Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sitting in a tree...

Lucia wants to know what is in the box!

It’s here! It’s here! Justin and I were sitting on the couch yesterday evening, when there was a knock at the door. For some reason unbeknownst to me, our mail carrier passes our apartment some time between 5 and 7 each night. I have never seen that before in my life…very strange! Anyway, like I said, there was a knock at the door, and when Justin emerged in the living room with a box, I knew exactly what was inside!

I immediately opened the box, and then waited a few seconds…holding my breath…hoping that when I removed the layers of paper protecting it, that it would be the cake topper that I had imagined.

…sigh of relief…it is!

I am such a tactile person; being able to touch the topper and inspect it up close was quite a relief! The tree base and the birds are made of spun cotton; they are plush! I love the details of the moss and sparkle on the bottom of the tart tin…just enough to add a touch of vintage glam!

Once again, the topper was made by Crystal at Vintage by Crystal…check out her Etsy shop or her website!

Crystal was wonderful to work with; I liked the initial inspiration of the birds in a tree cake topper that I showed you here...but picky bridezilla me decided that I wanted a few minor changes. Crystal was extremely amenable to my wishes, and was willing to change details of the topper, from the base (she has an assortment of vintage tart tins and boxes you can select from), to the details on the bride and groom bird (which is what I requested).

Was/is there something involved in your planning that you can’t wait to get your hands on in person?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Awwww, thanks y'all!

Well, it seems as though the blog has been gifted another award! A big “thank you” goes out to Lucky in Love and A Chocolate Lover’s Confessions for passing this on to me:

Now, according to the “rules,” I must tell you all 10 facts about myself. Oh boy. I feel as though I should keep things light…and allow you to laugh…so I’m going to give you my top 10 neuroses (yes, I am crazy…and now you will know it).

1. When I go grocery shopping, I absolutely cannot take the first item on a shelf. I have to take the 2nd or 3rd one back. The first one is tainted…people might have touched it.

2. When I was a child, I differentiated the different percentages of milk based on the color of the milk jug cap. When we would go to my grandparents’ house in Michigan, the cap would be a different color, and I wouldn’t want to drink it (even though it was the same as we bought at home…). My mother apparently had to bring milk caps with her to switch out on the ones in Michigan…yikes.

3. I don’t like walking next to my bed with the lights off. When I turn the lights off, I have to take a running leap into my bed, because you never know…there might be a monster under there that is going to reach out and grab my ankles. It is an insane thought, but sadly it goes through my head.

4. There are specific places on my dinner plate for each food. If there is a sauce involved, it needs to be directly next to the item that you dip the sauce in. If a food item happens to roll into the sauce that shouldn’t be in it, it is contaminated and I have to push it to the side of my plate.

5. I have a collection of what is probably around one hundred pens. They are in a large container on my desk. I have to switch out my pen when I switch tasks…if I am writing a list, I will use one pen, and then when I start writing a lesson plan, I need to switch to a new one before I begin. When I’m done with one, I place it in the back of the container, so that I rotate through my pens at an even pace.

6. I literally go to the bathroom at least 3 times before going to bed at night. One time before I wash my face/brush my teeth, another when I’m finished…and then one more for good measure…just in case. Sometimes if I forget the 3rd time, I am forced to get up out of bed to do it because it will drive me nuts otherwise.

7. I am very particular about which seat I am in at a restaurant. If the table is by a wall or a corner, I have to sit in that chair (so my back is to the wall). If the table is in the center of the dining room, I usually want to sit in a position so that I can see the most people coming in and out of the restaurant…I can’t sit facing a prep station or where I can see into the kitchen…some things I just don’t want to know about…

8. Whenever I see a stack of papers, they need to be perfectly arranged. If they aren’t, I have the uncontrollable urge to shuffle the stack so they are aligned properly.

