that he is sad. Should I change his feeding schedule and feed him right before bed (like a baby) so he sleeps better? I am at a total loss here and you can call me crazy, but I have never had this problem with another cat. I don't know if it is because he is a male (I've always had females) or because he was raised in the wild, or he doesn't get enough "play time" in the day. Again, totally lost.

Any of you other cat moms (or dads) have any advice for me??   

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Marriage is...

We attended our first Mardi Gras ball over the weekend and had an absolute blast. I love getting dolled up!

Derek and I are coming up on four months of marital bliss. 

Okay that's a lie. Not the four months part, but the "bliss" part. I read a blog post about a month ago, written by a newlywed, talking about what marriage "is" to her (and her husband). While I don't (and probably never will) consider myself an expert on marriage, and I do believe everyone is allowed their own perspective and opinions, I do have some things to say in response to this (very sweet) blog post. 

Marriage is having dance parties in the kitchen while you cook (well, not my marriage because my husband couldn't dance to save his life), but it's also having a shouting match because one of you forgot to thaw the meat for tonights dinner and now you're having a hunger-fueled argument about irrisponsibility. 

Marriage is sneaking kisses in public, but it's also not wanting to look at each other becase one of you casually mentioned they could see those five pounds you said you'd gained. 

Marriage is building a future together, but it's also the uncertainty you feel about any big decisions you'll have to make. Decisions you thought you knew the answer to, but now you've got someone else to consider. Do we pay the 20k for a masters degree? Do we wait for kids or have them now? Will one of us stay home and raise our children or do we use a daycare? 

Marriage is expanding your family ten-fold, but it's also being compared to your spouses mother/brother/father/uncle and feeling a little bit of resentment toward those new family members. It's having to live up to different standards and learning how to fold the shirts the right way and making the chicken just right. 

Marriage is great. I love being married. But it isn't perfect butterflies and rainbows. Sometimes, it's really hard and really ugly. Marriage isn't about being hunky-dory all the time - it's about the ugly AND the pretty. It is about all of the absolute crap you can go through together, and still come out okay. 

It's about loving someone despite all of their flaws - and I thank God, because I've got my fair share. It's about agreeing to disagree on some things. It's about having a drink by the fire and spoiling your pets and getting mad because somebody refuses to have weekly Harry Potter Marathons. 

Marriage is compromise. Marriage is love. Marriage is grace.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Selfies and self esteem

Sometimes you just have to go outside and play in the gorgeous light with your camera...

It's a shame to me that in this day and age most people seem to feel "ashamed" of posting things like selfies or doing slightly narcissistic things like having photo shoots or doing their makeup just for fun. It's like we're supposed to apologize for wanting to feel pretty.

Personally, I like being told when I look nice. I don't know about you, but for me it takes a little bit of effort to look put together and it's really nice when someone takes the time to compliment and recognize it. I think it's downright silly that we are shaming young women for being "attention whores" when they post a selfies of themselves. We're allowed to want to be complimented, dang it! I think it can do wonders for a young lady's (or gent's) self esteem to compliment them rather than put them down for being "conceited."

I'm not saying I condone provocative photographs shared on social media - but that's opening a whole other bag of taters that I just don't want to get in to right now. So what are your opinions on selfies - conceited or not?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Five Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding

Derek and I were certain about two things when we got engaged: we wanted to be married before the end of the year, and we wanted it to be inexpensive. In 2014, the average cost of a wedding was $30,000! Yes, you read that correctly: average. Derek and I spent under $7,000 on our wedding and (in my humble opinion) it was just as gorgeous as any other wedding I've been to. So how did we get away with it? Here are five ways we saved money on our wedding.

Choose a flexible venue
Some venues are fairly priced, however they come with what they like to call a "preferred vendor" list. This is a list of all of the vendors they work closely with (and probably get a % of their profits) and usually they are not the budget-friendly caterers, photogs, etc that you'll need for a wedding on a budget.

Our venue was fairly priced and allowed us to use any vendor we saw fit. This allowed us a lot of flexibility. Another reason our venue was inexpensive is because it didn't include or provide rentals (tables, chairs, linens) so we knew that would be an additional cost, but it ended up still being less expensive than other venues that provided rentals.

My biggest DIY project was our wedding stationary. I designed our invitations, information cards, and wedding programs myself, bought good quality stock paper, and printed them at home. Luckily, my father-in-law had a paper cutter I used to cut the invites to size. It was a little tedious but, including printer ink (about $30) I spent around $75 on ALL paper goods. When I was still planning, I was talking with a friend who was excited about spending "only" $300 on her stationary.

Ask your friends for help
We did a lot of asking/shopping around for our vendors. A good friend of mine worked for a catering company, and while we didn't get a discount on our food, that same friend's mother made our cake and took our photos - they both turned out excellent! We also had a good friend (and aspiring photog) take our engagement pictures. Our "band" was actually just two guitarists from a larger band (one of whom we knew well) who played for less than half of what the entire band would have charged.

Other things we had some help with: our rehearsal dinner was almost completely put on by my mom and mother-in-law, instead of renting another venue or using a caterer; my mom found and cleaned about 20 old glass coke bottles; my dad cut up a cedar tree for my cake stands and centerpieces. Ask, and you shall receive.

Order wholesale
As I've mentioned before, we decided to use inexpensive flowers - in the form of baby's breath and a few select bouquets from Publix. The baby's breath was ordered online from Costco. It was a little bit of a gamble - I didn't know exactly how much I would need nor did I know if they would look good when they got here. It was a risk that ended up paying off because I think our flowers looked awesome!

Go small or go home!
Ultimately the biggest money-saver for us was having a teeny tiny guest list. We had less than eighty people at our wedding. Cutting our guest list was tough, but do-able. It's all about setting firm boundaries (with yourself and your families) about who will be invited and who will not be. As far as I know, no feelings were tremendously hurt - usually when you're up front and honest with people, they are pretty understanding. Also - it really is true what they say - you can expect only about half of your invited guest list to show up to the wedding!

What are some ways you were able to save money on your wedding? Or what were some unexpected costs you ran into while planning?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

7 Realistic Date Ideas for Valentine's Day

With Valentine's Day fast approaching you may (if you're a procrastinator like me) be trying to think of something fun/exciting/new to to with your valentine this year. Well, lucky you, by stumbling on this blog post, you've found yourself some suggestions.

Play the newlywed game with each other. How much fun is it to guess what your husband thinks your worst character trait is?

Tell your dog/cat how much you love him or her. I mean, we all know we like our pets more than our spouses anyway.

Pick each other's back acne. It's kinda gross but it's kinda awesome. Don't pretend like you don't love doing it.

See who can drink the most wine. Obviously you're going to win, but who doesn't like wine?

Play board games with each other. Get angry when you don't win because you're reasonable like that.

Sit around on the couch and stare at your phones. When he asks what you want to do today, nonchanlantly answer "I don't know, it doesn't really matter." Then ask him the same thing ten minutes later. Do this until one of you finally decides to shower or gets hungry enough to go get food. Or even better...

Order takeout. It's going to be a rediculous wait at any restaurant besides Applebee's. Actually, Applebee's will probably be just as bad.

What are your Valentine's plans? Do you "go big or go home" or just treat it like any other day? Share in the comments!