Monday, March 31, 2008

So (B) least for a few days.

Image: Wise Gorilla

I am going to take a break from blogging for a few days. I've been spending too much time online lately and am getting fried. (Not to mention that I'm staying up too late and my a*s is growing from too much time on the couch.) I think that I need an e-detox.

When I mentioned last night that I need to unplug for a week, Andy's eyes grew big and he nearly broke skin when he bit his lip trying not to laugh. So, you know what? "Game on, Brutha."

See you in a few days.

P.S. I just realized that I've published 68 posts since I started this on 1/30. That's 68 posts in 62 days. Even the virtual me talks too much.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Miscellaneous Wedding Crap

There are two things that I really don't want, but have been told that I must have:

  • A Guest Book
  • A Card Box
The guest book I am back and forth on. I had an idea for a play on the Polaroid albums that everyone's doing, but with film, that will be a $300 guest book. I wonder if I will be sad in 10 years if I skip it? Or, if I get one, will it be something that will just take up space on a bookshelf? I have a few ideas for things to submit Etsy Alchemy requests for, so I'll sleep on it for awhile. Thankfully, this is one thing that I've got time on.

Now for the card box. Let's be honest. They are u.g.l.y. And I can't spend $50 on something that I'm going to pitch the next day. All of my girlfriends insist that I need one to hold cards, which is probably true. I've been searching everywhere for a large glass bowl. Then today I remembered this:

    Image: Crate & Barrel

    It's perfect and I can use it again! And for $37, who cares if it gets nicked up? I'm thinking that I can put a band of ribbon or paper in the middle for decoration. I actually registered for the more expensive, prettier punchbowl at Crate & Barrel. Maybe I'll swap it out for this sure thing.

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Is This Ceremony Not Punctilious* Enough?

    Since I'm in list-making mode this week, I used my commute home yesterday to jot down some of the ceremony ideas that have been floating around in my head. I need to map it out a bit before I present it to A. so that I can convince him that it's the way to go.


    • Step 1: Friends Light Candles: I have so many friends have been important to me over the last ten years. I didn't want to overburden a lot of people with being a bridesmaid, but I still want to involve as many important people as possible. I'm thinking of having some of my girlfriends kick things off by walking down the "aisle" and lighting some candles on our faux altar (faultar?).
    To be Identified: Candle holder for 4-6 candles

    • Step 2: A's Sisters Light Candles: I don't know if he's down with it, but I think that we should include them.

    • Step 3: Aunts Walk In: I'd like to include A's aunt, who's like his second mom, and my aunt/godmother. I'm thinking that we can have Groomsman #1 walk them down.

    • Step 4: Grandma Walks In: Groomsman #2 can walk my grandma down.

    • Step 5: A. Walks His Mom In

    • Step 6: My Brother Walks Our Mom In

    • Step 7: Bridesmaids Walk In -- The flaw with this plan is that the Best Man never makes it down the aisle. We can always have him walk down one of the aunts.

    • Step 8: My Dad and I Walk In


    I need to engage the Rev. here. We're not doing any sand or candle ceremonies. A simple "We Do" and "We're Done." I don't believe that we'll end up writing our own vows. My girlfriend from LA, who is incredibly smart, creative, and witty has agreed to write and perform a reading for us. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.


    A. and I leave, followed by the bridal party. I don't think that we'll have our parents walk down.


    The DJ will be pumping music into the room for our ceremony. We haven't discussed this with him, but I think that we need three-four songs:
    • Song 1: Candles -- Moms
    • Song 2: Bridesmaids
    • Song 3: My Dad and I
    • Song 4: Recessional
    I think that Songs 1-3 could be combined.

    What do you think?

    *I totally admit to happening upon the word "punctilious" on as I wrote this post. I was trying to think of a play on the word "ceremonious" and checked it out online. "Punctilious" is a definition of "ceremonious." I just adore M-W reader's pronunciation. Listen to it here. He makes it sound like a word that Winchester would use when scolding BJ and Hunnicut for wacky hijinx during surgery or coming back to the swamp after a bender.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Does This Mean That I Don't Have To Look At Them For A Week?

