October 5, 2011

this is your life…do what you love!

by z.lynn

 

photo credit

 

 

 

 

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September 30, 2011

It’s back!!! Shoe Fetish Friday…enjoy!

by z.lynn

Kortshp

I-Dreemy

who says you have to be rockin’ mile high heels for your wedding day?? (although, if you’re so inclined, like many of us ;-), make sure that you rock ’em right!)

for those who prefer a lower heel or favor comfort over haute couture fashion trends, these Steve Madden flats are perfect and you definitely won’t fall flat! these beauties evoke a special glamour unique to them.

stiletto, flat or somewhere in between, enjoy your day however you choose!

muah, muah

😉

z

September 29, 2011

#13 – All Things Bridal – Know your vocabulary!

by z.lynn

What type of fabric is this dress made in? What kind of neckline is this? What type of dress is this?

Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart via http://firstview.com/

There are many designers and many salons and many dresses, but the basics remain the same. Terminology, that is. Not to say that you must know everything there is to know about dresses. However, understanding how to communicate your desires is helpful in finding the dress of your dreams. Here are a few terms that you will want to be acquainted with:

Dress types:

Mermaid  or ‘ fit and flare’, Empire, Ballgown…

Veils:

Cathedral, Fingertip, Birdcage…

Necklines:

Sweetheart, Halter…

Fabrics: 

Taffeta, Organza, Silk, oh my!

Check out these articles for more important terminology:

http://weddingfashionfiles.com/2009/07/17/wedding-dress-vocab-101/

http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/weddings/wedding-dress-terms.htm

http://wedding.theknot.com/bridal-fashion/wedding-dress-shopping/articles/wedding-gown-neckline-glossary.aspx

Happy Dress Shopping!

😉

September 28, 2011

It’s a new day…

by z.lynn

That song that Jennifer Hudson has been singing in those Weight Watchers commercials is stuck in my head! Mostly because I’ve been away from my business for too long and it’s time to get to work! But also because I feel that I’ve finally gotten my father and personal life stabilized enough that I can return to some semblance of my business at least until I’m back 100%.

“It’s a new dawn, a new day
a new life for me
And I’m feeling good”

“It’s a new day!!”

So thanks, JHud!

September 5, 2011

Momentary Sanity

by z.lynn

I don’t really remember how the old saying goes but it basically makes reference to how it takes a lot to make a grown man cry. Yet, tonight, I saw my dad cry for the first time ever in all of my 37 years.

In his reality, he felt undeniably certain that my husband and I were about to do him in. He thought that we had him shut up in a box or a casket yet he could get up and walk around and reach out and touch us. He said that we planned to put him in our truck and set it aflame even though I was sitting right next to him, in the truck. His mind told him that I put something in his food and drink to make him ‘see things’. This is the face of dementia.

Although, on August 6th, last month, he denied that he ever knew me, I felt that he could care for himself. Despite getting hardly no sleep each night always holding to the fear that he would climb up and fall or tumble down the set of 15+ stairs in my home, I thought he would be just fine. Even though he had fallen down and broken his wrist and elbow week before last, when tripping over a huge shopping bag that he’d placed next to him, while trying to find this invisible item on the floor, I thought I could help him. I just want to believe.

It tore at my whole heart and soul to hear him cry so loudly and inconsolably that I was sure that my neighbors 3 doors down could hear. And to know that his tears and pain were caused by the false belief that I wanted to harm him was unfathomable to me. I broke down.

I tried to reason with him the other night…why would I bring you out to my house and take care of you day and night if I wanted to hurt you? Why would I lose sleep, lose my sanity, lose my cool, lose my empathy, lose my mind…if I didn’t love you and want the best of health for you? Why would I allow you to call me out of my name when I’m trying to help you and you think that I’m doing it wrong or that I’m putting something in your medicine and food? Why would I, being the germophobic that I am, allow you to wear your only-God-knows-how-dirty-sneakers across my beige carpet? (One word – splatter. Ewww.) Why would I still keep you and care for when I knew full well that I have to clean my bathroom 2-3 times a day because your aim is waaayyy off? My sister tried reminding him that no one was trying to hurt him. But his mind told him that everyone else was wrong – but him.

None of what I’ve gone through these past few months matters. I want my dad. I need my dad. I don’t know what’s worse-me holding on to the notion that he would fully come back to me or him thinking that I would actually hurt him.

