Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Tonight, my Halloween plans consist of going over to Matt's parent's house and handing out candy to the trick or treaters. We live in a gated apartment complex, so we don't get the luxury of greedy little kids knocking on our door.

Oh yeah, we'll also be hanging out with this guy!
I have never been much of a Halloween person. Yes, I love the festive candy wrappers, and the pumpkins, parties, and anticipation of the holidays that happen AFTER Halloween. However, I'm definitely not one of those people who really get into the whole costume thing. When I was little, I typically let my mom sew or buy a costume. As I grew older, and started picking out my own costumes, my ideas began to consist of whatever I could throw together at the last minute. Let me give you some highlights:

  • 1996: I dressed up as an "escaped patient from a mental institution." I wore an old dress-up costume, added over-sized galoshes, donned Tupperware on my head, and tied twizzlers into my hair. I was a very weird, very disturbed kid. 
  • 1998: This sixth grader showed up to the party dressed as Lizzie Borden. I sported an old bridesmaid dress of my mom's, and carried around an ax. As you can see, my interest in all things morbid continued. 
  • 1999: That year I decided to be a normal little girl and I dressed as a fairy. All it required was the purchase of wings, which I wore over an old ballet recital costume. 
  • 2003: Lizzie Borden returns! This time, I wore a sweater and skirt combo, and carried around a fake bloody hatchet. No less weird, just a little more lazy. 
  • 2004: Candy Corn--probably my best idea, ever. All I needed was enough orange, yellow, and white posterboard to cover my body in the shape of this beloved, festive candy. I think I won a prize for this costume. 
  • 2006: This year marked the height of my fascination with Cher. General opinion was that I could do a pretty spot-on impression of the infamous singer, so I decided that would be the perfect costume. I bought myself a long, black wig and some fishnet nights. BOOM.
  • 2008: This year marked the height of my fascination with Hannah Montanta. I'll let the picture do all the talkin:
Don't judge. 
  • 2009: In what was quite possibly my laziest costume ever, I went dressed as a cougar. I basically wore normal clothes, and just attempted to make my Ralph Lauren v-neck sweater show a little extra cleavage. I was going to buy some cat ears to go with it, but I just never made it to the store. (Sidenote--I was out of town for that Halloween, so I didn't have much to work with, and I was super poor, so I couldn't just go and buy a slutty meter maid costume.)
So there you have it, kids! Katie's Guide to Costume Planning: Use whatever is handy, then comfort yourself with your cleverness when nobody gets/understands your costume. This is my Halloween. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Surviving Sandy

Just in case anyone was concerned, we have managed to survive the Frankenstorm known as Sandy. Luckily, we didn't lose power at all, which is definitely a good thing, considering how horribly underprepared we are for that situation. Yes, I know I had at least a week's worth of warning to stock my emergency kit, but it just did not happen. I mean, I didn't even make it to the liquor store before the storm hit, so you can see how good I am at preparing for emergencies. However, we did have one bottle of wine (which was demolished last night), as well as a couple of flashlights left over from 4-H camp and a plethora of yankee candles. So, at the very least, we could make sure we didn't run into furniture (especially after all that wine), and the apartment would smell really nice. Also, having a Walking Dead marathon in the midst of a superstorm wasn't such a good idea, in hindsight. I made Matt watch an episode of New Girl with me before we went to bad, because I needed some happy in my life after all that flesh eating. 

It was actually quite nice to be home yesterday; Matt's weekend is Sunday-Monday, so we both really enjoyed the extra quality time together. I was not pleased when he had to go to work this morning, but I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Unfortunately, I know that others didn't fare so well in the storm. One of Matt's co-workers, who basically lives down the street from us, had his roof collapse during the night, and there are loads and loads of people without power. Please continue to keep everyone affected by this monster storm in your thoughts and prayers. 

