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A Wedding Blog: What I Learned from Planning a Wedding

30 Oct

I got married almost two months ago. It truly was one of the best days of my entire life. Everything looked beautiful, everyone looked beautiful and the day felt like pure magic. Or at least what I can remember of the day because when people say it flies by, it REALLY does. In the morning, it felt like hours until I would be in my dress and walking down the aisle and then BOOM it was there and I was being sewn into my dress by my trusty bridesman who is crafty with a needle and thread in emergency situations (and in all situations actually).

I learned a lot planning our wedding and I wanted to write a blog about what I got from the experience because a lot of my education on how to plan this event came from other blogs and people’s stories of their own day. This is by no means a YOU HAVE TO DO THIS guide but more of a THIS IS WHAT I DISCOVERED AND MAY HELP YOU guide. So…here it goes.

1. Pick the right people to be in your wedding party

This is an easy and fairly obvious one. But seriously, really think about who you want next to you and who will be there in a pinch. My dress needed a hook and eye at the top because it was strapless and the woman who altered it put one in. SOMEHOW it came off. My mother noticed this as I was putting on my dress quickly because our photographer had been late and we needed to get ready to have my dad see me and then our first look. She had brought emergency needle and thread because she’s the best and her mom instincts were on high. She was nervous about fixing it, as any one would be, so I quickly caught my bridesman, Matt’s, eye and he just knew what I needed. He swooped in and skillfully and quickly sewed the hook back together so I didn’t flash everyone at the reception.

While this was happening, Alia and Bethany stood patiently besides me and my brother came up, put his hands on my shoulders, and just looked at me and without words said it would all be ok. My aunts were there, asking if I was ok, telling me to breathe. Without that team there, I’m not sure if the tears would have been kept at bay.

About 17 minutes before the ceremony, I had gotten too hot and was on the verge of one of my lovely panic attacks. All the guests were arriving and pictures seemed to be completed so I said I had to go upstairs. Up there, I had a Cristina Yang Grey’s Anatomy moment where I just begged to have someone take my dress off. It was too tight and I was sweating and couldn’t get a good breath in. Once unzipped, I still felt panicked and anxious and I hadn’t eaten enough all day (as most brides do). I had Bethany and Alia there, my mom, Matt, and Elena, who was our officiant. Elena sat next to me and said soothing words and hummed softly. My mom helped me into a cooler room and pulled my skirt up so my legs were free. She then asked if I need my dad. I said yes and he came up and everyone but him and Matt left the room. My dad, always calm, always cool, tried to make me laugh and realize I was going to be ok. Matt got to use the “It’s for the bride” line when he went to get me a Coke to raise my blood sugar and give me a little boost. It worked and I was downstairs and out that door, ready to get married.

Honorable mentions: My friends threw me the best bachelorette party of all time. It was exactly what I wanted and I spent two days in a literal Neverland.

Bethany also gave me the best bridal shower I could have imagined. Alice and Wonderland themed tea party, complete with hats and croquet! I have never felt so special or seen my mom have so much fun until my actual wedding day. Bethany and Barb, her mom, put it all together and made it so perfect and fun and I wish I could relive that party over and over. Sometimes I do! P1030603

2. Don’t buy wedding magazines

This being said, wedding magazines are a BLAST to look through. I bought a ton and my mom did as well. I torn out pictures of dresses I liked and we marked venues we wanted to visit. However, the majority of my research was online. There are so many sources for dresses, shoes, hair, makeup, venues, catering, etc online FOR FREE. Sadly, the wedding magazine seems almost overkill. With a Pinterest board and the Knot’s planning tools, you can find everything on their sites without every cracking open an issue. I won’t say they are a waste of money but if you wanna save some cash somewhere, that would be the place.

I do, however, support buying magazines with J Law on the cover

3. Let people help you

This was a big one for me. I was insistent on doing everything myself. That was dumb. God bless Donna Riendeau for stepping in and being the best at everything. Her and my dad did all our favors and thank the universe they did because I have no idea how they all would have fit in our apartment and the chocolates we had would have melted. She also helped me brainstorm ideas for everything and was a touchstone when things when wrong or I was lost in a sea of guest lists and table assignments. Matt did so much of the artwork we featured in our wedding, including our Save the Date. The rest of my wedding party was there for whatever I needed, which wasn’t much, but it was incredible that they kept asking even when I would say I was set.

