Goodbye, 25.

So I started watching Game of Thrones earlier this month and it has consumed my life which is why you don’t really see new posts coming out of me at this time. I’m already on season 5 (and if you did the math that means I just spent 40 hours watching TV), and I’m sooo close to finally being caught up with everyone else and then I can get my life back. So that’s my excuse on this blog in case anyone was wondering.

Anyway, the purpose of this post is to squeeze one last writing segment out of me at the ripe age of 25 because tomorrow is my favorite day of the entire year. IT’S MA BEE DAY!

Ask anyone I know and they’ll tell you how annoying I am about my birthday. It’s honestly a month-long celebration and we’re just on the eve of the big day my friends. You know how ABC Family (RIP – now Freeform) does the holiday movie countdown to Christmas? That’s basically what I do in June. Except I just tell people every day that my birthday is coming up this month.

Sorry, not sorry.

I really don’t have a clue where this post is even going (thanks for still reading anyway!) but I just wanted to wish my 25-year-old self goodbye and wake up and see what 26 looks like tomorrow. 25 was a good year. A shiz ton happened. Like, I dunno, GETTING MARRIED!

Quick side note: for those who love their birthdays as much as I do, be aware that planning a wedding the same week as your birthday – you won’t really get as much birthday celebration.

So many people rolling their eyes at me right nowwww

But seriously, 25… Good year.

A couple awesome things that stick out when I think about 25 is…

Being married

Best pic, ever.
Best pic, ever.

Duh, that’s a big one. Our first anniversary is peeking its head around the corner right now!

Going to Aruba

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Aw, the honeymoon. What a freaking fabulous time.

Having a super cool job

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I started working at Travefy right before I turned 25 last year! I’ve learned so much about everything this past year!

“Meeting” Joakim Noah

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When the Bulls were in Lincoln, the night before the game was a rare experience. I saw the team, told Pau Gasol and Nikola hello, saw Jimmy Butler just casually strolling on the downtown Lincoln sidewalks, and then met the awesome dude, Noah. Even though he doesn’t look as thrilled to see me it was awesome.

TRAVELING

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Only the best thing in the world to do. The year 25 took me to Aruba, Orlando, San Diego, St. Louis, Chicago, and Vegas. P.S. super pumped for traveling at 26 because not having a wedding to plan = more time to travel!

Steez T’s

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Making t-shirts have been a dream of mine since college. I have to say, I’m just getting started with it all too. Be on the lookout for more coming your way. It really is the coolest thing to see someone wearing your tank/shirt or saying they saw someone wearing it! SO SWEET!

>>>> P.S. BUY HERE!!! <<<<<

Being more awesome

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And what I mean by that is this year I felt like I officially felt myself “growing up”. Not in the boring way but in a mature way. For example, I love reading now. It’s not that I hated reading before, but my priorities weren’t there. I should mention that currently, I am not actively reading every day because #GameOfThrones BUT this year, I read more, wrote more, and thought more. I’m FINALLY becoming the student all of my teachers wanted me to be… sorta. 😉

Becoming a “Wine Expert” in front of thousands of people

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Okay, so in no way shape or form am I a “wine expert”, but hey, if you want to call me that I will not stop you! This experience was off the wall cool. I was so scared and then afterward, realized it’s something I could do every day. Who knows, maybe I’ll get the chance to do do more TV action!

Chopping off my hair and donating it

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 10.48.24 PMI did the typical bride thing and chopped my hair after the wedding. My hair was so long and I ended up cutting 10 inches! I’ve always wanted to do that, but way too scared. I also learned how much quicker I can blow dry and actually do my hair when it’s shorter… #GirlJoy

 

Goodness, I could go on and on and on… Seeing Britney Spears for the first time in my life. Catching Lil’ Wayne for the 5th time. And the best… hanging with old and new friends and spending awesome time with my families!!! 26 has a lot to top but I think it can do it.

Cheers!

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14 Photos That Will Make You Want to Visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

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Anyone from Omaha or Nebraska for that matter will tell you that the Henry Doorly Zoo is AWEEEESOMEEE!!! Fellow Nebraskans, you can ignore this post (unless you want to reminisce on the world’s best zoo) – because you already know how great it is.

