Friday, June 28, 2013

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo! and Gift Registries, too

A. was telling me last night he knows how stressed I've been and he appreciates how hard I've been working. He knows I have put a lot of effort into the wedding. I'm a control freak and really bad at delegating, so there are a few things he and others have helped me with, but I have been doing a lot on my own. Which is okay. If I lived closer to my mom, I know she would have liked to help with some more things... sometimes I get the feeling that she feels a little left out.

Cinderella's Fairy Godmother probably just waved her wand and the whole wedding appeared.

The truth is, I don't think you fully realize how much goes into planning a big wedding (dear people who eloped: good for you) until you're really in the thick of things. We have created a billion-dollar industry centered on people getting married. Mom looked at my first checklist from The Knot (which has been a great resource, by the way) and went through it, saying "I didn't have to do that, we didn't have that, I didn't have to worry about that," etc. And she and my dad have been married for 28 years this August! I'm not saying that's a short amount of time, but I feel like it's not long enough of a time for the wedding industry to have been blown into the whirlwind as it currently stands.

I want to trace some of this inflation back to the start of wedding registries in the early 1990s. I think wedding registries are a good idea, in theory. (We have two.) The bride and groom can register for things they actually need, or really want, and they don't wind up with six toasters and twelve mismatched towels. It makes shopping a lot easier from the guest's point of view - I have printed out many a registry and gone hunting in the store for showers and weddings. It takes the guesswork out of things, which is nice.

I love the scene in "Made of Honor" when Patrick Dempsey & Michelle Monaghan are doing a gift registry and he starts juggling china plates in the middle of the store. 
But I couldn't find a picture of that, so instead you get a picture of the equally funny scene where he recruits his poker buddies to make bridal shower favors.

However, when I remove myself from the situation, it's really a "gimme" list - This is a list of the things we want. We know there are two hundred items on here and many of them are crazy expensive, but we know what we want.  When we went to register at Bed Bath & Beyond, and I was taking a long time looking at things, our consultant actually said, "Don't worry about prices, you're not the one buying things." Yeah, but how rude is that frame of mind?! We're in a recession, and both A. and I have been unemployed at one point or another since we started dating. If I was invited to a wedding and all I saw were $40 towels and $100 bowls and a $500 vacuum cleaner, I would probably just shove a $25 gift card into a card and wash my hands of the whole thing. I can't expect our guests to shell out a fortune for things so expensive I would probably be afraid to use them. 

Another thing guests don't realize about registries is that most places offer you a "completion discount," so that if you want to purchase anything left on your registry after the wedding, you can do so for a certain percent off the merchandise. So A. and I figured we would register for things we wanted on top of what we needed, because even if we didn't get them as a gift, we could buy them cheaper for ourselves. This is an excellent tactic until Mom starts asking "Why did you register for these board games? for the style station for your hair products?" etc. etc. (We already got all of the board games as gifts, by the way. Some people just wanna buy fun stuff!) When you look at a registry and wonder why someone has registered for a tent and a badminton set as wedding gifts, remember that if no one buys them, the bride and groom can get them for a discount. And if you're like me and my friends, you might just all go together and get the tent anyway because it's random and funny and why the heck not?

Things you probably don't need. You might want them but you probably don't NEED them.

WITH all of that said, here are some things we registered for and got from either the bridal showers or early wedding-gift givers that we LOVE. 

1. Waffle maker

Hamilton Beach Mess-Free Waffle Maker, Target

I hemmed and hawed about registering for the waffle maker for SO LONG. Do we really need it? Do we have room for it? How often will we even use it? It's going to be a pain to clean anyway.

I'm so glad I stuck this on the registry. 

This waffle maker is teeny - it's not a big clonky thing that I have to worry about storing. It comes with its own measuring cup to put the perfect amount of batter in. And best of all, it is SO EASY TO CLEAN. We have used it three times already and we're looking forward to making a tradition out of waffle breakfasts very, very soon.

2. Noritake Color Wave dishes

Colorwave Blue Dinnerware by Noritake, Bed Bath & Beyond

When I moved out on my own, my grandma gave me a ton of dishes - very functional dishes, but dishes clearly from the 1970s, as they are decorated with brown and yellow flowers. They have done a good job and held up and we have used the heck out of them. But we really wanted a dish upgrade, especially for when we have company over.

