Monday, March 30, 2009

Chair cover dilemma

I have the material. It's a relatively simplistic pattern (no complicated features). But I am dreading making chair covers. Why? There are (at least) 100 of them to make.

I like these chair covers the best. They have these adorable pleats in the back that I think will make the cover fit better, especially since the chair legs go out a bit in back. Then, I wouldn't have to account for that. But still... there are 100 of them, and that just ugh...

I suppose I could set things up assembly-line style... cut out 100 chair backs. Cut out 100 chair pads, etc etc etc. But that would just take a LONG TIME.

There are these chair covers online. I suspect they are basically a white sheet, gathered appropriately. They are very tempting, but I think they just look bad. I tell myself that they'd look better with a tie and a sash, but I really don't think so. They look baggy, and they look like they'd catch on chair legs when someone moves the chair or when someone sits down.

So I think I'm going to be stuck making these. Suggestions? I (and B agrees) really want chair covers. The chairs right now are this hideous green pleather round top banquet chairs with gold metal legs. EW. But the work.... Maybe I should just bite the bullet and start.


So tired from this weekend... photos will be posted a bit later (today, tomorrow... sometime).

Work till 4 (worked crazily through the week to do this), drove down to Eugene.
Picked up Sweet Life cake (yumm).
Picked up beer cheese Bierstein soup (a B favorite).
Drove to Springfield.
Coordinated with people arriving for party, did not tell B I had left Portland yet.
B arrived-- he was more baffled than surprised.
Party party party
Check Heather into hotel around 11:30.

Sleep in a bit (yay... tho not long enough)
Get Heather
Meet with Katherine for breakfast.
Tour Eugene with Heather and Bob (skinner's butte, columns, old apartments, university, etc)
Show Heather the dress rehearsal dinner spot.
Go to hall to measure it, it had an event, so that was postponed until Sunday
Value Village it up with amazing 50% off discount ($2 skirts and shirts, anyone?)
Swing by Hendrick's park to see Rhododendrons and cherry blossoms.
Stop by for quick North Bank drink to watch the birds and river
Show Heather the church.
Meet with church music director to organize music for wedding.
Go to Market of Choice (Heather: fully impressed and wanted the whole store. And wants to go back).
Go to Safeway.
Go by Amazon and a few other places.
Go to Springfield for dinner and movie.
Drop Heather off at Hotel.

Get going... took a while.
Get gas and coffee (Dutch Bros-- yum! and friendly)
Get Heather and check her out of hotel.
Get B's car from Springfield and tape measurer
Measure reception hall and take photos.
Drop B's car off in N. Eugene.
Get Cafe Yumm for lunch (yummmm)
Drive to Hinman/Sylvan Ridge Vineyards to taste/buy
Drive to Sweet Cheeks Vineyards to taste/buy
Drive back to Hinman/Sylvan Ridge for Heather to buy.
Drive to Florence (on coast).
Drive to sand dunes. watch nutjobs try to offroad up sand dunes.
Drive further down sand dunes, park car, hike over dunes to ocean.
Walk down beach for a while.
Drive to Haceta Head & see lighthouse and creek and etc.
Drive to Newport and go to Rogue Brewery.
Eat dinner at brewery.
Stop by distillery and realize their prices were horrendous.
Drive to Florence and then Eugene (missed the darn turnoff to drive to Salem from Newport and then Eugene).
Drop off B, get stuff.
Get gas, see new hospital so Heather can drool over it.
Drive to Portland. Get home at 11:30pm. YAWN.

Very tired.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


At the beginning of wedding planning, a smart friend of mine, Natalie, gave me this piece of advice: "Don't ask anyone to do anything unless they volunteer their assistance."
I sort of shrugged it off for a bit, but her advice continued to ring true. One by one, people who did not offer their help and whom we asked for help flaked out. A family member. A groomsman. Another family member. Another friend.

But then, one by one our friends and family began to pull through. We kept our mouths quiet, and people began offering help. It's been the most touching thing. One of our friends (Kerry!) offered to help with flowers. Another friend (Tiana) is cutting and folding circles for lanterns and may staple them too. Tiana's been a godsend in many other ways too. Jason is letting B use space and is helping B with a step in the invites. Our friend Jenn is making lanterns with a bunch of petals I gave her. Another friend (Erin!) offered to do wedding invitation addressing (godsend). We've also tortured Jenn with many a fondue recipe at this point too. Our friend Zack is taking the cat monsters while we're at the wedding and on a honeymoon (he's leaving them alone for a day or so when he goes to the wedding). My dad has figured out music rentals and placed the reservation... that's a LOT of faith there... I hope that all works out. B's dad is working on some special gifts and touches for the wedding and sending prototypes this week. My Oma has sent me her recipes. The bridesmaids have all bought their shoes. Friends are emailing offering help.

It's very heartwarming.

I guess what Natalie said is true. It's a wedding, right? It's an event that often needs help, and people should know that. And if they don't offer up help to something they need help for, then they probably can't offer help, so don't ask.

We've re-learned in this process how flakey people can be, and really, it was because we expected something that wasn't offered. So we're adjusting our expectations, and people are really being fantastic. We don't expect help, but we're really touched by those offering up their time, you know?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Things are really getting busy...

