Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rule #44 - Sh-weat Happens

Last week while at the Y working on my bridal bod I whipped out my towel to wipe off the excess glow that had formed around, essentially, my entire face. In doing so I managed to knock the back off one of my earrings and send it falling to the ground. Attempting to maintain all (read: none) of the coordination that I presently possess, I spent a couple of minutes glancing around for the sparkly stud while still mid-stride before deciding to wait for my elliptical sesh to end (ellipti-sesh? Sub-parantheses: Why do I love to abbrev? More accurately, why do I love name combining? Double Sub parantheses: Namebining???) to search for the lost bauble. Once the grueling program had subsided I hopped off to begin looking for it. I searched high and low (well, really, just low... I knew it had not, in fact, gotten lodged in a ceiling tile). Finally I spotted the familiar sparkle peeking out from underneath the machine itself. Attempts to disengage it from the undercarriage of the elliptical machine proved futile with my Velociraptor (confession: I just Wiki'd "velociraptor") arms. Instead, I used my ruggedly handsome and manly brute strength to push the entire machine about 2 feet to the left, effectively unplugging my entire row of equipment. I watched in awe as the entire floor came to a graceful synchronized halt before realizing that I, and not the glorious Lord above, had caused the scene and consequent ire before me. Quickly I reattached my jewel before adapting an identical look of frustration, reconnecting the machines to power and striding confidently away. Yep. They had no idea it was me. They also can't see the lobe infection I received from reconnecting an earring that lay on the gym floor for 30 minutes to my ear. I've got 'em all fooled.

The Naked Truth

This past Sunday morning at 6:30 I got locked out of the house. Twice. Naked. With a towel turban on my head. I thought I'd save the punch line of this post until the end, but frankly, that's all that needs to be shared. I could tell you all about how my sister was home for the weekend with a friend, and it was just the three of us, and someone locked the knob even though we only ever lock the dead bolt, or how the dogs decided to run away, or how I thought it was wise to shower but not-quite-completely-towel-dry before letting them out, or how the garage door keypad malfunctioned two times that morning but then never again for the past 72 hours, or how much dog hair clings to still-quite-wet flesh as you attempt to clutch them against your chest as a shield from the cold and as (frankly) a bit of nipple (is that word allowed here?) coverage while hobbling barefoot through your mulch and side yard woods wearing a towel on your head. I could admit that this happening once was bad enough but repeating the entire process not more than 6 minutes later was nearly mortifying. I could also explain that I was terrified and had convinced myself that the same rapist serial killer that I had spent 2 hours watching on 48 Hours Hard Evidence the night before was watching me and lurking in wait, which actually made me sort of run-hobble (rubble? robble?) through the sticks and brush to the safety of my quite well locked home. Instead, I'll just reiterate that on Sunday morning at 6:30 I got locked out of the house. Twice. Naked. With a towel turban on my head. And there's a perfectly good explanation for it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I was equal parts ambivalent and excited about choosing music for our wedding ceremony. I'm not a musical guru, so lots of selections of classical music sound pretty to me. But planning the ceremony has been my favorite part of the wedding planning process thus far. From choosing our readings to our readers to our musicians (a strings trio along with two worship leaders from our church), it's been so special to select the pieces and parts of such a holy moment.

When it came time for choosing my processional, I knew I didn't want Pachelbel's Canon, althoug it's gorgeous. I've stayed away from anything too expected (you won't find 1 Corinthians 13 as one of our readings, for instance), but I still wanted something that felt traditional. I thought about processing down to "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," which is one of my favorite pieces, but again, it felt almost trite for a ceremony.

As I spent time listening to the repertoire of our strings group, my eyes immediately filled with tears as I heard the opening strains of "Hymne Vangelis." This sweet song, while not triumphant or victorious (it makes me uncomfortable thinking about having an overly celebratory song announcing my entrance into the church), hits just the right chords of sentimentality, sweetness while being classic and understated.

As for my 'maids, I chose a gorgeous hymn for them to walk to. Again, not non-traditional, but also not cliche. My beautiful ladies will walk down the aisle to the strings playing "All Creatures of Our God and King." I'm so thrilled with where we've landed for these two important pieces, and I know the tone will be just right for our ceremony.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I went through a season between 4th and 7th grade where I had few to no friends. In all honesty I can't remember minding all that much. Instead I just adapted games to play by myself. These ranged from Boxcar Children (er, Child) to Orphans (which included closing myself into my closet with the lights out and huddling myself around a Christmas candle). One time I even found an unhatched goose egg out our neighborhood pond and attempted to hatch it in that same orphanage (or, closet), so I could be like Anna Paquin in Fly Away Home (I wanted unconditional adoration... is that really so much to ask for?). When it didn't hatch after several weeks I angrily took it back to the pond and threw it against a tree then cried as the yolk ran down. All so dramatic.

