Saturday, October 31, 2009


Happy Halloween
The Undead!

Be safe out there tonight people. Don't drink and drive! Watch out for little kids!

Friday, October 30, 2009



Go now. Go fast. Go see Part I of The Thirty-Something Bride and The Candyman.
Go here. Go now.

I am so excited, I might pee myself.

RMD (Rehearsal Meltdown)? Almost!

At The Rehearsal Gathering with The Candyman!

So the day before the wedding was so crazy, but all in a good way. First on the list was picking up the MOH and then The Dress. Then we stopped by J. Bangs Salon to get my hair blown out. It needed a good day of dirt in it for it to stay up the next day. Then the MOH and I had a little down time at Venetian Nail Spa. It's my go-to place for mani-pedi's, for sure. Now I've never had a bad experience there, but I swear I got the worst lady there on the day before my wedding. She had to redo my toes as there was polish all over my skin. Um, hello? Getting married. With super cute shoes. The toes need to look good, lady. I was slightly annoyed, but not too much. It was just nice to hang with the MOH and have hot water on my feet. That feels gooooood.

I had to run the MOH back to the hotel and then go home and change for the rehearsal, dinner and gathering. I hadn't seen or talked to The Candyman ALL DAY and I was really missing him for some reason. I called him, hoping he'd be at home when I got there. He answered saying, "You're driving home the back way, aren't you?" Me, "Um, yeah. How did you know?" He said, "I just passed you. I'm going to pick up my brothers." Nooooooooooooo! I was so sad he wasn't going to be at the house!

I got there, knew I was running about 10 minutes late and had to throw myself into the ensemble. You know how when you're in a hurry and nothing is working? Yeah, it was one of those moments. I had forgotten to put these petal things in my shoes and I couldn't get into the damn package. It was like Superman-plastic or something. I ripped it open with my brute strength and one of the petal things goes flying across the room and DISAPPEARS! So I'm crawling around on the floor on my hands and knees in a pair of Spanx and nothing else, looking for this damn shoe insert thing. Yeah. Go ahead. Just try and erase that visual. Just try.

So I get all dressed, my make up is on and I want to put my hair back some, just to keep it out of my face. I start to put it back and my hands are totally shaking. My hair is also super slippery, and I just can't keep a hold of it. Try and try as I might, I can't get my hair to do an effing thing. I start to get super flustered and am about to cry. I am shaking so bad and my nerves were just SHOT. I decided to screw the hair and wear it down. The thing is, when my hair is straight and down, I can't ever stop touching it. It always feels so good, that I'm just constantly pushing it around and playing with it. I didn't really want to be distracted by my hair at the rehearsal, but it was either that or a total WPM right before the rehearsal.

I got to the chapel and everyone was already there. Funny thing is, I had the key and no one could get in! Figures I'd be late to my own wedding rehearsal.

The Candyman, cutting up. Tabitha will have none of that.

The Candyman clutching on me!

The rehearsal went well, everyone knew what to do and we called it a wrap. We sent the families off to do their own thing and The Candyman and I headed to The Park Cafe for dinner. We gave each other our wedding presents, which I will reveal in a later post, because they are both totally post-worthy. We had a fabulous dinner, but in no time, the hour had come to head to the Rehearsal Gathering. We walked in to all of our friends and family, gathered in one spot!

My brother and his wife.

My Mom and DC Michele.

So, here's the crappy part. I had scheduled this little shindig at Aloft Hotel months ago. I also had a block of rooms there. Sadly, not a lot of people stayed there. I have no idea why, it's just how it all shook out. A few days before, I had received an email from Aloft sales team asking for a final number so that they could properly staff the bar. I told them between 40-60 people. Or maybe I told them between 40-50 people. An any rate, an average of 50 people. I'm thinking maybe 60 or so showed up, counting local pals who weren't invited to the wedding.

They only had ONE bartender. ONE. There were people at one end of the bar who had to wait an HOUR for a damn drink. I was furious. I approached the lady at the counter to complain. She told me that the manager was trying to get someone in . Still, 20 minutes later - nothing. I went back again and complained. She said the manager was working on it. This woman ended up behind the bar in order to help, but she wasn't of age and couldn't serve. Big help that was.

The thing is, the ONE bartender sucked. Hard. I only had one drink the entire night and that's only because someone got it for me, demanding a glass of wine for THE BRIDE.

I have been a bartender. I have been a waitress. I have been a retail manager. I know what being in the weeds is all about. This dude was so far under, there was no way he was going to get out. He also had no idea how to work a bar.

