Friday, May 29, 2009

Busy busy!

Photos will be posted... sometime this weekend since we're going to Costco and batteries are on the "to get" list.

This weekend boasts: coffee with a former professor, massive trip to Costco and Walmart, oil in cars changed, consult with make up gal, meeting with friends to obtain bridesmaid dress that I have to put a corset in, wedding ring shopping, and dinner with B. Granted, B's with me for most of those (not the coffee or the makeup gal), so the dinner is sort of the icing on the busy day. And that's Saturday! Sunday: Cooking, cooking, cooking.

The cake birds are STILL adorable. Must take photos. B's going to base paint them white this weekend. And, he gets to paint the cake flowers in food coloring. He seems REALLY excited about this.

Life is a busy whirlwind. As far as weight, I'm happy! I'm still about 10 from my lowest point, but I'm ok with that-- I looked really thin then on my chest in photos and I don't want that for the wedding (how I can still have a behind but yet you can see my sternum bumps is ridiculous. Darn body). So yay, especially since the dress fitting is MONDAY! I boxed up the dress, shoes, and veil which are sitting in my office (since I won't go home until after the fitting Monday-- headed south this weekend). My coworkers keep trying to get me to take the dress out, but nope, not now! Maybe post-fitting. :)

I'm normally one at work to take on additional projects and whatnot, but I'm having to put the brakes on for June. Seriously, it's like I have two jobs: wedding planner and my day job. I get home by 6 and work on things! But, 29 days (ONLY) remain. Things are definitely coming together.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cake birds, placemats, dress rehearsal...

Last night was busy!

Finished cake bird #2. He has to dry. Then he'll get painted and an outfit made. I can't wait. I'm hoping to do it on Thursday night, but we'll see.

Last night I also made and finished all the dress rehearsal and dress rehearsal dinner invitations. I think most people already know the deal, but I wanted to send out official invites, you know?

Finally, last night I worked on placemats. I have the goal of finishing those tonight... but we'll see.

That leaves the gift bags-- to do this weekend. We already finished one round of biscotti. I will work on another round tonight. We're going to do the dipping at B's this weekend. Well, he'll work on that while I cook.

Next week I work on linens, and then... wow! We're nearing the end. I mean, LOTS of odds and ends, but it's really getting there!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I had an overall great weekend, that was a bit clouded by childish actions on someone's behalf (not B). Ever feel like you were REALLY hurt by someone, but the more you react the more they get defensive and mad? I'm so sick and tired of swallowing my pride with these people.

Ever feel like if you were someone else (a friend, rather than best friend, a neighbor rather than family) with someone, then they would treat you better? Why is it that the people whom we're supposed to be closest to (family, etc) we're treated the worst by? Is it because we'll supposedly be by their sides no matter what?

Nothing is a never-talk-to-them-again offense, but I'm just tired of feeling like I've been kicked in the gut. It's these little jabs of meanness. And if I say anything, I'm labeled as "oooh, sensitive."

So what do I do? Say something and risk really sticking my foot in my mouth? Say something and risk massive grumpiness at the wedding? Or remain quiet and let these ulcers they've caused get larger?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Big day. Swearing Time.

I usually keep job stuff off this site, but on a day like today, I'll make an exception.

Today I become an attorney. Holy crud.

I passed the bar exam a few weeks ago. I took it in late February, found out the results mid-April. I couldn't get sworn in until AFTER the official ceremony, which I didn't go to for various reasons. So today is the day. Private quick ceremony with parents and B and a judge. Raise right hand, etc etc. Swear. And then basically become liable for any and all actions I do.

I'd kind of been playing this down. For me, passing the bar was the HUGE, massively huge, deal. The swearing just seemed like a formality.

But as today faces me, I realize that today is a culmination of sorts. I look back over all the challenges, all the education, all the trials (no pun intended) and tribulations. In a sense, all has been working for this. Today a small part ends and another begins. One could argue the new part began on May 1 when I officially switched job titles to attorney, but I was still limited in what I could do without actually being "official."

