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Actually, it’s more like wardrobe dilemma, but I like alliteration too much.  Back in October, shortly after L and I got engaged, we headed out to Wilmington, NC to look at some potential venues and check out our first bridal show.  As you know, we chose a venue that is in Winston-Salem, no where near Wilmington or any other part of the coast.  But, while we were at the bridal show, we won a free engagement session – no strings attached!  When it’s all said and done, we’ll receive the disc with edited photos and rights to print.  All for free!  How awesome is that?!

The other great part is that we can do it anywhere in the Wilmington area.  Since we were so torn between a beach wedding or not a beach wedding and subsequently ended up with the latter, we love the option of doing our engagement pictures at the beach.  It’s a nice compromise. 🙂  So that’s what we decided to do – and the big day is Thursday.

You know what?  I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!  Thus, I need your help.

We’re able to have a couple of outfit changes and I think we’re going to start the shoot out by some little beach shops and then move on to the actual beach.

L will most likely be wearing nice khaki shorts and a button down shirt in some sort of blue. 

We’re going for casual, but nice.  So I’m thinking of a cute dress and then maybe pants.  Not sure.  Here’s what I came up with after way too much shopping in my closet and at the outlets I went to today.

Shoes are a big concern.  L is taller than me, but when I put shoes on, the difference is very slight.  If he’s wearing dress shoes or winter shoes, it’s not so bad because the slight ‘man heel’ or thicker sole help, but he’ll be wearing Rainbows, so that means I can’t really wear heels.  Especially the heels that go with some of these dresses because they’re about 3.75″ high.  He says it makes him feel short when I stand next to him.  And I feel like a giant.  I just don’t want to look stumpy with flats on.  And I don’t have any heels that aren’t super high that will go with any of the dresses – and I don’t want to buy new ones.

For dresses:


For the longest time, this is the dress I was planning to wear.  I bought it last year to wear to L’s sister’s graduation and our trip to Savannah.  Then I put it on again this year and hated it.  I took the time to iron it today and try it on again and I liked it much better than the other day.  Here, I have it on with beaded green flip flops. 


Same dress with the shoes I wish I could wear.  I love the way my make my calves look better. (Please excuse Shep’s tail in the photo).  Maybe I could bring the shoes for any photos that you won’t be able to tell how tall I am.  I like when photographers cut off the couple’s head.


Then there’s this dress I bought at the end of last summer.  It’s a dark purple color and I’m wearing the same flip flops as above.  (Also, I couldn’t help the sun coming in and this is the only mirror I can take pictures in)


Again, with the amazingly lovely, tall, tall shoes.


I found this one in Target today for $20.  It’s a darker pink and has a little more red in it.  I guess I would go with the same green flip flops.

And now for the second outfit.  This is basically the same outfit with slight variations.


Navy chinos from J. Crew outlet (on sale for $39!), a very light blue tshirt with knotted front and yellow cardigan.  I think the yellow is too bright though – I thought it was more pale when I bought it.


Same, but with a white cardigan.


Same with a slightly off white ruffly cardigan.  I’m just not sure if the ruffles go with the shirt.  Do you think they compete too much with the knot?


Same, but this white cardigan fits a little smaller, which I think I like better if I’m going to keep it open.


Just so you can see what the tshirt looks like on its own.


If I wore this on the beach, I thought it would look cute to roll up the pants and walk through the water.


Here’s the ruffly cardigan with a dark pink shirt. 

So here’s my question – which dress?  Or do they all suck?  I really want to wear pink because it’s my signature color.  Seriously.   But also want to choose what looks best. And what about the pants/cardigan option?  Blue shirt underneath or pink?  White cardigan or ruffly cardigan? (I’m pretty much eliminating the yellow bc I feel like it’s too bright – unless you think it looks fabulous).  You can’t really see it in the photos, but I have pink sandals on – so I still get a hint of pink in there.  Plus, I feel like you can’t get much more beachy than navy and white.

Thoughts?

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Give me what seems to be an impossible mission, specifically a shopping mission, and I will succeed. 

My green shoe search?  It’s been solved.

I had noticed that a lot of the options in green that I had been finding were by Caparros, even though many of them were out of the size I needed.  While searching the internet, I found a few comments on threads by women that said they found theirs in the store, but not online.  So, it was time to hit the pavement. 

I stopped into Off-Broadway Shoes (like DSW) the other day when I was out running errands.  I started off at the end with the dressier shoes and came across an evening clutch in the most fabulous green color.  This was the exact color I was looking for – now if only it were a pair of shoes!  I looked at the tag and what do you know?  It was by Caparros.  I kept strolling the row and came across a green pair, also by Caparros, but much too winter-y.  As I walked, I scanned the other aisles and was sure I was going to walk out of this store no closer to solving the green shoe mystery.

But as I made my way toward the end of the row and was rounding the corner to the second row, I spotted them!  Green.  Slingbacks. Perfect.  And what do you know, they’re also by Caparros.  I glanced down at the boxes looking for my size to try them on and noticed that they had every size I needed.  They were pretty, the right color, relatively comfortable and not too high. 

And then it got better.  Yes, BETTER!  They were $49.99, so they fit in the price range I was looking for.  But that’s not the good part.  They were an additional 30% off.  Grand total – $35!

Now, factor in the $10 from me and the $10 from my mom, and each girl will spend $15!  Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

I didn’t want to buy them before asking my girls what they thought, so I texted a picture to each of them.  Everyone likes them, one girl questions whether they’ll match the dress or not though, but she likes the shoe in general and wouldn’t mind wearing them.

I think that they will go with the dress, but maybe I’m just blinded because I’m so excited I found green shoes.  They aren’t very chunky or clunky when they’re on.  What do you think?

As a reminder, here’s the dress:

 

 

 

The girls will also have green flowers and green jewelry.  I was thinking about having my matron of honor wearing pink shoes, and these come in pink, but it’s more purple than pink, so that’s a no go.

