Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Adventures in Pinup Swimwear

It's no secret that I love retro style. My bachelorette party was pinup themed, by wedding will have a bit of retro flair to it, and my wedding dress and hairstyle will be retro-inspired. I just can't get enough of polka dots, classic silhouettes, and retro glamour. When Mr. Unicycle and I booked our honeymoon in sunny Punta Cana, I realized I should probably buy a new swimsuit. I only own one swimsuit because I hate going swimsuit shopping, but I wanted to bring at least 2 with me, in case one was still wet when I wanted to go swimming again.

Since I 1) love retro style and 2) have some junk in da trunk, I figured a pinup style swimsuit would be the best bet. The only problem? I'm a cheapskate. For some reason, women's swimsuits, especially retro ones, are really expensive. I'm used to buying cheap ones at Target and Old Navy, but they never make me feel very good about my bod. I started at Mod Cloth, but I couldn't justify the $90 price tag:

Image via Mod Cloth

Then I found Unique Vintage and Pinup Girl Clothing, but both were sadly still out of my price range.

Image via Unique Vintage

I almost splurged on this adorable bikini I found on Etsy, but Mr. Unicycle talked me out of it :(

When I saw this bikini on Target's website, I thought I'd hit the jackpot. Then I realized it wasn't for sale...anywhere. One of my BMs works for Target Corporate, and even she couldn't help me out.

Image via Target

At this point, I was feeling down in the dumps, thinking I'd have to forgo my dreams of frolicking on the beaches of Punta Cana in a polka dotted number. But then I came across Beverly Swimwear. These have to be the most inexpensive retro swimsuits on the entire internet.

Image via Beverly Swimwear
Mr. Unicycle thought the cutout was weird on this one, but I thought it was cute!

Image via Beverly Swimwear
I don't like the green color of this, but I love the shape.

And so, hive, I ended up ordering one. That's right, the girl who hates trying on swimsuits and has tried on 50 swimsuits in a single day without buying anything, bought one off the internet without trying it on. I did the same thing with my wedding dress too. I must be nuts.

I ended up ordering the green one pictured above, but I chose a different fabric. Beverly has a list of different fabrics you can choose from, and I chose the red and white polka dots:

Image via Beverly Swimwear

It took a while for the swimsuit to get to my house (good thing I ordered it with months to spare!) but it was worth the wait! Check it out:
Personal pic
I feel weird posting swimsuit pics of myself on the internet, so I removed my face to protect the innocent.

Personal pic
It's extremely hard to photograph your own ass.

Personal pic
Ahh, there we go.

Personal pic
No, I am not with child. I am with sandwich.

Here's where I need your help! I would like to buy a bikini (like the Target one shown above, not a skimpy one!) but I'm still on a budget! Does anyone know where I can get a pinup-ish bikini for under $50? I'll love you forever...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sweating the Small Stuff

We asked our wedding guests for a bit of wedding day advice on our RSVP cards. We didn't want to ask for marriage advice because we'd be getting plenty of that in our guest book. So far we've gotten a few funny ones:

My grandma is glad I'm marrying a future doctor. It's the most I can contribute to the family, having been an English major.

At least one of my guests will be sorely disappointed.

Great advice! At least fake it!

I don't think shots are even included in our bar package. Nor am I capable of consuming 10.

But I noticed there's a bit of a theme going on with the rest. A lot of people told us to enjoy the day or didn't write anything at all, but many people have cautioned us against stress.

I am now worrying about excessive perspiration with all those layers of tulle. I'm sweating just thinking about it:

I'm guessing "don't sweat the small stuff" is just one of those platitudes people pull out when asked for advice, but still, I can't help but imagine this is directed specifically at me because I'm a generally stressed-out drama queen. I'm trying to keep this advice in mind every day, but to be honest, it's not helping. At all.

All I do is worry about the wedding details. For the past year or so, I've been a slave to my wedding to do list, and now that it's almost all done, I've become a slave to the logistical planning. For instance:
  • How will we make sure our overnight bags make it to our wedding night hotel room? 
  • What happens if the venue forgets to put our cake cutting knife on the cake table? 
  • Where do we go after we enter the reception to our jazzy entrance song? 
  • How do we transition from exiting the church amid cheering and wolf whistles to wrangling family members for photos on the church steps? 
  • How will we ever get all of our wedding stuff (centerpieces, candy buffet glassware, table numbers, etc.) to and from the venue without renting a U-Haul? 
  • What do we do if our photobooth backdrop is too big for the reception space? 
Personal pic
This is a dramatic re-enactment of me sweating the small stuff.

