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Friday, March 30, 2012

Problem: Need something blue. Solution: The perfect shoe.

Full-Disclosure Warning: If you have an x and a y chromosome, you might as well stop reading this post now. This blog is gender specific.

If you are like me, then you know this moment well.

The moment you find... the perfect shoe. 

A shoe so beautiful-the heavens part, choirs of angels sing and heavenly light streams down upon the shoe; surely, this is one of God’s most beautiful works of perfection. A shoe so beautiful you are willing to change the entire color scheme of your wedding just to incorporate this shoe.

You click “add to cart”.

You go to select size... and... and... it happens. This is your bridezilla moment. The shoe is only available in a 6 or a 9.

You are a 7.5.

You are suddenly desperate. You will literally kill for this shoe... a shoe that only moments ago you didn’t know existed, but now that you know it is like the entire world will end if you can’t find that shoe.

You search the internet wildly, hoping-praying- that somewhere, anywhere, the shoe is available in your size. You hold out hope; after all it is the World Wide Web! Site after site, and still nothing in your size!!!

You go back to the original website. The reviews say it runs large, can you cram your feet into a six? Yes, you can make this work... no, no, you can’t. You frantically send eight emails to the manufacturer begging them to re-stock size seven.

Just when you think life as you know it is over, your faithful bridesmaid saves the day. She sends you suitable alternatives, shoe clips to accessorize and even photoshops the alternatives onto a photo of you in your wedding dress. Your heartbeat returns to a steady pace.

Shoe crisis averted...until next time. And for the love of Pete, if you are lucky enough to have size 6.5 feet, please do your feet (and the world) a favor and buy these shoes! 

 In case the first two times I posted the link weren't enough, here it is again:

Monday, March 26, 2012


I've been up since four in the morning with a little tummy ache working on homework. Naturally, I thought the best thing to do during my insomnia would be to try on my wedding dress. So I did. At 5 a.m. Then I stepped up on a chair to see the bottom and I stepped on my dress and ripped it.

Yes. I did that. This morning. It is a small rip, so all is well, sort-of.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bride on a Budget

So... I've been back to my craigslist/scrounging ways. So far I've scrounged up 89 mason jars of all shapes and sizes (not all pictured here), 10 Shepherd's hooks and a vintage bird cage for cards.... all within the budget. I'm loving this.

If wealth were measured in mason jars, I think I'd comfortably be middle class, lol. Drew and I have had a blast collecting and cleaning up old jars.(Even though I think Drew thinks I'm a little wacky every time I make him go with me to pick up a few jars from craigslist

The lovely Joanie sent me the DIY Bride magazine pictured at left. Thanks to her, I'm sure there will be many more DIY project pics to come!

 I had the pleasure of attending my little sister's play this weekend, a musical version of The Princess and the Pea. McCayla did an OUTSTANDING job as the overprotective Queen. We are so fortunate to have such a loving family. McCayla had 2 aunts and her grandparents travel to MN from Oshkosh. She had one cousin drive from Eyota. One aunt and uncle come from Minneapolis, and the local relatives turned out in droves (grandma and grandpa Thoe, a great aunt, some second-cousins and most of the Thoe aunts/cousin clan!) After the play we played "Headbandz". This game is great for all ages and is sure to leave you laughing!!!

Today, Drew and I planned to meet with caterers. We thought we'd go with a larger grocery catering service as they provided nice meals for 7.99 a plate.  We also looked into hog roasts, and at one point Drew tried very hard to convince me to go with barbecue... He even called me bridezilla when I told him barbecue would be too messy, lol.

However, we drove up to Omar's cafe on Main St in West Concord, MN and were immediately charmed, it was "love at first sight". The cafe is off the beaten path, but trust me, it is worth it to go out of your way to enjoy the homemade, locally grown, organic food at this family cafe. This "shabby-chic" gem has some of the best food I've ever tasted and the atmosphere will leave you with a huge smile on your face!

Drew enjoying his brunch! 
 I cannot wait to work with Omar to put together a tasty meal for our guests! Take a look at how darling this cafe is... I really cannot say enough good things about our experience today! 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Back to real life... i.e. MIDTERM TOMORROW AH

so what am I doing? Throwing out a blog to procrastinate. I would get an A+ in procrastination techniques.  So after I collected my two vouchers from the airline (ya, honeymoon! Here we come!) I took the bus to the airport for a third time. I just happened to run into one of my best friends in the world and his new fiance as they stepped out of the gate I was waiting to enter. It was like a movie. We grabbed a drink before we rushed off to catch our flights. I joined the crew at Keystone and we headed off to Vail/Beaver Creek. 

Above is a panoramic of the back bowls of Vail. The bowls were pretty slushy and full of grassy patches, exposed rocks and boulders and other dangerous obstacles. Luckily we all got home in one piece! Although there were some good wipe outs!

 The boys skied two days at Keystone, two at Beaver Creek (best conditions), one day at Copper and one day at Vail (worst conditions and longest lines... but usually my favorite place!)
I feel guilty that my favorite day was a girls' day. We took a day off to recover and had ourselves a little adventure. The lovely Meagan served as our guide. We hiked up to Hanging Lake (pictured above, to the right and below.) The hike was short but the snow and ice made it very treachorous. Luckily Kristen's brother happened to give her a very belated Christmas present of 3 pairs of clamp-on ice traction cleats.  I will never hike without these bad boys if there is ice on the trail!  We felt so cool as we raced past the other hikers struggling, slipping and sliding their way up the trail. People were saying things like "ya, they know what they are doing" and "wow, they must do this often!" We felt like real mountain climbers.