There are a lot of projects on the table right now... Thought I'd list the immediate ones, partially for my organization, and partially, well, to post.
Invitations: B's finishing step 1 of the actual invitations down south; they should be ready to come up by next weekend. We'll work on step 2 and 3 the weekend of 4/3. I'm working on envelopes at home right now, and I'll get the outer envelopes from B this weekend so I can start labeling next week.
Placemats: 56 have fabric on them, which means another 44 need fabric. We're planning 100 for now, and additional ones can be made if we get more than 100 rsvps. Then, all 100 need ribbon and backing. Goal to get this done: 3 weeks from now.
Giftboxes: We've done nothing! Well, we have all the supplies. I need to cut and glue paper on to all of them, as well as make the contents. I think the making will occur the weekend of 4/3 because baking can happen while other stuff is happening.
Registries: Will be finished up the weekend of 4/3. BBB's will take a while though... there's a lot to go through.
Website: Needs: photos for a few things, hotel information, and registry links and info. I think that's it though!
Centerpieces: My big project this week and next week during the week. I sit at home and cut and make paper roses. No joke. I made probably about 40 last night and cut probably about 70. Not very productive, especially considering each centerpiece needs about 200 roses. UGH.
Lanterns: Our friend, Tiana, it cutting circles and folding, B is doing the same. Our friend, Jenn, is stapling and making lanterns. So, while I NEED to staple the petals I have, I have to work on centerpieces the next couple of weeks. Those take greater importance right now.
Food: I need to do a test-run of the rouladin to double make sure the freezing/thawing process doesn't ruin the integrity of the item. This is more to please my parents than me... I've done this before! Ugh. But I suppose it will make me happy too. Food preparation should begin the first week in May. I figure 1.5 months frozen is an ok time. I plan on freezing the rouladin in gravy so as to keep it moist in the freezer. Spaetzle will be made probably the first week in June.
Tablecloths: Need to be made. I have the material... but I think I will use the material I have on chair covers first, and then possibly use the remainder or buy thicker material for the tablecloths.
Chair Covers: Need to be made. ASAP. We will be measuring the hall this weekend, as well as taking detailed measurements of the chairs. Then it will be a matter of cut and sew for me. I need to get these finished soon. Hopefully by mid-April.
Yellow Lanterns: Haven't even begun to be made. Eek. I figure we'll probably need about 200 of these.... They will be easier than the regular lanterns because these only need to be hung on a vertical strand... but still.
Hiring Workers: One has been hired, the other 2-3 need to be. This will occur in late April/early May.
Flowers: Need to be ordered. Probably this weekend. I need to also order other items for the flowers, and that will probably happen online or I will call local florists.... that will probably occur next week.
Menu Cards: Will occur late-April, once I do a test-run of the rouladin.
Name Cards: Will occur mid-June, after we've hunted down all the RSVP folks.
Church Decorations: I think we're going to do all-white. There had been the hope of doing color, but B and I discussed it, and we like the idea of lanterns in the church done in all white. Thign is though, white will show staples more, so we may glue these lanterns. 28 rows, each side, so 56 pews to hang on, times 3 lanterns each = 168 lanterns. I have beautiful white satin ribbon to hang them on. B & I think it will be a nice way to tie the church decorations with the reception decorations
Dress Rehearsal: I need to fill out the card reserving things. UGH. I keep forgetting. B and I need to decide who will provide the meat... probably a local BBQ place.
Cake Decorations: I have to get started on these. Maybe a day in the next week or two can be devoted to these....I will probably start after 4/3 weekend because I want to do a few more practice ones and get B's input.
Rose Droplets: It depends on whether we get the centerpieces done with enough time. I'd like to have 3 rose droplets on the back of each chair at the reception, but if we dont' have time, these will become lanterns instead.
Table runners: Need to be sewn. This shouldn't be too complicated.
Wine Glasses: Need to be cleaned (they have logos on them right now... extras from an event) and have charms put on.

There's more, but you get the idea....

China, take III

We're going ahead with possibly getting my grandmother's china. My dad sent a new photo of the set. I LOVE it, and so does B. It's not a definite... my dad has to hint about the idea to my grandmother to make her think it up and think it was her idea.

It's a beautiful set... soup, dinner, bread, salad and saucer plates. Teacups, big salad bowl, sugar and creamer, gravy, and a few other serving pieces too. And SO many memories with this set. It really is perfect. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I love B

Two-fold today:

1) He knew my phone's battery was dead, but he still called me and left messages so that when my phone finally came on, I'd have them waiting.

2) It was a lot of effort to do part 1 of the registry this weekend, and he was tired. Since BBB has even more stuff, I asked if he wanted me to take the first run at things. He said no... that he had fun last weekend and it was a project he wanted to do with me, not separately.

Freezer, take II

This is it!!
And now, not only will our food be properly stored, but we won't have to worry! And, if we pick too many berries this summer, I won't have only a day or two to can them up before they spoil. :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Small freezer!

After weeks of hounding craigslist, we have a small chest freezer! Ok, it's actually a side-opening freezer (not a top, chest-freezer), but it's about 3.5-4 cubic square feet, and it was only $20. It works well and everything.
Ok, that's not actually it. Ours is bigger, but you get the idea. I'd take a picture of the actual freezer, but... it's kinda stuck in my car. B's down south right now. The person I bought it from helped me load it, which was an adventure.
We tried to lay it in the  backseat... 1.5" too big to fit. 
We tried to put it in the trunk (which I wasn't too happy about because it's raining outside and a 40 minute drive home), but it was 2" too big to fit. 
So finally, we laid the front seat down and passenger seat down. Then we put the freezer in over both chairs and then rotated it 90 degrees so it would lay flat on the passenger seat. Then we pushed it all the way back (because the way it was was putting my car car in permanent "park" position; I couldn't move the stick), and bungie corded it to the back headrest. B had put recycling plastic containers in the trunk, so I put those trashbags between the dashboard and the freezer, that way it was a bit more of a buffer in case the bungie didn't hold and I had to stop fast. 
MADE IT HOME! Photos will occur when it is out of the car. Maybe when it's wedged in the car too, because it's kinda impressive. 
My neighbor is going to help me unload it in the next day or two. I hope it's soon because right now I can't see out of my rearview mirror. Luckily, I take the bus to work!
But this is so nice, because now we have enough space for everything. I want to make MORE than enough food for everyone, and just a freezer wasn't going to hack it. Granted, we have 2 salads and B's mac and cheese, but still. I want a LOT of food because I'd rather have too much than run out! B agrees. 
So exciting.