I'm confident that my wedding will be beautiful and wonderful and I'll be married to Mr. Unicycle at the end of it, which is all I really want anyway, but I still have these worries running through my head constantly. My plan is to reread this post some time in July and laugh heartily at what a psycho I sounded like. But right  now, I'm too stressed out to laugh heartily.

So tell me: What are you most worried about for your wedding day? What's the best wedding advice you've gotten?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It Will Definitely Taste Like Chicken

A few months ago, the Unicycles took our parents on a tasting to choose food for the wedding. I'm not that into food, to be honest. That could be why it's taken me months to post this. I can't tell the difference between different cuts of steak or between a $5 bottle and a $500 bottle of wine. I like pretty much all restaurant food. I pretend to hate on Olive Garden, but I secretly find it very fancy. And I eat the exact same thing for breakfast and lunch every single day. Thus, I knew the food at our wedding would taste good to me no matter what we got.
Image via graphjam

The venue gave us a menu and said we could choose 2 entrees, 2 vegetables, and 2 starches to taste. The first thing we had to decide was what meat we wanted to serve--the ever popular steak? The crowd pleasing chicken? The ritzy surf and turf? We decided that, if we were going to serve steak or seafood, we had to also offer the option of chicken since it is a crowd pleaser, after all. Not everyone eats red meat or seafood, but most people can stomach some good, ol' fashioned chicken. 

We considered giving everyone a choice between chicken and beef or chicken and fish, but then we read the fine print and discovered that all entrees would cost the same amount, regardless of what each guest ordered. This meant that if we offered chicken and steak, and only one person ordered steak, we would still pay for steak for each and every guest. When you're inviting about 250 guests, and the price difference between different meals can range as much as $15 a head, that's a Big Deal.

So, chicken it is! We chose the Stuffed Breast of Chicken Poulette and the Mediterranean Chicken for our tasting. For sides, we tasted the Steamed Broccoli, the Zucchini and Carrots, the Garlic Whipped Potatoes, and the Parsley Red Potato.

Obligatory face-stuffing pics. I enjoyed the cake-tasting pics so much that I had to feature these too.

And here's the carnage:

We pwned that shiz.

In the end, I thought it all tasted good. Surprise. Mr. Unicycle liked it all too, and our parents' opinions canceled each other out. We decided to go with the entree that seemed "fancier," aka something our guests were less likely to randomly whip up at home some night, which was the Chicken Poulette and Parsley Red Potatoes. Since no one could decide on the vegetable, we're getting both!

We also got to choose our beer and wine selections, our salad, and our hors d'oeuvres. I'm excited about the hors d'oeuvres even though we didn't get to try them--we're getting mini crab cakes, mini deep dish pizzas, and brie with raspberry in a flakey crust. Raspberry is kind of a food theme at our wedding, since we're using it as our cake filling and our salad dressing too--it's Mr. U's flavorite!

Are you a foodie? Or will you eat pretty much anything? How did that affect your tasting experience?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lose Weight, Get Laid, Find God

This post is actually just about losing weight, but I had to get your attention somehow. Actually here's a funny side note: On my first date with Mr. Unicycle, we hit up the late, great Borders and somehow ended up finding this book and reading it together, right in the middle of the store:
Image via Amazon
It was a hilarious book, or at least the 18-year-old, head-over-heels version of me thought so.

Anyway...Let's talk about weight loss, shall we? First, the perfunctory disclaimer so you don't all turn on me in the comments: I don't believe that all brides should lose weight. I personally was unhappy with my weight since I gained the freshman 15 and have been using the wedding as motivation to lose it. I know Mr. Unicycle will still marry me if I don't lose weight, and my custom made dress is definitely going to fit me no matter what I eat between now and the wedding. I'm also not a doctor or nutritionist. Some restrictions may apply, void where prohibited, some assembly required, etc. etc.

