Wednesday, June 23, 2010

our STD postcards are here!

A few weeks ago, I posted an entry about the Save The Date postcards that I've created. I've actually asked a number of people about their preference. I've asked Topher (of course), my nanay, sister, a couple of friends and other brides-to-be in w@w. It was a tight race between the first and second design. In the end, this is the design that we've decided on.

Postcard Front. Changed a few things like the date (it was 06.11.2011 before) and I decided to place our wedding website at the back.
Postcard Back. Simple, straight to the point and casual.
I ordered the postcard prints from VistaPrint last June 10. I paid $12.65 (Php570) for 100 prints, customized front and back and I got a free stamp! Sweet deal. After 11 days I got the package. On the morning of June 22nd, I got this from the mail.

Free rubber stamp. With a star design, it says: Topher+Aleng, Caleruega/Moon Garden, June 11, 2011

I'm pretty happy on how the prints turned out. It was a bit glossy on the front and matte at the back. I'll be distributing about 20 copies here in the US, then the rest will be send to back home. I'll be delegating my family to do the distribution for us. Save the Dates = Check!

i found THE dress!

11 months before the wedding, I found my dress!!! [insert HUGE smile here] I know it seems wayyy too early, but I'm very happy that I already have my dress. Let me tell you how that happened.

I have a list of bridal salons that I plan to visit. Salons that carry Maggie Sottero, Demetrios and La Sposa gowns. Sometime last week, I was checking Demetrios website when I saw that they will be having a trunk show in Schaumburg, on June 18-20. Knowing that the place will surely be packed on the weekends, I called and scheduled an appointment on June 18, a Friday. I asked if the consultant that helped me before, Jackie, will be there. The lady that I've spoke to said that Jackie will actually be on the shop the day before, June 17. I then asked if the dresses on the trunk show will be displayed on the 17th, she said they will. I moved my appointment from the 18th to the 17th at 2:30pm.

I decided to visit another shop within the Schaumburg area so that I can make most of that day. I visited this shop called Marilee Bridal in Arlington Heights. They carry Maggie Sottero dresses. When I got there, the place was pretty empty. I was showed to the room where most of the bridal gowns are. The consultant who was assisting asked me to look around the room and then choose the ones I liked. To be completely honest, the selection was very limited. Most of the dresses that they have are shiny and of satin fabric. I took out about 4 dresses that I liked enough to try on. It was not a successful appointment, the dresses that I was looking for, they don't have it.

By 2:30pm, I'm in Demetrios. Jackie was already there with my file. I told her that I would like to try on the dresses in my file and a few more. I was actually very excited to try again the dress that I fell in love with. If it was the same dress that I picture it to be, because honestly, every time I go dress shopping, I compare every dress that I tried on to it. And IT IS. It truly is the same gorgeous dress. I still LOVE it. Now here's the situation, the dress was already discontinued. I cannot order the dress to be made for me. They called the main office and they said that the lace used with the dress is already discounted thus they cannot make any more dresses. They said I can buy the sample dress for 2/3 of the original price. I have no problems withe the sample since it fits me like a glove. But it needs to be hemmed and cleaned.

I asked further on how long the discontinued dresses stay in the salon, they cannot answer that since if another client liked it and decided to purchase the gown, they can. The dress cannot be hold for me. I don't know what to do. I've mentioned before that I have a list of bridal salons that I haven't visited yet. And I planned to visit Filene's Basement Running of the Bride. Yet, I haven't met another dress that I liked as much as this one.

This went on and on for a couple of minutes and I called Topher to ask him what to do. He said, if I really love the dress, just get it. He cannot fix the heartbreak that I will went through if the dress is not there by the time I'm ready to buy it. Still cannot decide, I spoke to the salon's manager and she told me that I can down 50% for the dress so that they can hold it for me. That's what I did. I paid a 50% down on the dress and will pay the other 50% when I get it on July 1st. I asked if they can fix it up a bit since there were some beads that was missing.

So without further ado, I will be walking down the aisle wearing this very same dress. I LOVE IT.

