Girls

Yes, It IS Possible To Keep Your Bachelorette Budget-Friendly!

The time has come. It’s almost springtime, the weather is about to warm up. Your best friend is getting married and her last wish as a bride-to-be is to have all of her closest gal pals with her to celebrate. The only problem? It’s a destination bachelorette weekend and cost is shaping up to be about $2,000 a person. Not only does your budget not allow for that, but you also can’t afford to take two full days off of work to travel.

How can we remedy this? How can we make it so everyone can afford to celebrate you without breaking the bank? I’ve been invited to a few destination bachelorettes that ended up being pretty costly, and while I enjoyed every minute of the trips, there was an underlying stress of finances the entire time.

The truth is, I love any excuse to travel, especially with a group of friends. In fact, I am doing a destination bachelorette of my own! But I am also doing everything in my power to make sure it’s affordable for everyone.

If you’re hoping to do a destination bachelorette, be okay with less-than-swanky accommodations. Keep in mind that your friends are already shelling out some major dough on travel alone, and if you’re hoping to partake in some fun activities wherever you go, cutting corners when and where you can is ideal. AirBnB and VRBO are great go-to’s for finding a place to stay. Remember that you will probably only be at the house or in your room for sleeping and getting ready, so you and your friends should be more than okay with any place that’s clean and liveable.

Compiling a list of things you want to do during your bach is a new norm, but that doesn’t mean everything on your to-do list has to be crossed off. If you have girlfriends planning the weekend, be sure to stress to them that you don’t expect everything to be done. Again, everything costs money! And we’re approaching an age where the friends who can’t afford to do stuff will actually refuse to participate due to cost. It’s no fun for you or your friends if not everyone can afford to be in on the fun!

Even though you are the bride and your friends want to pamper you, take any and every opportunity you can to offer to help pay for things. Your friends may not let you, but at least you tried – believe it or not, this gesture will be hugely appreciated by the women in your life.

As ideal as a destination bachelorette would be, it’s totally okay to find something fun to do closer to home. You could do a spa night at someone’s home, complete with brand new bathrobes, face masks, manis/pedis, massages. There are crews you can pay to come to your home to do all of that! And at a cost that’s much cheaper than a weekend getaway. It’s the perfect way to pamper yourself right before your wedding. You could rent a limo and go wine tasting for a day. There are tons of options to keep it close-to-home and still lots of fun [scroll to bottom to see my list of bank-account-friendly bachelorette ideas]!

If you can’t part with the idea of going out of town, try heading to a place within a couple hours drive of your hometown. It cuts down on travel costs for your gals, which provides a little more cushion for being able to afford doing fun activities over the weekend.

Matching bachelorette tanks are all the rage right now, but it’s a completely unnecessary expense. Instead of making everyone pay $20+ for a custom screen tee [that, let’s be honest, nobody will ever wear again], tell your buds to hold onto the cash for brunch and mimosas on the town, or an Uber ride home from the bars. [Or, offer to pay for the shirts yourself].

If having some sort of bachelorette weekend memorabilia is a non-negotiable for you, try treating your friends to a fun souvenir like wine glasses with their initials, or travel cups with their names. I’ve also seen custom beach towels, which would be really fun for a bach weekend in San Diego, or a poolside spot in Palm Springs [check Etsy! tons of great ideas].

One of the best ways to cut down on cost for a destination bach is to bring in your own food. This will really only work if you’re renting a house or a hotel room with a kitchenette, but if that’s the route you go, definitely plan on cooking at home one night. This can be turned into a fun game night, and the evening when the bride opens her lingerie gifts.

Remember that your bachelorette weekend isn’t about topping other girls’ trips, it’s about making memories with your best girl friends. Keep that in mind when you’re trying to decide what to do for your big event. Regardless of where you go or what you do, if you have all of your friends there, you will have the time of your life.


Bachelorette On A Budget:

  • limo rental + wine tasting for the day
  • at home spa night – hire a company to come in and give manis, pedis, facials and massages
  • brew bike
  • 3 day cruise [there are tons of these through Carnival and they are very affordable!]
  • food tour of your local city
  • cooking class
  • hiking
  • wine + painting class
  • travel to destination locations during off-season when prices are lower
  • ski/snowboard day
  • rent a pontoon boat on your local lake and tool around listening to music and making memories
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Selfies That Aren’t Really Selfies

As a woman in today’s society, I am all for female empowerment. I love that more and more women are holding high ranking positions in companies across the nation. I think it’s so great that ladies are making a name for themselves through social media with style and lifestyle blogs and fitness careers. I even think it’s great that a gal can snag a modeling career through Instagram. What I can’t get on board with, though, are the selfies that aren’t selfies.

