Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Finds - Coordinating Inspiration

I've been loving these little jewelry dishes for a while and finally decided to build a collection around them.   The idea wasn't so much a theme, but building wedding inspiration from one piece and coordinating colors across events.  The dress could be a rehearsal dinner dress, shower dress, MOB dress, etc.  The necklace could be worn by the bride or given to bridesmaids.  The invitation could be for the wedding, shower, rehearsal dinner or even Thank You notes.  They're not matchy, but they do all compliment each other.

Clockwise from Top L:
SMV Designs - Cornflower Blue Chalcedony and Pearl Necklace
Sofralma - Set of 3 Antique Enamel Pin Dishes
Shalom's Cottage Home - Modern Dahlia Invitation
Poppy Pistol's Vintage - Vintage Secretary's Dress

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Finds - Red Winter Birds

Birds and weddings, overdone?  Maybe.  But they're just so darn cute.  I love them and thought I would adapt the theme for a wintry wedding since us winter brides are left out in the cold when it comes to schemes outside of snow flakes.


Clockwise from Top L:
By Tonetti - Red Jade Bird Hoops
Orly Design - Custom Ceramic Wedding Cake Topper
Victorian Station - Bird Nest Burlap Gift Bags
sweet bella - Winter Berry Love Birds Invitation

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Finds - Toy Story

Though too themed for my taste usually, I've been getting nostalgic with the holiday season and really wanted to put together a Toy Story collection. One of these items could probably be incorporated into a real wedding as a nod to a favorite movie. Now I'm a little sad that I didn't think of incorporating favorite movies or even books into my wedding day.

Are you incorporating anything from a favorite movie into your wedding day?
Clockwise from Top L:
Sew Ladybug - Little Bo Peep Smocked Dress
A.N. Original Jewelry - Porky Piggy Bank Silhouette Necklace in Silver
Garden 4 Arts - Custom Potato Head Cake Toppers
Dolci Fini - Western Boxed Wedding Invitations

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Speaking Out Against Family

I've been thinking a lot about this subject as my friends and I walk through the process of leaving and cleaving. While it's a spiritually loaded sentiment from the Bible, it's a concept that I think everyone deals with to some degree or another. When you join your life with your partner's life, you become a baby family in your own right. So where does that leave your respective families? Especially if there is friction?

Questions such as these are at the front of my mind:
When is it appropriate to speak out against family? For racism? For homophobic remarks?
When do you cut family out of your life?
What are healthy boundary lines?
Should spouses have to choose between you and parents?

We've all probably heard stories or have our own examples of the racist father(-in-law) spouting jokes over turkey. Or the sister(-in-law)'s biting remarks. Whatever the issue is, it can cause a real wedge in the family. I wonder where the line is between peacekeeping and standing up for what is right. When I married into my husband's family, his grandmother told me: "It's your job to help keep this family together. You have the power to keep it together or break it up." While I agree with her that family should be kept sacred and honored, I only agree to a point. There are circumstances where I would feel warranted in making a break.

I tend to have a very black and white view. If I think you're wrong, I'll let you know know and what's more, I'll tell you what I think is right. As I understand this tendency more, I've been trying to employ more diplomatic means. The idea of speaking the truth in love applies here I think. If you can speak the truth, but do so in a loving way and then the other party still wants to part ways, then perhaps you've done all you can do. As a matter of conscience, I don't know that there are other options.

I probably have more questions than answers regarding these situations (which vary widely from one family to another). However, I don't think we talk about these situations outside of common jokes about the in-laws or putting the fun in dysfunctional. I want to know what wisdom you have to impart. I want to know what you've been trying and what's been working.

Have you had to cut off family? Set a firm boundary? Or maybe just speak out against an injustice within family? How has being married affected your decisions to do this?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Heritage Photos to Heritage Wall

Our collection of heritage photos meant the world to me at our wedding. While I had physical copies of all the photos, I made sure that I scanned them and eventually ordered prints for myself.  I had a vision for how to display them, so I began collecting frames as I saw them on sale at Michael's, Home Goods, and Target.

