3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Have a Movie-Themed Wedding

There’s an alarming trend running through the wedding industry.

You’ve probably seen it, and—even worse—you’ve probably been swayed by a pretty inspiration shoot into thinking that it’s not that bad of an idea.

I’m talking about movie-themed weddings. And I’m here to tell you why you should back away from those wand favors and reconsider.


1. Today’s hottest trends are tomorrow’s fodder for VH1’s I Heart the ‘10s.
It’s one thing to say you want to incorporate timeless, Gothic-style decor into your reception space. It’s a whole other to want “Edward” and “Bella” signs hanging on your chairs at dinner. I’m firmly convinced that movie-themed weddings will be for our generation what feathered bangs and bell-bottom trouser pants were for our parents—quickly outdated and the subject of much mockery by posterity.

Besides, your wedding photos are going to be prominently displayed in your home (and your parents’ and grandparents’ homes) probably forever. Unless you plan to live in a haunted castle or a thatched-roof cottage, movie-themed wedding photos might not exactly match the curtains. (At the very least, be sure to order a few prints in black and white.)

{bridal party source, decor source}

2. Your wedding should be a reflection of you.
“But Justine,” you say, “I love Harry Potter! Harry Potter is me!” No, dear reader. Harry Potter is a fictional (sorry, fans) character that you really enjoy reading about and possibly watching on screen. Harry Potter is a fantasy who lives in a fantasy world you like to escape to now and then. You might wish it was all real, but you also (hopefully) acknowledge that it isn’t.

You know what is real and should be taken seriously? Your marriage. And there’s something about basing the most important relationship of your life on a fairy tale that spells trouble for the future. Besides, if your relationship really is based on the eternal battle between good and evil, the struggle of the people versus an oppressive government regime, or your fiance’s struggle to not drink your blood, you have issues beyond the scope of my advice.

{dress source, cake source, hair source}

3. I’m not sure that means what you think it means.
Yup, I’m dedicating an entire point to one movie: The Hunger Games weddings. Can we just…not? You have read the books right? Then you should know these books are not about romance. They never are, and they never will be. Just trust me that you don’t want to base your wedding day on a story about children murdering children. Something about that is just a turn-off. And I say that as someone who really likes this trilogy.

What you really mean when you say you want a Hunger Games wedding is, “I want a woodsy wedding theme and to wear a side braid.” Just do that. Including a mockingjay monogram on your stationery is just unnecessary. (Unless you’re planning to have your bridal party battle to the death to see who gets the bouquet. In which case, maybe you live in more of a fantasy land than I thought.)

Now, obviously I’m not saying you shouldn’t incorporate the things you and your fiance are passionate about in your wedding. You should. And if one of those things happens to be the latest YA lit craze, by all means, incorporate details into your wedding. (Even some of the examples I showed above can be pretty.)

So, go ahead. Name your tables after the Hogwart’s houses. Decorate your tables with a few black candelabras. But for the love of all that is holy, leave your bow and arrow at home.

6 (Super Easy) Summer Hairstyles

After a fairly warm winter and a pretty rainy spring, summer has apparently decided to up its game this year.

Basically, it’s hot, y’all. And not just hot. Humid.

Pretty much everyone and their dog complains about humidity, so I’m not even going to bother whining to you guys. The point is, it’s super humid and that makes looking decently put-together even more of a chore than it usually is.

I’ve already decided to give up on keeping my makeup from sliding off my face (summer routine consists of: tinted moisturizer, liquid eyeliner (I’m determined to master winged eyeliner this year), mascara, chapstick…and the tiniest bit of concealer for those nights when I don’t get as much sleep as I should), but the true challenge is managing the veritable beast of hair growing out of my head.

I’m blessed/cursed with pretty thick hair. And because I honestly find long hair easier to manage than short hair (at least in my case…homegirl has some wicked cowlicks), it’s pretty long at the moment as well. AKA, we’re talking quite a bit of hair.

Which is great. Except when it’s not.

This time of year, there is really no point in trying to go for a sleek look. Frizz, perpetual dampness, bizarre waves — it’s the perfect storm of hair follies.

And that’s why I’ve decided that Summer 2012 will be the SUMMER OF UPDOS. (Yup, we live large in my head.)(On my head?)

Lately I’ve been pinning every simple updo I find for those days when my hair is too trialsome to deal with. Here are a few of my favorite options so far:

1. Top knot. Remember the good ol’ days when we just called this a bun? Anyway, top knots have taken over the blog world lately, and they’re perfect for just getting wonky hair up and out of you face. Plus, as we know, great for days when you haven’t washed your hair for most of the week. (Not that I ever do that..errr….)

2. The 3-Braid Bun. The trouble with most updos is that they can be difficult to do on your own hair. But I love how simple this one is. I can totally create three braids in my hair and then wrap them around each other. Plus, all the humidity makes my hair feel huge, so adding extra volume on top should be easy enough.

