May 2011 Archive

Couples Counselling 101 {Married Life}
Happy Memorial Day my sweet blogettes! Hopefully everyone had a lovely long weekend of rest and relaxation and are feeling rested for a new week ahead. Andrew and I started a new little team building exercise with one another last night and I wanted to share it with you all today. Lately I’m finding that running the blog, catering to my clients (which is my first priority) and taking some time alone for just myself is leaving little room for husband or for ‘us’ time. And I told myself prior to getting married that I would never ever let anything get in the way of maintaining a solid and meaningful marriage. So yesterday I suggested to Apb, that we hold our own sort of couples counselling every Sunday night in an effort to strengthen our relationship. Below is what we’re doing and I have to admit, I am so totally in love with this new little routine in our lives.

On Sunday night Andrew and I both sit down and have to offer up a personal resolution or goal to reach or maintain for the upcoming week. It can be as lofty or as small as possible, but the point is to strive for something that is important on a personal level as opposed to something that may benefit our relationship together. For example, I could say “This week my resolution is to skip any pasta dinners,” (a toughie for me) or “This week I want to have my laptop shut down by 5:00 pm everyday unless an emergency should arise” (yet again another toughie for me). Andrew may set a professional goal relating to work or a goal to keep his closest more organized but the point is to keep things tailored to yourself and relevant to life as your own person.
Then we both come up with a goal that caters to both of us as a couple. This could be “This week we will eat breakfast together every morning.” Or “For the next seven days I will take out all of the trash without you asking,” but the goal is meant to benefit us as husband and wife. Once we both share our suggested goal we mutually decide which one we like better and figure out if our goals can somehow be combined (i.e. my goal of Andrew watching less TV at night and his goal of me on my computer less could mean a couple’s goal of less technology after 8:00 pm). We date and write our goals down in a little notebook so that next week when we regroup we can discuss how we think we did. Below I’ve listed our goals for this week (we started small)
Rhi – To drink a minimum of 2 to 3 full bottles of water per day (to reduce my daily terrible headaches)
Andy – To work out a minimum of three times this week (since we have snazzy new gym memberships)
Couple’s Goal – To go out for sushi and see the Hangover 2 on Tuesday with no excuses or reschedules!
What do you think guys? Is this something you think you chicks think you could do with your significant others? Do you think mini resolutions set on a weekly basis are easier to follow than something set long term? I’d love to hear what you think!
Friday Wrap Up

First of all, did you guys happen to catch this wedding over on Once Wed by mastermind Jose Villa? From observation, it looks like three of the six bridesmaids are wearing Louboutons. Which makes me slightly (ok, incredibly) jealous. Secondly, I don’t know about any of you but I am pretty thrilled it’s finally Friday. This past week sort of dragged on for me so this weekend I am hoping to take a little time aside to just relax and unplug. Besides, with the beautiful weather we’ve been blessed with lately how could I not take advantage of mister sunny? Here’s to hoping that all of you do the same this holiday weekend.
In other news, there were tons of gorgeous posts over here this week so hopefully you didn’t miss out on too much. And even better, I have so many fabulous things coming to you soon, like the big girl cave reveal (wait until you see the rug I bought!), some teasers for an upcoming Inspiration Shoot, and finally (this has been a tough secret to keep!) a freshened up look over here as Hey Gorg makes the much needed and anticipated move to WordPress. You faithful Hey Gorg-ers are going to just adore the fun new look, improved navigation and usability over here, I promise! As usual, here’s a look back at this week:

{Monday} This pretty peach-hued fete kick-started the week
{The Biz} Be sure to check out the latest cave progress post
{Tuesday} Wedding. Vera Wang. Need I say anything else?
{Pep-Talk} Probably one of my fave pep-talks I’ve eva done!
{Wednesday} A DIY rustic Michigan wedding full of charm
{Thursday} A whole lotta romance in this sweet engagement
{Friday}  A reader needs your help with advice, pretty please!

