Monday, December 21, 2009

An explanation of sorts...

So is it just me or did the holidays creep up super fast this year? I mean, wasn't it just Halloween? Anyway, I'm afraid I'm going to have to take a bit of a blogging hiatus. It pains me to do so, but I just won't have any time to blog until 2010. Here is a sampling of what I'll be doing over the next 2 weeks:

First I get to go to Indiana and visit this girl:

BM Claire Bear and myself! I haven't seen her since LAST Christmas and I'm so excited to spend a few days with her.

Then we all know it's time for:

We're going to see his parents during the day on Christmas Eve and my mom at night. THEN on Christmas Day we'll be going to my dad's in the morning, his parent's in the afternoon, and my mom's for dinner. Holy. Crap.

The Sunday after Christmas I'm going with Josh, his sister (BM Bree), and her boyfriend (Phil) to watch these guys play:

This is Brownie the Elf! He's sort of the unofficial mascot for the Cleveland Browns. The boys have actually won 2 in a row and we're hoping to make it 3 in a row against Oakland next weekend. We have some bomb-ass seats so even if they suck, at least we're close :)

On Monday we're heading out to Columbia, MD to spend some QT with Josh's sister and her boyfriend. Then we're off to DC to hang out with our friends Mike and Rachel and celebrate this:

Mike and Rachel are having a NYE party at their house that is sure to be a fantastic time. Mike's twin brother (Chris) and his girlfriend (Dana) are also attending the festivities. Now I just need to find an outfit!

I hope you will forgive the lack of blogging (and the lack of scheduled posts. Bad blogger!) from me until after the first of the year. I promise I will be back with lots of posts since, um, the wedding is 5 months from tomorrow!!

One more thing: the always lovely Chocolate Lover gave me the Kick Ass Blogger Award!! Wooo hooo!! Thanks, girl! You're pretty kick-ass yo-self!

Here are 5 other bloggers who I think kick ass, too!

Are you a busy bee like me until the New Year or will it be smooth sailing into 2010 for you?

Ps, my Google Reader is going to get out of FREAKING control. I just know it. Oy.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Survey!

I saw this Christmas Questionnaire on Thoughts of the All Consumed Bride (aka Born to be Mrs. Beever) earlier today and thought "Ooooh I wanna do this!" So here we go!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? For Christmas I always wrap. Usually I do gift bags for birthdays and other gift-giving occasions, but I figure for Christmas I can step it up a bit.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Some years growing up we had real, other years we had artificial. My mom keeps an artificial tree decorated year-round and just keeps it in the basement. She's a genius, that woman. Josh and I have only had one tree of our own in our relationship and it was real. I'm not sure what we'll do in the future. I really don't have a preference.

3. When do you put up the tree? Uhh...whenever I have time sometime after Thanksgiving and before Christmas Eve.

4. When do you take the tree down? Uhhh...whenever I have time sometime after New Years Day and Easter.

5. Do you like eggnog?
Not really. I don't think I've ever tasted it actually. Is it warm?

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Probably anything having to do with Barbie. Yeah, I was that girl.

7. Hardest person to buy for?
Hmmm...probably my mom and grandma.

8. Easiest person to buy for? Honestly, I have a hard time with pretty much everyone.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Ha, that's funny. No.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I've never done Christmas cards but I'm looking forward to doing them with Josh next year. And we'll mail them :)

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Oh god...the list is much too long for here. Anything from my dad's side for the first, oh, 20 years of my life.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I'm not really into Christmas movies. Maybe...Love Actually? That kind of has a Christmas thing going on.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?
Let's just say it's December 18 and I'm still not done shopping.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
Hmm...I don't think so. BM Bree got me a gag gift last year that I passed back to her for her birthday. But no, I don't re-gift.

