January 30, 2009

Bella has 1 day left!

My best friend (and MOH) Bella is getting married tomorrow!! I can't believe this day is here already. I remember as if it were yesterday when she told she was engaged. She has been full of smiles and excitement throughout her whole engagement. Her and Ryan are an amazing couple. I wish both of them a lifetime of happiness.

Tonight is her rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. I am busy getting ready..I won't be posting until Sunday. But stay tuned! I will have pictures! I will also be guest blogging on Bella's blog while she is in Sunny Jamaica on her honeymoon-check it out next week!

Congratulations Bella and Ryan! I love you both!

January 29, 2009

My {future} MIL is the greatest.

I am one of the luckiest brides to say I have the greatest future mother-in-law. She is like a 2nd mother to me. (Even if she teases me-calling me her little princess) She has raised 3 boys...so having me around has been a challenge for her-but I know she enjoys every bit of it-she told me so!

She is hosting our rehearsal dinner...and last week she promised she would take care of reserving our reservations.

And she did!

We will be having our rehearsal at our church at 5pm on May 1st, 2009.

At 6:30pm we will all gather at the Stonecreek Grill. Mike has lots of friends who work there, and have been going there since it opened. We all love their food! And it's such a cute place! I just love it! We will have the upstairs loft.

Dinner as follows:
Italian Beef
Fried Chicken

Red Roasted Potatoes
Corn on the cob

Garden Salad

Cake (half chocolate and half white)

, iced tea, and coffee

She enabled me to cross yet another thing off my list!!

She is awesome!!

Love you Jill! Thank you!

January 28, 2009

Honeymoon Part 2

Day 2: Our road trip to Santa Barbara.

We will leave L.A. May 5th and drive up the coast to Santa Barbara. We will be staying at this hotel. It's nothing really fancy but it's perfect for us. We are trying to keep this honeymoon as low cost as we can.
Day 1: LA
Day 2: Road trip-Check in with a bottle of Chardonnay and a box of gourmet chocolates-relax on the beach-and take in as much as we can..
Day 3: Enjoy more of the beach-and then go for our sunset dinner cruise on a 50ft. sailboat.
Check out this view..(I wish we could leave now!)
Day 4: Personalized country winery tour at 4 different wineries. Including a gourmet picnic lunch. A bottle of our chosen wine and 2 souvenir wine glasses. After our wine tour we may walk into town and check out some local restaurants and maybe wind down at some of their local night clubs.
Day 5: Beach and mountain horseback riding. I am especially looking forward to this. I've never seen mountains or the ocean. And absolutely love horses.
Day 6: Our road trip back down the coast to LA, there we will do some more site seeing. Our flight won't be departing until 11:30pm....

Then we will be back home Sunday. Just in time to celebrate Mikey's birthday!

I'm not sure what I'm most excited for....our wedding day...or our honeymoon!!!

January 27, 2009

T minus 6 weeks

So..last week I told you I have 7 more weeks until my 1st fitting...and I gave you my measurements. (I still can't believe I did that!!) And I promised I would start working out more...

Well, I have! I'm down 3lbs. I've conquered the war I was having with my scale.

It's all thanks to Cyd over at The Sweetest Occasion. She has been my ultimate inspiration! And Jillian Michael's with the 30 Day Shred. She's been kicking my ass. Along with Pick Your Spot Pilates. I feel amazing. I can tell a difference in my stamina and endurance...in just 7 days. It's such an amazing feeling. And my clothes are fitting more loosely each day. I've gone down a couple inches too...

Arm: 11 1/2
Waist: 33 1/2
Hip: 39
Thigh: 20

I think I have done pretty darn good! I hope those inches keep going down!

January 26, 2009

I just booked my 1st vacation!

I am so excited! I can barely contain myself!

We just booked our flights for our honeymoon!

