Meeting My Wedding Dress Designer

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Jim Clifford Hjelm (also known as James Clifford or Jim Hjelm), the designer of my wedding dress.

Jim and Me

He was such a fun guy!

He was very complimentary of the dress I chose and even offered to send me a sketch of my gown! I thought that was really neat and I can’t wait to frame it. 🙂

While we were at the boutique, we took advantage of the loads of bridesmaid dresses on display and had my sister (who will be my maid of honor) model several of them.

We liked several different dresses but loved one.

Bridesmaid Dress Front-Runner

The Jim Hjelm one shoulder chiffon dress could be the bridesmaid dress, though would want to change a couple of things, such as remove the beading from the inside of the two flowers on the side and add a little more material to the center of the flowers to make them a little more feminine and whimsical. (I would also get the dresses in a champagne color.)

I’m waiting some pricing estimates from the tailor since I want some changes made. We’ll see!

Snacks and Shopping

After wedding fun, we headed to Peach Valley Cafe to pick up some apple fritters, which were highly recommended by Leslie.

Apple Fritters with Strawberry Yogurt

The fritters were fried and tossed in a bag of cinnamon and sugar. A cup of sweet strawberry yogurt was served on the side for dipping.

Leslie’s recommendation was spot-on. They were delicious!

With a little food in our bellies, we headed out to the nearby outlet mall for some shopping.

My sister and I did some damage at the Banana Republic and J.Crew outlets. With my birthday coming up, my mom is boxing up some of my goodies for a couple of weeks! 🙂 It’ll be fun to open up the goodies because I always forget about something I previously picked out.


Shopping really made us all quite sleepy! We were in the mood for some serious comfort food at home.

When Ryan arrived home from his soccer game (they won!) we were ready to dig into taco meatloaf!

I made the meatloaf using a recipe I saw on Lisa’s blog.

Taco Meatloaf

Cheesy Loaf

We enjoyed the taco meatloaf with corn bread and roasted zucchini and squash.

My Plate

For dessert we had freshly baked cinnamon oatmeal cookies.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Nom, Nom, Nom

My mom is spending the night in Orlando again (yay!), but my sister is getting ready to head back to Gainesville. 😦

We’ve had such a fun-filled girly weekend… I’m gonna miss her!

My Lovely Sista

Goodbye Hugs

I hope you’ve enjoyed a fun and relaxing weekend! Thanks for poppin’ in!

Taco Meatloaf


1 pound raw extra-lean ground turkey (I used chicken)
2 slices of fat-free cheddar cheese (I used reduced-fat cheddar)
1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese (I used reduced-fat cheddar)
1/2 cup canned sweet corn kernels
1/4 cup chopped green bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup salsa

1/2 packet of taco seasoning mix, dry (I used the whole packet)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cook peppers and onions for three minutes over medium heat in a pan sprayed with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine onions and peppers with turkey, corn and seasoning mix. Spread half of the mixture evenly into the bottom of the loaf pan (about 9″x5″) sprayed with nonstick spray.

Layer the two slices of fat-free cheese on top of the mixture (try to keep slices away from the pan’s edges). Evenly top with the remaining meat mixture.

Pour the salsa over the top of the loaf. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.

Top loaf with shredded cheese. Return loaf to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes.

37 Responses

  1. That is so cool!! I really love the bridesmaid dress, too. 🙂

  2. What an amazing opportunity! Very cool! And I LOVE that bridesmaid dress!

  3. Love the bridesmaid dresses!!!

  4. What a pretty dress! And I saw that recipe on Lisa’s blog and really want to try it too. Now that its doubly approved I can’t wait! Have fun with your mom!

  5. that’s so cool you get to meet your designer! can’t wait to see the real deal (although i know it won’t be until later :))

  6. That dress is gorgeous!! So neat you got to meet your dress designer, I’m sure it’s beautiful!!

  7. That is so cool he is going to send you a sketch of your dress…I would definitely frame that too!! How very cool!!

  8. So neat you got to meet the designer and you get a sketch, how awesome.

    Love the bridesmaid dress!

  9. just started reading your blog and i’m hooked! a jim hjelm dress has always been a dream of mine, i can’t believe you met him!

  10. you and your sister are gorgeous!! Love the dresses too! weddings are so much fun.

