Thursday, April 29, 2010

We're Not Music People

I think the title of this post says it all.  Don't get me wrong, I love music, Mr Trail Mix loves music (I think...) but in no way are we at all into the music "scene." I'm not gonna lie, most of the time when I read other Bee's posts about lovingly-crafted playlists, I've never even heard of most of the bands listed (how embarassing!)

This could definitely be us...Except I actually like country music.  And most hip-hop. 

We both are obsessed with Dave Matthews Band (seen them in concert at least 8 or 9 times) but other than that, we don't really have much inspiration to go off.  Even though we have our (AWESOME) band playing at the reception, we still needed two ipod play lists, one for dinner and one for when the band takes their 2nd break.

We sat down to make the playlists but quickly realized that our music collection fell quite short.  For the dinner playlist, we were focusing on quieter, "romantic" songs, I guess.  Here's a sampling of the songs that made the cut:

-Dave Matthews Band- The Idea of You
-James Taylor- How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You
-Jason Mraz- I'm Yours
-Israel Kamakawiwo'ole- Somewhere Over the Rainbow
-Lady Antebellum- Need You Now

You get the idea, slightly folksy with a little bit of pop and country thrown in for good measure, plus some James Taylor because he's one of my favorites.  For dinner, we're keeping it light-hearted and low-key.

And here's a smattering of the songs we put onto the dance playlist for later on in the night when the band takes another break:

-Black-Eyed Peas- I Gotta Feeling
-Beyonce- Single Ladies
-Chris Brown- Forever  (I will forever be reminded of Jim and Pam's wedding from The Office with this song,    an episode that I've watched four times so far and sobbed every single time...)
-Jay Sean- Down Ft. Lil Wayne
-Lady Gaga- Just Dance

All songs we can jump around, sing along and shake our groove thangs to.  So, here's where you dear readers come in.  I need suggestions for songs! We have a few more than what's mentioned here for both of these lists but I'd really appreciate suggestions.

So por favor, help a clueless music-lover out.  Can you give me a either a slower dinner song and/or louder, crazier dancing song suggestions??

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Lied.

Remember when I rather dramatically declared I was done with DIY projects? Um, well, I just couldn't resist the lure of these beautiful, patterned, vintage handkerchiefs I found  at the Brooklyn Flea this weekend.  I also just happened to have the right-sized basket laying around, left over from the shower in my apartment so I spent Sunday making it all look pretty.  It wasn't really a craft session per se but there both a glue gun and cursing were present, which makes it a DIY in my eyes...

I hung up a few of the hankies on the fence out on my patio after washing and drying them.  The wind was a-blowin'! 

Close-ups of a few of my favorite prints.

I printed out and corner-punched the sign for the basket, then hot-glued it on.  An easy paper flower embellishment on either side and it was good to go.

This will be on the table as guests enter the ceremony site, along with a basket of programs and hopefully some type of flower arrangement or other decorative item tbd.

I'm happy about how it turned out and I think it will be a nice touch at the ceremony (and maybe make a pretty keepsake for those who take one?)

Sidenote: I've had in my possession a corner-punch for over six months but I the whole time I thought it was broken.  I gave it another try for this sign and voila! It worked perfectly, turns out it was user error the first couple of times.  Boy, did I feel foolish :) But it's probably better to have made this discovery now rather than 6 months ago, or else I might've tried to corner-punch all my programs, which could have been disastrous!

Anyways, if you saw these at a wedding, would you take one? Do I have enough? 

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cheesy Marathon-Wedding Metaphors

I keep going back to my marathon experience in my head and thought I'd share a few of the thoughts I had in the weeks leading up to the race as well as the some of the things that went through my head during the actual event (and if you can believe it, there was a significant number of wedding thoughts going through my head during...Hey, 3+ hours is a long time to run, a girl's gotta think about something positive to get through it!)

And yes, these analogies are totally cheesy and overdone but I can't help myself, I'm a sucker for anything dripping with queso, both metaphorically and in real life.

So here we go...

Pace yourself. I ran the first seven miles of the marathon way too fast, resulting in some miserable miles later on.  Same thing with planning the wedding.  I definitely jumped the gun on a few things (remember my Save The Date disaster?) which made the later stages of planning a bit less fun.  

