Wedding Post-Partum

Ok, I know that title sounds bizarre, but it's something I seriously had to deal with once my matrimonial planning & stressing went "poof!" Ladies, be warned, if you ever have to plan your wedding, there's a chance this may happen to you. And if you don't, beware that your friends may deal with this phenomenon. Be prepared to lure them out of their caves using fresh baked goods as incentive.

If you're married to the one who planned your wedding, brace yourself for a possible flurry of over-productivity that, in the end, you may benefit from. Just be sure to stay out of their way.

Decorating may momentarily take over your soul.
When your wedding day & honeymoon are over, you look back on your life and say, "man, I can't believe I spent such an exorbitant amount of time letterpressing invitations and hand-drawing name cards. Where did I find the time to figure out seating arrangements and chat with caterers and florists, venue managers and musicians?"

It's true. We get into wedding planning and then we no longer need it because, well, our wedding is over and we're not wedding planners. (If you're a wedding planner, this does not apply to you.) So, you go back to life as is, but now have this gigantic span of time with which you have to figure out what to do. If you're anything like me, staring at a wall or trying to "relax" will not work. You will be pulled down into the depths of an odd depression peppered with momentary glimpses of hope that are then dashed to the side and consumed by the Food Network.


Your First Wedding Anniversary

This post is dedicated to my husband. (Gee, I bet you didn't see that one coming.)

Yep. It's our 1 year wedding anniversary today and I'm actually in slight disbelief that:
  1. It's already been one year
  2. I never got my wedding "thank you" notes out. (Gosh, is it too late now?)
  3. It's already been one year
  4. We're still together and, if my observations are correct, we're still ok with each other
  5. It's already been one year
There are a few things that I've been pondering since the approach of this day. Heavy issues like, "what have I learned over the course of this matrimonial year?" and "are we headed in the right direction?" Also, "am I doing this right?!"

A triumphant kiss celebrating our victory against Hurricane Irene
It's turns out that although my husband and I only actually spent 30 days together in person over the course of one year of "dating" (and by "dating" I mean breaking up 5 times, dating without calling it dating, and then finally breaking up because a long distance relationship was just madness in our eyes), the fates seem to be telling us that we belong together.

So, this is an homage to those out there who are thinking about marriage, are engaged, or are already married. This is what I learned over the course of this past year:


Mama Matsuo Musing #2: The Skin You're In

It's time for another installment of "Mama Matsuo's Musings" where I get to tell you about my chic Japanese mother's sage advice. So, here we go...

Mama Matsuo Musing #2: Take Care of Your Skin!

Didn't you know?
I know what you're thinking. "Duh."

It's something we're told to do all the time. Fashion magazines, health magazines, beauty blogs. Everyone is talking about skin. It's our biggest organ and the one people see right away. What kind of idiot wouldn't take a minute to give it a little TLC? No one's an idiot. Life is crazy enough as is, so it's understandable that doing all this extra self-care is the last thing on your list of priorities. (It's probably somewhere between getting your tweezers sharpened & going through that stack of mail you've been meaning to organize - guilty as charged.)

But, seriously, skincare can take up precious hours of your day and you have to be diligent. None of that "I'm too tired to take my make-up off. I need to just sleep." or the famous express washing of the face that's basically you scrubbing at your face like it's a washboard for 30 seconds and rinsing it off with the foolish assumption that you've rid your pores of all those youth-killing offenders.

I learned very early on, by watching my mother, that taking care of your skin is a process and one that, when you get into it, you can really enjoy and luxuriate in. And I'm not just talking about your face, folks. You need to take care of all the skin on your body. I mean, having a youthful face and a leathery beef-jerky-esque body would be a little disturbing, no? Yes. Yes, it would be disturbing. Don't be that person who disturbs other people.

So, let's start with the steps:


Get By With A Little Help...

Yes, it's true. As much as philosophy & drama have taught us that we're all islands or dust in the wind or a speck in the universe, it doesn't mean you have to suffer alone all the time. You can be a peninsula sometimes, people. Not at death's door, but when life is feeling stagnant or you need a shot of inspiration like you need a new bathmat. (Read: I need a new bathmat.)

Now, I'm not gonna get all Ya Ya Sisterhood on you, but I will say that though spending time with your significant other (be it your spouse, lover, pet, or plant) has its own value to it, it can do you a great deal of good to venture outside of that realm and take the time to beef up the estrogen (or testosterone - the word bromance happened for a reason) in your surrounding environment that doesn't belong to your other half.

