Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our wedding

I have dreamed about my wedding since I was a little girl. Yes, I am one of "those girls." I dreamt of a princess-like wedding with a white coach and a church ceremony followed by a ballroom reception. I’ve always thought that I’d like to wear an A-line gown, a tiara, and all of the stuff that goes with them. But guess what? None of this will happen!

As it turns out, I’d rather have a wedding that is a reflection of who my fiancĂ© and I are than a "classic wedding." We forget our anniversary on a regular basis. There are no candlelight dinners or red roses. This is just how we "love." I’m equally happy if my fiancĂ© buys me a Starbucks Coffee in the morning or if he gets me shoes when I think I shouldn’t buy them because I have enough at home.

Given this, we will be exchanging our wedding vows in a small ceremony at the conservatory. We view our vows as something very sacred and intimate. Therefore, we made it a priority to keep the ceremony guest list short by inviting only our immediate family and friends.

After the ceremony, our party will enjoy a "Flying/Waking" meal. A flying/waking meal is a three-course meal that involves serving finger foods cocktail-style, then serving a seated, plated main course, and finally, enjoying a passed, finger food-style dessert. Our intent is that the guests won’t tire out too early so that we can dance the night away!

Our remaining guests – extended family members and friends – will join us round 9:00 p.m. for the big party!

As you probably can imagine, we have to answer a lot of "Why are you doing...?" questions. So, I’m wondering, did any of you make unconventional decisions? If so, did you have to take a lot of flak from your guests?
Image provided by Severine

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Made By One Girl

I stumbled upon these awesome books from Made By One Girl at Paper Boy a few weeks ago. They'd be great guest books, shower scrapbooks/guest books, or bachelorette party/mom-to-be/birthday girl gifts.

Photo taken by Tina

The online catalog contains a large selection of papers for custom orders:

All product images from Made By One Girl 

G*nad Likes It

I was paying some bills and doing busywork this evening when I discovered that my checking account was missing a digit. Damn.

Andy and I bought a new condo that (knock on wood) we will be moving into next month.

 The above image (Minus the Heart) is from the developer's web site.

While I find that fun, exciting, and various other superlative words that accompany life events, I've never had a mortgage payment before, so I'm actually scared sh*tless about it. I realize that I'm not the first person to buy a place and that I need to get over it. And I will once we make a few payments and I see that I can still afford to ride the train and eat something more than 10 for $10 ramen noodles three meals a day. But, I think that today's experience was yet another reminder that I need change my habits BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST ME ANYMORE. So, I will begin balancing my checkbook again.

Ironically, I fell out of habit of balancing everyday right around the time that it got easy to do so. Back in the day, my morning routine was:
  1. Arrive at work.
  2. Check my voicemail.
  3. Call the bank to check my balance and cleared transactions.
  4. Check e-mail.

But, now, "checking my balance" means accessing another Web site to distract me from starting my day. Or I just forget to do it until I need to pay bills. And sometimes that's bad. Like today. So, I've downloaded the PocketMoney application for my iPhone:

I love my iPhone and welcome all excuses to play with it.

PocketMoney images from iTunes

So far, PocketMoney looks pretty similiar to Microsoft Money. I like the budget graphs. I used to love Microsoft Money, but then got tired of carrying a phone, iPod, and a PalmPilot. And running MS Money off of my home computer was pointless as I'm never home. So, fingers crossed that I can reclaim POSITIVE habits. I seem to be searching for old habits quite a bit lately. I hope that I find them. I'm thinking that PocketMoney will get me on the right track, as something that received five stars from an iTunes user named "G*n*d the B*rbarian" has to be stellar. G the B^^ wouldn't lie to a girl, right?

P.S. In the spirit of changing my  habits for the good of the union, I cooked dinner tonight!

^^(I'm not typing the full name out so that my blog won't come up in p*rn and s*x toy searches like it did when I wrote about Martha Stewart and pussywillows. Not kidding)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Would It Be *Really* Wrong...

...if I borrowed my brother-in-law's daughter and made her call me "Mommy" so that we could go to this?

Mother's Day, Mommy & Me Princess Tea - Chicago - Lincoln Park
Chicago - Lincoln Park,
Saturday, May 2,
10:30am - 12pm

Come sip a cup of our Tea Forte (her's is sweetened!) while you and your princess create a paper garland crown of flowers adorned with a sweet ribbon train. You'll enjoy spending some quality pre-Mother's Day time helping her make a rubber stamped and sparkled pocket book, Mother's Day card and a decorative envelope for cookies. We know you'll leave inspired to have your own princess tea again at home!

The class includes a stretch and twirl break.

This workshop is specially designed for kids ages 4-7 and an accompanying adult.
Class fee covers one adult and child; to add an additional child for $20,
please contact the store directly. Two children maximum per adult.
We have other opportunities for you and your little one,
visit online or your local store for other current classes samples.

Oh. My. God. A stretch and twirl break? I think that everything in life should have one of those. Especially conference calls.