Another example: I booked my venue very far in advance (14 months) without doing very much research.  And while I'm still completely head-over-heels, absolutely in love with it, I'm pretty sure I could have found somewhere else I liked almost as much for significantly cheaper.  It was a tough lesson to learn but there's nothing I can do about it at this point, so hopefully some of you guys out there will avoid making the same mistake I made. Like the tortoise says, slow and steady wins the race.

It's not always puppies and rainbows. I think I've done my fair share of b*tching about training for the marathon.  Maybe not here but most of my friends and family are probably pretty sick of hearing me whine about it.  Training for and actually running a marathon is one of the most painful experiences I've ever gone through (and if you saw photos of me from about mile 23 on, you'd see what I mean.)

 And planning a wedding, while not physically painful (for the most part), has been a mentally draining and exhausting process at times.  It's not just pretty flowers and dresses and true love, there's things like crazy relatives and logistics and financial pressures added into the mix.  But hopefully, just like the marathon, the pain is worth it in the end. As long as you brace yourself in the beginning and are prepared for some pain, you'll make it through and live to tell the tale.

And finally...

Your family and friends will get you through it. The marathon would not have been the same if I hadn't known my parents and several friends were out there on the course, waiting for me.  The thought of seeing them all pushed me through to the finish line.  Not to mention, they supported me throughout the entire training process.

Same thing holds true for the wedding.  No way would I have gotten to this point without my family and friends.  They've supported me on this journey to the wedding in ways I never imagined or ever thought would be necessary. They've crafted with me, shopped with me, vented with me, laughed with (and maybe at) me and ultimately, just been there for me. And really, they've made it worth the while.

So there ya go. See? Marathoning and planning a wedding really do share some common ground.

Whaddya think? Are you a sucker for cheesy, motivational metaphors like I am?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Put A Ring On It

Hooray, our wedding bands have finally arrived! And I am head-over-heels in love.  I keep sneaking peeks into the box and wearing it when Mr Trail Mix isn't looking.

Way back in November, I asked you all for your opinion on what I should do for a wedding band.  I ultimately decided not to go with the matching band for my ring (even though that was definitely the most popular option) because I like to keep everyone on their toes and go with the unexpected.

I've always been partial to mixed metals so when FILTrail Mix offered me a yellow gold band that was his mother's (e.g. Mr TM's grandmother's)  I fell in love.  The simplicity and elegance of it fit my style perfectly. 

Plus, in Jewish wedding tradition, the band is supposed to be plain (e.g. without diamonds in it) because there should be no holes in your love (although, let's be honest, for me, the more diamonds there are in my life, the more I love Mr Trail Mix, haha!)

So I had my lovely yellow-gold band but seeing as how we had already allotted money from our budget to go towards the rings, Mr Trail Mix worked long and hard to convince me that I needed to get a third band (that's sarcasm for those of you who don't know me.  Never ever will I need "convincing" to buy a new piece of jewelry :) )

So we went to Mr Trail Mix's family jewelers, Morays, down in Miami back at Christmas time.  We picked out his ring (as simple as it gets, with nary an embellishment in site) and mine.   Since I have the patience of a hyperactive 5-year-old, you can imagine my joy at finally getting my grubby little paws on my pretty this past weekend, 4 months later!

The arrival of the rings necessitated a major photo shoot out on my patio.  Is there anything more fun than taking pictures of your ring using your camera's macro setting? Once I started, I couldn't stop!

Here's what arrived on our doorstep on Friday afternoon. Weeeeeeeeee!

And all together now...

A shot of just my rings...

I like this next one because you can see a hint of the engraving we had put on the gold band.  It reads "All my love, All my life," which is a family saying on Mr Trail Mix's side.  He used the phrase in his proposal poem and it will be incorporated into our wedding vows, so it's only fitting to have it engraved on our rings. Cutest thing ever, right? Right.

And finally, here's the whole set on my hand.  I love the way the three metals look together and the asymmetry of the different widths of the bands.  Yum!

My favorite part about my set is that I have so many options.  My job can be pretty physical at times and there are days where I don't want to wear my engagement ring, in which case I can just wear the two bands together.  I think this look is so beautiful.

Or if I'm feeling particularly blingy one day, I can take off the gold band and rock me some ice.

I also love just the yellow-gold or the rose-gold bands on their own but I won't bore you with pictures of those.  Or I could wear one band on my left hand and put the engagement ring with the other band on my right hand.  So many options, I love it!

I'm really happy with how it all turned out and I really cannot wait to rock all three of these bands once we get married! Hooo-rah!

