Monday, February 28, 2011

My Stinkin' Feet

AKA: My shoe dilemma continues.

Could I possibly talk about shoes more?  I feel like it's getting a bit excessive.  But I'm feeling so indecisive.  In fact, so indecisive, I have even decided to take pictures of my feet and share them with the whole internetz.  Terrifying.

So here are the shoes that I ordered, as seen on Zappos.com:


1) Belle by Sigerson Morrison
Photo from Zappos.com

2)  Alejandra Sky Dahlia
Photo from Zappos.com


Photo from Zappos.com

So what was the verdict?

Well, unfortunately, #2, the Dahlia, is out of the running officially.  



They were far more coral in person than a nice, bright orange.  (Can you tell?  I really have no photography skills.  Tips are welcome!)  Plus, the flower was more dominating than I wanted it to be.  And, most importantly, they are too small.  I know comfort is going to be important on the day of, and I could barely squeeze my (large!) feet into these coral, too large flower, flats.  

#1 and #3 are more tricky.  I love them both for different reasons. 

The Belle is silver and literally the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn.  How could a flat be so comfortable?!

The Flash is still a little too small (Come onnnnnn, Zappos!  Get my size in stock!), but it is so sparkly and that bow is to die for.  

I am holding on to both the Belle and Flash and sending Dahlia back.  Hopefully my dress will come in so I can try them both on with the dress.  A friend pointed out that the Belle, with its metal, and the Flash, with its sequins may also get stuck on the bottom of the dress.  So we will have to see how that goes.








Any votes about either of these shoes?

And did I mention it gets more complicated?  Look what I found today:

Bowdelaire Ballet Flats from J.Crew
Ah!  Another curve ball!  A sparkly bow.  

Sick of me talking about shoes yet?  

All photos personal unless otherwise noted.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Venue Hunt

Mr. C and I headed up to Massachusetts the weekend after we got engaged.  My family all knew the engagement was coming, as he had driven up to my family's before proposing to ask their permission.  So once the news was out for the world to know, Mom Busy Bee was ready to start talking location and venue.

Sort of half jokingly, after waking up Saturday morning and retelling our engagement story over and over, my Mom told me she wanted to take us to this place that she just KNEW I would love.  So in the car we went, Mr. C, Mom Busy Bee, Dad Busy Bee and I.  And then we stopped at one place, and then another, and then another.  I think we hit four or five different venues that day, on a day when Mom Busy Bee just wanted to casually look at one venue.  At least it was nice to see she was excited!

Our first venue stop was The Barn at Gibbet Hill.  My mom had eaten at the restaurant there for her birthday, and allegedly told my dad that she knew I was going to get married there.  (Or maybe Dad said it to Mom?  The details are fuzzy.  Especially because I wasn't there.)  The venue was locked up, so we couldn't explore too much, but Mr. C and I got a general idea of the layout and especially the landscape.


Next, we hopped in the car, and Dad Busy Bee suggested another venue!  So off we went to The Colonial Inn in the center of Concord, MA.  The Colonial Inn is actually where my aunt was married.  It's a historic inn, in the center of historic Concord (Battle of Lexington and Concord?  Revolutionary War, anyone?). 


Source.




While we were there, we saw a lot of events happening: baby showers, bridal showers, birthday brunches.  Although this seemed like a really great location to hold these particular events, the venue was just too small for what I imagined, both for the number of people it could hold, as well as the ceilings.  My poor 6'5 father was scrunched over the entire time we were looking through the rooms.  Imagine if he was like that for 4 or 5 hours!  Ouchy!

Back into the car we went, with Mr. C and I mumbling about how these places were great, but expensive, and we didn't really know what we were looking for...but both Mom Busy Bee and Dad Busy Bee were too busy to hear us.  They were racking their brains to think of other places for us to look.  So we zipped off again, this time for a bit of a longer car ride, and headed to Salem (home to the Salem Witch Trials) to check out the historic Hawthorne Hotel. 

Can you tell my parents generally  understand my style?  I'm not the type of gal who was going to be satisfied with a 'normal' hotel ballroom.  All of these venues had some sort of quirky personality or story to them.




