Adulting · Body image · Growing up · Love · Mean girls · Social Media

Love Yourself 

Girls, you need to love yourselves. Don’t let any media or advertisement make you feel less than. There is no perfect body shape, no perfect hair do, no perfect makeup. There is no such thing as perfection, but if you feel good and beautiful and love yourself, that’s as close to perfect as you can be. 

The media spends so much time showing the world that thin is in, and anything else is not good enough. This is no way to live and it’s frustrating to see that this is how most brands choose to advertise. And the fact that those brands that use average or plus size models get ridiculed on social media is disgusting. 

If you’re the type of person who hides behind twitter or some other account just so you can make fun of people who feel comfortable in their own skin, weight isn’t the problem. You have insecurities that you need to workout and girl, you need to love yourself too even though you’re mean. 
If you’re a mean girl, first of all that’s shitty. Why are you so angry? And why do you feel the need to make fun of people for personal satisfaction? 

Take some time and really look at yourself and find out what makes you feel good and what makes you happy and work on yourself so you stop being such a jerk. 

And to those girls who already love themselves, no matter what size you are or how much makeup you wear, you go girl! Liv e your best life and love it and don’t let the haters bring you down because at the end of the day, you’re still fabulous. 

Love yourself and love others. Don’t be an asshole. It’s that simple. 

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

Adulting · College · Grad school · Graduate School · Masters Degree · Opinions · Student debt · Student loans

Graduate School

Going for your masters degree online is one of the most annoying things in the entire world. Like, is it even worth it to have a decent job anymore?

Group projects? I’m a f*cking adult capable of doing my own work. Why do I have to engage in this preposterous activity and also rely on complete strangers to carry their own weight?


And then when they don’t because they’re useless, I have to pick up the slack and they still get credit even though I filled out a complaint form with supporting documents such as emails and text messages with them admitting to not doing any work!


I’m a little bitter, if you couldn’t tell. 

Moving on…

The discussions. Please, kill me. I can only respond to so many ridiculous posts. If the initial post is thoughtless or incoherent, how am I supposed to respond? I don’t even know what you’re saying, so I can’t possibly answer you… but I have to have a minimum of 8 responses done per week, on 4 or more different days. So it’s a struggle just to make 8, and just to be inconvenient, they can’t all be done on one day. Thanks. Thanks for making online classes more annoying by creating an ‘attendance’ tracker. 

Speaking of discussions, they’re discussions. They’re not ‘copy the entire chapter from the online book and post it as your discussion’. I get super irritated when a post is too long and it fills up more than the entire screen, causing the blue ‘unread’ dot to stay present on the thread. 

I might have a touch of OCD. 

Actually I have OCD. I DID A GROUP PROJECT ON IT LAST WEEK!

For the love of god, if you’re going for your masters, you should just be smarter. Period. 

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

Adulting · Family · Growing up · In-laws · Wedding · Wedding Planning

In-Laws


This is one of the more… tricky parts of getting married. You get a second family… and sometimes they suck. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes they’re awesome, so I’ve heard. In the end, it’s really what you make of it. 

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘pick and choose your battles’, or ‘take it with a grain of salt’, or ‘you have to let it roll off your back’? Those will become your mantras. No matter what you do, you’ll be criticized. No matter what you do, you’ll be compared to someone else, probably your spouses brother or sister. No matter what you do, it will be wrong… unless you have one of those magical unicorns I’ve heard of that are actually awesome mother-in-laws… the odds aren’t in your favor so, accept that now. 

Your in-laws will grate on your nerves and test your patience all of the time, and unfortunately for you, you have to deal with it because you love your spouse. The worst part about it is, you can work yourself up and get super pissed off, but sometimes they don’t even know how annoying they are. They’re so set in their ways that when you come along and offer new ideas and new views, it irritates the shit out of them and then they in turn irritate the shit out of you. It’s a viscous circle. 

And worst case scenario, you have a mother-in-law who does everything she can to make you feel like garbage on a constant bases, but does it with a smile so she seems innocent, but you know what’s up. That kind of MIL knows exactly what she’s doing. She will complain and put you down any chance she can get because, after all, you’re taking away her son (or daughter). 

Do yourself a favor and smile every time she tries to knock you down a peg. Hang on tight and stick to your guns. Eventually she’ll see you don’t take anyone’s crap, especially not hers, and she’ll back off. And remember, it’s ok to stand up to her when she says something you don’t agree with. If she can’t respect you have an opinion, then she doesn’t deserve your respect at all. 

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

Adulting · Growing up · Opinions · Wedding · Wedding Planning

Bridal Party

Picking your bridal party is kind of a big deal. First, you have to pick a maid of honor and a best man. Then you have to pick a group of people that mean a lot to you and people you want standing by your side for the most important moment of your life. 

