Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How I finally chose my wedding dress

Let me tell you how absolutely amazingly fun wedding dress shopping was!

Spending great quality time with my best girlfriends, sisters, mom and future mother-in-law while trying on some of the most beautiful (and most hideous...) dresses I've ever seen while everyone oooh's and ahhh's, how could I not have a blast? Seeing as I've been fantasizing about shopping for wedding dresses since I could walk, and maybe even earlier, it was a dream come true!

I ended up trying on dresses during 4 separate occasions, spread out over 2 months. The first time consisted of going to 2 local dress shops with my mom, mother in law, sister (maid of honor), sister in law (bridesmaid), and best friend (bridesmaid).

I learned that I could identify very quickly exactly what I did NOT like! I would put one on, walk out and show everyone, stand on the pedistal for about 2 seconds and say, "Next!" And off I went to try on the next one. This came in very handy because during the first appointment I was able to try on probably 10 dresses in the first hour. I thought that was very good considering all the work to get into those things!

My amazing sister/maid of honor did a fabulous job at taking pictures throughout the day, I have SO many on my phone (which is on lock down for the next year so Marc can't catch any glimpses of THE dress)! Here are a few:

"Pulling dresses" with my mama

Mom, Kelly and Paula waiting patiently for me to reveal the first dress!

Browsing with Vallie - "candid" shot :)

After that day of searching those two stores, I thought I had my heart set on the ONE.

I went to David's Bridal with my future Mother in Law, we had a fun time, but still didn't find anything to top the ONE from before.

I had heard about this store in San Francisco, The Glamour Closet, that carries all sample dresses for discounted prices and since I only get to shop for my wedding dress once in my life, I knew I had to at least go there for fun. So this past Sunday, I planned to go there with my sister and 2 of my bridesmaids. However, before I went there, since I knew if I found one, I would have to buy it on the spot since they're all samples, I wanted to go back and try on the ONE on Saturday. If you're not confused, good job! :) So Saturday, my mom and Val and I went to try on the ONE from the first time and we loved it just as much! I just felt so happy and fun in it. So I told the consultant's I'd be back, I was just going to have some fun at the Glamour Closet but would be back to buy that ONE in a few days.

Boy was I wrong about that one!!

***Side note about The Glamour Closet: One day about 2 years ago, my mom, sister and I were in SF and wandering down the street north of the Financial District in the Italian neighborhood looking for a place to grab some lunch,and we pass a wedding dress shop. We all three stop abruptly to gaze longingly at the beautiful dresses in the window and I announce, "I'm coming HERE when I shop for wedding dresses." We gaze some more, and continue our hunt for food.

So off we go to wait in line before the store opens in SF. We pull up to the shop and my sister reminds me that THIS is the place I said I was going to come back to someday when I got engaged. Isn't it so amazing how things just come full circle sometimes? Bless her and her superior memory! ;) Anyways, we were about 10th in line, so we were told it'd be an hour and a half before I would get to head into a dressing room. So we leisurely browsed and chose the allotted 8 dresses I would try on that day. The 8 we chose were of such a wide variety because it was going to be my last ditch effort to try on something "crazy" or different and see if I would change my mind and stray from the first ONE. At about the 3rd dress in, I was totally thrown off my guard when I fell in love with another dress and could do nothing but stand and stare in awe of how beautiful it was. Now this one was THE ONE. The ONE AND ONLY. As I turned to walk back into the dressing room to try on #4, I turned to my sister and said, "I think I'm changing my mind..." and her jaw hit the floor! I love my sister and her so suiting reactions to every fun and emotional moment! She had seen me run and dance and laugh in the first dress and was as sure as I was that my mind was made up from that moment.

I plowed through the next few dresses and went back to try on THE ONE. Veil and all, I was sold. The consultant asked me: "So, is this your dress?" and I turned around and looked at my best girls and said, "YES!" and both my sister and I burst into tears! We are such girls!!! HAHAHA! Even a random mother of a bride who was shopping there asked to take our picture while we were hugging, it was such a magical, beautiful moment. I thought it was something that only happened in movies and on "reality" TV, but I was so wrong. To all our amazement, I had changed my mind and chosen a dress that was COMPLETELY different from the other one and so much more beautiful!

