Saturday, January 29, 2011

4 months to go!

We picked up our bands from Zales today :)

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I was going to post them on our fingers….but decided not to. I’m going to post professional pics after the wedding instead!

Speaking of ring shots, here are some of my favorites from our photographer Jennifer Leatherwood:

 

 

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Starting to think about OUR ring shot…the possibilities are endless.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Our tasting at the Crowne Plaza

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Cocktail hour kicked off the tasting in the Plaza Ballroom. Hors d’oeuvres were passed and cheese, vegetable and shrimp cocktail displays were set up. A wine table and bar were also set up where we could sample drinks.

Finally the doors opened and we got to our assigned table. We were with 3 other couples and one couples’ parents. It was definitely tight with 10 people at the table..will have to keep this in mind when it comes time for seating charts.

Not crazy about the decor or look of the table we had. I think we’ll have folded napkins instead of stuffing the saucers. Each table at the tasting had a different look to it to give couples a chance to see all the linen and chair options.

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What I’m picturing our napkins to look like:
TreasuredEditions on Etsy 

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Two buffet lines set up at either side of the ballroom and we were able to sample Chicken Escarole and Tuscan Minestrone soups, 3 types of chicken, 2 or 3 types of fish and their accompaniments – wild rice, duchess mashed potatoes and I think string beans. Then there was a carving station with prime rib and filet mignon, garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus.

We both tried the Chicken Francaise, Chicken Breast with Apple Stuffing, Poached Pear Rosemary Chicken Breast, Filet Mignon, and all the sides.

Going into it, I thought for sure we’d picked the Francaise…my favorite dish aside from Chicken Piccata…I’m a lemon girl! However, there was no lemon taste and thought it was very dry. I was so disappointed. We were equally disappointed with the Chicken Breast and Apple Stuffing…

The last chicken we tried was so delicious, moist and flavorful - Poached Pear Rosemary Chicken! And, the Filet Mignon was equally pleasing. All of the sides were delicious as well.

What we didn’t try because they were not available, were pasta with marinara, and salad (understandable).

So, our meal choices will be Filet Mignon with a Peppercorn glaze, garlic mashed and green beans;

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and, Poached Pear Rosemary Chicken Breast, duchess mashed potatoes, and green beans.

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It was such an easy choice! In the foyer they had a table set up displaying the presentations of each dish.

And then…there was cake….lots of cake. Neither Dan nor myself are big cake people…we much prefer fudgy brownies, or myself, a lemon danish from an italian bakery…or cheesecake…something much more rich, you get the idea.

So, we tried vanilla cake with lemon filling (shown below), marble cake with raspberry filling, and chocolate cake with chocolate ganache filling.

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Completely blown away. These cakes were out of this world good. Their buttercream frosting was JUST right. This pastry chef definitely hit a home run. 

We also got to sample their tuxedo strawberries..also delish!

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So we got to thinking…I wonder what kind of designs this chef can do…Mind you, we had a dummy cake booked with Shemry (who is also amazing). We watched a slideshow of his cakes and this one immediately caught my eye (sorry for the odd screen capture)…..tall, dramatic, with fluffy hydrangea layers in between….the fluffiness mimics my dress :)  
And ALL 4 of these layers are real? And it’s part of the package??

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We decided to cancel the dummy cake and go with this! Saving us a decent amount of money. Shemry is amazing and I still highly recommend her! We simply decided to do this to save us some money…and it’s part of the package, so why not?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We purchased our wedding bands!

On MLK Jr Day, we took a deep breath and went to purchase our rings! It was so exciting and one of those moments when you think “wow, this is totally starting to feel very real”.

The Groom’s

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Mine – something like this…

 

I totally surprised myself. In the beginning I wanted a lot of metal to the band, but I tried on a lot and they didn’t look good with my e-ring. This style looks amazing with it and I’m so happy! The diamonds only go halfway so I don’t have to worry about losing any underneath and they won’t scratch anything. We purchased both at Zales…they had a great sale going on too! Can’t wait to engrave them!

Shoes: We have a winner!

So last week I posted on the Dessy Satin Peep Toe Flats that I purchased in size 11.

