Friday Dance: Best of 2011

Oh what a week! The Half-breed Swede and her man (whose nickname has yet to be determined) are in town and we have been going, going, going (hence no post yesterday and the late posts this week). My brain has become mush as it is heavily swimming in alcohol, tourism, and fun. Next week aims to bring about both jury duty and hopefully sanity. We shall see.

In the mean time, I'm going strong with my Best of 2011. Here are the 10 best Friday dances of the year. These were weddings that wowed me with either the details or the sheer emotion. Enjoy!

A Johnny Cash themed wedding? Go on!

A breathtaking Balinese wedding.

Helen and Lindi's beautifully shot NTMK submission made my list for the amazing venue alone. So rustic and gorgeous!

A engagement shoot that re-imagines the classic children's tale, Red Riding Hood.

A super sweet vintage Philly wedding, complete with adorable couple.

An awesome superhero themed wedding that takes the cake!

This charming, super small wedding hooked me with the bride's plaid shirt and skirt combo!

A budget bride who looks outstanding in not one, but two amazing (and wallet friendly) dresses and a beautiful reception with an amazing dessert buffet.

Michael and Tim's too cool for school Ace Hotel wedding shot by the lovely Noa of Feather Love Photography.

A gorgeous Up inspired wedding complete with autographs from the filmmakers!

We are getting ready for our Classic Hollywood New Year's Eve party tomorrow and hanging out with the Half-breed Swede and her man until Monday. It's been an event-filled week and one which I will gladly recap for you all next week (I've been taking some great photos with my new DSLR). What are you doing New Year's Eve? Whatever it is, I hope it's fun and fabulous and you ring in the New Year with those you love. : ) And I will see you next year with a List for 2011 recap, among many other things.

In the mean time, here are the last dance moves of 2011:

1940's New York (shot by the amazing Stanley Kubrick, who died on my 18th birthday)

(Friday dance Photo via here; Best of Photos credits linked above)


Wedding Wednesdays: Best of 2011

In keeping with this week's theme, I'm lining up the best posts of 2011, at least in my humble opinion. I cover so many topics for my Wedding Wednesday posts, that these were a little harder to pick. But pick I did! So, here are the best Wedding Wednesday posts of 2011. Enjoy!


Would you wear a short wedding dress? Here's a nice fashion board for some short wedding dress inspiration!

One of the things that drove me craziest when I was wedding planning was not having a sane person tell me how to write my invitations. Here's my solution for that. : )

8. Reader Q & A, Part 1 & Part 2

When a readers asks, I answer. Here I tackled bridezillas, crazy family members, gift registries, and some other pressing wedding issues.

To slut it up or not to slut it up? THAT is the question!

These are some of my favorite bits of inspiration. Imagine how fragrant an herbal wedding would be!

If I had been born in a different era, I am certain I would have been a dirty hippie. I am also certain I would have cleaned up and worn this on my wedding day.

If you're going for simple and sticking to numbers, why not pretty them up?

Inspired by Hollywood Housewife, I reflected on what I did well and what I could have done differently with my own wedding.

What do you absolutely need, besides a (wo)man and a plan, that is? What can you live without? Here are a couple of must read lists I wish I'd had before I got married.

In one day, I showed how I accomplished some of my favorite DIY pieces from my own wedding, including a cake topper, moss covered escort stand, and our homemade cake mix favors.


Did you have a favorite Wedding Wednesday post? If so, what was it? Click here to see 'em all!

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Christmas Comes Late

So, we finally got our Christmas acts together...on Christmas. Better late than never, I say. Here are some photos from our holiday. I hope you don't mind me sharing. : )

First, we celebrated Christmas Eve at my brother's. He and his girlfriend made a huge Italian feast (she's Italian). They made a ton of fresh pasta and veal and sausage. It was delicious! We exchanged gifts and then we had dessert: homemade tiramisu. Soooo good! We ended the night with a grab bag, which was a lot of fun. And then we Skyped my sister and nephew in India. All in all, a successful Christmas Eve.

I'll be damned if one of my brother's grab bag gifts wasn't that stupid wine bunny!

Christmas Day was spent cleaning, and then wrapping gifts only to have them unwrapped a little while later. We decorated the tree right before opening gifts. Then I spent the bulk of the evening roasting a chicken and making a nice dinner or the two of us. Everything took so long that we ended up not eating until 10:30 at night. Oh well. Again, better late than never.

So, that was our Christmas! We got some good gifts. I got a lot of photography related gifts, including a Gorillapod and a Ringflash. I also got an amazing new camera bag, which I can also use as a laptop bag/purse. I'm super, super psyched because I've been using a tote that says my husband's company's name on it and truth be told, it was getting pretty lame. I very badly needed a new new every day bag! A.P. got a lot of things he needed: a new wallet, a new work bag. He also got a book on dogs and a milk and cookies mug. And even though it was a gift for me, it was really a gift for the house, but A.P. got us a TiVo. I am so excited to start using it, I could just wet myself!

How was your Christmas?? Did Santa bring you any great gifts this year? If so, what were they?

PS. Stay tuned tomorrow for more Best of 2011.

(Photos by me!)


