Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Game Changing

Things have been tough for me lately.  I chose not to really talk about it on here, because I wanted to stick to wedding-related stuff, and keep the mood light.  Because, honestly, I felt like this slump was maybe more of a permanent one that wasn't going to go away.  And I didn't want to become Jenny Bitching Bee all the time.  I'll save those moments for when I really need a good rant.

But this week things have been turning around.  I've actively chosen to change my attitude and set out to do things that make me feel happy, productive, and like I'm needed.  I know some people reading have also been going through unemployment blues.  It is literally one of the hardest things I've ever gone through.  But there is light at the other side.  And sure, my light may get covered up by a cloud in a few days...but I realize that the sun will come out again.  And it will for you too!

Hope my happy mood brightens up your day a little bit!  I know we all need a good hug and mood booster once in awhile.  And if you're anything like me, a picture of an adorable puppy.  So here are a few:




Source for the above two.
 Happy (snow!) day everyone!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Random Off Topic....Book Review?

I hate science.  Seriously, from the day Ranger Rick was no longer enough information to get me by, I totally checked out of science class.  Typically, Mr. C is a chemistry-degree-holding-med-student.  Opposites attract?

But I am LOVING this book I'm reading.  A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson.  

Guys, its a book about SCIENCE and I CAN'T PUT IT DOWN.  I haven't finished it yet, I (sadly!) left it at Mr. C's parents house after visiting this weekend.  Once I realized it, I sent a text and requested the immediate shipment of my book back to me.  Because I can't wait to find out what happens when LIFE starts to form.

Anyone else have any great book recommendations?  Us unemployeds would surely appreciate it!  Sure, reading blogs is nice, but sometimes a good old fashioned book is just what the doctor called for.  And 'fess up...Ranger Rick, anyone?

And that concludes my totally random off-topic post for today.

Friday, January 21, 2011

But I Want It!

I guess this is inevitable in the endless hunt for things for the wedding:  "Not Available," "Out of Stock," "None in the warehouse" are some phrases I've heard a lot recently and it's REALLY frustrating.

What we had the most trouble with is our centerpieces (but fingers crossed, that should be all sorted out by now) and now, it's shoes!  Boo!

These are the shoes I saw, and I immediately fell in love with them:

So pretty!  The Kate Spade Flash Flat in Pewter.  But here they are, and they are not in my size :(  I added an alert from Zappos, should they become available (which is an awesome feature, BTW) in my size.

I found other shoes that are similar, but they don't have that bow!  The bow!  Ah, I'm dying all over again.  Let's look at some other pretty, sparkly shoes.

These are pretty, too!  The Nilt Flat by Enzo Angiolini that I found at Nordstrom.  These are great too, but unfortunately, a little too gold for me (I have some silver detailing on my dress).  They also look too much like every day flats.  Although I want flats (ok, NEED flats, due to Mr. C's height), I still want them to look like pretty wedding shoes, even if they aren't 4 inches tall.

And these.  Oh my, these Miu Miu flats.  It's both unfortunate and lucky that they aren't available, because they are also completely out of my price range.

These Jimmy Choo's are available at Saks, but although they have the right amount of sparkle, I'm not as interested in a pointed toe, but looking for a rounded one.

I found these old JCrew shoes on another blog but they are long gone.  So sad, because they would be great too!  They have an updated pair, but they aren't as cute, and they are also sold out.

So thoughts, dear friends?  Find me those pretty sparkle shoes with the perfect touch of special that I can wear with my wedding dress!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flowers For Me?

I'll be honest - flowers have been at the bottom of my list from the beginning of wedding planning.  Before doing any research, I was worried about the cost of flowers, and the dent it would put in our wedding budget.

But I've heard about a great florist near our venue, and if this works out, I may fall in love with the idea of incorporating flowers back into our wedding plans.  Here are some photos that make me want to have flowers everywhere:

The orange flowers, in particular, make me drool.  I know for sure, I will be carrying some sort of orange bouquet down the aisles.  What will be happening with the bridesmaids and the centerpieces...well hopefully I'll know more after speaking with our (fingers-crossed!) florist in a few weeks.