Sometimes I think I like something that is more like this style:

And I’m sure if I wait for the spring lines to come out, I’ll probably find something more like this.  But, they probably won’t be on sale if they just came out!  And I really don’t want my girls to spend a lot of money on shoes.  Especially green shoes.  And you can’t beat $35/$15!

But anyway… do you think the green ones go with the dress?

I’ve gotten a lot of big things checked off my list of wedding related tasks.  Wedding gown? Check. Venue? Check. Photographer? Check. Videographer? Check. Bridesmaid dresses? Check.  Wedding shoes? Check.  And I’m stuck searching for one item.  Bridesmaid shoes.

I saw this picture long ago, way before our engagement, that made me fall in love with navy and green.  Specifically the green shoes.


I saved this photo long ago and don’t know from where.  If it’s yours, I’m happy to credit or remove at request.

I’ve been on the lookout for green shoes everywhere and can’t find anything I like.  My only hope that is in the next couple months, more options will present themselves when the spring lines come out.  But you know what?  I don’t want to wait a few months.  I want to find them now.

I have searched the internet looking for green, preferably satin, shoes that are not ridiculously expensive.  I’m looking for something no more than $50.  I will cover $10 of each pair and my mom said she would cover $10 of each pair.  At $50, my girls would only have to spend $30, which isn’t so bad.  But the cheaper the better, so I’m on the lookout for that.

Apparently, I’m not the only one on the lookout for apple green shoes.  There are threads on Weddingbee about this topic with many women in the same predicament.

It seems I’m a few months late because Nine West used to make the most perfect shoe.


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Too bad these bad boys seem to have been discontinued.  I’ve found them in various places around the web for as little as $20, but do you think they are in green?  No, they are not.  I’ve been stalking ebay.  Green?  No.  And besides, what do you think the chances of finding 5 green pairs in the right sizes would be?

I found another perfect pair in the Nine West outlet after Christmas.  In fact, they look almost the same to me.  Did they come in green?  Of course not.

Then there are these:


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PERFECT!

Except for two minor details. 

1. the heels are 4″.  I think that may be a little high for a couple of my girls. 
2. They are $92.  Yikes.  The combined $20 contribution from my mom and me would only bring them to $72 and I would NEVER ask them to pay that much for a pair of shoes.  Especially green ones.

I continued searching.  Google searches, store searches, blog searches.  Anything I could think of.  As I clicked on a pair of shoes in a general search to see if they came in green, I was met with the surprise that they were!  They were green!  The right green!  And they’re cute!  And they’re $55 so they fit into the price range.  Surely I could throw in another $5 per pair to bring them to $30 for my girls.


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Son of a b****!  They only come in 5, 5.5, 7, 7.5 and 11.  Too bad that would only fit one girl.  Everyone else is in the 8-10 range.

But, I will not stop.  Surely they must sell these in other places.  And if I have to, I’ll just freakin wait for the spring lines.

If, however, you know where I can get those Nine West Jojus in green in a 7.5, 8, 8.5 and two 9s, I will love you forever!

I’m a few days late with this Christmas recap and was absent all of last week – but it’s the holidays and it’s always a crazy time.  Plus, I was busy buying my wedding dress!

I still can’t believe Christmas is over.  Or Thanksgiving either.  Also.  Is tonight really New Year’s Eve?  Wow.  This year has gone by so quickly.  I wasn’t really ready for Christmas this year.  Probably because the whole holiday season snuck up on me so quickly.  I felt like I wasn’t even really in the Christmas spirit.  I did half of my Christmas shopping in July, but left the other half for the week before the holiday.  I knew what I was getting everyone, it was  just the actual act of going to purchase it that I was slow about.  And in the end, everyone seemed to love what we gave them.

And I certainly loved what I got!  L and I exchange our gifts a few days after Christmas since he has worked the last two we’ve been together.  So my lovely gifts started on Christmas eve from my parents.  My mom bought me a Gocco over the summer that was supposed to be for Christmas – we just snatched it when I found one for a good price.  And I was perfectly happy with just getting my usual small stocking stuffers because of that.  But she kepts telling me when we arrived earlier in the week that she only had one gift for me and that was it.  I really had no idea what it was.  Not a clue or a hint or a sneaking suspicion. 

As we sat by the tree on Christmas Eve after dinner with my aunt and cousins, I tore the wrapping paper to reveal a navy blue box.  It wasn’t until I ripped it a little further and saw the logo on the box that I knew what it was.

This was the logo I saw:

And I gasped and looked at my mom because I knew that this box contained two items that I have been coveting since I was about 12 years old.

These:


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This picture does them absolutely no justice.  I’ve been drooling over these ever since the first time I saw them in a Swarovski store and exclaimed that I would have those for my wedding one day.  I knew they were expensvie, but seriously, I have wanted these for like 14 years.  After we got engaged, I of course looked them up.  And when I saw the price tag, I knew it was going to take a lot of saving to get them. 

There are a lot of little details I am willing to forgo for our wedding to save money.  But let me tell you.  This was NEVER one of them.  I didn’t know how, but I was going to buy these at some point before our wedding.  I had searched ebay and they were always there.  Not for as cheap as I would hope, but definintely a lot less than full retail price. 

Just before Christmas I saw a pair go up for auction for $.99.  I put it in my ‘watch’ folder on ebay, knowing that these babies would go for much, MUCH more than $1 – and then I forgot about them.  When I got an email reminding me that the auction was ending soon, I saw a price tag of over $300.  I deleted it and moved on with my day, knowing I still had months to figure out this dilema.

My mom had played the ebay game as well and got them for a much better price.  And the fact that I couldn’t stop staring at them made her feel really good, I think.  I never, in a million years, would have guessed that that was what was inside the box.  I can’t wait to use them on our wedding day.  Would it be inappropriate to drink Crystal Lite out of them until then? haha.  We’re going to have to invest in some sort of hutch so these can be prominently (yet safely) displayed!

My pictures do them no justice, either, but at least you can sort of see the loose crystal filled stems.  And the beautifully cut base.

 

But that wasn’t all.  And there were more wedding-related Christmas gifts to come.  My cousin and his wife bought us a US Airways gift card that we’ll hopefully be able to put toward our honeymoon travel.

