Mission: Pearls and Fragrance


This past Sunday my Mama and I went out on a mission.

  1. Put together Christmas care package for my brother who is currently living and working in South Korea teaching English to elementary aged children. You can check out his blog here. He's a great writer and tells wonderful stories. He spent 2008-2009 in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar doing similar work. This time, however, he's getting paid.
  2. Put together Christmas care package for my Oma (my Mom's Mother - my Grandmother) who lives in Germany. She's a sweet woman! So funny - definitely a clever sense of humor too. :)
  3. Research pearls at all the stores in the mall. Who has the best deal? Who has the nicest pearls? Who has the nicest clasps? (The clasps were/are very important to me. I would like nice pearls with nice clasps on the necklace and bracelet...I would like these gifts to last!) Who might have sales on Black Friday? Who will discount for a large quantity purchase? (Is that even a reasonable question?) For those of you ladies who read the blog - yes...yes...you're getting beautiful jewelry for the wedding. Surprise! So don't go out and buy something fancy, because I've got you covered. AND - don't be feeling like I just screwed you out of a gift that had an element of "surprise!"....there will be surprise-esqe things coming your way closer to the wedding. :)
  4. Go to Nordstrom and find the perfect fragrance for the wedding day. I know this might sound premature....but I was thinking that it could be a Christmas Gift. I'll update you on this shortly...
So we put together my brother's care package....FYI: I just typed out the entire contents of the care package just to realize that he often reads my blog so that he can "participate" in the wedding planning process even though he is on the other side of the world. We're best friends. I love him for showing interest in my girliest of girly times in my life - during the wedding planning process. (I've always been a "guy's girl"...)

Anyway. Russ? Check.

We put together Oma's package....

Now on to the pearls. Oh....you pearls. You're beautiful. I quickly learned two big things...

Lesson #1: Gold is worth a ton of money right now (DUH.) so any pearl necklaces/earrings/bracelets with gold clasps/posts will be more expensive than silver. Fabulous. Typical. Because guess what?!? I wanted gold. With the girls wearing dresses in the most fabulous of chocolaty brown fabrics - gold would be so warm and wonderful.

Lesson #2: Lesson number two? Always look at the clasp. I found a gorgeous set of real pearls at Macy's that were a very reasonable price - $100 before any discounts...they were 50% off and then an additional %15 off if you used a Macy's card. Great deal!!! I wanted to see what the pearls looked like against my skin, so I reached for the clasp. Oh....the clasp. It was a pain to use, it felt cheaper in quality, it was just...not what I wanted. Two cases over there were gorgeous pearl necklaces and bracelets, all priced well into the hundreds and some into the thousands of dollars. Those clasps....there is a noticeable difference that doesn't even need describing. If you don't see the difference in quality - there's no help for you. Beware. The spring ring clasp. Yes - there are some good ones like this out there. But look at this fancy schmancy one comin' up....

Gold Filigree Clasps. Some are simple. Some are decorative. I think they're a fun unique touch, a little vintage... and pretty. So there you go.

I came home and did some searching online. These were the top options that I found online, and I think I have made my decision.
My final lesson on my mission for the perfect pearls? Go to stores and see pearls in person. Figure out what you like and what you don't like. Learn the names of the colors. Touch and use the clasps. Then - go home and find a deal! (...and be sure to pay attention to the website's return policy and read customer reviews!) I'll post photos of the pearls when they arrive. :)

Finally - the search for the perfect bridal fragrance. My wedding planner friend, and day-of-coordinator, Erin Lindeman of Lindeman Weddngs and Events posted something about the fragrance that she wore on the day of her wedding in her Facebook status update the other day...

...and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. I would really like to find the perfect scent for our wedding day. Something special. Something that, when we're older, brings back the memories and sentiments of the day we were married.... This is what I told Tatiana, the wonderful woman in the fragrance department at Nordstrom. She had the most fabulous accent....and it was my description of the style (note: style not scent) I was looking for. After we discussed things, Tatiana guided me to the following scents:
...and then finally....
Quelques Fleurs Vaporisateur
Launched by the design house of Houbigant in 1912, QUELQUES FLEURS by Houbigant is classified as a flowery fragrance for women. This feminine scent posesses a blend of: many soft, sensual florals, the original, popular fragrance for women. It is recommended for evening wear. Houbigant de Paris was founded in France in 1775 and it is the only French Perfume maker with almost 230 years of historic artistry in perfume making.

