Feb 26, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: STDs & Invitations

Sorry I haven't done an outfit post in a bit - I've been trying to get out of the house by 8am, which means little to no time to take photos!

That said, today is Wednesday and an AskPhivy reader had asked me to post my wedding Save the Dates (STDs) and invitations! I keep a Save the Date in my office so this is an actual photo of it, but for my invitations, these are the final mocks that our vendor, Paper and Type, created.

As mentioned in last Wednesday's post - my sister did our first round of engagement photos so we used one of the shots as the front of the postcard and our friend who is a graphic designer, created the back / wording (note that I blurred out personal information, such as our return address and wedding URL).

We chose this photo because we liked that we were IN the image, but it wasn't completely focused on us. My sister / MOH paid for these to be printed by a local OC print shop, Select Graphics & Printing.

The black-rimmed glasses and red lipstick "kiss" was our wedding logo that was incorporated throughout the actually wedding (e.g. the escort cards).

I came across Paper and Type at a bridal show in Pasadena and loved the envelope / postcard concept. It's a VERY minimalist approach, something that was modern and unique. Essentially, you open the entire envelope (including all the flaps), the invitation is a simple postcard, the responses would be written on the insides of the flaps, and you would flip the envelope inside-out, seal with a sticker, and send it off! There are only 2 pieces - the envelope and the invite. Ryan and I loved the no-non-sense approach (no tissue, no excess paper, no 2nd envelope, maps, etc.) We appreciate the tradition of those types of invitations, but it wasn't for us.

In keeping with the purple and black-and-white-stripes theme, we stuck with bold stripes, and a clean, crisp look.

The actual process took a bit longer than expected, because there are so many variations and interpretations, so I will say - if you are starting from scratch, be sure to bookmark and send samples, ideas, things you want to take, inspirations, etc. to send to a designer. Of course it's a lot easier to buy a template and just substitute your personal information...but Ryan and I wanted to make things harder on ourselves by starting from scratch, lol. Victoria was great to work with, she was quick, effective, and not only took all of our feedback graciously, but also put her own twist and spin on things. We did pay a premium to start from scratch and have it designed for us, but we loved the concept so much. To this day, it's one of our favorite things about our wedding.

For the future brides out there, here are some tips:
  • Make sure to create a Pinterest board or keep bookmarks of invites you like.
  • Dissect what you do/don't like about it
  • Shop around - see where you can get something at a discount if you pick it up locally versus being shipped.
  • If you have a friend who is a graphic designer, leverage his/her skills and feedback. 
  • Ask the printer or invitation designer/company if they're willing to work with your friend/graphic designer. Sometimes they will and sometimes they won't, but it's worth a shot.
  • Ask how many iterations you will receive (a standard is 3 different versions, once you pick one, you're allowed 3 rounds before finalizing).
  • Give as specific instructions as possible but don't forget that they're the experts - so they may want to change something due to ink run-off or cost. Let them do their job and understand that they're the ones who do this day in and day.
  • Lastly, things may not come out 100% as you would have liked. For instance, the black stripe on the return address (S+R on the inside of the envelope) rubbed off on our invitation, which caused our actual postcard invite to look "dirty" - this was unforeseeable and unfortunate, but Ryan and I didn't flip our lids. We let our printer know for future reference, and she was kind enough to give us custom stationary and stamps as a make-good. It wasn't prompted by us, but as part of her excellent customer service, we are grateful for that. Much like your wedding - nothing will always go right, and that's okay!
Good luck!

Questions? AskPhivy!

Feb 19, 2014

Wedding Wednesday: Engagement ShootS

That's right. TWO engagement shoots! Guess who's idea it was, lol.

My sister / MOH, Christine, took our first set of engagement pictures. She has a naturally great eye for photography and has been honing in on her skills so it was a great way for us to take some fun photos for our Save the Dates.

We went with a few locations - Playa Vista, Dockweiler Beach, and a cul-de-sac near St. Bernard's High School. For the first look, we did something somewhat coordinated and casual and for the second, we borrowed our best friend's / Best Man's vintage truck as a prop.

I will say, shooting with props (our dog, Dallas and those giant balloons) were a lot more difficult than anticipated. First of all, Dallas isn't a natural when it comes to the camera. She gets distracted easily and would much rather smell the grass than sit and look pretty. The balloons were a nightmare in of itself because we had limited ways of transporting these 3ft wide balloons. On top of that, there is a HELIUM shortage so we had to purchase a helium tank versus renting one out. Now we have an empty helium tank in our garage.

Working with my sister as a photographer was a lot of fun for me, and we were automatically goofing around. Because of my blog, I'm used to taking shot after shot after shot (of alcohol in addition to photos), but Ryan isn't. So it took a lot of patience on his end as taking these photos took all day. My sister was hilarious because while she's not a professional photographer, per se, she was trying to instruct us on what to do and how to sit and I just kept ignoring her. I love my sister!