And then there was L’s gift.  My mom and I drove back on Sunday and L and I opened gifts Monday morning when he got home from work.  There were two moderately sized boxes under the tree, but I didn’t know what they were.  We had set a $50 limit this year and I couldn’t think of any of the things I asked for that would come in boxes that size.  He did mention to me that he may have exceede the limit though (I couldn’t be totally mad though because my original gift for him was over the limit – another story for that one). 

I told him to open his first.  I got him 4 shirts from Gap that he wanted (all on sale – love it!) and another tshirt from a restaurant in CT that we love (and have several other tshirts from).  Then I got him one of those Nike+ things for his ipod.  The one where the chip goes in your shoe and syncs with your ipod when you run.  He’s been wanting it and it seems pretty cool.  I might need one for myself.

Then it was my turn.  He handed my one box and told me to open if first.  I unwrapped it and saw a Zappos box.  My first thoughts were that he bought me the shoes I wanted for the wedding.  But those were so expensive.  I thought maybe he bought me a similar pair I found after those.

But when I opened the box, I found a pair of pink shoes from my own collection and another shoe that I had broken the heel off of last year.  Umm, what the crap?

He handed me the other box and I ripped the paper tentatively, wondering if it was going to be another bogus present.  Underneath I found a green shoe box.  Green as in Kate Spade green.  Yes, indeed.  He bought me the shoes!!!  I had to be careful not to get droplets of drool on them as I turned them over in my hands, not believing they were mine.  I kept telling him I was so mad at him for breaking our limit, but my mom said it was hard to believe because of the smile plastered on my face.

I pulled off my socks and rolled up my jeans as I went to slip them on.  I was a little nervous though.  I used to wear a 9 1/2 or 10.  But the last few years it’s been more of a 10 or 10 1/2.  The largest size on Zappos was a 10 and I figured that the shoes might run smaller like most designer anything does.  Plus, when I was searching the internet the week before looking for them on ebay or other potentially discounted places, I saw someone say that they would order a half size larger.

I proceeded with caution and you know what happened?  They fit absolutely perfectly!  They just slid right on.  There was no shoving my foot in.  No getting my fingers caugh in the heel trying to stretch the shoe around my foot.  I stood up and walked around and not only did they fit, but they were comfortable! 3.25″ heels were comfortable.  No wonder they’re so expensive.  I put them on every now and then, but each time they go back in the box when I’m done.  I absolutely can’t wait to wear these on my wedding day and I think they will go perfectly with my dress!

This was the best Christmas ever! 🙂

Oh, and you know I’ve taken pictures of these too, right?  These are my own shoe shots and ring shots! 😉

Now if only I could somehow track down 5 pairs of the Nine West Jojus shoes in green for my bridesmaids!  Too bad they’re discontinued. 

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Ok, so that title has nothing to do with this post other than it says ‘blue dress.’ 🙂

The search for bridesmaid dresses has been one of the easiest things we’ve done yet.  For quite some time before we were engaged, L and I talked about our colors being navy, pink and green.  Of course I was thinking about lots of other details for our wedding too, and I thought about dark pink dresses, maybe with a navy sash – similar to the dress I wore to the Steeplechase this past spring.  If we were having a beach wedding, that dress would be appropriate, but we really wanted something slightly more formal.  I love wedding parties that have these bright colors – either that or maybe a green dress, but I didn’t want my girls to look like they were wrapped in bubble gum and I really wanted it to be rewearable.  Actually rewearable, not ‘it’s rewearable, but really it’s not because it looks to bridesmaid-y’ like a dress for a friends wedding I was in a few years ago.  Anyway, I shelved the topic because, well, we weren’t engaged so it didn’t matter.

Then when a friend of mine picked out navy dresses for her wedding that took place this past summer, I fell in love with them.  They were simple, yet very classy.  Flattering on any body type and most definitely rewearable.  Even though I was still not engaged, I knew that I wanted these to be my bridesmaid dresses as well.  As long as my ‘maids agreed.

When I showered and changed at E’s house on evening after a fun girl’s day before going to a wedding that night where I wore the above mentioned dress, she commented on how much she liked it.  In my head, I did an imaginary fist pump. 🙂

The dresses are from J. Crew and are $165.  I know that’s not all that expensive, especially considering they likely wouldn’t need alterations, but that’s still a lot of money no matter which way you look at it.  I would occasionally stalk the website to make sure they were still available in navy and to see if there were any sales.  Of course, lots of the other colors were on sale, but never navy. (although, I was tempted to buy some of the other colors for myself.  I told you, I love this dress)

Fast forward to two months later when L proposed.  Now, I could really stalk the dresses.   I saw them on Ebay, in an assortment of sizes and in navy, for a very reasonable price, but I hadn’t asked anyone to be my bridesmaids yet.  Once I asked my girls if they would be my bridesmaids and everyone responded, I sent them all an email thanking them and giving them the details we had nailed down so far (which was basically just the date, place and colors).  I also sent them a picture of the dress and asked them what they thought about it.  Unfortunately, they were no longer on ebay.  There were some, but not as many in navy, which was disappointing.  I was sure to tell them that if they didn’t like it to just say so, to feel free to look on their own, and that I didn’t want them to spend so much money so we would keep an eye out on ebay and for sales.  They all responded saying they loved the dress and that they were ok with the price. 


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I then realized that I had missed a J. Crew sale of 25% off any purchase of $150 or more.  Damn!  That would have brought the dress down to around $125.  Oh well.

Days later, I got another email with a similar sale.  25% off $150+ and 30% off $250+.  The sale was only three days long and I contemplated talking to everyone to see if they would be interested in buying it.  I know that Christmas is just around the corner and that not everyone has extra cash laying around, so I didn’t want to put any one out.  Plus, I also didn’t want to rush them.  They all said they loved the dress, but I didn’t want them to feel like I was pushing them. 

