Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Last Night

It has been really nice working earlier hours this week. B has been on vacation all week so we have tried to get out and enjoy the days. Last night we ventured out to another park just down the street from our house. We took Bogart too. He is so weird. Barking at the ducks but afraid of the water and a park bench.  Seconds after this picture was taken he took a nose dive off the back of the bench. He is definitely NOT a genius.

We enjoyed the waterfalls and watched a softball game. It was a great night.

Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday Wishes 1

Wish 1.
I really need to get back to dieting. I have gained 10 pounds and went up a size. I'm very unhappy with my body but need some form of motivation.

Wish 2.
Finish decorating our house. With wedding planning and savings happening for the past 8 months there really hasn't been a ton of money left in the home budget. I have become a road side shopper and garage sale hunter!

Wish 3.
I really want to dip my feet in the ocean and sit on the beach. Nothing exciting just the NJ shore. I've been asking to go for weeks now and had my hopes up for last weekend but that didn't happen. BOO!

Linking up with Brooke at Bright Wishes

Wedding Wednesday- Venting for the stressed B2B

Be forewarned this blog entry will be a total b*tch-fest. Sorry in advance but read on if you wish :)

I've been feeling so stressed with wedding planning lately. As if the typical wedding stress isn't bad enough I have all this other stuff clouding my brain. The biggest problems I've been having are based around what others want for my wedding day. They feel obligated to tell me I am doing everything wrong or the phrase"It would be much better this way" is always popping up. It has gotten to the point where I want to rip my hair out. Both of our families can not afford to help us pay for the wedding and we completely understand. We are a very independent couple and wouldn't want to depend on them like some engaged couples do. Since we are paying for everything ourselves I believe we should be able to do what we want. Very early on in the planning stage we both agreed that we would not use credit cards or loans and strictly pay for a wedding with what we save through our engagement period.  We have done an incredible job saving so far. Brian and I have specific plans for our life and putting ourselves 30,000+ into debt is not what we had in mind. We both believe a wedding is a very special day but its only a day. What matters is all the amazing things that follow. I am also getting older and would like to start a family soon after we are wed and I would prefer not having debt hanging over my head.

It seems whenever I say anything about decor, self made centerpieces, bridesmaids, flowers and hors d'oeuvres some one frowns upon it. I feel as if I have not had control over so much. Because of this I seem to be second guessing all the decisions I have already made including my bridesmaid dresses, colors and even my own bridal gown. I feel like I have lost myself. This makes me very sad. All of this stress is making me want to just keep it all a secret. It shouldn't feel this way. I can't seem to wrap my head around people getting angry or upset because of something like 5 passed hors d'oeuvres during cocktail hour and not 10! Don't get me wrong I really want my guests to have a great time but do 5 extra appetizers or hand made centerpieces define fun at our wedding? If small and simple things like these affect our guests then maybe they aren't the type of people I want involved in my life.

People don't seem to understand that having been in weddings or attending many does not give them the right to tell me my plans are not good enough. I don't want a cookie cutter wedding. I want there to be a little something different. Something more me and Brian. It has definitely taken the fun and excitement out of all the planning. The problem is I can't complain. If you do complain about anything wedding related people label you as a "bridezilla".  So I zip my lips and pretend it doesn't bother me. I really want to be happy while planning. I am trying very hard to not let this stuff get us down and just enjoy the process. I am jealous Brian brushes it off so easily but I can't. I want to feel confident with our choices and have those close to us feel confident with them too.

Any bridal advice? Or other brides to be feeling this way?
Thanks for listening to the rant :)


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eating and Dieting Habits

As you may know I have really been trying to eat healthier and drop about 20 pounds. I looked at myself in a picture taken last weekend and I was so grossed out by the way I looked. This past week I have really been trying to make smarted choices about eating and exercising.
Here are just a few things I have done:

1. I ate really well all last week. Breakfast consisted of tons of fruit and only fruit. Berry season is incredible this year. I can't seem to get enough.

