Wednesday, March 31, 2010

400 Babies

Foul language is involved, FYI.

Anyway, so after we got engaged, baby talk slowly started creeping in to Ryan and I's conversations. You know, how many kids he wants, how many I want, blah blah blah. It's starting to sink in more, now, and lately I've been doing some research into pregnancy and babies and what it's going to mean for us as a couple. Cloth diapers vs. disposables, breast feeding vs. formula, how far down the infertility treatment road we want to go if we can't get pregnant, private school vs. public schools....I know my views will change post baby, but I guess I'm trying on motherhood and seeing how it fits, in a way.

Let me also say that Ryan and I getting pregnant will be a blessing, and that I want time alone with my husband before we even think about starting to try for a baby. We've never lived together, and I want to enjoy that before introducing a baby to the mix.

So far...I'm super paranoid about turning into a whale and I've been checking out pregnancy weight gain calculators. Looks like I should gain 25-35 pounds, according to this calculator. Vain? Shockingly so, yes. I've read a lot into staying active during pregnancy and all that jazz, and hope to be able to do so. I've also read into eating organic, pesticide and hormone free while trying to conceive and throughout the pregnancy, and would like to do this.

I was amazed to see all the stuff you can't have when knocked up....caffeine is not good, especially in the first trimester, raw eggs are a no no as is raw meat, and non-pasteurized cheese, juice and milk should be avoided. Apparently pregnancy can inhibit your immune system, so anything that could potentially have lots of bacteria isn't good.

Ryan did say that the religious education of our children is on me, which is super exciting! I want to raise really tolerant kids who have a good knowledge of the traditions and customs of other religions.

Have you found yourself having conversations like this with your partner lately?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kicked my To-Do Lists *ss

Ok I'm not really kicking my to-do lists *ss, but Ryan and I really are knocking some stuff out.

I booked the hotel room blocks last week, which turned into quite the ordeal, but thankfully the ending was a happy one (still waiting on the contract, but we're good to go). I booked the DJ this week, and we ended up getting an incredible deal, and the people are obscenely nice and the references I checked had glowing things to say about them.

I ordered feathers off of Etsy this week to finish off my bouquets, and finally found a great price ($12.75 for 30 baby ostrich feathers, free shipping!). I am so excited to get these completely done, I think they are going to look amazing.

Ryan and I have started researching alcohol prices, and it looks like we're going to come right at our budget of $1,000. According to various alcohol quantity calculators, it looks like we'll need 3.5 kegs and about 80-90 bottles of wine. We're thinking about doing a signature drink, but the bartenders really don't like to mess with hard alcohol so we need to keep it really, really simple. Ryan wants rum and coke, but that reminds me way to much of getting 32 oz. sodas from the gas station and pouring rum in once we got the car in my wilder days. My idea of a strawberry lemonade and vodka was deemed "too girly," so what do you all think?

We're hoping to meet with a manager from the pizza place we'd like to do our rehearsal dinner in on Friday.

I LOVE getting this stuff knocked out, it feels so good! Especially since all of this stuff has required so much research.

How're you doing with your list? Does it feel good to mark stuff off?

Monday, March 29, 2010

You know how every once in a while, buried beneath the tedium of wedding planning, there's this shining realization every now and then that "I'm getting married!"?

I just had one. The last couple weeks have been full of alcohol quantities for the reception, pages of hotel room quotes, an inbox snarled up with DJ information....and then today, the DJ we booked (this morning!) e-mails me a worksheet for our reception. The worksheet lists typical things....full name of bride, full name of groom, wedding party names, pronunciations, blah blah blah...but when I was scanning it, I saw a line for "bride and groom's first dance." And that's when I saw this light at the end of the tunnel, that someday (soon!) we're going to married and walking out onto a dance floor to dance to Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours," and it's going to be amazing.

I can't wait.

Have you had any "holy sh*t I'm getting married!" moments lately?

Do yourself a favor....

