I’ve Been Making Money Off My Indifference

One of my favorite things about fall and winter is the frequent appearance of chili on the menu.  During college football season, Eric and I often head over to his parents’ house to watch the Nebraska game (okay, he watches and I just enjoy the company and food).  And most of the time we have big bowls of chili during halftime.

Eric’s mom makes great chili.  We usually bring some home for leftovers, and I’m always sad when the last bit is gone.

I, on the other hand, have been hunting for the perfect chili recipe for years.  Don’t get me wrong … I love trying new types of chili.  But I’d really like to find a chili recipe that Eric and I love.  A go-to chili recipe that’s delicious and thick and spicy and comforting.  And while I’m still searching for that perfect chili recipe, this one could be in the running (with some more tweaking). 

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I couldn’t get a decent picture of the chili, so this has to do.  Although it doesn’t look overly appetizing, I can promise that it tasted pretty damn good.  Personal photo.

Meaty Thick Man Chili

Recipe taken from http://www.allrecipes.com.

Adapted by me!

Ingredient List:

  • 3 to 3.5 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1 30 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15 oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or the equivalent of jarred, pre-minced garlic if you’re pressed for time)
  • 3 tsp chili powder (I tried to use quite a bit to get a nice spicy flavor, but I think it could actually use even more next time.  I’d recommend playing around with the amount and adjusting it to your preferred level of heat.)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup water (I might add more water next time, though.  I love really thick chili, but the leftovers were almost more sauce-like than soup-like.)

Instructions:

1.) Layer the uncooked turkey*, tomato sauce, kidney beans, Great Northern beans, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, sea salt, black pepper, and water in a crockpot.

2.) Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally to break up the meat.

3.) Enjoy!  (No, seriously … That’s all you have to do.)  I always like to eat my chili over a bowl of rice (as you may be able to see in the picture I posted), so I made some white basmati rice to go along with this meal.  We had some shredded sharp cheddar cheese available as a topping, and I’m sure sour cream would be great as well.  Eric also made the lemon poppyseed muffins you see in the picture.  Yum!

*Note:  I didn’t brown the turkey before putting it into the crockpot because it was a busy Saturday and I really just wanted to dump everything in and (mostly) forget about it.  It was fine that way, but I may brown it in some olive oil next time in order to add some more flavor.  It also might allow me to break up the pieces of meat a little more.  I had some huge chunks of meat (as you may have noticed in the picture), which was fine for the most part … I’d just prefer a more even distribution of meat throughout.

Baby, I’m Bad News …

After my last flop of a post (okay, maybe it wasn’t that terrible … But it definitely wasn’t my best work), I decided to take a week off from blogging.  Sometimes I feel like I should be writing something, no matter what it is … You know, just to keep the creative juices flowing.  (Or something like that.)  But lately I’ve been trying to take a step back if I’m feeling burnt out.  I mean, I started this blog because I enjoy writing and because I wanted to share some of that writing with others.  I didn’t start it because I had to.  I didn’t start it to make money.  So there’s obviously no reason for me to stress about coming up with interesting topics for this blog.  If I can’t come up with something, I just won’t write.  (Or I’ll just share random pictures of stuff I like.  That’s fun too … Sometimes.)

Anyway, on to more important things.  Like music.

One thing you should know about me is that I love to sing.  I’m not an amazing singer by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m not bad either.  Truth: I don’t usually really sing in front of other people.  I mean, I’ll sing … But in a goofy, not awesome way.  A lot of my friends (even close friends) have never heard me really sing.  Well, unless they’re friends from high school … I was in a musical back in the day, after all!

I’ve always harbored this somewhat secret dreamworld image of myself as a famous singer.  I know, I know … It’s ridiculous and dumb.  But even in my dreamworld image, I’m not some super hot pop star pulling in millions of dollars from album sales, sold out arena shows, and various endorsements.  I’m more like Tori Amos or Fiona Apple … A singer/songwriter who doesn’t necessarily appeal to the masses because she writes/sings about whatever moves her.  (Yeah, I’ve probably thought about this a little too much.)

