Our Cheesy Wedding

So, I’m thinking on Wednesdays, I’m going to try posting little snippets and tidbits from our wedding, mostly because THERE’S SO MUCH TO SHARE, and I really don’t want to overwhelm y’all.

I figured the best place to start is with our wedding theme…which came together at the very last minute.

It all started with a cheese cake. A cake made of cheese wheels. Both Brian and I aren’t big fans of cake, and the thought of tasting tons of cake and paying for tons of cake when that’s not what we wanted was less that desirable. I originally thought cheesecakes, but Brian doesn’t like those, either.

Cue big giant wheels of my favorite thing on the planet (Brian not withstanding), and we had ourselves a cake that dreams are made of.

If you love cheese as much as I do, I highly recommend the cheese-themed wedding.

Originally, I had planned to vet the wheels, find the cheapest prices, order them, and set them up, all by myself. Basically, pre-wedding me was insane. (You’re going to see as this series unfolds that people like me aren’t DIY experts, so if you’re looking for those kind of wedding planning tips, you’re in the wrong place, my friends. If, on the contrary, you’re looking for realistic, I-paid-someone-to-do-it and I-have-the-best-friends-on-the-planet advice, I’m your gal.)

About two months before the wedding, I realized I was crazy and definitely didn’t want to add more to my to-do list, so I called Whole Foods Orland Park. I knew they had a kickin’ cheese selection and there was one near the wedding venue. I worked with two unbelievably wonderful people in the cheese department, and they were just as excited about our cheese cake as I was.

No cheese themed wedding is complete without wheels of cheese...

Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography. The piece de resistance of our wedding was definitely the cheese wheel cake. Some people thought it was a cake made to look like cheese, but no. It was a cake made of cheese. Obvi. Laura decorated the cheese table and added the extra flourishes, accoutrements, and MORE CHEESE.

I’m so glad I called them because it turned out to be one of the best wedding experiences I had with vendors. After some back and forth with the cheese selections, in which they sent pictures and prices, and I asked for changes a few times, we finally had a pretty good idea of what we were going to choose, and I thanked them for their patience.

They invited me down to Orland Park for a cheese tasting, and I was already in love. Brian had zero interest in most things wedding, so I brought my pal Laura, who is a godsend and amazing. She managed a significant number of day-of wedding details for me, did my flowers, candy buffet, and handled the cheese cake.

Our wedding cake was three tiered cheese wheels. This was the demo from Whole Foods.

Whole Foods set up a clothed table with a sign that said, “reserved for the future Mr. and Mrs. Woj” and flowers and little place settings. They set up a cake with the wheels we had chosen so we could see and touch.

At Whole Foods, we tasted all three cheeses: Marieke Gouda, a young Manchego, and a Petite Basque, and they even paired the cheese with three glasses of wine. After I placed my order (in which I got 10% OFF for buying whole wheels), they handed me a lovely goodie bag with Whole Foods treats and beauty samples as a thank you to their bride. OMG I died. It was about a month before the wedding and I had yet to feel super duper special with any of the wedding vendors I was working with. None of the bridal events I attended were even close to this magical.

You can ask your cheese vendor to make shaped displays with goat cheese.

Laura made Whole Foods turn cranberry goat cheese into beautiful heart-shaped displays. There was one on the head table just for us, too. It was fucking perfect. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

As the wedding day drew near, I stumbled across mini cheese grater favors. We had planned to donate to a charity in lieu of favors, but once I saw those, I knew what I needed to do.

If you're going to have a cheese themed wedding, you need to have cheese grater favors.

Mama Bear tied ribbons around each grater the week before the wedding, and Ally, my night before slumber party bridesmaid, handled the sticking of the names on the grater boxes at midnight the night before the wedding. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

A week before the wedding, I also decided to make Snapchat geofilters, which is SO EASY.

We created Snapchat Filters for our cheesy wedding

Two of my Something Blues (More on that next week) using the Snapchat filters I made.

I had also thrown around the idea of naming tables instead of numbering them…but I was lazy and just kept putting it off. Until the day before the wedding. Brian was printing table names and labels for the favors with guest names and their tables. I was just trying not to freak out because it was 1 o’clock in the morning.

We named our tables after cheeses

The hardest part was coming up with the 28ish different cheese names for the tables…Laura managed all the centerpiece decorations and shit. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

But it all came together so nicely. And cutting the cake WAS THE MOST FUN THING EVER.

