Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When it rains, it pours...

Well, a roofer just left our house, and our savings are being depleted once again.

A little while ago we noticed our bathroom wall looked funny where it met the ceiling. It slowly got weirder and weirder- not moldy, but sort of... warped. We had someone look at it- it was leaking where our chimney connects to the roof. The roofers hadn't done a good job making the seal waterproof. Mr Pug's connection from work came today and gave us an estimate. Luckily, there is not mold, but of course that doesn't mean we can put it off!

I've been letting myself get really stressed lately. I have always clenched and grinded my teeth, but lately it has gotten to the point of causing headaches daily. I can pretend I'm not stressed- but my body cannot!

We have always been good about saving money, and emergencies have always come up that made us glad we are good about it. Unfortunately, we cannot save double now that we're getting married! The TONS of money we saved when we first got engaged all went towards living when I lost my job. Then the money we saved after that went towards some financial issues we ran into. Just as we are back to saving up- leaky roof! Things like this have me BEGGING for it to be post-wedding time. When our money can actually be spent when needed, without guilt or worry.

Each problem that has come along in the past year, we have been able to immediately solve (financially at least) from our savings. That is something that would normally make any sane person happy! But each time it makes me feel like we are starting from square one with wedding planning again.

Does anyone else feel frustration, almost resentment having to put money towards a wedding? Seeing friends whose parents pay, or hearing someone complain that they need to save two thousand dollars (gasp!) for their share, makes me angry. I know, I know- they are lucky! But how can you hear about a parent just giving their daughter 30 grand (this is a true story!) and then not feel jealous, and also almost hostile? I have this horrible feeling that, closer to the wedding, if anyone who was pretty much gifted a wedding so much as insinuates that something about my wedding isn't right I might flip a table in their general direction. So, so very Jersey of me. I am simply doing the best I can with what I have.

Please tell me I'm not alone!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Perfect WeddingGuide Bridal Show!

Today I went to my first ever bridal show! I went with some girls from the Indiana board on The Knot. Here we are in front of one of our FAVORITE things- the photobooth! This would be spim7, Jessica14781, me (kjpugs) and PRONG79. Knottie apiffanynow met up with us after this pic.

It was at the gorgeous Scottish Rite Cathedral in downtown Indianapolis. Holy cow, I have NEVER seen a place like that! I didn't get any pictures of them, but I got to say hi to our travel agent Robert at Beach Bum Vacation. I just adore all their staff! I also got to chat for a while with Elise, who is another travel agent for Beach Bum. She is a fellow pug owner and NJ native, so we have a ton in common! Knottie apiffanynow is using Elise as her travel agent to plan their destination wedding in Negril, Jamaica!

Now, for some pictures of the event! I LOVED the lime green hydrangea next to the red roses in this bouquet. Can you imagine this with hot pink roses? Yum!

I was on a major sugar high after having so many cake samples. The best I tried were an almond one and a mint one. The mint one was similar to my favorite kind of ice cream- which is like cookies and cream but with mint. The mint cake place had this crazy cake- I seriously cannot imagine how they put this together!

This table was AMAZING! Love the colors :) of course! Hopefully you can see the black crystals hanging off the floral arrangement. Apparently, black white and green are "huge" right now. (Small Sob!)

Scottish Rite had one of its ceremony locations set up. My pictures didn't turn out very good of the rest of the room- but it was HUGE. Like a massive, multi-level auditorium.

Everything on this stage is fake! The columns are fabric, and the stained glass and wood? A CURTAIN. They offer a ton of backdrops, from beach to forest!

This cake was fake, much to my despair... it was so gorgeous!

Knottie Jessica14781 loved this kind of cake- classy but whimsical. I had to take this picture for her! :-)

I almost died over this cute tiny pomander! I wish I had a flower girl to carry it!

How gorgeous are these flowers?

Knottie PRONG79 modeling these callas. They were real- somehow callas always look fake to me!

Knottie Jessica14781 and I modeling some other bouquets- I have the hydrangeas (so pretty) and she has the gerber daisies, which happen to be her favorites!

These candles look so beautiful all scattered with rose petals.

