8.27.2010

Why don't people read books anymore?

'There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.' - Joseph Brodsky.



[ picture source: artsjournal weblog ]

If people are taught to prize reading, then does it really matter if they read on a computer or e-reader versus good old-fashioned paper?
I say YES it really matters. It's amazing how much technology and the internet has completely transformed our literary culture. For a while it seemed so many people had abandoned books in favor of other entertainment and not surprisingly so much revolved around the accessibility of movies, music, facebook, twitter, etc through the internet. Don't get me wrong- I think the internet is a useful tool and it's amazing how much access we have to so much entertainment and tools with the click of a button right from the couch!

The average American reads about 7,000 words per day now thanks to the internet. It's crazy when you stop to think about that. . . but even more interesting would be- how much of that reading do you retain? How much of it is coherent, rather than pure skimming of headlines, blogs, comments, tweets. . .
We all do it, obviously. Who has time to read through every word in an article or blog post, for example, unless they're short. But are short blurbs better than actual, though-inducing articles? We could spend all day merely " browsing" and looking at eye-catching pictures, and at the end of the off-and-on few hours I mean moments throughout the day, how productive have you been? How much of that "reading" is forming your intellect?

I encourage you to break out of the supposed "fast-paced internet-dominated literacy." I say supposed, because it isn't true literacy in the end- it just becomes a jumble of images or short blurbs that you either carry with you in the back of your mind, or forget rapidly for a while.

Spend some prolonged time holding, smelling, perusing, and devouring a book. For me there will always be something special about the tangible object that is a book, and the time dedicated to reading. I say dedicated because it forces you to set aside time actually focusing on one thing- the particular story (as oppose to not focusing longer than a minute or two on a blog post and clicking away from link to link. . . ) It's rewarding to think that time is put to good use- you won't easily forget those characters and their plights or the themes and symbols found in those pages. Hopefully getting lost in a good book will be a little escape from the fast-paced lives we lead or the many zillion to-do things on our ever-growing list. It's important to give your mind a break from that overload from time to time.

[ picture source: passionate blog ]

So next time you have a little bit of time. . . I encourage you to put aside the computer- all those status changes, tweets and blogs are constantly changing- do you really need to always make such a huge effort to "keep up"? Take a mental break from trying to store up so much of every detail of everyone else's current blurb. Invest time forming your own mind with a good book. Grab that book of the shelf- don't just have them there for decorations hehe.

Relax! That page isn't going to update itself and change on you the minute you pause to grab a drink or adjust the lamp.

8.25.2010

Reflections on Face the Truth- Guest Post

Guest post today by my husband's cousin, Alex. Check out here inspiring words and furthermore her I Am Whole Life scholarship entry here.


Reflections on Face the Truth

By Alexandra Cheatham, Crusaders for Life

People these days are affected by pictures more then they are by words. Words go right through many people and the only way to reach them is by presenting them with something visual.

Realizing this, many of my friends and I decided to participate in Pro-Life Action League’s annual Face the Truth Tour.

After preparing to fight the good fight with our pro-life group, Crusaders for Life, we did feel as if we had fought a battle while being on the Tour. The Tour consists of holding up pictures of unborn, aborted children in cities and towns and getting sworn at. This was definitely an interesting and very exciting experience, as many of us had not participated in something like this before.

Many of the people we encountered on the streets of Chicago did not like us being there. At all. People tried to drive us home by swearing at us and by giving us excuses such as, “You are too young to be doing such a thing,” or “Go home and play basketball.” Some of us were also told to “get the [heck] out of here,” “here” being public property.

Besides being told to go home, we had a lot of people tell us, in so many words at least, about their encounters with abortion and pregnancy. One woman, holding a child’s hand, quickly walked past me shouting, “I was saved by my abortion.” She did not even look at me, but she knew I was there and had to make a statement, as if to convince herself that she had made the “right choice.” What guilt must lie on her conscience?

At our last stop in the city, on LaSalle St. by Union Station, one irate woman came up to me and asked me if I had ever been pregnant. I told her that I had not been yet and in response, she told me that I should not be holding up “that sign” if I had never been through it. I did not say anything, but wondered what she had been through that moved her to say this.

Getting such negative reactions from so many people was saddening. It made us realize that there are so many people in the world who have been affected physically, emotionally, and spiritually by abortion.