I should add that of COURSE the cats decided to lay on my black suit I had laid out, resulting in a waste of about 20 lint sheets and 30 minutes of my time. But, finally fur-less, I'm ready. Granted, I have a day of work ahead of me before this comes along, but I'm ready.

One chapter closes, one chapter begins. This is in the professional book.

Next month, another chapter closes, a new one begins. This is in the personal life book.

Change can be good and astounding at times.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ringbearer outfit!

This is his outfit, minus the hat. Isn't it great? We may not have the bowtie; we'll see. And, best of all, he already has the outfit! No extra cost to us or his parents. I'm making a little pillow to attach to his back as a backpack, and on that pillow the rings will be tied (so he can't grab at them). And he'll have a yellow rose patch on him in lieu of a live rose boutoniere. :)

This is our ringbearer! Adorable, right?

Cake BIRD!!!

I made my first cake bird last night. AND IT TURNED OUT!! We got two cubes of clay (one per bird). It looks so freakin' cute!

I put two LONG thick kabob sticks for legs. We can cut them down post-wedding, but for now, I need them to go deep into the cake so the bird can stand up and not tip over. I also used 4" long toothpicks inside so that there is extra structure to the bird (no heads falling off, please!).

We will need to paint them, then add the little top hat, beaks, maybe a few feathers, veil, etc. I will probably use copper wire and wrap that around the legs to make them look more leggish.

But it is SO CUTE!!! Photos to come (when I find my camera and find batteries...)!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Damage control and organization

I found out today that the track meet in town the day of the wedding isn't any small track meet. It's the US Track & Field's National Championships (and junior championships). Ack. Add to that info that the reception hall is only a mile away.

We knew it was an event, but we didn't realize the magnitude. And, it's on campus, so we will not be able to take pictures at our grad school like we wanted (unless we hop away from the reception for a moment, which we're thinking of doing).

So damage control was done today: email, facebook message, or phone call has been placed (or scheduled to be placed) to every single person who has not yet RSVP'd or has RSVP'd yes. The message had detailed "reserve hotel asap" info and "refer to wedding website for recommended routes and places to avoid." So here's hoping it all works out.

Additional email sent out this morning about hall prep. If the reception hall books on Friday, then we can't set up the reception hall on Friday and will be forced to do it Saturday morning. Obviously, we will need helpers for this so to not lose our minds. SO an email went out to a ton of friends today so B and I can hopefully develop a "emergency hall prep contact list" of people in case the hall books.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Philly and more

My sis just graduated from school, so I flew out this weekend to see her and celebrate. Tired today; more on the US Airways (the bastards!) drama later. Long story short: red eye out on friday night, flight back on Sunday evening.

She was happy she got to show me her school, and that we were there to celebrate (just the parents and me).

B cleaned the apartment on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. I'm really appreciative. Though I wish a bit more had been done, I can't really say anything because I was gone on a "trip," right? And what wasn't done is stuff I will have to do and find time for this week. Sigh.

With the invites done, other projects can be moved to. I'm excited, since I've been so dwelling on invites for too long and other projects have stagnated. More projects and DIFFERENT projects. Hurray!

I saw photos of me in philly. Why does my butt refuse to lose weight? I swear, I am pear-shaped defined. What makes me more mad though is the face. I LOOK pudgy in my face, because my face is one of the first places to gain weight. SO FRUSTRATING. So here I am, a mere 15 lbs from my goal, but yet I still look like I've overweight. So annoying.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Invites are done. Well, there are 3 address stragglers whom we haven't been able to get in touch with, but yes. Done with all we can do! Only one mess-up so far; two of our friends have long last names that begin with A (Arenberg, Arsenault), and we sent at least Arsenault's invite to Arenberg. Oops. No hard feelings, but now I have an email out to Arsenault as to whether he received an invite. Oh well. Try your best, right? I suspect there may be 1-2 invites that left out the website card. When you do assemblyline that happens... I hope not though. I figure if we did, people will call us or our families.

MORE IMPORTANT THAN INVITES: Hannah has been born to Erin and Brian! Read all about her and anticipate anxiously photos of her. I bribed her sister into sending me a few, but I can't wait to see more. It was a heck of a labor, poor Erin. Her description of "I tried a bit of everything" was pretty accurate.

