Chaos Theory

Hit the 25 day marker.

As I searched for signature beverages, I threw on Chaos Theory, forgetting I'd seen it before. Cosmic timing.  The story, the setting, the characters and this song (The Damnwells) absolved every cold feeling I've had lately.

I won't apologize for being a sap.

Danny & Annie

There are 102 more days until the "big" one arrives. Feelings of anxiety, excitement, paranoia and anticipation are beginning to show themselves in the day-to-day, much to my dismay. As I start to lose myself to the vital importance of table centerpieces and ceremony decor, Valentine's Day shows up at just the right time to remind me of the meaning of this big event.

Dont' get me wrong, I'm not a supporter of the sales-focused holiday, but there is a nugget of greatness in being forced to show your appreciation and affection to that special someone who is always around, and often taken for granted.

Yesterday, as I was still trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do for his Valentine's Day gift, a friend posted a video on her Facebook page with the warning: "This is adorable. and is likely to make you cry." She was so right, but my Valentines dilemma was solved.

I decided to use this as his make-shift Valentine's card and pop by with an a la carte sushi meal and carton of wine (don't judge) courtesy of Whole Foods, and preview our Dexter marathon with the video below. After we watched it together, he told me that this would be us one day. I believe him. By the end of the night, full on Dexter, wine and rolls, he told me this was his best V-Day ever. (#ftw!)

The story of Danny and Annie captures everything that I hope he and I become when we grow up: in love despite every circumstance every day; forever. He reminds me that it's possible.

Happy belated V-Day. Enjoy.


Coming along nicely...
One hundred more to go, then to figure out the colors... hmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Seven Tips: One White Dress

I feel bad for neglecting this blog as long as I have, but I've had no inspiration - no real updates I felt worthy to share. If my explanation doesn't suit, the 9-5 (or, in my case, the 7-4), summer - now fall - lovin' and the general chaos of life are also on my list of excuses.

Since my last post, finding the perfect outfit has been my primary objective. The parameters of Operation White Wedding include(d):
  • Casual/Comfortable/Classy/Color (not white)/(un)Common
  • Cost: $500-$550 range (If using's price scale, it'd be represented as one "$")
  • Cut: Devote self to gym and high-veg diet plan (15 pounds to date!)
Initially, my eyes had been set on this fabulous Betsy Johnson dress (below) that she had never made for purchase. I spent hours searching and meeting with dress makers with the hope that they would be able to convince me of their ability to recreate this dress for my body from these five small pictures.
Dress - Betsy Johnson; images from Brides magazine, Spring 2007
Unfortunately for this dress, it wasn't in the cards. Great idea, but not enough guts to execute. I realized that by focusing on a specific fabric, I was restricted to a certain price range, so I refocused and found "it."

For those on the gown hunt, here are a few pointers for finding "the dress" without sacrificing your budget:

  • Prioritize. Decide what's the most important thing about your dress. Is it the cost? Cut? Color? Initially, I thought that finding something unique was my goal. When I learned that eyelet cotton + custom = expensive, I realized that price was my priority element.
  • Don't settle. Your dress is out there, so arm yourself with the fact that your qualifiers will be matched - it certainly takes the pressure off.
  • Try it all on. Keep your options open until you've tried it on. What I thought I wanted (see Betsy Johnson pics above) wasn't the most flattering shape, and I ended up picking something that wasn't in my original silhouette list.
    • Look everywhere. I spent way too many hours online looking for dresses similar to the one I liked, but I also looked at once-worn stores as well, such as Recycled Bride, White XChange, OnceWed and PreOwnedWeddingDresses
    • Get creative. For a custom design on a DIY budget, start with Etsy for up-and-coming designers with great prices and savvy needle skills. Another great place I found was Aria Dress - affordable, with great fabrics and cute styles for brides/bridesmaids. 
    • Walk away. If it's not in your price range, don't give in - call around first. If this were a car, you'd get a price check. This is a dress you're going to wear one time. It's worth the investigation. Check with bridal salons in other areas to find out what they would charge for the dress. Each county and state has different tax rates. The farther the salon is from a metropolis, the more likely you'll get a steal of a deal. 
    • Verify the facts and the source. Honest and reputable salons will tell you the name and style of dress. Take that info and research bridal salons that sell that designer in other counties and states (I called ones I would be visiting and states I knew people in).
    My scavenger hunt for the perfect deal resulted in a savings of more than $150! Salon #1 quoted me at $698 (excluding tax). Salon #2 ordered me the exact same dress for $560 (including tax)!  In the end, I guess it was worth all the hassle... Now, to get to the gym. Bleghck.

    Rules of Marriage

    Today has been a blah day of catch-up at the homestead... baked some beer bread, made spinach dip, watched great (and not-so-great) rom-coms from the '90s and did a little research on marriage laws for the Big Day.

    Here's a list of resources on Illinois/McHenry County - where our event is taking place:
    After reading through these I did a little research and came across some other laws that seem to be true and active, in addition to being totally ridiculous:

    • In Illinois, it is illegal to speak English, "American" is the official language. 
    • In Oblong, Illinois, it's punishable by law to make love while hunting or fishing on your wedding day.
    • In Alexandria, Minesota, no man is allowed to make love to his wife with the smell of garlic, onions, or sardines on his breath. If his wife so requests, law mandates that he must brush his teeth.
    • Supposedly in Nogles, Arizona, it is illegal to wear suspenders.
    • A state law in Illinois mandates that all bachelors should be called master, not mister, when addressed by their female counterparts. 
    • In Eureka, Illinois, a man with a moustache may not kiss a woman. (This is supposedly true for Nevada as well.)
    • In Wisconsin, unless a customer specifically requests it, margarine may not be substituted for butter in a restaurant.
    • It is illegal for any member of the Nevada Legislature to conduct official business wearing a penis costume while the legislature is in session.
    • [When I came across this one, I began to doubt the legitimacy of these "laws"]: While riding in an elevator in New York,  you must talk to no one, fold your hands, and look toward the door.
    • And then, I found this one for North Carolina: It’s against the law to sing off-key.
    • And this one: In Virginia, tickling a woman is unlawful.
    • But this Utah law took the cake for me: Unless you have an official permit, you may not take a picture of a rabbit from January to April.