After I had approached the desk twice, a friend took over the task of "dealing" so that I could be with my guests. A second bartender never appeared. As a manager/server/bartender I was furious at the lack of service or acknowledgment at Aloft. I called them after the wedding and before we left for the honeymoon and spoke with the hotel manager.

While I got an OK apology, the guy actually said to me, "Well, for a party of 50, we normally wouldn't schedule more than one bartender." Um, what? You have 50 people, all coming in at once, who will all want cocktails at once and you don't even schedule a bar-back? I'm sorry, but that's the most fucking insane thing I've ever heard, especially when it was clear that bartender had no idea what he was doing. Even if that is their scheduling policy - at least lie to me about it. The manager lamely asked me if he could "do something" for me, but really what could he? Offer me a free hotel night? No thanks, I live here. The damage was done. I was irritated and most importantly, embarrassed that my guests were unable to properly enjoy themselves because of their poor planning.
After I got back from the honeymoon, I was stewing on it a little more and decided further action was needed. I wrote a letter to their corporate office. I've received an email saying that it was received and that I would have resolution within 5 days. We're on day two. I'll keep you updated.
The sad thing is, people there wanted to PARTY. I mean, folks wanted to get their drink on and no one could get a freakin' cocktail! I wonder how much money they lost that night.

Here's one my friend's kids who pooped out early that night. I couldn't resist the shot. And this is my sentiment towards Aloft Hotel right now. Boo on them.

I did pull her little dress down afterward. No girl wants her panties showing, regardless of how old she is!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Humongous Bows

Just tell me now so I can go open my own Etsy shop toute de suite. Is the giant flower hair toy craze over yet? Or does it need to get even bigger? Like this:


I mean, seriously. How big do the flowers really need to get?

Really? Really?

So instead, I'm going to follow in the footsteps of Miss Melissa Sweet and start making my own giant head bows.

Since we all know how much I like tying bows, I'm sure this will be a rousing success.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Great Cookie Bake

So something I totally underestimated in time was baking all the cookies for our favors. I figured if we started at 9am or so, we'd be done around noon. Plenty of time to chill and hang out afterwards, right? Wrong. We didn't finish until like 2:30pm or so.

First of all, the guys were assembling to go get their tuxedos that morning. In our house. There were only three guys there (The Candyman, his Best Man and my Dad) but it was like there was a tornado of testosterone in the house. The Candyman and The Best Man were threatening each other to a wrestling match. Lots of loud and big smack-talking. Then my Dad made some sweeping, political statement (he refers to himself as a Federalist, The Candyman calls him a crazy, angry Republican) that got The Candyman all up in arms and when those two start a political "discussion" it goes on and on and on and on and I stopped the whole thing by screaming, "EVERYONE NOT BAKING COOKIES, GET OUT OF THE HOUSE!" So they left. And it was almost 10am. Damn.

Now, I believe that these cookies are the best effing cookies ever. I have lots of people who have had them who feel the same way. They also fit my color scheme of chocolate brown, ivory and sandalwood. I'll share the recipe at the end (and no, it's not the Neiman Marcus cookie recipe). These cookies are high maintenance to make. There's a ton of prep work.

You have to grind the oatmeal into an oatmeal flour.

You have to beat these up with a hammer so that they are bite size pieces.

You have to mix all the goodies together to make just the right consistency.

You roll them into balls so that they come out the same size, then they have to cool (yeah, this is where I jacked up the timing. I really didn't think that through).

We had two stations going at once, each with a double recipe. That's a lot of freakin' cookie dough, people.

Here's the MOH chronicling the whole affair!

After the cookies cooled, my Mom slid one cookie into a bag and taped it shut. We were able to fit 3 cookies per box, but we did have to squish them down a bit. Since they were all still ever so slightly warm, this didn't hurt them a bit.

I put the cookie recipe on the top, then put the lid back on and slid the pre-tied ribbon back on. Let me say, this was the best thing I did: to pre-tie all those damn bows saved me oodles of time on this project. If you're DIYing a lot of things, try to think of as much stuff to do in advance to save time on projects that can only be done right before the wedding day.

The Amazing Cookie Recipe
2 cups butter, room temperature
4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
5 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal and blend in blender to a fine powder)
24 oz. chocolate chips
1 tsp. salt
1 8 oz. Hershey bar (grated)
4 eggs
2 tsp. baking powder
3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
2 tsp. vanilla

Cream the butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar and nuts. Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies.

