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Archive for January, 2016

Photobooth, $ Discussions, and Spending :)

February 1st, 2016 at 02:12 am

The first time I talked to Mr Ft about getting a picture of us in a photobooth was back in 2004. Yep. The very first time around for us.

Finally, today, it happened. Just took getting engaged to do so! Big Grin

So .. here is a sort of engagement photo. (I was trying to get my ring in the photo, but it cut that part off.)

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When we got back to my place, Mr FT and I started talking budget and finances in preparations for talking to the mortgage originator on Wednesday. We've agreed that whatever assets/liabilities we each have as of April 23rd, those will still be ours to deal with/use. From April 24 forward, we will combine whatever we bring in.

I emailed him the link to my YNAB budget program where I had put together two sample possible budgets based on varying levels of contribution from each of us. He's going to look them over and see what he thinks.

We also discussed how we're going to fund the downpayment. I'm going to pull $10k from my ROTH (which I've had since 2007, and in a sense had really thought of using the money for something like this.) Then together we'll come up with another $10k + whatever we need for closing costs.

It was a very good conversation. The only thing we need to figure out is groceries. I average around $130 - 50 / month. He averages more around $200-30 per month. I could only come up with $225 for groceries ... Hopefully we can figure out how to trim groceries for both of us (like maybe I'll do less stocking up? Only buy for the week ahead? Meal plan? Although that'd be difficult with a vegetarian and a carnivore ...)

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I picked up my dress today! Tomorrow I'll have to start calling the alterations people and get that going.

Before going to get my dress, I stopped at Party City and picked up DIY invitations for $10. Also a garter (something blue), and paper lace placemats/doilies for the reception.

I also stopped at my beloved Dollar Tree - frozen fruit and cheap veggie food! Smile

I stopped at CVS too - the lady at the register recognized me (she buys a bus pass from me!) But she told me that I looked so much nicer out in public! LOL Probably because I was wearing makeup and had my hair down/fixed - don't wear makeup to work usually, and always have my hair back so it doesn't get tangled in my earpiece. Smile I bought Flonase and Nascort - both of which had rebates (MobiSave and SavingStar.)

Finally I did a bit of grocery shopping at Walmart. Some of it was eligible for rebates.

I'm counting some of my grocery spending for February - I would have waited on most of it til next week if t hadn't been for me being in that part of town already for picking up my dress. (I had to wait til 1pm when the store opened.)

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It looks like I not only have my centerpieces taken care of, but I also have teacups! The women's ministries leader texted me a picture of 24 teacup mugs she got at Goodwill this morning. Smile Beautiful!

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Some weather reports are predicting 1 - 3 inches Monday/Tuesday. Some are reporting anywhere from 8 - 16 inches, but 40mph winds. Would it be really awful of me to call in sick on Tuesday? (Won't do it, but am tempted!)

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Cashed out $20 from iBotta.
Cashed out $5.75 from MobiSave
Will eventually cash out $8.75 from Saving Star when my purchase processes. Smile

Opened a new CC, etc

January 30th, 2016 at 01:12 am

Last night I decided to open a new credit card. What do I need with a new credit card? Nothing really, except for the spending bonus! The next few months promise to have lots of spending opportunities, so I figured it would be a good time to get a card.

Which one did I open? The Citi Premier Thank You card with a 50k points bonus after spending $3k in 3 months. This can translate into $625 travel cash (hotels/airplanes) or $500 towards your mortgage, student loan or gift cards.

Hello Honeymoon! Smile I don't know if you can just use part of the points towards one type, and the remainder towards something else or not. If so, then after we pay for hotels, etc, we can throw the remainder to the mortgage or student loan (whichever we have at that time.

I know that I probably shouldn't be opening any more credit cards since we're getting close to the time where we're going to be wanting to look at houses, but I figured there still was enough time to clear out some inquiries.

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This afternoon I stopped at the rentals place and put a deposit down on the tables/linens/chairs.

I also made some more calls to catering places during lunch/break and came to the conclusion that using a local grocery store to cater may be the way to go.

I have a tentative appointment set with T, the catering person on Tuesday. (Could cancel due to weather. 8 inches predicted.)

I also have an appointment with the bed and breakfast owner to sign a contract for the b&b on Monday.

I didn't get my dress picked up today - the store closed at 5, and I got out of the rental store only a few minutes before five. Maybe next Friday?? Hopefully I'm not pressing my luck too much with alterations ...

