Blog Archives

Wedding Welcome Sign – Save Hundreds!

Hello fellow DIYers…

Who am I kidding?

I do not DIY anything. I am the worst. I am creative Рwhen it comes to processes to follow. Not so much when it comes to painting and art. I’ve been trying to write a book practically my entire life, but writers block prevents that.

But weddings are EXPENSIVE!

I really want a beautiful dream wedding… can I do it for a couple hundred dollars? The answer is no. Venues alone run you thousands of dollars (in my area). So I have to find ways to save. And some of the design aspects I found I could DIY for drastically less (ūü•≤).

Here we are. My first major DIY for the wedding! And I’ll walk you through how I saved hundreds so that maybe you can too! (Also some mistakes I made/things I would do differently so maybe you can avoid those yourself).

Wedding Welcome Sign

First – I have a free app on my iPhone (works on Androids too) called Da Vinci Eye. This app uses your phone as a looking glass of sorts – where you can put the image you want over top of the paper you are working on and pretty much trace that image.

I designed the image I wanted in another app called Enlight (basically photoshop editing type app – I do not know if this app is free still, but any editing app that lets you overlay images on top of each other will work). I used images off google searches that I liked, overlaying letters and words and images to design this mock-up:

I bought this large 5.5ft sign at a local thrift store for $50. (Sometimes thrift stores have bargain days, so I probably could have waited and gotten it even cheaper!)

After that, I used the Da Vinci Eye app to project my image on my TV so that I could see where I was drawing / writing at… and I painted away! (The great thing about acrylic paint is it dries quick and if you hate it – you can paint right over it to fix any mistakes!)

I did end up free handing the greenery, and I watched Pamela Groppe‚Äôs YouTube video on ‚Äúhow to paint leaves (beginner friendly)‚ÄĚ

Things I would have done differently:

I definitely would have used painters tape to line out straight lines with the highest and lowest points I wanted the letters to be. Whether I moved the tripod or if it was just me… some of my letters became a bit slanted or not as big as I would have liked.

While this isn’t what a professionals work would have come out to look like РI paid less than $75 and a few hours and likely saved $400-$500 (as I am sure a custom 5.5ft sign like this isn’t cheap)

Subscribe for future crafting updates! I’ve got a few more up my sleeve (and luckily some friends who love me)

Boycott 50 Shades of Grey

Do you remember the first time you rolled out in the skating rink to dance to the Hokey Pokey?

The music starts playing, you notice everyone has gathered in a circle, laughing and giggling with what appears to be hand coordinated movements to the song. You try to follow along, you try to stay balanced on your skates, you’re a little awkward and feel a little goofy. You put your left foot in and you uncomfortably shake it all about. Everyone around you seems to be having a great time, maybe you will too.

You’re starting to get the hang of it… It’s great! Then it ends. Next song up is the chicken dance… Good luck figuring that one out!

Now fast-forward 10-15 years (give or take a few), and it’s that “time”. The real hokey pokey. Here’s the thing… There’s no instruction manual, there is not a group of people around to mimic, and there’s no song with step by step instructions.

If you break out into the hokey pokey and shake it all around, there’s a good chance you’re going to have a pretty unsatisfying sex life… So let’s just stop right here. Surely your Brethren in the Lord can give you some Godly advice on how to proceed with this Holy and Righteous Dirty Deed of Matrimony. Right?

In church this used to be the subject-that-shall-not-be-named, saying the word “sex” was only if you are referring to male or female.

The great news is, we’ve advanced so far in our modern church of the Twenty First Century. Now it’s okay to say “sex”, heck we will even say “sex is great!” “Yeah, God made sex!” “Sex isn’t taboo!” “You should have a great sex life!”

Yay! Now we are getting somewhere, Church. Spicing it up, things are really getting hot in here. I am excited that you are excited that sex is great and we should have a great sex life. This is awesome. So…

“How?”

*crickets* *uncomfortable silence* *feelings of shame and guilt* *awkward stares*

Uncomfortable flashbacks to the first time you had to dance to “I don’t want to be a chicken, I don’t want to be a duck… So kiss my butt.”

No really, but how?

“Well, talk with your spouse. Communicate. But don’t watch porn.” Says Church.

We are going to back it up here, just a little bit, because your hopeful, perfect, ideal married couple are these two virgins who have never entertained an impure thought in their lives. (Yeah, no pressure)

Do you see the dilemma?

Now let’s really bring on the guilt and shame, because you hear about how awesome this sex thing is but no one talks about how to do it and you are finding yourself quite unsatisfied by your spouse, whom you may have tried to meekly tell because, you know, that’s a real confidence booster. “I am not satisfied during sex…” But can’t tell them WHAT you like because you don’t know WHAT you like, because you don’t really know WHAT there is to like.

Let me paint a picture for you, because your black or white opinion doesn’t fit in my shades of grey world.

