Sunday, February 28, 2010


I don't know if anyone's noticed this but when it comes to DIY projects, I'm all about K.I.S.S.

As in, Keep It Simple, Stupid!  I lack the crafting skills of say, Miss Hotwings or Miss Cola.  They (along with many many other Bees and many of you lovely readers) are ridiculously talented.  I, on the other hand, am not.  I know my limits and most of the time, my desire to craft requires simple projects in order to keep everything from looking like a 5-year-old had a hand in making it.

Literally, every single one of my DIY projects have been blessedly simple.  Drink flags, paper flowers, signage, favors, none with more than 5 steps at the most. Yes, while I have not been gifted with craft talent, I am at least smart enough to figure out ways to simplify things so I can make 'em work.

Thus, our programs were borne and in keeping with the mantra of K.I.S.S., they are short, simple and sweet.

First, I had to figure out the content.  After meeting with our Rabbi and figuring out an order of events, I simply listed the order of the ceremony on one page, along with an explanation of Jewish wedding traditions below and on the other page, put the list of the major players (Bridal party, Rabbi, etc.)

And that's all thats going in them. Is that bad? Oh well, I just figured that was all the information guests would be interested in. Thinking about it now, it would've been nice to include a sentence or two from Mr Trail Mix and I welcoming everyone, thanking them for being here and wishing those who were no longer with us could be there.  Ooooops, too late now! Plus, I had no space to put anything like that...

Let's take a look at how I created them...

I ordered several packs of 5"x7" card stock in cream on sale from Paper Source (which seems to be the major player in wedding paper craft supplies) as well as lots of beautiful 8"x11" card stock in Pool.  Other materials used include a 1/8" hole puncher, raffia and glue dots:

(Personal Photo)

First, I printed out both pages of the program on the 5"x7" card stock.  This sounds simple but it actually took me a while to do since I not so good at that there computer schhtuff! Apparently, you need to tell the printer what size paper you're using.  It took me some time to make the computer and printer listen to me but they finally behaved and turned out this:

(Personal Photo)

Here's a shot of the dahlia image at the top that I found just by googling "Dahlia clip art" under Google images.

(Personal Photo)

I attached glue dots to the back of one of the printed-out cards and eye-balled it into one corner of the 8" x 11" paper, leaving about a 3/4" margin of blue on all sides.  Then I used my handy-dandy annoying, worthless, misbehaving, can't-cut-straight-to-save-it's-life paper cutter to somehow trim two of the edges.

(Personal Photo)

Once it was all nicely cut out, I glue-dotted the other page of the program to the back and punched out two small holes at the top.

(Personal Photo)

Loop a short piece of raffia through the two holes, tie it in a nice knot and voila! One stupidly simple program!

(Personal Photo)

(Personal Photo)

I then got really wild and made a few with in yellow as well...

(Personal Photo)

Aren't they so sweet? Pretty easy and cost-effective as well, which makes these the perfect type of program for those of us not talented enough to attempt such complicated crafts like the accordion program a la Miss Cupcake or the circle program a la Miss Cheeseburger.  

Here's a question for you all: How many of these should I make if we're expecting 175 guests? There's no way I'm doing 175, three separate co-workers all said they had tons of leftover programs at their weddings when they made one per person.  Any suggestions?

I've made about 15 so far and was planning on making about 100, so I suppose that means only 85 left to go...Good thing I've still got some time until the wedding!

Are you a K.I.S.S. crafter or a real crafter? Are your programs simple or complex?

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Women's Right to Shoes

Yes, I may have ripped that title right from Sex and the City (or on second thought, was it Choos? As in Jimmy? Hmmmm.)

Anyways, a more accurate (albeit longer) title of this post could have been this: Miss Trail Mix vs JCrew in a battle of the wedding shoes. 

Witness my shoe evolution (ridiculous me bought 4 different pairs of shoes for the wedding over the course of 7 months, shhhhhh! And YES, they were all from JCrew.  I have a problem, I know, shush.) 

First, way back in July, I scored the Caribe Espadrilles on sale for only $40! This was when I was envisioning yellow shoes a la Mrs Joey and more casual feel for our wedding...

