Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another season in the books

Hairdresser bridesmaid and I bid adieu to Scarborough yesterday. We had a wonderful day. We dressed for the heat, fought over who got to drink water (yes water - not beer), and spent probably a few hours all totaled under the misting bridge getting as soaked as we could manage. We did a little extra shopping to make sure we didn't NEED anything before the season closed. Someone even asked hairdresser bridesmaid for my number. HA! I told him he missed the ring. He just laughed and said he should have looked. It was flattering, nonetheless.

We left before we got overheated and we barely drank at all. The day was pretty much perfect. Great ending to the faire, if you ask me!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Making use of everything

Since we decided to spend the money on engagement photos, I wanted to get the most bang for my buck out of it! I used those photos ALL over the wedding. Above is one of the two designs I did for our wine bottle vase centerpieces. These were a hit. Seriously. People snapped them up at the end of the evening.

This is the other design. The bottles had fake warning labels, an Italian "title bar", and a quote that represented us.

I put photos in my handmade guestbook so that people could sign around the photos....and flip through it to see the best of the best of our engagement photos.

More guestbook.

I got a friend from work with amazing artistic talent to model gifts for our parents for all their help with our wedding. Each set of parents got their own 11x13 portrait. And this was incredibly affordable because the gentleman does it for fun, to keep his skills keen, and because he LOVES doing it. So, use your resources!

And I made little magnets out of our engagement photos for my family for Christmas gifts! I thought maybe it was a bit cheesy, but the response that I got from my family was anything but! They loved them. Who knew.

So, yes, we could have saved a bit of money by cutting out this process, but we would have missed out on the experience and all these little touches that I was able to incorporate into gifts and wedding decor. It was totally worth it!

Photos by A Love Story Photography, my father-in-law, and me.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pubs are Us

We ended our engagement session at the pub on the square. They literally let us take over the joint! The even recommended other areas in the pub to shoot in. How cool is that?

I was a little worried that engagement photos with beers in our hands was a bit too much, but honestly, I love these shots. Even if they're really just for us than anyone else.

We were literally blocking servers. I don't know why they put up with us! They'd just wait patiently with trays of food.

I know that some people think that engagement sessions are something easy to cut out to save money. As frugal as I was, this was simple a must for me. I wanted to have some great non-wedding photos of us. Plus, we really got to know our photographer (very important as she was in the room with me when I got dressed, so being comfortable with her and all the other ladies in the room really helped me stay even-keel). We were with her for two hours. We're not in front of cameras often, so it really helped us loosen up and made us both more comfortable with having one pointed at us for extended periods. And honestly, I LOVE the photos. Totally worth the money.

Photos by A Love Story Photography.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Engaging times

We had WAY too much fun for our engagement session. We went to an old downtown square with a great bookstore featuring rare and first editions book! Please take note of the books we're holding.

This was after we finally loosened up after getting used to a camera aimed at us!

Love, love, love this staircase.

Looks like a staircase to my new life.

And us being total goofballs, hoping this person didn't open his front door to ask what the heck we thought we were doing.

Photos by A Love Story Photography....more to come!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What is a wife?

1. Wife (as a noun) – A woman joined in marriage, spouse.

2. Wife (as a verb) – Rare.

Those are the top two definitions of wife on (Yeah, yeah, I’m a dork. I look up all sorts of words that I think I know the meaning of, just to see if there is anything surprising. During the wedding planning, I looked up marriage, love, and all sorts of other related things.) The first is all I expected to find. I was totally unaware of the second. Did any of you know that “wife” can be used as a verb, much less to mean rare? It makes me wonder were along the lines of the English language was “wife” considered a rarity, enough so that it was used as a verb to mean as much.

My first attempt at wife-hood ended in abysmal failure, obviously, so I genuinely make an effort to “do it right” this time. I find that doing it right can mean so many different things that there truly is no RIGHT way. Well, that’s no help! No (bleep)ing wonder there are so many self-help books and Dear So-and-So columns! So, all I can do is make a concerted effort to be a good companion to my husband, to not take him for granted, to show that I love him instead of just say it……and maybe that’s all there is to it? Should it be harder than that? Or is it simply that simple?!

