The Dress

Remember that time you philosophied whether or not the world sees the same color that you do? That red is the same red they see? Well, it appears the colors you see are not the same as what everyone else sees. The gold and white vs blue and black dress is taking the Internet by storm and everyone had their own opinion about what the color of the dress is (it’s white and gold to me).

image

This image is from time.com, you know you’re big news when Time is writing controversial pieces about you. 😉

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What They Do Not Tell You About the Dress

Everyone is super excited to go wedding dress shopping, I have not had the pleasure to do so yet, but my day will come….someday. I am an avid reality TV watcher (if you haven’t checked it out, I made a post about my top 10 TV relationships here), and Say Yes to the Dress is not omitted from my regular viewing schedule. The thing I love best about this show is not the drama (for once!) it is being able to secretly “shop” from the comfort of my own home. While it’s obvious you need to go in and try the dress on, I have pretty much narrowed down my dress preferences and this show helps! It shows you what you like and don’t like.

Something to think about when shopping for a wedding dress: the salesperson gets commission off of your purchase; ONLY when you purchase. A good tip is to go with your gut. But stick to your budget. Depending where you go, the salesperson may or may not be professional and try to push you to spend more because it’s “a once in a lifetime purchase” or “not that much over your budget anyway”. If you went in saying you would spend $5000, and the dress is $5500, before just caving in, ask if there is any kind of specials running. Maybe you get a free veil and bridesmaids dresses included with your purchase over $5000. These are the things the salesperson may not tell you and you might not think to ask, because they are looking for a bigger paycheck. If you feel some shadiness is going on, there probably is and I would hold off on your gown purchase and think about taking your business elsewhere. Nobody should be taken advantage of when preparing for the happiest day of your life.

Let’s talk about something awesome: discounts. Discounts on your wedding dress is not unheard of. Like mentioned above, sometimes you do not see the discount right out, but it is there. If you add up a veil ($50) and let’s say 3 bridesmaid dresses ($100 each) you can save some serious cash. But what other ways can you save?

