Sunday, February 28, 2010

the zen of blogging

I've been banging my head against my google reader for the past two hours trying to formulate a post. Nada. I should know better than to force it.

And so I give you this pile of shoes. For no reason whatsoever.

Image courtesy of myvintagevogue, and thanks once again to Christa! (You know I love you even when I don't return your email... Right?)

Friday, February 26, 2010

eff saying yes to the dress....


Dear ESB,

I had an horrifically awful experience wedding dress shopping this past weekend. I actually wrote about it extensively in my absolute sheer and utter rage immediately after the fact, thinking I would send an email to the management of the store. While I still fully intend to do this, I thought I would write to you - see if you had any interest in bringing this up on your blog. I feel like it might save a trip to NYC for many a bride hoping to find their dream dress at that bullshit shop from that bullshit t.v. show on lame ass TLC.

That's right.  I went to Kleinfeld to buy my wedding dress. I didn't go because of their t.v. show.  I didn't really know they had one until after I made the appointment. I live in LA and found the dress I wanted to buy.  It was actually the 3rd dress I tried on in the first store I went in to. Long story short, my grandmother really wanted to be with me when I bought the dress. The only store I could find it in on the east coast relatively close to her was Kleinfeld.  

Never mind that its basically a glorified warehouse, the saleswoman that helped us (who incidentally looked like the "caseworker" from beetlejuice) could not have been more rude. First problem? My budget was too small (when, by the way, did $2000 become an insignificant figure?). Second problem?  The friend I brought with me was too opinionated. Really? That's a nice to thing to say to a complete stranger. Third problem? My grandmother had the AUDACITY to go to the bathroom during my appointment. The saleswoman literally tracked her down and basically told her off. Umm, she's 88? Fourth problem? My boobs are too big. They were going to have to charge me $150 to "open the cup size" of ANY dress I tried on (and bought). Really? But I fit in the sample sizes (more on this later). I never did get an answer if it was $150 for the set or each! 

I could actually go on about how awful an experience it was, but to cut to the chase, the woman had no interest whatsoever in selling me the dress I knew I wanted from the start. The store's employees seem to actually believe that they are bona fide celebrities. Ummm... it's a reality show. About wedding dress shopping. Sorry sister, that's a pretty niche audience.

The woman tried to rush out of the store faster than anything I've ever experienced. 35 minutes into my 65 minute appointment she told me she didn't have anything else for me to try on. Leaving the store I felt like a deflated, sad, hippo with too-big boobs. Not wanting to leave for home with that as my grandmother's lasting memory of our fun time wedding dress shopping, I called another store (Priscilla of Boston if you're interested). They could squeeze me in. It was heaven. The woman who helped us could not have been sweeter. She even showed me a rack of sale dresses! I pulled one off and said I'd like to try it. She gladly obliged and this funny thing happened. My grandmother's face LIT UP. She was so excited - I was so excited - the saleswoman was so excited. The dress not only fit like a glove, it was gorgeous. Super romantic and frankly, not so different from the other one I'd flown across the country to show my grandmother. I bought the dress. Off the rack. With plenty of room for my boobs. Thank you very much. 

A happy ending for sure (let's hope this keeps up). The reason I wanted to email you though, was because I am fairly certain a lot of girls make the journey to Kleinfeld - as some kind of pilgrimage. Whether they believe the hype of buying a dress 9 months to a year ahead of time, HAVING to have 3 + fittings, that there really does exist THE dress (one dress really?) I don't know. But what I do know is that I am glad I wasn't that invested in having a "Kleinfeld experience" as the girls who were literally taking pictures of themselves while walking in to what has now become another NY tourist attraction. If I could give one piece of advice to girls shopping for a wedding dress it would be that it is just a dress. There are a hundred that will make you look beautiful. There are another hundred that will make you feel great about yourself. You won't be able to find it unless the situation is right, and for me, it most certainly was not right at Kleinfeld. 


(Image from Vogue Paris via tobacco and leather

Thursday, February 25, 2010


You guys, I'm losing my shit. Who am I to tell you not to borrow dogs for your wedding when I'm running around the internet borrowing photos of hipster puppies and bizarre, beautiful hairless cats?