Our Itinerary reads as follows:
Departing from Chicago: May 4 at 8:07AM
Arriving in LA at 10:36AM

We will be exploring LA, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Santa Monica our first 2 days in CA. I am a city girl at heart-and I had to see LA if we were coming to California!! We will be staying at the Sky Hotel. It's nothing like the Hilton-but check it out! I just love how fresh and modern it looks. I'm usually the more vintage chic but I love this hotel! I just booked our reservation and the guy who checked us in was super nice! He also said in the beginning of May is the start of their hot season-80 degrees! I am SO looking forward to that! (Here in Chicago it's only 13 degrees...bbbrrrrrrrrrrrr!)

I need some ideas of some cool lounge bars or some hot night clubs! We want to celebrate our 1st night! Any ideas ladies? I have a fav cousin who lives in West Hollywood and she has given me some ideas so far.. The Roxy, Whisky A Go-Go, Elevate Lounge...I'm not sure if we will be able to visit all of them..but we are going to try and hit up a few! I think our plan is to take a cab to Sunset Strip and just walk... I can't wait!

May 5 after breakfast we will drive over to the Santa Monica Pier. I can't wait to see, smell and feel the ocean. I've never seen it. I can't wait. I can't tell you how excited I am!

Next up...our drive to Santa Barbara!

January 24, 2009

Pretty little dresses

My friend Devon and her daughter, Mahala (my flower girl) came over and we had a shopping adventure! We first went to Burlington Coat Factory to look for flower girl dresses. Unfortunately, we had no luck. None of us fell in love with any of the dresses..

Here is one we thought we liked. But then soon realized we all hated it...

Then we headed over to David's Bridal. I am not a fan of this store at all...but we looked around and found one we loved! In fact, Mahala didn't want to take it off! She felt like a little princess. But I thought $110 was too much for a flower girl dress. But this is the style we all liked! And isn't Mahala the cutest?!

Please excuse my camera phone-I forgot my camera at home!

Now I am scouring the internet in the search of an affordable dress that matches the one at David's Bridal. So far, I'm not having any luck. I mean how hard can it be to find a plain tulle dress?!

Do you girls have any suggestions??? Please help!

January 22, 2009

Little details

A few weeks ago I posted numerous cake toppers and asked you all what you thought. (Thank you soo much for all the comment love!)

It arrived!

And it's better than I expected! And all under $20! I love it!

Our cake picture is grainy and hard to see-but I tried to find one that looked very similar. Imagine this topper on this cake..

It's crazy how the littlest things excite me so much!

January 21, 2009

A gift from my MOH.

I received a gift from my MOH recently. She is the craftiest chick I know. And one of the most thoughtful people I know.

In almost 3 months my last name will start with a B...instead of a J.

I absolutely love it. And look forward to admiring it for years and years to come.

Thank you Bella! I wish I was as crafty as you-I'd make you one too!

January 20, 2009

7 week countdown

Guess what?!

I have 7 more weeks until my 1st fitting! Yikes!

I've lost my holiday weight. But I think I've plateaued. I'm stuck at a 30lb loss. I've stayed the same weight for 2 weeks. It's a little disheartening. I've maintained a strict diet-and still no losses. However, I haven't worked out since Dec. 5th. I've been bad! But I can't complain about my 30lbs loss...

Today I restarted the 30 Day Shred. And it definitely kicked my ass-but not as bad as the 1st few times I did it. So, I think that is good, right?! I'm going to start a workout schedule. Every other day I will do the 30 day Shred along with 20 minute cycling. And every day in between I will do 30 minute pilates with 20 minute cycling. These activities are my favorites...so I think I will get the most out of them. I might even try walking 30 minutes on my lunch break.

I really want to loose some more inches around my tummy. I don't care much about the weight--I just hope to loose some more inches. I'm also hoping that updating this weekly will help me! (This is my blog friend, Cyd's idea!)

