Friday, July 11, 2008

Take a Seat

So we called and got prices on chiavari chairs today. Can someone please tell me why you would pay $7 to put an ugly cover on an ugly chair when you can pay $7.50 and get a pretty chiavari chair with a pretty accent cushion? How does that make sense?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fake It Baby!

We're going to the beach this weekend which means I must leave my bling at home, safe from the unforgiving grasp of the ocean. I am, however, discovering that I have an annoying habit of subconsciously checking my finger ever fifteen minutes to make sure my engagement ring is still there. I then have to remind myself that it is safe at home and I have nothing to worry about. This constant battle is paired with the sadness that I now appear "unclaimed." As old school as that sounds I'm still not a fan.

I struggled with this last summer and looked for a suitable replacement ring at several stores but never found anything nice vs cheap enough. When September rolled around I finally gave up. Now here I am again and instead of suffering through another summer I just ordered this little jem from Amazon for 20 smackers. I heart Amazon.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

New Dress

I did it! I bought a new dress today. I can't post details about it here because Arthur reads my blog but I do have photos of it so if you want to see them email me!!! I got a veil too, I didn't think I was a veil person until she put it on and I almost started to cry. I said, "That's good, it's sold, take it off."

Mom drove 3 hours down in heavy traffic to give her final seal of approval. She was about 20 minutes late to our appointment but they didn't seem to care. When she got there she sheepishly asked where the bathroom was and I had to tell the dress lady that she had been in the car for 3 hours. You should have seen her face.

Now I have to plan our huge wedding weekend in July. Hair trial, menu tasting, meeting the minister, and talking to rental companies. Everything is coming together and getting more expensive by the day. We've decided to do our own flowers so there is money saved. **phew**

Selling The Dress!

I'm selling my Amsale!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Give the Gloucester Girls a Break

Finally a journalist capable of being objective about this whole situation. Too bad this won’t make the top stories on CNN.

By Nancy Gibbs
June 25, 2008

You know you've found a perfect cultural touchstone when everyone brushes past it on the way to opposite conclusions. The tale of the Gloucester High School pregnancy pact has exposed many culprits, many causes and much confusion over what it actually tells us about anything larger than the luck and judgment of 17 now infamous teenage girls.

When my TIME colleague Katie Kingsbury first quoted Gloucester principal Joseph Sullivan as saying the reason pregnancies at his school quadrupled this year was that a group of sophomore girls "made a pact to get pregnant and raise their babies together," the story made headlines from here to Australia — but no one could agree on what it meant. If only Massachusetts hadn't rejected federal funds for "abstinence only" education, lamented Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. If only the school health clinic had been allowed to dispense birth control pills, countered its medical director Dr. Brian Orr, who resigned over the contraception ban. If only President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind Act hadn't diverted funds from after-school programs and better health education, charged Gloucester mayor Carolyn Kirk. If only Mars had not been in Leo in the Eighth House, suggested Monica at AstrologyMundo, who had predicted a flare-up of teen sexual activity around the summer solstice.

The culture was an especially irresistible target, after a year of hit movies like Juno and Knocked Up that "glamorized" unwed motherhood. Some blogs hosted a righteous orgy of "slutshaming," denouncing Gloucester's "marauding narcissistic sluts" for following the toxic example of movie stars and the Spears sisters, and longing for the return of the scarlet letter. But I wonder if the critics would be so quick to condemn if they flipped the story and viewed it another way.
There is certainly troubling anecdotal evidence that some of the girls set out to get pregnant together, though Mayor Kirk went to great lengths to deny any evidence of a "blood-oath bond." But other girls, like Lindsey Oliver, tell of a different kind of collaboration: "There was a group of girls already pregnant that decided they were going to help each other to finish school and raise their kids together," she told Good Morning America. Which raises the question: What if the "problem" in evidence at Gloucester High has more to do with the rejection of abortion than the acceptance of teen pregnancy?

