Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Venue/Caterer: Check!

Mr. T and I signed a contract and put a deposit down on our venue today! Hooray!

It's the same venue I've been talking about (where we had our tasting); we were just emailing back and forth with the coordinator about what our start time will be. They've generously given us an additional hour and a half for free! I was anticipating paying $400 more for the extra time, but maybe the recession is helping us there and they need our business, or maybe they're just nice folks, but we are now able to start the ceremony when we want to, at no extra charge!

Also, and I hate to think this way, but I was happy to note that we'll get 75% of our deposit back if we have to cancel. I don't want to jinx us, but it's possible that, thanks to the effects of the recession, we'll need to seriously scale down our wedding plans (in that case, we'll go to city hall and go out for pizza or something afterwards!), and I was worried about just throwing that deposit money away, but it looks like we'd get most of it back.

Again, this is worst-case scenario thinking. I'm not anticipating canceling our wedding, don't you worry! However, I have friends who have been laid off, so it's hard not to be concerned about something happening to me or Mr. T. Fingers are crossed for everyone to make it through next year okay.

Anyway, enough depressing talk. I'm so excited to check that off our list! Now I need to get on dress shopping...and we need to think about our website, our invites, our registries...yikes, only 10 months to go!

I also realized I need to do some additional hotel/motel research in our area. My brother pointed out that he and his family will need a double room, and our venue, while it is a cute little historical hotel, has tiny guest rooms with one queen bed. So that's one more item for our list--possibly another room block at a more traditional hotel for the larger families.


Resolution Clarification

I'd like to point out that I will not be doing ALL of my bright fitness ideas at once. That seems like a recipe for failure! Instead, I'll try one idea, see if I like it, and then if I make it stick, try to incorporate something else.

After much thought I decided to try getting up early and going to the gym before work to see if I can do it. Mr. T says he'll get up with me and work out at home while I go to the gym, and I think if both of us are getting up (not me having to get up while Mr. T blissfully slumbers in the warm bed), it could work! I'll start with a couple days a week, and then increase it if it's working out. The irony is that when we're going to bed Mr. T and I have a running joke about, "Did you set the alarm for 6, so we can go jogging in the morning?" Now that seems almost prophetic! (Although, still no jogging for me! Bleach. My knees would rebel.)

After that I probably would move on to the 100 push-up challenge. That seems like it would be easy to incorporate, it would be affordable, and it might actually obtain results!

I decided to postpone the cleanse for awhile. As attractive as it is to think about starting off the New Year with a clean slate (so to speak), my friends reminded me that we have some events coming up where I will be really bummed not to be drinking or eating a restricted diet...like my troupemate's bachelorette party in Vegas! So I'll wait on that one.

My boss's boss just lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers. She doesn't go to any meetings, she just uses the online tools. She says it helps her think about what she's eating and how big her portions are. I'm not sure how much WW costs, but it's one to think about...the MOH has used it and liked it as well. Hm.

Happy New Year! I'm curious to hear any resolutions folks are making, whether fitness-related or not.

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Year's Resolutions?

Ever so slowly, each year I work on becoming a healthier person. The year before last I started eating almost 100% whole grains (no white bread or white rice). Last year my resolution was to drink more water, since my water intake was oh, nil. I still find water a pretty boring beverage, but I am drinking more of it, so that's good. I could probably do with doubling my current intake, so I'll work on that next.

I also stopped eating as many animal products this year. Obviously I had to cut out dairy when I became lactose-intolerant, but this year I seriously cut back on meat and started eating more tofu, lentils, and chickpeas as my protein. This has a little bit to do with health (there's such nasty stuff in cheap meats...hormones, antibiotics, etc.) and more to do with a horrible pamphlet I was given at a Morrissey concert showing pictures of chickens in crates and pigs chained down so they couldn't even stand up (shudder). I knew about that stuff intellectually, but there's nothing like photographic evidence to change a person's behavior!

I always work on getting more exercise in. This year I was taking regular belly dance classes again for the first time in years, although I just found out my teacher is not going to be teaching that class anymore. Sigh.

