The China Conundrum : Part Duex

After I posted about my China Conundrum the other day I still had no idea what I was going to do (even after all my lovely reader comments J), so bring on Part Two!

As I mentioned, I will not be inheriting china from my mother or grandmother – this is because they don’t have any. Therefore, it goes without saying we never used it at holidays or special occasions growing up, which makes it difficult for me to see myself using it. My grandmother has great old pewter plates and my mother has some fabulous whiteware that we use for ‘special occasions’. My mother offered to give me the whiteware but she doesn’t have a complete set, she just has the plates (which I LOVE), but the line (and manufacturer) is discontinued and I would have to scour Ebay to find the rest of the pieces. Which I foresee getting expensive….fast. But this led me to thinking that maybe my china doesn’t have to be FINA china….maybe I could just get some great white china.

The Benefits:

  • Its less ‘formal’. I don’t ever foresee us hosting an event where a classic white plate would be unacceptable.
  • White presents food SO nicely.
  • Its less expensive than fine china, therefore I feel less guilty about putting it on our registry. (and won’t be furious when Mr. Gloss inevitably breaks something)
  • It can be easily mixed and matched with other bright pieces to create different looks.
  • It feels more ‘us’ and I don’t think our friends would feel uncomfortable eating off it, like they might with some of the patterns I posted the other day.
  • I can put it in the dishwasher….and the microwave :)

I love the modern, square plates – but I think I may not love them 25 years from now.

So, I’m leaning toward a more traditional plate – I haven’t seen them in person yet, but these are my favorites so far online.

Mikasa - Antique White

Villeroy & Boch - Country Heritage

Is anyone else opting for great whiteware rather than fine china?

Images from macys.com

Who Scheduled Hurricane Season on My Honeymoon? Part 3

As of “Who Scheduled Hurricane Season on My Honeymoon” post #2, we were leaning towards somewhere a little ‘closer to home’, this location tentatively being western Mexico. It was priced right, had great resorts and gorgeous beaches and since it’s located on the pacific side it is supposedly ‘outside’ of the hurricane zone. Plus, I love me some margaritas :).

Check out the St. Regis @ Punta de Mita – In the words of Tina Fey, 'I want to go to there'....(really really bad!!)

I even bought the perfect oversized floppy beach hat from Urban Outfitters. (It's even more floppy in real life.)
And now (and probably then too, but it was less publicized) there decided to be a Swine Flu outbreak. So I fully declare this is NOT fair. Not only do I have to deal with hurricane season but swine flu as well?

Is the recent outbreak causing you to rethink your honeymoon plans?

Read Part One Here

Read Part Two Here


My spanx will bring all the boys to the yard...

Um, well hopefully not ALL of them, but I’m crossing my fingers for one in particular (that’s you Mr. Gloss).

As we discussed here, my work-out regimen is not going so hot, so I figure the next best thing to actual weight loss is a weight loss illusion...i.e. SPANX!!

Hey – a girl is allowed to have a little help right? Fake it till you make it ladies.Who knew there were so many SPANX options? The girl at Nordstrom was SUPER helpful – we had a very informative Q&A:

Q: Will I have a muffin top around my leg where the Spanx stop? (Because let’s face it, the only thing worse than a regular muffin top is a mid-thigh muffin top).

A: Nope, the Spanx are sewn all the way back up to the top of the leg, so there is no seam on the thigh itself.

Q: Is it going to slide down as I’m walking/dancing/standing/sitting?

A: It might, if you don’t pull it up all the way in the back. Pull it up all the way in the back and you will be fine, tuck it under your bra strap if you can, or at least make sure it is as high as that, and there will be no slippage.

Q: Um, my dress doesn’t go up that far in the back – is it going to be an issue if I wear them lower? (and by issue, I mean extra muffin-top)

A: No – your rib-cage is pretty thin, so you shouldn’t have a problem by wearing them lower. *Internal thoughts: What? Me? Something thin? - I heart you saleslady*

Q: Do you have any? Do you love them?

A: Yes and yes. I wear them every day (pulls up dress to prove it).

