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Your Basic Christmas List

It’ just about that time of year again!

And here at the Nash household, we do things right. I’ve got my Justin Bieber Christmas CD, new Martha Stewart red and white throw, and Frozen DVD waiting patiently for that most wonderful time of the year. The only thing this basic white girl needs now is a Christmas (and b-day) list fit for a queen! And probs a Chestnut Praline Latte.

So here it is! Behold a Christmas list brimming with frivolous goods and wares any gal might like. We’ve covered the main Christmas list “food groups” if you will, for all the pyramiders as well: B&B (bath and body), clothing, shoes, jewelry and OBVS meekup. What didn’t make the list were those strange personal quirky things, which are essential to any well-rounded Christmas list. For me, these items would include a Hobbit day planner, Hall Pass the movie (a classic), a PUPPY (pleeeease Bry!) or a large wedge of Cougar Gold cheese.

I think you get the idea :).

2014 Christmas List
2014 Christmas List by natd08

Influenster Fekkai VoxBox Review

Hello dumpling heads!

And just a little tid-bit for ya…when I was a kid I wanted my last name to be Dumpling. Natalie Dumpling. Has a nice ring to it, eh?

So a few weeks ago, Influenster sent me a cute little box in the mail. Inside were two products from the brand Fekkai. NOW. I have used the Fekkai Smoothing Creme before and was a huge fan, so I had already regarded the brand very highly. I was elated to see they hooked me up with a few samples from their PrX Reparatives line with Argan Extract. And if you guys know me, you know I looove me some Argan.

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My hair is blonde and therefore it is dry, damaged and a split-end circus. I am always looking for anything to pump moisture into my tired locks so I was excited to jump in the shower and give these babies a whirl.

First up, the Fekkai PrX Reparatives Shampoo and Conditioner with Argan Extract.

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The texture of these products is quite thick and the aroma is very rich. You can definitely tell both the shampoo and conditioner contain Argan as the smell has that distinctive full-bodied aroma I have grown to love (much like a fine wine). The shampoo lathered up nicely and the conditioner felt quite thick and clingy to my hair. My head felt very silky upon rinsing the conditioner and I experienced zero funky residue upon drying. The result was very favorable as my hair felt soft, silky and smelled great.

The next product to try was the PrX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Masque.

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This product is meant to be used once a week to restore shine and protect from future damage. NOW. I do like to use a “fortifying” or a protein treatment on my head every now and again. I find that switching between heavy moisturizing conditioners and ones that are fortifying or contain protein is the perfect cocktail. Thus, I was pumped to try this one out.

The consistency is VERY thick and the smell? Ermygurd. The bottle says it is scented with vanilla and crème and oh yes it is. It smells sooooo nice and just like the original shampoo + conditioner, it lingers. To try the masque, I started with the Fekkai Shampoo and then applied a fairly generous amount of the masque and combed it through with my fingers. I left it on about 7 minutes and rinsed. My hair instantly felt silky, smooth and wonderful. Sometimes this can be a trick (i.e the effect we all feel after using Pantene for the first time) but I have noticed zero ill side effects. My hair felt great, smelled great and was free of any heaviness.

Overall, I am really impressed with both the shampoo and conditioner from the Fekkai PrX Reparatives line as well as the Intense Fortifying Masque. I would definitely recommend this line to anyone in dire need of a little hair TLC.

Happenings

Neither Bryan or myself is the least bit enthusiastic about Halloween. We fall perfectly into that category of too old, no children and absolutely NO desire to schlep ourselves to a bar to watch 20-somethings try to hold their liquor while donning a slutty football player costume. Instead, I bought 2 LARGE bags of candy, hoping to dispense every last piece to cute kidlets while Bryan and I watched Hocus Pocus. NO SUCH LUCK. Not only did we get ZERO trick-or-treaters and thus felt behooved to consume loads of said candy, but Hocus Pocus wasn’t even on! Tragedy. Earlier that day, I did throw on a combination of clothes I already owned, waaay too much eyeliner on ONLY the bottom lash line and little paper “gauges” I made with a sharpie to become…..

