Wednesday, September 30, 2009

E Session - Vanessa and Vidal

Our fabulous E-session today was brought to us by our wonderfully talented photographer, Christina Carroll of Christina Carroll Photography. Here's what Christina had to say about this couple...

"Vanessa & Vidal are so cute and so sweet. I had a great time getting to know them during their engagement session. We went downtown and to exact place they got engaged to take pictures! I’m looking forward to their wedding in October."

I try to keep it short and sweet for E-sessions, so we'll just let Christina's work speak for itself...
I LOVE the picture there with the Austin! Once again, there were a TON of pics from this E-session on Christina's blog, hop on over and check her out! She's great!

Planning the Rehearsal Dinner...

We were pleasantly surprised by a gracious offer of B’s parents a few weeks back. They had mentioned early on something about covering the rehearsal dinner costs, but we told them that we’d work all of that out later on. (This was like days after becoming engaged, so we weren’t really sure about a LOT of things at the time!) As time passed, B’s step-mom would mention it again to me every once in a while, and I just kept saying that that was something that they and B needed to work out and leave me out of...and you know how boys are, right? Yeah, so nothing was really discussed again until about two weeks ago.

Up until that point, we just assumed that we would be planning and paying for the rehearsal, which has had its own problems – see this post here to catch up. Well, we’re now about a month out, and I’m pleased to announce that our venue is still NOT booked for the day before our wedding. Even though I can’t “officially” reserve the venue until Oct. 3rd (and yes, I have a reminder set on my Outlook calendar AND on my To Do List to call Texas Old Town that day and book), we’re going ahead with plans as if we will be rehearsing at our venue.

Once that was decided (for the most part), picking a place to eat at was easy for us. To be honest, I would have liked to be able to pick a place that we could rent know, have the place to ourselves and our guests and there are a few local places that we could do that with. But the cost was something that we weren’t willing to pay. And if we aren’t willing to pay for something, we’re sure not going to let someone else do it either! So, our next best option was picking one of our favorite restaurants and just having a room reserved for our party. That was a much easier solution to handle, both in our minds and on our wallets!

Since B has had some “free time” lately, he took on this task. Picking the place was a no brainer – it’s hands down Johnny Carino’s Italian Restaurants. Yes, we know that we could eat there any night of the week. We get that. But we don’t eat there...because it’s pasta and that’s not something that’s been on our plates much in recent months! It’s one of our favorites, and our kids love it too, so it really was an easy choice for us to make.

After having lunch one day and discussing this, B decided to go ahead and stop in and talk to the planner at the local Johnny Carino’s. The guy that he spoke with was very helpful and nice, and gave B all the information that we would need to make this happen. He even went ahead and “penciled us in” on their calendar. We’ve got the front room for our party, and they’ll set it up buffet-style for a per person price that was less than what we were expecting to pay.

Enter FILs. They swoop in and “save the day” by offering to cover the rehearsal dinner for us. After clearing everything with them, I went ahead and started working on the invitation suite...and included a menu card and voting section so that our guests can “vote” on what entrees should be served at our rehearsal dinner. I had to be very clear that it was a vote, and not all 4 options would be served, but I think that they turned out really cute.
What do you think? I’ll save the big reveal of the invites themselves for after they’re mailed, but I was thrilled to be able to step away from the black and cream and pull in some PURPLE!!! (Even though you can't tell from that picture, the backing of the menu card is EGGPLANT!)

Part of me would like to have done the rehearsal dinner somewhere with black/white checkered cloths and wine bottle candle holders dripping with wax...but the practical bride in me says someone else setting/cleaning up is worth the sacrifice of my wishes! Especially the day before the wedding, when I know that I’ll have other things to think about!

I’m so excited to be planning this part of the wedding too – it just makes it all seem that much closer to being here! Was it that way for you?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The MIA Work Out Wagon...

Yeah, I bet that you’ve all been wondering what happened to my work out wagon, huh? Well, it hasn’t disappeared, but to say that it went on a short hiatus would be accurate. I can’t really say what happened, but I looked up the other day and it’s been almost three weeks since I went to the gym. That’s not entirely accurate, I did go by the gym one day the week before last...only to find that although B did bring my clothes for me to change into he forgot my shoes. It was a short visit that day...because although this bride loves to wear heels...they don’t work in the gym so much!

But seriously, I was still working out and doing well. And then I can’t really tell you what happened, but I think that life got in the way. School started, Labor Day weekend rolled around, and somewhere in all of that I started feeling bad. And although I wasn’t sick enough to be SICK, I didn’t feel well enough to go to the gym and pump iron, or ride the bike...or even just walk on the treadmill.

Then for the past week and a half, I’ve been suffering with a bad back. I don’t know what I did, but I did something to it while B was out of town and I went on my DIY-binge weekend-fest. It must have been embossing those drink tags that just ruined things for me! LOL. Either way, last week I actually left work early one day because the pain was so bad, and I sat with a heating pad on my back the rest of the week...but I’m all better now. Or at least not bad enough to use it as an excuse anymore!

