Inexpensive Date Ideas For Spring

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday! In today’s blog post I thought I’d start by introducing a few ideas for Spring date days! The weather is starting to change, the birds are chirping, and summer is on it’s way. During these cooler sunny days, I love to spend a lot of time outdoors and experiencing the things around me. Below, I’ve listed five different date ideas perfect for friends or partners! Give it a read and share with me your upcoming date plans! 

Farmers Market 

Exploring these last couple of weeks has reminded me how great it is to support local farms, vendors, and creators. Farmer’s markets and little shopping areas showcase the people in your area who work extremely hard for a living and make amazing things. Enjoy that fun atmosphere with the one you love during the Spring time. Many of these markets will be opening up fully for the season. Live music, great food, fresh flowers, and hand made products can’t get much better than that!

Baseball Game

Baseball season is right around the corner! Personally, I really dislike watching the games on television. However, going to the field and experiencing everything in person gets me so excited! Check out your cities major or minor league team tickets. Typically, they’re not very expensive and a lot of fun!

Mini Golf

Inexpensive and easy to play! You don’t have to be great at golf to play a round. Look into your nearest mini golf place for specific pricing and information. Most of the courses are located outside which could make for an awesome Spring day if the weather allows! Afterwards, go grab a cup of froyo to complete the day out! Super fun and easy! 

Outdoor Lunch

Where I live, there are a bunch of food places with outdoor eating. Take advantage of the Spring weather by enjoying a lunch or breakfast outside. You could even do something as simple as grabbing a coffee at Starbucks and choose to sit in their outside area. Another really inexpensive option that would be perfect for a sunny day.

Hiking, Kayaking, Being Outside

Some of my favorite Spring and Summer activities consist of working out. Being active during one of the best times of the year is so enjoyable. Research your nearest trails or hiking areas where you can just walk, run, and soak in all the nature. 

Same thing goes for kayaking. If you’ve tried it, you know how great it is and how awesome you feel afterwards! If you haven’t tried kayaking, give it a shot! There’s classes out there with instructors ranging anywhere from $15 and up. Check your location and see what’s nearby. Last year, I was able to take a kayaking excursion highlighting a sunken ship in Door County, WI. It was super interesting to see something like that up close! You’re burning calories and getting fit with your friend or partner. Awesome date day for the adventure seekers!

My Courthouse Wedding

Hi everyone! I hope your March is off to a wonderful start. Spring is so close and summer is just around the corner. Did anyone else think this winter flew by?!

In today’s post, I wanted to talk a little about my courthouse wedding, what my plan was and how I did it. I know a ceremony like this may be a tad on the unconventional side but ultimately it’s what my husband and I had wanted from start to finish. To be completely honest, it couldn’t have been a more perfect day and I’m so fortunate that everything worked out in our favor.

Let’s Start With The Why 

Growing up, I always imagined myself having a large, drawn out, extravagant wedding. I wanted a big white dress, tons of bridesmaids along with a reception planned for a queen. But as I’ve grown older and gotten more mature, I realized those things were less important to me than other details. My plan had changed from being traditional to a more intimate and modern style.

After we had decided on this casual and laid back arrangement, people began to wonder why? Distant family members would ask, “why rush it”? Others would question if there was a deeper meaning for getting married young and spontaneously. It was almost like we needed to prove something to people in order to do what we really wanted.

In my opinion, our plans were not spontaneous at all. We had been engaged for over 6 months prior and had been living together for most of our relationship. We had fought, cried, laughed, and experienced life together as a couple. To commit ourselves to one another was something we had thought of for a while and was not by any means a righteous decision.

With that said, I do believe it’s important to think about a life changing move like marriage and discuss if it’s a “right time” decision with your significant other. For myself and my husband, it was.

Did I Send Out Invites?

This was one of those things I just didn’t feel was needed in my instance. The family we were inviting was immediate and the only other person attending was a close friend. If your plan is to include all members of the family then maybe some simple invites are needed but for us they were not a necessity.

Things I Knew I Wanted On My Day

There was a short list of keepsake or memory worth things I wanted to include on my wedding day. I knew I wanted a cake, flowers, and a dinner to follow but I didn’t want anything too big or glitzy. I found a local bakery to create my cake, my husbands mother took care of the bouquet, and I chose a fair priced restaurant where we all could gather afterwards.

My Color Scheme

Even though I wasn’t having a large amount of guests come to this event, the goal was to try to make everything cohesively tie together. After many days of pinning on Pinterest, I found some color shades I loved. I geared everything around light rosy pinks and a purple maroon color with touches of ivory. It really wasn’t anything over powering but just enough to be memorable.

The Overall Experience

The process of getting our marriage license to tying the knot was smoother than expected. My advice to others thinking of doing the same set up I did, is to come prepared. Don’t forget cash, two forms of legal identification, where to go, who to see, and your courts availability. Knowing all of this information will make everything go as planned without any issues or hiccups.

