Monthly Archives: January 2009

Alfred Angelo Grand Opening – Reno

I went to the grand opening of the Alfred Angelo store today here in Reno. I was lucky that my good friend Annie accompanied me and her advice was priceless.

I’ll admit right off the bat that I went because of the advertised “free gift for the first 100 brides.” And I requested Annie’s assistance because of my new fear of bridal salespeople after the wedding fair.

I was hoping for a coupon or something, but it really turned out to be a goodie bag with a bridal magazine, bottle of water, candle and Alfred Angelo t-shirt. Mehhh….

Not Alfred Angelo dresses

Not Alfred Angelo dresses

They have some beautiful gowns (and some not-so-beautiful), but as you know from my previous post Bridal Boot Camp, I’m not to the trying on stage just yet. Pair the diet plan with aggressive salespeople and my uncertainty as to whether my mom wants to be a part of the dress shopping process and I just didn’t feel ready.

Annie was such a big help. I truly felt clueless. There are so many styles, colors, beads or no beads, etc. She gave me some great advice and it always helps to have a sister of sarcasm around when moving through rack upon rack of tafetta, tuile, satin and lace.


Bridal Boot Camp

My motivation!

My motivation!

I’ve made a vow to myself that I won’t go gown shopping until I’ve lost 15 lbs. Losing weight has been a goal of mine for quite some time and now it seems I have some real motivation and an actual time frame (18 months!). Plus, the thyroid meds are finally figured out so losing weight is actually an option, which makes me elated.

There are so many options when it comes to losing weight, but I dragged my butt out of bed this morning and back to Weight Watchers because I truly believe in their philosophy and structure. This will be the 4th time I try Weight Watchers. You know the funny part? Every time I’ve done it I’ve been successful, but about a month in something comes up and I end up quitting. I’m also seeing a nutritionist and she always says, “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” So with that mantra in my head I press on towards weight loss victory!

It is my solemn vow that I will stick with Weight Watchers this go around even if I get sick, even if the leader and other members are super annoying and even if I miss a week.

And as if Weight Watchers wasn’t enough I am also doing a program at Renown through Health Management Services. It is an 8 week program that my nutritionist teaches and is more of an educational program that covers how to lose weight and keep it off successfully. Like Weight Watchers, but free!

So here’s a quick list of why I’m doing this (a.k.a my motivation):

  • to look HOT in my wedding dress
  • to wear a bikini (especially since we areĀ  considering having a destination wedding)
  • to have more self confidence
  • to enjoy clothes shopping (ok so I enjoy it now, but to really, really enjoy clothes shopping!)
  • to be healthy (probably the most important)

I hope whoever out there reading this will hold me accountable. Don’t let me fall off the wagon šŸ˜‰ Wish me luck!

Introducing The Durtty Bridesmaids

No one ever told me choosing a bridal party would be so hard. I guess it’s times like this in your life that you realize how blessed you’ve been to have such great friends.

I’ve chosen friends from my past and present and my future sister-in-laws. Because I have no sisters and James would look silly inĀ  a dress (although he does have better legs than me) there isn’t going to be a Maid of Honor. I like the idea of an egalitarian bridal party. No head honcho bridesmaid. Stick it to the man. Ok ok, I know sometimes I take things too far…

So here they are – all of them fabulous, beautiful and smart:


The fabulous Alexia

The fabulous Alexia

Once at work, one of my colleagues said to me, “Do you hang out with Alexia outside of work?”

“Yes, sometimes,” I answered.

“She is really poised,” said the woman.Ā  “You should hang out with her more.”

So I did and I love her like a sister. She’s an amazing woman – brilliant, witty, hilarious, stylish, cosmopolitan and oh-so-poised (sorry Lex couldn’t help it). She’s the Carrie to my Charlotte. The nilla to my wafer. Ok, ok I’ll stop.




Travis’s little sister and my future sister-in-law will be the junior Bridesmaid. Bandara has a great, enthusiastic spirit and has already offered her wedding planning skills. And although she’s too young to partake in the Bachelorette Party I know she will be a big help in getting ready for the big day.

She has a bright future in front of her and I’m so excited that I will get to watch her grow into a young woman.


Heather - she's going to be a lawyaa.

Heather - she's going to be a lawyaa.

I met Heather at the Reynolds School of Journalism while we were both pursuing Journalism degrees. We became fast friends and bonded while getting in trouble in Rosemary McCarthy’s Intro to Journalism class.

When I hang out with Heather adventures come easily. She is a crazy gal. Ask me sometime about our trip to San Francisco with Ad Club during college.

No matter what, Heather is the kind of friend who is there for you at 3 in the morning. She’s loyal, beautiful, sophisticated, and kind. Oh and honest – really, really honest.


Rachel - one of my besties!

