My Bridal Shower

This past Saturday was my bridal shower.  My bridal shower!  Can you believe it?  I hardly can, and I certainly woke up in disbelief that morning, with the thought, is today really my bridal shower? floating around in my head.  I mean, I’ve been to plenty of other women’s bridal showers, but (obviously) never had my own, so it was so strange for me to be getting ready for my own bridal shower.  Even once I got there I was pretty nervous; I had never been the guest of honor at anything before, so the thought of making sure everyone felt truly appreciated for coming and knowing all the right things to say to everyone did make me a little anxious.  But once I was there and just started talking to my friends and family the way I always do, my body definitely relaxed and I just really appreciated the day.  My matron of honor and my bridesmaids all did an absolutely amazing job putting everything together – I feel so lucky to have such awesome ladies supporting me during this special time in my life. 🙂 Love you ladies!

The day was really a great success with great company, delicious food, a fun silly little game, and everyone brought such thoughtful, wonderful gifts – I really do feel so lucky!

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Frances, the Italian Seamstress Goddess

Yesterday, my big sister (aka my MOH) and the MP came with me to my first dress fitting.  I was back and forth about whether or not to just go to David’s Bridal for my dress fitting, or to trek all the way out to Columbia, Maryland to see Frances, the woman who fitted both my sister and my sister-in-law’s wedding dresses and did an awesome job.  I went over the debate of convenience with a questionable quality versus inconvenience with a guaranteed quality about a bajillion times in my head, until I finally just decided I wanted quality and I’d make the drive out to Columbia for it and let me just say, I am SO happy I did!

When I purchased my dress from David’s Bridal, they sold me one of those shapewear type bras (that go all the way down to your hips to suck in the belly) and a slip with all this extra poof.  Well when I got to Frances’s and put on my bra, she immediately pointed out that it didn’t fit me correctly.  I had kind of noticed it was tight on me, and kept asking people if it looked alright, but everyone just kept telling me it was the right size, so I just kept my mouth shut.  So I went ahead and tried on the dress with it anyway (since it was the only one I had) and she looked at me and said, “No, no, take it off” as she quickly started unzipping my dress and unsnapping my bra from behind, lol.  So I took off the bra and tried on my dress without a bra for the first time and it was like magic!  The too-small-bra had been pinching me and actually making me look chubbier up top, so when I took it off I looked slimmer!  Then she points out, “You don’t need to wear this slip, your dress has enough poof on it’s own, this slip will just make you hot.”  Man, where was Frances when I bought my dress?  Lol.  She also pointed out I don’t even need to have the dress fitted, the bodice already fits me perfectly and the length is just right.  THEN, to make the appointment even more amazing, Frances overheard me talking about how I still need a veil, and she instantly said (thick Italian accent and all), “Oh no, they charge $200-300, no no, I make you one, I make you veil to match your dress.”  Helloooo, Frances, my new best friend!

I seriously am just SO happy I decided to use Frances because I’m sure if I had used David’s Bridal they would’ve just made the situation worse and probably told me I needed to buy something else from them!  I do have to go back to them, though, and explain that they sold me the wrong type of bra and convince them to let me exchange it for the right type of bra, which I’m sure will be tons of fun.  Not.  But I’m hopeful it won’t be too painful of a situation!  Fingers crossed!

Let the trial runs begin!

Last night I had my nails “fancy” done for the first time.  I’ve had a handful of manicures in my life, but it only takes a few $20 manicures chipping within 24 hours for a girl to realize it’s a waste of money.  Eeevery now and then I’ll have a french done for something special (aka right after we got engaged and I was showing off my ring to anyone who blinked in my direction), but I really try to avoid wasting the money in general nowadays.  That being said, I really want to have my nails done for the wedding and maybe even have them last -gasp- all the way through our honeymoon without chipping!  In comes the idea of “fancy” nails (a term I created for the purpose of this blog because I didn’t know how else to describe it) and since I didn’t want to just wing it when I have my nails done for the wedding, I decided it was time to start doing some trial runs to see what I like/dislike so I have a plan for September (which P.S. today is 99 daysss!!!!).

So last night I went to my new favorite salon (which I have to give a shout out to E. for opening my eyes to this little gem) and basically said “I want something simple using my natural nails that will last 3-4 weeks.”  The guy suggested liquid gels.  I had heard of “gels” but couldn’t really get a straight definition on what is what from my attempt at internet research, so I decided the salon would know best.  He told me powder gel would do way more damage to my original nail, and liquid gels would give a similar look without damaging my original nail and they would feel pretty natural.

