Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Beachy Stuff

When it came time to nail down a theme to our wedding, JEGs and I first thought about doing a beach-themed wedding. However, we when we fell in love with our venue, we realized a beach theme would be a little strange in a barn... right?

The beach is very vital to our relationship. Our first kiss was on the beach at 4th Street in Surf City, NJ and we got engaged at the lighthouse in Barnegat, NJ. Even though we weren't having a full on beach-themed wedding, we wanted to give homage to our fair shore line.
The first beachy element is our use of hydrangeas in the floral arrangements.
Not only are hydrangeas one of my favorite flowers, but they always remind me of being down the shore. We spent many summers staying at my Great Aunt Ola shore house when I was younger. Even after my parents bought their own house, we were only a mere four blocks from her house. Ola has a plethora of hydrangea bushes surrounding her summertime home, and they seem to be very common in the general area. In fact, the picture above is one of her blooms!
Another way we plan to incorporate the shore is through our table numbers. We plan on naming each table after a town on Long Beach Island!
the sign that greets vacationers to the island will greet our guest to their escort cards
a mock up of one of our table numbers

Finally, in lieu of a Unity Candle, we have opted for a Sand Ceremony. Like the Unity Candle, the Sand Ceremony represents the unification of two distinct families, and the separate individuals of the bride and groom, into a new, single, whole.

Unlike the Unity Candle, the sands are used to symbolize an indivisible union; once merged the individual grains of sand can never be separated.

After stalking Michael's for weeks, I finally purchased two vases to hold the separate sands and an apothecary jar for the union of the sands.

During this ceremony, we will be using sand from two locations near and dear to our hearts: the beach of 4th Street in Surf City where we shared our first kiss and the beach of the Barnegate Lighthouse, where we were engaged.

During our last trip to LBI, we collected little baggies of sand from each location.
They are just little touches that may not mean a lot to other people, but they are super special to us.
Always & Forever,

Monday, June 28, 2010

Compromising on Fashion

The other day I came across this great jersey dress at the Banana Republic Outlet. Friends, it was adorbs. A beautiful Kelly Green with a deep V neck and it tied in the back. I was in lust.

I showed it to JEGs and his response was, " .. it looks like those other dresses that you have that I don't like".

He had a valid point. I have two jersey dresses that he HATES, but I keep them in the weekly rotation. The first is a cute teal, empire dress that I snagged at H&M

..and the second may or may not have come from the kids department of Walmart.

Super cute, right? Well, the reason JEGs hates these dresses is because he says they look busted up. The problem is, they are so versatile, I have worn the ever lovin' crap out of them (not like I've never done that before). The strap on the green dress is torn, and both are piling beyond belief. I made a compromise with him: I can get the new green dress if I promise to get rid of both dresses. It was a deal.
I love jersey dresses and I believe everyone woman should own at least one good one at all times. They are ultra feminine, but are soft and comfortable like a t-shirt! With the use of accessories, they can easily be transformed from day to night.
For example, if I was just running around on a weekend, I would throw a cami under the dress (mostly because I'm *ahem* well endowed), add a shell and beaded necklace, my brown leather flats ( don't you love how the buckles in the shoe accent the buckle on the dress?) and a big roomy purse to hold all my stuff.

My office is super causal, so I could probably make rock this for work too.

For night, I would still keep the cami, but if you are a little more.. proportionate, shall we say.. you can scratch it to amp up your sex appeal. I would switch out the flats for some va-va-voom black heels, and the white tote for a cute straw and patent leather clutch. Add in some great filigree gold earrings and a zebra bangle and I am ready for dinner and drinks!

This past weekend we headed down south to the Old Dominion State for a friend's housewarming. With temps soaring into the 90's, I wanted to stay cool and look chic, so I reached for my new dress, added some vintage wood bangles and a pair of floral wedges I scored at Kohl's years ago

So tell me, do you have a piece of clothing that is essential to your wardrobe? Maybe you've worn it to the bare threads, but hate to get rid of it? C'mon spill the details! I don't want to JEGs to think I'm the only one! ;)
Always & Forever,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Have a Seat

In my birthday post, I teased a little about finding a great yard sale find, and I know you've been loosing sleep over it, haven't you.

I know, I'm such a little minx, aren't I?

Without further ado, I present to you, Project Melissa.

It was love at first sight. As JEGs and I drove past this yard sale, I saw the chair sitting amongst other lawn chairs for sale. JEGs didn't have time to shut the car off before I was bounding over to the lawn. When I got over there, I did a double take when I saw the price.



