Monday, February 28, 2011

Inspiration Shops

Inspiration shops strikes when you least expect it. 

I've been tossing around ideas for our photo booth backdrop for months now. 

First, I wanted something textured and monochromatic, like this:  

That idea didn't last too long because I crave color.  So I looked for something that combined color and texture and I found this:

And after a couple days of crepe paper streamers and ribbon, I moved on.  Maybe I didn't need texture.  Maybe I need something that could withstand the rockin' reception we plan on throwing.  Because I have a feeling some of our friends would be a little too tempted to manhandle the backdrop if we had many tactile temptations, if you know what I mean.

So that left me with color. 

Gorgeous, bold, and simple.  That backdrop is actually made of fabric from Ikea!  I liked it well enough, but I got busy with a bunch of other tasks on my list and the backdrop went to the back of my mind.  

Just the other day, I stopped into the local Kate Spade boutique and it hit me.

Stripes!  Striking, festive, and much more "me" than a super busy pattern. (even though the rose wallpaper on the side would also make a gorgeous backdrop).  

And have I ever mentioned my affinity for shiny things?  Because I love the reflective gold.  And chances are, no one will be wearing this pattern (just my luck--someone shows up in a gold and white cabana striped ensemble) so it won't compete too much with our guests' outfits.  

Yes!  This idea might get tweaked a bit, but only a bit.  I'm sticking to you shiny gold stripes--this is officially on my DIY list.

Are you going to have a photo booth at your reception?  Are you going to create your own backdrop?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy (and soggy) Friday!

Rain.  It's become a four letter word to me (I know, it technically is a four letter word).   The "It-That-Must-Not-Be-Named" for our wedding. 

But on a gray and rainy day like today, I can't help but be thankful for Wellies.  

And as I come to terms with the fact that I can't control everything on on our wedding day (or in life), I find myself admiring pictures like these.  Pictures that are beautiful despite, or maybe because of, the rain.  

So here's to the rain: may it stay far, far away on our wedding day.  And if it decides to pay us a visit, may we remember to keep our Wellies on hand, along with our good spirits. 

Cheers! And happy (soggy) Friday!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

J Cray Cray: Final Thoughts

You can read part one here.

All my bridesmaids have purchased their dresses!

Lil $is, Big Sis, and Cuz will be wearing the Erica dress, in warm pebble.  

BMs Yazzi Fresh, KuBee, Lisee-Pie, and Step-on-Me will be wearing the following in Spiced Wine:

Aveline, Blakely, Sydney, and Arabelle (pictured from left to right).

So, if I step back and put them all together I have a bridal posse that will look something like this:  

I love it!

But I didn't always love it, so here goes.  

I wrote this post a couple times, and I couldn't get it right.  Thinking that the visual aid would help me write this out, I waited until all my ladies purchased their dresses.  And it's still hard to put myself back in the moment when I felt so upset over the bridesmaids dresses.  

And I can't say that bridesmaids dresses don't matter to me anymore.  Of course they do.  I've asked the women I love most in the world to buy a pretty dress and stand up with me when I get married.  That purchase matters!  But, I've come to realize perfection doesn't.  At least not in the way I thought of it before.  Perfection to me was in the beautiful images that I've seen across the blogosphere.  The perfection I get to have, is that they are all going to be there in the way that makes them happy.  And that is what I wanted to begin with!  I wanted that more than I wanted the perfect picture of mismatched, smiling bridesmaids.  

(I'm sure you ladies are lovely, but my posse is better.)

I wanted everyone to be happy.  And so, I have to say that I regret ever getting upset that three of my bridesmaids got the same dress, no matter what their reasons were.  And that's a tough thing for me to admit.  Regret is something I try my best to avoid at all costs!  But, I had my bridal blinders on and I didn't see what I should have:  everyone is happy with what they got and what they got makes them feel beautiful!  

