Friday, July 29, 2011

Fresh Idea Friday: Bridesmaid Agenda Gift Idea

Looking for a cute and easy way to ask your closest friends and family to stand up with you at your wedding? If your wedding date is more than a year away, find a cute agenda and mark the date in the calendar with a cute bookmark or simply a post-it tab. Write a personal note or simply say, "Will you be my bridesmaid?" on the date. If you know the other important wedding dates (i.e. showers, rehearsal dinners, bridesmaids luncheon, etc) go ahead and write those in as well. You can get all matching planners or mix it up based on your bridesmaid's personality. I love the ones Lilly Pulitzer makes! You can get them in two different sizes (price point $15.95 for the small and $24.95 for the large) and they come in so many fun prints! I’ve been using my Lilly agenda throughout 2011 and I LOVE it. The Lilly agendas are so pretty and colorful and there is plenty of space to write, which makes it fun to stay organized and easy to plan out your social calendar. I think it’s a useful and inexpensive present your bridesmaids will love! 

Lilly Pulitzer 2012 Agenda:
Hot Pink Luscious

Cost Saving Tip: If you choose to give your bridesmaids a hard back agenda, like those from Lilly Pulitzer, they may be heavy to ship. For bridesmaids that live out of town, chose an agenda that is small enough to put in a flat rate box. A small, flat rate priority mail box is $5.20.Looking for a cute and easy way to ask your 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thrifty Thursday: GasBuddy

For Thrifty Thursdays, we're going to send out some great tips on saving money while living poshly and purposefully. Our features will include cost saving suggestions for entertaining, weddings, and day to day life. First up, GasBuddy!

GasBuddy is an AWESOME, FREE application for your mobile device (although they have an online website as well) that allows you to find out the cheapest gas in your area. You can search by zip code or there is a "find near me" option that uses your GPS coordinates on your phone. GasBuddy provides a list of gas prices at nearby stations. GasBuddy relies on user input to update the prices and the list timestamps all the gas prices so you can see how current the price is. You can also search by fuel type if you have a diesel engine car. GasBuddy is available for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry (which should have everyone covered!).

I've been using this app for about 3 months and I think it's great! It keeps me from wondering, "is next gas station 6 blocks away going to be 20 cents cheaper?" It's also great for vacations to just to determine where the next gas station is on the road (to paradise, I hope!). So save those extra few pennies so you can treat yourself later down the road of life!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Failed Sour Dough

J's attempt at sour dough bread. He usually has more success when it comes to food.

That being said, homemade bread is absolutely delicious and a great way to avoid less than stellar ingredients like high fructose syrup and preservatives. Here is the easy honey bread machine recipe I used to replace J's cavern loaf.

Save the Date Cards

If you are planning a wedding on a budget or even just don't want to spend a fortune, you are probably looking for things to skip. My least favorite wedding item is the Save the Date. 

Reasons why I hate Save the Dates:

Pointless and waste of time 
You can tell the modern guests via email/wedding website and the older guests (like your parents friends) through word of mouth. Good news is most people are internet proficient and those who aren't probably only expect official invitations.

Waste of money
Let's say you are sending out 100 Save the Dates. Let's also assume they are simple one sheet cards (i.e. small and light). You are already looking at $44 for the postage alone! If the cards are $1.50 each, which is towards the lower end btw, that means your total cost is already around $200 after tax. 
Alternatively, you could do postcard Save the Dates. For 100 of those, you are looking at about $130 for cards, postage and tax (postcard postage is $0.29 each). 

I will not be sending Save the Date cards whenever I get around to having a wedding. In my opinion, that is another $130 I could put towards my shoes. It is a very easy decision when you frame it by the question "shoes I get to keep or piece of paper that will go in the trash?"

Check out the USPS First Class Postage page for more details on mailing invitations!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reception Dresses

Recently, brides have been opting to change into a second dress for their receptions. The key is to find something bridal but more conducive to your celebratory needs. Nordstrom's wedding department has some great options.

This Kate Spade dress is a silk blend and would be lovely for an afternoon garden reception. You can also re-wear by adding some colorful accessories, making it perfect for Easter or a party. This dress is a bit more expensive but it is so versatile that you will definitely find many occasions for wearing it.

