Monday, May 31, 2010

My Plan Backfired

Remember how I was all into running and stuff, even managing to complete a little race called the Boston Marathon? I thought it would be the perfect way to get in shape and look dynamite for the wedding.  And yes, training for the marathon buffed up my bod like no other work out will.

And that's the problem, folks.  Now that it's been more than a month since the marathon, I just can't find the willpower to workout much.  But I'm still downing pints of Ben and Jerry's like I've run 10 miles that day.  Anyone else see qhat's wrong with that equation?

So yes, sadly, I've actually gained a bit since the marathon, completely derailing my plan of getting in shape and then maintaining that physique from race day to wedding day.  It's hard to force yourself to go for a run when there's a lovely, cold glass of white wine and a hunk of brie waiting for you out on the patio when one gets home from work (the bonus of having an unemployed fiance!)

Oh well, it's not really a big deal, although I am a little bit disappointed because, like most of us, I am hoping to present the best version of myself at the wedding but it just might not be in the cards.  It's more annoying than anything else. I guess I'll just have to bank on the week before the wedding, since I have heard that bride-to-be's tend to lose weight that week with everything going on. Fingers crossed!

Is anyone else find that the warm weather makes ice cream and white wine too appealing to turn down? What have you done to get in shape for your wedding??

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Check Out That Package

With only two weeks left until the wedding, there's been loads of presents arriving on our doorstep almost daily (hence my first-name relationship with our UPS man.  I think he likes me because we live on a 5th-floor walk-up and I always walk down a flight or two to meet him because he's really old and I always worry he won't be able to make it up all the stairs!)

Anyways, trusty UPS man showed up the other day with this box.

Sweetness, I thought.  Wonder what it is?

Could it be a lovely, wooden bowl, perfect for housing salads and Halloween candy?

Nope, it wasn't the salad bowl...

Or maybe it's this pretty blue pan, just waiting for me to bake a yummy apple pie (HA! That, my friends, will probably never happen.)

Another good guess but incorrect again.

Alright, are you ready to see what was actually in this box? Check it...

I kid you not, that entire box housed...wait for it, wait for ice cream scoop!

To put it in perspective, here's a shot taken a step back so you can see how ridiculously big the box was compared to the scoop (it's a normal ice cream scoop here, people, not a jumbo-sized one.  Although, let's be honest, a jumbo ice cream scoop would be pretty freakin' awesome.)

Please don't mis-understand this post, I am in no way knocking the gift because, well, I eat ice cream like it's my mutha-f$#&ng job.  For real. Trying to scoop it out with a spoon is annoying because the spoon always bends backwards and truth be told, I was secretly really really hoping someone would get this for us when I put it on our registry. It also goes perfectly with our ice-cream maker (which we also got.  Yeah, like I said before, I'm a piggie-wiggie about ice cream and everyone knows it! :) )

Plus, the scoop was actually part of a 3-part gift (the pie pan and a kitchen timer were also part of the present) but get this: They came in their own separate package.  Oh, the irony.

I totally get that William Sonoma has to make sure their products arrive in good condition, but seriously, folks over there? The 2-foot box was probably a little bit of overkill but y'all can rest assured that my solid, metal ice cream scoop arrived at my doorstep with nary a scratch.

Anyways, it makes for a hilarious story but my inner-hippie is giving me some guilt pangs over all the packaging and waste that our wedding is creating.  It's not that I haven't tried to keep things green when possible, I have, I really have, I swear! But with all my DIY projects and paper products and favors and the shipping of gifts, there's definitely a significant amount of stuff going in our trash (and recycling bins, when possible!)

And so, in order to somehow assuage this guilt, I've decided that we will be donating a percentage of our gift money to an environmental organization, although I have not figured out which one yet (any suggestions would be welcome.) I know it doesn't equal the amount of waste we've created but every little bit helps and I'll sleep better at night.