Next year (which is rapidly approaching) I think I would like to focus even more on exercise. I gained a little weight this year, and it's bumming me out. I'd like my jeans to fit better, and to look better, and to feel healthier. I'd like to look good in photos, especially belly dance photos where my whole midriff is exposed! I'd like to not have to replace my whole wardrobe with clothes one size larger...that is way too expensive and I'm saving for a wedding, dammit!

I've recently discovered Fit After Thirty, which is a fun site with motivational articles. I think the more I read, the more motivated I feel NOT to eat those holiday cookies sitting on the table at work.

I'm also considering doing a three-week cleanse in January. This one is going to be tricky, because it pretty much means all home-prepared meals and no eating out. When you get home at 10 pm, the easy thing is to eat a quick sandwich...but this cleanse means no gluten, no animal products, no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine. I'm not sure which will be the hardest part. Probably the gluten and the caffeine! Mr. T says he'll support anything that stops me from drinking soda (I drink diet soda but Mr. T thinks all soda is evil...he's probably right, but don't tell him that). I think this would be a huge challenge but it might help wean me from some bad habits. Then again, it might turn me into a cranky bitch for three weeks. So I'm still thinking about it.

The "100 push-up challenge" seems totally do-able and easy to incorporate into one's life.

I'd like to find a good yoga class. My belly dance teacher always did a half-hour yoga warm-up, and since I'm not going to benefit from that anymore, I would like to keep up the yoga part of it in another way.

I've also considered...since getting to the gym can be challenging with a busy schedule...what if I tried getting up early and doing it before work? I can't believe I'm even thinking about that. I am SO not a morning person. But for my health...isn't it worth it?

Does anyone else have fitness goals for 2009?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Engagement Photo Shoot

I think I mentioned that Mr. T and I are meeting with a photographer after Christmas. She lives in Southern CA, so we'll go visit while we're staying with my folks for the holiday. I had the fantastic idea of setting up an engagement photo shoot for that day with her--that way, we can get comfortable beforehand, see what angles we like/don't like, what poses we like, etc. Plus the photos would make good parental gifts.

Luckily, the photographer has the time and has asked for ideas for where to shoot. I have no idea! I'm thinking urban surroundings...neither of us are big nature freaks. I mean, not that I want to burn the rainforests or anything, but neither one of us suggests camping as a recreational activity. Ever. We do go on the occasional hike, but I can probably count the number of hikes we've taken on two hands, and we've been together 11 years. Just sayin'.

I'm also wondering, what the heck should I wear? I was thinking dark jeans and heels. One of my friends expressed disappointment that we wouldn't be more dressed up, but do I want to tromp around urban LA in a dress in the middle of December? I'm just not sure. I only have 11 days to figure this out, so any thoughts are appreciated!!

Review of Twilight

Let's face it, there's a lot of hoopla about these books, and the movie. Teenage girls are screaming in the theaters. It makes starting to read this series a little unappealing, like listening to Hannah Montana might be, for example. Never done it, not going to start.

However, I'd also heard a common refrain from folks whose opinions I trusted: that despite themselves, they were drawn into the story and couldn't put the book down. So, I put myself on the long, long, hold list at the library, and forgot about it until my number was up and the book was in at the library.

I read that sucker in two days.

It was enthralling, and entertaining, and totally worth the hype. No, it's not going to win the Pulitzer, but I immediately took to the characters, especially Bella, the narrator. I love that she is sarcastic and clumsy (like me!). I loved brooding, mysterious, beautiful Edward. The long, slow buildup in the beginning didn't bother me a bit...I knew the book would deliver. And it did.

I would totally recommend this one. Mr. T is now reading it, and is shameless about reading a book popularized by teenage girls on his daily BART rides. I'm on the waiting list for the second and third books, and am so impatient I actually went to the used book store and looked around for book two. They didn't have any copies, of course. Hurry up, library patrons! I'm waiting!!

Review of Maximum Ride: School's Out--Forever

This book was the awkward middle child of this trilogy (I say this without having yet read the third book, but I just have a feeling). The first book was exciting because the characters were introduced, and the third/last book will have the conclusion to all the action. The second book was a little disappointing. Nothing really happened.

The kids end up staying with an FBI agent and being enrolled in school. Max struggles with the feeling of being overruled by the FBI agent, their new "mom". She also goes on her first date, with a normal teenage boy, and she struggles with feeling jealous when Fang also starts dating.