For those who think Nebraska is a giant cornfield, shame on you first of all, but secondly, you should book your ticket to Omaha STAT! These pictures don’t even do the zoo justice. I’m just trying to work on my photog skills and thought this was the perfect opportunity. Also, it was 100 degrees on this day, so a lot of the animals were sleeping in the shade. Enjoy what I have! I tried getting 20 good photos, but then my camera died a little over half way through my zoo adventure.

Side note: The new African Grasslands is going to be super cool. You can tell it’s not 100% ready yet, but it’s going to be a game changer. I got the closest to a lion I’ve ever been!! Also, I think the Jungle still has my heart. It hasn’t changed one bit since I was little. I love it!

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Was your fave pic the sloth? 😉 Or the Jungle rope that everyone and their mom has walked on.

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Visiting The Chicago Field Museum

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I wanted to visit this museum for years and when I finally did, it definitely lived up to the hype. It’s a fantastic museum for all ages, groups, interests, you name it! You’ll probably love it. I also can’t believe how HUGE that place is. I’m so mad my Jawbone UP band died before I went because I bet we walked 15,000 steps in that place. I don’t think we even saw everything either. There was seriously something new peaking around every corner.

First, we would be in the Terracotta Exhibit then walk into Dinosaur bones. I mean it’s stuff only history nerds dream of!

Here are some tips for your future museum visit!

PRICING 

Doing anything touristy isn’t cheap anymore, AMIRIGHT? But it’s not bad for as much as you get! If you only have a couple hours to spend, just have it mapped out where you want to go so you get your money’s worth. If you have all day, then go for the complete package!

To see the entire museum (this includes all exhibits, permanent and featured AND one 3D movie of your choice). We did this one and it’s $38 for adults, but only $32 for students, which just means you need to have a student I.D. (Helloooo N Card!) I used my old school I.D. and saved $6 – WIN. For children, it’s $26. They do have a pass option below this that includes the featured exhibit and others, just excludes the 3D movie I believe. That one is $31/adult. Then one that excludes the featured exhibit for $29/adult.

If you don’t have a ton of time to spend there, you can also opt for the “Basic” (am I the only one that wants to be like, YOU #BASIC)? No? Okay. Moving on then… That is $22/adult.

When you first arrive, Sue will greet you upon entering the massive museum hall. This is the Field Museum’s prized possession. She’s the largest and most complete T-Rex! And! From South Dakota.

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WHAT TO BRING

First and foremost, bring energy because there’s a lot of walking! We went at the end of a filled travel weekend and I was pretty exhausted. I definitely feel like I need to go again to experience it at 100%. You are allowed cameras. You can’t bring food or drinks (of any kind) into the exhibits, you can only drink and eat at the designated locations (which there are a ton of spots you can plop down to eat/drink/take a break at). The cool thing is that you can bring your own brown bag lunch! You can also chill by (not sure if dead or fake?) animals behind the glass, like these Narwhals! < Seriously didn’t think those were actually real animals.

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If you want to get food there, they also have a cool dining place when you first walk in as well as vending machines planted all over the place.

EXHIBITS

3D Movie

You can choose between 3 different movies, they all start at different times and around 20-30 minutes long. The ones you could choose from was one about Dinosaurs, Africa, and Galapagos Island. I picked Galapagos because I have no idea where that place is even at.

It was the first thing we did – and I’m glad we did that so you could get it out of the way then spend the rest of the time exploring. It was super cool to watch and the perfect length. (Minus the 3D spiders – HELL. NO.)

The “Every Animal You Could Think Of” Exhibit

It’s obviously not really called that but omg, they had every animal possible stuffed and behind glass. It was pretty cool and it goes on forever. You would turn a corner and run into giraffes, then walk a football field length and find the entire wild cat species. Also, if you’re a bird lover, you would freak. I’m pretty sure they have every bird on show (all fake/stuffed of course).

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LOOK AT THE BABY OTTER <3

The “Brandon, come look at these *hint hint*” Exhibit

Yup, we’re talkin’ bling upon bling, people! It’s the Gem Exhibit.

