80 Days Around the Blogosphere

UHHHHHHH, how did I go from 129 days to 80 days until my wedding?! I mean, I know how, like, time works, of course, and I hate to sound cliche, but these weeks are seriously FLYING by. Oyyyyy.

All right, so, given that it’s been over a month since my last post, I probably have a lot to catch you up on (especially if you don’t follow me on Instagram, hahaha.) Basically, my life is just one big mashup of modpodge, glitter, events, and schnauzers. On the event front, Sean and I recently got to attend two friends’ weddings (on back to back weekends! October is obvs the new May when it comes to weddings), and they gave me serious #weddinggoals to aspire to.

And last week I had the opportunity to travel up to Pittsburgh for work to help out at my coworker’s big Halloween event. They had this awesome makeup artist at the event who transformed me into Zombie Pirate Gretchen, and it was, well, see for yourself:



Today is actually Sean’s birthday, (my old man is 31 today!), and we went out for an early birthday dinner to celebrate with his parents on Sunday. I would have a photo of my amazing steak from Ray’s the Steaks, but I ate it too fast. I’ve been working out more lately with the goal of looking less squishy in my beautiful yet strapless wedding dress, and apparently it has turned me into an even more ravenous version of myself. Or maybe it’s just a testament to how awesome my steak was — if you’re in the DC area and haven’t been to Ray’s yet, you are missing out on life!

Anyway, the most exciting development on the wedding front is that the invitations went into the mail yesterday! Squee! I can’t wait to show them to you guys. I know I’m sending them out a little on the early side (according to traditional ettiquette, invitations should go out 6 – 8 weeks before the wedding), but with Christmas and everything, I figured that sending them out earlier (with an earlier RSVP deadline) would lessen the chances of the invites getting lost in folks’ holiday mail.


In other developments, after lots of hemming and hawing over whether or not I should do my own makeup for the wedding, I had finally decided that I was, in fact, going to do it myself. After all, I know my own face, I do my makeup a lot, it would save money, etc. But then, because apparently making final decisions is NOT my strong suit, I decided to go in for a makeup trial anyway, just to be really sure that’s what I wanted to do. I figured, if anything, it would help solidify my decision to do my own makeup, since every other time I’ve gotten my makeup done by someone else, I haven’t really loved it.

So I went in for a makeup trial with Marquia of Blend Makeup Artistry, and this happened:


I L-O-V-E-D it.

I felt so beautiful! Marquia used airbrush foundation, which felt like air on my skin and gave me amazing, flawless coverage. Plus everything she did was beyond waterproof — and believe me, I put it through the ringer when I got home. I watched the first 5 minutes of Up, read back through the most heart-wrenching parts The Fault in Our Stars, AND watched the ending of Moulin Rouge. It didn’t budge! Marquia also used individual false lashes on me instead of a lash strip and they felt absolutely amazing.

So, long story short, I reneged on my original decision to do my own makeup and opted to book Marquia instead, lulz. I ended up asking if we could do a little bit of a stronger brow and slightly darker eyeshadow on the actual day of (gotta go big for the camera!), but overall I was so surprised at how much I loved the way I looked.

I gotta say, airbrush makeup is clearly the way to go. It didn’t come off on anything, which gives me a lot more confidence too, since my veil is gonna be right up on my skin, hehe. Once I decide which veil I’m actually going to be wearing, that is! I made several, hehe:

Turns out that making a birdcage veil is ridiculously easy (I’ll post a tutorial later!), but even so, I’m still pretty proud of myself for pulling these puppies off. I made an ivory veil in both traditional comb and bandeau styles, as well as a gold one. I’ve got my first dress fitting in a couple of weeks, so I’ll bring them to figure out which one I want to go with (although I think I already have a pretty good idea.) I’ve gotten a few of my other wedding accessories too, and can’t wait to finally see my whole look come together!


Speaking of things coming together, I am having so much fun working on the nitty gritty stuff for the wedding! I joke about having nightmares of being attacked by giant bottles of Mod Podge, but in reality, you guys know I love this crafty crap, hehe. That said, I still have a lot to do, and it does stress me out a bit when I start thinking about it all at once.


