Month: October 2018

  • Salt Plains Styled Elopement

    There’s a lot to love about wedding planning + event design! Working with amazing couples, celebrating love, and creating meaningful wedding-day moments is incredible. I love that this is what I get to do with my life! And, for my team and I, one of our absolute favorite things to do is styled shoots. We get to come alongside other wonderfully talented wedding vendors and create something beautiful.

    For this shoot we headed out to the Great Salt Plains State Park in Jet, Oklahoma. The bold black details set against the stark, white landscape made for a stunning atmosphere. From the black buttercream cake to the picture-perfect fall inspired bouquet, this styled elopement is the stuff dreams are made of.

    What made this shoot even more special was our beautiful couple. Yes, our models are a real couple. Their genuine love radiates from every shot.

     

    Ariana + Jackson from MAIIGO FILMS on Vimeo.

     

    I have to say a huge “thank you” to all the vendors involved! And how about that video? If it didn’t give you *all the feels,* maybe this will. We asked our sweet couple how they fell in love, and our “bride” said, “We fell in love in Jackson’s cozy apartment over lots of dinners he cooked for us (and multiple pints of Halo Top ice cream). He was constantly digging deeper to find out more about my heart, my story and the way my mind worked. He could almost always tell what I was feeling and saw all of my weaknesses as things that could help me bring more people to Christ. He wasn’t like anyone I had ever met, and we connected immediately. I don’t necessarily believe that everyone has just one soulmate in the world, but I think him and I are pretty dang close.”

    Until next time,

    XO – Stacy

  • How Our Net Worth Increased After I left my Full-Time Job

    It’s true. Our net worth actually increased after I left my (well-paying) full-time job.

    Those of you who have been with me for a while, know that in June of 2016, I left my cushy 8 to 5 job to run my wedding planning business full time. It was an exciting, yet scary time for me. I mean, what happens if the bookings don’t stay consistent?

    My husband and I had to have some serious conversations about money. But honestly, it was the best thing we could’ve done! Here’s what we implemented to improve our financial health:

    Setting financial goals

    If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? How much money is enough money?

    By taking the time to define our financial goals, we got on the same page about:

    • Where we were
    • Where we wanted to go
    • How we were going to get there

    It eliminated those uneasy or unspoken concerns about our finances. It also helps us evaluate our purchases in terms of our financial goals. If something doesn’t line up with our financial priorities, we don’t buy it.

    Setting a budget

    The first thing we had to do was set a pretty tight budget. While I was making money with my weddings, it wasn’t predictable or consistent money yet. We didn’t want to be counting on any of those funds to live on at the time. So, we had to come up with a realistic, sustainable budget based on my husband’s income.

    We slashed our expenses to the bone. Was it uncomfortable at first? Yes. But, now I can’t imagine living any other way! The sheer simplicity of our life is so freeing.

    We auto-pay all our bills, and we use cash for our spending money– things like groceries, fuel, and eating out. Anything I have left over from my cash each week goes into a “savings jar” that I can use for special purchases. It actually motivates me to save more. I love seeing the jar fill up!

    Saving more

    Since we wouldn’t have the predictable paycheck from my day job anymore, we put a larger priority on saving. We actually built “savings” into our budget. As part of our shift towards saving, we focused on filling my husband’s 401k. Who doesn’t want free retirement matching money from their employer?

    Expanding our businesses

    We knew we would need to expand our businesses if we wanted to reach our financial goals. (My husband also owns a lawn care business in addition to his day job.)

    I have to give full credit to my husband. He absolutely crushed it! His business grew exponentially, while my numbers stayed roughly the same. At least that was the case until recently. I’ve expanded my team and more than tripled my bookings in the past four months. It took a lot of groundwork and several years to accomplish, but our businesses are getting to where we hoped they’d be.

    Conclusion

    You don’t have to make a ton of money to reach your financial goals. The best thing you can do is get honest with yourself about where you are + where you’d like to be… then make a budget to support that dream. It may take some sacrifices along the way, but it’s totally worth it in the end. If we could do it, you can too!

  • Three Things They Don’t Tell You About Working From Home

    Working from home is the dream. At least it was my dream. Still is! And while I absolutely love running my business from the comfort of my home, there are a few small things I wish I’d know before I started this journey. Unfortunately, I never heard anyone talk about these three things:

    Chores are… harder

    Stay with me for just a moment. You’re probably thinking, “How could chores be harder? You’re at home more!” That’s exactly it. Since I do work from home most of the time, I don’t have a clear delineation between my “home” life and my “work” life.

    When I worked a full-time job, as soon as I came home I’d cook dinner and do chores. After all that, I would start working on my business in the evenings. There was a natural, easy structure to my life. Now, I have to make a concerted effort to set aside time for housework. There’s the constant lure of my home office. Just one more email. Just one more blog post. You get the picture.

    When you start working from home, it’s important to build a framework for your day. If not, it’s incredibly easy to get sucked down the “work” rabbit hole.

    Weight gain is… easy

    It literally never crossed my mind that I would gain weight when I left my day job. But here I am, about 10 pounds heavier than I was two years ago (when I left behind the 8 to 5). I mean, the kitchen is literally right there. All the delicious food I could want is at my fingertips.

    I recently put a treadmill in my office space so I would get up and move around. For months, I would chain myself to my desk and rarely get up. I just wasn’t as active as I used to be.

    Some days are… lonely

    I’m the farthest thing from the “lonely” type. I actually love alone time. However, there are days I find myself craving socialization. It’s easy to take those little interactions with co-workers for granted!

    Of course, I have meetings with clients and my team, coffee with friends, church, etc. I do get out of the house a lot! However, there are still those days when the house feels too quiet.

    Your journey

    If you’re starting your “work-from-home” journey soon– congratulations! It’s a fun, exciting, challenging adventure.

    I’m so glad you read this post, because now you can have a plan in place to combat overwork, weight gain, and loneliness. It’s all about finding a rhythm or system that works for you!