Since I haven't been to work at all this week, I have managed to accomplish some wedding planning tasks:
- My mom and I had a serious discussion about decorations
- Matt and I picked out the readings for the ceremony
- I addressed the invitations for the Bridesmaids Breakfast
- Planned out a tentative wedding day timeline to send to my coordinator

Look at me, being productive! I will be returning to work tomorrow, which means I have the rest of today to get even more things accomplished. Not sure if that will happen, considering my stubborn refusal to drag myself out of bed and put on real clothes, but I have high hopes for myself. 

Stay safe, warm, and dry, friends! 

p.s. While we fight flood waters up here, my parents are dealing with several inches of snow and the potential for blizzard-like conditions. That's what happens when you get a storm of epic proportions! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Paranormal Encounters

My MoH, Ashley, kindly pointed out to me that I did not include the scariest part of the bachelorette trip in my previous post. The scary part was not the male strippers, the cracked-out woman pushing her dog around in a stroller, swimming with sharks, or the old man who acted very much like a zombie and kept showing up near our house. The scary part was an honest-to-god encounter with a ghostly presence in our cottage.

Friday night (or Saturday morning), around 4am, Ashley and I laid down to finally get some rest. I had just closed my eyes when I heard a very long, very loud exhale just inches from my face. We both assumed it was the other, then quickly realized it could not have been either one of us, as we weren't yet asleep and were both barely breathing. I was ready to run for my life and join Alison and Julia in the other cabin. Ashley attempted to be the level headed one and urged me to stay, so we could figure out where the noise was coming from. We stayed there, completely still, and waited. Other noises drifted in and out--a car passing by outside, people walking around, etc. Every so often we would again hear the sound of someone breathing--unlike the other noises, this one was directly next to our ears, whereas everything else was obviously coming from some distance away. I repeatedly stated my intentions to jump ship and run next door, but Ashley again tried to be the voice of reason, asserting that it must simply be a "residual" and we would not be harmed. I, on the other hand, had seen way too many episodes of Supernatural to know it could not end well for us. At any moment I was ready to spring into action, make a salt ring, and find something made of iron to fight off the demons.

Don't get me wrong, this girl love ghost stories. Every time I visit a new town, the first thing I want to do is take a ghost tour, and I LOVE books and movies that are all about the supernatural. However, I've always bravely read/watched these stories because I've never actually seen a ghost, and at this point in my life I had simply told myself that maybe I wasn't prone to paranormal activity. At a previous job, I worked the night shift in a very, very old house that was allegedly haunted. I was the only person in the house at night, and I worked there for two months, and never experienced so much as a drop in temperature. Experiencing a ghostly presence was definitely not the adventure I thought it would be--guess it's time to rethink my dream career of being a ghost hunter.

Just when I was ready to really panic, my friends Julia and Katie arrived home (they stayed out a little later). That caused a momentary distraction/relief, although I unfortunately had to open the door for them, thus exposing myself to the stereotypical under-the-bed foot grab. However, their comforting presence died down when they went upstairs, and Ashley and I were left alone, once again, with Heavy Breather McGee.

I like to think that Sam and Dean Winchester secretly arrived and ganked the ghost, but Ashley said she heard the noise many times throughout the night. Somehow, we both survived and made it to the dawn. Ashley helped take my mind of things by first telling me the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, followed by the tale of Felicity, an American Girl. Eventually, I drifted off to sleep (although I think we may have left a lamp on). This is why Ashley is my best friend and Maid of Honor. I know I can count on her to calmly and rationally explain the presence of a spirit, and keep me from doing anything rash, such as calling the cottage's emergency number, asking the owner where she keeps her supply of rock salt, and if there happen to be any restless spirits buried on the property.

We will have no ghost nonsense going on here!
I still refuse to dig deeper into the history of the place where we stayed, to see if there are any stories. I would rather not know. Instead, I will take my one encounter with a ghost, and hope that it never happens again.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bachelorette Festivities

I realize there has been a bit of time since my last post, but I have been very busy with my BACHELORETTE PARTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The lovely decor in our cottage.
Our destination for the trip was Key West. We stayed for a long weekend (Thursday night-Sunday), and returning to reality Monday morning was quite the downer. I'm also feeling sad because I miss my friends. Everyone is scattered about the United States, so I don't get to see them as often as I would like. However, I was quite happy to be reunited with my fiance Sunday night--so I really experienced a raging, internal conflict of emotions.

