Archive for June, 2011

After winning the Hampton Inn & Suites’ King Whirlpool Suite with the Romance Package on Sunday, I already knew it was going to be a great week! I wasn’t expecting anything else. But on Monday, I got another call from a 704 number I didn’t recognize. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to pick it up, secretly hoping it was somebody from the bridal show & not a telemarketer. & I was right!!! Mary Kay called, telling me I won their GRAND PRIZE!! The entire time I was on the phone with Mary Kay, I was sooooooo excited!!!! I couldn’t believe I had won something else!! Sharon (the Mary Kay lady) says she has never known anybody who has won TWO huge prizes until now! Whoop whoop!! I wanted to scream, but didn’t want Sharon to think I was loca. Once I got off the phone with her, I let out a huge squeal which nobody witnessed.

Here is the email I got from them, telling me everything I would be getting:

Hi Mimi!
You are our winner of the “Beauty Bash and the $50 Gift Certificate from Mary Kay! This package includes you and up to 5 of your family/friends! You will receive the Bridal Consultation and makeover!  The focus is on your Bridal LOOK!! …And seeing what you want to look like on the wedding day! It’s great to have a “practice run through” so no surprises!
Your Beauty Bash is scheduled for Wednesday July 20th at 5:30pm at your home.
All of your guests will receive MK Spa Facial,  match foundations (choice of mineral powder foundation or a liquid cream) and receive a light color summer look as well! If some are in the wedding we will look at colors for them as well.  Everyone will get a fun Beauty Goodie Bag to take home!
You will have lots of fun and looove how you look when we are done!  I plan to arrive 30 mins early to set up the facial treatments  and colors for each guests, so as soon as you can, please send me your guest list names and numbers so I can call or text them to get information about their skin and coloring before they arrive!
Congratulations Mimi, I am so glad you were our winner!
Sharon Hardin
Sharon Hardin
Mary Kay Sales Director
4411 Mottisfont Abbey Ln.
Charlotte, NC 28226

AHHHH!!!! How exciting is that?!?! Once I got off the phone with her, I let out a huge squeal which nobody witnessed. Then I called Annfay to tell her the good news &, after that, proceeded to call some more people who I wanted to join me in this little soiree! I was already in a great mood, still feeding off the win from yesterday, & this just doubled all of those emotions!!

But that would not be the end to the surprises & prizes! (yeah, I know ya’ll probably are soo happy for me, yet loath me at the same time.) I got another call & when I went to pick it up, it was a Macy’s employee calling me to tell me that I won their prize!!! :O “Another one?!?!?!” was the thought that popped into my head. The lady told me that I had won a $25 gift card to Restaurants.com to use on any restaurant of my choice. It was in the mail & would be at my house in about a week! I don’t know why, but this put me over the edge!!! It wasn’t even the biggest prize, but after winning not only 1…or 2…but THREE prizes, I was on Cloud 999!! Even to this day, just thinking about it makes me all jittery. It’s wonderful to see how God is just so great to Ben & I.


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I can’t believe 25 days has already flown by. My lil’ sister — also my mOH — at this very moment is on a plane back to New York & then to Charlotte (or somewhere along that route). It feels like a long time, & yet quite short. There has been a lot happening in those 25 days here & in India. We have a lot of catching up to do. Plus, as my mOH, she is obligated to tag along to any of my wedding appointments & events (if she has nothing else more important to do). We have about 4-5 appointments right now on the books, & I know I need to fill Jaja up on the schedule asap! So I guess that’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow!!

Praying she has a safe flight & is well-rested because she is gonna be bombarded with people & questions during the next few days before we leave for California.

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Sunday, June 26th, 2011

This was something I had been looking forward to for the last 1 1/2 weeks!! I had registered for the Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show that would be hosted in Charlotte, & Annfay (my lovely MOH) would be happily joining me. This was only my 2nd bridal show, but this would be Annfay’s first!!! On Sunday, we hurriedly out lunch in order to get to the Hilton by 1 PM.

We spent a good 2 1/2 hours walking around, talking to vendors, signing up for various raffles & prizes, & eating all of the free food there, taking home informational packets, & nabbing a variety of free table gifts.

Around 2:40 PM, Annfay & I walked outside of the Hilton (facing the Boardwalk) to decide if we wanted to stay or leave. Then I heard my phone ring. It was a 704 number. I remember the people working the show reminding everybody to keep their cell phones handy, because you never know when you could be called to receive one of their many door prizes. I decided to answer it, & wouldn’t you know it, it was the bridal show calling me to come back in & claim my prize! I told Annfay, & she was so surprised & excited. We got even more ecstatic when we found out what we won….it was the biggest door prize available: a one-night stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites’ KING WHIRLPOOL SUITE at Phillips Place in Southpark. This suite would also come with a ROMANCE PACKAGE which includes a large spa basket (massages & other good things), bottle of champagne & 2 souvenir glasses, chocolate, complimentary breakfast, & a late check-out time along with a few other surprises. The value of the room (including the romance package) is $209, & we get it all for FREE!!!!! Annfay & I could not believe our ears, but we got this certificate from the vendors that seems totally legit!