I'm leaving this evenign to head out to Philly for my sis's graduation. B came up last night so we could get past a squabble we had on Wednesday when I was down there to see him. Oh nice. B comes back up this weekend for a meeting, though I won't be in town. He asked for a list of things to do, and I gave him one, making sure to indicate what was truly important versus kinda important. If he does any of those, life will be so much better for me. The apartment is slowly recovering from invites.

Whenever I do a big project, I wish I had less stuff. Stuff clutters. It makes me want to move. Moving can be a cleansing process, you know? I want to move. I want to move closer to B.

I am taking no wedding stuff with me-- only work stuff. Hopefully that will give me a leg up next week. My parents are in town beginning Friday... some point before then, I have to clean out my car. It is such a pit right now; pussy willow twigs and buds all over the place and a winter of dust and grime. Ew. In my defense, it has been raining the last few days... ok, last few weeks, so I couldn't do it! But I can now, so I guess I have no excuse come Monday-Thursday.

Oh a totally unrelated side-note, the flavors cinnamon and black licorice should totally be stopped by Jelly Belly. Ew. Ok, cinnamon has some redeeming value. But not the black licorice. Bleh.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Worn out.

I'm tired. I'd had coffee. It's not that I'm not awake. I'm also alert. I just feel worn down. Exhausted. Like there's a huge weight on my shoulders. Like I want to just throw my hands up in the air, shout a surrender, and then collapse into bed and watch tv.

I sound like such a whiner. Sorry. I'm just mentally, emotionally, and physically spent.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Life this week

Busy but good. Monday was met with work, starting after the long drive from where B's at. Mailed 20 invites. Monday evening: CLEANED. Oh Lordy, it felt GOOD. I also got the memory foam mattress thing for B so he can sleep better.

Tuesday: laundry! The joy of clean clothes. I also picked up 7 lbs of rhubarb and 40 pussy willow branches. They are great; like 1/2- 3/4" diameter at the bottom. The most excellent thing was because they had been closed a few times when I was told they would be open (thus a few fruitless trips and some frustration), they gave me the rhubarb at $1/lb and the branches at $0.50 each. WOO!

So, $27 later, my car was packed with a box of rhubarb, 40 willow branches (and they're big... like 5' tall each), and a memory foam mattress. I should add that my car windows and trunk can all close!! I'm very proud of my packing. AND, this is great because now I only have to take them out down at B's place tonight, rather than load/unload/load again, losing the fuzzy buds in the process. If my windows/trunk were not able to close then I'd have been forced to figure another thing out since I'm not leaving those open in the parking garage downtown.

Poor B... tonight he gets greeted with 40 willow branches. We've already discussed how to store.

Tonight we hope to finish the final 24 invitations. Total there were 92. NINETY-TWO! Crazy. We're not expecting all of those folks to show, obviously. Luckily, we're flexible up to 168 on tables and 135 on chairs. but, more chairs can easily be acquired. Again, poor B-- I asked that dinner be ready to go that way when I get there we can get to work.

As far as chair covers, I've solved the dilemma: we're going to wrap material around the BACKS of the chairs and have a sash on them, but we're not going to do 100% chair covers. It will look fine, and we wont' have to spend $100s on chair covers that we have to go to the hassle of reselling. B and I talked about it and we like this solution.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Invitation photo

Ok, it's not the greatest photo, but here is our invite (that I can now post since I think those who regularly check this blog have seen them if they were invited)...

The actual invite is wood. Sanded and stained, then sprayed with two templates and little leaves and orange and yellow dots hand-painted on. Then all outlined. Then our wedding announcement (on good photopaper) is adhered. This was all put in a hand-sewn bag, and tied with a ribbon wrapping around.

There was a hand-made yellow envelope that contained our RSVP card, but I didn't photograph that. And, also, the website card was included too.

The orange, yellow, and red are all our exact colors in the wedding. Very summery, very bright.

Monday monday.

Fun day on Saturday with friends. Wedding work on Sunday.

Invites are almost all done. Goodness, enough blogging was done on them, right?