  11. I’m getting married next spring- I would absolutely love a sketch of my dress! What a great keepsake!

  12. That bridesmaid dress was GORGEOUS! And I bet it will look beautiful in the champagne color. I was having a hard time deciding when I got married between champagne and eggplant for my girls to wear (eggplant ended up winning!) It’s all so exciting! I was just married on January 2nd…I don’t know if I’ve caught before when your BIG day is??

  13. How fun that you got to meet your wedding dress designer, that is awesome! And that would be a great choice for a bridesmaid dress!

  14. that’s so cool that u met the designer!!! love the bridesmaid potential and your sis are GORGEOUS. how do you curl your hair btw? itlooks amazing

    • i actually answer this question in more detail in my Q & A section. 🙂 i curl it using a straightener – it’s the only thing that actually holds curl in my hair!

  15. that dress is so cute! i should show you what the bridesmaid dress looks like that i have to wear next month…sad, but it’s almost like something out of that wedding movie with katherine heighl…forgot what it’s called, 27 dresses? yeah…haha!

  16. Soooo cute!!

  17. how fun!!!! I wish I had the chance to meet my wedding dress designer, Judd Waddell. Looks like you had a great weekend!

  18. I love, love, love Peach Valley Cafe!!! I was so craving it this morning. There are only 4 of them and they’re in the North-East side of Florida. So every time I go up to Orlando, I make it a point to stop in for breakfast. I always start with an order of the apple fritters too!!! They’re my favorite!!! =)

    Last time I was there, I saw the Something Blue store & thought of you!! The bridesmaid dress on your sister looks super cute & one shoulder is such a big trend right now. Good luck with the dress searching!!! xoxo

  19. Ahh so exciting that you got to meet your wedding dress designer! How did you manage to do this?! (& I must say, that dress + belt = ADORABLE!). I can’t wait to see THE dress you chose for your special day and love the front runner bridesmaid dress. You have such an eye for style! 🙂

  20. beautiful choice on teh bridesmaid dress! (if thats what you choose!) your sister looks beautiful in it!

    apple fritters?! holy yum!

    that turkey meatloaf looks SO good! I saw it on lisa’s blog and new I wanted to give it a whirl!!!


  21. Really love the black dress! Can’t wait to see the wedding gown!

  22. […] Meeting My Wedding Dress Designer […]

  23. how very cool that you got to meet your designer! He does look crazy and fun!

    so glad you liked your turkey taco meatloaf—I think yours looked better than mine 😉

  24. Wow, that sketch is really special! I would have loved to have that for my wedding dress. Very cool!

    I love that bridesmaids dress!

  25. Gorgeous bridesmaids dress!! What a wonderful, fun weekend, have a great week!

  26. Hey cool website! Great Info! If you need any help, or anyway i can help you out! come to my site! thanks, and sorry for any inconvinience!

  27. (Long time lurker finally commenting)

    1. Love the dress! So pretty!!

    2. Exciting about your designer – how fun and what a great opportunity!

    3. Just an idea for the Taco Meatloaf, sub out a small can of diced green chilies for the bell pepper – it would give it a little more *kick* – I’m going to try it – I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Thanks for all the post – you’re blog is fun to read!

  28. Julie!
    That bridesmaid dress is really cute! How exciting!

  29. where did you get that dress your wearing??? its so cute.

    • thanks! it’s actually a long shirt (i’m wearing jeans in the pics, but you can’t see them). i got the shirt from marshall’s last year.

  30. Beautiful bridesmaid dress! How awesome you got to meet Jim Hjelm! I LOVEEEE his dresses. I helped my sister plan her wedding, and that’s how I fell in love. How cool! And I love that you and your sister are so close… Reminds me of my sister and I. I think you’re friends with her… Congrats on the engagement!!

  31. […] think our visit to that bridal shop reaffirmed my love for the bridesmaid dress I found with my mom and sister back in April. I’m thinkin’ that’ll be the […]

  32. […] 10, 2010 First things first, dinner last night was awesome.  The recipe for taco meatloaf from the Peanut Butter Finger master is a keeper.  In fact, Big Guy gave this dinner “two Coronas up” (his words exactly).  […]

  33. I just found your blog through Meghann’s and am enjoying reading about your wedding planning! I got married in October 2008 and my dress was by Jim Hjelm! That is so neat that you got to meet him. I absolutely loved my dress and wish I could wear it again. I can’t wait to see what yours looks like! Good luck and have fun with all the wedding planning – October will be here before you know it!

  34. […] (You may see a picture of my sister in the dress here.) […]

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