Kate Spade

This Eliza J dress has lovely embroidery and beading. You could switch out your champagne wedding dress for this one and the color scheme would still match. The price is great, too!

Eliza J
If you are going for a more glamorous look for dancing, this Betsy and Adam dress is definitely a show stopper. With an interesting front and back, you need minimal accessories which will leave you free to dance the night away.

The Nordstrom online wedding department has a great selection of white reception dresses either for purchasing or inspiration. And always remember, a well fitting dress is a great dress so make sure to visit a seamstress at least a month in advance!

New Idea!

Hey y’all!

Melinda and I have decided to theme our days, so now Posh Purpose will be a haphazard collection of fun thoughts and organized themes.

Munchies Monday - Melinda and I will share some of our favorite recipes and some new ones, too
Trousseau Tuesday - Come read about dresses (wedding, bridesmaid, cocktail, etc), accessories and other looking good necessities
Wedding Tip Wednesday - Melinda and I will share some tips to make your wedding planning slightly less painful
Thrifty Thursday - We will be sharing some tips and reviews on how to save $ in your everyday life or for that special occasion
Fresh Idea Friday - Look for DIY and re-purposing advice along with decorating ideas for the home and events

We will also be posting monthly installments of "Let's Plan a Wedding" where we design an overall theme for a wedding (along with suggestions for where to find suitable items) and "Date Night!" which will include reviews of things to do in the Boston and D.C. areas.

Thanks for reading!

Munchie Monday: Pulled BBQ Chicken

So as the summer goes on, I find that I'm less and less likely to want to turn on the stove and heat up my whole apartment. If I had my way, I'd eat cereal or fruit salad every night, but when Mr. 3 is eating dinner with me the man wants some protein! As a result, I've put together the quickest possible dish I can -BBQ Pulled Chicken. I still have to turn the oven on, but I don't have to stand over a pot stirring. As a bonus, you can adjust the quantity based on how many guests/kids you have or make extra to take for lunch!


3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Lawry’s seasoning salt or your favorite chipotle seasonings if you like it with a kick
BBQ sauce of your choice (I like Trader Joe’s the best, because it has a smoky flavor to it)
Cooking spray
Hamburger buns (if you want sandwiches, I usually just eat mine with a fork)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a Pyrex dish with a light coat of cooking spray so the chicken doesn’t stick. Season your chicken on both sides with Lawry’s seasoning salt (no exact measurement, just make sure they get a nice sprinkle). Lay the chicken in the pan and slide it into the oven for 30 mins. Now run away into a cooler fully air conditioned room and sip a nice glass of lemonade while the cooking takes place!

After the chicken is done (make sure to check for pink in the middle, salmonella only sounds like a good diet plan), put one chicken breast into a room temp bowl and begin shredding with two forks. You can pause for a sip of lemonade and watch TV while you shred; it will take a few minutes to get through with the shredding.

Once you’ve shredded the chicken, pour your BBQ sauce over the chicken and mix together. Adjust the amount of sauce as you go to your taste.’re done! That’s it! Easy, inexpensive, quick, right? This can feed 4-5 people depending on the size of the chicken breasts. I usually get dinner for Mr. 3 and I plus two lunches from this recipe (I hear Briana and J love this recipe too!). Enjoy and stay cool!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How Much Does A Wedding Really Cost?

Weddings are expensive! I know this isn't exactly a newsbreaking story, but do you really know how much a wedding will cost? One useful resource, LearnVest Daily, is one of my favorite email subscriptions geared towards providing women with lots of intelligent advice on financial matters, including weddings. LearnVest has helpfully put out an article on the costs of a wedding. According to these ladies, the average engagement lasts 16 months which is probably to save up (or find a buyer for your kidneys) to fund the $30,000 average cost of a wedding (Check out this handy dandy tool. You can enter your zip code and find out the average cost of a wedding in your city.) Yikes!