I didn't even try to haggle the price down, beacuse I knew this was priced to sell. Plus, I ran over so fast, I think the owners knew how excited I was.

So let's talk design, friends. That banana yellow is NOT working for me. I still have some leftover fabric from Project Lucy that I was thinking about using, and painting the wood a soft white..

I also love Freckles Chick's "Color Phobic" chair-

I will always love black and white paired together. And that fabric is to. die. for.
The ever fashionable Tam Styles loved the fabric too, and did a tone-on-tone look with a similar chair

I also saw this look over at YoungHouseLove, and I started thinking about using bolder prints.
...or maybe I'll go really bold in color. Hm.

One issue the chair has, is that the rattan is busted up, so I have to figure out if I want to take the time to get that fixed, or just remove it all together and create a cloth back.

Don't get too excited to see this transformation too soon-- I am not touching another project until after the wedding!
Until then, Melissa is gonna chillax in the corner with the buffett

Always & Forever,

Friday, June 18, 2010

This One's for the Old Man.

Today is my Dad's birthday.

The ole man does not like a lot of pomp and circumstance, but dammit Dad, today you are getting a little.

Pop- the man, the myth, the legend.

There are a couple things you need to know about my father:

  • He is the cutest little man you will ever meet (and when I say little, I mean the guy only tops out at about 5'5).
  • He has a great sense of humor, but it's impossible to make him laugh. If you can get a chuckle out of my father, you might want to take a bow or a victory lap.
  • He can give you directions to anywhere on the planet- and you're gonna get them whether you need them or not.
  • He has seen every episode of NCIS at least three times.
  • He can tell what episode of Law & Order is showing in the first five seconds
  • Even though he is well into his 60's, he still plays on two softball teams, umpires baseball for both high school and club teams, and still manages to find time for a couple rounds of golf each week.
  • Ever summer he dons a hat will a collection of beach tags that date back to 1992 (ironically, as a senior citizen, he doesn't require a beach tag anymore).

Finally, he's the best father four kids could ever have.

with his sons and grandson

In honor of your day, my brothers and I have compiled some of our favorite "Dad Moments":

Our father, without fail, always calls us on our birthday to sing. Russ says, " I always let Dad's call on my birthday go to voicemail. The way he sings Happy Birthday always makes me giggle (yes a 41-year-old man giggling). I save the voicemail to listen to when I'm feeling blue."

"When I first started working at Torresdale [Country Club in Philadelphia], I got Dad to play golf. I'm not sure if it was his first time ever, but it was his first time in a really long time. When we get to the ninth hole, which is a par 3, he hits his shot to about 2 feet. I don't hit shots to 2 feet and he did it on his first time! As we're riding up to the green I keep saying how he's going to make a birdie his first time out and he says all he wants is a par. It was 2 feet. Sure enough he missed it and made his par but it's what I remember about our first time and I'm real glad that he took it up. I really look forward to playing with him every time I come home."

"When I was in 8th grade Andy was playing in a Bensalem Hockey game at the Spectrum. This was about the coolest thing ever. Dad came to Armstrong and got me out of school early so that I could attend the game and watch my big brother play on the same ice that the Flyers had one 2 Stanley Cups.
We get to the Spectrum and we sit behind the net, probably about 20 rows from the ice. The place was empty, it was a high school game so 200 people showed up, maybe. It was warm ups and the Owls were shooting practice shots at the net we were behind. I was talking to the person next to me I saw their face grimace. I turn my head towards the ice to see this black blur headed at my head at about 70 mph. Next thing I know is Dad's hand is in front of my nose and the puck deflects off of his thumb and sails up and away.

They say only Jesus saves more than Bernie Parent, I've aways felt Dad was a close third."

In the summer after my 8th grade year, my parents sent me to finishing school in Philadelphia. Every week, my father would drive me into the city, and every week that man would blast Bruce Springsteen's "Badlands". However, he was not content with just listening-- oh no. My father sang that song at the top. of. his. lungs. When the song was over, he would rewind the tape and play it again. Every single week, both ways.

I hated that song and it became a family joke about my hatred for the song and how he insisted to play it over and over again.

To this day, whenever I hear that song, I think of the ride down I95 in my dad's Grand Prix. Now I smile at the fond memory instead of grimace at the song.

Happy Birthday Daddy-O. And you know what? I'm throwin' in a Happy Father's Day too, just because I know you hate the recognition.

