Enjoy the sunshine

Hello Everyone!
This is just a quick update. As you can probably imagine Avery and I love being outdoors. That is why we often write up blog posts in advance and then update them before we publish them. Today the weather is just too beautiful to sit behind a computer screen. So, this is your public service announcement to remember to shut off you technology once in awhile and go enjoy some gorgeous weather!
Naomi & Avery

How to Survive Wedding Planning… as a really chill bride

Hello Everyone!

As most of you know Avery and I are engaged! We are very excited to be planning our wedding, but have already encountered some issues. Avery and I are having a bit over a 2 year engagement. For us, this was the perfect way to let me finish up college and also to have a stress free wedding planning.

Stress free was not how it started at all. I am probably one of the most chill people you will ever meet when it comes to event planning. While I know what I want and what I like, I’m not the type to throw hissy-fits and tantrums if things don’t go exactly as planned. So, I’m writing this for all you future brides who are in my situation: Where everyone seems to have the panic-filled wedding fever… but you. My family and friends are amazing, phenomenal people who just want to help. Unfortunately they get a little overwhelmed too easily. Here is my step-by-step guide to surviving the chaos and maintaining the peace.

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  • Set down some ground rules: This is huge and can be really intimidating. You really need to tell everyone in your life to chill the fuck out and get the troops organized. Tell them exactly how you are feeling (stressed because of them) and that you want them to stop everything and listen to what you need from them. Whether that is to not spend money on this or to stop taking control of your wedding, take this one moment to have them take a step back.

 

  • Create a Timeline: My number one problem is that everyone thinks I’m putting everything off until the last minute. This is where your timeline really comes in handy. Not only do you probably already have one, but it shows them that you have your crap together. For me, my timeline is fairly spaced out and I have a bunch of things already checked off. Simply sharing this information makes a lot of loved ones realize that you do in fact have your shit together.

 

  • Assign Roles: This may seem like overkill, but this is one of my strengths. I gave everyone who was overly-excited a project to do for me. It let me turn their chaotic energy into something productive. For my best friend and bridesmaid who is great with Pinterest, I gave her a theme and a board and said “Go Crazy!”. My mom who seemed to be exceedingly concerned that I was putting everything off? I gave her the task of researching venues. She is great at pro and con lists and within a few weeks of looking we found exactly what we wanted. Now any projects that come up with research go straight to her. This way I’m less stressed, everyone else feels involved, and the wedding keeps moving forward.
Go Crazy screenshot

The Pinterest Board just for my pin-happy friends.

  • Remember that they love you: So, most importantly, if you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed in the center of attention, your loved ones are doing this because they care about you and your happiness. They want to see this whole event go off without a hitch as much as you. If your mom really wants to go dressing shopping as soon as possible, maybe go browse with her sooner than you planned. While this is your wedding, remember to cherish the important moments and don’t start fights just because they are putting too much on you. Take a step back, a deep breathe, talk to them, and then give them a hug.

What is your number one tip for stress-free wedding planning?

-Naomi

10 Affordable Spring Date Ideas

Hello Everyone!

* This post does contain affiliate links. These result in no increase cost to you as a consumer, but simply a small percentage of the sale goes to us for directing you to them. We only will ever post links about items that we would use ourselves and you are never expected to buy anything.

With the first flowers blooming and green showing, spring is here! I love the weather right now with lots of variety, but warm enough for just sweaters. Avery and I are big fans of winter and snow, but we are quite exuberant to see the new opportunities that spring will bring us. Avery and I definitely have a long history of dating which you can check out a bit more here, but without further ado let me share with you some my favorite affordable spring dates!

