Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Reactions

First of all, I'm so glad I got up early and watched the wedding live. It was fun even if I was alone (my husband chose to keep sleeping.)

The wedding was beautiful and I'm glad I already had mine because I would feel pressured to live up to that perfection if I was still planning my own wedding.

So, what about my predictions? While I didn't get them all right, I'm pretty proud of myself for pretty much nailing the most important one, the dress!

I said that I wanted to see Kate in something like this Romona Keveza dress.

And this is what she wore...

Pretty darn close, I'd say! Kate's Alexander McQueen dress was perfect and I'd love to have something similar if I had to do it all over again.

Did you watch the wedding? What did you think?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Royal Wedding Predictions

With nearly 12 hours until the Royal Wedding, I'm jumping on the bandwagon and sharing my predictions with you.

First, the most important detail that everyone is dying to know...the dress!
Kate will absolutely go with a British designer. I think the gown will emphasize her waist as that seems to be her style. I think the skirt will be full, but not ballgown full. And she has to have a train! At least 10 feet, I think. Why? It takes 4 minutes to walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey because it is so long and Kate will be photographed from above. A train will make a statement and be perfect for a royal wedding. It will be long, but manageable.

As for details, I think the dress will feature lace and pearls. I also believe that she will have some type of sleeve. She cannot go strapless and at the very least must have her shoulders covered, so I'd like to see a 3/4 length lacy sleeve. Her veil will be long and lacy as well.

I think this Ramona Keveza dress is a great example of a perfect dress for Kate.
Romona Keveza's Royal Collection- inspired by Kate-  Pre... on Twitpic

I think she'll wear pearl and diamond jewelry. Nothing too large, but I think some if will be borrowed from the royal family.

As for her hair, I think Kate will wear it half up and half down. I'm a firm believer that your wedding hair should be a fancy version of what you like best. Kate seems to like wearing her hair down (and she has beautiful hair!), so I think she'll do a polished half up do for her big day. I expect lots of curls. By the way, did you know Kate is doing her own makeup? She usually does her own makeup and hair for outings and royal duties and she reportedly did her makeup for the engagement pictures.

What about a headpiece? I'd like to see Kate wear a tiara, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a flower instead. If she goes that route, I think she should wear a tiara to the evening dinner and dance.

Speaking of the evening party, I do believe that Kate will change dresses and wear something more like what she typically wears to parties. I think we'll see something still white, but more form fitting. A sheath with some bling, perhaps?

So, what about the flowers? Westminster Abbey is going to be filled with flowers and trees!
Check out this picture!
Isn't that gorgeous? The flowers used in the Abbey are reported to include azaleas, lilacs, rhododendron, and wisteria among others. All of the flowers are shades of white. The flowers are coming from Windsor Great Park.

I think Kate's bouquet will be full of white English roses along with other white flowers. It's sure to include some myrtle, which is a tradition dating back to Queen Victoria. I think they're going for white with green as an accent color for the flowers.

The cake is to be a multi-tiered fruitcake covered in cream and white icing. It will have a British floral theme with lots of intricate piping. I think it will be gorgeous. I'm guessing at least 7 tiers.

Prince William's groom's cake will be a chocolate biscuit cake, which sounds really delicious!

I can't wait to see what the wedding is really like! Are you getting up early to watch?


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Issues

Before I tell you about our rehearsal, I need to fill you in on some issues we had prior to the wedding. As I've said before, we booked our church nearly 18 months before our wedding. At the time, we loved our priest. He was a very nice and personable man with a great sense of humor. He knew both of us and whenever he saw me, he would always say my full name. I don't know why, but it cracked me up.

So when 11 months before our wedding he was transferred to another parish, we were sad. I was sad that the man who baptized me and gave me my first communion would not be witnessing our marriage. I tried to give our new priest a chance, I really did, but from the beginning it just wasn't working for me. And it got worse when it came time to actually talk about our wedding. He was incredibly hard to get a hold of. He was never in the office when we called and he never answered his cell phone even though he gave me that number in a voice mail he left for me one day. I got frustrated with the whole thing and eventually put M in charge of dealing with the man.

Finally, we were able to meet with the priest, fill out the paperwork and do the Foccus test. That was our first meeting. We were also informed at this meeting that we would have to attend a Engaged Encounter session given by our diocese. Because we were informed so late of this, we had to drive over an hour away one Saturday morning to attend because the local session would be too late.

Our second meeting was to go over the results of the Foccus test. The results were not surprising since many of the topics were things M and I had already discussed. We also had to fill out more paperwork. The organist came in and talked to us as well. We discussed some music choices and set up a cantor. We had to ask the organist (who isn't even Catholic) about getting alter servers because our priest was so not into the actual wedding planning stuff.

