Monthly Archives: January 2010

David’s Dresses: Model vs. Me

I was looking through pics on my computer, and I realized I never showed you all the dresses I tried on the first time I went shopping with my ladies! You know how dresses look so perfect online, then you try them on and they look nothing like they do on the model? I love seeing different dresses on real people as opposed to the staged models so I thought I’d share what real person versus model looked like from my perspective. These are all from David’s Bridal….

If you all remember, this is the dress that I bought and ended up exchanging for something totally different. Style T8076 …

Model – hehehe, I’m getting married in this little gazebo here and my teeny-weeny bouquet is so funny!:

(source)

Me – not bad but I can’t breathe because apparently this dress is made 2 sizes smaller than the regular DB sizes:

Next up, this one was part of the DB Galina line and one of the dresses I brought a picture of to try on. Style T9389…

Model – doesn’t she look so happy and skinny in a beautiful dress giggling at the funny non-existent person off to the side?:

(source)

Me – note the look of utter confusion on my face because I look nothing like the model in the dress above and it looks like my hips are about to give birth to a baby calf:

This next one we saw on a mannequin as we walked in. Of course it looked fantastic on the mannequin and the model. Style WG9828…

Model – Oh look at you in your gorgeous European garden setting, you skinny little thing:

(source)

Me – ok, not so bad from the side:

But from the front, I kept thinking I could use those pointy corners on the top to wipe my eyes as I cry tears of sadness because it looked so much better on the mannequin:

Next up was my second choice, one of the dresses I kept going back to and almost bought. Style V9409…

Model – I have nothing bad to say about her, she looks perfect:

(source)

Me – yea! Finally a good one. Flowy, lightweight, fit well even 2 sizes too big, oh I should have ordered you right there and then:

This next one I LOVED but no one else aside from my friend Sharon did. My only concern was that it was heavy and would have been too much to wear in St. Thomas. Plus at this point, we still thought we were getting married on the beach and the train wouldn’t have worked well in the sand. Style T9579…

Model – Oh model, you’re so regal. P.S. where did you get those branches in the vase? I still need some for my centerpieces. What? You’re not going to tell me? Fine then, keep staring off into the distance:

(source)

Me – not too shabby, very flattering, but just too heavy:

Up next, a few halters that I wasn’t too fond of, but the sales lady was trying to find me more “beach appropriate” dresses. First is Style T9445…

Model – Ah hahaha, oh photographer, you’re so funny:

(source)

Me – uh, no. And I have to remember to stick my chin out a little when getting photographed to avoid the double chin look:

Next is Style V9621

Model – Oh lovey, where’s my driver? I have to get to the church:

(source)

Me – um, I don’t see that poofy flair in the above picture, do you?:

This next one, we called the uni-boob because the whole boobala area was heavily beaded and my little mosquito bites, as my sister calls them, got lost in the top, making me have that not-so-flattering uni-boob effect you get from a sports bra. You know what I’m talkin ’bout. Style V9010…

Model:

(source)

Me – where did those come from? Note the silly grin on my face as I stare at my double D:

Yeah, that’s all structured dress, I really did not contribute anything to the bulge that you see. Notice the 45 degree angle from my chest to the dress:

I loved this next one, but again apparently I have different tastes than everyone else I brought with me. And I brought them for their opinions so I took what they said to heart. Style E9351…

Model – gorgeous:

(source)

Me – loved it, but I thought the satin might be too heavy:

This next one actually looks really good in the picture, but the tulle on the bottom side part made everyone giggle, and someone told me I could jump in the ocean and catch fish in it for dinner after the ceremony. Style T9669…

Model – You’re oh so dreamy and soft looking as you tiptoe through the vineyard:

(source)

Me – Why did the tulle just look so wrong when I had it on? Lobster? You want lobster for dinner? Ok, let me go catch you one:

Another from the Galina collection that the sales woman thought I’d like. This one did absolutely nothing for me. Style T9378…

Model – beautiful, dreamy, flowy:

(source)

Me – I swear I had a shape when I walked in here:

And now for MY dress. Style ML9521…

Model – not a fan of the gloves on her but the dress is perfection:

(source)

Me – ahhhh, heavenly:

Dress shopping was quite a monumental experience and I give a ton of credit to those of you that have bought your dress online without seeing it in person first. I thought all of these dresses were gorgeous on the models, but most of them were not flattering on me or beach appropriate.

What I learned: trying them on was a huge eye-opener because although the dresses looked great on the models, they didn’t necessarily fit me or what I was looking for. Also, ultimately get what you want. In the end when you’re walking down that aisle in the dress of your dreams, not one person will be thinking, “Oh, she would have looked so much better in a halter/princess style/cap sleeve/corset”. I promise. You will look beautiful in the dress that you love.