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All I could think about was how much money was in that room and how I would hate to have the job of cleaning that glass every day…

The other exhibits go on and on… from taking a stroll through African history, walking amongst the dinos, and even watching scientists behind the glass doing work! It was like Jurrasic Park! Speaking of… Look at this bug inside the amber!

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Somebody get my frog DNA, STAT!

It was truly an awesome place and one you can go back to over and over again. Here are some more pics to check out!

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A Weekend in Chicago

It’s amazing how badly your body can break down at such a tender age when you’ve vacationed too hard.

I never seem to learn my lesson, either.

When on vacation, it’s like you’re 21 again and on spring break and there ain’t no stopping ya from having a good time! …Until you get home. Every plane ride back home is a giant wish of crawling under a rock and not coming out for a week. I feel permanently ill and I always seem to catch that cold the first day back to the “real world” comes around. Every vaycay I tell myself I’m going to work out (HAH – wishful thinking), drink tons of water, and get plenty of rest.

Buuut enough of the after-vacation talk. Let’s get on to the fun! Here’s my weekend top cinco.

1. Beyoncé

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Because, DUH. You guys, I cried. I literally cried because Beyonce is so beautiful, amazing, perfect, and everything in between. I couldn’t believe she was standing RIGHT THERE!!! And all of her songs were so good! (P.S. that playlist is dead on!)

When she sang “Halo” I lost it. Just like I figured I would. On the flight back, there were a couple other girls saying they cried at it, too. I still can’t believe that all happened. It feels like a dream!!!!!!!!!

2. Cubs Game

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Not a Greezy vacation to Chicago without a Cubs game! We had awesome tix. Got a couple brews, pre-gamed in Wrigleyville and ate a mini Giordano’s pizzas. And that, my friends, is what I call a good time.

3. Field Museum

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Well, I have wanted to go here for YEARS. Then finally – just like the Beyonce gods graced me on this trip – it was time. Got to meet Sue! The only bad part was it was the last thing we did and my dogs (feet) and legs hurt from all the walking and exhaustion I endured over the past 3.5 days.

Secret tip if you go: Bring your student ID – you save seven doll hairs!

4. Boat ride!!

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I’m such a sucker for tourist things. We went at night, but it was still great! Also, learned that there’s a ton of old planes underwater near the Navy Pier! Who knew!

5. Da Beach

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We found the best part under an umbrella to sip on some cocktails and people watch. LOVED IT. It just helped because I pretty dehydrated like a dead fish out in the sun. (I blame the Cubs game)

BONUS: The food and dranks!!

First up, we’ve got the mother of all… A SUSHI BURRITO.

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Aaaaand Red Robin. Like three times. No joke. We ate from there three times. Instead of the restaurant style like it typically is, it was more fast food style. IT WAS AWESOMEEEE.

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THIS THING. Thanks Howl at the Moon!

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Now, I must leave you with this adorable little fake otter licking a baby otter at The Field Museum.

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How to Prepare for a Queen Bey Concert

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1. Freak out.

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2. FREAK OUT.

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3. FREAK OUT ONE MORE TIME.

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4. Create a playlist of her set list.

So I’m rollin’ on that free trial of Tidal right now. And it’s PERFECT because they have every song on her set list, including random music videos.

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5. Decide how you want #slay the night

This is the BEST part of whole ordeal beside breathing the same air as Queen Bey. Here’s what I’m thinkin’…

      1. Jumpsuit. I wanted SO bad to Rent the Runway for this. They have some mean jumpsuits. But I’m going to be budget savvy and wear one I’ve had since last year and have never had the guts to wear in public. But there’s not holding back on this night.
      2. Mohawk updo. I wish I would’ve recorded a video of Brandon’s face when I told him I was going to put my hair in a mohawk. But it’s just the ‘do below. Hope I can do it! I might fail. We’ll see…

and… a fierce attitude. Of course. Just for you Bey.

While I spent hours envisioning what I want to look like at the concert, a new life quote came to me…

“Dress every day like you’re going to a Beyonce concert.”

Side note: If you’re heading to one of her concerts, bring a small purse. You aren’t allowed to have big purses in the stadium. This shouldn’t be a surprise because of what happened the last time I was at Soldier field… Speaking of, I’m still nervous to step back in that stadium.