We love these dishes. They are simple, but clean-looking and pretty, and both microwave and dishwasher safe. Hooray!!!

3. Brita pitcher & filters

Brita White Everyday Pitcher, 10 Cups - Target

We are now saving the environment by really cutting back our plastic water bottle usage! Love our new Brita pitcher. 

Okay... I promise I will be blogging more in the future, but I am making no promises for the next two weeks... the wedding is coming up so quickly! I will do my best. : ) 

Take it easy,

Monday, June 24, 2013

19 days to go

Nineteen days.


The past week or so we've been getting a lot accomplished, and things are really coming together. I'm getting really excited, especially for the honeymoon trip. (I want to start packing NOW. : ) The only thing is, my wedding nightmares have returned in full force; and those, in combination with the knee problems I've been having, are really affecting my sleep.

My wedding nightmares are so weird, too. A. told me I must have a very active imagination. Some of them I can't remember vividly in the morning, but others seem like movies I've watched or books I've read. For example, my nightmare circa Friday night involved:
- My dad walking me down the aisle at the wrong time, before the bridesmaids or even A. & the groomsmen had come out, so we had to turn around and go back down the aisle again
- The flower girl threw a massive temper tantrum and flung her flower basket into the middle of the congregation
- The pianist started playing the wrong processional song, and then got up and started yelling at me
- When we got to the reception, our cake was a red, white, and blue birthday cake instead of our wedding cake

Saturday's was vague but involved rollerskating at the reception. Thursday's involved marrying the wrong groom. (Fortunately I'm sure both of those are not going to happen. LOL)

Although apparently rollerskating weddings are not out of the realm of possibility. 

LUCKILY, last night I do not recall having any such nightmares and I actually feel pretty well-rested. Yay!

I am glad that a new week has begun and it should be a good one. I can get into my classroom on Wednesday to get things ready for the practices that start after the wedding. ("After the wedding"... .... ...) Then I'm driving to my parents' for a little bit, taking care of some wedding things (of course) and hopefully spending some time near their pool. A.'s bachelor party is this weekend, and I know the vague details of the trip (Do I need to know specifics? Probably better if I don't) but I know they are going to have fun. My family reunion is Saturday (so both A. and my brother will be missing that... awww). A.'s sister is coming over on Tuesday to help me get the church decorations put together. All in all, I have high hopes for the week, and I am sincerely hoping that both my car and my knee are all better!

For the past week I have been walking at least 2 miles a day, except for the day after my knee went out. So I'm going to go and get that done now, first thing in the morning, since it's already mid-70s and the high today is 88. Phew! But, just a few short months ago I was complaining about all of the snow and cold, so I will not be complaining about sunshine and heat. : ) 


PS - we watched Silver Linings Playbook the other night and we both enjoyed it! I was impressed by the acting overall and I understand why all 4 main actors were nominated for Oscars. So good. Jennifer Lawrence as a human being is just awesome. 


Thursday, June 20, 2013

3 weeks to go... AHHH

This week has kind of been a bust for me so far.

In addition to a few other small crises, I have had the flat tire, a stye in my eye, and last week my knee blew out the whole way for the first time since eleventh grade. I got it back in place right away, but it HURTS. SO. BAD. A. took care of me even though he heard my knee pop out (luckily he didn't see it) and was visibly freaked out. LOL. With all of these little things going awry, and my emotions running rampant (what's up with THAT), today I decided I was going to lay out in the sun and finish the book I've been reading - "Where We Belong" by Emily Giffin. Then I came in and cut out some wedding stuff while watching some DVRed episodes of 4 weddings.

It's been a much better day than yesterday.

Even though my tire went flat on Tuesday, and it felt like someone punched me in the eye (styes are weird, but I think I can blame make up for that problem), the day ended up being a good one, because A. and I went to pick up our marriage license and our wedding rings. Our rings are beautiful and A.'s aunt works at the courthouse, so she took care of us with the marriage license.

I am really excited that the wedding is coming up soon, and really excited for the honeymoon! : ) I'm trying to keep on top of things every day to make sure I don't fall behind.

