Could you pack me in your luggage?

Okay so this post is not necessarily wedding related but I thought it was worth a few minutes of my time. For the last 10 years every February I travel with my family and friends to somewhere warm and tropical to relieve the mid-winter blues, also my birthday happens to fall around this time of year so it’s an easy excuse to celebrate that as well. This year for the first time in a decade I will not be traveling at all this winter and it’s made me sit back and really reflect on why I go. When it first started it was just an excuse to escape the snow and run off to Florida for some fun in the sun but as the years past and the trips grew larger and longer and our destination spots varied I realized that this was an important time of year to bond and catch up with my family. Granted we work together and so we see each other daily but this is was our time to put aside the stress and pressure of running a family business and to be mother, sister, wife and daughter as opposed to boss and employees. These trips have given me the opportunity to reconnect with the ones I love the most in a stress free environment where we can be ourselves. It allows us to relax and remember why we decided to run a family business in the first place and how much we truly enjoy each others company. This year my husband and I were not able to make it because we purchased our first home and closed in December, with the amount required to put down on our house and the holidays being just around the corner we had to pass on our yearly vacation. My sister took her trip in January, mom left last week and Kelly flew out today, sitting in my quiet office this morning watching the blizzard outside my window I realized it’s not the warm weather and beautiful beaches I miss but the rare opportunity to spend uninterrupted time with my favorite people enjoying their company… have a great time on your trips family!!!! I love and miss you!!!!!

Brooke

One down….

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Year one!!!! Done!!!! Technically I don’t think we are Newlyweds anymore but it sure feels like we are still in that phase….
My advice after the first year of marriage…teamwork! Put your partner first and approach everything as a team. My husband and I both have insanely busy schedules and finding time for each other has always been a challenge but we have doubled our efforts over the last year to make sure that we get at least one night a week for the two of us. It’s not always easy but it’s definitely worth it, we are on to year 2 and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Good luck to everyone struggling to find the time,
Brooke

Just because he can.

My husband and I agree on most stuff, we have similar hobbies and passions and views on the world however when it comes to decorating our home we couldn’t be more different. How can a man who agrees with me on what sports teams to cheer for and which holidays are most important not share my vision for how our home should look. He likes leather and glass and shiny steel… I like light woods and rich colors and neutral tones. We literally could not be more different in how we decorate. His idea of how our living room should look includes Sports memorabilia and his fantasy football trophy (think man-cave) my idea of how our living room should look is family photos, comfy couches and lots of pillows and throw blankets! We are currently in the process of renovating the main living space in our house (dining room, living room, hallways). You would think the most challenging part would be living with the dust and debris that comes with construction but I can honestly say settling on paint and flooring choices has been more difficult. He wanted shiny cherry wood floors, I wanted super light natural one’s. He likes white for the walls and taupe is more my style. Countless paint samples later he finally looks at me and says honestly I could care less do whatever you want you’re the one who cleans it! Grrrr! We could have saved 2 precious weeks of our time if I had that information earlier! The crazy thing was he wasn’t even snotty or sarcastic he really does think that since I spend the most time there I should get to choose, this is awesome by the way but now I am thinking we’re you just screwin with me… is that one of those “how to annoy your wife things”? I think he purposefully dragged it out just because he can.
So finally after all the nonsense my new gorgeous light natural wood floors go in on Monday!!!! And they will match my taupe walls perfectly. I am like a kid at Christmas I can’t wait, and as I am spending last night removing the last of the furniture and touching up the paint he turns to me with a smile and says…. I changed my mind! I like cherry better!

Chuckling at the thought of kicking his ass,
Brooke

Shameless Self Promotion

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O.k. While I don’t usually use my blog as a way to shamelessly promote Farina’s, I do want to take a minute and brag about our new website. I LOVE IT!!!  This last week I took a “business trip” to Chicago to work with Ashley on our new website (by the way she is phenomenally talented). 14 hours and 9 adult beverages later we had finally put together something we both were proud of. I have no background in web design but Ash is a miracle worker and by putting our heads together I think we came up with something amazing!!!!!  If you get a chance to check out our handy work visit www.farinasbanquet.com and take a tour. I have learned the websites are a constant work in progress so constructive critism is welcome.

Thanks again Ashley!!!!!!!