We were exhausted by the end of the day. I entered a few contests, but having done so much, there really wasn't too much I needed to win! We did get some cute bride pens though! Knotties apiffanynow, spim7, and Jessica14781 are in the back, and PRONG79 and me, kjpugs, are in the front. Awkward sorority squat, anyone?

We SERIOUSLY needed some non-cake food after the show! Knottie spim7 had to go, but the rest of us head to a local pizzeria, Bazbeaux, for some sustenance. It was an awesome end to our day!

I would recommend bridal shows to anyone now! I can't believe it took me this long to get to one. I didn't, though, because I don't have any close friends here (especially not engaged ones!) to go with. That's why I encourage you all to make friends on wedding website boards! I find that The Knot has great local and date-specific boards. For all else, I default to Weddingbee- their specific date/state boards are very slow, but the rest of the "general" categories are way busy and exponentially less catty than the general Knot boards. Put yourself out there! Start a meetup with brides in your area!

Anyone out there win something great from a bridal show?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Uprinting Giveaway from Bride on a Budget!

My fellow March bride Ashley from Bride on a Budget is doing a giveaway from UPrinting.com!

I loved the idea of putting the pug wedding drawing on the cards for Thank-You's. What would you use yours for?

Visit Ashley's giveaway post here to enter!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Kreativ Blogger Award!

I was very lucky today to receive this award from my very good friend and sorority sister, MK! Please visit her blog, MK in Wonderland, and prepare to laugh. She's the reason I care about my resting face and say phrases such as "obv," "as per usual," and naturally, "that is NOT ok." Thanks MK!!! I will now list 7 facts about myself, and pass the award on to 7 other bloggers.

1. Things that don't match perfectly disturb me. This has been a big issue when it comes to wedding planning. I find it hard to let things like this go. I'm not really a neat and tidy person but I like things to MATCH.

2. I always do a face scan when I see a person to 1) determine if they could be related to me and 2) determine who they look like that I know. Just a side effect of being adopted. Mr Pug says I am wrong 9 out of 10 times, I say he just isn't in tune with his face scanning skills.

3. I hate hate hate driving during the rain or at night. I barely drive anymore (just to work really) since Mr Pug drives us places in his more accommodating car, so I think I've become a progressively worse driver. That and leaving NJ has made me a worse driver. Miss ittttt!

4. My secret aspiration for myself is to become a dog photographer on the side or as my career. I not so secretly doubt myself about it all the time, but it's still a dream.

5. We rarely stock sweets in our house so when I get a sweet craving, sometimes I'll just straight up mix a dab of powdered sugar with some milk and vanilla to make myself a little spoonful of frosting. Gross but satisfying.

6. The sound of Velcro makes me physically ill, and I can't explain why. It's the feeling most people get when they hear nails on a chalkboard, but worse. I have a friend who feels that way when she hears cotton balls being pulled apart though, so at least I could be weirder.

7. If I could have any type of dog besides a Pug, hands down without a doubt it would be a Dachshund. But please, please please do not tell the pugs that!

Phew! That was tough! I am going to give this award to:

Katie from Random Reflections of a Perfectionist, my tried and true Elon U bride buddy!
Agent99- a fellow bride and pug owner!
How to Tie Knots because her wedding colors are wonderful (but I'm biased of course.)
Miss Mojito for her constant support!
Stephanie from I Do at the Zoo since she got married on Monday!!
Kelly because she just started a new wonderful photo blog!
Kmattso2 because she's got some crazy DIY skills and leaves wonderful blog comments!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Proof that I can DIY...

Last night while Mr Pug and I watched our 2 recorded hours of Hell's Kitchen, a crazy DIY idea came over me. I had some scarf belts that were dreadfully out of style (long shirts are in, shorter shirts with belts are OUT) sitting in my belt drawer! I had a cute patterned navy one in mind (that I have used as a headband on occasion) but found a minty green chiffon-ish scarf belt with dots on it. I don't think I have ever worn it- and have no idea where I got it! It obviously is just one scarf and won't be a bridesmaid necklace, but I wanted to prove I could complete a DIY without failure. Scarf and marble necklace, here I come.

It was much quicker/easier than I thought with a scarf. I left a few inches on either end to tie. Here I am this morning:

That's right, check me out, I can DIY!

