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Archive for July, 2011

Yesterday was a wonderful day spent entirely with the fiance. We ran some errands, but mostly we just sat at his house watching Netflix & playing Settlers. (We are a very boring couple). It was good that we got an entire day together, because today Ben leaves for Missouri for 1 week. By the time he gets back, I would have already left for my family cruise. This means, as of today, I won’t see him for two whole weeks!! & what makes it worse is that on the cruise, I won’t have my phone or the internet to keep in touch with him. Quite saddening.

But it’s okay. You can say that Ben & I are pro’s at this long distance thing. Last summer, we were apart for 2 weeks as well because of this exact same thing: he went to camp & then I left on a cruise with my family. But that is not what makes us good at this. Ben & I both know that although we are going to miss each other terribly, we will make it through this & be even stronger for it. Do ya’ll want to know why? It’s because only 36 days after Ben & I met, I left the country for 2 1/2 months, & in those 2 1/2 months Ben & I survived on nightly facebook posts, weekly two minute phone calls, & only two skype sessions the entire time. Then I came home & spent 10 glorious days with Ben & my family before leaving for another 4 months in Costa Rica. We aren’t your everyday regular couple. We made it through all of that, which is why when I look at the next 2 weeks, it’ll be cakewalk compared to all of that.

But it’s gonna be weird trying to find things to occupy my time now that I can’t spend anytime with Ben. What am I gonna do?? Guess I might be posting a lot more. lol. Who knows. I finally caught up on all of my posts from the last few weeks!! Trying to keep the wedding craziness down to a minimum this next week as I pack for the cruise & help my parents out with a few things. So ya’ll are about to enjoy a week of pictures that have inspired me since I started all of this wedding planning!! Hope ya’ll all had a great weekend!!

p.s. this is my 100th blog post!!!

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On Ben’s day’s off, we pretty much do nothing. Of course, these are the days that I schedule my appointments & errands, because I have Ben to chauffeur me around. What a super sweet fiance!!!

This past Wednesday, we had a lot of spare time so we did what we usually do…PLAY GAMES!!! Right now we very into Settlers of Catan. Ben is completely hooked, & I only play to satisfy his competitive  nature. Well, maybe I play because of my somewhat competitive nature.

While setting up & playing, we continued watching Avatar: The Last Airbender.

I’ve been teaching Ben to be a better multi-tasker.

Like his Captain America shirt?? After he went to watch the movie last week, he’s been trying to get me to go watch it. I just haven’t been in the movie-watching mood lately, but I do want to watch the movie eventually.

Now that the board is all set up, time to PLAY!!! I won’t tell you who won, but there was a lot of cheating involved.

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lightbulb moment

The other day I saw these pictures on Green Wedding Shoes & knew I just had to share it with ya’ll. I have always found light bulbs to be a neat decoration. To me, they are a better use of light & the idea of light than candles are. There can be such a soft glow without any heat or fear of setting a fire. Here are some pictures of how other event planners & creative brides used light bulbs in their wedding decor.

Absolutely gorgeous &  inspiring, don’t you think?!?

I don’t know how I’ll have the money to put this together for the wedding, but I can see one of those window frames being hung from the ceiling in Ben’s house.

Ahhh!! I just love these pictures!!

You don’t just have to hang light bulbs from the ceiling. This is where you get creative & find other ways of displaying all different kinds of light bulbs.

I love the DIY heart light bulb!!! I have the instructions for it & will get around to making it….later.

& OMG. I almost died from pure excitement when I saw these pictures. It’s a hotel in New York City that has a ceiling filled to the brim with….

LIGHT BULBS!!!!!

How cool would it be to walk into a wedding & see this?!?! How much cooler would it be to have your wedding there?!?!

I could stare at those pictures for hours. Well, I have stared at those pictures for hours. Weren’t they just so inspirational?? They make me want to throw down thousands of buckeroos on light bulbs!!! I want to put a little light bulb action into my wedding decor, but I don’t know how that’s going to happen. If not, I will definitely find a way to incorporate it into a room in my house!! One day all of this inspiration will be put into action. I’m not all talk…at least I hope I’m not.

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my kind of bling

As I was leaving Northlake Mall, I saw Jared & figured it wouldn’t hurt to stop in & check out the prices for wedding bands — Ben’s & mine. I had plenty of time before I needed to get home, but I’ve actually had an inkling to go into a jewelry store for quite some time now. I heard Jared was the best.

When I went in, all of the staff was busy helping other customers. I didn’t mind. It gave me time to look around at all of the different wedding bands available. I started with the guy’s sections.

They had a pretty wide selection, but a lot of the rings looked the same to me with only slight differences. I had no idea what kind Ben would like. Knowing him, he wouldn’t care too much. He knows my final choice will be perfect. Finally a lady came by to help me, & I was able to try on some of the rings. I liked what I saw, but I wasn’t ready to make a decision (especially without knowing Ben’s ring size). I did, however, check out the prices of the styles that I liked, & they were pretty affordable — around $200 – $400.

I didn’t want to leave without looking at some wedding band options for myself (so I can guide Ben in the right direction. lol).

