Wednesday, November 30, 2011

{ Food } A Different Kind of Tasting

When I pictured going to a tasting for our wedding meal, I imagined something formal and maybe even slightly awkward. Food was placed in front of Carl and I... we ate, we discussed, more food was brought out. We ate, we discussed... It felt very stiff and mechanical to me. I was actually a little nervous.

I am a neurotic girl, I know this. Anyone who knows me knows this, so I spent hours worrying after we booked. I knew that our venue held a different kind of tasting event and that it wouldn't be so personal, but it didn't matter. I still worried. What if they didn't have the entree Carl and I wanted to try? What if all of the food was awful? What if I did it all... wrong?

About a month ago, we attended our venue's tasting. It was a piece of cake... It didn't hurt, it wasn't awkward. It wasn't painful. It was just... like a tiny buffet.

They set up a sample of their appetizers... Of which we took a bunch!

They had sample tables set and other decor for us to view...

They had cake -- lots of cake! And a chocolate fountain!

And then... the entrees. Carl and I each literally took one of everything. After nom nom noming, we talked about the foods we had scarfed down - er, delicately enjoyed like civil humans - and came to the same conclusion. We have a menu selection!

It was a lot of fun to go just as Carl and myself to experience this mini bridal fair type event that was exclusive to our venue. After trying out their cake provided by the preferred vendor... I'm anxious for the day we get to stuff our faces with loads of the sweet stuff!

I shall have one of each, please...

What kind of tasting did your venue provide?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

{ Life } Thanksgiving

It’s a few days after Thanksgiving and I’m in a mood to reflect. This year, our family joined with my brother’s girlfriend’s family to have a big, warm meal together. The food was delicious and the company was entertaining. It couldn’t have been a nicer Thanksgiving day.

During dinner, my brother’s girlfriend asked us all to say what we were thankful for. This was something I thought that people only did in the movies, so immediately I panicked. I don’t do public speaking! What was she, crazy!?

Thankfully, I was the last to go and I had plenty of time to think. I decided to just say what I felt… and I almost got myself choked up.

This year, and every year… I am thankful for the love and support of my family. I know I can be a brat, moody, selfish, and even lazy… But they love me nonetheless. My family has been there for me when I didn’t deserve it and has stood by me in support no matter what. We aren’t the perfect family, but we are a darn good one. I’m so spoiled to have been raised by such kind, caring people.

I’m also thankful for Carl, naturally. This has been a whirlwind year and he’s been with me through it all. Even cranky nights (ugh, notice a pattern? I guess I’m a cranky pants!) after long days at work. I’m so thrilled to be marrying him, and planning our wedding together will continue to be a wonderful thing. He loves me, and I know it, despite my bad days and bad moods. He loves ME… and it feels good. Carl has a way of always making sure I know I’m special to him, even if I’m pissing him off (aah! Pattern!)

I want to be sure to be the same for him, because he means the world to me. Without him and without my family, I would be miserable. And probably cranky all the time, rather than some of the time!

I’m thankful for my friends, my job, and the roof over my head… I have a great life.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 25, 2011

{ Inspiration } Send Offs

I'm undecided as to whether or not I'd like to try a send off. There are so many fun ideas that stretch beyond confetti and bird seed or rice. I've collected some of them below... Call it a little chunk of food for thought. It might be whimsy, but it also might be fun!

Image Source / Wedding Sites 123
Image Source / Wedding Bee


Image Source / Style Me Pretty

Image Source / Getting Married

Image Source / Hunting for Love

Pom Poms
Image Source / Style Me Pretty

Image Source / Realistic Weddings

Paper Airplanes
Image Source / Tumblr

Image Source / Pinterest

A lot of send offs usually are based on whether or not your venue will allow certain things. Some don't allow bubbles, some don't allow confetti, etc... So checking with your venue is always a good idea. It also would depend in you leaving. Our ceremony and reception are in the same location, so perhaps this is really just a whimsy!

Have you decided if you are doing a send off? Have you found any creative send offs you would like to try?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

{ Life } Long Distance In-Laws

One of the first things that I realized in Carl in my relationship was that our families would never be close. Not emotionally close, location! The long distance between his home and mine means that my dreams of both sets of grandparents being active in my future children's lives were going to be a lot tougher than I though. Then again, I never thought I would fall in love with a New Yorker!

I always imagined being close to my in-laws. I pictured spending time with them and bringing over the kids. I imagined his parent and mine being friends and spending time together... Maybe my life growing up in such a wonderfully close family sort of ruined me for realistically picturing the future.

It pains me to know that Carl's family is so far away. It makes me worry about the future. How will we do holidays? How often will we visit? What about when we have kids?

The first time I met Carl's parents, I was so excited. We clicked. It was so easy, so quickly. Not only did we get along, but we got along great. Swimmingly, if you will. I feel comfortable with them and enjoy talking about everything from life to Little Debbie snack cakes. There is always a little sadness in the back of my mind knowing the distance will make growing closer to them hard.