My favorite solo-playing though was an activity I have since labeled "Figure Blading." My only real friend at the time was a lithe and graceful figure skater... all things that I was not. BUT I could tear up the driveway on a pair of rollerblades. Many afternoons you could find me outside on the driveway with Celine Dion, Amy Grant or Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart," blasting through my small CD player (actually my little sister's. Sometimes I could coerce her to 'blade with me, but seeing as how she actually had a group of friends, that wasn't all that often). I would "choreograph" long routines to these melancholy tunes while singing at the top of my lungs. My tricks included gliding on one foot, hopping a short distance, and "spinning" in long, slow, languid circles. I had dreams that some famous agent would drive past our cul-de-sac and discover me beautifully and artistically figure blading about our slab of cement. Of course, that never happened, and the hours I spent on the driveway were all for naught, but in those moments I did feel gloriously graceful. Looking back, of course, I realize that my infatuation with such games could have been the very reasons I didn't have people banging down my door to hang out with me.

But, if figure blading is, in fact, your cup of tea, just come knock of my closet door and join me for a rousing round of orphans first.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Smudge

As an appropriate follow up to the post below, here's the collection of three eyeshadows that I'm desperately layering on day after day. I hate to open any of my newer ones until these little babies are kaput. We're painfully close to the trashcan clang, and my 'lids are ready for a change. To a different set of bronze and golds.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just a Splash

I've recently developed a "get ready" routine that I'm pretty in love with. Dose of vitamins and zinc, shower, deodorant, a few spritzes of Philosophy's Inner Grace, Rodan & Fields Unblemish 3-step routine, make up, blow dry, out the door. Clothes and bed-making are somewhere in there too. But beauty-wise, this is the pattern of activities

A small non sequitur here, I have a pattern that I repeat verbatim every morning when I get to my desk. I open 7 internet tabs and pull up in this order: People, EOnline, Cupcakes & Cashmere, Southern Weddings, Facebook, Wells Fargo, and Kassel & Kate. I never, ever read them in that order, but it's how I open them. Only when I'm finished with Cupcakes & Cashmere do I also open tabs, always in the same order, for Us Weekly, The Glamourai, Eat Live Run,Making It Lovely, Day Old News, Style Me Pretty and Can You Stay For Dinner. It may take me hours to read them all, but it's the same routine. Every. Single. Day. OCD, much?

Another fun (or actually not that fun at all) fact about me: I love to throw away empty bottles. I wish I could figure out where this stems from, but I find a personal victory in completely finishing a product and throwing it away. I got extremely excited recently when I realized that my Inner Grace was nearly depleted (probably both my perfume and actual inner grace seeing as my love for people has been nearly tapped out this week). I started adding an extra squirt to my morning application to quickly get to the bottom. Once I had gotten to the point where I wasn't able to spray any out, I simply removed the applicator, poured a small amount in my hand and splashed it on myself. Obviously my enthusiasm to empty the bottle outweighed proper discernment as I've spent the past two days in a bath of Inner Grace (a terrible thing, really?). But this morning, victory was mine as the empty bottle landed in a clank and thud of joy in the bottom of my trash can. It really is the little things, is it not?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To 'Do or Not To 'Do

This past Friday I ventured to my local salon for a trial run of my wedding hair. Naturally, even the fact that I called it a "trial run" was misleading, since I really didn't have a specific direction of what I was looking for. My biggest wedding day concern is that I feel like myself, but I want to feel gorgeous, as well.

I always thought I'd wear my hair down and loose on my wedding day, but after trying on my dress with it both down and up, I realized that I liked it much more with my neck bare. Although I wear my hair piled in a messy bun on top of my head fairly frequently, I've never had an actual up do done. In fact, I never once got my hair professionally done for any of the four proms I attended or any sorority formals in college.

Before going to my trial I decided that I wanted to see both up dos and half-up-half-down styles. Unfortunately I intentionally didn't bring any pictures (I wanted to see what my sweet stylist would do without just replicating a photo) and didn't communicate very well. Ultimately we didn't land on a style that perfect, and I also left without much clarification about the type of coif I want on April 14. I definitely feel more myself with my hair half-up, but up dos can feel special. Here's my ultimate pro's/con's list as well as a few picture inspirations (Thanks for the all the help with your prettiness, Dianna Agron). How did you wear your hair for your wedding? How do you wish you'd worn it? How do you want to wear it on your wedding day?

