Saturday, February 28

i am SO stealing this!

I'm not having a traditional (church) wedding and I'm essentially planning a destination elopement. So I've been torn on how to include the women that have been such an important part of my life in our wedding without breaking their banks and still showing some love. Currently, we're having Andy's sister, nephew and cousin and my brother in our wedding party. To honor our friendship, I've lovingly burdened one of my oldest friends with the responsibilities of MoH and she's flying down for the festivities.

I have been considering "honorary bridesmaids" for when we're back in Illinois but thought the idea was kind of lame... and then I ready this "non-traditional wedding party post" featuring Lauren's genius idea:

I'm not having bridesmaids, so I sent an Evite (I love Evites) to 10 of my friends asking them to be non-bridesmaids, with the following job description. It was really fun to read what everyone wrote back (and they all loved the idea!)

A non-bridesmaid:
· Listens to me complain about how expensive weddings are.
· Comes wedding dress shopping IF she wants.
· Helps my mom throw a shower.
· Domes to the bachelorette party if she can.
· Helps out doing whatever she likes to do or is good at (i.e. baking snickerdoodles, making invitations, making funny videos of the other guests, drinking mimosas, etc).
· Helps me get ready day-of (hint: this may involve drinking mimosas).
· Tells me when I'm being bride-zilla-ish.

A non-bridesmaid does NOT:
· Wear the same dress as all the other non-bridesmaids. She wears her own dress (or skirt, or lovely pantsuit) instead.
· Get her hair or makeup done for my wedding (you all are very familiar with making yourself look beautiful every day), Caveat: if you WANT to get your hair or makeup done because you love any excuse to be pampered, then I am all for that! Pamper yourself!
· Carry flowers. Caveat: if you really want some flowers, I will get you some, just for being such a fabulous friend.
· Stands in the front of all the other guests. But you can sit in the front row if you arm wrestle my brother for his spot!

I hope you get the idea. If I were going to have a giant wedding party, you would absolutely all be up there with me, but I'm not, and I still wanted you to know how much you mean to me and how much I appreciate your friendship. Plus, with an Evite, you can all read each other's clever comments! Awwwwww....

This is pretty much what I had in mind! Now I just have to send the evite...

Friday, February 27

lovely lady lunch

thanks to Amanda for meeting me for lunch.

you are delightful.
also, I am creating a google map of the area for your enjoyment :)

living room re-do

I've been spending a LOT of time reading This Young House and I’m itching to redo our living room. I love the color and the couches, and I’m dying to hang up my new artwork but first we need a new entertainment set-up. Currently, our massive DVD collection takes up an entire wall and forces the loveseat to block a window. Plus, there are no curtains and it’s killing me! I’m certain all of these things will fall into place once we have our media set-up.

Andy and I are looking for an entertainment center that comes in 3 separate pieces so we can repurpose them later. We want to be able to organize our books and dvds, so if we need to buy a third bookcase, we’d like to have the option.
Here’s what we’re considering…

The Belmont


bonus piece

My vote is for the Canopy, despite the store where its exclusively sold

Thursday, February 26

still no photographers...

Wednesday, February 25

happy first birthday lebowski!

Coming to his new home!

First bone!

Meeting the family

Thanksgiving Day...

Crazy boy!

Tuesday, February 24

would this look totally crazy?

Instead of or with a veil?

I kinda love it…

It’s a good thing

Today, I am focusing on the good…
My wedding coordinator finally called – she’s 70% certain that I have a photographer and she’s pretty talented!

I was approved for my wedding-only no interest mileage credit card. As soon as it comes I can book our ceremony airfare and buy a ton of Forever stamps.

Tonight, I am going to stop by the health club and sign up for the Bridal Fitness Extreme class. Even though it’s a drive, I hope to make some friends while getting in shape.

I was able to find a compromise with the registry – Kohl’s. Andy hates B,B&B and my mom wanted us to register at an affordable store with more locations. People can still use coupons and I was able to move a lot of the items off of our Macy’s and Crate & Barrel registries over to Kohl’s. Yay!