Have you ever seen "The Room?" It's pretty much the worst movie ever made, but it is so bad that it's hysterical. The star of the movie, Tommy Wiseau, wrote, directed and produced the film and it's I mean, check out the delivery of this first line:

And this one...the passion, the angst:

The guys at work quote this movie constantly, it is so funny. Apparently some theaters are showing this movie and allowing the audience to dress up a participate.

Anyway, if you're looking for something that is so bad it is great, go check out The Room.

Friday, March 26, 2010


I saw "Guys and Dolls" last night with my sisters and my dad at my old high school. They did a great job-it's not my favorite musical but I really enjoyed it, they are great with comedy. One of the songs is called "Marry the Man Today," and a couple lines caught my eye (um, ear?):

"Marry the man today, and change his ways tomorrow....give him your hand today, and save the fist for after...."

I think that going into a marriage with the idea that your partner is going to change for you, or going into marriage with the intent to change your partner's behavior might the worst possible mistake. I'm marrying Ryan with the knowledge that he's going to be super irritating at times (he refers to this as him being hilarious), and that he will act like a 12 year old sometimes. This is one of the things I love about him, I wouldn't want him to change that! Of course there are things that we both need to work on (me with taming my anxiety for one), but I am marrying him exactly the way he is with no expectation for major changes.

But the "save the fist for after" is funny, isn't it?

So what do you think, ladies? Are you planning on giving your man an overhaul once the rings are on, or do you think that trying to change someone is a mistake?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thanks but no thanks

Dear Crate and Barrel and Macy's:

Ryan and I have registries through both of you. Macy, we are super excited about the Calphalon cookware we registered for through you, even though that day we learned that "$100 for a charger is nothing" and that "your parents friends will be mad at you if you don't register for fine china." And dear, dear CB, with your clean and modern aesthetic....your Essentials dinnerware line is so, so gorgeous, especially situated on the lovely wood chargers/trays we selected. You know we love you!Source

But every time I log on to our registry on your sites, you insist on reminding me how many days there are left until the wedding. Macy and CB, I don't think you understand that the mini-panic attacks that the viewing of your ill-advised countdown induce are not appreciated by the 3 gentlemen I work with, who have got to have reached their limit of me wailing about wedding planning. They're much too nice to say so, but trust me, they have to be there.

Really, CB, Macy, I do appreciate the sentiment, really. But you really, really shouldn't have.



I do not subscribe to the Knot's infamous to-do lists....I would've run away screaming by now if that were the case. Do the wedding day countdowns inspire joy and terror in you, all at the same time?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I just finished reading....

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage, by Elizabeth Gilbert.

It was really good, though boring in parts. It actually made me slightly worried about getting married, it looks like marriage doesn't necessarily always work out that well for women. She covered all the bases, from finances to motherhood and everything in between.

I'm taking away from this the idea that no prescribed equation works for marriage. What works for Ryan and I might not work for you and your partner, and vice versa. I also gathered that there is no "secret to a happy marriage." "It's a hold on tight and buckle in, this is going to be a crazy ride" kind of a deal, you know? This book showed me that you have to let go of what you think a perfect marriage is and work with what you've got.

I will definitely read it again, I actually really want to buy it so I can refer to it periodically.

Have you read Committed yet? What did you think?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Take me to the courthouse ASAP

Because I have had enough.

(Just a warning, this is a ranty, negative nelly post)

Everything is so freakishly overly complicated. The map and directions for the invitations are dependent upon the hotel we've been trying to book with, but they won't answer their phones, won't call me back and don't speak the best English in the world, so every time I leave a message its wrong. And the exact same person is always at the front desk. So the stupid invitiations that really, really need to get done CAN'T until this stupid hotel cooperates. I'm trying to give them money, I don't understand! There are so many things I am dying to cross off my list but can't because of stupid stuff like that, it's driving me nuts.

And my time with Ryan is dwindling rapidly. His work schedule got switched in April so he'll be working all day Friday and all day Saturday...leaving me with 1 day to see him every weekend. I am so p*ssed that the little time I do have with him is clogged up with dumb crap like addresses and e-mail bounce backs.

