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Hello Monday’s ~ Are you Happy with who You Are?

I Enjoying lifejust asked myself this question.  Am I happy with who I am? My answer, is a resounding YES!  Looking deep within myself, I am content with where I am at this time in my life.  Of course, there are always things that could be different or better I guess.  I’m not focused on them, I’m focused on where I’m at right now, at this point and I’m at peace and am loving my life.

I know it’s a profound question to ask yourself.  The hardest part I think is to give an honest answer.  Yes, I tend to be the glass is always “half-full” person.  I don’t focus on the negatives this life throws at me.  Instead, I get my bat out, step up to the plate and swing away!  I might “strike out” or I might just get a “home-run!”  I’ll never know unless I go for it RIGHT?!

We live in a world where there is a lot going on.  There’s senseless killings, floods, famine, hurricanes and drought….basically a lot of sadness and turmoil.  You open a newspaper or turn on the news and there’s a whole lot of negative if that’s all you want to see.  I DON’T!

ENCOURAGEMENT

So, I said it.  I don’t want to see all the negative.  I do see it, it’s all around us.  You would have to be oblivious not to see it.  However, I also see the drive to survive.  I’ve watched men and women willing to sacrifice themselves to HELP one another.  I’ve seen them pool together in the darkest of times.  They use their resources and become knitted together in the only way you can when tragedy strikes. I don’t know about you but I think it’s the most beautiful thing about the human heart. Also the will and strength to fight and NOT GIVE UP!!

I’ve also seen when terrible things happen, men and women are filled with the determination to be courageous and brave.  It opens us up to be more than we thought we were capable of.  Not only can you be happy with who you are,  you can change how you see yourself and those around you!

POSITIVE QUOTE

“Success isn’t fame, fortune or power.  It’s waking up in the morning and being so excited to start the day.  Success is joy, freedom and LOVE!” ~ Shelly Whyland

10 ENCOURAGING THOUGHTS FOR YOU (YES, YOU!)

  1. Define yourself by YOUR terms.
  2. It’s ok to LOVE yourself.
  3. Smile, it’s contagious, pass it on.
  4. Our power to accomplish anything comes from within.  All you need to do is tap into it!
  5. Accept who you are.  I think you are magnificent.
  6. Believe – all things are possible!
  7. Who defines what you will do with your life?  YOU DO!
  8. GET UP…..GO……BE YOURSELF.
  9. Don’t be afraid to SUCCEED!
  10. Your dreams are yours.  Don’t let them go or let anyone take them from you.

I sit here and think about how to inspire, encourage and love people.  Just take a few minutes and think about who you are.  You truly are amazing not just because I say you are but because YOU ARE.  Sometimes we believe the lies that people tell us that we are.  Don’t do it!  You are here for a reason.  And that reason can only be done by you!  This is the truth, maybe you are thinking NOT ME and I am saying YES, YOU!

LOVE

Success isn’t fame, fortune or power.  It might be for some people but me.  For me, success is waking up in the morning being so excited to start the day!  Success is joy, freedom, love and who or how can I share it with the people I come in contact with TODAY?

I know there are deep hurts and sadness in people.  I’m not belittling anyone’s feelings.  I hope if you sat down for a few minutes you could find something within yourself that you are happy with.

So, let’s go back to the beginning of this post. Now, ask yourself…….are you happy with who you are?  Go ahead take some time and dig deep and give an honest answer to yourself.Shelly

Hi it’s me Shelly, I would love to hear the answer.  If the answer is a YES or NO, I’d like to know why you feel that way.  Please let me if this post encouraged you.  Did you take the time to think about it?  Please feel free to contact me at shelly@mel.paulcarlwebdev.com.  I really would like to know what you think. Did you find this post worthwhile?  Feel free to leave a comment.  Like it and Share it with your friends.  I’m always looking for positive quotes to share in the Hello Monday’s blog.  Have a beautiful week and know that I’m thinking of you!  Be AWESOME.

Hello Monday’s: How to Make Someone’s Day

Have you ever seen a family member, friend, colleague or a perfect stranger having a bad day?  I have and when that happens, my first instinct is………how can I make their day?