The good news is that I haven’t backtracked or lost a lot of the ground that I had gained. In fact, I haven’t lost any ground. But that’s the problem too...I’m at the same place that I was three weeks ago. And now I have less than 4 weeks until my big day. The dress fits (don’t worry about that), but I would feel a little better about how it fits if the back cleavage wasn’t there.

So here’s my mission:
To work out five days a week at the gym
To incorporate a little bit of arm/back exercises every single day
To do Ab Ripper X (shout out to P90X fans!) every other day...because let’s face it...I’ve got two EXTRA weeks to work on the bikini body!
I’ve gotten away from all soda again, and am really trying to make good eating choices (those choices haven’t been the best lately, truth be told).
Get plenty of sleep.

(And don't worry, I don't really think that three weeks of working out will make me look like her, but a bride can dream, right?)

That last one seems like a big one to a bride about three and a half weeks out from her wedding, but amazingly enough, I’m not feeling that stressed. I’ve been working hard on projects all along, carrying my To Do List around daily and trying my best to cross items off of each day’s I am on the “home stretch” for most of my projects, which feels good to type! I’m sure that there will be craziness at a later point in time (week of the wedding, anyone?), but for right now, I feel good.

So that’s that plan. B’s on his own plan...and it’s much more involved than mine is, but he’s got a little more free time during the day than I do. So we’re both working away, doing our best to ensure that we look our best on our big day.

Where are you in your fitness goals for your wedding? How are you keeping up with it all? I’d love to hear some last minute tips from brides that have gone before me...

How to "Tie the Knot?"

I’ve told you all about my Mason jars, right? I think that I have...if I haven’t a short synopsis is that we’ll be using Mason jars for our drinking glasses. The Mason jars will have name tags on them and will possibly serve double duty as both an extra favor for the guests to take home with them and our escort cards should we decide to do assigned seating. About two weeks ago, B went out of town to get away from everything and I had seven uninterrupted days to work on wedding-related projects in the evenings. One of the projects that I knocked out were the drink tags.

I used leftover scraps from our invitations and rose petal bag labels and printed out each guest’s name. I found some cute tag stamps at Wal-Mart for a steal, and decided one of them was close enough to use on this project. Once all (or most) of the names were printed, I put them aside in a pile and kind of forgot about them. You see, I decided that in order to tackle this project ahead of time, I would print everyone’s name that we invited and not wait for RSVPs to come in to only print the ones that said they were coming. Seems a little much, I know, but the time factor really clicked with me.

So I had gathered most everyone’s first and last names and had them all printed. Over the course of three evenings, I stamped the tags on, embossed them (just because it looked SO cute!), cut them all out free-hand, then mounted them to give an extra layer between my paper goods and a sweating beverage glass. Oh, and I punched all the holes in them to run the twine through.

That was a LOT of work! Whew! No wonder I was tired that weekend!

After B got home and I showed him my work, he needed to see the tag on the glass to get the full picture. So I mocked one up for him. That’s when it hit me that I have a couple of different options on how to attach these name tags.
Option A

Option B

Option C

The great thing about it is that we’ll be able to add another tag with the table name/number closer to the wedding once we work out the assigned seating dilemma. If we just go with numbers, the document is already created in Word, just waiting to be printed, stamped, embossed, cut, mounted and punched. Even if we go with table names, I could use the same Document and just insert the words over the numbers...either way, it’s all done. Just awaiting our decision on which way to go...

Which one do you like best? Option A, B or C? Comment below and let me know!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Open House in Austin...

Hey out there to any Austin brides reading my wedding blog. I just wanted to take a quick minute and tell you about the Fall Open House that The Allan House is hosting tomorrow night.
If you remember, The Allan House was one of my runner up choices for venues, and if FI hadn’t been so dead-set about the dance floor, it would have been my top pick! Check it out here, and think about stopping by for their Open’s the deets!

Where: The Allan House
When: Tuesday, September 29th
Time: 5:30-8:30pm
Please send an RSVP to just so that they get a good head count and have plenty of food, drinks and information on hand for everyone.


A Shout Out...

For two VERY special ladies...

First up, we’ve got Maid Momma, who truly personifies the she just found out on Friday that she’s PREGNANT!!! She and her husband have the cutest baby girl in the world already (second to my own baby girl, that is) and they’re doubly blessed to add another member to their household. I send out a BIG CONGRATULATIONS!!!

And last, but not least, we have Maid Britney, who celebrated her first anniversary as a married woman over this past weekend. It was her wedding that sparked our first conversations about our own wedding, so I owe her a BIG THANK YOU...and a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! Here’s a picture of the flowers that her hubby had waiting on her when she got home from work on Saturday...aren’t they gorgeous?!?!
source - Maid Bretney's phone...

CONGRATS to both of my girls...

Taking Care of the Paperwork...