This is probably more me being really upset that April is going to be a rough month in terms of actually spending time with Ryan instead of wedding planning stuff, but it's easier to be angry about wedding planning stuff than angry at Ryan about his work schedule, which he can't do anything about anyway.

I just keep telling myself "I just want to be married, I just want to be married." Ryan says that being married isn't going to get rid of bills and other daily life stuff, but I know that. Being married will take care of this BS back-and-forth-never-seeing-each-other nonsense and a wedding task list that is growing by the day, and I will gladly take that.

Anyone else feeling bogged down, maybe a little blue? This wedding couldn't come fast enough, checklist completed or not.

Patting myself on the back...

Because I successfully completed some bridesmaid's bags...and I have never seen more beautiful tote bags in all of my life. I am making some for myself after I get all of the ones for the girls out of the way! I am tempted to take a page out of the Selfish Seamstress's book....

I'm going to be obnoxious and show's a completed bridesmaid's bag:

I really like how structured the bag is, it looks really nice and tailored in real life. Once I got the hang of it, the other bags have been going so, so fast. I have 3 100% done and 2 more that just need the handles sewn on and the sides structured. I thought this project would take me forever but that hasn't been the case at all.

I do want to give the bridesmaid's something in addition to these bags, but I'm kind of stuck. The only thing I can think of is a vintage rhinestone pin. I want to give them something they'll really use and love. What are you all giving your bridesmaid's, any ideas for me?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Saving that date

Vistaprint contacted me a while back and generously offered to let me have the pick of their website, which was super because Ryan and I needed a small number of Save the Dates to mail out to people who don't have e-mail addresses (I know, some people don't have e-mail addresses, I'm still recovering from the shock), so we decided to take them up on their offer.

They have a pretty good selection, but the color customization options were limited. This is the closest we could find to aqua and red, so we went with it. I ordered the save the date in a linen finish, which was very subtle but pretty, and I sprung for the matching envelopes, which I really like. I also added our return address to the back of the envelope.

Just an FYI, the red on the save the date was much more orangey than the red on the envelope. Ridiculous of me to notice that? Yes. I could care less, but if you're really into 100%-perfect-color-matching going on, be prepared. One save the date was just a tiny bit offset in terms of printing also. Very minor complaints, but I'm all about full disclosure. Overall, I was really happy, the printing was even and clear and the paper was a much better quality than I was expecting. I'm really glad I did the linen finish.

I think our order was $30ish for 20 save the dates. Anything extra you add, such as the envelopes and the linen texture, does cost extra and that adds up. I really like though how you can get everything to match--there are invitations, place cards, menus, programs, everything that match. The design options were not what I was expecting...they have some really nice modern, simple stuff, and your typical cheese fest. Also, the prices are not bad at all. They have these wedding package deals that would definitely simplify matters if I wasn't so hard headed and want to save every penny I can and insist on making most of this stuff ourselves. I do wish they told you the price up front and didn't make you go through the design and editing process first, I like to know how much something costs before I invest any time in it.

Anyway, I think Vistaprint is a great option if you don't want to devote a ton of time or money to your invites and they have a whole wedding section here. You could seriously spend 30 minutes picking out a design and typing in wording and be 100% done, which is a beautiful thing. If they would've caught me now, I would be so tired of this wedding planning I'd just do all of our stuff through them. And the people who work for them are obscenely nice. The guy who contacted me patiently answered all of my annoying questions about his job (he's in public relations, and I have a PR degree so I wanted the inside scoop) and took care of everything. I like working with nice people, don't you? I will definitely be using them again, maybe for our rehearsal dinner invites (seriously haven't thought about those even a little tiny bit).

We e-mailed save the dates out to everyone on our guest list with an e-mail address, to save money and the planet. We went through Pingg and it was free and wonderful. Ryan picked out a really nice design and that was it, really. The most annoying thing about Pingg is they insist on having this big thing where your guests have to tell you if they are coming, maybe coming or not coming, which we thought was lame but couldn't disable. Anyway, it was pretty painless and free, which I love!

So there are our save the dates...that we should've gotten out long, long ago, but gathering 260+ e-mail addresses freaking sucks.

