Friday, October 29, 2010

Good Times

It always cracks me up when random people end up smiling for the camera in your photos. Several friends and I went to one of the last Mariners game of the year and had some great seats (thanks to it being the end of a dismal season). This was soon after I moved back to town and it was great to spend some time with them, so of course we took some pictures to commemorate the evening.

Thanks to random dude at the end, we also get to remember his smiling face. And the other guy next to him. And the one in the row behind us. Well played, Mr. Smiley.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Belated Honeymoon

I'm not sure if any of you have noticed, but I haven't talked about what we're doing for our honeymoon. The reason is because we aren't really going to be taking one. At least not right away. See, Mr. EB is in school this year and our wedding will be about three weeks before his finals for winter quarter. Not exactly the best time to fly off for a couple of weeks on a tropical honeymoon. Also, money is really tight for us right now, so there's no way that we can afford the type of trip that we'd like to take. So instead of planning a trip to Bora Bora or the British Virgin Islands or the Seychelles (three of the places that are highest on my honeymoon wishlist), I'll be drooling over all the amazing beachy honeymoons I get to see online.

Now, this isn't to say that Mr. EB and I are planning on going back to real life immediately after the wedding. We're definitely going to take at least a few days to relax and unwind after the whirlwind of the wedding weekend. We aren't positive what we're going to do yet, but we do have a couple of ideas.

First we thought about renting a cabin on the Washington or Oregon coast. 

It wouldn't be a super long drive from Seattle, and since the wedding is in February it'll be the off season for most rentals on the coast. I love the beach in the winter time, and visions of the waves crashing on the beach and rain beating at the windows while B and I sip on champagne in a cozy little house with a fire burning in the background sounded perfect.

Another thought we had was to drive up to the mountains somewhere. 

We could have the same cozy atmosphere with a fire, but instead of crashing waves, snowy woods would be our view as we sip our champagne (yes, there will be champagne whatever we decide to do - what, it's my favorite!).

The problem with both of these ideas is the travel time - sure it would probably only take about 3-4 hours of driving time, but what if we could do something that wouldn't require much travel at all?

And that's when we thought about finding a nice hotel and staying right in Seattle, no travel required.

There are so many beautiful hotels in downtown Seattle, and it would be pretty nice not to have to spend a long time getting somewhere (especially since we'll probably only have about three days no matter what we decide to do). And we both love the idea of holing up in our home town (but not our own home - we both feel really strongly that we want to stay somewhere else and enjoy a little bit of a transition back to real life). We can wander Pike Place Market, eating our way through all of the delicious food, or just watch the rain fall outside our hotel windows (yes, while enjoying champagne of course!). And if there's a big bathtub and fireplace, so much the better!

We're still figuring out exactly what we'll do, but we feel better having a few different options that all sound like a really fun time. Because really? When it comes down to it, we just want a space where we can be together with no one else around. And then we can start planning what will be our ridiculously awesome one year anniversary trip. Because Mr. EB and I decided that if we have a short and simple trip now, then we can do something a little bit bigger (and hopefully warmer!) in a year. 

Anyone else decide to take a one year anniversary trip instead of a honeymoon right after the wedding (and if you say you got to do both, well just color me green with envy!)?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Something Blue!

I got my shoes! 

If you remember, I was trying to decide what pair of blue shoes would be my "something blue."  I decided to go with the Caparros Italia because I loved the deep blue satin and thought they'd be the most elegant peeking out under my dress. Even better? They were $40 on sale at! Yes please! I'm actually really happy that I ordered them when I did, because when I looked again a couple of weeks later, they were completely out of my size.