    The Save the Dates
    have been sent...




    And just like High School, I finished things up at midnight the night before the print deadline. Seventeen years and nothing's change. But who cares? Because They. Are. Done.

    I'll post pictures of them before they go out. Here's a sneak peek at the envelopes.

    I can't believe that my super-simple design, which took about 15 minutes to come up with, demanded so much energy. I must have tweaked the spacing a million times. If someone sees an error when they come back, I don't want to know about it. Gee. Sounds like the High School Newpaper again.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    DIYing Myself In

    I was doing a mental/partially written inventory of my Wedding To Do List and realized that all of my "optional" paper projects are really adding up. Even though it's a little over than six months out, I think that I need to map out a plan of attack. Also, I am thinking about using a gocco for some of these. Can anyone recommend a web site for buying and provide advice on which model to buy?

    1. Finalize invitation design.
    2. Prepare files for printing.
    3. Address envelopes. (If I know myself, this will probably be carried out over many months.)
    Coat Check Tags

    I am going to be a copy cat and make some cute coat check tags
    like these featured in the 2007 Style Me Pretty DIY Contest:

    Valet Parking Tags

    I admit that this is a ridiculous project,
    but I want to make pretty ones just
    And for some, this will be their first introduction to the wedding event.

    Gift Bag Elements

    Stickers for the Bottled Water
    Bags and/or Stickers for Popcorn
    Map of Area around A New Leaf
    Invitation to Brunch (if necessary)
    Order Gift Bags

    Favor Elements (if necessary)

    Miscellaneous Reception Stuff

    Sign for Front of Venue (Optional, TBD)
    Design and Order Napkins (cocktail and hand towels) from For Your Party
    Drink Stirrers (Optional)
    Cake Table Sign (Optional)
    Guest Book Instructions
    I really want to make food tags for the servers' trays, but I really don't think that there will be any room for that.

    Miscellaneous Reception Stuff

    Guest Book
    Wedding Day Timeline (Vendor and Wedding Party Versions)

    Wrap Wedding Party Gifts

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    Notes on the Totes

    So, good news and bad news:
    • The Ork Posters idea didn't workout. The image is too detailed for an iron-transfer. They're planning on offering tote bags in the future, but not on time for our wedding. Be sure to check out their web site. They have a couple of different cities.
    • Someone asked for the link to the Paper Source totes. I couldn't find them online. If you live in Chicago, they were hanging in front of the register at the Chicago/Franklin store.
    • A Windy City Wedding recommended for affordable totes. She also recommended allowing plenty of time for shipment. But at $1.50/pc, I'd say that patience is an acceptable virtue to implement.
    And now onto the good news!

    Paul at Strange Cargo said that he can print any of their t-shirt graphics onto a tote! He even said that I could bring in my own totes as long as the fabric will work. (He's willing to do a trial run.) If you're interested, pop into their store at 3448 N Clark St. to discuss the process. Look at some of the cute designs ifrom the Chicago section of their web site:

    All Images: Strange Cargo

    I think that the "Greetings from Chicago" or skyline would look great with the city flag printed on the other side. It would be cool to do a few with the SNL and Bears ones too. I'd fight Andy tooth and nail on the Harry Carey one though; if only so that he wouldn't walk around impersonating him at the reception.

    Acupuncture is Magic

    I couldn't handle my headache anymore and went for an acupuncture treatment tonight. It was like instant relief!

    Acupuncture is so miraculous to me. I originally tried it out of desperation for a cure for my chronic knee pain and stress fractures. My acupuncturists did in four months what four years of traditional medicine and physical therapy couldn't do. Since I went into it totally blind, the entire process was both weird and intimidating at the first, but once I read up on it and approached it with an open mind, I was sold. I just wish that I could afford to go all of the time. I still keep them on speed dial for when I have a serious situation -- like when I slightly sprained my knee last year. I recommended it to a friend who has problems with night terrors and it stopped them! I really believe that there's nothing that acupuncture can't cure or, at the very least, make tolerable.