(Personal Photo)

They came, arrived, fit, looked beautiful BUT...The mule style had the back flipping and flapping a bit, which made me nervous.  I decided to keep 'em for the rehearsal dinner and move on with my search.

A quick PSA regarding JCrew sale items and returns.  I've found that even though their website states that all final sale items cannot be returned, I've had no trouble calling customer service, playing the wedding card and having them make a note of the item on my account, allowing me to return it to a store for a refund.  And if that doesn't work, take the tag off the item, play dumb in the store and at least return it for a credit. It's better than nothin'!

Alright, we now return to our regularly-scheduled programming...

Next up, the Joley pearlized-patent peep-toes (these are still available in a number of sizes and colors for between $70-$80, plus 30% off!):

Super-pretty but missing the "snazz" factor. I considered shoe clips but still wasn't convinced.  Next! 

Then I found these lovely, gold Joley patent-pumps:

Ah hah, getting closer.  I loved these and was set on them until a month later, when JCrew came out with a peep-toe version and it was game over.  I exchanged the pump for these:

(Personal Photo)

(Personal Photo)

Ahhhhhh, me likes sparkly things!!! 

In a series of mis-communications with JCrew, I somehow ended up with two pairs of these babies but was able to return one pair easily (which technically brings my total number of bought shoes to five...ack!)

I've managed to not buy any more shoes since then (although I confess, I was seriously tempted by these gold, strappy ones but managed to restrain myself. Oh, fine, just because we all like to look at shoes, I'll show a picture of those too...)

FYI, these are also still available in a number of colors and sizes for $100 + %30 off!

I do love my beautiful crackly, gold peep-toe shoes though and my bridesmaid's are going to wear gold shoes too and they are worth lifting up the hem of my dress to show off.  Game, set, match,

And so, dear friends, at the end of this drawn out saga, I think we can safely say that in the battle of Miss Trail Mix versus JCrew's shoe sale section, the score is Miss Trail Mix- 1, JCrew- 0.  Success!

Did you have a long, drawn-out shoe saga or was it a quick and dirty decision? 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Tisket, A Tasket...

I decorated some baskets!  And a wreath, if we're going to be picky.  What does a lazy, sunny Sunday with the girls equal? An arts and crafts bonanza! Well, for most of us, anyways...

Some of us were obviously out later than others (and you know it weren't me cuz my definition of a late night means staying up past 10:00pm.)

Anyways, here's what we created in between watching movies like The Sweetest Thing and Pirates of the Carribbean and lazing on the couch/bed.

From left to right, that is the card basket, a random wreath for decor and a bathroom basket.

The card basket was definitely the most fun to make.  I started with this super-simple basket my mom had lying around the house leftover from a holiday floral arrangement.  I know a blank canvas when I see one and I snatched it up and took it home, ready to make it over...

After several false starts and varying opinions, a consensus was finally reached about the best way to dress up my basket.  I took some lovely blue grosgrain ribbon I found while digging through the dollar bin at Michael's (yeah, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, love me that dollar bin!) and started threading it through the side of the basket.

Once I got all the way through one side, I anchored the insides of the weaved ribbon with healthy doses of hot glue and here it is:

Remember my super-easy paper flowers? Well, I finally got to put some of those to use.  I hot-glued a few randos about the basket to add some "flair." Looked like this when I was done...

And finally, I threaded the bottom with an ivory grosgrain ribbon to prevent the cards from falling out, again securing the bottom with a hot glue gun.

I may add a small sign that simply says "cards" to the basket but I'm not sure if it's necessary or not.

I was on such a roll with my paper flower-prettifying, I couldn't stop with just the basket.  I busted out this random wreath I got at (where else?) Michael's for about $3.50 and hot-glued a bunch more.

No idea what we'll use this for but I think it's so pretty, it will have to incorporated somewhere in the decor.

And finally, finally, we reached the end of our creativity and I kept the decorations on the bathroom basket simple and sweet: two bows, one on either side and a sign that says "Help yourself!"

Imagine this filled with everything you might want in a bathroom basket...

And one more shot, for good measure (notice the wreath is lying down this time.)

*All are personal photos

It was so nice to have my girlfriends over to craft, I'm used to just keeping myself occupied during the week.  Making it a social event definitely upped the fun factor. And I trust their opinions and taste-level way more than my own, so I like to think these all came out way better than if I had done it myself.

