Wedding Vendor Review – Wish Wonder Dream

Day Of Wedding PlannersFor many brides-to-be wedding planning is both dreaded and enjoyed. For those on a budget, hiring a wedding planner is out of the question. While wedding planners can relieve some of the stress of planning, they can be quite costly. Enter the day-of planner.

Booking a Day Of Wedding Coordinator

When booking my wedding venue for my wedding this past year, the hotel informed me that they required each couple have a “day-of” planner. I had never heard of that before, and was stressed by the idea of adding on an additional expense.

As I did research I felt more comfortable with the idea, and was actually relieved the venue had suggested it. Day of wedding planners are great for brides who want to plan their own wedding, but that need help with things like crowd control and vendor management on the day of the wedding.

Through my research I came across Wish, Wonder, Dream a Los Angeles based wedding planning company. They had earned great reviews on The Knot and Wedding Wire and so I began the booking process. I was very pleased by my communications with them, and excited by their planning packet.

In order to book a day-of planner, you’ll need to put down a deposit. Most will ask for half of the payment up front and half closer to your wedding date. Wish, Wonder, Dream allowed me to pay by credit card which was a huge relief. Others may require a cash or check deposit.

Wedding Checklists

What was so great about Wish, Wonder, Dream was that they provided me with guidance from the very beginning of the process, not just the day or month of the wedding. They provided me with a very useful checklist which outlined when things should be booked and taken care of in order to avoid any fire alarms or missed deadlines.

When we were about 60 days from the wedding we had our first meeting with our coordinator. I loved the Pasadena office. It was pretty and full of all things bridal. I felt like a bride, not just a client. Our coordinator was very friendly and helpful. As the wedding got closer our coordinator worked with us to establish timelines and go over things like our guest list. She came with us to our tasting, which ended up being a great run through.

While we enjoyed our tasting, our day-of coordinator discussed details I hadn’t thought of with the venue, making sure we knew things like the color of the table cloths for the cocktail hour and whether or not we would be getting candles and signage.

Day Of Wedding Planning – What You Need to Know

The day of the wedding came, and that was pretty stressful. You don’t know how busy you will be and how quickly time will fly that morning. One thing to note about day of wedding planners, is that they aren’t you. If they haven’t worked with you to plan your wedding, they won’t know the ins-and-outs of every detail you have planned.

There were things that went wrong at my wedding, like the programs not being folded or placed in a location where guests could find them and no management of the photographer. Our grand “first dance” entrance was muddled by the bar making the last call for drinks, and things of that nature, but for the most part our wedding went smoothly and everything was executed beautifully.

To avoid minor issues try to do the following:

  1. Make an inventory list: I provided my coordinator with an excel sheet outlining every item I was bringing into the wedding. That way the coordinators can make sure your items are returned to you at the end of the night, and also that you don’t forget to bring anything to the venue.
  2. Make a photo list for the photographer and you: I provided my day-of planner with a list of all the photos I wanted before, after and during the wedding. She provided the photographer with this list, but with no one there to manage him many of the shots were missed. Keep a list and give it to your Maid of Honor. She can keep the photographer on track when you’re trying to enjoy the moment.
  3. Go over everything with your planner before the day-of: I had planned to go over instructions with my planner the morning of the wedding. She was busy managing other things, and came in to pick up all the decor while I was getting ready. There was no time to explain and go over instructions for where I wanted things placed, where they needed to go, etc.
  4. Don’t make assumptions: Don’t assume your planner will do anything. Make sure to go over your expectations and what services the planner will provide. They can’t read your mind, as much as you wished they could.

The great thing about day-of coordinators, and Wish, Wonder, Dream in particular, is that they are affordable. Our coordinator provided me with a lot of useful advice and took a lot of stress off our shoulders by managing vendors and guests. It was definitely worth the cost.

Will you book a day-of coordinator? Let us know why or why not.

 

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Summer’s Must Have Lipstick Shade – MAC Girl About Town

MAC Lipstick ReviewIn honor of National Lipstick Day I thought I’d give a review of my new favorite summer shade, MAC’s “Girl About Town.” It was the morning of my wedding, and with all the craziness I had forgotten to buy my lipstick. I wanted one shade for the ceremony and a fun color for the reception.

