Thursday, March 26, 2009

Great find!

I've got some great news for those of you with a champagne taste on a beer budget and have yet to purchase your dress yet!! As I was surfing along Priscilla of Boston's website (I like to peek at my dress every once in a while ;) ) I got this reallly cool little pop up! Apparently a new line named Jewel will be released in the next month at a much lower price tag than the other Priscilla of Boston lines. I did some research and found this article on that I figured I'd share with you all! While the prices aren't quite on the beer budget level they are about half of what you would normally expect from Priscilla! Hope you find your future dress!!

A new "Jewel" in the crown

In this gloomy economy, it's nice to look to fashion for a moment of respite and find a new line that is concerned with delivering elegance at more affordable prices. We are not in a frou frou moment, and this new collection dubbed "Jewel," debuting next month from the Priscilla of Boston bridal group, gets it completely right. Retailing from $1650 to $2950, it marries clean traditional silhouettes with exquisite beading and pleating, for an overall effect of restrained glamour. The drama is in the details here.

What's more, 11 of the 15 gowns will be available in Priscilla of Boston stores as early as April 11, so there's no waiting three or four months to see these gowns. Yesterday, I had a chance to meet Kelly Faetanini, the effervescent 24-year-old designer of the new line, who walked me through the collection so I could give readers a preview in advance of the formal presentation during New York Bridal Market in April.

Faetanini drew much of the inspiration for the collection from her love of ballet. And some common ballet themes run throughout the collection—interesting pleating, criss-crossing like the ribbons from ballet slippers, beading at the waistline that you might find in ballet costumes. "Ballet is feminine and romantic," she says, "And that is what this collection is about."

She used soft fabrics but gave them a formal structure that goes a long way to giving the classic, traditional bride options with new details. She researched ballet costumes from the 1920's onward, and even found inspiration from vintage jewelry—which you can see in the shape of the beadwork. Many of the gowns incorporate inverted pleats—and pockets—that are worked in a flattering way.

"I wanted to play with proportion a lot and lines to emphasize great areas on the body," she says, "A curve of the pleat can somehow shrink the body at the waist."

All except one of the gowns are strapless. And Faetanini gave a lot of attention to the necklines. "A lot of necklines from ballet have that very, very sensual deep V," she says.

There are some wonderful options for brides in this collection. For me, one of the most interesting incorporated netting over the skirt. It reminded me of the best of the dresses from the 1950's, but updated in a thoroughly modern way for today. It's a gown that would be great for twirling on the dance floor.

In the end, Faetanini wanted the dresses to have a glamourous and youthful feeling, which because of the fabric and the structure and the embellishments, they do.

Check back the first week of April when will show you the full runway presentation.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Our Save the Dates!

I may be one of the few bloggers that does not enjoy DIYing...I don't have much time or much patience. I could barely stand handwriting the addresses on the more than 100 Save the Dates we sent out a few weeks ago. Since most of our guests should have their Save the Dates by now I figured this would be a great way to share them with all of you! We originally wanted to use pictures from our Engagement Session but we decided to do that in the spring instead of the fall so that left us taking our own pictures. Like the little procrastinators we are, we waited until the last day possible to take them so excuse the low photo quality!

I've even considered carrying this theme on to the awesome would it be to have a photo booth??

M and I recently watched a marathon of Platinum Weddings on the We Channel and there was a cute wedding that used a photo booth and had their guests attach the pics they took to a scrapbook with notes on it. Now...I really want to do that! Where on earth I'm gonna find another $1200 in my budget for that, who knows...but I'm sure gonna try! Anybody else thinking of adding anything random such as a photo booth in your wedding?

Kreativ Blog Award

So my great friend at Think Happy Thoughts awarded me with the Kreativ Blog Award! Thanks darling!! (I'm waiting for an award from a person that doesn't actually know me haha, but I'm SUPER EXCITED just the same!)

Rules are:

List 7 things that you love, and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers that you love! Be sure to tag them and let them know that they have won. You can copy the picture of the award and paste it on your sideboard letting the whole world are Kreativ!