I have to say, I was a little bit nervous about the heel height though, because my dress is almost the perfect length already. Luckily, when I tried them on with my dress a few days ago, they worked perfectly! And the dress will still be a good length for when my feet can't handle the heels anymore and I need to put on some flats for dancing (or when I'm wearing rain boots for any outdoor pictures we do. Which reminds me, I still need to look for rain boots and flats. Hmm, glad the heels were such a great price!). I'm still not going to show a picture of the dress until after the wedding because Mr. EB does read my blog every so often, but here are the shoes when I tried them on with the dress:

I'm so excited that I have everything together for my outfit now! (uh, except the rain boots and flats...). It's coming together y'all!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Telling the story

Have I mentioned how much I love my photographer, Kat? Because I so do. She is such a fantastic person and artist, and I'm so excited that I get to hang out with her during the wedding weekend. 

I've talked about her before when I shared our engagement pictures, but after I saw the photos that she took of Mary Kate and Paul's wedding up in Bellingham, I just had to share them. One of my favorite aspects of Kat's work is how she tells the story of the day. And yes, that's what a wedding photographer is supposed to do, but I really feel like when I look at Kat's pictures that you get deeper into the day and into the couple's story than with other photographers. And of course, all of her detail shots are fabulous (and no, it's not all about the details, but we all want fabulous photos of the details that we do add to our wedding!).

The other part about this wedding that made me smile was the rain - yes, I know, that's not usually something that would make you smile when thinking of a wedding day, but as someone who's preparing for rain on her wedding day, it's nice to know that the photographs will still be beautiful. (But we're definitely planning for our wedding to be indoors! I love that they had the umbrellas and went ahead with the outdoor wedding here, but methinks that with the cold in February, our guests would not be so pleased if we did that). 

I'm not reposting all of the pictures that Kat posted (go here to see them!), but these are just a few of my favorite shots. (All photos are the property of Persimmon Images and are subject to copyright. They have been used here with permission.)


Yay, pretty umbrellas!

As I get farther into the wedding planning process and see more and more pictures of weddings, I'm always drawn to "first look" photos. I first came across this idea several years ago at a friend's wedding. Before that I had never heard of a couple doing a first look prior to the ceremony. I love this idea so much, to give the bride and groom a private moment before the absolute craziness and emotion of the day takes over. Right now B and I are planning on doing a first look, and I cannot wait until the moment when B and I see each other for the first time all dressed up.  


The emotion that's conveyed just gives me chills (not to mention I think Mary Kate's dress is gorgeous, and I LOVE the grey suit!)

And some more detail shots:

I love this flower/ring shot - I think the water droplets on the dahlia and the back ground light are just beautiful! 


I love that cake - it's just the style of cake that I tried to convey to our baker, but I think we'll probably end up with just one or maybe two tiers for the cake that we cut for each other.




And finally - some reception photos! These make me so happy because I love s'mores (we're going to have a big bonfire with s'mores after our Friday night welcome dinner).



Just beautiful! Fantastic job, Kat - can't wait to see more!

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's not always in the details

I've been told many times throughout wedding planning that while the details might be some of the most fun things to plan and execute, don't get lost in them and lose sight of what the day is all about: marrying B and starting our lives together.

I'm really trying to take that advice to heart. And for me, that means letting go of some of the details and trusting those who are helping me to put a spectacular weekend together.
For example, I don't really know what the cake or sweets table is going to look like. We'll probably talk to the chef and the baker a few more times before February, but I doubt we'll know exactly how things will look until we see it set up after dinner. And that's ok by me! And on the big day, I'm not going to be the one in charge of decorating the ceremony space or the dining hall - friends and family have offered to help set things up so that I don't have to stress about getting everything right. I can help to create a vision, but ultimately I need to step back and let others make it happen.

In other words, as the chef said during our meeting with him, our goal for the wedding weekend is to create a space to let things happen. 

So that's my plan - creating a space at IslandWood for our family and friends as they witness the beginning of our marriage. And doing my best to create special little touches to enhance the weekend without letting the details control me (though if anyone wants to remind me of that during the week before our wedding, I'm guessing I'll need to hear it!).

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I want this view

I don't post much about home design or decor on this blog (although I want to once the wedding is over), but I had to share this story with you from the New York Times (and yes, this is another link that B sent me).

This apartment is in the pyramid at the top of the Smith Tower, which at one point was the tallest building in Seattle (obviously, it lost it's claim to height fame a long time ago, but there's just something so wonderfully old and authentic about this building).