They had a selection of simple wedding bands. I tried on some that were just like my engagement ring band. They looked okay, but I really wasn’t blown away by it. For some reason, that I couldn’t explain, I didn’t know why I didn’t like it. Then I asked about “guards.” Guards are actually two wedding bands soldered together with the engagement ring in the middle. A lot of people go for this option (Lauren, one of my bridesmaids, got a guard). I wanted to see if this kind of band would look good. The lady told me that all of their guards had diamonds in them. This wasn’t ideal, but why knock it before you try it?? So I gave her my engagement ring, she put it in between the guard, & voila!!!

(p.s. sorry for the dirty ring)

I instantly fell in love!! I knew that a guard was the type of wedding band that I wanted. I took down the ring number & price in order to go home & show Ben (which I still haven’t done yet). I left with more of an idea of what I wanted, which is all I could ask for. While I was there, they even cleaned my ring.

How nice of them!! Doesn’t it look a whole lot better now??

Of course, I’ll keep shopping around for rings. Right now, it’s too early to settle down after only looking at a couple of rings at one jewelry store. But at least I know what I’m looking for…now to find some rings that don’t break the bank.

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Last week, my dad told me about how Borders bookstore has gone out of business, & the one located in Northlake Mall will be closing in a couple of months. Although it is sad that the business went kapoot, I couldn’t help but be excited because I totally knew what this meant: EVERYTHING WOULD BE ON SALE!!!!! Absolute music to my ears. I hate paying full price for things (unless I really need it), so I was not going to pass up this opportunity to go to Borders & stock up on whatever I found!!

So this past Tuesday, I made my way over to Northlake Mall.

I was getting soo excited just looking at the sign, & I hadn’t even walked inside yet!!!

The entire store was super busy, & you could already tell that quite a bit of their inventory had already been bought out by frugal shoppers like myself.

I took my time, & scoured every section that I was interested in: the novelty items, the magazines, specific book sections, games, etc. I knew everything was at least 10%, but I wanted to find all of the stuff that was 40% off!

Found this cute lil’ owl address book for 10% off…but I already have an address book.

If anybody wants to add to their game collection they should go here!! I was looking for scrabble games to DIY for the upcoming wedding, but I didn’t find any. I did however find a Settlers of Catan Sea Crusaders extension pack!! I wanted to buy it for Ben, but even with the sale it was still over $40!! (Yupp, those games are expensive!) I might just hold out & see if they still have the game when the sales go up.

It would’ve also been  nice to add to my puzzle collection, but nowadays I only play puzzles that have 2000+ pieces. The only one they had was this:

It looks too much like two of my other puzzles, so I decided to wait. But I don’t have a 4000 piece puzzle yet.

Eventually I got around to the books.I thumbed through a couple of sections. By the time I was satisfied with everything in my shopping bag, it had already been over an hour that I was in Borders!! I checked out & went home to ogle my purchases!! Wanna see what I got?

(another angle)

In my opinion, I did pretty well. Some of this stuff was what I went in looking for, while others were stuff I’ve wanted but wouldn’t buy until a sale like this came along!! I got two very different yet totally adorable pencil pouches (my new obsession, apparently, along with colored pens) & a book about how so-called “experts” in every field come to their conclusions. Along with those three items, I got:

This origami book for a couple of dollars!! It’s a DIY idea I want to incorporate into the wedding.

Here is a cute card I got!! There’s the front & then the inside!! I think I’m going to turn the “I love us” into a framed art piece to hang up in my future home. It’s so simple, yet it says everything. It’ll look so good on the wall, & it only cost me $1.

– the knot North Carolina & do it YOURSELF magazines –

I couldn’t leave Borders without buying some of my favorite magazines which were 40% off!!

I also bought 2 very important books that I know I will be using quite a lot & for years to come!

(1) the nest: Home Design Handbook

The Nest is what comes after The Knot. The Knot is all about the wedding & the big day preparations whereas The Nest helps newlyweds navigate through starting a new life together. After that comes The Bump, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This home design book has some great ideas & pictures to inspire how I want to design my future home.

(2) The Color Scheme Bible

This book provides page after glorious page of color palettes that can create the look & feel you are trying to evoke from each specific room. It’ll definitely come in handy not only for the wedding but also for deciding what colors Ben & I are going to paint each room in his house!!

All of these purchases made me so excited!! I definitely walked out with everything that I needed. Saturday, Ben & I plan on visiting the Stonecrest Borders that is also going out of business!! We want to see if we can find anything else over there!

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if the dress fits

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

J. Majors Bridal Boutique

(I am trying to catch up on posts while keeping on top of new developments. It’s not as easy as it sounds. If only this could be my job, & I got paid to blog. I think that’d make me happy.)

Anyways…after the yard sale on Saturday, I rushed over to pick up Auntie Annfay so we wouldn’t miss our dress appointment. Technically, we were there for me to try on wedding dresses, but if we had time I wanted Annfay to try on some bridesmaids dresses.