Did you go with a matching band or mix things up a bit and go with a non-matching set?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Registry Schizophrenia

If the folks over at Pottery Barn and William Sonoma were keeping a close watch on our registry item list, they might think I was, well, a li'l bit crazy.

Let me explain:  I keep going back and forth regarding how I feel about our registry.  Way way back in the beginning (of time?) we were not going to have a registry.  No, we said, we'd love to get creative, thoughtful presents that our guests took the time to really think through and that would reflect us as a couple.

But with an engagement party looming, FMIL Trail Mix received several inquiries to our registry whereabouts and we feared the dreaded "kitchy" presents that might come our way without a registry, so we caved to the pressure.  Fine, we said, we'll do a limited registry with just a few things we really need.  With our limited space in our miniscule studio, we have no room for extra "stuff."

But then we went to the these stores, got that handy-dandy scanner gun and, folks, it was game over (or game on, depending on how you look at it.)

We definitely had some fun registering for lots of things that somehow were absolutely "necessary." Like an ice cream maker.  Which we actually got and which, by the way, totally freakin' rocks.  But a kitchen staple? Not so much.

However, once the engagement party was over (from which we received lots of lovely gifts off the registry!) I kind of went a little bit psycho about the whole thing.

You see this vase set?


I've taken it on and off our registry at Pottery Barn no less than three times! It's like every other week, I completely change my mind.  First, there were lots of items; then the next week I decided we didn't want "stuff" and took more than the half the things off of it.  Then a few weeks later, I was browsing through the websites late at night and added a bunch more things.  Then I went back and took some of them off.  It's been a vicious cycle.

Ultimately, I have pared it down some from it's original state and added a few big ticket items on there because truthfully, that's what we really could use (both our couch and our bed are thrice handed-down from friends-of-friends.) 

I think it's safe to say between the my registry stalking and adding/removing items, I'm pretty sure both Pottery Barn and William Sonoma are ready for me to be married already (as am I!), just to get rid of my crazy registry wheelings and dealings.

Has anyone else flip-flopped over what's on their registry? Do you stalk your registry like I do? 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I Did It!

26.2 miles were run on Monday in Beantown.  It wasn't pretty but it's done and damn, if it wasn't crazy-fun yet totally torturous all at the same time.

Words are failing me at the moment so some picture narratives will have to do instead:

Finally, I am the proud owner of the highly-prestigious/much-coveted (fine, only in the running world but still...) BAA marathon jacket.  Seriously, every time I've seen someone wearing one of these while running in the park, I had a major case of the envies.  Until now.

Pre-race, taken at about 6:00 am on Marathon Monday, which would explain my lack of open eyes.  I was on my way to take the shuttle (school) bus out to start line, gatorade and banana in hand.


My mom took this one (and the rest of them, come to think of it) at Mile 17.  Truth be told, I was totally majorly hurting by this point and it felt like if I stopped at all, even for a second, I'd never be able to start again.  Therefore, I am gesturing a bit wildly to Mom to "Take a picture!" because I can't stop!

Action shot at Mile 22.  Definitely could not stop by this point.  Again, was pretty much fading but I think I managed to put on a good show for the camera.

Finally, finally finished.  But not without some war wounds.  Between a massive blister on my heel and several more on my toes, plus chafing and a bruise/scrape from when I tripped and fell (while warming up. I'm such an effin' klutz...) I was kind of a mess.

And one with my parents.  Who schlepped to Boston, stayed in a ridiculously over-priced Holiday Inn, fed me pasta the night before and got up with me early in the morning, all for the chance to see me run in the marathon.  For about a total of 7 seconds.  Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I had a wonderful weekend in Boston and the marathon was incredible.  I know not everyone feels like this when they reach the finish line of a marathon but for a lot of people, it truly is an event filled with emotion.  Trust me when I say that 26.2 miles really is as far as it seems.  And it's an awesome feeling to realize that you did it.

Secret confession: I cried when I crossed the finish line.  Ok, I guess for those who know me that's not really much of a secret confession, but I'm still slightly embarrassed by the fact.  Good thing the only people around me were lots of sweaty, tired runners, most of whom were in too much pain to notice anything else.

And even though I went out way way way too fast, I still managed to take 6 minutes off my best marathon time.  Greeeeat success (Borat voice.) 

