Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vendor Review - The Ceremony and Church

I want to keep this brief, since I was not originally planning on saying anything about the ceremony at all....As it turns out, I think the ceremony may have been my favorite part of the entire day.

We started about 10 minutes late (I just told you why, in the past post), and as soon as I got to the alter, Father Steve (or rather, Monsignor Steve!) said to me "Take a deep breath, relax, we'll get this thing back on track!!". After that, Father Steve proceeded to give the most down to earth, heartwarming ceremony I have ever, ever heard....

Let me give you a little history about Mike and I and Father Steve. When Mike was a volunteer fire fighter and EMT, Father Steve was the department Chaplain. Everybody loves Father Steve, he is a down to earth guy that is always genuine and kind, but has a wicked good sense of humor. I say "wicked" good because he's from Boston - well, actually, I think he's from Ireland originally, and then Boston. Either way, the man rocks.

When Mike and I got engaged the very first thing I said was that we needed to go talk to Father Steve to see if he would, please please pretty please, marry us. I was so excited when he agreed! Over the past three years Father Steve has since become a Monsignor (congratulations!) and left the Fire Department to take on greater responsibilities. A few weeks before the wedding I told him how afraid I was that I was going to cry the entire time - or worse, giggle the whole time! He reassured me that even if I did cry or laugh, and on the day of the wedding, when I got to the alter in one piece, he said "you did good!" in his endearing Boston/Irish accent.

In fact, on the day of the wedding I did not cry at all, I was too in awe of everything around me to even feel anything other than joy. I took a sigh of relief when Father Steve told me I was sitting up too straight, and I laughed when he joked about the different methods I may need to try in order to wake Mike up from deep sleep. He told all of our guests about how, when Mike was in the fire department, the department installed amplifiers to Mike's pager because he was such a deep sleeper that he would sleep through the normal alarms....Father Steve told us never to text the words "I love you", but to speak them, face-to-face. Overall, the ceremony really felt like a conversation between us and a man/friend we deeply respect, love and look up to. It was touching and beautiful, and I genuinely regret not having a videographer, because I wish I could replay the ceremony over and over again...

Here are a few pictures...

Vendor Review - Limos and Transportation

I'm back with more reviews!! I hope you're not bored yet, caused I'm keeping these coming!

The one thing I left up to Mike to handle was the transportation for us and the bridal party. He ended up booking through Elegant Limo, and here are some of my thoughts around transportation....

I had originally wanted to rent one of those vintage type trolleys for the whole day to serve as our bridal party transportation and the guest shuttle service, but my family thought it was a terrible idea. I was frustrated to see that the traditional car and limo package was three times the price as my beloved trolley would have been and I absolutely couldn't bring myself to spend the money. So, I had Mike do it....and he got lucky because while the stretch Escalade might not have been vacuumed the night before - the drivers more than made up for it!!! In fact, the entire timeline for the day very easily could have been blown when the wedding that was taking place at church before us was running over 40 minutes late....but our awesome limo drivers saved the day!! I'll explain after the first picture below...

Mike booked us the 1938 Caddy, driven by Ray, and the 20 passenger Escalade, driven by Junior (Charlie Jr.). The Escalade was for the bridal party, and the Caddy took my parents and I to the church, and then took Mike and I to the reception.

So let's talk about how Ray and Junior saved the day....

The plan was for the Escalade to pick up the groom and the groomsmen and drive them to the church early and then swing back to my parents home to pick up the bridesmaids. Let me first say that our cars were ALL ON TIME, which helped so much!!! Junior picked up Mike and the groomsmen to go to the church, but when they got there they realized that the wedding before us was running almost an hour late. When Mike got to the church the other wedding party should have been on their way out, instead they were just starting their full Mass ceremony. Uh oh. So Junior, our limo driver, got the phone number of the limo driver for the other wedding party and asked that limo driver to call him as soon as they left. This was perfect. Perfect!! When Junior and Ray showed up at my house - perfectly on time, might I add - Junior told me to take my time with pictures because the other wedding wasn't going to be done for at least a half hour. At first I had the initial feeling of panic, and then he said, very calmly "Don't worry, they are going to call me the minute they leave, it takes us 10 minutes to get the church, you'll be fine." Ray and Junior insisted we use the delay to take more pictures, which turned out to be perfect. While we were waiting for Junior to get the call from the other bridal party, we snapped some fun shots in my neighbors garage sale...

