Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I have been living in Oklahoma for about 5 months now and I can't even begin to tell you how much I have enjoyed my time here. Moving to OK was a big change, and I'm not gunna lie, I was nervous. Nervous about finding a job, meeting new people, and adjusting to this new state. Everyone in California thought I was crazy for moving out here (family included).. the normal response was "You're moving where?! Why would you EVER do that...". It got to the point where I didn't even want to tell people because their reaction was pretty much always negative.

But now I am here to tell you that Oklahoma is fabulous! No, it's not the prettiest state in the world and no it doesn't have beaches or huge mountains.. so what makes OK so great? Simple.

1. The people. I have never met so many kind and generous people in my entire life. Every one I have met has welcomed me with open arms and has become a friend. By the end of one short conversation I have been invited to BBQ's, OU tailgates, and lunches. I really can't describe what a breath of fresh air it is to be surrounded by such wonderful people. I never thought I would feel so comfortable here so fast.. like I fit right in.

2. The weather. Okay I know some of you may think I'm crazy for saying it, but I LOVE the weather here. I am from Northern California where it gets hot and cold, storms roll in and out, and you carry on. But here the weather is just insane. I have always yearned for more exciting weather and boy have I found it here. The thunderstorms that roll in here in a matter of minutes don't compare to any type of thunderstorm I have experienced in CA. The thunder here is booming, the lightning is non-stop, the hail is huge, and the tornadoes.. well that's a whole other bullet point. I have never spent so much time staring out our apartment window in awe watching the rain pour down and the 70 mph wind whip through the trees.

3. Tornadoes. Wow, they are amazing. I must say, I am not a fan of the destruction they cause or the lives they take away.. but watching a tornado when it blows through open land is quite mezmerizing. To think that this funnel of wind is made by mother nature blows my mind. When one touches down Kellen and I both find ourselves staring at the TV in a trance - watching its every move. I must reiterate that although they can be fascinating to look at from a distance, I am not fond of the hurt they can cause. Like the one that just recently blew through Moore... I am still in shock and my heart hurts for the innocent lives that were taken and for all the people who became homeless in a matter of minutes. I only wish these tornadoes knew to stay away from towns and only whirled around in open fields...wishful thinking, I know. 

4. The restaurants. Oklahoma City has some darn good restaurants! I think even people from Oklahoma are surprised at the leaps and bounds OKC has made in the last few years. Coming from San Francisco I was definitely skeptical about the food selection, thinking I would only be offered the choice of fast food, chain restaurants, and/or any type of fried food...but man was I wrong! Just another Oklahoma stereotype that I fell victim to! Since Kellen and I have been here we have found some great restaurants that have quickly become our weekly date night favs. So to anyone out there who is making a trip to OKC in the near future, don't be weary of the food! OKC is doing a wonderful job :)

5. The sports. Now, I will always be a USC Trojan through and through. No question about that. But I can say that I do love and respect the OU pride. I love it because it reminds me of my USC pride and the awesome university I came from. It's nice to be in a city that has the same love of football and same level of commitment to the sport. I haven't been here during football season yet, but just the amount of times I have heard people talk about the school, the team, and the excitement for the games has me convinced that I will relate. I mean couples literally schedule their weddings around OU home games.. is that not football pride or what?

Same bullet point, different sport - Basketball. I have to mention Thunder bball! To be honest, I have never been a huge basketball fan, but growing up in CA I did love going to the Sacramento Kings games with my friends and family (back when they were half way decent - sorry Kings). BUT I have to admit that being here in OKC and seeing all the Thunder fans has definitely sparked my interest again. Although the season is now over for the Thunder, I had a wonderful time attending the games and supporting a great basketball team. The Thunder is very much loved and supported and I was happy to be a part of it!

