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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wedding Inspired Wednesday {No 14}: The Get-Away!

        The Get-Away - this is the moment at the end of the wedding when everyone waves farewell as you depart to your hotel/honeymoon! If you love photos, like me, this is another perfect opportunity for fabulous choose wisely!
        I have seen people drive away in numerous things such as these:
Vintage pick-up - Source:
Classic Car - Source: Sincerely Yours Online
Eco-Friendly - Source: Candles and Such
Romantic Horse-Drawn Carriage - Source: Martha Stewart
Personalized - Source: Martha Stewart
        However, I do believe our get-away vehicle is one personalized vehicle! One thing I love about Henry, he is a fellow Aggie, my Aggie-Sweetheart. I think he put it perfectly when creating our wedding website, "I couldn't imagine marrying anyone outside of the Aggie family which is why Heather is perfect for me. She doesn't look at me funny when I "whoop" at the TV when we're beating the hell outta t.u. and she understands why I still haven't thrown out my lucky A&M hat that I wore to my first football game six years ago, even though it's falling apart. She also didn't think it was odd that we had to walk under the Century Tree together before I would marry her. Outsiders don't get these things." 
       It's true. Outsiders don't always understand our crazy, whacky traditions, but Henry does. So, when I found our get-away vehicle to present to Henry he was just as excited as I was. I show random family members and they just kind of give that half-hearted, "" - but fellow Aggies usually respond with a whole-hearted, "That's awesome! How did you figure that out!?" haha
        Sooooo.....Here is our get-away vehicle! 100% Personalized 100% Aggie 100% US! I couldn't be happier! :-)

Oh yes! Fightin' Texas Aggie BUS 12!! WHOOP!
       This bus is well equipped. It plays the Texas Aggie Fight Song, has a rooftop that can hold 10 people, and can drive around with about 20 people inside. It will take Henry and myself, along with 18 other people in our wedding party, around the A&M campus for last minute photos before dropping us off at Northgate where we can relive the first night Henry and I met, and where Henry proposed. From Northgate, we will take our beloved Carpool to our hotel. :-) It's a night full of Aggie love and tradition. I couldn't be more excited, no matter how little you may understand. haha

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wedding Inspired Wednesday {No 13}: HONEYMOON!

       If you didn't already know, Henry and I plan to spend our honeymoon in Greece and Italy....for 3 WEEKS! Whoop! Our honeymoon is one of the main reasons we have been engaged for 2 years and 1 month - and will be engaged for 2 years and 6 months by the time our wedding rolls around.

        I know every couple has their own individual priorities post wedding, such as, buying a house, having a baby, etc., that prevent them from taking a honeymoon. However, Henry and I wanted to make sure that after our wedding we were able to take the best honeymoon ever! We didn't want to say, "We will take one later", because quite honestly, "later" rarely happens. We wanted to make sure we put US first. The first few days of being married are crucial, you at least owe it to yourselves to spend a few days together. Even if it is in a hotel down the street!

         Our itinerary is to fly from DFW to Athens, then take a smaller plane to the island of Mykonos, where we would stay 3 nights. Then we would take a boat from Mykonos to the island, Santorini, for another 3 nights. Then fly back to Athens for two nights. From Athens we fly to Naples and stay in the Amalfi Coast for 5 nights (and my birthday WHOOP!). Following Amalfi, we take a bus to Rome for a few nights, then train to Venice for a few nights, then back to Rome to fly back to DFW. Total time: 3 weeks.
Source from top left to bottom right:
1. Mykonos
4. Rome
5. Venice
         We set our travel budget for $10,000.  When we started researching flights, my jaw dropped. $10,000 was not going to be near enough! The flights from DFW to Athens were around $2,000 for the both of us after taxes. Flights from Rome to DFW were a little over $5,000 for the both of us after taxes. That is $7,000 for flights round trip. That didn't include our small flights to the islands, boat rides, bus rides, train rides, places to stay, food, etc.

        So, I started subscribing to tons of travel sites. I monitored flight price changes using a website called, Yapta. I subscribed to Vayama, another travel website, that sends you deals for international flights. I got Travel Zoos Top 20 e-mails once a week - which we will definitely be using for later trips. Once a week you get this e-mail that enlists the top 20 travel deals for around the world. These are amazing deals, some including airfare to places like Ireland, Thailand, CUBA!, Spain, Costa Rica, etc. They are great deals you can pay for now and then use at a later date. Definitely worth it if you have the money available and know for a fact you plan on taking a trip somewhere, anywhere. They range from $300 to a couple thousand. Then there was Gate 1 Travel deals. I wish I had not subscribed to this one so late, we could've booked a lot of awesome things through this site. It is similar to Travel Zoo, but their vacations are more pre-planned.
        Future recommendation, make a completely separate e-mail for all your wedding stuff. HAHA You subscribe to so many things at Wedding Conventions, different vendors for pricing, travel stuff, etc. Your e-mail gets on overload. 

        Anywho, all the subscriptions paid off! Vayama came through on its amazing international deals. We were able to book, round trip DFW --> Athens --> Rome --> DFW, for both of us, taxes, fees, everything for a little over $2,000!! We were even able to get trip insurance in case something happened later. WOOHOO!
        After browsing numerous flight websites, we were able to get our island flights and flight to Naples for about $1,000 total for both us using Momondo. A website similar to Kayak, where it pretty much acts like the google for flights, searching several different website's flight prices, and bringing all of them to one page for you.