And you know what?  THAT is perfect to me.  As long as I have my ladies by my side, as they are, the perfect picture is inevitable.

Have you had moments where your "bridal blinders" got you in trouble?  Did you have to change your perspective at any point in your planning process?  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Have You Seen This?

Have you guys seen this?

Too cute (and too smart).  File this under: where do kids get these things?

Anyway, just thought I'd share for anyone looking for a laugh. 



Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When Left to My Own Devices...

I dreaded registering for presents.  I avoided it.  Not only did I not have any desire to register on my own, but I had no idea where to start!  So I decided to take my time, and ask the experts (i.e., friends and family--thanks guys!).  

To test the waters, I created our first wedding registry on    


And I discovered that I have an eye for the most useful, sensible items.  Wanna see?  Here are some of my favorite "essentials" off our Amazon registry.  

Totally practical! Let's take a closer look:

1.  Cobalt blue glasses - the most gorgeous color and they're well made.  Perfect for sipping iced tea.
2. Rest in Grease spoon rest, by Fishs Eddy - Because I want to begin my collection of Fishs Eddy products that I will call "One of Everything in the store," or "One of Everything" for short.
3.  Fishs Eddy Brooklyneese "Cawfee" cups - Um, yes please.  
4.  White marble pastry board - Because a. I have every intention of baking like a madwoman and b. I couldn't register for white marble countertops.
5. Dirt Devil Rechargable Hand Vac in Spice - because it's the best choice to pick up any pet hair left behind by my little Ollie.  Obviously.
6.  Polka Dot Dish Towel, Fishs Eddy - no kitchen is complete without one!

I realized that I stink at being practical, so to throw people off my scent I registered for some cookbooks!  They are all really common sense guides that I will (hopefully) get some use from.  What you don't see here is that I registered for about ten cookbooks to begin with, and I painfully narrowed it down to these four.  (7, 8, 9, 10)

Then I got back to registering for home decor, which is more important to me than most kitchen appliances (read: execpt for the KitchenAid Stand mixer). 

11.  Mojito Kit - I make a mean mojito, true story.  And I've wanted a wooden muddler for a while.  A must have for entertaining, am I right?
12.  Coop Bowl, CB2 - A lobster red bowl made of chicken coop wire.  Clearly, everyone needs one of these lovlies!
13.  Tiffany Vines Square Vase - I'm going to need a nice place to put all the flowers the Bear will get me after he sees how I managed to register for all the essentials.  
14. Teal Agate coasters - to protect the coffee table we don't have right now.  But we will!
15.  Glass Poron Wine Pitcher - This is the first item I registered for.  THE FIRST ITEM.  My inner wine nerd couldn't resist.  Just fill with a nice chilled bottle of rose, pick up the pitcher and tilt your head back so that wine pours out of the tiny spout directly into your mouth.  I've wanted one ever since a Spanish friend of mine introduced me to it.  

So let me finish the title of this post, "When Left to My Own Devices, I Register for Pretty Things.  And that's it."

Bare necessities?  I think I got 'em covered.

Did you enjoy registering for your wedding?  Was it easy to keep to the necessities or did you find yourself registering for things you just loved?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Brilliant Baubles

I have always been a huge fan of pearls, the quintessential bridal accessory.  But lately, I've been drawn to the glimmer and sparkle of these amazing earrings and I'm starting to reconsider my bridal jewelry.  

Here are some of my favorite "sparklers":

(clockwise from left 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)

At first, I was smitten with Art Deco inspired earrings, but as of late, I've been completely taken with crystals and shine in general.  It would appear that I am now in complete bridal mode.  

Hopefully I'll settle on a pair of earrings that combines the geometric Deco style with the sparkle I've been eyeing.  

Have you found your bridal jewelry yet?  Are you surprised by your  choices?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Runner Up!

I've been thinking about table decor and I am changing my plan.  Initially, I wanted to create table runners from the pages of vintage books, but time is flying by and my to-do list is growing by the minute.    

