Monday, August 29, 2011

Sing It Out Loud: I'm a Bee!

First of all, eeeeek eeeek! Second, let me just say that it is such an honor to be among all of the amazing women I have admired for almost a year now. Oh man, I cannot wait to share my wedding with the Hive! So why did I choose Miss Warbler for my character? Well, it was tough, all of the other ones are so cute! I seriously considered the Doe because of the abundance of Harry Potter references I could have pulled from. I'm looking at you, Miss Magic! In the end I chose my character because I have a musical name. And no, it's not treble clef.

*All photos are personal

So, who the heck are the Warblers?

We're tall. Mr. Warbs is 6'4 and I'm 5'9. I'm wearing heels here so I look taller than I actually am. The person taking this photo is a shrimp, the Warblers fit comfortably under door frames.

We're silly. Mr. Warbs will do pretty much anything to get a laugh. Including a Harry Potter impersonation that consists of glasses, a fake wand, a towel and a "phew, phew!" incantation. Hive, I love this man.

We're lucky! Before we even got engaged, Mr. Warbs won a trip to Hawaii though his job! He just entered a raffle once and won. Hawaiian honeymoon anyone?

We love to eat. If eating was an Olympic sport, we'd both have gold medals.

We I love to eat cheesecake. Mr. Warbs and I agree on about 90% of things, but he just doesn't share my love for cheesecake. Yes, cheesecake is 10% of my life. Despite this, we are still going through with this marriage. Will it last? As long as there is chocolate mousse in the house I think we'll be fine! Let the wedding planning commence!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Let's Talk About Hair, Baby

Typically, I wear my hair in two down styles: straight and curly. I don't think it suits me to wear it up, but occasionally when I'm running late or my hair is not cooperating, I'll pull it up in a ponytail.

I wear my hair long and straight in the cooler months.

Long oval face, no good for up-dos. 
Personal Photo

I switch up my 'do in the summer for a curly weave. Yup, I wear weaves.

Personal Photo

So, I always assumed I would wear my hair down for my wedding as well. I may have even practiced with a few accessories.

Personal Photo

But, a wedding is supposed to be the one day where you can fancy it up. A little voice in my head (hello mom) keeps saying "try something different". Then I remembered that I rocked a half-up, half-down 'do for prom that I loved. Wanna see Miss Warbler back in high school? Let's do the time warp!

 Forget about the hair, check out my guns!
Personal Photo

Personal Photo

To be fair, that was more of a one-fourth up, three-fourths down 'do. But those photos inspired me to seek out similar hairstyles.

Hmm, this kind of reminds me of a beehive.
Image via Easy Hairstyler

Image via Easy Curls

Please ignore her boobs.

Carrie Underwood's photo is definitely making its way on my inspiration board. I love how her hair cascades across her forehead and the curls. But, I still have my safe options. I might have my hairstylist try a couple half-up, half-down styles so I can have a clear image. What do you think? Should I fancy it up or stay safe?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What the Heck is Hand Cancelling?

Hello blogging buddies! It occured to me after my stamp snafu post that it might not be abundantly clear to everyone what hand cancelling is. So, here's a quick snippet on hand cancelling.

After you drop your envelopes in the mail, the post office runs them through their machine which quickly sorts and cancels out the postage so it can't be used again. Since it's a machine, your envelope runs the risk of getting snagged or damaged. When an envelope is hand cancelled, the postage stamp is hand stamped to cancel out the postage. In the image above, the photo on the left has gone through the regular machine. The image on the right was hand cancelled. Some people choose to hand cancel their invitations to preserve the look of their envelopes and stamps. Boom!

Monday, August 22, 2011

When Cake Tasting Goes Wrong

A few weeks ago, Mr. Warbs, MOH J5 and I suited up in our sweat pants to taste some cakes! Let me tell you, I was super excited about this. The bakery had come highly recommended from our florist and is in the same neighborhood as our venue. When I called them up for a consultation, they informed me that they were in the middle of moving to a new location (even closer to our venue) and should be open the weekend of August 20th. At that point, that was three weeks away. I happily confirmed the appointment and regularly checked in via e-mails and phone calls. Cake is serious business.