Did you do save the dates?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Real Life Musical

My deepest, darkest desire is to have a "my life is suddenly a musical!" moment.

And Zooey does it so well. The new She and Him album comes out the 23rd!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pros and Cons of Long Distance Relationships

I'm not going to be all negative and list the cons...because I'm sure that if you don't know them, then you have a pretty good idea. So pros only!

Pros of Long Distance Relationships:
-Leg shaving is rendered unnecessary Monday-Thursday
-Also, eye make up and hair-styling
-Lots of me time, translating into 4 hour reading marathons
-Poached eggs for dinner...4 nights in a row? Totally acceptable.
-Almost unlimited Hobby Lobby browsing time
-Unlimited blogging time (this blog 100% leaves my mind when I'm with him...if he was around, I doubt I'd blog as regularly as I do now...blogging is a nice time filler!)
-The blankets are all. mine.

Do you have any to add?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Give Away

Alternative Wife has a pretty sweet giveaway going on right here!

I just finished reading...

The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis.

So, SO good, go read it. One of the best books I've read in a while, I've put it on my "definitely read again list." The story is about 3 generations of women in Uruguay, and it was fantastic. Abuela marries a carnival magician from Venice and they have a daughter named Eva. Eva is a poet and has a tough relationship with her dad. Eva has a daughter named Salome who gets involved with some idealistic revolutionaries, and Salome has a daughter as well.

It was so well done, so well written. The characters were so real. There was some brutal stuff in here, such as sexual abuse, so be prepared for that if you read it. I highly recommend it.

Also, Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls.

She also wrote The Glass Castle, which is one of my favorite favorite books. I had really high expectations since I enjoyed The Glass Castle so much, and I couldn't help but be a bit disappointed. This book is based on her grandmother's life, and is told from her grandmother's perspective. It was choppy, the narrative didn't have hardly any flow at all. The best part was the end, where the author's parents meet. I'm glad I read it, but I won't be reading it again (I've read The Glass Castle 5-6 times, I won't do the same with this one).

Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage by Elizabeth Gilbert is finally mine! I've been on hold for it at the public library and my sister is picking it up for me tonight.

What are you reading?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wedding Checklist

I know I am leaving a ton of stuff out...I cannot wait to be married.

-Verify times with church
-Buy envelopes/labels/stamps
-Assemble and mail

-Make toss bouquet

-Revise and finish
-Verify times with church
-Visit with Pastor?
-Write vows
-Contact musicians and finalize music selections
-Find readers

-Verify times with church
-Contact Uno's
-Make invitation and send out

Set Up
-Contact Jessica
-Construct game plan

Reception Decorations
-Finish overlays
-Picture display
-Decide on fake vs. real carnations, order
-Obtain last cake stand

-Decide on menu
-Make menu for table
-Research alcohol prices
-Purchase alcohol

-Decide on picture location

-Shop with ushers for suits
-Approve white shirts for ushers and groomsmen
-Select ties for groomsmen/ushers to purchase
-Get Ryan's vest tailored
-Pick up Stacy's dress
-Verify that all bridesmaid's have dress

-Parent gifts
-Groomsmen/ushers gift
-Embroider handkerchiefs for dads
-Make pins/corsages for moms
-Finish bridesmaid's bags
-Obtain rhinestone pins for bridesmaids

Music for Reception
-Find DJ/rent sound system

-Update/maintain registries

Friday, March 12, 2010

Need this

Just saw this new fabric collection know how I've been wanting to make a quilt? How pretty would these fabrics be together....

Someday! Not that these match anything I own or registered for...but still. How cool would these all look together? And the tree one, so gorgeous. Unfortunately they are all $9.50/yard, which is super expensive when you put together how much yardage you would need.

Any projects you are looking forward to post-wedding?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Twinkle Sews

I saw this book in Barnes and Noble last week and I want it so bad:

Look at that neckline, it's gorgeous. Usually there's maybe 1 thing I want to make out of every 50 or so patterns I see...but want to make 95% of the things in this book. Unfortunately the reviews on this are not good at all. The patterns used are on a CD, and almost everyone who reviewed the book said that they are a nightmare to print out and put together. Also, it does not look like this book is meant for a beginner, which I very obviously am.

