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How to Be a Bride (Non-Psycho Version) September 24, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in How To, marriage, Men, Relationships, Wedding, Women.
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They say when you are about to die your life flashes before your eyes (sorry, morbid, keep reading!). Well, I would say when you get engaged your life sort of flashes before your eyes too. You see that little girl, with a ring pop; you see you and you friends talking about what kind of dress you want to have; you remember every wedding you ever went to and how you teared up during the vows; you think about the yet to be determined future and how amazing it will be!

high-society-bride-cartoonThere is a stigma about brides and that they are crazy, and some of them do! In interviewing vendors I’ve heard some horror stories; girls who want a sunset kiss photo but also want the photographer to get their portraits in front of a statue on the other side of town. Brides who changed their seating chart the day before and didn’t tell anyone. Couples who wanted fourteen bridesmaids and groomsmen to walk down the aisle, but only wanted to spend twenty-minutes at their ceremony. Some girls think their wedding is a challenge to make the impossible happen. Luckily, most of us are not like that, but what we want our friends and family to know is that WE ARE STILL F!%@ EXCITED, so leave us alone!

Yes, I know my wedding is a year away but what many people forget is that, for a girl, this is something that has been decades in the making, so something as little as a year is practically tomorrow in a girl’s mind. When you’re graduating college, you don’t want to think about it because every little step along the way gives you anxiety, but when you’re a bride every little thing you do along the way is like a tiny party that happens in your brain, confetti literally goes off every single time. It makes you excited, and you want to think about it, talk about it, share it with someone. In fact, some days it’s all you can think about, and you don’t mind at all. Sometimes, this can cause problems with people – like, sort of for example, your groom.

People who aren’t in your brainwave see things differently. To them, there is a calendar year and there is a list of things to do, plain and simple. To you, there is glitter falling from the sky everywhere you walk and with each step a flower blooms, with each vendor you hire a puppy with a bow runs through a field, as each month goes by you feel like your hair gets shinier, your eyes become sparkly-er, and your diamond ring gets bigger. When other people don’t see what you see, it can be hurtful, because to you it seems like they don’t think this is important, they don’t understand that it’s your moment. To you the world is exploding with lace, to them, it’s just another thing they have to do in a long list of to-do’s they already have outside of this wedding.

I’ve only been engaged for just short of three months, but I’ve already battled this. So, here’s my take on how to navigate reality while still letting a rainbow follow you around:

Step one, communication – and this is nothing new. If you’re getting married you’ve done this before, and you’re going to do it again, and again, and again, and again. There is nothing wrong with explaining to your friends, or your groom, how you feel and why their reactions seem hurtful, even though you know they’re not trying to make you feel bad.

Step two, realize that you are the only one in your champagne bubble, and that’s okay. I, of all people, understand wanting to talk about every tiny, little, minute detail, (I have already planned out the order of my processional, and drew a diagram, because I could.), just keep in mind that other people might not be there yet, so make it brief and don’t get too offended when they aren’t jumping for joy.

Step three, just do it! Don’t go Bridezilla crazy, but if no one wants be all doilies and peonies with you, then who cares, do it yourself. Imagine it’s like having a glass of wine, you don’t necessarily need someone else to do it with, it’s just a nice addition. Pinterest the hell out of your wedding! You’re only going to get to do this once, so do it your way – without alienating your entire guest list.

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30 Is Not the New 20 – Now is The Time! August 30, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Dating, Finances, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, marriage, Real World, Relationships.
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My entire life I have focused on a timeline; I want to be living on my own at 18, I want to be stable at 24, I want to be married by 28, I want a baby at 30. People thought I was crazy, they told me it was too much pressure to box myself into such a strict timeline, but I didn’t see it as an ultimatum, I saw it as a map, a series of gems to collect along my life path to the age of 30. To this day, people don’t get it but Dr. Meg Jay said it best – milestones are important! 