Spaetzle success!

It's been years since I made spaetzle (or SpƤtzle, depending on if you want to use the umlaut or not) with my grandmother. But, I used her recipe last night and made spaetzle! YUM! Yum yum yum. I could eat a punch bowl of this stuff.

It's basically like 7 eggs and 5 cups flour and 1 cup water. You add more water or more eggs or more flour until it gets a sticky stretchy pancake batter consistency (thank goodness for my kitchenaid mixer!).
Then, you put ladels of the mixture into a Spatzle press. You can also use a cutting method where you use a knife and wood board and slice rows off into boiling water. This is more time-consuming and difficult. I swiped (well, she's loaned me) my mother's press.You wait like 30 seconds, and then the noodles float to the surface. Pull them out with a slotted spoon and put them in a collander! Voila. You can take a small amount of the boiled ones and pan-fry them too, if you want some to be crispy. That method is delicious, but not as healthy as regular boiling.
But OH SO GOOD!!! And seriously, I made enough to feed about 10 people really easily. This is going to be one of the foods at the wedding, so I'm glad a) that it turned out, and b) that it was as easy as I remember. It should also be noted that these noodles are freezeable, so I can make a bunch and freeze them without concerns.

Dear cheese,

Why must you be so expensive? I long to melt you down and stick bread on sticks and dip and eat, but you are so pricey. The yummiest recipes call for Gruyere and blue and gorgonzola, and especially the Gruyere makes me just cringe at the price tag. Even at costco, land of bargains, you remain $10.49 for 8 ounces. Why oh why?
Gruyere, I know you are merely fancy swiss cheese. Why the hate? Why the lack of love? Why can't you lower yourself down to Cheddar's level and make yourself a bit more middle-class?

PS: In case you can't tell, we went to Costco this weekend. Half an hour later after yelling out types and amounts and prices, we had all of Costco's cheeses on a notepad. Some fondue recipes were crushed (due to price), some were elevated. We tried a cheddar beer recipe last night, and that one is likely going on the list as a possibility for yes. Our friend's recipe which involves Gruyere and other expensive cheeses: Likely off. :( Sadness.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


B and I looked at china last week, and we liked a pattern that was $80 a setting (on sale... no guarantee how long that will last). We wanted 8 patterns, and that worried us since we weren't sure that would happen. We'd hate to get 3 sets and be unable to afford to purchase the remaining 5, you know? 

So, I mentioned this to my father last week, hoping he'd have suggestions about where to go. No, he's not a china expert, but that man has some interesting pockets of knowledge. He got back to me later last week with an interesting offer...

My grandmother, my Oma for those who know her, has always said that she wants me to someday take her china set. It's a NEAT pattern, beautiful raised 3-D ivy leaves encircling the borders of each plate, cup, saucer, and serving item. My grandmother doesn't entertain much anymore, and really never uses the set. My father wanted to know if he could drop a few hints to my grandmother about her using that as a wedding gift for us. 

I was torn initially... but after talking it over with B, we think it's something to delicately look into. We'd both rather have a sentimental set that was handed down to us. And, if we feel like we need a bone china fine white set with lace-flower embellishments, we've agreed that can be our 5 or 10-year anniversary gift to each other. 

There are a few things that need to be done though. Even though my Oma has always told everyone this is for me (I was the one who always oogled over it, ran my fingers over the leaves, had friends over for dinner there and birthdays, etc), I want my dad to run this idea by my sister. Then there's my grandmother... I'd like the idea to come from as if she thought of it, not my dad or me. Also, we'd like  her to keep the set until we're in a house. Any entertaining we do before then can be with our daily dishes, and this way, SHE still has them if she does want to entertain (or have my mom entertain for her at her home). This way too, we don't have to worry about the china getting broken with each move (there are at least 2 moves scheduled in the next couple of years). I'd like to have a china cabinet for them in our future house too, ready and waiting for when we finally receive them.

So a lot of ifs, but B likes the set. And you already know my thoughts. It's not exactly traditional wedding china, but I love it. B loves that it has sentimental value, and he likes the unique pattern. Looking at it materialistically, this also does free up a lot of our registry too, so we will hopefully receive more items that we will use on a more regular basis to make our lives more enjoyable belongings-wise. 

Here's a picture of the pattern. I'm going off memory, but I believe that's the set. My father is going to investigate further to make sure it is a nice set with replacements somehow available. 

It is exciting. 

Registry-ing, take II

So, after visiting Crate and Barrel, we decided to split our registry between there and Bed, Bath, and Beyond. 

For the things that show (platters, bowls, etc), we're going with a crisp white with no embellishments. That will match our current daily plate set (clean, crisp, graceful white). Glassware we're keeping all clear glass, and we're not requesting mugs, since we like our many different mugs that we have. Items on the counter on the kitchen: we're trying to keep that down, and we're making the few canisters,cups, etc that we do get have stainless steel embellishments. Things like platters, we've decided to go for a few that have wood. They are so pretty

We both really like wood-tones, but we think we can't go for too many. What if our new house has wood floors? What if we need to replace something? So we're going for a few. Wood bathmat, wood trivets for coasters, wood salad bowl and tongs. 

