10 Wedding Tips from a Just-Married Gal

So…I’m married!! And the wedding was AWESOME. Getting married in my parents’ backyard was quite the undertaking but it was so worth it for how amazing everything turned out.

Looking back, I have a few tips for future brides:

  1. Try out your first dance song ahead of time. We had picked the song “At Last” by Etta James about a year before we got married. It wasn’t until we drunkenly tried it out in our living room two weeks before the big day that we realized it was way too slow and totally not us.
  2. Don’t DIY everything. At a certain point in time, it’s really important to give yourself a break. We had planned to make our bouquets the day before the wedding, but last minute I decided I didn’t want us to stress over it. I was fortunate to have a friend of a friend who was able to arrange them and we picked up the flowers ahead of time.
  3. Keep your future hubby involved. Go over the major timeline items with him and let him know what’s what and the significance of each. You might have to do this a couple times in the hopes that at least 50% sticks.
  4. Garters come in two! You will have two garters…one to keep and one to throw. Make sure your future hubby knows which one to toss (the one further down your leg and closest to him).
  5. Re-communicate any important details with your vendors the week of the wedding. It was really important to me that we had an anniversary dance that started with my grandparents who had been married 51 years. They had picked the song “Something” by the Beatles but our DJ thought that meant anything by the Beatles and he didn’t happen to have the right song the night of. Luckily my grandparents quickly picked out Hey Jude and started off the dance floor, but I wish I had discussed this is further detail with our DJ ahead of time.
  6. Make sure your immediate family knows to sit in the reserved section. We didn’t have anyone to tell our families, so no one ended up sitting in the front row except our parents…oops! If I could do it again, I would have our younger cousins, who know our family, guide my grandparents to their seats.
  7. Take pictures with your bridesmaids on our phone. I barely have any photos of us because I left it all to the photographer to take care of. This is great and all because I know they’ll be awesome, but waiting 5-10 weeks for professional photos with your girls is way too tough.
  8. Hire a day of event coordinator. I cannot stress this enough. If your venue doesn’t have someone to set the tables and add your decor, you need to hire someone to at least coordinate this on the day of. I used to intern as a wedding planner and I saw so many families struggling to do all the last minute tasks on the day of the wedding. Let your mom, aunt, and grandma enjoy your special day too!
  9. Stick with your hubby for the night. My husband and I host a lot of parties and we always joke that we never see each other during them. While this is okay for any other day, try your best to stick together and get as many photos with your guests as you can. We talked about this ahead of time but still ended up being separated most of the night except on the dance floor. Another thing to note…it you want posed photos with guests other than your family (versus just candids), make sure to let your photographer know ahead of time.
  10. Don’t sweat the small stuff…or the big stuff. With so many details, things are bound to go wrong or not as planned. I promised myself that starting the week of the wedding, I wasn’t going to stress about details and would go along with pretty much any suggestions or questions asked of me. Whatever makes life easier for you, your family and wedding party, do it. And like everyone says, no one will notice what goes wrong except a couple people so you may as well just relax and enjoy every minute because it really does go by way too quickly!

Happy planning!

ClaudettesCorner

Advertisements

Shaved Beef, Potato & Arugula Salad

Thanks to a Trader Joe’s taster, I’ve discovered a super easy, filling and delicious salad that I have to share with everyone who didn’t get a sample from the Aliso Viejo location that day…so probably everyone.

Matt has a no-salad-for-dinner rule because he’s always hungry 30 minutes later so any time I can pack enough protein and carbs in one, I’m all for it…especially when it takes 15 minutes to make.

Ingredients:

  • Shaved beef (new Trader Joe’s item)
  • Mini potatoes cut in chunks
  • Arugula
  • Horse radish
  • Ranch dressing

Instructions:

  1. Cook the potatoes and season with a pinch of salt and pepper by steaming and throwing on the skillet with some olive oil.
  2. In a skillet, cook the shaved beef. This basically involves tossing it around in some olive oil until it’s cooked to how you like it (i.e. medium rare).
  3. Mix 1 part horse radish to 2 parts ranch dressing.
  4. Toss everything in a bowl and voila!

If you try it out, I’d love to know what you think!

 

ClaudettesCorner

 

Yellowstone National Park: A 3 Day Itinerary

First of all, if you haven’t been, you should go.

Yellowstone is basically a big figure 8 so you can take in the entire park over a few days. The park is completely magical, with an incredible amount of variation in the landscape at every turn.

