Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shit People Say to Brides

For starters- this post is not meant to offend anyone who has said these things to me, continues to say these things to me, or says these things to themselves. This is satirical. But, I’ve definitely been asked these questions at least 52 times a piece. I’m also pretty sure I am guilty of saying this shit to brides as well. But, with the recent crop of “Shit XYZ people say” videos that I am incredibly obsessed with, it got me to thinking about all the shit people say to me as my wedding nears that I can’t wait to NOT hear people say. And, the answers I wish I could give if I was a jerk. I swear I'm not THAT much of a jerk.
  •  Are you getting excited yet!?
“No, I am not getting excited YET. It hasn't kicked in YET. Excitement only comes but once a year, right? I am void of all emotion."
  • How many days now?
“Too many more that include this question being asked of me, but let me check the count-down clock that resembles a pocket watch that I have hidden under the breast-pocket of my shirt." 
  • It’s getting so close!
“Really? Well, an invitation is still not on its way to you.” 
  • Can you send me the phone number of the hotel?
“No, but it is handy-dandily included in your invitation!!"
  • Do you have your dress picked yet?
“For real? You think I don’t have a dress with a month to go after a year and a half engagement? Next question.”
  •  But, you’re like done with everything, right?
“No, I am not done with EVERYTHING yet. You can not really be done with everything. Are you going to do all these little non-descript things for me? No. Next question."
  • What, do you have left to do??
*Throws blackberry memo list at face*
  • But, you have a wedding planner right???
“Go away.”

In all seriousness, the wedding is really close. We've been engaged a helluva long time. It doesn't really bother me much when I hear these same old questions from everyone and anyone, because, with a month to go, I feel a bit more like things are chugging along smoothly. Honestly, the weirdest question I have gotten lately is unrelated to my wedding. On my way to the gym the other day, a woman randomly blurted out to me. "Oh, are you a new mom!?" I just stared at her in a stupor. Good thing to tell a bride a month before her big day. Still trying to figure that puppy out.

What questions are you tired of hearing or amazed at people asking?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chalkboard Mason Jar Numbers

We had an intensively productive wedding task weekend. We spent a nice long weekend in Pennsylvania tying up a lot of loose ends- including getting our marriage license! It was easy, peasy- no line, no wait, nicest lady ever filling out our information.

My most successful accomplishment, besides wrapping 14 bridesmaid/groomsmen gifts all by myself (Mr. P was watching the Knicks- because, oh yea, suddenly everyone in New York cares about basketball again) was making our table numbers.

I had a lot of lofty goals- including dying mason jars blue. After a meeting with our venue where we finalized dark blue linens and light blue napkins in addition to some blue lighting our DJ is providing, I realized clear mason jars will be just fine. They will probably look blue anyway with the lighting/candles/blue linens.

Instead I stumbled upon some $5 hemp at Wal-Mart while trolling for wrapping paper and had an epiphany. Screw the blue, use hemp instead.

If you don’t care about your mason jars being antique and vintage, I definitely recommend ordering  from Wal-Mart. Ball jars are still Ball jars as far as I'm concerned. It was also the most affordable option. I had them shipped to a store by my in-laws to save more money and schlepping.

I had ordered some teeny chalkboards from to serve as the numbers. So, I set up my work station at the kitchen table and got to work.

You will need:
Teeny chalkboards -> Check out (Fast shipping, cheap prices, and tons of chalkboard options)
A hot glue gun
Hemp, twine, string, or ribbon
Mason jars

Easiest concept ever.

Just test our your hemp/string/ribbon’s length around the mouth of the jar before cutting it:

Slather on some hot glue:

Press the hemp down with something other than your fingers, because, um, OW!

Donezo- tada...

A finished sample featuring my favorite number

 All my numbers looking cute

I was really proud of myself for getting this done and off the to-do list. One less thing to think about.  I am really down to just one or two crafty projects. Neither of them are stressing me out. So, 10 points for me!

Now, to just get to the rehearsal dinner & wedding playlist…

Monday, February 13, 2012

Fitting In

Mr. P. DISCLAIMER: Retreat. Do not keep reading. Do not continue to look at this post. There are dress pictures down below.

Piggybacking on Miss Aardvark’s post about fitting into THE dress, I have some good news- my dress fits! Yeehaw!

When I ordered my dress, I bought it a size down. You might cringe and think “You NEVER do that!” but I have a sizing issue. The measurement gods like to tell me I am several sizes larger than what I actually do indeed wear (and I swear my clothing fits and I’m not in some elaborate denial). This happens to me time and time again regardless of whether it is a dress or a t-shirt.

For instance, whenever we would order sorority T-shirts for Rush events (I think this is the last time I ever measured myself) the sizing guides always told me I was an XL. I would always order a small or medium depending on my french fry and taco intake that month, and they would fit fine!

In dresses I am always measured as a size larger than what I really wear. Without fail I always order the size down and it fits perfectly (except when it’s a long dress, in which case my height dysfunction is the problem).