If you want to know why your twenties are, not only, the craziest, but the MOST important decade in your life, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, read this amazing Q & A with clinical psychologist and author of The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay. Here’s a quick taste:

“Our 20s are the defining decade of adulthood. 80% of life’s most defining moments take place by about age 35. 2/3 of lifetime wage growth happens during the first ten years of a career. More than half of Americans are married or are dating or living with their future partner by age 30. Personality can change more during our 20s than at any other decade in life. Female fertility peaks at 28. The brain caps off its last major growth spurt. When it comes to adult development, 30 is not the new 20.  Even if you do nothing, not making choices is a choice all the same. Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.”

Here Comes The Stress July 20, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Following Your Dreams, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Wedding.
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A little over three weeks ago I made a solemn DLIH promise to be more active, post more articles, and long wedding_4story short, just be better. Then I went on two back-to-back vacations and, oh yeah, got a little ring to wear on my left hand. Traveling has never stopped me from posting before, so being overseas wasn’t necessarily the issue. The problem arose when all my “free” time was now suddenly filled with wedding ideas and planning. Let me just say, I’ve watched a lot of TLC and WE in my day so I was full prepared to not be a Bridezilla and not let this wedding take over my life, I also didn’t want DLIH to become wedding central. So, with my mind on a wedding and a wedding on my mind, you can imagine all other ideas involving life and writing were few and far between.

Then something occurred to me, talking about my wedding, or any wedding, does not mean writing a nine paragraph post on how to make a doily or pick out candle wax colors. What I am realizing is that I am feeling very alone in this process, this process that has been glorified by so many people before me. In all my searches online I have found all the standard advice “Take deep breaths”, “Don’t make rash decisions”, “Do what you want to do, not what your guests want”, but I haven’t found any real advice. (more…)

I Do Not Have a White Picket Fence Family June 28, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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You know when you’re driving down the highway and you see a mini-van pass with those little family stick figures on the back window? Some have Mickey Mouse ears, others include pets, and then there are the cars that illustrate seven children and make you think “Ohjeez!”. I think it’s easy for us to believe what we see on TV, families who are large, and loving and perfect, or even families who are large and dysfunctional and imperfect. Whether it’s a happily married couple with five adopted children, or a recovering alcoholic single-mom and her son trying to make ends-meat, there is always an underlying lesson of “family is everything”. All these shows we watch, reality or scripted, they all end with the same theme, no matter what happens your family will be there for you, unconditionally and always.

However, I don’t have a family like that, and I know I’m not the only one. My father isn’t in jail, my brother isn’t on drugs, no one is verbally abusing me, or kicked me out of the house at sixteen, there is nothing over the top wrong with my family or it’s members, I just don’t have the kind of family you can always count on when times are tough. I didn’t grow up in a trailer park, or had a mom who had to work five jobs to keep food on the table, I had a very normal, great, middle class childhood. For many of us, not having this strong, dynamic, close-knit family is not a product of something that happened or didn’t happen, it’s just how our lives panned out. (more…)

What is that Twenty-Somethings Really Want?! May 22, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, Dating, Family, Finances, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Traveling.
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This article really resonated with me, and everything I have felt at one point or another. Take a read, and remember that you’re not the only one out there who wants the simply things – like a couch that’s not from Ikea (that you probably failed to put together…twice). 

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Work has been crazy over in DLIH land! But I promise, new posts, insightful articles, and more randomness coming very, very soon!!!

Stop Thinking Like a 30-Something, Start Thinking For Yourself! May 4, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Apartment Life, children, Dating, Education, Family, Following Your Dreams, Friendships, Jobs and Work, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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If you have’t noticed yet, I re-post a lot of Elite Daily articles. It’s a site I really admire because they have a lot of great things to say, especially to twenty-somethings. Most recently, I found this article on how those in their 20’s need to stop thinking like those in their 30’s. While I was reading it, I found myself disagreeing with many of the points that were made. I like reading different people’s views or opinions on life, most of all, how their experiences have shaped them, and I do think that there are always beneficial moments to take from everything you read. However, when we are encouraging or supporting those who are coming up after us, I think it’s very important to reinforce positive information for all types of people and all sorts of girls. We come from different backgrounds, upbringings and cultures, so there cannot be an end all be all of how to live your life, or grown-up or shape your future. So, here is my own version of Why 20-Something Women Need To Stop Thinking Like 30-Something Women (but instead, think for themselves!) –

