Monday, February 28, 2011

Where To Moon Part 3?

So now, we crossed off a cruise, Disney, Bora Bora, and St. Lucia. Just when I was about to give up and put our honeymoon on the back burner, I came across the perfect place.....drum roll please!

It was all inclusive, warm weather located, beach adjacent, lots of food choices, and in our budget.....we chose.....Excellence Riviera Cancun in lovely Riviera Maya, Mexico!

I die everytime I look at the pictures! Instead of talking about it, let me show you a photo montage!

We seriously have not heard one bad review about the resort, it seems everyone raves about it. And because they were having such an awesome sale when we booked we were able to upgrade to a room that we normally wouldn't be able to afford. And being an adult only resort makes it even better!

We were able to get an Excellence junior swim up suite, and since we upgraded to the Excellence room, not only will we have pool access right outside our door, we will also get an ocean view! Along with perks like, a private lounge, free internet access, private beach access, daily fruit in our room, and a lot of other perks! Plus, since we are going a couple days after our actual wedding we get other awesome deals like, champagne upon arrival, dinner on the beach, free spa treatment, breakfast in bed, and a special turn down service.

We are more than ecstatic to get away and just relax! Has anyone been to an Excellence Resort? Where are you going on your honeymoon?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Where To Moon Part 2?

So, when I left you, me had nixed a cruise, Disney, and Bora Bora off our potential honeymoon list.

Then, one of Kevin's co-workers recommended Sandals Resorts to us. They go every year and just rave about it. So Kev came home with this snazzy brochure and we poured over it for hours on end looking at all the destinations, food, and accommodations. We were hooked. The place we were hooked on was St. Lucia.

I became obsessed with the Rondovals, and needed to stay in one!

They had some sweet sales going on and we were sure we could swing it. Then, we went to a family party. We were talking to everyone about where we were pretty sure we were going to moon. His cousin then tells us that two couples she knows went to the exact resort we wanted to go to. *I thought, awesome! Justification that our place rocks!* 

But no....both these couples wished they hadn't gone. The one couple hated the food, and said that everywhere was just dirty. For the price you are paying it was not what they had hoped for. They actually were planning on leaving early if they didn't have to pay and arm and a leg to change flights.

The second couple, also thought the food was below par, and agreed with lowered expectations. They said the location was beautiful but the resort was something left to be desired. 

Sad panda!

The last thing we want to worry about on our honeymoon (besides nothing!) is the resort itself! So sadly, St. Lucia was also gone!

We kind of stopped looking into Sandals resorts after that, since no other location was that appealing to us...we really were set on St. Lucia. I tried searching for non-Sandals resorts in St. Lucia as well, but the prices were just insane. And we would be paying over a grand each for flights! So that's when St. Lucia was really wiped from the list. 

Stayed tuned for Part 3...I swear (just like the flowers) this story has a happy ending as well!

Barber Straws Are Here!

These puppies came ridiculously fast! I tore through the box and they were in pretty packaging...I would totally recommend ordering from Garnish!

They are perfect, and exactly what I have been dreaming about!

I only ordered 100, even though we are looking at a bigger guest list than that. My rationality is that, we are having 4 signature drinks. We can use these straws for which ever one is in a tall glass. That way, it will give it even more of a personality. 

I kind of want to use one now just for kicks!

Has anyone else wanted or ordered barber straws?

Friday Funday

Okay, everyone, this snow needs to stop! I'm tired of it, spring needs to be bypassed and it needs to go right into summer, for reals. So here is a little pick me up that is guaranteed to have everyone laughing, and in a little bit of a better mood. Enjoy everyone.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where to Moon?

Ahh, my favorite part! The Honeymoon! This was a surprisingly hard decision. We both had a million ideas and places running through our heads on where would be the best place to go.

We have been on a cruise already, and LOVED it!

