Friday, February 26, 2010

Last Chance!

Happy Friday ladies and gentleman! I know that 1 guy is reading this (hey Zach!) and we're all about being inclusive here.

Today is your last chance to enter the Threads Remembered Giveaway I posted about on Monday. You can win a pillow made out of your grandmother's handkerchief, mom's wedding dress, dad's button down shirt, or whatever else you can dream up. My Aunt Teresa and my cousin Sarah started the company, and I immediately thought of you all when they told me about it. I think these would make great keepsakes and really amazing ring bearer's pillows. Check out Monday's post for details on how to enter, you have until tonight at midnight to get your entries in. I'll randomly select a winner and announce the lucky person on Monday!

Best of luck and have a lovely weekend, I hope it's pretty where you are!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Tomorrow is the last day to enter the Threads Remembered giveaway! Find out all about it here. I'm glad I'm using a random number generator to choose a winner, if I had to choose on my own I would be a basket case, there are so many good ideas in the comment section!

Quilting and blanket making is a big thing in my family.

My MeeMaw used to make blankets out of old double knit fabric. She was ahead of her time with the upcycling! The blankets were not the prettiest things to look at but they are so warm; I have one she made me on my bed. When Ryan and I had just started dating, there was a vicious ice storm and almost everyone in my hometown lost power. He was in his last semester of grad school at the time, so he lived in Cape and had an apartment. My sister Alli and I, my grandma and Ryan all stayed at my parent's house for 3 days because my parents luckily had power and none of use did! That's when my mom found out that the only blanket Ryan really owned was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fleece throw. So in the 3 days we were iced in, mom and grandma made him a double-knit blanket with flannel on the back. So warm! (Also during that ice storm, I really started falling for him. He got along so well with my family and he was just...amazing. He dug my car out of 3 inches of ice after dropping me off at my job at 5:30 a.m. Hello, keeper anyone?)

My mom now makes double knit blankets just like her mom did, and her best friend Suzanna always comes over to help us tie them. Tying a quilt is when you connect and secure all 3 layers of the quilt-the top, which is the part with the design, the batting, and the backing. We use my MeeMaw's old quilt frame to do. Then Suzanna takes the quilt home and does the binding by hand.

My grandma has won prizes for her quilts. She has been quilting with a ladies group at her church for years and they donate the money they make to the church. I remember sitting in mass with my grade school and opening a new hymnal to see a note that said it was donated by the quilting ladies and being so proud. Her quilts are more works of art than blankets, in that you can't throw them in the washer when they get dirty like you can the double-knit blankets.

I would love to be able to make a quilt for Ryan and I, but I like the more non-traditional quilt styles. I checked out Flickr, and I'd love to do something along these lines:

I wish I could do the hand-quilting, but it is so time consuming that I have a really hard time even fathoming it. Paying to have a group hand quilt is very pricey for obvious reasons, so whatever quilt I end up doing will be machine quilted. I think that simple straight lines fit what I have in my head the best.

Sidenote: My mom says I fixate really badly on stuff I want, and I think she's right. Like with wedding dress shopping, I knew exactly what I wanted and that's what I ended up with. I get a very specific image of what I want and the problems come when I deviate from this!

I like this too, it would be perfect if the lines were vertical. I know that fabric isn't as long as I would need it to be, so some of the strips would have to be made up of 2 different fabrics.

I might attempt a baby-sized quilt for practice first. My mom's going to help me, I'll probably need all the help I can get!

Any projects you're looking forward to starting as soon as you take a big chunk out of that wedding to-do list?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Have you guys entered the giveaway I'm hosting right now? I am so, so excited about it, and kind of peeved that Ryan and I aren't having a ring bearer...or I would enter it myself! Also, my aunt sent me the link to their look book, check it out here.

So I've been up to quite a bit lately, I just haven't bothered to tell you all about it! I'm chalking it up to spring fever...I'm so restless...I want the wedding to come tomorrow but then I don't at the same time (that would be quite the all nighter!).

