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Monday, July 31, 2006

A few more fun photos from Amanda...

You can see more on her blog! :)

Indian Feast and New Serving Set

Last night Matt and I went nuts cooking and made a whole slew of yummy goodies. We made three curried Indian dishes - curried Zuchini, creamy curry chicken, and rogan josh. We also made naan from scratch and a super yummy yoghurt sauce. For desert, I made strawberry mint ice cream and oatmeal rasin cookies. Matt also started making jerky for his hiking trip.

We had Chris over for dinner and I got to serve up the food in our newest estate sale find, a very vintage wooden serving set. All of the bowls are removable and they sit on a lazy susan. So fun! :)

Cuddly Kitten

Winston can be such a sweetie when he's not running around like a little maniac! :P

Sunday, July 30, 2006

LA Garment District and Fabric District

Yesterday, Matt and I went downtown to check out the LA fabric, garment and flower district. It was a ton of fun with a touch of 3rd world flair.

We started out by parking in the garment district where I'd heard that many LA brides have gotten their bridesmaids dresses for $15 or so. There were heaps of stores carrying cheap polyester shirts, blue jeans for $2-3, and fake designer bags. Matt found a guy on the side of the street selling 48 socks for $10 that he bought (only to find out today that they are WAY too small for him so now I have 2 dozen pairs of cheap socks, lol).

In particular, I was amused by a store carrying a whole line of cheap blue jeans named after me. I was tempted to buy a pair for the novelty, but they were a little sketchy for my taste.

We did, however, find several bridal shops carrying a wide array of insanely brightly colored ballgowns with gobs of sequins, poofy white wedding dresses, and a large array of cheap satin bridesmaid dresses. It was a bit of a mob scene, but there was a small selection of tea length chocolate bridesmaids dresses at a few stores. Nothing had prices labeled, so I'm not sure what the dresses would have cost but they quality is probably similar to David's Bridal, barely adequate.

Of course at this point in our shopping, Matt decided it was time to buy a bacon wrapped hot dog from a sketchy street vendor. It's a good thing the boy has a stomach of steel.

Continuing on, we found several bridal warehouse type places selling vast assortments of wedding do-dads, tulle, and ribbon roses. Most of it was junk, but they did have elbow-length veils there for $15-$22. This price is a little less than ebay, so I may consider going back if I don't decide to make one.

While the garment section was a little disappointing, the fabric section had a ton of great stuff. Most non-upholstery fabrics were in the $1-3 per yard price range with 3-5 yard minimums. Some of the cotton prints were old and icky, but others were beautiful and pristine. There were lots of bead and trim stores. In fact, there was an entire street filled with bead stores. This should be a great place to come and get fabric for table runners or overlays for the wedding. I can't wait to bring my mom down. The quantity of fabric for sale really was astounding.

Before we left, Matt decided to pick up a movie from a street vendor. He kept swearing up and down that they were real copies stolen from a theater or something, but in the end it is just a guy in a theater with a video camera. lol.

Finally, on the way out we drove through the jewelry district. Fun fun! :P

A kitty cat fort!

Winston is such a playful little beast, Matt and I were inspired last weekend to build him a fort to run, jump, and play in. It was fun to build as there's nothing quite so reminicent of childhood as cardboard boxes and duct tape. I know Matt still has some plans for additional towers and tunnels, but here's what we have thus far.

In this first pic, notice his rear disappearing inside. I was trying to get him to pose for a picture, but he was having too much fun.

Here he is hiding under the ramp inside.

He likes to sit and look at us through the windows.

He has a particular fondness for trying to fit his little head in places where it's just slightly too big. lol.

Friday, July 28, 2006

How about luminarias for the table centerpieces too?

I love the look of this table by Martha Stewart with the luminarias. It is so pretty and elegant. I love the little bows on all of the bags. What do you think? We could also intersperse little terra cotta pots with cacti and rusted iron stars to mix it up and bit, instead of using bowls of flowers like they did.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cute little dirtball!

Winston **loves** digging in the dirt on our patio and despite our best efforts, we often find him covered in mud. This seems soooo weird for a cat, to me. He has pushed out the screen on the sliding door twice now just so he can play on the patio. Gosh... I'm not sure what were going to do with him. It's a good thing he's plenty cute! :-P

(This last one is his "Oh no! I'm caught again so now their going to throw me inside" face)

Monday, July 24, 2006

Brewed and bottled!

That's right, our imperial stout wedding favor is all bottled and ready for labels! :) (just another entry on the neverending to-do list) I'll start posting ideas for labels soon!

