Getting to Know You

Mr. LP and I have lived together for almost four years!  In November (one month after the wedding), we will be celebrating the two year anniversary of our first home purchase.  PapaLP is shocked that Mr. LP is even bothering to 'buy the cow' at all.  Other than the bovine purchase I am unsure how our relationship is going to change after the wedding.  There isn't going to be an awkward moving in phase or discovering each other's little quirks.  I am sure there are changes on the horizon but living with Mr. LP is something I adjusted to long ago. 

Since I accomplished nothing this weekend due to extreme heat (I don't function well beyond the 50-75 degree temperature range), I took a little trip down memory lane.  Here is just a sampling of the things I learned about Mr. LP when we first moved in together.
Baby LP's (trip in 2006)
1. He spends more time in the bathroom than I do.
   It is unreal the amount of time Mr. LP can spend in the bathroom.  Thank god I leave for work first in the morning or I don't think I would ever get in there.  I even have to store my make-up in the downstairs bathroom just in case he gets up before I leave.
He spent a lot of time in the bathroom getting that hat just perfect
2. He hates to go to the grocery store. 
  And I mean HATES!  If I volunteer to go to the grocery store alone, he always declares 'why?!!? we have so much food' even though we are down to spaghetti-o's.  I don't know where this comes from.

3. He is great about helping with dinner but it usually comes in sandwich form.
   Mr. LP is wonderful about helping with dinner and cooking.  However if he makes dinner you can guarantee that it is coming to you between two pieces of bread and no 'sides'.  Sausage meant for pasta or salad... on a sandwich.  Ground turkey... turkey burgers of course.  Even spaghetti is not immune.
Favorite sandwich place?!
4.  He makes a mean cup of ice coffee.
   So goooddd!
In Vancouver 2009
 5. He spoils the dog.
  Technically this is not something that I learned when we moved in together but I was still shocked at this discovery.  I fully expected him to be the disciplinarian for our puppy.  I quickly realized that the LemonPuppy has him wrapped around her little finger.  I have completely lost control!

China 2010
6. He is very patient with my many quirks
  Mr. LP lived alone for many years before we moved in together and I thought it would be hard for him to have a roommate.  Especially a roommate as fun as me!  He has been nothing but amazing dealing with my organized mess, terrible eating habits, desire to keep the bedroom at -7 degrees even in winter, and television addiction.

Do you live with your SO?  Learn anything new?

What have you done today

It is so hot that I have lost all energy to do anything.  Instead of doing it, I am just going to write about what I should be doing....
Blogging burns some calories right?!?

It seems like almost all brides have a goal to 'look their best for the wedding' and I am no different.  Here are just a couple of things that I am doing so I will feel my best in my wedding dress (I am a poet and I didn't even know it).

I am fortunate enough that Mr. LP would like to join me in this little weight loss adventure.  How is this fortunate you wonder?  Well I love a good competition!  Mr. LP and I have decided to make a little wager on our fitness goals.  We are embarking on our own biggest loser competition.  Each Thursday night we 'weigh-in'.  To keep some of the magic alive we don't reveal our actual weight.  For instance if my weight was 163.2 (which it is not) then I would write on the 'weigh-in' sheet 1*3.2.  So my weight can be tracked but only I know that mysterious middle number.  Even when we are married I am not sure I want Mr. LP to know my true weight.

Whoever has the largest percentage of weight loss for the week (lbs lost/last weeks weight) gets a prize for the week.  We could do a big prize at the end but we are more instant gratification people.  The first week I won.  Go me, go me!  And the prize I picked was Mr. LP had to take me to any movie I selected.  Of course I picked the girliest romantic comedy I could find just to make the victory a little sweeter.  Mr. LP won this week and is thinking his prize will be that I have to take him to go hit golf balls.

So what am I doing to ensure my victory each week?  Well I have started running again so I hope to do that consistently.  Just this morning I did the Bethany Frankel yoga video that I found on-demand (for free!) with my cable package.  I am going to try to do yoga a couple of times a week so my arms will look Michelle-Obama-good in my dress!  And for meals I am trying to use my weight watchers cookbook and eating healthier/smaller meals.

This is only our second week of the competition but it is already going well.  I am down 2.6 and Mr. LP is down 4.3.  We will just have to see if we can keep it up.

Any tips for kicking Mr. LP's ass?  Are you on a new fitness plan for the wedding?

If the Teacher Pops A Test....