3.1 Use your friends talents

Alongside letting people help you, ask your friends to help when they have special skills. Matt helped with the artistic aspect of the wedding. My mother did the organizing. Our friends Rachel and Ben were our videographers as their gift to us as they embark on filming weddings as a business. Our groomsman Brian knows calligraphy so he did all our invitation addresses. They were all compensated, of course, in booze or accommodations at the venue but it ended up saving a ton of money and had a personal touch to everything.

4. EAT and hydrate

I hydrated. But I did not eat. I have trouble eating when I am nervous or stressed or anxious or alive. I had a bagel, coffee, and watermelon all day until the cocktail hour. Then I barely ate at the cocktail hour because I was reeling after getting married and was still hot and slowly being suffocated by my dress. I did, fortunately, have time to eat at the reception which I have read and heard you don’t really have time for. That food was delicious and plentiful and I felt much better after getting something solid in me. It fueled my dancing for the rest of the night.

5. Don’t bother with a long engagement

We were engaged for two years. We had planned it this way and wanted plenty of time to figure out what we wanted to do and where we want to do it. We didn’t start until a year and a half out and we just looked at venues and I started seeking dresses. Once we found our venue, it was still a little early to really plan. The venue, Mountain View Manor, was awesome and included most of our vendors like the cake and food so we didn’t have to go looking for that. You can’t really plan anything until 6 months before the wedding. Obviously you have to get your vendors before that, like music and photography because they can book out fast (we learned this with photography) but invitations and guest lists and favors and all that happens so close to the wedding, my head was spinning even though I had two years to think it all through. I still had deadlines and decisions and sending everything out and getting everything back and organizing and it all happened in the last few months before our big day. Honestly, it didn’t matter how much time we gave ourselves. Everything is done right before the wedding no matter what because that’s just how it works. So I guess I could be married for two years instead of two months at this point.

6. Plan a honeymoon a while after the wedding

How do people gallivant around Europe after a wedding??? Or anywhere for that matter? We were beyond exhausted the day after. I felt like I had been in a washing machine on a spin cycle. My stomach hurt from dancing in my heavy, tight dress. When Katy Perry says you feel like a plastic bag blowing through the wind? Yeah, that was me post wedding. We took a mini moon, which is all the rage these days, to a bed and breakfast an hour outside Manhattan. It was perfect. We checked in and took a four hour nap. And then went wine tasting and bowling. Our big honeymoon is in December and is two weeks and we will be rested and ready for it when it comes. More power to you if you go right away, but I know for me, I would have been dead the first two days of any trip which I guess works if it’s on a beach.

7. Screw tradition

I gave up on a lot of traditional wedding things and I’m happier for it. Lincoln and I slept in the same bed the night before the wedding because we sleep badly without each other. We did a first look (also all the rage) which helped to get the ugly crying out before we were in front of everyone and was super special to us. We had both girls and guys on our sides. My brother was with me and Lincoln’s sister was with him instead of the other way around. I didn’t throw a bouquet. We didn’t do a garter. I feel when planning your wedding, stick to what you want and what makes it about you and your partner. We aren’t religious, so we didn’t have any prayers though we believe in stories and fairy tales and we had a Greek myth in our ceremony. Our Save the Dates were creative and unique and very us and not a cookie cutter photoshoot. I’m proud of that. We also didn’t have a guest book. We had our guests write us wishes. And we got gems like this from a staff member at the venue so I think we made a good call.