Now say you aren't planning on having any high ticket items like having a horse and carriage, doves set free as a sign of your love, or filling every available surface with orchids and peonies - have you considered all of the hidden fees or underestimated your costs? For example, say you have 150 guests and you pick out basic cake that can feed that all of your guests. Cake decorators or venues will often charge a cake cutting fee of at least $2 per person. That's an increase of $300! If your cake decorator doesn't charge you a cake cutting fee, they may include a delivery fee that can be expensive.

Florists will also charge you a delivery fee. I have a friend who had both the wedding ceremony and reception at the church. She was quite surprised to receive a final bill that included two delivery charges for one location! Read your contracts, make sure you know what you are signing, and never be afraid to ask questions about what services or products the fees are going towards. Also, make sure to review your final bill and compare it to your contract, luckily for my friend she hadn't agreed to pay for these "two deliveries" and was able to reduce her bill.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bridesmaids Dresses That They Will Re-Wear (for real this time!)

Finding a dress that flatters all your friends and doesn't bust anyone's budget can be really difficult. I've been a bridesmaid 5 times and I've only reworn one of the dresses (once), because, let's be honest, 1) most dresses aren't work appopriate, 2) flattering (either in shape or color), and 3) have been photographed out the wazoo and posted for all the Facebook community to see (who wants to be seen at another event wearing the same thing?).

My approach to bridesmaids dresses is to find something at a main stream store (that they probably already shop at) so you can buy off the rack. J.Crew dresses have gotten really popular in recent years but they aren't carried in the store, so don't forget places like Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and Nordstrom. Some stores offer free in store alterations for credit card holders which will save your bridesmaids even more money (although, I wouldn't advise opening up a credit card account if you don't already have matter which kidney those desperate sales girls offer you).

So ladies, check out this great deal from the Monogram Collection at Banana Republic that I spotted last week at the mall. I thought it was a bargain at $165 and is now on sale for $110! I would totally re-wear this dress!

This dress comes in 4 different colors and is made of 100% silk. By being so basic, your maids will have a bunch of options for re-wearing this dress in the future. You can change out the belt and throw a crisp, white jacket over it for work, use the belt for another dress, or wear the dress to future weddings by changing up the accessories. If you are going to re-wear it in the future, make sure to update the look by avoiding a belt altogether and concentrating on big statement pieces like chandelier earrings and a bag in a contrasting color. It might even be a nice idea to gift your maids with these accessories to help them re-wear this dress again!

There is also a very pretty strapless option, but please don't forget your more...ahem, boobilicious friends. Nobody wants an eyeful in church.

Tip for Wedding Pictures

As I was browsing Sarah Beth's photography blog (by the way, she is amazing), I came across this wedding photography blog post with tips for brides and wedding photographers. Assign the Maid of Honor (or another helpful and detail oriented person) to gather up all the items you want for pictures. This way, you don't have to worry about giving the photographer your rings, something blue/borrowed/new, or any other items while you are preparing for your wedding.

Another ring solution

Previously, I wrote about an easy solution for the couple who wants a lovely but different engagement ring at a low price. However, mass produced rings are not for everyone. If you and/or your man are willing to put in a bit more effort, consider purchasing a loose gem stone and having a jeweler set it. Often, families have gold jewelry lying about not being used. If you bring that gold in, you save that much in gold prices.

The internet is an amazing thing. There are many wholesale gem sellers online and quite a few offer independent reports on the gems they sell. I particularly like the search function at Gem Select. They only offer AIGS reports on their gems, probably because they are located in Thailand along with AIGS. AIGS is not as well known as GIA but since Gem Select offers a no questions asked return policy, I would imagine the gems are accurately described. At least check out Gem Select's page on gemstones. It is very detailed and is even where I learned that blue topaz is rarely found naturally; most of the time, the blue topaz you see is irradiated white topaz. This informative page explains hardness of each gem so you can determine if it is suited to every day wear in your lifestyle.

Rhodolite Garnet
 You could purchase this 7 carat garnet (untreated) for $159, add AIGS report for $20 and have a jeweler set it in a simple white gold band for approximately $500. Now you have a beautiful engagement ring for under $700 and no one will have anything similar.