Thus far our idea is to call the dark and thick imperial stout "For Worse" and the pale yellow mead "For Better." hehe... a little wedding pun.

Here's a picture of Matt enjoying a little of the flat, warm, leftover beer after bottling. yum! :-P

The event of the decade...

... and it's not our wedding! Matt's had a little cactus since he was in 5th or 6th grade. This plant has follow him for many years now including college in Potsdam, internship in Conn. and now two apartments here in Cali. He says that when he bought the little cactus at the grocery store it had a single pink flower on it and it hasn't flowered since.... until now that is! The cactus has FIVE beautiful pink flowers on it and they have been opening for the past week.

Here is the first picture, when they were just starting to open and were a very bright pink color:

Here are a couple of pics a few days later after the flowers were a bit paler and more open.

Aren't the blooms spectacular!?!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Save-the-Dates are out!

Well, that's it folks! I just sent out the last major batch of STD's this morning so their safely in the hands of the US Postal Service. Perhaps there will be a couple more to send, but 99.9% are done!

Here's the final image. It's mostly the same as the last one I posted, except the proportions are slightly different for Vistaprint. The messed up the first batch of postcards as we looked like we had a horrible skin disease, but their customer service was excellent and the second batch is perfect.

Oh, I also bought my plane ticket to NH for August. I'll be there the weekend of August 25 and I can't wait to see Rach, Melissa, and Katie. It's unfortunate that Ash can't come, but we'll have to make plans for the future. It should be fun and hopefully we'll have some time to look for bridesmaid dresses! Very exciting!!!

Guess we're really getting married now, huh? :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

Another landmark...

That's right folks, we're getting married 8 months from today!!! :) Yipee!!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Lacy Luminarias

In my perusal of wedding sites, I've found a bunch of pictures of people who followed Martha's instructions to make "Lacy Luminarias" and I think they're adorable. I wonder if I'll have the time or patience for such an undertaking?

Here's a link to the instructions.

Here's a link to someone who made them for their wedding, so you can see them in "action." It was a beautiful wedding and instead of using doilies, they used cutouts of their wedding monogram. Very cool!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Moving forward at warp speed...

Planning has been wizzing along at warp speed this week.

Thus far we have:
1. Received the save-the-date cards
2. Mailed out 80% of the STD cards
3. Updated the wedding website with hotel info
4. Booked a photographer
5. Hired a wedding coordinator!
6. Reserved a bunch of hotel rooms and started getting relatives to do the same!

On our short to-do list:
1. Find a seamstress for my dress alterations and make an appointment
2. Hire a DJ
3. Book a caterer
4. Send the rest of the STD's
5. Call bunches of friends an relatives and get them to book hotel rooms
6. Book my ticket back east to see the girls & bm dress shop! :)
7. Plan a trip back to Phoenix for planning
8. Make appointments at cakes, caterer, linens, coordinator, seamstress, and Dad's b-day in Phoenix
9. Scream! :P

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

If you're coming to the wedding... book your hotel room now!!!

Hey all you trusty blog readers. I'm assuming that at least a few of you will be coming to the wedding and if that's you... PLEASE BOOK YOUR HOTEL ROOM NOW! Matt's mom found an excellent rate at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Chandler so we are hoping to have as many guests get rooms there as possible before the rates change.

Click here for booking instructions and more general info!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The skirt on my dress

In my perusal of wedding sites, I found this great pic of out I hope my the skirt of my dress will hang once it's altered. The top is all wrong, but I hope the skirt has a nice shape and makes my waist look that tiny! :) I like how the veil falls right at her waistline as well.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Peru Scrapbook

I spent a little time this past weekend looking into getting our wedding album printed semi-professionally. I really want to design our wedding layouts, so I decided I should practice with our Peru pictures and have them printed in a mypublisher album. These are fairly inexpensive and will do the job of documenting this amazing trip.

Here are a few LO's that I've already completed:

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th!

Happy 4th of July everyone! :)

Here is a picture of toot and I back in the day. I was still in high school, so this was probably 1998? We were hanging out at the esplanade in Boston that year waiting to hear the Boston Pops perform.