    If anyone in Chicago is curious, I highly recommend the place that I go to, Harmony Health. I've been to everyone in the office and can't say enough great things about all of them. Even if you don't have a chronic condition, every bride can use a tune up every once in awhile.

    2835 N. Sheffield Ave, Suite 404, Chicago, IL 60657

    P.S. If you do go, tell them that Tina sent you! :)

    P.S.S. Is there anything better than wireless internet and a Family Guy marathon on TBS when you're home sick? Too bad I can only look at the computer in 10 minute intervals.

    Myyyy Kiiiind of Tote...

    Like many Chicago brides, I was thinking that, depending on the number of guests that stay at the hotel, I could use these Chicago totes from MAPTOTE as Welcome bags:

    But, the prices on those are pretty steep...especially given that you still have to fill them with treats. I found some plain canvas bags at Paper Source for only $3.75/pc and am thinking that I could make my own totes. How cute would these Ork Neighborhood Posters look on a tote? Or on some note cards?

    I've e-mailed the designer to see if she's planning on offering totes or would be willing to sell me some iron-on transfers. I know that iron-ons are so 2003-04, but girl's on a budget. I'm also checking out Strange Cargo to see what they can do for me. They have a TON of super cute Chicago images. And if the price is right, I could try to customize them for people.

    Wedding tote or not, I can't wait to frame an Ork print. Having grown up on the South Side and lived on the North Side for 12 years, I've covered lots of territory in my day.

    Get Skinny Update, Week 2: Starting to Panic

    I am freaking out. 30 weeks to go and I'm so far behind on my workout schedule. I started last week strong and feeling like a million bucks...then allowed work to derail me. It's 50/50 my fault because I was burnt out and working at a slightly reduced speed, but I really was on an important deadline at the end of the week. Oh, and apparently I now get crippling headaches. Don't ask me where that came from, but they knocked me on my (_:_) on Thursday and Sunday. I even skipped Easter dinner in favor of laying in a dark room wearing an eye mask and listening to "This American Life" and "Whose Wedding is it Anyway?" at very low decibels. I was very Nathan Lane in Birdcage, but with a nappier manicure, less makeup, and a more masculine gait.

    Work will be rough this week too, but I think that I will be able to hit the gym in the AM and just work late. Thank God.

    Friday, March 21, 2008

    Lite Bright

    I have a new frivolous obsession -- LIGHTING. Unbride's post on lighting last week gave me the bright idea (waa, waaa) and now I've got a bug in my a*s about it. I contacted my caterer for her opinion and she was all about it too. Andy thinks that candlelight is fine, but he has no vision. (Ha, Ha.)

    We're having our cocktail hour and dancing in the same area, so people will be standing around in the same space for 4.5 hours. I've been trying to think of a way to distinguish the different phases of the evening. I'm thinking that lighting might help transition the "set changes." Also, given that we're essentially getting married in a room with four brick walls and hardwood floors, I think that some uplighting would form an faux "altar" for us. Here's what the lighting vendor that I contacted suggested that we do on the dance floor -- my mom would love the fall leaves.

    Image: Courtesy of Frost Lighting

    Our caterer is doing a wedding with lighting at ANL on April 5th. I'm going to pop in beforehand to check it out. Part of me hopes that I don't love it too much, as lighting isn't cheap. And while I might have the bug up my a*s, it ain't* up there lounging on a bed of cash.

    *I think of my 8th grade teacher, Miss** Klomes, every time I hear the word "ain't." She had a definition that filled two sides of a little sheet note paper and people had to write it out a 100 times if busted saying it. I wish that she, like, had like, a similar policy, for like, the use of the word "like." That's, like, the one that I needed, like, help on.

    **Isn't it funny that she was young enough to be a "Miss" and we thought that she was old? I remember thinking that it was so crazy that she was going to the Led Zeppelin concert. I told my mom and my mom was all, "Why is that weird? Led Zeppelin is cool." And I was all, "Oh! I am so sure that YOU AND DAD would like Led Zeppelin!" And now I realize that my mom was 32/33 at the time.