Did you buy your dress without trying it on first? If so, I give you a lot of courage-credit! If you did try on dresses, were you shocked at how different they looked on a model than they did on you?

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Locks to Lust After

With the wedding day fast approaching, I thought I’d share some of my tips to getting hair in top shape for the big day. So here goes…

1. Use professional shampoo and conditioner.

This is my number one rule of thumb and here’s why… some cheap shampoos and conditioners coat your hair with wax, so while they may initially leave your hair feeling silky and smooth, that wax will build up after a few weeks and make your hair dull, heavy, and greasy. Don’t fall for the Pantene commercials! Those women do not use Pantene, they are hair models getting paid to wave their healthy hair in front of a camera. Other cheap shampoos will dry out your hair. Scary Jaime fact #2937: Prell shampoo has the same pH as Drano. Not kidding.

Professional shampoo is everywhere these days so you have no excuse! Yes, it’s definitely more pricey than your $1 bottle of Suave, but it. is. worth. every. penny. Although if you see pro products at your local drugstore or chain store, I’d be wary. Scary Jaime fact #48: those stores do not have a license to sell those products so what the bottle says may not actually be what the bottle contains. Plus they jack up their prices higher than the salons do. Fun Jaime fact #8487: cosmetologist friends can get products for you for HALF the price of what you’d pay in a salon. If you personally know a hair stylist (I’m not talking about your own stylist, do not bother them, I’m talking more like a friend with a cosmetology license), ask him/her to get your products for you the next time they hit the professional beauty supply stores for stylists (like Beauty Alliance, Victory/Cosmo Prof, and Marshall Salon Services, not Sally’s).  My favorite brand of all time is Redken and I get it for my friends and family regularly.

(Logo source)

2. Change your shampoo and conditioner every once in a while.

Although your pro shampoo isn’t leaving a residue behind, your hair gets used to it and you need to switch it up once in a while. Picture someone giving you a lollipop every day for a year. You’re happy you’re getting a gift, but you get bored with the lollipop. Then that person gives you a purple monkey balloon animal one day, and the excitement is back! Hair boredom can cause your shampoo and conditioner to underperform, and you have to give it that purple monkey balloon animal once in a while. I like to switch between Redken Body Full, Redken All Soft, and Redken Extreme every couple of months.

(Source 1,2,3)

3. Don’t feel like you have to get a shampoo and conditioner that match.

Although most formulas are made to work together, you may need one thing from a shampoo and something different from a conditioner. For example, I’ll use Body Full shampoo for the fullness, and Extreme conditioner for strengthening if I’ve been mean to my hair.

4. Do not sleep in rubber bands, barrettes, etc.

As you roll around on your pillow through the night, your hair will pull and break at the rubber band. If you prefer to sleep with your hair pulled back, break out your scrunchies! Although you may not be caught dead wearing a scrunchie in the light of day, those little fabric covered uglies will help save your hair from bedtime breakage.

(source – apparently Sarah Jessica Parker found another way to wear the scrunchie)

5. Before you blowdry, use product.

Any product is better than no product. Mousse, gel, leave-in conditioner, anything to protect your hair from the elements (sun, wind, extreme cold) and the heat of the dryer. Fun Jaime fact #5468: you can make your own leave-in conditioner by mixing a few drops of your regular conditioner with water in a squirt bottle. I don’t like the feel of product in my hair so I use Redken Clear Moisture Instant Polishing Prep Leave-In Spray – just squirt a little on your hair when it’s damp before you blowdry and comb through. A little goes a long way and it leaves my hair feeling super silky.

(source)

6. Before you get out of the shower, run your hair under the coldest water you can stand.

Your hair’s top layer, the cuticle, gets roughed up when you wash it, and the cold water closes the cuticle, making your hair super shiny once it’s dry. True story: about 10 years ago at the salon I was working for, the water heater broke. Those few brave clients that still wanted their hair done let us use the freezing cold water on their hair and they all left with the shiniest hair I’ve ever seen.

Raised cuticle vs. flattened cuticle

7. Please please please leave your color in the hands of your stylist. 

He/she knows what they are doing and use professional color which is COMPLETELY different from color you buy at the drugstore. Scary Jaime fact #482: Most at-home colors from a box are metallic dyes. They contain little bits of metal that get sealed in your hair. And what happens to metal after it’s been wet? It starts to rust. And the rust turns your hair a very unflattering shade of brass/copper. Have you ever seen someone with a brassy glow to their hair? 9 times out of 10, they dyed their hair themselves with a box.

