Saying Thank You

Ages ago (last May), before I even knew who my bridesmaids would be, I bought them all makeup bags at our annual Vera Bradley outlet sale.

But that was all I had for them... and no idea of what else I should buy to go with it.

... until now.

I browsed Etsy for what seemed like forever until I found the perfect silver necklace for each of my ladies. They will in no way be expected to wear these to the wedding... but I got them all silver ones just in case they decided to.

First up, from seller SmileSophie, this lovely flower necklace...

Next, I purchased this leaf necklace from seller IrisJewelryDesign...

And lastly, this bow necklace from seller LimeGreenModern...

I love them all so much... and I hope my bridesmaids do too (or at least don't hate them... that would be awkward).

To supplement the makeup bag and necklace, I bought them some goodies from Bath & Body Works, who had a half-off Groupon yesterday and was having a sale today. Score!

Here's what I bought...

Mentha Lip Shine

Scented Candles

Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer

All that totaled up... and I came in at a whopping fifty cents under my $40-per-person budget.

What can I say? I'm a rockstar.

Fitness Friday: WW Week 4

I've officially been a Weight Watcher member for a month now. I had my meeting yesterday, and prepared for a pretty meager weight loss (we did a lot of eating and drinking on Saturday). I was bracing myself, and just hoping I had lost at least 1 pound.

Then the number came up on the scale... 161.0

I had lost 3.2 pounds! That's my second biggest week ever!

I'm so thrilled with my progress. I have officially lost 10 pound total, and passed my 5% weight loss mark.

I'm in total disbelief at how well this program is going. I'm not hungry (well... no more than usual at least), I don't feel deprived of my favorite foods (pasta, cookies, ice cream? sure!), and the weight is just melting off. I can't even imagine how much better it will be once I start half marathon training in March.

I have 21 pounds left to my goal weight (140). That's about 1 pound per week... which is totally doable if I try hard.

I need to take my one-month photos, but I need Ryan around to take them... so it'll have to wait until Saturday. I'll post them later.

Bring it on, weight! I'm getting ready for bathing suit season!


5 Months To Go

Today is our 5-month mark.

I was about to say that it's all downhill from here... but that's really not true. If anything, it's all uphill from here. Now is when the real work begins.

We've got all of the big vendors booked and out of the way... but now we have to crack open our DIY list and start on all the paper products and little planning details.

To add to the stress, nothing's worse than the steady stream of wedding nightmares I've been having recently. It happens about once a week, and in my dream, it is always the day before the wedding, when I suddenly realize I have nothing done.

During last night's episode, I made it all the way to the wedding day, and still managed to be excited despite the train wreck that lay before me. But when my flowers arrived dead, I nearly lost it.

::cold sweats::

Nothing like a swift kick in the butt.

So from here on out... on each month mark, I will list what we've gotten done in the past month, and what I vow to tackle in the month ahead.

Here we go!

Past Month Accomplishments:

We officially decided on our rehearsal dinner location. We're going with Distinctive Cork that I mentioned a little while back. We're excited, the owner is excited. It's all good. Now to start working on the menu!

2) Ryan and I sent out a request for family wedding photos. We're going to have a display at our reception with wedding photos of our parents and our grandparents. They're all still together, so what better example for us of what a good marriage is?

3) Ryan applied for his passport. We're going to Mexico!

4) My mom gave me the date of my bridal shower! I had to come up with a guest list. Choosing who should or shouldn't come? That's not stressful at all (oozing sarcasm). But it'll all be worth it when I get to go to a party that's all about me! (Although, Ryan says its partially about him too. Yeah, yeah... I guess so.)

5) I've scheduled our next meeting with the reception venue. We'll get to choose our cake, discuss all the nitty-gritty details, and work on the timeline some more.

6) We chose our ceremony readers, asked them, and they accepted. Yay! We will have my older cousin, Alaina, and one of my college roommates, Mel, reading at our ceremony. I'm thinking we'll probably do one reading from the bible, and one secular reading... but we'll see!

7) And lastly... we finally decided on our invitation! I'm not going to tell you which design won out... you'll just have to wait and see. But I'm really happy with how it's progressing. I just wish this whole process didn't take so long!

Goals for the Upcoming Month:
  • Schedule our marriage counseling session
  • Completely design our invitation suite, order all the paper and supplies, and begin printing
  • Book the flight, hotel, and transportation for our wonderful videographer
  • Get all three bridesmaids to order their dresses
Obviously, the biggest task ahead of us is the invitation suite.

I would like to have them out the door no later than March 25th so that our guests will have plenty of time (3 months) to make plans, hotel reservations, etc... and so that we'll have plenty of time to fill in the holes of our 200-person guest list.


