Sweets & Treats Gallery

Thursday, September 03, 2009

so, so, so blessed...

Despite the ridiculousness that is my life of late, I am so, so, so blessed. I had a crazy busy week at work. It was mostly frustrating with a side of difficult. But, now that it's over, the big important document is FedExed and I am at my cousin's house blogging, thinking about my weekend, I realize, I am so, so, so blessed.

Rather than pontificate about my week of crazy, I will tell you a few fabulous things that emerged this week.

1. I had the joy of chomping down chips and salsa from Chili's with my work besty... who is really the best besty ever!! She just cracks me up! Thank the good, good Lord for her. How would I survive my 9-5 five without her?

2. I've always been a journaler. My current journal was started January 1, 2007. I started from the beginning last night and read about New Year's Eve 2006. My fiance's brother, sister, sister-in-law and I all go out for a nice dinner and drinks on New Year's. We've had this tradition for 3 or 4 years now. As I read about NYE 2006, I was reminded how young I was, but how old I felt. I wrote about the blossoming relationships I was forming with each of Jason's siblings. Looking back, I am so glad I have such a pure heart and real love of family. I don't know if I'd have the energy to start those relationships all over again. I rather like not being "new" anymore. I like knowing what I know. I like being smart, knowing who everyone is, what they think of me... In one month, that is my family by law.

3. I had the most amazing snack at my cousin's house. Have you had those Emerald's Chocolate Almonds. Wholly moly. They are fabulous and only 100 calories. Thank you Aunt Kim for your fantastic taste in snacks!

4. Last night I was unloading all my woes to my 17 year old cousin. I am much older than her. But she sat there, quietly, patiently listening to everything I said, pitching in her thoughts every once and awhile. I can't believe how grown up she is. A senior in high school!?!? You have got to be kidding me! How time flies. Like my mom always said to me, I wish I could put shrinking potion on her and make her 5 forever! Although, having a teenager tolerate you and sometimes even enjoy your company is pretty cool!

5. Thank the good, good Lord for my Matron of Honor. She is the most fabulous human being!!! I have GREAT taste in friends! ;)

Ok... that's really all I have for now.

Hugs & Squeezes,

Friday, August 21, 2009


Only 51 days until J & I say "I Do!" We're both getting excited and sometimes share a private moment of giddy for the party that will ensue. It's dazzling to think about all of our closest friends and family in one place, for one purpose, just for us. It's an indulgence I can't believe we are fortunate enough to experience.

It's been, as I've alluded to in previous posts, a frantic, stressful, emotionally draining year for J and I. I'm glad that the overwhelming, heaping stresses in our lives have, despite a few blow-outs, brought us closer. We've been pushed to grow and change. But we've also relied on each other. I am more in love with him today than I would have ever thought possible on May 5, 2004 when I first noticed him sitting on the futon with Harry at my best friend's apartment in college.

J is my anchor and my compass. I don't tell him or show him very often, but I'd be lost without him. His constant belief in me, respect for me, the ways he makes me laugh and reminds me of my beautiful imperfections--he's imperfectly perfect for me!!!

I appreciate our passion for the things we love. Him: comic books, food, entertaining, family, video games, movies, yard work, me... Me: baking, cooking, decorating, entertaining, family, crafting, wine, Fall, JPo... I can't wait to marry him and more importantly, I can't wait until we're both happy and able to spend more time together.

All of our existing stresses in addition to other stupid stuff as stunted my creativity as of late. If I'm not able to bake something, bead something or craft something on a regular basis, I am not a happy camper. So when our director asked Michelle and I to work on our display board for out organizations annual recognition event, I happily escaped into a world of making something wonderful on the cheap. I can't begin to describe the deep sense of satisfaction and accomplishment I felt looking at the finished product. I felt a little glimmer of my old self peeking out. It was wonderful.

Here a few pix from the event:

A plain little box was transformed into a "Ransom" candy box.
Our table and display board.
My co-worker Sal, searching for the "gold nugget." Our team would have won raffle tickets had he found it, but no such luck! Good try Sal!
Our display won second place! YEEEHAAA!
Michelle, my work besty, won the entertainment basket in the raffle! Yea Michelle!!!
I wore my authentic cowgirl giddy up to the recognition. It was a fun day! It makes this normal, boring Friday seem extra long!

Happy weekend!

