Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Half-Christmas Eve :)

If there's one thing I'm obsessed with, it's Christmas. I blame genetics.

I can't remember a time growing up that we didn't have at least 3 trees in our house. 

I can't remember a Thanksgiving where we didn't have our house full-out decorated for Christmas. 

I have very vague memories of  the "Christmas in July" parade in Wildwood and my mom sneaking Christmas shopping in while we were down the shore (she had 6 kids, the only way to do it up was to start early). 

I can honestly say that I've never gone on vacation and not bought a Christmas ornament or decoration. 

Jay gets a kick out of making fun of me, to no end, about these admissions. He thinks I'm ridiculous, I think it's fantastic. So when he came into our room with coffee for me this morning and started with, "I know that I shouldn't say this because I know I'm just waking the demond (yea, that's how he said it) but guess what today is?"

Muffled by pillows and blankets and probably some terrible bed head, I responded, "Idunnowhat?"

"6 months til Christmas Eve."


(I'm pretty sure at this point I did a little victory dance) I popped my head out from the covers and took a sip of coffee, smiled and said, "welcome to the dark side".

You have to understand it has taken me 4.5 years to get him to support my crazy Christmas hijinks. We {my mom, sisters and I} start listening to Christmas music in July August. We take down Halloween decorations and put up Christmas decorations in the same weekend. We refer to Thanksgiving as Christmas-practice. When my brother and sister-in-law bought their house last year, the first thing we all said was how awesome their Home-Alone-style abode would look decorated for Christmas and discussed where they could put trees (who needs furniture?!)

So 4.5 years later, Jay has finally succumbed... Happy Half-Christmas Eve!!

We'll be celebrating with these later tonight :)

P.S... when I called my mom to tell her about these antics, she told me she loves it... and that she already bought me a Christmas present.... I can't even express how perfect that was and how much I LOVE her for making life sooo fun!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Tux Time

Jay and I took a little trip to Men's Warehouse last weekend to pick out the tuxes for himself and the boys.

Nothing too fancy - just their new Black by Vera Wang tuxes that are slightly James Bond-esque. We went for classic black with a straight tie (bow ties often times look crooked, that drives me nuts!) We also went with an ivory shirt because my dress is ivory - the great people at Men's Warehouse were soooo accommodating, they even let me high jack both shirts and take them across the shopping center to David's Bridal so I could compare them to my dress (yea, my sanity needed me to have that crazy moment)

The vest and tie that Jay will wear is a matte black with no pattern and the guys are wearing a shinier herringbone pattern vest and tonal stripe tie. We're happy with the choice. We thought about going with gray vests for the guys but nothing seemed right, I felt like all the vests were too Ken Doll silvery - so we revamped and did everyone in black. Jay won't stand out as much, but we figured that everyone will know he's the groom. Funny how that works, right?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Home on the Range...

Original List: Black
1st Update: Blue
2nd Update: Pink
updates from today: Green

The moral of this story is "slow and steady wins the race" but I have to admit, living in a house "under construction" really sucks. We're still residing in the basement while we try to fix up the rest of the house and it is getting REALLY OLD. The only saving grace is that the basement is wayyyy cooler (temperature) than the rest of our house thanks to the need for a new AC unit. My signature move is hand-in-gun-shape-pressed-to-temple with the sometimes added bonus of other hand blowing up on opposite side of my head. I'm sure Jay's over it.


  • Paint All Rooms/Hall/Stairwell
    • Ceilings (prime, 2 coats paint) Fix all nail pops in ceiling... GRRR!!! we already fixed, spackled, sanded, primed and painted these in EVERY room and they're back! Talked to my dad and got the inside scoop on this issue - now it's just a matter of time to fix them.
    • Walls (prime, 2 coats paint)
    • Trim (2 coats paint)
    • Doors (2 coats paint) 
    • Closet Doors (spray: prime, paint) waiting for nicer weather so I can spray outside This weekend, it's happening!
  • Stair railings 
  • Chandelier and new lighting for stairwell/hallway shopping for one... can't find anything I love (that Jay agrees on)
  • Carpet in process :) delayed due to unforeseen bathroom troubles
    • bedrooms
    • hall 
    • steps
  •  New hardware on all doors
    • door knobs
    • hinges
    • door stops
  • New Closet doors for Master (french-style), move current ones to office and pantry.
  • Add pot lights to all rooms and hall
  • Bathrooms scheduled for May June?
    • Redo Hall Bath (all white pieces)
      • New vanity
      • New light - loving this one
      • New medicine cabinets
      • New tub (soaker, deep!)
      • New Toilet
      • New tile floor Picked out! check it out here
      • New faucets (sink, bath, shower)
      • New fan
      • Close up wall between bathroom and vanity/closet area (where new bathroom will go)
      • New fixtures (shower curtain bar, towel bars, toilet paper holder, etc) purchased these pretties at Lowes: double towel bar, 3-piece bathroom set, hooks
      • New shower curtain, towels, accessories
      • New cabinet over toilet
    • Add Master Bath scheduled for May June?
      • Run plumbing
      • Change drywall to water-resistant
      • New vanity - has to be a pedestal sink to save space. Loving this beauty because it's taller than normal height, which is great for us since we're taller than normal height ;)
      • New light - up in the air on whether to do oil-rubbed bronze or polished nickle in the master, but I'm kind of obsessed with this light
      • New medicine cabinet 
      • New stall shower with glass door or maybe a curtain... small space doesn't really leave room for a swinging door. bummer - upside - curtains are easier to clean.
      • New tile floor trying to convince Jay to let me use this one
      • New faucets (sink, shower)
      • New fan
      • New cabinet over toilet
      • New towels, accessories. registered for these amazing PB towels... super ridiculously soft and can be bleached - two most important qualities in bath towels as far as I'm concerned.
      • Move existing door to current bathroom to other side to opening between new bathroom and master bedroom.
  • Move furniture upstairs (from basement and storage) after carpet is in
  • Hang plantation blinds, curtain rods, and new curtains in all windows. Planning for this weekend after carpet is in.
  • Decorate. Planning for this weekend, but will most likely be an ongoing venture. after carpet is in Lots of things are already purchased and just hanging out on the guest room floor waiting to be put on the walls...