My best friend, Kevin (the same Kevin who was Man of Honor in our wedding), and I always used to joke around about auditioning for American Idol.  I’ve only seen a few episodes of that show in my entire life, so I’m no expert on what they’d be looking for.  (I do know that I’m now beyond the cutoff age, though.  I’m old.)  But … There are other similar types of shows.  And though I know I realistically would never make it on a show like that (and, if I’m being completely honest with myself, I don’t think I’d want to be on a show like that), once in a while I like to think about what I’d sing if I were to audition.

These are songs that I enjoy singing in the privacy of my car or apartment.  These are songs that I actually feel pretty confident singing … So if I ever actually had to sing in front of someone else (and I mean actually sing), I wouldn’t be mortified.  Well … Maybe.

So here are ten songs (the ones that immediately come to mind) I would consider singing if I were to audition for a talent competition:

10.) October – Broken Bells

9.) Bottle It Up – Sara Bareilles

8.) Raining in Baltimore – Counting Crows

7.) Back to Black – Amy Winehouse

6.) In the Aeroplane Over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel

5.) I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

4.) Miss Misery – Elliott Smith

3.) Snow Cherries from France – Tori Amos

2.) Oh Well – Fiona Apple

1.) Of Space and Time – City and Colour

A Double Standard You Invoke When You Want

I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel today.  I kept trying to come up with unique and interesting list ideas for today’s post, but I just … Couldn’t.  Maybe next week.

For now, I’ll just share some cool things I found on Pinterest.  This might not be the most innovative post I’ve ever written, but I still had fun writing it.

Eric and I look at homes online a lot.  We’re not ready to buy just yet, but it’s fun to look at what’s out there and determine what’s most important to us when choosing a house.  

One thing we both really want is a bar (most likely in a finished basement).  I love the idea of having something like that for entertaining (or just when we feel like having a drink).  So of course I decided to look around on Pinterest to get some ideas.  I mean, I’m just looking so I can have a “just looking” (a.k.a. unlimited) budget, right?  

This week’s list: The Top 8 Coolest In-Home Bars Found On Pinterest

8.)  Image

This is pretty simple, but still nice.  I like the lighting and glass front cabinets.

 

7.)  Image

I love the brick on the counter, and the ceiling is amazing.

6.)  Image

If this is actually in a house, it’s crazy!  It looks more like a lounge than a basement bar.  I don’t really like the design of the counter that much, but everything else is awesome.

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This bar is a little small, but it’s gorgeous.  I pretty much love everything about it.

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I really like the stone on this one.

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This looks like a super classy man cave bar.  I even like the staircase in this picture.  

2.)  Image

Simple, but lovely.  

1.)  Image

This is amazing in every way.  That wall of wine is awesome!

Marked In Your Words: I’m The Joke, I’m The Bastard

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that I read a lot of Kurt Vonnegut’s work in 2012.  I’ve only reviewed a few of those books here so far, though, so I’ll be sharing my thoughts on another today.

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Image courtesy of http://www.vonnegutreview.com.

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut

275 pages

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is, quite simply, about a man named Eliot (one t, not two like my beloved Elliott Smith) Rosewater.  He is fabulously wealthy, as he is heir to a large fortune that has been placed in the Rosewater Foundation to prevent outsiders from getting their hands on it.  Unfortunately, he is also an alcoholic with questionable sanity.

He desires to help others, claiming to love everyone no matter what.  He sets up shop in a dilapidated office in Rosewater County, Indiana using the Rosewater Foundation to help others however he can.  It’s a very bizarre setup.  People will call him at all hours of the night crying about their problems, and he will then offer them something (usually a fairly small amount of money) to make them happier and allow them to make it through yet another day.

