You're Lovely.

Thank you so much to one of my newest blog reads, the Army Brat Bride, for bestowing a lovely blog award to me! I am excited to continue reading about your Georgia wedding.

By the rules of the Internet I have to choose some blogs I fancy, and even though there are so many interesting stories and blogs out there, here are some lovely blogs I suggest you add to your readers.

Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bridezilla
Because she is hands down the best online bridesmaid that you'll ever have.

Blushing Joy
Because she's having her e-pics done in Malaysia and Singapore RIGHT NOW and you don't want to miss the results.

Chic n' Cheap
Because I like living vicariously through someone with the skills to plan a wedding on a budget in Manhattan in 4 months while also preparing to move out of the country.

Honey My Heart
Because Santa Barbara makes my heart flutter and I have never. ever. seen someone with such an immense collection of purses.

Go show them some blog love! Hope everyone is having a good weekend!

NYT: Polaroid Gallery

[All polaroids by Pascale Simon via The New York Times]

The New York Times asked readers to send in their polaroids last Tuesday, and today they are showcasing over 400 photos that were selected from a batch of close to 1,000. There is some really interesting work, and when you click on the gallery link, it brings you to a beautiful menagerie of an art that's quickly disappearing.

I am LOVING these pictures of flowers from reader Pascale Simon. Beautiful.

You can read the full article here, and be sure to click on "Full Screen" to see the entire polaroid gallery.

Becky Kelso Rings

[Top to bottom: 18k yellow gold, calcite; 18k yellow gold, rose-cut diamond; 18k yellow gold, apatite]

While researching engagement rings, I came across Becky Kelso's work and fell in love with their romantic charm and unique design. They are also made from environmentally sustainable materials by artists in Northern California, which being a Norcal native, made the jewelry even more special. Alas, it wasn't meant to be, but perhaps for my birthday? Anniversary? Valentine's Day? Earth Day?

Check out all of Becky Kelso's designs here.


"That's a Waste of Money"

...to which I like to reply "According to you!" and then I throw a pie in the person's face.

Ok I don't actually do that. In real life I probably say "you think?" and then end up shelving whatever I wanted to purchase in the first place due to guilt. Oh money.

I feel like I've been hearing this a lot since we started wedding planning, because there are so many impractical pretty things in wedding world. It's like the boy's (who is probably one of the most practical people I know) worst nightmare, all wrapped up in one big event. If he's the one saying "that's a waste of money" it's usually proceeded by "why do we need this?", which, don't get me wrong, is a good thing because we can't exactly be willy-nilly about our dollars and cents. He's not a doctor yet and I haven't won the lottery or written that million dollar children's book.

Where is this little rant going? Oh yeah. The boy thought stds were a waste, so...

I have created an email newsletter instead. I paid $0 for it, and even though the older generation won't be receiving it due to a lack of an email address, I'm going to make it a point to ask their children to show them.

It will link to our website, which I am also working on, and the whole kit n'caboodle should be done mid-summer so that people can "ooo" and "awww" and start daydreaming about swimming and kayaking and general San Diego merriment.

I can't wait to show you!!

Is there anything WIC-endorsed that you absolutely refuse to pay for and deem a "waste of money"?


Marrying into an Organized Family

About a month ago, I asked the FI's aunt if she could send me a list of relatives from their side of the family with their contact information.

If I asked my mother to do this, it'd be scrawled on a paper napkin with various parts of addresses missing and complete names missing. No Mom, I can't address the envelope as "Uncle Kevin's Mom". It just does not work that way. [Side note: I love my Mom, I really do.]

Imagine my complete surprise when I received a spreadsheet with all of the FI's relatives, grouped by families, with COMPLETE email addresses and mailing addresses. Not only did the FI's aunt include all names of family members, but she included how they were related to the FI (and very soon, to me!) She even included notes for me that might affect the guest count, such as "Cousin Judy is expecting in August". It was such a huge help that I felt like I should be paying her!

Now...if Excel could have some sort of import function for paper napkins...ya hear me Microsoft researchers?

Congratulations to R+M!