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A PORTLANDIAN.

 

It was Megan’s birthday the other weekend and unfortunately the rain killed our plans to partake in a SEGWAY tour of Portland (something Meg and I have always wanted to do). Luckily, the weekend was salvaged by a lot of fun and successful shopping including, but not limited to:

  • Meg getting the MOST adorable pink coat in existence from Anthropolgie
  • Finding a sweater from F21 in the most perfect shade of peach EVER
  • Nan admitting that un-oaked Chardonnay is actually quite delicious
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Meg’s new coat!

Oh, and I found the most perfect hat relative to my face shape.

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A couple weeks ago, I gave myself a bit of a shiner by WHACKING MY FACE ON THE DOORWAY. A tiny cut placed wonderfully at the end of my brow and I was a bloody mess. Luckily the hideousness dissipated rather quickly and I could just use the excuse it was a purple smoky eye gone wrong. And obvs excuse the under-eye circles and greasy hair.

The day after it happened

The day after it happened

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My shiner!

 

I have gotten in to Gilmore Girls. Is anyone really surprised? I MEAN. The mother-daughter relationship, the INCREDIBLE 90′s fashions, Melissa McCarthy’s highlights and Alexis Bleidel’s big blue puppy dog eyes? I was sold after one episode.

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Skincare: Smoke and Mirrors?

Do you like my mysterious and quizzical title?

The idea for this post came when Bry and I were waiting for a delayed plane out of PDX and I wandered around a Keihl’s store. I skirted around the outside, close enough to sample a little hand cream but keeping far enough away to avoid getting badgered by sales folk. Then I overheard a conversation between the sales gal and woman with (if I’m honest) not-so-good skin. Hyper pigmentation, dark spots, lines, wrinkles, and pores big enough to store loose change.

She stared open-mouthed in frustration as the sales girl talked about this product and that. A corrective and firming regiment of balms, tonics and creams seemed to be just the ticket! Bryan wandered over at that point and I asked him what he thought of the promises of all these products. He looked at me blankly and replied, “C’mon Nat. We’re all slowly dying.”

A bit morbid, sure. But I am beginning to think he was dead on (pun intended). We’re all trying to reverse a process that is inevitable for all humans. A slow breakdown of our youth and beauty sounds just horrific, so we look anywhere for help. We look to the $350 cream in a fancy pot and laquered box. We look to medi-spas, botox, fillers and even surgery. We will do anything.

So I wander up and down the aisles and aisles of skincare, reading words like “age-defying”, “wrinkle-reducing” and my favorite, “luminescent”. I think, I want to defy my age! I want a reduction in my wrinkles and OBVS I want to be luminescent. Of COURSE I do.

But I think the day Bryan uttered those words to me it finally clicked.  Sadly, NO amount of money is going to give me the skin of an 18-year old. Nor will I ever “glow from within” unless I’m just really sweaty. And the recent photos of Ms. Renee Zellweger prove that going the surgical route is just SO wrong. So what CAN I do?

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  • I can drink water (even though I MUCH prefer Diet Coke).
  • I can exersize, eat things that are good for me and try to get in m’8hours.
  • I can douse myself in SPF, wear floppy hats and always find a spot in the shade.
  • I can keep my skin in great shape using simple methds of washing, exfoliating and making sure my skin is hydrated.
  • I can do fun things with my makeup like like eyelash extensions, a bold red lip and fierce brows (on fleek!).

I guess what I am saying is, although I’d like to belive that dropping thousands of dollars on laser treatments and creams laden with chemicals could make a difference in restoring youth – it’s mostly a bit of smoke and mirrors. Clever marketing, beautiful packagaing and perfectly trained sales people that rattle off 75 reasons why YOU NEED this product. It’s a bit of a circus, or a carnival that can be confusing and a bit scary to those who can’t see through the fog.

