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Releasing Your Burdens

[Photo via Pinterest]

I just LOVE this picture, don’t you?

I’m not a huge balloon person (Em can vouch for that) but there’s  something so wonderfully symbolic about releasing a balloon into the air. We each live day-to-day with so many burdens and weights that keep us down, whether they be financial, love or career, everyday we carry around more weight on our shoulders than we can possibly muster, keeping us well secured to the earth below us. Although we chip away at these burdens, emotions and woes, we can’t fully get rid of them until we allow ourselves, until we take a giant leap of faith and let go of EVERYTHING. Until we do that, we’ll remain stuck to the ground, never able to release into our full potential.

Very sadly, this blog that I love, that I’ve harvested from 2 readers to thousands, is becoming a burden. It’s becoming something I throw together on a last minute’s whim, something I dread and stress about every day. And you know what? Realizing that is the hardest part. This blog was becoming something that kept me firmly stuck to the ground.

[Photo via Pinterest]

I had a conversation with my dear friend Alicia who told me “it’s better to do two things really well than a handful of things just average.” And I couldn’t agree more. Back when I had more time, this blog was everything to me. I got joy out of updating it, interacting with commenters and finding new content. Now, because I’m in a new job, a full-time freelance writer and author to another very quickly growing blog, I’ve lost the passion I once had for this. I’m losing the excitement that once filled every single post, that exploded out of every word. Keeping it up everyday isn’t fair to me anymore and more importantly, isn’t fair to you all, my tried and true readers. You all are incredible and I can never express how much I love and appreciate each one of you. And you deserve me at my best, you deserve my best writing, my best photography and my best EVERYTHING. So, until I have that back, I’m going to be spending less time over here and more time cultivating my food blog, my freelance career and my photography skills. My dream is to be a writer and a full-time dietitian and I’m ready to see where chasing those goals, head on, takes me!

[Photo via Pinterest]

So, I’m letting go. I’m releasing this “balloon” back into the air. I’ll be back next week to share a few more amazing weddings I have saved then it’s time for me to let go. You never know, I may miss this wedding world too much that i’ll be back in a jiffy. Until then, I’ll see you in the clouds 🙂

You can find me ALWAYS blabbing about food on my food blog, talking recipes, entertainment and fun facts on She Knows and tweeting, updating and sharing jokes on Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook. PLEASE feel free to contact me, share any exciting news you have and just talk with me in an email! Y’all know I love you 🙂 claire dot gallam 10 {at} gmail.com.

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Royal Wedding Day! Proper Toppers

GUYS…IT’S THE ROYAL WEDDING DAY. Did you watch it? I woke up at 6am on the dot to catch the beginning and it was worth every single lost minute of sleep.  In case you missed it, here are a few snapshots that I found on the Royal Wedding website, by the British Monarch!

The happy couple, now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge!

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Free and Fun Cocktail Party Template by Brancoprata

I’m so honored to have the fabulous Brancoprata guest posting here! Sofia has been a rock in  my life and I’m so incredibly blown away by the talent of this incredible duo. Thank you both for absolutely everything, from putting a smile on  my face to helping me out when I’ve been stressed! Thanks for posting while I’m beaching!

Hi there lovely readers of A Realistic Wedding. We are Sofia and André, from Brancoprata and we are here to guest post while beautiful Claire is off celebrating her wedding and honeymoon!

Since Claire will be a newlywed when she returns we thought that she will probably be having a lot of gatherings and parties for her friends and family… that being said, we thought about making a free download for Claire and you (her faithful readers). A cool, modern invitation template for a night of fun and cocktails!

In this case we used a muslin bag as an envelope and attached a circular paper tag!

We hope you like it and … use it 😉

FREE PRINTABLE!
Claire, once again, thank you for inviting us to guest post here on your blog!!

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For Japan, With Love

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The devastation and death toll in Japan is completely and utterly heart wrenching. Not only do thousands have to live without food, water and shelter, they are now faced with the fear and impending threat of a nuclear meltdown. In times like these, it’s more important than ever to rally together and help those who are in desperate need of assistance. It’s times like these that we need to drop what we are doing to help humanity, help strangers who can no longer help themselves. Together, we can do anything and this point is further proven by the amazing support already gathered through For Japan, With Love, a donation group founded by Lydia of Ever Ours and Utterly Engaged. On this site, you can directly donate to help the relief efforts in Japan.