2. Lunch consisted of salad and some turkey, no dressing.
3. Dinner was just strictly chicken and vegetables
4. Still don't have any energy for the gym. I pay $30 a month and never go. I hate that place.
5. I have been taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before each meal. I hate that too. It has really made my stomach feel sick so I may not continue with it.
6. Lots of water. I also try and add lemon slices.
7. Sunday I put on shorts that haven't looked good or fit since the summer of 09 and they looked good again. Although at the Yankee game we shared a cheese steak and garlic fries.  I hate that I did that but it was AMAZING!
8. Last night we went on a 4 mile hike and it really felt great. I hope to do the same tomorrow night and maybe a little soccer game.
This is our town park. The walking trail is a mile long. There are football, soccer, baseball fields and playgrounds. So much to see and do so it makes our walks seem so much shorter. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend Wrap up...

Happy Monday everyone. Hope you all had a fantastic weekend.

I was lucky enough to have a 3 day weekend. Friday and Saturday were on the low key end. B was off Saturday which barely ever happens. I started the weekend by almost cut my finger off while making breakfast. Blood was every where. There was so much blood I was getting a bit sick. I even thought a visit to the ER was necessary but thankfully just several gauze pads and elevation to stop the bleeding. Sunday was a fantastic day. We purchased last minutes for the New York Yankee Old Timer's Game. I have never been to one before so I was so excited. It was also an early birthday treat for B.  We got to see the return of 3 Yankee legends, Joe Torre, Lou Pinella and Bernie Williams in addition to so many others. Even better the Yankees won and we got out of the city in less then 30 minutes! Now that is a success!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Daily Skin Care Routine

I've been blessed with some really great skin. I barely suffer from break outs. The only problems I do have are dry skin in the winter months and dark circles under my eyes. We installed a new water filtration system and it quickly cleared up our issues with dry skin. I have always been a person to wash my face with water but since hitting the big 3-0 I have been taking extra care of my skin. My recent daily routine consists of:

1. Mia Clear Sonic. This product is amazing
2. Mary K eye souffle, I like to keep it in the refrigerator. The cool feels so nice. Plus the cold reduces dark circles and really helps my allergy eyes with some relief. (not pictured)
3. Day lotion with SPF 15.
4. Garnier Dark Circle Eye Roller
5. After all these goodies I usually apply make up; very simple cheek stain, bronzer, eye shadow and mascara.
6. At night I use a Mary K eye make up remover followed by Mary K Night Creme
(I don't sell or promote Mary K. Through a recent bridal show I got some free goodies.)
7. Twice a week I use a revitalizing mask that I leave on for 10 minutes.

Here are all my daily goodies:

Isn't that a cute platter? I got it at the Hoboken Craft Fair. Only $3!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Happy Thursday all (Its my Friday) Thank goodness. I hope all of you liked the post from yesterday. How fantastic is Allison? Her wedding blog has been a huge inspiration!  
- If I had $ I would rescue animals and live on a huge farm where they could roam free.
- Before I met Brian I never thought I'd settle down or get married.
- I hate the sound of blow driers, vacuums, and bathroom fans.
- I am scared to death of clowns and flying.
- I can take a LOT of BS but when I'm done I'll write you off and never speak to you again.
- When I was little I wanted to be a nurse. Until I realized I never wanted to see blood or vomit
- I am still best friends with my ex boyfriend's sister although we never speak.
- I have terrible self esteem issues. I always think I am the fattest, ugliest girl in the room.
- I love to talk and chat with new people.
- Favorite movies are really scary ones but I won't sleep for days
- My nickname is Beans but I only let my mom call me that.
- I drop the F bomb wayyyyyy to much!
- I have really bad kidneys.
- I like dogs more then most people
- I studied at Oxford University in college and it was the best time of my life
- I do really good impressions of anyone I meet even if I meet them just once.
- I lost 60 pounds. Weight is an everyday struggle.
- One of my most favorite songs has always been "Cecilia" by Simon and Garfunkel
- After my parents leave after visiting I get very sad. They only live 40 minutes away
- I used to party like a rock star now I act like most grandmas.
-I love NY sports. Yankees and Rangers please!
- My best friends are the girls I went to high school with. We are as close as sisters
Some of my favorite pics. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wedding Wednesday . . . The Top Ten Wedding Lessons from The Recessionista Bride

Hello everyone!