But don’t fret because believe it or not, it is pretty easy to take excellent care of your skin with products that keep it simple. If you’re interested in my opinion of products and lines that fit the bill and are worth the money, stay tuned.

 

Our Wedding Day

So today is the day where I planned to share many heartfelt words with you about a day I will never forget. A day I got to where a big sparkling white dress. A day where 6 pounds of makeup had nothing to do with being at a drag show.

Our wedding was a magical one. The weather was hot, the swimming pool was full and somehow we all managed to set up some tables and chairs for people to sit at. And while the flowers, the guests and OF COURSE the attire was of the utmost importance – getting married trumped it all.

I would like to say I wrote every last detail down to the bud vase, but I didn’t. I couldn’t. The photos mostly speak for themselves so here we go!

That morning I woke up naturally pretty early. I padded around the kitchen in fluffy socks and obvs my “Bride” rhinestone tank because I am a BWG (basic white girl). I drank coffee and had a little yogurt + cereal while I chatted with my sisters and best friend Holly.

Bryan and his brothers and friends hung by the pool all morning NO FAIR.

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www.Allie-Hannah.com

I started getting myself ready pretty early. One tip I have learned from not only our wedding but being in a few others is that time goes by FAST. Four hours may seem like forever to get ready but BELIEVE ME, you’ll need it. I took a lady bath (aka body shower) and then used my nice Jo Malone lotion everywhere. Then I did my makeup. If you want a complete explanation of how I did that, click here.

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After that my sister’s girlfriend Shannon came in and did my hair. I wore Euronext extensions in the 20″ length from Sally’s Beauty and Shannon clipped those in and curled my whole head. Next, we played around with it. I thought I wanted it all down to create that un-done, careless-yet-chic look but we ended up all liking it half-up better. So, she pulled it up, gave me a little volume and a nice lil side part. Shannon is the best!

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Our photographer Alisha arrived while I was getting ready and captured everything beautifully. My favorite moment was when all my best friends came in and hung out for a bit…it was majesty.

www.Allie-Hannah.com

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Then I got in my dress with the help of Megan and my Mom. My dress did come with straps but they were pretty thick bra-looking ones so my Mom and I found some dainty rolled satin ribbon at JoAnn’s and (in the words of Tim Gunn) made it work.

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www.Allie-Hannah.com

When I was all ready, it was time for the “first look”. OK guys, the first look is like GAG CITY. It is so cheesy and gross but yeah, I guess I did want a photo of the first time Bryan saw me in my dress.

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Then we went and took pictures all over the property and our brothers and sisters joined in too.

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We took a lot of breaks and were able to go back inside and cool down in the AC because we had plenty of time before the wedding. This I attribute solely to our photographer Alisha’s remarkable ability to keep a nice pace. She was amazing, laid back and SO professional. We also became fast friends and I wish I lived in Spokane so I could be closer to her!

I was drinking as much water as I could all day but it was HARD. I didn’t feel like eating or drinking anything all day and Holly (bless her heart) kept shoving turkey+cheese roll-ups in my face and making me drink water. That girl.

Right before the ceremony, we all took shots of Ciroq because we are gangster like that.

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As soon as it was time to actually walk down the aisle I started getting SERIOUS anxiety. Thank the Lord my Dad was with me because he can literally be the most calming human on earth when others are freaking out. I took a couple sips of wine to take the edge off my nerves and we strolled down the aisle together.

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The ceremony was short, sweet and I will not forget one word. Our great friend officiated for us and he couldn’t have done a better job.

www.Allie-Hannah.com

www.Allie-Hannah.com

The reception was wonderful. Nobody gave a bad speech and I was SO touched by what everyone had to say. Bryan’s brothers melted my heart and I am SO happy that I can say I have bros now. They are perfect.

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The food was by Andrae’s Kitchen and was AMMMMAZING. Hat tip to Andrae and his staff because they killed it. Our desserts were wonderful and SO perfectly arranged and baked by my sis Rachel.