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Lovely Links Around the Web

{Soak} In this bad boy. Obviously the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.
{Shriek} Is exactly what I did when I came across this calligrapher.
{Hugs} To this lovely chick for having her work featured on SMP!
{Etsy} Never ceases to amaze me with it’s loveliness. And pretties.
{Bake} I made these this week. And didn’t regret it for one second.
{Look} Over here. If you wanted to know a little more about moi!

FAQ Friday; MOH Duties and Bridal Showers
The problem, sent via one of my dear readers: “What do you do when you’re the maid of honor (for your little sister’s wedding, nonetheless) and find out that the shower you are throwing is the only shower the bride and groom get and your little old budget can’t support her huge guest list? I am having that issue right now. I wanted to throw my sister and her fiance a co-ed shower in a backyard with games, beer, grilling, etc for our friends. But come to find out no one else is throwing her one, so now it’s every immediate family member and friend within driving distance. I can’t afford it. Eeek!” Photo via here.

This is tricky now that I think about it. Because anything involving family, money (and not having enough of it) is sort of a touchy subject. Then throw in anything relating to your little sister’s wedding and you have a situation you’ll most likely want to tread lightly on. That stated, there are surely ways to throw a memorable shower in your sister’s honour without breaking the bank and most importantly, while still staying classy and keeping guests happy. Read more below for my take on the situation!
{Suggest a Potluck} A potluck? For a bridal shower? I know what you’re thinking, really Rhi how tacky are you. But hold up people! Some of the best parties I’ve ever been to have been potlucks. Because first and foremost, there is always an abundance of food in endless variations; it’s like the best buffet you could ever eat at. And secondly when people are invited to a potluck they always whip up their favourite and most delicious dishes. Which means guaranteed – and free! – yumminess. Plus, if you’re shooting for a coed backyard barbecue I really couldn’t imagine anything better than a potluck; men could bring the meat, chips, condiments and beer and the girls could bring the salads, desserts, fruit platter and drinks. Send me an invite too please.

{Talk to Your Sister} Communication, as I’ve reiterated over here many times, is the key to having anything run smoothly. So talk to your sis. I’m not saying to sit her down and tell her there’s no way you can afford the bridal shower of her dreams because sometimes the brutal truth really isn’t needed. But instead let her know that with a little clever planning you’re hoping to make her day really special. Ask her what elements of a bridal shower are most important to her and her fiance so you can make sure your efforts and the little money you do have to contribute is spent on things that she will most appreciate and love. Great games? Killer snacks? A signature drink? Festive decorations? Instead of spreading yourself thin in every single area focus in your efforts on a few different elements to make both guests feel comfortable and your sister and her fiance, happy.

{Ask For Help} Just because you’re the Maid of Honour doesn’t mean everyone else is exempt from lending a hand. Check in with family members, parents of the bride and groom, the other bridesmaids, kind and generous friends; everyone and anyone who may be able to contribute to making the day a success. When it comes to weddings most people are more than often willing to help out where needed even if means donating a chunk of change or a few hours of their time to organize, cook, grill, set up, entertain or tear down. And remember, regardless of if the shower ends up being a backyard potluck sans flower arrangements, a rocking DJ and a bartender, your sis and soon to be brother in law will appreciate your support and love.

Thoughts, friends?

Romantic San Rafael E-session by Volatile Photography
Julia and Seth are one of those couples that just ooze genuine sweetness and romance. As I scrolled through the dozen of images from their intimate San Rafael engagement session there wasn’t one photo that I didn’t find myself nearly lost in. Their expressions, their mannerisms, their interactions together are just so real and sweet to me and I hope you’ll feel the same way. Oh and how gorgeous is Julia? I can’t wait to see her rock a wedding gown in just a few short months. A giant thank you to the wonderful Kristy over at Volatile Photography for sending this session my way. Happy Thursday everyone!