Amidst all of the negative feedback, we did get some very positive reactions. One of the most positive reactions that I had personally was being given a pat on the back from a man who thanked me for what we were doing. He said that we are doing a great job and that we need to keep it up. He seemed very moved and also said that this is what our world needs.

My sister had an encounter with a man who was misguided as to what abortion really is. As he walked up to her, he had a sad and shocked look on his face, asking her if the picture was real. She told him that it was a legit picture and he said, “But that’s not a clump of cells…” She responded by telling him that that was the reason we were there: to expose the truth about abortion.

Many of the other positive reactions were people who would walk by with tears in their eyes. Some people said thank you or gave a thumbs up, while others just nodded a thanks and kept on walking. Each person gave us the reassurance that what we were doing was worthwhile.

The Truth Tour was, all in all, a challenge. It humbled us, it disgusted us, it made us smile, it made us realize how much we, as youth, need to help to change our culture. We, who see what abortion really is, know what we need to do and continue doing to win this fight. There will be ups and downs, but with God on our side, we can do it.

Do not give up; it is worth it.

Also featured on the blog Generations for Life.

Help! Blogging with a Mac!





Ok so I just got a beautiful macbook, and I'm so excited not to be using my old pc!
But, I was so sad to see that there's no mac version of MS Livewriter!


 Does anyone know of a good blogging tool like MS Livewriter for mac? I'm dying to get back to blogging more, but I need a time-saving tool! Help! 

I suppose I could go back to using the blogger tool, but it's so finicky sometimes and it doesn't let you move pictures and text around very easily, nor watermark/edit borders around images with a click of a button. 

I just recently started getting into blogging and I love seeing everyone's aweosme ideas! But with working full-time I don't have much time lately. I was just getting into it when my old computer just simply decided to give out. . . I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who will be using an alternative to blogger and livewriter.
 What do you all use? Any suggestions? Comment or email me, please!


Coincidently, this is my first official linking party. . . Hope I'm doing it right!

Linking up to:



8.19.2010

Travel Journal: Venetian Imprints

Mari's Journal
1 December 2006
Venice, Italy

Venetian Imprints

Barely twenty-four hours in Venice. How fast it has flown by! I am sitting here in a little café across the hotel with a bowl of spaghetti, trying to recount all that I have seen and experienced in barely twenty-four hours. It really is a small city, and I do not believe I ever imagined how extremely different the pace of the city would be from that of Rome, for example. The central means of transportation are boats, and slow-moving ones at that, and there is a never-ending maze of streets that do not leave much room for impatience or frenzy. From every corner you can spot water. Every little bridge boasts gondoliers with their charming smiles and bright black-and-white lined shirts that are hard not to notice.


For whatever odd, non-logical reason, I never pictured that damp, misty weather would be the norm. It works wonders in the nighttime. It fills the floating city with mystery and wonder at night. Drifting in and out of fog and in and out of dark tunnels is quite the sensational experience. Every sense of the human body is on the edge, and the slightest noise sends shivers down one’s back and makes every hair rise up in alarm. Walking at night is like walking into the scene of a mystery or drama currently enfolding.  It is a charming city by day, and a mysterious one by night.

8.15.2010

Feast Day Dinner

How do you celebrate important feast days in your home?

*To be continued/ placeholder
Having technical difficulties- will finish this post soon!

Happy feast day of Our Lady's Assumption!

Our preparations:

  • Get fresh flowers to put in our altar- check!
  • Plan a nice dinner and grocery shop- check!
  • Feast day Mass- check!
  • Tackle an involved, hearty entree (chicken pot pie!)- check!
  • Tackle dessert while entree cooking (brown sugar blondies w/ almonds!)-check!
  • Put dessert in oven while pulling entree out to cool- check!
  • Bust out our wedding china and set the table- check!


Our celebration:
  • Thanksgiving  and enjoy our meal!- check!
  • Brew French-pressed coffee- check!
  • Pour into our china teacups and enjoy with dessert!-tripple check!
  • Pray the rosary in front of our candle-lit altar and ask for special favors!





Travel Journal: Sunrise in Toló, Greece


I've come across my travel journal from the semester I spent in Rome, Italy in 2006! 



I love traveling, and have been able to travel all over with my then boyfriend, now husband and many friends! I'm going to start posting some of my travel stories in a new section of this blog! If you have a travel story to share, e-mail me!



Just thought I'd share the following entry!




