This Friday night my awesome bridesmaids/friends/secret planners took me out for my bachelorette party.
First up, hair and makeup. I went with soft waves and a plum smokey eye.
Friends that get their hair done together, stay together.
Post hair, makeup, and wardrobe change, it was off to Lincoln for an ammmmmmazing dinner. Seriously, the food was amaze and the floor is made out of pennies (get it? "Lincoln," pennies on the it). What more could a girl ask for? Oh, that's right a little dance party time.
Oh and major props to the lovely Erin who was awesome enough to tote around my camera as a purse for the evening. Can you say #bridesmaidpoints ?!!!
All in all it was a great night that was full of practically no debauchery, great food, and bouncy hair. What more could a non-party girl as for? Nada.
Well, our wedding invitations are officially stamped and mailed. Can't wait for all our friends and family to get them so that I can finally post an invite pic here on TLM. Soon enough though, soon enough. 

In other news, the HTB is leaving tomorrow afternoon for New Orleans for his bachelor party. Eight men in the Big Easy during the first week of Mardi Gras parades/festivities... yeah, should be interesting. Nevertheless, while he's away, me and my girls will play (clean thoughts people, clean thoughts)! In other words, my bachelorette party is tomorrow night. All I know is to be ready to go by 4pm so other than that, I'm pretty much at a loss. Oh, but I do know the night will involve a little black dress, tequila, and perhaps a penis hat or two. When in Rome, right?

And so it begins... (pics to come next week).
With the HTB and I getting hitched in two months (holy crap!!!), I decided a little wedding update/rundown (get it -- UPdate and runDOWN...okay, I see that this is only entertaining to me and no one else so I'll stop) could be entertaining and helpful for both you and me. So here we go.

1. Wedding Dress: 
The dress is purchased and won't make its way to the good ole U.S. of A. until ONE WEEK before the HTB's and my mid-march nuptials. This a.) scares the bejesus out of me, and b.) scares the freakin bejesus out of me. Nevertheless, Betsy Robinson's Bridal Collection (The Kleinfeld's of Maryland) has assured me that all will be okay and my dress WILL arrive and fit like a glove -- a very expensive but oh so pretty glove. So, while I'm keeping my dress a secret till March 17th, here's a little looksie at some other wedding dresses I tried on prior to finding "the one."
2. Veil:
I didn't set out to make my own veil, but after seeing how much a circle of tulle attached to a hair comb costs (think, $200-500), I decided I was more than capable of DIYing my own veil. Don't worry, I'll be sure to document my veil making ways here on TLM.

3. Wedding Shoes:
Purchased...for less than $25! I was at the mall with one of my bridesmaids and happened to mozy on into Steve Madden which happened to be having a mega sale which happened to be featuring these awesome blue shoes which happened to be exactly what I was looking for and, happily, happened to be comfortable. I also happened to buy them. So in love and SOOOOO in love with the fact that an entire zero got knocked off what I had planned on spending for shoes. #BridalWin.

4. Hair and Makeup:
Still not fully agreed upon, but figuring it out. Either way, I want my hair up and fake eyelashes fluttering on my face. Bridal chic, what up.

5. Jewelry:
The HTB and I will be having a traditional modern orthodox wedding ceremony (HELLO my fellow chosen ones). That said, in an orthodox ceremony, the bride is not supposed to wear jewelry so ceremony jewels are out of the question. Regardless, I plan on dazzling it up post-ceremony. I'd love to wear some killer drop earrings, however I'm allergic to "fake jewelry" so unless I plan on dropping a "G" or two (ummm, no), than this is highly out of the question. Exploring other avenues (hi Grandma!!!).

Check back tomorrow for another wedding update, ceremony and reception style.
...Correction, red bodied. back Monday!

