Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sh-wv-izzle Sh-ticksh

Update: Emily got her drink stirrers here. $9.00 for 500 sticks. Thanks, Em!


Hey, Chicago Girls and/or Savvy Online Shoppers:

Does anyone know where I can get some plastic drink stirrers? Because I like to copy people, I want to make some drink flags. Does anyone know where I can find some plastic or wooden swizzel sticks? Googling "drink stirrers" and "swizzle sticks" only returns listings for bulk commercial items and decorative glass sticks. (Honestly, do people outside of places like Daytona Beach even use glass pineapple swizzle sticks?) And the local stores only have cheesy rainbow-colored, sword-shaped ones. 

For some reason, the phrase "swizzle sticks" reminds me of the "The Van Drummounds" episode of Diff'rent Strokes. It was the one where the Drummonds' Dutch relatives visit and Mr. D was in drag and Kimberley played her male cousin. Kimberley kept saying "SH-WVizzle Sh-ticksh." Don't ask me why I remember that given that I was in nine when the episode aired.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Andy's Family Shower

Andy's mom sent me a some pix from the family shower that Aunt Ruth hosted for me at Sur La Table last week. I don't want to post family photos without permission, so I don't have any action shots. Here are a few detail shots.

I am a little ashamed of the thank you cards that I designed for the event. I recreated the design from my etsy apron. It's so cutesy that I almost made myself sick. But it's all in good fun. I hope that if people realized it, they thought that it was funny and not too "Stepford Wife."


As with the other showers, I gave Aunt Ruth personalized stationery as a "thank you" gift for hosting my shower.

I also gave Andy's mom some note cards as as "thank you" for everything that she and Andy's dad are doing for us this year. You may recognize the design from the gocco disaster last month. I Photoshopped her name out of the images of the gocco machine that I posted on my blog so that I wouldn't spill the beans before the shower.

All images from the author/author's family's personal collections.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stream of Consciousness

I didn't go to the gym tonight because it took forever to catch my bus home. And when I finally did catch a bus, it got caught in the tail-end of Cubs traffic. I have to tell you -- when you're raised a White Sox fan and aren't 23-years-old and out on the prowl for drunk frat boys, living near Wrigley Field loses it's mystique very, very quickly. And it's not like you can actually drive or easily catch a cab to high-tail it to another 'hood within two hours of a game. You're trapped.

OMG! How did I miss Stevie Wonder on the DNC? I am so bummed! I am a MAD FREAK when it comes to Stevie Wonder.

Photo: Personal Collection

Speaking of the DNC, how are these Everday Joes and Josephines speaking right now so calm? How impressive.

I ran errands on the way home tonight and knocked out some very significant shopping -- namely dresses for my bachelorette party and the rehearsal dinner! I also bought a dress for my final shower. I like it, but I would like to have the money more. Does anyone know if it's a faux pas to repeat shower outfits? I really, really love my green dress, but, hopefully, I will be too skinny for it next year. I'd hate to wear it once. Does Emily Post have any rules against repeating outfits when you're the guest of honor? The only people who would be seeing it twice are the moms, Aunt Ruth, and my bridesmaids -- and they won't care. What do you think? Is that Tack Master B? I hope that I don't sound superficial for asking this question. What do you think, blog-lovelies?

Rock On!

I was just checking the gym schedule for tonight and realized that I have NO PROJECTS to do tonight. I mean, yes, I have stuff that I could do, but I don't have to do! Yes! Yes! Yes! The last of the invites went out this morning, all of my thank you cards are finished, I don't have any outfits to shop for -- I am D.O.N.E.

Dig it. Maybe I'll go wild and go to bed at 11:00 p.m. tonight.

P.S. Only 50 Days!

Work Bridal Shower

My coworkers surprised me with a bridal shower at the lounge in the Holiday Inn last Thursday. The lounge, which is located upstairs from our office, has beautiful views of the city. My friends decorated it in a cute pink and brown dot theme:

Everyone greeted me wearing buttons with a photo of Andy and I from last Christmas. Unfortunately, it has to be one of the most unflattering photos that I've taken in the last four years. It could be a "Before" picture in a diet pill advertisement. Andy looks cute, but is drunk as a skunk! (So, yes, that means that my boss was walking around with a drunk photo of my fiance pinned to her chest.)

