Monday, November 29, 2010

Something Borrowed, er, Rented...

The other night, Mr. Goodlaff and I were getting ready for bed when he asks me: "Does the whole 'Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue' thing apply to me too?" I told him it was only a bride thing, and that as the groom he doesn't need to collect an item in each category like I do. 

If the tradition of something old, new, borrowed, blue was a game of bridal bingo (Find items in each category before you walk down the aisle!  Bonus points if you get a sixpence!), I'd be doing fairly well at this point. I have something new (wedding dress) and something blue (shoes!).  But I'm still working on "borrowed" and "old."

I stumbled across, where I could rent these beauties for the day:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Playing Dress Up: Or, When Dress Help Comes from Unexpected Places

No amount of looking at pictures online was going to push me to finally make the decision to buy a short wedding dress--I had to see how that style would look on my body before I would know for sure.  In the two months between when I made my appointment at Dolly Couture, and when I actually went to see the dresses in person, Mama Goodlaff and our florist (Ingrid) went to see a concert together, and she was telling Ingrid about the neverending hunt for a tea-length wedding dress--Ingrid calls it a "Lucy" dress (as in, Lucille Ball).

Friday, November 26, 2010

Well...Hello, Dolly!

I found Dolly Couture by a happy accident.  Cruising around on Weddingbee one day, I was reading a post by the now-Mrs. Daschund on her wedding invitations, thinking to myself: "this is one ridiculously talented bride--I must see more!" Looking through her archives, I saw her post on  "the one" (her wedding dress), and being in somewhat of a dress quandary myself, I clicked to "read more."

The extended post displayed this picture: 


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Sure the Turkey Will Thaw in the Oven....

Preparations for Thanksgiving have begun in the Goodlaff household!  A few weeks ago, I decided it would be nice to host Turkey Day here as we have 1. Never done it,  and 2. Once we move to Seattle, our apartment will probably be too small for all our family members to fit. Plus, we are adults, and that's what adults do: stress over cooking holiday meals.

Why did I decide this was a good idea?

We have procured more potatoes than will fit in any pot we own; stocked up on onions, herbs, chicken broth, butter, and cranberry jelly; have bought and named a turkey (it's a scientific fact that if you don't name the turkey he won't cook properly); and have begun figuring out how to fit more than four people at our tiny dining room table. Tomorrow I will cook one of the desserts (pumpkin cheesecake), and then we will frantically clean the house (at least the main floor) to make it shine so as not to be embarrassed in front of our mothers.

Mr. Goodlaff and I went to IKEA on Saturday and bought new plates and wineglasses to class up our table; we also bought a platter for the turkey(s) to sit on. I am mentally designing a table scape and setting places, and I have already created home-made wire napkin rings. 

With all of this, I'm sure I should be some form of panicked right now, and I'm sure the full force of what we're about to do will hit tomorrow and I'll be crying into the cheesecake batter because we forgot the ________________ (insert crucial Thanksgiving ingredient here), but right now, I'm pretty zen. 

So, though I've never cooked a turkey (by the way, his name is Jean-Paul Maurice le Dinde), and I've never made sweet potatoes, and this will be my first go at a cheesecake, I'm sure it will all turn out fine, and Thursday will bring nothing but tastiness. 

Here's hoping that you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! 

May your turkeys be moist, your potatoes be perfectly mashed, your family be civil, and your reasons to be thankful many.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Miracles Happen: Beaded Shoe Clips Tutorial

It's rare that my craft projects turn out right on the first try and without excessive swearing, so I'm thrilled to be able to say that the stars aligned, and from this crazy mess of beads and string came the perfect shoe adornments.  Trust me, if I can do this, anyone can. 

First necessary ingredient: patience.  Sewing these suckers made me feel really grateful that my job does not consist of hand-beading wedding dresses all day long.   Once (twice, actually) was enough for me.

Aside from a vast supply of patience, here's what I used for my clips:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Good Enough for the Front of the Refrigerator

What happens when you actually do succeed at something on your first try?  You squeal like a little girl who just found her first Barbie Dream House under the Christmas tree!

Remember those shoe clips I ran off and bought supplies for without knowing what I would really need to make them? 

I began with this:

And ended up with this: say hello to my homemade shoe clips!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Putting My Best Shoe Forward

When I was in college, I worked for a well-known low-cost shoe store.  I loved shoes before I started working there, but during and after, they became a bit of an obsession.  Footwear began explode out of my closet, and it didn't matter if I couldn't think of a single outfit that the bubblegum pink mary jane flats would go with, I bought them.

Now here I am, getting married.  Do you think my obsession has extended to my wedding day shoes? Um. Yeah.

The first pair I fell in love with? 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reckless Enthusiasm and a Craft Store: A Love Story

I've never been one of those people that does something halfway.  Never.  Whole hog, I throw myself into whatever the task of the moment is...I can't help it.  It's how I do.