Getting a passport turned out to be a painless ordeal. At least, that’s how it happened to work out for me. Then again, I did have to have my pictures done twice...but I should have known something would be off with them – the lady that took the first set was pretty spacey! LOL. She had a really hard time with the camera and printing them out, and I was worried for the whole store’s safety when she took out the scissors to cut them down to the right size! Just kidding, it wasn’t that bad, but they were too dark for the post office to accept. No big deal though.

So, once the decision of where we were going was made and the trip was booked, I knew that we needed to get cracking about getting our passports. We had thought that B might be able to use his military ID, but no such we both need one of these:


I had read/found lots of places online that said that you could get an expedited passport no problemo. Just costs more dinero. (Can you tell that I’m brushing up on my high school Spanish classes in preparation for our big trip?!?!) Anyway, after reading more about it, I decided that the safest bet was just to go through the Post Office and pay the extra $$ for the faster processing time to be on the safe side.

In Austin, you have to make an appointment at the nearest Post Office for your passport application, and not every Post Office processes the applications. Lucky for me, the Post Office that is closest to my office does do them, and when I called for an appointment, it was simple to get one for the very next day. I set my time, went online here and filled out the forms necessary, wrote down the amount that I would be expected to pay, and gathered the necessary forms (birth certificate and driver’s license). I was a good girl and did NOT sign the forms...they’re really picky about this one!

I arrive about 5 minutes early, and I guess that I was expecting to have to go somewhere other than the normal line for the postal services. But no, I was told to just wait there in line until my appointment time came around. So I waited. And waited a few extra minutes. Then Yvette called my name. She was nice and friendly, and so very apologetic in telling me that the pictures that I had already paid to have done wouldn’t work. She even wrote out a note and stamped it with the official post office stamp in hopes that the place where I got the photos would offer me a refund. (I don’t think that they will, but it doesn’t hurt to ask...)

Anyway, lucky for me they take pictures there at the Post Office for an extra $15. Totally worth it to me to not have to reschedule my appointment and come back another day, right? Right. And she even told me that it was ok to smile...the other pictures really were dreadful! Once the pictures were taken care of, we went back to the main room and she processed my application. That consisted of cutting down the photos, aligning all the paperwork (who knew that they wanted to keep the copy of my birth certificate?) and getting it all ready to sign. Then I had to raise my right hand and affirm that the information on my application was true to the best of my knowledge, and sign the forms.

Once that was taken care of, Yvette calmly calculated the fees. I was prepared to pay the extra $60 for expediting the passport, but she assured me that I didn’t need to do that. She could tell that I was hesitant, but we walked through a calendar together and she’s right, I shouldn’t need it. Of course, that’s best case scenario...the scenario that is currently playing in my head is the one where I don’t get my passport in time because of her recommendation I didn’t pay the extra money to have it done faster. I’m trying to keep those fears to a minimum right now though. Anyway, one check/money order to the US Department of State for $75 later, and another payment of whatever form to the local Post Office of $40 for pictures and processing, and I was on my way.

So, in the door at 10:35am...out the door and back in my car at 11:07am. A painless process all around. Yvette was nice and helpful, and she saved me $75...even if I did have to pay for those extra pictures. Maid Britney pointed out that saving that $75 actually offsets the $70 that I paid to have an updo done that I didn’t like. Sweet! And thanks for finding that silver lining for me, Brit!

Did you have to apply for a passport? How long did it take to get yours? I’m SURE that I’m going to start having nightmares about not getting mine soon...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Would You Wish for This?

By now, if you've been reading for a while, you know that I'm a sucker for a dramatic shot that includes: a bride, nice stark bridal gown, and some stormy weather.
Is it a sign of an excellent MOH when she sends you a link to a picture that she knows you'll love? I think so.
I opened an email from MOH last week to see this image...


I immediate wrote her to find out where she found it, and it came from this UK photographer's site. Check out his's great, and I'm in LOVE with that image!

Makes me wish for some stormy clouds...even though I know that is defnitely UN-bride like of me!

Being a Bride...

is kinda like being pregnant. No, no – it’s true. I swear. Or maybe like being a blonde, you know the one that’s always the butt of the jokes? There are just moments when you’re planning your wedding that you would swear that planning this day has eaten a major portion of your brain for dessert, and it’s all gone. Just disappeared out of your body, because there are things that you do or say as a bride that you would NEVER normally say or do. And that’s what it’s like when you’re pregnant and the hormones take control of your body...

I had one of those moments this week. And it was a doozy! I’m not ashamed to share it with you...we all need a good laugh!

I’ve mentioned a few times that we are opting to do the charitable donation as our main favor. But since I can’t just give my guests a piece of paper telling them that, B and I also decided to give cookies out with that paper. And not just any cookies. My snickerdoodle cookies. These are slightly famous in my world. If you know me, and you’ve done a trip or something fun like a girl’s night out with me, then my snickerdoodles have more than likely made an appearance or two. In fact, I’ve been told many times that I was invited back solely on my ability to bring more snickerdoodles. So, I’m guessing that they’re good.