As I was cutting the cheese cake with my new husband., we kept laughing

Take note: It’s surprisingly hard to cut into a giant wheel of cheese. I recommend a practice cut. We were supposed to cut into the bottom layer, but that was not happening, so the top layer got the knife instead. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

Taking a bite out of a big hunk of cheese makes for an awesome cake cutting ceremony at a wedding.

I could not. Stop. Laughing. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

Our cake cutting was hilarious. Because the cake was made of cheese.

You guys. We cut the cheese at our wedding. We CUT. THE. CHEESE. Photo by Andrew DiMonda of Xcite Photography.

And THAT’S how you have a cheesy wedding.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

7 Easy DIY Halloween Costume Ideas for Women and Couples

Halloween is definitely the holiday of all holidays around here.  My family and friends totally jump into Halloween head first. It’s the fourth family holiday. It’s the ONLY holiday my aunt flies in from out of state to celebrate with us. It’s kind of a big deal around here.

I figured you may be looking for some Halloween costume ideas – I know I still am…so I thought I would help you out and share some of the best costumes my people have put together in years past. You’ve already seen my bouquet toss winner Halloween costume…and my Sally costume…but I’m not the only one with the ideas. Several of my friends have given me permission to share their photos and costume ideas with you, so you can see what excellent company I keep over here in the real world.

Fast(ish), Easy DIY Halloween Costumes

My pal, Brookie Banosnapper showed up at my RIDICULOUSLY EARLY (First week of October early) Halloween party last year in this ensemble. Best. Idea. Ever.

Grumpy Cat Halloween Costume

One of my friends from college, Shelli was unrecognizable by many of her friends when she showed up in this costume! I was a big NCIS fan a few years back (which was when Sheli threw down this costume. I wish I could have seen it in person, but she lives a few (hundred) miles away from me.

DIY ABBY NCIS Costume

Deb, one of my favorite English teachers, rocked it in her garden ho costume. Her English/theater background worked well with this punny costume.

DIY Garden Ho Costume

Valerie showed up to one of our Halloween parties in this creative garb a few years back, before everyone was doing it. She already had dark hair and a good chunk of the wardrobe requirements, so this costume was a breeze for her. No one noticed that she had black chucks on (shhhh).

Flo Progressive Halloween Costume DIY

Dynamic Duos: Couples/Pairs Halloween Costumes

Ron and his best friend decided they would be the ultimate best friends for Halloween. Not that I’m a fan of these two dumb dudes, but I hear they’re pretty popular with the ladies.

Lloyd & Harry Dumb and Dumber Costumes

Our friends Ava and Mike are super awesome, and they came to our Halloween party at the apartment last year as Hawkeye and Hawkeye, which I thought was a totally fantastic couples’ costume. Right?

Hawkeye and Hawkeye
And then there was the costume set that Brian and I opted for last year. Captain Mal and Kaylee from Firefly. It wasn’t my favorite (partially because I ordered the coveralls from eBay and they did not fit the way I wanted them to…)

Captain MaL & Kaylee (3)Friends, what should Brian and I do for Halloween this year? It appears we’re going to be moving right around Halloween, so we’re strapped for time. Any suggestions? What are you going to be for Halloween?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

DIY Halloween Costume: The Bouquet Toss Winner

Happy October, Blog Friends! It is now officially acceptable for me to get excited about Halloween and BOY OH BOY am I excited for Halloween.  Of course, we won’t be throwing a Halloween party this year. And we don’t (yet) have a house to decorate for one of my favorite holidays, but big things are happening this month. Big things.

I figured I’d kick the season off this year with a little Halloween costume love.

A few years ago, whilst I was dating the bartender, I came up with the most brilliant Halloween costume, if I do say so myself. Mom and I were sitting in her room, brainstorming ideas. My mom is a BRILLIANT costume creator, so it only seemed right to run ideas back and forth with her. I was broke, out of work, and in college, so I knew I wanted to keep it cheap. I figured I had a couple of bridesmaid dresses hanging around my closet to use, so we started thinking about ideas…

The next thing I knew, I was plotting the ultimate bouquet toss winner Halloween costume. I started with the dress, which I ripped to absolute shreds. Then I bought fake nails, which I glued into the shredded dress. I saved a few of the nails, which I left to put in my hair.