We flew into Bozeman, MT and drove down through West Yellowstone. Below is a map of our route through the park; Day 1 = Red; Day 2 = Purple; Day 3; Orange. We originally planned to skip Canyon to Norris to Mammoth Hot Springs, but due to an accident, we ended up doing some backtracking on Day 3. Turns out the route from Norris to Mammoth is the least popular which worked in our favor since we loved the scenery and seclusion on our stops.

FullSizeRender

 

What to See & Do

Sunrise over Lamar Valley. The amount of wildlife waking up and cruising around at that time was unlike anything. It was silent, pitch black and honestly a little scary driving over there from Roosevelt Lodge, especially since we woke up an extra hour early because the waitress thought the sun rose earlier than it did. Once we finally started to see a little bit of pale blue light rippling across the valley, we were amazed by the enormity and beauty. Not only that, but we heard and partially saw a bear just down by the river. By partially, I mean it was still dark so we saw a big hunched over animal that were assumed was a bison until we heard the sound it made.

Tower Falls. Two words. Truly EPIC.

Wraith Falls. This was a much more secluded waterfall which we liked a lot! It was raining when we walked up the trail and bright and sunny coming down. You never know what you’re gonna get!

Yellowstone River.

Roosevelt to Canyon. This drive was a trip! We went from a hot and sunny hike at Tower Falls to wind & snow at 10,000 ft near Mt. Washburn.

Tons of wildlife. Over the course of our 3 days in the park, we saw turkeys, elk, antelope, wolves (well, Matt saw 2 but I didn’t get a glimpse), a bear, and seriously hundreds of bison.

Where to Eat

Lake Lodge. We came here for dinner but I would definitely recommend going during the day for lake front views. It’s “fancy” for Yellowstone and there was a wait, so make sure to reserve your table or come early.

Old Faithful Lodge. Matt’s dad instructed us to drink a beer at the bar. We got mixed up and went to the other Old Faithful hotel across the way which wasn’t that exciting, so I recommend taking him up on his suggestion.

Roosevelt Lodge. There’s only one place to eat here so you don’t have a choice but I would recommend it if you’re staying there or not. I am now addicted to smoked trout, which I didn’t know was a thing. They also have the best huckleberry pancakes.

Where to Stay

There are lodges and cabins around the park that are very affordable ($75-$100 per night), but you have to book ahead.A lot of people stay in the town just outside of Mammoth Hot Springs and commute in, but we absolutely loved being able to spend each night in the park.

Lake Cabins. We loved waking up in the morning and walking out of our cabin and straight over to Yellowstone Lake. The lodge has a camp style breakfast and amazing views of the lake as well.

Roosevelt Lodge. We may or may not have smoked out our cabin with our wood burning stove but this place was so peaceful to stay at. My favorite part was watching a herd of bison trek their way in a single file line at sunset while we sipped on beer in rocking chairs on the front porch of the main lodge. I mean, what else can you ask for?

Mammoth Hot Springs. By far the most upgraded cabin we stayed in, our cabin was in the semi-large and busy town of Mammoth Hot Springs. There are a few places to eat here as well as hiking trails and of course, the hot springs within walking distance.

Bison cruising around the valleyGrand Prismatic SpringSomewhere along Morris to MammothEn route to Wraith FallsMammoth Hot SpringsAnother view of Yellowstone River

Next time we go back, we plan to check out Grand Teton National Park and leave Yellowstone through Beartooth Highway and back up to Bozeman. We can’t wait to come back!

 

ClaudettesCorner

DIY Pressed Juicery Cleanse

When my friend Kala asked me if I wanted to do a juice cleanse with her, I was skeptical and nervous. I am the queen of snacking and essentially eating all day long. But I’ve always been curious about these multi-day cleanses, so I decided to give it a shot in order to give my body a hard reset before jumping into the final 3.5 months of wedding body-ready health & wellness.

However, instead of spending $129 at Pressed Juicery on a 3-day cleanse*, I told her I would figure out how to DIY it ourselves. Using the Pressed Juicery ingredients as inspiration, I structured the cleanse like a couple others I had read about online…greens, citrus, greens, spicy lemonade, CAR, and almond.

Overall, prepping for the cleanse took 1 hour and 50 minutes start to finish. Two hours if you count showering off all the veggie leftovers on me. It was extremely messy. Especially on juice 5 & 6 when I started getting lazy and letting some of the juice pour out of the bottle and into the sink…and floor. Whoops.

I spent $58.13 on the ingredients at Trader Joes, realizing later that Ralphs would have been much cheaper. Duly noted.

