Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Back When I Was a Bachelorette..

So we're going to rewind the blog a little bit, back to the beginning of the summer (I told you I was late posting about a few things!).

I had a wonderful bridal shower in my hometown, surrounded by my family and Mr. Bliss' family, given by two of my bridesmaids - my cousin and Mr. Bliss' sister. The rest of my bridesmaids (the girlfriends mentioned in the Martha post) were busy planning a bachelorette party to be held two weeks after the family shower.

The party was in Washington, D.C., home of my maid of honor Becca. I flew in a little earlier (along with Jenn) and the three of us enjoyed an afternoon of shopping around Georgetown, making a stop at bluemercury so I could buy my wedding makeup and enjoying a long lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. During the evening we eagerly awaited the arrival of the rest of the girls and once we were all reunited we enjoyed an evening of pizza, wine and catching up.

girl time!

The next day started with bagels and mimosas (what more could a girl ask for, really?) and then a knock at the door. The girls had arranged for a visit from Nail Taxi, a mobile nail boutique in metro areas (and genius idea!). We were able to lounge around and eat breakfast while getting manicures and pedicures - it was the perfect morning!

a great morning!

off to more fun afternoon activities...

I was told we had dinner reservations to get ready for when evening came. We got all dressed up and Christa and Emily tucked me into a taxi with them and then proceeded to blindfold me! At this point I was wondering where the heck we were going (as I heard them whisper to the taxi driver). After we got out of the taxi and walked up to the "restaurant" (with an elevator ride in there too), the blindfold came off and I was standing in front of door with a pretty sash displaying photos of my growing up. We were at Becca's apartment at a surprise bridal shower for me!

once the girls heard that i had a white dress for the weekend, they all packed black dresses. i had no idea!

so surprised!

becca had asked mama bliss to send photos of me growing up as well as photos of me and mr. bliss. they were all over the apartment!

I think I've mentioned before that Becca is a party planner by trade (and by nature). Check out all of the adorable details she put into the party.

cute take-out boxes full of my favorite thai food. becca's sister owns chartreuse and lent her design talents for the takeout boxes and invitations.

blueberry martinis for "something blue." we loved the rock candy stirrers.

yup, that's a big poster of me and the wall. becca had kinko's blow up a photo of me from college. underneath the poster is a table full of my favorite candy (junior mints and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!).

christa made a beautiful fondant cake (on a work-night no less!!).

can you believe this is the first time she had worked with fondant?

i couldn't! no wonder she said she was tired yesterday!
i think at this point i was in tears, feeling so darn lucky and loved. cheers!
then I got crowned - no crazy bachelorette paraphernalia (thank goodness!).

becca had put together a little bride & groom quiz. she had emailed mr. bliss with a list of questions earlier.
becca checking mr. bliss' responses. he had some really sweet answers to some of the questions.
traditional bridal shower fun. how cute is this pot from mackenzie-childs? if i had to describe a "ms. bliss" pot - this would be it. love the yellow polka dots! thanks, jenn!

a few more toasts and we were off for a night of dancing!
We had been calling this The Summer of Love (with two weddings in our group of friends this summer) and it certainly delivered! I couldn't have asked for a better weekend spent with the most thoughtful and fun girls.
Stay tuned for lots of wedding projects, including what I got these fabulous girls as bridesmaid gifts...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Sisterhood of the Travelling Martha Book

I need to preface this post by telling you a little about the people who I am lucky enough to call my best friends. Adjectives fail to describe to how amazing they are. They are smart and spirited. They are kind, generous and oh-so-funny. They are the kind of friends who you know will always be there. We were fortunate enough to all cross paths at the beginning of college and together have shared an unforgettable collegiate experience, the bumpy road to "real life," cross-country moves, trips abroad, break-ups and new beaus and now three weddings. While none of us live in the same city, we are as close now as we were when we spent our entire days and college nights together.

Three years ago, Jenn's darling Adam asked her to marry him. The phone call chain started and the five of us were over the moon ("we're going to have a wedding!!").

Jenn and Adam had recently moved to the west coast, where she was going to graduate school. We were sad that we couldn't immediately see Jenn to celebrate, so we decided to send a package from all of us. A bouquet of parrot tulips were sent to the bride-to-be and a copy of the Best of Martha Stewart Weddings book (we all have a deep appreciation of "good things" a la Martha). Becca, the party planner of the group, bought the book and put little Post-its throughout, with suggestions and opinions on different things. She also wrote a letter to Jenn at the front of the book from all of us.

Here we are all at Jenn and Adam's beautiful wedding in August of 2006. L to R: Ms. Bliss, Christa, Emily, Becca and Jenn.

Fast forward two years later. We were all in California, visiting the happily married Jenn & Adam. Our dear Christa had just gotten engaged a week prior to the trip and the first item on our agenda was to celebrate with her. We enjoyed mimosas and endless chatter our first morning there and Jenn presented Christa with her copy of the Martha book. Instead of buying a new one, Jenn wanted us all to share the tradition of this book. She wrote a letter to the bride at the front of the book and peppered her own Post-it notes throughout its pages.

A girlie trip to Disneyland, just after Christa got engaged, May 2007. L to R: Ms. Bliss, Becca, Emily, Christa and Jenn.

Fast forward six months later. Mr. Bliss had asked the big question and I had said yes! I was happily planning and of course wishing that my best friends were nearby to celebrate with. And then the FedEx package came. The travelling Martha book - I couldn't believe that it was my turn. I opened it up and saw Christa's letter to me, which started "Dear Ms. Bliss, Congratulations! We could not be happier for you. You are going to marry your best friend!" I flipped the pages and heard the voices of my girls in their Post-its - Becca's expertise about logistics, Jenn's unmatchable sense of humor and Christa's sweet commentary on details.

letters to the brides.

I sat on the couch and I flipped and flipped. Mr. Bliss knew that I was having a moment with the girls and with Martha and he let me enjoy it.

I heeded Jenn's advice and went with buttercream for our cake.

A few weeks later, Becca visited for New Year's and we enjoyed some time with Martha over peppermint hot cocoa.

You know you are kindred spirits when you unknowingly have the same pajamas.

Two months later, Christa visited for a ski weekend. Our fiancees (now husbands!) laughed when we snuggled up on the couch with Martha one night.

Last night I was cleaning our condo (something I have been obsessed with post-wedding) and I came across the Martha book in a pile of wedding stuff. I flipped through again, taking in the beautiful photos and remembering the sweet details that I loved about our wedding day. I found the perfect spot on our bookshelf and tucked Martha away. I don't know when I will get her out again. But I do know that I will be absolutely thrilled that one of my best friends is about to experience the joy that we have this past year. I will write her a letter - "Congratulations! We couldn't be happier for you. You are going to marry your best friend!" - and send Martha along with love.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I'm back online after the most happy and whirlwind two and a half weeks.

Our day came and was all that we wanted it to be and more than we could have really imagined. The sun was shining, our friends and family surrounded us, and we made the most serious (and seriously beautiful) promises to each other.

We rode the trolley, frolicked in fields for the camera, danced, danced, danced and felt completely surrounded by love.

Now I know you want the photographic evidence, and believe me, I can't wait to share. I should have professional photos in a few weeks and in the meantime, I have so many posts in the works about all of the fun things that led up to the wedding (not to mention the fabulous honeymoon to Hawaii). Stay tuned!