#SomethingBarros; Destination Wedding

Can we talk about the Bachelor first?

I mean I know I’m 2 days late but I just watched it last night and want to go on record that I thought it was pretty obvious that Lauren B was gonna win from the start. Also I think I’m the only person who isn’t stoked for JoJo to be the Bachelorette. Andi 2.0 anyone?

But who cares what I think. I hardly ever watch the Bachelorette anyway. Call me sexist…..Well actually don’t….

But on to more exciting news!

You guys…….

We have officially booked our wedding venue……

I am officially getting married…..

This just got infinitely more real……..

Destination Wedding

P.S. if you read my post yesterday you know that putting your hand in a picture instantly makes you successful. Or something like that….

Anyway, did anyone else freak out slightly after paying that deposit on their venue?

It can’t just be me. As someone who doesn’t spend money unless it’s life-threatening or absolutely necessary (yarn doesn’t count!), the actual act of paying a few thousand for a venue can really mess with your head. Well the deposit obviously wasn’t a few thousand but still.

I haven’t even thrown down for a new phone upgrade in three years so you know I’m not lying about my tight fists!

But, it’s done. We have our venue which means we have our date. What’s even the etiquette on disclosing your wedding date? Am I supposed to wait until I send out save the dates? Can I tell everyone before that?

Speaking of save the dates, do you send those to people that won’t be getting an invitation?

Wedding stuff is hard….

Back on topic though. Our venue. Technically you could say we’re having a destination wedding. It’ll be in North Carolina and in case you didn’t know I currently reside in Massachusetts. Why did I decide to have our wedding over 800 miles from where we live you ask? Good question, glad you asked.

It goes a little something like this.

One summer in 2011, a boy and girl met in the mountains of NC. Said boy and girl fell in love with each other and said mountains. Boy and girl get engaged and get frustrated with all the $$$ wedding venues in New England. Frustrated boy and girl start talking about eloping. Boy suggests a small wedding with only family and close friends in the very mountains they fell in love in. Girl is super impressed with boy’s level of insight put into wedding planning and loves him even more. The End.

Well not really the end because we haven’t actually gotten married yet. That’s still to come.

Now that we have a venue and date I can actually start looking into other vendors and whatnot. Doing it from afar will be interesting but that’ll be a post for another day.

What I’m excited about next is wedding dress shopping next month with my Mom and Bridesmaids down in Charlotte! This weekend trip is much needed.

So look forward to many more wedding posts now that I actually have a wedding to plan for!

Did you have a destination wedding? Care to tell me I’m not the only one who freaked out at the cost of things?

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I’ve Discovered the Secret to Blogger Success

I’m not joking guys……

This is a top secret classified bit of information that only the best of the best in blogland know and I’m here to share it with you right now!

And no I’m not talking about taking or finding the perfect photo from above with your hand, laptop, and cool phone case all visible. Clearly this is a very important step in the process, but every third grader who dreams of internet fame knows this one. Keep reading for the juicy stuff.

Blogger Success

It’s no secret that I haven’t been writing……….well really anything since the Holidays.

I posted that I got engaged….

And y’all responded with all the happiness and well-wishes.

I posted about the extremely difficult problem of not knowing what to hashtag my wedding…..

And y’all gave me all the best ideas non-stop until I picked one I loved. (#SomethingBarros in case you wanted to stalk me, but like in a non-threatening manner)

Then I had my Life Guru Jess post about making friends in your 20s…..

And y’all ate it up!

So what’s the secret to blogger success then?

Um, duh, it’s YOU! Community.

The Secret to Blogger Success = Community

Cliche maybe, but it’s the truth. I don’t care how wonderful your life is or how well you can craft the perfect post or how much blogging advice you have, without people to read your blog your blog would be just bunch of gibberish posted on the internet.

I mean if we’re all really honest with ourselves, blogs really are just gibberish posted on the internet. But we are Bloggers and we shall not givein to such nonsensical thinking.

Back to the secrets.

If you’re still with me at this point then I know you truly care and aren’t actually looking for the secret to blogging success and therefore proving my point. Sure making side money, or having a full-time blog is cool. I’ve made money off this thing, it’s a pretty cool feeling to be sent free stuff. In full disclosure I just bought a ton of wedding stuff from blog money just chillin in my Paypal account.

But what makes me come back time and again.

The friends and connections I’ve made while writing, not the money made.

So whether you agree with me or not, thank you for reading my words and connecting with me even when I’m not around as often as I used to be. I promise I’m still around and trying to connect with y’all.

What do you think? What’s the secret sauce?

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How to Make Friends in Your 20’s

I have such a fun post for y’all today!

