Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Work Out Wagon Results – Week #6

Here we are at the beginning of Week #7, and that means that it's time to report how I did for Week #6...I am really struggling to get over my standstill on my measurements lately...

Last Week’s Stats: Weight – 148
Tummy – 32.5/37 (true waist / “tummy”)
Thighs – 23.5

Last Week’s Goals: (I’ve once again put my actual results in BOLD) Concentrate on my running – run three times each week completing week #5 on Couch Potato to 5K training plan Ran on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday – YEA me for getting one extra workout in!
One additional ab workout during the week None – BOO to me
Continue to make good food choices I think that I did ok…splurged a lot compared to the last few weeks – with two cokes during the week (not just on weekend)

Current Stats:
Weight - 146
Tummy – 32/37 (true waist / “tummy”)
Thighs - 23.25

Here are my goals for this week:
Continue to Couch Potato to 5K running plan – moving on to the next week’s workout – run three times during the week
One additional ab workout during the week
NO sodas during the week!

So, even though I fell behind (AGAIN!) on the ab workout…I made some progress this week. I was really worried about stepping on my scale this week and running the tape measure around myself…I felt like I ate really poorly this past week. But the numbers don’t lie, and I guess that just goes to show that the workouts (running) are burning off the extra calories that I’m taking in.

This was the first week in SIX WEEKS that I haven’t kept a food journal. It’s not really a journal, just a post-it note on my desk each day, detailing what I eat during the day while I’m at work. (I noticed that I tended to snack the most at my desk while at work, not as much while at home.) So I just detailed what I would eat during working hours and total those calories. Knowing what I needed to consume for the whole day, I would leave work knowing that I had just dinner to worry about if I stayed within a certain range during the day.

It was a way for me to hold myself accountable and keep myself on track. It also helped me keep on track with eating smaller portions more often during the day. Everywhere you look on fitness and weight loss websites, all of the trainers preach and preach about eating less more often during the day, and that trick being a key to speeding up your metabolism. I find this really hard to do during the weekends while I’m at home, but during the work week it’s easy to eat every other hour, or every hour, whatever works best for you. So, not keeping that “food journal” this past week was a struggle for me. I wanted to write down my intake…and total up the calories.

But part of changing my lifestyle, not dieting, is forming better habits. After watching my snacks so closely for 5 weeks, it was easy to take a step back and still retain what I had learned in the past weeks. I’m proud that I still made progress.

This past week was also the first week that I haven’t used meal replacements. I ate full meals, and small snacks all week long. I cheated and had two cokes during the week, instead of just on the weekend. I also went to a party and had sweets. But at no point did I feel too badly about any of it, because I know that I’m running my little tootsies off every other few nights, paying for those sweets. I might still choose to have a meal replacement for breakfast for ease of scrounging up breakfast, but I see now that I can do it without meal replacements too.

I’m SO proud – when going back and checking my official starting point, that makes a grand total of 8 POUNDS DOWN!!! Can I give myself a WOOT?!? Yeah? I can? WOOT!! And if you’ll remember way back when back in February when Mr. CC and I officially started this working out journey, I was actually an additional 4 pounds heavier than my latest “starting point” so that actually brings the total to 12 pounds…YEA ME!

I was really worried about being stuck on a “hump” with my measurements not changing in SO long…how did you handle getting over that in your own workout? I’m ALWAYS looking for new inspiration!

Monday, June 29, 2009

A Non-Traditional Guest Book…

So if you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m not really a traditional sort of girl. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be girly-girly and I like to follow tradition just like anyone else. But more often than not, I also like to march to my own beat. I have always been very self-confident and knew what I wanted, what I liked and didn’t like, and it never really mattered to me whether you thought I was cool or not. I thought I was cool, and I knew that was most important.

With that in mind, why would a traditional guest book work for my wedding? You’re right, it won’t. I want something a little more than just a book that everyone signs to say that they’re here to share this special day with us. They’re nice and all, and please don’t hear that I’m knocking traditional guest books, because I’m not. It’s just not what I want for my guest book.

I’ve known this for a few months, and started keeping my eyes open for some inspiration on what I could do differently for this aspect of our wedding. I wanted something out of the ordinary, something that truly reflected us and who we were, and definitely something more than a book that I’d probably never look at again.

I’ve seen several things that I like. I LOVE the big poster board type of thing that everyone can sign. Using an engagement picture and making it big enough to frame in your “new” house. Cute.

I’ve also seen the ever-popular photo booths and one bride who required all guests to be snapped in the photo booth and given a card to sign. She then arranged all the strips of photo booth pictures with the notes that were handwritten into a type of coffee table book. She gets points for originality in my book...and with my love of scrapbooking, this was an early front runner for me. Which also led me to consider the idea of actual scrapbook pages set out for guests to sign that I could incorporate into a photo book of our wedding. Also a good idea, and now that I’m getting more familiar with Photoshop, this could work for me.

But that didn’t really stand out for me. Until I came across the idea of signing fabric. (I SO wish that I could remember where I got this idea! But I can’t credit the originator since I can’t remember…but this is NOT my original idea.) With another of my hobbies being sewing…this one sparked my curiosity. What if I laid out pieces of fabric for my guests to sign and then later worked those “scraps” of “paper” into a quilt. I’ve made several blankets and quilts and am now working on a bedspread for my room…

Hmmm…the idea takes hold…and continues to grow.

I’ve been looking into the thought a little more, and so far, most fabric professionals (read ladies who work at JoAnn’s) have told me that muslin would work the best for signing. And my little sister assures me that a sharpie pen would work for ink that won’t run. And I’ve found the pattern that I would want to use…what is more fitting than the wedding ring pattern? Here’s a picture so that you can visualize along with me…


Picture this quilt pattern made with scraps of black and cream fabrics forming the rings…and in the middle of each ring is the swatch of cloth that our wedding guests signed. They can just sign their names, they can write words of advice, and they can even draw me a picture (keep it clean, folks!). These scraps can be worked into a quilt later at my convenience, which I like since this is one wedding project that won’t be totally finished BEFORE the wedding.

Here's a close-up of each circle - you can clearly see the area in the middle where guests could "sign in"

I LOVE this idea! (I think that I’ve written that A LOT these past few posts!)

I think that I’ll go ahead and find all the patterned material and try to make up one ring that can be displayed at the wedding to give everyone an idea of what I’m trying to accomplish. Building a quilt that each guest signed a piece of just resonates deep inside me as something that is meant for me and just “right” for our wedding somehow. This would be an ongoing symbol of the love that others feel for us; that they cared enough to come to our wedding day and share in our joy. I love it, love it, love it.

I even came up with a little poem that I could display on the table where you would “sign in” the other night as I was trying (unsuccessfully) to drift off to sleep. Stinks for me that I was then successful in falling asleep and I’ve since forgotten the poem. It was perfect…Maid Britney assures me that I’ll remember it again. Let’s cross our fingers!

I’ve borrowed my mom’s pinking shears to cut the washed muslin into the “scraps” for our guests to sign…they’re special because they come from my step-dad’s mother. What a nice touch to be able to use a family heirloom in making one of my wedding projects – my own personal hot glue gun that I’ve had for years doesn’t really qualify!

Do you think that doing something this untraditional just puts “our mark” on our wedding that much more? Is this a great way to incorporate something that I love to do into our wedding?

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Perfect Tie In...

I think that I’ve come up with a way to bring all of my reception colors into the ceremony. Tell me what you think about this…

Just in case you need a refresher, here’s a picture of my bouquet:

I’ve actually ordered another bouquet to help make it more the size that I’m looking for in my bridal bouquet and will “fluff” the bouquet with some of these lovelies…

…and then add in fresh cream roses to complete the bouquet and add some real scent to it.

That totally goes along with my color scheme…from the cream tissue paper pomanders, to the lavender poms hanging from the shepherd’s hook, while also including the mixture of eggplant, lavender and cream rose petals lining the aisle. And now you know that it also brings in the eggplant on my shoes (which won’t be visible during the ceremony but I will know that they’re there!).

