Thursday, March 28, 2013

R's wedding gift

I was stumped with what to get R for his wedding gift.  I wanted something fun, yet meaningful.  Something he would use or at least see every day.  I saw an idea on another blog and thought that R would really appreciate something personalized.  He doesn't wear jewelry, he has several watches and he has a ton of electronic and hobby items.  I ordered a caricature from based on one of our engagement pictures and I love the way it turned out.  I had it matted and framed, I think it will look amazing over a liquor cabinet or in our office.  I chose a photo that featured our lab/shepherd Baby.  R often says we are his favorite girls!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Hostess Gifts, Bridal Party Gifts, and Luncheon Favors

This is a description of the gifts that we purchased for our wedding party and friends.  I can't imagine that many of my blog readers would care about my thank you gifts but I'm documenting everything else so I didn't want to exclude it...especially considering how much fun it was!
 I made 5 of these hostess gifts for the ladies who hosted our showers.  I included Ulta lotion and post it notes. its.  I love them.  I'm obsessed with them.  I realize that modern people use their phones for note taking but old fashioned sticky notes are still very useful.  And have you see the post it section lately, the brand has reinvented itself and is no longer the boring yellow color of yesteryear.
 These earrings were purchased from Etsy seller Danique.  I saw these earrings on a popular designer's website but they were no longer available for purchase.  I was so excited to find a similar pair on Etsy. Her customer service is fantastic as well!
 These frames were purchased for our mothers.  We chose a sweet saying for the top of the frame, our birthdays are inscribed under the left picture and our wedding date under the right picture.
 I purchased a set of pearls for our flower girl - my niece.  These are great quality so I hope they will "grow" with her.

 My Matron of Honor has been very supportive during my engagement and throughout wedding planning.  I wanted to give her something special to show my appreciation.  I purchased a simple silver Pandora bracelet for her and a drop pearl charm.
This silver train bank was perfect for our ring bearer.  R wanted something that he could keep for a long time.  This bank has his initials inscribed on the top of it.

The groomsmen will all receive a pocket knife with their name on it.  These are awesome to look at and really sturdy.  We also purchased their socks and ties for the wedding.
This wasn't really a gift.  I found these silver compacts at Michaels of all places and loved them so much I wanted to give them as favors for my bridal luncheon.  It was really hard to find enough of them - apparently a lot of people must have thought they were just as cute as I did.  I'm so glad the few that I found were intact...I had a giant fear that I'd bring them home and the mirrors would be shattered.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Custom Cake Topper

My first Etsy wedding purchase was a cake topper from MilkTeabyBthanari.  I ordered on August 11 because I wanted to make sure she had plenty of time to make it.  On her site she requests brides per month - in November she requested January, February and March orders.  I knew to expect that my topper wouldn't be finished until about a month before the wedding and she promises to send it in "plenty of time".  For anyone who is interested I'd still say ORDER EARLY. Her estimated time of completion is 14-16 weeks.

I sent her a photo of my dress, hair accessory and bouquet.  I described R's attire and boutonniere and I wanted his stain a little darker than mine since he has such an olive skin tone.  I love the details of the topper, she even gave R a perfect 5 o'clock shadow.

It's darling!  I can't wait to display it in our china cabinet (when we purchase one) HA!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Two days before I saw "I Do"...

Ooooohhhhh...So close!  As of yesterday around 5:00pm, I am officially off the clock for my wedding and honeymoon!  I had my faux tanning appointment last night and I'm happy with the results - I have a small area on my right hand that needs a little fading but it's much better than pasty pale.  We ordered take out sushi and did some cleaning last night.  Our goal is to have all of our laundry done by tonight.

This morning I had a pedicure and I chose OPI Pinking of You for my nails.  I own this color and wear it sheer on my fingers to work but I had no idea how opaque it can get after three heavy applications.
I also purchased a new set of lashes for my wedding day.  The ardell wispies I wore for my bridal portraits were very dramatic and obvious, I wanted something a bit more natural for my wedding.  I've never worn this brand but I love the look...