Hugs & Squeezes,

Friday, July 24, 2009

a little stroll...

Nothing major to blog about today. Just a typical Friday... chomping at the bit to be outta here, especially because it is so nice outside.

J & I took a nice leisurely stroll to the market near our home. It was our first of many walks to come. We talked about how we'll take the dog for a walk, when we get one (CAN HARDLY WAIT UNTIL WE HAVE DOGGY!!!). We rented a Red Box movie, got some snacks and vegged out. It was bliss! Don't ever take forgranted the time you have with your partner. I only see J about 10 hours a week because of our conflicting work schedules. Our time together yesterday was a real treat!!

Happy weekend!

Hugs & Squeezes,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

patio dining...

Last night, when I got home, I noticed that Penguin finished building the patio furniture we bought. The two chairs have been done for a while. Yesterday he finished building the love seat and table. I rushed over to the sliding glass door, pulled back the curtains and squealed with delight. It was beautiful.

Nestled under the purple wisteria covered awning was this cozy and private little world. Penguin had taken my vintage candle holder and put it on top of the table and arranged the seating around the table. A few weeks ago he suggested stringing twinkle lights under the awning. It's magical without the twinkle lights. I can only imagine it with the twinkle lights: BLISS!

An hour passed before J called. I spent the time ironing some curtains, getting them ready to hang. When we spoke live, J told me he was bringing a load of stuff from my apartment back to the house and suggested I go pick up some food. Instantly I thought: we should eat on the patio. Before I could say it, he did. I squealed with delight again and immediately jumped in the car to go pick up food!

When we moved into our home, the grocery store closest to us sent us a coupon for a free dinner. Sounds good to me! I went the grocery store and inquired about the coupon at the deli. The deli man walked me around the store and helped me pick the rotisserie chicken (I chose garlic!), the two sides (coleslaw is J's favorite, and I like baked beans) and Hawaiian sweet rolls. All free! Really, it was free! I also picked up a bag of salad. It was a perfect dinner without all the slaving in the kitchen. After all, we still have more stuff to bring over from my apartment.

J peeked in the grocery bag when I got home. "Oh, yum," he said. "How much did all this cost?" I said, "$3." Penguin is also impressed. He smiled, said "That's my girl!" and went out front to water the plants while I prepped dinner.

So far, it was a dream scenario--one of those moments you praise God for your blessings. I was humming around the kitchen making dinner in my home with J in the front tending to the yard.

A few moments later, J came to the back patio. There were plates and bowls of food every where. We were stunted by the lack of space on our little table. He commented that a tray of cheeses and a bottle of wine are the perfect servings for the patio! I agreed. All in all, it was a lovely dinner. Without television or music, we were able to slow down and catch up with each other. It was so nice!

Looking toward the house and patio. Note the sun burnt Japanese maple. Poor little guy.
Our romantic feast for two with a huge side of hose. Ha, ha!
Our delicious and mostly free meal.
I hope you are able to enjoy a meal outdoors with your special loved one!

Hugs & Squeezes,

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

penguin strikes again...

For those who follow my blog (Mom, Michelle and Heidi), you know about the notorious Penguin. You know that we bought a house and that we've had a few little hurdles as we make it our own. You know that he and I couldn't have more opposite taste. However, you will be proud to know that Penguin was trusted with the decision of choosing our living room furniture (yea for micromanaging me!), and he succeeded!

We spent four tired, hungry, hypoglycemic hours meandering the floors of local furniture show rooms. Some highlights include the weird staulkerish man who ignored Jason completely and awkwardly checked me out (Jason always gets a kick out of how black men love me) but didn't speak to either of us as he followed us around the show room. Another highlight was Costco where all the show pieces were being occupied by people. Every single piece had people on them (Penguin's culture has been disgraced!), reading books and magazines sitting in them. We were soooo irritated that I finally plopped my big butt down next to an older man and his father. They bounced up a little from my cushion's sudden absorption of the shock of my weight. They both looked over at me in dismay. Are you kidding me!?!? Don't let me interrupt your reading... at COSTCO ON A SHOW PIECE!!! Idiots! My favorite, however, was the lady who was reading about Jessica Simpson in a People magazine while her four toddler children played aimlessly in the aisle. I am soooo intolerant to this total, clueless lack of consideration for others. ANNOYING!!!

