Friday, August 27, 2010

Wedding dramz - over a year later

So I got married over a year ago.
Right after the wedding, a website called was offering a free gift to those brides who reviewed a certain amount of their vendors. So when I got that offer I was all "Hell yeah!" because I had already reviewed most of my vendors on, so it was easy to do a little copy/paste magic.

Let me digress for a moment and tell you about buying my wedding dress. In short, it was awful. In long:

Well, On my first foray into wedding dress shopping I stopped into a place really close to my mom's house. I was greeted by one of the sales ladies who was VERY nice. She explained that the dresses were simply samples and they were able to order different sizes and colors (if available).

Looking through the dresses there was an insane amount of variety, from flapper style, to big poufy princess dresses, they had it all. I explained to the 1st sales lady that this was my first time shopping and I was nervous, and she was very kind. She set me up with a fitting room and helped me and my family look for dresses.

Soon, however, sales lady 1 was STEAMROLLED by sales lady 2, who came by and absolutely took over. She started off by telling my mom that a dress she selected was ugly, and then proceeded to select and uglier one.
Once she entered the picture, the entire situation became stressful.

I found two dresses that I really liked, and sales lady 2 informed me that I really needed to buy one of them today (regardless of the fact that I told both of them that this was my first time out, I was just starting and probably not going to buy) because those were one and only dresses. She kept pressuring me into buying, so much so that I began to believe that there were only ONE of those dresses.
I soon realized that these are clearly samples, as most of them were covered in makeup, had broken zippers and were really shabby. No respectable bridal boutique would sell a dress in that condition.

At the end of my session, sales lady 2 asked me to come to the counter to fill out my information, I went alone and she lowered her voice and proceeded to scold me for not having an appointment. She told me that I would never get into other bridal salons unless I had an appointment.
I would have had no problem if EITHER of the sales ladies, right off the bat, had said, "You can browse, but you cannot try on without an appointment." But to reprimand me, after being incredibly rude, and condescending was too much. Also, the store was COMPLETELY EMPTY.

I vowed never to return...Unfortunately, I went back on my vow, and returned to buy the dress (I couldn't find anywhere CLOSE to my house that had it) But, I was mad about it.
The first time we didn't have appointment, but the second time we made one, specifically to try on the gown I liked. The only salesperson I talked to was actually the owner, who was VERY nice, but VERY distracted. However, I gave them a get-out-of-jail-free card because the day after, they were doing a runway show...or something.

The other girls in the shop, receptionists, assistants, whoever else worked there were SUPER nice. Many of them went out of their way to tell me how beautiful the dress looked on me, asking my plans for my hair. Many of them even made these comments after I had changed back into my street clothes.

So I buy the dress on July 1. Life is good. I purchased the dress the requisite 6+ months in advance (actually 10+ months), leaving plenty of time for alterations! They told me they were shipping in August and I would hear from them. August came and went, so I called them to inquire, and was told that my dress wasn't going to SHIP until February 13th, and I was terrified about how long will it would take to arrive. My wedding was May 30th, 2009. I BOUGHT THE DRESS IN JULY 2008. The only timing that was indicated to me was that they should ship in August, and no further updates.

The whole experience was sort of awful.
Back to present - this morning I get an email from saying that my review is being disputed by the bridal salon, and that I needed to provide proof that I was INDEED a customer there. And I chuckled and was all, "whatever." Until I checked the other reviews on

Their average rating on is 4.5 out of 5. Then I went to yelp and saw that their average rating there is 1.5 out of 5. Only 1 out of 13 reviews (including 3 of my own) gave them a positive review. So thaaaaaaaaat's a little fishy.
So, now I'm all agitated because of that fact that this bridal salon (with ATROCIOUS customer service) is probs trolling the wedding websites looking for negative reviews to dispute. I wrote weddingwire back to let them know that yes, I would provide proof of my business dealings and that I was concerned about the integrity of their vendor ratings because of the ability to dispute them, citing the discrepancy between the two review sites.
I will have JUSTICE...with a side of spaghetti.