A few minor details I'd like your opinions on:

1.  Should I add a sign to the card basket or leave it as is? Will guests know what it's for without a sign?

2.  Do you like the wreath hanging vertically or laying horizontally (potentially around a large candle in a holder?)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Evolution of Dance

Don't worry, there will be no wacky, choreographed first dance at the Trail Mix wedding (although I do love a good Evolution of Dance :)  But it took us a while to come up with the right songs for our three dances at the beginning of the reception.

Obviously, number one is the (duh) first dance. Right after Mr Trail Mix and I got engaged, we briefly discussed using "The Idea of You," a Dave Matthews Band song that we both love.  But to be honest, we've never had what we would consider to be "our song" and it seemed a little random just to pick a song without having some sentimentality attached (I'm a total guppie when it comes to sentimentality. Can ya tell?)

Then while out running one day, a random, just-downloaded song came onto my iPod and I had an "Oooooooh, this song is PERFECT!!!!!!!" moment (What? You don't have them too?)

Behold, our first dance song, Sonny and Cher's "I Got You, Babe!"

Teehee, every time I listen to it, I get this huge grin on my face. Why is this song perfect for our first dance? Well, as all our friends can attest, "Babe" is pretty much the only thing we call each other.  I've been made fun of more than once for it but I can't help it, he's just my "babe" and vice versa. 

It's also a little more upbeat than the traditional slow song and we're going to break tradition even more by inviting our guests to join us on the dance floor after the first verse and get a giant sing-along going! I think most people know at least the chorus of this song (There's only one line and it's the title of the song.)  And while it's not The Beatles, it definitely goes with the vintage, mildly-hippie theme of the wedding. 

After we've christened the dance floor, next up is the Horah.  I'm so excited (and a little nervous, although I've never heard any catastrophes resulting from it) to go up in the chair! Plus, it's a really fun song to dance and it gets everyone out on the dance floor. 

And then, finally, we'll have the father-daughter/mother-son dance.  I wanted to give FMIL Trail Mix a chance to dance with Mr TM and I wanted to dance with my dad too but felt like our guests might be bored silly watching two parent-child dances.  So we (ha, ok, fine, it was mostly me) thought long and hard before finally picking a song that has what I think are some of the most poignant lyrics regarding parenthood ever- John Lennon's "Beautiful Boy."

Only instead of boy, our band is going to sing child, making the song gender-neutral! And come one, tell me the line "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans" doesn't slay you every time.  I think it's pretty hard not to be moved by this song.

I think that our music selections are a good mix of sentimentality and fun, songs that people will enjoy listening to and dancing too and will appeal to all generations present.  

How did you choose your first dance song? Did you guys have an "our song" option or did it evolve over time?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Menu

Since I've spilled the beans on our appetizer selection, as well as introduced our caterer, I suppose it would make sense to talk about our menu.  I have to say, I'm really excited about the food we'll be serving.

First off, along with our hot passed hors d'voeuvres (I swear, I have to look up how to spell that word every single time.  Those tricky French.) we'll be having a cheese, fruit and crackers station and a vegetable crudite/mediterranean spread, including hummus and baba ganoush. Mmmm mmm GOOD! Our caterer has promised to make us up a plate of all the appetizers so we get to actually eat some during the all the picture-taking.

Me loves cheeese!

After stuffing their faces at our cocktail hour, guests will get a chance to rest and digest a bit as we begin the evening's festivities with the first dance, the father/daughter/mother/son dance and the Horah! I'm hoping all that dancing will help everyone work up an appetite for the actual dinner, since I know I usually get so full at the cocktail hour that I rarely eat dinner at a wedding.  But our food is going to be too good to pass up (at least, that's the theory...)

You already know about our dueling salads, which will be classic caesar or mixed greens with goat cheese, raspberries, walnuts and a balsamic vinaigrette, served family style so guests can have both, should they desire. 

Which do you prefer? Personally, I intend to try both!

After the salad, the main course will also be served family style.  Guests will have the choice of filet au poivre, red snapper with a pesto cilantro sauce and/or portabella mushroom ravioli in a sage butter sauce.  The side dishes will be roasted baby red potatoes, seasonal vegetables and fresh bread from the local bakery. Oh man, my stomach is growling just typing this!