Most brides might have been upset by their neighbor having a garage sale, I thought it was kinda awesome. As long as my cars had a place to park, I was a perfectly happy camper.

We also got to take some fun shots with the Caddy....

Alright, so while we were taking the pictures, Junior got the call that the other bridal party was getting into their cars and heading out. It was GO time! Ray was super helpful in getting me (and the gown) into the car.

Ray helping me get in, and Junior holding the door for me.
In fact, Ray ended up being the one to show my dad how to pull the veil over my head, and Ray was also the one that put out my train before I went down the aisle. Thank you SO much, Ray!! Ray was such a kind, warm and helpful guy, which was just what I needed to calm my time-line nerves.

Ray and Junior planning our arrival so perfectly that I literally pulled up and walked from the car outside the church straight inside and down the aisle. It was amazing!!!! So, so, so perfect. Thank you to Ray and Junior for saving the day and my nerves!!!!

starting the walk straight to the alter!
Turns out we started our ceremony only about 10 minutes late and - thanks to Father Steve (the fasted Monsignor out there) - we ended exactly on time!!!

As for the couple before us....I do feel bad because my guests crashed their receiving line. In fact, one of my guests asked for a picture of the other couple to show me "who made me so late". HA! So now I have, along with my own pictures, a picture of the other bride and groom who's timeline didn't work out so well. I hope their day turned out amazing anyway!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vendor Review - Location, Location, Location!!

It's mind blowing to think how incredibly lucky we were to get married at such a unique and sentimental location. Really, I get all teary just thinking about it.... and I'm not going to lie - hands down the number one reason the wedding was so amazing was because of the location.

Our reception was held at the Nikon Jones Beach Theater, and no, they do not "do" weddings, and yes, they made an exception for us....

Mike and I met at Jones Beach back in 2003 when it was the "Tommy Hilfiger Jones Beach Theater" and we were both working for Aramark at the concession stands. We met in the Food Court, where I worked on a register and Mike flipped burgers. We both continued to work there every summer...I became a supervisor and Mike left when he became a cop. The staff there became like family to us, and so when Mike and I cancelled our original wedding venue because they double booked our wedding, the folks at Jones Beach offered to let us have the reception in the VIP tents. It took me a few months to think it over - they had never done a wedding before and the location is totally 100% outdoors, so weather could be an issue. In the end, obviously, I said OK, because really, how many people have the chance to get married in the very spot they met? Oh, and it helps that the location is BEAUTIFUL!

I cannot thank my boss/coworker/catering manager enough for all of his hard ward. Rowland has been there since day one and was the single most important person in making this day come to reality. He worked 'round the clock with me and really outdid himself. Let me also say that the staff that worked for our wedding could hardly be called "staff", in reality they are the people Mike and I have been working with for the past 9 summers. They are our coworkers and our friends, and we were thrilled that they were a part of our day. I made it a point to thank them in front of all the guests.

Also, can I just say how flippin' awesome it was to be able to take our wedding pictures on the stage and in the seats at Nikon Jones Beach Theater? It was an breathtaking backdrop, and at times it just didn't feel real.

So I give our location ten million thumbs up. It touches my heart to know we got to start our lives as husband and wife in the very place we started our relationship at. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everybody that works with us for helping so much!!! I really believe that the whole feel of the day was dictated by how special the location was. For that one day in time, the entire theater belonged to us. I have never felt so much love before in my life, and I think that's the right feeling to have on your wedding day.

Vendor Review - All The Details

You hear this all the time about just about everything: beauty is in the details. Details, details, details! And when it came to my own wedding, you can bet your bottom that I put a huge emphasis on the details - and while almost all of them were DIY, some were most certainly not! I wanted absolutely everything that was at the wedding to flow with everything else. There was no "color-theme" so to speak, but the aim was for a particular "feel". We wanted all of our guests to feel as if they were joining us for a big Sunday dinner - a very elegant, ethereal Sunday dinner. And while we wanted the wedding to be elegant and ethereal, we also wanted it to be comfortable and personal.

