Pep Talk : : setting goals

Good morning,

I know that the month of January is almost at its end, however I don’t feel that a resolution should have a date and time for it to count. I have been working a lot lately on ways to better my business. I have spent long days and nights rebuilding my website, thinking about marketing strategies and how to build an extensive audience. I live with my iPhone by my side every waking moment and practically sleep with my MacBook. Although this is all great for my business it’s not necessarily doing wonders for my personal life. I haven’t seen any of my friends since the new year has begun. I haven’t had any family dinner time with my family or my in-laws and to be honest haven’t had much quality time with my boyfriend JBW. It has been causing some intense moments and it has come to make me realize that sometime you have to set boundaries. Of course they say that money is what makes the world go round but unless you are happy and healthy; money really won’t do much for you.

That being said I decided to start setting some monthly goals to try and maintain a healthy balance between my work and personal life. I have written out my February goals in advance since January is almost done now. I may not necessarily accomplish each but I think as long as I have them out there to see, it will be a good incentive. I also believe that if for some reason I don’t accomplish one, there is no pressure to move it to the next month providing I accomplish it at some point. I don’t want to make this your typical resolution where you go out and put all pressure on yourself to get back into the gym and lose weight. Then you end up going like every single day for a month until you completely overdo it and get fed up and quit like month 2. I am truly convinced that we need to change that whole new year’s resolution where we think that January is the main month or else we tell ourselves that we failed and we wait to start the same process all over again the following January 1st. A resolution should be something that you can set at any time as long as you feel it’s the right time for you.

Here is my list for the month of February:

February Goals 2013

Have you set any goals? I absolutely want to hear them!

Happy Monday!

Reserve the Date Events : : 2012 wrap-up

Here we are, December 31st, 2012… already. This year seemed like it just flew by.

It seems like just yesterday it was January 11th, 2012 when I decided to take the big leap and register my company officially with the government of Quebec.

It feels like yesterday when I launched my website in April of this year.

It feels like just yesterday when I decided to start this blog.

It feels like just yesterday when I received my first inquiry through my website’s contact page and signed on my first client’s Amy and Sathy.

It seems like just yesterday I was traveling through Southern Spain.

It seems like just yesterday I turned 34 (uggghhh).

It seems like just yesterday I received a last minute call for a day-of coordination which turned out to be a lot more!

It seems like just yesterday I was soaking up the sun in Jamaica.

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It seems like just yesterday the biggest storm in a very long time hit Montreal, the day before Jenn and Alex’s wedding at L’Auberge Saint Gabriel (stay tune for some beautiful pictures!).

WOW and here we are, today December 31st, 2012 with clearly so much to be grateful for. My personal life is filled with people I love and bring me joy and laughter every single day. I’m healthy and still feel young. My professional life just keeps getting busier and I’m thankful for all the new people I have met along the way during my launch.

Last but not least I’m appreciative for every single one of you, my followers and supporters, that have taken the time to read my blog and share your kind thoughts through your comments.

I truly feel blessed and look forward to 2013 being nothing but a great follow-up to 2012.

I wish every single one of you out there a Happy New Year filled with love, joy, happiness, friendships, success and health!

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With love,

Maxine xoxo

Advice : : tipping your vendors – part II

Last week I provided you with a list of vendors that you must consider tipping. This week we are going to talk about the optional vendors to tip. When I say optional, please note that this doesn’t mean that they should be disregarded. You can most definitely thank  them in other ways.

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The below reflects optional tipping:

Business Owners: It is not necessary to tip the owner of a business, unless you feel that they have gone above and beyond and you want to give them a token of your appreciation.

Banquet or catering manager: These people do not need to be tipped unless they’ve thrown in extras or saved you a few hundred dollars on your bill. The tip would be between $50 and $100.

Chef: $100+

Photographer and Videographer: If you’re paying a flat fee with no overtime, $50 to $100. He/she can give a split to the assistant.

Officiant: Normally, you pay your fee and that is it. If you wish to make a financial contribution to the church, you can do that separately.

Florist: You don’t need to tip the florist for making your arrangements but you can tip them an extra $5 per delivery location (3 locations=$15) or $10 to $20 per staff member in one lump sum, for set-up and delivery.

Wedding Cake Baker: You don’t have to tip for the baking of the cake but if you are at your reception venue at time of delivery and set-up, $10 would be an appropriate tip.

Wedding Coordinator or Room Manager: This is the person managing the reception venues staff and facility the night of your wedding, $50 would be appropriate.

Wedding Coordinator – If this vendor owns the company, then the tip is optional. If they are an employee, $50.

Wedding Planner: 10 to 15 percent. This person has planned your wedding from start to finish!

Hotel chambermaids: $2 to $5 per room; $10 to $15 if you used a suite as your dressing room

In addition, vendors would definitely appreciate a thank you card. This is a great way to show your appreciation for the services they provide and it is a great referral for them book future clients.

I would love to hear if these advice posts are helpful!

Max xoxo

The Planner : : turns 34!

Yesterday was a big day, I turned 34. Yes, that’s exactly what you heard, 34! You ask yourself “Where is she going with this?”  I recently received an inquiry from a follower having second thoughts about her career choice and it started to make me rethink some of my goals and paths that I’m taking.

When I was younger I had my entire life all mapped out. I would be this successful business woman (I believe I was going to be a lawyer), with 2 kids (a boy first to defend his little sister) with a wonderful husband in a perfect house with a white picket fence. Sounds perfect, no? Well guess what? I am nowhere near this life. Your goals change along the way due to many factors such as finances, economy changes, lost loves, etc…

I decided myself on a career change only a few years ago. I had been working in the financial industry as a project manager for nearly 10 years when I decided to take a leap of faith and become a wedding/event planner. It was a tough decision and still presents challenges every single day. When you work a 9 to 5 office job every day there is a certain sense of financial security and comfort.  However, when you decide to work for yourself, which in my case as a wedding and event planner, you never know when your next paycheck will be. You work just as hard as when you work that 9 to 5, the only difference is you don’t have that paycheck deposited into your account automatically every Thursday morning. There are pros and cons to both jobs. For me this is where I want to be and what I want to do. I also think that now as opposed to 10 or 15 years ago is a way better time for me to have made this change. Because although I may not have met all the goals I had mapped out above, I’m in a way better place. I live in a great apartment along the water with a great guy that has been so supportive of my sudden career restructuring. What more could I ask for at this time. I wouldn’t change the 10 years working in finance and I will always have that experience to fall back on. I wouldn’t change the loves lost because it would mean that I wouldn’t have met the love of my life.

As I sit here eating my birthday cake for breakfast, (it’s my cake and I’ll eat it too, thank you very much!!!) I am writing a new list of goals I want to attain in the next year before I turn 35 which is a milestone birthday. I may or may not accomplish all of them but I will be proud of every single one I do. I strive to be the best wedding planner but I will learn to accept that I’m not always perfect (OK this is a work in progress).

Happy birthday to me!

Max xoxo