Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone has a fun and safe time ringing in the New Year!

2010 was the year that the Bear proposed and set us off on this journey!  Yes, there were some really tough times--it's the year I lost my grandfather, it was the year that Bear deployed (since we started dating).  But I have to be grateful, because I will be celebrating the end of this year with nearly all of the people I love.  And I couldn't think of a sweeter way to end 2010!

2011 will be our year.  The year of our wedding, the beginning of our new adventure.  Bring it on!

What are you looking forward to in 2011?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

I've been feeling a bit under the weather, again!  Seems like my body has decided let me get sick again and again this year, to make up for the years of good health.  Ah well...

I suppose it's a good thing to feel a little under the weather, it forces you to sit back and just relax.  And to be resigned to cabin fever thanks to the blizzard that just rocked the east coast.  

So I'm taking a mini-break until the new year.  

Be well my friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Too Many Choices?

As an avid internet shopper, I never have a problem finding options.  Finding exactly what I need, of course, is a different subject.  But options?  If you can Google it, you can probably find it.  Gold snake print pumps?

Bridal caftan?  

Oh yeah.  

So when I emailed my sisters about their bridesmaids dresses, the last thing I was expecting was to hear that there are too many choices.  Huh!?

Let me backtrack and show you the email I sent them:

Hey guys!

I know we're right in the middle of the holiday season, but after the holidays there will be 7 months to go.  So I guess I better officially tell you what I've decided on dresses.  For you three I've decided to go with a warm pink.  Something really light, and warm.  I'll send you guys some paint chips I found that I liked.  But I'm not too attached to the shade, as long as it looks nice on you.   And I'm ok with a pattern of some sort as long as it's subtle and not too cray.  

The only thing I ask is that you keep me in the loop and don't buy anything that looks like it came from Wet Seal or the Flirt Catalog [ED NOTE: click if you dare].  Nothing tight and satin.  Short is fine as long as it's pretty and appropriate for a Summer wedding.  

Here are some dresses I like to give you an idea of what I'm looking for:

Silk taffeta Nanine dress

Cotton cady Serena dress
Nanine Dress in Violet Dust and Serena Dress in Warm Pebble - JCrew

frosted rose one shoulder dress by Ark & Co.
Frosted Rose One Shoulder Dress - Ruche

Long-term Elation Dress
Long Term Elation Dress - Modcloth

One shoulder dresses are everywhere!!!  Dayum. 

I'm hoping that with 7 months you will all be able to find something you like and that works within your budget.  Which is the last reason I sent this email out today--after holiday sales!

To recap, I said:

- Nude/warm pink, in a shade that works for them.  
- Short, but wedding appropriate
- I get veto power and final approval (Call me the B-word, go for it.  B as in bridezilla, by the way.)

And so back to what I was saying before this email, two of the bridesmaids mentioned that finding a dress by themselves would be too much work.  And they suggested we just go with the J.Crew dresses.  At this point, I'm not opposed to it, since I really want this to be easy for everyone involved, but I don't know...

So I turn to you, is what I am asking of them "too much work?"  

LWD - Tulle and Lace!

Does it get much more bridal than tulle and lace?

The Tulle skirt is as cute and fun, and the delicate lace cami is as sweet as it gets!  Dress it up with a cardigan and brightly colored pumps, or wear it as is.  Personally, I love the accessories shown in the picture above--they add a an edgy touch to the whole look.

(ruffled edge)

This dress could work for any pre-wedding events, as well.  Wear it out for a bachelorette, if you're so inclined, or to your rehearsal dinner.  For $58, you can wear it anywhere you want without feeling guilty.  And since the weather has been tough on the money tree crop this season, I'm liking the sound of that!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

{Invitation Inspiration} Just My 'Type'

My attitude towards DIY invitations was little wishy-washy.  One day I believed I could create every little detail for our wedding, including a beautiful invitation suite.  And the next day I'd realize that my DIY list was getting out of control, so I'd frantically scour the internet for ready-made designs that fit our budget.  

Then one day, I realized that time was running out and I had to decide between purchasing or designing our invitation suite--and my urge to DIY prevailed!  And so, in honor of my creative ambitions, I've decided to share with you some of our invitation inspiration. 

First up, the Winter Flourish Wedding Invitations from Minted:  

Image via Minted / Design By Annie Clark

I bookmarked this design nearly two years ago and I still love it--the size and placement of the names just tug at my heartstrings.  The swirls and flourishes are a "must have" in our design.