I love how each picture dates the couple and expressions.  Let's meet the family:
Mr. Palindrome's Parents

Mr. Palindrome's Paternal Grandparents

Mr. Palindrome's Maternal Grandparents

Mr. Palindrome's Maternal Great Grandparents

Mr. Palindrome's Maternal Great Grandparents

Palindrome Bride's Parents

Palindrome Bride's Maternal Grandparents

Palindrome Bride's Paternal Grandparents

Palindrome Bride's Paternal Great Grandparents

After framing each photograph, I laid them out on the floor and arranged them loosely based on family ties.
Some experts lay a piece of butcher block under the frames and then tape the paper onto the wall.  Then they nail hangers right over the paper, thus ensuring exact placement.
I am a "this looks close enough" kind of gal.  So I just used my hand to approximate distances and it worked out pretty well.
I love how the mixed patinas of the frames make them look original.  I also like the asymmetry of the collection as a whole, yet it still feels balanced.
Did you collect photographs for your wedding?  Are you planning on incorporating them into your home decor after the wedding?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday Finds - To the Brits

I may or may not have gone on WoW spotting trips when I studied in England.  Since I'm happily married now and he is on his way to be, I could find no other inspiration this week than the impending royal wedding. I went cheesy and touristy too.  At the pub down the street from my flat they had Cheese Night every Saturday (basically American 80's Night!).  The round about sign invitation is probably my favorite, though I really enjoy the irony of the telephone booth ipod case (which I think would make great wedding party gifts!).

TGIF! (or more appropriately, GSTQ - God Save the Queen!)
Clockwise from Top L:
CB Sew - British Red Phone Booth Gadget Case
The Blissful Baker - British Themed Cupcake Toppers
Alive House - Union Jack Pillow Cover
Doodle Love - Love Roundabout Wedding Invitation

Monday, November 15, 2010

Honeymoon in My Hometown - Hampton Roads

You may have taken summer vacation to Williamsburg and been forced to appreciate colonial history, but the area has a ton to offer in the way of romance and activity for a honeymoon close to home.  Here are my personal suggestions if you're headed to the area for your honeymoon (or anniversary trip, or even babymoon trip?).

Where to stay:
Stay downtown and enjoy the waterviews!  Hop on the water taxi to explore downtown Portsmouth, or hop on the highway to enjoy any of the 7 cities in the area.  We stayed there on our wedding night and received excellent service. 

Stay at the Virginia Beach ocean front and enjoy waking up to the sound waves and 'gulls.  The boardwalk is just steps away, and plenty of restaurants are within walking distance.  

The Founders Inn & Spa is lovely and very hospitable.  The surrounding campus of Regent University is also beautiful and stately.  When we ate at the Founders Inn after my graduation, the food was delicious.  Sunday brunches are the talk of the town.  Head to the spa for a little extra luxury.

What to do:
Interesting bits of military history.

Well curated museum and interesting collection.

Musicals, speakers, the symphony, comedians, and military tattoos.

Virginia Aquarium
Animals and an Imax theater - satisfies your inner kid!

Old Cape Henry Lighthouse
Great views of the beach and surrounding area.

First Landing State Park
Extensive trails, camping, etc.

Naro Cinema
Great old theater, reasonably priced concessions, interesting films.

Busch Gardens
If you're a coaster lover, like me, this is a must!

Colonial Williamsburg
You just may appreciate it more this go around!

Where to Eat:

Chick's Oyster Bar
Hang out on the deck, pick shrimp, enjoy life.

The Bier Garden
No picture, just trust Palindrome Bride. Order the spatzle.

Start with the she crab soup, you won't be sorry.

The Williamsburg Winery
Eat at the tavern and enjoy some Virginia ham with a lovely table red.

Have you been to Hampton Roads?  Would you consider a local honeymoon?

*All photographs sourced from the accompanying links to each location.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Palindrome Then and Now

I've been thinking recently about what I thought marriage would be like.  My dreams.  My reality.  My expectations from high school are deeply contrasted by my current expectations.

My relationship thoughts have largely been shaped by my faith.  When I was in Jr. High, I was counting down the days until I turned 16.  My parents had promised that I could date at that age and I figured I'd have a high school sweet heart, go to college, marry that sweet heart, and have babies - just like my parents.  Awwwwwww.

Around the time I turned 16, our church got swept up  into the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" movement.  It may sound crazy to some, but the main idea was a throwback to formal courting where the gents initiated, parents chaperoned, etc.  Needless to say, I was never asked out in high school.
The summer I was 16, our youth group visited an orphanage in Mexico.