Consider it mission accomplished - and all because of the details!

In this post I'll talk about rentals, seat numbers, and all of the attire for the bridal party....

First off - rentals really are what made the day happen. The location was a totally raw space so we had to bring in everything from chairs, to tables, to a whole extra tent for the dancing area. We used Broadway Party Rentals for all of the china, flatware, linen and chairs. For the rest of the decor we brought in the tent pros from The New York Tent Company. They provided us with the draping, chandeliers/lighting, heating system, and they also constructed the entire dance tent and floor for us. The New York Tent Company was absolutely fabulous to work with, they were affordable, the staff was incredibly sweet and very knowledgeable, and they definitely helped alleviate a lot of my weather stress. The original plan was not to have a tent over the dance floor, but as the threat of rain loomed, we decided to put one up. Boy, I am so glad we did because the tent really made the dance area seem like a "club" and provided the most beautiful backdrop for all the lighting!

The Dinner Tent

The Dance Tent

In the dining tent, each and every guest was assigned a specific seat. This was no easy task, but it helped make the 178 guests feel a bit more intimate. I used little white paper tags, from Michelle Jeffrey Cards on Etsy, and hand stamped them with each seat number. The tags were attached to the chairs so that guests could find their seats.

Look closely and you'll see the tags on the back of each seat!

Now, let's talk fashion. My gown, veil and headpiece were all purchased at Lillette's Bridal, which is where my mom bought her gown 30 years ago. I tried on around 7-8 gowns with the style I thought I wanted, and then my mom pulled the last one, which turned out to be "the one". It was totally not what I had originally envisioned, but once I put it on I knew it was perfect. The staff at Lillette's are all friendly, although I did have some issues during alterations. My seamstress spoke barely any English, and refused to let me go bra-less during my fitting (despite the fact that my gown had a corset). The bra she gave me was clunky and huge, which made the entire top of my gown too tight. I begged her to let me take it off, and she simply would say "no", so I told her I wouldn't pay for the gown because I didn't like how it fit...and then in pops the manager. When I finally explained to the manager what the problem was, she told me that my seamstress is very old fashioned and didn't understand why I wouldn't wear a bra. When all was said and done, the manager spoke with the seamstress and I had to make another appointment to re-do the entire fitting (without the bra). They gave me a discount on the alterations for the hassle, and the manager was very close by for the fitting rounds two and three. My gown ended up fitting perfectly, and I advise all brides to SPEAK up during your fitting if something isn't perfect.

The gown was designed by Midgley Sottero
For the bridal party we wanted something that had the same ethereal and soft feel as my gown. The girls and I went to a few different stores in Manhattan and all fell in love with the same gown almost instantly. We chose a Bari Jay gown in orange, which I talk about why in this post, and I think they were absolutely perfect. They had a flower detail at the waist, which went so nicely with a similar detail on my gown.

The groomsmen chose a classic tux with a vest and tie from Sal's Fashions. They all looked so handsome in simple black and white.

Alright, that's it for the non-DIY details! Stay tuned for the DIY details and the rest of the vendors!

Wedding Wrap Up - Vendor Reviews!

When I close my eyes I still get the butterflies I felt just before walking down the, I cannot believe it was almost two months ago!

I wrote up a quick post when I returned from my honeymoon, and I have spent the last few weeks putting together reviews of all of my vendors.  Part of why I wanted to wait is because my photographers rocked the house and I really want to use their pictures in my reviews. Now that I have the pictures, I am ready, ready, ready to rave about my people!

Let's do this!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

100th Post & Invitation Etiquette Part 1

I cannot believe I have already had 100 posts! Whoohooo, thanks everybody for supporting my blog!! I've decided to go back to the blogs' roots for this post - Invitations! I'd like to bring to you some of my personal tips and tricks regarding invitations and etiquette.

Let's jump right in....

Save-the-Dates - You do not need to send save-the-dates, however I would really suggest sending them especially for destination weddings, or if your special day will be held on  either a three day weekend, a holiday, or another popular date (think, 9-10-11, or 11-11-11).

