Four Threads

Marriage

Smoke Bomb Gender Reveal

Lifestyle, Marriage, FashionVeronica ArrietaComment
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My heart could burst as I'm writing this because we're just so excited to officially announce that we are welcoming a sweet baby GIRL in July! We've told our family and close friends but have been keeping it a little secret from everyone else until now. I've already started to plan out her nursery and buy all the pink clothes (help!!!)! We feel so incredibly blessed for this little girl growing inside of me and we cannot wait to meet her in just a few short months. 

Dress: Old Navy ℅ (non-maternity wearing a Small)| Shoes: Sam Edelman (last summer on sale for $64 here) | Lips: NARS lip pencil in shade "Yu"

I wanted to do something different than the typical pink balloon announcement and totally fell in love with the smoke bomb gender reveal when I saw it on Etsy. If you love the idea of the smoke bomb photo shoot, here are a few tips we learned:

  1. Buy a few smoke bombs because they burn quickly. If you want a good variety of positions and chances for everyone to have their eyes open in the photo, you’ll need lots of burn time. We used 3 smoke bombs and 1 practice smoke bomb. The smoke bombs give you approx. 45-60 seconds to get the shot.
  2. Have two people handy. We had two friends help us: one behind the camera and one to light the smoke bombs/move it around once it started to fizzle out. A big shout out to Steve and Katie for making this possible :)
  3. Plan our your poses/what you're going to do. You only have a few seconds to get your photo so make sure you're 100% ready when you light it up.
  4. The wind matters! This is where the practice smoke bomb is really helpful, so you can see which way it's going to blow. 

3 Ways For Couples To Make Time For Each Other

MarriageVeronica ArrietaComment

Mike and I's schedules can get pretty crazy at times with work, dinners, and just daily life getting in the way. So during those crazy weeks, we try and make it a habit of making time for us. We love to branch out and try new restaurants or a new spot to grab a drink.

Life happens, and craziness happens, so it's nice to carve out time with you and your significant other. Here are 3 ways we make time for each other:

1. Plan ahead. The week days tend to fill up so every Sunday we'll go over our schedules for the upcoming week and coordinate a time that works for both of us. We will plan a dinner date, catch up on our shows, make dinner together at home, etc. 

2. Ditch the technology. We're addicted to our phones (is your phone next to you as you're reading this right now?). Sometimes you just need to turn off the email, texting, social, etc for a few hours to enjoy time together. Trust me, you won't regret it; it's something we need to do more in our relationship. 

3. Getaway. Sometimes you need to plan a little weekend getaway (or staycation) to spend time with each other. To me, there's no better way to refresh and reset then by getting away. 

What do you do to spent with with each other? 

13 Questions To Ask Before You Get Married

MarriageVeronica ArrietaComment
Questions you and your fiancé should talk about before you get married

Before we got married, Mike and I went through a pre-marital class with our church. Although we've been together for years, it was nice to be able to talk to other married couples and seek wisdom from them. During the class we also had to face some interesting (and some tough) questions but made us so much stronger entering this lifelong commitment. Some of the questions we previously talked about, but others we hadn't so it was good to tackle them before the big day. Whether you're engaged, dating someone, or a newlywed, I highly suggest discussing these questions before you say "I Do."

1. What does a "clean home" mean to you? 

2. What are your views on finances?

3. Why do you want to get married? 

4. What do you bring to the table?

5. What's your love language?

6. How many days a week do you want to be intimate? 

7. How did your parents fight/argue? 

8. Do we want children? If so, how many? 

9. Who is going to take care for the kids?

10. What are your expectations for the household will me maintained? 

11. Do we like and respect each other's friends?

12. How do we fight? When we argue or fight, what happens? 

13. Are you ready to put my needs above your own needs and wants?

I'm Dating Someone Even Though I'm Married

MarriageVeronica ArrietaComment

I have a confession to make. I'm dating someone even though I'm married.

He's an incredible guy. He's handsome, smart, hard working, funny, cares for his family, loves me unconditionally, and keeps God at the center of his life. I love to experience life with him, go out to dinner, travel together, and just lounge around in hiding with him. When he's away, I miss him. 

Sometimes I'll make him a fancy dinner or we'll walk around the city talking about life. I'm so incredible blessed to be dating someone even though I'm married. Perhaps all of us should try it!?

Oh! Did I mention that man I'm dating is my husband? It's so important to always be dating your husband or wife, even after you say "I do." I've witnessed so many un-happy relationships because he/she stops pursuing the other person - they stop dating! Over the years, those butterflies you got at the beginning of dating may fade, but if you wake up every day pursuing your spouse you will gain those butterflies back.

Marriage is hard work, it takes communication, selflessness, love, action, etc. Dating is the fun part, you learn new things about each other and get to make new memories together - who doesn't want to keep that up! Do you remember the butterflies you got when you first started dating? We'll those shouldn't stop now just because you're married (and have kids). Start pursuing each other like you did on your first few dates - dress up, treat yourself, hire a babysitter. I can guarantee you that it will change your relationship together and make it stronger.