Oh! So fancy! No really, in all seriousness - there was something about this scent. It's classic. It's light. When it touched my warm skin - it worked with my body temperature. It. Was. Perfect.

My Mama mentioned that this might be the perfect bridal shower gift. I smiled, said "Great idea!" and we just continued on our shopping trip...


I Do Dictionary

I was explaining "bride-brain" to one of my coworkers this morning. He was dumbfounded. Here's how it went, all via email:
  • Coworker: "DIVA!!! [side note: that is my work nickname. yeah....] Make your picks! There's a Thursday game tonight!"
  • Me: "DOH!!!! I thought I made them already. I'll get right on it. Damn bride-brain."
  • Coworker: "Bride-Brain? Really?"
  • Me: "Yes, really. I have bride-brain. It’s not uncommon amongst young ladies planning weddings…"
Click on image to enlarge.
Image found HERE.

I googled bride brain and stumbled across this website with a list of terms for wedding-related things. Some of the terms were reasonable:
  • Bridezilla....we've all heard that one....
  • Manscaping...
  • Groomzilla...
  • Wedsites...
....and then there were some terms that I hadn't heard before, but I totally get:
  • Bridesmare - Rogue bridesmaids who are clearly there for the halo not the hard work. Soon after accepting the role of BM, they lose all resemblance to your childhood bestie, sister etc and become... the bridesmare! Commonly seen sighing and rolling their eyes at every request for help, rejecting every dress on the grounds of colour and/or style, and insisting on wearing higher, sparklier shoes than their fellow wedding party members.
  • RSVPeeved - Legitimate, panic-tinged feelings of annoyance at your friends and family's apparent inability to find a mailbox in order to RSVP in the appropriate manner to your wedding or engagement party invitation. And no, phoning or texting in the acceptance doesn't help...
  • Fudget - Your frequently tweaked big day budget which features some very creative accounting techniques (including rounding figures WAY down failing to replace the projected cost of an item with the actual spend). If necessary, the Fudget can be blamed on Bridal Brain and should be considered an entirely necessary planning tool in the prevention of panic-related pre-nuptial meltdowns.
I don't know. Just thinkin'.


Currently Loving: Sarcastic Cards

I'm a big fan of writing cards, letters, love notes... I feel like it's a dying hobby and art, and I just can't let that happen!!! Especially when there are awesome cards out there like this:

Please click on images to enlarge, trust, it is well worth it!

Check out the card creative geniuses over at Neat Things on Etsy. I promise it'll make you smile.


UPDATE: Paloma's Nest Ringer Bearer Bowl

Beginning of October I wrote about my love for the ever-so-popular Paloma's Nest Ring Bearer Bowl. I know - they're everywhere...AS THEY SHOULD BE. They're gorgeous. Here it is, our custom bowl with custom sappy lyrics (that totally suit us):

The pretty packaging: .....are you noticing a trend in my constant focus on cute packaging? What's up with that, man?! Maybe it has something to do with my career in marketing...

The custom bowl resting on a nest, complete with small heart-shaped "Thank You." How charming!!!
...and our sappy song lyrics:
Personal Photos

I am so pleased. What a beautiful keepsake.

It's all coming together.

Remember when I talked about the fancy monograms my awesome coworker, Sigrid, created for Trev and I? I ordered a custom stamp, embosser, and return address labels using the artwork. Everything turned out exactly as I imagined it...I'm so happy!

I ordered the the custom stamp from Simon Stamps. I went with the custom 2" x 2" Traditional Wooden Handle Rubber Stamp. It feels sturdy and will come in handy later in tons of projects!
Personal Photo
One thing that I was super excited about was a custom embosser. This is something that can be used pratically forever and never go out of style. After a little research, I decided to go with Wilshire Graphic Press. I sent in the graphics and Amy over there at WGP had a proof over to me with in 24 hours. I ordered it at night and there was a proof sitting for me in my inbox the next morning. How satisfying!! (Sounds weird to say that, but you totally get what I am saying...right?!) After the proof was approved, the embosser was in my mailbox within a few days. Excellent.

Here's the lovely packaging:

Sorry for not wiping my dirty little fingerprints off before snapping this bad boy. What was I thinking?! Here's the embosser and sample card I made:

Personal Photos

I also caved and decided to print return address labels for our save the dates and Christmas cards. (I'm gathering all the bits and pieces for this....there will be an "assembly weekend" and a full post with pics.) We'll be sticking the save the dates in with this year's Christmas cards. To make the labels, I just went out to my local office supply store and got the Avery Clear Easy Peel Address Labels. I went with the 1" x 2 5/8" clear labels so that I could make the monogram image large enough so the date would be readable.
It was so painful spraying out our info!