It is easy for a school to know how many students give birth in a given year, but it is impossible to know how many pregnancies are terminated — especially in a heavily Catholic town like Gloucester. Birthrates are not the same as pregnancy rates, and the national trends for both tell an interesting story. While 750,000 teens become pregnant every year, that number is at its lowest level in 30 years, according to the Guttmacher Institute, down 36% from a peak in 1990. This does not suggest that we are witnessing a mass moral collapse, especially since abortion rates have fallen even faster. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since the late 1980s the abortion rate for girls ages 15 to 17 fell 55%, and this year the overall U.S. abortion rate was at its lowest level since 1974.
At the same time, we are in the middle of a baby boomlet. Fertility rates in the U.S. are now higher than in most industrialized countries; the 4.3 million babies born in 2006 were the most since 1961. And among teenage girls, the birthrate — though it generally has been falling for the past two decades — did rise 3% in 2006 for girls ages 15 to 17. No one can quite explain why this is.

Which brings us back to Gloucester. What if the visible leap in pregnancies is part of a different trend: kids aren't necessarily having more sex or more girls aren't getting pregnant, but more of those who do are deciding to keep the baby rather than abort it. In Oliver's case, she was on the Pill and the pregnancy was unintended. She made her own "pact" with friends, she said, after they were already pregnant, so they could help one another get through it together. She and her boyfriend, a 20-year-old community college student, talked about trying to do the right thing in a difficult situation. Celebrities had nothing to do with anything. "I don't get why people think those movies are glamorizing it," Oliver told GMA, and even Juno at one point says she just wants to "squirt the kid out and get on with [her] life," which hardly counts as romanticizing teen motherhood.

Whether a girl or a woman decides to end a pregnancy or see it through is as complex an emotional, moral and medical calculation as she will ever face. But I wonder if some soft message has taken hold, with the data suggesting that more and more women facing hard choices are deciding to carry the child to term. This has been the mission of the crisis-pregnancy-center movement, including the more than 4,000 centers and hotlines and support groups across the country that aim to talk women out of having abortions and offer whatever support they can. If not in Hollywood then certainly in Gloucester, teen parents and their babies face long odds against success in life. Surely they deserve more sympathy and support than shame and derision, if the trend they reflect is not a typical teenager's inclination to have sex but rather a willingness to take responsibility for the consequences.

Monday, June 9, 2008

This Is My Life!

Hey, NJ Transit: Commute this

Sunday, June 08, 2008


Each day, more than 1.5 million workers commute into Manhattan. Starting in the early morning hours, bleary-eyed people juggle coffees and briefcases in a mass mi gration from New York City's outer boroughs and the New York, Connecticut and New Jersey suburbs.

For one year, I was one of them. I was a commuter.

And then I escaped.

My daily commute from Hunterdon County occupied at least four hours of every work day. That didn't include stretches of mechanical difficulties, overhead wire troubles, train congestion, major holidays, or even the slightest hint of precipitation.

In addition to the basic stress that naturally accompanies a two- hour odyssey from a quiet, bordering-on-rural town (there is a buffalo farm near my house) to the frantic streets of Manhattan, the good ol' Raritan Valley line boasts an extra bonus: It is not a direct train. The end of the line is in Newark, so you must transfer over to another track to board Manhattan-bound trains.

I never thought it would be possible, but you can get used to even the most horrific commute. Like anything else, once you settle into that routine, it becomes the norm. It took me one week to settle into the role of commuter.

After a month, I felt myself to be a veteran, a position that solidified over months of NJ Transit tor ture. I learned the rules. I obeyed the train etiquette that attempts to make the unnatural constant rush bearable for all those who have to do it everyday.

I learned how to most effectively choose a seat so as not to be squashed or bothered, how to avoid being trampled by a frantic rush of workaholics, and how to pity the oblivious day-trippers who inevitably violate the sacred rules that lend some degree of order to the cut-throat transportation game.

I also got to observe the rela tionships and bizarre interactions of an astounding array of human specimens.

It was the breaks in the routine -- the unexpected inconsistencies -- that did the most damage. It was the delays, missing the train, and dealing with supremely obnox ious passengers that left me crunched up in a crackly leather seat clenching my teeth and curs ing under my breath (or furiously texting any poor family members or friends who might pick up their phones).