Have you received gifts in ridiculous packaging? I know Miss Hot Wings has! And what are you doing to keep your wedding green and low-impact? 

Monday, May 24, 2010

A Big Fat Hair Trial Success!

My hair-guru bridesmaid Jdubs was in town this weekend for my bachelorette party (way more on that caraaaayziness to come as soon as I have all the pics!) and we managed to find a bit of down-time to work on a majorly important detail of the wedding: my hair.

Jdubs not only grew up in a salon but now is a representative for a very upscale hair product company called Oribe.  So basically, girlfriend pretty much rocks the shiznit outta hair, which is awesome for me because my hair-styling skills are wash, rinse, repeat.

I told her I wanted it to look natural, not too over-done and that I wanted to go curly.

Here's the before picture of my crazy/frizzy/wavy/ridiculous hair (also, this is pre-make-up. Yikes! :) )

And that Master Of All Things Hair managed to somehow tame the wild beast into this:

Isn't it lovely? I think she totally nailed the hippie Taylor Swift/Drew Barrymore look I was going for! And yes, I'm 100% serious with that previous statement, I love both of those entertainers and their hair!

I'm still planning on going with a little wreath of flowers as my embellishment but after the trial, we decided to also ask my florist to do a single flower hairpin as well, in case the wreath just turns out to be a bit much.

Here's what the back looked like...

I was so happy with how it came out! It held up well through the night and even looked really cute at brunch the next day. Good to know I won't have to shower or anything before heading to our morning-after brunch the weekend of the wedding because this dirty hippie avoids showering like the plague (for real. I find it really annoying.)  Anything to save some time and get a little extra shut-eye that Sunday morning afterwards...

Here's one final shot of me with my make-up done similar to how we'll do it for the wedding...

Ahhhhhh, amazing how make-up just makes everything better, eh? 

Anyways, it was so fun to get a preview of how I'm hoping to look for the big day and I have to say, I felt really, really pretty.  Which is a good thing, because a deep, dark little secret fear of mine is that I'll feel ugly and not pretty at the wedding.  So now I've been re-assured that this whole pretty thing isn't that hard to pull off if you have a killer hair stylist and actually wear some make-up.  Note to self :)

How did your hair and make-up trial go? Do you worry about feeling pretty and all bridal-like for your wedding too or is that just me? 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Come Together

Dudettes, the wedding is so close, I can't stand it! It feels like time is going in slow motion but still whizzing by.  Surprisingly, I seem to have finally found my zen place about the whole thing.  Yes, I've still got a few butterflies lurking in my stomach but for the most part, I'm just dang excited to get the party started!

Anyways, the cool thing about fast approaching the date is that, for the most part, there are no more projects to stress over because almost everything is done (I guess my obsessive habits earlier in the planning process have paid off, eh?)

So I took the opportunity to get together all my paper products that I've created during the past eight months and I'm so pleased with the overall results.  It's the perfect mish-mosh of shades of yellow and blue, with accents of ivory and raffia.

What you see here includes my programs, table numbers, invitation suite, chair sign, menu, escort cards and other random signage.  I made everything except the actual invitation and RSVP card.  Not too shabby, right? Well, it is a little shabby-chic but that's the look I was going for, so that's cool...

It's fun to see a bunch of my projects all together to get a sense of the wedding look and I'm pleasantly surprised at how everything's coming together.  I mean, for the amount of blood, sweat and tears I put into these things, they damn well better look good, ha!

How are all your DIY projects coming along? Are you pleased with the results? Did you achieve the look you were hoping for?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gotta Give Credit...

...To Mr Trail Mix for pulling his weight lately in the wedding planning fun.  Consider it a benefit to having a searching-for-employment-fiancé as opposed to a working-fiancé.  Mr TM gallantly cut, corner-rounded and attached raffia around almost all of our 200 menus one afternoon, leaving him with a blister on his thumb from the corner rounder and me with a pile of simple and sorta-pretty menu cards.

