Bachelorettes and all that jazz

You already know my wedding had a bomb-ass cheese theme. But did you know I also had a kickin’ bachelorette party theme?

At 29+, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted the whole bachelorette thing. All my college friends did the party in Peoria, where we went to college, and we traipsed the sentimental bar tour we took the last week of school before graduation. Unfortunately for me, by the time I opted in to the marriage achievement, most of those bars had closed.

20s themed bachelorette party

So I debated whether to have a party at all. Ultimately,  as many of my friend groups’ token extrovert and party girl, they all kind of expected something epic from me. Not one to leave my friends disappointed, I told Katie that I wanted a theme. And costumes.

Tuxedo oreos for a 20s themed bachelorette party

We settled on the 1920s and all things flapper and gangster. The party would start with a small shower of my friends at my house and conclude with a party bus to the city and stops at a few speakeasies in Chicago. Costumes not required, but highly encouraged.

Photo booth station with costume add-ons for a 20s themed bachelorette party

Yes, that is a photo booth in my stairwell.

My bridesmaids made fancy crafty things (some of which are still decorating my home today), set up tasty snacks, baked pretty desserts, and planned games and activities for guests to enjoy. I provided the booze because we always have plenty of liquor and bubbles for thirsty guests (I really like to throw parties).

20s themes bachelorette party - homemade decor- signs and boas and pearls everywhere

Ally was basically Pinteresting the shit out of this thing…you know, something I refused to do for my wedding. I expect that when she gets married, I’m going to have my work cut out for me.

Bead and martini glass waterfall for a 20s themed bachelorette party

My friends are incredible. Several of them flew or drove in from out of town and even out of state for this shindiggity. How lucky am I?

20s themed bachelorette party 20s themed bachelorette party

To start my look, I had the hair trial scheduled, because what better day to test out your wedding hair than the ultimate girls night out?

I had my wedding hair trial the day of my bachelorette party

My friend Laura, who also did all my wedding flowers, is super crafty and provided upcycled dresses from Savers for costumes. She added beads and feathers and much to Brian’s dismay, glitter to the dresses and brought them over for me to try on. Katie made me a selection of mix and match headpieces for the ultimate bridal set.

Bride costume for a 20s themed bachelorette party

My pal, the Banosnapper, doing what she does: Bano snapping.

I think the ensemble turned out pretty awesome.

As the day went on, I drank A LOT of champagne. When we finally hopped aboard the party bus, I was flying high.

20s themed bachelorette party

We made our first stop at a speakeasy that inspired the whole plan. One of my city-dwelling friends, wearing her sassy dress and headband, had already been to the venue to scope it out since we couldn’t make reservations. She came out to greet us but to our dismay, the bouncers informed us that we could not proceed. He said that costumes were not allowed. Now,  we may have had flapper style dresses, but no one was wearing anything that you wouldn’t find in a store save a few added embellishments.

As my friends tried to explain, the bouncers got even more defensive.  “This is a speakeasy. Not a club. And you can’t wear headgear.” We were wearing headbands. No one asked us to remove them before entering; they just told us point blank we were in violation of their dress code, and we could not enter. We also tried explaining what a speakeasy is, and the premise of the 1920s to no avail. They must not have paid attention in history class.

Some of my friends went to the speakeasy’s website and looked up the dress code. Nothing about costumes or headbands being banned. It definitely felt like we were being discriminated against due to the appearance and size of the bride and some of the guests (it’s an unconfirmed suspicion, because how do you even confirm that?).

After I found out what was happening,  I may have gone to yell at the bouncers. I was pissed off that they were ruining my plans, and I don’t like when my plans fall through. It’s part of my Clark Griswold complex.

20s themed bachelorette party

This is our motley crew at Black Finn. That’s me in the back hugging the manager.

Luckily, my friends were quick to recover, dragged me from the bouncers before I punched one of them, and pointed us in the direction of Black Finn, where the manager bought us a round of shots and things got way better. I also got way drunker, but that’s expected at this sort of party.

Drumk girl selfie at a 20s themed bachelorette party

Things got a little fuzzy after that…

We made our way to a third bar, where I started doing shots with strangers at the bar and wandering around a bit more than one should. It was time to go home.

We called the party bus for our pickup and started winding down. In the bus, I called Brian, who had spent the afternoon out of the house but came home shortly after we left. I told him we (me and the 8 other people who’d be spending the night at our house) were on our way. And we really NEEDED tacos.