I'll have one of each, thankyouverymuch!

Although we didn't set out to design our menu with a theme in mind, I think it's evolved into what I like to call Country American Nouveau (there's another on of those hard-to-spell French words! I guess I shouldn't be surprised since this is a food post but I'm getting sick of having to look up every other word in my dictionary!)

We'll be finishing it all off with some delicious strawberry shortcake (served in the shape of a heart, no less. I DIE.)

And since we all know how the combination of dancing and drinking can work up quite an appetite, there will be late-nite snacks served around 11:00 pm, including chips and flat-bread pizzas.  Oh yes, true story.

We opted for family style as a compromise between a buffet (my original plan) and a plated dinner (what Mr Trail Mix wanted.)  Serving the food family style has a number of benefits: Guests can have as much of everything as they want, much like a buffet, but do not need to get up out of their chairs and carry their plates (which was a concern of ours for some of our older guests.)  It also allows friendly interactions between members of the table, which will hopefully break the ice for those who don't know one another.

All in all, I'm incredibly pleased with how our menu turned out.  Personally, I'm looking forward to trying the Red Snapper with cilantro pesto sauce because I am a sucker for anything with cilantro. Debbie from Spice of Life Catering offered so many options, we could have gone any number of directions with the food but I think this menu really fits the theme and feel of the wedding.  Nothing overdone or pretentious, just good, simple and (most importantly) tasty food.

So folks, that's our menu, what do you think? Did you menu evolve over time or were you able to make a quick and easy decision about the food? Do you plan on actually eating at your wedding? (I'm hoping to but I know it's going to be tough to get a chance to sit down and actually eat!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Loehmann's Love

Yesterday I had the opportunity to do something I've been holding back on lately: Shopping.  I'll fully admit, I do love to get my shop on.  But thanks to burgeoning wedding costs, I've restrained myself for the last year or so (And by restrain I mean "shopped less." You didn't think I gave it up altogether now, did ya?)

However, I had the day off (holla for a teacher's schedule!) and decided to pay a visit to my beloved mecca of discounted fashion merchandise.   I told myself I was just scouting out rehearsal dinner dresses with no intention to buy...Don't worry, I didn't actually come home with a dress but I did fall in love with one.

Anyways, have I mentioned how much I love Loehmann's? I'm pretty sure I have but in case you missed it, there it is.  I love Loehmann's.  It's gotten to the point where Mr Trail Mix knows the drill whenever I enter the apartment with a Loehmann's shopping bag.  It varies by item but usually involves me making him guess how much I paid for said item and how much it retailed for originally.  Some of my finds include my gorgeous Beth Bowley engagement dress, Seven for All Mankind jeans, a Cynthia Steffe sundress, Missoni sunglasses, Kate Spade flats...

Good stuff, all well below the retail price.  I think it's the thrill of the hunt that I love; you just never know what you might score.  It's kinda along the same lines as my flea marketing obsession. I will also confess that I'm a brand junkie but I just refuse to pay exorbitant prices, which makes Loehmann's the perfect place for me.

I found a few rehearsal dinner dresses that I liked and one that I loved.  Take a look (all photos taken by yours truly):

This pale blue silk Cynthia Rowley halter matched my wedding palette and I was loving the white sash but the halter style without a tie-option wasn't doing much for me and my awkwardly-shaped bod.  

I adored this Tracy Reese dress when I tried it on and it fit me perfectly! But I the colors were a little darker than I had been envisioning for my June clambake rehearsal dinner and I so it got vetoed (although I did stand and twirl in it for a good five minutes.)

And then I tried (or tried to try on) this one.  And oh doctor, it was game over.  It was another Tracy Reese dress and the details are just perfect.

A pale pink silk that fluttered when I walked. Empire-waisted with beaded details on the on the top. The gold ribbon-bow hanging down.

*Heart flutters!

Those thicker white circles are pearly, almost like shells.  Oh, how I loved this dress.  Alas (you knew this was coming,) even though the label said it was a size four and I'm usually a size two or zero (on a good day,) the zipper just would not budge over my rib cage.  I tried, I really did.  I twisted it every which way, trying to get that stubborn device up.  I asked the salesgirl to give me a hand.  But no dice.  Damn, damn double damn!