The size 11’s were a failure…way too big:

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So I returned them, re-ordered 2 more pairs, in sizes 9 and 10. The 11’s were so big I thought the 9’s would be the ones. I was wrong.
The 10’s were…a 10! :-)

Dessy Satin Peep Toe Flats, Ivory

They are VERY comfortable and the bottom is a soft gray suede.

Oy… I need a pedicure. Thinking magenta toe nail polish for the wedding.

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Again, I can’t WAIT to replace the bows with something much cuter.

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So, since I refuse to pay for shipping back to Dessy, I have my first wedding item for sale!

SIZE 9 – DESSY SATIN PEEP TOE FLATS in Ivory | $30.00
Brand new, never worn. Why pay shipping? :)
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*I believe a normal size 10 will fit into these, as I am normally size 11 and I fit into a 10.
Must be local to Rhode Island or nearby Massachusetts.
Please email me at dansbride52911@gmail.com if interested.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CB2 Pillows

Got another promotional email from one of Crate & Barrel’s sister sites CB2…This time it was all about pillows, and boy did they catch my eye!

My three faves, for a studio/office:

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What’s a world without color??

Update on the Shred

Here’s a re-cap of the last few workouts:

I am loving the 30 minute workout! I can workout and get ready in just over one hour. I could try to work this into my morning routine eventually.

Note: Find all of these updates in my new Fitness Log page over in the left column.

Today is Tuesday 1/18/11 - Almost 24 hours after my last workout, I’m feeling great. Feeling stronger in all the right places – legs, lower back and core. Will be doing the Shred for a second straight day tonight after work. (I think you’re supposed to do it for 30 consecutive days, but I’m taking it slow in the beginning.)

Monday, 1/17/11 - Did the Shred. Definitely broke a sweat, and still very challenging. The cardio part is an excellent interval with “jump rope", lots of jumping jacks and butt kicks. Will be upping the hand weights from 3’s to 5's or 8's for some of the moves to get a better upper body workout.

Saturday, 1/15/11 - Tried the Yoga Meltdown, Level 1. Having taken about 10 yoga classes in the past year, I knew many of the poses. However, if you have never taken any classes, you might want to watch Level 1 first, then do it. Very quick transitions, not much time to look up without hurting your neck :-) Felt a little sore, but not as much as I'd like to have felt...I had to stop a lot to see what she was doing. 

Wednesday, 1/12/11 - Had a snow day from work, did Jillian's Level 1 on the Shred. Definitely an intense workout and wonder about the effectiveness of the 3-pound hand weights I used throughout. Sore the next two days.

Tuesday, 1/11/11 - Purchased Jillian Michael's 30-Day Shred as well as her Yoga Meltdown.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Taming the beast: Invitations

Designing for one’s self is, in a word, challenging. All of these ideas are flowing in my head for invitations the more I browse blogs and wedding sites. Today, I decided on the following decisions so I can put this matter to rest ONCE AND FOR ALL.

1.) STOP browsing blogs and wedding sites in search of further inspiration for my invites. Simply appreciate what I see, and carry on. What I’ve already designed is simple, beautiful and very appropriate for our wedding. There are roughly 4 months to go and other details require attention. MOVE ON. No one is going to care more than me what these things look like. Most will end up in the trash.

2.) I’m going with patterned bellybands to keep the suite together. Why? Well, they’re pretty, for one.

Secondly, they cost less.

For argument’s sake we’ll use 120 for the actual count.

Pocketfolds would cost $82.80 + shipping if I went with the Turquoise 5x7.

Patterned bellybands will cost $45.00 + shipping. They come in packs of 25 and I’d need 5 packs…a discount is applied if you buy 5-8 packs. Sweet! I’ll order the Flourish or Garden print on Crystal metallic with Turquoise ink.

3.) Figure out how I’ll clasp the bellybands…whether with a 2x2 square, circle, or custom shape, or wax seal…whatever is cheapest and looks best.

4.) I will get three printing quotes this week from 3 local printers and compare to a site I found online that does small digital runs: Smartpress.com.

Smartpress has a pearly metallic stock called Ice Silver that comes from Appleton Coated’s Curious Collection…an amazing collection!

