Introducing: Kortbein Creative LLC

I have exciting (and not so “new”) news: I started my own company, Kortbein Creative LLC!

In January 2021, I decided to finally take the leap and start my own company, focusing on helping small businesses with their social media needs. I’ve been interested and involved in social media for a while, and through various side jobs and projects have come to realize that I really love helping small businesses connect and grow through social media.

If you’re interested in learning more about how I can help with your social media needs, please get in touch! Or pass this link along to anyone you know who might be interested. I can’t wait to connect with you!

Where to Start with Wedding Planning

Tony and I have been engaged for almost a year and a half, and finally made it to the year we’re getting married!

When I first started the planning process, the first step was to figure out where to start! Here’s what I’ve done, in case it’s helpful for others:

Sign up for wedding planning sites

Before you do anything else, sign up for The Knot and/or Zola. These sites have information on things you haven’t even considered, like checklists, budget planners, and so much more! Take advantage of these sites and learn from others what works (and more importantly…what doesn’t). We knew we didn’t want a “traditional” wedding, so I thought these sites wouldn’t be of much use to me, but I’ve been following their checklists religiously! There’s so many to do items I never thought of, and this is a great way to keep track of everything in one spot. Plus they have a massive list of vendors for everything.

Figure out your budget

Figure out if anyone else (parents, grandparents, etc) will be contributing to your wedding budget and if so, how much. Then determine how much each partner will contribute or if you’ll need to borrow money for the big day. These can be awkward conversations to have, but figuring out exactly how much money you’ll have to spend will be crucial for every other wedding planning step. (If you aren’t sure where to start, keep in mind the average wedding is around $25,000-$30,000.)

Decide on a date

The first step is to decide what season you want to have your wedding in. If you’re on a tight budget, consider a winter wedding or hold the ceremony on a weekday. Otherwise, take a look at weekends during your chosen season-are there any special dates that stand out to you? If you have a specific venue in mind, you can also decide the date based on what they have available.

Vendors

Talk to your partner and figure out what items are most important to you both. Do you want to have killer pictures? Is an eight piece band a must have? Do you want over-the-top flowers? This will help you allocate your budget. Here’s the order we booked our vendors in:

  1. Venue
  2. Catering
  3. Officiant
  4. Day of coordinator
  5. Photographer
  6. DJ
  7. Hair/makeup

Tips

  • Wedding season is typically June-October (which means an “off-season” wedding can help save you money)
  • You don’t need to do anything you don’t want to!! This one is huge. Tony and I are pretty non-traditional, so there are a ton of “typical” wedding things we aren’t doing. Everything you do should be meaningful to you and your partner!
  • Create a separate wedding email! You don’t want wedding vendor emails clogging up your general inbox, and having a separate wedding email can help you stay organized.

Easy Ways to Identify a Mystery Plant

Happy National Houseplant Appreciation Day! If you received a plant from a friend or from a plant swap but aren’t sure what it is, check out these handy ways to identify it:

Use your phone’s camera

Did you know both iPhones and Androids have a built-in plant identifier??

On Android:

  • Open the Google Lens app
  • Take a new picture of the plant and tap the plant and Google will pull up the info it can find!
  • OR: use an existing picture by tapping the library button in the lower left and follow the remaining steps above

On iPhone:

  • Take a picture of said plant
  • In the photos app, select the picture
  • Tap the “info” button at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap the icon on the image and Apple will pull up the info it can find!

Search specific plant features

Try Googling specific features of your plant. Does it have special colors, unique leaf shapes, or colorful flowers? You can also look at how new leaves grow or if the plant is a vine or stands upright.

Ask Reddit

If all else fails (or honestly if you’re just too lazy to try other methods) ask Reddit! You’ll usually get an answer in a few minutes. Here’s the thread I’ve previously used to identify plants.

Holiday Markets in the Twin Cities

Tis the season for holiday markets! I love checking off Christmas gifts for friends and family while supporting local vendors. Here’s a list of the holiday markets happening in Minneapolis & St. Paul in December.

I’ll add to this list as I find new events, and comment below if you know of one I missed!