9. I have an extreme aversion to the sound of chewing. So much, in fact, that there has to be some sort of noise in the background during a meal, whether it is music, the TV, or something else. I’ve been at dinners where there has been no noise to block out the chewing, and it has taken almost all of my strength NOT to stick my fingers in my ears!

10. When I am at home, I ALWAYS have a glass of ice water by my side. Before I go to bed at night, I have to refill it with fresh ice cubes, then I set it on my nightstand. I never drink it though.

Ok, so there you have it! Now that you think that I am seriously insane, I’m passing this on to 10 other lovely ladies…and I apologize if you have already received this! If you don't already follow their blogs, make sure to hop over and check them out!

1. Miss Mojito at With This Ring I Thee Blog

2. Tying the Knot

3. Thoughts of the all Consumed Bride

4. Sweet Tooth Marries Muscle Man

5. The Road to Matrimony

6. Nearlyweds

7. The Diaries of a Mocha Frugalista

8. Sarah Elizabeth

9. San Diego Budget Bride

10 Prosecco and Lemonade

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I'm not ashamed to admit it...I am in love with Glee! It is rare nowadays that a TV show can make you genuinely smile because it makes you feel SO happy! I can't wait for Wednesday nights!

If you know me, it might not be a surprise to find that my absolute FAVORITE character is Emma Pillsbury (played by Jayma Mays). She has got to be the most adorable thing EVER...and her wardrobe on the show?!?! I die...

Anyway, if you watched the episode that aired 2 weeks ago, Emma was trying on wedding dresses...and I happened to stumble upon "the one" when I was going through J Crew's website today!


The back is just gorgeous...I love the cut of it! So preppy, so simple, so elegant! Although it does have a hefty price tag...who wants to make a bet that J Crew sells out of it???

Have you seen any wedding inspiration on a TV show or in the movies?

Wedding Related Dreams

I know that I can’t be the only one out there…right?


It is my wedding day. For some reason, it is night, and everyone is getting ready for the event at a large mansion by the beach. I walk down a hallway to where Justin and his groomsmen are getting changed, and am horrified with what I see! The guys are all clad in bright blue and apple green plaid jackets, blue pants, and their boutonnières are simply a singular leaf pinned to their lapel. The horror!!! They looked ridiculous. Justin doesn’t seem to think that anything is wrong, but I shift into panic mode and instantly grab my phone. I frantically call the suit rental place and lay into them for delivering us clown suits!

The suit place apparently doesn’t have any replacements, so I make the boys take their coats off to salvage the look.

Then, I realize that I didn’t remember to order flowers for the bridesmaids or myself…I begin crying.

And then…I start to wonder where my photographer is…shouldn’t I be getting ready at this point? I walk down to the kitchen to investigate. He isn’t there. I suddenly realize that in my stupidity, I forgot to give him directions! So, I pick up the phone and begin to dial Chad’s number. My dad walks in to the room and stops me. Apparently he doesn’t want me to give out the directions, and takes the phone away from me. I yell at him and then storm off to another room to take a shower and get ready.

Except…I never got my dress altered. It is about 2 feet too long, and it is so wide that it falls right off of me. And, for some reason, my hairdresser went MIA, and she never showed up. I turn to the mirror and see myself standing there…in a dress about 4 sizes too big, with dripping wet hair and no makeup…

Getty Images

…and then I woke up. Thank goodness!

At first, I just laughed at my crazy brain/unconscious mind...and then the dreams continued to happen. There have been 3 now!

I’ll spare the nitty gritty details of the following ones, but they seem to all have an overarching theme; for some reason I keep dreaming that I haven’t managed to finish all of my planning, or that I forget some important details involved! Eek!

For those of you who don’t know, I teach recitation classes of Intro Psychology this semester…don’t get me started with dream interpretation! I could be Freudian and go into the latent meaning of the dreams (what you would essentially look up in a “dream dictionary”), but I honestly don’t believe that those serve much purpose. If you look up what seeing a U.S. Mail Box in your dream means…apparently it signifies that you are going to be involved in some illegal activity. What?!?! Who makes this stuff up? In the end, in my opinion, I tend to think that my unconscious mind is nagging at me to make sure I get things accomplished. There is such a long to-do list involved with wedding plans, and I know that I’ve been fretting over whether or not I’ll get things done on time!