I'll end this self-appreciating DIY rant with a gratuitous pug picture :) That's my baby Harles!

I am so glad I added this necklace to my jewelry rotation! Anyone else's wedding DIY's lead to some non-wedding DIY's?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Save The Date Cards- CHECK!

While my DIY necklaces might not be working out so well, something HAS worked out- our Save The Dates! They arrived in the mail from Vistaprint today. Unfortunately we have more than 100 addresses to send to- barely- so we had to order the next set up- 250. Here are the fronts:

And the back:

When we ordered, things were kind of crazy with our church selection process. We have a very up-to-date and detailed wedding website with Wedding Window, so instead of a ton of random information, we put our website on the back. That way, as things change and develop they will have all the details waiting for them.

I was sort of surprised at how small they were- truly a postcard size. The image my designer (from etsy! OBSESSION!) made me for each side was a little too wide and too short, since I didn't have the dimensions, so the back has horizontal lines, and the front black borders aren't exactly even. It was just a tiny bit off and I didn't care. We are already more than 6 months out- it's time to send them! (We would have done them earlier but our engagement pictures kept getting pushed back due to scheduling/weather.)

In the future (aka when I do my RSVP postcards) I will be get the dimensions to make sure my image will match the postcard size. If I can order earlier, I will do two 100 orders (there's always a free coupon) so that I don't have to pay for 250- the next step up. We will be using these as freaking coasters or something :)

Overall the colors were great, the pictures were crisp (a relief since they looked just so-so on my work PC when I uploaded them) and the print quality was very nice.

Have you used Vistaprint? What tips would you give other brides? What other things are you using postcards for?

Tomorrow is label printing day at work! Yay....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another not-so-great DIY

So, I tried another DIY attempt. This time it was the infamous silk scarf / marble necklaces. My wonderful, helpful friend and fellow engaged blogger Katie sent me this idea with some tutorials: this and this. There were some cute green scarves on sale at NY&Co, so I grabbed them up with my 30% discount (on top of massive sales) and bought some marbles with a 40% Michael's coupon. Gorgeous right?:

Uh, right. Except, that's not the length. This is:

Holy sausageneck, Batman! Unfortunately the scarves were square, not long and skinny. Which meant short necklaces. I even went right up to the end and used toggle clasps. No dice.

I love the way this style looks though- I want something non-traditional and a little chunky. I think that's what I dislike about the pearl ones- too boring for me! And DEFINITELY too boring for my wonderfully Jersey 'maids. I am sure a ton of cute cheap black and white scarf belts exist out there, right? PLEASE can someone point me in the right direction? Also I think I can do this with fabric, as long as it's thin enough and doesn't really fray. That might be another attempt to try. What do you all think?

I'm getting kind of sick of this whole "if at first you don't succeed..." business!

Lovely Letters

Today has turned out to be a not-so-great day (I stepped in puggie poop this morning and it's only gone downhill from there...) so when Jill of Jimmy and Jill's Wedding Planning Blog posted this, I thought, what the hey... it might make my day better?

One Letter at a Time...