[Did I ever tell you about my mad tambourine skills?
Summer days circa 2003.
[L to R] Mo, Jenn, and Ro busting it out to Mariah Carey's Vision of Love.]

My college roommate and dear friend, Rosanna, just got engaged! She is the first of my friends to get married, and I am honored that I will be a bridesmaid in the wedding. It's almost like I've been reading training guides for years now due to my obsession with wedding blogs. If anyone's prepped and ready to be a bridesmaid, it's me. Although I could probably take a lesson or two from The Professional Bridesmaid!

We lived with our friend, Jenn, and the three of us occupied an old dilapidated apartment on the south side of Berkeley, CA for three years. Let's just say when I had friends visit they would say "THIS is where you LIVE?"

Ah, good times. I can't wait to make more memories in the next year while helping plan her wedding. Congratulations Rosanna! I will wear anything you want me to!


Playing with the Camera: My Ring

[Ta da! The result of playing with my new camera this weekend. My ring was designed/made by the very talented Sarah Perlis.]

[For fun I cranked up the contrast in Photoshop to see how it'd look. Wild one, aren't I?
It looks totally unnatural, but was fun experimenting!]

I'm in learning mode with my new digital slr camera. The cat proved to be a difficult subject (Meomi! Stop moving!) so I decided to start off by taking some macro shots of my ring, which resulted in about an hour of fiddling with different settings and seeing what shots look like after cranking up the ISO really high, and a lot of "hmm I wonder what this button does?". I've also been dealing with shaky hands since I have no tripod, but here's the clearest shot I got while bending down in the shade with my dying vase of flowers and my lovely ring.

Ta da! If you are engaged/getting married/married/have a ring, did you take a picture of your ring?


For the Birds

[From top to bottom: Saltbox; Yellow; Carolina blue]

And for anyone out there having a rustic or bird-themed wedding, Birdhouseaccents makes the most adorable bird houses! I grew up in a very small town (ie, out in the middle of nowhere) and we had a bird house that was THE place to be for the birdies in the yard. If I had a yard, this would make a great addition.

I wouldn't mind living in these if they were human-sized, they are so cute!


Short and Cute Shoes

[From top to bottom: Lilly Pulitzer; Ciao Bella; Maloles]

We're a petite couple. Or as the boy likes to describe himself, "short, dark and handsome". We're close to the same height, and while I could wear 3" heels because they generally make me look leaner, I'd rather be the same height as him on the wedding day. He's already given me the "I'm sorry, were you being serious?" look when I asked if he wanted to wear lifts or a heel. I didn't think it was such a bad idea!

That said, I'm on the hunt for the perfect pair of flats. I have a whole lot of flat shoes (I'm currently wearing purple suede ones,) so I want to find a pair that are fancy enough to go with my dress and that will last me a good 6-8 hours while I say vows, take pictures, eat cake, and kiss and hug 200 people.

The fancy part is tough. I like all of the flats I've posted up here, but are they fancy enough to go with the my chiffon/lace dress? Also, when you click on "special occasion" on shoe websites, there are never. ever. any flats. Drives me nuts!

Who are your favorite designers of fancy flat shoes? Should I go with a colored shoe or a metallic shoe (like gold)? Should I try looking for kitten heels instead?


Jenny Yoo Color Promotion

[From Jenny Yoo]

Receive 10% off with these specific Jenny Yoo colors. I'm digging the lemonade.

I Need a Vacation

Him: Hey, do you still want this juice in the fridge? It's about to expire.
Me: Uhhhhhh....no, I don't want to drink it, just go ahead and delete it.

Gee, I wonder what that could possibly say about me.


I Love Lockets

[Luxe Leaf Locket by wiyomu]

[Isabella Gardens Locket by RachelleD]

[Brass Locket by SeaUnicorn]

[This was from the original Marth Stewart feature (Winter 2008) about lockets. I love this one! Engraved Hearts Locket by Kuo Ting]

Aren't they lovely? I want them all!


Etsy Finds: Camera Bags

My camera came this morning! I'm a little frightened of it. I hope to play with it this weekend so I can be the best amateur at my sister's wedding.

In the meantime, I need to find something to carry it in for the plane ride to New York. Here are some fun camera bags I found on Etsy.