6. Buy a poncho and write FLAWLESS on it with a sharpie.

In true Soldier Field fashion, it seems as if it might rain once again. Too bad I don’t even care. (As long as a tornado doesn’t want to show up to the party).

I honestly want to buy a poncho and bedazzle it in case I need to use it. I’ll settle for the FLAWLESS on the back in a sharpie, though. I don’t want to be that person who ends up getting struck by lightening because I provoked lighting with hundreds of metal studs.

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7. Prepare my soul for what is about to happen to it.

“Halo”. I will cry. I’m going to ugly girl cry and in the rain probz when she sings it. Supposedly it’s the  finale. I could name a ton of her songs as “my favorite” but that one really is. AHHHHHHHH Oh! And she’s supposed to do a couple Prince songs. *bring on the tears.

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Yes. Yes, I am.

 

The Day I Became A “Wine Expert”

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What. A. Friday! I got to do a check off the good ole’ bucket list on Friday… To go live on the news! I was soooo nervous but it was awesome! I would love to do it again. I mean, it’s just talking. I LOVE TALKING!

So long story short, a PR company from NYC was looking for a person to go live on Lincoln’s CBS 10/11 to share products for National Wine Day (on May 25th). I wanted so bad to say no, because that’s a little scary going on the air to talk about something I have no idea about. But all I could keep thinking about was Shonda Rhime’s book Year of Yes. I would totally regret saying no. So I went for it. Plus, I was able to keep all of the wine they would send – so I was sold!

I received the products and studied up. I had no idea what I was going into, which made me extremely nervous all week. I’ve never wanted 5pm on a Friday to come so bad (because that would mean the segment was over)!

During the day of I was freaking out over what to wear. If you Google “What to wear on the news” you will read that the #1 rule is no black, white, red, or patterns. OMG. Literally, my entire wardrobe is black and white. I ended up using my ONLY pastel colored tank and had to put a jacket over it because it was spaghetti strapped and probably to promiscuous for a 4pm Lincoln news segment.

Steezy secret: I went shopping this weekend and purchased a new dress and a top in case I ever find myself in this position again. I’m calling it my pathway to becoming Oprah.

Laugh if you want. It’s a joke but I won’t stop it if it were to happen! 😉

Anyway, I roll up to da studio and the producer just tells me to set up then leaves the studio. I’m just like ummm omgsh, she thinks I really know these products and that I’m actually a wine expert… I’M NOT! AHHHH! HELPPPP!

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The news gods were with me that day thankfully. The news anchors were super laid back and awesome! I was going to be the ending part of the show (FINALE!!) so I got front row action to the entire news! I’ve never learned so much from the news than I did in about 15 minutes. It was awesome!

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Then… my 2 minutes and 27 seconds of complete Lincoln fame came. I literally had no idea the news was live at first (you can tell if  you watch my face in the first few seconds).

After I was done, they were like, “This was perfect! We would love to do this again.”

Then my head blew up and I walked out of 10/11 all like…

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So hopefully you see more of this. I’m calling myself “The Lincoln Party Expert”. I’m thinking of pitching segments that revolve around partying and entertainment. Thoughts?

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I went straight to one of our family member’s house and watched the 2:27 worth of epic footage. But first, made sure to drink some of that wine. (I refused to watch it until I had a glass of vino in my hand).

Then I started getting tipsy and role playing how I wanted the segment to go…

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On that note, go prepare yourself for National Wine Day on the 25th!!

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Wedding Tips That May or May Not Save Your Life

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*Repost from Feb. because it’s wedding season again! 

I started writing this post back in November but I’m just NOW finally getting around to posting it. Talk about procrastination AMIRIGHT? I started writing it because I had all these wedding thoughts swirling in my head and now I’m already forgetting everything, so I figured I better get this out in the world before I forget some great tips that might help out a new bride or groom gettin’ hitched! 😉

I wrote my first batch of unsolicited advice before the wedding but now I have the “legit” advice since it actually happened. And it’s vital that you know this information before you walk down the aisle.