{Julia and Seth’s Love Story} Seth and I grew up in the same town but didn’t meet until 4 1/2 years ago through mutual friends. Neither one of us was looking for anything serious as Seth was moving to LA in seven months and I was finishing paralegal school but before we knew it we were inseparable and got teased by friends constantly for our public displays of affection. The summer months flew by and at a friend’s wedding a month before Seth left for LA, he pulled me aside as the rest of the party was dancing to say “I’m crazy in love with you.” I still remember how the tears felt the day he left, but soon enough I followed him to LA. We both worked hard at following our dreams there, but missed home tremendously so we decided to move back home. While in Maui with Seth’s family the week before we moved home he swept me off my feet and proposed to me on a beach at sunset. We are getting married in September under the trees in Tahoe and plan to dance the night away with our closest family and friends. We fall more and more in love each day and every moment he takes my breath away.
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Photography: Kristy Ahumada of Volatile Photography / Venue: St. Vincent School for Boys, San Rafael, California / Julia’s dress: Oh La Loft, Petaluma, California / Flowers: Trader Joes
PepTalk Tuesday {Balancing Work and Play with Your Significant Other}
Someone sent me this little tidbit of a dilemma a few weeks ago and I’ve been patiently waiting (or rather, she’s been patiently waiting) for me to address it. Said reader was hoping I could share my advice on merging my life and my husbands together since she correctly assumed that he works a 9 – 5 and I work a primarily demanding nights and weekends kind of gig. She’s interested in hearing how I, and of course how all of you out there, handle the demands of irregular job schedules in a relationship. And I am so glad she asked :) Below are a few of the things I try to do to find balance between work and love.
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{Set Aside Date Nights} One thing Apb and I have tried to do (and I say tried because lately this has been a toughie to uphold) is set aside one day or night a week that is specifically devoted to date night or alone time for the both of us. We then both understand that come every Thursday evening, we’ve previously arranged to free our schedules of appointments or priorities because this is one night we have specifically set aside for the two of us. And date night doesn’t have to mean getting dressed up and going to a fancy restaurant but it might mean turning off our laptops and cell phones and sitting on the couch together to watch our favorite show or a DVR-ed movie with a glass of wine. It’s incredible how much this one night a week just being together without external distractions, can make a difference in allowing you to feel connected to your significant other.

{Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder} Andrew and I spent two years of our engagement and the first four months of our marriage apart. And I don’t mean apart like “Yo babe I’ll see you this weekend” I mean like “Hey babe I’m over here in a different country, I’ll see you in a few months when flights get cheaper” kind of thing. It was a brutal, lonely, frustrating and at times downright crappy time but it most of all made me realize how sure I was that at the end of the tunnel was our metaphorical light for happily ever after. I’m not saying to suck it up if you and your significant other do have irregular work schedules but rather than feel defeated, instead embrace your own individual lives so that when you do find time to do things together, it’ll be that much sweeter. I know when I spend a few days away from Apb handling my responsibilities and him managing his, I get really giddy just thinking of how excited I am to spend time with him again; whenever that may be.

{Be The Partner You Want to Be With} Wait a sec Rhi, wha? I know that sounds way too confusing. But let me explain because this little piece of advice is for anyone in a relationship regardless of when and if you or your spouse work at all. Too often people get into a long term relationship or marriage to find that things get a little too comfortable and you no longer find it necessary to do things you may have done in the beginning stages of the relationship. It could be caring less about your physical appearance, forgetting to leave love notes on the counter, texting less “just because I love yous,” but essentially sometimes we put in less effort in our relationships while still having the same expectations of our partner. Irregular work schedules are common and at times inevitable, so rather than feel upset over your given circumstances, embracing the love you have for your partner and being the best version of yourself for them is a sure fire way to get the most out of your relationship.
Let’s hear it blogettes; your tricks and tips for merging work schedules with your significant other!