Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Guest Posting over at....

Friends, please take a minute to jump over to my wedding planner's blog and check out my post on Bridezillas! I'm jealous that Tracy gets to post this one, because it totally unfolded as I wrote it.

I'm really proud of this post, and hope you enjoy it too.
Go on now, check it out! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blogger Vs. Wordpress

Oh hello there blog. I promise I didn't forget about you or my dear readers.  Life is getting in the way!

But a topic that's been on my mind for awhile now, is taking the great Wordpress plunge.  I want to make the switch, or at least I think I do.  I like the "freedom" (of creativity) I heard Wordpress grants users.  But looking at Wordpress blogs, they are neater, cleaner, and even fancier than things I've seen on Blogger.  I also feel like there's some prestige using Wordpress, above blogger.

And while I do love this here blog, it's cluttered and lacking the ability to change.  It's a disorganized mess that I long to revamp and clean up.

I have two options: redesign this blog here on Blogger (long overdue), or make the jump to Wordpress.
Either way, nothing will happen until July (post-wedding).
And I'll be keeping the URL and site-name.

But first, I need help. 
Readers, what should I do?
Do I stay, or do I go now?

Why do you love Wordpress or Blogger?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Honeymoon Style Inspiration

I pine for spring, as I know many of you out there do too.

So I did what comes naturally, spent money on clothes to wear in warmer weather!
And what better warmer weather to look forward to, than that of Jamaica and my honeymoon.

I didn't buy ALL of the items pictured below.

But they are my inspiration, and I shall wear them inside until it's warm enough outside.

GAP Polka Dot Hatler and Side Tie Bikini
Bag - SR Squared by Sondra Roberts Tangier
Gap Tie Back Dress

Merona® Wide Brim Floppy Hat - Natural
ModCloth Butterfly Garden Dress
7 Hills Stretch Striped Waist Belt 
Seychelles Harlow Yellow Shoes

Monday, March 21, 2011

Adventures in Registry Shopping

Who knew walking around your favorite store(s) with a scan gun, registering for gifts, creates a long-term opportunity for compulsive savings, when you're not even the one spending the money?

See, the nice sales lady advised us to register for the complete sets of pots/pans, dishware, utensils, and such.  Then she also suggested we register for each piece separately.  I thought, sure, I like a gazillion presents, but duplicates get old. First she shared this helps with guests' price points.  Some people can afford the complete $450 11 pots/pans set.  Most normal people Others aim to spend in different windows, say $50, thus enough for one pot.  (side note: quality pots are expensive, especially when you're used to purchasing them at IKEA).  The sales lady (possibly out to gain more revenue for her fine establishment) made sense.  And so we over-registered.

I wondered how this might play out.  I dreamed up events of stashing away giant boxes until we gained enough return credit to purchase the giant set of whatever.  I saw those boxes spending more time in my home than I do in a workweek.

But my shower changed everything.
And before I go on, I have a little guilt over this game.  I know my family and friends purchased their gifts with intention of us actually using them.  For grilled-cheesus' sake, we registered for those items.  We want them.  And what am I turning around and doing with them? Returning them.  Some appreciative person I am.
However, Mike's in on this too.  I'm totally throwing him under the bus with me.  After all, that's what marriage is all about, right?

No, really. By returning these individual items we are essentially receiving the exact same item, just in giant set form.  It's an even exchange, with bonus items and money saving incentives! It might not be the exact one my friend took the time to pick out, wrapped so lovingly, and presented to me, but you can hold it up to the one in the giant set box and you'd never know the difference.

So why am I outting my secrets?
Because what Mike and I did yesterday was nothing short of a shopping miracle.
And blog worthy.

Here are the details.
Take two separate pots, received independently of each other: one is about $30, the other $40, and you get around $85 with tax.  Take the two pillow case covers that belong to a bedding set now discontinued and now pointless to own (boo. because I wanted that complete bedding set) and get around $65 with tax.  Bam. $150 instant store credit.

