Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I Would Walk 500 Hundred Miles...

Cuz and I grew up together, like two peas in a pod, if by peas you meant to little girls who loved each other to pieces and yet always had a knack of getting at each other's throats, then yes, two peas. There are places in our town that we can walk upon and think of the memories that were made. The beach where we walk on a lazy days was once the spot where we giggled and partied with our friends. The middle school down the street from her home, was once once where Cuz, her brother, and I played soccer as kids--I can remember bundling up in my purple sweatpants and heading over there as a family on Saturday mornings. And of all the places in our town, our church holds years and years worth of memories.

But what am I saying here? Back when Cuz's nuptuals were a hypothetical, she insisted that she would be married somewhere far, far away. Well, flash forward to today--they've decided to get married around here, most likely in the church we grew up in. All she needs now, is to find a reception site both of them will love. They are looking for a few simple things:

- A "one stop shop" (the site will take care of all the details).

- Not too far from our church.

- A reasonable price for amazing food.

- Elegant and beautiful site/decor.

- Room for 200+ people.

- On the water.

Theoretically this shouldn't be too hard, people! But it is! We live in a large town in coastal Connecticut, less than an hour from New York City. You would think that we would be able to find a venue like that under any old rock around here, or at least I would think that... but no. Off hand, I can think of one place that fits the bill but it's where my older sister got married--in other words, it's out. There are two locations around here that provide the "package deal" that she's looking for but they aren't on the water. There is one place with water on their property, but it's more like a man-made lake than Long Island Sound. I also need to mention the fact that we live in one of the more affluent parts of the state. Essentially, we are from a blue collar town surrounded by white collar towns, so know what that means? Vendors are expensive around our neck of the woods because they can be. What to do, what to do?

Go somewhere else! Sure! Why not?? A quick drive to NYC, or Westchester county should be easy, gotta take advantage of being in the Tri-State area! Maybe even upstate or eastern Connecticut? CT's a small state, so why not?

So how far is too far?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hint Hint?

Or not so much.

Women are in a bit of an odd position, if they decide to the "traditional" route and wait for a proposal, as opposed to proposing to their special someone (using that term just aged me twenty years or so). Waiting for someone to decide they are ready to start a life with you is pretty counterintuitive, especially if you've been raised to be an independent and ambitious woman. I've taken care of my life for many years now, and it's so very odd to me that I am waiting for a nod from the man to make my next move, in a way. So now that's all that is out of the way, let me admit that I have a feeling "it" is coming relatively soon. And, please don't get me wrong because I am happy about (really happy about it), but I am starting to get a little jumpy. You know, kind of the same way a person acts when they are in a haunted house, only I'm not scared, per se. Nervous, yes, but scared? No. The act of anticipating a surprise is causing me to act a little odd.
Here's my latest bout of insanity, that was started by this text message from Boo himself.

"A package should arrive at your house tomorrow or the next day. I ordered it and they said it wouldn't get there til after Christmas. But now it's shipped so please don't open it. And if you could just have your mother take it and hide it so save the surprise even more that would be great!!!!!"

Wha, wha?? A package, for me? A surprise?!? Could this be the ring?!? If the package has a return address from Brilliant Earth I will simply keel over and have a (happy) fit right there on my stoop, in front of God and my neighbors! Then I took a breath. What the hell was wrong with me? Boo is not great at surprises, but he's not a stupid man. He would never ship my engagement ring to my mother's house. He certainly wouldn't text me a heads up message. I calmed myself, and asked him about it. He tried to play dumb. So I pestered him a little more, and I don't know why I did it--I LOVE surprises, but I also LOVE to figure them out. I asked "so what's this message about?" His response? "What message? Oh the shoes?" And stopped dead in his tracks.

Ahh, the shoes! THE SHOES! Not the ring, the shoes. The boots to be exact. The boots that will keep my feet warm and cozy, and stylish. These boots:

(Available at

Sure enough, the box arrived yesterday with the words "LL BEAN" printed all over the cardboard in the traditional hunter green that Bean loves (hunter green that bean...didn't intend that to rhyme, but is stays). Deep breath. I will not lose my mind, I will not dwell, and I will NOT try to ruin this surprise. I will however look forward to unwrapping those boots and wearing them all Winter long. I can't wait to head up to Maine with my camera and these boots and snap away, with my feet all warm and dry. :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meet the Parents

Err, I mean, family. Meet the family, and that's what we did.