For the ceremony I chose MAC’s Lovelorn lipstick. The lipstick is creamy and the color was a soft pink. It was perfect for my soft wedding look.

I really wanted my lips to pop for the reception so I went with the “Girl About Time” amplified lipstick. I paired it with the “More to Love” longwear pro lip pencil. The pencil shade goes perfectly with the lipstick and lasts throughout the night. It will dry out your lips, and goes on matte so you can wear it alone with a light layer of chapstick or moisturizer.

If you’re looking for a great day and night look this summer give these two shades a try!

Was this review helpful? Let us know in the comment section below.

Let it Go: Things He’s Just NOT Going to Do

Smiling-Man-Doing-DishesAs I walk through the battle ground that is my apartment after my fiance has gotten ready for work, I see the unfixed bed and think to myself, “let it go.”

No, I’m not singing that hit Disney song to myself as a joyfully clean up after my man, but instead coming to terms with the fact that there are just some things he’s not going to do. Although these are things that drive me crazy, as they are simple tasks that should come naturally, he’s just not going to do them, and I’ve come to terms with that.

It’s not that we haven’t had this conversation before, or that I haven’t explained why these are simple things he could get in the habit of doing, but he simply refuses to acknowledge their importance. My friends and family have suggested leaving the house as it is, leaving him no choice but to act, but after two straight weeks of dishes in the sink I drove myself crazy. No, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want something done right, do it yourself.

With that being said, here is my annoying list of things he’s just not going to do:

1) Wash his utensils, or anything else in the sink other than the dish he just ate off of.

My fiance is a great guy, loved by many including my friends and family. I’m often told he’s a great catch. However, he believes he has done me a great service when he washes his plate after dinner. Every night other than Saturday and Sunday I cook dinner. I don’t tend to eat dinner, so I cook entirely just for him. I do the grocery shopping, and put the groceries away. I also clean the kitchen afterwards, and all the dishes used to cook the meal. So when I walk over to that sink, and see that he’s just washed a single dish it drives me nuts! It’s a fork! I mean c’mon.

2) Socks by the bed.

My fiance has explained to me that this is just a habit. That he does it unconsciously, and that if I left them there he’d get to them. But as the socks piled up, I was not inclined to believe him. Every night he takes off his socks by the bed side, and then leaves them there. I will note that the hamper is located within throwing distance of the bed. He could literally role them up and toss them in. Why God, whyyyyyyy?

3) Gel in the living room.

Every morning he has to gel his hair before work. He takes extremely hot showers steaming up the bathroom, so he uses the mirror in the living room to gel his hair. Then he leaves the bottle of gel on the antique table. Every day I go and pick it up and put it back in the bathroom. It’s a few steps, is that so hard?

4) Making the bed.

Just not going to happen.

All kidding aside, he is a great guy in many other ways. In speaking with friends and family it’s apparent that there always little things that are going to drive you nuts about your partner. Living with someone you learn to accept certain things, and pick your battles.

What did you think about my list? Does your partner have any annoying habits that drive you crazy? Share your annoyances with us below.

Engaged

I’ve neglected this blog the past few months as I managed my full-time job and planning my wedding. The wedding is now planned, and I can get back to posting about the things I love.

I’ll start by sharing my engagement story. My fiance and I met a little over three and a half years ago. At the three year mark our friends and family began to ask the awkward question, “so…when are you two going to get engaged?” Couples know that this is one of the most awkward questions to be faced with, especially if you’re both not on the same page. My fiance always answered that he “had something special planned,” so I wasted patiently, while I wondered what was going on in that brain of his.

The surprise of my life came in June when he surprised me with a diamond ring at the Mission Inn in Riverside, California. My family was there for the surprise, showering us with rose pedals once I said yes. The proposal was followed by a carriage ride around the city, a family dinner, and then champagne in our suite. It was a magical night, and a night I’ll never forget. See the pictures below!