Here’s a quote from Smartpress:

120 count 5x7 invites on #110 Cover, Ice Silver, color ink = $90.35 (includes shipping)

1 insert + 1 RSVP card, both 4.5x5.5, on #110 Cover, Ice Silver, color ink = $128.30 total…they split orders! Great cost savings.

4.) Envelopes I will determine this week…I promise!

5.) I booked a calligrapher last week for outer envelopes!

That feels better. :-)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Third wedding day shoe purchase

It continues… I received my third purchase yesterday.

(Remember my first and second purchases?)

So, here is #3…the Dessy Satin Peep-toe Flats in Ivory, size 11.

Online view

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In Person

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The soles have a really soft gray suede lining and a little extra cushion in the heel.

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Front top view…these things look huge.

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Back view…weird wrinkles, but maybe that’s the “style”.

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I guess if you like bows, these are for you. They have a more casual feel with these bows, which I’m definitely removing and replacing with something dressier.

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And….without further adieu, here they are, on.

Excuse the veiny feet and sock impressions around the ankles…I got home late last night to find the package and was so excited to try them on!

So, um, they’re HUGE. Not only do I have a ton of room to spare in the top, they flopped off of my as I walked.

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These run insanely big. I am a true size 11 but these felt like 12’s or 13’s. The material feels like it has some give, so I KIND of have a feeling I could get away with 9’s.

Conclusion: I do think these are my wedding shoes. They’d be comfortable and I could most definitely style these up…and I’m pretty sure they’re a dead match for the ivory of my dress…as much as I hate to wear ivory shoes after swearing I’d wear blue.

Dessy does not have an exchange policy, as noted here. So, I had to place another order for 2 more pairs – sizes 9 AND 10, just to be on the safe side…and return these 11’s. For a site like Dessy that is so widely advertised and talked about, I would like to think they have their acts together. But now I have to absorb all these shipping charges so this pair of flats will likely end up costing $50 bucks before embellishing. Oy.

Shoe update to follow when I receive the new shipment!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

30-Day Shred

A few days ago I came to the realization I just don’t have the time to put into P90X – it requires at least a hour a day, 6 days a week…7 days if you do the stretching.

With some of you followers and my friends suggesting Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred, I looked into it some more, heard great things, and bought it last night @ Walmart for $9.00. I certainly can do the 30-minute intense workouts that the Shred provides.

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With today being a snow day here in Rhode Island, I popped in the DVD and did her Level 1 sequence before lunch. I got a GREAT workout – there were even parts I had to stop a second (even though she tells you not to) to catch my breath or give my muscles a second to stop hurting. I did ALL of the abs moves without quitting! So, on my first day I think I did great and I’m starting to hurt in all the right places (legs and abs) – to me that’s a good sign! So happy I bought it.

I also bought her Yoga Meltdown (also $9 @ Walmart). I love yoga and it’s effects, but a 90-minute class is a big time commitment. I don’t have the most routine schedule right now either.

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So – I’m figuring I’ll do the 30-Day Shred (not sure how quickly to advance to Level 2 and 3) and try doing her Yoga Burn 2 days a week on top of it.

Thank you followers and friends for this suggestion! Will report back on how I’m doing.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Tuxes: Check!

This was super easy – we agreed on everything! I admit – I got teary eyed when I saw my groom all dressed up…it definitely hit me!

We nixed the gray tux idea – in 20 years we want to look back and smile because we went with a classic look :)

Ivory vest and shirt, ivory paisley tie and matching ivory paisley pocket square.

The one thing that will be different here is the vest – it will be 4-button instead of 6 (shown).

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The guys – ivory shirt, black vest, black paisley tie and we’re using leftover fabric from the girls’ dresses for the 7 pocket squares! Their vest will also be 4-button instead of 6 as shown.

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Thank you Jackie from Carl Anthony Tuxedo (Cranston, RI)!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Craving Salt? 30 Healthy Snacks

More tips for the wedding day slim down.

I usually crave salty snacks in the afternoon. Self Magazine has a great list that’s also calorie-conscious!

