Posts Tagged ‘things I love’

Guest Post: Budget Fairy Tale’s 5 Reasons To Consider a Disney Wedding or Honeymoon

Hi, I’m Mindy from Budget Fairy Tale & Inspired By Dis! Renee and I met on the internet when she helped me reach my goal of attending Camp Mighty, and now I consider her one of my closest friends. The Internet is magic, people. Today I’m excited to be guest posting on That Bride’s Got Moxie while Renee is off enjoying her honeymoon (color me jealous)!  I’m expecting a little bottle of Jamaican Rum as a thank you gift.

Speaking of honeymoons, one subject that I write about a lot on my blog is Disney weddings and honeymoons. I know for a lot of adults, the word Disney conjures up images of never ending queues and overpriced stuffed animals. But for some adults, it reminds of them of carefree childhood vacations and happily ever after. I am one of those adults, and I’m not alone. Every year, thousands of couples either get married, honeymoon, or both, at a Disney Resort. I married my husband at The Disneyland Hotel in 2012 and I wouldn’t have changed a single thing about our wonderful wedding day. Today I’m sharing a little bit of that Disney magic with the That Bride’s Got Moxie readers. Here are my 5 reasons you should consider a Disney wedding or honeymoon.

(All photos credited to Root Photography unless otherwise stated.)Mindy Main Image

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Cambriawesome Team Bridal Weekend, Part 1!

Hey y’all: While I’m waiting for our amazing photogs to finish up our pro wedding pics, I’m gonna be catching up on all the things I didn’t have time to write about before the wedding. Actual wedding recaps are forthcoming. Promise. 

On an unseasonably cool weekend in August, I was lucky enough to have all my best girls in one place for three whole days! This was not an accident. This was a weekend masterfully orchestrated by Team Bridal, and most especially, CraftyPants McGee, my Matron of Honor.

personal photo

personal photo, me on the left, CraftyPants on the right

See that pin wheel? She made that. This pic is from our engagement party, which she also expertly crafted and planned. So, she does not come by her nickname ironically.

In our little family of friends, we don’t do bridal showers. Back in 2006, when SmartyPants was planning her wedding, she asked for a Girls Weekend in lieu of a shower. So, we took Las Vegas by storm and had a ball.  In 2008, we did the same for CraftyPants – although the destination was Palm Springs, and the vibe was decidedly more chill.  As soon as Bob the Builder and I became engaged, the natural question from Team Bridal was, “Ok, so where are we going?”

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The Down Town Club Redux: Shiny and New!

Photo: Redfield Photo

Hey Peeps,

I told you months and months ago that our wedding venue, The Down Town Club, was bought by new owners and renovated. And I promised you photos. Well, I did not forget! It just took me a few months…please forgive me!

Back in April, Cescaphe (the sassy new owners) held an Open House. Unfortunately, I was not able to fly in from Los Angeles to attend. But, my amazingly awesome photographers, Marisa & Jon from Redfield Photography, did attend. And they gave me the scoop, in the form of these beautiful photos.

All photos, Redfield Photography.

Photo: Redfield Photo

Lobby Sign

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StitchFix #2: Now with more RED!

personal photos

Hey Peeps,

Yesterday I filled you in on my new favorite thing, StitchFix, and the hills and valleys of that first shipment. Did you miss it? It’s right here. Go read it. We will wait.

Now that I am older and wiser (I’ve had a birthday since my last Fix!), I got my second StitchFix, and here’s how it went down.

I specifically asked for a dress in this StitchFix, because Bob the Builder and I were going to dinner for my birthday, and I wanted something new and cute. I mentioned that my preferred silhouette was a small waist and a full skirt (I look best in 1950′s inspired pieces – clearly born at the wrong time), and hoped they would have something that fit the bill.

personal photos

Shirt #1 personal photos

Shirt #1: Y’all, I loved this shirt. It’s a lovely tomato red, which actually looked great on me. And I’ve been wanting a top in this drapey style for a while now. I’ve even pinned it a few times to my My Style Pinterest board, which StitchFix references when choosing my items. I mean, obviously they did, since this exact style is on that board about five times! But once I had it on my body, it was just too big. The smallest part of me is my waist, and if I wear tops that are too loose, I just look enormous. I am also not-so-blessed-in-the-chest, so I think this was just the wrong size for me. I would have loved to return this for a size smaller, but as I’ve previously mentioned, that’s not an option with StitchFix.

