Wedding Wednesday: Say Yes

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Who among us does not watch Say Yes to the Dress?  (Men reading: sorry, I know you don’t.)  There’s a lot of hoopla around the whole experience of trying on wedding dresses and finding the one.  We’ve seen the episodes where the girl just doesn’t feel it; she doesn’t cry tears of joy, she doesn’t find her dress.  This, I think, is the fear.  With this garment so built up, can we achieve that perfect bridal moment?

I did, and I’m here to share my experience & some advice on saying yes to the dress!  While I know my experience is just one person’s, I asked my friends to weigh in too to give a little more of a balanced view.

It only took me one shopping trip to find my dress.  Is this weird?  My two married friends also only took one shopping trip each.  My friend Stacie picked a shop specifically because it was on the smaller side and she didn’t want to be overwhelmed with her options… and trust me, you can be!

I tried on about 20 dresses.  Thinking back now, they’re all a blur of lace and pouf in my mind.  I can only remember the first one I put on– my favorite from the photos I brought with me and the first wedding dress I ever wore– and the one I bought!  My cousin Amanda thinks she tried on nearly 50 dresses over her three shopping trips and ended up with something very different than what she thought she wanted.

So how do you know when it’s the one?  For myself and Amanda, we had to put on another dress after the one to confirm it.  I slipped into the first dress I put on again, the one that nothing else was comparing to, and found that I didn’t really like it after all.  Once the previous dress was back on, my mom started saying “that’s it!” and the tears came… from both of us!

For my friend Megan, the reaction of the crowd was very important to her decision; we see this in Say Yes all the time too. She said the fact that everyone else loved it made her love it too.  Stacie said she couldn’t stop smiling in her pick and then just stopped looking.  After 5 dresses, she was done.  Though she’s sure there are a lot of dresses out there that would’ve worked for her, she didn’t want to look any more once she found one that worked.

So, how can you say yes to the dress?

Do your homework.  I know you have a secret wedding board on your Pinterest.  Now is the time to look at pictures and see what you like and what you don’t like!  You should have some ideas and photos for when you shop!

Take it from dream to reality.  If you have no idea where to start, look for bridal shops in the area.  Ask friends where they got their dresses or do a google search.  Once you’ve picked a shop, you can see which designers they carry and take your time browsing those designers’ sites.

Determine your budget.  I think for most people this is the first step.  Again, with a designer in mind, I was able to confirm the price point I was looking for made sense.  A designer’s website will have ranges for each of their collections.

Stay open-minded.  It is a delicate balancing act to stay firm to what you want and open to the possibilities.  You should try what your mom/MOH/friend picks at least once.  Things look very different on you than on the hanger or the model in photos!  (I happen to think I look way better in my dress than the model in the photo…)  Don’t marry yourself to a style (Amanda ended up in something completely different) or a designer (I went for a Maggie Sottero trunk show and didn’t buy a Maggie Sottero) either.

Don’t let anyone else control the appointment.  The consultant is trying to make a sale.  She will try to push you to make a decision.  It’s okay to walk away… I almost did until the very last dress ignited a spark!  As for your entourage, if you watch Say Yes I don’t have to warn you about this– it is ultimately your decision.

Breath of the Wild

secret-ending-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-screenshot-810x400.jpgThere’s one thing we made sure to do before leaving for our Japan vacation: beat the main quest of The Legend of Zelda Breathe of the Wild.  We actually beat Calamity Ganon about a week ago now, so I’ve had some time to think about the game before we left.  I wanted to share a little (spoiler free) review of sorts with you!

There is so much to love about this game.  In a lot of ways, I think this it’s perfect gameplay-wise.  Like, if I designed a game, I would want it to play like this.  The open-world concept fits into the modern notion of a game, while still feeling very authentically like a Zelda game.  The open-world goes a step further for me because truly, you can go anywhere– if you see it, you can get there.  Link’s quite the climber in this game!  Couple that with the paraglider and you can literally get anywhere.