In Rhode Island, his cousin Fred Rosewater (who doesn’t know until about halfway through the book that he’s Eliot’s cousin) is a poor insurance salesman.  When he finds out through a lawyer that he’s related to the Rosewaters, the lawyer suggests they set out to prove that Eliot Rosewater is certifiably insane and unfit to be in charge of the family fortune.  Since Eliot has no children, the paperwork for the Rosewater Foundation states that the money would go to Fred if something should happen to him.

Overall, this novel is pretty light and humorous.  Poor Eliot just wants to be a good person … And though he’s definitely weird, I don’t think he’s actually insane.  I think he just can’t wrap his mind around the fact that so many people in Rosewater County feel so unloved and unimportant (mostly because they’re poor, unattractive, etc.), so he makes it his mission to make them all feel better about themselves.

It’s a very weird book (though, to be fair, most of Vonnegut’s books are weird), but an overall enjoyable read.  The main issue I had with it, however, was the fact that the reader never really gets to know Eliot.  He’s written to be a fairly likable character, but maybe that’s because the reader never really gets inside his mind.  I don’t necessarily need books to be written in first person (though I do tend to like that), but I like when an author will at least allow his/her readers a glimpse into the mind of (at the very least) the main character.  If I don’t know much about them, sometimes it can be difficult to care about them, understand their actions and motivations, etc.  As I said earlier, I don’t think Eliot Rosewater is actually insane … But the key word there is think.  I honestly don’t know whether he is or not since I never got to know him well enough.  Yes, it’s just a fictional character.  But when I’m reading something (or watching something, for that matter), I want to be drawn into that world … I want to experience life through the eyes of those characters.  And, perhaps more importantly, I want to give a shit about what happens to them.

I would recommend this book to others, though I’d probably also issue a warning that it’s a little weird and sometimes difficult to really get into.  I may or may not reread it in the future.  I don’t think I’d buy a copy for myself, though, unless I found it on clearance at a used bookstore or something.  Again, it’s not that it was a shitty book … There are just a lot of other books I’d much rather have taking up space on my bookshelf. 

That being said, I would rate God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater THREE STARS.  Basically, I enjoyed it for what it was, but it wasn’t the best Kurt Vonnegut novel I’ve read.

You Know You’re Better Than This

I haven’t devoted a Friday Lounge post to an article I’ve read in a while, and today seemed like as good a day as any to do this.  Once again, I’m using an article from my favorite online magazine, Slate.

The article is called “What’s So Bad About Likable Women?”  It was written by Willa Paskin and posted on Friday, 01/10/2014.

If you’d like to read the article on your own, here is the link:  http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/01/likeable_versus_unlikable_women_the_great_debate.html.

This particular article drew my attention because it’s something I’ve been noticing more and more in TV, movies, and literature.  There are often “good guy” male characters, the type that come with some flaws (though nothing too noteworthy) … And then there are the female characters who we want to like but can’t because they’re too brash, too crazy, too cruel, too something.

I’m currently reading Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (yeah, I know I’m late to the game on this one!), and Amy Dunne, one of the main characters, was specifically mentioned in this article.  I’ll be writing a more in-depth review of my thoughts on the book once I’m finished, but she’s a character that I find really interesting.  She starts off as incredibly likable.  I was literally thinking, “Wow, I can really relate to a lot of the things she says, does, and thinks,” as I was reading.  And then … She changes.  She isn’t really this likable woman at all, but someone who wants to appear likable.  I’ve read so many reviews (minus spoilers, of course) of the book in which people mention that they really didn’t like any of the characters.  But here’s the thing … I still do kind of like Amy.  (Granted, I still have about 80 or 90 pages left to read so I guess I could change my mind.)

I found it interesting that Willa Paskin points out at the end of this article that some people are actually drawn to unlikable characters.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  In fact, I’m one of those people.

When I was a kid, I often seemed to like the bad guys.  I wanted, just once, to see a kid’s TV show, movie, or book in which the bad guy (or girl!) won.  Of course, in the world of “happily ever after,” that generally didn’t happen.