Actually, I think I'm lonely. After almost a year of working from home, H-town just started a new three-month gig that is taking him away for roughly 12-14 hours a day. The waking hours, basically. When he got the offer, I was all for it. First of all, we can use the money. And secondly, I thought, This is my chance! He'll go do his thing and I'll work all day long! I'll be so creative! The jury is out on whether or not I'm actually more creative when I'm rattling around alone. But come 8 o'clock, all I can think is, Wah. Where is my husband?

The good news is, the dirty dishes are not piling up at all. They feed him while I eat granola and yogurt for lunch and a turkey sandwich for dinner. It's like I'm single again. I am getting a little concerned about my consumption of fruit and vegetables. Must walk to the farmer's market tomorrow. MUST.

The whole car-sharing thing has suddenly kicked into high gear, and H is being a super star. He biked to Beachwood Canyon and back yesterday, in the rain, because I needed the Volvo to get to a meeting that was canceled. All I can say is I better step up my whole exercise regime* before he gets in really good shape and realizes what a blob I am.

(Photos of Hiro, or Hirohito Yoda, by fine little day) 

*What exercise regime?

**Update: I completely forgot to mention that this hairless cat post was sorta inspired by this bald rad post. I gave Peonies shit for reposting it, but I love it. Obv.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

on adding pizazz to the wedding ceremony


Dear ESB,

I have no wedding crises needing resolution, but I would like your input on a ceremony tradition. My husband and I do not have any little kids in our families. I'm fine with having the minister or members of the wedding party pass us our rings, but some dippy, sentimental piece of me wants a flower girl to dress up and throw petals. We own cats, but that wouldn't fly. My grandma has arthritis. My mom has miniature schnauzers that would steal the show, but my husband isn't a big fan. Any ideas or creative methods of ring presentation? Or interesting bridal processional? I don't need my wedding video YouTubed and acknowledged by Anderson Cooper, but some pizazz would be fun.



I don't have any sentimental feelings about flower girls. Maybe because I had to be a flower girl when my dad married my stepmom and I didn't think it was fun. I didn't particularly like the dress the bride had custom-made for me and I thought it was torture to stand up there while the grownups droned on and on. As for bringing pets down the aisle, god help us. I mean, if you are really really attached to your dog (and esp if she happens to be fabulously photogenic) then fine. But for the love of god don't borrow dogs.

The point of a wedding ceremony is not to have "pizazz." The point is to SAY YOUR VOWS TO EACH OTHER. It will be lovely and amazing and moving and overwhelming. You don't need pizazz.

p.s. You have seen hipster puppies, yes? Thx to Blah, Blah, Blahg for spotting this killer shot. + The Madonna Inn

Since I didn't manage to take any blogworthy photos while I was at the studio on Monday,* I'll just give you this rad image from the new issue of Paper Mag featuring a custom headpiece, styled by Shirley Kurata and shot at the Madonna Inn.

While I'm at it, may I recommend the Madonna Inn?** On our first anniversary, H-town and I spontaneously packed up our two-day "camping trip" a day early and spent the night in the Madonna's Vous room, which features a round king-size bed and rounded walls. It was like being inside a David Lynch movie. In a really really good way.

Via i heart

*Hey, I was too busy giggling and putting things on my head. Who knew I would have so much fun putting things on my head?

**No connection to Madonna Louise Ciccone. This place has been around since she was born.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm sorry, did you want a blog post?

All I've got is a big fat eff this. And I thought there was no way February wouldn't be an improvement on January.

But cevd is coming to town tomorrow, and she and I and the lovely Celia are taking a trip to the studio to meet Jen and Jamie, so that'll be fun. Unless it's not fun. Unless they all turn out to hate me and they say things like "you're much quieter than I expected" or "you're not as cool as I expected" or "are you sure you're ESB?" (Cevd has already met me, THANK GOD, so at least she knows what she's in for.)

Patti Smith via FFFFOUND!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What do you give a bride for the bachelorette party?