I want to encourage them and make them smile.  I want to make sure they know they are valuable to many people.  My goal everyday is to let everyone around me know they matter and they are loved.

Today, I want to show you that it can be fairly easy to make someone’s day.

ENCOURAGEMENT

The truth is I’m an optimistic person and I truly care about people.  I physically feel the pain of others if they are hurting.  I feel it in my stomach when they cry or are in physical or emotional pain.  It’s more than empathy and compassion.  It’s a strong feeling of wanting to help those in need.

This is something that I have felt even as a small child.  If you are stuggling I want to make sure you’re ok.  I am overwhelmed with concern for people who are upset, trying to handle their situation and felling like they have no one who cares.

Here’s my little bit of wisdom…..we can’t fix it.  We can’t take away the pain or suffering that someone else is going through.  We can hold their hand, give them a hug and LISTEN.  Let them talk and no matter how much you want to say THE RIGHT thing just LISTEN. Many times my words just make things worse which is the exact opposite of what my goal is.  I call this, “foot in mouth” syndrome.  So BREATHE.  Let them vent…….be with them.  Ultimately, this comforts them and they know someone is there and that person cares.

It’s simple really, you let them talk and you LISTEN.  By you being there, you are bringing them what they need at that moment.  They know that they are not alone and in that instant that is what helps.  You don’t realize how just being there with them helps.

To make someone’s day:

  • Be thereClose-up of doctor holding senior patient hand sitting in wheelchair
  • Listen
  • Send a “hang in there” or “I’m thinking of you” text
  • Write a note and send it in the mail.  This is something that requires your time.  There is something about getting a card or letter in the mail.  It’s living proof that someone loves you.  They care enough to take the time to write and send you a note to tell you how much you are loved and thought of!
  • Be creative – bring them a meal, send flowers, take the time to call and talk to them
  • Do something that you would love done for you

10 AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU, YES YOU!

  1. You are AWE-inspiring.
  2. You can reach the stars if that’s your goal.
  3. Don’t compare yourself to other people – – – let them compare themselves to YOU!
  4. Obstacles will come so be prepared to “hurdle them”.
  5. You are powerful.
  6. Don’t give up – – – you’re so close to what you have been working so hard for!
  7. You are exquisite.
  8. Nothing can stop you.
  9. Be open to change….it’s hard but worth it!
  10. Know your value — YOU ARE PRICELESS!

I know that reading these things you might be saying to yourself, that’s not me.  These are all truths about you.  You may have a hard time seeing these things about yourself but they are all true.  Read them over and over until you believe them and can say to yourself YES this is me!

LOVE

I know that we are all busy and we have lives.  There are people all around us that are hurting, depressed, have no hope, and they just need someone to “see” them!  When we take the time to look around, there’s no doubt we will see those who need us.  Are we actually willing to stop what we are doing to do something for those in need?  In that moment it could be life changing for that person but more importantly it could change us as well.
It doesn’t have to take a lot of your time.  Just think, if all of us stopped for a few minutes and looked around with the sole purpose to see someone in need, then did something about it…..what would our world look like?  Every small act of kindness will make HUGE impact. Would you be willing to put yourself out there?

My challenge for myself is to take the time to be available.  It will not only make someone’s day, it always makes mine too!  Will you join me in this challenge?

Shelly

Did this post make you think about those you know or don’t know but you’ve seen?  Maybe this is how you live all the time.  I would really like to know what you think of this post.  Please leave me your comments and feel free to share this post with your family and friends!  I hope this week brings you great joy!  Contact me at shelly@mel.paulcarlwebdev.com.  I look forward to hearing from you.  All my best,  Shelly XOXO

5 Facts About Postage Costs That’ll Keep You up at Night

It’s all so exciting…..you just met with the wedding stationery specialist! You looked at a lot of different invitations; you really liked more than one design. This might be a difficult decision. You’re leaning towards a 5″ square style with RSVP and information cards. It has 3 rhinestone embellishments adhered to a petal enclosure envelope. Finally, it’s all wrapped up with a sheer ribbon bow. All of this is enclosed in a lined envelope for a mailing size of 5 1/2″ square. You really love this invitation suite until you find out – – It’s going to cost over $2 to mail each one!!! Don’t panic, we have some tips to help you keep the cost in check.

