Wedding Wednesday: Picking a Date

The first thing people say after they congratulate you is, “So when are you getting married?” and ask if you have a date picked out. Picking a date is important because you need to have a venue, officiant, food, dress, etc. and it signifies how much time you have to do all this. Everything is going to revolve around the date so it’s the first step in planning

So what are the top four factors into picking a date?

4 ways.png

  1. The anniversary/special occasion/sentimental date: This is when you have a specific date in mind, perhaps a holiday even, and know it’s your date no matter what day it falls on. Some people are traditionalists and will use the weekend closest to it. My mom got married in 6/6 and her birthday is 7/7 and mine is 8/8 so she loved the idea for June. Some people chose holidays to always remember or the day the first met. If it’s special to you, go for it.
  2. The season: You know that it’s a specific season you want and the date is less important than the weather and month. You might want to be a June bride or find that a winter wedding is more your speed. Whatever the weather, there’s a month for you. I originally thought I wanted a fall wedding and ended up going with June because of weather. Chicago can be temperamental and I was worried about fall being too cold or rainy.
  3. Availability of your perfect venue/religious place of worship/etc.: You are stuck on the place and if it’s a popular one, willing to go with their availability and schedule. You just adore the place and know its where, not when, that matters. This could coincide with weather as well, as some months are booked more than others.
  4. Budget: The less fun but more practical sides of wedding show Friday, Sunday and midweek weddings are the least expensive. Saturdays and Sundays can go up 25-50% because of the day alone. Add in peak wedding season months from May to October and that’s where your extra charges start adding up. Making sure you get the wedding you want might involve a few compromises and sometimes the dare is easiest as it can save you the most money.

I ended up choosing June 22, 2018 for my date. I based mine on availability of the venue, time of year in Chicago, and picked a Friday because it was less expensive and I could have a smaller minimum of guests. I actually love my date even though it changed from my original fall plans. It also makes me happy I’ll be a June bride like my mom.

No matter how you pick the date, it will be special to you because you get to marry the love of your life and your favorite person. Not losing site of that is the most important thing and makes everything else just details.

You may be asking “But Tiffany, what about family members and guests?” and you’d be right. I will be getting into guests, friends, family members, and plus ones in a future blog answering all those questions.

What are your thoughts?


Wedding Wednesdays: Getting Engaged

So, I’m engaged!


Without much fanfare, Joey and I are tying the knot! This gives me great blog inspiration and I can’t want to share all the things I’m learning and loving with you! Getting to marry the man of my dreams who lets me have four chihuahuas and takes me on jeep rides and has the best heart and laugh is pretty amazing.

I can’t wait to share wedding details and our love story and my journey with you all!

What better way to start off Wedding Wednesdays with a fun infographic I created.

Hope you enjoy it!

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What advice do you have for me?






food, recipe, recipes

Recipe: Low Carb Salmon and Cauli Rice Risotto

I made this delicious meal the other night and so many people asked for the recipe, I thought I would put it up as I’m back to blogging more! This is a delicious meal you can make in about 30 minutes and tastes amazing. I love risotto but with my tiny stomach, it just isn’t the same health wise and it fills me up too fast. Enter the ever versatile cauli rice. This is a recipe everyone can enjoy. If you don’t like fish, fix your favorite protein over it instead!

Hope you love it!

The Mexican Boy-2

about me, hobbies, life

So, what do you do for fun?

I love making soap and scrubs. I love cooking. I love reading Amish and paranormal fiction. I love having out with my dogs.

Great, now that I sound like a total weirdo, let me explain why I’m telling you these things.

Hobbies. These are my hobbies. Much like old fashioned courting, hobbies have gone to the wayside. Instead of cooking classes and ceramics, it’s binge watching TV and going to dinner/drinks. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those things but how fulfilling are they? How challenging? What skill is involved or even research? Don’t get me wrong hobbies don’t mean homework. They do require research, time, and patience.

Is working out a hobby? It definitely can be, especially when you’re trying new activities, skill sets, exercises, etc. Hobbies don’t have to the most exciting thing, they just have to interest you.