The trip got off to a good start when our rental company upgraded our minivan to a suburban. You know how I feel about all things baller, so I was pleased as punch to be riding around in a black suburban with black leather and tinted windows.
Parking Big Bertha was no easy feat.

We didn't arrive to Key West until about 2am, after quite the ride which consisted of topless women, toddlers walking on top of parked cars, and a body lying in the back of a pickup truck (still undetermined if the person was napping or permanently sleeping...maybe we should have memorized that license plate number?). We also encountered a slight hiccup once we arrived, when we accidentally locked ourselves out of the cottage. I tried to pick the lock with my bobby pin to no avail--Sam and Dean Winchester make it look so easy! Good thing there was a master key in the lockbox, otherwise we would have been sleeping poolside. 

Friday was spent relaxing by the beach and the pool. Did I mention the tiny little pool that was in our courtyard? It was just the right size. Also, no pool hours were posted...better believe we used that sucker any time of day! 

Chillin out maxin, relaxin all cool
Friday evening, the other ladies arrived, and that's when the party began! It was time for games, shots, and all other kinds of shenanigans. 

Ready for my debut on Duvall!

Wearing a sparkly crown was a must.
We started out with a game at the cottage, and I like to call it "Know Ya Boo" (copyright Tom Haverford). Apparently, I don't know my boo, according to my bridesmaid Alison, who was in charge of the game. According to her, I lost. However, I maintain that I won, on the basis that most of the questions I got wrong were questions Alison made up.

Next, we hit up Duvall Street, which is basically the Bourboun Street of Key West. It was very vibrant (really the only way to describe it), and the perfect setting for the next game, which was a bachelorette scavenger hunt. I had two options: I could do everything on the list, win, and get a prize, or I could not do everything on the list, lose, and everyone would stop being my friend. Good thing I won! Some of the items on the list included: dancing on a bar, making a veil out of toilet paper, throwing a bridal tantrum on the dance floor, and pretending to fall asleep on the floor of a bar. Things not included on the list that also happened include: getting dollar bills thrown at me while singing karaoke (paid for the pedi-cab ride home!), singing a verse of "call me maybe" with a band that was performing that night, and making all the other bachelorette parties jealous. I currently don't have any appropriate photos I can post, but I will share them if any come available. 

Despite going to bed at 4am, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed the following morning and go snorkeling. This was my first time snorkeling (unless you count Disney World, which no one does), and it was very enjoyable. It was a little rough at times, considering the level of my  hangover amd the choppiness of the water, but all in all we had a lovely time. I saw lots of shiny fish, and I even saw a shark! Someone else on our boat saw a sea turtle, so I'm insanely jealous I missed out on that sighting. 
A slew of Scuba Steves.
After snorkeling, we had lunch, and several of us tried conch for the first time. Can't say that I'm overly fond of it, but it may have been the spices the restaurant used. Later that afternoon a few of us visited Ernest Hemingway's house. I'm not a fan of Hemingway's writing style, or his philandering ways, but he did have quite the lovely house when he lived in Key West. Also, Hemingway was apparently a cat lady. When he left, there were around 55 cats living on the property, and that number remains about the same (and most of them have six toes, just like the original). 
A six toed cat lounges by Hemingway's pool. 

Hemingway House

We ended the night with a delicious dinner and wandered around Duvall Street. I was wearing a sequined dress, so I felt the need to be seen. However, I would not recommend sequined dresses--they are actually quite painful to wear. I sustained several injuries throughout the night in that dress. We ended up at one bar, Zombie Bar, that seemed like a reenactment of Magic Mike. There were men dancing on bars EVERYWHERE. Some wore only underwear, some wore chaps, some wore nothing at all, and one guy was dressed as a vampire magician. It was quite the spectacle. 

