Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Only, for those of you who know me, not much of one.

I read too many blogs. Way too many. And they are (mostly) nicely and neatly organized in bloglines*. They have neat little categories, so that like is with like. I enjoy having everything sorted.

But here's the news: Most of the blogs I follow fall into the following categories: weddings, baking, friend-stalking, crafts, style, and fitness (and there are a couple of really funny ones too). I get a lot of inspiration from the blogs I read, and so, they tend to trickle into my life (hopefully, in good ways). The fitness blogs have actually been helpful in keeping me motivated to lose a little weight.

My goal was to lose about 45lbs. Which is pretty scary to me. I was not a particularly big kid, and the weight has just kind of slowly seeped on. I've noticed this trend for a while, but I've always just kind of told myself not to gain anymore. Well, now it's time not just to stop growing, but to take some of it off. I know it'll just get harder to lose it as I get older, and when I start having kids, and I know that I'm not happy with my current weight. So, I'm finally doing something about it. I'm running, and I'm tracking my food on Sparkpeople (and actually keeping to my goals).

I'm not perfect, which is part of the reason that I hesitated to broadcast that I was even trying. I don't always get in all my runs for the week (I'm working on a couch-2-5K training program), and I don't even bother tracking food when I'm out of town or on the weekends. And I have only actually done the weight training I want to do for one full week (and that was before Thanksgiving). But it's working. I can run about 20 minutes now (compared to the 30 seconds I could run when I started!), and I've lost 10lbs. In four months (well, I started running in September, but didn't start watching food until later). Not exactly record-breaking weight-loss. But I'm really proud of myself. And I feel like it's actually something I can keep up with.

*If you read more than 5 blogs, you really should use some sort of feedreader - I use bloglines, just because that's what I set up first, and I'm generally happy with it. GoogleReader is another popular one.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas with the fams

Mr. L (and the Hershey-pup) did the rounds with me, and then I went with him to see his family. It was actually pretty wonderful. It wasn't nearly as stressful as I feared; everything just seemed to fall into place. His family had a later Christmas dinner, and mine started on Christmas Eve. Sure, it would have been nice to have a little more time with some people, but I got to spend some quality time with everyone, and I never felt truly rushed. We always had time to talk with people and sit and eat meals - we even fit in a Christmas eve walk with my parents and a date night on Saturday. It was perfect.

And it was nice to actually be with him for five straight days. Since I moved to Richmond, it seems like we get less time together (he's just under two hours away now). It's harder to get together in the middle of the week, and there are occasional weekends when we are running in different directions. Five straight days with him were just what I needed. (Now, if only I could get that with everyone that I miss!)

The Jefferson Lobby. Apparently, there was once a pool in the center, with crocodiles! I can see why they do a lot of weddings - it's beautiful!

Now, it's back to work for a couple of days. NYE will be with him at a very cool hotel in Richmond - The Jefferson. I can't wait! It sounds like he has quite the night planned! I've been promised a bottle of champagne in the hotel room, brunch at the famous La Mer restaurant in the hotel, ball-dropping in Carytown, and a wonderful dinner out.

Very cool new site launched

The peeps at Totally Tabletops are launching a great new website! I think it's a brilliant idea, and I can't wait to see how it grows. It's called 12 too many, and it's basically like craigslist for party stuff! This sounds much easier than checking the listings on every wedding website, ebay, and craigslist to find those perfect vases or table runners. And you can search locally, so no worries about crazy shipping charges that make second-hand stuff more expensive than new. I'm excited!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The family rounds

For as long as I can remember, holidays have meant going to several houses. When I was younger, we did Christmas eve and morning at home, with my mom, then Christmas brunch at my uncle's, and Christmas dinner at my grandma's. Once I could drive (and my dad had moved to the same state as my mom), my dad was added to the mix. As I became close to my BFF, her house was added on as a stop. So that for the last few years, I've traveled to my mom's, my dad's, my uncle's, BFF's, and usually, my grandma's every Christmas. Usually over about 3 days - Christmas eve, day, and the day after.
But this year is my first year as a real working stiff. I (thankfully) work for the government this year, so I get 3 days off for Christmas and 3 more off for the new year (because of the wompy Thursday holiday timing). But I'm at work today, and won't be able to drive down to stop no. 1, my mom's, until tomorrow morning. But, I'm used to juggling it all.

But this year, Mr. L is coming with me for the Christmas whirl-wind tour. I'm not sure he really realizes what he's getting himself into. I'm used to it, and I still need a couple of days to recover once it's all done. And, this means that Saturday morning, we'll be headed to see his family for the weekend. (Hopefully, it looks like his family might do Christmas that night, which would work out perfectly for us, but that's still up in the air.)