Today I'm at...
Arm: 12
Waist: 35
Hip: 43
Thigh: 22

I'm not sure what a healthy goal is. I guess I just want to go down 1 more pants size..

Wish me luck!

and umm..motivation. I'm lacking motivation..(but I'm trying to concentrate on the dress!)

January 17, 2009

Wedding day: Accessories

Here is a sneak preview of my pretty little accessories for the big day..

These shoe clips are my something borrowed. My God-Mother wore these on her wedding day 20-something years ago. They are laying on top of my something old, which is a handkerchief my Grandma held on her wedding day 53 years ago. One of her best friends made it for her. Aren't they just lovely?

Here are my wedding day earrings. They were a Christmas present from my cousin Luke-he's got great taste, doesn't he?! He purchased them from here. I gave his mom a list of earrings that I would love..I didn't want anything too expensive. They will probably only be worn 1 day. I absolutely love them.

Here is my (wrinkly) veil that just came in the mail last week! As soon as the wrinkles relax I will put it on for you to see. It is exactly what I wanted...only $50! Check out affordable veils here. Again, why pay $300+ on something when you don't need to?? I'm still not sure if I will wear the top layer as a blusher...but I'm definitely thinking about it!

Here are items on my wish list.

This beautiful vintage garter. I just love it. Found here. I cannot wait to order it!

And last but not least my shoes..

It was hard for me to find plain shoes so I can attach my beautiful shoe clips. I've looked every where. But I love how classic these are. And they will be perfect for my shoe clips!

I still don't have my something blue..but I really want these..(hint..hint!)

Are you incorporating any heirloom pieces into your wedding day attire?

January 16, 2009

Planning our honeymoon

This has been the toughest part of our planning. I have never really traveled before. Yes, I've been to our surrounding states (Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana) But no where else. I haven't even been on plane! I had no idea what I was doing. (Thank you Tina and April for helping us!!)

First, we thought we wanted to go to Italy. And ideally we would still LOVE to go there. But we just can't afford it. Then we thought New Orleans. I love antiques, and what better place to celebrate our marriage-then a beautiful old town?! But that still didn't really excite me. This is because ever since I was little I've had this infatuation about California. I always wanted to go there. Mike was hesitant at first because he has been there numerous times. But he knew how bad I wanted to go-so we compromised and decided to go to a region he was never been to.

Santa Barbara! And L.A.! Santa Barbara for the romantic part of our trip and L.A. to party like newlywed rock stars!!

May 4th we will fly into L.A. and stay 2 days. We are going to try and explore the first day...and hopefully stay in a beautiful hotel with lots of spa options (per MY requests!). Yes, I want to get pampered a little! I think I deserve it after 11 long months of planning!! We have yet to find a hotel we agree on. Also, we need to find some great night time hot spots-and party like rock stars! Ha!!

Anyone have any ideas of hotels? Or activities we can do in the L.A. area??

May 6 we are going to drive to Santa Barbara and stay at one of these hotels. They aren't anything special-but they have a great package we want! Check it out!
-A sunset dinner cruise on a 50ft. catamaran, we will see sea lions, dolphins and whales!
-Tour through the Santa Barbara wine country-yummy wine!
-A bottle of chardonnay
-And Lots of other wonderful treats-those were just my favorites!

Our last day will be May 9. We will drive back to L.A. on the coast line and hopefully get some amazing shots. I can't wait to fill my camera up with so much eye candy!

I cannot wait for honeymoon. The first 2 weeks of May will be so many firsts for me. 1st (and only time) getting married, first time on a plane, first time in California, first time on the ocean...first time being husband and wife.

I simply cannot wait!


I finally bought Mike's wedding ring today! It was a special order-so we won't be receiving it for another 3-4 weeks. I can't wait to take pictures of our wedding bands along with my e-ring. I'm also relieved that I can cross this big purchase off my list. I was really worried about it...from the holidays and other special occasions-I was worried that I wasn't going to be able to afford it. But with a little saving-I was able to do it! Thank goodness-because I was starting to have nightmares that we were at the alter and I was like "OH SHIT! I forgot to buy the ring!"....trust me-it isn't a good feeling.