Something had to give, so book runners are out and burlap is in!

I love how burlap fits perfectly with modern decor and adds a subtle hint of color.  It also adds texture and visual interest to the decor, without taking too much attention away from the centerpieces. 

And it doesn't get much more rustic than burlap, which is perfect for me, since I really want to mix traditional and rustic elements into our decor to compliment our reception site.  

And did I mention that burlap could actually be versatile? Just by finishing the edges of the runner and screen printing text onto the fabric, the burlap blends right in with a more sophisticated setting.

I'm completely sold on this idea!  The DIY looks simple enough, even for me.  Famous last words?  Maybe. But we're talking about a project that may or may not require sewing.  Yes, sewing is optional! And I think I can definitely handle that right now.  

I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Have you ever made a table runner? Any tips?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day: Heart's Delight!

Happy Valentines Day!

I have a love (pun intended) for all things heart-shaped, and I can guarantee you that hearts will be making an appearance somewhere on our wedding day.  

So in honor of Valentines Day, I thought I would share some of my favorite heart-shaped lovelies with you.

  • Hearts, $15.   

These sequined hearts are a cute way to add a pop of color or sparkle to any outfit.  Beat back the winter blues (and grays) by clipping one to your coat.  Or wear it in your hair on your wedding day as an alternative to a flower fascinator.

  • Ariel Gordon, Mini heart necklace, $220.

This sweet little necklace comes in your choice of 14kt yellow gold, sterling silver, or rose gold (pictured above). I'm a huge fan of rose gold, and if I was going to wear a necklace (sadly, I'm not) this delicate beauty would be it.  

  • Mint Tea Mini Hearts, $10. 

These mint green studs are a smaller, more subtle way to wear hearts.   Slip on a pair of heart-shaped studs after your ceremony and change up your wedding day look! 

  • Erica Anenberg, French Kiss Twosome Ring, $65.

So it's not exactly a heart, but it's the thought that counts.  Especially when the thought is an edgy "I love you."  And by the way, I wore this on the night we got engaged.  So the proof is in the pudding, as they say.  It's perfect for the rock and roll bride. 

  • Blu Moon, Heart Shaped Sunglasses, $22

These sunglasses are a perfectly playful addition to any wedding ensemble.  Heart shaped sunglasses for a day filled with love?  Yes, please.  Grab a couple pairs and head outside for a cute photo op with your wedding party!

Asos, Love Tattoo T Shirt, $33   

We all know that love is sweet, but did you know that love is pretty bad ass too?  Well, according to Asos it is, and I happen to agree. I may not get the chance to wear this on my wedding day, but I'm thinking there will be enough space to add this tee to my overnight bag.

And there you have it!  Hearts aplenty!

Are you going to wear any fun accessories on your wedding day? 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hey, Mister DJ

There are four things that the Bear has requested for our wedding. 

1. Military uniforms (check)
2. Open bar for the reception (check, check)
3. Red Velvet wedding cake (still working on it)
4. A DJ

How could I say no to any of that?  

Truth be told, I was relieved that he wanted a DJ because hiring a band can be a very expensive proposition.  Think about it, hiring a band means you're essentially responsible for paying each person.  And then there's the issue of space.  As in, where would we fit a band at our small reception site?  Lastly, we have really varied tastes in music. From hair metal to Motown, indie rock to hip hop, we're all over the music map.  Try finding a band that can leap from Stevie Wonder to Black Eyed Peas in a single bound and not break the bank, I dare you. 

So, we're hiring a DJ!

I hit the internet, full speed ahead.  All I wanted was a cool and professional DJ that would keep us dancing all night--and NO CHEESE. That meant no line dances, no mic-hogging,  no props for our guests, and a great mix of music that we like.  After what felt like hours of research I stumbled upon the best intro I have ever read on a vendor's website, ever.  See for yourself:

  • We spin music that is different & creative without being obscure. You will love it & so will your guests.
  • We never EVER use wacky lights, smoke machines or hang banners at any event.
  • We never play line dances or the standard boring wedding or party fare.
  • We arrive dressed for a party, not dressed like clowns.
  • We emcee your wedding or party more minimally than the average wedding DJ.