Having picked such a fun and funky shoes really opened the door to the creativity block that I was suffering from in regards to my Maids’ bouquets. But those shoes solved everything…actually those little hot pink dots solved it all.

I think that I will have my Maids carry a bouquet in the colors of hot pink, light pink and cream flowers. That will tie in perfectly with the rest of my planning, don’t you think?!?! It’s perfect!

Here’s what I’ve found so far…

A hot pink and cream hydrangea…

Light pink roses…

Eva cream and pink berries (to add a different texture to the bouquet-which mimics my own green berries!)…

And then supplement the bouquet with fresh cream roses (like will be in my own bouquet) and possibly a stargazer lily or two thrown in for that splash of big color…

What do you think? Do you agree with me that it’s perfect for what I’m trying to accomplish? I think that if all bouquets are wrapped in black satin ribbon, held with either rhinestone or pearl pins, it will tie everything together SO nicely.

That would leave me being original with the purple hues all being in my bouquet, and the pinks all being in their bouquets.

I need to see them together to make my final decision – I’m SURE that we’ve discussed in detail before how difficult it is for me to picture things in my head sometimes. I've ordered samples of all of the pink hued flowers shown above so that I can see the quality before I settle on this idea. There’s a lot of green to my bouquet, but I’m hoping that adding the cream and lavender roses to my bouquet will tone that down quite a bit. Do you agree?

Can you picture this better than I can? I think that it’s a perfect compliment to our shoes…and I LOVE how the eggplant and hot pink work together on those shoes!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One More Decision Down...

Mr. CC and I made a big decision the other day regarding our ceremony site. It’s something that I’ve been pondering about in the back of my mind for a few months now, but hadn’t really talked with Mr. CC about it at all. Imagine my surprise when he hears the options, that he just makes my decision SO easy! (That’s just one reason why I love him.)

Here’s the dilemma. I can’t exactly remember everything that the manager of Texas Old Town mentioned regarding our venue selection on the day that he met with us. I know, it’s shocking. But seriously. We looked at all three halls that TOT has to rent and they’re all a little bit different, all with different ceremony sits. So when I wonder about something, I usually check the TOT website and consult with their FAQ page, which is a GREAT idea for any venue to have!
Unfortunately, what I was wondering about didn’t get answered there. While on the site, I was perusing through some pictures and came across something that really made me wonder about my original question.

You see, I know that the reception site is all wood. Wood walls, wood floors, wood ceiling, wood trestles…and more importantly wooden chairs. What I can’t remember clearly is the ceremony site. Yes, I know that the arbor there is wooden. But are the chairs?
The picture that I clearly recall shows metal folding chairs. Plain, ugly, metal folding chairs. Probably NOT that big of a deal, but in the long run…not something that I really want to see when I look back at wedding pictures from our ceremony. I would much prefer wooden chairs. They look much prettier. I can’t remember if Danny (the manager) told me that the wooden ones were or weren’t available, or if they’re only available for certain halls…I just can’t remember. So when MOH and I were looking over their website to see something else, I came across a picture that shows what I think is my ceremony site with wooden chairs. Not pretty white or black ones, but a nice, natural wood. WAY better than metal folding chairs!
Since I can find nothing in my notes (probably because I didn’t write anything down that day!) and nothing on the website to answer my question of what type of chair our ceremony site come with, I quickly shoot off an email to Danny asking him about it. I needed to check with him on a few details anyway, so this was the perfect opportunity to do it all at the same time. His reply the next day confirmed my worst fear…the ceremony sites all come with metal chairs.

So…now I’m in a dilemma. My first thought is chair covers. Something like this perhaps?
But they’re somewhat pricey. You can find them from around $2 a piece, but that doesn't include the pretty sash. The sash can be an additional $2-4 each... depending on material and style and such. I wouldn't HAVE to have the sash, but most of them are kinda plain and need a sash...this is getting expensive.

My other option turns out to be more affordable. Renting chairs. It seems silly to rent chairs when the venue provides some free of charge, but hey – they’re ugly. And I don’t want ugly wedding pictures. Because by this point, I’m positive that the ugly metal chairs will be the focus of the wedding…irrational, I know. Bear with me.
I find chairs to rent in a nice folding white or black from anywhere between $2-$4 a piece. Which is a little cheaper than the cover route. I decide that this is something that I HAVE to have, and I figure out the best way to approach Mr. CC about it. I try to figure out a way to “pitch” the sale to him in a way that he’ll say yes. (The one pictured above is actually $3.50 at the most expensive place in Austin that offers rentals.)

It’s obvious that I read WAY too many wedding blogs, because Mr. CC is nothing like some grooms out there. He wants a nice wedding too, and more than that, he wants me to have the wedding that I want. I drop all pretense of a “pitch” and just tell him that I found out that the ceremony chairs will be metal folding chairs. I figure that straight up is the best policy here. Lucky for me, I’ve got a classy groom, and the look of horror that crossed his face when he pictured the metal chairs was priceless!

“But won’t that look a little…” Mr. CC commented, struggling to find the right words.

“Yes. It will.”

Then I tell him that I would like to rent them and how much it would be in total and he calmly tells me to go ahead and find them to rent. Yea me! See, brides, this is a lesson for you all out there – be forthcoming and upfront about the problems that you foresee with your upcoming wedding, and the groom deals A LOT better with the information.

Or maybe that’s just MY groom…I do tell myself how lucky I am over and over!

So there you have it. Now, take a look at this picture. You can’t tell me that these wooden chairs don’t look a LOT better than the previous ceremony site picture that I posted! Be honest…

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Home Run Idea?!?!

After all of the re-caps from last week’s shopping trip, I feel like I’ve just been a brainstorming machine over here lately! That’s not actually true, some things have been “stewing” on my “cooktop” but have needed to think about them a little more.

So now, after making some decisions regarding the bridal party attire – WooHoo to us! – I can move forward with some other things that I’ve been thinking of. One of the main topics of focus for me right now is those darn centerpieces. And now that I have these fabulous shoes decking out the entire girl-side of the wedding party, I have my hot pink thrown back into my color mix. Which makes bringing those Stargazer Lilies that Mr. CC loves so much back into the mix a LOT easier.

I know that I posted here about an idea to use a plant seated into the vase with little flowers inserted into the plant. This would bring the cost down on my floral budget, while also allowing me to DIY a lot of the project. But finding what I had pictured in my mind turned out to be harder than I thought. I think that was partly because I wasn’t totally sold on the idea.

Back to square one. Where should you start looking when you’re fresh out of ideas? Well, an obvious choice would be the internet. But I took the road less traveled and pulled out my bridal book. What’s that? Oh, my BRIDAL book, that large three-ring binder that I’ve been lugging around with me, storing snippets of information in each time I see something that I like. Yeah, that book. You mean to tell me that it can be used for things other than just storage? No way.

Apparently so. I took a break from a massive job-role mapping project that I was working on at work the other day, and pulled out my trusty bridal book and started perusing the pictures again. A lot of the pictures that I tore out will not work for my venue, but I kept them to use as inspiration. Because if I decided to go the route of using an actual florist, then I would need some inspiration pictures to provide to him/her so that he/she could get the overall “feel” that I was going for. I thought that it might do me some good to flip back through the pictures looking for fresh ideas and inspiration.

And since I’m posting about it, you’ve got to know that I found something. Actually, I found three somethings. I found three separate pictures that I’m going to try to combine into one finished centerpiece idea. I was going to pull in the pictures here, but as they were all three out of magazines that I collected god only knows when...you get that it was impossible to find them. Although I did look for them online, but no luck.

And here is my centerpiece (donated by the lovely Maid Britney!):
What I am envisioning happening here is this: the centerpiece is filled with water and maybe some green rocks/filler stuff on the bottom to pull in some color (maybe a light lime green, Mama CC?) with one single Stargazer lily floating on top. The candles are all lit and reflecting off the water beautifully. Around the bottom of the centerpiece, I’ve arranged a bed of moss and lovingly inserted a mixture of fresh and artificial flowers into the moss in shades of cream, lavender and light pink…all nestled on top of those GLORIOUS eggplant tablecloths.

To put it simply…I LOVE IT!