I was telling CR, my maid of honor, about this when I saw her on Saturday, and her reaction of, “Oh my God, I love the dress, yes, let’s definitely order it!” told me that most of the other girls would probably feel the same way. (There’s a reason this girl is my MOH :).

Finally, on Sunday, the last day of the sale, I emailed them all telling them about it and asking if they were interested in moving forward.  I made sure to note that if they wanted to look around some more, that I was TOTALLY ok with that, but just wanted to mention the sale since they initially said they liked it.  Additionally, I told them that I would buy all the dresses, which would give us the 30% discount and they could pay me back when they had the money because I know this is an expensive time of year.

Each girl replied back saying they loved the dress and would like to order it – and they loved the sale price even more.  Since I would be ordering all of them at one time, we would receive the larger discount bringing each dress down to $115.  Yes, that’s right.  The dress that is normally $165, we got for $115!

I gathered their sizes and placed the order Sunday night.  I decided to cover the tax and shipping on the dresses.  I wish I could put more toward the dress for them, but unfortunately it’s just not in the budget at the moment.  I received an email yesterday saying my order had been shipped and today, they are in my hot little hands!

You’ve got to give J. Crew credit, they always ship so quickly.  I paid for standard 3-5 day shipping, ordered Sunday night and received it Tuesday afternoon!  I’ll be dropping them off to all my girls this week so they can try them on and make sure they fit.  Hooray!  A big task done and one less thing for them to think about!

L’s sister, J (another of my bridesmaids), may also be using this dress in her wedding.  Except in black and in a different material.  It is just me and her fiance’s sister in her wedding and she initially told us to just pick black dresses.  I wanted to buy this dress in black for her wedding, and found it on ebay for $20, so I grabbed it.  J later came back with some dresses she wanted us to pick from so we could maybe wear the same one and this was one of the choices.  When I told her I already had it in black, that seemed to make her decision for her (although I did tell her that I didn’t mind if she didn’t want to choose it).  Anyway, I believe we are wearing pink shoes for her wedding, which is what I am thinking about for my girls.  Looks like our BMs might be slightly similar. 🙂

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I feel very disorganized with our wedding planning.  I’m surprised by this, especially since I have so much spare time on my hands, but I feel like I just keep jumping around from task to task.

Tonight’s ADD task of the moment is shoes. 

I’ve known for quite some time that I would most likely  not be wearing traditional white heels. 

And maybe I wouldn’t wear heels at all. I am 5′ 8″ and L is between 6′ 1″ and 6′ 2″.  He’s taller than me, even with my highest heels, but not by much.  My favorite time is when I am barefoot and he is wearing either his work boots or the shoes with his dressy uniform for work.  He towers over me and envelopes me in his arms and it makes me safe – and little.

I thought about wearing a pair of Rainbows and spray painting them white.  1. They are amazingly comfortable and 2. They are ‘me’.  You can find me in Rainbows for probably 2/3 of the year.

Then I saw in the store one day that they now make white Rainbows with Swarovski crystals on the straps!


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But for Rainbows to be comfortable, you have to wear them a while to break them in and if I wear white ones for awhile, then they’re going to get dirty feet marks on them.  They were still an option – long before we were engaged.

I also threw around the idea of wearing plain old ballet slippers.  Not ballet flats, but good ‘ol ballet slippers


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You can’t get much shorter than in these.  Plus, since I danced for 15 years, it would be personal as well.

But I really like the “shoe shots”  and let’s face it, heels just make you feel prettier.  At least they make me feel prettier.


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I don’t want to feel “stumpy” on my wedding day either.  So I’ve gone back to the idea of pretty heels.  I can always switch into flip flops, or let’s face it, just go barefoot, later in the evening if I want.

For anyone that knows me, you know I’m going to choose pink.  I haven’t looked extensively yet, but have perused a couple shoe sites here and there (I told you, I keep jumping from one task to another).  I had looked at Zappos before, but sometimes that site overwhelms me.

Anyway, I was reading Weddingbee tonight (it feels so good to be back, by the way.  Although I haven’t read it as much as I used to, but I think it has to do with my new found ADD.) and saw Ms. Potato Chips’ post about finding her shoes.

I saw a pair of pink lovelies at the bottom of her post and immediately went to Zappos (where she found hers) to get a closer look.  But before I ever found the ones in her post, I found these and decided I HAVE to have them.


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They are exactly what I’m looking for – although at 3.25″ tall, they’re a little high.  Not that I can’t handle that, I’m a high heel girl (and can run at lightning fast speeds across Grand Central Terminal in them if it means catching the last train of rush hour), but it just means I’ll be that much closer to L’s height.

There is one other itsty, bitsy, tiny detail that puts them out of my reach.

$289.

Yup, that’s the price tag associated with these beauties.  Unfortunately, that just doesn’t really fall into our budget.  But they are sooo perfect.

I sent L a picture of them, sans price tag, and asked if he would buy them for me.  He said, and I quote, “Sure sweetie, I’ll buy them for you.”  It wasn’t until I wrote back, “really?” that he asked how much they were and then said probably not.

Sad face.

He then said that I could have the shoes if he could get a new leather helmet if he makes assistant chief at the volunteer department at next week’s meeting.

(Quick helmet back story: they are different colors for different ranks.  It varies by department, but here is is black for a firefighter, red for a captain and white for an assistant chief/the chief.  You can paint them, but L bought a new helmet when he made captain and wants another if/when he makes asst. chief.  Really so he can hang them all on the wall one day and see his journey through helmets.  Sounds cheesy, but I actually understand where he’s coming from even if I do give him a hard time about it.  The kicker is the price tag.  Brand new, these helmets are about $500!  You can get them on eBay for less, but they’re still around $200-300, I think.)

Hmm… maybe I’ll have to consider him getting that helmet if it means I can get the shoes 😉

But perhaps I’ll keep looking for a more reasonably priced pair. 

A girl can dream though!

I’m watching the second half of the Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee Gifford where they do segments on gossip, fashion, etc.  They just finished a story on choosing the correct bra to flatter your figure.  They put this one lady in a very pretty purple bra that had a little rhinestone in the middle.