At the end of July, we had a long discussion about his mom working odd jobs and his dad working in the hospital and how much he loved his kids and grandkids and he would love to re-visit Fort Campbell, KY where he served in the Army decades ago. Some things I never even knew. Having this conversation was great because he was highly upset with me since the day before. But the kicker is that, during this conversation, he thought I was some Jamaican woman whom he had met at his old apt. When I told him my name, he looked at me like I had 10 horns on my head and said, ‘That’s my daughters’ name, too!’ I couldn’t help but shed a little tear.

I struggled with the thought of having to bathe my father, so I called my brother. Call me a wuss or whatever but seeing this other person that he has become is bad enough let alone being privy to all his ‘business’…i just couldn’t do it.

As he begged me to take him home tonight, he told me that he was sorry for all he was putting me through. I guess he figured that if he’d apologize, I wouldn’t ‘hurt’ him. I said, ‘Dad, I know, you just haven’t been yourself lately.’ I just don’t know if I can help you find yourself again.

I lost my mom to cancer in 2001, 5 months before my daughter, her first grandchild, was to be born. I feel as if I’ve lost my father too, now. He’s only fully with me in my memory. His momentary lapses in sanity make it seem like he’s a totally different person.

A friend stopped by tonight to pick up something and spent a few mins talking to me. She told me that she understands what I’m going through with my dad’s dementia because her mom has Alzheimer’s. ‘Its rough. Maybe we should arrange a play-date!’ I laughed hard and loudly. Thanks B, for the best few mins I’ve had in a while!

So while I won’t ‘see’ my father as much as I would like, I guess I will have to relish the moments when he is ‘with’ me and look forward to the time when all of our ailments will be a thing of the past.

I love you and I miss you, Dad!

Visit me at:
zlynnphotography.wordpress.com
Have a Great Day!

Sent from my Palm Pre on AT&T

July 7, 2011

#12 – All Things Bridal – Go Green

by z.lynn

No, I’m not talking about Emerald Green, Hunter Green or even Lime Green. I’m talking Sustainable Green!

Your wedding is the perfect place to incorporate your practices and ideas that help our planet. You can also raise awareness to our earth’s problems and help others take notice of some real solutions. For your wedding day, sustainability goes beyond food, drink and wedding favors. According to Treehugger.com, the following are a few simple ideas that you can use to create a Sustainably Green wedding:

  1. Watch the numbers No matter what other choices you make, the biggest factor in the ecological and financial impact of your wedding will be its size. The cold hard fact is that each person you invite means more miles traveled, more food consumed, a bigger venue, and more waste when it’s all over. Since this is your big day, invite as many loved ones as you want, but keep an eye on the numbers and be aware that the more the guest list grows, the harder it is to draw the line: “Well, if we’ve invited cousin Jenni then we really should invite uncle Sami…”
  2. Source locally Almost anything can be found locally, but some things are more important than others. Food and drinks are a great place to start. If there’s a good micro-brewery down the road, why use up the earth’s precious resources trucking in a keg of your favorite organic ale? For finding local food producers, check out networking sites like Local Harvest in the US, or Big Barn in the UK. And while you’re at it, take a look at our guide to the 100 mile liquid diet. Flowers are also worth sourcing locally – community gardens such as SEEDS in Durham, NC (which this TreeHugger chose for his upcoming wedding) are a good place to start.
  3. Source green Everything you buy or rent for your wedding will have an environmental and social impact, so keep this notion high on the list when planning. Can you encourage caterers to use organic produce? What is your dress made of? How was the gold in the rings mined? Did those tasty little gift bags of chocolate involve slave labor? Even if you can’t establish the green credentials of every single supplier, at least by asking questions about such issues you are already making a difference. Remember though, what is green may not always be obvious–while a hemp suit may be a good eco-statement, if it is going to sit in the closet for most of your married life, you could be much better off with a traditional rental service. Similarly, party rentals for things like linens and glasses are a classic example of a product service system–something we are very keen on here at TreeHugger. They provide the perfect means for getting the most use out of minimal resources. And don’t forget your local thrift store–ball jars make excellent vases and a pre-loved wedding dress can get you a classic look at a fraction of the price.
  4. Pick your venue Choosing a location that is as close to as many of your guests as possible will reduce your wedding’s impact in a big way. But once you’ve done that, you might also want to consider what type of venue you will be using. If you are not tied to a particular church, synagogue, mosque, or rammed-earth eco-dome, why not consider supporting your local community garden, farmer, LEED certified building, or other worthwhile project? This TreeHugger and his soon to be treehugging wife will be tying the knot at Celebrity Dairy, a local low-impact dairy farm in North Carolina that, conveniently, does excellent green-minded catering. Not only will your wedding serve as a useful source of revenue for the chosen local hosts, it can also raise awareness of their work and send a strongly personal message about the issues that you and your partner care about.
  5. Green your transportation So, you’ve picked the venue, now how will you and your guests get there? Try to provide as much information on transport options as possible. Let them know that you’d really appreciate it if they arrived by train, bus, bike, or at least by carpool. You could even include a link to travel guides like Seat61 in the invitations. If you are a little ways out of town, why not provide shuttle buses–that way you don’t have to worry about drunk driving either. It may also be a good time to educate your guests about alternative fuels: “what do you mean this bus is running on used veggie oil?” And while your own transport is likely to be a small part of the overall footprint, it certainly sends a big message. Pictures of the happy couple arriving on a Christiania Bike or G-Wiz electric car will preserve the eco-propaganda value of your wedding for some time to come.
  6. Make it personal While you’ve definitely got to throw a good party, it doesn’t need to feel like ancient Rome (or the Playboy mansion). What you lack in material decadence, you can make up for in personal touches. Why not ask friends to grow and bring flowers? You’ll end up with the most fabulous flower (un)arrangements ever seen, and your guests will appreciate being involved. Or why not create a scrap book to which friends and relatives can add poems, drawings, pictures, or anecdotes. These are the things that most folks remember most fondly–not the chocolate fountain or the cut-glass chandeliers.
  7. The perfect eco-invites An invitation sets the scene for a party, so you don’t want to look cheap or tacky, but you also don’t want to compromise your principles. Fortunately, there is an increasing number of suppliers of recycled, handmade, or tree-free invitations out there–check the bottom of this guide for a list of suppliers. Some may offer a self-assembly option, which saves on money but can take considerable work, others will put the whole thing together for you. If you are happy breaking from tradition, then electronic invites like Evites are worth considering, too.
  8. Gifts of conscience There are almost too many retailers of green gifts to mention these days, and many offer registry services. So why not ask for that solar cooker you’ve always wanted? Popular eco-choices for gift registries include Viva Terra, Branch, and Gaiam. Many local craft stores may also do registries, and even mainstream retailers now have many eco-options, such as organic linens, etc. Remember though, less is almost always more when it comes to being green–so think carefully about how many bamboo yoga mats you really want or need. If you have all you need, why not create an online donation registry to a worthy cause instead?
  9. Offsetting the rest To be truly green, make every effort to cut emissions, waste, and other negative impacts of your wedding at the source. However, the thing is still likely to create a significant impact. Offsetting can be a means of taking responsibility for that impact and channeling funds into some positive projects–as long as you pick your offset provider carefully. Popular choices include Terrapass, Native Energy, and MyClimate in the US, and Climate Care in Europe. Native Energy even has an online wedding offset calculator. If you can’t afford offsets for the whole wedding, then why not offset a portion and ask guests to contribute to the rest? You can at least include information on offset providers on the invites so guests can choose whether to offset their travel. Be aware though, that some see offsetting as fundamentally flawed, no matter which provider you choose–so make sure it fits with your version of what’s green.
  10. Communicate Whatever you do to green your wedding, make sure you tell people about it. Screening An Inconvenient Truth during the ceremony is probably over the top, but you can still take advantage of having your friends and family gathered in one place to do a little friendly education. Tell them about yourselves and about what is important to you. If you can create a wonderful, magical celebration that treads a little lighter on the planet, then people will remember it. Too many folks still believe environmentalism is all doom and gloom–this is the perfect opportunity to prove them wrong!

Think about it. If we all just change one thing that we are doing now, it will make a difference.

Go Green!

‘Til next time,

z

😉

July 6, 2011

#11 – All Things Bridal – Fascinate Them

by z.lynn

Your wedding is one very important day where you want to sparkle and shine. And why not, since you are truly the center of attention.

Some brides have opted to wear a fascinator instead of a traditional veil. A fascinator is a head covering worn on formal occasions, as was prevalent during the Royal Wedding of Will and Kate. The fascinator can take the form of a traditional hat covering most of the head or it can be a simple clip or comb with a floral or feather theme. Some brides have even chosen to include a birdcage veil which covers the face or just the eyes as a nod, of sorts, to the traditional veil.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you FASCINATE them!

Until next time,

z

😉

July 6, 2011

#10 – All Things Bridal – Make your list and check it twice…

by z.lynn

Creating an itinerary/checklist for the “Day Of” and even the “Week Of” your wedding is essential for a successful day.