Having never been to a full Catholic Nuptial Mass, I asked if we were going to discuss it, but was informed by the priest that we could discuss it at the rehearsal. Oh you mean that thing we're doing 2 days before the wedding!? I was annoyed to say the least. I ended up Googling the heck out of Catholic weddings and trying to get as much information as possible from various wedding websites. It made making our programs so much fun...not. A Catholic wedding is a sacrament, but our priest acted like it was no big deal and to a stressed out bride, that was the wrong attitude to take.

And why was our rehearsal 2 days before our wedding? Because the day before our wedding was the Feast of the Sacred Heart and there was going to be a service in the church that night. Fine, Thursday night works just as well and I got to name my time so nobody had to get off work early. (Friday rehearsals are typically at 4 pm at our church.) Everything was fine until a couple weeks before the wedding, our priest announces at Mass that he will be on a retreat that week and will be coming back in time for the Sacred Heart service.

Say what? Did he forget that we have a rehearsal on Thursday? I nearly lost it right there. If he wasn't going to do our rehearsal, then he wasn't going to do my wedding. I made M call the church office Monday morning and find out what was going on. At this point, I was almost hopeful that he wouldn't be able to do our rehearsal and we could get the other priest in our parish to do it. In the end, it was all straightened out. Our priest would be back for the rehearsal and he would do the wedding.

After all the miscommunication and the lack communication, I didn't have high hopes for our rehearsal.

Did you have issues when planning your wedding?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Pinterest Sunday

Happy Easter!

Time for my weekly Pinterest roundup! Every Sunday, I share with you a few of my favorite finds from the previous week.

First, in honor of Lent being over, I found this print.
Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

I kept my Lenten promise and did not have a caffeinated beverage, but you can bet the first thing I'm doing after Mass is getting a fountain Coke! This would be a cute gift for my husband since I do love him more than Coke.

Next, here's something I wish the Eater bunny would bring me.
Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

This is the cutest owl ring I've seen! I like that it doesn't stick up too much, so it wouldn't get it caught on things at work.

Lastly, here's a dress that would be perfect for Easter.

Love the color and the eyelet details. Sadly, it's a little cool to wear a dress like this today.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wedding Wednesday: Shower Time!

Inspired by the rainy spring weather we've been having this week, I decided it was time to tell you about my bridal shower!

But first, a few notes about our gift registries. We registered at Target and Kohl's, which are probably the two stores I shop at the most. I already told you how I feel about registering at Target. Kohl's was pretty much the opposite of our Target experience. I highly recommend registering at Kohl's.

We registered just before buying our house, so we already had an idea of what we needed and what colors we wanted for the various rooms. Because I had lived on my own in an apartment before, I did have some kitchen stuff already, but it was mostly cheap stuff that we were looking to upgrade. We mostly registered for kitchen items, small appliances, towels and decorative items. I will do a bigger post later about what exactly we registered for and what we did and did not receive.

On to the shower! My shower was thrown about a month before the wedding by my Maid of Honor L and Bridesmaid T. My mom agreed to have the shower at her house as she had the most space. The guests were mostly family from my side and M's side and a few friends.

The theme was Paris and the colors were pink & green.
Most of the food spread.
Better look at the food. Most of this was homemade and so yummy!
Bridesmaid T did the flowers. They were so pretty!

Me, my sister-in-law, my niece and bridesmaid R and my mother-in-law. Luckily, it was a good hair day and that dress does awesome things for my waist!
Everybody helped themselves to some yummy food and then we played a few games, including making dresses out of toilet paper. Then it was time for gifts!

Apparently, I was excited about the griddle!
I'll spare you more photos of me making awkward faces and holding up my gifts. I got lots of great gifts and everybody had a fun time. I felt very lucky to be so showered with love!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pinterest Sunday

Time for my weekly Pinterest roundup! Every Sunday, I share with you a few of my favorite finds from the previous week.

First up, I love this rainbow colored shelves.

This might be cute in a nursery!

Next, I'm still looking for a cute owl necklace.

This one is a serious contender. So cute!

And finally, of course I've found another dress to love.
Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

I love the color and the skirt. I bet it would be fun to twirl around in!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Five for Friday

  1. You cleaned your mom's van so we could have a nice trip.
  2. You cleaned the kitchen beyond what I expected.
  3. You took care of the dog so my mom could enjoy her shopping day with me.
  4. Only one week of Lent left and you haven't eaten pizza the whole time. I'm so impressed! 
  5. You got so excited for me when I told you how many views my blog was getting and you kept asking me for updates.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

2011 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale Day 2

It was finally our day to shop at the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale! We had tickets to the 11:00 am session, which was the second session of the day. We made good time and arrived at the Coliseum around 10am. Already, the sale was better than last year as we were able to park quite close to the building instead of all the way in the back.