Then the woman says, “…and this comes in sizes up through G.”

Wait, say what?  G?  There is a size G?

I mean, I guess I’ve seen some woman who are probably that size.  You know, the one’s whose bra could probably cover your head, even if you had some hugh 80s hairstyle.  I guess I just never thought about it.  Plus, I’ve never even been near that end of the size spectrum, as most of my bras are padded so I don’t look prepubecent.

L and I are headed to Atlanta this weekend to catch the Braves vs. Red Sox series.  This was my gift to him for our two year anniversary back in February.

We’re leaving Friday morning when he gets home from work, dropping the puppies off at camp and hitting the road.  We should get there around lunch time or a little after and will have a few hours to site see, etc. before the game 7:30.  Saturday we’re having lunch with my friend that I grew up with and now lives in Atlanta.  Her family moved to Florida at the end of 7th grade and she got married last year.  I’m very excited to see her and have a chance to get to know her new husband.  We’re hoping to hit up the Georgia Aquarium in addition to the games Saturday and Sunday afternoon. 

We’ll head back Sunday evening and L will pick up the puppies Monday morning.

I have a dilemma though.  I don’t know what to wear to these games!  I mean, I know what to wear to a baseball game, but the temps are going to be in the middle 90s!  I don’t want to sweat even more than I know I will and I also don’t want super funky tanlines.

Friday’s game is at night, so I’ll have no problem wearing my Braves tshirt with shorts or something.  But what about Saturday and Sunday???

Would it be totally inappropriate to wear a sundress to a baseball game?  Nothing fancy.  A cute, casual one.  Kind of like this…

dress

I just don’t want to be “that girl” that looks like she’s trying too hard or doesn’t know how to dress for events.  This isn’t my first baseball game, just the first when it’s almost 100 degrees out in the middle of the day.

I have a spaghetti strap navy tank top that I’m sure I can pair with shorts or a jean skirt or something for one game.

Ugh.  Please help!!!

Moving on…

Here’s my quick weekend recap – we had a fabulous weekend at the beach and the weather was absolutely perfect the entire time.  L got home at 8am Friday, everyone was already at our house and we hit the road immediately.

We unpacked to car quickly when we got there right around lunch time, picked up some beer and sat on the beach till about 6.  And proceeded to drink more than a case of beer.  We definitely showed our age that night as we were all in bed by 11pm.  We had plans to stay at the bar we ate dinner at across from our condo, but we could barely keep our eyes open.  I  blame it on drinking in the sun, not age.

Saturday we were on the beach all. day.  It was amazing.  We ate dinner at a great seafood place in a neighboring town famous for it’s selection of seafood restaurants and then went to our favorite piano bar that night.

Sunday, everyone left around 10, but L and I stayed till Monday afternoon.  We lounged around a bit and I layed out for a few hours.  L nursed a  hangover all day.

Monday was more beach time and we finally headed home around 5:30.  The puppies enjoyed their walk on the beach, but didn’t get as much time to play as normal since there are restrictions as to what times they can be on the beach during the peak season.

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The group before the piano bar

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Me and the puppies on the balcony

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I wish we had gotten a better picture of the two of us on the beach

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At first I thought it was a dream.  “This can’t be happening, I thought to myself.  “They seriously did not just say that.”

I turned on the news when I woke up, as I always do.  And the first thing I heard the anchor say: “And now we bring you breaking news from [moderately large city in area].  The police & fire departments along with the bomb squad are on scene investigating a suspicious device found along the railroad tracks.”

You’ve got to be f-ing kidding me.  Name of moderatley large city in area=my client.  You know, the one that I am covering on my own for the first time ever bc the main account manager is on maternity leave.  And when did she go on maternity leave?  Yesterday.

Day 1 and I get a freakin bomb scare.

The news anchor went on to explain what the device looked like and mention which of the many streets that were closed as a precaution.  I immediately checked my blackberry and cell phone to make sure I didn’t sleep through any calls or anything.

I didn’t.  Thank goodness that although we provide the city with PIO (public information officer) services, that the police department is really good about handling it on their own.

I was kept abreast of the information throughout the morning until they finally determined that it was fake.  But still.  Day 1 and that’s what I hear when I wake up.  Oy. Freakin. Vey.

*****

In other work related news, I just got a call from a man from Kenya who works for a coffee company and are trying to get into the US market.  He got my name from a press release he saw that was put out for one of my former clients.  He tells me they have very good coffee.  And macadamia nuts.  He will save my contact information and bring me back some macadamia nut cookies (bc I told him that’s the only time I’ve ever had macadamia  nuts) from his next trip to Kenya.

Ooookkk.

*****

We had out monthly Support Team meeting at the fire department last night.  I’m kind of pissed, in a very 5 year old way, because the woman who is the chairperson totally stole my idea and passed it off as her own.

I like this lady, I really do.  In fact, her and her husband came to the steeplechase with us.  She is very nice, but personally I think she has her hand in too many pots at that fire station and likes to take over.  Last night she starts the meeting by saying she had an idea and wanted to know what everyone thought.  We try to have a family dinner once a quarter.  It’s usually potluck, but it always ends up being the same people bringing food and the same people coming that don’t bring food.  Also, we tend to sometimes run out.

Her (my) suggestion was to host a dinner where we bring and prepare everything and charge members to eat.  Moderately priced, $3-4/person.  YOu know a big spaghetti dinner or something of that nature.

I know this seems petty and trivial to be annoyed by this, but really… I’m trying to get more involved and these people always preach about getting people involved, etc.  Yet once again, this was V’s idea (even though it was really mine).  Need I remind her that we spoke about this more than once.  Oh, and it’s in the 7 page rebranding document that I created for the Support Team.

Speaking of that… at the the first meeting we had where they tried to get this group going again, she asked everyone to email her ideas of what they wanted this group to do and she would put them together and we’d talk about it as a group at the next meeting.  That’s where my 7 page document came in.  And since then.  Nothing has been said.  I’m getting ready to write her an email saying we need to revisit some of this stuff.

