Thursday, June 30, 2011

Anniversary Party Scrapbook

I had an extra scrapbook lying around the house and idle hands on Memorial Day weekend, so I whipped up this scrapbook of my in-laws' anniversary party. I wasn't wild about the outcome, but Andy's family has a saying, "We eat our mistakes." In their world, it applies to deflated cakes and dishes with a forgotten ingredient*. In my world, it applies to paper.

*In December, I made green bean casserole without the green beans. Not kidding.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

{Weight Watchers} June 29, 2011 Weigh-In

Don't congratulate me yet! This is the same weight that I've been bouncing around for over a month. You can congratulate me next week.

I'm trying to decide if I want to set a goal weight at which I'll admit my weight. I don't think that's really necessary, though. Right?


I bought a line-a-day journal as a graduation gift, but decided it was lame and gave cash instead. Since I couldn't return it, I kept it for myself. Maybe a desire for exciting journal entries will lift me out of my funk.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Retro-ish Anniversary Party for My In-Laws

My in-laws celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary in May. The family celebrated with a dinner at one of my and Andy’s favorite restaurants, Chicago Cut.

Andy’s family tends to tell me “Don’t go crazy” on pretty much everything, so I kept almost everything a secret until the week before the party so I wouldn’t have any naysayers. Luckily, Aunt Ruth and my sister-in-law, April , unearthed some excellent photos for me. The night was a success and one of the most fun times I’ve ever enjoyed with my in-laws.

I dropped the goods and directions off at Chicago Cut early in the day:

Can you tell that I am an instructional designer and technical writer? When we arrived, the hostess whispered, “I hope that everything is set up to your liking.” She seemed frightened. And she should have been, as they messed up the napkins assignments. The night was ruined! (Kidding.)

The cake was from Sarah’s Candies and Pastries. I was a little hesitant to use them, but I give them a resounding two thumbs up. The cake stand is Martha Stewart from Macy's.

Each guest was greeted by a photo place card highlighting a “moment” from the past 40 years. I blew the scanned photos up to about 4” X 4”, so they were all grainy and old-school looking. Very Hisptamatic.

I hand-cut the photos, mounted them on circle cards from Paper Source, and then applied a brown border made with my Silhouette SD machine. I also used the Silhouette SD to cut everyone’s names. To get the photos to stand, I mounted them onto place cards and pasted little accordions inside the place cards for stability.

They were a hit! Everyone seemed to enjoy them.

The d├ęcor and color scheme were inspired by Alexander Henry fabric that I found on etsy in two complimentary patterns, which I used to make napkins.

I had no idea what size table we’d have, so I couldn’t plan for floral arrangements. I was planning to not have flowers, and then panicked the morning of the party. I ran over to the flower shop in my office building that morning and grabbed these ruby red peonies. They provided great contrast from the teals and grays and were the perfect accent for a Ruby Anniversary Celebration.

I almost forgot! We also brought in two bottles of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, which is the champ they enjoyed on their wedding day.


(Look at my brother-in-law making eye contact through the wine glass in this photo.)

And, of course, Chicago Cut provided the perfect backdrop. Love that place!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Why You Call Me Greasball? I Bring You Free Pizzas!

I was scrolling through my iPhone and happened upon a little project that I never blogged.

Every year, we celebrate Gnocchi Night for Andy and his sister's birthdays. We all gather at Aunt Ruth's house and destroy her kitchen by making homemade pasta, meatballs, and sauce. I volunteered to make place cards this year.

Making 13 of these took much, much longer than expected. My first attempt at stitching the streamers didn't go very well. So, I taped the folds with double-sided tape (my glue stick ran out a few in) and then stitched the three colors together on the sewing machine. I was bored by the end, thus the lame circle names. I wish that had a Silhouette SD back then. I would have made some bold black names to float across the flag.

Andy and his sister's place cards received party hat embellishments, of course!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sweet Words from Sweet e-Friends

Thanks for all of your kind words yesterday. I wasn’t phishing for compliments, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate them! Especially on days like yesterday.

For the record, I think that you’re all funny and beautiful too.

WW posts will start Monday.

Have a good weekend,


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Choosing My Own Attitude

I don’t usually write about my personal life, but I just need to vent and get some words off my chest and on “paper” to see if it helps. So please excuse this wordy, curse-filled swan song if you must. Who knows? I may end up deleting it.
I am feeling like crap lately. Not physically like crap. More emotionally like crap. And it’s daunting. When I consider my “problems” from an outsider’s perspective, I feel whiny and narcissistic. While the logical portion of my mind knows that these aren’t “real” problems, the emotional part of my mind is a hot, hot mess. And I'm exhausted.

I was going through some pictures the other day looking for something and stumbled upon this photo of myself from 2006.

I was well on the path to gaining weight back then, but was probably about 20 pounds above my “healthy” weight and about 45 pounds lighter than my current weight. And I thought I was fat. Now, by NYC and Hollywood standards, I probably was fat. But by Chicago standards, I was not that fat. (Well, at least by Chicago standards in 2006. Things seemed to have changed a lot in five years.) 

The whole point of this is that I see my old photos and wonder “Why?” Why did I do that to myself? What did I talk badly to myself? That is awful. If ANYONE insulted me as frequently or as badly as I insult myself, I’d lose my sh*t on them or, at the very least, eliminate them from my life. Why do any of us do this to ourselves as women? It is so anti-feminist. Besides, if I was criticizing anything, it should have been that God-awful perm.

I can’t change how I treated myself in the past, but I can improve my internal dialogue moving forward.  But what do I do to get the weight off? I’ve been on WeightWatchers since April 11 and haven’t lost squat. I have been bouncing around the same 2-3 pound weight range since then. I’m counting points, cooking recipes from the cookbook, and bringing the leftovers for lunch. On the days that I don’t have leftovers for lunch, I’ve gotten a salad. Andy, on the other hand, has lost 30 pounds. He works out much more than me, as I have some restrictions, but WTF? (I don’t compare myself to him, incidentally, I’m just mentioning it. ) The point is, I could be eating McDonald’s and Wendy’s every day of the week and weigh what I do now.

If I post my daily WW journals, would you guys pretend to scan them in your Readers? I tried starting a dedicated WW blog in 2010, but it was too much effort to update it given that no one was reading it. I really have been watching, so I don’t know how it would help. But it’s worth a try, right?

All I know is that something’s got to give. I’m ready for my attitude to switch from “Oh f*ck. Brunch is this weekend. I need to put on pants and talk to people.” to “Yeah! Brunch is this weekend!” I may never have this PHAT a*s again:

This picture is soooo '00s in the 60614, but it makes me laugh and remember FUN times.

But I’d be happy as hell to have this “fat” a*s again:

P.S. If anyone comments that “It’s harder as you get older,” I will scream. I’ve been on WW enough times that I know that’s crap. I’ve been in countless meetings with old people that simply cut two potato pancakes from their dinner and then walk the mall a few times and they drop 30 pounds. It can be done. And I’m only 36 for F’s sake.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last-Minute Father's Day Packaging

I think that Father's Day is a million times easier to shop for than Mother's Day:
  1. Card? Check!
  2. Lottery Ticket? (Ooops. Forgot this one.)
  3. Dunkin' Donuts Gift Card? Check!
  4. Meat? Check!
I only had a few minutes to wrap my dad's gift yesterday morning. I did a quick scan of my desk for ideas and noticed the black-and-white rubber band ball. Done!

I am pretty sure that my dad has NEVER noticed packaging. He picked up his gift yesterday and said to my sister, jokingly, I think, "Look at this, Bay-e. Your sister couldn't even wrap my present! She cut up a paper bag and put rubberbands on it." As he said this, my mother walked out and said, "Did you notice the packaging? Isn't that clever?" 

I made more paint chip confetti to fill his box.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

{Spring Detox} Cheap Bedroom Art

After dropping a few hundo on frames at west elm, I couldn't afford any "real" art to fill them. Hopefully, I'll be filling them up with photos and street art from gay Paris. Until then, I've improvised some "art" for our "headboard" by photocopying the pillow covers from my Jonathan Adler Bargello Waves pillows.

The small frames are filled with plain text paper from Paper Source. I might switch those up with some fancier paper. Or not.

Around the rest of the room...

I have a framed print that I purchased from a guy in Venice, Italy.

 I had the chalk drawing we received as a wedding present framed in the same frame and size as the Italy pix.


And to fill in the rest of the blanks, I hung some framed some etsy art, wedding photos, and wedding mementos.

I am disappointed in the quality of the photos in this week's posts. I used my new DSLR camera, but the  pictures don't really look DSLR-worthy. :( I can't believe how long it's taking me to get the swing of manual photography. I know it will just "click" one day, but I'm getting antsy for my "A ha!" moment.

Previously in {Spring Detox}:
New "Headboard"
Our Granny Chic Bedroom

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

{Spring Detox} New "Headboard"

When Andy and I upgraded to a king-sized bed, I had to sacrifice the headboard that matches my bedroom set. Once again, I am back to melding my modern tastes with my early American furnishings.

I have my heart set on the Hoffman Bed from Room & Board:

Unfortunately, in the Food/Paris vs. $1499 Bed argument, Food/Paris win every time. BUT, I couldn't live with my blank slate any longer. I felt disjointed and sad to be living like a student at age 36.

I assembled some silver gallery frames from west elm into a makeshift headboard.

Not mind-blowing, I know, but I can't believe the difference that it makes.


Even Andy agrees, which is a total win since his idea of an inspiration board is this:

I also added a cheap-cheap-cheap tailored bed skirt from Target to hide all of the bins, crap, and dust bunnies stored under the bed.

Our building's had a few break-ins, so we started sleeping with a bat under the bed, as you can see.

Up Next: Cheap Bedroom Art