Little Grace getting in on some action.

So there you have it. Three things that I wanted to get done...checked off the list. I'm super excited to get the rest of the pieces together so that we can start putting together the save the dates and invites!


I am so flippin honored. :)

Miss Mojito is one of the coolest girls that I have had the pleasure of "meeting" since starting ...and what about Grace?

And look what she posted on her blog, With this Ring, I thee Blog. today! :)

Click here to see the full post.
(Note: we must be long lost sisters. I used the same font in my header.)

A full post featuring yours truly. Seriously Girl? Wow. Thank you so much. Wow. Mark this moment in time people - because I am officially at a loss for words. How cool is this feature!?!?!?

Miss Mojito authors one of the most kick-ass blogs online right now. She says:
Just another girl sharing her journey from maid to matron. I've learned so much from other girls on their wedding blogs I hope I can help another bride as well! So grab a mojito, sit back, and hear the tale of Miss Mojito's journey to being a Mrs.
You gotta love a girl that encourages drinking and blogging, I do the same. (Wine, anyone?) She's gorgeous, her h2b (hubby-to-be) is adorable, and I love her style. Just look at how cute these two are! (I think this photo was taken right after Mr. Mojito proposed....)

Miss Mojito's Personal Photo

Thank you so much for the special feature Miss Mojito. You inspire me.



I am going to go on a posting frenzy tomorrow morning. Write the 4+ posts that I promised myself I would complete this week.

Until then, enjoy this bottle of wine that I just picked up at the grocery store. Just lovely. I hope it is a good as it sounds. :)

Bitch, a provocatively named 100% Grenache from R Wines, achieves the potential of this difficult-to-grow grape. Winemakers Chris Ringland and Lisa Wetherell use fruit from the Barossa Valley in South Australia. Yields from the 25-year-old vines grown in sand over clay are modest, 3 to 5 tons an acre. Fleshy and round, with tons of jammy strawberry and raspberry fruit, this is neither shy nor light in the alcohol department, but it's so darn hard to bitch about the heat, when there is so much lip-smackingly good fruit!

Bitch (please...)

SUNDAY NIGHT 11.15.09 UPDATE: This wine was delicious. Light and delicious. Fruity. Tasty. Wonderful. I'm not a huge fan of red wine, I am just starting to explore and appreciate...and this was nice for me.


I melt.

I guess being engaged and having a plethora of upcoming events (showers, parties, etc...) is the perfect excuse to start going on the hunt for UBER CUTE outfits.

Case in point: Amanda Archer's dresses in her Etsy shop.

Is this dress not one of the most wonderfully sweet things you've seen?

I am sure that if you were to go with the white, it could be dyed to another color later... maybe? Not sure.

All I know is that her dresses are divine.



Mind-Change: Jewelry

Trevor and I have been engaged since August 2008, which means I've been taking mental wedding planning notes since August 2007. :) I have not strayed far from my original concepts, but recently made one change.


I have a very soft spot in my heart for Sorrelli Jewelry. Chandeliers for the ears. Gorgeous heirloom pieces. New with a vintage spin. They have TONS of options. Simple. Elaborate. Charming. Daunting. Statement pieces. Accent pieces. Probably just about anything and everything you could think of, in just about any color combination.

My thought was, I could get each of my girls a Sorrelli necklace and earrings. They'd all be the same style, just different colors to compliment their shoe color or their individual personality. Just a little special touch. Like this: And that I could wear something a little more true to bridal form, but still on the funky side: Sorrelli

...And then we started working and reworking and revising the living, breathing, walking, talking document I like to call my nemesis...and WE like to call the BUDGET. The more and more I think about it, the more I think I would appreciate a piece of jewelry that I can wear after the wedding. As gorgeous and amazing as the Sorrelli piece is, I won't be able to wear it to work or to a girls night dinner. That Sorrelli piece is something for special occasions. Period.

Which brings me to my decision...the all time, Audrey Hepburn classic: Pearls. They never go out of style. They're always appropriate. Each and every girl in the world should have a set of real, simple, classic pearls. It's the perfect gift.
Pearls Only

I am pretty pumped about the pearls. My mother has a beautiful set of pearls that she was given when she was young, probably around my age. Last year she brought them to a local jeweler who restrung them, taking the time to tie a small knot in between each perfect little natural freshwater pearl.