(although this brassiness is more likely caused by trying to go from dark to light too quickly, but you get the idea)

8. Deep condition at least once a month.

Wash your hair when you’re in the shower, condition as usual if you’d like, then when you are out of the shower, apply a generous coating of conditioner, and wrap it up. You can use a towel, but I prefer a plastic grocery bag secured with a clip because it seals in the heat from your head which helps the conditioner penetrate. After a minimum of 30 mins, rinse it out. This is best saved for the days when you have an hour or so to lounge around in your pjs with a good book in hand.  One that I like for this is Redken All Soft Heavy Cream. But you can use your regular conditioner, too.

(source)

9. Get your hair trimmed every 6 weeks.

When you have split ends, those ends literally split up the piece of hair making it thin and scraggly looking. The ends also tend to get caught around each other causing knots which then cause you to pull out hairs as you brush.

(source – magnified split end)

10. Use only a comb on wet hair.

Brushes will break your hair when wet, leaving little fly-aways. When you are first out of the shower, comb it, then when you start to blowdry, use just your fingers and dry the roots all around your head first. Your hair will dry so much faster and you’ll have the heat on your hair for less time. Only use a brush during the last few minutes to smooth it out.

(source – so much breakage on top, she hasn’t been using my 10 step plan. Get that girl some hairspray, stat!)

So there you have it, my 10 steps to pretty wedding day hair. Are you doing anything different with your hair to get it in tip-top shape for the big day?

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Home Party Planning: Get the Max for the Minimum…

…minimum price! T-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-j-maxx! Sorry, I had to.

Anywho, if you remember, our home party is going to cost us a minimum of $5,000. This price includes a drink package and appetizers for each guest. We had a few options regarding what kind of drinks and food we could get, so I made yet another spreadsheet to break it all down and figure out exactly how many people we could have to be right at the $5,000 mark…

Yeah, I’m a nerd. And I made a HUGE mistake.

I factored tax and gratuity into the $5,000. Yeah, about that, those don’t get calculated until AFTER we reach the $5,000. Good news – we can invite more people! Bad news – our $5,000 party just turned into a $6,500 party. Such is life. I am NOT looking for another venue over $1,500. So I went back and recalculated the right way after we decided that we wanted to do drinks with appetizers as opposed to entrees, pizza, or sandwiches…

We agreed on the Well Drinks Package and Apps. package for 3 hours. So now we know that we can have 107 people there and be at our minimum. If we have less than that show up, we still have to pay the full $5,000 so we’re planning on overshooting our 107 person goal by a little knowing that some people will not be able to make it. If we happen to go over, then we have to pay the package price per person for every person over 107. Make sense? It’s a relief having a number to shoot for, because now we can finalize our guest list and figure out how many invitations to order.

How did you come up with the number of people you wanted to invite?

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If You Had Told Me 6 Months Ago…

…that I’d be stalking rubber stamps online, I would have laughed and told you that you obviously know nothing about me. Oh little wedding bug making me think about the little details I never thought of before…

After I decided to go to the pros with my invites, I decided that I wanted to add a special touch to each. I thought about getting some sort of stamp for the inside, maybe something floral or swirly to put along the side of the wording because they seem a little plain…

And then I stumbled upon this awesome rubber stamp….

(source)

I thought it would look so cute on the back of the invitations! I initially found it on Joann’s website, but of course it was one of the few they were out of. So I went digging for it and I found it for $2.98 on Webstore and snatched it right up! For some reason, that one stamp had me looking for more – I turned into a stamp loving, gotta buy more stamps, psycho stamp stalking girl. I looked around on Etsy and found these…

(source)

I decided I HAD to have an address stamp. It would make it so much easier to address the envelopes for our home party!! I ordered one, got an email within the day from the seller asking for the details to put on it, and it’s on its way. I’m excited we’ll have a stamp with our married name and address, I’m gonna be a stamping fool. Too bad we’re moving in September so our address will change, but hey, maybe I’ll order a new one when the time comes! Who knew I’d end up loving stamps. I certainly didn’t. I’m beginning to think this wedding thing is creating a monster.

Did your wedding planning make you end up feeling like you NEEDED to get something you’d never thought twice about before, or am I the only loony?

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Home Party Planning: Party Favors

Scott and I were talking today about what to do with the silver heart tins that we acquired through our lucky centerpiece find….