Just kidding, not really, but these might be really, really helpful!

And bare with me, this post might get lengthy!

First off, here’s what I’ve learned from other weddings that I realized are crucial for guests.

The things I remember most from weddings – how much fun I had. I also remember these:

1. Did I ever go hungry?

I will never forget when someone had fun snacks later in the night. One friend had grilled cheese bites and another had Taco Inn burritos and Culvers ice cream! You just don’t forget things like that… 😉

We went with popcorn. I’m personally a popcorn FREAK, so it was natural to have popcorn with M&M’s, pretzels, and peanuts to add in. And it’s a pretty affordable option if you get massive bags of popcorn and hit up Sam’s club for the fixings.

One other thing – make sure the main food is good and remember people have different dietary restrictions. I’m pescatarian ( the only meat I eat is fish ) so I have often found myself eating random things or picking around the meat. It sucks. And I’m nice about it, but a lot of people will get instantly annoyed if they go hungry because they couldn’t eat the food.

2. Did I have fun?

"Get it, Rachel!"
“Get it, Rachel!”

This is obviously a given. But it all stems back to one thing: The DJ. When we were hiring a DJ, we took it the most seriously, because if you have a bad DJ, there’s no bouncing back from it. It’s not that DJ’s can be bad, it’s just they aren’t the style you might be looking for. When people get DJ’s they want one thing–to dance. So look for one that has done weddings like yours (for example, we knew we would have a young crowd, so we made sure they were used to keeping the party bumpin’!)

What to spend your money on

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Bomb Kit Kat bites that were tasty AND affordable!

Now this is simply my opinion and it’s totally cool if you don’t agree with me ( it’s a good thing if you don’t, it makes every wedding unique ) :)  But I really don’t understand how some parties drop a ton of money on things that won’t last like flowers or focus on the smallest details that jump up the wedding tab like crazy. If I had a big wedding budget, I would have gone all in too, but we had a large wedding so budget needed to be allocated accordingly (you know, for the important things: booze, food, good DJ…) We wanted a fun party for both young and older people alike, so things like fancy details and precious flowers weren’t necessary.

Baby's Breath = Beautiful and Affordable Flowers!
Baby’s Breath = Beautiful and Affordable Flowers!

If your wedding is more for an older crowd or a fancier bunch, then this isn’t a tip for you.

I like to think of money worth well spent on things people can actually enjoy and be a part of. Like, food, because they can taste it. Drinks, because they can enjoy it and taste. Music, they can listen to. Catch my drift? Table decor they see obviously but it’s not something they can actually taste or feel, leaving them likely to forget what it even looked like.

Use Pinterest at your own risk

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This is a repeat from my last wedding blog post. Okay, but before I go any further, I do have to say something: I have seen pictures from some weddings that looked straight off of a Pinterest board and wow, it was amazing. So beautiful and hell yeah do it if you can/want to spend the woman-hours doing so. By all means, go for it girl!

It’s just not my thing. At all. I actually started to despise Pinterest once we really started planning and understanding prices/budgets. There are so many ideas and you can’t do them all, so why keep bogging yourself down with more thoughts and ideas? I found out quickly that I had to draw a line and stop searching for the perfect color, perfect table decoration, and just let the pieces fall where they may. However, this is also coming from someone who would’ve liked to have a wedding planner instead of trying to pick out things myself!

Just be real with yourself when you’re looking at Pinterest. My only tip is to remember that what you see on Pinterest is probably super expensive. You start to get a sense for what things cost once you get going. I will never forget the slap in the face that Brandon and I had when we first realized how much everything would cost. We thought we had it planned from the start – A downtown wedding, which yes, will be pricey, but we will have the ceremony and reception in the same place and keep it to 250 people with a starting price of $12,500+ for just rental space, food, and bar. Um yeah, my parents pretty much laughed in my face. To be completely transparent, we may have spent that, but at least we got a heck of a lot more out of it.

The slow times and crazy times of planning

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The one thing that was nuts about “planning a wedding” is how there is like literally nothing to do for months. MONTHS! It’s actually super annoying. Because then you do everything at once. but if you have a solid year until the wedding and the places/vendors are booked. There’s really not much you can do until it gets closer. I mean you can definitely get ahead, but for me it just didn’t feel right until it was closer to my wedding. There was zero motivation because every time I sat down to try to figure out what colors I want, I would get flustered and stop and come back to it another night (or month).

