Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BHLDN - Fun and Eclectic

My mother stumbled across BHLDN yesterday and sent it my way. Let me tell you - super cute stuff! They have lots of great shoes and dresses. Also, you can find great priced wedding dresses if you are looking for something very different. Check out my faves!

Beautiful and only $1600

There are also some fun gift ideas, stationary, and home pieces! BHLDN is very eclectic, I love it! I also love these champagne glasses :)
Love! $68

Monday, January 30, 2012

Grocery Shopping Made Easier

Since I despise cold weather but still in Boston, J tries to limit my outdoor exposure. One way he does this is by going to the grocery store on his way back from work to grab any last minute things we may need for supper. We used to have some communication issues, though. We are both forgetful and use a variety of mediums to discuss the grocery list which can complicate matters - sometimes he will miss a gchat from me or I will send an email with my list of grocery requests but he wont check until it is too late.

To solve all these problems, we use the Grocery IQ app on our phones. We can both add to the list (or multiple lists, since we shop at a few different stores) and our phones update the list automatically. It is so efficient to have one syncing location for my grocery wants! Our lists are also available to view and edit online, and can be emailed/printed out/etc - great functions for those who are without smart phones or prefer hard copies.

We had one minor mistake over the past few weeks while using the app. I added pita bread to the list on my phone and J's phone did not update quickly enough for him to purchase the pita. It was a sad day, but not the end of the world since I wanted the pita for the next day. Other than the sometimes slow syncing, I love this app and definitely recommend it to all who have lovely and amazing grocery shoppers! It is also good for roommates who are unavailable for shopping when you are desperately in need of milk :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fresh Idea Friday: Design Your Own Bedding

As I pour over the home goods for my registries, I find I have become obsessed with certain type of items.  I tend to put way more than I need, but  Briana has been really good about going through and telling me I don't need 12 juice glasses aaaaaand 12 water glasses or the super expensive copper core stock pot (a regular stainless steel accomplishes the same objective for about a third of the price).  However, one of my particularly troublesome areas is bedding.  I love layering a duvet, a quilt, and sheets with an optional extra blanket during the winter.  I'm also a sucker for shams and pillows...I think every bed needs a set of pillows with shams, a set of pillows with cases, and a toss pillow or two.

Unfortunately, I have had a really hard time finding bedding that Mr. 3 and I can both agree on.  The man loves his blues and greys, whereas I prefer brighter colors like green and yellow in the house.  After much discussion, we found one set of bedding that we both love and one set that he can at least live with, so both of our beds will be covered in wherever we wind up living together (apartment hunting its ongoing).

I might have been able to avoid this whole discussion if I had known about this website, InMod, which allows you to design your own bedding and toss pillows.  You can selected from a variety of prints, fabrics, styles, and sizes (they go up to a "super king", which I believe is their version of the California king).  Prices start at $160, but when I built my bedding using a silk dupioni duvet cover, mine was $494 for a queen sized duvet and king sized shams.

More later on my eensy, weensy addiction to glass...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Not the Cast Iron!

My siblings and I decided to have a party to celebrate my mom's birthday this past weekend. My little sister Tally and I flew down and surprised her Saturday morning. That evening, the siblings plus some cooked supper for Mom. She absolutely loved it and we all had a great time :)

I get back to Boston to discover that J doesn't have much of a social life. He cleaned his apartment and took the opportunity of me being gone to eat a steak (ick). He also decided to run the self clean function on the oven. Unfortunately, cast irons do not hold up to being baked at 500+ degrees for hours. 

Can you tell which one won't give you tentanus?

I'm pretty sure my 12 inch cast iron is ruined beyond repair, so I did some research on replacing it. Of course, I immediately thought of Amazon and William Sonoma, and then included a quick Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Amazon has a 12 inch cast iron for $21, by Lodge Logic which is not a brand I'm familiar with. William Sonoma has a Lodge 12 inch cast iron for $33 - I do not know if the two brands are related, but Amazon seems to think they are. And then at BBB you can get Emeril's 12 inch cast iron for $25. I didn't find a range of prices across the levels of quality, probably because these things are just sealed and seasoned cast iron - there can't be much variation in the cost of manufacturing or materials. You may be able to find one in your local Marshalls if you get lucky, but it looks to me like I will be spending between $20 and $35 to replace my beloved cast iron. Not too bad of a price for something that theoretically lasts forever. My mom's cast iron is over 40 years old - probably because a man in her life never left it in the oven with the self clean cycle on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bridesmaid Dresses

Melinda and I have been (mostly) enjoying the wedding planning, but we each have some topics that frustrate us. For a few months now, I have had difficulties with bridesmaid dresses. Maybe I am being too picky, but I just can't seem to find the right one. I don't want anything too expensive, but I prefer natural fibers. I've noticed that a lot of dresses are both synthetic and expensive - ick! I also don't want anything too "bridesmaid-y"and of course I want a dress that is flattering on all the girls, or at least not unfortunate. I'm also looking for a specific family of colors. I am avoiding more intense colors on the girls since I don't want a Great Wall of Color.