A - Age: 24
B - Bed Size: Queen- unfortunately. We registered for a King.
C - Chore you hate: LAUNDRY! If it wasn't in the basement it wouldn't be that big of a deal.
D - Dog's Name: I've had a ton throughout my life. Their names were: Emma, Snowball, Oliver, Sophie, Dixie, and Harley. The last three we still have.
E - Essential start your day item: A shower
F - Favorite Color: Green
G - Gold or Silver or Platinum: Silver (or white gold) except for fashion jewelry, which I sometimes get in gold. Real jewelry though should be either silver or white gold (like my engagement ring.)
H - Height: 5'6 3/4"
I - Instruments you play: None at all... can't read music!
J - Job Title: My title is the same at both jobs- associate! I'm the associate (aka glorified secretary) at a consulting company for nonprofits and an associate (aka sales associate) at NY&Co.
K - Kid(s): Not yet, but definitely in the future.
L - Living Arrangements: I have lived with Mr Pug for over 2 years now- we have a house.
M - Mom's Name: Jeanne (also my middle name. Pronounced JEAN... it's french.)
N - Nickname(s): KJ is my favorite :)
O - Overnight hospital stay other than birth: None
P - Pet Peeve: People who cannot get phrases right (like saying "it was a world-wind experience!) or people who use incorrect spelling/grammar blatantly ("going to the movies than too see my friend's!" so many things wrong there...)
Q - Quote from a movie: "The painting was a gift Todd. I'm taking it with me." (Wedding Crashers- DUH!)
R - Right or Left Handed: Right
S - Siblings: M & R- sisters!
T - Time you wake up: Between 6 and 7 am pretty much every day- if I'm not working one job, it's another, or church.
U - Underwear: Currently? Something from the bottom of the barrel since I'm doing laundry tonight!
V - Vegetable you dislike: BROCCOLI! The smell makes me want to vom!
W - Ways you run late: I only ever run late because of traffic or because I mixed up the time I was supposed to be there.
X - X-rays you've had: Teeth (obviously) my finger and my foot (sledgehammer injury and pencil injury, respectively.)
Y - Yummy food you make: Anything baked! And sweet potato fries... major yum!
Z - Zoo Favorite: The giraffes and the meerkats.

I hope you all will do this on your blog as well- it would be a great way to get to know one another! If you do it, post a comment and let me know!

Twinkling Candlelight

One of the things that Mr Pug and I loved about the Palomino Ballroom was their massive decorative window. We'll be putting our sweetheart table in front of it, and since we're having a nighttime (dinner) reception, we'll be utilizing these:

Photo by the one and only Erin Hession Photography, who shot a beautiful wedding there recently.

The Palomino Ballroom offers a lot of in-house things that you can't rent out yourself- everything from their catering to their chairs to these wonderful window candles. It's their way or the highway. Their way for this window will cost you something like $100. Could it be done for less? Absolutely. Is it so beautiful that we're doing it anyway? Yep. Mr Pug especially loved this. And it's just under 50 candles so it would have at least cost us $50 to DIY. One less thing to worry about that will have a huge visual impact.

What wonderful, unique things drew you to your venue?

Monday, September 21, 2009

6 Months!

Yesterday was quite a busy day- and luckily a day of rest. It was also, however the 6 month mark! Yes, today is 6 months minus a day until our wedding. I can't believe how fast time is flying by! Also- thanks to everyone who commented about my DIY necklaces. I'll definitely be doing the rest!

Yesterday, we met with the Reverend from the church we selected- I'll update you all on that soon :) However, some more good news:

Mr Pug had an awesome time in Saint Louis at our friend's bachelor party. He was very responsible with money and took out $240 of his recent bonus in cash to use for the weekend- no more than that. He ended up holding over $700 in the casino! Some more of that got spent that night, and after food and gas on Sunday, he came home with over $500.

(A nice picture of us from two years ago!)

I know it's mostly luck, but it's nice to add to our savings. Also, I am so proud of his money plan for the weekend. It's really great to have a fiance who is so considerate with money.

How was your weekend?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's not EDIY because not all DIY's are EASY.

I'm on DIY strike.

Mr Pug is in Saint Louis at a bachelor party for one of our good friends this weekend. I somehow was not scheduled to work today either. I figured, "ah, wonderful! A day to DIY!

Ha. Here's my schedule. 9:30-10:30 I ran errands (and took a pug with me!) around town. I showed, etc, and left to go to Michael's at 12:30. I then headed over to JoAnn's, then got pizza (crafting is hard!) and was home by 2:40. I crafted for almost 3 hours, then went BACK to Michael's, then BACK to JoAnn's... then home by 6:30 or so. Then crafted again till, oh, now.

This is the necklace I bought for my Bridesmaids.

It's from Target, $14.99. Tragically, I could only find 4. And then they stopped selling it. I e-mailed tons of friends to look- including my cousin who WORKS at Target- and nothing. Therefore I was a brave little bride and said, "DIY!" I couldn't find anything but the ribbon at Michael's (I decided on green- why not?) and bought it with a 50% off coupon. Then I got the pearls and string at JoAnn's. The pearls were a great match:

I used a needle to thread it.

First pearl in... "This is easy!"

Hmm... that's not right.

