Thursday, July 21

A Bittersweet Symphony...

...yeah, that's life.

Most of you already know that it's time to semi-retire my sequined skirt. Assuming a new identity is almost like starting a new job. You're still the same you, and yet it's different.

Against all blogging advice, I'm going to try and keep my two personas separate and unmet. I've shared some things here that won't make it over there. And I won't lie - it's kind of fun to get a proverbial 'clean slate.'

Thank you for all your love and support for pink sequins. Without you, I wouldn't have had the confidence to put myself up for the new challenge. Knowing you were there reading, commenting, and encouraging kept me honest and posting every day. I appreciate you more than you know. With all of my pink sequined heart, thank you.

With happy tears, it's time to sign off. If you want to know where I've landed, feel free to hit me up on email and I'll be happy to share my new adventure with you!

Love and aloha,
ps. xoxox

Monday, July 18

Crack Open the Bubbly

Hello darlings, I'm on top of the world after receiving the most exciting news today! A sweet friend brought over some sparkling Brut Rosé to celebrate.

The sparkly wine went straight to my head and I cannot get my thoughts together to post about our venue search like I had planned to do today. Please forgive me, I'm a lightweight.

I'll reveal the surprise soon, and you can safely assume that we're not expecting - lol! It's amazing how many people make that leap when there's news to share :)

Happy Tuesday!

Spreading the Love

Post-proposal, we headed back home to start our normal Friday - except now we were ENGAGED! Yay!

Remember my man-gagement present? Well, so much time had elapsed since we bought it and in the flurry of excitement in proposing, Mr. PS forgot that now he could wear his watch. Double yay!

* personal photo *

Notifying the parental units was the very next order of business. I'm originally from Ohio, and my parents still live there. Because of the distance, Mr. PS placed a call earlier in the week to ask them for their blessing. Such a gentleman! As Mr. PS tells the story, Poppa PS questioned "are you sure?" and then said "good luck with that." What a joker.

As I mentioned before, I've had a prior engagement (or two). My parents knew of Mr. PS's upcoming proposal and instead of the expected phone call I decided to send flowers to announce our engagement, hoping to bring in an element of surprise.

Momma PS received the flowers and did what any proud mother would do - she posted a photo on my Facebook wall for all the world to see.

* personal photo *

Oh crap! I saw it during a business lunch and could not call her fast enough. Delete! Delete! Delete! Mr. PS had not yet told his family, and we planned to host a dinner with them at our favorite local restaurant the next evening. That picture had to go, and STAT. I'm friends with Mr. PS's siblings and we didn't want to ruin the surprise. After a quick scramble, she figured out how to erase the evidence. Could Momma PS keep it a secret for another 24 hours?

Um, in a word - no. To her credit, she lasted almost 20 before she posted it on her own wall. Sneaky, sneaky mom. My extended family started peppering my FB with congratulations. Sadly, I deleted each one as it came in and dinner could not come soon enough.

Somehow Mr. PS and I managed to keep our engagement under wraps until dinner. Mr. PS's brother came down from the Bay area and his sister and family traveled 3 hours to be there. His other BIL speculated that someone was either pregnant or engaged. We maintained our poker faces.

I don't know, doc!

Finally after we had all eaten, Mr. PS made the announcement and my ring found it's rightful place back on my finger. Whew! I'm a terrible liar and felt relieved to reveal our secret.

FMIL PS inspecting the goods
* personal photo *

Engagement watch and FMIL PS tearing up
* personal photo *

It's officially official!
* personal photo *

We gave our families a little engagement drama and those stories bring back a flood of excited anticipation as we spread the love...

How did you decide to share the news of your engagement with your families? Share your experience with me, did you receive any unique or unexpected responses?

Saturday, July 16

A Question You Should Say Yes To

If you type "marriage proposal" into a google search, you'll get back more that 5.5 million hits. And if you are a gal that really wants to get hitched, waiting tests even the strongest will.

I am embarrassed to admit it, but I was that girl. Starting to feel more than a little impatient, did I just need to go ahead with it myself?

Okay, maybe that's crazy talk. But, c'mon. I picked out the ring already. Then again, we agreed it would happen by the end of the year and it was only. . . August. Ugh.

To this point, you must be thinking that our story seems fairly typical of an impending proposal.  Except our marriage plans required us to factor in one slight complication - a major surgery that Mr. PS was facing, pun completely intended. You may have noticed in photos I've shared of Mr. PS that his face droops a bit on one side and his right eye is larger than his left.