It’s perfect. Simple. Elegant. Goes with the theme and overall feel of our wedding. And would be simple enough for me to do on my own, which is important to this cost-conscious bride! And of course, I have the help of my talented Maids and Mama CC and FMIL CC that would also love to help out. Hint, hint ladies!

It incorporates all of my colors, and MOST importantly the ONE SINGLE thing that Mr. CC has requested of me – the Stargazer lily. I was worried about how the hot pink would look against the eggplant, but since it’s off of the table and floating in the vase, I think that it’s perfect. And seriously, after seeing the great shoes that we’re all sporting, how could I still be worried about the combination of eggplant and hot pink?!?!

Can you picture it all too? It’s a little hard, I know. But try.

It was hard for me to picture too, so i did a mock-up at home with some lilies that I bought at HEB. I mean, I didn't even know if lilies actually float!

From here, you can see the bottom of the vases needs something
Here's a close-up on the flower...although the lily doesn't float, the petals hold it up...even when water gets in the center of the flower.

This is a view that you would walk up to it on a table and see...looking down...it's stunning!

What do you think?

It might be a little bit of work to make the ring around the bottom that I'm envisioning, but well worth it, I think. And can anyone tell me where I can buy moss? I would love to have real moss, along with real roses and of course real lilies. The rest of the flowers would be artificial, to get the colors that I want during the time period that I want them.

I found some artificial moss at http://www.save-on-crafts.com/ but I can’t help thinking that real moss would be THAT much prettier…any ideas on where I can get that? And on a budget?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Work Out Wagon Results - Week #5

Are you ready for last week’s recap? Me too! Let’s get right to it…

Last Week’s Stats: Weight – 149
Tummy – 32.75/37.25 (true waist / “tummy”)
Thighs – 23.5
Last Week’s Goals: (I’ve once again put my actual results in BOLD) One P90X workout – chest/back or arms/shoulders along with ab workout NONE! I’m a stinker!
One additional ab workout during the week Did one Ab workout
Run three times – moving to the next week on the Couch Potato to 5K program Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – WOOHOO an extra one!
Continue my good food choices I did ok. No cokes except on the weekend, and I actually started eating “normally” again now that I’m running more each week. The theory being that if I’m burning more calories, then I don’t have to be as “strict” with my diet.

Current Stats:
Weight – 148
Tummy – 32.5/37 (true waist / “tummy”)
Thighs – 23.5

Here are my goals for this week:
Concentrate on my running – run three times each week completing week #5 on Couch Potato to 5K training plan
One additional ab workout during the week
Continue to make good food choices.

So…here’s where I stand. I’m a total of 6 pounds down after 6 weeks. In that six week period, I’ve made several changes. One of the largest changes has been in the amount of exercise that I’m doing. But I’ve also been watching those calories like a hawk, in addition to the exercise.

Now that I’m six weeks into working out again, and I’m over the initial soreness that goes along with starting any new workout program, I’m to that point where I look forward to doing the exercise. I know, there are some out there that might find that fact hard to believe. But believe it or not, I feel better when I run. I don’t know if it’s just a little boost of confidence that I’m doing something that I know is good for me, or of achieving a goal that I’ve set for myself. Either way, I just feel better.

And this past week was a real test for me. I was coming off a hard weekend of eating whatever I wanted and no exercise, and feeling a little pressure since the scale went the wrong direction when I stepped on it last Monday. But knowing that I was increasing my running program again, I was curious to see how I would do if I didn’t follow the strict eating plan that I’ve been on the first few weeks. So I actually ate lunch out, and ate normal foods. I even had a cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate shake one day. Another day, I had a piece of cake when those "mean ladies" at my office brought in another delectable treat. But you know what? I passed the test. I still lost weight. It was only one pound, but that’s nice and healthy. If I keep that up, I’ll have the rest of the weight that I plan to lose before the wedding gone within the next month or so…

Now, this doesn’t mean that I’m back to eating whatever I want by any means. But it does mean that I can treat myself a little more often, and not feel as guilty about “cheating” when it does happen. I’m going to continue the eating pattern that I’ve worked hard to establish the past six weeks – eating smaller, consistent portions throughout the work day. It’s easy when I’m stuck at a desk all day long to eat every hour or hour and a half. It’s harder on the weekends.

So that’s where I am right now. I’m trying to still eat sensible and make good choices, but I’m going to try not keeping my food diary this week. (It’s actually just a post-it note with all that I ate during the day and the calories associated tallied up, but I can call it a food diary if I want!) This may not work for me, it might not be enough accountability. We’ll see. I can always go back to keeping that log if I need to.

Keep the encouragement coming ladies! It’s a BIG help to me…

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shoes Fit for a Queen!

The last big accomplishment that my Maids and I pulled off on our weekend of shopping came about last. I had on my to-do list for the weekend that I wanted to find some wedding shoes. But it was totally a minor item on the list – first and foremost were the dresses.

Since we took care of the dresses so “quickly” (I know that the Maids probably don’t think that it happened all that quickly!) we had plenty of time to scour the mall for shoes. Except that isn’t really how we stumbled upon our shoes. Here’s what happened…

Like I mentioned before, Maid Britney was happy with her dress, but not sure that she fit in enough with the other girls. So, even though we went ahead and bought her dress along with the others at Penney’s, we continued down through the mall looking for a better dress. I mean, what girl hasn’t bought something and found EXACLTY what she had originally been searching for earlier immediately after buying the one that she settled on? Good thing that returns are so easy!

So we trotted over to Nordstrom’s. Struck out. Their LBD selection was very disappointing, and their shoe sale didn’t have anything that caught my eye. On over to Dillard’s we went. On our way to the escalator to get to the dress section, we saw the shoe event. They were also having a big shoe sale. Like any other normal woman, we headed on over just to check it out.

As we each split up and look through our sizes, Maid Britney comes across a few shoes that she likes. I didn’t really see anything in my size that catches my eye, and I go to take advantage of the chairs located right there (I guess maybe the dresses didn’t happen quite a quickly as I had thought!). Britney tries on a shoe that is a dark brown, but has some accent spots in turquoise peeking through. As Maid Momma is telling Britney how much she likes them, one of them sees another pair of shoes in the same style and picks it up to look closer.

You’re not going to believe this next part.

This shoe is the same style…except that the colors are eggplant with hot pink dots.

I’m not lying.

OMG! They are PERFECT for my wedding shoes. Maid Momma makes a comment about this could be the shoe that we all wear to match since our dresses don’t match, and I pop off a comment back to her. Something to the effect that those shoes are on clearance and what are the odds that we’ll find four pairs, let alone four pairs in the sizes that we need.

How do you like them? Aren't they funky?

What do you think that we found?

Yep, you guessed right. Four pairs. In our sizes.

The best part? The shoes are on the CLEARANCE rack for a whopping $26.70 a pair. That’s under $30 even including the tax!

Seriously. It’s like a sign from God that it was meant to be. And Maid Momma sure did enjoy making me eat my words!

Here's a close-up on the dots - sorry for the blurry picture!

I’m a little stubborn though, and I insist that I need to see the shoes on with the black dresses, because although I’m certain that these are MY wedding shoes (they meet all of my criteria – heel, pop of color, fun and funky), I’m not certain how they’ll look with the LBDs that the Maids have bought. We all go ahead and purchase our pair of shoes, and continue on to the dress section to make sure that we’ve got the best dress for Maid Britney.

We find only one contender for a better dress for Britney and we all file into the fitting room to wait while she tries it on. Lucky for us, this dressing room was empty (or so we thought!) with a large area for waiting. Britney tries on the dress, and although it’s nice on her and looks great, it’s just not the same to me as the other dress that she had. I ask her to pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top try on the dress that she’s already bought from Penney’s one last time. Just so that I can be sure about it and honestly tell her that I KNOW that she’s got the BEST dress for her that she can possibly have.

You see, I know that she’s already bought the right dress. But she still doesn’t feel it yet. See how crafty I am?