I opted for the mid-thigh to boob option in nude a.k.a. "Higher Power"– thinking it will be the most useful pre and post wedding. I haven’t tried it on with my dress yet to see if it makes a difference, but it’s actually pretty comfy. And as all comfy and controlling things go – it’s pretty much everything BUT that cute stand-alone jaw-dropping sexy garment you want to be secretly hidden under your perfect dress for um, post-wedding twister.

Um, yeah – see the difference? Do you think Mr. Gloss will notice?

Is anyone else signed up for a little wedding day assistance?

Images: 1 & 2 from spanx.com, 3 from La Perla.com


The China Conundrum...

I have been going back and forth on whether to add formal china to our registry.
Right now we live in an apartment, and even though we have a built in china hutch, it is filled with other things as space is precious. We could store it at my parent's house, except for maybe a few settings for us, until we get our own house. But I've heard you should only register for things you are going to use NOW, since your tastes may be very different 5 years from now. How am I supposed to purchase something and know I will love it for the rest of my life? Is it like a child? Do I love it automatically and unconditionally because it's my 'wedding china' and it reminds me of the day I married my best friend?
I know I want china someday - and when does one get china other than as a wedding gift? At the same time, it's so expensive and I feel greedy and guilty asking for it in such a terrible economy.
But it's sooo pretty and delicate. Eating off it, even if it is just grilled cheese, could make a bad day better. Plus, neither my mom nor grandmother have china so it would not be passed down to me at a later date. We could purchase it ourselves as an anniversary gift after our first year of marriage, but I think we are too practical for that. Hopefully (fingers crossed) we will have a house by then and I'm sure I would rather have new appliances rather than $1,000 worth of dishes. So really, it's now or never -

If we do decide to register, I've been eyeing:
Ralph Lauren - VowsMartha Stewart for Wedgewood - French Knot in Silverand
Vera Wang - GrosgrainIf I get china do I have to get crystal to go with it?
Are you registering for formal china?

*all images from macys.com



I’ve had a lot of questions in the comments sections of my posts regarding fonts, specifically the ‘handwriting fonts’ – so I figured I would do a post about fonts in general-

The majority of the time I get most of my fonts from either : dafont.com or 1001freefonts.com (both are free, for the bee on a budget).

But, I’ve also splurged on some fonts from Veer, namely the Burgues Script (so elegant!). I bought it because I was POSITVE we were going to use it on our invitation suite – now I’m not so sure, but I still love it!! Plus when you purchase something from VEER they put you on their mailing list and you get THE COOLEST mailers ever! It literally makes my day when I get something from them in the mail, my favorite has been a “Desktop Attendant for Absent Creatives”.

“Sometimes you have to get away. This collection of excuses, alibis, and reasons-why will let your workmates know where and/or why you’ve gone.”

Anyways, back to the font talk.

When you purchase a quality font from a foundry, you get all the open-type options, meaning there are different variations on each letter so you can get them to flow smoothly. For the 'a' character in the Burgues script there are 5 different characters that the open type menu will allow you to choose from:

Playing with these options allows you create diversity within your text using the same letters, so you get a varied script similar to if you had hired an actual calligrapher to pen the text.

Notice how the M's are different? There is an extra flourish on the 'r' for Mr. The s's are different too -

The Handwriting fonts I’ve used both here and here came from Fonts for Peas. Fonts for Peas is a unique website where you can send in a sample of your own handwriting and they will turn it into a font for you…for free! I haven’t turned my own hand into a font yet because I have found so many others listed on their website that are so much more interesting than my own. There are other websites that use a similar concept and you can download their fonts for free as well, but I’ve stuck with “Fonts for Peas” because I like the name :)

Where are your favorite places to get fonts?


Help from a PRO!

Guess what!! The wonderful Lo of Lo&Co offered up some fabulous make-up advice for me and my big day. I’ve been searching for someone to do my make-up but, seeing as we are getting married in the middle of nowhere, it has been a challenge – so I emailed Lo and asked if she had any advice!! (BTW she is SUPER sweet!) I figure I’ve got about 4 months to practice :)

Here was her response:

Miss Gloss,
You are too cute! You look really great without makeup, and it will be easy to make you look even more “natural” for your wedding. First of all, your eyes are gorgeous, and you have great skin and bone structure. Let’s just even out your skin tone and add a little definition and dimension. I love your inspirational photos and this is what I refer to as a “classic eye”. It is all about a sheer shimmer shadow and a tight liner across the top of the lid. False lashes can add extra glam. I did this eye on
Carissa in a previous post which has a detailed product list. The only difference is doing a pink lip instead of a deep berry.
I think this will be a great complement to your halter style dress and summer wedding venue. However, since you don’t wear a lot of makeup we need to see how comfortable you are with this eyeliner. I want you to go to a Bobbi Brown, M.A.C. or Stila counter with these photos and ask an artist to show you how to do this eyeliner. All of the aforementioned brands have a gel liner that is perfect for this and easier to use than liquid liner. I recommended trying a dark gray liner instead of black -it will be a little softer.
For the lip try out some of the
Bobbi Brown pink glosses layered over a lip pencil. I love Bobbi’s Petal, Pink Beige, and Rose Sugar gloss. I have used these on countless brides over a neutral lip pencil. You can adjust the color with the lip pencil. If you want more pink in your lip, go with a pinker liner or for more depth use a darker pencil under the pink gloss. Experiment and find out what you feel best in.
Finally, if you feel that the liner is too strong you can smudge the liner and soften the look. Simply apply a medium gray shadow (
M.A.C’s Print shadow) on a small eye shadow brush, and blend it into the liner. This creates a smudged smoky line which many women feel more comfortable in. There is no perfect look for everyone; it is all about what you feel best in. Trust your instincts, and don’t worry, as an expert I guarantee you are going to look gorgeous no matter what!


You can see the whole post on her blog here or here on WB PRO! (And check out all her other great tips too!!)
This is me, sans make-up after a LONG day of work…just so she could see what we are working with here.

After I got her response I went STRAIGHT to Nordstroms after work and picked up her suggested products with a little help from the Bobbie Brown girl – It took like 2 hours to find the right undereye concealer/corrector at Bobbi Brown, but I think we finally got it right.
@ MAC : blitz & glitz gel liner, lingering eyebrow pencil, and print eyeshadow
@ Bobbi Brown: Concealer Kit in Ivory, Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque, Blush in Slopes, and Lip Gloss in Aubergine
I decided to wait on foundation since my skin color will most likely be tanner by the time August roles around. So here's what it kinda looks like. Mind you – I did this myself (except for the undereye corrector) and I'm not sure about the lip color yet, it definitely looked better at the store, now I feel like it might be too much - but the light pinks all looked really coral-y and not so great. I'm also not sure about the liner on the bottom lash - but I knew I needed things to be heavier to show up better for pictures.

What do you guys think? Will you be doing your own make-up for the big day?

SIDENOTE: I LOVE the gel eyeliner!!


a glossy garter...

Mr. Gloss has been traveling a lot for work so it has given me time to complete some of the more ‘secret’ wedding projects.....(namely, the garter, and a potential veil). And then some non-groom secret wedding things too (ex. flower for my hair and bridesmaid jewelry). So welcome to my Mr.Gloss-is-gone-craft-a-thon.

First up : the garter

As seems to occur with all my DIY projects – the first try is to just try and figure things out. Knowing that the first attempt will most likely not really come out the way I had anticipated, I’ve been remembering to plan ahead and purchase extra supplies. So, this is actually garter attempt round two, as the first one came out looking like a giant ivory satin scrunchie and was actually really uncomfortable to wear even for the four minutes I was walking around the apartment with it on. I am even too embarrassed to post pictures of it since it nowhere near resembles a ‘garter’ but rather an over-the-top wedding accessory from the early 90’s. Yikes!

So back to the drawing board I went. I re-evaluated the situation and brainstormed what backfired with round one:

1. It was waay to large. *Now I know to measure the size of the elastic so that it is a comfortable tightness around your thigh and add just a smidgen to be able to sew the ends of the elastic together.

2. Pearl edging rubbing along your thighs is not comfy. *Eliminated, unless of course your thighs do not rub together like mine and in that case, I’m jealous.

3. Following garter directions that ultimately said ‘You can also use this method to make hair accessories!’ *Disregarded pattern, now improving garter design.

4. Round one had a satin covered elastic band (like I need more bulk on my thighs!!), so in round two I opted for stretchy lace to create a smoother profile.