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We danced WELL into the night and had many folks leaving after 1 am. I am pretty sure that means they had fun…

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www.Allie-Hannah.com

A wonderful day with wonderful people and of course, a wonderful man! Love you Bryan.

*All photos by Allie Hannah Photography

www.Allie-Hannah.com

 

 

Palm Desert Trip

Hey friends!

Bry and I are back from our amazing 8-day holiday in Palm Desert!

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And YOU GUYS. I played tennis. Like, for real. And I only hit one ball into a cactus garden. I feel very successful. Maybe I should start tweeting the Williams girls or Anna K or someone!?

We left early mornin two Saturdays ago and made it into Palm Springs around 4:30 pm. After we picked up a SASSY rental car we headed to Ralph’s for groceries. Our room had a pretty nice-sized kitchenette so we filled our cart and headed for our hotel.

We pulled in at the Westin Desert Villas and after checking in we sat down to a great dinner at the hotel restaurant, Agave. The hotel continued to amaze us all week, with really friendly staff, beautiful pools and delicious food+drinks. YAY.

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Lots of our trip was spent laying by the pool, playing tennis, grilling burgers and watching Below Deck on Bravo (SO good). I also brought along the Steve Jobs book, by Walter Issacson and devoured the whole thing in 7 days. What a guy. An a-hole, yes. But a genius, and now I want a Mac laptop…

Flank Steak!

Flank Steak!

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Highlinghts from our trip include firstly, a jaunt up to the top of Palm Desert’s popular (rotating) aerial tram. We decided to do a 5-mile loop once we got to the top and I am happy to report that I actually went FASTER than Bryan. I was SO Legolas. Also, we passed a troop of Army guys on the trail in full gear so baaaasically I think that makes me a Marine. Green beret.

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After our hike we did what any Californian would do.

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We also drove the hour or so over to Joshua Tree! Unfortunately my allergies decided to flare up HARD so I was a complete mess the whole time we were there. I could only manage a quick 2-mile hike but lemme tell ya – it was absolutely beautiful. It’s amazing in a way that words cannot describe. The trees and plant-life are very Dr. Suessy which was completely fascinating too. Josh Tree, two enthusiastic thumbs up!

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Feelin like crap

Feelin like crap

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After two days of wilderness adventure I decided it was high time I drag Bryan along for a taste of MY kindof fun. The OUTLET MALL. Palm Desert’s Desert Hills Outlets were the ticket. The place is absolutely enourmous and a bit palatial. Plus, it’s a designer outlet mall so it had the big boys. Prada, Alexander McQueen, Carolina Herrara, Gucci - I was dyyyyying. The most exciting (for me) shops were Nieman Marcus Last Call, Barney’s Outlet, Saks Off 5th, Tory Burch, J.Crew Outlet and of course The Cosmetics Company.

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I ended up with a couple things from J.Crew and 1 Mac Mineralized blush from The Cosmetics Company. Bry was a sport and studied for an upcoming exam he has to take for work at Starbucks. But you guys, I could have spent ALL DAY at this place.

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We had some delicious meals and ended up utilizing the BBQ at our hotel 3 nights too. I learned to swim underwater kindof and do a tennis serve. Bryan learned that sunblock should always go on the back of your neck and why the clearance rack at Barney’s Outlet is something to squeal over.

All in all, an educational and wonderful desert holiday!

Our Wedding: Makeup Edition

G’day gents.

And ladies :).

Today we shall discuss my wedding meekup, because really. What could be more important?

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I realize for most, cosmetics are a frivolity. A necessary evil we need to achieve a certain amount of normalcy in our daily lives. A coat a’mascara, some skin-colored goop and it’s over.

But for me, makeup is more. WAY more.

It is the air I breathe. The sun upon my face (or maybe that’s just bronzer…). Call me what you will – believe me, Bryan has, but I just can’t get enough. So for me, the things I wore on my face for my wedding were a pretty big deal. And when things are a big deal to me, I tell YOU guys. The ones who get it. So without further adieu, here’s the rundown.

