10-Things-You-Probably-Didn't-Know-About-Me-Change-With-Us-BlogToday, I was thinking about how much or how little some of you know about me. I guess you could say it could be a good thing or a bad thing, but I figured I would share a few tidbits about me. Some may be obvious or you may know them, but for most… it’s a change of scenery.

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

  1. I love to ORGANIZE.
    I’m a bit OCD and I love things being clean AND in their designated spot. It’s a love-hate relationship. I could spend hours reorganizing my house and be completed satisfied doing that. Kit and I don’t argue much, but when we do it’s over “little” things like CLEANING/ORGANIZING (well to him at least it’s little!). If you need a little TLC in the organizing arena, check out these Starter Tips on How to Organize Your Life.
    get ready every day, hair braids, off the shoulder
  2. I get ready EVERY DAY.
    By get ready, I mean I wake up, clean my face, do my makeup and my hair, and put on some nice, clean, clothes. My close friends think I am crazy for always being “dressed up”, but I don’t think of it like that at all. Getting ready each day is like a motivational thing for me – if you don’t look the part, you aren’t conquering your world. Even if I am just staying in most of the day, it is important for me to always feel and look my best for ME and no one else.
  3. I love DEALS. 
    You can find me at every GOOD sale or free event. There is something about scoring a great find that is so deeply satisfying. Plus, most of the stuff that you see me wear, accessorize with, or have in my home (like this DIY Marble Coffee Table) – there is most likely a sweet story behind it. Like how I haggled over $0.05 at Target for bringing my reusable bag or how I semi-conned a teenager at a garage sale to sell me vintage books for $0.25 each. It’s all in the wording, people. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
    purple bean, coffee, coffee time, coffee drink, reno nevada
  4. I don’t LOVE coffee.
    I’m not a huge coffee drinker. Yes, I go to coffee shops daily, but I always get tea or some version of a souped up, sugar filled, coffee-ish drink, that most likely contains little coffee. Hey! It is what it is…Kit on the other hand —> coffee since birth, ya’ll.
  5. Blogging is HARD.
    When I say that, it’s because I have the experience (this little baby was born in July 2011). Blogging isn’t easy and as much as I love it, posts can take hours to curate; between the words, the photos, the editing… oh and coming up with something to write about – yep, that one’s important. I give props to bloggers who have 5-7 posts up every single week. Never missing a day and having flawless photos. This girl, here? Yep, don’t have the budget, time, or 1-5 people writing for me as me (ghost writers). Woo, blogging is a whole post in itself… I’ll save that for a later date!
  6. I’m a SNACKER.
    As much as I love my main meals each day, this lady’s a snack lover. I would rather snack all day with one main meal, then eat three big meals. One, I don’t care for breakfast and if I do eat it, count me in for avocado toast or a big ol’ Belgian waffle. Two, I love red meat, so screw lunch and give me all the steak and ribs for dinner. In between those meals, I’ll be staining my fingers with Hot Cheetos, an Arbonne Protein Shake, protein bar, or avocado, NO SHAME.
  7. I have a BS in Marketing AND a BS in Management.
    I was actually a Neuroscience Major for 2 years, before I realized that my passion was for service, social media, and coordination. So, I chose to Double Major, no problem! Two years crammed with 4 years of work and still graduated on time. Thank you 22 credits a semester, summer and winter sessions. Oh and thank you WINE, my dearly beloved Moscato.
  8. I LOVE kids!
    Okay, okay, you probably know this one, already, but if you don’t — the love is REAL. I think I’ve had baby fever for as long as I can remember. Stepmom owned a private daycare, been in childcare professionally since I was 15, and have nannied for the past 5 years as a career. I’m definitely ready to have some of my own and there is never really a perfect time, but it’ll happen when it happens. 
  9. I love to SING! 
    I’ve been singing in the choir since I was in 3rd grade. In high school, I was the section leader for the Alto section, sang in All-State, and competed in various events. I still love it to this day, but I no longer practice as much as I should. Oh, and I would definitely need to brush up on reading music before I debuted some infamous solo to you. 
    West Shore Wedding, Lake Tahoe Wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Kit Carson, The Carson Coupon, Carson Wedding
  10. I’m married!
    Alright, if you’ve been around for a while, you definitely know this one already. But if you’re new or just haven’t followed my adventures for a while – this one’s BIG! Kit and I tied the knot on June 2, 2017. Surrounded by family, friends, beautiful Lake Tahoe, and love. It was a dream and the most perfect day ever – that’s a thing right? See our wedding video teaser here

You feel me, yet?

Hopefully you’re liking what you’re reading + want to stick around! 10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me – Kit’s Version, should be making it’s debut soon. 

See 

How to pick your perfect wedding venue
It seem’s unreal that my wedding was a little over a week ago. I’m a married woman – whoa! I often get asked how we chose our wedding venue. If you are new around here, we got married on June 2 at West Shore Cafe & Inn in Homewood, CA (Lake Tahoe). 

Choosing a venue was easy… just look at this crazy, freaking spreadsheet I made. 