There are a few things to keep in mind before we get into the facts. 2016 Postage rates in the United States are:

wedding-stamps

Up to 1oz $0.49
Up to 2oz $0.71
Up to 3oz $0.93

You can pretty much expect that your invitations will be over 1 ounce, but it is possible to keep them under 2 ounces. Keeping the size, shape, thickness & weight in check can help hold the postage down. So with all this in mind, here are the facts:

c50Fact #1 – Size Matters

5” X 7” is the standard invitation size and would be the largest envelope size you should use.  As long as the finished product with the envelope is less than 2 ounces, first class postage is $0.71. Another first class stamp for your RSVP envelope and you’re at $1.20 to mail your invitations. An optional size you might want to consider is 4” x 6”. It will take weight off of the total package and may help you come in under budget!

Fact #2 – Out of Shape

Square envelopes are considered “non-machinable” by the Post Office and carry a $0.22 surcharge. Basically, that means each non-machinable piece of mail gets hand metered. Using our example from fact #1, you’re now up to $0.93.

Fact #3 – Heavy Paper Warning

Using heavier card stock adds elegance to any invitation suite. It also has the potential to drive postage costs up as well.  You may be able to come in under 2 ounces if you use a lighter stock for the RSVP & information cards, so keep this in mind when making your choices.

Fact #4 – Embellish Wisely

Embellishments such as rhinestones will have to be small. Larger embellishments can cause stress on the envelope and tear it. Most likely, this type of invitation will be considered non-machinable by the Post Office unless the rhinestones are really small. When using bows or other decorations, choose ones that are not too bulky. They will add weight and bulk which leads to…you guessed it, more postage. Do you see a theme developing here???

FACT #5 – Maximum Thicknessmail-template

Up to this point, everything we’ve talked about contributes to the weight of the product. The final thing to remember is the finished product in the envelope cannot be more than ¼” thick. At the post office they have a letter-size mail dimensional standards template. You are required to check the thickness and height standards by sliding the envelope through a  ¼” slot lengthwise. If it doesn’t pass through it could end up costing the parcel post rate which is $2.54 per invitation. That would be $254.00 for 100 invitations  plus tax which, in our area, Central New York is 8% equals $274.32. Yikes!

Now, don’t panic! I know just thinking about all of this is too much. E-vites sound really good right now don’t they. Don’t do it. It’s ok……..breathe.

The most important things to remember are these:

  • Choose the style of invitation you want. Square is ok, it’s just going to cost more in postage.
  • Keep your embellishments light so it will go through the template at the post office.
  • To be safe do a test, take an unsealed invitation that’s all together to the post office to be measured before you put postage on the RSVP return envelope and on the outer envelope.
  • The less bulkier the better.

The resources used for this information were found on usps.com.

Melody Creek is located in LaFayette, New York. My name is Shelly Whyland and I am one of the owners and designers. We make custom handmade wedding invitation and  stationery as well as invitations for birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, retirement parties, holiday parties, all-occasion cards and so much more. Contact us today for a free consultation. We look forward to helping you design what ever you are looking for!

Hello Monday’s

 

Good Morning!

I’ve decided to kick-start a weekly blog post telling YOU how AWESOME you are!  Each Monday I will do a “Hello Mondays” post.  These posts will be filled with encouragement, a positive quote for the week, 10 amazing truths about you that maybe you’ve forgotten, and lastly LOVE.

 

This will definitely be a different post then the wedding posts that go up other days in the week.  Mondays will be for everyone.  Anyone who needs to be reminded that you MATTER, you have VALUE and you are LOVED!

 

ENCOURAGEMENT

During the 1st week of October 2014 I had heard about a lot of people who were struggling and bummed out.  My friends were really having a hard time.  People on Facebook seemed down and I decided I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing, so I decided to do a 30-Day Love and Encouragement Challenge.

 

I remember being told that for every one negative thing that is said to us it takes 10 positive things to erase it.  I posted 10 sentences over 30 days to remove 30 negative things from all my FB friends’ lives. 

