About Me

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I'm a 23 year old Business Systems Analyst planning a DIY-heavy wedding to the love of my life on 9 . 10 . 11. Other then wedding planning, I spend most of my time trying to stay in shape or playing with my 3 dogs...Gabby, Dudley, and Tyson. I hate cleaning and almost never go a day without wearing something purple, and I hope you can keep up with my ADD blogging style!

Monday, January 31, 2011

I NEED a Day-of-Coordinator

But I don't think I should have to pay a small fortune for one.

First of all, here are the reasons I need a Day-of-Coordinator:
  1. I'm a DIY bride which means I'm making/providing most of my decorations.  That doesn't mean I want to be setting them up the day of.
  2. We're having our ceremony and reception in the same space which will be transformed during cocktails; I need a ring-leader for that transformation (that is not me).
  3. I have a crazy sister who may need to be escorted out.
  4. I'm sure there are other reasons I just can't think of right now..
And here is the reason I don't think I should have to pay a small fortune for one:
  1. I'm planning the whole thing!  They literally just need to execute my plans, and since I'm totally OCD I'll probably have a printed out guide on exactly what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how to do it (with pictures).
I don't need someone with vision.  Between MOH Sam and myself, we have enough vision for 5 weddings!  I need someone who follows direction well.  If there is anyone reading this from the greater Pittsburgh area who's good at following directions I'd be more than happy to toss you a few hundred bucks to help execute my wedding, haha.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Promise I'm Not Just Being a Drama Queen...

...but I think my sister is going to ruin my wedding.

Let's back up a few steps though.  I have two older sisters, R and K.  They are 28 and 26 respectively.  Neither are married, they actually live together.  Growing up, since they were close in age, and then I was 4 years behind K, they had a tendency to team up on me, but whatever, that's what older sisters do, right?  Well, the easiest way to say this is that our relationship is at it's best when I'm over 500 miles away and we really only get to talk on the phone, we don't actually get to see each other.  That's why it is so awesome that I moved over 500 miles away from my family!

Sometimes when we all get together, it's fun, we laugh, there's no fighting, like so:
Myself, R, and K - Personal Photo
We're having fun, laughing, sitting on each other...but sometimes it isn't so fun.  Sometimes it's explosive and ends like this:
Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but needless to say, it doesn't always end pretty.

Well, I don't think K is dealing very well with the idea of her little sis getting married before her.  And to make things worse, R is dating a really great guy right now and they're super happy, whereas K is still alone.  It must suck.  Seriously it must, but know what would suck even worse?  Having your sister cause a scene at your wedding by getting too drunk and acting like an idiot.  And K is very well known for getting too drunk (doesn't take much, she's tiny compared to me and R) and doing stupid/crazy/mean shit.

Well, I happened to have to come up to good old Massachusetts for work for the beginning of this week, so I just had them purchase the plane ticket for Saturday so I could spend the weekend with my family/friends.  Yesterday, R, K, and I were sitting in my Mom's kitchen (Mom was there too) and I joked with R that her boyfriend better not propose to her at my wedding and steal my thunder (and that really is just a joke, any guy that knows R would know that would be the last place she wanted to be proposed to) and K chimes in, "I used to tell S (her a$$hole ex-boyfriend) that he should propose to me at your wedding, and he said he wouldn't want to cause that kind of drama, and I always said, compared to the amount of drama that's going to go down that day, you proposing would be nothing!"

And I just stared at her.  I've already discussed with MOH Sam (who has seen her drunk and violent (towards me)) we might need to lock her in a bathroom or something if she gets out of control, and he's basically like, don't even worry about it, haha, because he's the best MOH EVER!  But that comment really stung.

What drama does she think will being going down on my wedding day?  Like seriously, part of me is afraid she's already planning some crazy stunt, and I just want to marry my fiance and have a fun time afterwards with my family and friends.  Why is she anticipating, not to mention bringing up in a cruel voice, my wedding day to be a drama filled circus?

Seriously, as I type this I just want to cry.  You would have to know my sister to know what she's capable of, and I'm not about to air her dirty laundry (her dirtier laundry at least) out on the Internet.  But my Mom is in denial ("Oh she didn't mean anything by it, she was kidding, she wouldn't dare pull something at your wedding"), sister R just doesn't want to deal with it, and my Dad is basically like "Midgie (he calls me midget, which is funny because although when I was a child I was short, I am now the tallest...I'm actually almost as tall as him) just don't worry about it.  The second she even toes the line of being inappropriate I will have her put in a hotel."  But I don't want my Dad to have to miss half my reception because my sister is being a drunken idiot.  And I just don't want to have to deal with that kind of behavior ever, never mind at my own wedding.