Good enough to be our wedding favors. I’ve known that I was going to do this treat for a while. And being the dessert chef that I am, I know that I can start mixing the dough up and getting cookies rolled and pressed before the wedding and just freezing them to bring out and bake the day or two before the wedding. Now that the 30-day mark has come and gone, I figured that it was time to get cracking on these. I had been buying extra butter and things for a few weeks now, anticipating this day.

The other night, I get everything out...follow my recipe and mix up one batch. I was tired, and my back hurt, so I figured that I had enough in me that night to mix, roll and freeze one batch before I pooped out. I tasted the dough (who doesn’t?!?!) and although it seemed a little off, I went on with my work. I scooped the dough, rolled it out in the cinnamon/sugar mix and proceeded to freeze them.

Skip to the next day. B asks me if I baked any of the cookies the night before. I said no, but that I would bake a couple tonight for us to enjoy after I mixed up another batch or two. I got home from work, and ate dinner and then proceeded to start up another batch of cookies. I accidently over-measured one ingredient, but figured it would be no big deal to make two batches, so I doubled the ingredients on everything else. While doing this, I popped a few of the cookies from the night before in the oven and baked them. They came out wrong.

Really wrong.

I was just starting the next batch and I was perplexed. Finally it hit me like a bolt of lightning. I had used baking powder instead of baking soda. Doh! Silly, rookie mistake. But oh well. I threw the batch from the night before in the trash can, and literally had to SCRAPE the ones that I had just baked off of the cookie sheet. I went on mixing my batch of new cookies (with the RIGHT ingredients) and went on with life. Fast forward and all cookies are mixed, rolled and ready to be frozen. Before freezing them, I take three cookies off the sheet and pop them in the oven to cook.

Like a mother hen, I watch over these as if they are truly babies, and they rise and puff out and look SO much better than the other ones. They get done, the others get frozen, and I take the cookies off of the baking sheet. That’s when they fell - like little cakes. I took the plate of cookies over to B and he immediately asked me what was wrong with me...and I know what he means, because I do NOT screw up snickerdoodles. It’s like, my law or something.

I bite into the cookie and the middle is hollow. Yep, you read that right. Hollow. I run back to the kitchen and pour over my recipe, thinking that I missed something else. No. It’s all there: flour, sugar, baking SODA, salt, vanilla…etc. I wrack my brain for a few minutes and just can’t figure it out. I even had the thought that maybe the baking soda was bad, or the cream of tartar had aged too much. I just couldn't figure it out. That’s when B decides to be really helpful and tell me that the messed up cookies taste good, they’re just really sweet. Hmmm...I had noticed that too when I sampled the cookie dough.

And that’s when the sign hit me in the forehead. I grabbed the bag of sugar and pull out the measuring cup that I leave in there. (We drink sweet tea, and we’re constantly making it, so a scoop is always in the sugar bag.) Yep, it’s the WRONG scooper. I normally leave a ½ cup scoop in there, because that’s how much sugar I put in a pitcher of sweet tea. (OK, OK...being honest I use more than 1 scoop, but less than 2 scoops!) Someone had replaced my ½ cup scoop with a FULL CUP scoop. I had used too much sugar!

This also explains why the tea had been SO sweet the last few days! (B is making fun of me...but I’m laughing too, so it’s ok!)

So the newest batch (which was a double batch) also went in the trash last night...I actually wanted to shed a tear or two at the two nights of hard work going out with the garbage.

Have you had some silly “bridal” moments during your planning process? Has anyone else noticed?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Enhancing My Vocabulary

I turn to my wonderful readers again for more help. I still haven’t decided about assigned seating or not. I know...within the next week I’ll have to make up my mind, but I’m looking at a few nights without kids, and if I’m going to do this project, I need to get cracking. Then it’s done if I decide to use them, and if not...oh well.

I’m talking about the table names. We don’t really have a theme for our wedding, so I can’t do something cute like this wedding with the board game table names...

or this wedding with the animal table names...

I know how I would present the table names – using the large mason jars and hanging a sign around the largest Mason jar using the same paper elements found throughout and the twine that will hold the drink names onto the glasses. Now I just need to figure out what to use.

What have I thought about doing? Well, it’s simple. Either using plain old numbers...1, 2, 3 and so on.

OR I could use table names like Love. Hope. Dreams. Life. You know? So I’ve been tossing this idea around, and I like it. But I need more single words that you’d find at a wedding. I’ll share mine, and then you can help me think of some others, ok?

Here’s my list:

You know, hopeful words. Words that inspire, or just give you a good feeling in your chest. I need at least 16 words...and I’m a little short. So do you have any suggestions for me?

A Little Angel Amidst Chaos...

OK, maybe I really should wait to dub her as an angel until after I see the results, but right now I’d like to introduce to you to my newest personal angel...Norma, of Sewing by Norma.

