Aug 24, 2011

79. Silence. The planner is in.

I guess it's fate that I start to write this post as I watch Bride Wars on my DVR...but hey, it's a fabulous movie and I have fabulous dreams.


So...I am excited to say that my office is finally all coming together. Canary yellow walls. Dark wood bookshelf and desk. Black frames... turquoise decor. Oh and did I mention my red filing cabinet? Love it.

I wanted to share with you some photos of my little wedding planning studio coming together and hopefully the start of my wedding planning business! Nothing to crazy yet...but hey, dreams are what you make of them.

Welcome to my little room...

My little collection of books...minus a few out for lend


My little window to the wall
PS do you love my decorations? TY Jess & Erin


A wedding gift from two amazing friends 


My desk!


Mess!


I think the folder speaks for itself...


Thank you Craigs List!!! It was only $40!


No...I did not spend thousands of dollars at Staples...
maybe like $100 on multi-colored folders

Actually it sort of reminds me of my super colorful office folders...which is actually where I got the multi-colored hanging folders idea.
But hey. Inspiration is inspiration.


Anyways...what do you think? Are you excited to hear all about the wedding planning endeavor? Well...me to. So wish me luck! Could use all the support I can!

Aug 23, 2011

78. Hope everyone is safe!

Daily Dose of Wedding hopes everyone is safe and sound! Craziness this earthquake was.

Although, I'm pretty sure the people on the West Coast are laughing at us. I felt my building shake eerily...I was definitely freaked out!

via AP


Off to pick up our new Beagle...Brutus :)

Our new little addition!!!





Happy Tuesday :)


Aug 22, 2011

77. Shoes from London

I saw a post a few months ago. February to be exact. It was the most amazing group of photos ever. Well...of shoes anyway :)

They were featured by Morissey Photos and they were fabulous. So I reached out to them and they got us the brides story about how she found them...and then you get to see the photos of how they came out.



My shoes were from London. They are from Dune- they are a big retailer in London. The shoes actually have a fun little story to them.... it's quite a complicated story.

I worked in Accessories Product Development at the time, I knew all about the shoes. My plan was to have my boss buy them for me when she went to London for work for a European shopping trip.

I went online to visit them and noticed they were on sale. So I had to buy them. I ended up buying the last pair in what I thought was my size on their website. The shoes took forever to get to me. They got tied up in customs. I was so happy to finally get them, but quickly found out, they were too tight and there was no way I could wear them on the wedding day. By that time, they sold out of them on the Dune website. I searched the Internet to find these shoes… after about 2 days, I found them on sale on another British website. The only problem? They would only ship them to the UK. I didn't know anyone in the UK, so basically I asked around if anyone I knew, knew anyone in the UK. My friend Laura at work was going to be set up with a guy who had family in the UK. She hadn't met him yet, but I asked her to put in the favor for me. She did, and we got a shipping address.

At the same time, there was a postal strike in the UK. So the shoes took forever to get to the US. They went through a friend of a friends first- who freaked out because she thought they were the wrong shoes because they were pink. In the end, I ended up loving the shoes, and built the whole wedding around them. I bought the shoes before the dress!

Since I worked for David's Bridal Corporate office in Accessories Product Development, I was able to have my factory make a currently running style "Moonlight" in a custom color for my wedding. The shoes are only available for purchase in black.

And without further wait...take a look at the fabulous shoes that made such a long journey...










 

Aug 21, 2011

76. Super Creative Card Cage

My friend HaLeigh is getting married in September and she created this card cage for her guests. I got her to share with us how she did it and send some photos!


My fiance found the cage thrown out (but not all gross and trashed up or anything) and we cleaned it off for our card cage.  I wanted to dress it up, so I glued some faux Spanish moss to the bottom, wrapped a ribbon around the bottom and looped another section of it through the top to hang in the middle.  The banner is made from burlap bags which I cut to size and painted the letters on, and tied onto the cage! 






PS - these are firefly jars that will be their centerpieces...



Awesome!

Did you make something creative? I'd love to see it!

