Archive | July, 2010

Relaxed, Rejuvenated, Recharged

28 Jul

This post is being brought to you by the new and improved Calm Carrie just coming off of a ridiculously relaxing vacation.

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Lloyd and I just spent a week in the infamous retirement town of Boca Raton, Florida.  We stayed at a recently renovated resort that was located right on the beach and was the perfect spot for our post-CPA/engagement celebration/summer vacation that I’ve been anticipating for a loooooooooong time.  (Side note: We did attempt to visit the Del Boca Vista Phase III, but, unfortunately, we were unable to locate it.)

In case you hadn’t noticed by my numerous complaints and rants on the blog, the CPA took a lot out of me.  More than I ever expected.  In college – to put it simply – I owned.  I plowed through 18 hours of Accounting, Business, and Spanish classes each semester with internships and a busy social scene on the side without so much as a second thought of it all.  School had always come very easy to me.

But, when I started studying for the CPA, something didn’t click.  I struggled from the beginning.  I lost sleep from the first night I cracked the books (Which, by the way, had never ever been a problem for me before.  Prior to the CPA, I could have come away from the Sleep Olympics with gold medals in endurance, strength, and skill if there was such a thing.).  I had trouble balancing the new 25 hours per week recommended study schedule and spent many nights lying awake in bed considering giving up the entire ordeal.

But I didn’t.  I pushed through despite all my struggles.  Physically and mentally, I haven’t felt completely relaxed since I started the process.  Even after I passed, I still felt rushed and stressed.  On top of that, I got engaged and started planning a wedding.

Anyway, I knew I needed to get away.  I knew I needed to turn off my phones, computer, e-mail, twitter, mailbox, and blog, and recharge myself to my pre-CPA capacity.

Low-key, slow-moving Boca Raton was the perfect answer.

We spent an entire week eating, snoozing, sunbathing, reading books for pleasure, and playing and frolicking in the waves of the Atlantic.  With each passing day, I felt more and more of the CPA anxiety that had engrained itself into me slowly seep out of my body.  By the end of the trip, I’d wrung my body almost completely dry of that stress.  The test finally started to seem like a distant memory. (Side note: The CPA Exam process was totally and completely worth it.  I wouldn’t have changed a thing.  Yes, it was grueling; but, it has made me stronger and better.  Nothing wrong with that.)

It was, hands-down, the most relaxing week of my life.  Well, at least since I became an adult, because, let’s face it, age 6 is pretty relaxing when all you have to worry about are dollies and popsicles.

I’m back.  I’m relaxed, rejuvenated, recharged, and, most of all, happy.

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Wedding Budget: The Dirty Details

13 Jul

Remember how I promised you that I would give you the details on my wedding budget 2 weeks ago?

Well, today I’m going to deliver.

If you forgot all about that post, go check it out over here really quick.

Budget… We’re on a tentative budget of about $15,000.  If we have to throw in a couple extra thousand dollars, that’s okay, but I refuse to pay more than $20,000 for one day.

Dress…  Someone said good luck finding a dress for $500.  I’d love to say I’m getting my dress for free from my good designer friend, but no such luck.  In fact, whoever left that comment was completely correct.  I went dress shopping on Friday and the cheapest dress I found was $1,100.  Epic fail.  I haven’t found a dress YET, but I now know that when I do, I’ll probably pay whatever because I’ll be madly in love with it.  Damn those crafty designers for making their dresses so dang beautiful.  I’m sure “the one” will have me wrapped around it’s little satin train no matter the price tag.  In case you didn’t see on twitter, below is the dress that I loved last week.  I loved it, but it’s not the one.  Close, but no cigar.

P7090251(sorry for the back shot, my photographer friend didn’t get a good front angle that I’m willing to share with you all.)

Save the Dates…  Yes, I’m getting them….found a great deal for business magnets on Vista Print (thanks for the tip, Victoria!).  I know they’re not necessary.  Worse things have happened.

Wedding Party Gifts… Let me emphasize that this is a Catholic wedding.  We give people titles for everything.  We aren’t comfortable leaving anyone out.  It’s just how we roll.  We’ll be getting gifts for 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 3 readers, 1 cantor, 1 priest, 1 flower girl, 2 ring bearers, 3-4 alter boys, among others.  I also would like to note that this doesn’t include the gifts we’ll be getting for our parents which we’re estimating to be about $750 in total.

Flowers…  I might have a good florist contact.  I think she can get me 6 bouquets and 6 boutonnieres at cost or close.  The only other flowers I’m doing are 2 pink Gerber Daisies in each center piece.  I’ve already priced the Gerbers at $90 total.  This is included in the decorating budget.  I refuse to spend a ton on flowers because they’re basically a waste of money in my humble opinion.  EXCEPT when Lloyd is giving them to me.  Then they are worth every penny. 😉

Reception Hall…  Booyah.  We finally tentatively booked one.  Our church is letting us use their hall or gym.  Our church is one year old so everything is super new and fancy and nice.  Score!   And it will be about $1,000 like I said.  (Double score for our church not forcing a caterer and drinks on us.  All the other reception sites I checked out charged ridiculous amounts per head for food and liquor.)

Ring Bearer/Flower Girl Outfits…  We’re doing this as a thank you since the parents are also in the wedding.  I feel bad making them spend so much on all their outfits.

Photographer…  Fail.  I can’t find one.  Wait, I actually found a PERFECT one that we met with last night.  She was sweet and excited about photography.  But…OH MY GOSH, girl talked our ear off for 90 straight minutes and completely overwhelmed us.  We left the meet-and-greet needing a beer and a cigarette and we don’t even smoke.  She was way too intense and if she stressed me out in 90 minutes, who knows how she’ll make me feel on my wedding day.  I am so disappointed because I really liked her other than that.  But, I can’t handle mega-talkers like that.  Especially ones that don’t let you get a word in edgewise.  Anyways, needless to say, I’m still looking for the perfect photog.  Frugal Dreamer, why can’t you live closer?!

Invitations… You guys are right.  I can’t get them for $200.  Probably gonna bump this to $500.  Which I am not so stoked about because I always immediately throw invites away, so they are a total waste of cash in my opinion.  Ah well, I’ll get over it.

Things To Add…  Stamp and alterations for my dress!  Thanks for those tips and GOOD CALL!

Excuse The Mess…

7 Jul

I’m doing some clean-up on the ‘ole blog here and somehow, someway, my very first blog post ever written in my entire life managed to find its way over to your feedreaders.  I’m going to go hide in a corner somewhere now.

Sorry for the confusion!!  And don’t judge the post.  I was young and dumb….oh wait, I wrote that like a year ago.