What are selfies that aren’t selfies? They are photos that women take where it’s heavy on the cleavage and light to nonexistent on anything else [I know you know what photos I’m talking about]. It’s always the same women who post them – an abundance of fake [occasionally real] breasts which take up 3/4 of the photo, and a smidgen of face, clothes [if any] and other paraphernalia that are smashed into the remaining quarter.

And don’t say it’s a “fake boob thing” because it’s not. I know several women with implants who don’t flaunt them a single bit.

I truly don’t understand why certain women do this. Is it an insecurity thing? Do they need the validation that they look good because 85 men [horny, noncommittal men] commented on a photo of their breasts? Maybe it’s a cry for attention? Whatever it is, it’s not attracting anything positive.

When I was going through my rough patch in life when I wasn’t sure who I was or what I wanted to do with my life, I thought I could be friends with and become one of those women. But, every time I’d even try taking a booby selfie, I’d get extremely uncomfortable and just give up. Clearly a sign that it wasn’t the type of attention I wanted to draw to myself.

I actually used to be really good friends with a girl who was [and still is] just like this. She posts at least one cleavage selfie every day. Usually there’s a coffee mug or some sort of alcohol involved. And on top of the selfies, she posts dirty, inappropriate quotes, and occasionally intermixes a family photo in which she is wearing something extremely revealing and not at all family friendly. She gets hundreds of likes and comments on her photos, tons of private/direct messages – mostly friend men, but some from women who are like her, too. I used to get so jealous before I realized that not a single one of the people contacting her respected her nor wanted to commit to her. The men want one thing: sex. And the women validate her because they are exactly the same.

I understand that most humans go through a time in our lives where we fall off track a little. We lose our way. We waver from what we do know to what we don’t know. But most of the time we get back on the straight and narrow. We find ourselves again. We settle into a comfortable, healthy lifestyle and find happiness. My fiancé didn’t fall in love with me because of my looks. While I’m sure that was part of it, it wasn’t the entirety of the reason. He was attracted to me for my brain; for my ability to hold a lengthy and intelligent conversation. He loves that I’m not fake in anyway; that I dress my age and act and look classy. It makes me sad for these showy women to know that they are not happy. That even at 30+ years old, women can still have major insecurities and not enough self-love.

While this is obviously a female-specific habit, I think it’s a responsibility for women and men to start lifting females up in a different light. Idolizing inappropriate photos is not helping these ladies feel better about themselves. We need to show them that just because they have a body, doesn’t mean they are only physical. We all have brains, we each have personality traits, talents, likes and dislikes – let’s encourage one another to dig a little deeper and find out what’s beyond the outside. Everyone deserves to be happy and a fair chance to find it.

…And the bonus of it all will be the beautiful woman on the outside, too :)

I am WOMAN: Ten Things I Think Every [Adult] Woman Needs to Incorporate Into Her Life

Let’s define “adult” in this instance. Adult, for the purpose of this post, is a lady who’s got her ish together. Who’s got a steady income, has her head on straight, knows who she is, and goes after what she wants. NOT to be confused with a freshly eighteen-year-old who “thinks” she’s an adult because, legally speaking, she technically is.


In terms of life, I was a bit of a late bloomer. Not hormonally speaking, but I am a bit of an introvert. So as a child, tween/teen, I was shy and not at all a social butterfly. I didn’t start wearing make-up until 8th grade [clear mascara ONLY], I didn’t start wearing my hair down until sophomore year of high school [holla atcha tomboy! ponytails were my THING], didn’t get my hair highlighted until around the same time, and probably didn’t start caring about my clothes until senior-ish year of high school [if that – was probably later, if I’m being totally honest]. It’s safe to say that pampering myself was never high on my list of priorities in my youth [this might explain why I didn’t get my first kiss until I was EIGHTEEN (insert embarrassed emoji here)].

And, until recently, I still never really cared much for shopping or putting myself together. My style is always changing, and I consistently find [and wear the heck out of] the same outfits. It wasn’t until the last year or so that I actually started to enjoy all of the aspects of being a woman. This is probably due to the fact that I acted rather childish up until about a year ago. So, there you go.