* personal photo *

It took six years and as many doctors to diagnose Mr. PS with a very rare condition where a small benign tumor was growing in his auditory canal. It caused incremental paralysis on the right side of his face and the best treatment required a craniotomy and potential severing of his facial nerve.

Blue ink indicates the location of Mr. PS's tumor
* personal photo *

Thankfully the tumor wasn't life threatening and Mr. PS could wait a month or a decade to go in for surgery. I preferred to delay until after our wedding to be "wife" instead of "girlfriend." These thoughts came over as residual from my military days where a non-spouse held no validity as a partner. I also felt I could provide continual care as his wife using the Family Medical Leave Act if necessary.

The more he thought about it, Mr. PS wanted that sucker out of his head sooner rather than later. I felt torn. What if? What if? What if?

I decided that his health and want to take care of it trumped planning a wedding, so I declared a moratorium on marriage talk until after the surgery. The whole ordeal stressed me out and I couldn't process both life events simultaneously.

I'm very lucky that Mr. PS disagreed with my plan. He had the ring for a month already and was trying to decide how best to propose. Let's cue some music to set the stage:

Someday somebody's gonna ask you
A question that you should say yes to
Once in your life
Maybe tonight
I've got a question for you

It was early on a Friday morning. Feeling melancholy, I woke Mr. PS to tell him that I loved him and wanted to marry him more than any other want in the world. I would wait as long as it took to get through the surgery and back to our normal, and I wanted him to be my husband and father to our children regardless.

Not knowing that he had the ring all this time, he suggested we go for a walk on the beach. "Now?!" I said, surprised. Mr. PS rarely went for an early morning walk with me. We got dressed in sweats and ventured the short walk to our local beach. I didn't register it at the time, but he chose to wear the same clothes as our first date beach walk.

It was foggy and quiet at 7am on that fall morning. No one was around except for a flock of seagulls. We walked silently hand in hand for about half a mile when Mr. PS gently held me in a hug and positioned me to face the ocean.

Then he got down on one knee. What?! Is this really happening? Right now?! After all this time waiting for this moment, oh crap. Am I ready for this?

With tears in his eyes, he told me how much he loved me. That he wasn't perfect and he had his flaws, and still he wanted to know if I would spend the rest of my life with him.

I started laughing and crying at the same time. My eyes flutter when I'm nervous and Mr. PS says that he thought I was going to pass out. He asked me if I was okay. I nodded and said yes! If I could write it in the sky I would - YES!

We didn't have a camera with us that morning to capture a photo. But the proposal is burned into my memory and perhaps that's where it's best kept for me.

I'll still have to tell you how we shared the news with our families and celebrated together that night at a fancy schmancy restaurant. For now, here's a photo of me and my pretty ring near the spot where Mr. PS proposed.

* personal photo *

In what ways was your engagement similar or different? Did you have a long waiting period? When your beloved proposed, was it just the two of you? Or did it include family, friends, or a more public display of affection?

Friday, July 15

Could it be now? A Man-gagement Proposal

A few weeks after choosing my e-ring [backstory here], Mr. PS and I vacationed in Cabo. My bestie speculated that a proposal might be in the works, but I knew it was probably too soon.

Nevertheless, we had the best vacation ever! Surfing, sunning, and relaxing were the only activities on the agenda...

Land's End at El Arco

Reading my Kindle at Zippers beach

and I get to practice my surf photography!

yet there's still plenty of time to 'get wet'

Mission accomplished. I'll admit only ONE mistake than thankfully ended happily. Suckered into a timeshare presentation, we spent precious surfing time at non-existent hotel property so we could get the freebies - a jet ski excursion, glass bottom boat know the drill.

Seriously, hard hats required!

This was the first and only time I think Mr. PS wanted to shake sense into my head, haha! Four hours later we cried "never again!" and with vouchers in hand made haste to the nearest beach.

One coupon claimed $100 credit at Diamonds International jewelry store. If you're a skeptic like me, you'll appreciate the need to adventure in to see what you can buy for a benjamin. And just as I suspected, there was nothing. But....

As luck would have it, Mr. PS fell in LOVE with a watch in the case. I lapped all the displays twice as he OOHHed and AAHHed over this timepiece. It had all the features he wanted and was unlike any in his collection. He couldn't take it off and wouldn't stop gazing at its beauty. Alas, he sighed that he couldn't buy it because he was saving for my ring.

Aha! Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Exactly. I offered to buy the watch for Mr. PS with the condition that he could wear it once we were properly engaged. If I get to wear a sparkly ring, what's to say that Mr. PS can't sport an engagement watch?! In fact, the more I thought about it, it only seemed fair that he should have some bling to show off as well. Plus, the devil on my shoulder couldn't help but think it could be incentive. A little bribery never hurt, right?