So...the jewelry and the dress have been the two areas so far that I've strayed from my original concept. (But........they both still have a very vintage feel.)

Are there any areas in your planning where you've changed your mind time and time again?

Peanut Petunia, You're a Sweetheart!

Peanut Petunia is pretty much awesome. (I think I've said this before...) And now she's a little more awesome in my book (is that even possible?) because she's given me "The Fabulous Sugar Doll Blogger Award."

So the deal is, I tell you 10 interesting things about myself and pass the award on to 10 other bloggers.
  1. At work we pass around an "Action Figure Jesus", complete with packaging. (click here to see...he comes complete with "poseable arms and gliding action!") If it's your birthday, you get Jesus. I've had Jesus for a few weeks since my birthday was last month. Ever since I've had Jesus in my life, good things have been happening. I get to give Jesus to my cube-mate next week because it's HIS birthday. Thank goodness we have a double wide cubicle, because that means I still kinda have Jesus.
  2. I don't like to use the restroom on the same floor that my co-workers use the restroom. I go down a floor. What? I'm weird like that. Shh!
  3. I had the best sandwich of my life at a hole in the wall this past Saturday in Tacoma called Magical Sandwich Makers. It was truly magical.
  4. I've decided that I love having an old-school planner. I've had too many issues with technology. Don't get me wrong, I loooooooovvvveeee my Outlook Calendar, but it's always nice having stuff on paper. I recently purchased this awesome planner from "My Lavender Cottage" and I love it.
  5. I am a sucker for Choral Christmas Music and a Capella ANYTHING.
  6. I have a bobble-head Ingemar IKEA dude on my desk at work.
  7. Embarrassing fact: when I am driving home with my iPod on shuffle and a sappy love song comes on...I imagine what part of our wedding the song would be appropriate for. I usually end up tearing up. I am a sucker.
  8. I found my last roommate on Craigslist. She's now one of my best friends and she's in our bridal party! Her amazing husband is super close with my fiance...and their little baby will be our ring bearer! He took his first steps last week!!!
  9. I like the way my hair smells. It must be my shampoo.
  10. I have a little container on my desk with Zipfizz. It used to be full. Someone has been stealing my Zipfizz. Not cool.
...and the award goes to....
p.s. Peanut Petunia has an awesome contest right now. Click here and enter to win a galvanized key cabinet from Pottery Barn.

I am horrible.

Yup. I am horrible. I haven't been posting. I've been around....stalking blogs in my reader. But, I've been bad. Even Trevor asked me, "What about Grace? Why haven't you been hiding out in the wedding-room working on your blog thingy and wedding stuff?"

I have plenty of reasons... life, work, wedding projects, family outings, dinners, happy hours, cleaning, laundry, blah, blah, blah. But, I should really make time for this blog. I love writing and I love swapping ideas.

So here I am. I am making a commitment. Let's see if I can do one post per day, Monday through Friday, for the rest of the year. It'll be a challenge, what with the holidays approaching so quickly and everything... but I'm up for it. (This post doesn't count.) This means I'll be writing about 40 new posts before the year is over.

Quick updates on things:
  • Officially booked our caterer, Smoke a Fat One BBQ. They just got back from the Jack Daniels BBQ competition in Tennessee. If you know BBQ, you know that even going to the Jack Daniels competition is a HUGE accomplishment. Out of 80 international teams, Smoke a Fat One earned 11th place. Their brisket won 5th place overall. Our guests will be craving this BBQ for YEARS after the wedding.
  • Met with Erin and Kristi (old High School girls!) of Lindeman Weddings and Events to talk WEDDING!!! So much fun. I love these girls, and I am so excited to be working with them over the next (GASP!) 8 months! We talked linens, life, flowers, work, details, men... I think we sat and talked over two hours. Yes - we weaved in and out of wedding talk, but that's okay. So in love with these girls!
  • Trevor and I finalized our guest list and budget. It was a daunting task, and I am sure there will still be revisions. But this is the closest I have ever felt to it being "done."
  • I am falling in love with Super 8mm Film. I hope that my dad (who works in the videography biz) has friends that work with this awesome medium! My heart melts every time I see a video featured in a blog...
So...that's it for this morning. I will post something else by end of the day. Because I made a promise. :)