meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0;URL=’'” / Bubble Bath & Blossom: August 2018

August 30, 2018

What Kindness and Romance Does For Your Relationship

Okay, so being nice to your partner is a given. But do you ever feel like you take their actions for granted? I love my husband, but occasionally I don’t pay attention to the things he does for me and forget to recognize those things. According to the science, this is not the way to do marriage. Research shows that expressing gratitude has a huge impact on your relationship. Feelings of gratitude make you feel more satisfied with your relationship (Algoe, Gable, & Maisel, 2010).

First off, what exactly is ‘gratitude’. It’s a word we use often enough, but what does it mean in this context? Gratitude has been defined as “an emotion or state resulting from an awareness and appreciation of that which is valuable and meaningful to oneself” (Lambert, Clark, Durtschi, Fincham, & Graham, 2010, p. 1). Basically, gratitude is being thankful for the things important to you.

To me, that means there are two ways to make my relationship a happier, healthier place. One: I can do things for Justin that are valuable or meaningful to him so that he feels gratitude. Two: I can work on my awareness of the things that are valuable or meaningful to me, especially when Justin did them for me.

Things that mean a lot to me aren’t necessarily the things that mean a lot to Justin. So I did the logical, and asked Justin. We’re currently working on lists for each other of things that we think are romantic and meaningful so we can create more gratitude in our relationship.

So far my list looks like this:
Give me a card or letter
Send flowers
Leave notes around the house
Candlelit picnic (even if in the yard!)
Surprise getaway
Make me breakfast before work
Make my coffee

There’s a range of big gestures that take some time and money and little things that you can do without much thought. John Gottman's book, The Relationship Cure also has some great suggestions! I have loved using that book to create more intimacy and better communication between Justin and me. It's like my relationship Bible!

I’m excited to see what Justin’s list has! I think it’ll be great for our relationship to add these little acts of kindness into our daily lives. And! knowing it’s something that the other wants and values is really cool. I’ll let y’all know how our little experiment goes!

(Penguins are my favorite animal. Justin arranged for us to get to go play with penguins in an exhibit! It was the sweetest thing ever!! And a great example of a big gesture that evokes gratitude!)

To see more research on how gratitude impacts your relationship and your life satisfaction send me an email!

Algoe, S. B., Gable, S. L., & Maisel, N. C. (2010). It's the little things: Everyday gratitude as
a booster shot for romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 17, 217-233.
Lambert, N. M., Clark, M. S., Durtschi, J., Fincham, F. D., & Graham, S. M. (2010). Benefits
of expressing gratitude: Expressing gratitude to a partner changes one’s view of the relationship.
Psychological Science, 21, 574-580. doi:10.1177/0956797610364003

August 26, 2018

My $6000 Wedding

The average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $25,764. I don’t know about you, but to me that is completely
crazy! My now husband and I had graduated college shortly before getting married and were wanting to
buy a house, so there was no way we were going to spend a down payment on a house on ONE day!
We set our budget at $6,000, which was more than we wanted, but between our two large families we
had 140 guests, so getting much lower would be a challenge!

I started by identifying the big things: venue and food.
I knew we needed an inexpensive venue. Most start at $3000-5000 and that certainly wouldn’t work. I
did a lot of research and found a venue that you could rent by the hour instead of a flat rate. This was
WAY cheaper. It cost $250 per hour. I do wish I had booked the venue for longer, we had it for six hours
(one of which was free because we set up our own chairs), but an extra hour or two for pictures and
set up would have been very useful. The wedding started at 5 and by 8:30 people were headed out, so
the length of the actual wedding part was great! Don’t rush your set-up and pictures though. It takes
longer than you think! Total: $1,263
Food was an interesting one. We looked into standard caterers, but they were all way too much per
person (some were $20 plus!). We ended up going with Taco Cabana. I know this sounds silly, but
we supplied the plates, napkins, and cutlery, so nothing said Taco Cabana. They have amazing fajitas.
Everyone was raving about the food, and we spent $9.50 per head for chiken and beef fajitas. We
even had a lot of leftovers, so we were eating delicious food for about two weeks after! Total: $1,445

Cake: We had a beautiful four layer cake by Edge Desserts. It might be the best cake I’ve ever had.
She even delivered it herself and made sure it was exactly the way I wanted it. I’m so, so glad we
splurged for this! Total: $750
Photography: I used a Terry Waldrop who I met at my apartment for my pictures. He was very
generous and gave us a discount because we had become friends over the months our dogs had played
together at the park. He did a great job and got the photos to us quickly! I HIGHLY recommend having a
detailed photo list. Especially let the photographer know of pictures that you really want to have. I totally
messed this up and when I looked at the pictures realized I didn’t have any of Justin, me, and our dog
Atka (the ring bearer) which I really wanted. Total: $500 (normally $1500)