*****

Tomorrow afternoon L and I are heading to his parent’s house and going to his sister’s graduation Sunday morning.  Apparently about 35 people are going (whoa!). 

Initially I was going to wear the same dress I wore to the steeplechase, but then I wanted something new even though I didn’t really have the money to spend.  But I didn’t really see anythign I liked that I could afford.  Then I saw Ashley D’s post about dresses she was looking at for her graduation.  And umm, yeah.  The first one she bought was EXACTLY what I was looking for!  And it wasn’t too expensive either.  I was unsure what size to order, especially given the brand, but when I got it in the mail, it fit perfectly.

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Actually, I loved it so much, I didn’t want to take it off.  Between the pretty color, nice cut, perfect fit and the awesome new heels I had on, I almost wore it to the store (seriously, I love my new shoes.  I don’t wear heels as much as I used to and I just feel so much prettier when I do.  Especially bc they are so cute and sexy – and I don’t use the term sexy very often).

I’ve mentioned before that I kind of obsessively plan what I’m going to wear for events and it gets kind of stressful when it involves being around his family because I feel like they judge me and I’m afraid that what I have won’t be right for the occasion (you have no idea what I was like when I was trying to pack for our trip to Vegas with them last year).

But. This time I was very happy with my choice.  And confident.

Then L calls me the other day and says he talked to his mom about this weekend.  After the graduation, everyone is coming back to their house for a cookout.  Ok, cool.  She does not want him to wear flip flops at the house.  She says they are too beachy and casual.  Umm, ok.  But it’s a cookout at their house.  And besides, he has Rainbows – they’re not the most casual flip flop out there.  In fact, I think they’re pretty nice.  Also, I’m pretty sure that his Rainbows cost more than the heels I’m planning to wear.  But whatever.  No biggie, this doesn’t affect me.

Yesterday he talked to his sister briefly (a rare occurance).  She told him (I’m not sure if he asked or if she volunteered this information) that she is wearing purple – I’m assuming a dress – to the graduation and then pink something to the cookout.

Panicking, I asked, “pink what?  pink WHAT?!?!?!!”  He didn’t know.  He didn’t have good service and couldn’t hear what she said.

Do I need another outfit, I asked.  Now I’m beginning to stress.  What else would I wear besides this dress if his mom doesn’t even want him to wear flip flops?????  He had no idea.  I asked him a while back and then earlier in the week to find out about the events and get an idea of what I needed to wear.  And now I’m stuck.  I don’t have anything else.  The only thing I can think of is taht I have a navy blue casual sundress from old navy. It’s cute, but i would def wear with flip flops or cute sandals.  Cute sandals that I think would fall into the flip flop category for his mom.

He called his mom last night to ask, but she didn’t answer her phone.  He said he would call her first thing this am, but I haven’t heard anything yet.

Now, I’m stessing.  But, I mean, maybe I’ll just wear the pink dress all day anyway.  And bring the blue one.  Oy vey. I hate this.

 

Since graduating from college, it seems as though summer is such a busy time.  Gone are the relaxing days and nights.  Now you have to jam pack everything into the weekends and soak up all the sunshine and beautiful weather in those two short days each week because dear Lord, you do not have unlimited vacation time available to you.

The busy season is upon us, dear friends.  As I looked at my planner this morning, I realize that I only have seven weekends between now and August available, and three of those are being held for tentative beach trips that may or may not happen.  Seven sounds like a lot, but really, it’s not.

The Steeplechase is this weekend and they are still predicting 80 degrees and sunny (woohoo!).  The following weekend is free and then after that is L’s sister’s college graduation.

Let’s talk about that, shall we?

L and his sister are not very close.  At all.  But when he told me when her graduation was, I obviously assumed that he would be going.  I, however, did not assume that I would be going.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually want to go (I’m weird, I know).  I feel like that’s a big occasion.  Even if it’s not for him, it is for his family.  And it would be the first big occasion I had with them (besides the trip to Vegas last year).

I am not the type of person to invite myself to anything.  But I will not-so-subtly drop hints.  Although, in L’s case, he rarely picks up on them.  For some time now, as we’ve been talking about what we have going on, I would say, “Well, that’s the weekend of your sister’s graduation and I assume you’re going.”  Never did I say, “and we’ll be going.”

Besides not wanting to invite myself,  especially to a function of his family because I’m still not totally convinced that his mom likes me (tolerates me? yes.  Likes me? not so sure.), who knows what kind of crazy rules colleges have for graduations.

For example, at my graduation, I was only allowed 6 tickets.  Granted, I went to a much larger school – she goes to a small, private college.   I didn’t know if her school had a similar ticket policy.  And if they did, I had no idea how many she was allowed.  Their family is very family oriented when it comes to stuff like this.  I assume that both their grandmas and perhaps and aunt or uncle or two will be there as well.  So, I didn’t want to assume that if there were tickets, that one would be used on me.

Last night his mom called him.  His phone is very loud and I can always hear what she is saying.  I heard her talk about the graduation.  When he was finished, I asked what she had to say.  He tells me, then says that we’ll need to be home for Mother’s Day (same day as graduation) and that if we are going to the graduation, we need to be there by 9am.

“I’m invited,” I asked.  “Of course,” he told me.

Well, shit.  Now I have to find something to wear.  I could wear the same pink dress (#2) I’m wearing to the steeplechase this weekend.  Or I could see if that Lilly dress fits any better and have him wear the matching tie.  I proposed that idea to him.  He said “maybe.”  I think that his “maybe” is really more like I’m saying maybe so we don’t have to talk about this, but really the answer is no because you know I hate that tie.

We’ll see if I can wear him down.

So, in fact, I am excited.  I asked him to let me know a run down of what may be going on that day so I can dress appropriately or bring other outfits.  Because, let’s face it, I’m going to start making that list now even though we’ll only be there over night.  I have to allot for perhaps buying a new shirt or accessory (I have still yet to find the perfect “everyday” summer purse).

