Friday, March 26, 2010

Obligatory alterations post

**JOSH: I'm pretty sure you don't read this, but if you've somehow stumbled across this post DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. It's dress-related. 'Nuff said.**

My first alteration appointment was last week and it was just fabulous. It was my first time trying on my dress since September and I really hoped it still fit. Well, it "fit" in the sense that I could zip it up. It did not, however, "fit" in the sense that I could sit down. Yeah um, I'm a few pounds heavier now than when I ordered it. 

Anyway, let's not dwell on that. 

The seamstress is taking it out in the hips (yay I can sit!), taking it in in the back/bust (yay no more gaping!), and didn't have to do a THING to the hem. My height (5'5") coupled with my heels (about 3 inches) made me the perfect height for the dress. So excited about that.

I know you're all "Blah blah don't care show me pictures," so here are a few from the appointment.

Mmm pretty....

As the always eloquent Shakira once proclaimed: my hips don't lie.
Although sometimes I wish they did.

All up in my biz perfecting the bustle. 
Seriously, this woman is a magician.

It sort of looks weird here, but my bustle is AMAZING. 
I almost want to wear it bustled all day.

My mom ordered a bridesmaids dress for her wedding day attire so she had her alterations appointment that day, too.

She's adorable.

Again, this seamstress is a magician and said both dresses would be ready in 2 weeks. Uh...that's freaking fast. Hopefully next time I try on my dress I'll actually be able to sit.

How much alteration did your dress require? Was it a painless process or a never-ending saga?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Really, USPS?

In my last post about our invitations I touched on my frustration with the wrap-around address labels.

Hand-writing addresses was really never an option for me. I have terrible handwriting and didn't want to pay a calligrapher. Plus, wrap-around labels just look so fun!

After finding labels (thanks Stacey! She did a tutorial at my request!), working on them for a good 6 hours, getting them *just* right, painstakingly printing them, and finally affixing them to our beautiful envelopes, I was over-the-moon excited to mail them. People would see them and love them and tell me what a fanTAStic job I did (I like praise). 

Then...I went to the post office and proceeded to have a meltdown. I think a review of my tweets from that day best tell the story. (Warning: If offensive language offends skip this part.) Observe:

This was not what I wanted to hear. The not-so-nice post office lady told me, and I quote "Well, we'll mail them but you're GOING to get 50% of them sent back to you." Oh REALLY? She also basically suggested I redo them. Hahaha good one, post office lady bitch, I'll get RIGHT on that.

Apparently because the recipient's address and the return address were at the same level the machine would get confused and might read the return address as the recipient address. Really. Because I always thought that the envelope gets delivered to the address on the side of the STAMP. Ok...I can't even talk about this anymore because it makes me so mad.

So I walked out of there with my invitations and proceeded to hyperventilate and tweet at the same time. It's as skill I've honed over the past year or so. A few of my Twitter friends, namely these three girls, help talk me off the ledge. Seriously, thank god for Twitter.

When I got home, I did what any internet-savvy bride would do: I Googled the crap out of wrap-around labels. My goal was to prove the post office wrong. Everything I read from brides said that they had no problems. HA! Victory was mine. (I love being right.)

All that was left to do was stamp and send! I'm happy to report that ZERO invitations have been sent to the incorrect address. So SUCK IT, United States Postal Service. Maybe you should train your employees to give correct information and not make brides CRY. (Yep...pulling the "bride card.")

Have you had any wedding-related meltdowns? Please say yes so I know I'm not completely crazy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Invitations: Revealed!

Our invitations are in the hot little hands of our guests so I can finally reveal them!

Since I know all you're really interested in are pictures, I'll get to those right away. Please excuse the terrible erasing job on some of these.

I *LOVE* our envelopes. They're the perfect shade of green and metallic and so freaking amazing. I never thought I would, you know, care about envelopes. But I do. I do so much.
I would do dirty things to these envelopes if they weren't going out to 200 people. Jk...maybe.

The back. Those wrap-around oh man. I'll explain the saga in another post.

This is the digital file of the invitation because I was tired of editing the pics I took.

Our ridiculously full RSVP card. I'm positive 98% of our guests will fill these out wrong. 