It was cute-as we were leaving the store Mike had this cheesy grin on his face and says "I can't wait!!". And I just smiled and thought neither can I!

January 13, 2009

Pretty things

I received my invitations in the mail last week! I wish I could show them to you all... I just don't want to ruin the surprise-some of my guests read my blog! But I will tell you they are lovely! They came out perfect. I took the cheap route and ordered them through The American Wedding. If you want to see them-shoot me an email and I'll send you the link! It took me a while to figure out which ones I wanted. There were so many-and I'm the worlds worst indecisive person I know. There were some gorgeous ones I had my eye on from different designer websites-but my Dad is footing the bill on 98% of our wedding, so I tried to cut costs when I could. I am incredibly happy with my invitations and wouldn't change them for the world. (My Dad likes them too!)

What are you doing for invitations? Are you trying to cut costs? Do you like pre-made invitations?

Since I've hit the 3 1/3 month mark-I've gotten so excited! I feel like our wedding is just around the corner. There is talk of showers, bachelorette parties, fittings, etc. Yet I still have so much to do. I got caught up in the Holidays-and haven't done much planning. But fortunately I'm not stressed at all. Which is a surprise for me. I'm still super laid back. However, starting February I have to get my booty in gear!

Here is my current To-Do list:

Plan honeymoon ASAP
Order Mike's wedding band
Find/purchase wedding shoes
Decide on the color shoes for my girls
Wedding day lingerie
Finish all my DIY projects
Look into Ceremony programs
Finish DJ list (I keep changing it!)
Choose readings/ceremony music
Design map insert for invitations

I'm sure I'm missing some important things...but I will update as I think of them!

January 12, 2009

Bachelorette Fun!

***Warning uber long post!

Saturday night was my best friend Bella's bachelorette party! We all met downtown (Chicago) and partied in our hotel room. Watched Bella open all of her lovely gifts and played a 'girly' game-questions like "What was your most memorable kiss?".

I have to admit I had a BLAST!!! Being an 'outsider' of all her childhood friends-I was a little worried about how much fun I would have since I am so shy. But her friends are so sweet! I love them all. I'm happy that I have became friends with them!

We dressed her up in fun stuff! A purple lay with condoms and suck for a buck candies. A shot glass necklace, a whistle, a Miss. Bachelorette sash And a pretty veil! Ha!

We hit up the Baton Lounge first. It is a Drag Queen show. It was hilarous! Bella got to go up and annouce her name and her wedding date. Her heart was racing-poor thing!! I'm sad to say that I have no pictures from the Baton Lounge. "No pictures allowed" Boo! But it was a hoot!

Then we walked our way through the snow...to Howl at the Moon. I LOVED this bar! It's a modern piano bar. We had a freakin blast! We danced next to the piano all night! I'm sure some of us got a little wild and crazy-but that's the whole point of a bachelorette party, right?! The best part is that Bella the time of her life. Everytime I looked at her, she was smiling and laughing. It's a wonderful feeling to know that you were a part of making a friend so happy!

Love you Bella!!

Here is the last shot of the night....These girls are hilarious!

PS: We are taking a vote. Bella did her own makeup for this day-and is consdiering doing her own makeup for the wedding. All of us girls think she did an amazing job..and say go for it?! What do you all think? Doesn't she look gorgeous?!

January 11, 2009


I received this Fabulous Award from Cyd at The Sweetest Occasion! How sweet is she?! Never thought this little ole blog would be award worthy! But I accept ever so graciously! Thanks, Cyd! It's taken me a while to post this-but I finally got my computer fixed and running! Here we go..

Rules - List 5 Obsessions/Addictions that you have, and tag back to the person(s) that gave you the award. Post the rules and tag and additional 5 people.