But as long as I take it a little bit at a time, I’m thinking I’m still in pretty good shape! After all, even though it feels like time is speeding up the closer we get to the end of the year, I know I still have almost three months until the big day, which is more than enough time to get all this done… right? RIGHT?!

Well, as long as we’re starting to spiral out of control, we might as well get to the part where I post the ridiculously long checklist of wedding-related stuff. Hopefully this list is of moderate interest to any other future brides (or just folks who are really invested in my wedding planning process), but even if it not, I’m gonna keep updating it since I keep misplacing any pen-and-paper checklists I make. So here’s where the ever-growing wedding checklist stands as of right now:

Date: ☑

Venue: ☑

Dress: ☑

Caterer: ☑

Photographer: ☑

Videographer: ☑

Flowers: ☑

Ceremony Musicians: ☑

DJ: ☑

Cake: ☑

Day-of Coordinator: ☑

Save the Dates: ☑

Invitations: ☑

Bridesmaid Dresses: ☑

Bridal Accessories: ☑

Wedding Rings: ☑

Groomsmen Tuxes: ☐

Dress Fittings: ☐

Registry: ☑

Hotel room blocks: ☑

Shuttle/Transportation: ☐ (Still trying to determine if we have the budget for this. Are we jerks if we don’t provide transporation to/from the venue?)

Welcome Bags: ☐

Wedding Signage: ☑

Program & Menu: ☐

Seating Chart: ☐

Alcohol: ☐

Honeymoon: ☑ (Yassss!)

Centerpiece Bottles: ☐

Ceremony Backdrop: ☐

Card Box: ☐ (I’m making something very special and annoying to make for this, heh.)

Additional Random DIY Projects: ☐

Eventually this list is going to get so long you guys are all just going to stop reading, hahaha. I mean, this doesn’t even include all the super specific stuff we have yet to figure out, like who our ceremony readers are going to be, the ceremony music, writing our vows, our final menu choices, our first dance song (I already know what I want it to be, but I guess I should confer with Sean about it ;)), and more. And so we press forward!

For now though, let’s put all that aside and finish on a non-whiney note, shall we? I’m extra excited about wedding stuff this week because my bridal shower is happening this weekend! My sister and sister-in-law are keeping all the details under wraps, so I have no idea what to expect, but I’m just so excited to have the first official wedding event take place! This ish is gonna get REAL starting on Sunday! I promise I will try really hard not to wait another six weeks before updating you on it all. 🙂

And, finally, let’s go ahead and give an update on the schnauzer part of my life, which, even with all the other exciting stuff going on, is obviously still the very best part:


Yeah, they’re still pretty great. My little schmoopiees. I love them. (And as a reminder for those who might be confused as to why there are three little bearded faces, Pixel is technically my brother’s dog.)

Well, I think that pretty much catches us up to now. Things definitely aren’t slowing down this week: I’m seeing Joshua Radin in concert on Wednesday, my sister and nieces come into town on Friday (yay!), I’ve got the bridal shower this weekend, plus a couple more Yelp events scattered throughout the next couple weeks.

And in two weeks, my whole family is heading to Houston so Sean and I can participate in a traditional Chinese tea ceremony for my grandmother who can’t travel and won’t be able to attend the wedding. We’ll also be spending a couple of days in New Orleans with my brother and sister-in-law on the way back! I’ve never been to NOLA, so I’m excited to try some authentic beignets, hehe. If you have any recommendations for must-visit places in New Orleans, let me know!

Okay, I feel like if I don’t cut myself off now, I’m just going to keep prattling on forever, so I’ll say goodbye for now. Guess this just goes to show that I really need to blog more frequently — apparently I still do have a lot to say, hahahaha. See you guys on the flipside!


  1. As long as there’s enough parking, you aren’t a jerk for not providing a shuttle. But….if the reception and hotels aren’t close by….a bus at 9 pm and midnight (or kind of early and at the end) are a really nice touch.

    • Yeah, I mean I definitely WANT to be able to provide a shuttle, they just get really expensive. 🙁 And my dilemma is that while the ceremony + reception are taking place at the same venue, and you can literally see the wedding venue from the hotels where everyone will be staying, it’s at the top of a hill and it’ll be January, so I don’t think anyone is really going to be able to walk there. There is tons of free parking at the venue though. Still figuring this one out.