Source.




The Hawthorne Hotel was in the process of setting up their ballroom for a wedding that afternoon, but we had the opportunity to peak in really quick.  The ballroom was huge, with beautifully high vaulted ceilings, great lighting, and a great amount of space.  Not only that, but the view out the windows was of the beautiful street the hotel is located on, and not too far from the Salem Common.  It was a great space, but I knew immediately it wasn't really for me.  We would most likely be having our wedding in late October, and I was worried about the Halloween commotion that Salem gets (which is a BLAST, but not really what I had in mind for my wedding weekend) and that I just wasn't thrilled about holding our reception in a hotel ballroom.

Although Mom and Dad did seem a bit disappointed, it was a great first, totally impromptu, opportunity to look at some venues in the area.  We didn't have the most informed visit (we never spoke to anyone at these places and I didn't take any pictures) but it did give Mr. C and I an idea of what we were looking for in our venue, where we wanted to be located, and what we hoped to find.  

So from this trip we started our research and tried to look for venues in the area that we thought would suit our wants and needs better.

Did you start out any of your wedding planning totally under prepared? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Valentine's Day Away

Since February is quickly slipping away, I thought I would share a trip that Mr. C and I took to celebrate Valentine's Day/Our 6th Anniversary/The End of Another of Mr. C's rotation.  I think it could be a great option for someone for a honeymoon/mini-moon, or if you just need a weekend away like we did!

It was a last minute trip, and we knew that wherever we went had to be within 3-4 hours driving distance, we could not spend a fortune, and there needed to be enough to do, but also not so much that we would be sad we had to leave early in the morning on Sunday.  So where did we end up?

Baltimore!

After discussing some of our options, Mr. C and I realized neither of us had ever really been to Baltimore (although that's not 100% true...I stopped there and ate at the Hard Rock Cafe on the way back from my eighth grade trip to DC), it was 3 hours away, and after getting an AWESOME deal at Priceline.com, we were set to go!

We got in Friday night, and after checking in, set out to explore near our hotel (we were staying right on the Inner Harbor) before our dinner reservations later that night.



We headed to Jimmy's Famous Seafood for our reservation and were really sad to find out they were all out of the hard crabs that Mr. C had so been looking forward to smashing.  Luckily, after a bit of pouting, the large table of tourists behind us, who apparently were full after just one crab, shared some of their bounty with us.  So we got the best of both worlds.  Delicious oysters, crab cakes, and entrees, as WELL as some good old fashioned crab smashing.






After dinner, we hit up the hotel bar for one drink, and then called it an early night after our long day of working-test taking-driving-crab smashing.

But the next morning we had reserved our passes for the Baltimore National Aquarium and were there almost as soon as our passes would let us be.









Mr. C and I have realized that over our number of trips throughout the years, we seem to always end up at aquariums!  We love them!  So we continued the tradition and had a great time.  We especially enjoyed the dolphin show!












And of course...the gift shop.



After a pit stop at our hotel, we ended up driving over to the Baltimore Museum of Art, which was a smaller (compared to the stuff in NYC!) but really great museum.  And free admission!  That's always a great thing to find at a museum.







We caught sunset out the window of the hotel when we got back.  It was beautiful out over the harbor.



Then we got dressed up for dinner, and since we had totally failed on making dinner reservations for Saturday night (our first concern was crab!), we didn't get to have the fancy Valentine's Dinner we were hoping for.  Instead, we ended up at PF Changs.  Which totally made me happy!



Nom!  Lettuce wraps!




After another stop at the hotel bar, Mr. C and I called it a night, so we could be up and early in the morning to drive back to Brooklyn in time to make it to see Swan Lake (one of my Christmas presents this year!).  So it was a short trip...probably only 36 hours or so in total, but we had a blast.  I think there was plenty to do, but we also didn't feel stressed.  We ate some great food, and really enjoyed the opportunity to spend some quality alone time together outside our apartment.

Did you do anything special for Valentine's Day this year?

All personal photos.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Save the Date Poll

Our save the dates arrived!

I'm not going to reveal them yet, they still need some TLC, plus, I want to really draw out the process and share as many of the steps with you as I can.  But the reason I bring it up is to ask for your advice about sending them out.