15.Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
OMG EVERYTHING. Seriously, I love it all. My mom makes a big Christmas Eve meal AND a big Christmas Day meal. And on Christmas Eve we always go to this big party at a family friend's house and they have like 82343 different types of cookies. And they're all amazing. And...I love it :)

16. Lights on the tree? Um...I don't really care? As long as they don't blink.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Religious (even though I am not): O Holy Night. I especially love Christina Aguilera's version. Chills. Secular: Mariah Carey, All I Want For Christmas is You. Come on, it's a classic!

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home?
We travel between Josh's parents and my parents, but home nonetheless. Although I would not at all be opposed to traveling to a beach on Christmas. I can't think of any better way than spending Christmas surrounded by lit up palm trees.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?
No, and I don't plan on knowing them until I have kids.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Some kind of star thing.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? family always opened presents on Christmas Eve. When I was a kid we did the Santa thing on Christmas morning. Once Josh and I have kids I'm not sure what we'll do. Probably a combo.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? I'm annoyed by a lot of stuff actually. All of the freaking PEOPLE out all of the time. Plus lots of them are sick and by the time NYE rolls around I have a cold. It's happened for the last 2 years, I'm determined not to let it happen again. I'm annoyed by a lot more but I'll skip it on here...not worth losing readers. All I know is that it's ok to celebrate Christmas even if you don't celebrate it with religious implications.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Umm...any? Ha, I really don't care.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?  Mmmmmmmm let me think. My mom always makes beef tenderloin for Christmas so that is definitely my favorite. This year for Christmas Eve she's making shrimp in this soffritto sauce with rice...omg it's going to be bananas.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I really couldn't think of anything actually. With the wedding coming up I know there is going to be so much gift-giving happening and I didn't really see a need to add to that.

26. Have you ever been caroling? Ha, doubtful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Head Explosion *Update*

So I suppose I owe you gals (and guys?) an update on the much-anticipated meeting of the in-laws. If you're a new follower, please read up on my anxiety. It's quite humorous now that I think about it. Anyway, I'm very happy to report that everything went extremely well! It was a little awkward and there were a few cringe-inducing moments, but overall I was very pleased.

Normally with stuff like this people sometimes say "I don't even know what I was worried about!" With me, that is not the case. From what I've gone though with my dad I absolutely had a right to worry about this meeting. Knowing my dad, things could have gone either way. FMIL said it best. The day after the meeting she told us, "I didn't expect it to go *bad*, necessarily, but I didn't expect it to go that well." My thoughts exactly!

The next time both sets of parents will all be together is for our tasting in January. And by "all" I mean both of Josh's parents and both of my parents. As in my mom AND my dad. Together. At the same place. At the same time. In close proximity. Do I sense another head explosion on the horizon? It's quite possible...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sprucing up the blog

Stacy over at Can't Take It With You debuted a new header today which inspired me to make a few changes to my blog. I don't know if I'm finished with said changes, but it's a start. And um, HTML crap sucks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The longest award post ever

Laura aka Miss Mojito from With This Ring I Thee Blog awarded me the Happy 101 Blog Award today! Thanks, girl! I just started reading her blog and it's fantastic. Ch-ch-check it out!

So I have to tell you 10 things that make me happy and pass it on to a few of my favorite bloggers. So here goes!

1. Joshie Poo! That's my totally embarrassing nickname for him. Sorry babe!

2. My boys, Joey and Tyler. They came into our lives back in April and I can't imagine life without them. Every day they bring me so much joy and make me laugh til I cry. These pictures are from their first night with us.

3. Glee! The show is totally fun. It somehow always manages to put a tear in my eye and a smile on my face at the same time. I seriously *long* to be a good singer and good LAWD the singers on this show are just spectacular. Their cover of Queen's "Somebody to Love" is other-worldly. Enjoy!

4. My Mom!! Hands down, she's the best. She's really looking forward to the wedding and loves her soon-to-be son-in-law! Ps, hello shiny face! Holy crap...

5. Summatime!! More specifically, our summer vacation in the OBX, North Carolina. I spend the majority of my time there at the pool and sometimes it needs a good cleaning!