The first thing Cuz did when she got engaged was set up a day and time for both sides of the families to meet. Originally the plan was to have it at her house, but as my aunt reminded Cuz, it is customary in Greek culture for the bride's family to open their home to the groom's family. And so it was, they picked a night and my aunt got to work.

For a lot of people in the world, a family gathering means immediate family only. I think I am one of those people, myself. But what is an immediate family? Parents and siblings? Grandparents, perhaps? In our family, "immediate" means no less than 8 people, and there are usually more. Mom, dad, siblings and significant others, aunt, and cousins. If our grandparents are in the country, it means them too. If there were more family in the same town as us, "immediate" would include them as well. So to any of you out there who would like to invite my immediate family anywhere, consider this fair warning.

Cuz was nervous that the parents wouldn't get along. I can imagine how she must have felt, but I tried to reassure her it would be fine, but I know Cuz, she had to see it for herself. I missed the beginning but I know how it started. Greetings and shots of a homemade liquor (made by my grandma, so she was there too). And wouldn't you know it, his family included a cousin! First major sign of a good night, in my opinion. Then there was an exchange of some very special gifts, and then, the food!

My aunt busted out the fine crystal and china, and outdid herself. The menu, which she kept secret, consisted of:

Ecuadorian ceviche
Pork tenderloin
Yuca ("Greek" style, i.e., in a light tomato sauce with lots of dill)
Roasted red potatoes
Green Beans
Mushrooms with Swiss Chard
Green salad
Whole wheat spinach bread (I need to make this more often, so so good)

There must have been more on the table. That's all I can remember right now. We are pretty serious about food in my family, it's what we do (not literally). My aunt really outdid herself. All 16 of us (sixteen!) left with very, very full bellies.

Back to the acutal meeting. Most of us had met earlier, so I think that helped. Another thing that helped is that all of us speak Spanish, and while we carried on the conversations in English, everyone was able to keep up with the conversation if it switched into Spanish. We all laughed, drank wine, and ate (and ate and ate and ate). It was so easy. I could tell Cuz and Future-Cuz (Cuz to be?) were thrilled. We all sat at the table, long after the meal and told stories, laughing the whole time.

The night was easy, and a lot of fun. I am so happy for both of them. The lesson learned here was: stick to what you know, be open, and always surround yourself with the people that love you. I'm going to tuck this lesson into my little pocket for safe keeping.

Anyone else have tips for the first time the families meet?

Friday, December 11, 2009

It's the Most Wonderful Time

Today felt like the first real Winter day we've had in a very long time. It was a day to pull out the mittens and look for the hat you thought you could easily locate and head out. Now, I am a woman who hates her some cold. Once the cold weather hits, I hit the pause button on life and stay indoors as much as possible. The blood that runs through my veins is WARM! Give me sun and sand! Give me heat! Give me the Summer, year round.

Except today. Today, please, please give me snow! (I can guarantee you I will be regretting that demand when I have to shovel my car out of the driveway at 7:15 tomorrow morning, rrg.) Just look at this:

I just want to see this when I walk out the door right now. I swear, I won't get mad when the bottoms of my pants get all wet from the snow, swear. But honestly, as Winter gets going and temperatures start to drop I think of winter weddings. If you can handle the cold weather, a Winter wedding might work for you. Just think stark snow white, against accents of black, and bursts of holiday red, all drenched in candlelight.
And for wardrobe? How about a fitted cashmere bolero or playful sweater? No? Ok, a beautiful white coat. And boots? I would love to wear a big fat pair of snow boots under my wedding dress, if only for a few pics like this.

I think an inspiration board may be in order...

Stay warm! Off to raid the cabinets for some hot cocoa!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boo: The Intro

Boo has been mentioned a few times, and I have yet to elaborate. There is so much I have to say about him, but after two years together, things feel more simple. I almost feel like there's less to say. So I'll start with today, and eventually I'll get to the beginning. Maybe it's illogical, but so be it, sometimes it takes a little time to get the ball rolling.

