Tuesday, September 30, 2008



After learning that Hurricane Ike ruined our napkins, I gave myself a few nights to sleep on it before deciding that I absolutely couldn't live without customized cocktail napkins. They're something that Martha Stewart ingrained in my mental wedding many, many years ago.

I used PrintGlobe as recommended by my virtual gal pal Robyn back in April. I can't say enough good things about PrintGlobe. The wrong artwork was attached to my order and I was able to intercept it immediately and work with a customer service rep via e-mail to get the correct artwork added to the account and add a second design to the order. The napkins arrived last week and they're just perfect! My only slight complaints are 1) the ivory color of the napkins is a tinge yellow. 2) the hand towels are ROUGH. I mean, REALLY scratchy. But, high-maintenance-ness aside, I give PrintGlobe an A+++++++++++++++++++++++++++ as a vendor.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Ladies Who Lunch

I'm already going through project withdrawal, so I made some invitations to send my girlfriends, our sisters, and moms inviting them to join me for an afternoon of lunch and manicures and pedicures.

My new favorite thing is lining envelopes with magazines. My friend Piehole gave me the idea when we were at the Paper Source Girls Night Out back in July and this is the second project that I've used it for.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have I Mentioned That I Am Not Very Good At Relaxing?

Remember my plan to unplug and cold chill on my birthday? Well, that didn't happen. My coworkers weren't having my protest, so here was my "Birthday Unplugged:"


  • 7-Birthday Cards

  • 2-Lottery Tickets (Hopefully winning ones)

  • 1-Dt. Sunkist

  • 1-Birthday Cake

  • 1-200-calorie FF Yogurt Parfait (with a candle!)

  • 2-HUGE Fruit Trays  (also with a candle!)
    I had been protesting a cake the day before, so my two girlfriends in the office -- unbeknownst to each other -- planned low-cal treats for me.

  • 1-Surprise E-mail from Andy containing an Elizabeth Arden Gift Certificate>

  • 1-Macy's Gift Card

  • 1-SQUARE PLATTER FROM TIFFANY'S! -- My coworker gave me this to celebrate my "last single birthday." When she was walking over with my gift, I thought that it was cute that she was reusing her Tiffany's bag from a recent purchase. Then she handed it to me and there was a blue box inside!

    1-Flower Delivery: This picture is two days after the fact and doesn't do them justice.
  • 1-After Work Drink at the Holiday Inn

    Image: Mart Plaza
  • 1-Possibly-Someday Phone Call

  • 1-Phone Call Notifying Me that a Mother-of-the-Bride Dress Has Been Purchased
And that was just at work! I had to laugh because it felt like I had a new surprise arrive every 15 minutes. After that, I was too overstimulated to be quiet and pensive, so I e-mailed my girls LP and VP and made a sushi date for the evening. For all of my protesting, I ended up having a very, very fun day. I guess that I'll relax on 10/18!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Wedding Shoes are Boring.

My Shoes - BLAH!

Image: J. Crew

Photo Shoot-Worthy Shoes - HOORAY!

What to do? What to do? What to do? What to do? I am running out of time to decide. Today is my birthday and my gift to myself is unplugging. I've turned off the Morning Joe that Andy leaves on every morning. I've asked coworkers not to tempt me with cake. I've cancelled my usual birthday plans with my girlfriends. It's just me, myself, and I in my last birthday before I have to start checking two new boxes on surveys (Married and, next year, 35+). Maybe I will relish the silence of my day in the comforts of the Nordstrom's, J. Crew, and Bloomingdale's shoes departments on the way home from work tonight.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So, What Else Do You Got For Me?

  • 8/15: Received notification that the hotel will not be opened.
    • Status: Resolved; All guests notified via 9/2 mailer; Cost some cash, but resolved the issue without jeopardizing the design of the invitations.
  • 9/3: Notified that hair stylist will be in Puerto Rico on wedding date.
    • Status: Resolved; My hairstylist located an alternative stylist for me and I've booked my hair trial and wedding appointments.
  • 9/9: Found out that the previous hotel has gone into receivorship and will not be providing trolley service.
    • 9/22: Found out that 43 guests will be staying at the hotel!
    • Status: Resolved on 9/23; Hit parents up for a loan and booked large bus for day-of-transportation
(Insert a huge sigh of relief here...or not) What's that, maid of honor/dearest little sister? What? You instructed the tailor to cut your tea length dress above the knee? (Insert image of me banging my head against the wall here.)

Sigh. At least she's got hot legs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Ewww. I'm Tiiiired.

