I've Got a Fever...

... And the only prescription is more shoes!

I started something dangerous. Here's how it went down:
  1. Kelly logs onto her bank account and admires how much money she's been saving.
  2. Kelly remembers that her bank has a rewards program. She figures her points must be way up there by now.
  3. Kelly investigates said rewards program and discovers she has enough points to buy a $50 gift card to Zappos.
  4. Kelly thinks, Hmm... why pay actual money to buy wedding shoes when I could get them for practically free!
  5. Kelly starts searching for shoes on Zappos that might fit her criteria: flat, cute, comfortable, bright pink or navy blue, and size 11 (yes, I have giant man feet).
  6. This search quickly balloons into a wide-spread "scour the internet for shoes" event.
It's really hard to find shoes that fit all of the criteria. I suppose I'm going to have to just go shopping in a real store like a real girl.


In the meantime, please enjoy these two pairs I did find (hurray!)...

Me Too Lilyana in Navy Suede $89 - These are the first ones that caught my eye. I found them on Zappos, which means I could use my gift card and they would only be $39. They have great reviews, come in my size, and look super comfy. Problem: they are really dark. At least in this photo. They are verging on the color black. I don't want people to think I wore black shoes on my wedding day.

Tory Burch Reva in Pink Suede $143 - These are the exact color of pink I would go with if I decided to go with pink shoes. But holy cow are they expensive! And I'm not sure they come in my size.

I wish I was a little bit shorter, and Ryan was a little bit taller so I could wear adorable shoes like these...


Or these...


And have photos like these...


And these...


Oh well. A girl can dream.


Tasting Cake and Loving It

After tasting and deciding on our entrees, we were at the part I was most looking forward to... cake!

The Patrick Haley Mansion had this lovely cake set out to show us a sample of their work...

We were served 2 of each of the following...

Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting

Yellow cake with strawberry filling and buttercream frosting

Marble cake with chocolate filling and buttercream frosting

Everyone passed me the marble cake first, because they know how much I love chocolate. I've been dreaming of a chocolate wedding cake since day one.

So I tasted it.

It was thick and chocolately (but not too much). The frosting was delicious. Overall, it was very good cake.

Next, I tried the red velvet cake. I had never had red velvet before, and I always thought it looked really gross, but I was surprised at how tasty it was. It wasn't my top pick, but I finished off the piece anyway (because it's sinful to waste perfectly good cake!).

After that, they passed me the strawberry cake. I took a bite, and it was to die for. Absolute perfection. I ate the whole piece... followed by most of Ryan's piece.

Gimme your cake!


Everyone was making fun of how much cake I had eaten. I went into a total sugar high (but crashed in the car on the way home).

After the cake, there was still more!

They had a chocolate fountain set up which a bunch of dipping items. Even though we already knew we wouldn't be having a chocolate fountain at our wedding, we tasted it anyway (you know... just so I could write this lovely review).

We came to the general consensus that the dipping items were good, but the chocolate was a little too sweet for our tastes. It may have been milk chocolate, and I'm more of a semi-sweet kinda gal.

After that, we tasted the sweets table. I had a chocolate tuxedo strawberry, which was very good. Sorry I don't have a photo... I ate it too fast. But it looked something like this...


After all the cake drama, we decided to just let our reception venue make our cake. It was delicious, and the best price around ($3 per person for buttercream, $4 for fondant). You can't beat that!

So we'll be going with the yellow cake with strawberry filling.

Mmm... just looking at the photo makes me drool!

Hopefully we'll have some leftovers on our wedding day... because I'm the bride, and I can eat 4 pieces of cake if I want to!


Best Tasting Ever

... not that I have anything to compare it to.

Sunday afternoon, once Ryan and I were done registering at Crate and Barrel, we headed down to our reception venue (the Patrick Haley Mansion) for a tasting and to show his mom around.

The ballroom was decorated with fresh flowers, and the tables were set--one for each group.