Not working out. Basically I couldn't get the ribbon to wrap right. It wasn't the right quality/thickness- it was too stiff and less silky- but it was the only option in the right color and size. I know a better ribbon wouldn't be available so I kept trying...

Yea not so much.

So that's the nearly 3 hours- me trying to make it work. I tried to just string the pearls on the ribbon but it wouldn't fit. So I realized I had to go try to find a thinner ribbon of the same color. I head to both stores and neither had one less than a too tiny ribbon in a too-bright color. But JoAnn's had a bunch more options. I decided to do pearls with green beads between, and then hoops on each end that I put the green ribbon through and tie it in a bow- making it adjustable length! I also bought myself a bottle of wine since I was prettttty stressed.

Here's the progress...

The beads up close.

Almost done...

DONE. (ps the ribbon color is totally off... it's much more apple-y in life and non-macro pictures.)

Here's a picture of it on, as more of a choker.

Afterward I make it looser and took a picture with my Mac to show the adjustable length.

I don't know if I like it. I guess I'd have to see it with their black bridesmaid dresses. I overthink things, so I don't know if it looks just simple and pretty, or cheap and childish. Mostly though... it's just not what I originally wanted.

Feedback? PLEASE?

For the rest of the night it's NCIS and the rest of this wine...

Wedding Inspiration... from Lowe's!

Before shopping for my DIY project materials today, I made a pit stop at Lowe's for some color inspiration! Yesterday's post helped me look at colors, but I wanted something tangible. Paint color swatches are free- and that's definitely in my budget! I started with some colors I love but am not using. I adore the red/turquoise combo:

A poppy red with a sweet, delicate turquoise is very chic, romantic August wedding to me.

If Mr Pug and I had chose to go destintation, our colors would be different for sure! In my slight preliminary thinking I thought orange and a creamy white would look great. With beautiful natural surroundings, a simple bold color would be great.

I'm still a little sad about missing out on this color palette!

But of course... there are greens!

None of the above ones were vibrant enough. They look more vibrant in the photo than they do in real life! I picked up a few more snazzy ones... aren't they snappier>

The middle green spoke to me. Here it is on top of some damask fabric that Bridesmaid H's mom sent me- she will be making our table runners as a wedding gift!

It's called Sassy Green... swoon!

I used my sassy swatch to pick things out for a DIY project... stay tuned!

Friday, September 18, 2009

500 colors... MILLIONS of ideas...

Mr Pug and I had a really interesting first month when it came to picking our wedding date, location, and colors. Our first idea was destination in January 2010. (Well my first idea/obsession was in Jersey but my logical brain shot that down immediately for cost.) But many family members couldn't make it to a destination wedding so we started looking here. We wanted warmer, but not too far away. While looking through a wedding magazine I saw a wedding dress for each month photo article, and March's had a green accent. St. Patrick's Day! We're both Irish (ish)! Let's do that!

So, besides green and the almost-St. Paddy's Day-date, nothing about our wedding has really been Irish. Green was a great color for us though- something we both love and something that's great for the season. This photo was my inspiration for our full color scheme:

This bridal shower is seriously amazing. I hope we can come half as close to the richness and saturation of color and texture at that event!

Even though we say green is our accent color- there are tons of greens. Too many, in fact. Our bridal shower / engagement party in New Jersey had everything from a nearly mint to a hunter green. Saying "granny smith apple" only gets you so far.

Today, though, I found something amazing. I read this post at Pink Orchid Weddings, and became smitten.

Anyone have $660 spare dollars lying around? You do? Good. Buy me this.

That's 500 colored pencils, $33 a month for 25 pencils, for a duration of 20 months. 500 colored pencils. Not to mention the cost of one of their four display/holder options. This is my childhood/art minor fantasy. But how else can this be used?

COLORS!!! Do you need to really narrow down your wedding colors? This was a fun way for me to do it. My #1 favorite was this one, Julep.

I think Lettuce works in nicely as well, however, the greens above (on the left) are clearly more within our apple colored theme.

The whites are astonishing. The reddish pinks are so amazing. I could play on there for hours!

How did you select your colors- and not just "green;" how did you whittle it down to "Lettuce" or "Julep?" How has your color scheme evolved over your engagement?