I don't plan on using a ton of color or a floral motif.  Just simple, gorgeous type.  

Image via Etsy / Invitation by OhSoSuite 

The next design is by Oh So Suite and features the name of the couple in another gorgeous oversize script.  My favorite detail here is the layout, it's in landscape or as my friend described it, "the paper is sideways."  

Design and Image via HelloTenfold

This adorable invitation by Hello Tenfold featured a beautiful swirly typeface, and a gorgeous vintage banner.  It's somewhat simple, but still really beautiful and modern.  

As far as the rest of the suite is concerned there was one more element I knew I was going to include:

Image via OhSoBeautifulPaper / Design by J+K

Vellum.   This suite, featured on Oh So Beautiful Paper, actually uses vellum in the main invitation.  I thought I would go the route of vellum envelopes or better yet a vellum enclosure, maybe with a quote on it.  

Something like this: 

Image via TheIndigoBunting / Design by Erin Jang

I liked the idea of using a quote to introduce our invitations, and this quote was almost perfect!
And there you have it, our invitation inspiration.    Lots and lots of big swirly type, a touch of vellum, possibly a quote, and for good measure, we're flipping the layout on it's side. 

How about you?  Are you going to DIY your wedding invitations?  Where did you find your inspiration?

Monday, December 20, 2010

DIY Succulent Wreath

I came across this DIY wreath on Maegan today,

it's so modern, and so so beautiful. 

I think this would make a great centerpiece for anyone that wants a spin on the traditional, or for someone who isn't a huge fan of flowers.  

These wreaths would be a perfect addition to a rustic tablescape--add some burlap runners, and a couple mason jar luminaries and voila!

Or for a more modern feel, add pillar candles and wheatgrass in sleek zinc containers.  

It could work, right?

For a full tutorial, check out Prudent Baby

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Invitation Inspiration - On A Roll

Oh my goodness.

Yeah, that's just a roll of film.  Or is it?

Need I continue? Oh, I DO.

Wow.  If I could go back in time I might attempt these for our save the dates.  I majored in print photography back in college, and it's still one of my hobbies. And since there isn't a dark room  around me for miles (and I don't want to pay lab to process my film), there are rolls of film in drawers and baskets all over the house.

Of course I wouldn't use any exposed film (I'm guessing that there isn't any film in the rolls above) AND of course it's too late for me.  It's just another cool idea to drool over. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

LWD - Love Spell

That's the name of this gorgeous dress, "Love Spell," by Ivy & Aster.   This frock features a basket-woven chiffon pattern on the bodice. 

Gah.  So gorgeous.  This would make a wonderful dress for a small garden ceremony, or for an elopement, no?

I don't know if I would need an occasion to wear this lovely number if it showed up on my doorstep.  I could wear it while say, checked my email, played with my dear little Ollie, or even as I popped a couple loads of laundry in the wash.  It's that pretty. 

Pre-Nuptual Nightmares

I'm going to lose my mind, actually, I fear that I already have.  After a long week of over-thinking the wedding plans, I finally may have cracked.  The other night, I made an appointment at the bridal salon to try my dress on again.  And I sent Cuz a text message to see if she could join.  Her response was "I'm going to be in the city, so I guess I could stay for you."  And then I fell asleep and this happened:  

After a long day at work, I find myself in an apartment on a college campus wearing a yellow dress.  The dress looks like something out of Mad Men, as does the rest of my ensemble: patent orange mary jane peeptoe pumps, large costume earrings, and a updo that only a can of Aqua Net could love.  (Side note: The dress could be nice if it wasn't yellow, since I avoid that color like the plague this time of year; it looks horrible against the olive undertones in my skin and makes me look ill.)  I didn't know anyone at this apartment, but there I sat, drinking booze out of a red plastic cup, just like the good old days.  Except I'm not in college anymore, haven't been for a long time and I remember thinking that I must have looked like a knockoff Jerri Blank.  Still with me?

Then I arrive at a huge party in a courtyard, and my shoes feel tight.  I can't get over how tight they are--the straps are digging into my feet, making them look like overstuffed sausages.  And after some milling about the party, wondering what to do with craziest shoes ever, I decide to bend over and take them off.  The only thing, is that when I bend down to undo the buckle I get a rush to my head and I realize that the shoes are now a lovely lime-chartreuse green color and more importantly, I realize that I am completely wasted. 