I am so happy that the church is finally even saying the word “sex”. But it’s time for Church to expand even this; If you don’t give the World options that are better, it will cause people to resort to what IS readily available to learn about this great thing God made called sex.

Figure that shit out, Church. Because until you can, your next “don’t watch porn” “don’t read 50 shades of grey” sermon or blog is just a self-righteous excuse to brag about how you are fucking your spouse because God says it’s your job… And that’s awful.

As a Christian Reader, you should gather in your masses during your next mass and shout it to the rooftops, “Let’s talk about sex, baby.” Demand the answer because YOU deserve guilt-free, shameless, wild, and beautiful sex (ahem, with your spouse).

Make Love, Not War

5 Steps For Leaving Your Spouse

Naturally, when we get married we often say “Divorce is not an option!”, and I always loved those memes floating around on the internet “I want my first marriage to be my only marriage!” The truth is though, divorce actually¬†is¬†an option. It will always be an option, as it is legal to do so. Even if it¬†wasn’t¬†legal, know that some have been driven so far as to still leave their spouses- even if it meant being stoned to death!

Divorce doesn’t just happen, often times it is years in the making; ¬†a build up before the “I do” was ever uttered. Marriage is definitely hard. I would say from my experience, divorce was harder. This blog is over advice given on how to leave¬†your spouse first that may prevent¬†the divorce.

Some people are just really great at hiding their major flaws, and there is always the classic excuse of “You can’t help who you fall in love with!”…¬†So without further ado, for those that married their kryptonite,¬†here are 5 Steps for leaving your spouse that may prevent the divorce (*note that I did not say 5 easy steps, because rarely in life anything worth keeping ever ends up being easy!):

Step 1.
Acknowledge the problem, find out exactly what the root of the issue is that brought you to the stage of “I want a divorce”, and then confront your spouse in the most gentle way possible. If needed (especially if Abuse is the issue!), confront your spouse with a counselor. Watch out for the blame game and be sure that your approach is gentle and not accusatory. Statements like “I feel like your ____ (insert issue, ie drinking) is hurting our relationship, and I was hoping you would quit ____ (insert issue) so that our marriage can begin healing.” Then add the boundary, “I need for this lifestyle change to take place for the sake of our relationship. If this does not stop, I will have to leave for a week so that we can establish healthy boundaries.”

Spouses typical answers:
a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t)
b. Okay I will stop (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 2.
If the spouses typical answers occur a. or b. (IE the lifestyle change does not cease) then you must stick to the consequence you ascribed in Step 1. Leave for a week. Stay with an understanding family member or friend. Explain to your spouse that you must establish healthy boundaries, and in order to maintain your relationship they must quit (insert issue).

Spouses typical answers:
a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t)
b. Okay I will stop (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 3.
If the spouses typical answer a. occurs Рyou will not want to return to the marriage OR If the spouses typical answer b. occurs  (so you have returned after being gone for a week. Everything seems to be going great. Then the issue returns Рas it often does, because lifestyle changes are hard!)  ->  You will want to explain that you will continue to stay away now for an additional month.
РAND with a. or b.: Now you should leave for a month. Stay with an understanding family member or friend.

Spouses typical answers:
a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t)
b. Okay I will stop (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 4.
If the spouses typical answer a. occurs – you will not want to return to the marriage OR If the spouses typical answer b. occurs ->¬†You will want to explain that you will continue to¬†stay away now for an additional 6 months. And require them to see counseling and/or attend classes like AA (you may even want to begin counseling yourself, especially if you’ve made it to step 4!)

Spouses typical answers:

a. Okay I will stop (but doesn’t), and doesn’t attend counseling.
b. Okay I will stop, attends counseling (stops for awhile, and then starts up again)
c. Spouse quits lifestyle issue permanently (You have successfully “left” your spouse, now your marriage can begin healing)

Step 5.
If you have made it to step 5, you would continue with Step 4 on repeat, but adding additional weeks, months, and years to the time frame, for as long as you are willing to stay committed to the failing/hurting/broken marriage.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

*Understanding that lifestyle changes are hard to make and harder to stick to, and also knowing that at any time divorce is an option. If you start step 1 of this advice, I recommend seeking counseling immediately alone and together (whether it’s your Pastor or other Professional counselor). Surround yourself with understanding and loving family and friends, who will both encourage you in your marriage but also in safety and health.

*This does not guarantee your marriage will be saved, but it is at least a last resort before the divorce is final.

*And if you feel your in danger – get out! and get professional counseling!

With a quick side note to this blog: This is not really advice to be taken because your partner is always leaving the toilet seat up or even the “we argue all the time” issue (although if you find it useful, to each their own) but more along the lines of advice to be taken when your partner has a lifestyle choice you realized you can’t live with (if you are NOT married yet, as mentioned in the “9 things…” blog #1, ¬†If you have problems with their behavior now, it‚Äôs not going away when you get married. Not right away, maybe not in ten years, maybe not for the entire duration of your marriage/life ‚Äď so make sure it‚Äôs something you can live with or it will be something you divorce over).