The day finally arrived and we scooted off to Thousand Oaks, which was about an hour drive. I personally blame the Kardashians for all the traffic; Kim K was getting married and I think that's her hood. When we pulled up in front of the address we were faced empty store. Ahhhh! At first I was afraid they had gone out of business, but Mr. Warbs reminded me that they had just moved. We were at the old address. D'oh! All the time I spent drooling over cake, I had forgotten to get the new address. This time cake brain won out over bridal brain.

A quick phone call and Mr. Warbs' scout like senses and we arrived at the new location which looked empty store. Deja vu? A glitch in the Matrix? You bet! While the store wasn't empty, they were not completely open to the public, a fact the baker left out in our e-mail string. We were told that we couldn't go into the store and had to sit outside at a patio table. Red flag number one. After about twenty minutes of looking over photos and magazines, the baker brought out the cakes. I had expected to be presented with a nice assortment, kind of like these:

Image via bayareaguide

Image via bayareaguide

Typical sample cake presentation. Well, our cakes looked more like this:

Yes, that is a foot cake.
Image via Sugar Britches Cakery

Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my camera so I didn't take any photos. But those cakes looked bad y'all. Real bad. I think the baker could tell from my expression that I was not pleased. She quickly told us that the guy in the kitchen (seriously, that's what she called him) had slapped those together pretty quick, but on the day of the wedding they would look different. Um, am I supposed to take your word on that? After she went back into the store the three of us dived into the cakes. We had marble with chocolate chip custard, red velvet with cream cheese filling, chocolate with rum custard and a vanilla cake with vanilla filling. The cakes were bland and tasted as if they were days old, which the baker confirmed they were. Nobody liked the red velvet cake or filling which disappointed me because red velvet is my favorite cake. MOH J5 and I liked the rum custard the best. Mr. Warbs liked the chocolate chip custard. However, we all agreed that we did NOT care for the cakes at all, we only liked the fillings. It was unanimous that this bakery would not make the cut.

The whole experience left a bad taste (literally) in my mouth. I don't pretend to be an expert, but I'm pretty sure a bakery should have an open storefront during a cake tasting appointment. The presentation was horrible and the cakes tasted like a Betty Crocker mix. Not disgusting, but not what you would expect from a professional bakery. Also, if you give me cake and I don't finish it all, you know something is wrong! Has anyone else had a cake-gone-wrong experience?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday, I'm in Love!

Today, Mr. Warbs is gonna have to move over for my newest love! What, do you ask has stolen me away from him? Jewelry, duh!

While perusing the Hive, I saw Mrs. Penguin post about a new fashion website, Dress Rush. It's targeted at brides and offers up daily sales in a similar fashion to Groupon. They'll be offering gorgeous wedding dresses, veils and accessories at discounted rates. Swoon! I swooped in on the first day which featured the fantastic jewelry designer, Tejani Jewelry. Almost since the minute I bought my gown, Mother-in-Law Warbler has been asking about what jewelry I want to wear. I initially thought I wanted simple pearl stud earrings and I'd wear my tennis bracelet.

But after checking out Tejani Jewelry, I have to admit that I've had a change of heart. But can you blame me? Just look at all the pretty!

Chandelier Statement Earrings
Image via Tejani Jewelry

Classic Drop Earrings
Image via Tejani Jewelry

All of the pearl earrings I've seen haven't really sparked my interest. I didn't think I would gravitate towards dramatic jewelry, but I love the way it looks! I am worried that my poor earlobes might be aching by the end of the night though. That is some serious bling!

I did find these these pearl stud earrings that I really like:

But, my eyes keep going back to those drop earrings above. The second pair are my favorite and they were on sale on Dress Rush! I'm extremely tempted to get those babies, but I'm not 100% sold yet. I want to play up my dress, but I don't want my earrings to overshadow it. I very rarely wear stud earrings, but maybe simplicity would work best in this case?

Also, what a lovely bracelet. It would go together well with the drop earrings, don't you think? Hmmm...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Name Game

Image via Wedding by Color

I have a confession to make. I am completely undecided on whether or not I am going to take Mr. Warbs' last name. 

In the old days when things were simpler, a woman would take her husband's last name without question. It was a clean and cut decision. It wasn't even really a decision, it was just something that you did. Now, there are so many different elements to consider. A career woman might not want to change her name because it's the name she built her career with. A student might be in the process of getting a new loan or financial aid. Changing her name in the middle of that would just be confusing. While these are both valid examples, I'll admit that they don't apply to my situation. The real reason I'm hesitant about changing my name is two-fold. 