I briefly considered buying it anyways and then bringing it to tailor to have it taken out.  But I was unsure of whether that would even work and honestly, the dress was $100 and when you add in alterations, I didn't want to gamble on that much moolah. Having a dress taken in is one thing, having it taken out is a whole 'nother ballgame.


Instead, I had to settle for a gorgeous, new bikini from Tibi and let my dreams of this pink-and-gold confection fade into the distance.  

Isn't my bathing suit pretty though?

I justified it by telling myself I deserve a new one for our honeymoon and I think it will be perfect when we're lounging on the beaches of...Ha! You thought I was going to give my honeymoon location away without blogging about it.  As if! No, that will have to wait for another day but due to a surprising/interesting turn of events, we're very close to making a final decision.

Do you love Loehmann's (or other discount stores like Marshall's, TJ Maxx, etc) like I do? Have you bought any new fun clothing for your honeymoon?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Always Better When We're Together

While Mr Trail Mix and I have had our share of adventures together over the years, we're by no means an adventurous couple.  We're pretty happy to be asleep by 9:30 on a Saturday night after Chinese take-out and tv. Yeah, we're lame like that.

But sometimes ya gotta shake things up and get out of your rut, which is what we did on Sunday when I got my Miami-born-and-raised fiance to slide down a snowy mountain with two little sticks attached to his feet.  Yes, my mister had his first skiing experience at the age of 27 and I think he had a good time, by gosh!

As a Valentine's day present, I gifted him with a lesson that included rentals and a lift pass, along with some sweet NorthFace snow pants.  We ate our picnic lunch together in the lodge, chatted it up on the chair lifts (We saw an underwear tree...Why on earth do people throw their undergarments onto a tree near the chairlift? And more importantly, how?? Aren't they super-cold? I digress...) and really just enjoyed the experience together.

(Personal Photo)

Check out Mr Trail Mix shreddin' some gnarly pow! 

(Personal Photo)

How can you not love a man who meets you at the bottom of the ski mountain with a hot chocolate in one hand and a beer in the other? 

We sat outside by the fire pit, enjoyed our beverages and reflected on the day, ultimately declaring it a success.

It was so fun to finally have him experience something that I've loved doing since high school (I started boarding at age 15 and in my tiny, rural town, there wasn't much else to do during the winters, so I used to practically live on the mountain!)  Truth be told, I hope that this is not our last ski adventure and am dreamily having visions of family vacations in Vail (after we win the lottery, HA!)

Sometimes it's really easy to get into a routine, which makes sharing new experiences together a less common event.  But it's an important part of any relationship; it gives you something to talk about, to reminisce over coffee five years from now, to integrate into your lives, should you choose. 

I am so excited to share many more new experiences with my future-hubs.  As the ever-insightful Ben Harper sings, Mr Trail Mix truly does

"put the happy in my ness and the good times into my fun."

What about you all, done anything fun with your SO lately? What new experiences have you shared together?

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Decision From the Hive

Before we get down to the decision-making part of this post, let me give a little back-story...

Since we had hired our caterer and picked a menu without doing a tasting, she offered to let us try a bunch of different appetizers before making a decision.  Mad props to Debbie of Spice of Life Catering for doing this for us because it was a whole lotta food-n-fun!

So Mr Trail Mix and I journeyed north from the big city up to my parents' house, where Debbie laid down an array of appetizers we had asked to try from her list of what felt like hundreds of options.

First off, the highlight of the weekend happened within five minutes of us arriving (we were a bit late...Blame my three glasses of wine at a girls dinner the night before...Whooops.) Mr Trail Mix sat down on one of our kitchen chairs, ready to eat, and before any of us could say 'Boo,' there was a loud crack and suddenly my honey was on the floor with the chair looking like this:

(Personal Photo)

Luckily, the mister has a sense of humor about this stuff and didn't take it too personally when I pretty much peed my pants laughing.  Great start to the tasting!

The food only improved our mood, since it pretty much rocked the house.