I'm Alison, a.k.a. NYC Recessionista. I am so glad to be doing my first guest post EVER, and even more "gladder" to be doing it on Pretty Rambles :) My husband Kevin and I were married on 10.10.10 in New York City, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the wisdom I inherited while planning my wedding(for whatever it's worth!).

(NYC Recessionista on her wedding day; image courtesy of Geoffrey Tischman Photography)

Here goes ...

10. It's YOUR wedding ... no one else's.
Sure, when my parents asked if we could do little things like add stuffed mushrooms and crab cakes to the hors d'oeuvres, I said yes because that's a very small and very easy gesture that made them feel like they were a part of planning the menu. But if your elderly grandmother is begging you to get married in a church but you and your fiancé just aren't the religious type, then don't do it. It should be something the both of you really want. Let everyone else plan their own weddings.

9. Seriously consider doing a "first look."
A first look is where the bride and groom meet up privately before the ceremony to see each other for the first time, take photos with the bridal party and family, and generally just take it all in before the wedding takes place. My husband and I did not do a first look, and we regret it a little bit. He really didn't want to see me until I was walking toward him down the aisle, which I totally understood and supported. But then we had to do photos during the cocktail hour, and pretty much missed it. From that moment, we felt rushed the rest of the afternoon. If we had done a first look and photos before the ceremony, we would have had the whole rest of the reception to just party and enjoy the company of our friends and family!

8. Do not buy a clutch.
Seriously... you won't use or need it. My cousin made me a beautiful handmade tote for my bridal shower, and I just threw everything I needed in there and stuck it under my table. Worked like a charm.

7. Don't think you have to put your bridesmaids in "bridesmaids dresses."
There is a whole wide world of dresses out there, from Anthropologie to Modcloth to J. Crew and everything in between. And they're more affordable, too. Play with colors and textures and patterns. If they have 5 different body types and personal styles, and that's one of the reasons you love them, then why try to make them all look like identical twins? I picked one color and let them pick which dress they wanted (see here, here & here), and shoes, and how they wanted to wear their hair. And I bought them all different jewelry that reminded me of them. You can even dress them in different shades of the same color family ... there really are no rules!

6. Etsy.
This site was the mothership for my wedding planning ... it's just amazing, and you can get the most amazing, unique and non-cookie-cutter wedding items on there... and for great prices! I used it for my flowers, boutonnières, jewelry, bridesmaids gifts, hairpin, photo props, decorations, flower girl accessories, ring bowl, etc.

5. Consider writing your own vows.
If you are able to, write your own vows. These are words that you'll be saying to each other in front of your family and friends as you vow to spend your lives together ... whatever your vows end up being, each and every word should mean something to the both of you.

4. Think outside the box.
Here are just some of the ways I thought out of the box for my wedding, and it helped us save a lot of money:
-We put baskets of apples on the tables for our centerpieces.
-We used a vintage wooden hat box for a card box.
-My mom handmade bunting that we strung from the rafters of the barn, and she even made a miniature version for our cake topper.
-We had a pit BBQ reception and carnival desserts.
-We stuck our place cards in bales of hay.
-Our guests ate eco-friendly-style, off of plates made from recycled corn, and ate with biodegradable wooden utensils instead of plastic or metal.
-My husband, who's a graphic designer, made all the invitations and printed materials from scratch.
....For pete's sake, have fun with it!