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    I Dream of Jeanne('s Wedding)

    So, my brains works OT. I mean, 24X7, it's going. I know that a lot of people say this about themselves, but people that spend a lot of time around me -- family, roommates, Andy, previous boy toys, travel partners -- agree that my noggin is worst than most. And it has caused issues on occasion. Who am I kidding? It causes issues for me every single day. Anyway...

    The problem with being engaged is that I am completely overstimulated ALL OF THE TIME. There is constantly something pretty to catch my eye. And reading all of these blogs has opened up a whole new world of distractions to me. In other words, I am now thinking about other people's weddings 24X7.

    I first noticed this last month when, after reading this post on With This Ring, I had a dream that I had found the perfect kate spade polka dot sash for Darci's flower girl. In the dream, the item was on clearance. I debated whether it would be weird to buy it for her and then I grabbed it "just in case" rationalizing that I could just return if it she didn't want it. But now I find myself doing this all of the time.

    On Sunday, I sat down with my copy of the new In Style Weddings and, seeing this cake, thought that a darker variation would look great with A Bride in the Making's new color palette, marigold and pewter.

    And yesterday, I stumbled upon these programs on the knot and thought, "These would look great with Hasel's Save the Dates."

    Image: The Knot

    Is that weird? Does anyone else so this or am I the dork on the blog block? And do I tell people when I find cool stuff for them or is that just too odd?

    Dear Stranger,

    You don't know me, but look this cool thing that I found for the most important party that you'll ever plan. Hope you like it!


    Ha, Ha.

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    A Baker with Balls

    My friend Tracey is eagerly awaiting our cake update.
    I was telling her the scoop on chat the other day, but she wanted to wait for the post! :)

    We had a cake tasting with The Sugar Syndicate (TSS) on Saturday. TSS is the independent baker with the cute logo that I mentioned in last week's cake post.

    Oh. My. God. The cakes were delicious. We tried:
    • Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream.
    • White cake with coconut buttercream.
    • Red velvet with cream cheese filling.
    I thought that Andy was going to cry when he tried the white cake.

    I am 99% sure that it we're going with her. Her cakes were tasty AND $affordable$. Also, she gives you a gift certificate to use on your first anniversary that is good for a copy of the top tier of your cake. How nice is that?

    So, we've decided on the design below, with three tiers and ivory fondant. A few of the smaller balls will be colored to match the circles on the invitations. I think that it's going to be great!


    I would like to just sign on the dotted line, but I am worried that I should do at least another comparison. As I typed that, I realized that it sounds like I am looking for an excuse to eat more cake! But seriously, with the exception of caterers, I haven't done any comparison shopping with my vendors. I am kind of a lazy bride.

    Tuesday, March 18, 2008

    Who's the (em)BOSS(er)?

    I have an update on the embosser that I mentioned last week. I called the company, Expressionery, and they're exchanging the embosser for a stamp in the same design:

    The customer service rep was incredibly nice and very understanding. I would still recommend them for non-embossing items! I am disappointed that the embosser didn't work out, as now I'm stuck paying for printing AND the embosser, but at least they worked with me. Being engaged has made nothing if not incredibly observant of and grateful for polite, courteous service from retailers and vendors.

    Monday, March 17, 2008

    Get Skinny Update, Week 1: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

    So, per last week's post, I am planning on losing 30-40 pounds before the wedding. Here is the target workout goal that I am working towards.

    Unfortunately, I have to ramp up slower than most people because of my stress fractures and knee problems. For now, I am trying to workout four days a week. I'm also trying to get back in the habit of waking up early. My ultimate goal is be up and at 'em by 4:30 a.m. everyday. So far, I've been able to wake up at 5:15 without too much pain. Here's how I did last week. The bright red squares are the goals that I didn't meet:

    I was feeling great going into the weekend. I had done a mid-week weigh-in and a pre-Weight Watchers weigh-in on Saturday and was down almost four pounds! I woke up on Sunday and had gained weight. Overnight. After swimming for an hour. I ended up being down -0.8 for my official weigh-in. I was so frustrated, but was able to turn my anger into motivation. I watched what I ate and was back at the gym on Monday!