I know the best I can do is hope for the best and trust that my family will at least take care of it if something does happen, because I've learned by now you can't try and control the actions of other people.  It just makes me really sad.  I look at my fiance's family and they are all so close, and get along, and they truly care about one another, and I am so lucky to be joining a family like that, and to be accepted into their family as if I always belonged with them.  But I'm hurt, and ashamed of the fact that my sisters and I just do not get along.  I called my fiance earlier today and told him I don't want to have to see my Mom or sisters until we're doing portraits, and I'm completely serious in that, and it's horrible.  But they stress me out, and push my buttons, and even though it's pathetic that I don't want to have them there while I get ready for my wedding, I don't think I can do it without having someones head explode.

Sorry for having such a down in the dumps post, but I'm not going to lie, getting this off my chest without having my feelings instantly dismissed (which is what my Mom does) makes me feel better...so thanks for listening!  Just keep your fingers crossed for me that nothing actually happens at the wedding...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wedding Central Moved to the Basement

So, after I organized all my wedding stuff and then proceeded to get to work on my Well Wishes Tags  by crawling around on the floor of the spare bedroom (since there's no readily available desk space) I decided I wanted to (once again - we've only lived in this house for a year and a half and I've already painted the basement twice) re-decorate the basement.

Some people have "Man Caves" but since when we moved in together (and thus combined all our furniture) we decided to keep fi's couches, etc. in the main living space, the basement became mine.  At the time I had an awesome couch that was super comfy, but was far too big for the space.  It fit, it just didn't look very nice.  And there are built in shelves where I put my books and other random stuff.  I wish I had taken a before picture, because the transformation after I Ikea-ed the hell out of it is AMAZING.  But, alas, I forgot to take pictures of the space with the big green couch.  But here it is now:
Personal Photo
And then the wall directly across from this space didn't really change much but here it is:
Personal Photo
That cat bed is really Charles' thrown (he's King of the basement, haha) and I have the BEST computer ever.  It is an HP Touchsmart All-in-one Desktop.  It has a (huge) touch screen, and there's no computer tower...it's all built right in there.  It also comes with a wireless mouse and keyboard.  This lack of wires is essential for me since Charles (King of the Basement) really enjoys chewing wires.  And when I want to work on my computer I roll my chair over (from the desk) and work right on the ledge.  It's actually at the perfect height for my 5' 8" self.

Then if I turn directly to the right, you see dog central:
Personal Photo
We crate our dogs when we leave.  It is safer for our stuff (3 dogs on the loose with no supervision can get into anything) and safer for them (because God only knows what they would ingest).  And it just so happens that 3 crates fit ever so nicely in our basement.

Now onto some detail shots.  First, workout central:
Personal Photo
See, I really am addicted to purchasing workout DVDs (and Amazon.com has bundles of fitness DVDs on sale today...I might give in to the temptation...)

And my book shelves:
Personal Photo
And a close up of my pretty quote plaques (that cost me next to nothing at the Family Dollar when I first moved into my old apartment):
Personal Photo
And directly to the right of that is Cat central:

Personal Photo
Which now leads me to Wedding Central.  If you remember, the last time you saw all my wedding stuff, it looked like this:
Personal Photo
Well now it's even better:
Personal Photo

Personal Photo
And inside the new Ikea Desk we have:
Personal Photo

Personal Photo
I couldn't be happier.  Everything is SUPER organized, and I have a large desk to work on.  Not to mention the couch is a pull-out so if we have people over we have an extra bed.  And, you can wash the cover of the couch super easily which is awesome because it usually has 2 cats lying on it all day.

And I don't plan on never crafting again after the wedding, I really enjoy it.  Not to mention it's just nice to have the room finally look like it is finished, cohesive, and has a purpose (which I promise it didn't before).  My first project in the basement will be a test run (that may just be the real thing if I love how they turn out) of the guys' boutonnieres.  (And can I just let you know I cannot spell boutonnieres for the life of me; I always have to use spell check.)

Has your wedding planning lead to any redecorating?  Because if it hasn't, I totally recommend you claim a space, Ikea the heck out of it, and make it wedding central....because it's awesome!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fitness Recap Friday!

