Hello, I’m Lisa from Happy Joyful Day, where I love to write about JOY and finding JOY everyday. It can be really difficult sometimes especially in the midst of things. It’s hard because sometimes our greatest blessing can also be our greatest trial.
Example, I’m 35 weeks pregnant! Eeek! I’m excited and only have a few more weeks to go. But at the same time, it has a struggle because it has not been an easy pregnancy at all. I’ve been sick almost the entire time but I count my blessings because it’s been four years since I miscarried. I’m ready to be a mama and know that the price I pay now will be worth it in the end!
I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of things that I didn’t realize. Such as my job, where we live (the center of Philadelphia is expensive), becoming poor again so my husband can further his education, things that I love, even my blog at times so I can be in good health. It’s all part of it.
Here is what I’m learning, “[Growing] up in this culture, it is very hard to get a biblical perspective on motherhood. …children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.” (from Motherhood is a Calling)
My joyful moment? The little babe growing inside of me and the chance that he’ll have to make a mama. He’s already helping me become a better person.
(Photos taken for Happy Joyful Day by Rebecca Pearson)
Now onto the giveaway. The lovely Lisa is generously giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon. I know we all could use a little Amazon in our life. Whether you use it on music, Amazon Instant Video, clothes, supplies, technology, or groceries, Amazon is simply wonderful! So make sure you show Lisa some love!
Lovely Thursday: The Link-Up
Rekita | Amy | Alisha
Or you can just simply visit their blogs and say hi!
Feel free to leave a comment introducing yourself.
+ Grab the Button.
Link up your blog now!
Wedding budget tips
Everyone knows that the cost of weddings can very quickly add up. To ensure you are prepared for this we’ve put together some tips that will guarantee your wedding doesn’t send you broke.
Set your budget
First things first, you need to sit down with your fiancé and work out your entire wedding budget. It is best to go into this discussion prepared, if some of your friends or co-workers have recently tied the knot find out how much their wedding cost. You will need to be realistic when setting your budget and any knowledge you can gain will go a long way into helping you set your financial plan. Be sure to define your absolute maximum amount that neither of you are willing to go over. It is beneficial to do this because if you set a rough estimate you’re likely to go over it, it’s quite easy to get caught up in the midst of planning a wedding. Most brides find themselves saying ‘What’s another few hundred dollars here.’ Don’t let yourself get caught in that trap.
Prioritise what’s important
Before you get into the nitty gritty of sourcing all your wedding essentials, figure out which key elements of your wedding are of most importance to you and your fiancé. This way you’ll be able to organise your budget by allocating the right percentage of your wedding finances towards the aspects that matter the most. For some it might be their wedding cake while for others it could be their invitations, think carefully about what will truly make your wedding day special and budget accordingly. Keep in mind that your venue will take up a large proportion of your budget.
You will be dealing with a lot of wedding vendors and eventually it will feel like they all sound and look the same. To avoid feeling like everything has blurred into one, we recommend creating a comparison chart to keep track of every vendor you have been in touch with. This way you will be able to analyse and compare what they are each offering and all their inclusions. This will help you work out who is offering you the best deal before you commit to anything.
While some people might find the art of bartering rather confronting, it is important you ensure you are being offered the best possible deal your vendor can provide. If you have been offered a better price with one vendor but prefer another’s quality, try seeing if your ideal vendor is willing to price match. There is no harm in asking a vendor once they have given you a quote if they can do any better. Some vendors might be hesitant to provide you with a discount so alternatively try seeking some additional inclusions so that you’re getting more for your money.
Be strict with your guest list
The length of your guest list can have a large bearing on your overall wedding expenses with most venues charging per head costs. Each situation is different but remember this is your special day so don’t feel that you ‘have’ to invite certain people that you might not otherwise actually want to be there. When creating your guest list endeavour to include only the people you truly want to share your special day with first and then if there is room within your budget, feel free to add more to the list.
Be honest with yourself
Once you have started booking vendors, if you feel your budget is beginning to get a little tight and your finances are dwindling down, it’s time to get serious. You will need to evaluate exactly where you are at in your planning and figure out what you really need as opposed to what you simply want. A lot of brides will have a reality check during the planning process because they will realise that their dream dress or fantasy venue is often slightly out of reach. This is when you will need to determine what elements have the potential to dramatically impact your ability to enjoy your wedding day. This might just mean purchasing a cheaper wedding favour for your guests, making some of your accessories yourself or simply holding your ceremony and reception in the same location. There are always ways to navigate any issue that may arise, you just need to figure out what works for you and your partner. Remember, it is not the end of the world if some of your plans have to change.
Kristi Charter is a passionate freelance writer, inspired by all that is beautiful, fresh and creative. With a keen interest in the wedding industry and a wide array of knowledge, Kristi is a regular blogger for Giant Invitations.
The living room is, in many ways, the most important room, particularly in smaller spaces. Other than the bedroom, the living room is the main place we spend our time. When we entertain, this is kind of the central room to do so. It is important that this room feels homey and welcoming. Though I will be working on getting a post up so you can tour my living room, I wanted to give you some living room inspiration today.
First off, here’s the layout of our living room:
The layout is annoying because we really only have two options for angling: what we have now, and if we shifted things so that the TV is over the fireplace (something that we feel isn’t for us), so we are stuck with this and I love to rearrange things often because I get bored easily.
For inspiration on how to style our living room, I obviously use Pinterest and still love interior design magazines and blogs, but also I just kind of follow my instincts based on my husband and I’s tastes. We like nature, so we often try to bring in some of those elements. We tend to be more traditional than modern in lines and decor. And I’m a big fan of layering and pops of color (versus committing to a red couch because we all know I’m going to be sick of it in two months anyways). I buy elements that are interchangeable knowing that I get bored easily. The biggest moneypit: pillow covers for the couch pillows. It’s better to have a bunch of pillow covers than actual pillows in terms of storage, but it’s definitely arguably more expensive to keep buying covers than to just buy pillows!
It’s definitely interesting seeing how different people still their living room spaces. But it’s even crazier seeing how living room style has changed over the years. This graphic really is a great representation of the shifts in interior design during the decades, starting with the 1940s:
Infographic created by Internal Doors UK
Have a little fun with that graphic? I think I am somewhere in the 1950′s, 1980′s, and 2000′s. Essentially, I like comfy and roomy couches! Small couches and funny materials are not for me. My husband once found a comfortable velvet recliner he wanted for his office, I said he is more than welcome to have it, as long as it remains in his office.
If you’re looking for some 2014 interior design trends and styling tips, here are a few great options:
- Interior Design Trends: 2014
- BluLabel Bungalow’s Get the Look (or blog in general!)
- Design Seeds is always a great source for color combinations
- Emily A. Clark
- The Hunted Interior
- Miss Mustard Seed
- Not JUST a Housewife <– My favorite home blogger :)
- Young House Love