Sources for the above photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Meeting With Our Priest

Picking the venue for our ceremony was pretty easy.  Mr. C and I are both Roman Catholic, and my family has been a member of the local church since we moved in to the town .  My sister was married there just this past October!  Picking my family's church was really a no-brainer.

Not only is the church familiar to us, but the exterior and interior is beautiful.  The church was re-done in the past ten years and you get a nice, hometown feel inside the church.

This is the outside - this is actually the view from the side.  But the front has a little more detail, and beautiful front doors.

Mr. C and I love the rafting and woodwork in here, and also how it sort of correlates with bringing our guests to The Barn at Gibbet Hill for our reception.

Source for the above two photos.

We'll be married at the front altar, where the white cloth is.  You're in the middle of the church, but you are also still close enough to your guests.

As part of the process, Father P, the priest who will be marrying us, asked us to meet with him a few times prior to our big day.  Although Mr. C and I don't live up near where our wedding will be, we spend enough time up there, visiting my family, especially my niece.  But while we were home for Christmas, we decided to try and meet with Father Pto begin the process.

Luckily, although it was the week between Christmas and New Years and the rest of the church staff was off for the holiday, Father P was more than willing to meet with us.  We sat for a bit, and caught Father P up on things that were going on with my family (he takes particular interest in Brother M's football career), and Father P got to know more about Mr. C and I.

Father P is great.  He tells a lot of awesome stories, and you can tell he's had a lot of experience in doing what he does.  I'm looking forward to meeting with him more, getting his insight on marriage and relationships, and helping to use this experience as a way for Mr. C and I to grow and learn together as we get closer to our wedding.  

How did you pick an officiant for your wedding?  Was it someone you knew prior to the big day?  Or someone you got to know as part of the process?

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 2011 - 9 months to go!

So when midnight of January 1st hit - it hit me in the back of my head too!  Wake up lady!  Your wedding is THIS year.  You are getting married THIS year.  That means your to-do list is getting extensive.  ANd dare we even say, that a time crunch may be in the back of your mind?

So here's where I'm at, and here is what's left to be done:

1) Venue

  • Re-connected with venue coordinator
  • Confirmed time line for re-visiting venue, walk through, and tasting
2)  Ceremony site

  • Sent deposit
  • Met with Father Peter, who will be marrying us
3) Decor

  • Found possible centerpieces (?) - I'll let you know about these soon!
  • Emailed florist, scheduled date to meet with her in person
  • Basic sketches and ideas regarding paper products and other details
  • Jars for candy bar
4) Music

  • In contact and pre-contract stage with wedding band
  • Researching first dance songs
6) Invites

  • Ordered samples of pockets
  • Visiting with MIL this weekend and will confirm and nail down ideas, possibly even start preparation
  • STD ideas - draft and play around with graphics
7) Clothing

  • Dress purchased, shoe ideas organized
  • Still deciding between tux and suit for Mr. C
8) Bridal Party

  • Need to start seriously researching dresses
  • Decide between tux and suit for groomsmen
  • Begin executing ideas for bridesmaid gifts
9) Misc.

  • Decide on and order candy for candy bar
  • OOT bags
  • Transportation

Can you think of anything else I'm forgetting?  It feels like a pretty succinct list, and it makes me realize that I have done a lot of work, but there is still more ahead of me!  

I'm looking forward to some of the things to tell you about that Mr. C and I accomplished over our winter break!

Friday, January 14, 2011

How We Got Engaged, Part II

Last we left off, I was attacked by "killer" Costa Rican ants, and Mr. C had drugged me up with Benadryl.

After the ant drama, we spent some time lounging around – I’m pretty sure I actually fell asleep on a towel on the ceramic floor of our porch.  Mr. C got up and took a shower, and encouraged me to do the same.  When I came out of the shower, he was dressed up, ready for dinner.  He suggested that we get dressed up for dinner and go for a walk.  I was being a little whiny (again, not shocking), and taking my sweet time. 