~7 things I L-O-V-E
1. Of course, my future family unit (hubby-to-be & Bentley, our pup)
2. My family & friends :)
3. PINK- it's in my wedding, most of my clothes are pink, and I was a Phi's a given, I may as well bleed pink!
4. Strawberry flavored things- Starbursts, frosted mini wheats, cupcakes, jello...I think it may stem from the whole liking pink thing
5. My new iPhone and it's plethora of Apps
6. Wedding Blogs- I could waste hours reading them...
7. This may be super-materialistic e-ring! M designed it himself and had it custom made just for me...sometimes I just stare at it and can hardly believe it's mine! I get giddy thinking about the day he will put it's matching friend on my finger and we become husband and wife!!

Now I'm Tagging:
The Bona Fide Preppy Bride
New Beginnings

Have fun girls! It took me longer than I thought it would!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pre-marital Counseling- Session 1

M and I made the decision that we really wanted to do pre-marital counseling. Some people may be wondering why on earth we would want to put ourselves through that...and my answer has to be why not!? Almost every person on my side of the family has been divorced and not that it's a bad thing, it's just something I have no plans in doing. Since this will be my one and only marriage I want it to be the most healthy and strong thing out there. I want us to grow together and talk about things that we may be uncomfortable talking about otherwise.

And we hit the ground running in our very first session! The pastor in M's church most happly agreed to do our counseling and our wedding for no cost! How awesome! We started out talking about why we wanted to get married, what first attracted us to the other, and what we wanted to work on "relationally" (I wasn't sure if that was a word but I went with it). It was quite the conversation. I found out that we both feel like we can't live without each other and he was first attracted to my smile! ***insert awwwwww here*** But it's not all gonna be all roses. We aren't perfect humans and I'm counting on us having some conflicts, I know it's going to help us grow together. For instance I'm an only child and I'm used to having things my money is my money...I'm not going to like to share or have to tell someone when I buy my Seven's. M is a little competitive and can get a little worked up about small things like sports, if something on his computer doesn't work, etc. So once again we aren't perfect, and I don't expect us to become perfect.
But I know this will give us a way to talk about money, kids, family, and life altogether with an impartial ear. I figured a great way to remember these sessions would be to talk about them here...anybody else deciding to do pre-marital counseling or are we the only crazy ones?!

Long time, No post...

Yes, I know, I've been gone for a while. And I'm not making excuses goes. So some of you know that M and I met when we both started working at Dell Computers. As much as I owe Dell for bringing us together, it's not the most life friendly place to work. You work on weekends and have random schedules. So since I started this blog, I worked the 8-5 schedule and M worked the 12-9...and that gave me 3 glorious hours where I could play on wedding blogs and contribute to my own without M hogging all my attention. Well with March started a new schedule for M...the same as mine... ***cue dramatic music here*** Since then we have been cooking dinner together, shopping together, and watching all our shows at their real time instead of at 9 when he got off of work. We've been going to bed early like old folks and it's been GREAT...but that has left my poor little blog lonley and unwritten.

Well it looks as if my blog will get even lonlier. Yesterday Dell had a mass layoff in M's side of the business and unfortunately he was one of them. It was a blessing in disquise because he had really run his course at Dell and was growing to not enjoy it anymore but it still sucks him not having a job. That's where my poor blog is going to come in. With him now having ENDLESS time at home with nothing to do, he will really want to play when I get home! I guess I will have to have dedicated blogging time so I can keep writing about all the wedding to do's. In case you were wondering, yes he did get a severance package so we are all ok on the money front. And since he was looking for another job anyways, he actually had an interview this morning! I know we aren't the only people in this postion so I wanted to share a little article I found on MSN Money website that we found helpful:

A survival guide for the unemployed:
If you've just lost your job, the decisions you make in the coming days and weeks may be critical to your financial survival.
How you organize your time, corral your resources and handle your money will help determine whether this job loss is a temporary setback or a potentially life-changing disaster. But your most important task will be managing yourself, said career coach Nancy Collamer. "It's OK to catch your breath and lick your wounds," said Collamer, the publisher of the Jobs and Moms Web site and author of the e-book "The Layoff Survival Guide." "Take a week, two weeks if you need it" -- but then get going.

1. Get your head on straight. Keeping your spirits up, your energy level high and "a realistic sense of optimism" will be essential skills in helping you navigate the road ahead, Collamer said.