Also, if you are looking to upgrade later, a jeweler could easily reset this stone with a diamond pave halo. So sparkly!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

Since J's best friend is moving on Saturday, I decided to bake him some cookies. I hope he likes peanut butter and chocolate because these cookies are a bit overwhelming! I adapted a recipe from Southern Living based on what I felt like baking and what J had in his kitchen.


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (approx, do according to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 (12-oz.) packages semisweet chocolate morsels (I just guessed - add as much as the dough can handle)

I ate that lone one on the left right after taking this - Oh
the things I do for symmetry.

  • 1. Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter, peanut butter and sugars at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add eggs and 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla, beating until blended. I added the cinnamon here without thinking but you can also add it with the dry ingredients.
  • 2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended. Beat in morsels just until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
  • 3. Bake at 350° for 10 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to wire racks, and cool completely (about 15 minutes). My cookies were full tablespoons and I cooked them for about 11 minutes for soft gooey cookies.

The recipe above made 54 cookies but only 50 of mine survived. I'm not so careful when it comes to relocating the cookies post oven. I also am too impatient to let them cool completely. However, I would like to point out that broken cookies are just as delicious as unbroken cookies. It took me about an hour from start to finish but if you are on the slower side (I'm referring to you, Melinda) then you should allocate a bit more time.

First batch!

Reader Request: Romper Opinion

One of my favorite people (shout out to Lindsey B!) recently asked me to post something about bridezillas possibly making their bridesmaids wear rompers or onesies at a wedding. According to Miss Linny, "she is completely over the jumpsuit trend"...and hasn't seen even one that made her think "oh maybe they aren't so bad...not even Heidi Klum and certainly not the K-dash klan."

We here at Posh Purpose try to be fashion forward, but there are some things we just can't condone. To the best of my knowledge (and daily viewing), there are no blogs, magazines, or designers reporting the emergence of rompers or onesies as a possible bridesmaid outfit choice. Nor should there be. First of all, despite the one size fits all mentality...trash bags rarely fit anyone well. Think about how much trouble it is to find shorts and pants that fit; then think about the times you haven't been able to get the top of a dress to fit. Now sew them together...and have a romper! Now, I have seen one or two rompers on celebrities that looked cute, ON THEM, but somebody paid them to look that good. As a general rule, onesie wear does not look good on anyone over the age of 3.

Secondly, there are many logistical issues with rompers. There is already enough angst and stress around getting a bride with a huge puffy skirt or long train into a bathroom to potty. So, I can't possibly imagine trying to line up 5-10 (possibly drunk) bridesmaids who have to take their whole outfit off before they tinkle.* Anyone remember the overall trend from the 90s? You had to wear the overalls with one strap unhooked and tossed over your shoulder, supposedly to look cool, but from a practical standpoint also to give you a head start on disrobing in the bathroom. It's the same idea.

For you bridezillas who truly want to punish your bridesmaids with a strapless romper, you have to worry about the length of the pants. Heaven forbid someone steps on the back of the pants or your bridesmaid catches her hem on her one will be looking at you, the bride, when your maid flashes the entire guest list!

Despite all of these concerns, I CAN say that a romper episode would be much a appreciated edition of Say Yes to the Dress Bridesmaids (do you hear me TLC?).

*If you are thinking of putting the snaps in the crotch like they do for infants, you may have bigger problems that aren't covered by the Posh Purpose blog.

Bits from Behind the Scenes

Move over K. Middles....

Melinda: Mr. 3 says we need to think up a fluffier title for you than CFO. I think we should take the Chiefs out of them altogether and head straight for royalty.

Bri: OK

Melinda: I'm thinking you should be Duchess of China and Coin

Bri: OOO, I like it. We need to pick a sparkley version of Creative Director for you.

Melinda: How bout Countess of Candles and Color Palettes?

Bri: I like it! Lots of Cs.

Melinda: Does this mean we can wear tiaras now?*

Bri: Haha, of course!

*Note: See Melinda's profile page for guidelines on tiara wearing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

For those of you who dearly love a good checklist...

I recently picked up a copy of Real Simple Weddings after deliberating for about 5 minutes in the grocery store about the fiscal responsibility of shelling out $13.95 (+ 5% VA sales tax) for a magazine. I didn't have time to read the articles, but based on the pictures I was sold (I have a really bad case of shiny ball syndrome).

