Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yup, I bought them both!

Surprised? I started my research on buying shoes a few days ago and I have already bought them? Not my usual way to do things at all; but like I said, these things looked and felt SO good.

My new flats: the Born Luisa in black leather
My new mary-jane heels: the Clarks Rhea in black

So easy. So done.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I went shoe scouting...

Of course, my only local J. Jill store does not carry shoes. Argggh!

However, I did get to try on the Born Luisa at Macy's. I think I fell in love.

I have high arches, which are in danger of falling from the lack of support in the majority of my shoes. That wouldn't be a problem with Luisa because that raised portion of their sole fit almost perfectly for me. I though the asymmetrical toe would look funny but I barely noticed it because the comfort completely won me over. These are definitely in contention for my new flats.

I also tried on Born's Magnolia, thinking perhaps the fit would be the same. Though quite cute, the fit wasn't as great for me. After checking out the variety and number of shoes on their website I really wish I had a chance to try on more than the 3 to 4 styles from their lines that my local shoe stores offer.

I was able to see and touch the Naturalizer Creston. One look at the textured leather and it was out. In my opinion, the texture and feel made the shoe seem cheap. I also really need more of a rigid sole in my shoe for walking, these were too much like ballet slippers. Macy's did not have the Naturalizer Referee or League, both of which I really wanted to try on before ordering.

My next possible new shoe is Clarks' Rhea. Again, as soon as I stood up in this shoe I liked the feel of it. Though the look is very similar to Naturalizer's League; again, the fit won me over. When I took these off and put back on my soon-to-be-replaced Mary Jane heels, I realized just how bad my current shoes were, they SO need to be thrown away!

So, I'm going to DSW tonight to hopefully try on the ones that I didn't get to this time. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The truest words...

Yes, another wedding. This one was featured on Offbeat Bride, a site I love and suggest everyone check out at least once when planning a wedding.

This wedding cost only $1,000 and of course it might not be everyone's idea of their "dream" wedding. I know that I would want to add a few more things myself, but I hope that I could still say and mean what Jessica, the bride said:

"Too many people get caught up in the 'stuff' of a wedding and forget that it’s about the relationship and commitment. Having spent under $1,000, we’re just as married as a couple that spent $30,000."

Monday, July 28, 2008

More shoes

Dumia $40

League $80


I have always loved the style of this company, especially the shoes that they carry. Always classic styles with something just a little bit different.

Cutout mary janes $60 Oooh, retro!

Born Luisa mary janes $85

Ankle-tie wedges $70

Active Life mary janes $95

Ruched mary janes $80


I'm still looking for replacement shoes...

I need to replace a pair of flats and a pair of comfortable rubber-soled Mary Janes.

I'm really liking these, but I'm going to keep looking just a bit longer. The last pair from Naturalizer is the front runner in black (of course!) but I love the combination of the brown and tan too.

Naturalizer Creston $65

Biviel BV1309 $80

Pink Studio Shandi $40

Naturalizer Referee $70

Miz Mooz/Infinity Shoes:

These are on sale so they will go very quickly. I won't cry if I lose out on these because though I like them, they don't grab me. And I really need more flats.

Daria $50

Michele $50

Jacky $70

Saturday, July 26, 2008

So where were the comments?

I'm just wondering, what did you guys think of my wedding posts?

It's not like I'm going to start writing only about weddings but did I bore you? Or did you find them interesting? I doubt I'll write about any more of them except for updates (and better pictures) on this one, but still?

Please delurk and tell me your thoughts.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shout out to Simplicity

I just went to check out who had new patterns (yes, I know I still haven't finished that easy skirt I was making! Patience, please!)

Well, I just want to give a shout out to the Simplicity pattern company for this:

Simplicity 2822

Simplicity 2822, a pattern for making storage accessories for wheelchairs and walkers. This is the first pattern I've seen of this kind and I'm sure it will be a welcome to many parents out there. So, good for you Simplicity!

Also seen, Simplicity 2806, for four different types of "green" tote bags and now that Jo-anns is selling organic fabric...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Getting inspired...

Now that the wedding is over (and I got paid!) I treated myself to some reading material. $30 worth, in fact.


Real Simple, Country Living, Do-It-Yourself, Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion, Lucky, SewStylish, InStyle, not to forget my own subscriptions of Cottage Living, Domino, Glamour, and a Marie Claire that I picked up because uber-cool Maggie Gyllenhaal was on the cover.

I'm sure I'll be inspired with post ideas after paging through these, so can you wait just a little bit longer, ok?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wedding 08: Quick Update

Just a quick update to anyone who's interested. There will be more thoughts after I've recovered and processed it all:
  • First of all, everything worked out! No vendors failed me (they ALL excelled!), no rain (which was in the forecast earlier in the week), no one passed out from the heat (a miracle!), and the Bride loved all the surprises that the Groom and I had secretly planned (see one below)!

