Tag Archives: Yow Yow!

Wedding Wednesdays: Picking A Venue

Mandi Wedding Venue

Eric and I have been engaged for almost four months. Four months is a long time, some people plan an entire wedding in four months (which by the way is nuts, don’t do that.) And you know what we’ve done in four months? Not a whole lot. We’ve spent two weekends looking at venues and have come up with no venue and therefore no date. For us, choosing a date and finding a venue come hand-in-hand. We didn’t want to be stunted by this “must have” date to then find a perfect venue without any availability. We did narrow down the months we liked the most and therefore are open to any weekends in April and September 2016. The problem is that now April seems impossible as time continues to fly by and we haven’t gotten that much closer to finding our perfect venue.

About all Eric and I knew going into venue scouting was that we like the idea of having a venue that represents us – meaning outdoors. Eric and I have spent our last 6 years together hiking various mountain ranges, summiting peaks, biking around cities, running through parks, and bouldering and so for us, emphasizing the outdoors is key. Getting married in Northern California is both perfect and stressful because we literally have TOO MANY options. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous, and please feel free to play me the world’s smallest violin for this sob story, but it’s true. There are hundreds of wedding venues if you keep an open mind and aren’t exactly sure what you want and this becomes overwhelming quickly.

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Wedding Wednesdays: Budgeting

Creating a wedding budget is simultaneously one of the most important, stressful, and challenging aspects of a wedding. Lucky for us, we have a wedding planner to help us get organized. But even before our wedding planner was involved, we sat down and discussed our budget together and with our families. I thought it would be helpful, since talking about a budget is such a dull topic, to make this blog into a sort of handy list. So let’s dive into some things we considered in creating our budget for our wedding.

1. Talk to your family

First thing’s first, who is financing this wedding? Traditionally, the bride’s family funds the wedding entirely with the groom’s family covering the rehearsal dinner/Friday evening events. Now that we’re in 2015, this isn’t as much of a given as it used to be and nor should it be. Besides the obvious sexism ingrained in the bride’s family covering all the costs, it is just not realistic for a lot of families to finance a wedding anymore. Have you seen the cost of a caterer? For my fiance and I, we have decided to finance a majority of the wedding ourselves, but our families are kindly pitching in as well. Knowing what they can contribute from the beginning gave us a framework for our overall budget. A good way to approach this is to have conversations with both of your families separately and simply let them know that if they want to help financially, it’s much appreciated, but by no means should they feel obligated to do so.

2. No debt

By no means should anyone, ever, under any circumstances, go into debt to have a wedding. I mean, come on people. Weddings are getting out of hand as it is and you want to go in debt for one? Buy a house for Pete’s sake! Keep in mind that you are entering into a marriage and don’t lose sight of the overall meaning of a wedding. Also remember that no one is going to pay any attention to your centerpieces. At the end of the day all that matters is that you and your partner have declared your love and lifelong commitment to each other in front of all of your closest friends and family. Not to mention have the party of a lifetime afterwards. I don’t know about you, but I’ve thrown pretty great parties with some simple decorations and some good whiskey and ginger beer.

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Wedding Wednesdays: Guest List

Let’s talk about what is arguably one of the most awkward wedding topics: figuring out one’s guest list. The reason I say this is awkward is because people are completely and utterly shameless when it comes to weddings. Take it from me, people will invite themselves and their friends to your wedding with no prompting almost immediately after you get engaged. It’s really quite impressive. I’m going to proceed in telling you about how my fiance and I created our guest list, this is not to say that it is the only way to choose people to invite to your wedding, but it is what is right for us.

 

Eric and I both have small families so initially the guest list was easy. Just as a weird fun fact about my fiance, he has zero cousins. Isn’t that weird? What are the odds? Anyway, after listing the obvious people: our families and our wedding party, we emailed our family members asking for any of their personal requests for our guest list. We assumed they would have a few people that we had not thought of and that should be obligatory invites, if you know what I mean. At that point, we focused on our friends near and far, longtime and short. It is important to us to have friends invited that have played integral roles in our relationship. For us this means roommates who watched us grow up together, friends who heard about the frustrations of long distance relationships, and those who have supported, loved, and celebrated us over the last 5 ½ years. This may look different to many other couples wedding planning, but for us even if we haven’t spoken regularly with our freshmen year roommates or our friends on the East Coast, we want them to know that they are important to us and that we have appreciated their unconditional love and support throughout our years together. Whether they decide to make the trek to the Bay Area is up to them, but sending the invitation to the ones we love most will be the best feeling in the world.

