The Happy Nappy Bride

About weddings. About relationships. About the first year of being married.

Not a paid post…just a good find March 15, 2011

Filed under: Advice — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:50 am
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Hola ladies!  I just found this great site called Fiverr.com, where you can buy services for $5.  I wish I would have known about this site back when I was planning our wedding, I would’ve been all over that!

How about this for a Save The Date with you and your honey’s name on it? It’s only five bucks!  Seller: comfy

Or what about those folks who want logos made up for invitations and whatnot?  How about this one?  Seller: pahome

How about your honeymoon?  You’ve booked it, researched it, and are fired up about going!  What if you could contact someone where you’re going and get the inside scoop on the haps in that city.  Well, you can at Fiverr!  This seller (donnak) will give you a customized itinerary of all the best secret spots of Sonoma County wine for $5.

And for you entrepreneurial bride-to-bes out there, you can sell space/write ups/ads on your website like seller heavenstorm does…she’ll put up a link on her site for five bucks.

Now, I haven’t used this site or bought anything, but it seems like a great idea!  I’m sure like any site that has an aggregate of sellers, some are better than others.  Considering the cost of putting together a wedding, this may be a smart way to go for some things.

I’m actually planning on using them for some design stuff for things I’ve got going on at work.  What’s the worst that could happen?  I’m out $5…worth a try, in my opinion!

 

Itty bitty March 13, 2011

Filed under: Building a life — Happy Nappy Bride @ 5:44 pm
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When I bought my house, I was a single lady and had only been dating The Mister for a few months.  Fast forward a couple of years and now we’re married and my cute little single-lady house is home to me, The Mister, and his little girly.

Now you’d think our little house would be too small for three people, but it’s actually okay.  My heart sometimes tries to tell me that I want a big ole house with tons of bedrooms and bathrooms (that usually happens after I go to a family members home that is fab!), but my head says that we don’t need it!  We want to save so that we’re comfortable when we’re old and can’t work to earn money…which means holding back during this time.

I thought of all of this after reading an article in the Sunday paper today titled, Much Less Is More, which talked about small houses.  Their definition was anything from 300 – 1,000 square feet.  Why so small?  It’s cheaper, less wasteful, and allow their owners financial freedom.  Our house is about 1,200 sq. ft., not including our attic or basement.  Most certainly a small house.

Anyhoo, here are some pics I found of tiny/small houses at tinyhouseblog.com:

This house maxes out at 400 sq. ft.

This cabin is 2 bedroom, 2 bath…and only 681 sq. ft.

This last house is 600 square feet and only cost $56k

I know that living in a small space isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but think about smaller house notes…and what you could do with the loot you saved!  Whether it’d be taking trips, buying nice things for yourself, or saving up for your future…I think it’s something to think about.

With  the recent recession, it’s no longer a status symbol to have a gargantuan house that you can barely afford.  Now it’s cool to be a good steward of our money.

So, do you think that you could live like this?

 

grilling 101 July 20, 2010

Filed under: Meals/Meal planning — Happy Nappy Bride @ 1:38 pm
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Remember that ghetto song “She Get It From Her Momma”…about a chick with a big booty?  Whose mom had a corresponding big booty?  Anyhoo, I’ve got something that I get from my momma…and it ain’t a large derriere.  I love to cook and in the summertime, I love to cook outside.  One day, I hope to be as good a cook as my mom…but for now, I’m happy with where I am.

Anyhoo, here’s how to guarantee a fabulous meal of grilled meats (mmmmm…grilled meat!):

Marinate the meat for a few hours, then take it out of the fridge about an hour before you want to grill it so that it’s room temperature.  Yesterday I did chicken legs and ribeye.  Make sure your marinade has oil in it so that the meat doesn’t stick.

After you set the meat out, time to get the fire started.  Now I know there’s lots of debate over charcoal vs. gas grills, but in my mind there’s no question…charcoal is the way to go.  Yes, it takes longer to get ready than gas, but do you want your food done quickly and not so tasty or have to wait a bit and have it taste fabulous?  I’m going with fabulous.  Anyhoo, pyramid your coals, light ’em up and wait ’til they turn ashy.  Or you can use a coal starter, then dump the coals into your grill.  This here fancy Weber grill was a wedding gift…yippee!

