Everything in moderation…or excess

6 Jan

I have some really big plans for myself this year (all happening in the next 6-7 months) and am starting to wonder if perhaps its a little too much at once.  I have been hoping that having a lot on my plate will make me act more efficiently than if I took everything nice and slow?  I guess I’ll know later.  If I had to, I could probably drop everything but work and the wedding….


– The big stuff is done – dress, venue, church, etc.  Here I am though, about 6 months away and the last time I checked my dress didn’t zip all the way up!  The good news is I’m going to start running (see below).  The bad news is, we still need invitations, ceremony music, and a rehearsal dinner location…the ‘not as fun’ side of the planning list.  Regardless, I’m scheduling things week by week to get finished by end of March.  Easier said than done!


– We may or may not be very close to getting a house.  The whole thing has been a roller coaster since we decided to purchase a 2 family and convert it to a 1 family using a 203k loan.  A week ago we were completely out, and now, miraculously, we’re back in!   We already thought we had the house and then didn’t have the house twice…so just waiting for the final appraisal before getting too excited.  Should have a final decision next week.  Once that’s done there will be a lot more effort needed before this project gets finished though – picking out stuff for the house (Drew and I have a hard time agreeing on the same faucets, colors, materials, everything), more inspections, planning, etc.   Drew removed all the painting (ceilings, walls, crown molding) from scope of the contractor so I think we’ll be painting our lives away!  My hope is that we are moved in by April, which gives us time to get settled (at least a bit) before the big day…

PMP (Project Management Professional certification)

– I’ve been taking classes since April to earn 35 class hours so that I’ll be qualified to take my PMP test.  I have about 23 hours right now.  Every Monday we have a 1 hour class, and then on Thursdays I’ve been trying to meet with a few people for study sessions but those seem to get cancelled a lot whenever other things come up… like when I don’t feel like it or have too much work to do.  I have to take the test before June because in June they are changing up the curriculum and who knows what will be required.  Plus, already bought 2 books for this class ($120) and if I pass, Corbus will pay for the test.  If the price goes up after June or the criteria change, that might not be the case, so I have to get it done!  I’m wondering how my poor brain is going to feel studying for this while trying to do the wedding and house though.

Flying Pig 1/2 Marathon

– As I mentioned before, the dress and I are having issues.  I could probably starve myself for a week to fit into it if I absolutely had to, but more than that,  I want to be looking and feeling good for the wedding.  My sleep is still all messed up, so I figure the best thing to do is exercise.  Unfortunately, I need a lot of motivation to exercise.  None of my usual methods are working (weight watchers, etc) so I’m resorting to joining a running group and bribing my brother to run with me in order to get my butt in gear!  I also think the exercise will help with mood and ease the stress of planning the wedding, house, pmp and work all together.  Plus, the great feeling after a good workout is the best.

– I ran the half about 5 years ago with some friends and it was the hardest thing I had ever trained for, but the feeling after I finished was worth it.  I’m hoping this time I’ll get into a better rhythm early on in the training and actually enjoy the running when I’m with other like minded people.  Maybe this time I’ll even lose some weight!


Looks like another busy JFM, and I’ve lost all motivation to work from home after I get done for the day… trying to figure out how I’m going to get all my work done without the late nights I used to pull.  Either I need to get up earlier or have some motivation after dinner.  Again, hoping the running will spur all these great changes in my life and I’ll be super energetic and motivated..

Looking at the big picture, I’m grateful for all of these things right now.  I’ve been waiting a long time (:


Who knew Paris Hilton would play a role in my wedding?

21 Dec

I never thought I’d be grateful to Paris Hilton for anything…but now I am.  Her collection (which btw, who even knew she had a clothing/shoe collection?  not me) produced the most beautiful set of purple satin shoes I’ve ever seen!  Thanks to my mom, these are my shoes for the wedding!  They are surprisingly comfortable and look great!

Here’s a pic!

7 months to go….

13 Dec

I started off this whole planning process on fire.  I was a planning master.  I had at least 50 borrowed wedding magazines (at $10 each, quite an investment), tons of ideas and tons of excitement.

Then the big stuff was planned and suddenly I lost a lot of my excitement and it became a to do list.  The DJ, the Shuttle, the Limo, the Readings, church classes…boooring!  I’ll admit that not a lot got done since August.

In the past month I’ve gotten some encouragement from newly engaged friends (thanks!) and it helped get some of the momentum back that I had been missing for a while.

So, a good place to start is always with your checklist.  What’s left to do?  What’s done?

Here are my updates:

Church > Done. St Francis De Sales

Reception site > Done. Kenwood Country Club

Florist > Done. The Tulip Tree

Dress & Veil > Done.  European Bridal. Picked up dress too.

Photographer > Done. Neysa Ruhl Photography.

Hotel block > Done.  Hampton Suites.

Engagement photographer and location > Done. Paris/Mark Elias; Cincy/Neysa Ruhl

Day Of planner > Done.  Friend from work with experience.

