Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The (First) Adventures of Being Self-Employed

As I was doing my daily blog-hopping the other day, I did my usual visit to Meg at A Practical Wedding and discovered her monthly chronicles of working for herself full-time. I really enjoyed her second post in, what I'm hoping will continue to be, a great series on being your own boss. This particular post detailed the "happiness factor" which so many people credit to owning your own business.

In the first few months after opening Très Sweet Designs, I have had a lot of fun discovering what schedule works for me, what systems work, and what culture I want to create. But the truth is I have yet to really feel that full satisfaction. I attribute this mainly to the fact that I'm still a student working on my BS in Hospitality Management. I'll admit it's a bit frustrating being completely committed to two huge projects, but I really feel like starting up while still in school was the best idea for me. It's like having a little safety net.

I'm actually using and retaining the information I'm learning in my courses and applying it to creating a solid foundation for my company. And instead of getting to graduation day with the sudden need to find/take any relatively good paying job to get student loans paid off, I'm starting that transition now.

My company is in the super early stages, where my main goal is creating a good business plan, implementing smart and efficient systems, and meeting potential clients! But I am planning for growth and preparing to make the full transition into self-employment after graduation. More to come!

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Wedding: Beauty and Fashion

As I explained in this earlier post, the day of our wedding was a little bit different than usual.

When it came down to fashion on the day of our wedding, mine was pretty simple. I bought my dress and cathedral length veil on super sale at Alfred Angelo. I wore super cute, gold peep toe pumps that you can see in my blog header! My pearl necklace was borrowed from my Aunt Brandi and my white gold earrings were a gift from my mom a few days before the wedding. That took care of my something new and something borrowed.

For my hair, I decided to keep it simple and just go straight and "half-up/half-down". After the ceremony, it got so hot outside that my MOH (who was amazing) fixed my hair into a cute low bun with two flower pins.

But what I was really proud of was my make-up. I have super oily skin, so I really needed make-up options that were long lasting. Last year I found the Bare Minerals Matte foundation and absolutely fell in love. It goes on smooth and provides great coverage, but doesn't look cakey. To keep my pretty pink eye shadow going strong, I primed my eye lids with the Urban Decay Primer Potion. Top it off with the Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick for some subtle color and I was good to go. I'm usually one of the people that requires 50+ photos before there is one I actually approve for public viewing, but when I opened up our wedding photos I was really happy with the way I looked. Doing my own make-up let me be in control. I didn't have to worry about an over-zealous make up artist coloring my face. Don't get me wrong, a great make up artist is worth their weight in gold, but not only was this out of my budget but doing my own just made me more comfortable.

What are you doing for your wedding? Hiring someone or going it on your own? Any products that you just have to share? I'd love to know!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Husband of the Year: 2011

Yesterday started out as a good day... that turned horrible in about 2.3 seconds. I won't get into details, but I got some rough news that came out of nowhere and yielded some pretty outlandish accusations about my company. Needless to say, I was pretty upset.

But luckily, I have the best husband ever. This phone call came while dinner was in the oven and I was mixing batter for some awesome red velvet and cream cheese whoopie pies*... so as I paced the living trying to breathe, he finished dinner, and kept an eye on me the whole time. Not only did he jump to my defense after I hung up (therefore, fulfilling his "big-strong-man" duties) but he continued to comfort me and talk out the situation throughout the night

And then, he did the best thing of all; he made me laugh. I have this weird habit of taking strands of my hair and putting them over my top lip to create, what some might call, a fairly handsome 'stache. Every time I do this, I try to see if he'll 1) let me put the mustache on him and/or 2) ask him to kiss me with this hairy lip. (I don't know how he doesn't find it attractive or at least hilarious!) After sitting on the couch for the better part of an hour and sorting out the details and the truth, I began fiddling with my hair as always. And then he said, "This is a one time offer, but if it'd make you feel better, I will kiss you with a mustache." Why yes, that would make me feel better! AND THEN, he let me put that handle-bar monstrosity on him! And I just laughed!

I really can't explain how lucky I feel to have such a great husband. Our first year of marriage has been pretty rough but nothing that has happened has even come close to putting a damper on our relationship and that makes me happy. (Note: we have also decided that when our one year anniversary does come around that we will be buying lottery tickets as a testament to how crazy the first year has been. Here's hoping we'll get lucky!!!)

*Just in case you were wondering, the whoopie pies turned out awesome!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Wedding: The Day of & Getting Ready

Yes, it's been over six months since our wedding, I'm just now getting around to a few of recaps but the more I thought about this particular post, the more I wanted to write it so I wouldn't forget. In a perfect world, I would have those pretty pictures of me being laced into my dress and having my make-up done, but then I wouldn't have had all of the awesome "pre-wedding adventures" that my girls and I had on the big day.

As you might have noticed, I was a super DIY bride. (You did notice, right?) I had the plan. And from table setup to decor, I wanted to be involved. So that morning, I work up around 10:00AM completely chill but with a big smile on my face. I ran a few errands with my amazing MOH, Tabetha (best sister ever!) and then we all (Mom, sisters, best friends, and his family) made our way over to the reception hall a few towns over.

We did everything. We hung ornaments outside, my amazing in-laws spent the humid, early afternoon hanging their white Christmas lights on the deck for dancing that night, and we got everything prepped for the rental arrival later. It was sweaty but fun. I had made a mix CD for the trip down to my hometown the prior weekend, and I remember jamming to some Ke$ha (my guilty and very hidden pleasure) while working on the reception site.

We had done as much as possible before the clock said "Seriously, Megan, you have about 3 hours before you walk down the aisle" and it was time to head out. At this point in time, I was still feeling no nerves. Just kind of disconnected happiness at the fact that a wedding was going to happen. I'd like to attribute this to the fact that I work for an event planner and had set up for a few weddings in the past but I really think my calmness was a product of knowing that by the end of the day I'd be married to my high school sweetheart and that's all that really mattered.

Still, with three hours to go, we went to a leisurely lunch at an awesome Mexican food restaurant. (Seriously, I'm not sure how I'll survive without Mexican food when we move to the North one day). And then we made our way to the hotel room to get pretty. I really had so much fun before the wedding that I didn't start getting the flutters until about 30 minutes prior to the ceremony? (Is there a world record or something for this? I may have a shot!)

Amanda, Sarah, Me, & Tabetha (MOH)

It maybe wasn't your typical "day of" schedule but I had so much fun with my sisters, mom(s), and friends that I wouldn't have traded it for the world. So there you go, a "Day Of" recap over six months later. And after writing this post, I can think of a few more wedding related posts I'd love to put up for the sake of sharing and remembering!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Creativity Checklist: Rainbow Cake

Okay, I'm changing things up a little. Last "checklist" post, I said that I would be tackling the last of the wedding projects.... wellll, I decided to change it up last minute. With my first bridal show happening at the end of the month, I spent a huge amount of time in the kitchen, so I decided to switch my monthly item to tackling the "rainbow cake".

And I decided to match it to my dessert table and make it shades of blue (like I said, changing it up!) It was pretty fun to make and I was really pleased with the way it turned out. This was also my second time dealing with fondant. I'm learning!

I probably will make an actual "rainbow" colored cake around my birthday. (I can make my own birthday cake right?) But I love the way the blue turned out! And it's tasty. I may have cheated a little with boxed cake mix but the icing is homemade! Yum!

Want to see more of the dessert table this cake was in? Head over to the Très Sweet Designs blog.