What do you all think?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Do you guys like hard ciders? I love them, especially when it's swelteringly hot out. Well, my friend the bartender brought something fantastic to me. He has this little personal challenge to bring the hubby and I new and exciting adult beverages. It's a Lithuanian cider called Kiss. It's fantastic! If you ever wind up in some eclectic beer store, you really must look for it. The blueberry is out of this world, very tart. The pear is light and fruity. The cherry, however, has a cough syrup aftertaste. So, stick to the pear and blueberry. Definitely worth the search! Good luck and happy cidering!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wonderful weekend

This weekend was like the definition of why I wanted to marry my husband. We spent the whole weekend together - a rarity - and it was just so lovely. We stayed in Friday night, munching on our favorite smoked cheddar from Metzler's. Saturday, we left for Scarborough very early to try to beat some of the heat. It was pirate weekend, and we embraced it! The hubby even whipped up a braided rope belt because he felt it was far more appropriate and wore a head wrap that I made from remnants last Halloween. I was all leather and lace. We walked through the fairground, usually hand and hand. It was just so comfortable and fun. We treated ourselves to BJs pizza on the way back to officially celebrate our three month's married mark! But Sunday is really why we work. We started cleaning the house together at 8 in the morning (we'd been up several hours, so don't think we jumped out of bed and started cleaning). We worked together to get some of the problem areas cleared up (finally). Later in the afternoon, when the house was all tidy, we lounged on the couch together, strewn with kitties. Then we crafted together - me beading at one side of the table, him painting on the other side. Then dinner and more lounging. That lazy at-home time when no one else is around is priceless, and it's what I look forward to every week. Sometimes we don't get it, but we do try to make sure we get it.

I hope Monday goes smoothly!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Photos promised, photos delivered

Before the uncle came to let us know we only had seven minutes till "curtain". (There's a "good" version of this photo, and this emotional version. I like the emotional one.)

This speech about how proud he was of me and how wonderful he thought my very-soon-to-be husband is was the only thing that had me well up that day. To hear him tell me he's proud and to have his My maids were behind me (some in tears at this speech, but it ended in a joyful uproar of laughter when he announced that now we only had five minutes!).

Enjoying the view after a job well done.

Yeah, just try to take this smile away! Dare ya.
(There is one of us looking at the camera....but I love the emotion in this one way better.)

The hubby is drinking and looks stressed because of the chaos that ensued when they realize the license had been mislaid! I didn't know anything about it. The new husband and the proud uncle let me dance away while they searched for it!

He took his glasses off so they wouldn't gleam and ruin the photo....he just wanted everything to be perfect for us.

Pure love and joy. Now, how can you ask for more?! If you're in the planning process, please, please, please get someone that loves you this much and knows you this well and will look on you with this much pride to marry you. You'll thank me later.

All photos from the fabulous A Love Story Photography.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A complete charmer

Deciding on an officiant was so hard for us! We have a church affiliation, but neither of us felt particularly comfortable going to our pastors to ask them to marry us. Somehow, it just didn't feel right. We started thinking about friends or family that we knew were ordained. Again, no one felt ideal. Over and over, I kept going back to one person. He's not ordained, as far as I knew, yet he was really the only one I could imagine. Period.

It took me weeks to work up the nerve to ask him. Weeks! For some reason, the idea of putting him out or being rejected was so horrifying to me. It was all very silly, of course, but it was a very real anxiety. It literally took my fiance putting his foot down and telling me I had to do it THAT DAY in order to get me to do it.

You all know by know that it was my uncle that performed our ceremony, and that he was PERFECT for the role. I cannot even describe to you how wonderful it was to hear his voice say those words that we'd poured our hearts into. And he was so full of emotion, so happy for us, and his happiness was infused with every word he said. When the mic went out and he had to talk above the problem. That man can PROJECT! And he looked at me with such love and uninhibited joy the entire time.

If I can give you any advice about officiants, it would be to go with someone that genuinely knows you.....someone that knows your heart. My uncle knows me very well, and he was just enamored with my fiance too. He even gave me a speech about how wonderful the man I choose this time around was. I know that sounds odd, or like an insult to my choice the first time, but it was actually quite touching.