Hey ESB,

This spring, I'm a bridesmaid in my first friend - and non-family - wedding.  I'm struggling a bit with gift ideas for the various wedding events.  What exactly do you give a bride for the bachelorette party and shower?  Do brides really want to be given lingerie that someone else picked out for them?  Is a gift necessary when it's a destination bachelorette?  What is expected and/or appropriate these days?



Effme. I've never even been to a shower. I guess you just shop the registry? Unless, of course, there is some some bullsh*t theme.

Gifts for the bachelorette party are strictly optional. (There is already way too much gift-giving surrounding weddings, if you ask me.) Just pls stay away from plastic handcuffs, furry handcuffs and/or satin handcuffs. Real handcuffs might be cool. And there's nothing wrong with picking out lingerie as long as you get a gift receipt.

Image via FFFFOUND!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

hey ESB!

I have a huge problem... Ok so originally my boyfriend and I had planned on eloping. Boy, girl, maybe some pictures and a mini vacation. We thought it'd be fun to come back and surprise everyone... then have a totally fun party with everyone we love.

But we've been engaged 2 years now and over that time we have been worn down and by that I mean my family particularly my mom has gone into full-on guerrilla mom-of-the-bride-zilla attack. Using phrases like "you have to..." "but don't you want..." and making me feel shitty because 1. we have a non-existent budget that she thinks is going to pop into thin air 2. i'm a short red dress not poofy white and lame kind of girl 3. there's something wrong with me because i don't want a big show. i'm not a circus show freak on display i just want to get married (in the simple awesome fun and non traditional kind of way).

Well the problem is along with seriously i guess trying to make my mom and sisters happy i have put half the money i didn't have in the first place down on a space to hold this shindig. i've bought a white froo-froo dress that i'm not in love with. yea it's pretty but not what my heart was singing for you know?

And my bf and i were sitting down today bumming about the looming day in june. i'm not excited, not into the planning, even though i read wedding blogs and like to see what other people are doing for their big days i'm seriously ready to jump ship. i'm so sad, i have so much love for the boy, he's the most amazing guy and i feel like what we've planned so far is the opposite of who we are as a couple.

any suggestions? please help me (but be kind i beg you i'm already in the dumps)


I think you know what to do.

Elope, and soon. Find a dress that makes your heart sing and just make a run for it.

F*ck the deposit.


(Another photo by Michelle Pullman)

Monday, February 15, 2010

karaoke wedding reception?

Dear ESB,  

please weigh in! 

so we have many vocally talented friends, and a few that are professional musicians. while we're not too keen on picking any one (or set) of them to be our wedding band (we want them to be partying with us!) for our joshua tree outdoor campfire kinda reception-idea,  we thought getting a karaoke machine - with a long list of pre-selected songs - could be a really fun way to include everyone. i can also see how this could go possibly terribly wrong. . .   thoughts? 


-NorthEastside Bride


Mkay. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I hate karaoke. I mean, I'm willing to go to a dive bar/bowling alley that features karaoke for, say, a bachelorette party, but a new year's eve party I attended this year was hampered, in my opinion, by a retarded match of Karaoke Revolution that required those of us in the other room to turn our music off.

Here's what I think. Karaoke could be really fun late night. But if you bring it out too soon there is a serious danger you will scare off the people who have a) no interest in singing and/or b) no interest in hearing the "vocally talented" people sing. (Also... Professional musicians might really rather bring along guitars or whatever than sing along with a fucking machine.)


p.s. You guys have sent me so many good questions, and I plan to answer them all, I swear. But feel free harass me if any of them are time sensitive.

branches are the new antlers

I fucking love this. How did I miss this??

Pls don't be offended if I haven't read your blog lately. Apparently I haven't read anyone's blog.

Photography and styling by our lady of A Desert Fete. Obv.

p.s. We have a gorg branch hook from OK that I love to death that seems not to be for sale online. Too bad for you.

*BREAKING NEWS: The branch fell down on Ben's head and Jamie has not put it back up. WTF?!*

Thursday, February 11, 2010

How to propose to your boyfriend

With Valentine's Day fast approaching, I am getting the urge to propose to my long time boyfriend. We have talked about getting married, and are sure we are to each other. It's just that time. How did you propose to H-town? What made you take the initiative, instead of waiting for him to do so?


