Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nom Nom/323

Press for success!
Photo courtesy of Sara at
CrossFit 323.
There isn't much to report on the wedding front this week.  No napkins made.  No garlands strung.  No white dress purchased.  So I figured that this week is a good week to talk about what I'm doing to get as svelte and lovely as possible for the big day (and for the rest of my life).  Two words: CrossFit, Paleo.
CrossFit is a style of exercising that has a super long definition, but basically consists of Olympic style weight-lifting, gymnastics and cardio, among other things.  It's constantly varied which means you never do the same workout two days in a row - in fact, I've been going for about six weeks and I've yet to repeat a workout.  It's all about going as fast and hard as you can in a short amount of time. That means that in twenty minutes of CrossFit I sweat more, hurt more and curse more than I ever did in an hour of running on a treadmill, gliding on an elliptical or grape-vining in a dance class at a gym.  It hurts so good.

Homemade meatballs and marinara with zucchini noodles from Nom Nom Paleo.
I get my hurt on at CrossFit 323 in Atwater Village. It's quite a trek from my Santa Monica abode, but it's worth it.  Everyone who works and plays there is kind and supportive.  And although I'm often the slowest and/or weakest in the group, I never feel judged.  I struggle.  A lot.  And it's okay.  I highly recommend any Los Angelenos out there to head on over and check out a class, especially if you're on the eastside.  First class is free!
Paleo is an eating plan recommended by the CrossFit world.  After doing a little research, I found that it was worth a try.  It's basically "caveman eating".  Meats, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, veggies and fruit.  That's it.  No grains, no bread, no sugar, no dairy, and... wait for it... no beans! This was a shocker for me as I

Nom Nom Paleo super cute tee.
consider beans and legumes to be one of nature's perfect foods.  It's a protein, it's a vegetable, it's a carbohydrate and it's delicious.  But I'm saying 'no' for now.  Saying no because I'm really trying to get sober from sugar, and I'm willing to cut all starches to do so.
If you're thinking to yourself "there's no way I could eat like that", then check out Nom Nom Paleo, a food blog created by a working mom and CrossFitter who makes the most amazing looking dishes composed of whole, natural, caveman eats.  She's a true gourmand and she has inspired me!
Happy eating - and sweating!
~ the green/green bride

Sunday, May 15, 2011

How to Succeed in Napkin Making Without Really Trying...

I decided months ago that I wanted to sew the napkins needed for the wedding.  I began collecting fabric, got a tutorial from my extremely talented Aunt Diane, then, froze with fear. I was so intimidated by the process - mainly the number of steps - that I've been procrastinating on the matter. 
Finally, I sat down yesterday and forced myself to commit to making one napkin for better or for worse.  And, as it turns out, it's really not that hard.  Really.

Start with a sewing machine and two 18x18 squares of fabric (I like using
contrasting patterns to go with our rustic, homemade theme).
Optional: a cup of coffee and a pair of sunglasses*.
*I almost lost an eye from a rogue broken needle, so I wear
my shades while I sew.  Nobody wants to be the bride wearing an eye patch.

Pair the fabric back to back and "inside out".  You're going to turn it "outside in" later.  You can pin the fabrics together, or not.  I started to, but got lazy almost immediately, so I stopped.

Still life with pin cushion.

Sew about a quarter of an inch from the edge.  My fabric pieces were way off (my bad) in terms of measurements, so, though it looks like I'm sewing a seam that's almost an inch from the edge, just know that if you flipped the fabric over, it would make sense.

Go all around the edges of the napkin, leaving a few inches not sewn so that you can flip the insides out.

Flipping, and what not.

After you've flipped, trim your scraps.  If you're anything like me you'll notice that your 18x18 napkin is now more like 17x16.5.  No matter.  Rustic.  Homemade.

Once it's flipped, the edges look a lot like a pillowcase.  Hey!  Now I know how to make a pillowcase!


If you like, switch your straight stitch to a ...

zig zag!

Sew a top stitch all around the four sides of the napkin.  Be sure to sew together the edges of the space you used to flip the napkin.  I missed it, so it looks funky.  Who cares?  Rustic!  Homemade!

Give it one final press, and relax in the knowledge that it doesn't have to be perfect.  After all, we're talking about something that will soon be used to wipe salsa and guacamole from hands and mouths.
~ the green/green bride

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy. Sexy. Beautiful.