This week turned out to be a quasi-bust.  Not as bad as last week, but still not as good as I would have liked for it to be.  But anyhow, here we go:

Saturday - I did 45 minutes of Kundalini yoga.  I didn't do the weird cardio segment, but I did everything else.

Sunday - no working out.  We went and hung out with fi's family for his Great Grandpap's Birthday (yeah, he's like 93, and a Pearl Harbor survivor...how cool is that!)

Monday - I did Week 1 Day 1 of the Hundred Pushup Program (since last Friday I failed and didn't do Day 3, so I had to start Week 1 over) and 40 minutes of my Kickboxing DVD.  The cardio segments in this DVD are awesome.  I really love it!

Tuesday - Jillian Michaels and I hadn't hung out in a while so I decided to do No More Trouble Zones.  Seriously, I forgot how hardcore this workout is.  My body wanted to cry by the end of it (especially since I was such a slacker last week).  If you want an all over toning workout, you cannot go wrong with this DVD!


Wednesday- Since I was still physically exhausted from Tuesday's workout, I just did Week 1 Day 2 of the Hundred Pushup Program and then the stretching segment of my Pilates DVD.
Thursday - I had the worst day ever at work so instead of exercising fi and I went to the Hard Rock Cafe and I had a few cocktails, ate a burger, and we split a brownie sundae.  It was the complete opposite of burning calories, but it made my day better...haha

Today - I'm not going to kid myself into thinking I'll really workout tonight.  But I have to do Week 1 Day 3 of the Hundred Pushup Program or else I'm going to have to do Week 1 again next week (which I'd rather not do).

Next week is going to be tough because I'm travelling for work, but at the same time I'll be at a hotel with a gym so I really should take advantage of it!

Did you have any good workouts this week?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Getting Ready for the Wedding Starts MONTHS in Advance!

And requires an appointment with a doctor...
Personal Photo of the actual exam room

Well, with a dermatologist, that is. I have a few issues we're working on. First, I occasionally get these massive under the skin swollen masses of horrible that take weeks to go away. They can be covered up easy enough since they aren't puss-filled, but they HURT!

They're technically called "cystic pimples" - Source
Then, I get baby version of those which are basically white heads. They don't hurt, but they come in clusters (mainly on my chin and along side my nose) and they suck...so I pop them (which is bad).

These are technically called Milia - Source
But, in my own defense, I am so good at popping my face that the Doc couldn't even tell that I do! And finally, I have a serious issue with underarm sweating. I've tried 'clinical strength' everything and it doesn't help...at all. And since no one wants a bride with pit-stains, I figured I should address that as well.

Well, my first appointment was three months ago. He gave me a pill for my skin, as well as a face wash and gel to use every night. This mixture of prescriptions really cut down on the big, painful guys but didn't do anything for the little, obnoxious clusters. And he gave me a prescription antiperspirant that made my underarms feel like they were on fire, so needless to say I couldn't handle that!

Yeah...it felt like that - Source

I went back this morning, and we went over what issues I'm still having and he decided to change it up a bit. I am going to continue the pill for at least another month, still use the nightly face wash, but he prescribed a new cream to use all over my face every night and I can now use the old gel to spot treat in the mornings if I feel a big, painful sucker coming.

The sweating is a whole different issue. Apparently the next step is...wait for it...BOTOX!

Okay, not that kind of Botox Injection - Source
In case you didn't know (because I didn't) if you get Botox injected in your armpits they won't sweat! But this is a total last resort, and he's probably going to have to duke it out with my insurance company for a few weeks and then get back to me. But if my insurance gives us the go ahead, it will just be a few injections in my armpits every 6 to 9 months and no more sweating! This will open up so many more options in my wardrobe, it's insane!
Did you go to the extreme of seeing a doctor to prep for your big day? Or am I just nuts...?  Especially for being excited at the prospect of getting Botox in my armpits, haha.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My Name is MandaMack, and I Have an Internet Shopping Problem...

Seriously, I do.

It's instant gratification on a completely different level from real life shopping.  The moment you think of something you want, you can find it on the Internet and buy it (thanks to laptops and smart phones).  Yes, you may not actually receive it for a few days, but you own it right away and you get a package in the mail!  Who doesn't like getting packages?  Seriously, it's like Christmas!