Thank you for being there for us. Thank you for teaching us everything from riding a bike to how to be a good person. Mom has always said, "Your father is a good man", but she didn't need to tell us. We already knew.

We love you so much.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Limited Bridal

Calling all brides! The long awaited bridal collection from The Limited has finally arrived!!

..and I'm completely underwhelmed by it.

First, I have to say, I love The Limited. I think their clothes are so chic and classic-- which I why I was stoked when I heard they were releasing a bridal collection (and bummed it was a month before my own nuptials).

However, the dresses they have been teasing us for the past six months are the only gowns in their collection:

(is it just me, or does it look like this model belongs in the Cullen family?)

Don't get me wrong, I think they are beautiful, I was just expecting... more.
Regardless, I love that second gown. The ruffled chiffon, the gathered bodice- so romantic. I just die.

The bridesmaids collection is a little lack luster as well.
At first glance, it appears they have a nice little starter collection of cocktail length bridesmaids dresses.. until you look closer

Four out of the six are duplicates! The first and third dress are the same, as well as the second and sixth dress. Sneaky, sneaky Limited, trying to pull the wool chiffon over our eyes.

The accessories, on the other hand, are like heaven.

I need this bracelet. I am going to be dreaming about it until it is mine. I MUST have it. Seriously though, Mommacita and I have been discussing the idea of wearing a bracelet with my gown, and now I know exactly what I want. It's perfect. I love the pearls mixed with rhinestones and shells. I kinda like the earring too, even though I feel like they are staring back at me. Creepy.

This purse it really beautiful as well. I feel like this could live on past wedding day. Bonus: it comes in a light grey too.

My favorite piece of the whole collection is this wrap

I want to push back the wedding to a cooler month like March or April, just so I can wear this. I love the structure of the collar against the flow of the satin. This might end up in my closet just for the hell of it.

Overall, I think it's a good starting point for The Limited. It certainly has peaked my interested to see what else they will come out with, however, I don't think JCrew has to worry just yet.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

DIY Flip Flop Basket

Right now I'm in a lull of the wedding planning process. I am still waiting for some RSVPs to roll in (*cough*hurrythehellup*cough*), and we still have to meet with the pastor to finalize the ceremony.

Since I had a little extra time, I decided to tackle a project that I wanted to do, but wasn't dead-set on: a flip flop basket.

Most women wear super sassy shoes to a wedding, but when it's time to get on the floor and cut a rug, the shoes end up sitting next to your chair at the table. At this point you have a couple choice. You can A.) dance around in your bare feet (ew), B.) bring a pair of socks and rock out like you are back in the 8th grade or C.) snag some complimentary flippity flops.

Really? Is there even a choice?

Michael's had a sale on flip flops so I grabbed a bunch in black in varying sizes

I printed up the sizes on cardstock, and used a silver dollar to trace a circle around the letters and individually cut them out. (Truth be told, I'm sure I could have gotten some sort of Martha Stewart gizmo that would have made perfect circles but I'm too cheap I love my guests enough to do it by hand).

Next, I punched a hole through the circle and threaded a ribbon through to create a little tag.

I fell in love with this cute patterned ribbon. I like how it the aqua and tangerine mimic our navy and orange theme, but it's a little more playful!

I added a little sign on the front of the basket with the punch line "Kick Off Your Shoes" and then listed the sizes. For some bizzare reason, Michael's flip flops come in Small, Medium and Larges and not numbered sizes.

The dotted line on the ribbon reminded me of those old school dance diagrams, so I added on for kicks and giggles.

Total Cost Breakdown:
Shoes: $22 (@ $1 each)
Basket: $12
Patterned Ribbon: $2 (@ $1 per spool)
Solid Ribbon: $4 ( I splurged a little on this one)
Total: $40
My Guests' Comfort Level: Priceless

Advice to Brides who want to do this:
1. Wait for a sale. Michael's has them on sale pretty much all summer long. A.C. Moore has some cute printed flip flops on sale every once in a while.
2. Not all sales are created equal. Old Navy usually has their coveted flip flops on sale for $1 around Memorial Day, but be prepared- the doors open at 7 a.m that day and by 7:15 a.m there WILL be a line around the store. Also, there is only 5 per customer, so bring your bridal party/friends/ family/ pay some strangers.
3. Have a good variety. With a guest count of 130ish people, I bought 22 pairs of flip flops. Michael's sizes run from XXS (about a 3/4) to XXL (12). I purchased 2 XS, 5 Small, 10 Medium, 5 Large. Review your guest list and judge accordingly.