    I am hoping that my unexplained weight gain is water weight. Either way, I promised Andy that I wouldn't weigh myself until Sunday. (Apparently, I am getting a bit unbearable.) We also have a wager. If I workout four times a week, he can't eat the Burrito House. I am trying to convince him to clean the bathroom if I workout six days a week.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Happy St. Patrick's Day!

    Photo: Margaret Smyth Photography

    How cool is that bride?

    I can't believe that I didn't go out this weekend! Usually St. Patrick's Day weekend is what keeps me ramped up during the lame post-holiday months. I had plans to go out, but forgot to go out. Seriously. My workout wore me out so much that I showered and went into the bedroom to watch TV. Two hours later, Andy said, "So I take it we're not meeting Piehole?" Oops. How do you forget to go out?

    But here's what I did do this weekend:

    • Found a baker! (Hooray! More on that later.)
    • Printed the Save the Date labels and addressed half of the envelopes. (More on that too. What a pain. Any of my guests who save this stuff, please humor me and tell me that you saved the envelope.)
    • Finalized the cover page of the Save the Dates and prepared the printer files.
    • Went to the pool for an hour. (More on that later too.)

    Saturday, March 15, 2008

    Always the Last Kid in the Pool

    I finally had time to set up a Google Reader last night. Oh. My. God! I should have done this three years ago. This is going to be so, so much better for my Internet Explorer History and Temporary Internet Files directory at work. (Just kidding, coworkers!) This is the best thing since sliced bread.

    And I am adding to my Friday Favorites Post from yesterday. I have a:

    Favorite Wedding

    Julie and Kaori featured on Snippet & Ink

    Their venue, their couture, their flowers, their personalized invitations, their bold colors, their minimalist bridesmaids...everything was perfect. What a great combination of rustic* and elegance.

    Image: Leah McCormick via Snippet and Ink

    *Isn't it odd how a rusty old truck sitting in a lot is sometimes trashy and sometimes charming? Talk about your fine lines.

    Friday, March 14, 2008

    These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

    I have had a very long, very hard week. The original post that I had planned for Friday is going to require some thought and searching for images and I just don't have it in me. So, out of sheer laziness and a very strong desire to be in bed, here are my favorite blog moments from this week:

    Funniest Post

    Honey Bee Wedding's Nipple Cards
    I shared this one with my coworkers!

    Favorite DIY Project

    Favorite Photo

    Photo: Kim Bednarski via Blush

    Favorite Blog Surprise

    Finding my blog featured on Unveiled Society.

    Favorite Blog Surprise #2

    Hitting the 100 Visitors in One Day Mark!

    Favorite Moment of Bride Solidarity

    Seeing A Windy City's Wedding's post on Unresponsive Vendors

    Favorite Etsy Find(s)

    And when I was out there looking at that, I found this in the paperlust shop:

    Image: paperlust

    I want this image so bad, but know that I shouldn't spend $18 on random art. And look this one:

    Image: paperlust

    Favorite Small Thing Stumbled Upon
    While on Someone Else's Blog that I Might Actually Buy

    I might get this card to give Andy on the day of the wedding. Why? Because we laugh our a*ses off about these videos: 1 and 2.

    Image: Whimsy via Style-ish Wedding

    I ran out of steam before I could narrow down my favorite inspiration board and Real Wedding. Maybe next week?

    Thursday, March 13, 2008

    My Friend Sarah's Wedding

    My friend Sarah (trix) was married in 2006. She let me help with all of her paper projects. It was so fun! I am still bummed that she didn't submit it for a Knot Pick. I think it would have been a sure thing. In honor of DIY Month, here are a few highlights of our projects. I'll have to post some highlights from her shower too. We had a pink and brown theme. It was so fun!


    I don't have any pix of the invites, which are in storage with my photo albums. They were brown Envelopements with pearly pink paper. One of the above logos (forget which) was mounted on the front on pearly ivory paper. I believe that all of the inserts, like the map shown below, were also on the pearly ivory paper.