I love my last name. I don't care for Mr. Warbs' last name.

I know, I know I sound like a whiny child, but I can't help it. Let me explain.

My last name is very unique. I've only met one other person with the same name who was no relation to me. There's a football player who has it too, but I'm pretty sure this person IS related to me somehow. He comes from Mississippi and there's a whole town in Mississippi that is basically made up of my family. True story! But the real reason that I love it, is because it's basically the last thing I have that ties me to my father. When he passed away six years ago, it was incredibly hard on me. I remember in the months after he passed I desperately looked around the house for things that reminded me of him. Now when I go visit his grave site and see our last name in big bold letters, I feel a little more connected to him, a little more loved. I apologize if that sounds morbid. A part of me feels that if I change my last name, I'll lose that much more of him. He was so proud of our last name that he made me feel proud, even when I was teased about it as a kid. Since my sisters and I have different fathers, I feel like it's my duty to carry on my  dad's name.

While I may have gotten teased a couple of times as a kid, Mr. Warbs got teased ALL of the time. His last name is like easy pickings for the school bully. Without giving it away, Mr. Warbs' last name is dull. As in a synonym for the word. When I told my friends and family his last name after we started dating, the general reaction was, "Wow, you might be Mrs. Dull someday! "Well they were right! Sure, I'm past the grade school age, but I can just imagine everyone snickering at the doctor's office when a nurse calls out, "Mrs. Dull?" Not cool. Like me, Mr. Warbs is really proud of his last name. He can trace his ancestors back as far as the Great Depression. That's something to be proud of. I can't even trace my ancestors past my great grandfather. He wins hands down. 

When I told Mr. Warbs how I felt about the Name Game he was shocked at first that I didn't want to wholeheartedly take his last name. But, he said that he understood and would be happy with whatever  I decided as long as we were married. He said that if I wasn't comfortable with it, I didn't have to change my name at all. Ugh, he's so freakin' sweet sometimes!

So I have a couple of options. Under no circumstances do I want to lose my last name completely. But I also want to take Mr. Warbs' last name. Mostly because I know it would mean a lot to him and because I really want to be called Mr. and Mrs. So, I've decided that I will either add my last name as my new middle name, or hyphenate my last name with Mr. Warbs'. So I will either be Mrs. Dull or Mrs. Warbs-Dull. The first option is a good compromise, but I also like my current middle name! However, I don't use it that often so I'm willing to part ways with it. The second option is my favorite, because I like seeing our two names together. Also if we ever do decide to have children (we both are in agreement not to, but who knows?) I would want them to have both of our last names. But, I would then have four names: Mrs. First Name Middle Name Warbs-Dull. That would be quite a mouth full!

Which option do you think I should go with? Is anyone else going the hyphenated route?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Cautionary Tale of Stamps

With our business cards tucked safely away inside the envelopes, I drove to the post office. I was on the hunt for the new Garden of Love Stamps. I was in luck! My post office had just gotten them in that week. So I did what any bride would do and bought five booklets.

So cute!
Image via The Postal Store

I took a sealed envelope to get it weighed so I would have the exact postage. Since our STDs are magnets, they were a little heavier and I knew the postage was bound to be more than  expected. The nice woman at the counter complimented me on the envelopes and told me they would cost 64 cents. They didn't have any nice 20 cent stamps so I went home and checked online. I decided on the Herb stamps. Even though I only needed 20 cent stamps, I got these 29 cent stamps 'cause they're so puurty. 

Image via The Postal Store

44 cent stamps + 29 cent stamps = 73 cents worth of postage. More than enough right? Wrong. It turns out, I still didn't have enough postage. After my Herb stamps arrived, I quickly stuck all of them onto the envelopes and Mr. Warbler and I headed to the post office on my lunch break. Yes, lunch break. I was that desperate to get them out into the world! Before I tell you what happened, let me show you these beauties.

Outside envelopes

MOH J5 printed a modified version of our Penguins on the envelopes. Thanks again, J5!

I love the red flower and two doves stamps!

When I went back to the post office, I nervously asked the man behind the counter if they hand cancelled envelopes. I had read on other blogs that some post offices did NOT hand cancel and that it was really hit or miss sometimes. After he said "Yes." I breathed a huge sigh of relief and happily handed them off to him. But after he weighed one envelope he told me that it would cost 84 cents to mail them and that I needed 11 more cents. "No," I said. "I came last week and had them weighed. I was told it would cost 64 cents. Weigh it again, I have enough postage." The man shook his head and said "If you want them hand cancelled you need 11 more cents. Hand cancelling services are extra."