& here is a picture Ben took of me holding the certificate:

He thought he was so funny!

Look how excited I am!! The certificate expires June 24, 2012, so we have plenty of time. We are most likely gonna use it for our wedding night. That seems the most logical. Although I think my mom is planning on coming into my room & stealing it for herself & my dad. No way! I have hidden it somewhere so that nobody will be able to find it!! Bwahahaha!

Annfay & I stayed at the bridal show until 4 PM (the end), because we were hoping to be lucky enough to win the grand prize of the day: a FREE HONEYMOON! Sadly, we didn’t win. It’s okay though. I won another fabulous prize &, to top that off, I got to spend a wonderful afternoon with my friend & MOH. Then I went over to Ben’s house to show him all of the wonderful things I got!! Like this rose, that Ben couldn’t stop playing with.

He dropped my pretty flower!

Then after Ben got bored of seeing all this wedding stuff, we played Settlers of Catan.

I always let him win. It makes him feel better about himself. Just don’t tell him that. lol.

That was the end of my amazing Sunday at the bridal show & hanging out with the fiance. It’s still really hard for me to believe that Ben & I won something this huge without it being a gimmick. I’m soo excited & cannot wait to use it! So anybody considering not going to a bridal show, just GO!! Because you never know what you are going to win!!

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After my first attempt at making molds, I was ready to go at it again the next day. This time, since the paint tray was kah-putt, I would use this:

They are reusable soap molds. They don’t say anything about not using resin in it, so I assumed it would all be okay. I had run out of glass stones so I decided to use this instead:

It’s a novelty plastic Batman ring I got from a party cupcake who knows when. I had it laying around & thought “Why not?”

This time, I made sure to line the mold with mold release & give it enough time to try.I even sprayed it a 2nd time, because the instructions say that it’ll provide more coverage & be easier to remove the resin once it has completely cured (aka. hardened). It was already really late by this time, so I decided to leave it sitting there until I could get to it the next day. Now nobody could get on me about not letting it dry!

So the next day, I mixed half of the necessary resin & filled up half of the mold.

Because this mold is a lot deeper than the first one, the resin needs to be made & poured in two separate steps. You fill it half way first, & give it about 30 minutes to turn more gel-like. This way, when you embed whatever object you decided to put into it (in this case, a Batman ring) it won’t sink straight to the bottom. Instead, it’ll suspend better in a gel than a complete liquid. Once I was satisfied with the texture, I mixed the second half of solution, laid the ring in, & poured the rest of the resin until the top of the mold (without overflowing).

Then I had to wait another 24 hours, but this time I knew it was going to work.

It was definitely hard! Here it is still encased in the soap mold. You can see that the resin kinda ate through part of the ring. :/ It’s a little deformed now, but I don’t care. It’s quite cool looking! Now to attempt to get the dried resin out without having to break the reusable mold…..Yeah…that didn’t work. I was forced to cut slits at the top of the plastic mold & tear apart the plastic. But the plastic was not stuck to the resin, which means I had learned from my mistake!

R.I.P. the “reusable” mold

But here is the end product of the DIY project:

Here’s the view from the back:

I am quite proud of myself! Starting new projects, especially ones as complicated & messy as this one, is always a little daunting.

How do ya’ll think it turned out??

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mold or bust!

24 hours later, it was time to check on the practice molds. They were definitely all dried & hard.

But what I didn’t realize until after I poured the resin & plopped in my glass stones, was that I missed a crucial part of the mold-creating process. There is a mold release that you spray onto the plastic in order for the resin not to adhere to the plastic tray itself. This way, once dry, the resin can “pop” out. I didn’t realize that you needed to wait until the mold release had dried (about 50 minutes or so) until you could pour the resin in. ……Oops.

So I knew that 24 hours later, the molds would probably not pop out of the paint tray, but I was still hopefully. Sadly, I must admit defeat. I scraped some of the overflow resin from the top to see if I could pull it that way, but that definitely did not work. See from the pictures below:

So I figured since the paint tray was already a goner, I could try anything to get the molds out, even if it meant tearing up the tray.


It was saddening to see the project fail.

But you can always try to find the bright side of things, for instance…

Doesn’t this look kinda like an eyeball?!?! I found that quite humorous. After showing it to Ben, I said goodbye to the ‘eyeball’ & paint tray & threw them in the trash. So this project was a bust, but no worries. I know why I messed up so I’ll be able to do it right the next time.

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After making the resin molds, it was time to wait for the glue to harden & clean up the mess. But I soon realized that was not going to be easy (the waiting part, yes; the cleaning part, no).