Here was the To Do List that I made for myself on the way to work on Friday:

  • Friday Night:
    1. Finish Laying Out Guest Book
    2. Make Lantern Decision for Aisles
  • Saturday Night:
    1. Print Signage (4 reserved tables, 2 guest books, cake table)
    2. Finish (Surprise for Some People)
    3. Make Plain Popcorn Labels
    4. Order Plastic Bags for OOT Bag Snacks
    5. Cut Paper for Guest Book Numbers
  • Sunday:
    1. Buy water for OOT bags
    2. Select Harvest Swap Gift
    3. Order Candle Holders from CB2
Here's what I actually did:

  • Friday Night:
    1. Opened Blurb BookSmart Application.
    2. Fell asleep with my laptop on my lap.
  • Saturday Night:
    1. Designed Lunch Invitations for 10/16
    2. Fell Asleep
  • Sunday:
    1. Walked to Kinko's to make photocopies of Lunch Invitations for gocco printing
    2. Vegged out and watched the Martha blog episode
    3. Printed the 10/16 invitations and lined and addressed the envelopes
    4. Finished and Ordered the Guest Book*
And now it's time for bed again. I think that my cold has morphed into mono, because I can't get enough R&R.


Completely unrelated to anything in this post, I love this photo from the New York Times:


*Our guest book is from Blurb. I am so excited to finally try Blurb. I've had an album from my Italy trip sitting 95% finished on my desktop since January. Also, I googled "Blurb.com Coupon Codes" and found one for 20%. I saved $15.99. The code thankyou08 is good through September 30, 2008 if anyone's interested.

(Insert Image of Me Banging My Head Against the Wall Here)

I made some invitations inviting the wedding party, moms, and my friend to join me for an afternoon of lunch and nails the day before the wedding. (A completely UNECESSARY project, but I can't help myself.) Well, I spent an hour or so fighting with spacing last night before coming up with a design that suddenly worked. And I do mean suddenly. When I finished, I thought, "Duh." I printed them this afternoon and was just checking if they are dry enough to be stuffed in the envelopes and realized that the reason that the design worked is because I left the price list off.


I. need. to. slow. down. I tell myself this every day and NEVER ACTUALLY DO IT. Slowing down's not the problem in this case. It's just laziness. My brain just stops reading things after awhile. Oh well.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Weekend Update

What a lovely day I've had. My friends and I went to the MCA to see the Koonz exhibit, which was weird and dirty and fun. Then I got a facial at Elizabeth Arden. As soon as we got engaged, I asked for Elizabeth Arden gift certificates for my birthday and Christmas. Then I pooled them to purchase a six-pack of facials. That was the smartest thing I've ever done. I think that I'm going to do it for every birthday and Christmas for the rest of my life. I DO NOT recommend going for a facial at the tail end of a sinus infection. I feel like a turd.

Anyway, I just got the mail and here's where we stand on outstanding RSVPs:
  • Family members that will never respond, but are off the hook as they're sure things: 5
  • Bridal Party (also off the hook): 1
  • People Who Have Mentioned in Passing That They Aren't Coming: 2
  • Others: 23

Friday, September 19, 2008


I was getting ready for work and realized today's date -- September 19, 2008. As in,

41 of 92 responses are still outstanding -- five are immediate family members and one is a groomsmen, so they're sure things, but come on. We have plenty of time to give the final count to the caterer, but I really don't want to follow up with 35 people. Don't people realize that:


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What Possessed Me...

...to wear this shirt for our engagement photos? Seriously. I don't wear buttons or blouses for a reason. I wish that I would have followed my instincts and wore a dress. I hate jeans. (Oh, and I should have joined Jenny Craig on Sunday, September 16, 2007. )

Photos: Sarah Alair

Oh. My. God.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Family Shower

My mom and sister hosted a family bridal shower for me a few weeks ago. It was such a nice afternoon. I can't think of a better adjective for it. It was a relaxing afternoon and I had a good time catching up with my relatives. Other than the few moments that I brought the room down crying about our Grandma Ona, it was a happy day.

These were the cute invitations that I posted earlier:

My mom picked up these pretty gold vases at Ikea after my dress fitting back in August. She then asked the restaurant to use "linens in fall colors." My sister found these perfect favor bags at Hobby Lobby.

We played two games. First, was a vintage bridal bingo that my mom and I found in an antique store on her birthday.