F21 sweater, Nordstrom faux fur infinity scarf, Willie Smith slacks, Toms wedges

United Colors of Benetton top, F21 pants, Charles by Charles David booties, F21 belt
So we ended up using an iteration of this photo for our Save the Dates (that post to come next Wednesday!):

In addition to the pictures that my sister took, when we hired our wedding photographer, Sherri J Photography, part of the package she offered was a free engagement shoot. Even if you don't think you want engagement pictures (we didn't initially since we had the ones my sister took), I still highly recommend it because we were able to get to know one another, she was able to get a sense of Ryan's and my styles, what shots we liked, what our natural body language was like, etc.

Quick review - Sherri was AMAZING to work with! She's based out of Huntington Beach (perfect for Ryan and me since that's where we were getting married), we talked about our style, if we wanted it to be formal or casual, what backdrops we gravitated towards, and we even created a Pinterest board where I could pin pictures that we wanted to emulate. Professionally, she was great with instructing positioning, knowing what angles work best for both Ryan and me, and when to smile, not smile, give each other a kiss, etc. Her prices were definitely reasonable and for our wedding, she even had a 3rd person come to help out with lighting, for free! Post-production-wise, Sherri was able to tame my crazy flyaways, she helped keep the same vivid lighting we had, while keeping the photos looking natural.

We shot our engagement shoot at the Shorebreak Hotel (where our reception was being held) and around downtown HB.

Asos dress, Zara heels, necklace (gift) from Etsy, Hermes bracelet

In case you can't tell - I'm making up for lost time and lack of wedding posts! As always, feel free to AskPhivy for any specific posts.

Next Wednesday: Our Save the Dates and Wedding Invitations!

Questions? AskPhivy!

Feb 18, 2014

Polka Dotty

Lately I've been on a hunt for ankle cigarette pants but here's my problem:
1. I have a long body so all pants run low
2. I have short legs so all pants run long
3. Apparently my ankles are not in proportion to my booty so I can't seem to find pants that fit around the rear and don't flare out.


I tried Express, J.Crew, F21, and Old Navy with no luck, but my coworker recommended trying Target! And behold! I found 3 pairs of pants that somewhat worked out! I still have to fold the pants in a bit (eventually I will get them hemmed) but who cares! I bought 2 black pairs and a pair of olive colored slacks. AND found this polka-dot blazer on sale for $10! Man, sometimes I just want to live at Target.

I started to realize that with my short stature and weird body proportions, having ankle-length pants (jeans included) help with the illusion of longer legs, even without heels. I think when I have my jeans scrunched up or folded outwards, I not only look more casual but also squatter. 

Merona blazer, Merona pants, F21 shirt, belt from Nordstrom Rack, London Sole flats

Questions? AskPhivy!

Feb 11, 2014

#FBF: Suit Up

So because I've been MIA for...oh I don't even want to count the months/years, I figured this is a good opportunity to sprinkle in some fun times I've had that I haven't blogged about! Shortly after Ryan and I were married, we went to Vegas as part of a wedding gift from one of cousins / groomsmen, Anthony!

He surprised us with Justin Timberlake tickets and a free hotel stay! We decided to make it a group thing with Anthony and our other groomsmen, Arthur since it was his birthday that weekend. You guys practically know these boys by now, right?

We left Thanksgiving night.

That weekend we kept with the JT theme and decided to Suit Up! And I mean all of us, including me. Since I haven't worn an actual suit since my college graduation, I thought I would piecemeal it together with some high-waisted loose and tapered slacks, a white wifebeater (ha, my go-to) and a black blazer. But it was my LAMB shoes that I was excited about. These black and white pointy-toed heels are my new favorite heels. They make me cry when I wear them they hurt so bad, but damn, if they don't make the entire outfit, AMIRITE?

As always, before we go out, we decided to do a bit of a photoshoot. I got to channel my inner Gwen and would be lying to say it wasn't the most amazing time. I even pulled my hair back into two buns figuring with a blazer, keeping the hair out of my way would be best.

H&M pants, F21 blazer, Old Navy tank, LAMB heels

Saturday night, we didn't suit up, but I did want to dress up what I originally had brought with me so I figured instead of buying an entirely new outfit altogether, I would just dress up these plaid pants with a tuxedo blazer. This ended up being one of my favorite outfits I've put together last-minute...and it only cost me $30 at F21! Now you KNOW I had to keep with my Gwenabee status and keep my hair and makeup the same.