Pretty much everything is wrong. Melinda has found a few great ones that I am very excited about, so I'm hoping to manage that as well. If you are looking for bridesmaid dresses, the Jim Hjelm group has a ton of beautiful options in all sorts of styles and fabrics. The website is easy to use, with the downside of not being able to search by color. Their fabric swatches have all been beautiful, but you have to contact an authorized retailer to find out info such as pricing and other specifics. The price ranges are approximately $175-$350. Generally, the bridal shop where you purchased your dress will give you a discount on bridesmaid dresses. Melinda is receiving 20% off! My shop is only giving me 10%, but I am planning on speaking with them about it and hopefully will receive a better discount.

Good luck today, on your wedding endeavors or otherwise! Tomorrow is Thursday, which means the weekend is close!

Can I have this dress just for myself?
Love it!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trousseau Tuesday: Design Your Own Jewelry

Whether you are looking for a new piece for yourself or a gift item, I've just discovered a great resource for jewelry! Erin Gallagher's Gembar has reasonably priced and very pretty jewelry designs that allow you to customize the stone and the metal of every earring, necklace, and bracelet.  If you are looking for a necklace, it allows you to select the type of chain and length.  For earrings, you can choose what type of backing you would prefer.  The options I liked the Violet necklace started at $85 and the Cameron earrings started at $70.

violet design your own necklace. choose stones for final pricing<br />
<br />
price range:     $45 - $92.50<br />
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Violet Necklace, $90 as pictured
cameron Customizable earrings.  Design your own earring for the perfect personalized gift
Cameron Earrings, $90 as pictured

The webiste also has a bridal section that allows you to search for jewelry based on your wedding colors or dress neckline.  Brides get a 10% discount off of a purchase of 4 or more items and shipping is free for orders over $150 for everyone.  Happy customizing!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Melinda's Wedding Update

Dear Posh Purpose readers...I'm so sorry for having neglected you over the past few months of wedding planning.  I'll save you (my totally legit!) excuses and just say that I also wanted to make sure that contracts had been ironed out, signed, and deposits cashed before giving you the skinny on all my planning.

I had decided early on that Mr. 3 and I would be tying the knot in his hometown of Roanoke, VA because some of his family members wouldn't be able to attend due to health reasons unless they didn't have to travel very far.  After a disastrous first attempt to find a venue, where we spent 2-3 weeks in August/September trying to secure a former B&B called the Mirador, contract negotiations fell apart when the owners refused to do business with us because we asked for them to further define the terms of the contract.  I believe that I've posted before about the importance of reading contracts and I'll say it again READ YOUR CONTRACTS.  You definitely do not want to sign anything that has vague terminology like "we will charge accordingly."  Contracts with misspellings are also a warning flag.  After the Mirador disaster (and crying on Mr. 3's shoulder for several hours), we regrouped and took another look at the area. 

While Roanoke has many venue options, a lot of them were less than ideal.  I knew that I didn't want to deal with any venue where the dance floor would be outdoors (hot sweaty bride = ick).  I'm not a country club or hotel wedding type of girl and a lot of the places weren't going to be handicap accessible.  After much searching and deliberation (I considered just hosting a 50 person sit down dinner for about two weeks, but I couldn't give up the idea of dancing, so I backed away from it), we finally settled on the beautiful Patrick Henry Ballroom.  The PH is a historic ballroom in the old Patrick Henry Hotel.  The hotel was converted to condos and the downstairs has been renovated, taking the ballroom back to its original historic structure but adding modern updates to the infrastructure.  We settled on date in July that (luckily) the church also had available and I'm so excited for our choice!

From there, Mr. 3 and I spent quite a bit of time searching for our other biggest decision...the photographer.  Let me tell you, I searched and searched for about 3 months before our contract was finalized.  It was quite a struggle to find someone that fit in with our budget and that we loved.  A lot of the photographers in the area are still sticking with the 80s style, super posed, stiff style OR they have gone in completely the opposite direction and like to throw every possible special effect at the picture.  We were not fans.  We finally found Sam Dean from Sam Dean Photography.  When we first met with Sam we liked how laid back he is, plus Mr. 3 and Sam hit it off pretty well.  Sam's work is also fantastic!  He takes a more photojournalistic approach and really doesn't care for the photoshopping.  We are excited to have him for our wedding day!

Next up...the band!  My dear friend Marie got married a few years ago and had a band at her wedding.  What a difference it made!  I didn't think a band would fit into the wedding budget, but luckily Roanoke has a large number of local musicians, so it suddenly became much more affordable because we weren't going to have to pay a travel charge or overnight accomodations.  We used Kent Martin from SRO Productions and he was so helpful and patient with me as we made our selection.  We finally settled on a 7 piece horn band called The Kings, and I couldn't be more excited.