Now, if you’re lucky, you have a sister and you don’t have to hurt anyone’s feelings when picking a MOH. If you have 2 sisters, you can have two MOH’s. If you have more than that, I’m sorry for your dad. If you don’t have any sisters but you have best friends, it can be a very tough decision. You want them to all be part of your day but you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or make anyone feel like they don’t matter as much as the others. Make sure you really think about who you want right next to you when you marry your best friend before you say anything to anyone. It’s a delicate situation and you should treat it as such. 

For the dudes, they don’t care as much. They’re not as sensitive and honestly, they’re probably there for the open bar so those decisions for best-man and groomsmen will be done so fast you’ll get whiplash. And you’ll feel crappy that it’s taking you so long. 

Now, in a perfect world you have your bridal party set, you have your MOH and best-man picked out. Life is good, right? 

Probably not. 

Now you have to figure out he order of your girls and guys after the MOH and best-man. Not a big deal… or is it? I don’t know about anyone else but this has been an ongoing discussion between me and my fiancé. We have a pretty big bridal party… not like 10 people big, but I’d say larger than normal. Within the bridal party there are couples because we have mutual friends. So, what do you do when one side of the couple means more than the other? Do you let go of emotional attachments and let them walk together because they’re a couple or do you put them in order of most important to least important? Or in order of who you’ve known the longest? Or by height? These seem like stupid questions and issues to have in the grand scheme of wedding planning, but they’re real… oh are they ever real…

I say, put your bridal party in order of importance. If they line up with their significant other, good for them. If not, it’s your day so who gives a crap? When they’re introduced at the reception they can walk with their significant other, but during the ceremony, I want my lineup from most important (and coincidentally length of relationship) to least important. Now, this doesn’t mean that some people aren’t important, it just means you’re putting people in an order that makes sense. 

Don’t get hung up on this. It will actually drive you crazy. Take my advice. Have the ones you’ve known the longest closest to you because they’ve helped you through more things and they just mean more, and they deserve to be closer to you when you’re marrying your soulmate. 

Save the loss of your sanity for planning out the seating chart. 

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

Adulting · Growing up · Wedding · Wedding Planning

Lists!


You need lists. If you don’t sit down and write out every single thing you need to do before you get married, you’re going to forget something. 

I was going over wedding things this last weekend and realized I’m severely behind… because I never made a list. I booked all of my vendors and the hall and got my dress ordered… and then I just stopped. 

I forgot the table numbers, the gifts for the bridal party, suits for all the guys, undergarments, hair things, a cake topper, a cake cutter/server… if we’re being honest I haven’t even looked into getting a cake yet at all… so many things fell through the cracks and I’m scrambling now because everything costs money!

So I urge you to make your lists. Thankfully my wedding isn’t for several more months but it’s rapidly approaching… kind of like the ground when you bungee jump-very quickly and terrifyingly. 

And there are things you’re going to forget about. Did you get the flower girl and ring bearer gifts? Did you get the flower girl special flowers and the ring bearer a pillow or box or whatever you want the rings in? Did you remember you need special marker pens for your guestbook? Did you even remember a guestbook? Did you remember to actually finish the centerpieces? Did you get stands for the table numbers? Are you doing favors? Are you doing a seating chart or escort cards? Did you know escort cards are different than place cards? 

And don’t forget to set up appointments to meet with your vendors before the wedding so you can discuss things like musical preferences and photos you want the photographer to make sure s/he takes. 

Lastly, and thank god for my fiancé, don’t forget to pick the ceremony music. You want something special for the family, something special for the bridal party, and then a song just for you on your special day. 

And don’t get me started on the reception music because finding a song that 2 people agree on is a nightmare so don’t ask for the bridal parties input and just pick a song for them. It will save you a migraine. 

Speaking of bridal parties… did you decide on a lineup? Are you making sure that couples are walking together or ignoring couples and putting them in order from most important to least important, or according to length of time you knew them, or by height? Seems like an insignificant detail until you get to it!

Anyway, make a list. The Knot offers an awesome app and on it they have a checklist of things you should do and which month they should be completed according to your wedding date. Still make a list for the little things though, it’ll be a lifesaver, or at least a sanity saver. 

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

Adulting · Growing up · Opinions · Uncategorized · Wedding · Wedding Planning

Everyone Has Something to Say…


Everything you’re doing is wrong and your wedding is going to be a disaster…
Well, that’s what everyone else wants you to think because they obviously know what you want and what you should have on your special day better than you do right?

Wrong. 

People are going to question everything you do if it’s not like their wedding, or not like a traditional wedding… so prepare yourself for that right now. They’ll also make suggestions that they will be offended about later because you didn’t take them.