As an adult, I’m still not really a fan of “happily ever after” endings.  That’s not real life (at least not most of the time).  And while I don’t always need my entertainment to be super realistic, I like that the option is there.  The good guy might not triumph over all.

The thing that bothers me about female characters in particular, though, is something Paskin also discusses in her article.  On the one hand, you may have a likable female character.  Unfortunately, she’s likable for all the wrong reasons.  She’s either a poorly developed cardboard cutout of a “good” woman without any “real” flaws or, if the character actually has some depth, she’s perfect in every possible way.  She may have had to work hard to get to that level of perfection, but dammit, she’s perfect!  On the other hand, we have the blatantly awful female characters, the psychotic bitches, the smug know-it-alls, the brash women who will say and do whatever they like, no matter the cost.  These characters are usually well developed, but unfortunately many audiences can’t connect with them.  It’s as though a woman can only be one of two types: she can have no personality and be likable or have depth and be unlikable … There isn’t a lot in-between (at least not in much of what is produced these days).

As someone who loves to write, it’s definitely something to consider when creating female characters.  Yes, there are some awesome female characters out there that are strong, intelligent, and likable (Katniss Everdeen is an example Paskin used that I have to agree with) … But too often writers want to make likable characters without having to think much about why they should be likable.  Sure, she’s pretty, likes to have fun, and doesn’t have any real flaws to speak of (except that maybe she’s a disaster in the kitchen or some other easily overlooked issue) … But why should I, as a reader/viewer, like this woman?

Since I’m often a fan of the unlikable characters, I may not have to place too much emphasis on finding the balance in creating a likable female character with real depth in my own work.  But still … I don’t want any audience I may have to dislike each and every character (female or male).  The thing is, sometimes a character doesn’t have to be obviously likable for you to like them.  You may like them because they do the things you know you could never do.  You may like them because, even though they’re obviously mean, they always say exactly what they think no matter the consequence.  Or you may even like them because you see a glimmer of yourself inside them, which may be both thrilling and terrifying.  Whatever the case, I think that in general female characters just need to be more developed.  Real women have depth.  And real women want to read about and watch TV shows and movies about women with depth.

At least I do.

You Are Made Of Sugar, Milk, And Molasses

It’s Tell All Thursday, so it’s time for another 30 day blogging challenge post.  

I didn’t really like the topic for today, though.  The original topic is “Describe your last kiss.”  Well, since I’m married and give my husband kisses pretty regularly, this would be a pretty boring post.  This is not to say that kissing him is boring or anything like that.  I’m just saying that I’d only want to read about someone’s last kiss if it had a really interesting story behind it (a kiss goodbye as the relationship ended, a kiss with someone famous, a first kiss in a new relationship, etc.). 

So I won’t write about that.  Instead, I’ll come up with another topic (though I’m really struggling with writer’s block at the moment) … Maybe then I can actually write an entertaining post!

This week’s topic: Creating New Traditions

This is kind of a broad topic, I know.  It’s something I wanted to write about, though, because it’s becoming increasingly important to me.

As Eric and I went through our couples coaching classes with our wedding officiant, I realized that something that makes me feel closer to someone (and like part of a family or group) is the creation of traditions.  It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate, and I’m flexible enough to allow for some additions and adjustments along the way … But there has to be something to look forward to at a specific time each year.

This year the holidays kind of flew by for us.  It was really unfortunate because I actually wanted to savor our first Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve together as a married couple.  It’s not that we didn’t spend any time together or anything … We did.  I guess I just didn’t plan well enough.

We did start one new tradition, though.  We decided that we want to start enjoying New Year’s Eve with a nice dinner out each year.  Even if we go to a party, spend the rest of the evening at home watching movies, go to a bar, whatever, we’ll start the evening off with a nice meal. 