First, Mr. C suggested I put on some makeup.  And then maybe fix my hair.  I remember saying something along the lines of “Aren’t we coming back before dinner?  I can just do it then.”  But Mr. C convicnec me the rest of our friends would be back soon, and would be ready to go straight to dinner.  So after throwing my hair up quickly, and doing some light makeup, Mr. C and I headed out.  
We left our room (also, after Mr. C suggested what dress I wore, the dress that he had suggested I bring on the trip) and on our way to the beach, ee ran into J, E and Y.  E commented that we were both wearing white, and looked like we were going to P.Diddy’s White Party.  Mr. C shrugged, but I laughed as I only then realized we were both in white. 

We walked down to the beach.  As we were walking down, I mentioned to Mr. C that it was so beautiful, and I would love to come back down to Costa Rica to get married.  Of course, he shook his head in exasperation.  As he always did.

We walked along, I grabbed a flower at one point.  I can’t remember exactly what we said, or what we talked about.  But our shoes were off, we were on the beach, and the sun was about to set.  We walked along, and Mr. C kept pulling us further down, but I stopped him, because we could no longer see the sun!  He grabbed me, and pulled me to him.  We kissed for a moment or two.  He wasn’t holding me with both hands, which at the time, I found strange.  And then I opened my eyes, and Mr. C was no longer holding me. 

Instead, he was down on one knee, with a box and a ring.  He asked me, simply, will you marry me.  I think I screamed?  I might have yelped.  We’re still not even sure if I said yes right away.  When I went to grab the ring though, Mr. C told me not to touch the stone.  He stood and kissed me and we hugged.  Someone sitting near us clapped.  I couldn’t believe it.  The ring didn’t fit, but I wore it on my pinky finger, and it was just fine.

We asked the man who clapped for us to take a few photos.  I still kept spontaneously crying and laughing and we were both giddy.  

We walked back up to the room, and shared the news with our friends.  There was a lot of shrieking, a lot of retelling the story, and then there was some sangria.

It was amazing and perfect.  I smiled the rest of the trip.  And of course, would tell anyone who would listen that Mr. C was no longer my boyfriend, but now, my fiance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

How We Got Engaged, Part I

Mr. C and I have been together for just under six years.  

Personal Photo/Mr. C and I had been together for about 6 months here

We've been friends for seven.  We've lived together for three and a half.  What this boils down to, is that we know a lot about each other.  We talk about everything.

Over a year ago, getting engaged and married was something we (ok, I) brought up and talked about a lot.  I was ready.  Our relationship was getting there, our friends were doing it, and I needed a 'next step.'  Now, it seems a little silly, but back then, tears often came along with these conversations.

And poor Mr. C had a plan up his sleeve the entire time.  Poor guy, I still feel a little guilty for putting him through all that!

We were headed down to Costa Rica for Spring Break.  Off we went with our friend J, Groomsman E, and Bridesmaid Y.  For the 6 months prior to our trip, anytime something special happened, I ruined it for myself by setting myself up for disappointment, waiting for a proposal to come.  Surprisingly, one never came while I was expecting it.  Finally, I had to tell myself that I had to stop wishing and hoping.  So I went to Costa Rica with no hopes, no expectations, and ready for a fantastic vacation.

Sunset our first night there. 

Heading to the beach! 

Ah!  What a view! 

Enjoying the beach! 

 Five of us, ready to zipline

It was our fifth day in Costa Rica.  We spent the day hiking through Manuel Antonio.  It was SO HOT out.  I think we saw later that day that it hit well over 100 degrees.  But hiking through that national park was worth it, even in that weather.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  We got to see beautiful rainforest, beaches and coastlines.  We spent much of the day hiking, but also swimming the ‘secret’ beaches we came upon.

So.  Hot.  So very, very hot.  I don't think I've ever been that sweaty before.

Our last photo together as boyfriend and girlfriend.  

By the end of the day, we were completely wiped out, sweaty, and exhausted.  We went over to the car, and I desperately needed to change my shoes.  They got soaked through the hiking, and were sandy.  Immediately, I managed to put my bare foot into a huge cluster of ants.  The ants started attacking me, biting the bottom and tops of my feet, and around my ankles.  All five of us piled into the car, and Y and E wanted to grab ice cream.  I, however (being completely whiny) NEEDED to get back to the room.  Mr. C dropped the other three off, and we sped straight up to the room.  I managed to rinse some of the ants off, and popped a Benadryl.