Brooke

P.S. Did I also mention she’s a fabulous photographer!! 

Ash Deakins Photography to get ahold of her e-mail @ ashdeakins@me.com

How much is too much?

fresh off my wonderful vacation with the hubby and la familial and ready to get back to work! I had nothing but downtime and relaxation for the past 2 weeks and it gave me plenty of time to think. One of the family topics that was covered was what to do about our upcoming anniversary. As you my readers know we have decided to throw out the idea of a big bash and instead do a low-key bbq and housewarming party ( low-key meaning 75+ guests!!!!). I broke the news to my fam and it was agreed that we were making the best decision for us but that got me thinking bout weddings in general and the question going round my brain is how much is too much? When does a wedding stop becoming a celebration of your new marriage and life together and start becoming a way to one up and impress people you haven’t seen in years. I sit in my office day in and day out and am inundated with nothing but wedding paraphanilia and I gotta tell you sometimes even I think it’s over the top and ridiculous. In 2007 the average cost of a wedding reception was 28,000$ twice the amount spent in 1990 and currently the wedding industry nets 161 billion dollars annually!! 28,000$ for an event that lasts 1 day just a mere 14 hours, to me that’s crazy and this is what I do for a living. People ask me all the time ” don’t you watch the wedding shows on t.v.”? Honestly, NO! I can’t stomach it. I have a hard time watching a girl spend 7,000$ on a dress she will wear for less than 8 hours or 45,000$ on a reception site. 200$ a person favors.. really! people are just going to throw it out! Don’t get me wrong I am not against spending some money to have a great wedding with good food and good drinks with the people you care about, but when you start to get into the 10’s of thousands maybe you should reconsider how better that money could be used like on your home or a tuition fund for you children. No marriage should begin with a massive amount of debt looming over your head. Remember the most important part of that day is the seriousness of the commitment you are making to one another, not the chaircover color being the exact same shade as the bridesmaids dresses.
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Keep it in perspective!
Brooke

We’ve come to a decision.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my blog “HELP” last week. Shawn and I gave it a lot of thought and considered all the good advice and we are going to skip a wedding reception. You my readers were right, I was only doing it because I thought it’s what everyone else wanted but it’s not what I wanted. We decided instead to hold a house-warming bbq on our 1 year anniversary. I think it’s the best way to enjoy our first year together as a married couple. What better to have good food and good company in our new home! We decided to take the money we would have spent on a reception and to have a true honeymoon before we start trying for kids.In the grand scheme of things you would look back on and regret, I feel like that time alone together means more to us than a big reception and I would not want to regret missing that.

Note * to all my reader who are friends and clients, I am NOT knocking big receptions!!!! I just didn’t think it was right for us!!!*

Thanks again for all the good advice!

follow your heart…
Brooke

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Help!!!!!!!!!

The day I married my best friend!

The day I married my best friend!

Dear readers,
I know I am still fairly new to this blogging thing and I am supposed to be a wedding pro but I have come across a question of my own that i just can’t seem to answer. My husband Shawn and I chose to do a small, quick wedding back in June, we got engaged in the end of March. There were a lot of reasons to why we didn’t want to wait more than a few months to get married and to why we wanted to do a small wedding ( think 20 people small). I will never regret that decision and that day was the best day of my life but we did give up certain things and missed out on a few moments. That being said it’s been expected that we have a reception on our 1 year anniversary so that we can celebrate with the guests that didn’t attend the ceremony and also it allows us the opportunity to get back special moments ( first dance, toasts ect..) that we missed the first time around. When we first discussed doing a small wedding we always intended to hold a large reception a year later, that was the plan! However after over half a year of marriage it is starting to seem unimportant. Things like buying a house and having a baby are more pressing issues and I am having a hard time justifying the money for a reception when I am a year deep in my marriage. The problem is all of our friends and family that weren’t invited to the ceremony already feel slighted and I don’t want to cause anymore hurt feelings then I already have. What to do in a situation like this?
I find myself at a loss and considering I almost always have the answer when it comes to this type of stuff I feel like I am traveling foreign waters.
Comments and suggestions are most appreciated especially if anyone who follows has been in a similiar situation, and to my family and friends please don’t hesitate to be honest.

Thanks for the help!
Brooke