    Check out how perfect our dresses look together. The florist had ordered all of the wrong colored flowers, but Sarah was a roll-with-the-punches bride. Not that she had much choice, as the florist burst into tears when Sarah pointed it out. I don't think you could tell that our fuchsia flowers were unintentional.


    The programs were printed on ivory paper and hand tied into pink and brown 5" cards from Paper Source. I ended up having to take them to Kinko's for printing. (Long, bad story) A wonderful manager saw the finished product and noticed a little black smudge (which I think came from my work printer at work) and threw a fit. She reprinted them and then cut them for free...which saved like $200. I actually cried with joy when she called me. I HATE cutting.

    Her Pretty Cake

    Apparently, Sarah and I share a thing for dots and circles. ;) I think that her cake was adorable. Andy ate like four slices and was sicker than a dog at the end of the night. Apparently buttercream and gin don't mix.

    Table Numbers

    The table numbers were printed on 5" inch stickers from Paper Source and mounted on 5" square cards stood sideways like a tent. This project was the hardest one. I had to manually measure the center of each sticker and tape it to an 8.5" X 11" inch sheet of paper before printing. And it didn't actually print straight each time, so I had reprint them or cut them down to even them out. I was so tired at the end of the project that I didn't make myself one to keep. And then was too busy dancing at the reception to nab one from the table.

    Table Numbers

    The place cards were printed on pink circle labels from Paper Source and then mounted on brown place cards, also from Paper Source.


    I don't have the fonts anymore, so I can't open my menu files. (I HATE VISTA lately. I should have gotten XP or a Mac.) The menus were about 7/8" X 9 1/4". They printed on ivory paper with pink and brown font.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008


    After my aunt re-stated her complaints, re: the lack of seating at A New Leaf, she had me hemming and hawing about the location again. (I mean, bridesmaids and guests sitting on the steps? Come on!) So, at last week's tasting, when I was trying to convince my caterer to put stools around all of the highboys, she told me that if I am going to do a cocktail party that I am going to have to remain committed to it. And she was right. Unrealized or not, a few people been giving me heat on the cocktail party decision -- all delivered through unrealized facial ticks, eye rolls, "Whatevers," and forced smiles. And, because I have the disease to please, it has caused me to triple guess everything. Well, to all of the naysayers, I present:

    Our Menu

    Anyone who frowns upon this is nuts. (If I say so myself.) Doesn't it sound so delish? I need to add some chicken to round it out and there will be a few vegan options made available. But, for the most part, this is it! I think that it's the coolest! (I am supposed to be at the gym AS I POST THIS (Baby steps to the 4:30 a.m. plan, I guess.), so I don't have time to edit and format this. I just copied it from the contract. )
    • Passed Hors D'oeuvres:
      • Gourmet Pizzas: Four Cheese Pizza with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Vegetarian Pizza, Plum Tomato, Mozzarella and Fresh Basil
      • BBQ Pizetta: Smokey BBQ Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Shallots and Smoked Mozzarella drizzled with Truffle Oil
      • Jumbo Shrimp stuffed with Chorizo
      • Open-faced BBQ Beef Brisket on Mini Cornbread topped with Homemade Apple Slaw
      • Both Potato and Spinach Mini Pierogies served with a Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
      • Mini Meatloaf Sandwiches served with Pancetta, Roasted Tomato, Caramelized Onions and Fresh Sage
      • Mini Macaroni & Cheese topped with Lobster Morel (ome prepared without Lobster ) Presented on a Tasting Spoon
      • Mini Cheeseburgers passed in a Hawker Box with Squeeze Bottles of Ketchup and Mustard
      • Mini Pigs in a Blanket served from Hawker Boxes
      • Phyllo Dough Rolled into a Pinwheel with Mushrooms, Fresh Spinach and Onions garnished with Sour Cream and Fresh Chives
      • Tuna Tartar: Ahi Tuna seasoned with Sesame Oil, Ginger, Garlic served in a Crispy Wonton Cone with Wasabi Cream
      • Diced Pear and Apricot with Brie Cheese Quesadillas
      • Mini Open Face Polish Sausage on Rye topped with Sauerkraut
    • Wine and Cheese Hors d'oeuvres Reception in the Black Table Room
      • International Cheese Display with Imported and Domestic Cheese, served with Lavosh Crackers and garnished with Red and Green Grapes
      • Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Humus served with Pita and Vegetable Crudites served with Assorted Dipping Sauces
    • Wedding Cake
    • Sweets Table:
      • Fresh Fruit and Berry Platter
      • Assorted Mini Tarts: Lemon, Apples & Praline, Chocolate, Banana Cream, Hazelnut, Raspberry, Blueberry, Pecan and Pumpkin
      • Assorted Mini Cheesecakes: Tiramisu, Chocolate Chip, Plain & Raspberry
      • Mini Taffy Apples
      • Assorted Gourmet Cookies
      • Freshly Brewed Coffee, Decaffeinated Coffee and Gourmet Tea served with Baby Tongs, Sugar Cubes, Cream, Equal and Sweet and Low
    • Late-Night Snacks:
      • French Fries served with Squeeze Bottles of Ketchup
      • Mini Wrapped Gyros with Julienne Tomatoes and Onions
      • Mini Chocolate and Strawberry Milkshakes topped with Whipped Cream and a Cherry