  • Paint all ceilings (prime, 2 coats paint) leaky upstairs bathroom has put this on hold for the living/dining room area, otherwise it's all done!
  • Paint all walls (prime, 2 coats paint) see above
  • Paint all trim (2 coats paint) see above
  • Paint doors (prime, 2 coats paint)
  •  New hardware on all doors
    • door knobs 
    • hinges 
    • door stops 
  •  Kitchen
    • Take down vertical blinds (and destroy them!) Lead to pulling off trim and replacing with wider, prettier trim that actually covers the gap from the door to the drywall... always something!  New trim is painted and ready to be put up... waiting on the best dad ever to have some spare time to come help us :)
    • Take down ceiling fans (let them go the way of the vertical blinds) New Lights are up! LOVE THEM! Thank you Ikea for our cheap fix to a serious eyesore.
    • Clean and organize cabinets and pantry
    • shelf liner inside cabinets
    • New flooring picked out
    • Add closet doors to pantry (use doors from master bedroom closet) need new doors, different size opening than upstairs closets, Boo!
    • New hinges and hardware on cabinets ordered! Pulls and hinges are in but I have to order new knobs... Anthro kind of screwed me on this one. Still bitter.
    • New stainless appliances (fridge, range, dishwasher, over-range microwave with vent)
    • Bead board back splash boo! was told this was a bad idea because it's super-high maintenance. Looking for pretty tiles instead.
    • New stone counter tops (some light whitish-gray color) our neighbor is redoing his kitchen and giving us his black granite counter tops. BOOM!! (end of summer)
    • New kitchen table & chairs
    • Add moulding around windows and doors + new base boards in process, courtesy of my dear old dad!
    • Add island with 2 stools
    • Decorate: chalk board!! and memo-center stuffins 
    • Paint Kitchen Cabinets white... sounds easier than it is... lots i
  •  Living Room
    • sand walls to remove the lovely faux finish (which also is sand) in preparation for painting don't have to! wooooo hooooo!!! one less step! still need to prime and paint but that has to wait til bathroom plumbing is done
    • Hang plantation blinds, curtain rods (from Shiela and Jay), and new curtains in all windows.
    • Hang TV above fireplace
    • Decorate: need rug and furniture and lamps and everything... got 2 chairs for in front of the fire place. I'm in love. pictures forthcoming :)
  • Dining Room
    • Hang chandelier
    • Recover chairs for dining room set
    • 2 new chairs for table-heads
    • Decorate: Rug, mirror above buffet
  • Powder Room almost done!!
    • Bead board or board and batten - on hold til a million other projects are finished
    • new medicine cabinet/mirror purchased. didn't love it. returned. on the hunt for a new one
    • new flooring  - on hold til a million other projects are finished
    • new fixtures (towel rack, toilet paper holder) scored some pretty Martha Stewart ones and got them hung up last week: towel bar, towel ring, TP holder
    • new lighting vanity style still need new light, not sure if we're moving the electric so that it can be a vanity style instead of overhead... for now the old light is back in place and it'll do.
    • new fan  Jay is going to install this weekend :)
    • Scored some cute accessories at TJ Maxx including a trash can, towels and a soap dispenser.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Rehearsal Dinner Dress Overload?

Indecisive should be my middle name...

Currently, I am in possession of all 3 of these dresses. I have NO IDEA which one I'm going to wear. I bought #1 originally to wear for engagement pictures. I already had #2, it was purchased from David's Bridal when I returned the tiara because they only let you exchange and don't issue store credit for over $50 (the only complaint I have about that store). I figured I'd need a dress for the Rehearsal Dinner and that one was super cute so why not. Then I came across #3 while looking for engagement picture dresses and it was exactly what I wanted for the RD so I bought it... you can see that #2 and #3 are almost identical except for the sleeve length - both  even have the exposed zipper down the back. Clearly, I don't need all 3... just have to figure out which one makes the cut.

