Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm an Aunt!!!!

and we finally know that.....

Luis's brother and his wife just welcomed their first child together!  The baby boy's two older sisters must be so excited to meet him.   He's having a little trouble breathing on his own, so I'm asking y'all to keep him and his family in your prayers tonight.  The baby has already been improving, but a little extra prayer never hurts.  I'm sure they'll also accept good vibes, diapers, and positive thinking.

I worked REALLY REALLY hard on the baby's gift, but will wait to post pictures of it and the "Big Sister" gifts I sent the girls until after they receive them.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Can't we just have pizza?

I (finally) scheduled our tasting for November 11 with Caroline Street Catering.  I'll be honest with y'all.  I'm super nervous.  What?  Me? Nervous about food?  Yeah, this rarely happens seeing as I love 99% of all foods in often too-large quantities.  What it really comes down to is this:  our venue will only allow two caterers.  The cost of one caterer's services will ruin our budget.  The other will not.  Basically if this caterer sucks, I'm at a total loss.

But consider this Caroline Street's food looks like this:

(I'm pretty sure these photos are from their mashed potato martini serving station.  Which we will obviously be having.) 

....we should be totally fine.  Right?!

Luis and my parents will be coming with me.  Please keep your fingers crossed that we all live the tasting happy, full, and excited.  

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pioneering The Wedding Trail

Remember in elementary school when you finished you lesson with Mavis Beacon (typing skills nazi) and got to play "The Oregon Trail" until the end of computer class?  I do.  Mostly because it was TOTALLY AWESOME.

At my school, we only had one CD-ROM of the game, so you had to finish first out of the entire class to play.  Clearly my teachers were dumb and didn't take advantage of the fact that we would literally do ANYTHING for 5 minutes on the Oregon Trail.  Anything. (even math.)  Some of the lessons I learned for pioneering the Oregon Trail has really prepared me for wedding planning.  Here are a things I learned while avoiding rattle snakes and cholera:

Use Your Money Wisely
Get a budget and get on it people.  Figure out exactly what you can afford to spend and plan on only using 75% of that.  Because guess what?  Your axle will break, your sister will get cholera, you won't know if you should ford the river, and little Jimmy will go missing.  What do all of those events have in common?  They are going to cost you time and money.  And that's where the extra 25% will go.  Anticipate wedding related emergencies, replacements, and unforeseen costs - you're going to have them no matter how well you plan.  Also, spend money on the important stuff.  Prioritize.  Plan.  

You can't carry the buffalo back :(
Don't waste time and resources on things you can't use.  A little extra food for emergencies is a great idea, but 50 extra dinners will go to waste.  Also, ask for help.  You can't carry all of this on your own and your friends and family are probably more than willing and happy to help.  They don't know you're struggling; chances are you're really good at hiding it.  

You have died of dysentery
Stressing yourself out, not eating right, and putting looks above your health will all lead you getting sick.  Also I don't know about other brides, but I have bipolar eating habits due to wedding planning.  Either I am incredibly busy and forget to eat or I'm overwhelmed and want to stress-eat an entire box of oreos.  I know that makes no sense, but I really didn't promise it would. Moral:  Take care of your body.  Eat right and exercise when you can.  Eat that oreo when you really need it.
**Sidenote:  It's really embarrassing when you ask your teacher what dysentery is in front of the entire class.**

What's so freaking great about Oregon anyway?!
Remember that this journey is leading up to the rest of your life.  The adage "it's not about the destination, its about the journey" DOES NOT APPLY HERE.  It's where you'll be and who you're with at the end of the day that matters.  So don't sweat the small stuff, keep your loved ones close, and get excited about the future that awaits.

And there you have it.  Wedding lessons straight from the pioneers.  So much more useful than whatever that bitch Mavis was trying to teach me anyways.  She's just mad because they named her Mavis.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wedding Shoes: The Decision

So I finally bit the proverbial bullet and got myself some wedding shoes!  (Because obviously this needs to be done 7 months (HOLY BEEJUS ONLY 7 MONTHS LEFT?!) in advance.  I didn't end up going with any of the shoes I drooled over.  Instead, this was a impulse buy at the outlet mall with my mom.

