Jun 26, 2010

  • Last updated on February 1, 2010 at 1:58 am
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I started my major weight loss about three years ago.  I went from 190 lbs. down to 141 lbs.  I wanted to jumpstart the weight loss again when the scale jumped to 150 lbs.  I wanted it to go down, not up.  So, I started doing an hour of cardio, along with push-ups, reverse crunches, arm exercises, squats, etc.  The scale has gone down 15 lbs. since November, with the incorporation of portion control, and I have just little bit further to go. 135 lbs!!! 10 more to go!

Update: I just weighed in this morning, 3/9/10, and I was 130.7!!!  I'm getting there...slowly, but surely. 

Update: I had another weigh-in this morning, 3/23/10, and it read 128.4!!!  Getting even closer now. 

Update: The weigh-in this morning, produced my goal.  As of 4/6/10, the scale read 125.0.  Exactly!

Now, it's time to work toward the big goal of 118, the bottom of my BMI range.

Moving down...124.2 this morning, 4/8/10. 

As of 5/8/10...............................122.8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, on 5/24/10, I caught up to Kimmy at 122.4.  I wish I could break the 120 mark!

On 5/31/10, the scale read 120.6.  Almost there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Last updated on November 11, 2009 at 7:29 am
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I have always loved everything vintage.  So, it is really no surprise that I added elements into our big day.  However, I did add a few modern touches. 

Like I said, my dress was something I immediately fell in love with when I saw it and I tried it on.  It was exactly what I was looking for, from the straps to the lace fabric.  I chose a La Sposa by Pronovias dress, and it called to me.  I'm not going to reveal the dress on here, for fear that someone may see.  Only my mom knows the exact dress, but I will at least reveal that it's from La Sposa's Ruffle Collection. 

Beauty photo 1 

I will reveal that it is mermaid style, with lots of lace and ruffle.  It is perfect!  It fits perfectly.  It was the first and only dress I tried on.  I didn't need to try on any others.  It fit me like it was made for me.  There are slight alterations needed, like the straps being shortened just a bit.  The hem, however, will be more complicated, as there are layers of different fabrics.  It will be quite the undertaking, but I'm thankful that the seamstress at the bridal shop has had experience with this dress.  Thank God!

I can reveal my accessories.  I went to a trunk show for Toni Federici, and instantly loved the styles and hair accessories that could be used to create a veil look.  I chose a birdcage with little rhinestone detailing along the bottom.  I had it custom-made to stop below my chin, instead of being a blusher.

Beauty photo 2

I only chose the veil part, not this hair accessory.  I went with more plumage.  It was too pretty to pass up.

Beauty photo 3

I also chose a vintage hairstyle that Diane Kruger sported.  I'm going to bring the pics along to my consultation, and see if they may recreate it.  I will post the consultation pictures once I have the meeting with the stylist.

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Everything will come together under my dress...with my shoe selection.  The shoes have a nice, low heel, so I don't tower over my honey or my dad (who's a shorty, like me).

Beauty photo 6

The shoes are really sparkly in person, and extremely easy to walk in.  That was what I wanted without having to sacrifice prettiness. :)

  • Last updated on November 2, 2009 at 7:42 am
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I never realized that there were so many little details that go into a wedding.  So far, it has been a lot of fun planning the particulars.  There are still several projects to complete, along with some DIY ones, but I'm looking forward to it. 

I will give you a little background on the wedding decor and planning details.  It is all of the details that I enjoy sharing.  My fiance and I are trying to create a different layout and include unique items to make our day even more special and exclusive.  Of course, we've taken some great ideas from those creative ladies out there (especially Ms. Martha Stewart--she's swell!).  Our theme is Eros (Cupid) and Pscyche.  So, there will be butterflies, candlelight, and lots of cream roses.  We're using a more simple, but elegant palette of ivory, black, and dark olive. 

Planning photo 1Planning photo 2Planning photo 3

We chose Eros and Psyche because of a painting that Charlie and I love.  It has a little backstory to it.

Planning photo 4

This oil on canvas painting is by Adolphe William Bouguereau.  We first saw the painting at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.  We were walking through the museum, and when we happened on this painting, Charlie turned to me and said that was him attacking me.  He was my cupid.  I started looking into the myth of Cupid and Psyche.  I found that two married in Greek mythology.  It was a perfect fit for our theme.  From my research, too, I found out that Psyche, upon becoming an immortal, was given butterfly wings.  I am extremely interested in mythology and butterflies, so I decided to incorporate the two ideas.  To incorporate the theme of Eros and Cupid, each of the tables will be identified by a painting or sculpture of the famous couple.  The names of the tables will be those of each artist that rendered them.  We thought this was a great idea, and a way to have something different for the table "#'s."

