Wednesday, August 31, 2011

{ Health } Bridal Boot Camp: Getting in Shape

I am a yo-yo. At least when it comes to dieting and exercise. I spent three months going tree times a week to my gym, running 3 miles and lifting a circuit or weights... And then... I quit.

Classic me.

Image Source: Lolcats /

I know many people struggle with the motivation to keep going. I know that a long day at work and a long commute make me just want to go home and slip into my PJs. I've resigned to the fact that I need to find some at-home workouts to keep me motivated, because if I am working out at home, I tend to be more keen on hitting the gym for a run.

I recently found Forever TV, a Minnesota based wedding planning show that airs its webisodes on their website each week. They have a mini-series within their season called Bridal Boot Camp and I am digging it. Little exercises I can go at home to tone up my arms and keep from being bored at the gym!

I also love the Netflix has a few yoga videos I can stream on my Wii to keep a little peace in this stressful life.

Hopefully once I get into a good routine of toning at home, I'll feel like hitting the gym for a mile or two a few times a week again... We can all dream, right?

What do you do to stay motivated on your fitness journey?

Monday, August 29, 2011

{ DIY } Making Sunshine


Let’s play follow the leader! Following the order of the pictures...

1. Cut out circles in the size you want to make your sunflower. Note: I made mine about 1.5 inches in diameter.
2. Fold the circle in half.
3. Fold your circle in half again and give it a good squeeze to make a soft crease in the middle... then unfold it so it is only folded once again.
4. Fold the edges of the half circle so that they evenly meet in the middle where your crease line from the previous step is.
5. Fold your fabric in half with the folds you just made on the outside when you fold.
6 & 7. Take each side  and fold the fabric down once more.
8. Stick a pin in the flower petal at the base to hold it all together while you make more! I made 12 for mine, but they look cute with 8 or more petals.

Once you have the amount of petals you want, start to string them together on a piece of thread. Join your first petal to your last petal so they form a circle and... ta da! You have a flower! There will be a hole in the middle, so a button or some jewels will needed to cover this up.

I added a little fabric glue to a button to cover the hole in the middle... Now all you would have to do to make it a real flower would be to add a fabric cover to the back and attach a stem. How pretty is that?

Friday, August 26, 2011

{ Life } I Love This Town

The Twins might be behind by 16 games... But I love any time I get to spend at Target Field. My brother and our friend Paul went to a game on Monday against Baltimore... and even though it was a huge loss, the night was perfect and you just can't beat the view...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

{ Inspiration } If I Choose Live Flowers

First of all, yes I do know that I had always said I'd be a DIY bride and make my own flowers because flowers are SO expensive and such a waste... (And I still think this, so I'm still pressing on with my ribbon flowers!) But there is a little girl inside of me who still has an obsession with one particular flower... Sunflowers!

And I even found a pattern to MAKE them from fabric, should I decide I can't live without them.

How can you not drool over these beautiful sunflowers?? Brace yourself. We're about to go pic-crazy!

See what I mean? I am so in love with these flowers...

Do you or did you flip-flop on your flowers selections for your big day? What helped you make the final decision?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

{ Planning } Venues: Part Deux

Last night we made our way out to our second venue viewing.

I can tell you that I was feeling a little stressed out about venues still, since after two weeks of searching and inquiring and emailing and everything but harassing the poor venue planners... We had three options total before it was back to the drawing board entirely. I kept hearing from  places "we're all booked up!" and knew that would be the case. There was still just this tiny part of me that hoped MAYBE some other brides weren't planning 16+ months in advance. Apparently we're all planning for a year ahead and we all want our venues down first.

Well now. That just makes too much sense!

So the fam, Carl and I pile into the car and trek out to the venue. The pictures were so beautiful and the gal I had been email with was so nice and patient with me. I was slightly nervous that if this was the place that felt right for me, that everyone else would hate it. I know. I'm neurotic with a dash of crazy. I worry about this stuff all the time.

I saw the large ballroom right away and it sort of made me sigh a little. A happy little 'that's so pretty!' sigh. The second ballroom (my favorite) was very similar, but smaller. There was also the great added features of a two sided glass fireplace and a sort of foyer area that could hold a gift table, cake table, etc. The two upstairs rooms had a patio that they shared, which was another nice option for guests. The third ballroom (his favorite) was shaped a little stranger, but was also really nice. I really liked them all. The third ballroom didn't have the gorgeous chandeliers or ceiling draping the others did, and that's the only knock I could think of.

We viewed the ceremony sites outdoors. The gazebo was very pretty with a great backdrop and tons of places for great photos. The pergola is going to be moved, but to a location I think is even prettier. Willow trees! I love them... And they were everywhere! There was a bridge and a pond and so much that just felt... perfect. I really loved it. I was starting to see my wedding there and it felt so nice.

There is still discussing to do. We are waiting to hear about their open dates. Carl is reviewing the menu (which I glanced at and thought looked delicious). I'll talk logistics with the 'rents. I just really felt good at this place. I had been excited about it since I remembered they did weddings and was planning this to be my coup de gras, should all the rest of the places I was researching not pan out. Knock on wood, it will all start to fall in place, soon! Then I just get to stress about... Everything else.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

{ Planning } Can You Be Just... Whelmed?

