Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wedding Day Waxing...

I know what you're thinking. I'm not talking about that kind of waxing. Although that kind of waxing will be taken care of...but I'm talking about my fingers. Yes, I have always been a hairy goonie goo goo. And I've always had hairy fingers, but they've never bothered me...and they still don't. However, when Mr. J and I went to pick out my wedding band, he took some extreme close up photos and when I showed the pictures around most of the comments were about my hairy fingers and how I should wax for the wedding. So, I've been peer pressured into it and I'm sure it will look way better in the photos. Here's my ring, please ignore the hairy fingers :P

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Akwaaba means "Welcome," Come on in!

This is more of Akwaaba, which means "Welcome" in the Akan language of Ghana. We had our walk-through with the caterer and I took some more pictures.

Sun porch, I'm expecting all the old folks to hang here.

This is the courtyard--now imagine it decorated, it's pretty raw
right now except for the wonderful trees.

This picture is from the summer, so you'll see
how the trees bloom with leaves
providing full shade.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bridesmaid Dresses/Best Woman Dress

Here's a preview of the dresses my bridesmaids will be wearing. I originally wanted them to each wear a different dress, but two of my bridesmaids ended up liking the same dress so things shifted. I LOVE purple, but originally I was going to have the girls wear Marine Blue (DB's Navy Blue) dresses with a Victorian Lilac sash, because I figured that's a color that could be worn again should they choose to wear the dresses again. They liked the Lilac better. So this is an example of the Victorian Lilac dress. (All images below from David's Bridal)

This dress below is what two of the bridesmaids will be wearing, with the Marine sash.

Here's the dress the other two picked out, also with Marine Sash:
I have two Maids of Honor, my sister and my best friend from college. One is wearing the halter and the other is wearing the scoopneck, but they will both have the Marine Blue underskirt that peeks out to set them slightly apart.

This dress below is the one Mr. J's Best Woman will be wearing. I love that it has the cummerbund look to it in the middle. Mr. J and I went with her to pick out dresses and this one looked awesome on her. Of course it will also be in Victorian Lilac.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

111 days to go!

We've come so far! And we've done a lot in the past two weeks:
  • We wrote our ceremony script and met with our officiant (friend) so that he could fill in the ad-libbed parts. It's going to be awesome and people are going to cry :)
  • We met with our caterer for a walk-through of our space and I feel more assured and less worried about how the actual day is going to go. (Still praying for no rain, I really don't want to have to get a tent).
  • All the paper is cut for our invitations thanks to Mr. J who spent 5 hours using the cutter, the next day he was sore!
  • Guest book is in the works--I'm using library pockets and cards glued into a nice album, it's going to be "The Book of Love" and we'll say something like "Check out The Book of Love," tee hee, get it? Check Out, get it? Because of the library, book thing...ok I think you get it.
  • We received the fan sticks to make the paper fans for every guest.
  • Invitation party is next Saturday and the invites will go out the first week of May to beat the postal hike.
  • OHHHH, Mr. J and I went to get my wedding band. Love it! Mr. J's ring is in the works, he likes simple things, so he's going with a Tungsten band--it's going to be pretty inexpensive.
  • All of my bridesmaids officially have their dresses! Well, 3 of them have them in hand and the other one, one of maids of honor, just bought hers this weekend.
  • Ordered the Cupcake Tree to hold our cupcakes
  • Ordered the bamboo mats from Bed, Bath, and Beyond that we are using underneath the centerpieces.
I need to post pics of my wedding band, the bridesmaid dresses, the cupcake tree, the guestbook...and I will just as soon as I stop being lazy about finding the USB cord for the camera.

This is totally NOT wedding related but I had a great day at my cousin's christening today, besides seeing his cute little butterball self in his little outfit, but David Dinkins was there and then at the steakhouse we went to afterwards, Harry Belafonte was there (although he looked really old and it made me a little sad) and someone told me I look like Kerry Washington. Good Sunday!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Because Listening is an Act of Love

On Saturday, Mr. J and I did something wonderful. I don't know if you've heard about StoryCorps, but it is this great non-profit organization that is recording oral histories. They've been doing this since 2003 and it's nice to know that thousands of people have participated; future generations will be able to go to the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian to look up their family members and hear their voices.

StoryCorps is basically a conversation between two people. One person is the storyteller and one person is the interviewer and a 40-minute conversation is recorded. They provide a general list of questions, but the interviewer can ask anything. Lots of interesting things came out of that conversation with Mr. J and I, things I never knew about. I asked him questions like: What was the first thing he noticed about me when we met?, When did he know he loved me?, What is his favorite memory of me?, What do you think our lives will look like in 5 and 10 years?, and What are you most proud of me for?

I loved hearing his answer about what he's proud of me for. Throughout the whole 40 minutes we were laughing and kept smiling at each other, the kind of smile where your mouth hurts after awhile. While we were recording, there is a StoryCorps administrator who sits in the booth so that she can write down key words of the conversation to make it easier to find in the Library of Congress. You don't have to have your story go to the Library of Congress, but we loved that idea. For people of African descent, the Smithsonian is doing an oral history project, so we also released our story to go there.

I'm excited by the possibility of my children's children going to the Smithsonian to hear their grandparents talking about love.

I think it would be a good thing for couples to take a look at some of the questions on the StoryCorps website and ask that of each other. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised by the answers that come up, in fact Mr. J and I want to take time out of every month to ask each other questions like these.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sneak Peek at the Invitation Drawing

Yes, please admire my stick-figure skillz, y'all. If you've seen our engagement photos, then you know that this is the spot where Mr. J and I met. I was wearing boots and he was wearing Converse. I wasn't wearing a dress, but I thought I should look cute on the invitation. Check out my afro-puff. We loved the idea of stick figures on our invites, but none of the stick figure invitations we saw online were personalized.