My bachelorette party was absolutely amazing and awesome and wonderful. I can't thank my bridesmaids enough for throwing me such a fantastic party. I can't wait for our next sleepover...almost one month away!!!

p.s. There were many, many photos taken during this trip, but not by me since I no longer have a working camera. Once those pictures are available, I will post them, especially one of me in my sparkly dress, because I looked REALLY good.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Wedding Confessions

Today I am linking up with A Blonde Ambition for Confessional Friday. Why? Because today I am in a firestorm of a mood and I have things to say, that's why! 

First off, I must confess that wedding planning is no picnic. Take it from me, dear reader, it is not the pinterest-party-dream-board you may have imagined. You will have drama with your family, drama with your friends, drama with people you don't even know. You will cry over things not worth crying over (fondant), and obsess over the most trivial details (inner envelopes). The only reason I make it through any of these messes is through my wonderful fiance, who puts up with my crazy and always reminds me about the only thing that really matters: marrying your best friend. 

All that matters is your best friend, and a really awesome photo bomb.

And to further that rant, I also confess that I feel more like a firefighter than a bride-to-be (metaphorically speaking, of course). Every time one fire burns out, another takes its place. Let me throw you an example. Recently, the powers-that-be at Men's Wearhouse decided it would be a fun game to randomly delete groomsmen from our wedding party, then see how long it would take for me to crack (not long). Luckily, Matt saved the day on this one and I didn't have to deal with those monsters for the 500th time. However, as soon as that was fixed, I went to the mall the next day to pick up Matt's wedding band, only to discover that there was a misspelling on the inscription, which changed the meaning entirely. I cannot catch a break. 

I confess that I am beginning to go through my wedding to do list, and take an ax to things that are unimportant. Wedding license? Yes. Choreographed musical number for the wedding party? No.  

This next confession is not really wedding related, but I confess that I hate this election. Hate. It. Everybody and their brother fancies themselves a political genius--and believes it is their way or the highway. This morning, as I scrolled through my news feed on FB, at least five people were giving play-by-plays of the VP debate, complete with their own snarky comments. Vom. All. Over. That. 

I confess I am going to vote for Leslie Knope.


Lastly, I confess that I am absolutely over-the-moon about getting to marry Matty. He is my best friend, my other half, and the only person that can make me smile when I'm having a cranky day. I cannot wait for December 8th. 

That's all I have to say about that.

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Road So Far

Now that we are exactly TWO FREAKING MONTHS away, I thought it would be fitting to do a post covering all the latest updates in our wedding planning journey. Many people say to me "you must have everything ready by now!" I just plaster a fake smile and nod my head in assent, but in reality the image of my ever-growing to do list stays burned in my mind. Despite sounding like a Negative Nancy, we have accomplished so much since that fateful day in November, when Matt slipped a stunning sparkler on my ring finger.

This. Just. Happened. Literally, we mailed them on Friday morning--and some people have already received them! It is unbelievably exciting. Matt and I have already started taking bets on who will be the first to RSVP.

Lookin reeeaaallll good in that post office lighting!
2. Cake, maybe.
We might actually get to have our cake and eat it too! That phrase has never made sense to myself, or to Matt. If you're going to have cake, you're obviously going to eat it--why else would you have it in the first place? If I wasn't going to be granted the "privilege" of eating cake, then clearly, I would not have cake, I would have fruit...or something.

Anyway, finding someone to bake us a cake for our wedding has proven to be quite the challenge. In fact, it is its own post. For now, let's just say that things are looking up and I probably won't have to bake funfetti for my wedding after all.
One of my favorites from Pinterst. Monogram is a must. 

3. Flowers!
Last weekend, while home for my shower, my mom and I met with the florist and planned out all the flowers we wanted--such a relief! I previously had a wedding anxiety dream in which I didn't have enough flowers, including no extra bouquet to toss at the end of the night. So, I ran into a restaurant and stole fake flowers form a dining table, then tied them together with a ribbon. To be honest, my wedding anxiety dreams probably require their own post as well.

I was very vague about how I wanted the flowers arranged, and I gave her free reign on the corsages (honestly, I just don't have an opinion), but I was very specific about the types of flowers: ranunculus, anemones, garden roses, brunia berries, carnations, and baby's breath.

