how to be a non-crazy bride

bride

I haven’t done a wedding post in awhile. I did a million recap photo-explosion posts right after the wedding and then I got lazy. But I have more wedding wisdom that I want to share. Or at least my own version of “wisdom.” You may know that I didn’t even want to have a wedding (ironically one of my most popular posts…) But since I did end up having one, I wanted to make it as painless as possible. Here are my tips on how to be a non-crazy bride yourself. (Meaning you don’t feel crazy, other people don’t think you’re crazy and you’re not driving your friends and loved ones crazy.) Oh and I like to think I was a non-crazy bride buuuuut I guess I’d have to pool my family and friends (and husband) to be sure of that. So you can just take my word for it.

Timeline

You’re ready to start wedding planning – yay! Decide when you want to get married. If you’re dead-set on a date or season, keep that in mind while you’re looking at venues. If you’re a little more flexible on time, that might open up your venue options. Once you have that date set, then you can figure out the rest of your timeline. I loosely adhered to the Martha Stewart Weddings calendar (on the website), but figure out what works for you. For me, each month I set goals for what I wanted to accomplish each month to keep myself within my timeframe.

Budget

Weddings cost money so you need to know how much you can spend. You can have a beautiful wedding by spending a ton or on a modest budget. It’s doable either way, but you just need to set priorities. If you have a limited budget, figure out where to allocate most of your funds. For us, it was important to have delicious food, good music and the best dress ever. Ok, maybe the last one was just my priority… Our venue was a restaurant so we had great food, my dress was reasonably priced and we lucked out with a free dj. So most of our budget went to food and alcohol, but we saved by not having a videographer, getting cheaper invitations and having my mom do the flowers. (See more breakdown in my save vs splurge wedding post.) It’s all about balance and sticking to your budget will keep you sane. Unless you’re rich – in that case, get whatever you want! Insert winky/kissy face emoji.

Organization

This is a no brainer but you need to stay organized. I didn’t go overboard with organizing my wedding planning (see above about the timeline). But I kept a spreadsheet to keep track of what I was spending. I also used a spreadsheet to collect addresses, keep track of what meals people wanted and for thank you cards. I love spreadsheets duh. I also used a notebook for notes of the millions of phone calls I made. I kept a folder with any paper documents too in case I needed to quickly find something.

Take no shit

That doesn’t mean you have free reign to be crazy (especially since this post is about being non-crazy). But know what things are important to you. If you say no kids or no plus-one’s or whatever, don’t let people try to change your mind. Or say they are bringing their 9 kids or whatever. If you have a rogue family member or groomsman/bridesmaid, tell them to shape up or get out of your way. You don’t have to be crazy about it, but you don’t need extra stress from random people.

Step away from the Pinterest

Pinterest is amaaaaazing for wedding inspiration. And if you have the time, patience and money to make a Pinterest-perfect wedding, do it. But for us most of us mere mortals, having that every-single-damn-detail-is-Pinterest-perfect wedding just isn’t feasible. Find your favorite inspiration and keep that in mind during your planning. Chances are your dress, church, centerpieces, etc won’t look exactly like your inspiration, but that’s ok – because it’s your day.

Breathe

You want your wedding day to be perfect, but remember, it’s just one day. Things will go wrong, but the most important thing is that at the end of the day, you’ll be married to your love. And then the hard (and wonderful) stuff really starts – marriage!

Do you have any tips on keeping calm while wedding planning? Oh and here are a million past wedding photos if you want to check ‘em out!

Getting Ready Photos
Ceremony Photos
Group Photos
Couple Photos
Reception Photos
Music
Save vs Splurge
Honeymoon

march goals

March Goals - jadeoak.com

It’s March and it’s still snowy and I’m over it. Boooooo. The above is a photo from when we went out for Valentine’s Day and it snowed like crazy and it took us a million dollars to get an Uber home. Sigh. Anyways. It’s a new month, so time to set March goals and review my February goals.

Blog Goals -

For February, I just wanted to keep working on content. Success. This was a pretty vague goal but I like what I wrote and did 3-4 posts per week. I can do that without feeling burned out, so works for me!

March Goals – 

March is going to be cray-cray because we are working on house stuff, so I fully expect to not be able to blog as much. If I can do about 3 posts a week that I love, I’ll be happy!

House Goals -

For February, my goal was to work on keeping our house in showing condition. Success. I can’t share the dirty details yet, but the house things are going well. I’ll keep you guys updated!

March Goals – 

I want to work on more organization of our house and more de-cluttering. I’m going to try to set outside a few hours during the week and time on the weekends to pack away non-essentials and get rid of crap.

Life Goals -

For February I wanted to continue with my workouts. Success/Fail. I got to the gym and ballet a decent amount and did some home workouts too (mainly Blogilates). But since the weather was sooooo cold, I skipped out on the gym more than I wanted to. I also wanted to cook more. Fail. I cooked some but not as much as I was wanting to. Oops.

March Goals – 

February was a sloth month. I worked out some but I also ate like crap. There were so many tasty treats at work and Jarrod gave me a pile (literally) of candy for Valentine’s day. I reallllly need to get back to eating like a normal person. No crash dieting or anything, but just not eating candy every single day. I also want to read more. I’ve gotten in a bad habit of being on my computer or phone right up until I go to bed and that’s not good. I’d like to get back into my habit of reading for at least half an hour in bed each night. It’s a much better way to unwind.