My coworkers made me a wish tree with quotes about love and marriage -- some sweet, some funny. (This could be the second worst picture I've taken in the past four years. When my coworker handed me my camera, he said, "I tried to get some good ones, but I don't know...")

We also had a "Tina Level 2 Assessment" (We design training classes. A Level 2 assessment is a test at the of a course.) Andy popped in at the end of the party and got all of the answers right!

Since everyone at work knows that I've been DIYing most of my paper products, I guilted myself into making my own thank you cards. I took a gocco break and printed them in full color. Three in and I remembered why I love gocco -- NO CUTTING! :)

And, in my attempt to try something new with each project (and save money on pretty stuff), I used some decorative paper to line glassine envelopes. I made a full envelope for one of the hostesses.

I made one of my friends at work who was a co-hostess a set of stationery. She liked it so much that she asked me to make some for her sisters for Christmas. I didn't have time for a photo shoot of the final product. Here's the jist:

All images are the author's personal collection.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Green Dress

Thanks for all of the shout outs on my green dress for my PS shower! I L-O-V-E that dress. I really wanted to wear it in my engagement photos, but we went casual. The green dress is from Banana Republic. It's not online anymore, but the paisley dress below is the same dress, with a pattern. I wish that I could find it in 10 more colors! I also wore the sandals shown below (but I only paid $25 for them!). The sandals are cute, but they were way too high for me. I'm 5'8" in flat feet and I was almost eye level with Andy in these. And they're not easy to scale walls or crawl around on the ground in either.

Paper Source Shower

Sorry that it's taken me a few weeks to catch up on blogging. I'm finally caught up on my thank you cards (57!) and wedding invitations. Thank the Lord! Now it's time to sort through all of the pictures from the wedding whirlwind of the past three weeks. My friend trix wrote a cute little summary of my Paper Source shower.

As I said a few weeks ago, my hostesses did a fabulous job. We had sandwiches, fruits, veggies, and cheese, and cupcakes. My friend VP also made meatballs and baked macaroni and cheese. It was so good.

There were two craft tables set up for the class -- one table for stamping, embossing, and envelopes and a second table for cutting, ribbons, and embellishments. I think that most of the girls enjoyed the stamping and embossing more than the cutting. (Except for my friend Piehole! She made about a dozen cards at the cutting table.) I used some of my new mad envelope skills on the Thank You cards that I made for my guests.

During the class, everyone made me a card on the sly. At the end of the night, they put them in a scrapbook for me.

And all of the messages were adorable. They looked like the cute staged messages in Martha magazines.

We capped the night off with gifts. Everyone was so generous. I received most of the "Glass Accessories" section from my Crate & Barrel registry.

Paper Source provided gift bags with an assortment of letterpressed note cards and free samples from other businesses on Armitage Avenue, including Vosges Haut Chocolates! My friend Alison made customized tags for each bag. Paper Source also gave us nice portfolio-sized envelopes to carry home our cards in.

I loved the packaging for my hostess gifts. (It doesn't take much paper-wise to please me these days.)

Each girl received a small personalized gift, an Environsax bag (my guilty contribution to society for all of the paper I'm wasting this year), and the personalized stationery sets that I mentioned before.

My favorite hostess gift was the flowchart that I made for my friend Balz. It outlines how everyone in our extended social circle met. She and her husband are the "mom and dad" of the group highlighted by the pink ovals in the center of the chart. What's funny is that don't even know a few of the people on the chart that were responsible for me knowing one of my girlfriends who was a shower guest!

(All images are the author and her friends' personal collections.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Jenny Craig Weeks 8-10

I have to get my spreadsheet from work to recreate my graph for my home computer. As of yesterday's weigh-in, I am down 14 pounds!

Monday, August 25, 2008

OMG! (Oh My Gocco!)

I just finished printing the thank you cards for my family shower that's coming up in a few weeks. They are tied with my Paper Source Shower TY cards as my favorite gocco project of the entire wedding. I can't show Andy because they have my dress on them and I can't show you guys because then the guests won't be surprised. I'm going to Explod-occo with anticipation. Watch them dry like crap...