personal photos

Shirt #2 personal photos

Shirt #2: More red! So thrilled with the red, and the print! And the silhouette wasn’t bad either. I didn’t keep this shirt, and now I wish I had. It’s so cute and summery and would have added some much-needed print to my wardrobe. All I can say in my defense is that I was PMS-ing and possibly making rash (bad) decisions. This top is “the one that got away”!

dress #1 personal photos

dress #1
personal photos

Dress #1: I’ve nicknamed this dress “The Hot Mess Dress”. I guess because it had a tie waist my stylist thought this might work, but it wouldn’t even fit past my waist. Like, it came to a complete stop by my hips. So, no. No, no, no. Not meant for anyone with Jessica Rabbit hips. Total Fail. But, the color was nice, and the fabric was gorgeous.

necklace personal photos

necklace
personal photos

Necklace: I remembered to take a photo this time! Sad to say, this one was not a keeper. MOH CraftyPants bought me an almost identical necklace last year for my birthday. So, kudos for StitchFix for knowing my taste. But I’ve since changed my preference to “statement jewelry” so that I can get some variety in my choices. I can’t wait to see what that means in my next StitchFix!

Dress #2: Here’s where the heartbreaking (I’m such a drama queen) story begins…

I asked my stylist for a cute birthday dress with a small waist and a full skirt, maybe with a fun print. And oh boy, did they deliver! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy with a dress (besides my wedding dress, obvs). I think some of the excitement was because I NEVER would have picked out this dress myself, and the other excitement was because it fit really well. It was so good, I wanted to wait and take a proper photo of myself wearing it out on my birthday – hair and makeup done – beacuse it was SO GOOD.

Here’s the info card: By the way, each item of clothing comes with these handy little cards that show you different ways to style the piece. This is awesome for me, because I am so lame at styling and accessorizing. I need all the help I can get!

info card from StitchFix

info card from StitchFix

Why don’t I have a photo of me in this awesome dress? Because the zipper broke as I put it on, splitting down the side and causing it to be totally unwearable. Insert sad face here.

personal photos sad broken birthday dress

personal photos
sad broken birthday dress

So, on the fly, I switched to my trusty ole LBD and we went to dinner. The next day, I emailed customer service at StitchFix. I am so thrilled to report that their customer service is excellent! Within four hours of my initial email, they had replied expressing sincere apologies for my trouble with the dress. As it happens, they have my dress (in my size!) in stock, so they are sending me a new one, and I am sending the broken one back to them. They even sent me a pre-paid return label so I don’t have to pay for shipping. YAY! StitchFix for the WIN! I am so happy to be getting the new dress! I don’t know where I will wear it, but when I do, I’ll post a photo.

It’s so nice to do business with a company that actually cares about customer service. It’s unfortunately really rare these days, I think.

So, that’s StitchFix #2. I still love the service, despite a few sizing problems and a broken zipper. I mean, when you go to the mall, not everything is a home run, right? At least with StitchFix I can try things on in my own home, at my leisure, and match it with items that are already in my warbrode. So, I will keep on keeping on with StitchFix, hoping that eventually I will be able to purchase everything in my box and take advantage of that 25% off discount. Y’all know how much I love a discount!

personal photo of my StitchFix packing invoice

personal photo of my StitchFix packing invoice

If you want to try Stitch Fix for yourself, and you use this link, I get a little referral credit.

Full disclosure: No one at StitchFix has sponsored this post in any way. I was not compensated to write about them (I’ll always tell you if that’s the case).

I just think it’s cool and wanted to share it, and if I can get a little extra shopping credit at the same time, well then, yay! And if you sign up, and refer your friends, you can get the same referral credit!

EVERYONE WINS Y’ALL.

Happy Shoppings!!

My New Favorite Thing: StitchFix!

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I think I’ve mentioned before that I really have no tolerance for shopping these days. Mostly, I order clothes online and just hope they look good when they get to me. It usually works out ok, but I tend to pick the same stuff over and over. Jeans, tee shirts, tank tops, jeans, yoga pants, jeans…do you see where I am going with this? I am definitely stuck in a rut. I basically live my life in yoga pants. It’s not so cute. I need fashion help.

A few months ago, I was reading my good friend Mindy’s blog (Budget Fairy Tale, go check it out), and Mindy posted about this new at home personal styling service called StitchFix. I was immediately intrigued.