So the goals are pretty lowkey again but it’s stuff that I just need to keep working on. Here are some of my fave posts from February so check them out -

How To Create The Perfect Media Kit
Where I’d Go With Doctor Who
My Dog’s Nipple Fell Off
8 Ways to Be Better at Pinterest
Free Budgeting Spreadsheet
Why Do You Do That?

what i’ve learned from being on wordpress

what i've learned from being on wordpress - jadeoak.com

I started blogging about 2 and a half years ago on Blogger and made the switch to WordPress nearly a year ago. (The amazing Lisette did my transfer and blog design.) I was nervous to make the switch but it’s been all good. So if you’re considering making the switch too, I wanted to share what I’ve learned from being on WordPress.

Not so scary

The biggest thing I’ve learned is that WordPress isn’t so scary. I hate change (a whole post about that coming soon!), but change can be a good thing. I love that I own my content and that it’s more secure. I also love the customizability (is that a word?) of WordPress and am excited to continue to learn more about all the options.

Stats

Stats are inflated on Blogger since it counts all the spam/spambots that stop by your site. I don’t really know how that works, but I definitely had higher pageviews when I was on Blogger and initially saw a lower number when I moved over on WordPress, which hurts my ego a bit. BUT it has also made me more motivated/focused. Not because numbers are the only thing that matter, but because I want to be engaged. I love writing, but I’m not writing just for myself. So I’m brainstorming more fun ideas for this little blog and hope you’ll all join me.

Old crap

I have a lot of old crappy posts. I’m slowly going through them and trying to fix them a fit, not the content really, but things like bad formatting and teeny tiny (and not very good) photos. Some old posts will just get totally scrapped and I’m ok with that. I feel like I was on a big time learning curve for at least the first 6 months of blogging, so I’m not judging those old posts too harshly. I’m just going to send them to the post graveyard (or, being less melodramatic, delete them). It’s the blog version of spring cleaning!

SEO

I’m still learning the ins and outs of SEO but I love that the WordPress SEO by Yoast plug-in is an easy way to work on my blog’s SEO.

Plug-ins

Speaking of plug-ins, they’re an easy way to customize your blog without needing to know all the code. As mentioned above, I use a plug-in for SEO. I also love WordPress, which helps with site speed and security. I also added the Pin It button plug-in which makes it easy for my readers to pin my content.

Responsive design

I love the responsive design that Lisette was able to create for my blog. Meaning, my blog looks the same on a computer, tablet or smart phone. Instead of a distorted hot mess.

Customized design

If I need to change a category/page on the header of my design or one of my categories in my sidebar or my popular posts widget, I can do that with ease and not needing to know any html. Anything to make my life easier is a good thing.

So those are just a few things I’ve learned and love about WordPress. Are you thinking about making the switch to WordPress? Or are you already a WordPress lover?

doggie nutrition

HardyPet - jadeoak.com

You guys know I’m a crazy pug mom. Obviously. So I’m always looking for ways to keep the puggies healthy. And the puggies are happy to be taste-testers for anything edible. So getting the HardyPet Blue Box was a win/win.

HardyPet was formed to provide non-prescription alternatives to improve the health of dogs in rescue shelters. Usually, shelter dogs have limited time to get healthy and find a new home. Sad face. But today, hundreds of shelters use HardyPet Complete to get those pups healthy and improve their chances to find his or her forever home. In 2009, HardyPet began offering Complete directly to dog owners. HardyPet’s ultimate goal is to eliminate owner surrenders due to health conditions that can be prevented through proper doggie nutrition.

Hardy Pet - jadeoak.com

Proper canine health requires a well balanced diet of high quality dog food, the right amount of exercise according to the dog breed, proper nutritional supplements and lots of love and attention from their owner. I know my pugs love their treats and snuggles. So why not make sure those treats are providing great nutrition?

The Blue Box Bundle provides complete canine supplementation with:

  • HardyPet Complete – a combination of holistic natural compounds, amino acids and vitamins to provide essential nutrients. Your dog will think that the daily chewable multi-vitamin is a yummy treat! It helps with issues related to skin/coat, digestion, heart health, immune function and joint health.
  • HardyPet Canine PRO6 – This is a canine specific probiotic that helps balance the intestinal tract, optimizes nutrient absorption and improves overall immune function.
  • HardyPet Premium Fish Oil – The Omega-3’s in fish oil helps a dog’s immune system. The formula comes in a pump with in order to deliver the proper amount of Omega-3’s.
  • HardyChews – This is a great chew made from natural deer antlers which are naturally shed each year. These chews will not splinter and last longer than synthetic toys. My dogs love chewing and were both excited to try this out. See?

Hardy Pet - jadeoak.com

I’m excited to try out these supplements on the pugs. Bowie has been suffering from allergies for awhile so I’m hoping to see some improvement. Rosie is older and we don’t know how she was taken care of before we got her. Giving both of the dogs their daily nutrients is important to us in order to keep them healthy.

Rescue organizations report that over half of all owner surrenders are because of health issues which are thought to be too difficult or expensive to treat. Research shows that 80% of these issues can be fixed through proper diet and nutrition. As a big supporter of rescue organizations, I love that promoting good nutrition is a way to help doggies stay healthy so they are less likely to be surrendered.

If you want to up your canine health/nutrition game, check out HardyPet Blue Box. It’s a great starter kit for any dog owner. And HardyPet is offering my readers a free bottle of HardyPet Shiny Coat Shampoo with any purchase using code “JADEOAK.”