Speaking of gocco, I keep stumbling upon this gocco print in the gocco photostream flickr and on miscellaneous blogs. It kills me every time. I'm out of things to design though!

Gocco Napkins

Yes! Etsy seller Go Against the Grain sent me a photo of my cocktail napkins tonight. The cocktail napkins are ivory with a gold "TA" monogram, as shown below. The guest towels for the rest rooms will be orange with a white "C" monogram.

I wish that our condomaximum was larger than a postage stamp so that I could have done this myself. But I feel like I've already earned my gocco stripes with this wedding, so I don't feel too guilty. ;)

Make Up Trial

I had my makeup trial with Beauty on Call on Friday. It was okay. She did what she could with the canvas. My eye area is so dry. I've tried every eye cream and concealer on the market to no avail. Anyway, I felt like the shadow looked really thick and grainy; however, it didn't look as extreme in the pictures that we took during the trial. And I have to remember that with my dress, bling, and hair-do, it will look much less severe. It did grow on me over the course of the day. We'll see how it looks in the engagement photos. It held up great in the heat and humidity while I balanced on fences and scaled walls in jeans and heels.

You know that you dig my hot hair in the photos above.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I Am In My Paper Glory!

I just arrived home from my dress fitting and found this message waiting in my Inbox:

I am so happy that I could cry. Jeanne is my girlfriend from high school. She doesn't know that I designed the invitations myself, so I know that her comment is genuine. And she totally got the Frank Sinatra stamp too! Yes! Yes! Yes! Hooray! I love Jeanne! I love Paper Triumph! I love when the USPS delivers local mail in one day.

As for my dress fitting, I L-O-V-E my dress. I feel actual love for my it. My dad cried when he saw it. It's so incredibly perfect. E-mail me if you want to see pix. I don't know if I need a better veil, though. I think maybe.

Yes! What a good day today is. First, I loved my dress. Then, I had a nice afternoon with my parents. And then I arrived home to a little paper happiness. :)

Look What Arrived in the Mail Yesterday...

...the invitation for my final shower -- my family shower.

When I saw these in Hallmark a few months ago, I thought, "I hope that someone will use these for my shower." And they did! :) I think that they're so charming. 

Friday, August 22, 2008

Preppy Halloween Swap

The Pink Clutch is hosting a Preppy Halloween Swap. The enrollment deadline is 09.01.2008.
Image: Martha Stewart via The Pink Clutch

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Hi Guys!

What a week! My coworkers threw me a surprise shower yesterday! It was so nice. It was at the lounge in the Holiday Inn upstairs from our office. I'll post pix later. Andy's jazzed because my boss bought us a cake with super sugary buttercream frosting AND a deep fryer. :)

But here's the real news -- all but 25 invitations went out in the mail this a.m. Yes!

The last batch were perforated and scored crooked, but I was able to jimmy rig a bunch of them. (Doesn't "jimmy rig" sound like it would be innuendo?) I'm so spent that I'm not even upset. I simply called the printer and told her that I need 25 new ones printed by early next week. The outstanding ones are all family and my dear friend from college, so they know it's coming.

Look how messy our house is -- it is all my fault -- wedding stuff everywhere! It's 9:10 and the Beauty on Call girl will be here at 10:30 for my makeup trial. I better stop blogging and clean!

We have engagement photos today. Please send good weather and good photo karma our way! :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Andy's Family Shower

My shower at Sur La Table on Saturday was excellent. Andy's family is an incredibly nice group of people, so I was much more relaxed than I expected to be. I was actually so busy cooking up a storm that I didn't get to mingle very much. We made:

Artichoke, Tomato, and Carmelized Onion Tart
Spinach and Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Vodka Sauce
Roasted Chicken Breast with Mozzarella, Portabella, Tomatoes and Carmelized Onions

Sur La Table had a delicious Pesto Shrimp Crostini prepared for us when we arrived and capped off the meal with a Strawberry Fried Ravioli with Chocolate Kahlua Sauce. I think that was my favorite item.

Aunt Ruth's attention to deal was excellent. I am so upset that I forgot my camera and didn't get photos of the tables and final spread before everyone tore into it. Here are the adorable favors that greeted everyone in their spots.

Hopefully, people will send me some photos to share with all of you.