Hotel Review: Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel

Grand, but Used to Be Grander

Grizzly PeakAs an avid Disney fan, I take vacations to the Disneyland resort often. For the past couple of years I began booking my stays exclusively at the Disneyland Hotel, because I love their newly renovated pool area. This year I decided to give my once favorite hotel another try. Growing up, Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa was the place we visited when we were celebrating something really special. It’s the more expensive resort out of the three on the Disney property, the third being Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel.

The Grand Californian is a beautiful hotel, with a woodsy northern Californian feel. The lobby is a sight to be scene with high ceilings, a large stone fireplace, and cozy furniture. The pool area features three different large pools, a child’s play pool, and water slide. Restaurants on the property include the Napa Rose (award winning), Storyteller Cafe, and a casual fast service restaurant by the pool area. The Mandara Spa located on the hotel property is the only spa within the Disneyland resort. It is a full service spa offering massages, facials, nail treatments, and beauty services (hair and makeup).

For years we looked forward to our stays at the hotel. The concierge service offered free snacks, small dishes, alcoholic beverages, and sodas. It was a concierge service well worth the money. We also enjoyed the proximity to the parks. The Grand Californian is the only hotel located right next to the parks. You can enter CA Adventure Park and Downtown Disney from the hotel. Disneyland is also just a few feet away. The hotel offers rooms with premium views, those being of Downtown Disney, CA Adventure park, or the pool area. A non premium view is a view of the courtyards, featuring some very tall pine trees.

While the Grand Californian was once my favorite Disneyland Resort hotel, it’s lost some of the magic it once held. This past March I planned a trip to the hotel, booking my stay way in advance and requesting a premium view. In my notes to the Disney booking agent I requested a park view. For those who don’t know the hotel well, there is a part of the hotel which faces Grizzly Peak, a key feature of the CA Adventure Park. I had always wanted to stay in one of these rooms, and made my request to the booking agent. When it came time to check in, I reminded the front desk person that we had requested this room type, and paid for a premium room. We also paid the $250 a day upgrade charge for concierge service. Instead of the room I requested we were provided with a partial view of the pool, no Grizzly Peak or park view for that matter. I called down to the front desk, and we were shown another room, but this room was located farther from Grizzly Peak with a partial view of the attraction.

At this point I gave up trying, and accepted that for this trip my Disney dreams wouldn’t come true. I did however go down to the lobby, and spoke with a front desk staff member. I asked what I needed to do in order to secure a premium view, he told me the following:

1) Book in advance

2) Do not upgrade to concierge service

3) Specifically request the view you want

4) Accept that they can’t please everyone, and there are very few rooms with close up views of the park

It sounds strange that upgrading and paying an additional fee for concierge service would prevent you from securing a great view, but he assured me this was the case. They only have a few rooms that are designated for the concierge service, and these do not feature the amazing views you might want. Later, after experiencing what had happened to the concierge service, I regretted my decision to upgrade even more. What was once a great deal, free food and beverages, was now cut back to a tea service. You can still enjoy some snacks and tea sandwiches, but the Disneyland Hotel now offers the better Concierge service.

Besides the downgrading of the concierge service, the pool area also requires a remodel. With the newly renovated pool area of the Disneyland hotel, the Grand Californian’s pool area now looks far from “grand”. The water slide has lost it’s magic, requiring riders to use their hands and bodies to help guide them to the bottom. It may be the hotel’s way of conserving water, but the thrill of the ride has been lost. If you’re looking for a great pool experience stay at The Disneyland Hotel instead. Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel also offers a great water slide, although the pool area is quite smaller.

During our stay we dined at the Napa Rose restaurant. Our waiter was very pleasant, and the service was great. The food was delicious, but do expect to pay more. The interesting moment of the night came when we were evacuated from the restaurant due to a fire alarm. We were escorted out of the resort into the CA Adventure park as we waited for the hotel to be checked out for flames. Once the issue was resolved we were allowed back into the restaurant. Our waiter served us two desserts of our choice for free to apologize for the escapade. It was an overall enjoyable experience, even with our own California adventure.

My stay wasn’t overall a bad experience. The hotel is still wonderfully imaginative. The pool area is still luxurious. You will enjoy the very comfortable lounge chairs where you can relax, and take a dip in the salt water pool. The rooms are very clean, and the amazing attention to detail transports you to Northern California. The proximity to the park is a definite bonus, with the ability to enter the park early on certain days.