The measuring cups were so sticky, & it seemed like the more I tried to clean out the gunk, the more sticky everything become…the sink, the dish scrubber, the measuring cups, & definitely my hands. I was not having any success. No wonder the directions called for a solvent that specializes in breaking up/cleaning resin!! I thought I could handle this project without that, but I was sorely mistaken. I had given up on the cups & sink. I knew I would need to go out as soon as possible to get some solvent, but I needed to do something right then & there about my sticky fingers (get it?? it’s like the restaurant Sticky Fingers where my wonderful bridesmaid LP works :P). I spent a good 25 minutes, a lot of warm water, & about 5 handles of soap & dish detergent trying to un-sticky my fingers. Finally, my hands were uber soft & sticky-free!

As soon as I was ready, I headed out in search of a solvent called Acetone. The instructions said that acetone would work best. I spent a good amount of time in the afternoon trying to find a solvent that would clean up the goopy mess I made from the casting resin. My first stop was at Michael’s, a store I frequent on a weekly basis. I figured that they should have it. I can normally rely on Michael’s to have everything that I need. Although it might be pricier than A.C. Moore or Hobby Lobby, it carries more of the higher end products…plus, I always have a 40-50% off one item coupon or a 20-25% off entire purchase coupon handy so I always walk away saving money. I arrived at Michael’s & went inside in search of the solvent. I couldn’t find it in the aisle it should’ve been on, so instead I went in search of a store employee. The one I happened upon was an Indian lady in her 40-50’s. I asked her, “Do you carry any solvents like acetone for cleaning up glue & resin?” We literally stood there for a few seconds in silence — the lady just stared at me. Finally, she goes, “Excuse me? Could you repeat that?” I said again, a little bit slower & with more enunciation, “Ah-cee-tone.” Her reply went like this: “Ahh-ceh-tone?” I spent more time explaining the entire situation in great length, but still to no avail (I hope she was a new worker, because she doesn’t know her inventory as well as she should or even as well as I do!). Finally, 4 minutes later, she went to get her manager who was super-duper helpful!…but they still didn’t carry acetone or any other solvent. It was time to head out to the other stores.

Then I went Lowe’s Home Improvement, but I was looking for stuff unrelated to this project. After that, I went to A.C. Moore. Usually when Michael’s doesn’t carry something, I can find it at A.C. Moore. But usually was not going to refer to this day. The employees at A.C. Moore have never heard of acetone either! I was starting to feel as if I was making up an imaginary product that, of course, I would never be able to find! I looked in their solvent section but couldn’t find anything.

Finally, I realized that Lowe’s must carry acetone, because a lot of home improvement projects require the use of glue. Therefore it is safe to reason that they must also require something to clean up glue!! I’m sooo smart!! That’s what a college edumacation gets you! I went back to Lowe’s, asked a store worker, & they didn’t stare at me as if I was speaking a foreign language! They knew exactly what I was talking about & the aisle that I could find it in. I went down that aisle & they had it (pretty decently priced too – for this small can but they also had a bigger one)!!!

I was soooo happy that my search was over!! So anytime that I need acetone again (which will probably be quite often…unless I buy the ginormous can) I know where to go!! Now I can clean up the mess I’ve made in the sink with all of the goopy residue the resin has left behind! As is well now in my world!

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Last week, I decided it was time to get down to business & start with one of my wedding DIY projects that I’ve most looked forward to while simultaneously dreading the man hours & moolah that this project could potentially require. My final goal — the ultimate vision — is to encase creative word games strategically placed on scrabble boards in a clear, permanent mold. They would make for great wedding centerpieces, but after the wedding, they would make for amazing art around the house (& possible double as future gifts? Who knows.). But before I could actually do that, I figured it would be smarter to start with something smaller. Being a project I have never actually done before, I knew I would mess up. Therefore, it would be better to mess up on a smaller scale first, so by the time I move on to scrabble boards, I’ll have the technique down perfectly!

I got everything I needed & put it in one box…a rolling one!! That way I can wheel it to wherever it needs to go rather than pick it up & lug it there.

Of course there is Aiden’s bag with extra lenses, a trash bag, towel, paint tray, chopsticks/popsicle sticks, & other fun stuff you can’t see quite yet.

Here are the required art supplies:

  • We cannot attempt any new art project with a set of instructions

(I also had a 2nd one that came with the supplies)

  • Casting resin, catalyst, & mold release

& if you aren’t handy at using all of these in their separate components, there is this:

…a small kit that does exactly the same thing but is a LOT easier. I decided I would use this first before trying the more complicated method.

After getting all of my supplies out, I spread out a trash bag underneath a towel. I wanted to make sure there was no mess, otherwise I’d have a pretty unhappy mother on my hands.

Here is everything!

& here are the two bottles that came inside the EasyCast box:

The instructions required me to mix equal parts together in a plastic measuring cup…& blah blah blah more directions yada yada (you don’t need to know the boring stuff). Once it was ready to pour, I filled up all of the slots in the paint tray. Then I put in the glass stones I had laying around. I just wanted to see how it was all work using items that I didn’t care about (ex. the paint tray & the glass stones). & here you have it:

with a close-up shot:

& 24 hours later, I had my results….(which will come in a later post)

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