Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Also, exciting news on the wedding front...we mailed out our Save the Dates today!!! AHHHH! It's really real now...no going back! So people should get them next week! We did it slightly early because the wedding is on a holiday weekend and I wanted to make sure people knew the date in plenty of time to make plans. Jake only complained a very little bit about helping me with the "arts and craft" project (as he called it) of lining all our envelopes and stuffing them. We actually managed to line 185 envelopes (EDIT - yeah, we only lined 85. Totally a mistype! We would be rockstars if we could line 185 envelopes in an hour...hahaha) in just about 1 hour! I was impressed with his work ethic...haha! I captured the moment on film...Doesn't he just look so happy and excited?? And the finished product, complete with our beautifully lined envelopes (we used the same navy polka dot paper as I used for the bridesmaids cards)
Ignore the ugly white marks for all the names and stuff. Love!!!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Jake and I decided this year we were going to be a little bit selfish and have a relaxing Christmas without having to worry about running all over the place to see everyone. So Christmas Eve we went to his parents house and did presents and then Christmas day, we literally slept in until 9am, opened our presents to each other, laid on the couch, made a leisurely breakfast and then finally got ready at like 1pm. My parents came to our house to do presents and then we all headed over to my aunts for dinner. We were home from there by 7:30pm and back in our pj's!! Last year we literally went to like 4 different houses on Christmas day and we just did not want to do that again. I wish we could do it like this every year, but I think people would get upset. Oh well.
I was a very lucky girl this year and I got some wonderful presents! Jake's parents got me this amazing black velvet blazer from Banana Republic, new cute pj's from J.Crew and some fun stocking stuff. I also got a digital photo frame (which I asked for to use for wedding pictures next year!!), some new cookbooks, several new cute sweaters, some exercise clothes, new black cashmere gloves and a huge pan that matches our pots and pan set. My parents gave us a whole set of fireplace accessories...a screen and tools for the fire. We haven't had a fire at our house yet because we didn't have a screen, so we were really excited! We also received BEAUTIFUL Waterford Crystal toasting flutes to use for the wedding, from my aunt!Those aren't the exact ones, but they look very similar to that. My aunt also had the bases engraved with our names and the wedding date. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of cheesy flutes or other wedding stuff like that, but I am so in love with these because they are so classic and perfect! We have them stored away for the next 9 months till we get to use them!!
Jake and I weren't supposed to spend alot on each other, because we're trying to save money, plus we just bought a big TV for the house this fall. Of course, he broke that rule and bought me these!!
Marc Jacobs sunglasses! I did not expect that at all! I always just buy cheap $10 sunglasses from Nordstrom because I always break and lose my sunglasses. Jake has been bugging me basically since we met that I needed to invest in nice sunglasses because it's better for my eyes. We happened to be at the sunglass store a few weeks ago and I saw these and liked them, but obviously I wasn't going to buy them for myself, especially right before Christmas. I had no idea he would go back and get them!! I am totally obsessed with them, and I can definitely tell the difference in the quality. Looks like I'm hooked!
So it really was a wonderful holiday! Back to work tomorrow for me...boo! Jake is off all week until next Monday. Can we talk about how jealous I am??
And just because she's the cutest puppy ever, here's a picture we took of Spencer Christmas morning, wearing a festive bow. Obviously Jake is standing behind me with a treat, which is the only way she would behave! Hope everyone had a great Christmas!!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
It's crazy to think that this time next year, we will be married! We're just going to relax and enjoy it. We're also taking a much needed wedding planning break until after New Years. I have an appointment for January 5th at a boutique in town to try on wedding dresses! Ahhh!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
34th Street in Hampden, which is a small neighborhood in Baltimore, is famous for it's VERY over the top Christmas light display. It's all row houses and every single house on the street does super crazy lights. I think they've been doing it for over 60 years. Literally, I believe it's written in your homeowner's agreement when you buy a house on that street that you have to participate and go all out on your lights. It attracts hundreds (maybe thousands) of visitors each year that drive and walk through the street. Alot of the houses actually let you walk through them, because they'll set up very elaborate displays even inside the house.