Dress and Suit: I, like most brides, wanted to have a beautiful dress that made me feel like a goddess.
Who doesn’t? I had set the budget for this at $500. I went to David’s Bridal and looked through the gowns
and found one I loved that was on sale for $299. My back up plan if I couldn’t find a dress in my price
range was to look at bridesmaids dresses in white/ivory. They’re cheaper and just as pretty! Or look at
used dresses.
Justin got his suit from Joseph A Bank. He shopped the sale too and ended up buying a suit (pants,
jacket, and white shirt) for a smidge less than my dress! The bow ties for the groom, groomsmen, and
our dog, Atka who was the ring bearer were all from Bowhemian Ties. They also head great customer
service and made the peach ties for Justin and Atka per my request! It was awesome to have something
catered to what I wanted. Total: $540
(I love how the bow ties turned out! It was awesome that they could match so perfectly with the dresses)

Music: I went with a DJ because I wanted to have someone to make announcements. I went with the
cheapest I could find online. Do keep in mind, you get what you pay for. He did an okay job, but certainly
not great! Total: $495

Wedding Party and Parent Gifts: was a huge life saver. I had a nice personal gift
for each person that didn’t break the bank. Most people got a mug/glass for whatever they like to drink.
My mom, for instance, got a wine glass that said “Mama of the Bride”. She still uses it all the time! All
the groomsmen got whisky glasses with their names and “Groomsmen” or “Best Man”. Everyone seemed
to really like them. Total: $167

Actually getting Married: This is one I didn’t think about! A Marriage License does actually cost something!
For our county it was $72, but this varies depending on where you live. I had my brother get ordained
because I wanted him to be a part of the wedding too, and we only had three bridesmaids and three
groomsmen, so Justin wanted to use his friends. It turned out perfect. Having him perform the ceremony
was one of my absolute favorite things about the wedding. To get ordained in Texas is a quick online
sign up and $80. Total:$152

Invitations: Vistaprint is fairly inexpensive and has discounts practically every other week! They also have
really awesome customer service. I purchased my invitation from there, added an RSVP card that matched
from Amazon, and printed out an insert of information on cardstock. I ended up with a three piece
invitation for $62. I’m a firm believer in using your talents and your friends talents for a wedding. A friend
of mine loves to do calligraphy, so she addressed all of my invitations in beautiful script for me.
Total: $122

Flowers: We purchased flowers in bulk from Sam’s Club and assembled them ourselves. Word of advice,
have your flowers delivered on Wednesday or Thursday for a Saturday wedding. Mine were delayed
and ended up arriving late on Friday, right before the rehearsal dinner! Thankfully my mom and aunt
were able to put them together without me on Saturday! I had peach roses, greenery, and a blue flower
to match my bridesmaids dresses. The bouquets looked incredible! Another trick to keeping this total
low, use greenery from your yard instead of buying it from the store! Total: $73

The rest of the purchases were small things from varying sales and such. Like, for wedding favors, we
bought little jars and my mom made some jam and we tied paper hearts to them that said #TurningTedrick.
After all of that was said and done we landed right at budget!

For your wedding day:

1. Try to let the little things go and just enjoy it!
2. Things will go wrong (my husband got shingles in his ear and could barely stand!), but you'll still be
married at the end of the day.
3. Within a few days of the wedding write down everything that you remember happening. It's really nice
to have your account to look back on.

If you have any questions on how I did something feel free to ask! Or give your suggestions
on how to have a wedding on a budget! A lot of having a wedding without spending a fortune is deciding
what matters to you most and investing in those aspects of the day. The other big part is being willing
to do the research!

August 20, 2018

Laundry Room Makeover

Before: After:

When Justin, my hubby, and I moved into our house, we knew there were lots of things we wanted

to change. Our house is a cute one story 1300 square foot home, built in 1983. We had never done
any renovation type projects together, so it was a bit interesting!
We started with the laundry room. Small enough, right? The room is a standard closet laundry room.
French doors open to the washer and dryer which fill the whole space. The walls were a dirty white
and the shelving was two big boards held against the wall by L brackets.

I forgot to take pictures before we started, but these are close to the beginning!

We started by taking everything off the walls, so we had a completely empty room. Next came filling
the holes. As it turns out Justin is pretty good at making those suckers disappear! Painting was the
next move. We chose a bright blue! This was mainly because it’s a pretty color, but also because
having a bright color in a small space makes it feel a little roomier and happier and who doesn’t want
to be happier while doing laundry?

We spent some time constructing our shelving and the little baskets for some of the cubbies.
Toulouse was a great help!

Then came what proved to be the challenging part. The drill. (Yes, we’re amateurs!) Once we got
cruising things were moving along pretty well. Until Justin could not get this one screw to go in the
wall. He frustratedly shoved the drill to me with a disgruntled, “you do it”. So I calmly flipped the
direction of the drill from reverse to forward and put the screw in the wall. Try to do that with a
straight face! Fortunately, Justin is a good sport and laughed it off. Once we had finished putting
the shelving in we just had to put our laundry items up and we were done!

By the end of our adventure we were rather proud of ourselves. The walls were a pretty bright blue,
the shelving looked clean and was sturdy (thankfully), and the washer and dryer appeared to still work!

By the end of our adventure we were rather proud of ourselves. The walls were a bright blue, the
shelving looked clean and was sturdy (thankfully), and the room was much prettier and more

We're Moving!