6. My connection to family. This bullet point is a little more personal, as I'm sure not everyone can relate, but one reason I love being here is because I feel super connected to my family. That might seem strange seeing that I moved miles away from my family, but I promise it's not as strange as it sounds! You see, both my gramma and grandpa (my mom's parents) were born and raised here in Oklahoma. They are the true Okies. They told me many stories about growing up in Oklahoma, driving tractors to school and riding their horses around the farm. I was always so fascinated hearing about their childhood on the farm. My gramma passed away 5 years ago and I miss her every day, but being here in Oklahoma has made me feel closer to her than ever. I know she is here with me, probably laughing at the thought of her only grand daughter ending up in good ol' Oklahoma. Not only do I feel closer to my gramma, but also my grandpa. We talk on the phone now more than ever, chatting about the weather, the city, and my life here in OK. Every time we talk he has a new story to tell :)

I never thought in a million years that I would be living in Oklahoma at the age of 24, but I sure am glad that I am. This has definitely been an adventure but I really do feel that Oklahoma is my home. I know we won't be here forever so I am cherishing every moment.. enjoying the people, the weather, and the great Oklahoma City.

Until next time..


Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Wedding Planner

One of my good friends is getting married! I am so excited! In all my excitement I decided that no matter what I was going to help her with her wedding – even if I was states away. I’d like to think that I’ve gained some knowledge now that I have been in the wedding planning industry for a few years and helping her answer questions about the big day has definitely proved that to be true.

There are so many things to think about when you are getting married – so many different vendors to keep track of, to dos to check off the list and deadlines to meet. This is why a wedding planner is so helpful during the process.. they know just the right questions to ask and keep you on track no matter how busy you are.

I could go on and on about how beneficial a wedding planner is, but today I want to talk about the other wedding planner … or should I say the wedding binder. I know we live in a technological age where everything is stored on our iMacs, iPhones and/or iPads (did I miss anything? It’s hard to keep up with Apple..), but there’s something to say about having a tangible binder when it comes to planning a wedding. It may sound stupid to some, but being able to print out a planning timeline checklist and actually check off each item is quite rewarding and helps everyone stay on track. As a bride you will be sent many contracts that need to be signed so no matter how badly you want to fight going back to the 1800’s before the use of computers, it’s going to happen. I promise you, you will have to print and sign that paper. And if you have a binder on hand then BAM anything that get’s printed has a perfectly organized place to go. 

Anyway… my point in all this is that creating a wedding binder is a great start to the wedding planning process. Many people feel very overwhelmed after the excitement of the engagement has died down and the stress of the wedding planning begins – and the best way to dissipate some of the stress is to put in alllll in the binder. 

So back to my friend who’s getting married (shout out to Caleigh woo woo!).. I knew I wanted to help her with her wedding and I wanted to get her something to congratulate her on her engagement so I put two and two together and created a wedding planning binder just for her. Now I want to share that binder with all of you. For anyone who is engaged or may get engaged soon, this binder is a good first step with all the necessary components to get you started. From there you can add, take away, and/or personalize as much as you’d like (you will see what I mean by personalization when you come across the unicorn in the binder... Caleigh loves the unis)!

The Wedding Planning Binder: 

1.   Martha Stewart 1 ½ inch turquoise binder (she has such great taste) 

2.   Martha Stewart dividers (I used 2 sets of 8 but could have used more!)
             The categories I created were:
  • Wedding Schedule
  • Contacts
  • Budget
  • Ceremony
  • Reception
  • Attire
  • Registry
  • Honeymoon
  • Florist
  • Photographer/Videographer 
  • Music 
  • Caterer/Cake
  • Rentals 
  • Hair/Makeup
  • Invitations/Stationary
  • Transportation

3.   A clear zip-up pouch – to store pens, pencils, stickers, labels, fabric swatches, etc.

4.   Checklists and guidelines for each vendor/to do – I used Russell + Hazel’s PDFs (they can be downloaded here) – they provide all the info necessary for each category

5.   A pocket folder – good to store any magazine cut outs and/or design inspiration materials

6.   Lined paper – It’s nice to have some lined paper in the back when you need to jot down notes at vendor meetings

7.   Martha Stewart monthly calendar – Since the binder is storing all your wedding day info anyway it’s convenient to have a calendar to write down meetings in the same place!

8.   Wedding planning timeline checklist – this I created just for Caleigh and Mike specific to their timeline and needs (you can find general timelines from many sites i.e. Real Simple or Russell + Hazel)

I purchased everything I needed from Staples and printed everything else :) When I put it all together this is what the binder looked like: 

Until next time..