The Internetzzz tell me about a billion different things relating to when I should be sending out the save the dates.  Mr. C thinks its way too early.  Mom Busy Bee thinks I'm already late.  And FMIL didn't think sending them out at all was necessary.

Ahhh! Timing is hard!
Source.


So instead, I'm turning to the true wedding authority: the blogosphere.  So tell me other brides, people who have been invited to weddings, or anyone who really just wants to throw in their two cents:  WHEN should I send these bad boys out?

And here is a little background:

Wedding Date: October 22

Semi-destination (its my hometown, but 95% of our guests will be out of town, and even most of my relatives will book the hotel [drinking and driving is bad!])



I'm not going to lie.  I will probably, most definitely, base my decision entirely on your comments.
Source.

When would you shoot these guys out?




PS - I updated this post with a link to Bridesmaid A's blog.  Check it out.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Chompers

Let's talk about teeth for a little bit, shall we?

I assume (and hope) that I will be smiling like a maniac on my wedding day.  I imagine lots of goofy grins, toothy smiles, and wide open mouth laughter.  So this means our guests are going to be getting a good view of my pearly whites on the big day (other than any other pearls I may actually decide to wear).  To try and have the brightest and best smile possible on the big day, I've tried to get into a healthy teeth routine.  I'm hoping to not have this: 


Source.


Yellow!  Yucky!  No good (and obviously, I don't want a moustache either)...

I'm hoping for something more along the lines of this:

 
Source.

Now, obviously having good dental hygeine is important for everyday of the year, no matter what big event you may or may not have.  However, its taken me awhile (and a good number of cavities) to really learn this, and to get into better habits.  And still, my habits are not perfect.  But the wedding is as good excuse as any to start early and really engrain these habits into my every day life to continue from now until I have no pearly whites left!

First up, brushing every day.  Obvious.  When I'm home during the day, I try and step it up and brush after lunch as well.  I don't have a permanent desk as I'm at two part time jobs, but if I was, I would keep a brush in my desk for after lunch.  I've seen many people do this, and its a great way to cut back on stuff caught in your teeth and funky breath for post-lunch meetings and work.

Next, flossing.  This is one of my downfalls.  Flossing, well, it sucks.  Its time consuming, for the first few rounds my gums bleed, and I have annoying piece of retainer permanently stuck on the back of my front teeth that takes FOR-EVVV-ER to floss through (Sandlot, anyone?).

Finally, mouth wash.  Just a couple quick swigs at the end of the day makes me feel like I've done myself some good, even when I'm just too tired or lazy for the flossing at the end of the day.

I've also tried to change some of my eating and drinking habits in order to protect and support all the hard work I am (or should be) doing.  I've almost entirely cut coffee out of my daily routine.  I've found that caffiene can trigger some anxiety for me, and I get enough sleep that I shouldn't need the boost, so otherwise its mostly just empty calories.  If I need a small boost of caffiene or I'm looking for something warm and toasty to drink, I've become a tea-kind-of-gal.  Although tea can have some staining effects as well, so its definitely not every day!

Soda is another big thing that I've almost entirely cut out.  This has to do with teeth health as well as my own consciousness of trying to learn and really understand what I'm putting in my body.  I've always drank diet soda, so it wasn't so much a concern about the sugar, but now, it's thinking about the chemicals!  So soda is mostly gone.

Wine can be another cause of stained teeth.  I'm not a huge drinker, but when I do drink, it tends to be multiple glasses, rather than just one.  Both for your teeth, as well as for your head the next morning, it can be a good idea to alternate a glass of red wine with a glass of water.  This will help to prevent the red wine from having time to get all comfy up on your teeth.  And may slow down your consumption, and allow for a brigther morning1  :)

Smoking.  BLEGH.  This has NEVER been a problem for me.  Smoking is nasty, it kills, ruins your teeth, and is expensive.  Self-explanatory.  If you smoke, you are a dummy.



Can you think of anything else that could lead to yellowed or stained teeth?  I'm doing my best to stick true to these habits, so we'll see how good I can be!