Apparently and unbeknownst to me, man-gagement presents are all the rage. There's a post from Mrs. Nachos about the man-gagement watch she gifted her DH here. And, Mrs. Hot Cocoa raises the bar with a man-gagement ring. Very cool.

So we left Cabo with sun-kissed skin, lots of rest, and a gorgeous watch that Mr. PS would have to wait four months to wear. Which really only meant that I had to continue to wait (sometimes not so patiently) for my Tiffany treasure.

Doesn't he look happy and handsome?

What do you think about gifting your beloved to commemorate the engagement? What did or would you choose to present?

ps. In a special Saturday installment, I'll post the final part of our engagement story. Mr. PS gets down on one knee, yay!

Thursday, July 14

All Systems Crashing - Reboot Required

Hi friends! My apologies for this belated post. I haven't been feeling well for the past 2 weeks and it finally caught up and got the best of me.

You know this ad?

Yep, it's the one with the creepy doll. Well, I'm the target audience and also a customer. I guess it's time to reveal that part of me in more detail next week.

Last night, I fell asleep while writing the next part of our engagement story and didn't wake up for 10 hours. I feel like I could go another 10, but work beckons. Can anyone reach the wind-up key? I can't do it alone and I'm sure Mr. PS would appreciate an extra helping hand. Thanks, loves!

Forgive me, I promise to get to the proposal in tomorrow's post.


Wednesday, July 13

When All I Want Is You, Our Ring Story

Do you recognize this guy? It's Bono, lead singer of Mr. PS's all-time favorite band, U2. Appropriate for the topic at hand, I think. Click Watch on YouTube to cue the mood music…

“You say you want diamonds and a ring of gold
You say you want your story to remain untold

But all the promises we made
From the cradle to the grave

When all I want is you.”

I’m sure you can relate to your own experience when I say I’ll never forget the day Mr. PS proposed. To give you the full story, we must rewind time back five months before he was on bended knee. 

We had been living together in blissful harmony for several months and knew before we moved in that we were headed toward marriage.

Snuggle bunnies!

It was our dating 18 month-a-versary and Mr. PS asked me if I was happy. I looked at him with googly eyes and said yes, of course! Then he asked me if I was really happy. Again I said yes. Finally, Mr. PS nonchalantly mentioned that he knew what would make me happier, and stroking my left finger said “a ring.”

Girls, when a man tells you it's time to find your ring, you don’t ask questions – you just go! I immediately made a date with my bestie to start the search in Stanford.

I’ve been engaged before. Twice. I’ve been down this road once with a family heirloom and again with complete surprise. Needless to say, I picked neither the rings nor the men in the end.

This time I did what I’ve always wanted and headed straight for the place that starts with “T” and ends “& Co.” Oh yes, I’ve fallen completely for their marketing ploy – in my world this is where bridal dreams come true. Damn you, Audrey Hepburn!

Now I already know what you're thinking. It's just a name, you can get the same quality and more ring at a more affordable price point without the name. I know, I know. But c'mon. I can't resist that little blue box with the satin ribbon.

I tried on all the styles, and the classic Tiffany setting like the one pictured above chose me as 'the one.' Now if only I could figure out how to break the price news to Mr. PS. We didn't discuss budget before I rushed out the door. Seriously, we could by a car for the same money. Sheesh.

No bueno. Unless maybe I waited five years to get engaged...did I mention I was 33 years old at the time? My clock's ticking, I so wanted to be engaged, and yet here I was talking about postponing to get this ring?!

My bestie would not allow such crazy talk and offered to go see her jeweler for something similar. I had other plans and went to the Tiffany's closer to home in Carmel. How could I explain my situation delicately? I told my sweet consultant/gemologist Sarah that I reeeeeallllly wanted to be a Tiffany girl but could not ask Mr. PS for the car version and wondered if she could get me in the club with a ring more along the lines of a scooter. Vespas are cute, right?

Sarah's cautious optimism turned up success! My ideal ring and the only one in all of Tiffany's worldwide inventory was in THAT STORE! SCORE! Even Sarah was surprised to find it, so I knew serendipity was at work.

The next day Mr. PS humored me and met me during our lunch hour to see the ring. He agreed it was the one and even tried on some wedding bands. Oh, crap! We were really doing this! 

We talked about it and agreed that we would be engaged before the end of the year. I found my dream ring and now the real waiting would begin! 

