On Thursday morning Justin and I woke up to find the trunk open on my car. Upon further investigation, Justin noticed that nearly everything in my console was gone and everything in my glove compartment had been gone through. Lovely way to start the day, yes?

First I checked with my bank to make sure no money had been stolen or used -- it hadn't. Then we contacted the police. Within 10 minutes, we had 3 police cars in our driveway. (It's nice to have such efficient service!)

Unfortunately, Justin had either forgotten to lock my car and/or hit the unlock button unknowingly from inside the house creating the perfect "crime of opportunity". Also, unfortunately, I am a very forgetful person, and I had shopping cards (i.e. Kroger), gift cards (such as the ones received from our wedding), a little bit of cash (in case of an emergency), my license (You don't know how many times I've driven off without one!), Health insurance card (Justin put it with my ID), and debit card in my console. Of course the thief, not having time to go through and pick out what s/he wanted, took all of these things. As well as a switch for Justin's truck and a motormount for my car.

I'd like to say I've learned my lesson, but it really was random of me to have giftcards and car parts in my car. I had no intention of having my health insurance card with my ID until Justin put it there. I'm also really, really picky about locking my car. I double/triple check every time.

Anyway, the point is not whether or not I lock my car or what exactly I keep in it. The point is that now I find myself afraid. I'm not afraid of what has been done. The thief can keep the gift cards, my license has been reported, my credit frozen, and my bank accounts blocked. I'm just afraid of the thief coming back again. I'm afraid of someone thinking that the car was an easy target so why not try the house!

In over 10 years, I have never had a problem with what I keep in my car. I do not keep what I have out and visible. I regularly clean out my car. In fact, I get embarrassed easily when my car is a mess (i.e. not vacuumed, trash in the car from children, mud on the seats, fingerprints on the glass).

But it also makes me feel uneasy that my husband is forgetful and does not always think to lock my car. It makes me almost afraid to go anywhere with him in it... that maybe he will forget to lock it again.

I know I shouldn't blame him for my things being stolen. I knew the risk of keeping things in the car. I took the chance knowing how forgetful I am. That is my fault. I just hate that a decision was made (or not made) that made it easy for someone to break in to my car (possibly encouraging future break-ins in the future).

This break-in has truly had a negative effect on me making me want to move. There is no garage for me to safely secure my car in. I feel like even seeing my car outside the house is enough to encourage the thief to come back for more. I wonder if moving the car even closer to the house provides more protection? Would having a camera as well as a motion sensor light scare a thief? Do we need to get to know our neighbors better? Would that even matter at 2AM in the morning? And what did I hear at 2AM in the morning? Was that the person going through my car? Were they going through anything else? Was it an animal? Would it have stopped the person if I had turned on the light rather than not wanting to wake up my not-sleeping husband? Is there anything I could have done? Anything that I should do in the future?

Last night we slept with the lights on in the front room... just because. I felt like someone walking by the house may not know if we are awake or asleep and decide it wasn't worth the risk. I don't know if that is logical or a waste of energy. And the thing is... I really hope I never find out.

I'm hoping as the days go by, I can begin to feel more comfortable again. I'm hoping my husband has learned his lesson. I'm hoping we can take whatever measures we need to make the house more secure.

I think the thing I am most saddened by is the fact that we lost wedding gifts that our friends and family gave us. I feel like we have wasted their time and money rather than doing as I intended... helping it to go as far as possible using coupons to get great deals. That and the loss of security I once had.

Justin says the 'quick fix' may have deterred the thief from stealing something more valuable or attempting to break into our house. I hope s/he enjoys their wedding gift cards and car parts. I guess whatever makes a person happy is fine by me...

By the way, as a side note, Macy's was absolutely awesome when I called to explain that my giftcards had been stolen. They offered to send us a complimentary $25 giftcard which I accepted happily! So Macy's... I <3 you! Thank you for being awesome!

Anjolee Jewelry Review

Last Thursday I received a surprise in the mail. It was a box containing the Anjolee heart pendant I had won earlier this month. I was thinking to myself if I could wear it to the Fox with my newly acquired native birds dress, my day would be made!

Anyway, the necklace was shipped via UPS in a bag that contained a white box that contained a very pretty wooden jewelry box containing my very pretty pendant on a gorgeous silver chain.

I believe it took the necklace approximately 2 weeks to find itself on my doorstep.

I really enjoyed wearing this necklace the last two or three times I've worn it. I was worried about the pendant being too big, but it wasn't! My only complaint is that the pendant would get stuck on the chain... always right next to the clasp... and it would take me forever to move the clasp back to the back of my neck.

Overall, the necklace was really pretty and fun to wear. Obviously I do not have the diamond version like what you might order on Anjolee, but, based on what I have, if you are looking for a simple piece of jewelry to go with a dress or even a pair of jeans, this necklace is definitely a fun addition. I'm not sure I would pay upwards of $500 for it, but I don't have the real necklace. It makes it hard to determine the value. Just know that Anjolee does an awesome job at making sure whatever you order from them gets to you and the presentation in it's beautiful wooden box is just the icing on the cake!