Kevin brought up the idea of going on another one for our honeymoon. I liked the idea but wasn't crazy about it. I think if we went I would feel guilty, guilty in the respect that I don't want to do anything on our honeymoon if I don't want to. So yes, I could lounge around on deck all day, eat my face off, and gamble my life savings away, but I would feel like we wasted money and time if we didn't get everything out of the ports. Plus, we are already planning another cruise for March 2012 with anyone that wants to join. So although it would be nice, a cruise was out.

Then we both wanted to regress to our childhood. And go to Disney World!

We both have not been since 8th grade. Side note, we did not know each other back then, and were at the park at the same time....weird. I would love to go back! And I want to see Harry Potter land so bad, you would think at the age of 26 that wouldn't be on the table, but I have no shame. But again, we both want to just relax, and I think we would be even more tired when arriving home from this trip than when we left, which would be hard to believe. So sadly, Disney was out.

Next, we thought of someplace warm and tropical, all thanks to the movie "Couple'e Retreat." Bora Bora!

I mean, how can you resist that blue water and bungalows over the water? Gorgeous! It was perfect, it would be relaxing, we wouldn't feel bad if we didn't do anything at all, and it could be all inclusive. But there was a catch....the price! Which is a pretty main factor after you just drop a down deposit on a house for a wedding! We couldn't justify spending that much on ourselves, and paying almost half the total cost on flight tickets. So sadly, Bora Bora was out!

Stay tuned for part 2 to see where we looked next!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Photo Puzzles

I mentioned before that I have been struggling to come up with some activities for my older cousins. They are at that age where word searches and connect the dots just don't do it. So although I still am making cute activity books for the younger kids....that stuff is a little beneath this group.

The I Spy will work, but won't keep their attention for long. I still plan on giving them some of those extreme dot to dots, mentioned here. But I have been racking my brain on any other ideas.

That is, until I came across this post by fabulous A Subtle Revelry. For a bridal shower, they made photo puzzles. They printed out a bunch of different pictures for the engagement shoot, cut them into squares, and then put them in burlap bags for people to take.

This is such an easy project! An it is something I can give to all ages, I will just cut less pieces for the younger kids, and more for the bigger kids.

I think I will also spray mount the pictures to different colored purple cardstock, to give it a heavier texture, and so if they mess up the pieces they just have to look at the back color.

Not sure what I will put each one in yet, but excited for this DIY!

Scarlet and Grey > Blue and Maize (haha, your color is corn!)

I have been keeping something from you guys....instead of spilling it off the bat lets start from the beginning.

My aunt owns an old Italian ice cream and confectionary in town. I am always helping out there, so when it came time to think about favors I knew exactly what I wanted....something edible from her shop. Now this was no easy decision since almost everything, but the ice cream is made and prepared by her. The good thing, is that she does a lot of custom work, so the decisions are limitless.

I love chocolate, and my aunt loves making chocolate. So a favor was born. Kevin and I thought giving up big chocolate Ms would be perfect, I mean who doesn't like chocolate? And obviously if you don't like chocolate you have no business being my friend!

I went on a world wide search for a mold in the shape of an M, you'd think this would be an easy task......NO! I found some tiny mint molds shaped like rectangles with an M in the middle, a set of 4 block Ms for $10 (but it was a block M, and ugly, we wanted a nice font), I found a nicer M in a nice font, but it came in one mold for $10. Do you know how long that would take to make 150-200 Ms with one mold? That was out. I seriously couldn't find anything and gave up.

Then my aunt said, "well why don't we look into that edible paper and ink? That way we can make chocolate in any shape (circle, rectangle, frame, etc) then you can put the edible design on top of it and have any design you want?" Yeah....that may work, but I really had my heart set on our guests getting a big hunk of chocolate M style!

I began looking at the paper half heartedly, but we weren't going to buy the paper, ink, paper, and everything else you need. We would need to buy from someone who did that. And it is expensive for something people are going to shove down their gullets.

Now, I mentioned before that I went to The Ohio State University for grad school. Well, when you are there, somehow it is bred into you that you must hate the entire state of Michigan. There is no logical or reasonable explanation behind this (except that we are way better at any sport every created, especially football!), and even just by being there 2 years I dislike anything that comes from that state. Yes...irrational.