The most stressful part of wedding planning

"All I could think of is 'Where is the booze?'"
“All I could think of is ‘Where is the booze?'”

I was most surprised that this was the most stressful thing about the entire wedding planning process, but guess what it was? Invites. Damn invites.  

I truly had no idea how much work they would be. This is also probably because I was extremely indecisive on colors, theme, etc. But my goodness they were hard. The Save the Dates were the easiest because those you just have to get out there and can make them super fun or really plain – there’s no right or wrong to them. Minus the part about creating the guest list, though. The first “hard” part with wedding planning is DA LIST. Because then you start factoring prices into the mix and deciding where to draw the line can get really intense.

When it came to the invites. Oh hot damn, talk about dumb traditional things that you have to do. Like, did you know that when using numbers you have to spell them out? It would’ve been easy just to work with someone professional, but then you’re shelling out so much money and we had like 350 invites to send so we were trying to use our resources. We went with a printer in town which was one of the best ideas ever (seriously, use a printer, they are so much cheaper – we had them do our programs too). Then came the design. We worked so hard and also procrastinated really bad. Brandon ended up using his minimal Photoshop and InDesign skills and whipped them up. Which was helpful because there are so many edits that having someone on hand to do them quick is the way to go. There’s another golden tip by the way: You will do a lot of invitation and program edits. If I could do it again, I would pick a design on Etsy and have them make it and get them printed here in town. That is one of the best tips I can give you!

Oh! Don’t forget about postage. So if you want to add string, extra papers, etc. it might cost more for stamps and those rack up the bill so flipping fast, it’s scary.

Registering

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Oh, boy was registering fun *insert mischevious grin here* I love shopping. I used a little checklist from a wedding book on what to register for. I didn’t register for everything on it because let’s be honest, I’m not going to be using a cake stand anytime soon…

We live in an apartment, so we actually had to buy storage just to put all of our new kitchen stuff in. It’s fun to register for things, but don’t get too scanner-happy, remember to ask yourself where that pressure cooker is actually going to go. Also, I don’t know if this is how it is for other couples, but we got a TON of gift cards. So remember that if you don’t register for everything, your guests will most likely just give you money or gift cards to do with what you please. Be sure to check your lists after wedding showers too to make sure it doesn’t need to be replenished.

We also found that if you register really early, some of the items will go out of stock, so keep an eye on your registry (without spoiling your gifts to see what you’re getting)! 😉

My best tip for registering? Be aware that you are going to get lots of things that aren’t on your registry. We ended up with so many food storage things and pizza stones, which was odd but great because we love pizza! Ha! But the problem is finding a place for it all…

Most important: Don’t worry, be happy.

I can not stress this one enough. I don’t understand why some brides get all stressed and worried – you’re depriving yourself on one of the most important days of your life!! I understand that some people are more “type-A” and controlling  (in a good way) than me, but you gotta let everything go and just enjoy the moments you’re living in.

There is no reason to worry, about anything. There’s a ton of people working for you and if something is wrong, someone will be on it! And if you’re worried that you can’t depend on someone to take care of things for you, hire a wedding coordinator or ask a family or friend that you can trust with the job.

Also, remember that if something does happen, like your hair isn’t as perfect as you would like, or your nail chipped – you will not remember it after your big day.

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Other Random Tips

+ Use Google docs to keep you and your other half on the same page and organized!
+ Have fun!!
+ Did I mention have fun?

If you have any questions or need someone to talk to about the wedding, hit me up!

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This Is What Happens When You Take a Weekend off of Partying

Side note: This blog title makes me sound like a college freshman.

Like the title exposes, Brandon and I were finally able to accomplish the unthinkable. Not to go out on Friday or Saturday night. Sounds easy, right? It’s not. Maybe it’s a sign of getting a tad bit older, but I get so pumped to think that there’s nothing going on for the weekend ahead. But then something always pops up and when Friday night rolls around I’m 96% of the time always ready to party. Then Monday shows it’s nasty little face and I’m cursing at why I wasted my weekend being unhealthy and not getting anything productive done. Maybe it’s because we live downtown so it’s hard to get away from the happenings, I don’t know?