Me giving advice on being organized is like Kim Kardashian telling you she prefers small engagement rings.  But some how I am going to forge ahead like I am sure Kim is doing with her 20 carat sparkler.

There are a couple of tricks I use to stay organized for the wedding (now if only I could carry these over to my daily life).  The first and most popular is the wedding binder.
Printed out calendar for due dates/appts
I have a little pencil case in mine with pens and thank you notes.  I also love the divider tabs with pockets on them so I can save all the inspiration I tore out of magazines.  My tabs are pretty standard but they include; guest list, budget, to do lists (get to that in a minute), my attire, his attire, flowers, Congress Hall, Sound, Registry, and Before & After (rehearsal dinner and next day brunch).  I am sure there are a couple I am leaving out but that is why I have my handy moleskin journal......
At the ripe old age of mid 20's I am already beginning to forget things/lose my mind.  I carry the journal around with me in my purse and whenever I think of anything I have a place to write it down.  I blame my bridal brain but this little book helps me to remember where I saw those invitations/napkins/programs I loved.

And finally I have the All in One Wedding Planner from Style Me Pretty in Google docs.  Google docs is the best!  Seriously if you haven't checked out their template gallery do it now!  I will wait.
The wedding planner has everything.  I know they are kind of tough to see but along the bottom of the pages are all kinds of tabs for everything you need to plan the wedding.

Just some of the tabs
And since it is from Style Me Pretty, there are all kinds of helpful hints on each page.  Mr. Cucumber Sammie and I both have gmail so I can share it with him and he can edit his own damn guest list.  Teamwork!  My favorite page right now is the music page where I can jot down all my ideas for our wedding music.

The piece de resistance to my wedding organization is the To Do list!  I heart To Do lists.  I know this makes me sort of weird but I just love crossing things off and having a nice list of what I have to do even if I manage to avoid doing it.  I enjoy physically crossing things off so every week I type up and print this list.  I have three parts to my to do list; wedding, chores and other.  Under each header are sub-categories and then I list what I have to do.  This is probably really confusing so it would be better if I just showed you....
Ta Da!
Under Wedding there is Ongoing, Upcoming and This Week.  If you know me in real life you know that there is no way I could possibly get all this stuff done.  So yes I will admit that some of those things have been on the to do list for weeks or maybe even months. 

There you have it.  All the things I pretend to use to help me be organized about the wedding.  They say the best organization system is the one you actually use.

Am I missing anything?  Anyone else as excited as me about To Do lists?

Ring My Bell

Mr. Cucumber Sammie and I made a trip down the road this weekend and got our wedding bands!  I thought we would need to order them but lucky for us, Mr. CS and I are a perfect showroom size and walked out with our rings.

Did someone say, photo shoot!?!?!

Ooooh matching boxes!
What could be inside?  Only the best present ever!
Oooooh ahhhhh!
And now please indulge me while I pretend to be 'artsy'.

I love, love, love, love them!  We got them both at Jared's the Galleria of Jewelry for the best price we found and a lifetime guarantee on my diamonds.  My ring is 14k white gold with round cut channel set diamonds 3/4 of the way around.  Mr. CS's ring is tungsten.  We had them engraved and I am excited that even though we don't have matching rings we have matching engravings. 

I don't know if I will be able to stop myself from sneaking up to Mr. Cucumber Sammie's sock drawer and putting it on while he is not home.  I am beyond excited to get to wear it permanently in just a couple of weeks!

Have you gotten your ring yet?  Any ideas on how to prevent myself from wearing it around the house?

*all personal photos

Just call me butter.....

Because I am on a roll!  Even with only 4 months to go, I have not completely abandoned anything in my life that doesn't revolve around wedding planning (yet!).  Over the last couple of weeks I have managed to make some progress on my 101 list.  Go me, go me!

Some have been super easy (reading books) while other I seem to be taking steps back (I actually gained pounds instead of lost).  Here are some of the bigger projects that I have crossed off my list. 

84.  Take a vacation outside of the US
   Hopefully you realized from my Royal Wedding recaps that I was in London, Baby!  It was awesome.  I am not sure it counts as a vacation since it was more of an obligation since we were invited (just kidding).  The perfect trip to cross this off my list.  Mr LP and I love to travel so I am sure I will complete this one again.
51.  Clean Tarnished Jewelry
  Not a very exciting one but finished none the less.  I made it my goal over spring break to clean out all my old jewelry and polish the tarnished pieces.  I am half way to completing #50 too.  I just need to take the necklaces out of zip-lock bags and find a place to hang them.

