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the renegade bride

the wild, wacky adventures of a bridal industry insider +newlywed + new homeowner and (in practice)renovation-maven. Whee!

Category Archives: Crazy Ideas and Whims

Because I am the kind of person that needs to be accountable and whatnot, here’s my “Labor Day Challenge” weekend post to myself. With you, dear readers, as audience and people who can make me feel bad when I do not perform adequately. CHECK IT!

We have a wedding this weekend– it’s really cool, and I’m excited about it, at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville. That means today + tomorrow are lost causes, but Sunday + Monday are ripe with possibility. Here’s the plans:

1. Finalize front garden sketch for bulb planting plans + order bulbs <– Expect a detailed cross post on this and my Brocade blog next week, all about bulb-ing

2. Prime + Paint the Dining Room

3. Take pictures of the bathroom + dining room and post on the blog

4. Sand + refinish the buffet. Or at least sand it. Progress is important

5. Find the rest of my plates for the plate wall

6. Make a labor day bbq dinner for husband + mother in law <– if you can move arms

Things that almost made the list…

7. Learn how to use the sewing machine and make something with it (it’s still in it’s box. But I now have a sewing table, so that’s progress!!!)

8. Build the headboard for the bedroom (overly ambitious)

9. Finish tiling the kitchen (cries)

10. Do something in the kitchen worthwhile (double cry)

The only thing I wish was on the list but is not is NAP…so let the challenge BEGIN! What do you plan to accomplish this Labor Day Weekend?



The first step is admitting it, right? Right? Well,  thanks to the wedding and then the house,  I have developed a serious shopping problem. Perhaps the problem is more centered around “spending money” but either way, it’s like an obsession/addiction and I can’t stop myself. I think I need to go to shopaholics anonymous. Is it so wrong? Pre-wedding it was the various purchases of “must have” items like $150 antique napkins, shoes, undergarments, makeup…whatever. And then it was the obsessive need for clothing to suit the honeymoon, and snorkeling gear, and new jewlery. When we got back, it was various items for the house– kitchen towels (they are a neccesity, I don’t care what anyone says), new dishes, new rugs, new silverware, new towels. Accessories for the bathroom. Curtain rods. Trash cans. Nothing was good enough anymore. I had to have new EVERYTHING.

I promised I wasn’t going to buy ANYTHING this week. Nothing, Then this morning, I got my little “This stuff is on sale, and you ought to buy it, you stupid B….” and I went and looked at it and I do want to buy it. Behold the Kati cardigan from Kate Spade:,default,pd.html?dwvar_NJMU1169_color=370&start=30&cgid=sale-clothing


and the Sunny Elaine Dress:

and the Linette Sunglasses:

Damn it! I want everything I see.  I can’t restrain myself. It’s sickening. And while I did technically restain myself since I didn’t buy any of this stuff, it does’t change the fact that I still really want it. Badly.

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In ever-increasing effort to prove my domestic goddess-ness, yesterday I solidified my path for becoming far more home-ecc. savvy and accomplished by doing a few key things. I kicked off the morning ordering a Sewing Machine, which shall be here tomorrow and I will then extole its amazingness, but basically I have always wanted a sewing machine, and at one point had one– a hand me down relic from the turn of the century 1900s that didn’t really work and I could sew better by hand– but I have never set about becoming highly skilled at using a sewing machine until I came to the full realization that textiles are expensive. Once you get done buying curtains, throw pillows, duvet covers, kitchen towels, etc etc you’ll spend a freaking fortune. Oh, and for those interested, I did go to IKEA and I spent boatloads of money that i should have put toward my emergency fund but instead bought joyful things at IKEA. So there, emergency fund. Didn’t really need you that much anyway.

So, moving on, I bought some stuff, and while at IKEA I had this whole Sewing Machine realization. I could buy a pillow for 14.99, or I could buy the fabric and make seventy million pillows for 14.99. Or something similar to that, because i’m not really great at math and who knows how many pillows I can really make, but in my mind I was a pillow making, quilting, sewing, embroidering goddess of skill and refinement. I was really highly accomplished in this vision I had, and so I began my thirsting need for a Sewing Machine.

After dwelling on it a few days, I decided to do some research and thus buy a Sewing Machine. The research I did told me not to buy the cheapest one because it would frustrate me and I’d cry a lot and never use it, so I bought the one that was beneath the awesometastic ones that basically have little men that come out and sew for you. I got the Singer “Stylist” Model:

Clearly, by that embelem you know I made a good decision as it’s a Consumers Digest Best Buy. Anyway, it can do like 100 different stitches and it’s programmable and the needle threads itself. I also purchased “Me and My Sewing Machine” — depicted below– which will tell me all there is to know about my Sewing Machine, along with easy things to sew. I’ll be saying stuff like ‘it’s sew easy” and “this is just sewtastic” in no time.

To conclude the day, I went out seeking recommendations for good cooking magazines that include crafts. I already knew Martha, and subscribe to her already, but I wanted some other recommendations. Thus far:

Cooks Illustrated: Recipes only, but the best from America’s Test Kitchen. I used to subscribe a few years ago but the rate is kind of high, however, given my new kitchen I think this may be a good splurge. I can highly recommend the online subscription– access to all the back issues, tips, and  tricks.

Everyday Food:  I had honestly never heard of this one, but checked it out last night and made a chicken dish from their “Dinner Tonight” section, which was really delicious. I’m going to hang out with it online some to see if I want to subscribe.

Eating Well  I used to have a gift subscription to Cooking Light (thanks Jess) that I loved, so now I just need to decide between these two.