I will keep a set of trusty Ardells with me in case I have trouble with these.  I helped my mom load all the wedding bins into her vehicle this morning and we have a mom / daughter manicure appointment this afternoon.  R is actually getting his nails done for the wedding late this evening, it was my idea, I thought his hands would look nicer for photos if he left the nail trimming and cuticle care to the professionals.

I wanted to talk about a new purchase for my "bridal beauty" YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #9 Caress Pink.  It's a gorgeous shade and very flattering for fair skin.
It's bittersweet that I didn't choose to wear my trusty Bobbi Brown lipcolor in Sandwashed Pink for the wedding since I used it for my bridal portraits.  This color brings so much life into my face I couldn't turn it down.  

I'm going to end the post with a picture of Baby ready for a long vacation at Grammy's while we are away.  We packed her thundershirt and her medication in case there are any storms or other "scary sounds" that cause her anxiety.  

R dropped her off this morning and said she looked like she was being abandoned :-(  I think this is the longest we have been away from her.

I've written a few blog entries that will post while we are away but I will not be posting "in real time" until the first week of April.  Tonight I will pack my bag for the best weekend of my life!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bachelorette and Relaxing Beach trip...

I think the past few weeks have flown by, probably because I've been so busy on the weekends.  I went on not one but two getaways even during the busiest time of my wedding planning.

Best friend and I went to Charleston for my bachelorette...

It was chilly and rainy but we made the most of amazing Charleston and the beautiful Mills House Hotel.

The next weekend R and I went for a little private getaway to his family's house at Nags Head.  We took that time to relax and regroup.  I read "The Night Circus" while he read a book on homebrewing.  We enjoyed dinner and a flight at the Outer Banks Brewing Co.  I took a rare l_o_n_g bath after dinner - it was a great pre-wedding vacay!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Work Shower and the Weekend Before the Wedding

My coworkers planned the sweetest little lunch shower on Friday.  There was chicken, prosciutto wrapped cheese, fruit, dip and chips, and cake...

 We were gifted several bed bath and beyond gift cards which we used to purchase our Calphalon cookware set.  

This past weekend was busy busy!  We purchased the beer for our reception - Natty Greene, yes please!  We had lunch on Saturday at Coquette in North Raleigh our sandwich and salad was delicious.  

In the afternoon we finished some wedding our escort door.
 On Sunday I purchased my wedding lipstick - YSL #9 Caress Pink.  We also drove down to my mom's house and packed up all the items for the ceremony, reception, bridal luncheon, and rehearsal dinner in plastic bins and totes.  It's all ready to go!  We even sterilized all the mason jars and had time for movie night (a netflix pick, Something Borrowed).  My MOH and her husband printed our programs on Sunday too - another item checked off!

R made my all time favorite dinner...Noodle Bowl!  He was a bartender in college at a restaurant that served it...soba noodles, veggies, and shrimp in a delicious ginger / crushed red pepper broth.
This week is all about the beauty...nails, tanning, hair, etc.  On Thursday, mom and I will load her vehicle with the bins that we packed and R will load the alcohol and larger items in his truck.  All the planning and prep is done and only a few more days to wait!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

February / March Favorites Post

I never technically got around to writing an updated favorites post last month but I probably didn't have enough to do two different posts anyway.  I've had bridal brain for weeks!  Here are some things I've been loving lately...

Yum.  Yes I am aware that I could buy a bag of walnuts and a bag of almonds and made my own "100 calorie" packs for much cheaper but these are super convenient.  I love this in oatmeal too.
My stylist said I needed to use a hair masque on my ends.  I have healthy hair but it's too long and the ends are looking a bit frayed.  She wanted me to use Moroccanoil but she didn't have any stocked when I went to get my trim and color.  I was going to have to special order and it wouldn't be in until after the wedding.  After a search online I read many great reviews on this version available at Ulta.  I love it!  I'm using it on my hair from the bottom of my neck down.  I feel like there has been a big reduction in flyaways and frizz.

 I'm enjoying this in my oatmeal and blended in my almond milk.  This shake has protein and fiber...AND flavor.
I found this gem of a sleep mask at bed bath and beyond.  It's shaped like a bra with space above each eye for blinking.  It's lightweight and I like to wear mine loose so I don't get a dent in my hair. My mask is a much prettier cream and purple pattern.  