89. Buy Art for the Living Room
  I am terrible blogger and have no picture of this but I bought a lovely hand-painted abstract yellow art piece at goodwill for $12.  Perfect!

Have you been able to finish any non-wedding related projects lately?

I Feel Pretty

I am ready for my close up!  We booked our final 'big' vendor and it feels so good.  My stylist is in place for the wedding day (i.e. make-up and hair).

I was dragging my feet on booking this vendor.  I think because there are so many options and it is hard to really get a feel for their work.  I knew that I wanted someone who could do the total package; hair and make-up for both myself and everyone else.  I also wanted someone who would be able to travel to Congress Hall.  For the bridal party we rented a gorgeous getting ready room.  I wanted us to all be able to get ready/primped together!
The Founders Room where we will be getting ready
So Gorgeous!

Having those two stipulations narrowed my search down considerable.  I started my quest with our preferred vendor list from Congress Hall.  They gave us about 6 people and out of the 6 only 3 met my criteria.  Out of those 3 people only 1 had a website.  I know it is probably ridiculous but I cross vendors off my list if they don't have a website.  I am probably missing out on some great vendors but I would much rather look at a website than call a vendor for information.

Since the preferred vendor list was a bust I turned to message boards on popular wedding websites.  It seems as though lots of brides ask for suggestions on hair/make-up.  I guess I am not the only one who found it overwhelming.  One suggestions definitely stood out.  Creations By Mia had an awesome website and completely doable prices.
Cute website! {Image via Creations By Mia website}
I submitted an online form and I got an email back the very next day.  A couple days after that I received a small package in the mail with some additional information.  Mia was super friendly in all her emails and had great customer service skills.  As an added bonus all of her portfolio shots are fabulous.
Adorable braid! {Image and Hair design by Creations by Mia}
Mia met all my requirements but I was nervous about booking a vendor without even talking to her.  So I made up some excuse for calling her on the phone.  It was really lame and kind of junior high-ish but I needed to make sure she sounded normal.  Mia passed!  And I found myself with my last vendor booked.

Mia had a great tip which I wanted to pass along (or perhaps everyone knows it and I am just an idiot).  She wanted to do my make-up trial closer to the wedding which I thought was a bit odd.  Why not just do it now and confirm I like her/she can do it?  She said that since my wedding is in October that would be a different season.  My skin tone and hair color/texture will change over the summer so we should wait until I will be the same 'coloring' as I am on my wedding day.  Makes so much sense!  It would be silly to do a trial now since I will be out in the sun all summer long and my coloring is bound to change.

Have you ever booked a vendor without meeting them?  Any great tips from your vendors?

Diamonds and Pearls

I have finally started making some progress on my wedding day outfit!  But first...

So anyone who is not planning on marrying me is welcome to join me after the jump.


What's The Word, Hummingbird?

A ten hour car ride up and back to collect Sammie Sister from college gave me way too much time on my hands.  Forced family fun can make a person do crazy things!  Which is why I used those 10 hours to create a bridesmaid's newsletter.
page 1
This was a project that prior to my half a day in the car with nothing but the scenery to occupy my time, I would have thought was totally unnecessary.  I actually had a good time making it though.  I hadn't been in contact with my bridesmaids for a while so I had lots of things to tell them.  Enter the newsletter!

I first started by hunting through all the wedding blogs for inspiration.  I found tons of ideas but they ranged from the simple to the out of control elaborate.  I know my limitations though and decided to stick with the simple MS publisher document.  MS publisher has a neat newsletter template and I could change the colors and move things around to my hearts content.

After I had my design the way I wanted it, I brainstormed different content that I wanted to include.   I didn't want to update them on everything I had been doing because a) that would fill more than a 4 page newsletter and b) I want there to be some surprises.  I picked topics to include in the newsletter that directly affected them.
last page
The one section that I 'borrowed' from another bride is the 'How Can I Help?' section.  I thought this was a fantastic idea because I know when I was a bridesmaid I was constantly asking how I could help.  I do feel a little awkward assuming that they want to help but I figure hey, this is what they signed up for.  Also since it is in the newsletter and not me telling them they can just selectively ignore it if they are so inclined.
middle pages
Have you done any wedding projects that at the beginning you thought were completely ridiculous but ended up being fun?

Colgate Dragons!

Sorry for the lack of posts this weekend.  I was up in Hamilton, NY celebrating the graduation of my sister!
So Proud.  Not only did she graduate with honors but she is one of the few people who graduated with a job!  Way to go sisterLP.

