August 31, 2010

one step closer

We have less than six months to go now and time is NOT slowing down!

Our save the date magnets came! And we are quite pleased.
I went with Vistaprint. They had excellent bulk pricing specials and simple, easy to edit templates (Though I feel like their website isn't the most user-friendly ever). Other magnet sites I found were triple the price per magnet and had really crazy/complicated designs and backgrounds, none of which really went with our style. I was a bit surprised by their shipping costs though. $20 for 7 day shipping? That was the cheapest/slowest option. Seemed expensive to me for 100 lightweight 4"x5" magnets but maybe that's just me.

UPS gets a D- on delivery though. I did a bit of whining on that portion (Fiance can attest). According to my tracking number the package was supposed to arrive last Wednesday. Instead I got it yesterday, Monday. There were 2 "attempts" by the delivery person and it stated "customer not available. Will try again".
a) I live in an apartment building
b) my buzzer doesn't work
c) There is a prominent sign next to the buzzer that says "UPS, deliveries, etc. please bring all packages to the management office around the corner" with a LARGE ARROW.
d) Both attempts were made between the hours of 8 and 5. I work 8-5, so even if my buzzer did work I wouldn't have been there to get it.
Apartment buildings aren't new to the world, especially mine. And there's no way I was the first person to ever receive a package via UPS in my building. So really, what's the problem here??
Also, the box was FALLING APART. Like totally destroyed. There was supposed to be one of those plastic air-filled bags as padding but by the time it got to me it was completely deflated. Luckily I had magnets where the info is printed on vinyl, so they are heavy duty and all stuck together. If that was paper in that package? Half of it would have definitely fallen out and/or been bent/ripped and someone would be receiving an angry phone call.

Fiance stated that these made everything seem more real. Like this whole wedding thing is actually happening. Cute. :)

August 25, 2010

sweet things

Have you met Paulette?
Only the most glorious french macarons outside of France. To. die. for. In the most exotic flavors. Like passionfruit, sweet wedding almond, earl grey tea, and violet cassis. One of my ladies and I hit up their Beverly Hills store a while back and consumed half a dozen each. Quickly, yet still attempting to savor the light, yet chewy consistency unique to a macaron (not to be confused with the coconut macaroon, they are completely different!)

You should know I have been desperately seeking room in the budget to include these in our dessert table. A box of 24 puts you back $36. And that pretty little tiered display is $106 for 60. They do have a San Francisco shop and ship overnight for freshness... Maybe we'll save them for getting ready with the girls, or a bridal shower or something...

Do you have time for a story? I tried to make macarons last summer. Using a recipe by Martha, who else? I'm pretty handy in the kitchen and pretty good at following recipes. But these pretty little things are very complicated to make. I also wasn't quite prepared and had to make some substitutions (don't EVER try to make your own almond flour using only a rolling pin...dumb dumb dumb) which probably didn't help the situation. There's a part about having to leave the oven door ajar while these bake. um my oven door only stayed in the all-the-way-closed position or all-the-way-open. So I stood there and held the darn thing, and it was summer and hot outside. Long story, they were ugly, I neglected to flavor or color the cookie portion and they collapsed and cracked instead of staying round and fluffy. BUT they tasted exactly how they were supposed to, perfect texture. Which is really all that matters in my book. And I made peppermint, lemon and vanilla cinnamon fillings. YUM. Maybe I'll use this recipe next time (aka when I live in a place that has an oven. studio apartment fail.)

August 24, 2010

always the invites

For some reason, it's the paper goods that tempt me the most. Look at how pretty these menus are from Sunday Suppers! The gray cardstock with white calligraphed letters...How is it possible that in this day and age computer printers have yet to utilize white ink. My printer and wallet cannot handle printing gray ink with white ink over hundreds of sheets of cardstock. And I don't have the patience for calligraphy (or budget to allocate to it). After briefly attempting to come up with a plan involving getting the whole invite turned into a custom rubber stamp and finding white ink/embossing powder (bahhhh wedding brain is truly a disease)...I have decided to go the less-stressful route. Gray envelopes that I will be hand-addressing in white while the invites themselves will be on white/ivory with words printed in gray. Unless I get really time-crunched (aka lazy) and go with printed labels. It's 2010, I can only follow so much etiquette before throwing in the towel.

At the moment, my preliminary budget estimate puts us at $150 for approximately 100 invites and that includes: invite, outer envelope, insert for map, reply card and reply card envelope and printer ink. Savings FTW? It pleases the analytical logical part of me that can't reconcile the fact that other than myself, mom and grandma, these will all be thrown away (or optimistically, recycled).