The 11 piece pan set (droooolll) runs a hefty $450.  Luckily, the current sale marked it down to $400.  Of course, I had an additional 15% off coupon to bring us down to $340.
Now at $340, take away the $150 store credit from your previous return PLUS the $50 store gift card we also had and we're at $140.  Thankfully, we had an an additional $75 in credit card gift cards.
After sales tax and everything, Mike and I only paid $83 out of pocket for that $450 11 piece set!
(And honestly that wasn't even out of pocket since we recently received a nice check around that price as an engagement present!)

The cherry on top? When you purchase the 11 piece set, you automatically get two bonus items free: a dutch-oven pot set (yes, another pot valued at $250) and a 7 piece mixed utensil cook set (valued at $50).

11 pots and pans, an additional pot with spoon and towel, 
and 7 cooking utensils valued at $750 for $83.

And friends? I love the pots and pans you originally bought me even more now that I they allowed me to do own all of this!! Amazing!

Anyone score any major shopping purchases this weekend?

{All images from Macy'}

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Steppin' Out Saturday 3.19.11

After DIYva Designs delivered our wedding invitations (SUPER WOOT!), I stepped out for a hair cut! My stylist wanted to try out some new wave curlers and made me his guinea pig.  After looking like a vintage doll with sprigs of hair sticking out in every direction, we decided collectively to blow it straight.  Thankfully, the finished results show in the pictures:

Then later that night we headed out for drinks to
celebrate a friend's birthday!
(and to see the SUPER moon!)
Bracelet: Slightly Askew
Earrings & necklace: Uptown Avenue
(obviously, I support handmade)

Hope you had a great weekend!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

3 Month Update!


"Three is a magic number,
Yes it is, it's a magic number.
Somewhere in the ancient, mystic trinity
You get three as a magic number.

The past and the present and the future.
Faith and Hope and Charity,
The heart and the brain and the body
Give you three as a magic number.

It takes three legs to make a tri-pod
Or to make a table stand.
It takes three wheels to make a ve-hicle
Called a tricycle.

Every triangle has three corners,
Every triangle has three sides,
No more, no less.
You don't have to guess.
When it's three you can see
It's a magic number."
 -School House Rock

 Yes, my friends, in three months I'll have three letters added to my name (M.r.s.).  Hard to believe when it seems so recently Mike got down on one knee!

You all can read the posts in my archives (right sidebar). I won't bore you with a recap of what you already saw. Instead, the checklist is back!

Looking forward to doing:
-receiving the delivery of invites today!
-creating welcome bags in their entirety
-sending envelopes to calligrapher
-embossing return addresses on envelopes
-putting stamps on invitations
-sending out invitations!
-ordering kipot (aka "skullcaps")
-creating a photog' list
-organizing program verbage (ahem, mom)
-deciding on wedding hair for bride
-finding a veil for bride (yes really, still)
-purchasing undergarments (oh la la!)
-attending my bachelorette party!! (yeehaw!)
-purchasing change of shoes
-solidifying cake design
-buying my wedding ring
-checking in with the rabbi about the ceremony
-creating a band play-list (a great upcoming blog post!)
-picking a cake topper?

Did you notice my positive spin above? instead of a "to do" list, I'm "looking forward to doing..." 
Psst... this is my 250th post!!! yeehaw!!!

What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

I started thinking about my wedding hair... either up or down?  I think I want an up-do since DC in June is not exactly when you let your hair loose.  I also recall how much you can actually work up a sweat on the dance floor, another plus for "up."

But down? Hair down is so gorgeous and sensual.  It's relaxed and natural.

I started looking around The Knot, saving pictures that caught my eye.  I quickly realized what I like best and which direction I'm leaning towards.

Hair Down Inspiration
I love the soft, wavy curls (that my hair would never hold for more than an hour, even with a pound of gel and a bottle of hairspray).

Hair Half Up/Down Inspiration
 This has potential, although I still worry about how my hair would hold.

Hair Up Inspiration
Well, will you look at that.  They all look the same, or vary slightly from each other.
Hrm, I think I can tell exactly which way I'm leaning.

What about you? How did you wear your hair, or envision wearing it?
{all photos taken from The Knot}

Lastly, I'm "hair" today (har har har) but I'll be gone tomorrow.
I'm participating in a Bloggers Day of Silence for Japan.
My blog will be silent as in no posts in honor and respect for 
what has happened in Japan.
More information can be found here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

My Bridal Shower!