Dressing the 'Maids

Welcome to my newest follower, Manda Mack!

Two of my bridesmaids took time out of their busy schedules to spend all day with me on Saturday. Yay for friends! We all met in Indianapolis (where BM Jess lives), had lunch at Olive Garden, then headed over to the Alfred Angelo store.

We immediately hit the racks and pulled everything.

Seriously... I think we grabbed about 30 dresses. Other consultants kept having to steal dresses from our dressing room because there were none left.

Here is BM Colleen browsing the samples. She likes to make awkward faces and poses in photos (just a warning)...

BM Jess was feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the dress options, so we had BM Colleen model them all first.

We thought this one was lovely, but a little too plain for BM Colleen's quirky personality...

Here, BM Colleen is making the "what do you think of this dress?" face. I'm responding that it looks like a gross yellow bathrobe...

She really enjoyed this dress, but wasn't sure if it was right for the occasion...

This was one of my favorites of the day... but it may have just been because it came in this saucy red...

BM Colleen's a professional seamstress, so she totally fell in love with the material of this dress (which came off of Alfred Angelo's eco-friendly line). She knew this was the one...

She had her measurements taken, and was about to swipe her credit card when the consultant informed her that her dress doesn't come in navy.


Back to square one.

After a whole 'nother slew of dresses, she ended up in this pretty little number...

As much as BM Colleen loved the lime green, I found it distracting, so she tried on the same dress in black.

I think we have a winner!

(It doesn't have straps... those are her bra straps.)

After Colleen had tried on every dress on earth, Jess took her turn. She only tried on two. While wearing the second dress, she turned to me and said, "I think this is it."

Easy enough!

I have one more bridesmaid... but she lives out in Maryland. Luckily (and by no mere coincidence), she has an Alfred Angelo store 30 minutes away from her house. She's going to head over this weekend and order herself a navy dress.

I'm so happy to have this huge item off the "To Do" list.

Go team!


Stylish or Silly?

I've been tagged by both Miss Puppy Love and Major Minutiae with the Stylish Blogger Award...

You're supposed to list 7 random things about yourself. Hmm... this might be hard.

1) The first thing Ryan and I ever bonded over was our love for The Simpsons. We both own the entire collection on DVD (at least... what's out so far). We enjoy randomly quoting it to each other when the right moment arises. When we moved in together, I found it really sad that we had duplicates of every season.

2) I was on the speech team in High School. My coaches weren't quite sure what to do with me... so they bounced me around from event to event for years until they finally realized I could be funny and threw me in Humorous Duet Acting. My partner and I placed 2nd at Regionals.

3) Every trip to the hospital I've ever taken was for a very weird reason. First... at church camp in 8th grade, I cut my finger, passed out, and had a seizure. Then... freshman year at college, I got my belly button pierced, passed out, and had a seizure (a pattern?). After that... when I was 20 years old and studying abroad in London, I was attacked by a stranger and physically assaulted in the face. And lastly... summer before my senior year in college, I slipped in some wet grass (perhaps while intoxicated), hit my head on the concrete sidewalk, and thought I had a concussion. Sigh. Sorry, parents.

4) I came to the realization recently that I don't think I want to continue my career in network TV. I'm not going to quit right now or anything... I promised Ryan I would wait until after the wedding to begin looking for a new job. But before I can do that... I need to figure out what on earth I want to do!

5) I used to journal a lot. I had some sort of journal or diary dating all the way back to 2nd grade... then stuck with it through high school. After high school... I transitioned to blogging, and have been doing some form of that ever since.

6) I love taking pictures. I won 2nd place (and $300) last April in a city-wide photography contest. Each photographer had one night to take photos around town depicting the vibrancy of our city at night. Here was my winning shot:

(click to enlarge)

7) Lastly... I don't really consider myself stylish at all! I would live in a t-shirt and jeans if I could (stupid work). I don't do much with my hair... and to this day, I'm still trying to figure out makeup!

I'm tagging...

Danielle @ Sealed with a Kiss
Leana @ Engineer + Geek
Miss Tattoo @ Tattoos and Lace

Have fun!


Fitness Friday: WW Week 3

I went to my fourth meeting yesterday, rounding out week 3 of Weight Watchers. I lost 1.2 pounds this past week, with a total weight loss of 6.8 pounds. It's not a ton... but they say you're supposed to average .5-2 pounds per week, so I'm right on target.

Cue the cheesy high five moment!