6. Fabulous eye make up. Random, huh? I just really love eye make up, the more dramatic the better. If I could pull off any of these looks I'd be a happy woman.

7. My gal pals. I'm surrounded by an amazing group of women who have shaped who I am today. This is totally just an excuse to show off :) If I missed anyone, my bad. Love you all!


8. My supa-dupa-fly bomb-ass Followers! Without you I wouldn't have the will to keep blogging. Thanks for your comments, your support, your encouragement, and your awesomeness!

9. Drag Queens. I mean, really. Does this one even NEED an explanation? They're FABULOUS! I think this might go hand in hand with my love of dramatic eye make up.

10. LOLcats/I Can Has Cheezburger. This site is freaking hilarious!! I seriously laugh SO hard when I look at their pictures. I wish my cats would do funny things so I could submit them. Here are a few of my favorites, courtesy of the ICHC website.

Wow....this took me really long to write. Now I would like to pass this award to the following lovely ladies (believe me, it was so hard to choose!):

Edited to add: Whoopsie! That video is huuuuge! That was my first time embedding a video. My bad :(

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ring P0rn

Ok, I think I've made you wait long enough. Jeana from My Dream Ring commented on my teaser post that either we eloped or bought our rings. Well, I can assure you that we absolutely did NOT elope, but we absolutely DID buy our wedding bands! Here are a few pictures to satisfy your appetite:


Here is a sneak peak of something I'm going to blog about soon!

The fabulous Gasser Fine Jewelers (where Josh purchased my e-ring) invited us to their open house last weekend where they were offering 25% off of almost all of their inventory. SCORE! Ain't no shame in buying your rings on sale, girls. In the end, we were able to save about $600! That is a nice chunk of change, wouldn't you say? Luckily both of our rings fit right out of the case so there was no wait time! It took him just a few minutes to find one that he loved. Boys are so simple! 

Josh's ring is palladium, which I guess is part of the platinum family. Here is the Wiki if you're interested. It is so strange seeing him with a ring. Josh doesn't wear any jewelry, so seeing him with left-hand bling is going to be a bit of an adjustment.

My wedding ring is the match to my e-ring. I love it more than I could possibly ever say. It looks so freaking perfect with my e-ring...omg I can hardly STAND it. Don't tell Josh, but when he's at work I'll slip mine on for a few minutes and just stare.

Were you able to score any major deals during wedding planning?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I gots mah hurr did!

*Warning* Picture-heavy post, mostly of my silly mug. Enjoy!

I love love LOVE my future sister-in-law, Brianna (aka Bree/Breeze/Breezy). Seriously, she's the bomb dot com and I will sing her praises as long as I live. As I've mentioned before she's a hair stylist and has got some mayjah skills. I showed her my inspiration pictures (which you'll remember from this post) and after giving me a fabulous blow-out (with just a round brush!), we got to work. Please remember this was just the first trial and she did these very loose. Plus my hair was freshly washed with zero product in it. At our next trial (I get unlimited trials because I'm family. Lucky me!) she'll make everything tighter.

This was the first style we tried to recreate:

And this is how it turned out:

Although I loved the inspiration photo, neither of us were really feeling the look on me. Actually that first picture looks pretty good, but in person it just didn't feel right.

Here is the next picture I showed her.

As you'll see in the picture, she didn't pin back my bangs. Instead, she decided to figure out what was going on in the back and create something based on that. Here is what she came up with:

This is the style we're going to work on perfecting during my next trial. I'll explain why at the end of the post.

And finally, here is the 3rd picture I showed her:

This is what Bree created:

Pretty cute, right? Ultimately, however, we decided that this wasn't quite right for me either. She did all of these styles in about an hour and I was so impressed. We got a really good idea of what looks good on me versus what doesn't look so good. I can't wait until the next time we can play!