This is the "official recipe." However, I do not follow it. If you use all of the blended oatmeal, the cookies will be too dry. I generally leave out about half a cup, but I really just go on the taste of the cookie dough (What? A good cook tastes as she goes!). Here's the other important tip: mix the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder together in a separate bowl and add that to the butter mixture first. Then slowly add in the oatmeal flour until it's the right consistency.

The Hershey Bar I use is dark chocolate. I've used Ghirardelli dark chocolate too. No difference. Milk chocolate bars mixed with the semi-sweet chips isn't as good - it's too sweet. I also don't grate it. I beat the bars with a hammer to make bigger chunks. Don't do this on your kitchen counter. I go outside and do it on the pavement with the wrapped bars in a plastic bag. I use walnuts for the nuts. Pecans are too sweet. Almonds are just gross. I've tried it, trust me. I also did pine nuts once. That was just weird - they were too oily. The only other variation that I think is slammin' is substituting half of the semi-sweet chocolate chips with peanut butter chips. The Candyman had a food-gasm when I made them this way. The best advice I can give is to make sure there is always more "stuff" in each rolled ball than dough. Consider the dough just an adhesive to keep all the chocolate and nuts together.

All of this took us a lot longer than we thought. If I had borrowed an extra cookie sheet, we could have finished a lot sooner as we could have had double batches baking at the same time. As we were finishing, the guys had come back from tuxedo-fitting and cheese-burger-eating and were smack-talking in the living room while the girls slaved away in the kitchen. Typical. :)

You know what? I know this recipe by heart. I do. I just went back and looked at the template I used for the recipe card I put in the favor boxes. It's not right. Eh? I'm wondering if the version I actually printed is the same one I just looked at. I know I halved the recipe for the cards, maybe I jacked it up by doing that? OK, how freakin' lame would that be if I gave all my guests the wrong recipe??? Perhaps the only upside to that is that no one will be making them as well as I do! Well, except for all you people I just gave the recipe to. :) Oh crap. Oh well. Enjoy!

P.S. If you received one of the favors and note that the recipe is wrong. Please don't tell me. Just use the correct recipe above. Denial is sweet, as are these cookies.

"I Wish" Wednesday!


Ok, no pressure Jonathon, no pressure. Just really really really excited since I've had two semi-sneak peeks. I'm hoping JC and Sharon don't get upset with me, but I have GOT to post these other two photos I've seen. They don't have the snazzy JCP logo on them, but y'all know how much I j'adore (yes, I know that that reads "I I love") JCP and must give props where props are due. I'll get into that more in the recaps.

I honestly, I'm just over recapping the honeymoon. I mean, it was gorgeous and relaxing and fun and wonderful and all things that a honeymoon should be. I have no complaints whatsoever (hard to believe, no?). But seriously, do you guys care how much food we ate or how much cool Mexican art we bought? The only other really cool thing was the infinity pool. We spent a lot of time there. However, we did come face to face with a deadly scorpion hiding in our umbrella. See:

This little sucker can kill you dead.

The Candyman found him when he was moving the umbrella around to protect our lily-white skin from scorching to death. He put the umbrella down and calmly said, "There's a scorpion." I just about jumped out of my skin. The gardener guy was nearby, we pointed him out and a few seconds later, no more deadly scorpion. I'll tell you what though, every little itch or flutter in the corner of our eyes was a deadly scorpion waiting to kill us. Thank God this happened on our last day there. We would have freaked ourselves out otherwise.
I'll just leave you with a few of the best pictures (in my opinion) from the trip and be done with honeymoon stuff.

Sunset from la casa.

An evening swim with The Candyman. He's hot, no?

The happy couple!

So, without further ado, I'm going to share some contraband photos with you. Seriously, JCP, I'll take these down if you want to me too! I just LOVE them though!

Pre-wedding, outside Owen Chapel.

The ceremony. I loves me some Candyman!

Here are a few others taken by friends and family that I really think are great! Thanks for sharing everyone!

My brother, a greeter and program passer-outer. I hate to call him an usher since he didn't really usher anyone.

Moi. I have no idea when this was taken though.

Walkin' the aisle. Dear Dad, why do you have to have those weird glasses that turn into sunglasses? Oh, and why does Mom have them too? He looks so intense here. I have no idea why. He seemed pretty happy. Maybe he was just focusing on the task at hand. He's that kind of guy.

One of our cakes from the Cake Buffet. This one was the chocolate raspberry with cream cheese frosting. Sweet 16th Bakery knocked it out of the ball park. These cakes were slammin' good.