Mari's Journal


17 October 2006


Toló, Greece



Sunrise In Toló
Rosy-fingered Dawn was working her magic across the sky over the dormant, seaside town of Toló.  The first rays of light had penetrated the curtains and danced wildly over my eyes. The tide's continuous, serene song sung out to me to leave the secular behind and immerse myself in its crystal clear, refreshing water.  I fancied myself to be under the spell of the sirens.  I made my way past my two sleeping roommates, slipped down the corridor and stairs to the seashore. I slipped my shoes off and twiddled my toes in the cool, rich sand. The salty perfume in the air reached my nose.  I felt I could almost taste the ocean's richness.  I scanned panorama before me. The pinks, oranges, and violets in the sky were reflected over the Aegean.  Off to the right I could see the peaks of the dark mountains that had not yet been enchanted by Dawn.  Off to my left swayed four loosely tided boats over the soft waves. The morning call reached my ears.  I tilted by head up to see a flock of gulls aligned in a "V" shape making their way across the land to shatter the spells of the dormant citizens of Toló and announce the breaking of Dawn.


I felt frozen in time.  It was no wonder that the Greeks took so much pride in their country and way of life. It was no wonder that they fought off their invaders with so much vigor.  It was no wonder that they felt so inspired to compose such splendid, poetic lines. I could picture Homer sitting on a rock on the seaside plotting and planning Odysseus' sea journey home.  If Attica had beauty even remotely close to this particular one in front of my eyes I could imagine I would persevere on a ten-day journey home as well.  Never had I seen such a perfect sunrise over the ocean. The joy and serenity of the scene were contagious.  It was all I could do but smile to myself and think that never had I felt so sure that I was in the right place at the right time.

8.12.2010

How to make French-pressed coffee

It's vintage & it's in !

One of my FAVORITE THINGS EVER is our beautiful French Press. We actually have 2! And YES! They're both from garage sales! One is like this one here that brews one perfect mug (2 cups) of coffee for me in the morning in just 4 minutes!

And our second brews up to 4 cups, or 2 mugs, which I use lovingly with my husband on the weekends!


Now you're probably wondering what's our love affair with this wonderful tool?
  • It WORKS- makes the PERFECT cup EVERY TIME!
  • It's cheap! You can get a good one for a fraction of the cost of an automatic coffee-maker!
  • It WORKS- makes the PERFECT cup EVERY TIME!
  • It's Old-School and fun!
  • It WORKS- makes the PERFECT cup EVERY TIME!
  • It's way cute! And it doesn't take up any valuable space on your counter!
  • Oh, and did I mention that it WORKS without any user-error?
Now, we still have a 12-cup automatic Cuisinart coffeemaker, and diligently pull it out whenever we have people over- I'm just offering the alternative for the normal days when it's just you and your hubby, girlfriend, etc...

OK, so you ran out and got one, now that you know what it is, so now what?

Here's the How-To


1) Buy Decent Beans –Buying freshly roasted beans, as opposed to those packaged and stored for months at a time, is a sure way to make your coffee experience more favorable.

Try lots of different roasts and ask lots of questions. Most coffee shop employees are eager to let you in on their favorite beans and brewing methods. Soon you’ll find beans that suit your tastes whether its dark, light, complex or simple. Just make sure to buy FRESH!


Well, we still love Trader Joe's JOE-brand coffee beans! They're cheap (14-oz can was just $3.99 ) and soo good! We just take care to remove the beans from the original container and put them in a ceramic (so they're not exposed to light) air-tight container to keep them fresh- plus we go through it pretty quick, too!


2) Grind the Beans Yourself – After you’ve bought some high-quality, freshly-roasted beans, the next step is to keep them fresh. One of the best ways to do this is to buy whole beans, store them in an airtight container, and grind them just before brewing. By doing so, you’ll help keep the flavors of the beans locked in until you’re ready to taste them. As Myron Joshua of ineedcoffee.com explains,
“Every time you buy fresh coffee beans and ask the checkout person at the coffee shop to grind your beans you are opening up the “flavor cells” and causing your beans to begin losing their flavor rapidly. The purpose of grinding the beans is to create a larger surface area that will release the flavor and oils to the surrounding hot water. If coffee is prematurely exposed to air, it “breathes,” leaving less and less flavor for the brew, when the water finally hits the bean.”