So I stand up and try to steady myself on the wall, and I begin to look for a familiar face to help me get home.  Desperately, I try to strike up a conversation with some people from the pre-game apartment and they turn away from me, disgusted that some strange woman is trying to speak with them.  You could hear them whisper "who the hell is that?  I dunno dude, I don't know her." Humiliated, I decide to walk (barefoot, lime green trainwrecks in hand) away from the party, hoping to find my way to someone that could help me out.  As I stumble across the unidentified campus, I see a group of well-groomed guys in the distance.  And then I spot the Bear standing in the middle of this group, wearing his favorite jean jacket, the jacket that I despise.  We make eye contact just as I remembered that he was supposed to meet up with me at the party.  But he walks away with his friends.  

Finally, I take myself over to a concrete bench and fall into it in a pitiful heap.  There I was, stranded and alone, no idea where I was or how to get back to somewhere familiar, when finally someone comes to my rescue.  Dee, my old friend from Sunday school appears out of nowhere and sits beside me.  She's somewhat annoyed, but helps me get my shoes back on and gives me her arm to help me up.  And, that's it. That's all I remember.  

Lesson learned?  Oh I think there were many.  The main lesson learned was to never wear patent leather mary jane pumps.  Ok, I'm kidding a little.  Now, I'm no expert but I think there are a couple things I got from this dream--

1. Clearly, I'm feeling alone and let down.  The solution to this is to speak up and ask for what I want from my loved ones in no uncertain terms--I need support! 

2. I'm struggling with the Bear being gone.  I mean, he walked away from me when I needed him terribly (in the dream).  So, I need to get him more involved in the plans.  And I really hate that jacket, rrg.

3. The outfit was silly, and it wasn't me.  And maybe, I need to hammer down the details of my wedding ensemble, because it's obviously bothering me.  

Anyone else having crazy pre-wedding nightmares? How do you deal?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Our Favorite "Little" Story

Recognize this guy?

All Images and Text via Home.Pacific.Net 

Back in the somewhat-early days of our relationship I had a surgical procedure performed.  This procedure took me out of commission for a few days, as I spent most of my time eating pudding and laying on the couch in a painkiller induced haze.  Lucky me, I had the best nurse in the world around to help me recuperate, Mr. Marmalade!   One day, while in this haze I asked Mr. M to read me a story, and not just any story--I asked him to read my favorite children's book, The Little Prince.   For the record I blame those crazy pain pills for that amazing request. Although I am really happy the "hazey-me" decided to share that story with him, because now there is a book that I pick up from time to time and it reminds me of that sweet moment in our history.  

And why am I telling you this?  Because I spoke with the pastor and got the okay to include a secular (non-religious) reading in our ceremony and I know just which one!

Here is the excerpt we want to use:

"What does that mean-- 'tame'?"

"It is an act too often neglected," said the fox. It means to establish ties."
"'To establish ties'?"
"Just that," said the fox. "To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world..."

"So the little prince tamed the fox. And when the hour of his departure drew near--
"Ah," said the fox, "I shall cry."
"It is your own fault," said the little prince. "I never wished you any sort of harm; but you wanted me to tame you..."
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"But now you are going to cry!" said the little prince.
"Yes, that is so," said the fox.
"Then it has done you no good at all!"
"It has done me good," said the fox, "because of the color of the wheat fields." And then he added:
"Go and look again at the roses. You will understand now that yours is unique in all the world. Then come back to say goodbye to me, and I will make you a present of a secret."


"And he went back to meet the fox."

"Goodbye," he said.
"Goodbye," said the fox. "And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
"What is essential is invisible to the eye," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.
"It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important."
"It is the time I have wasted for my rose--" said the little prince, so that he would be sure to remember.
"Men have forgotten this truth," said the fox. "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. You are responsible for your rose..."
"I am responsible for my rose," the little prince repeated, so that he would be sure to remember.

The idea of "creating ties," and being "responsible" has meant a lot to me, and it's meant a lot to us.  He's responsible for me, I'm responsible for him, and we're responsible for the things that matter to us outside of ourselves.  And I hope that through our relationship, we continue to understand our responsibility to the world. 

I couldn't think of a better, more lighthearted way incorporate those sentiments into our ceremony.  

Are you incorporating any non-traditional readings in your ceremony?  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday! Saying 'Thank You' for The Holidays

Happy Friday to everyone!  This is such a busy time of year!  And I suspected, wedding planning has slowed down while I ramped up for the season. 

So in the spirit of the holiday season, I wanted to pass along these amazing programs that help us all say thanks to the men and women who are serving our country.  

