Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Dress Shopping - the last round...I hope

Yep, it's dress shopping time again! This time Mama Elephant and I headed out to Bridal Couture of Addison based on their web site which said it had a large selection of plus size dresses. After signing in for my appointment I was very disappointed to see their "large selection" was really only one rack. I guess in comparison to the size of the whole store, it could be seen as a large selection to some.

We pulled a handful of dresses and went back to try them on. This store does not caring my top pick (nor could they order it), so the majority of the dresses that I tried on were Casablanca and Maggie Sottero.

First up Maggie Sottero Laila - This satin beauty is from the Spring 2010 collection and my thoughts were that it was nice, but a little heavy. I wasn't crazy about the beading around the butt, but was told that they can remove that.

Casablanca #1776 - This second dress had a lot more interesting detail around the bottom and train, which was great. I wonder if they could change the zip up back to a corset back.

Love the detailing of the top and bottom.

Maggie Sottero - Vonda: This was a nice dress, gave me a great waist. And yes it was a little small, hence the "I can't breath" look in this picture.

Maggie Sottero - Vienna: Very pretty dress! I love the shape of it and the lace and beading were both very pretty. The little bit of rouching to the side helps give me a waist. What I didn't like about this dress? The price! It was a little over $1300, something we didn't notice before putting it on. Oh well I guess it's a good thing I didn't fall in love with this one and have to justify the cost to myself.

And there you have it, the end of our dress shopping experience.  Next time you see a dress post from Miss Elephant, it will be The Dress!

Did you have much luck trying on dresses? If you are plus size, was dress shopping a fear for you like it originally was for me?

Monday, March 29, 2010

One Year Ago

I can't believe it's already been one full year since that wonderful day when Chris asked me to marry him! I didn't really think the time would fly by (and I can't say it has) but it has gone by pretty quickly. Here's hoping the next 13 months is as quick as the past 12 :)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Invitations the DIY way, Part 3

Now for the fun (and final) part, the big reveal of our invites!

The assembly of these bad boys is actually quite easy. The petal folds are pre-cut, so the only steps I needed to do are listed below.

1. Print out invitation wording on linen cardstock. I fit 2 invites per one normal size piece of paper.

2. Using my handy paper cutter, I cut out the invite wording with a little help from the light gray box I added in word.

3. I stamped our flourish on the bottom of the invite and embossed (seen here)

4. I used a tracer similar to the ones for the save the dates to get 4 mats from one piece of 12x12 green cardstock. Cut them out.

5. With the help of my Xyron roller, I attached the green matting to the petal fold and then the linen paper on top of that.

6. Add the RSVP postcard from Vistaprint and close. And for those of our guests that are coming from out of town, a card with information about the send off brunch.

7. With the invite complete it’s time to move onto the belly band. I measured out 10 inches of 1.5” wide green ribbon (purchased from Michael’s).

8. Using another tracer, I cut out 2.5” x 2.5” green squares from the same Michael’s cardstock.

9. Print out the 2” x 2” squares containing the guests names and then run the strips through the Xyron machine (found it easier than using the roller for each square).

10. Punch out the names with 2” x 2” puncher (purchased from Michael’s with a coupon)

11. Wrap the ribbon around the petal invite, place the green square behind the ribbon, and roll adhesive on top of the green square to hold the ribbon in place.

12. Peel off the guests’ name and stick it on top of the green mat/ribbon.

And there you have it! Our DIY invite. Only thing left is put it into the green envelopes (also ordered from and stick a wrap around label on it.

Here’s the final suite with invite, belly band, RSVP and envelope. Simple, sweet and a heck of a lot cheaper than ordering them.

We're still playing around with the wrap around labels, but other then that we're very happy with the final results!
Will you be DIYing your invites? If you did were you able to save money?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Invitations the DIY way, Part 2

When we last left off I was waiting for the samples to come in from

The samples came super fast, and I got to work on making a mock up. I downloaded fonts for free and played around until I got 2 fonts that most of the family agreed on. The first mock up consisted of the dark blue petal invite, a green cardstock boarder (the cardstock was from Michael’s and would begin my mad search to buy out all of the “bank roll” paper from every Michael’s in a 30 mile radius) and white cardstock for the writing. It wasn’t bad with just cardstock on cardstock, but I got online again and ordered some linen paper to see if I liked it better, which of course I did (the extra $1 or so wouldn’t kill me).