Of course they discover that the FBI agent is working with the lab that created/imprisoned them, and they escape to Florida, where they look up this giant lab that is supposedly going to destroy the world (which is why Max was created--to stop them? I think). They break into the lab and print out some info from the computer, which I'm assuming we'll hear more about in the next book.

There was a side plot about a duplicate Max that the lab created, since the first one (our narrator) wasn't cooperating. I'm assuming we'll see more of dupe Max in the last book too.

So, all in all, nothing much really happened. I wasn't turned off enough to not want to read the final book, but it was a bummer to come down after such an exciting beginning.

Pink Sapphire is the new Diamond?

I was perusing the Brilliant Earth site a couple of weeks ago and noticed some new stock. You may remember that when I picked my ring out, they only had diamonds or blue sapphires shown on the site, except for one pink sapphire and diamond wedding band; it wasn't until our appointment at the showroom that I got to see the larger pink stones.

Now, they've got two new pink sapphire engagement rings listed on the site. I wonder if we had anything to do with that? Or is pink sapphire the new diamond? Here they are:

While I think they are both gorgeous, I still think mine's better. (Of course.) I got a compliment completely out of the blue the other day at Tully's (meaning, I didn't shove my ring under this person's nose on purpose, and she still noticed it!) and I felt very proud of Mr. T and I for doing such a great job at ring selecting.

I noticed that Brilliant Earth also has some new wedding bands with pink sapphires in them, too. This is great since I plan on going back for my band, and I've been at a loss for what I'd get...I thought we were going to have to do a completely custom ring. But this might work, with alterations:

Of course, I'd want the whole thing to be pink. Screw the diamonds.

I also thought this one might work:

Again, if they could do it with pink, instead of the diamonds. Those swirl patterns match the pattern on the band of my ring, so it might be a nice fit.

I love window shopping!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


In a moment of brilliance (I do have them sometimes), I turned to Mr. T and said, "We should ask your mom to do the table centerpieces for us."

Mr. T's mom is an advertisement for DIY; she refinishes furniture and has single-handedly (well, Mr. T helps when he can) decorated her house and landscaped her yard. We showed her some inspiration pix and asked her to run with it.

This is what she presented us with on Thanksgiving (the flowers are a bit wilted b/c I didn't think to take pix till a few days later):

The pumpkin is an artificial one from Michael's that she got for 75% off. As tempting as it was to stock up on these after Halloween, I think having real pumpkins will add a certain something. The flowers are a mix of a $7 bouquet from Trader Joe's and stuff from her yard, as well as a few things from craft stores (the feathers and fruit, dunno if you can see these in the photos).

The wreath underneath is to cover up the dish with DRY ICE underneath, which I love. I don't want folks to be breathing it in during dinner, but I think it doesn't last very long, so we could just have it billowing around during cocktail hour and then it would be done by the time folks wanted to sit down.

So, I imagine Mr. T's mom will come up to stay with us a few days before the wedding, and we'll go flower shopping...it's funny, as much as I thought I didn't care about flowers at the reception, it looks like we'll have them after all, but we'll do it DIY, not the florist route. I'd like more fall colored flowers than what's shown here--reds and oranges--but otherwise I love these. I also got inspired as we were talking about these centerpieces and asked Mr. T's mom if she'd help us DIY the bouquets and corsages, etc. She said she would! I think this will lower our costs considerably.

I'm not sure how we'll work in the candy jars. I know we could have a candy bar, but part of me likes the idea of having them on the tables. We're still thinking about that part.

No STDs for us

Mr. T and I decided we're not going to do Save The Date cards. Everyone that we care about knows when we're getting married. We really just need to send the hotel info to the out of towners, which can be accomplished via email.

Now we get more $ to spend on invitations! That was easy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

More Pumpkins!

I don't think I've posted any of these pix before, but if I have, humor me, 'kay? Here are some random pumpkin inspirations saved in my travels throughout the World Wide Web. Of course I didn't save the source info. Who do you think I am?

I love this sweet photo of shoes and pumpkins:

Painting, not carving the pumpkins, is looking very attractive. It can be done ahead of time, and won't involve pumpkin goo:

These pumpkins have carving and paint, meaning double the work, but I think they look fantastic:

These are actually papier mache pumpkins. If I had an ounce of DIY creativity I would totally do these. They look awesome, and they would last!