How to properly appreciate your friends and remind them how valuable they are.
I mean, really, how are you supposed to appreciate your soul mate if you're sharing space with them all the time? Sometimes you gotta have some soul space. Let your yourself bask in the nurturing love of your friends...and I'm talking about your real friends. The ones you can call at odd hours in the evening after you've eaten a whole sleeve of Ritz crackers or discuss ass massages and colonics with over a meat & cheese plate. The people that talk you off the ledge, hold you at your weakest and cheer you on at your best. The people who see you for you.


The Long & Short of It

Ladies & gents, let me spin you a tale about one of the biggest sticking points of my aesthetic career. 

You'll have to excuse the illustration. I wasn't feeling especially talented today.

I cut my hair gamine-short for the first time when I was in 5th grade, just in time for graduation from elementary school. No make-up, pre-puberty, in jeans & penny loafers with a vidal-worthy cut. I had my mother to thank for that. Her fashion-sense was keen & she always knew what was best. I was yet to really feel peer pressure and so, it was the first bold fashion move I had ever made and one of the most memorable...without argument. Without regret.

Looking back, it was one of the best things I had ever done...and, really, I didn't grow my hair much longer (aside from an occasional foray into the realm of bobs - that would make a great title: The Realm of Bobs - remind me to write a post about that) all throughout high school & college. I had become synonymous with "short hair" during those years and I was happy about it.

So, what did me in? What made me grow my hair out at a certain point?
Yeah, it's probably not hard to guess. A bad relationship sprinkled with some insecurity.
That's just a recipe for disaster.


Mama Matsuo Musing #1: Widsom of a Beautiful Japanese Mother

So, like all good blogs, I figured some structure...a little bit of in order. With that said, I figured why not take the good advice of my own, beautiful, wise mother and spread her gospel through the internet.
My mother as a young lass.
Not the most technologically savvy, her words of wisdom are often wasted on just her children, but there are so many people out there who could learn a thing or two from her sage-like musings. And, lucky you, I'll translate her Japanese into ramblings that you can understand! Hurrah!

So, without further ado, I give you your first installment of "Mama Matsuo's Musings!"

Mama Matsuo Musing #1: Always Invest in Quality Shoes & Bags

I recently made an investment purchase in the name of this musing. One of Coach's new Legacy bags:

The Coach Legacy Tanner Tote, available at Coach

The bag/shoe concept is what I like to call a "Fashion Sandwich." Quality on top, quality on bottom, and whatever works in the middle.


The Most Dreaded of Questions...

Alright, folks, I'm just as guilty as the next person of wearing something high-fashion and cornering my husband, striking a pose and asking him the most dreaded of questions...

Yep, I'm an illustrator
It doesn't have to be a couture outfit with major shoulder pads or dropped crotches either. (Has anyone else noticed the disdain most men have for harem pants?) Ladies, I'm talking about those days when you feel like your butt muscles have deflated, that pillow wrinkle on your cheek hasn't faded and it's almost noon, that microscopic pimple (that you think is the size of Mars) just HAPPENS to be located between your eyebrows, or you accidentally cut your bangs too short. (I'm a bang cutting fanatic and have definitely done the whole "oh, now they're an inch above my eyebrows...great" thing before.)

The point is this: Why do we have to ask?


Things You Hadn't Asked For

It's an undeniable truth that when we fall in love and get engaged, we don't stop to think about all the things that go with marriage. The second thought I had after "good gravy, he proposed!" was "@%*&, I have to move across the country!"

To be sure, my engagement and slip n' slide to the altar wasn't the modern norm. We didn't live with each other until we were engaged. I had no idea what awaited me the minute we were confronted with the dreaded Tetrising of our lives (and stuff.)

Mr. Merlin. A.k.a "Practicing for Children"
In a lot of ways, I say, the old fashion way of staying apart until engagement or marriage is a blessing. You go into this new found partnership as just that...a partnership. You're in it together and because you're already committed, there's no running away. Confronting the problems will happen and you're better off.

Here are a few things to remember:


So, I got married...

Let's not even get into the pantheon of things that come with marriage, but focus on one major sticking point. It has been theorized that people "let themselves go" once they're married and it's my quest to NOT let that happen.

This is what marriage looks like.

I made a lot of changes. Friends had told me that my husband made a "grand gesture" by proposing to me while we were still living 3,000 miles apart and weren't even technically dating, but me moving across the country to be with him? That's pretty grand, don't ya think?

Wait. Let me answer that for you. It is.