When she comes out, the difference is amazing. She is SMOKING hot, and finally it looks like she knows it. I bug her into slipping the shoes on with the dress and the effect is breath-taking. At least to me. Maybe not to anyone else, but it’s perfect. The whole outfit is perfect. As she turns around to go back and change into her regular clothes, we make some cat calls and convince her to “strut her stuff” a little bit. Here’s a picture so that you have the visual…
You can't even tell from back this far that the shoes are eggplant with hot pink dots...

Right then, while her back is turned to the other dressing rooms and she’s hamming it up for us, a little, older Oriental lady comes out of one of the back dressing rooms and gets an eyeful of Britney doing her “thing.” We all die laughing, and I honestly nearing peed my pants at the surprise that Britney got when she turned around that direction doing her walk. The lady left the dressing room, without making a single comment, and we all exploded in laughter again. It was a great ending to a great day. I was actually still chuckling about it right before I feel asleep that night. It was THAT funny!

So there you have it. We made a few more stops along the way home trying to see if we ran across jewelry or hair accessories for me, but didn’t have any luck. Even though we didn’t find anything for me, I did manage to pick up two hair options for little CC for her to choose from. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more for me to pick from, but all in all, I can’t complain about the outcome of the weekend.

We got dresses and shoes. For all the Maids and the bride. We came to a consensus on what to do with my hair (I’ll post those pics soon!), and we had a BLAST. More than anything, the day spent with my Maids solidified in my mind that I couldn’t have asked for better bridesmaids. They are a great group of gals…and I’m the girl lucky enough to call them friend. And having Mama CC there along with us meant so much to me as well! I was glad to have her meet my Maids and like them and share in this special time with me – it meant more thani can say. Just looking around at the support group of great women who love me and will be there for me no matter what just touched my heart.

Hopefully the fun times that we have together this past weekend will continue on during these last few months of wedding planning and the actual wedding day. I know that I feel blessed to have them there with me each step of the way!

Thanks, girls!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Maids Dresses...Part II

We’ve had a good morning. We’ve eaten some yummy lunch…and we’re laughing at my “chicken dance.” A day with the girls couldn’t be going better!

As we hit the mall in Frisco, we decide to concentrate on the major department stores, thinking that they’ll have a better selection. The only other store that I can think of to try is White House/Black Market, but knowing how expensive that chain is, I’m hesitant to go there. But we’ll see what we can find.

We start at Macy’s, as that’s where MOH and I had glanced through the racks a few weekends before and found several LBD contenders. The Maids were good sports and tried on a slew of LBDs…but nothing jumped out and grabbed us. On to the next store. The mall had a Nordstrom’s, Dillard’s and JC Penney also in the mall, so we had lots of options.

MOH had just been shopping in Penney’s the day before and encouraged us to look there next. Imagine our surprise when their dress selection is even better than the selection that we found at Macy’s. To our utter delight, they were also running a LBD sale – all little black dresses were marked and additional 50% off of the price marked on the dress! SCORE!

Pretty quickly, MOH finds a dress that she LOVES. (I had thought that it might work this way, find one dress that one of them loves in one store and have to keep looking through other stores to find the other ones…)

Right behind her, Maid Momma slips on a black number that flatters her VERY well, and she’s ecstatic about her find.

Maid Britney? She wasn’t feeling it so much. Poor Maid Britney. She was trying to be SO pleasing. I think that she really wanted me to tell her which dress that I wanted her to wear. And here I am, trying to be so open and honest and tell them to pick a dress that THEY love. What conflicting emotions us women suffer through!

MOH admits that she’s buying her LBD whether it’s what I select for them to wear or not. The price is too good to pass up, and she’ll find somewhere to wear it. And I have to be honest, I loved the dress that she was salivating over…she looked dead sexy!

We convince Britney to try on a different black dress, that’s out of her “style” of preference. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I told them to find a dress that they liked and would wear again, but at this point, I’ve got two of them in agreement and one that just wants to make me happy. So we convince her to try on a different style dress, and the effect is amazing. Now I’ve got three HOT bridesmaids that just might steal the show!

Maid Britney was a little unsure about her dress still, but being the good sport that she is, she went ahead and bought it. She was a little concerned because the material that her dress is made out of isn’t as “flowy” as the material that the other maids dresses are made out of. But really, I think that she was just relieved to have me tell her that this dress was the one that I wanted her to wear! J

But we’ll let you guys be the judge, because I think that the picture speaks for itself…

Left to right: Maid "Britney", Maid Momma and MOH

Aren't the beautiful?!? And sexy all at the same time?!?!

I LOVE the look that they’re pulling off here. The dresses are different, and the same all at the same time. And in the picture you can’t even tell that the material is different, Britney!

Here’s what I like. They’re all different. Each dress really compliments each Maids’ body type and even their attitudes to some extent (which I know you can’t know through a picture, but trust me they do!). I like that each dress has something in common with another dress. Yet they’re still all different. MOH’s and Britney’s dress have a similar style to the top, while Maid Momma stands out with hers being different. Britney and Maid Momma’s dress both have horizontal layers going all down the dress, while MOH just has a layer at the very bottom. Maid Momma and MOH’s dress both have some sparkly accents or beading while Britney’s dress is simple and unadorned. And of course, the obvious, they’re ALL black. I just LOVE them!

I couldn’t have picked them better myself. And with matching jewelry and shoes to possibly tie them all back around and make them more similar, they’re just perfect! Even better, MOH bought them all with her Penney’s card and got an extra $15 off the total purchase price. My Maids paid a whopping $45 each after taxes and all. Isn’t that amazing for a bridesmaids dress? I couldn’t believe the deal that we got. I thought we could find something cheaper at the mall, but wasn’t really sure, so I was thrilled to accomplish my goal.

Looks like my vision is coming together. I want the girls to all wear their hair differently (tying back to the different dresses again) but with the same shoes (which we found later that night – more on that later) and jewelry (I’m on the hunt for that now!) they are all semi-similar.

Did what you have envisioned in your head for your bridesmaids dresses work out? Or did you end up going with something that you didn’t think that you wanted?

Yeah, I didn’t forget about you Maid Britney…your story will come about in the shoe post…stay tuned!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Maids Dresses...Part I

I’ll try to wrap this re-cap up today…since most of the people that read my blog were actually in attendance, these last few posts MIGHT have been a bit boring! Then again, seeing the pictures today might actually solidify that we made the right selection…

So there we are, MOH, Maid Britney and myself…wide awake at like 7:30…just waiting for the day to start. We were SO excited to start our day that we couldn’t sleep in, no matter how late we stayed up the night before. And when I say that we were sitting around waiting, we were actually sitting around waiting – our appointment at Alfred Angelo (where we were meeting up with everyone else) wasn’t until 10:00.

Tired of waiting at the apartment, we made our way through to Chick-Fil-A for a quick snack. Maid Momma had graciously offered to bring do-nuts to us, but that wasn’t until 10…and the bridal store actually took possession of them when she walked in – so it’s a good thing that we ate.

The first order of business at Alfred Angelo was letting the ladies see me in my dress. I also wanted to play with my hair options a little bit and work with some veils. I promise, that we did ALL of that and made some great headway on those decisions, but that’s a post for another day. This post is about my Maids!

Once I finished up my prancing and primping and all in front of SO many mirrors – I mean, what girl wouldn’t make a few funny faces, “Britney”? – I quickly ushered my Maids into their dressing room to start trying on the dozens of dresses that we had selected for them to try on. My vision of the wedding was each of them wearing a different LBD. Who doesn’t need a killer LBD in their closet? No one that I can think of! But I was trying to stay open to the idea of matching dresses as well, that looked more like bridesmaids dresses, since I wasn’t sure how the different LBDs would look all together. Just because I think that something will look good, doesn’t mean that it will in real life…

So here are a few options that we tried on…I mean, that THEY tried on…Mama CC and I just watched from our love seat. I had my camera handy and took a snapshot of them each time that they came out…so there are LOTS of pictures! (Left to right: MOH, Maid "Britney" and Maid Momma)

What shopping experience isn't complete until you have the "rock star" pose?