We tried marinated thai steak, stuffed mushrooms, salmon bruschetta, chicken dumplings, spring rolls, sushi, spanakopita, chicken and cilantro bites, samosas and ricotta mozzarella bruschetta.  It looked like this:

(Personal Photo)

Mom and Pop Trail Mix, gettin' their eat on (with the lovely Debbie in the background!):

(Personal Photo)

Mmmmmmm, chicken cilantro bites...Kinda like a fancy chicken nugget.  You know this one made the cut...

(Personal Photo)

It took some serious discussion but we finally decided on the marinated thai beef (served chilled with a peanut sauce...major YUM,) aforementioned chicken cilantro bites, smoked salmon bruschetta with capers and creamcheese, sushi (california roll and eel roll) and...

This, my dear Hive members, is where you all come in handy.  Help us decide on the 5th passed hors d'oeuvre.  We want it to be a vegetarian option so it's between the stuffed mushroom or spanakopita (both of which were bangin'.)

It was a tie in my house, with Debbie refusing to break the tie and so I turn to you all: Which would you prefer for a passed hot appetizer during the cocktail reception?

Option A: Stuffed mushrooms with goat cheese, parmesean, breadcrumbs and parsley
Option B: Spanakopita (phyllo dough with layers of spinach and cheese)

Much thanks in advance for your help!

PS- Another quick, funny story for you guys...Mr Trail Mix thoughtfully got me a few pairs of the rather posh Hankypanky underwear that I adore and a few pairs of the poshly-cushioned Asics Kayano II running sock.  I'll give you one guess which gift I was more excited about...File that one under the "You know you're a runner when..." category :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Beat(les) Goes On

"All you need is love!"

"She loves you, yeah yeah yeah! And with a love like that, you know you should be glad."

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

Well, if you haven't guessed by now, those are all quotes from Beatles' songs.  To put it bluntly, I.  HEART.  THE BEATLES.  Like, know pretty much every single song, most of them by heart, and could listen to only Beatles songs for the rest of my life and be quite content.

So it made sense to ditch the traditional Canon in D for the processional, embrace the hippie-dippie vibe of my wedding and request the lead singer of our band to play a few acoustic/instrumental Beatles songs for the processional and recessional. Plus, he agreed to do it at no extra cost since they'll have to be at the venue setting up anyways, so I managed to save a few hundred smackaroos by not hiring ceremony musicians.

While Mr Trail Mix, his parents and our bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle,  The Characters will be playing an instrumental version of "Here Comes the Sun:"

I think this song is so simple, sweet and speaks to new beginnings. I almost always tear up when I hear it and since I'm sure I'll already be crying at this point anyways, might as well go hog wild and really get my tear on.

And then for my grand entrance, I'll be walking down the aisle to The Beatles' "In My Life."  This is my all-time, hands-down, number one favorite song of all time.  I love the lyrics; they tug at my heartstrings in a way no other song does.  I'll share the song with you all but I want to first share my favorite quote from it:

"But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I loved you more..."

Ah, see, I'm sitting here crying just typing that out.  I don't know what it is about this song but it gets me every time.

And finally, after all the tears have been shed, vows have been recited, rings have been exchanged, we've kissed and broken a glass, it's time to walk back down the aisle as husband and wife! This requires a fun song that reflects the joy in the occasion, that everyone will know and can sing along to if they want. I haven't actually fully decided between "All You Need is Love,"

Or "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends,"

Or "I Want To Hold Your Hand."

It's a tough call, they're all pretty awesome songs.  So what do you all think? Which song should I use for my recessional? Do you love the Beatles like I love the Beatles?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Smells Like Rejection

I'm a sensitive girl.  I cry at commercials and take things too personally. I know this about myself (self-awareness is a biotch!) but it's not an easy character trait to change.  I'm working on it but I've got a long way to go.

Just call me Miss Cries-A-Lot!

So you'll understand why I cried when I found out another one of my bridesmaids won't be able to attend my shower.  It was an honest mistake and I know she feels badly about the whole thing but it still hurts to think about her not being there.  Two bridesmaids - One shower = A sad Trail Mix.

