6 Reasons Why We Did A First Look (22)
In general, we tried to avoid a lot of wedding traditions: no veil, no bouquet / garter toss (or garter, for that matter), no best man or maid of honor, no incorporation of religion. We also decided to do almost all of our photos before the wedding and decided to do a first look prior to seeing our guests. There are several reasons why we decided to do a first look before our wedding.
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6 Reasons Why We Decided To Do A First Look

1. We wanted to share a special moment between the two of us.

Call us selfish, but we wanted to have that special moment for ourselves. We knew that we wouldn’t get a ton of time together during the wedding, so we decided to share this special moment between ourselves (and photographer, of course).
6 Reasons Why We Did A First Look (20)
I was nervous that the moment would be lost if we went the traditional route, since I get extremely nervous in front of groups of people (see below). To really share and feel each other’s reaction was really beautiful. And I’m so happy that we did that. It was one of my favorite parts of the day.

2. We wanted to calm our nerves.

I get nervous in front of people. Very nervous. For example, in high school I participated in theatre as a stage manager, never on stage. I get anxious and nervous and feel like my stomach is going to fall out of my butt. So having a chance to get a lot of emotions out prior to standing in front of our loved ones was really, really nice.
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I’ve been neglecting this blog and social media lately because I spent the last 9 or 10 days being sick. Like pray-to-a-god-I-don’t-believe-in kind of sick. I spent the earlier part of last week being convinced that I had contracted malaria from my recent trip to Cameroon (I don’t) while hoping that it was just a tiny, short-lived illness that would pass in a few days (it didn’t). The upside to being sick, however, is that it allowed me to take a couple of sick days during which I had the house to myself, and I was able to engage in some of my secret single behaviors. You know, the things I like to do when I have the house to myself. Here are some of my favorite secret single behaviors:

Secret Single Behaviors

Secret Single Behaviors

  • All the beauty maintenance activities: baths, eyebrows, whiten teeth, examining all the pores, mud masks, paint nails, etc.
  • Practice ballet and jazz: I love to dance across the hardwood in the living doing floor combinations. The living room isn’t very big so I have to keep my moves pretty tight. This activity doesn’t last long when I’m sick.
  • Watch all of Bravo’s finest: Real Housewives of BH, OC, and NJ paired with a little Pump Rules = A+
  • And then watch an episode of Buffy. OR read one of my Buffy Season 8 or 9. Because yes, they exist and they are awesome.
  • Snack like a beast: All the yummies will be mine, completely guilt free. I’m talking Mac & Cheese, cookie dough, and wasabi peas. Not all at once, I promise.
    Secret Single Behaviors
  • If I don’t leave the house, I don’t leave my pajamas. Obviously.
  • Listen to Blow by Kesha on repeat. Best pump up song.
  • Be terrified that someone is trying to break into the house: To be fair, I experience this every day.
  • Speak my thoughts. To myself. Similar to talking to myself but less creepy … right?
  • Snuggle with a pillow when napping. We all do it, right?
  • Cry. Mostly over really touching episodes of Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, etc.
  • Lose track of time in the black hole that is Pinterest. Followed by instagram. And then get angry when people aren’t updating fast enough to keep up with my media consumption.

What are your favorite secret single behaviors

[link with Linked with  Random,  Whims,  Whimsy, and Wedding Weddings (Kristyn, Mary, Meredith, & Nancy]

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engagement party

Saturday Matt and I had our engagement party! We decided to have a low-key, afternoon hangout in our backyard since 1) we have a ton of space, and 2) the weather was amazing! We were lucky to have about 45 of our wonderful friends and family join us for delicious foodies, yummy drinks and a few rounds of corn hole.

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Matt had asked for miniature giraffes on the party invitation. And two of our friends made an incredible watermelon cake with a girl and boy miniature giraffe toppers! Beyond amazing.

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We are so lucky to have such amazing friends and family. Thanks to Shelly, Monique and Dave for helping us set up in the morning! And to Cristina and Sam for making that AMAZING watermelon cake, sangria, and chocolate covered strawberries! We love you all!

Oh and during the party Matt got his hands on my phone and changed my Facebook status to this:
getting engaged...
What a keeper, huh ;)

 

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Normally I like to do beauty related posts on Wednesdays but I’ve decided to switch off between beauty & wedding related posts each week. Because I’ve found that after getting engaged all I want to think about is planning a wedding. That is normal, right? I hope? of course it is.