I measured, cut and sewed a simple circle of the stretchy elastic lace and trimmed off the excess. (Test width around thigh and tighten if required.)

Next, I made a simple grosgrain bow using the fabulous directions from Mrs. Emerald’s invites (except I sewed mine together, rather than using double-sided tape for durability purposes). The sewing machine was already out, otherwise I may have been tempted to just use hot glue :)

First, I attached a cute button I found at Mood when I was in NY just to add a splash of color.

I don’t want to carry a bag around on my wedding day, so I knew I would need a place to store the ultimate accessory.....my lip gloss! So I sewed a little satin pocket and attached it to the rest of the garter. Then I sewed the bow to the garter base (aka stretchy lace) in the middle and on both ends (otherwise they flopped around).

I may attach a small piece of Velcro to ensure the pocket stays closed – but that is still to be determined!

Have you personalized any of your wedding accessories?


what would you eat?

So, we have booked our caterer – everyone says her food is fantastic and her prices are great. We decided on a buffet set-up since the event will be pretty laid back. Our caterer is VERY flexible, maybe too flexible for us to handle. How is this possible you ask?

Well, when discussing menu options our guidelines were as follows:
“I can make you anything you want”…..”except fish” (which I understand as it is difficult to cook evenly in large quantities when you don’t have a kitchen….yes, our venue lacks a kitchen.)
Apparently, when one has the option to have anything, it is quite overwhelming. We have no idea where to start really. We’ll that’s a lie – we know there will be chicken, and there will be some type of red meat. But ‘grilled chicken’ doesn’t really sound that appealing – it needs to be jazzed up somehow.

I ‘jazzed up’ some of the sides:
Potatoes = Rosemary infused oven roasted baby potatoes with sea salt.
Salad = Mixed greens with fresh-picked cherry tomatoes and aged parmesan tossed with a sherry vinaigrette.

So Hive – help a bee out, pretty, pretty please? What are some of your favorite dishes? What are you serving at your wedding?


a glossy wedding website...

One of our biggest DIY projects to date has been the creation of our wedding website -and to think I almost forgot to blog about it! A website was important for us since it will be a 'destination wedding' for roughly 90% of our guests. The pre-made wedding templates just really weren't cutting it for us, I think I searched them all and they just didn't feel 'us' - so, in true Glossy fashion, we made our own!
The concept of our website came from my wedding planning notebook. I have a small black moleskin notebook that I carry everywhere with me (because who knows when wedding inspiration will hit!) Its small enough that I can carry it all the time and barely know it's there, and holds all my random wedding thoughts, vendor contacts and everything else from the guest list to the style of the b.maid dresses.

Using a 'notebook' concept as the basis of our design, we came up with this as our intro page:
Our wedding is pretty small, everyone invited has known us for somewhere between 5 and 25 years. We've been together for almost 10 - so it's safe to say - they already 'know us', but we wanted a cute little page anyways: Some pages (like the reception page) are still 'incomplete':There are a few pages of suggestions for lodging like this:Since this was a 'DIY' website, we had no idea how to program a link to actually let people RSVP online, so we did this:Our location is an amazing place to be in the summer so we wanted to encourage people to make a vacation of it and let them know about all the great things to do in the area. There are a TON of pages in this section so I just pulled a few so you could get the idea:We also included registry information:So we bought a domain, and a hosting site, I created all the page layouts in Photoshop and Illustrator and then Mr. Gloss (yes he helped!!) used magic techie words to get the pictures and words to be 'clickable'. And thats about the extent of my knowledge on making websites - so, this post may not be that helpful unless you can create the images and outsource the 'techie' part to someone else. Or, you are gifted in the website making department-

Are you having a wedding website? Are you making your own? or using a template?


Table Numbers and What Knot...

We could do table numbers...1,2,3,4,etc.
Or we could do table knots....overhand, figure eight, slip knot, etc. to tie in with our semi-nautical 'rope' theme.