Carson Wedding Venue Organizer

I didn’t do it by myself, though! Kit, my sweet friend Rachel, and I sat down for an hour and looked up a bunch of venues that had a list of things we were interested in and just started typing a long. This was the result. ^

We narrowed it down to our top 3-5 and started emailing away. Okay, maybe we didn’t go as in depth once we started looking at the venues online, but  we did narrow it down!

How to pick the PERFECT venue for YOUR wedding

  1. Research, research, research —> seriously though ; this one is BIG. Know what your budget is!
  2. All-Inclusive or just the Venue? I opted for an in between option. I wanted the venue, cleanup, food, and some items to be included. But I wanted to choose my own videographer, photographer, florist, and others. Which one gives you what you are looking for?
  3. Sound Check —> are you a late night partier? Some venues must have music off by 9 or 10pm!
  4. Are guests in-state or out-of-state? Is there an airport near by, rental car shop, and hotels that fit people’s budget?
  5. Are you paying for the location? The view? The name? What is important to you in the venue you choose?
  6. Narrow down your options to 3-5!
  7. Book Appointments! Tour the Venue!
  8. See their catalog on pricing, do they give discounts on certain days?
  9. Talk it over with your significant other, can you swing it? Is it within budget with room for everything else you have to spend money on?
  10. Book it! Often, you must have a deposit to put down to book your big day, so make sure you have it!

Sweet, ya did it! I know it isn’t the easiest thing to decide on, but it’s the biggest part of the wedding planning process. Once you have the venue chosen, everything else will start falling into place and you can start booking other vendors. 

How did we pick the PERFECT venue for OUR wedding day?

Well, we basically followed the exact steps listed above… AND we also knew we wanted the venue, food, beverages, clean-up, and some hotel rooms to be available for guests. We were okay with spending more for the VIEW (Lake Tahoe Pier) and less on decorations. 

Some things that were important for us in picking a venue were that we wanted to bring in our own photographer, videographer, florist, coordination, cake, DJ, and other goodies!

On our list of 3-5 Venues, we went to our top pick, fell in LOVE with the venue and the view, asked what dates were available, attempted to negotiate the pricing (REASONABLY), and booked that day! We didn’t even look at the rest and it was so worth it!

In the end, what matters is what is important to YOU and your significant other on that day. It doesn’t matter what anyone else wants (parents, family members, friends), unless someone is helping to pay for the wedding. In our case, we paid for everything on our own and it was the best decision ever. 

*P.S. – the photos above were taken by my sweet friends Brooke (@brooke_batten) and Lorian (@lololorian).*

Where are you getting married? Tell me in the comments below!

raw-untold-truths
Hi there! I’m Kit Carson the other half of the magnificent Leanna Ranieri. We have decided to create this section to discuss those Raw Untold Truths about life and the pursuit of happiness. The best way to describe what you are about to read is a bundle of hard truths and how to deal with them, several golf references because there is so much to learn from the game of golf, politics, and business. It sounds like a hot mess, but I promise you, it will be entertaining.

More on me…

I grew up on a ranch in rural California where we raised anything from pigs, cattle, corn, and alfalfa. My parents started a small business called Carson’s Coatings in our town and when I was 5, gave me my first love, the game of golf. I know it sounds strange, but golf became my life! I lived on the driving range for most of my childhood. When the recession hit, my parents company tanked. We lost almost everything. In an effort to help out, I started a little network marketing company with my mom where I would sell fruit juice on the driving range to strangers. We built a little cash flow business that made $1,000 a week which funded some golf tournaments for me. Sales has always been something that has come easy to me. For whatever reason I had this fearless ability to talk to anyone that would look my direction and by the time they left the driving range they knew me, my product, and how to reach me when they wanted more. 

I went on to play college golf at the University of Nevada, Reno where I graduated early as an Academic All-American in Political Science and Economics. I was impressed with myself, until real life hit after school….  

We will cross those bridges when we get there. I currently am a Lobbyist in Nevada and love everything about politics and business.

Intro - Kit1 (1 of 1)

Now what?

This blog is going to be a place where I talk about life, business, golf, some politics and the obstacles with each one. I want this to be a place where we get down in the weeds of life because the only way to truly grow, is to struggle and push boundaries. Let’s be DIFFERENT. Let’s be REAL.

DIY Marble Coffee Table
If you’ve been following along our journey, we bought a house in August of 2016. It’s a beautiful home, in one of our dream neighborhoods, but it needed a little TLC. The previous owners were artists out of their own heart and paired the original hardwoods with yellow, green, blue, and red walls – YIKES! 

Walls Galore

Fast forward a few months later and the color of all the walls may not have changed, but the decor surely did! We worked on small projects at a time. I finished painting the living room (not ready for a full room reveal yet!) but realized our idea of going table-less in front of the couch was not the best idea! We always have flowers, coffee cups, remotes, or some knick-knack just wanting a place to lounge. 

So bring in the ottoman pouf. Yes, we had this big pouf (similar to this one) that we LOVED! It was super comfy, and Reagan, our pup, called it his own. But it just wasn’t cutting it for us and was often in the way. So I moved it to a new loved spot, before Reagan threw up all over it when he had a tummy ache, and then to the trash it went. Cue, coffee table idea.