Something Borrowed > Done.  Borrowing Mom’s necklace/earrings & brooch

Bridesmaid dresses > Done.  Dresses finally selected!  We are going to do 2 colors. The first is dark purple with one strap for half the girls, the other is light purple strapless for the other girls.  Note: if you have tall bridesmaids, pick your dresses accordingly!  Make sure they offer extra length.  Only a few dresses at David’s offered that.  I found out that the dresses at Davids are made for a 5’9 woman, so they don’t work for people who are taller (unless its a short dress of course).

Wedding bands > Mine is purchased, at Eddie Lane waiting for me to pick it up.  Drew wanted to keep looking.

*Needs to get done this week* Names & Addresses for Save the Dates!

1. DJ > In Progress.  We’ve gotten a lot of referrals from friends, trying to set up a meeting with DJ Bobby Blaze (with Steve Bender productions) this week.  Honestly, this has been one of the least fun projects to work on.  Its so hard to tell if someone will be cheesy or not!  I can’t wait to get this part booked and over with.

2. Invitations > in progress.  We spent a few hours at Poeme (shop in Hyde Park) and picked out some invitations but we are still working on the fonts and exact styles to use.

3. Church classes > In Progress.  We need to do Pre Cana classes on 2/19 at Raymond Walters and also meet with our priest for our ‘focus’ which is when we answer a bunch of questions about marriage, etc.   Any Catholics out there you can get this info at http://www.catholiccincinnati.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=458&Itemid=1305 then look at first marriage under Pre Cana.

4. Floral arrangments (centerpieces, bouquets, etc) > TBD, need to set meeting with Tulip Tree after getting vases from my cousin Alix in March.

5. Rehearsal dinner > In Progress (Drew is in charge)… I wonder if I should be more concerned we have done little on this…..

6. Honeymoon >! (Note: Avoid places with hurricanes & get trip insurance.)  I know people think I am crazy but I don’t even care if we go on a honeymoon.  If we end up with the house (that I hope we do), things will be super busy up until the wedding and it might be nice to have some time to enjoy the home!  However, Drew and Tara shot me down and told me I was crazy, so I’m letting Drew take over the honeymoon planning since I really don’t care where we go.  As long as there is wine and a place to read and sleep, I’ll be very content.

7. Drew’s wedding band >in progress

8. Groom attire > TBD

9. Transportation > (Drew is in charge) Mostly done.  Our plan is worked out and prices are mostly confirmed.  Just need to do the formal booking.  We are going to get 2 (10 person) town cars to take us to the church and back to KCC, and have a shuttle from the hotel to KCC for those who don’t want to leave their cars there.  Drew couldn’t find a vintage car that really inspired him (as he put it) so we decided it wasn’t worth the money.

10. DJ > TBD (Drew is in charge)

11. Cake > TBD > Mom is taking care of this

12. Decorations > TBD

  • (30) 5×7 pictures of cars with titles for tables
  • Purple napkins (Need to confirm they are no add’t cost with KCC)
  • Purple votives > Done (90)
  • Vases > Can borrow from Alix
  • Tea lights > Can rent from Catherine! (Need to make sure she has unfrosted ones)

12. Fitting/dress alterations/dry clean

13. Hair appointment/practice do > TBD

14. Makeup > TBD

15. Hair Accessories/Jewelry > In Progress.  Going to borrow Mom’s necklace and earrings.  Bridal hair piece in the works for DIY project.

16. Wedding shoes > TBD.  Not allowed to have shoes with stones in case they catch on dress – per Mom. Looking for purple!

17. Registry > TBD > at Crate, BBB, Target (?), Home Depot > TBD

18. Something Blue? > TBD

19. Bridesmaid/Groomsmen gifts > In progress

20. OOTowner gift bags, maps, etc > TBD

21. Programs, name cards > TBD

22. Wedding certificate > TBD

23. Ceremony readings picked > TBD

24. Ceremony music > TBD

25. Cocktail hour music – (Mom in charge) > TBD

26. Photobooth > TBD

To help move things along, my mom and I have been Skyping on Wed nights to give each other wedding updates.  My goals is to work on this stuff while I have some time off around Christmas, so look forward to an updated list! (:

Holy Sangria!

3 Dec

So last night a few of us went bridesmaid dress shopping, and we really liked a style in the color sangria.  I also really like lapis (dark purple), but the sangria was so bright and playful and summery… I had to consider.  However, some have brought forward the concern about flowers not matching or even worse, clashing, to my attention.

Therefore, my mission tonight is to determine…. is sangria a viable color for bridesmaid dresses?

Here are my findings… let me know what you think

two tones of sangria

wedding inspiration board

sangria dresses with light pink flowers

sangria dresses pink flowers

sangria colored tulips


sangria dresses

sangria dresses with dark flowers


sangria tone flowers

sangria table setting

sangria table setting

sangria arrangment

sangria arrangment

lovely sangria bouquet

lovely sangria multi color bouquet

We’ll always have Paris part duex

27 Oct

Here are some pics we took in Paris.  We were so lucky to have Drew’s co-worker as our photographer and he went all out to get us the best pictures possible.