If there wasn't an age limit, my mom, sister, and I would be going to this. Even if mom didn't want to. It's ageism.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Products with Personality

Products with Personality is an online retailer of wedding and party details, packaging, and favors.

They offer many of the old standbys, like personalized candy bars ($2.50), themed lip balm ($1.85), sugar cookies, and mints at reasonable prices and more unique items, like these tea cups ($2.55), honey pots ($3.50), manicure kits ($4.78), and love bird salt and pepper shakers ($3.62).

I just suggested these Martha-inspired monogrammed Kisses ($0.25) to a friend who is helping a friend with a wedding.

They also offer lots of eco-friendly favors and place card holders.

I first discovered the Products with Personality site when I was searching for party favors for my sister-in-law's shower. I was eyeing these starfish and sea shell sugar cookies - so cute.

Although, these tea bag holders would have saved me a lot of time if I would have seen them. (So much for my "unique" HuskTea tea bag idea.)

PWP also has a blog in which they highlight their products. They recently featured WTRITO in their "Wedding Sites" section and, I have to admit, it totally made me blush when it popped up in my Google Alerts. Everyone should check them out.

All images from PWP.

I Just Thought Of A Reason To Be Excited About Monday Morning...

...Our Wedding Blurb book is scheduled to arrive!

I think that I've mentioned my incessant procrastination before. This blog was born out of my procrastinating going to the gym, going to bed, and working on wedding projects. Well, my most recent project born from procrastination was selecting the wedding photos for our pro album instead of cleaning the house and getting ready to move. But somehow, I managed to procrastinate on procrastinating because the process of selecting 85* photos out of 903 turned into,

"I should lay these out in Blurb to help myself visualize and narrow these down."

which then turned into,

"Fifty-five photos and I'm not even out of the hotel yet?
I might as well as just make myself a giant book and get it out of my system."

which then turned into,

"I should include all of the song lyrics and the ceremony order in here."

And, because Blurb's software stinks, the book became a two-week project. Two hundred sixty two pages later, I had a shiny new book all laid out and ready for submission. OF COURSE, I found two random page numbers in the footer right AFTER I uploaded it. After all, I only clicked "Show None" and "Apply to All Pages" 262 times. Of course, it was my fault. Dear Blurb, if you ever have User Acceptance Testing or want client feedback, I definitely volunteer.

*85 photos? That's it? Would it be immoral to sell my blood to earn money for the 125 photo album? That seems like something that would only be A-OK with the big guy if you did to feed your children, right?

P.S. I did it again. I was brushing my teeth 20 minutes ago and somehow ended up writing this instead of going to bed.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Attention Recessionista Brides: Win a Free Honeymoon at Sandals!

Fancy Fortune Cookies sells custom fortune cookies* in both traditional and "exotic" colors and flavors. As you may recall from my many hot dog rants on this site, I am a purist for most things, but I have to admit that I'm intrigued by some of their fruit (cherry and strawberry) and exotic flavors (the coconut and cappuccino, in particular, have me curious). I personally love giving fortune cookies as gifts. I usually pick up a few bags whenever I am in Chinatown and bring them as hostess gifts when I visit friends. I think that some technicolor fortune cookies would be make an awesome party favor for almost any party.

Fancy Fortune Cookies is giving away a three-night Dream Honeymoon for two at one of Sandals tropical resorts. Sandals has been voted World's Best Honeymoon Resort for the past eight years in a row. Imagine scenic settings where the ultimate of everything is within your reach. Including the most luxurious rooms and suites with exquisite views, along with thoughtful amenities. Each Sandals resort features a wide choice of international gourmet dining experiences, complimented by free-flowing premium spirits, served by a staff whose greatest pleasure is making you smile.

Click here to enter.

*Totally random fact, I learned on the Fancy Fortune Web site that fortune cookies were actually invented in America, not China. You can read each of the theories here. I think that #1 is my favorite. It's charming.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wedding Marches PB&J Style

Andy and I saw Peter Bjorn and John in concert last night. We both love the "Writer's Block" album and had tossed several songs around for various music selections for our wedding. In the end, we didn't use any of the songs because Andy thought that "everyone would use PB&J;" however, we felt so strongly about them that we both admitted thinking about the wedding during many moments of the show.

I think that "Start to Melt" would provide any bride or groom with a dramatic entrance or exit. The performance of this song was wonderfully grand at the show. Here's an excerpt from the lyrics:

I start to melt
with my arms, round your waist
and my mouth, starts to spell
and the words, saying it's OK

And I think that the instrumentals make it work for both casual and formal weddings. I could see a bride with a long train slowly marching through a giant Gothic church to this song.