In other news, the infamous issue of the plus one. Because Eric and I are logical and friend-centered people, we decided to allow ourselves the freedom to pick and choose who gets a plus one so as to eliminate the awkwardness of a stranger on the dance floor. This may sound harsh, but what this really means is that those in relationships will of course get a plus one for their significant other, standard protocol. Those that are not in a relationship and that will know enough people at the wedding to feel comfortable, have a great time, and travel the distance independently, will likely not get a plus one. For us, the perfect wedding is intimate. The perfect wedding means an entire weekend of activities with our most cherished friends and family, celebrating a love and a life that we have always been so sure of. These activities may include a hike or a bike ride, a brunch, and a welcome BBQ and these are things we hope everyone will enjoy and come together around. Eric and I have settled on 160 people on our guestlist and for us, this is the sweet spot.

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Happy 4th of July!

Three-day weekends are soooooo nice. Even though I’m just one day in, I’m already feeling pretty relaxed and rejuvenated. What is everyone up to today?! 4th of July isn’t one of those holidays that I love looking forward to or even love celebrating, but it’s still nice to get together with friends and family. When I was a kid, we always threw a party with our neighbors and friends which was such a happy memory for me. However, as I got older they just become BBQ’s and fireworks and kind of all over the place. Last year, my three girlfriends were in town from Seattle and we had so much fun catching up with other friends from college and attempting to watch the fireworks from the city. This year, I wanted to do something that was even more non-traditional of the holiday, but am not able to do that because I didn’t plan ahead. I wanted to treat myself by going to a spa and staying overnight! Is that crazy? I can’t think of anything more pampering for myself. Maybe I’ll just do that in a few weeks :)

Whatever the case, have a safe and fun 4th of July y’all!

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Criss-Cross

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White top – Topshop by Nordstrom / Red skirt – Urban Outfitters

I think one of my favorite parts about writing some of these posts is remembering when and where I got these pieces and how I was feeling when I bought them. This was the third photo I took for my “color” series before I gave up completely, but it’s a good last photo. I wore my hair up in a ponytail that day because I’d been increasingly getting more and more annoyed with my hair (one of the reasons why I’ve been waving it more.) Even though color blocking isn’t used as much anymore, I still kind of like doing it. I bought this skirt from Urban Outfitters once in the sale section (yes, that meant I had to basically be on my hands and knees scouring the goods) and snagged this for $10! My mom thinks it’s a little kiddish and that I should stop wearing it, but it has its uses sometimes. The top is one that I bought with my bff Ashley before we both moved from Seattle to California and had one of our last dates Nordstrom during the anniversary sale. We did the same thing this past summer too, I think. We both had tried on the top and though we were going to be living in different places so it didn’t matter if we both bought it, I secretly still wanted it all to myself. Sorry Ash!

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Ask Me Anything!

Readers –  I am loving that I get to spend a lot more time on my blog lately and as of recently have been feeling a huge burst of creativity and inspiration in the types of posts we can create for Yow Yow! I’m also digging on the engagement with more comments and interaction with you all. I wouldn’t mind getting a little bit more personal on Yow Yow! though so I’d love to invite you all to ask me some questions that I can answer for you in an upcoming post.

Feel free to leave a comment with your question or shoot me an email at Katie@itsyowyow.com

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Wedding Wednesdays: Hiring a Wedding Planner

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[right after Eric propsed on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai]

After 5 ½ years with my incredible partner, Eric, we’re now blissfully engaged! This means we have to plan a wedding, but where do we even begin? There are endless amounts of wedding blogs, countless Pinterest boards, several wedding expos each year in every city, and hundreds of wedding vendors to comb through when one gets engaged. And let me tell you, you get engaged and almost immediately the questions come pouring in. Did you set a date yet? Where are you going to get married? What are your colors going to be? Are you kidding me people?! I just got engaged six weeks ago. What I can tell you is that we decided to hire a wedding planner and so far we are incredibly happy that we did!