I love 10 Things I Hate About You, and so far the search for venues to even consider looking at feels little like... This:

Chastity: I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?
Bianca: I think you can in Europe.

My folks, Carl and I went on our first venue viewing on Tuesday. I've been stressing out majorly over venues, since everything seems so crazy expensive that I end up having a panic attack and avoiding my inbox filled with inquiry responses for a few days. I have a small list of a handful of places that really might work, but I'm keeping my eyes to the skies and my ear to the ground, just in case that perfect spot is still out there, hidden.

Someone once said "getting married is great... getting married in the Twin Cities sucks." Seems to be a true statement from what I can tell. Go 30 miles outside of the Twin Cites and you find awesome deals on places and beautiful locations. In the Cities? Overpriced, overpriced, overpriced.


The fam, Carl and I went to Central Park in Woodbury. It's a cute little place, but immediately I was thinking about the fact that it's attached to a YMCA and a library. I've always had something more... private in mind. Not secluded, mind you, but not on display. Inside, the amphitheater is really nice and could be decorated really pretty. The rest of the place just felt... Community Center. The reception hall was oddly shaped, there wasn't a great spot for a dance (if you have a large group, like we will have), and it just felt lack-luster from what I had pictured in my head of "indoor garden". Also, all the views from outside included housing developments. That wouldn't make for great outdoor photos, now would it?

It wasn't what I expected, but that's why you go and look at places, right?

I guess it's on to the next few choices... We'll see what comes of those!

Monday, August 15, 2011

{ Planning } Cry Baby

I’ve been devouring The Wedding Book, by Mindy Weiss these last few days. My mom and I picked it up during the Great Wedding Guide Caper, and it’s been so incredibly helpful. And hey – if it’s good enough for Heidi Klum and Seal, it’s good enough for me.

I recently came across the chapter that talks about toasts and vows. Reading into the details about when to make toasts, what are appropriate places and times to toast, what kinds of speeches you though plan on preparing… Two things happened.
1. My stage fright started to prematurely act up. I barely made it out of my college speech class alive, and now you’re telling me I have to do it all again? In front of my FAMILY?! In front of 200 some people?! It was tough enough doing it in front of 30 strangers! And then,

2. I started to cry. Not because of the stage fright, but because I thought about some of the things I wanted to be sure to say if and when I ever make a toast during the wedding or during the rehearsal dinner… and I got emotional.
This has really brought out one of my biggest wedding fears. I’m terrified that I’m going to be a big crying mess from sun up to sun down the entire wedding weekend. I’m going to ruin my make up. I’m going to look splotchy and red in pictures. I’m going to stumble through my vows while the tears rain down. And while I know that my makeup artist will be on site to help me through it all (Megan is a goddess!), I am still terrified that all I am going to be able to do is bawl like a big, emotional baby.

I can’t explain to you why this makes me so scared, other than I want to keep a level head and really be present for my wedding, not worrying about crying and running mascara and looking like a fool. I know that the tears during the wedding crunch-time are all going to be joyous, excited, happy tears. Tears that show how in love with Carl I am. Tears that show how excited and hopeful I am about our future together… But I can’t get the image of me looking like a hysterical freak out of my head.

Being an emotional person and a worrier… This is a deadly combination.

Do you worry about your emotions getting the best of you at your wedding?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

{ Life } Glamorama

One of the great benefits of working where I do is the yearly Glamorama fashion show and party put on by Macy’s. The non-profit I work with is the lucky beneficiary for this event, and I always look forward to the show.

It’s fashion! It’s music! It’s a wild and crazy post-party!

I’m no fashionista, but I do enjoy seeing the crazy new fashions. Some of the premiers for fall lines came from Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, Papi, Tracy Reese and more. There is always a men’s underwear line that gets the ladies hooting. One year there was even men’s swimsuits and an onstage waterfall… Can you imagine the reaction to glistening men in only their little swimsuits? It was all over the news the next day!

There is always music to go along with the show. A mini concert is put on by a talent which acts as a break-up of the fashion show and a show closer. We’ve seen Eric Hutchinson and Macy Gray… We saw Cyndi Lauper and M.C. Hammer… This year was pretty great, though. The first act was Far East Movement, and our show headliner…

Bruno Mars! He’s adorable, sings like an angel, and has amazing fashion sense. A fabulous pick for the theme “Artrageous” this year!

Afterwards, there is a rooftop party at Macy’s in downtown. This party is epic. We were surrounded by four amazing catered food stations (Breakfast, panini’s, Americana, and sushi!) an crème brule station, and a candy buffet by See’s Candy. How can you go wrong?

The Patron photo booth is always a favorite spot!

This year, I continued onw yearly tradition: losing an earring. Oh well! Thank goodness they were only $5.00 from Target!

Carl and I had a great time getting out and having a memorable date night at Glamorama. Good people, great food, fun times... and all for an amazing cause!

Whats sorts of crazy date nights have you had leading up to your wedding day?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

{ Planning } Great Wedding Guide Caper

To start off the very first day of my engagement, my mom took me to the one place I can literally spend all day at: the book store.