Skincare

The night before my wedding I knew I wanted to do two separate masks. So I started by washing my face with Purity, and then I immediately applied the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask. I let that sit for maybe 10 minutes and then rinsed it off with warm water. Then I applied the Michael Todd Pumpkin Mask (which repulses me both in smell AND texture) and let that sit another ten minutes. After rinsing that off, I spritzed with Mario Bedascu Rosewater Spray and applied my Boots No.7 Lift & Luminate Night Cream. Lastly, I used the Tarte Maracuja Oil Eye Cream.

In the morning I rinsed my face with hot AND cold then applied rosewater spray and a Kate Somerville moisturizer with NO SPF. Under my eyes, I applied the Origins Ginzeng Eye Cream.

Makeup

www.Allie-Hannah.com

To start, I applied Hourglass primer all over my face and let that sink in. I then applied a generous amount of Makeup Forever HD Foundation in 20 all over my face using a damp Beauty Blender. After that, I sprayed a fine coat of Napoleon Perdis Boudoir Mist Foundation in shade 2 in segmented locations all over my face and waited 2 minutes to dry.

Under my eyes, I applied Bye Bye Undereye by It Cosmetics with the pointed end of the Beauty Blender in the upside down triangle formation. To set the under eye, I used Bobbi Brown’s Brightening Powder in Porcelain Pearl.

For eyes, I began by priming them with Primer Potion by Urban Decay. I then applied multiple smoky neutral colors from the Lorac Pro Palette to my eyelids and on my lower lash line. I used Mac’s Nylon as a highlight on the inner corner and my brow-bone. For eyeliner, I first used the Nars Larger Than Life Eye Pencil in Via Veneto. I topped that with the L’Oreal Carbon Black liquid liner and created a soft wing. I used the pencil eye liner along the bottom lash line and placed a Rimmel Scandal Eye Pencil in Nude in my lower-water line. *I also put tissues on my cheeks to catch any fall out from shadow or liner

Now, LASHES! I used a set of “Mink” (not sure these were real mink) lashes from Sephora on the top and then added multiple bunches in the Long length from Ardell on the outer half of my upper lid. I also applied a generous amount of They’re Real! Mascara by Benefit. On the bottom lashes, I first applied mascara and then added 4-5 bunches per eye of Ardell lashes in the Short length.

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I hate doing my eyebrows. That just needs to be said. I used the Anastasia Brow Whiz in Ash Blonde and incorporated a tiny bit of dip brow into the equation. I set everything with brow gel of course.

Next, I used the Chanel Tan De Soleil bronzer lightly all over my face with a large brush and then I contoured using Benefit’s Hoola bronzer. On my cheeks, I wore the Tarte Captivating Blush and highlighted with a very light amount of Mac’s Soft and Gentle.

On my lips, I did the Mary Kay lip mask and then followed up with the NYX Primer Pencil. I first applied a Starlooks Peachy lip liner and then Mac Crème Cup (obvs) and topped that with a lip plumper from Victoria’s Secret in Baby Pink. Through out the day, I also applied the plumper as well as NYX Butter Gloss in Apple Streusel.

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To set my face, I dusted the Celebration Illumination Foundation by It Cosmetics where I needed it and then added a nice coat of Urban Decay’s All-Nighter Setting Spray.

For my body, I contoured a teensy bit along my collar-bone with Hoola and added a very sheer shimmer powder to my décolletage. Then I sprayed myself with 14 gallons of Heavenly by VS because DUH.

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Here I am with my best gals

And then I got married :).

* All photos courtesy of Allie Hannah Photography

A Night with Dr. Huxtable

OH YES.

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He’s one’a the greats. Right up there with Steve Martin, Bill Murray, Martin Short and of course Robin Williams (may he rest in peace). Bill Cosby is one of those comedians who can make me laugh with a single facial expression. Or one gruesomely awesome sweater. One proclamation, stating “Theoooo likes the swirly puddin’ poppppss!”. Oh, but he is so much more. A poor kid who “didn’t know he was poor”. A guy who won the hearts of millions doing stand-up comedy, writing books,  and of course playing our favorite TV Dad, Dr. Huxtable. He is a master of comedy. He is a man I feel privileged to have seen live.

