You're Engaged! 5 Easy Steps To Start Wedding Planning

First, I want to say congratulations! Being engaged is such a special moment in your relationship but it can also become stressful very quickly. You may be thinking that hiring a wedding planner is necessary, but I'm here to tell you that you can do this on your own. Planning your wedding will undoubtedly be one of the hardest, yet most rewarding, things you will accomplish to date. Just follow these 5 Easy Steps To Start Wedding Planning and planning your dream wedding will be a little less stressful.

(Photo credit: Morghan of Arowyn Photography)

Step 1: Do absolutely no wedding-related tasks for the first week
Seriously. The next few months will be chaotic, so take this week to let it sink in that you are getting married. Go on a date with your new fiancĂ©. People will notice that new shiny addition on your finger and the glowing smile of the bride-to-be.

Step 2: Decide on a season
Have you envisioned a beach wedding? A Winter Wonderland wedding? A wedding in the woods? Now is the time to settle on the season and a range of dates. 

Step 3: Choose a color palette

There are no rules behind picking a color scheme. You can choose your favorite colors or go with seasonal colors. I wold recommend using either 2 or 3 colors. Having too many colors can be distracting and overwhelming for your guests.

Step 4: Book a ceremony and reception venue

You have a few options when it comes to venues. You can either have the ceremony and reception at the same location or you can opt to have them at separate locations. Some people say that you will save money if both the ceremony and reception are held at the same venue. I didn't find this to be true when planning my wedding. Take time to research different venues in your area. Read all the contracts before signing and putting money down. Note: if you are holding your event at two locations, be sure to get available dates from both venues before booking.

Step 5: Research vendors 
This is the time to think about photographers, videographers and florists. Most everyone knows someone, whether it be a family member or a friend, that provides one of these services. So, you're probably thinking that it could either be cheaper to hire them or that it's nice to help their business out. Bad idea! I learned this hard way. Learn from my mistakes so you don't experience the same struggles I did. Your family and friends want to enjoy your wedding day along with you, not behind a camera. Do your research, you can (and will!) find inexpensive options for these services.

Enjoy this time in your life. Someone once told me that I would be the only one to know if something doesn't get done. That's so true. Don't worry if the sparklers for your grand departure didn't arrive in time or the font on the programs is blue instead of black. Trust me, no one will notice. 

Babies and Pumpkins

A couple weeks after I asked my cousin, Dawn, to be my matron of honor for our wedding she found out that she was pregnant and her due date was two days after our wedding date in July. She ended up scheduling a c-section for the Tuesday before our wedding but her water ended up breaking on Monday afternoon, a day early. Baby Colton was welcomed into the world on Monday, July 21st. Here, Colton is just over two months old.

Khanh and I spent a weekend with Dawn and Kyle helping to take care of their two boys, Nathan and Colton, and helping with chores around the house. Nathan is two and a half years old so we tried keeping him entertained. We decided to take Nathan to Gull Meadow Farms so Dawn could rest and spend quality time with Colton while Kyle worked 3rd shift and slept during the day.

There are so many activities to keep kids busy for hours. We let Nathan pick out two pumpkins, one for him and one for his brother. After the pumpkin patch, we headed to the activity area where Nathan and Khanh slid down the slide numerous times and completed an obstacle course. There were a couple of boards for the kids to put their face in to take pictures (is there a word for these?) and Nathan wanted to do every last one of these. Our final stop at Gull Meadow Farms was the fresh doughnut shop. We bought a gallon of apple cider and a dozen of both the pumpkin glazed and the apple cinnamon doughnuts.

Once we paid for our doughnuts and apple cider, it was time to load up and head back home. On our drive home we saw hot air balloons that intrigued Nathan to no end. As we kept driving, all of the hot air balloons started to descend into a field and we got an up-close look at a few of them. 

Taking Nathan to Gull Meadow Farms is a memory I will never forget. He is such a sweet and funny little guy and I just love him to pieces.

Easy Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

Our town has the cutest farmer's market that we like strolling around on Saturday mornings. The hustle and bustle of all the farmer's and customers, the smells from fresh baked breads and desserts, and wandering without lists or concern for time makes for the perfect Saturday morning date. This past weekend we ended up buying four green bell peppers, which I turned into this Easy Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe for dinner last night.
Ingredient List
4 Bell Peppers - any color
1 lb ground beef
1 onion
1 clove garlic
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup cooked rice
Mozzarella cheese
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Brown ground beef and then add onion and garlic. Cook until onions are clear or see-through.
3. While the meat is browning, cut the tops off of your bell peppers and get all the seeds out. Set bell peppers aside.
4. Once meat is browned, add the cooked rice and 1 cup of the tomato sauce to the mixture. Stir.
5. Fill bell peppers with equal amount of beef and rice mixture.
6. Place filled bell peppers in an ungreased glass baking dish.
7. Top with the remaining tomato sauce.
8. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.
9. Bake for 10 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and take off aluminum foil. Continue baking for 20 minutes, or until bell peppers are soft.
11. Remove from oven and top with mozzarella cheese.
12. Enjoy!
This Easy Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe is so easy to make on busy school nights when all you want to eat is ice cream. You don't do that? Neither do I. #exceptireallydo

First Detroit Tigers Game!