And my final confession for the day? I brought (ok, fine, wore) my finisher's medal to school to show to all my students. It was awesome.

Whose crossed the finish line of a race and felt emotional about it? It's a good metaphor for the "race to the altar," don't you think? 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Confession Time

Ok, so my shower was completely amazing, wonderful, awesome, incredible, etc.  Make no mistake about that. But I have to confess that it did end on a slightly negative note.  Mr Trail Mix had been asked to stop by about half an hour before it was supposed to end.  We made sure to finish up all the games and presents a bit early in order to have time to spend with him and take a few pictures and so forth.  Well, at 1:40 we were still waiting for him.  10 minutes later, still waiting.  Finally, with literally 3 minutes left before we had to leave, he made it.

I.  WAS.  PISSED, to put it bluntly.  I had been looking forward to him coming the entire time and I wanted him to have a chance to be fussed over by all my aunts and cousins and get a chance to take some pictures of us together.  When he finally arrived, I was, how shall I say? Not exactly nice to him.  We actually got in a bit of a spat over it, although luckily I don't think anyone else noticed since everyone was too busy moving the massive amounts of presents downstairs and collecting everything.

However, turns out he did leave with (barely) enough time to get there when he had been asked to arrive but he stopped to buy me flowers, in which took almost 20 minutes for the florist to make a bouquet.  Once he told me this, I instantly felt like a complete and total ass.  He apologized for being so late and missing the end of the shower, I apologized for over-reacting and being a mega-biotch.

But I'm still kind of mad at myself for getting so upset the last 30 minutes of the shower.  My mom and aunt kept telling me to let it go and brush it aside but I just couldn't.

So I want to be the mature child and learn a lesson from my over-reaction. On the wedding day, I must not do the same thing.  Obviously, something will go wrong on the day.  It would be unrealistic of me to expect otherwise.  Something will go wrong and I cannot let it bother me because the wedding day is too special to ruin with my emotional outbursts and irrational anger.

I know that this is a valuable lesson to learn, although I wish it hadn't happened on such a special, lovely day like my bridal shower but I am willing to be a grown-up about things, learn from mistakes and move on.  Come wedding day, I know now that these things are not worth getting upset over and I know that if I do get upset, I will regret it deeply in the following weeks to come.

So bring on the wedding disasters, I'm ready now, I can take whatever the wedding gods have in store for me.  Lesson learned and you can all be sure I will be reminding myself of this and how I wish I had reacted, should anything go wrong on the big day.

Can anyone else relate to this experience? What's been your biggest "lesson learned" moment?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Showers Bring...

June weddings! On Sunday, my Aunt J hosted a bridal shower for me at Alice's Tea Cup on Manhattan's Upper East Side, kicking off Day Two of my bridal weekend extravaganza.  The place was adorable.  In case you didn't get it from the name, it's an Alice-In-Wonderland themed tea house that was just the cutest thing ever!

For some unknown reason, the sidewalk in front was decorated with chalk.  It wasn't for me but it made for a fun picture.

The best part about the shower was that I pretty much had zero hand in planning it, making everything a total surprise.  My aunt did these really pretty favor bags from Pottery Barn that held a small glass vase in a little basket with a package of tea (since it was a tea house) in each one.

She even had ribbon printed with my name and date on it to decorate the bags!

Look at what greeted me when I walked into the entry of the party:

A whole mess of presents! Given my obsession with (both giving and getting) presents, you all know I was pumped to see that pile :)

When I made my way to my spot, I was greeted with this absurdly massive tea cup. It's hard to tell without a person for scale in this picture but that thing is the size of a large mixing bowl.  I love it! 

My amazing MOH Pip started things off with a fun ice breaker game: She had the names of famous couples written on name tags and everyone got one to put on their backs, without looking at who they were.  The idea was to ask yes or no questions to try and figure out who you were, then find your match.  The first pair to find each other won a prize. It was really fun and good way to chat with everyone (not that I really needed any help with that, I'm a total chatty Kathy, especially after a glass of champagne, haha...)

And then we ate.  Oh, did we eat.  There were strawberry scones, pumpkin scones, scrambled eggs, potatoes and crepes with fresh berries, not to mention tons of different types of tea. They even had a special bridal tea made with rose petals...Mmmmmmm...

When I arrived, I was immediately given a tiara and wand, which I had a blast waving about (and ordering everyone about.  HA! Kidding, kidding...)