Yes, that is Brutus destroying a Wolverine!
Here is the secret I, I am casually looking for M molds again and I find it! Where did I find it you may ask? Well on a football fanatic website, where you can buy any and everything with your teams logo on it. Can you see where I am going with this? The mold I found, was none other than the Michigan M!

There it was, clear as day, exactly what I had been searching for and pining over. An M mold with more than one mold at a reasonable price.

I came really close to not purchasing it...for the sheer fact that it is Michigan, and blue, and ugly...and I hate Michigan. But.....I did. I bought it. I refuse to tell any of my Ohio friends that i bought it, and I pray that the ones that come from Ohio don't recognize that it is the Michigan M, but who am I kidding? Of course they will! So this is a bittersweet moment for me.

Here it is, it came in the mail yesterday. Kevin has not stopped picking on me is horrible.

But that is fine, because I am never taking him to a football game ever again! O-H!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Royal Invites Are Out!

The invitations for Prince William and Kate Middleton have been sent out. Roughly 1,800 wedding invites were sent out between Thursday, February 17 and Friday, February 18. The wedding will take place on April 29, at London's Westminster Abbey. Take a look at what the guests received.

For a Royal wedding, I am not all that impressed. I understand that the economy is affecting everyone, and the Royal family is no exception. Especially when it was said that they faxed out save the dates. 

What do you think of the Royal invites? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

I Spy, Purple and Silver Edition

I did it. I followed the trend that everyone is doing...I Spy cards.

In my defense, we will not give them to every guest. Nope. We are just giving them to any kid that attends. I have been racking my brain with all different kid-wedding activities for ages 6-14. I will write more about what I have found so far in another post.

For about a half hour project they came out pretty good. Take a look.

I am still debating on whether or not to put disposable cameras at their places too. We will see.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Barber Straws

Here is a prime example of little details that I go crazy over...barber straws.

How cute are they!? When I first saw them I knew I had to have them, but anywhere I looked I found them for anywhere from 14 cents to 20+ cents......I am not paying that much for a straw!

I gave up the search after a while of coming to one dead end after another. With our colors being dark purple, lilac, and silver...I was thinking a grey straw would be perfect. But, low and behold, any place that I did find a decent price did not have my color. (insert sad face)

So like I said...I gave up. Then out of the blue, I came across Think Garnish. They are this great store that sells all sorts of packaging products and.....barber straws! That's red, blue, and grey!

And they were a steal at only 5 cents a straw! Since not everyone will use them I just ordered 100 of these beauts, at a whooping $5! It sucks that shipping was more than the straws but I will live. So now we are playing the waiting game for these puppies to come in and to make the verdict.

But I can just see them set up around the bar looking oh so cute.

Is there a little detail that you obsessed over?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nom Noms Galore Part 2

I apologize....I tempted you with pictures of yummy, mouth watering food, and instead I talked about flowers and Michael Buble. I got side tracked! It will probably happen again, a lot!

Anyway, I promised pictures and here you go! We had around 12 passed hor devours that were all amazing. I wish I took a picture of our sheet with markings, it consisted of a number system of 1-5. On the really good ones Kevin decided to give them numbers like 6, 10, +5.....totally making a mockery of our established number system. It was food chaos!

Us excited to eat free food!
When it came to the entrees, we had a gajillion choices (yes that many), we split it up between our plates to do some serious work!

We marked our cards accordingly. Seriously, everything was amazing! I don't think there was anything we tried that we didn't like. Next up we got to try their sorbet that you can serve. We are not having it, but you can see how delicious it was....I had to turn it around, being a bad blogger I began devouring it and then remembered with 2 bites left.

And after was my FAVORITE part! Cake!!!!! Seriously, I love cake! Like LOVE! We got to try their black satin, with chocolate and raspberry filling, with white frosting, carrot cake, and traditional white cake with strawberry filling and white frosting.