Yep, she’s my alterations lady. I knew way back when, even before I bought my dress, that I probably did not want the bridal shop to handle the alterations. Even my own favorite, Alfred Angelo – sorry guys! I’ve used other bridal stores in the past, and my experience was always that the prices charged were SUPER expensive in comparison to a smaller, local tailoring shop. So I actually never considered having them done at Alfred Angelo, and just put this on my To Do List for down the road. Well, don’t you know that “down the road” snuck up on me and bit me in the butt? It got here quick, like lightning! It seems like just the other day when I was picking up my dress...or saying that I had 100 days left...the time has really flown by!

So now, here I am about 60 days out (this was last month!) and I realize “Holy Cow! I need to find a seamstress to handle my alterations!” and a flurry of internet searching started. I even posted the question out on the Austin boards on wedddingbee, trying to get recommendations. In the end, the trusty yellow pages led me to a little shop that was in South Austin, tucked right behind Olive Garden on South Lamar, called Sewing by Norma. I found the shop, drove by and decided that I liked the look of it one day (because you never know) and I called the next day to make an appointment. I spoke with Norma herself, and surprisingly I was told that I didn’t need an appointment, just bring in the dress with all the accessories including petticoat and shoes whenever I wanted during normal business hours.

Talk about easy! Score one for the bride that puts things like this off until the last minute. So I meant to go home that night and load up my stuff in my car so that I could go see Norma the next day. Yeah, that didn’t work. I don’t remember what exactly happened to stop that plan, but something did. I forgot or something (this was obviously prior to my daily To Do List that gets carried everywhere and checked before I go to bed each night!) and then the next morning had little J to get off to school and ran out of time. No problem, since I didn’t need an appointment, the next would work too.

Yeah, not so much. You see...a little thing happened in Austin that hasn’t happened in months and months. It’s a little thing that we barely recognized called rain. I’m not teasing when I say that Austin has not seen rain in almost 3 months – literally drought conditions and all down here in Central Texas. So the next day, imagine my surprise when it starts raining. Well, I’m certainly NOT taking my dress out in the rain, right? No way, Jose. No big deal. The rain won’t last that long anyway, right?

Wrong. It’s rained for almost two weeks. Which is good for us (and hopefully it didn’t ruin Mrs. Mouse’s wedding!) because we needed it. I don’t begrudge the rain or wish that it would go away. But we passed the 30-day mark yesterday with no end in sight for the frustrating! I vowed to myself (and added it to my List) that if it wasn’t raining when I got home that I would load the stuff in my car in hopes that tomorrow it might not rain. On Wednesday, they said 30% chance for Thursday, which is good. It might not be raining during my lunch hour (which is flexible) and I could still do it. If not, the weatherman was not calling for rain at all on worst case scenario I would go on Friday.

Luck was on my side. Well, it was still too wet Wednesday night to load it all up, but Thursday morning dawned at my house with dry ground. So I loaded up, and held my breath. The rain started around 10am...but by noon had cleared off. I took the chance and went. Not one single drop of rain fell while I transported all my junk into Norma’s shop. Yea! Success!

Norma was very easy to work with. She showed me to the dressing room and offered help, but since I’m so adept at getting into and out of bridal gowns by now, she left me to some privacy to get into the gown. She came back when I called to lace me up, and even gave me warning when she was going to pull tight. And let me tell you, pull tight she did! Wow. I hope that MOH takes some good lessons when we go for my 2nd waist looked so small!

The good news? The dress still fit! Was I worried about it not fitting? Yes. I know it’s irrational, but I was. Lucky for me, it fits fine. I still had minor back cleavage going on, but it was MUCH less than when I bought the dress and even less than the last time I wore the dress back in June...and I’ve got 30 days to work on that! Norma took about an inch up on the hem in the front, that was all that I needed with my heels – good call on those shoes Ladies! Once that was pinned, we moved to the bustle.

So pinned both the American bustle and the French bustle and let me look at both. I think that I picked the American bustle. If I remember what she said right, the French bustle goes under and the American bustle goes over...and with the beading and designs on my dress, I thought the American looked better, or whichever one it is that goes over.

She unlaced me and I got back into my street clothes and headed to the counter to wrap things up. I was hoping to be able to pay under $200 for all alterations needed on my dress, and was really hoping that time wouldn’t be a factor either, since I had waited so long. Norma gladly told me that she was setting my 2nd fitting appointment for Oct 8th (two weeks!) and to bring someone with me so that they could practice the laces and the bustle.

I asked Norma about the price and she was hesitant to quote exact numbers. I can understand that, since in sewing each project is different and you might run into problems that you didn’t foresee, but I assured her that I was just looking for a ballpark and wouldn’t hold her strictly to it. She quoted me $75. And then she had to pick me up off the floor. %75?!?!? That’s a STEAL! I’m sold! I know that the number might change a bit between now and then, and she offered to call me before the appointment with a more firm amount, but I’m really happy that she’s going to come in under my budget no matter what. Really happy. Like doing a little happy dance as I type this out...