The title was supposed to be some witty play on "corral" and "alligator" but I'm pretty sure I failed at making those two words come together as one. Bad wording aside, my DIY skills were able to combine the two. Presenting: an alligator print plate that functions as a place for me to place, and therefore corral, all my sh*t together.
Here's what you need: glass salad plate {I got one at World Market for less than $2}, Mod Podge, printed gift wrap, scissors, paint brush, and an un-pictured pen, paper plate, and credit card/ID.
Trace a round object that is close to if not the same size as the bottom of the plate onto the back of the gift wrap.
Slice n' dice.
On a paper plate or other disposable "I like to craft but don't want to ruin my counter top" saver, paint the front of the gift wrap.
Center and stick it to the bottom of the plate and let "dry" overnight. Now the reason I say "dry" and not dry, is because in the morning, the plate will look the same and you will see that indeed there is still wet glue between the gift wrap and the plate. Huh??? Yeah, this is where the credit card/ID comes in handy.
Pressing from the center of the circle out, squish the glue out from between the wrap and the plate. Wipe clean with a papertowel. Once this is done your plate will be all purrrrty and a quick wipe of nail polish remover can remove any and all excess mod podge that seems to have stuck {I wonder why} to the plate.
Corralligator away...
Some of you have asked how I take my DIY post pics. The white background, the great lighting; it's all an illusion. Seriously, this is my photo studio...
I know, super fancy. So, how do I get the above to look like the pic below? It's called white poster board, a good camera {this is the DSLR I have} and good old fashioned natural lighting.
Talk about a DIY project, ha!
One of my more genius "in-the-moment" moments happened a few weeks ago when I came up with this lil doodad: a wire hanger turned over-the-knob mail holder.
Seriously, I don't know how I got so smart {THANKS mom and dad!}. All I did was take a wire hanger, bend the hanger into a hook shape and there you have it. A full-proof method to the usual "I have to mail out my bills/thank you notes/holiday cards but I keep leaving them at home on my desk" dilemma. 
Easy-peasy don't leave your mail behind on your desk-y.
Well kidlets, it's officially 2013 and I'm officially starting off this new year with one of my favorite tips yet.

Way back when TLM was just a lil blog-bambino, I wrote about how I drink apple cider vinegar drinks as a means of keeping my adult acne at bay. For the record, I still have one of these drinks everyday, but with all of the wedding planning stress {seriously, I never believed the whole "wedding stress" thing until I became a bride to be -- it's real, it's a thang, it's stressful}, I've started to see an increase in facial and back acne. Now, I know that's not the prettiest visual, but I'm trying to keep it real with all of you so there you have it: I have back acne {also known in my household as "bacne"} and have struggled with it since I was a hormonal teen in middle school. In the past I've tried everything from Proactiv to Clearasil to prescription strength retinol cream, the likes of which haveall failed in the acne miracle worker department. 

So, what's a girl to do when there's only 2.5 months until her wedding {what?!} and her acne doesn't seem to go away? Get resourceful. 

After a little web perusing and some personal trial and error, it seems as if I've finally found my godsend of an acne treatment -- and I found it in the shampoo aisle.
Yup, good ole Head & Shoulders shampoo {NOTE: stay away from the 2-in-1 shampoo + conditioner Head & Shoulders and go with the classic shampoo...found that one out via trial and error}. Apparently it has something to do with the zinc or something but whatever it is, it's amazing. 

Here's how I use it: Whenever I shower, I use Head & Shoulders as my body wash and face wash. Simple as that. That said, if you want to see your acne go away faster, I recommend using the shampoo as a mask of sorts, applying 5 - 10 minutes before you get in the shower. Oh, and H&S also makes a great spot treatment for those darn pimples that seem to magically appear over the course of the day. I wouldn't, however, use H&S to remove makeup and all that jazz at the end of the day. For that I simply use one of those makeup removal wipe thingys. With all of this info in mind, let me also warn you that H&S can also be verrrrry drying if overused and don't moisturize so a). only use once a day, and b). if you don't moisturize already, start now! I'm currently loving on Clinique's "moisture surge intense" gel hydrator {c/o Sephora}. Amaze.
So there you have it, one of my best tips for ringing in what's likely to be one of the best years of my life {what up marriage?!!!}. Happy 2013!!
HAPPY {almost} 2013!!