Y’all StitchFix is awesome. Whenever you want to schedule a fix, they send you a box of 5 handpicked items for $20. You try on all the items, keep what you love, and send back the rest in a prepaid envelope they send in your Fix. It’s super easy, and super fun. It’s not a monthly service, so you’re not obligated to anything every month – you decide the schedule. You can schedule 4 Fixes in one month, or 4 Fixes a year…whatever floats your boat.

I went to the site to sign up, and was wait listed for a little bit. (Don’t be discouraged, it wasn’t too long of a wait!) When it was time to join, I filled out my Style Profile, which took about 10 minutes and was fun. They ask you a ton of style questions, which made it easier for me to pinpoint what I like and what I think is missing from my wardrobe. Also, questions like this are helpful, as I am a visual gal:

Screen Shot 2013-06-02 at 8.51.57 AM

screen capture of the style profile from StitchFix

They ask you all about your sizes, and body type, which is great, because my Jessica Rabbit sized hips are definitely out of proportion to the rest of my body. Questions like “Are you curvy on your bottom half?” made me feel much more relaxed.

So, my first Stitch Fix came a few weeks later. It was like Christmas when it arrived! So many possibilities!

personal photo

personal photo

The items in my box ranged from $50-$100 each, which is the price range I requested in my Style Profile. Other price ranges are: the cheaper the better, $100-$150, $150-$200, and $200+. Right away, I was smitten with the black lacy thing at the top of the box. It was love as first sight, really. I had requested some help with choosing prints, as most of my wardrobe is solids. And I wanted something “fun” for spring. Every time you schedule a fix, you have the opportunity to ask your stylists to focus something specific. I went with “prints” and “fun”. Here’s what I got:

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Shirt #1: personal photo

Shirt #1: I am a bad blogger and didn’t write down the designer name. I didn’t take a pic with this shirt on, because it didn’t flatter me at all. I don’t like (or look good in) button-up shirts. The print and the color looked good on me, but the cut was all wrong. I NEVER would have picked this out in a store, so yay for StitchFix for stretching my boundaries. It just wasn’t meant to be.

personal photos

Shirt #2: personal photos

Shirt #2: Gorgeous, but unfortunately it did not fit. Like, at all. Here’s where I’m super honest and tell you that I sized my shirts a size down from my normal size, as I was feeling pretty victorious about my recent 20 lb. weight loss. Ridiculously, this did not mean that I went down a size. Ugh. Anyway, I LOVED this shirt, and would have totally kept it if it fit. Insert sad face here.

personal photos

Shirt #3: personal photos

Side note: Please excuse my messy bedroom. Bob the Builder and I don’t have enough clothes storage, and well, it’s a mess in there. We need to buy a grown-up bedroom set. But that’s a whole other Oprah entirely.

Shirt #3: A super cute Chevron tunic. That wouldn’t fit over my butt. Total bummer, because had it fit, I would be wearing it right now. Do you see a trend here? Not much fit me in this box. Totally my fault, but it still bummed me out.

personal photos

Shirt #4: personal photos

Shirt #4: This one I kept. I loved it in the box, I loved it on me. Not the best photo in the world, but I’ve worn this top three times since I got it and each time received compliments. So yay! And, if I remember correctly, I think this was $66. The $20 you spent to receive the box gets credited back to you if you buy something, so it feels like I only spent $46, but that’s just faulty math. :-) If you buy all five items in your box, you get 20% off everything, which is an awesome deal!

I also received a nice pair of gold earrings that I didn’t keep (or even try on) because I already own a nearly identical pair. Major points for StitchFix for “getting” my style. Major points.

After you try everything on, you send back what you don’t want to keep in a pre-paid envelope. Just drop it in a mailbox within three days – easy peasy!

personal photo bye 1st StitchFix!

personal photo
bye 1st StitchFix!

Lessons learned from my first StitchFix:

  • Order your correct size. (Duh.) They don’t let you return something for a different size, so if you love something though it might be too small or too big, you’re kind of stuck. I don’t think they offer this for several reasons – shipping would get very expensive, and their inventory changes very quickly. It’s one of the few drawbacks I have with the service.
  • If you want to use your StitchFix to experiment with new styles, your Style Profile has to reflect that. For instance, I marked my jewelry preference as “classic”, but then they sent me earrings I already owned. I have now since changed my preference to “statement”. Curious to see what they send me next!
  • Feedback is key! After you try on your Fix, you log on to the website to “check out” and provide feedback. This is really the only way your stylist gets to know you. After this fix, I commented on my dislike of button-down shirts, and my love of all things Red. And what do you know? My next Fix was FULL OF RED. Awesome.