 

I want to take the time to encourage you on Mondays so you can rock your week!  Hopefully, if you know this blog is here you’ll come read it, be encouraged, get some love and pass it on to others around you.  Let’s say you or someone you know is having a bad day, (come on, we all have them, yes, even me, Beam, my nickname from a dear friend at work!) you will know this is here and you can come get uplifted. 

 

POSITIVE QUOTE

 

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become GREAT.”

~ Mark Twain

 

10 AMAZING TRUTHS ABOUT YOU (YES, YOU!)

  1. You are capable of doing anything!
  2. There is no obstacle that you can’t overcome.
  3. Take a moment to really look at the beauty around you (including yourself) it’s there if you look for it.
  4. You are more than you think you are!
  5. Your value cannot be measured by what you do, it’s measured by those who can’t live without you.
  6. Be yourself – – – you’re spectacular!
  7. No one has the power to rob you of your JOY unless you give it to them.
  8. You are unique – there is no one else like YOU.
  9. Make time for yourself: read a book, take a bath, dance, sing, do whatever makes you happy for YOU.  I triple dog dare ya.
  10. No one is perfect – – it’s OK to make mistakes.  That’s what erasers and white out are for!

 

I don’t know about you, but sometimes we get so busy in our lives that we forget in all the craziness who we are.  Take a minute to really look at how incredible YOU are.  I know, they are 10 sentences that a person wrote on a page.  That doesn’t make them not the TRUTH.

 

LOVE

One of the simple definitions of love by Merriam-Webster dictionary says this:

love:  a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person

Love can encompass all the relationships in our lives.  Family, friends, co-workers, you know who the people are in your life that you love. Some of us have such close friends that we consider them family.    

Love requires action and words.  Take a few minutes throughout this week and put your love into action.  Send someone you love a quick note, text, email or give them a call.  Spend a little time and effort in your busy schedule to tell them how much you love them.  In my experience when you give love away, you get so much more than you gave.

Love is an incredible gift.  Sometimes we forget that and we take it for granted.  When you’re thankful for the love in your life take a few precious minutes to let the people around you know.  It doesn’t have to be a HUGE grand gesture, make it simple.  A post it note on the mirror for your wife, a text to your kids or husband, a call to your parents or friend.  You never know, you just might make someone’s day!

 

Hi Everyone, it’s me Shelly, I hope you feel the love and encouragement and will look forward to coming back for this blog each week.  My goal for you today and the rest of the week is to know that you are valuable to those around you.  Each day we have the opportunity to bring about change in our surroundings.  Maybe it starts with just a smile from YOU.  Have an awesome week —– see you next Monday!

 

Did you find this post worthwhile?  Feel free to leave a comment.  Like it or Share it with your friends.  Contact us and send a favorite quote so I can use it in a Hello Mondays post.  Take Care!

 

When Talking About Your Wedding Budget Sends You Running for Cover

You(the future Mr. and Mrs.) just sat down with your future in-laws and without too much blood, sweat and tears — you have agreed upon the “magic” number that will be your wedding budget.  Well done, GREAT JOB!  Now, the real FUN begins.

The average cost for a wedding in Syracuse and the Central New York region in 2015 ranged from $16,825 to $31,213.  I took these two numbers and averaged them and came up with $24,019.  We’ll use $24,000 for our “magic” number.

I don’t know about you, but whenever “money talks” take place I just want to disappear.  Most money discussions lead to great amounts of stress, arguments and fights.  All things most people want to AVOID.  What I’ve discovered is that having a plan makes these talks go much smoother.  A realistic idea of what weddings actually cost can help with this plan.

The Wedding Budget

Below is a table of a wedding budget breakdown with our $24,000.  Now remember, this is just an average breakdown.

 

 

Wedding Budget Breakdown

$24,000*

 
Category Percentage Cost
Reception 45% $10,800
Photography/Videographer 12% $2,880
Flowers 10% $2,400
DJ/Band 8% $1,920
Attire/Hair/Makeup 12% $2,800
Ceremony/Officiant 2% $560
Stationery 5% $1200
Transportation 2% $480
Gifts 2% $480
Wedding Rings 2% $480
Total 100% $24,000

 

If you wanted to add a Wedding Planner, the low end would be 16% of your budget or $3840 for the full service.  You can always choose to go ala carte.  That way you decide on the specific services you might want or need.  By adding this service you would bring your total budget to $27,840.  Yes, you are now over budget, but by having a wedding planner a lot of the stress comes off of you.

When you have a plan it can keep your budget on track and minimize unwanted stress.  There are lots of ways you can cut costs and still have the wedding of your dreams.  You might be a DIY bride who is crafty and can make a lot of items you want yourself.  Or maybe you are a thrifty shopper and can find your attire for a steal.

By having the numbers, you have an idea of where the money should go. That way if you pay less for certain things you can put that money where you want something else. You can do this with each category.

Let’s be realistic for a moment. If your Mom and Dad are paying for this shindig and you keep going over the agreed upon “magic number,” another talk could be in your very near future. “Money talks” can be very stressful but when you have a plan, and better still can stick close to that plan, the stress pretty much melts away!

Save, Save, Save!!!

hand putting a dollar into a Wedding coin jar -- wedding cost concept

If you are employed when you get engaged, you should start saving money towards your wedding. By having that money set aside you could have some of those extras that are over budget that you don’t want to live without! Your parents would appreciate you taking ownership of some of the expenses. They may not take the money, but it will show that you appreciate them.

 

 

Here at Melody Creek we want to help you with your wedding needs.  We specialize in wedding stationery, but our heart is to help ease your wedding plans so your wedding day is everything you want it to be. Contact us today for a free consultation for wedding stationery.


The following resources for my statistics in the table above:

www.theknot.com
www.marthastewartweddings.com
www.costofweddings.com
www.blogbrides.com

 

Did you find this post helpful?  Leave a comment.  Tell us what you think.

Key Elements to Write a Killer Maid of Honor Speech/Toast

How exciting, you’ve just been asked to be the Maid of Honor in a wedding!  Don’t panic because you were also asked to give a Maid of Honor speech/toast.  You haven’t got a clue what to say.  You might even be thinking how can I get out of this?  I’m not very good at public speaking,  maybe I should decline and let someone else do this.   It’s ok, we’ve got your back.  Remember,  you were asked because you are very important to this awesome couple.

Below are some key elements you could use in your speech:

  • Introduce yourself
  • Be who you are — I’m sure that’s why you were asked to be the maid of honor in the 1st place
  • Keep it light
  • Tell a funny story about the person who asked you (bride or groom)
  • Say something from the heart
  • Tell them (bride or groom) what they mean to you
  • Thank the bride and groom for asking you to be their maid of honor
  • Thank the other bridesmaids for making today (the wedding day) incredible for the bride and groom and for being a HUGE part of this day that they will always remember
  • Use a favorite “love” quote
  • Remember the wedding day it’s about them not you
  • Keep it short

These are all just suggestions to help you get started because honestly that’s the hardest part…….starting.  Give yourself plenty of time to write the speech so you’re not doing it at the last-minute. This is a big deal and you don’t want to rush, so start early and take your time.  The more time you give to this the better it will be.

Google is a great resource to actually look at speeches/toasts and see examples of how they are written.  There are so many different styles and choices you can choose from.  You can then adapt one to fit for you and the bride and groom.

Pinterest is also another place to look at examples of maid of honor speeches/toasts.  Again there are samples you can get great ideas from.

In my opinion the #1 KEY element in writing a killer maid of honor speech/toast is YOU!  You know these people.  You’ve shared experiences with them that probably no one else has, or ever will. Draw from your love, knowledge and experiences that you have shared together.  From all of these things you will have a killer speech/toast come wedding day!

Hi there, I am Shelly the owner and designer at Melody Creek.  We make custom wedding stationery and invitations.  We are located in Lafayette, New York.  My goal with this blog is to share wedding related topics, tips and advice, do’s and don’ts, amazing ideas and how to’s.  We offer so many services at our studio.  Please contact us today for a free consultation.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Have the BEST day!

Photo courtesy of Nicole Marie Photography