Let me introduce y'all to my beauties:

These babies were $35 at Charlotte Russe.  And I know what y'all are thinking: Aren't I an adult?  Why am I shopping at Charlotte Russe?  This isn't prom a middle school formal.

My response?  The were $35 and I love them.  

In person they are SUPER sparkly and a "multicolor" that is heavy on the purple and silver.  
Awkward Droid photo.  Please notice my "fat big toe wrinkles."  My mom is going to insist they are photoshopped out of any cute "feet/heels" pics at the wedding. We thought maybe the shoes were doing it, but no.  My feet are just real real fat.

The only downside is that they really aren't purple enough.  I recently saw a tutorial on Pinterest on how to glitter-ify a pair of boots.  Ashley Murphy at Golden. Divine. totally killed it.  In the words of that other Rachel, "I die."

Ideally I'll just spray a little glue adhesive on the shoes and sprinkle them with more purple/pewter/silver glitter, touch up as necessary, and BAM! I'll have the perfect shoe.  

Did I mention they are over 5.5 inches high?  I literally breathe a different air when I wear them.  If I put just one shoe on, I can almost touch the ground with my other foot.  This is just one of the many perks of marrying a really, really tall man - he can also reach the cereal at the back of the top shelf at the grocery store... you know, instead of scaling the shelves and receiving dirty looks from old people... like I did yesterday.

One of my bridesmaids (who obviously does not read my blog, but I'll forgive her because she's in med school and will have to deal with 1am phone calls from me when I'm a parent) was surprised by my choice.  She said that "I was definitely expecting something more cream and silky."  Oh no my friend.  If no one can see my shoes, I'm going to wear what I want.  and I want sparkle.  What did you think I'd end up with?  

PS Please comment on posts!  Feedback of any kind is welcome :)  If you don't have AIM, Google+, or whatever else the drop down bar offers you, just select Open ID.  Thank!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Epilogue: I know I'm not on "Say Yes to the Dress"

The day ended with a really positive stop at Bridal Shop #3.  I tried on several awesome, comfortable, affordable dresses from the Wtoo, Allure, and Mickaella lines.  The consultant was helpful, kind, and welcoming.  She gave helpful opinions, showed us every option, and made us laugh.  It was everything I wanted it to be.

But it the experience had lost a little lot of its luster.  

Moral of the story: Don't listen to stupid bitches.  You should feel nothing but gorgeous when you're trying on wedding dresses.  Yes, not every dress will look great on you, but that just means it's not your dress.  You're dress may not make you cry, you may not be overtaken by emotion.  It should just make you happy.  

As planned, I didn't purchase a dress that day.  I felt like I had taken two steps back in my hunt for my dress.  It's a good thing I still had "Running of the Brides" to look forward too!

Thanks for sticking with me throughout this saga!  As a reward you get...

GO AWAY LUIS!  Even though this isn't my dress it's still not allowed!!!! 

 A superfluous camera phone photo of me in a crazy dress from Vera Wang's White line for David's Bridal.  

My mom's in the background taking this totally awesome personal photo.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Big Fat Email: Act III

Rant/Disclaimer/Don't Hate Me Clause:  Please know that I am not trying to throw any one under the bus here.  I truly hope that everyone I talk about in this email was simply having a bad day.  Please take everything with a grain of salt as obviously this experience really hurt my feelings.  I tried to control my emotions in the store and when I contacted David's Bridal via phone or email - but this is something I shed tears over.  Please also know that I DO NOT THINK A SIZE 10-12 IS FAT!!!!  Women are gorgeous at any size - I just don't think 10-12 is a healthy size for me.  Anywho, I've copied the email I sent to David's Bridal after my appointment and a later conversation with the store's manager.  Enjoy. Learn. Sympathize.  