We love you!

Candle in the Wind

If wedding blogs are the gospel truth than I can't possibly throw a reception without votive candles!  I don't know what I was planning on doing before I discovered these adorable little tea lights.  Not having a very good wedding, that's what.  In case you have no idea what I am talking about:
Tea lights we used to call them before I got engaged {Image vie Candle Shop Ideas}
And in action:
Oooh look at that soft glow {Martha Stewart}
Sold!  I need candles as part of my centerpieces.  Now I just have to find the best deal* on these adorable mini candles.

We are having 125 guests and at 8 guests per table that makes for about 16 tables.  I don't want to have 2 or 3 lights because that might look a little silly.  Mostly I have been able to find the candles in packs of 72.  Making it 4.5 candles per table.  That might be too few.  To the google-mobile!

First I tried Amazon which is my go to site when I want to purchase anything.  Unfortunately I could only find a 72 pack of candles and holders for $39.99 plus $9.99 shipping.  My bridal gut told me I could do better than that for candles.

Next stop was Cudge  I have no idea where I heard of this site, probably a wedding blog somewhere.  They had a 72 candle plus holder kit for $35.44.... score!  But a $27.00 shipping charge.  :(   Suddenly amazon is not looking so bad.

Another search led me to Candle4less  I was excited about this option because I could upgrade to the frosted glass for no additional charge.  The popular 72 piece was $36.88....but $23.00 for shipping.  Each search is getting worse and worse.
See the frosted in the front (source)

Quickcandle had some for only $40 plus $14 shipping but I had to pay an extra $10 if I wanted to have frosted glass instead of clear.  Which I can't decide if the frosted is worth $10 extra.  I have been about to find some online coupons for QuickCandle bringing that total down.

Finally I found my way to Candles D-Light (  At this site I could upgrade to the frosted glass for only $38 for 72 candles.  Best part is shipping is only $18.00.  However I can get 144 candles for only $72.00.  That would be 9 candles per table!  Plus I won't have to worry if any break or I could put them in other places.  So my total order would be $90 or about $0.62 a candle.

Do you think 144 votive candles is too many or not enough?  I am nervous about buying things for the wedding because I am always convinced I am going to find a better deal but I should just pull the trigger on this... right?!?!

*my florist told me I could rent them through her for $2 per candle.  Hahahah I laugh in the face of that 'deal'.

152 days

There are exactly 5 more months until our wedding
Sorry I needed to step away from the computer for a second and breath into a paper bag.  There are so many things that I need to do.  Really so many things that I need to start.  We finally have all of our big vendors booked and now we are getting into the nitty, gritty details.

I can't even tell you how excited Mr. LP is for this week's wedding Wednesday.  I told him we have lots to cover so he better come home early.  He made so smart remark so he has now earned himself the title of "Seating Chart Maker".  Hahah take that!

Hopefully in the upcoming weeks I can move away from inspiration and start actually putting the pieces of my wedding together.  But looking at all the pretty pictures is so much easier than doing any work.

How do you stay on top of your wedding to-do list?  Any tips for getting it all done?

Royal Wedding Edition: My Wedding

Some people may find it tough to compare the Royal wedding to their own, given the unlimited budget and resources.  Challenge accepted!  After studying hours of video footage and memorizing the details I think there are definitely lessons to be learned which I will happily apply to my wedding (making it better than Kate's.... hahaha!)

1.  Traditions can be Beautiful.   
      Sometimes it feels like a race to see who can have the most original wedding.  Most original ceremony, original dress, original first dance.  You name it and someone is trying to find a way to make it unique to their wedding.  The royal wedding ceremony was done exactly the way it has been done for hundreds of years and it was still romantic and sentimental to watch even though it was the same.  The vows Wills and Kate* said were the same vows (with the exception of 'obey') that his parents and grandparents said.  Not once did I feel like 'gee, I wish they said their own vows'.

  So many people have commented about how much her dress looked like Grace Kelly's but Grace's dress was a classic.  Having a similar dress in no way undermined how beautiful Kate looked.
2. Add your own Flair!
  Yes traditional is beautiful but that doesn't mean you can't add your own flair.  Trees??!  In the Abbey!?!  Who does that.... Oh yeah, Kate Middleton.
I read that they included trees because nature was very important to them as a couple.  Also it represents the small town the Middleton's are from (I could totally be making that up).  There were lots of little touches that represented the couple throughout the day and people couldn't stop mentioning those little details!