You have to read the article and see the pictures of the apartment to believe it, but wow. If I could choose anywhere to live in Seattle, this apartment would be it. Absolutely beautiful, and oh, what a view!

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Good Day

Wednesday was one of those days that you sometimes have while planning a wedding where you just cannot wait for the wedding day to get here. You know what I mean? Where you just get so excited about everyone who will be there, and the food that you get to serve them, and the fantastic location that you get to introduce them to? I feel like there can be so many times during planning where things you want to do won't work out, or you find out that really special people won't be able to come to your wedding, and it can get you down about the whole thing. Luckily, those days have been few and far between for me so far, with just enough great days to keep me so completely excited about our wedding.

My mom and I spent the morning at IslandWood and we were able to talk to the coordinator and chef about a ton of different details that we hadn't discussed yet. It was fantastic. We have a basic schedule for the weekend planned, we have a potential menu planned (I'm a little bit bummed that we didn't get to try anything, but their food is SO good that I know whatever the chef says he's going to make, it's going to be fabulous), and we now have a great idea for the flowers and cake. 

The chef's wife does flowers (and has done flowers for many events held at IslandWood, including other weddings), and the bakers at IslandWood make some amazing desserts. This is great since I love the idea of a dessert table with more offerings besides just cake, and I never really wanted a huge cake anyway. We're still going to have a cake for us to cut, but I'm not sure whether it will be a single tier or two tiers. Quite frankly I'm perfectly happy with leaving that to the baker and just telling her to keep it simple and beautiful (oh yeah, and tasty!).

It felt so great to get so many things figured out about the weekend. Every time I go to IslandWood I get more excited for February!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Busy day

Today we're meeting with the coordinator at IslandWood to go over all sorts of logistics, including ceremony and reception timelines, lodging for our guests, and of course, the food! Since IslandWood uses mostly local and sustainable food in their menus, today will be about working with the chef to let him know what we like and want for our weekend menu, along with the chef helping us to understand what will be in season when our wedding rolls around.

Unfortunately, B has to work so he can't make the meeting, but I know what he wants for our wedding dinner, and he'll be able to make later meetings when we finalize everything. 

After the food gets taken care of, we just need to decide exactly what we're doing for our cake and then meet with the florist to decide on the girls' bouquets. I'm sensing a lot more trips to Bainbridge will be in my future...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I didn't see that coming

Back when we first started planning the wedding, invitations weren't super high on my list. I mean, I love them and I think they're beautiful, but I knew I couldn't afford the amazing letter pressed full invitation suite that I though I wanted, and neither did I think I wanted to take on the task of designing and printing our invitations myself. When I was in college I took two semesters of a book making and printing class with three of my roommates. I loved the design and creation process, but since that class I haven't done much in the way of paper design. Since I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do about this, I did what I do all to often in these types of situations. Decided to ignore it and deal with it later.

Hey, guess what? It's later. Yeah. It's time to figure out exactly what we're going to do for invitations. Especially since etiquette dictates that you're supposed to send out invitations 6-8 weeks before the wedding, and that falls right around Christmas time. You know, that time when the mail system is overloaded with Christmas cards and packages? Yeah, that. Because of that I'm thinking that we should send out the invites just a bit earlier than that so that they don't get lost in the holiday shuffle. But really, that just means that I need to pull my head out of the sand and start working on them (since uh, it's almost November. Seriously - when did that happen?).

Since then, I've gathered a lot of inspiration pictures, some of which I showed you here. As I started focusing in on the invitation styles that I really liked, I noticed that I much prefer text only invitations. There are so many beautiful invitations out there with graphics and flourishes, but ultimately I wanted the words to be the focus and create the impact on the invitation.

