Friday, December 26, 2008

Wedding Ring - Yes or No?

Before I was engaged, I never imagined having more than one ring. And since I have an extraordinary engagement ring, how could I ask for anything more? When Michael and I went to the Jeweler about a year ago to have the engagement ring made, I told him that he could place the prongs of the diamond all the way down the sides of the band since I would not be wearing another ring next to it. This design keeps the diamond lower so that it doesn't stick up and out too far. This also means that a wedding band/ring would never be exactly flush next to the engagement ring. I don't want to wear two rings on one finger. I feel that in doing so, neither ring would get the proper attention that it deserves. Plus, it would be a bit bulky I think. However, I'm not opposed to wearing my engagement ring on one ring finger and a wedding ring on another ring finger. Currently, I wear my engagement ring on my left ring finger, as tradition dictates. I'm thinking about moving the engagement ring to my right ring finger after I'm married and wearing a wedding band on my left ring finger. My loving fiance thinks I should stick with my original plan and just wear my engagement ring on my left ring finger forever. I'm really drawn to these rings though - they're so natural, simple, and organic looking (and affordable).

K. Brunini's "Twig" Collection
Beth Cyr's Love Knot Tree Bark Ring

Beth Cyr's Tree Bark Ring

Beth Cyr's Tree Bark Ring

X-Mas Is Over, Now It's Time for Bridesmaids Dresses

J.Crew has "extra 20% off final sale" sales frequently, and they're having one right now. I thought I had definitively made up my mind that I was going to get the bridesmaids dresses from Aria Dress, but J.Crew keeps tempting me otherwise. One of the biggest challenges I have found so far, is finding bridesmaids dresses in both blue AND orange (or variations thereof). Aria Dress has over 50 silk shantung colors to choose from, including several blues and oranges. I had Aria Dress send me fabric swatches. I have 'Periwinkle', 'Light Blue', 'Sunset Gold', 'Burnt Orange', 'Royal', 'Midnight', and 'Paprika'. My two favorites are 'Periwinkle' and 'Sunset Gold'. Aria Dress dresses are also made in U.S.A. (That's hard to find in the wedding industry). They are also reasonably priced. Today, at I found these:
These dresses are called "Berry-trim Strapless Nathalie Dress" and "Berry-trim Nathalie Tank Dress". These two awesome colors are "deep persimmon" and "bright peacock". I can imagine my bridal party wearing any combination of these 4 dresses and looking spectacular! Of course since these dresses are on sale, their sizes and quantities are limited. I don't know about any of you, but I've had problems ordering from J.Crew's website because they don't seem to keep their availability up-to-date. About a month ago, I ordered myself a party dress from I put in my credit card info and the order went through fine. 24 hours later I received an email notifying me that my order had been cancelled since they didn't have the dress in my size. I went back to the website and sure enough, it was still listed as available. <-- What's up with that?! That's my hesitation with J.Crew...
What do you think?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Last night for Christmas Eve, Michael and I rented a couple of movies: 'Elf' (one of my FAVORITE Christmas movies) and 'Step Brothers' (since we were already in a Will Ferrell mood). We made a boboli pizza and snuggled up on the couch watched movies for hours. Today we are just hanging out at home. Unfortunately we ran out of propane. I had just enough hot water for a quick shower but now we have no hot water or use of the stove until tomorrow. Bummer. I have the TV on in the background with 24 hours of 'A Christmas Story' on TBS playing. We will go over to Mike's Mom's house in a little while. I hope you are spending this day just the way you want. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Party Success!

Saturday was our Christmas Party. Approximately 30 of our friends came. Mike and I served 2 out of 3 batches of our homebrew. We weren't satisfied with the 'American Red Ale' since it lacked carbonation. The 'German Lager' was well-liked and the 'Hop-Nog' appears to be gone too. People drank several varieties of wine, Bailey's, gin and tonics, rum and cokes, and many different beers that the guests brought. There were lots of great snacks, sweets, and dips. Most people dressed according to the "semi-formal" dress code I instilled. This was my 5th Christmas Party, and every year the majority of people love dressing up. Here is a look at the party through history:





No party in 2007 [I lived in a studio apartment.] :-(


Thank you friends for coming. We both had a great time and we hope you did too! Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Photographer: √ (check) !

Keira Lemonis will be our wedding photographer. Her work is fun, creative, and artistic - just what I'm looking for (i.e., there will be no mid-air shots of me and my bridal party jumping).
NOT a photo by Keira Lemonis
I must admit I pondered the photographer selection for several weeks, but I'm confident and excited to have Keira booked. Mike and I will even have an engagement photo session, probably in the spring.