I don’t get this phenomenon. Anyone got anything for me?

When it came time to take my measurements for my wedding gown the lady measured me, stared at me, and spat out the size she was going to order me. I immediately told her to go a size down. She stared at me closely, stared at my mom, and actually said, “Okay, you can do it! Mom, you stay on her!”

I was so excited to have found my dress and be done with it that the Brooklyn running through my veins didn’t register what I really wanted to respond to her. I’ll leave that blank here as well.

A few months later, after practically signing in blood that I myself CHOSE to order the smaller size of my own free will, I started to get stressed. The sample I tried on was only about two sizes bigger than what I ordered and it was certainly not THAT big on me. What if the gown I tried on was just stretched out from all the brides pulling it on and off? I was also slacking on my workouts and eating habits so a few weeks before my dress was due to come in I started watching myself a little better. I didn’t lose any weight whatsoever. Stupid wine.

So, when I went in to try-on my dress for the first time I just wanted it to zip. That’s all. And, guess what?- THE DAMN THING WAS BIG ON ME!

Not HUGE, but it has to be taken in a bit. The measurement gods LIE again.

Anywho, a few more weeks later at my first fitting (the first round was just to confirm it was the correct dress/size/color/etc) I still had a little bit of apprehension. But, alas, it still fits the same. All is good in my corner of the bridal gown universe. One less thing to worry about.

Looking a little brutal and ridiculous at the end of the workday

Moral of the story is: I will never follow measurement charts ever. Maybe one day it will bite me in the butt, but right now they have never proven me wrong.

Did your dress fit differently than how you expected it to? Does anyone else have this measurement phenomenon?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Crafting Vintage Frames Into Chalkboards Part: DONEZO

The chalkboard frames are done! For someone as non-crafty as me, I must say, I'm pretty proud of myself.

These babies sort of just fell together and into place. I previously mentioned that my insane Super likes to sell off ex-tenants old crap in the basement. So I scored two old vintage looking frames for 10 bucks.

After months of procrastination we headed over to Home Depot and stared at the lumber. The two of us are the most pathetic people in the world when it comes to creating things. Luckily one of the guys working in the lumber section pointed us over to the cheapest piece of plywood, and was able to cut it down for us. His measurement skills were a bigger fail than my own, but back to that in a bit.

Back home I set up my pathetic small workspace.

Yes, it's a hard knock life crafting in a NYC apartment, but all the squats I had to do to paint the wood as I hovered above was my workout for the day.


I sanded off the rough cut-ends of the wood with some sandpaper and then got to the painting with a foam roller. I painted the wood for the frames along with the scraps left behind after the big piece was cut down to fit the two frames. I figure we can make good use of them.

The paint dried surprisingly quickly, but when I tried to put the chalkboards into the frames they were too big! I should have seen this one coming. It actually ended up working in our favor. We went back to Home Depot a week or so later and they cut the boards down perfectly. We got even more scraps to make into MORE chalkboards. Right now we have 6 chalkboards for about nine bucks (the cost of the plywood).

The only part of this project that stumped me a bit was how to attach the wood to the frames. These frames had no backings, so there was nothing to hold the chalkboards in place (or keep them from flopping out). I have to recommend, for starters, bringing the frames to Home Depot (or Lowe's or whatever store you choose to buy wood from). This allowed the employee using the wood cutter to cut up the plywood perfectly since he could keep comparing against the frame (at least this worked the second time around). Secondly, since we used such flimsy plywood in order to keep them light for travel, I was afraid that hammering a nail straight through the sides would splinter the wood. Instead, I hammered nails into the frames that act as clips to keep the backs in their place.

 Hammer a nail up and into the frame while lightly pushing down on the board

Here's the nail acting as a clip to keep the board in place 

The tension created between the nail and the wood is keeping the chalkboards firmly in place. With that I was finished! 

Our program chalkboard (instead of paper programs)

Our chalkboard menu that will be displayed as guests enter the reception area 

A test run on one of the "scrap chalkboards"  

Impromptu thank you sign from our second round of scraps

So, how do you like them? Do you plan on using chalkboards at your wedding?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Stickin' em in Seats

Sometimes the best decisions are made under last minute pressure (or one can hope).

When it came to thinking up ideas for escort cards my brain made a nice little “hummmmmmmmm” sound in the background. It seemed so trivial to think about when you have a 1 1/2 year engagement, until I realized I have about 50 days until the wedding and I better make some type of decision on what to do.

There are so many cute ideas and I liked a bunch of them.

Window pane seating chart/Image via The Knot; Photo by Eleise Theur Photography

Chalkboard Seating Chart/Photo by Lorraine Daley

Framed Seating Chart/Image via

At first I was really gung-ho on saving the environment and using non-paper options. Because, suddenly I am all about saving the trees? Okay, truth is, I was just being a lazy poser and the real reason I was resisting making little cards is because it’s just so many little pieces of paper to write out!