8. Keep your beauty regimen the same

Every wedding blog or magazine will tell you to start getting facials and hair treatments and lip injections and who knows what else. I got a facial. I had never had one before and I got a Groupon for a local spot and decided “Why not?” Well. I didn’t notice a difference. It felt amazing and I talked to the technician (they have a name and I don’t know what it is) about my skin and she was sort of helpful. But the next day, my skin was the same. And for the next week, it was also the same. It felt really clean afterwards and that was kind of it. My skin has always been pretty decent and I wrecked it trying new products and masks and all sorts of things I was experimenting with. I found that if I just stuck to my normal facial wash and moisturizer, my skin was great. I do agree with the idea that a wedding can inspire you to get fit and healthy and maybe some brides do learn new tricks that help their skin. But you don’t have to start getting $95 facials to be beautiful. If you already love how your skin or nails look, just keep it the same. I started drinking more water and taking vitamins. I kept getting manicures like usual and worked out a little more. I don’t think it should cost a fortune to feel beautiful on your wedding day. Most likely you already are and messing up your usual routine can screw with your body. Don’t get crazy just because there will be 3000 pictures of your face! Oh…that probably didn’t make it better…

9. Pick doable DIY projects

We lucked out and picked simple, cheap, and easy DIY portions of our wedding. I had found a lot of more complicated and expensive ones and slowly I realized I am not as crafty as I seem. Know your limits. If you are great at cutting out precise shapes from thick paper or knitting or decoupaging, go big. But I knew I wasn’t very artistic so I chose printing pictures of book covers and putting them in frames for our table numbers. It is not a time to challenge yourself!

10. Choose great vendors

DO YOUR RESEARCH! The internet is there so you can read about every thing any one has ever done! Look up the reviews for your vendors and make sure they are all positive before signing anything. Even if they have negative reviews, pick them apart a little and figure out if maybe it was a specific circumstance and not the general opinion of all their clients. Interview them. We lucked out with Mountain View and their incredible vendors. They met with each of us and loved our ideas. We were very clear about our theme and what we wanted it to look like and be and they went above and beyond with our expectations. Keep in contact with them, too. Sometimes vendors get overwhelmed during busy wedding season and you don’t want your plans to get lost in the shuffle somewhere or put off until the last minute. Most vendors will be grateful you were on top of everything. Make friends with them. They are your people making your wedding dreams come true and they want it to be perfect like you do.

11. The rehearsal dinner is the most fun

I had the best damn time at my rehearsal dinner. So many of our people were there and more arrived after the actual dinner. We sat out on the porch of the venue and drank beer and goofed off and it was one of my favorite parts of the entire weekend. I felt ready and excited finally after the months of anticipation and stress and my mantra of “Don’t die, you’re getting married!” No one expects anything from a rehearsal dinner besides good food and a practice of the ceremony. It’s a great time to dress up, have some booze, and relax because you made it and it’s all happening and there isn’t anything else you can do besides get in that dress and get down that aisle the next day. Lincoln and I took a moment outside before we went to sleep to just be with each other and breathe because we knew the next day we wouldn’t have much time for private moments.

12. Try and remember the day

I know everyone says this and it’s near impossible because everything goes by so fast. I do remember moments of the day and those are what will stay with me always. Treasure those moments and realize what they are when you can. For me, it was little things like my mom, looking beautiful, coming in the room and asking what shoes she should wear and all us unanimously deciding the sparkly ones. My aunts being in the bridal suite, laughing, all somehow wearing my wedding colors without even knowing. Seeing my dad for the first time in my dress. Seeing my wedding party all dressed and looking amazing and better than I pictured. Seeing Lincoln in his tux and his face when he saw me and scolding me for looking so beautiful and perfect. Catching Elena’s eye at the ceremony and almost losing our shit. Alex, Matt’s boyfriend, crying every time he saw me. Everyone’s speeches at the rehearsal and the reception. Dancing with Bethany and Alia to Britney Spears terribly as we tried to remember our choreographed dance. All the dancing. ALL THE DANCING. Looking up and just seeing everyone who was there and feeling like the most special girl in the whole wide world. It’s hard to remember because so much happens so fast but you will and it will be your happy thought if the day gets dark.