Very important!! Also make sure you set the coffee grinder setting to coarse! You need a coarse grind for the french press!
3) The French Press – Also known as a press pot, this simple coffee making device is said to have originated in France during the 1850′s. The press is normally a glass cylinder with a “plunger” like device that fits tightly into the circumference of the cylinder. The plunger features a handle with some sort of wire or nylon mesh that pushes the coffee grounds to the bottom, trapping them there after a few minutes of brewing. If you’re serious about coffee, ditch your fancy automatic coffee maker and try the french press.

Why you ask, would you want to take a step backwards in history and technology when your current coffee maker can brew 53 cups of coffee in 3 minutes? Quite simply, coffee brewed in a French press tastes better for 2 reasons:

• the coffee grounds are fully steeped and saturated at the beginning of brewing.

• this method retains the natural oils of the coffee that are normally absorbed by the paper filter.
And... it's CUTE!
The French press not only helps make a great pot of coffee, there is something very meditative in the whole brewing process. The “set it and forget it” ease of most drip coffee makers definitely has its advantages: speed, less work for the user, the ability to brew larger amounts of coffee. But while you gain efficiency, you lose a connection to the coffee.
Well- I'll show you how I regain this supposed "lost efficiency"
How to Brew Coffee with a French Press

1. Grind your beans, leaving them a bit more large and coarse than you may be used to seeing. You will want approximately 1 tablespoon of grounds per cup. Dump them into the bottom of the French press.
Note- 2 cups = 1 mug! So 2 tablespoons per mug!
2. Use a kettle to boil your water. You want to let it sit for a couple of minutes after boiling before adding it to the press. Don’t fret too much about temperature, but most coffee geeks recommend 180-20o degrees Fahrenheit.
Now go put on your makeup while waiting for the water to boil; pause to turn off the stovetop when it starts whistling. . .
3. Pour the hot water into the French press, slowly covering all of the coffee grounds as you fill it up. Immediately stir the grounds to give the mixture a nice uniformity.

4. Add the filter on top and let the coffee steep for 4 minutes.
Go check the mirror/ fix hair. . . but remember- no more than 4-5 minutes or it'll get bitter!
After the time has passed, press the plunger down and you’re ready. A perfect cup of coffee awaits you like a loyal friend.
Ahh. . . perfection! Sit down on the sofa and curl up with a magazine to enjoy!

How-To Article adapted from: Art of Manliness  (Blog frequented by my husband, BIL & FIL hehe)

Learn more about French Presses here.

You can get a good Bodum-brand one at any Starbucks! I priced matched at several places and they offered the best deal! A lot of times they go on sale!

8.08.2010

Our DIY Wedding Part III

And our wedding day finally arrived. . . !
As you’re reading this scheduled post I’m off honeymooning again for our one year anniversary! I LOVE being married!
D700-191_2The Stylists: My husband's cousin, Molly did an amazing job on my hair! And My MOH, Lexie along with friend Rita did my makeup! Cousins and bridesmaids took turn doing each other's hair, including my mom's and little sister's! Everyone looked stunning!
 
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The Church/ Location:
St. Peter's Catholic Church, my husband's home parish. It is beautiful! The old pastor (Fr. Don, a close family friend who's ministered many Sacraments in the family) and the current pastor Fr. Dennis (awesome homilies) concelebrated.


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The Choir: We all had tears as the choir sung traditional hymns throughout the Mass. We had a an amazing soloist perform Schubert's Ave Maria. 
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The Pictures:
Like I mentioned in my Part II post- our photographers were amazing! I LOVED every picture!
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The Reception:
The Guest Book: My sister-in-law transformed a TjMaxx Journal into a beautiful, delicate book with some textured, golden/cream toned paper wrapped around the cover. I also used it to record all the gifts.
The Guest Lists/ Seating Charts: Aunt and cousins hand printed and decorated these with every guest's name and table number!
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The DJ:  Trevor, a good friend and professional DJ, offered his skills and equipment as his gift! We had a really nice mix of music including some Spanish songs! We also had a “do-not-play list.”

D700-852_2 The Personal Touches/ Decorations: Around the wedding cake we had framed pictures of our parents and grandparents who have been married all their lives as inspiration of the fidelity of the Sacrament. It was also a way for my grandparents in Argentina to "be" there. There were rose petals sprinkled around the table as well. We also used simple, free centerpieces- pretty day lilies (orange tones!) from the backyard!

