Tuesday, July 29, 2008

My love for shoes

I love shoes! I often base my outfit on the shoes I'm wearing. I buy shoes for their prettiness, and sometimes, it takes a really special occassion to bring out the babies. I don't really dress up for work, and quite frankly, I'm pretty lazy at getting ready in the morning. But I so love getting ready to go out...even if I didn't end up going out...I still enjoy the getting ready part.

Anyhow...I've got 3 potential wedding shoes...and oh lordy, I'm still on the lookout for other great looking pairs.

Gotta love Zappos and Endless for their free shipping and return shipping. And you have to love the opportunity to price match. I've been quite successful at price matching, and that's how I snagged 2 pairs of Charles Davids.

Here is Charles David Tingle. I got these at 50% off using the price match strategy. I price matched these babies at Endless with Amazon.

And here is Charles David Cristal, 20th Anniversary special edition. I would never have taken a second look at these if they weren't on sale...and even then I was still unsure, but when I looked at myself in these puppies...oh man, angels sang. These were an amazing find...more than 50% off on Amazon, but they were still selling at retail price at Zappos and Endless. I ended up getting these for over 70% off retail. Loved them soooo much, I got them in smoke too...what is wrong with me?

Meet BCBG Max Azria Idil. I first bought these for retail, but since I only bring out the big guns when necessary (and it was not necessary yet), I haven't worn them. I figure I may fall out of love with them some time, but it's okay...Zappos and Endless honor a 365-day return policy. So it's all good. Anyways...found these babies on Endless still in my size...on sale...and with an extra $20 off from their summer promotion. So now, I sooo can justify keeping them! They're funky, but they look so good!

What are some of your great finds?
And what shoes have you decided to wear for the big day?

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Hair Extensions

In May, a very good friend treated me to hair extensions! It was so much fun! 7 hours of sitting still was well worth it! I had about 9 more inches added to my hair. I wasn't planning to get it so soon since my wedding won't be until next year, but my friend was eager to get it done. So I gave in...but it's gonna work out cuz I've got a couple of things planned out. My extensions can last up to 6 months as long as I take great care of them.

Okay, so without further ado...a before picture and some after shots!

My hair is a little below my shoulders...

straight...and then i went back for some low lights and a hair cut that blended the extensions into my own hair

some back shots now

If you're in Orange County, stop by the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach and go to the Loran Loran Atlier Salon. Get an appointment with Yvone. She's amazing!! I'm sooo happy with the results. I wish this was my real hair! She used the Hairloc system.

Loran Loran Atelier, 1221 West Coast Highway, Newport Beach, CA 92663. Phone: 949.630.4410

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A Favorite Venue...still not ours

The Orange County Museum of Art was a favorite of mine. I didn't even know that we had such a museum and that it was right down the street from where I work. It was such a cute place! I love the inside! It has so much potential. I wish it was a little closer to the water, but you can't have everything. The area where the ceremony would be held is alright, but again, here's where imagination really helps.

Pricewise...I didn't think it was hair-raising scary, but I think with additional costs of decorations, photography, and catering, the bill might go over our budget. However, what's nice, is that they don't charge more during peak wedding season, so it's a definite possibilty for my dream June wedding. Though i've come to terms to accept an off wedding season wedding...hence, the reason we are starting to look now.

The weather now is still a little bit too chilly for my tastes, however. I'm going to hope for a wedding between April and June (including June).

Pictures from OCMA (I apologize for the quality; these were taken with my phone camera):

The glass garage doors would be open for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and part of the reception. They would be lowered once the party started, i.e. music and dancing. The ceremony would be held outdoors.

I love how the bar looks!

The entrance hall or lobby (looking from the inside).

The cereony area. Chairs would be arranged to face the white backdrop.

The left side of the ceremony area (looking towards the white backdrop).

Looking at the OCMA building from the outside (white backdrop behind me).

Making a 360 turning left. There's my honey. He's holding my clipboard with all my questions. Hehe. Yes, he came. The coordinator was pleasantly surprised with his presence.

The glass doors would be open. This area would double as the cocktail hour and dancing. The projections screen and dj would be placed behind me. There was an art piece there, and we're not allowed to take pictures of them; that's why I couldn't show you the entire area.

So there it is. I wish I had better pictures. Pictures of the place decorated are awesome! I don't have any of those on hand.

One more picture...of the bar.

I called in late May to inquire about available dates next year, but I was told they were no longer accepting events for the rest of 2008 and for 2009. So...this is not our venue.

