28 December 2010

Music Makes the People Come Together!

I haven't even begun looking for a DJ but one of Matt's friends/co-workers has great taste in music and I thought I would ask her for her opinion on a playlist! Some of them are artists I have heard of but as I was hoping she came up with a fresh perspective and turned me on to some new music! Follow her blog for other great inspiration.

Her list below:
Eye Alaska - Roll Right Over
Eels - Fresh Feeling
Robin Thicke - Sweetest Love
Marc Broussard - The Beauty Of Who You Are
Jamie Lidell - She Needs Me
Mayer Hawthorne - Love is Alright
Otis Redding - These Arms Of Mine/That's How Strong My Love Is
John Butler Trio - I'd Do Anything
UB40 - Can't Help Falling In Love
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Jamie Cullum - I think, I love
Bob Carlisle - Butterfly Kisses
Frank Sinatra - The Way You Look Tonight
Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
Dru Hill - Wedding Song
Robert Randolph - Love Is The Only Way
Paolo Nutini - Loving You
Ryan Leslie - Addiction
We still haven't even considered a "first dance" song. The thought of us dancing in front of all those people makes me want to die. I know how emotional I am going to be at this moment as well as my first dance with my father. I am going to force the DJ to play Jack Johnson's "Upside down" for my niece and I to dance to because we have done it so many times before and something tells me I will get emotional with that too. Anyway, thanks again Allison for coming through! Appreciate it mucho!

27 December 2010

Practical vs. Romantic

I am not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow. I've had an entire week off and I can say that it passed by way too fast. Christmas was good, spent it in New Jersey with Matt's family. Before we headed up there I was preoccupied with Christmas shopping, family time and holiday festivities like parties and dinners. I didn't specifically ask for anything this year because I don't feel like I need anything (other than money) so Matt was at a total loss as to what to get me. He had a wonderful idea all on his own though and it is so much more purposeful than any romantic super over priced gift from a jewelry store: a new light fixture for our bathroom! Yes, to those of you not living in a fairly old house that still needs a lot of work that sounds boring and doesn't make you swoon. He was being thoughtful though and knows that I love things for the house and love making it look better and better.
Old light fixture

New light fixture

What was the best gift you received?

16 December 2010

First Snow Of the Year!

I don't know if an exclamation mark is appropriate for this title because I am pretty indifferent about the snow.

We did get our first snow of the year in Northern VA (and possibly other parts of VA, but they don't really exists in my eyes) but I figured since my Facebook was littered with status's about snow I might as well mention it in my blog.

 Last year we were hammered with snow! Snowmagedon, Snowpocalypse... whatever you called it, it wasn't fun.

 Today we did close the salon down early and then I invited a co worker over for a glass of wine (really just a ruse to get her to drive me home) so I guess it was a good day!

 I am fortunate to have neighbors who shovel and salt my walk-way in the winter as they did today and also mow my lawn in the summer. I love where we live!

Snow 2010 Snowmagedon 2010 (Matt's car)

14 December 2010

If Jared Can Do It, So Can I!

Every January people open gym memberships with a pep in their step and the ambition of getting in shape...and two weeks later it's collecting dust in their wallet. I unfortunately can't put off pretending to lose weight until January and have taken my first steps now. If I didn't despise exercise and love food/drinking so much then this wouldn't be an issue. A recent study found that people who keep a food diary lose twice the weight compared to those who do not track their foods. In July I got motivated to get in shape and signed up for MyFoodDiary.com and lost about seven to nine lbs. Unfortunately, I have since gained it back. MyFoodDiary is an online community and food database that offers a journal of what you eat, all the nutritional information including calories needed to maintain weight and lose the healthy amount of weight for your body type, an exercise log, body log, additional notes and a forum for support. With 11 weeks before I get my dress, I need to be wedding day ready by February 28th because then I have to have a fitting with the seamstress and after the alterations there is no room for any weight gain or loss! I know there are certainly more drastic measures for losing weight (Michelle's raw fruit diet), but this is a challenge enough! There are so many inspiring stories out there and I know if people can lose hundreds of pounds by diet and exercise (and Subway sandwiches) then my lazy ass can lose ten pounds for my wedding.

01 December 2010

As Good As it Gets

It is my hope and assumption that with each Christmas our tree will get better and better. Last year our former roommate came home with a real tree he bought on impulse after waiting for a tow truck because he locked himself out of the car. We borrowed decorations from Matts mom and I was cleaning up pine needles well into the new year. I wasn't even planning on a tree this year but the descion came spontaneously as well after I saw it for ten dollars (including decorations) at CVS. I was hoping it came pre-decorated but alas I had to put forth some effort. Anyway, I don't think it's too shabby. When we have kids is when I will go all out and get more into the spirit. Til then this is what's in store!