3. Wrap it up. This picture makes me want to invest in 20 silk scarves. I’ve always been tempted to try out the scarf turban look that was so popular last fall, but I always chickened out for fear that I would look…I don’t know, like I was trying to hard or something. Anyway, this summery version seems a lot more low-key.

4. Twisted pony. Fun fact: I wore my hair in a ponytail EVERY SINGLE DAY for the first seven or so years of my life. #TOMBOY4LIFE. But I like that this subtly twisted version is a bit more sophisticated. (And perfect for those of us who are — yet again — growing out our bangs.)

5. Maiden hair. Obviously, braids are the answer to everything. And braiding back all your hair into a bun has always had a sort of Renaissance feel to me. Which is kind of romantic, right? Romantic and…perfect for girls who feel lazy about their hair.

6. Sidebraid. I love this look, but it can be difficult to manage if you have a lot of layers. (Like I do.) Here’s the secret: braids within the braid. Start by creating a low side part (mine is on the right). Pull all your hair over your opposite shoulder (from the part) to the side where you will be braiding. Starting from your shortest layers (mine are my old bangs), create a thin braid. (I also create a thin braid on the opposite side for the hair that normally falls on the right side of my face. Divide your hair into three sections, incorporating the thinner braids into the larger chunks of hair. Braid like normal.

That probably makes no sense when you read it. Might have to create a tutorial…

The point is, sidebraids are a great way to look like you tried with your hair when really you didn’t.

Anyone else have any great summer looks I should be incorporating into my repertoire?

Baby steps to financial freedom

I mean, it’s really no surprise to anyone that I like online shopping. Honestly, I think the whole process has ruined me for regular shopping.

Online, I simply type “open back draped dress green” into a Google shopping search, and every available option pops up. I walk into Macy’s, and I’m like this:



Unfortunately, the ease of online shopping is also a curse. Because it’s so dang easy to shop ALL the time.

Take what happened a few days ago. Did I wake up thinking, “Hmm…I wonder if Nordstrom has a super cute striped coral dress on sale for $19 that I can also get free shipping on with a coupon code I’ll find online, plus 13 percent cash back on Ebates?”

No. No, I did not.

But then I got the dang email newsletter advertising the sale, and the subsequent email from Ebates with their double cash back offer, and the next thing you know, I’m entering my PayPal info and the dress is on my doorstep a few days later.

On one hand, a $19 (incredibly adorable) dress from Nordstrom is a great deal. On the other, would I have gone on to live a totally fulfilled life if I had never known it existed?

I mean, probably. It is a super cute dress.

But the point is, when you’re trying to remove temptation from your life (whether it’s chocolate chip cookies, negative association, or spontaneous online shopping) it doesn’t help if someone is constantly throwing triggers in your face.

Which is why over the last week I’ve unsubscribed from about twelve email newsletter lists.

It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, but I’ve held back because a) I like knowing when the stores I like have a sale and b) I like receiving exclusive coupon codes for products I like.

In the end though, I decided to cut ties because, honestly, a quick Google search can bring up just about any available current code on the internet. And I would rather buy something I want that just happens to be on sale, rather than buy something simply because a sale happens to be occurring. Actually, I would rather just not buy anything at all. I still have that credit card to pay down, ya know?

And, of course, I haven’t even missed the newsletters.

Do you ever opt-out of email newsletters? Have you ever regretted it? I’d also love to hear any super easy money-saving tips you have in the comments!

Product Review: SOYJOY Bars

Happy 3-day weekend, lovelies!

I know I don’t usually post on weekends, but I wanted to share something fun with you that you might want to check out this weekend. Have you heard of Influenster? Basically it’s a program that you can sign up with and receive (totally free) products and samples to test and provide feedback for.

A few days ago, I received the Spring Beauty VoxBox, packed with fun stuff for, you guessed it, spring.

I won’t get into everything just yet, but I do want to talk about that pretty pink SOYJOY bar.

I’ve seen SOYJOY before, but never had a chance to try one. Each bar is gluten free and made from real soy and fruit. (AKA, it’s a guilt-free snack.) For the sake of science, I documented my first experience.

Obviously, I’m quite excited to try it.

Taking a bite…


It’s good!

So there you have it, folks. If you’re looking for a healthy treat this weekend, SOYJOY bars won’t disappoint. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some important things to…um…*nomnomnom*

Oh, um…look away!

Have a great weekend!

What a difference some paint makes.

I’m fickle. Well…I’m fickle about decor anyway. (Don’t worry, my darling husband, I never get tired of you.)

This is why it’s so important for me to stick to neutrals when it comes to big, expensive pieces of furniture. That way, I can make a few simple swaps (like a rug or a few pillows) and BAM! Instant change at a low cost.