To keep my spirits up, I've been pinning things from the Humor board on Pinterest - which is one of the best things ever created, in my opinion. Something on there always makes me laugh. : )
Have a good day, everyone! Enjoy the sunshine!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shuffle, shuffle

I put my iTunes on shuffle and these are the first 10 songs that came up - no lying, no switching the answers around : )

1. Keep on Singin' my Song - Christina Aguilera
2. Only the Good Die Young - Billy Joel
3. The Sewers (from Les Mis) - 10th Anniversary Concert
4. Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous - Good Charlotte
5. I'm Movin' On - Rascal Flatts
6. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade (Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra) - John Williams
7. Big, Blonde, & Beautiful (Reprise) - John Travolta & Michelle Pfeiffer, "Hairspray" soundtrack
8. Brighter than the Sun - Colbie Caillat
9. La Fiesta Mexicana, Movement #2 "Mass" - LVC Symphonic Band
10. Where Would you Be? - Martina McBride

...Quite a combination!

What are the first 10 songs your iTunes brings up on shuffle?


Today has not been the most promising day so far, and it's only 10:25 AM. Let's focus instead on something else, shall we?

For example, on Sunday I posted about how we were about to go out for Father's Day with A.'s family... well, instead of pulling into the restaurant, A. pulled into a different parking lot and led me into a place where I had a surprise bridal shower! (My family lives about two hours away from where we & A's family live, so they decided to have two separate showers.)

It's really hard to surprise me because a) I'm nosy, and b) I'm pretty good at putting clues together. But I never would have guessed the date or location! A.'s mom and sister were a little annoyed at the thin attendance, because they clearly put a lot of time and effort into the shower - but it was on Father's Day, so I am glad that as many ladies came as they did. A.'s brother-in-law also did a lot of work for the shower, so I have been thanking him for sacrificing his holiday for my bridal shower... instead we are celebrating belated Father's Day this coming weekend. : )

One of the many things that I loved about the decor for the shower were the centerpieces, which had the same monograms as our invitations - so cute!!!

Centerpiece on the left, our invitation on the right

And there was soooooooo much food:

Strawberries A.'s brother-in-law made

A.'s grandma made a million cupcakes from scratch, all beautifully decorated:
Red velvet with cream cheese icing
Yellow with chocolate icing
Chocolate with peanut butter icing
White with chocolate icing
Coconut with coconut icing
Carrot with cream cheese icing

A.'s brother-in-law made this awesome fruit tray, as well

Close up of the watermelon bowl - see all of the hearts?!

Basically, it was a beautiful surprise - my mom, dad, and grandma even drove down for the day. They're all so tricky!

Since I woke up to a flat tire on my car this morning (hint: that's one reason today isn't going too great), I've been taking advantage of being stranded at my house and writing out all of my thank you cards from the weekend. I'm sure I can find something else to get into, as well. Just annoyed my plans for today aren't going quite as I'd hoped!

Take it easy, blog world -

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Food, glorious food!

Two blog posts in a row WHAT?!

We've just been really busy lately, plus our internet went out for a day this week with all of the crazy storms that went through. So I'm playing catch-up.


ANYWAY, so I thought I'd bring you some of the delicious, delicious foods we've been eating lately. 

I don't know if I mentioned it, but at my shower a few weeks ago, my guests were asked to bring recipes and spices for me. I have brought (and sent) recipes to showers before, but never heard of the spice idea! So I have all of these great spices, including enough parsley to last me for years as well as different kinds of marinades and seasonings for particular foods.

One of these spices was Magic Salmon Seasoning, from my cousin. I think it is, in fact, magic, because it got A. to eat salmon, which he steadfastly refused to do before.

I don't know why these images are getting so stretched out. Weird.

The recipe is right on the back of the can - all you have to do is slather butter on the salmon and then rub the seasoning into it, and cook it for a while. It is SO DELICIOUS. We've had it twice in the last two weeks. 

The other thing I decided to try recently was Chocolate Strawberry Pie. I found this pin on Pinterest:
(For some reason I can't get the widget to transfer to my blog page. I'm having one of those mornings, I guess...)

If you actually click on the pin, it takes you to a completely different recipe than the one listed in the pin caption. But I followed the pin caption. I thought for sure that it would be a "Pinstrosity." (Check out that blog sometime, it's one that I follow and usually pretty hilarious!) BUT, it turned out pretty good!


When I went to the store to get an Oreo crust, there weren't any there, so I made my own using Reduced-Fat Oreos that I crushed in the Ninja (I LOVE MY NINJA) and used with this crust recipe: 

Then I chopped my strawberries in half and arranged them on the crust (pictured above). Then I covered it all with the chocolate pudding and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours, before covering it with whipped cream and serving it. Yum! The pie was a hit with A.'s family. 

I've been trying a lot of pins out lately, so I will try to keep up with posting whether they are hits or misses. : )

Thanks for reading, have fun eating! ; )

Happy Father's Day

Hi everyone!

I'm sitting here on my couch as A. goes through a cleaning phase this morning. (I cleaned a lot yesterday, painted, spackled, and did laundry, so I don't feel too guilty.) So far, he's vacuumed, cleaned the dishes in the sink, and removed the painter's tape from the painting I did yesterday. He's usually pretty good about helping around the house, but color me impressed!

Happy Father's Day to all you fathers out there! (If there are men actually reading this blog... color me impressed about that, too!) We're going out to eat with A.'s family in a little bit to celebrate. I am sure the restaurant will be nuts, but it will be fun! A.'s nephews are both developing a lot of personality right now and they are really fun to be around. Last year I didn't get to spend Father's Day with my dad, either, but here are some of my favorite pictures of us together. We're going to be seeing a lot of each other in the coming weeks with wedding preparations!

Enjoy spending the day with your loved ones, if you can!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Go ahead, throw stuff at me!

My mom and I were talking about the wedding (surprise, surprise) the other night and suddenly we were faced with a conundrum.

The end of the actual wedding.

I looked at this article to see if I could find an answer, and I'm still not really thrilled by anything.

The article's suggestions are: throwing flower petals, riding off into the sunset on a bicycle, forming an archway of umbrellas, leaving on a rickshaw, leaving in a vintage car, blowing bubbles, riding off on scooters,  having guests light sparklers, leaving on a golf cart, rowing away on a boat, (again) leaving in a vintage car, leaving on a trolley, wading in the ocean tide, and the groom carrying the bride away.


Some of these ideas are not practical for us, since we are getting married in a church nowhere near water in the middle of the afternoon. (So no boats, ocean waves, or sparklers.) The entry to my church is not condusive to umbrellas (hoping it's not that hot or rainy anyway). The bicycle, rickshaw, scooters, and golf cart: NO. We actually do have a trolley coming, to take the bridal party from the church to pictures to the reception.

This looks like a nightmare and would totally ruin both dress and tux.

This seems like a recipe for disaster.

Mostly mom was looking for suggestions of the crowd send-off, in lieu of pitching rice with force at me and A. And this article only offered the petals and the bubbles. I'm not thrilled about the bubbles idea, nor spending more money on flowers. Other things I've seen are confetti, which someone would have to clean up, or streamers for people to wave, which would be time-consuming to make (I'm already behind on making things). When my parents got married in 1985, everyone released balloons into the sky, which my mom pointed out is probably not legal anymore.

So now I'm getting kind of whiny about the whole thing. Is it really necessary for us to have a formal send-off in front of the church when we are just going to go back inside to take pictures? We are doing a mini-receiving line, with me, A., and our parents. Can't we just thank people for coming and say we'll see them later at the reception?

A CONFETTI CANNON! Have to rent that and someone to sweep it up after.

I know there are no hard and fast rules for weddings, really, other than the actual getting married part; but I don't really think I need to have anyone throwing things at us (or blowing bubbles at us) on our wedding day. Right? (Unless it's money, but that would be tacky. LOL)

Off to do more wedding-y things---

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tony Awards 2013



I have decided that someday I will be Mrs. Shields in A Christmas Story: The Musical.

And NPH should host everything.

Here's my random thoughts about the Tonys from last night, including my top 3 performances:


This. Just this. Debra Messing's face at 6:37 says it all. BROADWAY AWESOME OVERLOAD. If I was in the middle of all of that I would have been sobbing from amazement.

I don't even know what else to say. Neil Patrick Harris' "rap" in the middle, ending "we were that kid." WOW.


I love Cinderella. It's cheesy but it's such a cute little musical. I have watched both the Leslie Ann Warren and the Brandy versions again and again, and I have to say, I don't remember a "Crazy Marie," but the quick-changes and "Ten Minutes Ago" -- stage magic. Amazing.

The fact that the Rock of Ages actors introduced this cracks me up. So random.


Where did this musical even come from? And how about this tap dancing kid? I just want to sing this song. "You'll shoot your eye out!" I love comedic acting. I just WANT THIS PART.

I love this movie, so now I really want to see the musical now.


The Annie performance - I love Jane Lynch's version of Miss Hannigan. Also, the pronunciation of "It's a Hard Knock Life" had me hooked. What a bunch of talented little girls!

The Motown performance - Great music, good dancing, can't go wrong. Kind of randomly put together, though.

The "TV Series" medley with NPH, Laura Benanti, the incomparable Megan Hilty, and Andrew Rannells - brilliantly put together and sung. Still mad that Smash is cancelled.

Things I wasn't so thrilled by - Bring it On the musical and Matilda the musical.


Laura Benanti

Patina Miller

Sigourney Weaver

I guess I was really just feeling blue last night!

I'm sad I haven't been to any shows in a while but I love that I have DVR and YouTube so I can watch this stuff whenever I want. <3

Have a great day everyone! Stay dry! (it's pouring here haha)

Monday, June 3, 2013

May showers bring June... insanity!


I know it has been forever since I've posted.

I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. (I hope apologizing 3 times helps.) It's just been crazy.

Memorial Day weekend was my shower and my bachelorette party! What a fun day. Tell you what, my girls did a fantastic job planning my shower. I wanted no involvement in planning it - I just needed to know when it was and show up. : ) I'm a firm believer that a shower is a gift to you from your friends and family, so I wanted them to give me what they wanted to give. If that makes sense.


I don't know if you saw any of the "Meet the Maids" pins on Pinterest but I love them. And I was more than thrilled when I arrived at the shower and saw one of my very own : )

I especially loved this because one of my "maids" and best friends, S., lives in Arizona and so was unable to make it to PA for the shower. (She'll be here for the wedding though, obviously.) This way she was still part of the shower even though she couldn't be there. Each one of them found a picture that had the two of us in it, and then wrote a nice message about our friendship. A.'s sister's made me cry - it was so sweet - so I started crying right at the beginning of the shower. Off to a good start!

Also, very cute idea - each of the girls made a gift basket as a prize for the games. I know my younger cousins were totally eyeing up the baskets and getting in the competitive frame of mind. 

The games were a "How Well Do You Know the Bride?" survey and Gift Bingo. The survey was fun- I fill out the answers a week beforehand for my MOH via email - my aunts kept challenging my answers about my favorite things. It was interesting to see who got the most answers right! And I thought the idea of Gift Bingo was great - each lady got a blank bingo card and filled it out with gifts she thought I would receive. As I opened the gifts, they would cover the spots on the card and try to get bingo. : )

I got some really nice things, and a few surprises - I think registries are a great idea, but I do like when people deviate from them when they know you well and come up with something creative, thoughtful, and personal. For example, my grandparents got us a tree! My grandma wrapped up a little branch in a box and put a "caring for trees" pamphlet inside, and then she and my mom drove down Memorial day morning and dropped off the real 8-foot tall tree for us. I love this for three reasons: 1) we really need landscaping, 2) it is a gift that will last a long time, and 3) everytime we look at it we will remember my grandparents. LOVE IT.

I'm not going to delve into bachelorette details here, but I will show you the creativity of my bff B.:

Yes, that is a BOUQUET MADE OUT OF UNDERWEAR. Impressed. So impressed. I don't want to take it apart. It's still together, two weeks later, sitting on my jewelry armoire. Someday soon I'll actually wear the underwear, B. I promise.

I have to say I have been amazed at the creative wrapping skills of my family and friends. I am extremely uncreative when it comes to giving gifts, usually. I have so many gift bags. I recycle said gift bags. I need to start pinning more ideas for gift giving! Get with it, K.!

Anyway, that's about all the time I've got to spare for now. The end of the school year, with planning for a new job and a wedding - that's just crazy. But I'm getting it done!

Now, if someone could just get the neighbor's peacocks to shut up and tell their kids to quit dumpster diving in the construction site next door, we'd be set.

Have a great week everyone : ) I'll try not to let the blog go for so long again!