He also cut and corner-rounded about 200 of our favor tags, also to be tied with raffia (are you sensing a theme here with the use of raffia? Well, you're right, it's called "Raffia Is Dirt Cheap and Can Be Bought In Bulk For Significantly Less Than Ribbon" :)

Here's a few shots of his creations:

I designed everything using that completely counter-intuitive and totally hateful program otherwise known as Microsoft Word to design all of these, using fonts from

The favor tags read "One Sweet World" on one side and have the flavors printed on the other (milk chocolate with caramel and dark chocolate with lavender honey were the winners, btdubs...)  "One Sweet World" is the name of a Dave Matthews Band song we both love, so I thought that was fitting...

The menu cards will be tucked into the napkin at each place setting along with our little lavender bunches.

Notice that everything's done on white cardstock because, well, I am horrible with paper products and did not like the look of the yellow paper I had leftover from the programs and could not bring myself to order any more paper.  So white they are, hopefully they'll look pretty on the tables against ivory linens.  

And finally, because even though this post turned into me showing off my menus and favor tags, it was really supposed to be about giving Mr Trail Mix props, so here's one more...Congrats to my newly MBA-annointed soon-to-be hubby! I couldn't be prouder or feel luckier to call you mine...

What has your mister done to contribute to the wedding projects?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Acceptance Stats

With our répondez s'il vous plaît date come and gone and most of our delinquent responders harassed into giving us a "yes" or "no" answer, it's time to sit down and look at our guests list statistics.

I figured this would be helpful to all you readers out there sweating bullets about inviting more guests than your venue can hold or who are wondering who in the hell will show up, so here's my number-by-number breakdown:

Guests Invited: 235

"Yes" RSVPs: 175

"No" RSVPs:  35

Missing In Action RSVPs: More than 25 (Some of those guests have not sent in their response card but have let us know either by email or phone call that they are or are not attending.)\

I know this is a common complaint but seriously, people, how difficult is it to send the response card back?!?! The envelope is even addressed and stamped for you.  ALL you have to do is write your name and check a box.  Now, if any of you MIA responders are reading this (yes, I'm talking to YOU, bridesmaid JDubs), go find your response card and put it in the mail now. OK, end of rant.

Based on what I know of the people who have not RSVP'd, I'm guessing we'll come in right at about 185 guests, which is pretty much exactly what I figured.  However, there were a few moments of panic during the first two weeks after we mailed out our invitations, when we had 119 "yes" and 5 "no's," making our acceptance rate a whopping 95%! 

It does seem that the first wave of responses have been "yes"-heavy because luckily, we received many more "regrets" in the following two weeks.  Phew! I was having visions of a 215-person wedding and my parents being forced to live in a van down by the river after funding this shindig.

We have also had several people RSVP for themselves and a guest, even though the invitation did not read "and guest." Annoying? Yes, decidedly so.  But I'm too much of a softie and a weenie to do do anything about it.  And truth be told, I do want everyone to be happy and comfortable at our wedding and if it means bringing a guest, so be it. 

So there's our response statistics in black and white.  If you run the numbers, we had a 78% response rate, which is juuuuuust under the accepted average of 80%.  I'm happy with the results and luckily, there were almost no surprises, which I'm thankful about.

Are you worried about a higher or lower response rate than expected? What was/is your response rate?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gifts for the Guys

Let's be honest, shopping for guys pretty much bites the big one, it's so not anywhere near as fun as shopping for girls. What are the options? An electronic gadget, a tie or cologne? Girls are easy, give 'em some lotion, make-up and jewelry and everyone's happy.  Guys,on the other hand, are not so easy (and we women are supposed to be the hard ones to please, ha!)

So it took Mr Trail Mix and I a long time to decide on gifts for the groomsmen. We debated some of the customary gifts, such as a flask accompanied by a bottle of alcohol or a monogrammed overnight bag, etc but ultimately decided that for our groomsmen, a "thing" just wasn't the right choice.

