Wednesday, November 4, 2009
So yeah, turns out I'm more of a "doer" than a writer! I hate, hate, hate writing! However, I've received e-mails recently from brides-to-be who have seen my craftiness through various website and have asked for DIY instructions. Specifically: my cupcake stands. I plan to post an editorial on my cupcake stands soon. :)
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I’ve been MIA for the last few weeks but I have been very hard at work crafting, building, and organizing. My wedding is one week away and I’ve been knocking things off my to-do list one by one. I plan on posting about all my big projects after the wedding. I want my guests to be surprised and not know what to expect. ;)
I made these hangers to put on the hotel room door knobs. I found the frame at a random store on sale for .75 each. They originally had silly sayings on them so I spray painted them ivory. Then I got out every crafting supply I own and destroyed my kitchen. I think they will be handy since our photographers and guests will be going in and out of our rooms. It will make ours stand out from the sea of hotel doors. We will bring the newlywed one with us on our honeymoon to Jamaica.
One week! Oh wow! After 15 months of hardcore planning it’s almost over. I’m really glad we’re leaving for Jamaica the day after our wedding. I think if we just came home the day after I would be a little depressed. This has consumed my life for so long that it would be strange to have no project to work on. Besides my dress being altered a little too small and the nightmare of dealing with my florist, everything has been pretty seamless. I expect some hiccups the day of but it will just make some great stories to tell our kids one day. :D Wish me luck and I’ll be back in 2 weeks!!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Since becoming engaged my beauty product collecting tendencies (obsession?) have gone into overdrive! I have spent hours thumbing through magazines and searching the web in hopes of discovering some miracle product I’ve never seen before. All of my minor insecurities have suddenly become my biggest flaw that needs to be camouflaged. Am I being hard on myself? Most likely… but this is a big event! Since I am already a girl who is fascinated by the beauty industry, this year has become the ultimate preparation project. Plus I think it’s really fun.
Now I’m not even talking about fitness and nutrition-, which are also a huge part of my beauty regimen. I’m talking about the gunk that I will spritz, paint on, and rub in the day of my wedding.
Let me preface by saying I’m no beauty queen and nor do I claim to be. (Unless you count the handful of pageants I was in when I was 4, ha ha.) I am just a very detail-oriented person. I feel my best when I know I haven’t overlooked something. I doubt anyone around me even notices all the effort, but I don’t care, this is just for me.
Since I have devoted so much time to this area of the wedding-planning process I would like to share my experiences with the wedding community.
Today… Skin Care! I have combination sensitive skin. Getting the right product routine down has been a bumpy ride. Literally- one sudden move and I’m covered in blackheads and pimples. I’ve often joked that the reason my skin even looks clear is because my pores are filled with blackheads. Gross. I am also a picker. It’s a disgusting habit but it’s one I regrettably find quite satisfying. And if I product test and break out – I have to deal with me picking, and then scarring. So for the last year my goal has been to clear my skin up which will leave me nothing to pick at, which should ultimately result in a wedding-perfect complexion!
My biggest decision was whether or not to purchase a Clarisonic. I researched the thing for a month. I read every review I could possibly find. About 90% of the user reviews I read raved about their results. I became a fan of their Facebook and I follow their Twitter. I tried to win one for 2 months. I even contacted the company in hopes that my (old) job in the beauty industry would score me a discount. After 3 months of pining away for one of these things I realized I would have to pay full price. I even researched the best place to buy it. QVC offers the Clarisonic PLUS with lots of extra cleanser goodies and replacements heads. They also offer the 3-payment plan, so I bit the bullet and ordered it.
You should have heard me squeal when UPS put the box in my hands. YAY! I imagined that within days I would have a baby-soft, clear complexion.
I have been using it for 3 months now. Is my skin perfect? No. Is it better? Yes. Do I like the Clarisonic? Yes, and I am glad I bought it. It takes a week or so to decide which speed and brush head works best for your skin. I use the delicate head on the lowest speed. I do NOT recommend using the supplied cleansers. They’re terrible. I do find that it does a terrific job of removing make-up and exfoliating. I do notice that my moisturizers absorb better and my dry spots/oil are not as extreme. I still get blemishes and blackheads but not nearly as many as I used to. One of the coolest parts is the body brush. I use it on my armpits. It reduces my razor burn and my Dove moisturizing deodorant absorbs better. Yeah, I have pretty hot armpits now. Lol. Overall, I feel the Clarisonic was a good investment.