Khanh's birthday was September 7th (he's a quarter of a century old!) and we celebrated by going to our very first Tigers baseball game with my mom and her boyfriend. Oh my goodness! Why didn't anyone tell me how much fun professional baseball is? The fans, sounds, smells, and sights all won me over before we even stepped foot into Comerica Park. When attending a Tigers game, it's an unspoken rule that you have to take a picture with the 15-foot tall tiger sculpture in front of the main stadium entrance. There are actually nine over-sized tigers throughout the ballpark, including two at the top of the scoreboard.

Once we were inside the stadium, we walked all the way around to look at the various attractions offered. Some things for kids were a ferris wheel shaped like baseballs, a merry-go-round with nothing but tigers on it and simulated fast-pitch. When we got back to our seats, the Tigers were on the field warming up. This was happening right in front of us...

Are they stretching? 

 We were lucky enough to see Miguel Cabrera hit a home run and watch the Tigers beat the San Francisco Giants 6-1!

When we left I told Khanh that we definitely have attend a game again. We'll see you next year, Comerica.

Have you ever been to a professional sporting event and instantly fell in love with the sport?

Mini Meatloaf Recipe

Dinners around here tend to be redundant and pretty boring, if I'm being honest. We usually end up making either some sort of Ramen noodles (not to be confused with Top Ramen!), cereal, or spaghetti. One of my goals for this blog is to post at least two recipes per month. This will motivate and hold me accountable for accomplishing this goal - while learning how to cook!

Last month, Khanh found a mini meatloaf recipe online. Click here for the recipe!

This recipe was so easy and we had all of the ingredients on hand. That's my kind of dinner! (Not pictured is the ground beef or shredded cheese.)

This recipe makes eight mini meatloaves, which lasted us for two meals.

 I usually don't like eating leftovers, but these mini meatloaves reheated so well and made a perfect lunch the next day. We both agreed that this recipe should become a regular in the Dang household.

Give this mini meatloaf recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Catholic Ceremony with a Traditional Vietnamese Dress (Ao Dai)

I'm so excited to finally start blogging and share all the details with you about the best day of our lives! This is the first of many upcoming wedding posts. I'm going to start with the very last event during the week of our wedding - the Catholic ceremony. Don't mind the clarity of the photos. Neither of us had cameras so I am using photos from family members.

Since Khanh is from Vietnam and was raised in the Catholic church, we opted to have a Priest perform a Catholic ceremony the Monday after our traditional Christian ceremony (more on that later). We chose to have this ceremony while his parents were still in the U.S. because it was such a meaningful event to my mother-in-law. I wore a traditional Vietnamese dress, called an Ao Dai, that my mother-in-law actually made and brought with her from Vietnam. That was so special!

We opted not to have the traditional Catholic wedding since we got married two days prior. Instead, the Priest blessed our marriage in the Catholic church. He sprinkled Holy Water on our rings.

The Priest is Vietnamese as well, so he translated parts of the ceremony for my in-laws. That was extra special for them and the smile on my mother-in-laws face was absolutely priceless. We exchanged our vows and our first kiss as husband and wife (in the Catholic church.)

Ice cream was next up on our agenda that night! My in-laws each ordered a medium twist and were shocked at the size. That didn't stop them from eating it - cone and all! But first, we had to take a picture of us leaving the ceremony, which is a Vietnamese tradition.

Thank you to all of our family and friends that came to our very special Catholic wedding ceremony. Also a very special thank you to Khanh's dad and host-mom for being our witnesses.

I’m glad that we agreed to have two ceremonies and, if I could, I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat! 

Here's a bonus picture for you! This is the entire Ao Dai. The hat is a little too tight on my head and hurts which is why I wasn't wearing it for all the pictures. We were in such a rush that we didn't get any good pictures with the entire outfit.


Hi! I'm Katie and that's my husband Khanh - pronounced like con, as in pros and cons. He traveled 8,635 miles from Vietnam just to find me (OK, he actually came to America for schooling, and we met in college.)

I'm a small town girl transplanted to a big city, wife to the most hilarious husband, follower of Jesus, ice cream lover, married to my college sweetheart, reality TV watcher, elephant lover, soccer player, wanna-be DIY'er.

This blog is a way for Khanh and I to keep our family up to date on the adventures of moving to a new city where we don't know anyone, entering the "real world", decorating our first apartment, exploring our new neighborhood, and learning to cook. Did I mention that all of this is happening during our first year of marriage. No one said it'll be easy, but it will sure be fun!

Stick around and you'll see at least two new recipes each month, our wedding details, and the day-to-day craziness that is our life.

Thanks for stopping by our little part of the internet. I would love to get to know you, so please feel free to leave a comment or email me.

You can reach me at