When Mr. Goodlaff and I got engaged, for weeks I did nothing but research and plan and get us organized to tackle the monumental task of planning a wedding.  Post engagement, I was cruising Project Wedding and found this tutorial on how to make hair flowers.  Inspiration! To the craft store I went, sans list of needed supplies, came home with organza instead of chiffon, but made the flowers anyway.   Later, I went back to the store, bought chiffon and made them with the materials suggested (chiffon is ridiculously hard to cut--I prefer the organza for ease of use). Want to see? Chiffon to the left, organza to the right:

And here's what they should look like:

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Starting Bell (Riiiiiing!)

All the planning, all the craziness, the spreadsheets of guest names and timelines and to-do’s, the color palettes, the dress hunting, the shoes(!), the menus and linens and so much more—it all started with a ring.
A few months before we got engaged, Mr. Goodlaff asked me to show him what I liked in the way of engagement rings.  He said that if “sometime way, way, way, way, way in the future" he decided to propose, he wanted it to be a surprise, which meant that he would be ring shopping all on his own and could use a little guidance.  Now, I, like most girls have given this a thought a time or two and I had definite ideas on what the ring should look like.
So, I showed him “the one”:

*sigh* It still makes me go all gooey inside. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

The First Step is Admitting You Have a Problem

A sad thing happened yesterday.

I was grocery shopping and strayed down the magazine aisle.  The bridal magazine section has this strange, magnetic pull on me.  I can't help it---pretty, shiny pages! I want, I want, I want!

I love Martha Stewart Weddings. I've gotten a lot of inspiration from Martha, but she's dangerous.  Martha makes you believe that you too can be crafty like her and have the same gorgeous results.  I bet that even Martha's 3rd grade macaroni art was stellar.

So, I walk past the rack and say, "Oooh!  A new Martha Stewart Wedding issue," and put it in the basket.  I get home and start reading.  Thing is, as I'm going along, this all looks very familiar to me....maybe I saw it online? 

Then I have a horrible thought--I am almost certain that I already own this issue.  I look in my bridal magazine tote (yes, I do need an entire tote for the magazines, which lately have also begun taking over our magazine/crap basket on the side of the couch).

Oh. My. God.  I do already own this magazine. I have so many bridal magazines that I can't remember when I have already bought one.

Well done, Martha.  Well done...

The Ones that Weren't, Part 4

Still there? Still conscious?  Barely?  Good enough for me! Onward we go....

So, never one to do anything halfway, I booked a dress appointment and found a bridal show to attend the next day (Sunday).  Sister Goodlaff, Mama Goodlaff and I headed back out into the trenches to Bridal Mart in Rancho Cordova, where I hoped to finally find a decent (or any) tea-length dress to try on.

We got there at 10AM on a Sunday, and pretty much had the place to ourselves. I asked feebly about tea-length dresses, and was disappointed again.  C'est la Vie!  I would have to be satisfied with trying on long dresses.
What I had learned the day before was that I loved the look of taffeta, so we browsed the racks, made some picks, and I soon transformed into Bridal Barbie.  I must have tried on ten to twelve dresses that morning, and when you look at the pictures, you will notice that I'm actually smiling in most of them! Big difference!
Here's a sampling:
Love the taffeta, but it appears that somebody had switched the bottom of this dress with a comforter...that just won't do. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Ones That Weren't, Part 3

It’s time to come clean about something: before I went shopping, I actually did have an idea on the kind of dress I wanted. 
The problem: I wasn’t really seeing it anywhere. 
A few years ago on Easter, I was looking at pictures in my cousin’s house (though, technically she’s my grandmother’s cousin, which makes her my cousin three times removed to the seventeenth power).  I was looking at family portraits and pictures of grandchildren when I came across her wedding portrait. There she was, a blushing bride of fifty some-odd years ago, in a short, tea length dress.  It made me stop in my tracks and forever changed my ideas on what a wedding dress should or could be.  It looked something like this:

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Ones That Weren't, Part 2

After a somewhat underwhelming experience at Alfred Angelo, Mama Goodlaff, Sister Goodlaff and I ventured across the parking lot to David’s Bridal.  It being a Saturday, I didn’t really have high hopes for being able to walk in and get an appointment, but we decided to give it a whirl anyway. I was pretty sure we’d be turned away at the door (almost like we were at Alfred Angelo), but it turns out that DB’s motto is something along the lines of "the more the merrier."  They even gave me a bridal gift—a heart shaped candle--just for walking in the door (I like them already!).  I had a consultant within minutes and soon we were walking down aisles and aisles of dresses, using my inspiration pictures to select gowns to try on. 
What a huge difference! Alfred Angelo was a quiet, tidy little place, and at David’s Bridal, it was like they let the dogs out.  It was chaotic and noisy and there were dresses everywhere, but it was kind of nice.  I didn’t get the feeling that my consultant would be pressuring me into buying anything.  In fact, she piled dresses on her arm, tossed them on the hooks in my dressing room and promptly disappeared. Sweet liberty!  Apparently the good folks at David’s Bridal trust me to dress myself…
So, here’s what DB had to offer:

One of My Many Weaknesses

I had a necklace chain break today, so I thought I'd get a replacement chain from our local craft store.

Bad Idea.

