Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday & 2010 Recap

We had a wonderful time in Florida with family!

My niece, Madelyne, 5 1/2 months old, did not lack attention.
She's such a sweet, easy baby!

My eldest niece, Eleanor, has my heart.  I love her to pieces!

I especially love this picture of my brother-in-law, Matt, and Eleanor trying to make the local peacocks spread their feathers:

We had a great holiday and shared presents and love.

It wouldn't be a holiday recap post without the family picture:
And then there's our tradition, a matching-PJ family picture:

I hope you had a great holiday and best wishes for a great 2011!
I'd do a recap for the year, but it's all wedding planning and the most recent update post should suffice.  (read: it would be redundant)

The best thing to happen to me in 2010? Mike proposing.
The best thing I hope for 2011? A wedding celebrating our love.

Best Wishes for you and yours for 2011!
  Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Engagement Party Recap!

Whew! Is it just me or did the Holidays FLY by this year?
It could be because we had such a good time. 
We flew into Orlando last Thursday (which happened to also be my SITS featured blogger day - thanks for all the love!)  That very same night my parents hosted an engagement party for us.

It looked a little like this:
There was plenty of food, cake, and beverages flowing!

Mike's mom and his grandparents came, too.
We had lovely entertainment -- My dad broke out the accordion and even surprised us with a quartet of singers from my days singing in high school (totally like Glee, but not)!

It was amazing.  
We are so lucky to have such wonderful family and friends!

Stay tuned for the Holiday Recap post (filled with adorable squishy baby and matching pajama family pictures)!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's my SITS Day!

Hello everyone! Today is a very exciting day in my world: 
My featured SITS day! 

Real quick, for those of you who don't know, SITS (The Secret's in the Sauce) is "a group of over 7,000 women bloggers dedicated to supporting each other by leaving comments. Lots and lots of comments."  It's a great network and how I met many bloggy-friends.
And today is MY day - the day when my blog is featured! Yippee!

I'm a (late) twenty-something bride-to-be who started this here blog to keep family in the loop of wedding planning.  Then one thing led to another, and as my fiancee Mike would say, blogging took over.   It's a fun way to document the ups-and-downs of wedding planning.   It also helps me to share little bits of advice with other brides-to-be.  (Plus, it's just fun to see what we have in store for our big day!)

See? That's us! (and of course, me)
Mike does all sorts of sweet things for me.  I have to admit I'm pretty lucky.  But if you read nothing else, you MUST check out his proposal, or go watch the actual video footage from the Washington Post. (We come in past the panda-craziness at the 1.15 min mark)

Please feel free to snoop around and see what we have planned so far!  I'm honestly starting to get a little nervous about 2011 on the horizon! While you're at it, get a glass of wine (or Bailey's spiked coffee or tea, however you like it) and get cozy.  Stay for awhile. 
If you like what you see, follow me on Twitter or even subscribe to my feed.
The big day is June 19, 2011!

(sidenote: we obviously need to change up our photo-taking stance.  I'm always on the right!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I have a secret.

I have a secret.
It's not so much of a secret, as a blatant truth that I refuse to recognize:

I'm getting a little nervous.

I'm not getting full-blown, freak-out nervous - just a teensie bit excited, apprehensive and worried sort-of nervous.  Ya know, the kind you get when you are really looking forward to something BIG and WONDERFUL that also comes with TONS of planning?

Before, June 19, 2011 seemed so far away.  It falls at the end of my school year.  It happens after fall, winter, and even spring.
AND it's in 2011.

But now?
Now we are half way through the school year. The students just shared their holiday sharing performances.  Fall passed and we are well into winter.  Of course I look forward to spring, although I love wearing my boots.  And don't even remind me that 2011 is just right over there.  I can almost touch it.
Which means I can almost visualize the snow melting.
I can imagine those last days of the school year.

But I cannot wrap my head around my wedding happening in six months!
In six months my name will change.
In six months I will have what I dreamed about for years.
In six months I'll be a WIFE, and have a HUSBAND.
In six months Mike and I will have a union stronger than this silly fear that plagues me.

I just want to know that everything will be done and look pretty.
Is that too much to ask?
We're on target with planning and doing a good job of it too, if I do say so myself.
But somehow that doesn't squelch my anxiety.

(On Thursday my parents are throwing us an engagement party in Florida.  The wine will be flowing.
Oh yes, the wine will be flowing.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

6 Months Away!

In 6 months, we'll walk down the aisle!

And for some reason, with 2011 on the horizon and the number 6 (instead of, say, 10) makes me freak out a little bit.  I'm not going to lie, it's getting real!  (Then what was it before, you ask? Well it was still real, but now it's legit!)