This year we went to a restaurant in the Old Market downtown called Vivace.  We’d been there once before and enjoyed it.  They also had a special New Year’s Eve menu, so that gave us some more unique options (versus what they normally serve).  Eric ended up with a cup of saffron shrimp soup to start and the prosciutto wrapped beef tenderloin served with an oven roasted tomato, sage, and smoked gouda risotto and grilled asparagus.  I had a spinach salad with a fantastic creamy gorgonzola dressing to start and the braised veal osso buco served with potato gnocchi and steamed mixed vegetables.  Both meals were amazing, and we left with full and happy bellies.  (I wish I’d remembered to take pictures of the food, but we were enjoying our conversation and dinners so much that it slipped my mind.  I’m a terrible blogger.)

Our original plan was to hit up a couple of bars after dinner, but it was just way too fucking cold and windy to wander around downtown.  We ended up stopping at a store to get some wine and champagne and toasted the New Year together while talking and watching TV in front of the fireplace in our apartment.  It was cozy and sweet and the perfect start to our first full year together as a married couple.  I’d definitely want a repeat next year.

I don’t think traditions have to relate strictly to holidays, though.  That’s what usually comes to mind when I think about traditions, but we could really start any type of tradition we want whenever we want.  That’s the cool thing about creating a little family (or being part of a close-knit group) … You have an opportunity to create wonderful memories together by sharing experiences.  You can also give yourselves something to look forward to as the years go by, which is both comforting and exciting (an odd but nice mixture of feelings).

If anyone reading this wants to share, what are some of your favorite traditions (new or old)?  

But Something Told Her That He Spoke Of So Much More Than All Of This

When Eric and I were planning our wedding, I stressed about a lot of things.  One of the things I stressed about most was my wedding day look.

I think that most brides get a little anxious about how they’ll look on their wedding day.  For the average woman, her wedding day is the one day in which she’ll have the undivided attention of a bunch of people.  It’s also the one day she’ll probably want to remember for the rest of her life.  And hiring a professional photographer pretty much guarantees she’ll want to look and feel more beautiful than she ever has in her entire life.

Since this is such an important part of the wedding planning process, I’ll be devoting the next four Wedding Wednesday posts to the various decisions I made regarding my wedding day look.

I’ve decided to start this series of posts with a more detailed dress post.  Although I’ve previously written about my dress shopping experience, I didn’t give a ton of details.  This was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t want Eric to get a sneak peek of my dress.  (He does read this blog, after all!)  But now that the wedding is over, I’m ready to share more.

I had some pretty specific ideas about what I wanted in a wedding dress.  On my “must have” list:

  • Flowy/romantic
  • At least some lace (though I was pretty picky about the style and type of lace)
  • Unique details
  • Texture
  • Ivory or slightly darker (as long as it looked decent against my skin tone)
  • Strapless (though I would also have considered a one shoulder gown if they looked better on my body)

I also had some pretty specific ideas about what I didn’t want.  Some of the things that would get an automatic veto:

  • Stark white
  • Shiny material (such as satin, taffeta, and possibly other materials I can’t think of right now)
  • Pick-ups
  • Overly blingy, over-the-top dresses

I tried to keep an open mind when trying on dresses, but I was very upfront with the consultants at each bridal shop regarding what I liked and didn’t like.  I actually did try on a few dresses featuring elements I typically disliked, but I generally tried to stick with gowns that had all (or most) of the “must have” qualities.

My mom took a lot of pictures during the dress buying process.  I was definitely grateful that the bridal shops I visited allowed photos because these pictures ultimately helped me make my final decision.  Trying on a bunch of gorgeous dresses was very overwhelming for me, so it was nice to have the pictures to look at later when I actually had time to really think about all of my options.

I won’t post all of the pictures here because, to be quite honest, some looked completely hideous.  Like I would be embarrassed for someone to stumble upon images of me wearing these gowns (even though my head was cut out of most of the pictures my mom took).  Others were just blah and not really worthy of being noted here.  Not to mention the fact that I tried on something like 28 dresses at 4 bridal shops.  That’s just too many dresses to post here!