Remember Jess? You know, my uber cool friend who somehow still likes me despite my homebody grandma personality? She also wrote here before about Treating Your Self, which if you’re not doing already you need to start Immediately!

Also to answer the wedding questions, no we don’t have a date (but possibly our venue so it’s tbd very soon, eek!) also no I haven’t looked at dresses or caterers or wedding favors or anything else you want to ask me about. Wedding planning is awesome and fun but choosing is hard. First world problems yo….

Anyway, without further ado, take it away Jess!

How to make friends in 20s

Hey Everyone!
It’s been a while since I have written for Kelsey, and to be honest, she asked me to do this in August but I’m such a procrastinator that I didn’t get it done…hence the reason I will never be a real blogger. But anyways, since you’ve last heard from me (a year ago) I have gone from traveling job that had me hopping place to place, to permanent job at an amazing hospital in Seattle, WA. I could not be happier with my decision to land in this city, even with it being so far away from my New England home. Which is what brings us to today’s topic: tips for making new friends in your 20s and beyond.  This can be a hard thing to do, but it is possible, and hopefully this will help!

Disclaimer: I am an extrovert, and kind of pride myself on bringing introverts out of their shells when I can. So if you are an extrovert, these will be tips on how to work it, and for all you introverts, hopefully this will help you feel more comfortable out of your shell.

Focus on your interests

By the time you are 24, most people know what things they are interested in whether it be fitness, reading, outdoor adventures, board games, computer games, dancing, and general debauchery. You at least have an idea of what makes you happy and like to do. And if you like it, I can guarantee that there is someone else out there who likes those things too.  So do your research online, talk about the things you like to do with coworkers, if you see someone doing something you like, go talk to them (if they give you a weird look, who cares, you are just being friendly) Also, I highly recommend the website meetup.com for groups that get together to do said interests.

Say yes

This is my number one go to rule. It’s the most proven (personally at least) way to meet cool people and form amazing friendships. If you get an invitation that sounds interesting, just say yes. Whether it be an invite to a party full of people you may not know, out to a drink with someone you’ve only had a few conversations with before, or for a walk on a nice day (or in the rain too!) just say yes.
Simple right? ( the answer is YES!)

Be yourself

How do you expect to make authentic friendships if you aren’t being your authentic self? This is also a simple one.

Get out there!

Go! Out of your house! Grab someone and go somewhere, or go by yourself. Sit at the bar, eavesdrop and butt into interesting conversations (you know you are listening anyways). Go for a walk or run and stop to pet someone’s dog, social interaction is important. Even if these random encounters don’t go anywhere, they will get you more comfortable with talking to people, I’m looking at you introverts! Even if it’s out of your comfort zone, set a goal for even 1 time a week to get out of the house and do something social.

Use Connections

A friend of a friend could be your next BFF and you just don’t even know it yet. If there’s someone who you think you would hit it off with, don’t be afraid to use you connections, personal or digital, to reach out. I mean come on, I know you are Facebook and Instagram stalking them anyways.

Routine

Did you make a new friend that you want to make sure sticks around? Make dates, see each other, plan things, and then use each other to make even more awesome friends!

Give Zero Craps

Not to be rude here, which I am also not saying you should be, but seriously, the less you stress about what you are doing, or what you look like or are perceived as to other people, the easier it will be to complete any of the other steps. Know that you as you are right now, is an Awesome person, and go share that with the world. If you meet someone and they don’t see it, then it’s their loss.

So those are the general rules, I have been using these a lot recently, and have formed an amazing variety and strong groups of friends in Seattle, in just 7 months. So take the plunge, get yourself out there, and surround yourself with people as amazing as you!

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Secret Blogger Club (24)

Ugh, hello, hi, how are ya?

Having no computer is really crampin my blogger style……

So don’t let me keep whining, go read some awesome posts by some very non-whiny ladies

Secret Blogger Club Title

Secret Blogger Club

>> December Instagram Challenge with The Free and Wild Blog. Y’all know I love some Insta challenges because otherwise I never post…Oops. So #HeresToYouDecember!

>> Mistakes to Avoid As a New Blogger by Sweet Tea & Hydrangeas. Ummmmmm…..I still do like all of these….except the tiny images one, whoops :/ I try to not forget to reply to comments, but I know I’m guilty of that every now and then. Life, amiright? More like excuses, amiright…..Anyway, don’t do these things and don’t follow my example….. 😉

>> 7 Easy Ways Millennials Can Save Money Right Now by Gen Y Girl. Honestly anyone can save money these ways, and with the Holidays upon us, who doesn’t want some extra spending money! It’s not on the list but I’ve been using Shopkick and have already earned some gift cards! I’d do a post on it, but y’all know there’s much better tutorials out there. Google it!