We've been busy this month:
-Decided on a caterer
-Found a florist (who is very reasonable)
-Had my first dress fitting and learned not to try on expensive dresses
-Booked a photographer!
-Having our engagement party (click to see invites) on Thursday!

Things we need to decide on soon:
-my hair and makeup
-bridesmaids dresses
-gifts for bridesmaids/groomsmen/parents

Looking at this post, I can really see it all coming together.
And I must say, I'm very excited!

Pea Ess:  A HUGE CONGRATS to Ali and Vince on their engagement! Ali and I were college roommates, and I'm proud to say I remember the day she came home from work babbling about this guy she met.  She really is the Luckiest.Girl.Ever!  So thrilled for them both! Yay! (another wedding to plan!!!!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Caterer Chosen!

After about 6 months of weighing pro's and con's, and four yummy tastings, we decided on a caterer!  The funniest thing about this? Is the fact that the first caterer really hit it home.  I loved their food (albeit we need to change the vegetarian entree, but they have many choices).  I loved their service.  I loved their price.

But because this opportunity to eat great food for free, while every need and idea about food you love is tended to, doesn't come along often -- we shopped around.  I know our budget scared some caterers.  Many catering companies snubbed my RFP (request for proposal) when they saw the total budget number.  Still, we found a total of 4 companies willing to work with us.  Those four tastings were heaven (especially when they involved cake)!

When it came time to make a decision we looked at many details.  However when we dropped the name of the two finalists, one thing consistently happened: people raved about one and said the other was decent.  It happened time and time again, with different vendors and others in-the-know.  We then realized we had apples and oranges.  It was a no brainer: go with the top-tier catering company.  They have the experience.  They have the crowd popularity.  They have everything we need. 
And on my wedding day, I want to know the food and catering will go smoothly, if not also wow the guests.

And so, we chose Windows!  
Now to iron out details, sign the proposal, drop the deposit, and schedule a cake tasting!

This is our biggest budget item and a HUGE decision!
Time to celebrate ~ Let's eat!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flowers, a la cart

Recall how I recently met with our potential florist? We discussed flower options and prices, and he made everything all better. He talked about renting linens and chairs for less than caterers quoted.  His vision of my color scheme set me at ease.  He gave me options.  Finally there was hope for my wedding, as I felt everything would look crappy together.  He painted a picture of beauty for me.

And then the other day he painted a picture of price for us, a la cart.  When I first opened up the attachment I scrolled down for a final cost, to find none.  Then I realized he really did give us options.  While I will of course need a bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces - he laid out different options for other line items.  For center pieces we can have high or low ones, each at a different price.  There are even two versions of each.  Mixing things up will make for an aesthetically pleasing layout, and also a financially pleasing budget.

The mothers can choose from a small floral carry bouquet or a pin-on or wrist corsage, both of reasonable prices (but one is less than the other...).

To top things off, for our flower girl we can choose either a small basket of floral at a reasonable price, or loose petals free of charge.  The same goes for the rental vase for the sweetheart table and the toss bouquet: free of charge!

Yet somehow it all adds up to exactly what we budgeted.
You only do this once, hopefully, right?
Might as well dress it up with flowers!

"Vintage" Vicki and Mike, circa 2007 living on the edge.
(This is what we look like without flowers.)

Monday, December 13, 2010

First Dress Fitting!

A couple Saturdays ago (hey, I've been busy, hold your horses) I went to my first wedding dress fitting.  My dress, Dylan (yes, she has a name), lived in Kathryn's closet for the span of a few months.  Remember, I purchased her at a Priscilla's of Boston sample sale?  So she needed a place to crash until our date was in normal alterations range.  Finally it came time to release her into the wild.  or something like that.

And honestly, my seamstress (whom my neighbor rec'd to me when she made her friend's gorgeous dress) said to come back in October.  Obviously October passed, and November too.  Why no rush to begin the process?

See I have this problem with my dress.  Now don't get me wrong, I love it.  But I made a mistake, a cardinal dress-trying mistake: I put on a dress whose price outweighed the allotted funds two-fold.  Bad bad bad, Vicki.  And of course just putting on the off-limits dress made me love it even more.  Because the pictures in the magazines show super-skinny models who need to eat a cheeseburger or five it really was necessary to put on said over-priced dress.  But how was I to know that it would look awesomely fantastic on me?  Le sigh.

Because I want the dress to be a total and utter surprise to Mike I cannot put up a picture of The Other Dress, as she will be called.  And honestly my wedding dress, Dylan, far from resembles The Other Dress.  Maybe that's why I like it so much?  At any rate, I keep falling back on my friends' advice: The Other Dress is too "now" - five years from now I'll question that choice, because it is SO out there.  Which is totally true.  But she's the one that got away, and I still think of her.

Enough of that crazy analogy.