The bouquets are all sewn and put together, they just need finishing touches to cover up the not-particularly-attractive bouquet holders and the stems.

I started working on the table overlays, realized how crooked they looked, set them aside, realized I might be being slightly OCD about that and then never started on them again. I keep meaning to show them to Ryan and see what he thinks but the whole we-live-in-separate-cities thing keeps getting in the way.

I've started on the bridesmaid's tote bags, and I can't wait to post about them! I am really excited about the fabric I ended up with.

Basically, these are all projects I've started and lost steam on and need to finish. Finishing something would make my month, so I need to just do it.

Do you have a tendency to start things and then not finish them? Any half-finished projects on your list?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Kick-*ss Giveaway

Good morning friends! Yesterday I told you I have an amazing giveaway, so here goes!

Threads Remembered is a company that my Aunt Teresa (my aunt who threw me that beautiful shower 2 weeks ago) and my cousin Sarah are starting. Threads Remembered is a service that turns old clothing into keepsakes in the form of pillows.
Now Ryan and I aren't having a ring bearer, but I think that these would make the most perfect ring bearer pillows. I know that all over blog land, women are trying to infuse elements of loved ones into their wedding, and this is just a brilliant way to do it. You could have a pillow made out of your mom or grandma's wedding dress, or out of your dad's button down shirt, or your great grandmother's handkerchief...the possibilities are endless. So whenever Aunt Teresa and Sarah mentioned this company they were starting, I instantly thought of you lovely readers! Enough talk, here are some examples of pillows they've made:

This is a scarf that was turned into a pillow.

My aunt said that the pillow in the upper right hand corner was a very old handkerchief.

This was a bridesmaid's dress turned into a pillow....this one is my favorite, what they did with the buttons is so clever!

My aunt made pillows out of my grandpa's shirts that looked just like this.

Even if you're already married, a keepsake like this would be great around the house...I'm thinking reading nook.

Keep in mind that these pictures are only suggestions, let your imagination run wild. I'd love to see one made out of ties.

So, my aunt and my cousin are offering to give away a pillow valued from $45-$55 to you lovely ladies (and gents?). Just to give you an example of price, the button up shirt pillow costs $50, the dress pillow runs $60 and the scarf or handkerchief pillow is $45.

You can view the full look book here (it takes just a second to load).

Here's how to enter:
--Leave me a comment and tell me what kind a pillow you would have made if you win!

--For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway and post a comment with the link telling me what kind of a pillow you would like to have made

--Tweet about Threads Remembered and the giveaway for another entry (let me know you tweeted...Twitter scares the crap out of me, but Pugs and I tweet for our other blog and she's easing me into it!)

You have until Friday at midnight (central time) to enter, and I'll assign numbers to entries and pick a winner with that random number thing.

Good luck, and if you have any questions let me know! You can contact Threads Remembered at or

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just another Manic Monday....

Hey guys, I hope you all had a kick-*ss weekend!

2 things: I spoke to a DJ today. He was unfortunately booked for our wedding date, but he was nice enough to recommend several other St. Louis DJ's and send me a link to everything you need to know when hiring a DJ. I thought some of you lovely ladies (and gents?) might be interested, you can find the article here.

2nd thing: I have an amazing giveaway coming up this week. It's something I've never seen before in the wedding blogosphere, and I think you all are going to love it. So put your giveaway pants on and get ready!

It's much, much better than a mystery lunch!

Friday, February 19, 2010

The First Dance

Ryan and I haven't decided on a first dance song. He wants the song to have a history behind it for us, while I basically want to evoke the Beauty and the Beast ballroom scene (skip to 1:20):

I LOVED Beauty and the Beast-still do. I don't want the song or the ballroom, but just the feeling, I guess.

(Side note: My sister and I had the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack on cassette tape, and we'd pop it into our Fischer Price tape deck and act out the movie when we were little. I was such an *sshole of a kid that every single time we played this game, I made her be the 3 girls who liked Gaston while I was Belle. I couldn't let poor Allison be Belle once, how awful is that?!)