This video never fails to bring me joy

Where things stand now is that I need to see if I still have the receipt from the bridal salon. But if I don't, my mom reminded me that I purchased the dress with my credit card - so I can get that statement and, BOOYAH, GRANDMA. Suck on that, bridal salon.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I will be over this by LUNCHTIME - swearzies

Some days I am totally comfortable in adulthood.
I look around and I am proud that at 25 I have already accomplished 4 out of the 5 milestones that mark the transition into adulthood (NY Times): I completed school, left home, became financially independent and got married.

But other times, I feel so lost and desperate, it's ridiculous.
I feel like I never have my feet on the ground, and I am hanging on by a thread. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing, where I should be going and what I need to be aiming for. But these are things that no one can give me the answers to. These are things that I need to sort out for myself - and that's hard.

It's HARD to keep house, cook dinner, exercise, maintain friend and family relationships, while working 8 hours, commuting 4 (round trip) and spending time with my husband and pets. I constantly marvel at my parents, and even some of my peers and wonder, "HOW DO YOU DO IT??"

Right now, I think I'm just feeling the time and financial squeeze of a very fun and active summer (and it's not done yet). I've been going, and going, and going, and spending, and spending, and spending, and now, at the very end, I'm exhausted, drained and broke.

At this point, I need to throw in the disclaimer that my dissatisfaction is coming from a mountain of adult responsibilities that are catching up with me: I need a new bank, I need to transfer my car loan, I need to pay someone $2,000+ to fix a single panel of siding, I need to find new floors, I need to fix or replace our water softener, I need to switch our cable back, I need to take the cat to the vet.
I've really done myself a disservice by pushing all these things off in favor of more exciting social obligations. Swear on a bear that this isn't me all the time.

I need to realize that what's going on, it's not forever. I'm young, and overall I DO have my ducks in a row. I'm just a little crabby, a lot touchy, and extremely tired. I think I get a little more sensitive when I start to see kids going back to school, and I realize how much I MISS that feeling of a NEW START with a NEW YEAR. As an adult everything runs together.

On a more positive note, here's me with a mustache from the bachelorette party this past weekend:


...I feel strangely lost.
...I am losing patience with my bank.
...I am wearing pants with FAR more stains on them then I would like.
...I am tired of being so tired.
...I wish I was going back to school.
...I am over owning a house.
...I will be downtrodden for a little while, but change my outlook shortly.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oh, Butters.

While I was writing emails and facebooking and whatnot, the kitty climbed up on my chest and made it hard to get anything done. But, he's adorable, so I took a break.

If you turn up the volume and listen REALLY closely, you can hear him purring

Shortly after I uploaded this, Kitty abandoned me, and Maddie The Saddest Dog in the World got jealous and had her moment in the sun.

Don't judge me harshly for avoiding her tongue. You would too if you could smell her breath.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

4 Simple Goals

This morning I checked my reader and found a couple of these 4 Simple Goal posts started by Elsie, and I kind of love it. I've been feeling this pull to simplify my life. To throw away/donate/sell the unnecessary clutter. To make sure I make time to read. To cook and bake things because I want to, rather than need to. And this? It may provide me with the start I need.
Here are the guidelines for 4 Simple Goals:

1. choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish.

2. do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example.... instead of "lose 10 pounds", choose something like "eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day". get what i'm saying? positive actions instead of just the end result!

3. choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! they can be daily, weekly or one time experiences.

4. choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! it can be a small or large reward.

5. blog your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year! And don't forget to link back to Elsie.
This comes at a perfect time - the changing of the seasons, the end of my summer obligations, and it completely aligns with the declarations Mike and I have made to get our shit together.

Without further adieu, my goals:
1. Spend quality time with Mike.
This means more than just being in the house at the same time. This means after dinner walks, and goofy, impromptu photo shoots and me learning to love board games so we can play together.
2. Be more selective.
About how I spend my time (do I really need to watch the Jersey Shore marathon? I've seen them all...), about how I spend my money (while I can buy 16 shirts for $5 at Discovery, is that a good idea?) and social obligations. I've been saying YES to everything recently, and I'm becoming run down and broke and lazy.