Um. First of all, F*CK VALENTINE'S DAY. Saccharine, rose-petal strewn proposal stories always make me barf. (I know what you're thinking: What doesn't make her barf?) But February? February is a terrific time to propose. Peonies's thoroughly unsentimental, utterly adorable story about the "unremarkable day" in February when she proposed to The Boy gets me every time.

My story is a little less adorable. I wasn't actually planning to propose. But, you see, H-town had proposed a month earlier and I failed to give him a proper answer.

He said, "Will you marry me?" Out of the blue, mind you. The man wasn't holding a ring. Thank god.

And I said, "Don't make fun of me."

So he said it again. "Will you marry me?"

And I said, "The next time you say that you better mean it." And I waited for him to say it again. I waited a whole month.

And then... I dunno, I just blurted it out one night. "Will you marry me?" I wasn't holding a ring, or a bracelet, or even a fucking card. But he said yes. Thank god.

(Photo of none other than The Boy himself by Peonies.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My #1 piece of wedding planning/marriage/relationship advice

DON'T FORGET TO FUCK. Or, you know, make love.* Whatever you like to call it.

Yes, it's healthy to go to bed angry once in a while. But then you have to make up, you feel me? And you'll be amazed how those asinine fights melt away when you're both, um, satisfied, and you remember what you're doing together in the first place.

*I hate "make love." "Make love" makes me want to barf. But like I said, whatever you like to call it.

(The photo is of Hannah, obv. Incidentally, while surfing her blog, I landed on this bit of advice that anyone planning a wedding ought to read immediately.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mkay, I never do this. But....

In the spirit of the recession, because this came from someone I trust, and because I know TTO would approve, why the f*ck not?

If you're getting married in LA sometime between March 26th and April 16th and you don't have a caterer (why the f*ck don't you have a caterer?? get your shit together) read on: 

We are looking for couples in their 20s and 30s who are getting married between 26th March and 16th April this year in the Los Angeles area and have yet to organise the caterers for their sit-down wedding dinner. 

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity - we want to film your wedding for a new TV series and provide the food on the big day for free (and to top it all off, there may be an appearance from a celebrity guest)! 

Please email us photos, details of wedding date and venue, numbers at your sit down meal, along with your contact details. 

Is this bride not a dead ringer for Courtney Cox? And p.s. why is there no wine in her glass?? Photo from LA SmogShoppe wedding by Jonathan Canlas via Snippet & Ink.

Do you ever...
put on your wedding dress again?
Just for yourself alone at home?

Just querying.


F*ck the dress. I have really been neglecting my wedding shoes. Gotta find an excuse to wear those again.

(Another one by Lillian and Leonard. Because it's such a good follow. And because their brank spankin new website is up today.)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Have you seen Lillian and Leonard lately?


I know I know. My right border is f*cked. It's the new blogger composer. I'm not emotionally ready to deal with it yet.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hey ESB,

What do you think of video save-the-dates? I've seen a few here and this one is crazy.

Tacky/annoying wedding trend?? Or badass??? I'm thinking at least I will save on postage....

- anna


just send an email. srsly.

(Photo: Mike O'Meally via Yimmys Yayo)

Friday, February 5, 2010

wishing you some of this for your weekend

Mkay, the knee socks are optional. But do consider wearing knee socks while you lie around the house reading the printed word.

I will be revisiting The Catcher in the Rye. Duh. I also plan to crack Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union, which H-town has been urging me to read ever since he finished it three weeks ago.

p.s. Cevd and I are overwhelmed and touched and elated by how many people have taken the pledge. Readers of esb and ppp were early adopters, of course, but now the badges are popping up all over the place.

Photo by Pamela Hanson via Oxford and Beyond

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Scosha, forgive me for badmouthing you

This wee heart necklace is rad. And, surprisingly, a lot more affordable than the bracelet(s).*

I think a guy could propose with a necklace, don't you? If he was smart and he knew you were fussy and he was pretty sure it was a good idea to let you pick out your own ring.... Let's be honest. Who doesn't want to pick out her own ring??