Up Do Pros:
Feels formal and elegant
Feels special and unique
Stays out of your face
My post-veil reception headband will frame an up do nicely

Up Do Cons:
Can feel very prom-y
Can feel very stiff and overly sprayed
Doesn't feel natural for me

Half Up Pros:
Tends to look relaxed and natural
Feels feminine and romantic
Feels like me

Half Up Cons:
Could look very stringy by the end of the night
My tendency for heavy sweating could cause it stick to my neck and be very uncomfortable
Could feel too every day

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Better Butter

Long ago when I first launched PD&PB, I was consuming protein bars on the reg. I'm a creature of habit, and that applies largely to my eating patterns. When I find something I love, I stick to it. I ate a protein bar almost every single morning and loved every bite. This summer when our office competed in a weight loss challenge, I altered my eating to include more whole, clean foods and fewer processed ones. Protein bars were on the non-clean list, and I gave them up (mostly) cold turkey. Since then I've fallen head over heels in love with a toasted whole wheat naan every morning (do you eat naan? If not, you are SERIOUSLY missing out. Get thee to Trader Joe's ASAP to grab a pack or four) and top it with a delicious combo of Target's Archer Farm natural peanut butter with flax seeds (I also love Trader Joe's almond butter with flax seed, but there's just something about good ole peanut butter that's hard to beat) and Trader Joe's fig butter (a recent discovery). I apply the butter duel when the naan is still piping warm from the toaster and let them semi-melt into a glorious gooey-ness. Never will I ever go back to a singular bar for breakfast. Now I just need to figure out an alliterative, catchy pairing for "Whole Wheat Naan with Natural Peanut Butter and Fig Butter" to retitle this now misnomered blog.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Gray Area

I decided in the past couple of days that I'm going to do my own makeup on my wedding day. I'm by no means a pro at cosmetic application, but being a self-confessed control freak means that I'd rather look like a slightly jazzed up version of my everyday self than like someone that neither the fella or myself has ever seen (and will never see again). That said, I'll spend the next few weeks working with some upgrades of my norm, which usually includes some Bare Minerals base and blush, a few swipes of neutral or metallic Cover Girl shadow, perhaps some brown eyeliner (black on date nights... bowchickwowwow), a sweep of Maybelline mascara and some conglomeration of gloss.

Yesterday will traipsing through Target I realized I had a coupon (dang, I love coupon'ing) for a percentage off a Maybelline eyeliner. Knowing that I was running low on my brown staple, I swung by the aisle to snatch up a fresh one. Instead I grabbed a pewter pencil. When I got home I was pretty skeptical that I could pull it off without looking completely '80s. Instead I was shockingly surprised at how much it enriched my eye color (predominantly green with some blue and a ring of gold) and made my whole look pop with softness. Anyone looking for a subtle change should definitely scoop up a gray 'liner. What are some of your favorite makeup pieces?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Circus Act

The circus was in town recently, and while I didn't attend, I realized that much of the last few months has left me feeling like a lion tamer, tight rope walker, juggler, clown, ringmaster, and heck, even a side show act all at the same time.

Thankfully this week I was able to find a happier balance and figure out my life. Well, at least somewhat. With the fella's new job (which he LOVES! Praise the Lord for His timing and plan!) taking him away for the evenings, I've had plenty of free time to catch up with the wonderful friends that God has placed in my life. And while I know I could do that any week, with our very limited free time I usually end up prioritizing my time with D ahead of other relationships. This week, though, I spent a refreshing many hours (and several glasses of wine) hearing about the lives of some of the greatest ladies in my life.

I am so thankful for the gentle ways that God uses the people in my life to restore my soul as a microcosm of the way that He does. In this season of crazy, one of the greatest blessings I have is the opportunity to take a quick breath in the company of my favorite people. Wine is another one.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The List

With our wedding swiftly approaching (a mere 67 days according to our Knot site), we're quickly finalizing our guest list. I've started addressing envelopes, and naturally everyone who received a Save the Date will be also receiving an invitation; however, we compiled a secondary list of possible invitees who didn't receive a little STD from us (teehee) but were still in the running for an invitation. The list included old friends from high school, close acquaintances from church and various and sundry other miscellaneous relationships. My first instinct is to invite everyone - I want our wedding to feel warm, inviting and welcoming, but budgets tell me otherwise.

Last week, Little and I had a meeting with our florist and chased that with a trip to our favorite tapas restaurant for wine and a quick bite. Immediately upon entering I spotted an old friend who was solidly on our maybe list, with perhaps a bend toward the "Yes" column. My immediate reaction was to hide from her. I didn't want to do stilted small talk, and for some reason the thought of an interaction with her made me cringe. So. I hid. And hid. Until she'd left the establishment. I breathed a sigh of relief and turned to Little. "I guess the basic guideline is not invite someone I'd prefer to hide from in public." So, we have that to go on now.