Anyway, I love Michael Buble's "Everything," but Ryan thinks its so so.

Ryan is pulling for the Righteous Brothers "Unchained Melodies," but I think its so so.

I kind of want the song to sum up our relationship (that sounds unbelievably cheesy when I type it out, but hey, that's what I want), and Unchained Melodies doesn't really do it for me.

I LOVE "Then" by Brad Paisley (I'm from Southeast Missouri, the country part comes out sometimes) but Ryan cannot abide country, and I can't find a non-countrified version of the song.

And if we're going to do a song with lots of history for us, then "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz definitely has the most history for us, but it doesn't seem particularly danceable.

To blow all of this criteria I just mentioned out of the water, I love "Sway" by Dean Martin, though we would have to do a bit of choreography. But it would be bad*ss.

What are you doing for your first dance? Any ideas for Ryan and I?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bridesmaids Updates

A few days ago my maid of honor Mary's dress came in from J Crew. She ordered the Clementine, and it was a 20% your order of $150 or more sale, so we didn't have to pay full price. It looked really nice on her, it's a great dress.

My other maid of honor, Allison, ordered her J Crew dress over Christmas when it was on sale for $100. My mom scored a brand new J Crew aqua dress off Ebay for $20, so Alli will have her choice of dresses.

The other 3 bridesmaid's ordered this dress from David's Bridal

It's style 83259 and we're getting it in Ruby. It looks kind of shapeless in this picture, but we're pairing it with a sash in Ruby which really makes the dress. The dress was $100 and the sash was $15, so it turned out to be right where I wanted it in terms of price. I wish I could've given the girls a choice, but David's Bridal only had 2-3 dresses in Ruby that weren't cotton, and I didn't think the cotton looked very formal. Of the 2-3 Ruby dresses in satin (the only other fabric option), this was by far the best choice. I wish I could've given the bridesmaid's more of a choice when it came to dresses, but after the mess with J Crew (offering aqua dresses in 4 styles that have the exact same silhouette which might not be flattering on everyone), this is what ended up working out the best. I shopped around Macy's and Nordstroms and the like for red dresses, but with spring coming on, the pickings were slim. I had not idea that trying to give the bridesmaid's a choice would be so difficult! Anyway, the dresses are taken care of, so that's done (whew!).

Now everyone's asking me what color shoes to buy...I'm thinking silver? I don't know, I'm going to leave it up to them.

Also, round one of dress alterations were completed yesterday! I went to the bridal salon after I got off work with my mom and tried it on. It fits like a dream, and it is gorgeous! It was bizarre to be in a dress that fit me so perfectly. The hem is perfect and it lets my shoes peek out just a little bit. The shop had to add 2 points to the bustle to make it lay right and add a hook and eye closure, and then they're going to steam it and it will be done! My mom and I were blown away with the impeccable work the seamstress did. I'll post pics after round 2.

Are your bridesmaid's dresses taken care of? How did you alterations turn out?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Saturday my Aunt Teresa threw a double shower for my cousin Ellie and I. She's getting married in June, I'm getting married in July, so it made sense to have a joint shower. My cousin Katye just got engaged a week or so ago, so it could've been a triple shower!

We had lunch with a lovely centerpiece on the table.

And then there was cake. This was delicious. My Aunt Teresa had a bakery create this wonderful confection with cream cheese icing. My sister Mary was over the moon about this.

Present Mountain.

After lunch we played games. Toilet paper was involved. Initially, I was like, "really?" but I decided to just have fun with it. And it really was fun! My Aunt Noelle pleated toilet paper for sleeves and there were TP flowers.

No idea why my face was so red. I made use of my fabric flower skills and made TP flowers. I am an accomplished young lady, what can I say.