After I realized what I really wanted, I started to think that maybe I could design them myself. I never thought I would be DIY-ing our invitations, but apparently that's what I'm doing. I'm still not positive what we're going to do for printing them, but I think if we find paper that we like we'll end up printing them ourselves, too. Or maybe use one of the printers in my parents' hometown? We haven't figured that part out quite yet. But I am surprised at just how much fun I've had with the designing process though - I love figuring out which fonts to use, and how to design the invitation to best convey to our guests what we want them to feel at our wedding.

We're still tweaking the final design so it isn't quite ready to share yet, but it will be soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

An Open Letter to Wedding Vendors

Dear Wedding Vendors,

As we plan our wedding day, we know that we are in need of a [venue], [caterer], [florist], [photographer], [insert other vendor here]. While I am a bride on a budget and we'll be doing some things ourselves, I know that we'll need and want professional help in many areas in order to ensure that I don't go crazy by the big day. However, there are also some things that I need from you if we're going to be able to work together.

If you are selling yourself as a professional, you need to have a professional looking website. Even more importantly than that, however, you need to have a website, period. If you don't, I'm not going to find you, and if for some reason I have been given your name and you don't have a website, there's a very small chance that I'll want to work with you if I can't immediately find examples of your work.

Whatever sort of website you have, make sure to proofread it! That also goes for any written correspondence we might have. If I can't trust you to proof your site or your e-mails, why would I trust you to execute the details of our wedding?

As someone who may be doing research on vendors while at work (on my lunch hour, of course), if you have any music playing when I click to your site, I'm going to close it immediately and never come back. 

Please, please, please have your pricing information easily available on your site. You're busy, I'm busy, and yes, I know you want me to contact you and start a conversation about whether we might want to work together, but give me a ballpark figure at least. I don't want to fall in love with your work and go back and forth with you just to find out that your least expensive package is twice my total budget.

Don't make fun of my budget. Just because our wedding won't qualify as a platinum wedding doesn't mean our party won't be fabulous.

Never be late. I will do my best to never be late to an appointment, but I'm the one who's paying you. What's your excuse for keeping me waiting?

Finally, listen to what I want and help me make it even better. Don't run over my ideas and tell me why they're stupid, but do help me to understand if you really don't think something will work. And then give me an alternative.

A Long Far View

Friday, October 15, 2010

Wedding Planning - It's not a solo endeavor

Whatever you think, honey.

That's often the refrain brides hear from their grooms during planning, and for some brides I think that's what they want to hear while wedding planning! Except, what about those of us with partners who appreciate and understand that this is their wedding day, too, and actually want to have a say in how that day turns out?

Throughout the wedding planning process, I've spent a lot of time reading wedding planning websites, articles and blogs. Many of these sites are written by women, and a lot of the decisions that are made about weddings tend to be made by the bride. But what about the groom? What about when he wants to be involved? It seems like the easy answer is, hey, if the groom wants to be involved, then the groom is involved! But what about when your fiance wants to be involved in some aspects of the wedding and couldn't care less about other parts? And what do you do when you can't always figure out which parts of the wedding he's going to care about? Yeah... that's called I'm still figuring it out.

First off, I have to say that Mr. EB has been pretty fantastic throughout planning. But it still throws me off both when he has an opinion and when he doesn't. It's confusing, no?

See Mr. EB is usually pretty opinionated. So it's no surprise he has opinions about his wedding day. However there are lots of details about this day that quite frankly he doesn't care at all about. So is it really that strange that I'm confused about when he's going to care and when he's not??

The issue is mainly that I'm never quite sure whether a project that I'm working on is going to be something that he'll care about. I've gotten the "whatever you want is fine" line so many times, but every so often there's a "why on earth did you pick that??" thrown in there (generally said nicer than that, but usually accompanied by some pretty awesome facial expressions). And by that point I've generally done a fair amount of work and had no idea that he was going to care, and what do you mean you want me to change things?!?!

Luckily there really hasn't been too much of that. But it does make things difficult when he's super busy and can't make every meeting and I'm left wondering if it's something that he's going to care about. But again, because he's busy, I don't want to annoy him by running every single thought that I have about the wedding by him, because most of the time he really doesn't have a preference and is fine with whatever I decide.