2010 tree
2009 tree

22 November 2010

Vintage/Rustic wedding

I don't think anyone truly needs a complete year to plan a wedding, but if you're as lax as I am then you may want to give yourself some leeway. Two of the primary attributes are taken care of (catering and venue) and that is what I have accomplished in the past six months (plus this blog, the most important thing). No photographer, no limo service, no florist, no DJ, no favors, no colors, no attire, no IDEA what kind of cake, no ever important dress. I am now considering purple, sage and grey for colors. (We'll see how long this lasts.) I know purple is associated with royalty and gives off a more elegant feel which isn't really my personality. I think it would be great to have a vintage/rustic feel to the day. I believe everything should be done in moderation, and don't really know if all these ideas combine on one day would work. It may in fact be TOO laid back, at least for me. I also could not find any good pictures of the color palette I would like because, again, everything is better in moderation and I hate matchy matchy crap. Enjoy! Hand painted wooded signs are insanely charming. (The couple's cute too.) Gorgeous bouquet that looks almost hand picked. Simple white flowers in mason jars are a great accent for walking strolling down the aisle. I wish I lived in this magic forest... ...or either of these converted barns!

Wish I had the guts (and venue) to wear cowboy boots!
What's more rustic than chipped paint?! A beautiful collage I lied, here's one okay purple/green pic
This takes chill to a whole new level.
The picture wouldn't open in full, so enjoy this puny sized one.

15 November 2010

Sister Wives!

Okay, maybe the title is a little creepy and misleading but congratulations to my sister Courtney on the engagement this weekend! I think it's great that we're both engaged! I love sharing ideas and talking about plans with someone who can relate. It's a shame that not everyone can just be happy for others and would feel resentful to a sibling who gets engaged around the same time. Weddings can bring out the ugliest sides of people. I feel like most brides use their wedding as an excuse to act like a bitch. You're not a princess and the world does not revolve around you. It should not be a day about YOU. There is no rule saying anyone else you know can't get married or engaged within x amount of months as you. Everyone is not to drop their lives to bask in your glory. If you're genuinely satisfied with your relationship then all the extra attention you receive should just be a bonus and not a necessity. (Amazing how I can put a negative spin on everything.) Anyway, congratulations again! I am happy for you and excited for the both of us!

07 November 2010

The Bride to Be Is Afraid of Commitment

I found a place that rents tan suits. Now I am nervous about actually choosing tan suits for the wedding. *Sigh* I just don't want to regret anything! Since the wedding industry is the devil, no place allows men to actually try suits on before giving them all your money. We went down to the rental place this Saturday under the impression Matt was going to try something on and I would walk away more or less confident in my decision. Nope. Just a book of suits and the display in the window. I wish there were a way to see exactly how everything is going to come together on our wedding day. The only picture similar to the one in the shop is this super cheesy one. Obviously we will never be as superior and classy as the designer models below.

05 November 2010

More thoughts on hair... fun!

I know come winter I look like a character from every one's favorite teeny-bopper vampire show. This year I would like to keep my hair on the lighter side. Brighten myself up and look less morbid. Even before I worked in a hair salon, I was a typical girl and couldn't stand keeping my hair the same. We get bored. The crazy one's get bored even quicker. (Me.) I know I look best (in my opinion) with dark, solid colored hair which is why I had my good friend add some highlights. It sounds weird but if I do highlights now I can try resisting doing anything dramatic before the wedding and just go chocolate brown all over and look my best! Ideally, it would be nice to not be addicted to frying my hair but we don't live in a perfect world. The biggest trend right now is an "ombre" or "graduated" hair color. Even though it is clear this look is achieved with chemicals, the feel is a laid back more natural look. It is definitely cut out for girls on a budget who like something low maintenance. It allows you to visit the salon less frequently since dark roots are welcome.

01 November 2010

We're Going to be Broke Really Soon

We booked our caterer with R&R Catering, the first and only taste testing I attended. Our menu:
Cocktail Hour:
Italian Bruschetta Display
International Cheese Board
Asparagus & Roasted Red Pepper Caesar
Beef Medallions with Shallot Brandy Sauce
Sun-dried Tomato & Arugula Chicken
Roasted Asparagus with Feta
Pecan Wild Rice
Potato-Parmesan Pave
Hearth Baked Breads Presented with Butter
Our ceremony is going to be at about six o'clock. If everything runs smoothly, guest should be enjoying cocktails by about six thirty. Since we are more than likely having a fairly short cocktail hour, we decided upon only two horderves. A buffet style dinner seems like the best option to satisfy all our guests. I haven't ever been a big fan of sweets so not much thought has gone into the cake. Better than all the yummy food will be the open bar! Looking forward to having a good time. (And paying off all the wedding bills!)

21 October 2010

Dear Love,

I’m sorry people are bitter about you and feel you cause more hurt than good. That they misinterpret their feelings and what your meaning is. That they don’t respect the promise they made to stay true. I am sorry people would rather have materialistic crap and money over something intangible and so meaningful. Thank you for giving me what some people search for their entire lives. An honest, genuine connection with the best intentions always in mind.Thank you for bringing so much happiness into my heart. If there is one thing I have faith in, it’s you.