Aug 20, 2011

75. Rutgers Engagement Session

Chris from CLB Photography shared this photo session with me and I could NOT resist the urge to share it with you all.

It's fabulous. And if you love Rutgers...well. Just scroll down to see some fabulous photos.

And if you love his work check out his businesses...

I love her shoes!






So cute!


Probably my favorite photo!





So fabulous

They are so cute!


<3 it.

Aug 19, 2011

74. Should Women Wear Engagement Rings To Interviews?

In a recent article posted on the Huffington Post, Katherine Bindley posted the question...Should Women Wear Engagement Rings To Interviews? 

I questioned this immediately. Are we to be ashamed of the beautiful rings our partners worked and paid for only to be judged by others? How rude. I love my diamond engagement ring and can't imagine taking it off. I would be livid to find out I didn't get a job based on the ring I know my husband worked his ass off to buy me.

In the first part of this article it mentions a post on UrbanBaby - and to be quite honest...the post sounds like a bitch.

I've been a hiring manager for over 5 years, and this is a PSA. Ladies, when you go in for an interview, please remove your giant diamond rings. Please. Many people out there do not share your aesthetics or your cultural values, and the diamond carries a huge stigma for many many individuals. I work at a non-profit, and when I interview someone who is sporting a huge diamond, I immediately deduct points from that person. I talked about this with some of my colleagues today, and they feel the same way. It's just an unnecessary risk when you interview. Diamonds are offensive to many many people, so don't risk it, leave the ring at home.

 This post caught me as incredibly offensive -- not only does this woman sound bitter...she sounds harsh and judgmental. Certainly not the person you want interviewing you.



When you read on in the comments the "OP" or "original poster" says: Our work deals with women and children in Africa, a good portion of whom suffered greatly due to the diamond trade in that region. Somebody who comes to the interview wearing a diamond is clearly unaware of the issues and is not a good fit for our organization or the position. 

Clearly this is something to be stated initially in your rantings.

My favorite response is: So then you must ask all your male candidates if they purchase diamonds for their wives/girlfriends, right? Because as part of an organization focused on women and children you would NEVER want to be involved in any kind of gender-based, discriminatory hiring.

Snap.


Now, I understand that in this situation...it makes total sense. But it makes me wonder...do people judge based on your engagement ring? Every single time a couple gets engaged the first thing the girl's friends do is "let me see the ring" and after casting judging they generally look at the guy and go "good job."




Would you ever take off your engagement ring for any circumstance? Let's hear what you think both about the poster on UrbanBaby and the article on Huffington Post.


Aug 18, 2011

73. Don't Stress the....Wedding Things

It's frankly daunting...the idea of planning a wedding. There's lists of things to check and double-check. Vendors to vet and then book. Find a dress. Find a hairstylist. And on and on it goes.

It makes sense a lot of women are commonly referred to as "Bridezillas" - the amount of things you have to get in line in order for the wedding day to go off without a hitch can be overwhelming.

First. A piece of advice for everyone who is not the bride...or even the groom. Planning a wedding is stressful.

 To help you - the bride and groom - grip for the months ahead here are a few of the groups of people that will stress you out as well as tips to overcome and remain calm against the odds!




Vendors
Vendors want your money and your business. You will be tempted to upgrade and design and etc...but you must stay true to what you want.
  • If you have a budget. Stick to it. There's no shame in that.

  • If there are add-on's you simply do not want, make sure you know exactly how and what you want your money to do. Don't be pressured to buying 4 parent's brag photography books when you know your mom & dad would be satisfied with an album you put together. 

  • Get everything you require written down in the contract.

  • Make sure to establish a time line for both contact prior to the wedding and the day of


Bickering Family Members & Friends
It's the worst. You're at a party, enjoying yourself and from the other side of the room the yelling starts. It's the Bickersons' at it again. It's that couple...or those two friends who just cannot seem to keep their tempers under control. It's frustrating...and the idea of them doing this at your wedding is unbearable.
  • Talk to them about it. A lot of articles say to approach them and "ask them not to fight" -- I'm not sure how I feel about this...but I don't think calming talking to the parties involved and asking them to not start a big scene at your wedding can hurt. 