Has anyone else had to deal with this? How did you end up handling it? 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Making Me Up, Part 3

Here's the before:

Please keep in mind that these photos were taken in my bathroom which has terrible yellow lighting. 

And now, here's the after:

Oh, and one photography tip I learned: don't use your manual focus lens when trying to take self portraits. That's how you end up with 30 pictures that are all just a teensy bit off and out of focus. Don't be lazy and change your lens next time!

Overall, I'm actually pretty pleased. Yes, there are many, many things that I will change, but as a first go 'round? Not too shabby! And I've now worn this combination of moisturizer, primer, foundation out a bunch of times and I LOVE it! Seriously - my face doesn't feel at all cakey, I think it looks pretty good, and I never have to do anything to it all night (except reapply lipstick).

What would I change? Well, for starters, wax my eyebrows! Another thing I would change is my eyeshadow and get new brushes. I was experimenting with some new colors that I got, and my old brushes just aren't hacking it. They weren't applying the color very well, so I think I may need to get a couple of new ones. Also, I forgot to put on the Urban Decay Primer Potion that I love so dearly which also affected the way they look (hence no eyeshadow only pictures).

One other thing is that I want to practice with false eyelashes. I actually didn't think I was going to wear false lashes at all because I have really, really, really long natural lashes. I love them (even when they are getting in the way of my sunglasses - seriously, they're that long), but even all mascara-ed up, you can't really tell. I mean, in person you can, but they just don't play on camera. So, I'm going to try to find some that aren't too expensive so I can get used to putting them on and figure out if I can make them work. I've heard a lot of people say they're great for just making the eyes pop a little bit more. 

The last thing that I want to change is my fear of color. I'm always afraid that whatever I have on will be too bright, too garish. Now, I certainly don't want to go overboard, but I think color on my face is necessary given that I'll be in an ivory dress and veil. I'm still searching for a lip stain, or something that will give me lip color all day and I can just touch up with some gloss to keep things smooth, and I'm also still trying to figure out the colors for my eyeshadow. Right now I'm thinking purpley/brown. I have brown/hazel eyes, so I think that should work.

What do you guys think? Any other changes I should make? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Making Me Up, Part 2

I'm a pretty basic makeup user. As in, I don't think I'm a total idiot, and I usually wear some makeup when I go out, but I generally don't wear very much, which Mr. EB loves. He still thinks I'm pretty when I put more makeup on, but he never fails to comment on it. In fact, I'm pretty sure that one of the first times I added more eyeshadow than usual, he said I looked weird. He meant it in a very loving way, but as he put it, he's not used to seeing me that way, and it was odd for him. This has me slightly concerned about my makeup for the wedding, because I really don't want a heavy look. I've had my makeup done professionally several times and generally I haven't liked it (except for my engagement photos - I loved the way I looked, but it still felt a little heavy for me). Mainly I don't want Mr. EB giving me a weird look when he sees me for the first time which I'm afraid might happen if I get my makeup done by someone else. So I'm thinking about doing it myself...

Now, the first thing I've learned over the years is that before using any makeup, you need to find a good cleansing routine. I have not always been consistent with my routine, and I can definitely see a difference with my face when I don't do a good job taking care of it.

For the past several years I've been using the Clinique* 3 Step system.

I am a huge fan of this system, and I highly recommend it. I haven't had to go back and buy these for awhile, but if I remember correctly there are different formulas for each of the 3 steps so that it works for anyone's type of skin. The lotion in particular (Dramatically Different Gel) is probably my favorite moisturizer that I've ever used.

After cleansing your face it's time to figure out the makeup situation. For the past 10 years I've used Bare Minerals.

I love Bare Minerals* - the powder foundation worked really well for me, and given that I don't like the feel of liquid foundation it was a great solution for me. However, our wedding day is going to be my most photographed day ever. And I have heard some not so great things about mineral makeup and professional photography. My understanding is that there's something in the mineral foundation that reflects light which makes it look fantastic in person, but creates a sort of ghosting effect in pictures. They do have a matte finish which is supposed to work better in photographs, but I decided to bite the bullet and see if I couldn't figure out a different foundation that would feel good on my skin and photograph well.