I’m a good fiance and also asked Norma about her suit tailoring skills. She assured me that she could handle B’s suit within a two week time period as well, and I’ll send him over her way to get that taken care of. Just one more thing off of my list...But I was a BAD bride and didn’t take my camera with me. (Insert sad, ashamed face here) But I pinky-swear, cross my heart and the whole needle in my eye bit that I’ll take one for the 2nd fitting. MOH will take pics and you’ll get to see Norma’s great work.

So, if you’re looking for a seamstress in the South Austin area, I think that I feel comfortable recommending Norma. Obviously, until I get the dress back, I can’t say with 100% certainty, but based on my initial meeting and gut feeling along, she’s a keeper! I’ll let you know for sure on the 8th...

Did you go the traditional route and use a bridal shop or find someone else to handle your alterations?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flower Lust...

If I hadn’t already settled on a VERY limited amount of fresh flowers at our wedding, I would be ordering these babies right now!

Aren’t they perfect? And the eggplant coloring in the middle of the calla is just SO perfect! I love them. And they’re even better because their mini callas! (You know everything is SO much cuter when it comes in the mini-size!)

Be still my heart...our flowers are all done and you can’t include these too...

Quote Options...

OK, readers. I need some help. A little more help, if you will. I’ve been asking a lot of you all lately (as any bride will during the last 30 days!) and you haven’t let me down here’s one more for you.

I used a quote on our invitations. It was something that I found early on in planning and it just spoke to me, and our situation. The quote reads: “Once in a lifetime, someone comes along who changes everything...”

Nice, huh? Yeah, we like it. We were both at a point in our lives when we met where we had each decided that we’d rather be alone for the rest of our lives than miserable with someone. I’m sure that you’ve all been there, so you can relate. We weren’t looking to find each other, but we also weren’t saying things like “I”ll NEVER get married again!”. We were just “egh” about the whole relationship thing.

Enter B from stage right. Enter S from stage left. Collide in the middle. Yep, that’s pretty much how it happened.

So the quote fits us. It works. I’m glad that we’re all in agreement with me! LOL.

Anyway, the other day while catching up on my blog roll, I came across this picture from this blog. (It’s a wonderful blog to follow ladies, by the way!)


Isn't that mug cute? But what struck me about them was the quote inside. It’s from Song of Solomon 3:4 and it reads: “I found the one my heart loves.” Short, simple, perfect. So I immediately grabbed my Bible and looked it up. That’s not the whole verse, but it’s the part of the verse that speaks to me. So I like it too.

Now, on to my question. I’m working on designing the programs, and on the front page I was going to put our names and the date and then emboss our scroll that has been on ALL paper goods thus far, tying the programs in nicely with everything else. There’s enough room on the page to add a quote...but which quote to add?

Option A - The same one that we’ve been using?

Option B - This new quote that I also love?

Option C - Maybe just no quote at all?

Which one gets your vote? Comment below and let me know what you think, please! Thanks in advance for your help!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hair Trial

I promised you pictures of the hair trial...and not surprisingly, since I thought that it was going to be a hair AND make-up trial, my Before pics looks absolutely gross! This is me, sans make-up or anything being done to my hair...
So lovely. NOT! I can't believe that I'm posting that picture out on the internet...Mom, do NOT get any ideas about sharing 4-7th grade pictures! LOL.

Like I said in this post...I'm not sure how I feel about my hair trial. When I left the salon, I thought that it was really ok that it wasn't what I asked for. It looked good on me, even if it did feel a little more Prom and a little less Bride. But the bottom line is that it was NOT what I asked her to do. And since there was NO make-up trial, other than me just trusting her (this total stranger that I don't know from Adam, as my Mom pointed out!) with my make-up on the wedding day, I'm fairly certain that I'll be cancelling her services today. Thank you to all of you who responded and commented to help me make this decision.

Without furter ado, here is what she came up with for my hair, and yes, I still look gross due to lack of MAKE-UP!Maybe you didn't know this, so I'll let you in on an "insider's secret" - it's HARD to take pictures of the back of your head! See that expression on my face? Not fun! That's a better shot. Now for the side view...And then I started playing with the zoom...And here's a close-up shot of the top/front of the updo...this part I actually wasn't totally flat and tight, but not poofed up too much...Here I am, trying to show more detail of the back...
And one last close-up on my face and the overall look:
So that's it. Not bad, right? No, it looks nice. Fits my face well. I will agree with all of those statements. What I don't agree with? It does NOT match this picture (which she had in front of her and kept referring to!):


Do I have a valid complaint, or am I being too "bridezilla"?

"I've Got My Toes in the Water..."

First of all, thanks for all of your great suggestions for ideas on the honeymoon! You always help me out when I need you most, and you girls came up with quite a few great suggestions. With that being said, we did something completely different!

We ended up going with Option C – which was wait two additional weeks and combine our honeymoon with the trip that we already planned on taking for B’s groomsman’s wedding. That really just made the most sense in the long run. Less time off for me to take, and only one trip across country instead of two. Plus, it will allow us to fully enjoy the luxurious room that the FILs have graced us with, which I’m really excited about!