Rachel - one of my besties!

I’ve known Rachel since I was eight. Eight! That’s 18 years of friendship!

I think of Rachel as my moral compass. Instead of WWJD I think WWRD? She’s a great friend and has been there for me through good times and bad, joy and sorrow, laughter and tears.

It’s a beautiful thing when you’ve known someone long enough to let them see your flaws and they love you anyway. I’m so thankful to have Rachel as a friend and in my book 18 years qualifies as family.

She is awesome and since she’s already married I guess that makes her a matron, but that’s a horrible word and there is no place for it on my blog šŸ˜‰


Sally - she's a scientist!

Sally - she's a scientist!

If I’m writing about Rachel, I have to write about Sally since our stories are so closely intertwined. I met Sally in third grade in Ms. Handt’s class. I was brand new to Nevada, fresh from Winter Springs, Florida and terrified of starting at a new school. Sally and Rachel were the coolest, smartest girls in my third grade class.

Soon we were playground friends and we navigated our way together through adolescence and into adulthood.

Sally is one of those friends that I can pick back up with like there has been no time or space between chats. We shared our dreams as children, left tear filled messages for each other during college, and now I’ve asked her to stand with me as one piece of my life comes full circle.

There is something special about old friends and I’m so lucky to have a woman like Sally as a bridesmaid.

P.S. She’s a scientist – how cool is that!


My Elle Woods!

My Elle Woods!

Have you seen Legally Blonde? Well, let me introduce you to Elle Woods clone. Sarah is a bubbly, beautiful, funny, genuine friend.

We met at Renown. She was a sorority girl (ewwww), uber fashionable, beautiful, and smart. I really wanted to hate her. But I just couldn’t. We had more in common than I had imagined – growing up in a rural place, an obsession with shoes, and learningĀ  how to navigate the corporate world.

When she got married last summer, I named myself an Honorary Bridesmaid. I so look forward to her guidance and understanding as Travis and I plan our wedding.

I guess technically Sarah would be a matron too. I need to think of a better word than matron. Suggestions?


Sylvia - the life of the party!

Sylvia - the life of the party!

Sylvia is Travis’s older younger sister. It is nerve racking when you meet your boyfriend’s family for the first time, but Sylvia made me feel right at home. We bonded easily as we are the social butterflies of our families. She is hilarious, stylish, and so much fun! I couldn’t have asked for better future sister-in-laws. I look forward to getting to know Sylvia and Bandara better.

So in a nutshell that’s the Durtty Bridal Party. I am so excited to share this experience with these wonderful women!

ADDENDUM: Stephan is officially the Brides Man. His duties include all German translation needs, web advisor for and choosing the shoes (fun fact – has great taste in footwear!).

Much of my free time lately has been spent perusing So far I’ve found this to be the best wedding website and magazine (and thanks to bridesmaid Sarah I haveĀ  a surplus of wedding magazines so I now consider myself an expert).

Last night I was on the site and came across a few articles that I found especially helpful. I had never realized how getting engaged throws you into a vortex of questions and wedding planning faster than you can say, “I’m engaged.” For instance, the first thing people want to know is where and when. Then come the questions like, “Where are you going to register?, What colors do you like?, Have you thought about flowers?”

It gets a little overwhelming very quickly and when you have no answers to any of the above questions you do two things: 1) Reach out to everyone you know who has ever gotten married to find out what they did and 2) go online.

So a big thank you to for these articles:

9 Things You Need to do First

Top 10 Pre-Wedding Fights (and How to Avoid Them)

And no, I don’t have a date, location, color scheme, venue, or flower preference, but when I do The Durtty Bride readers will be the first to know!

My Fiance

So who is this Travis Petty?

He’s the best thing since oreo cookies. Or as my dad would say, “The best thing since the twist off beer cap.”

It would be hard to explain in a blog all the reasons I love him. I don’t mean this to beĀ  super sappy,Ā  but I thought I would introduce the man I’m going to marry to my readers who may not know him very well.

Travis on our trip to Shinneyboo Creek

Travis on our trip to Shinneyboo Creek

Travis comes from a nomadic family like me. He’s lived all over the west (mostly NV, UT and CO).

Here’s a short list of why he is so special:

  • his sense of adventure
  • his honesty, integrity and patience
  • he’s super smart!
  • his sense of humor
  • his acceptance of my crazy animals
  • he can cook!
  • he can clean!
  • he is kind
  • he can handle my family
  • he makes my dreams come true
  • he reads!
  • he likes to travel and see new things
  • he is nice to his mom and sisters
  • he is handy – have you seen our mantle?
  • oh and he’s hot!

So that is kind of a broad list, but everything I ever wanted (but maybe didn’t always know it) in a partner.

He will probably have his own blog soon and when he does I’ll link to it from here.