After reviewing the menu and ordering drinks (is there anything better than chardonnay at noon?), they brought out the first course... hors dourves.

I am a pretty picky eater (and some of the hors dourves sounded weird), so I stuck to the quesadilla and chicken ones...

Everything was pretty good. We will probably only make it to the second half of our cocktail hour, so hopefully there is still some food left at that point!

We don't have to make a selection on the hors dourves because they will all be hand-passed on trays during the cocktail hour. We didn't realize that, so it's nice to have one less thing to worry about.

After hors dourves came the entrees!

Chicken Piquant with baby red potatoes and a vegetable medley

Boneless New York Strip Steak with broccoli floretes and potatoes

Chicken Au Porto with green beans and duchess potatoes

Our first reaction was that we lo-lo-loved the duchess potatoes. I could eat those all day long. So we had one side picked.

We knew we were going to serve the steak as one choice, so now we just had to decide between the two chickens. I personally liked the Chicken Piquant better. It's simmered in california lemons and white zinfandel. The Chicken Au Porto has a mushroom sauce, which isn't my favorite. But they were both quite delicious. I think my mom liked the Chicken Au Porto better, but since she would be eating steak at the wedding, she left the decision solely up to us.

Chicken Piquant it is.

Lastly, we had to choose a second side dish. I hate vegetables (seriously), so I let the three of them fight it out. They were leaning towards broccoli, but my mom chimed in for my absent father and said he hates broccoli. So they picked asparagus (which we didn't even get to to taste... so I hope it's good!).

We were already stuffed at this point, but we still had more food coming. Stay tuned for the cake...


Shopping with a Loaded Gun

Bright and early Sunday morning, Ryan and I headed to Crate and Barrel for one of their infamous registry events.

They greeted us with cake, juice, and a short talk about how to use the scan gun and what to do with it once you're done.

And just like that... we were set loose on the store to wreak some registry havoc.

Ryan and I felt a little bit like registry failures since we really hadn't discussed our registry at all until that morning. All the other couples were buzzing around the store scanning this and that... while Ryan and I stood and stared at drinking glasses for 5 minutes straight.

What?! It's a hard decision!

Eventually, we got the swing of things. We said "screw it" to trying to follow our list or spending more than 2 minutes making a decision. After all, we had all the time in the world to go back and edit our registry online later on. We wanted to use this event to see things in person. How many of each thing we asked for really didn't matter at this point.

We focused mainly on the following items...
  • Dishes - dinner plates, salad plates, bowls, etc
  • Silverware - wow... it can be expensive!
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Cutlery - scratch what I just said about silverware being expensive
  • Baking Supplies - brownie pans, baking sheets, cake pans, etc
  • Serving Utensils
  • Hosting Parties - appetizer plates, condiment spoons, napkin rings, etc
Ryan even let me use the gun once or twice!

Although, I had a big fat "fail" tendency when it came to entering in the correct number of items we wanted. Woops!

Before we knew it, 2 hours had flown by, and it was time to create our registry at the little kiosk.

The sales ladies were laughing at all the photos we were taking. Ryan held back his urge to yell, "she's a blogger!". Thanks, hun.

Once we were done with that, our registry printed out, I squealed with delight, and we were on our way.

But not before Crate and Barrel gifted us with a mysterious box (which I couldn't help but open the very moment we got back to the car).


What the...!?!

Heart-shaped toasting flutes? No, thanks.


Music to My Ears

On Saturday afternoon, after picking up my dress and veil, Ryan and I, plus our moms, headed to the church to meet with the organist.

Normally, she hosts music seminars where a number of engaged couples come and listen to her play and choose their ceremony music. Due to our tight schedule, this was the only time we could meet with her, so it was just the five of us.

She played us 6 processional songs and 6 recessional songs. I was told to choose one song for each of the following:
  • Seating of special guests (parents and grandparents)
  • Bridesmaid processional
  • Bride processional
  • Bride and Groom recessional
  • Guest recessional
Deciding on my processional music was an easy one. Out of the six songs she played, only one really felt right. The other decisions took a little humming and hawing and asking our moms' opinions until we came to a solid conclusion.