So, that was my first StitchFix. Tomorrow I’ll fill you in on my second StitchFix, and my experience with their customer service.

What do you think, kids? Is this a service you think you’d like? Despite my few hiccups, I am really loving it. If you are interested in trying it out, and you use this link, I get a nice little referral credit.

Full disclosure: No one at StitchFix has sponsored this post in any way. I was not compensated to write about them (I’ll always tell you if that’s the case).

I just think it’s cool and wanted to share it, and if I can get a little extra shopping credit at the same time, well then, yay!

Happy Shoppings!!

I Fell In Love With a Font…

credit: Oh So Beautiful Paper

Fell in love at once and almost completely…

Ladies & Gents, I would like you to meet my new boyfriend (girlfriend?)

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Carolyna Pro Black by Emily Conners

I seriously want to write this entire post in this font, but I won’t.

I will explain how it came to pass that I went against my own rule and actually paid for a font. And it wasn’t even on sale or anything.

As you may know, there are plenty of gorgeous free fonts available for download. My favorite free site is DaFont, as I really love their collection of calligraphy fonts. I used Coneria Script to address our save the date envelopes, and it looked lovely.

Coneria Script, find it at DaFont

Coneria Script, find it at DaFont

Coneria Script is a little retro, a little fancy, and it worked so well to address the envelopes. For a minute, I considered it for our wedding invitation suite, but I was looking for something a little more…grand. Maybe if I hadn’t used it to address the envelopes…

Anyhow, it looking for wedding invitations, I came across these lovelies:

Calligraphy Script DIY Invite Quatrefoil by belletristics on Etsy

Calligraphy Script DIY Invite Quatrefoil by belletristics on Etsy

Designed by Becky King

Designed by Becky King

I was immediately totally smitten. Look at all the swirls! IT’S SO SWIRLY!! What IS THIS FONT? Clearly, these are all variations on the same font, but I had no idea which one, and searching through all the font websites did not sound enjoyable at all. Thank god there is What The Font?  All you have to do is screen capture the font, upload it to the site, and the bots figure out what you are looking for. Isn’t technology amazing? If for some reason, the robots fail you, there is also a (fascinating) forum where you can ask for help from actual humans. There is also an iPhone app, should you want to do a little sleuthing on the road.

Once What the Font told me I was looking for Carolyna Pro Black, I went off to download it. I was momentarily paused (ok, honestly, it was a three-day pause) while I mulled over spending $89 on a FONT. I successfully convinced myself that I will use this font for everything wedding related, and so far, it’s the truth.

Lovely Carolyna is the only font on our wedding invitation, and only one of two fonts in the whole invitation suite. I used it to make our ceremony programs and place cards. I also used to make various signage for the venue. And, I will be using this font to address our envelopes. Oh, and it’s our monogram and our return address stamp.

So, yeah, I feel like I’ve used it enough to justify the cost. Even though it wasn’t on sale.

Sometimes you just love something and have to have it.

I’ll show y’all our invitation suite after we’ve sent them, which won’t be for a while. But I promise I will show you!

Anyone else follow their heart on a wedding-related purchase? Anyone else obsessed with Carolyna Pro Black?

2ndtrySIG

Hello, Lover (aka A Post about Shoes)

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Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 2.14.19 PM

Photo: We Heart It

So, now that I have chosen my wedding gown (aka Mystery Dress), I can move on and devote my daydreaming time to something even more exciting than dress shopping. SHOE SHOPPING.

The truth is, I do most of my shopping from the comfort of my Mac. That is, I hardly ever venture out to the mall when I need to buy something. Hardly ever. The last time my girlfriends and I all went shopping together was easily over a year ago. Such is life these days. We are all busy with our husbands/fiances/lives/work/babies and we hardly ever go anymore. Plus, traffic in Los Angeles is a nightmare most of the time, so if I don’t have to drive to shop, it’s a perfect situation.

Back in the day, my original shoe inspiration looked a little something like this:

Red is my favorite color, and also the color of Team Bridal‘s dresses.  (I’ll tell you more about them next week.) I was 100% positive that I would be rocking some killer red heels. Even if no one saw them but me, I wanted them. Plain ole white satin heels are just not my jam. Plus, I know if I buy white heels they will never again see the light of day. Never.

