Thursday, January 28, 2010

Yummy Yummy Goodness

We've scheduled our tasting with our Caterer for Feb. 19th. This will be our opportunity to decide on our menu as well as pick out the linens/china etc. We went to an open house tasting they had a few months back so we have tried their food before and really enjoyed it but now we have the opportunity to actually pick out what we want to try from their menu.

Since we've decided to go with a buffet we were told to pick out 1 salad, 3 entrees and 3 sides from their menu to taste test. Ultimately we will settle on 1 salad, 2 entrees and 2 sides for the buffet. We both looked at the menu online last night and have decided we want to taste the following:

Field greens tossed with sweet pears, toasted
walnuts, gorgonzola cheese and our cranberry
citrus vinaigrette
**I think this will be a nice refreshing salad for an evening May wedding

Tender beef medallions presented atop a bed of
caramelized onions, tomatoes and arugula.
Drizzled with a delicious shallot –brandy sauce

Tender breast of chicken rolled in spicy pecans,
and then drizzled with a light cream sauce
**We tried this at their open house tasting and both really liked it

Open faced seashell pasta tossedwith jumbo sea
scallops and shrimp in a creamy lobster based sauce

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions &
Toasted Almonds

Sharp White Cheddar & Gruyere
Macaroni & Cheese

Parmesan Smashed Potatoes

Between now and the tasting I've given Kristian the task of pricing out what it would cost for us to supply our own alcohol for the wedding. This way we'll have some numbers for comparison when we go for the tasting and can decide if we want the caterer to supply the alcohol or not.

What have you eaten at weddings that you did and did not like?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting My Hair Did

This Saturday I'm going for my first hair trial with a salon I found in Old Town Alexandria. It's only a few blocks from the hotel where we'll be staying/getting ready. I found it via a google search and it looks like a really cute place and the pricing is pretty much what I expected for the area. If I like the place I can put down a deposit to hold that morning for me and the bridesmaids. I'm not sure if everyone will want to have their hair and makeup done but I was told I could cancel for any of the girls up to two weeks beforehand.

I have two pictures that I plan to bring with me to help the stylist. I plan to wear my hair half-up and have long loose curls down my back.

via- Project Wedding

I like this style a lot. It's more relaxed and romantic and I think it will look great with my dress and veil.

via- Martha Stewart Weddings

I like the way her curls are in this picture. My hair won't be quite this long though. It's closer to the length of the model in the first picture.

I will definitely take pictures afterwards to post on Monday (assuming I don't look hideous).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stripper Pink

Kristian finally made it home (mostly in one piece) from his week long bachelor party. I have to say I was quite excited to see him. Yes my week of having the place to myself was great but around last Wednesday I was kinda over it. I'm not a fan of making dinner for myself every night and watching The Jersey Shore just isn't the same without Kristian there to make fun of it with me.

He had a great time with his buddies and caught the most fish of the group (naturally). See isn't he cute:

(Sorry for the darkness of the pic)

When I said before he came home mostly in one wouldn't be a successful Bachelor party without a trip to the hospital. Fortunately he did not decide to pull out his own tooth a la The Hangover however he did come home with a broken middle finger thanks to a drunken bowling incident. The bowling alley is one of the few places actually open at the beach in January. That and a Hooters with a 50 year old former stripper as a waitress.

(Please excuse "the bird")

When he got home and was unpacking I noticed a tube of ultra pink nail polish come out of his bag.

Me- "Did the stripper leave her nail polish behind by mistake?"
Kristian- "No we had to use that to paint the fishing lures so we could see them better"
Me- "Suuuure... looks like stripper pink to me"

I was bored last night and decided may as well make use of the latest color which has now been added to my collection. Kristian thought it looked hot. I usually never wear shit that's this bright but I must admit it's kinda fun. Yay for Stripper Pink!

Friday, January 22, 2010

4 Months....

Exactly 4 months from today I'll be walking down the aisle! All I can say is that May 22nd better not be as rainy (or rainy at all) as Jan. 22nd or my outdoor ceremony will be a wash...literally.

I actually feel okay right now about where I am in the planning. With Kristian being gone this week I've been able to get a lot of stuff done at night and I can't wait to show him all the developments when he gets home tomorrow. I'm sure he can't wait either. HA!