I've come to the realization during the wedding planning process that rejection is inevitable.  This is a somewhat irrational feeling though. Obviously,  not everyone will be able to attend every single event (and I've been totally spoiled with several soirees related to the engagement/wedding.) But whenever I get a "No" RSVP to anything, it's hard not to feel personally rejected.

The normal, rational, calm, smart side of my brain says "Trail Mix, cool it.  You can't have everyone there for every single event. It's just the way it works.  Get over it and stop being a silly, sensitive girl about these things." But then the crazy, emotional (dare I say it? No, I shan't...Let's just say sometimes I remind myself of a certain bridal Japanese monster whose two-syllable name rhymes with "Side" and "Killah") side of my brain takes over and I cry and think "WAAAAH! I just want everyone that I love there! It's my wedding and my friends and I JUST WANT IT TO BE HOW I WANT IT!" Usually, my rational side manages to quell my crazy side before I can do any real damage but it's always a heated internal debate.

Proof that once again, no one cares as much about your wedding as you do? Possibly (Ok, fine, in my case it's totally true.) But I don't think that's really the issue here.  Life gets in the way of these events, random things pop up, which most of the time I like to think I'm understanding about.  But sometimes, it just sucks.

I find myself repeating the cliched mantra of "It's not me, it's you" over and over when it comes to RSVP's.  Just because someone cannot attend one of my wedding event, does not mean that they do not love me or does not want to come.  Like I said before, life gets in the way, I totally understand that. But it's just so hard not to take it as a personal rejection sometimes!

I know I'm not the only one experiencing this, I've seen lots of posts related to the issue during my tenure here on the 'Bee.  So I'm curious to know, how do you deal with the "personal rejection" feelings? Are you sensitive about these things like I am? Or are you better than that and able to accept that life gets in the way without taking it personally?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wedding Etiquette Circa 1974

A friend recently showed me a book she was (jokingly) gifted with after getting engaged this past fall.  It is serious and well-intentioned yet so unintentionally hilarious.

Carolyn Gibson's Complete Guide to Wedding Etiquette, published in 1974 (which is about exactly where it should stay.)

 It was pretty evident from the illustrations which era this book was published...

1974 Bridal fashion

A few choice excerpts (including my own commentary):

"It is best not to select a bridesmaid or Matron of honor who is noticeable pregnant, as some unavoidable attention is always focused on her..."

I saw a pregnant bridesmaid at a wedding this fall and she was radiantly gorgeous. Stupid rule and thankfully is rarely adhered to anymore. Celebrate those bumps, mamas!

"Small boys wear simple white Eton suits with short pants and white knee socks and white or black socks. Long pants or funny replicas of adult outfits are not appropriate."

Ha! Who knew it was innapprope to have your ring bearer wear long pants!

"If there is a bachelor party, it should be scheduled for two or three days before the wedding. It may be given by the groom, his parents, by the best man or or by the groomsmen."

Hmmmmm, apparently the author has never seen a little movie called "The Hangover."

Note the awesome 70's hairdos and the cheesy illustrations of the "required on every registry" items:

As hysterical as this book was, it also got me to thinking about how straightforward the rules seem in this book.  The author almost never offers an alternative to what is "done".  No wonder our grandmothers' expect one thing, our mothers' expect another and you just want to do what you want to do, gosh darnit!

The rules were strict back then, it seems.  I guess we really shouldn't be surprised when our grandmother's and mother's gasp, taken aback, at some of our "modern" wedding ideas (the mustache trend is a prime example of this!)  Ah, well, can ya blame 'em? I mean, look at all the rules they had to deal with.  It's not easy to realize the times have changed but all I can say is thank goodness they did!

Anyone else read or seen this book or something similar from the time period? How traditionally are you following etiquette rules?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sticker Shock Over Dress Alterations

Ok, we all know that weddings are inexpensive the same way that Heidi Klum is ugly.  Or in the same way that Donald Trump is poor.  Or in the way that Heidi Montag is a talented, genuine celebrity.  In other words, they're not. I know this, I've come to terms with the massive amounts of money being spent on the wedding and while I'm not thrilled about it, there's not much I can do at this point.

How I feel about wedding planning sometimes!