All of the objects in this open world interact with each other which means there’s a lot of collecting to do!  From mining gems, to hunting, to foraging, to grabbing an unlikely weapon… it’s so much fun.  Hearts are not dropped by any enemy so if you want to restore, you have to use my favorite feature in the game: cooking!  I can’t even tell you how much fun I had combining things to come up with recipes.  You’ve got to love the music it plays when you’re on to something amazing.  Sure, I made a few dubious foods before I figured out how to make elixirs, but I’m a cooking master now!

Another new feature is that no weapon is permanent.  You melee weapons, shields, and bows all break after extended use.  Even the Master Sword needs to go on cool down.  While I’m not a fan of no permanent weapons, it did let us try out a bunch of different ones, which was immensely fun.

When talking about our weapons stash, we need to mention Hesto, the giant Korok with maracas that gives you another slot to hold a sword/shield/bow.  I loved all the Koroks in this game!  Their cute little puzzles were instantly recognizable and I was still excited to hear yahaha! every time.

Speaking of puzzles, let’s move on to Shrines & Divine Beasts.  The game is a little lighter on storyline because it’s non-linear.  You can play whatever you want in whatever order you want, but the main goals are to recapture the Divine Beasts from Ganon’s clutches freeing the spirits of your friends inside.  Along the way, you are to activate shrines, which also helps you move around quicker, since you can teleport, and towers, which activate the map for the section.  The shrines either have puzzles, tests of strength (battles), or blessings.  Your Sheikah Slate includes runes to help you with these puzzles and, basically, to give you alternate ways to do anything in the game– so useful!  The Divine Beasts themselves are giant 3D puzzles– I was just in awe of how someone could create them.

Anyway, the story unfurls through each Divine Beast victory and through recapturing the stored memories on your Sheikah Slate.  We get to know a fun cast of characters, including Princess Zelda.  I’m going to say it– I couldn’t stand her voice actor at first, but I got used to it at the end.  Her storyline is the most compelling to me.

Even with Calamity Ganon’s battle done, I know we’ll be playing more Breath of the Wild.  I can’t wait for DLC, and I can’t say enough amazing things about this game!

Ja mata!

Well friends, tomorrow we are off to Japan!  I can’t believe it the trip is finally here.  I’ve wanted to go as long as I can remember, and it feels so surreal that we’re actually leaving tomorrow.  It’s a dream come true!

I’ve scheduled plenty of things here to keep you busy while I’m gone, but if you want to follow along with my trip, be sure to follow me on instagram (@nikkisee)!  I promise I will be posting there as much as possible.

It’s also worth your time to like me over on facebook, as I’m planning on posting some photos there as well!

Be prepared for so many Japan vlogs when I come back!

hearts&stars, nikkisee

Long Flight Essentials

After 6+ months of planning, we are off to Japan in just two short days!  I couldn’t be more excited for my dream trip, but I’m not terribly excited about the 13 hour flight we’re taking to get there.  I’ve prepared myself the best I can, and today I want so share some ideas to make long flights as painless as possible!

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Kindle | This trip is the reason I bought my Kindle.  The fact that I’m absolutely in love with it is a fortunate by-product.  I entertain myself by reading and find myself bringing at least 2 books on normal trips.  With such a long flight, I knew I needed a lot of reading material!  My Kindle is preloaded with a handful of books to make the hours fly by! [I recommend this one.]

Juice Pack | You’ve got to have a fully charged phone when you’re going to be out & about for a while.  While I always hope planes will have somewhere for me to recharge my devices, this has yet to be the case.  It’s great to have an extra charge on hand!  [I’ve used this one before.]

Headphones (or earbuds!) | This one I learned from my fiancé who always has a pair of headphone handy when we travel.  I happen to think that noise canceling headphones are completely worth the investment– you’ll take care of them instead of letting them get tangled in the bottom of your bag, plus you won’t have to deal with the plane’s excess noise.  Of course, if you’re packing lighter, earbuds will do!  [Try these or these.]

Lip Balm | This is another one I picked up from Matt.  Plane travel will leave you dehydrated feeling and in need of moisturizer.  It’s good to have a lip balm handy (This is my favorite, but I also recommend these guys!)  to feel a little more human.  On a shorter trip, I recommend grabbing a water bottle to fill once you’re past security! [Currently obsessed with this one— and dachshunds!]