Cleansers and Moisturizers:
These are currently working VERY well for me:
I use these products every day. If I get particularly nasty pimple or cyst I (carefully) pop and drain and then apply triple antibiotic ointment (from the drugstore). This usually makes the pimple or cyst go away in a day or so. I don’t recommend Neosporin for this use. It has an extra ingredient that really irritates my skin. I drink tons of water and eat healthy which will also help my skin be in its peak condition on w-day. I have 3.5 weeks left and my skin is currently clear. Now I just have to maintain and try extra hard to keep my fingers off my face.
Wish me luck! :)PS: My favorite resource for reading beauty product reviews is www.makeupalley.com
Friday, August 28, 2009
Today I booked my chair rentals for the ceremony. We will be using Tableaux Event Rentals in Vacaville, Ca. I took some pictures of the displays in their shop. Ummm…. eye candy!
Our ceremony will be in a secluded area of a public park. Tableaux is right accross the street from the park which will make delivery and pick up very convenient. I don’t need to rent much for the reception, but if I did I would definitely use this vendor. They specialize in modern decor but have a little of everything.
Getting this taken care of today makes me feel more prepared and one-step closer to finishing. Tomorrow my fiance and I are headed to San Francisco to pick out wedding bands… fun! I will post pics as soon as I can.
Have a FABULOUS weekend!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Whew! Our invitations are finally on their way to our lovely guests. It feels SO GOOD to be finished with this project!!
I made the decision to hand craft our invites after scouring the net for countless hours trying to find an affordable, unique invitation that fits our colors and theme. After ordering several samples and reviewing price quotes; it was determined that nothing really “fit” what I was looking for. All of the navy blue price-
conscious options were either too “corporate” looking or were clearly for a summer (nautical) wedding.
Thus began the task of designing our invites. WHAT A TASK! But after finishing and mailing them this week, I’ve decided it was all worth it because they completely convey the style of our wedding.
So here we go, the complete how-to and method behind my madness:
-Signature Pocketfold in “Champagne Metallic” … www.cardsandpockets.com
-“Night” blue cardstock … www.papersource.com
-“Night” blue envelopes in 4 bar & A9 … www.papersource.com
-Cream cardstock paper… www.staples.com
-Regalia design paper … www.envelopments.com
-Swirl Stamp … www.heroarts.com
- Midnight pigment ink, embossing powder, embossing heat gun, tape-runners, curved corner cutter, etc … www.Michaels.com
-HP Inkjet printer
- Fonts: “Feel” (script) and “Optima” (print) I uh, "found" them somewhere online ;)
1. Decided which inserts we really really needed
2. Researched and decided on wording for each insert including the main portion of the invitation
3. Using word, I typed up the information and picked which colors will go where and positioned everything so it looks balanced. I also made sure enough room would be left for the stamp.
4. I went to www.weddingmapper.com to create our map. I used the good ol’ fashioned “paint” program to fancy it up.
5. Figure out all of the measurements for each piece of cardstock. I made sure that there was only ¼ inch spacing on each piece. (between the night and the cream) I made several mock-ups to make sure everything was perfect.
6. Custom sized the page for each insert for easy printing. Put all of the PDF files on a zip drive.
7. Went to my local Kinkos. My main man Paul (the perfectionist) helped me make sure everything was straight, and aligned. He also figured out how many prints could fit on each piece of cream cardstock to maximize space. He printed all of my inserts and cut them to size for me. I also had all of the night paper cut to the correct matting size.
8. I rounded the corners on all of the cream cardstock
9. I started an assembly line! I stamped the swirl design, and sprinkled on the clear embossing powder. Then Mr.50 used the heat gun to emboss the stamp.
10. Next I used glue/tape runners to affix the cream cardstock to the night backing. The map is on back of the Directions card. To save paper and space.
11. Repeated this process for each insert. Then put everything together! We made clear labels with our website that is behind the inserts on the pocketfold.
12. Finally, the patterned paper was cut into 2” strips and wrapped around the pocketfold as the “belly band.”
13. Put all the invitations in the envelopes and used the “Sharpie” metallic pens to address them.
Oh and don’t forget the postage!
I purposely didn’t use any ribbons, or stones, or bumpy items on the invites. Using such items would really jack up the postage. When I went to buy the 61 cent stamps the USPS employee thanked me for making it easy.
This has definitely been the largest project. I recommend having plenty of patience and time if you decide to make your own invitations.
Finally … I kissed those suckers goodbye!! :D
Thursday, August 20, 2009
There are some of the highlights from my bridal shower. It was gorgeous!
Since there will not be any pink in our wedding, I requested a super girly, tea party-esque, pink bridal shower! Did my friends and family deliver or what?! My bridesmaid Kryssi Patel was the photographer.