We have all totally been “that girl”. That girl who had two too many glasses of Pinot and starts off on her pity party about never falling in love, having a baby too late in life, never making it in her career, “I just don’t get what’s wrong with me! How is Lindsay Lohan, who’s a total mess, famous and buying houses and cars while I’m an educated, smart, caring girl and I can’t even get a full-time job, or a boyfriend, or a nice apartment?!” I know I’ve been that girl. (more…)

Why There’s a Time, a Place, and a How April 11, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in 21st Century/Technology, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships.
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Over the course of my twenties, I’ve made lots of mistakes (some of which, are in this very sentence 😉 )! The best thing about doing things wrong, is learning to do them right. Think back to when you were four, and your mom told you not to touch the hot iron, it wasn’t a toy, but the temptation was too much to bear! The second mom left the room, you touched it, just with the tip of your index finger, but it was enough to teach you that there is a reason mom told you stay away. There is a time, a place, and a how for all things.

So, over the years I’ve made a collection of the biggest faux pas, both mine and others, that I’ve seen. There are certain things in life that people just can’t seem to get right, and not only that, but it also seems they occur at more than one occasion, with more than one group of people. Here are the things that have an etiquette, whether you like it or not.

Sending out invites on time – Whether it’s your birthday, a surprise party, your wedding, or a going away shindig, people have lives and the sooner they know about something, the better it will be for everyone involved! Obviously, if it’s a big event, like an anniversary celebration, or your bachelorette party, you’re going to want to do something a little more formal, and since this is such big event, give people the opportunity to make time for you, a month, or even more in advance is probably appropriate. Something a little smaller scale like your birthday may not require a mailed RSVP card, but it’s still nice to give people at least two weeks notice so they can try to make it. A while back I got an invite to a bachelorette party a week before it was happening, I was devastated because I had been looking forward to it, but anticipated it at a later date. What made it worse was that I was on a business trip, something I couldn’t get out of, and something I could have easily rescheduled had I known far in advance. Who won? No one! I didn’t get to go! She didn’t get to see me! And much, much, drinking was missed by both sides. (Friends don’t let friends miss drinks, just sayin’.) If you are sending out invites to an event, another thing to keep in mind is those who may not be getting one. If they aren’t invited, don’t talk about the event in front of them. If they are invited, make sure they get all the details, and make sure they ARE actually invited. There was a once a wedding I was invited to, but never got a save the date, it was clear I got cut from the final guest list, which wouldn’t have been so bad, if I hadn’t already been so honored to be asked to attend initially. (more…)

The Long Distance Cocktail April 3, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships, Traveling.
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Friendships are not a contract. They contain no fancy words, no lines for signatures. There can be no mediation. So, how do you make them work when you have no guarantees and no way to prove that someone isn’t being a good pal…when you’re thousands of miles away?

The way to make a friendship work is kind of like mixing a cocktail; two parts awesome human, one part love, a shot of honesty, five dashes of trust, shake, serve over ice and garnish with a slice of free time. Sometimes, this will come out perfect, but more often than not, you’ll have to play around with the proportions until you get it just right. Even your best friends need adjustments as the drink gets old, and the regulars don’t order it anymore. New friends are always spicy and have a good kick! As they become older friends, they’re like your favorite beer, a go to, but you don’t always want reliability, sometimes you want excitement too! The greatest friends can change together, and apart, and still find a way to make the taste work.

