Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Words of Wisdom from your Mom.

Yeah, I said 'your mom.' As in, "your mom goes to college." The clever retort that fits virtually any situation. I like to use this with my kids. They might say, "I ate leftover pizza." I reply, "your mom's a leftover pizza." Insert it into any conversation with your kids. They'll think it's funny at first, and then after a while they'll just roll their eyes and think you're dumb. It's great fun!

I read an article today from an old newspaper where a lady posted advice from her mom. And it was brilliant, mostly because it included things like, "white wine will do in a pinch if you are making a martini and are out of vermouth." Yay! Practical advice for everyday life!

So, I shall begin here a short list of things my kids will probably learn from me. I'm sure the real list is much longer and probably with less practical advice. Let's begin:

1. Wine is appropriate at every occasion.

2. It's ok to let the housework go a bit most days, and then have a massive freak-out about how messy the house is, and it must be rectified RIGHT THIS SECOND.

3. Moms will be sticklers about certain activities, like not letting you watch the ridiculously unrealistic show about teen pregnancy, but then will let you download a profanity-filled rap album that talks about drugs and sex. Pick your battles. (I'm not proud of this one, but I'm honest at least.)

4. It's ok to have chicken, pasta, or a combination of the two for every dinner.

5. Black always looks good on you.

6. Give too many hugs, too many kisses, say too many I love you's, and tuck your kids into bed even when they are in high school.

7. Do your best to never let a bad mood ruin a special day.

8. You can wear jeans three times before washing. Unless something gross happens.

9. Helping other people is the most important thing you can do.

10. Painted nails and cute purses are necessities for ladies.

I may have to interview my kids for a follow-up! What great lessons did you learn from your mom?

How to Sit Less.

I had an epiphany when talking to my fiance about my weight gain. I've dieted on and off to try to lose it, I've started and quit exercise plans, and I end up feeling overwhelmed and failing. I'd never really thought about and analyzed exactly why I weigh what I weigh, until this recent conversation.

He asked me a simple question: what's different about your life now than when you weighed less?

As I started talking about this, I realized it: I sit now.

I sit all day at work, when I used to have a job that had a lot more walking around. I sit when I get home and watch tv, but I used to have younger kids that required a lot more work, more chasing, more cleaning. I have more free time in the evenings than when I was single; I went out to meet friends more, went dancing, took classes, went to the park, went for bike rides... and now, I come home, cook dinner, and "relax."

Aha! The answer is SITTING.

I hate going to gyms. I try and try, and I just can't make myself do it. And for me, it takes tons of effort to clear the coffee table, load up a workout DVD and spend the time doing it, especially with the interruptions of the dog, kids, fiance, phone, etc.

Maybe instead of trying again to begin a strict workout regimen, I just need to not sit so much. Stop spending so much time perusing facebook, reading blogs, watching tv, and be more active. Do projects around the house, meet the girls for fun activities, go for longer walks with the dog.

So, that's the radical weight-loss plan for now: sit less.

I'm optimistic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wedding Post: Venue

I'm engaged, and it's wonderful, and he's wonderful! And now that we are getting married, we are planning a wedding that matches us: one that is high quality, but unique and budget-friendly. We don't want to go into debt, and we don't want the wedding "show" that many people focus on to overshadow our love and commitment to one another.

I've been reading a blog called "2000 Dollar Weddings" and it's brilliant. They focus on the idea the you can have a meaningful wedding that is beautiful without spending the $25k that they typical American wedding costs. I'll be posting about my budget wedding planning, too, because, well, it's my blog. :) And it's really fun for me, but might be fun for you, too!

The first thing I knew I had to do to keep this wedding to a small budget was find the where. If you choose a venue with exorbitant fees or catering costs, your budget is busted right off the bat. 

I knew a few things: I didn't want our wedding in the town we lived in, because I wanted a "destination" feel. Although we are holding it just an hour away, it's still in  place no one typically drives to in our circle of friends, so it's unusual. I also wanted a place within our budget, and also a place where I didn't have to worry about too much DIY or decorating, because I didn't want to stress about details. 

We are having our wedding at the Charley Creek Inn in Wabash, IN. There was a flat room rental fee that was small, a basic per-person catering price, plus the gratuity for the servers. That's it. No hidden fees, no cake-cutting fees, etc. But to have the open bar and delicious dinner and beautiful surroundings we wanted for our wedding, that meant cutting the guest list to accommodate our budget. And though we have to leave out some people we'd love to invite, we are at peace with it. 

I did a lot of research to find our venue. I looked at wineries, bed and breakfasts, and other non-typical wedding venues. I found our Inn by searching trip advisor, and opening the recommendations for every city in our state, until I found a handful that looked good. (Yes, this took forever, but it was worth it.) Then I drove all over, visiting sites in person until I found something that fit our needs. I even looked at our favorite restaurants, city parks, and even sites like frbo.com, where you can rent someone's beautiful home and hold your wedding there. Since I spent so much time trying to think like this to find the perfect wedding site, I still walk into places and think about the logistics of having a wedding there. It was a fun process, but I'm glad we have that step completed!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

How to make people like you.

I have a friend, let's call him Bill, who you can't help but like. Everyone does. And here's why:

He makes everyone feel important.

He's always smiling, always positive, and always treats the person he is talking to like what they are saying is the most important thing anyone has ever said. He rarely talks about himself unless asked, and he always asks about YOU.

He has a very prestigious job, but you wouldn't know it by talking to him, because he's humble. He doesn't begin conversations with new people by talking about what he does for a living. He asks about them. And if you ask what he does, he'll tell you, but not in a way that seems that he thinks he is any more important than anyone else.

These may seem like simple things, but I assure you, they are not. I've been trying to be more like him since I met him, and frankly I'm still not very good at it. It takes practice. But the key is, you must be sincere.

I read, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie several years ago, and read it again every couple years. It's amazingly brilliant, yet not complex.  I highly recommend it. It teaches you how to be more like Bill.
Best book ever. 

If you want more people to like you, or you want to be more successful at work, or you want a better relationship, or you want to get more dates, read this book. Make other people feel important. You'll be amazed at how people become drawn to you.

“Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ''Make me feel important.'' Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.” -Mary Kay Ash