Wednesday, April 10, 2013

You're invited...

...but not you. & you, but not you. And don't bring your snotty kids, either.

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This morning on the radio the topic being discussed was a newish trend with weddings called "No ring, no bring" or something like that. Basically, if you aren't engaged or married to your significant other (therefore, there would be no ring), I'm not paying for a 'plus one' to come to my wedding. As with everything, there are strong opinions on both sides of this fence.

Since my budget wedding post is by FAR the most popular post I've ever written, I figure I would give my opinion on this wedding topic also. As I say in that post, when it came to my wedding, I did not stray from my usual cheap-ness. I made it pretty (or so I thought so at least) and fun, but I reeled in the costs where I could. And one way I did that was by limiting the guest list. Weeee-oooo weeee-oooo! The wedding etiquette police are sure to come after me now.

Basically, I didn't allow plus ones just for the sake of having a plus one. I didn't exactly use the no ring, no bring rule (which didn't exist 4 years ago as far as I knew), but I did consider the source when it came to whether or not one of my guests got to bring a date. Obviously, married couples got to bring their spouse. And engaged couples too. And then when it came to my single friends, those that were in serious relationships got to bring their significant other as well. But my single friends? I didn't give them the option of bringing a date, AS LONG AS there were plenty of other friends at the wedding that they knew. So basically, it was a case by case basis.

For example, several of our friends at the time were single with no girlfriend/boyfriend at all. They were also all friends themselves so I had no qualms about putting all of them at a table together and knowing they'd still have a good time. But, I had one friend that didn't really know many other wedding guests, and she was single at the time. I gave her a +1 because I didn't want her to sit by herself all night.

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Lots of single friends in this picture. They look pretty happy even without a +1, no?

The big question about this topic is this: how do you let all of your wedding guests know about this on the actual invitation? Easy. Fill in the RSVP card for them. Where my RSVP card said "We have reserved ___ seats in your honor" that ____ was already filled in. I know some people still think that's rude, but I am okay with that. You have to pick your battles when it comes to reeling in the wedding budget. I picked this one.

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Not my RSVP cards. But the basic idea.


And then, because I like to make things hard on myself I decided to pick one more battle with my guests. I didn't want anybody to bring their kids to our wedding either unless A) they were in the womb or B) they were in the wedding. I was of the "eww kids" camp before I had children myself. And I still think I straddle this line even though I do have a child myself which I obviously feel in no way "eww" about. I wanted an adults only reception where my friends could drink and be merry and not have to worry if some of their spoken merriment is overheard by little Suzie "dancing" on the dance floor. This wish was also passed on to the guest by already having the RSVP card filled in for them. For example, a family of four got an invitation and the RSVP card said "2" were invited. Pretty obvious, no? And again, I am very well aware that many people think that is rude. I welcome you to tell me if  you like. I assure you it won't change my practices for my next wedding. Wait, what?


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So what's your opinion on this? Do you think it's rude? Did you do the same? Are any of my wedding guests still holding a grudge with me over it? Please, chime in! Let's discuss!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Charley Bear: 1.583333

[1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 4 months, 5 months, 6 months, 7 months, 8.5 months, 9 months, 10 months, 11 months, 12 months, 1.25]

My sweet Charley girl is 19 months old! My goal was to post these quarterly, but well, yeah. That got away from me last month so here we are the age of 1.5833333 and growing.

We continued with the bear pictures. I hate to say my kid is a genius, because, well, don't we all think that about our kids? But y'all, my kid is a genius. After a string of extremely difficult bear pictures where we'd finish our little photo shoot with 67 pictures and ONE usable one, 18 months and 19 months were a breeze with way too many pictures to choose from. Want to know why? (say yes because that's where the genius part comes in to play)

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So, last month I mentioned it to Charley when we got home that afternoon that we'd have to take her bear picture that evening. I was confident she had no idea what I was talking about, but now I'm not so sure.

An hour or so later, we've had dinner and thanks to Daylight Savings Time, we still have some daylight to work with. (Otherwise the picture is really shadowy and I don't like it. Plus, the more light = faster shutter speed which works better with quick toddlers!) I'm sitting on the couch and Charley goes back to her room, finds Big Bear and drags him into the living room. I assume it's coincidence but say "Oh Charley you're right! We do still need to take your bear picture tonight." And off we go to set up the picture.

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So, I set up Big Bear and as I turn around to get the tripod out of the closet, I see Charley already dragging the tripod bag to me. I'm shocked! We do this once a month, you know? How does she remember this? It's crazy how much they pick up on and how fast they learn. We take the tripod out of the bag, set it up and then Charley is looking around the room for the camera.

We get the camera set up next, and Charley sits in my lap and kicks up her feet, indicating I need to now remove her pants and shoes and socks. I think my jaw is permanently on the floor at this point.

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Sure, she knew how to set up for the little photo shoot, but I still did not think that the actual photo shoot would be any different than it was the last couple of months. But, color me surprised once again. Charley grabbed the camera remote, walked over and plopped down in Big Bear's lap. What followed was about 100 pictures of smiles, tongues sticking out, and just silly faces. (At times I disabled the remote and took pictures myself but she was none the wiser.) I had no idea how I was going to be able to pick just one.