The whole suite. I didn't block out our info on this one. I'm lazy and mad at my computer. 
Please don't steal my identity.
Also, you'll see the accommodations card on here. I figured you probably don't care about that one, hence the lack of a close-up.
Oh, and say hi to Tyler :)

My friend Sophie did an amazing job interpreting my vision. I honestly would not change one single thing about these invitations. Please check out her website, Her paintings are absolutely stunning and she has become an equally amazing graphic designer. 

Honestly, I don't think doing my own invitations saved me any money. I bought all the materials but paid some one else (quite a bit more than I wanted) to print them. However, I never set out to necessarily "save" money. I wanted my invitations to turn out exactly how *I* wanted and I just didn't see that happening by picking something from the internet. Plus, I was able to work with my good friend which meant unlimited meetings/revisions!

Did you work with a "friendor" on your invitations or any other part of your wedding? How was your experience?

Monday, March 22, 2010

For the crybabies

I like my DIY projects the same way I like my women: easy. Did that make any sense? No, but it made me giggle.

"Tears of Joy" tissue packets are not the most original DIY project, but definitely one of the easiest. Like, stupid easy. I first saw this project on Miss Mojito's (aka Laura) blog. Her inspiration was from this post over on Bee's blog. After reading both posts I thought, "Pshh even I can do that." So I did!

I followed Bee's directions exactly, but made my own labels on Vistaprint.

Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, go check out Bee's post or Miss Mojito's post for full directions. Here is how mine turned out!

Photo by moi!

Cute, right? Nothing revolutionary, but that's not really my style. I still have to find something to hold them, but I'm sure I can scrounge something up.

Were any (or all) of your DIY projects stupid easy or do you like more of a challenge?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The uncomfortable side of wedding planning

When I go to weddings I usually bawl at the Father/Daughter dance. Not just shed a tear, oh no, I SOB. The ugly cry face comes out in full force and I usually down whatever alcoholic beverage I have near me. So let's just say the one part of my wedding that I'm decidedly NOT looking forward to is the Father/Daughter dance.

My lukewarm relationship with my dad is well-documented on this blog, but in case you're new let me give you the low down. My dad is present in my life but I don't see him very much. I have some deep-seeded issues with him that someday I'll hopefully work out, but right now our relationship is not the "typical" father/daughter relationship. I actually really like my dad and enjoy his company, but I just can't get past a lot of feelings I have toward him. Anyway, I'm anxious about dancing with him at my wedding.

In order to cut out some of the awkwardness we've decided to combine the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son dances. I just cannot be out there with him by myself. Luckily Josh's mom is completely understanding, something I will forever be grateful for (she's a saint, that woman).

Due to the somewhat unusual nature of our relationship, the "typical" F/D dance songs just are not going to cut it. No "Butterfly Kisses" or "I Loved Her First" or anything like that. Puke.

Honestly, there needs to be a handbook about the uncomfortable side of weddings. Anyway, there's really only one song I don't hate that would work for this dance. Luckily, it's by one of my favorite groups, Rascal Flatts (yep, I'm a country music lovin' city girl. Don't judge.)

The only thing is it's kind of long. Four minutes is a long damn time and I *know* I will be a hot mother effing MESS. But right now it's sort of my only option. However...this is where you fabulous ladies come in!

What song are you and your dad dancing to? I'd love any recommendations for songs that might fit my situation. I'll love you forever?

Also, is there any part of the wedding day you're not looking forward to? Or am I on an island here?

Bachelorette Birthday Blowout: You Don't Have To Go Home

But you gotta get the hell up outta here!

As late night turned into early morning, one by one we started fading. I can really only speak for myself, but my feet were in PAIN. It was the perfect time to take a little break on one of our couches.

Sleepy girls.

Let's recap this pic: MJ is reviewing pics, BM Despina is dancing with her hands, BM Nikki is...fist pumping (?) and BM Claire is sulking (haha jk Claire).
It might be time to go home.

So we said some goodbyes and thank-yous, rallied the troops, and made our way back to the hotel. 

Remember when I said I have some "drifter" friends? Well, this came into play when we tried to exit the bar and get a cab. Somehow we lost half the group. I have no idea how this happened, but it was a bit chaotic. Let me set the scene:

Location: W. 6th St. outside of the Velvet Dog.
Time: 2am-ish?