3. Fall in love with my house
I have about 384 lists of things I want to do to turn my house into my home, but I've yet to even BEGIN any of these projects. I want to be able to look around my living space and be so proud that I've done this.
4. Find a hobby
I start and stop so many projects and crafts - but maybe it's because I haven't found the right one. This goal is giving me permission to KEEP TRYING to find something that I love to do in my spare time (besides watching TV) and to keep doing it.

I hope this works.
I've made many declarations and lists here, but I feel confident in these because they are totally manageable, fun, and things I've already been itching to do.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ode to Fall

This morning when I let Maddie out, it was delightfully brisk. The heat hadn't set in yet, it wasn't stiflingly muggy, and, in short, it was lovely.

I've been eagerly anticipating fall for a WHILE now - both for the cooling weather, and for the break in social engagements. Because, you guys, I've been busy.

I've got two friends moving out of state, and so many pre-planned summer activities that I'm running on fumes. In fact, I was so gassed on Saturday, that when I went to my mom's End Of Summer party, I slept on her couch while everyone else partied. I'm that awesome.

This week marks the start of the countdown to Labor Day, and my final summer engagement (a culmination, of sorts) - Meeting Brittany and Emily. I've already mentioned this meeting before, but it's becoming time to PLAN, and ORGANIZE, and GET EXCITED.

But, before I enjoy THEIR company, I have a bridal shower and a mustache-themed bachelorette party this weekend. I CAN'T WAIT.

After all of these awesome adventures are done, I'm calling a time out. I need to get my feet back on the ground, I need to put together a life plan that will be followed, and I need to recharge.
I'm eagerly anticipating the return of tights and cardigans and boots. The changing of the leaves, and dropping of the temperature and the return of the need for blankets! I'm desperately looking forward to opening the windows to let the cool air in, the time when the bugs peace out, and taking walks in the evening (and not coming home drenched in sweat).
I can't wait to see my mom's Burning Bush leaves turn red, to buy mums for my front porch and to make SOUP! I want to decorate with leaves and pine cones and gourds.
Images via October 2009

Fall is, BY FAR, my most favorite season. It represents a break, changes, and an opportunity for me to relax. Fall is my transition period - I want to get my ducks in a row before I hibernate for winter, and hopefully, by next spring, I'll come back better than ever.

What's your favorite part of fall?

Wants and Needs


Image via

Image via 2008

Image via my living room...


Image via

Image via

Image via my house 2009

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How to Install Google Analytics

So, I recently made a couple of changes to my layout. It's nothing exciting and definitely nothing to write home about - mostly I was just playing around.

But! I failed to realize that I need to reinstall Disqus and my Google Analytics tracking code RIGHT AFTER.

For my purposes and yours, here's how to make sure Google Analytics is working properly.

First, you have to sign up for google analytics. So go and click "Sign Up"
This is especially easy if you have a gmail account and use Blogger. Unfortunately, I don't have any info on how Analytics works if you are using something else (sorry!).

Then you have to find your TRACKING CODE. Here's what Google says:
  • Log in to Google Analytics at
  • From the Overview page, select the account that has the profile for the tracking code you're looking for, as the code is profile-specific.
  • Select the profile from the accounts Overview page.
  • From that profile's Actions column, click Edit
  • At the top right of the 'Main Website Profile Information' box, click Check Status
  • Your tracking code can be copied and pasted from the text box in the Instructions for adding tracking section
Now that you have your tracking code, head over to blogger and hit the "DESIGN" tab along the top, and then the "Edit HTML" selection after that.

Once you see all the HTML code, find "<*/*head*>" (without the *s), and paste your code BEFORE that.

Done and DONE. I hope. From what I've gathered (and correct me if I'm wrong) Analytics updates once a I won't know FOR SURE if all of this worked until tomorrow. But, hey! Fingers crossed.

