Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue

But no sixpence in my shoe.

Something Old: Relic Necklace

My relic

My mother gave this to me after a surgery I had when I was thirteen. It's not as old as other items I could select, but it is the most meaningful. When looking at pictures of me from that age on, I am nearly always wearing this necklace. I won't wear it as a necklace on my wedding day, but I do plan to pin it to the inside of my dress.

Something New: The Dress

First Dress Fitting

It's the dress! What else is there to say?

Something Borrowed: Earrings from my Mother

Copy of IMG_6595

These earrings have always wowed me, and I am honored my mother is letting me borrow them.

Something Blue: Pedicure!

Okay, I don't have a picture of this one yet. I'm not even sure what shade of blue I am going to go with. But I wouldn't be me if I wasn't sporting some nail polish that makes me smile.

If you are looking for some less traditional ideas on these items, check out this article at Real Simple.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Interview over at Choosing Losing

My friend (and MOH) Kelly over at Choosing Losing interviewed me about my weight loss. Go check it out!

The Amazingly Organized Binder of the Totally Awesome Wedding of Victoria and The Boy

Bridal Shower

MOH Kelly with The Binder.

I love this binder. My love for this binder would actually be a little embarassing if I was the sort to get embarassed. It is something I am proud of, and other people (like my vendors) seem to be impressed by it. Either that or they just don't meet too many organizational nuts like me.

Right after getting engaged, I started search for wedding planners. Unfortunately, the selection in my local bookstores and what I could find on the internet was underwhelming. Nothing fit my exact needs, and very few had the flexibility to expand as new topics were added to the planning. I needed something highly personalized.

The binder is one I had laying around from my student days (writing that, it seems as though it was long ago, but I have to remind myself I only just graduated a month and a half ago with my Master's). Target furnished me with tabbed dividers with pockets. Now, I just had to fill it.

Luckily, during my internet search, I came across some very helpful templates and forms I could use as a starting point. The first thing I did was search Microsoft Office Online's site for wedding-related Excel and Word documents. If other people already put the work into it, who was I to not take advantage of their generosity? Thank you to the kind creators who made the Excel template I ended up using for the guest list and the gifts received list! So pretty, so functional, and really, I cannot ask more of my organizational tools.

Real Simple has a master guide you can download and print for a binder such as this. It has everything from a vendor contact list to a liquor worksheet.

Another site with great templates is russell+hazel. With over 50 different templates ranging from bridal salon appointments to a music play/do not play list, this resource is more particular but definitely handy.

Once I had the binder ready to go, I started printing out pictures I found inspiring and somehow related to the aesthetic I wanted for the wedding.


Wedding Hair Trial

So, get cracking! No need to shell out money for those wedding planners that won't fit your specific needs. Tailor one to yourself and your wedding.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Engagement Pictures

The day after the bridal shower and bachelorette party, The Boy and I had an engagement photo session. My niece Michelle has been wanting to break into professional photography for years, and just recently has begun making that a reality. She was excited to have the opportunity to do our engagement photos, and we were excited she was interested in doing it.

We knew we wanted to do some of our photos at Lake Eola, a park in downtown Orlando and the site of where we got engaged. As we were driving to Lake Eola, Michelle pointed out a different park with a large fountain and attractive steps, so we made an impromptu stop to snap some photos. This turned out to be Baldwin Park.

engagement 021 copy

engagement 022

The pictures where we are not looking at the camera tend to be my favorites. I enjoy candid shots.

Then it was off to Lake Eola.

engagement 044 copy

This was the gazebo where he proposed. Unfortunately, it was being renovated so this was as close as we could get and the only angle we could use to take pictures without getting shots of unattractive scaffolding

engagement 054

engagement 072

engagement 127

It was a blast. It's great to finally have some photos of us that aren't "Myspace style" with one of us holding the camera awkwardly in an effort to get it further from our body to take the picture.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bachelorette Party

The bachelorette party was last weekend as well. This is something I was pretty nervous about because I had absolutely no idea what to expect. MOH Kelly had been asking me questions the month before like, "What do you consider cheating on [The Boy]?" which was enough to get me panicky. Not a party girl, sorry, so if you have to ask that question it is bound to make me nervous. Luckily, Kelly knows me and is awesome so she scaled back from whatever she was planning on originally.

But it didn't stop her from teasing me. There were many threats about a stripper called "Chocolate Lover." This would actually end up making sense later.