  • trunk shows usually offer up to 10% off dresses!
  • sample sales! Shops are cleaning out last years dresses to make room for this years dresses, (that aren’t all that different from last years dresses if you really take the time to look)! This can save you up to 25%-50%. Just don’t forget these are sample sizes (usually around an 8-which run smaller than street clothes-surprise surprise, so if you are normally a 4, go up one or two dress sizes), and make sure if you need to do alterations, it won’t cost as much as buying a brand new dress!!
  • make sure you are getting what you pay for. Most designers set a price that the dress cannot be dropped (price wise) lower than that certain point, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. That being said, buying secondhand can be legit. Sometimes a bride has bought her dress and changes her mind or size, and there is no returning the dress. This happens more often than not and the bride just wants to get some money back, reselling her dress.
  • or you can rent the dress. Every girl dreams of having her own wedding dress, but what are you going to do with it after that one day? Let it sit in your closet for the rest of your life while it yellows. You know it’s true. I have seen beautiful preservations of wedding dresses on pinterest but how many people really do this? If that is your thing, don’t let me tell you differently, but think logically. Do you really need to have your dress in your closet forever? If you have seen someone in your circle wear your dress, ask to borrow or rent it from them for the day. Also, check for pre-owned gowns from legit websites like this one. Try this one as well. They have major designers for serious price cuts because they have already been purchased from the designer and obviously cannot be taken back. Save yourself some money and buy used or rent.
  • try to buy as early as possible to avoid having to rush the order, alterations, and give you a little wiggle room in time. Those extras really add up!
  • try to buy as close to your body size as possible. When the salesperson tells you your size, please do not try to buy a dress two sizes too small to “inspire you to lose weight”. Most dresses cannot be altered to be taken out more than one dress size, wasting you a TON of money. A great tip from Mara Urshel, owner of Kleinfeld from Say Yes to the Dress (from New York): “When buying a used gown, choose according to your largest measurement (bust, waist, hip). For example, if your hip measurement is size 8 but your bust is size 6, order the size 8. It’s always easier to take in.” Alterations can usually take a dress in 4 sizes, just some added info!
  • know where to shop. I bet you didn’t know Anthropologie sells wedding dresses. I have seen dresses as low as $160. And they are gorgeous. Don’t rule out non-designers if you are really looking to save but keep your shine and elegance.
  • use holidays to your benefit. Remember how Macy’s always has the holiday sales during Christmas?  So do many major wedding retailers!
  • if you can pay in full the day of, the salesperson is more willing to give a discount.
  • don’t walk out without at least asking for a discount. What does it hurt to ask?
  • but don’t throw a fit if they cannot give you a discount. There is only so much the shop can do, and you don’t want to be that  girl who the saleslady goes home and complains about to their family.
  • know what to look for. It may seem obvious, but a more simple dress is obviously going to be less than a full beaded bodice. If that is your dream dress, be prepared to spend more than the similar non-beaded dress. Full beaded dresses are also a LOT harder to alter FYI, so be prepared to spend more there too. Just from pageant dress experience.
  • try this little trick: see a bridesmaid dress that is gorgeous? Buy that instead. It’s all about the name “bridal gown” that jacks up the price. I have seen two lovely dresses and I am pretty sure are prom or pageant dresses but you seriously cannot even tell. Can you??Jenny Packham Blush Sequin Gown
  • try a themed wedding. It is not exactly smart to buy full ball gown for a beach wedding. It’s common knowledge that beach weddings are usually more low-key and a simpler, flowy dress as opposed to a full on gown.
  • if white is the goal, ignore this tip: but shop off color! Wedding dresses are coming in more and more colors, it no longer stands for the cookie cutter white. While there is nothing wrong with white, it will probably be my color so don’t think I am throwing it casually aside, but if you buy black, red, or blush you will most likely save some serious cash by going off color.
  • DIY, let’s get real. If you are good with a sewing machine or know someone who is, you are going to save a ton of money just making the dress yourself. And it will mean a lot more if you or your grandma makes it.

Let me know what you have done to save some money on your wedding dress!

Vera Wang

My college roommate just announced that she will be walking a Vera Wang Fashion Show on March 8. This is huge. We always dreamed she would be big and this is her break!! She left Butler after only one semester with me and went over seas to model in Europe and it apparently paid off. I am just ecstatic for this young woman for getting a huge modeling break.

Just in case you don’t know who Vera Wang is (and let’s be honest my dad knows who Vera Wang is)…a list of celebrities who have worn her wedding dresses alone:

Kim Kardashian, Kaley Cuoco, Chelsea Clinton, Alicia Keys, Khloe Kardashian, Ivanka Trump, Victoria Beckham, Hilary Duff, Jennifer Garner, and many, many more.

Her work is beautiful and stunning and simply the best and go-to for any woman.

Work, girl.

You Don't Alter Vera Wang to fit

 

Trying to Find my Niche

So far, my blogging on this page has been a little bit of everything. Travel, beauty, pageants, reality TV, Frozen, cats, Pitch Perfect. It’s all over the place. I have a very wandering mind as it is, and my blog is proof of this! When I wrote on my other blog: My Journey as a Cast Member, I had a lot of traffic due to my one specific main topic: being a Disney Cast Member. Here, I am still trying to find my place. I enjoy writing about anything that comes to mind…hence the randomness. I just am not good at one specific thing. I have a lot of interests and none of those interests are particularly my strong point.

Truth be told, my strong point is genetic engineering, watching TV, writing, Pinterest, and Jared. But who wants to hear about that stuff? Well, apparently you do since you are here 😉

And so it begins..

Bedtime Routine Corrupted By….