They should be sent out ASAP, especially for the above chosen dates. Ideally I'd say to send them at around 8 months, but definitely no later than 6 months before the big day. If you send them too late it's really a waste, as you might as well just be sending the invitation. I know there are some very charming designs out there, but anything after 6 months I would definitely skip the save-the-dates and use that money on some fabulous day-of stationery instead!

Each card should state the name of the bride and groom, the location of the wedding (just city and state, don't need to put the venue on these) and travel/hotel accommodation information.  Additionally, if you have set up a wedding website, put it on the save-the-dates so people can keep track of any changes before the big day.

Oh, and while many other folks would tell you that you don't have to send a save-the-date to everybody, I would suggest thinking carefully who you send to.  If you haven't nailed down a guest list yet, but know the people you absolutely want to join - just send to them. For my own wedding I only sent save-the-dates to close relatives and folks that would need to travel, however word spreads like wildfire in an Italian family, and some people were very offended they were not "special" enough to get the save-the-date. Just be warned.

Websites - Right now wedding websites are all the rage, heck, I had one! Websites are a great way to keep guests aware of details you might not want to list out on a formal save-the-date or invitation. In addition to fun little blurbs about the couple, the website should also have:
  • the date of the wedding
  • the location/time of the ceremony
  • hotel accommodation details
  • directions from the hotel to the ceremony/reception
  • transportation details (if you are providing transportation)
  • all registry info
  • some local activities for out-of-towners
  • maybe even a hint about attire; for example, my wedding was at a beach where the temperature drops at night, so I advised guests to bring something lovely and cozy, in case they got chilly
  • some info about your bridal party might also be a nice way to make the day seem more personal for the guests
You may be wondering why I didn't suggest putting the time of the reception on the website. Well, you can if you'd like, but I do think the website gets passed to many people that are not always invited to the wedding, so I would just be a little careful there.

Plus, many sites offer free basic websites! Some of my favorites (free or not) are Wedding WireeWedding, Momentville, and My Wedding.

Invitations - this is the big one.  Here are my top tips:
  • These should be sent out around 6-8 weeks before the wedding
  • The RSVP date should be around 3 weeks before the wedding.
  • Generally final headcount needs to go to the caterer about 1-2 weeks before the big day
  • You will spend at least one week after the RSVP date hunting down Great-Aunt-Sally, and Aunt Jamima since neither have responded on time
  • You do not NEED an inner envelope. Sorry, but as a stationery designer it kills me when I get a very poorly made invitation, but, oh wait, it has an inner envelope, so it must be nice. Insert sarcasm. Instead of inner envelopes, I'd spend the money to have a beautiful invitation made and add a gorgeous liner to the one and only envelope. Yes, my grandmother is cringing right now. 
  • Make sure guests have enough information. You can do this by adding different informational enclosures. Add a coordinating enclosure for each piece of information, including reception location and time, directions, map etc. Or, if you are on a budget, add just one enclosure that states all details could be found on your wedding website. Then make sure you have a wedding website.
  • Gramma says that when sending wedding invitations, one MUST have the addresses hand written. I say they need to look nice, and so if you cannot afford hand calligraphy, ask your invitation designer to use a calligraphy font to print the addresses. It's much prettier than the handwriting of your maid-of-honor. Sorry MOH, but it's true. 
  • Gramma might also say to add registry information somewhere on your actual invitation. Don't do it, it's tacky and presumptuous. If a guest is curious about your registry, they can check your website or ask a member of the bridal party.
Alright, I could go ON and ON about wedding invitations (in fact, I will in the next, Part 2, post) but really those are my major points. Please feel free to let me know if I am missing something, and if you want more details, well, it's 2011 and you can probably just google "wedding invitation etiquette".

Lastly, I want to talk about thank you cards.
  • Gramma says you have a year to send them. Ok, I can understand that after the wedding you want to relax, go through your pictures etc etc, but really, a full year? I'll have mine out by the 3 month mark, but if that's too soon, I'd try to have it done no later than 6-8 months after the wedding. 
  • Do NOT forget to send thank you cards to the people that kindly gave you a gift, even though they were not invited to the wedding reception. Maybe your neighbor gave you a gift card or a lovely bottle of wine. Make sure to thank everybody that was generous both in gift and in thought. They will appreciate you taking the time to thank them. 
  • It is a nice gesture to send thank you cards to your vendors too. They'll probably stick it on a wall in their office/showroom.
Last, but definitely not least,  my number one tip is to have fun. Your wedding day is all about you, so if you don't want to go the traditional route, then don't! If you want whimsy, then go get it! Take the time to enjoy the process of wedding planning, and go with what your heart desires!!