More pumpkins as flower vases. This looks easy, and pretty:

This is more of that, only the colors are different. I love the pale grey-green pumpkin:

Monogram pumpkin. Both Mr. T and I like this idea:

And random glittered squash. I love the glitter. Again, this could be done earlier.

Beautiful cherry blossom-carved pumpkin:

And, for the finale, the Death Star pumpkin. Now that is awesome:

Review of Bumping Into Geniuses

I requested this book from the library because I heard the author on the radio one morning. He had some interesting stories about working in the rock industry, and my curiosity was piqued. I have a lifetime subscription to Rolling Stone magazine (although it's hard to keep up with my magazine subscriptions...I have stacks of unread mags throughout the house, making me feel guilty) as well as Spin magazine, and Mr. T and I are big music fans, so I'm always interested in a glimpse of the underbelly of rock.

Mr. T read this one first and dispelled me of any notions I had about this book. "There's a lot of name dropping," he said. You might think, "well, what would you expect, it's about the industry!" but I thought I knew what he meant. When I started to read the book, it became even more clear. Some of the paragraphs were just lists of names! It felt insurmountable. The beginning was the worst part; the author was just starting out in the business and meeting people. He seems to have felt compelled to not only name-drop but also to tell the life story of every character he named, whether or not they were relevant to his story, which is ostensibly the focus of the book. So he'd drop a name, detail that person's entire career in the music industry, and then return to the narrative pages later. It was so hard to keep track of what was happening because of all of the tangents.

There were a few good nuggets of info. Led Zeppelin tidbits are always fascinating, of course. I liked reading about the beginning of Stevie Nicks' solo career. As Mr. T mentioned, there was nothing really new in the section on Nirvana, but it was good to read it again. And sad. The book was unusual in that the author mentioned Courtney Love with a lot of respect, and seems to have tiptoed very carefully around the subject of Courtney in general. I didn't know much about Warren Zevon before reading this book, and it was interesting (and sad) to read about him and the making of his final album.

So, on the whole, I didn't totally hate this book, but neither would I recommend it to anyone. The author seems like the guy who has all the good stories at the party, but good stories do not a writer make. And apparently whoever his editor was was not up to the task either.

Officiant: Check

Mr. T and I have been mulling over who should be our officiant for a few months now. I mean, we've vaguely been thinking about it since we got engaged, but we really seriously began to talk about it in the last couple of months. We knew that, being the heathens we are, we were never going to get married in a church or by a religious official, so it became clear we should draft one of our friends into doing the job (thanks to the wonderful Universal Life Church...hey, I guess we are going to be married by a religious official...the ULC is a church, after all!).

We came up with some basic guidelines for our officiant candidates:

  1. Knows and is close to both of us. This seemed important not only because this is a very important day for us, but also so the officiant would feel comfortable talking about us as a couple in front of our assembled friends and family. And, as one of my friends put it, it's nice if the officiant is invested in your success and growth as a couple.
  2. Is comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. We didn't want to put someone on the spot...I know what it is to hate public speaking, and it's hard to say no to a friend, so we could potentially have caused someone a lot of anguish if we picked a wallflower.

We eliminated the MOH, although she was who I originally thought would officiate. Mr. T really thought she should be the MOH, though, and after I thought about it some more, I agreed. After that we discussed other friends...Mr. T was wavering between who would stand up with him as a groomsman, thereby possibly eliminating some candidates, but we finally settled on one of our close friends and popped the question to him at brunch on Sunday.

After the waiter took our order I launched into my unprepared speech, starting with, "We wanted to talk to you about something." He immediately said, "Oh my god, this is an Ulterior Brunch!" and we laughed and had to agree. Then I talked about how we loved him, etc. and ended with asking him if he'd be our officiant. He looked shocked but also very happy, so I knew we'd chosen well. He got super excited about it.

It feels good to have our close friends participating in our wedding (our officiant's partner is going to be our day-of coordinator), and it also feels good to check something off the list. It seems funny to think that we only have 11 months to go, now! OMG, we need to get some stuff done!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Review of House of the Stag

I actually read this one a couple of books ago, so my memories of it are fading, but I have been mulling over what to say about it. On the whole, I liked it. It surprised me. In fantasy, that's hard to do...the story lines are pretty well established, and most folks don't deviate much.

