Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Week in Photos 7.31.11 -- Newsies

This week's photos are all about new toys & new adventures:

(new) Keurig love.
Need I say more?

Square love.
Our new everyday place setting.

(new) kitchen towels

2 more new gadgets
(hooray for finishing our wedding registry!)

Yin & Yang

I helped paint my yoga studio.

Nora, asleep, on the road trip.

You know you're at Grandma's house when...
(and then she told me to take home a lot of her vintage gorgeous pieces I fawned over)

Country dog.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

(Wedding Recap) The Rehearsal Dinner

Rehearsal Dinner: a mini-wedding reception without all the fuss.

Honestly, this part might be one of the least stressful elements of our wedding.  We mingled, we drank, we ate, we watched a photo-montage, we laughed, we drank some more.  (Thanks to Vince,  for letting me abuse your AV powers!)

Also, we celebrated my parents' 45th wedding anniversary!

A big ol' thank you goes out to Mike's dad and step mom for not only honoring us with this special dinner, but also for honoring my parents!

Giving out presents to our parents & bridal party made the experience even better.  I love giving gifts (getting them too, rocks).   Unfortunately I have no pictures of this moment.  But I have pictures of the gifts separately (for a different post!)

I DO have pictures of a gift I gave myself (and Mike).  Stephanie of Say Anything Jewelry custom made us these caaaaaa-ute wine charms.  And they really did come in handy! You have no idea how many times I put down my glass and then didn't know where it was, or someone else picked it up!
They either say "Mrs." or "Mr." and our wedding date: 6.19.11
Love it!
(crappy picture apology)

You might recall my epic search for a dress for this occasion.  First I bought a Marc Jacobs from Bloomingdale's and it was stolen right off our driveway.  No lie.  Bloomies wonderfully agreed to ship another but since I purchased it on sale, they had no more. Sad. Then I tried to find a peacock dress, but apparently peacock feathers are only on ugly dresses.

Then one day while checking Rue La La's daily sales I spotted a wonderful little number by BCBGMAXAZRIA for a nominal price.  After sending links to a couple trustworthy fashion consultants & then measuring my body, I pounced.  My Ink Colorblock Dress arrived shortly thereafter and it was love at first teal.
Instead of worrying about peacock feathers on the dress, I added my own.  Actually my mom sent me her peacock earrings to wear!  Perfection!

Isn't she a total Betty?  because she is.  Her name actually is Betty.
Perfection doubled.

I absolutely die of love looking at this picture of my sister, niece and me.  LOVE!
(triple perfection)

Ultimately this enjoyable evening went smoothly!

Next up?!  The (Rehearsal Dinner) After Party!!!!  (because you have to make sure the bride and groom sleep well before the big day!)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

(Wedding Recap) Welcome Bags

You might remember my search for the perfect purple gift bag, to welcome guests to the hotel upon arrival.  I almost drove myself crazy with this detail.  Mike threw in the towel after many a google search.  Then it hit me.  Forget purple, let's go peacock!

Funny side story:  Because I worried Mike might not agree with even more peacock details, I sent him 2 links.
First to this picture:

Then once he was all flummoxed by the craziness of a that baby in a peacock costume, never-mind the look on the poor babe's face, he clicked on a link to these:

All of a sudden, my "out there idea" of using peacock welcome bags seemed so much more normal in comparison to a baby dressed as one. Duh. (Genius, I tell you, genius!)

Upon checking into their hotel, guests were given this bag by the front desk.  And I know this is a fact, because when I checked in the night before the wedding, they gave me a bag... only after I questioned them about "where's my welcome bag?!"  Totally not bridezilla at all.  Guess who delivered all those welcome bags to the hotel?  That would be the lovely bride to be and her beautiful friend, Lara.  Why by myself? because of some stupid bachelor party.  But it's ok.  It's just a testament to my personal and physical strength.  yeah, I'm dropping that.  right there.  boom.

Back to the bags.  We stuffed them with all sorts of good stuff:

Above you will see the wonderful contents:  local walking maps, metro map, event itinerary, fruit snacks, hershey's kisses, lara bar samples, gum -- and a special thank you to Blair Candy for providing the very apropos ring pops! (not pictured: chips. salty, savory chips.  & water bottles.)

Mr. Melonball thought he'd "help"
I swear that cat is always getting into something.

Here's a great aerial view of the planned contents.

Mike and I created a great assembly line/stuffing system and in no time the bags stood in boxes, ready for drop off.  And then we had tons of kisses left over and threw in more to the bags.  and then some more.  and there are still hershey's kisses in my cupboard.  (but I'm not complaining.  sometimes Costco's portions overwhelm, ya know?)

ta da!  finished bags

Why welcome bags?  Because this:
  • it creates and sets the tone of hospitality, fun, and yumminess for the visit
  • when you arrive in a new city you need maps, food suggestions, & advice
  • its all about the details, yo
  • you also need immediate food (b/c who wants to pay $10 for an airplane granola bar?!)
  • and then you get drunk and want chips, fruit snacks, and other yummies.  poof.
  • guests know where and when stuff is happening
  • guests know how to get to said places ( = less stress for bride/groom)
  • moar peacock!
  • hotel guests "dig it"  (or so says my bro-in-law) 

What's the best item you've received in a welcome bag?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Week in Photos 7.24.11

It's no secret that I love my phone.  The same goes for my camera.  And because of both these loves, I share with you a week in Vignette (for Android) photos.

