• February 2010 Archive •

Opposite Day

I don’t spend a lot of time watching cartoons. I did as a child. In fact, I watched Disney’s Cinderella over and over until I had memorized each line and song. As an adult, my Saturday mornings aren’t spent with a bowl of Lucky Charms watching My Little Pony. However, even in adulthood, I have indulged in watching an occasional episode of Spongebob Squarepants. One particular episode resonates in my memory. It was “Opposite Day” in Bikini Bottom and everyone had to act opposite than they normally acted. I feel as though I wrote my previous blog on “Opposite Day.”

As you’ll note from my last entry, two and a half happy happenings were taking place in my life this past Saturday. Changes so drastic were on the verge of coming to fruition and my life was about to change for the absolute better. Well, as I mentioned above, apparently I didn’t get the memo that it was “Opposite Day.”

Happy happening numero uno – my brother got a job. That statement is still true. My brother got a job last Thursday and lost that job today. He worked a total of 11 hours. That now means that he has worked an equivalent of approximately 21 hours in 21 years. He is now right back at square one. No job. No prospects. No change. Now I don’t completely fault my brother for these circumstances. I’m sure there were a few things he could have done differently during his two days of employment but I also believe the restaurant takes some blame for securing free labor in order to clean their dining room to prepare for their grand opening. Regardless, it’s a saddening change of events and although I’m not overly shocked, I do feel bad for my brother. He was actually enjoying working and having some responsibility. I guess it is back to the drawing board. Only this time around, I’m not going to play the artist.

Happy half happening began with such enthusiasm and hope but quickly fizzled to a distant memory. I grew up in Baton, North Carolina. I commonly use Hickory as my point of reference to those people unfamiliar with the area. Even then they look at me with a puzzled expression until I say “it’s about an hour from Charlotte.”

Baton was the perfect place to grow up. For 18 years I lived the American Dream. I had the cookie cutter family straight out of the church directory, a nice house with a white picket fence and lived only minutes away from friends and family. I have very fond memories of those 18 years and am grateful for the efforts of my Dad and Mom to provide such an amazing upbringing. However, divorce effects people differently and for me it tainted my little hometown. I left after high school graduation and I have never once had the desire to move back. Even now when I visit, I don’t cry on the way back to Raleigh because I miss the place, I cry because I miss the people. My hometown just isn’t home anymore.

There was a possibility that my Mom was going to move to Raleigh. A possibility so big that I spent Sunday afternoon looking at local apartments and planning future Mother/Daughter activities in my mind. But as with most other elements in life, God has a funny way of showing us that life isn’t about our plans, but about His. And according to this philosophy, God has bigger plans in store for my Mom in Hickory. I now completely comprehend that God always answers our prayers but sometimes the answer is “No.” I’m not disappointed in my Mom or frustrated with God for the way things have worked out. I’m just sad because I now know that I won’t live close to my Mom or my family anytime soon. And no matter how old or mature I may pretend to be, the little girl in me will always need her Mom.

So in a wacky but yet non-surprising turn of events, my happy happenings have quickly diminished from two and a half to one. And although going through “Opposite Day” is disappointing, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes you can’t force change. Up until this point I’ve tried everything except not trying and I think it’s time I give that a try.

xoxo, Priscilla
A Freshy & Fruity Blog

Two and a half wonderful things happened in my life this past week. These are changes that despite being absolutely necessary, I never imagined would actually transpire.

Happy happening numero uno – my brother got a job. I need to re-type that sentence just so I can make myself believe I’m still living in reality. My 21 year-old brother who has done nothing but surf the web and mooch off of my dad finally got a job! It’s a legitimate job that will give him real world experience to help further his culinary career. Technically him getting a job didn’t really happen to me, but you have no idea what a relief it is. For months (actually years) I’ve designed resumes, begged friends for leads, filled out online applications and repeated the words “get a job” more times than I’d like to admit. I’ve invested ridiculous amounts of time and energy into his job search that in essence, I had been looking for a job on behalf of my little brother. But I’m delighted to say that I had absolutely nothing to do with him securing this job and am so proud of him for embracing becoming an adult. He’s only 3 years late. (As I typed this blog he called to give me an update on his job. When asked what he did on his first day he replied, “I scraped gum off of tables.” Ah, the joys of working in a restaurant. I don’t miss my Longhorn days.)

Happy happening numero dos – Freshly Squeezed. Have you seen the fresh and fruity new face to the Orangerie Events blog? I can’t thank Marina with Penny Lane Designs enough for designing a blog that perfectly reflects my wedding and event planning business and portrays the fun and outgoing spirit of my personality. She took my vague and contradicting thoughts and turned them into a blog masterpiece. So please, stay awhile and explore the new Orangerie Events blog, Freshly Squeezed. It tastes oh so refreshing!

The half happy happening is still in progression but could possibly be one of the biggest life changers to date. I know we are friends or at least you’re interested in my life because you’re reading this, but I can’t dish out all of the details just yet. Let’s just say that someone very close to me could soon be even closer and I want nothing more than for that to finish happening.

