Meal Planning Monday

February 24, 2020

Happy Birthday week to all the cool people at our house (i.e. Harry and myself)! Hence a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake and Lasagna... just like Garfield. 

Monday | Cheeseburger Skillet with Salad

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Sam's Club faux Chick-fil-a Nuggest & Fries

Thursday | Lasagna (a hybrid between Joy Behar's & Giada's but only her bechamel sauce. I made Joy's last time and it was amazing but I feel like it needs the white sauce too)

Friday | leftovers

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Freezer meal from Trader Joe's

Lunch this week is just a big salad w spring mix, chicken, strawberries, blackberries, walnuts, goat cheese, shredded carrots, and cucumbers. My beloved protein shake is also back on the menu - minus the flax and oatmeal.
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How to Get Married in Hawaii: The Ultimate Guide

February 19, 2020

Finally! He popped the question, and you seriously can’t contain your excitement. OMG!
You never thought this day would come, but now you’re overrun with emotions, and the thought of having your dream wedding won’t allow you to sit still. Your wish to get married in Hawaii would be a dream come true. 
Hawaii is hands down one of the most amazing destinations with pristine beaches, majestic mountains, fantastic weather, a generous culture, and not to mention all those beautiful islands.
It would easily qualify as the most beautiful place on earth, and this is exactly where you want to have one of the most special days of your life. Besides, you always wanted to experience the Aloha spirit, and what better way than to get married in Hawaii?

Where Do You Start?
With a wide array of resorts and half a dozen islands to choose from, planning your dream wedding is bound to be overwhelming.
Which island do you prefer? How do you get your marriage license? When’s the best time to get married in Hawaii? What’s the ideal budget?
Do Some Research On Hawaii Islands
With seven major islands in Hawaii and even more islets, which one is the best for your destination wedding?
Oahu, Maui, and Kauai are the most popular islands and offer some of the most unique experiences. Known as the gathering place, Oahu is the most vibrant island with an abundance of restaurants, shopping centers, movie theaters, among other activities, and you would undoubtedly love Oahu wedding venues.
You’ve probably heard of Honolulu, Diamond Head, Waikiki, and Pearl Harbor, all of which are in Oahu. This island is home to some of the most pristine beaches in the world and would make incredible wedding memories.
However, if you want a laid back wedding, then Maui and Kauai are more relaxed and quiet. On these islands, you get more of a rural feeling compared to Oahu, and they would be perfect if you want to get away from it all.
What Kind of Wedding Do You Have In Mind?
Can you imagine a simple Hawaiian wedding on the beach with just a few friends and family?
Maybe you’d like a lavish wedding at one of the top-rated resorts in Hawaii. You’d be surprised at how affordable weddings in Hawaii can be if you just want a simple and memorable ceremony.
Still, if you want to pull out all your stops and have a grand ceremony, then you’ll find some of the most lavish venues.
How Much Are You Willing to Spend?
Now that you have an idea of the island you want and the type of wedding you’d like, you need to set a budget and see how much of it you can make a reality. Hawaii weddings can go anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the simplicity or complexity of a wedding.
To estimate your budget, you may need to estimate your guest count.
Unless you live in Hawaii, or relatively close, you need to factor in travel expenses. How many of your friends and colleagues can make the trip? Can you afford to pay for everyone?
How about your accommodations, welcome dinner for your guests, also known as Luau in Hawaii, post-wedding brunch, rehearsal dinner, and even welcome amnesty? 
Hire a Wedding Planner
Some people choose to plan their own weddings, especially if they’re on a budget. However, in a new destination, it may be hard for you to find the best venue, choose floral arrangements, sample menu items, among other things.
Unless you move to Hawaii in advance, sampling cakes, or checking whether the venue lights are flattering enough would be impossible. You may need expertise, so pick a wedding planner with local connections from the island of choice.
Make Your Priorities Known
Once you hire a wedding planner, you need to be on the same page when it comes to what you want.
Do you want a killer sunset? Maybe a beach wedding? Ensure you make your “must-haves” known.
If you opt for a beach wedding, you need to understand that Hawaii beaches are public, and you may have onlookers gawking. If this is a problem, choose a garden, gazebo, chapel, or terrace wedding.
The Best Time to Get Married In Hawaii
One of the best things about Hawaiian weddings is that the weather in Hawaii is always great. It may be a little hot at times, but temperatures stay between 70-80 degrees, and you should be more concerned about the days and not the months.
If you’re planning a beach or park Hawaiian wedding, non-holiday weekdays may be better because you’ll have more privacy. On weekends, public places tend to be overrun by people. Still, some of the most favorable times include spring break, winter holidays, and the Japanese Golden Week.
What Should You Wear?
Hawaiian weddings are some of the most casual around the world. However, on one of the best days of your life, you should be able to wear whatever you want. One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to attire is that heels can be dangerous in the sand.
Stay True to the Locale
Embrace Hawaii and all it has to offer for your wedding. For instance, you can go tropical with the flowers and choose orchids, heliconia, frangipani, hibiscus, among others. You can also incorporate Hawaiian instruments as well as have something unique and memorable.
Of course, you only need to go far as you like without getting carried away to the point of regretting some things. Once you start discovering Hawaii, you’ll learn about the Hawaiian chants, hula dancers, and fire dancers, which is all very exciting. However, don’t feel pressured to be a part of it.
Ready to Get Married In Hawaii?
There you have it! You can start planning your amazing day and get married in Hawaii. The 50th state is one of the most incredibly beautiful places in the world, and if you get everything right, you’ll have an awesome wedding.
Please check out our website for more tips and advice about planning your dream wedding.
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Meal Planning Monday