But this weekend was different. Finally… it was actually happening. Sure, we had a grad party to attend at one of our favorite bars a block over from our apt, but it was during the day, so didn’t need to expect a hangover or anything this weekend.

Amidst this sobering journey, I discovered a whole new side of myself and Brandon and I’s relationship this weekend. So here’s what we did when decided to not  “go out”.

FRIDAY

We got home from work and took a look at all the potentials that lie ahead of us on this hangover-less weekend.

But shortly after we get home, we got quickly bored and started to feel the guilt of not being active when we have time and can sleep in the next day. So we went for a longggg walk around UNL’s campus.

I’m pretty much about to cry over the heap of memories that came upon me. (Every graduation weekend, I get this same feeling). HOW DID TIME SLIP BY SO FAST?!

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Walking through the Union like…

NOT TO MENTION. Talk about upgrades! DANG. Now we know where our tuition money went… It looks so great, though. I need to plan some more runs/walks around campus this summer. It just brings me back!

The campus is so pretty, though. Not to mention, FOOTBALL coming soon.

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I also FINALLY discovered how to get the perfect filter that I’ve been trying to go for forever. Ya just gotta up that saturation and ambiance! It pretty much only works for outdoor photos, though sadly.

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This is new! ^

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Remember the story about these? We learned it at the beginning of college. I think (correct me anyone, if I’m wrong) but doesn’t the story go that if you don’t have a kiss during college and you walk through the pillars, they will fall down?

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That was pretty much our wild Friday night.

SATURDAY

Woke up early to the sounds of police whistles guiding hungover college graduates to PBA. I felt amazing and was loving it! I didn’t mind them waking me up.

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Me feeling like a million bucks on a rejuvenated Saturday morning

We then treated ourselves to some Embassy Suites breakfast. I know what you’re thinking… but wour friend was staying there 😉 

I’m not sure if you know this or not but Embassy Suites has the best biscuits and gravy, ever. AND the best breakfast selection. I would easily eat there every day if I could. #Lifegoalz

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Then we just walked a ton some more. Walked our way around the Farmer’s Market then to Haymarket Park just because we could and then ended on the “Lincoln” bridge to watch for signs of the air show. Mind you, this is all before 12:30pm. In that moment, I felt as if I had morphed into a new human being. Who was I being this productive and alive on a Sat. morning?

Later, we finally met our destiny. A bar. We went to a grad party, had a couple beers that then led to “Let’s go to sushi happy hour!” which then led to trying some weird saki drink that was $2. Brandon didn’t drink it so of course I finished it and then had a $3 marg.

Whoops.

Okay, so maybe I’ll sling a couple back this weekend, but I still wasn’t partying. It was only 5pm! We watched the Kentucky Derby then headed to Rocket Fizz to get treats.

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Remember these things?!!

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Then we stuffed our face with Papa Johns and watched Entourage. In bed around 11 or so.

SUNDAY

This was the real winner of them all. To top off a weekend on no “partying” we went to church (GASP) and it gets even stranger. For some reason, I woke up really early, got ready fast and then started cleaning because I had time before heading to Omaha.

Ew. Just typing that made me a little disappointed in myself. But hey, weekend changes are a good thing.

We then just hung out with my family all day and it was awesome! TOTAL success of a weekend. It’s amazing how much you can cram in a weekend if you try hard enough!

In the end, my plan for the weekend was to read a ton, blog a ton, and workout–I didn’t exactly do that, but I did walk almost 15,000 miles in two days! Hey, it’s somethin’. 

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Spaghetti Squash with Maple Rice Fiesta Recipe

Since Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow, why not celebrate with a healthy recipe?! (Because Cinco de Mayo is that oh sh*t moment when you realize it’s almost bikini season). Plus, this dish is colorful, which reminds me of a fiesta, now just need tequila…

This little number was adapted from this recipe, but I spun it into my own with a few slight changes. Check it out!