Do you know anything more than I do? Do you have an easier method?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

VEDA number 1

So, this is m very first vlog. I'm awkward and frightened and OMG PLEASE DON'T JUDGE ME. I apologize in advance for the awkward ending. I just started rambling and I couldn't stop.

But, seriously, I threw that thing together in like 10 minutes. It's NICE to not agonize over what what I'm writing.

Monday, August 2, 2010


So, I've totally gone missing. I've disappeared (mostly) from facebook, twitter, blogging and emails. But! There's a reason!

Last week I was on a trip to Massachusetts with my family (minus Mike...booo) to visit Nana!
And this week? Well, I'm still getting my bearings about being home, and part of real life. It's harder than you think!

Seriously, you guys. Before my vacay, I hadn't been to MA since 2008.
Me, sister, sister, Mom in MA in 2008

Let's talk about Nana's house.
It's a ridiculously old house at the end of a quiet street. Nana has lived there for 50+ years, and owns much of the surrounding property. She has a creepy basement (also known as the "cella") and a deliciously large in-ground pool. This was my view for a week:

Behind Nana's house is my aunt and uncle's house. My other uncle actually lives in the basement. Oddly enough, THAT house used to belong to my mom.

When we go to MA, we spent LOTS of time hanging out by this RIDICULOUS pool (well...I hang out in the shade), but we also have a lobster and clam bake that entails eating pounds and pounds of steamed clams, and your very own lobster. It's a disgusting and embarrassing and tasty tradition that Mike became privy to the last time we visited.

On this trip, I learned that I legitimately get a sunburn after 20 minutes in the sun unprotected. I wanted to get a SMIDGE of color, and experts recommend getting 10-15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure a few times a week - so on day 1 I laid out for 10 minutes on each side. On day 2, I went for 15 minutes. The results were lovely, I was warm and happy.

But on day 3, I pushed the limits and went for 20 minutes on each side, and by 7pm, I was a red and itchy mess (but, just on my back where a bra clasp hits). In addition to a usual sunburn, I get itchy. Like, insatiable, unbearable, painful itching. I get it from my dad, who was hospitalized during Vietnam because of a terribly itchy sunburn.

I used to joke that 20 minutes in the sun would result in a burn, but now I know, FOR REAL, that 20 minutes will knock me flat on my ass. After this sunburn debacle, I got mad at the outdoors, and watched a LOT of Bravo for the remainder of the vacay. Which? Is OK by me.

This trip? We went shopping at Faneuil Hall, and rode Codzilla. Let's talk about Codzilla for a moment, shall we? It's this high speed Boston Harbor tour. They play loud music, spin the boat and you have the potential to get wet. Well, as we get on the boat, one of the men working there warns us that we're sitting in the wettest seats. But, we were all "Whatever! It's not like we'll get drenched!" Thinking that since we were so high above the water, we'd just get sprinkled.

We didn't get sprinkled. After the first 360 turn, it was like someone had dumped buckets of freezing cold ocean water on the 2 rows we were sitting in. The rest of the boat? SPRINKLED. We were the only 7 people on the boat screaming at the top of our lungs as we drank salt water.
This picture doesn't do the level of our saturation justice.

This year it was my sister's boyfriend's turn to experience Lobstah and Steamah Day first hand, and he loved(?) it.
I definitely loved it.

One night, our family friends brought over their 2.5 year old baby...well, not baby. But - holy shit, this kid basically ruined my life. He was the most articulate child, with so much personality it was ridiculous. He was doing yoga, he punctuated all his sentences with the word "actually", made fun of his grandfather ("Grandy") by hiking up his pajama pants, saluting my Army vet father. But best of all? This conversation:
Dad: "Ollie, how do you say HI to girls?"
Ollie: "Hello, Beautiful!"
My new life plans includes HAVING BABIES YESTERDAY.

All in all, good trip - even with the obnoxious sunburn. It's NICE to detach from reality for a little while. I got back last Wednesday evening, so I'm STILL working on catching up with my emails, and google reader and whatnot.


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