To whom it may concern; 
   I am contacting you to discuss the recent experience I had with the David's Bridal store (9101 West Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23294.)  I booked a 2:00pm appointment on Friday, February 25th.  When I called to schedule the appointment, I explained that I had visited the David's Bridal in Woodbridge, VA and had a very negative experience.  I explained to the employee on the phone that I had felt dismissed and no one in the store had helped me, despite only one other girl in the store who was purchasing shoes.  The employee very politely apologized and assured me that my experience would not be repeated and also ensured that I understood that an appointment at David's Bridal did differ from the glamorous portrayal of the shopping experience on TV.  I explained that I totally understood the difference and thanked her for her help.  
    My mother and I showed up for my appointment on time and filled out the necessary paperwork before meeting my consultant BECKY.  Everyone at the front desk was extremely helpful and BECKY seemed very nice.  She asked me the standard questions and I explained the style of my wedding and desired dress (ball gown, sweetheart neckline, etc.)  She then asked what size pants I wore, to which I answered size 4-8, depending on the store.  She then insisted that I needed a size ten dress because bridal gown sizes are much smaller than street sizes.  I explained that I had already tried on a couple David's Bridal dresses and that we had determined that I was a size 4 or 6 depending on the style of the dress.  I also tried to show her the list of gown styles (copied from your magazine and website) I wanted to try on.  BECKY ignored my list, stating that she did not work with the numbers and would choose dresses for me based on my desired style and in a size 8 or 10.  I insisted I wanted to try on a specific dress, so BECKY went to the trouble of taking it off a mannequin, despite the fact that it was a large size and available in the sizes 4 and 6.  (I would like to point out here that BECKY was never rude and was polite and kind, but just did not seem to want to listen to me.)  She told my mother and me to go through the racks of dresses and select dresses I like by putting them on a certain rack while she went to find a dressing area for me as well as shoes and a bra. 
     My mother and I went through the racks and selected several dresses and hung them on the rack.  After waiting near the rack for several minutes, we were finally able to locate BECKY who then showed us to a dressing room.  BECKY then left to continue finding shoes and bra.  I eventually went back for the dresses on the rack because other girls and salespeople had started to go through them to try them on or return them to their rack.  My mother and I continued to wait for BECKY to return; she eventually came back with a bra and promised she would only be gone for a moment to again look for shoes.  She never returned with shoes (my mother found a pair my size for sale that we used), but did come back with another bride and her entourage.  BECKY let me know that she would also be helping the second bride during my appointment; she acted as if this was going to be a fun joint activity for some reason.  BECKY did not assist me during the rest of the appointment; she was either selecting dresses for the second bride to try or was not present.  After waiting (as BECKY had asked us to do) for a considerable period of time mother helped me get in and out of dresses, hung them back up, and went to find veils.  After we had tried on the five or so dresses my mother and I had selected, BECKY finally brought over three dresses.  Of the three dresses I had already selected and tried one and the other two were nothing like the style I had requested; all three were much larger than I needed.  At this point it was almost 3:30pm and I had to leave.  I was surprised at the negative experience; I would have thought that scheduling an appointment, bringing style numbers, and being prepared for a busy Friday afternoon would have resulted in a much better visit. I left feeling dismissed and dismayed.
   Yesterday (3/3/11) I received a call from Vickie (her name may be Nikki), one of the managers of the Richmond David's Bridal, asking about my appointment and thanking me for visiting.  I returned her call this morning, but found that she was not in yet.  She promptly called me back in the early afternoon.  I explained my experience and stated that I was confused and greatly disappointed by the "appointment" I had at her store.  I stated that I understood the store was busy, but thought the point of scheduling an appointment was to receive help selecting and trying on dresses for a short period of time.  Vickie's response was "I'm sorry we did not meet your expectations" and went on to imply that I had expected a "Say Yes to the Dress" experience and that it was my fault my appointment went badly because I did not ask for a manager or come on a slower day.  She spoke as if speaking to spoiled teenager, which I assure you I am not.  I was completely understanding of the large number of customers in the store and thought I would be doing the store a favor by booking an appointment and bringing my consultant a list of dresses and sizes needed.  
     I would be happy to speak to a regional manager or customer service representative from David's Bridal at their earliest convenience.  I would hate for this poor service to continue and for more brides to have such a negative experience in association with what David's Bridal calls "the happiest day of your life."