On the Saturday before Halloween that year, my mom and I got to work for all the parties I was headed to. We started with my hair, spending an hour creating one of those bridesmaid-esque updos. As soon as it was finished, I pulled and tugged and messed it up. It was important work. I then stuck fake nails into the knotted mess and even a few flower petals.

I put on the dress, so Mom and I knew what skin space we were working with. We started with bruising, using a plethora of eyeshadows to create blue-gray-green bruising all over my body, including one black eye. We moved on to scratches (with all those broken nails, scratches were a must). This was accomplished with real scratches (light ones) that Mom traced with dark red lip liner to maintain them all day long.

Bouquet toss

I needed to add a smidge of fake blood, so I put one earring in, and blood coming down the other ear. I also figured a bloody nose would look pretty convincing. I finished the look with a single high heel, crutches and an ankle brace because I’m hardcore.

My then-boyfriend picked me up for our Halloween festivities in a hoodie and camo pants with a mask in his backpack. A mask that he may have put on twice throughout the entire day.

We started at a Halloween wine-tasting event at my local liquor store, where I was competing in a costume contest to win a wine refrigerator. I walked around the place, petitioning my cause and making sure that EVERYONE voted for me. If ever I had to explain what I was, I had a whole speech prepared.

“I caught the bouquet. You should see the other girls. I mean, it’s not what catching the bouquet MEANS…it’s about taking out the competition.”

I went home with a wine refrigerator that day.

Last year, at work, I thought I would revive my favorite Halloween costume of all time. I took it to a more gruesome level, and was pretty pleased with the results.

If you're looking for a creative, unique Halloween costume with an old bridesmaid dress, consider the bouquet toss winner.

I may have looked more like a zombie than a live person, but I couldn’t stop adding gore. I especially liked the knee cut. I won a contest there, too…but never received my prize…grumble grumble grumble.

Of course, the best part about this was taking the train home in costume. I looked fucking spectacular, and it wasn’t Halloween proper, so no one else on the commute was dressed up. It was kind of magical.

If you're looking for a creative, unique Halloween costume with an old bridesmaid dress, consider the bouquet toss winner.

I still don’t know what Brian and I are going to be for Halloween this year, but it’s sure to be a scream.

Blog friends, what’s the most creative costume you’ve ever come up with? Would you rip a dress to shreds to have fun with Halloween? Are you down with the gory costumes? What are you going to be for Halloween this year?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Two Hours in the Life of Me. A Typical Atypical Day.

The other day my morning progressed in the following fashion:

7:00 AM: Woke up. Late.

Got dressed. In the dark.

Packed some snacks for work and yogurt for breakfast.

Waited on Brian. (This is unusual as he is typically waiting on me.)

Gave Brian my gigantic umbrella. Used a tiny substitute.

7:42 AM Missed my train. By a millisecond.

Thought to self, So this is how the day is going to go.

8:25 AM Got to the city.

Walking to work, I looked down at my shirt. Inside out.

Got to the elevator.

Thought to self, If the ‘vator is empty…

Then people jumped on. Got to the 16th floor.

Realized I didn’t push the 13.

Thought to self, So this is how the day is going to go.

Pushed 13. Flipped shirt outside in.

Elevator opened.

8:45 AM Got to desk.

9:00 AM Looked for yogurt. Left bag at home.

Thought to self, So this is how the day is going to go.

And the day pretty much continued like that.

Sometimes, I feel like this is the norm moreso than it is unusual for me. Inside out shirts, forgetting things at home, not paying attention to where I’m going, fixing the problem in the most inappropriate way ever…I mean, if anyone had gotten on the elevator between floors 15 and 14, they would have gotten a much better view. Also, I think there’s a camera in the elevator. Whatever.

If you don’t believe me, here are a few additional examples.

That one morning when all hell broke loose with the broken glasses and the freezing and the ugh right before vacation.

That other morning when I was a little late to work because I forgot my keys

That time I got a concussion because of a no parking sign and the Willy Wonka of meat candy.

That other time I almost died because of an invisible wire.

I mean, at least it’s spread out over the course of several months, right?

Me on a good commuter day (okay, fine...this was on my way home.)

Me on a good commuter day (okay, fine…this was on my way home.)

Why do we rush around so much? What’s your rushed morning look like.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!