I thought that college would be my ticket to my MRS.  I had (actually still have) strong desires to be a mother.  I think I'm just hardwired this way.  So I made a plan.  I'd meet a nice boy at Bible study my freshman year.  Sophomore year, we'd hang out more, become best friends.  Junior year, we'd become more than friends.  Senior year, we'd be engaged and I'd plan a wedding for the weekend after graduation.  Ha!
At Palindromaid S's (and Mr. Palindrome's!) graduation with my MRS plan gone to crapola.

Now, I see that love doesn't follow my plans.  I realize that my high school and college dreams didn't reflect what I truly wanted.  The thing I wanted most was to meet a man who would challenge me, be my companion, love me, and love building a family with me.  The path and timing wasn't the most important thing, but I focused a lot on that in my love immaturity.

Our love story started in college but unfolded over the next 5 years.  We moved a combined total of 11 times during that time, sometimes in opposite directions.  It wasn't my ideal path, but it was my dream.
Mr. Palindrome and me circa 2006

How have your thoughts about relationships matured since high school?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Corn Dogs, Lambs, and Colas Oh My!

Cola and I both got the corn dog platter.  This platter supposedly had 4 mini corn dogs on it.  When the platters came out with 4 full size corn dogs EACH, we just about died.  After reviving ourselves we talked shop about weddings with readers, hubbies, and relatives.  Then us North Carolina gals tried to talk the Colas into moving to the east coast!  The mountains, the beaches, the history, the long summers, the baseball, the jobs, the affordable housing!  Seriously, the state government should put us on their payroll because I think we were pretty convincing.  After lunch we grabbed a quick picture overlooking the stadium. We couldn't have coordinated our lovely autumanl sweaters even if we had tried!
 Lovely reader, mcnetn3, Cola and Lamb
Photograph by Mr. Cola

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the meet up!  Let's try to do it again near the holidays!

*Sorry for the sun flare, if I knew more about editing, I probably could have fixed it better.  Oh well, Cola looks extra angelic here :).  And to the lovely reader whom I couldn't match with a handle after the fact, I've learned my lesson and I'll be writing those down during lunch from now on!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Real Life Palindrome Style

I really enjoy when bloggers I follow give some insight as to what their life is like outside of their blog.  I like the snippets of what you eat, favorite movies, etc.  I also feel like I owe you a juicy secret.  Not some secret like, "I'm addicted to Mountain Dew" (I'm not anyways, but I consider it to be a bad secret).  I'm talking about the juicy kind of secret that makes you think, "Wow, she covered that neuroses pretty well!" 

My secret is that I have an obsession with toe nails.  It's an unhealthy obsession with unhealthy toe nail hygiene.  I trim my toe nails to the quick once a week and clean them out religiously.  I NEVER cut the cuticles on my toe nails.  I will cut them anywhere in our house that is convenient to me, much to the chagrin of Mr. Palindrome who constantly yaps at me to keep track of the clippings.  I wish that the nail obsession stopped at my own two feet.  However, it extends to everyone whose toes I see.  Summer is the height of my obsession, as I look at everyone's toes sprouting from their sandals.  Irregular cut nails? I want to file them.  Corns? I want to buff 'em.  Long? Oh, please for the love of all that is good in this world, please let me cut them!
While I have contained this urge with strangers, those closest to me cannot escape my homicidal toe nail bent.  As children, my Dad would cut our toe nails after our Saturday night baths.  When I was old enough, I cut my own and my brother's.  Until I left for college, and even when I returned home from breaks, I would still cut my brother's toe nails.  Now I cut Mr. Palindrome's.  Sometimes I cut them while he sleeps so that he won't fidget. 

When I see my toe nail cutting handy work, I feel a deep sense of accomplishment and pride.  It's irrational.  I know.  The ends of beautifully groomed toe nails totally justifies my crazy-clipping-while-you-sleep means though.  Besides that, I deal with Mr. Palindrome's ear cleaning q-tip obsession, so I think we're even.

Tell me a secret/real life obsession of yours!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Palindromes Featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs

I just heard from our coordinator, Pavaune (of Invited Events), that our wedding was featured on Elizabeth Anne Designs in the local Richmond blog section!  Some of the Palindromaids are featured about half way down in our photobooth :)
Check out the entire post here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weddingbee Meet-up with the Colas in Durham!