I have to say this is probably the easiest project I've tackled so far. There was really nothing to it, and I think it will be muchly appriciated!

How about you, readers? Would you partake in complimentary flip flops at a wedding? Or are you the sensible-shoe type?


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Another Trip Around the Sun

On Sunday, I turned 29. Oy.
However, unlike the whirlwind weekend I had last year, this year I had a nice, quiet weekend in Long Beach Island with the future hubs.

JEGs was able to scoot out of work early on Friday, and we started our trek to the shore house. Two hours later, we were sitting at a table with my parents with a piping hot plate of southwestern chicken.

After dinner, JEGs gave me my birthday gift-- a new digital camera . I proceeded to take about 55 pictures within the next hour.

JEGs was super proud of his wrapping job- he used paper from the office and printed out a personal message.

the local church my family attends

can you see why I love it here?

After dinner settled, we headed to Rita's for some wooder ice

Swedish Fish water ice-- oh yeah.

The next afternoon we got up and hit some of the local yard sales. I snagged a couple frames for a dollar, and this awesome chair for $10 (that post is coming up soon). We did a quick stint at the beach, but Mother Nature was being a bish and not cooperating. Even though it was cloudy, I still managed to get burnt on the back of my legs. I swear my skin is magical.

When we headed home, my Daddy-O was cooking steaks on the grill..

nothing comes between a man and his grill

...and I continued to snap 1000 more pictures with my new sexxay camera

Sunday (my actual birthday) we went to the beach in the afternoon, and then headed up to the lighthouse. We walked around for a bit before it started to rain.

Then we stopped at a little restaurant in Surf City for dinner and I pretty much ate my weight in Eggplant Parmesan. Afterwards we meandered over to the Surf City Hotel bar and I proceeded to get drunk. I became best friends with the lady sitting next to me, and she had everyone in the bar sing Happy Birthday to me. When she found out we were getting married, she doled out some pregnancy/ labor advice (apparently it is imperative to get an epidural because Demerol ain't gonna cut it). When I started to (loudly) tell everyone that I really was 29 and not just a 30something pretending to be 29, JEGs decided it was time to take me home.

This morning we woke up and he took me out to breakfast at ScoJo's were I battled my hangover with coffee and eggs benedict. Hooooly mother of god was that good.

Then we headed home. Rather, JEGs headed home-- I went to work.

We did get a little wedding business done while we were down there! Instead of a unity candle, we are doing a sand ceremony. We collected sand from 4th St (where we had our first kiss) and from the lighthouse (where we got engaged) for the ceremony.

JEGs scooping up some sand

Our little baggies of love
Well, all I have left to say is Hello, 29. It's nice to meet you.
Always & Forever (and a little older),

Friday, June 11, 2010

My New Favorite Dress

I bought this great little jersey dress the other day and I luurrrv it. It goes from work, to a night out with a fun little nautical twist!

I don't think there is anything more classic then black and white with pops of red and gold accents. The nautical elements- neckalce, clutch, even the rope detailing on the handbag, earrings and cuff- makes it feel oh-so-summery!

Isn't it fun? You can consider all these things packed for my birthday weekend in LBI!

Here is the shopping list: jersey dress $19.50, sand dollar necklace $14.99, white handbag $32.40, red flats $38.95, twisted gold hoops $3.80, faux leather anchor clutch $32.00, cuff bracelet $24.99, red platform pumps $29.99

Always and Forever,


P.S... planning on taking a vacation this summer? Check out Kasey's thrift packing tips here and here!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

I Need A Haircut.

The length of my hair has gotten out of control...

Look at that! That ish is down by my shoulder blades!! My hair is very VERY thin, so it's just hanging there, and it's very unattractive. It's also incredibly damaged because I don't keep up with it and I blow dry it every day (and curl or straighten it too). Hey, I am upfront with my flaws.

The picture you see in my profile is probably my favorite look-

Short, sassy, curled. I think it's fun, and still age appropriate. However, that is two months' growth on when I did this in February '09:

I don't think I'll be going that short again. JEGs might divorce me.
I can. not. wait. till this wedding is over, just so I can cut my hair.

How about my other brides and/or married ladies out there. Where you, or are you counting down the days till you could cut your hair? Or was there every a time when you were growing out your hair for another reason?

I'm at 37 more days till I can hack it all off. Not that I'm counting or anything...

Always & Forever,