Here's what we decided on...
  • Seating of special guests: Canon in D (Johann Pachelbel)
  • Bridesmaid processional: Air from "Water Music Suite" (G.F. Handel)
  • Bride processional: Trumpet Voluntary in D Major (Jeremiah Clarke)
  • Bride and Groom recessional: Wedding March from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • Guest recessional: Allegro Maestoso from "Water Music Suite" (G.F. Handel)
My processional music is a little cliche, but I love the overall feeling and general grandeur of it all.

And when I listen to it, I can totally picture myself walking down this aisle...

Only 8 more months to go!


Picking Up the Dress

First thing Saturday morning, my mom, Ryan's mom, and I headed to the dress shop. I had received a phone call that my dress and veil were in and ready to be picked up at our convenience.

::cue my happy dance::

This may have been the part of the weekend that I was looking forward to most.

When we arrived at the dress shop, there were a ton of people there! There were two other brides dress shopping with their families (one girl brought 12 people with her!), so it was a bit crowded in the tiny shop.

Good thing we weren't planning on staying long.

The sales ladies put me in a storage-closet-now-dressing-room and laced me into my dress.

When I came out, everyone "ooo"ed and "ahh"ed... even the other brides' families. That was nice of them.

The families said it was the perfect dress for me. The sales lady said I had chosen the perfect veil to go with it. And she told me it was a near-perfect fit. (hurray!)

A tiny sneak preview

The moment it sunk in that it was my dress, I started to become paranoid. Oh no... what if it drags on the floor and gets dirty? What is this little thread hanging down here? What if I knock some of the beads off? But I mentally slapped myself and got over it.

I won't be one of those brides who freaks out about every little thing. I know that my dress will get dirty eventually, and I know that it's hand-beaded... so it's not going to be perfect. But that's what makes it great.

Flash forward 8 hours, and unbeknownst to my family and fiance, I was prancing around my childhood bedroom in my dress and veil (the dress completely un-laced because I put it on myself). It was totally surreal to admire myself in the same mirror I had admired myself in before I went to prom... before my first date... before all those first days of school.

Kind of a big deal.


For the Love of Cake

I mentioned on Tuesday the confusion with a bakery I had contacted.

I think I'm going to just let the situation simmer for a bit.

For all we know, we might taste our reception venue's cake tomorrow and think it's fantastic. After all, we do have a reputation of picking our first option.

In the meantime, I will post some photos of cakes I like. Ryan and I are into pretty simple cakes, and we like buttercream frosting (cheaper and tastier!), so this shouldn't be too hard...

All this cake is making me hungry! I especially like the 2nd one and the last one.

We're hanging out in Illinois for our Wedding Overload Weekend, so I'll have tons of stuff to share when I return on Monday!


Our House is Aglow

Our dachshund, Maggie, started barking. That can only mean one thing... a visitor!

Not just any visitor, but one bearing gifts... the UPS man!

He dropped off a mysterious box.

Ryan ripped it open, and we were met with six E-Wall Wash lights from Mrs. Seashell!

Yay! ::clapping::

We were shocked at how tiny they were. I think we had both expected something maybe 12-18 inches long, but these are only about the size of my hand!

We immediately pulled them out of their boxes and started testing them all around our house.

On the stairs...

In the living room...

And, of course, I tried all six at once in the bedroom...

They work great! They will make an excellent addition to our reception. I think we're going to take a cue from this couple and use all six lights in the dance floor area. There really isn't much else to distinguish that as the dance floor (besides the lack of tables), so I think this will be the perfect touch.

The only change we need to make now is the color. We're going to go with pink instead of the yellow gels that are currently taped to the lights.

Good thing I work at a TV station! I brought one of the lights to work last night to test it out with a pink gel.

One word: fabulous.
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