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I'm really enjoying the little shift in Mr FT's and I relationship since we got engaged. It's almost like there's an extra sense of relaxation on both our parts. Maybe a little more security? As in, we really are both in it for the long haul.

The survey assessment we took for the pre-marital class said we weren't supposed to discuss the questions with our partner. Mr FT took that to mean - not even after the survey was done (until the PMC sessions.) I took it to mean - not while taking the survey. Smile I wonder which one of us is right? Big Grin

We both marveled at how much the survey harped on student loan debt. About 12 out of 200 questions were related to it. No option for - never had any.

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Am thinking of posting an ad on Craigslist for two people:

1. Someone to be in charge of the pizza/rootbeer floats Welcome dinner (setup, serving, cleanup.)

and

2. Someone to be in charge of the iPhone during the ceremony - so that the music gets started on time for the different things.

Am thinking for #1, maybe offer $40 (probably an 1 1/2.) For #2, offer $50 - for coming to rehearsal + ceremony, and then a $20 bonus if does a really good job.

I just am not sure how else to do the music - I'd hate to pull in someone from the few who are attending.
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Am so glad for Friday.

Ouch! Taxes and big goof

January 29th, 2016 at 12:25 am

I adjusted my withholding to 3 this year since I was having 7% of my gross taken off the top to my retirement plan. I guess I overdid it a bit ...

After inputting my W2 and interest income, it looks like I owe $364 Federal, and will get a $31 state refund.

I still need my W2 from my parking garage job, but I only made a few hundred dollars with that, so I don't think it should affect it too much.

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I got my invitation, etc. order from Vista print today. Oops. Major oops. I read it over and over and over before hitting order. Still, I missed something big. Like ... the date. Not on the invite at all. Luckily I have plenty of time to get it redone, plus I think I'd like to use a different picture (the one we're getting done on Sunday.)

Sigh. At least it wasn't 150 invitations, right?

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I checked into the catering place C told me about - $2000 min. on a Sunday. Next!

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Tomorrow I'm going to be picking up my dress, and also stopping at the rentals place.

I haven't heard back from the bakery - although the lady may have told me the person didn't get back til tomorrow.

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Cashed out for $10 from PACT last night.

Wow!

January 28th, 2016 at 02:21 am

So today was quite interesting.

It started off with an email from Mr FT suggesting the PERFECT recessional song - peppy, joyful - On Top of the World Now (Carpenters.)

Then an okay morning at work, followed by a very stressful afternoon.

I was SO tempted to text C and tell her that I wasn't coming to the women's ministry meeting. One, I didn't have anything figured out for the technology aspect of the Valentine's Tea we're doing, and two, I just was completely wiped out.

But ... I decided to keep going and not let the afternoon derail me. In fact, I decided to head over early so I could get in touch with R and work on the books (church library) before the meeting.

When I got over to the church, I pulled in next to an older couple. The wife has alzheimer's. The man is just barely with it. They were needing to get in to the church, and also were looking for the number for CH who has been having Sewing Sundays.

I have the code for the church, so was able to let them in with me. Then I looked on my phone at last weeks bulletin to see if CH's number was in it. Her name was, but not her number.

I'd had the mobile church directory on my old phone (the one that got lost last year) but not on my current phone. For the life of me I couldn't remember what it was called. It took about ten minutes of sluething, but I finally figured it out and was able to give the couple CH's number!

So I ended up not actually doing what I had planned (R wasn't there) but still got to do something that was a blessing to someone else. That right there picked up my spirits a lot.

Then it was time for the women's ministry meeting. First, I found out that we're going a different way with the craft project (so no technology needed!) Then the lady in charge of the decorating starts pulling out these gorgeous teapots filled with silk flower arrangements! And the ladies start talking about cake stands ...

My eyes are about bugging out!

Afterwards, I talked to C and asked her if she thought I could borrow some of the teapot decorations and cake stands. She said that she thought that would be fine, and gave me another idea for a place that might do catering.

So in the end, because I forced myself to go and follow through with my commitments, I ended up being able to bless someone else AND maybe have found a free way of getting most of my decorations for the reception!

I also got an idea for wedding favors. I hadn't really planned on having any at all, but these just seemed SO perfect! We're doing them for our ladies tea - 4x4 tiles with beautiful pictures/saying decoupaged onto them. They can be used as hot pads or if you add something called polyurethane? they can also be used at coasters.