[Small messenger camera bag by wickedstitchdesigns]

[For those in need of a cute bag for your itty bitty cameras: Rainbow Turtle March by simbiosisbyjulia]

Any advice for
1) camera bags
2) books about digital slr cameras
3) traveling with a camera without breaking it


Picking a Dress for the Party

Since it will just be my two sisters as bridesmaids, picking a game plan for their outfits was relatively painless. I didn't really feel comfortable just telling them what to wear, I wanted their input so that they would be comfortable and not want to clobber me over the head with one of their dyed shoes.

After 30 email messages (sometimes we work, I promise) they told me what they liked and didn't like.

Note: Remember the dominant color is poppy red, with accents of green, pink, and white.

The criteria:

-"I don't do pink" (that eliminated one of the wedding colors)
-"No bare shoulders" (armpit fat runs in the family)
-"Can it be knee length or longer?" (sure thing)
-"Poppy red? Hm. poppy red. I could do poppy red."
-"Green is one of the colors? Green! Please let's do green!!"

Ok. So I needed a green knee-length dress with sleeves. Easy, right?
Do you know how many dresses out there have sleeves? Not many!

I proposed having them wear a shrug or cardigan to hide their arms. To my surprise, they LOVED the shrug idea. Since we're all huge Elizabeth Dye fans, I thought this was the perfect excuse to get two made by her. I haven't contacted Elizabeth Dye yet, but I hope to place my order soon. This is my treat to my sisters for helping me out.

[Antique ivory silk taffeta ruffle bolero by Elizabeth Dye]

The official bridesmaid outfit:
+shrugs in ivory (I'm taking care of this)
+any green dress. any shade. any length. of their choice. If they feel strongly about pants, they can go ahead and wear pants, I just want them to choose something they'd actually want in their wardrobe.
+prints are fine, it can even be a print of a different shade, with just a hint of green.
+any shoes

Their response to this?
"Any green dress, hmmmm? So lime green terry cloth is acceptable?"

Ah. Sisters.


Picking a Party

Oh boy, the bridal party. Or bridal brigade. Or group of people close to us who will walk down the aisle and stand up with us and do lots of things to help us out because they looooove us.

We had a tough time with this concept. We probably came up with every possible scenario in the book--large party (around 12 people), medium party (about 8 people), siblings only party, and for a while it was "to hell with it! Why do we even need one!" which resulted in a couple weeks of no party. [As a side note, on brides.com they will tell you in the etiquette section that you NEED bridesmaids. Really brides.com? Do I really? I'd like to see you stop me.]

After much discussion, we've come to a compromise which will hopefully keep us sane and make things simple.

We're keeping it all in the family in terms of a bridal party--my two older sisters and his younger brother will stand up with us. My adorable niece will be the flower girl. And of course our parents and my grandmother will walk down the aisle as well.

But we didn't want to leave out close friends, so I've asked my two close friends from college to give a toast, and we're planning to ask other friends to be ushers and one person to be our officiant. We have yet to decide who that might be.

I'm really happy with this decision. My sisters are my best friends, and as older sisters, they have really helped me out throughout my entire life. I want them to be up there with me.
[Another side note: everyone thinks we look alike. Even the boy confused me with sister 1 in a photo! I hope people actually know who I am the day of my wedding.]

Yay for another decision made! Venue? Check! Photographer? Check! Dress? Check!

Maids of Honor/Bridesmaids/Awesome People We Love/My Sisters and Confidantes? Check!

[Sister 2 and sister 1 last summer]

[Sister 1 getting married! Wasn't her bouquet gorgeous? Notice she's fixing my necklace, since I clearly can't dress myself, while sister 2 gives her the "are you kidding?" staredown. Image from Gelston Dwight.]


Deleted Blog

For anyone who's wondering why my second blog, Reading Poolside, got deleted just after a couple weeks, it's because I'm moving its home. It got too complicated with both blogs under one roof, so I'm searching for new Internet real estate for my book blog.

Sorry if it caused any bridal blogger confusion! It's only going to be Pink Argyle here from now on. Please continue reading!