Our appointment was at 12 PM, & we made it just in time. This was the same bridal shop I went to the first time, & now I’m back for round dos. I brought my wonderful MOH to help me find out what dress silhouette flatters my figure the most & possibly decide on my final wedding dress. As much as I would have loved having Ben there, he pretty much just says he likes everything that I wear (which is what he should be saying!! lol.), but that’s not helpful at all when I’m trying to narrow down the options not buy 5 wedding dresses.

Annfay & I walked through the entire shop (which wasn’t too big. thank goodness) & picked up all of the dresses we wanted me to try on. By the end, we had like 14. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but when they are big poofy, long dresses they definitely take up a lot of the dressing room. I figured it was time to tackle them one by one. They weren’t hard to get into, seeing how all of them were a size 8 or 10. I just pulled them up, & Laura went to work clipping the back. Here is the first dress I tried on, & it happened to be the poofiest:

The detail on the bust was sooooo pretty, but the dress & its train was so big!! I felt like I was being swallowed up in it!! I knew from the beginning that I wouldn’t want a long train or a big dress. So although this one was so pretty (Annfay thought so too), we had doubts about it fitting in with my wedding vision. But I did like the fact it made my waist look teeny tiny!

On to dress #2

What do ya’ll think?

I didn’t mind it. Like Laura said, most of the dresses there would flatter my shape but this one did not flatter as much as the first one. I knew it was no time to become indecisive, so I just made a decision. I didn’t love it so it was going back on the shelf.

Back to the dressing room for #3

This dress was more ivory than white, but Annfay & I absolutely loved it!!! The ivory color fit my skin tone a lot better, & the shape was perfect!! This was definitely a number we would hold onto while still trying on the rest of the dresses.

I tried on one of the mermaid dresses (#4) &….

…it was a little too mermaid-y, don’t you think?

Of course, the “fin” falls in the wrong place in the picture, because the dress is too big for me. The flair is supposed to be an inch or two above the knee, so the bride doesn’t need to shuffle around the entire night. When Laura held the flair up higher, it looked a lot better, but it’s a little too dramatic for me. Plus, now that I’m looking at this picture, it just doesn’t do it for me. So, sorry to say, but this is not my dress.

Onto mermaid dress #2 (#5 in total)

Can you tell me what’s different between the two pictures?? (lol)

This dress was so pretty & flattering! I really liked it! The flair hit at just the right spot, so I didn’t have any trouble moving (except for the fact that the dress — like all of the others — was a bit too long). Definitely adding it to the “maybe” pile.

After dress #5, I tried on about three other dresses, but didn’t even walk out to show Annfay, because I absolutely did not like them at all! Finally, dress #9 was nice enough to walk out in.

I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it. It was just “…ehhh okay”. The material was so soft & light, but we didn’t like where the flair started. This picture actually makes the dress look better than it did to Annfay & I in person…which is something a bride must also take into consideration. You want a dress that not only looks stunning in person, but can also translate that stunning-ness into the pictures. That’s why these pictures are sooo helpful!! Thank you Annfay for being my photographer for the afternoon!

Now for dress #10:

What’s your opinion about this dress?

(p.s. Angel says she really likes this dress)

I like it too!! It was the only dress I tried on that had straps. But what this picture does not really show is how busty the dress really is. Maybe it just felt that way, because the dress was clipped back & didn’t fit perfectly to my body shape like the real wedding dress would. But I could imagine how it should fit, & I liked it.

Dress #it’s been too many to count:

We thought it was just “ehh”, but notice the birdcage veil. That’s the kinda veil I want, but I will probably DIY it, so I can add all of the little embellishments that I want on it…& not have to spend $50-$70 on a store bought one. Good to know that the birdcage veil fits rather well into the style of dresses that I’m looking at.

After trying on all of those dresses, Annfay & I had to go back & try on dress #3.

This was the one that we loved the most AND it was the cheapest out of all of them. But that doesn’t mean it fit into my budget. If you buy the dress as is (because it’s part of the sample sale) it’ll cost $1,300 not including the alterations. The original price was $3,300 if we wanted to buy a brand new one. ***GASP***

It was such a hard decision, but in the end I asked them to put it on hold so I could think about it for a couple of days. A couple of days go by, & I realized that I’m not willing to spend that much on a dress. So sadly the dress & I had to part. 😦 But I haven’t given up hope on finding a beautiful wedding dress that still fits into my budget.

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I got a call yesterday from a Lia Sophia consultant. I was the runner-up winner of their raffle!! This means I get to host a jewelry party for free, & at this party I get $100 in FREE JEWELRY of my choice!!! WooooHooooo!!

Of course the stimulation is that I have to hold a jewelry party for however many people I want to invite, & they have the opportunity to buy jewelry after the Lia Sophia representative gives her speel. It’s like the Mary Kay consultant & parties but for jewelry &  not makeup. Of course, anybody who comes to the parties are not obligated to buy anything, but if they do I get more free money to buy jewelry. I don’t care if anybody else buys jewelry, I just want my $100!!!

Their catalog should come in the mail any day now, & when it does, I’ll check out their stuff. If I find anything that I like I’ll definitely have to host a party. But…who am I going to invite??

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