DIY Large Framed Chalkboard

I finally have a wedding post for you!  And it's a DIY post as well.  Yes!

I wanted to display our table arrangements on a large chalkboard, like the example shown below. 
As you may or may not know, large chalkboards that are framed are quite expensive.  So I figured I would just make one myself.  We bought an ugly mirror, and turned it into a goregous chalkboard with a white frame!

1 large mirror- we got ours at Marshall's for $20.  You could just find a cheap frame as well on Craigslist.  But mirrors are often times easier to find, and you can just go to your local discount home goods store and buy a cheap one.
Chalkboard spray paint- Found at Jo-Ann's. Only $5 if you use a coupon.
White spray paint- We got a matte white spray paint at Lowe's for about $6
Masking Tape
Garbage bags

Total Project Cost= $31 (but we've been using the chalkboard spray paint for other projects as well...more bang for your buck!)

1. We decided to spay the chalkboard area first.  Tear garbage bags at the seams to make them easier to work with.  Tape the garbage bags onto the frame.  Make sure you tape it right at the edge so you don't cover any of the mirror, but also so you don't get any chalkboard paint onto the frame.

2. Spray 2 coats of the chalkboard spray paint onto the mirror.  Letting it dry between coats.

3. Following the directions on the can, take chalk and rub it on it's side all over the chalkboard and then wipe it with a cloth to give it that chalkboard look.

4. Tape garbage bags onto the chalkboard section now, making sure to go right up the edge so that no white paint will get onto the chalkboard.

5. Spray paint the frame.  Because our frame was a bronze color, we had to do 4 coats to get it completely white.

And voila!  You now have a beautiful large chalkboard with a crisp white frame ready for table placements!

Cake Balls

It has been a while since I posted a recipe, so I figured I would post about a batch of cake balls I whipped up the other night. 

Ironically, these cake balls are made with cake mix and store bought frosting..even though in the Sluttier Brownies post I wrote that I try to never use mixes!  I figure it just makes it easier and no one can really tell since you mash the cake and the frosting together anyways.  Also, I used the Pillsbury sugar-free cake mix and frosting so my diabetic fiance can eat them.  Okay enough with the excuses...truth is these are just too simple and delicious.  You HAVE to make them!

1 box of cake mix of your choosing- I used Pillsbury sugar-free yellow cake mix
1 can of frosting of your choosing- I used Pillsbury sugar-free chocolate frosting
Chocolate melts- I used some brand I found at Target.

  1. Bake the cake mix according to the directions on the box in a 13x9 pan.
  2. Let cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack for another 15 minutes.  Don't let the cake cool completely.  It's important for it to still be warm because it softens the frosting making it easier to mix them together.
  3. Using a spatula, mash up the cake in a large bowl.
  4. Stir in frosting until well combined.
  5. Form into balls and place on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. 
  6. Freeze balls for at least 30 minutes.  I even left some in the freezer over night, and they were fine.
  7. Melt the chocolate melts according to directions on package.
  8. Using a fork or tooth picks, dip the cake balls into the chocolate and put back on the wax paper.
  9. Let the chocolate harden and then enjoy!
For storage purposes, I just keep them in a ziplock bag in the fridge.  You can keep them at room temperature as well. 

I calculated out the sugar and the each ball has less than 1 gram of sugar! Not too shabby!

We used the leftover chocolate melts to make delicious chocolate covered strawberries!  Yum!

For another recipe with reduced sugar, see my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles.

"The Shops" at Target Review

Okay, I'm just going to say it:  I was extremely disappointed in Target's "The Shops". 

I was so excited too.  As you all know, I adore Target.  I went to my local Target on Sunday to look over the new products.  I was expecting a cute, boutique-y display for each "shop".  Instead, the items were just displayed on end caps.  It sort of felt like a treasure hunt wandering around Target trying to find the different items, which isn't a good thing for when you want to see a new design line.  They definitely missed the mark on playing up that boutique vibe.

"The Webster"- Miami Clothing Boutique
I'm not that big into Miami clothing to begin with as I'm not really into beach style.  However I was still interested in seeing the clothes in person and if they could be incorporated into the wardrobe of the every day girl who shops at Target.  Alas, none of the items really spoke to me.  I did like this sweater though, but it fit a little funny.

The jewelry and accessories were very beachy as well and a little pricier than regular Target jewelry.  As my fiance said while looking at everything: "It seems like this is stuff J.Lo would wear."  Yup, pretty much.  So if that's your style, you'll love it!  But it is certainly not mine.  I was actually excited to see the shoes, but my Target didn't have any on display. 