*Kala later told me that Pressed Juicery sometimes has specials on their 3-day cleanses for $69. In that case, I would recommend going with that if it’s available and skipping the whole juicing out of your kitchen “messy” method.

The Cleanse

I wasn’t feeling in tip top shape after a fairly aggressive weekend, so I ended up only doing the cleanse for one day, and freezing the rest of the bottles. This turned out to be a good thing because I don’t think I could ever not eat solid food for 3 days straight.

On my one day cleanse, I have never peed so much in my life. Crazily enough, I was down 3.5 lbs by 5 pm. How ’bout that water weight? Since then, I swear my stomach  shrank so I’ve eating more proportional amounts and much healthier overall. One day was pretty easy and did the trick. I’ll take it!

 

Recipes

Couple tips first.

  1. When juicing, make the CAR juice last so the carrots don’t take over any of your other juices.
  2. Also, dates have pits – at least the ones I got. Take them out before blending. Again…whoops!
  3. Make each juice and divide into 3 bottles + fill to top with filtered water.
  4. You will definitely need a juicer to make this happen.
  5. If you want to do a one day cleanse, just cut the recipes below by 1/3.

Juice 1: Green 1

  • 12 stalks celery
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 handfuls kale
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 small handfuls parsley
  • 3 large leaves romaine
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • Sea salt – a pinch

Juice 2: Citrus

  • 6 large green apples
  • 3 lemon
  • 1 small handful of mint
  • 5 pineapple
  • 5 cucumbers

Juice 3: Green 2

  • 6 large green apples
  • 12 stalks celery
  • 5 cucumbers
  • 3 handfuls kale
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 small handfuls parsley
  • 3 large leaves romaine
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • 1 small ginger root

Juice 4: Spicy Lemonade

  • 3 lemons
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 3 pinches of cayenne pepper

Juice 5: CAR

  • 6 red apples (fuji or another)
  • 3 Carrot
  • 3 Lemon
  • 1 large ginger root

Juice 6: Chocolate Almond (mix in blender)

  • 7/8 full bottle of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp cacao
  • 9 dates
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 pinches of sea salt

The Rules

Schedule: Drink juices at 9 am | 11 am | 1 pm | 3 pm | 5 pm | 7 pm

  • 3 day pre-cleanse: start drinking 8 glasses of water per day & eliminate unhealthy foods
  • 3 day post-cleanse:
    • Day 1: add in fruits, greens, 8 glasses of water
    • Day 2: add in nuts, gluten-free grains (brown rice), yogurt & eggs
    • Day 3: add in meats, fish, gluten grains
  • Caffeine: Green Tea only
  • If you must eat, eat only organic fruits, veggies, nuts & seeds
  • Limit exercise – walks, yoga, stretching

Start out the day with a glass of water with lemon (cut up slices from last lemon and bring to work)

Shopping List

  • 12 green apples
  • 6 red apples
  • 16 lemons
  • 2 pineapples
  • Ginger
  • 1 bag kale
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1 bag romaine
  • 7 cucumbers
  • 24 stalks celery
  • 1 bushel of mint
  • 3 large carrots
  • 9 dates
  • Honey
  • Cacao powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sea Salt
  • Almond milk

Extra snacks & things:

  • Almonds
  • Celery
  • Berries
  • Straws
  • Water bottles

 

Overall, I think the cleanse was a great way to purge the toxins and start me on a solid health spree. I plan to split the last two days of the cleanse later this summer when I’m feeling I need it. If you can stomach to do three days, more power to ya!

 

ClaudettesCorner

 

What’s On Repeat? (Summer Playlist 2017)

In the spirit of the sunny summer days ahead, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite songs right now. Most of these aren’t exactly “new” but nevertheless, I can’t stop listening. Hopefully you’ll find one or two you like and hadn’t heard before!

  1. Come Over (Filous remix) – James Hersey
  2. Here in the Moment – Vinyl Thief
  3. Help Our Souls – NIHILS
  4. Come Back to Me – Urban Cone
  5. Withdrawal (Super Duper Remix) – Max Frost
  6. Gone – JR JR
  7. Sing to You – John Splitoff
  8. Seeing Stars – BORNS
  9. Capsize (Stint Remix) – Frenship
  10. Hear Me Now – Alok
  11. White T-Shirt (Golden Coast Remix) – Ofelia K
  12. All of Us (Ermez Remix) [feat. ANIMA!] – Dirty South
  13. When I’m Down – Whethan

What’s on your repeat list?

ClaudettesCorner