    Thursday, July 21, 2011

    Me Time

    Today was crazy. This week has been pretty stressful at the "real" job, and when I finally make it home I get right to work on custom orders. The heat here in NY is killing me, we still don't have a new sofa, and I am seriously not looking forward to grad school starting in just a few weeks.

    I am in serious need of some me time. Tonight my husband won't be around, so I plan on soaking my feet, painting my nails, deep conditioning my hair, drinking a glass of wine, and listening to sappy cry songs. I need this. I really, really need this.

    For the foot soak recipe, check out Bella Mumma

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Why Orange? Believe Notes has a NEW LOOK! (again!)

    Remember this post? I mentioned how frustrated I was with branding, and that I feel like every six months I need a new look.

    That was in January. Fast forward exactly six months, and indeed I have sipped the kool aid. Time for another re-brand. Do you also remember this post? Because that's when the drinking really began.

    And may I make one thing very clear, I did not drink pink kool aid, I drank orange kool aid....because orange is sorta my thang.

    Orange has worked its way into my life in a really adorable and meaningful way. When I met Mr. Law  (over 8 years ago, yeesh) he loved orange. I wasn't crazy about orange yet, but as time progressed, so did I, and so did my adoration for the punchy hue. Then, I bought myself an orange rain coat. Let's say it was a turning point, because that coat was an investment, if you know what I mean. From then on, orange was not just a color, it was our color.

    When we purchased our home last year, I spray painted an antique captains chair BRIGHT orange. It's now one of my favorite parts of our home - oh wait, the orange chair and the CRAZY ORANGE BUDDHA!

    Yes, I almost forgot, I found a crazy orange Buddha statue at a sale once and had to have it. It sits happily on our antique china cabinet and watches us eat. When I sneak a cookie, crazy orange Buddha knows.

    When we got married I wanted an all white wedding, and my hubs wanted - you guessed it - orange. When my girls and I went shopping for bridesmaid dresses, we all collectively gravitated towards one dress and one dress only - and as luck would have it, it was orange.

    So, I have continued to sip my favorite colored kool aid, and now my business is going orange as well.

    I hope you all enjoy the new punch of color!!!

    Don't mind the mess, but that's our office chair :)

    Miss Juliet and her orange toy

    We even had orange at our engagement party! These were the favors that I made.

    I discovered the way to get him to clean: an ORANGE vacuum!

    Our wedding invitations

    My beautiful girls and their orange dresses

    Can you spot the crazy Buddha???? He's laughing at the "day after bridal shower" mess!

    Ok all, enjoy!!!

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    In My Heart

    Processed Type

    Right now I have a lot of the above in my heart. I've gotten my pictures back from my photographers, and while I didn't shed a tear at the wedding, every time I look at the pictures I get choked up. Aside from the obvious, what makes it so much more special is that my photographer ( a husband and wife team) are such incredibly sweet people. I look forward to working with them on some other projects in the future...

    But for right now, I need some private time with me and my box of tissues. It doesn't help that I've got this song on replay....

    Oh, how I completely love how love feels.....

    Friday, July 15, 2011

    The Grey Sofa Lives Another Day

    Quick update for you:

    Yesterday was the big day (is sofa land, at least) and our new leather sofa sectional was to be delivered. The day started off rocky with Mr. Law getting stuck at work and almost missing the delivery, and then proceeded to get rockier when he got home and the sofa didn't fit through the stairwell. Soooo, back off to the warehouse it went.

    I'm definitely bummed, and now we have to bribe a few friends to help us haul the sofa in through our back patio (on the second floor, btw).

    Hopefully we'll have in in by next weekend. Which, on the bright side, gives me a little more time to find the perfect area rug.

    Ahh, life, you definitely keep things interesting!

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Today I'm Feeling Happy

    I genuinely believe that being happy is a decision you have to make every morning. Some days it's much harder than others, and some days it as if everything just floats around wonderfully.  Overall I find that life is good.

