Our Gatsby Wedding Dance – Rumba, Lindy Hop, and East Coast Swing


Choreographed by Gigi Burton in Tucson, Arizona. Songs: “Adorn You” by Miguel and “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae. Music arranged by the best man, Chris. Video recorded and edited by Lauryn Ann from Lauryn Ann Photography.

Scottie and I decided we wanted to have a very memorable first dance. We hired the best choreographer in Tucson, Arizona, Gigi Burton, and began the adventure of couple dancing for the first time. We wanted something romantic and Gatsby 20s. We decided on using two different songs – both modern and amazing songs but had a classic vibe. “Adorn You” by Miguel has that sexy feel that was perfect for the rumba and “Tightrope” by Janelle Monae has that jazz/swing feel that was perfect for the Lindy Hop and Swing. Our amazing best man Chris put the music together and even slowed down the Janelle Monae song because it was unnaturally fast for us to dance to!

The actual dance classes: They felt like couples therapy! We fought, overcame obstacles, and encouraged each other. It was so fun having a goal to work towards together — making time to take lessons and practice provided us with time we would not have made for each other.  In total, we took about 8 hours of dance lessons and spent countless hours practicing. It was totally worth it to surprise all of our guests with this first dance! Our friends and family had no idea we were plotting a secret dance. Just a heads up: my mom is the the very loud one in the video — clearly she was super shocked by our first dance.

For anyone considering a choreographed dance for their own First Dance, here is my advice… DO IT!

  • We loved the time we spent together. Like, loved it.
  • It was fun learning how to dancing together. I had taken some classes in college, but never really became “good” at it. Scott was totally a dance virgin. We got to learn a new, super hard, skill together. Which brings me to…
  • Don’t give up when you realize it is fucking hard to dance (yes, it looks so easy on tv – it is so much harder to dance in a box than I ever imagined it was). We really almost quit after the first class because we assumed we would have it nailed in 2 classes and came to the realization this was not going to be easy. It got easier and easier with each class and every time we practiced.
  • Give yourself ample time to enjoy the whole dance aspect of the wedding planning. We learned our dance in less than 2 months and it was pretty stressful at times. I would give at least 3 months to have fun with it.
  • It is terrifying to dance for the first time in your wedding clothes. We didn’t know how the lifts would work with all the beading in my dress and if my dress was going to be slippery. Practice BEFORE you bust it out in front of everyone – one of my friends pulled over in a parking lot after they were married to practice their wedding dance. We did a quick practice session when we were taking couples pictures.
  • You will be listening to your dance song(s) over and over again – make sure you wont grow sick of the music. I still am not sick of our songs – but our teacher Gigi said she had one couple who decided 2 weeks before their wedding they hated the song they chose and she had to re-choreograph moves to a new song.
  • It is a bit expensive, but if you search around and find a choreographer who teaches privately and not out of a studio it is much cheaper. Gigi found various studios we could practice in (dance studios, yoga studios, and she even offered to come to our home). We would pay for the studio rental, about $25 an hour, and then pay her fee as well. It was far less expensive than the studios were charging.

I hope you enjoy the video! We will forever cherish this memory and may even continue dancing as a “date night.” I totally fell in love with Swing Dancing! It helps Scottie is very strong and I just get to be picked up.

Photos by Gaby J. Photography

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love, Sarah

Sneak Peak at Wedding Photos


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Thank You Card design, Inspired Lines: White, from Wedding Paper Divas

Consider this the wedding photo nip-slip.

Scott and I finally had a few hours to sit together and look at our 500+ wedding pictures from Gaby J. Photography (located in Las Vegas). We are so happy with our pictures! If you don’t already know, we had a very intimate Great Gatsby themed wedding in Las Vegas, NV and it was seriously the best wedding I could have ever asked for. Looking at the pictures made me want to do it all over again!

Get ready to be flooded with wedding-centric posts. I have been waiting for our fabulous photos before I share all of our DIYs, non-DIYs, book/Great Gatsby inspired design choices, and wedding lessons learned. Don’t worry, I will try to spread it out as I know not everyone who subscribes gives a flying fuck about my wedding!

love, Sarah

PS: Sorry to blow the thank you card surprise my wonderful friends! Just act surprised when you get it in the mail…

When Being Impulsive is not Spontaneous


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When you think of spontaneous don’t you imagine someone saying, “Fuck it! Let’s drive 6 hours to the beach; we have a whole weekend for an adventure!” What about someone who is impulsive? I always pictured my spontaneity and impulsive behavior as the same… a fun outlook I added to life. Yet, as I get older and life gets more and more mundane with bills, obligations, and adult bullshit, I can no longer pretend my impulsive ADHD behaviors are fun and spontaneous because really they are making me anxiety ridden.