So yummy! After 2+ hours of gorging ourselves, it was time for the parents to leave and for us to get down to business! Kathy came over to talk to us about table layout, linens, food/wine/beer choices, cake, chairs.....everything!

Why I love Classe Catering so much is because they will customize everything for you, and work with you. If you didn't want any of their food, but instead had a couple family recipes you wanted...they would do it. Dinner served Beauty and the Beast style....they will do it. Fire breather....they would do that too.

We get three beer choices, they had a list but even if it was not on the list they would do it, no extra charge. Being a huge Saranac fan, we wanted to have some Saranac brew! Kathy informed us that since they make a ton of different brews that we could pick 2 or 3 and it would still count as 1 beer selection......what?!?! So you're telling me we would have 5 beers total for the price of 3? Kathy I love you! So our thinking is Adirondack Lager, Pomegranate Wheat (love), and Summer Brew (double love!)....if they can get it, because it is ridiculously hard to find in the summer!



An awesome combination of beer and lemonade!

She said they know the distributor and will try to make it happen! Double awesome! Same held true for our wine selection, whatever we want! 

As for the food we need to do our homework, they have a lot more choices than just what we tried at our tasting. So it comes down to, pick what we tasted and was good, or take a blind leap of faith on something we didn't....even though I'm sure it would be good also.

But we do know that we will be having a passed midnight snack! Maybe some mini sliders and milk shake shooters! Yumm!



As for the cake we have to go through who they work with so we will leave that for another post. Although I will show you our inspiration pic!

But what put my mind at ease the most, was our sparkler dilemma. In our contract with the casino we are not allowed obviously inside that is a no no, but outside in the park as well? What about the gigantic sparklers I bought in PA on my move back from OH to NY? They are collecting dust in our spare room! She told me it would not be a problem, they would keep them under their supervision so no children would take them.

You see a kid playing with a sparkler...I see her burning down our historic building!
So now we can have pretty send off pictures like this!

Did anyone else have a meeting where they just felt completely taken care of and all your worries went away?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Michael Buble, I Heart You!

Seriously, how can you resist him?

LOVE! I don't know where this fascination came from? I think it started when I was living in a small fishing village in Italy for 3 months and they loved him over there. So I would constantly hear his vocal cords echoing throughout the town.

On top of that, I have always found a big place in my heart for old, soulful music. My parents never listened to the works of the Rat Pack, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and the rest, but I fell hard for it all! Maybe because he reminds me so much of that old music. Whatever it is, I would be completely giddy if all we played at the wedding reception was Buble! But.....that won't happen, I don't think our guests are in love with him like I am.

His music will definitely be incorporated into cocktail hour. And I know where else he can be found....our last dance song! And I bet you will never guess the title...."Save The Last Dance For Me."I know, you would have never guessed. We wanted something slow to end the night, but not something so slow that everyone was like...."Oh...ok...that's it." We want them to still be in that "let's party" sprit, but at the same time putting an end to our gorgeous reception. This song just has that emotion.

Has anyone else been so drawn to a certain song that you have to use it?

Floral Burnout Part 3

I last left you when I received a proposal of $7,000!!! My heart still stops and I begin drooling on myself a little when I hear that number....I could feed almost 120 people for that price!

So my aunt tells me, "go to so and so on 30, they are amazing and did my bouquet." (she was just married the end of December) So i schedule a meeting on February 12, because they wouldn't be swamped with Valentine's Day orders or anything! (hint of sarcasm...I do a lot of it, be warned!) My aunt says she will meet me up there, they both do work for her shop, and I willingly drag my mom along.

Again, photos in hand, spirit a little broken, I drive the whole 5 minutes it takes to get there. To my surprise, I have driven by this place a million times. It shares the same parking lot with my and Kev's favorite place for lunch! As soon as I walk in I knew I made the right choice. The inside is all rustic out, (that may not make sense but it does to me!) wood beams, cute little wooden carvings, even a sweet deer head on the wall. It was like the sign I was looking for! Then he has gorgeous flowers everywhere and...hydrangeas and baby's breath everywhere!