They start putting up the displays in the fall and work on it non-stop to get it ready for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, when they always have a kick off when everyone turns their lights on at the same time, which signals the start of the season. They leave them up till usually right after New Years Eve, so there's plenty of time for tons of people to come visit. It seriously is something you have to see to believe and appreciate! Some of it is tacky (there's a tree made from hubcaps), but it's just so many lights and displays, you can't help but love it!
We went up one time when I was a little girl and I was in complete awe. Since Jake's family lives up in Baltimore, we've now gone up the last 3 years together and it's somewhat of a tradition. We'll visit it again this Saturday, after we leave his parents annual Scrooge Party. I can't wait - every year it gets a little bit different! Here's the official website for the street: http://christmasstreet.com/
If you live close enough to visit, I highly recommend it! It will definitely put you in a festive Christmas mood!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Because I'm OCD and slightly neurotic, I started looking at bridesmaids dresses before I even asked the girls. I was originally thinking just a plain navy dress for the girls, something timeless that they could wear again. I HATE all standard traditional bridesmaids dresses and I refused to even consider them. That led me to, of course, J.Crew. I stalked the website and sale section, looking for all their navy options. Let me tell you, there is not much. Without spending $350, they really didn't have many navy dresses at all. I also started thinking about how the wedding is outside in early September and it will most likely be HOT.
J.Crew makes a fabulous beach dress, which is a lightweight embosessed cotton seersucker. I actually own this dress in a few colors and love it. Since the wedding is before Labor Day (by 2 days), I feel ok with the girls wearing seersucker! I checked the site to see if it came in navy, but unfortunately, it doesn't. However, it does come in a pretty fabulous shade of yellow, called Sour Lemon! All the sudden, my entire plan of navy was out the window! I decided to order one dress, just to check the color, style, etc. It came and it was perfect! A little brighter than it looked online, but it's really a great shade of yellow (sometimes yellow can be iffy).
Then I started thinking about the girls and how different they are, in personalities and body types. J.Crew actually makes this dress in 3 different styles...a halter, strapless and then a shift dress that buttons up the back. After checking with the girls, it turns out they each wanted a different style, so it was perfect! K will be wearing the halter:
and J will be wearing the shift:
So I'm so excited about the dresses and they won't need any alterations! Now I just have to find my dress...
Friday, December 12, 2008
I absolutely love it! The yellow border is actually yellow cardstock, and then the white card goes over that, so it will be 2 layers of paper. Sorry I had to blur out all the important stuff, but our last names are actually in lowercase (like the "maryland"), so it looks really cool I think. It's simple, classic and exactly what we wanted. I knew I wanted to play up the date somehow and I love what they came up with. They will go in white envelopes that I'm going to line with green and white polka dotted paper. I'll take photos of the actual cards and envelopes as we're getting them ready to mail out - we're aiming to send them out right around New Years. With the wedding being on a Holiday weekend, we want to make sure people get them in plenty of time.
I highly recommend LadyBugLabels if you need label stickers for anything - she has them for baby showers, holidays, weddings, anything! I think they will look so cute on our envelopes...I can't wait to see the whole final project come together!!
So that's the fun wedding project we've crossed off our list at this point...I do have some other fun projects to share soon - bridesmaids dresses!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
EMS (or really any other outdoor store):
La Source Hand Therape Hand Cream - $11.50My mom swears by this stuff, so I always get her a new tube every year. It's super thick and rich, and apparently makes your hands super soft. Great stocking stuffer!
J.Crew: (I couldn't do a Holiday present post without this store!!)
Flannel PJ Pants - on sale for $29.50
La Petite Blog did a post about these yesterday, but I wanted to emphasize these as a perfect gift! We are getting a pair for Sailor Boy's sister in law, I'm getting some for most of my girlfriends and then I may just need to get myself a pair too! (so I don't feel left out!)