VENDORS

Venue: Mountain View Manor

Cake: Elliegant Cake Design

Flowers: Floral Cottage

Makeup: Marcie Haas

Dress: Alfred Angelo, original Cinderella design

Bridesmaid: Alfred Angelo

Tuxes: Vera Wang Black

SOURCES I FOUND MOST HELPFUL

Pinterest

The Knot

Wedding Wire

Style Me Pretty

Brides.com

Farewell to my 20s: a Thank You and a Fuck You

7 May

In a month, I will be leaving my twenties and turning 30. While this transition is difficult for many, I find it challenging because fortunately I look like I’m in my early twenties and get carded even when I am out with my parents. This, however blessed it is, comes with a curse of never quite believing I’m the age I am because I am treated so much younger. I feel like when I have children, people will think I’m the babysitter. Which is GREAT don’t get me wrong but it’s hard to accept entering a new decade when the majority of humans who encounter me think I am just entering one that was 10 years ago. God, that hurts to say out loud.

I am bittersweet about leaving behind my twenties. It was a time of growth and discovering myself as it is for most people. I feel like I came into my own in my twenties but without some deep, hard struggles that I still don’t know how I managed to get in and also managed to get out of. So I thought I would write a love note but in two parts: A Fuck You and a Thank You.

Fuck you to the impulsiveness of my twenties. The kind of fake confidence and I know everything demeanor that led me to moving to New York City with no money, no job, and living with a very odd stranger in a tiny ass apartment where I could barely fit a twin size bed. The arrogance I gathered in my career where things were coming to me easily and I felt I didn’t have to work hard. Fuck you to that 22 year old girl who didn’t work hard and learn all she could about the business when she first started. I hate her because now I am still learning things I should have known 9 years ago!

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Fuck you to the need for going out and partying. I can blame New York City for this but in line with the poor decision to slack off in my career, I felt going out and getting attention of boys was more important than sleep and saving money. After work at Tarzan, that’s what we did. We went to bars and spent money we didn’t have. I made 8 bucks an hour and went out every night and took cabs and had rent to pay and food to buy. Did I care? No. Because I was young and ‘enjoying’ myself and god forbid I was a single girl without a boy on the roster somewhere. Being social was more important that getting up for auditions though I have to say being 22 and drinking a lot magically led to zero hangovers so I actually did audition in spite of it most of the time…we can add that to the thank you portion.

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Fuck you to all the boys I knew didn’t like me how I liked them but I hung with sloth-like claws dug in deep. Fuck you to the boy who dumped me in the rain on a corner on the lower east side, to the boy who dated me and another waitress at the restaurant we worked in AT THE SAME TIME and me ACTING LIKE IT WAS FINE, to the one night stand I saw many times after that night who pretended he had NEVER MET ME, to the boy who wanted me to be like a porn star and was disappointed I didn’t measure up to that status, to the Joel McHale type hottie who just stopped answering his phone instead of properly ending it (I did throw up on him however…), to any boy I met a bar who I spent all my attention on instead of enjoying my actual friends and who probably ended up hurting me inevitably or going home with another chick at the bar who didn’t try as hard.

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And I say fuck you to myself for not growing with each of these boys and instead stayed stagnant and a total nut job. But to this I add a big, huge FUCK YOU to myself and the boy who I hung onto and led me to my Dark Time. I hate that I did that to myself, to my family, to my friends, to everyone. I needed it to grow but fuck you for hanging on, twenties Rachel, and not listening when the boy said go away and continuing to make the same mistakes with different boys throughout the next decade.

Fuck you to not saving money, not finding a good stable job, not focusing more energy on my career, not eating right, not exercising, not using anti aging cream. For drinking too much and smoking and living with strangers who stole my trash cans and toothbrushes and ate my food and broke my dishes. Fuck you, twenties, for letting me do all this shit to myself.

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Thank you, twenties, for letting me do all this shit for myself. Thank you for the boys who broke my heart and destroyed me because it led me to my future husband who I knew was right for me for many reasons but because he looked at the pieces of me and listened to my horror stories and smiled and kissed me and didn’t judge me or call me crazy or hate me for my experiences. And I didn’t have to be crazy with him…ever. So thank you, twenties, for showing me that the right man led to keeping the crazy in the box.