I wanted a Gocco--but that was a no go (I couldn't help rhyming). I wasn't trying to spend a ton of money, but I am slightly jealous of what a Gocco can do. And we didn't want to spend a lot of money (105 invites) on all the beautiful invites we saw online and in stores. So we did DIY with what we could afford. This drawing appears on the front of the invitation which then opens to another stick-figure drawing of us as a bride and groom (and me with my current hairdo) and the invitation text. Mr. J printed out all the paper for the invites and created a prototype. It's so awesome! I can't wait until we can send them out (beginning of May).

I'll show you the finished invite after our invitation-making party.

You Betta Work!

Cue Ru-Paul, because I better be one fierce looking diva on my wedding day. But in order to look my best, there are things to be done. I joined a gym today! Woohoo! I don't like the gym--but this gym is close to my job (5 blocks away, right near the subway) and my problem in the past with gyms is that they've never been close to either home or work. And that's when the laziness sets in. This gym is so close I can go on my lunch break if I'm feeling really adventurous. No contract!

Yesterday at work a co-worker complimented me on my skin, she said it looked so clear. I've been getting those comments a lot lately. Sometimes it's hard, I thought my pimple days would be over at 30 (almost 31) but I get them. I've been using Neutrogena's SkinID for a few months and it's made a major difference. Thanks, Neutrogena!

The other thing I just started using is Clinique's Skin Tone Corrector, I saw an ad for it in Essence, read pages and pages of reviews and decided, this is the one for me. They say it takes 4 wks to notice a difference and I'm only on week two--but we'll see what happens in a couple of weeks. I have a few dark spots that I'm trying to get rid of, old acne scars, they've been fading slowly with time, but hopefully this will speed up the process.

Biore's Dual Fusion Moisturizer and Sunscreen with spf 30 is awesome. I started using sunscreen a while back as part of my daily routine. Yes, it's true that "black don't crack" and I'm trying to keep it that way. I used to use spf 15, but I decided to step it up to 30 because hmm, well I'm about to be over 30 and I want to take good care of my skin. I've also started taking my vitamins (regularly).

Hopefully I will have abs and arms of steel and skin as clear as a beautiful summer day on the day I marry my man. It's funny because I ask him if he noticed a difference...and he didn't notice any "issues" to begin with. He's a sweet liar :)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Frappuccino Centerpieces

I love it when an idea happens organically. Mr. J and I were out shopping and picked up some snacks from Duane Reade (like CVS but only in NYC). I picked up one of these tasty treats (although I shouldn't be drinking these because I have weight to lose for the wedding). I like to peel labels off of bottles, it's just something I do. After peeling the label I looked at the bottle, looked at Mr. J and said, "How about these instead of mason jars?" It looks like a small milk bottle with the label peeled off. He likey. He really likey.

So now I have an actual reason to drink my frapps. I'll just start walking up the stairs at work, that should do the trick.

While looking for a photo of the bottle I learned that I am not brilliant. Apparently other people have thought of similar uses for these cute little bottles. I guess I can still be brilliant. Great minds think alike, right?

A recap, we are having cocktail tables and a couple of coffee tables for the reception. My friends and I are going to sew square mats for the center of the tables that match our colors (purple and blue), on top of the mats will be a framed wedding photos of our favorite couples (friends & family), a small stack of books wrapped in ribbon (for our mutual love of literature), and a small glass vase with lavender.

I'm officially over eloping. I've calmed down. I can't wait to marry my man in front of my family and friends.

My Hot Mama

After some catfish and rum punch, my mom, sister (MOH), and my mom's friend went to check out Michael Shane Bridal, located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. This shopping experience was so much better than the previous shopping experience we had on the hunt for a Mother of the Bride dress. Previously we checked out Lord & Taylor's, Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Macy's.

Here's a question I need to pose to designers. Why do mother of the bride dresses have to look so matronly? Luckily going to a bridal store had much better options than the large department stores. My mom tried on bridesmaid dresses. Let me tell you about my mom, most of my life people have asked me if she was my older sister. She's young and she's hot. So, yes, I want my mom to look hot. She has great legs and I think she should show them off. Her friends keep telling her that as the mother of the bride she should wear a gown. Rules, schmules. Tradition, schmadition. I could care less! At Michael Shane my mom tried on about 10 dresses and we found so many we loved. There were two she liked that I took out of the running because they looked similar to the dress that Mr. J's best woman is going to wear.

I'm glad that's finally done!

Other things that were accomplished: I drew our stick figures and scanned them in so that Mr. J could design them. Once we settled on stick figures it was important to me that we drew them because the stick figure invitations I saw had blonde brides or straight haired brides. I wanted our stick figures to look like us, I drew an image of the day we met when I had my cute afro puff, and then for the inside an image of us as the bride and groom with my current locked style. It's really cute. This weekend Mr. J will finish up, we'll do a test print next week and full print towards the end of the week. We're heading over to my friend's house to do the cutting because she has one of those industrial paper cutty thingys.

I started our registration. We've been SO BEHIND on registering and it's harder than I thought. I started with Target, I had fun adding board games to our registry. Can't wait to get Scrabble and Taboo. I wonder if other brides register for board games. Ha.

Wedding band shopping next Friday. That's all I can think of right now. Say Yes to the Dress is about to come on, so I have to go watch my wedding porn.