I'm thinking about making 25 of them with a picture of Mr FT and I and our wedding date on it. That way people have a useful reminder. Smile We'll be buying a box of 100 tiles, but only using 50 of them - so I'm going to ask if I can buy 25 of them. The rest of the materials are pretty cheap.

Keeping On Moving

January 27th, 2016 at 04:03 am

This morning I posted on a local facebook group asking for recommendations for a photographer and person to do hair/makeup. I must have posted at a perfect time, because I got a lot of responses! Good thing too, because my post was deleted! I'd even said in my post that if it wasn't allowed, please tell me where to post.

Oh well, I still got lots of good leads. In fact ... I may have a lead on a photographer who will do the ceremony/formals/reception for $500! This includes 100 edited/retouched images on a disc with full reprint rights.

I've contacted this person to see if they're available on my day or not. It also looks like they might have a symbiotic relationship with a hair/makeup person - who'd do it for $70.

That'd be awesome if it could work for that much!

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The roads were nearly clear by after work today, so I headed out to the bakery where Mr FT's mom loved their white cake so much. (Well, it's a new location actually - the one she went to closes at 1 p.m.) The lady who was there took my information and what I wanted and is going to pass it on to the person who does the cakes. At least I've got that started!

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I called one hair place here this afternoon, but they aren't open on Sundays.

I couldn't for the life of me remember who I was going to call during my break today. It finally hit me - the rental place! (chairs/tables etc.) I made a reminder on my phone for me tomorrow.

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I scheduled our first pre-marital counseling session for next Thursday. Also today I filled out a bunch of paperwork to add Mr FT to my insurance plans and change beneficiaries.

It was SO weird!!!! Writing LAM instead of LAN. After writing my LN signature, I stopped and wrote the new signature a dozen times on another piece of paper. To try to fix muscle memory. Smile (I was using my new name because the paperwork/change won't be in effect til after 4/24 but it has to be turned in at least a month prior.)

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I was doing some research on recessional songs, and came across some really amazing songs.

You and I by John Legend
You and I by Michael Bubble (same name, different song)
From This Moment On by Shania Twain
First Day of my Life by Bright Eyes
Don't Stop Believing (Journey) Vitamin String Quartet

And I also remembered one of my favorites -
We've Only Just Begun - Carpenters

How to choose? How to choose?

I've unsuccessfully been trying to find samples of ceremonies - like how many songs/special musics, readings, etc.

Other than my brother singing, all our music will be iPhone via nice speakers. I need to figure out who to be in charge of making sure the music plays at the right time ...

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I got a call that my dress was ready to be picked up. Maybe I can go by on Friday and pick it up. Smile Then start the process of finding the person to do alterations. And finding shoes and underthings to hold me together in it. Smile

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I now have my W2 and the healthcare form thing, plus about half of my bank interest forms. So I could get started on my taxes ... Maybe on Sunday. Smile

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I cashed out for $6 from Pinecone, and it came today.

Invitations, Great News, etc.

January 26th, 2016 at 01:41 am

Yesterday I made the invitations using VistaPrint. I ordered 20 of them, plus a sheet of seals and thank you cards - all for $64.17 (after a processing surcharge.) They should be here by February 1.

I've pretty much got our wedding website all finished. I just need to get a recent photo of MR FT and I. I wanted to do it last night (use a photobooth at the mall) but Mr FT wants to get a haircut first. So .. next Sunday then.

Mr FT made me roll my eyes last night. He said to me, "I know you sometimes miss some details. So I was wondering if you'd thought about the centerpieces for the tables." This was after I showed him the wedding budget where there was a category labeled - Reception - Decorations.

I rolled with it because I want him to have some input on all this planning. Smile

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Today I called the courthouse and got us an appointment to get our marriage license a week from Thursday. They stay open late on the first Thursday of each month. A license here is good for one year.

I also emailed my pastor to get started on the pre-marital counseling Mr FT agreed to do with me. It starts out with a 100 question survey we each have to do online. I've already done mine - I can just guess how excited Mr FT is going to be ... Smile

Did you do pre-marital counseling? Was it worthwhile?

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I got great news about my brother tonight! His poor choices which led to the possibility of major negative consequences, has been alleviated. It's still definitely had some negative consequences, but I'm hoping it will turn into a positive for his life. This has been stressful for all of us.

