Monthly Archives: January 2014

Introducing the Parisians!

Bonjour!  Hi everyone!  I’m pumped to be here!  I saw the surprising email from Mrs. Mouse when I was laying in bed in our condo at Snowshoe Mountain for a “romantic getaway” with Mister P.  I wouldn’t normally be on my phone on vacation (I like to unplug and decompress), but the lady at the front desk said there was no Wi-Fi in the rooms, and because I’m one of those annoying skeptics, I just had to test it out.  When my phone connected to the Wi-Fi, I saw the email, and this is what you get!

All terrible photos personal.

My expression after seeing Mrs. Mouse’s email. Sorry about the dark selfie. Actually, I’m not really that sorry. Raw emotion, people.

Mister P and I have been engaged for nearly 2 years, and I’ve been waiting rather impatiently to get close enough to the wedding that I could apply to blog for Weddingbee.   And so, literally 8 months to the day from our wedding, I hit “send” on my application, and here I am!

Why the Parisians?  Well, I have been dying to be a part of the honeymoon generation since the beginning, so I was glad there was one honeymoon moniker left (Mrs. Bunting, you are so talented!).  But furthermore, Mister P and I plan to learn French together.  You see, my future mother-in-law and her brothers were born in France (their parents were missionaries there), and so the mister’s family on his mom’s side all speak French.  Mister P and I both learned Spanish in high school, so we feel a little left out at family gatherings when everyone decides to practice their French together.  Originally we planned to learn after the wedding, but now I think I might need to expedite the process!

We also have a ridiculous French bulldog (our 4th furbaby – yes, we have a zoo), and since French bulldog already existed, I’m excited to bee here with another French-themed moniker instead.

The Parisians with our Frenchie, Josie. Yes, we named her Josie because we had three cats and we wanted to say Josie and the pussycats. Yes yes, that is a Ghostbusters t-shirt I’m wearing. Thanks for noticing. What’s up.

And because our dog is awesome, here’s another picture of her.

More gratuitous doggy photos to come. Until then, love from our sleepy little Gremlin!

I’m so excited to share our wedding planning journey with you all!  I’ll have lots of unsolicited advice, DIY projects, and crazy stories to share along the way.  I hope you’ll enjoy, and I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on everything as well!


Miss Parisian


Wedding Planning 101: Out of Town Guests

Since Monsieur P is from southern California, a lot of his family and friends still live across the country from where we live.  Since we are getting married in Pittsburgh, this means that nearly half of our wedding guests will be flying cross-country.  This fact has impacted SO.MANY.ASPECTS of the wedding planning.  For example:

  • We know we want to host a bangin’ welcome/rehearsal dinner for all of our out-of-town guests to attend, and so we get to spend a little more time with them after they make such a big trip to be with us!
  • We want to keep costs down as much as possible for the bridal party, since they have to make such a financial commitment to travel here already.
  • We want to make the right choice for hotels so that our out-of-town guests have a budget-friendly option, enjoy exploring the city that we love, and have easy access to transportation for the wedding as well.
  • We know that not everyone we invite will have the ability to travel this far to come to the wedding.  And that’s sad, but ultimately we had to do what was best for us (and my sanity!), which meant having the wedding where we live.

Monsieur P’s family is no stranger to traveling cross-country for family weddings, however.  In 2010 (after we celebrated our 1-year anniversary), Monsieur P and I took our first trip (via airplane) together to attend his uncle’s wedding in Tampa, where I finally got to meet his mom and her side of the family.

All photos personal.

The mister and I at the wedding venue, March 2010. Yes, I dyed my hair dark brown for a year of my life!

Continue reading Wedding Planning 101: Out of Town Guests

A Special Getaway: Belated Christmas

So the mister has a hard time buying me things for Christmas, so it’s easier for him to plan us trips.  He took us on our Engageymoon trip to Jamaica (post to come later, I’m sure), and this year, my present was this.  A puzzle of Snowshoe Mountain.  Whaaaaaaaaat? you may be wondering.