>> Getting the Most Use Out of Your Holiday Dress by Bouvardian. By adding this post to the round-up I’m being really optimistic that I’ll actually have any Holiday parties to go to…Kidding, I’ll have at least two, work and friends. Which means either I buy a second party dress (not likely) or learn to style it a second way. Also possibly even wear to work!

Seriously, so I even remember how to write? Doesn’t seem like it lately……So link up your posts so I can fill up my time with something!

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

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Christmas Traditions From Your Favorite Bloggers

Hello Friends!

It’s December! What? Ok fine tomorrow it’s December, but basically the day after Thanksgiving makes it Christmas so really December.

But whether today or tomorrow, it’s upon us and that means full-blown Holiday fever!

Obviously there will be many posts about gifts and presents and don’t get me wrong, I’ll have a few of those myself coming up if I can get my act together and Not take a week off of blogging again.

But the gifts aren’t what the Holiday spirit is all about, it’s about family and friends, being with your loved ones and giving back to those around you.

My family is huge on traditions. We do the same things year after year and I couldn’t get enough of it! I love traditions!!

 

christmas traditions from favorite bloggers

However, my family is all the way down in TN while I let JB move me up to MA this year. That jerk, making me love him 😉

But this is my blog so I’m pretty muich obligated to share some of the traditions of my family no matter where they are.

  • My Mom and I usually bake all the same treats every year. Sugar cookies, cinnamon rolls, and dream bars are a must every year. Fudge with and without nuts of course. And if we’re feeling adventurous, caramels.
  • My Dad, Sister and I venture out to Dollywood to watch the performances and drink the hot chocolate.
  • We always put our tree up Thanksgiving weekend of course.
  • As we were growing up, we all got a new ornament to represent our lives that year so we have a very eclectic tree. It’s so fun to look back over the ornaments every year though and remember why we picked a certain one.

Those are just a few things we do every year. However with my “new” family, aka JB, I need new traditions to make mine, so I thought I’d ask some of my blogger friends what their traditions are instead! I gave fair warning that I might steal them for myself and they still gave willingly. What friends!

 

LittleAslam

Myra from The Little Aslam

Every year, we go to look at Christmas lights and we always make a stop for coffee & hot cocoa beforehand. Usually it’s just Amir & I going to enjoy the lights together wherever we are and when we were in Houston, we used to go to Town Center with all of the siblings to go look at the lights and just to goof off (they usually had decor that you could take pictures with, so we used to do that)!

BourbonLipstickStilletos

Lindsay from Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos

We spend Christmas Eve with my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There are 9 grandchildren on this side of the family, and we all take turns reading verses from Luke about the birth of Jesus. I’m 30 and still look forward to this every year! It’s such a special night and it’s wonderful to stop and remember what Christmas is really about.

500DaysEngagement

Jen from 500 Days of Engagement

Family: My family is originally from Pennsylvania/New York, so the holidays just aren’t the same when it’s 80 degrees. The one thing that still makes it feel like Christmas is going to a candlelight service every Christmas Eve. Our church sings carols and ends the service at midnight with “Silent Night”, and it’s the most perfect introduction to the big day. I never miss it.

Couple: As bizarre as this sounds, my fiance and I have a tradition of going to New York City at the end of every year. The first time, we went right before Christmas and saw all of the pretty shop decorations and went ice skating at Rockefeller. The second year, we went for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and then stuck around for the Christmas decorations to pop up. It’s the best time of the year in NYC and of course we Texans go out of our minds with joy when it snows. I think it’ll be a forever tradition for us!

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GritsBlog

Ashley from The Grits Blog

My favorite family tradition is a new one that I started during my first year of marriage. We started opening one gift on Christmas Eve together and it’s just so special and wonderful! We also have a low-key pizza night on Christmas Eve then have a big family breakfast on Christmas day. Food is a big part of our family and always brings us together – but for some reason it just tastes so much better during the holidays 🙂

HeleneBetween

Helene from Helene in Between

The Annual Flournoy Family Christmas Party
Every year, since before I was born, since before my parents were even together, there was a family Christmas party on Christmas eve in each of their respective homes. (Side note, my parents lived 3 blocks away from each other and have one of my favorite love stories ever). They carried on the tradition of the Christmas party, but moved it to the weekend before because I worried that Santa might skip over our house since there were so many people inside. Each year, anywhere from100-200 people come. I most definitely tear up after a few glasses of my spiced hard cider and see all of the people I love in one room.

 So there ya have a few blogger’s traditions, now I want to hear YOURS!