August 20, 2010

scan free

Along with the excessive over-planning and analyzing that is in my nature, I'm love lists (and post-its, they take over my life). Specifically, wishlists. I have a wishlist established at just about every website imaginable, even though I know I'll never buy 95% of it (or 100% at this point, I haven't made any unnecessary purchases since I moved! And food/eating out does not count in that category). So the whole online registry thing has been way too fun for me. We still have a lot of editing down to do to our registries, considering there's only 100 people coming to our wedding and we have 400 things on the lists. And we still need to add bedding, towels and luggage...oops.

P.S. we registered at Crate & Barrel too, did I tell you that? Less personalized attention than Macys, but their system was easy to use. Once again the scanner gun was a blast. And we got the cutest little heart shaped glass candy dish thing as a free gift. We're all about the free stuff over here. Crate & Barrel has really great stuff, simple yet stylish and unique and I was surprised at the affordability. We scanned everyday items like plates, glasses and kitchen utensils. Fiance went a little overboard with all the specialized and fun, but unnecessary items. Like the silver dollar pancake pan, and the mini burger pan, that are basically the same thing. And a sauce bucket with attached brush. And anything "game night" and BBQ related, even though we don't have a BBQ and the possibility of our future place having even a patio is highly unlikely. But, you know how boys are =)

August 19, 2010

Picture Time!

Alright no more being cryptic.
Fiance and I are pleased to meet you:




















































































































































(All photos by Brian Nelson, aka Best Man and photographer #2 and Fiance's roomie)

The top batch are from Griffith Observatory, where we went the night he proposed. Brian was kind of obsessed with all the arches and doorways, good thing though, they turned out awesome. The last two are down below the Observatory in Griffith Park. They're my favorites =)

August 18, 2010

progress

Ok this whole job thing is catching up with me. Seems like there's never enough hours in the day.

Save the dates ordered! We decided to go magnet-style. And I threw in the towel and ordered them as opposed to printing them myself, because I want to mail them out by the end of the month and this time of my life is not conducive to DIY manic. Once they arrive I'll review the company I used. A little peek?
And that is another peek of the elusive engagement photos. Perhaps tomorrow I'll show you the rest! This one is particular is everyone's favorite for some reason.

We also received a sample menu from the caterers...The pricing seems decent, it'll work with the budget. We'll definitely have to work out the menu items...it was all over the place. Fancy, yummy sounding food, but nothing at all what I envisioned.

I have a slight obsession with Excel spreadsheets. I use them for EVERYTHING. I'm the overanalyzing type in case you hadn't guessed. So the wedding budget has been open on my desktop pretty much constantly as I tweak and alter categories and numbers. I've been honing it in as I get a better idea of how much different things will cost. I'm pretty excited because right now it's $100 under our target price right now, including my dress, his suit and our rings. Obviously we're 6 months away and there's a zillion little things that will come up, but it's a good place to start right?

August 16, 2010

August 15, 2010

So.....wedding?

Do you ever get tired of talking about your wedding? Maybe tired is the wrong word. I feel like my words don't do justice to the ideas in my head and people (especially those with no experience in weddingblogland) are like "oh cool, i'm sure it'll be beautiful". I just saw and spoke with a bunch of friends this past week, ones that I haven't seen in a while. (Including a group of girls that I studied abroad with at Cambridge University 2 summers ago). They know about the engagement but nothing about the wedding. And as we're all chatty girls who love each other they want to know all about it. So I find myself walking the fine line about being that annoying girl who talks about weddings all the time and goes way too in depth, about things only wedding bloggers would get. So i think I accidently downplay things instead. "Um, we're getting married, church, his mom's house, appetizers, mid day...?" Although my Cambridge girls were quite amazed about my extensive network of friendors. And were super excited to hear about my dress.

My thoughts are a bit jumbled right now. I just got back from a night in palm springs with my maid of honor cousin and after 110 degree heat, laying by the pool and the ACE's vodka sno cones, my brain is still mush. But on with the story, I have a hard time talking about myself and my plans in great detail. I am the listener. Yet when it's my turn to dish, I always find myself giving a super abridged version, minimizing excitement. It's ridiculous because these are my friends. I don't know if I feel like I'm coming off as self-absorbed? Or trying to explain how awesome I think it will be to have little potted herbs as decor and I'm met with blank stares. So the next time I leave that part out. When co-workers ask how my weekend was I reply with "Oh we registered. It was super fun....blah blah blah." As we approach the 6 month mark (and have already surpassed 200 days-from the quiet reminding of our registries, NOT martha) I fear that elusive moment when suddenly all conversations and activities are wedding-related, in a bad way. Because I'm totally looking forward to the planning we have yet to do and the bridal showers and such to come. But there's so much more to me than that! Especially right now in my life! I already told Fiance we need to make an effort to do fun things and pursue topics that are interesting to us, because I refuse to let the wedding turn us into one-note people.