On top of that it is so much easier to dig through an online store then it is to find what you want in a real store.  Take DSW for instance.  On DSW.com you can instantly sort out all the shoes that are in your size, in the color you want, and the style you want.  Then you can line them up by either what other people have thought of them or by price.  YOU CAN'T DO THAT IN THE ACTUAL STORE!  And if the shoes don't fit, I usually just bring them back to a real store, return them, and order a different size online.  It helps that my addiction has lead me reach "Premier Reward Status" with DSW, which means I get free overnight shipping on all of my orders.

But, with the wedding coming up, I can't be frivolously spending money on random stuff that I decide that I want/need throughout the day...no matter how good of a deal I can find it for on overstock.com!  But what I can shop for is WEDDING RELATED STUFF!  That way when fi gets home and texts me that there are 4 packages waiting for me I can just reply "it's for the wedding" and he doesn't ask anymore questions.

Well yesterday I was Internet-browsing and went to the Joann Fabrics site.  And right there on the home page..."Web Exclusive Sale" and even better "Up to 40% off paper crafting supplies"!!!!!!!  Someone who is going to DIY her wedding invitations can never have enough paper crafting supplies!  So I went a little crazy and ordered the following:

Crop-A-Dile Eyelet & Punch Kit - Lime: This I know I need to use on my well wishes tags so that the hooks don't get ripped off of the paper.  I'm sure I'll find somewhere else to use it along the way though.
Crop-A-Dile Corner Chomper Tool: I need this guy for my invites, since I don't want any part of them to have square corners.
Sizzix Texture Boutique Embossing Machine Beginner's Kit: Because who doesn't want to personally emboss the flaps of the envelopes as well as any other random little tid-bit of their DIY Invitation Suite! (Not to mention, I can use my Cricut to make custom embossing folders...so I can literally emboss anything my heart desires)
But Joann's wasn't the only place I went a little crazy.  I also surfed on over to Ebay to look for beads to use in the boutonnieres (since I'll be doing a practice run - that may turn into the real thing if I really love them - in the middle of February).  And I purchased some of these lovelies:

As well as some of these:


And a handful of these:


Needless to say, I totally gave in to my Internet shopping addiction yesterday, and I only ended up with 1 thing that isn't wedding related...

But they're adorable, and I can wear them to work (because they're close toe), and I had $25 worth of rewards certificates built up so they only cost me $25 and the shipping was free because of my Premier Rewards Status.  If that doesn't justify buying a new pair of shoes, I just don't know what does!

Do you love Internet shopping as much as I do, or do you prefer brick and mortar stores?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

With THIS Ring...The Third Installment!

Just in case you have yet to read parts 1 and 2, make sure you do so before reading this post (because that would be like reading the last chapter of a Harry Potter book first, which should be illegal!)


Either she shipped it super quick to make up for toying with my emotions all last week or she's just much better at shipping in a timely manner than following through on promises to finish rings.  I don't really care either way, because I got my ring!  And I love it!  And before I show you the oodles of pictures I took yesterday I have to say, that woman must have an amazing camera.  Because the pictures she sent me showed every little detail, and I had trouble just getting a decent shot.  I might practice with the macro settings on my camera and eventually post more pictures (because I'm officially obsessed with this ring) but for now, this is the best I've got:
I like that my center stone on my e-ring is like sparkling in this one

Fi says the yellow flower washes out the picture...I say it's artsy! haha

Sooo pretty - I think they look perfect together

Seriously...could they be any more perfect for each other?

Oh look, another pretty flower

Artsy yellow flower shot

Do you know how hard it is to take a picture of a ring on your own hand?

I think this is my favorite of the bunch

Again...taking pictures of your own hand is impossible

I get it, I suck at taking pictures of my own hand

This is also in the running for a favorite picture

Little shaky...oops

I think this one is super artsy looking...sooo shiny!

I think this is the best of the "on finger" shots


I really like this one too...flowers and rings just belong in pictures together

The flash washed this one out, but look how shiny it is!!!

So feminine and pretty...

Mleh...I was really trying to get a good hand shot...

This one looks so dramatic
Sorry for my crappy photography skills, obviously I do not have a career as a wedding photographer in my future.  And these were the better pictures...I took a lot more then 20 in all, haha.  And as you can probably tell, I'm obsessed with the ring.  Which is why right after it gets appraised fi is locking it in his safe so I don't try to start wearing it before we're actually married...hahaha

Do you have any tips on how to take good ring pictures?  I have a great camera, I just kind of suck at it!