Thursday, June 9, 2011

kiss me kate...

...or should i say, i could kiss YOU kate! kate spade that is. 

i think miss spade (with a little help from a new (to me) pop-up internet shopping site "the foundary") crystalized my inspiration for our wedding decor.

perhaps due to blog overload, but i've had a hard time settling on my vision for the day. i have so many ideas, but pulling them all together in a cohesive way has been a struggle. all while fitting in a reasonable budget. 

i knew right away i didn't want a "cookie cutter" wedding that mimics all the other hotel ballroom weddings epitomized in the dry chicken that is served and are indistinguishable from each other. i also knew that "elegant/glam" wasn't really my style, nor budget friendly (at least they way i'd like to do it), so with only those "stipulations" limiting me, there was a lot of options and inspiration aplenty for decor. 

with two urban settings (the ceremony will be held in a loft in the Crossroads that is really a blank canvas, and the reception at the very modern Boulevard Brewery Event Space, which is just so beautiful architecturally, it doesn't need much enhancement). given these locations, it was natural to go with a slightly modern asthetic overall. but i didn't want harsh, cold, or too trendy, and found myself drawn to a style which i describe is "if anthropologie and crate and barrel had a baby..." 

around easter i put together a powerpoint with a lot of my inspirations, and i really liked how it came together. i would call it sweet, charming, and probably a little bit more rustic then the urban setting of our wedding, but i think we could make it work. i think this would be the easiest to execute with some d-i-y, and di-ets-y.  so i felt pretty good about it and was coming up with plans for getting it put together (including my moss monogram...)

but today, once i saw these little guys, everything clicked. 

i was immediately drawn to them, their goldness especially, i am a sucker for anything glittery and sparkly. i liked that they were organic (their egg shape), yet still modern, clean, and, of course, gold. and i loved them. and i began to envision using them as a backdrop for our ceremony.

it wasn't till later in the day i put 2 and 2 together. so maybe i was staring at some of her pieces online instead of staring at a spreadsheet, but suddenly it hit me. a certain stylish lady with ties to kc (yup, even though the brand is kate spade new york, she actually grew up in kansas city)uses a lot of gold in her looks. and bright pops of colors. and has impeccable taste. 

and suddenly, ideas were whirring. ideas involving paper mache, sequins, confetti, hot pink, gold, kraft paper, glitter, so many ideas i nearly had a traffic accident while i was driving home as i tried to write them on the back of a reciept. i had a vision (executing it, as always, is another matter), but i was inspired and excited. and ready to get that glue gun out again.... 

now i just have to figure out where i can get some gold leaf

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Most people’s daily essentials include a cup of coffee, checking facebook, maybe a workout, perhaps your favorite TV show, a 2 pm diet coke, walking the dog, or a midnight snack... One of my daily essentials, since this whole getting married thing started, is checking wedding blogs. I pretty much daily swoon over and get inspired by the blogosphere (and bookmark ideas to copycat)…(and then get depressed that I don’t have a $7 million budget for this shin dig)…

(confession, since I’ve been a young girl, I’d randomly pick up copies of Martha Stewart Weddings at the grocery store, so it is not suprising that when I have an actual wedding to plan, I am going to be pouring over this stuff…)

So, since I don’t have a $7mil budget, and since I adore my hot glue gun, and since I’ve seen a gazillion of these and love them… here’s my attempt at the popular moss letter monograms (and yes, I am managing to type this even though my fingers are kind of sticking to the keys with the aftermath)

The ingredients

1 Trusty Glue Gun
2. Cardboard Letters

3. Bag O' Moss (thank u Dollar Store)

The How-To

I set myself up and started gluing chunks of moss to the letter. It was easier than I thought, the main challenge was not gluing the moss to my fingers. Otherwise, it was just putting some glue on the J, then kinda sticking clumps of moss to it, till it was covered. It took awhile, but overall, it wasn't too bad and probably artificially inflated my DIY confidence...

The plan is to hang these with peach colored ribbon in the entry area (right off the elevator)...

One initial down, one to go!

speaking of royal weddings...

...we're totally royal right?

Posh and Beck's don't have ANYTHING on us
(Derby Party, May 2011)

The OTHER Royal Wedding

Now that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (aka: Will and Kate, aka:  Baron Carrickfergus and Baroness Carrickfergushave tied the knot, it’s time to move on to the other “future King” who will be getting married in 2011 (pause so I can adjust my tiara): why, that would be me J

Actually, this post is going to be about the REAL royalty getting hitched—because I am still swooning.

A week ago, I set my alarm for 4:59 a.m., and dutifully rolled over, grabbed the remote and flicked on the tv to see Kate riding in the car to Westminster Abbey with her father and the beautiful veil and lace sleeves and a relaxed smile as she waved to the crowds. And let me just say. It.was.magical. I don’t know if it was turning on the tv to watch at just the right moment, if it was her overall princess-like perfection, or the many sweet and swoon-worthy moments of the classic “fairytale” wedding to come, but I was smitten. And spent the rest of the day/week obsessing over photos and articles online.

I loved the tolling bells, the “oh wow” as they stepped onto the balcony, the two kisses, the sweet looks exchanged between Will and Kate throughout, the hats, the blonde pageboy, her confidence, the carriage ride, the way it seemed so true to them (despite being a huge ceremonial deal as well), and oh, yeah, I also loved HER DRESS, which was absolute perfection.  And makes me wish MY dress had sleeves.

Things I thought about (as a bride-to-be myself): as I’ve been planning, I’ve been conscious of the fine balance between—what *I* want and *my* tastes vs. trying to please everyone—and the difficulties of that—and how magnified they must have been for Will and Kate.  I mean, I could probably suck it up on some things (she DOES get to be a princess afterall), but it’s also a day you’ve dreamed of forever, and you kind of do have these visions that you want to make happen and have some ownership over, so I really empathized with her in this aspect. But thought she did a great job balancing it all.  More importantly though, I just loved how calm, relaxed and happy she seemed throughout all of it. Knowing my nature, I am sure I will be stressed on the big day, but really don’t want to be, I just want to be happy and soak up the moment.  Granted she probably knew things were under control and had a team of professionals to make sure there weren’t any bags under her eyes after last minute preparations/running around….but I will use her as a model of being a confident and content bride.  My mantra: Keep Calm and Carry On. Which while appropriately British, seems a bit stuffy. So maybe the popular spin off—Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake would be better. Although I do still have to fit into the dress. How about Keep Calm and Be like Kate. Afterall, I will be marrying my own Prince Charming. And if I just remember that part, I should have no problem smiling and letting everything else melt away.

Other side notes: I dressed appropriately for the Royal wedding by sleeping in a size XL freebie Royals tee-shirt, and celebrated by attending a Royals game that evening (complete with fireworks—just like they had!!). I even went to lunch with our admin, who happens to be from Australia, who has an awesome accent. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The One with the Spray Tan

Having grown up during FRIENDS hay-day, and having watched each episode in syndication at least 5 times, it is not surprising that I drove up to Solarium Tanning with much trepidation. I had seen what can go wrong with a spray tan (thank you Ross Gellar). And I was determined NOT to come out looking like an 8.

For those of you who did not own a Friends Quote-a-Day Calendar, or those who simply have a life and don’t watch as much television/reruns as I do, the main plot of the hilarious espiode is Ross goes to get a spray tan, and in his typical bumbling fashion, manages to not turn around in the little booth, so is sprayed multiple times on one side and none on the back, making him several shades darker than he intended.
So, with a Val-Pak coupon in hand, and a desire not to be pale OR oompa-loompa orange on my wedding day, I decided to give this whole spray tan deal a test drive.

I took the initiative to read up on “spray tan prep” in google prior to my appointment, and followed the suggestions to get all exfoliated, de make-up-ified, and not wear any deodorant to my appointment. I arrived at the salon, filled out a form for the very-tan front desk lady, indicated which level of tan I would like (thinking Ross, I went for “light”), and was led back into the depths of the tanning salon. 

Fortunately, things have progressed since the late 90’s, and not only did I have a very-tan high school aged girl show me the “positions,” but I was also guided throughout the process by a computerized voice, telling me when to do each position and where to face (although without the demo beforehands, I wouldn’t have known what was “position one” and “position two” etc.)  Although I may have the benefit of years of learning choreography going for me that Ross didn’t, it still seemed pretty easy to do, and fortunately, my experience was not for sitcom fodder.

When I first got out of the booth, and checked out myself in the mirror, I noticed an all-over I just got back from the tropics look (sweet! $30 is way < price of airfare and hotel and fruity drinks with umbrellas) and was pretty impressed with the results. However, on closer inspection, I saw that my face looked very speckled with tanning juice and I was quite nervous about this (did I not exfoliate enough? Did the tan teen lead me astray in my positions? ). But after staring in the mirror for a Sammi-Sweetheart length session, then deciding to get dressed so I could go cuss out the very-tan lady up front, and looking at it again in the mirror in the hallway, it had gone back to normal with no spots/dots/blotches.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with the process and effects. Definitely not orange, I would definitely not go any darker than the “light” level as it is fairly “dark”, not too smelly, pretty quick process (it probably took me 25 minutes total with filling out the form, practicing my “positions” and re-reading the posters approximately 47 times, I’m sure a veteran could have been done in under 10, but then again, I didn’t want to be an “8”). 

My legs are a bit spotty (but only if you are really inspecting them up close) and remind me of the cougar who used to rub herself in baby oil and use aluminum foil to attract more sun in 1977 BSPF. This is probably due to me not exfoliating the winter skin off as much as I should have, and like I said, only if you are staring intently at my legs would you notice.  Which I am. And reminding myself to use SPF so my own legs don’t look like this in another 20 years.

I tan pretty easily, so I am not too worried about needing to tan before the wedding, but like I said, I am trying to take good care of my skin and will be SPF-ing it up all summer long, and just wanted to make sure, if I felt a little pasty come September 17, I will be a seasoned spray tan veteran.  And not orange in my wedding pix.  So the results of this little experiment I would say are me: 1, ross: 0.

Side note: curious to know if Ross’ tanning woes happened before or after his glow-in-the-black-light teeth whitening incident.
Ross: You sprayed my front twice!
Assistant: You've never turned?
Ross: No, I barely even got to three Mississippi.
Assistant: Mississippi? I said count to five'!
Ross: Mississippilesly? (pause) Well, how bad is it?
Assistant: Ain't that bad yet, but it keeps getting darker for the next four hours.
Ross: So, how dark is it gonna get?
Assistant: You got sprayed with two two' s and...
Ross: I'm a four?
Assistant: Yeah, but you're back's a zero. You're gonna wanna even that out.
Ross: (sarcastically) Really!
Assistant: You might wanna get back in there.
Ross: (annoyed) Ok!
(The assistant leaves and Ross goes back in the spray-on tan booth and turns his back to the spray nozzles, facing the back wall)
Ross: Wait, wait a minute, there's no light on the back wall! How do I know when it's gonna start? Hello? (he slowly turns and the spraying begins, on his face) Ah, oh, ah! (he turns, but then he turns again and is sprayed in the front again) Ah! (he spits and angrily goes out of the spray-on tan booth and the assistant enters the room) The same thing happened again!
Assistant: You got two more twos?
Ross: (hysterically) I'm an eight!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On, or something like that

First off, shout out to my IT department for losing my post. Granted, shouldn’t have been writing a blog at work and this is surely the productivity god’s way of teaching me a lesson (clearly, since I am re-writing this at work, point was so totally taken!)

Second off, besides kansas, there is nothing I hate more than re-writing stuff. No matter how hard you try, you can never re-create or re-capture those perfect words you had previously written.  No matter how many times that I tell myself to “Ctrl-S” each time I breathe, I still have lost papers, emails, etc and multiple professors, colleagues, friends, frenemies, etc have been on the receiving end of my “sloppy second” attempts. So apologies in advance that this isn’t going to be as awesome as it first was ;)

With under 5 months to go till the big day, I began to write a little check in on what wedding related things have been chosen and which things remain (heavy emphasis on “which things remain”). To recap

Donecakes:  The Dress (kinda), The Suit, The Ceremony Site, The Reception Site, The Wedding Party, The Minister, The Photographer, The DJ, the Cake (don’t worry, yall won’t be eating 5 month old cake, we just have a plan), the Groomscake, the Shoes, the Rings, the Guest List (mostly), the favors, the beverages (when you have your reception in a brewery, this kinda goes without saying, but in the interest of making myself feel more accomplished, it’s on my “crossed off” list).

And in the interest of time, the “big items” still on the-5-page-single-spaced-to-do-list: bridesmaid dresses, suits, caterer, flowers, hotel for guests, the veil, the save the date, the invites, the website, the d├ęcor, deciding on music (for ceremony and like “first dance” songs etc), marriage license, ordering a crap-ton of stuff off etsy, honeymoon…

So I feel like we do have most of the MOST major stuff covered, and that while a lot of kinda-a-big-deal stuff is still out there/hanging over my head, I think we can get it all done. It’s all those other teeny, but still important things on the 5-page-single-spaced-to-do-list that freak me out a little, but I am sure with some organization, discipline, lots of elbow grease, plenty of talented friends and family members, it will all get done.
I am trying my hardest, despite my natural tendencies toward that lovely two headed monster of perfectionism/anxiety, to not let all this “little stuff” affect my enjoyment of the wedding planning, or more importantly, the wedding day. Gotta keep reminding myself to not freak out and to be zen. Whatever that means J