Are there any other routines you've changed in preparation for the big day?  Or for any reason?  Or just because!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Back In Action

Hello ladies (gents?)!  Well it's time for me to get back in the groove of blogging!  I needed some time away to deal with some stuff that has been going on, focus on some job hunting stuff, and generally focus on "me" time.  But now that I've done that, I'm ready to share with you all the stuff that I've been working on!

Let's start with shoes.  After my post about shoes, I've become shoe obsessed!  I was on the hunt!



This is a screenshot of my 'favorites' on Zappos.com.  Now, imagine this page filled with about 15 other pairs of shoes.  Some practical, some ridiculous, many I had saved just because I had seen them in the blogosphere and assumed I would love them too (I didn't).  But last night I sat down, bit the bullet, deleted most of those others, and left a few contenders.  I even ordered two of them!

As you can see from what's here, I have some blue shoes (my something blue?), a fun colorful shoe (orange? purple?), silver (sparkley?), and some more bridal shoes (blush pink or ivory?).  I still am not really sure what I want out of my shoes, but I'm hoping thanks to Zappos awesome return policy, that I'll get to try some on with my dress, and maybe something will just click! 
First up, Belle by Sigerson Morrison.  Pretty!  Simple, but with a nice touch of detail.  These should be arriving at my apartment in 4-7 business days. 




 Next, I went for a pop of color.  Alejandra Sky Dahlia.  From the beginning of my wedding planning, I talked about wearing a pair of fun, colorful shoes.  I'm not exactly sure when I started drifting more towards the silver, so I thought I would give these fun, playful and ORANGE shoes a shot.





And the original beauties, the Kate Spade Flash in Pewter (ugh, I have typed this out so many times, I didn't even need to copy/paste the name from the Zappos website!).  So I actually got these!  From the Kate Spade store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.  They didn't have my size, but they did have a 10 (I usually wear an 11), so I tried them on.  They were snug...but I told myself that I can buy them now and think about it later.  If only they had that darn 10 1/2!

But then...that alert worked!  Zappos emailed me and told me, the 10 1/2 was in!  I waited to get home with Mr. C to buy them (we are working on saving up credit card miles for our honeymoon, so all big purchases go on Mr. C's card).  And then I ended up having dinner with friends...and then Mr. C and I went away for Valentine's Day...and then I had to go to work.  So I sat down to finally order them last night...and *SOB* the 10 1/2 was already gone.  So another alert was set up...and we'll see what happens!  Hey, what's meant to be is meant to be, right?

And sorry, no photos of my REAL feet in these things, because...well, feet are gross.  So enjoy this shot of them.  Ah...beauties. 

Have you ever hesitated to make a wedding related (or non-wedding related!) purchase and regretted it later?

All photos from Zappos.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I Disappeared For Awhile

Updated to include links :)

So in full disclosure, my last post about sunshine, happiness and rainbows?  Well, it didn't last super long.  Hence the disappearance. 

My very good friend, Bridesmaid A, posted on her blog about how sometimes you are reading other people's blogs and it gets so frustrating, because they just seem so darn happy and perfect all the time!  While I agree, it's harder to share some of the hard/bad/emotional stuff, and I'm letting you know, I'm actively shying away from these things here.  It's not that I don't want to be real...these things are effecting me, they are effecting my relationships, and they are causing me to think, A LOT. 

But, for me, this isn't the place to be dealing and handling these things.  I created a blog to talk about my wedding, my job hunt, and trying to lose weight.  And a lot of emotional baggage comes up a lot with each of these.  So I'll talk about it as necessary, but when I'm really down in the dumps, I don't think it's fair to share with you and the rest of cyberspace.  I totally admire and appreciate people who say it like they mean it, like Bridesmaid A, because it's nice to know you aren't alone when you're feeling that way.  So if you are looking to commiserate with someone, find the people who will talk it out.  Unfortunately, that just isn't me.  Not in this place. 

But I just wanted to send an update out - because I think I actually have people who actively follow my blog!  Which is so fun and exciting :)  Thanks for still sending comments out (I got one this weekend that was a kick in the pants to end this disappearance) and being supportive! 

And back to our regularly scheduled content...