I have the goal this week of cleaning my poor poor apartment and also gluing on the roses we have onto centerpieces to see how many centerpieces we have and how many to go. FINALLY another project other than invites. Whee!

The place closed before I got there on Thursday, so I'm going to TRY and get willow branches this afternoon after work. I may call the place so as to hold them to their "oh sure, we'll be open till 6" claim. My foot. I got there at 6:01 on Thursday and the place was closed up and silent as a nunnery. I suspect some folks left early. Cheeky suckers. But they're selling nice willow branches, so I mustn't complain too loudly. If all else fails, B can get them this weekend, but I'd rather avoid that since his car is smaller than mine and thus, the branches would be a PAIN to transport.

Got two new Noelle Dass prints this weekend. I LOVE HER WORK. I got "Pig Blowing Bubbles" and "The Joy of Homecoming". LOVE THEM. I also got "Simple Pleasures" for Baby Stenz -- her request after perusing the prints and loving that one. The prints are wonderful and totally brighten up my office. Eh, heck with it, I'll post pics below:
(mine has a smile on his face)
"MUST... GET... BALL!"

Aren't they great!?

This weekend will be crazy-- I'm back east to see my sister's graduation. And down to visit B on Wednesday. Oh yea, and the wedding is in less than 50 days. AH!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Day 3 of 130+ miles of driving...

I went down to visit B on Wednesday evening after work, drove back Thursday morning before work, and then I'm driving down for the weekend tonight. It's not a bad drive, but YAWN. The 3 days of it is what's tiresome. Darn the mcdonalds at the halfway point. So tempting. Always.

I asked B if he could have dinner and a movie awaiting me when I got there. Something simple, you know? That way I can just crash.

Good news: Friends of ours are bringing down the mini-freezer on Saturday. Woo not having to drive 130 miles with it in my car, blockin' my view. They have a big SUV so it's not such a blockade for them. And Saturday will be spend touring around town with them, then dinner in the evening with other friends. Sunday: invites and lanterns. I have the car stocked with supplies.

Didn't get to the farm place in time yesterday to get the pussywillow branches. I'll try next week and if no luck, then B can go next weekend.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Stuff Stuff Stuff

So, invitations will be done by Monday. Over half have been sent. Woo!

I realized that though we'll have a lot of lanterns, we won't be able to cluster them as much as maybe we had initially wanted to. It's just not humanly possible.


I saw last weekend that our favorite farm out on Sauvie Island had pussywillow branches for $1 per 4-5' branch.

I think they would look REALLY pretty. And talk about not breaking the bank. I'm trying to figure out how I'd have them arranged though. I could always drill holes in a block of wood, stick a sandbag over the wood, and then cover that up with material. Hmmm...... hmm hmmm. Why do darn vases have to be so expensive?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Friends are good.

Friends of ours might bring the freezer down south to B's new place. How awesome! So I won't kill myself on the road!

Another friend did all the lettering on our invites.

Other friends are helping in other ways.

SO lovely.

Got a lot of work done on the remaining invites last night. Very happy. 4 more mailed today.

It has not stopped raining. DOWNPOUR last night. Crazy.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Rhubarb and chicken

No, not in the same recipe.

I bought one of those rotisserie chicken this weekend... USED IT IN THREE MEALS!

Meal one: I bought one of those cheap cheese $3 pizzas at the store, and then used the chicken breastmeat to dress it up (along with some tomatoes and feta). If you slice the tomatoes on top of the pizza (creating sort of a shell), it keeps the chicken moisture in! We then put some avocado on the finished pizza (after it came out of the oven). DELICIOUS.

Meal two: Tortilini was on sale for $2.50/pack, so I cooked that up with some of the chicken. Used a bit of the feta, then put in some of my homemade, jarred-up pasta sauce. Yum.

Meal three: Put the chicken carcass in my big crock pot on high for about 4 hours. Result: 6 quarts of chicken stock. WOW! And, then I could peel the rest of the meat off the bones really easily. Added in some of my pre-canned carrots and celery, put in potatoes, rice, pasta and tofu, the rest of the chicken meat, and voila. Soup.