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    220 Days To a Better Me

    So, according to, there 220 days until the wedding. That means 220 days, or 31.5 weeks, to lose enough weight to feel comfortable in my wedding photos, which is a lot of weight. I'm hoping that some posting this will translate to public humiliation which will translate to M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N!

    So far, I am 15 minutes late on the new schedule that Andy's supposed to hold me to. (I should have started packing my gym bag at 9:30 p.m. to ensure that I'll be in bed at 10:00 p.m. and able to face the world at 4:30 a.m.) So, I am going to post this for tomorrow and say "Good Night"/"Good Morning!" before he confiscates my laptop. (Another new rule.)

    Is anyone going to the bridal event at The Chicago History Museum on Thursday? If so, do you want to meet up? I have an extra ticket if anyone needs one. (I just need to find it.)

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    "Nah, she looks to pure to be pink!"

    Below is an excerpt from a post that has been sitting unpublished in my list of rainy day posts for a few weeks now. I wrote this shortly after I had been shopping with my sister and friend and got dirty looks for rejecting dresses as "too bridal."

    "One of the problems with reading wedding blogs and wedding magazines is that you stumble upon so many people that are cooler than you. After I saw Style Me Pretty's feature on The Unbride, by photographer Justine Ungaro, I found yet another Rizzo to my Frenchy. According to her web site, I am an 'Unbride.' YEAH! Take THAT tradition! I crush you with my brightly-colored shoe.

    - she’s probably not super young (grrrrlllll, okay?) or the first of her friends to be married

    - perhaps she’s just a little bit (or a lot) jaded about the whole wedding machine
    - she wants the vibe of the wedding to represent the personal style of the couple rather than trying to create a “fairy tale”
    - she wants to vomit if a wedding is referred to as a “fairy tale”
    - on that note, anything princessy has to go…no tiaras here
    - menu choices might be unusual or presented in a different format
    - the invitation might not even resemble an invitation
    - some traditional wedding etiquette might be thrown out the window altogether
    - the day’s/ evenings events might be rearranged somehow
    - the gown might be “different” - short, colored, sexy, crazy, unusual, not a gown at all?"

    So imagine my surprise when I checked out her new blog, Unveiled Society, tonight and saw my blog featured front and center. Yeah! I feel like Dirrrty Sandy. Too bad I have a big embosser in the screen shot she used. Embossers are BAD ASS!

    P.S. I have to admit that I often wonder if people call me "sassy" to be polite. Kind of like when you describe relatives as "eccentric."