I was blown away by all the little details: * strawberry and lemon ice cubes for the homemade lemonade * candy pink painted vases with pearl designs * powder sugar stenciled hearts on the brownies * tiny pink picture frames with our engagement photos * shrubs pruned into hearts * homemade scrapbook so each guest could write a special message * lot’s of love, time, and energy!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The pimp cups at my bachelorette party were a hit! Everyone really enjoyed them and we’re even using them at my bridesmaid’s birthday party next week!
Here is how I bejeweled the goblets:
1. Find a PLASTIC goblet. A thicker plastic is best. I found mine at Wal-Mart for $1-$2. When picking a cup remember that jewels cannot be where the mouth is and there needs to be enough flat-ish space for the decorations. Margarita cups are not recommended.
2. Head on over to your local craft store for jewels and stickers. Keep in mind that the stickers need to be flexible to accommodate the curves of the cup. I picked a few colors to make the cups look cohesive. I used the Martha Stewart pink glitter letter stickers for the names and “Bride.” Next I found strips of rhinestones. It is very important that you use the strips. (all hooked together with a clear backing) This way you can make lines around the cup. Individual rhinestones will take forever and the glue will make a mess. You can always cut off of the strip if you need just one or two.
3. I sealed the rhinestones onto the cup with clear nail polish and let it dry before applying another coat. The mouth won’t be near any of the stones so it is ok. Some of the cups have thread criss-crossed down the handle. Definitely get creative! It was a very fun project.
4. I used the leftover letters and rhinestones to make a sign for the front door of the hotel room. It was perfect! Especially when room service came. They knew what to expect before coming in the room. (there was penis paraphernalia everywhere!)
Picture Collage #1
1. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco. This is our view from the balcony! We specifically asked for a room at the end of the hall so we would not disturb the guests.
2. We enjoyed a celebratory cocktail in our bejeweled cups.
3. Here I am wearing my WC Bride T-shirt! I received many compliments that day. I was told my shirt was “different” than typical bride t-shirts. Cool!!!
4. My attendants had me leave the room for a while. When I came back, they had it completely decorated! The table was covered with bachelorette party paraphernalia and gifts for me to use on my honeymoon.
5. Our cups glistening in the sunlight on our balcony.
6. Room service! My bridesmaid (and weekend photographer) arranged for drinks and snacks both nights we were there. So special! (And delicious)
7. The top floor of the Hyatt Regency is their Regency Club. It offers panoramic views of the city; massage chairs, games, Internet, evening hors d'oeuvres, and cocktails on a private, key-access floor.
Picture Collage #2
1. The first night we ate a Peruvian restaurant, Lar Mar. It was delightful!
2. For desert we had the fresh fruit sorbet.
3. The city lights
4. Everywhere I went, people would congratulate me and offer a drink. This couple has been married for more than 10 years and offered great advice.
5. San Francisco has some handsome officers!
6. The second night we got all dolled up for another night on the town.
7. More friends joined the party at Asia SF. It was SO much fun! There were 8 bachelorette parties there. This is their specialty. The set menu was customized with our monogram and their “party host” gave me a scavenger hunt to do. While we ate, there was entertainment in the center of the room. This picture was taken on their red carpet in front of the restaurant.
8. Here we are enjoying the Asia SF signature shots.
Monday, August 10, 2009
I would like to share my favorite places online to shop and pass along all the coupon codes I receive via e-mail and find.
ArdenB - This coupon does not expire
ABBDAY0509 - 20% off your purchase. You can also use this on clearance items!
(I worked at this clothing retailer for years)
* Free Full Size Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Copper Penny with $65 Order. Code: Eyes66 required. One time use.
* Free Full Size Metallic Eye Shadow in Navajo with $65 Order.. ebates66
* Free Full Size Eye Shadow in Soft Peach with $65 Order MrRebates66
Footpetals - during the whole month of August
50% OFF- Sweaty Pedi & Pedi Fume
Buy 2, Get 1 FREE- on Strappy Strips & Haute Heelz
$5 OFF- Flexyfeet
** Offer valid on all available colors
** Offer ends August 31, 2009
** Use promo code "FPemail" for 20% off order
** FREE Shipping (Strandard USPS) on orders over $20
Here are my table numbers! I love the way they turned out. They will fit the theme of our guest tables perfectly. They were also very easy to make- and cost $2.50 each! Nice!