Bob, the owner, brought us upstairs to talk. I told him that we didn't/couldn't spend a lot, it just wasn't in the budget anymore, and that we wanted to spend from $1,500-$2,000. I was expecting him to wince at the low number, instead he asked me to tell him the look and flowers I was interested in. I repeated my memorized line, "I want fluffy and romantic, I love hydrangeas, I know peonies aren't available and was thinking maybe a garden rose or another variety. As long as they aren't regular roses...I hate regular roses. And I don't want a conformed look, I like the messy, garden look much better."

He starts telling me not to go with garden roses because they can cost $5-$10 a stem, and there are better ways to send my money. He tells me about a snowy jewel rose, it has more of a peony look and is cheaper than a garden rose. Not only does he tell me about it, he goes in the back to his computer and prints me out 3 pages of snowy jewel roses!

I was sold from that point forward. Bob did everything I expected a florist to do, he gave me suggestions, gave me prices, told me his professional opinion on what would look best, and even brought out flowers to show me how it would look.

We decided on having the girls carry 3 or 4 stems of white hydrangea, I love how fluffy it is! They will be wrapped with some white satin.

My flowers will be a combination of hydrangeas, around 9 white snowy jewel roses, and some purple chaenorrhium thrown in for some purple. (At least I think that's the flower he said, it's something small and purple)

For my awesome flower girl, since she isn't allowed to throw petals like my original plan, and I didn't want her to have a pomander/flower wand, I had to think. I had gotten a basket from good will that I planned on spray painting white, and didn't want to stray from that idea. *Lightbulb* Why not put a stem of hydrangea in the basket and she can carry it? I know, I surprise myself sometimes with my genius!

Like this, but more awesome!
We are going with my original inspiration photo, and having the dads and grandfathers have ranunculus boutonnieres.

Kev and the groomsmen don't need flower boutonnieres because they will be wearing the fish fly bouts I made for them.

The mothers both expressed that they wanted wristlets, and the grandmothers will be rocking out boutonnieres as well. As far as what flowers we aren't positive yet.

As for the centerpieces, they will be a combination of short and tall with square vases. They will be similar to my bouquet with hydrangeas, snowy white roses, maybe some pom poms, and some purple accents. The taller ones will be a mix of hydrangeas and baby's breath (we had baby's breath on the back burner if other flowers ended up being too expensive).

Besides having two baskets at the church, we also wanted to have two memorial baskets. Our original thoughts were to have one on my side representing my Poppie that passed when I was in middle school, and one on Kev's side to represent his grandmother who passed. We got to thinking, we didn't want to leave anyone out. So my side will be a combination of my dad's dad (who I never met because he died when my dad was in his teens) and then my poppie (my dad's step dad, who was the only grandfather I knew on that side). Kev's will be his grandmother and his dad's parents (who died when Kev was a baby). I expressed my concern on how to do this to Bob, he had the genius idea of doing hydrangeas with two purple roses in it on my side and three purple roses in Kevin's. That way each rose would represent a person. Genius! Did I mention I loved Bob?

Bob is in Florida right now on vacation, but when he gets back he is even doing centerpiece mockups for me so I can see if I like it or not and go from there.

So if anyone is looking for a florist in the Upstate/Capital Region area, I would totally suggest Bob and his team at White Cottage Gardens in Amsterdam, NY. I love them!

See....happy ending!

Oh and as if to justify my hydrangea decision...look at the centerpiece picture that was featured on Style Me Pretty yesterday!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

BHLDN Reveal

In the midst of watching a horror flick and eating venison Kev caught last fall as our awesome Valentine's Day night, I completely forgot to talk about the BHLDN gown reveal. It was only proper that they released them on the most romantic day of the year, and kept all brides to be with and without dresses drooling over their computer screens. So here are all of their 15 dresses newly released and probably already flying off the shelves.

All from BHLDN
The gowns range from $600 - $4,000. Besides selling gowns they also have a variety of dresses, lingerie, jewelry, shoes, hair accessories. Basically, anything a bride and her entourage will need for the big day.