Our new completed  place setting "Sparkle Cirles" by Mikasa.
Thank the god of shopping for sales at Macy's.

One word: Brinner
Breakfast for dinner.

Project Resotration Betsy.

National Ice Cream Day! (As appointed by President Reagan, the 3rd Sunday in July)
I celebrated with Trader Joe's Mini Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwiches.  of course.

Patron Magarita 
because why not?
and also because we had a friend in town.

Mel has a new favorite place to curl up:
On the couch beside me.
This ferocious wild thang has been tamed.

happy (one month) anniversary to us!

Project Restore Betsy.

vertical style.
(see cat toy at top of scratch post)

Lastly, I did something awesome this weekend:
 No I didn't make that cake.
It's from a wedding where I assisted a planner & ran the rehearsal (on my own)!
...and I really, really enjoyed the experience!

More pics to come next week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

(Wedding Recap) The Rehearsal

When we arrived at the venue for our rehearsal, the doors remained shut and locked.  I thought for sure this would be our big snafu.  Everyone warned me something would go wrong and I needed to go with the flow.  I was more than prepared to practice on the lawn of our venue. I ignored this possibility for the time being. We killed time by taking pictures.

My lovely bridesmaids & MoH! (Kathryn, Marlo, Diana, Meagan)

Eleanor (my sweet niece and flower girl) wore her sparkly shoes and sparkly crown!

Thankfully the people setting up for that evening's wedding finally showed up and we entered.  I didn't need to cash-in my "something will go wrong" ...just yet.

A word of advice, when handing off your fancy dSLR camera to someone who does not know how to use it on manual mode... actually, whenever you hand off your dSLR, be sure to put it on automatic mode.  The following over-exposed pictures are testimony to that.  My apologies.

Bridesmaids line up.
I love the way Lil' E is looking up at me.

Groomsmen lined up.

The bride and groom!
(Mike is clearly paying attention to our planner, I am clearly more interested in the camera. My sister manages a sincere smile amidst this all.)
I like this picture because the planner is talking with us and I have my bridal shower bouquet!

My dad practicing handing me over. (hehe)

Look! Proof that my mom and youngest niece, Madelyne, were there too!!

Overall, the rehearsal went off great.  I strongly recommend having a planner to help you with these sorts of things.  They are a great 3rd party to have on your side, too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

(Wedding Recap) Family & Friends Arrival

True Story: The wedding craziness festivities began about a week before the wedding.  Once I took off from work, said goodbye to my students for the year (::tear::), and finally had a chance to sleep in (only once) then things started snowballing happening.

The whirlwind began with errands run all over the DMV (District-Maryland-Virginia) metro area.  The ketuba framing was ready only 3 days prior to "go-time" and I needed various craft supplies from Michael's, last minute.  Of course I needed my dress too, and we had the seamstress steam it 2 days prior to the big day. There were other details needing my attention, and the midnight hours saw me working on them.

Once friends and family arrived the non-stop fun began.  The adventure swept me off my feet and surrounded me with love. 

We met with friends from far and wide to catch up. Ali (you might remember her from such previous posts as Live Tweets From My Wedding ), drove up with her fiance, Vince, overnight from FL and hauled her tired butt body out of the hotel room to catch a drink with me.  The moment I saw my former-roommate and bestie I knew this is it! I felt so great having someone to share the excitement with me!

Forgive the poor phone quality picture and my creepy eyes.
(This is not the last you will hear of my dear friend Ali)

The moment my family came down from their hotel room to see me was sheer bliss!  My niece, Eleanor, fell on the floor with laughter and kept saying "Vicki, Vicki, Vicki!"  I loved it.
 actual rolling on the ground with laughter photo

Silly Eleanor & Aunt Vicki Cool Dude (<--That's my name)

I went with my in-town bridesmaids to get our nails done on Thursday, then with my mom, sister, and niece on Friday.
Eleanor (flower girl) had gold sparkly nails!

The award for farthest traveled friends goes to this group below, from London, England!  Mike's friends, Ollie, Rob, Elissa, Lara & Johnny, from a study abroad program, flew in early for his bachelor party (which was 5 days before the wedding....story for another time). Lara came down to DC to help me out (I am forever indebted to her!!) while the boys did whatever it is they did on Mike's bachelor party in AC.
We had time to catch up over dinner, which is nice when you don't get to see friends very often!

When Meg (bridesmaid and bestie from high school) arrived the fun was ON!

And nothing says "WHEW, SO MUCH FUN!" like brothers sitting on each other while cramming seven people into your 5-seater Civic:

Let the good times roll!
{all photos personal pictures}
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