There you have it. A non-cynical, positive blog entry that isn’t me complaining about what coulda, shoulda, woulda, might have been. Either the new blog design or the sunshine has put me in the Saturday mood. You know, the one where you do nothing but everything at the same time. Enjoy!

xoxo, Priscilla
I’m Drenched

As brides are hectically preparing for their wedding, it’s only natural for life to step in and mix things up. I’ve heard countless stories of mishaps that no checklist or even wedding coordinator could predict. Two weeks before my wedding, I had an unexpected mishap and lost a piece of my heart.

It was October. It was evening. It was cold. I was driving home from work when I approached a familiar yield sign which regulates the flow of traffic onto Highway 98 in Raleigh. Due to the high volume of cars, I had come to a complete stop. I eased slightly off of the brake to move forward an inch in order to gain better visibility of the oncoming traffic. I looked left at the cars. I looked up in my rear view mirror. I saw it coming. The truck behind me took my slight movement forward as an opportunity to put the pedal to the metal, slamming into the rear of my car.

Although the damage was extensive, I never imagine that Precision Collision would be the final resting place of my car. As I gathered my possessions from the vehicle and said my goodbyes, I fought back tears and lost that piece of my heart. I know you shouldn’t be materialist and worship “things” but it wasn’t just the fact that I loved the car; it was the fact that I loved that the car was paid off.

The car had been in my family since its production and was offered to me at a ridiculously good price. Literally a few weeks before the accident, I had made my final payment of $1,000. I officially owned the car and owed absolutely nothing. That has all since changed.

The stress at that point in my life was at an all-time high. Not only was I planning my Valle Crucis wedding from Raleigh, but I now had to facilitate phones call to and from the insurance adjuster, quickly pick up a rental car and oh by the way, buy a new car. Looking back, it all seems like a great big blur that I wish I would have avoided until after the wedding. Two days before I said “I Do” I signed the papers to buy a new, used car. A decision I immediately regretted.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have a nice car and I am extremely thankful that God has blessed me. It’s just that on the 19th of every month I submit a payment that makes that hole in my heart grow a little bigger. In fact, the hole doubled in size this month as I took my car for the annual inspection and received a big fat “Failed” because apparently my third brake light is out. I now have sixty days to repair the brake light in order to pass my inspection. Upon examination, I was told the third brake light needs to be replaced and that even if we purchase the part from the junkyard, the price will be $200. And of course that situation is completely separate from the fact that I just paid $200 this past weekend to replace the brakes.

I guess when it rains it pours and unfortunately I forgot to bring an umbrella. The only umbrella I want to focus on right now is the one that will be floating in my tropical beverage while I’m sunbathing in Puerto Rico. June can’t come soon enough.

xoxo, Priscilla
Hello, 2010

It’s a good thing I didn’t make a New Year’s resolution to not procrastinate. Here it is Monday, February 8th and I am just now realizing we’ve entered a new decade. Most of the following pictures should have been posted a few days after they were taken, but I guess better late than never. (I still have two weddings from 2009 to post. It’s on my “To Do – To Do List,” I promise!)Wondering what goes on behind the scenes of Orangerie Events when I’m not assisting brides and planning weddings in North Carolina and beyond? Well here’s a snapshot of 2010 thus far.

Chase celebrated his 26th birthday in January in true Dallas fashion. Since the Cowboys were playing in the playoffs the weekend of his birthday, I decided to surprise him with a Cowboys themed party at a local sports bar with his friends and family. Lisa, with Tier Bella, did an amazing job taking my design idea and turning it into a delicious cake. There was so much left over, we decided to feed cake to the entire bar – well, the Cowboys fans at least!

As you are probably aware, Chase is a huge sports fanatic. As his birthday present, I bought us tickets to go see his favorite college basketball team, the Kentucky Wildcats, take on the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Chase has been a fan of Kentucky since he was a child and the last time he attended a game was when he was 12. The picture below is from that game when a local paper in Kentucky plastered Chase’s mug on the front page. Luckily for me, he only wore a Kentucky t-shirt and sweatshirt this time around. Even though he wasn’t allowed to take his collectible basketball inside to get signatures and despite the fact Kentucky suffered their first loss of the season, we still had a great time. It was nice to be in his element and to see him really enjoy his birthday gift.

A few weeks ago, Raleigh received a fresh blanket of snow. For a few days, the daily routines froze as people stopped to enjoy the wintry weather. Scottie had a blast running and playing in the snow but my car didn’t have as much fun trying to maneuver out of the garage across ice. Nonetheless it was a pleasant break from the normal. Check out our front entryway. That snow pile is still there. It will probably be June before it melts.