One of my DIY projects will be a large butterfly mobile that will be affixed to the ceiling of our tent, and will hang over the oval-shaped bar.  It will not be as large as the one in the picture, but it will be similarly constructed.

Planning photo 5

This butterfly mobile is grossly exaggerated.  I'm using an 18" wreath frame that will be spray-painted black.  I will string ribbons from the frame, and adhere the 72 butterflies in olive and yellow-green that I purchased from Clear Cut Crafts on  The butterflies look very real.  I wanted to create a whimsical and ethereal feel throughout the space, and I figured that fluttering butterflies was a good way to accomplish that.

Besides, the DIY mobile, I will also be constructing large tissue poms (approximately 50) that will hang over the dance floor.  I am using a Martha Stewart template to make them.  I am hoping that they turn out as beautifully as her's.  Actually, in my world, Martha would be working on these DIY projects with me. :)  I love her!

Planning photo 6

We will have twenty-eight 90" round tables that will be covered in white linen, and we chose black garden chairs to match.  The centerpieces will consist of 2-3 pieces of milk glass per table that I've collected from various thrift stores, antique shops, friends, and family.  The vases are various shapes, sizes, and shades of white.  There will be die-cut pieces of acetate that have a black brocade pattern on each table, that will show the white linen through the clear areas.  These pieces will go underneath the vases.  250 vendela roses, which are a cream color, will be used in all of the centerpieces.  A tall stachion will hold the signs on each table, displaying the names with a dark olive background.  The centerpieces will be surrounded by several cream colored votive candles in clear holders.  Each place-setting will have a rolled black napkin with a DIY butterfly ring, made by using one of Martha Stewart's templates. 

Planning photo 7

 I am a fan of all things antique/vintage, girly, and soft.  I wanted to incorporate those styles/concepts into our day.  I don't want to overly girlify the decor, but my fiance is all for my ideas.  I am so happy that he's game.  We did a layout at the caterer, and got to setup the table exactly how we wanted it, at least with the centerpieces.  The caterer said she had never seen anything like it, so that definitely put a smile on my face.  Then, she asked if she could share our layout with others, and that made me even happier.  Seeing it all come together reassured me that the ideas in my head weren't crazy or unpresentable. 

Charlie and I are pretty simple, so even with our multiple ideas, we didn't want to overload the tables or overdo any of the designs.  Brocade and lace show up here and there, but it doesn't drown anything.  Like our cake.  I wanted to incorporate the lace from my dress, so we chose a simple cake design that I found on Real Simple's website.

Planning photo 8

I have tried to find the black hobnail cakestand to no avail.  I found some plain black ones, but this stand is so beautiful.  I even emailed the magazine to see if they could recall where the stand came from.  No luck there.  I'll keep up my search in the hopes that I will at least find something similar. Our invitations will have a similar motif.  Thanks to Jessica's Design Shop!

There is a lot of black in the wedding.  It's funny how when I mention the color scheme to the older generations, they cringe a little.  They associate black with moroseness or mourning.  I remind them that in modern times, and even long ago, black is a sign of elegance and formality, especially when paired with white.  As you can see, there is black in the cake, the stand, and the men's suits will be all black, including the shirt, except for the sateen olive-colored ties.  I found a similar look on another PW biography.  Thank you pinkyjane48!  I loved the look and appreciate the inspiration.  I also included a picture of the actual suit, but it will not have a vest, or pocket square, and it will be black.  The boys will also be wearing Converse Chuck Taylors.  It is becoming so popular, but it makes sense; why not be comfortable?  We were going to choose olive green ones, but black will get more use after the wedding.

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All of the men will have this look, along with a white flower boutonniere.  The flower of each groomsman will match his maiden.  For example: Jill will have a ranunculus bouquet, and her groomsman, Bill, will have a matching bout.

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All of the maidens of honor (no "bridesmaids") chose a favorite white flower to be used in their bouquets.  I wanted everything to be distinctively them, from their dress choice (black too) to their flowers.  The only thing I chose for them was the dress company: JLM Couture.  They could choose any black dress made by any of the designers under that brand.  There are six maidens, and most of them have their selections narrowed down.  There is only one that has not gone shopping yet, but here are the ones "selected" so far.

Update: The final maiden and I went shopping today, and she chose her dress.  Now, let the ordering begin.  I'm so excited to see all of the girls in their picks.  It will be a stunning array of dresses that lets their personalities shine.  They will all be beautiful!