BM: We have a cab! Everyone in!
Me: Um...where are the rest of the girls?
BM: We can't wait for them, we gotta go!
Me: Um...I'm going to go find them.
Random Limo Company Guy: Hey! You're a beautiful bride to be. Do you have a limo company for your wedding yet?
Me: Yes. I need to go find my friends.
Random Limo Company Guy: I'd love to drive you around on your wedding day. When is the wedding? Where are you having it?
Me: Thanks. May. It's at Windows. We already have some one. I need to go FIND MY FRIENDS.
RLCG: Blah blah blah hire me instead blah blah blah.
Me: Ok, I have to go now.
BM: EM! We gotta go NOW.
Me: Jesus god where are they? (Runs up and down the street yelling for Tyrone.)
BM: Emily, get in the cab!
(I get in the cab...they can figure out how to get back to the hotel themselves.)
(I get out and run to my asshole friends who are leisurely walking down the street smoking cigs.)
Asshole Friends: Hahaha we're so silly, just strolling down the street, holding everyone else up. La la dee daa!!

One piece of advice if you're going to have a bachelorette party like this: it's not enough to just figure out how to get *to* your party, you really need to figure out how to get back *from* your party.

Here are a few pics from the very end of the night (just so you can see how ridiculous we all were at that point):

Since I was the last person in the cab I had to sit on the FLOOR. 
This made me really happy, as you can tell.

Incredibly unflattering, but we were having a grand time waiting for the hotel elevator.

We were a bit, um, hungry when we got back. 
BM Ena ordered a pizza (not pictured).

All in all, it was an extremely fun party and exactly what I wanted. My girls certainly went above and beyond and for that I will be forever thankful. 

Miss something?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

And away we go!!

If you follow me on Twitter you may have seen some recent tweets about "big news" or "big changes" going on in my life. Well, I'm excited to FINALLY announce that...
We're moving!!

Ha, you thought I was gonna say "pregnant," huh? Def not.

Josh and I have been discussing leaving Ohio for quite awhile now and that dream is finally being realized. The job market in Northeast Ohio is abysmal and it's just time for a change. At first we thought about North or South Carolina, but after a few serious discussions we settled on the DC area. We know a good number of people out there and Josh's sister moved to Maryland a year ago, so it really was a no-brainer.

Recently Josh has been a bit unhappy with his current job and decided to start applying for jobs in the DC area. I told him if he got a job before the wedding that I would stay back and he could move out there without me. Well, he applied, interviewed, and got a job! So that means I'm moving back in with my mom for a few months and we'll be apart for the last 2 months before the wedding. No worries, though. We've done long distance before, I'm not worried about doing it again. 

It will definitely be a bit of a struggle, but I know it's temporary and it's the best decision for us. I just can't wait to get out there and get a J-O-B!

Have any of you gone through major life changes immediately before or after your wedding? Any advice?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Bachelorette Birthday Blowout: I Dare Ya

One thing you should know about me is I'm not afraid to make a fool of myself in front of an audience. I LOVE karaoke even though I really can't sing. I'll volunteer to go up on stage and do something silly. I just generally do not care. Before college I was pretty shy, but once I met BM Despina she brought out the "fun" Emily. You could also call this "attention whore" Emily. I'll take either.

The part of the night I was really looking forward to was doing "bachelorette dares." The girls gave me a coupon book with 10 dares. I looked through all of them and announced that I would do anything in the book. The girls only took me up on that offer twice! Seriously, I was prepared (and excited for) some seriously embarrassing moments, but alas, the girls were having too much fun dancing and (let's get serious) drinking.

The first dare instructed me to "straddle a chair, wave your hands around, and yell 'YEE HAW'." Alrighty then!

My biggest concern was people seeing my hoo-ha/Spanx. 
Probably should have thought this one through a bit more.

Clearly I've done this once or twice before. 
Because I'm a cowgirl, ya know.

"Oh boy...what have I done?"

Good times. The next dare was only witnessed by one BM (jokester Helen. Remember her?) The dare read, "Sit next to a random guy, take your bra off, wave it around, then put it back on and walk away." Of course I was wearing the most plain and un-sexy bra that night. But I'm a good bride and I do as I'm told. Only one picture exists of this and it doesn't fully show you the act, but I'll post it anyway. (Truth be told I think Helen may have been a wee bit intoxicated. I know she reads this so...Hi, Helen!)

See the un-sexiness of my bra? 
Also note that the guy has no interest in what I'm doing.

I couldn't figure out a way to put my bra back on without flashing the entire bar, so I opted to complete the dare in the bathroom.