DIY Marble Top Coffee Table

I really wanted a sturdy, functional, and cute coffee table. Being on the broke wedding, newlywed budget Kit and I were on (AKA – SPEND NO MONEY EVER), I started browsing Craigslist and some FREE groups on Facebook for items people no longer wanted that were in decent condition and just needed a little fix me up. I found this super cute IKEA Lack Coffee Table (that we once owned and got rid of, brand new *face palm*), that was a little rough on the edges, but I knew I could make it work. The one someone was giving away was this Black/Brown Color. If I had a choice though, I would have gotten the White One. If you already have a table to use, even better (square or rectangle are the easiest shapes to work with).

DIY Marble Coffee Table (1 of 2)

Materials

+ 1 Roll Marble Contact Paper – make sure you measure your table before purchasing, you may need a different size  if you are not using the IKEA Lack Coffee Table
+ (4) MidCentury Table Legs 
+ 1 Pack of 4- T-Plate 5/16
+ Drill + Drill Bit 
+ X-Acto Knife (Scissors work too, but a blade is way easier!)

  • Balling on a budget? Opt for the White IKEA Lack Coffee Table and skip the new legs and T-Plates! (Plus, you’ll have that cute second shelf for storage!). 

Steps

  1. Sand and wipe down the top of the coffee table. You want it to be as smooth and as clean as possible so that the contact paper sticks to the surface.
  2. Remove all legs. 
  3. Measure and cut your contact paper to fit across the table. PS – there are dotted lines on the back of the adhesive for perfect line cutting. I tried to make it so I didn’t have to cut the paper so much and it made it easier.
  4. Attach the contact paper! This is easier with two people. One to hold the paper tight and the other to slowly smooth it across the surface! Be careful with air bubbles, I have a few but they aren’t noticeable. 
  5. After the contact paper is in tact, time for NEW LEGS! Drill new holes for the t-plates too attach. If you’re like me and don’t know how to use those tools that well, THANK YOU YOUTUBE. 
  6. Screw in the T-Plates and Twist on the new legs! 
  7. If you want to stain your legs for a darker wood do that BEFORE you twist them on. I wanted the natural look so I left them they way they came. 

DIY Marble Coffee Table (4 of 2)DIY Marble Coffee Table (3 of 2)

If you are crazy like me and think you can take shortcuts, DON’T. I have little pieces that are overlapping because I was impatient, and I totally drilled one hole too big, plus I was on a sugar high while completing the project… #untoldrawmoments. Also, I was way too excited when completing this project, so enjoy my crappy iPhone photos of before and after and nothing in between, because that’s real life.

Enjoy your new table! If you make one, send me photos via email, comments, or on Instagram, so I can see your work!

**Note – the legs are SHORTER than the original ones the IKEA table comes with. Personally, I liked it that way, so I bought the shorter legs, but you can purchase taller ones if you choose!**

DIY Marble Coffee Table (2 of 2)

Who’s ready to makeover their life with Marble Contact Paper?

DIY Marble Coffee Table

xo,
Leanna

tips to organize your life - agendaEach day, I look at life and think,”What do I need to do today to move forward?”. In my businesses-life-family-etc. I make my to-do list if its not already listed out in my daily planner and then I sit their and debate. 

Alright, which task should I do first? Do I prioritize? Do I get the easy ones out of the way? Should I just wing it? It kind of depends on how I am feeling that day. I’ve realized over the years though, that I cannot function without said lists whether they are written in my planner, on sticky notes, on my phone, or even in a text to Kit. I just need that visual on how to organize.

the visual appeal

There is something about visuals that are so darn attractive. Color coordination, sticky notes, and beautiful lines striking through tasks that I’ve completed [Take a Shower – CHECK]. My favorite ways to organize LIFE comes in many, many forms, all with a dash of Organization and lots of Colors.

lists

Every week or each day make a list. What do you need to complete today? This week? Due Dates, work schedules, appointments. WRITE IT DOWN. I love my monthly and daily planner that allows me to see everything I need to complete for day, week, month, and even year! 

Easily forget to eat lunch or shower while you hustle? Add it to your list!

color coordination

Every other Tuesday, I have the same appointment, so I make it stand out with a specific COLOR! It registers in my mind as a specific task so I don’t even need to read the entire thing to know what upcoming event I have. Stuck with your black, red, and blue pens? Mix it up and brighten up your visuals with my favorite gel pens or felt-tip pens!

post-it notes

Have a list minute item to add to your to-do or need something to stick out so you remember, grab a sticky! If you have a Target near you, their Bullseye’s Playground (previously The One Spot at the front of the store) has super cute post its that you can score for $1-$3! I literally have these plastered all over my office and planner. Or if you grab my planner, it comes with some sticky notes and blank stickers! If you are in the mood for some satisfaction of crossing something off, this is it!

cross it off

The most satisfying part of my day, crossing off an item! Sometimes the smallest efforts make the biggest difference and who doesn’t like to see their accomplishments right in front of them! I stick with a plain Black or Blue Pen so that it isn’t conflicted with my other markings.

How do you give visual appeal to your day? Do you have a planner you LOVE?

xo, 
L