Anyway. As you know, I’m (cautiously) embarking on the China Cabinet Project of 2012. And naturally this has caused my mosquito attention span to start dreaming about other possibilities for this room.

I don’t know why I have such issues with the dining room. It might be because I’m not really a dining room person to begin with? My dream home layout has more of a combined living room/dining room, and any extra rooms are dedicated to office/music materials. And I know most design philosophies would just recommend that I transform the space into whatever type of room would be most useful to me, but, unfortunately, there is no other space in the apartment for a dining table, so for now, it’s going to stay a dining room. Someday, folks. Someday.

The point is, I’m still figuring out what this space should look like. (I can practically hear my husband rolling his eyes somewhere. Sorry, hun. You signed on for a lifetime of this…good thing I can cook, huh?)

Of course, the biggest downside to being such a Fickle Ferdinand (people say that…right?) is that constantly switching things up would be a total cash suck. And since I’m not exactly a bazillionaire, I have to be smart about how much money I spend on decor. (Especially considering this is a rental that we will probably only stay in for another year.)(And yes, I am well aware that I will probably get everything exactly how I want it only moments before we move out and I have to start all over again. I’ve made peace with that.)

So, anyway. That’s a lot of preface. The point is, I want to make a few tweaks, move some things around, and basically end up with a pretty different space for minimal cost. Here’s the plan.

You already know about the china cabinet. This in itself will be a pretty huge change (and probably run me around $75 for painting supplies…anyone have a Home Depot coupon to spare?). I also want to update the curtains.

A while back, I purchased a few yards of linen to make dip-dyed curtains for the bedroom. I’ve since decided it makes more sense to move my lovely coppery dining room curtains to the bedroom (since I already planned on bringing in orange/gold accents there) and replace them with painted linen curtains. I’m thinking bold, horizontal stripes, probably in black to tie in the table, chairs, and the wallpaper that will be on the interior of the china cabinet.

The other furniture will stay largely the same, minus one thing: I also want to dye the chair cushions.

This is something I’ve been planning to do for a while, but instead of the grey I had intended (things are looking a little too neutral at the moment), I want to do a color. I played around in Photoshop with a few different options. First, I tried coral.

(I know, you’re totally impressed with my Photoshop skillz, right?)

I think it looks pretty, but the hubs has already acquiesced to a coral rug in the living room. You can only throw so much pink at a dude before he starts fidgeting.

Next, I tried tying in one of the other accent colors in the living room, a deep turquoise.

It looks okay, but it’s also not exactly right. And with such a dark color, it would be hard to dye the cushions any other shade in the future if I changed my mind. (WHICH WE KNOW I PROBABLY WILL, AMIRIGHT?)

Then I remembered my G&T print I have hanging in the dining room in an olive-y green (that also happens to match our upholstered chair in the living room). Voila!

I kind of love it. Here’s a quick breakdown of everything that needs to happen to make this a reality:

1. China cabinet project. Oof.

2. Painted curtain panels. I’ll probably do something similar to this tutorial. Because Lord knows I need another project that takes up a lot of floor space.

3. My lovely print, available from Monorail Studio.

4. IKEA Bjursta table. So far, I’m leaving this thing as is. (Minus the pretty addition of a bouquet of coral-colored anemones.)

5. IKEA Borke chairs with dyed green cushion covers. The covers actually aren’t attached anyway, so that project should be fairly simple. Should.

6. IKEA Erslev rug that I already have. But do you notice a slight update? I’ve added a thin black border in Photoshop, and I think it would look really awesome in real life. My plan is to paint one on using leftover black paint from the curtains, but maybe I’ll get crazy and sew on some trim. ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

So…what do you think? All I’m really buying is paint and dye. I would also probably have to update the art in that room, but I might try my hand at painting something. (I told you, we’re getting CrAzY up in here.) Anything you think I should add/reconsider? Anyone else have any decor updates planned for the summer?

Hit (on) over the head

Can we talk about something that’s sort of difficult to talk about?

I promise it’s not about my period or something. (Although if you want to talk about that, I’m sure I can come up with something.)(Hmm? No? Okay, moving on.)

I want to talk about getting hit on. Or, I guess, more generally, flirting.

First, why is this such a difficult topic to really discuss? Because admitting that you got hit on is often a cloaked way of saying, “OMG, it’s, like, such a burden to be this beautiful.” Which is a humblebrag way of telling the world you think you are beautiful. Which, in our society, is largely frowned upon. Because it means you are self-centered, stuck-up, and generally shallow. BECAUSE WE SHOULDN’T CARE WHAT WE LOOK LIKE EVER OR THINK WE MIGHT LOOK NICE, YOU GUYS.