This past weekend, my future Mother-in-Law, Ida, with help from my parents and bridesmaid Kathryn, threw me a lovely shower!  It took place at a restaurant called Carmines - but I think I will affectionately call it "that Italian restaurant with food and portions to die for!"

My mom, dad, sister, and 8 month old niece, Madelyne, flew in on Friday.  Ida flew in on Saturday.  It was a family packed weekend full of fun!

Ida, myself, and Kathryn 
My lovely Shower hosts!

Confetti and Favors (personalized lip balm! LOVE it!)

My mom and I  (love her)

My cousins and Aunt came! 
(my mom's sister)
The dessert presentation was awesome
(and yes, I took the leftovers home)

Ida gave a heartwarming speech

I make funny faces when opening presents!

My mom, sister, and I showing how big the pan is she bought me.
(we're obviously related)
((I heart this picture, lots))

Kathryn made my rehearsal bouquet out of bows!

Sarah shared comments I said as unwrapping gifts as potential things I will say on my wedding night!
("Where's the hole" --b/c I couldn't unwrap a gift... etc)


My bridesmaids and I!
(My sister, Marlo, Kathryn, me, and Diana)
((Meagan couldn't make it, understandably))

I had such a lovely time!!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

What a Weekend!

Whew! I'm exhausted.  I need a weekend to recover from this past weekend's fun!  My family flew in, Mike's mom flew in, and we met up with Mike's dad and step-mom too.  My school's annual auction fundraiser took place too!

Once I have a chance to catch up, I will post more, especially about the shower, but for now, here are some pictures to tide you over!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Weekend Antics!

As I prepare for an insanely busy weekend and butterflies of excitement coupled with a bit of apprehension sneak in, I was reminded today to remember.
Remember to be present.
Remember to appreciate.
Remember to stop. breathe. and take it all in.

Because those rumbles deep down that I thought I contracted from my little students? Are nothing more than a reminder that I'm human and have emotions.

My family is flying in to celebrate ME!  My mom, dad, sister and youngest niece will be here soon with hugs, smiles, and drools (I'll let you determine who drools).  My future mother-in-law will host a shower in my honor. Family will meet up for dinner, drinks and good company because of us.  Because Mike and I went and fell in love.  Remember that joy.

Now they want nothing more than to savor those sweet moments with us.
So I should too, by golly.

In  moments where I feel my focus wandering to unproductive places, I reset myself with the word "joy."
It's time to capture these moments for what they are, not their negative potential. Living without recognition of joy might cause regret.
And that's just silly talk.

What do you do when you find yourself overcome? What brings you back?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Absent here, Present there!

Happy Middle of the Week, all!

This time on Friday I will have picked my mom, dad, sister and 8 month old niece up from the airport and be getting ready for a weekend packed with family fun!  We'll meet up with Mike's dad and step-mom for dinner on Friday night, then Mike's mom flies in on Saturday, we'll hang together, and on Sunday celebrate my wedding shower! Oh and my school's PTA fundraiser auction is Saturday night.
Tired yet?

In the meantime, if you need some relaxation, head over to Mom-Nom to read my guest post on how yoga shaped my life.
It's amazing what a little zen can do!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Suit up!

We picked out the men's tuxes for our wedding, and then realized we were horribly unprepared. Who knew how many details the menswear could hold? I mean, it's not like they're girls or anything...

First, the tux itself: Single, double or tripple buttons? lightweight or full weight wool? notch, peak, or shawl lapel? vented back or not?
Of course the place didn't have every size in the top for you to try, only one example. So Mike tried it on anyways!

Notice the classic tug on the waist and how painfully short the sleeves are!
We chose a satin lined notch lapel.

Then vests: color, pattern, material, high vs low (5 or 6 bottons), bowtie or tie?

Well this is when we realized we forgot the groomsmens' ties.  We had nothing to compare the five shades of purple to without the ties.  It was at this point I decided to sprint around the mall in my new Shape Up shoes, trying to find that exact Sean John tie again.  After working up my heart rate in two different ways (Yes, Bloomingdales I said "Sean John."  No I do not want to pay $200 for a "better tie") I gave up and went back to find Mike and Eddie looking at shoes.