Hopefully, these dreams will dissipate as time goes by…

Have you had any bizarre wedding related dreams?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Monogram Magnificence

Ok, I’ll admit it! I have an unhealthy obsession with Etsy! I can’t help myself!

Anyway, I’ve been putting our Save the Date’s together (I’ll have to keep you in suspense a little longer though…), and as usual, I was scouring Etsy for inspiration. And, as usual, I stumble upon something that I love that wasn’t originally on my radar…custom monograms!

I haven’t decided which I prefer, a stamp version, or a digital pdf version…both have great possibilities…

On one hand, I love the rubber stamp option…I can use it to stamp the envelopes on our Save The Date’s, and possibly on our invitations. I could use it to stamp our favor bags…programs…the list could go on!

I love the stamps from Modern Art Stamps’s Etsy shop…

Lovestocreatestamps also has some beautiful designs…I'm particularly fond of this one:

On the other hand, the pdf graphics could be useful as well…programs, cocktail napkins, stickers…you name it!

I love the tree designs by WeddingMonograms

And the birds...(also by WeddingMonograms) are adorable!

Lovelogos’ shop is just too cute…

In the end, it might just come down to which monogram/graphic I like the best…

Do you have a favorite out of this bunch? Did you/are you planning on having a custom monogram for your wedding? Did you use a digital file, or a stamp? Any suggestions?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Cooking With My Man, Edition 2: Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ah, so fall is upon us…the trees here in Virginia are in full color-changing mode, and it is gorgeous! Living in Florida, you tend to forget what it is like to see the seasons progress…palm trees don’t change color, you know!

One of my all-time favorite treats to make in the fall is pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (whew…take a breath after that extremely long title!). Actually, I pretty much go pumpkin crazy at this time of the year (ice cream, cookies, bread, you name it!).

I first started making these for Justin last fall, and I managed to get him hooked! Let’s get started…

Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies


4 cups flour

2 cups oats

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

1 ½ (3 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 can pure pumpkin (I like Libby’s)

1 package chocolate chips

Optional: raisins


1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. Combine flour, oats, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, cream butter; add sugars until fluffy.

4. Add egg and vanilla.

5. Mix well; alternate adding scoops of pumpkin and dry ingredients. Batter should be somewhat sticky/moist.

6. Stir in chocolate chips (and raisins if you choose).

7. Drop by rounded tablespoon on to a baking sheet.

8. Bake 9-15 minutes (varies depending on how large the cookies are; watch the first batch to determine optimal bake time). Cookies will have a cake-like texture when they are done.

9. Cool, and enjoy!

This particular recipe makes an incredibly large amount of cookies. Typically, I make the entire batch and freeze half of it for another day so I don’t have to break out the ingredients again! It could easily be cut in half, however!

Justin might just want to help me so he can eat the extra batter!

Lucia got some as well (don't worry, we were done with the mixer at this point!)

I personally enjoy eating these at all times of the day…and they seem to disappear at an extremely rapid rate at our house! They are great as a breakfast item…as a mid-day snack, or a late night treat!

So, enjoy! Let me know if you make them and how they turn out!!!

Awesome Giveaway at the Relentless Bride Blog

The Relentless Bride Blog is giving away invitations from PaperCake Designs!

There are multiple ways to enter every day until November click here to go to Relentless Bride and enter to win!

Good luck!

Music Monday #6

Please click "play" and enjoy!

I found myself scrolling through the Vitamin String Quartet's website...yet again. You could literally spend hours navigating through the countless albums/songs that they have covered. So much potential...

I love the song "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol...I remember the first time I heard it, a few months before it became one of the most popular songs of that time (Grey's Anatomy, anyone?). The string version of this song is so beautiful...