How were you proposed to?  Was it on vacation or somewhere "ordinary" that became special?

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Non-True Cleanse

Mr. C and I were feeling full and lethargic post-vacation.  My family is big on vacation drinking and vacation eating.  When we returned back to Brooklyn, we both said we were going to go on a full out cleanse, rid ourselves of the crap in our body, and get on a workout schedule that we can keep up to get ourselves wedding ready.

The only issue!  I've done some googling related to cleansing, and the only thing I can seem to find either requires me to buy millions of dollars worth of product, or is so extreme, I have visions of myself passing out in a subway car.

So I thought I would turn to ye old blog to see if anyone had ever attempted a cleanse, what they did, and how they felt after!  I'm not looking to be a crazy girl who drinks water with red hot sauce in it and then eats only 100 calories worth of stuff, but just more something natural, clear my system out, and ONCE AND FOR ALL, get back on track!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Where did I find THAT idea?

Wedding planning can create a brain overload.  There are blogs, magazines, television shows, expos, plus lots of advice and experience from former brides and fellow engaged-folk.

Along the way, have you ever had the experience where you've had some idea, whether a color inspiration, a candy bar idea, or a random small detail, but you can't for the life of you remember where it came from?  And you're pretty certain you weren't THAT creative!

I've had many many of these moments throughout the wedding planning process, but now as things get closer, I'm looking back to some of my saved inspiration to really find out where these ideas came from and exactly how it was pulled off to see if I can take it from inspiration photo

As I mentioned in my last post, the most exciting part of 2011 (so far!) has been the addition of a beautiful little girl to my sister's family.  From the announcement of my sister's pregnancy, I've been dreaming about how to incorporate this addition to our family into my wedding.

Baby J will be just over 10 months old at the time of the wedding.  More than likely, she won't be walking.  And even if she is, it will probably be a bit more of a waddle than a walk.  So I was looking for a back up plan, and "I" had this genius idea to bring her down the aisle in a wagon!  Filled with flowers!  Adorable!

But let's be real, I am NOT that creative.  So where did this idea come from?  Well, I spent some time today cleaning out the starred posts in my Google reader and discovered not only the inspiration for that particular moment, but this entire wedding looks almost exactly as I imagine mine to be.

Let's all drool a bit, shall we?

The outside of Gibbet Hill has this same red color to it.  I desperately want a photo of Mr. C and I out on the side of the barn, sneaking some kisses.

Photo source. Photography by Taylor Swedberg Photography.

Although I hope to put my B-maids in orange dresses, this color scheme definitely works, and brown may be the easier option to find a dress for all the girls to find something that they'll wear again as well as in their price range.

Photo source. Photography by Taylor Swedberg Photography.

AH!  How AMAZING is this??  And now I know exactly just how beautiful Baby J is...this idea is just to die for.  

Photo source. Photography by Taylor Swedberg Photography.

And the wagon serves as great decor later on!

Wedding found here.  Photography by Taylor Swedberg Photography.

There are a number of ideas in my Google Reader, and even some starred posts that I have NO CLUE why I saved them.  Goes to show that I should be sorting through these things far more often, and try and reduce ideas based on where I truly see my inspiration going, and what is or isn't realistic.

Where do you find your inspiration?  How do you keep it organized?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's 2011!

Hello out there!

My hiatus was a bit longer than I expected it to be, and I was prepared to come back with drafts and ideas for ye old blog all ready to go, but something got in the way...

I became an AUNT!  Sister J finally brought Baby J into this world (even though she was early, I still say 'finally' because I was SO ANXIOUS to meet that baby girl!) on Sunday, January 2nd.  I'm back at home now for a bit of work, but I'm hoping to be able to rush away again this weekend to spend more time with that precious little girl.

The hiatus also brought other big things: Mr. C and I's first Christmas together, a meeting with the priest who will marry us, finding and hunting for centerpieces, and phone tag with a potential florist.  We also got to enjoy Brother M's basketball games, the Lord of the Rings extended version, New Years Eve, and plenty of family quality time.

I can't wait to share everything with you, it's been a wild couple of weeks!

Hope everyone had a safe, healthy, and happy start to their new year :)