Still, after spending hours visiting the stores and then working on it last night (category by category, organized progression), we hardly have anything on there. We've been told by MANY people to put too much stuff on our registries so people have choices. We're trying. We'll see where we're at when we get through with BBB and C&B. 

But so far, we are SO happy. It all goes well together, and they're all classy pieces (we think) that will last and stand the in/out/modern phase. We are so excited. We're trying to think forward... what we will be using in the future and now. We have requested beautiful serving pieces that we will use and are excited about. We just can't wait. We're finally probably goign to get rid of lots of our lousy college cruddy things, and start a life together. It's more than the things... but that is nice too. (though that sounds so materialistic)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Why I love B

Begrudgingly, he was made to watch "Say Yes to the Dress" last night, because I claimed the show would show how not crazy and good on budget we were. Plus, it's entertaining, in a you-spend-too-much-money-and-are-annoying-and-look-horrible-in-that dress sort of way.

Not only does he watch it, but he provides commentary. My favorite was with one bride-to-be who was going to get married on a beach in Mexico. With enthusiasm, he yells at the screen "that's not a beach dress!" and got all grumpy when she chose one that clearly belonged more in a cathedral (he claimed).

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cake flowers and leaves

I am very excited this morning.
Last night, instead of getting up to organizing (I put it off because I took the bus to work on Thursday, thus 80% of the boxes are at my office), I folded 1 basket of red petals for lanterns AND... drumroll... made my first batch of cake flowers!
It should be noted that my darn camera (we're hopefully getting a new one soon) flash totally heightened the yellow and made it look very bright. That said, I will be diluting the yellow in the future with water so it sort of melts into the white, rather than you being able to see brush strokes.
Here's what the live ones look like:

I've never used fondant before, and that's what they're made out of. I have a silicon mold (the flower) and a plastic mold (the leaf). I've been reading up on working with fondant and molds, and I finally felt ready last night. QUITE FUN!
The plastic mold was more difficult to use than the silicon mold. I eventually had to spray then wipe it to get the fondant to mold in and then be able to come back out. The silicon was much easier.
Fondant is great because after it comes out of the mold, you can easily tweak it about, take off petals, make a petal flipped, roll a leaf, etc etc. And, for the most part, it stays in the position you tweak it to (unless gravity is really NOT on its side).
Changes in future rounds... I think I will add a pointed backing to the flower (the real ones do anyway-- see below to see stems), which will give me more of a base to put a toothpick in. I think I will dry the flowers therefore on a cookie rack, that way I can stick the toothpicks in and have them danglign below and the petals of the flowers won't get mussed up. I think I will paint the flowers and leaves after they dry, but I have to experiment to ensure that the fondant will still take the paint after it is dried (for paint, by the way, I'm using food coloring... no wackiness in real paints, don't worry).

With all these changes, I think I will have a final product that is ready-to-go onto the cake and won't need tweaking. I will be able to not fret about it! The toothpicks on the flowers (and I think I'm goign to put a toothpick on the bottom of each leaf-- at one end) will ensure that I can work them into a vertical surface. I will have icing, but if it's warm, the icing won't always hold much weight on a vertical surface. Icing + toothpick will work. And honestly, if it doesn't, at this point there's not much else I'm willing to prepare for to make this work. It either does or doesn't, and if I can't use vertical surfaces, then, well, we won't! It will still look pretty.
The green was still drying, so I couldn't take pictures, but I laid a few vanilla beans next to the leaves and flowers and moved them closer together. Oh my gosh! So pretty. The vanilla beans just hit the plumeria spot-on. They really look like branches!!! I mean, of course they aren't, but still. And oh gosh, they smell SOOO good. Right now I have the plate in my cabinet with two vanilla beans and the flowers, and whenever I open the cabinet door, this fresh vanilla sent comes out. Ahhhh....
99 days left.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I feel like I'm in an igloo.

I asked for boxes and I got boxes. The joys of working in a large office: there are boxes. And they're delightfully sturdy boxes that you can stack 6-7 high!

I need to organize at home or else I fear I will go insane. Ergo: BOXES!

There are 19 boxes currently homed in my office.


100 days from today is the wedding!


I think it's beginning to hit home how many projects we've taken on. I'm hoping this weekend will be productive so that we can see what we need to do...

To do list for tonight: ORGANIZE. I have so many things scattered everywhere, and it makes me uneasy. I'm going to print out labels... you know: "placemats & supplies", "Napkins & Silverware" etc etc and bring up all the boxes from my car. I'm SO tired of the mess. Problem is, I am SO tired when I get home. Must.

Saturday B has a lunch, so we're hitting up Costco first (checkin' out cheeze), then while he's at his lunch, I'm on the hunt for shoes and coffee carafes. Maybe swinging by target too since they (online at least) have BIG water containers. Did you know those orange gatorade cooler things at football games are $40 each? And that's if you find them cheap. Geez. When B gets out we're heading over to Crate & Barrel.

I'm a bit conflicted. We had discussed it, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond has much of what we want, so we were going to simplify things for our guests and request items from there, china from (probably) Macys and then suggest gift cards for Costco, and either Home Depot or Ikea. BUT, Crate & Barrel has a lot of cute stuff. I'm on their mailing list, and it would potentially fill in some blanks from BBB. But then we're talkign about two registries at two different places. I think if C&B doesn't make a great impression on us, then we're going to stick with BBB...

Then home to do taxes and craftiness. Those are two separate things; we're not getting crafty with our taxes.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bridesmaid outfits!

