One Month To Go + Wedding Survival Kit Giveaway

Hello, lovelies! My name is Ashley and I will be blessed to marry the best man in the world in ONLY ONE MONTH! I am beyond excited (and ready) for the wedding to be here, and in celebration of the date I am offering the first-ever Uncorking Peonies giveaway.

The giveaway is for a Wedding Survival Kit designed by yours truly. This kit, which is approximately $30 in value, includes the essentials needed for any bride-to-be on the day of her wedding. Why spend the time wandering the local convenience store for odds-and-ends when you could WIN this survival kit and have it delivered to your doorstep prior to your Big Day?

How to Enter to Win a Wedding Survival Kit:

Enter up to FIVE times to win a Wedding Survival Kit valued at $30!

Completing each task counts as ONE entry. The Winner will be announced on Friday, June 1, 2018 at 5pm EST and contacted to congratulate and celebrate!

The Winner will have 48 hours to respond before another contestant is chosen. 

Good luck, ladies! 

Maximizing Small Spaces: Coffee & Wine Bar

If you’re a newlywed or going to be a newlywed soon, chances are you’re weathering the challenges merging two lives brings to the table. This may include attempting to make room in the closet for a second person, trying to “de-feminize” every little accent in the living room, or clearing a few drawers in the bathroom. You are soon going to find that another person moving into your bachelorette pad means making a few sacrifices. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up style!

For G and I we are creating our first home in my current apartment, a cute little space in our sleepy downtown beach town. With a little less than 800 square feet, our home is tight as we begin moving G’s belongings into the space. That means the few rooms have multiple uses such as the second bedroom playing the roles of storage, office, and workout station, and the dining room also acting as craft room, library, and drink bar. So as we trek into “spring cleaning” and looking to donate any items throughout our two stocks of belongings, the question of essentials comes to mind. Today I wanted to touch on how you can keep style with your coffee and wine bar while utilizing the best spaces available.

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Savory Sundays: Chicken Foil-Pack

Welcome to the first installation of Uncorking Peonies’ Savory Sundays (as mentioned in my Blog Update last week.) This was actually our dinner Friday evening before staying in on the raining night and renting a movie from RedBox. It was just one of those nights where I didn’t want the fuss of making an extensive recipe or doing dishes afterwards. Plus I hadn’t made this little digit for G yet and it is SO tasty — it was a must to end the week!

Though not the healthiest option, this recipe utilized all items I already had in the kitchen and some chicken breasts I had meant to cook a few days prior (but opted for some of the best local pizza instead. #YOLO) It received many compliments from my future hubs, so no complaints on this end for an easy Friday at home. Continue reading “Savory Sundays: Chicken Foil-Pack”

6 Steps To The Wedding (And Budget) Of Your Dreams

Figuring out your wedding budget is one of the worst parts of wedding planning. Finances are difficult alone, but now you’re taking the first steps into merging your lives together and things may get sticky. You might have lavish dreams, but are they realistic for both your and your future hubby? According to Brides American Wedding Study, the average wedding costs $26,522! If that doesn’t make you bat an eye, then hey, have at all those details you’ve always dreamed about. But if you’re like me and are wanting to cry into a bottle of wine while analyzing that down-payment on a house/one year’s worth of student debt/brand new car then I have some advice for you.

Like nearly half of the couples getting married this year, G and I are covering the majority of expenses for our wedding. However, did you know that one in three couples actually goes over their wedding budget? This was not an option for us so we opted for setting a solid budget before doing anything else in the planning process. We began by tallying up all assets, listing our must-haves for the day-of, creating and maintaining a detailed spreadsheet, and being realistic throughout our engagement when it came to costs. It was hard work, but was so worth the time and energy to be wedding-debt free come post-nuptials. Here is exactly what we did on setting up our wedding budget:

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How To Build An Awe-Inspiring Charcuterie Spread On Budget

When it comes to hosting a great dinner party, there are staples to the night that I cannot skip: excellent food, great (quantities of) wine, and the perfect blend of friends. My secret weapon for any gathering is one thing: a perfectly curated charcuterie board. Not only does it appease guests’ pre-dinner appetites but it’s also chic, classy, and fun to put together!