After completing another mock up with the linen paper, I thought the outside needed something because it was a little too plain. Back to the DIY boards I went and learned about belly bands. Perfect! Using ribbon left over from other projects, and some more of that Michael’s green cardstock and my Xyron machine I fashioned a bellyband from our monogram that popped against the dark blue. We started with the monogram, but in the end decided that we wanted to save money on inner envelopes so we replaced the monogram with the names of the invited guests

Here’s a little teaser to enjoy until the next segment of Invitations the DIY way.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Invitations the DIY way, Part 1

Oh wedding invitations, what can I say about you? In all honesty I am not a paper connoisseur, and while there are a lot of girls out there that dream of letterpress goodness I am not one of them.

I started to take notice of wedding invites a couple years ago when we received an invite to Lora and Brandon’s wedding (who are both a part of our wedding party). The first detail that caught my eye was the outside closure to the pocketfold (and no, I had no clue that is what the invite was called until I started to plan our wedding) which had both my name and Chris’ name. I thought it was so cute to detail each invite with the guests’ names. I also fell in love with the pocketfold itself, holding all of the cards in a nice and neat package.

Fast forward to the planning of our wedding and I initially set out to look up the prices of pocketfold invites… woah, mama! (anyone else picture in their head the “all in the mall” episode of saved by the bell when they found that $5000 and proceeded to be chased by two “crooks” but found out they were just on a hidden camera show? Love Saved by the bell!)


Ordering invites is expensive! I’m not just referring to pocketfolds, but to invites in general. I couldn’t for the life of me spend that much money on paper that is sure to make its way to the nearest trash can for everyone other than me and my mom.

In hopes of finding a way to cut the costs, I headed over to the DIY boards on the knot and made the decision to make the invites ourselves! I thought to myself, it’ll be a way to save money and keep me busy during this long engagement. I ventured over to and looked through their stock of cardstock and invites. I wanted to do a pocketfold, but quickly realized that ours would look pretty empty since the hotel information is going out with the save the dates, and there really aren’t directions need since the ceremony and reception are at the same venue. After a little more searching I came across the petal fold invites which stuck out to me as something a little different from a normal card, and wouldn’t look silly with only an RSVP postcard inside. I quickly ordered some samples and waited for them to arrive.

Stay tuned for more invite goodness…

Friday, March 19, 2010


There oughtta be a rule that days fly by faster when you're excited about your wedding. Oh well, only 400 more days!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Being Productive

Gotta love a productive Saturday!!

Mama Elephant and I headed out to a boutique crawl in old town Lewisville. Since most of our vendors are already signed, we really went for the eats, to try on my dress again and make the appointment for when my wonderful bridesmaids are in town. We did meet a very sweet hair and makeup artist who I may have to check into later.

The drawing for prizes wasn't until 3 pm, so we killed some time over at DSW and wouldn't you know it - I found my wedding shoes!! As you may remember, I wanted blue shoes for the wedding so I was happy to find several blue shoes to try on. Here are my beauties!

Personal Pictures

And the best part?? With my rewards coupon (that came in the mail the day before we went shopping - I'll go ahead and call it fate) they only cost me $25.40!! I couldn't be happier!! :)

After the bust of a drawing, (I really could have used the free groom's cake, veil or wedding band or toasting flutes) we high tailed it over to meet with Kris to discuss our hotel block. We toured the hotel and the room for the morning after brunch. Kris came up with a very tasty menu and after discussing for a moment how it really was the best idea to have it at the hotel, we signed a contract for that!

I love checking off several items in one day! Did you make the most out of your weekends to complete wedding planning tasks?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

2 Engagement Session Idea...

...has fallen by the budget wayside. As awesome as it would be to have engagement pictures in Vegas, we knew that it wasn't needed. We will still have an amazing time in Vegas, and there will still be some awesome point and shoot pictures courtesy of me.

Maybe on a future trip, if we still feel the urge, we'll book a Vegas photographer to capture photos like these…


Those beautiful pictures are from Bentley and Wilson, and their prices are pretty awesome as well, only $298 for a 2 hour photo tour up and down the strip. It’s an additional $150 for the neon graveyard, but that is the fee assessed by the Neon Museum.

Was your engagement session outside of your hometown?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Biggest Loser

The battle of the bulge has been a constant cycle for me since I was younger. I was blessed with nice “gammers” as my grandmother called them but I just saw them as large thighs.
Dennis & me at Halloween
Dennis, Mom and me at the strawberry farm

Dennis, Dad and me raking the leaves

Growing up I was very active in sports and ballet which helped to maintain my weight, but as I got older and went off to college I definitely gained that Freshman 15 (or then some). Once I graduated and started to work, I was motivated to shed some pounds. I worked out and watched what I ate and lost a good 20 pounds right as I started to go on dates via

New Years 2006

Now I can’t put all the blame on dating, but the truth is going out to eat and wanting to spend extra time with Chris decreased the amount of time I spent in the gym and motivation to eat well. Unfortunately I gained back the 20 pounds I lost at the beginning of 2007 (and then some).