As you can tell, all the dresses are different. I was really only contemplating two colors – black or eggplant. I wasn’t against the eggplant, but knew that if we went that route, that it would mean that they wouldn’t be able to wear the dress anywhere else. Hmmm…

Here they are trying to show me them in the same dress. A lot of the styles that we seemed to have a knack for picking only had two of that dress in the store, so more often than not, there were just two dresses to see side-by-side.

This blue dress was an early front-runner favorite - it flattered eveyrone!

We also played around with the idea of MOH being in a different dress and the other two Maids being in the same dress...

MOH really liked the dress that she's got on in all of these last pics, but was quick to point out that being so tight and fitted would be difficult for moving around at some point.

Hmmm…LOTS to think about, and I’m getting hungry. Let’s move on ladies! You haven’t convinced me to give up the search for a LBD at the mall. I still think that we can find something on sale (because who doesn’t like to spend LESS than $100-$150 on a bridal dress?) that would work within my vision. And since all of the dresses at AA were in colors, it was too hard for me to try to imagine the dresses in black and all different styles. I’ve never been very good at getting images in my head, so I need to pack these ladies off to the mall and get them in different LBDs so that I can either go with it or cross it off the list completely.

But you know what? It was NOON! We had spent TWO HOURS in Alfred Angelo…and the natives (mainly me) were getting hungry! After a quick stop at DSW (Mama CC had NEVER been in a DSW! Can you believe it? She was in a little bit of shock at first, I’m pretty sure…) to glance around for me some funky colored wedding shoes, we headed off for lunch. No, we didn’t find any wedding shoes, but I got some new running shoes at half price and Britney snagged up some nice work shoes as well.

For lunch, there was really only one option. No, there are LOTS of restaurants in Frisco to choose from, but there was only one option for me…Babe’s. Babe’s Chicken is a local favorite and I was PUMPED to realize that there was a new location open in Frisco…Mama CC and MOH had never heard of Babe’s much less eaten there. It’s Maid Momma’s favorite chicken place, and she never gets to eat there because her hubby isn’t a huge fan. Britney and I always try to eat there one night together when I’m in town, so it was an easy choice of where to go for lunch.

As always, lunch was FABULOUS! We converted two new fans to Babe’s Chicken, and then had a priceless moment over dessert. We had a very cool waitress, and as we all ordered one piece of pie to share between us, one of the girls (I SO wish that I could remember who!) mentioned something to the waitress about bringing out birthday cake. She asked me if it was my birthday, and I was quick to say not yet, but this is the only time that all of us would be together to celebrate my birthday. Our waitress innocently dropped off our pie and we dug in.

Before I knew it, a long line of waiters and waitresses had surrounded our table, and our waitress plopped a large hot pink hat on my head and asked me to stand up. Being the good sport that I am, I obliged. I was given a cone cup for my “beak” and asked to do a little chicken dance while they sang to me. I think that the pictures speak for themselves…

Yes, it was a good time! My Maids got to embarrass me, my mother was there to witness the event, and a general good time was had by all. Even more so because it was captured on film!

From Babe’s Chicken we headed off to the Frisco Mall in our search for three LBDs. Were we successful in our quest? You’ll have to stay tuned for ONE more post…but there are more pictures, I promise. And a REALLY funny story about Maid Britney strutting her stuff…

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To Go…or Not to Go???

So there I was…sick as a dog…what’s a girl to do? I can’t imagine cancelling this trip. It took two months for the three Maids and I to find one weekend where no one had anything going on that we couldn’t work around, so I couldn’t imagine telling them at the last minute that we’d have to reschedule. Not that they wouldn’t understand, but you get what I’m saying.

The good news is that when my alarm went off Friday morning, I immediately took my temperature and it was back down into normal range. A solid 97.9, which is still a little high for me, but workable. I just took it easy and rested for a bit and then took a bubble bath. Right before the bath, I took my temp again, and it was totally normal, 97.5.

In the meantime, I’ve talked with MOH twice. She’s got errands and things to do during the morning anyway, so she decides to go ahead and do that, giving me some time to relax a bit and then call back to check and see how I feel. So I take my bath and then hop out and lay down for a quick nap. Once I lay down, I take my temp again, thinking that I’ve had enough time to “cool off” from my bath. Temp reads 99.4.

Hmmm…not good. Not bad, but not good.

I lay there for about two hours…just trying to snooze, but can’t really because my head hurts a bit. Mr. CC calls to check on me and we talk for a bit, nothing major. He encourages me to do whatever I feel like doing. He wants me to go, because he knows how much I had been looking forward to all of this…but he also doesn’t want me to go and be sick all weekend. After talking with him, I check my temp one more time…99.4…again.

Not really enough to stay, but enough to make me feel a little bad and not be sure about going. Either way, when MOH calls to check on me, I tell her to come on over. I warn her that she’ll be driving while I “recover” and she’s fine with that.

We hit the road right on time, only about 30 minutes later than we had originally planned on leaving. I drove us up through to North Austin, where we stopped and had lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant, Posados. After some lunch and an ice cream cone, I have to admit that I was feeling better – must have been the ice cream! MOH took the wheel from there on and got us to Dallas in record time. By the time we got there, my temp was registering back down at 98.3, and I popped some more Advil and we made our first shopping stop.

I wanted to pick up some of the eggplant fabric that I had seen about two months earlier while up in Dallas on a business trip. I should have bought it then, but wasn’t really sure what I would use it for other than tablecloths. As you can probably guess, it was no longer there. Oh well. Wasn’t meant to be.

By this time I’m a little pooped. MOH and I head over to Maid Britney’s house. She was off of work by this time, and anxiously awaiting our arrival. We settled in and I got to lay back for a bit, while the girls met each other and we talked wedding. Which is SO much fun for ANY bride! Two of my Maids already knew each other, but Maid Britney only knows me. It was great to see two of my close friends hit it off so well…Britney just slipped into our little group like she’d always been our friend. It’s a relief to every bride to know that her Maids get along…

After a bit, we decided to go over to Maid Britney’s recently-purchased-and-not-moved-into-yet home to check it out. After oohing and aahing appropriately for a bit, offering our wisdom and advice to young Britney, we all decide that the house is a keeper and she’s going to love it. There’s painting to do before the big move in, and she’s going to have SO much fun settling in – we can’t wait to see those paint samples!

Off to dinner at BJ’s (my favorite!) where we introduced MOH to the pizzookie…a dessert that HAD to be invented by God himself. Nothing is better than a hot cookie in a deep-dish pizza pan served with ice cream. I tell you, I could have just skipped the pizza that we ate for dinner and just had dessert! After having another good meal in me, I decide that I’m probably going to live and not run fever that night. Which is GREAT news for all concerned!

Back to Britney’s apartment to settle into our pjs and watch a chick flick (what else would we do on girls’ weekend?) and get ready for our big day tomorrow…we’re all SO tired (especially me!) and think that we’ll sleep in a bit.

But that’s NOT what happened…we were up BRIGHT and EARLY for our day of shopping! Stay tuned to find out how it went and see the first of the pictures on our search for the perfect bridesmaid dress…and yes, the infamous “chicken dance” is also coming up…

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Maids’ Weekend that ALMOST Wasn’t…

So a few months ago, my Maids and I decided that in order for me to accomplish my vision with their dresses we would all have to get together and go shopping. That’s coordinating four schedules to find one perfect weekend that works for everyone…so that we can all look at the same time.

If you’ll remember from my post here and here, I wanted to do the new trend of LBDs for my Maids. Yep, I wanted each of them to wear a different little black dress. Something dressy enough to distinguish them out of the crowd, but not so dressy that they’d never have a reason to wear the dress again. I know, I know. I can hear you there in the background…no one ever wears their bridesmaid dress again, no matter how hard the bride might try to pick a dress that can be worn again.

Can you imagine how difficult it might be to coordinate four schedules, with only two girls actually living in the same vicinity? It was a little difficult. I think that I emailed the Maids back in April to start the discussions, and the first weekend that we were all available wasn’t until June. Wow. Most of that was my fault, as little CC was in soccer and I didn’t have free weekends until after soccer season was over.

