Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Inauguration Weekend: Celebrations All Around (Part 2 - Getting Ready)

This is a long one, so hang on! 

I feel like our Inaugural Ball story deserves its own post. I'm still reeling from how awesome the opportunity was. I'm so grateful that my hubby's family friends extended the offer. There are no words to express the gratitude. 

So Hubby and I were already planning to celebrate at a ball on Monday evening, but we got a call from one of his best friends, Dr. J, about getting tickets for the official ball. This Inaugural season, the President and Inauguration officials decided to scale back. The President and First Lady only attended 2 balls, the one we attended and the Commander-In-Chief Ball, so I count it a blessing to be present to witness real-life history. 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wanted to look special for our big night. Knowing that I had any chance of meeting President and Mrs. Obama called for a special dress. The dress I had purchased for the other ball was great, just not special. I mentioned that I saw it about 8 times in a few different colors in my earlier post. Anyway, I jumped up Sunday morning and ran to the dress shop where I found my mother's outfit for our wedding. Group USA at Potomac Mills Outlets is like formal dress heaven. I tried on about 10 dresses, snapped lots of pics and shared them with my sister, best friend, and hubby, and finally settled on this lovely number: 

I loved the color. It's somewhere between teal and emerald green. It fit like a glove, and given my tight timetable, it didn't need any alterations, just sky high heels.  Luckily, I found some shoes (on clearance, of course), and figured I'd look for accessories on Monday morning when I had my makeup done. As you'll get to know if you read this blog, I LOVE (I mean, from the bottom of my heart LOVE) a great deal. The dress and the shoes were super affordable given the type of event we were attending. Let this post prove that you don't have to break the bank to pull off an expensive look. 

I had the dress, and it was to accessorize. I thought I needed to go out and buy all new stuff, but after some digging around at home, I had most of what I needed. I totally forgot about my fancy black clutch that I hadn't carried in years. I wore some earrings my sister bought me for my wedding. At first, I had settled on a necklace that I had forgotten about that was lurking in my jewelry box, but I stopped in Charming Charlie's and found something that gave the dress that little bit of extra "umph!" Have you ever been to Charming Charlie's? I'm a little spoiled because my hometown, Houston, TX, has a whole strip of discount and wholesale stores that sell amazing jewelry and accessories. Charming Charlie's is the closest that I've ever come to deals as good as the ones I can find at home. A brooch that I had originally purchased to add to my purse ended up embellishing the dress and giving my ample bust a little more coverage

With everything that I needed to wear, I decided to spruce up my hair. I put my hair on rollers as I watched the Inauguration. Then, because it was such a special day, I ran to MAC to see if I could get my makeup done. I love makeup, but I'd only had it professionally done once for our wedding. I figured this moment was a big life event, so I went to the store in my rollers and crossed my fingers. 

Shout out to Lauren at the MAC store in Fair Oaks Mall for getting my face TOGETHER!!!! She gave me everything I asked for, plus a little more. 

Me and my bad cover-up for my rollers

With my makeup all done, it was time to get ready for the evening. We had dinner reservations, and I didn't want to be late! I had initially planned to do a simple bun, similar to the one I did for the International Ball, but once I took out my rollers, I decided to be a little more creative. I started playing with my hair, and wanted to figure out how to make this look stay in place all evening:

With a little ingenuity and a ponytail holder and some hairpins, I created my new 'do! I was debuting my bangs like the first lady. :)

So, after pulling it all together, ta-da! A ball-ready, formal look for less! This was my final look for the evening:

I better work if I don't say so myself. More pictures and details about the evening in my third (and final) post about the Inaugural Ball. 

Until next time! 

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