I'm totally psyched to get more wedding recaps up! I've got my budget figured out too and can give you the 411 on the breakdown. Is anyone interested in that?

Award Time!

Many thanks to Confessions of An Obsessive Planner for the generous award! I have been remiss in reposting - well, for obvious reasons, right? I hope I am forgiven.

The rules are thus: Let us all in on 7 fun, interesting, maybe even embarrassing facts about yourself. Then pass the award on to 7 of your favorite bloggers.

Hm. Seven interesting facts? I'm not sure if I can come up with that many, but I'll give it a shot.

1. I'm pretty sure my all-time favorite movie is Grease. Come on! It's got action (the race at
Thunder Road), drama (Is Rizzo preggers? Will Frenchy drop back into high school?), romance (Oh, Danny!), comedy ("If you can't be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.") and the young Lorenzo Lamas - before he became a total tool, both on and off-screen.

Hey, Zuko!

2. My Favorite Best-Ever Movie Snack: Homemade popcorn with lots of butter, some salt and mixed with plain M&M's. I find this combo most enjoyable whilst watching the above movie with a kitty on one side of me and MOH/GEW on the other, sharing said concoction. The only way to make it better is if it were a double feature with When Harry Met Sally.

3. Something is up with my shoulder blades. I think they are double jointed. At any rate, I can clap behind my back (with my fingers pointing up, not down.) and almost touch my elbows together. It's pretty freaky.

4. I made a wedding gown for my MOH's friend a really long time ago. I only charged her $200.

5. I have to be careful when I chew gum. I totally get into it and chew the same piece for hours. So much so that the next day my jaws will ache. No bueno.

6. I have a dimple of cellulite on my left butt-cheek that has been there since I was like 12. It looks like someone just poked me in the butt-cheek with a pin and it stayed that way. I hate it. The Candyman thinks it's "cute." Whatever.

7. I willed a freckle on myself once. I had a friend in the 5th grade who had a teeny mole on the top of her foot. I thought it was cute. While I am COVERED in freckles, I never had any on my feet. I swear, I stared at my foot and hoped for a freckle there all of 5th grade. My friend moved away as did I and I forgot about the foot freckle until the following summer when one miraculously appeared on the top of my foot. To date, I have no other freckles on my feet, this one is still there and is in the same place as my friend's mole. I swear to GOD.

Now for the Shout Outs:
A Good (Enough) Woman
Sarah Elizabeth
Chic 'n Cheap
The Bowie Bride
Chuck and Susie
The Alternative Bride

I promise I'll have more updates from the wedding and the honeymoon VERY soon!

I keep replaying what I can remember of the ceremony and reception over and over in my head. I can't wait to see more pictures so I won't forget it all!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Honeymoon, Part Dos

Before I recap more of the honeymoon, I'd like to mention a very odd sensation as of late. For the last 10 months, I have been carrying around a ton of crap in my purse. I already have a huge purse. In fact, it's more like briefcase-bag type of thing. I love it. It's Burberry. It was a gift - one that I would never have purchased for myself, but I do love it. The cool thing is that it's from Hong Kong and I don't think they even sell the same version here. It looks a lot like this one, but bigger with a shorter handle.

Anyway, I didn't take it with me to Mexico, so have only had the need for it the past couple of days. And it's light. I mean really light. It no longer contains The Wedding Notes Book (different from The Wedding Notebook), swatches of color chips, bridal fair coupon books, my Bridal Bargains book, pieces and parts of DIY hair toys, even the random bottle of wine (for tasting purposes, of course). I've freaked out a few times after picking it up, thinking I've lost my wallet of keys or something. Nope. It's just lacking all the wedding planning paraphernalia I've been toting around this year. It's weird.

Kinda like when I say, "my husband" versus "my fiance" or "my boyfriend." Weird.

OK, so back to the honeymoon recaps. I mentioned we did nothing, right? Seriously. We did so much of nothing I was almost comatose. The Candyman said he'd never seen me so relaxed. It's true. He couldn't even get me to walk into town with him. It's like a 20 minute walk and I'm all, "Uh, honey. Please call us a taxi." Seriously, I was that lazy.

Here's what we did (I will exclude the standard honeymoon "activity" but rest assured, we got our honeymoon on!):
1. Woke up. Drank coffee and stared at the view of the bay.
2. Rallied after some lounging and walked the five minutes to Paty's for breakfast. Paty's is just a small joint right on the beach that serves simple food at simple prices. Their French Toast almost put me into a diabetic coma, it was so sweet. Wonderfully, decadently sweet!