I will, however, post a few of the dresses that I really liked.  These are in no particular order, though I will save my top three (including my final pick!) for last.

Allure 8901

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Image courtesy of http://www.allurebridals.com.

That’s obviously not a picture of me in the dress, but I think it’s kind of helpful to show a stock photo as well, especially in this case.  The sample I tried on was kind of ragged (the bottom no longer draped correctly and the gown was so stretched out that they had to shove a couple of pillows into the back to hold it on), so I don’t think you can get the full picture from my personal photos.

I tried on the dress in the champagne/silver color option, and I really loved it.  It was surprisingly flattering against my skin tone (I’m pretty pale, though I don’t really look that pale in these pictures for whatever reason), and it made my body look pretty good.  It’s a blingy dress, but not over-the-top.  The skirt was draped in such a way that it looked a bit like it had pick-ups (which, as I mentioned, I really do not like), but it fell in a way that didn’t make me hate it.  And while it didn’t have any lace, it had everything else I was looking for.

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See what I mean about the ragged sample?  Personal photo.

I decided not to choose this dress for a couple of reasons.  First, I wasn’t completely sold on wearing a big ball gown.  I wore a big ball gown for my senior prom in high school, and, to be honest, this dress reminded me quite a bit of that dress.  They were in no way identical, but they were similar enough that I didn’t think it would be the right choice for my wedding day.  The other deciding factor?  I felt like my chest was on display.  I know that the sample wasn’t fitted to my body, but it still gave me an idea of what it might look like … And I really didn’t want the focus of the day to be my boobs.  So I had to say no to this one.

Back Camera

You can see the beading a little better in this picture.  You can also see the lumps created by the pillows they had to shove down my back.  Personal photo.

Marisa 815

Marisa wedding gowns are notoriously difficult to locate images of online (so there are no stock photos for this one).  They don’t spend much money on advertising, so there are very few pictures of models wearing their dresses (or so I’ve read).  I’m pretty sure this is the correct name of the dress, though, since my mom wrote everything down for me and gave me her notes after each appointment.

Back Camera

The sash was sold separately, but I don’t have any pictures of me in the dress without the sash.  I also realize that readers of this blog probably know what I look like since I’ve previously posted pictures of my face, but I really didn’t want my face to pop up in a Google image search of this dress style … So I blacked it out.  Personal photo.

This dress made me feel incredibly chic and sophisticated.  It gives the illusion of being taller (something I really appreciated since I’m only 5’1″), and is also very slimming.  It was, without a doubt, a gorgeous dress.  Sometimes I still look at the pictures of myself in it and think that it would have been a great choice.  But it wasn’t “the one.”  It didn’t have a lot of the elements I wanted in a wedding dress, and it also didn’t make me feel amazing.  It made me feel pretty, but it didn’t wow me the way other dresses had.

Back Camera

The back of this dress was gorgeous (as long as you can pretend those red clamps aren’t there, of course).  Personal photo.

Watters Malibu

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Image courtesy of http://www.watters.com.

I thought this dress was stunning.  It met most of my requirements, and though the sample was a bit snug (I hadn’t dropped much weight at the time I went dress shopping), I loved the way it fell on my body.

Back Camera

Again, I blacked out my face to avoid having it plastered across Google image search.  Personal photo.

My main issue with this dress was that it seemed to be made with a spring/summer wedding in mind.  I mean, just look at the stock photo from the Watters website!  It’s a beautiful dress, but it just seemed so wrong for a November wedding.  It would have definitely made the top three if I had gotten married in the spring or summer, though.

Back Camera

This really was a stunning dress.  Personal photo.

La Sposa Maya

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Image courtesy of http://www.lasposa.info.

This was one of two lace gowns I really loved.  The scalloped neckline and subtle vertically striped underlay were nice unique details I really liked.  And the train on this dress was beyond gorgeous.

Back Camera

I don’t think this sash came with the dress (if I remember correctly), but I didn’t have any pictures of myself in the dress without it.  Personal photo.

