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Archive for the ‘Living’ Category

A few weeks ago, my lovely Aunt gave Brandon and I an incredible gift! She bought for us all of our dishes– every last place setting– as well as the completer set. I decided that I had to show you!

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Sorry for the small size and blurry shot! Crate and Barrel won’t let you copy pictures from their website. So sad.

We chose the Margo place setting. Initially, we’d really love the Rustic White earthenware, especially being free-form. But, it’s not dishwasher or microwave safe, which makes it a bit tricky. Sadly, we said goodbye to that set of dishes, and Hello! to Margo. In addition to all 12 place settings, she also purhcased a completer serving set for us.

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We feel so incredibly blessed!

For our birthdays, which are a mere four days apart, my mother decided to be similarly gracious. She purchased our pots and pans!

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Yes, that’s my thumb. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless cookware, from Macy’s. This is a 17-piece set, which apparently, she got for a steal.

Between my mom and my aunt, Brandon and I should be quite all right in the kitchen. He’s insisted, however, that we also register for a Wok. Luckily, this design by Cuisinart comes with a wok as well. Some unwitting person might make Brandon’s lifetime by giving us a wok. The boy loves his stir-fry.

As I watch our registry dwindle, I am consistently overwhelmed by the beauty and generosity of the family and community I live in. I cannot believe all the support that Brandon and I have gotten. It’s not the gifts that people give us that matter, it’s the thought and effort that they put into giving us the token that makes me believe we will constantly be supported. With a gift comes their sign of approval, of love and care. It makes us feel so blessed.

And the beauty of it is, with the gifts that we receive, we are able to begin a community as well, opening our home to those we live with, and serving others in the way that our community has served us. It’s a beautiful thing.

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Tedium

Well, there’s nothing like entering addresses into an Excel Spreadsheet to spice up a stormy Sunday night.

I love planning my wedding. Take that back, I love planning things, from birthday parties, to showers, to fundraisers. It’s so fun to make a vision come to life. The past few weeks of wedding planning, however, have been less than exciting– calling vendors to check on details, working on addresses and fine-tuning the guest list, figuring out costs of hair/makeup/beauty– all while attempting to remain upbeat and love the experience.

Everything feels like another item to add to a list. Call the florist– check! Arrange day-of makeup– check! Arrange day of hair for self and bridesmaids– almost. Take care of myself– definitely not. The idea of pampering myself with a manicure, or a trip to Sephora for a nice facial scrub is just something else to add to the list of wedding things that need to be completed.

How do you keep yourself from getting lost in the tedium? When you see nothing but to-do lists, how do you zoom out and focus on the experience as a whole?

As they say, the Devil’s In the Details.

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I’m joining the ranks of brides who have a few personal achievement goals to meet before the big day. Since before B and I got engaged, I’ve been growing out my hair. I’ve worn it short for the past four or five years, and so I’m ready to have it long again. I know that bridal experts suggest wearing your hair in a similar fashion to your everyday style. But, for our August affair, I’d really like to wear my hair up and off my neck. I don’t want a stiff-looking updo, definitely something loose and natural looking. But it still requires long hair. Here’s the progress so far!

Last March with two of my bridesmaids (Christie and Lauren)– ignore the flannel-ware.

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You can see that my hair barely touches my shoulders. OK, so a little bit of work to do.  By the time I was in my friend and bridesmaid Melissa’s wedding in June, my hair was looking like this. This picture was taken on the way to her bachelorette party in Atlantic City.

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Despite its very short length, a hairdresser was able to make it look like this…

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Photo by Exposure Photostyle

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Photo by Exposure Photostyle

Isn’t she just a beautiful bride?!

dsc04407B and I stole a few moments to take some pictures with my sister. This one is a bit blurry, but you can see what my hair is doing. I want it a bit more natural looking than this– I don’t usually do poofy things with my hair, but I think I’d also like it to have a bit of a wave like my hair normally has.

On the day we got engaged at the end of July, my hair looked like this…

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(Brandon was excited in this picture, because he knew we were getting engaged and I still didn’t. How silly.) At engagement shots in November…

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Photo by Kamila Harris Photography

And most recently, it looks like this!

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I was very intent on making a hat at my cousin’s shower. Anyway, at this point, it’s past my shoulders in the back, but I feel like I have big swathy-chunks of hair from the front layers. What should I do about this? Is it OK to cut and put layers in, or should I just let it grow for the big ol’ day? I know it’s a small inconvenience– that is, hair that’s a bit of an awkward length at the moment– so I need to keep the end goal in mind. Any suggestions?

And, for those of you brides who have joined the Post-Wedding Chop club, is it worth it? Do you wish you’d kept it long? Recommend a new cut for a new life?

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Over the past week or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about this conundrum. What am I really looking for in this wedding? I mean really. looking. for. I’ve found myself an absolute sucker for buy-in. Yes, I think, I must have the letterpress invitations; I must give out favors to all of my guests; I must must must do everything any wedding magazine tells me, because this day needs to be absolutely perfect.

The more I think about my attitude, the more disgusted I get with myself. This is a day about Brandon and I, and about the community which embraces and honors our commitment to one another. It’s a wedding. It’s a wedding, it’s not a photo shoot. I need not strive for perfection; no one will care about the shade of green that my shoes were even halfway through dinner. What matters is that our day is deeply personal. Authentic. It shouldn’t matter to me that I think one of my FMIL’s requests is cheesy, because it’s about the symbolism of it. I need to continue to remind myself to embrace the authenticity of the event, even when things don’t go as planned.

Authenticity, authenticity, authenticity! This is my new mantra. And, really, the more authentic, the more absolutely perfect the day will be.

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Well, I’m an interesting sight right now.

I’m sitting at my friendly neighborhood Borders, perhaps my favorite thing to do on any given afternoon. Sitting in front of me is “The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson”, edited by Thomas Johnson, as well as my laptop. I’m currently writing a paper on Dickinson’s perspectives of God as the Angel of Death. Also in front of me is the April edition of Real Simple, a new mag addiction. Next to Real Simple is Colin Cowie’s “Wedding Chic,” a must-read, as well as Mindy Weis’s “The Wedding Book.” And what’s sitting on the very tip-top of the stack? US News and World Report’s Ultimate Law School Guide, an LSAT prep book, and this month’s issue of “The Economist.” My Google Reader is one-third wedding, one-third living, and one-third domestic and international news. On any given day, you might find me engrossed in Martha Stewart Living, or Hillary Rodham Clinton’s autobiography.

I don’t like to segment my life; I really don’t. But I’m finding more and more that this blog, and the wedding blogging world, provides a creative outlet that I don’t necessarily find in my final semester of classes or my professional grooming.  And it’s nice. I’m rather beginning to enjoy it.

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