Bryan’s job earned us a spot at the company table a couple nights ago, for a local youth program aimed at keeping kids off the streets after foster care. An absolutely wonderful organization and one that Bry and I were happy to support, the evening kicked off with a cocktail hour. With Mr. Cosby as the head-liner, I wasn’t surprised to see this AMAZING list of cocktails presented at the bar:

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And OF COURSE jello shots. Because what night with The Cos would be complete without them?

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After a couple of drinks, we all headed into the banquet hall for dinner.

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The menu consisted of a soup, entrée and the best part – dessert. I had the goat cheese tart with asparagus and was SO excited to get through it so I could dive into the CANDY centerpiece. Btw, Milk Duds might be a life-changer. Like, HOW have I not been eating these everyday of my life??

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After our dinner, Mr. Cosby was introduced and slowly made his way onto the stage. The guy is 77 and yeah, he looks it. He sat down, adjusted his mic in a crew neck sweatshirt that said “Hello Friend” and - instantaneously became the comedian I remembered.

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He began by talking about his childhood in the Philly projects. He recounted such details as drinking water from empty Hellman’s mayo jars and nearly setting his house (and himself) on fire on more than once occasion. He talked about his family, his parents and his granddad. Then he went into (his famous) bits about Adam and Eve and of course, The Bible. I had to squeeze Bryan’s arm in sheer excitement when he began that part.

As a kid, we had a few Bill Cosby stand-up routines on vinyl and I would sit and listen to them for hours. I still have some sections memorized. Here I was, some 20 years later and finally listening to the real thing! It was pretty amazing.

He concluded his routine in the most sincere, grateful and classy way possible. He thanked each and every one of us for being “a part of the solution” to helping kids have a better life no matter the hand they were dealt. What a guy, that Cosby. What a guy.

We drove home that night with sugar comas, sore cheeks and full hearts. Definitely a Cosby kind-of night :).

Our Wedding: My Dress

I am so excited to finally be able to show you guys the dress contenders. Choosing my dress was pretty easy after I narrowed down my criteria, which was:

  • To look like a Ballerina

Hahahaaa. But really, I knew I wanted to look hyper feminine, timeless and as much like a ballerina as possible. Not like the polished, face-lifting bun type, but like the beautifully undone, I-just-stepped-off-stage ballerina. After looking online, I noted a few styles from various designers that were MUST-TRY’s. It seemed I was utterly smitten by many of the dresses by Watters, so I sought out the shops that carried the brand.

Here are some of the ones that made the final cut.

Sorry about not remembering all the details of each of these. Detail-oriented, I am not.

This one came from a little shop in Bellevue, La Belle Reve. All I recall was that it was a style called “Megan”. In hindsight…I kinda wish I would have went with this dress. It was simple, really comfortable and the dress I chose was a TORTURE CHAMBER. Plus it was a good boob-dress.

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I allllmost chose this dress because I felt like a southern belle AND a ballerina, which to me, is the most perfect creature imaginable.

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One closed-mouth smile was needed

It was SUPER poof and the bodice was LIFE-CHANGING but I think it was like 18-hundo. Kinda spendy. This dress was in Seattle at a shop called La Belle Elaine’s.

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This one was my and Bryan’s mom’s favorite, also at La Belle Elaine’s. The top was absolutely adorable, with a floral-lace overlay. I loved it too, but felt that it accentuated my linebacker shoulders.

And lastly, here is MY dress, found at I Do Bridal in Seattle. It is by Justin Alexander, style 8670.

In the first photos, I am wearing the sample from the store. You will see how much more POOF was involved in the finished dress.

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Below are some shots from our wedding day.