I love soap making because it’s something that is slightly time consuming but has pretty fast results. It combines my love of creating with my love of being healthy/chemical free. I get to create different scents and it’s a labor of love. Making soap opened the doors for to make other items like lip balm (think Burt’s Bees), body scrubs, bath salts, and deodorant. I keep failing at bath bombs but it doesn’t stop me from trying to perfect it. I also get to research how to package the items, how to make them even better and get ti share with my friends.

As for my Amish and paranormal love stories, I will often come home and read, the TV never turning on. I love seeing different perspectives and read love stories. They take me out of the day to day life and offer me a glimpse into other worlds, views, and lives. The more I read, the more I expand my vocabulary and my life. I also like biographies, murder mysteries, and true crime like Ann Rule’s books.

One of the many, many reasons I love Joey is that he has his own hobbies as well. He loves collecting vintage video games, cars, and football and all things tech. For his video games, he loves to look up prices, where to buy them, what’s out there, and more. It means we get to scour thrift stores and flea markets together. We stop at video game stores and pawn shops, looking for hidden gems.


His love of cars is great because he is always researching and learning about new and old cars. When I bought my LR2 he was a huge reason, because without him the maintenance would be high but he can do most of the work. While my warranty covers a ton, he’s able to do my brakes and oil changes which adds up to a lot (oil changes are $115). It’s also fun watching him fixing and mod his own cars. He’s the same with tech like phones, computer, and more that I will sound like an idiot trying to explain. The same pretty much goes for football, which I’ve tried to like but just can’t get into. He watches and keeps up with most sports and we like going to Bulls games together.

With both of us having hobbies, it gives us a lot to talk about with each other. It’s fun to share our passions and thoughts with each other. He gets to be a soap tester and I save $800 on brakes. It’s a win win. It’s also really beneficial because it means we have things to occupy our time that we love and we can spend time apart happily. Sometimes we just lay next to each other, reading and researching and get to just enjoy being near.

So why do so many people lack hobbies? I’m guessing instant gratification, lack of time, lack of money, and laziness. But I challenge you to figure out what your hobbies are. Maybe you volunteer or crochet or cook. Maybe you don’t have one but have always wanted to play guitar or write short stories. Hell, this blog is a hobby of mine!

photography is another fun hobby of mine

Tell me what you’re passionate about or if you think I am totally wrong!

girlfriends, reviews, spa

King Spa Review

A few weeks ago, I finally visited a place I’ve been dying to try for a few years, King Spa & Sauna in Niles, IL.  I’d been hearing about it for a while and even bought a Groupon two years ago but still hadn’t gone. To celebrate my brunette bestie Christina’s birthday, my girlfriends and I picked a spa day with dinner after.

So what happens when you take four best friends, add in a Korean Spa, and have them get naked together?  Well, here we go…

Continue reading “King Spa Review”

new puppy, thepups, Uncategorized

National Puppy Day!

It’s national puppy day!!! Puppies are universally amazing, adorable, and lovable. I should know, having four adopted dogs, 2 still under one year! A lot of people think I am crazy having so many dogs but when you realize all the benefits, it starts to make a lot more sense.