I changed my tracking week so it ends on Saturday (it used to end on Wednesday, the night before my weigh-in). I figure I usually eat the most on Saturdays anyway... so now I won't be able to blow through all my extra points at the beginning of the "week" anymore.

In fact... I've been trying to save up all my extra points this week. I've only used 8 out of 49. The rest will go towards tomorrow's trip to Indianapolis to meet up with my bridesmaids. They expect some eating out, drinking out, and possibly even drinking in (one of them mentioned something about beer in the hotel hot tub!). So I'm gonna need all the extra points and all the will power I can muster!

In the past 3 weeks, I have tracked every morsel of food that goes into my mouth, and I have never gone over my points for the week... I don't want this week to be the exception!

I hope everyone else is doing great working on those fitness goals. Remember that while the big white dress may be motivating... it shouldn't be your entire reason for getting healthy. I'm going to start my new family with a new me!


Slap a Bow on Me and Call Me Thrifty

Welcome to my newest follower, Miss D!

I bought the most adorable bracelet today. But I'm not sure if I should show it to you... because you'll for sure be jealous.

But what's a blog post without pictures?! So here you go...

Perfect, right? It is so not "me"... but when I saw it, I just had to have it. And for $27? Um... yes, please!

I got it from RueLaLa (one of those sites that carries designer items, steeply discounted, in limited quantity and for a limited time). You should all go check it out cause they're currently having a big wedding sale with jewelry, tiaras, invitations, and more! You can't see their website unless you join, but you can join by going here.

This is the first thing I've purchased from them, and I'm super excited about getting it half off! I think it will go great with the bling on my dress and my hair combs.

I'm practically done with all my accessories now. (Bracelet? Check. Necklace? Check. Hair combs? Check. Shoes? Check.) I think all I have left to worry about is earrings... and I haven't decided yet what exactly I want, so that will probably have to wait for a couple months.

PS: I promise I will start writing more. I've got a few posts lined up already, plus I'm going bridesmaid dress shopping this weekend!


Fitness Friday: WW Week 2

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting yesterday. Weighed in at 165.4, which is a loss of 1.4 lbs for this past week and 5.6 lbs since I started.

::pats self on back::

I noticed that this week was much harder than last week. I think the first week is easy because its new and interesting and fresh. Chicken and fruit for dinner every night? Sure!

But by week two, it started to get old. I just wanted to go back to my chips and pasta and cookies. Yummm.

So I tried to eat super healthy when I could... and let myself splurge on some goodies when I had the points to spare.

I only worked out once... so that definitely needs some tweaking.

This upcoming week might be my hardest yet. I need to save all my extra points and earn activity points almost every day. The reason? Next Saturday, my bridesmaids and I are heading to Indianapolis for dress shopping and partying. I've got to save points for junk food and booze!

Let the challenge begin!


Woahhh, I'm Here

I just realized I haven't posted anything for five days.

Five. Whole. Days.

That's an eternity in blogger land (at least for me). But I swear I have a good excuse. My computer got the virus to end all viruses. It wouldn't let me surf the internet. It wouldn't let me run my anti-virus software. It wouldn't let me do anything. Not to mention the random pop-ups from "www.porno.com" and "www.adult.com".

I swear I did nothing shady to provoke this. The computer gods just hate me.

So after two full system restores, the virus appears to be gone and all is back to normal in blogville.

And while I don't exactly have a wedding-related post for you all tonight, I will say that the pressure is a-risin'. We are 5 1/2 months out, and the items in red on my To Do list are growing in number by the day.

Time to get cracking!


Fitness Friday: WW Week 1

I went to my second Weight Watchers meeting today. I weighed in at 166.8, which is a total loss of 4.2 lbs.

That's great for one week!

I will ignore the fact that I was wearing significantly lighter shoes today than I did last week when I weighed in.

I have, in fact, been weighing myself each day at home. I wasn't sure if I wasn't supposed to... but I think it keeps me motivated. Seeing the numbers drop every day gives me that extra push to not give up.

So according to my home scale (which is only more accurate because I weigh myself first thing in the morning, wearing only pajamas), I've lost a total of 3 lbs.

That's still great. I'm very happy with that.

What I'm not happy about are the two women who were sitting behind me in the meeting today. They were chatting the entire time... and being extremely negative.

"I ate all my points and no extras, and I lost no weight this week!"

"This leader is annoying. She's so scripted."

"I already heard this stuff."

... and so on. Gurrr.

It's really frustrating because I'm new at this, and I was just telling Ryan how surprised I was to find such a positive and friendly attitude at my last meeting. These ladies need to take their bad attitudes and leave!

What are you doing to keep your health in check in 2011?