So, I did some research (ie read the Weddingbee boards) to figure out what I might like to try. I decided to start with L'Oreal's* True Match liquid foundation, mainly because it was $10 rather than $30, and I'd heard some good things about it. I figured I may as well start with something less expensive to see if I liked liquid foundation, and I could work up from there if I needed to.

Then I read Mrs. Rainbow's tutorials, specifically this one and this one. And because she is a makeup genius, I immediately ordered the Monistat Chafing Gel and Silica powder that she talked about in her posts. And you all should, too. Seriously, the chafing gel that she recommends is the same formula as all of the fancy primers out there and it's SO much cheaper. Same thing with the Silica powder. 

And while I waited for those to arrive, I watched many, many videos by these lovely ladies, such as this one:

I particularly liked the bridal series that they did, such as this one for drier skin (they also have tutorials for those with oily skin):

I decided I'd use the rest of the makeup that I had on hand, and decide later if I need to upgrade anything.

And then I just decided to go for it. 

*In case anyone is wondering, Clinique has no idea who I am or that I love their product, this post is based solely on my experience using it over the past couple of years. Neither does Bare Minerals. Or L'Oreal. Or any other company I may have mentioned in this post.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Making Me Up, Part 1

When I was in middle school, I discovered makeup. And I wore it to school every day. Which is kind of funny looking back, because when I got to high school I realized that spending that much time on makeup wasn't worth it to me (I was a swimmer and water polo player - when you're up at 5am to practice and then have to get ready for school in a cold, damp locker room with 25 other girls, you pretty much do whatever you have to in order to get out of there as fast as you can).

Since then, I've been a pretty basic makeup user. As in, I don't think I'm a total idiot, and I usually wear some makeup when I go out, but I generally don't wear very much.

What does this have to do with our wedding? Well, my natural look is something that I like, and B loves. He still thinks I look pretty when I put more makeup on to go out, but he never fails to comment on it. In fact, I'm pretty sure that one of the first times I tried to play up my eyes and add a little bit more eyeshadow, he said I looked weird. He meant it in a very loving way, but as he put it, he's not used to seeing me that way, and it was odd for him.

Ahem. Back to our wedding. Really what this means is that I don't want a heavy makeup look for our wedding. And I'm concerned that if I go with a makeup artist, that's what I'll get. See, the few times that I've had my makeup professionally applied, it's looked good, but it's felt so heavy. And not me. And B gives me the weird look. And I'd really prefer to have him smiling at me when I walk down the aisle rather than wondering what all that stuff is on my face.

But I'd also like to look pretty and not have my uneven skin tones around for pictures. So what's a girl to do? Figure out how to make myself up so that I feel beautiful and have enough makeup on for the cameras, but not so much that B wonders who in fact it is he's marrying.

Which is all easier said than done, that's for sure!

Over the next few posts, I'll show you what I've learned so far. I'm certainly not done yet, but by the time our wedding comes around, I'm pretty confident that I'll be able to make my face up the way I want. And if all else fails, I have lots of friends and family who will be on hand to give me any help I need on the big day.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I haven't figured out what we're going to do for our invites yet. I haven't even really thought about them. You know, that fairly important document that actually invites everyone? Yeah, those.

I'm not really sure why not. I even sent inquiries back in January to one designer. But I think I felt like it was way too early then and now, here we are, coming down to the wire. Oops. I think one of the issues is that I really want a gorgeously letterpressed invite and I'm not sure we can afford it. And other than that I'm not really sure what I want so I just haven't done anything. Why yes, I do enjoy procrastinating, why do you ask?

But I do know that I need to get on this. If only to make sure I'm not sending out e-vites six weeks before. So to that end I actually have been looking at some inspiration and here's what I've come up with so far. I really like all text invites. I think there's something about them that just says wedding to me. And while we are being somewhat untraditional in our choice of venue I want to lean more on the traditional side for the invites, at least for the wording. I think that will help tell our guests that even though our wedding is in the woods and most of the weekend will be casual, the wedding itself will still be a somewhat formal affair.