My venue, however, asks that you put each guest’s dinner selection ON their escort card (please don’t get me started on how this irks me) so this was posing a problem. On top of this I kept worrying that when it came down to it, committing to a seating chart like this would be too risky. If it was necessary to add last minute guests/change-up seating, it would be difficult to make the necessary changes on a pre-printed framed seating chart/on a permanent chalk-paint chalkboard/etc.

So, back to square one. I decided I liked clothespins. Why? Um... I got nuttin’ for ya.

Image via Real Simple

I decided I really liked the tag idea as well and checked out a few websites to find the necessary materials

I ended up ordering a bunch of clothespins & a bunch of little tags. I plan on coffee-staining the tags to make them look a little vintage, clipping the cute little clothespins to each one (makes a handy little escort card handle) and BAM, done. (You know, done once they get here and I make time for the project.)

I like that it’s simple, a little rustic, and a little different. I figure I can stain the tags while I stare blankly at Real Housewives of some stupid city or another, and write out the table assignments at my leisure (probably 2 days before the wedding as I down glasses of white wine at my in-laws while cursing at myself for procrastinating).

Did you have any last minute epiphany ideas for your wedding details?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The One Where People Get Invited

It's time for the invitation reveal! I am so glad these are finally out, and it's sort of nuts that in a week we already got 50 "yes"es (and so far 0 "no"s)!

When it came to invitations I had many lofty goals. For a brief moment I wanted to design them myself, but soon decided that I just wasn't cut out to do that. Although I like designing things my design skills are still pretty basic. I also don't have the proper printer to do test-runs and didn't want to get stressed out by the little details like finding a printer, ordering paper, and well...lining up margins. I thought I would order specialty envelopes and possibly learn a little calligraphy. Reality set in and that never happened.

When push came to shove I ended up liking a design on Vistaprint. I procrastinated a little too long on whether or not to order it. I kept looking around on other invitation websites, comparing designs, comparing prices, and wondering if I was just settling on the Vistaprint design. I have to admit I was being kind of an asshole. I kept thinking, "my invitations can't come from Vistaprint. I need something more elaborate. My save the dates were even specialty made. Why skimp on the invites?"

After realizing the design on Vistaprint was really me and Mr. P's favorite I decided to get over my hang-ups. I waited a little too long for the perfect sale and things got down to the wire. Luckily, even though I hesitated on a free shipping deal, I ended up with a 50% off all items sale. The invitation sets came to under $130.00! I was shocked. We ended up ordering some extras, twine, and matching return address labels. The return address labels and stamps matched so well that I decided to just go with the white envelopes instead of spending more money on blue ones.

*All pictures are personal (obviously I need to invest in a new camera after the wedding)

 The whole simple suite

 Tied up together with twine

The corner of the return address label and the stamps we used

Ready to go!

All together with mailing labels, postage, and twine to wrap them up they only cost about $325. We sent out 99 invites (originally). That's $3.28 an invite.

They might not be the fanciest, the most original, or the most creative, but you know what- I really like them! I'm glad we went the route we did. The quality of invitations from Vistaprint are pretty good. And, the deal we got made it that much sweeter.

Did you go a simple route with your invites?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Face it

I can officially say the sentence, “I am getting married next month.” It’s weird! How did time go so slowly, but yet so quickly?

Until the big day, besides for keeping my head on straight, I’ve really been trying to keep my skin from buggin’ out as it likes to do. I contemplated buying the Clinique 3-step system that a lot of the Bees have mentioned, going back to my dermatologist, or signing up for Proactiv again. I used Proactiv in college and for awhile it worked really well. However, it would eventually just quit working and my skin would dry up like a flaky grandma-face.

I was digging around my bathroom cabinet a few weeks ago and found an old bottle of Proactiv face wash. I had restarted the system a year or so ago, and had promptly quit using it when my skin was getting way too dry (and the auto-payment from my checking account was pissing me off as well). I decided to put together my own little skin plan, and so far, *KNOCK ON WOOD* it’s really working!

I am only using Step 1 (the renewing cleanser) from Proactiv’s 3-step system. I’ve realized that the reason the multi-step skin clearing solutions don't always work is because 3 steps of benzoyl peroxide products are way too drying for me. So, every morning I wash my face with the Proactiv cleanser.

Image via

Then, I use a non-alcohol based toner. I like Neutrogena’s toner. I focus mostly on using it around the “outskirts” of my face closer to my hairline to get out any conditioner/hair product/face-dirt left behind that.

Image via

Then I moisturize before putting on makeup. Right now I like Aveeno.

Image via

At night I use a gentler face wash that isn't medicated.

Image via

I finish up with a topical gel that I got from my dermatologist. I've had this stuff for almost a year now and there is still a ton left. You just dab a little on any pimples or red spots and they're gone in two days time.

Image via

I definitely recommend seeing a dermatologist at least once if you have mild acne. The visits add up fast (even with health insurance), so I'm glad I found a good balance between over-the-counter and prescription products.

Hopefully my incoherent stress and chocolate binging won't turn against me in the next few weeks.

Do you have any good skin-clearing tips?