Then, the guests completed a quiz. It was the same quiz that my sister created for the Paper Source shower. Here's an excerpt from a copy that I made for my scrapbook:

As always, I received TONS of wonderful gifts -- five pieces of All-Clad (Not even kidding. FIVE PIECES!), a food processor, towels, a folding table and chairs, glasses, chip and dip bowls, a giant box of kitchen tools from Williams-Sonoma, and a big box of kitchen tools from Crate & Barrel. My mom, in particular, had really hooked me up.

Andy's mom gave me a beautiful Kosta Boda decanter that she brought during a recent trip to Sweden:

My mom bought me this wonderful Christopher Radko ornament.

Oddly enough, despite all of the lavish gifts that I received, these mini gravy boats from Crate & Barrel were the biggest hit among the guests. There were actual "oooohhs." (We are Polish and Bohemian, so fights over gravy-hogging are common at our meals.) When I told my sister the next day that I added more to the registry, she told me that she wanted to make a trip to C&B just to buy them for me herself. And she also informed me that I would be buying her some when she buys her first home.

Andy had his moment in the spotlight at this shower. My mom bought him a toolbox and screwdrivers and made him open it in front of everyone.

I love this picture of my cousins:

As with the other showers, I made my mom stationery for hosting my shower. Her cards were the hardest to design because I couldn't decide on just ONE theme. I finally combined two of her interests -- birds and The Beatles. It was a challenge to work the Yellow Submarine era into her favorite colors, pink and yellow, but I mixed some gocco paint together and created a perfect match to the Paper Source Strawberry color. (I'm counting this as a Gocco Victory even if it isn't that big of a deal.) And, believe it or not, I found a free "Yellow Submarine" font.

Image: Personal Collection

I already made my sister note cards after my Paper Source shower. They are the Melissa cards in this photo.

I also made thank you cards for this shower, but I am using the left overs for my bachelorette party, so I can't share them yet. I will say that I LOVE them. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

...Andy popped the question and inadvertently unleashed the beast. Now,

one engagement party,
four tastings,
four showers,
87 invitations, and
one year later,

we spent the evening shopping for wedding bands. A year goes by very, very fast when you're having fun.

Paper Source Color Scope

I stumbled upon the Paper Source Color Scope on someone's blog a few weeks ago. I apologize that I don't remember which blog and, therefore, cannot give the author a proper shout out for stealing their idea.

As I pointed out a while ago, three of the colors in my invitations incidentally match the Poppy, Papaya, and Antique Gold colors at Paper Source. I honestly didn't plan it that way. Here is what the Color Scope says that the wedding colors say about me:

Images: Paper Source

Try it out for yourself here.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Flower Friday Update

I was told that we CAN afford the trees for the ceremony! :) I think that everyone was pleasantly surprised by the floral proposal.

Hurricane Ike

I just received a heartbreaking e-mail from the etsy seller who was working on my cocktail napkins. Her house was destroyed in Hurricane Ike after the roof gave out and sheet rock collapsed in her office and bedroom. I believe that, on top of all this, she is also scheduled to be married in the next few weeks. I wish her and all of the other Ike victims lots of prayers and love.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I just received an e-mail from Macy's notifying me that one piece of our china set is on backorder and will be shipped at a later date. That means that someone has bought us some china! Hooray!

Image: Macy's

This gift will be our first piece of china. I recently saw our pattern listed somewhere listed as "casual." We're so crass. We're going to use plastic silverware with it. ;)


Flower Friday

As soon as we booked ANL as our venue, I developed a vision for our ceremony. It included us exchanging vows flanked by two fall trees or pretty japanese maples in front of a softly lit room. This image from fete ny is perfect!

I just assumed that getting two trees to the second floor of an elevator-less building would be a no-go, but ANL is actually able to create something for us. (We'll see if we can actually afford it!) Now if I could only find some benches...

P.S. My mental image is what inspired our program covers.

P.S.S. This tree would do too -- but only if it was in Lincoln Park! :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

OMG, Are You Fur Real?

Someone has flipped the switch in Chicago and Fall is coming in with a bang -- which has me a little worried about low temps on our wedding day. Chicago can honestly be 90 degrees or 40 degrees and rainy in October. (I'd like the entire Internet to please keep it's collective fingers crossed for a DRY 50-60 degree day. We really, really need the Garden seating.)

My dress comes with a wrap, but I really don't like it. I'll wear it, but I feel like it's uninventive. I think that a nice fur stole would be a lovely addition, but I don't wear fur. So my question is, would faux fur cheapen up my dress? And if I wore a vintage, handme down stole from my stepgrandmother, is the blood still on my hands since it was made 40 years ago and I didn't purchase it from the fur trader? What about a stole purchased from an antique store? What do you think?