Daily I become more comfortable with my ADHD [read some posts about it here] and I am beginning to become aware of some crazy impulsive behaviors. Here is an example: Scottie and I are making dinner. All is good and happy and then I remember out of nowhere “OMG I forgot to respond to that email about Thanksgiving with my extended family!” and I rush to find the computer, abandoning the the peppers I am in the middle of cutting. I run out of the room in a panic as Scott yells after me, “Where are you going? I need you cut the peppers!” So, feeling very bad about leaving him in the kitchen, I tear myself away from my email and continue cutting peppers. But, this is where it becomes complicated, I am so anxious I will forget to write that email to the point where I begin to feel full of anxiety and dread. People without ADHD, like my wonderful husband, try to convince me I can write the email in 30 minutes when dinner is done. But I know, and fear, the need to write this email will dissolve away and it will never get done. I will disappoint my family by making them feel like they are not important. Or even worse, I will get this impulsive urge the next day at another terrible moment when I am driving or something. I will again feel this stress because I know I can’t complete this task or, the worst option of all, I give in and try to write this email on my phone as I drive.

I wish this was true of just little annoying tasks in day to day life, but I feel this way about almost all aspects of my life and I feel an intense, and all consuming, urge to do whatever it is I want at that moment. Most things are not even fun. It may be interrupting someone who is talking because I have a thought and I am scared I will forget it, getting so antsy in situations because I think of something different to do, etc.  As the email example shows, I am often missing out on the moment in am currently in because I am so caught up in my own insanely rapid thoughts.

Oh Dennis, you know me so well.

Oh Dennis, you know me so well.

Now, what am I learning to helps cope with these urges? My doc says the medicine helps to calm impulsiveness because it is a chemical imbalance in my brain that makes me feel this way. Great, but I can’t, nor do I want to, ALWAYS be medicated and use it as an excuse. I have a planner that I keep all my “tasks” in and this helps, but sometimes I can’t write things down and I often forget to look at my planner. I missed a doc appointment this week because I forgot my planner at home. My best friend K said I should start using my iPhone’s voice notes and then set aside a time to “action” tasks. Actioning tasks has been the best advice yet.

What are my steps to stop impulsive behaviors from become debilitating?

  • Use a planner/notebook/scrap paper/voice notes to record all tasks, ideas, and needs in that moment. Then allow myself to be free of them.
  • Have a time when I get home from work, about 30 minutes max, to sit down with all my notes and start completing them or delaying them to another time.
  • Do not buy things impulsively – it will be there tomorrow and if I need it I can go back and get it.
  • Do not make plans impulsively – I am married and it isn’t just me I am making plans for anymore. I need to be fair to Scottie and allow him to be a part of these decision [can you tell this is an area of great discourse for us?]
  • Try with all my might to listen when people talk and not allow my thoughts to become more important than theirs.
  • If I feel impulsive anxiety overtaking the moment I am in, I try and acknowledge it and let go of those stresses. Be more in the moment.
  • Forgive myself for being this way and don’t allow guilt to make me feel bad about myself.

I guess it is all about self control when it comes to overcoming impulsive behaviors. Yet, some of these behaviors are really fun at time. Life with ADHD is not all horrible. Sometimes those impulsive moments are indeed spontaneous adventures.

love, Sarah

When to Cut Curly Hair?


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All you curly hair ladies probably hate going to get a hair cut as much as I do. They always cut it too short, ignore the fact that I have curly hair and style it terrible. I once had someone thin my hair with feathering. Yes, it was a puff-ball for about 4 months.

As I get to that 6-8 week mark since my last haircut, I started to actually consider, “when should I really cut my hair?” Last year I went 10 months without cutting my hair [oh God, so embarrassing]. So since it is a new year, I decided I should treat my hair better and do it right. I did a little research, and this is what I found:

1) Trimming your hair will not make it grow any quicker. I always felt like this was a bullshit lie hairdressers made up for more business! Now Oprah’s website has confirmed it. It seems that your hair will look longer if you have less split ends, yet how often you cut your hair has nothing to do with your hair growth.