So how has my planning been going? Let’s take a look:

wedding planning checklist

Yup. 3/179 – I’m 1.7% of the way done planning the big day! Exciting, right? So far my items check off are:
♥ You know, got engaged
♥ Told family & friends
♥ Created a ‘wedding’ folder in email
♥ Obsessively pinning ideas to a secret board so that my friends don’t get too annoyed
♥ Decided to hold off on actually planning anything right now
♥ Got overwhelmed and pour myself a glass of wine
♥ Reminded myself that Matt and I have decided to hold off on any real planning
♥ Created a guest list for our engagement party!
♥ Poured glass of wine to celebrate tiny accomplishments

So to recap, I’ve basically gotten engaged, pinned like crazy and created an invite list for our engagement party. Super accomplished. For a couple of reasons, Matt and I are holding off on picking a date until this June at the earliest (maybe we’ll get married in 2014 or maybe 2015 – not sure but that is just fine). And in reality we probably won’t be able to do most of our planning until January 2014 (whaaat?). So really there isn’t a lot of rush to start planning anything right now. Except the engagement party (but the most difficult part, figuring out the guest list, is done and checked off the list woot woot!). Really, I’m glad that we’re holding off on planning most of the details, because I have NO idea where to start or how to organize myself – which is truly an unfamiliar feeling.

So do any of you have an suggestions on where to start? How to make planning more manageable… what to do first… and what to wait on? Any and all suggestions and insights are welcomed!

Linked with  Whatever, WheneverWhat I’m LovingRandomFollowers to FriendsWhims, and WhimsyWedding, and Wedding Wednesday.

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bellagio fountain show treasure tromp
What an interesting city, yeah? Somehow I both love and hate Las Vegas, and I have a feeling that I’m not the only one. When combined, the bright lights, loud music, semi delicious food, going out clothes, and excessive alcohol (don’t pretend like you don’t drink in Vegas) create the perfect frenemy. Sure Vegas is a blast in the moment, but it isn’t until you’re eating brunch at a greasy buffet the next day that you realize just how badly you’d like to go back home.

Or go back out that night.

Not even the pool is a safe zone. At first I love sitting down by the pool with friends, a can of beer, and my book that I’ve brought down with every intention to read (I swear) but soon realize does a much better job of making sure my towel doesn’t blow away. And then I notice the overly tan bros pounding beers two at a time, and girls in tiny bikinis in a caged, raised platform in the middle of the pool dancing in a way that lets everyone know that 1) she knows she is hot, & 2) she really doesn’t give a f**k. This all leaves me second guessing my relationship with the Las Vegas hotel pool. Classic frenemy.

But despite the cruel ways of Las Vegas, I keep crawling going back. Before last weekend, I promised myself that this trip would be different. Okay, mostly because I was going to a bachelorette party and wedding, but nonetheless, it was going to be different. And it was! For example…
1) I traded in going out to a club for a nice, classy, wine bar for my friend’s bachelorette party. I’m a changed women. This wine bar, however, was closely followed by driving around the strip for 2 hrs in an SUV limo with a couple of bottles of champagne, which closely resembles my Vegas Halloween of 2009. But since there was about 3 years in between those events, I’m going to ignore that I had done it before. That is how it works, right?
2) I gambled. For real money. At the backjack table with two guys that were having a hard time. I, on the other hand, walked away with a little extra spending cash. This is very different than my normal non-gambling days
3) One word: Buffet. I hate them. But for some reason, it just seemed like the right thing to do Saturday morning afternoon.
4) Missed a fountain show at the Bellagio. The picture above is from my last trip. I can’t even talk about it.

And the good ol’ Vegas that I love:
1) Pizza for breakfast AND dinner….two days in a row.
2) Pool time. Thank you, Vegas
3) Immediately regretting the heels I just needed to wear every night.
4) Drinking champagne in a limo around the Strip for a couple of hours. You’re right, this item totally belonged on this list
5)  Waking up with legs so sore from dancing that getting out of a chair is the hardest task of the day / the realization that I am out of shape
6) Spending time with some of my favorite people. Because if nothing else, Vegas is a place that unites people. And I kind of love it. 

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Our beautiful view of the Strip during our dinner at Sushi Roku, inside Caesar’s Palace

Until next time, sweet frenemy.

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Here are six things that are making me smile this Monday:

Smile #1: We recently had a friend stay with us a few nights while she was in the process of moving. As a way of saying thanks, she left us this cute salt and pepper shaker set.

Smile #2: When I arrived at my mother’s house Thursday, I found these little gifts waiting on the nightstand (minus the glasses and keys). The Pike Place cook book is perfect since we just got back from Seattle.

Smile #3: Every time I head up to the Bay Area, I make it a point to visit my favorite sushi restaurant, Shogun. In all honesty, the only sushi that I’ve had that tops their quality was in Tokyo, at the Tsukiji Fish Market.

Smile #4: Seeing this dog makes me smile like no other. Roz is 15 and the most lovable dog there is.

Smile #5: This is my great grandmother. She’s 98 and wonderful, and puts the biggest smile on my face. Did I mention that she’s 98?!

Smile #6: This Monday, I’m smiling because I was able to witness my friend from high school marry the man of her dreams in the most beautiful ceremony I have ever seen. Congratulations!

What’s making you smile this Monday?

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