Finally, this past weekend our dear friends Nate and Megan came to Raleigh to visit us. The weekend kicked off with Scottie getting overly excited about company and peeing on the comforter on our guest bed. Chase had to make an emergency run to the in-laws to borrow a comforter. On Saturday, we decided to venture past Youngsville and explore Downtown Raleigh. We had a blast reverting to childhood and ice skating at Winterfest. I’m a much better roller skating than skating on ice, but still enjoyed doing something different on a Saturday afternoon. For only $6 per person for unlimited skating, it fit perfectly into our budget. It was extremely convenient that a Starbucks was located right across from the outdoor rink. It gave us the perfect spot to enjoy some coffee, de-frost and plan our summer trip to Puerto Rico.

xoxo, Priscilla
Saving Chase & Priscilla

The months leading up to my wedding were filled with showers, drives from Raleigh to Hickory, parties, meetings and of course, unsolicited advice. It was as if my engagement ring made strangers feel entitled to share their unwanted opinions on love, marriage and divorce. And as if I didn’t know my age, I was constantly reminded of how 24 years young I was.
I was extremely selective as to what pieces of advice I retained. At my bridal shower, my maid of honor had all the women in attendance write down words of wisdom as it pertains to marriage. She then compiled the various notes into a book and presented it to me on the eve of my wedding. It was intriguing to read the different thoughts and opinions from the women closest to me, women from all walks of life and very different backgrounds. Take for instance my mom, who sat there and stared at a blank sheet of paper for what seemed like the entire bridal shower. What advice do you give to someone about to get married when two weeks prior your divorce was finalized after 25 years of marriage? She wanted to either write nothing or write a novel.

Then there’s my grandmother. She was married to my Papa for 60 years. The day after they got married she rode on my grandfather’s bicycle handlebars to go into town. It was a different time and she was still a teenager. She stood with him through war, four children, six grandchildren, extra-marital affairs, diabetes and ultimately she was by his side when he passed away. In the position for wife, she was certainly qualified. So what words of wisdom did she pass along to the next generation? “Have lots of sex.”

Perhaps the best piece of advice I received at my bridal shower was from a stranger. No joke. My aunt brought someone that I think I had seen before but had never really met. The stranger wrote, “Maintain separate bank accounts.” Chase and I had already discussed money and had decided we would have a joint account and would also have personal banking accounts. Other than deciding to get married, it was the second best decision we’ve made together. Our joint account pays for things we need and do together while my personal account funds my Starbucks addiction.

In case you weren’t aware, money is the leading cause for divorce. And seeing as how our spending habits are polar opposites, it was the right thing to do. If I see something I want, I buy it and I don’t think twice. Nothing turns my frown upside down quicker than a trip to Forever 21. This action often had me depressed while in college. I had Bank of America on speed dial so I could plead my case and refute overdraft charges. Chase, on the other hand, holds onto his money and rarely spends it. And by rarely I mean never. He packs his lunch every day. He doesn’t have a caffeine addiction. He finds pleasure from saving pennies, evident by the fish bowl full of change in our closet. Marital bliss for us is separate banking accounts.

Over the past few months, I’ve taken an interest in a new and innovative concept – budgeting. I’ve been using a website called Mint.com. If you haven’t visited it and if you’re interested in saving money, I encourage you to check it out. Instead of compiling spreadsheets and reviewing bank statements line by line, Mint.com makes it easy to track and label your spending habits and to create a customized budget. Instead of spending more than we make each month, we’re determined to watch our money grow and even more importantly, save up for an exciting tropical vacation with our friends Nate and Meg. It’s certainly not easy but can sometimes be fun. Going to the grocery store each week knowing I only have $50 to spend is like a challenge to me. I’ve taught myself to think of it like the game Survivor instead of admitting to myself that we’re just broke non-newlyweds.

So in our quest to save money and to effectively execute a budget, I’ll keep you posted on our progress. If you’re embarking on this journey with us or if you’ve been at this thing for months, please feel free to post some comments, tips, experiences or even advice. Here are a few tips from a virgin saver:

1. Create a practical budget that fits your lifestyle. Don’t be unrealistic. Tools like Mint.com can help you get started.

2. Plan your meals in advance. Knowing what you intend on eating each night makes the weekly grocery trip a lot easier and fits snuggly into your budget. Make a shopping list and you’re ready to give it a try!

3. While shopping, avoid areas that don’t have the items on your list. For me this involves pretending the Target purse section is toxic and I won’t survive if I venture from the food to the accessories.

4. Don’t forget your bananas. Always make sure you pick up all of your bags after paying for them. I basically flushed $1.11 down the toilet at Walmart yesterday.

xoxo, Priscilla
The Bridal Event of the Year

Orangerie Events is proud to announce that we will attend “The Bridal Event of the Year” at the Mosteller Mansion in Hickory, North Carolina on Sunday, February 28th. The event is FREE to the public and will run from 1pm – 4pm. Sponsored by Sophie Woman’s Magazine, this event will honor the “Bride of the Year” and will give area brides an opportunity to meet with local vendors. Don’t miss your chance to win incredible door prizes, enjoy complimentary tastings and meet the faces behind Orangerie Events. 

Whether you’re recently engaged or months into planning your big day, be sure to stop by the Orangerie Events booth to learn more about how we can bring your dream wedding to fruition. We look forward to seeing you there!

xoxo, Priscilla