Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wedding 101 Classes -- WTRITO Reader Discount!

A Post-Christmas Clearance Sale on Wedding Stuff!

Magnificent Milestones and CS Brides are hosting Wedding 101 classes in the month of January. Mention the "with this ring, i thee obsess" blog to receive a $50 discount on the ticket cost. See the details below.

With Magnificent Milestones

January Sessions

Offered Tuesdays & Thursdays

12 PM - 1 PM

Magnificent Milestones | 1041 W. Madison St.

Join us for our January session of Wedding 101, offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 PM to 1 PM. The classes cover budget, guest lists, timetables, vendors and venues. All "graduates" leave with a bridal swag bag full of over $1,000 worth of discounts and incentives, a customized budget and a list of our favorite vendors.

For more information please visit

Cost is $200 for four, one hour sessions.
Lunch and swag bag included.

What a fun way to burn through your engagement energy, score some swag, and support a small business.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

White Christmas Wedding Inspiration

Last night, Andy and I celebrated one of my favorite Christmas traditions -- The Music Box Christmas Show. This year, we saw "White Christmas."

That movie just thrills me to the core. Its handsome general, witty retro banter, and beautiful costumes and jewelry (Oh! The jewelry!) absolutely entrance me and makes me wish that I would have been born in a different era. However, this viewing - which has to be my 500th - made me realize how much wedding inspiration the film offers.

First Dance
The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing

You'd certainly be unique...

Wedding Dress and Centerpieces
Rosemary Clooney's Dress in the Carousel Club Scene

The terrible screen captures above were taken from this video:

I don't know why I didn't go more retro with our wedding. I kind of dabbled in it, but do wish that I went a bit more balls to the wall** with it. Oh well. It was lovely. Someone else should remake Rosemary Clooney's dress in white and send me pix of it!

**"Balls to the Wall" is currently in my phrase rotation because I just found out that my 4-year-old godson, who is very holy (despite my being his godmother), heard his dad listening to that song and has been walking around the house singing it. I got in trouble for saying "butt" and "dupah" in front of his older brother a few years ago, so I am sure that my poor friend is not pleased with her husband.

Happy 500th Post to Me! Note Card Giveaway

Holy Cow! 500 Posts?

Blogging has been such a treat and I'm truly flattered that even a few people take a moment out of their busy days to read my random-and-not-really-important-in-the-grand-scheme-of-things thoughts. I've been surprised and made giddy by some of the wonderful e-mails and compliments that I've received from people and, most importantly, made some new friends. I had tea with two "blog friends" on Sunday and, as we were laughing and talking about some pretty important things going on our lives, I was so thankful for the evening that I was sitting at home, feeling completely overstimulated by wedding planning, and decided to try blogging as an outlet in hopes of saving my friends and family from wedding overload. (Although, I don't know if it worked.)

To celebrate my 500th post, I am cleaning out my craft bins and giving away a set of seven (yup, seven, not six, not eight) thank you cards with matching Pool-colored envelopes. The winner can choose "bejeweled feet" or "plain."

I don't know if anyone will be reading blogs over the holidays, so I'll keep the contest open through the beginning of the year. If you're interested, please comment by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, January 3. If your e-mail address does not display in your profile, please include it in your comments. Thanks and Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Baby Announcements

We just received a charming baby announcement from our DOC, Katie, welcoming her new daughter, Anna. Look at this cute little detail:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How Many Is "Too Many?"

We still aren't settled or organized enough to unpack and/or hang art in our condo - but we do have some wedding photos up. My question is, do we have TOO MANY wedding photos up? I'd hate to be THAT girl. Will they look less imposing once we have other stuff on the walls?  Am I just paranoid because my friends called the fireplace display a shrine? What do you guys think? How much is TOO MUCH? Has anyone else wondered this?

{Wedding Pictures in Photos by Sarah Alair}

Monday, November 23, 2009

Any Holiday Party Food Ideas from My Chicago Friends?

(No Charming Photo Because Blogger Stinks!)

Does anyone have suggestions for a place from which to pick up or order delicious bulk** appetizers? We're having a house full for a holiday party in a few weeks and I just found out that I'll be travelling for work the week leading up to it. (OF COURSE I would be, as I travel for work once every 5 years!)

I have an e-mail out to Appetizers and Inc. to see if they're open to the public.

  • Note: I don't have a Costco membership.

Our Fireplace Project

For some reason, our unit is one of the few in the building in which the developer did not put lights in the living room. I needed a quick fix for lightening up our fireplace wall until we can afford to wire the ceiling for lights. We decided that paint was the most affordable, dramatic option.

I'm not a big fan of our corner fireplace wall. The tile is so dark and the nook is awkward. In an ideal world, I'd hang some cool pendant lights there to fill the space and provide some light.

I chose to paint the wall green to play off of our couch, which sits across the room. Andy and I agreed on the color "Leapfrog" by Behr, which seemed to be just a smidge brighter than the couch.

Oh man! HUGE MISTAKE. It was bright. I mean, like Kermit-the-Frog-dipped-in-acid-and-then-plugged-in bright.

While I do not typically shy away from bright colors, it was just too much. Not to mention that it didn't align with the rest of our house. I went to Home Depot with a swatch of our couch fabric to see if they could color match it. As I stood in line, I realized that our swatch perfectly matched the next color on the Behr card, Wild Grass.

I wasn't wild about the color, so I had it mixed with only 45% of the color and it turned out perfect. A week later (I think that I got some bad paint because it was thick like batter and took days to dry.), the wall was finished!