Here are some pictures from our trip:

Have you stayed at Disney’s Grand Californian hotel? Tell us what you thought of the resort. Was this review helpful? Let us know int he comment section below.

Get Sexy Beach Hair Now

beach sexy hairGrowing up as a California girl, I hit the beach hard and often. With fine/thin hair, it was always hard to achieve a full bodied look, but not after hitting the waves. My hair always looked it’s best after being washed with the salt of the sea and air drying. Whats a girl to do when she can’t hit the beach? You can’t exactly be expected to take a dunk in the ocean before an event or date night.

I’ve tried many different products to add volume to and thicken my hair, but none have ever worked. Teasing works to a degree, but it can leave your hair looking frizzy and/or uneven. Then one day when I was using my H2O Sea Salt Body Gloss I thought, “Hey there’s sea salt in this, I wonder if it will have the same effect as ocean water on hair.”

I sprayed my hands with the sea salt body gloss, rubbed my hands together then ran them through my hair. The gloss gave my hair shine, and the sea salt gave my hair body. What’s better than a spray that has one good use? A spray that has two great uses. If you read my blog Summer Hot Buys you know that the H2O Sea Salt Body Gloss works great, moisturizing the skin and providing a sexy sheen.

At just $15 this product  is totally worth the cost. Get yours here today! Let us know your secrets to beach sexy hair in the comment section below.

Positive or Positively Jealous

jealousyAs a girl chances are you have a variety of friends. There is the friend who’s more like a sister, the one who inspires you, the one who’s fun to party with, and unfortunately one who’s competitive. Sometimes a little competition is good for us. It motivates us to workout, eat healthier, work harder, and/or live better. Other times a competitive friendship is unhealthy.

When a Competitive Friendship Turns Unhealthy

If the competition is one-sided it’s often due to jealousy. One friend becomes jealous of the other for one reason or another. Unfortunately anything can spark jealousy: a new job, a good relationship, a beautiful home, success, beauty, the list goes on. Normally we’re happy when positive things happen for our friends, but a jealous friend only sees a list of things they can be envious of. Instead of looking for ways to congratulate you, they’ll think of ways to undermine, get what you have, or one up you.

How do I fix a friendship with a jealous friend?

If you have been friends with someone for years, ending a friendship can be heart breaking. Before ending a friendship, try to figure out how you can mend what has been broken. Consider why your friend may be acting jealous. Has she been struggling to find employment for months, while you just scored an amazing opportunity without even looking? Is she struggling with weight problems, while you are able to eat whatever you want and stay thin?

There are certain things we can change in live, but others like metabolism, we can’t. You should be able to enjoy your successes and your joy with your closest friends, not be afraid they’ll turn it into a competition. If a friend can no longer be supportive it’s time to reconsider the terms of your friendship.

How to Restructure a Friendship

Sometimes you just need to distance yourself while your friend works out their issues. If you’ve been there for your friend, but the jealousy and negativity remain, there’s nothing left for you to do but take some time away. If you used to speak every day, try only talking once or twice a week. If you hung out every week, try seeing them once a month or at special occasions.

Try letting your friend know how you feel, let them know that you’ve reached a point where you’re considering ending your friendship. This might not go over well at first, but over time a good friend will be able to recognize their mistakes. Be patient with your friend, especially if their jealousy has been sparked by hard times.

If your friend is just jealous by nature, and has never been able to happy for you, it’s time to say goodbye. The older we get the less time and patience we have for people who can’t contribute positivity to our lives.

We never want to end a friendship, but sometimes it’s what has to be done. Let us know how you’ve dealt with jealous friends in the past.

Fashionably Charming At The Office

A girl’s got to look professional at the office, but that doesn’t mean she can’t also look stylish or even cute. While work can be stressful, fashion is fun. The right outfit can give you a reason to get excited about heading to the office. Whether you call them button ups or collared shirts, I fell in love with them this season.

