Thursday, October 29, 2009
Let's catch up.
So, the Mister and I got some great news; the government extended the $8,000 tax credit!! Earlier this week, we decided we were going to rent again, since living with his sister is getting a little tough. So I spent Monday and Tuesday scouting and looking at apartments in the areas we want to live in.
Then yesterday, we got the tax credit news. CHANGE OF PLANS!
So I have been researching the details of the tax credit and looking for mortgage brokers to assist us with getting a mortgage.
In the middle of all of this housing-hoopla, I received our envelops for our STDs!
So now I need to print, mount, stuff and label. I can't wait to get these out the door since I know I will go into hyper-house-overdrive!
I will get to the STDs tonight/tomorrow and show you how they turn out.
Any of you taking advantage of the tax credit? Any tips on buying a house while wedding planning?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Well, I just spent less while the Mister saved!
Or maybe something a little more... permanent...
(haha... a bride can dream!)
So what would you do with a budget surplus? Splurge on the wedding? Extend the honeymoon? Or start life as a married couple with a little piece of land that is all your own?
source: all Google Image
Thursday, October 22, 2009
What are your skin saviors? I love me some good skin products :)
Ina is probably the coolest person ever and someone I strive to be like. Her career is filled with twist and turns. Ina went to school at Syracuse University (near me) and worked in at White House Office of Management and Budget. One day Ina and her adobable husband, Jeffrey, were driving and saw a specialty food store for sale in the Hamptons. Long-story-short, Ina took over the store and made Barefoot Contessa what it is today (even though the store is closed, she has made an empire with the name and lifestyle).
Ina loves all things French, as do I, has a great sense of design, as I think I do, and loves to cook and entertain, as do I.
But she took a risk on a business, which I could never do. And she does everything with such great style and grace, which I am too frumpy to attempt.
She is so cool!
The Mister and I have collected her cookbooks, we watch her show, have bought many items from her Pantry line and the Mister even tried to incorporate some Barefoot Contessa into our engagement.
Incorporate Barefoot Contessa into your engagement, you say?
Well, Ina's sixth and most recent cookbook was coming out right around our engagement. He saw that you could have a personal message from Ina inscribed in your cookbook if you ordered from the BC site.
I guess something was lost in translation but it was just an autographed copy... no "Dear Tres Chic, The Mister is about to ask you to marry him. I hope you say Yes! Ina", like he wanted.
Poo! But it's okay.
I would love to get Ina's opinions on our wedding. I know she would approve of the vintage-garden theme with lots of clean colors and soft touches to add to the romance.
Could you imagine her catering the wedding?! Even just the cocktail hour would be more than enough for me. I can see it now, roasted shrimp cocktail, herb crusted lamb chops, grilled chicken skewers with satay dip, blinis with smoked salmon and her cheese straws! ~sigh~
Is there anyone you turn to for design and style inspiration? Who is it? What makes them so fabulous to you?
The second and third slices were delectable but that praline lingered on our palettes and in our minds.
White cake with a layer of raspberry, almond meringue and butter cream. Oh yes, this has winner potential!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
This sick-spell forced the Mister and I to think about responsibility verses romance. We were open to getting married this month (on our 4th anniversary to be exact) so I could get insurance and we would have one less worry. This would be the responsible thing to do.
However, before we made any drastic decisions, the Mister looked into his health care policy for further explanation. And there it was: our loop hole!
I am able to join the Mister on his policy now but we would have to continue with his current HSA program and cannot change programs until January.
We can keep our wedding date as our official marriage date and I get insurance... how romantic!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
There is this part of me that wants to explain why things are the way they are at our wedding.
We want to have a French bistro-style cocktail hour with French appetizers, French wine and French jazz playing in the background. And I know not a single person is going to pick up on this detail, and that it is for the Mister and I. But at the same time, I want to tell our guest about this personal touch and why they mean so much to us.
Same goes with our cookie favor bar. It will be filled with cookies we love and that mean something to us. Yes, we do have a cookie that means something to us... the peanut butter blossom with a Hershey Kiss on top... it was the first time we baked together. Yeah, I know... cheesy but that's us!
So I want to explain the meaning behind everything. I feel like it will make the day even more special if we let everyone in on what makes us, us. I just have no idea how to do it without over kill of signage or appearing self-consumed.