Valentine's Day Date Night

Fashion, Lifestyle, MarriageVeronica ArrietaComment

So obsessed with this top. It's under $55!

On Veronica: Off The Shoulder Top (only $54!!), High-Waisted Jeans (similar here and here), Heels (similar option), Claire V Leopard ClutchKendra Scott Necklace (or here), Forever 21 Rings, Lipstick: Nars in "Cruella", Essie Nail Polish in "Fiji"
On Mike: Gap Sweater (on sale), Banana Republic Button-DownJoe's Jeans (or here), Ted Baker Shoes

Our Valentine’s tradition is always simple: date night. We just want a fun evening out at one of our favorite restaurants, a good glass of wine and each others company (some ice cream to finish off the night doesn't hurt either!). Valentine's Day is a good excuse to get dressed up and show one another how much you love them (even though we should be doing that every day!).

My favorite color is pink so when it comes to Valentine's Day I don't hold anything back. I love this pink-y mauve off-the-shoulder blouse from Nordstrom. It has a touch of a retro-look with the cropped hem and ruffles neckline -- a fun and flirty top without looking like you're trying too hard! Mike is more subtle with his look. He's wearing a grey Gap v-neck sweater with a Banana Republic button-down underneath and slim-fit dark jeans.  

San Francisco is filled with so many great wine bars and restaurants. On this night, we headed to one of my favorite streets: Hyde Street; to Swensen's Ice cream, the original old fashioned ice cream parlor that been there since 1948. If this was our actual Valentine's Day date then we would go to one of our favorite SF restaurants including: Zarzuela in Russian Hill, Park Tavern in North Beach, Elephant Sushi in Russian Hill, Nopa near Alamo Square, or Marlowe in SOMA. Usually starting off the night with a drink at a nearby wine bar then finishing the night on a sweet note (I've had such a sweet tooth lately!). 

Get Veronica's Look

Get Mike's Look

How To Change Your Name After You Get Married

Wedding, MarriageVeronica Arrieta1 Comment
How to easily change your name after you get married.

This sounds terrible but I've been married for ~9 months now and just now changed my name (eeekk). I just haven't had the time to go wait hours upon hours at social security, then the DMV, then passport. I've been dreading the whole process until I found HitchSwitch, a full-service site that simplifies the name-changing process. 

HitchSwitch makes it so easy to change your name after you're married

HitchSwitch Makes It Easy To Change Your Name After You Get Married

HitchSwitch started when two law school classmates were blown away at how complicated it was for their new wives to change their last names (finally someone that understands the struggle is real!!).

For $29-$59, I filled out an easy online form then waited 3-5 business days for the pre-filled-out documents to arrive. They arrived with indicators on where to sign or add any personal information, along with the pre-paid and pre-labeled envelopes to mail out. Hello, if that's not easy then I don't know what is!

Honestly, this has already been such a dragged out process (hello 9 months later) that I just wanted to get it over with. Yes, I could have easily waited hours on hours and do this myself, but could be doing better things with that time.

If you'd rather change your name the hard way, see below: 

1. Get your marriage license. Before you can even think about changing your name, you need the original or certified marriage license with the raised seal and your new last name on it. If you didn't automatically receive it after you got married, then call the clerk's office where you got your marriage license and request copies. 

2. Change your Social Security card. Fill out the application for a new Social Security card. Your social will be the same number, just your name will change. Then you can either go down to the local Social Security Administration office or mail in your application. If you choose to mail your application, make sure to track your package because you don't need those important documents to go MIA. You'll need to show them your SS-5 form, original/certified copy of your marriage license and valid US passport (or driver's license and birth certificate). Your new card should arrive within 10 business days. 

3. Change your license at the DMV. Yes I know, we all dread a trip to the DMV but you need to get a new license with your new name . Make sure to bring every form of identification you have because you don't want to get to the front of the line and realize you forgot something. Bring your old license, your certified marriage license, your new Social Security card, your passport, and 2 proof of residency documents postmarked within the last 30 days (i.e. a utility bill, a credit card statement, pat stub, etc.) You will also be required to pay a fee for your new license. 

4. Change your passport. You'll need to fill out a DS-5504 form, have your old passport, certified marriage license (no photocopies or notarized copies), a color passport photo, and $110 made out to the "Department of State."

5. Change your bank accounts. The fastest way to change your name at a branch is to go into a local branch location. Make sure to bring your new drivers license and marriage license. You should request new checks, debit and credit cards. 

6. Other things to change. Now that your Social Security card and driver's license is out of the way, everything else should be relatively easy. Here is a list of places to notify about your name change: 

  • Employers/payroll
  • IRS
  • Post office
  • Electric and other utility companies
  • Credit card companies
  • Landlord or mortgage company
  • Insurance companies
  • Doctors' offices
  • Voter registration
  • Investment account providers

7. Ignore 2-5 and let HitchSwitch help. Go to HitchSwitch.com and choose the best option for you. It costs between $29-59 but 110% worth it in my book. Their team is also super helpful if you have any legal questions.