The girls are buying their shoes today! B and I bought their dresses about two months ago. I like these shoes... I really want them, actually!
We're adding a yellow ribbon wround this dress at the waist, and the girls will all have necklaces. I think yellow ribbon works... right? Fashion input pleas?
And I LOVE these shoes. They just look so comfortable. Wish they were in white.

Lantern update

We finished and strung a bunch of the lanterns, and here is the effect! I love them. They look so much more festive in-person. The flash really takes some of the life out of them. They're just so JOYOUS in person. And I can envision the tables... with things ALL matching.
Again, imagine more vibrant, celebratory colors. The flash just takes so much life out.

The table runners: 3 of the organza ribbons... the centerpieces: the same red paper. The placemats: brown, but with the ribbon accents. Lanterns on either side of the centerpiece, glowing. Menus, backed with the same colorful paper. Giftbags with ribbon accents. Chair covers: white, but with the same colors in the ties and either lanterns or rose droplets hanging in the back.

Oh my. It all makes me very happy.

B went back south again yesterday EARLY morning. That fantastic man went and got a ream of paper, and he is cutting circles down there and taught a friend of ours to do it too. My friend Jenn may also help us out. The thing with the lanterns is that while they're pretty, they're time-consuming. So the fact that people are pulling together for us is so touching.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Why I love B

We were at the store on Saturday, and I was toddling around in the fabric section. I really pity him on this, because, well, it's the fabric section. Even when you think I'm done and standing in line, fabrics are still calling out and tempting me to step out of line and examine them... again and again and again...

Anyway, while we were there, not only does B pick out the yellow ribbon for the bridesmaids dresses (on his own!!), but he gets this green ribbon. When I ask him why he's getting a yard of green ribbon, he says "because it's not expensive, and it makes me happy. The color is pretty. Sometimes you just have to enjoy that make you happy." He's letting me borrow it for St. Patty's day tomorrow. I think he may use it as a bookmark after that.

I love that man.

Why I love B

I have decided to add in a new element to the blog. Yes, cheesy, but it's a way for me to remember little things. It will be entitled "Why I love B," and will have that label. There are lots of small little things, and this way, I won't forget them.


I really ADORE this shoe, but it's mostly sold in the UK, and the price is 195 British pounds ($274). I may love shoes, but I've discovered I love inexpensive shoes. I can't justify $274 (plus shipping) on a pair of shoes I'm going to wear once.

There may be a way around this though... Stay tuned.
Men are lucky. Black shoes? Check. Polished? Check. Shoelaces nice? Check. Ok, they're done.


Registries... tons of fun? It was, sorta. There's a lot more that goes into this than I think either of us realized.

1) What are the realistic price ranges for our friends/family. We may love that $600 pot set, but that's not something we should count on getting. A lot of our friends are young, and have more important things to devote their money than to a $600 pot set for J & B. So, we're trying to find a lot of items in the $20-$60 range, as well as a lot of smaller items. And, of course, there's the occassional big item that we hope we get.

2) Piecemail sets or not? So we can't get the $600 pot set (We wouldn't, most likely, and please, seriously, if you were going to get us that pot set, please just give us a check instead!)... so should we order a set piecemail? As in, one person gets us a $40 pan, another gets us a $40 pot, etc etc. Well, we realized THAT'S risky, because what if we get only 2 pots and pans? We'd be left buying ourselves the rest of the set... I think we decided to not put down pots and pans, and instead to plan on buying those for ourselves from Costco. Costco is goign to be on our registry, but only as a place where we list "giftcards only".

3) How do you indicate preference? Yes, a panini maker would be AWESOME, but we'd prefer to get two flatware sets (I think those are the ones we liked... B has it written down). And while they may seem typical, we'd really like the kitchen canisters . I wish there was a ranking system.

4) The quantity of things to put on the registry. This sort of goes with #3. Say we NEED 20 things. Well, that's not enough for the registry. So we add in 50 things that we like, but don't need. How do you indicate those that you need?

5) We will be moving. In the next year and a half, we want to get a house... so everything we request has to be NOT geared to our current apartment. You wouldn't think this would be hard, but it is. For eg, B has a love of potracks and we need some sort of under counter wineglass holder, but we don't know if either will fit into where we eventually end up. So we have to go with the items that will be flexible, because we'd hate someone to buy us somethign that we can't use in the near future.

6) Styles... We don't want to go for the "in" things too much. Misseireann had the good anology for me of "don't be like the 70's people and request things in avocado color." Hm.

7) Colors. Do you realize how much kitchen stuff is nowadays in color?? Rachel Ray has some CUTE cookware sets , KitchenAid too , and while they're adorable, a) how will we know we want that color in 5 years, b) how will we know that color will go with our future home, c) replacements will be hard to find, and d) how do you get all them to match? You'll get stuck buying from one brand only, hoping they don't discontinue the tomato red color or something. Plus, who's to say tomato red won't be "oh-so out" in a year? Grumble. I actually had this problem when someone bought me a wonderful Kitchenaid mixer for grad school graduation. I really wanted a colorful one, but I opted for a silver finish one because it'd went with just about any decor and wouldn't go out of style. And I am SOO glad I did.

There are other issues, but you get the gist.
I suppose the result of all this is that if you don't get what you need, you buy it yourself. And really, this all sounds materialistic because it's about gifts. We're expecting gifts, and that feels weird.

I've seen lots of bad registries (too many places, too many things that don't go together, too haphazardly put together, too many cheap things, too many expensive things, too many things, too few things, etc etc), and B and I are TRYING to not fall into those categories. We have a list of things we want right now, but nothing's officially been scanned into a registry. We have about 3 weeks to get it done, but that's not a problem.

But, I must finish with a rave about my future husband. He is wonderful. He actually convinced me out of a sage coverlet with fantastic decor flexibility and cat fur arguments. And he made a great argument for a different set of china because the one we both liked didn't have the lace pattern china details. And I totally agreed. He makes me see things from different perspectives. Sometimes we agree, sometimes we don't. Sometimes he compromises, sometimes I do, sometimes we both do. He really does make me better.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I gave in... Giftbags.

It may not be the most creative, but we're going to gussy it up a bit. I talked it over with B, and he agreed that he'd rather focus on other projects and not be stressed than add additional projects such as the giftbags. We'll still have work to do on them, but we decided to purchase white paper sandwich bags for giftbags. 

I think they will look good; we'll cut them down, add a ribbon tie on top, and put some paper on the sides and organza on the bottom. 

We just thought that while other bags may look better, it's not like they're going to become heirlooms for our guests. Besides, it should be about what's inside the box not the box, right?

It's sad but happy at the same time. One project is smaller (happy!), but it's a bit of a capitulation (sad)... but maybe not. I'll have to see what they look like, you know? 

Who knows, maybe we'll change our minds again. But, the bags were pretty inexpensive, so we can afford to ditch that idea of need be. 

Friday, March 13, 2009


For those who know me, you know I adore the Sound of Music. And, my heritage (B's too, though not as immediately traceable) is French, German, Austrian, Polish, Italian, etc. So Edelweiss, a favored Alpine flower, has particular significance to me. I even have a pendant with a dried flower inside.

I haven't discussed it with the father yet, but I think the Edelweiss song may be our father-daughter dance at the wedding. He already made the comment of "what soung of music song will we be dancing to?" har har. But it's a beautiful song and easily waltz-able.

So, imagine my delight when I found dried Edelweiss. The bouquets and bouts are going to be yellow flowers... and I think it will be possible to wire in these on the top of my bouquet, and maybe put one on B's bout also. Special touch to things, I think.

Aren't they gorgeous? So unique... or, if you want to sing the song "small and white, clean and bright, you look happy to greet me."

Haven't really told my friend, Kerry (who's doing the flowers) about this new development... but I hope she won't mind. It's something that if it works, it works, but if it doesn't then it doesn't!

Aren't they beautiful?

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I'm thinking something like this pattern... though I haven't gotten B's feedback on it yet. I love that it has the swirly, curly handles, but yet the rest of the design is elegant. AND, best yet, the price per set is on sale: $39.99 for 5-piece setting. I'd heard from someone that if you make the price much higher (analyzing your group of friends, their income, their student loans, etc etc etc), you may not get all the settings you want. I think this is most doable. And, there are other items that we can also request so we have the full set (platters, sugar bowl, etc etc). Must talk to B...
Here's the item's description:
"Bright fine china is simply adorned with a band of platinum for an unforgettably elegant table. The Cameo Platinum design is perfect for formal dinners, teas, and luncheons. The wide rims and flowing lines add graceful touches to any table."

Giftboxes. Hmm.

Hmm... So we were all set and ready to use these pyramid-ish type boxes. Thing is, there is a lot of folding (sounds easy, but to get a straight line it isn't really...) and there's gluing. But they are cute! And spacious... and we can make them. But if you don't get it flat, it's easy to have a rocky giftbox, which isn't good. Hmmm.. The bottom also has to be decently able to close b/c the opening is on the bottom and you don't want guest gifts spilling out...

And then I saw these. Granted, they have an ADORABLE chicken pattern on them right now, which makes me just swoon. That aside, I like these, and they'd be easier to make. Cutting only, no folding or gluing. And the opening is on top, not the bottom, so no accidental spillage of contents. The surface area is greater on these, possibly, but there wouldn't be any topsy-turviness. I think I like them better....
Think think think...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Placemats, part 1

So, I completed the first half on 59 placemats. They're 12 inches across, so the plates, centered, will have 1" on each side. Plus, the plates have a lip, so you can actually see more of the placemat, if you're looking at it from an angle. 

Step 1: Acquire chipboard. Basically: thick cardboard, but solid.

Step 2: Spray glue! Use towel behind this so you don't ruin furniture. Gloves also help, but I toughed it out. make sure glue isn't too thick, otherwise it will soak through and make the material look wet.

Step 3: Put material on. Have it pre-cut and already ironed... REALLY ironed. I steamed it so it was REALLY flat and easy to use. Smooth out any bubbles or rough spots.
Step 4: See how the material is bigger than the cardboard? I learned it's easiest to have at least 1" on all sides. Less than that and it's hard to put the cardboard on right on the material with the spray glue. Yes... complicated. Oh well. After 59 you get the hang of it!
Step 5: Hot glue (or somehow tack) the edges up on the cardboard on the back. Works out easiest if you can cut the material at an angle on the edges so the chipboard on the corners doesn't show through. If you look just at the material, you see that it's square.
Quasi-final product. Top view. Yes... it's a brown, material-covered square.

Next step: Ribbon. We made one practice one so B could give his seal of approval... but that's for tomorrow night. Tonight I make lanterns.

Lantern circles and folded circle petals

Thought I'd post some pictures from our weekend o' fun. 

Here are the scraps from having cut out all the circles. 
Proof of having cut out the circles... here are the circles! There are lots of layers, so this isn't SO impressive, but if you were to see how many layers there are, you'd be impressed. There are probably about 1500 circles here.

Red circles, folded. Jenn dubbed them "petals." I liked it.

Same basket, different angle. And B's sexy sexy foot. Oh baby!
I'm taking a break from attaching them all posting! 

Monday, March 9, 2009

MARCH snow?

This isn't Goldie, but....
you get the idea. My car had about this much snow on it this morning! Luckily, it was not frozen snow, so I only had to take the broom end of my ice scraper (2' long, brush on one end, chipper on other, comfort grip... B's dad is AWESOME b/c he bought it for us), and brush it off. The rear-view window only had light ice.

But still. MARCH! SNOW? You should see my building... it feels like we're in a cloud, but it's just because of the swirling snow.

I suspect it will change to rain later today. And sludge. It's not sticking on much right now... only cars and the tops of buildings.

FUN weekend!

Sucky Saturday aside, what a FUN weekend!

Friday evening: Jenn came over and learned how to make lanterns. I think she's now addicted. We cut out so many circles (you need 20 circles per lantern), and she made a bunch of lanterns! She likes all of the ideas, which is so comforting you know? I think it's pretty easy to get side-tracked and lose track of if everything goes together.

We also tried out one fondue recipe... she liked it, and it wasn't bad.... but the cheese didn't do what we wanted to It was good, but all the solid cheese bits somehow became tasteless (after an hour or two) and migrated to the bottom of the pot. This left cheese-flavored cream at the top (which wasn't bad), but the overall impact wasn't too positive after about hour 2. I'm not sure what caused it. I'm liking more and more Erin's idea about using the Campbell's cheddar soup instead of cheddar cheese. I wouldn't have the problem with the grated cheese bits, right? So maybe cheddar soup, blue/gorgonzola, wine, cider, salt/pepper, and some sort of swiss-type cheese. I know gueyere (spelling?) cheese is often recommended for fondue, but I think it's expensive. I think we may have to scout out Costco...

Saturday: Besides the sucky morning... B had to go to a conference during the day. So I cut cut cut circles and more circles. And then folded more circles. I took photos, will post later today.

Sunday: We changed from red to orange and repeated Saturday. Thing is, on Saturday I was able to actually construct a bunch of lanterns, whereas on Sunday, we just prepared the circles (cut, fold, separate) for construction. I also did the first parts on the placemats: cut fabric, ironed, spray glued onto backing, and tucked in sides. My goal was to set up one complete placemat before B had to leave this morning, that way he could tweak and change what he didn't like. I like having his input, and it feels a lot better to work on a project that he likes and agrees with rather than me just being bull-headed, my-way-only girl. I took photos of the process, but I'll post those later today when I have the entire process photographed (missing 3 steps right now).

Today: My goal for today (besides work) is to photograph the remaining steps of the placemats. Then, it's wedding stuff aside because I have to work on a couple of presents for people.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wedding prep update

I haven't posted much wedding update stuff this week because I've been cleaning and working on invites. I don't want any surprises ruined for those people who look at this who are getting an invite by posting the photos! Post-mailing though, many photos will be posted.

I will move on to other projects today, so THOSE photos will be posted sometime soon!

113 days till the wedding.

There is pizza in the kitchen...

"There is Pizza in the Kitchen"
There is yummy pizza in the firm kitchen
It is so calling out to me
But if I go and get some
My thighs thinner will not be.
So I am sitting in my office
At my computer do I stare
My door is closed and heater on
I'm pretending pizza is not there.
But the pizza, it calls to me
Oh the pizza, it's so good and smellies!
But to give myself a treat that's not pizza
I have a diet dr. pepper and 10 jelly bellies.
Pizza I won't give into you!
I finally am getting more room in my pants!
So, I will sit here in my office
With my jelly bellies, dr pepper, and ENDURANCE!

The apartment is clean & GUAVAS! & fondue!

And it feels good. Well.... I should elaborate: 2/3 of it is clean. The bedroom is more of a laundry-keeper than a bedroom at this point, and the office is FULL of boxes and wedding stuff. Laundry: this weekend. I need to sort, but I figure that will be done out in the living room where there's more space (and not bed for socks to flee under). Office: this weekend. I'm going to go to Home Depot and get a bunch of boxes. I want relatively uniform boxes so I can stack them with little effort and they won't fall over, and Home Depot offers those kind. I plan on plastering them with labels so I don't have to paw through all of them every time I'm needing something.

But seriously, cat fur. Why does my vacuum not want to pick it up? I mean, it gets SOME of it, but I still know the carpet has lots there.

Rumpole has forgiven me for yelling at him (though I think he learned his lesson). I woke up this morning nose to nose with him as he purred up a storm.

Tonight is end of the week fun with Jenn-- FINALLY! She's coming over (and giving me a ride home, bless her) to get all craftified, eat delicious broiled sandwiches, and try my guavatinis. Ok, they're not true martinis because there's no gin, but still, delightfully yummy. Guava juice (try it; it's delicious), sparkling water or lemon soda, and vanilla vodka. We decided to get all splurgified tonight, so poor B is going to come home to girlie fest 2009. We may even rent that Chihuahua movie. Luckily, though B is quite manly, he is a great helper, so I think he'll take part rather than scoff and retreat to the laundry-filled bedroom. But SO much fun; I cannot wait.

I had hoped to try out a few fondue recipes tonight to figure out which one(s) we'll have at the reception, but dang all the recipes are full of expensive cheese. Um, hello, can I please have a recipe that calls for like plain cheddar and wine? Ugh. I would feel all guiltified if I spent $50 on a pot of fondue. Grumble. I'll keep searching, but for now the plan-stan is to have fantastic broiled sandwiches. We'll see if fondue gets added to the list...

Nom nom nom...

I have been SO good all week long. SO GOOD! I think I will be careful tonight and not overdo it, but I will also have a little fun. I'm not going all diet nutto, but I have lost a few lbs, and I am quite happy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Rumpole is lucky to be alive. BAD CAT. He normally is WELL behaved, and I don't know what got into him this evening. But he was so bad that all I had to do was LOOK at him and he turned into boneless cat, lying on his back in a mound of fur, staring up at me with huge eyes, terrified because he knew he had been BAD.

Their litter box gets cleaned every other day. It has been every other day, plus a few hours. He was NOT happy about this. So what does the bastard cat do? He finds a shoebox of mine, full of circles I had cut to make lanterns. And he pees in it. I didn't even realize what he had done, but then he made that scratching noise that all cats do after they've gone-- he scratched the litter... but in this case, it was circles. I realized the scratching noise was coming from the wrong direction-- not the direction of the litter box.

Wrath of Jessika ensued.

He is currently on top the bed, trying to make himself as small as possible. Whenever I come in, his ears go against his head, and he looks up at me, pitifully. Crazily enough, I feel bad for yelling at him... but he deserved it! Oh the BAD CAT. 

I finally put Paddington next to Rumpole... Pads is a comfort cat, and he usually has a calming influence. I just checked again, and there's Pads, next to Rumpole. If cats could talk, Pads would be saying "You know you brought this on yourself. You can't do that! But it's ok, man, it's ok." I know, I'm personifying again, but that is SO the way they are sitting there. 

I am glad I didn't have ALL the circles in one spot. And really, they're just circles. Could have been worse. But still, BAD cat. BAD BAD BAD.

Now Rumpole, would you please let me pet you without you looking sad and miserable? Don't punish ME for your wrongdoings.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wine glass charms!

My wonderful friend, Tiana, had a gift certificate to a bead shop. Rather than spend it all on herself, she not only bought a bunch of beads for wine glasses for the wedding, but she also bought me a new (awesome!!) pendant. 

Here are the pendants. Yea, they're currently in a pile, but the charms are all clasped, so hopefully there won't be any casualties. The small beads are actually more of a silverish gray peacock color, not greenish like they are in the photo. The wooden beads are almost all different, so we'll achieve our goal of having each person able to identify their wine glass or water glass. We have a few extra glasses, but not nearly enough for each person to take multiples, you know?

Here's a better close-up shot of a few. Most of them have reds and oranges and yellows in the colors, so they look really neat!

And I HAD to include a post of the neat pendant. I love masks. I only have a few so far (my rules are I have to go to the country and get it, or a friend has to bring it back for me, so no ordering online. Sigh), but this just makes me so happy.
But he needs a name. Thoughts?

B approved

So the napkin/placecard/menu ideas are all on. Hooray!

Place cards pt. 3 and menu!

Now this solves a whole slew of issues.

Napkins: folded flat across the plate. I like that. Clean. Put the MENU on top the napkin, and the menu, though on white paper, will have a colorful backing, so it will stick out from the menu.

Put the giftbox in front of the plate (like at the 12 o'clock position). The giftbox has the person's name on it, and can match the card hanging on the wall (see last post).

Problems all solved. I can live without the stained wood idea in an earlier post. This looks classy. And the look of napkin rings... it's one I can live without. And this way, the napkins don't really have to be folded either. Press and store.

And yes, our plates are square.

Placecards, pt. 2

Hm. I like this idea, and it goes with our colors too. But I still am hung up about the napkins. Hm
I am not digging the zebra print though. THAT would change.

Napkin rings & placecards...

Hm. I am stumped over napkin rings and place tags. I'd like them all to match: construct the napkin ring out of something also used to have names on for table location, and then the peson's actual table placecard.

I like the idea of a small piece of wood, stained walnut. Then that can hang on the wall with someone's name on it and table. They'd go to that table number, and find their name on the placecard, which, will also match the wall one in size and color (the placecards will be on the giftbags, btw). Then the napkin ring will have the same thing, and will stay on the napkin by a ribbon tied through holes drilled through it.

I hope that's an ok visual image.

The thing is, that's 300ish little pieces of wood, each of which will need to be cut, sanded, stained, glued (name), and maybe drilled. UGH. I'm up for it, but other things are more important, you know?

So I'm left wondering wondering. What will work? Is there an easier way?

I thought of scrabble tiles, and I thought it'd be adorable: 3 tiles glued across with one's name on it (the scrabble letters on the back), and then the table number could go underneath as a glued-on 4th tile. But that gets expensive quickly.

Yea, I could go with plain paper. That will work. But I love how stained wood looks, and this is one of my only opportunities to play around with it in our decor.

Grumble. I even thought of biscuit joinders, size #20. Those would work! But they won't hold the stain well and they have no wood grain.

Boo. hiss. I think I need to google image more placecards.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I hate Sunday evenings

With B taking this temporary job down south, every Sunday leaves me a blubbery mess. Either he has to leave to go back down south, or I have to leave to go north. If we weren't in this stupid lease up here and if we knew his job was permanent (and not just a fantastic temporary gig), we could pay the punishment, break the lease, and move to the midway point. But no... we choose to live NORTH of where I work, and the midway point is way SOUTH of where I work, so it's not possible for him to make a commute every day. 

So I'm stuck with weekends. There's no argument it's a fantastic opportunity. There's no grumpiness over him taking the job-- it's wonderful! Perfect for him. But I hate saying goodbye. I dread it throughout Sunday. Silly, right? I mean, I'm going to see him later on in the week. But I hate it. We both get all dreary-deary and sad.

SIGH. So that's me. Dreary and sad right now. :( It's a Sunday evening.