Friday, May 22, 2009

Bridals by Sandra

I am honored to have been asked to serve as an attendant in my friend Courtney's wedding. It's been a while since my last bridesmaid duty, so I'm a little rusty. Luckily she is incredibly organized and enthusiastic, and the other bridesmaids are funny and sweet, just like she is.

I had my doubts about the dress, I'll be honest. I don't favor dresses that have a mermaid shape generally, due to my curvy frame and general clumsiness. However, the milk-chocolate color of the dress Court selected is very pretty, and will complement the flowers and decor (light greens and yellows). I held out hope. I picked my dress up from Bridals by Sandra (56 East Lawn Road, Nazareth) today, and once I tried it on, I absolutely loved it. It needs a little bit of alteration (it's strapless, and a little loose around the chest) but the length is great, and the mermaid shape I feared is actually flattering. A sash ties in the back and lays low and flat against the dress.

I purchased my wedding dress from Sandra's, and I really enjoyed working with the staff. They have to be poised, detail-oriented and friendly. If I worked in a bridal shop, I'd probably take up turkey hunting or tae kwon do to balance all that tulle and lace. I wonder how they put up with all those bridezillas, prom princesses, and mothers of the bride! The store is quite large, and in addition to bridal gowns, mother of the bride outfits, and bridesmaid dresses, it also offers tuxedo rentals and tons of shoes and other accessories.

Anyone else a bridesmaid/matron this summer? Any ideas for a unique shower gift?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dan's Camera City

This weekend I'm headed to the shore with two old (ahem... long-time) friends and their daughters, and my sister. We'll be catching up and reminiscing, sharing and making memories, I'm sure.

When we started planning the weekend a while back, I remembered that when we were kids (around age 12) we made a bunch of home movies of ourselves goofing around. One of us is a naturally funny person with comedic timing. The other two (myself included) are just awkward, and that's funny. Our music videos in Jacobsburg Park, surprise birthday parties for everyone's birthdays, and early '90s hairdos and outfits are too cute for words. Sadly, the VHS tapes are in bad shape. We watched them a lot back then, and they've been passed from friend to friend like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

I wanted to get the VHS tapes copied onto DVDs for all of us to enjoy at the beach together, and I knew exactly the place to go: Dan's Camera City (1439 W. Fairmont St., Allentown). They have done such an outstanding job over the years with our camera equipment and prints, and we receive amazing service every time we're in the store.

I don't own a VCR anymore, so I had no idea what was on the tapes. I dropped them off on Friday, and received a call from Lori at Dan's earlier in the week letting me know that one of the tapes was longer than 2 hours, and did I want to come in and look at it, in case I wanted a second DVD made from the rest of the tape? Unfortunately, the only DVD player was in the digi-lounge, so the other dozen or so patrons got a little show (blush). I did keep the audio muted, but our antics and colorful clothing and makeup did attract some attention. I found what I was looking for and slinked back to the front counter, where Heather patiently explained all my options.

I picked up the DVDs today, and they look great. Converting the first tape was $29.99 and additional copies were $19.99, but the results are PRICELESS.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bicycles

I read an awful story today that made me think about sharing a friendly reminder with you all: Now that it's warmer outside, be careful on the road, even when it's dark or raining. A lot of people use bicycles for transportation and exercise, and though some people may not make the best decisions (e.g. riding around midnight on Schoenersville), their lives are no less precious. Some people don't have a choice in their mode of transportation - they cannot afford the bus, the bus route is not convenient for them, and/or they are not legally able to drive a car.

Overall I've been pleasantly surprised with the respect I've received as a bicyclist on local roads here in Bethlehem. I try to be as careful as I can, and make myself as visible as possible without being a distraction, but sometimes things (deer! trash! potholes!) happen. And when they do, I appreciate having the right of way, or not being bullied or scared off the road. I use toe clips, so I need an extra second to unlock before my feet are on the ground. I never got a bike in DC because public transportation was so comprehensive that I didn't need another way to get around, and riding on the roads was too dangerous.

Local businesses or business districts that offer a bike rack are awesome. I would much rather lock up my shiny red wheels on a proper bike rack than to a trash can or drain pipe outside your business - but I also might not visit your business at all if there's no good place to lock up (ahem. CVS). Props to Riverport, Main Street Commons, and the Bethlehem Post Office (among others).

So when you're on the road, please use that peripheral vision that your Driver's Education instructor told you about!