Thursday, May 28, 2009

Listen Up

by: Jillian Derpack

I’ve been engaged for a year and 4 months now (way to long of an engagement if you ask me) and over the course of those 16 months there are a few pieces of advice that I have received that have really stuck with me. I’m not claiming to be an expert but I kind of do this for a living too so listen up!

1. Be practical
The first thing Jarret (my lovely fiancĂ©) and I did when we got engaged was make a list of everything we could ever possibly want and then we hacked away at deciding what was most important to us. This turned out to be food, drinks and entertainment because we really wanted to show our guests a good time. Don’t expect to be able to do everything you have ever dreamed of, one everything costs a ton and two, there just isn’t enough time. Which brings me to number

2. Don’t procrastinate!
If you plan on taking on a lot of projects, start early. My bridesmaids and I decided to make hanging pomanders for our ceremony aisle, it’s a lovely look but real pomanders are super expensive so we made them out of tissue paper. Little did we know that this project would take us 10 months to complete. Don’t be the Bride who is finishing her programs at 2am the night before her wedding. My goal is to have everything completely done 2 weeks before the wedding so if there are any emergencies I can deal with them instead of being stressed.

3. Surround yourself with amazing people, no matter what
I have 8 bridesmaids and I’m not ashamed to tell people that. People always gasp at me when I tell them 8 but all 8 of these women are very important to me and I could not imagine not having them next to me on my big day. Atleast I’m not having 9 like my sister and Maid of Honor Jenelle (Also one of the fabulous women behind Mapel).

4. Think out of the box and support local businesses
Ever been to a wedding that looks like every other wedding you have been to recently? I have and that is definitely not what I wanted for my wedding. Almost everything I have bought for the wedding has been from, because not only can you find great deals but you can get exactly what you want since most shops do custom orders. Also you know your money is going to real people instead of big huge corporations.

And Finally….

Stay calm and enjoy yourself!

This goes for both the planning period and the day of your wedding. Being engaged and getting married is FUN and should not stress you out…too much anyways (it is stressful at times but you will get through it).

The happiest brides I’ve seen are the ones who realize what is actually happening that day; they are marrying the love of their life. At a recent wedding I was working at the photographer decided to hang the wedding dress from the sprinkler on the ceiling to get a good shot of the dress. She ended up flooding the entire room and drenching the wedding dress. Normally you would think the bride would be livid but no, this bride stayed completely calm and said no biggie everything will be fine. And as it turned out everything went great! They were able to get the dress to the dry cleaner and back before the ceremony started and moved the ceremony outside since it was a nice day out.

Again I don’t claim to be an expert but hopefully this advice will hAdd Imageelp you out as much as it helped me out.

P.S. I bought my bridesmaids the most adorable jewelry from Mapel, check it out.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sweet Baby Cora Jean

Mapel proudly introduces our newest mascot Cora Jean. Scratch that, "mascot" probably doesn't sound affectionate enough. Re-write sentence to read:

Mapel proudly announces the birth of Sweet Baby Cora Jean.

Saturday the 16th of May '09 @ 9.30am Jenelle and Torrey Landgraf introduced a new fashion'ista into the world.

She is beautiful, healthy and immediately took to Rigley!!!

Mapel visited ground zero (501 Ski Hill Drive) to get a few words from the proud parents.

Cora is the most Cute, Outstanding, Real and Awesome thing that has ever happened to us. – Torrey Landgraf

The last 5 days have been the most challenging and exciting days of my life. – Jenelle Landgraf

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My First Mother's Day

Although my due date is still 2 weeks away, I decided that I could celebrate Mother's Day this year considering I've been carrying around this baby in my belly for 9 months and I treat my dog, Wrigley, like a child. Aching ribs and constantly full bladder aside, I had a fabulous first mother's day weekend.