2) Your hair length determines the necessary cutting time frame. I guess this makes sense! If you are keeping a certain hairstyle you would need to get it cut to maintain it. From a Daily Makeover article:

The length of hair is a deciding factor on when you should schedule your trim. “Hair that is collar bone and shorter should have a trim [every] 4-6 weeks. Hair that is collar bone and longer should have a trim [every] 6-8 weeks. Anything longer on both risks having to sacrifice length due to timing.”

3) Curly hair with split ends is frizzier. I basically have added this fact from experience and this WikiHow article. I have noticed that when my hair ends are too fried my hair starts to get very tangled. No matter what I do I have a mess. The more damage to your hair, the more frizz.

To sum it all up: I will begin cutting my hair when I notice the start of split ends. Not just one split end, but a bunch of them. Maybe it will be 2 months, but I think if you have curly hair you should be following any advice that prevents frizz. If split ends make for more frizz, that is enough motivation for me to go and cut those ends off.

Now to find a good hairstylist…

love, Sarah

Who Needs Oil Absorbing Sheets When Toilet Seat Covers Are Free?


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My besties K & L have been telling me for years that the toilet seat covers in public bathrooms are the best for absorbing the daily oil that gathers on your face. Being totally stubborn, I just said “yeah yeah… weirdos.”

They are, of course, right! I have a very oily, olive complexion and recently started using Retain A again. Retain A is a very intense ache treatment that takes extra layers of your skin off so new, healthier skin can be acne free. It’s also great for anti-aging! Obviously this is the NOT technical explanation of this prescription, but basically it makes my skin peel and look all around flaky. So I lather on the moisturizer and then look like I put my face in oil oil by lunch. I started using those toilet seat covers at every pee break and, what do you know, they suck up the oil on my face and leave my make-up in place! Sounds like a musical jingle.

I will never look at toilet seat covers the same again. And they are free!

love, Sarah

PS: I may begin documenting my Retain A use. I know some people hate it/swear by it. Thoughts?

Husband & Wife!!!


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It’s done! We got married on December 13th and I couldn’t be happier. The wedding was beautiful, Scott and I had an amazing time, and [mostly] everything went as planned. We got married is Las Vegas and pulled of the “Great Gatsby” themed wedding… Just waiting on our photographs from out fabulous photographer Gaby J. before you get all the dets! I can’t wait to share with you readers all the DIY projects, wedding planning insights, and marriage revelations.

To add to the craziness of the last few months, I started a corporate information management job a month before the wedding. This job involves long days, weird culture, and I am currently working through being an exhausted, whiny little bitch and new wife. Sound fun for the new hubby, right? Don’t worry, I will fill his ears with my complaining so you all can be spared,

How the hell do people have energy to work out and grocery shop after work? I spend more time with my weird co-workers than anyone else… Seems unfair. When I got into work – it was dark … I left work – it was dark.”

I do like it though! What can I say, I am a girl who just loves lists and excel sheets.

Now that me and the hubby are settling back into normal life, it looks a lot like it use to:

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All the dogs are wearing it…

For now, it’s good to be back on the blog! Thanks for your patience and for all of you that keep discovering it [even though I was MIA and a frizzy stressed mess]. Keep checking your inbox/reader for new updates. I think 2014 is going to be pretty amazing and I am excited to see how this blog develops.

love, Sarah

What Curly Hair Products Does Lorde Use?


From the Interview Magazine piece with the curl hair Holy Grail.

When researching Lorde, the new 16 year old pop sensation, I couldn’t help but love that she wears her hair natural and curly. Thank God, finally curls are getting some notice. I posted about it here because looking at her curls you can tell they (a) aren’t brushed and (b) are not “fresh” curls. If any of you reading this have natural curls like me, you understand.

In my research I also found what products she used in this photo shoot – the fucking Holy Grail because us natural curly ladies are always searching for that perfect product.

In the Interview photo shoot they share she uses:

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE, INCLUDING CURL CONSCIOUS SMOOTHING SHAMPOO.

Now on my list of things to buy, you can also check out the website of Bumble & Bumble — Curl Conscious. So many amazing [and expensive] products!

love, Sarah

DIY Honeymoon Postcard Keepsake Book


20131020-214101.jpgPostcard Image Source from Etsy Shop Sherdellah.