Your Days are Numbered

Sorry for the minor absence. I'm sick... for the third time since Thanksgiving. Ugh.

Now back to business. Our reception venue has their own table numbers.

You can see one of them in this photo I took from our tasting...

Here's another one...

So basically, they're just fine. And if our budget suddenly reaches its peak or we decide we need to spend an extra $1000 on menus or something like that... then these would work just fine.

But... honestly? They're not my style.

(I'm being nice.)

First of all, they're gold. And we don't have an ounce of gold in our wedding colors. (Reminder: Navy blue, pink, and silver/gray.) Yes, I realize they match the china. And if I could change that too, I would! But I can't. So I'm picking on something else.

Second of all, they're way too big! I want table number to be numbers... not centerpieces!

In conclusion: If I can at all help it, I will be creating my own. What bride-to-be doesn't like adding just one more thing to the "To Do" list, eh??

So here are some table number inspiration I have found...

Numbering the Vino - If you already plan on having wine bottles on your table, this may be the perfect space-saving solution. Unfortunately for us, that's just not the case. But it's a great idea nonetheless.

You and Your Better Half - You could take photos of you and your fiance and Photoshop in the numbers (or carry around a mini chalkboard with you). To mix things up, you could take photos in some of your favorite locations around town... or perhaps you and your fiance could try to form the number using only your arms and legs (that would take some serious bendy talent!).

Dressing it up with Ribbon - These numbers are pretty standard, but I love how much better it looks on the left with the ribbon. It would be a cheap and easy DIY to tie some color-scheme-matching ribbon to each of the stands.

Meaningful Titles - This is becoming increasingly popular... using names or titles or places instead of numbers. I'm not sure if our venue would be okay with this, but it's definitely something I will have to find out. You could even include a small snippit on the back about what that particular location means to you as a couple.

My Dog is a Star - If you're like us and don't plan on including Fido in the festivities, you could pay some serious homage by using him or her on all the table numbers. It might even get guests to get up and mingle some just so they can check out your adorable fur baby.

Au Naturel - Wooden table numbers are easy, clean, and can be as big or little as you'd like. Plus, I imagine they'd be easy to sell to another bride-to-be after the big day is over.

Ikea, My Love - So we meet again. And what future bride hasn't seen these adorable (and wallet-friendly!) table numbers from the one and only, IKEA? The great thing about these frames is they are double-sided. You could put the table number on one side, and the menu on the other! If they came in silver, I would be all over that.

I've got a lot of thinking to do over a ridiculously small detail. But it's just one more opportunity for Ryan and I's personalities to shine through on our wedding day.

I'll take it!

What kind of table numbers will you have?


A Distinctive Dinner

When it came time to start thinking about our rehearsal dinner, I thought it would be a fun and easy task.

My hometown is a sprawling town which has maintained a unique charm throughout the years. It's got character and friendly people, and is chock full of family-owned shops and restaurants. In theory, it should be the easiest place in the world to find a rehearsal dinner location.

In theory.

But instead, we quickly discovered that all these chic little food joints don't hold the number of guests we need... or don't have the privacy that we're looking for.

Add to that the fact that my fiance is allergic to tomatoes, and his mom is allergic to everything else, and our options seem limited.

Back in October, when Ryan's mom flew in for some serious wedding planning, we took the opportunity to drop by a few potential rehearsal dinner locations.

Too small. Too noisy. Too old. Too far.

Our list was dwindling fast. But there was one tiny ray of hope along the horizon...

Distinctive Cork was a random little place I had never even heard of until I did a Google search for rehearsal dinner locations in my town.

I mentioned it to my parents, and their reaction was less-than-enthusiastic.

"That's the place next to the bread company, right? Psh. I wouldn't trust that it'll even be around come next June... that storefront changes all the time. It can't ever seem to hold a business."

Hmm. So there was that. But we stopped by anyway (ya know... just for the hell of it).

It was a chic one-room restaurant with movable tables and a whole wall of wine (I love me some chardonnay!). It's a mere 2 blocks from the church, and the manager told us we could have the whole place to ourselves for our Friday night rehearsal dinner.

In short, it was perfect.

They usually serve shared plates, but they have offered to create a custom menu for our party (and any food allergies Ryan or his mom may have).

As for my parents' complaint... I did a little research, and found out they've been in business since 2007. I think that's some pretty good staying power.

And just look at this yummy food!

It seems our last choice has now become our first.

Nothing has been set in stone yet... but the wheels are in motion, and I think we may have found a contender.

Ryan said excitedly, "We can make this into a memorable part of our wedding weekend... instead of just some blah dinner somewhere."
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