Well, when the mister and I first started dating, somehow the topic of snowsports came up, and he asked me if I liked skiing.  I said I tried it once and (failed miserably) didn’t like it, so I stuck to snow tubing.  He asked if I’d ever be interested in snowboarding.  I said hell yeah!  I had just never tried before, but after the miserable ski attempt, I thought I might be better suited to snowboarding.  And so, after about a month of dating, the mister decided it was time to take me to our nearest mountain resort and teach me how to board!

My first snowboarding adventure! / personal photo

We rented my equipment (he had brought his own from California), and he taught me the basics.  And I sat on the hill on the verge of tears for nearly 45 minutes.  He got a little frustrated, but the fact that he survived that ordeal says he’s a real keeper! 🙂

After one day on the slopes, we decided I needed to have my own equipment (board, boots, binding), because renting was half the price of owning it (yikes)!  A few weeks later we were back at it, and ever since, we love going boarding together.

The mister has been saying for years that he wants to take me to a bigger resort and get me to see real mountains/powder/slopes/etc., so we’re upgrading a little from our local, and this weekend, we’re going to Snowshoe!  One day we’ll go out west to the really big mountains, but for now I’m still in the learning curve, so we’ll keep it within driving distance.

So that’s what I’ll be up to this weekend.  Hopefully I make it back in one piece!

Do couples who teach each other a new skill stay together?  Do you ride on one board or two?  Did your significant other teach you something you’ve always wanted to do?

Phinding a Photographer

Sorry, I had to do it.  Cheesy alliteration achieved.

Possibly before we even got engaged, I knew who I wanted our wedding photographer to be.  You see, Monsieur P and I attended friend V’s wedding back in 2011, and their photographer was V’s friend from high school.  She and her second shooter were so great throughout the wedding, making sure to take photos of each couple as they milled around the property for cocktail hour and throughout the reception, as well as all the “standard” shots.  But what really won me over was when I saw the photos that V posted a week or so after the wedding.  Now, V’s wedding was pretty, but these photos were so fabulous, everything was OMG, magazine-worthy.

And after the rain stopped, the sun and clouds were amazing / Tressa McCune Photography

Continue reading Phinding a Photographer

Wedding Planning 101: My Vision

I’m not the kind of girl who has dreamed of her wedding since she was 5, nor have I ever wanted to be a princess. So when Monsieur P and I first got engaged, we sat down to figure out what kind of wedding we wanted.

As a couple, we’re pretty mellow.  We like good food, and good drinks.  Neither of us likes to dance, though we’re not averse to going out, because we’re both chatterboxes and we like to socialize.  Neither of our families is very big on drinking or partying, either.  Because of these personality traits, my plan was that we were in a perfect situation to have a low-budget intimate wedding with a cocktail reception, rather than the more common dinner-and-drinks-and-dancing evening reception.

I thought this was a perfect plan for us, not only because it suits us, but because we’re both pretty cheap when it comes to paying for things that we don’t deem worth spending a lot of money on.  We like to travel, and we like to have nice things, so we spend  money on those things.  But to spend thousands of dollars on a frivolous party?  No, thank you.

Monsieur P and I are pretty in sync when it comes to our tastes, and he doesn’t really take an interest in planning anything, really, and was especially standoffish about wedding anything.  I expected that I would be planning 90% of the wedding and he’d just show up that day to say the “I do’s.”  You may be able to guess where I’m going with this…

Continue reading Wedding Planning 101: My Vision

Three Years and Counting: Fast Forward 2 Years (BLING)

I know this is a little out of the ordinary, but I’m going to fast-forward in time a little bit from the proposal to share our biggest and latest news to date, which is most exciting to me!  Monsieur P and I celebrated our 5-year anniversary a couple of weeks ago.  How did we celebrate, you may ask – did we go snowboarding?  did we go to a concert?  did we go to a fancy dinner?  Well, no.  and maybe?  But more importantly, we celebrated our 5-year anniversary by going to pick out our wedding bands!