My waistline lent itself to the other reason I dragged my feet on the fitting.  I tried to loose weight by eating better, but inevitably beer and cookies (separately) found their way into my diet.  Self control, I have not.

Then my allergist required a STUPID hypoallergenic diet which I won't even GO into because of how much I hated it.  But the silver lining? I lost 10lbs.  Holy stupid diet, Batman, I was 5lb away from my high school weight.  All good things come to an end, and after exiting the doctor mandated hell diet and returning to the world of eating real foods again, I gained about 4 of those 10 back.  Still, 6lbs down? I'll take it.
And it made going to the fitting even better.

Because with a sample dress you get what you get.  And I got a size 8.  A wedding dress size 8, which, if you ever tried on wedding dresses you know, is more like a size 2 than an 8.  Six pounds down meant Dylan had a little room to her.  Ladies, you know the feeling of satisfaction when you squeeze into your skinny jeans?  That's exactly how I felt when my seamstress pulled about an inch of fabric in the back.  Saaaa-weeet!

I go back in Jan, Feb, and March for additional fittings.  The seamstress asked if I plan to change my body image much.  Um, you mean like get really fat? because no, that's not happening. I restrict my gluten intake for allergy reasons, and reduce sugar noming for love-handle reasons.  (Note: beer is out, wine is moderation!) If anything I hope to tone.

Apparently she's going out of town (like Afghanistan out of town) in May and wants all projects finished "just in-case."  I like this "just in-case" attitude but when she comes back I want another fitting at least 2 weeks before the big day.

And so, just like that, I'm back to being on good terms with Dylan.  She's in good hands, as am I.

Now to hide the mint M&M's and candy-cane oreos from myself.
(seriously holiday goodies, how do you expect a bride-to-be to cope?!)

{picture source}

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Homeshare -- Hanukkah!

When Nicci tweeted the idea to link up and share our holiday home decorations (#holidayhomeshare) I jumped on it.  So maybe Hanukkah isn't one of the major Jewish holidays, but I love decorating for it.  I mean, all the other kids are doing it, albeit in green and red, so why not me too? Plus with my Catholic upbringing I honestly cannot totally ignore the festivities.  So I bring out the blue, silver, and white and "get lit" for the 8 nights.

Without further rambling, here's the extent of our decorations in our 700 square foot condo:

Mike and I each light our own menorah.  His has three little clay rabbiot on them.  One day they are going to come to life and put on a clay-mation Hanukkah movie.  Mike's menorah hails from days of his youth.  My menorah makes it's 2nd debut this year, as a very good friend gifted it to me in honor of my conversion to Judaism on Dec 9, 2009.  Yesterday marked my Jew-versary!

We scattered more menorahs (technically menorote) around the house.  Look! There's one next to my mid-sized Scentsy warmer.  Also there's garland hanging from one of our "living room" lights.  Also? The kitchen table is decorated with a table-cloth and runner from Target.  Love Target.

Even the dog, Nora, gets in on the celebration.  We never buy her "clothes" but something about this sweater (from Target) screamed practical and cute (or a good excuse to buy it).  She's sitting near our electric menorah, which I love for it's tacky yet useful quality!

Happy Holidays to all! I hope you are surrounded by those you love. 
Best wishes for 2011!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bouquets and Boutonnieres!

Continuing on the flower trend, I found a bunch of photos of bouquets that struck my fancy.  These are the photos in the previous post which I offered to our florist for ideas.

1.  LOVE the green mums in this one!   {source}
2.  LOVE the Fiddlehead Ferns in this one, PLUS the anemones {source}
3.  Absolutely LOVE how the Picasso calla lilies POP in this arrangement! {source}
4.  Totally drawn to the use of peacock feathers and peonies here (but not the wrapping of the base) {source}

 We can't forget about the men! Of course their boutonnieres will feature peacock feathers, and will tie in with the bouquets. I liked theses ideas:

1.   The purple accents in this one are great. Also love the wrapping around the bottom! {source}
2.   This one is very whimsical, and the lime green accents on the wrapping are sweet. {source}
3.   A Fiddlehead fern AND a peacock feather! Love it! {source}

What did your bouquet or boutonnieres look like?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Wedding Flower Power!

This past week was capital L, Long.

On Monday I scheduled to meet with our potential florist, to discuss details. However at 9am that morning, I already knew our afternoon appointment was close to impossible.  Luckily he rescheduled, easily, for Friday.

And then I had all week to fret over flowers.
What color?
What kind?
What's in season?
Will my color scheme play out the way I want?
Are there flowers that support this color scheme?
Do they even make/grow teal flowers?!

Friday came around and I arrived at Edge Floral Designers with printed out photos in hand.  Steve kindly talked me through the whole process, showed me many different flowers in stock, shared many pictures of created events with me, and assured me my color scheme was not only gorgeous, but flower-able.