You simply cannot appreciate the accuracy of the metaphor that rush hour in New York is a stam pede unless you have been one of the herd.

At times it was a humbling experience to feel as if I were being driven along by an invisible sheepdog nipping at my heels, pushing me up narrow escalators and down claustrophobic ramps to a final destination I had no desire to reach. Often it was a gray-suit guy or a stiletto-heeled woman who was pressing me forward with the weight of their exasperated sighs and profanity-laced mumbling. There's nothing so effective as a strategically swung briefcase to the hip.
My scale of bitterness about commuting also was directly related to my general outlook on my job. After graduating from Rutgers in the spring, I immediately started working at a large, reputable public relations agency in Manhattan.

When friends, aunts, neighbors and strangers heard I worked in Manhattan, they'd ooh and aah. "Oh, how wonderful -- that sounds amazing!" they'd coo, no doubt en visioning glittering skyscrapers. Meanwhile, I was thinking of never- ending train tracks.

After two months of slogging through endless identical days, I realized I was miserable.
Each morning, zooming up the elevator to the 25th floor and walking to my desk, I felt like I was headed for the gallows. Sunday be came a waiting game -- a day to mourn the loss of the weekend and dread another week of sprinting through Penn Station and feeling the cubicle walls slowly stifle my breath away.

It's said that New York is the city that never sleeps. Unfortunately, for many, it's simply be cause they can't afford to sleep anywhere within a 20-mile radius of Manhattan, and must sacrifice re laxation and enjoyment for a multi- hour commute that will get them home in just enough time to return again the next morning.

There's something twisted in the whole experience -- of schlep ping along day after day for the sole not-so-pleasurable pleasure of going to work.

On an increasing number of days -- particularly those that involved commuting for 5.5 hours be cause of disabled trains and count less delays -- I was left wondering: What in the world could possibly be worth it? What could I possibly be thinking to spend that much of my day battling with NJ Transit schedules and getting squashed up against men who clip their toenails on a smelly, overstuffed train?

I also began to think in more collective terms: Why do any of these people put up with this? Is it all for the city? Are the jobs there really that much better? Is the money that much better?
Relatively speaking, I was a novice in the commuting world. If only one year of this commute made me tear out my hair and hopelessly ponder the meaning of life, I truly have to question the sanity of those who have chosen this lifestyle for two, 10 or 20 years.

In March, I got my tonsils out, sat in my house for 10 days straight, and felt that I accomplished more in one of those sweat pants-sluggish days of eating pud ding, reading and masochistically watching the Food Network than in a week's worth of nine-hour work days and four-hour commutes. I realized that I smiled more in an afternoon of slurping Very Berry Strawberry children's Tylenol and apple juice than I did over the past month of my daily working life.
When I got back to the unend ing grind of the commute, I looked around at my fellow commuters and again wondered: In the end, is it worth it?

Finally, something clicked. I quit both my job and the commute.

So, after a year, in the end, my answer was, no, it would never be worth it.

Kathryn Blaze, a recent graduate of Rutgers University, was a columnist for The Daily Targum, the campus newspaper.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


For only $475 I could own this dress (It was $950):
Oh yeah, and they only have a 4/6 left so I would need to loose 20 lbs too.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Off Course

Recent events in my life have helped me realize that being a bride is only a temporary distraction from life. It was a real duh moment to tell you the truth but instead of trying to think up countless interesting wedding things to put here I’ve decided to use this as a place to put all of my thoughts wedding or not.

Thanks to the teaching of a superb professor in college, I am hypersensitive to the inequalities of our society and how the media perpetuates them. Even more so, I am curious as to why, in 2008, we still perpetuate them ourselves. There are some people who think I’m nuts. Looking back at the progress we have made in the last 100 or even 50 years they say, “But look at how far we have come.” I tell them to read things like this quote that appeared on CNN today, May 19, 2008:

"I don't necessarily support him being here, but because he's here and we can't discriminate against other races, I support him and his mission to be successful in life. I just kind of wish he had done it at a different institution."

