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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: personal

The hardest thing about getting up at 6:15 in the morning and immediately beginning to work is that by 4 pm, you have worked for 10 hours and you are so tired you just want to lie on the floor a little, just a little, and sleep for a few minutes, but you know if you do that then you will not be able to get (fill in the blank) done and then what will happen? The world will blow up.

In 2012, I am setting groundrules. Rules like not taking on 40+ weddings a year (dear God, help me right now when we are looking at 10 huge events in the next three weeks), not overextending myself, not answering the phone or email past 6 instead of my 8 pm rule now.  I am going to revise the fact that I have to steal time away from my work calendar in order to have a small social life, and that the hours spent work free (ha-ha) are really the 45 minutes before I fall asleep at night, and then I have nightmares about the to do lists, and the things left undone, or the proposals yet to be finished, or the emails i’ve not answered…

I could say that I’d be happier if I had an assistant, but that wouldn’t work. I’d be happier if I had a clone. I’d definitely be more productive, and I’d probably whine less. But I have a hard time allocating (based on a secret belief that no one is going to do the job the way I want it to be done).  I have a hard time letting someone else take over and be happy with the end result. For me, that means working for 12 hours a day on the days we don’t have weddings and working even more than that on the weekend,  of being perpetually exhausted, and wondering, absently, if I’m this tired at 32 what will it be like when I’m 40? 50?

Back to the 2012 groundrules. I have lots of plans. I am hoping these plans can actually happen this year. I am pretty sure that some of my plans are going to really make people mad, or think I’ve broken my brain. But I’m really, really, really tired of being exhausted. I’m tired of people not understanding why I can’t go to their 8 o’clock dinner party (because if I did, at 10, I’d be asleep in my soup because I have to go to bed at 10 during the week to just survive the weekends). I’m tired of feeling selfish when I get a pedicure because it forces me to relax, and yet I still make it a point to answer each.and every. email that comes in while sitting in that chair. I confess to being a workaholic, because if you don’t work it won’t get done, and if it doesn’t get done then your business fails.

This is such a rant, I know, but the past weeks have really been trying. It’s a crazy time, a time I love, but right now I’m feeling the burn on several levels. I know it will pass, I do, but I need to transcribe my feelings so that when 2012 rolls around and I’m feeling all optomistic and forgetting the 12+ hour day burn, I will read this and remember that I need ground rules. I need boundaries. I need to let go, a little, of trying to be perfect and trying to make everyone happy. Because ultimately, I end up feeling really tired, really fragile, and like I do right now– like I’ll pop if I don’t write all these feelings out.

As I hesitate to publish this (as though not to sound whiny and complainy about doing a job I love to death), I figure it’s a good thing. It’s like internet therapy: putting these ideas out into the universe so positive things can come back in. I don’t want you to think, dear reader, that I for any reason am complaining about being busy– I am blessed and thankful to be busy. I just need to learn how to better manage my busy-ness so that it doesn’t take such a chunk out of my soul. I am sure I’ll figure that out, right?



One of my favorite places in the world is Las Vegas. It’s up there in my top five, which follows:

1. Kona, Hawaii (clearly)

2. Las Vegas, NV

3. Cancun, Mexico

4. Yosemite National Park

5. Manassas, VA

Those are the top 5.  Las Vegas is also special since it’s where Don + I spent our first vacation, and where I asked him (albeit a bit drunkenly) if he planned to marry me one day (he said yes, and look, he clearly did! Thanks, Las Vegas). We have lots of happy memories there.

The last time we went, we stayed at the Las Vegas Hilton. Home of Elvis. Pluses: cheap, a little off the street, directly in route to our favorite place on the strip (more about that soon) and pretty cheap resort rates.

The Hilton also has the Star Trek: the Experience exhibit/thing at the Hilton. We were too poor (thanks, Grad school!) to go to that then, but we had fun looking at people who were going there:

The biggest splurge of our trip was that Don took me to The Picasso restaurant at the Bellagio for the best meal of my life. We had pate, a crazy expensive bottle of wine, and some amazing food. Imagine dining in a spot surrounded by priceless pieces of art, getting amazing service, drinking delicious wine…ahh, heaven. That’s my idea of heaven, people. Beautiful surroundings + amazing food + man I love = perfect, heavenly day

I still have the rose from our dinner table tucked away in my keepsake memories box. Aww, right? So sweet! I know, I know!

ANYWAY, so this upcoming March, my husband is turning 30!! I am really excited for him, and I want to make it a big deal. Now, let me give you a little backstory here– Don does not like making things a big deal. Especially birthdays. I am the kind of person that thinks a party with fanfare and confetti is appropriate for all of life’s amazing moments, ESPECIALLY birthdays. On my 3oth birthday, it was the first year my studio was open and consequently my first mother’s day, and I was slammed crazy busy. I worked something like a million hours, and I was exhausted. Some friends had us over to dinner, and I brought chocolate covered strawberries and about passed out from drinking a glass of wine. TOTALLY LAME. Worst birthday ever. Well, not the worst, but one of the worst. I didn’t care for it. I have a few rules about my birthday– 1. Don’t work (i’ve broken that rule three times and regret it more every time I do), 2. Do whatever you want, 3. Make a big deal out of it, because it is a big deal, 4. Eat cake the next morning for breakfast. Pretty simple rules. If I can manage it, I find a way to sneak in drinking a margarita and having Mexican food.