Even after a few google searches I could not come up with 15 cute 'knot' names - it's waay harder than it seems at first glance. So, I bought a book on knots....I know - don't judge. Yup, I am the proud owner of 'What Knot' which has 7 fun-filled chapters on tying knots AND 'the lure and lore of knots' (BONUS!). The part that really gets me is that I was super excited to buy a book about knots....anyways -

I found some cute 'knot names' for our tables:

Overhand Knot
Angler's Loop
Miller's Knot
Reef Knot
Surgeon's Knot
Buntline Hitch
Handcuff Knot (*Sweetheart table potential?)
Figure Eight Knot
Stevedore Knot
Clove Hitch
Midshipman's Hitch
Snuggle Hitch (*Sweetheart table potential?)
Butterfly Loop
Farmer's Loop

So I need your help! How should I display the table names?
A. Tie the knots with real rope and attach them to a labeled sign.
B. Illustrate the knot on a sign with a label.
C. Just write the name.
D. Forget the knots - just use numbers!
E. Not sure, but I am a knot guru and have another suggestion for you -

Image: 1

1 cake, 2 cake, white cake....blue cake?

I previously posted about my idea for a cake here. But my google reader is constantly bombarding me with additional inspiration and obviously I fell in love with another....(cake that is). So naturally, I want to 'marry' the two -

Previous cake of my dreams:

New cake:

Together: (poor photo montage by yours truly)

I think this cake fits the feel of our wedding better, it's not as fussy and feels at home with our nautical august wedding.

Don't worry - there will still be some form of cake DIY, and maybe even some DIY cake stands....

How much guidance/direction are you giving your baker?
Images: 1, 2


on weight loss...

I abhor running, and going to the gym in general, but mostly running. So the whole 'getting in shape and toned-up' for the wedding thing hasn't really been working that well.
It's not even just my mindset, my body hates running, so much so that my airway passages close up after running for a mile because my body knows it would rather deprive itself of oxygen and die rather than continue to run. Yes, my body physically rejects all forms of exercise.
I really enjoy pilates, but my schedule is generally too chaotic to attend regular classes at the gym. To top it off, I get really discouraged if the weight doesn't come off quickly, which only compounds the issue even though I understand thats not really how it works.
So, a few months ago I made Mr. Gloss join the gym with me. Having a work-out buddy helped a lot, we motivated each other to go when the other felt lazy, etc. Then Mr. Gloss went dropped like 15lbs. in a little over a month (note: we went to the gym equally), and has lost around another 5 since then. How come boys can loose weight so easily? It's really unfair. And again (since I clearly have not lost 20lbs.) I became frustrated and lost motivation.
I know part of the issue is that I get bored, exercise is not enjoyable for me and not interesting - I get bored even watching TV while running on the treadmill.

So ladies, what do you do to keep it interesting? Where do you find your motivation?


two months salary....

According to theweddingchannel.com (and many other websites), the recommended cost of an engagement ring is equivalent to two months salary. Washington based artist Lee Gainer developed a series of prints called "Two Months Salary" where each print lists a profession (anesthesiologist, farmer, referee, etc.), and then shows images of the engagement rings that people in that profession could afford to purchase if they used up two months’ worth of their wages.
You can see the rest of the series here -
I think this is pretty fascinating and I would love to see another series where they photograph actual rings from these professions.

What do you guys think? How do your rings stack up compared to the others in the industry?


Who scheduled Hurricane Season on My Honeymoon?: Part 2

Back to the search for a honeymoon location without torrential downpours, because I don't want to be like this bride:

Part One Here-
So, after we nixed most of the faraway/exotic locations, we turned our search back around to find a place a little closer to home, so we wouldn’t have to spend a day (or two) on travel alone. We found a few islands that are reportedly outside of the ‘hurricane zone’.

Option #1: The ABC Islands –

The ‘ABC’ islands are Aruba, Bonaire, and Curcuao. They lay just south of the projected hurricane zone and rarely get hit with the downpours and torrential winds I was concerned about. These islands boast ‘world class diving’ opportunities, we have never seriously dove before but I’ve heard you can take a 3-day course and get certified – which could be really fun. Also, it is easy to travel between the islands, and what sounds like more fun than 'Island Hopping' on your honeymoon? I hadn’t heard of the other two (B & C) before I did a search for Aruba, but I see the poster ads for Aruba everyday on the T and apparently there are 90,000 friends there I haven’t met yet….