I have stooped to an all time technology low in my books. I realize a ton of people take their laptop to bed with them, but I just find it so…whats the word I am looking for? Disconnected. Which is actually very ironic because my laptop MUST be connected at all times to have a battery life. I feel disconnected to the people I love and I just want to make the sacrifice that no computer should enter my bed. I am still working on getting my phone and tablet and ipod out of bed with me too..I know, I am so scandalous sleeping with so many gadgets. But then again, how would I read if I didn’t have my tablet?

This has lead me down a different thought path: my bedtime routine is pretty fascinating. Not. But hey, I gotta write something in all this blank space (cue T.Swift).

(I had to Google if that was really part of the music video (it is) and then I was captivated and had to watch the entire thing, which leads me to question: was that a Shelby Cobra she ruined? I think my heart just died a little.)

So bedtime routine:

No specific times. When I feel tired, I head to bed.

Well first I head to the bathroom, I have a bathroom within my room so I never have to leave my sanctuary. It is very lovely indeed. In the bathroom I usually go pee and wash my hands. Then take out my contacts and wash my face. First, I use Lush Herbalism, I use it for my oily skin and it has kaolin clay and grounded almonds to exfoliate and mop up oils. It does not dry out your skin in any way possible. It is simply the best.

Herbalism

After I rinse Herbalism off, I scrub my face with Coalface Cleanser also from Lush. This one has liquorice  root and powdered charcoal! It has little bits of charcoal standing out in the bar which seriously exfoliates the skin, just be careful and gentle with it!

**I just need to point out that I love Lush Cosmetics and do not work for them or get anything from mentioning them on my blog: that being said, I seriously recommend Lush 100%. It’s a bit more money than what you see at a drugstore, but in life: you get what you pay for. And you pay for all natural ingredients and some are even vegan products! I love the Lush website because if you click on a product they are straightforward about the ingredients and if you like the ingredient a lot, say you like coconut oil in Coalface, you can click on it and it shows you a description and other Lush products with the ingredient in it also. A quick tip that I like to share: don’t be intimidated by the prices on the website. If you walk into any Lush store (granted you are lucky enough to have one near you) they will measure out exactly how much you are willing to spend. If you want $4.22 of Coalface, they will measure it out for you. If you want 10.9 oz of Honey I Washed the Kids, they will cut you off that much! They don’t exactly advertise that on their website, but trust me they do it! And I love this especially when I am trying something new!! Extra hint: they almost always give you a free sample of something popular! Especially if you buy a few things!! (okay, I am done selling Lush to you now).

Brush teeth: I use Crest 3D white just because it goes along with the Crest 3D white strips I use (but I do not use white strips after I brush my teeth, usually before bed time routine).

Remove all traces of eye make up not caught by my face washing, I use Maybelline eyeliner and Covergirl mascara (I almost always accidentally buy the waterproof because I am in a hurry, which is almost impossible to remove without removing several eyelashes…do eyelashes grow back?) and that stuff stays for life..okay, not really. But it stays for awhile unless you wash it off. I use eye remover wipes to take the nasty stuff off at the end of the day.

Adjust the heater: I have a large, industrial heater in my bathroom a) to make sure the pipes don’t freeze & b) to make sure I don’t freeze at night. 99% of the time I go to bed freezing and wake up at some point in the night to turn it off because it gets rather warm. I set it at 73 at all times and it just adjusts itself how it pleases (it has a mind of it’s own, I swear). Sometimes it’ll be at 82 and sometimes it’ll be at 66. I guess it depends what kind of mood it is in that day. Silly heater.

After that I crawl into bed and set to work on my SimCity tablet game. I am obsessed. If I am still in the mood for gaming, I switch over to my phone and play My Talking Tom, a woman I worked with in HOH at Disney got me onto this game one of the last weeks I worked for Disney and I play it religiously. It’s so dumb though! But hey, can’t break the habit now. Then after Talking Tom, I play Fish Live (how original) it’s basically like an Insaneaquarium but not nearly as good. Then if I’m still up for games, I play Jumping Finn Turbo, my boyfriend and I call it kick buttowski, because I thought that’s what it was called, but that might be a different Cartoon Network show. But after many making-fun-ofs by judgmental people, I have learned the name of the show is called Adventure Time, I have never seen the show, but I am obsessed with the game thanks to Jared.