  • I was running around so much I didn't get to see the ceremony BUT the timing was perfect in that my having to chase the best man, who forgot his corsage, I did get to the Bride just in time to arrange her train, tell her how gorgeous she looked, (I hadn't seen her dress before!) and see her start down the aisle with her dad.

  • The reception site is separated from the ceremony site by a slight hill and a stone fence, so when I could get the chance, I would peek over the fence to see how the ceremony was going.

  • We worked about an hour late on schedule the whole evening but there is only so much you can do to rush a bride and groom from a cellphone. I still think we got out of the park by deadline. (I don't know because (bad planner!) the only person who was wearing a watch was the caterer.)
  • I didn't get to take many pictures so now I have to wait like everyone else. However, when they get the pictures in, I'll have some up here.

  • The room ended up looking so lovely, despite it's sad beginnings as a conference room.
  • During setup, the draping wasn't working so I made the executive decision to have them stop. Note to future brides, 50 yards of tulle goes nowhere, we would have needed 400 yards just to be safe. It was just the wrong weave material for the job. Thank god the bride trusted my judgment when she asked and I told her what I did. If need be though, the floral designer said she has my back.
The Getaway 1956 Rolls Royce

I've done back-to-back conferences with hundreds of people and assisted on events attended by royalty and a recent female candidate for president, but doing a wedding for a friend was a totally different story. Nerve wracking, in fact.

No matter how many times someone said it was perfect, or I was doing a great job, I couldn't just take the praise. This is what I still need to process.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Yeah, yeah, yeah...

I'm still here at home, but not for long.

I just put together an emergency kit for today: safety pins, bobby-pins, mints, band-aids, little packs of Advil & Motrin (don't worry, I saw 16 Candles!) tape, scissors, sewing needles, ivory thread, floral tape, some corsage pins, etc.

But I just couldn't stop surfing for wedding stuff. I think I'm addicted!

I just found this site, thoughtfulday, and checked out the pictures of her wedding. I was drawn to her dress, surprise, it's another bridesmaid dress! This one is by Thread, was $400, and is just perfect for a beach wedding like this one. Also check out her silver sandals!

She had a gorgeous color scheme, yellow and white, and she incorporated it elegantly yet also in a real fun way (check out the groom's yellow socks!)

So, now I'm off to pick up some stuff, including a vegan meal for one of the DJs, then to get everything ready for the event!

Images: by Anna Wolf

Wedding 08: Today's the Day!

Well, here I am the morning of the wedding.

The rehearsal yesterday went well despite the incredible heat.* I actually went straight home, had a popsicle, and took a nap because I was so wiped out. Then later at 10PM there was the post-family rehearsal dinner hangout at a local restaurant where the couple knew the owner. We ended up having the back patio to ourselves and I got to catch up with people I hadn't seen since college.

One of the funniest things of the night was finding out that despite my thinking that I didn't remember the groom at all from those days that once someone mentioned his old girlfriend (as in BradandAngelina) I suddenly remembered him. You know how there are couples that unfortunately get defined as a unit, so that alone they loose context and look familiar but there's just something missing. Well, that was this, once the couple moniker was used an image formed in my brain. Funny.

I ended up leaving around 2:30AM. Wow.

I want to show you a few images of items that were created for the wedding. Hopefully, I will have time to get better pictures of them on-site with my camera since I don't have the patience to wait for the professional pictures.

Table Centerpiece

The glass hurricane vases have moss inside that anchors ivory-painted willow branches with attached crystals. Since this pic, it was decided that pink and cream roses will also go around the lip of the vase, forcing the ivory painted willow stems together and giving them more of a massed look. I don't have a picture of that yet, but it will look great.

The base of the hurricanes will be surrounded by various shapes of candles in shades of cream, white, and a pale pink that the bride calls Blush. However, when I hear that, all I see and hear is Julia Roberts saying "my colors are blush and bashful" from Steel Magnolias. What you can't see clearly in the picture (and I haven't seen in person) are little glass marbles that the bride made with their initials and the wedding date along with "Blush" napkins printed with the same information.


these will become this


There's chocolate in there!

However, that's not all, because two days before the wedding the bride has also created table signs and name cards with a system for designating if you want the beef or chicken entree. Yes, a very busy bride!

There are also silver electric lantern lamps, beautiful white mini-lanterns to light the paths and to be suspended by shepherds hooks in the garden, hundreds of candle tapers, and silver urns to hold the bouquets at the reception. Yes, that's a lot. We don't think everything will be used but why not have everything at your disposal? We can always edit.