I also prefer rectangular shaped invitations (rather than square), and I really want a simple invitation suite. As in, probably just the invite and maybe a response card. And then there's the sticking point about an inner envelope - the sticking point being that I don't really want one, but my mom does. Maybe we can compromise with a belly band of sorts?

In any event, here are a few that I'm really liking so far. I'm hoping to get this figured out in the next couple of weeks (since, um, we kind of have to - seriously, I can't believe how fast the weeks have been flying by!)

Apparently I also tend to lean a bit more toward modern designs? We'll be making a decision soon (because we have to), and I can't wait to show you what we've come up with!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


October 10, 2010.

Once upon a time, back in December when B and I first got engaged, I thought it would be pretty cool to have our wedding day be on 10.10.10. Unfortunately, due to a lot of circumstances that I've previously mentioned, that didn't happen. Fortunately, I am super happy that it didn't work out, because having just moved and B starting classes again (and a flooded laundry room that happened today), we would have been way too stressed out if this had also been our wedding week.

But still. Cool anniversary date. Congratulations to everyone out there who did get married today!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Where do your earrings live?

I've used several different methods to store my jewelry over the years, but I've never really found anything that I thought was both stylish and functional. For a long time I've hung my earrings and necklaces on a wooden rack that I got when I was in high school. It worked ok, but I noticed that my jewelry was getting pretty tarnished while hanging on it. It wasn't so bad when I didn't have as many pairs of earrings and I wore them all pretty often, but lately I've gotten into a groove of wearing only a few pieces. Which means that the others were just sitting on the rack and getting tarnished (most of my jewelry is silver). I also had some other pieces sitting in a wooden bowl on top of my dresser. Now, apparently wood helps to hasten tarnishing. Who knew? Why, yes, I am just learning this at 29 years old. 

Since we moved I've been on the lookout for something new that I can use to corral everything so it doesn't take over my dresser, but still have it on display so I wear more of my jewelry (I find that when it's out of sight I just forget that I even have it). I've found a few new items, and I'm really excited with how it keeps things together now.

I feel like this picture makes my dresser look really cluttered - I blame the fact that you can't see the whole dresser top, because there's a lot of open space in front. Also, the two yellow notes on the mirror are from B when we moved into our first apartment. He didn't move in for another month, so he left me notes to find as I unpacked over the next few days. He's kind of awesome like that.

Awhile back I read a post on Young House Love about how Sherry keeps her earrings in a ceramic egg crate. She found hers at the Container Store, but I ended up ordering mine from here. I've only had it for a few days, but so far I really like it. 

I love that I can now display all of the earrings I like to wear, but they're not hanging somewhere that's going to make them tarnish! (Yes, I do realize that I need to clean all of my jewelry now, but well, that hasn't happened yet). While I was at the Container Store looking for the egg crate, I did find a necklace tree that I thought would work well for my lighter necklaces. I've started wearing necklaces a lot more now, and it's much easier to find them when they're displayed like this instead of collected at the bottom of a dish (not to mention they get tangled much less often!).

And for my bigger statement necklaces that won't fit on the tree, I'm just hanging them on the hooks by my dresser. I am horrible about constantly dropping my sweats and pajamas in front of my dresser, so to combat that, I decided to hang hooks on the wall, which is where I'm trying to remember to put clothes instead of letting them end up on the floor. And bonus - the extra hook on the end works great for more necklaces!

Finally, I keep my bracelets in this bowl. I think my mom (or my sister?) gave me this to me a few years ago, and it works pretty well for this. I love cuff bracelets, and I like that I can just sort of hang them off the rim. Of course, now you can see how really tarnished a couple of them are (and the really shiny silver one which my mom just gave me for my birthday a few weeks ago. Thanks Mom!).

So how do you keep your jewelry accessible while stored? And what are your best tips for cleaning silver? I think that will be this weekend's project...
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