Planning photo 14 Planning photo 15 Planning photo 16

Jill                                               Jen                                           Kim

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Johanne                                         Heather                                       Michele

The point of letting the girls select their dresses was that they could wear them again.  How many PW girls have been in weddings, have had to wear a 1) horrid color or 2) ugly style?  I don't want any of the girls to feel that way.  I want them to go in their closets, and know they have a dress to wear to party.  It is an investment, and I want it to be one they won't regret.  Plus, as you can see, the girls have great taste, so I couldn't be happier.

I cannot post my dress, because it is a surprise.  This much I can provide: Pronovias.  It is a unique dress that had the vintage style I wanted.  It was the first (and only) dress I tried on, but I instantly fell in love with it.  It was exactly what I was looking for, a great price, and turned out to be the designer I wanted too.  I can exhibit my flowers.  I have chosen my bouquet flower, and I was inspired by an Estee Lauder ad.  The only difference will be the style of rose.  I chose Malu (or peppermint) roses.  They have large heads, a soft citrus scent, nearly thornless, and seem to last forever.  My florist was great and brought in a sample of the rose, so I could see it in person.  Nikki at Welke's is great!

Planning photo 20

I'm going to have the exact same bouquet style: long stems, ribbon-wrapped center.  Nikki saw this picture, and told me that it will be even prettier.  I cannot wait to see the final product that day!

There, of course, is so much more, but I'll add more when some of the DIY projects are done.

I am updating this section, since my mom and I finished two of our projects, and are in the middle of another.  We finished the picture board that will display my honey and I in separate sides for our childhoods, and we share the center of it with our "couple" pictures.  It turned out really cute.  We also finished the shower invitations.  Mom hand-stamped all of them, we punched out paper hearts, stamped and colored them, hand-wrote the details, attached the hearts with ribbon from a heart-shaped punch, and mounted them to black cardstock.  They turned out beautifully.  I'll add photos of both projects once I take and upload the pictures.  My best friend and MOH is in town, so she has been helping me with my next project, hand-cut paper butterflies.  These butterflies come from a Martha Stewart template, and they will be used for napkin rings.  That means, we're making one for each guest (approx. 250 butterflies).  It doesn't feel too good on your hands after 4 hours of cutting, but they turn out so dainty and pretty.  Eventually, they'll get two slits, and black, satin ribbon will slide through as the tie for around the napkin.  I'll post pictures of them as well, as soon as we have that project completed.

  • Last updated on October 30, 2009 at 10:07 am
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Engagement Story photo 1Engagement Story photo 2

Here we are at someone else's wedding (Oh, and the Hotel Del Coronado to your right).  I knew Charlie was the one for me, but I didn't know if I would ever get married.  I felt that way for a long time, because I had been solo for so many years.  Of course, being in college all of those years (6, to be exact) is a little distracting.  It just started to alarm me when cousins and friends my age were getting married and having children.  I figured I would wind up being the cat lady.  I knew I was kind of nerdy, but I never thought I was that undesirable.  Charlie saw something in me that no one else did.  I saw everything in him that I had been looking for since I was a little girl.  I always wanted someone kind, helpful, chivalrous, and funny, like my dad.  My mom and him are the best of friends, and that was what I had been searching for.  Charlie is my best friend.  I would take nothing less in a husband. 

I knew Charlie was "the one" one snowy night.  There were blizzard-like conditions one evening, when I had gone over to his house to watch a movie.  During the course of the evening, and the snow had finally stopped falling, the city plow had piled the snow up to my driver's side window.  Before I left, Charlie put on his galoshes, winter coat, gloves, and hat, and trenched into the snow.  He shoveled out my car completely, drove to the alley where it was clear.  In the meantime, a truck had gotten stuck in a snowbank across the street.  He walked over by the truck, and helped push them out.  The people were perfect strangers, but he was willing to help.  Who couldn't fall in love with someone that was so selfless?  It would be impossible not to.  I knew I wanted to marry him after that night.