Snacks | A 13-hour flight guarantees we’ll be getting some food on board, but since we’ll be landing in a time zone with a 12-hour difference, there’s no guarantee we’ll be getting food when we want it.  We’re big on snacks!  [Try a Quest bar for something substantial!]

Hoodie | Literally, this is my number 1 must-have on a plane.  It’s always so cold, or suddenly so warm.  You need to layer, and a hoodie is my favorite way to do this.  Past flights have also had me reaching for Matt’s coat as a blanket, so a blanket scarf is a great idea if you’re flying when into/out of appropriate weather!  [Please tell me you have one, but just in case.]

What’s the longest flight you’ve ever been on?  How did you keep yourself busy?

Golden Hour

You know I love my eyeshadow palettes!  Because I travel as often as I do, I’m always looking for the perfect portable palette– one that has all the colors I look for on the daily!

Enter: Smashbox Cosmetics Cover Shot Eye Palettes!  Small enough to fit in your travel make-up bag with 8 colors to choose from.  There are seven different Cover Shot Palettes, but I was drawn to Golden Hour.

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I actually picked this one up so long ago– as soon as I saw it in stores, actually!  I just knew that this was going to work for me, since the warm neutrals are great for every day looks with blue eyes.  I’ve been wearing it non-stop since I first tried it out!

These shadows are pigmented, but buildable and blendable.  You can go bolder and create something bronzey and metallic, or more subtle to stick with the neutrals.  My favorite shade is turned on— the warm, pinkish shade that makes my blue eyes pop.

You can shop this & the other versions of this Smashbox travel-sized palettes!

GOLDEN HOUR | ABLAZE | SMOKY | MATTE | SOFTLIGHT | BOLD | METALLIC

Which is your favorite?!

Girls: Full Disclosure

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I hate to say it, but my favorite part of last night’s episode of Girls was Jessa.  I’ll get into all of that in a second, because truly the episode (as all of them do this season) revolves around Hannah.

Hannah is telling people about her pregnancy.  We start with Marnie, whose support surprises even Hannah.  Though Hannah’s decided she won’t be telling Paul-Louis, Marnie takes issue with this.  Hannah’s father & his boyfriend are split on the decision of whether Paul-Louis should know as well.

Elijah and Hannah make up like magic, which is a bit surprising considering how nasty he was to her in the last episode.  (I guess this is a good thing that we won’t be dedicating screen time to Hannah & Elijah fighting.)

Weirdly, Hannah tells Adam… well, she more yells it at his as he chases her down her block trying to make her watch his movie.  Adam is so insistent on Hannah watching it; it seems like feelings reemerged through the process of making the film.

We’re now past the halfway mark in the final season.  For me, despite loving “Hostage Situation,” I haven’t gotten what I wanted out of the season yet.  The best bits of this show are the “Beach House” moments where these four women are together and facing the reality of their relationships.  The fact that Shoshanna has almost no storyline this season is disappointing, especially when we haven’t seen her interact with any of the girls but Jessa since Marnie’s wedding.  This is why Jessa’s interaction with Hannah was my favorite moment– this is one of the interactions we’ve been craving and it felt so real and relatable.

Jessa by no means should be surprised that Hannah did not come to her to tell her she was pregnant.  Hannah is right; they haven’t been dear friends for a long time.  Still, what I love about Jessa’s plea is what rings true: you cannot erase relationships.  It’s a painful fact that people come into and out of our lives.  While Jessa is right that these precious moments don’t just go away, the people often do.  You may very well not speak to or think of the person who meant the most to you 5 years ago.  It is sad when you think about it, but chances are you don’t think about it too frequently because things change.  Hannah makes it clear that she has no interest in saving her relationship with Jessa.

Finally, another relationship seems to finally come to an end: Marnie & Desi.  If this is Desi’s last moment on the show, kicking over his motorcycle, I’m in love with that exit.  Marnie had really better get her life together, because watching her perform with her mother was cringe-worthy.

What did you think about last night’s episode?  How are you liking the season overall?