3. Undergarments are important
  I might get skewered for saying this but Kate really needed a better bra for her second dress.
Very Madonna cone bra-ish.  Be sure to try on all undergarments with you fitting.  Kate has a completely enviable body but all I could focus on was how pointy her boobs were.  Not a good look.

4. Weddings are about your guests too
  In their official program, Will and Kate put a special message to their guests thanking them for coming and how loved and supported they felt.  People could not stop talking about the how great it was that they addressed their guests.
 Commentators were titillated that William and Harry came out of Clarence House the night before to thank the crowds for coming and shaking hands.  It seems like William and Kate went above and beyond to make sure people felt included and appreciated.  It was amazing how those little small acts of reaching out to people made everyone feel so special.  The atmosphere in London definitely reflected how excited people were for the wedding because they felt like they were a part of Will and Kate's special day.

Anything you learned from getting up at 5am to watch that you plan on incorporating in your big day?

*Yes I know that their names are  HRH William Duke of Cambridge and Duchess Catherine but if they knew me we would totally be BFF and they would approve of me using their nicknames.  Just saying.

Royal Wedding Edition: THE KISS

As Frank Sinatra said 'the best is yet to come'.  Thanks for hanging around through all the other fluff for the best part of our trip to London.  It was only about 45 minutes long but the best 45 minutes of some people's life.  I am not going to mention any names (cough, cough MamaLP). 

While we were walking around Green Park just to the left of Buckingham Palace we noticed a small crowd gathering.
In all my years of weaseling my way into places I have learned that if there is a crowd gathering that is where you want to be!  Something exciting might be happening or new information to be gained.  Of course I learned this life skill from PapaLP so off to the mob we went.

Turns out that after the parade they allow people onto the circle in front of Buckingham Palace for when the new couple appears on the balcony.  Obviously they don't want a picture of an empty street so they allow the crowd to come forward to fill in the space up to the gates of Buckingham Palace.  Nobody would say where this crowd would be let in from but a very friendly policemen told us with a wink and a nod that if we go down a little further we might find out more.

Walking down the street we happened upon this scene:
Hmmmm looks like something could be happening here!  Nobody knew and nobody was saying but the feeling in the crowd was this is where people would be led down to Buckingham Palace.  I can't imagine all these people gathering here for nothing.  Of course we had to stick around and find out.
So many people couldn't be wrong
 Now here is the beauty of this situation.  It might be hard to tell from these shots but we are actually on the 'inside' of the fence.  All those people are waiting are behind us and our view to the left (the direction we need to go to Buckingham Palace) is this:
Free and clear!  Since we were inside the park, we are in front of all those people who have been waiting for who knows how long.  Now we just need to stake our claim and hold our spots.  That is assuming that eventually we will be let down this street to Buckingham Palace.

First we had to watch the Royal Cavalry go by.
That horse wants to go back and see the kiss!
And then the excitement in the air was palpable.  People were starting to get antsy.
Notice we are are on the 'wrong' side
People were even jumping the fence and trying to make a break for it down the street.  It was bordering on chaos.  Who knew the British could behave this way?!  And then as soon as it seemed that mayhem would take control something started to happen.....
The police lined up shoulder to shoulder for people to follow behind them down the street.  THIS IS IT!!!
Quick like bunnies, we raced forward and threw ourselves over the little grey barrier wall.  And we were in the crowd!
It was so thrilling but we will never see anything from back here.... lets get a little closer.
Not quite yet.
Ahhhh much better.  At the front of the line where us Americans belong.

I wonder what we will find when we pass that tree blocking our view on the left......
HOLY SH*T, it's the balcony.  Commence internal (and possibly external) freakout!
Must get closer!
Who cares about the fly over?!?  More kisses!
  The crowds and the cameras were going wild!

And just like that it was over.  The balcony was empty.
And I am spent.  Best. Day. Ever.  Especially for MamaLP
*I would just like to say that normally she doesn't wear that shocking pink lipstick.  My sister has a friend who worked at Elizabeth Arden over the summer and said the Queen orders stockpiles of 'Pink Vibrations' and it is her signature shade.  So MamaLP was wearing it in her honor.  It is really not a day time (or anytime) lipstick though.  Need proof:
LP sisters in Pink Vibrations!
It certainly won't be part of my wedding day ensemble but if it is good enough for the Queen then it is good enough for us!

We had no idea how to top that thrilling, life changing 45 minutes so we headed off to Harrods for tea.
Coming up... what I could have possibly learned from the Royal wedding to incorporate in my own wedding.