The menswear was laughable.  Honestly, outside of Miami, what guy would wear palm tree shorts?    Or maybe it was just funny to me because I know that no guy who shops at my local Target would wear these shorts, or white pants, or a navy blue nautical style blazer. 

"Privet House"- Connecticut Home Boutique
The home items were cute.  I liked a few place mats and I liked the colors that were used.  But to be honest, it didn't really have that "wow" factor.  For example, the plastic outdoor tableware looked like something you would see at Target already. 

Also, these candles were extremely cheaply made.  It was just paper pasted around a candle!  I could do it myself for probably a dollar.  The quality of this entire line was sub par, and not worth the pricier Target "boutique" price tag.

Cos Bar- Aspen Beauty Boutique
Again, nothing to write home about.  I wasn't crazy about any of the items.  The nail polish colors reminded me of Halloween.  I understand these beauty items are supposed to be more "rock 'n' roll"...but the colors that were used are just seem so completely outdated compared to what's hot this season. 

Polka Dog Bakery- Boston Dog Boutique
I don't own a dog so I just sort of glanced at these items.  It seemed cute.  I actually didn't see any dog treats or food, but maybe that was just my Target?  It was a pretty small seletion, I even forgot to take a picture!

The Candy Store- San Francisco Candy Boutique
I was actually super excited to see creative candy in adorable packaging.  Instead I found cheap candy in plastic, underwhelming packaging.

The lollipops were really bright and colorful all displayed together, but I wouldn't buy one.

Maybe I should have been more prepared for "The Shops" by looking over the website more carefully.  But from the few minutes I did spend browsing the site, it made me really excited to go see it in person at Target.  It certainly was anticlimactic. 

Have you seen "The Shops" at Target yet?  I'm wondering if I'm not the only one who was dissapointed.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

Happy Friday!

(Cake from Icing on the Cake, picture source)
Does anyone have any exciting plans for this first weekend in May?  What about Cindo de Mayo?

If anyone is staying in this weekend, definitely whip up a batch of these Margarita Cupcakes.  They look quite delicious.

I am going up to San Jose for the day with my mom for a belated celebration of her birthday and my Masters degree.  We plan on doing lots of walking, lots of shopping, and lots of eating.  The image of the cake above is from the cutest, most delicious bakery in Los Gatos called "Icing on the Cake."  I'll do a more detailed post for the next travel Thursday on San Jose and Los Gatos because San Jose really does have a lot more to offer than simply being the heart of Silicon Valley!

Enjoy your weekend and lots of tasty margaritas!

Travel Thursday: Disneyland

As you all know I went to Disneyland last Friday with my fiancĂ© to celebrate my new job!  I know Disneyland like the back of my hand.  Actually, I don't know the back of my hand all that therefore I know Disneyland better than I know the back of my hand.  Disneyland is all about making memories, so I figured I would write a post about my tips and tricks to conquering Disneyland so you can make it as memorable as possible!

Where to Eat: Eating lunch at the Blue Bayou (the restaurant inside of Pirates of the Caribbean) is a MUST!  And when you go, you have to have the Monte Cristo sandwich.  It is to die for.  It is also the cheapest thing on their lunch menu.  Of course, eating at the Blue Bayou is a little bit of a splurge, but you can split meals for no extra charge making it comparable to other eateries in the park.   Making reservations is absolute key to eating here.  I made mine a few days before we went.  If it's during summer, I would make reservations as soon as you know the day you will be at the park.  Also, if you make reservations right when the restaurant opens at 11:30am, you're pretty much guaranteed a spot right by the water!

When to Go: The absolute BEST times to go are in the middle of the week right after labor day weekend and in the middle of January.  The reason to go after Labor Day is because that's when kids start school and generally it's not good to miss your first week of school.  Kids are also back in school in the middle of January and people generally are low on money right after Christmas.  Speaking of Christmas, the holidays are an absolutely magical time to go...just prepare for crowds.  If you can't go during the ideal slow times, any time during the week and not during the summer should be okay.  Even on the friday we went, it was pretty busy but we didn't wait longer than 30 minutes for any ride.