Just in my car alone, I will be carrying the painted event sign, five packs of votive candles for the mini lanterns, the electric lanterns, a black and white embroidered table runner, the favors, a bolt of ivory tulle, and a new cake platter!

Well, I'm going to go now, there is still lots to do, including a secret mission! I'll let you know how it all goes, ok?

*I've totally changed my mind on what I'm wearing because of it. No full-length lined linen dress for me!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wedding 08: Countdown!

The ceremony location, the Italian Gardens in Maymont Park

I don't know how many more posts you'll see from me this week. The wedding is only two days away, but I think I may have a few more wedding-related posts in me.

I have also been doing a little sewing so I'll get back to writing about that next week too. I made a teal blue petticoat!!

Wish us* luck!

Photo by diana.penn on Flickr

*The bridal couple and me, their friend and event coordinator

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wedding 08: The Look

C(oi)n Purse led me to a bride who bought a bridesmaid dress in ivory to wear as her dress.

Well, I've been suggesting this next thing to people for years. Have you seen some of these bridesmaid dresses from Watters and Watters, Alvina Valenta, and Jim Hjelm? Gorgeous! No excess ruffles, sequins, or colored iridescent lace, just beautiful dresses with elegant simple lines, and best of all, many times cheaper than dresses especially marketed as WEDDING dresses. Just imagine them in white or cream. Perfect, right?

Don't forget the budget savings of making your own dress too. Villain Extraordinaire has made an incredible red dress for her upcoming wedding that makes me think "steam-punk" for some reason and check out this slinky slip dress by Sweet Sassafras that has a prohibition-era speakeasy vibe to it. You should also check out her photographer, Jillian Kay.

Another wedding blogger whose archives were just combed over by me is Perfect Bound. I found so many beautiful inspiration photos there, like this beautiful birdcage veil and natural hairpiece.

Also look at the loveliness that is at the UK's Peonies and Polaroids; the images of dresses she has found on the web (like this vintage lovely), her DIY projects for her upcoming wedding (some already seen in the DIY contest from an earlier post), and her actual dress, which is a dream.

Images: Project Subrosa, Saraicat; Nicole Polk (via Perfect Bound), Perfect Bound; Peonies and Polaroids

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Oh no, they didn't...

During my daily Bloglines check, I clicked over to one of my favorite sites, Go Fug Yourself and saw this:

I can now say I've been proxy!

Four years ago, I bought an almost identical "jumpsuit" at my very first Forever 21 store while on business in Portland. Though the draping on my top is far superior, (it really is, it was the selling point for the outfit) mine has straps, and my top stops at mid-thigh; I still admit that this was a questionable purchase. I was on business trip, miserable, and it was on sale. That's all I can say. This is one of those outfits that was recently exiled to the hall closet. It has never been worn.


I think this is the same outfit; except for the straps, the fit is exactly the same and my pants are also semi-bell-bottomed. if only the pants had been straight from the hip down or tapered from the hip down; however, the bell-bottom look just isn't flattering. I will probably separate the top from the pants, because it really is flattering and draped well.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wedding 08: DIY

Designer extraordinaire Matthew Mead's great website, with seasonal DIY ideas for entertaining could definitely help a handy bride out.

At the end of last year, wedding website, Style Me Pretty held a DIY Wedding Projects contest. This one has some incredible ideas!

I already directed you to the C(oi)n Purse site a few days ago, but that was before I checked out her DIY projects! She gives the production and price breakdown for the centerpieces she is going to use for her tea ceremony-themed reception. Also check out the beautiful jewelry she made for herself.

Beau Coup is a company that makes favors, for weddings and parties of all sorts. Just look at this adorable bubble gum dispenser one for $2.95, great if you're having a small wedding.

Images: Matthew Mead, Style Me Pretty (also seen here!), Style Me Pretty, C(oi)n Purse, Beau Coup

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wedding 08: Words of wisdom and some whimsy

Here, I found a kindred spirit when it comes to using event-planning experience to produce a beautiful, meaningful, and yet still affordable wedding. I spent one night reading almost her entire archives. You must check out A Practical Wedding.

Here are other blogs that also preach substance, sensibility, and style:

A $10,000 Wedding
C(oi)n: Purse
Absolutely Gorgeous
Peonies and Polaroids
Offbeat Bride

Check out this great Etsy wedding gift guide!

For inspiration:

If you're carrying around an old creased and folded image from an old issue of Martha Stewart Weddings for inspiration there is a good chance that this woman, Rebecca Thuss, is responsible. She styled images for them, Blueprint, and the mother-ship, MS Living for years. The great news is that you can still view those images through her work portfolio here.