Did you or are you going to have lots of personal touches? Are you going to let your guest in on the meanings? If so, how?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Halloween will mark our 4-year anniversary and could be the day we are officially married in the eyes of the great State of New York.Yes, we are thinking about making it legal this month so I can get health insurance. It might not be the most romantic gesture to some but to me it is. This is the Mister taking care of me because he know he needs me just as much as I need him.
We are 7-months out from our wedding and I am already having consistent dreams/nightmares about our wedding. Typically, it's me having a meltdown because some major element has been destroyed.
Monday, October 12, 2009
How lengthy you ask?
Well here you go:
1. Bird cage embellishments (platform, moss, flowers, large topiaries with “Just Married” sign)
2. Love Birds for the bird cage (pattern in ‘favorites’)
3. Large topiaries
4. “Just Married” sign
5. Planters with grass for flip-flops
6. “Merci” favor bags
7. Cookie buffet (assortment of cake plates, cookie tiers, ribbons with markers… and cookies!)
8. Tea-dyed sheet music
9. Centerpiece containers
10. Luminaries for cocktail tables (if raining, lining entry way and foyer)
11. Cocktail napkins - why our songs are our songs
12. Wishing tree (tree branch, crystals, wishing tags)
13. Escort cards (small envelops with G clef inside in a bed of grass/moss)
14. ‘What to do in the city while waiting for the reception’ cards
15. Ceremony programs
16. Pom-poms for ceremony pews/seating
Due to lack of storage space at my FSIL's house, I think it might be best that I start with small projects.
I also worry that I might be starting these projects too soon. Not so much because of the time factor but because I have changed my mind on several elements of the wedding. And with our tight budget, there is not much room for error.
So I came up with a plan: Research, develop copy/wording, purchase supplies and do a cheap-o test run.
I will research products and price for each project and find recipes for our cookie display. Then I will develop the copy for the programs, cocktail napkins, signage, etc.. I can test the luminaries with paper lunch bags, make a test pom-pom and test the cookie recipes for the holidays!
Now I can satisfy my DIY itch!
What project did you start first? Did you make a game plan?
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I am a slacker. No, strike that, I am not a good saver. As you know, I was laid off in July and I have not been able to find work yet. My wedding calendar had us doing our engagement photos in August but, financially, we just couldn't do it. And to be honest, I wasn't sure how we were going to pay for the wedding overall!
I had visions of fabulous detail photos showing off my twinkle-toes and flaunting Mr. Blahnik's famous label! ~Sigh~ However, $700 shoes are not a necessity and therefore, (insert "chop" sound) they had to be cut.
That one hurt but I had to rebound because the next was going to be worse.
The Bar -
Watching the budget trim down was liberating! Suddenly we knew what "mo'money, mo'problems' really meant.
Our bigger budget wedding was causing us financial stress. Our basic budget wedding has become the wedding of our dreams... Less money, less problems!
Have you had to trim, cut and edit your wedding budget? What were some of your cuts? Did you find that less-is-more?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
My first dress shopping experience was a nightmare (The Dress: Part Une). I do admit that I brought that experience on myself. I should have never gone without a person I trust that could be my ally against the strong, saleswomen forces.
Two months after my first shopping experience, I was ready to try again. I called my mom and my girls, I scheduled two appointments; one at David's Bridal, one at Alfred Angelo.
The third made me run right back to the fitting room. There was too much volume around my waist and hips (panic trigger #4) and I was D.O.N.E.
The saleswoman said she would go pull a few dresses I might like. I looked at the saleswoman (with what had to be an exhausted look on my face) and simply said "I think I am a little overwhelmed. Could we have the girls look for dresses now?" She understood and turned her focus on the girls.
I felt so frumpy and un-bridal. I had tried on a total of 4 dresses at this point and all looked horrible. I was discouraged and nervous about finding a dress that would magically make me thin, beautiful, elegant and bridal!
After a little lunch at Panera Bread (Fuji apple salad... num, num, num) my mom, my sister and I went to Alfred Angelo.
I showed the saleswomen, Lisa, what I had liked from online. She notice that I favored lace and A-line were the styles. She pulled some dresses and brought me to a fitting room. I tried on the first dress and liked it; making progress. I tried on the second dress and liked it; two for two. But while in the second dress I saw a bride getting her final fitting in a beautiful dress. I whisper to Lisa, "could I try that dress?".
Lisa comes back with a dress. It was a few sizes too big but we could get a good idea of how it looks because of the corset back.
As she laced up the back, I felt special in the dress and I hadn't even seen myself in it yet. I open the door, catch a glimpse of me in a mirror across the room and I had to catch my breathe.
My mom smiles, my sister's mouth dropped and Lisa says "I think this could be the one!"
I take my place on the pedestal and I found myself as a bride!
My dream is now my dress. It is ivory, with three tiers of frost lace and a inch of beading at the neckline. Simple yet special, elegant yet understated. It was me!
How was finding your dress? Was it not what you thought it would be in a good or not-so-good way?
Most importantly, is your dress the bridal attire version of your personality?
source: pics 1,2,3 - www.davidsbridal.com and the rest are from moi.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Well, to make a long story short, my younger brother has been the man in my life since I was 5 and he was 18-months (we have an older sister too, she was 7).
Fast forward to now and planning a wedding. My father and I do not have much of a relationship. When I called to tell him the Mister and I are engaged, he wanted to rebuild and reconnect. But the "rebuild and reconnect" tapered off within a few weeks. With that, I knew I had made the right decision.
My brother will be walking me down the aisle. Along with my mother, he will be giving me away and accepting the Mister as an additional member of our family. With my sister as my maid of honor (MOH), she will be right there with us.
I love that our family of four will all be together, on the alter, when I become a wife, a Mrs. and when the Mister becomes the second man in my life (well, officially and forever). It's not formal traditional but I think it's the modern-traditional.
Rounding out wedding party on my side will be my two cousins who have been there for me and have been my best friends since we were 7, 6 and 5.
On the Mister's side, the best man is his best friend from high school (and my good friend from college who let me stay at his place when I had rats and how I met the Mister) and three groomsman who are a combination of high school and work friends.
If you did the math, yes, I will have 3 girls and he will have 4 guys. I didn't know how to ask one friend without asking 3 others. So I kept it to family and one girl will have two escorts.
I am most excited for our little ladies and gentlemen; 5 flower girls and 2 ring bearers!
Was anyone else faced with dilemmas when it comes to traditions?
And if anyone has advice on how to tell my dad he won't be walking me down the aisle, let me have it!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
I got a dreaded phone call from my little brother (he's 23 and not-so-little) this morning. His girlfriend of 3 years has broken up with him. He is heartbroken.
I find myself crying for him as I write this post; for him, his broken heart and because I know exactly how he is feeling.
This was his third relationship that lasted over 2 years. But this most recent relationship was a different. They made plans. They complimented each other. She was becoming family.
I had a devastating breakup too. All breakups are hard but, similar to my brother's, we had plans and he was becoming family.
I am grateful that my brother turns to me for support. I am a fixer. I have a hard time just listening to problems when there is no solution or no way for me to help. With friends, I can listen and offer support without a problem. But with family, I want to fix and make the problem go away.
Now, I won't be able to heal a broken heart but I can make suggestions on how to keep occupied, how to advance, looking at what lessons could be learned for the next relationship, etc.
But the hardest thing is knowing how much my brother can love. And knowing how hard it is for him to accept love. And worse, how long it takes him to trust. I know he will love again but I hope he can trust again.
No wedding plans today. Just positive vibes out to my brother. BIG HUGS!
Monday, October 5, 2009
I think I was fooling myself. I loved the color combination and the streamline look of my inspiration photos but there was something miss.
Both the Mister and I are hopeless romantics. We love long walks through the city or country, cooking dinner and dining by candle light, we are committed to date nights (every weekend for the past 4 years and counting) and can't sleep without each other.
This romanticism was lacking in simple and clean scheme. Sure I could inject candles, crystal and champagne but my vision was cold. And even worse, I was not in love with this scheme.
Two words: Add pink! Pink is my runner-up favorite color.
So if I soften the green... Turn white into cream...
I love the vintage feel of the peachy-pinks and creams and the green made me instantly think of a garden. And I love the magic of twilight (referring to the time of day but love the book!) and the glow of candles.
With that, our theme was born: Twilight in a Vintage Garden.
Sure, I can't tell you if a vintage garden really exist but the idea of channeling a Parisian garden circa 1920 is exactly what I was looking for. And it is kind of like me, right down to my engagement ring.
Do you have a theme? How did you come up with it?
Friday, October 2, 2009
I have been obsessed with the language since 5th grade when we got to choose which foreign language we were going to take from 6th grade through high school.
What petite touches will you be adding to your wedding that is just for the two of you?