Express came out with a wide variety of prints, just enough to empty my bank account.  My favorite of the large batch of shirts I purchased,  is this white and black one. I paired it with a bell shaped skirt I also purchased at Express, and shoes from Aldo.

Looking to purchase a similar look? Sign up to receive offers from Express.com. They’re always sending great offers like 60% off site and store-wide. You can also sign up for their membership program, Express Next, which allows you to earn points redeemable for coupons worth up to $25 off a single purchase.

 

How do you like to dress for the office?

express skirtexpress skirt

My Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s day is what you make of it. Whether you are single or in a relationship, you can enjoy February 14th, instead of dreading it. Some of my best Valentine’s Days were spent with my best girl friends. Now that I’m in the right relationship, the special holiday provides us with a way to show each other how much we appreciate having one another.

This year we spent the night having dinner at the Smoke House in Burbank, then watching Robo Cop of all things. A romantic movie? Not necessarily, but fun nonetheless. We watched the remake of the 80’s classic at the MGN Five Star Cinema in Glendale. The new luxury theater is one of our favorite spots, due in part to the reclining chairs, and clear picture quality. Wait staff also serve both drinks and food. I will warn that the food isn’t exactly up to par with theaters like Ipic, but the menu beats out AMC dine in theaters.

Looking to give MGN Five Star Cinemas a try? Click here to search movie times, and/or purchase your tickets.

Here are some pictures from my Valentine’s Day 2014

Here at Meeshme.com we hope that you enjoyed your Valentine’s Day, and want to hear from you. Let us know how you spent your Valentine’s Day below.

How to Get a 5 Star Hotel Stay for Less

Hyatt Regency Palm DesertFriends always ask me how I’m able to travel so much.  Last year I took 15 vacations, and stayed at hotels like the Miramonte in Palm Desert, and the Encore in Las Vegas.  I’ve always loved to travel, but also have always been on a budget.  I use a variety of tips and tricks to get the best room for the least amount of money, but recently my favorite tools has been Priceline.

Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” tool has allowed me to get great rooms for less.  It’s simple, easy to use, and the process takes no longer than booking a trip the normal way.  The “Name Your Own Price” tool isn’t for everyone.  If you have your heart set on staying at a certain resort, this tool isn’t for you.  However, if you are simply looking for a certain star rating or amenities, you’re set.

Pro                                                                                                             Con

You get a great room for a lower price.                                       You don’t find out where you will stay until after payment has been made.

I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells pictured below for just $90 a night.  That price was a %54 savings over what other travelers paid even with the help of travel sites.

How does it work?

It’s simple.  Visit Priceline.com, and fill out your travel information as normal.  Include your destination, check in and check out dates, number of rooms, click submit, and let the negotiator do his thing.  A results page will be generated listing deals on hotels in the area.  Two additional tabs appear.  You can choose the “Name Your Own Price” tool or the “Express Deals” page.  I prefer to name my own price, because you can often get better deals by going lower than the average rate.

Once your on the right page, you will be asked to select a specific region in the location you selected.  For example, if you are looking for a room in Las Vegas, it will ask you to select if you are interested in hotels located North of the Strip, South, near the convention center, etc.  This helps Priceline get you closer to the attractions you want to be near.  After selected the exact region, you will be asked to pick a star rating.  By selected a star rating, you are choosing to be shown only hotels with that rating or higher. Once you’ve completed those details, you will be asked to name your own price.  Priceline will provide you with the median price for that star rating.  When naming my price I always choose an amount well below the median price.  Remember the median price is generated by taking the highest price and subtracting the lowest price.  It doesn’t mean that a hotel won’t go lower.

When you have a price in mind, click “preview offer” and continue. You will be asked to enter your credit card information.  Once you have confirmed everything, you will be redirected to the confirmation page.  It is on this page where you will find out the name of the hotel.

Worried about the type of room you’ll get? You can always upgrade at check in.  Often times there are empty rooms when you check in.  When checking in ask the agent if there are any free upgrades available.  If there are any rooms with a view, and so on.  If not they will always allow you to upgrade for a certain amount.  You can also use the name your own price tool for rental cars and flights.

Will you try the “Name Your Own Price” tool? Let us know!