He said he’d pick up tacos and we texted him an order. My sister-in-law was also texting him with apologies for getting me so drunk and warning him of my impending arrival.

We came home to tacos and beds everywhere. Brian had set up air mattresses and put sheets and blankets on all the couches, so there’d be room for everyone to sleep. The dining room table was overflowing with tacos and burritos and horchata. If he hadn’t already proven he was going to be the best husband ever, this definitely solidified it.

Did you have a bachelorette party? Have you been to any crazy or themed bachelorette parties? Tell me your stories!

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!

Where’d You Get Those Crazy Ass Yoga Pants?

For the last several months, you’ve seen me prancing around Instagram, blog conferences, and, let’s be completely honest here, real life in the most amazing (or obnoxious) pants known to man. And for the most part, I’m pretty sure you love them as much as I do. Many people have asked where I find my yoga pants (which are really just my daily drivers, because I work in a surprisingly lax office that lets me wear tie-dye and bright patterns). I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but I am real…and I’ll give you the DL on my yoga-wear obsession.


YOGASMOGA - Free Shipping
My personal preference is to wear cotton yoga pants, as they stretch nicely and fit comfortably without digging. I’m also a huge advocate for the fold-over waistband so that I can 1. smooth out the area from my waist to my hips without some horrible elastic waistband creating more rolls and wrinkles and 2. not have a horrible elastic waistband digging into my belly.

I have spent the last 8 months on the hunt for the best plus-size yoga pants around. These are my favorites.

And to be completely fair and transparent, I’m going to tell you my pants size. I wear anywhere from an 18 to a 22.

The OG Pants (Victoria’s Secret Most Loved Yoga Pant – size large)

My go-to leggings, yoga pants, and shorts have always been Victoria's Secret. They also double as dress pants.

Green top – Victoria’s Secret, White top – Soybu, Swimsuit – Swimsuits for All, Sports Bra – Bare Necessities

Unfortunately, as of March 2017, these are no longer for sale on the VS website. And my heart is pretty much broken. The Most Loved Yoga Pant from Victoria’s Secret was my be-all, end-all favorite. I have them in legging, cropped legging, capri, and short version. To say I live in yoga pants is an understatement. I wear them under skirts and dresses or on their own. The fold-over waistband is amazing (I always unfold that waist band up to my waist). I wear a size large. I’ve tried the extra large pants, and they’re not tight enough for holding my shit in if you get my drift. Pro-tip: If you’re going to keep the waist unfolded, opt for the non-sequined versions.

Tie-Dye Dream (Shining Shakti – Classic Pant – size large)

I love the colors and designs of Shining Shakti yoga pants and leg warmers.

Shorts – Victoria’s Secret, Swimsuit – Swimsuits for All, Tee – Victoria’s Secret PINK, White tank – Soybu

My first pair  of funky yoga pants came from Shining Shakti, a retailer based out of the Chicago suburbs. The website is shut down, but you can still find a few rogue pairs here and there (like on yogadirect and Etsy). My yogi girlfriend is BFFs with the former owner and told me I absolutely HAD to try them. I was skeptical because…size. She promised they were super stretchy, much like my beloved VS pants. I discovered they went up to size XL, and was ecstatic, fearing they would be ridiculously tight. When the owner saw a photo of my yoga-ing on Instagram, she told my pal I should start with a large. I did, and went back for 3 more pairs plus two pairs of leg warmers to spruce up my VS pants.

Banana Pants and Other Fan Faves (Couture Tee – Fold-Over Flare and Legging – size extra large)

I am obsessed with Design Your Own Yoga Pants by Tristan Christopher - I seriously wear these Couture Tees yoga pants everywhere. (1)

Teal cami and black tee – Torrid

I ordered a surprise pack of these magical pants and was not disappointed. The Etsy shop by Tristan Christopher takes several months to make, dye, and ship your pants, but once they arrive, you’ll be thrilled with the product. The were definitely worth the wait. Not only will it be exciting the day your pants arrive, but you’ll also have the added joy of surprise designs! If you give them your measurements, the designers will guarantee a perfect fit, so I highly recommend you do that. They recommended an extra large, and the pants fit me exactly as I wanted them to. The surprise pack also goes up to a size XXXL, so girls of any size can rock these amazing pants.

I've been a Fabletics subscriber since March, and I'm really enjoying the sports bras, shirts and yoga pants.