  • 5 olives (any kind) (45 calories)
  • 1 small Martin's pretzel (50 calories)
  • 2 oz Applegate Honey and Maple Turkey Breast wrapped around 2 bread-and-butter pickles (80 calories)
  • 1/4 cup hummus, 3 carrot sticks (80 calories)
  • 1 Laughing Cow Light Swiss Original wedge, 3 pieces Kavli Crispy Thin (85 calories)
  • One 1-oz package tuna jerky (90 calories)
  • 1 oz buffalo mozzarella, 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (94 calories)
  • 1 bag Baked! Cheetos 100 Calorie Mini Bites (100 calories)
  • 15 Eden's Nori Maki Crackers rice crackers (110 calories)
  • 1 cup unshelled edamame (120 calories)
  • 50 Eden's Vegetable Chips (130 calories)
  • One 1-oz package of Planters NUT-trition almonds (130 calories)
  • 1/4 cup Trader Joe's Chili con Queso, 18 baked tortilla chips (140 calories)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds in shell (143 calories)
  • 2 pieces (30 grams) prosciutto, 4 dried figs (154 calories)
  • 1 Subway Turkey Breast Wrap (190 calories)


Craving sweet?

Check out their healthy ideas here >

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fitness, eating well, and goals

 

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Happy Wedding Year!
(to us, and to all of you 2011 brides!)

My little sis / Maid of Honor got engaged on Christmas Eve! They are currently thinking a Spring wedding in 2012. So excited to help her plan stuff too! We’re going to the Southern New England Bridal Expo at the RI Convention Center this Sunday…my last hoorah and her first!

Coming up is my shower toward the end of March and my bachelorette party I assume will be some time in April :) All of these occasions to look good for!

First dress fitting is exactly ONE MONTH from today.

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I’ve begun eating better since all of the last of the holiday cookies got tossed. Protein is the key in staying satiated. I once heard you should eat like a king for breakfast, queen for lunch, and a prince for dinner. Good thing breakfast is my favorite meal of the day.

Here’s what I’ve been doing:

  • 2-3 egg whites in a frying pan with a bit of non-stick spray, a smidge of salt and a bunch of black pepper
  • whole wheat English muffin or a slice of whole wheat toast, a smidge of real butter on the toast or muffin (because the fake stuff is all chemicals),
  • coffee with 1-2 teaspoons of real sugar, 1% whole milk (takes getting used to)
  • small glass of OJ or grapefruit juice
  • piece of fruit..apple, banana, orange or grapefruit.

The key is getting that metabolism going.

Having a mid-morning snack of red grapes, a tablespoon of peanut butter (I keep it at my desk), a chobani yogurt or protein bar is great.

Lunches are tough but I’m working on that…tunafish with celery, carrots, or red onion, some lite mayo and a whole wheat pita is really great. Tuna can be replaced with low-sodium turkey from the deli…but I’m considering cooking up my own turkey breast and slicing it up for the week..no fillers or preservatives and I know what I season it with.

Afternoon snacks are the same as morning options but I sometimes like to have a coffee to rev up that metabolism, preparing me for my workout after work. A banana in the afternoon, if you haven’t had one in the morning, is great brain food. Banana’s actually have lots of sugar in them so it’s best to stick with medium to small size bananas. I keep unsweetened applesauce at work along with flavored seltzer when I craved carbonation.

Dinners are anything ranging from a protein shake to chicken or a lean meat and fresh steamed vegetables..whole grain rice or a sweet potato is good too…and I love a cup of tea at night.

And did I mention I drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day?
I love my Sigg.

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Yesterday was rough – 2pm salty food cravings….so I had a clementine right from Spain (amazing this time of year) and one square of 86% cacao dark chocolate…but no respite. I am dying for French fries!

I fit into my dress just fine but still would love to tone up and lose a few more pounds and get back to my high school weight…and of course tone the abs, butt and thighs. Months ago, I was reading a wedding blog…a bride was looking back at her wedding photos and wished she had worked harder to lose that last 10 pounds…when else will I ever get to look as best I can? “I think I can, I think I can…”

Last winter we did P90X in preparation for our cruise in May…it was amazing and definitely had a positive impact on our health. We drank protein shakes along with trying to eat better...we totally looked and felt our best, but I think I could have done ever better if I squeezed out that last crunch, or did just one more rep or lunge, or had 10 less potato chips here and there.

This Sunday begins our P90X marathon…along with brisk walks during lunch break, I am convinced I can look and feel my best by 5/29!

Please share your fitness/diet tips!