Hey Y'all!  My southern lingo is improving, and now it's time for me to show off my southern hospitality as we welcome the Colas to the area!  Mr. and Mrs. Cola are visiting this Saturday and we'll be meeting them at Tobacco Road in downtown Durham to show off our fun city, ball park and local brewskies!  Join us for lunch and bring the SO!

Tobacco Road Sports Cafe
280 South Magnum Street
Durham, NC
Saturday, November 6, 12:30 pm

Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Finds - Feeling Blue

I'm not down, but I have been thinking a lot about my dining room decor which features my collection of Liberty Blue china.  It's such a rich blue and I've been playing with coordinating colors like white and yellow.  So this week, I took my china inspiration to create a blue transferware wedding.  In addition to the features, I can envision mismatched china place settings, loads of white hyndrangeas, and perhaps royal paper lanterns.  The feel would be somewhere between casual and formal, perhaps well suited for an afternoon garden wedding.  I know I show so many vintage dresses, but they're so stunning, I have a hard time passing them by!

Clockwise from L:
Timeless Vixen - 1950s Vintage Chiffon Party Dress
Lkfarnsworth - Dutch Masters Earrings
Appleberry Ink - Contemporary Paisley Invitations
Me and Matilda - Super Skinny Necktie

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Why Do They All Say Polyester?

I needed a break.  The kind of break where you chill with a girlfriend, gripe about life, and then spend all your allowance in one place.   Em and I also wanted to check out bridesmaid dresses, so we killed two birds with one stone by meeting at the Jackson Outlets.  We hit up Bridals by Michelle Renee to try on some Alfred Angelo dresses. The dresses were arranged by color and length, so we had to go a dwess huntin' for the alfwed angewhoas.  We made out better than Elmer Fudd though.  We soon had 5 dresses of varying lengths and styles.

Like a good blogger, I had my camera in my purse.  Like a bad blogger, I never took it out.  We got carried away with our girl talk.  Life, love, ups and downs - in and out of dresses.  Then no pictures.  So sorry. I did make note of the styles we tried on though.

Dress 1 wasn't an Alfred Angleo, but it was pretty cute, so we decided to try it on anyways.
 This Dessy D445 style was super cute on, but there were two draw backs.  In person, the taffeta was quite shiny and we weren't sure if we liked it.  We didn't hate it, but it wasn't a pro.  The sweet heart neckline was cute and good for my figure, but it was also coming up a little low.

Dress 2 we picked out because of the length and the bow.
 Style 7128 was cuter on the hanger than on my body.  The bow looked a little juvenile and covered up my waist.  The puckers on the skirt were right over my pooch area, unnecessarily drawing attention.  Not our favorite, but on the right girl, could be great.

Dress 3 drew us in because of the obi style sash and wrap around skirt.
 Style 7126 hugged me in all of the right places.  It accentuated my waist, the skirt had some interest, and the sweetheart neckline was more modestly cut.  

To contrast some of the satin we were choosing, we decided to try Dress 4, this longer chiffon dress.
 Style 7076 looked quite pretty on and had a flowy quality.  I don't think the straps were Emily's favorite and the looser fit all around wasn't my favorite, but it's a lovely dress.  Now that I've been married, I'm much more conscious of wearing empire-ish waists and baby doll tops because people start to assume I've been baking if you know what I mean ;).

Dress 5 was a last minute addition and caught our eye with a lace up back.
Similar to the third dress, this Style 7131, was very flattering around the waist.  The layered folds on the bodice lay very prettily and the lace up back would make for easy alterations. 

Dresses 3 and 5 made it to our short list.  Em is still thinking about the length, but I would be very happy with either dress.  We felt like it was almost too easy.  We were in and out in about 30 minutes.  It could also be because we were woefully unprepared.  We hadn't poured through the website and we weren't looking for specific styles.  Neither of us are very girly, so we didn't know the fabric types.  We finally resorted to looking at the tags, which all said, "Polyester."  I used my best wedding blogging skills, to then guess at the proper names.

While the dresses were fun, the best part was spending time with Em, especially since we missed this experience during my wedding.  Even if you're not into dresses, I would recommend spending an afternoon hanging out with your best girls as you prep for your wedding.