After stuffing our faces, we played a Newly-Wed type game where I was asked questions that Mr Trail Mix had previously answered to see how well we knew each other. I kicked butt at that one, I know him so well.

And then it was all presents, all the time.  I'm not going to lie, I loved opening all those gifts and I got some amazing, thoughtful, generous presents! I think the highlight of the gift-opening was when my mom handed me a bag with a string hanging out one side and instructed me to pull out the string.  Attached to this string were clothespins with 11 pairs of undies, one for each day of the honeymoon.  I think this next series of pictures is hilarious!

And of course, no shower would be complete without the requisite ribbon hat and some beautiful girlfriends...

It was truly a celebration of womenhood and I could not have asked for a more perfect shower.  The love that I felt that afternoon was incredibly powerful and uplifting, I was pretty much floating the entire time. I only wish it had gone longer!

Special props must go out to MOH Pip, who did an awesome job planning all the games, complete with prizes, as well as an extremely creative gift for me that brought down the house! Thanks, Pip, after 15 years of friendship still going strong, I love you more than ever!

And finally, so much love must go out to my wonderful Aunt J, who planned the entire thing from start to finish.  It was more than I ever expected and the experience is a memory I will always cherish.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I could seriously write twice as much as I did here but enough gushing adjectives and exclamation points, I'm sure you all get the picture.  Love, tea, presents and champagne made for a divine shower experience I'll always be grateful for.

What was your favorite part of your shower? Share, I'd love to hear about your experiences!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dresses, Dresses, Everywhere...

Alright, I chose the dress for the rehearsal dinner but it wasn't the one you guys liked the best, for several reasons. Number one, even though I had given myself a generous budget for this dress, the Carmen Marc Valvo one far exceeded said budget.  I just couldn't pull the trigger.

I ended up with the Anthropologie dress that was a sleeper hit.  I grabbed it at the last second off the sale rack, not expecting to give it real consideration.  But I fell in love with it when I tried it on and the price was right.

I had to get it altered so I brought it along to my second dress fitting this past Saturday at Ellen's Couture on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The front of the shop is so pleasant and comfortable, which made it perfect to bring Trail Mix Mom and FMIL Trail Mix along.  

Here's a somewhat better picture of the dress (although I look like I need some make-up and diet coke stat. We were there relatively early in the morning for a Saturday :)

It's more a champagne color in real life and has a pretty flattering shape.  I don't usually go for the type of dress with a big bow on it but for once, this one just felt right...Plus, I got to order more JCrew shoes to go with it (it's a genuine addiction, that makes 5 pairs from the Crew alone this past 8 months!Shhhhh....)

Oh, and since you asked (ok, fine, you didn't but Ima show you guys anyways) here's a few sneak peaks of my dress perfection. 

This fitting was the first time I've gotten to try on pieces of my dress that actually fit.  Ellen had to take the entire dress apart and then fit it to me piece by piece.  It was a little scary to show up and just see the skeleton lining of my dress hanging there but once she had pinned on the lace overlay and flower embellishments, I was in love all over again.

I can't wait to show it to you all but I really want to wait for the finished product, hopefully I'll get a chance to before the wedding...If not, you'll just have to sit back, dying of anticipation, and settle for a cute photo of Day One of my bridal weekend (Day Two was my shower, more on that tomorrow!) with the Mama's (and FMIL Trail Mix's sister) after the fitting at Ellen's shop...

Thanks for coming!!!

We spent the rest of the day after the fitting wandering down Madison Avenue, admiring jewelry store windows and trying on Italian silk shirts.  FMIL Trail Mix popped into Cole Haan on a whim and emerged with shoes for our wedding, which she'd been on the hunt for for a while now (and while there, I spotted the adorable shoe choice of Miss Hamster, over which my mom pretty much DIED when she saw them and tried to convince me to get them too!)

It was a complete and total girly, luxurious day and I loved every second of it.

Anyone else have some fun, bridal weekend experiences?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stop The Madness!

It's just over eight weeks until W-day and I have officially put a moratorium on all new craft projects.  When I consider all that I've done, I think it's finally time to say enough.

Bye-bye to dreams of the beautiful lace candle holders from Martha Stewart!

This official end to all things DIY came to me when I realized how overwhelmed I felt thinking about the new projects I potentially wanted to add to my list.