List of materials:
* Krylon Brushed Metallic spray paint in "Champagne Nouveau"
* Krylon Indoor/Outdoor spray paint in "Ivory"
* RustOleum Hammered finish spray paint in "Gold"
* RustOleum Painter's Touch Ultra Cover 2X in "Clear"
* Picture frames 5x8 from 99 cent store
* Wooden numbers from Michaels
* Patterned paper by Envelopments
* Mod Podge glue
-All of the spray paint was purchased at Wal-Mart. They have the lowest-priced spray paint in my area. All of it will also be used on other projects.
-The wooden numbers were purchased using the 40% off coupons from Michaels making the price per table number lower.
1) I sprayed each of the originally silver frames with the "Hammered" finish spray giving them texture
2) After they dried I sprayed them with the Ivory spray paint
3) To prevent chipping and looking dull, I sprayed them with the clear finish spray
4) I dismantled cereal boxes and cut the cardboard into 5x8 pieces
5) Next, I glued patterned paper to the 5x8 pieces of cardboard
6) Lightly sanded each wooden number to make them smooth
7) Sprayed the numbers with the metallic spray paint. (I went slightly darker than the patterned background so they would stand out and be easy to find)
8) After they dried, I sprayed with the clear finish spray
9) Then, I used Modge Podge glue to attach the numbers to each piece of the patterned cardboard 5x8
10) Insert the 5x8 cardboard with the number attached into the frame. (do not use the frame glass- it won't fit with the number)
Viola! Table Number!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
It has been so hard not to "taste" the candy that has been purchased for our candy buffet!
I am particularly excited about this portion of our wedding. I LOVE candy! When I started my CB research I quickly noticed that most brides color coordinate all of their candy selections. I have followed suit and purchased the candies pictured above.
• Blue Raspberry Rings
• Grape Tootsie Pops
• M&M’s Premium Chocolate Almond
• Blueberry Jelly Belly
• Yogurt Pretzels
• M&M’s Plain in Cream Color
• Pineapple Gummi Bears
• Banana Gummi Bears
• Peanut Butter Bars
• Hershey’s Kisses Truffles (not pictured)
I heavily researched prices, sizes, how much candy for how many people, where to buy the sweets, and so forth. I want to have enough for everyone, but not so much left over that we're left with the sweet factory in our living room.
Here is a list of what I decided & considered when planning my candy buffet:
• 6oz of candy per person.
(more if you’re not doing appetizers before guests eat)
• 1lb white tin tie bags purchased here.
• The density of each candy vs. how many lbs needed.
• 8-10 different types. Too few and it won’t look like a “buffet.”
• Ordering the candy during a cool-weather week to prevent melting.
• Choosing to buy from the best priced, and closest candy company.
• Variety of blue flavors. (ex: not all blue raspberry)
• Variety of different types. (ex: chewy, crunchy, sweet, chocolate)
• Visually appealing and would look pretty in jars.
• Will hold up all night. While sitting out & mixed up in the bag.
(ex: all chocolates are wrapped or in a shell)
• Have some wrapped candy available for the germaphobes.
• Choosing sweets we actually eat and enjoy!
(ex: rock candy= gorgeous but inedible for most)
I bought most of it from www.candywarehouse.com. The website is easy to navigate, they have a huge selection, and they ship their candy with cooler packs. I live in Northern California, and CW ships from Southern California. I had to select 2-day guaranteed shipping during 70-degree weather. The candy arrived fast and nothing melted.
Well- CW has a great deal on the plain M&M’s now- but I had started going to Michaels a few times a week with a 40% off coupon buying one bag at a time. (Those tiny bags are expensive!) I bought the Tootsie Pops and Jelly Bellies from Winco, and the Premium M&M’s from Target with a coupon.
I spent about $250 for everything (including bags). We're expecting about 130 guests, so that is just under $2.00 per person.
Not too shabby!!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
I am SO excited! I bought canvas tote bags for my out of town guests at www.ingreetings.com. Which I completely recommend- fast service, great prices, and nice quality. Then I got to thinking about what the heck I would put on the bags design-wise that would be cost effective. (estimate for screen printing: $15 PER bag) I decided a stencil that I could use with fabric paint would be ideal. After scouring the net I found Etsy dealer "Simply Stencils." I e-mailed the owner, Laura, about designing a custom stencil for me. Everything she sells was thisclose to what I was looking for.
A few months ago, Mr. 50 and I bought an adorable sign at a craft fair. It has become inspiration for many of the details that will be in our wedding. (don't mind my cat, Cosmo, in the pic- he rarely misses an opportunity to be photographed.)
I sent the picture of my sign to Laura and asked if she could create an 8x8 stencil that says:
Happily Ever After
She said that she could definitely do it! AWESOME!