Picking him was definitely one of the best decisions we made during out planning process. tomorrow. They aren't working (again) this morning. Boo!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Midweek slump

I don't know about you all, but this week is beating me down! We're going on week two of my baby being ill. It's really hard for me to see him hurting. I think it's keeping me from sleeping well, so my days drag on at work (yes, even more than usual). I'll be very happy when he's all healed and back to his usual goofball state and off pain meds. Unfortunately, when I'm already worn down because of one thing or the other out of the usual, it intensifies the usual irritants. Meaning, the tedium nearly brought me to tears yesterday. It took me half an hour after I got home from work to keep of actually concentrating really hard to keep from bursting into a bawling fit. So, yeah, you can say that I'm a little run down right about now.

Hopefully the day will go fast.....for me and for you out there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


So, remember I was trying to make brownies for my sick honey?? Well, last night, I made them. I found a "healthified" recipe on Eat Better America, and I modified it a bit. The modifications were that I substituted plain non-fat yogurt for the vanilla they recommended, traded regular cocoa powder for dark chocolate cocoa powder, whole wheat flour for all purpose white flour, and I added walnuts. The result?! Cakey, fudgy, chewy, deep dark brownies! Oh yeah, who says you can't make healthier sweets? Not me, because these babies were fantastic.

......and I'm sneaking a few into our lunches!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Something of the kitty variety

The cats were in rare form this weekend. We have one that realize the cubby hole for firewood next to the fireplace allowed her complete solace. She can be a touch anti-social. She's a true cat.

Then there is the truly non-cat of the house. Gee, can't tell there aren't any predators here, huh?

And here, he's just mad that the laptop was in my lap instead of him. So, he rested his little head on my hand, getting more an more perturbed as I typed. Utter cuteness.

Happy Monday to you all.....though I am not entirely sure it's possible.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kind gestures abound

My honey is ill, and I hate it when he's ill. So, I generally just try to do thing that distract him from it, like making meals he really likes or bring home special treats. He mentioned brownies on an off-hand comment, so I set out on a brownie hunt. I looked through recipes, picked one, and trekked out to buy ingredients at lunch only to be foiled by a sudden, torrential down pour with extremely high winds that threatened to topple my very boxy car. No brownies were going to be had. I was so upset that I couldn't pull it off. I figured out another tasty treat, but they weren't brownies. Boo!

When I got home, my honey announced that he had surprises for me! He'd gotten my favorite beer and a little miniature figurine for me (like the ones on his groom's cake). He said he just wanted me to know that he really appreciated that I wanted to make him brownies and went through all sorts of hassle (even trying to make due with oddball ingredients in our house already) to do it! So, because I wanted to do something nice for him, he did something nice for me instead. How sweet is that?! It really means a lot to me.

This is the mini he got me, though it's unpainted. He'll paint her, just for me, with red hair and a green robe....because that's what I'd wear. It's my sign!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Oh Friday....

Why must you make me wait so long for you to come around? Don't you know I anticipate you eagerly all week long? It's been a long, not exactly easy week plagued by people around me suddenly coming down with different ailments mixed with just a bit of excitement about an upcoming date (for a friend, not me.....after all, I got my date last Friday).

So, to all of you out there, I wish you a very expedient Friday with something lovely at the end to usher you into the weekend on a happy note!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My something anklet that I made of blue glass bugle beads and mocha swarovski crystals. And I STILL love those shoes. Mmm, mmm, mmm!

Photo by A Love Story Photography.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Worth mentioning

To follow up on yesterday's post about my brother, I have a quote from our photographer that bears mentioning here:

"He was, without a doubt, one of the most sincerely proud family members I've seen. Your wedding had alot of those... honestly, whole-heartedly, happy-for-you guests!!!"

This is why you get married people! I didn't need all that other STUFF to get married. But I think just maybe we did need the PEOPLE. I hope the appearance matched the actual moods - that our guests really were whole-heartedly happy. That makes all the headaches and heartaches worth it.