Here's the final product:

The candles are the "luminere" line from CB2. I originally tried them without the side photos, but it was too bare. I love the way that they look with the green paint.

They look great when lit up at night - even if my photography skills don't show it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lovely Packages from My Lovely Friend

Back in August, I signed up for the oh, hello friend lovely package swap and got an extra surprise -- a lovely partner! I was assigned to swap packages with my friend, Tara, of In This Instance. How funny! We both got a bit overwhelmed with work and life in August, so we agreed to exchange a little later. My package arrived last month (ironically, when it was waiting for me when I arrived home from having coffee with Tara) and it was adorable. Craft Paper + Twine + Orange Flowers almost always = Happy Day!

The Lovely Package

The Goodies inside...

Each package contained a charming quote:

Gift Tags:

Mailing Labels:

Adorable Letterpress Note Cards:


And a beautiful tea towel (I love tea towels!):

{All Photos by Me; All Packaging by Tara}

My gift to Tara is in the mail and should arrive by Monday. I am crossing all of my fingers and toes that the packaging arrives in the condition that it was in at departure. Andy thinks that my note asking the postman not to jostle the contents of the package was an invitation to destroy it.

You can see my gifts to Tara (don't peek, Tara!) and all of the other participants' booty in the lovely package flickr group. Many thanks to Danni  of oh, hello friend for organizing the swap! And congratulations on her very adorable engagement.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Hunt for House Wine Continues...

Because I am such a kick-ass wife, I've been taking one (well, many) for the team and drinking a lot of bad/mediocre wines in an attempt to fine a good House Wine. We have a lot of fancy wine, but not enough what we've dubbed "Tuesday Night Wine," cheap affordable-but-sorta-delicious wine that I can pop on a weeknight without worrying about finishing the entire bottle (like if I've been dealing with those jerks at Priceline) or if I just want to have a quick drink with a friend. We also need a good dinner party wine for the nights that we're responsible for providing 2-4 bottles of wines for our guests. Here are a few recent winners that I can recall off of the top of my head. My desired price range is less than $10, but I often cheat and go up to $15. (Don't tell.) These are all reds. Whites to follow some other day...

  • Trapiche Malbec: $6.99ish @ Trader Joe's and Binny's. My friend VP brought this over for our GermanFest party and I drank it a few weeks later. Not knowing she brought it,  I sent her an e-mail saying, "I have no idea where we got this, but it's good and cheap." That's all that I remember about it.

  • Bear's Lair Cabarnet Sauvignon: $3.99 @ Trader Joe's. We served this wine at a dinner party on Saturday and I, pleasantly, wasn't horrified when I took the first taste. It's definitely light, but still pretty satisfying. And it beats the pants off of Three Buck Chuck.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I love these fancy pencils from iomoi. Then again, I love most things from iomoi, especially these.

P.S. Peach Post is having a giveaway! Entry ends on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hold the Boat!

How did I miss this? An At Home Letterpress Kit? I was on the Paper Source Web site looking for something completely unrelated (Floral Wire, if you must know. And, yes, they do sell it outside of the kits.), when I wondered "Why would they be selling red letterpress ink?" and then I saw it:

What the What? For reals? I couldn't believe my eyes and thought that this, surely, is just another instance of me being the last to know. So I went to my Google Reader and did a search for it and what is the first thing to pop up? A GIVEWAY GOING ON RIGHT NOW! From the prettiest blogger in all of the land, iDiY. It's like the Universe, God, and everyone else with spiritual powers beyond my immediate realm is saying, "Tina! You must have this!" Fingers, toes, eyes, legs, hairs, and absolutely anything else that I can get to cross is officially CROSSED! Please hold while I go cross all of Andy's stuff...


Ok. I am back.

I don't even know how I am going to sleep tonight knowing that this exists. My heart hurts. I feel like a Stevie Wonder concert was just announced or something equally as wonderful happened.

Although I hate to stack the odds against myself, I know it's the right thing to do. Go here to enter.

The Sample Sale at the Merchandise Mart

Did I ever score at the Sample Sales at the Merchandise Mart last week! I've been staying away from the sales as I was traumatized after I lost a bunch of sample sale purchases in a flood back in 2007. I finally went back to see if I could find a mirror, chairs, or some lamps for the house. I didn't find any lamps or chairs, but I TOTALLY made out.

I bought this incredible beveled mirror for $79.00. My coworker found it at Horchow.com and Nieman-Marcus for $325, but it's no longer online. I found this bad photo on Amazon.com:

I bought nine rolls of TapeSwell tapes. I bought all of the ones listed below; but only because I cut myself off. I think that I left a few Christmas ones behind.

I bought three table runners from my favorite brand, Chilewich. One of these is a Christmas gift for a friend. (Shhhhhhh!)

Our niece carries her diaries with her EVERYWHERE that she goes. I scored her a year's worth of journals for Christmas for only $36.00!

I picked up a party tray from MacBeth collection in this pretty peacock pattern as a Christmas gift for a friend that loves parties AND the color blue!

I also scored a huge stack of pool, fuschia, and moss A2 envelopes for only $5.00! They actually had more sizes, but I just couldn't think of any projects that warranted them - and we all know that I need more paper like I need a hole in the head.

I scored these Christmas cocktail napkins too:

I actually got quite a bit more, but it's mostly gifts for people who read this blog or small stuff - like 35 greeting cards for $7! Hooray! I saved $619 on the above listed items alone -- all stuff that I might have bought anyway! It was totally worth fighting all off the old ladies in seasonal sweaters and their garbage cans full of bubble wrap.