Usually after a few rounds of kick buttowski, I am ready to read. Currently, I am re-reading Fifty Shades of Grey (collective sigh) the books are way better than the first released movie. That is all I will say about that.

Depending how tired I am, I will ready for 10 minutes-2 hours. After I am too tired to read anymore I switch over to my Harry Potter audiobooks on my iPod. Now I have a separate iPod with all my audiobooks on one iPod and all my music on a separate iPod, but I have seemed to have misplaced my audiobook iPod, so I have to listen to the first Harry Potter on my music iPod. I don’t know how it got on there, but by that happy mistake, it leaves me with at least one HP book if I forget/lose/misplace my audiobook iPod.

After I turn on HP, I usually go in order of books and fast forward to the part I remember before falling asleep. I turn on a sleep timer, usually for 30 minutes unless I am super tired and then I will turn it on at 15 minutes. And I am almost always asleep before the iPod turns off. It is such a lovely way to fall asleep and I have gotten such into a habit of listening to Harry Potter whilst falling asleep that I don’t know why I haven’t done it before. It is so soothing and relaxing almost like storms are to me.

And that is my bedtime routine from start to finish. Is there anything we do in common or something really crazy you do for your bedtime routine? Sound out to me in the comments!!

Men Words vs Women Words

Today, there are so many things men and women differ in: our habits, our routines, our interests, and our vocabulary is no different. Just because there is a definition in the dictionary, it relates to men and women differently. Here are the top words that change when talking to a woman vs a man.

Jeans:a sturdy twilled fabric, usually of cotton

Man: a blue pair of denim that you wear everyday. Different from gym and business wear.

Woman: a staple in your wardrobe that is meant to be worn out, only in a casual encounter. Not date time, girlfriend time, or to be worn at home. Unless already on your legs and too lazy to change out of them. Trending is a skinny, jegging, bootcut, boyfriend, dark wash, bleached, or ripped type.

Colors: the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light.

Man: ROYGBV. Straightforward colors of the rainbow. Black and white can be added too.

Woman: Cobalt, Burnt Sienna, Off White, Mauve, Laurel, Periwinkle, Rose, Eggplant, Mahogany. Mostly any color you can find in a crayola box, you can find in a woman’s arsenal of descriptive colors of ROYGBV.

Crowded Crayon Colors

Date Night:a social appointment, engagement, or occasion arranged beforehand with another person.

Man: Dinner and a Movie

Woman: one hour in the shower, two hours in the bathroom, 20 minutes in the closet, 20 minutes picking out shoes, cocktails, talking, dinner, popcorn, movies, home, three hours analyzing everything with your BFF after you say goodnight.

BitchSlanga complaint.

Man: an insult. Never to be used speaking to or about a woman.

Woman: your main BFF. or your boyfriends ex. You always know the difference without explaining yourself though.

Greek Yogurt: has been strained to remove its whey, resulting in a relatively thick consistency, while preserving yogurt’s distinctive taste.

Man: yogurt made in Greece?

Woman: a thicker, more textured version of light yogurt giving it a unique flavor. A very trendy breakfast in 2010’s. Can add fruit, honey, or other additives to give a better flavor and more heavy weight to feel fuller.

Work: something on which exertion or labor is expended.

Man: a 9-5 job that puts bread on the table and money in the pocket.

Woman: you better bring it; so fierce.

FineInformal. in an excellent manner; very well.

Man: to describe a non-girlfriend type woman. Also used to describe his day before going into detail.

Woman: a word used to describe something she is burning to talk about, but wants you to care enough to ask what she’s really thinking.

Christmas: the most wonderful time of the year.

Man: a time where family gets together and food is eaten and gifts exchanged.

Woman: two words: engagement season.

image from Huffington Post

 

DIY: do it yourself.