Popshop! DJs are exactly what I had in mind.  They actually have a list of songs that they will not play unless you request them.  Songs like, "Macarena," and "The Electric Slide," will not be heard unless you, the host, make a point of asking for them.  Oh yeah!  One less thing to worry about!

I reached out to them and in a few days I was on the phone with a DJ that suited my tastes.  We spent about 40 minutes chatting about music and what I want to hear on our wedding day.  There was a back and forth element to our dialogue that I hadn't felt in previous conversations with other DJs. He wasn't just pitching his services to me, he was listening to my ideas and getting excited about them too!  And that, my friends, sealed the deal.  

We're going with Popshop!  

So what about you?  Did you hire a band or a DJ?  Or are you going the DIY route?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

How the Internet Makes Shoe Shopping Too Easy

With five months left until our wedding, you'd think I'd start being a little more decisive.  Well, I'd think that too and we'd all be wrong.

Case in point:  my wedding shoes.

A few weeks ago, I found myself browsing in search of nothing, really.  I was probably looking for shoe inspiration or a good deal, maybe both.  And what I found was Butter, a whole lot of it.  I'd heard of Butter before, the shoe line that was cute and comfortable but I never thought much of it.  How could anything marketed as comfortable actually be cute? 

And then my inner magpie caught a glimpse of the Cruz Peep Toe pump in gold glitter.  And with just a few clicks of the mouse, the lovely Cruz was mine.

Feeling a little unsure of the ruching detail on the Cruz, I picked up the Cleo in gold glitter too. 

By this point, I thought "hmm, I might need some color."  So I picked up the Season d'Orsay pump in "bleu," to round out my sparkly trio.   

Suddenly, I began to feel the little pangs of remorse in the pit of my stomach.  Three pairs of shoes?  THREE pairs of GLITTERED shoes?!  Maybe I was going I snatched up a pair of the Club peep toed pumps in gold leather.  Hooray for self control!

And just a few short days later, these gorgeous shoes were mine. They were soft, comfortable, and expertly handmade in Italy.  Seriously, if you want a pair of gorgeous shoes that you could conceivably wear for 8 hours without wincing once--Butter is the way to go.  

I persuaded myself to return all but one.  I'm not sure if I will wear them on our wedding day, but they are the current pick.  See?  Even a crazy shoe fiend like myself can have moments of clarity.  I couldn't imagine myself wearing the glittered shoes on my wedding day, and even though I wanted to keep a pair because they were so incredibly gorgeous, I had to say goodbye.  

But all it took was a moment of weakness and a good internet connection and poof! Shoemageddon 2011, delivered straight to my doorstep.

Have you found your wedding shoes yet?  Did you shop for them online or in person?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Work with Me Here, Please...

Dear Prospective Wedding Vendor, 

When I wrote you a few weeks ago, I was being sincere.
Has my email gone unread?  Was it something I said?  
Yes you're amazing and I'm sure your inbox is swamped.

Now, all I ask it that you please tell me you are unavailable.
Or an automated response that says "I got your email, thanks!"

Really, I liked your work a whole lot!  I LOVED your work. 
Egads, is that not good enough?! Ok, I SWOONED over your portfolio.
Please, just drop me a line.  Two words--tops.
Like "dream on," or "I'm booked."  See?  Easy-peasy.
Your silence makes me a bit sad, mmk?  No one likes to be ignored. 


Have you been surprised by vendors that never responded to you?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Calling June Cleaver!