To Faux?

Image: etsy

Or Not to Faux?

Image: etsy

That is my question. Please comment. Also, please don't post mean fur comments on here. If they're mean and/or insulting, I'll just delete them.

P.S. I'm not necessarily picking these, I just had about 30 seconds to write this post before I head out the door.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Holy Cow! We're Getting Close.

The invitations to the rehearsal dinner came in the mail yesterday. Aren't they cute? Andy's mom designed them herself using cool Crane's paper. Andy was jazzed when he saw the Bears logos.

Andy's mom leaked the Bears theme to him last week. He was trying to get her to put picture the below on them. He's such a tool.

Image: You Tube

I sort of "met" Mike Ditka once. I was at a Dominick's and when I reached to grab a number for the deli counter, I leaned on my cart and rammed it right into him. I thought that I hit a hall or display and almost pee'd my pants and saw it was him. I mumbled, "I'm so sorry, sir," and then stumbled off while he put on his sunglasses to avoid the crowd that I drew to thim. Then I FLEW back to my office to tell everyone about it, but they were all hippie software developers who didn't know who Ditka was. Not even kidding. Why was Ditka buying his own cold cuts anyway?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hair Doesn't Come the Bride or Groom or Bridemaids or Groomsmen or Flower Girl

I talked to someone from the hotel that screwed us over today. Apparently, their management company has gone into receivership and all of their assets are frozen. Which means that they have no assets with which to pay for the trolley transportation between the Ambassador East and ANL. Which means that we now have a six-person wedding party, our immediately families, and 15-30 guests with no means of getting between locations. And we also have no assets with which to pay for them to do so. (Who says that there is a gap between the classes?) So, as of this writing, I will be stranded in a hotel suite with stained carpets and no hairdo on my wedding day.

I've contacted a few limo companies with my swan song to see if they could work with me. One of them actually seemed to feel bad for me. And my dad used to powerwash the vans at a local place with very affordable prices, so I have a voice mail out to them. (fingers crossed) I have to say, trolley service is some expensive sh*t considering that trolleys are made of wood and don't have any windows. Oh, and, of course, the hotel miscommunicated the start times so the $770 rate that I was quoted was not only three hours short, but it would have gotten the guests to ANL 30 minutes after the ceremony.

If I had my Fantasy Budget Way, all of our guests would be transported in a fleet of these:

If anyone in Chicago knows where to rent old school cabs, will you please comment? I looked a few weeks ago for Andy and I, but came up empty.

Milk Carton Vases

I'm oddly drawn to this vase from CB2. It would make for charming centerpieces at a brunch wedding, a kitschy farewell brunch, or even a kitchen-themed bridal shower.

Images: CB2

Monday, September 8, 2008

For Real, J. Crew? Volume 1, Issue 2

I was catching up with my virtual girls today and found this on The Pied-A-Tiere.

A $3,500 dress?

Image: J. Crew

A $2,800 cardigan?

Image: J. Crew

Dude, you're J. Crew! And we're in a recession! Half of your core customer base is unemployed!

Maybe my and Maria's Two Woman Boycott is working...

Our Wedding Theme is Autumn + Dots + Paloma's Nest

In the process of shopping for hostess gifts, I've become obssessed with etsy seller Paloma's Nest. I had been shopping for some elegant wine charms for Aunt Ruth when I stumbled upon text tiles in the Paloma's Nest store. I placed a custom order for 12 text tiles with the names of Andy's family members. I then attached them to silver rings and added beads. I think that is my favorite etsy purchase of all time. I love how they turned out. I'd love to make a set for myself one day -- even if the beads did double my budget for this project. I apologize for the bad photos. The white ceramic is difficult to photograph.

Images: Personal Collection

The seller, Caroline, is so nice. She sent me an extra "TINA" charm and a little heart charm. :)

I forgot to photograph these before giving them away, but I also ordered a bird bowl with the words "MOTHER BIRD" for Andy's mom. When it arrived, I loved it so much that I ordered a second one for my mom. Caroline packages her items in brown cardboard boxes with straw. It's so simple, but I think that it has such a charming effect.

I contacted her one last time to ask if she could make some charms for us to use on our toasting coupes. She included them in my last shipment and I just love them.

And we now have a ring bowl on the way:

Paloma's Nest was a featured seller on Etsy last Monday! You can read her interview here. There may or may not be another PN surprise for the wedding. <wink, wink>