Now I know traditionalists will say, “Oh, but you can dye them!”. This is just like, “Oh, you can totally wear that bridesmaids dress again!”. No, you won’t. Not ever. Just give it up. It’s ok. Let’s all just agree to retire that one, shall we?

Once I picked my gown, I decided that I wasn’t really feeling the red heels anymore. First of all, my gown is absolutely ivory, not diamond white. And second of all, it has some metallic/beaded elements to it. So, I broadened my search to include metallic heels. Silver, gold, pewter, whatever. I was just browsing around, seeing what was out there, and BAM.

LOOK AT THESE SHOES!

Image from www.art-deco-weddings.com

Image from http://www.art-deco-weddings.com/caption

They are FANTASTIC! They are like wearing the Chrysler Building on your feet! They are sparkly, and mirrored, and amazing and TOTALLY UNAVAILABLE. As I learned on Art Deco Weddings, they are a discontinued Christian Louboutin style. Which is actually a saving grace, because I could probably never ever afford them. Or, I could buy them, but we wouldn’t have a photographer. Who needs photos when you have shoes this amazing?

Speaking of photographers, have you guys seen all the wedding-shoe-porn that’s out here on the inter webs? It’s like every wedding photographer decided to start showcasing the brides shoes a few years ago, and now those photos are everywhere!! It’s like “Shoes in the Wild” or something. I’m obsessed.

[caption id="attachment_1323" align="aligncenter" width="551"]Photo by Redfield Photography Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

Photo by Redfield Photography

(Side note: All of the above shoe photos were taken by our ridiculously talented and awesome wedding photographers, Marisa & John of Redfield Photo. Click thru any of the above photos to see their blog and their amazingness.)

I knew I wanted a photo-worthy pair of wedding heels. But I had a few specifications. I didn’t want anything higher than a 3 inch heel. To me, a 4 or 5 1/2 inch heel just sounds like torture, especially on my wedding day. The thing everyone forgets to mention to the bride (but I already know because I worked in event planning) is that you may not get to sit down much all night. You may get to sit down during a portion of dinner. Just a bit. Then you’re dancing, greeting guests, posing for photos, and ya know, DANCING! Or, at least I will be dancing. Even if I’m up there by myself!

I also wanted a shoe that had the possibility to be re-worn at another time. Unlike bridesmaid dresses, I know that I will want to wear my shoes again.

I wanted a new pair of shoes. Truth be told, I already have about five pairs of red heels in my closet, so if I really wanted to go that route, I wouldn’t even really need to shop. But what fun would that be?

And lastly, I wanted them to have some Bling. My gown has a little bit of bling, but not much. So there is definitely room to “up” the bling factor before approaching tacky territory. No one wants to be anywhere in the vicinity of Tacky. Never Ever.

I thought briefly about strassing a plain pair of shoes. It’s all the range over on Weddingbee. And the gals who are taking on this DIY project are my heroes, because, well, as we already know…I am not super crafty. Or patient. Whatever. I have many other great qualities. I just know I’d get half way done and just throw up my hands in agony.

They certainly are pretty, no?

This one shoe took this bride 20 HOURS to do. I just don’t have it in me, kids. I know myself too well. Just, no. Plus, when would I wear these again, really?

I then came upon the shoes that five-year old me would have absolutely imagined myself wearing on my wedding day. Peeps, I would like you to meet Kate Spade’s Charm. In all her many colors:

kate spade collage

Kate Spade Charm/Sawyer

Isn’t she lovely? Aside from the fact that I am already obsessed with everything Kate Spade, I just think these are the Best. Shoes. Ever. I love them, love them, love them.

The problem?

They retail for $325.00. And they have a 4 inch heel. And when, really, would I ever wear them again?

I did brief Ebay search before I realized they were not the perfect shoe for me. Lots of times during this planning process, I get distracted by shiny objects. This was no different.

So…

I needed to re-group!

I was pretty absent-mindedly searching Zappos one night, when I happened across these beauties. Badgley Mishka’s Lacie:

You guys, they really are perfect. They have a 3 inch heel. They have just a bit of bling. They are $215.00, retail. Oh wait, that last part isn’t perfect. Damn.