Divine little tags with the flavors of the chocolates for our new favors (tied with the adorable bakers twine we all go gaga for?) No, I say, let the chocolate shoppe package them up for me with a in a plain clear plastic bag and a gold twisty tie and I'll be on my merry way.

Tissue paper poufs a la Martha Stewart to decorate the entranceway to our ceremony site now that we've officially move it indoors? HA! Let the florist figure out how to decorate that space (and fresh flowers are the best decorations, anyways...)

Fancy, matted, specially-cut and printed menu cards? How about a Word document and my trusty local Staples instead...

You see where I'm going with this? I read early on in my planning adventure to stop adding projects to one's list at six weeks out.  Well, I'm just over eight weeks out but I feel that this is a necessary step to preserve my sanity.

And girlfriends, let me tell you, it feels so good.  Like, I'm free as a bird and want to skip and run and hop about with glee because there will be no more frustrations over craft projects for me!

There's lots of small projectitas to finish up and plenty to keep me busy until the big day but I feel this is the right decision.  And so I have laid my scalloped scissors by the wayside and put my papercutter out of site.  The glue gun has gone on vacation to Hawaii and my paper puncher's officially retired due to a broken spring.  We had a good run, me and all my craft supplies but stick a fork in me and turn me over because when it comes to crafting, I. AM. DONE.

When did you decide it was time to stop crafting? Or are you a glutton for punishment and will keep on going right up until wedding day?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Favors, Part Deux

Back when I was still trying to be a good little budget bride, I came up with these lovely mini-favors (favoritas?) that I felt fit the theme of our wedding without breaking the bank.  Remember my lavender bunches? Here's a pic to jog your memory:

Rustic, sweet, cheap.  I think the total cost of the project was less than $75 and I was able to make 185 little  bunches, tagged and tied with raffia.  I still totally heart them and I think they will look lovely tucked into napkins at each place setting.

But (you all totally know where this is going...) a few choice comments about the necessity of a grander favor as well as my blowing the budget with reckless abandon led me to the conclusion that something edible must also be included as part of the favor-set.

So I put my thinking cap on and very quickly, an idea came to me.  Brother Trail Mix worked at a gourmet chocolate shop in the area one summer.  I like gourmet chocolate (that might be the understatement of the year.)  I think our guests would like gourmet chocolate.  Ding ding ding, we have a winner!!

I contacted Chocolate Springs in Lenox, MA (making sure to drop the Bro TM connection to get the best price possible) and la-di-da, we have our second favor.  I may be a little bit biased because I'm a huge lover of all things chocolate but seriously, guys and dolls, this is honestly some of the best chocolate I've ever had (and don't even get me started on their chocolate ice cream.  I DIE.) Anyone in the Western Mass/Albany, NY area should definitely check out their website and/or store, even if you're not getting married and needing chocolate favors because I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

And even more gloriously, they're going to package them up for me so I don't have to add another DIY project to my list (thank GOD!) Each guest will receive a little bag tied with a gold twist-tie with two pieces of yummy chocolates at their place setting, along with the dried lavender bunch.  I think everyone will really appreciate the sweet treat and you can better believe I will make sure to collect all those who foolishly leave theirs behind at the end of the night cuz I ain't lettin' no chocolate go to waste, uh uh!

Are you ready for some (literal) eye-candy?

They also do gorgeous desserts and (dum dum dum)...Wedding cakes!

How frickin' gorgeous is that wedding cake? It's almost enough to make me want to have a cake (but not quite since...well, I'll be honest, these chocolates are costing roughly what a small cake would cost so there ya go...)

I'm happy with this decision, even though I know it was a totally unnecessary addition.  I know, I know, just add me to the list of those who have caved under the dreaded wedding industry pressure.  It's ok. Since there's chocolate involved, I like to think that everyone wins :)

So now here's the fun part where I need your help.  I have to choose the flavors for the favors (HA!) Mr Trail Mix doesn't really like chocolate (Sacrilege! Can you believe I'm still marrying him?!?!?) so he did not have an opinion.  So I'm turning to all you chocoholics out there.  Which two of the following flavors would you prefer as a guest at my wedding? (Sadly, I had to automatically eliminate  all options that had nuts due to allergy concerns...)

1.  Milk Chocolate and Caramel with Sea Salt
2.  Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Ganache
3. Dark Chocolate and Lavender Honey
4. Milk Chocolate Truffle
5. Dark Chocolate and Passion Fruit Mousse

Mmmmm, my mouth is literally watering just thinking about these options (and they have lots of others, I just narrowed down the choices to five otherwise we'd be here all day!)