Etsy Dress Finds

Knowing how expensive and time consuming dress shopping is for one's wedding, I decided to share my wedding 'find of the week'. I am absolutely IN LOVE with these beautiful 1950's vintage dresses I found on Etsy.

If you are as much in love with the 1950's style dresses as I am, I would suggest going to check out the Mill Street Vintage shop on Etsy for even more options! Also, try searching Etsy for more vintage/unique/handmade options for your wedding. You never know what you will find!

Music Compilation

I know that when I was getting married I had a hard time finding music that would fit the moment just right. Check out this list of music choices from Project Wedding if you need some help. While I don't agree with all of their choices, it is something to get you started. (See my post here on my music pet peeve.)

A Busy Week...

Last week Justin and I had a very busy week including a meet-up on Wednesday night with the creators of the NPR radio show How to Do Everything. I don't know what exactly we were hoping to learn how to do. However, we did learn how to eat fried donuts as dessert with caramel on top. Yum!

That particular night at the meet-up Mike Danforth offered Justin and I (as well as a few others) some free tickets to the Thursday night recording of Wait, Wait, Don't tell Me at the fabulous Fox Theatre. I had already agreed to babysit on Thursday night, so while we were able to attend the show (Who wouldn't want to go to the Fox?!), we were almost an hour late. :(

Afterwards, we went to Brickstore for some salad and bread. (Not your typical after-show dinnerfare location or even the typical food to be gotten at Brickstore.) We enjoyed our time of calm.

Finally, on Friday, we found ourselves watching my favorite children ever. Justin had them baking French bread and watching Alton Brown use sock puppets to explain how bread was made in Good Eats.  (Can you imagine kids watching a cooking show?!) He tried to get them to watch Julia Child, but she didn't use sock puppets (i.e. she was boring).

Other things we did over the weekend included cleaning, organizing, bug-spraying, and Justin cooking chicken and dumpling soup (among other things). Can you believe we are still organizing nearly 6 months after moving into this house? Yet we are. I blame our newlywed status and inability to really afford anything.

Anthro Haul

I can never resist sharing my awesome finds from Anthro., but really can you blame me? Anthropologie is not the cheapest of stores, but what they sale tends to be more 'artsy', 'creative', and EVERYBODY (well, mostly females) loves it. Justin loves that the clothes are well made. My mother wishes she had clothes that fit like the dresses I buy from Anthro. My grandmothers think the home decor is awesome.

Recently Justin and I have started looking at the cookbooks from Anthro.

We won Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream during a giveaway, but it is currently on sale at Anthro. so you may want to check it out. It has awesome reviews on Amazon!

Justin and I made the cherry chocolate ice cream from the book for Justin's dad's birthday this weekend. While it was absolutely delicious, we couldn't get it to 'set'. We're going to try another recipe from the book again soon. We may have been in too much of a hurry. Recipes I'd love to try from the book include: strawberry balsamic ice cream, blood orange sorbet, and maple walnut ice cream among others.

We also recently purchase The Good Life by Adrian Richardson. Adrian Richardson, it seems has a tv show in Australia. He is also really big into cooking meat (which you may not surmise from the cover). Apparently he and Justin both believe that a happy animal is the best tasting kind of animal (i.e. one without growth hormones, one that eats grass and grows naturally). Of course, they also both agree that alligator, rabbit, quail, and pigeons taste good (or would taste good). *shrugs*

I guess what got me excited about this cookbook (beyond the delicious looking comfort foods that I could get behind making) was the graphic design. There is a really awesome bookmark that comes with the book that looks like the tablecloth on the front of the book. It is really crazy and makes you feel like you could have cooked that delicious pie on the cover. The book is hardcover, and the pictures of the food frame the text and recipes. I love that the images aren't overly saturated in color. And the best part: the book is FULL (to the brim!) of images! I hate cookbooks without pictures; they make me sad! :(

We got some gifts for my grandmother which I don't really feel like I can post online without sharing with more people than I want to. We also got some bathroom 'cutes' that they no longer have for sale at the Anthro. website. A soap dish and a toothbrush holder in a lovely turquoise with some intricate floral scrolling. Very pretty. (Justin picked it out. He didn't like the cheap, also turquoise, toothbrush holder I had gotten from Kohl's. *shrug*)

Overall, my favorite thing we got from Anthro. this weekend (or actually, last night) was the Native Birds dress.

I'm planning on wearing this dress to my cousin's outdoor wedding in October. I think. Maybe. I've been watching and waiting for this dress to go on sale since July!! When I went to the first Anthro. store yesterday, I was informed they were out of my size. The store sales associate told me I could order it, but I really wanted to try it on before purchasing. She told me she had the dress and loved it! She also told me that the dress was true-to-size, which I found to be true when we located the dress at another location. I couldn't believe that the guy helping me in the dressing room remembered who I was from a previous trip to Anthro. and gave me advice as to what type of belt to purchase to 'jazz' up this dress. (Talk about amazing sales associates!)

I also tried on the Jacquard Circle Skirt dress, which I knew we couldn't afford.