I have a lot on my to-do list for the next month which include:

-Hair Trial...this is scheduled for next weekend
-Tasting with our caterer to decide our menu and linens...scheduled for 2/19
-Meeting with the Cathy's (my day of coordinators) to go over everything...scheduled for the 16th
-Finish buying all the supplies for our favors and start putting them together
-Meet with my seamstress for my first fitting
-Finalize invitation/response card wording...this is done just need Kristian to approve
-Finish my photo guestbook and order...almost done
-Meet with our officiant to start pre-marital counseling
-Decide on gifts for the wedding party...I already bought one item for the bridesmaids off of etsy!
-Order our wedding bands
-Have the boys go look at tuxes

Phew! That's a lot of stuff but I actually think it's all pretty doable since most of the items are already works in progress. I'm ready to get this show on the road!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

LWD - Little White Dresses

Last weekend I met up with my sister in law and my two nieces (ages 6 and 3)who will be our flower girls. We went together to meet with my seamstress who will be making the flower girl dresses from scratch. Funny story- my SIL mentioned she knew a lady that could possibly make the girl's dresses. I didn't realize until we showed up it was the same lady that I've already lined up to do my alterations. She's a friend of my mom's which is how we both know her. So while we were there I was able to show her pictures of my dress and start discussing in more detail what I will need done as well.

I brought two pictures of dresses that I liked and wanted to combine to create the flower girl dresses. Our seamstress Paulette said it wouldn't be a problem and shouldn't cost more than $50 each (if that much). Considering that the pricing I was finding online for flower girl dresses was typically higher than that I thought that was a fantastic price for a custom made dress. She drew a quick sketch, asked me what kind of fabrics I wanted and measured the girls. The whole thing took about 30 minutes. Both my SIL and I have used Paulette in the past and she does amazing work and is VERY inexpensive. Honestly she really should charge people more but I'm not gonna complain.

Below are the two dresses I showed her:

We are going to use the style of the second dress with the higher neckline but incorporate the look of the lace at the top from the first dress. This will compliment the lace from my dress. We will be adding a black sash to compliment the bridesmaid dresses and a pink flower pin to go with the flowers. One girl will have a dark pink flower and the other will have a light pink flower. The dresses will be ankle length with satin and a chiffon overlay.

I can't wait to see how they turn out. I'm sure both of my nieces will look absolutely adorable. Though they both could wear paper bags and look adorable.

** Source

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I think my cat may be gay...

First I must start by saying that I LOVE Ebay...seriously if it weren't for Ebay I'm not sure how I would be able to afford some of the key items for my wedding like my veil, labels for our favors (more on this later) and my latest arrival... a crinoline skirt to go under my dress to give it a bit more poof.

The skirt that I bought arrived today and I eagerly unwrapped the package and put the skirt on the bed and after I took off my pants and turned back around to try it on I found this:

(please excuse his crazy looking devil eyes)

Apparently Halpert felt the need to try on the skirt as well. Does anyone think I should be worried about my cross dressing cat???

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Digs

As I mentioned in this post my company was moving into a new office building. Well the big move took place last Friday and so far so good. We spent most of last week packing everything up. Since I've only worked here for a year and a half I had the least amount of stuff accumulated so packing/unpacking my desk wasn't too hard. On Friday the movers came and brought everything to our new space.

It's amazing how much nicer our new office is. It's much bigger, layed out better and as I mentioned before, we each have our own offices. I LOVE it! I have a huge window, a lot more space and even my own thermostat which is great since I'm ALWAYS cold and was constantly having to wear sweaters. Now I can make my office as hot or cold as I like.

Not to mention that this building has TWO deli's and a GYM! I cancelled my gym membership a few months ago and I can't wait to start using the treadmill again (did I really just type that?!). Despite the fact that I now have another 10 minutes added to my already 45-60 minute commute I'm happy.

My boss said she would give us each $100 so that we could decorate our offices with plants/pictures etc. Kristian is actually more excited about this than I am and already has ideas of what I should buy. In fact he said to me and I quote "Can I be gay and come decorate your office?" hahaha.

Here are some pictures of my office currently. I definitely need to buy some pictures and plants and spruce this place up a bit.

(I'm now able to have my own filing cabinet which means I don't have to walk to another part of the office to get my old files like I use to)

(My desk won't stay this clean for long)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"Why can't we remember a godd*mn thing from last night?" "Because we obviously had a great f***ing time."