Before you were allowed to open a present, you had to answer a question about your fiance that he had already answered via e-mail. I sucked hardcore at this. If the questions would have been about books, running, cooking, or anything other than stuff like "who's your fiance's favorite actor" then I would've done much better. For some reason I am seriously bothered by the fact that I didn't do well at this. I guess it's the thwarted over-achiever in me!

Ryan showed up towards the tail end of the shower, so it actually worked out well that I kept getting the answers wrong-he was there for most of the present opening. He's been growing this beard since right before New Year's, and he loves it. Plus it keeps his face warm when he's running, which is always nice.

My aunt had olive oil favors.

My sisters/maids of honor. They're the best!

All in all, it was a really good day. My family is very, very generous. And I got the Martha Stewart teapot that I registered for and I am way, way too excited about. I'm glad it was a double shower, because it would've been weird if it were just me.

Have you been thrown a bridal shower, or is there one in your future? Have you ever had to dress up in toilet paper?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sneak Peek

My aunts on my dad's side generously threw me and my cousin Ellie a shower on Saturday.


Oh yeah, it happened. Don't worry, I have pictures, and since I have no shame I will share.

Some of the bubbly might also have been a part of the afternoon.

And lots of those too.

I'll do a full post with pics tomorrow -- I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day and weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

New Things

So Miss Pugs and I have had a little project in the works for a week or so now. All the comments I got on my Anonymity post really got me thinking...and now the lovely Miss Pugs and I are happily facilitating a site where you can post, in a letter format, about something in the wedding planning process that makes you angry or upset. *Hint hint, the David's Bridal post might be yours truly!* If you have any thing you'd like to get off of your chest in an anonymous fashion, send Miss Pugs and I a submission, we promise to publish it 100% anonymously (and often hilariously)! Check out Pissed Off Bride to see what we're talking about!

Making me Crazy

Ryan has this side job that is driving me bat sh*t crazy.

He picked up the extra job (on top of his 40 hour + week full time job) because my hours got cut at work 6 weeks ago. My hours are back up to 40/week, but he has to see this job through. I understand that he's doing this for our future, to make sure that in this crazy economy where we'll both be job hunting in the very near future that we'll have a hefty savings in place. I understand that, and I have a lot of respect for it, because he just so happens to be right. Having those savings in place will make our lives so much easier this year. It's a long term gratification thing and not a short term one.

But this side job p*sses me off. I'm not mad at Ryan in any way - the whole situation angers me. I'm angry that my hours got cut back and that he had to do this in the first place. And I'm angry that it interferes with the limited time we have with each other.

We've reached this place of agreeing to disagree about it...he's doing it, I support why he's doing it, but I hate that he's doing it. A glimpse of marriage, maybe? Supporting him, understanding the motivation behind the action, but not agreeing?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Lots of Projects

There isn't too much going on in wedding planning land lately. My dress was altered Friday, I get it in the next week or 2. I called a restaurant about having our rehearsal dinner there, and now we just need to go in and sit down with the manager and see what kind of money we're talking. I have my first wedding shower this weekend which I will fill you all in on next week. I finished my flowers on Sunday (after a marathon afternoon of sewing!) and now I just need to find feathers (I'll post the finished product along with a cost break-down as soon as I get those done).

I have a mock-up of the bridesmaid's tote bags cut out, I just need to sew it, hopefully tonight. Though I know nothing about the wedding cake, Ryan did say we need 3 cake stands (I take it we're having more than 1 cake!) so I've been on the hunt for vintage milk glass cake stands, and I found 1!

I really want to get the invitations done, and I also need to work on the overlays.

Lots of projects going on! Work is going to be craaazzzy for the next week or so, but I'll certainly keep you all updated when something interesting actually happens! Until then, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for less snow and more spring!

Monday, February 8, 2010


Friday I went down to Sikeston to get my dress altered.