Registry Finds: Elsewares

[Green Glass Boylan Soda glasses by Elsewares]

[Thomas Paul dinner plates from Elsewares]

We haven't decided the how what and where of our registry, but unlike other couples I read about who are settled and have everything, we actually NEED stuff. My sister actually sent me towels because when she stayed with me she didn't think we had enough.

Sister: "Where did you buy your towels? I can buy you more from wherever you bought the others."
Me: "Buy? Dude, I didn't buy these, these are Mom and Dad's. You can steal more from Mom and Dad, I saw some new ones in the linen closet last time I was home."
Sister: *shaking head*

There was a package of purple towels at my doorstep a week later. Sweet.

I already have these, which I got as a White Elephant gift. They provide us with our salt and pepper needs. And I love them.

[Mint Hug Salt and Pepper Shaker at Elsewares]

I love most everything at Elsewares, my only concern is that my taste will change as I mature and the Boylan soda glasses won't be my style anymore, or appropriate for a nice dinner party, if we ever have one. We're thinking of the standard Target, Crate and Barrel, and Macy's, but where are all of you registering, if you are in fact having a registry? Any tips for a newbie?


Wax, Tweeze, and Cut

This really has nothing to do with anything except for the minutiae of my everyday life, but how does everyone take care of their eyebrows?

My eyebrows have a life of their own. It's not that I have a whole lot of hair, it's just that I have a lot of baby fine hairs that grow down. They are definitely a waxing challenge. I usually get confused stares from the esthetician the first time they see me. Did I mention I also have no arch so they have to "make one up" for me?

I've been trying new places closer to my home because I don't want to drive 20 minutes anymore to my favorite place, but I think I've given up because today was the second, not the first, but the second time, an esthetician has waxed a big gaping hole in my eyebrow. This isn't even the same place, it's two separate places that have taken off too many hairs and left a gap in my eyebrow!

The worst part is that I didn't notice it until I got home and washed my face and the makeup came off. Looks like I'll be filling in my brows for a few weeks...

How was your Tuesday?

Friend to the Little Black Dress

[Ban.do is having a sale! Thanks for the tip Jo. Accessory to my little black dress if I had a little black dress? Yes? If you buy one maybe I'll buy one too.]

Ban.do likes to toy with me.


Done Playing Dress Up: The Wedding Dress

I bought it. (!!!!!!)
I always pictured myself like those brides on Say Yes to the Dress where they cry and wipe away tears while their bridal entourage also dabs away tears, and then there's hugging involved and lots of sighing and twirling in front of the mirror.

But that didn't happen. When I put it on all I could really say was "Yup. This is it. Do you take VISA?" So, no tears, but I'm very happy with the purchase!

It was also a very lovely day because my co-worker Melissa came with me (thank you Melissa!) and we made a date out of it and went back to the venue to take a quick tour of the winery and bask in the sun.

They said it should take approximately 7 months (!!!) and that alterations will take about 1.5 months. So I guess shopping early was a good idea!

Ok I've typed enough text, ready for some shots of someone other than the model in the dress?


Ta-da! I'm getting married and I have something to wear to the occasion!

[The middle beading is crooked because they pinned it tighter since I have no boobs. I also look like I'm practicing my vows in this picture. "I, Mo, take you, very adorable boy, to be..."]

[I'm standing on a stool--it was the only way not to trip over the dress while I was in front of the mirror. The tailor is going to be my best friend. This is also an idea of what my hair would look like up. What do you think, hair up or down?]

[The back--scandalous! Instead of the silicone cups they suggested I sew some fabric cups into the dress, so I may just do that.]

[The detail on the bottom]

[Miss a beat? Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV]

PS: This is my 200th post! Woohoo!


Cute and Casual.

I think this dress is super cute and would also make a great wedding dress. Short, breezy, no fuss, easy to accessorize, and the best part is that it's $118!


If Kitty Chen falls through...

...hello Marc Bouwer gown! Le sigh.


Things Happening This Summer

+My sister is getting married at Studio 450 in New York in August! I will be the photographer and am so excited. Note to self: put together comfortable black outfit plus cute flats. Brace self for miserable heat.