So…we mark the day on our calendars…and we count down to the actual weekend. We make all of these GRAND plans about it being a “calorie free” weekend, and cheating on my workout regime, and all of the things that we’re going to accomplish on this weekend. This is a chance for me to take some of the floral stuff with me so that they can see them face to face, and we’re jus all excited about it. And luck held with us, the weatherman predicted glorious weather (if a little on the HOT side!) and Mama CC was even free to join up with us.

Look’s like all is well, right? Right…

All was well. Until about 1 o’clock Thursday afternoon. The Thursday before the Friday that I had scheduled half a day of vacation so that MOH and I could drive to Dallas and get there early enough to relax in the evening before our big shopping day. What happened at 1 o’clock on Thursday? I’ll tell you. I started to not feel well. Not bad, but not quite right. Sort of light-headed and dizzy all at the same time, but not so bad that I needed to lie down. I couldn’t think of anything that I had eaten that was bad or making me feel off…but I knew that something wasn’t quite right.

I had had plans to meet up with my dad and uncle who were in town to watch their great-nephew play ball in the state championship game. (That would make him my second cousin, MOH and I figured out!) But to be perfectly honest, with the way that I was feeling…sitting out in 100 degree weather to watch a ballgame just wasn’t that appealing to me. So I called my dad to cancel. Since they were planning on spending the night with us, he checked to make sure that was ok, but since I didn’t feel that bad, I said sure.

I picked up little CC (who WAS crushed that we weren’t going to the game with G-Daddy) and headed home. But I felt so bad while driving that I kept Mr. CC on the phone with me the whole time just to make sure that I made it. When I walked in the door Mr. CC took charge - he had already ordered pizza so that I didn’t have to cook and he herded little CC off and sent me up to take a bubble bath. When I don’t feel good, a bubble bath or chicken noodle soup can solve most of my problems…

But it didn’t work that night. I soaked for a while and then decided that I might be hungry and made my way back downstairs. I managed to finish two small pieces of pizza and then laid back down on the couch watching a movie with Mr. CC and little CC. Before long, I was cold – no big shocker, it’s a meat locker in our house! But I was more than cold. I was chilled. It wasn’t much longer after I first got chilled, that I grabbed a second blanket…and then a third. I was violently shaking with chills by the time that Mr. CC came back downstairs from his shower. He immediately found the thermometer and checked me out. Yep, I was sick. It read 101.3…that might not sound like a lot to some of you, but I don’t run fever. My normal body temperature is lower than the standard 98.6 that most everyone else stays at, so a temperature of 101 on me would be like 102 on normal people.

I was sick. And SO mad about it! I was bound and determined not to let a little bug ruin my weekend, but I didn’t want to get anyone else sick either. And since I felt so bad, I knew that there was NO way that I could shop in my condition…I talked Mr. CC into doing me one last favor and calling MOH to tell her about my fever and to have her call me before she got on the road to head to my house. I didn’t want to make her drive to my house just to find out that I can’t go, you know? Of course, this wasn’t until 10pm, and Mr. CC was a little worried about calling MOH that late. I would have done it, but my teeth were actually chattering from the chills.

After 4 blankets being on me for about an hour…and 4 Advil for the fever…I was finally able to warm up a little bit. I made it off to bed, but wasn’t sure about the next day. I called in sick for work – so much for working half the day – and made plans to sleep in a little bit and recover. Or try to. You know the old saying, the show MUST go on? I just couldn’t imagine cancelling our trip…or when we’d all be free to do another weekend like this.

Stay tuned to find out what happened…well, that’s silly - I already spilled the beans yesterday and told you that the trip happened…just stay tuned anyway to hear about all the fun things that happened, even if I wasn’t 100%!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Work-Out Wagon Results - Week #4

I had the HONOR of spending the entire weekend with my “panel” that I so lovingly wrote about the other day…needless to say, I’m exhausted! But SO happy with all that we got accomplished, and truly feeling blessed to have the wedding party of a bride’s dreams! My girls are GREAT…this past weekend just proved it.

While I’m still waiting for the rest of the pictures to trickle through to me so that I can tell you all about what all we got accomplished this past weekend, and getting my thoughts in order, I think it’s a great time to post my results for last week.

You want to know how I know that my Maids are the best? They offered me a “by” for this week. You know how in sports playoffs when there’s an odd number and someone gets to “win” that week without even playing the game? Well, my Maids told me that I didn’t have to report my work-out wagon results this week! Aren’t they SO sweet?!?! Since we were spending the weekend shopping and eating and doing bridal stuff, we had deemed the weekend to be “calorie free” and ate at most of my favorite restaurants…including dessert at several stops!

But I just can’t do it. So, a big thanks to my Maids for giving me the option, but I feel like I need to still be accountable.

Here we go!
Last Week’s Stats: Weight – 150
Tummy – 33.5/37.5 (true waist/ “tummy”)
Thighs – 23.5

Last Week’s Goals: (I’ve once again put my actual results in BOLD)
Two P90X workouts – chest/back and arms/shoulders along with ab workout I didn’t do ANY P90X workouts…maybe one ab routine – SO BAD!
One additional ab workout during the week Already answered above
Run three times a week – starting the Couch Potato to 5K program I ran twice, which was short of my goal, but I DID follow the program with no problem
Make better food choices I mentioned the no calorie weekend, right? Yeah, so that answers this one…

So, have seen the actual v. the goals for last week, you might think that my current stats would be worse than they are. Even I was shocked!

Current Stats:
Weight – 149
Tummy – 32.75/37.25 (true waist / “tummy”)
Thighs – 23.5

Not bad, huh? And actually, instead of a “by” the Maids also told me that I could post my weight from Friday. Just to be silly, I weighed myself before I left on my weekend trip (the whole trip actually almost didn’t happen…more on that later!) to see how eating whatever I wanted would affect my weight. But I’m being honest and giving you the “after” weight. My “before” weight was actually 147!

Here are my goals for this week:
One P90X workout – chest/back or arms/shoulders along with ab workout
One additional ab workout during the week
Run three times – moving to the next week on the Couch Potato to 5K program
Continue my good food choices

You’ll notice that I changed my P90X goals for this week…we’ll see if that works better for me. The good news is that I’m starting to see the difference that my working out is having on certain areas of my body…and my arms is something that I’m going to HAVE to start focusing on soon! I won’t be able to continue to put that off…

Anyway…so I’ll try to round up the extra pics that I need so that I can tell you all about this past weekend. It was LOTS of fun! The Maids all got to meet each other, and my mom even joined in on the fun…it was a LONG day of shopping, but well worth it with all that we got accomplished. And just to tease you a bit and make sure you come back for more…there was a great chicken dance…with pictures!

See you later!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

My "Panel" Helps Me Out...

I hope that every bride out there is as lucky as I am to have such a loving and informative panel! What’s a panel you might be asking yourself? Well, a panel is the group of people that you turn to when you’re not quite sure how to proceed. Most of us have a panel in some sort, shape or fashion regarding everyday things, but when you’re planning a wedding…a panel is a MUST!

My panel consists mainly of my Maids. But there are other VERY important people also included on my panel…mom, sister, FMIL…and of course, Mr. CC! A panel wouldn’t be complete without the groom. The fact that I listed him last bears no actual importance to the order of my panel, trust me! These ladies, and man, often help me puzzle things through. They are my bouncing board…hearing everything first, and “guiding” me with advice and tips. As you can tell from reading my blog, if you’ve been reading any length of time, there are a LOT of decisions that must be made…not all of them involving the wedding, even. So, in times of need my panel has never steered me wrong.

Why is this relevant, you might ask? Well, because remember when I posted here about finding artificial flowers? That I was thinking of (gasp!) not using fresh flowers in my wedding, or using them in a limited capacity…well, my panel was the first to be talked with on this subject. They all encouraged me to order the flowers as a trial, knowing that I could send them back if unhappy with them for any reason. So I did, and last week…amidst all of the birthday excitement, they arrived.

First of all, let me preface this by saying that some of these flowers FAR exceeded my expectations…and some fell WAY short. Without further ado, here are the bouquets that I ordered.

Now, if you remember, here is the catalog picture…

Here is real life.