Let me just mention how absolutely awesome this dress truly is! I really didn't think I would like it on me. I tend to have issues with circle necks; they just don't look right on me. I also thought I would hate the sleeves, but they look really elegant. This dress truly looks like something right out of the 1950's era with the huge circle skirt. I love the model in the picture above; I think she looks a bit like Audrey Hepburn in the dress. :)

So yeah... Go check out your local Anthropologie store if you are interested in any of the things I mentioned above. In the case with the cookbooks, you can get them cheaper at Anthro. than you can get them online right now! (Huge plus!) And who doesn't like clothes on sale? ;)

Favors or Cake Toppers?

Check out Rue la la!

I think some of these swarovski crystals would be such a fun cake topper or to use as reception decor. Besides, I can hardly resist anything sparkly!!!

They also have some really fun macarons that are bright and colorful. Can you imagine putting these on a table as favor for guests to take home? What about as an addition to your dessert table? Such bright colors to offset your wedding cake and make it beautiful!

Act soon if you are interested though. Rue la la sales don't last very long!

Fads or Awesome Ideas?

Just out of curiosity, would you have all of your wedding photography taken with an iPhone and edited with Instagram? What about playing your favorite musician singing songs from the jazz era? It's crazy what you discover when looking at wedding sites. Who does this?!

My biggest concern is that the couple who chose to have their photos taken with the iphone may someday regret that they don't have high resolution images. ... I would love to have been the photographer, however! Yay for light equipment that fits in your pocket!!! I think a better alternative for the couple would have been for the photographer to shoot using a fancy camera (like the Canon 5d mk2) and then put the images through instagram. Just my thoughts.

As for the music? Umm... I do love Arctic Monkeys version of "Baby I'm Yours", so I can see where it would be fun to play musicians singing older songs. I'm just not certain I would play it so that everyone is happy. Lucky for Justin and I, I knew going into the wedding that the majority of our friends and my grandparents (and probably his) enjoyed jazz music. The only people I wouldn't be making happy preferred rock, and I just decided I couldn't please everyone. Too few people were picky enough to make a difference to me (even though one was my dad!).

So if you are up for going along with the fads of the time... Congratulations! Enjoy your instagram pictures and "fake" rock/jazz music. It is your wedding! Just try to think about how you will feel after the day is over... and whether or not making everyone happy or paying a lot of money for instagram photos will make you happy in 20 some odd years. If not, you may need to rethink a thing or two.

A Love Story in Pictures

I came across this earlier today, and I just wanted to share.

Go check it out. You won't regret it. :)

Pet Peeve - Ceremony Music

I have gone to two weddings in the past few months, and every wedding I go to the couple has chosen a pop song to walk down the aisle to.


It is soooo annoying to hear the beginning of an awesome song and have it cut off, because someone has finished their walk down the aisle.

Repetitive songs may be a slight exception if you plan and cue it just right (i.e. during a refrain skipping to the last part of the song so that no one notices that any of the song has been skipped).

When Justin and I were picking our music, I knew right away that I did not want the typical "Here Comes the Bride" song. We were not allowed to use pop music in the Catholic church, but we could use any classical song we wished. While I tend to get annoyed at the rules Catholics must follow, I was so glad that these restrictions were placed on the ceremony. It was clear from the Catholic music minister to the priest that the goal of the church was for us to have a beautiful wedding including a beautiful sermon (that was suppose to make the mom's cry, but it ended up making the dad's cry instead) and pretty music that wasn't too cheesy.

The music minister allowed us the option to choose any music he had available. He also gave us the option of having a family member sing a song approved by him and the church.

Either way, I think more brides should be mindful of what they choose to walk down the aisle to as well as the style of music played during the ceremony.

The Baguette

I wasn't going to post about this, but we made French bread!!! Julia Child's French bread!! So how could I not?!?! We are not done perfecting the process, so I cannot actually provide true critique on the recipe itself. BUT WE MADE BREAD!!!

Let me just start by saying:

"How can you tell how good bread is without testing it? Not the smell, not the look, but the sound of the crust. Listen. [bread crackles] Oh, symphony of crackle. Only great bread sound this way." - Ratatouille

Yes, our bread crackled.

Have you ever bought bread from the grocery store that 'crackled' (that wasn't also as hard as a rock)? I've never had crackly crust on a super-soft gooey melt-in-your-mouth bread. It just hasn't happened in my 20-something years of living.

Then, Justin added some delicious Charleston balsamic vinager, fresh parmesan, and fresh diced tomato to a slice of bread... just for me! I was in heaven! So delicious!

But anyway, back to the bread. We did initially have some trouble getting the recipe right. Then we let the dough rise too long. But overall, our first experience French bread making was enough of a success to encourage us to attempt it again. (We are considering getting Raymond Calvel's book on bread making. It's a bit expensive, but it is so exciting to have amazing tasting bread!)

Anyway, the bread has gotten stale on us. (Any recommendations for keeping French bread fresh longer than 2 days?) We are currently in the process of making it a second time. We can't wait to have it again!

Jazz Music @ Amazon

Just in case you were interested, Amazon currently has a wide variety of jazz music up for grabs at the low price of $.69 a song. Go check it out if you are trying to build up your music collection, preparing a wedding song list, or just want to know what is available!