If you told me that I would be in love with Boo a few years back, I would have laughed and probably turned red. I would have laughed because three years ago, there was no such thing as the love of my life. I would never have expected or even hoped for the level of comfort and happiness that my relationship with Boo has brought. And I would have been shocked, that of all people in the world, the man I would love more than anyone, even myself, was right under my nose the whole time, sort of. Which is why I would have turned red--I always thought he was a little dorky, but I never admitted to anyone, not even myself, that I secretly found him and his dorky streak to be cute. But no one predicted it--except my best friend, my sister, the one and only Cuz. She knew. Way before I was ready to admit it to myself.

So before I attempt to describe how we came to be, I thought I might get to how he relates to this little blog of mine. I would be lying if I didn't say that I have been obsessed with most things handmade. I would also be remiss if I forgot to mention that I have always had an interest in event planning, especially weddings. But I am not planning a wedding, and I haven't exactly been planning my wedding since I was a little girl. This non-bride-to-be is actually a woman in waiting. Waiting for a proposal, and waiting for our life to start. If it were easy, I might not be sitting in my home, hundreds of miles away from Boo, but it's not. As with most people in life you meet, there is baggage. In our case our this "baggage" comes mostly in the form of the United States Army. Yep, that sweet, cute, and dorky Boo is also an Army badass(wink wink-that was for you B). Who knew?

For nearly three years I've had a special place in my heart for this man. I didn't know that I loved him, but I did. Long before there was an "us." And for two years, we've lived apart. I've concentrated to getting settled as an adult, and he's concentrated on training. Now that his training will be coming to an end in a few short months, a new adventure awaits. So cadence, doesn’t only refer to a normal rhythm and flow, it’s not just about how something is experienced. I chose cadence because of Boo, because to guys like him a cadence is also a call and answer song. Boo will sing them to me when he’s in the mood to be silly, and I don’t really like them but I love him, so they make me smile (the silly cadences, not the morbid ones). It never crossed my mind that I would be in love with a man who is, for all intents and purposes, married to the military, but here I am. Wish me luck!

So that’s a very very brief introduction to Boo, and quick note on the (other) meaning of {Sweet} Cadence.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Martha, Martha, Martha!

With all this talk of inspiration, it seems downright unfair and almost misleading to omit this lovely lady from my posts:

Martha. Yes, Martha Stewart. The queen of the craft world, and the master of all things "good" and lovely, in my humble opinion. Strange, that for so many years, I didn't care for her in the media, and I certainly took no interest in her wares. I avoided her as much as possible; I changed the channel if she was making an apperance, I scoffed at her magazine covers (sacrilege in my mind now, I assure you), and I would never have been caught dead with any of her craft products.

Oh how things have changed!

Martha, I am sorry for doubting you. Clearly, I wasn't ready for all the bridal inspiration you have to offer. My goodness, it's sad to say. My only guess is that I was still rebelling against all things handmade, after a childhood spent embossing scraps of paper, planting flowers, and creating jewelry for my friends, I lost it. I took a time out. And I took it out on you. But that's all changed now. About a year ago, I picked up your wedding magazine, and oh my goodness, wow, are you serious? I was hooked. The colors, the images, the textures! Again, I'm at a loss for words...


And now, two of my favorite covers:

(Winter 2009)

(Fall 2009) pretty. So colorful. Sadly, I can say with complete honesty, that I've grown anxious waiting pick up the latest issue of MSW to see the coverwork. What a nerd. But can we just discuss this for a moment? I can't keep my eyes off of it. The colors are my favorite thing, does it sound like I'm 5 years old? So be it! I have always had a slight obsession with colors, shades, and hues. I loved color so much, I got stuck dying fabric for samples EVERY DAY for the semester I worked as a fashion intern. It was heaven! That is, if heaven is a (oddly) dark closet with a sink, tons of plastic quart containers, and and boxes upon boxes upon bottles of Rit dye. So maybe not so much, but it was great. Anyway, Martha does color like no one's business. And really, with all the effort that brides put into color schemes, it would be ludicrious thing to skimp on.

I can't forget to mention that they know how good the magazine is--they must. It's so good they put nearly every bit of content from the mag online. So you don't have to buy it, but you know you're gonna. Being a book nerd myself, I am not satisfied until I have a tactile copy in my hand. I must look through and dog ear and put aside for review at a later date and time.