#reallife #thanksbutnothanks #donttellmehowtolivemylife

Anyway, generally people like to think they’re smarter than they are and they also enjoy their own voices. I’ve learned in my years of dealing with unsavory people that the minute you start talking about yourself, self-centered people tend to shut up and leave you alone. And the people trying to stick their noses in your wedding are usually self-centered.

If you don’t use a Limo because, after all, they’re not required for a wedding-especially if your ceremony is at the same location of your venue-you will be judged. If you chose to use paper flowers instead of real ones because the logical part of your brain couldn’t see ripping $7,500 to bits, you’re going to be judged. A short wedding dress? You must be insane. No sit down dinner? Is this even a wedding?

But, don’t be fooled, if your wedding is by-the-books perfect, you’ll still be judged. There will always be a miserable hag at every wedding trying to make everyone else miserable too so please, don’t listen and don’t take it personally. 

Not everyone gets to meet their soulmate in life. 

There will be jealous people too, obviously, because your fabulous. And also because maybe they can’t afford something or they wish they had a fiancé as awesome as you do. They’ll make comments like ‘I’m never having a wedding, it’s such a waste of money’, or ‘Why did you need that? That’s excessive/unnecessary’, or ‘I’d never spend that much on that.’ Keep your composure because they’re already unhappy and suffering on the inside. 

And there will always be one person who compares your wedding to someone else’s. You’ll hear it multiple times while planning and probably long after it’s over because some people can’t understand that you’re your own person, so try to tune it out. Or, if you’re bold, which girlfriend (snap, snap) I know you are, stand up to this monster and say so-and-so’s wedding wasn’t mine for a reason!

Keep your head up and do you! And if you’re ever unsure, have some wine and enjoy some liquid confidence to get you through wedding planning. 


#winedowndaily

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

Adulting · Growing up · Wedding · Wedding Planning

Invitations!!


Invitations will be as expensive as you want them to be. You can go for ribbons and bows and jewels and pay more than some of your vendors, or you can do it affordably and have some extra money to splurge on a must-have item that’s not quite fitting into the budget. 

The best way to save money is to buy from a wholesaler. Don’t go to a third party seller who has to order the paper from someone else. Those people need to make money so you’re already paying more. And if you can avoid it, don’t order them online. I’ve heard nightmare stories from people ordering one color and receiving multiple shades of that color where nothing matched. They had to return everything, reorder, and invitations went out late. Trust me, as the posts continue, you don’t need any extra reasons to drink. 

#winedowndaily… trust us. It’s a thing. 

Next, get your hands dirty and DIY. If you buy the invitations deconstructed, you save a decent amount because you’re not paying for convenience. Get your wedding party and moms together and make a night of it. You get more affordable invitations and you get to bond with the people that are important to you!

SPLURGE ON ADDRESS PRINTING! I swear you’ll thank me later when you don’t have to address 100 envelopes, some of which get returned so you have to rewrite and resend them out. 

Skip the extras. A lot of the time you can find the same jewels or stickers at Michaels (or your local craft store) and those places always have coupons. Add it to the DIY list and grab an extra bottle of wine!

We like wine… 

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,


A.Squared

Adulting · Growing up · Wedding · Wedding Planning

Vendors… Vendors, Vendors, Vendors. 

Vendors are just as important as the Venue itself. I cannot stress to you the importance of doing your homework, at least for once in your life. Once you book a venue, they usually have a list of vendors they work with that give discounts for using them, so that’s a good place to start your research. 

Let’s start with photographers. This is so, so, so important. When you go to a bridal expo, you’re seeing the best of the best of what a photographer has to offer. Keep in mind they cherry-picked each image they’re presenting to you because they want your money. By now, you know weddings are a money making business, and to most places, that’s it. You might find a photographer who does cool photos and you might really want to book them right there on the spot, but you need to have some self control. Go home, research them, and look up reviews before you commit. Just because they had a really cool photo doesn’t mean they’re a great photographer, it simply means they caught a good shot and they’re promoting it to catch your interest. 

I promise you there is a significant chance that you will regret not looking into and researching your photographer before you book them!

Also, SKIP THE PHOTO ALBUM! Shutterfly and Snapfish create beautiful albums for pennies on the dollar compared to what a photographer is going to charge you. For my engagement photos, Snapfish was having a buy one get two free sale so I made an album for me and one for my mom and future mother-in-law for $50-total! One album alone from a photographer would be an easy $300, if not more. Save yourself the money and choose a cool layout from one of these sites, you can even get one for both sets of parents, and with all the money you’ll save you can take us to dinner as a thank you! 

DJs! Also super important. If your DJ doesn’t get people excited to be there and excited to dance, people are going to have a bad time. You want a reputable company, and this is not the area of your wedding to find a bargain, I promise. Again, you want to check reviews on each DJ company because everyone always has something to say. Make sure you don’t see complaints about the DJ hassling people to get on the dance floor. There’s a huge different between encouraging your guests to dance and have fun and hassling and harassing them to get on the dance floor. No one wants to be forced to do anything they don’t want to do so that’s a big thing to look out for. 