For our honeymoon we have the pleasure of partaking in the Cloud 9 Adventures organized trip called Mayan Holidaze in Cancun, Mexico. It is amazing because my fiancée loves all the bands and djs [like the Disco Biscuits], I get to eat and drink unlimited amounts, and – most importantly – I get to finally pay my fiancée back for THE INFAMOUS big drunken mess of 2007. At this time in my life I was still figuring out that I can’t drink an obscene amount of alcohol [that is what college is for, right?]. I was visiting him when he lived in NY and he bought us tickets to one of his favorite bands Sound Tribe Sector 9. As soon as we got there I drank way to much and I immediately went missing. He spent the night looking for me and found me in the women’s bathroom crying my eyes out for no other reason than I was drunk. It was one of those rare blackout nights I am not proud of. He missed the entire concert and, as fate would have it, that band will be playing on our honeymoon! Sometimes life just works out.

Back to the adorable honeymoon keepsake… While on your honeymoon, mail yourself a postcard each day with inside jokes and memories from your honeymoon. Then you bind it together when you come home. Yes, completely freaking adorable.

Two different websites have separate techniques, and great tutorials, on how to make this a reality.

Design Sponge shares how to do Japanese Stab Binding. This technique allows you to use papers of different weights and styles. It uses a binding needle and thread to bind pages together.

The other contender is Dream Green DIY using only colorful washi tape. You use the super cute fabric tape to bind together the postcards. It seems so simple with endless creative possibilities and washi tape as the sole item to purchase. Score!

Personally, I think I will try to do the stab binding as I have some knowledge with sewing and it looks a little more stable and durable. The idea is kind of perfect for any vacation, but since our honeymoon is in less than 2 months, it is a the best memento I can ask for.

love, Sarah

Olive Oil Solves Stainless Steel Woes


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Don’t you hate when you just clean your stainless steel and, after you wash you hands, there are little smudges and fingerprints all over? Well, olive oil solves this cleaning woe. Just put a thin layer of olive oil on a cloth or paper towel and rub it on your stainless-steel. It adds a layer of protection from grubby fingers.

love, Sarah

Beauty Secret #4: Honey is the CURE for Those Nasty Blackheads


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Image from the amazing blog Crunchy Betty.

For the first time since I was 12, my skin is starting to clear up from acne! Hallelujah! However, this clearer skin has brought an increase in those dreaded blackheads. We all know popping blackheads is wrong and a horrible habit to get into, but I could not just stare at all those blackheads and do nothing about it!

First, what exactly are blackheads? As Dr. Oz explains in this really strange segment on his show [they pop the most disgusting and gigantic fake blackheads as a demonstration] blackheads are caused by bacteria and oil getting in your pores – just like a pimple. On one hand pimples’ heads are closed which makes them swell up and get red, while blackheads have an open head which allows air to get in the pore and then appear black! Fucking disgusting! Don’t you want to pop them even more now? Well my friend, I found the cure for you — HONEY. I scoured the internet looking for a cheap and natural remedy for these blackheads and hit the jackpot on Crunch Betty with a article titled 5 Natural Ways to Remove Blackheads.

Crunchy Betty’s Honey Pat-Down

Ingredients:

  1. Honey
  2. Clean and dry face

Directions:

  1. Wash your face and allow your skin to completely dry — this includes your hands. Dry is essential for this to work properly because if your skin is moist it will just spread the honey all over your face rather than get the stickiness you want.
  2. Put a small amount of honey on your fingers and start quickly patting your face where you have blackheads. The honey will stick to your pores and pull out the blackheads like those blackhead strips. From personal trial and error, it seems skin on skin is the only thing that works. I tried toilet paper [the paper stuck to my face] and wax strips [the honey wasn’t sticky enough to grab onto the wax strips].
  3. You may need to wash your hands between areas because you will start to see little blackhead chunks on your fingers. I have even done it with the palm of my hands and back of my hands.
  4. After your feel you have yanked all the blackheads out of your pores, wash your face again.
  5. Your skin will look a little bit red from the sticky honey. This will fade but your face will feel so soft and clean – like you just had a facial!

Honey is so great for your skin. The Huffington Post shares in their article 9 Super Sweet Facts About Honey,

Honey’s anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties draw out impurities from the skin, thus targeting breakouts, reducing redness and calming inflammation.

This means that if there is honey left in your pores it will not quickly turn into another blackhead or an angry pimple.

Enjoy getting rid of your blackheads! It has now become a nightly ritual for me after I wash my face and I can admit it feels so awesome to know I am fighting those blackheads with something delicious. No need to buy expensive pore strips or washes, honey does the trick better than any of them [trust me, I have tried them all].

Check out more beauty secrets here.

love, Sarah