I wasn't expecting to like it, though. The beginning describes the protagonist's early years among a primitive people, and I was rolling my eyes as I read. Aside from Clan of the Cave Bear and its sequels, which are a guilty pleasure, I don't read much "prehistoric" fiction--I find that it's usually pretty trite and can't hold my interest for very long. I guess I'm an elitist for my imaginary friends--I want them to be smart and cultured and have witty conversation. Or something. Anyway, my interest picked up as Gard (the protagonist) grew up into a different type of person than the villagers who raised him. He is cast out for inadvertently causing the death of his foster brother, and it is revealed that Gard is half-demon. His foster mother curses him to a long life in exile, and this is the narrative device the author uses to show Gard's evolution from a simple villager to a trained fighter, mage, and strategist. Underneath it all, he retains a core of innocence, which makes him a likable character even as he tries to cultivate an aura of darkness to keep enemies far away from him.

Eventually he meets a woman who captures his heart (in a non-coincidence, she is the spiritual leader of the people who cast him out) and he marries her and has a son. The end, which is built up as an invasion of his fortress by a neighboring army, ends in a non-battle because the army doesn't get in, except for one mage and her guard. They are quickly dispatched and everyone lives happily ever after, even the demons and freaks that make up Gard's retinue.

Typically I would protest such a seemingly fast and underwhelming ending to a story. Don't even get me started on how The Historian ended. A whole novel that dragged on for hundreds of pages, with a resolution in one, maybe two pages! Such a disappointment. But this time...I didn't mind. And I think it was because the author had not ended it that way because she lacked the talent to create a different ending. She ended it that way because it was unexpected. She gauged, rightly, that the core of the conflict was the mage, and that the army was ultimately unimportant. The ending surprised me and left me wondering how I felt about it, which I've come to realize means that I think I liked it! She seems like an author that is willing to take risks.

The tone of the book reminded me somewhat of David Eddings and somewhat of Sheri Tepper, although not derivative.

I think I will check out Baker's first novel, which is set in the same world. I would recommend her.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Bday to Me

I had a great time celebrating my birthday with everyone over the weekend. I had a moment or two of feeling a little discomfort at all the attention--which is odd, because even though I grew up very shy, I've knocked a lot of that out by performing for strangers with a bare midriff! Regardless, it struck me that I will have to get used to that sort of attention at our wedding, but it will be better because I'm sharing the spotlight with Mr. T. I hate the adage that it's the bride's day. It's the couple's day. There are two people up there getting married and changing their lives forever!!

A friend of mine asked what I wanted for the coming year and I came up with the following on the fly:

Health and financial stability for my friends and family (oh yeah, and happiness too)
To be in better physical shape
To have drama-free wedding planning, at least as much as possible (a friend of mine is having a dress disaster and her wedding is in 4 months)

Here's to all of the above! (Picture me raising my Camelbak at work.) I'm glad to get back to "normal" life after all the birthday stuff...only now, Christmas is coming up! EEEK!

Mr. T remarked that next year my birthday will follow pretty closely after our wedding and wondered what I wanted to do for it. I told him to ask me then. Really, I'm imagining I wouldn't mind skipping a year of birthday fuss, particularly if we're still on a honeymoon. But we'll see.

In other news, I set up a meeting with a wedding photographer today, for over Christmas break. She's in LA but I think she may just work out! More on that later. Also, we finally heard back from our venue, they will send us our contract as soon as we answer a couple questions, so that's almost set! They also said they'd be glad to do a second tasting for free. Love them.

PS--Happy birthday, Neil Gaiman! Scorpios rule!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Review of Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment

In sharp contrast to the aforementioned Spellbinder, which took me days and days and days to slog through, this book took me a day and a half to read. Granted, it's young adult fiction, but I'm not agist--I'll read anything as long as it's good. And this one was.

It's about a group of mutant kids who are the victims of a scientific experiment--they were injected with avian DNA in utero. They were all born with wings, lighter (but stronger) bones, and stronger muscles, and some have other superhuman talents, like telepathy, or breathing under water. The narrator details that before the start of the story, they had escaped the lab with the help of one of the scientists there. He went missing (they assume he's dead), and they are left to fend for themselves until their hiding place is found and the youngest one, Angel, is kidnapped back to the lab.