Not too shabby. A little on the smaller side than I was expecting, but really…what was I expecting for a measly $13? Not a whole lot. When I pulled this bouquet out of the box, it was pretty tight and closed (which made it look that much smaller) so I spread the flowers out a bit, and quickly decided that I could easily slip in either a) more fake flowers or b) some real flowers the day of the wedding. This would fill the bouquet out nicely, and since I need to wrap the “stem” with ribbon regardless, adding some more stems to the mix wouldn’t do any harm to get the look that I am going for.

Here is bouquet #2 – catalogue picture.

Here is real life.

Well…I don’t really know what to say about this one…I really don’t. Mama CC raised me with the firm belief that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.


(cricket, cricket)

Yeah. But the winner comment from the panel goes to MOH. I sent out these pics that I took last week when I received the box in the mail using my crackberry, and MOH promptly sent me this email…

I am glad that you are not thrilled with the second one - please do not use it -from the picture the first thing that comes to mind is a cheap wedding decoration!!!Sorry if I hurt your feelings. It looked good in the pictures.

She later replied back to my reply to let me know that her sister, who has a degree in interior design/decorating also agreed with her. As if her opinion for the panel wasn’t enough. LOL!

So, maybe you’re picking up on the fact that NO ONE has yet to be impressed with the second bouquet. I could say that some of the problems lies with my crackberry, which I used to take the pictures. And that wouldn’t be a total lie…the flash did come on for that picture when it didn’t show up on the first bouquet. And I’m hoping that it’s the flash that is making the color seem so…well, I don’t know…trashy? Cheap? Pick one, any one will work.

But, like the good little bride that I try to be…I’m carting both bouquets with me up to Dallas this weekend so that my Maids (“The Panel”) can see them in person. And what I’m also hoping will be delivered to me here at work tomorrow is a bunch of extra stems that I ordered from the same company…to see about the possibility of filling in the bouquet with more fake flowers. I need to do some double checking and make sure that the order will be here…if I have everything, I’ll take it all with me so that we can all see everything in person and try to work with it.

Otherwise it’s back to the drawing board for this project!

Did you have something happen like this in your planning? The website picture just didn’t quite make the cut in real life? Did you just send it back and start over, or did you try to work with it and make it better?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To RSVP or Not to RSVP...

We’ll take another quick break for some snapshots of Little CC’s b-day party this past weekend. How is this wedding-relevant, some of you out there might ask? Well, technically, it’s not. But in a round-about way, it IS. You see, little CC’s 7th birthday party taught me a thing or two about RSVPing for parties. And that includes weddings.

Let me back-track one quick moment. Last year, little CC’s party stunk. I did it where she wanted (Chuck E Cheese, and yes, I deserve a medal) but I didn’t let her invite all of her friends from school. I can’t remember my reasoning at the time, but I just didn’t. Instead, Mr. CC and I opted to go the safe route and just invited some of our friends that have kids. What we didn’t realize is that all of our friends with kids have boys. So, yes, the party was what she wanted and where she wanted, but there were no girls at her party. (There was actually one girl present, but as she was barely walking, little CC didn’t count her!) Needless to say, the party was a bit of a disappointment to little CC. And I vowed to do better this year.

This year, I pulled out all the stops. Found a cool place, let little CC pick the theme (Scooby-Doo), and sent out about 30 invitations to both her school classmates and her day care classmates. And then waited…

The Tuesday night before her Saturday party I was wide awake at 4am. (If you’re wondering if this is normal, YOU try to plan a wedding while working full-time and then throw into the mix a birthday party and tell me how much sleep YOU get!) So there I am, trying my darndest to get back to sleep, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s Tuesday…and not ONE SINGLE PERSON has called in for her party. Oh no. Do you mean to tell me that out of 30 people, NO ONE is coming?!?!?!? Oh, the horrors…the nightmares…I just didn’t think that I could face another bad birthday party on my shoulders.

So the next day, amid a full blown panic, I set about trying to somehow solve the problem. In comes BM Britney to the rescue. She comes up with the sweet idea to send a reminder “flyer” to little CC’s school the next day (which was the last day of school, thus making coordinating all of this a bit harder) to remind the parents and kids about the party on the weekend. Excellent idea, love you much BM Britney!

In about 10 minutes, I had designed, written and printed out a rough draft of something that would work. I sized it down so that 4 reminders printed per sheet of paper, and I took advantage of our color copies at work to run a few extras. I trimmed the papers down to size and the next day when I delivered the cupcakes to little CC’s class, we put one in each mailbox.

Being not-so-sneaky, I also tried to talk with the kids that were sitting around us while I was there and ask them if they were planning on coming to little CC’s party. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long…as I got responses anywhere from yes, to no, to “I have to go to the library that day.” I kid you not, a little girl actually told me the one about the library. So, with strict instructions to little CC to pass out the remaining reminders at day care, I left it up to the fates.

And I’ll be honest here. On Thursday night, when I got the first RSVP phone call, I did a funky-monkey happy dance. If you don’t know what that is…then I can’t help you at all. I literally did a dance of joy around the kitchen. Probably looked like a freak, but I didn’t care. A little girl WOULD be at the party on Saturday. Over the next day or so, I got 4 more such calls, and was very comfortable with 5 confirmed attendees for the party. My mom’s rule of thumb (while comforting me about all of this) was that twice as many who call will show up, so I was prepared for 10 kids all together. And we had 9. Of course, 2 of them were little brothers, but that’s ok. I’ll count them too.

Here’s some pics of the festivities…
I'm not sure about her smile here...kinda scary!
I could NOT get her to give me a "real" smile...

So what does all of this have to do with my wedding? I have learned how important it is to call and say you’ll be there and mean it. I learned this lesson so well, that I had a wedding RSVP on my kitchen table waiting for a decision from Mr. CC and I on it. That card that some bride sweated over and addressed and stamped went in the mail this morning. Yes, it was two days late. But hopefully she followed the standard rule of thumb and put the deadline for a response a week before she actually needed it.

It’s important for the person planning the even to know what to plan for. I get that now. Yes, it’s taken 32…nearly 33 years…but once the lesson’s learned, hopefully it’s here to stay. So I vow right now to not ever not RSVP again…

I’ll leave you with this cute picture of Mr. CC and little making fruit faces…just too cute to not include!
Do you appreciate it when people RSVP to you? Or are you able to stay sane and plan your shindig without relying on that little phone card/postcard response? If you are, please be ok with the fact that I hate you just a teensy bit…LOL!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Work Out Wagon" Results - Week #3

So…are you ready for the results of week #3? I have to be honest here and say that I was NOT looking forward to getting onto the scale this week…but I’ll get into that in a minute. Here’s a recap for you:

Last Week’s Stats:
Weight – 149
Tummy – 33.75/37 (true waist / “tummy”)
Thighs – 23.75
Last Week’s Goals: (I’ve once again put my actual results in BOLD)
Two P90X workouts – chest/back and arms/shoulders along with ab workout I did NO P90X workout this week! I’m SO bad!
One additional ab workout during the week I did do the ab routine twice
Run three times a week – starting the Couch Potato to 5K program Ran Sunday, Tuesday and Saturday
Continue with no sodas during the week and watching my sweets I did good on the first part – no sodas except for Sunday and Saturday, but I did worse on watching my sweets…nothing major, but did enjoy several birthday treats during the week

So how did this slacking off affect me?

Not as bad as I thought that it would have…

Current Stats:
Weight – 150
Tummy – 33.5/37.5 (true waist/ “tummy”)
Thighs – 23.5

I was disappointed to see my weight go UP this week…but comforted that there was still some loss on size. So I know what you’re all wondering…what the HECK was my deal this week? Several factors came together to do me in, sort of like that movie “The Perfect Storm.” Ok, so maybe it wasn’t as bad as that movie, I mean no one got hurt or died, but still…

For one thing, it was little CC’s birthday week. Which meant that we ate out two more nights than we might have normally…and one of those nights was little CC’s choice (being the birthday girl) and that means Gattitown – heavy pizza. Another night Mr. CC and I did a lot of her birthday shopping and met for dinner beforehand…at Johnny Carino’s…yes, I know…pasta is NOT on the menu when you’re watching your weight. And then Friday night, Mr. CC and I met some friends after work at a local restaurant and enjoyed a cold beverage and a hamburger as little CC ran and played on the playground. Throw in a birthday party with some IRRESISTABLE cake…and you can easily see that I didn’t make the best eating choices last week. I’m not blaming it all on little CC’s birthday or anything, but I was BUSY last week, which meant eating on the go…and those fast choices aren’t always the best.