The Candyman fending off my early morning paparazzi at Paty's.

3. Walked back to the condo and changed into bathing suits.
4. Walked downstairs to the infinity pool and spent hours swimming, chilling, sleeping, reading and sunning.

Here's just a so-so picture of the infinity pool. This is the view looking south. Better pics to come.

5. When we'd had enough sun (we both burn like freaks so were slathered in SPF 50) we'd go back up to the condo, get cleaned up and nap. We'd simply lay in bed and watch the afternoon sun shimmer off the ocean. In no time flat, we'd be snoring away to the sounds of crashing waves.
6. Once we'd finish with our naps, it was snack time. I whipped up some fresh guacamole one day. Or we'd just nibble on Mexican cheese and crackers. I, of course, drank plenty of wine in the afternoons!
Mmmm. Red wine in our al fresco living room. No better way to enjoy it!

Wow. I'm feeling really nappy right now. I'm getting tired just recalling the luxuriousness of doing nothing. Sadly, I'm on my lunch break and need to get back to work. So icky. More recaps coming up!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where Do I Start? Seriously. Honeymoon it is! Part Uno

I'm so overwhelmed with where to start. Do I start with the ceremony? Do I start with the reception? All the stuff that happened prior? Since I don't have a lot of professional pics to show and tell, maybe I should start with the honeymoon and work backwards?

I know the MOH gave you a few tid-bits to start with. Is it enough to tide you over? I'll post a few other pics my wonderful friends and family took as well. So, I do think I'll start with the honeymoon. Here's a taste of the wedding via pictures from my friend, Scott. He's an amazing photographer and has been getting better and better with the purchase of his snazzy new camera and lenses.

Hugging my dad after the Father/Daughter dance.

Our sweet ride and fab driver, Reggie.

Here we go.

My first comment is this: do not leave for your honeymoon the day after your wedding if you can at all avoid it. We didn't leave until the Thursday after and it was AWESOME! We got to open gifts and put them away, make trips to the venue and chapel to pick up last minute things. I even got my dress and veil to the preservation place before we left. Getting all that done was just awesome.

So, for the honeymoon The Candyman and I decided to go to Zihuatanejo (zay-wa-ta-nay-ho), Mexico, pretty early on in the planning process. It's a place I've always wanted to go to and The Candyman is always up for tropical locales. Why did I want to go? Ever see the movie "When a Man Loves a Woman" with Andy Garcia and Meg Ryan? Watch that movie and you'll know why. There's a scene with them in an infinity pool and Playa La Ropa in the background. Ever since I saw that scene, I wanted to go there. So we went.

I found our amazing condo on, which for me, is the only way to find a place to stay. I am not a hotel or resort person and this is now the third time I've used HomeAway and it's never failed to deliver. I highly recommend this site.

From the start Harriet, the owner of our condo (called Sueno del Mar), was a delight to work with. The rates were reasonable and her communication thorough. She even sends out a Zihuatanejo Guide that she's written to help her guests. For us, that guide was invaluable! She lets you know where to eat that's safe (no one wants Turista) and how much taxis should cost and all of that. She gives contacts for everything from fishing to massages. Very cool.

We supposedly went during the low (meaning: rainy) season and got a better rate. Rainy season, my ass. It was hot and the weather was stunning. We did have one afternoon of torrential downpours, but it was short-lived and we had already come in for the day so it mattered not to us. It cooled things down, that's for sure. I did feel kinda bad though, because there was a wedding party at La Casa Que Ve Al Mar (the name of our condo complex) and I feared the bride would get rained out.

The torrential downpour - taken from the balcony, looking down at the road.

The bride and her posse.

Happily the rain ended and we headed down to the beach for dinner. We actually saw the couple getting married on the beach! Sweet! As a side note, I am so glad that we didn't have an outside wedding. I would hate to have to deal with last minute weather changes. No thank you.

So, back to the details! We arrived at Sueno del Mar and we were greeted by this lovely welcome basket!

As well as this amazing view from our al fresco living room...

Let me tell you, this view did not suck one bit. Not at all.

The place was filled with the most amazing local art, this lady being one of them!

I will leave this recap with the place where we spent most of our time.

The view of the master bedroom from the balcony.

Our welcome towel art.

The view from the bed. Seriously, why leave?

I promise more 'moon recaps later as well as wedding recaps. I have got some thank you notes to write! :) So happy to be home!