Believe me when I tell you that even though I showed Mr. PS exactly what I wanted, the ring and proposal would be a complete surprise!

How do you feel about choosing the ring for yourself pre-proposal? Did you two go that route or was it a decision your beloved made on their own?

Tuesday, July 12

DIY Deets - 'I Do' Shoe Stickers

Here we go, how to give your soles a little DIY personality!

Step 1: Decide what you want the shoes to say.

Straightforward "I DO" separated on each shoe

Initials and date

Available from Etsy seller Morbid Materials

Step 2: Think about how you want the words to be read, e.g. kneeling or sitting. The photos you want to capture can help you decide so that the stickers are placed right side up.

Although we are having a full Catholic wedding mass, I suspect my dress will cover my shoes and so I chose to affix my stickers for a sitting photo op:

Step 3: Head out to local craft store to gather necessary supplies. Isn't this the reason we DIY? Shopping trip! Don't forget to clip your coupons or download them on your smartphone. 

personal photo

There are lots of fun options including rhinestones in a rainbow of colors! Since my shoes are already covered in blush pink sequins, pearly white was a better choice for mine.

Step 4: If you choose to bling out the lettering, here's where you pluck and stick. Repeat process until all your letters are covered in prettiness.

Step 5: Cut out your letters and decide their optimal placement. Don't forget your decision in Step 2 about how you want the words to read! I used clear photo mounting squares to mock up the look. Here's my first try:
Placed too high
personal photo

Step 6: Once you get it just right, stick those suckers on for reals, yo!

Step 7: Sit back and admire your handiwork. Aren't they so pretty? Aren't I so great?!

  • Sticko dimensional stickers. $3.60 + tax (after 40% discount from $5.99)
  • Recollections adhesive faux pearls. $4.20 + tax (after 40% discount from $6.99)

  • $8 in materials
  • 2 hours of time (less if you pre-buy alphas that are already blinged out)

Now, you may wonder why go to all the trouble for something most guests won't see. I'll leave you with two final inspiration photos to maybe sway you my way.

So romantic!

Read this, buddy!

There you have it! Do you think it's worth it, and did you/will you add this personal touch to your footwear? 

Monday, July 11

Kicking Up My Heels, DIY Style

Happy Monday! Another weekend down and closer to W-Day. I'm starting to feel time compress like this downward spiral.

Isn't that a cool image? I love me some google searching!

Anyway, it's high time to buckle down and get to work on our invitations. They came in two months ago and are sitting in boxes waiting for a loving someone to show them the light of day. So I did what any rational procrastinator would do and focused all my effort and attention.........on something else.

But not to worry, I promise that it was a wedding related project. Remember these lovelies?

personal photo

The sequin-covered topside makes me swoon every time I see them. The soles, on the other hand, were lacking a certain sparkle. You DIY-brides know what I'm talking about. 'I do' stickers! Inspiration abounds with a quick google image search.

Super duper cute, right? How adorable is the second photo as her 'something blue' with the added bonus of well wishes from her bridesmaids? My fellow brides on the Weddingbee message boards are also in on the sweetness.



An search yields over 80 options for 'I do' stickers. Grooms can also get in on the action and even go so far as to announce cold feet quite literally! 

With so many inspirations and options to choose from, this should be a no-brainer, right? Except with what you already know, I must find a way to complicate even a seemingly straightforward project. So I started my search at Michael's Arts & Crafts for the perfect stickers. There are at least 10 stores within my work geography and you can bet I checked the racks of at least 8 of them.

After finding a font that appealed to me in the right size and with numbers as well as letters (this is not as easy as you might initially think!) I consulted a friend about my choice. She liked them except wished they had more depth. Inspiration struck again at Michael's where I discovered adhesive faux pearl bead embellishments. What if I put them on top of the sticker to get more of a 3-D effect?

personal photo

For two hours I plucked those little suckers and stuck them lovingly to 12 letters & numbers. Look for my full tutorial in tomorrow's post. Until then, here's a peek at the finished product. I'm so pleased with the result!

personal photo

Nothing compares to crafting on a lazy Sunday in pajamas, haha! A special thanks goes to Mr. PS for snapping this shot. Now if only I could magically transform that pile of waiting invitations...I guess that's what next Sunday is for.

personal photo

What wedding DIY projects are on your list? How do you prioritize which ones to tackle and what's been most rewarding so far?

ps. xoxox

pps. I'd like to offer a heartfelt "CONGRATULATIONS" to my friend Bellanouva who found herself engaged this past Saturday. Yay!