Your “Week Of” checklist will include activities such as: 1) checking with any guests who haven’t RSVP’d so you will be able to, 2) provide a final head count to the caterer; 3) pack for your honeymoon and wedding night; 4) confirm beauty appointments, for example. Any last minute things that come up or still need to be handled must appear on this list. Provide a copy to your MOH or LIW (Lady in Waiting) so that they will be able to assist you with checking items off the list quickly.

The itinerary for the “Day Of” will have an hourly schedule of the day’s events to ensure that you stay on track. This list will also be provided to your LIW, as this is her main responsibility. She is your personal assistant (although, your MOH may also serve in this capacity.) Some brides have even created a separate itinerary for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to help keep things orderly.

Both of these lists help to keep your day orderly and stress-free. Utilize them as much or as little as you need them.

See ya next time,

z

🙂

June 27, 2011

#9 – All Things Bridal – Check ’em Out

by z.lynn

Planning a wedding is probably one of the few times where you will have to deal with various vendors to ensure that the event is a success. You may have to utilize a caterer, a venue, a seamstress, a wedding planner, a DJ, etc. Prevent potential frustrations by:

  • asking friends for referrals to reputable vendors
  • asking the vendor for referrals from previous clients
  • ask yourself – Are they late to your appointments? Do they return your calls when promised? Do they have a professional appearance? Could you see yourself befriending this person? (Yes OR No will be an appropriate response, depending on the nature of the relationship you foster with them)
  • check them out: BBB

If they are new in business, and you feel comfortable working with them, it is still be a good idea to:

  • ask if you can watch them work
  • observe how they treat other people
  • talk to their employees or other associates

A wedding can be a stressful time, help yourself eliminate some of that stress by carefully selecting your vendors.

Check them out, before you sign!

See ya next time!

😉

z

June 20, 2011

#8 – All Things Bridal – Maid/Matron of Honor

by z.lynn

I am so sorry for the delay in getting these to you. It’s been pretty ridiculous around here. Thank you for your understanding and patience. Without further ado, the series continues here…

Maid or Matron of Honor

This position in the wedding party carries much honor but also a lot of responsibility. Among other things, the MOH is responsible for the bachelorette party, help the bride in choosing the details (dress, color scheme, theme, location, etc), planning the bridal shower, and the list goes on and on!

When choosing someone to fill this weighty role, some of these tips may be helpful:

  • Are they old enough and responsible enough to fulfill all of the duties – Accompanying you to find a dress and shoes is one thing, but can she plan a bridal shower – complete with sending invitations, helping you register and purchasing food (costs can be split with other BM’s)? Does she handle pressure well? As the days get closer and closer to the wedding, you will need to rely on her more than ever. If she stresses easily, you will become stressed. Is she organized? She will be helping you to keep track of most of the goings-on of your wedding. Does she have the time? Is her calendar already full? Most of us have jobs and family obligations not to mention other things that we are involved with. She should be available or be able to make herself available to assist you with whatever you need.
  • The MOH does not have to be a close friend or family member – It is customary to want to honor your friend, your sister or best cousin. But if they can’t fulfill all of the obligations of the MOH position, there is nothing wrong with considering someone else. If you feel as if you have to include that close friend or sister, there is nothing wrong with having more than 1 MOH, if necessary.
  • The MOH must be supportive of your decisions but tactful when necessary – The MOH is your right-hand-girl to help you with all aspects of planning and executing your wedding day and other events leading up to that day. She must help you make decisions but also support and, sometimes, communicate your decisions to the rest of the bridal party. There may be times, however, when she will need to kind of, rein you in, so to speak, if you may be getting close to your budget or don’t have enough time to complete some task, for example. Since the planning and the day itself can be stressful, the MOH should help to remind you of your obligations firmly but tactfully.
  • What is her disposition? – Is she friendly and cooperative? Or can she sometimes be a complainer or even jealous of you? Let’s be real, just because you’ve been friends, like, forever, doesn’t mean that she’s going to be the best choice when it comes to having someone who will do whatever is necessary to help you on your day. Ultimately, your MOH is cooperative, willing to do the job, can criticize without being critical, trustworthy, not selfish, knows when to compromise, and, among other things is truly happy for you even though she might not be in a relationship.

Although the MOH has a lot of responsibility, choosing the right person or persons will make your day even better!

Check out these other resources:

http://www.ourweddingday.com/advice/Traditions/5-Essential-MOH-Responsibilities/1145.aspx

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=169658616413549

http://www.themaidofhonorguide.com/

http://wedding.theknot.com/bridesmaids-mother-of-the-bride/bridesmaids/articles/maid-of-honor-duties-in-detail.aspx

See ya next time,

z