And so we decided to go for an experience, instead.  Namely, a sporting experience.  Mr Trailmix, in lieu of a traditional gift, is purchasing tickets to a sports event for each of one his groomsmen to attend with him.

This gift is cool for multiple reasons:

1.  It's environmentally friendly! By gifting an experience rather than a thing, we're using less resources and materials.  Excellent!

2.  Mr Trail Mix LOVES sports.  Mr Trail Mix's friends all LOVE sports (with the exception of one. Oh well.)

2. It's fun.  For both the groomsmen and Mr TMix.  Double score.

3. Hopefully, it will be a memorable way for Mr Trail Mix to bond with his boys and spend some quality time with each of them, which in my opinion, is far more valuable than a "thing."

So the Mister has been stalking sites like StubHub and Ebay for the past few months, looking for the right tickets for the right dates for the right teams at the right times (which let me tell you, has been a logistical nightmare but I think it's finally all worked out.)

Luckily, two of the groomsmen live in Miami, so tickets to either a Dolphins or University of Miami football game are in order.  Since Mr Trail Mix lives and breathes football, particularly Florida football, this one shouldn't be too tough for him to suffer through :)

One of our groomsman lives in New York City and is a huge Atlanta Braves fan, so Mr Trail Mix purchased tickets to a Braves/Mets game in July.

My little brother is a huge soccer fan, so tickets to the New York Red Bull (that's New York's professional soccer team, in case you don't live in a sports-obsessed world like I do) vs the LA Galaxy have been bought for August (sadly, Becks will not be playing at the game, otherwise I might be forced to be the 3rd wheel on that one...)

For a groomsman who lives down in the DC area, tickets to a Redskins/Giants football game are on the table and the final groomsmen requested tickets to see the Phillies baseball team play.

Whoof, it's been a lot hassle and coordination to make these all happen but now Mr Trail Mix has all these sporting events to look forward to after the wedding.

I think this is a nice alternative to traditional groomsmen gifts, although I will admit it's a bit pricey.  Since we only have four groomsman and two ushers, it hasn't been ridiculously outrageous but definitely not a cheap way to go.  And I think it will be worth it.

How did you help your guy pick out groomsman gifts? Anyone else doing something that would be considered unique?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Big Reveal

Yep, this one's all about my dress.  And I'm so excited to show it to you guys.  I talked a little bit about my dress search before and then mentioned some alterations but I've never actually showed what it looks like.  The reason is that I bought it as a sample and it was way too big, so much so that it was really unflattering until the alterations were complete.

Before we get to the picture goodness, I have got to give a serious shout-out to my seamstress, Ellen, of Ellen's Couture on Manhattan's Upper West Side.  My dress literally had to be cut into multiple pieces and then re-created to fit my shape.  Not an easy task, yet she did an incredible job.  I love my dress so much and Ellen's the one who made it so.

(Here is where I'd write the obligatory ALL-CAPS warning to Mr Trail Mix about staying away from this page if I didn't know that it would be a waste of time since he's not reading this anyways, ha!)

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for...

I present my dreamy, floaty, lacey,  flower-y Claire Pettibone wedding dress...

The official name is The Fontaine but I just call it Love.


I adore the back of the dress, particularly the scooped back and the lace detail on the mini-train

And a side-view.

There's my sparkly gold Jcrew shoes.  Isn't that lace at the hem to die for?

A close-up of the flower embellishment around the front (sorry for the semi-boob shot but I figure it's about 99.9% female readers up in hurr so it's all good...)

And one more in the dressing room, surrounded by other lots of other pretty wedding dresses.

Ooooooooh, I love my dress so much!  I get giddy every time I look at these pictures and seriously can't wait to wear it for the wedding.  It's actually kind of sad that I only get to wear it once (Although I've joked showing up to the post-wedding brunch the next morning wearing it.  But I was just kidding...Sort of...)