    Keep that in mind, and have a good day :)

    Just Get Things Done!

    It's been a fun week for me. My favorite thing to do is to get things done - I am definitely not the type to sit around and "lounge". That being said, Mr. Law is more of the "lounge" type, and so of course we have the never ending battle of how to spend our little bits of spare time.

    This week I won the battle and we got things done. I mean, we totally rocked the installation of our new entertainment unit, and even though we still have some finishing touches, I am thrilled with how it came out.

    We also got all of our wedding pictures back and were able to narrow down from 1,500++ pictures down to 75 for the album. I absolutely love working with my photographers and cannot wait to get the digital files back so I can share some of the loveliness with you.

    On the design side of the world, I have been working on a few different custom business card designs, the Believe Notes wedding invitation suites (any day now!!), and some other super pretty custom projects.

    Tomorrow our new sofa arrives, and in case you haven't been following along, we did decide to go with the leather one. I'm both excited and nervous to see if I can accomplish my goal of making a room with a chocolate leather sofa seem light and elegant.

    In the meantime, if you want to hum along with me today, I'll be listening to A Fine Frenzy, because Alison makes me feel like a little kid playing out in the field :) Love her!

    Have a good day!!!

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Weekend Project!

    It's the freakin' weekend baby, I'm gonna have me some fun!!

    and by fun, I mean installing a new custom entertainment center. Don't judge, fun comes in all shapes and sizes.

    I've decided to take a little time to embrace my new leather sofa (yes, my arm was twisted and we went with the leather sofa talked about in the previous post). Our kitchen gut-job has been put off from this fall to the winter, since Mr. Law has a big exam to take in the fall and I want him to be able to focus 100% on that. My dad will be taking off some time in January to oversee the kitchen work...I'm stressed already because they (my father my husband, and my father-in-law) seem to think they can do the job totally on their own. Eek, some things seem OK as DIY, other things *ahem- kitchens -ahem* seem better fit for professionals.

    Anyway - there are some REALLY exciting things coming down the pipe. I've got vendor reviews for all of you looking to throw a fabulous wedding or other type of fête. I've also come fun custom designs I have been working on, along with some other pretty little things.

    In the meantime, since I have home decor on the mind, here are some things I have been drooling over....

    As seen on 6th Street Design School
    Dining Chairs? Anything is possible at Dwell Studio
    A dark sofa in a light room? Holy smokes, I'm smitten!!!
    So that last picture was pulled off of pinterest. Which brings me to the point of, well, pinterest....I have a feeling most of you that read blogs regularly are aware of the amazingness that is pinterest, but if you are not aware, you need to become aware. It's a lovely site that almost reminds me of an online bulletin board. You can browse the internet and then "pin" all of your favorite things and they get stored to your pinterst site. It's crazy addicting, save me tons of time, and provides a huge amount of inspiration for almost all of my designs. Right now the site is invite only, but if you are interested in getting an invite, I have a few left so email me at In the meantime, go check out my boards and pins :)

    Enjoy your weekend everybody! If I have a break during assembly of my entertainment center, I might even come and blog the progress, yay!!

    <3 Jackie

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    Décor Dilemma

    Happy Fourth of July!!!

    Aside from the national pride, picnics, hot dogs, BBQs, ice cream and mosquitoes, the fourth seems to bring about my absolute need to shop and spend all my money! This fourth seems to be a bit worse than ever, due to the fact that our sofa broke and needs to be replaced.  We purchased our sofa sectional last year when we got our home, and within 6 months we noticed that the frame of the sofa was cracked in several places. We waited a few weeks before finally calling Macy's customer service, and then we had to wait another almost 4 months to get the whole thing sorted out. Turns out Macy's no longer carries our sofa, so we have a store credit to get it replaced.  Here's a picture of our current, broken sofa....don't mind the photo, it was taken last year in the midst of cleaning.....

    my beloved, grey sectional

    Part of me is heartbroken, because I LOVE this couch. I love the cool grey color, I love that the fabric is so soft, I love that it's like the most perfect size for our small living room, I love how clean and modern the lines of it are, and I love that I can take the best naps of my life on it. What I don't love is that it seems to have been very poorly made....the frame is cracked in at least two places, one entire leg broke off, and the fabric is piling. Remember, it's not even a year old. While I'm looking forward to replacing it with something a little better quality, I am finding it daunting to find something else I love so much. And then there is the ultimate debate between myself and my husband (and most women and their men): leather, or fabric??? Oh, the agony of deciding. Our home is by no means completely finished as far as furniture goes, but I always wanted a bright, clean, modern and effortless look. I love the cool neutral walls with neutral furniture pieces and then big POPS of colors in the accessories. I think I am up to any decorating challenge, however it's so much easier for me to stay in my light-colored comfort zone.