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Wow, was today interesting at work. A light dusting of snow was predicted for today. Yeah right. Parts of the city had white out conditions at certain points. By early afternoon most of our buses were running 20 - 1:15 minutes behind.

Can you just imagine the phone calls I was getting? They were coming so fast and furious that I couldn't keep up with them, and a couple other people were catching them. About 4 p.m. one of the ladies came out and was like - I can't believe these calls. I'm heading out before having to take any more!

It was like people couldn't get the fact that if the cars near them were traveling at a snails pace, and lots of sirens all around heading to accidents all over the place, that just maybe that might mean the buses might also be having some trouble getting around?

Oy Vey!

Brother Confirmed!!

January 23rd, 2016 at 09:25 pm

While I was at church today I got a text from my brother confirming that he WILL be free the weekend of April 23/24. So I'm definitely getting hitched on the 24th! Big Grin

I also talked to the person who does the photography for the church. She told me she's not done any weddings, but she recommended someone in the church who does. I'll contact him tomorrow. I'll also contact several people I found advertising on Craigslist - one of them said they only charged $300 for 2 hours? Wondering if that's a scam, or they're really inexperienced??

Instead of doing Chinese buffet food for the reception, I've decided to make it an afternoon tea reception. People aren't going to be very hungry after the breakfast/brunch provided by the b&b.

I'm going to check on Craigslist and FB garage sale to see how many teapots/saucers/teacups I can borrow/rent/buy to use. I also found someone who rents out cake stands - can use them for the cake, but also for putting the finger foods on (for the tea.)

Part of the ceremony will be a community unity service. Mr FT and I will each light our own candle, and then use it to light a big candle. Then light the candle of someone on either side of us (probably my mom and his sister) and then progressively light all the guests candles. Kind of symbolically saying that everyone there is standing behind us/with us.

I'm thinking that this is when I'll have my brother sing "Broken Roads" by Rascal Flatts. (If you've never heard it, it's a beautiful song, and I think it is very fitting to Mr FT and I's relationship.)

I really like the idea of entering to Edelweiss - it's like a symbol of me saying goodbye to my single life (like the Von Trapps were saying goodbye to Austria.) I don't want to do the traditional marching thing (have no sense of rhythm) and won't have anyone marching in front of me.

I'm thinking of using teapots as part of my centerpiece decorations. I also have an email in to someone on Craigslist who has some beautiful light purple decorations - seeing if she'll sell me just a portion of what she has.

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What did you do for hair/makeup for your wedding? (i.e. Did you do it yourself, go to a salon, have someone come to you? Something else?)



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Confession time. I broke down today and ordered pizza delivery. I haven't done that in a LONG time. With tip, it'll be $16. It's coming out of my spending money. (Yes, I know I could go to the store and get it cheaper. I just don't want to go out again - so cold!)

I Adore the Bed and Breakfast!!

January 23rd, 2016 at 01:03 am

Last night Mr FT and I visited the bed and breakfast I was thinking about using for our ceremony/reception.

I seriously fell in love with it! I'm an old fashioned gal in many ways, and sometimes think I would have enjoyed living at the turn of the century. (Well .. not all things about that time.)

This place was built in 1910 and has a very Victorian feel to it. Mr FT wasn't impressed with the quality of maintenance, but we're not going to live there - just spend a night and use it for our wedding stuff. Smile

Here is the amazing part! By renting 6 rooms Saturday night we will have use of the house for 24 hours essentially.

We can have our rehearsal dinner / ceremony / reception all in the same place!

Also, there will be VERY little need for any decorations! Maybe some for the reception - but not much.

The cost of rental includes the owner / wedding coordinator being there for the entire event - moving chairs, and doing all needed cleanup outside of food.

The cost (excluding rooms)? $245. Rooms range from $89 to $119 each. If all 6 rooms aren't rented, we would have to cover that cost, but I feel pretty certain we'll use all of them. Even if we had to cover one - that would bring it up to around $345 (+the cost of our room). Which I still think is a steal for what we're getting.

I have a two week hold on it right now because I'm still waiting to hear back from my brother, and I also need to make sure that my grandma can handle a set of stairs.

I did take a few pictures, but Mr FT was waiting in the car (his back started hurting) so I don't know how great they turned out.

Question! What songs did you have for your wedding ceremony?

Here are the pictures:



The entryway (where we'd have our guestbook)

The staircase I'll walk down.

The area I'll stand in front of to become Mrs. FT Smile

Another part of the room where the ceremony will be.