After a long day of work last night, I stopped off at the grocery store to stock up for the week.  And this is exactly what I bought:

- 6 bags of frozen vegetable steamer packs
- 2 packs of pre-made chocolate protein shakes
- 5 boxes of organic prepared soup, boxed (because I have an aversion to soup of the canned persuasion)
- 1 bunch of bananas
- 1 large bottle of Belgian beer 

And that's it. 

A domestic goddess I am not.  

What did I do when I got home?  I popped one of those bags into the microwave and waited.  After 30 seconds I decided a potato was a necessary addition to meal.  So I scrubbed one up and got it ready to "bake" (aka poke 50 holes and nuke in the microwave à la college cuisine).  YUM.  And as I stabbed my delicious potato into oblivion, I heard the voice of my grandmother in the back of my mind say "and what is your husband going to eat?"

And then, for a brief second I panicked.  Oh my God, I'm going to be bad wife.

I find myself stuck between the old world and my modern existence.  To be fair, my mom raised me stand on my own two feet and taught me that I could be whatever I want when I grew up.  But, there was that conflicting message that came from the old country and every once in a (long) while, I hear the voices of the old guard.  "When are you going to learn to cook for your husband?  Who is going to teach your kids to clean, if you don't?"  

You get the point.  

So now, here I am, running head first into my late twenties and facing marriage.  And that voice is back, but I'm not listening. 

I don't cook.  At least not every day.  And I don't plan on it.  I clean when I need to, and I try to keep things neat.  But I will never befriend a bottle of bleach, mark my words. 

My phone rang just as I started to panic and it was the Bear.  His timing was perfect. So I let him have it, "oh my God, I'm going to suck as a wife. You're going to hate me because all I have to eat right now is steamed veggies and that's all I ever keep around except for wine and pasta. What are you going to eat?!"

And then he laughed at me (a lot), and asked me if I was nuts.  His response was "I like to cook.  Why are you worrying about this?  You like to cook with me, and if you don't want to help you don't have to.  And we can go to the grocery store together, so we both have stuff we want to eat."

I love that man.  Yes, he is a far better cook than me and he enjoys it.  Me?  I make a mean cocktail and decent baked goods.  And that's just fine for us.  

In the end, I was getting ahead of myself and letting these old school ideas of what a wife should be scare me into a whirlwind of doubt instead of being okay with the kind of wife I will be. Nothing needs to change about me, he knows what he's getting himself into.  

Phew...Irrational crisis averted. 

Anyone else find themselves worrying about what your life will be like after the wedding?  Even if it doesn't make much sense?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Please, Don't Eat The Decor

So far, the color palette for our decor is shaping up to be pretty modern and possibly lacking in, err, color.  There's lot of black and white.  And then there will be accents of gold in our mercury glass votives. But I need something to soften up the modern look, something that would take advantage of the season. We're getting married in JULY and I opted for black, white, and gold!  Festive, huh? I mean what's the fun of a Summer wedding, if you don't acknowledge the season?

And so, in that spirit, I'm letting my appetite take charge of the design,  much like the way I decorated many a dorm room, "pizza box chic," if you will(but not at all).

We're going to include some of my favorite Summer fruit into our decor!  

Like, strawberries:

Or some peaches, nectarines, and cherries:

And maybe some raspberries:

Pretty, right?  I'm not really sure what fruit we'll go with, but I have complete faith that our florist will do an amazing job.  When we sat down to talk about our centerpieces I told her that I want soft, romantic flowers, bold colors, and stone fruit.  And she loved the idea!

Now the only problem is, how do ask people to refrain from eating our centerpieces?  Quite the dilemma indeed...

How do you feel about incorporating fresh fruits or vegetables into your decor?

Right now, in the dead of Winter it almost goes without saying that I miss the Summer.  I miss the sun, I miss the warm temperatures, I miss the beach, and I miss Summer food!  And I don't mean burgers on the grill, I mean fruit (I'm not the biggest fan of burgers, shh).  Nothing says summer to me like ripe nectarines, peaches, plums and strawberries...mmm.  Hurry back Summer, I'm hungry!