Surrounded by beauties!
I literally walked out of the store with a wedding dress!
I forgot to mention, this dress was *before tax* under my budget!! Woo hoo!! and thank you to my lovely Mom and Pop for buying it for me <3 The only catch, is it's a sample size 12, so my "personal seamstress" is going to see if she can work her magic on it so I can avoid taking it to another seamstress! She's super talented so I'm sure there will be no problem, I have faith in her!

After I said YES, we marched off to celebrate over some champagne and lunch right up the street. Did I mention this is the same place my mom, sister and I went to lunch that day we first discovered the Glamour Closet? Well it is! Again, the universe meant to put us there...

delicious Sofia Coppola champagne that has held a near and dear place in my heart

Since my mom wasn't at this appointment, I rushed home and tried it on for my mom and dad who loved it!!

That sums up probably my longest post ever, but it was such a blast I wanted to capture every detail!

No hints about the dress for another 297 days! Don't want Marc to get any clues except one: it's white!! :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Marc and I are officially the owners of a wonderful 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 1,700 square foot wonderful home!

After riding the Short Sale roller coaster for nearly 4 months, we survived the ups and downs and rounded the last bend this morning. Our Escrow Officer confirmed everything and the process is finally over.

I can't believe it has actually happened!

Now all we have to do is make sure the sellers (now our renters...well free renters) pack up all their stuff and move out by the agreed upon date of December 1st. Good thing Marc and Mr. Seller are buddies and Marc calls him frequently to check in and make sure everything is still on track.

The next step that Marc and I are planning to take is those 2 scary words.... JOINT CHECKING. It's the logical thing to do since we now own a home together and will be paying for everything together, why bother writing checks to each other each month to pay the other one back for the bills they paid...? But the details remain: When should we combine finances? How should we do it? Whose bank do we go with? Who should pay the bills? Should we still have separate checking accounts or credit cards for our own "private" purchases?

I'm totally open to suggestions on how to manage being first-time homeowners and gradually combining the other aspects of our lives in the months leading up to our wedding.

Such an exciting day! Another post to come about wedding updates - 298 days to go! :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Why everyone should have 6 calendars

It is extremely frustrating to plan for something to happen at a certain date or time and do all the preparations to make that happen, only to have that date be changed again. I know this is life and I need to learn to deal with changing schedules and be flexible and understanding when obstacles arise. However, that does not make it any less frustrating!

It doesn't help that I am someone who lives religiously by her calendar! Let me illustrate for you my obsession with calendars: 
  • I have 2 calendars posted on the wall at work: one for personal, one for work
  • I use my work Outlook calendar for work and personal events
  • My iPhone calendar also houses most work and all personal events and reminders
  • We have a white board calendar on the fridge at home that tracks the current month's work schedules, personal events, birthdays, holidays and the nightly dinner menu.
  • We have another dry erase *Pinterest* calendar on the wall at home in a picture frame that shows the next month's happenings. (I posted about this calendar here and my plans to make it. I did, in fact, get around to making it. It turned out great!)
So there you have it, 6 calendars to help organize my life (and Marc's life)! I wish that everyone used this many calendars and stuck to them

In case you were wondering, this venting session is directed to the sellers of our house who have asked us if they can live in the house for 2 more weeks because they aren't sure if their next place of residence is going to be ready by December 1st. Never mind the fact that they knew they'd need to move out on that date back in AUGUST. Never mind the fact that they have not started packing. Never mind the fact that they are borderline hoarders and it will take a small army to move everything out of that house. I think they could highly benefit from some more calendars to help them keep track of what day they need to vacate our house so we can move in and get settled before Christmas and live happily ever after!!

Ahhhhhhhhhh, I actually feel much better now ;)