Option #2: Bermuda –

Also said to be outside of the hurricane zone, but north of it. Although the island boasts pink sand beaches and a short travel time I don’t think this is the option for us. It just seems a little too close, like maybe someplace we would go on vacation with our kids someday. Mr. Gloss is a proponent of Bermuda since it boasts more golf courses per square mile than anywhere else in the world - I however, merely make an attempt to golf so I get to drive the golf cart and wear Lily P.

Plus, there is always the chance our plane could get lost in the Bermuda triangle.

Option #3: Hawaii –

Still somewhat a long flight, but no chance of hurricane season here! Amazing beaches, the ability to visit multiple islands and lush surroundings everywhere you look - whats not to like? But, for some reason I’ve never really been drawn to Hawaii, although everyone I know that has been loved it. Again, it seems like a likely 'vacation spot' down the road and not the exotic honeymoon retreat we are looking for.

Plus, I love getting new stamps on my passport, and I wouldn’t get any if we went here. :(

So, no decisions yet - but we are getting closer!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


Who scheduled Hurricane season on My Honeymoon?: Part 1

It just seems like cruel irony that the heavy wedding season coincides with hurricane season in the Bahamas/Caribbean. I blame it on the wedding industry – I’m not sure how, but clearly they figured out some way to rule out all the more budget friendly islands (via terrible weather) forcing us to travel further and spend more for our retreats. They are clearly very tricky people, (I know this because they convinced me I needed to spend $8ea. on something called a Chivari chair.)

Mr. Gloss and I have been researching honeymoon escapes and would like something more along the lines of the second image rather than the first. We could wait until hurricane season ends – but honestly, if we don’t go right after our wedding, we will probably never get around to it. Also, I think I’m definitely going to need a break after the whole wedding thing goes down. Wanting to avoid all chances of being destroyed by a potential hurricane on our honeymoon, I immediately started brainstorming locations other than due South (Caribbean/Bahamas/Mexico).

The Tentative List:

Philippines/Thailand: I think of an exotic location, luxury resorts and cheap ($5) massages on the beach. Mr. Gloss thinks of drinking water in undeveloped countries and ending up like Charlotte on SATC. Also, I heard Asia was super humid in the summer which crosses it off my list as I am CHG (curly hair girl) and don’t want to look like a troll in any pics we may take.

Europe: I lived in Florence for about 5 months and basically used it like a home base for traveling about Europe, Mr. Gloss visited and I dragged him around on a speed tour of Europe after which he was thoroughly exhausted. I heart Europe, but not for our honeymoon – there is just too much I want to see and do that I wouldn’t be able to relax.

Australia & French Polynesia: Not totally eliminated yet; but will most likely be crossed off the list due to extensive flight times. Mr. Gloss is almost worse than a 3-year old when it comes to sitting down for an extended period of time.

Up Next: We try to determine exactly where the ‘hurricane zone’ is – and if we can get away with a closer locale.

source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,


room #2

Room #2.
Thats where I'll spend the last night I'm a Miss and the first night I'm a MRS!
We decided on the Blair Hill Inn for a few reasons. Number one, its one of the best luxury inns in the state and the owners are said to be as charming as the estate they so lovingly care for. Number two, it's super close to our ceremony/reception site. Number three, we are doing most of our formal pictures prior to the ceremony (since I don't want all our pics to be on the boat), and they have allowed us to take some pictures on their grounds (which are GORGEOUS!). We looked into having the actual wedding here but at $200+pp & rental of all the rooms for the whole weekend, it was WAY out of our budget.

Check out the main house: (all images from here)

The Blair Hill Inn was once a 2,000 acre gentleman's farm belonging to Lyman Blair, a young socialite, from a wealthy Chicago family, who visited Moosehead Lake with his friends in the 1800's. He purchased the entire hillside and built his mansion on 20' high stone walls to capture almost 360 degree views of the lake below. The present day owners (coincidentally also from Chicago) purchased the property and restored it.

I can't wait to get a pic with my soon-to-be hubby in those adarondac chairs looking out over the lake where we will soon get married!! So classic Maine-

And check out these views!!
And this is our room!

I think Mr.Gloss picked it solely for the stone-tiled walk-in shower with built-in bench.I'm really excited, somehow having our room booked makes everything feel so much more real!!

When did you have the 'Wow, this is really happening moment'?