By New Year's Eve, I'm pretty sure we'll be ready to relax with a bottle of champagne on the couch and watch the countdown on tv.

The Stepford fam last Christmas. There is no mistaking us for anything but family.

After all the logistical details, here's my problem. Last night, Mr. L called me up and told me he was going to Richmond (where his family is) today to shop and see his family, and he won't be able to meet me in Roanoke (where I am) tonight, so that we can be ready to go first thing in the morning to Charlotte (where most of my family is). I had originally put off driving down tonight in order to make it easier on him, so that he didn't have to rush right down the moment her gets off work. He assured me that he'd get up however early he had to for us to leave on time, but I feel a little cheated. I already get very little time with my family (not his fault, but true), and I'm a little jealous that he can take the day off to go see his family. It's not logical, I know. And I'm trying to shake it (and, I admit, my ire is fading), but I can't quite get rid of the feeling that I'm somehow being shafted. I know I'm being childish and bratty, but I'm not sure how to un-train that kind of thinking.

Monday, December 22, 2008

wedding dream

Aren't you supposed to wait until you're engaged and have been actually planning to have wedding nightmares?

Last night I dreamt that I was getting married - right then. I was in my dress and about to walk down the aisle, but I was surprised by it. In the dream, Mr. L had said something offhand, like"we should get married" at some point, and I had blocked it out/not remembered, but here I was, and we were getting married. I was just about to walk down the aisle, but I had no idea what awaited me. I didn't know who was there, or where we were, or if we were even having a reception. It was strange.

I wonder where it came from? Is it from too much almost-planning, or feeling like too much is unknown and out of my hands? Or something else altogether?

Perhaps the strangest part about it is that I've been very relaxed lately, and non-obsessive. I've honestly just been enjoying his company and enjoying where my life is right now.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I love my father. He wasn't really around for most of my life, but now he is, and I believe in the power of blood (at least for me; I totally respect people who have cut off ties with their blood relatives for any number of reasons). So, of course, I want to have both of my parents be part of my wedding in meaningful ways.

But... I never imagined being walked down the aisle. Maybe I am an attention hog (or maybe this is the result of forming ideas with him not around, early on in life), but I have always imagined walking down the aisle by myself. And I like that idea.

I'm not opposed to having being given away, and I guess I just imagined that my dad (or maybe both of my parents?) would stand once I got the front, and then answer "Who gives this woman...". Or maybe not. I really don't have strong feelings one way or the other on that part.

However... I definitely always wanted a father/daughter dance. Even more so after I taught ballroom. Yeah, I'm actually a decent dancer (although not anything near what pros of the DWTS level can do). And I like to dance. And it feels very intimate to me. And I like the idea of having an intimate moment with at least one of my parents in the middle of an event that isn't very intimate (in all honesty).

But that isn't really an option. My dad's in a wheelchair, and has been for years. He's at the point now where even sitting up in the wheelchair is really hard on him, as is travelling. He came to my law school graduation (which meant so much to me), but it was really hard on him. So, I'm trying to confine location ideas to cities that he can get to in a day's drive (not ideal, but I am enough of a diva to say that there is no way I'm getting married in Fayettenam - yuck!). And, of course, I'm looking for something wheelchair accessible.

So what do I do? I want to include him (and my mom, who has always been there for me), but I don't know how. I'm not a huge fan of unity candles. And I sort of think that it should be something optional, so that if he weren't feel well enough, it wouldn't be detrimental (ie. I probably won't ask him to officiate). Maybe have him and some other close family members (mom and grandma) do readings? Or is there some meaningful way to involve him before the wedding, so that there isn't extra stress for him on a day when he'll probably already be exerting a ton of effort?

And then there is the other question - would it be inconsiderate to do a great-grandpa dance instead of a daddy/daughter? I'm so lucky that I still have a great-grandfather, and I would love to honor him somehow (and this would give me a moment with him and allow Mr. L a mother dance without it being awkward, AND give me another excuse to dance). But the last thing I want to do is hurt my dad's feelings.

When I sent out graduation announcements, I just used my mom and stepfather's return address labels (because their place was my permanent address), and I think it really hurt my dad that it looked like they were coming from the step-father instead of him. And I don't want to thoughtlessly do something like that again. Help!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Location, location, location

I admit to having spent a good amount of time looking at knot reviews and vendor recommendations, and other websites, trying to find the perfect reception location. We both love history and architecture and, well, old places, so I have searched high and low for historic locations in and around Richmond.

But then I saw photos of a wedding at the Carnegie Institute in DC. And I realized that I could really have a wedding anywhere. I am not really confined to Richmond. And now I'm paralyzed. There are too many things to look at, too many places that could be perfect. Sure, most of his family is in Richmond, but mine is all over NC. And I'm in Roanoke, and he's in Harrisonburg, and DC is still pretty close, and easy to get to for everyone (and full of beautiful buildings... although you cannot have a wedding in the Smithsonian. Which sucks). What to do!? I guess I actually have to wait until I can talk to Mr. L about it.