Unfortunately, the dress just didn’t really feel right.  It was dramatic and classic and bridal and beautiful … But when I closed my eyes to picture my wedding day, I didn’t really see myself wearing anything like this.  It was hard to say no to this one because it was so pretty.  But, again, it wasn’t “the one.”

Back Camera

See?  The back of this gown is just breathtaking!  Personal photo.

Pronovias Dagen

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Image courtesy of http://www.pronovias.ca.

When I first got engaged, I started looking at a lot of wedding dresses online.  I wanted to get an idea of the things I liked and didn’t like, and I wanted to know what was out there.  I spent a lot of time looking at pictures of dresses, but I think I spent the majority of my time on the Pronovias website.

I was in love with so many Pronovias dresses that it was kind of ridiculous.  I went into dress shopping with the idea that I’d probably end up purchasing a Pronovias gown.

And I almost did.

Back Camera

Again, I don’t remember if the sash came with the dress or not, but I don’t have any pictures of me without it.  This picture is unfortunately a little out of focus, but you can at least get a general idea of what the slightly too snug sample looked like on my body.  Personal photo.

This dress was a dream.  It made me feel like I was floating on clouds with the romantic, flowy skirt.  The lace was beautiful, and the train was gorgeous without being as dramatic as the La Sposa Maya.  If the dress had been altered to fit my body, it would have been a great choice.

But something just didn’t feel right.  I thought a lot about the dress, looking at the pictures of myself in it over and over again.  I worried that maybe I was too attached to the idea of wearing a Pronovias wedding dress that I was focusing more on the designer than the dress itself.  I didn’t get any excited feelings when I had the dress on.  It was just a pretty dress.  Beyond that, I felt like it was just a “typical” wedding dress.  It was beautiful, sure … But it looked like pretty much every other lace gown out there.  It wasn’t special enough for me.

Back Camera

This dress is obviously gorgeous … But it just wasn’t for me.  Personal photo.

And finally, my dress.

Watters Odette

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Image courtesy of http://www.watters.com.

I think I mentioned this in my previous post about dress shopping, but I’ll mention it again.  I tried this dress on at the second bridal shop I visited.  It was a dress I had pinned on a “secret board” on Pinterest, and I was so excited that I would actually get to try it on.  When I first pointed it out to my mom in the bridal shop, she wasn’t very enthused.  She said it was a nice dress, but it wasn’t as pretty as some of the others that were hanging nearby.

I was determined to try it on, though.  And I’m so glad I did.

Back Camera

Again, I’ve blacked out my face due to the dreaded Google image search.  I have the same sash on that I was wearing with the Marisa dress as well (a sash I will be writing more about in a future Wedding Wednesday post).  Personal photo.

I loved that this dress incorporated everything I wanted in a wedding dress: it was romantic and flowy, had some lace detailing, had some beading (but no over-the-top bling), and had some nice texture with the sash I added.  It was also a darker ivory, strapless, and had a very unique skirt.  It was perfect.

I didn’t want to take this dress off.  I cried when I saw myself in the dress at my first appointment, and even cried again when I made a second “just to be sure” appointment.  Even though I struggled with the final decision, I knew for sure after the second appointment that it was the right dress.  I felt so beautiful.  And coming from someone who never feels beautiful, that’s saying a lot!

Back Camera

The sample didn’t fit that well, but I wanted to show off how gorgeous it was in the back.  Personal photo.

I never regretted my decision.  Yes, I still see wedding dresses that I think are gorgeous.  Yes, I still sometimes look at pictures of myself in the other wedding dresses and think, “What if I’d chosen that one?”  But you know what?  I’m glad I didn’t choose anything else.  I got so many compliments on my dress on the wedding day.  Everyone told me how unique and beautiful it was, and how it was very “me.”  And while I wasn’t wearing the dress to receive compliments, it was nice to know that others also thought I made a great decision.

I can’t wait to share more wedding day photos on this blog to show how everything came together!