Plus if you're lucky, you get some kick-ass photos that show the emotion of the day like we did.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My brother's the best!

I know siblings have all sorts of relationships. Some are very close. Some barely know each other. My brother and I are definitely the close kind. I cannot imagine it any other way, really. He's always been my big protector and rescuer. I've always been the ear and the nurturer. It works well for us, and we've remained close even when we haven't been able to see much of each other. We go in spells of seeing each other a lot and then not being able to manage it.

When we decided that we would, without a doubt, be having a wedding, I knew one thing instantly. I wanted my brother to walk me down the aisle. I knew it before we announced the engagement. When we finally did announce it, it was one of the first things I squared away. I asked him and his response was "Are you sure you don't want Grampa to do it??" I told him I was 100% certain. Then he thought he'd made me think that he didn't want to do it! Nope, I knew what he meant by it. Then he hugged me and said he'd be proud to walk me.

He was SO nervous the day of the wedding. Tentative. Afraid to step on my dress or let me fall. Eh, he'd never let me fall! He told me that the music was beautiful while we were walking down the aisle and so was I. It was one of the highlights of the day and made me very, very happy. Plus, it was the first time he'd ever worn a tux. How handsome is he?!

Photos by A Love Story Photography

Monday, May 10, 2010

BBQ bounty

Our mother's day celebration was fantastic. My grandmother decided to host a barbecue for the clean out the freezer. I'm all for that sort of thing! I swear though, if you didn't know my family, you might be utterly dumbfounded by the amount of meat we cooked. I believe my grandmother's goal is to feed us all week from that one meal. All of us. Yeah, her whole entire family, all week. The meal was so delicious. Now, I have several steaks, a huge piece of pork, and several chicken breasts in my fridge, waiting for me to transform it into something even more fabulous. Last night, one of the steaks was sliced and piled between rye sandwich rolls with homemade horseradish mayo and broiled provolone. NUM. Some of it is definitely going into enchiladas! Yeah, it will be a fun week of reinventing all that lovely BBQ'ed meat. I'm excited about the possibilities.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


You guys! The blog is international! Google Analytics says that it's been viewed in Canada, Russia, and Australia. How cool is that?!

Got any ideas to expand the scope? Any types of posts you want more of?

Happy Mother's Day for you brave ladies who've ventured into motherhood out there!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Date night

So, Friday treats have dwindled a bit. We still have them, but they're not quite as grand as they had been in the past. This week, I had a very strong desire for one thing. A date. An honest to goodness date. A friend had a wonderful first date, the kind that makes you glow with happiness and excitement, this week. It made me so very nostalgic for when my honey and I met for the first time. I remember the excitement and the nerves. I remember talking very, very fast because I was so jittery. We talked and talked, so much so that the waitress couldn't get us to make an order for lack of reading the menu for over an hour. It was the best date I'd ever had, hands-down!

So, after seeing my friend all aflutter, I really wanted to go on a date too. know, with my husband. Perhaps that's odd, but I love going on dates with him still. We haven't really gone out much lately. That's partly because we've been watching our pennies since we bite the bullet with the car. But even more importantly, we haven't had the time. Our Saturdays have been so packed that we don't have the energy to do anything on Sunday. So, I thought we'd sneak up on the drain of Saturday and go out on Friday night. And it worked! We had a lovely meal and a pitcher of Harp at our favorite neighborhood English pub. The we walked around this epic bookstore near the restaurant. Great evening. Just want I needed. Some alone time, out, talking and talking with the man I love.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pictures promised, pictures delivered

Us....starting our dance. Nice form, right??

This is when the music failed. I meant it when I said we laughed and shouted "FAIL!"

Admittedly, we don't look all cute and picturesque. Bad dang! Look at those SMILES!

Best photo of our dance....doing the rumba with my new hubby.

The ONLY photo of the dip and kiss.....which saddens me. Guess I'll just have to rely on the memory of how wonderful and romantic it was.

Photos by A Love Story Photography.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

He makes me feel like dancin'

Our first dance ended up being quite an effort in love and patience. We were only able to take one lesson due to scheduling conflicts, so we had to depend on memory and a lot of practice time in our living room. We weren't great, but I thought we were certainly doing better than the "sway, sway, step" most brides and grooms do.