Salar fold-over capri and sports bra – Fabletics, Green tee – VS PINK and Lima capri – Fabletics, Black cami – Torrid and Salar capri – Fabletics,   Yellow backless tee, sports bra, and Salar crop –  Fabletics, Black tee – Torrid and Salar fold-over capri – Fabletics

 

Pants with matchy matchy sports bras and tanks (Fabletics –  Salar Capri Fold-Over and Ayni Sports Bra – size XXL)

I’m a Fabletics junkie (that link is for a referral that earns me $10 if you sign up and is not an affiliate link). I used to max out the sizes here, and sometimes it was hard to catch the XXL before they were sold out or waitlisted, but now they go up to 3X, are easier to catch, and are oh so comfortable! When I catch the ones I want, I love them. These aren’t cotton, but they’re still pretty comfortable. I’ve tried some of the other pants, but my fave is the Salar fold-over. The sports bras are ideal for me (racerbacks tug on my neck and shoulders thanks to my boobs, so I prefer sports bras that have different strap options).

 

You will occasionally see me don other colorful pants from other brands, but I don’t fully stand by those brands just yet. These three are my tried-and-true lower body besties. They hug me on the daily. These are the ones that I would recommend to you. If you want a complete list of the brands that haven’t worked out for me or that I’m still trying out, you can send me an e-mail and I’ll hook you up with the rest of my legging and yoga pant finds.

No one asked me or paid me to write about my love of yoga pants. Some of the links are referral or affiliate links so if you click through, I may earn points or money to buy more yoga pants. Oh and keep this blog running smoothly.

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!

I Was on Pinterest Before it Was Cool

No seriously. I was.

I’ll bet you joined Pinterest just before Christmas…Maybe you joined in January, after the holiday excitement settled down. Or maybe you just started pinning about 3-4 months ago. But not me.

I joined when the only friend I had on there was the friend that recommended I check it out. (Thanks, Molly!) Then I made Penny get on it. But there we were on it before it was big. Before it was crazy. Before it was cool.

This is my Pinniversary, so I thought that I would share my favorite things that came from Pinterest. I used Pinterest for Halloween last year. It was perfect!

In order to find the perfect Halloween costume, I pinned everything I could. I’m of the making-your-own-costume-is-better school of thought, but my version of making is scissors and hot glue. I don’t sew. Not my style. So Poison Ivy was my plan…

This is what I came up with:

Poison Ivy Makeup

OK, so the makeup was professionally done by an amazing costume company in Batavia, IL called All Dressed Up (I’m not that much of a genius…the chick literally GLUED glitter to my lips. It was awesome.) She painted the ivy on my face using face paint, glitter and glue (including my glitter glued eyelids). She then glued the ivy to my face with the glue as well.

More makeup

After I decided that I was going to be Poison Ivy, I told Brian that he could be any Batman Bad Guy that he wanted. He opted for Ras Al Ghul. He got a green cloak, added gold accents and shaved his beard all funny. It was awesome.

Poison Ivy and Ras Al Ghul

For the Poison Ivy costume, I took a velvet dress I found at a thrift store and cut the neck down to something borderline inappropriate and trimmed the sleeves (which I used as leg warmers). Then I individually glued fake ivy leaves (also acquired at thrift stores) all along the edges of the dress and spiraled them up and around the back.

For my accessories, I glued sprigs of ivy to a headband so I would have ivy in my hair, I glued a piece of ivy to a cheap necklace, and then I individually glued ivy leaves all around a pair of pointy toed pumps. I bought the plus size green tights and almost called it a day…when I realized I had a green purse that would be perfect with ivy glued all around it as well. To this day, this was one of my favorite costumes.

Poison Ivy and Satan

With Cletus. Check out my shoes!

The poison ivy costume maybe cost me $15… and about 20 hours of manual labor. Yes, I individually glued on all of those leaves. On the dress, on the shoes (those shoes were BLUE), even on a purse. The shoes and purse were my pride and joy–I still have the whole thing.  I was pretty impressed with myself. (OK, I’m usually pretty impressed with myself…but other people were impressed too!)

I also used Pinterest for pumpkin carving ideas. That first year, I believe that I personally carved about 14 pumpkins which was suprisingly, ridiculous amounts of fun. Probably some of the most fun I’ve had with pumpkin carving. Because I pinned the crap out of awesome ideas.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So there you have it, my Pincreations from the days before Pinning was a thing. From the days when I actually had to Google shit to put it ON Pinterest. (Yes, most of my original pins were pinned from Google images. You’re welcome.) So thanks to me, Poison Ivy Costume Hunters can have a great Halloween.

What are your favorite things to pin on Pinterest?

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!