      • LeesaBsays:

        Huh. All that info sends me more to the not providing a shuttle side. Though, do you know someone with a minivan or other large vehicle that would be willing to help shuttle old or inebriated people? Either someone attending the wedding, or someone else, like a friend of a friend or a broke college student that would be willing to drive back and forth for a few hours for 50 bucks or something.

  2. brittneysays:

    I am getting married in September- 9/3/16 and I REALLY appreciate your updates and your lists! It helps me organize myself. I think not providing a shuttle is completely fine- I’ve seen pinterest things about providing a list of cab #’s, ubers, etc. But in this day and age it shouldn’t be an issue for people. I’m doing a lot of DIY stuff so seeing what you are doing and what is manageable with planning helps a lot! Keep updating when you can- us future brides appreciate it!

  3. Rachelsays:

    Is there public transit to/near the venue for local people? I was at a wedding a few years ago where the only way to get there was to drive, which meant a v. expensive cab ride for those of us who weren’t in from out of town. (Although looking at your other comments it seems like you just meant from the hotel anyway, so maybe I’m thinking of a different scenario!)

    • Yes, but again, because of the venue being on top of this big hill (there are stairs, but like, a thousand of them) I just worry that nobody would be willing to walk from the metro/hotel there. The metro stop is literally right outside of the hotel, which is super close to the venue (like less than half a mile). So if someone took a cab from the hotel to the venue, it would literally be like a 2 minute ride, haha.

      I do think that the best solution would be to figure out a way to get someone to shuttle people back and forth, even if it’s just like, hiring a person to pick folks up at the hotel and drop them off, since it’s such a short ride?

  4. Ellesays:

    I love your makeup! Airbrush seems like the way to go.

    Gosh, I just got back from New Orleans, and it is a crazy town! Definitely go get beignets from Cafe du Monde. And although we didn’t eat there, Mother’s restaurant on Poydras Street was recommended to us and there was always a line when we walked past. Bourbon Street is fun to look at and enjoy the craziness for about five minutes, but apparently all the locals go to Frenchmen St at the end of Decatur. And if you’re into walking tours and learning a bit about the city, try the Free Tours By Foot – New Orleans branch. I had one guide (Elizabeth Broussard) who was AMAZING! They are a pay-what-you-want tour, I did four of then during my time in the city and they were all 10/10! Phew – sorry for the wordiness, but it’s a great city with a ton to see. 😀

  5. Jennifer P.says:

    GO TO DAT DOG. THANK ME LATER. Seriously. It is incredible.


  6. I live in New Orleans–I love finding out when people are visiting my city! Dat Dog is pretty amazing, so check it out if you can. Also go to Parkway Bakery for po’ boys, and go to the Ruby Slipper Cafe–you won’t be disappointed! District Donuts on Magazine Street has beautiful, tasty donuts and kolaches (get there before 9am on the weekend, unless you enjoy waiting in line for an hour)–though I think Baker’s Dozen on Jefferson Hwy has the best donuts in the city.

    If you enjoy WWII history and have the time, you HAVE to visit the National WWII Museum… it’s phenominal, but you need to be able to devote an entire day to going through it. There’s also a super awesome book shop in Mid City (my part of town!) called Tubby & Coo’s… it’s super geeky and wonderful, and local- and woman-owned. Basically, there’s a crap ton of things to do here–feel free to email me with any questions about anything!

  7. #FoxYeahIDo is probably the greatest hashtag of all time. Ha! Can’t wait for the wedding!

  8. Love the long list! I know my wedding list kept getting longer and longer until like the week of my wedding, but as someone who just got back from her honeymoon, I assure you it does eventually shrink lol! October is totally the new May- we tried to get married in October and our venue was booked every weekend so we settles on this past Saturday (first weekend in Nov).

    I debated doing my own makeup and basically did exactly what you did haha. So glad I got it professionally done!!! I’m not normally one to get super nervous before an event, but I was shaking like a leaf the morning of my wedding.

    Can’t wait to see more wedding posts! Getting married myself has made me absolutely obsessed with other weddings… plus you have the same nerdy chic taste that I do.

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