Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Maids of Dishonor?

After being in my fair share of weddings, I know what it takes to be a good, obedient bridesmaid. It's simple: You wear the dress they tell you to and keep your mouth shut. Unless of course they ask you to do silly things like ride down the aisle on horseback, or wear an updo. Then you need to speak up.

In a recent article I wrote for WEtv.com, I shared 10 bridesmaid "don'ts". Click here if you'd like to read it. Or keep reading for 5 of the essential tips:

1. Don't Be a Train Wreck. Keep it classy at the wedding, girls. Swigging out of a champagne bottle while screaming the lyrics to Thriller at the bride's grandma only ends badly. Very badly.
2. Don't Be a Whiner. No one really wants to play pin the macho on the man at the bachelorette party, not even the bride. But this is what we do for friends. Okay? So take a big sip out of that extra special straw (you know what I'm talking about), put the blindfold on and stop whining.
3. Don't Roast. Nothing kills what should be a heartfelt wedding speech faster than raunchy tales of hook-ups, escapades in Cancun and bad bathroom incidents (or a horrific combination of all three). Bridesmaids that cross the line when toasting their friend, not only offend (and possibly really hurt!) the bride and groom, but cause cringe-worthy moments for the rest of the crowd as well. It’s okay to poke fun a little, but keep the toasts tasteful!
4. Don’t Make it All About You. Just because you think it’s cute to walk your newborn down the aisle in a stroller covered in white streamers, the bride most likely will not. This is her big day, and what she says goes. Brides have to make a lot of decisions, and they take them seriously. Don’t make demanding requests when it comes to your role, and then sulk if she says “No”.

And now for the cheese:
5. Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Most importantly, remember that being a bridesmaid is an honor. Your BFF wants you by her side throughout the planning, the events and especially when she says “I do.” Even if she's a raging biatch, just give her a sandwich (she's definitely starving) and try to enjoy it!

This makes me want to see Bridesmaids again. Anyone else?

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Wedding in St. John

Rob Lowe My husband and I returned today from a fab 5 days in St. John celebrating the wedding of our friends.
(What's that you say? No, I'm not ashamed to have purchased this book. Okay, maybe a little.) 

We drank lots of delicious rum drinks, explored the area from the beach chairs to the pool, and went into Cruz Bay for great dinners and sunsets like this:
One day we got adventurous and rented a boat to tour the island by beach-hopping and snorkeling. Despite my fear of sea life, I blocked the Jaws theme song from my mind and took the plunge. The most traumatizing part was getting back ON the boat while wearing flippers. Not a good look for me, or anyone. This is where we snorkeled. Pretty sweet, huh? St. John is 2/3 national parks.
Then we went to the wedding. I feel bad posting pictures of the Mr. and Mrs. without their permission, so until then, here's this one of us. We look really happy a) because it was a really fun, beautiful wedding, and b) because this was before we got eaten alive by a swarm of angry mosquitoes.
Also, just an FYI: iguanas have no regard for your personal space. They will happily fall out of a tree and land directly on your head. Much like the honey badger, they don't give a shit.
If you're thinking of going on a vacation soon, go to St. John. It's beyond beautiful and so much fun.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Snag a Deal on Starbucks

Even though the barista said, "Patience is a virtue" when I very politely inquired about the whearabouts of my Mocha Light Frappucino, I would still like to pass along this great deal. Everyday from 3-5 (until May 16th), participating Starbucks are doing half-priced frappucino "happy hour." I'm a big fan of the light version - it's only 140 calories for a grande. And at around just 2 bucks ... why not?

Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Host a Sunday Funday

The perfect way to ward off the dreaded Sunday Blues is with a party, naturally. Sipping mimosas on a sunny afternoon clearly trumps laundry, grocery shopping and mail sorting. So this past Sunday, my husband and I invited our friends over and partied like it was Saturday. Since it was so much fun, I thought I'd share some tips for hosting your own afternoon soiree to cap off the weekend right: 

Tip 1: Create a Bloody Mary Bar
We set up a Bloody Mary Bar, complete with a ginormous bottle of vodka, two varieties of Bloody Mary mix (spicy and original), celery sticks, olives, horseradish, old bay, pepper, hot sauce and lime slices.

Tip 2: Serve Drinks in Mason Jars
I can take zero credit for this great idea. American Ice serves beer in mason jars, and my husband thought it would be fun if we did too. After a quick Google search, he found out that a box of jars could be ordered from the local hardware store for 10 bucks. Done and Done. 

Tip 3: Easy Snacks are Key
Hosts should never feel stressed on Sunday Funday. So food should be no fuss. I love cheese, like, a lot. And there's nothing more delish and simple than a cheese plate. I went to Whole Foods and bought my go-tos: Humboldt Fog, Robusto, Port Salut and a triple cream goat brie. Grapes and prosciutto are also nice to throw on there. Another genius idea from my hubby: herbed goat cheese stuffed peppadew peppers. Beyond easy and they're so good. (He watches a lot of Food Network.) My friends made some delicious dips (onion, 7-layer, roasted veggie) and a shrimp ceviche. And lastly ... I made these Blondies from Smitten Kitchen. All it takes is about 5 ingredients, including an entire bag of chocolate chips.Mmmkay.

Tip 4: Load up on Champagne
Some people would rather go for bubbly than a Bloody Mary. We had a pitcher of OJ and plenty of champagne for mimosas.  

Tip 5: Get a Party Bucket
Beer and wine looks more festive in this "party beverage server" from Crate & Barrel.

Basically - get a lot of booze, hope for nice weather, and enjoy the day not thinking about your to-do list at the office. However, it's important to note that while Sunday Fundays are really awesome ... monday mornings at work are not so awesome. 

What are your tips for a great Sunday afternoon party? Any bloody mary bar essentials?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Engagement Ring Woes?

Every girl dreams about getting engaged — from the perfect location to the perfect guy. But what if you don’t get your perfect ring? (Cue brakes-screeching-to-a-halt sound effect.) Who can forget when Carrie Bradshaw did some snooping on Sex and the City, only to be horrified when she uncovered what Aiden had in store for her? Although Samantha came to the rescue and did some damage control before he popped the question, not all brides get a pre-engagement intervention.

So how do you approach a sticky situation without totally bursting his bubble and dissing the ring he spent time, money and serious effort selecting? If deep down you’re feeling a bit disappointed, smile big and stay focused on the happiness surrounding your engagement (ya know, getting to spend the rest of your life with a guy you’re madly in love with), rather than the fact that you don’t like the side stones or width of the band. The night you get engaged is for celebrating, drinking champagne and calling everyone and their mother to share the great news. Pouting over size, shape and stones is a major buzz kill. Redoing the setting or upgrading to a larger stone for a special anniversary isn’t out of the question. Just don’t be a brat (you know it's bratty) and bring it up when you should be basking in the glow of post-engagement bliss!

Have any of you gals been in a sticky situation like this? Leave a comment below!