This program, sponsored by Xerox, is as easy as it gets.  Visit the site, choose a card design, fill out or select your greeting, and hit send!  Easy peasy, no?

The American Red Cross has teamed up with Pitney Bowes for another year of "Holiday Mail for Heroes."  You can send a card service members, veterans, and their families to:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD

Unfortunately all mail must be postmarked by TODAY.  So if you have a couple extra holiday cards lying around, get them in the mail ASAP!

A Million Thanks is an organization that sends letters to military members (past and present) year round.  You can send your cards and letters to:

A Million Thanks
17853 Santiago Blvd. #107-355
Villa Park, CA 92861

So there you have it!  A couple easy ways to send a message of thanks, hope, or even just "hey, be well," to someone that may really need it.  

And by the way, I want to take second to mention that a couple people have send me emails that recommend writing to Walter Reed Medical Center and addressing letters/cards to "Any Wounded Soldier" or "A Recovering American Soldier."  Sadly, this is not true.  The WRAMC and the Postal Service do not accept these letters and packages.  So if anyone passes that info onto you, let them know that there are other ways to send thanks! 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Did I (Just) Do That?

Image via BestWeekEver

Did I just call up the bridal shop and tell them I want to come in for another dress appointment?  Did the woman on the phone tell me that I had to write them a letter stating that I wanted to place my wedding dress on hold so I can come in and shop again?  Did I hang up the phone, type up a letter and fax it over to them?

Yep.  I did.  Here's the proof:

December 2, 2010

[Address omitted]

Dear Customer Service Representative,

I would like to place my order on hold, if it is not already in production.

I do not have my order number with me at the moment, but my home phone number is (203)123-5555, I was told that should be sufficient to make any changes. 

You can reach me at (203)555-5555 or with any questions.

Thank you 



I've had some doubts creeping into my mind about the dress.  I love my dress, but not without changes.  I bought the dress (and paid for extra alterations) because I was told they could make these changes to the dress without a problem.  But what if there is a problem?!  Is it crazy to buy a wedding dress that I liked, because I knew I would love it after the alterations?  Shouldn't I love my dress "as is?"

What is going on with me?  We have 7 months to go! What am I thinking?!

I called them up to check up on the status of my dress and they haven't heard back from the designer yet.  I'm officially in wedding dress limbo.  

Side note:  I Googled "wedding dress limbo" and that's what I found.  Love the internet--I needed that laugh. Looks like fun!

Did you have doubts about your gown?  How did/do you deal?

Mrs. Marmalade here!  This is a post I wrote just seven months before our wedding.  Did it work out?  You'll have to wait and see!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Scent-itive Bride

perfume bottles
 Photo by Pearled / Image via Flickr

I'm a collector (read: "borderline hoarder") of beauty products, and this certainly includes fragrance.  The top of my bookshelf is littered with sweet little bottles of all shapes and sizes.  Ironically, my stomach is pretty sensitive to different smells and the wrong one will make me really sick for hours on end.

One day, on an innocent shopping trip with BM Snazzy-Fresh, I came across this: 

Image via

Love, Chloé was a new-ish fragrance at the time, carried exclusively by Saks, (it's available at most department stores now, yes!). 

I cautiously sniffed the sample, and I liked it.  Almost instantly I was approached by an eager (and very nice) saleswoman.  Panicked, I sprayed my wrist and ran away to let this perfume settle in. This could have been a really stupid thing for me to do--I had no idea how I would react to the scent.  Typically, the stronger the smell, the more horrible my reaction.  So I braced myself for the nausea and headaches that aome with heavy, lingering perfumes...but nothing happened.  

The initially strong scent dried quickly and left behind this über-feminine, ultra classic, soft fragrance.  It lasted for hours and wasn't too strong.  It had a powder-like smell (think make up powder, not baby powder), a mix of florals, and a hint of something fresh right at the end(I found out later that it was rice).  It could have been perfect to wear on our wedding day. 

I was going to have to try it on my skin again as we got closer, to be sure it wouldn't make me sick on our wedding day.  As if being "scent-sitive" wasn't hard enough, apparently my body was fickle,too; sometimes I develop a sensitivity to a fragrance long after I've added it to my lineup.  

But the good news was, I had at least one option for a wedding day perfume that DIDN'T make me ill.  

Are you going to wear a special fragrance on your wedding day?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Little White Dress

I love this dress from Ruche, 

it would be perfect for a short dress bride.  Or even as a reception dress, no?