Are you close to your future in-laws? How do you stay in touch with them and grow your relationship?

Friday, November 18, 2011

{ Beauty } Hangnail Hijinx

One detail that might not be on your mind as you get ready for your big day is your cuticles. If you are anything like me, you have hangnails and overgrown cuticles no matter what season or how well you maintain your nail beds.

I have seen so many pretty up close images of hands in wedding photos (ring photos, romantic hang holding photos...) that I really started to think to myself "but... I have boy hands!"

This is where my little secret comes in. My nail beds split, the skin along my nails frays, and my cuticles crack all the time. Nothing ever seemed to help keep them inline. Not a twice-daily lotion ritual, not cuticle cream, not straight up vitamin E oil... Until this.

Honestly, I think it is hilarious that I never thought of this before. What to know my secret weapon?

Image Source / Seventeen Online
Yeah. That's right. Plain ol' vitamin E enriched lip balm. Want to improve your nail beds? Smooth a bit of this into your nail bed and into your cuticles and skin around your nails. I do it twice a day to speed up results, but once before bed is plenty. The best part is that if you don't have time to wait for your nails to heal, smoothing a little of this on will hide any dry skin right away!

Why would you want to pay up to $15 or more to buy a cuticle cream or a nail bed lotion... when a $2 tube of lip balm will do the trick just as well? Just be sure to get one with vitamin E in it and have a go! Your nails will be picture perfect in no time!

Do you have a simple beauty secret weapon?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

{ DIY } Fabric Peony Tutorial

Another flower DIY! Peonies this time. These flowers take a little getting used to. Keep playing and be patient. You’ll get the hang of them really quickly. My first few didn’t turn out the best, but practice made perfect!

Left to right, first, cut a bunch of petal shaped pieces of a semi-stiff fabric. I used a quilting cotton from the local fabric store. Perfection doesn’t matter, just make sure they look like petals! Next, fold a pleat in the bottom of a petal. This will make the petal form a soft cup and make it look more real. Next, stitch the pleat in place.

Take another petal, pleat it, and stitch it overlapping the pleat of the first flower. Make about five of these and stitch them all in place as noted. You’ve formed your base! Continue to pleat and stitch a second layer into your flower. Use these petals to fill in gaps and make the flower take shape and look full.

Finally, choose your center! You can stitch a few petals in the middle to hide your stitching like the center flower by taking one or two fabric circles and fold them in half and then in half again, then stitch them standing up into the middle of the flower. Or you can sew in a button or some pearls like the left flower. Try layering some tulle petals to make your flowers a little flashier.

For my flower, I made a small version with smaller petals, some tulle and pearls. Then I made a larger base and stitched the two together. It made a really full flower! You can attach a safety pin to the back of the flower and make it a brooch. You can scatter them on tables as decorations. You can add a floral wire and make a bouquet… The possibilities are endless! I made mine into a headband…

Thursday, November 10, 2011

{ Inspiration } Hair

Without saying too much about my dress (Carl, I'm going to have to start shooing you away when I start posting about that topic!), it has this awesome vintage feel to it while still looking modern. I don't want to do something too crazy or dramatic with my hair, since that's not really me, so I thought I would put together an inspiration board based on what I liked: simple, easy hair. Pretty and soft. Everything I liked had some sort of half back look to it with a braid... So my inspiration became beautiful braided locks.

What do you think? I love the idea of something easy and not too formal. I'm currently growing my hair out after hacking it all off three years ago. I miss my long hair, and long braided looks have always interested me. I think my dress would require something uber formal, or something really easy... and when easy is an option, I'm always happy.

How did you decide on what you wanted your hair to look like? Did you have a plan, or let your stylist have free-range of your tresses?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

{ Planning } Readings, Part One

I know that planning our ceremony will be something Carl and I want to put a lot of thought into. As I come across readings that I feel touched by, I have been gathering them so that when the time to plan comes, we have plenty to work with. Among the readings that I have really enjoyed is the Apache Wedding Blessing.
"Now you will feel no rain
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness for you
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons
But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place to enter into the days of your togetherness
And may your days be good and long upon the earth."
-Apache Wedding Blessing
I love this. I can see it being read by my oldest siblings together, stanza by stanza. Wouldn't that be magical?
Remind me later that I can't have a million readings... Or our ceremony will last until the sun sets!

Did you have trouble narrowing down your choices for wedding readings? How did you choose which made the cut?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

{ Life } Break Time

The last few weeks... I've kind of felt like this:

Gimme a break... gimme a break...
Kit Kat / Image Source

It isn't that I got sick of wedding planning, it's that I just felt... stuck. So I took a few days off. That turned into a week. Then it was almost a month... and I realized I should probably get back into it. The month of November will hopefully bring a DJ and a photographer. I'm about to dig into the latter right now!

Did you ever need a break? How did you get motivated again?