About six months ago, I was hanging out with some [older] gal-pal colleagues at a local wine bar [House of Oliver – if you haven’t been here yet, you should! it’s got a fun vibe and it’s quaint, which I love]. They were all talking casually about monthly facials and massages, another was chatting about her recent two week trip to Italy “Just for fun.” I had absolutely nothing to contribute to the conversation. Know why? Because I’ve never just INDULGED. I’ve never just booked myself a massage, or decided to take a trip out of the country on a whim. Know why? Because I’d never been able to afford it until now. Well, that’s not entirely true. I probably could have afforded it, but my money was leaping out of my bank account and into other places [read: bar tabs, wine bottles, driving all over kingdom come because FOMO].

Now, I realize it’s only been six months [ish] since I’ve started to delve into the finer things in life, but BELIEVE ME, it doesn’t take long to become adventurous. And so, the ten things I believe us females should be doing on the REG [in no particular order]:

1 – Treat yoself, girl! I’m talking facials, massages, spa days – whatever it is that you need to just take a step back in life. Modern day life can be stressful AF. Even on our days off we are trying to cram a thousand things in that we can’t get done during the week. Whether it’s being a working girl or being a mom, it’s important to take at least an hour or two to yourself to reset and recharge.
2 – Try holistic healthcare. I know, I know, I know. This seems like just a fad people are going through. Like the South Beach Diet that was all the rage just a few years ago. But, in all honesty, there is something to be said for trying to heal your body without using pharmaceuticals. Several months ago, I decided to try acupuncture to see if it could help to minimize my sudden migraines and the unmanageable stress levels I was trying unsuccessfully to suppress. I have been consistent with my visits, and I have honestly never felt better. I know this isn’t a category for everyone, but I highly encourage you to try it just once. The word “holistic” can make you think hippie, earthy, etc. I promise you, not everybody who practices holistic healing is like that.
3 – Splurge on some fancy clothing items. This is one of my favorite things about having a bank account that can support my shopping habits. And truth be told, I hardly ever purchase anything all that expensive [Target is for sure my go-to]. But every once in a while I like to buy myself something nice. And not because I need it, but because it makes me feel GOOD. Whether it be a handbag or workout clothes or a fancy jacket that you’ve had your eye on for months, it’s about knowing that you worked hard enough to earn yourself something special.
4 – Do research on things that you’re passionate about. Our whole entire youth is devoted to studying and learning things that others have chosen to teach us. That isn’t nearly as enjoyable as having a hunger to learn something that you genuinely take interest in. For me, I am constantly reading and experimenting with Bella’s food [she eats raw, for anyone who’s just now jumping in on my blog]. The raw food diet for dogs is constantly evolving – there are always new theories on what to add or take away from their diet. And every single dog is different, just like humans. It’s a fun challenge for me to see what does and doesn’t help Bella’s health [Bella loves it either way because she constantly gets to try new food items].
5 – Get up early! Waaaaaaaitttt.. WTF?? No, guys, I’m serious. Getting up early has way more benefits than you’d think. I get up at 5:45 every weekday to run. Yes, it can be grueling, but once I’m out of bed and the blood is flowing, I feel pretty good. Plus, I feel so much more productive having gotten my workout in before work. That way, if anything comes up after work, I don’t have to stress about not getting a workout in. I don’t even sleep in on the weekends [unless you count 7:30 sleeping in]. I only get two days off a week, and sleeping half the day seems extremely wasteful, in my mind.
6 – Do something that you’ve been secretly wanting to do or try for a long time, but haven’t had the guts [or money] to do it. Yes, ladies. I’m talking botox, boob job, things of that nature. It sounds silly, but I know ALL of you at some point have thought about having bigger [or smaller] breasts, or smoother skin – whatever the case may be! Or, if you still don’t know if you want to try it, it doesn’t hurt [or cost anything] to sit down with a specialist and have a consultation. The true professionals will be 100% honest with you about procedures and whether or not you need one – these ones won’t be after your money. It helps to talk to people who have actually used these doctors and can give you feedback.
7 – Try new things – pick up a new hobby or take a workout class. I don’t know about you guys, but when I was younger, I could never understand how people could afford to keep memberships at so many different gyms and clinics. My eyeballs just about popped out of my head when I started researching all of the local places I could go to work out [the cost to have a workout coach is steep!]. Recently, though, I’m starting to understand that the people that go to The Orange Theory and Pure Barre actually get their money’s worth. They go every day [sometimes multiple times a day]. It’s just about finding your motivation and your niche and what’s right for you.
8 – Prepare a home cooked meal every night. Or as often as you can. This one can be more difficult if you don’t plan ahead. There’s a method to the madness of grocery shopping and meal-prepping on Sundays [now I know why the grocery store is always super crowded on Sunday afternoons]. I love to use Pinterest to find ideas – it is the true cornucopia of recipes. And not all of my recipes turn out great – some of them look nothing like the photos and have hardly any flavor. Others turn out pretty dang good. But the reason I encourage this is because it builds confidence – and not just in the kitchen! [Bonus points: men love it when a gal cooks for them].
9 – Invest in a Roomba. Especially if you have a pet. Seriously, it will change your life. I FINALLY bit the bullet and bought one and it’s the best money I’ve ever spent. I love to clean, but sweeping and mopping my floors every single day was back breaking. Literally every night it looked like I hadn’t even cleaned [and even more disgusting: walking into your kitchen in your bare feet right after a shower,] and feeling dirt and grime all over the floor – FOUL].
10 – Get a pet. It is so rewarding. When you’re down, they lift you up. They keep you motivated. They [hopefully] make you a cleaner, more organized person. I mean, let’s face it, pets are messy. Whether it be a dog tracking dirt in the house, a bird spraying birdseed everywhere, or cats shedding all over the place – it can be downright exhausting! But it’s worth every second of their uncleanliness to have their company. Just make sure you do your research and know how much work it actually is before you commit.