Cover to cover, the pictures are beautiful, the articles are timeless, and the suggestions and advice are sound. The magazine is filled with great features that will come in handy for planning your wedding including a guide to seasonal flowers and lists of helpful links for writing your vows, finding a DJ, and choosing favors. The magazine is organized according to wedding subject and provides etiquette guidance in each area as well as tons of inspirational photos.

Now for you ladies who cannot imagine life without checklists (or for that matter, checklists of your checklists), Real Simple has included a pull out insert with a planning calendar, a wedding budget worksheet, a photographer shot list, and a Big Day survival kit checklist. Also included is an alcohol purchase guide based on the number of guests and a reception soundtrack list with song suggestions.

Overall Assessment: Worth every penny (+tax)!

In recognition of their pain and suffering..

Doghouse Diaries

J's favorite spot is H&M and I hear Mr. 3 really enjoys all day excursions.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wedding Registry Checklist

Martha Stewart has compiled an amazingly thorough registry list. The list contains practically every basic item a newly wed couple will need for cooking, dining and entertaining. Martha Stewart also includes explanations of options brides will encounter when deciding on what exactly to put on the registry. Do you want to know the difference between a copper pot and a stainless steel pot? What about the quality of various cottons? You can find it all in this eight page list. The list also has space for recording selections (brand, style, quantity) which is great for keeping track of what you have already chosen or for including in a wedding scrapbook. One thing to note is that the list does not specifically suggest dish towels but does leave extra space in each category for miscellaneous that were not already mentioned.

Melinda will be basing her registry location on where she can get the Raspberry Ice KitchenAid. I encourage this behavior. In fact, we are currently decorating her dream kitchen around it :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sale Review: Pottery Barn Picks

As promised in yesterday's article on saving moo-lah by shopping seasonal sales, I've put together some of my favorite items that I spotted at Pottery Barn. If you live in the DC area, I highly suggest that you check out the Pottery Barn in Tysons Corner. It's the second largest store in the chain and I've almost talked myself into moving into the store (a la Eloise of the Plaza Hotel). As a bonus, this location has just set up it's new home theater display (think leather recliners with built in cup holders), so you may be able to talk your honey into going to the store and letting him pass some time there while you do your shopping. If he's like Mr. 3, he just needs his smart phone and the promise of a snack to keep him occupied until it's time to sherpa your packages to the car. But I are my overall impressions of Pottery Barn and a list of some of my favorite picks!

The Drawbacks: Even on sale, Pottery Barn's price point may be too high if you are purchasing a lot of materials or planning a large event. You will also have to go to the physical store location because the selection and price point online are not as good.

The Positives: Pottery Barn is great for picking up small touches and standout pieces. The store generally sells high quality goods that can be reused at future parties or given away as gifts. You can also find a lot of inspiration for home entertaining and wedding receptions by taking a walk through the store.

Time for my first pick! I looove the look of coral. This makes a great piece for a dinner party or wedding. These were still on the pricey side (around $30) and didn't include the candle. However, you can find much cheaper candles at craft stores or Walmart. This decoration is perfect for a clam bake, lobster feast, or low country boil. Offer them up as gifts to the people who help you out with your event or keep them for yourself to decorate your bathroom.

Love, love, love the wiring on this candle holder. Pottery Barn had this priced at $39 originally, but marked it down to $18.99. These would provide great lighting on long tables interspersed with some larger floral arrangements. You can add lots of color to this display by using colored glass votives, or keep it simple and classic with clear or frosted votives. Side Note: I'm obsessed with the wood on this table and I purposely chose not to crop it out. So pretty!

Ok, so this was not on sale at Pottery Barn, but I couldn't resist sharing it with you. What a great, easy DIY display to make! It's basically a glass vase, partially filled with wine corks, and topped off with one of those battery operated, flameless candles. I think you could substitute the corks with seashells, bits of coral, or decorative rocks (whatever floats your boat!). While I'm not a big fan of the flameless candles, I do realize that a lot of venues do not allow open flames and so this might be a great solution. If you also aren't sold on the flameless candle idea for centerpieces, you could use these to line walkways or put them in window sills. I'd get the vases from someplace like Garden Ridge or Walmart to save money. If you like the wine cork idea, start saving now and ask your family and friends to start up collections. This would not be a good DIY project to start drinking, er, working on the week of....