Thank you, twenties, for no hangovers, no wrinkles, no sore muscles, white teeth, shiny hair, the ability to go through an entire day without coffee on four hours sleep. I will miss all those things dearly. Thank you for helping me find me and realize I need to focus and work hard, save money, and create stability in my life to achieve my goals and live my dreams.

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Thank you, twenties, for all the fun I had. Though I said fuck you, I also say thanks because some of those nights I have never felt more alive. Thank you for screaming on rooftops, Broadway opening nights, walks home barefoot from the subway, peeing in bushes, giggling uncontrollably, having first kisses on fire escapes, theme parties, beer pong victories, sunrises and sunsets, fireworks, sun bathing in the grass, wandering aimlessly in the city streets, backstage concerts, snowfalls and heat waves, heartbreaks and heartwarmers.

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Thank you, twenties, most of all,  for showing me the value of friendship and family. When you move away from home, after college or before, you finally realize how beautiful home was and how much you need and miss your family and friends. I fell deeper in love with Vermont in my twenties and with my friends and family. When people grow up and move away, you realize how important it is to stay in touch any way you can if you want to keep them in your life. I learned who was only a phone call away at 3am.

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I will miss you, twenties, but I won’t forget you. You have been my favorite decade so far. Let’s see how thirties holds up against you. Maybe I will finally understand why my parents loved that show ‘thirtysomething’ so much…

 

Sidenote: Speaking of television shows, it’s weird to start being the age as the characters I watch now. Back when I loved Friends and Will & Grace, I don’t think I understood some of the jokes as well as I do now watching reruns. SO weird. I miss relating to Corey and Topanga when they weren’t doing a new show as PARENTS!! Mind blown.

I Want to Live in a Beach Town

11 Feb

One summer in high school, Alia and I decided it would be a great idea to try and make Essex, Vermont as much of a beach town as we could. Let me explain what we mean by ‘beach town.’ The factors of such a town are simple: you are always wearing a bathsuit, some form of sandals or flip flops, hair wet or tangled from being in some body of water, and you are tanned beyond reason. I know what you’re thinking: “When I think of a beach, Vermont doesn’t exactly come to mind.” And that is very true which is why it was a challenge for us to create our own personal beach town.

In the summers in Essex we often frequented Indian Brook Reservoir, or the Res as us locals called it. It was your typical man made reservoir with areas to swim, hike, canoe, and picnic. It was the best place to go in our hometown to tan and hang out without driving all the way to Lake Champlain and it’s luscious “beaches” (notice the quotation marks). Alia and I made this our beach. We vowed to wear nothing but bikinis and shorts paired with some flimsy pair of shoes and wander the town dressed this way. Well, as you can imagine, this was not successful in being that Vermont is not a beach town in any form and people don’t really let you into stores without a shirt. We counted the time we stopped by 1820 Coffee House (RIP) and entered wearing our swim suits but with towels wrapped around us. Needless to say, we got some odd looks but we stood proud and handled ourselves as any half naked high school girls can in a public situation. That sentence is amazing, by the way, and could be taken in so many gross directions.

While it may not have been a great success, we loved that summer of not wearing real clothes and leaving the reservoir checking our new freckles and tan lines in the side view mirrors. It was a sense of being free. No sneakers or bras restricting anything. Summer is always a release but living life this way, like you are always on a beach, was a pure escape.

I went to Hawaii last week. Let me tell you, those residents have life down. I stayed on the North Shore, in Haleiwa, and it is the very definition of a beach town. It was like being a dream. It was everything Alia and I wanted to accomplish but it wasn’t acceptable in our environment. Everything was acceptable and in fact encouraged here! No one wore pants! No one wore ‘real’ clothes! NO ONE WORE SHOES!

I have to start with the most amazing fact about this Hawaiian town. No one wore shoes. At all. Any where. I mean, ANY WHERE! I walked down the bike path from my hotel to the grocery store and every passerby was barefoot. BAREFOOT! On rocks, sharp sticks, bugs, spiny plants, etc. Just strolling along as if their feet were hobbit feet. I mean, at this point, I think they have to be hobbit feet the things these people were walking on with confidence and determination as I gingerly treading with my thin flip flops. And then, I got to the grocery store.