Enamel Bangle Bracelet - on sale for $9.99 to $19.99We are also getting Sailor Boy's sister in law a few bracelets from J.Crew. They have tons of colors and different sizes. I love pairing them with jeans and a sweater or dressing them up for evening with a cute fun top and skirt!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I promised Sailor Boy I wouldn't go crazy with buying new decorations this year, since we are short on storage space and our house really isn't that big. I have actually kept that promise and the only thing I bought was a new tree skirt because our old one was for our tiny tree and it wouldn't even fit around the new tree. Tree skirts are so expensive, I had no idea! I found one I LOVED at target and when I looked at the price, I just about had a heart attack...$49.99!!! WHAT?? I stood in the aisle for a good 15 minutes debating and when I realized that all the other ones (that I didn't love) were $39.99, I bit the bullet and got the $50 one. I figure we'll have it for a long time, so it's sort of an investment in Sailor Boy and I's future life together :-) hehe.
Here's some pics of our fabulous tree...Yes, those are PRESENTS under the tree! I went from not having any presents bought, to being pretty much done and I have most of them wrapped! Ahh, the beauty of being off on Mondays. I get so much done!
Here's the rest of our decor...My Pottery Barn knock off centerpiece that I made from supplies found at Target for half the price.
Our fireplace mantle. I went simple and just did lighted garland, a nutcracker, a lantern and then the stockings. I hate our stockings...we need new ones, but I'm going to wait until next year to get us some...to celebrate our 1st Christmas being a married couple! Our stocking holders are actually frames and we each picked out the picture of the other person for their frame. Of course, we both picked a really embarrassing funny picture. Classy.
This is actually my favorite part of our decor. Above our front door, we have these 3 windows with a ledge and so we stuck these glittery snowflakes that I have up there. It's cute because you can see it from outside or inside. Ok, I will admit it...this was actually Sailor Boy's idea and I love it! Maybe he's a keeper after all.
15 days until Christmas!
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
1. When I was 7, my great uncle took me to see the Nutcracker Ballet in Baltimore and I have been obsessed with it ever since. That same year, my parents got me a set of nutcracker ornaments and I begged them to let me keep them out even after we put all the Christmas stuff away. I love the story, the music, the dancing, everything! Every time I hear a song from the ballet, it brings back such great memories!
2. In my family, we always take turns opening gifts and go around in a circle (oldest person starts and we go down by age) so everyone can see what everyone else gets. I have a huge family on both sides, so this can take quite a long time, but I love it and I wouldn't ever want to change that. Sailor Boys family is NOT like this at all...they all get their gifts and all rip them open at the same time and no one shows each other anything that they got. It's chaos, followed by shouts of "thank you". I hate this. The first year we spent the Holidays together, I sat with my gifts while everyone else was opening them because I was so confused as to what was going on. After everyone else opened, then I slowed opened all my gifts one by one. I'm such a brat!
3. We always eat beef wellington and asparagus for Christmas Eve dinner and it's so good. My mom has the best recipe and I crave it all year, but we save it for Christmas eve. My mom also always makes egg and cheese casserole and homemade cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning after we open our presents. YUM!
4. When I was younger (like 10 and 11), I used to sneak and open up some of the presents my parents would put under the tree before Christmas. Yes, I would unwrap them, look at them and then attempt to "re-wrap" them so my mom wouldn't find out. And apparently I thought I did an excellent job, but I know my mom always knew what I was up to.
5. Growing up, my mom and I would always bake about 28436462 dozen cookies, and we would have tins and tins of them for the entire month of December. We would give some away as gifts as well. My favorite were the peanut butter ones with the Hershey Kiss on top. I don't really bake at all anymore. I really need to get better about that.
6. My favorite part of Christmas is opening stockings! We save it for last and I love seeing what kind of fun little treats that my mom put in it. I would always get new chap stick, a pack of gum and a new book.
I tag these 6 people --
Positively Preppy in Pink
Nautical by Nature
More, More, More
Prissy Southern Prep
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I also decided that since I posted the wedding date, I can't post exactly where the wedding will be, for fear of internet stalkers. I may post a few pictures that I took of the venue, but I have to keep it a little bit private. But after the wedding, I will post all about it!