Up at Hanging Lake, you can hike around the waterfall and look into the crystalline blue water. It was amazing. You could see the trout swimming around and a log that went way to the bottom of the lake. Then we took a lesser known trail up above Hanging Lake to Spouting Rock. There we were welcomed by a very high waterfall that feeds Hanging Lake. There was a huge cone of ice that forms over the winter beneath the waterfall. We were able to crawl around in the ice in the cave behind the waterfall. It was wonderful.

Afterward, we spent the afternoon relaxing our aching muscles in the natural hot springs in Glenwood Springs.  It was so nice to chill in the warm pool and hot pool and lay in the sun! Then we shopped a little, found some deals and headed back. The boys were so jealous.

To the left is a picture of Drew and I on our way to Blue Sky Basin, the furthest bowl of Vail. We had some fun in a natural half pipe that formed in a gully on Cloud Nine.

We were surprised to come home to summer in MN. Yesterday we took a 3 hour bike ride along the Missisippi. The trail is normally closed due to flooding in the spring, but Climate Change made our bike ride possible. (Speaking of, Earth Day is coming up... better start thinking of new ways to go green!)

That's all for now folks! Sorry no funny stories to share!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Luck o' the Irish Came Early!!

So, it has officially been a week since I picked a wedding date. A friend referred me to a to-do list from which was 5 pages long and started 16-9 months in advance. All things considered, I think we're doing great! We have a venue, the amazing Mayowood Stone Barn in Rochester, MN. Most of the Save-The-Dates are mailed, although there are a few addresses still trickling in. I thought it would be fun to show you the Save-The-Date rejects. Before that, I thought I'd fill you in on my lucky break! First, I found a dress yesterday with my mom, McCayla and Katrina, whoo hoo! Second, at the airport this morning the airline offered a substantial voucher for anyone willing to fly out a day late. Of course I jumped on the opportunity! The voucher will come in handy when selecting our honeymoon destination! In this case, a day late and a dollar long? Okay that doesn't really work but you get my drift!***Adding this a day later, this morning I went to the airport and everything is still overbooked, so I nabbed another $400 voucher. Honeymoon here we come baby!!!

Reject One: 
We took this picture at the ocean in Bandon, OR. We made the JOY out of driftwood. Unfortunately, as Keeley pointed out, I look like I'm pregnant and like I'm missing an arm.

Reject Two:

I guess it wouldn't be polite to send out a picture of myself for the save-the-date, as much as I know you'd love to have my face on your fridge. LOL. 

Reject Three: 

Keeley "Why is Drew holding his snowboard?"  I kind of like this one, but I like the one I chose even  better!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Indecisiveness + wedding planning = ... Amanda

When I first got engaged, an organized coworker lent me a book titled "Diaries of a Mad Bride". Never, ever read this book if you are either a.)prone to anxiety and/or b.)think you will ever need to plan a wedding someday... and let's face it, this is something everyone has to do at some point. Either for a daughter, sister, best friend or niece, there is no escaping wedding planning. I read the book, couldn't eat for two days, and decided it would be best to put off the planning period for as long as possible.

Beware! The moment the internet catches wind of your engagement/wedding via key words in your emails or your status on facebook, you will face an onslaught of online advertisement for your coming nuptials. Then, should you ever be so foolish as to give your real number to David's Bridal, or worse yet, a pending wedding date, they will sell your information to every and all wedding vendors in the tri-state area.  These little advertisements on the side of your gmail serve as a nagging reminder that there is a big task looming ahead.... They will not go away until you (I) actually plan... something.

Well, the time has come. The time has come to plan a wedding. My wedding to be more specific.

If you are like me, it's easy to imagine yourself living in a studio apartment in New York City, a yurt in Mongolia, a ranch in Wyoming, a beach house in San Diego, traveling the world moving from hostel to hostel... you get my point. I'm a dreamer. Dreamers have lots (and lots) of ideas but when it comes to actually making decisions, things get a little tricky.

Because it is difficult to make decisions, I think dreamers are often impulsive, making decisions on a whim. It is easier to just make a decision and never look back, like ripping off a band-aid. So, I picked a date: August 3rd, 2012. Yes, 2012, not 2013. Yes, that is less than six months away. Deep breath. We can do this!

Thanks to sites like pinterest and etsy, I have thousands of options to choose from for venues, save the date, wedding favors, hair pieces, veils, shoes, flowers, decorations, lighting, cake etc... I love the internet for the freedom of choice and variety it provides, but I also hate it for the very same reason. How is a girl like me ever supposed to pick from the virtual smorgasbord of wedding delights? My stream of consciousness suddenly sounds something like this: "Do I pick the white bird cage veil with a blue feather? Or the blue bird cage veil with a white flower? Or do I just go with a flower? Or just a feather? Or skip a head piece all together? Or should I try the Kim Kardashian beaded head piece... no tried that once for prom, it didn't work... Cupcakes or cake? Cake or cheesecake? Plain cheesecake or flavored cheesecake? Local wedding or destination wedding?" I think I'm turning into Bridezilla.

Everyone keeps telling me to just do what I want, well the problem is I don't know what I want! I want to marry Drew, the love of my happy life. I want to look pretty on my wedding day. Beyond that... the world is my oyster (within budget).

Luckily, I have a few tools at my disposal. Britt, a designer and fashionista, is great at narrowing down ideas on pinterest. Keeley, shrewd, wise and sarcastic is good at reigning me in from the clouds and preventing me from taking on too many "DIY" projects. Bonnie and my Mom are always willing to listen, humor my ideas and patiently calm me down when I get worked up. (Fingers crossed... they'll plan it for me? Here's hoping?)

So... I guess I'm going to drag my few blog readers along for the ride... the road to my wedding August 3rd, 2012.