We had a mission... Find a wedding guide or two to help us get a handle on things as we started planning. This turned into quite an adventure.

First, since my mom wouldn't tell me why we were at the bookstore, we wandered around trying to find the wedding section. At one point, she even made me wait while she ran off to find someone to ask. When we finally found our way there, the selection was overwhelming.

Books for destination weddings, handmade weddings, inter-faith marriages, non-traditional marriages, groom guides, bride guides, guides on dealing with the parents... Wow.

We took huge armfuls of book from all kinds of topics and headed to a chair. Buried under books, we began to sift. It was easy to tell the books we didn't like right away. Too prim and proper. Too Martha. Too pink. When we had finally wound it down to four books, that's when it got hard.

Mom and I laughed, teared up, talked about ideas, and talked about her time as a bride. It was a really nice way to spend a day bonding together and growing in excitement for the wedding. It was step one toward Carl and my big day. It was so nice to spend that time together.

Three hours later, we had our books. One was more of a guide to the nitty-gritty planning (The Bride's Essential Wedding Planner) and the other has become my help-me-get-through-this-crazy-panic-attack book (The Wedding Book).

More on how these books are helping as planning continues!

What books did you use to help you plan? Did you actually use them, or did they collect dust?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

{ DIY } Ribbon Roses

 In my second post, I mentioned my desire to make my own flowers for my wedding. I consider myself a crafty bride, and I want to put that special touch of something that's really me into our wedding. I can't believe the amount of money some people spend on flowers.

I see flowers as this beautifully tragic part of weddings... They add so much light and beauty to your day, but they wilt away. I want my flowers to be something that last and last. Maybe someday, my future daughter will use my bouquet in her rehearsal! Maybe even her wedding!

Every mother whimsies at passing down their dress. I dream of passing down something a little less traditional.

After scouring the internet for any and every tutorial on DIY wedding flowers, I found a select few patterns that I felt really were my main contenders. I'm still playing, and my awesome MOH is working on some of her own, too. So far, the results have been pretty neat.

When I first started playing, I wasn't really thinking about bouquet colors. Today, my MOH and I went to breakfast together and stopped by the local craft store and I started to put actual colors together. The ones I picked out were really a lot more bold than I thought... But with the brown dresses in late summer, I think they will be a stunning hit.

So far, I'm pretty stoked to make my first test bouquet. I'm excited to assemble a test to see the colors together and to get a handle on how many blooms to expect for each bouquet. If this goes smoothly, I would love to make all the centerpieces and table decorations myself, too! I hope I'm not taking too much on! Luckily I have a couple friends and a great MOH who have volunteered to help construct flowers. Chrissy even said today that she envisions tubs and tubs of flowers in her craft room!

So far so good! I have a couple more styles to play with yet, and I'm sure I'll post about every adventure!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

{ Inspiration } Yarn Ball Centerpieces

I am so in love with this yarn balls!!

I can't wait to get my hands dirty and try them out.

I imagine I'm going to be spending a lot of time playing with different DIY things I fall in love with... The knitter in me just went nuts over these! What a fun way to tie that little bit of personality into the wedding and reception!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

{ Attire } Accidental Shoe Shopping

If anyone told me that the first thing I would check off my wedding to do list was buying my shoes, I would have laughed at them.

I honestly thought I would have the worst time finding shoes. My ping-pong paddle feet (narrow at the back, mega wide in the front) and dress shoes are mortal enemies. I was terrified of the day when shoes were the topic of discussion... But then I found these:

They're kitten heels! They're just the tiniest bit bling-y! They're wicked comfortable! I put them on and thought to myself "huh... I'm totally going to wear these all the time after the wedding..." I think that's the sign of a good shoe.

Best part? They come in brown, too! Perfect to match the bridesmaid dresses, which we have yet to pick out, but I know they're going to be brown!

Simple and elegant. I think these are a total win.

The best part of all of it was the experience I had at The Bridal Spot (formerly Glenrose Bridal & Floral). I was a little uncertain when I first walked in, but was greeted by Debbie and felt at ease. She had another bride in the store and was the only person working at the time. Juggling the two of us, she did a great job. She pulled my dress for me and I got to try my lovely dress on (again) in a size closer to what I'll order. I also got to see the dress in white -- since I am ordering mine in ivory -- which was nice. It's just a pretty dress, all around.

Debbie was so helpful! We talked about shoes, veils, suits, Mom's dress, the bridesmaid dresses, color swatches... We covered all the fashion areas in one spur of the moment visit! She even made a great suggestion to look for flower girl dresses at Christmas - who would have thought to by a dress at Christmas?! GREAT idea! Now, all Tegan has to do is start walking, haha.

I'm anxious to go back to The Bridal Spot. The service was great and I even got a phone call from Debbie the next day. She ordered my shoes! She had to place a shoe order and thought that if I was sure of the shoes, she'd just order them so they'd be there when we come in to try dresses on.

Now if only my new phone wouldn't have eaten all the pictures we too... That just means we'll have to take them all over again!

Did you find anything by accident for your wedding?