What was your bridesmaid dress shopping experience like?  Any other Alfred Angelo bridesmaids out there?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday Finds - Modern Pumpkin

If I had wed in October, I certainly would have decorated with pumpkins.  Since not everyone enjoys literal holiday decorating, I wanted to take pumpkin to the modern edge for an October wedding.  I think my favorite item in this collection is the custom made cake topper.  The detail is exquisite and if you look through the shop, there's such a diversity of characters and styles. 

Clockwise from Top L:
Zoe and Doyle- Titanium and Orange Pearl Band
Live in Style - Penelope Feather Headband
interplantations - Rehearsal Dinner Invites
Milk Tea - Custom Keepsake Wedding Cake Topper

Monday, October 18, 2010

Priscilla of Boston Grand Opening in Raleigh

Mr. Palindrome's classmate's wife (second cousin once removed, just kidding, but seriously that seems a lot more removed that it actually is) works at the lovely, new Priscilla of Boston wedding salon in Raleigh.  She graciously extended invitations to their grand opening soiree to the other wives in the program and was a fun hostess to boot!
 I've never been to a grand opening before, so I had zero expectations.  This opening made me want to attend them all the time!  Live models, as seen in the photograph above, were stationed in the front windows and side rooms.  They changed through out the evening for a variety of looks.  I spoke with representatives from Bailey's where they have jewelry in addition to fine china and crystal for which couples can register.  Turns out our husbands do similar work so we talked more about that than weddings - pretty clichéd old married woman talk eh? 
I was drawn to this sweet table featuring items from Lavender and Lace because the jar of sprinkling silk is the exact same jar that my mom gave me as a wedding present.  I recently used it for the first time on our sheets and Mr. Palindrome kept asking me how I made the bed so comfortable.  While changing to nice clean sheets probably had something to do with it, I like to think the sprinkling silk took it to the next level.  Anysprinkling, they had a lovely display that gave me some ideas for keepsake type gifts for some upcoming weddings, especially with the 20% off coupon the representative gave to attendants.
Shannon from Charlotte's and I talked for a long time about invitations, weddings, moving for yourself, moving on after love, and Wisconsin.  For real, people (like Shannon) from Wisconsin are just so nice.  I was particularly drawn to the orchid invitations below as I start to think about planning a shower for Emily.  The shop does design and printing as well which could save me a lot of trial and error.
The floral arrangements were breathtaking.  Can I remember which florist did them?  Nope.  Bad blogger, bad bride.  I'm sure if you were intent on finding out, you could sleuth around and find the names.  Funny how I don't write this sort of thing down anymore now that it's not life and death my wedding we're talking about.  Oh, and the food.  And the champagne.  Delish.
At the very front of the store, right when you walked in after being shown in by a gentlemen in tail coats (posh, no?) sat a huge display of mini cupcakes from the Cupcake Shoppe Bakery.  I wasn't a a fan of the funny, bushy dress on the top, but boy was I ever a fan of the coconut cupcakes!  They took me right back to my wedding.  I could have eaten 10, but I stopped myself after a respectful 3.  I almost shoved a few in my purse but the models were staring like hawks. 
I also met the Publisher/Editor of Southern Bride & Groom, Donna Parks.  We talked blogs and I picked up the latest issue.  For Triangle couples, it has a good catalog of local venues and companies - a nice place to find inspiration in print, though quite traditional and leaning towards the WIC.  Rounding out the industry representatives, a DJ spun tunes in the front of the shop while a photobooth rental guy hung out in a side room.  Finally, I decided to examine the dresses, the real reason why I drove out to Raleigh in the first place.
Cocktail length dresses reigned supreme all along one wall and my neuroses was satisfied by their rainbow order on the rack.  There were a lot of cooler tones with navy and grey being choice colors.  Ruching along the top, ruffles, and bubble skirts also displayed prominently.
I couldn't help but love this little number even if I don't think it has mass appeal or practicality.  The feathers just slay me - what a great take on the flapper style, but with a more ethereal, dare I say angelic, flavor.  Again, so sorry not to know the designer, but it was such an afterthought of "ooooh, pretty."  To try it on, Priscilla of Boston takes appointments and is located at:
Priscilla of Boston - Raleigh
2023 Cameron Street
Raleigh, NC 27605
There were plenty of short dress styles to choose from amidst the sea of long gowns - some enticing enough to make me want to try them on myself.  It made me nostalgic for my gown, which I haven't felt even a pang of until now.

Have you been to a bridal shop opening?  What do you local brides think of Cameron Village's wedding industry resources?