A couple of us set out from my house to meet up with some of my other friends at a mystery location. I was even ordered to put on a blindfold halfway through the car ride, that's how mysterious it was.

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory


Once we parked, I was lead by a friend on each side (I'm clumsy, needed the extra guidance) for a bit of a walk. We entered a building, and I heard a woman greet us. Kelly said something to her along the lines of, "We're here for the strip show!" I was so confused at that point and trying to rely on my senses of smell and hearing to figure out where I was that I don't even remember how this ended up happening, but the next thing I knew I being fed chocolate. Seriously! Finally, I was allowed to take the blindfold off.

As it turned out, we were at Farris & Foster's Chcolate Factory. As a special service, they close down the shop and hold Chocolate Parties. So that's where the "chocolate lover" comes into play.

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Our host for the evening showed us how everything worked, how to use the molds and the conveyor belt, and then set up free in the chocolate factory.

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Chocolate is serious business.

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

Bachelorette Party: Farris & Foster's Chocolate Factory

This was such a blast. I heartily recommend it to people looking for something different and fun to do for a celebration.

After the chocolate party, I was blindfolded once again and my friends shuttled me to our next destination. It ended up being CityWalk at Universal Orlando, and we headed to the dueling piano bar at Pat O'Brien's.

Bachelorette Party: Citywalk

Bachelorette Party: Citywalk

Bachelorette Party: Citywalk

I heartily recommend this as well. Loved it. It's great if you just want to bliss out and aren't into the typical club scene and dancing (which I am not, which is why it was so perfect).

All in all, a fantastic night. It was so great to have my friends there, supporting me, having fun with me, and celebrating.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sinful Colors' Gorgeous - Bridal Shower Nails

You know how much I love my nail polish. Here is what I wore at the bridal shower:

Sinful Colors' Gorgeous

Sinful Color's "Gorgeous."

Bridal Shower

It matched my dress and it matched my necklace, so hooray! I also wore OPI's You Don't Know Jacques! on my tootsies, and it matched the brown tones in my dress nicely. One of these days I will get around to posting swatches of that as well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bridal Shower

Part of me wants to be documenting the wedding planning experience, but I have been such a slacker about it! This post should be easy though, even if it is a week late. Yes, that's right, my bridal shower (and bachelorette party) was last weekend. And it was fantastic!

We had it at my mother's house, and my mom and my MOH Kelly kicked it out of the park. They kept me in the dark about pretty much everything, and the only significant input I made was a demand that there be Toojay's Banana Dream Cake.

Bridal Shower

Bridal Shower

The backyard was transformed into party central.

Bridal Shower

And there was yummy food (all made by my mom, and I know I am totally biased, but the food was fantastic).

Bridal Shower

And there was BANANA DREAM CAKE! Yes, they write the names of their cakes on them. So cute.

Bridal Shower

There were also marshmallow peep-like things next a picture of me and The Boy. I did not partake of these, but the two kids that attended seemed to like them and the colors certainly were fun.

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

Close up of the flower arrangements in the previous picture. Is this adorable or what? My mom got the vases from who knows where, and she and Kelly picked up the flowers at Costco's the day before. In fact, I love them so much I am stealing them for centerpieces for the reception. Yes, they are small, but this is good because the tables at our reception site are small. (I should probably get around to a post on our wedding plans at some point...)

We started out the shower by mingling, and at one point I introduced everyone. Then every guest was given a ribbon necklace to wear, and if any of them said The Boy's name, they had to give it to the person who heard them say it. I got two necklaces and an additional rule - I couldn't say the word awesome. This was terribly hard! So hard, I lost one of my necklaces just a minute or two after the game started when I introduced my MOH by her formal title from before we decided to have attendants, which was "Director of Awesomeness." Oops.

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

They decorated a chair for me.

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

Here I am, looking cute in my decorated chair. It's hard work.

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

There were presents! That part was pretty overhwhelming. The times during the party where I was the sole object of focus - in the beginning when I introduced everyone, during a "Newlywed"-like game we played, and then when opening the presents - I felt a bit uncomfortable. No one ever believes this, but I am shy and don't like attention. According to Myers-Briggs, I am an INTJ, the significant part being the I which stands for introvert. The reason no one ever believes this is because I am very good with people and present myself well in public interactions. But that doesn't mean it feels natural to me! But it all went well at the bridal shower, so that was a relief for me.