To add, if you’re religious and would like the ceremony to serve a specific purpose, make sure you tell that to your judge. Our I do’s were less than 2 minutes but I know some judges can accommodate you if need be.

Reception?

I really quickly wanted to mention what our long-term goal is for a “reception”. In the next coming months, we are planning to send out “Eat, Drink, And Be Married” party invitations. We will be holding a large get-together to formally announce our marriage as well as celebrate with all of our family and friends.

What makes this difficult, is that my husband will be deployed from March 2017-Fall of 2017 so this is something we are still trying to figure out and organize. Will he take leave time? Should we just wait until he returns home? We’re still figuring it out.

To wrap this up, I’d like to again state that the way we got married is not the way everyone chooses to get married. There was much thought, consideration, and discussion over our decision as to what we wanted and what we didn’t. All in all, the day was full of love and new beginnings. As a newly wed couple, we are so excited to be officially husband and wife. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for us!

If you have any questions regarding this topic please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m open for discussion on many of the topics I blog about and will gladly answer any you may have. My socials are always linked on the home page for your convenience and I’m pretty quick with getting back to people! Let’s chat!

10 Ways To Grow Your Instagram Following

A good Instagram is the center of any business, blog, or lifestyle influencers’ media plan. My largest following is mostly on Instagram and with it, I’ve been able to grow my other social platforms. I find from experience that Instagram is becoming a larger and more personal platform. Connecting with your audience is easy and can be done with not much effort.

In today’s blog post, I’d like to highlight some key ways I’ve been able to grow my following on Insta. I’m letting out my tips and tricks along with some extra secrets that I hope will help all of you!

Make A Strong Bio 

  • A short bio that gives an overall run down on who you are is ultimately what we’re aiming for. Things I’ve used in my bio include my location, my email address, emojis, and short or witty phrases. An Instagram box is the first thing your new followers will see when accessing your page so make sure it’s memorable and grabs some attention.

Link Your Blog/YouTube 

  • Tie your hard work to your page and get people coming back for more. Linking your blog or YouTube gives followers another reason to return and check out what’s new with you. You double dip on two platforms with this tip.

Have A Professional Account 

  • A professional account on Instagram allows users to get in contact with you if need be. Whether that’s for branding purposes or another specific reason. A “contact” button appears on your page as well as an “occupation” low lighted section below your name. This makes everything look more put together and organized! You can change this by linking your Facebook page in the settings section of Instagram.

Post At Least Once A Day 

  • Consistency is everything on Instagram. It keeps your followers engaged and lets you showcase your daily activities or favorite photos. I try to post at least once even twice a day to keep my followers coming back. If you can’t find the time to do this, try stock piling your photos. What do I mean by this? Have a back up amount of photos taken from previous days that are already edited and ready to go. It takes away the hassle and stress of finding something new to take a pic of every day.

Use Instagram Stories

  • The new addition to Instagram has been amazingly helpful in maintaining connections with my viewers. Within a 24 hour time period I’m able to present any of the photos I’ve taken throughout the day, edit them, write on them, add locations and send messages. Think of it as Snapchat on steroids because it combines the app we already know and love with special features. Personally, I think it’s easiest to keep everything in one spot and Instagram has really impressed me by doing this.

Like, Comment, Respond

  • It’s always a good idea to continue relationships with others on the app. You’re able to network through one another and bounce ideas around. I’ve made some great online friends through Instagram and have connected with so many companies just by commenting on their posts! Start some conversation and don’t be afraid to get the ball rolling. Try to get noticed!

Use Hashtags 

  • At times, hashtags can be double edge swords. They assist you in getting your photos noticed but can be quite annoying to look at and can sometime make an Instagrammer look desperate for likes. Tread lightly and try attaching the hashtags you think will grab the most attention to your pictures. Some of my favorites have been, “#love, #coffee, #views, #vsco, #vscocam, #blog, #motivation, and #positivevibes”. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to the things your posting and don’t go over board.

Have A Consistent Theme 

  • A consistent theme doesn’t always mean “perfect”. I’d recommend downloading the app VSCO CAM to help you make your selection. There, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of different well designed filters. You can find anything from dark to light and pretty much everything in between. I’ve really been loving A6 and C1.

Create Good Captions 

  • Short and sweet is my rule of thumb for captions. Too long can make a reader uninterested so try to cut down. If you’re having trouble, try searching a word on Pinterest with “quotes” next to it. For example, if your posted photo is a cup of coffee try to search “coffee quotes”. I do this when I’m pressed for time and can’t come up with something on my own.

Hold Contests And Giveaways 

  • A great way to gain new followers is by holding giveaways. If you already have a large following, try getting a brand on board to help you. If you’re just getting started, maybe try connecting with other small profiles and work together. Hold contests for smaller products, follow backs, or collaborations. A perfect time to do these is when you hit milestones on Insta such as 1k, 5k, 10k, etc. Give people a reason to follow you!