  • Sit them in the back. Sure, it's not the greatest approach...but placing them towards the back of the reception venue may muffle or deter them all together from starting an argument.

  • Seriously consider this - are these the type of people you want at your wedding? Especially if they have done this at other weddings...


Opinionated Friends, Family members...and coworkers
Everyone wants to give you their opinion. Parents, siblings, cousins, friends...hell blogs. But what you must remember - it's your wedding. It's nice at some points to hear of the trials that some people had, get vendor recommendations but if you took everyone's opinion and mixed it in...you get nothing of you and all of them.
  • Make sure to always thank the person.

  • If someone gets to pushy...make sure to remind them - nicely - that while you appreciate their opinion...you and your fiance have what you want in your mind already.

  • Don't let someones "voice" overshadow yours. If it gets overwhelming be sure to excuse yourself from that person's presence.

  • If someone becomes overly negative or critical...don't let them pull you down. If it becomes to much, sit them down and tell them they are hurting your feelings.

  • Above all, remember that this is not their wedding and you do not "have" to do anything.


Your Parents
Paying for the wedding or not...your parents will definitely be a source of stress. There's just no way to avoid it. 
  • If they are paying for the wedding or contributing any part, it's best to sit down early on in the wedding planning to come up with the best strategy.

  • Coming up with a number of guests to stick to for the maximum as well as different parts of the wedding that are of a high priority to each party.

  • Try to cover the basics with your fiance first and any idea or issue that pops up...don't agree to it until you discuss privately.

  • Give your parents specific tasks for them to feel both involved and control. It will help you by delegating things in the beginning to avoid any complications later.


Each Other
Your partner will undoubtedly be the person of most freak-outs. They will be the person who stresses you out the most...and there is no way to avoid it.  The two complaints you will hear the most is "he doesn't want to do anything with the wedding" or "the wedding is all she can focus on." You must try and remember that this is a critical time...where your true colors will show. Take your time and do this process together.
  • Assign each other to take care of different tasks. It will keep both parties involved and out of the other persons way.

  • Pick a one or two nights a week where it is a "wedding-free night." Ours was Tuesdays. This will be a great night to catch a movie, watch a television show together or just hang out and do nothing.

  • Stick to the budget and the list laid out for you. 

  • Don't do or book anything you think the other may not like


And remember couples, this is supposed to be the happiest day of your life...don't let it ruin everything else you have.

Aug 16, 2011

72. Typewriter Guest Book

There's a new tradition in the wedding world. I saw a photo of it on someone's fan page of Facebook...and had to examine it further.

Typewriters.

For those who have no idea what this "ancient" form of communication record is. Please see the typewriter Wikipedia page here.

Back to topic. Weddings have been around for centuries and everywhere you turn these days, couples are trying to find alternatives in longstanding traditions that are both unique - but awesome.

My new favorite trend is using a typewriter as a guest book.

So how are you supposed to do this? Let's go over the steps. 

Purchase a working vintage typewriter. You don't have to spend a lot of money. My first thought would be to search around on Craig's List. Over the last few months I've become quite amazed as to what you find and sell on there. Next place to check would be eBay or local vintage and antique shops.

Next you'll need to pick out the type of paper you would like for your guests to sign. You have two options. The first being one long consecutive message in which for all guests to sign. The second being that each guest (or couple) signs their own message to a single piece of paper. Once you decide, you can leave the instructions on the table where the set up shall be.



At the reception venue, you'll need to place all the items on a front table. You can leave a fun sign with something like "leave some well wishes for the new Mr. & Mrs." -- Also, it would add to the flare of it to add different decor that go with your overall theme for your wedding!

Like I said, online web sites like Craig's List are your best option for both price and variety of style of the typewriter (or hey, anything else you are looking for, for your wedding).

Here are a few I found just looking around online...






So why is this trend popping up?

Vintage and saving money - these days - have been going hand-in-hand. While understandably so, you could probably find an expensive typewriter...but more than likely it won't cost more than $50....and even that is a price that's negotiable. One small thought though -- before you go buying, making sure to ask your older relatives if they have any-- would be nice to add their property to your wedding class.

Not only is this a simple set-up...the keepsake you will have is quite the household item. Post-wedding you can have all the pages bound together BUT you can put the typewriter some place in your residence as both a reminder of your wedding day and a fabulous vintage decoration.

Here are some fabulous end results of this amazing new trend...









Aug 15, 2011

71. Miracle Whip - Not for Every Relationship Contest

*this is not a sponsored post

I always like to be sure to relay exciting contests when they are available for engaged couples. Recently, as many of you may have seen because of the commercials on television - Miracle Whip is having a contest...where you can win $25,00 for your wedding or...for your divorce.

How to enter: Create a video of you and your spouse/significant other that answers the question “How has MIRACLE WHIP affected your relationship?” The video should detail how your feelings for Miracle Whip impact your relationship as in “keeping you together/married” or “potentially sending you to divorce court” and state if you are unified in love, unified in hate, or divided in love and hate.  Upload your video to www.YouTube.com/MiracleWhip. Maximum length of video is 60 seconds and maximum file size of video is 2GB.

     Full rules & regulations can be found here.

Deadline is August 23, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ET

Entries will be judged on the basis of Originality and creativity of the story detailed in the video in a unique and entertaining way (34%), appropriateness to the contest theme (33%), and passionate expression of your love/hate of Miracle Whip (33%).

There is no limit to the number of entries per person, but each entry submitted must be different.

To see the winning video, please visit www.YouTube.com/MiracleWhip after September 13, 2011.


Aug 10, 2011

70. Red Velvet Cake Balls

I think when you find a recipe such as this...it's only natural to share.

Earlier this year my coworker Jess made this amazing dessert - Red Velvet Cake Balls courtesy of Bakerella

It was life changing...it was ohmygodineedtositdowntoeatthesegood.

I must know what these are made of...and it was simple: red velvet cake, cream cheese icing and melted chocolate. Good lord.

So this was months ago and I still had not made them.

With our housewarming party this Saturday I was determined to make a fabulous dessert...and BOOM, cake balls popped into my head.

PS I must first warn you that this is a multi-hour event so make sure you do it on a weekend!

So here is what you need:
- 1 box of red velvet cake mix
- 1 can of cream cheese icing
- 2 or 3 bars of chocolate (your preference) to melt; however, Godiva chocolate tastes supreme
- Wax paper to place the cake balls on at the end 

First, make the red velvet cake according to the box directions. Pretty straight forward. Leave the chocolate bars out -- they will be room temperature when you need to melt them.

Next, let the cake cool completely (to speed up the process, I placed the cake on the tray inside my refrigerator...it cuts the cooling time almost in half)

After the cake has cooled completely you have to break it up into little pieces so that's it crumbles in your hand.

I crumbled all the cake into a large bowl -- and then took a spoon and heaped most of the cream cheese icing into the bowl.

This is where your hands are going to get dirty. Take off all jewelery and be sure to be wearing a shirt you don't like that much. My coworker suggested wearing gloves -- but I personally had no issue with this part.

Stick your hands into the bowl (having cleaned them, duh) and mix the icing and crumbled cake up together. It will feel weird and icky...but whatever it was fun.

Once the mixture is good....start to ball up the mixture and place on the wax paper covered tray.

After this is done, place the trays with the cake balls into the fridge (or freezer) for approximately 2-3 hours. You will know the balls are ready when they are much firmer -- almost like how they originally felt when you first crumbled them up!

Bring the trays out and then get the chocolate ready to melt so that you can dip the cake balls into the melted chocolate.

Melt chocolate according to the package in the microwave. Use a spoon to help this process along - it will help greatly. I only melted a few pieces at a time so it doesn't cool off and get hard again.

Lastly, stick the cake balls back into the fridge until the chocolate has harden.

Be satisfied with yourself and eat them :)








This can be a great weekend snack, a dessert to bring to a barbecue or -- a shower favor to give to the guests for their time and coming :) 

Do you have a great recipe or food idea you used as a favor for a shower ...or wedding? Leave the recipe or link below!