    That being said, my husband wants a dark chocolate leather sofa. I want an off white chenille sofa. And so the debate begins. We've narrowed it down to two sectionals we both like. One is a nice dark leather sectional with a sleeper. It is also in stock at our local Macy's so we're able to sit on it and slide off (leather = slippery). The other sofa is a gorgeous chenille fabric, in a nice light color. Unfortunately it is not sold in New York so we cannot see it and would have to order it online based on the photo. But, but, but - it's reallllly beautiful in the picture!!! Here are the two top contenders:

    So, if we buy the lighter one, yes, our dog will have it covered in dog hair within 10 minutes, and if we spill red wine we might be in trouble....but it's so nice, and I was instantly smitten the moment I saw it. Actually, it was pretty crushing when we went to Macy's and they said they didn't have it and wouldn't be getting it in either. Ugh, just my luck. I mean, if we go with the fabric sofa it will instantly add to the feel of our home. It'll blend effortlessly with all of my other furniture and decor in a timeless, elegant way. Right?

    The whole car ride going to Macy's my husband was making his case for a leather sofa. I declared "I will not, under any circumstance, ever buy a leather sofa. They are cold, dark, ugly and incredibly not friendly for the cows." I feel like I was standing up to something by refusing to get a leather sofa. If there is one thing I've learned in life, it's to never say never, because the harder I promise I won't, I tend to do that very thing I thought I'd never do. And so here I am, seriously thinking about a leather sofa. I'd have to redecorate pretty hard core to make it not seem like a giant brown caterpillar in the center of my open layout living area. I'd need a new, lighter colored rug, a new coffee table (ok, so I needed that anyway), a new console table, new lighting, new pillows, new throw blankets....

    Actually, not that I've done any research, I think I would need all of the following:

    This rug, in my favorite color, from West Elm.
    This clear coffee table, from CB2, it would most definitely help make the room seem lighter!
    This pillow, also from CB2.
    And then the dining room would also need some help, since it's an open floor plan and essentially one big room.....

    This little bugger is from West Elm, and is unfortunately sold out. Harumph - I want two of them.

     this hanging pendant, from Amazon.

    So, even as I write this post, I know in my heart I'm going to end up with the leather sofa. It's the better choice.....but if you have an opinion, I would love to hear it.....

    Pictures of my new leather sofa to come soon (I'm sure!)

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Bringing back the space!!!

    Alright folks, you've seen me struggle with my own personal branding in this previous post, but it seems I am not satisfied yet! There will be more changes coming, as I've decided pink is NOT my favorite color (actually, this isn't something new, I was never a pink person, so I do wonder why I decided to have pink represent me on all things "Believe Notes"). If you know me, you know what my favorite color is, and if you know me REALLY well, you too have taken a liking to this particular cheerful hue. Be on the lookout, as pink is going to be faded away fairly soon.

    Another minor change: what was I thinking by making my business name grammatically incorrect? Believe Notes is now, officially, two separate words. Simplicity reigns, and there is no need for fancy pants spelling and grammar. Believe is not an acronym, so why did I put periods between each letter? I don't know, I don't know, and I don't think I'll ever know.

    I've decided that since getting married and changing my name, it would be the perfect time to rework some of my business elements as well. After launching new business card designs, I figured I needed to get myself some fancy new cards as well! When I started designing my cards in pink, I said "whaaatttt!! Pink is so not me!" and so my new cards sparked the Believe Notes revamp. They are a new color, they are grammatically correct, and they have my new married name. They should be in next week, and pictures will follow!

    Here are some things that made me giggle today....

    Purchase this letterpress from Sapling Press on Etsy.

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