Man: working out in the shed or garage, fixing up the house. Manly things, keeping the woman happy.

Woman: going on pinterest, finding the thing you need the least and making a day out making things! Keeps your mind and hands occupied from him not texting.

Get Ready: To prepare, to make ready or prepared.

Man: put clothes and shoes on. Grab keys.

Woman: shower, makeup, hair, lingerie, stand in closet, pants, top, change pants and top to a dress, change shoes, change hair, sip wine, wait 10 minutes, say you are ready. (see Date Night)

Haircut: the act or an instance of cutting the hair; the style in which hair has been cut

Man: wash and cut at a mans barber shop.

Woman: magazines, shampoo, condition, gossip, cut, layers, bangs, blow-dry, straighten, find out a way to repeat at home!

Work Out: to take part in physical exercise, as in training.

Man: go to the gym, work out your body by specifying which muscles to tone.

Woman: find the most trendy way to sweat. Most recent trends: cycling, Zumba, hot yoga, ballet, CrossFit, Pole Dancing, Barre Fitness, and soo many more. Also an excuse to buy Victoria’s Secret Pink sweats.

Going to Sleep: the act of falling asleep

Man: sex.

Woman: laying in bed reading, until her man touches her, silently asking for sex.

And the Winner Is.. The Ultimate Pageant Guide

I have done pageants since I was 4 years old. As terrible as Toddlers & Tiaras have given the pageant world reputation, I am here to set the story straight. Not all pageants are like that. That is a very dramatized, small portion of what kind of pageants are out there! As long as I have been in the pageant industry, I have only seen one type of this kind of pageantry and we got the heck out of there! Natural pageants are a great way to build your resume, public speaking skills, confidence, and comfort zone.

I don’t want to brag, but I even got into judging. Okay, I love to brag about judging. I think it is an amazing feeling to crown the right girl and have a say in that decision. I have judged more than a few pageants, the best was a Miss American Organization Little Miss Pageant in 2013.

Here are my top tips and tricks:

If it is on your bio page/resume, be prepared to talk about it! If I see something on the bottom of your page that interests me or that we have in common, I will 9 times out of 10 ask you to talk about it. I have seen a judge ask a question about why a contestant enjoys playing with her cat in her free time. If you mention any kind of information at all, be ready to answer anything about it.

Be honest. Sounds pretty basic but don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. When I used to do pageants, I thought of the question as if it were coming from someone in the community, not from a judge. It is easy to get caught up in what you think a judge wants to hear, but they see right through that! Trust me.

Practice answering interview and stage questions. Have someone fire questions at you constantly. The more you hear a question (any kind of question) the quicker your response will be. Most judges give you a few seconds grace period, but if you can’t think of an answer in under 10 seconds, I would try to come to your rescue by giving a suggestion or skipping the question. If a five year old came up and asked you the same question in public, would you sit there until they moved on? No. You would take a second to compose yourself and answer as honestly as possible. Which is exactly what I want you to be able to do in front of a judge too.

The interview will not always make or break you. I have seen girls turn around and win pageants after answering one or two questions off in a pageant interview. However, that is the chance for a judge to see who you are. One of the only rare chances. And if you bomb it, you better be able to add up to the interview points in all the other categories. Check which part is weighted for more points. Usually the interview is one of the top weighted categories in natural pageants. I have seen it as high as 40%-60%. If something is worth that much, you have to realize that is what you want to practice and ace first. If anything is weighted 60% and you lose it, there is no coming back and winning it. Plain and simple. If the evening gown is worth 5% and the onstage question is worth 25%, well you do the math. A judge does not care if orange is your color as much as if you hit the onstage question.

After answering the onstage question or giving your introduction, for the love of God I do not care if every other girl on that stage says it: do not say thank you. Who are you thanking? That is not real life. You do not thank the little girl for asking you what your favorite part is. So do not say it to me. It sounds terrible and does not fit the situation. Just don’t do it.