[Enter HUGE sigh of relief]

I have to say, while I do care about flowers I don't know much about them.  I was hoping that anemone flowers, peonies, and these weird swirly ferns might be available in June.

It will be too warm in June for anemone flowers.

And peonies are not in season in June, but can be purchased for a pretty penny.

However, my fun swirly ferns are called:
Fiddlehead Ferns!
They are available year 'round!

We talked a lot about the cost effective quality of Calla Lilies, but I honestly don't love them.  While looking through some picture examples I found an exception: Picasso Calla Lilies.

I love that they have purple insides, but white outsides! 

We also talked about renting a chuppah from from them, what it would look like, and how to arrange it.  And of course, we talked about everyone else who will be adorned with flowers, aside from moi.  

So I'm not sure what flowers my bouquet will have, but I do know that I already trust this man and his vision.  He made me feel comfortable with his knowledge and experience, in creating my vision.  He also knows we are working in a budget, and respects that.  
In a few days we should have a proposal that will dictate exactly what he can provide for us, in our price point.  And I'm totally not worried about a thing!
How great is that?

What flowers do you love, or did you have at your wedding?
{check out my next post for more flower fun!}

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Butterfly of Honesty

In honor of Hanukkah, I share with you a funny, sincere and honest story of my first Hanukkah with Mike.  
I swear this post would make a great sitcom episode.  And if it was, it would go something like this:

Years ago when Mike and Vicki first started dating, there was a faux pas of a gift if there ever was one.  Beyond the hooking up and the late night chats, yet still fresh in the relationship when not all isms were learned, we find the couple on their first round of Holidays together.  Vicki, still a generic-catholic at the time, wanted nothing more than to make their first Hanukkah together memorable.  She painstakingly purchased the 8 gifts, spent too much time wrapping them (since no guy ever notices anyways) and labeled each package with a different Dave Matthews Band quote.  Mike loved it (we think).

But it was not until Vicki tore through the paper on her last gift from Mike that the hugs and smiles turned to trepidation and sneers. 

A little background info: during Vicki's sophomore year at FSU, one of her roommates loved butterflies.  Obsessed, even.  Not only did they have a butterfly shower curtain, which, if it stopped there, would be fine. But no - it continued: butterfly shower curtain hangers, towels, and hand towels. Butterfly dishtowels took over the kitchen, down to the magnetic dishtowel hooks.  There. Were. Butterflies. Everywhere.  Not to mention, this was at the height of the butterfly trend, so as many articles of clothing as possible were adorned with butterflies.  The stupid insects took over.  And Vicki hated found them extremely annoying. (But as a good roommate, tolerated it as I'm sure this roommate loved Vicki's cat,which aggrevated her asthma. Totally on the same level.)

But this never came up with Mike.  Vicki had since moved on in her roommate experiences to a living with a gay man, who had more fashion sense than to make their living quarters look like Claire's Boutique threw up on it.
And of course, Vicki owned no butterfly items.
So it never came up.

Now Mike, in his ever-loving-new-boyfriendly way, went shopping with a girl for Vicki's special Hanukkah gift.  However, it just so happened that this girl was not very close with Vicki.  She was still a good pick to shop with for a gift, sure.  But she also lacked the knowledge of butterfly intolerance.

And so, as Vicki unwrapped her present, meant to instill awe and wonder, sheer amazement and bliss, instead she opened the little jewelry box to say, "Oh. That's nice."

Mike: You don't like it.

Vicki:  No, I mean, it's pretty.  Very nice. I like the color on the wings.

Mike:  I knew I shouldn't have bought you gold.  I thought you could put it on your charm bracelet.

Vicki: [Thinking she could hide it at the back of her charm bracelet] Yeah, I could do that.
[and then to fess up] It's just that, well, I hate butterflies.

Mike: You HATE them? Who hates butterflies? They're like puppies. No one hates them.

The conversation went on something like that, for a  bit, while Mike tried to figure out how the topic never came up, how he didn't know this about his future wife wonderful girlfriend, and how the hell he messed this wam-bam-surefire-success-of-a-gift.  Vicki proceeded to defend herself while desperately trying to let Mike know she appreciated his kindness and loved the thought.  They went back and forth on whether or not to return the first piece of jewelry Mike ever gave Vicki, but ultimately they decided not.

Because this item, now Vicki's favorite charm on her bracelet, became known as "The Butterfly of Honestly." It was this gift that prompted Mike and Vicki's "honestly always policy" to the point of over-sharing.  Because if you're with someone, every nuance is worth knowing, down to their hatred of innocent bugs.

But now Mike never buys Vicki butterflies.  And no one else does either.

Happy Hannukah! May your year be open, honest, and free of butterflies things that bug you.
Related Posts with Thumbnails