Ugh. I looked at Mr. Warbs for help and he just shrugged and said, "OK, give us 10 cent and 1 cent stamps." But I was mortified. How could I have forgotten to ask about hand cancelling last week? I had heard that there was no charge for hand cancelling, but I should have verified. Idiot! At this point I just wanted to preserve the stamp harmony. Adding extra un-matching stamps next to my beautiful ones made me want to cry. I asked the man behind the counter if we could just forgo the hand cancelling and mail them as is. But that was a no go. Since I was mailing magnets they couldn't run them through the machines anyway. The had to be hand cancelled. Big sigh. I could have run home and added an extra Herb stamp to the envelopes, but it seemed like more trouble than it was worth. I reluctantly added the extra 10 and 1 cent stamps and destroyed my masterpiece. The end result looked like this.

Not what I envisioned at ALL.

To add salt to my wounds, the man took out a big rubber stamp and stamped "DO NOT BEND" in huge red letters on the bottom right hand corner. At this point I had to get out of there. Mr. Warbs tried to cheer me up by saying no one was going to care about the envelope anyway. Even though I know he's right I still feel moody about the whole thing. I don't have any complaints about the way my STDs came out which is all that matters. If anything, I'm glad I went through all of this with the STDs and NOT the invites.

So a word of advice to fellow brides: don't forget to ask questions! If you're going to hand cancel your invites or STDs, let the postal worker know when they're weighing your envelope. Trust me, it's best to stray on the safe side. Is anyone else going to hand cancel?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Business Cards

I've been a bad bride blogger. Our business cards arrived a while ago. I've been meaning to show them, but haven't gotten around to it. What with my recent dress purchase and shoe crusade, I figured lousy business cards could wait! But now that I've sent out our Save the Dates (yay!) I might as well show you the business cards.

It broke my heart to include the blurring!

After we assembled the STDs last month it dawned on me that I had forgotten to include our wedding website on them. D'oh! If eager guests (wishful thinking?) wanted to check out our website ahead of the invitations I certainly wanted to make it available for them. While I was kicking myself for such a major oversight, I also saw an opportunity to order business cards. I loved the idea of telling future vendors, "Here's our card." Swanky.

Luckily, Vistaprint was having a free business card special for a few designs. With shipping and handling, I ended up spending about 6 bucks. $6 for 250 business cards? Deal! I found a design I liked, ordered it and five LONG days later they arrived! I could have gone with a fancier design, but I liked how simple and clean these looked. After tucking them next to the STDs, I was finally ready to seal the envelopes and get them OUT of here.

Up next, my stamp snafu...

*All images are personal

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Love You, Man

image via

Peter Klaven: So what do i do? How do i make friends?
Robbie Klaven: If you see a cool looking guy, strike up a conversation and ask him on a man date.
Peter Klaven: Ok.
Robbie Klaven: You know what i mean?
Peter Klaven: No.
Robbie Klaven: Casual lunch or after work drinks. You're not taking these boys to see The Devil Wears Prada.
Peter Klaven: Ohhhh god i love that movie. No I wont.

Much like the main character from I Love You, Man, Mr. Warbler does not have a lot of guy friends. Of course this isn't the sort of thing that happened because he's an asshole or anything. Mr. Warbs is one of the nicest, sweetest  and friendliest guys (sure, I'm biased but he IS!) that I know. Whenever we go out, he always manages to strike up a conversation with strangers and is generally liked by everyone. So, what's the problem? His work schedule.

Mr. Warbs works at an oil refinery in the water treatment plant. He works 12 hour shifts both days and nights from 5AM to 5PM or 5PM to 5AM. His schedule rotates every week, which can sometimes give him days off during the week which is nice. But that also means that sometimes he has to work the whole weekend. So when everyone wants to go out on a Saturday night, Mr. Warbs is either working the night shift, or he has to be in bed by 9PM to get up early Sunday morning for the day shift. As you can imagine this can really put a cramp in your social life.