Marriage Mondays: Best of 2011

Sorry this post is late today, party people. We had a slow, mega drawn out Christmas yesterday and so, had a nice, long sleep-in this morning. That will probably be my last one as I have the next two weeks off, but this week is all about the Half-breed Swede and her man. And the day after they leave, the first official day I'll have off in my two week vacation, um, yeah, I have jury freaking duty. LAME. Keep your fingers crossed, pray, do whatever you can to help me not get picked. I really, really need the vacation. I'm a wreck, people. A wreck. I need sleep. And TV. And lots of internet surfing. And more sleep. And reading. And a few movies snuck in, perhaps even in the theater. And maybe some crafting. Or photo taking (I got a ton of photography-related gifts for Christmas). I just need to not have jury duty during my vacation. That's what I don't need.

Anywho...all this week, I'll be recapping the best of 2011. There are many features that I started this year: Marriage Mondays, Wedding Wednesdays, my list for 2011. And since I'm one of those people who sits around and constantly reflects on what I've done and how I could have done it better, I figure why not be nice to myself for a change and focus on some stuff I did well. : ) So, in this last week of one of my hardest years, I'd like to pick some of the best moments of the year to reflect on. So, here are the best Marriage Monday posts of 2011.


Wherein we discuss the question of fate and I share the story of how A.P. and I met.

I asked a bunch of my friends what their views of marriage were, who their marriage role models are, and whether having positive marriage role models affects their own relationships/marriages. It was not an interesting view into some of my friends' relationships/marriages, but it was also an interesting conversation to have.

Do you get along with your in-laws? They influence your relationship so much and in ways you can't always foresee, but for better or worse, they're your family.

Do you wear your ring every day? I only wear my wedding band on a daily basis and I only wear my ring if I leave the house (i.e. work, dinners out, etc.). I'm not a big jewelry person, so wearing my ring during our engagement and now that we're married has been a tough adjustment.

This is one of my favorite posts but it was also one of the hardest for me to write. My weight is always a sensitive issue and has been since I hit puberty and started gaining it quickly inexplicably. Marriage hasn't helped my waistline and I've got the pictures to prove it.

My manifesto, if you will, on why A.P. and I will continue to live in the city and, gasp! raise our children here, too.

This is one of my favorite posts of the year mainly because it's all about a simple belief I have about men: they should treat you well from the get go. Anyone else just isn't worth your time.

Marriage changes sex, sure, but really it's life that gets more complicated and changes the equation. Not just marriage. I finally aired my grievances in this post.

I like time to myself. How does one work that into a marriage?

And of course, the original Marriage Monday post (before they were Marriage Monday posts, that is).


Did you have a favorite Marriage Monday post? If so, what was it? Check them all out here!

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Merry, Merry, Merry!

Hi all! I apologize for no Friday dance yesterday, but the holidays have made my brain mush. I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, or a Fantastic Festivus (for the rest of us). Whatever it is you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful time filled with many memories and great company!

We're celebrating with my family tonight and then having a quiet Christmas together (our first one alone!) tomorrow. Then, the Half-breed Swede and her man (who has yet to receive a good, proper nickname, but who shall get one soon) will arrive on Monday to visit for a week. I'll be back next week with a Best of 2011 series! In the mean time, enjoy the warm, glow of the holidays and be content with the fact that you finally know how Santa gets all those gifts to all those people. Sleigh? I don't think so! ROLL UP, MY REINDEER! ROLL UP!

(Reindeer Photo via Favim)


Oh Ugh, Christmas Tree (and Other Holiday Musings)

So, our tree is finally up, but only because A.P. finally put it up. It's not decorated AT ALL, though. And I'm so nucking futs this week with work that I probably won't get to put it up until Saturday. So, Christmas will officially arrive on Christmas Eve. Awesome. Not my best Christmas for sure. Still, I got most of my Christmas shopping done, even if meant some packages cost me a bundle to have shipped because of last minute shipping costs. Other than that, we're starving for a little holiday spirit around here. Sure, we've had some work Christmas parties and some gifts exchanged and we've of course received a few cards, but it seems like the holidays are catching everyone off guard this year.

This will be the first Christmas we spend just the two of us. Christmas Eve will be spent with my family, but no one volunteered to host Christmas Day. And since the Half-breed Swede is coming in from across the pond the day after Christmas, we figured we could use the calm and frankly the time to straighten up and get ready for our guests. So, really, the only thing we're looking forward to this year is getting/giving each other presents. Here's what was on my wish list this year:

A few of these posters which I love so much

A new, kickass umbrella that I've had my eye on for FOREVER

A ring to add to my deer collection

A new camera bag for my new DSLR (my Christmas present to myself) similar to this one

And clothes. Mind you, I expect to get like three of these things, I just want to make sure that A.P. always has options. ; )

What are you doing for Christmas? What's on your wish list?

(Photo credits linked above)


Wedding Wednesday: Wedding Hair

I've always heard the rule of thumb for wedding hair is to wear it the way you normally wear it, but a bit fancier. So, for instance, if you wear your hair down most days, wear it down on your big day. This way, you'll look more natural in your photos. I typically wear my hair down, so for my own big day, I fancied it up a bit, but otherwise it stayed down. So many people, however, seem to wear their hair up. And in such elaborate, beautiful ways!

How will/did you wear your hair? Is hair important to you? It wasn't terribly important to me...I just wanted it to look nice and stay neat. : )

Here's five beautiful updos I wish I could have rocked on my wedding day. These would also do the trick for holiday parties since 'tis the season!

(Updo with Flower via here; Side Chignon via here; Nape Twist via here; Headband via here; Braid Crown via here)
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