As far the checklist goes, this one is off the list! Wedding Dress = Check!

dress shopping at Priscilla of Boston

First of all, I LOOOOOVE the dresses at Priscilla of Boston. Second, I CAN'T afford them, pull stop. Last June 14, I received an email from Priscilla of Boston. The subject line, "Blowout Sample Sale – 1 Day Only!" My heart stopped. I was filled with glee and immediately checked if the salon nearest will be participating. Bless them, they are. The Blowout Sample Sale will be on June 18, Friday from 8am 'til 7pm.

However, something happened the day before (a different entry for that). That night, I decided to not visit the salon. The next morning, Topher took the car with him to work, so here I was alone at home. I debated with myself if I should still visit the salon in Oakbrook Terrace. At 2pm, I decided, I needed to go. I HAVE to go. Took a quick shower and took the bus to Topher's workplace. It was my first time to commute here around Westmont, and it was an experience. I did learned a couple of things.

As soon as I got to Topher's workplace, I called him up and let him know that I'm already inside the car and will be on my way to the salon. The Priscilla of Boston salon was near our place, just a 10 minute drive. When I got there, the place was packed and I had to circle the parking lot twice for a space. So then I got in, and there were rows and rows of dresses. Heaven.

Just to give you an idea, the salon is POSH. I would have never visited if not for the sample sale. Their gowns were priced normally at $3,000 to $5,000 and above. You can count the dresses that falls under 2 grand with your fingers. Sample sale dresses are usually a size 8 or 10. I know it seems big but I was told that wedding dresses run big on sizes. For example, if you're usually a size 4 or 6, you can definitely fit in the sample dresses. Sample dresses are usually those that are used as samples and are discountinued dresses from the previous season. You'll buy them as it is, meaning you cannot order the gown. You can have it hemmed and cleaned though.

So anyway, when I got there, the wedding consultants explained how the dresses are arranged and that I could try on 4 dresses at a time only. A lovely pregnant lady assisted me, asked what type of dress I wanted and what silhoutte. I said that I wanted a fit anf flare gown, can also be an A-line dress with dropped waist. She pulled 5 dresses for me and stacked them in the dressing rom. Their dressing room was the biggest that I've seen. It even has a couch, and a vanity table. Yup, it's that big!

I noticed that the dresses that they have are very well made. One may think that it's simple and plain but when I tried them on, WOW. It just fits perfectly. I checked their prices and most of them ranges from 900 to 1200 with the discount. See, they're expensive!

Gown 1: The first that I've tried on, I love this dress the most.  I like the rouching at the middle part, very forgiving for the tummy area but the shape still gives a fit and flare silhouette. And I love the bling in the bust area.
Gown 2: I love the details at the bust area. I love a sweetheart neckline and this have it with a very cool pleating/rushing. It has a dropped waist that I also loved. It did fit me very well.
Gown 3: I forgot if this is the very same gown, but it looks a lot like it. I love the lace and tulle fabric but I'm not crazy on how the dress cuts the body before the knees. Made me look smaller.
Gown 4: This is actually a very cool gown. It's like a geisha dress. If you look closely, the belt looks like an Obi belt and then the back details is amazing. And I also love the rhinestone on the belt. However I find the dress a bit heavy and it's a bit to shiny for my taste.
There was actually another gown that I've tried on, but I can't find a picture of it anywhere! How did the day ended? I didn't bought my gown here. I planned to return actually before the shop closes at 7pm but decided against it. It was a very nice experience and from what I saw, a great number of brides got their dress that day.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

roadtrip to Indiana

A few weeks before celebrating our second year anniversary as husband and wife, we learned that Weezer will be playing in Indiana. Über far, 5-hour long drive Elizabeth, Indiana. I really, really, really wanted to see them live in concert. So I thought, why don't we drive to Elizabeth, IN to watch them and then make a side trip to Indianapolis before heading home to Chicago.

As our wedding anniversary nears, we still haven't made any plans. No tickets bought, no hotels reservations made. Then about 2 days before June 9th, Topher asked me how I wanted to celebrate. I simply said I wanted to see Weezer live. He agreed! :) (Yay!!) Told me to make the reservations and buy the tickets.

