faux pas (?) and a sugary bargain...

FI and I have set-up a fairly strict budget and saving schedule leading up to the wedding. We are each contributing as many dollars as we can, based on our income vs. expenses. While there is a little wiggle room for the occasional meal out and minor splurge, we are being very conscious of our spending. Though I thought it would be restrictive, it's really been fine and I've rarely felt my wallet being pinched. Until yesterday.

A few friends and I went out for dinner last night. This is a group of girls I know very well and have been close with for many years. We get together at least once a month to eat, laugh and chat about all things new. Keeping the budget in mind, I set myself a limit of $25.00 for dinner, including tax and tip. This way, I could still enjoy the time with friends but, would not have to stretch my weekly money. Good plan, right?

I arrived at the restaurant early (another girl's pick) and was seated at our reserved table. I settled in with the menu and a copy of the newest Martha Stewart Weddings magazine to wait for my friends. A quick glance at the menu made me wince a bit as I saw that the average entree price was over $30. One of the specials caught my eye (roast duck and black cherry ravioli with a shallot creme sauce - delish!) and was - score! - a bargain at $18.00. The waitress poured mineral water and I was content with my decision to stick with my food choice and the H2O.

My friends arrived and we had a great time. They all ordered drinks (martinis and wine), salad/appetizer and entrees. I stuck with my water and the dinner special. After an hour or so of lively chatting, comforting one friend and catching up on life, it was time to settle the bill. One of the girls took out her calculator to split the bill 4 ways. I hated doing it but, I had to say something - I just couldn't spend over $50.00 for what I had ordered. I mentioned that I was on a tight budget and would they mind if I just put in for my order and split the tip. Two of the girls were fine and I put my $25.00 on the check. The one with the calculator was visibly annoyed and gave me a very cold goodnight as we left. Clearly, in her mind, I had made a major faux pas.

If the split had been just over my budget, I would have went with it. I never fuss about splitting the bill and am always willing to pitch in an extra few dollars or, whatever to keep the math easy. But, to pay more than double my budget for food and drinks that I did not even enjoy in light of my current financial planning? Just couldn't justify it. It may be that what is burning me most is that I would never expect anyone else to put in that much over their share. I'm always the one to suggest, "Hey, that's nuts, just pay for what you ordered!"

Tell me - was I out of line? What would you have done in my shoes???


And, not remotely related to anything other than the fact that I LOVE cheesecake...enjoy!

The Cheesecake Factory Serves Up a Delicious 30th Anniversary Celebration!
Celebrating “30 Delicious Years,” The Cheesecake Factory is serving up several sweet initiatives throughout 2008. To kick-off the anniversary celebration and in commemoration of National Cheesecake Day on July 30th, 2008, The Cheesecake Factory restaurants will offer every delicious slice of its more than 30 varieties of cheesecake with a dollop of nostalgia by featuring all cheesecakes at $1.50 per slice, limit one per guest, dine in only, on that day—as they were when the restaurant first opened in 1978.


chaos and calm


Such a simple little description for something that is utterly and completely complicated! We have a great relationship, full of laughter and open communication. Last fall we decided that it would make much more sense for me to move in to his condo once we were engaged and the lease on my rental expired. Since we lived only a block apart throughout our relationship and saw each other daily, how much of an adjustment could it possibly be? Ha!

I had lived alone (with one feline exception) since I was a junior in college. He has owned his home for three years and had a roommate that he didn't see a whole lot of. Prior to my move, we discussed at length our needs for personal space, time for hobbies and general "me time."
Fast forward to one month later and we are still trying to figure it all out. God help us, we are getting though it. I am grateful everyday that we made the decision to move in together before the wedding! The good moments outweigh the frustrating ones so, I'll call that a success for now.

Found this fun little jumble generator at wordle. Give it a try!


and so it begins...

Today is the seven month mark until my fiance and I walk down the aisle and I will become Mrs. NewName. Today also marks one month since we officially began co-habitating. Every moment from our engagement to this point has happened so quickly that I wanted to begin some kind of journal about these experiences - both the successes and the pitfalls.

Planning our wedding has been a joint effort and mainly fun, so far. FI and I are paying for the wedding ourselves, which means that he has a vested interest in every decision that is made. I feel lucky that we've worked well on compromising and incorporating aspects of each of our visions. Although we were engaged in March, we didn't start planning until May - about 9 1/2 months before the wedding. Our engagement is relatively short for our geographical area but, choosing a wedding date that is off-season has been a huge help in securing the vendors we like and in saving money. So far we have booked/finished:
  • Church booked
  • Reception hall booked, first tasting attended
  • Guest list finalized
  • Photographer/videographer booked
  • D.J. booked
  • Dress ordered and rec'd
  • Save the Date's ordered and sent
  • Headpiece purchased
  • Monogram dress label ordered and rec'd
  • Garter purchased
  • Invitations chosen (will be ordered in October)
  • Pre-marital seminar attended
  • Favor boxes and candy molds ordered and rec'd

It's been fairly low-stress and we have all of the major vendors booked. We're working through a short-list of things we'd like to finish by the end of August but, really, it all feels as if it's coming together nicely. Someone please remind me of this when I have any sort of freak out as our day approaches!!

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