What a week! Not that it was overly crazy or busy but it just felt like there were some great accomplishments–except for my dusting. This post is to reflect on the positives that happened this week.
First up…I take great pride in the smallest of achievements. When this loaf of bread came out of the oven a few days ago, it was deemed “the best loaf ever”.
I believe this is due to my personal discovery of “bread flour”. Who knew? I have experimented for a couple of months with this recipe and my results would always vary. But now I have found King Arthur’s Unbleached Bread Flour and I am happy. Better rising, lighter taste = yumminess. I reserve my bread eating for mornings reasoning that I should burn off the calories through the day. Lately I have added Red Grapefruit and an occasional egg to my breakfast routine. I am in LOVE with Red Grapefruit.
My shoes arrived for the wedding. While most of my outfit will be vintage/pre-owned (at least that is the plan–the dress is currently at the tailor’s who is supposed to create more room through the hips of my “wiggle” dress**. “Wiggling” down the aisle is not the “look” I want to achieve as mother of the bride), I have used the wedding as reason to finally replace my nude peep toe pumps. I gave my gorgeous pair away a few months ago because I could no longer wear the heel height with comfort. I was very happy to have found these at Clarks online:
They aren’t quite as dressy as I would like but they are patent leather so I felt that was a good look for an evening wedding. And I really wanted something I would be able to wear again. With these shoes I am still maxing out the heel height (for moi) but I have had great success with Clarks in the past and hope these will prove to be a smart addition to my shoe wardrobe.
And my necklace came too. I found this on Etsy. Belle Fille’s colors for the wedding are aqua and tangerine (reflecting her love of island colors since living in the Dominican Republic). I am wearing these lovely colors through my accessories.
I will be pinning this brooch to the necklace to add the splash of “tangerine”. Any more orange than that would not be a good thing on Mistress Bliss.
Now this may come as a shock but I do not own an evening bag to match my outfit. I have a great Mary Frances bag that I have owned for years but the colors will not suit with this event. See:
I have my eye on another Mary Frances* (I will bet you could figure out which one on her website) and a couple of vintage purses I am watching on Etsy. When I decide on one, it will be my only justifiable handbag purchase for the year. To be honest, I have done really good with sticking to my promise not to buy any more for personal use in 2012. In fact, I am having fun using the ones I already own.
We also found the bridesmaids dresses. The girls all met together at the store where we found Belle Fille’s dress to try different ones on. We all fell in love with the beautiful, subtlety iridescent, aquamarine silk that was both vintage inspired and flattering on all the girls but the price tag was not ($300+). Then a strapless chiffon was found that Belle Fille fell in love with…flowy and knee-length in a much better price range. But again! because of the wedding being so close, “rush” fees need to be added, plus tax, plus possible alterations taking the modest priced dress up to $200. We held off ordering so we could use time through this weekend to possibly find a better deal (like we did with her wedding dress). I hit every store I could think of online…both bridal ones and department stores. I searched Etsy and Ebay for “lots” of dresses being sold by previous brides. My searches weren’t yielding any great results until I found a listing on Ebay for four Alfred Angelo bridesmaids dresses in the color “pool” and in the three sizes we need…worn once, no alterations, no spills, no tears, no stains (I asked) for $60 a piece. I was excited but wasn’t so sure that Belle Fille would be. The style was almost identical to the one she liked at the store but she had already expressed her hesitancy to buy online–not that I blamed her. My only other “good feeling” about these dresses on Ebay was that they were all from the same wedding so they would be from the same dye lot. I showed them to her yesterday morning when she came over. To my surprise she got really excited. I found out a formal wear store in our little town carried the Alfred Angelo brand so we scampered up there to check out the dress and the color. They had the dress there! It was in a different color but they had other dresses in “pool” so we could really see what it looks like. It is a wonderful, dreamy blue-ish aqua (the sales person described it as “Tiffany Blue”). Belle Fille decided we should go for the Ebay deal. We called the three bridesmaids for their sizes (to make sure) and get their OK with the price— everyone was on board. Should they even need a few adjustments, price wise they are coming out way ahead than if we had purchased new through a store. We should have them by middle of next week so even if we have made a horrible mistake (let us hope not) there will still be time to do something different (and try to frantically re-sell the dresses–thank you prom/wedding season)–albeit not much time. Phew! What a rush!