Now, in case you're wondering, yes Josh has seen every single one of these pictures and no, he doesn't care what I do. I really am lucky to have a guy who is completely understanding of my outgoing personality. I certainly don't plan on changing anytime soon.

Up next, the chaos of calling it a night.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bachelorette Birthday Blowout: The Dance Party Begins

One thing I *really* wanted for my bachelorette party was a reserved area in whichever club we decided to go to. We had a pretty big group (I think there were 16 of us) and I felt we needed a central meeting place. Some of my friends are what I like to call drifters. This is not a bad thing, and I'm often in this category too, but I didn't want to "lose" anyone. I knew if we didn't have a place to meet, we'd be all over the damn place. Well, my girls came through and we had a HUGE area all to ourselves. The best picture I have of it unfortunately includes two girls who had a little too much fun:

Hahahaha ohhh yes. The girl on the right is actually a BM. 
Hope she can hang at the wedding.

The other side (behind me) was the same. We had bottle service, too. Felt real classy n' shit.

Right next to our "VIP" area (haha...calling us VIPs sounds so ridiculous) was...wait for it...a dancing platform! I was in heaven. If you know anything about me, you know that I love to dance and that I love being the center of attention. You better believe I hustled my ass up there as soon as we walked in. 

My mom actually told me that I could have a career as a stripper. 
I took it as a compliment.

I think everyone enjoyed the show.

I want to leave you with a few more pics of us generally having a damn good time. 

Former roomie and current BM Despina.
I wish I wasn't cut out of this pic.

All of the BMs and myself (although some of them aren't looking). 
I love my face.

Why I haven't been discovered as an American Idol yet is just beyond me. 
I have stage presence, god damn it!

Tyrone and BM Ena. 
She's famous (or maybe infamous) for her hair flip.

BM Breezy (FSIL) giving me a lap dance of sorts. Obviously I loved it.

Josh's mom and her new bff Tyrone. 
Seriously, this picture makes me the happiest woman in the world and makes my eyes well up with the happiest tears.

Up next, the stupid shit I did at my bachelorette party that will probably come back to haunt me.

Bachelorette Birthday Blowout: Hotel & Restaurant Shenanigans

My fabulous bridesmaids arrived at the hotel early Saturday afternoon to set up the room. I was instructed to arrive around 5 ready to party. Only a few of the girls knew about Tyrone's surprise so I was really excited for the rest of them to see him. BM Ena hadn't seen him over 2 years!

Once we arrived and I got my first round of tears out of the way, the girls sat me down with a glass of champagne (or wine, I can't quite remember) and began showering me with gifts.

BM Breezy is explaining the game to me. 
I should be more aware of my face when cameras are around.
Also notice the penis cake.

Each bridesmaid gifted me lingerie but left their names off the bag/box. I had to guess who each piece was from and after all presents were opened the identities would be revealed. This was a really really fun game and one I recommend for all bachelorette parties. Seriously, my lingerie collection is stocked for the next few years (til I have a baby and get fat).

I managed to guess 3 out of the 6 gifts correctly. When I opened this next bag, however, I knew *exactly* who it was from:

What I like to call the Full Borat. 
The thong is pulled up over my shoulders. Awesome, huh? I have no shame.
Oh, and please notice my sweet Spanx. It was my only option.

See, BM Helen is a big ol jokester so I knew the girl who gifted me a 44 HH bra and the XXL (probably bigger) thong could only be her. Thanks, girl. I know Josh will looove those.

After a bit more mingling it was off to the restaurant! We crammed ourselves into a cab and went on our merry way.

When I say "crammed" I do mean crammed. 
That's jokester Helen front and center.

We had reservations at Zocalo, a fabulous Mexican restaurant in Downtown Cleveland. It was an awesome place for a big group and we had the best waitress in the place! She also made the BEST guacamole I've ever had ever ever EVER in my life:

She made this table-side, specially for our party. 
I got to specify the amount of each ingredient and she made it. It was SO amazing.

Don't I have the most beautiful Future Mother-in-Law?? This is really the only other pic I took at the restaurant.

Dinner was amazing and shockingly very reasonably priced. We had about sixteen people and the food bill (not including bar) came in under $200. My mom unexpectedly and graciously picked up the food bill. Thanks, Mom!

Oh, before I go any further, let me address the thing on my head:


Initially I was adamantly against wearing any kind of veil/sash/penis-anything crap. For me, I'm just not that into it. It looks great and works for other brides, but for me personally it's just not how I wanted to look. But...the girls got me a tiara AND a veil/tiara combo AND a sash. Since they were sparkly and not penis-covered, I decided to humor them, suck it up, and rock the shit out of the tiara and tiara veil. You can't tell, but I wore them both. Because I'm just that freakin' fabulous.
Up next, the party REALLY gets started. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The recap you've all been waiting for!

Bachelorette Birthday Blowout!!

I finally have my shit together regarding my bachelorette party pics! Ugh...only took me a week and a half. Actually, I'm glad I didn't write this right away. I was so incredibly emotional before, during and after the big weekend that I really needed some time to reflect on the events. So many people put in so much work to make this party possible and I don't know how I'll ever repay them.

The weekend started with a BIG surprise. My best friend Tyrone flew all the way from Florida to celebrate with me! He told me he wouldn't be able to make it, so when he waltzed into my apartment on Friday afternoon (my birthday) I was shocked and sooo incredibly happy! We're known for taking some pretty effing fabulous pictures so of course we had to continue the tradition before we went out to dinner.

We ate a fabulous meal at a local place that we just love and I ended the night eating my favorite dessert of all-time: creme brulee.

Wine and creme brulee: yum in the tum.

Up next, the big day arrives! And we turn the hotel room into a mock-Victoria's Secret.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Size Matters

I know you've all been waiting with baited breath for a recap of my bachelorette party, and I promise it's coming...once I figure out my new Mac. Yes, I got a new computer and if you've been following me on Twitter you know that I sort of hate it. Hate is a strong word, I know. So maybe what I actually hate is having to learn a completely new operating system. So once I figure it all out, you'll get a recap. Let me just say that it was a BLAST.

But for now I want to talk about something that we all know is true but no one wants to admit. Size matters. Don't lie and tell me it doesn't matter to you, because I'm going to call BS. Yes girls, so many of us wish for thick, full, and long....
EYELASHES! Get yer minds outta the gutter!

A few days before my bachelorette party I was playing around with make up and fake eyelashes. While I'm pretty darn good at doing my own make up, I pretty much SUCK at applying fake eyelashes. The glue and the's just a mess. I even used Miss Rainbow's awesome tutorial, but alas, they looked and felt weird.

Frustrated, I remembered posts from Mrs. Caramel and Miss Fro Yo who both got eyelash extensions with amazing results. I did a bit of Googling and found Exclusive Eyelash Designs and Spa. I pondered the price for about 5 minutes and decided it was totally worth it. Luckily she was able to fit me in the next day!

Since I know you're waiting for pictures I'll get to those first then explain the process.

My eyes before (no make up...I can't believe I'm posting this.)

Ok, not terribly short or sparse or anything, but I felt like they needed a bit of oomph.

So 2 hours and about 200 individual lashes later I had this:
I love them! They look a little wonky because I had just woken up, but once you brush them they look normal. And although it looks like they make my eyes heavy, I'm pretty sure I was just sleepy :)

So how exactly does it work? First you start with a clean face. No lotion whatsoever. Next, you settle in for a nice 2 hour rest. A quick procedure it is not, my friends. But look at the results! The person applying the lashes tapes down your eyelids and pulls the skin around your eyes taught so she can see each individual lash. Then the magic happens. She applies a synthetic lash to each individual lash. Each. One. Not your skin, your lash. That's just crazy to me and I know I would never have the patience to do that for a living. A few hours (and a few hundred dollars) later you have some long-ass lashes.

Upkeep is pretty easy: sleep on your back and don't get them wet. Also, don't use any oil-based products around your eyes. Oh, and no mascara allowed!

I paid about $250 for my eyelashes. I know, that's a lot of money. I know. I actually got a "deal" (if you want to call it that) because she applied about 100 lashes per eye which usually costs $400. I'm not really clear as to why I got this deal, but I wasn't about to question it ;) It's recommended that you go in every 2 weeks for a refill (which costs about $50) but I don't think I'll be doing that. However, I will definitely get these again for the wedding day. I'm sure there are better things I could spend my money on, but hey, we all have our priorities. Mine just happens to be my vanity!

I'm happy to answer any questions so feel free to ask away in the comments!

Is there anything you're splurging on for your wedding?