I swear, put us in front of a camera, and the only thing we're actually missing is...any musical talent.
F21 blazer, F21 black tee, Hot Topic plaid pants, Charles by Charles David booties

PS I just love this picture of me trying to take a selfie, Ryan being weird, and Arthur pouring alcohol. Very telling.

It may or may not become apparent that I don't dress typical "Vegas" style when I go to Vegas. And by that, I mean tight or revealing dresses...I think it's just not my style. I totally get why girls do it - I think I would if I liked it on myself - but for me, I would much rather dress "cool" than "sexy." And I'd rather have an amazing time at a club or bar than worry about if my dress is riding up or my boob is falling out or if a guy can see my chonies when I sit. So, for those girls out there who wonder if they have to wear a F21 or Bebe dress when they go to Vegas, I'm proof that you don't. I mean, you can, but you don't have to. Whatever makes you feel best.


I'm unsure if you guys know this but I started a new job in May! Ironically it's literally physically across the hallway of my "former" job so not much has changed in regards to workplace. My former coworkers and I all disbanded, finding new agencies and opportunities elsewhere. The agency I work for now recently won the Honda and Acura business so they started to heavily staff up in the same location where I worked at the job I've had for over 5 years. It's weird - it's the same hallways and same offices, but with new people actually occupying these areas.

What's crazy is that before I started working here, I was pretty content with being casual (jeans, a tee, and a blazer on a good day) and would only dress up when I felt like it (rarely if ever). Now that I have more coworkers, specifically, women coworkers, I feel the need to step my game up. Such a girl-thing, right?

For awhile I thought I could breeze by with my "SoCal steeze" but I quickly felt the JUDGEMENT and desire to dress a little more formal.

So I struggle - I want to keep it casual and cool but also want to seem feminine and like I put in the effort. We'll see how long this lasts before I revert back to my old ways...it doesn't help that I am forced into flats.
Lumiere sweater (from No Rest for Bridget in Huntington Beach),
H&M skirt, DV sandals (from TJ Maxx)

The ground was all weird and wet from the heavy morning fog, sorry it looks kinda gross, lol.

For the workplace, I've stopped wearing bright and bold lip colors, only because it's difficult for the bold colors to last all day with my million cups of coffee, tea, and water, and the annoying habit I have of touching my lips when I think. You have no idea how many pink and red fingerprints I have all over my notebooks and keyboard!! Instead, I found this really pretty rose color (a color I never thought I saw myself wearing) from Bobby Brown (Rose Blossom 11). 

In other news, I love the wedding questions on AskPhivy! Feel free to send any post-suggestions you guys would like to read about (e.g. how did you pick flowers, how did you narrow down the guest list, etc.) - I would love to post more about the wedding...now that it's over!

Questions? AskPhivy!

Feb 9, 2014

No Heels + No Running = No Fun

Man, getting back into blogging makes me feel so...PRESSURED. I'm unsure why - it's one of those things where I think the pressure is to make a huge splash and come out the gates all super couture all of a sudden. LOL NOT HAPPENING.

OH, by the by, I totally sprained my ankle about 4 weeks ago. It was a good one too. I was trail running with my sister and DallasTheDog and when we were finished and walking back to my car, I slipped between the sidewalk and the grass in front of someone's house. Except instead of grass there was dirt. And 1,000 tree roots. Since I couldn't catch my balance, not only did I roll my ankle, I then proceeded to fall over ONTO it. Delicious. I'm pretty sure I was in shock for the entire car drive home because I insisted that I drive (even though I fell on my head) and I didn't feel anything until 2-3 hours later.

That was taken 2-3 days after the fall. After taking that photo, I went to my doctor, had 2 sets of x-rays taken only to find out it's a severe high-ankle sprain and I need to:

1. Not wear heels
2. Not run

For how long you ask? Well I don't know, I literally mumbled "Then just kill me, doc." after he gave me his orders. Recovery time is about 12-15 weeks. Just recently I started going back on the elliptical to get me going into running. I went to PT once but figured I can do similar exercises at home. My ankle is better, still swollen but not bruised, just slightly tender/sore. I have to wear a beautiful slip-on brace (should I bedazzle it like Mariah Carey?) but I've started to be less dependent on it.

So anyway, that was a long story to tell you that I'm going to be wearing a lot of outfits with flats, lol. I KNOW that a majority of them would look better with heels, but since I'm banned, we'll have to make due. AND on top of that, I naturally have SHORT LEGS. So it's not like if I just wore whatever with flats, I'd look fine, my short legs only makes me look that much more stumpy without heels! First world problems to the max, amirite?

Well on the up-side I have been finding new love for my flats that I've abandoned.

Club Monaco turtleneck, Aqua blazer, Top Shop skirt, Hue tights,
London Sole oxfords, F21 necklace, Francesa's Colletions headband

Questions? AskPhivy!