After checking out the dress sample we headed to meet my parents for lunch at the wonderful Chinn Chinns in Mattawan, Michigan. The best Asian bistro EVER. It really is my favorite restaurant in about a 150 mile radius. Anytime we have gone, it is packed…lunchtime was no exception. I have told my parents about it a hundred times but it has never worked out for us to go when they have visited. They loved it too…my dad was particularly impressed. Belle Fille was able to catch them up on the wedding plans and show them some pictures. Afterwards we all went to Goodwill and another thrift store (I found a fabulous, vintage, quilted hot pink robe for Belle Fille–she loved it–for $10…sound familiar?). We ended our brief visit with them at Starbucks over a pot of French press. We won’t see them again until the wedding (unless I haul my butt down to where my brother lives tomorrow–which probably won’t happen).
After Starbucks we went to our appointment about the wedding cake. Have you priced wedding cakes lately? To quote the famed Faux Fuchsia…they are ‘spensive. I priced a few before calling our dear friend who is known to make great cake. I wasn’t sure she was still doing it because she had some arm/wrist issues a couple of years ago that were making it difficult for her to decorate cakes. Thankfully she has recovered from that and is back in business. When I called her earlier in the week to make the appointment we chatted for a while, catching up with each other’s lives. She had heard about Belle Fille getting married and was more than happy to do a cake for her…for free–as a gift. I started crying (I am crying now as I type this). I told her there is no way I could accept that–especially after pricing cakes that can feed 300 people. She insisted she will not take payment. I insisted she must let us do something…pay for materials, ingredients, something! NON! She would not hear of it. Well, after meeting with her and deciding on a design/plan of action, she did agree that we can buy the flowers for decorating the cake. Merci!!! Little does she know that Master Bliss and I have our own little plan to show our appreciation for her extreme generosity. I love dear friends like her. Which brings about another story of love and generosity (sorry, this post really wasn’t going to be a long one)…
…when I called my BFF/cousin with the news about Belle Fille she was so happy to hear about the wedding and immediately assured me they would be coming. Belle Fille is special to her because it was largely due to being around petite Belle Fille at age six that changed my BFF/cousin’s husband’s mind about having children (good thing we didn’t wait for her to be a teen before first exposure ; ) ). Soon after that fated visit they had their own precious little girl (who is now a teen) come into their lives (and who I love as much as BFF/cousin loves Belle Fille). As we were excitedly talking about the where, when, whats of having a wedding, BFF/cousin enthusiastically blurts out, “Of course (my husband) can provide the DJ’ing.”. I was dumb-founded. I had totally forgotten that he does DJ’ing in their area…mostly for friends they know well. And I forgot he does a bang up job of it–the perfect DJ! But it is so far to come, hauling all their stuff from West Virginia! I insisted on doing something to help with costs, she insisted on it being a gift. The generosity, again, overwhelming. (Sniff, sniff). But never fear! Mistress Bliss will get even…oh, she will…a plan is already in progress.
Pretty good week, huh? But I never want a reader to think that my life is always rosy and wonderful. I had plenty of negatives too:
Week peppered with headaches culminating into complete physical breakdown on Thursday.
Can’t find a part-time job and am really worried about how I will feel if/when I do start working again (due to health challenges).
Trying not to think about the debt we will have from the wedding.
Had a very serious “let’s get real talk” with Belle Fille…needed to be done but never fun.
Lost six blog subscribers in one week. I don’t know why it depresses me but it does.
Found out I must be allergic to “dust”ing.
BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.
So there you go! I’m over here living a real life like everyone else…daily blessings mixed with stress. But why focus on the negative? Looking back on my week I prefer thinking about all the good things that happened.
* Were you able to pick out which bag I am eyeing at Mary Frances?
** Did you know that the “wiggle” dress got its name because it was designed to fit snugly enough around the hips and legs so that a woman has to walk with her legs pressed together to the knees? Thus creating the “wiggle” as she walked.