I've always shunned the scale because I'm an informed woman who knows that weight can fluctuate throughout the day, week, and month, and sometimes gaining weight can mean you're just getting more muscular. (Yeah...that's it.) Since weight wasn't a good indicator of health and fitness, I stopped weighing myself for years. Until I randomly decided to step on a scale last summer and was shocked. Shocked, I tell you! How many hamburgers did I eat? Here's what I looked like:

Although I love my engagement pics, there were quite a few like this one that had me saying "That's what I look like??"

Starting in January (yeah, even after that kick in the pants it still took me another 6 months to do anything about it) I decided to make a change. Since then, I've lost approximately 15 pounds (allegedly--I still don't trust scales). Here's a recent pic of me:

 Sorry, it's the best I could do. I'm wearing pajamas now so I'm not taking a new pic tonight.

Not a dramatic difference at all, but I feel a lot better! So what have I been doing? Here are my tips and tricks that have been approved by approximately zero doctors and health professionals:
  1. I made my own Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred plan. Yes, it's another spreadsheet. I decided to do 90 sessions of the 30 Day Shred (so now it's the 90 Day Shred?) throughout the 6 months between January 1st and my wedding. I would do 10 of workout 1 sans weights, 10 with weights, repeat for workout 2, repeat for workout 3, then 10 more sessions with weights for each workout, for a total of 90 workouts. I haven't reached 90 yet, and it's looking like I'm not going to. As of right now I'm at 65.

  2. I started drinking lots and lots of water. I find myself hungry for lunch around 10:30 or 11 AM every day at work. Instead of eating early and feeling hungry all afternoon, I fill up my water bottle and make sure it's gone before I eat any lunch. It always makes my hunger pains go away until it's actually lunch time. I know a lot of times people think they're hungry when they're really just thirsty, and the feeling of thirst is actually one of the last signs of dehydration, so it makes sense that drinking a bottle of water would assuage my hunger. I also got a cool water bottle with a straw, which encourages me to drink more because I friggin can't get enough of drinking out of straws.

    Image via Copco
    I have the pink one.
  3. If I feel like having candy, I grab a stick of gum instead. Okay, this one's only half true. I haven't been able to cut down on my candy habit much still, even now that I'm only a month from my wedding. But in the mid afternoon when I'm craving something sweet and just want something to chew on, I will usually chew a piece of gum instead. It keeps my mouth occupied and food-free for at least 30 minutes, it tastes sugary like candy, and the calorie content in a stick of gum is practically negligible.
  4. I cut bad habits one by one. Instead of declaring January 1st "diet day: one" and cutting out all my favorite things at once, I slowly shaped my diet into something a little more weight loss friendly. I actually started this before the engagement even happened. First I replaced my daily bowl of cereal with a banana, then I replaced my afternoon bag of Triscuits with an extra serving of fruit (who knew Triscuits were so high in calories, considering how much they resemble cardboard?). I stopped drinking a can of pop every afternoon, I stopped indulging in every single office treat that my coworkers brought in, and I cut my dinner carb intake down (though I can't stop eating bread altogether. That shit is good.). I think the key to changing your diet is really just taking it slow and getting used to one change at a time.

    How many times have I used this picture on Weddingbee??
  5. I gave up alcohol "for Lent." I can't believe I'm even admitting this. I hate when people use Lent as a diet aide, and yet here I am doing so myself. To be fair, I really just gave up alcohol for 40 days that happened to coincide with Lent. I also cut out weekday drinking almost completely. I used to drink a glass of wine every night as my "dessert," thinking I was being so healthy by not eating real dessert. For some reason I assumed the calories in wine are negligible too...not the case. At all.
So there you have it: How to lose weight in 5 easy steps. What are your weight loss tips and tricks? 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Rest of My Life Will Seem Weak in Comparison

After my shower, me and a few of the other hot, young thangs in attendance headed up to Milwaukee for my bachelorette party. We chose Milwaukee because a lot of my friends live up there and because I (and my MOH, who planned the party) are actually more familiar with the city than we are with Chicago. Plus, it would be cheaper (and as you'll find out in a few paragraphs, it was much cheaper).

We started out the party by loudly and irreverently singing along to Lady Gaga et al. while driving up I94 (remember, my mom called me a musical virtuoso). I offered to drive one of the cars since I make the trip all the time. Before we knew it, we were in view of Milwaukee's skyline (or what would be the skyline if it had one to speak of). Our first stop was to check into the hotel (the Intercontinental, which is also where Mrs. Mole stayed for her Milwaukee reception!) for some pink-champagne-drinkin', gift opening, and hair teasing--did I mention the bachelorette party was pin-up themed??