You know that sign in every store “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” ? Yeah, that doesn’t apply in Hawaii. People were barefoot in the grocery store. Shirtless, in bikinis, swim trunks, wet suits, etc. My friend Ryan and I decided we had to try it. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. The floor was cool and smooth. The feeling was exquisite. It became very clear to me in those few moments walking up the aisles with the feeling of liberty in between my toes that humans are not supposed to have shoes. We are supposed to have hobbit feet. We are supposed to experience surfaces with our feet just like our hands. I giggled like a small child as an employee came by with a large broom and smiled at us, saying “Yeah, everyone does this and takes pictures. It’s funny.” Well, it’s only funny to you because you have MASTERED LIFE, you Hawaiian local! It’s a dream come true to us!

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I felt odd most places wearing clothing. Everyone was in some form of post-beach state whether it was a bathing suit or surfing gear. Bars and restaurants were filled with children wrapped up in towels and tanned babes in bikini tops with skin that was not real. Seriously. They all had these beautiful even tans and stunningly smooth skin, I wanted to touch everybody. Actually, they probably would have let me they were so damn nice. In a tank top and shorts, I was over dressed, clearly.

It was obvious the typical routine of any one without a 9-5 was to get up and go to the beach. In the mornings, I would see people walking dogs, surfing, taking photographs, doing yoga, or just sitting with a cup of coffee or a book. It was the way they greeted the day. No phones, no computers, no television. The ocean waves and the course sand was their wake up call.

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Hitchhiking was something that was not looked down on or out of the ordinary. There’s only one road on the North Shore so if you were going in the same direction, it was likely someone would pick you up and drop you off where you were going. It was fascinating. Not only that, but everyone knows each other. It’s a very small area of the entire state so it makes sense, but seriously EVERYONE knows each other. It’s better than any small town I’ve ever been to. So many smiles and ‘how are yous?’ that were completely sincere. People let you pet their dogs!! I pet so many dogs on the beach and no owner panicked or yelled at me or scolded the dog for running up to me. People just hand you their babies. Ryan and I went to see the competition at Pipe (it’s a surfing term, I’m an expert now) and there was this adorable chubby little baby that kept smiling at us. I kept smiling cooing back and the mom just walked over to me and practically handed me her child and just started talking to me. It was awesome.

I’ve never seen happier people in one place except for in Disney World but that doesn’t count because cast members are paid to be happy and well, you’re in the happiest place on Earth technically though now that I have been to Hawaii, it is no surprise Disney built a hotel there because I think, scientifically speaking, it IS the happiest place on Earth. From the workers in the grocery store to the tour guide at Kualoa Ranch, everyone is on Cloud 9 all the time. Ryan and I went to a bar one night in Haleiwa and we walked in and just starting joking with the hostess about happy hour. Ryan made a few cute remarks about keeping happiness prisoner by only have happy hour at the bar and less than 10 minutes later, the bartender gave us free shots. Why? I guess because we were personable and funny like everyone else in Haleiwa and seemed to be enjoying life as they were. We also paid a dollar at a roadside shrimp shack to have this adorable local sing us a tune to pursue his dream of being on X Factor or a show of the like. Not only did we befriend Nathan, the singer who was fucking incredibly talented, but also his coworker, Rebecca who told us where she was from (California) and her and I lamented about our parents moving out of our home towns and how odd it is to lose your childhood stomping grounds.

Speaking of Kualoa Ranch, aka JURASSIC PARK, our tour guide was not only informative but also hysterical. He made a joke that I think suits a lot of Hawaiian nature. He made a quip about how the bulls on the ranch never call in sick to work because their job is basically having sex all day with the cows and they live in Jurassic Park and just lay outside and eat grass and have sex. I feel like Hawaii locals are kind of the same. They lay outside, hike around a bit or surf some waves, eat incredible food, and probably have a lot of sex. They are some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen. Natives, people from the mainland, even the tourists, every single human had the most amazing legs and ass I have ever seen. I’m sure it’s the surfing, hiking, and walking on that difficult sand but seriously. It just isn’t fair. 