The concert falls on a Friday, he said that he'll just take half-a-day off and we'll start the 5-hr drive at 12 noon since the concert starts at 8pm EDT (7pm CDT). However, he got home at 2pm (patient load)! I was sooo freakin' pissed I didn't say much during the entire drive. I knew we'll gonna miss the beginning of the concert. And we did. We got there half past 8 and the band already started. They are A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

After the concert, we drove to Corydon to spend the night. There were not much hotels/inns in Elizabeth aside from the Horseshoe Casino, where the concert was held. After checking-in the hotel, we looked for restaurants that was still open at 11pm. We settled for Waffle House. Fatty food all the way! The following morning, we woke up early to have grab free breakfast courtesy of the hotel.

We then drove for 2 hours to the state capital, Indianapolis. When we got there, we were pleasantly surprised with the place. It was very relaxed and visitor-friendly. They do have museums that offer FREE admission everyday, and parking is cheap! 1-3-hour city parking for $1.50 is unbelievable. We first visited the Soldiers and Sailors Monument located in the middle of the city center and then walked to White Water State Park.

It was very hot and muggy that day, after walking around the park, we head back to the mall (where we parked the car) and had lunch at Johnny Rockets. After lunch, we headed back home to Chicago. We caught a very bad storm on the road, I would have uploaded the video but I'm not sure how to do it here. Hehe. Overall, it was such a memorable way to spent our 2nd anniversary, and a year from now, on our 3rd anniversary, we'll be having our church wedding which I know will be absolutely great!

Friday, June 18, 2010

dress shopping at David's Bridal

A day before we went to our Key West vacation, I visited my very pregnant friend, Melay. We grabbed lunch at Olive's Garden, catch up on each others lives for a bit and then I asked her if she'll be willing to come with me to David's Bridal. There's one near her place and since I haven't been to one, it was exciting.

The store that we went to was located in Orland Park. There was an ongoing sale that day since we'll be celebrating Memorial Day that weekend. The place was nice and clean. The bridal consultants were actually very nice and they did ask the usual questions. I pointed some dresses that I'd love to try on. Honestly, I find the selection limited. Here are the dresses:

Dress 01
Dress 02
Dress 03
Dress 04
Dress 05
Out of the 5 dresses that I've tried on, I liked the 1st one best. I find it very elegant and glamorous. Melay also liked it best. But I still compare it to the dress that I loved at Demetrios. Since there was an ongoing sale, they said they can take $100 off the dress. I made another appointment to check the dresses after a week.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

summer fun in Key West

Here in US, Memorial Day kicks off the summer season! Travelling also tends to be more expensive as more people travels for the holiday weekend. Since we were so keen on getting away, we booked our flights as early as March. There were 7 of us in this trip. Me and Topher, Lei and Randy, Joni, Olan and Kiko. All of us were coming from Chicago apart from Olan who flew all the way from San Francisco. Here's how our trip went:

Day1: Traveled more than 1,300 miles from Chicago to Miami and from there, we drove another 150 miles to the Florida Keys. Got to the hotel at around 4pm. Rest for a bit and then drove to downtown Key West to find a place to eat. After dinner, we walked to Duval St (where most of the action is), checked some shops and grooved with the band at Sloppy Joe's.

Day2: Fury Adventure Day! Spent the whole day at sea. Oh boy, it was sooo much fun. We got to parasail, jetski, snorkel and play with the inflatables in the middle of the sea. When we got back to the hotel, we still swam and played at the pool. Before dinner, we went to the Southernmost Point of continental US. Walked miles to Ernest Hemingway's house only to find that it's close. Walked a couple more miles for dinner.

Day3: This was our laid-back day. Had breakfast at the hotel, and then we went to the Seaport Harbor Walk. Lunch at Alonzo's and then walked along the harbor. We found some pretty neat stores too. We then went to the Shipwreck Museum and check more souvenir shops. We headed to the beach after, got disappointed that the seafloor was rocky! Swim shoes, where are you?! Played at the beach and snorkeled for a while. We then meet with some Chicago friends at Fat Tuesday's and Sloppy Joe's.

Day4: Woke up early for the long travel back to Chicago. We got stuck in the tarmac in Charlotte, NC for 2 hours before flying home due to weather disturbances along the way. Got back at around 10pm and grabbed dinner at Ihop before heading home.

We all had a GREAT time on this trip. Funny thing, Lei and Joni possibly made everything in their powers to get tan yet at the end of the trip, I'm the tannest of us three and I made sure that I stayed at shade most of the time. We're all hoping for another trip to the beach before the summer season ends.


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