Simply Beginning A Young Couple in a Small Town on a Small Budget Tue, 23 Apr 2013 01:25:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Guest Post – Plan a perfect wedding with Eco-friendly products: Go Green Tue, 01 Nov 2011 03:12:42 +0000 About the author:

Kate is a blogger by profession. She loves travelling, cooking and singing. These days she is busy in planning a wedding of her close friend and blogging about her wedding tips. She recently shared an article on hot honeymoon destinations in the world.

And here’s her post:

All the members of the family are sitting in the hall room thinking to make the wedding occasion a commemorate event. It is the best time to think of an eco-friendly wedding. Make your wedding memorable and stylish by using eco-friendly items and showing your love to the environment. There are several things you can do towards making the function greener. For example, you can minimize the amount of driving; give away the remaining foods to the needy etc. Apart from that you can use various green items from your wedding invitations to the wedding rings. By using such items you are not only saving the planet but also keeping the environment clean and pollution free.

Invitations: Today you have many options to choose from stylish and beautiful green invitations that are made of recycled papers. They come in various textures, colors and thickness. Though most of them chose to communicate electronically to reduce the use of paper, you may still feel the need to have beautiful invitations. Use recycled paper for the invitations.

Flowers: Flowers are the center of attraction in any wedding. And, the choice of the flowers for the decorations can make a great difference if you choose to go green in this aspect. Instead of choosing imported varieties of flowers, choose some of the locally grown, fresh and seasonal flowers. This is one of the best ways to reduce the transportation. Organic flowers are another option. Another idea is to grow your own flowers or buy them fresh from the farmer’s market. Use of silk or dried flowers is also green option.

Centerpieces: If you have decided to choose ‘green’ as your wedding theme then you have a good chance of using green centerpieces. Consider beautiful and decorative vases made of recycled glass or bamboo. Some centerpieces are made of real twigs or recycled metals. You can create your own designs using branches, stem and flowers. Candles can also be used for creating a special centerpiece.

Favors: The best way to show your love for the eco-friendly theme is by choosing ‘green’ wedding favors. The best choice is to give away organic products. Some of the preferred choices are organic milk and dark chocolate bars. Some brides gift trees that can be planted indoors or outdoors. Some couples decide to donate on the special day in favor of their guests.

Rings: Green wedding rings are the best way to express your love to your bride. Choose from a wide range of eco-conscious wooden jewelry that is unique, really beautiful handcrafted. You can also choose from various kinds of gold and diamond rings that come from certified community mines that do a lot of hard work to produce the rings. The processed platinum and 18k gold rings are made from reclaimed sources by the Earth wise Jewelry Collection. These jewels are designed and hand-fabricated by experts with fair labor concerns. Other options include recycled gold wedding rings, wooden rings, rings made of coconut shell etc.

Attire: The dress you wear can also be a part of your green drive. Choose materials made of materials like hemp, cotton, organic blends etc. Avoid using clothes made of polyester or taffeta. Some designers even use a blend of hemp and silk for making the wedding attire. A simple and stylish way to reduce the environmental impact is to use vintage dresses, or clothes that have already been worn by someone. Some brides also prefer to use cotton clothes that can be worn for other occasions.

Green weddings are gaining popularity in many parts of the world. The world will be a better place to live if we decide to reduce the energy usage, use a lot of recycled products and keep the environment and the surrounding clean.

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We miss you!! Thu, 04 Aug 2011 03:28:23 +0000 We feel terrible that we have abandoned our faithful following over the past month, and we miss our blog.  We have been forced into a blog hiatus and thought we owed you all an explanation.

You remember that whole bit where we sort of said, “Yay!  Let’s plan a wedding in 8 months, start a blog, get thousands of people to read it, move, have 3 showers, bachelor and bacheorette parties on top of all the other wedding things we don’t even know exist yet and have fun doing it!”  Well… we sort of did it all.  (We are proud.)  And, we also think we’re going to come out of it pretty much unscathed.  The only sad part is that we could only get it all done by skipping out on the blog for the last little stint here.

We are sorry.  We miss you.  Don’t fret – we have been making a bad ass list of blog posts that will commence as soon as we get back from sunny Costa Rica!

Countdown to wedding: 9 days.  Holy Crap.

Adding a False Bottom To the Brew Kettle Mon, 11 Jul 2011 00:19:34 +0000 We have brewed our FINAL batch of Wedding Ale!  We should end up with about 300 bottles in total.  That means enough for all of our out-of-town hotel guests, for our wedding party after the rehearsal dinner, and hopefully enough to have as wedding favors for those who want one when they leave the wedding!

With that, I thought I would share with you the last upgrade to our system that we made, prior to these last few batches.  We’re going to take a look inside the kettle, literally.

When I first built a brew pot out of a used 15 gallon keg, it was honestly a lot of guesswork.  Since then, I have noticed several flaws in my design.

Using the right size thermometer

When I first built the keggle, I used a thermometer with a 6-inch probe.  I thought this was a good idea because it would reach further into the beer to get the temperature.  However, I realized the mistakes of my ways when I tried to fit my immersion wort chiller into the kettle…it would hardly fit! (Since then, I have started using a counter-flow chiller, so it isn’t as big of a problem)

Thus, I ordered the same thermometer but with only a 2.5″ probe.  This will get the temperature just as accurately, but will not get in the way of an immersion chiller.  I will use the one with the 6″ probe on the hot liquor tank we built to heat our water in.  The 6″ thermometer will be fine there because I won’t be chilling that water, just heating it up!

Use a False Bottom

The other mistake I made was to use a simple mesh screen tube (sold commercially as a bazooka screen) at the bottom of the keg to filter out the hops.  This was a mistake because of the shape of the bottom of the keggle.  Kegs are rounded on the bottom, so when you have a straight pick-up tube (like the bazooka screen), you leave over a gallon of wort behind!  I don’t like leaving beer behind.

So I went to and picked up a copper pick-up tube with a 90-degree bend.  This puts the pick-up right at the bottom of the keg, leaving no wort untouched!

false bottom and copper pick up tube

The only problem is that it still doesn’t filter out the hops.  So, I decided a false bottom would be the way to go.  I just got a simple 10-inch diameter stainless steel circle with holes cut in it to allow the wort to travel through but keep the hop sludge out.  Hopefully this will provide enough filter in the boil kettle to keep from getting any hops into the fermenter.

The false bottom has a 1/2″ diameter hole in the center – perfect for the copper pick-up tube to fit right in.

This set-up is much more effective because I can fit my immersion chiller into the kettle without hitting the thermometer and I am able to drain all of the beer out without having to tilt the keg on edge trying to get it up to the screen tube.

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Hooray bridal showers! Fri, 24 Jun 2011 04:04:01 +0000 I had two bridal showers over the last two weeks.  They were both wonderful and a ton of fun, and I thought some of you might like to hear about them.  Stay tuned for a post later this week on the fun bridal shower games we played –  I’m going to let the pictures do the talking for now.  Enjoy!

















Phew!  I was going to finish up the last few thank you notes tonight, but instead I fought with these photos for an hour and a half and desparately need to go to bed!  There’s always tomorrow :)

Sweet dreams!

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Our How-To Guide for DIY Save the Dates Wed, 22 Jun 2011 15:42:47 +0000 The Wedding Bureau asked us to do a guest post for them this week and share step-by-step instructions on how we made our homemade DIY save the date cards for our wedding.

Many of you have probably already seen our post on how we designed them, and then put them together with the help of a few great friends, but if you’ve got time, head over to the Wedding Bureau and check out their write-up for the step-by-step guide.