I knew it was the dress I wanted to get married in the moment I put it on in the dressing room at Kleinfeld's, one year to the day before the wedding. I totally had "the moment", tears and all.  And I've never doubted my choice since, thank goodness.  In this case, an early decision turned out to be the right decision.   

Did you second-guess your dress choice or have you never wavered from your first love? 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Love Poem

In case you haven't noticed yet, I'm a little bit of a hippie.  My parents, especially back in the day, were even more so.  In fact, they lived on a Sufi commune before I was born, which still exists today and I even attended the elementary school there from Kindergarten through 6th Grade.

I'm getting married about half a mile down the road from my childhood homage to hippie-dom and therefore, it felt fitting to include a Rumi (great Sufi poet) poem in our ceremony as a nod to the community that had such influence in my upbringing.

The poem is so beautiful, I want to share it with you all...

A moment of happiness,
you and I 

sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, 

but one in soul, 
you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, 

with the garden's beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, 

will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, 

you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, 

you and I.
In one form upon this earth,

and in another form 
in a timeless sweet land. 


My beloved Aunt J (of incredible shower-hosting fame) will be reading this poem at the beginning of the ceremony and I think it will be a moving and meaningful start. Even though the wedding is decidedly Jewish in content, it feels good to include a few other elements from that which has shaped us both.

Are you including a poem or reading that has significance?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You Want WHAT?!?!

That was pretty much my exact response when Mr Trail Mix asked me about ordering yarmulkes for the wedding, only maybe slightly higher-pitched than written words can convey. A yarmulke, also called a kippah, in case ya don't know, is this:

They are traditionally worn at Jewish services of all types.  I thought we had discussed the option of having kippot and nixed it.  Mr Trail Mix, rather randomly, decided otherwise, hence my high-pitched reaction to his question about whether I had ordered said yarmulkes yet.  Truth be told, it was more of a squawk than anything else...

The simple answer to this question was, "No, dear, I did not."  Which is exactly how I said it, without a trace of sarcasm in my voice.

His query as to why not was only met with the death stare. You ladies know what I'm talking about :) Upon hearing that we weren't planning on having them at the wedding, Mr Trail Mix voiced his strong opinion that this was something he wanted.

I'll be honest, at first I was annoyed.  I didn't budget the extra cash for this expense, I didn't feel like searching for the cheapest deal and I just plain didn't want to handle one more detail.  I started to protest but fearing a stupid argument might materialize out of this, decided it was better to think about it before fighting the idea.

So I considered it (and consulter Mom Trail Mix.) And I realized that Mr Trail Mix has had so few super-strong opinions about any of the wedding details that if this was something he really wanted, I should be a supportive fiance and make it happen.

And so five dozen yarmulkes (with free printing of our names and wedding dates on the inside) have been ordered and all is well in the Trail Mix wedding world.  I suppose I'm glad we're having them, at least it will make the more traditional relatives happy.  Now I just have to figure out some sort of presentation/display for them, most like accompanied by a cute little sign :)

Was there a random detail your FH suddenly had to have?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Venezuelan Honeymoon: The Details

Now we're gettin' down to the good stuff, our trip itinerary! Although we originally were looking at Margarita Island for the beach portion of our travels, I wasn't super-excited by any of the hotel options. Most of the nice places were all-inclusive resorts (which isn't what we were looking for) or seemed to lack the idyllic charm of other Caribbean islands.

And then while further researching hotels, I came across Los Roques Parque Nacional.  It's an archipelago of islands located about an hour west of Margarita Island but because it's protected as a national park, there are only a smattering of bed and breakfasts located on the main island.

