Becca say relax…

Much exciting stuff has happened as of late… my sister signed her agreement to be a Mary Kay consultant, I am making headway in the wedding planning department and I am going to Green Bay this weekend for training camp!

I haven’t posted in a while because life got busy and wow, it’s already the end of July! I recruited my sister Emily after giving her a facial at work. We work together at our dad’s forklift repair business and we hung out and talked about MK all day! She was telling me how she wanted everything she tried plus nine eye colors, foundation primer, miracle set, the works… so I showed her how much money she would save by becoming a consultant and getting product at half off. I am so excited for her to join my team and now I am only one recruit away from getting in my red jacket! We also need two more recruits today for Jessica to wrap up her directorship! I am so excited for her and she very much deserves this for all her dedication and hard work!

I also have been busy with wedding planning fun… The biggest news here is that I found some very strong options for bridesmaid dresses! Since my dress is vintage looking, I decided I should go with a retro theme. Not blatantly Mad Men, but hints of vintage.

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Those are the two strongest bridesmaid options that I have looked at… Tuesday night while Ashley is visiting, we are going with Michelle to try them on. I am so excited to see what they look like! I also need to set up an appointment with Blooms in Bloom to discuss floral options. I am really eager to see what they can offer because Jessica said that Nesli got her flowers from there and they were about $400… just wow… We also are getting a free cake from Cake’n’Bake because Brian’s mom knows someone there. Hooray for free stuff… We have free photography and free cake!

This weekend is going to be so nice not having to work! I have worked 8-10 days in a row pretty much all summer and it is not fun. I just had last weekend off and it was so incredible to just relax. Brian and I are leaving tonight after he is done working to go to his second cousin Travis’s house in Green Bay. We are going up to see the Packers in training camp, but I am just looking forward to spending a long relaxing week with Brian. We are getting back Saturday, but I have off Saturday and Sunday too. That’s mostly because the family reunion is on Sunday, but I just want to relax and not work. Have I said that I want to relax? I got through working at Sentry last night and now I just have to get through a day at the office and then I have to go home and pack. I’m sure I’ll post some photos of training camp or just pictures of me relaxing when I return.

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A French Life for Me…

On Saturday, I went to Bastille Days with Jamie downtown and we had a blast! I never went until this year and I don’t even know why… Since it is on closed down streets there is no admission fee, you can eat a bunch of French (and not French) food and drink on the street! What’s not to like? Some of my favorite food and drinks that we tried there: Jamie got the cheese ravioli with spinach and I got the artichoke ravioli, which was nothing short of amazing. It’s something I might try to make someday and I don’t think it would be that difficult. I also got le crepe de bastille (you gotta say it the french way…) and it was delicious; a classic crepe with strawberries, drizzled with chocolate and topped with whipped cream. As for the drinks, Jamie got a sangria which is always good, a glass of champagne, and a Chambord margarita. I got a glass of the Louis Jadot Beaujolais because I am trying to like red wine. It was surprisingly good that I actually bought a bottle at the store the next day. I would’ve liked to get one of the Chambord margaritas if I didn’t take so long to finish my wine.

We also had to get our picture taken in the photo booth… it was a necessity. That is what you see above. We kinda got the hang of it by the second photo, but then by the last one, I shoved Jamie almost out of the picture. Oops. We were just having so much fun though.

It fell on the weekend of the 12th through the 15th, so I would say that we need to go again next year, but then it will be our wedding weekend. By then we will hopefully be jet setting off to Paris for our honeymoon.

Chocolate Lover’s Heaven….

I love this recipe for Chocolate Pots de Creme with Cherry Whip. It is so rich and decadent which is ideal for me, a chocolate lover… I’ve made it a handful of times and it has been very well received! The recipe is courtesy of Claire Robinson of Food Network. Enjoy!

Chocolate Pots de Creme with Cherry Whip

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces good quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cherry jam or preserves

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a kettle of water to a boil over medium heat.

Put the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. Heat 1 1/2 cups of the cream and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat. Whisk just until and sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Put the yolks in a small bowl; while whisking, add a small amount of the warm chocolate mixture to temper the yolks. Whisk the yolk mixture into the chocolate until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring.