*Which I still want, don't get me wrong. Let me know if you need my address or whatever.

Scosha: the priciest friendship bracelets EVER

But c'mon. Tell me you don't want a whole wristful of these.*

*Also available in black.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Thought you might need this to get over the hump. It's def helping me out.

Although... Is anyone else worried about her in those heels? The tension sort of adds another dimension to the photo.

Monday, February 1, 2010

are you f*cking kidding me??

I subscribe to The Selby for affirmation that it's cool to be, y'know, a little untidy. Not. For. This. Get the spotless miniminalism out of my face pls.

Though I must admit I love that Edward Leida arranges his clothes according to color. I do that.

Elope or Deal with the Crazy?

Hey ESB-

I'm in the middle of a dilemma. My BF and I are in the early, early stages of planning (we've both said yes and are looking at rings). We've been dating for almost four years now and are madly in love with each other. Although we're a bit young, we've already been through some tough patches and have come out on the other side even closer than before.

My dad abruptly left my mom this week. Took all the money, lawyer-ed up, and left. The (seemingly) strong family of mine is suddenly in pieces and we have yet to see how everything plays out. My emotions on the subject are...complicated. Logically, I tell myself that it is their relationship, their problems, and my role is to be as supportive as possible while trying to remain neutral (not pick sides between the two of them). The emotional part of me is all over the place; part of me wants to bury my head in a pillow and the other part wants to scream and shout and lock them in a room till they figure it out. Obviously, I recognize that the logical choice is the best.

This situation has shaken me a bit, as it would anyone I think. It's kind of scary to see two people who were in love for twenty-odd years break up. I have faith in my relationship with my BF and I know that he is still the one I want to marry. In fact, the only thing I can think about doing is start the planning from scratch and run away in a few months and elope. Just the two of us somewhere beautiful with a witness each (our best friends), a photographer, an officiant, and a bottle of champagne. I'm afraid this is an idea that has sprung up only from my desire to escape from the reality that is my family. On the other hand, I've always been a practical person and this isn't the first time I've thought of eloping.

Do I exclude both of our families to have the simple wedding for just the BF and myself? I couldn't imagine trying to get my parents to even be in the same room as each other until well after the divorce is official. But I also don't want to exclude his family just because I am ambivalent about celebrating our union with anyone but us. And perhaps this is just all a reaction to my parents' marriage failing? I was hoping you might have an opinion on eloping and how to deal with the potentially upset family members, not just because they weren't invited, but also because we might be celebrating our union too soon after the dissolution of another.



Hey Anon,

I'm sorry. That sucks big time. I was a baby when my parents split, which I sometimes think was a lucky break because I was too young to know what was going on.

First, I'd say take a little time to breathe. Don't rush off and get married without inviting anyone if there's any part of you that will regret it. I didn't think I wanted a "real wedding." For months I kept telling H that we should just drive to Vegas, not because I was avoiding family but because I was avoiding wedding planning.* But I'm so glad we had a wedding. There's something incredible about having your family and friends gather not only to celebrate with you but also to serve as collective witnesses to the marriage. (It sounds new age-y, but it's true.) I don't know how bad it is with your parents, but I'm guessing neither of them would want to miss your wedding, even if it meant they had to be in the same room together.

ON THE OTHER HAND, maybe it's reallyreally bad. Maybe you want to get the fuck out of dodge, have a simple wedding like you said, and just be married already. I don't see anything wrong with that, as long as it's a decision you and your BF are making together. So what if people get upset? They'll get over it. It's your wedding.  It's your life. I mean, right?

Plus (and I hate to bring this up) if you were counting on your parents to pay for, or even contribute to, the wedding, things might get pretty complicated. There's nothing worse than the back-and-forth about money between two divorced (or soon-to-be-divorced) people who are not speaking to each other. And guess who has to be the go-between?

Godspeed and pls keep us posted.


(Magdalena Frackowiak in Viktor & Rolf, styled by Katie Shillingford and shot by Josh Olins for Dazed & Confused, via Refinery29)