This Saturday Kristian is leaving for his weeklong bachelor party down in the Outerbanks of NC. Yes you read that right I said WEEKLONG. Sigh. When he told me they were going down to the beach for a week I was all WTF… most guys get A night…maybe a WEEKEND if it involves going out of town. Then there are the poor suckers who aren’t even allowed to have any bachelor party. Never have I heard of a week long bachelor party. But because I pretty much rock as a fiancĂ© I didn’t give him too much shit about it. I’m not worried at all about things like strippers or hookers…my first reaction when he told me he would be gone for a week was “but whose gonna make me dinner every night???” And no I’m not kidding.

Here’s the thing if he and his buddies were going to Vegas a la The Hangover THEN I might be concerned. I’ve heard stories of these boys from their younger years and honestly I’m amazed they survived their youth. Fortunately they are a bit older and hopefully wiser now and have outgrown a lot of their need for debauchery. When Kristian first started talking about his bachelor party he wanted to go Hog hunting out in West Virginia. See my future husbands idea of fun isn’t having nasty, STD plagued strippers shake their cash and prizes in his face…his idea of fun is killing innocent animals. Well it turned out that was going to be too expensive so his groomsman booked a 2 bedroom condo down in OBX for a week for pretty cheap…mainly b/c they are going in the middle of January when most sane people avoid the beach. I asked him if he wouldn’t prefer to wait until closer to the wedding AND when it was warmer but he said the fishing is good right now and this is when they wanted to go. Who am I to argue? So they will be spending a week drinking, fishing, smoking a cigar or ten and scratching themselves.

I must let you in on a little secret though, as much as I’ll miss him, part of me is pretty psyched about the prospect of having the bed ALL to myself sans snoring, watching bad reality tv without hearing him complain and not having to shave my legs. I can’t wait!

I just hope they remember one thing: "what happens in OBX stays in OBX. Except for herpes. That shit'll come back with you.”

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

I won my Ebay Bid for my veil!!! At first it looked like I was going to get into a bidding war with some bitch...errr...bride when Kristian told me about the amazing website Auction Sniper. You just sign up and it links to your bid on Ebay with the max amount you want to bid and then puts the bid in for you right before the time expires so that nobody else has time to bid against you. Genius right?

Anywayz here is a picture of the veil that I just won.

I'm not posting pictures of my dress but I will say that it's a lace dress. Initially I didn't think I would want a lace veil but after trying one on at the bridal shop with my dress I fell in love. I did not however fall in love with the the search for a cheaper version began. This veil is very similar to the one I tried on at the bridal shop but for approximately 8x less the cost. The only issue I have with it is that there are little white flower thingys attached at the top by comb but I figure those can probably be removed fairly easy. I can't wait to get it and try it on with the dress!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Weekend/Wedding Updates

Since I didn't have any real set plans for Saturday I spent most of the afternoon/evening working on wedding stuff.

-First I cleaned out, added to and re-organized my wedding notebook which houses all my vendor contracts, budgets and photo inspirations.

-I started looking online for potential flower girl dresses. Since my nieces are growing at top speed I didn't want to buy their dresses too early. I found three potential dresses which were reasonably priced and sent to my sister in law for her opinion. She said she liked all three and would buy whichever I wanted. She also suggested going to a lady she knows that is a dressmaker, does a wonderful job and doesn't charge a lot. This way we could design the dresses for the girls and have them made to size. I loved this idea and we have a plan to go this weekend with my nieces to see the lady. I'm hoping for something similar to the below but with thicker straps, a black sash and a pink flower pin. I love the lace at the top which would compliment the lace on my dress.


-I also found a veil on Ebay that is very similar to the one I found at the bridal shop that unfortunately cost $500!! Since I can't spend $500 on a veil I've been searching for something similar and finally found it for a more budget friendly price. Now I just have to see if my bid wins. If so I'll post a picture.

-For our guest book we are taking our engagement photos and creating a photobook for the guests to sign. I started playing around with pictures and layouts and so far I'm loving it. I plan to have my FMIL take a look at it before I print since she use to be the Yearbook advisor back in her teaching days and knows a lot about layout and design.

-I ordered a key component to the favors that we plan on giving out but that will be a separate post.

-I contacted our caterer about setting up our tasting to pick our menu and linens and I think we're going to do it sometime in February.

-We finally found our DJ!! We did a phone interview with Terry from Bialek Music's Thursday night and had the company send us the contract today which I passed along to my mom since she's paying for the DJ. We're both really excited and think he'll do a great job.