Rides: You have to use Fast Passes, especially if you go when it is busy.  The first thing I always do when I get into the park is go straight to Space Mountain to grab a Fast Pass.  Disneyland is actually not that big and it's pretty easy to walk from one end to the other (not including Toon Town...that place is way far away!).  So don't be afraid to wander around and ride other rides while you wait for the time allotted on your Fast Pass.  Also, make sure to grab another Fast Pass as soon as you're able to!

Photos:  All of the Disneyland Cast Members that stand around in different areas with fancy cameras are totally willing to take pictures of you with your own camera.  Don't be afraid to ask!  They even took a photo of us with my iPhone!  It's nice to have them do it rather than asking a stranger because you're pretty much guaranteed a great picture.

Snacks & Dessert:  I think it's important to always indulge in one Disneyland sweet or snack when you visit!  It's hard, but try to limit yourself to only one thing to keep your energy up for the day.  I love the churros and the ice cream on Main Street.  My fiance enjoyes the Mickey Mouse-shaped pretzels.  On particular hot days, frozen lemonade really hits the spot.  And I'm not talking about the Minute Maid frozen lemonade found in a cardboard container.  I mean the frozen lemonade fresh out of the slurpee-like machine.  You can find it between Matterhorn/Fantasy Land and It's a Small World.  This recent trip I tried a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich.  I literally died and went to heaven.  Highly recommend this treat as well!  Also, you can purchase margaritas in California Adventures!

These are just a few tips and tricks to get make your trip memorable.  I know I just scratched the surface of what Disneyland has to offer.  But these things are what I most love about Disneyland and what makes it most enjoyable for me.

Black & White Stripes with Pops of Color

I think it's safe to say that black and white stripes is a classic style that is here to stay.  I'm personally obsessed with them.  Lately, I've been seeing them paired with pops of bold color.  Needless to say, I've been playing around with this combination myself.  Here is a look I came up with and have worn myself!

Cardigan: Target
Dress: Forever 21
Flats: Target
Crossbody bag: Nine West via Macy's
Bee Necklace: Betsey Johnson via Macy's

Pops of color in general are a great way to punch up your wardrobe for Spring and Summer.  I recently bought the cardigan and flats from Target shown above (both are way brighter in real life, by the way!).  I felt like my wardrobe was becoming bland with all the neaturals I just these two items add the right amount of fun to my closet! 

Next on my shopping list is to add in some pastels and floral prints...pair those with a bold stripe and you have yourself looking like the gorgeous Kendi from Kendi Everyday!

What's on your shopping list for Spring and Summer?

Essie Spring 2012 Collection

I know I'm a little late on posting about Essie's Spring collection.  I noticed it at Target a few months ago.  Every time I visit Target (I'm not going to lie, I feel like I'm at Target every other day), I always linger in the nail polish section...gazing at all the pretty Essie colors.  I always tell myself not to buy them since I already have pretty shades at home that I can and should use again.  However this Spring collection really caught my eye.

I really love the pretty pastels and the vibrant hues.  However, I'm particularly drawn to the pretty light, almost-mint green called "Navigate Her".  It just screams "SPRING" to me!  I finally caved and bought it last week and I've been sporting it on my toes to try it out.  I'm definitely going to paint my finger nails with the lovely and interesting shade of green when I get a chance!

Sweet Pea is not impressed with my toes.

Happy 1 Year to William and Kate!

Can you believe it's already been a year since the wedding of the century?  I can't believe how much has happened in one year!  I feel like it's been so short and yet so long at the same time.  My own wedding is a little over 80 days away.  It's funny how much excitement and hype leads up to a single day of your life.  I can't even imagine the stress Kate Middleton went through before her wedding...I feel enough stress and I don't have the entire world watching my wedding!

Here are a few of my favorite moments from the Royal Wedding:

The two kisses by the royal couple were great, especially because you can tell how much they love each other.  But this flower girl's grumpy face definitely takes the cake.

The ugly hats.

Pippa and her bum emerging as a star.  Speaking of Pippa, has anyone heard her talk yet?  It fascinates me how she became a fashion icon overnight, and yet no one really knows anything about her!

And my favorite part of the wedding...the trees lining the aisle in Westminster Abbey.  It took my breath away!

What did everyone else like about the Royal Wedding?  Can you believe it's been a year already?


It's Friday!  Yay!  I have some good news to share with everyone.  I finally got hired at a CPA firm!  I am so excited.  It's exactly what I've been looking for.  I start in 1 1/2 weeks.  To celebrate, my fiance and I are going to the happiest place on Earth today...Disneyland!!! 

Have you seen the retro Disneyland posters from the 1960's? I love the artwork!