In short, it's pretty isolated and natural and basically our ideal honeymoon location.  Laid-back vibe, Italian bed and breakfast where they'll cook all our meals to order and a beach-side location.  Plus, Los Roques has some of the best fishing and snorkelling in the world (and Mr Trail Mix is an avid fisherman.  Me? Not so much but I like to paddle about and look at the fishies...)  Ah, I cannot wait to be swimming in the ocean here:

And eating delicious freshly-caught seafood like this:

And snuggle up and drink some white wine and relive all the wedding fun here:

We're staying at the Posada Acquamarina in Gran Roque, which is pretty much the only island where lodging exists.  The owner also booked us our flights from Caracas to the islands, which was super-helpful.

After four nights here, we're flying back to Caracas and then immediately out to a small mountain town about two hours south.  The picture below is not Angel Falls, but another waterfall in the town of Canaima that you can swim in.  So cool.

We'll sit out on our hammock at night (and probably drink white wine.  I'm sensing a theme here :) ) at the Tapuy Lodge...

And finally, we're doing a two-day trek up to see Angel Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in the world and also extremely unaccessible.  Apparently ,there will be some sleeping on hammocks during the trip, which although I'm not thrilled about, passing up the opportunity to see this incredible natural wonder would be silly. So off a-trekking we will go, up the river in motorized canoes and then hike to get closer to the falls, so hopefully I can get a picture like this:

Aiiiyeeeeee, I just can't wait to go on this trip!! Mr Trail Mix and I have not taken a vacation together since August 2007, so I think it's safe to say we are long over-due.  What better way to celebrate our nuptials with a kick-a$$ honeymoon trip, right? 

I think it will be a great combination of beachy laziness and adventurous site-seeing, which sounds just about perfect to me!

What part of your honeymoon are you most looking forward to? 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Honeymoon is (FINALLY) Booked!

I'm so excited to finally share our honeymoon plans, it's been a work-in-progress since February and waiting until everything was officially confirmed before telling y'all has been torture! But now that all tickets have been purchased, hotel rooms have been confirmed and expeditions (yes, there is an expedition of a pretty wild sort) have been booked, I can spill the beans.

And so, without further adieu, ladies and gents, our official honeymoon destination is...(wait for it, wait for it...)...Venezuela!

It is a slightly random (or off-beat) choice for a luna de miel (that's the Spanish phrase, I love that it is a literal translation of "honey" and "moon.") but that's how we roll, people.

I posted a long time ago about the options we were considering (Brazil, St John, Galapagos) but none of them really called to us, so we put off making a decision for a bit. Then one day while browsing through the Travel Channel's website looking for ideas, I noticed a place called Margarita Island that was listed as one of their Top 25 picks for honeymoon destinations.  I made a mental note and did a few minutes of preliminary research.

Then I saw that Martha Stewart Weddings mentioned Margarita Island as one of their top picks for "Off The Beaten Path" honeymoon locations and was even more intrigued.   And then somehow, Venezuela ended becoming our official honeymoon destination!

It holds appeal to both of us for several reason.  Not only is the Northern coast of the country bordered by the beautiful Caribbean Ocean but Venezuela is also home to the world's tallest waterfall, Angel Falls.  Between the lure of ocean bliss and mountain wonders, we get the best of both worlds in travelling experiences.

The other major factor in our decision was that Venezuela is a country with it's own culture and traditions.  As much as I love the Caribbean Islands, most of them are completely geared towards tourism and somewhat Americanized, lacking a distinctive identity.

Mr Trail Mix and I both love to travel but we wanted to go somewhere to experience a different culture, because for us, that's half the fun.  So while Turks and Caicos or the Virgin Islands, etc are amazing and I'd go there in a heartbeat on vacation, we felt that for our honeymoon, we really wanted it to be an experience that included trying new foods, meeting locals and appreciating a new and varied culture.

So off to Venezuela we shall go! I'll be sharing the details in my next post but for now, I'm just so dang excited for our trip!

How did you decide on your honeymoon location? Is anyone else going to a slightly "Off-Beat" location?