For the favors at our wedding, Matt opted to share his brewing skill with the guests buy making a mead from orange blossom honey and an Imperial Stout. When choosing his brews, Matt decided to make something(s) special which need some aging. He actually brewed both of these a couple of months ago and they're aging in our closet. He'll be bottling in the next couple of weeks. When he was selling each recipe to me, he told me that mead is the "honeymoon drink" so I checked Wikipedia and here's what it says:

Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage made of honey, water, and yeast. It is generally pronounced "meed." Meadhing (pronounced meth' ing is the practice of brewing honey. Mead is also known as "honey wine," although this is inaccurate. Mead is a separate and distinct family of alcoholic beverages, completely apart from beer, wine, liqueur, and distilled beverages. The history of mead goes back more than 8,000 years. The oldest known meads were created on the Island of Crete; fermented honey was seen as an entheogen and bees were sacred to Demeter. Wine had not yet been created. Mead was the drink of the Age of Gold, and the word for drunk in classical Greek remained "honey-intoxicated." (Kerenyi 1976 pp 35ff). The word "honeymoon" in English is supposedly traceable to the practice of a bride's father dowering her with enough mead for a month-long celebration in honor of the marriage. (Wikipedia, "Mead")

I think in order to appease the guys with a hardier brew, he chose to also make an Imperial Stout. So it doesn't feel left out, here is a blurb from its Wikipedia entry:
Imperial stout, also known as "Russian Imperial Stout" or "Imperial Russian Stout," is a variety of ale that was originally brewed in England for export to the court of the Tsar of Russia. It is highly hopped and has a very high alcohol content (nine or ten percent is not uncommon) intended to preserve it during long trips and to provide a more bracing drink against cold climates. The colour is very dark, nearly opaque black. Imperial stout exhibits enormously powerful malt flavours, hints of dark fruits, and is often quite dry.
Once he bottles next weekend, I'm going to have to get to work putting labels on all of the bottles. We spent a lot of time looking for the perfect bottles. First, Matt found the cute green champagne bottle on the left and ordered them through the Culver City brewstore. Then, last weekend we were at the store in the valley and we found the cute brown bottle on the right. I put a "normal" beer bottle in the center for reference. Both the bottles are really cute! I want to affix cute little tags with rafia thanking our guests for coming to the neck of each bottle. Matt wants me to include a brief blub on the history of each drink on the label. I really hope our guests like them and they turn out well! It truly will be a joint effort.

Tulle Skirt & Bustle

My dress has a tulle skirt and short train, so I've been looking around for pictures of bustle for this type of skirt before I meet with a seamstress. Thus far, the best pictures I've found have come from PrincessLizzy's knot bio. She has a bunch of cute pictures and, while I don't think my skirt is quite as full as hers, it provides a great example of how a simple underbustle will look.

Check it out:

Hair and face shape

Seeing as it's a holiday and my fiance has skipped town leaving me all alone, I decided to play around with my hair to see what I like with my face shape. (Yes, I am a little psycho.) While I probably can't have a realistic hair trial until much closer to my wedding as I'm growning my hair longer, I will need to have some idea what I want to do with my hair so I can buy a veil. I tried a bunch of stuff, but here are pictures of my two favorite options for the front:

1. Side part with slight back poof to give height (but not too much as Matt is short)
2. All pulled straight back, but not too tight so there is still some volume

1. Long side part
2. Center part
3. Tightly pulled back
Now, I just have to figure out how I want to attach a veil to this hair style. I think I want it on top of my head (not coming from the bottom of the updo) but not too far forward. Perhaps something like the veil placement shown in these photos:


While trying to get a good shot of the pretty flowers for my blog, Winston decided that he wanted to help. These photos are just too cute not to share! :)

Alstroemeria - Very pretty!

Matt and I were at the grocery store last week, shopping for a Mexican feast we were making and I noticed bunches of one of our wedding flowers: Alstroemeria. Most brides probably don't know about this flower and I certainly didn't before I saw it in a bouquet at the wedding expo. It's a really pretty and delicate looking, yet hardy bloom which is in season in the spring. We're going to use it in a vivid orange for my bouquet, but it is commonly found in pink, white and yellow.

On his 2nd trip to the supermarket (to pick up all the stuff we forgot), Matt got me this pretty bouquet to keep me company while he's out of town. Very nice! :)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

He's getting BIGGER!

Our little Winston has gotten much bigger since we got him! He's gone up from 2 lbs 3 oz. to 3 lbs 14 oz in about 3 weeks. He had a fun trip to the vet today where he's being treated for ear mites. The little guy has had every kitten disease imaginable and has racked up quite the vet bill, but he's cute enough we've forgiven him. He's a little cuddler and and complete sweetheart. Henry is still coming around, but it's getting better. We're hoping that in the end they'll be the best of friends.