Now on to your help…

We need to get her a graduation gift.  I told L a few weeks ago that I would make some suggestions for him.  And I came up with some stuff yesterday, but I just don’t know what to do.  We’ll split the cost and are looking to spend no more than $100 total.  I don’t like stuff that is too over the top “graduationy” though.  All the stuff that screams ‘graduate’ of ‘class of 2009’ – it’s just a little much for me.

Here’s my first idea:

This bag from Preppy Monogrammed Gifts . com

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And include the following items:

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From Preppy Monogrammed Gifts – I would include her first initial or name instead of the palm tree

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Beach towel from Preppy Monogrammed Gifts
I would only do the crab or maybe a palm tree instead – no name or initial

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From Thingsremembered.com
I would have the name of her college and graduation date engraved on the top.  This way it has a little bit of ‘graduation’ to it, but not too much.

 

My other option is one nicer gift.  She seems to be a bit of a “brand lover” and I think she would like something from Tiffany’s.  Unfortunatley, there isn’t a whole lot from that store that is less than $100.  They have the silver bead earrings,  but I think she is too petite for them.  Then they have circle and heartshaped earrings that say “Return to Tiffany”, but I can’t see her wearing them. 

Here is what I chose:

elsa-peretti-crystal-heart-box
Elsa Peretti Open Heart Crystal Box

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Tiffany Crystal Box

heart-key-chain
Return to Tiffany key ring

oval-key-chain
Tiffany Oval key ring – would engrave with initial or monogram

Here’s my question though… do you think the boxes are dumb?  I would like them, and they are from Tiffany, but what do you think?

Same with the key chains.  They’re kind of small gifts, but we can’t go too much bigger due to cost.

Do you like the beach bag idea or the Tiffany idea better?  Any other suggestions?  She’s hard to shop for and makes it known if she doesn’t like stuff.  And isn’t much into “cheap” jewelry.  Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

For my birthday last month, L gave me a beautiful present.  But of course, as you all know, I had to wait an extra week since it didn’t come in on time.  When it finally arrived, I was presented with a little blue box tied neatly with a white ribbon.  Inside I found the Elsa Peretti open heart.

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I love those fabulous little boxes.

Sadly, I couldn’t put it on right away since the chain was too short.  Not L’s fault, he had no idea that I apparently have a fat neck.  We went to the beach that weekend and when we got back, he took the necklace back to Tiffany’s to get a longer chain.  And when I got it I wore it and loved it and was so happy.

I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but pretty much all I do wear is Tiffany’s.  I’m not one of those girls at all.  And I’ve never purchased any of it myself.  It has all been gifts from my parents.  I don’t have anything elaborate.  It’s all the very identifiable silver stuff.  One piece I’ve always wanted, but hadn’t gotten was this necklace.  I was so happy.

About a week and a half or two weeks later I went to put it on.  But there was a problem.  I couldn’t find it.  At the time, I didn’t really have time to look for it.  The next day I searched everywhere for it and came up empty handed.  It wasn’t on the bathroom counter, not on the dresser, not in my jewelry box, not in the box it came from, not under the dresser, not under the bed, not in the closet.  No where!

The weekend prior to this I had gone on a massive cleaning spree, including vacuuming behind and under all the furniture in the bedroom.  My heart sank as I thought that I may have vacuumed it up.  But surely I would have heard it.  I got a plastic bag and empty the vacuum into it and searched through all the dog fur.  Nothing.  I checked the beater brush to see if it was tangled there.  Nope.

I wasn’t going to say anything to L.  If I couldn’t find it I was just going to replace it.  But you see, I tell him everything.  And I couldn’t keep this from him.  I casually mentioned that I had misplaced it.  “So the one piece of jewelry I give you, you lose in a week.” He said half serious/half joking.  I told him I it had to be around somewhere and there were a few places I hadn’t checked yet.

A few days later, I got home from work and he and I were rushing to cook and eat dinner before heading to a friend’s house.  All of a sudden I realized that the silver ring I wear all the time was not on my hand.  WTF?  I then vaguely remembered taking it off.  I said this to him.  He looks at me and says, oh good, you didn’t lose your necklace again.  Sadly, he was wrong.  I wasn’t wearing the one he gave me and I told him to look closer.  The necklace was still missing too.  Anyway, I immediately retraced my steps looking for the ring since I had only been home for about 15 mintues.  I can’t find it anywhere.

How did I lose two pieces of expensive jewelry in a week.  I’ve never lost any of this stuff before and some of it I’ve had for 8 years.

As I was telling LM about this the other week, she suggested maybe I go through the puppies’ poop.  Gross.  But maybe I should.  L recently cleaned it all up before mowing the lawn and it was still in the bag he collected it in out back.

After still not being able to find the necklace as of yesterday, I was about to go out to the mall and replace it.  Then I though, no, maybe I should look in the poop.  But I was NOT doing this barehanded and L had his latex gloves for EMS calls with him at work.  I decided to clean instead.

I kept thinking it was going to turn up somewhere I looked 4,000 times already.  As I vacuumed the couch cushions, I thought, oh! I haven’t looked under these yet.  But it wasn’t there.

I made my way into our bedroom.  I picked Dixie’s bed up off the floor to move it so I could vacuum.  Then I picked up Shep’s.  I turned the vacuum on and headed toward where is bed was.  And that’s when I spotted something silver on the carpet.

My necklace!!!!!!!!!!!!

It must have gotten brushed off the dresser the last time I cleaned.  His bed hasn’t been moved since then.  I was so incredibly happy.  I could have purchased a new one, but I would never be able to lie to L if he asked me where I found it.  And even if he didn’t ask, it wouldn’t have been the same.  It wouldn’t have been the one he gave me.

Even though I had no make up on, was sweaty and wasn’t going anywhere the rest of the day.  I put it on.  And then I sent him a picture.

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So much better and exactly where it should be.  Now if only I could find that damn ring.

 

I have never been a runner.  Never.  “The mile” was a dreaded phrase I associated with gym class since second grade when we had to start doing that as part of the physical fitness test. 