Or do you think that the real version, lyrics and all, could be implemented? A processional song, possibly? I do love the words in the chorus...

If I lay here...If I just lay here...would you lie with me and just forget the world?

What are your thoughts? Yay or nay?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Whirlwind Romance

As you might have noticed from my post last week, last Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of our first date. Ah, so now you begin to do the math and you realize…Justin and I have only been together for a year at this point, and we’ve been engaged for 4 of those months. So yes…we dated for only 8 months before he proposed.

In comparison to many of my friends/acquaintances’ relationships, I realize that this is a rather brief amount of time. I have had a good deal of skepticism pass my way since our engagement was announced, and I do try to take it in stride. My favorite is when people congratulate me/us and say how much they can tell that we are in love, etc…and then they ask the inevitable question…

“So, how long have you two been together?”

“Just about a year now…”

A look of confusion/surprise crosses over their face, and I typically hear something like, “oh…wow!” or, “you didn’t waste much time, did you?”


So, this begs the question…how long is long enough to “know” that someone is the person you are meant to be with? Is there a specific amount of time that must elapse before you officially are bequeathed with the ability to determine this? Is there a little alarm clock that suddenly “goes off” in your head to let you know that enough time has passed, and you are officially allowed to consider marriage? I think not. Some couples are together for years before a proposal, some just a few months. My parents had a shorter courtship than Justin and I, and they have been happily married for years! And, on the flipside, I know other couples that were together for years before they were married as well! That is the beauty of life, right? At least, I’d like to think so! Love comes in so many shapes and forms, and what is right for one person isn’t necessarily right for others.

I’d like to just throw it out there that I personally focus on how much my fiancé and I are in love, not the amount of time we’ve had together. If you have been with your significant other for years, and you are still as madly in love as the first time you met, that is fantastic! Or, if you have only been together for a short time and you are still feeling the butterflies…that is wonderful as well! I know I still get them.

So…here’s to love! J Enjoy it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Signature Sips...

Well, seeing as it is the weekend, I have been thinking about cocktails! J

When we met with our venue, the manager informed us that it would be very feasible for us to create some signature drinks to be served during the cocktail hour/reception. Of course, we want to allow our guests to order drinks of their choice, but I think it would be very fun to concoct a few special “somethings” for them to sip on! We want to have at least two cocktail options, and perhaps name them after ourselves (if we can be creative enough)!

There is so much inspiration out there, its overwhelming! First, I hopped over to theKnot to check out some photos in the gallery…

We could be very simple and serve champagne, or spice it up by adding a fruit floater on top…

Mmm although these don’t match our color scheme, a combination of champagne, orange juice, and grenadine looks absolutely delish! Our cocktail hour will take place at sunset…perhaps these could reflect the beautiful color of the sky (assuming we have good weather!)…

Mojitos could work well with out color scheme…the mint leaves would match wonderfully! Ples, they are one of my favorite drinks…

So, clearly there are some yummy options out there…but then Justin and I started brainstorming ourselves…what if we created our own drink for the day? Or, could we copy some of our favorite drinks that we have had at restaurants…etc? I have a few ideas…

Last winter, I was obsessed with Bonefish’s Winter White Cosmo (pictured in the front):

It is a mixture of vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, white cranberry juice, and it is garnished with frozen cranberries. Perhaps the frozen cranberries could be switched for something else that would make them less “wintery” (perhaps a pretty twist of lime to play up the green?).

My favorite martini at P.F. Chang’s? The Chinese 88 Martini. It is a mixture of gin shaken with lemon juice, and topped with sparkling wine. YUM-O! I have made these myself at home, substituting sour mix for the lemon juice to make it less tart, and they turned out amazingly! We could also garnish these with limes instead of lemons to play up the green hue…

And then…we have a mutual favorite of both Justin and I…we don’t have an official name for it, but we make them on a weekly basis…

Doesn’t it look refreshing?!?!