I initially thought about filling them with customized M&Ms because I like the thought of giving something edible. I looked up prices and they were ridiculous! I also learned that my future mother-in-law had the same idea and after she did her research, she came to the same conclusion. Anywhere from $50-100 for a 5 pound bag is simply not justifiable. Then I thought about Hershey kisses and looked into having those custom-made with a sticker or a tag. Again, a little too steep price-wise. So then I thought I can make little stickers to throw on the bottom of them and customize them myself! I Googled “personalize Hershey kisses” and learned that a 3/4″ round sticker would be the perfect size. I downloaded the template for Avery 5408 labels and got to work in power point…

First I inserted the circle from auto shapes, double clicked on it and made the height and width .75″…

Then I inserted another auto shapes circle, changed the line to a heavy dotted line after double clicking, made it blue, and resized it so it fit evenly inside the black circle…

Then I added 2 different kinds of word art and played around with the curve and the size of the font (using font Bell Mt) till it fit perfectly….

I added a text box in the middle using the font “Harrington”….

And I added a few little symbols on each side to fill in the blanks…

The version that has our real names is a little more symmetrical because our names are the same size as the bottom font. Anywho, from there I saved this as a JPEG, opened up the Avery template, inserted the picture a dozen times and placed the pic over the circles that show in the template…

Once I have the labels, I plan to print them and stick them to the bottom of each Hershey kiss. Yeah, sounds like a fun Saturday afternoon in front of a girly movie in my pjs! I’m going to hold off on buying the Hershey kisses because I don’t want to give away bad chocolate, that would be a crime punishable by law. So for now, the hard part is finished and seriously? The idea came out of nowhere but I’m happy I thought of it!

Are you keeping yourself busy like me, coming up with random DIY projects that you didn’t originally plan?

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Frickin’ Invites, I Give Up

After I figured out my flip-flop debacle, I was feeling like I could conquer any DIY project that was dreamt up in my little noggin! But I have to tell you, my home party invites have seriously become a pain in the pooper. My original plan was to make them myself to save a bunch of money. If you remember, they started like this…

Then they morphed from this which I don’t think I’ve shown you…

Then I changed it to this because I liked the tent card better…

But I couldn’t get the picture quality just right. So I thought I’d have Walgreens print the pics and I could attach them somehow to the card. But I couldn’t come up with a design I liked, and it was REALLY starting to bug me! So yesterday, I bit the bullet and decided to order them online. At this point, I’m so much happier paying someone to do them for me! I made 2 different ones and I took everyone’s advice and changed the wording a little so no one thinks I’m expecting :). This one I made on Shutterfly and ordered just one to see how it looks in person. It should be here next week…

(source)

And this one I made on Vista Print. I like this one because it’s the exact design I was trying to make on my own…

(source)

I changed the wording on the inside to black though because it was an extra charge for color, and honestly, at this point I really don’t care what color the wording is, I just want them finished! I also wanted to order just one, but the minimum was 10, and I had a coupon for 50% off so it really wasn’t a big deal. I figure if we end up going with the other invite, I could always cut off the inside and give the photo portion to my family members if they want them. I do still plan on making the RSVP cards myself though, which I KNOW won’t be hard.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am to put this project into the hands of professionals. Being rid of the stress of figuring it out myself is worth every penny to me.

Did you attempt a DIY project to save money and fail miserably like I did? Did you turn to a professional, or scrap the idea all together?

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Finally, Homework I Enjoy!

As a destination bride-to-be, I’ve tried to learn all I can about St. Thomas so I won’t get off the plane and wonder what the heck I’m supposed to do for the next 2 weeks. Granted we booked an all-inclusive trip, but I still want to explore! I’ve bookmarked so many things on my computer and check a few of them almost daily.

First up, the St. Thomas Source

I love seeing the weather in the top right-hand corner every morning as I’m sipping my coffee under a blanket trying not to think about the snow I have to scrape off my car.

Next up, I found a blog that I love following…

It’s written by a husband and wife team who moved there after taking a few trips and falling in love with St. Thomas. They write about restaurants that they visit, new things they’ve discovered about making life easier there, upcoming events and entertainment, etc. And they have a great sense of humor that I love.

I’ve also bookmarked a bunch of places to possibly go including the Skyride to Paradise Point

(source)

Those cars take you up to the top of a mountain where you’ll find a bar and live entertainment. Definitely want to check that one out! Potential spot for an after ceremony party perhaps?

I’ve found a few coupon books that I plan to print out before we go…

(source)

The USVI tourist website that is FULL of info on everything from maps to places to go to wedding vendors, etc…

And the ever important Virgin Islands event calendar that first made me aware of Carnival…

You name it, I’ve found it! I’ve learned so much from all the online sources and I’m very happy knowing that I’m not totally going in blind.

If you are planning a wedding away from home, have you done a ton of research to learn as much as you can about the area?

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