OH! And the BEST thing that came out of this trial was that Breeze told me I can cut my hair! Apparently I have more than enough hair to work with and that if I wanted to, I could cut off an inch. And INCH?! That's a lot in curly hair world and will make my hair look so much better. Oh, I can't wait to cut it!

I came to an interesting and sobering conclusion during the trial: you must trust the pros. Bree has been telling me all along that I should look like myself on my wedding day and I continually said "No no, I don't care about that. I'll feel like myself no matter what." What can I say, I'm a know-it-all. Well, um, I was wrong. Totally wrong. I'm used to seeing my hair with a ton of texture. Also, I'm used to seeing myself with BIG hair. I love volume and I love to have my hair high up on my head. Basically, I belong in New Jersey.*

Anyway, I realized that with the first and third style, there just wasn't enough texture for me. You can't really tell from the picture, but the 2nd style is textured on top as opposed to smooth like the other two. I finally *got* it. Yes, I do want to look like myself on my wedding day, and "myself" includes big, curly hair. So ladies, trust the professionals. They get paid for a reason.

Did you eat a big slice of humble pie at any point during your wedding planning?

*Please don't email or comment about how I'm stereotyping NJ. My grandma is from there and she loves her some big-ass hair, too.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Loved Our Cake Tasting & Why Inspiration Photos Lie

First let me just say that I *adore* our baker and all of the people who work at Wild Flour Bakery. Everyone we met the other day was so helpful and energetic and NICE. I really appreciate nice people, especially during the craziness of wedding planning. For the most part, all of our vendors have been a pleasure to work with and I know they are doing their very best to make our wedding day as close to perfect as it can get.

Next, let me say that *holycrap* the people over at Wild Flour know how to make a freakin' cake! They gave us seven flavors to try and all 7 were pretty damn amazing. Plus! The pieces they gave us to take home to try were enormous. So enormous, in fact, that Josh, myself, my mom, and my grandma were all able to sample them. Take a look at these bad boys!

We were also given 6 flavors of icings and fillings to try. I sort of died because they were all SO GOOD.

During our tasting, however, we learned something very interesting that I would like to pass along to all of you: inspiration photos are crap. Apparently all of the cakes in the pictures (remember those?) I brought in are tiny. We're estimating 180-200 people at our wedding. The cakes in the pictures I brought in feed MUCH less than that. My advice? Find cakes from weddings that you KNOW had as many people as you're expecting. That way you will not be met with the disappointment that I was.

Luckily we were still able to come up with a design that matched my vision AND will feed all of our guests. I'm going to keep the cake flavors and design a secret until after the wedding. Gotta leave some things a surprise, right?

What was your cake tasting like?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Such a Tease

Just a sneak peak of what Josh and I did this weekend. Full post with better (closer) pics coming soon!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Bane of My Existence: Hair

BM Bree (aka FSIL) is in town this weekend! YAY! If you'll remember from my post about the BM hair drama (update coming soon), I mentioned that Bree is doing my hair for the wedding. She is a very talented stylist and I wouldn't want anyone else touching my hair on my wedding day. Since she's here for a few days she agreed to do a hair trial with me. Basically I need to know if I can keep my hair at the length it's at now, or if I should grow it another inch or so. I'm really hoping she'll tell me she can work with the length it's at now because I *haaaaate* having long hair. As a reminder, this is the hair she has to work with:

Recent pic of me and Josh. He's Mr. Smiles as always.

Here are a few pictures I plan on showing her for inspiration. I've divided them into 3 categories: Volume, Off the Face, and Height on Top but Sleeker. And yes, I'm very aware that I'm a freak. I wave my freak flag high and proud.


Mariska Hargitay is so amazingly beautiful. 



Off the Face:

Not quite sure where I found this one

Height on Top but Sleeker:

I'm not looking to recreate any of these looks exactly, but hopefully these pictures will help her create something fabulous. Pictures will be posted next week!

Did you go overboard on hair inspiration photos or did you let your stylist run wild?