Monday, October 17, 2011


I watched Hocus Pocus yesterday.  Twice.  

SO SO GOOD.  Total cinematic masterpiece.  

In other news, my brother said that Sarah Jessica Parker's face looks like a foot.

Apparently he stole that joke from Family Guy.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Act 2: The One Where I'm Insulted

Ok so we roll up to David's Bridal a few minutes before my appointment and excitedly realize that we're the first appointment of the day!  (We know this because we initially panicked because the shop wasn't open at all at first - no worries though, they just open later on that day.)

***Let me take a moment here to explain I'm not a huge fan of David's in general.  It seems... well... cheap.  But let's face it: I'm a bride on a budget and not afraid to admit it.  I love a deal and knew that a trip to the Cheap-O-Mart of wedding dresses could really pay off.***

After checking in, we were instructed to peruse the racks and pull whatever we like while my consultant, we'll call her Becky, went to find a few dresses I specifically wanted to try on.  This is where the day took a serious nose dive.

Here was the exchange between Becky and me:

Becky:YAY! You're getting married!

Me: Thanks for the enthusiasm, but please calm the eff down.

Becky:  What's your theme?  When's the big day?  What don't you like?   How serious are you about purchasing today?  What styles do you like?  What size are you? in pants? Have you tried on dresses before?  What's your budget?  Is that your mom? 

Me:  Heaven help me.  No theme, green and purple, May 18th, Yes - I tried them on at David's Bridal in Springfield on a whim when purchasing a color sample, and I'm a 6-8 in pants, but when I tried on dresses I was a size 4-6. 

Becky: No you'll be a 10.  

Me: But I -

Becky: At least a 10.  Probably a 12.  

Me: No, I've tried on dresses befo-

Becky:  Honey, these are wedding dresses.  They run much smaller than street size.  Trust me.

Me: In Springfield's David's Bridal, I needed a four.  I had to hold up the six.

Becky:  Well, I'll get you an 8.  I don't want your feelings to be hurt when it doesn't fit though.  Because these are wedding dresses and they run much smaller than street size.  I know, because I can see how fat you are.  

Me: What?

Becky:  Fat and stupid.  Go pull dresses!  Have fun!  I'll pull these dresses in your real size.  


Umm what just happened here?  

Friday, October 14, 2011

Davids Bridal Called Me Fat: A play in three acts by Rachel

Because I'll have few updates for you until November, here is the story of how David's Bridal called me fat.  It's a lively tale - you'll laugh, cry, and be generally shocked by DB's poor customer service.

Act 1
My mom and sister kindly agreed to go wedding dress shopping with me while my sister was home from college on break last spring.  Like most brides, I was terrified and excited - like a kindergartener before the first day of school I tried not to throw-up from the weird combination of emotions.  I carefully planned my outfit for the next day of shopping (even remembering to wear totally unnecessary nude undies) and went to sleep with visions of wedding gowns dancing in my head.

The next morning nervousness had settled in the pit of my stomach next to my coffee and cereal.  I tried to prepare myself for the tiny bridal sizes.  My clothes range from 4-8 in pant size and tops can be a Small of Medium.  I've watched enough "Say Yes to the Dress" to know that this could mean I could possibly need up to 12 in some wedding styles.  It sucks, but that's the way it is and I was determined to focus on FIT and not the numbers.  Repeating this over and over on the ride to Richmond slowly, but successfully, dissolved the knots in my stomach into butterflies.


The plan was to go to Bridal Shop #1, have lunch, hit up David's Bridal, and then move on the Bridal Shop #2.  We had no intention of buying anything, because I was still planning on attending Running of the Brides in a few weeks.  Our goal to was to figure out sizes, what styles I liked/looked good in, and possible pick out a back-up if ROTB didn't work out.   We had appointments at all three shops, so we weren't worried - we had a schedule.