It's up to Max, the oldest, to organize a rescue mission. This book chronicles the "flock's" journey to rescue Angel, their discovery that their guardian is not dead after all, but back working for the lab and apparently "one of them", and their travels after that to uncover their history. It feels a bit like young-adult Xmen! One of the interesting points of the book is that the kids each need upwards of 3000 calories per day, and it's hard for a group of runaway kids with no money to obtain that much food very easily. This kind of everyday detail is what makes the book so engaging, although it never approaches the all-encompassing (and IMO, overwhelming) Stephen-King level of detail.

It's true, 6-year-old Angel does speak like an adult, and the "Voice" that talks to Max later on in the novel is a bit annoying (and why is Max so trusting about it,after being so paranoid about everything else?), and maybe the writing isn't going to win the Pulitzer, but the book was engrossing and entertaining and I have already requested the sequel from the library.

Review of Spellbinder

This book wasn't good. I was going to be more scathing, but at the end of the book there's an author note about how she was struggling with mental illness before writing it, and that she wanted to write something totally new, unrelated to her other series, and in that I guess she succeeded.

I support authors trying new things, getting out of ruts, growing and learning. This book, however, should have been workshopped with her writing group, not published. It was bad. The dialog was bad, the story meandered, the characters were stereotypes, and it read like a bad romance novel. The main character was a writer, and the snippets of her writing were bad. It was just bad, bad, bad.

So, Melanie Rawn, I'm truly very sorry you've been going through a tough time. I hope things get better for you, and I look forward to your return to the Exiles series (still waiting eagerly for Captal's Tower!). I also hope your editor applies a heavier hand to your work. Best wishes!

Needless to say, I don't recommend this one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Busy B

Yesterday Daylight Savings Time seems to have imbued me with some natural uppers. Here's what I accomplished:

Did a sinkful of dishes
Swept kitchen floor
Posted about a year's worth of photos to Flickr
Took our Halloween purchases our of their bags, photographed them, reorganized them, and stowed them out of reach of the cats
Did four loads of laundry, including our bathmat which takes TWO HOURS to dry
Fed the cats
Washed out the cats' fountain watering bowl
Emptied the cats' litter boxes, washed them out, dried them, and filled with clean litter
Cleaned the bathroom
Put away remnants of Sarah Palin costume, clean clothes, jewelry, etc.
Cleaned up my desk area, did filing
Shredded some junk mail
Went grocery shopping
Cooked dinner
Paid bills
AND...the point of this story...I updated our wedding budget and input the numbers from our venue's proposal into the budget. Mostly, we were right on target (Mr. T was hoping we'd overestimated, which wasn't the case), except in two areas (where I underestimated), which I'm kicking myself about: tax and tip. I can't believe I got that wrong! I thought I was being so careful!

Anyway, it worked out okay, because Mr. T decided that the wedding rings should be taken out of the budget and that we should be responsible for them ourselves. This gives him a raw deal, but if he insists...

So we contacted the venue back and said that we'd like to sign a contract and put a deposit down. Woo-hoo! We're on our way...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

After-Halloween Sale Shopping

The day after Halloween, Mr. T and I woke up (not too early), went out to breakfast, and strategized about what we needed. We then proceeded to go to 13 stores:

Ace Hardware
Halloween Superstore
Z Gallery
Restoration Hardware
Crate and Barrel
Sur La Table
Some random other home store in the same neighborhood as the last four
Paper Source
Pottery Barn

I was worried when we set out because it was later in the day (like noon) and I had gotten multiple calls and emails saying that stores were out of things and that some stores had started discounting items earlier in the month, but we did okay, actually.