+I turn a year older in June--still contemplating whether or not to spend it at Disneyland or at the salon getting pampered.

+The boy is an MD/PhD student and will be taking Step 1 of the board exams. He has a week off after the exam before he starts the PhD part of the program.
You can probably guess how much time he has to help me plan the wedding. Not that I'm complaining too much, I'd rather look at Martha Stewart than take an 8 hour test and be covered in formaldehyde.
Note to self: buy cake and rejoice that this test is going to be OVER! Also rejoice that there might be somewhat-normal sleeping patterns, or at least bedtimes before midnight.

+We are having an engagement party in Northern California with our families. This will be the first time our families will be together. Note to self: put together cute family-friendly outfit

+I'll be doing a craft program at the library based on famous works of American art. Time to flex that Art History degree I have in my pocket!

+The beach. Brunch. Shopping. Save the dating. All good things in my spare time.

What are you doing this summer?


Second Thoughts on Handwritten Invites

I really wanted to hand write the invitations. But after sketching on maybe 30 pages of my notebook and reworking different variations of just what our names would look like together, I hopped on the computer and scrolled through my font list. This one popped up.

Perhaps it'd save me from bridal insanity? Anyone else abandon a project to avoid going cuckoo?



That's the number of people we are intending to invite. I don't think I realized how large that number really was until the FI mentioned contacting his cousins in Minnesota and my parents mentioned that their good friends are planning on coming from Hong Kong for a vacation.

I'm grateful that we have such amazing friends. Despite being scattered across the country, many have simply congratulated us and said "tell me where it is and what time and I will be there."

I'm happy that our friends and family are showing interest in our wedding, because to be honest, I didn't really think we'd have very many people who would be able to make it (or would want to come on a holiday). And who knows? Maybe there won't be that many people willing to make the trip because of the economy or for other reasons.

But I still feel more pressure to make this wedding worth their while since people will be getting on planes and trains to celebrate with us. It's a bit nerve-wracking to think that I am {almost} planning this entire thing by myself.



Hello Kitty: Finding The One

If you're new to the blog (hi!) these are my previous posts on finding a dress:
Three Days in New York - Saja Boutique
Playing Dress Up: Part I - Bliss Bride
Playing Dress Up: Part II - Trudy's Bridal
Playing Dress Up: Part III - Nicole Miller

I would have named this post "Playing Dress Up: Part IV", but I have no pictures! As luck would have it, the one place in which I think I've found the perfect dress, and they won't let me take pictures!

Do you remember the post when I said I was done trying on dresses? That I just wanted to choose from the 40 some odd dresses I've ducked and dived into? Yeah, remember that? Well, it all changed when I saw this dress via Style Me Pretty last Friday. It was exactly what I had been looking for.

After tracking it down in a store that was [oddly] close to our venue, I went to try it on. Alone! And it was totally fine. It was like any other shopping day, so I'm not sure why I was so weirded out with going alone at all.

And I LOVED the dress. LOVED IT. I loved it so much, I started calling other bridal salons to ask how much it retailed for once I got home. I found another store that was selling it for $300 less, so I asked the shop to match their price, and they did! Woohoo!

I have to wait to take pictures until I put a deposit down, but in the meantime, do you want to see the pretty pictures from the website??












I'll let you all know when I actually put down the deposit--but I'm 98% sure this is the one!

My New Blog

For anyone who might be interested, I've decided to move anything book/library related to a new blog--Reading Poolside! Because that's where I love to read the most. Pink Argyle will continue to include posts about weddings/design/cute stuff I like.


I Officially Love This

[Amy and Craig, All images by Heather Wendlings photography, via Style Me Pretty]

Have you seen this wedding on SMP? Have you seen the dress?? I'm not sure I've been this excited about seeing a wedding dress. I must know where it's from! If you look in the comments, I'm the second comment demanding to know where it's from (obsessed? I think not.)

Amy, you look great. Please tell me where you bought your dress. If you made it, I will bow down to you.

UPDATE: A kind soul named Cacey has identified it as Brier Rose from Kitty Chen. And, LOL, Kitty Chen is located in San Diego! Hm...time to type another email...

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