Put 4 (6-ounce) ramekins into a high-sided baking dish. Evenly fill the ramekins with the chocolate mixture. Carefully fill the pan with the hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ramekins and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake until custards are set but still jiggle slightly in the center, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and carefully transfer the custards to a rack and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the custards at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

When ready to serve, whisk the cherry jam in a small bowl until loosened and thin. In another bowl with a clean whisk, whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream and 1 teaspoon sugar until firm peaks form; gently fold the whipped cream into the cherry jam until just combined and streaky. Serve the pots de creme chilled, topped with a dollop of cherry whipped cream.

One Year From Today….

Wow! Time has certainly flown past! In exactly one year, I will marry Brian. I really hate hearing other people’s mushy-gushy love stories about how they met their prince charming or whatever, so I am going to do my best not to do that here. That aside, Brian really is my other half and I am so excited to marry him. 

This post is really just meant to update on what I have done already for wedding planning. Oh, fun. Planning can be fun, but other times I really wish I didn’t have to worry about any of this and we could just be married and done with it. 

The one thing I’ve been having the most trouble with is the bridesmaid dresses, but I saw this going into the planning process… all of my bridesmaids have different body types, things that look good on them, things they like, things they hate, etc. So it has been quite the task trying to find something for any of them. I went with Michelle once and she tried some on and we found a couple that were okay, but nothing really impressed me. I also went with Jamie, who has very specific tastes in bridesmaid dresses, not that I blame her, and we didn’t really find much. Well, I guess you could say we found the perfect dress if my color was peacock green and the theme was a little burlesque… le sigh. 

Let’s move on to the stuff I have covered already… I have my dress, church booked, reception hall booked, menu picked out, color scheme picked out, DJ picked, flowers picked out, guest book bought and photographers booked.

I went New Year’s Eve 2011 with Ashley, Michelle and Emily to look at wedding dresses and I knew that it was the one… ivory lace over champagne silk with a vintage feel.

The ceremony is going to be at Brian’s church in Sussex. The reception is at the Delafield Brewhaus which is less than five minutes from my house. The menu is going to be a sit-down Italian dinner (things like eggplant/chicken parmesan and pasta up the wazoo!) with house beer from the Brewhaus. Michelle is a little appalled that I’m going to be drinking beer in my wedding dress, but I don’t care because I like beer and it’s my wedding… 

Mark Burdette is going to be our DJ. I’m excited for that because he is the life of the party and I know it will be a good time.

The color scheme is kelly green (for the bridesmaid dresses) and tangerine, daffodil, coral for the flowers and other details and gray is the neutral for the groomsmen’s suits. For the bouquets it’s going to be orange, yellow and coral dahlias, for the boutonnieres it’s either little white tulips or orange and yellow tulips. The corsages are going to be more dahlias. Not completely sure about the centerpieces, but I’m thinking more little tulips to match the bouts.

Our photographers are Kellen and Ashley Perlberg from Weeno Photography. They are the most talented husband and wife team that I know. I was so torn when choosing a photographer because they charge more than the other photographer I was looking at from Waukesha, but they are also that much more talented. But I am so glad that we decided to go with them because I think I would’ve regretted it if I didn’t. They are actually doing our wedding for free now because of a mix-up on the date. They are growing their business and are part of the northwest branch of a national photography business. They accidentally scheduled another wedding through the national business on our original date of July 6, 2013, but they offered that if we could change the date, they would do it for us, no charge. I was so surprised and thankful for their generosity that we changed our date to July 13, 2013, one week after the original date. 

I have been researching several different options for invitations throughout the process. I met with Jessica from Clark Creative and she designed some sample invitations, but they are going to be too expensive and they’re not exactly what I like. I looked at Olympia Invitations and they have soooo many different ones in binders that you can order! I went with grandma one afternoon and we probably looked through 5 different binders, but nothing really stood out to me. I also looked at wedding paper divas online which might be a stronger option, but I’m not sure they have things in my color scheme. I also mentioned something to Shelley about designing them for me since she is a graphic design major. So she might do something, but I’m not sure yet. I think it would be so cute to do something with buttons on the invitations since the guestbook is kelly green with white buttons on it.

So that, for now is what our wedding looks like. Any suggestions or ideas, let me know because right now I’m all ears. Image

My First Recruit!