So which ones should I pick? Are the chocolates a great favor addition or a completely unnecessary waste of moolah?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tapering Off

As much as I wish the title of this post was reflective of the wedding planning, alas, that is not the case. Wedding planning is still going strong (too strong.  I want to quit my gmail account, walk away from the computer and never plan another thing. EVER. But I digress...)

So close I can taste it!

What is tapering off, however, is my running schedule.  Now that the Boston Marathon is less than two weeks away (eek!) my mileage has severely decreased.  And, my friends, it. is. glorious! As much as I love to run and have enjoyed the training process for the marathon, it's so nice not to have to go spend between one and three hours working out every day.

Tapering, for those of you who are interested, is a training technique widely approved by most track and field coaches that encourages the athlete to significantly reduce his or her work effort, mileage and training time for about one to three weeks before the race, depending on the distance.  For a shorter race, such as a 5k or 10k, a week to 10 days is usually standard tapering while for a full or half-marathon, the taper can be more like two or three weeks.

I personally always have a little bit of mental trouble with tapering, because it feels counterintuitive.  How is running/working out less going to help me run more on race day? I'm used to pushing myself at a certain level and have to force myself to back down and hold back a bit, which is frustrating.  I always get nervous that I'm tapering too much and will find myself weak and out of shape for the race.  And then race day comes and the adrenaline kicks in and thus far, my tapering has been successful. I was able to far exceed my time expectations for both of the two marathons that I've run.

Tapering does work, although it's often a difficult concept to fully come to terms with.  However, at this point, I'm not complaining because with all the wedding craziness going on in  my life, it's a bit of a relief to cut down my hours of running.

Have you heard of tapering before? Anyone else use this technique before a race?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

You Can't Always Get What You Want...

A while ago, I was reading the ever-sensible and down-to-earth A Practical Wedding blog and came across a post about choices.  In essence, the entry argued that everything regarding the wedding was a choice, not a necessity.  You don't need to have (insert any number of wedding-related items here,) but most of us want them and therefore have to choose what to incorporate. Great advice, if I ever heard it, and I've kept it in my head since.

I've been thinking about this advice with the recent arrival and departure of my invitations. I'll admit, my invitations were not in any way a DIY project nor were they particularly cost-effective (I got a great deal on them but they were well over the usual cost per invite of a hand-made one.) I love them to death but the cost left little room for extras.

Which is why I chose to not have calligraphy addresses or even faux-lligraphy addresses.  Nope, instead I grabbed a pretty, light blue Gel ink sparkly pen and wrote everything out by hand, adding a few flourishes here and there but nothing super-intense. Although there was a big part of me that was convinced that the outside of the envelopes had to be as beautiful as the insides, the budget has been steadily increasing as the wedding approaches and we all know the feeling of panic that tends to accompany that phenomenon.

Ultimately, when it came down to hard numbers, as much as I wanted to have beautiful hand-calligraphied envelopes, it just did not make sense to spend the extra money and therefore I made the decision not to do it.
So far, I think the decision was the best one for us, although there is a part of me that yearns a bit wistfully for lovely, calligraphied addresses.

I guess the point of this post is to remember that every wedding decision is a choice, not a necessity and there is always an alternative, although it may not be as attractive.  For the most part, I'm very happy with the choices I've made regarding the wedding, but some of them have required serious thought and some late-night tossing and turning.

What choices have you made during wedding planning that you really had to think long and hard about?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Invitations Have Been Sent...

Which means I can finally show them off.  My aunt who used to run a stationary and invitation store for years offered to do them for me, which I eagerly took her up on.  I may occasionally churn out a successful DIY project but never did it ever enter my mind to try and make my invitations.  No, hi ho hi ho, it was off to a printer I would go.  We used Encore Studios of New York City and they were dreamy to work with and I am so pleased with the results.

The suite includes a lined envelope, single-matte formal invitation, the RSVP and lined mini-envelope (love it!) and the rehearsal dinner invitation. I made some very problematic direction slips that were also included.

Invitation Photo Overdose!

I love them.  I love love love love love them! Heehee, I am giddy with anticipation over getting RSVP cards back this week.  These were definitely money well-spent and I was sad to send them on their way...

Do your invitations make you excited for the wedding??