The other thing that I love about MSW is how each and every issue is centered on a theme. Yes, I know, this is not groundbreaking in the world of magazines, each issue has a theme. Except in the world of bridal mags, it appears that many publications simply stopped at "The Spring Issue." Ehem, season is not enough detail for the event-obsessed. There are some that take it a little farther--"hmm, how about 'Summer in Santorini'?" Yes, editor at some other bridal mag, Santorini is gorgeous, and if you haven't been there, you really must go, but it's not enough to center a shoot on a beautiful island and expect me to go for it. Martha gets it. You want a themed issue? How about "confetti?!" You know those teeny tiny pieces of paper that people throw around on New Years Eve, if ever? Yeah, let's make an entire issue and center it around confetti. And they do, and they do it so well that when I'm done reading, all I can do is wait for the next issue and store inspiration pictures like this in a special folder on my desktop.

(From the Winter 2009 Issue)

Yes, a gorgeous cake, showered in confetti. I could have thought of this, but sadly, I doubt I would have, if it weren't for MSW. Alright, I'm off to look for the destination weddings issue! (Will I have a destination wedding? Probably not. But I can't sit here with the knowledge that there is a new Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine on stands and not run out and buy it. Plus, I'm running to CVS anyway--it has to be there.)
So, anyone else heart Martha?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Veiled Sentiment: A Not So Quick Overview

So when embarking on the process of wedding planning, I assume the most logical thing to do is to savor the moment, and begin brainstorming the basic logistics: procuring a ceremony and reception site, setting the date, and drawing up a preliminary guest list. Wait--that may even be a little too fast. How about just sitting down and considering the options? That might be an easier, and much more logical step. Well, when Cuz had a few friends over, the logic went out the window, and we went back to being girls. Now I'm sure that every basic detail is important (and to some extent it is, clearly from my girl-standpoint), but none is more important than the bride's look on her wedding day.

So, sitting around, watching "The Office" my Cuz mentioned that she wanted a birdcage veil. Wha--wha? A birdcage veil? That's kinda unexpected...well, no, it actually isn't. Birdcage veils are gorgeous. Let's take a looksie here:

Mmm…preeetty, no? The beautiful netting, the slight “pouf,” I mean, damn! That’s beautiful, in a very vintage, yet somewhat trendy sort of way. Wait, no, not trendy, because I hate, hate that word--but this is not a post about the words I can’t stand and try to avoid, which I could, and probably will write more about later. The truth is, birdcage veils are very popular right now, but so what? It’s an old style that’s come back into favor? Ok, that I can deal with. Trendy? Blegh, that word gives me a bit of a stomach ache. Off topic again, grrr. Damn you, words I hate.

There are several types of birdcage veils, or fascinators, which I won’t get into right now. The most common type consists of a beautiful piece of netting, attached to a comb, that is meant to frame the face. It is not really designed to “veil” or hide, but so what? It’s beautiful. Goodness, the drool is making it hard to write.

Onward to some of my other favorite styles.

The double tier veil. It reminds me of those old Estée Lauder Beautiful commercials with Elizabeth Hurley as one of the most gorgeous brides, ever. Do you know what I’m talking about? It has loads of volume and can be worn at many lengths. It’s that iconic “bride” veil that we’ve seen again and again. Clearly, it works. And I’m pretty sure, it’s the veil that 5 year old Mich would have worn. Twenty something Mich might consider it one day too. Can you blame her, errg, me?

The cascading veil. I like it. It looks like it could float away and I love the way it frames the upper half of the bride’s body. It’s timeless, pretty, and doesn’t take away from the bride’s look in any way. So two thumbs up to you, my friend.

The mantilla is a traditionally Spanish style veil, which is commonly made of lace. It is placed more like a scarf on top of the head. Something like this:

Romantic. Traditional. Sweet--I die. What is it with these Rachel Zoeisms? I don’t think I watched even one episode of her show last season, yet my brain has soaked up and hung onto “I die.” Since this Zoeism is strangely appropriate, it stays. The mantilla can also be placed so that part of it covers the face, which I think I love. But I haven’t seen it in action so much, so I wonder about the ease of use. I mean, guys are smart. They are. But when you are standing up at the altar in front of your friends and family, the nerves are bound to get to you. So smart goes out the window, and maybe, maybe he gets confused and only kind of lifts the veil, leaving an awkward pouf on top of your head. That pouf sort of looks like you got dressed so fast that you didn’t have time to check the veil before you ran down the aisle. But you probably took hours to get ready, you know? And why? Because veils, especially distinct mantilla veils he’s probably never seen before, can be confusing. Or am I looking into this too much?