4. Booked our honeymoon!
Old news, guys. Get with the program.

5. Started my pre-wedding workouts
At first, I wasn't too concerned about forcing myself into an exercise regimen. After all, I felt confident about myself and all the alterations on my dress fit perfectly. I really didn't have anything to worry about...until I ordered a gorgeous rehearsal dinner dress that was slightly expensive AND final sale and could not get it zipped up. Shouldn't be anything three months of spin class can't fix. And on the plus side, I now have more energy and feel healthier than before I began hitting up the gym. Win-win.

That's all for now! I know it may not look like a lot, but honestly at this point I am just adding things to my wedding to do list simply for the sake of crossing them off (so it's really my fault that the list keeps getting longer). We've got a long way to go, my friends. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Showered with Love: Part 1

I can't believe I've already had TWO bridal showers and I haven't posted about either one! I apologize, dear reader, for cheating you of such precious wedding planning memories. Here is the low down:

The Lingerie Shower
My Matron of Honor, Melissa hosted this fabulous shower. Many of my close friends attended, and it was wonderful. The food was delicious, there was a raspberry champagne that was DELIGHTFUL, and I got many great gifts, most of them too scandalous to record in a blog post. 
Melissa, you should be a party planner!

All decked out in my bridal gear! That sash will be the perfect "something blue" to sport as I walk down the aisle. 

The Abingdon Shower
The next bridal shower occurred back home, for my friends and relatives still living in the area. My Maid of Honor, Ashley, hosted and planned this shower. Despite the monsoon that was raging outside, everyone had a warm and cozy time. We had lunch at a restaurant in town, which coincidentally is also where we will be holding our rehearsal dinner. The food was AMAHZING, and I also had a hair trial that morning, so I was looking really good. 

The rain couldn't even mess with my hair that day!
Now, I don't normally get sappy/emotional on my blog. That stuff is for pansies. However, I will say that I have absolutely loved my bridal showers--and not just for the gifts (granted, they are a major plus). It has meant so much to me to able to spend some quality time with the most important women in my life. I am truly grateful to have such strong, independent, and amazing women to serve as friends, family, and role models, and that is honestly the best gift any girl can receive. 

Sappy party is over, now I just want to say how excited I am to use my brand new griddle this weekend--I'm going to make all kinds of things! And by "all kinds of things," I simply mean pumpkin pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. Yessssssss.

Stay tuned, the third and final shower is coming up in just a few weeks!

Monday, October 1, 2012

I Got 99 Problems but a Honeymoon Ain't One

Recently, my dear fiance was kind enough to write a guest post for my blog. If you read it, you may have noticed he mentioned that one thing he had accomplished was booking the honeymoon. Well, cat's out of the bag now! That's right friends--although it was just days ago when I mentioned we were in a tight spot concerning our honeymoon plans, we actually managed to pull it together and plan our trip! All thanks to a great travel agent, come January we will be on our way to...


Could ya believe it? We're going to one of our top choices after all, and I honestly did not see that one coming. Seriously, we were all over the board on our choices, I would have been less surprised if our honeymoon spot ended up being Muncie, Indiana.

We're staying at an all inclusive resort that is brand new, right on the beach, and just brimming with possibilities. And the best part is, it has a swim up bar! One more life goal accomplished.

Hello, paradise! 
Hurry up, January 4th! I need a vacation so badly; I am seriously out of my head right now. On Friday, I had to submit a grant application THREE times--first, I submitted everything EXCEPT the actual application, second, I submitted the WRONG version of the application, and third, I finally managed to get it together and send the scanned, signed copy. Good thing I am going to Key West in two weeks, because my brain needs a mini-vacay before it explodes. 

At least the pressure has eased a bit, now that the honeymoon has been checked off the list. All that's left to do is purchase the additional travel insurance; flying all about the western hemisphere in the dead of winter is not a gamble I'm willing to take, without extra coverage. 

Stay tuned for exciting updates! Bridal showers, florists, cakes....and before you know, an invitation reveal! 

Happy Monday.
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