Here's what we bought (I haven't totaled the receipts yet, but I believe we spent about $150?):

Ace Hardware: 6 strands of lights. There's not a ton of outlets in the room, so we were just going to light up the two sets of railings that separate the sunken middle section of the room:

At the Halloween Superstore, they were pretty cleaned out, and anyway, their stuff is always pretty cheap. I did pick up a cute plush bat bucket for the flower girl's basket:

Tikka agrees that the bat is very interesting:

At Andronico's, I picked up two high-quality pumpkin carving sets, two metal luminaries, and a spider candle holder:

At Z Gallery, they didn't have much, but what they had was 70% off! We got a glittery "tree" and a glittery black cat candle:

You can see that Dobby is very interested by the tree, or maybe it's that paper bag she's spying on:

Target, which I thought would be empty, actually had a lot and was our biggest haul. We got a 5-foot black tree with orange lights (we figured this could go in one of the two large niches in the wall, or over by the bar area), a smaller table top tree with vintage-looking Halloween ornaments for the guest book table, a black (fake) pumpkin with Happy Halloween carved into in orange letters, a cute box for cards for the gift table, runners for the cake and guest book tables that are silver with black velvet webs on them, and two orange frames for photos:

Pottery Barn was our last stop, and again, I was surprised they still had stuff. We probably got there around 5:30 and we were what my friend calls "hangry"--so hungry that we were very irritable. Mr. T didn't love their stuff, but I did, but it was one of those disagreements where it was very civilized and considerate, "If you like them, get them!" "No, if you don't like them, I don't want to buy them; this is not all about me." So, instead of buying their entire stock of skull and crossbones votives (Mr. T had mixed feelings about using a lot of skull imagery for our wedding), we compromised and got one set to help decorate the bookshelves. And we also got a really cool metal bone candle holder. They had cool feathery garland, but those were $15 a piece even on sale, so I thought I'd skip them.

After all that shopping we were exhausted! Our feet and legs even hurt, and this is from a couple of people who walk over 2 miles almost daily. We were also soaked, since it was pouring rain all day.

We still need table decor (and a fog machine for Mr. T!), but we might be almost set for the rest of the room, so that's progress!!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Anniversary to my Boo

Happy Halloween everyone! I can't wait to see everyone's costumes at the MOH's annual Halloween party tonight!

And, most importantly, I'd like to wish a happy 11th anniversary to my honey. We go to eleven! I love you boo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Invite Ideas and Inspiration Boards

I'm tidying up my saved jpegs, so that means they have to get posted before I forget about them!
First up, some invitation ideas. Lately Mr. T has said he wants to do a more typographic design, so I'm not sure we'll end up with anything resembling the following, but I like it all.

First up, a "woodcut" made out of construction paper. Although we certainly have plenty of time to make these, I think it would drive us crazy. Still, amazing, no? So skilled.

Next, an adorable pumpkin bag that holds the invite. A bitch to ship, but cute.

I love the silver ink on the black paper. I wonder how that's done.

Some more "traditional" invites. You can actually buy these blank and print them yourself at home. If we're cutting some more corners, this might be a way to go:

And finally, some inspiration boards about Halloween weddings, exciting! I love the one of the drinks; that's black vodka in some of them! Who knew that existed?

Oh, and one Day of the Dead board. Love the black glitter pumpkin! Hmmmmm....

Dress Loveliness

So, as the one-year mark approaches I'm starting to make some more substantial plans. I know, I said I wouldn't do anything until 11/1, but come on, it's just a few days away!

One of the things I decided recently is that I need to take the plunge, go to a "traditional" bridal shop, and see what silhouettes look good on me. I mean, I have an hourglass shape, so I'm considering a mermaid-shaped skirt, and yet I don't want the focus of the dress to be my saddlebags and junk in the trunk. I'm currently investigating shops that carry plus-size samples (ain't no way I'm fitting in a 6!) so I can do some preliminary work before I go see the corset-maker. I am dreading going into the land of white poofy dresses a little bit. I just haven't heard encouraging things from my plus-size bridal sisters. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

And, of course, there's always the internet. Look at this gorgeous red! That is the perfect color. Love it.

I also like that it extends to her hips and that there's some coverage in the bosom area...good for the more amply bosomed ladies like me. I don't love how jarring the silver clasps look against the red. I wonder if these come in other colors? They must, right?

And, courtesy of a bride on Live Journal who designed her own pale pink and black dress, check this out!:

I love, love, love this dress. I love the beading on the front that drapes over her arms, I love the flashes of black lace from the skirt, I love that it's pink and black, I love it all. Drooling now. Well, I do think the train is a bit much, but maybe it's just the photo making it look that way.

I also think she did a kickass job of doing her own makeup:

I would definitely like a redder lip but I love the drama around the eyes. Sigh.