  1. Picnics! Okay everyone has heard of this one, but it is such a nice classic. I have a blanket that I use just for picnics and it is one of those dates that you really control how much you spend. I love cooking so it keeps us from going out to lunch and spending more money. Plus you get more privacy and space in a park than at a restaurant.
    • I will say Avery and I love asian food. He will tell you I have an obsession with sushi and it is so true. So one of my favorite things on this planet it bento boxes. They are great for picnics and very affordable lunch boxes. I totally recommend checking out the one below for an affordable and stylish upgrade from tupperware.
      This bento box is great with removable compartments, chopsticks, and dishwasher and microwave safe! Click on the picture for a link to buy it.
  2. Plant a garden! Spring is the perfect time to try something new and if you have never had a garden you definitely need to start one. If you love fresh vegetables and herbs, you should really try it out. It is really fun spending the time together picking out what you want and how it will look. Bonus the little bit of cost comes back in saving from the produce. If you life in the city like I currently do start a major jar herb garden! Super adorable and great for adding a little freshness to your home, plus you will have a great time trying to keep it alive together.
  3. Explore a local city! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’ve been in my college town for three years and have barely seen any of it. Spend a day in the beautiful spring weather and get lost window shopping and trying new cafes. Just make sure to charge your phone so you can find your way home when you’re done!
  4. Try a new outdoor hobby together! So running and biking were the bane of my existence for a long time. Avery changed a lot of that for me and now I would love to try going for a run with him or a biking adventure. It is a great alternative to spending money and the bonus of getting a workout in (especially when you have a wedding coming up) is awesome.
  5. Visit a local Farmer’s Market! Okay, so Avery and I are obviously involved in our country roots. I love visiting the farmer’s market just to get to see all the fresh veggies. As spring hits full force you will find fresh spinach, eggs, and other goodies galore. You can choose to just walk through and chat and learn about what they are doing, or you can get some treats for the week. This is great if you struggle with your green thumb or space to have a real garden.
  6. Have a Spring Cooking Challenge! This is great if you actually just went to the farmer’s market and came back with a bunch of stuff. Compete against each other to make the best dish using what you came home with. The extra challenge? Put a spending limit on the ingredients. You will have a great time cooking and eating together. Plus at the end of the day you might have a special new recipe to add to your daily life.
  7. Watch the Sunrise or Sunset! With warmer weather I just find myself gravitating towards being outside. Plan a special occasion to watch the sky burst full of colors. Most people will tell you that they love watching the sunset, but I love watching the sunrise with Avery. It just is a really amazing way to start our mornings together. 

    For my love of sunrises, this was a really beautiful sunset!

  8. Have a cookout with friends and family! As much as I love being alone with Avery, I also really love my friends and family. Plan a nice day where everyone gets together for a potluck! Just make sure everyone brings a dish to pass. Bonus points if you can pull a grill out!
  9. Attend a free festival or event! With warm weather comes community activities. There is plenty out there to check out so find some near you. They tend to come with free entertainment and some times even free food!
  10. Try Swing Dancing! There is an awesome community in my area that does swing dancing once a week that is 100% free with free lessons! Find one near you or make your own. It is a phenomenal time and swing dancing is easy and fun. Most people start planning outdoors ones, so trying something new!

What is your favorite spring date? Do you plan to try any of these?

  • Naomi & Avery

March Review & April Goals!

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Hello everyone!

Our first full month of blogging is over! I can’t believe how this first month has gone by so fast. Avery and I had some goals for this month and we did pretty well overall, but we still have a long way to go! So, let’s just dive right in and review how we did and where we need to improve!

March Review

These were our goals for March:

  • Post on our blog every Tuesday and Friday!
  • Create our Pinterest page
  • Read about bloggers Pinterest strategies
  • Post on Instagram 3x a week

Here is how we did!

  • 7 New Blog Posts
  • Posted at least 5x a week on Instagram
  • Our first affiliate link!
  • Created our Pinterest

Some big things that haven’t happened yet:

  • Posting on Pinterest
  • Scheduled posts on social media
  • Actually making an income

Stats:

Unique Visitors: 24 (down from 40)

WordPress followers: 7 (up from 4)

Highest Performing Post:

Instagram followers: 47 (up from 11)

Highest Performing Photo:

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Photo Credit: Avery. Btw it tasted as good as it looks.

Our thoughts on March

First of all I want to say that in March we did hit over 50! followers on Instagram, but to be honest on March 31st we were down to 47. Since then we have stayed above 50 Instagram followers.

Mar Insta 2017

So that was pretty awesome. Unfortunately I do not feel that we were as successful turning those new followers into content viewers. We are bloggers first and the fact that our post viewers were down is disappointing. I realized this about half way through the month and found that it came from two main reasons:

  1. We were not interacting enough with other bloggers on WordPress. We are great about responding to comments on our own posts, but we need to improve putting ourselves out into the community.
  2. Our social media presence isn’t translating into blog viewership. We need to get Pinterest going as it is easier for people to get to our website than Instagram. Although we really have loved running Instagram and will definitely keep growing it.

Blogging content I was happy with, but my posting skills were weak. I definitely didn’t post every Tuesday and Friday, although we have made progress. Regretfully I struggled with some technical issues and scheduled posts and had to delay some. This is a huge goal for next month. Also we only got our first affiliate link up on March 31st. That was definitely cutting it close and obviously wasn’t going to make us money.

 

April Goals 

  • Post on our blog every Tuesday and Friday!
    • Until we nail this goal it is going to be at the very top!
  • Post on Pinterest
    • Use a Social Media Scheduler
    • Schedule posts once a week minimum
  • Post every single day for the rest of the month on Instagram

Stat goals:

Unique Vistors: 250

WordPress followers: 25

Instagram followers: 100

Our thoughts on April’s Goals

We kept our stats goals at the very same level. While we plan to not drop our momentum with Instagram, we definitely need to change course and work on getting views on our blog! Our number one objective this month is to showcase our blog.

What is your favorite way to attract new visitors?

Naomi & Avery