Spread out the coals after they’re ashy and put on your meat.  I typically make a fire with a hot side and a not so hot side.   That way I can move meat around once its browned and it’ll keep cooking but not get much browner.  Here I’ve got the steak (about an inch thick) away from the hot side of the coals…cooking on indirect heat for about twenty minutes.  The steak isn’t over coals at all.

I know that some folks keep a spray bottle of oil and vinegar around for basting the meat and I used to, but I’ve found that if I marinate the meat well, it doesn’t need it.  So that eliminates a step and keeps the grill from getting all greasy.  Here’s the chicken right before I took it off…tasty!   Like I said before, I took the ribeyes off after about twenty minutes and they were medium well.

I didn’t yesterday, but I often do veggies on the grill…I’m sure I’ll post about that at some point.  Now get to grillin’!  If you’re in the north like me, we’ve only got a few months left before it’s too chilly to be outside cooking.

 

Weddzilla post April 30, 2010

Filed under: Details,Weddzilla — Happy Nappy Bride @ 9:05 am
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I was excited about how our invitations turned out.  They were unique, classy, and fun.  You can click over here to see how they turned out and how we saved money.

 

wedding crazy April 21, 2010

Filed under: Saving money — Happy Nappy Bride @ 1:09 pm
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I’m in a group called Toastmasters, which is a leadership and speech-giving group.  It’s pretty cool and I enjoy putting my thoughts together and plus I talk for a living, so I can always use some help there.  Anyhoo, I’m giving a speech next week and it’s called, “How To I Do”, and it’s about how to get married frugally and sanely.  I wanted to post this section from my conclusion for those of you out there who’ve heard that you’ve got to spend $31,000 to have the “average” wedding.  The speech is only supposed to be five to seven minutes so I couldn’t get too in depth, but these were my top things:

The most important thing that you can do is figure out how to whittle your reception costs down as they generally make up almost half of your wedding costs.  The Mister and I did this by finding a reception venue that will let us bring in our own caterer and bartender.  Next on the cost cutting extravaganza was finding a wedding dress at a reasonable price. Whether you find a test dress like I did or find a used dress online, there are dresses out there that are gorgeous and couture, but won’t break the bank.  In terms of the smaller things like photography, favors, and flowers, finding someone who’s looking to build a client base and buying wholesale are a couple of ways that we’ve managed our bottom line.

Frugal ladies unite!  What are some ways that you’ve saved big money while planning your wedding?

 

I shouldn’t be telling you about this… March 24, 2010

Filed under: Saving money — Happy Nappy Bride @ 12:32 pm
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…because it’s totally going to ruin my chances of winning!  But have you heard about Target’s proposal story contest?  Well, where have you been?!  Go on over here and check it out…you could get a $3500 gift card out of the deal.  I’m sure the contest is just a trojan horse that will get them access to my address and email, but hey, it worked.  I want that card!

(And no, I’m not getting anything from Target for telling you guys about this…but I’ll take something if the Target people wanna break me off a little piece, lol!)

 

I heart my mailman… March 20, 2010

Filed under: Details — Happy Nappy Bride @ 8:34 pm
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…because he’s been bringing me a lot of wedding goodness lately!  Wanna see what I got today?  Of course you do!

Nicely wrapped and even a thank you from the vendor, pertyfultings on Etsy:

And inside…our cake toppers!!

I’m super excited about how these turned out!  They’re cute, fun, and most important…not expensive.  Seven dollars including shipping.

 

big day earrings March 16, 2010

Filed under: Details — Happy Nappy Bride @ 10:53 am
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I used to wear earrings all of the time.  I work in a male dominated field and they were an easy way for me to assert my girliness.  But I’ve gotten lazy lately and don’t go thru the trouble…perhaps it’s my engagement ring that makes that whole “girly” statement for me now.  I do love earrings though and I love studs or small dangly ones…nothing gigantic or anything.