"Objects of My Affection" is another great song for wedding marches. I think it would be a unique processional for a groom, which is where Andy considered using it. Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

...And the question is, was I more alive
then than I am now?
I happily have to disagree;
I laugh more often now, I cry more often now,
I am more me.
and the other day, this new friend of mine
said something to me
"just because something starts differently,
doesn´t mean it´s worth less."
and I soaked it in, how I soaked it in,
how I soaked it in
and just as to prove how right he was,
then you came.
so I´m gonna give, yes I´m gonna give,
I´m gonna give you a try,
so I´m gonna give, yes I´m gonna give,
I´m gonna give you a try

One of my more vivid memories of our wedding was dancing with Andy to "Young Folks." I realized tonight that even those lyrics were apropos for the occasion:

...Usually when things has gone this far
people tend to disappear
no one will surprise me unless you do

I can tell there's something goin' on
hours seems to disappear
everyone is leaving I'm still with you

It doesn't matter what we do
where we are going too
we can stick around and see this night through

And last, but not least, I really love these lyrics and the singer's Swedish accent on this chorus from Paris 2004:

I'm all about you, you're all about me,
We're all about each other.
I'm all about you, you're all about me,
We're all about each other.
You don't have to tell, 'cause I know so well
What we are all after.
Likewise if uncertainty puts a spell on me,
I have to zoom in on your laughter.

This song would make an adorable first dance song. Unfortunately, I didn't get to hear it live last night.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh Sew La Me Oh

Awhile back, a bride contacted me about making her some invitations with sewed pouches. I excitedly enrolled in a sewing class and put a sewing machine on my Christmas list. Unfortunately, the job fell through, but I still had a blast at the class. The class was at The Needle Shop in Bucktown. I know that sewing a pillow is the easiest thing you can do and not really worth a mention in the DIY-world, but I have to admit, sewing this pillow gave me the biggest feeling of accomplishment that I've had in a long time. Sewing in my zipper made me feel like I had run a 5K.

I have to say, the etsy seller who made the pillows and aisle runner for our wedding earned her money! What a time consuming process. I really wish that I would have taken this class a year ago and bought a sewing machine so that I could have made more pillows to complete our vigenette look. After we swapped out the chairs for the benches, our pillows looked small and dumb; but there wasn't enough time or money to make additional and/or larger pillows. Oh well. Just don't tell the bridal magazines. ;)

I think that the shower curtain class will be my next class.

And then the screen printing because I've always wanted to try it.

And while I know my limits and really have no desire to ever make my own clothes, I kind of want to take the pajama pants and A-Line skirt classes just to see if I can do it. (Plus, I think that it would hilarious to watch the expression on my sister's face if I told her that I *made* the pajama pants that I gave her. She would hate me.)

You can view The Needle Point's class schedule here. I can't say enough nice things about this shop. The owner is Girl Power Incarnate.

I can't wait to buy a sewing machine and start including thread into paper designs. I've been loving that look since I discovered the wedding blog world.

All Needle Point images here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Renegade Handmade Store

Am I the last blog girl in Chicago to know that the Renegade Craft Fair has a permanent shop in Wicker Park? I stumbled upon it while my friend, VP, and I were enjoying some spring window shopping last weekend.

Since I've never been able to attend the Renegade Craft Fair, this was my first foray into the Renegade World. I can't believe that I did not spontaneously combust. VP was a very, very good friend and talked me out of buying several things, including:
Hindsight being 20/20, I think that I only liked this t-shirt because the name "love cones" sounds naughty. Someone my size should never, ever leave the house with two ice cream cones stretched across her chest.

The Renegade Handmade Shop is located at 1924 W. Division Street in Wicker Park.

All images from Renegade Handmade

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Simply Vera Wang for Kohl's

Was anyone else totally amazed by the cuteness of the "Simply Vera" line for Kohl's on last week's Martha Wedding special?

I couldn't believe that awesome necklace. Definitely sign me up for one of those. I'm going to have my mom put those on her Kohl's Clearance Radar.

They don't seem to have any of the other items from the show online, but there are a few other cute things. These would be great shower and rehearsal dinner outfits for brides and bridesmaids, not to mention great wedding guest outfits.

This purple dress is on sale for $39.00! I wish that I could wear this style.

I wonder if Andy would notice if I spent the Kohl's gift card that we received as a wedding gift from his aunt on a new necklace? Ha. Ha.

Several years ago, I helped a friend and her husband with the essays for their business school applications. I had decided that my answer to the "Who would you have dinner with?" question would have been Martha, Vera, and Kate Spade. The idea that these women built empires on things that they love amazes me. And how Vera Wang and Kate Spade created non-essential, somewhat luxury items that everyday people not only crave, but will actually purchase on occassion awes me.

Images: Video Stills -; Merchandise -

Monday, April 20, 2009

I gocco-ed

After chatting with Tina about buying a Gocco (she convinced me to do so) I bought one and started right away. So, let me show you my first project.

Photos by me

I'm more than pleased with the outcome. Especially if you know that, uhmm, I'm quite clumsy... So this was a huge sucess for me! :-)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

With This Spring, I Thee Break

Work is nuts, so I'm taking a week or so off from the blog in favor of sleep. Hopefully, Severine will be pick up my slack tomorrow. When I return, I have some new-to-me Chicago blogs to share, as well as some detail shots from my sister-in-law's beautiful Florida wedding. Here's a picture of Andy and I at the reception.