Hopefully when I see friends they will continue to ask "how are you doing? what's going on with you?" instead of or as well as "how's the wedding planning going?".

August 11, 2010

on a scale of 1 to 10...

this actually happens? this? really world?

photographers so shallow they refuse to put their non-pretty (as defined by society) clients on their blogs. and even being jerks about it WHILE shooting a wedding of said excluded couples?

it makes me sick.

I guess we're lucky that we can't afford a big name photographer. I guess we're lucky we have photographer friends who are true artists and love us and will give us beautiful photos whether they are "magazine worthy" or not.

wedding industry we were just starting to get along so well, I had so much hope in you. You have so much potential. Now it's back to fighting it out on our (as in sane wedding throwers) own.

August 9, 2010

coming of age

So...I gave up and am currently posting from the comfort of my own apartment. I'm almost embarassed that I couldn't survive without internet, but I got over that pretty quickly. I still have about 500 unread posts in my google reader. Also still working on trying to NOT GET OVERWHELMED. and I'm not just talking about reading blogs. I tend to let things accumulate in my head, good or bad. I breeze through for a few weeks and then BAM it all hits me at once. This time it was: moving to LA, into my very own first apartment, starting a grownup job, receiving some exciting opportunities at this job, still unpacking boxes, learning how to budget and grocery shop...all within a month. All very good things but my brain tends to have a slight delay in registering things that are going on. And so it all hits me at once, resulting in meltdown, triggered by something fairly small. After some grounding conversations with Fiance and the parents, I came to the simple conclusion that I was overwhelmed. Not ungrateful or doing things wrong. I need to prioritize and learn it's okay that all my clothes are still in boxes because I can't afford a dresser yet.

I'm really hoping I can get some of these big life lessons out of the way and under my belt before the wedding. I know too many expectations are bad, but really I'm just hoping for peace and calmness day of. Planning ahead, prioritizing, and letting go are some of the bigger issues I've been tackling on the road to not only wedding planning but becoming the person I want to be. Sometimes I forget that I'm only 21. In no way am I expected to have things all figured out.

August 5, 2010

rolling along

I love my little apartment, my kitchenette and my cooking items in all their mismatched glory. But I think I really understand the joy of a wedding registry now. brand new, shiny, high-quality things that all work properly and are in colors and patterns of our choosing... things that will be OURS and not just hand-me-downs or cheapie items that don't quite work. Also that we don't have to necessarily pay for. And I've decided that I WILL use all the fancy stuff we registered for. Like that china? Dude it's Tuesday night, bust it out. And the super nice wine glasses, um, it's saturday afternoon? I don't believe in shoving stuff away in storage for someday. I'm using it now! Also why sometimes I put on a nice fancy dress to sit around and watch movies in...silly i suppose.

We're really rolling on wedding to-dos. My mom will be contacting the florist. Fiance's mom is waiting on quotes from the caterers and rental company and confirmation for the honeymoon. I've contacted the darling pastor of the church we'll be married in so we can meet up and start planning the ceremony when Fiance and i visit home next month.

Fiance and I still get giddy about being engaged. it's been over 8 months, with less than 7 to go now!

And work is going marvelously, I love my job. I could work there for the rest of my life and be totally happy.

August 1, 2010

he's got a gun

updates updates!
my mom and her friend suzy hit the thrift stores last weekend. and scored big. milk glass vases, cake stands, galvanized tin buckets and silver platters (all $2 or less) galore.

Yesterday Fiance and I were hanging out and he says "hey let's go register today!" so we drove on over to Macy's. Everyone should have the in-store registry experience. It lives up to every bit of the hype. We have our own personal registry consultant, who was the sweetest woman on the planet. you can tell she absolutely loves her job. Macy's has these bonus rewards, where if you register for, say $500 worth of kitchenaid, then you get a free gift (worth about $30-$50). It doesn't matter if no one buys that stuff for you, as long as it's in your registry. how awesome is that? so Fiance went a little crazy with the scanner gun. I was trying to be logical and pick only things we needed and Fiance was like, "is calphalon on the list? yes?" scan scan scan scan scan. "babe we don't need $1500 worth of all-clad cookware" "but we get a free engraved skillet!" "do we really need a skillet with our names and wedding date on it?" "hell yeah if it's free!" oh dear! it was so so fun though. I also signed up for a macy's credit card. because anytime someone buys off our registry, MY card gets like 5% rewards. we're supposed to wait on bedding, towels and luggage since the styles are seasonal and what's out now won't be available once the wedding date rolls around. we definitely need to do some editing down as well...those scanner guns are too addicting.

the playlist is coming along nicely. and we looked at some suits and shoes for Fiance.

I'm kind of having internet withdrawals. trekking to the coffee shop for an hour a couple times a week is not nearly enough time to get everything done. we'll see how much longer i last.