Do you go somewhere every year? Bake the same treats? Listen to the same music? Spill it all down in the comments

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Secret Blogger Club (23)

Welcome to Thursday,

I seriously am so tired this week and today is only my hump day. Working Tues-Sat really throws off my whole week. :/

And guys….If you follow me on Instagram (why don’t you? Rude) you’ll know that I’ve been buying All the yarn! Why? I’m glad you asked, and no I’m not an elderly recluse with no friends. Actually, I’ve stepped up my crochet/knitting game and have been making lots of Christmas gifts. I started in October……That’s how many gifts I’ve been planning to make.

The problem is, since they’re all gifts I can’t show anyone all the cool things I’ve been making. Like seriously I’ve even impressed myself with the difficulty of these crafts.

Wow, that was super braggy…..I don’t even care, they look rad! After Christmas I’ll do an entire post dedicated to all the creations that I’ve been crankin out!

And in case you missed it, I wrote my THIRD installment of the Not a Bigger Blogger Series that wasn’t even meant to be a series!

But back to the reason you’re even here…..

Secret Blogger Club Title

Secret Blogger Club 

Here’s the round-up, stop by, comment, make some friends!

>> Minday Kaling is My Spirit Animal by Faster Than Forever. Um yes….I may only have a check next to the clumsy one, but this is hilarious anyway. I find Mindy Kaling funny, and despite not being anything alike, I want her as a friend.

>> 5 Ways to Be More Present During the Holidays by Mar on the Run. Yup, it’s time to talk about the Holidays friends. The Holiday’s are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but instead for so many people it can quickly become the most stressful. No bueno. Let’s all promise to be a bit more present these next couple months and focus on what really matters. And I’m clearly talking about the Christmas cookies, duh.

>> 15 Things to Call Yourself Besides a Writer by Avoiding Atrophy. I don’t write for a living. I write for my job, but my job isn’t writing…make sense? So when people ask what I do my first response isn’t writer. However, how does one introduce that they blog? I will forever more refer to myself as a Program Coordinator AND a Language Artist Verb User when people ask me “so what do you do?” haha

>> World’s Most Awkward First Date by Stephanie Orefice. Seriously do yourself a favor and go read Stephanie live tweet session of the most awkward date ever! I even read parts out loud to JB and he chuckled a bit so you know the bar is set high.

>> Ways to Promote Posts and Increase Blog Traffic by Sweet Tea and Hydrangeas. I’m seriously horrible at this so I’ll let Mistle teach y’all about this one….It’s actually embarrassing how back I am at this….

Now link up!

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

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Secret Blogger Club (22)

Friends,

I forget the rule on apologizing about being absent from the blogosphere. Am I supposed to? Not supposed to? I don’t know. Whatever.

My laptop finally kicked the bucket after spilling water all in it about a year and a half ago so I’ve been stealing time on other computers when I can. Which hasn’t been a lot, I’ll admit.

So even though I’ve been posting (all scheduled ahead of time) I haven’t been able to read and comment on as many other blogs as I normally like to.

I did find some good reads for the Secret Blogger Club today though!

Secret Blogger Club Title

Before we get into the good stuff, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my favorite hashtag with y’all first. Go read that here and join me!

Secret Blogger Club

>> Six Tips: saving Money (Painlessly) by Gretch Runs. Gretchen linked up with us last week and after reading her post I could’t NOT share it this week. I mean who doesn’t want to save more money? I know even with my new job I’ still perplexed how anyone in New England can afford to even exist. Why so high rent? I’m a big believer in the email tip. If I don’t see the sales right in my inbox I don’t magically “remember” that I actually do need new sweaters for the season and they’re on sale so why not? lol Go read this now you savvy fashionistas you!

>> 13 Signs Your Obsessed With Food by Bethany Georgina. Um yes….my life….I love food and food loves me (sorry hips). I don’t eat as much as I’d like, there’s the whole not wanting to be morbidly obese when I can prevent it, but yea food is my person. I found my Christina to enjoy all the food with me (Hey Nat!) but she lives in TX so now I’ve got food….that’s really sad reading that back out loud….whoops!

>> Why I DO Read Your Blog by To Travel and Beyond. Everyone is always writing about why they Don’t read your blog, so how about a few nice reasons of why someone Does. I think Macy has some pretty darn good ideas of what makes a great blog.

>> Why I Blog by Sweet Tea by Hydrageas. Now that we’ve seen why someone reads your blog, how about some reasons we blog! Mistle might be a little newer to the blog game than some, but she’s dialed in to the best perks of the blogosphere. I wish I had been as insightful when I started this whole thing lol.

>> A Day in the Life of A Grad Student by Blonde Freedom. I couldn’t Not post this after posting about things to know before even going to grad school. Skylar gives a good look into what life might look like once you actually get there.

The Blonder Side of Life
The Blonder Side of Life

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