-Oh yeah and we bought our plane tickets for the honeymoon!!!!! We went to my brother's house yesterday so Kristian could help him paint his bedroom, while I sat on the couch and continued reading Eclipse (yes I did offer to help but I SUCK at painting...they fired me after they saw that I couldn't even tape off the room properly). Then we searched flights and booked the tickets which my brother is paying for in addition to our accomodations. Have I mentioned he's awesome because he is. We fly out at 6am the Monday after the wedding, arrive in St. Lucia at 1:30pm and then return the next Monday (Memorial Day) at 6pm.

All in all if was a pretty productive weekend planning wise. I suspect a lot more of my weekends between now and May 22nd will be full of wedding planning fun.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Shiny Things

On Friday night after discovering that Avatar was sold out Kristian and I drove around trying to find something else to do. When we drove past the store where he bought my engagement ring I suggested maybe we stop in to start checking out wedding rings...any chance to look at sparkly things I'm gonna take!

A little background- Kristian bought the main stone of my ring through a diamond dealer but he went to Jewelry by Design where he's bought jewelry in the past to design the setting. He drew a design of the setting he wanted and they created the sparkly friend that resides on my left hand. When he designed the ring he made sure that the setting was high enough so that a wedding ring could fit snuggly against it. Here are some shots of my ring from all angles...can you tell I love my ring???

(Yeah my boy has good taste right?)

When we went into the store we quickly discovered that we would need to custom design a ring if we wanted an exact match. Ideally we want a band that has the small diamonds going halfway around the top as well as the diamonds on the side of the band per my second photo. We're having the lady price out that option as well as the option of the band with just diamonds on top. We already know that both options are going to be out of our price range but we want it for comparison puposes.

Here's the problem, when Kristian bought my engagement ring he had a different job making significantly more money so he was able to go all out on my engagement ring. Unfortunately shortly after he bought it he lost his job, was out of work for 4 months and subsequently took a new job with a substantial pay decrease. He of course had no way to forsee this happening so the option of us getting a perfectly matching mate for my e-ring is basically out the window.

To be honest I really don't mind, no one except for he and I will be able to really tell if the wedding band I have is or isn't a perfect match to the e-ring. I've looked online and found some more affordable options via other stores like Kay Jeweler's which I think could work really well. For example:

This ring cost significantly less money than what we would most likely pay for a custom matching band. We just need to go to some other stores to check these out in person. But hopefully we'll find my e-ring a pretty little friend soon.

As for Kristian's wedding band he wants to use his grandfather's wedding band, which just so happens to fit him perfectly. His grandparents were married for 50 years before his grandfather passed away so we both feel this band is not only sentimental but has some good vibes on it. If he does use it we want to see if his aunt (who is a goldsmith) can somehow add a design using some white gold to give it a two-tone look. This way it will go along with my white gold bands as well as his gold college class ring that he always wears on his right hand.

Hopefully we'll be able to settle on our rings within the next month or so because it will be a little hard to get married without them.

Friday, January 8, 2010


We were able to check another item off the growing to-do list yesterday. We settled on who would be our DOC aka Day of Coordinator. I knew from the beginning I didn’t want to hire a full on wedding planner. I wanted the joy of planning the wedding myself…however I knew that on the actual day of the wedding I wouldn’t be able to keep track of all the vendors, direct them where to go, solve any last minute problems or help setup the reception site. So that’s where our day of coordinator enters the picture.

Since we’re on a tight budget I was having a hard time designating funds to hiring ANOTHER person, thankfully my mom suggested having one of her friends do the job. One of her close friends, Cathy, whom I’ve met before sounded like a great candidate. Cathy lives in a very large home and often host parties there, so she’s familiar with dealing with caterers and florists. She also apparently has amazing taste and always makes sure that everything looks perfect at any party she hosts. When my mom asked her, she said she would be happy to do it. In addition my mom’s other good friend, whose name is also Cathy, may help out as well.

The Cathy’s main job will be to direct the vendors on where to go and how to set things up. They will be a part of the set up process as well. They will handle getting the escort cards put out, lighting candles and putting the centerpieces that my MIL makes on the tables. In exchange we just have to include them as guests for the reception which I’m more than happy to do. I figure some food and booze is the least I can do to repay them. Plus now my mom is happy because she’ll be able to have two of her good friends at the reception!

Now I just need to setup a meeting with the Cathy’s to go over all the details but I’m confident they will do an amazing job and take a huge amount of stress off my shoulders on the wedding day.