I was just about to mourn them, when I turned to the fine folks at Ebay to see if I could snag these pretties at a discount. And wouldn’t you know it? There was a brand new, in the box pair up for auction, IN MY SIZE! It was fate! I bid, and then held my breath for five long days. Thankfully, no one bid after me!

I got these gorgeous shoes for $80.00, including shipping! Woo Hoo for bridal bargains!!

So, I won’t show you my dress, but I will show you my shoes. Unfair, I know. I’m so evil.

personal photo

personal photo

They are here, they are nearly perfect, and I’m super freakin’ happy. Oh, and they are comfortable! (Someone remind me that they are comfy when I’ve been on my feet for three hours or longer, and I want to take them off.)

Pro tip: Never take off your heels at an event unless you never intend to put them back on. The momentary relief you feel is not worth the abject horror and agony you will feel when you try to get them back on. DON’T DO IT. You’ve been warned.

And that’s my public service announcement for today.

Tell me, peeps, where did you get your wedding shoes? Would you buy second hand shoes? Would you spend $200-$300 on your shoes? Tell me all about it!

2ndtrySIG

STD’s mean something TOTALLY different in Wedding-Land

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Now that our Save the Dates have made it through the US Postal Service and (except for one that I am hand delivering this week) are safely in the hands of our guests, I can share them here. And tell you a lil bit of drama that went along with it. (Question: Why can’t we do something without drama? Answer: What fun would that be?)

So, back in the day when I thought we would be getting married at a winery in New Jersey, I had my heart set on this Save the Date (STD, for the rest of this post. Get all your snickers out now, kids…I’ll wait….)

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Little Wine Charmers Save the Date by gakemi art +design on Minted.com

Cute, right? I personally think that STD’s are the time in the planning process to be a little less formal. Show some personality! Formal weddings tend to get a bad rap for being BO-RING, but that doesn’t have to be the case at all!

Our wedding is formal (black tie optional), but I still was on the hunt for a cute, charming Save the Date. I want our guests to know that our priority is fun, even though it’s formal!

Once we ruled out the possibility of a vineyard wedding, and set our sights on Philadelphia, I also changed my search for STD’s. (Are you still giggling every time I call them STD’s? It’s ok. Take your time.)

As you know, I love the stationary site, Minted. I just love their style, even though they source from different independent designers, they have a real eye for what works, and looks professional, while still having personality. I’m hooked.  But they didn’t have anything when I searched for “Philadelphia themed Save the Dates”. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.

When I hit a search engine wall, I generally just go directly to Etsy. It seems like Etsy is magical in that way. Can’t find what your looking for? Check Etsy. Etsy will have it!

And for a minute, I thought they did.

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 11.20.35 AM

by CTDESIGNSWED on Etsy

At first, I was sold. But, the more I looked at it, I was convinced it was not fun enough. As with most wedding related decisions, I put myself in the shoes of our guests. I asked myself, “Would receiving this Save the Date in the mail make me excited to travel to this wedding?”  The answer, unfortunately, was no. Although it is a lovely design, it was not the message I was trying to convey.

So, I went back to my old lover, Minted. I searched “destination wedding”, expecting to see nothing but sand, palm trees and star fish, but lo and behold, this beauty popped up:

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Up and Away Save The Date by Unless Someone Like You on Minted.com

I changed our names (and, um, mispelled them) to protect the innocent, but that’s our photo!

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And it just seemed to fit. I love the retro style of it, and I loved that the little airplane was traveling from west to east, as Bob the Builder and I will be doing for the wedding!

The one snag: the photos! See, even in the age of iPhone cameras, B the B and I did not have one decent photo of the two of us. Not one. We have a lot from the play that we did together almost three years ago, but in that play, my costume was a slip. And his was a wife-beater. So, no. No way can we use those photos. Even though our wedding photography package comes with an engagement session, it’s also in Philadelphia, and won’t happen until the spring. And one of our great friends is a photographer, but she’s in New Jersey. And we are in Los Angeles.

Also, these bad boys had to be ordered before November 15th. Why, you ask? Because I am a money-saving ninja and I had a coupon. Like, a major coupon that gave me $200 off. We could not wait.

Enter the fine folks at Save Local (think Groupon) and a holiday portrait deal from April Rocha Photography. Just in the nick of time, I tell ya! April was able to fit us in before the ordering deadline, and as she is a featured photographer for Minted, she just uploaded our chosen photos right to my account. Easy peasy!