It wasn't until April of 2009 that it happened, over a year after that day.  We had our families together by his parents' place for Easter brunch.  We planned on celebrating his birthday at the same time, so everyone brought presents.  We all gathered together in the living room, mimosas and bloody mary's in hand, for Charlie to open his presents.  He sat between my father and I.  His mom brought in a Kohl's Department Store bag, in which was a wrapped present.  He said to her, "I told you not to get me anything."  While he was preparing to open the present, he started telling my parents about the prior evening.  We had a conversation with some friends about joint bachelor/bachelorette parties.  He said to my mom, as he started opening the present, "You know, I wouldn't want you to be at the bachelor party, but there are some things I do want you to be a part of..."  He opened the box then, and said, "Like me asking your daughter to marry me."  He opened the ring box then, and turned to me.  I said, "YES! YES! YES!"  I gave him the biggest squeeze and kiss.  I didn't know if he would want to take the leap again, after his heart had been broken before.  I was the happiest girl to know that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.  I said to him before, "I don't have to be your first love, but I want to be your last."

Engagement Story photo 3Engagement Story photo 4

We picked our wedding date not long after the engagement: June 26, 2010.  A friend of our's was so generous and kind enough to offer his 15,000 sq. ft. home and 5 acre property for our wedding ceremony and reception.  We're really excited!!!  We have a lot marked off the list.  Really, there are only 8 months remaining.  We are having a tented wedding on the property, and have made all of the arrangements for that, along with the catering company, dj, florist, and photographer.  I have my dress and accessories, and Charlie has chosen the suit for him and his men.  We're feeling pretty calm right now, and I'm hoping it's not just "before the storm." 

In June of 2009, our photographer, Patrick Manning, took some beautiful E-pictures.  If you wish to use any photos on this portion of the page, please make note and give credit to Manning Photography.  He truly is the best!

Engagement Story photo 5Engagement Story photo 6Engagement Story photo 7

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These are just some examples of the beautiful, photojournalistic work of Patrick Manning.

  • Last updated on October 30, 2009 at 9:34 am
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How We Met photo 1

How silly are we?  This is Charlie and me when we were "just friends" in October of 2007.  In fact, it was a mere two weeks prior that he kissed me for the first time.  We were up in his parents' attic, digging through the treasure trove of nostalgic clothing and wares.  We hit the motherload when I found the high-waisted bell bottoms, and, he, his grandfather's varied plaid suits.  He decided to combine two of the suits to make the wonderful combination seen in the picture.  We always have fun together.

Our meeting was kissmet.  We work for the same company, but when I started there in October of 2002, it was at a different location than Charlie.  He would often call to speak with the manager of my branch, and I always thought that he sounded really cute.  After answering his calls, over time, we sort of got to know each other.  We hadn't even met face-to-face yet.  We would flirt with each other, but that was it.  Our phone conversations went on for a year and a half.  I quit the company to attend graduate school at UW-Milwaukee in 2003.  For two years, while I was getting my Master of the Arts in Political Science, we didn't talk.  After graduation in 2005, I joined the company once again in July.  This time, after a few months, Charlie paid a visit to my branch.  We finally met after all of those years.  It was a simple greeting and short conversation.  But, after that, like old times, he would call the branch, and he and I would talk.  About a year after my return to the company, the opportunity arose to split my time with Charlie's branch.  I took it, and our friendship had the chance to grow.  I started at his branch in September of 2006.  We would discuss each other's relationships (dysfunctional as they were) and give each other advice.  Our bonding came from our ability to talk easily to one another and share private matters.  There was a deep sense of trust that formed from our many conversations. 

Also, around this time, I got the chance to watch Charlie's boxer, Austin, whenever he'd go out of town.  I remember him asking me the first time I watched Austin if I had any special requests.  I jokingly said, "I want chocolates on my pillow."  My first night there, there was a note on the counter with a container from a chocolate shoppe, reading, "I didn't want to leave these on the pillow, in case Austin decided to investigate."  Charlie was always thoughtful--and still is.  He remembered what I said, and put his own twist on it.  It was the gestures like that, and the subtle flirtations from him, which got me thinking, "Does he like me?" 

How We Met photo 2

It wasn't until that night at his parents' house, when we had shopped for 70s costumes in their attic, and he kissed me for the first time, that my thought was confirmed.  I was seeing someone at the time, someone who wasn't thoughtful.  Charlie was the nicest and sweetest guy I knew.  But, it took a while for me to finally realize it. 

Prior to my 29th birthday, for which Charlie was taking me out to dinner, I had gone to the salon to get my nails done.  The technician was a sweet lady, always telling me about her great husband and beautiful children.  I was envious; she seemed so happy.  On the day before my birthday dinner, she told me something while I was sitting there, and I'll never forget it: "If you have a great guy, never let him go."  It was like an epiphany.  I knew then that I had to have Charlie, and that no other girl could.  Several more dates later, and we made the commitment to be exclusive with each other.  That is how it all started.  My mom always said I would meet someone at work :)

How We Met photo 3How We Met photo 4