In addition to donations, I will also be participating in the March 18th Blogger Day of Silence, where I will not post anything on this site to honor those who have lost and are fighting. Join me in this effort by donating or participating in the Day of Silence!

For more information, please contact Lydia of Ever Ours at lydia@ever-ours.com and Utterly Engaged at info@utterlyengaged.com.

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Operation Layla: How We Can Help!

Have you heard about #operationlayla? If you’re on Twitter, chances are high that you have. What is it? It’s a donation to support our dear friend Layla (ohdearitslayla) get the surgery she needs. She is such an amazing person and is always there to lend support and put a smile on your face. This girl is as real as it gets and she needs help. Her surgery costs $4,000 and we are already OVER halfway there! DONATE HERE to help raise the rest! The remainder of the money that is donated will also go to an amazing cause, The Red Cross Japan and South Pacific Relief. So friends, there’s no better time than now to help those who desperately need it!

Here’s her story and a dashing photograph of her and her hubby!

Isn’t she just the prettiest thing you ever did see??

Three years later, Layla was in horrible pain that affected nearly every aspect of her life. Temporarily uninsured due to a job change, she paid out of pocket last October to go to the doctor and make sure the cancer had not returned. Thankfully, it had not. However, her doctor believes that she has pelvic adhesions and Endometriosis due to the previous surgery, but it can’t be diagnosed until an additional surgery (laparoscopy) is performed. The doctor also found out Layla has cervical stenosis, which basically means her cervix has completely shut down due to the scar tissue from the previous surgery. These issues make her miserable most of the time, making simple things like going to the bathroom and menstruation horribly painful, and sexual intercourse impossible. He stated that if she wanted to have children one day, even sperm could not pass through her cervix, and she would have to have intrauterine insemination.

The doctor wanted to schedule surgery as soon as the insurance at her new job went into effect. Her company fired her the day her insurance became valid, ten days before Christmas, plainly stating that it was because of her health issues.

Fortunately, she got on her husband’s insurance, which went into effect February 1st. As soon as she could, Layla scheduled surgery for March 22nd. Then her insurance company dropped a bomb: because she went to the doctor (even as a self-pay patient) within a three month period prior to her enrollment date, they were considering her health issues to be a pre-existing condition, and would not insure any doctor visits, medication, or surgery for 388 days.

When you are in near constant pain and can’t work, 388 days is a long time to wait. The sooner Layla can have this surgery, the sooner she can return to work (hopefully with a nicer company!) and start living her life again. Her doctor has been nice enough to work out a deal with her if she can pay as a cash patient: he decreased the amount of her surgery to $4,000, and the cost of the anesthesia to $500, with additional fees for biopsies of removed tissue to be determined.

The problem is, Layla is unemployed due to this, has used her savings to pay for living expenses and medical bills, and has been denied loans for the surgery because of her unemployment status. She does not have close family, so she can’t ask them for help. Surgery is scheduled for March 22nd, and Layla and her husband are still trying to secure a loan through several banks.

[Story from Operation Layla]. Visit the blog to stay up to date on donations and to bid on goods for our bake sale on Monday!

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Exactly 23 Days…

…until my wedding! BAH! March 1st not only kicks off my wedding month, but it also kicks off springtime in many places around the world. I, however, am not feeling spring’s warmth as of yet, but I know it’s coming. I can at least appreciate the fact that the sun is shining today and I heard birds chirping this morning. Although I can’t break out the short sleeves and flip-flops yet [without being judged to my very core by the angry people of DC], I’m still quite glad it’s March 1st. Before I get to the meat and potatoes of the post, I’m going to share some pretty spring inspired cakes made by the uber talented Jim Smeal of Charleston, SC.

[Source for photos]

Aren’t these cakes beautiful?

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Virtual Shower for Miss Steph Bubble!

I’m so excited to be a part of the virtual shower for one of my favorite people in this universe, Stephanie Dunant. (aka @stephbubble). She has been an incredible friend to me throughout this whole wedding planning process and has offered me countless pieces of advice and support, as well making me laugh when I felt like crying. So Steph, my darling, here’s to you and a wonderful marriage. I know you will be a gorgeous bride and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Everyone join me in wishing Stephanie and Robin a beautiful day tomorrow!

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