Christmas 2009

With the wedding coming up in another year I figure now is as good as any time to get motivated again. While I would love to lose a lot of weight, I don’t want to get upset if it doesn’t happen. For me, my goal is to feel my best on my wedding day. To help with some accountability I have decided to do monthly updates via this blog which will include the number of exercise days per month and number of pounds lost.

Here’s hoping for the best!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bridesmaids Dresses

When it comes to the lovely ladies that will be standing up for me on my big day, the only thing I knew I wanted in their dresses was that they felt beautiful. I tried to narrow it down into brands/designers and a length and then they could pick the dress that best fits their body type. Since I had some extra time on my hands, I made a PowerPoint with the pictures of the different dresses and the prices I could find online.

The first set of dresses are J Crew, Silk Chiffon in Vintage Blue. I think these can be wore again easy, but may not be dressy enough for the wedding.

Pictures from J Crew Weddings

Next up are the Bill Levkoff knee length dresses. These seem to be a favorite of the girls and I like that there were several style options to choose from. The dresses will be European Satin in Royal Blue.

Bill Levkoff dress pictures found via Best Bridal Prices

The next set are also Bill Levkoff, but tea length instead. I personally am not a fan of my thick legs (thanks genetics and ballet/track) so I wasn't sure if they would like a little more length to their dresses. These also all come in European Satin, in Royal Blue.

Bill Levkoff Dresses images from Best Bridal Prices

Last but not least are the David's Bridal selection. When MOH Navy and I went to David's Bridal after Christmas we spent some time looking at colors and fabrics for the BM dresses. We didn't' realize how short they were until we saw these pictures online. I think all the girls prefer at the knee or a little below. We looked at the Horizon color in Cotton or Cotton Sateen.

In our recent trip to Denton Bridal Co. mom and I took a look around the bridesmaids dresses and found the 4 knee length Bill Levkoff. I think they look awesome in person and can't wait to get an idea of what they will look like on the girls when they come at the end of the month for the Bridesmaids Summit!

Here's Mama Elephant holding up each of the different dresses to get a better idea of where they actually hit right below the knee

Personal Photos

Did you do some research on the Bridesmaids dresses, or just let the girls pick what they wanted?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Engagement Pictures – Here or there?

As you might remember we booked our photographer Lynn Michelle way back in August and as part of our package we get an Engagement session. These pictures have been a motivating factor in our gym visits because we want to look good!

We plan on using an engagement picture on the save the date magnet, a canvas wrap to display at the reception (another perk in the package we purchased), the cards to let guests know where they can look up the professional pictures online after the wedding as well as a coffee table book that I will probably make through Blurb later.

Other then the all important question of what to wear for this session (I’m still not sure but plan on making at least one outfit change during the session), we need to decide where we want to have the pictures taken. Looking through Lynn’s portfolio we found an old train track area that she has shot at that looks like a great backdrop. Mom and I also thought of a small airport type area that might be great to incorporate the travel theme.

One of Lynn’s photo sessions at the train tracks (link)

I figured anything in the DFW area would work since there wouldn’t be any travel costs included in the session. Then came talk of our family reunion for this summer and the location picked was…. drum roll please…

Las Vegas Strip (link)

…VEGAS! Now my family is no stranger to Vegas… friends and co-workers have nicknamed it our second home because we go so often. Since my first trip in 1993, I believe that I have been to Vegas nearly 45 or 50 times. And you want to know what the funny thing about that is? The majority of those times were before I was even legal to gamble! Back in the day there were tons of things for kids to do.

Now you may be asking yourself, what my family vacation in Vegas has to do with our engagement pictures. Well, I’ve been weighing the options of pushing back our session this spring in Dallas and paying to fly Lynn out to Vegas to do our engagement pictures there. I’ve heard that Vegas is a photographer’s playground with all of the locations on and off the strip to shot at. Just think of some gorgeous shots in front of the Belliago water show…

Chris & me in front of Belliago in 2008

Or maybe some shots near the canals at the Venetian…

Chris & me on the gondola in 2008

Or my favorite is to find this junk yard that houses old Vegas signs…

Vegas Neon graveyard (link)

Sigh, those pictures would be amazing, but is it worth the cost to fly Lynn out there (including travel expenses and food)?

Would you pay extra to fly a photographer to a destination for your engagement session?