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I have far too many memories from my brief stay in Hawaii but the thing I took away from the short experience was not to take life too seriously. And that beach towns are fucking awesome. Seriously. I have never felt so stress free and still. Life should be lived in a bathing suit, smelling of the sun and earth, with a body featuring amazing calves and a sculpted butt, hobbit feet that can walk on any surface and enter grocery stores without a second look, people who offer their babies and puppies for love from adoring strangers, mountains that surely can’t be real they are so larger than life, service that is with a real smile and genuine interest in your day and life path, old friends on every corner and new ones just waiting around the bend or at the local bar, and a view that always looks like a postcard.

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It won’t be surprising if I move there tomorrow.

Also, small bonus, the Turtle Bay Resort, where Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed, has blue stop signs because it is more soothing to people. GUYS! Seriously. Hawaii gets it.

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Photo credit on several of these shots to Ryan Grassmeyer as well as epic adventure buddy credit

I Have Magical Powers

27 Oct

I’m pretty sure I have magical powers. As a child who grew up soaking in fairy magic, Neverland, Hogwarts, and knowing what a Wiccan was by the age of 10 (and attempting to convert to one), I have convinced myself I am a creature capable of magic.

Bethany and I used to do seances with my Ouija board at the age of 8 or 9. I was obsessed with scary stories and witches. All I wanted to do was cast spells and speak to the dead. This was all while wearing a sparkly dress and/or princess crown, mind you. We used to sit in Bethany’s room and light candles and think of people we wanted to contact. We started with the typical celebrities: Marilyn Monroe, Kurt Cobain, and I think Freddy Mercury. Every time the flames of the candles would move, we were convinced the dead were trying to communicate with us. This whole process was very honest. We never tried to lie or trick each other. We really felt it was happening. I mean, cause it totally was. Duh. Thought according to the all powerful Ouija, I am supposed to marry a man named Jolt. So…still working on that one.

In fourth grade, I got really into magic and scary stories in fourth grade. I decided I was psychic and kept constantly trying to predict phone calls and move objects with my mind. It worked very well with candle flames and friendly phone calls. I also tried this with the radio and it worked 9 out of 10 times. To play devil’s advocate, however, our pop radio station was known for playing the same popular songs every 20 minutes it seemed so it wasn’t the best way to exercise my powers but I had to develop them somehow. To this day, I find I can predict or feel certain things. While in Disney World recently, I had sent a friend flowers for a show opening. I hadn’t heard from him and I thought “Huh, I should check my phone to make sure he got them.” And sure enough, I had received a text from him moments prior and my phone was in a backpack I was not wearing so I heard no sound or felt a vibration. This happens to me a lot and usually with unexpected calls or texts. I pick up the phone at the right time and boom, I know before I even look. PSYCHIC.

In college, my friend Lindsay had received the Fairies tarot cards, designed by Brian Froud of Henson and more specifically “Labyrinth” fame. Lindsay was incredibly talented at reading them and I fell in love with the design and concept and bought my own box. With the support of the Fae, I became very gifted at reading the cards. At first, I worried it was because I was reading for my friends I knew well and was familiar with what was happening in their lives. But then I started reading people I didn’t know well and was nailing it. It can be uncomfortable having that power though. One of my best friends was leaving for a gig for a long time and I was reading his cards in front of his then girlfriend. She was upset, obviously, he was leaving and wanted to stay in a relationship. Through the cards, and not really reading the situation at hand, I revealed that he should let go of anything he is holding onto here and move forward with this great opportunity. I felt he wasn’t realizing his potential and that he has this nagging choice in his head for some reason even though it was very clear he was making the right decision by leaving to do this job. It got awkward very quickly once I looked up and saw her face and everyone in the room realized that it was totally about their relationship and I found out later they had talked right before coming over about ending it. Oops. In spite of that, friends still ask me to read their cards and I read my own. There’s something about them that connects with me and flows through me and I don’t even think when I’m reading for others or myself when I speak. Once I see the cards and peruse the descriptions, I just know what to say. I know what you’re all thinking. It’s because I am part fairy. Sigh. If only it wasn’t so obvious.