I put the dress on with my shoes and stepped out to meet the seamstress (I'm not entirely sure that that is 100% politically correct). She asked me if I wanted bra cups and gave me 2 sizes to choose from. Then she started pinning at the top and worked her way down! It was really amazing because she didn't say, "What do you want done to the dress?," she just knew. She explained what would look different (namely, the armpit area, the fabric was so thick there she had a hard time getting it pinned just so), she wanted to know how far down I wanted the snugness to go (we decided on mid thigh), and she gently pulled and pinned where she thought the dress needed it. And when she was done I was elated...because even with about 100 pins in it, that dress looked 1000x better than it did when I first tried it on.

I love my dress again!

It'll be done in a week or 2. We also decided on a really simple French bustle and since we chatted it up about sewing machines for the 30 minutes it took to pin me, she offered to save the fabric she cuts off the bottom of my dress so I can have it. I have no clue what I'll do with it yet, but I'll be thrilled to have that. I'm sure I can come up with something.

She was the nicest woman, and so intuitive. Areas I didn't even notice needed taking in, she took in. And how's this for expertise....when we were messing with how far down the dress would fit snugly before it flares a bit at the bottom, she mentioned that once the dress is tight down to a point, then in order to "use the facilities" (that's how she put it), the dress would have to come off. I never in a million years would have thought of a detail like that!

I'll report back as soon as it's done!

How did you alterations go? Did they make you feel better about your dress? Or did you get lucky and not need alterations?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Not Enough?

I've had this sneaky suspicion that I'm not doing enough for the wedding.

I mean detail wise. Our reception hall is beautiful, nice and neutral with shining wood floors, lofty ceilings and windows. We aren't doing much at all to it-just our centerpieces and a table in the entry with the guest book. We'll have a table for gifts with a cardbox, maybe candles in the windows...and that's it.

Our invitations are super simple. Our ceremony is going to be right around 30 minutes and the church won't be decorated (it's pretty just the way it is). Our rehearsal dinner is going to be simple and laid back.

But I'm stressing that I'm not doing enough. We don't have any cute details, like personalized table names or home made favors. Our decorations are simple and minimal. We don't have apothecary jars filled with roses (I saw those today and almost died).

Ryan and I are simple, laid back people. We don't like to mess with all kinds of stuff, we don't like for things to be complicated. So us carrying that attitude over into our wedding planning was only natural. And we did keep the appearance of the venue in mind so we could get away without doing much at all to it.

Bottom line, I want our wedding to be meaningful. I want the love Ryan and I feel each other to radiate off of us. I want the day to be a great party. I want people to eat Italian soul food and have a rocking good time.

Because while pictures of the cute little details are all around on the blogosphere, am I really going to be looking happily at pictures of coordinated jam labels in our wedding album 10 years from now? No. I hope I'm looking at pictures of people grinning, laughing hysterically and dancing until they are exhausted. If a keg stand happens, all the better.

Honestly, my energy is right now is being used making sure I get 5 workouts a week in, cuddling my dog, making sure Ryan and I stay connected even though we're long distance, etc...not on details.

So is this sudden feeling on inadequacy a symptom of too-much-wedding-blog syndrome? I don't know, but I suddenly feel hopelessly inadequate in the details department, even though I know deep down that's not what matters. Have you ever felt this way?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hot Chocolate

My sister is in her Block 4 of student teaching, and she is going at about 100 mph for 14 hours out of the day, everyday. The school where she is student teaching is also a 45 minute drive, so she is at max capacity right now. She tried to drink coffee to help get her going in the mornings, but she hates it. So last night we made homemade dark chocolate hot chocolate for her to reheat before she drove to school this morning. It was out of control good, and I will never be able to drink the powdered stuff again. She even saved me a cup, which I look forward to sipping this afternoon at work!

Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate
Makes a little over 2 cups

2 cups milk (we used skim and it worked just fine)
1/4 cup water
1/6 cup sugar (about 2.5 tablespoons)
1/8 cup cocoa (we used Hershey's Special Dark) (2 tablespoons)

Throw everything into a pot, stir to combine, heat at medium heat until boiling.