#1 is less fitted and more floaty, the only trouble with it is the lace panel down the front... it definitely is better for flat chested girls as the scallops stick out funny, so if I keep it, I'll have my mom tack down the edges.

#2 fits great and looks nice on but I am super-self-conscious about my arms and not sure how I feel about the cap-sleeves. I'm also not sure how I feel about cap sleeves for November... but I love how the top is sheer lace and the scallop hem and the zipper back.

#3 is exactly what I was looking for. I love everything about it, but I'm a glutton for punishment and ordered it a size too small. I can always exchange it but I'm really hoping I can loose enough to make it work :)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Rehearsal Dinner Dresses... the Search is (back) on

I've been looking for a fabulous Rehearsal dinner dress for a while now... I might have fifty-thousand pinned on Pinterest. Turns out, I have champagne taste on a beer budget. The good news, we're beer-drinkers where I come from, so I'm totally up for the challenge of finding an amazing dress and scoring a big deal on it!
Dress 1, Dress 2, Dress 3
I'm kind of obsessed with BHLDN. Their dresses and jewelry and accessories are gorgeous but let's be honest... even their sale stuff isn't really a great deal, and that said, their non-sale goods are just not in my budget. I love the lacy looks above but dress 1 costs more than my wedding dress. That's probably a good indicator that it's too much for the rehearsal dinner. Come on though... you can't say they aren't soooo pretty!!

Dress 4 (unavailable online store, similar), Dress 5, Dress 6
So I've continued the search and I actually bought dress #4 at the H&M store (can buy it on e-bay here)and it's SUPER-ridiculously-6-inches-too-short. I can wear it as a shirt, with leggings, but DEFINITELY not as a dress... especially not to church! Even if it were 6 inches longer, it would probably still be just long enough. So I love this dress, and 5 & 6 but I'm just way too tall for these tiny mini dresses, which are clearly made for petite tiny lil ladies (I'm neither of those). I'd even go as so far to say that watch your back (literally... and maybe avoid stairs) if you are over 5'5" because these might even be too scandalous on you! These are all really cute and inexpensive but just too short #tallgirlproblems.

So I've had too expensive and too short... so of course I'll have to Goldilocks it up a bit here and find something just right.

Ralph Lauren, Adrianna Papell, Jessica Simpson, Marina
Macy's is the old stand by... I can ALWAYS find something great there and it seems like they are ALWAYS having some kind of sale. For instance, I got a coupon packet in the mail this week that lasts til the end of August (3 months!) All of these dresses are great but I have to say, my favorite is the Adrianna Papell dress. It rocks, and it's got long sleeves which I love for November. It also has a great exposed gold zipper all the way down the back so it makes the dress a little more contemporary.

And lastly, David's Bridal has some awesome options that I'm totally excited about, mostly because they give you 20% off when you purchase a "reception dress".

1, 2, 3, 4
I'm not going to lie, #1 is totally my favorite but I don't really want something like that for the rehearsal dinner. #3 is exactly what I was looking for. It's very similar to the Adrianna Papell dress I love at Macy's only cap sleeves. As it stands now, I own #3 (from when I exchanged the crazy-crown and DB wouldn't issue a store credit for anything over $50... minor annoyance and my only complaint about the place).

But... I have a tendency to change my mind. A LOT. So we'll see what happens. I might have also ordered the AP dress from Macy's (with a 20% off coupon and a $75 gift card... today... while I was writing this post) that definitely happened.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Engagement Pictures... props and name change

The entire month of June is completely booked up for us! I can't even believe summer's already here and I'm afraid I'll blink my eyes and it'll be time for Engagement Session with Steph!

I've been fussing over what to wear since we booked Saltwater Studios and decided to get the engagement pictures... it's amazing how crazy I've been over something so silly but I figure, they're the pictures that will be in the guest book and hanging in our house along with the wedding photos and I want them to be super- cute.

I finally got it together and ordered some goods for the pictures. A couple dresses and this adorable hat.

I first spotted that baby over on Makenna Bleu's blog for her engagement session and I totally had to steal the idea. She's the cutest! Then I saw it on The Jackson Five Blog and it just sealed the deal...

It's ordered... with my New Monogram... EDT and should be here sometime in the next 2 weeks. AWESOMESAUCE! I can't wait :)

On the topic of monograms... I've heard mixed things about keeping your middle name vs. maiden name when you get married. Since Jay didn't go for taking my last name, I was a bit torn on what to do for the new monicker. Keep my last name? Short and sweet... or keep my middle name, which just flows so well with the rest of my names? It was a tough decision... I practiced writing it out, I like writing B's better than T's... Jay called me out on my crazy when I told him what I was doing... but I love the sound of Eileen Theresa so I decided to keep my middle name and change my last name. Who knows if I did the right thing, but I'm happy with it so who cares, right?

I cannot wait til my new hat arrives!!!!