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 7.35.06 PMWhen you no longer live near your friends, you lose a huge aspect of what makes you friends – accessibility. There is no more impromptu coffee when you’re having a bad day, or last minute sleep over because you need to have a night out. Anytime you want to see them, you have to plan months in advance, and even just a phone call can take a week or more to schedule. It’s not fair, but it’s also an amazing new aspect to your friendship you can make work. (more…)

Supporting Those Who Come After Us March 30, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Real World, Relationships, Women.
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There are a lot of women in this world who will put you down. They will tell you that life will be hard, it will be unfair, and the only way to make it is to fight like hell and not let any man come between you and your destiny. While some of this may be true, there seems to be a trend amongst “older” women to discourage “younger” women, rather than lift them up. I was never given a handout, I was dealt very few favors, but I was lucky in my early twenties to meet some wonderful women who helped guide me.

There was a night I was sitting a restaurant with a good friend of mine. The bill came, she reached for it, and when I offered some money she refused. She said to me, “SK, to me, this is a scratch on the surface, but to you, right now, this is a big junk of change. One day, you will meet a younger girl, who’s just starting out, and you will get her bill. That’s how you can pay me.” I never forgot that. The problem was, for much of my twenties I didn’t feel like the “older”, wiser, more experienced girl. In fact, the only individuals younger than me I felt I had any seniority over where children under the age of 13. Sometimes, I’d look at high schoolers and think “they’ll never take a page out of my book, I’m practically the same age as them!” There was a time I wasn’t even sure I would ever shake that feeling. What I know now, is that time will come.change1

There was no specific moment I looked in the mirror and said “Now, now I feel like a grown-up!” and confetti magically appeared from the sky. When push came to shove, I just was, I just was a grown-up. Whether it’s being put in charge of a group of teenage girls, or sitting at a coffee shop with a 22 year old who just finished college, there is something that comes over you that makes it all click – you do know more about life, you do have more life experience, and you even have more mistakes to show them how not to follow in your footsteps. Guidance and advice don’t always come from being perfect, they can just come from having seen the world, and having been royally $%&!’d by it! (more…)

Adults Need Help Too! March 7, 2015

Posted by doinglaundryinheels in Family, Friendships, Life Lessons/Growing Up, Relationships.
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Adult; a person who has attained the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible.

Check. Check. and Check. So If I’m an adult, if I meet all the necessary job requirements, if I have all the appropriate skill sets, why do I feel so incomplete doing things alone?

Imagine you’re from a family of twelve (or maybe you are!), now imagine you’ve never had a waking moment to yourself. Everything was done with you, for your, or alongside you for as long as you could remember. Then you pop into the real world, you’re out of college and you’re living miles and miles away from your nearest sibling. Freedom, right? You can finally have your own space. While that may seem excellent for the first few weeks, soon you’ll feel like a part of you is missing, eating dinner in front of the TV by yourself just isn’t what you thought it would be. Now, imagine a scenario where you come from a great family of four, a mom, a dad, a sibling. Your parents both work, your brother is an all-star soccer star, so you’ve been left to your own devices for much of your childhood. Many would refer to you as mature, responsible, old for your age. You’ve been making stove-top mac and cheese since you were 9, and you’ve prefect it! So when you jump out into the world, you’re readily equipped to just up and do things, but maybe you’ve spent so much time being alone that you want something new, something different, something that comforts you.

If humans were meant to do things alone, we wouldn’t have each other. Some people like more space than others, but the reason we have friends and family is because we aren’t meant to do everything in our life alone. Learning how to be by oneself is a great lesson, because the reality is that sometimes you will have to do things alone – take a flight by yourself, rent an apartment alone, go to the doctor, deal with an insurance claim, all these things that are uncomfortable and not fun. Still, there is no shame in not wanting to.

Not wanting to battle life without a hand to hold does not make you weaker, it does not make you less of an adult, or incapable. Often times when we ask someone for help, people tell us we need to grow up, perhaps so many times that we just stop asking for help. Don’t, don’t do that. Never forget how to ask for someone to support you, even if all they do is stand there. As long as you’re willing to try new things, and open to being brave, even when you’re scared, then you’ve already won the battle. Having a friend to hold your hand is a hard thing to ask, so asking for help is just as hard and handling life alone. We may be adults, but adults need help too sometimes.