I was over at Etsy (of course) and decided to bop around on the site to see what they had for me.  I like all of these so any of them will work…let me know what you think.   The first is very “me”, ivory flower with nice detail:

I really like these goldish drops, though  I do worry (with both of these) about the gold color.  I’m wearing silver shoes to the wedding and switching to gold for the reception…wondering about the clash:

Then I got to thinking about my “something blue” and thought that maybe that could be the earrings…here are a couple of options.  These are my least fave of the two blues:

And these:

All of these earrings are under $20 which sounds just about right.  Well, which do you think?  Maybe no one will notice gold earrings with silver shoes and I’m just making a big deal about nothing.

 

card box March 15, 2010

Filed under: Details — Happy Nappy Bride @ 3:27 pm
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This is something I hadn’t thought about DIYing, but now after looking at a few I might give it a whirl.  Here are my top three faves:

I think this one from Target is nice, but it’s $40…that seems a bit much for something I won’t have much use for after the wedding:

These next two are from Etsy and maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like I can go to Hobby Lobby and buy a box and some paint and hook this up:

This one is my favorite…but again, I think I can buy some wallpaper and ribbon and a box and make this myself for less than $45:

So what do you think?  I’m not super crafty, but I feel like this is a reasonable project…this shouldn’t lead to frustration should it?

 

gottas vs. wannas March 13, 2010

Filed under: Community — Happy Nappy Bride @ 4:58 pm
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So these are coupons that I keep with me all the time just in case I go to a store and they’ve got the same thing on sale…then I can double up on the savings!  Yeah, I’m cheap.  Which is why all of this wedding spending is a bit disconcerting.

I’ve been pretty proud of how good I’ve been with our money that’s going to the wedding…but then I think about the fact that “good” is going to end up around $10k.  For one day.  That’s mind boggling.  I know that I’ve gotten good deals and worked that budget of ours, but still…it’s one day.  Sometimes I get a little too high on my horse and start thinking about how silly it would be to spend $30, $40, or $50 thousand dollars on a wedding…then I think about my “budget” wedding that’s gonna be around ten.  Not exactly a drop in the bucket.

And that’s the unifying thing of all brides.  Whether you can’t get enough of talking about tulle and ribbons and out of town bags or you want to get married in a park under a tree…we still believe in the power of the ceremony, the power of having our family and friends surround us and support us.  Because in all honesty we just need a groom, an officiant, and a marriage licence and we can be on our way for about a hundred bucks.  That’s the gotta have.

The wanna haves are different.  You wanna have a nice dress…you don’t have to have a slammin’, expensive dress.  You wanna have your friends and family there.  You wanna have everyone in your family act right for just one day…please, lol!

Then there are wanna haves that are different for each bride.  You wanna have bridesmaids, a photographer.  You wanna have good food and drink and a dj that’ll have everyone sweating at the end of the night.  Or maybe you wanna have cake or to get your makeup done professionally.  You wanna have a weekend festival of activities or a big rehearsal dinner.  Perhaps you wanna have aisle runners and uplighting and floor decals.  Some of you may wanna get married in a beautiful park or a gorgeous cathedral.

So we’re all in the same boat…all of us are planning the largest event that we’ve ever been in charge of and fighting “the others”, like on Lost.  “The Others” are those folks who just know how our weddings should be.  We should be stressed right now.  We should get our hair done a certain way, wear a certain dress.  We should decorate our ceremony venue like this and the bridesmaids should definitely do that.  “The Others” tell us with conviction that we should wear certain shoes, earrings, necklaces and look at us crazy when we tell them the one thing that really makes us happy about our wedding plans.  “The Others” have one more thing in common.  I don’t care whether you’re spending a grip or just a bit, “The Others” have big advice to give…but no loot.  All that talking but they aren’t trying to come up offa that money to put their “shoulds” into action!

So ladies let’s stand firm with our wannas and don’t let people make you feel badly about them!  What are your wannas?  Have folks questioned your decisions?  Have you wavered because of that questioning?