Sigh. Maybe someday! Right now I need to focus on sewing things I can successfully complete without too much frustration, and I don't think this book fits that bill.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I just finished reading....

Devotion, by Dani Shapiro.

This was a memoir written by a former orthodox Jewish woman who is now a very liberal reform Jew. I had no idea that keeping kosher means 2 sinks and 2 dishwashers! The book was about her spiritual journey. It was good, a very reflective book, but she never really fills you in on what spiritual conclusions she reached, which is kind of why I read the book. But I did learn quite a bit about Orthodox Jewish customs. I had no idea that Orthodox Jewish women sometimes cover their hair with wigs to fit their modesty requirements, so I definitely learned a little bit about the different customs. I don't think I would recommend it to anyone though, because it was kind of rambling and no ends were ever tied up.

Also The Angel Maker, by Stefan Brijs.

This was really good. It's all about a brilliant doctor who dabbles in cloning, to disastrous effect. The interesting part of this though is the story of the doctor's childhood and religious convictions woven throughout the narrative. And the ending was very fitting. I loved all of the Biblical tie ins. A very refreshing read, even though the subject matter was on the brutal side of things. I was confused about who they were talking about when they suddenly switched to the doctor's childhood story, but I figured it out eventually.

And La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith. He's a pretty famous mystery author, according to my librarian sister. This was a super light read, a story about a woman on the English homefront during WWII who starts an orchestra to boost moral. It was kind of a middle-heavy book in that the beginning was very brief, the middle was very thorough and longish, and then everything was wrapped up in less than 15 pages. So kind of odd, and lots of holes were there that left me wondering about what else happened. The ending was very sweet though.

That catches me up....last night after I finished the Smith book, I started The Invisible Mountain by Carolina De Robertis. Her prose is blowing my mind, listen to this:

"He had always been a force that kept her on the ground. His company formed a sphere, a raw keen humming place, that encompassed them and all their hidden thoughts, so that she had known before he said it that he planned to leave."

"...her pen moved and moved without her hand seeming to push it, forming the spires and spikes and loops of cursive words, sharp t's and j's, y's and g's with knots at their base as though to tie themselves together, tie women back together, and as she wrote the loops grew large, as if more rope were needed to bind what had blown apart inside her, and not only inside her but around her, her before her, in her mother's days, her grandmother's days...."

I am so hooked, the kind of hooked where my to-do list is now being used as a bookmark, where nothing else will get done until I'm finished with this book. Sunday afternoon while Ryan's at work, I think I might spend the whole time reading.

My reading has really picked up since Alli and I cut off our cable! We now have the Internet only, and if we want to watch something it's on Hulu or a DVD. The first week sucked but now I don't even miss it...and I don't lose huge stretches of time to a Bravo marathon!

What are you reading right now?

More Registry Nonsense

I swear I'm almost done talking about registries!

On Monday when I posted about registering, Miss C made a really good point.

Miss C said...

I'm going to go out on my own here and say that I want fine china. I don't expect to use it all of the time, but the thought of not being able to bring out my "wedding china" when I'm older kind of depresses me. Like, because this generation has Ikea and Target and all of that (which I love), everything kind of becomes disposable. It'd be nice to have some gifts from the wedding that aren't.

She's right, don't you think? The emphasis on registering has gone from heirloom items to every day items. I think it's interesting, because I think that houses have done the same thing. 50 years ago (when registering for fine china was a given), houses had formal living and dining rooms. Now (when registering for fine china is not a given anymore), a popular layout for homes is a hearth/great room that is open to the kitchen instead of formal living and dining rooms. I write real estate TV shows for a living, so I see so much of this in newer homes.

Isn't that interesting though, how entertaining has changed? It's gone from a formal thing to a not-so-formal thing. Same thing with clothes, people used to get dressed up to go shopping and now I see 50% of the store in sweatpants.

Anyway, I think that if fine china is important to you, then by all means, register for it. I think that everyone should register for what really makes them happy. If that's extra activities for the honeymoon or a nice grill or an XBox, do it.