These coral placecard holders are so pretty! Pottery Barn originally sold these for $24, but are now on sale for $9.59 for a set of 4. Now, I think these are still way too expensive for large weddings (who wants to spend $250 to tell 100 people where to sit?!?!), I think they would be perfect for food or dessert displays to give off a summery feel. As a bonus, you could reuse them later for more intimate dinner parties.

Check out these cute runners! The one on the left is on sale for $35.49 (originally $59) and the blue one is $29.49 (originally $49). Put these runners on a gift table for an extra special touch or use them to decorate a bridal shower and then reuse them for future dinner parties, summer homes, or everyday dining.

Ahhh, and now for one of my favorite finds! These wine tasting place card holders were originally $5, but I managed to snag three of them for $1.99 each! Wine bottles make great flower vases, so take an empty wine bottle and remove the labels. Fill with water and the flowers of your choice (choose thin stemmed flowers so that you can get more into the bottle for a nice full arrangement). Take a piece of card stock, write the table name, and slide into the place card holder. You can continue with the wine theme by naming your tables Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Riesling, etc.

There were many many many more items on sale, but some of them were still priced too high. For example, I saw some awesome cocktail stirrers/swizzle sticks that were shaped like croquet sets and seashells, but at $15 for 6 on sale, I didn't think that was a good buy. After talking to a Pottery Barn sales associate, I found out that the store's next big sale is not until November. However, Pottery Barn does have some outlet locations that may have additional merchandise or a bigger selection. The outlets may also have coupons that you can use and they also run sales pretty regularly (at least at the one in Leesburg, VA). Overall, I say that Pottery Barn is worth checking out for steals and unique pieces!

Cute Kitchen Accessories

my new pods!

I was shopping in Marshalls yesterday and discovered the cutest produce containers. J got the tomato, onion, lemon and lime for me. I know the lemon pod works (Christmas present for Mother) so I am excited to see how the rest perform. They definitely will save me the hassle of wrapping half eaten produce in saran wrap! I am keeping an eye out for the bell pepper pods so I can have an almost full set. I did see the avocado pod at Marshalls, but I did not purchase. I can't remember the last time I didn't finish off an avocado.***

They were each $3 at Marshalls - cheaper than in the Jo!e online store and ebay. If you can't find them in Marshalls, I suggest checking out the Amazon links below. The Amazon price is a dollar more than the Jo!e price, but the pods have free Amazon Prime shipping! Remember to borrow a friendly college student's email address to get that free year of Amazon Prime.      

 ***The avocado pod would have been useful during my D.C. summer - Melinda would take half an avocado for lunch in the morning and I would eat the other half when I got back from work so I wouldn't starve waiting for her to come home and feed me.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Save Moo-lah: Buy At Seasonal Sales!

Decorations for your wedding can make or break your budget! Flowers are beautiful, but brides may want to choose a theme that will blend in with the feel of the venue. If you are going to have a theme to your wedding and your event is planned for the following year, you can save a ton of money by purchasing items during seasonal sales. For example, are you planning on a beach theme to your wedding? Home decor stores like Pottery Barn usually have a nautical or beach theme for their seasonal merchandise during the summer.* If you wait until their summer sale you can snag great deals on seashells, coral, and candle arrangements.

If you are having a Christmas time wedding, pick up your candles, garland, holly, snowflakes, etc. the day after Christmas when they are having the best deals and the best selection. Check Target and craft stores, like Michael's or Garden Ridge, who usually carry a lot of Christmas stock and discount it 50-75%. (Side bonus: By having a Christmas wedding you may be able to get your decorations for free. Churches tend to have their chapels decorated with trees and poinsettias the whole month of December.)

Make sure you look for decorations that aren’t overly cutesy. For example, you may find some great pink and red candle holders at Valentine’s Day...just make sure they aren’t stamped with cupid’s butt.