3. Say hi to everyone.
I seriously regret not being able to say hello to and visit with each of my guests (see # 9). We didn't even have that many guests at our wedding...we had just over 100 people there. Make sure you set aside enough time to visit with your guests .... and if your guest list is too big for that, then maybe it's time to trim it!

2. Eat.
Due to the hectic schedule of the day, we didn't get to eat as much of the delicious food at our wedding as we would have liked. Designate someone to come over and let you know when your dinner is being plated ... and beyond that, make that person remind you and your groom to head to your seats to sit and enjoy your meal. Your guests are eating, so you should, too!

1. Try to keep things in perspective.
The closer you get to your wedding date, it will be very easy to get more stressed out over every little detail ... but that's when I would challenge you to resist it the most. Keep this in mind: whatever you think is the latest catastrophe with the place cards, programs, or the perfect bouquet, the only thing that really matters is that the two of you are getting married. As long as the officiant shows up and pronounces you man and wife, everything else is just extra fluff and is not worth giving yourself a stroke over it.

If you can keep some of these things in mind, you'll have a fun, happy, stress-free wedding!

NYC Recessionista

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Things I'm lovin lately


1. Salley Hansen Nail Stickers. Although they are said to last 10 days mine did not. Only 5 days for me but I'll take it. Thats about 4 days longer then most polish lasts on my nails.

2.  Iced coffee. I can't get through the day with out some form of caffine goodness. My latest obsession. Venti Iced w/half coconut syrup and skim milk. YUM!

3.  Beach Hair. So pretty, so easy, so relaxing. Although mine never looks this good!

4. Philosophy- AMAZING GRACE

5. Yellow clothing. I never liked yellow until recently. I swear its the only thing in my closet these days! Especially this little number from Shabby Apple

Something I'm not lovin lately:

1. Waking up to no hot water. Can't figure out why because there is still a flame in the hot water heater.

What is everyone loving these days?

Oh and I have the most amazing guest post tomorrow from my dear friend, NYC Recessionista She was married 10-10-10 and has some fantastic advice for you! Check out some of her pre and post wedding musings here.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekend Wrap up

This weekend was pretty eventful. I took Friday off and spent the day shopping with my mom. We got some very sad news about her younger sister's health the night before so we both needed a day away from everything! My mom will be headed to Georgia to spend several weeks with her sister so I wanted to really enjoy some time with her. I would like to go with her but there is no way I could take time off from work now. It stinks! On to better things; We looked for mother of the bride dresses, shopped at Ikea and XSRE. I really enjoy spending time with her. The two of us get along so well. It makes me happy that we can spend such quality time together. Here are some of the goodies I purchased:
Skirt- H&M
Clock- IKEA
Glasses, cameo and scarf- XSRE

Saturday Brian and I both worked. After work I did some gardening and planted some fantastic marigolds. After working and gardening Brian treated me to dinner out at a new Thai place in town. The food was fantastic. The services, hmmm, the hostess was at first pretty rude. Not the way I wanted to start a meal. She looked surprised we didn't have reservations (no where on line said reservation was a necessity or even recommended).  She made it seemed like she was doing us a huge favor by seating us. We sat close to the entry and she was like that to almost everyone saying there was a huge rush coming in. Funny thing is there was no rush and only 4 reservations arrived. Why don't they just say reservation ONLY, just saying! Onto the meal...INCREDIBLE!!!! In a county full of pizza and chinese food it was a pleasant change. I had a SPICY green curry. Brian had a pad ginger and we shared sticky rice and mango. I was so busy stuffing my face I didn't have time to take any pictures before the food was inhaled. It was so nice to dress up and go out on a real date! After dinner we attempted a walk but only got about 50 ft before meeting our neighbors and chatting for 3 hours. Such a great time.

Sunday was such a great Father's Day. We had both our families over. We made a Mexican feast, enchiladas, corn salad, rice and black beans, guacamole, and salsa. Brian and his dad do not know how to relax so they spent 3 hours putting our new grill together!

Such a successful weekend! Hope that you all had a great time too.