Secondly, I have my monthly visitor. She blessed me with her presence Saturday as soon as the party was over, and I’m sure (or hoping) that her friend Water Retention is helping add a little to my weight. And my measurements, for that matter. Luckily, her best friend Miss Bitchy, left town today…and Miss Cotton Candy is back to her normal self. I’m not thrilled to be doing this right now, but let’s face it, it’s a fact of women’s lives once a month. And truth be told, I’d MUCH rather do it now, and be back to normal by the time this weekend rolls around…more on that later!

So, there you have it. Not bad, considering all the bad choices that I made last week, and the slacking off that I did on my workouts. But since I’m me, I like to focus on the positives. I DID meet my running goal, and I DID do two ab workouts…I just need to step it up and get back to working out my arms. And watching what I eat…that’s an obvious one!

Here are my goals for this week:
Two P90X workouts – chest/back and arms/shoulders along with ab workout
One additional ab workout during the week
Run three times a week – starting the Couch Potato to 5K program
Make better food choices

I know that last goal is a “little” bit broad, but it just encompasses SO much. More water, less soda, NO pasta, pizza or greasy hamburgers…more salad and eating “in” for lunchtime.

I’m crossing my fingers that I’m better this week! I need to be, I’ve got a big weekend ahead of me…and there are NO calories or stressing about what I’m eating during this time. I promise, I’ll quit teasing you and tell you ALL about it…in a day or two!
Catch you later.

Monday, June 8, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set...GO!

Some of you might be wondering about the running portion of my workout program. A lot of people are natural runners. A lot of people are not natural runners, and must be trained to run. You would think that since I actually lettered in Cross Country in High School (WAY back in the day!) that running would be something that comes naturally to me. Well, it doesn’t. I don’t know if that’s a product of my laziness or not, but I seem to remember struggling with running even back then. I trained myself to do it and do a decent job at it, but I wasn’t the best on the team by far.

Now that I’m older (and heavier) and less active in my lifestyle, running comes even harder to me. A few years ago, when I felt like my life got a little out of control and I was over my comfortable weight, I ran. At that time, it was an escape for me, the one thing that I had complete control over. I ran as far as I could for as long as I could and worked over time to increase the lengths of time that I ran and shorten the lengths of time that I had to take a break or walk. That’s just what worked for me at the time.

This time around, I actually did some online research and found a program recommended for new runners and tried it. To be perfectly honest, I found it about a year ago, started it and never stuck with it. I’m doing better this time around. So, in case you’re interested, or you know someone else who is starting to run for exercise, maybe this will help.

The website is www.coolrunning.com, and they have several training programs, depending on the level of runner that you are. I am following the “Couch-to-5K Running Plan” and it works for me. It’s a simple program designed to combine walking and jogging in order to condition your body over time so that at the end of the program you are able to run 3 miles. That might not sound like much, but that’s probably a good number for most people who run for exercise. The greatest thing about this program, it only calls for running three days a week and it only takes two months if you follow the program.

When you first start the program, you’re actually walking longer than you are jogging, which is good for most people. This is the step that I’ve actually altered this go round. The program calls for you to follow this pattern for the first few weeks. Each session is started with a brisk 5 minute walk to warm up your muscles and another 5 minute walk to cool down following the session, making the sessions last 30 minutes in total. I did something a little different:

Program My Way
Week 1 60 sec jog 30 sec jog
90 sec walk 30 sec walk
(20 min total time) (20 min total time)

Week 2 90 sec jog 60 sec jog
2 min walk 30 sec walk
(20 min total time) (20 minute total time)

I just didn’t think that I could actually run for 60 seconds when I first started. So I altered the program a little bit, and it’s worked out for me so far. I’m starting Week 3 of the program right now, so we’ll see if I did a good thing or a bad thing. If you’re interested to know, comment below and I’ll let you know if I would recommend what I did or not. I’ll be honest, I promise.

So this week, I’ll start following the actual program on Week 3. The program calls for this week to do your warm-up walk for 5 minutes, followed by 90 seconds of jogging, 90 seconds of walking, 3 minutes of jogging, 3 minutes of walking (repeat whole jogging/walking series one more time), and then a cool down walk of 5 minutes. So we’ll see if I’m able to run for three minutes or not. This will be the furthest that I’ve gotten on the program…you can tell that I REALLY didn’t stick with it long last year when I tried it!

Actually, the other night I cheated on the program. Mr. CC and I had been “bad” and had gone to Carino’s for dinner. It wasn’t that bad, since we hadn’t been there since the week of Mother’s Day and we only ate two pieces of bread and our meals. No dessert. Afterwards, we decided that we would run to offset our eating splurge. When we started our workout, Mr. CC asked to do it differently and just run until we couldn’t run anymore and then walk for a bit to catch our breaths, then repeat for our regular twenty minutes. We did good and ran the first time for 3:39 and the last time for 3:50, so I feel confident that this week when I start on the actual “Couch-to-5K Running Plan” on Week 3 that I’ll be able to meet the goals of the program.

What tools did you find when you started your workout? Did you even think to turn to the internet to tap sources that you might not be able to access on your own? Did you follow their steps exactly or alter the program to “better fit” your needs?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Hair, Hair, Long Beautiful Hair!

Most brides, when planning their wedding think about the “look” that they’re going for LONG before they think about other things. Well, since I’ve never been what you might call “traditional” in the first place, why should this be any different? I mean, let’s face it, I have had other things on my mind…pesky eggplant tablecloths…

So, now that my attention can be diverted elsewhere, I’m starting to think about the look that I want to pull off for myself. You know ladies, the important things – hair, make-up, nails, SHOES!
I’m SO sorry Mr. CC, but you’re going to have to excuse yourself if you’re reading this post…Thank you! Love you!

I’m having a weekend with my ladies (and Mama CC and Sister CC are going to try to join in on the fun as well!) here in a week, and there are several pressing questions that I hope to get answers to that weekend. Of main concern to me is my hair. Mainly because it affects several things – it’s not just about how my hair looks, but what I wear with my dress and my hairstyle.

Here are some inspiration pics of some bridal hairstyles that I like.

all images courtesy of http://www.theknot.com/

What you might notice about all of these is that there is almost no pattern. I like each picture for different reasons. Some of them because they look soft and romantic, some of them work with the dress and overall feel of the day, and some of them capture more of “me” than the others do. Some of them have barrettes, some tiaras, some just veils. I’m NOT a big fan of the trendy floral fascinator or the birdcage veils. I know that for sure, which actually does help eliminate some options.

But most importantly, some of the hair styles are up and others are down. When I first started to think about hair, I just assumed that I would wear my hair up, something like picture #1, 5, 6, or 10. But truth be told, there’s a side of me that would actually consider wearing it down. I have long, naturally curly hair and get complimented on how beautiful it is on a daily basis. (Well, on the days that I wake up in time to fix it that is!) I’m not really trying to sound conceited by saying that, it’s just a fact that I get compliments on my hair when I wear it down. Check out this picture to jog your memory.
But if I leave it down…that covers up one of my favorite parts of my dress…the back. I think that the back of my dress and the closure is one of the prettiest parts about my dress. Then again, I guess if the work-out wagon didn’t “work out” (no actual pun intended) wearing my hair down could help to cover up any back cleavage that still remained…

I know, I know. That’s NOT a good plan. But you get what I’m saying, right?

I wonder if I could do something that was kind of half up and half down. Something like picture #7,8, 9 or 11? And just in case you’re wondering if weather would be an option, my hair is normally at its best during the fall month of October/November when the wedding is planned. Not too much humidity to make it crazy frizzy.

What do you think? Have any opinions on whether a curly-haired bride should contain it all away or let it flow naturally? I’m honestly torn between the two options…