Sam Edelman sandals purchased from Bevello.  Since it is starting to warm up these newbies are going to get a lot of attention.

I purchased a Tart Collections Adrianna Maxi Dress (mine is the blue and white brushed pattern, not the one above).  This dress is an amazing fabric that doesn't wrinkle.  I think it's pretty enough to be dressed up or down AND it will look amazing for touring and dinner on our honeymoon.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wedding Update, only 10 more days...

I said it for the first time out loud...only 10 more days.

This past week I made all the solid arrangements with the caterer, baker, rental company, etc since we finally had our guest count.  We also picked up the beer for our reception and made all of our final vendor payments.  All of our escort cards were written, my rehearsal dinner dress was altered, and I wrapped R's wedding gift.  R finalized our ceremony and reception music and had his suit tailored.  And of course assembled the welcome bags as seen in my last post.

My list is getting super small now :-) 
  • Print the programs
  • sterilize all mason jars for beverages
  • deliver glass milk bottles to florist
  • finish the cake stand - R
  • order lunch for the bridal suite and pick up some bottled water
  • Finish the escort card display - R
  • Send out the timelines for the wedding party 
  • Make a nail appointment for my mom and I
On Thursday I will be with my mom all day, packing the wedding items to go to the reception site along with my bag for the weekend.  R and I will have all day on Sunday after the wedding to pack for our honeymoon.

Everyone pray for good weather, I should find out a tentative forecast this weekend!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Wedding Welcome Bags

Our last DIY wedding chore....the welcome bags.  This task was on my list from the beginning but not one that I placed as a high priority - if we found the time, great...if not, no big deal.  But after I saw how cute they were, I was so glad we decided to do them.  I can not take credit for the idea, I found it on craft section several weeks ago. 

I didn't want to do "gift bags" or canvas bags so I searched ideas for something more vintage.  Lo and behold - the traditional paper lunch bag to the rescue.  Here they are in my assembly line...
 And take a peek inside....water, chips, Hersheys minis, sweet and salty bar, and Lance crackers.  We made enough so they hotel can give one per person instead of one per room.  We purchased all the snacks at Sams.
 Now to make it cute.  We went to Michaels and purchased ivory scalloped scrapbook paper and pink ribbon. The only other tools needed are scissors and a single hole punch.  
 We cut the paper to look like a scrap of lace and used the ribbon to adhere it to the bag.
 And a whole group of them (in the tacky frito-lay box that we are are trying to re-purpose as a tray).  
I love the way they turned out.  I was able to keep my theme without a lot of extra expense.  A win-win for us and for our guests!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Wedding Update...19 days left

Oh my goodness, time is flying by!

Work is the most hectic thing in my life.  I have to get all the tasks that typically take 26-30 days (a full month) completed in just 21 days.  The clock is ticking and I have a strong feeling there are going to be a LOT of late nights.  Two weekends ago I had my bachelorette party and last weekend R and I took an impromptu trip to Nags Head...trip post to follow in the upcoming days.  There isn't a lot of time left and we have several more things to check off before the big day!  Here are the items I need to complete this week...

  • Print Programs
  • Finish the Coordinator's Notebook
  • Write Out the Escort Cards and Assign Dinner Seating
  • Get Marriage License (March 6)
  • Purchase Beer for Reception
  • Confirm the Number of Ceremony Chairs
  • Pay for Reception Linens
  • Confirm the Guest Count For the Caterer
  • Hair Appointment for Cut and Color (March 7)

In the Kitchen: Banana Bon-Bons

My "pre-wedding" diet includes several options for healthy snacks, but this past weekend the craving hit....chocolate.  I decided to make a quick dessert using a recipe that I saw in a magazine recently:

Banana Bon-Bons
1 banana thickly sliced
melted chocolate (bittersweet morsels with a small pat of butter melted in a double boiler)
sliced almonds

Using a toothpick dip each banana slice into the chocolate to coat and top with chopped nuts. Place the banana slices on wax paper (or in my case aluminum foil) and pop into the freezer.  When the chocolate hardens, place them in a freezer safe container.

These were delicious and totally hit the spot - an added bonus, they are really cute.