There is not always a “right answer”. The pageant I help coordinate with my sister-in-law every year, we tell the girls this story every year: Amanda (my sister-in-law) and I were asked the same question both years we won (she won in 2009, I won in 2010) and we were asked the same question two years in a row-“Would you rather be Miss Newton County or Miss Congeniality?” Amanda answered one way and I answered the other.  Amanda answered: “I would rather be Miss Newton County. I did not sign up for the Miss Congeniality pageant, I signed up to be Miss Newton County.” And she won. I answered “I would rather be Miss Congeniality. Miss Congeniality is voted upon by the six other girls I have been with for the last six weeks. I can come into this room and fool you all for three minutes, but I think those girls would know if I were being fake for six weeks.” And I won. So the same question can be answered both ways. This is true for almost every question asked. As long as you back up what you say with confidence, it doesn’t matter which way you go.

Get your shoes dyed. If I see a silver shoe under a pink dress, I will be looking at your feet instead of your face and composure. When I did pageants, there were two options: get the shoes dyed to match your dress or wear taupe (or flesh) colored shoes. Today, I think most judges have relaxed a bit on this, but it is just something that has stuck with me since I did pageants.

It’s easy to get caught up in spending a ton of money for a pageant, but borrow where you can. Natural pageants are easy to stay low-budget. When I was in high school, I would buy my prom dress based on pageant standards (there is a difference between a pageant gown and a prom dress). Think sparkles and a solid color. (Like shown below. Also, enlist in help with your hair and makeup instead of spending $50 getting someone else to do it. It will turn out just as lovely and you don’t need to be extremely fancy. Spend that $50 extra getting your shoes dyed, instead.

I am the one in dark blue, the year I was crowned

Passing on my crown

I’m in the orange.

Do your research. A judge might not ask you what year 4-H started, but if someone sees you are a 10 year 4-H member and you can’t give basic facts, well let’s just say you won’t win that conversation. If the pageant director tells you this is a 4-H pageant, it would behoove you to take that extra step and learn the basics about 4-H (especially if you are a member of 4-H). If it is a Miss Indiana State Fair pageant, you better believe somebody will come up to you and ask you what your favorite building or memory is of the State Fair. And if you have no answer, well let’s face it, you might want to reconsider running for Miss Indiana State Fair.

Have fun. Another basic tip, but let’s be straightforward. I can tell the difference between someone who’s mom put her up to it and when someone truly wants to be in a pageant. If you go into the pageant with your goal to meet friends and learn something you didn’t know before: you will almost always succeed. If your goal is to win, well your crown won’t keep you smiling at night. (well it might the first few years), but the lifetime of friends I met judging and competing in pageants.

Take a step down and listen to what your coach or mentor is saying. There is always that one girl who thinks she knows it all (it was me one or two times) about pageants. Just because you won before does not mean you will win this one. If someone tells you that dress will not work or to correct your answer, she is usually just being honest and trying to help you win. I would never send someone into a pageant trying to sabotage them. Which is why I would tell you if your dress is trashy or if you say ‘like’ one more time I will make you start your answer over until you get it right. It is to make sure you don’t do that in front of the judges who matter. Not to make you look bad. There is always that girl who defies the advice and does it her way anyway, and guess what…she never wins.

A different set of judges will give you a different set of winners. Every pageant, there is going to be someone who does not win the title. That is the way it goes. Try to be respectful to the person who wins by showing class and taking it home to throw a fit. If you had won, you would want everyone to plaster a smile on their face so do the same courtesy to them. Each judge has a different opinion and looks for different things that are right and things that get marked down. I had three different judges with three very different opinions about my business suit: “it looks like a sack” “you wore it with class and sophistication” “do not wear that to state fair”. You get the point. ( I bought the suit off of Miss Pennsylvania, if anyone cares). Always remember just because you didn’t win, does not mean you are any less of a person. If you took your interview and skills into a job interview, it might have had a different outlook. This piece of advice humbles winners too going onto the next level of competition.