Now, I'm sure everyone wants to know about the dress.  My poor mother took me to a dress shop in Roanoke at Thanksgiving and three different stores in Charlotte, NC at Christmas (in one memorable, marathon of a shopping day).  I didn't find anything.  We went back to one of the dress stores, J.Majors bridal, to do a retry of four dresses.  After having wedding dress dreams and worrying all through Christmas, I turned what was supposed to be a one hour appointment for 4 dresses into an hour and a half frenzied look at 12-15 dresses.  After going up on my price point a bit, I finally found what I was looking for from Martina Liana.  I don't want to give all the details away, but it's a beautiful sweetheart silk organza gown and I'm super excited about it!

Among the other things that have been decided - I've found a wedding coordinator, picked out my stationer (more on him later!), and my mom and I have been purchasing decor items like a madwoman.  With less than 6 months to go, I feel like I'm either right on track or seriously behind (depends on the day of the week).  How are everyone else's wedding plans coming along?  What big decisions do you have left? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Instead of a wedding related post, please read up on SOPA. As you may have noticed, Wikipedia is down in protest of SOPA. If you are against government censorship of the Internet, please contact your Congressman and Senators today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Trousseau Tuesday: Men's Suits

J is buying a suit for our wedding because he is abnormally proportioned and can't wear anything rentable. Due to his proportions, this suit must also be made to fit. Good news is that quality suits have long lifespans.

We have visited many suit shops, from discount stores to Neimans, and have pretty much settled on Brooks Brothers. They are having a Made to Fit special during the first weekend in March, where all made to fit suits are 20% off. Brooks Brothers has a ton of different fabric options and cuts. We will be going with a more fitted style - I much prefer this look over the more boxy American styles.  And remember: he crisper the folds, the better!

Look for a lightweight wool if you want an extremely versatile suit. Many people say go for black if you only want one, but I think that is outdated. I would much rather have a navy or charcoal grey suit. These colors are still formal but so much less stuffy.

Munchie Monday: What's in the Pantry?

Sometimes the cooking inspiration fairy skips over me. My usual solution is to run to my cousin Melinda or mom for help. But what to do when neither is available to rescue supper?!

Now I can use www.myfridgefood.com. This site is super helpful - you just enter in your ingredients and it gives you a list of recipes that you can try out, meaning no last minute trips to the store or letting your fiancé/husband/children starve!

Also, my new favorite way to end a meal is eating grapefruit and bananas. Grapefruit is in season so look for the fruit from Indian River, Florida as it has the best flavor and tons of juice. To pick a grapefruit, you want to smell it. It should have a strong citrusy smell and not be too too squishy. Flattened spots and dents are perfectly fine as long as the rind has not been punctured.

So to make it: Right before eating your meal, cut two grapefruit in half and scoop out the sections with a grapefruit spoon (a necessity for citrus lovers). Squeeze the remaining juice into a bowl with the fruit. Then slice up three bananas and throw them into the bowl. It is ok if the bananas are less ripe since the acid in the grapefruit juice makes the banana slices softer. The juice will be sweeter than normal and a bit banana-y. Let the fruit sit while you eat your meal and then enjoy!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wedding Laughes: Sh*t Brides Say

I bring to our Posh Purpose readers, a bride's reality:

I have said almost everything in this video except for the catty comments and making a reference to Michael Jackson...no wedding could ever compete with the King of Pop (duh).  Nothing is scarier than the truth....except maybe a hairy man in wedding dress.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wedding Tip Wednesday: Throwing a Bridal Shower

If you are planning on throwing a bridal shower and do not know where to begin, Pottery Barn has come to the rescue!  The home decor store not only has fantastic choices for your registry, but helpful guidance on throwing a bridal shower.

Check out their website for etiquette information, theme ideas, invitation and other templates, and an itunes playlist.

I especially love the idea of having all the napkin linens used for the shower monogrammed with the brides wedding date and giving them to her as a gift (just make sure you launder them to get all the cake and bellini stains out)!  Of course, it's no surprise...we all know I dearly love a monogram! 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Munchie Monday: SEC Showdown!

Southern Living always has great gameday recipes themed for the SEC schools, so you can imagine how excited they were to have both teams in the National Championship be from the SEC. In honor of my preferred champion, here is Southern Living's LSU gameday meal. I'm super excited to cheer on LSU and will be feasting on Tiger Bait Red Beans and Rice. I will be using brown rice instead of white (more nutrients) and making the creole seasoning with this recipe rather than buying some from the store. My only regret is that Bama will be Tiger Bait rather than Gator Bait.

Geaux Delicious!

For those of the Crimson Tide, Southern Living has not abandoned you. Check out their meal here! And regardless of your stance, I'm sure we all had a peaceful night's rest last night knowing that the National Championship would be won by an amazing SEC team for the sixth straight year :)

BTW, yay Tim Tebow and the Broncos for winning the first playoff game last night! Also, if you are a football fan you should def check out this great blog - it is super informative about those pesky rules you may have missed out on while screaming at the refs/players/coaches :)