Bridal Shop #1 was gorgeous and we were immediately greeted by Phyllis who would be my consultant.  I explained to her what style I was looking for and also showed her the photo of My Dream Dress.  Now My Dream Dress (MDD) was terribly out of my price range, but I was hoping she could show us similar, less expensive alternatives.  I don't have any photos from Bridal Shop #1, but here are a few of the dresses I tried on:


I tried on about 10 dresses, and was eventually convinced to just go ahead and try on MDD: Priscilla of Boston's Morgan.  


Of course I loved it, but I was relieved that I didn't feel like I needed to have it.  With a $3000+ price tag it was just simply wasn't worth it to me.  Now that PoB is closing, I'm glad this didn't end up being my dress!  We left Bridal Shop #1 feeling confident, having seen at least two dresses that I could afford AND would feel beautiful walking down the aisle in. 

 Lunch was up next.  Obviously we went to Jimmy John's because it's delicious, fast, and the day-old bread is 50 cents.  After eating my ENTIRE Totally Tuna sub, we headed over to David's Bridal.  Cue the scary music.  

To be continued...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Help a sister out!

Please please please, if it's not too much trouble, follow by blog.  It makes me look popular.  Also, any and all feedback is appreciated.  


And now a warning:

Keep that in mind people, keep that in mind.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

When you realize you want... spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible. 

I think of Harry saying this to Sally every time some one asks about why Luis and I are getting married so early, so young, so soon.  I'm really not sure why people think it is alright to be so critical (or blatantly rude) to a young(ish) bride.  Being engaged at 22 and married at 24 is not terribly common anymore, but I'm not child bride.  Just because your comment is preceded by "Congratulations!" does not mean that you then have the freedom to say whatever you want.  My five favorite comments have been:

1) OMG! ARE YOU pregnant?!  Seriously, why do you even bother talking in a fake whisper?  We can all hear your rudeness.  No, we're not having a baby.  We're getting married so that we can have a family in the (not so ) distant (but still definitely in the) future.  Even it I was pregnant, what business is it of yours?  If I haven't told you about my pregnancy, you haven't seen me scarfing down pickles and ice-cream, or I'm not sporting a belly the size of a basketball, don't you dare ask if I'm pregnant.  Bottom line: I'm not, so stop being so effing nosy.

2) What do your/his parents think?!  They are just as excited as we are, thank you very much.  They all know and love us/one another, think it's great that they've raised responsible adults that are taking the next step in their relationship, and don't care that we haven't reached the average "age at marriage."  

3) Don't you want to live your life?  Luis is not going to stop me from living my life in anyway.  He enriches my life just as I thought our friendship did up until you asked that question.  I have big dreams and plans and ideas;  Luis supports me in EVERYTHING that I do.  Marriage is a celebration of life and love, not my freedom's funeral.  I want to go to Thailand with Luis, I want to take cooking lessons with Luis, I want to live life with Luis everyday.  See the trend?  

4) So you're just going to be a housewife?  Umm no.  I have a job, am getting my master's degree, and am actively searching for a new and better job.  When we have a family, I'll probably be a mostly-stay-at-home-mom.  Luis didn't say I had to - in fact he had no expectations about what I'd want to do.  We came to the decision together that this will most likely be the best solution for our family.  Yes, it kind of sucks that his career comes before mine in this aspect (because he will be the primary bread winner), but the big picture is our family will be our number one priority.  Plus, I'm selfish and want to be the one who gets to be with our (future) totally awesome kids.  It's a privilege and a choice.  

5)  Are you sure?  ..... Are. you. serious.   Obviously I'm sure or I wouldn't have said yes.  When you know, you know.  It's simple and easy and so, so right.  Luis and I make each other happy.  Please respect our happiness by never asking me that again.  

I'm so blessed to realize that I want to spend the rest of my life with Luis and I truly do want the rest of my life to start as soon as possible.  So I would appreciate it if people would just realize that.  Any one else ever receive some unexpected advice/questions/comments after sharing major news?  

