holiday party planning

Trey and I are hosting a holiday party at our home this Saturday for about a dozen or so of our friends.  In order to manage my work stress this week, I have obsessed over the menu.  Here’s what I’m planning to serve (Ellie & Kate, avert your eyes if you want to be surprised!):




  • Christmas Cranberry Punch (which will be served in a real punch bowl!) (Can you tell I’m stupidly excited about using wedding gifts finally?)
  • Red & White Wine- TBD but we’ll basically open some of what we already have
  • Hot Tea & Coffee as requested

wedding day beauty & style

(Related: Getting Ready)

Since I know that there are people out there like me who like beauty products, make-up, style, etc. I thought I would post about what I used/wore on the day of the wedding.  Here goes!

Make-Up/Face Products

I knew from the beginning of wedding planning that I would do my own make-up, and I knew that I wanted a natural look.  Here’s what I used:

  1. Cleanser: Philosophy Purity Made Simple
  2. Moisturizer: Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Hydrating Night Creme
  3. Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  4. Concealer: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer
  5. Foundation: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
  6. Blush: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush
  7. Lipstick: Cover Girl Outlast All Day Lipcolor in Moonlit Mauve
  8. Mascara: Clinique High Lengths Mascara
  9. Eyeshadow: e.l.f. Essentials Brightening Eye Color in Silver Lining
  10. Finishing Powder: e.l.f. Mineral Booster Sheer Powder


  1. Dress: Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal
  2. Shoes: Michelangelo LOVE Dyeable Wedge Sandals (Dyed Purple)
  3. Jewelry: Crystal and Pearl Floral Necklace and Earring Set
  4. Hair Flower: TruLu Couture, courtesy of a Love Your Way blog giveaway!

So, here’s how all of the above turned out!

Wedding Recap: Getting Ready


wedding morning calm

I woke up at 6 am on the morning of my wedding feeling much calmer than I thought I would.  I showered in the upstairs bathroom of the house I grew up in, threw on some pajama pants and a tank top, then headed downstairs.  The house was quiet for a few moments.  My dad browsed some news sites on his computer.  My mom arrived back from a grocery trip with croissants and orange juice.  I mixed up a pitcher of mimosas.

At 7 am, my bridesmaids began to arrive.  Followed by my hair stylist.  From that moment on, I felt like I was in the eye of a hurricane.  I was calm, watching the chaos of 5 women, plus my mother, then my aunt, rush around getting dressed, doing their make-up and hair, eating breakfast.  I sat in the center of all of this while Katie (hairstylist) curled and sprayed and combed my hair.


It was a really surreal experience.  In my head I got that this was my wedding day.  That this would be my wedding hairstyle.  That this was finally, really happening.  It felt beyond strange… and yet I was completely calm.

This time also went by extremely quickly.  My hair was done and then everything seemed to speed up a bit more.

putting on a wedding dress is a process

I went into the bathroom and did my make-up, then stepped into my dress just around 8:00 am.  The limo pulled up in front of my parents’ home at 8:10 am.  I climbed in around 8:30 am, my bridesmaids followed me into the limo,  and we were off to the venue!

ready to get this show on the road

this might be the funniest picture ever taken

 *To be continued…*


Apologies to those of you who have my blog in Google Reader.  Last night I was editing categories on a bunch of old posts, which somehow resulted in these posts being re-published.

Wedding Recap: Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner

*This is me kicking off the official wedding recaps before too much time passes and I forget everything. Keep in mind, more than a month has gone by (already!) so some of the details may not be as fresh.*

The day before the wedding arrived.  I’m struggling to describe what that feels like.  Let’s just say I was a ball of nervous energy on a hair-trigger.  I got into a fight with one of my sisters after our mani/pedis.  We apologized that evening at the rehearsal.

Standing around in the cold, waiting for the wedding party to arrive at our ceremony site was a bit of an exercise in patience.  We were up against a setting sun and some folks were battling Friday night traffic.  But it worked out.

We rehearsed the ceremony twice.  The first time was clumsy and awkward- the second time, things clicked into place much better and we were good to go!

We headed back downtown for the rehearsal dinner.  Highlights from the dinner:

  • Awesome Crab Dip
  • Sneaking out onto the restaurant’s private deck to share a dance with Trey
  • Surprising our parents and members of the wedding party with thoughtful gifts
  • Driving back to my parents’ home with my Dad in my passenger seat, and just chatting with him

I arrived at my parents’ home after the dinner, quickly got ready for bed, and tried to get at least a few hours of decent sleep before waking up at 6 am the next morning…

*To be continued…*

(P.S. for any local folks out there looking for a good place to eat, our rehearsal dinner was held at the Hull Street Blues Cafe.)

zombie week

The week leading up to our wedding is what I now like to refer to as “Zombie Week”.  I’m pretty sure that I was in a complete catatonic state that entire week, and my super chill husband was stressing as well over the last minute details.

I had trouble falling asleep the entire week leading up to the wedding.  I was tired, but as I lay in bed, my body would just not cooperate and insomnia set in.  It took hours for me to fall asleep, only to wake up halfway through and have trouble falling back asleep again.

And then there was the night, about 3-4 days before the wedding, of the chirping.  We kept hearing this occasional “chirping” coming from downstairs around 11 o’clock at night, and went down to look at our alarm system.  We were so out of it that it took us about an hour (including time spent googling our alarm system for troubleshooting, and nearly pulling the damn thing apart) before we realized that it was actually NOT the alarm system making noises as us… and was in fact our smoke detector letting us know that the battery was dead.

Two days before the wedding, Trey had a mini-meltdown when he couldn’t find an address to pick something up, had a migraine and got a parking ticket.  So I booked him a last-minute massage for the day before the wedding, and had my own massage the night before his.

Slowly we were beginning to emerge from zombie-land and beginning to transform into bride & groom… more on that to come.

On Honeymooning

In my little moleskine notebook, I made notes about what we did during our honeymoon- the places we visited in Florence (Uffizi Gallery, il Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Pitti, Boboli Gardens) and what we ate (ravioli, farfalle, pizza, gelati, etc, etc, etc) but it doesn’t quite capture how it all FELT.

A honeymoon is clearly an entirely different travel experience from any other, and in a certain sense it wouldn’t have mattered where we had gone.  We still would have the hundreds of moments of just looking at each other and saying “oh wow- we got married!”.  The honeymoon is a way to escape from the real world so that you can have just a few days to wander around with your new spouse, in a new city, and just transition softly together into marriage.

And for us, that was definitely important- to spend our first week being married just enjoying being.  No work, or chores, or other everyday obligations.  It gave us a space to breathe and to begin to process that the wedding was over and our lives together were truly beginning in a different and deeper way than before.

It was also an unforgettable vacation.  Florence is a beautiful city, brimming with Renaissance history beyond comparison, and it was nice to finally be able to put my 5 years of Italian lessons from high school and college to some use!