Another problem are his friends. Everyone has a group of friends that you've know since high school. Sometimes you keep in touch for years and sometimes you slowly drift apart. Mr. Warbs and his friends sadly fall into the last category. They're all in their 30's and are starting families of their own. When they do manage to get away for a Friday or Saturday night, its usually on the day that Mr. Warbs can't go out. His friends (in my opinion) are also major flakes when it comes to making plans, but that's another story. So what's my post about? Mr. Warbs' lack of groomsmen.

Image via

My bridal party is up to five people: four bridesmaids and my awesome Man of Honor. Mr. Warbs originally intended to ask his old high school friends, about 3-4 guys to be his groomsmen. Well after being given the run-around and several cancelled events, Mr. Warbs decided to completely count them out. Not just as groomsmen, but as guests. At first I thought that it was just a heat of the moment decision, but now I realize that he needs to stand his ground on this. In a perfect world his oldest friends would stand up there with him, but you can't have everything. Which leaves Mr. Warbs searching for new candidates.

Man Date
Image via

Unlike the movie, I don't want Mr. Warbs to have to go on any awkward man dates. Of course, it would be nice if both of our sides were even for the sake of beautiful photos. But is that more important than only have the people that you care about stand beside you? Seven months ago as a newly engaged bride my answer was "Umm...yeah!" Thankfully that's no longer the case. Poor Mr. Warbs has really been stressing about rounding up some groomsmen. So far he's gotten confirmation from his dad and two cousins. And you know what? If he can't anymore than that, it's really fine with me. In the end it's not about groomsmen or bridesmaids, it's about us.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Seeing Red

Kenneth Cole Reaction Wicked Rich in Red.
Image via Project Wedding

Red shoes, that is! It's no secret that I'm in love with the color red. I have had two red bedrooms, countless bags, clothing and accessories. The color scheme for my wedding is red and gold. So, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that I want red wedding shoes. Desire might be a more appropriate word. It never crossed my mind to wear the traditional white shoes. White is fine, but I'll likely never wear the color again. Red shoes on the other hand can spice up a black cocktail dress or jeans. So a cursory Google search returned images like the one above and these:

 Manolo Blahniks. Carrie Bradshaw would be proud!
Image via

Ouch! Christian Louboutins
Image via

Gorgeous, yet sky high shoes. Realistically, I won't be able to wear any of them. Not just for the fact that I can't afford them (although that's a big reason), but I'm kind of a giant already. I tower over most of my family and friends at 5'9". OK, I suspect that I'm a bit taller than that these days, but I'm afraid to measure myself. In a pair of 3 inch heels, I'm  closer to 6 feet than I am to 5'11. Luckily, Mr. Warbs is about 6'4", so my height isn't usually a factor. But, on the day of my wedding, I want to look beautiful, feminine and NOT like the Jolly Green Giant.

Hello, up there!

While perusing my favorite wedding blog, Weddingbee, I saw a post about Kate Spade shoes. They sell high end shoes catered to weddings, at a fraction of Blahnik and Louboutin prices. If you've never heard of Kate Spade before, please take a minute to peruse the website. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Kate Spade Charm Also available in Platinum, Silver and Navy Blue!

Amazing, right?! It was then that I decided my wedding shoes would definitely be Kate Spade shoes. But after a closer look at the website, I discovered that it was seriously lacking in kick ass red shoes. The Charm shoes are awesome, but not awesome enough to throw me off my red shoe mission. So I went back to Google, wedding sites and scoured the globe for similar styles in red. I found a whole bunch, but I was two or three years too late as they were all discontinued. Every time I excitedly clicked on a search result, I was forwarded to the sad face at Zappos, saying my item was no longer available. I would have loved to rock the Nina Koras, but couldn't find them anywhere. Sad face.

Nina Kora, discontinued

Nine West Jojus, no longer available in red
Image via Overstock

Stuart Weitzman Pomposo, no longer available in red
Image via Martha Stewart Weddings

I was able to find a few styles not yet banished to shoe-blivion.

Nina Forbes
Image via Endless

Vigotti Metis
Image via Zappos

 Stuart Weitzman Turalu
Image via Zappos

I was pretty bummed that they weren't more options out there. I'm not sure if red is a seasonal shoe color or not, but they're pretty hard to find in low heel, non feather styles. Maybe more options will become available around the holidays. But for now, the Forbes and Turalus are the two contenders. Out of the two, which one is your favorite? Are there any other red shoe (or colored shoe) brides out there?