What color do you think the person making this comment is? It sounds like a white boy being appalled by a black boy attending his high school in 1953 doesn’t it? This is a direct quote made by a black man in 2008 about a white man graduating from his predominately black institution. What has bothered this man so much is not that the white man has attended his college. He is bothered that the white man has become valedictorian of his class. He continues:

"I think that it should be a wake-up call to an all black campus," says Muhammad. "At Morehouse we're supposed to be at the top as black men. We only have a few white students and to see a white student will rise to this - is something unsettling to me because it shows that we need to work harder."

To begin with, why is this even news? It’s news because it’s shocking to our country that a white man would even want to attend a black college. It’s news because it’s even more shocking to our country that the white man would dare to do so well at the college that he would become valedictorian. Thousands of people graduate as valedictorian of their class at thousands of colleges and universities every year, but the top news story on CNN today was that a white man was doing it at a black college. We never should have cared about the color of someone’s skin to begin with. In 2008, why do we still care?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Vintage Bloomers

In fear of not looking hot for my boudoir session in October I finally signed up for the gym last night. Which has gotten me to thinking about cute things to wear to my boudoir shoot. I really like the vintage look as pictured below.

So I bought this yesterday in a size a little smaller than me -

It shipped today!

Mommy and Me

I have a single mom and she's my maid of honor. Looking through my blogs today I spotted this photo by Annie Leibovitz and I really want a photo of my mother and I like this. It's really sweet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


This is not an April Fools joke, the wedding is in 200 days. For a long time our count down number has started with a non-threatening 3 or 2. After today I can no longer hide behind my comfortable mantra "we have time to figure that out."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

If the Dress Fits

We have friends visiting this weekend so I'm busy cleaning (and blogging). I have had my wedding dress in a bag on my dining room table since I bought it at the Running of the Brides sale a few weeks ago. It's there for a reason, we have a small apartment with NO storage. However, it can't very well camp out on our dining room table when we have company staying for the weekend. That, and I have big plans for that table on Sunday. Can we say Save the Date assembly line?

The way I see it, I had only one option. Space Saver Bag!

Wedding dress in a bag, on a table...

Wedding dress on its way into another bag, on the floor...

Wedding dress in the bag ready for it's destiny...


Wedding dress goes flat just like that...

Oh, wedding dress, you are looking mighty thin!

(sorry, I'm feeling punchy!)

Bad Music

I listen to Internet radio at work. Pandora to be specific. What is cool about Pandora is that if it plays a song you don't like you can tell it. Any song you give a negative rating too will never be played again. Sweet.

Today it decided to play Sweet Home Alabama. I came running to the computer... NOOOO, EWWW!! Most people in my generation love this song much in part due to the very popular movie Legally Blonde. Me? Not so much. You see, to me and my friends it actually causes us to remember something painful, the state a friend died in. While maybe I'm being a little sensitive, it got me to thinking. While I want to remember Nancy on my wedding day I certainly don't want that song playing at the reception. This negative rating system on Pandora could help me cultivate my do not play list for the DJ! I love how it's easy to turn every day mundane things into wedding planning tools. Right now it's playing Fleetwood Mac. Ah, that's better.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I'm Back!

I disappeared for an entire month, I'm sorry. At least it was the shortest month of the year right? It didn't feel like the shortest but that's a story for another time. What matters is that I'm back and I ended my month on a good note:

This is the Filene's Basement "Running of the Brides" sale at 12 noon on Friday.

What's this? Oh, that's just my wedding dress sitting next to me on the train home.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Like the Sands Through the Hourglass...