At $4.99 -$6.99 (depending on if on sale) per chicken, the rotisserie chicken really has made me re-think buying chicken stock. You can also control the saltiness this way. For 2 liters the darn stuff in the store runs you $5, when it's on sale. Shoot! And I got so much more of it this way. I think I will make and freeze the next batch.

Also, rhubarb was on sale this week at our local farm. We made enough to make 2 pies-- one for my work and one for B's... and then some little pies for us in the cupcake tins. Here's the recipe I used... It was ok. I think next time I will turn to more of an apple crumble recipe for rhubarb. This was ok, just it turned out pretty sticky. BUT, it was super-simple, so that is definitely a benefit on it's side.

2 cups diced fresh rhubarb
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup shortening

Toss all the rhubarb stuff together and mix. For the topping, mix together the dry and then the wet, and then combine. I think I mixed mine for too long; it turned into almost a dough. SO I just make it into small quarterish-sized patties and put that on top the rhubarb.Worked nicely. You may want to put some more sugar in the topping.

It tasted so good with ice cream. And, we made all of it with $4 of rhubarb. Yay for sales.

NPR recently ran a radio series on "how to cook for 4 for $10." I think that's misleading. If you carefully budget, you can use items multiple times. The chicken, for example... $5 chicken, $2.50 tortilini, $3 pizza. Other miscellaneous ingredients: Probably about $5. So, for about $15.50... let's even round that up to $20, we have three meals. PLUS, the soup there is at least 4 meals for 4 people leftover. So that's 7 meals for $20. And the soup could be used in a cassarole or something like that too. Anyway, I'm just saying; focusing on one meal is a bit expensive and narrow-sighted.

Invites yay!

50 down, the rest close to completion! It's our own darn faults... we chose to make things complicated. But, I always think it's better to do something well and neat rather than badly and boring. Not sure which would cause me more stress though. Ha!

But I feel much better... now must clean up the apartment. B worked on it a bit this weekend (LOVELY man), but it needs more work. I need to attack the floor with a cat brush, as the vacuum has chosen not to pick up fur... I'd buy a new vacuum, but there's the worry that our next apartment will have wood floors (about a 40% chance up here), and that would just be demoralizing. Maybe after the wedding we'll buy a new one... But for right now, the current one works, it just doesn't get fur. And I really can't blame the vacuum; the fur does velcro itself to the floor.

I should shave the cats.

Friday, May 1, 2009


Last night I had a bit of a breakdown. There were several reasons.

1. Paddington had a bad vet visit. Ok, he's not sick, but he has two sore teeth. The vet says we dont' have to pull them yet (he doesn't need them- they're his back two teeth), but oh, he shook when she pressed down on him. And then, to make matters worse, she told me that he's probably older than we initially thought; maybe as old as 10. NO! My boy. My poor boy. He followed me around last night and finally collapsed, asleep, next to the space heater near me. Then, when I went to bed, he was on the bed and put his paw on my hand, as if to say all will be ok. Heartstrings tugged.

2. Work. I've been working like crazy. Part of it is learning time, so I can't really get credit for those, so I have to work even harder. I brought work home every night this week, intending to work on it, but instead getting swept up in...

3. Invitations. Still not done.

4. Mess mess mess. The apartment is a mess. SO is my car. Laundry needs to be done, dishes too, vacuuming, etc.

I was supposed to go down to see B this weekend, but he's coming up here instead because I just can't come back to such a mess.

So last night I sat on the couch. MESS MESS MESS all around me. Paddington konked out in front of the heater (but I was sad about his visit). Invites not done. Mess mess mess. And I had a 4-5 hour project to do before 10am this morning for work. And I was supposed to pack up some of B's stuff for his new apartment. And pack up my weekend stuff. And ready the cats for me being gone. And pack up weddign stuff to work on this weekend.

I got home at 8pm with Paddington, and I just couldn't do anything. TOO MUCH, and I knew nothing woudl be done entirely. And I'm tired of things not being done entirely.

I'm better today. B's coming home. We'll get the place cleaned up and all invites done. We'll work on other projects. It will be ok.

And right now I'm happier... typing this post and eating my lettuce, turkey bits, egg whites, and tofu salad. Delish.

And I met my deadline at 10am.