Shoes: solid black or spectators (aka "wing tips")

Everyone loved this, but without the tie we didn't know how it would work.  So this past weekend we took over the tux store again.  We stripped mannequins and pulled items from around the store. We took over a table and laid. it. all. out.  After trying different colored vests we realized our ties are statement enough.  When pairing the look with the spectator shoes it seemed like we were trying too hard to say something. It looked like a circus train-wreck.  Sadly, the uber cool shoes are out. But the bad-arse tie still remains!
Our men will have fully accessorized tuxes!

The moral of the story? Be prepared. be prepared. be prepared.
(and don't wear Shape Ups to the mall unless you plan to walk the mall.)

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Thank you to all my readers who join us in our wedding planning journey.  I love your comments (and those of you who lurk, I'd love to get to know you better)!

Thank you also to those who joined in on the giveaway fun!! If you don't see your name below remember you can still check out the shops and use the discount codes.  Show our sponsors some loooove!

Here are our winners!

The winner of their choice of headband from Twenty Five Design (WHO, btw, has a new Big Cartel Shop opened!!!) is:

The winner of the camera necklace from After Nine to Five is:

The winner of their choice of coffee cozy from Uptown Avenue is:
The winner of their choice of customized headband from Josiah's Nest is: 

The winner of the Fresh Bloom Necklace in Ivory from Cotton Lane is:

Congrats to everyone!!
Winners have been emailed and have 48 hours to respond.
Thanks for making my blogiversary special!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Final Catering Tasting!

It's hard to believe we're only 3.5 months out.  My personal trainer asked me how many weeks that was, and I shocked myself with the number 14.  She asked if I knew how many days that was - and I respectfully declined to do the math.

Regardless, we must taste the food we want to put in front of everyone! Our hors d'oeuvres, vegetarian entree, and cake were chosen!

After 4 catering tastings with separate companies, we decided on Windows. But after tasting so many hors d'oeuvres once we decided on Windows we wanted to go back and revamp a few details.

First up: tasting the Vanilla Salmon & the Salmon and Coconut Skewer (in order of appearance):

I  know they look oh so similar, but trust me, the flavor difference is there.  We chose the Salmon and Coconut Skewer because of the flavor brilliance.  The coconut jelly on the bottom is made from gelatin and coconut milk.  The Sirasha sauce on top is amazing. Together with the salmon = flavor brilliance. yeeeum!

We settled on our vegetarian entree choice:  Giant Spring Roll.  
And yes, it's exactly what it sounds like: a huge, vegetarian egg roll. 
Or as they put it "wok fired Napa cabbage, tofu, firecracker peppers and snow pea shoots with a chili-lime vinaigrette."
In short. amazing yumminess:
nom nom nom.

And the cake! YES! The cake!

Chocolate Raspberry:  Chocolate cake with Old-Fashioned Dark Chocolate Mouse and Fresh Raspberries with Chocolate Buttercream. (yes, please)

Vanilla Blackberry: Almond Sponge Cake filled with Vanilla Cream and Fresh Blackberries with Light Amaretto Whipped Cream.
(no need to ask twice)

Strawberry and Lime Shortcake:  Lime-flavored sponge cake, Strawberry Syrup, Vanilla Mousseline and Fresh Strawberries with Vanilla Buttercream
(HELLOsummerwedding yes!)

Carrot Spiced Cake: classic Carrot Cake filled and frosted with Cream Cheese Frosting
(can't go wrong)

Deliciously amazing & fantastically scrumptious.
Then we took two of the rounds home and my wedding dress diet was blown to pieces, as was the cake.

So we're ordering them all.  Seriously.
The bottom tier of the cake will have the Strawberry-Lime, followed by the Vanilla Blackberry, topped with the chocolate (my all time favorite cake evah).  And the Carrot Cake? Mike gets a special groom's cake, since he loves it and I do not share the same sentiment. perfection.

Oh that?
Our point of contact at Windows set that aside for us to see.  She knows our colors and decoration scheme and shared it with us, leftover from their holiday party! I love me some good customer service (and cake)!

Happy Weekend! Giveaway winners will be posted tomorrow!
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