Photo booths! This is where my blog partner and I disagree. I’m having one, she’s not. We both have good reasons for our choice. I want one because they’re fun and those of us who don’t enjoy dancing will have something to do (at my own wedding I will be dancing but, normally I’m not a huge fan). My partner is not having one because it can be a distraction from the reception, which is true because people tend to line up and wait their turn. 

Regardless of your feelings, you’re right. However, if you decide to have a photo booth, there are a few things to look for. First, as always, look up their reviews! Second, are the prints unlimited or are they getting one per person? Do they make you your own book of photos to keep so you can laugh at how ridiculous everyone is? These are important things to know and to ask! I originally booked a photo booth that was $1200 because it had bells and whistles and unlimited prints, and I was insane. I cancelled them because I found another photo booth with great reviews that offered everything from the first photo booth PLUS my own book full of everyone’s photos for $375! Talk about a savings!

Limos… this is a nightmare. If you book a limo for 1 hour, prices are reasonable. You say wedding transport and you’re now paying $1,000 for the same service even if it’s only 30 minutes. And there’s really no way to get around this besides not using a Limo at all. You can work them down a little if you also get a transport bus, which is a good idea if you have a lot of guests staying at the local hotel, but there isn’t much wiggle room, unfortunately. Just make sure you shop around because Limo companies are all competing with each other. And make sure whoever you choose has clean, safe, and on-time reviews, and you’re usually good. 

Videography! I personally think this is a must have, but many people don’t agree with me. People think it’s unnecessary because they’ll have photos, and that’s OK! My feelings towards it are, yes you’ll have photos, but it’s important to me to have video of my loved ones who are older or who I know might not be around when I have kids so that I can show my children who they were. You get a nice smile in a photo but you get personality in a video so that’s something to keep in mind. 

So, those are our vendor tips! If you have any questions, please email us! We’d love to hear from you!


Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

College · Growing up · Student debt · Student loans

Student Debt…


Student Loans. 
The words actually make me vomit in my mouth. Why do jobs require degrees and then not pay a high enough salary to afford a student loan payment and also eat dinner regularly? 

I’m really happy for the kids about to get free college, mostly because I hope it continues until I have kids and they’re college age because I will STILL be paying off my own debt so they’ll be on their own. 

If you’re from New York and recently graduated (after December 2014) check out this link and thank me later: NYS Get on Your Feet Program. If you qualify, they pay 24 of your payments. That’s 2 years for you to try and get yourself together. And you don’t have to pay a penny back, which is awesome. 

Also, if you’re struggling to pay your loans and the amount you owe is growing g because the interest rate is out of control… REFINANCE! You can do that. Many banks will help you as long as your payments are on time and you’re trying to do the right thing. If you’re sitting on a loan that has a higher interest rate than 7%, you’re going to be paying forever, or until you hit mega millions and unfortunately, that’s not likely. 

And if you haven’t taken any loans out yet, say no to Navient, former Sallie Mae because they don’t even want the money back, they literally want your soul. That’s why they repeatedly try to crush it. 

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared

Adulting · Homeowner · Houses · New Home

Homeowner Life 

Buy a house they said…

For the most part, it’s fun. No one yells at us to keep it down, we can have people over whenever we want, and no ones ever parked in my spot when I get home because I own that damn driveway! I can also take a shower whenever I want without the fear of the water scolding or freezing my entire body because someone else turned their shower on. That’s a huge plus.

What’s not fun is when an old pipe explodes under your brand new wood floor, the water gets shut off, the heat doesn’t work, and no one comes for 3 days. That’s not fun at all.

It also sucks when you have to pay the oil bill. And the electric bill. The water bill isn’t as offensive but it still sucks. I follow my fiancé around the house shutting lights off because we’re no Beyonce and Jay-Z. And if you come to my house and you’re cold, grab a blanket. I have plenty.

I’m just joking… but seriously the heats off unless there’s a chance the pipes will burst.

Anyway, being a homeowner is a huge accomplishment. If we’ve ever done anything right in life, it was setting up our future to be able to have a home we can call our own.

IKEA is our favorite place along with Lowes and Home Depot, which I never thought could be possible but it becomes so much fun to decorate and customize your space to exactly what you want.

Be careful when you throw out your boxes from any of those places because the garbage man will leave them in the road but he will take you garbage can… oh wait that was only us? Ok cool.

Oh and once you get a house and have a backyard, your little house-trained dog will no longer go on a pad and will demand you let him out every 5 minutes so he can bark at the neighbors dog until the neighbors dog pees on his head.

Real life.

Much love and good luck ladies and gents,

A.Squared