This is getting wordy and I haven’t even touched upon blushers, you know? That often disputed part of the veil that goes OVER the face (my rant above notwithstanding)? I’m not sure how I feel about them. They are beautiful and traditional, in a I’m-not-so-sure-about-that-tradition kinda way. Then there’s all the different lengths; shoulder, fingertip (I wonder how long they are…), chapel, cathedral, and on and on. How about different levels of fullness? Or trim? Yep. So, so many options.

So there you have it. For now. I am going to have to come back to this for some more details. This will have to suffice for the moment. My head is spinning, and I blame it on the tulle. Cuz, if this more confusing than it is helpful. I’m sorry. I tried and but veils got the best of me. Wink wink.

So what kind of veil makes you drool? Or is the drooling just my issue? It is? Ok, I’m gonna have to look into that. But veils? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Happy Day!

And the journey begins...

My best friend got engaged a few days ago, and I could not have imagined just how happy I would be for her (them)! It's incredible to think that for our entire lives we've been able to use the phrase "when I get married," or "when I am married" to describe the freedoms and the adventures we anticipated in adulthood. And here it is! Together we spent hours and hours on end, writing our (respective) first names next to the last names of the boys we (again, respectively) crushed on, big time. For example "Mich Baio"--classic! There are journals that exist, to this day, with our names scribbled all over. Again and again and again. Mich hearts (insert random classmate's name here). Cuz hearts ____ and on and on.

For a very long time, we would sit in her room and play the T.R.U.E. L.O.V.E. game. Oh, you haven't heard of the T.R.U.E. L.O.V.E. game? If you haven't heard of this game, then you missed out on the fun. I'll fill you in, so that you don't miss out on meeting your true love. You take your name, write it down, and underneath that you write down the name of your boy-love (or girl-love, as the case may be) and then, you count the number of Ts, Rs, Us, Es, Ls, Os, Vs, and Es (again!). Add those babies up, and you get a score. There really wasn't a scale; the higher number, the truer the love (the "truer the love?" I am questioning the grammar here, but ignoring it, nonetheless).

For Example:


ZACHARY MORRIS (Because there is no "r" in Zack)

T = 0 L = 0
R = 3 O = 1
U = 0 V = 0
E = 2 E = 2

Total: 8

Wow. I've never seen a score that low! Clearly, I was never meant to be with Zack Morris in any way, shape, or form. Phew! Dodged that bullet! My BFF always, and I mean always, kicked my butt in this game. She has 9 (T.R.U.E. L.O.V.E.) letters in her name alone! Not to mention the fact that she got to use a middle name and I don't have one, but I digress...

She is more than my BFFFFFFF (infinity), she is my sister, well, technically, my cousin. We were born a year apart, and raised as a unit, we were even dressed alike for a very long time. Probably a lot longer than most people would feel comfortable with, but we liked it, so what are you gonna do? I still kinda like dressing alike. Creepy? No. Kinda weird? Perhaps. Possible weirdness notwithstanding, she's been the peanut butter to my jelly for the last twenty some-odd years. And I love her. And more than that, she has found her own T.R.U.E. L.O.V.E! Congrats to you, my Cuz, and big fat hugs too! I can't wait to be by your side as you start your journey into "wifedom." Now that the tears are welling up I am going to call it a night, or call you to chat.

Mmmbye for now.

For the record Cuz and her future hubs have a total score of 22. Boo and I have a score of 26. Yes, we win! Except they win, because they love each other and are engaged. So yeah again!

Hello friends!


Just popping in for a quick hello, and then it's back to the daily grind. I hope this blog will be a place for inspiration and musings alike. A place where I can share my creative triumphs and flops. Most important, I hope this blog will be a sounding board for my friends who are interested in my exploits. I have big plans for the coming months. BIG I tell you! I will be back to start sharing soon...

Until then,