I called Yvonne's Bridal Gallery last week to check on the status of my dress. It is on schedule to arrive in late February 2009. I will do a full review of Yvonne's after I get the dress in my possession.

I quasi-designed, ordered, and have already received the save-the-date postcards from VistaPrint. VistaPrint is a huge online print shop that enables self-service design, proofing and ordering via the web<-- how easy is that? They were fun to make, ridiculously inexpensive and ready for distribution after the Holidays.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crimson Christmas Dress

I decided several weeks ago that I would buy myself a new semi-formal dress after I could no longer fit into three of my old favorites. One of the old dresses I gave to my [smaller] friend Lydia while the other two ended up at the church thrift shop. So, now I only own one semi-formal winter dress and I just wore it to our friends Paul & Kelli's Wedding last month. Therefore, I needed something new [that fit me] for the upcoming Christmas Party Mike and I are hosting later this month. I have been looking at dresses online for weeks and was close to acquiring a new one from But, 24 hours after I placed my order, J.crew cancelled it and claimed they were sold out. Then I found a dress I liked at But, since I've never bought/worn/seen a dress from there, I was hesitant about taking the risk with an online order. I even browsed some department store websites like JCPenney, Sears, Macy's, and New York & Company. Last night I went to Colonie Center to browse. I wanted to check out a couple of dresses I saw online at Sears and New York & Company. The Sears dress was in stock, available in all sizes and drastically on sale. I tried it on. It fit. It looked nice. It was missing something. It was missing oomph, va-va-voom, glamour... Here it is:I decided to keep looking. If I didn't find anything better, I would come back to Sears and buy it. I went to Boscov's next. I did try a few dresses on but they were all too old-looking and frumpy. Next I went to New York & Company - one of my favorite stores for buying work clothes. They aren't known for having or selling many dresses, but they do feature a few each season. Sure enough, they had a killer, red dress on a mannequin near the front of the store. I thought to myself "Those dresses always look better on the model or mannequin than in real life, but what the hell?" I tried it on. "Whoa, can I pull this off?" was my first thought. The strapless dress had some difficulty staying up with my modest chest. But I figured with a couple of small alterations and the right bra, it was doable. Other than that, it fit me well and I grew fond of it. I pretended to greet my imaginary guests in the mirror of my dressing room. It worked. I loved it. I bought it. It was on sale AND I opened a store credit card in order to save an additional 20%. Check it out:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Where are the Leftovers?

The turkey was delicious; no children cried; nothing was broken; the messes have been cleaned-up by the dogs' tongues = Thanksgiving Success! The weirdest part of the day for me was rubbing the raw turkey. Mike and I ate leftovers on Friday and Saturday and now they're practically gone. I always imagined we would be cooking/eating turkey for weeks after the big Holiday, but no dice!

Mike and I both had Black Friday off from work. My Mom, Dad, Aunt, and Friend came down from Albany to tour our house and we all went out to lunch in Windham. We ate at "Michael's Diner" (no relation - coincidence). Yum! On Friday night, Mike and I bottled our German Lager and transferred our I.P.A. to a secondary fermenter. Confused? (We're homebrewers.) On Sunday we started a batch of American Red Ale. Come to our Christmas Party and you can try all three!

On Saturday, Mike and I moved into our new bedroom. Now we slumber in the house's master bedroom. We celebrated by going to Albany and boosting our struggling economy. We bought a love seat at Old Brick to match our living room couch. Unfortunately, it probably won't be here by the party. We picked up a new beer kit and fermenting supplies at Hennessy Homebrew Emporium in Rensselaer. We got curtain rods for our new bedroom at Target. We bought white fabric at Jo-Ann's for curtains. Mike's Mother is currently sewing them for us. We bought several hardware supplies at Lowe's. The evening ended with a fun, delicious hibachi dinner at Hiro's Japanese Restaurant on Central Avenue in Albany. Mike and I were seated at our very own, private hibachi table. We both had shrimp and lobster hibachi. Mike drank a sake martini and I had a Kirin Ichiban (beer). Our hibachi chef was friendly and entertaining (as always). We had a great time.

On Sunday, our friends Kristi & Liam came over with their dog, Kody, for a play-date with our dogs (mostly Daisy). We also watched the NY Giants football game and chatted about our upcoming nuptials. Despite a few scuffles (between the dogs, not the humans), we all had a fun time.

Phew! The long, active weekend is over and I'm tired.