The whole weekend was full of fun and surprises. Staci was oh so kind to me and worked all weekend so that Torrey and I could spend time with friends and enjoy a relaxing weekend. It was Maifest Weekend in Leavenworth, which was filled with lots of great "Bavarian traditions" including a parade down Front Street. We sat outside of Mapel in style and comfort to watch the parade.
We all went crazy over the beautiful bernese mountain dogs - hundreds of them filled the parade, looking proud and sweet. I am convinced that Staci will end up living in Leavenworth someday with 2 bernese mountain dogs, a cutie hubby, and some babies (yes, her mom and I are conspiring on that last one!)

After the parade we enjoyed a picnic in the park with our dear friends Sonya and Caleb. Our picnic included goodies from Cheesemongers. Red wine would have made it the "perfect" picnic, but I'll just have to be patient and wait to open that lovely bottle of my fave d'Vinery montage. (of coarse Staci has a bottle on hand just waiting for me)

On Sunday morning, my four-legged son, Wrigley, surprised me with a flower and a sweet mother's day note.
Then we headed over to O'Grady's Pantry at Sleeping Lady for a fabulous outdoor brunch. BAby Landgraf had even prepared a sweet funny card for me - complete with a corny little kids "knock knock joke".
You would think I would have relaxed the rest of the day, but I just can't seem to do that these days. So my sweet tooth got the best of me and convinced me to make my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. The perfect ending to a fabulous mother's day weekend! Now all I have to do is birth this baby....stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Buffalo Wings - Ain't No Thang'

I won't lie and say I "officially" received a letter from one of our blog readers (mostly because that has Never happened) but I will say I overheard a conversation amongst some girlfriends about "what to wear at sporting events". As a disclaimer I would like to call out that they were the sort of girls that "get invited" to games- meaning they don't actually know the origin of the term "getting to 3rd base".

They were talking about "the horror" of getting asked out on a 2nd date only to find out it was a sporting event.
Even worse- they were taken to "Buffalo Wild Wings" for dinner before the game. I actually felt kinda bad because she even talked about how she was wearing a white button down, her favorite jeans and heels. Did she know ahead of time she was going to a baseball game? Yes. Did she know what to wear? No.

(yes- this is a picture of me eating a "wild wing" at a Blazers game- It Happens)

Because I have stranger danger issues I jotted down a few of her concerns on a napkin and decided to lend my fashion expertise assistance from a distance. Meaning if she happens to know one of the 12 blog readers I have hopefully this entry will get forwarded onto her.

So what does one wear to a sporting event? Be it basketball? baseball? football? foosball?

Here follows my sound advise, and let the record show that if I had not spent the last 10 months dating a sports Fan'atic I wouldn't have the least idea what to wear. But, because I have survived fall football, winter basketball and starting to put in some time with baseball I can speak from experience.

Numero Uno: One must ensure that adult beverages will be easily available on site. By "ensure" I mean make it a point to casually mention looking forward to "a tall one". Guys love beer terms and - well- a tall one can have more than one meaning- so play on that.

Second: Ditch the heels. They are so not functional and honestly end up looking desperate when worn as a sports game accessory. Don't even do those wedge, cork'ie sort of things- just don't. Trade in your stilhettoes for some cute flats or flip flops.
Third: Layer. Layer. Layer. This is a "must"- you have to have some sort of over layer piece. Be it a sweater, cardigan, wrap or light weight jacket. You'll want to wear this because it further enhances the concept that you Totally know how to dress when attending sports.

Fourth (possibly most important): Wear a super cute'ness total Whammie tank or top under your layering piece. The idea is that you are so Happy & Excited to be at the game that you get totally into the actual sporting event. You're cheering, yelling, clapping, jumping up from your seat, etc. etc. and getting really "hot". So "hot" that you have to take off your layering pieces. Oooopsss.... Are you wearing your total cute'ness- generally only reserved for- Friday Night Out top? You had no idea. But you're so into the game you had to take off your sweater, cardigan, wrap or light weight jacket.

Cheers to an amazing baseball season full of slam dunks & field goals.