So why am I in such sticker shock over the price of my dress alterations? When I bought my lovely, divine, dreamy dress back in June, I knew that there was a lot of work to be done in order for it to fit properly.  And while the Kleinfeld's associate told me her guess on the cost of the alterations, I kind of assumed she was quoting me on the high side since it is a rather posh place (For the record, Kleinfeld's wouldn't do the work themselves because they only do alterations for dresses that cost more than $3,000.  Yeeeeesh.)

I've made some inquiries at three different tailors in New York City and let me tell you, alteration prices are bonkers.  The first one, Pinpoint Bridal, had a minimum of $375 and gave me a very rough estimate of $600.  OUCH!

The next two I called were slightly more reasonable (Ellen's Couture and Nelson's) but still really effin' expensive.  It was at this point that I realized that Kleinfeld's may not have been overestimating at all.  Oh crap.

At this point, the extra couple of hundred dollars the alterations are costing me are honestly just a drop in the giant bucket of money I sometimes picture myself shaking out over the top of the Empire State Building.  Ah, well, money was made to be spent, right? Or at least, that's what I tell myself on my self-imposed guilt trips galore. I haven't decided whether to keep looking for a better-priced tailor or just accept the fact that I'll be spending a few hundred dollars more than anticipated but time is ticking away and I need to get started with these alterations ASAP. I'll let you know what I decide and how it goes...

What was your big "sticker shock" item? Did you try to find a more affordable option or just accept it?

Running: Getting Started

Based on some feedback from other posts, I thought I might offer up some tips for anyone looking to start running on a regular basis (A semi-regular basis is cool too! Anything is better than nothing :) )      

First off, you need decent running shoes.  NOT the old pair of New Balances you've had for four years that you also wear to run errands and do yard work.  I'm talking about a pair of sneakers that fits you well, feels comfortable, offers you some sort of support and/or cushioning and that you only use for running or working out. I know this is somewhat of an investment but you'll thank me for this advice later, I promise.

I rock the Asics GT 2140

But Brooks, Saucony, Mizuno, Nike and Adidas all make great shoes as well. 

Ok, now that we're in a solid running shoe, it's time to start well...running.

I devised a sample workout plan for a beginner runner:

Monday- 25:00 walk at a brisk pace, finish with 2:00-3:00 jog at the very end.

Tuesday- Alternate :30 seconds of running with 3:00 walking for anywhere between 25:00-35:00, depending on what you feel up for.

Wednesday- Cross-train.  Hope on an elliptical, stairmaster, stationary bike or go for a hike, swim or pilates class.

Thursday- Rest.  Just as important as any other day.

Friday- Repeat Tuesday's workout but only take 1:30-2:30 walking rest.

Saturday- Go to a track, or work out what a one-mile course would be near your house (MapMyRun is very helpful for this...So is the odometer on your car) and run one timed mile.  If you can't run the whole thing, just walk when you need to but include the walking portion as part of your overall mile time.

Sunday- Cross-train.

Once Tuesday's and Friday's intervals start to feel easy, you can bump up your running time to :45 seconds or 1:00, whatever you feel capable of.  Continue to build the interval time as you get stronger and more comfortable running. You can also continue to add a minute or two each week to Monday's workout (so after a few weeks, you might walk for 20:00 and run for 5:00, etc.)

Once your mile time has decreased significantly, make it a timed two-mile workout.  You'd surprised at how easily 2-3 miles can become with regular workouts.

Thats it! Nothing more than 30 minutes a day could very easily have you running 2-3 miles non-stop.  Now it's up to you guys to get out and go run. The weather's going to start warming-up pretty soon and it's such a wonderful thing to go for a nice jog outside when spring is in the air.

Anyone else have some beginner running tips to share? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Vintage Scarves

I am obsessed with vintage scarves and handkerchiefs.

Whenever I'm flea marketing/thrift storing, I'm always drawn to beautiful, printed scarves but can never come up with a good idea for a way to display or use them.  Yet, I still find myself buying hordes, mostly because they are super cheap (Usually just a dollar or two.) 

When I saw this picture, I immediately thought it was a beautiful yet easy/cheap decor option...

So simple. And so pretty.  

Thank you, Jill Thomas Photography, for now giving me a good reason to go pick up a few new scarves on my next flea market extravaganza...

Who knows, these may just have to make an appearance somewhere in the wedding weekend...