*Stay tuned for my Pottery Barn picks! I’ve just returned from an evening of perusing and shopping with my favorite sherpa, Mr. 3. We took pictures at Pottery Barn, made googly eyes, and then he sherpa’d my shopping haul out to the car. How did I get him to agree to this? Why I made sure he was well fed and set him up in a comfy chair with his laptop to wait out my dressing room time. All in all a good night for us both! He's such a good sport. :)

Reality TV Review!

TV Review: Say Yes to the Dress Bridemaids - “Fur Muffs and Fickle Friends”

TLC launched it’s latest spin off of the Say Yes to the Dress, this time based in Atlanta, GA. I LOVE this reality TV show franchise. I’ve been known to re-watch the same episode time and time again...and hold me back if there’s a marathon on, my productivity plummets!

The basic format is that brides come in and have a few of their bridesmaids put on different styles of dresses and then model them for the rest of the bridal party and the bride. The skinniest bridesmaids got to do the modeling (probably because the bridal salon keeps a limited number of samples on hand) while the curvier bridal party members sat on the sidelines. From what I could tell, it looked like the curvier bridesmaids had the better deal, because things got pretty vicious between the “models” and the bride. One bride told her sister that she “looked freakish.” Another maid said, “I know the bride is really important but so am I.” There was also an issue regarding a “muff” accessory that caused a bunch of bridal angst.

Other than that, the episode was pretty ho hum...that is until the end when one bridal party came in who had hit the bar before their alterations appointment and offered up these special quotes to live by:

“I want to be hootchie but classy too”

“We’re going to cut it off and make it a booty shakin’ dress"

Clearly, those have cross-stitch sampler written all over them. I'll be tuning in next week for sure!

Drug Store Mascara

I absolutely love mascara so I am always trying new types. For the past month, I have been using L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Million Lashes. I bought it for about $9 in CVS, but it is available for $7 at Amazon. This product also qualifies for free two day shipping through Amazon Prime (btw, you can get a free year of Amazon Prime if you have an active college email address - check it out here).

My lashes are naturally long and thick, I just use mascara to curl them and darken the tips. My mother has short lashes and also really likes using this mascara. It seems that Voluminous Million Lashes is a great value mascara for a wide range of lashes.

Go ahead and try it! For $7, you really can't go wrong!

Quick Guide for Men

Doghouse Diaries

This is a pretty awesome and insightful webcomic. Please feel free to share with any men who need simple guides to life.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bits From Behind the Scenes

Bri: weird, we got a view from Germany

Melinda: yay! we're already internationally known!

Engagement Rings - Something Different

DY Ring, Blue Topaz
Engagement rings - exciting for women, intimidating for men. The obvious choice is a diamond but if you are looking for something different but still sparkly, consider this David Yurman ring

Depending on your stone choice, it will run about $600-700 in sterling silver. However, you (or your beau) can have it special ordered in white or yellow gold for approximately $2000-3000. You can also have it made in platinum, if you prefer. It takes about 10-12 weeks to complete a special order at David Yurman but it is definitely worth the wait. This ring comes in different widths but after trying them on, Melinda and I determined that the 7mm looked the most “engagement like.”

Benefits of this ring:
  • Flatter and smoother against your hand means no tearing clothing or worrying about losing a stone
  • David Yurman is well known for quality and customer service
  • Significantly cheaper than a similarly sized diamond
  • Diamond pave border adds lots of sparkle
DY Gold Band
To go along with this ring, you can get a simple twisted band in gold (yellow or special order white) for $500. The silver version is $125. Melinda tried on a beautiful eternity band around $2500 in the Orlando David Yurman store that also looked lovely with the ring. It was very sparkly :) There are lots of options for men, as well! One thing to note: while the engagement ring can be updated (via new stone or new ring), you wouldn't want to replace your wedding band. We at Posh Purpose advocate putting more into the wedding band as it will be with you forever.

Backstory: Melinda and Briana went on a spring break adventure complete with diamonds, paint chips, sailing, and lots of sunscreen. It was a great week.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

hello world

and thus began the fun blogventures of briana and melinda...