The Flutes & Cake Knife: They belonged to my husband's parents from their wedding day. The knife has the engravings of their names and wedding date.
The Traditions: old& new
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Our father-daughter dance was Johann Strauss’s Tales of Vienna Wood. It’s an Argentinean tradition in which the bride also continues waltzing with all the male members of her family present (my brothers!) It was really nice! We also did an “anniversary dance” (Kenny Rogers’ Through the Years) where there’s a count up of the  number of years couples have been married- as couples are eliminated, the one left dancing is the couple who has been married the longest (Tommy’s grandparents!) to inspire the newlyweds.

The Getaway Car: We used my father-in-law's new Lexus :) after the ceremony, and our own hysterically decorated car (complete with balloons and diapers inside) to leave! We totally ran into the end of a parade event on the way. . . *insert lots of honks* haha!  . . . yep! That’s 14 babies drawn on there!
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The Honeymoon Suite:  We spent our first night together as a married couple in our new home. We didn't want to be anywhere else!

The Honeymoon: An amazing week in Playa del Carmen, Mexico at the Secrets Capri Resort & Spa! It was incredible! AND we got an unbelievable deal with direct flights and all-inclusive resort & spa because of low season and the over-hype about the swine flu! Ha! I recommend WITHOUT reservations this place!
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I'm sure I'm forgetting more details, but I wanted to share that you can have a beautiful, memorable wedding day without spending much! Even though at time all the details can be overwhelming, it ends up being so much more memorable because of all the love put into all these details by family and friends resulting in so many personal touches to your wedding day.

I can't believe it's been a year already ! It has been so amazing- more than I could ever say!

8.05.2010

Our DIY Wedding Part II

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The Surprise Engagement Party:
My bridesmaids and good friends planned it and filled our apartment to the max with all our good college friends! Biggest surprise ever!
   
The Wedding Planning Book: A gift from my MOH. I carried it with me everywhere for a year! It held my collection of inspiration pictures, jotted ideas, calendar and all the details!
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The Save-the-Date: Michaela, an amazing artist and good family friend designed our beautiful Save-the-Dates and we sent them as pdf's by e-mail, and printed a few for our grandparents, etc.
 
The Bridal Showers: I was given three beautiful bridal showers in three states! One in La Madeleine, a French bistro, another in one of my bridesmaid's home, and one in my mother-in-law's home. I was so excited to be able to celebrate with my college friends, family as well family  friends :)
Carbonell-Ryan Bridal Shower 099
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I had two kitchen themed and a lingerie themed shower- they were a BLAST! Isn’t that bustier cake hysterical?!


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Aren’t these the cutest favors? Teacups with chocolate-covered espresso beans. My mother and sister-in-law made them. The memorare prayer card was my father-in-law’s idea!
 
sum09_ 413  The Invitations: We picked out and bought cardstock and enveloped in bulk, downloaded a pretty font and my husband made the invitations on the computer, and we had them printed at Kinko's! To add a delicate touch, we cut out Vellum paper to go over the cardstock and stamped pretty flowers cascading on the side with a spice-glittery ink. We attached the vellum paper to the cardstock with a pretty ribbon. I LOVED how they turned out! For our response cards we made postcards to cut on the mailing costs (both the weight and the stamp price!) It was so much fun receiving them back in the mail for weeks! My mom with a calligraphy pen elegantly addressed the invitations for me. I had lots of help from my bridesmaids, mother and mother-in-law assembling this project!
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The Hall:   Best bargain! We went with a community hall not too far from us rather than a formal banquet hall. It was a large room with an additional smaller room connected which housed the bar, and had hardwood floors and lots of incandescent lighting, and windows! The hall came with the tables, place settings, vases and bar. We opted for an open bar and haven't regretted it! We all had such a great time, and pretty much EVERYONE was out on the dance floor all night!
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The Caterer: We originally went with a "formal" caterer- formal meaning charged by the head (muy expensivo!) and cancelled a month 'til our wedding day! We used our deposit to rent linen from him - HA! He was reluctant and it took a lot of haggling to not lose our deposit. Instead, we went with a nearby Italian-Family Grocery Store with authentic food which only charged by the POUND! Genius! The food was delicious, they delivered and set up the burners for FREE (We opted to get the burners from Costco to save $$!) and, since some of our family volunteered to bring in salads and the dressing had been forgotten, our caterer was thoughtful enough to foresee the possibility and was prepared to throw it in for free!