An un-stylish day

I'm just having one of those days. My hair is limp and gross and is getting too long. The new dress that I'm wearing in a desperate attempt to save me from total frump is ok, but the requisite jacket (for work) over it makes the outfit practically unbearable in it's outdated-ness. I just feel like I look like I don't pay attention to my appearance.

I tried pulling my hair back, but I don't think it's enough. Basically, I can't wait to get home and change. I'd feel better about my appearance if I were at home in sweats with my hair in a pony than I do right now. Yuck. I hate looking unprofessional.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh! Monique!

I love this veil! Weddings Fresh posted this picture from the ML fall collection. I'm completely smitten with with veil - long over the face with a substantial trim. I would never have imagined it couldlook this perfect.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Another boring reflective post

I feel the need to make a few points clear:

A) I am pre-planning because I enjoy planning parties, and I find looking through wedding blogs/magazines/websites/etc. inspiring. I think it's amazing how creative people are. And I do intend to use ideas that I've seen in the wedding context for other events (like an upcoming baby shower). It's mostly fantasy planning, and I really don't see myself as obsessed. I would never get married just to have the excuse to be the center of attention and to plan an incredibly expensive party.

B) I'm looking forward to engagement/marriage because I love the man I'm with. I want to have a life with him. This has been a sticking point for me - I am definitely one of those girls who falls hard and early, and I know that I can be blind to a guy's faults early in a relationship. I have had a series of long relationships, and I've been engaged once before and had another guy ask my father for his blessing (although I broke up with him before he ever asked me). I'm terrified of being one of those girls who has to be in a relationship (although, yes, I have had periods alone).

But I'm also a firm believer in marriage. I believe it is a commitment for life, and I can say with more certainty than you'd expect that I will not divorce a man unless there is infidelity or physical abuse. Some might consider it unwise, but this all-or-nothing mentality has kept me from actually marrying anyone yet. That's a big commitment!

I know that I've been a little marriage-crazy in the past, but people change. Knowing my past mistakes and the reasons behind them does allow me to make better decisions. Do I still have to fight to be objective about people I'm close to? Sure. But I think I'm ready. I think this is the guy, and I think that he deserves the kind of commitment that I want to make to him - and I think that he wants to make that kind of commitment to me. And I think he'll make an amazing father (and that matters to me).

Monday, December 1, 2008

C+D wedding!

A good friend of mine married her high school sweetheart this summer! Her wedding was one of the most perfect that I've ever attended. It was in her parents' backyard, overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains. It was so perfect, and so perfectly her (and she planned it all while studying for the bar!). The view was spectacular, and the sun set just after the ceremony, so the reception was lit by hundreds of overhead lights and paper lanterns. The food and drink were catered by a local barbecue restaurant over in the left tent (they had the fryer set up right there and were serving up fried green tomatoes!), the dance floor was between the tents, and the right tent held tables and chairs (as did part of the right tent).

One of the tables, ready to go, with a beautiful arrangement of hydrangeas.

Don't I have beautiful friends?! Hopefully she won't kill me for revealing this, but she was a three dress bride. She didn't decide until the day of which she would wear. I think this was a perfect choice - she looks like a Grecian goddess.

I couldn't leave out the aforementioned sweetheart! I love this picture, because it totally captures him!

The place cards were pinned to a toile-covered board. I thought this was a lovely touch.

This little guy totally stole the show! Here he is playing with one of the gamillion paper lanterns she had strung about. They were absolutely beautiful.

They let me make the cupcakes (I was so honored)! They had two layers of real cake, and 3 kinds of cupcakes underneath - chocolate nutella, carrot, and lemon with raspberry filling. Those are little fondant bluebirds on top of each, to tie into the natural blue decor of the real cake. (Sorry, I didn't get any pictures of the finished cake table!)

I hope she doesn't mind that I want to steal every detail of her wedding! I loved it!!!
*all photos courtesy of KempMillsFant, except the last one (obviously), which is from my personal collection.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

B parties

Mr. L is going to be in yet another wedding next month (Seriously, I've lost count of how many he has been in - to my 2, both my mom's. And yes, I'm totally jealous of him, especially since he doesn't enjoy it the way I would!), and the guys had the bachelor party this Saturday. They took off up to DC for the night. The plan was dinner at Ruth's Chris and then a cigar bar. In reality, the cigar bar was also followed by a pub, before returning to the hotel and crashing. On the way back, they had lunch. That's it! All in all, totally un-scandalous.