It hurts for me to run.  I get out of breath quickly and my chest becomes heavy and painful.  My legs and feet feel heavy too.  My hands get tingly and when I stop I feel light headed.  And, inevitably, I will always get a cramp in my side.

I have tried to focus on my breathing.  Keep a steady pace.  Not focus so much on how far the ending point is.  But it just never seems to help.  In my entire life, I have never run a full mile without stopping.

In school, I was often in the group that had to re-run it once, twice, three times, in order to get a passing time (don’t even get me started on those physical fitness tests, I think they’re a load of crap and not something you should be graded on).

I have never been seriously overweight.  Sure, I hate the way I look and I say that I’m fat all the time.  And according to most of those height/weight charts, I have been “too heavy” for my height since childhood (don’t get me started on those charts either, because I think they’re a load of crap too).  But really?  If you look at me, I am not obese.  Not at all.  And most of the time, you would never think that I weigh nearly as much as I actually do.  I’m sure as hell not a super model, and at the moment, I’m definitely heavier than I need to be.  But I’m not seriously overweight.

I’m not sure what the problem is, but apparently, I’ve never been very cardiovascularly fit.  I danced for 15 years growing up.  That was 15 years of feeling like I was going to die when I walked off stage because I couldn’t breathe.  It wasn’t until I was practically crawling out of the stage wings after a performance at a dance competition in high school when my parents had to carry me outside that I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with exercise enduced asthma.  I did the whole inhaler routine and all, and it was what it was, but at this point, I think I’m just not “fit.”

Even though I have never been a runner, I  have always wanted to be a runner.  I want to be one of those people that goes out for a run when they’re stressed and they feel good when they’re done, not like it was a punishment for a vicious crime they committed.

Over the last several months, I’ve talked about how I want to get in shape, get back to the size I was the year after I graduated college.  My goal was to not be embarrassed at the beach this summer or to not feel ugly and fat whenever L and I get married.  I’ve done ok, but haven’t lost more than three pounds, which really isn’t enough.

Last week, I came up with a new motivation.  I love to travel and I love pretty little southern cities.  You know, like Charleston.  I’ve been there a couple times before and it’s on my and L’s list of places we’d like to visit – especially since he’s never been.  But, we’re not the people that can just pick up and go to Charleston any weekend.  It’s about 4 1/2 hours away and it’s kind of expensive. 

But what takes place in Charleston every year that I would love to do?  The Cooper River Bridge Run.  I’ve heard of it before.  It’s a 10k race that thousands and thousands of people run in every year.  And then when I went to look up information on it, I saw this poster:

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Image Courtesy of Cooper River Bridge Run

I want to run over that bridge.  In pretty Charleston.  And feel really good about myself and accomplish something that I never thought I could ever do in my entire life.  I want to run that 10k.  Those (approximately) 6 miles without stopping.

I brought the idea up to L.  He likes to run.  I asked him if he would be interested in doing this with me.  Next year (since this year’s is like this weekend).  He could easily work up to 6 miles in no time, but I on the other hand need plenty of time to practice (ok, “train”, but I’m a dancer by nature and I prefer “practice” :)). 

I thought it would be something we could do together.  Something that was ours.  And our reward will be staying in town for a long weekend and do the race and site see and enjoy the city together.  He liked the idea.

But I would need his help.  I can’t do this by myself because I know I won’t be able to push myself hard enough.

So last night we started.  I met him at the fire station after work and we began our first practice.  We didn’t bring the puppies with us because they get too distracted and get in your way or stop to smell things or chase birds or what have you.  This is something I’m really serious about, so I needed to focus.

All weekend L had been getting me ready.  Randomly giving me tips.  Telling me what we were going to do.  How there were no excuses.  How I can run farther than I think I can.  Not to go into it saying I’ll do my best, but go into it telling myself that I can and will do it.

We took part of the route we normally take our walks on.  We know how far each section is.  First we walked a mile to get warmed up.  Then we ran a half mile.  It was hard, but I made it all the way to the end.  I know that a half mile may seem like nothing or may seem like something to laugh at for most people, but for me this was a HUGE deal.  Besides yesterday, I had only run a half mile one other time in my life.  And that was sometime last summer when L tried to get me into running.  Unfortunately then we let our busy schedules get in the way and were not consistent about it.  Now, we have vowed not to let that happen.

He talked me through it the whole way.  Telling me I was doing good and I could do it and as we got closer to the end of that half mile he told me he would run ahead of me, strip naked and be waiting for me off the side of the road where no one could see us (which by the way, L, you did not fulfill that promise 😉 ).

We walked another quarter of a mile and then ran another quarter.  I really and truly did not think I was going to make it that time.  I slowed down to what was barely a jog.  In fact, I think a turtle could have jogged faster.  But I didn’t stop.  I didn’t walk – not even one step. 

It was definitely NOT pretty.  I could barely pick up my feet and I’m sure I looked like I had gotten hit by a truck, but I was still doing it.


But hey, Phoebe doesn’t run pretty either 😉

Even though I looked like a fool, the whole time L stayed with me and told me to keep going.  “You’re almost there, the stop sign is getting closer, don’t look at the ground, just a few more yards, hit the stop sign and you’re done.”

We walked another mile and a half before heading home for dinner.  I still didn’t feel great.  It took me a long time to catch my breath and not feel like I was going to die.  My hands were still tingly and my head was still a little foggy.  But I did it.  Obviously I still need to focus on my breathing.  And just do that half mile 11 more times in a row to do the race next April.

And now I’m kind of excited to go again today.  L is at work, but I’m still going to go on my own and hope that I can push myself like he helped me do yesterday.

What else is pushing me besides the fact that I want to actually run the whole 10k next year?  Obviously, it’s that I’m already planning my running outfit.  Seriously.  Pink running shorts and a black racer back tank top – or maybe vice versa.  I told you, as soon as event comes up, no matter what it is, I like to plan an outfit.

Oh yeah, and my mom bought me these.  They should arrive tomorrow, I think.  It was about time, I’ve had my sneakers since my junior year of college – which was 5 years ago.  Yeah, I think I was due for a new pair.

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