2. Schedule your job search. Get up early, take a shower, put on nice clothes and schedule what you'll do for the day.
"Even if you don't have appointments, you can take some time on Sunday night or Friday afternoon or whenever it works for you to schedule out your week," said Collamer, whose husband's layoff in 2001 prompted her to write the unemployment guide. "You might decide that from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. you'll research new companies on the Internet and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. you'll go to the library and check out three books on writing résumés to see what you can do to improve yours."

3. Let people know how to find you. Your business and professional contacts may have only your work e-mail address and telephone number. As soon as possible, send a short e-mail to all of your contacts letting them know your personal e-mail and phone number. Mention the change in your job status (Collamer recommends something like, "Because of a staff reduction, my last day at XYZ Industries was Oct. 29."). You can follow up later with more-personal notes to key contacts to let them know you're looking for work.

4. Stay covered. If you had health insurance through your job, you should be able to purchase continued coverage under COBRA rules, but that can be an expensive way to go. Fortunately, you usually have 60 days to sign up under COBRA, and the coverage is retroactive, so you don't have to decide right away. If you get another job quickly, you may not need the coverage. If you don't, you may find that a high-deductible individual policy is a better deal.

5. Apply for unemployment benefits. If you think this is a no-brainer, it's only because you haven't seen the e-mails I get from readers. Some worry that applying for unemployment will affect their credit (it won't) or that jobless benefits are some kind of welfare (they're not; your employer paid into the system in your behalf).
The earlier you apply, the earlier you'll get your first check. Most states have a two- or three-week waiting period based on when you file, not when you lost your job. Unemployment benefits typically last for 26 weeks, although during periods when the state jobless rate is high, those benefits may be extended for an additional 13 to 20 weeks.
The amount you get won't replace your old paychecks -- far from it. The national average unemployment check is about $270 a week, and the maximum you can receive depends on your state. Contact your state's employment office for details on how to apply and how much you're likely to get. Unemployment benefits are typically available only to workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. You generally can't get benefits if you were fired for cause or voluntarily quit your job.

6.Track your spending. You no longer have the luxury of not knowing where your money is going. Keep track of every cent, at least for now. You can do so in a variety of ways: with a notebook and pencil you carry with you everywhere; with personal-finance software such as Money or Quicken; or with one of the online money-tracking sites such as Wesabe, Mint, Geezeo or Quicken Online.

7. Get your priorities straight. List your bills and other spending in order of importance. The items at the bottom of the list should be pretty easy to trim. You also should find savings by cutting back on big-ticket items such as groceries, dining out, utilities and transportation.
You should have another list: the "If Things Really Get Bad" list. Tops should be holding on to the roof over your head (the mortgage or rent), keeping the lights on (utilities) and ensuring you have transportation to get to job interviews (car payments and insurance). At the bottom should be your unsecured debts -- credit cards, student loans and other personal debt that paid for stuff that can't be repossessed.

8. Don't tap your retirement funds if you can avoid it. It can be tempting to raid these pots of money, but the financial repercussions are so serious that you should avoid such withdrawals if at all possible.
Not only will you lose one-third to one-half of the withdrawal to taxes and penalties, but you lose forever the tax-deferred returns you could have earned. A $10,000 withdrawal now from your individual retirement account or 401(k) means $109,000 less for your retirement, assuming the money would grow at an average 8% annual rate for 30 years.
It's an especially bad idea to use retirement money to pay credit card bills. In a worst-case scenario, your credit card debt can be wiped out in bankruptcy court, while your retirement funds would be protected from creditors.

10 signs a layoff might be imminent
~A hiring freeze is implemented.
~Salary increases, performance reviews, training sessions and promotions are deferred.
~Rules regarding travel, especially "non-essential" travel, are made more restrictive.
~Corporate earnings have been flat or declining.
~The expense reimbursement process requires more approvals and oversight.
~The whole human-resources department is burning the midnight oil.
~Top brass is spending an inordinate amount of time in closed-door meetings.
~Key executives (and their assistants) are making a lot of confidential phone calls.
~A merger has recently taken place resulting in duplication of positions.
~The rumor mill is in overdrive.

Source: "The Layoff Survival Guide" by Nancy Collamer

***The full article can be found at