The day of our photo shoot was kind of madness, truthfully. It was a Wednesday, I was coming straight from work (with beauty stops at DryBar and Blushington in between) and we were all meeting down at the beach in Santa Monica. All was well, until we actually got onto to beach and realized how incredibly windy it was! So windy, the umbrella kept flying out of April’s hand and sand was whipping around us everywhere! But, April is a pro and a trooper, and managed to get two useable shots, with no windswept hair in my mouth and with both of our eyes open. WIN!

For the record, this was my (unflattering, I know) before and after. Just to prove, ya know, the value of great makeup, hair, and photography…

collage one

I am positive I will regret posting that one day.

So, there you have it! I found the STD’s, we took photos, ordered them in the nick of time, got them months before we needed to send them out, and then myself and Maid of Honor CraftyPants and Bridesmaid Red spent an evening drinking wine and stuffing and stamping envelopes and all was well in in the world. Right??

collage2

NOPE.

Check back for Part 2, to see how it all plays out. (Part 2 can be found right here.)

OH! THE DRAMA!!!

Sponsored Post: Treat Yo Self!

gentle reminder

Retta is just the best. For reals.

Yes, you heard me. Treat Yo Self! If you have no idea what this reference is, you need to click right here and make it right. We will wait. Come back when you are done with the hilariousness.

Right? Ridic hilarious.

When is the last time you have done something awesome for you? Hmmm? Are you, like me, totally tunnel-visioned into wedding planning? Stressed out? Watching too much My Fair Wedding?

Yeah, I thought so.

My good friend, Patty Jean, is a kick ass massage therapist, and she hooked me up with a gratis treatment at her place of employ, the Massage Therapy Center in West Los Angeles.

Here is where I tell you that my massage was free in exchange for writing about it. So, that’s out of the way.

I chose the Jamu Jasmine Massage mostly because I had never heard of it, but also because of its bridal origins. The Jamu massage is from Indonesia. It is an ancient massage treatment that was designed for brides-to-be. It was originally a right of passage massage for the young woman about to enter her new life. The massage was performed on the future bride for 40 days in a row prior to her wedding. It was a nurturing, relaxing, beautifying treatment that prepared the new bride for her wedding night. The body is massaged with warmed, wonderfully scented balms and oils in figure eight motions. Then pure jasmine powder is mixed with the warmed balms and worked into the body. This sensorial escape is a very special experience. The balms are highly nourishing for the skin and work on many levels of the body, penetrating deeply into the muscles and lymphatic and nervous systems.

I normally get a combo thai-swedish massage, so I wasn’t quite prepared for the “figure eight motions” of the Jamu Jasmine massage. It was very relaxing, very soothing, almost transformative. My brain has a hard time shutting down, so usually as I try to relax, my brain starts making lists. To do lists, grocery lists, phone calls I have to return…whatever garbage is swirling around my brain at the moment. But not this time. I was totally relaxed. So relaxed, I think I was meditating. Seriously. This is huge, you guys. Did you read Eat Pray, Love? Remember the part where Liz is trying to meditate? Yeah, that’s me too.

This treatment was pure bliss. So blissful and relaxing that I actually started to drool. I know, it’s not cute. But I share these things with you.

At the end of the treatment, I was covered in oils and jasmine powder and directed to the women’s room, where there was a strong hot shower waiting for me. And a steam room! I ADORE steam rooms! In fact, it’s the thing I miss most about my fancy gym membership. The women’s room had everything you could possibly need, which was great for me, because I brought nothing. The best part of the post-massage experience is that there was no rush at all. I could have stayed in a steam room/hot shower/lounge around the locker room triangle for hours. I almost did, actually.

I really can’t recommend this treatment or the Massage Therapy Center highly enough. Everyone was wonderful, the atmosphere is peaceful and quiet, and the amenities are top-notch. Here’s some photo love:

The peaceful lobby

gentle reminder

I totally forgot to bring deodorant. They saved me!

secure place for your stuff

And, because Mark, the lovely owner of the Massage Therapy Center, also wants you to TREAT YO SELF, he is offering $10 off any service of $90 or more to anyone who mentions MoxieBride or That Brides Got Moxie!  Thanks Mark!!

You really should stop reading this right now and go and book yourself a treatment. It’s amazing!

And then come back here and tell us how much you loved it.

And if you drooled too.

 

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