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Still not our venue...

The other venue was the Lido Isle Yacht Club. It wasn't exactly what I expected, but it's still a good contender.

Likes: It sits right on the ocean. The caterer said that it's got a great catering kitchen, and our food would come out really fresh. We can be in there until midnight.

Dislikes: It's a little smaller than what I have in mind. It's divided into 2 rooms. It's in a neighborhood, so parking might be a little horrendous.

I'm also having a bit of a hard time envisioning the place decked out for the wedding. So...some pictures:

The entrance.

...to the right of the entrance. The ocean behind...

Looking out the window...towards the ocean.

The back room. This is where the ceremony would be held. Or we could do the ceremony right on the beach. But I don't really want to walk on the sand, and I want to wear my shoes.

The bar.

The main room.

More of the main room.

The patio outside.

The dock right outside the club.

The other side of the club.

Looking across the street. Guests would park alongside the curb. Love that street lamp though. This neighborhood is so gorgeous!

But...still not our venue.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

A Pretty Venue

Alright...so I probably can't afford my dream venue, but I suppose I could get close???

At first, we were looking at places we really wanted, but could definitely not afford. So now, we've (when I say "we", I really mean "I") created a list of criteria to which our affordable venue needed to meet:

  1. complimentary parking
  2. outside catering allowed
  3. low venue fees and low minimum food & beverage
  4. holds 1 event per day
  5. can hold ceremony and reception
  6. noise constraints are minimal
  7. must be in OC
  8. 11:00PM ending time
Park Prive in Costa Mesa met almost all of the criteria. The only one it did not make was the allowance of outside catering. But we hear that the food is pretty good, so I'm not worried about that. No venue fees for Park Prive either, which I liked! The location isn't as close to the water as we like; in fact, the location is a bit unorthodox, but it's also kind of unique as well. It's in the middle of a business park, and next door...a small vineyard. When driving there, you would totally think you're lost or going the wrong way, but when you get there, you are pleasantly surprised.

Here's the thing though...I've crunched the numbers, and with taxes and service fees, for a guest list of 150, we hit right under our budget. This is not including photography, florals, a dj, favors, and the photobooth I soooo want to have (could double as favors though). I'm estimating we would need another $10k (I'm including tips we would have to pay to servers for the day...are tips really necessary?) for the rest of that stuff.

Some pictures I took on the day I went to tour the site:

The outside courtyard.

The park in which the ceremony would be held. You can also have the reception outside.

1st room

where the reception would be (this set up was for a meeting they did earlier)

This would be the dance floor.

The bridal suite. With climate control and natural light.

The groom's suite. With climate control and TV.

And two of these rooms for the kids...both have TVs in there. I love this.

Fi has never seen it though. And we received an actual proposal with some surprise fees that were never mentioned before...like staffing and the ceremony site fee (what happened to no venue fees???).

I've had put 2 dates on hold...but budget restrictions prevailed...and Park Prive is out of the running.

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More venues

Saw 2 venues during my lunch hour a while back; it took a little bit longer though. A friend of a friend (who happens to own her own catering company) picked me up and took me to see The Cafe at Techspace in Aliso Viejo and the Lido Isle Yacht Club in Newport Beach. I explained to her our budget and situation, and she has obliged to be very mindful of it. I feel so restricted though in what we can and can't do...but as my wonderful hubby-to-be says, it's the marriage we need to look forward to, not the wedding. *sigh*

The Cafe at Techspace in Aliso Viejo has a corporate office setting. During the day, The Cafe is a cafeteria for the buidling's employees, and on weekends, it turns into an event facility. Pictures from http://www.herecomestheguide.com/:

Things I liked...the space was large and versatile. It didn't really look like a corporate office building inside. Lots of free parking. Guests could choose to hang out in the garden (which has a small waterfall and pond) or inside where the dance floor (won't have to pay extra for this) is. Also, if I chose, I could keep the pool table inside and allow guests to play if that's what they wanted to do. Weird, I know...a game of pool at my wedding? Tables and chairs are already provided, and they're not really at all hideous. Oh, and the bar is big! Me likey that!

Things I didn't like...It is a corporate office setting. The garden is quite small; ideally it would be where the ceremony would be held, but there's a tree smack dab in the middle where I would walk down the "aisle."

Some of my pictures:

The bar.

I like this lounge-y area.

better picture of the space.

Here's that tree...

Some garden shots below:

So that's it. I'll save the Lido Isle Yacht Club for another post.

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