We went to Salem a few years back and I was browsing through the spell books in this one gift shop. I’ve always wanted to own a spell book and I couldn’t decide what I wanted to purchase. The spells seemed simple and I understood them immediately. I wanted to get one and buy ingredients and start creating potions and spells for every day life. I use candles and objects to make requests or wishes. I believe in their power and when you focus enough of yourself onto that one goal or item you want to achieve, it is possible. It’s soothing in a way to fall into yourself that deeply while projecting outward to some superior power. I’ve heard countless successes from this type of process and I, too, have found great victories in performing these tasks. I light a candle every time I travel that burns for safety and serenity. I have objects that I use to calm myself down when I am anxious or scared. I use my cards for guidance when I am stuck or lost. I’ve had my cards read to me for comfort as well. That may not be magic to some people, but to me it is.

Places like Salem that are known for their haunts, I feel a weird connection to. I’ve been to Savannah, Georgia and felt a strange presence and energy in that entire city. It’s called a city build on her dead for a reason. There are so many tortured souls and deep magic happening in that town, like Salem. You can feel it down to your bones if you pay close enough attention. Same goes for places in Europe like the Tower of London and touring the crime scenes where Jack the Ripper struck. There’s something lingering there and not it’s not necessarily a gust of cold wind. It’s something more permanent that won’t leave and hangs heavy in the air. I love places like that.

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah. Terrifying and beautiful.

I have a strange power with animals. I’ve never met an animal that has been outright cruel to me. True, I can’t call to birds and have them land on my finger, but I have very rarely encountered a creature that showed fear at me. Dogs rarely bark. Cats never scratch. I have people say to me, “Wow, he never does that with strangers” very often. I think it’s my fairy nature coming through and connecting me to the earth. Ever since Fern Gully came out, I have felt a connection to trees. I used to touch them and say if I felt their pain or not. This was when I was a small child, I do not still do this…a lot. I loved stories about trees and dryads and nymphs that rely on nature. I loved Peter and the Lost Boys hideout in the old tree and the magical tree doorways in The Nightmare Before Christmas that lead you to the holiday lands.

I believe in magic. I think it exists. I believe I have magical powers. And no, I’m not an insane person. I think we all have magical powers. Especially this time of year around Halloween. There’s an energy and a crisp spark that happens. I feel it when I light my candles. I feel it when I read my cards and Oliver the cat comes over and lays down beside me to sit with the fairies as I use their guidance to make choices. I feel it every time I make a wish. It’s as simple as being in Disney World watching the fireworks with hundreds of people and gasping all at the same time. That is magic. Being in a bar where every one suddenly starts singing the song at the same time is magic. When you feel the moment when it’s happening is magic. Looking up and seeing the person across from you on the subway reading the same book and head nodding acknowledgment to each other is magic. It isn’t all spells, potions, and familiars. I’m a magical creature and I will read your fairy cards for you any time.

Everyone hail to the pumpkin song.

Media Monday: Movies set in the future tell me society is gonna turn to S#*t!….

22 Oct

Media Monday: Movies set in the future tell me society is gonna turn to S#*t!…..

Podcast Interview!

2 Jul

The fabulous Lincoln L Hayes interviewed Bethany and me for Riding Your Coattails podcast.

To listen to our interview where we discuss our childhood, the Trifecta, and random life thoughts and stories, please follow this link!

http://ridingyourcoattailspodcast.libsyn.com/webpage/bethany-sheldon-and-rachel-rieandeau-i-thought-you-were-shorter-word-press-com-bloggers

Check out the site for other great interviews with accomplished performers, stylists, musicians, and ringmasters!

Like the Facebook page for funsies!

https://www.facebook.com/RidingYourCoattailsPodcast

The Ides Of March

15 Mar

Our blog begins…