My mom has a set of fine china I could probably have, since she has never once touched it. But I think it would be really cool to find a vintage set in the next few years or so, when Ryan and I have a house to store it in. I see sets in antique stores all the time for under $100.

What is something on your registry that really makes you smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Did you register for fine china or any heirloom items?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Registry Success Part 2

Registry Success Part 1

So we strode hopefully in to Crate and Barrel with wooden chargers and bright white plates on our minds. I scored a scanner and Ryan and I looked....and looked. Crate and Barrel is great, but they really scatter some stuff throughout the store in favor of pretty displays, which is nice, but you can't go to one shelf and see all the chargers. So we asked an employee if they had wooden chargers...and alas, they did not. They had stainless steel chargers, teak place mats and wooden-ish place mats, but no wooden chargers. As the employee was expressing regret, we spotted these off in the distance....

And these....

They were wood and charger-like....and $12.95. Done deal, and the Macy's guy can suck it! We registered for 6 of each and plan on mixing/matching these. We quickly settled on the Essential Dinnerware:

At $55.20 for a 16 piece place setting, we were comfortable with the price. We registered for 3 16 piece settings to total 12 place settings, each place setting coming with a dinner plate, salad plate, mug and bowl.

Ryan and I have been looking at dishes for months and months, and I had given up on us being able to agree on something. We both LOVE these, and they look so sharp on the wood trays.
It all was uphill from there. We found stuff that we are really excited about and love, and the prices were much more affordable than expected from such a cool store. Some of the prices are really high, but we steered away from those.

I would like to introduce you to the cutest toaster in the entire world.

It was $10 more than the Macy's one that I was pretty apathetic about, so I ix-nayed the Macy's one and went for cuteness. Plus, this one is Cuisinart, and their appliances get really good reviews.

I also got all nerdy and researched the "big" stuff quite a bit, such as the pots/pans (AllClad would've been great but it is oh.....quadruple what I would ever consider spending on pots and pans, we ended up with Calphalon and Cuisinart was another option), the dishes and other appliances like a food processor and a blender (we love smoothies, I'm drinking a blueberry/strawberry/mango one right now). We plan on having and using this stuff for a really long time, and I want to make sure that we're making good decisions. Nerd time is over now.

We still need to add things, like kitchen appliances and flatware, but we're well on our way to being done. It's weird to register for stuff that goes in a house/apartment that we don't have yet.

Did you register all at once or in little bits at a time? Did you geek it out and research what you were putting on your registry?

Monday, March 8, 2010

Registry Success!

Saturday Ryan and I registered again.

We set up registries at Target and Macy's a few months ago, and put just enough stuff on them to get us through a bridal shower that happened last month. We knew we needed to add to them, and we knew we wanted to add a 3rd registry as well, so Saturday we set out to do so.

The last time we wasn't fun. We were disagreeing about pretty much everything except Pyrex (we have a serious love for Pyrex). He wouldn't like something I liked and I would get all just wasn't pretty. So I was hoping that registering round 2 would be more fun, which it was by far.

First we poked out heads into Crate and Barrel to see if they had enough stuff we liked to warrant registering. This was a big duh and of course they did, so we headed across the street to Macy's to check out their dish selection.

While at Macy's, a vendor rep from Calphalon (pots and pans) was there to answer any questions. She was amazing! I had done some research and had a general idea of what we wanted, but she pointed out stuff I never would have thought of. I knew we didn't want all non-stick (some of it is linked to gastro-intestinal cancers and infertility), and I thought that stainless would be a good fit for us. I knew we wanted a stainless set layered with another metal to increase conductivity, but what the Calphalon rep pointed out to me that I didn't realize was that pots with a copper bottom only cook from the bottom-you have to stand there and stir lots. The set we ended up selecting (the Calphalon Tri-ply 13 piece set) has aluminum layered throughout the stainless steel through the entire pot, so the sides heat up just as fast as the bottom, leading to evener heat distribution. The set is obscenely expensive, but we plan to cook on these for a lifetime. Calphalon, All Clad and Cuisinart were all brands I knew got excellent ratings, so I didn't fall for it just because the vendor rep was there.