Christmas has come to Ben Franklin and I'm a sucker...

The staff there had decorated a tree with candy ornaments, and a lot of these:

 Cupcake christmas awesome is that? There was no way I could resist! 

I started wandering around the store (bad, bad idea!), looking for craft inspiration for my Christmas ornaments, and came across a display of writing journals.  Hmm, I thought to myself, I could use a book to write down my blogging ideas when I'm at work...

The first journal I saw was red with "Keep Calm and Carry On" on the front--it seemed appropriate for containing wedding planning notes.  Then I saw this:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Ones That Weren’t, Part 1

Let’s talk dresses.  After Mr. Goodlaff and I got engaged, I became obsessed with trying on wedding dresses as soon as possible. I went through magazines, marking dresses I liked with post-its, with no regard price.  And I fell in love with Justin (Alexander) and Judd (Waddell), with Priscilla and Vera and Pronovias and Lazaro. But I knew that I don't make enough in one year to afford some of the gowns I was looking at.
I also knew that I didn’t want to buy right away (I wanted to lose weight—ask me how that’s going….), and though my budget meant I’d never be a Kleinfeld bride,  I couldn’t wait to have a “Say Yes to the Dress”-esque experience.  I had to wait for weeks, and let me tell you, it was agonizing!  I almost got so tired of waiting for everyone’s schedules to align that I nearly went by myself to try on some gowns. 

I made my first appointment of the weekend at Alfred Angelo.  I figured the dresses were reasonably priced, the selection would be good, and it would be a great place to start my first gown-shopping experience research trip with Mama and Sister Goodlaff. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Palette Problems

I was never one of those girls that dreamt of every detail of my wedding.  I had a roommate in college who kept a wedding book; she would get bridal magazines and cut out inspiration pictures.  She had a whole binder, and I’m sure that if she still does this, when she gets married, she will have a huge jump on planning.  My freshman year, there were many late nights flipping through Modern Bride, and I briefly entertained the thought of a winter wedding with a fur cape and a bouquet of red poinsettias. I definitely didn’t have every detail set,  just waiting for the right guy to place at the altar (though lately I’m thinking this may have been the easier route…).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Feeling Book-ish

One of the first engagement presents we received was the holy grail of all wedding registries: the Kitchenaid mixer.  Mr. Goodlaff joked that if getting engaged was all it took for people to buy us awesome kitchen gadgets, he would have proposed a lot sooner.  I think he was mostly kidding...
Another early engagement gift that I received from his sister was two bridal books: The Green Bride Guide  by Kate L. Harrison and The Paper Bride by Esther K. Smith.

Personal Photo

The Green Bride Guide is full of information on how to plan and throw a green wedding.  From  Engagement to Reception to Honeymoon, it’s got great tips on green-ifying your wedding and ideas for every bride at every budget. There's also a great collection of links to a ton of green resources.  Very cool!

On This, My Second Marriage...

Would you like to meet my first husband?  Even though he was a firefighter and I was a dinosaur, we still hit it off…
Personal Photo

Confession time:  I was married many years ago at the tender age of five.  It was a beautiful ceremony!  We were in such a hurry to get married that I had to make do with a borrowed dress and a red hat; he wore a suit jacket with rolled up sleeves.  My flowers were picked from the garden on the ceremony site, and we were married next to the pool. His brother,  both ring bearer and groomsman, carried my ring—a beautiful white plastic band with a plastic topaz (I think my groom made me give it back afterwards--such a gentleman!).  

Personal Photo

(Okay, on a sidenote, do you see the date on that picture? May 1, 1989?  I’m getting married for real on May 1st!  Must be destiny!) 

Good thing is, since I was below the age of consent at the time, I’m free to marry Mr. Goodlaff…My next wedding will be a lot different than that first one, which is probably a very good thing.

Are there any illcit underage weddings in your past?

Monday, November 1, 2010


It's Election-eve, and I'm exhausted, but I couldn't help but sharing the awesome pumpkins we carved yesterday.

There are things that I love that don't whip Mr. Goodlaff into a tizzy.  Pumpkins are one of them.  I love pumpkins!  I think of them as a symbol of all the good things that come in the fall: cooler weather, sweaters, beautiful colors, my birthday.   Pumpkins are friendly (and orange, which is my favorite color!), too.

A few weeks ago, we went to Apple Hill in Camino, CA, to get (what else?) Apples!  It's a pretty awesome place where some farms will let you pick your own apples, and you can buy all kinds of fruit directly from the growers.  At Cardanini's Pumpkin Patch, you can go out into the field and pick your own pumpkin, right off the vine.  Some might call this pumpkin picking, but I think of it more as a pumpkin rescue mission.  They let you take a wagon into the field to gather your gourds, so we rolled out of there with six pumpkins.

Here's what we did with three of them:

Lest you think I'm more talented than I actually am, I'll tell you the secret: we used one of those pumpkin carving kits with the book of patterns attached.  That said, I'm still rather impressed with our carving skills. My favorite is the haunted house; it was awful to carve, but I love the way it turned out!

I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween, and don't forget to vote tomorrow!