So without further ado, may I present to you our honeymoon? We’re going to...

drum roll please...
San Jose del Cabo, Mexico! (AKA Los Cabos or just Cabo, for short)

We’re SO excited! I’ll share some pics of the place that we’re staying’s an all-inclusive resort in Cabo, which was important to us. We just don’t want to have to worry about how much everything costs, and the reviews on this place were outstanding! It’s the Sante Fe Hotel, part of the Riu family of Hotels & Resorts, and I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. And yes, we splurged and went ahead and booked the Junior Suite that includes a private balcony spa/Jacuzzi! B was SO excited about this, and I’m sure that it takes little imagination to figure out why! LOL. I’m double excited because the Junior Suite includes not just that Jacuzzi, but in the bathroom a separate tub and walk-in shower – read over-sized soaking tub with massage jets. Since I’m a tub kind of gal, this was a BONUS feature for me! Here’s some pictures of the rooms... There are four restaurants to choose from on the property, and although some of the reviewers did complain about the walk between certain areas and the restaurants, or having to make “reservations” at the restaurants for dinner, many other reviewers offset those comments with assurances of it being just a 5-10 minute walk through beautiful gardens...and the less than strict policy about the “reservations.” All in all, we’re happy with our choice.

And doing things this way actually allowed us to stay one night longer than we had thought that we would. Our schedule looks a little bit crazy, but basically we’re flying out of Austin after work on a Friday night and spending the night at an LAX airport just for a lay-over. The next morning, we’ll take a direct flight to Cabo and enjoy 6 days/5 nights of our honeymoon and then take a direct flight back into Orange County the following Thursday. We’ll get in early enough to catch the early arrival wedding party details and stay in the San Clemente area for their wedding over the weekend. We’ll leave from Orange County on Sunday morning and be back home in time to recuperate a bit before going back to work the next day.

I think that I’ll still plan on taking the Monday after the wedding off, to enjoy a little extra time at home after the hectic schedule of the wedding, but as for right now...I’m counting the days until I can dip my toes in the sand and surf while holding a frozen drink in my hand!

Have you booked your honeymoon yet? Were you relieved once it was settled and decided?

Sources of all pictures from Riu website of Hotels & Resorts, found here

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Featured Wedding - Kristine and Cat

Today's wedding is brought to us by Pink Posh Photography, and is simply beautiful. I fell in love with this wedding from the moment that I saw this picture...
If you remember, I posted that picture a little while back becuase I simply could NOT resist! Here's what Pink Posh had to say...

"Stalkers, meet the beautiful Kristine and her husband CatVinh. :) This was a shot we got right before the storm came in!"
Well, that's not true. They said a LOT more...check it out. And here's their eye candy for you. We'll mix things up today and start with the details...

I LOVE the pop of colors that they used! So happy and care-free...

I wish I had the $$ in my budget for a curtained whimsical...And the expression on the bride's face is just positively radiant! I hope to feel that exact way in a month's time!And who doesn't love a couple who's willing to do some shenanigans???


Bridal dress? $200. Tuxedo rental? $175. Having a photography team sassy enough to pose them all to mimic the portrait behind them? Priceless.

As you can tell from the picture-heavy post, I loved this wedding! Be sure and check out the rest of the images from Kristine and Cat's big day over here at Pink Posh's blog. Congrats you two, and thanks for sharing!

Vendor Problems???

I’m not really sure where to start with this see, I have some pretty mixed feelings about my hair and make-up trial that I had the other day. Maybe I should start at the beginning and see what you all think...

I don’t have a specific hair person. My hair is naturally curly, and I wear it long which translates to not a lot of fuss. I can typically walk in anywhere and get a trim that I like. So I don’t have a specific hair person. Not really a big deal on an everyday basis, but when you’re planning a wedding, you want special hair...and not having a hair person then becomes a problem.

A few months back I received an email from a beauty consultant offering her services for hair and make-up the day of our wedding, including travelling to the venue to do it all. Seemed like a gift from above, so I quickly emailed her back to check pricing and availability. (I’ll apologize now for the multitude of “her” references coming your way...since I haven’t made a decision one way or the other yet, I don’t want to use names.)

She and I emailed back and forth for a few days, and we worked out that she was available, and she sent me a link to a website where I could view her pricing and some of her work. I contacted each of my Maids to see which ones would also be interested in having their hair done, and I sent off my final counts and awaited a price. I got a quote back and immediately wrote back and asked if the price included a trial for my hair and make-up.

Then five weeks went by. I never got a response. To be fair, I got busy with other things and didn’t notice that I hadn’t gotten an answer, but she never wrote me back and answered my question. So I finally contacted her back and asked point-blank (not rudely, but firmly) again if the price included the trials and was also clear to say that I had not agreed to anything with her yet until I had my questions answered.

And here’s where I made my mistake. When she wrote back apologetic and very sorry and yes, let’s get that scheduled for you, I overlooked the fact that she STILL did not answer my question. Actually, I thought the answer was yes, the trial was included. So I scheduled the trial and went on with my life.