You wouldn't believe the gifts that I got! I hope that Andy's been nice to all of his cousins because they hooked us up. Oh! And I got a Kitchen Aid mixer from his mom! And crystal goblets from Ruth. Oh! And a Dutch oven as an early wedding present. My mom gave me my great grandmother's  recipe for kolatcheys, which somehow made me cry. Every since my grandma passed away, I am crying at the drop of a pin. And it's driving me nuts. Especially when people have cameras out. I hate being a crier.

And here's the best news -- the thank you cards are finished for this shower. I hate writing thank you cards. The English Major in me forces me to believe that each card has to have a sincere, unique message, so I agonize over them. Cover Letters are the only other source of brief literature that causes me more distress. I've now written 40 thank you cards in two weeks. (Which I realize is a good thing because I've had 40 nice things done for me, but you get the point.)

I'll post them next week after everyone's received them. I sort of strayed from my color pallete and added a bridal blue to my salmon color. It tied into the invites too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bride Cartoon?

I saw a little cartoon on someone's blog awhile ago of a bride-to-be sitting at her desk at work making wedding related calls and surrounded by registry gifts, etc. Does anyone happen to know where I can find it? I thought that it was from Classic Bride, but can't find it on her site. And I also thought it might be from the New Yorker, but it's not in their archives. Speaking of which, have you tried their Cartoon Bank archive? It's neat. "Neat?" Who am I? The Beaver?

This is one of my favorite cartoons. Based on the verbiage when you click it, I don't want to get in trouble for reposting it.

All Images: Cartoon Bank

TY Notes: Paper Source Shower

Hi, Guys!

I am so behind on blogging (and commenting on other peoples' blogs). I've been too busy DIYing and planning to actually blog about DIYing and planning. ;)

I think that everyone's received their thank you cards for my Paper Source shower so it's safe to share them. This has been my favorite wedding project to date. I made the envelopes myself using my new  envelope templates. It was tedious, but easy. And worth the time to me because I love the end result. I got a little lazy my address labels, but I think that they work.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Why? Why? Why? Why?

Warning - Negative Post.

The invitations go out TOMORROW. TOMORROW. And look what I found on the batch I am folding today - they f-ed up the crop lines:

WTF? That is like a quarter of an inch difference! I can't send that out. It looks awful. It looks like I got them for free from Steve's Tux Emporium by ordering four or more tuxes.

What the hell do I do? If, by some miracle, they reprint them, it will take two weeks because the paper has to dry. F*ck. F*ck. F*ck. F*ck. F*ck. I am so angry that I am trying to force myself to cry and just can't. And I've already stuffed and stamped 50 of them.

On Thursday, I found out that our hotel won't be open by the wedding. They're honoring our block at another hotel, which is nice (but not hassle-free, they seem to be doing it begrudgingly), but now the whole back side of the invite is crap. The backside lists things to do around the other hotel. I'll send a follow-up mailing, but it's the point.

So help me God, if one person calls me a "bride" or infers anything bridezilla-related while I am dealing with this tomorrow, I am going to lose my sh*t. There has to be something karmic in this. I am being punished for making fun of other peoples' tacky invitations or something.

Friday, August 15, 2008

1 Set Down, 2 to Go

The thank you cards for my first bridal shower will be in the mail this morning. THANK GOD! Just in time to start preparing the invitations (Booooooooooooo!) to be mailed on Monday. I am so the Post Office's b*tch for the next two weeks. The next time the attendants at the PO in my office building are rude to me, I am going to glare at them, tell them that my name is "Job Security," and show them the receipts for the $3,000 that I've spent on postage this year between wedding-related mailings and etsy and eBay purchases.

Anyway, I love the way the TYs came out. I think that they are my favorite wedding project yet. I made my own envelopes! I'll post photos next week, but here's a sneak peek:

I couldn't resist on the stamps! (Even if it was more postage.) I can just hear my mother saying "Tina, you're 33. You need to act like it." To which I would respond by rolling my eyes at her and asking her to make me chipped beef or green beans with white sauce.

My bridal shower with Andy's family is Sunday. It's the one that's a cooking class at Sur La Table. I am actually getting embarrassed when I tell people what my showers are. Someone's spoiled...