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This recipe is super easy to make, you are literally pouring the ingredients in one pot. The squash takes a little longer, but in the end, it’s worth it! Side note: I love spaghetti squash, but does anyone else get super nervous when making it?? I’ve heard HORROR stories of the squash exploding in the microwave and/or stove. Seriously, I heard it crackling in the stove and freaked out – probably took it out too early to, but didn’t want to chance it. (It was just the olive oil making the noise, mind you).

INGREDIENTS

For the Squash:

1 Spaghetti Squash (I actually bought two because they were pretty small in size)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

For the yummy part:

1 cup of brown rice
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (can use regular diced if you choose)
1 red pepper chopped
1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of maple syrup (THE BEST PART!)
1 can of corn

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DIRECTIONS

1. Cook the spaghetti squash how you wish. I chose the microwave/stove approach but probably didn’t end up cooking long enough because of my fear of an exploding squash.

Here’s how to cook in the stove, microwave, and the crockpot.

2. While the squash baby is cooking, add the rice, tomatoes, red pepper, mushrooms, onion, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt in a pot. Bring to a boil, simmer and stir occasionally for 25-30 minutes.

3. Add in the cumin, maple syrup, and corn and keep on stirrin’!

4. Once the squash is ready, fork out those noodles!

5. Add your mixed toppings and ENJOY!!!

"What beautiful food photo skills you have." - Said no one, ever.
“What beautiful food photo skills you have.” – Said no one, ever.

I’m not sure how many servings it is supposed to be, but I got about 4 from it! I was also working with 2 smaller spaghetti squashes, so not sure if that had anything to do with it. The way I look at it is it’s healthy, so eat up!! 😉

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The Vegas Hangover

I’M BACKKKKK!!!!! My blog hiatus was due to discovering Game of Thrones (I know, I’ve been under a rock) and Vega$!

Speaking of Vegas, holy crap – I felt permanently car sick and extremely unhealthy for a few straight days this week. I pulled a Wed-Sun Vegas run. I totally knew what I was getting myself into, but ya know what? YOLO. Not to mention, the plane ride home Sunday was the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. I thought it was the end. I also eyeballed that barf bag like it was about to become my friend for the first time.

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But dang, was it a blast! This was my fifth Vegas trip and every time I always find something new to love. That’s a given, though, it’s Vegas! I even almost signed up for one of those sidewalk solicitors to tour a hotel for two hours and in return get a discount on Motown the Musical tickets. Don’t worry, I didn’t do it. But I did want to go to Motown the Musical! Get this, though. I did see the one… the only…

BRITNEY SPEARS!

It was everything I expected and MORE. She was lip syncing, but lez be honest, we all knew that was happening. She sang SO many hits. I was instantly taken back to my childhood. I felt like I was back in my old best friend’s house jamming to Britney, getting on AIM, and just figuring out how we would grow up to be her. That might not have happened, but seeing her during 2007, I thought “maybe I don’t want that in my life?”

So this is a tough decision, but I think my favorite song is “Everytime” and when she sang it, she came from the ceiling like an angel (literally!). OMG!!!!!!!!!!!

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And her dance moves were on FIRE! She’s back, baby!!!

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“Just lemme hold you, Britney”

Another awesome thing I found…

The Highroller

I went twice during this trip because it is so that GOOD! I have a couple tips, though!

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1. If you go during the day it’s cheaper.

2. There should always be a discount available that you can find. I don’t know if these work for nights, I think it’s just during the day but ask your hotel if they have a discount – I really think they all do. Or just Google for one.

3. Spend an extra $10 and get ALL YOU CAN DRANK for the Happy 1/2 Hour ride! That doesn’t sound like a long time, but challenge yourself. I believe in you. They also let you take a drink off the ride, so sling back a couple before you make it back to the bottom so you can get one to go! 😉

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The Fountains of Bellagio is actually really cool.

I have seen it from afar, but never up close. And it’s sweet! I have a newfound appreciation for that ole’ fountain!

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The rest of the trip was just as you would imagine it to be. Drinking, walking around, Margaritaville, dancing, YOLOing all around. SO much fun.

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What’s your favorite thing to do in Vega$?!!!