Sources: Adventureland & Fantasyland
Sources: Tomorrowland & Peoplemover
I'm so excited to ride all the rides and eat a delicious Monte Cristo sandwich at the Blue Bayou (the restaurant that's inside of Pirates of Carribean...highly recommended!)  It will also be nice to just hang out with my fiance all day since we've both been so busy with work (or in my case, looking for work) and school.  

Does anyone else have exciting plans this weekend?  Besides Disneyland today, I'll probably just have a relaxing weekend and bake another batch of chocolate chip cookies!  Have fun everyone!

Travel Thursday: Packing for Europe

It's beginning to be that time of the year when people are starting to get ready for their adventures to Europe.  I must say, I'm quite jealous of anyone who is traveling the next few months.  I was just helping a friend pack for her vacation to Hawaii.  I normally help a lot of friends pack for things.  I'm an excellent packer.  So since travel season is right around the corner, I figured I would share some tips!

I recently stumbled across this great article in the New York Times on how a flight attendant packs for 10 days all in a carry-on.  It's a fantastic tool that features a slideshow on the best way to fold and roll all your clothes to get the most use out of your suitcase.  However, I do have her beat.  I only used a carry-on suitcase for my month long trip to Europe!  It was definitely a great accomplishment.

Okay, here we go.  The most important tip that you need to remember is that you must plan out your outfits.  I started thinking about what I was going to wear months in advance.  Do some online research about the sort of weather you might experience at each place you're visiting.  Since we visited in April and May, I brought a heavy coat, a wind breaker, and 2 sweaters.  The trick with the heavy coat is to wear it onto the plane, that way you don't have to worry about trying to shove it into your suit case.  You also wear your bulkiest shoes to save room in your suitcase.  We did bring some space bags once the weather started to be too warm for us to wear our heavy coats onto planes.  The space bags helped us fit everything into our bags much easier.

Outside of Dublin in my gray peacoat and sparkly scarf
When planning out your outfits, you must think of what will go with what.  My friend and I wrote a blog post on our Europe Travel Blog that showcases how to come up with different outfits using the same shirt, jeans, bag, and shoes.  Basically we packed a lot of different black shirts.  When I go back to Europe, I will probably experiment a little more and bring different kinds of neutrals.  But you really can't go wrong with black.  It also lasts longer between washes.

Wearing black shirts in Rome.  The guy who took our photo said "You two look great in black." We got a kick out of that because we had been wearing black the entire trip!
For the restrictions of carry-on liquids...this was a fun one for us to do.  I really wish I took a picture of our bag.  We literally STUFFED the quart size bag to full capacity.  Definitely stock up on travel size items.  You really don't need that much shampoo to make your hair look and feel clean.  It was helpful traveling with someone because we shared a lot.  We shared sunscreen, eye makeup remover, etc, etc.  Also, Tide makes little laundry detergent packets that you can use in the sink while traveling.  Bring a few of these so you can wash everything once a week.  This helps limit what you need to pack.

So here's a break down of the clothes I packed in a carry-on for our April-May Europe Trip:
  • 5 shirts- I did 3 black shirts, 1 grey one, and 1 bright blue one that I could also use to go out at night in.
  • 2 or 3 pairs of jeans.  I'm pretty sure I only packed 2 since I don't usually sweat a lot or smell.  You might want to pack an extra in case your jeans get dirty easily.
  • 2 sweaters- you can use colors for these to add a little something over your neatural shirts
  • 1 heavy jacket like a peacoat
  • 1 light jacket
  • A weeks worth of underwear and socks, and then we washed them in our hotel room for the cities we would be in for a while so they have time to air dry.  We also took advantage of washing machines for when our hostels had them.
  • 1 pair of black lounge pants for sleeping in and hiking in and 1 shirt for sleeping in
  • 2 cotton sundresses for warmer days, going to a nice dinner, and using as a beach coverup.  You could also subsitute a dress for a skirt or shorts.  I'm not a big skirt or short wearer so I just stuck with 2 dresses.
  • 1 bathing suit
  • 2 pairs of shoes.  This is really important because if you don't switch your shoes every couple of days you will get HORRIBLE blisters.  I packed a pair of broken in black tennis shoes and a pair of black flats.
  • 1 pair of sandals for beach days and walking around your hotel.
  • Accessories!  I brought 2 scarves (and I bought another one in Paris), lots of earrings, few necklaces...anything you want.  The accessories are key to not getting bored wearing the same thing all the time while traveling!
Brittany wearing the same black shirt in Paris (left) and in London (right), but using different accessories.
  • Hair ties.  I didn't bring any styling tools.  I'm lucky in that my hair air dries really well.  But for those bad hair days or when it got hot, I could just put my hair up into a pony tail.
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • A good size black purse that works with everything you're bringing and can hold maps, water bottles, and anything else you need with you while traveling around town.  You can also use it to put your carry-on liquids in so it's easier to get them out when you go through security.  I also used it while we were on the go to store my mini umbrella (that I purchased at Old Navy) and my mini laptop that we used for blogging and skyping with our friends and family.  This why it's important to get a bag that's pretty large but still easy to carry around.
I really hope this was helpful!  It's important to play around with your packing list and figure out what works best for you and what would make you the most comfortable while traveling.  Bon Voyage!

White Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

For Easter this year, I really wanted to make Cadburry Egg cupcakes.  Unfortunately, because of all the essays I had to write, I had to settle to make Rice Krispie Treats.  I forgot how much I love these marshmallow delights.  I know Easter was weeks ago, but I just have to share the recipe.  My mom tweaks the standard recipe a little bit by adding salt and vanilla extract.  These two additions really make the flavor in the treats really pop. 

This year they had white chocolate M&Ms!  I'm not sure if this is a new thing or I just never noticed it before.  But they are seriously so freaking delicious.  We had to use them in these treats.  If they're not in the stores anymore, feel free to use other white chocolate candy or white chocolate chips.  Or regular M&Ms.  The beauty of Rice Krispie Treats is that you can throw whatever you want into them!

3 tablespoons of butter
4 cups of mini marshmallows (the mini melt faster)
6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 package of white chocolate M&Ms (or whatever else you want, just eyeball how much you want in your treats)

1. In large saucepan, melt butter over low heat.  Add mini marshmallows and stir until completely melted. 
2. Add vanilla and salt.
3. Remove from heat.
4.  Add Rice Krispie cereal and stir until well coated. 
5.  Stir in M&Ms.
6. Using wax paper so it doesn't stick to your hands, evenly press mixture into a buttered 13x9 pan.
7.  Let completely cool and then cut into bars!

Recipe adapted from the Rice Krispies website.

Instagram Life

So what have I been up to these last few weeks besides finishing up my Masters program and job hunting?  I figured I would update you all with Instagram photos from the last several weeks.

First of all, I had my hair and makeup trial!  It was quite exciting.  My Maid of Honor came with me.  It was weird to have someone fuss over you and do your hair and makeup.  I felt sort of like a celebrity.  I liked how it turned out for the most part, just a few tweaking here and there...but that's what a trial is for is it not? 

Secondly, my mom finally placed an order with Sprinkles for us to try their mini cupcakes!  At our wedding I'm having a mixture of regular and mini cupcakes.  I figured having the mini would be fun so people can taste test the different flavors I'm going to have.  However, we had to make sure the mini cupcakes were just as delicous as the regular sized one.  Wedding planning can be such hard work...

Thirdly, I spent a lot of time reading in bed and snuggling with this cute thing.  I realized I haven't introduced my cats on my blog yet.  Well blogosphere, I would like you to meet Sweet Pea, aka the fluffy love of my life.  We're pretty certain she's a Nebelung, which is a rare breed of cat.  I have another cat named Nyx who is a giant fat black cat.  She's also the devil in cat form. 

And lastly, I also spent a lot of time testing different chocolate chip cookie recipes for our wedding favors.  Again, wedding planning is SO HARD!  I'll post about this later as well, especially when we find the perfect recipe.  We're getting closer!

I do have some exciting posts planned the next few weeks.  I've gotten a lot of wedding things out of the way that I really want to blog about.  And of course I have a few recipes I want to share.  Just be a little patient while I jump back into my blogging routine!

I'm not dead!

I swear!  I swear I didn't die.  I am so so so sorry for neglecting this blog for the past 2 weeks.  Or has it been 3 weeks?  My class literally kicked my you know what.  BUT I PASSED!  So I officially have my Masters degree.  *everyone applauds* thank you, thank you.  Anyways, being in that class sort of sucked all my creative energy out of me.  So I spent some time just relaxing and not doing anything.  I've also been job searching a lot and doing some interviews.  Fingers crossed that I find an amazing job soon!

