Friday, August 28, 2009
While I haven't had a lot of time to cook and build my domestic skills I do aspire to be a great Southern Belle, who hosts amazing dinner parties and has a home that always smells of something baking and is warm and welcoming to all. Right now that's just a dream. . . .
If you dream like me (or know someone who does), then take advantage of today's Deal of the Day:
Southern Living magazine 1 year subscription for $5!
My mother "takes" Southern Living and now I shall join her! I also sent a gift subscription to my MIL. Maybe in a few months I'll be a domestic goddess and a true Southern Belle. . . .
Friday, August 7, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I have gotten this link in an email 3 times this week. Three Times. That's a lot for a single YouTube Video. And while I try to avoid blatant YouTube-ing at work, I had a chance to watch the video tonight. (While waiting on my pictures to transfer from disc to hard drive!). I love it!
It's cute, it's funny, and you can clearly get a picture of how fun and wonderful this couple really is.
What's the most unique bridal party entrance you've seen or been a part of? Would you be willing to do this if a friend asked you to?
(and a gratuitous wedding pic, complements of Mark Boxley)
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I'll be married in 10 days! Wow!
At this point all we're doing are little details: final gifts, thank you notes, and most importantly moving my things into our house. I often find myself day dreaming our honeymoon these days. We'll be spending the week after our wedding at Sandals Grande Ocho Rios in Jamaica. We actually booked the honeymoon in late December and took advantage of their 65% sale, which made an all inclusive honeymoon affordable for us.
I'm already trying to get "free" things for our honeymoon much like Monica from Friends. Sandals offers rose petals on our bed, breakfast delivered to our room, and champagne for our first night as honeymooners. We simply need to fax or email the resort a copy of our wedding invitation or license. We're taking full advantage of that! Now if I could only get something out of our airline . . . .
Sandals is all inclusive. All Inclusive--doesn't it just roll off the tongue? That's one of the things we're most excited about. I'm famous for bragging about my bargains and deals (remember any of my deal of the day posts?), but the truth is I feel guilty about spending lots of money. I knew that if we went on a honeymoon where every meal and indulgence had to be paid for right then, I would experience lots of honeymoon guilt. The solution? All inclusive where we don't have to pay up front for basic water sports, any daiquiri I might order, or the times when I'm sure I'll want double dessert.
Another great thing about this option has been the payment plan. We were able to put around a 50% payment down in December, but we had until last week to make payments however we'd like. This meant that we could budget how we paid for our honeymoon. We were able to pay it off a few months ago knowing that the last minute wedding and home improvement bills would soon start adding up (and they certainly have).
Many of my married friends have spent their honeymoons at Sandals and have had an amazing time. Yes, it's certainly not the most creative honeymoon, but we will certainly get what we want: time together, R&R, great food, drink, and a good time.
Did you get any freebies as honeymooners? How'd you do it :-) ? Where are you spending your honeymoon?--Love
Thursday, June 18, 2009
The whole gang. Top Row: Allison, Julie, Manna, Beth, Leah, Lamb; Middle Row: Becky, BM Melissa, Love; Front Row: MOH Erin, Me, BM Lisa.
Allison's an artist!
Goodness knows we laughed during this! MOH Erin's team ended up winning. They named themselves Team KY...
Turns out that was an appropriate name for them, as the prizes were goody baskets sent with love from one of my best friends from high school, Lupe. She couldn't be there with us (she lives in Arkansas now), but she was there with us in spirit. Lupe works for Johnson & Johnson, and she was able to hook us up with some amazing J&J products. Baskets included, but were not limited to: KY Yours & Mine, sunscreen, lipstick, and a first aid kit. The four members of the winning team got a basket, and I got one for being a bride.
Then, just like on Oprah's Favorite Things, Melissa disappears and comes back into the room bearing the contents of the gift baskets for EVERYONE. That's right, Lupe is amazing and sent enough goodies for us each to get our own! (these didn't come in an easy-to-carry basket, but were no less amazing!) It was awesome!
THEN, just when I thought it couldn't get ANY better, Melissa comes out with a gorgeous touille box filled to the brim with goodies wrapped in tissue paper. Each one had a tag on it to "explain" what was inside. Let me tell you, this thing was unbelievable. I am now the proud owner of every KY product ever made, as well as band-aids, poison ivy scrub, sunscreen, chapstick, and who knows what else. An example of a tag "For when you do it in the woods, and choose the wrong spot." That tag was on the poison ivy scrub! The gift was SO cute and creative--not to mention useful ;) The box was also so pretty, it was almost better than what was inside--almost!
Julie's jealous, you can tell! And that's Lupe on the phone, so she could experience the opening of the box even though she wasn't able to be there in person. If I haven't said it enough, LUPE ROCKS! Oh, and that balloon? There were lots of those. That one was tied to my wrist ALL NIGHT. Thanks, girls!
The next thing I knew I was blind folded and riding the back of Leah's Suburban, dancing to "Boom Boom Pow" without a clue as to where we were going...
Next up: Secrets Revealed!
Have you ever gotten a fabulous party favor from a Last Night Out?
Her husband (an actor) wrote this rap for her and they showed it at their reception. Read the story of the video here. Check it out!
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Things look a little slow over here at LA. I promise I have not forgotten about our fabulous blog/outlet/guilty pleasure. I always judged bridal bloggers who slacked off in the busiest time of their planning. I thought that if you were a good planner then you could keep everything under control. Boy was I wrong! Coming down the home stretch snuck up on me in a big way!
I have lots to catch everyone up on and I promise I'll do my best. Invitations, drama, showers, bachelorette party (see our toast), playlists, details, and stress are all on the way.
24 days until the wedding. Can you believe it!? I can't! I told B the other day that some days I feel as if it's still sinking in, but it's about to be here regardless. One of the best thing about the home stretch is my wedding countdown. The tradition started last year when our friend Lisa (remember her great real wedding) was showered with a wedding countdown and has been passed to each sorority sister bride-to-be since. Amore and I were given ours at our joint shower.
The wedding countdown is simply that: a countdown. Each day for the 30 days leading up to your wedding you open a note. Ours were displayed in a gift box and the countdown was written on folded up squares of scrapbook paper. I'm only six days into the countdown, but already it has brightened my days! Because every guest at the shower writes one-or as many as it takes til the guests finish 30-you get a variety of messages. So far I've gotten notes about what a beautiful bride I will be, inside jokes, and messages of: "x days til honeymoon sex!" I never know what the day will bring, but I always know it will start my day reminding me of the wonderful women who support me through this process.
I decided to make one for B too. His is obviously very different from mine. For his I wrote 30 reasons why I love him/want to marry him and folded them up in a box for him to open every day. He's been so great through all the wedding stress that I thought during the last stressful days it might be good to remind him what this is all about. So even on the days when I have an emotional breakdown over ceremony music (or last night), I make sure that I he's reminded how much I want our marriage.
Are you doing anything to countdown the days til your big day?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I have also decided that I'll start off my post-wedding posts by talking about the name change process. (I have always known that I would change my name. There have never been any doubts as to whether or not I would, and I'm excited in a nerdy way to sport my new driver's license!)
If you're active in the wedding blogosphere, you know that contests abound. I entered one from Junebug Wedding's What Junebug Loves blog, and I won! What did I win? A gift card for complete services from MissNowMrs.com! I was so excited to get my gift card in the mail. I kept it in a safe place till I had my marriage license in hand.
Here's how the service works: You purchase a package online--either the basic package, which is $20 and gives you completed forms for the Social Security Administration and the DMV, or the complete package for $30. The complete package involves paperwork not only for the SSA and DMV, but also for your voter registration card, the IRS 8822, passport, USPS and notification letters for anyone who might have your maiden name on file and want your married name. You enter all of your information into MissNowMrs and they fill out the forms for you. If, at any point, you feel uncomfortable entering some of your personal information online, you can simply opt to leave that field blank, and you can fill it out by hand once you print the form. (The website is secure and encrypted.) After you have filled everything out, you can save and print PDFs of all the forms you need to change your name in various places. My favorite part? The instruction sheet that comes with each form, telling you what you'll need to take with you or mail, and where to file.
Having used the service and now, officially, changed my name, I can honestly say that it's worth the $10 to upgrade. I might even go so far as to say it's NOT worth it to just spend the $20 for the basic package. I don't think it would be beneficial to only have the two forms. I say this because I didn't actually end up using those two forms. I used the others, though!
In Tennessee, to get your name changed legally, you start that Social Security office. They require your marriage certificate and your social security number. Nothing else. I didn't even fill out paperwork there. I showed her my marriage certificate, gave her my SSN, and signed. It was really that easy! Your shiny new social security card comes in the mail after about 2 weeks.
After you change your name with the SSA, then you can head to the DMV. Be sure you bring your receipt from SSA! It's required to change your name on your driver's license. At the DMV, I showed them my marriage certificate, my receipt from the SSA and my old license. I had to fill out their special form (the one I printed from MissNowMrs wouldn't work). They checked all of my paperwork, took my picture, and voila! I'm now ABC on my driver's license! The process was surprisingly easy and pain-free!
What I did use from MissNowMrs: Voter Registration update, IRS 8822, Medical, Dental, Insurance and Investment Notification Letters, and the check list. I don't have a passport (sad, isn't it!) so I had no need to update that. I changed my address online via USPS.com (be warned, this will cost you a dollar!). The form letters were super-handy to be able to send out all at once, and they request that the recipients contact me in order to confirm the name change on the account.
In all, I was happy to have the services of MissNowMrs.com to help me change my name. Would I have paid for it myself? Probably not. But, it was a great resource to have for free :)
Tips for newlyweds (specifically in Tennessee, but generally, as well!):
- Yes, that little tiny slip of paper that you tore off the bottom of your pretty marriage certificate really is all that is required to legally change your name in Tennessee.
- Get to the SSA office early. The one I went to is open M-F, 9-4 and I got there at 8:50 this morning. They were already open, and the line to check in was out the door. That said, I was out of there by about 9:15.
- Avoid government offices around the first or last of the month LIKE THE PLAGUE. They're busier at those times.
- Check hours and locations online BEFORE you venture out. The DMV closest to where I live is closed on Mondays. This would have been a MAJOR bummer if I had taken time off work and showed up there only to have to come back another day.
- Go somewhere tropical on your honeymoon, and come back with a tan. I even LIKE my driver's license picture because I'm nicely bronzed!
- Bring a book or thank you notes to write, just in case the lines are long.
- Celebrate your new name once you're done!
Did you change your name? Was it a hassle?
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Despite my hesitations, his ring fit his vision for a wedding band, which is the most important thing. And it fit our wedding budget perfectly.
He had secretly ordered my wedding band and they arrived on the same day. Despite the "Ring O' Drama" incidents (yes, there were two) B ordered my wedding band from Jared's. Unfortunately, he ordered the wrong band so we'll be taking advantage of their 30 day return or exchange policy and get the matching band for my ring.
Currently, for wedding bands we're 1 for 2.
Did you have success with your ring the first time?
Friday, May 8, 2009
When all my best friends were getting married I also jumped head first into helping plan their weddings while also contributing to my many wedding files. While dating "Bad Life Choice" I couldn't sleep so I would stay up all night searching wedding blogs for inspiration for a wedding I knew would never include him. I was focused on the wedding itself.
Now, only 64 days from my own wedding I've found a totally different perspective. Yes, I adore planning my own wedding, but for different reasons. I want to plan now to celebrate the love I share with B. I want to share in a day that will bring together those we love most to share in our vows and celebration.
At the end of the day, all I want is to share in a marriage with him. My goal is no longer to have the most perfect flowers or the most creative details. We're ready. I think my perspective has changed because I share in a love that goes beyond the glitter of the wedding ceremony. . . a love that makes me more excited about the marriage.
I know it's the right thing when I would forgo all the "fixings" of a wedding I love so much to marry B in a church with no pomp and circumstance. And I know it's the right when he recognizes how much I love all the "fixings" of a wedding and wants to share in a day that's special for us both.
How has your engagement changed your perspective on weddings? Are you just ready to be married?
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I just bought my future husband's wedding band. . . on Ebay.
B enjoys supporting me through the planning, but doesn't get really excited about much on his own. Two exceptions: cigar bar for the rehearsal dinner and his ring. Last month he decided he needed to get used to wearing a ring so he tied a ponytail holder around his ring finger for a few days.
We've casually looked for his ring. He has an extra large ring size so most white gold and platinum rings were very expensive, which he wasn't interested in. As a man, he just didn't understand why we would spend a significant amount of money on his band. In all honesty, because his size is so large his band would have been almost expensive as the ones we're looking for me. . . with diamonds! B then decided he wanted Tungsten because it was durable and more affordable.
Today he emailed and texted me because he was so excited he had found his ring. He did an online search and found this ring on Ebay. I admit to being skeptical. . . a wedding band on Ebay? It was very inexpensive, but the Ebay store has positive feedback and a return policy.
Why not? He was so excited about it I just ordered it. So, in 3-6 days we shall see if purchasing a wedding band from Ebay is a good or bad life choice.
Have you ever made a major purchase on Ebay? What was your experience?
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
7. Check your registry. We had been warned to not register for too many items on sale (as much as it hurt my heart to avoid the sale items) because those often run out very quickly. Since we registered so early we've had to make some minor changes. I check our online registry and we've printed it out in store to make sure that our registry items aren't all "out of stock" or "limited availability."
9. Wear comfortable shoes. We were able to get most all of our registry done in one very long day. We had to since we live in a small town that's not close to any of the stores we registered at, but many couples break this down into many days. Do what works best for you, but wear comfy shoes.
10. Remember what it's all about. These are gifts that will be given to start your life with your future husband.
What lessons did you learn from registering?
Monday, April 20, 2009
Meet Tadashi's Off-Shoulder Silk & Satin Gown from Nordstrom! My mother's favorite color is green and it's also a wedding color so she was excited when we found this dress in 'celedon' (it also comes in brown and ivory). Since we live many, many hours from the closest Nordstrom we took a chance and ordered online.
Online shopping is always risky, but we tried our best scientific measurements (measured a ribbon then my mom. . . far from perfect). The original dress was too large so I talked to a friendly customer service representative who said we could exchange the dress no problem and promptly ordered the smaller size. He told me it should arrive in five days. . . . . 10 days later we got a postcard notifying us that her dress was no longer in stock. Panic!
So, I did it again. I "opened up a can of bridal" on the customer service department and let them know what a kink this threw in my wedding plans. I was lucky to meet Darcy, Nordstrom customer service representative and fellow bride to be. Darcy contacted Tadashi and requested that they make a special dress for my mother. A few days later she called to let us know that the dress would be arriving at our house shortly. She even gave us an extension to return the original dress just in case.
Darcy said she knew how hard it was for her mother to find a dress too. She went above and beyond to make sure my mother also felt beautiful at the wedding.
Has your mother found her dress? Has someone gone out of their way for your wedding?
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The shower was honeymoon and beach themed since we are both spending our honeymoon at the beach. Our hostesses had bright flower arrangements as decorations and sent us both home with a bouquet. Each guest received a pair of flip flops as their favor. How cute!
The shower was held on campus at our alma mater, which was great for both recent alums and current students. Beyond the lingerie the theme was certainly laughter. We had so much fun! Our guests laughed with us too. It wasn't awkward to have two brides-to-be, but I think it ended up making the shower more fun! Forget bridal jealousy for us!
We both got a number of things off our Frederick's of Hollywood registries and enough lingerie to last us throughout our honeymoons, but some creative gifts too. We got a "Honeymoon Survival Kit" in a mini cooler, which included: sunscreen, chapstick, condoms, and lubricant.
We also received a "Honeymoon cake," which isn't a cake at all! It is similar to diaper cakes made out of diapers, but ours included a beach towel, picture frame, flip flops, sunscreen, cups, candles, and tropical flowers. Our friend Meaghan spent tons of time crafting for us! My BM Lauren purchased a serving tray from our registry and put all the ingredients to make "Sex on the Beach" drink on it!
You know it was a good time when we are laughing and our mouths are open in all the pictures posted on Facebook!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The average cost of a wedding in 2008: $29, 334 (up 5% from 2007). This is significantly more than my budget for our wedding, but I am lucky to live in a rural area where lots of my costs are significantly lower than the national average. The most expensive cities to get married in were: "Long Island, New York; New York City; Northern New Jersey; Hudson Valley, New York; Chicago; Connecticut; Los Angeles; South Florida; Rhode Island; and Orange County, California."
Are you a DIY bride (like I wish I were)? You're not alone. "More than half (55%) of brides made their own favors and ceremony programs. Other top DIY categories were escort cards, save-the-dates, invitations, and decorations."
Both Amore and I will have fairly casual weddings. We're not the only ones: "Only 20% of weddings in 2008 were characterized as 'formal/black tie.'
I will have a nearly nine month engagement and Amore will have nearly a year. Our engagements are short compared to most couples: "Couples marrying in 2008 were engaged for an average of 15.7 months, more than 25% longer than those married in 2007. A majority of couples (71%) lived together prior to getting married."
So how are "Recession" brides changing their plans? "The 2008 Real Weddings Survey results reflected greater wedding spending overall, despite the growing economic concerns last year.
In a more recent survey conducted by The Knot (in March 2009) a majority of brides (60%) indicated that their wedding spending is proceeding according to plan, while 40% have reduced their wedding budgets by approximately 16%. "
How does your spending compare to the national averages? Are you changing your plans because of the recession?
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
From my understanding, the shower is supposed to be a "home improvement" themed shower. Since B knows everyone better and we desperately need tools and things to begin our home renovations (more to come on that later, but we get to start fixing up the house in the next few weeks). So we registered at Home Depot. . . if you can call it that. Home Depot technically has a wedding registry, but demand was so low that they no longer offer scanners. That's right--we took a clip board and pen and registered what I imagine is the old fashion way. The registry is also not available online, but guests can access the registry in store from any Home Depot nationally. Let me tell you. . . that was an experience!
The invitations that came specified that this will be a "Jack and Jill shower." I had to Google it to figure out what that, according to this site it's basically a shower that's for both the bride and groom with gifts that both would enjoy. My FMIL told me months ago that she was planning on having a book passed around where guests shared their marriage advice with us. Well, when the invitation came it suggested that guests bring their favorite home improvement advice to share with us! I expected to get marriage advice and will instead get advice on how to properly paint a wall!
It was also important to my FMIL that I register with Pampered Chef. She said that her local consultant was popular and many women in her community favored Pampered Chef for wedding gifts. However, when the shower invitation arrived it didn't list Pampered Chef as one of our listed registries. After a quick check of the registry online, I discovered that no gifts have been purchased from it yet. This isn't a big deal except that this is the only reason I registered there at all.
I'm very grateful for the shower and I want to appear appreciative for all their work, but do I say anything?
Did you experience any "shower oops?"
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
The shower was "The Sweetest Thing" themed.:
She used the green paper lanterns left over from Tabitha's wedding and purchased new green ones to celebrate the baby boy!
Her mother took her pregnant pictures and made this mural above the gift table. I can only imagine how fabulous engagement pictures could look like this too!
What are some shower ideas you have?
Thursday, March 12, 2009
A few months ago I started the wedding dreams. One of the most memorable was a dream in which only those I was cutting from the guest list attended. I was walking around the reception with a fake smile on my face and kept wondering where my best friends were!
In lots of my wedding dreams something has gone wrong: photographer didn't show, my hair didn't get fixed before walking down the aisle, or there was no music at the reception.
Last night's dream took the cake: In my dream I walked down the aisle in our beautiful church on my father's arm. I was glowing and filled with happiness just like I hope to be except when I looked up there was no groom! I soon spotted him. . . in the pew wearing an unbuttoned shirt and acting like a casual guest. I was walking down the aisle and kept staring at him in the pew rather than straight ahead. Eventually B stood up and told people he was going to also perform the ceremony then he simply left. I was devastated and in the dream my friends crowded around to console me. I woke up gasping!
Amore has also had wedding nightmares. Apparently it's common among brides to be. According to Dream Moods:
"If you are getting married and have dreams of your pending wedding, then it highlights the stress of organizing a wedding. Conflicts over wedding details, tension with family and in-laws, fear of commitment, and loss of independence may all cause wedding anxiety dreams. Research has shown that up to 40% of brides and grooms have dreams about their ceremony and things going perfectly."
Have you had any wedding dreams or nightmares?
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
When B and I marry we we will be a family. . . and we both come with our own furbabies. Yes, we will have one dog and one cat. Meet our furbabies:
Meacham is B's dog and best friend. He currently lives in Tennessee with B's parents, but will join B and I in our town in April. B found Meacham a couple of years ago as a stray dog in a park in Knoxville. He is named after Robert Meacham, former University of Tennessee football player.
Meacham only listens to B. He is not interested in following any of my commands. He craves B's attention and is none to happy to have to share with me. Meacham also chewed up my favorite red high heels last year.
B is happier when Meacham is around. He is a boy who loves his dog. I know that living with Meacham will take some getting used to on my part, but I'm willing to try because he means so much to B. I know that Meacham will provide us with many stories and adventures. . .
I'm more of a cat kind of girl. . . .
Meet Roxy, my birthday present from B (she's grown lots since the picture was taken). I'll admit that at first I was none to happy to get a kitten for my birthday, but after about a minute I fell in love and now we are best friends.
I adore her and she follows me around every where I go. Her favorite place to rest is on my chest and she purrs with delight. She's a firecracker and loves to play or chase me during my workout.
Roxy sleeps with me every night. She always starts out cute and cuddly, but that never lasts long. Roxy loves to find my ponytail holders or pearl earrings and play throughout the night. She will randomly pounce on me and wakes me up without fail an hour before my alarm. I am a hard sleeper, but B suffers from insomnia and will not be a fan of a cat who steals his precious sleep.
So soon my "family-to-be" will be living under one roof (although Meacham will become more of an outside dog). We're going to start out with problems to be solved and it will take some time for all of us to learn to live together, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
Will you be "merging families?" Have you had to adjust to new pets?--Love
Friday, February 27, 2009
Have you ever created a lingerie registry? Where are your favorite places to shop for "sexy little things?"
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
- I'm choosing to give up french fries (because they're not good for me and believe me it will be a sacrifice).
- I will complain less. This is one of the happiest times of my life, yet I find myself constantly complaining about my job and the little things.
- I will follow my diet. I've seen some results, but I know there would be more to brag about if I were more committed.
- I will love people more.
What are you giving up for Lent?
Friday, February 20, 2009
Lately I've had this overwhelming peace that everything is how it should be. Sure, I'm not head over heels for my job and dropping the pounds isn't as easy as I'd hoped, but all is well. In my Valentine's Day card, B wrote about how the pre-wedding buzz made lots of people nervous, but it made him excited and hopeful. Even yesterday despite his flu, he told me that he's been thinking about how excited he is to marry me.
And I'm excited too. For as long as I can remember (long before B was even in my picture) I've been thinking about and planning my wedding. Now that the planning is real I'm surprisingly not stressed and at peace almost all the time. This is what I have waited for: to marry a man that makes me proud and who brings hope for all the days ahead.
The movie Bride Wars showed two different couples who responded to planning a wedding very differently. In the end one didn't make it. The past couple of weeks I feel like I keep hearing about couples that plan for their wedding, but never make it to the marriage.
In my hometown, an engaged acquaintance's (who I'd talked wedding planning with many times) fiance called off their October wedding on Valentine's Day. She had anxiously been making plans and he simply got "cold feet" and told her he couldn't do it a la Big from Sex and The City.
My favorite wedding blog, WeddingBee, recently had two of its bloggers call of their weddings. Both Miss Fondue and Miss Snapdragon called off their upcoming weddings just months before they were to walk down the aisle. My heart breaks for all these women. I can't imagine calling off the wedding, but I know that being sure about marriage is the most important thing.
I feel lucky because I feel like preparing for our future together has brought B and I closer. The preparations are starting to make things real, which makes us excited and more ready than ever to be husband and wife.
Have you ever known anyone to call off the wedding? Has wedding planning brought you and your FI closer together?