I started my Mary Kay business about two months ago and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made! I have already noticed a change in my confidence and I have made some really great friends. 

It started when I received an email from Jessica Brown. She excitedly told me that I had won a $25 gift certificate and facial through David’s Bridal and that I should set up an appointment with her. I had no idea what she meant by a facial or any of this, but it was a $25 gift certificate! How could I pass that up? So I went for my facial on May 12th – the Saturday before Mother’s Day. 

I got my facial, which was just trying the Mary Kay Ultimate Miracle Set with foundation and color application. I looovvee playing with make-up, so this was such a good time for me. I had no idea that after hearing the business information that I would sign my agreement before I even left the training center.

When Trish shared the business information with everyone, I was so intrigued. She talked about being your own boss, the freedom and flexibility that her Mary Kay business affords her, and of course, the car program. I hate my job at Sentry and I’ve been looking for a full-time job since I graduated in May 2011, so I saw this as a way out of there. 

I had no idea that I could really make money in Mary Kay that easily. I invited friends and co-workers to get a facial with me on a Saturday and after their facial they bought stuff! I just had to squirt the product in the well and let one of the Sales Directors teach the class and I made money just sitting there! 

Now, sales are just one avenue of income in Mary Kay. There are also recruiting and dove-tailing. I decided right away to focus on sales and not to recruit because I didn’t want other women I knew to service people that I knew. Dove-tailing is teaching another consultant’s class and getting a portion of the profits, which wasn’t something I could do quite yet. I continued to focus solely on my sales and getting the word out that I was a new consultant.

This brings me to June 27th, the night of one of our success meetings. Mary Diem, our National Sales Director, was going to be in attendance. I HAD to find a guest. I asked everyone at work, texted a few people, and asked my sister, Emily if she knew anyone who was available. Jillian, her friend since elementary school, decided to come get a facial. I was ecstatic! Yes, literally jumping up and down in the living room because I was so excited that I found a guest. 

That night after Jillian’s facial, we all listened to Mary Diem speak. She talked about the business opportunity for Jillian and also gave the consultants some tips. We all were given two puzzle pieces on which to write two of our goals. By the end, Jillian was asking so many questions about the business that Mary and her sat down and talked about it for a good 30 minutes. Jessica and I talked with her afterwards about inventory options and gave her some more info about the business. We sent her on her way to think about it.

Trish was running a contest in June that if you add one qualified or have two agreements, you will earn the Carpe Diem pin. I admired that pin on Trish’s jacket and I wanted so much to earn one, but I really didn’t think that I could recruit anyone. This might be why I was so surprised, shocked, amazed that Jillian was interested. I just need to keep bringing guests to get a facial and hear the business information and I can get women interested or at least considering the business opportunity! 

I must add that my recruiter and Director in Qualifications, Jessica, was so close to wrapping up her Directorship in June. She and her recruits had until June 30th to add 9 more recruits and have a certain amount of orders for production in. i have become so close with Jessica in two short but wonderful months and I really wanted to help her wrap this up, so that was my other incentive for recruiting. 

Back to Jillian now. She took the next few days to think about the opportunity and decided to sign her agreement on June 30th! I was so, so happy for her, for Jessica and for myself! Jillian is embarking on something new and wonderful and Jessica was one more recruit closer to Directorship! This was something that I never thought was possible for me and I did it! 

Tonight I get to pin Jillian for her rose ceremony and present her as an official consultant to the unit! More later! 🙂

Yes, I enjoy organizing!

Yes, it’s actually true! My friend, Jamie can attest to this all too well. She says that every time she comes over my room is rearranged differently. (I say she just doesn’t visit often enough…) I have myriad organizing bins, baskets and totes. In our basement alone, I have “The Great Wall of Organizing Bins.” I even willingly helped Jamie organize her entire apartment when she first moved in. I know it’s a bit of a problem, but it could be worse, right?

Right up there, is my dream office. Right now I just have a filing cabinet to contain all my office supplies and papers. Not so efficient.Especially when everything expands outside of the filing cabinet and spills into other areas which are not my “office.”

That said, something needs to be done. I know I won’t have the office pictured above, but that’s what I aspire for one day. Tomorrow afternoon it begins. That’s when I have the time to devote to cleaning my entire room. It’s going to be scary, but so worth it. It always is.