Image via Fashionising
I wanted to do my hair like this, but I lost motivation (I blame the pink champagne).

One of my friends got me edible undies, and we had to take a photo--I once changed the wiki page for edible undies to include a line about deli salami, and it stayed up for a surprising amount of time, so naturally, I was gifted with a pair of (sadly not salami-flavored) edible undies. Or, if you're gross, panties.

I got a lot of other scandalous gifts too, including this little guy, needlefelted lovingly by my work wifey. That's right, a coworker spent hours of her life crafting a peen for me. 

It's sickeningly realistic. She made it into an ornament so the Unicycles' first Christmas tree won't be bare.

This is the peen crafter. I made her go butt-to-butt with me.
Mr. Unicycle's med school friends (and my friends too!) got me this appropriate game and a riding crop. 

 The glasses were from my SIL but those couldn't go unphotographed.

After the gift opening and primping, we headed to dinner. Some of my Milwaukee friends had thrown out restaurant suggestions, and I fully embraced Balzac since it would be perfect for a bachelorette party. (Note: I decided that based solely on its name.) Luckily, it was actually amazing and delicious. The restaurant serves small plates and we had a pretty large group, so we basically just ordered one of everything. I've always wanted to go into a restaurant and say "we'll take the lot!" à la Harry Potter, so I'm glad I got to experience that.

This is the only other Balzac picture I have, when me and a bridesmaid Lady and the Tramped a chicken wing. It got pretty wild.

I was presented with a to do list at the end of dinner. You had to scratch off each task, one by one, as you completed them. 

Unfortunately, I scratched the first one off a little too zealously, and no one could read what it said. I'm fairly certain it had something to do with either a bare butt or a belly button, so I'm actually glad I didn't have to do whatever it was.

The second task was to announce to the world "I'm so horny I could have sex right now!" I found this to be the most ridiculous sentence of all time. That's like saying "I'm so hungry I could eat right now" or "I have to pee so bad that I could pee right now." So I practiced different inflections and iterations of the phrase while we waited for the check, in the car on the way to the first bar, and as we were walking up to the first bar. My favorite style was the Christopher Walken voice, but unfortunately I can't type it for you. Just picture him saying that. It's funny.

As we walked up to the first bar (a cool loungey place called Kenadee's), I decided it was time to complete the task. So I said to the bouncer, "Excuse me, I have to tell you something. I'm so horny--"

"I know, I know. I heard you already." And he shooed me inside.

One of the girls in our party has serious Milwaukee connections, and we were able to get bottle service...for free. I felt so fancy!

So did they.

They were playing 90s music and there was a cool green wall, so naturally we had a dance party/photoshoot.

I learned a lot about myself/the world that night. Namely, that I actually do the duck face. I'm ashamed.

I just...don't even know.

I love the juxtaposition here. My cousin looks like an Abercrombie model and I look someone pretending to be drunk. Also note: the second butt-to-butt of the evening.

One of the tasks on the to do list was to pee in the men's room. I waited until I actually had to go, and then...I did! A couple guys were a little freaked out and fled when they saw me and a bridemsaid in the men's room. One guy opened the door, looked at us, looked back at the door, repeat, before determining he was in the right place. The bathroom attendant loved it:

For the record, I used a stall, NOT the urinal.

The final task was to buy "the cutest guy" a drink. Since we had bottle service, I decided there would be no drink buying, but rather, drink sharing. And instead of finding "the cutest guy" I just grabbed a random guy who seemed to be alone at the club and who had been creeping closer and closer to us all night.

His name was Abraham and he was Persian and/or a virgin. It was loud in there.

After that, we hit up Dick's (that's right, first Balzac, then Dick's) and finally 720 before crashing at the hotel.

The next morning, we all went to brunch and Mr. Unicycle joined us! I was so glad I got to see him while we were in Milwaukee, because I had been missing him a lot. All in all, it was probably the best weekend of my LIFE. In the Facebook invite for the party, my MOH (who planned everything) said this: "Let's make this so fun that the rest of her life with Mr. Unicycle will seem WEAK in comparison. I basically want her to be crying every single night with the memory of how fun this night was." 


Was you bachelorette party a success? Did you do cheesy bachelorette tasks and have peen paraphernalia too?