        Overall, I think we made out like a bandit to get all our flights for $3,000! Patience is a virtue, and it definitely paid off. If you know of any other great travel websites, please comment below or e-mail me! We want to step a foot in each country, so any help in doing so is greatly appreciated.

-Alana XOXO

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Wedding Inspired Wednesday {No 12}: Creating Pocket Invites

         We recently began the DIY project of creating all the wedding stationary. First on the agenda, wedding invitations! A few family members and I all got together at a local place here in Fort Worth called, Paper Planet to start assembling. We thought 2 hours would be plenty of time, buuuut we were wrong.

  First, there was some analyzing of our template invite.
         Then, we began the cutting.
         Next, we did some boning. haha Joke of the day.
         Then, there was some more cutting.
         After, there was some hot-gluing.
         Finally, there was inspecting of the double pocket invite, and cutting off excess hot-glue.

        The Template:
        Our invite was a 5x7, double-pocket invitation. Invitation goes in the middle, pockets on either side for inserts. Since we used custom made paper, measurements were a little hard at first, but eventually mastered! Each invite = 19 inches long x 7.5 inches tall. [From top left, to bottom right] I first made tick marks every 7.5 inches, down the length of the paper. We were able to get 5 invitations per sheet of custom made paper. I then made two straight edges at a 90 degree angle to ensure more consistent invites. 
          I cut every 7.5 inches where I had marked the paper, creating the 5 individual invite outlines. I then measured the length of the paper, making a tick mark at 19 inches, then cutting. *Some invites were 21 inches long, some 20 inches, some perfect - each one was checked to create a more consistent invite outline for the boning process.

         The correct thing to say is "Bone Folder". The bone folding, or boning, was done by my future-mother-in-law, Blondie, and my future-cousin-in-law, Megan. Shown in the top two photos, they started down the length of the paper, they measured 2 inches from the bottom and created the first boning crease - this created the pockets. Then they measured 6.5 inches from one end of the invitation to create the first side pocket. Shown bottom left. From that boning crease they measured 7 inches (for the 5x7 invite) and made a bone crease. Now you can fold!

         Cutting 1:
         Since we are making double-pockets you have to make sure when you fold the invitation, it isn't too bulky. How do you prevent this? You cut an upside down trapezoid out of the middle, where you will be hot-gluing on top of anyway, so no one needs to see. :-)

        You will be hot-gluing four edges total. Begin hot-gluing the edges closest to the 7 inch middle. You will actually glue on the 7 inch part since it will be covered. Then, you want to glue the outer edge of each pocket. Create the smallest line of glue possible, as close to the edge as possible. Then, using a ruler or a straight edge, press the glue down outward, away from the center of the invitation. This is to ensure you don't seal your pockets, which would make adding your inserts rather difficult.

        Cutting 2:
        All that hot-glue you pushed out through the edge to prevent sealing your pockets? Just cut it off! :-]

          This is the sample invite we made! It gives a basic idea of how the finished project will look. You can check out the blog post with details on how we made this, and other invitations HERE

        We hope to all get together soon so we can finish adding all the final pieces. I will be sure to blog the final product once finished!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fabulous Fruit Salad

             One thing I have learned during this "Get Fit for the Wedding" process is fruit is a fabulous pre-workout snack! Per my Women's Health magazine subscription a fruit smoothie is the perfect pre-workout, energy packed snack! Especially if you are a morning work-out kind of girl, fruit = best breakfast pre-workout. This made me think of my fruit salad recipe I've been making for a good 3 years now and thought I would share this delightful, easy, fruit filled recipe that can double as a snack & dessert to satisfy any stubborn sweet-tooth trying to steer you off track! :-)

{fruit can vary on season, and particular taste, be creative!}
{1} Package of fresh strawberries ($3.49) - organic are best since strawberries absorb pesticides and chemicals easier than other berries
{2} Package of Blackberries ($0.99)
{3} Package of blueberries ($4.99)
{4} Naval Orange (already had)
{5} Lemon (already had)
{6} 2 bananas (already had)
{7} 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar (already had)
{8} 2 mixing bowls
{9} Whisk or fork

{1} Start by washing all fruit, cutting tops off strawberries and slicing bananas, then mixing in a large mixing bowl or bowl appropriate for amount of fruit purchased
{2} In a separate bowl, squeeze juice of 1 naval orange, juice of 1/2 lemon, and add 3/4 cups of powdered sugar - whisk ingredients together until powdered sugar is dissolved. {feel free to subtract some powdered sugar - lemon & orange juice keep fruit from browning}
{3} Pour sauce over fruit and toss to coat fruit
{4} OPTIONAL: To make into an even sweeter dessert, try making homemade whipped cream! All you need is heavy whipping cream and regular sugar! Pour heavy whipping cream into a mixing bowl and with an electric mixer on low level, mix in sugar until it becomes thick and fluffy! Too thick? Add more heavy whipping cream. Too runny? Add more sugar! :-)

         Top your fruit salad with a tablespoon of homemade whipped cream and you have yourself a semi-healthy dessert! :-P Especially with summer arriving here in Texas, this is my go-to snack! It's delicious! Holds up well for about 3 days covered in the fridge. Great for parties, showers, days by the pool, at the lake, at the beach...and don't forget, the pre-workout snack. Super easy too!

Fruit additions: Apple, pear, raspberries, red bananas, grapes - most any fruit is a great addition!
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