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

MOH Kelly taking notes as I open the presents. "The Amazingly Organized Binder of the Totally Awesome Wedding of Victoria and [The Boy]" is a work of art, and I should write up a post on how to create your own wedding planning binder. I love being organized, and creating that was definitely a highlight of the wedding planning process for me.

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

One of the gifts I got was from my friend Mara, who volunteered to make the flower girl basket and ring bearer pillow for us. Words cannot express how much I love how these turned out. Their design was a surprise for me, so it was a real treat to get to open these.

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

Me and my girls!

Bridal Shower

Photo by Michelle Lanzone

Me and MOH Kelly. We like taking pictures of ourselves. This is the perfect picture of us.

All in all, my bridal shower was awesome (hardy har har).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Getting the Marriage License

Last week, The Boy and I got our marriage license.

This kind of hammered it in for me that, wow! We're getting married in a few weeks. Holy crap. Add to that the bridal shower, bachelorette party, and engagement photo session from the weekend before, plus all those RSVP cards people have been sending in, and I think we really just can't ignore the fact that we are getting married.

So, here is your warning: there are going to be quite a lot of wedding-related posts over the next couple of weeks, and I am going to be sharing some wedding-related goodies with you. If you get sick of it, oops. Don't worry, I'll be married in a few weeks and maybe by then I will be sick of writing about it anyway. Except once I get the pictures back, and then I will go picture post crazy.

Marriage License Rite of Passage

The Boy and I make fun of people for congratulating us. I'm sorry, I realize this may come off as unkind. But that's how we cope with the overwhelming number of people who have enjoyed commenting on our impending nuptials. So of course, we made fun of this sign.

Marriage License Rite of Passage

This sign we made fun of not because it was congratulating us, but because it was upside down. Huh.

Marriage License Rite of Passage

The Boy was reading some paperwork on name changing. My last name is something I love and am proud of, but I have to admit that his is kind of rock star-ish, maybe even super-hero-ish. It's just that cool. Plus, I won't have to explain to people how to spell my new last name the way I do now.

At any rate, I won't be changing my last name for about a month after the ceremony. As it turns out, the deadline for registering to vote in the November election is a few days before we get married. I want to vote! So no last name change for me, at least temporarily.

Marriage License Rite of Passage

OMG I'm a bride!

Marriage License Rite of Passage

OMG he's a groom!

I'm getting married, people!

Friday, September 19, 2008

"And I vow to share my cake."

The Boy and I are going traditional with our vows. But if we were writing our own vows, I would stipulate that we vow to share our cake.

This is a half-eaten slice of Banana Dream cake from Toojay's. This may very well be the best cake in the world. The Boy first let it slipped that he loved me when we were at Toojay's, debating dessert. He knew he wanted to get a slice of Banana Dream, but I was fairly full from lunch so I asked if he would share a piece with me. He looked at me sweetly, stroked my cheek, and said, "I love you, but I'm not sharing my cake with you."

Well, I guess we do not have to share our cake. You can see a bit of it in this picture, as there is a second slice of half-eaten cake behind this one, and that is mine. I just did not have the chutzpah to label it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Website Crushes: Cupcake pr0n

Back when I lived in Tallahassee, one of my flatmates had a real thing for the Food Channel. Anytime she turned on the television, she was guaranteed to flip to that channel. We teased her by saying she needed her dose of food porn.

Well, I guess I am no different, but I am a little pickier than my former roommate about the food I enjoy seeing prepared. Cakes and sweet treats and all that sort of thing are what hit the spot visually (and usually physically, unfortunately). I once caught an show on sugar sculptures - oh my goodness! The beauty, the stress, the anxious movements of transporting these towering, fragile sculptures to be judged - good entertainment.

For the more mundane, I enjoy cakes as well. And cupcakes! Like widdle baby cakes, soooo cute. (I'm disgusting, I know.) Now that I have discovered that there are entire blogs dedicated to food, beautifully prepared food... Most of them do not post pictures of their own cupcakes, but scour the internet to find pictures of other's efforts for your enjoyment. So here, enjoy some cupcake pr0n.

From the Blog Cupcaked D'lights

burgundy rose by Zalita.

Wedding cupcakes are certainly a cool idea I have stumbled across during my own wedding planning process. By Zalita.

From the Blog Cupcake Artists

Pastry + Video Game theme = Awesome.

From the Blog Bakerella

Super Monkey Ball Cupcakes!

Mmm, half-eaten cupcake. Photo by Joey Ivansco.

Man, now I want to eat some cupcakes. Oops.