Fast forward to the day of my trial. I bring along my inspiration pictures and we talk. She immediately starts working on my hair, and it takes about ½ an hour for her to finish. It’s not exactly what I asked for...but I don’t dislike it. It looks fine. Once we’re done with the hair, I assume that we’re moving on to make-up. She takes out her appointment book and starts talking about payment the day of, and scheduling and timing and all, and sits down on another chair. After a few minutes of this, I bring up the make-up trial. She goes on to “reassure” me that she does not believe in a heavy hand with make-up, that she wants to emphasize my looks the day of without overdoing and that I can “trust her.”

I have to admit that I didn’t really know what to say. So I said the obvious, that I thought we were doing a trial on both hair AND make-up. She says no, she just does the trial on hair and has another appointment coming in 15 minutes. She then asks me for $70 for her services for that day.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m non-confrontational. I seriously like to avoid conflict. So instead of making a scene and throwing a fit, I took out my checkbook and wrote her a check. But in the back of my mind, I’m thinking “What the Hell” is wrong with this lady. I seethe about it, leave and go about my day. But the whole drive home, I’m just SO frustrated. After talking to a few people about the situation, including B, we all agree that I need to make sure of what I remember before I go off on this woman. When I get home, B checks out my hair and says it looks nice, but he didn’t think that I wanted such a “done” look. I admit that I’m not thrilled, but keep quiet about it for the most part.

The trial was at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. I had to take the updo down at 7 o’clock. I had a raging headache from the do, and was all itchy from the amount of hairspray used. J helped me remove all 51 bobby pins...and she even helped me brush it out. The fact that I couldn’t wear the updo for more than 6 hours concerns me. I don’t have a sensitive head...I wear a ponytail most days, and I know that I have thick hair that is heavy when piled up on top. But I’ve worn updos for much longer time periods and not had the problems that I had with this one.

The day of the wedding, she’s supposed to come out and do my hair and make-up at 1 o’clock. It has to last until we plan on leaving around 10:30 that night. That’s quite a bit longer that I wore the do the other day, and I don’t know that I’ll be able to do it. Not to mention that I’m just supposed to “trust her” that I won’t look like a clown?

In her defense, when I went back and checked the emails she and I had sent, I see that she never actually answered my question about the trial being included in the price or not. It was MY mistake. She was so apologetic and wanted to book the trial right then, that I just made the assumption that yes, it was included. I should have asked for clarification...but now I’m torn. I’ve already had what I would consider to be two problems with this woman, and I wasn’t really thrilled with my hair. And don’t get me started about the fact that I never got the make-up trial.

So here’s my question...what would you do? Would you continue on? Or would you look for someone else? I’m really curious to know if I’m over-reacting...and I promise that I’ll post some pictures in the next day or two...I still need to calm down about it all.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Quick, Easy Basket Project

I saw a basket on sale at JoAnn’s. Although the color of the basket itself and the material making up the lining did NOT work for my wedding colors...the price at 50% off DID work for my wedding budget. I had no idea what exactly I would use a basket such as this for, but I knew that several baskets were needed to hold such things as: kid’s activity books, rose petal bags, programs, etc. So a 50% off basket that I could change a little and improve upon so that it matched better? Sold.

This is what I started with. Here are the tools that I used. Recognize that fabric? You might remember seeing a little piece of it here. Yep, it’s one of the patterns of fabric that I used for my guestbook quilt. I loved it and wanted to use it elsewhere, and this basket lining seemed the perfect place to incorporate it.
So an extra ½ yard of material (on sale for 60% off) and a can of black spray paint (purchased with a 40% off ocoupon, of course!) and I was ready to work on it!

First things first, I took the lining off of the basket and proceeded to catch up on Grey’s Anatomy while using my handy seam ripper to tear the lining apart. I’m not silly enough to make work harder on myself, so I knew that I could take the old lining apart and use it as my pattern for the new lining. Lucky for me I did, because I found little strips of elastic around the corners to make the “fit” a little more secure, and I would have NEVER thought to put that on my new lining.
After about 30 minutes, this is what I was left with. Pattern for new basket lining? Check. Then I hit the pause button, and headed outside to see what I could do about the basket. I will tell you that it took several coats, spraying from several different angles, but at the end of the weekend, I was left with this: Doesn’t it look much better? Or at least, much more fitting with my colors?

Too bad the lawn didn’t come out as well...wonder what kind of grief that I’ll catch for not using newspaper? Oopsie!

Once the paint was dry and the pieces were sewn back together with the elastic strips, this is the end result... What do you think? A big improvement? I like it MUCH better!

This was a super fast, quick project that I think I got bang for my buck with. Here’s the cost breakdown, since I know you want it:

Basket from JoAnn’s $3.79
Black spray paint $3.88
½ yard of material $3.25
(Thread and elastic used I already owned)

Total price - $10.92.

This one was quick and easy. Just the kind of DIY project that this bride likes! Did you have a simple project that didn’t take a lot of time, but you really liked once you were done with it?