February 18, 2020

Monday | Spaghetti (zucchini noodles for mama) with salad (actually salads all week as a side)

Tuesday | leftovers

Wednesday | Rice & Gravy (the Cajun way, I'm using chicken because I've got it in my freezer)

Thursday | South of the Border Chicken

Friday | leftovers

Saturday | Eating Out

Sunday | Freezer meal from Trader Joe's

Lunch this week is just a big salad w spring mix, chicken, strawberries, blackberries, walnuts, goat cheese, shredded carrots, and cucumbers.
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Tips to Remember When Creating A Wedding Guest List

February 14, 2020

Creating your guest list is one of the more time-consuming and challenging parts of planning your wedding. You can’t forget any of your immediate family members or closest friends and have to know what the budget will cover. Consider the tips below to stay on track and not get overwhelmed when making the guest list.

Know Your Venue
Begin by laying out a set budget for your wedding. This figure is going to directly impact how many people you can invite to your special day. The budget goes hand in hand with having your venue booked as well. The site you choose will articulate the maximum capacity that it will hold. From this information, you will know precisely how many people you can invite and how much money it will cost. The venue cannot add space, and there are things to consider such as fire regulations. This will be an excellent place to start knowing the exact number you cannot exceed.

Wedding Style
Once you know the venue, you will be able to dive deep into how the atmosphere of your wedding will be. Is it mainly outside? Is there limited space? Is it more elegant or casual? Answering these questions will set you up to better understand the lengths of your guest list. One thing that can influence the style you’re aiming for is whether or not you choose to have an adult-only wedding. This is a tough decision to make. However, let your invitation break the news about excluding children. This can also help cut down on costs!

Immediate Family
If you have a big family, choosing who to include and who to leave out is a difficult task. Depending on the size of the venue and your budget, you might be able to invite everyone. If you can’t, consider who is the closest to you and your significant other. Each of your parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, great grandparents, and first cousins should be the bulk of your list. If it’s adult-only, some first cousins might be cut out here. This will make more room for a second or third cousin you’re close to. Family is a hard category to exclude people from, discussing this with your parents might help.

The category of friends can be a tricky area, too. It is all too common to feel compelled to invite a friend who invited you to their wedding. This does not have to be the case.  Really think about when the last time you spoke with them was. If it has been over a year, don’t feel obligated to invite them. Life changes and relationships do, too. That is OK! Pick friends that you are the closest with right now and can’t imagine your special day without.

Plus Ones
Do you have to give everyone a plus one? No. When looking at your guest list, you should have a good idea of who has a significant other in their life. If it is unclear or they are in a new relationship, it is alright to extend only a single invitation. You can even decide to only give a plus one to couples who are married, engaged, or living with their significant other.

Seating Chart
Once you have gone through all of the tough decisions, you should be left with a final polished guest list. From here, invitations should be sent about two to three months before the wedding. If you send them any sooner, people will forget. You want there to be enough time for people to get the invitations, make a decision, and then RSVP in a timely manner. Once you have the final list, creating the seating chart is next. Seating charts add a decorative element to the wedding reception. One idea that goes with any theme is using mini picture frames to direct guests to their table. Get paper that goes with the theme and either type or handwrite the names of each guest and their designated table number. Each guest will retrieve their individual frame in order to find their seat.

When you have your final headcount, you now know how many favors you need, too. There are many different directions you can go with favors. The options are endless and can coincide with any theme. Think about using succulents. Not only are they a great favor, but they can also double as a seating guide! There could be one for each guest with a label attached that states their name and table number. If you want a separate favor, some ideas include DIY candles, s’ mores kits, or little jars of honey.

Start thinking about the guest list as soon as possible. It will inevitably take some time to complete and weigh your options. You want the people who are closest to you and your significant other to attend your wedding. It is a day to celebrate the love you share for each other, and having your closest friends and family there to share it with you will make it all the more special. Planning a wedding isn’t easy, start early to make everything exactly how you wish it to be. Find more on the top tips for planning your wedding here.

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