But for Don’s birthday, he never wants me to make a big deal. Now that I’m his wife and can do whatever I want (evil laughter), I feel like the only way I can get him to make a big deal out of his thirtieth birthday is to get him outta dodge. And by getting him outta dodge, I mean Las Vegas.

It’s a pretty brilliant plan if you ask me. The last time we went, we made all sad poor people decisions about where to go and what to do. We did very little gambling (even though I love, love, love roulette) and mostly at Circus, Circus, where they have penny slots (woo!) and $1 chips, and you could get a coupon for a $2 subway sandwich. We spent a lot of time there. Like, a lot of time, a shameful amount of time:

I have no doubt that for nostalgic purposes (and cheap Subway sandwiches) we will go back there.

It looks really nice from the street, but believe me, it’s not that nice.

Sooo….Las Vegas. Right. I was looking at places to stay, and I have come up with a few picks that I am debating over. One is the new place on the strip, the Aria. They are running some really great rates  and the place looks really cool– kinda like a crazy futuristic  spaceship hotel:

Hello, fancy hotel!

But at $200 a night with the stupid resort fees + taxes, I think that maybe breaks my bank some. So I went onto my pal, travelocity, to snoop around at some other options:

The Signature at MGM grand is running a great special– stay 4 nights, get 1 free, and it seems pretty swankity: “The Signature at MGM Grand lets you revel in the luxury of Signature Deluxe Suites and One-Bedroom Balcony Suites in three 40-story towers. Located next to MGM Grand, The Signature’s separate entrance brings you into this secluded enclave near the heart of all the action. Many suites boast a private balcony with view. All suites offer pillow-top beds, lavish bathrooms featuring Jacuzzi tubs, upscale linens, kitchens or kitchenettes with refrigerators, sinks, and microwaves, and HDTV flat-screen TVs with DVD/CD players. Additional amenities: 24-hour in-suite dining, an exclusive heated pool complex, personal check-in/checkout, 24-hour concierge, fitness center, business center, and more.”

Look, this picture of this random lady says “I am having fun here, it is really nice!”

The rooms are pretty awesome:

But I’m not totally sure. We could save $100 a night staying at Bill’s Gamblin Hall + Saloon (yes, that is the real name)

Or for the epitome of luxury, we could sell everything we own and use all our credit cards and rob a bank to stay at the Four Seasons Las Vegas– for 72,000:


Crazy fancy bathroom!

That is still the hotel room!

That’s the pool. Kinda meh for 72K for a week.

Well, that’s the extent of my research for now. I welcome your thoughts, Vegas fans– tell me where you’d stay if you could.

EDIT: I found out that was some kind of glitch on the Travelocity website saying the Four Seasons was a bazill. Well, I am sure that was for a suite or a special floor or the rooms with a luxury panic room and a butler. We could actually stay in a Standard Room (still really nice) for $247 a night– a little spendy, but there’s nothing like the Four Seasons….

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I confess, once the wedding hit I kind of went on a food eating explosion of fun. At first, it was just eating a few more bites than I’d have normally eaten. Then it was opting to cook with a little more butter than before, or indulging in 2 percent milk over 1 percent. Before I knew it, I was loading in a few hundred calories a day, which has resulted in a few more pounds around my midsection. When I visited my dear friend the scale yesterday morning, she stared back at me with a number that made me realize that if I didn’t get back on the diet train, I’d be regretting it. Big time.

So, I’m returning to diet land. For me, that means starting with logging everything I put in my mouth. That’s a huge component of weight loss, because you kind of get…well, unmindful…of what you are eating. I found a great app to download (Lose It!) and had a pretty good day so far. It starts with one good day, right?

My entire life I’ve struggled with my weight. I’m pretty sure I was in the womb wanting peanut butter before I even came out into this bright, beautiful world.  I have a natural love for food, for cooking, and for entertaining, which makes me want to make fancy dinners even when something simple will do.  I would much rather go to a great restaurant than go shopping. Add to it that I have a strong passion for wine and cocktails as well as dessert, and you can see why I have an eating problem.

Over the past three years, I’ve lost a lot of weight– and I’m super proud of that accomplishment. I’m sure that some people out there would be like “don’t worry, it’s just five pounds,” but those five pounds are like a gateway drug of diet disaster. As much as I wish i could be one of those people that can naturally maintain and exercise for hours on end to aid in that maintaining, the older I get the more I realize that the only diet plan that works for me is holding myself accountable, logging everything I eat, and knowing that I have a “budget” of calories that I have to adhere to if I want to stay the size I am. And when you go from a size 18-20 to an 8-10, you really DON’T want to go back.

I have to admit– I really thought getting back on the logging/accountability train was going to suck; I was dreading it like a person dreads jumping into a pool that MIGHT have cold water. The main thing putting me off was thinking, “oh, it’s going to suck having to think like that again,” but in all honesty, even when not consciously dieting, I was thinking of how many calories each thing I put in my mouth contained. I just wasn’t logging it. And now on my second day of logging, I’m already feeling more focused and more in-control of my life, and that in itself is producing a lot of optimism and good mojo.

So, back on board of the diet train I go. I think I may start posting some of the food & recipes I use on here if people are interested. If you are not interested I guess you can just skip those entries 🙂



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