Erin Askeland is a CPDT-KA and Training and Behavioral Expert at Camp Bow Wow (North America’s largest and most trusted pet care franchise). She has shared some awesome tips on the benefits of having a pup (or four…) and how they can truly reduce everyday stress.
When you see all of these great tips, it’s easy to see why adopting a dog is great for everyone. You get to save a life and they get to love you and make yours better, win win for everyone. #adoptdontshop and check out the tips below from Erin! (Bonus video of my pups at the end!)
How Pets Help Reduce Stress
Some studies show that people begin to feel less anxious after spending less than an hour with an animal. There are endless benefits from lowering your stress level and while the things that we find stressful in our lives are often hard to eliminate, adding an animal to your life can help.
  • General Benefits: There’s a reason that they say dog is man’s best friend. Having a pet, not limited to dogs, is something that everyone should experience at some point in their life. Pets can be calming, mood lifting, empathetic, and so much more. They teach you how to be selfless and responsible as you are caring over another life (for those of you without children).  Generally speaking, they make you happy.
  • Helps with Depression: In some cases, therapists suggest that patients suffering from depression that they adopt a pet. An animal will love you unconditionally and also be a great friend and listener. People with depression often benefit from having a pet, as the animal can help them get out of the house.
  • Health Benefits: There are other health benefits associated with pet ownership (particularly dogs). Many studies show that owning a pet has a positive impact on cardiovascular disease, hypertension, infection control, allergies, stress related problems, blood pressure, and psychological issues.
  • Engaged Mind: A key to a healthy mind, especially for those who are elderly, is staying engaged with others. A pet is often a conversation starter and being out with a pet often warrants questions or comments from passersby. Bringing your dog to a dog park is a great way to meet new people with similar interests.
  • Build Your Children’s Confidence: Having a dog in the home can build confidence and manage anxiety and stress in children. Children who struggle with reading or math can gain confidence when reading aloud or reciting multiplication tables to their dog.
  • Excuse to Play: Training and playing with your dog also provides mental stimulation, helps unleash creativity and alleviates stress. Having a dog will also encourage you to exercise as you’ll need to walk Fido regularly.
  • Routine: Having a daily schedule reduces stress for any individual. Having a dog that relies on you at specific times each day (feeding, walking, and sleeping) can help establish a routine.
home improvement, rescue, thepups, weight loss

Puppies and surgery and home repairs, oh my!

February is almost here and so much is happening! It’s been a whirlwind of activity and so far, all good in my life. Except for the whole election and narcissistic dictator posing as president but I’m not going to touch that right now. So here’s what’s been going on in 2017 for me.

The puppies!

After all the amazing work Alive Rescue did to save Barbara, Joey and I wanted to give back. They had an emergency foster situation for three 7 week old puppies and their mom Cookie. With only a few hours notice, we went from a house of 3 dogs to a house of 7 plus the cat late on a Sunday night.

Mama Cookie ❤️

Cashew, Chicklet, Caramel, and Cookie have been hanging out with us for a few weeks and it’s been puppy chaos! The puppies were weaned and Cookie went over to an amazing foster last Friday. The pups went to an adoption event Saturday and they can be found here for information and applications. They are sweet girls with spunk and love and puppy kisses. I love being able to give them a safe and warm home as they wait for their furever families.


I have talked about it on my instagram but haven’t brought it up here yet so here goes! I am getting my Lapband removed and getting Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy aka the sleeve. 

I have been having Lapband complications for about a year and a half and kept hoping that it would get better with adjustments. After throwing up most of my meals and only being able to eat things that could digest fast and easy aka junk food, I finally realized I needed to change. Combine the band failing with a terrible boss who was a phony, idiot, and useful as shoes on a fish and the end of 2015/beginning of 2016 was rough. Health is my priority and after my girls trip in October where I couldn’t stop throwing up, I made my doctor’s appointment. After a pretty negative UIC experience where I did not feel confident about their level of care, I made an appointment with Suburban Surgical Care Center on the recommendation of a friend, Catherine. I met with Dr. Guske on December 5th and started the process. Thanks to BlueCross Blue Shied and my work having a great bariatric policy, I was approved to have my revision to the sleeve. My surgery is scheduled for February 22nd and I am SO excited. To continue on my journey of health and happiness and getting to my goal weight is so exciting and thrilling. Am I nervous? Heck yes. The excitement and the motivation I have to get healthy, gain muscle, fuel my body with good things and treat it with love and kindness is overpowering any nervousness I have.

Home Repairs

We are doing a ton of work on the house in the next year and are getting started now. New windows are being quoted out and getting done asap. We got a new roof last year and gutters so our window casings will match the same ivory. We are getting a new garage, doing the landscaping, and redoing part of the kitchen. It’s a lot of work and I really look forward to updating the house while still keeping the vintage charm. It’s also really fun to drive around and get coffee or snuggle on the sofa with Joey and talk and plan and hang out. Having a partner like him, to dream with and build our dreams, to laugh and disagree, to become a better communicator with, to fall asleep with at night, it’s something I am thankful for everyday. It’s going to be awesome to document the before and after of all the improvements! Can’t wait to show you!

It’s going to be a busy next two months and I look forward to documenting, adding some video blogs in, and sharing my journey.

What’s going on in your 2017? What are you looking forward to?