I Found the Gown

Soooo, quite a bit of exciting stuff¬†has been happening in the Powell household over the past few days. First off, Sunday night was Yelp’s Fire & Ice Ball, the HUGE 1000+ person event that I’ve been planning for the past couple of months!

It was, in a word, AWESOME. So many amazing businesses were there offering delicious food, sips, hair styling, massages, tarot card readings, painting classes, and more. Entertainment ranged from a string quartet to a rockin’ DJ to parkour performances to a FIRE DANCER (true story!), and it was just an awesome, awesome time.

Yelp-Fire-and-Ice-Ball-2015(151of192) Yelp-Fire-and-Ice-Ball-2015(180of192)

Did I mention it was awesome? ūüėČ

Plus, in addition to getting to promote awesome businesses from all across Northern VA, we raised almost $3500 for the SPCA of Northern Virginia!

And as if surviving¬†throwing Yelp Northern VA’s¬†biggest event of the year wasn’t enough excitement for one week, a couple of other fun things have been happening around the Powell household. For example…

mia big sis

I am super happy to announce that my sister, Jen, is pregnant again! My beautiful niece Mia is going to be a big sister (to another little girl, yayyyyy!) come the end of August/early September, and our family could not be more thrilled.

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen that Jen and Mia are in town visiting, so we were¬†finally were able to snap a photo¬†of this adorable pregnancy announcement. And by “we,” I mean, Ben, our brother and actual professional photographer. I call the above¬†photo, “Skeptical Mia.”

A picture from tea on Thursday that Jenny wouldn’t let me post on social media because she hadn’t officially announced yet, haha.

I’ve actually been trying (and probably failing) to keep this news under wraps since DECEMBER, if you can believe it. My family all found out about Jen’s new bun in the oven when we were down in Macon for Christmas. I KNOW. Clearly my sister does not share my desperate need to¬†put my entire life up on the interwebs in realtime, haha.

Speaking of which… the third piece of exciting news from the past few days is that… I purchased my wedding dress!

Spoiler alert: this is NOT my dress, hahaha. Fit & Flare = not my friend.

Unflattering silhouettes did not stop me from finding The One, and I totally said yes to the dress. And my credit card statement next month will remind me of it dearly, I’m sure.

Now, let it be said that I did not PLAN to have my dress be the¬†first¬†thing that I’d be crossing¬†off my wedding checklist. After all, I¬†haven’t even chosen¬†my¬†wedding venue¬†yet (I’m pretty close to making a decision though), which means I¬†technically don’t even have a date yet (although I’m pretty sure what it’s going to be.)

So, yes, I know that venue/date is usually the first (and, um, most important) step in wedding planning. But¬†I really wanted to go dress shopping while my sister was in town, given that she’s my Matron (ha!) of Honor and general goodtime bestie.

My dress shopping entourage: Taylor, Jen, Anne, and my fabulously hatted mom!

So, we crammed in various bridal appointments over a few days before the Fire & Ice Ball took place, and I tried on a LOT of dresses. Turns out that while I do have a particular style I gravitate towards, within that style I basically like everything. So making a decision was actually very challening for me! Anyway, after I was able to try on all the dresses I was interested in (and I was interested in a lot of them, bahaha), I agonizingly narrowed it down to a couple of top contenders. Then, after the madness of my Yelper Party had died down, I went back to the bridal salon to finalize my decision!

I plan on going into more detail about my whole dress shopping experience later (I have some tidbits to share on what it’s like to go dress shopping as a plus-size bride, how my embarassing love for all things wedding¬†kept me from having what I’d considering a¬†“traditional” dress shopping experience, and how I didn’t have a “this is the one” ugly crying moment… well, not at first, anyway) but for now, let us just rejoice in the first official wedding decision having been made!

It works out that I took care of this early, anyway, since my dress is going to take up to six (SIX!) months to come in. Womp womp. At least I have lots of beautiful photos of it to keep me warm at night, right?

So, there you have it! Quite some exciting happenings, um, happening around these parts lately! And they’re just going to keep, er, happening, because this weekend I’m off to Texas for Sean’s cousin’s wedding in Dripping Springs (between Austin and San Antonio, as I understand it).¬†The first wedding I’ll be attending as an engaged lady!

The rehearsal dinner is taking place at¬†The Salt Lick, which is a famous BBQ place that Sean has¬†literally been telling me about since we started dating. Needless to say, I am PSYCHED about that (pre-wedding diet, what?), oh yeah, and I guess there’s also the whole meeting the rest of Sean’s family and going to a celebration of love thing. ūüėČ

Hopefully I’ll get to check in here again before I leave for the Lonestar State, but either way, I’ll see you soon!


  1. Larasays:

    Yay yay yay! So many good things! I had such a great weekend with you! PS. your mom’s hat is amazing! xx

  2. DRESS! GIVE ME ALL THE DETAILS! I’m not quite plus size (just under at the moment) but being 5’3″ I foresee this being a major pain in my ass. I’ve taken a peak through bridal magazines and have no clue which style will fit my body, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on what worked and what didn’t.

  3. I’ve been to the Salt Lick. Best BBQ I’ve EVER had, enjoy!!!

  4. Congrats on a great event AND finding the dress! I will admit, I did not cry during my dress experience either. I kept waiting for my parents to cry too. It didn’t happen. HA! BUT! It was a fun time and I LOVED my dress! Can’t wait to hear more.

  5. Lori Rsays:

    1. Yay dress! They told me 6 months, too, but it came in like 3.

    2. Salt Lick is amazing. I hope you get to “do” Austin, it’s one of my favorite places on the planet.

    3. Do you still have plans to finish the trilogy? (Post wedding, of course) I’m dying to know what happens to Terra.

  6. Oh my gosh, you are going to the salt lick!!! It’s the best!!! (I’m from San Antonio)

  7. Yep, Dripping Springs is 30 minutes outside of Austin. If you have time and you guys like beer, I highly recommend an afternoon at Jester King Brewery, which is close to Salt Lick! Very creative beers, and super fun environment to hang out in. And if you venture into Austin, make sure you try a breakfast taco somewhere!

  8. Congrats on finding The Dress! ūüôā And yes, Salt Lick is insanity. I still dream of and drool over their blackberry cobbler – so save room for that! ūüôā There’s a Salt Lick vendor in the Austin airport too and while it’s not the same experience as the real restaurant, they would make a great pre-flight home hangover cure! ūüôā ūüôā

  9. Shawniesays:

    Hi G:
    I’m so inappropriately excited about your nuptials, considering I don’t know you – har har. But I love reading your blog and love your enthusiasm and the big ol’ bites you take out of life. Congrats on the F&I Ball – judging by the reviews, it was amazeballs – but you already know that. Anyway… blah blah blah, keep writing. I was so glad not long ago when you came back to your blog. Cheers, girl! Enjoy every moment. PS – does San Diego Yelp do the cool stuff that you do out there?

    • LOL! You flatter me too much! And hell yes, San Diego has an awesome Yelp Community Manager, both in the main area (Brad B) and North County San Diego (Trish S). I hope you can make it out to one of their events sometime, they’re the bee’s knees!

  10. Dress shopping is the best shopping (shoe shopping = worst shopping)! When else will you ever get to try on so many nice dresses?

  11. Get the pork ribs at Salt Lick. Everything is great, but the ribs are unreal. Welcome to Texas (sorry about that weather today…).

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