1. TV! I go crazy if I miss an episode of the following: Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, 90210, Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters and Heroes.

2. Blogging. I love to blog and read blogs. Ever since my good friend Bella introduced me to these addicting little blogs-I've been hooked ever since. I go nuts if have more than 10 unread. I have to read them throughout the day. I think it's some sort of OCD...

3. Getting manicures. Ever since I stopped biting my nails a year ago, I MUST get a manicure every week. I hate the way my nails look without polish!

4. Redbull or Coffee. I can drink them all day long! I have to have my daily dose of caffeine or watch out!!

5. Weddings. My wedding, friends wedding's...anything wedding related! I love spending coutless hours looking for cute/inspirational wedding related things. I go around and around surfing the web-After I get married I think I will have to find a new hobby...I won't know what to do with all my time!

I tag:

Blabber and Blunder

I Hate Planning My Wedding
The Sweet Wife
M And M Wedding

January 7, 2009


I've been with out a computer lately-I miss you guys. Saturday I found out I had a virus on my computer. I tried really hard to fix it. But the virus was so bad that I couldn't even download anything-the virus kept blocking it. I have to admit that it's has got to be the most frustrating things to deal with!! I'm pretty computer savvy too. The computer tech here at my work said I did everything right-but the virus spread way too much. I sent it away to let the professionals fix it..and now they can't even turn it on! Wtf! It's not even 2 years old yet!! Geez!

I'm at work right now posting this (shhhh!). I will hopefully have my computer back by the weekend-and I have lots of stuff to post! And to comment on!

January 2, 2009

A photo a day..

I found this new project from one of my friend, Bella. I saw it and had to copy her. She is OK with it! In fact, the article tells you to encourage your friends to do it. So, I am encourage you ALL to do it too!

Project 365. The point is to take a picture every day for a year. To capture every moment in your life. See how you change and grow in as little as a year. Life moves so fast-why not capture every moment you possibly can..? Plus, there is one great benefit. You become a better photographer. Score!

I've already started. I have plenty of pictures from 01-01-09. And today I showed the aftermath of our NYE party. I find it hilarious...

Take a peak..

The jello shots were my (and everyone else's) enemy. And we started with less beer...and people kept bringing more (there is more on the top)! Good times!

PS: Don't worry- I will not be posting a picture a day.

Peony Inspiration

I am meeting with my Florist this month. I need to bring some flower inspiration with me. I know I want white peonies for my bouquet. And I think I want white and blush peonies for the girls. I need help with the boutonnieres though. Ranunculus, maybe? I'm not sure what the top left boutonniere is, does anyone know? I really like that one! But I'm sure my florist will know. I'm hoping he will help me with designing something for our alter at church and our head table at the reception. We are sticking with candle centerpieces (which I love by the way!). I will save that for another post!

Here is what I came up with! Peony overload!!

Thank you Cyd from The Sweetest Occasion for hooking me up with Bridal Canvas!!

What do you think?!

What kind of flowers are you having for your wedding?

Happy New Year!!

Sorry I am a day late..but yesterday I swore I had alcohol poisoning.

Hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Years! I definitely did. Close friends and family came over for some fun. From what I remember a lot of us (mostly me) made a fool out of ourselves..! Good times!

I'm not one for making new year's resolutions. Last year, I swore I would loose weight. And in a year I've lost 35 pounds. I still have a few more to go... + all the holiday pounds! But I am trying to make this my life commitment. Only indulge once in a while. I made it 1 year-I can make another. One step at a time, right?

2009 is going to be a great year. In just 1 month my friend Bella is getting married. Then 3 months after her wedding-Mine will be here! I will be become a Mrs. for the 1st (and only time) and I will also get on a plane (to our honeymoon) for the 1st time. Possibly make a baby.. This is gonna be one hell of an exciting year!

I can't wait!

2009 here we come!