Anyway. Also while at Macy's we looked at the dish selection, which was surprisingly really small. The selection of fine china was much, much better, but we are only registering for everday stuff. On our way out of Macy's, Ryan and I spoted some plain white dishes set on wooden chargers. It was our favorite setting we'd seen so far, so we asked the Macy's registry dude where the individual pieces could be found. Turns out, the wooden "charger" was just a tray from a chip and dip set...that cost $100. Which irks me, because don't act like it's something that can be purchased individually when it can't. Then the Macy's guy proceeds to explain to us that "$100 for a charger really isn't bad at all" and that we should register for fine china because "our parents friends would be mad at us" if it wasn't on the registry. Oh yeah, MAD AT US. And maybe a $100 charger flies in his house, but not in ours. Probably the 2 dumbest things I've ever heard.

We headed back across the street to Crate and Barrel determined to find non-$100 wooden chargers...

To be continued!

Did you hear any ridiculous things when registering? Did you all fight or get along nicely?

Friday, March 5, 2010

I just finished reading....

The Custodian of Paradise, by Wayne Johnston.

It was meh. The author set it up so you couldn't NOT finish it, though, so I suffered through til the end. The story is about an eccentric woman in Newfoundland who has a drinking problem and survived TB. This is where I spoil the plot line, so just a warning. At 16 she gets pregnant with twins. She is shipped off to New York to live with her mom who abandoned her when she was 6. She is locked in a room so that everyone thinks her mom is the one having the babies. She never sees the babies and returns home to Newfoundland where she is to act as if she never were pregnant. The story is told as she lives on a deserted island where she is trying to avoid her mysterious "Provider" who showed up on her way home after giving birth.

The plot line sounds intriguing, but stretch that out over 500 pages and it's a big snooze.

I also just read Ray Bradbury's collection of short stores, We'll Always Have Paris.

Normally I am not a short story fan. I get too attached to characters to lose them so quickly. This collection of stories was wonderful. They were all so clever, and so vague. I'm typically a fan of stories that tie up all the loose ends (I'm unimaginative like that) but I didn't mind a bit with this book. It was a really quick read, and most of the stories were no more than 5 pages long. It was nostalgic, as many of the stories focused on picturesque small-town life.

Every book I picked up in January was fantastic, but I've started at least a dozen books and put them down because they weren't worth finishing. I'm just not having a lot of luck this month!

I just started The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs, it is really good so far.

What are you reading?

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I told you guys my dress alterations went swimmingly, but then I was an *sshole and never actually showed you how they turned out. So here is the front of the dress, successfully altered.

Those boobs are NOT MINE. Bra cups=cheap breast augmentation. I have nothing up front, so I emphasized the back. Work with what you have.

The bustle was hanging just a bit crooked, so she's fixing that and adding an additional hook and eye closure at the bottom of the "v" on the back.

Oh I love this dress so's amazing what different mind set well-done alterations can put you in! I am pretty straight up and down kind of girl...barely an A cup, and it wasn't until the past 2 years or so that my hips have broadened a bit. Part of the reason I loved this dress so much when I bought it is the shape it gives me. I feel like I have an hour glass figure in it (even though I don't, it gives the allusion of one). It makes me feel...dare I say sexy? Oh yes, sexy.

Confession: There is a killer looking junk store 1 street over from the dress shop. It's never open every time I go down to get my dress, and I'm not driving 1 hour round trip for a junk store (not one that is unproved, at least. I will drive an hour for a really good junk store). My mom and I rushed through this fitting to get to the junk store before it closed. We're hardcore. That's why there are only 2 pictures...we had junk to sort through!

How did your alterations go? Did they make you fall back in or out of love with your dress?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Ladies who are standing up with me on July 24th, 2010: If you are not Alli or Mary, please go grab some coffee or water, pet your dog(s), or maybe take a nap. This is somewhat of a surprise.