Now, the last bachelor party he went to (earlier this year) was a long weekend in Vegas, and involved not only strip joints, but also regular clubs, and just happening into the club where Flo Rida was performing. And that's just the stuff that they would tell me about!

The one and only bachelorette party that I've been part of was pretty tame (and really fun). We went to Charleston, SC and stayed with a friend's family. We took a guided carriage ride, and had one of our other engaged friends try on dresses for our entertainment at a local bridal boutique, and walked all over Charleston, and spent one night out at the bars (but didn't do anything more scandalous than shots... looking back through the pictures, more shots than I remember). We even decorated foam tiaras! (Oh... and we had so much good food!)Basically, we were tame.

Private carriage ride - totally worth it (even in the cold!)
It is possible that her parents will never invite me back once they realize the way I tortured Cindy Lou Who in an attempt to get a picture of her in my tiara.
OK, we did give her cards with descriptions of types of people she had to find, and we made her wear a tiara, and she danced with the band for a bit, and there may have been a drunken rendition of the UVA fight song... but really, that was the only scandalousness!

Yes, they invited all the bachelorettes in the club to get up with the band - including the woman who had just gotten married and was still in her dress.

All of this makes me wonder what our parties will be like. Chris complained that this cigar bar trip was a little on the dull side (but admitted that the Ruth's Chris steak was the best he'd had in a very long time). I think he thinks that adult entertainment is essential to a bachelor party. And I loved my Charleston trip, but I have always imagined a slightly more scandalous party, with everyone really letting lose and maybe even dancing on a bar or two. Does that make us wild?
I recently spent the weekend in DC with some undergrad friends, and had a great time. The girl I was with is definitely on the wilder end of my friend spectrum (which really isn't that wild), and I told her that she was in charge of the bachelorette party. And I stand by that! I think she's a lot more likely to push and cheer lead to make me (us) have fun! And she's another future lawyer, so you know you can trust her to be very thorough and organized about the whole thing!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I go back and forth. Some days I think that having a little bit of a legal-edged theme would be fun (we are both lawyers, as are most of our friends), and other days, I think it would be too much - even a little silly. Well, today is one of those days when I indulge myself. With Microsoft paint.

So here's my super-simple mock-up of my only-if-every-swears-it-isn't-crazy legal monogram. Of course, someone would have to clean it up and make it look pretty, but his is basically what's been suck in my head for a while now. Maybe now that I've let it out, it'll stop tormenting me.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I admit it. I have a hat problem. I have nearly as many hats as I have pairs of shoes (and I love shoes too!), and I probably have more hats than purses! I love hats, I love the way I look in hats, and I love the drama of hats! unfortunately, there are not nearly enough excuses to don a bit of head adornment. But on a girl's wedding day, anything goes!

Cocktail parties call for cocktail hats!

Halloween 2008 - a lollipop tiara AND an awesome wig! And yes, those are amazing, glittery false eyelashes - another favorite that will reappear in some form for the wedding(minus the glitter, I suppose)!

Halloween 2007 - giant hat, and false eyelashes (again)

Horse Races - Is there any better excuse to wear a big hat?!

Another great horse race = another great hat!

I originally thought that I'd go with a traditional, long veil for the ceremony, and then a birdcage veil (easier to dance in, but even more dramatic) for the reception. Then it occurred to me - this is the perfect excuse to wear a hat! I still like the idea of a very traditional, long veil for the ceremony, but what about a birdcage veil WITH a hat for the reception!? Obviously, it couldn't be too high of a hat, because I still have to be able to twirl under an arm without knocking it off (these are serious considerations, people!), but a nice, understated hat - something like a fascinator+. Yeah, that's it. I really love my black cocktail hat - I wonder what something like that would look like in white?

from walkermillinery.com

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Organization

I had a lazy weekend, and a long to-do list. So, of course, I worked on the things that didn't really need to be done urgently - like organizing my wedding research thus far into a spreadsheet! There is something incredibly comforting about a spreadsheet. I like having everything in one place, with neat rows and columns, all lined up with numbers in the same place, where they are easy to compare, AND easy to find again!

Now, thanks to the magic of googledocs, I can check it and update it at work or at home. No more sticky notes!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Warning: Goo ahead

Mr. L is coming to my family's for Thanksgiving with me this year. I'm so excited. It's extra wonderful because this is the first year that my mom has been the hostess for Thanksgiving! I honestly can't wait to have a long weekend with people I love, and to help out with Thanksgiving dinner. Hopefully, some time soon, I'll be settled down and in a house, I'll be able to play hostess. I can't wait to have people come to me!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I totally buy into the need for an amazing photographer. I have an awful memory, and it's even worse when I'm emotionally excited, and I'm terrified that I won't be able to remember all the special details, or I'll miss that sweet expression on my grandmother's face if I don't have an amazing photographer to capture it. An honestly, I'm a little narcissitic. There were several years in middle school-high school when I was extra camera shy, so there is honestly no photographic evidence that I even existed for most of the 90's. And I don't like that. I like a record of my existence (and I'd prefer if it's a record that glosses over my lumpier parts, and my awkward stances actually, I like the bizarro poses).

Scott Hayne is one of those amazing photographers. He's based out of Norfolk, VA, and is kind enough to keep a blog to show off some of his amazing images. I've killed entirely too much time drooling over them since I discovered him this afternoon. And I'll keep drooling until I see the price list, I'm sure. A knottie used them and recommended them, and I'm just so impressed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

floral arrangements

In keeping with the blue and white theme, I'm tempted to go with blue and white china vases for the flowers. I'm still partial to hydrangeas, but considering some sort of white flowers too. So here are the basic ideas:
Blue hydrangeas in plain, white vessels. Something clean and low, and simply elegant.
Something delicate and white, with just a touch of dainty blue - evoking a colonial feeling, perhaps. I especially like this for a historic venue.
Or my latest "oooooh" moment. An almost oriental vase, white with tons of beautiful deep blue patterning, overflowing with a single type of bloom - probably sticking with white flowers to keep it from getting too busy. I feel like this looks the most elegant (but that might just be because I love the feel of this inspiration photo!).

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm it!

I've been tagged by the awesome Sezzy, of Suffering Love, who is in the same pre-engagement situation as I am. I'm way flattered that she

Here are the rules:
1) Link back to the fabulousness that tagged you and list the rules on your blog;
2) Spill 7 random facts about yourself;
3) Tag others, cause that's how the game of tag works (only I'm too shy to do this);
4) Comment to let them know they've been tagged.

Wow, seven whole things about me that I probably should not put on the internet:

1) When I was little, I was in an Oscar Meyer Wiener commercial. I was just one in one of many groups, and was probably only on tv for 2-3 words of the jingle, but I sang my heart out. More importantly, they gave me a giant blow-up OM wiener! I loved that thing, and took it to the pool almost every day for at least one summer, and was uber-skilled at jumping into the pool while 'riding' it. This sounds a little pervy now, but I was young and it was just cool to me then! I still remember how upset I was when I took it to the beach and some shells in the sand punctured it.

Ah, memories. This looks just like mine! I wonder if my mom has a hidden picture of mine somewhere.

2) In law school, I'd only use green bic highlighters. I would buy them in bulk at Staples. And I did actually use each one until it had no ink left. I thought they were the best color by leaps and bounds (and I still do). Green is light enough that you can easily read through it, and dark enough that I could write actual words in it and read them without squinting.

3) I hated my nickname growing up, and finally pitched enough full-blown, only-child tantrums about it that my entire family completely stopped using it. Now, I kinda like it, and wish that I had a nickname in the family. But that ship has sailed, and I was the one navigating.

4a) I was a college drop-out. I graduated high school at 17, and had no idea what I wanted. I tried college, but was incredibly unmotivated, and ended up dropping out/failing out. Yuck! So I moved in with my boyfriend-at-the-time, and worked low-wage jobs. Although he was by no means the reason that I was so directionless then, breaking up with him has become completely connected with getting my life together in my memories. When I left him (because he was cheating on me), I went home, went back to school, and was focused. I graduated 2.5 years later with my B.A., and three years after that, I graduated from a top 25 law school (and yeah, I'm proud of that).

4b) I was a ballroom dance instructor. After I dropped out of undergrad, I was looking for a job, and totally tumbled into a position at a local Fred Astaire studio. I walked in with no experience, and they trained me. I was actually pretty good (but no where near ready for any national pro competitions). I had several students who won local and regional competitions though. I actually really loved it, but the co-workers can be pretty shady, and the costs (of costumes, shoes, etc.) far outweigh the money you make.

Sadly, this is about the only picture I have of me dancing.

5) I can't dance. Not freestyle, out at the club dancing. Seriously. It's BAD. the fiance (then boyfriend) of a friend once videoed us dancing at a law school event. After I saw it, I swore I'd never dance in public without a partner again. That lasted about 6 months. I just enjoy dancing too much! I dance around my apartment. I dance in the car. And when I think no one is looking too closely, I even dance on the treadmill. A few weeks ago, I did a mirror maze, and I danced the entire way through that (and then through a game of mini golf).

6) Pump It is on my ipod workout mix. And every time it comes on, I want to box. As in, while I'm running on the treadmill, I really want to punch the air in front of me - usually just a basic jab, but sometimes an uppercut or hook. And usually, I let myself. I try to conceal it as just runner arms (you know, bent at the elbow, swinging back and forth in opposition to my legs), but there are loose fists, and there is some extra ooomph coming forward. And sometimes, when I'm in the car, I'll punch to the music to keep awake (but, of course, I'm careful not to punch the windshield... hard).

Maybe if I did more punching, I'd look like this. ...or not.

7) I love to climb things! I don't think a vacation is complete without climbing something - trails, rocks, sculptures, trees, signs... whatever is nearby. I have tons of pictures of me in trees. And I think that's awesome! (And I wear flip flops whenever possible. This means that I do a lot of climbing in flip flops. And I think that's awesome too).

Notice the Rainbow sandals on my feet here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

reception flip flops

I love the idea of having slippers for wedding guests to slip into at the reception. I don't imagine that cozy bedroom slippers or particularly nice flip flops will fit in my budget. we do have a collective 6 years of law school to pay off, after all. So I've been looking into some more affordable alternatives.

First, I saw this pattern for paper slippers on foldingtrees! Way too cute, and I could use any paper and perfectly match the wedding. Too cute! But I wonder how well they would adapt to a variety of foot sizes. Hrm. And can you imagine all the time I would have to spend folding?! I imagine that they most cost effective way would be to buy paper in rolls, but I wonder what it would really work out to be? And would people slip on the dance floor if they were wearing paper slippers? (But they are WAY cute!)

Then I thought about the little slippers that they give you at the pedicurist. They come in a variety of colors and are slightly more substantial, and I wouldn't have to worry about sizes - they are intended to be one size fits all.

And they're only $.33 - that's a big point in their favor. But I worry that they are too obviously cheap. And that people won't slip into them because a) the flimsiness will make them uncomfortable, b) women wearing hose won't want to deal with the toe thong, c) they won't be obviously noticeable, or d) people just won't have a problem with dance barefoot/sock footed.

So, in the end, is it worth doing half-way, or should I just commit to full fledged flip flops or nothing?

The talk

I am very fortunate to have a best friend who comes with a great family! I love them as if they were my own. They have access to the Americas Mart in Atlanta because of their business (which is an awesome story of small business success!), and they have used this access to buy wholesale jewelry before. We'd discussed the idea of my future husband taking advantage of this access too (so that I could end up with a larger ring for the same price, of course), but always in the abstract, along many years of relationships of varying degrees.

Now that it looks like it will really happen, my friend brought it up again, and her parents said that they'd be happy to help us get access to the Mart. Now, the next show isn't until January (OMG, that requires patience), and I had to actually broach the subject. In general, I think we can talk about anything, but he's avoided talking directly about this sort of thing, so I've been trying to dance around it (not that he would agree with this statement - he'd likely say that I've been very blunt and confrontational). But for him to know that this was an option, I had to actually bring it up myself. I was terrified!

But I did finally bring it up. I tried once and backed down, but the second time, I actually made myself say it out loud. And he responded perfectly. He asked a few questions to make sure that he understood what I was really talking about/offering up, and then said he'd think about it as a possibility. So, I'm stuck still guessing (for all I know, he may have already bought it - he did have all day Tuesday off) if and when and how. Which, honestly, I kinda like (although it is driving me a little crazy). And lets me relax too. I can tell myself that it's probably not going to happen yet, because he's probably waiting to get the ring that way. So it's win/win (at least for me).

ribbons make me happy

I recently discovered the Wish Special Events blog, and it is a wonderful resource, especially for weddings around the DC area. They have everything from venue reviews to tips on the cheapest place to rent chairs, to, most recently, info on secret (at least from me) ribbon outlets! Purr. I want to take a trip to buy ribbon now. Unfortunately, I probably need to do something about my current (excessive) ribbon stash first.

My other favorite ribbon source? The J. Crew outlet in Lynchburg, VA. One weekend each month (pretty much), they have an even bigger sale (as in, shoes in the catalogue are $200, in the outlet are $70, and at the outlet sale are $7) that's held in the actual warehouse, and it's a mad house! But there are also amazing deals to be had, and they actually sell their ribbon (like, the ribbon used for belts or flip flops). It's in giant bolts (at least for ribbon), and it's way cheap! I love it! But... this is part of the reason that I now have way too much ribbon.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

STD postcards

Warning: math ahead.

I really want to do STD magnet postcards. I imagine a postcard that's a magnet - STD info on the front, and a mailing label stuck right to the magnet on the back. And according to the USPS hot line (yes, I called), they do still only require 27 cent postage. Rock! They'll be amazing!

So, I've been checking out the usual online culprits for cheap printing, and it looks like vistaprint comes through with the cheapest on this one - for 100 (I have no idea how many I'll need, but this seemed like a fair estimate for price comparison's sake), it's only $49.99 for regular postcard sized magnets (that's .50 each, for those of you who are as math challenged as I am - I double checked on the calculator). (Plus $4.95 to upload the image.)

However, if I do a STD magnet that's business card sized, and rubber cement it to a postcard, that may end up cheaper (although that makes me wonder even more about the postage changing - USPS is sneaky!). I can get the magnet from vistaprint for 17 cent/each (assuming 100 again), and the postcards themselves (or really, regular 3.5x5 prints) from adoramapix for 15 cent/each (or $.19 for matte instead of glossy, which may be worth the upgrade) - that brings the new (kinder, gentler) total to $.32-.36 per postcard (+rubber cement and mailing labels, and time to assemble).

Here's the easy summary:

big magnets: $.50/each
little magnets attached to postcard-sized prints: $.32-.36/each

So what to do?! Still assuming 100 STDs needed, that's a difference of only about $14-$18. So really, not enough of a price difference to really lose sleep over. And the bigger ones would be easier and look more like they were intended to be postcards (because they were)... and be less likely to fall apart in the mail. But would people prefer the smaller magnet?

the ring (only not really)

I love the idea of planning a wedding as much as the next girl (maybe more) - I totally fantasize and love looking at others' weddings for inspiration, and I absolutely file things in mental categories of love, like hate. I even have a general idea of the mood I want. And while I appreciate the beauty in many dresses and ring, I have never had that aha moment where I see a wedding dress or a ring that I love above all others. I ooh and ahh over them, but none have said "I am the one for you". Until last week.

There is a billboard that I pass on my way to work everyday. They recently put up a new sign on it for a jewelry store, and it's basically just a picture of one ring. The ring (to rule them all, and in the darkness bind them). My heart skipped a beat when I saw it.

And honestly, there's not even anything particularly outstanding about it. I'm sure I've seen essentially the same ring before without the heart palpitations and nearly careening into the car in front of me. (Although the billboard photo was straight-on of the side, and I think that makes the tiny side stone stand out more, and generally makes it all more dramatic.) Part of it was that the billboard proudly proclaimed that this ring was called "the Crown" (and who doesn't like that!?), but after a google search to try to find another picture of it, I realized that there are lots of engagement ring settings called some variation of crown, and none of them made me melt like this. Basically, I can't explain my obsession.

And my first thought (after I regained my ability to think), was that this was awful! I'm not planning to pick out a ring with him (I imagine that he would prefer to surprise me, and I completely trust his judgment), and I half expect him to pick out an estate ring, rather than something new (which I am completely on board with). So the chances of me actually getting the ring that caused me to melt are slim to none.

But after a moment, I realized that what this really meant was that I'd get to have two separate time-stopping ring experiences. I know that no matter what ring he picks out, it will make my heart skip a beat too, because it be so much more than a piece of jewelry. It reminded me how much I want that surprise, and I know that my heart will go aflutter every time I look at my hand and see the ring that came from him, and that the Scott Kay setting will stop inducing butterflies as soon as I have a ring of my own.

Getaway dress!

What a cute dress for leaving on the honeymoon or a bridesmaid luncheon... or even for the rehearsal dinner. I think it's uber-cute!

And right now, the price goes down even more (to $76) with code FANDF at checkout!* Sadly, there is no way for me to justify making wedding-related purchases yet (other than manicures - just in case).

*Thank you, shop it to me sale emails.

Monday, November 10, 2008

visions of navy and white

I'm pretty much set on a navy and white (possibly with some other accent color in the flowers, like a lime green) color scheme. Of course, this is subject to change if I can't have my late summer wedding. I don't think I'd really like navy in the spring. (I imagine I'm going to cling to my dream of a September wedding until it becomes silly - I may give up if I still don't have a ring in mid-January).

And now I've found the most beautiful dress ever! I want this for my BMs!Never mind that it was a one-of-a-kind vintage dress that is now sold. It's beauuuuuuuuuutiful. And I adore the stripes! I really want almost nautical stripes!

I'm already imagining it with a cute little bolero to cover their shoulders (if they want). Sigh.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


I admit it; I bought a Wedding planner. I was too ashamed to buy a full-fledged, made-for-it wedding planner. Instead, I came home with a cute binder and some tabbed dividers. Sure, this won't guide me through the timeline/budget/whatever it is that the "wedding" planners do, but then, do I really need the encouragement?!

Basically, I just wanted to have one place (other than the stack of papers with my bills, etc.) to place all of the lists and such that I'm finding. I hate duplicating my own efforts!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The tension builds

He dropped a hint that he was actually looking at rings last week. And at first, it really was a complete relief. It made me a little excited that it might be happening soon, but my more rational side understood that he is not one to move quickly. I was actually content just to know that we were on the same page. I was zen.

And then nothing happened this weekend. But I was still pretty zen. And then I got an email from him this morning in which he was fantasizing about us actually being in the same city... and part of this fantasy was that I could move back in with an (amazing and perfect) old roomie. Mind you, I can't move until next September because of my work situation. In my mind, I would be getting married then, and moving into a house with him.

His email completely killed me! I know I'm being way emotional, but I read that to mean that he doesn't really want to marry me ever! I was/am devastated. Sure, it probably just means he doesn't want to rush. And sure, that's probably a good thing. But really, I just want to curl up in a ball and cry. And I can't even blame hormones.

So right now, I don't want to think about planning or pretty dresses. I just want to kick him. And that's not very nice.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finding Vendors

Of course, there are all the traditional routes for finding vendors - the bridal magazines and websites and referrals of friends. Unfortunately, all of my friends that are getting married/have recently gotten married chose completely different locations from those I'm considering, and i can't help but believe that there are some gems that aren't listed in the advertising directories. But I do trust recommendations!

Totally gratuitous picture of Barboursville

While I am obviously not working with any vendors yet, I am perusing websites and such, and I was surprised to find that some of them are incredibly helpful! The Barboursville Winery has a handy-dandy list of recommended vendors on their website, as does Festive Fare Party Rentals (and theirs provides complete contact info on each vendor). How freaking nice of them! I love when people put lists together for me. Now, if only there was a way to convince all vendors/venues/etc. to give a handy-dandy price list on their websites!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

engagement portraits

I was able to tour the West Wing a couple of weeks ago, and it was a wonderful experience! One of the highlights was looking at the pictures taken by the White House photographer. Many of the photos hanging in the hallways were regularly changed out to reflect what Bush, Cheney, and staff had been doing recently (for instance, a photo with the latest foreign dignitary to visit). And there was one hallway in particular that housed the President's favorite photos of himself.

It was an ah-ha trip for me. Clearly, the take-away point is that I desperately need an amazing professional photog to follow me around at all times and capture all the moments that I'll want to remember, and to eventually get a flattering picture of me. Right?! Well, it gave me engagement photo inspiration, at least. I may not be able to finagle my way into having portraits done in the rose garden or at the Crawford ranch, I can at least bring an element of my life into them.
Since we are both lawyers, and I do currently work in a courthouse, I would love to do a session in a courtroom - I imagine way over-the-top editorial-esque photos with us standing on top of the tables on the opposing sides of the room wagging fingers at each other, and a sweet photo kissing behind the bench. Maybe even a photo of him cross-examining me (with me on the witness stand). I think it would be sweet (and a little sassy). The question is really whether he would be willing to do something so quirky.

We are also both food people. We both love to cook (although we rarely get to), and he is a huge foodie. So I'd love a session in the kitchen. Just pictures of us making a cake or lasagna together. I imagine flour and icing everywhere, and both of us in aprons.

Finally, I desperately want a picture of us together with me holding a gun, pointed at him. I had the dubious reputation as the girl with guns in law school, and frankly, I think it would be a way to laugh at how silly I'm being right now, desperately hoping that he'll eventually actually get me a ring. ;) I think this would be perfect on the trail that I always walked in law school - the Chessie Trail. It was a rails to trails project, and it's all wooded, with a river on one side and fences on the other side. It was perfect for walking Hershey without having to keep him on the leash (but don't tell, because there was definitely a sign posted (which no one paid attention to) that said pups needed leashes), and it was so relaxing. It was sheltered from the wind, and shaded in the summer. Pretty much perfect.

Ah, if only I had an unlimited budget. How on earth to afford a photographer for a week?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Oh no!

The boyfriend and I both love history. He's a native Virginian, and if you've even met a Virginian, you know all that that means. It comes with a certain awe of The Commonwealth. I've decided that I find this endearing, and with most things, it works out well.
The Virginia House

For instance, plantations. How can you not love the grandeur and sprawl and sense of history that a well-restored plantation evokes?! So... I've been looking for plantation wedding locations. And I found the perfect one. Seriously! It was moved to Virginia brick by brick and rebuilt near Richmond. And it's amazingly beautiful! Can't you tell?! I WANT IT!

The Virginia House Gardens

I even convinced myself that it wouldn't be too expensive since it's not as well known as the Biltmore Estate, and is owned and operated by the historical society. Right? A quick perusal of the website yielded no info on renting it out - it just said to call. I called, and there was a menu option for special events - I pressed it. The recorded voice had the audacity to tell me that they no longer do weddings!!! What does that mean? When did they? Why don't they now? Would a very grumpy woman yelling at them convince them that they wanted to deal with that kind of crazy again/more? My dreams=dashed.

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC

*Honestly, if I could have anything I wanted, I'd have the ceremony in the Library of Congress and the reception at the White House. But I can't have everything I want. Sad.

Groom, optional

I am not engaged. Nonetheless, I'm planning my wedding. I just like to be on top of things like that. So there.