December 2nd, 3rd & 4th

2nd: Olio Vintage

3rd: Lakes & Legends
Earl Giles Distillery

4th: Old St. Anthony Holiday Bazaar
Saint Paul Brewing

All weekend: European Christmas Market
Holidazzle
Field & Festival
Keg & Case
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Carousel & Folk

December 9th, 10th & 11th

9th: Wild Vintage Collective

10th: Tonkadale
Forgotten Star Brewing

11th: Saint Paul Brewing

All weekend: European Christmas Market
Holidazzle
Field & Festival
Keg & Case
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
The Market at Malcom Yards

December 16th, 17th & 18th

17th: Lakes & Legends

18th: Saint Paul Brewing

All weekend: European Christmas Market
Holidazzle
Field & Festival
Keg & Case
Fair State Brewing Cooperative

The Best (Free!) Way to Get Into Plants

If you want to start a plant addiction hobby, but don’t want to spend a ton of money doing it, I have good news for you! I’ve spent enough money on plants and have figured out a great free way to do just that!

The secret? Plant swaps.

What started off as a small collection of 3 big box store plants ended up blossoming into a new hobby, a collection of 40+ plants, and a fun new way to connect with people! I started with a few trendy looking plants (and ended up killing my first fiddle-leaf fig) and then moved on to the common plants. I bought pothos

I wasn’t sure what to expect at my first plant swap, but was so pleasantly surprised! Everyone was very kind, willing to talk plants and explain the care needs, and give out cuttings even though I didn’t have anything “worthy” to trade.

Search plant groups on Facebook or follow local plant people on Instagram to find plant swaps in your area, and don’t forget to search greenhouses and nurseries, they often host swaps themselves!

Here are some of my favorite plants I’ve gotten through plant swaps:

For those of you who have attended plant swaps before, what’s the best plant you’ve gotten?

Best Fall Activities in the Twin Cities

Fall is my favorite season, and with it come some of my favorite seasonal activities! Visiting an apple orchard or pumpkin patch is something I look forward to all year round. Here are some of my favorite things to do in Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota during the fall!

Pumpkin patch: Axdahl’s

Apple orchard: Aamodt’s

Fall drinks

Colder weather means it’s time for the best drinks…dark beers! Barrel Theory makes some of the best dark beers out there, and Waldmann is the epitome of a fall-themed brewery with its fireplace, vintage feel and history. But if you’re not a beer drinker, check out the new Emerald Lounge in St. Paul for some delicious and very vibe-y drinks.

Movie night: Alamo Drafthouse

We don’t often go to movie theaters anymore, but I’m all for watching a good scary movie on the big screen while enjoying delicious drinks!

Minnesota Zoo: Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular

Each year the Minnesota zoo brings in tons of artists to design beautiful and creative jack-o-lanterns, and puts them on display at night! Open now through November 5th, and make sure to get your tickets online before you go!

Holiday markets

It’s hard to believe it’s already that time of year, but holiday markets have started! Starting in late October or early November, you can find at least one holiday market happening every weekend.

Supper club

With the temperatures dropping quickly, it means it’s time for hearty winter food! And a classic Midwest supper club is the perfect place for all your favorites. We’re planning on hitting up the Laurel Supper Club in New Richmond, WI in November to kick off eating season. 😁

Spooky Season Book Recommendations

Looking for a good thriller to get into during spooky season?? I loved these and highly recommend them!

Fall Plant Care Tips

I know we don’t want to start talking about the “W” season yet, but it’s time to start thinking about it for your plants sake! Here are a few tips for how to ensure your plants make it through the cold season:

Stop fertilizing

Plants need an off season just like sports teams do! During the fall and winter, stop fertilizing your plants to give them a few months to focus on existing growth.

Decrease your watering schedule

With less sun and lower temps, your plants will likely need less water. I always recommend a moisture meter (this is the one I have) so you know exactly when your plants need water and don’t need to play the guessing game.

Continue leaf care

Don’t forget to dust leaves and check for pests! Getting rid of dust will ensure the leaves are able to soak up all the available sun. While you’re cleaning, keep an eye out for pests to avoid them spreading to nearby plants.

Increase humidity

Here in Minnesota, the air has gotten so dry that I’ve gotten static shocks from plant leaves! To add moisture back, add a humidifier or group plants together.

Wait to repot

Wait until spring to repot any new or existing plants. Since plants aren’t actively growing during the colder season, they’ll have a harder time adapting to a new home.

As needed:

Adjust plant locations

When the cold air hits and the heat turns on, make sure that your plants aren’t above a heat vent or near drafty windows!

Use grow lights

If you want to give your plants a little boost, give them a grow light or two! I have two of these lights and my plants love them.