Here’s the recipe if you would like to try it yourself…

1 ½ oz (1 shot) citrus vodka

½ can Fresca

cranberry juice


I fill a tall glass halfway with ice, then add the vodka and Fresca (up to about ½ inch from the top). Add a splash of cranberry juice to taste, and squeeze a wedge of lime. Stir, and enjoy!

We definitely have some decisions to make…thankfully there is still quite a bit of time for us to determine this!

Do you have any favorite drink recipes that you would suggest?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Looking for Love...


I was (as usual) scrolling through one of my favorite sites, Weddingbee, today, and I came across a post that got me thinking. They asked the “Bees” to respond to the question of whether or not they were actively looking for love when they met their fiancé.

Well now…for me…I would have to say no! Don’t you love how things like that happen? When Justin and I met last September, I was completely submerged in the application process for graduate school. I had decided in August that I would begin taking my tests (grrr those GRE’s are just AWFUL…anyone else out there with me???), filling out pages and pages of applications, writing essays, and the like. There were 18 applications in total (yes, I am indeed insane…).

Ah...a picture taken on the day that I first spotted Justin...I was pretty content taking my pups on outings to the beach to blow off some steam...

At first, when we met, I was under the assumption that our relationship wouldn’t really go anywhere (ouch!). I could tell he was a great guy, and I loved spending time with him ever since our first date, but I knew that I was going to inevitably be moving out of the state to attend school if I was accepted. I suppose I had an “ending date” stamped on our relationship…because honestly…who in their right mind would want to be in a serious relationship with me knowing that I am packing up and moving a few months down the road?

Thankfully, I was wrong about that! Justin quickly changed my perspective on things. In the end, I decided to simply let things progress naturally (which was not my first instinct…I was so worried that he or I would hurt the other’s feelings). And, as you can probably tell, the relationship took off, and here we are today! I still pinch myself sometimes because I feel like I’m dreaming to have someone in my life who loves me enough to pick up and move across the country with me so I could pursue graduate school. I can’t imagine my life playing out any differently!J

So what about you...were you looking for love when you met your significant other?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Inexperienced Bride

I have a confession to make. Wedding planning scares me to death sometimes!

…and why is this, you might ask? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret about myself.

I am inexperienced…at weddings. To date, I have only attended two (yes, count ‘em…two) weddings. One of them was my aunt and uncle’s wedding when I was a pre-teen, and the other was on Valentine’s Day this year (one of Justin’s best friends). So, as you can imagine…I have not exactly been inundated with ideas from the nuptials of others.

This is good and bad. On one hand, since I am the first out of my group of friends to tie the knot, I get to “set the bar,” or whatever you would like to say, for wedding expectations. I am the first to pick color schemes, bridesmaid dresses, etc, and I don’t have to worry that I’m copying someone else’s look. Although, personally, that really doesn’t matter in the end (I can say with confidence that no one’s wedding in my group of friends is going to be exactly the same…so who cares if colors or dresses are similar?).

On the other hand, I really wish that I had the experience under my belt of attending a wedding of a friend at this point. I feel so unknowledgeable in regards to etiquette, the order of how things progress throughout the ceremony and reception, and the like! My own wedding is going to be the first time that I’ve really been able to experience the full effect of one of these events…and I feel as though I’m going to be unprepared…or leave out something important! I sometimes wish that I had some friend nearby with experience in wedding planning to help me out (although…yay! My MOH has recently joined the ranks of engaged gals…). However, I do thank my lucky stars for the online support that I have received in the past months (Weddingbee, my fellow bloggers, etc). I am amazed at all of the creative ideas that I’ve stumbled upon, and what a supportive community I have found in the wedding world…its very impressive! I can only hope that I can inspire or help someone else the way that many of my fellow bloggers have!

So…let’s hear it…are there any other “inexperienced” brides out there like myself? How have you managed to find planning help/advice?