The Photographers: Family friends photographed our wedding. I was in awe of how beautifully they captured all the details and emotion of every memory! They organized everything, and even located a nearby golf course with a bridge for our private pictures, and a little gazebo near the hall for the wedding party pictures! They were gracious enough to edit a lot of our pictures and give us full copyright to print to our heart's content! 
Here’s one of my favorites- this is REAL! (not photoshop-ed!)
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D200-11The Flowers:  Ann Marie, from White House Black Shutters, made all the  bouquets and boutonnieres! All I did was pick out and order the flowers from a grocery store!! That's right- a grocery store- those $9.99 bouquets! I had them put aside a few bouquets of white and orange-shades roses, baby's breath and green button flowers and show Ann Marie a picture of what I was thinking and she did the rest! She even added a unique touch- the beautiful wire through the bridesmaid bouquets to reflect the light and add some texture! Genius! I LOVED them! And all it cost was around $40 for all the flowers! I still have my dried bouquet on display in my bedroom!
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The Cake: Now this was the ONLY thing about wedding planning I felt sure about, especially after having worked over 4 years in a bakery! I KNEW I had to find a baker who used wholesome ingredients like- PURE BUTTER instead of Crisco or fake stuff! I knew I wanted beautiful icing  " spice" flowers cascading down the side to accent my wedding colors. And I also knew I didn't need a HUGE cake that most people wouldn't eat and would = lots of $$. So I went with my three-tiered dream cake from a little Polish bakery and ordered an extra undecorated half sheet on the side (which the good friend who picked it up for us gave it to us a a gift!) Best of both worlds: a beautiful and great-tasting centerpiece, and I didn't break the bank!
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The Linen: Already mentioned how we worked this out earlier (hehe).

The Tuxes: Tip- Go with a classic style (some of our groomsmen already had or chose to purchase) and rent from a small, local place for savings!


Part III: More details, our Wedding Day and Honeymoon

8.04.2010

Our DIY Wedding Part I

In honor of the next few days leading up to my one year wedding anniversary (August 8th), I am going to do a few posts highlighting how my husband and I along with help from our wonderfully generous family and friends planned and executed our wedding ourselves!  PLUS it's a fun way to reminisce all that was happening a year ago!

Tommy proposed to me on August 18, 2008 pretty much in the middle of a tropical storm in West Palm Beach, Florida. Needless to say it was still a glorious day for us! And not long after that, all the crazy planning began!

Part I of the breakdown: rings, wedding dress, veil, shoes, & bridesmaids attire.

 The Ring:  Tommy picked it out. It was handcrafted by this cute, old Hungarian man. We had our wedding bands made by him as well!

 The Dress:  My family had just moved and things were hectic, but my mom and I stole away together one morning to look at wedding dresses together.  I knew that unfortunately since I was living in a different state we wouldn't have many opportunities together to wedding plan, this outing was not to be missed! I wanted my mom with me when I picked out my wedding dress. Well, turns out that the first time was a charm! I fell in love with the first dress I tried on!

And ID700-162 was happy to discover it wasn't outrageously priced! Still, I never dreamt I'd be able to get it. . . I just hoped I'd find something of the same style (it was exactly what I had always had in mind- something elegant, simple, comfortable and modest). Much to my surprise, a month later, a good friend called and insisted on giving it to me as a gift. I will never forget her or her generosity! Within a few weeks of ordering it, it arrived! I had it in my closet for months and would joyfully glance at it, trying hard not to start daydreaming of my wedding day every time I peeked at it!

I especially loved the detailing in the corset on the back!

The Veil:  My friend Stephanie let me borrow her beautiful veil for our wedding day (her anniversary!) The ribbon edge really played up all the elegant folds in my dress!
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The Bustle: I went to Stephanie's tailor, too, for the bustle. I wanted a French bustle to go with my dress so it would also play up all the draping across the front. I loved how she also left it a little longer on the back to conserve the train effect!
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Shoes: Nina Culver Satin White Pumps- I loved them! These were also a gift (can you believe friends' generosity?) I wore them ALL night without a single blister! After the wedding I had them dyed black and have worn them countless times to other weddings and special events!
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The Hunt for the Bridesmaid Dresses: Since all the girls were very different sizes and heights, I had them each pick a T-length style that complimented each best in the same color: spice.
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Extra material was ordered and the girls made straps and shawls for their dresses.

The Shoes: Pretty gold to accent the beautiful spice color of the dresses for the bridesmaids!

Part II: Bridal Showers, Save-the-Dates, & Invitations. . . D200-72
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