The lifestyle choices I am referring to here fall under the three A’s (alcohol, adultery, and abuse).¬†I would like to define those three A’s a little further. A for Alcohol could really be any addiction (ie alcohol, drugs, pornography), ¬†Abuse can be verbal or physical, and¬†Adultery is adultery is adultery; if you feel betrayed by your spouses missing commitment to their vows to love you and only you – you could probably throw this under adultery. When it boils down to it, the issues in marriage that often lead to a divorce aren’t black or white – but making the decision to “leave” your spouse has to be something where your at the stage of “Divorce is your only option if they don’t change” but you are willing/hopeful that they will choose change over divorce.

(They may not choose change over divorce…)

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

9 things you may want to know before you get married.

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

Big Gig Photography MM#656416

Married at 20 and Divorced at 24…
Here are 9 things you may want to know before you get married that may save you from a divorce.

1. If you have problems with their behavior now, it’s not going away when you get married. Not right away, maybe not in ten years, maybe not for the entire duration of your marriage/life – so make sure it’s something you can live with or it will be something you divorce over.

2. Marriage is Hard.  Divorce is Harder.

3. Make goals together and more importantly make a goal for your marriage. “This is/these are what our marriage is about…”

4. If they are a drunk/addicted to drugs now don’t marry them. (If you made the mistake of marrying them, then leave them – at the very least until they’ve been sober as many years as they’ve been drunk).

5. You will get used to their quirks (like leaving the toilet seat up, throwing their clothes on the floor, leaving dishes in the sink) but if you don’t communicate about how much it bothers you as each item comes up you WILL blow up and your conversation will sound much like “TOILET SEAT’S CLOTHES IN THE SINK HATE YOU!!!” And it’s harder to recover from that than the occasional ‘nag’ of “I feel like the house is getting cluttered and I need some help keeping up with the chores” (bonus: “let’s tackle this together, when is a good time for us to do together?” )

6.¬†Don’t go to bed angry. Unless they are drunk and that upsets you; Then go to bed angry in a different area of the house or stay with a good friend so when they wake up and you aren’t there they know a “we need to talk” is coming. And then calmly talk about it, and make a plan for a change.

7. Talk. Ask each other questions. (You’ll never know everything) …..¬†8. And more importantly Listen. (If you don’t make a habit of 7-8 with your spouse, someone else will and they will more than likely leave you for them.)

9. Also –¬†have sex. (um… for clarification – I mean with each other) All the time. Even when you are angry, tired, or “not in the mood” because at some point you’ll go months being angry, tired, or not in the mood.

Divorce is hard.

Did you read my blog Marriage is Hard¬†(or a blog/book out there much similar to it)… and got married anyways? If you’re reading this blog, it might be because at some point in your life you were looking at who you thought was your soul mate; Your one true wonder. ¬†Now, however, you find yourself at a crossroad,¬†looking at a stranger; Maybe even a monster.

I am not here to encourage you to get a divorce, nor to persuade you to stay married. If Marriage is hard,¬†Divorce is harder.¬†Your reason for pursuing divorce is your’s, and your’s alone.

What I am NOT here to do is judge you; heck – I am in the same boat as you.¬†And although this sinking boat seems like quite the failure and recovery nearly impossible (and drowning very likely) – I do know, whether this divorce was in or out of God’s plans, that God has a plan.
(*Edit: Do not fret so much on whether it’s in or out of God’s plans. You don’t know God’s plans for your life, your neighbor doesn’t know, your pastor doesn’t know, your sister-in-law doesn’t know…. If God can use a murderer to do His work, He surely can use a divorcee too)

Hitting rock bottom and chilling with Davy Jones is apart of life. God may throw down a life vest, and pull you to safety. He may also give you the resources to breath underwater, and witness to mermaids.

Myke Warthen MM#1193926

Sometimes God calms the storm, and sometime he lets the storm rage and calms His child.

What I am here to do is tell you “It’s going to be okay“. It’s not going to be okay right away. It might feel like it’s okay right away, but it’s not. The recovery time after a divorce is estimated statistically at two years; that’s a lot of anger, mourning, relief, crying, joy, sadness,¬†bitterness,¬†drinking¬†and growing…¬†

Just know that every choice you make is yours to make, and although you are free to make all choices Рyou are not free from the consequences of the choices you make. Whatever those may be. The good, the bad, and the ugly (one night stands).

Life is full of ups and downs. Mountains and valleys. Marriages and divorces. Try to keep your head high and look for the brightness in the next day. Keep in mind, too, that if you feel like crying and watching re-runs of your favorite¬†TV¬†show or drinking a little and ripping up your old wedding album – It’s okay.¬†

It’s going to be okay.

%d bloggers like this: