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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Goal

I spent much of the Memorial weekend working outside in our yard: weeding, mulching, cleaning, etc.  It was actually fun.  

Except for the part where I now have a hilariously awesome tan lines.  Well, scratch that.  They're really burn lines.  And they're sore.  But, the pain will go away.  I'm hoping that I can get the lines to go away, too.


For those of you who don't remember, my dress is strapless and has a low back.  I was wearing a sports bra outside in the sun.  And, my dress will surely show all of my glorious lines.  I'm not normally one for tanning.  However, I also don't want to look ridiculous in my dress.  

Fortunately, I still have 116 days to get rid of these lines.  I will probably be spending a bit more time in the sun and possibly investing in some sunless tanning lotion.  Any suggestions?

To stalk or not to stalk...

I mentioned previously that my mom and my sister (MOH) are throwing me a shower while I'm home the second weekend in June.  I sort of figured that people would start buying things off of our registry for the shower.  

I have seen lots of brides talk about "stalking" their wedding registries to see what people have bought for them.  I thought to myself that I would never do that.  

That was before Amazon sent me an email telling me that someone bought something off of our wedding registry.  The email didn't say what it was; just that something had been bought.  That's just mean!  It's taunting me!  

I think it's just nuts.  I really want to peek at the registry to see what has been bought, but I'm holding out.  I'll find out soon enough.  After all, I love surprises.  I just wish Amazon wouldn't rub it in so much!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Honeymoon Hotels!

I told you in a recent post that we managed to get all of our hotels booked for the honeymoon.  Here they are:

Rome (near the Colosseum/Forum): Hotel Fori Imperiali Cavalieri

Florence: Hotel Merlini


Venice: Hotel San Salvador

Naples: H2C Hotel Napoli


Rome (near Vatican City): Hotel Sant'Angelo


And, there you have it!  I'll definitely review them after we get back from our trip.  We did a lot of research to find them (good hotels in the areas we wanted at reasonable prices).  I think we did well.  The hardest place was definitely Venice.  The hotels are more expensive and not as nice as the other cities.  I think we're most looking forward to the hotel in Naples.  It's a really nice hotel and we got a really good deal!  :)

A visit to the Hoosier state...

I have my flight booked.  By this time in 2 weeks, I will be in Indiana visiting my family!  There are a few things happening while I'm there.

First, we will be working on the DIY table numbers.  I can't find any 4x6 frames at the Dollar Tree here in Colorado, but my mom found a bunch in Indiana.  That actually works out better anyway (I won't have to cart those things along with me to Indiana in September -- more room in my car for other stuff!).  If I think of any other DIY stuff that they can help me with, we'll probably do that, too.

Next, a shower.  I don't know when this is happening.  I've just been told that it will be while I'm home.  I'm excited because it means that I will (hopefully) be able to see some family members that I don't get to see very often.  :)

And, lastly, I will be getting my alterations started.  My dress is currently hiding in my dad's enormous gun safe.  It is hopefully being guarded from any form of destruction!  I will actually be getting my alterations done by the mother of my best friend from Kindergarten and first grade.  :)  

Before I knew that she could do the alterations, I was in a bit of a panic.  I've seen so many alterations disasters.  I really don't know what I would do if my dress got destroyed during alterations.  I don't even want to think about it!  But, I'm actually feeling much better now that I know that she will be doing my alterations.  My dress will be in wonderful, gifted hands.  :)   

Crossed off my list!

A few nights ago, I tried to knock two things off of my to do list for the month.  It didn't work out.  I couldn't find a pencil anywhere in our house, so I couldn't finish our DIY personalized hangers.  Who doesn't have a pencil??  Ugh... frustrating!  

And then, I couldn't figure out how to get the design/logo/monogram onto our guest book.  I had planned to just trace the logo onto the fabric like I did with the aisle runner, but the fabric for the guest book is navy.  So, I couldn't see through the fabric to trace it!  I still haven't figured out how to do it.  I think it's going to involve some lights underneath or something.  Oh, well.

However, despite my failures with those two projects, I have managed to knock a few things off of my to do list.  First, we have booked ALL of our hotels for our honeymoon!  Yay!  :)  Now all we have left to book/buy are our mini-tours and the train tickets.  Still 120 days left to get those booked and paid for though.  

Also, I finished updating our wedding website.  I think it's how I want it to look now.  And, I think it should answer any questions our guests might have.  I hope!  
Next, I think I've found the ties that I want the groomsmen to wear:

I really like it.  There's just one problem: Amazon currently only has 1 in stock.  I'm going to wait a week or so and see if they get more in stock.  If not, I do have a few back-ups:



The best part is that all of them are only $9.95 each... and they're Amazon Prime, so I get free 2-day shipping.  :)  

I've made a decision between the paper lanterns and string balls.  It's going to be paper lanterns all the way.  I just can't make myself like the string balls more than the paper lanterns.  I probably won't be ordering those until next month, though.  

And, I'll be measuring Philip's finger this weekend so that we can order his ring and get that checked off the list, too!  

So, for a recap, here's how the list is looking so far:

It's exciting to be able to cross things off the list!  Especially since I'm only 3 days in!  I'm confident I'll be able to finish the rest of the tasks by June 24th.  :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I am planning on wearing a headband/tiara for the wedding.  I want something simple and elegant and cute.  I want it to have pearls (to go along with everything else pearl I'm doing).  

I plan to do a simple ivory veil as well, but I haven't found one that I like and/or want to pay for.  Veils are expensive!  I can't believe that people pay that much money for a piece of tulle!  So, lately, I've been surfing eBay to find a good deal on a veil.  Any ideas for me ladies?

Anyway, back to the headpiece.  This is what I have in mind:

I found it on Amazon so I get free 2 day shipping.  And, it's only $20.57.  Score!  I think I'm going to buy it in the next few days to make sure it's what I want.  If not, I can always return it.  :)

In my search for a cute headband/tiara, I came across some really cute ideas and some absolutely horrendous ideas.  I just have to show you one of the latter (in my opinion).  

I've seen lots of cute feathery headpieces, but this is just too much.  That is a DEAD BIRD on your head.  WHY WOULD YOU WANT THAT??  In fact, it's even called "a white dove taxidermy bridal hat with veil."  Any item that has the word "taxidermy" in it, probably isn't supposed to be used for a wedding.  Maybe it's just me.  I don't understand.  But, if that's your cup of tea, you can find it here.  

Paper Lanterns or String Balls?

I've blogged before about my love/obsession with paper lanterns.  I think they look absolutely amazing.  I really want them at the wedding.  There are a few problems with it though.  

First, the price.  Not really the price of the paper lanterns themselves.  I've found a few websites with really reasonable prices for the lanterns ($1-$2 a piece depending on size).  The real issue with cost is the price of lighting the darn things.  One light for those things is at least a few bucks a piece.  And that adds up quick when I'm planning on having at least 50 or 60 lanterns up.  

Second, the work!  It's going to be a lot of work to get all of those lanterns hung up in the tent.  However, I will have a lot of help there with me.  ;)  

I have found a way that will allow me to light the lanterns fairly inexpensively.  They're called "throwies."  I found them on Weddingbee.  The only problem with those is that it will be a bunch of work to make the darn things!  

In my constant blog stalking, I've come across another nifty idea: string balls.

I came across these a while ago, but one of the normal blogs I follow posted about them yesterday.  Hers looked really cute:

I know that they'd be super cheap.  But, they'd also add another DIY to my already enormous to do list.  Plus, I'd have to figure out how to light these as well.  And lighting for them would need to be fairly small because I don't want the light inside of the balls to show up the balls themselves.  Or I could just direct a spotlight lamp towards them.  Eh, who knows.

So, what is your preference?  The string balls or the paper lanterns?



I cannot believe that there are only FOUR months to go.  Where has the time gone?  There is still SO much to do!  And only 123 days to finish it all in!  

I won't lie.  In the past month, I began to feel a bit overwhelmed.  I started making lists of everything that I still had to do and still had to buy.  And, it's a ton.  How can I have gotten so much done and still have so much left to do?!?  It's just nuts.

But, I'm feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle all of it.  I will get it all done and it will be AMAZING!  

Now, for my "to do" list for the next month.  I will complete the following by June 24th:
It's a lot, I know.  But, I have to keep up this pace if I want to get everything done and not be spazzing out in the weeks before the wedding!  The biggest one is going to be the invitations.  I've been putting them off for a while.  I pretty much have all the components done, but I have to put everything together.  I also have to figure out what I'm doing for the belly bands.  I have seen way too many ideas for it and I don't know what I want.  Once I get all of the invitations put together, I should have a better idea of where I want to go with it though.

The other items on the list shouldn't take more than a night of work each (if that).  So, I just need to get myself on the ball and get them all knocked out.  It's a bit daunting, but I will feel so much better if I can finish all of the items on the list this month.  Then I'll have another big "to do" list next month.  But, that will mean that the "to do" list for two months before should be pretty small.  And then the final month (yikes!) should have a tiny "to do" list.  And then I won't have to worry about a bazillion last minute items!  And I can be a relaxed bride.  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

A ring for Philip...

So, you all now know that I will not be wearing a wedding band (just sticking with my e-ring).  Philip, however, will be getting a wedding band.  I'm sure it will be quite a change for him.  He doesn't currently wear any jewelry.  In fact, I've never seen him wear any.  Ever.

So, I have lovingly harassed Philip to pick out a ring.  I want to make sure that I get him one that he will like and will want to wear.  After a bit of research on both of our parts, Philip has just about decided on a Tungsten Carbide ring.  

Philip works with his hands every day.  He is constantly coming home with cuts and scrapes on his hands (along with his arms, shins, and knees!).  So, we want to make sure that any ring that he gets will hold up and not be scratched beyond recognition after a week of work.  

Tungsten rings are scratch resistant.  Therefore, it's more likely to hold up under all of the wear and tear Philip puts it through.  

After Philip did some searching, he found this ring:


He really likes it.  He wanted a "comfort fit" ring and he likes the simplicity of it.  I guess that's another thing we have in common.  We like things to be simple!  

Oh, and another plus of the tungsten carbide?  The price!  I told Philip that he didn't have to be cheap frugal, but he said this is the one he wants.  I think he wants to make sure that he's not going to destroy it (and if he does, he wants to make sure he didn't spend an arm and a leg on it!).  

One thing that I did come across in researching the rings: only buy cobalt free tungsten rings.  Also, make sure that they are tungsten carbide.  Apparently the carbide is what makes it scratch resistant.  

I'll definitely post again when we order the ring.  And let everyone know how well it holds up after the wedding.  :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Official Shoe Decision

It is official.  I bought the shoes that I will wear on my wedding day.  If you remember, I wanted to wear navy blue shoes (match the wedding colors and be my "something blue").  I wanted something in a wedge since it is an outdoor wedding and wedges are less likely to get stuck in the grass/dirt.  Besides that, I'm less likely to fall on my face if I'm wearing wedges!  Hopefully I won't have to worry about that anyway, since I will have my mom on one side and my dad on the other as I walk down the aisle!

However, I couldn't find any wedges that I thought were cute.  Well, Philip and I stopped into Payless on Saturday.  I saw these shoes:

I thought they were kind of ugly at first.  But, when I tried them on, I kinda liked them.  They're cute.  

So, I (obviously) bought them.  I think I might try to add some snazz to them.  I don't know what yet, but I'll figure that out.  Even if I leave them as they are, I'm still pretty pleased with them.  

The weird thing about these shoes is the sizing.  I am normally a size 7.5 (or an 8 if I can't fit my wide foot into a 7.5!), but the 7.5 was too big.  So, I tried the 7.  It was a little too loose, too.  So, I tried on the 6.5.  And, weirdly enough, it fit.  Sort of. 

My right foot is just a tiny bit bigger than my left foot.  The right shoe was a little snug around my toes.  However, I bought them anyway.  I think that if I wear them a time or two just around the house, I should be able to loosen them up around my toes a bit.  And then they'll be perfect.  

So, what do you think of my shoes?


I don't wear a whole lot of jewelry.  I never leave the house without wearing a pair of hoop earrings and the necklace Philip got me on our first Christmas (it's a Tahitian black pearl).  And, since we got engaged in August, I always wear my engagement ring.  

When we got engaged, it was sort of a surprise.  We had been discussing it for a few months.  I knew that Philip was going to "pop the question" sometime soon, but I didn't know the day.  I didn't know that he had a ring.  
However, we did discuss the ring before he bought it.  He wanted to know what kind of ring I wanted.  I first tried to convince him not to buy me an engagement ring.  I thought it was completely unnecessary.  We could just get wedding bands and that would be fine with me.  He wouldn't accept that answer.  

Then I told him to just get me a pearl ring.  He didn't want to accept that answer either.  He wanted to get me a traditional diamond engagement ring.  
Finally, I told him that when it came to diamonds, I liked the marquise cut.  However, I had one condition.  Any ring he bought had to cost under $300.00.  

He didn't really like that condition.  As usual, Philip wanted to spend a ton of money on a gift for me.  I told him that I didn't need an expensive ring for him to prove that he loves me.  He finally gave in.

He bought me this ring:

One of our engagement photos -- taken by Lucas McDonough.
It's simple and beautiful.  And, I love it.  Not because of the diamond or the gold.  I love it because of what it symbolizes for us.  

Last week I was reading about someone's wedding bands and I thought, why do I need another ring?  I brought it up with Philip.  I told him that I didn't want a wedding band.  I like my ring just the way it is.  I expected an argument, but I didn't get one.  He told me I could do whatever I wanted.  :)

So, my bloggy friends, I will not be getting a wedding band.  I will continue to just rock my engagement ring.  And, it is perfect.  :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Saturday evening, Philip and I were watching Deadwood (very good show if you haven't seen it!).  At the end of the show, the song Will the Circle Be Unbroken? began to play.  I immediately felt tears come to my eyes.  

It's not because of the song lyrics.  It's because of the memory that it brings to mind.  One of the clearest memories I have of my grandfather is of him clapping and singing that song.  He died in 1999 when I was 13.  

Because it's been so long and because I was fairly young, I don't feel the pain of his death much anymore.  My grandmother (his wife), died in 2005 when I was 20.  I was really close to her.  I still feel a much more constant grief for her.  I see so much in my everyday life that reminds me of her.  I miss her terribly.  

In planning the wedding, I often think of them.  I wish so much that they could be a part of our day.  Neither one of them ever even met Philip.  Of course, I know that they would love him (as everyone else in my family does).  I just want them there with me.  

I know it's not fair, but sometimes I feel pangs of jealousy for Philip.  He still has both sets of grandparents.  I only ever had one set and they're both long gone.  I love all four of Philip's grandparents.  They are absolutely amazingly wonderful people.  They have accepted me as their own.  I love spending time with them.  I just wish I had my grandparents, too.  

I've been thinking lately about how to include them in our wedding day.  I plan to have our celebrant say something in remembrance of them, but I'd also like to have something physical there with us the day of.  The only thing I have of my grandmother's is an old family Bible.  I do not want to take that with me (I don't want to take any chances with it).  I don't think I have anything of my grandfather's.  I need to talk with some family members to see if they have any ideas.  

So, how about it, family members?  Any ideas?

Registries, Revisited

On Saturday, Philip and I went to Kohls and Target to add stuff to our registries.  Philip had a fantastic time.  He added some stuff that we will most likely never use (and I will probably be editing off the list very soon -- shhh! Don't tell Philip!).  He just had entirely too much fun with that scan gun!  

I have to admit, I really enjoyed it, too.  Philip and I have both been on our own for a while, so there isn't a whole lot of stuff that we really need... so most of the things that were added aren't really necessities.  They're just for fun.  :)  

So, we are now registered at, Kohls, and Target.  I think that's enough variety for people to be able to find something for us... if they even want to get us something!  

Honestly, I don't think that most people attending our wedding will be bringing gifts.  A majority of the guests are coming from out of town (as are we) and I don't think they will want to have to worry about a gift on their travels.  It's also just more convenient for us (so we don't have to figure out how to get our gifts back to Colorado).  

But, we have done our due diligence to make sure that if they do want to get us something, they will have something within their price range at multiple convenient locations.  ;)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our anniversary :)

Our first date.
Today is the anniversary of our first date.  Two years ago today (May 15, 2009), Philip and I went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina and then went to a concert.  We went with another couple (friends of Philip).  We watched Julianne Hough, then Blake Shelton, and then George Strait.  We had our first kiss under the stars as George Strait serenaded us.  It's one of the most memorable nights of my life.  

Of course, we had a long history before our first date.  I met Philip in January of 2005.  My car broke down in the middle of nowhere.  I was with my then boyfriend, Joe.  Joe called friends of his to come rescue us.  Philip drove out to Podunk, North Carolina to pick us up.  I treated him to IHOP for coming all the way out to get us (if you know Philip, you'll know that free food is definitely a great way to win his friendship!).  

After that, we became friends.  Over the years, we hung out every now and then when he was in town.  Then we started hanging out every weekend.  He became my best friend.  In 2009, when I broke up with my boyfriend of almost 5 years, he was there for me.  He helped me through everything.  He was understanding and supportive.  

Then, he asked me out on a date.  At first, I was skeptical.  I really did like Philip, but I was worried about ruining our friendship.  But, I said yes.  And, I am so incredibly glad that I did.  Our friendship has only grown.  He's more than I ever thought to ask for in a man.  He's perfect (for me, at least!).  I love him more than I knew was possible.   He makes me happy.  And, though it took some time for us to realize it, we are soulmates.  So, happy anniversary to us.  :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DIY Makeup (Trial 1)

I do not wear a whole lot of makeup.  The dry Colorado climate caused me to have breakouts, so I've recently started wearing foundation to cover up some of that.  Fortunately, I've found a pretty good moisturizer and I've got it relatively under control.  Other than that, I typically just put on a little eyeliner.  

On special occasions, I'll put on some eye shadow and jazz it up a little bit.  That's about the extent of my makeup experience.

On our wedding day, I want to look special.  However, I still want to look like me.  I don't want to pay someone to do my makeup (of course!  I don't like paying anyone to do something I can do myself!  I'm cheap frugal!).  

So, I decided to do a makeup trial tonight at home.  This is what I came up with (please excuse my crazy hair.  I didn't do anything with it and it's crazy long -- for me at least!):

I thought it looked pretty good, but the lips looked too pink.  So, I changed that:

Better.  I'm still not really sure about all of it though.  My bangs are much longer than they're going to be for the wedding (they're driving me bonkers!), so the effects on the eyes couldn't be seen very well.  So, I took some shots with my hair pulled back.  I want to make sure that the makeup can be seen on my eyes, but not be too overpowering.  

I think it's pretty good.  I'm pleased for my first trial.  What do you think?  Any suggestions?

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Duck Butt

I am a short-haired bride.  And not what is typically referred to as a "short-haired bride."  My hair is actually short.  I have what my friends lovingly call "the duck butt."  It's short with the back sticking out all over:

When looking for inspiration for what to do with my hair for the big day, I had a huge problem.  When searching "short hair bride," I came up with photos like these:

Obviously, my hair is much shorter than these styles.  I don't even consider the middle one to be "short" hair!  So, my definition of short is much shorter than that of internet-land.  

I really like my short hair.  I think it looks best on me.  So, I had originally thought of going with my normal duck-butt for the wedding.  Lately I've been toying with growing my hair out a bit.  I haven't had a hair cut since February.  That is an insanely long time for me.  My hair is driving me bonkers.  And, it's in that kind-of in-between phase.  It's shaggy but still short.  I hate it, but so far I've gotten a lot of compliments on it.  

I don't even know what my end goal is at this point.  I haven't seen any hairstyles that have really stuck out to me.  I'm just kind of bored with what I've got.  Normally when I get bored I chop off even more, but last time I had a super short pixie cut.  When I got bored with it, I went back to the duck butt.  So, I figure since I've done a ton of short, maybe I should expand my horizons and do a little bit longer style of "short."  

Honestly, I think this "growing out my hair" phase will last another week or two tops before it drives me completely nuts and then I'll hack it all off again.  But, we will see!  
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