One thing I did a lot while I was in my class and needed a break is that I watched a lot of movies I've been wanting to see.  Did you know you can rent movies on Amazon now?  It's sort of addicting, especially when I was already on my laptop writing an essay.  I would just mosey on over to Amazon and with a few clicks, bam! I was watching a movie on my laptop.

One of the movies that I particularly enjoyed was "Like Crazy".  It isn't your typical Hollywood romance movie.  I won't ruin the ending, but it definitely wasn't clear.  I actually liked that.  At first I wasn't sure if I liked the movie but I've been thinking about it every now and then ever since I watched it. 

Want to know what's even crazier about "Like Crazy"?  Most of the dialogue was improvised by the actors.  It makes the love story a lot more natural and more believable.  It also makes me want to go back to London! 

If you're looking for an interesting movie to watch, you can just rent it on Amazon for $3.99.  I definitely recommend this film! 


Dear beloved readers,

I have to apologize for my lack of post today and to apologize in advance for my lack of post tomorrow.  I'm in the last week of my last class for my Masters program.  Needless to say, it is kicking my butt.  I still have to write 26 pages in the next week.  I literally feel like my brain cannot work at the moment, so I'm taking a quick hiatus from the blog.  I need to finish this class and still be alive and healthy. 

Expect me back in full swing next week!  And with Easter coming up, I'm hoping to bake some delicious Easter cupcakes.  Also, I'm planning on taking full advantage of April to get a lot of wedding stuff done!  So stay tuned!


Body Image

I know a lot of wonderful and beautiful women.  I have a great support system of friends, most of who I have known my whole life.  Yet we all struggle with body issues.

The picture above was featured in O Magazine and it really struck a cord with me.  This woman in the photograph is gorgeous, and yet the lines on her body is what you would need to cut out for her to be proportionate to Barbie.  It's disgusting. 

I have to remind myself that although I'm trying to lose weight for my wedding, I just want to live a healthy life.  My body type isn't naturally skinny.  Could I lose a few pounds?  Sure.  I did gain the lovely freshman-30 while in college.  But it's important to not stress or obsess about body issues.  I know I said this already in my Audrey Hepburn post, but it really is important to love yourself and who you are now, not just who you want to be. 

So I dedicate this post to all my beautiful friends who I know read this blog.  And people I may not know who happen upon this blog as well.  You all truly inspire me.

This picture was taken from O Magazine's website, and it accompanies a really great article I think everyone should read. 

Groomsmen Style

Over the weekend I realized our wedding is only 4 months away.  Yikes.

Needless to say I had a minor heart attack.  I have my dress.  I pretty much know what I want to do with my  hair and makeup.  I have all my accessories and my shoes.  The bridesmaid are all good to go.  Basically the girls are doing just dandy.

Now let's talk about the boys.  This whole time I figured we would just go to Men's Wearhouse and rent tuxes.  But then I thought about it and realized tuxedos don't exactly fit the whole "backyard garden wedding" that we're doing.  Plus rented tuxedos never fit well and they always look so baggy.

So I hit the internet to see what else I could find.  I found a bunch of photos and had Matt look at them to decide what look he liked the best.  (I've found this tactic to be most useful in trying to get him to decide stuff for our wedding).

Turns out he really likes the look of black pants, black vests, and skinny ties. 

(Top: Source Bottom: Source)
I was impressed with this decision!  These groomsmen just look so hip and stylish to me.  Plus the boys will be a lot cooler for our July wedding.

Oh and of course he wants to add sneakers like the first photo.  Originally we were thinking about doing the whole converse thing that is grown to be quite popular.  But we realized that Matt is more of a skater-shoe type of guy.  He and his friends grew up skating with each other.  In fact, he wants to have some photographs of him skating with his buddies in their wedding-attire before the wedding.
Therefore we decided Vans would be a more fitting option.  We're going to customize his on the Vans website to match our wedding colors and we're going to buy black and white vans for the groomsmen as their present from a Vans Outlet store.

I'm excited about the groomsmen now.  I was putting all my efforts into the girls this whole time.  It's important to think about the boys since they will be in just as many pictures as the girls!  The best think about the vest look is that it's way cheaper then renting a tuxedo.  Right now at Men's Wearhouse they're having a buy 1 get 1 sale.  That makes the vests $30 each!  Plus some cheap black slacks, a simple black tie...I'm guessing the entire outfit will be under $100.  Most tuxedo rentals these days are around $150.  Score!

What looks are you loving these days for the boys? 

I'm also loving this mix n match look I've been seeing: