Wednesday, July 29, 2009


93 days left! I think I just started to hyperventilate a bit. Holy crap.

I'm still alive, obviously. I went to Hawaii to teach and perform and also vacation for a bit, and am now back in the chilly Bay Area, still groggy from the time change, and unable to wear any of the nice summer clothing I bought that actually fits me!

I did completely blow off the diet for a week, and haven't weighed myself yet, so who knows how I did in that regard. I'm afraid to know!

In news of wedding things achieved, Mr. T bought his suit. Luckily for us, he liked the suit they had in stock at Sak's, so he's going to have that one altered to fit him a little better, and only the vest will need to be custom.

We are almost done with the invitations and will probably get them off to the printer in the next few days. What a relief. We are probably not going to do any blind letterpress after all, but I'm not disappointed. Once I got to have black paper, true happiness was achieved. ;-)

We still need to settle the matter of the rehearsal dinner venue fairly soon. So much to do, so much to do!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Rehearsing the Rehearsal Dinner

It was a wedding-packed weekend, as you can tell!

This weekend Mr. T and I tried out two of the places we're considering for our rehearsal dinner. They're both Chinese food restaurants, which is why they have banquet rooms, and they're both in our budget.

The first place was highly reviewed on Yelp. It didn't have the most updated decor, although I'm not too concerned with that. What I am concerned about is language barriers...most of the servers spoke very little English. How would I explain that some of our guests are vegetarian, pescetarian, or have celiac disease? Still, the food was great. We had steamed fish dumplings with this amazing soy ginger sauce and I had tilapia with ginger and garlic soy sauce. I said to Mr. T right before the fish came out, "I hope they don't leave the head on it," and of course they did--it's one of those restaurants. Mr. T sampled a pork dish with veggies. He thought it was tasty. I was disappointed they didn't offer brown rice, but it's a small issue in the scheme of things.

The second place wasn't as highly reviewed on Yelp. The decor was a lot more modern, and we really liked the look of the banquet area, which was off to the side of the restaurant. The problem was, we discovered, that with a party of our size (about 30 people) we couldn't be guaranteed we'd get the whole room on a Friday night...they'd try and seat people in the other part of the restaurant, but if it got too busy, we'd have strangers in the room with us. Hm. The food was good, and they had brown rice, but I'd say the other restaurant's food was slightly better. However, I wouldn't be as worried about language barrier stuff at the 2nd restaurant. We had steamed shrimp dumplings that were yummier than the fish dumplings at the first place, although the sauce wasn't as good, and I had the grilled salmon, which was a huge platter of two salmon steaks. Needless to say, I had leftovers! The salmon was yummy, if a little overcooked. Mr. T had Mongolian beef, which he liked.

So, we have one more place to try, but it's a difficult one to sample as they're only open on weekdays. I'm secretly hoping the third place is our favorite because it's the closest one to our venue...literally walking distance. But, we'll see. The other two restaurants are close, but we'd have to drive, and in both neighborhoods parking is tricky, especially on a weekend night.

Mr. T and I are both a little sick of Chinese food, needless to say, after eating it all weekend. ;-)

Measured! Dress Appt. #2

This Saturday the MOH and I went to my dressmaker's so I could finally be measured for my dress! I have to say, I love my dressmaker already. She's so awesome. Funny, nice, name it. I'm so excited to get this ball rolling!

The next step is that they'll make a muslin for me, which will take about a month and a half, and then I'll come in again and they'll make adjustments. After that they cut fabric! My dressmaker says that she's not concerned about me losing more weight; I guess it's not a large enough amount (like 100 lbs or something) to make her worry about it. I told her I was going to keep losing until she tells me to stop it.

Of course while I was in there I ran into my friend M., who is the lovely lady that sold me my wedding shoes and who's getting married a month before I am. She was there to try on her muslin for her dress. Small world!

I also was very weak and bought a feather fascinator while I was there. No, not for the wedding. It's a gorgeous set of ostrich plumes in pink and mauve and burgundy. Sigh. Once I put it on, I was done for! The MOH also bought a skirt and a top. That shop is trouble.

Speaking of fascinators, I did choose one:

I realized that the black flower with the rhinestone center was $80 all by itself; the veil was separate. That's just crazy. No flower is worth $80, in my opinion. So I took a chance on this feathered beauty that was a fraction of the cost; I thought, well, if it's not the right color, I know I'll wear it for something else. But I got it yesterday, and Mr. T, the color expert, deemed it close enough (I have a swatch of my dress fabric at home, but that's all he's allowed to see)! So I think I'm set, except for a birdcage veil. One of my friends thinks she has some extra netting she can give me, and if so, and if the MOH and I can rig something pretty, we're golden! Now I just need to schedule a hair trial...

Suit Shopping: Take Three

This weekend Mr. T and I went back to both Neiman and Sak's in the quest for the perfect suit.

First we went to Neiman and tried on the one three-piece suit they had. It was huge on Mr. T. "You're swimming in it!" I told him. The consultant was trying very hard to make it the right suit by talking about how they'd alter it for Mr. T, but it just wasn't right.

After that we went to Sak's. The consultant there had found another suit that he thought Mr. T might like...and he did! It's black with a subtle black stripe on it. The consultant is not sure if he can get a vest in that fabric, but if he can't, we'll just pick a different one. Mr. T is really happy with the fit overall (he'll need some tailoring, of course), and we were both happy that he found the suit!!! Hooray!

As a side note, I'd like to mention how messed up it is that alterations are included gratis when you purchase a suit, but when you purchase your standard wedding dress, they use alterations as another chance to charge you more. I hate the wedding industry.

Anyway, without further ado, I present THE SUIT (ignore that it's untailored...)!

Mr. T also found a tie he really liked, but it's crazy expensive for a tie. Still, it was soooo amazing and soft and luxe. The other ties just didn't compare. So, he might cave and buy it. It's the black and white striped tie below:

I told him if he gets it I'll wear striped tights. :-)
So, the consultant is checking on the fabric availability, and then the next step is to place the order!

Invitation Update

The printer says we can do black paper! Yay! and I've found some that won't break the bank, so we're still under budget. I'm learning all about paper--pounds versus gsm, and how cover stock is different. I think this might actually help me with my day job!

Now that we know we can do black paper with silver type, Mr. T's gotten re-inspired about the invites (again) and has gone in a new direction--we're no longer just doing a type design. This weekend he was working on a monogram for us with little success and a lot of cursing. It's funny, we've both come full circle with what we wanted for invites at the very beginning of our engagement: I wanted black paper, and he wanted a silhouette of us against a moon, with our two cats and a big tree. Last night he went home and worked some more on the invite with that in mind and I have to say, it's looking really good! I felt very positive about us achieving this one. Phew!

We still want to do some blind letterpressing as part of the design, and that may prove tricky, but we'll deal with that when we come to it...

OMW Week 28; WW Week 18

Another 2 pounds lost this week! That makes 25.5 total. Hooray!

I would like to say that every morning I leap out of bed with tons of energy and sprint to the gym, but sadly, that's not true. I'm still going to bed too late and having a hard time getting up in the morning, but I persevere in the hopes that I can someday undo a lifetime's worth of sleeping habits! I think it can be done. I'm a stubborn girl.

Thank goodness Mr. T helps me get up, or I'd be lost. The cats help too.

I'm still not sure what my final goal should be. I initially thought I'd like to lose 30-50 pounds (the BMI chart says 50, but what does it know?), and now that I'm close to 30, I definitely don't feel done. I guess I'll aim for 40 next and see how I feel then!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Invitation Frustration

So, the clock is ticking, and we have no invitations.

Mr. T and I have finally conceded defeat regarding our previous invitation idea. It's too difficult for us to do on our own, and too expensive for us to contract out, and on top of that, the letterpress printer seemed dubious that we could even do print it the way we'd like to, so we're back to the drawing board (tick, tock, tick tock!).

There's an amazing letterpress blog, Beast Pieces, that Mr. T and I have been stalking, so we went there for inspiration (well, and I went to about 300 other sites too, but I figure you don't want to see all the rejects here!).

Here's our new plan:
1. Black paper. This makes me very happy as I have wanted black paper all along. I love the idea of it.
2. Silver ink. Apparently white ink doesn't letterpress on black paper well, but metallics do. Again, awesome.
3. Blind debossing. Mr. T feels confident that he can create a nice border and pattern for the edges of the paper, and we'll have our text centered in the middle. Simple, elegant, and still unique.

I've sent off some questions to the printer about this new plan and am hopeful that they'll say it's all step will be to research paper stock (our printer doesn't carry black, of course!). Mr. T feels a lot better and less stressed about this plan, and therefore, so do I.

Here are some inspiration pix from Beast Pieces:

Love the blind-debossed pattern:

Another example of blind debossing:

More blind debossing. I ADORE this card!

Cross your fingers for us!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fascinate Me!

Holy crap, the wedding is (fewer than) 4 months away and I have no idea what to wear on my head!

Well, I have some idea. After my initial love affair with tiaras I decided it was probably much more "me" to wear a fascinator (flower, feathers, or both) with or without a birdcage veil.

Some searching on Etsy turned up these beauties. How do I decide? You must help me.

I think this flower is silk? I like that it has a veil attached, although I'm not sure about wearing a flower at the top of my head and it doesn't look like you can reposition it. Also, I'm hoping you can detach the veil because I don't think I'll want to wear it all night.

This is another flower/veil combo. The Etsy listing did show this one in various positions on the model's head, so I wouldn't need to commit to having a big flower on top of my head. However, this one breaks the bank at $120!

I love this one, but it's also expensive, I think $80? Still, the rhinestone center is great, and there's something very appealing about the veil across the eyes only.

I wasn't even considering hats, but I ran across this one and I kinda love it! Still, I probably won't do a hat. But isn't it great?

These last two are my faves, I think. First, rhinestone buckle loveliness:

Second, sexy flamenco red and black hotness:

I would have to buy a birdcage veil separately if I went for either of the last two. Or, I could just go without the veil. I'm not sure.

Which one do you like? Help a girl out!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catching Up on Book Reviews

Right now I'm reading a book on Halloween and it feels like it's taking forever. I don't know why I'm so determined to finish it. It feels like I'm cramming for a mid-term on Halloween!

Here are some of the library books I've read lately:

The latest in the Harry Dresden universe. I think I've mentioned before that Jim Butcher is one of the few authors I read where his books get better and better; he seems genuinely invested in improving his craft. This latest was no exception--totally entertaining, action-packed, funny, and addictive. It was interesting to see Harry working with someone he disliked so much. I wish that Murphy had been in the book more, but I think Harry's relationship with Luccio probably prevented Murphy from being around much, and I wonder if we'll see more Murphy in future books? Also, Thomas's character took an interesting turn. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out.
For those of you who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, but might be interested in a wizard detective series, check out the first book in the series and then get back to me!

Pretty in Plaid was surprisingly sweet, deviating from the unrepentantly snarky tone of all of the author's other books. I still like Such a Pretty Fat the best, but perhaps that was because it was the first book I'd read of hers. Still, this was a quick, fun read. Now that she's covered all of her past, however, I wonder if she'll have more material to write about? It seemed like she went to the past because she'd already mined the present, so now what's left?
I could see some of Jen Lancaster's books as movies, so I wonder if that's her next avenue?

The Manual of Detection was awesome. It reminded me of the Thursday Next books, but without all of the literary references. It definitely had all of the absurd and self-referential moments, though.
I wasn't as endeared to the characters as I would've liked to have been, and so it took me awhile to get into the book. However, the premise was so great that I wanted to know what happened next.
The main character is a clerk in a detective agency who's suddenly promoted after the star detective whose reports he's been filing disappears. The clerk has no prep to be a detective, so he resolves to try and find his detective and bring him back, thereby going back to his safe life as a clerk. However, during the course of his search he discovers that the cases that the detective has solved to such city-wide acclaim have actually been solved incorrectly. The clerk meets dangerous and colorful characters along the way, uncovers another plot to take over the city by the nefarious villain, and in general gets into a lot of trouble.
The cover of this book is modeled after the "Manual of Dectection" instructional manual that the clerk is given upon his promotion. I loved that detail--the book within the book that has a cover modeled after the book within the book. So geeky and fun.
Also, the website for this book is great. It has a haunting mp3 playing that I would totally buy if it were available, but alas, the song was written specifically for the site.
Very fun read!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Gimme Some Money...*

*This title's a joke, by the geekier readers will recognize it as the title of a Spinal Tap song!

So, anyway, we registered for gifts this weekend. It was exhausting. I had no idea it would be that way. And we're not done.

I mean, I do read bridal blogs, and I knew that going through the store with the scanner often starts out fun and ends up with both people tired and hangry (hungry + angry), but Mr. T and I weren't registering for a ton, and we registered from the comfort of our own desktop computer, so I wasn't expecting to end up tired and hangry. And yet we did!

We started with a Bed Bath & Beyond registry. We don't need much, but we do want to upgrade our flatware, dishes, pots and pans, knives...well, maybe we do need a lot. Anyway, BB&B is nice in that they offer a completion discount in case you don't receive everything from your can buy the rest yourselves at a discount. And you can use your discount flyer coupons, too (I think). Score! Mr. T really wanted to register for All-Clad cookware, but I thought that 1. the prices were crazy, 2. registering for pans that cost $200 each made us look greedy, and 3. we cook maybe once a week, so we don't need stuff that's quite that high-end. Mr. T argued that if we were upgrading, he only wanted to upgrade once. However, we finally settled on a Cuisinart cookware set that got great reviews and didn't cost $800.

We also added some dishes (they're from the Gordon Ramsay casual line, which cracked us up since we love watching Hell's Kitchen). Mr. T wanted just plain white plates so I let him take the lead there. I like black plates, myself, but I don't care that much.

He let me pick out margarita glasses and some other random items, and he picked out wine glasses, and things were going along until we hit knives. We were reading review after review online (this is what took so long, I think), and BB&B just didn't have the knives that we wanted, so we ended up starting a second registry at Amazon, which we weren't expecting! This does open up electronics as an option, though...and we do need a camera...

Anyway, we registered for 4 hours and we still didn't finish! We have yet to pick towels, sheets, flatware...I didn't realize it would all take so long.

What we really want, and hence the title of the post, is cash for the honeymoon, so I've also started a Honeyfund account. That site is great in that it doesn't charge anyone any fees to use it, but it's weird in that folks sign up to get you whatever it is (part of your dinner, part of your airfare, part of your hotel, etc.), and then they print out a gift certificate and hand you a check at the wedding. That seems a little odd, but we're so opposed to the fees that we think it's still the best option.

Anyway, to fill out the Honeyfund registry, I need to do more research on places to stay and eat in Vancouver. We're not going until next year, but I want to put in some more personal details about what we might really do rather than generic "dinner for two" or "hotel", to make it more interesting.

Registering in general makes one feel greedy, I discovered. All the sites tell you to over- rather than under-register, but it's making me uncomfortable, and as I said, we're not even done.

I really wanted to check this one off my list, but alas, it looks like it needs a bit more time! Ah, well. We got a good start.

Votives, favor bags: (Partial) check!

I love Ebay! This weekend I purchased 30 votives for the tables and 90 favor bags and they are winging their way to me. I may add some more votives and/or favor bags, but I'm hoping that I'm done, actually!

The votives are fun and modern and simple, which we liked. There's a lot of crap out there for Halloween decor, as I'm sure you can imagine! We have to use glass votives, also, because apparently there's a law in the city where we're getting married that all candles must be in glass containers. Odd, huh? Unfortunately that rules out a couple of things I already bought, but I'm coming up with work-arounds.

I was intent on finding paper bags because even though the plastic ones were cute and cheap, I just couldn't contribute to landfill in that way. So I spent a good chunk of time researching, and we like these. They were affordable, and invoke a vintage feel. We may supplement with some actual vintage ones to mix it up.

Phew, another 2 things off the list!

Suit Shopping, Take Two

On Friday we went out suit shopping again. We only had two places on our list, and we had better luck than when we had a ton! Go figure.

Well, we initially also had Burberry on the list to check out, but they got such mixed reviews on Yelp, Mr. T was turned off.

First we went to Neiman Marcus. No one there seemed to give a damn that we were in their store, fondling suits worth thousands of dollars. Finally we found an associate just standing around and asked for help. He found one three-piece for us, an Armani with a decent fit. They didn't have Mr. T's size in-store, but he's having the suit transferred to that store so that Mr. T can try it on and see if he likes it. The cons are that it has a pattern (Mr. T didn't want a strong pattern) and it's expensive.

Next we went to Saks, where we were greeted immediately. The salesman was attentive without being obsequious and seemed to get what Mr. T wanted in terms of look right away. He put Mr. T in 4 different jackets, and while none of them had a vest, Saks apparently has a "Made to Measure" option on some of the lines where you can request custom fits and things like vests. He also offered to check to see if they're expecting any Dolce & Gabbana three-piece suits in for Fall, so Mr. T could get his inspiration suit from the GQ cover. I think this is the route he'll probably take, although he does want to try on the Neiman suit still.

Although Mr. T's suit budget has gone up considerably, we're both OK with it. I thought he should've raised it before, and I believe he's come to terms with it (even though he's the more frugal one out of the two of us).

We both felt a lot better about this trip than our first one. It pays to keep shopping!

Here's Mr. T in an Armani jacket, which we both liked a lot:

OMW Week 27; WW Week 17

I can't believe we've been getting up for Operation Morning Workout for almost 30 weeks now! That just seems crazy!

Today was weigh day, and I've lost another 2.5 lbs since last week, bringing my total up to 23.5 lbs! So exciting!

Mr. T and I were out and about doing errands this weekend (more on that in a separate post), and we stopped in at the Gap, where they were having a sale. I ended up getting three pairs of pants for $40, which made me very happy...pants that fit, and didn't cost too much. Phew! Mr. T got a jacket in a size small, which was new for him as well. We are shrinking, as folks keep telling us.

I "borrowed" one of Mr. T's belts and have been wearing it with the new pants. The old belt looked ridiculous. This one has room to lose. Mr. T realizes resistance is futile. ;-)