We're meeting with my friend A's company on Monday to design the save the dates, which I'm trying to get out before New Years since the wedding is on a holiday weekend. I want to play up our date (09.05.09), since it's sort of cool looking, on the save the dates. Hopefully they can come up with something unique and fun!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping Paper. I love wrapping presents! Random, but I love Ikea for christmas paper...they have really good prints and it's cheap!!
2. Tree--Real or Artificial? I grew up with an artificial tree because my dad is allergic. Now Sailor Boy and I get a real tree, which I think is the greatest thing ever...I love picking out a real tree and dragging it home.
3. When do you put Christmas tree up? Usually a few weeks before Christmas, I think we're going to go this Sunday to get one.
4. When do you take the tree down? Typically on New Years day.
5. Like eggnog? Yuck...NO!
6. Do you have a nativity scene? No, but I'm actually currently searching for one right now. Any suggestions would be great!
7. Favorite gift received as a child? My bike when I was 10.
8. Hardest person to buy for? Probably Sailor Boy's parents. I'm still stumped this year!
9. Easiest person to buy for? my parents
10. Worst Christmas gift? A few years ago, my aunt and uncle got me this pink purse. I think they thought because it was pink, I would love it. But it had a super long strap and was totally NOT me. I felt really bad, but it totally got donated to Goodwill.
11. Mail or email a Christmas Card? I have to admit, I can be a slacker about christmas cards. We're going to try and mail them out this year though.
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Love Actually, Home Alone, It's a Wonderful Life. Sailor Boy's parents throw a "Scrooge Party" every year a few weeks before christmas, where we all sit around and watch the original "A Christmas Carol", so that's become a favorite one of mine as well.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Typically by early December...I need to start doing it a little bit earlier so I don't get so stressed out!
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yes, I will admit it.
15. Favorite food to eat on Christmas? Every Christmas morning, my mom makes egg casserole and homemade cinnamon rolls. YUM!
16. Lights on tree? of course...I prefer white lights, non-blinking.
17. Favorite Christmas Song? Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.
18. Travel during Christmas or Stay home? We stay home....all our family is close.
19. Can you name Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, & Rudolph
20. Angel or Star on Tree top? We have a star and then I usually put some ribbon coming down the tree off the star.
21. Open presents on Christmas Eve or morning? We usually spend Christmas Eve with my dad's family and open our gifts then with them, then on Christmas morning, I go to my parents and open gifts with them. It's always a little bit more difficult splitting the holiday with Sailor Boy's family too, but we make it work.
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The crazy ridiculous lines and traffic at all the stores.
23. Favorite ornament? Last year, my mom wrapped up some of my old christmas ornaments from growing up and gave them to me to put on our tree. I found one that was a clay christmas tree that I had made and decorated in kindergarten. I love that one.
24. What do you want for Christmas this year? I haven't actually asked for too much this year. I need some new black gloves, a new black coat, a few random kitchen things.
Monday, December 1, 2008
We had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. Ate way too much (we ended up eating 2 dinners...one at my parents and one at Sailor Boy's aunts) and it was really fun to show everyone in both families the ring and tell them all the engagement story! Then we headed down to VA to the River House for the weekend with some of Sailor Boy's family and we had a great and restful weekend! Highlights of the weekend:
-- Finding out that Sailor Boy's cousins wife is pregnant with their first baby during the "Thankful game" at dinner! Yay for babies!
-- Shopping all day on Saturday with Sailor Boy's mom and aunt at some cute boutiques near their river house. And I'm very proud of myself for resisting the urge to buy anything for myself...but I did get some christmas presents!
-- Showing Sailor Boy's mom my "inspiration notebook" with all the ideas I've started collecting for the wedding and having her get so excited!
-- Roasting marshmallows and making smores on Saturday night with Sailor Boy's parents new firepit that they got for the river house. Ok, I admit...I ate 4 smores! ACK...wedding diet is non-existant!
-- Starting and finishing knitting a scarf for my dad for Christmas, since I had so much extra wonderful quiet time at the house. Check another Christmas present off the list!
Now I'm in super Christmas mode! We're waiting another week or so to go get our tree, but I'm DYING to start decorating the rest of the house!! Goodbye fall and Hello Christmas!