Our music came up. We assumed the locked elbow, straight backed position. Started to dance, and then......the music stopped. Yep. The sound system turned out to be too powerful for the outlets available to us at the venue (the venue disputes this fact but the speakers worked every time we switched outlets.....four or five different times during the night). Throughout the night, the speakers would inexplicable stop working. And it happened during our first dance, about 45 seconds in.

Thankfully, we simply laughed, kissed, exclaimed "FAIL!" together, and off went my groom to make the music work again. When he managed to get it running again, we started dancing from right where we left. We didn't start the song over or anything like that. Just simply finished our unfinished dance. We didn't pout or scream or refuse to finish. We were in such good moods that we literally laughed the whole time about it. It seemed "us" in a way. Imperfect and just right. He'd only done the first dance because it meant a lot to me anyhow. At the end, he lowered me into a swooping dip and kissed me. He'd never done that. It was one of my favorite moments of the night. I actually forgot all of our guests were there in that moment, and it was just us.

There was supposed to be photos on this post, but our network isn't cooperating. I'll post those tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guilty pleasures

Is it wrong that I like to eat our least healthy meal of the week or perhaps a little Ben & Jerry's DURING The Biggest Loser? I love the show. It's my favorite, second only to The Amazing Race. But something about it makes me want to eat really unhealthy food. I'm usually all about the health food. Shouldn't that show make me more committed to eating right and working out instead of giving me the urge to throw all my dietary rules out the window?

Does this urge strike anyone else?!

At least I got back into the gym on Tuesday. Belly dance has squashed my gym efforts these last two weeks. Here's to a week full of better choices (with just a small side of Ben & Jerry).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"When I grow up...."

.....I wanna be......

When exactly is that in our lives? At what point should we know, definitively, what we want to be when we've grown up?

One of my best friends and I had this conversation recently. We're both in our thirties. We both have some form of higher education. Neither of us know what we want to be "when we grow up". Sadly, we're both as grown as we're going to get, so shouldn't we KNOW by now what we want to do in life? Is there a cut off for this revelation? It's comforting to know I'm not the only one floundering, but really I would never wish that feeling on anyone.

I guess we'll just keep searching, mostly inside our own heads, until we come up with an answer.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Summer Dance Party

Our annual summer haffla was Sunday. I was so nervous about our new dance. They've played around with if for years, but never officially learned and performed it due to the difficulty level. Well, we learned it and performed it in two months! I practiced it quite a bit and right before we left for the performance, I finally performed it without any major misses. I was so excited!

Hairdresser bridesmaid's beginner troupe went first. She looked amazing. Her outfit fit her beautifully. She looked confident, and as my mom said, "she moved great." Yeah she does! I did the third and sixth dances. The hard one was first. I nailed it! I even had a big cheesy grin when I passed the part that had given me the most trouble! I was giddy! Then suddenly massively thirsty. Then hot. And not breathing well. My next dance queued up. I've done it a million times, so I didn't worry. failure! In the middle of the performance, my mind went totally blank. I couldn't remember the next steps. I never quite regained composure and mis-stepped a few more times before the end. I just laughed and jumped back on step. Really, that's the best thing to do. Just smiled like a fool, and people don't seem to react quite as much as opposed to standing there nearly in tears. Then you tend to garner far more attention. To add insult to injury, my hip scarf fell off one hip, dangling from the other hip. I kept having to try not to trip myself while getting back on step. Never really happened. Once I was off kilter, the wheels came off!

I'm a bit upset at myself because I focused all my energy on the new dance and thought I could rely on memory and past repetition for the dance I'd done a million times. But really, I'm not all that upset about the whole thing. It's a performance whose audience is mostly family and friends, so a little meltdown is definitely not the end of the world. After that dance, I sort of went downhill as far as how I felt. We left early, opting out of the final audience participation dance. I fell asleep once we were home, and spent the better part of the afternoon that way. Seems my allergy troubles got the better of me, and my body decided to take charge and shut down with or without my permission. Such is life.