I have a few others but I’ve not had a chance to peruse them yet, I will keep you updated. I just don’t want ONLY cooking– I want ideas about how to make my house more functional, how to make pillows, etc etc. I welcome your reccs!



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Recently, my wedding planning deliberations have become all the more scattered, and it seems that I have a million different ideas going on all at once. Yay! I love crazy kaleidoscope ideas. They make me feel kind of dizzy but hey, dizzy can be fun, right?…right?

Sooooo, hair. I’m torn between doing something that is a side chignon type thing or doing something that is intricate and crazy as an updo. I have ideas in my head for the latter, but whenever i google “Crazy awesome updos” I end up with a lot of strange images that are either crazy or awesome, but never really both.  I can’t find much to illustrate that category, but i think this one would fit:

These are the side chignon-type things I’ve found and saved:

I like the idea of making it be structural/architecturally interesting, sligthly messy, and still elegant…and I’m having issues with that.

I love how her hair looks almost like ribbon, but fear it could be too out there…

And this seems really pretty and beachy, but is almost too casual.

I like this too, but wonder if it’s too much curl action around the face.

Audrina’s hair inspired all this side bun stuff. I admittedly wear my hair to the side a lot nowadays, and I’m worried that my wedding hair will look too much like my regular, ordinary hair…is that even a valid concern?

I like this too, but I’m worried it’s too meh.

I feel like there’s all this hair pressure because i’m not doing a veil. I tried on quite a few and I couldn’t find anything that suited. Now I’m working on the idea of a cool hair fascinator. I don’t want to wear something that will totally obfuscate the hairdo I’ll have. Sigh, i maybe am overthinking this but I feel all this crazy pressure and indecision is giving me an ulcer. Thoughts? I guess the main issue at hand is that I don’t really get to do a trial run on my hair in Hawaii— I have to make all the decisions here and then pray some. And my control freak ways are really starting to trickle through…help me!

All these stupid teeth-whitening commercials make me feel like my teeth are inadequate and yellow.  As a result, I started researching possible means by which to whiten my teeth. As I cannot afford “Zoom” Whitening, here’s my options:

1. Whitestrips. Do they work? Are they worth the investment? Can I just buy the kroger brand (these are all questions I expect you to answer, of course)

2. Paint teeth with white-out the morning of the wedding (they WILL be pearly then, right?!)

3. Wear fake teeth set for wedding photos. I see these in movies all the time, so I could totally rock some fake teeth. Maybe I could get all twilight-y and wear some fangs.

4. Paint over teeth with gold paint or write on them “I love you Don!” on the uppers and lowers so that it’s covering up the yellowishness with a sweet and thoughtful message.

Sigh. I saw a groupon for $200 ZOOM whitening but honestly, peeps, our coffers are low. I found a knock off store brand of the whitestrips for $14.99– a vast price difference from Crest’s $45 asking price. Jerks. They know how important white teeth teeth are to me on my wedding day…

So, advice? Thoughts? Totally should do the white out thing, right? How classy!!!

So, my bff Kristin (matron of honor in honor, since she is expecting her first child with her hubs a mere month after my nuptials, and thus can’t travel) is oh-so-kindly throwing me a bridal shower here in lovely Nashvegas. The theme: lingerie party. I didn’t really have a need for pots, pans and houseware-y kind of things, and really, if there’s a better time in your life where you can feel free to get some lingerie, I don’t know it. I’ve always wanted to have lingerie, because seriously, it’s like dress up for big, grown up girls.

But looking for lingerie is hard. There’s a lot of tart-y stuff out there that I’d not want to be caught dead in (unless I was filming a porno) and I”ve seen lots and lots of that.

I’ve been looking for some cute stuff, and so far here’s my findings. I’ve noticed that I kind of err toward the totally retro look or a softer, more girlie-girl victorian/fancy look.

For the retro style, I found this site– Dollhouse Bettie— with fun pinup-girl style pieces.  They are a little pricy (in the $175 range) but they are really darling:

And a cute babydoll and thong set that is very vintage while still being classy:

and of course, no look is complete without stockings…

I continued to pursue the interwebs and found a few other retro-inspired pieces on a few other websites:

I like polka dots. And hairdryers…

I think that’s pretty but it’s kind of gothic, no?

That’s too cute for words, i like the bows

This bra is from bhdln and I love the bow. They have a matching panty that is really adorable. I can’t see this as being anything else other than lingerie you plan to wander around your house wearing, because that bow is kind of bulky.

My fiance has a serious thing for garter belts. He thinks they are the sexiest thing in the world, and this one from bhdln is pretty rockin’

I of course checked out Victoria’s Secret for their offerings, and I found a few things– like this white number that’s pretty cute

And that’s cute, too.

I realize in all this shopping online that obviously one needs adorable shoes to wear with each “outfit,” which makes lingerie shopping a bit cost-prohibitive. Stupid Lingerie. Why must looking lovely cost so much!?

Are you getting lingerie for your honeymoon? I thought it might be fun to have something different for every night, but that may be overly ambitious (and expensive). I have lots of lofty plans, clearly 🙂

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So, ladies. Poll; how many of you are waiting until your wedding night to consummate your relationship?  For future spouse & I, that ship has already sailed. But, I thought it might be…hmm, what is the right word…fun? to have a bit of a chastity challenge in the months leading up to our wedding. I know that some of you may be thinking “wow, that is crazysauce!” and perhaps it is, but I think it might be a cool thing to do.  What do you think? Is it unrealistic or even stupid to think that “waiting” for four months might be a good or even fun idea? If you’ve got experience in this department, feel free to shed a little light and even to email me. I’m interested in feedback!