And then, last Thursday morning I realized it was Charley's 19 month birthday (which we properly celebrated with cake and ice cream) (just kidding) and mentioned to her that morning that we'd have to take her bear picture that evening, and she immediately ran and got big bear and the tripod once again. So, not a total genius. She still doesn't understand what this evening means.

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So besides obvious geniusisity, Charley has been talking up a storm. I tried to make a list the other day of words she can say and got well over 40 or 50. I'd list them for you, but who really cares besides me, right? Anyways, from that list my favorites are "cold" which she does with a shivery voice and while holding her arms and shaking, "Christy" or "Crit-tee" which not only is the name of my sister who keeps her, but Christy's husband's name is Chris so Charley also calls him "Crit-tee" which we correct to Uncle Christy. She also has a very cute "no" which I can't seem to type phonetically, but just believe me when I say it's cute and it's hard to get mad at her when she says no to something.

In other toddler tricks, Charley can point out body parts, she can run, and we are working on jumping. Currently she isn't leaving the ground but her form is great!

Charley did see her very first snow too. It snowed once in Charlotte earlier this year while we were in Atlanta for the weekend and we missed it. So one Saturday in March when we walked out of swimming lessons and it was snowing and even sticking, we were so excited to let Charley play in it for the first time. I was even so excited that I took a picture in the parking lot before we left the Y.

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The Y is exactly 4.8 miles from home. So, imagine our surprise when we had just driven through a Carolina BLIZZARD on the way home, to get home and not see even one single snowflake in the air OR on the ground. I'm glad I took that one picture to signify Charley's first snow. Sheesh.

She's still a peanut, weighing in at 21ish pounds and 30" tall, both around the 25th percentile. She is wearing a size 5 shoe and 18 month clothing. She eats really well with a few dislikes: corn, beans of any kind except refried, peas. How can anyone dislike CORN? Basically the only vegetable I eat!

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This age is just plain fun. While I LOVE the baby phase and everything about it, the things I think I was most excited about being a parent were all the fun things that I remember so fondly about my childhood. Holidays and all the traditions that go along with them are one of my favorite things, so imagine my giddiness when Charley understood what to do with the colorful eggs hidden in the yard, and actually enjoyed it. I didn't know if I should take a bajillion pictures to document the source of my giddiness, or just follow her around trying to soak it all in. I think I did a little of both.

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My kid is cool, you guys. And she has a good majority of my immediate family wrapped around her tiny little fingers. What could be better than having so many people to love you? She's lucky, I'm lucky, we're all lucky in love with Charley.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Shopping Lately

I go through spurts of buying things. I'll buy buy buy things for a while, and then I buy nothing for months. Right now, I'm in a buy buy buy phase. And this list isn't going to include the things I've bought for Charley. Someone confiscate my debit card, stat.

Also, are you as easily swayed by other bloggers as I am? I am all about reviews when I buy things online, but when it's a fellow blogger that I "know", I may as well just give them my credit card and tell them to order one for me too. Here are the things I've bought lately. If I've had my arm twisted and forced to hit that purchase button a few too many times, I figure I should spread the love to you too. Go ahead. You know you want it!

Here are some of my purchases lately:

From K's recommendation at Two Adults, I bought these gold shoes she raved about, and bought two of the Target dresses.




Have you heard of VeryJane.com? It's one of those deal sites but their deals are usually handmade things and they are CHEAP! A friend of mine has gotten a couple of actual cheaply made things, but so far everything I've purchased has been good quality. I am all about the corals and mint greens this season, and this necklace was no exception.

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And on the same necklace kick, I've bought a few things from this Etsy shop too. I got the bow necklace, and a hand-stamped necklace with a bird charm. And then when I temporarily misplaced the bird charm, I bought a tree charm for the interim. Now that the bird has been found, I have hand-stamped necklace versatility! Bird today? Or tree? Oh my options are endless!

 
Then from my friend Laura's recommendations for makeup, I have started to buy a few things she recommended because I trust her judgement with makeup and I really need a better routine. I started with the Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle and the Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towellettes. I was noticing wrinkles, and I know sometimes they can be even worse due to not washing the makeup off of your face each night (guilty) and decided to combat those two things first. Love, love, love them both. LOVE. Really. I love them.
Have I mentioned the mint green thing yet? Because it wasn't intentional. One day I stopped and thought about it and everything I had purchased lately had been mint green. Apparently I get stuck in color ruts. These shoes included:

I know I mentioned these unmentionables before, but really, they deserve mentioning again. MENTIONED.

And finally, I bought two pairs of these capris from the ol' trusty Kohl's. I don't shop there as much as I used to, but occasionally for weekend wear I'll stop in to see what's new. I've had a lot of luck with the Elle brand and these capris were no exception. They are PERFECT in every way. I got a darker denim pair that can be cuffed or uncuffed, and then, of course, a mint green pair.




And then, we've been to IKEA quite a few times lately, on top of other furniture stores and finally made a decision on our new couch (actually, sectional.) It will surprise absolutely no one that we went and purchased the exact same couch as Young House Love's John and Sherry. They came back a year after they'd owned it and updated us on it's quality and that was really what sold me. I TRIED to find another sectional that was as great of a price and quality, but it just wasn't happening. Thanks for doing the research for me, YHL!


Okay. No more blog reviews, people. My bank account can't take it! Unless it's something that I absolutely just HAVE to have. And in that case, share it with me in the comments, would ya?