    Return Address Distress (Not Really)

    So, the first line of our address is 24 characters long. I am tired of trying to fit on envelopes, so I ordered this embosser from

    after seeing this post on With This Ring. It wasn't the best design that they had, but I wanted a nameless one so that I could use it now and after the wedding without blatantly advertising that we're living in The Sin. ("Just in case" there's someone that my parents haven't told.) And the circle works with our invites too! :)

    Since I've spent this money, I was thinking about using this to print the return address on the save the dates and invites as it will save me $60 in print costs, which would MORE than pay for this. Well, after waiting a MONTH to receive it, I've found that it's totally useless. The embossing plate is plastic so it BARELY imprints. I tried it on the Save the Date envelopes...which are plain 'ole Paper Source envelopes, nothing too thick...and you can't even read it. So now I am out $40+ bucks for nothing and still have to pay for printing. They better let me return it.

    My favorite part of me ordering this embosser is that I was floored when my friend trix ordered one from Paper Source back in 2005. I remember her telling me that frugality goes out the door when planning a wedding and I was all, "Not for this broke-ass trix." And now look... Maybe I am being punished for wasting money on unnecessary things like embossers.

    Sorry for all of my lame posts in the last week. Between work and home, I have been too busy to scan and write things in advance. I need to get back on the stick.

    Friday, March 7, 2008

    Son of a B*tch

    I am about to order the Celebrate stamps:

    Image: United States Post Office

    for our Save the Dates:

    and decided to check the Champion Stamp site for kicks. I found these on page 4:

    Unfortunately, I'd have to buy 10 sheets at $17.50/ea to get enough of the hand stamps* for my STDs and still cough up another $10.80 in postage. That's a lot of change for something that no one but me would notice. But it's still a funny coincidence, no? Martha would have been impressed!

    *Not to mention that I'd have 100 29 cent stamps featuring a mom telling her baby to "hang loose" floating around the house.

    Rock On!

    I've scheduled a cake testing at The Sugar Syndicate on March 15. Dig this...they can make my favorite ball cake for $4 less than the previous cake quote! I want to hire TSS for the logo alone:

    I hope that the cake is delicious because the owner's e-mail response to my inquiry was incredibly detailed. I'm all about vendors who allow you to plan your wedding on the DL during lunch. I mean, do I really need to call you in person to be told that you're out of my miniature price range? Anyway, what's even cooler is that The Sugar Syndicate is 1/3 of a pastry co-op called "Sweet Collective." Some of you may recall them from this article from Daily Candy Chicago.

    How cool will it be if we can get our cool cake and support an independent woman-owned business? Talk about having your decorative cake and eating it too! Girl Power!

    Turn Your Memories into Healthy Mammories

    I wish that I would have seen this sooner so that I would have posted it last week! Brides Against Breast Cancer is a not-for-profit organization that funds breast cancer research. They're having a gown sale.

    • Date: Friday and Saturday
    • Time: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
    • Place: The Wydham Chicago Hotel, 633 N. St. Clair Street

    According to their web site, many of the dresses are BRAND NEW FROM THE DESIGNERS! And they have sizes from 4-24 (you know, in case you're a "bigger girl too"). ;0

    If you're not in the market to buy or sell a dress, the Brides Against Breast Cancer web site has many ideas for ways that you can help:

    • Volunteer at an event.
    • Have a "Pink Envelope" Shower or Reception:
    • Give Brides Against Breast Cancer Donation in lieu of favors.

    Thursday, March 6, 2008

    Cups o' Cake

    The wedding process seems so anti-climatic now that my big decisions are made. As much as I longed to be at this point, having "lose 40 pounds" and "save thousands of dollars" as my only "To Dos" makes me feel a little lost. Might as well look at pretty things to pique my interest :)

    I usually serve cupcakes at parties and showers because they are cute, easy, cheap, and disposable. I typically jazz them up by making custom tags to decorate them. Here are some examples of some of my old shower and bachelorette projects:

    How much time would these super cute cupcake holders have saved me? And they are so much cooler than my crappy hand-cut squares taped to a toothpick! $46 for 50 wrappers from Estilo Weddings (via Unbride).