You may be asking yourself, why did we hire a wedding planner? Do we have a limitless budget for our wedding that we can splurge on a planner? Absolutely not. My fiance and I are funding a majority of our wedding independently. What you might not realize about wedding planners is that they can save you a ton of money not to mention save you from becoming bridezilla and spending every night after work emailing vendors.

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Introducing: Mandi

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At the end of last month I tweeted out a teaser that someone very special to me would be joining Yow Yow! for the next year… Readers, I am thrilled to announce that my Bay Area bestie, Mandi, who is newly-engaged, has invited us to join the ride on her wedding planning adventures! As many of you know, I’ve been running Yow Yow! for the last six and a half years and this blog is kind of like my baby so it’s a big deal when I get to invite my friends to write on my blog. Honestly though, I’ve never had any worries and it’s really special to be able to share this experience with friends that are closest to me.

Mandi and I had a ton of mutual friends in college and crossed paths several times through being involved at Seattle University, but were never super close until we both moved to the Bay Area within a couple of months of each other. Since then, her and I have been getting acquainted with our new home and trying our best to explore the city as much as we can! Oh yeah, I’m third-wheeling it with her and her fiance Eric!

As you can imagine, the wedding planning process is extensive and there’s a lot that her and I will be able to talk about on Yow Yow! Together, we’ve come up with a list of topics and I’ve basically given her Wednesdays to be her “Wedding Wednesday” platform since “Wedding Mondays” is already taken. However, we’re both still in the planning process so please don’t expect a post every Wednesday for now because we’d just rather underpromise than over. Tomorrow will be her first post though and we’re both extremely excited! Readers, please extend a very warm welcome to Mandi! She’s going to be here for awhile. ;)

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I’m 25.

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There is nothing like celebrating a birthday to show you just how many people care about you both near and far. It’s something we often forget about the other 364 days out of the year. 24 was a great year, but I am looking forward to 25 so much more. Everyone keeps asking me how I feel and if I feel older. The answer is yes. I do feel older, but I also want to act older. Your 20’s are supposed to be some of your best years and I’m halfway with so much more to look forward to, but at the same time at 25, I want to be more confident, more assertive, and of course making better decisions for myself and my life. Not a bad plan, right? The 25 year old me is already so different! I always used to emphasize celebrating birthday month and birthday week in high school and college and I’m glad to see that that hasn’t stopped. I felt really spoiled this week by having Kevin visiting, eating out non-stop, and catching up with so many great friends especially ones that happened to be in town from college which I didn’t expect. My former manager even baked me the most delicous cake on my birthday! My only request? Candles, pls! It used to be one of my favorite parts about my birthday and as you get older you kind of stop doing that.

Earlier this week, I was checking out the top posts like I normally do and saw near the top my throwback post that I wrote when I celebrated turning 20. It’s funny to look back on this and remember that back then I had no idea what was going to be in store for me. I didn’t know what living outside of a dorm would like or what graduating college looked like or what having a job would look like. Five years ago… I was a child, basically. I guess the reason why I’ve been blogging for so long is so that I can have moments like these.

Thank you so much to all of my friends and family who made my 25th birthday so wonderful.

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And a bonus photo of the birthday card my lovely parents sent me. Adorableness.

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Yow Yow! Does Portland!

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First vacation of the year – check! I’m finally now at an age where it has become maybe not a little bit easier, but more convenient for my cousins and I to get together. When we were younger, we were on family trips and there were a lot more people around, but now that we’re adults, we get to plan the trip and we get to do all the things we like doing. There’s a sort of an independence that comes with it and I think that’s why I enjoyed my weekend in Portland so much. A handful of my cousins are still in school ie) Grad school, dental school, etc. They’re all smarty pants! Kristie and I have never actually been to Portland before and since one of our cousins is currently living there and in school, we knew it would be the perfect place to visit first.

I had been itching to experience Portland for myself because for years all I’ve heard was that it was better than Seattle, worse than Seattle, more hipster than Seattle, etc. And now that I’ve finally seen it, I have my own opinions to make. First off, Portland is gorgeous. The trees, the bridges, the water – all things that reminded me of home without actually being at home. I love the little neighborhoods – Alberta, Alphabet District, Pearl, NW 23rd – it’s like any other major city that has their own area. I did, however, find the pace of Portland to be much slower, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just something I’m not used to. Our cousin also let us borrow his car the first day we were there and I found it to be fairly straightforward to get around. Let’s talk about the things we ate though since that’s usually the only reason why we write these posts.

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Yow Yow’s Yearly Recap

Everyone who knows me knows that I love data and statistics as long as it means that I don’t have to be one compiling all of it. This has always been one of my favorite posts to look back on, but boy is it just a little menace to put together. Lucky for me this time, I had Gossip Girl Season 1 to keep me company while I worked on this. It’s been quite the year for Yow Yow! We’ve focused on some new content mostly my transition from Seattle to the Bay Area and mostly just tried to do our best to keep up on all the news – the one thing that seems to keep me on my toes these days.

Yow Yow! is 6 years old now! Welcome to 1st grade, baby!

Stats from 2013 will be on the left and italicized while stats from 2014 will be right and bold.

1,294,886 total visits to Yow Yow! – – – – – – – – – – –  1,400,602 total visits to Yow Yow!

*In just 2014, there were 105,260 visits to Yow Yow!

9,167 Posts, 3,152 Comments 12,122 Tags – – – – –  10,113 Posts 2,878 Comments 12,926 Tags (cumulative)

Top Post of 2014 – “Hipster Disney Princesses In Real Life” – 5,133 views (written in 2012)

Top Post Written in 2013 – “18 Types of Asian Girls” – 1,552 views

Busiest Month in Terms of Views – January 2013 (24,905 views) – – – – – January 2014 (11,072 views)

Highest Average Visits Per Day – January 2013 (803 views) – – – – –  – January 2014 (357 views)

Credits + References

Worked with

  • Molly Moon’s Ice Cream

Top Referring Sites in 2013 Were:

  • Pinterest.com
  • Twitter.com
  • Facebook.com
  • Quora.com
  • holliswongwear.com

Most of My Visitors Came From:

  • The United States
  • Canada
  • The United Kingdom

Music Festivals Covered:

  • Treasure Island Music Fest

Other:

*We reached 1,000 posts for “Songs of the Day”

*We reached 10,000 overall posts!

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Happy 2015!

Did anyone wake up looking like this this morning?! I hope all of you had a safe and very fun New Year’s Eve! My friends and I ultimately decided that we were going to save our moneys and not blow it on Vegas last minute to opt for celebrating in the city instead. Okay – actually, I made that decision because I needed to save my $$$ per my New Year’s resolutions post! We actually had a really fun time though and caught Mayer Hawthorne’s DJ set at PublicWorks which was amazing.

Naturally, we capped off our celebration this morning by hunting for open brunch places and wallowing over a very mediocre brunch. We also decided that the best kind of brunch to have when you’re hungover is not a fancy brunch because those generally don’t get finished up like they should because you’re so hungover. Instead the best brunch is a very mediocre one – just enough to get some solid food into you.

With that, we wanted to let you know how excited we were to start 2015! I’m going to be 25 this year and I can’t wait to see what’s going to be in store for us next with everything and Yow Yow! Onto year 6, y’all!

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Favorites of 2014

Favorite Style Icon: Lily Aldridge

Lily is a style icon both on the runway and on the red carpet. This year, we really got to see her show up at a lot of events dressed to perfection. She was featured in our “Snaps for a Snapshots” several times in 2014 so even by the numbers alone, she beats everyone else. We’re looking forward to seeing more of her in 2015 and someday taking over the head angel slot when Adriana and Alessandra retire.

Runner up: Jamie Chung

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In 2015, I Vow to…

Last year, I didn’t make a resolutions post. I had just moved to a new city and started a job a few months before and back then, I didn’t really know what to expect out of the year. In fact, sometimes I think when you go into things without any expectations at all, you end up surprising yourself. 2014 was a wonderful year filled with joy, challenges, wins, loss, and a whole lot of love both near and far. Having finally moved away from home for the first time, I learned how difficult it could be to not have visability into everything happening back in Seattle, but that I had to also survive on my own for the first time and not rely on others that I knew were just a phone call away.

Well it’s been a year. I took everything day by day and though I’m not writing this from Seattle, I finally feel like I have a firm grasp on my new home and my two feet on the ground. So there’s some things that I really want to strive for in 2015 and I think we can do it and we should. I’m about to turn 25 in a few months and I think naturally 25 is just meant to be an awesome year for everyone.

 

  • Be more of an adult – I’m going to get another credit card which I’m excited about because not only do I think it’s just time  for another one, I know it will really challenge me to be more on top of my finances. I’m going to discipline myself to save more and more each month because I’ve wasted a lot of time not saving when I could have. My dear friend Toby told me recently that she wish she would have started this when she was my age. She just bought a house and someday I’m going to need to the same! I’m also going to rip off a chunk from my student loans and there’s no better feeling than getting that balance closer to zero. The average time it takes to pay off your student loans is 10 years and my goal is to beat that!
  • Make smart purchases – I’m someone that loves gift giving, but I realize sometimes I do these outside of the gift giving windows ie) holidays/birthdays. I need to practice spending money not just for the sake of spending it, but spending it on worthwhile purchases. I also need to make sacrifices and understand when it’s okay to make a smart purchase for myself for things I really need even the ones that are a little bit more costly, but absolutely necessary.
  • Dress better – Working in tech, it can be easy to choose comfort over style. Getting dressed for work has never been easier because I know that I can literally show up in anything and be fine with it, but what I didn’t realize is that what I wear impacts how I feel about myself and my day. I recently tried to attempt the fancy sweatpants look because of the latest trend and realized I never felt as lazy as I did when I wore those to work. Like every new school year and every new year, it’s time to just purge the closet and start the new year off with a new wardrobe.
  • Channel Taylor Swift – I’ve got a love/hate relationship with Taylor Swift. I don’t always understand her, but what I’ve always appreciated is that she has a strong group of girlfriends always behind her. Team Katie was a nice reminder at home this time around, but I can’t take them with me back to the Bay and I’ve gotta have that strong support system with me down there too. I’ve forgotten how important it is to have those “girl nights” and I’ve really missed them!
  • Wear high heels – At 25 years old, I’m going to trade in my everyday flats for heels and my vasaline for lipstick. One thing that I’ve always struggled with is looking my age (sometimes that can’t be helped!) but sometimes you can change it and it starts with your every day routine.
  • Treat myself to a vacation – After moving away, I felt a really strong pull to visit Seattle often. I was lucky to have been able to 3 times this past year, but now that I know that Seattle just isn’t going anywhere, I’d like to take advantage of 2015 by taking a vacation for me and going somewhere for an extended period of time. I always said that since I never had the opportunity to study abroad, that I would save it until after I graduated school and it looks like that time is pretty much now.
  • Stay active – Last year, I took a few hikes and spent some time climbing. I’d like to do more of that this year and follow-through with some of the things I’ve been wanting to do like that dance class that I’ve been putting off and SoulCycle in the city.

So readers, as you inch closer to the new year, are you starting to write up your New Year’s resolutions? We’d love to know!

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Yow Yow’s Top 10 Posts of 2014

Knowing what I know about how this year has been going for Yow Yow! I was a little bit nervous as to which posts would reach the top. It’s been a slow year, but it hasn’t been all that quiet. We’ve had a lot of fun with the blog and we’re going to continue doing so in the next year as well!

With that, here are our top 10 posts from the year 2014:

  1. 18 Types of Asian Girls
  2. Yow Yow! Visits Molly Moon’s!
  3. 16 Reasons Why We Should Root for the Seahawks @ the Super Bowl 
  4. Our Beef With The Bachelor
  5. Coachella 2014 Street Style (sorry for the broken links!)
  6. The Way Way Back Home
  7. Ariana Grande’s Dance Moves (and broken YouTube link womp womp…)
  8. Troian Bellisario and Patrick J. Adams Are Engaged!
  9. Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg Are Engaged!
  10. C. Lowe By Scarlet & Gold
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