Thursday, January 7, 2010


If there was one way I would describe myself it would NOT be- crafty, creative, artistic or patient. In my everyday life this isn’t really a big issue, I have other talents…like the ability to spend hours watching mindless reality shows, but when it comes to planning the wedding it definitely puts me at a disadvantage. I have spent hours lusting over wedding blogs full of amazing DIY projects that other brides have done for their weddings. And considering that I’m trying to save money as much as possible DIY seems like the best route to go. Unfortunately I don’t have the skill, patience and more importantly desire to spend hours creating personalized drink stirrers or graphically designing all of the needed paper products or making 100 origami birds as decoration. If you are one of those brides more power to you, I envy you, but I’m not part of the club.

With that said we still do need to find ways to save money and I am trying to do as much as I can on my own. This is where my current favorite store comes into the pictures. Michael's has become my store of choice over the past few months. It has an amazing section dedicated just to weddings as well as a whole store full of craft items to help me create whatever my little heart desires. One way we are saving money is by printing our invitations, programs, escort cards etc. ourselves. As I mentioned I’m not a graphic designer so I won’t be designing anything myself. Also, the idea of walking into one of those huge paper stores trying to pick out stationery gives me minor panic attacks. Thankfully Michael’s has a great selection of invitations that you just have to print and assemble yourself. Even I can do that!

Another bonus to buying items at Michaels is that they are also constantly running coupons in the paper for 20, 40 and 50% off. Both mine and Kristian’s mom have loaded me up on coupons which has helped me save as well. So far I’ve bought the invitation kits, program kits and a box for guests to put cards in. I also plan to go back to buy the kit for the escort cards and items to create our table numbers. I plan to start doing some print test this weekend to see how it all looks.

(our invitation kit, I plan to replace the black ribbon with a pink ribbon to add color)

(Our programs. The picture on the website isn't that great, I got the black and white version and will also use a pink ribbon instead of the white. It has different sheets for the Wedding Ceremony, Wedding party etc.)

(The cardbox we bought for guests to put any wedding cards in. We can also use this after the wedding as a keepsake box)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Gearing Up

So my whole goal of trying not to stress out and keep my anxiety in check isn't working out too well so far. Sunday night I was awake in bed for over an hour going over a mental checklist of things that I need to get done sooner rather than later for the wedding. Now that we're officially in the year we're getting married *happy fists* I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by all that we have left to do between now and May. It's amazing how many little details there are to think about.

Work has also been hectic this week, now that everyone is back from vacation all of my projects are going full force and one of my coworkers has been unexpectedly out sick this week so I'm having to cover all of her work on top of my own workload. Joy.

Thankfully I don't have any set plans for the weekend so my goal is to sit down and start working on some of the smaller projects and items that are still up in the air for the wedding. **Warning lots of wedding posts will be coming between now and May 22nd** Get pumped!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hello 2010...Nice to Meet You

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope everybody has a wonderful holiday weekend. This year has gotten off to a pretty good start:

-We rang in the New Year with our friends Bryan and Melissa, watching the VA Tech bowl game, eating, drinking and laughing...a LOT

-Friday we visited my brother, sister in law and my two adorable nieces for our belated Christmas celebration. My nieces are still cute as ever and it's amazing how well the 5 year old can cheat at games already...she's just like her father.

-Saturday had a belated Christmas celebration with Kristian's dads side of the family. They even let me enter the all-male Acey Ducey tournament which was a big honor since as far as I know I'm the only female ever to compete. Unfortunately I lost out in the first round to my future husband.

-Sunday, took down the Christmas decorations *sad face*, cleaned the house and made a pretty kick ass Veggie Lasagna together.

Oh and I finished reading Twilight and I'm 250 pages into New Moon. I have to say I'm back on Team Edward....swoon.

As for the New Year I don't really like coming up with resolutions since most of the time they are broken within a month or less however my goals are pretty standard:

-Get in shape (having the wedding in 4 1/2 months is pretty good motivation for this)

-Budget better and save more (again the wedding is basically making this essential)

-Spend more quality time with the boy and away from distractions i.e. TV, Internet etc.

-Stay in better touch with my friends and family...maybe even getting over my aversion to the phone and call them every now and then

-Learn to deal with my anxiety and not let the little things stress me out so much.

The next 4 months are going to be a whirlwind. I'm both nervous and excited but mainly I'm just trying to live in the moment and enjoy the ride.