So today I’m going to share a few of my secrets on how to make a crowd-pleasing charcuterie board and how to do so on a limited budget.

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#Inspiration: Ceremony Aesthetics

Though I absolutely love writing, I know my last few posts have been very word-heavy. So! To move into a more eye-pleasing post, let’s go to another #Inspiration board, eh?

Today’s topic is on our ceremony decor and ritual. I have been going back and forth on ideas for decor at the ceremony, which is in our church, and finally made a decision on what I want to do. With us running towards the end of our budget, I have no plans to make anymore big purchases so I’m relying on my thriftiness to put the final touches together.

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Expectations vs. Reality

Last week my fortune cookie had a little piece of paper in it which read, “What is the speed of dark?” I was more than a bit confused and wondered how this could be a fortune. I’m not superstitious, but I do like having a sweet, little fortune hanging on the fridge every now and then to make me smile. But this one had me scratching my head.

Fast forward a few days and that odd fortune is still stuck in my mind. I’ve spent the last few nights laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, and reciting, “What is the speed of dark?” Then I happened to reread my notes from our first pre-marital counseling meeting about expectations in marriage versus the reality of marriage and had this surreal connection in how to apply my fortune.

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Next Steps: An Intro to CrossFit

My first impression when I heard the word “CrossFit” was that it was a crossing of different passions with fitness. Thus I had high hopes there would be wine involved, friends. (Because wine is a passion for everyone, obviously.) So when I attended my first outing at a local CrossFit box I was dismayed to find multiple bodies lying on the floor, heaving and sweating, and not a single bottle of Cab Sauv…

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My Forever & Always

All the relationship advice in the world could not have made a difference in my past experiences of choosing the wrong men. As the saying goes, I was trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole. I would try to find happiness in the wrong relationships, changing myself or attempting to change my SO. I’d try to convince myself I felt a certain way or convince myself that the SO felt a certain way for me. Only to end in tears, heartache, and questioning what I did wrong, why I couldn’t seem to find the right fit, and why I couldn’t get the love I desired.

I spent so much time chasing after guys who wouldn’t or couldn’t give me what I wanted, and then wondered what was wrong with me. The problem was simple: I was choosing the wrong men. I fell for guys who felt right due to commonalities or adventure or chemistry or familiarity or even loneliness sometimes.

That was why my beginning with G was so unexpected. I was accustomed to either temporary relationships that would slip easily away or comfortable relationships where priorities were skewed. However, meeting G was a life-changing experience that has only gotten better with time.

G gave me all the right feelings from Day One.

He has made every effort to put me as his priority and has supported me in every trial, endeavor, and achievement along the way. He loves the person I am even as our personalities differ. He’s proud of me and proud to be with me. He is my calming voice during rages and my comforting home during sorrow. He is the reason I smile throughout the day. He fights for me even while we’re the ones fighting. He loves me deeply now and talks of materializing dreams with me in the future.

And I believe every single word he says with no reason of a doubt.

He is, in the simplest of terms, my Forever & Always.

Now, don’t roll your eyes. I am not saying I found the One. (I don’t believe anyone in this world has a “One.”) But I did find someone I liked and cared for and have a high degree of compatibility with in my little corner of the universe. I found someone who increases my happiness and makes me a better person. I found someone I want to do life with forever.

That doesn’t mean our relationship is flawless though. Neither G nor I found the One to make our futures perfect.

Bottom line: every relationship is a lot of work. G and I recognize this and are willing to commit to working on ourselves and our relationship for the remainder of our lives.

We know we will always be a work in progress.

And THAT is what makes all the difference!

G and I will continuously learn from one another, grow together, attempt to give the other our best, and forgive constantly when we falter. We’ve actively chosen to embrace every raw part of one another  — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

And that is how we move forward with the last 50 days of our engagement and the entirety of our marriage.

Thank you for choosing me to be your Forever & Always, G. I cannot wait to become your wife in only 50 days (HOW IS THIS A THING?!) and begin growing together as a married couple. I love you.

-A