I got an epic long email from my little brother regarding wedding stuff. He’s more excited about eating at Paul Deen’s than anything else wedding-related – damn, I miss him and can’t blame him!

Got some clever kids' table ideas from blogstalking today – Activity books! Thanks, Heather!

Monday, February 23

Workin’ on my Fitness

I’m trying to decide which local workout regime is for me – and if it’s worth the dough… I’m incredibly lazy, so I know I’ll never do it on my own and need someone to motivate my ass. Also, if I like the facilities, maybe I'll end up joining the gym so I can maintain until October.

Bridal Fitness Xtreme
12 Weeks, 3 days a week, 7PM - 7:45PM
-$7.50 per class
-Designed for brides trying to look good on their wedding
-25 minute drive one way (so close to my 2 previous apartments!)

Strength With Effective Athletic Training (SWEAT)
Strength & Cardio
8 Weeks, Saturdays, 9AM – 10AM
-10 minute drive
-$21 per class – only b/c it’s a Saturday and I know I have a few Sat commitments
-Not really the butt-busting workout I had in mind…

Better Bodies
6 Weeks, Thursdays, 5:45 – 6:45 PM
-10 minute drive
-“designed to help you change your body”
- Strength & Cardio
-**Begins this Thursday!
-$21 per class (still a deal!)

Saturday, February 21

i want to go to there

I got the Beatles LOVE documentary as a Valentine's Day gift and have been watching it all morning. Now I know I must see the show before the year's out... I must!

Also, it reinforces my love of all things Beatles - especially this tattoo!

Friday, February 20

Snow Day

Tonight it's suppose to begin snowing and not stop until tomorrow night. Netflix kindly dropped off "Choke" and we've got some unopened DVDs to watch.
I decided to stocked up on provisions on my lunch hour, including the supplies for home made popcorn! I'm so excited :)


After a much-needed conversation with my wedding planner (Scarlett) on Wednesday I finally began to feel good about things sort of coming together. Despite her poor communication in the past, blowing off meetings, not writing me back for months, I thought we were finally on the same page. She told me she would let me know by 6pm on Wednesday who will be my photographer. Today I still have no answer, so I sent a quick email…
Auto-response: I will be out of the office until Thursday, February 26
Maybe she decided to go on an impromptu trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras or something serious happened? No problem!
But her flakiness is making me nervous… I seriously hope I'm not assigned to one of the weirdos still available on the photography vendor list she gave me.

I'm such a photo snob and the suspense is killing me!

say what you will

...but this weekend I will be planning my puppy's FIRST birthday party...

My little baby is growing up so quickly!

Thursday, February 19

quiz on

I always make time for quizzes...
So true!

Who says that cottages can't be modern and chic? Who says that they have to be floral and cheesy? Not you!
You love the carefree spirit that the cottage interior inspires, but you are also serious about your appreciation for modern art and hip treasures. You love old and new alike, and love to highlight them all to expose the uniqueness of each. What better way to show off these treasures than with a light background?


Wednesday, February 18

Planning a recession wedding

"Love in the time of recession" from
"The average price of a wedding has dropped nearly $6,000 as brides scale back..."

This week's goal - finalize budget and stick to it!

Tuesday, February 17


Since the photography search, both here and in GA is making me crazy, I think I’ll focus on something fun – like cakes! Here are a few samples from a bakery on the island…
I hope a land-locked bakery in Illinois can do just as good of job!

Monday, February 16


I’m getting the classic bait and switch from my photog/vid couple… Why can’t this just be easy? Back to the epic list of vendors… I’m going to see what the remaining 5 can do for me… Argh!

Sunday, February 15

Bridal “Show”

Today my mom and I went to a bridal show in Wisconsin. I brought my checkbook and was ready to sign some contracts, unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way…
There was one DJ, but he didn’t bring his calendar, about 5 bakeries all from the same little town in Wisconsin, two dress shops (we visited the one store – clearly, they brought the best dresses to the show), and 0 florists. At least we got to taste some cakes and get a ballpark price on wedding cake expenses… they also sent me home with a garbage ball full of knickknacks.