Since we were earlier than I expected, we popped into the tent in the parking lot. This tent features full price items in newer styles and patterns. I was hoping to see the pattern Watercolor in person, but could not find anything in that pattern in the tent.

We then headed into the Coliseum where we were directed upstairs. We walked around what turned out to be about 3/4 of the arena before finding the end of the line. At that point we had about 24 minutes until our session was scheduled to start. There were price lists available when we first entered the waiting area, so we looked over those and made a plan of what we wanted to look for first.

The line did not actually start moving until after 11:00, which was frustrating and then we moved and stopped a few times before finally continuing all the way to doors of the sales floor.

And it was fabulous! The tables were all well stocked and I saw lots of patterns. The limited crowd made it much easier to move around and get to the tables. And checking out was a breeze! We headed to the checkout around 1:00 and were lead right to a register! 10 minutes later, we were out the doors with our purchases in hand!

A couple of differences from previous years that I wanted to note. 1) You are no longer allowed to sit on the floor to sort per the fire marshal. There certainly weren't the crowds of women everywhere on the floor as usual, but there were still groups sorting around the various discard bins. I did see women sitting and kneeling on the floor and none of the security personnel told them to stand up, so I guess as long as you don't camp out on the floor, you're OK. 2) There is no free gift at checkout. That was a disappointment. It would have been a much better use of the key chains they were charging $12 for up on the sales floor. They had hundreds, if not thousands of those and I didn't see many people going for them.

So what patterns did I see? Was I right? Well, sort of. I did see several of the patterns I predicted, but I was also surprised by how many older patterns I saw. Keep in mind, these are only the patterns that I noticed seeing many times. There were also patterns available in limited quantities that I may not have noticed.

I saw...
  • Sittin' in a Tree
  • Loves Me...
  • Totally Turq
  • Imperial Toile
  • Java Blue (All of the rolling luggage was Java Blue and there was lots of it.)
  • Paprika
  • Hope Garden (My mom bought a purse in this pattern.)
  • Bali Blue
  • Bali Gold
  • Simply Violet
  • Night and Day
  • Call Me Coral (Not a lot, but it was there)
  • Make Me Blush (Again, not a lot, mostly accessories)
  • Slate Blooms
  • Hello Dahlia (Sadly, not in anything that I wanted! Boo!)
  • Twirly Birds Pink
  • Twirly Birds Navy
  • Barcelona
  • Cupcake Green
  • Cupcake Pink
  • Night Owl (Lots of Night Owl! I actually picked up several things in this one, but put them back in the end.)
  • Puccini
  • Botanica (a few things)
  • Pink Elephants (a few)
In the end, I only bought a few things, but I'm happy with what I got.

I ended up with a Stephanie in Totally Turq, a Hipster (marked down to $29.99) in Totally Turq, & a Brush & Pencil in Twirly Birds Pink. As I said before, I had picked up some other things in Night Owl, but I put them back in favor of more colorful items. At one point I was also contemplating a Ribbon Board in Hello Dahlia, but I put it back. Dumb of me because it was the last one and of course, it was snatched up before I could get back to it.

Overall, I'm very happy with our experience at the sale. After last year's nightmare, I thought I'd never go to the sale again, but I decided to chance it with the ticketed days and I'm very happy that I did. I will gladly go again next year if they do ticketed days again.

If you went to the sale, what did you get?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 1 of the 2011 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

Wedding Wednesday is preempted this week due to the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale!

Since my tickets are for tomorrow, I've been searching for info all day about the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale. From what I've read on Twitter and Facebook, it seems most people think this year is going much better than last year. That makes me happy because last year was a nightmare!

Discount Fabric Handbags went today and she has the price list already up! I heard that prices went up, but it doesn't seem too terrible and of course, there will be markdowns! I compared what I'm looking for this year to last year's prices and found that while the Hipster is $7 more, the Stephanie is actually $4 less.

Let's look at some pictures!

A playhouse you can enter to win by making a donation. I may just have to enter, it's so cute!

Ohhh, Hope Garden! Might have to get something in that pattern!

I can't wait to get there! I have a feeling I won't be sleeping much tonight. It's a bit like Christmas eve! Don't forget that I will be tweeting tomorrow from the sale and I'll be sure to post about my experience and show you my bargains!


Monday, April 11, 2011

2011 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale Updates

Whoa, I should blog about the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale more often! That quickly became one of my most read posts. So, welcome!

Looks like Vera Bradley is tweeting while setting up the sale! Follow them on Twitter at @verabradley. They are using the hashtag #vbos on the Outlet Sale tweets, if you want to tweet as well. They've already posted some pictures of the set up! I'm dying to see some peeks of the patterns!

Here are the pictures I've seen so far...
The quilt they'll be raffling off.

Look at all those boxes! I would love to help set up!

Large Duffels! I see some older patterns in there!