Overall, I loved my dress. We added tiny rolled satin straps to it because 1.) I do not like strapless dresses on me and 2.) they added to the ballerina-factor. It definitely could have fit me better and was probably better suited for a big-chested gal, but the gals who helped me failed to point out that fact. My advice to any bride would be to choose a dress that speaks to your style and aesthetic, but that also suits your body. My sister had a similar experience when she realized after the fact, that her dress was probably better suited for a taller broad. Whatevs, we choose was we like.

Profesh photos courtesy of Allie Hannah Photography.

www.Allie-Hannah.com

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www.Allie-Hannah.com

Mother Nancy sewed the straps on after the dress was on me

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Soooo classy with the purple solo cup

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Which one do YOU like best?

ALSO, would anyone like to see a bridal makeup post? I did my own makeup and would be happy to share!!

Our Wedding: Arriving and Rehearsal Dinner

But first, a disclaimer.

Writing these posts has been kinda hard for me. Not because the words don’t exist, but because it’s over. Its really all over. For 50% of us, one shot is all we get. One attempt at planning the perfect day. With the perfect weather, the perfect dress and the perfect man. We hope to transcend the decades, selecting timeless and beautiful things to surround and adorn us. We strive for some form of perfection.

And to me, our wedding was perfect. So, here it goes. The official kick-off to what will be known as… Weddingpalooza.     Wed Fest 2014.

Sh*t.

Our wedding. Totes creative, I know :)

On Thursday, July 3rd my Mom, Barbara (wedding planner), my Dad, Megan, Ben (bro-in-law) and myself shoved 7,000 yards of tulle, a few dozen fake trees, four million tealights, 4 crates of makeup and possibly a few pairs of tap shoes into 4 vehicles. At the same time, Bryan’s family probably neatly packed their space-bagged belongings comfortably in their cars with room to spare…you can see how much I have to learn from my new posse.

We arrived at Basel Cellars around 2 o’clock and immediately I knew I was in for a doozie of a weekend. You see, our wedding venue also doubled as our accommodations for the weekend. The estate house slept 20 people and another 4 in the pool house. Bryan and I decided we wanted our families and close friends to bunk up with us and lemme tell ya – it was QUITE the party.

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Right away, I was giving hugs hello, unloading boxes of twinkle lights and fake flowers and trying to find my fiancé whom I hadn’t seen for 5 days. Once everything was put away and guests were settled in, we all basically canon-balled in to the pool…95 degree heat will do that to ya.

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I was a bit of a stressful mess over a messed up hotel booking I had made for Barbara and our photographer – but it melted away as soon as I jumped in that pool. And word to the wise – chlorine DOES strip off a spray tan. I learned that lesson the hard way…

Dinner that night was awesome with just all the house peeps. We Q’ed up Bryan’s dad’s delicious kebabs and of course we had plenty of wine. After dinner, a bunch of us went downstairs to play in “Club Harley”.

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SO, the man who built the estate house had a serious love for Harley and wanted a man-cave to be super-masculine in, hence – Club Harley. The place is COMPTLETELY over the top and a teensy bit disgusting. Really? You built yourself a nightclub? If that were MY husband, I’d be all, “ok then I get a collector’s Barbie room, a Hello Kitty hair salon and a unicorn-themed gym.”

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The next day was our rehearsal dinner! The day was spent lounging by the pool, eating tons of Pirate’s Booty and an impromptu trip to Wal-Mart because what wedding would be complete without at least one’a those?

My amazing parents-in-law (I’m not just saying that either, they are THE BEST) put on the rehearsal dinner and it was everything I could have wanted. Americana fare, finished off by good ol’ apple pie, sparklers and fireworks. It was SO much fun and I have to say the best part was hanging with my good friends’ little girls. I could squeeze their sweet faces all. day. long.

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I tried to get in bed early that night after a quick Queen Helene mask and self-tan touch up. I fell asleep pretty easy that with the help of a little Xanax and reading.

Stay tuned for the wedding day!!!

 

 

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