You may remember that one of my requirements for an engagement ring was that it be part of a set.  So… did Monsieur P deliver?  Yes, he knows better than to mess with a woman who knows what she wants!  Kidding… but seriously.  So yes, my engagement ring already had a matching band, making my decision pretty easy, but not any less exciting! EEEEEEEEEEE BLING!

For Monsieur P, I expected a slightly more grueling involved search.  Much to my (and the women in the shop’s) surprise, he had his band picked out before I could even get my order placed for my own band (which was less than 5 minutes).  And, unsurprisingly, he chose THE BAND that I would have chosen for him, had I picked it out myself.  It’s very him, trendy, yet subtly so, just tough enough, and not flashy.

I quickly approved his choice of band, but urged him to try a smaller size than the one that he had on, that he said “fit.”  Typical boy move, he thought the fact that it was on his finger was “fit” enough… I told him it needed to be snug, so I knew that puppy better not be coming off!  Not because I’m possessive, but I did want to make sure that it fit him properly.  I told him to try a smaller size, and we decided that the 9 fit snugly enough that both of us were pleased.  All in all, his decision took seriously about 5 minutes.

Monsieur P chose a Tungsten Carbide band with a flat brushed finish and smoothed edges (sorry, I’m definitely not a jeweler), similar to this one from Triton.  I, of course, ordered the matching band to my engagement ring, and assured the jeweler that I would be back this time next year to get my anniversary band for the other side.  Sorry I’m not sorry, ya’ll.  I want my bling, and I like symmetry.  Oh wells!

Curious how my rings look together?  The sample ring is a 6, and I’m a 5, so the band doesn’t line up perfectly with my engagement ring, but they’ll lay smoothly against each other when I have the band in my size, obviously.

Personal photo edited with Photo Grid app, complete with cats border.

I seriously CANNOT WAIT to wear these rings every day.  Not just for the bling (though seriously, BLING!), but for what they mean, too.  (Plus, I just want to jump Monsieur P with that ring on his finger, oh boy!)  I’m so excited that we’ve finally ordered our bands, and it feels so much more real just knowing they’re on their way!

Were you concerned about sizing for your partner’s ring?  Do your rings match, or are you mixing metals?  Are you jealous of how easy your partner’s band choice was?

Three Years and Counting: the Proposal

Two weeks after securing the ring, Monsieur P got an email from the jeweler saying the ring was in!  Prior to the email, he had had an elaborate plan for a scavenger hunt, and having other people involved in the proposal, for a couple months from then.  But after the email, he thought realistically about the kind of person I am, and decided I would be more likely to get frustrated and stomp off to pout than to catch on and go through the motions eagerly anticipating a proposal at the end.  Sometimes, this man knows me better than I know myself, I swear.  I’m not that patient, and I HATE the spotlight and pressure being on me and only me.

Beautiful flash mob proposal?  Definitely NOT for me.

So… he needed a new plan.  And who better to ask than MOH PT?  Not only did she know every in and out of my ring preferences, of course she knew my proposal preferences as well.

MOH PT suggested using one of our then-three furbabies to pop the question, based on this Fancy Feast commercial.  Monsieur P played and replayed the video and decided it was perfect.  He left work and headed to Petco to get a collar and new tag.

I, on the other hand, was having a completely typical, brutal Monday of work 7-3:30 and class 6:30-9:30.  On my drive home, I decided to call Monsieur P and see if he wanted me to bring home dinner, because I surely didn’t feel like cooking after a long day like that.  He told me that he had already picked up Subway sandwiches, so I breathed a sigh of relief that I could go straight home and not have to cook.  I don’t remember what else we talked about, but I remember him being super hyper and giggly.  At one point I even asked him what was up with him and if he was drunk!  He wasn’t of course, but I didn’t know that it was nervous anticipation that was making him so giddy.