Just chillin at the @verabradley outlet sale #vbos on Twitpic
Check out this guy chilling at the sale. I spy Night and Day, Loves Me, Bali Gold, Buttercup & Twirly Birds Pink!

I'll keep posting updates as I find them! And be sure to follow me on Twitter because I'll be tweeting live from the sale on Thursday. I'm going with my friend Tricia from Knackicity. It's her first time and I can't wait!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pinterest Sunday

Time for my weekly Pinterest roundup! Every Sunday, I share with you a few of my favorite finds from the previous week.

First up, in honor of the Vera Bradley Outlet Sale later this week, here's what I'm hoping to score.

A Stephanie in Hello Dahlia. The Stephanie is currently my favorite everyday bag. It holds everything I like to carry and had lots of pockets.

Next, this picture melts my heart.
Source: via Jenn on Pinterest

Doesn't it look like a loving giraffe family? How sweet!

Finally, how about some cookies ready for spring?

I really must learn how to decorate cookies. These are amazing!


Friday, April 8, 2011

Tips for the 2011 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

If you love Vera Bradley as much as I do, then you know there's one event every year that's not to be missed...The Vera Bradley Outlet Sale! Every year, Vera Bradley hosts a sale of their amazing products at discount prices. Imagine an arena filled with rows of tables all holding thousands of beautiful handbags and accessories. It's heavenly!

Basically, once you enter, you grab a big plastic bag and a price sheet and then it's time to shop! My plan is to grab anything I think I might want and stuff it in my bag. Then, when I've browsed everything, I find a spot and sort through what's in my bag.
2009 Spring Vera Bradley Outlet Sale
Sorting area!
Rejected items are placed in nearby boxes and carts to be restocked by Vera workers.

After making my decisions and any final sweeps around the arena, it's time to pay! There are always tons of registers and the lines move pretty quickly. My favorite part is getting a free gift!

To prepare for the sale, I try to make a list of styles I want to look at the most. These are the items that I will head to first before taking some time to mosey through the rest of the sale. For example, this year I really want a new Hipster and a new Stephanie.

Just about every current and retired style of bags and accessories will be at the sale. What's unknown is exactly which patterns will be available. Based on what I've seen at previous years' sales, I can usually make a pretty good prediction of what I'll see. I try to identify which patterns I would most like prior to the sale. This is especially helpful if you are attending the sale with a group. Your friends can help by grabbing things in the pattern you want if you want to split up to shop and then meet back up to sort. (Of course, you'll help out your friends by grabbing what they want.)

I've found that the patterns are mostly ones that have been retired since the previous year's sale as well as some that are going to be retired after the sale. These are often the colors listed as "sale" on the Vera Bradley website. At the 2009 sale, I got a purse in Yellow Bird which then retired in November of 2009. At the 2010 sale, I got a Stephanie in Yellow Bird. This year, I don't expect to see much Yellow Bird.

So, what colors do I expect to see at the Sale? I'd say it's a good bet we'll see plenty of the patterns that have been retired since the last sale.

Starting with the mostly recently retired just this past March. (All pattern swatches from the Vera Bradley website.)
Poppy Fields
Sittin' In a Tree
Purple Punch
Then, those retired last fall.
Loves Me...
Totally Turq
Imperial Toile

Blue Rhapsody
Java Blue
Hope Garden
I think we'll also see patterns that were retired just after last year's sale.

Bali Blue
Bali Gold
As in previous years, there will also be older patterns available in select styles, but it's tough to predict just what exactly will be available. Your best bet is to look over the Sale section of the Vera Bradley website to get an idea.

As for the current patterns that will be retired? It's really any one's guess, but these are my guesses...
Make Me Blush
Simply Violet
Call Me Coral
Night and Day

Symphony in Hue
 Why these five? They are the oldest patterns that haven't been retired. Just a guess on my part and I could be totally wrong!

Also, there are few styles of bags that are being retired. These bags will be available in current colors as they are no longer being made. These styles are:
In addition, there are a few styles that are not officially retired, but are not being made in the newest patterns. I would guess that these styles will also be available in current colors as well. These styles are...
So, what about prices? Exact prices won't be known until the sale opens, but looking at previous years' prices can give you an idea of what to expect. Keep in mind, that beginning the second day of the sale, prices start dropping. Just a few on the second day, then more as the sale goes on. I usually go on the second day of the sale and find good deals. Just keep in mind, the later in the sale you go, the less selection you will have to choose from. I value selection over price, so the second day works well for me.

Here are some links to previous years' prices thanks to the great website Discount Fabric Handbags.
2010 Prices
2009 Prices

Finally, remember to get a good night's sleep, wear comfortable clothes and shoes, bring your registration, and have fun!

Are you going to this year's sale?
I do not work for Vera Bradley. (Although I would love to!) These are only my personal predictions based on what I've seen previous years.