Sorry I('m not) Sorry

I guess I didn't set up my posts to go online automatically as well as I thought.  Scheduling them for October 2012 wasn't my best idea.  Having too much fun on a sunny Florida beach to notice was.

Look for new posts starting tomorrow and please keep me in your prayers on Friday - I potentially have a job-related opportunity that could potentially be a big deal (at least to me.)  Thank you in advance!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I like free stuff.

I really do.  Especially because I'm my entire paycheck gets sent directly to a Mazda dealership and my university.  Also, especially free coozies.  I always have at least one in my purse, but I think this a crazy Southern girl habit.

So go here:  and let Mandy know that you'd like to win a $50 gift card from and then give it to me.  It's not a coozie, but I'll settle.

Side note:  Mandy tweeted me a few days ago after I tweeted about how she was following me on Pinterest.  Turns out she didn't intentionally follow me, but I still got to feel pretty cool for awhile.  
Almost as cool as a FRESH pizza vending machine:

Yeah I need one of these.

Be careful what you wish for.

"Colder weather has descended upon the DC area with a vengeance," I type as I pull a blanket closer around my shoulders and reach for a steaming cup of tea.

All I really have to say today is:
1) Be really really careful what you ask for.  I wanted apple picking weather, not teeth-chattering cold.  Specificity clearly is key.
2) Always splurge on the car model with heated seats.  It will always be worth it.... unless you live on a tropical island.  
3) My gift for my mother's XXth birthday (trust me, its a big one) arrived from Amazon. broken.  again.  WHAT THE EFF AM I GOING TO DO?!?!  (Dear Pinterest and Google gods, please help me find a better gift that also has low-cost expedited shipping. Amen.)

In other news:
Two of my facebook friends (not anyone I talk to regularly) are pregnant.  And not woops-I'm-in-high-school pregnant or left-for-college-came-home-early-with-a-baby pregnant.  Like graduated-from-college-had-a-beautiful-wedding-bought-a-house-with-a-nursery pregnant.  I am super excited for them, but 100% freaked out.  Though, I think some of my friends had the same reaction when I told them I was getting married.  Coming soon: stupid shit people say to when you're a "young" bride including, but not limited to: "don't do it," "you're way too young," and "OMG you're pregnant?!"  Yeah, fun times.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hello, my name is Rachel and I am a Pinterest-aholic.

I'm blogging from a Starbucks.  Drinking a pumpkin spice frap.  Sue me, I couldn't hold out for colder weather... and like I said, it's laced with highly addicting drugs.

Today we will be discussing my other addiction: Pottermore Pinterest.  It took about 18 years to get my registration email, but it is SO worth the wait.

Come on... try it!  You'll like it!  All you're friends are doing it!

I literally pin everything I see if I even remotely like it.  My iPhoto is really excited because it is no longer burdened with wedding inspiration and I'm really excited because Pinterest also keeps track of where I found everything.  (The "clicking on the photo for the link" feature is something that my sister had to show me.  It was like the heavens opened up and the angels sang.... until she made fun of me for being the dumb blond I am can be.)

I know I'm a little behind the times with this, but if you're behind me - trust me.  Once you start pinning, your life will never be the same.  I thought I was a huge procrastinator before, but now?  GINORMOUS.  The worst part is I legitimize my time spent on Pinterest because I'm looking for wedding/style/gift suggestions.  I have learned a lot of cool stuff (how to fishtail braid my hair, some nifty wedding DIYs that will hopefully save me oodles of money), but have had some epic fails thanks to Pinterest as well - one involving glitter nail polish that would. not. come. off.

Some gems I've found so far include:

Cookie Dough Cake Balls from Heaven

Potential Christmas gifts.... that I want to get.  

Love this shirt... almost as much as I hate love barefoot running.

Am I alone in the addiction?  Doubt it.  I bet y'all are sipping Starbucks and pinning away.  You can follow me on Pinterest here:    Let me know your username so I can follow you too!