Hi, my name is Miss Julya and I have an hourglass figure. You would think I'd be excited but considering I just read an article titled "The End of the Hourglass Figure," I'm a little deflated. It says, in a nut shell, that the classic 1950's silhouette is uncommon for today's female figure and that clothing makers need to follow suit. Here are the statistics for today's female figure:

Growing up I was between a rectangle and a spoon, where it appears most women are nowadays. I looked around me at my family of big busted women and felt defeated. Then in college, shortly after my grandmother passed away (the biggest bust of us all), they quite literally just appeared. I remember it very clearly, I was in my dorm room trying on bathing suits. Art was on his spring break and my college was going on break the following week. I put on my triangle bikini top that fit comfortably the previous summer and what is this? I'm falling out of it? I ran down the hall to my friends room (she consequently has a very large bust and feels no pity for me) and before I could say anything she said, "what are those and where did you get them?" I proudly declared, "My inheritance!"

So here I am at 38-28-38 and I'm reading this article about my figure being odd. What effect will this have on my wedding dress shopping? I guess I will find out on Sunday when I go to Kleinfeld for the first time. My goal is to be a perfect sample size 10 but I cannot find the measurements for that anywhere on the internet! What I did find is that I'm close to the measurements of Miss Sophia Loren. I wouldn't mind looking like this on my wedding day:

Yes, I'm a big Days of Our Lives Fan. I couldn't resist the title!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Help Me Help You

If there is anyone out there in Blog land that needs wedding shoes please listen to me! J.Crew is having a ridiculous sale -- 30% off their already reduced prices on all final sale items. Use code JAN08 to get free shipping. Look at the cute shoes you can get!!





If you want shoes in other colors they have them too! Why are you still reading this? GO!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Holy Dress Sale Batman

Reem Acra ... Kenneth Pool... Amsale... I'm in HEAVEN! I've got an appointment on Sunday to scout the place out. Wish me luck!

My Not So Bargain Rehearsal Dress

I found my rehearsal dress while reading WeddingBee yesterday. The only problem was that the bee only provided a picture and not a link. I scoured Nordstrom looking for it to no avail. I looked under the sale dress, the regular dresses, the wedding dresses, the suits, and the entire site under white and off-white -- nothing! So this morning in a last ditch effort I looked one more time in the wedding shop except this time I looked at the Mother of the Bride dresses and there it was!! The reason it didn't show up under white and off-white is because it has gold accents so it's considered metallic. Just don't tell Art how much it was.

Friday, January 25, 2008


We just got the coolest gift box at work and I have to share. Our promotional items company sends a new year gift instead of a holiday gift. Last year it was a make your own snowman kit, which I loved. This year the theme was "re:".
I opened the box to find this:
Inside was this guy:
Which was full of this stuff:
We've got --

re:fill - a water bottle that says Mr. Re wants you to take the refill not landfill pledge. 8 out of 10 plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or end up in a landfill. Making these bottles requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil annually. That's enough to fuel 100,000 cars!

re:connect - a stapler replacement that says Mr. Re says if each of the approximate 3 million office workers in New York City used one less staple per day for a year, over 40 tons of steel would be saved. That's nearly the amount used in the Empire State Building!

re:use - a 100% organic cotton bag that says Mr. Re says B.Y.O.B. (bring your own bag.) Over 380 million plastic bags are consumed in the U.S. every year. Many end up as litter and can damage the environment and endanger wildlife.

re:juvenate - an energy drink that says Recycle this Can! on the side.

re:charge - a battery operated universal cell phone charger kit.

re:action - a journal book that is printed on recycled paper. Some of the pages have environmental facts on them.

re:cuperate - a roll of? tums? I'm not sure. I will try to figure it out.

I can't help but think about how some of these ideas can be used in an Out of Town Bag. The DIY gears are turning...

More Adventures In Bargain Hunting

I recently booked my hair and make up people and the best part is that they are coming to us. We don't have to leave the hotel and we can chill in our PJ's all morning. Looking around at some knottie bios I came across one from Mrs.JuliaGoolia (loving the name!) and she bought robes on sale for her ladies so they would match.

Being the bargain hunter that I am, I set out to find some robes on sale. Our colors are black and white but I thought black robes would be depressing and pink is not my thing. After some research I ended up at JC Penny and found some comfy robes in light navy blue.