"The Money Shot"


As my blog readers, I will share that there were some severely challenging conditions including:

1. Insufficient lighting in hotel room for makeup application

2. Curling iron cord not long enough to allow me to curl in front of mirror

3. Lack of planning (no hairspray, mirror or makeup brought for photos after leaving hotel)

4. Weather was more like summer than fall!  We were sweating in our heavy clothes… all in the name of fashion!

Despite the challenges, I think the pictures turned out great, and we are really grateful we had the unique opportunity to take them in Paris! (:

Which came first, the invitation or the monogram?

27 Oct

After attending my cousin’s wedding in Chicago this past weekend, I’ve been re-inspired (is that a word?) to jump on the planning train!  The first thing I did after recovering from the 9 hour drive home was to look up monograms online to find the perfect one for Drew & I.

Unfortunately, monogram sites are not as eager to let you preview your new monogram as invitation sites are.  I couldn’t even find any that would let me try my initials in a monogram style without paying first.  I found ranges from $5 – $50 for a custom monogram, so I’m not sure how you know what the right price is to spend for 2 letters on a page.  How can that cost $50???  I decided to hell with that, I’d just make my own.  Like most of my projects, I gave up after finding that it was quite boring to to go through every single font and see which ones I like best.  Next – delegate!  I’ve asked Drew to work on it since he uses Photoshop all the time, but we’ll see how that goes (:

Then there is the issue of the invitation.  Invitations have their own colors, styles, etc.  Do I pick the invitation and then ask them to print things like napkins & stickers?  Or do I go to the invitation place/site with my monogram already designed and try to retro fit it on to an invitation?

I’d like to show you a few styles I like, but the websites are too smart and have the right click/save image disabled (so people can’t steal them).  Surprisingly, I’ve found myself liking the the contemporary styles the best. My only problem with them is that they feel a little cold.  I like the idea of something basic (not too flowery, flow-ey, swirly) and clean, but warm too.  Will keep you all posted once I get somewhere on this!

Chicken or Egg

Cute (and funny) car wedding stuff!

7 Sep

car themed invites

Cute picture on car!

The essentials: day of planner

4 Sep

I’ve been told by several of my friends that its important to have a “day of” planner to help alleviate the stress of trying to organize everything myself on the big day.  I thought they were being a bit crazy and besides, why would I pay someone to do what I have planned on doing myself?  And of course, my built in planner, Ed from KCC.

Knowing my friends’ good judgment, I decided to ask around a bit.  I was incredibly lucky to stumble across a new(er)  co-worker of mine with tons of experience in the wedding industry!

We met today for the first time “officially” and it was fantastic!  She had great recommendations for DJ’s, advice on photobooth options, decorations for the reception, and photo timing.  Can’t wait to meet with her again.

Note to friends in Cincy: I have a day of planner for you (:

Next step: call Mr DJ!

27 dresses…

3 Sep Strapless with side ruffle

In my estimation, a bridesmaid dress is probably the number one factor in bridesmaid happiness.  There are few other factors that can make your closest friends dread going out in public, feel self conscious, or just plain resentful.  The next worse thing would have to be a BrideZilla; closely followed by those shoes the bride thoughtfully bought while on they were on sale at Target, which unfortunately lead to sore, miserable feet.

I think my plan will be to allow the girls to pick their own style (within a few selected styles) and their own shade of purple (ranging from light to dark) so that each can hopefully feel really good about what they’re wearing.

I was disappointed AND relieved today to read that I’ve managed to select 2 of the biggest bridesmaid trends this year: varying shades of a same color dress, and purple.  I was disappointed because I thought my idea was so clever (although, it did originate from another bride’s wedding featured in The Knot, Ohio – should have known) and relieved because half the time I wonder if my ideas are too old fashioned.  Whew!  I might be unoriginal, but at least we’ll be in style (:

Although I’m giving choices, I’ll obviously need to pick a few styles.  Here are a few dress styles (NOT COLORS) that I think are cute – pics below.

Interesting neck dress

Interesting neck dress (remove the flower)

cute basic dress

Cute basic dress

Violet dress

Strapless dress

Strapless with side ruffle

Sassy strapless with side ruffle

Strapless with pockets and wide skirt

Strapless with pockets

We’ll always have Paris….

31 Aug

With our Paris trip looming only 29 days away, I’m starting to get more and more excited (and anxious) to get the details planned out so that everything runs smoothly while we are there.

As I’ve mentioned already, we are going to do some engagement pictures there with Drew’s co-worker who is a professional photographer for the car industry and apparently does have experience doing weddings on the side (whew!).  I have no idea how much time he’ll give us but I’m thinking we could focus on 2 specific areas: Montmarte & Eiffel Tower area.   For those of you who aren’t familiar with Montmarte, it is a very charming area with tons of outdoor cafes, shops, artisans, people bustling around and the beautiful view of the whole city from the top of the hill by Sacre Cour.

The only questions now are:

1. What are we going to wear?

2. How am I going to do my hair, makeup, etc?

3. Should we skip Eiffel Tower if that’s cheesy?

Montmarte street

Montmarte street

View of Paris from Sacre Cour hill

Artisans in Montmarte

Art on display on street