If you guys have anything you think should be added to the list [or removed], let me know! I love feedback, and those are just ten biased things from my own personal life and experience – obviously not everybody feels the same and/or has the same experiences.

BUT, at the end of the day, and what I always try and leave you with – DO YOU. Make time for yourself. YOU ARE IMPORTANT, and it’s important to take care of yourself. Don’t let the stresses of work and daily reality keep you from enjoying the finer [and also the little] things in life.

Miss Independent

I’m going to pre-apologize right now because this is going to be a MAJOR venting post.

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I found this quote a couple of months ago while I was browsing around on Pinterest. I immediately pinned it to my own board, saved it to my phone, and proceeded to post it on Instagram. I wish I could just post this quote in every women’s locker room, dance studio, grocery store – I know it’s cliche, but places that women frequent the most. Because women are the ones who do this most often. I felt like sharing this quote because I think it’s something that we, as women, really need to pay attention to. It wasn’t that long ago that our female ancestors fought so hard for women’s rights and women’s liberation. And here we are, in modern-day society, revolving around men like planets revolve around the sun.

Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.

Bailing out on your friends, blowing up a guy’s phone around the clock, obsessively checking his Facebook to see if he’s been posting anything, because you haven’t heard from him yet today and you’re wondering what the f**k you did – I mean, usually he sends you a cute wake up text with a little wink face on it.

C’mon. We are all guilty of this. Thank you, technology.

And what’s the deal with breaking up with someone one day, and then having a new guy literally the next day? Quite frankly, I am completely mind-blown at how this is accomplished. Do you constantly have men on the back-burner, just in case things don’t work out with number one? Are you really so afraid to be alone with yourself? No offense, ladies, but this is borderline drug addiction. People drink and do drugs to escape reality. Isn’t that what being alone is? Reality? And isn’t that the same thing as jumping around from man to man, never able to settle because you’re so lost and so unaware of who you are that you just keep trying different men (aka different drugs), getting more and more addicted to the cycle of trying to find “love”?

I can’t tell you how many women I’ve known in my life that fit this profile to a “T”. Raise your hand if you’ve had three or more relationships this year. I’ve had three relationships in 26 years. Three relationships in my whole entire life. That’s not to say that I didn’t want more, but I was so shy in my youth that boys were as foreign to me as being dropped out of a helicopter in a third world country where they speak a language you’ve never even heard of.

BUT, the complete and total upside to my lack of boyfriends in my younger years was my ability to get to know ME. I’ve spent more time with myself in this life than any man, and I’m better off for it. I don’t come out of a relationship and immediately look for the next one. I take that time to get to know myself again (every relationship changes us, whether we like it or not, and we must learn to redefine ourselves as the person we are NOW).

And, yes, I AM in a relationship now, and I love him and I love spending time with him. But I also love the little moments I get to myself. The two hours I spend every day exercising my dogs and being alone with them. Reading a book, enjoying a glass of wine. Painting my nails, watching a movie. The simplest pleasures in life that pass us by when we get too preoccupied with other things.

Don’t get me wrong, relationships are wonderful – whether good or bad they teach us something about ourselves and what we want (or don’t want) out of life. But the relationship you have with yourself is the most important one. After all, if YOU don’t want to be alone with you, then why the hell would anyone else want to?