Friday, February 13

Wedding websites – check!

Today I completed our wedding websites, one for our destination wedding guests, the other our return reception. There are still a few minor details I need to add and music tracks to upload, but I can FINALLY cross something off of my list! Yay!

Wednesday, February 11

Keeping with the theme

A Royal Flush

File this under "post-recession useless purchases" but isn't it so unnecessarily cool?

Tuesday, February 10

8 months to go!

Wow, 8? That’s seems like more than enough, but then again not really at the pace I’m going. I do have a lot of things almost crossed off my list like…
· I have almost booked an IL photographer and
· I am reeeally close to choosing a ceremony photographer and videographer
· I have designed 4 invitations that I really can’t choose between…. like picking your favorite Beatle – they all have their unique features…

PLUS, I’m going to first bridal show this Sunday with my moms. W00t!

Monday, February 9

a visual representation

Things are a bit chaotic, no contracts have been signed but at least IL is between 3 photogs. SSI on the otherhand is down to 8, which is better than how I started... here's what it looks like:
Wordle: Untitled1

Sunday, February 8

shopping karma strikes again

I am indecisive... this is nothing new, but being indecisive when it comes to unbelievable bargains doesn't usually work well in my favor.

Many a-time the cute clearance sweater I saw online while at work is sold out by the time I get home (sorry, but I don't want to risk getting fired for shopping at work. although, I don't believe there's anything wrong with saving things in your shopping cart for after hours ;) ).

On Saturday Andy and I went shopping for living room furniture and wound up at the Crate and Barrel Outlet. FYI - nearly all of the furntiture there looks like it was assaulted with knives and chains, but it was worth looking since I found these:

Initially, I LOVED them, since they go with our wedding/house theme, doubled matted, high quality print, a they're real art, but at $125 each - Final Sale/Price I had to sleep on it.

Admist the wedding nightmares I kept thinking about these little guys and knew I had to have them! Like I said, I've been burned by waiting on last chance items so I knew if they were still there it was meant to be. The employees at C&B were so nice when I called and offered to keep an eye on the pieces for me since they aren't allowed to put anything on hold at the store. Andy and I got there a couple hours after the store opened only to see SOLD tags taped to the glass... Whew, apparently they made an exception and held them for me!

I got home feeling great about gown-up my purchase and Andy was happy because he found a new collectors Star Wars lego set. I went online to blog about my bargain and steal photos from the Crate & Barrel website... OMG! They retail for $598 for the pair! So yeah, I got an incredible deal... and apparently, they're hand painted. Now I just need to decide where to hang them, there's about 5 different spots where they'd work, but I just can't decide ;)

Friday, February 6

Now the waiting begins...

Whew! I just finished emailing 16 different companies for our destination photography… so far I have gotten 2 responses, 1 No, 1 Yes. The No is disappointing because it is from my #1 choice… still waiting on my #2. Seriously, how did I not know that I should have been working on this 4 months ago?


My “local” photography search has been a wild ride – first the initial email begging for availability, then the waiting, followed by the let down.

-My fav’s: 3/4 are booked for my date :(
-One young couple I like is free :)
-3 “meh’s” are available :/

This waiting is awful… I have been checking my email like a maniac.The rejection is almost worse because I feel like I’m settling and this is waay too much money to settle for second string!

Wednesday, February 4

Beatles Love

I'm trying to justify buying this t-shirt... It could be engagement photo worthy, right?

Tuesday, February 3

Photographers and Videographer

Now that’ve picked my colors I MUST secure a photographer for the ceremony in Georgia and the reception in Illinois… plus a GA videographer.
I’ve worked my list down from 81 options to 52 photographers, videographer and combos in both states. I know this is crazy, but I’ve got a system… thank goodness for Google documents!
I have everyone’s location, website, blog, and price point (if available). Now I just need to rate their work. After the ratings I’m going to limit myself to 5 Illinois options and 15 Georgia options… then see who’s actually available. Clearly, I have decision-making issues…

THE list

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