Continue reading Three Years and Counting: the Proposal

Three Years and Counting: Secret Shopping

After absolutely no prodding on my part, Monsieur P decided completely on his own (wink, wink) to go ring shopping.  Okay, I may have suggested it, A LOT, but I didn’t know when he planned to do it.  Completely unbeknownst to me (for real), he set off to shop one weekend in March when I took an impromptu trip across the state with MOH PT.

Now, I had circled rings in a jeweler’s catalog and showed them to Monsieur P months before.  I had a lot of characteristics that I liked in a ring, but I kept coming back to the halo-style rings because they looked really blingy and you could get away with a smaller center stone (see, I’m not a total brat, I was trying to be reasonable).  I especially liked the rings at this Littman Jewelers in the mall, because they were reasonably-priced and tended to look bigger than they actually were because they used smaller stones in clusters rather than a large center stone.  And I was all about the bling!

This one suited my criteria / Source

Continue reading Three Years and Counting: Secret Shopping

Three Years and Counting: Waiting for a Proposal

Just before my third anniversary with Monsieur P, my best friend (MOH PT) got engaged to her boyfriend.  So of course this set me off on an even more intense quest for the ring.  I started looking seriously at rings and prodding Monsieur P every chance I could get.  I was fairly certain that he should be proposing on our third anniversary.

Even prior to the Palm Tree’s engagement, I was pretty obsessed.  We both were pretty obsessed, to be fair.  We emailed daily and rings and weddings were pretty common topics.  Usually she was asking me what kind of rings I liked or what kind of wedding I wanted (with details!), and I was telling her that I didn’t feel right talking about it before we were engaged.  Well, the wedding stuff.  I had zeeeeeeeeero issues talking about rings.  I love me some bling!

I gave it a lot of thought, and I had some rules for what I wanted in a ring:

  • BLING.  At least a carat center stone, round-cut diamond (no, I’m not specific or anything!)
  • BLING.  Diamonds along the band, but not quite an eternity band (for sizing purposes).
  • BLING.  Visually interesting from all angles.  I know this is a weird thing to think about, but I’m weird, so it works.
  • BLING.  I wanted an engagement ring that had a matching wedding band because I planned on wearing them together.
  • BLING.  Sorry, I just wanted to say BLING again.  But I wanted white gold.  I wear mostly silver jewelry daily, and I wanted everything to blend together.  Plus platinum was out of the budget.

Continue reading Three Years and Counting: Waiting for a Proposal

Work It: Relationships Take Effort

So, this article is being shared around my facebook feed, and I found it to actually be really good for a change (I typically think the relationship things I see online are completely bogus).

I’m a big believer in cultivating relationships, like one of the best lines of a Justin Bieber (I know, I’m super sorry, especially of recent events, geeze bad timing) song ever:

But the grass ain’t always greener on the other side, it’s green where you water it.

Honestly, never thought something that profound would come from the Biebs, but whatever.  I looooove that line.  It’s just so true.  Anywho.

I’ve been in relationships that went on longer than they should’ve, but as I’ve mentioned previously, I’m stubborn.  I don’t like regrets, and I don’t want to have to wonder if I didn’t do enough to try to make something work.  Sometimes, that’s a terrible thing to do in a relationship, because you need to know when it’s not worth it anymore so you can cut your losses and move on.  But most of the time, being too stubborn to give up on a relationship is a good thing.

The first time Monsieur P and I had a fight, he legitimately thought we were breaking up.  He hadn’t been in a serious relationship before, and he thought that it was over because we were fighting.  Even though it was a serious fight, that realization made me laugh and we took a teary timeout to hug it out.  It’s funny, because looking back, I feel like that was A MOMENT in our relationship.  Almost as much as the big things, moving in together, saying I love you, the proposal.  That teary-hug-in-the-middle-of-the-fight moment said:  we’re in it for the long haul.

Continue reading Work It: Relationships Take Effort