The custom stencil cost $25 + $3 S&H
I already have the navy fabric paint from other projects, and I have 25 OOT bags. So...drumroll... each bag's design will cost $1.12. WAY less than screen-printing.
I can't wait to receive my new stencil- I will post pics when I get it.
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Last July Mr50 asked me to marry him on a random Tuesday, after work. He asked me to meet him at my mom's house to go swimming and BBQ dinner. I saw nothing unusual about this, because we visit for those reasons all the time. After a dip in the pool, I thought nothing of it when Mr50 asked me to grab Scrabble to play a quick game. I open the box- and I see the special message!!
Mr50 gets on one knee and pops of the question: "Will you marry me?"
Now, my entire life when I imagined this moment I thought I would be all done up, looking sexy. I also thought my reaction would be like something out of gone with the wind: poised, sweet, and well-worded.
My reaction? I scrunched my face up and exclaimed "Are you serious?!" in a slightly manish voice. I had just gotten out of the pool! My hair was wet and I had on an old house dress. The whole moment seemed to go by in an instant. I asked him a couple more times if he was serious. Once he confirmed he was, I said yes and we kissed/hugged/cried.
Obviously I was useless the next day at work. Definitely floating on a cloud. I immediately started researching wedding information and inspiration for our big day. Mr50's only request is "no pink." We set our date in October, 2009. The color palette was decided: navy, teal, champagne, and shaves of ivory. Once that was decided I officially started the process. That is when the fun began!
What about you? Did you react the way you thought you would when proposed to?
Friday, June 5, 2009
Welcome to the Q & A post!
Where, uh I guess I'll ask the questions since this blog has only been in existence for oh, about an hour. You may be asking yourself- who the hell are you? Who is that rather tall man you are marrying? And especially, who are those two freakishly adorable kittens from the picture in your last post? Well imma 'bout to tell you!
WARNING: This post is a bit long- but I need to get you caught up! Then we'll be on our way to wedding paradise.
Me: I'll refer to myself as Miss 50 Stories. M50 for short. You see, I am marrying a musician and am the source of inspiration for an incredibly special song called "50 Stories." It is also my sexy lova's blog:http://50stories.blogspot.com/
I encourage you to take a peek, and listen to my man sing his love for me.
I am an OCD DIYer. Sometimes taking on so many DIY projects that I stress and overwhelm myself. It's in my genes. I have a "Martha Stewart" mother and a contractor father. I love going to Home Depot and smelling the fresh cut lumber...mmm!
During the day, I am a sales representative for an indoor tanning distribution company. When I tell people my profession, I get many different reactions. Most people instantly become concious of their current tan/ lack of tan/ need to tan. "Oh you work in tanning? I am so pale right now. I'm usually darker." or "I like being pale and choose NOT to give myself skin cancer thankyouverymuch." Believe me, I've heard it all, good and bad. Though nothing beats that I had to change doctors because he equated what I do with selling booze and cigarettes to small children. Also know that my goal everyday is to help those who choose to be bronzed do this in a controlled, educated manor. Also, definitely let me know if you have any questions about indoor tanning, and airbrush/sunless products! You have no idea how much freakin' training I have to go through to do this job, so I enjoy spreading the knowledge.
I met Mr50 while I was on a date with someone else. Yep! You heard right!
Here's how it went down:
I was lonely, and fishing the Match.com ocean. I met a Mr. Match and we started dating. His second date idea? "Let's go watch my friend (Mr50) play music." Baaad idea! I was (secretly) instantly attracted. I immediately started racking my brain for which friend I could set him up with (glad I didn't). Mr. Match and I kept dating... and there were an awful lot of group dates with Mr50 in attendance. Mr. Match and I were not connecting, but Mr50 and I were. The final straw was a group date were we ended up sitting next to each other (again, bad idea!). We discovered each other's hidden passion for rapping dirty lyrics. Then the Freaks of the Industry duet began. In hindsight, that was very inappropriate, but at the time- I fell in love!
Some weeks went by and Mr. Match and I stopped seeing each other, and Mr50 and I started dating. Now here we are, spending the rest of our lives together.
My Husband-to-be: Mr50 is a manager by day, and rockin' musician at night. He is my best friend, and the most hilarious person I know. His talents have been quite handy when planning the entertainment portion of our wedding, but more on that later ;)
Our fuzzy companions: Cosmo and Juliette! The best cats ever! But I am only slightly bias.
Ok... now that we've gotten the "getting to know you" portion out of the way, let's take this relationship to the next level!