Not our color but you can see it on a model.
The bottom one is our color.
They are on sale right now for $12.99! I went on retailmenot and got a coupon code for 15% off then I went through ebates to get 4% cash back. After shipping and all discounts they will be $12.69 each. Now I just need to find myself a comfy white robe and I'll be all set.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cheaters Never Prosper

Warning: Non Wedding Related Material Ahead

Since the Superbowl is next weekend and the Giants literally play in my back yard I feel I must share this from a contest. If you don't know what Woot is you obviously aren't cool. See the whole contest results here.

Going to the Chapel

This past weekend was a very productive wedding weekend for us. Among other things, we finally got to see the interior of the church we will be married in. We are both First Reformed and lucky for us there is a beautiful First Reformed Church .9 miles from Glen Sanders Mansion. Most Dutch churches I have seen have no center aisle so I was a little nervous that this church would follow suit. Not only does it have a center aisle, but it is beautiful and has slate floors. We are very excited!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Inspire Me!

It seems that every where I look, brides have an inspiration board! I'm in serious need of some decor inspiration so this is what I came up with today:

(all photos courtesy of The Knot)

Table Numbers

I've been looking for alternatives to traditional table numbers. This isn't to say that I'm opposed to them, I just wonder if there are more interesting ways to go about it. I've seen tables named after places the couple have visited, but we aren't big on travel. Tables named after important land marks in the town or city the wedding is taking place, but we have no special attachment to Schenectady or Albany. I've seen tables named after significant years like 1987 (the year we entered Kindergarten) then putting pictures of the couple from that year on the table sign, but that seems a little busy to me. All are nice options but not our cup of tea.

Today while surfing the knot for decor ideas I came upon this idea:

Katie and Ryan's table numbers, which were designed to look like Mondrian replicas, were uniquely personal. Instead of sequential digits, each table number had special meaning: One table was labeled 26.2 to represent the Columbus Marathon the couple had run together; and another table was 107,501, the official capacity of the University of Michigan stadium.
Maybe we could have Table 138 -- Miles between our childhood homes. Table 50 -- Percentage of weddings that we've attended that were Sage - RPI couples.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Albany Messes Up My TV Debut!

My mom called me to let me know that our Martha show did not air in Albany today. It was a re-run instead. She was particularly confused since right before the show came on there was a teaser that said "Don't miss this Friday's show about weddings!"

Here is a clip from Martha's website. Can you see us? I circled our faces in pink.

9 Months and Counting

When I tell people I can't wait to cut my hair in 9 months they look at me oddly as if I were trying to tell them I'm pregnant. No people! My wedding is in 9 months. From today actually :) I put up an away message in Google chat stating just that about 5 minutes ago and this is the message I get from one of my bridesmaids:

Andrea: Get pregnant!
me: NO
Andrea: You're no fun

Thanks for the support people.

In other news, how pretty is this dress? Can you imagine it in white??

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Free Stuff and Martha Stewart

We went to the Martha Stewart Show on Tuesday. It was a special show for engaged couples and we had a blast! It’s airing Tomorrow, January 18th, so set your DVR! We got a lot of awesome stuff too, I’ll blog about that later. Pictures are below.

Waiting outside

The crowd is seated

We got great seats, 3rd row middle

Darcy from Martha Stewart Weddings

Pretty cakes

Us after the show
They announced we had to give back our ticket to get our free stuff so I took a picture of it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Playing Dress Up

Growing up I had an idea of a wedding dress that I would like to wear. It would be, in one word, poofy. Something perhaps like:

Once I actually started the process of looking for a dress I found nothing that did “it” for me. It seems that I have a problem -- I don’t want to look like a princess. I don’t want people to say, “aw, she looks pretty, sweet, nice, beautiful, etc…"I want jaws to drop. I want to look hot. I want to be stunning.

I want a lower back.

Minus the lace.

Minus the ugly bow, of course.

I actually like this one. I don't want beading though.
These dresses don’t necessarily do it for me either but they are getting warmer.
I’ve looked at endless magazines and websites and I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m going to need to get my dress made.