Well three hours later (which included my awesome pedicure), I now have fancy nails!  I couldn’t tell you exactly what the guy did – I think there were probably ten different steps, but basically he buffed down my nails, put on an acrylic base, put on two layers of the liquid gel, then buffed/filed that down, then did more gel (or maybe just a base coat?), then he did the white for the french, then a top coat of some sort and lots of filing in between all of those steps.  So now my nails basically have a thick layer of gel, with a french manicure underneath, so I can leave them the way they are for the “natural” look, or I can actually paint over them a solid color if I want, and then even remove that color and the french manicure will still remain underneath, which I thought was pretty cool (whew, sorry for the run-on).

I’d say all-in-all I’m pretty happy with the results.  They feel very natural and I’m already used to them, even with typing and whatnot, and since it’s just my natural nail with no extra fake length added, they don’t seem outrageously out of place on me.  My one comment is I usually get square tips, just because they normally don’t ask and just give me square tips, so this time I asked for round tips and I think in the future I’ll get square tips.  The round tips look good and I don’t mind them, I just think I prefer the square tip look better, but that’s all part of the trial run to figure out likes and dislikes, so I guess I can say this trial run was a great success!

Hello middle school, nice to see you again

I loved leggings when I was little.  I had pink ones and green ones and red ones and teal ones.  Remember the ones with stirrups?  Yep, I had a cream pair of them.  I used to wear matching turtle necks and leggings with long baggy sweaters or sweatshirts over top (not hoodies, no no, these were old school sweatshirts).  Or maybe just a tshirt and some leggings when it was warmer out.  I remember this one pair was like a solid dark fuscia, but it was patterned (like an imprinted pattern, so from far away they just looked like one solid color, but up close you could see the detail), they were one of my favorite pairs.  Every Christmas I would wear green ones and my sister would wear red ones, you know, so we’d coordinate.  Alright, maybe that wasn’t every Christmas, maybe it was just one Christmas where we took a lot of pictures so it really sticks out in my mind, but whatever, you get my point.  Leggings were a big deal in my life.  Later I remember being teased by my high school friends a la, “I remember when you used to wear leggings, you were such a dork.”  But in the moment, I was blissfully unaware of my leggings-dorkiness.

I can’t say I remember when they faded out of my wardrobe, but eventually they did just that, and I continued on blissfully unaware that they were even absent, until recently.  What happened as of late to bring this lack of leggings to my attention?  I bought a bunch of cute little skirts and dresses and was complaining to E. about how sometimes it’s just a little too cold to wear them, or my legs are too white and pasty right now to wear them and she was like, “Go get leggings! Duh!”  Alright, in her defense, she didn’t actually say “Duh,” but you get my drift.  So leggings?  Really?  Am I going back there?  Yes, I guess I am.

So last weekend M. had to go to Best Buy, so I got him to drop me off at Target, where I ventured in and bought my first pair of leggings in fifteen years [is anyone else having a mini-panick attack that we’re old enough for fashion trends to have faded and since come back??].  Granted, the days of full length leggings with a turtle neck and a sweatshirt aren’t back in full swing, this is more cute little skirt with clam-digger length leggings, but still, they are leggings and no one can deny that.  So that brings us to last night, where, yes, my friends, I did it.  I wore my leggings out in public for the first time and I’m not gonna lie, I actually think I looked pretty darn cute!  I snapped a quick picture on my camera (had to share with E. so she’d be proud!), so y’all can check it out too and be eye-witnesses to the fact, that I have reverted back to middle school and do, in fact, own leggings again.

Charm City

Yesterday was one of those perfect days where M. and I both got home from work early, so since we had late dinner plans with friends in Baltimore we decided to go up a few hours early and wander around the Inner Harbor.  The weather was warm and there were people out everywhere, so we walked hand-in-hand aaaall the way around and up to the top of the Federal Hill Park.  Life gets so busy sometimes, I really love when M. and I get to spend time together just the two of us. 🙂

Air Show at Andrews AFB

Last weekend my parents and I went to the air show at Andrews AFB…

 My Dad was very excited to see FiFi…

My adorable helicopter pilot showing off the Huey to all the little kids…

My Dad holding his dog tag that was printed right there by a machine that was from the 40s… pretty cool…

Me and my helicopter pilot ❤

Shortbread Cookies + Jam? Yes, please!

Sibling Dinner was at our place last night, so I decided to try my hand at some jam-filled cookies (or thumb-print cookies, whichever name you prefer).  I had some homemade strawberry and peach jam from my Aunt, and figured this endeavour would be the perfect place to use them!  I found a recipe online, that had great reviews and decided I’d give it a try.  So Wednesday night I started baking and to my great joy, those little suckers turned out amazing!  I’m probably slightly partial since, 1) I made them, and 2) soft shortbread cookies are my favorite, but who cares, these little gems are delicious!  Here’s the original full recipe by MKHG, and here’s the recipe I used with some small variations:

I seriously can’t get enough of these things and am already thinking up excuses to make more – is it bad to bring cookies to your own bridal shower?