Obviously, I have feelings. But the point is, that particular pachyderm is in the room for this whole conversation. And lest one want to be deemed self-centered, stuck-up, and generally shallow, the conversation is usually avoided.

But I kind of want to talk about it, so for the rest of this post, I’m instating a parallel universe where it is not a personality flaw to NOT think that you’re ugly. Okay? We’ll call it Floyd Universe. Welcome to my parallel universe. Welcome to Floyd.

Personally, I love a good hit-on story. I really, truly do. I love when someone is really good at hitting on someone else, and I love when they are really bad at it. (I guess I’m neutral about the people who are just so-so.)

Despite my penchant for a good story, though, I want to talk about the side of things I don’t like.

Getting hit on when you’re entirely unavailable and uninterested is such an awkward experience. On one hand, sure, it’s very nice to be noticed in a positive way, and it’s flattering that someone worked up the gumption to actually do something about their attraction to you. Which is probably why it’s so awkward to have to turn someone down. In general, I try to be friendly but business-like about it. I’m flattered, but I’m married. Sorry I’m not sorry.

The situation is only compounded, though, when you’re not even sure if you’re being hit on. Are you being paranoid? (AND GOD FORBID SELF-CENTERED, STUCK-UP AND GENERALLY SHALLOW FOR EVEN THINKING SOMEONE COULD POSSIBLY LIKE YOU AT ALL?) Or are you being, you know, perceptive?

It’s especially difficult when you’re in a serious, committed relationship. Because, here’s the deal folks: I don’t even think flirting with someone besides that person you’re committed to is appropriate. Flirting is advertising. Why would you advertise something that isn’t for sale?

For me, if I can’t quickly shut something like that down, I end up with an eternally icky feeling about the whole exchange. So if I go on thinking a conversation is innocent, only to find out later that the other person thought otherwise, does that mean I’ve accidentally done something bad?

Side note: There’s a really adorable scene in an episode of Gilmore Girls where Sookie (after marrying Jackson) runs into a guy she knew in cooking school. After catching up, he asks her out. She panics and turns him down, but then she is riddled with guilt that she may have accidentally flirted with him to make this happen. THAT IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT. And I wish some kind soul had put this clip on YouTube, but I’ve searched and searched and all I can find is this compilation of funny Sookie moments, and at second 3:44, Sookie is just realizing that she flirted and calls herself a whore (it’s actually hilarious to just watch those three seconds):


Obviously this isn’t really as bad as if I were intentionally flirting with other people, but I would rather avoid the icky feeling if possible.

So I guess what I’m asking (because, let’s face it, I know I have attractive readers and just about everyone has been hit on in their lives whether they realized it or not) is how you handle that? Whether you’re in a relationship or not, what is your response to unwelcome advances? Especially if you have no desire to hurt the other person’s feelings?

Actually, especially if you’re not even sure the other person is coming on to you. Because, honestly, there is nothing worse than trying to save someone else hurt feelings, only for them to be like, “Dude, I was just wondering what time it is.” Because then, guess what? YOU’RE SELF-CENTERED, STUCK-UP, AND GENERALLY A SHALLOW IDIOT.


So…what do you do? Just tell yourself that you’re being paranoid and move on? Or pay attention to your instincts (you know, like EVERY other animal on Earth would)?

You are now departing Floyd; population: me.

Cabinet DIY: Phase One

Well, guys, I think I’m going to do it. I think my big summer project is going to be painting the china cabinet.

Excuse me while I take a few deep breaths and think about what I’ve just said.

I’m still really intimidated. I’m all about keeping it real with you guys, so there won’t be any false bravado here. But I have to believe that if 8 billion bloggers around the world can do it, there isn’t any reason why I shouldn’t be able to. (Right?)

So! First things first. Let’s talk colors. I’ve been looking at a lot of DIY painted china cabinets online for the last few weeks, and there are three colors that I keep finding myself drawn to. I would, however, like to get your opinions. Between the below three options, which shade of grey/gray do you prefer?

1. Behr Light French Grey

2. Martha Stewart Living Bedford Gray

3. Annie Sloan Paris Gray Chalk Paint

I think I’m leaning toward the Behr or the Martha color, but I can’t decide. Thoughts?

Additionally, I’m planning to cover the inside with a pretty patterned wallpaper, like this blogger did. I’m between these two options:

Do you prefer #1 (Black and White AP7480 Open Trellis Wallpaper) or #2 (White Black KB8652 Trellis Wallpaper)? I think I like the second one better…right?

I have to look a little closer at the construction of the cabinet as well. If possible, I’d love to replace the (deadly) glass shelves with safety glass from a hardware store, but at the moment I’m not sure how I would get the old shelves out and the new shelves in.

Eesh, you guys. I’m still kind of scared, but I’m excited too. Be sure to leave your opinions in the comments. And I’ll definitely keep you updated.