It seems that authentic love is hard to come across, yet marriages happen everyday. Sure everyone thinks it will last forever; the same way I thought I would play with Barbies until I was an adult. Divorce is insanely common, yet every time I hear about a couple splitting it makes me sad. I guess because my mind always flashes to the utter mess I would be should it happen in my relationship.(Or maybe because I have a compassionate side.)Then I remind myself it is not my relationship. My relationship is strong and unbreakable. Not in a way that an affair or betrayal would be forgiven or tolerated, but the fact that those concerns that drive people apart don't even have to be considered. It seems overly optimistic to say that neither of us would EVER turn our backs on the other but it is the simple truth. The same way I don't think about smoking crack is the same way it's not hard to be honest. It's not hard to keep it in your pants. It's not hard to love someone when someone is ready to be loved. It's upsetting that marriage has a bad reputation for making people miserable. It's astonishing that so many people are miserable in their marriages. Yes, people change. No one can say what hardships you will endure the next decade of your life. This is why we have spouses and partners, to help us through it. Children, money problems, loss of a loved one, health issues all do not cause people to go their separate ways. The decision to become closed off and the lack of communication is why things fall apart. I can't promise we will always see eye to eye, and half the time we don't. I can't say something in my life won't put me on edge causing me to get frustrated and snap. I can't answer for the hormonal bitch I will become when pregnant and say that I won't have a mental breakdown. I can promise it will not be the end of our relationship. If anything, all of life's craziness will make me appreciate the one concrete and solid thing I have in an ever changing world: your unconditional love.

17 October 2010

Preserving Memories

Most magazines are like people: little substance and filled with crap. Bridal magazines certainly are no exception. I did happen to find a useful idea through all the redundant ads in one of the magazines my future mother in law gave to me. Instead of using a photograph of ourselves or guest book for attendants to sign, we (and by we I mean I) have decided to go with a bright colored poster that we can frame and hang in the guest bedroom/future nursery. (We’ll see.) Not only is it more practical than having a guest book that will sit in the basement collecting dust, but it’s also cheaper! Most guest books are between $40-$60 dollars.Supplies needed to re-create look below: Le-Pen marker in teal (Amazon) for the signatures, frame is an Ikea "Ribba" frame ($20 for 19 3/4x27 1/2-inch frame) and the poster is free to download!

10 October 2010

Yay, I Feel Talented!

Engagement photo's are a pretty traditional thing to do. Photography, especially in the Northern VA/D.C. area can be pricey. While I am not big on taking cheesy photo's, we are not getting any younger and this is a very important time of our lives. We decided to head up to Front Royal, VA to see some fall foliage and snap a few shots. Thank goodness for tripods and self timers. While I could and would have got a lot more and better looking pictures if I could be in two places at once, I think they're decent. I will probably force Matt to pose with me again, however, because I am not as thrilled with the outcome as I would like to be. Check out more of my photography here.

Couldn't decide which I liked better.

29 September 2010

Garden vs. Patio

There is always a chance that weather is not going to cooperate on your wedding day. Having an outdoor wedding or ceremony makes this all the more risky. Not only is weather a concern, but shoes are too. Our initial thought was to have a garden ceremony, then I started to consider how the heel might sink into the ground. I find wedges less comfortable and attractive than heels and my ankles seem to roll when I wear them. I wouldn't be completely opposed to wearing flats, if my fiancee weren't 6'7" and me 5'4". However, I have to consider my bridesmaids and if slate would be a better option than grass for everyone. The garden feels more wedding-y but I'm sure the patio dresses up nice.Because I have the grace and coordination of a two year old learning to walk, I am pretty sure I'm going to trip while walking down the isle anyway. Now, do I want to embarrass myself in heels, on slate or in wedges, on grass?

27 September 2010


I have found two different bridesmaid dresses that I am leaning towards. One is coral/rose from J. Crew. One is sage green from some website I have never heard of. I am not convinced of either dress and still haven't officially picked my colors. There has been no luck finding taupe suits for the men and I just can't picture another color of suit going well with the palette. I never thought finding attire would be this hard.

26 September 2010

In the Kitchen

My cooking skills can be described as "non-existent" and "comical" when I attempt to. Today I decided to try a recipe my sister made. It's a REALLY simple dish, even for the culinary challenged (read: myself). All you need is:

  1. sausage
  2. one red pepper
  3. one tomato
  4. orzo or rice (even pasta if you prefer)
  5. some garlic powder
  6. one jalapeno
First cook rice, orzo, or pasta. Roast the peppers on stove-top to soften. Cut up tomato and red pepper. Put in skillet. Cut sausage, put in skillet. Add garlic powder and jalapenos. Cook for about 25 minutes, stir occasionally. Serve over rice. Add sriracha hot sauce if desired.

Cooking has made me realize I need to stop being so spoiled and make more of an attempt to try new things. It also made me realize that I can't wait to get our registry finished and get some new cookware! I have two can openers, both of which are pretty rusty and don't work well at all. I am concerned about catching tetanus after opening a can of olives!