The Beverlywood (sans sleeves).  That's my dress.
This model is gorgeous, but the photo doesn't
do the bust line justice.  It has a slight curve
as it travels towards the shoulder.  So
It was almost too easy.
I was expecting a dramatic, tear-filled whirlwind of events, complete with several trips around southern California and countless disappointing moments consisting of dresses that didn't fit and price tags I couldn't afford.
Instead, after searching for months and months on the net (I guess that was the hard part), I found my way to Dolly Couture in Tarzana.  It was the first bridal salon I visited to try on dresses, and it will be my last, because I found my dress!
Making an appointment was easy.  Trying on the dresses was easy.  (In fact, though I'm a size 18 jean size, I was swimming in the size 18 dresses because I'm considerably smaller in the waist than I am in the hip.  What a treat for this plus size girl! )  My consultant, Nicky, was sweet, knowledgable and knew exactly what dress to put me in - a dress I would've never chosen myself because it has sleeves, and since we're getting married at the end of summer I was looking for a sleeveless or strapless gown.  Turns out, you can customize any of the dresses at Dolly Couture.  So, I'm going with the Beverlywood, an ivory, taffeta, cocktail dress with tulle and protruding lace  - no sleeves, with an a-line waste (instead of ball gown) and a truly flattering neckline.  I'm also adding Chinese buttons over the zipper in the back. I've had a rack since I was ten, but my girls have never, ever, ever looked this good in a dress.  Really.  It's kind of ridiculous.
I asked Adam a few weeks ago to give me three adjectives to describe what he'd like me to look like as I make my way down the aisle.  His first adjective was "happy", which is pretty sweet, if you ask me.  His second was "sexy".  (Men.  Tee hee.)  And his last was "beautiful".  I think the Beverlywood gives both Adam and I just what we're looking for.

But, as they say, a woman's work is never done.
The one I thought I wanted.  I was wrong.

Now that I've found the dress I spend a good hour a day searching for the perfect shoes, jewelry and veil.  I don't fancy myself a girly-girl. I own about a dozen pairs of shoes, of which I cycle through three on any given day: the sandal, the sneaker, and the fancy sneaker (read: black, low-top Converse).  But I've been lusting after heels the last few days.  Particularly the Dreamer by Kate Spade and Frilly by Charles David.  I have no intention on paying for shoes that are as expensive as these - especially since I tend to last about ten minutes in a pair of heels before I throw a feminist fist in the air and declare them sexist tools created by a patriarchal society determined to distract women from ruling the world by physically disabling them... but I can still drool over them, right?
The Dreamer: the kind of shoe you want to marry.

Frilly: the kind of shoe you want to take home and well, you know.

Hooray for finding things!
Next week: DIY napkins.
~ the green/green bride

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Plus Size Bridal

David's Bridal Dresses

I am
s  l  o  w  l  y
accepting my (plus-size) body.  Some days I wake up, look in the mirror and think to myself 'You're okay'. After all, I am. My muscles move, my brain thinks, my organs work, my bones hold me up. What more could a girl want?  Other days I wake up, look in the mirror and think 'You're not okay.    You are too young, too smart and too short to be at this weight'.  Whichever scenario greets me these days, I know one thing for sure.  I'm 139 days away from my walk down the aisle and I'm a size 18.  That means I'm a plus size bride.  Which means I'm in the market for a plus sized bridal gown.

Up until last Friday I thought my only hope for finding a dress was David's Bridal.  They have one of the largest and most affordable selection of dresses for a girl with extra junk in her trunk. However, I've been specifically looking for a vintage inspired tea-length dress, and they have only a few.  Nevertheless I made my appointment last week and began slowly coming to terms with the fact that I was going to be a big girl in a mass-produced dress... not that there's anything wrong with that.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Dolly Couture, an online bridal salon with two store fronts (one in LA and one in NY) that specializes in vintage inspired tea-length bridal gowns.  And imagine how doubly surprised I was to find out that they carry sample sizes from 2 through18!  Now imagine me rolling around my couch clutching my laptop with glee once I learned that the dresses ranged in price from $395 to $995!  Is there a gown god?  Yes. And her name is Dolly.
Dolly and a few of her dresses.
I cancelled my appointment at David's and scheduled one for the same day at Dolly Couture.  By this time next week I'll be able to give you a first hand review of the shop, the dresses, and whether or not I've found "the one".  Wish me luck!

~ the green/green bride

p.s., Long time readers will remember that I bought a wedding dress at the end of last year.  It was a simple, v-neck, a-line, silk tricotine number from JCrew that I found on eBay for $75.  It was also a size 6.  Though I may be a size 6 one day, I won't be one on September 17th, 2011, which is why I began the search for a new dress.

Anyone need a petite 6, simple, v-neck, a-line, silk tricotine, ivory wedding dress from JCrew?