So I'm making tote bags for all of my bridesmaid's, courtesy of the sewing book I got for Christmas, One Yard Wonders. I have all of the fabric together too! The fabric on the far left is for one of Ryan's sisters, its a chocolate brown with lilac detailing. The coral is for Ryan's other sister, the yellow is for one of my sisters, the brown and green is for my friend Melissa, and the 2-D zoo print is for my sister Mary.


The chocolate brown, coral and yellow I got at a discount home decor fabric warehouse for $5/yard, which is a great deal for thicker fabric. The brown and green I got at Hobby Lobby with a 40% coupon, and Mary's animal print I ordered offline for maybe $10?

Anyway, I need to buy fabric to line the bags in, but it won't be expensive. I will buy a thicker fabric to line the animal print with since that fabric is on the thin side. The tote bags do much better with a thicker fabric to give them some shape.

I started with the coral, and wow does my machine hate that fabric. It pulled and tugged and was awful to work with. I showed the results to my sister Alli and she said I was being anal retentive, so I'm going to finish it (hopefully tonight) and see how it is. If it's awful, I have another 40% Hobby Lobby coupon I can use to buy more fabric. *Edited to add: I had to buy more fabric last night. Lesson learned!*

It's amazing how fast these go together now that I've made a practice one! I need to get better at cutting accurately.

I'm also hoping to make envelope shaped pouches with the scraps left over from the bags. We'll see!

I feel like I need to add something else to their gifts...we'll see! I want to give them stuff they'll use, and tote bags like this can be used to library books, groceries, work out clothes, anything really.

What are you gifting your bridesmaid's?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Looking for a new, fresh faced, up-and-coming wedding blogger to while away those work hours with? Worry not, I have just the ticket! My friend Melissa is getting married in November and her Lenten resolution is to blog more. Woohoo! She just put together a recipe book for a recipe-themed bridal shower, it is too cute, you've got to check it out. Stop by and see her!

Cake Stands

Ryan is taking care of the wedding cake. He and my little sister did the tasting and everything. My only request was that something be strawberry flavored...the cake, the icing, filling, fresh strawberries on the cake, I don't care, just something strawberry. Other than that, Ryan and my little sister Mary have been handling it.

I do know that we're doing wedding cake from a local bakery for the "fancy" cake, and then sheet cake from Costco for the rest of the guests. It's a big money saver, and from what I hear the Costco cake is delicious.

I also know that I need to be on the look out for 3 cake stands, at least 9 inches in diameter to exhibit said cakes. Milk glass matches the rest of our reception decor, so I've been keeping my eyes peeled for milk glass cake stands.

The milk glass vases we got for pretty much nothing, usually around a quarter a piece. I knew cake stands would be different, because they're pretty in right now and harder to find.

I found this cake stand at a really skeezy thrift store for $13.50!

Ryan and I had an extra 30 minutes Sunday afternoon and found this beauty at a local antique store. It's cracked, so the price of $22.50 was knocked down to $12. Hell yes we'll take it-the cake will cover up the crack anyway!

I store all of our wedding stuff in my basement....and I was tired last night and just photographed the cake stands in the poorly lit basement. I never said this was a photography blog!

I love the base of that one.

So 2 cake stands down, 1 more to go, and we've successfully stayed under our $15/cake stand budget so far!

Ebay has some killer cake stands, but the shipping blows them way out of our price range. Oh well, the fun is in the chase.

Have you thrifted for anything to use at your wedding?

Monday, March 1, 2010

And the winner is....

Stephanie, of I Do at the Zoo and the Life of a Husband and a Wife!

So what did Stephanie win, you may ask? She wins a pillow valued from $45-$55 from my aunt and cousin's company, Threads Remembered.

Threads Remembered takes clothing, coats, jerseys, handkerchiefs, scarves...whatever you can dream up and turns them in to pillows. They make wonderful keepsakes, and the work is really beautiful. Stephanie, please tell us how your pillow turns out, and congratulations!

If any of you lovely readers would like a pillow of your very own, contact my aunt and cousin at or, they'll take good care of you. To see more of what Threads Remembered has to offer, check out their look book here.

Thank you to everyone who entered and said such nice things!