That's it, and your house will smell lovely and chocolaty. I think there were some directions about combining something first, but the policy in our house is "it all gets combined eventually anyway," so we just threw it all in at once and stirred. I know the powdered mixes for hot chocolate are terrible for you, so I was surprised to see that this really isn't horrible for you. If you wanted to make it healthier you could cut down on the sugar. The cocoa only has 5 calories a tablespoon, and the skim milk is fat free.


No more...

I am sick and tired of sewing satin flowers for the bouquets.

I only need to sew 30 more, I'm in the home stretch. I've got it down to a science, with each flower taking 3-4 minutes. But I don't even want to look at the unfinished flowers, I prefer to stare dreamily at the bouquets I already have put together that only await feathers and ribbon.

But I want these done. I want them 100% completed and safely stored until July. I want to cross this off my list so badly. (I'm not goal oriented, or anything). So I've broken this task up: I am going to sew 5 flowers a night for the next 6 nights, and I will be finished. Then I just have to sew them onto stems, but I'll think about that part later. "Tomorrow is another day..."

This is something I never thought I'd be saying, but the ivory feathers I bought to cover the white plastic bouquet holders are too yellowy, so I went back to get white feathers. For some reason the white feathers are droopier and thus unusable. So I am on the hunt for white ostrich plumes, I'll keep you posted. If you would have told me a year ago that I would find a certain color of feathers too droopy for use, I would have laughed at you. It sounds ridiculous to me too, but they really are too droopy, I swear!

Are you in the home stretch of any DIY projects?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

This or That?

I have always been indecisive.

This was inconvenient and mildly annoying before wedding planning, but unfortunately, wedding planning has turned this personality trait into a holy nightmare.

I realized this Sunday afternoon. I was standing in David's Bridal with my friend Melissa. We were there to try on each others bridesmaid's dresses, as we're each in each other's wedding. My wedding dress is bought and paid for and in need of alterations (which I am hopefully doing this week). We had to wait a while for a dressing room, and of course we looked at all the dresses they had displayed around the store. I tried on dozens of dresses in my search for a wedding dress, and I know good and well that full skirts do not look good on me...and there I was, kicking myself for not getting a certain full skirted dress they had in the store.

The same thing happened Saturday. Ryan and I went to David's Bridal to look at bridesmaid's dresses. The maids of honor will be in aqua, and I needed to pick out a red dress for the other 3 bridesmaids. We went through the catalogs, figured out which dresses came in the color we wanted and narrowed it down from there. After we had reached a decision, I started stressing. There were so many cute dresses that came in the color we wanted but were long, maybe we should pick one of those and have the dresses shortened.

It occurred to me that I must have zero faith in myself and my decisions if I second guess things the way I do. I've second guessed everything about our wedding planning except for the church (and the decision to marry Ryan, but that one was a no brainer). It's driving me nuts, because I am not happy with hardly any decisions I've made. I make decisions, and then 3 months later I torture myself thinking I could have gotten a better deal, I should've tried this, etc. etc.

I have to stop this indecisive BS. I have to be at peace with the decisions we make. I have to focus on how many options we looked at and the fact that we chose the things we chose for good, solid reasons.

Easier said than done, but I have to try, because I can't take this going around and around anymore. It's exhausting!

Are you indecisive? Has it made wedding planning more difficult?

Monday, February 1, 2010

For the Bibliophile

Sara is hosting an amazing giveaway, go enter for your chance at some good books!

I just finished reading....

My Most Excellent Year: A Novel of Love, Mary Poppins and Fenway Park, by Steve Kluger.

It's a young adult novel my sister Allison (the one who works in the youth department of the public library, and she's in school to be a high school English teacher) said that I had to read it, because the character development is outstanding. She was entirely correct on all accounts. The characters were so vivid, so wonderful. The book wasn't a straight through narrative. One character would present their side of the story through newspaper articles, letters, e-mails, instant messanger, etc. It was a really unique way of telling the story.

The novel is about 4 kids living in Boston. They fall in love, they find out so much about themselves, they grow up. It was amazing, a really good light read that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

What are you reading right now?