Then, on our last stop, we found it: THE LIVING ROOM SET. Jason know right away. So did I, but I acted indifferent and neutral. "Whatever you think," I said. "It's your decision." We walked around the rest of the GIGANTIC show room. Nothing was as nice as the set we had just seen. Nothing could beat the quality or the price. Finally, I asked Penguin, "Is that the set?" "Yes," he said, "I have to make an executive decision. It's the one." Secretly, I knew it too. But I wanted him to know how much his leadership and decision-making is important to me. Plus, it's not exactly what I would have if I had my girl bachelorette pad, but is exactly what I wanted for our living room. Like I told Penguin, it's masculine and striking, but cozy and warm. And get this gals, Penguin suggested white pillows to accent it. Are you kidding? Has he really come to my side of decorating? Indeed!
Penguin loved the antique mirror with a white frame that I put above the fire place a few days ago. I didn't ask first. I just did it. I tend to do that. I try something out, see if I like it. If I do, it stays, if I don't it moves somewhere else. The frame was the changing force for the room. Now he wants to tastefully incorporate some of his comic books in the bookshelves and accent with pops of cream and white (easy enough since I've been collecting white porcelain pieces (thank you Mom & Martha Stewart) for the last year or so with our future home in mind). Wholly moley. I am soooo glad I things played out like they did; rather than pouting and demanding my way (sage advice from my mother!), I let Penguin work through his wants until he realized what would actually be nice, neutral and comfy in the space.

So Penguin, although you think you are a great decorator and I've disagreed to this point, you are coming around. Thank you for picking such fabulous couches all by yourself. You've done a marvelous job with all your selections to date! But don't forget, I get 100% creative license on the dining room! You promised!

Enjoy the photos of our new set (couch not included).
Hugs & Squeezes,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

we love coldplay...

There is something life affirming about live music. It's like your life is television with the mute on and suddenly you're at a concert and someone pushes the mute button and your life goes from silent to volume 30.

Honestly, I can't believe I haven't seen Coldplay in concert before now. They are one of my top ten favorite bands. When you consider that I've been to 9 Dave Matthews Band concerts, naturally you'd assume that I would have been to at least once Coldplay concert before now. When I read on my co-workers blog that she was going to Coldplay, I commented to ask how she got such great seats. She called me twenty minutes later to tell me she wanted me to go as her guest. "SHUT UP!!! Are you serious?" Needless to say, I was THRILLED!!! The count down to the concert began....

Finally, Tuesday, Coldplay day... the day my life would get a whole lot better. All day I had trouble focusing. I listened to Viva la Vida softly at my desk. The anticipation was killing me!

I told my friend Michelle (wearing green) we'd be taking photos at each milestone of the concert going experience. As promised, I did. I felt like my mom, who took pictures at each and every one of my milestones: every first day of school, my first day of work at my first job, every dance, etc. I guess her legacy lives on in me to the inth degree! Thank you digital cameras!

Here are some photos from the adventure:
Tickets in hand, locking the door as we leave for the concert.
A yummy meal at Jack's Urban Eats was a great start to the evening!
Is this the way to V.I.P. parking?
Blurry, but beautiful!
"And it was all yellow!"
This concert was magical. Absolutely breathtaking!

Coldplay if you're on LSD.
The sweet shower of butterfly confetti.
The stage: VIVA!
So, so, sooooo sad that it's over. I could go to a Coldplay concert every day. It was amazing!

THANK YOU MICHELLE!!! You are truly a great friend... Coldplay concert or not!!! My life would be boring and lonely without you!

Hugs & Squeezes,

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

charm strings...

My Momma started my love for buttons. She has old vintage canning jars (that have been tinted blue with sun, air and time) filled with every kind of button you can imagine. Although my button collection is tiny in comparison to hers, I do love buttons!

My Momma has told me the story of charm strings since I was a young girl. She loves antiques and simple little stories from the ears before her. Awhile ago I found a children's book called The Memory String by Eve Bunting. I had to buy it for her since she had shared the charm string story with me.

A charm string is a collection of buttons. A young girl would collect and trade buttons to add to their charm string. The craze for charm strings reached a point where girls borrowed pins to fasten their dresses before they could go home from a party because they traded their buttons right off their dresses. Like many fads that young people partake in, sacrifices had to be made for the impending completion of their charm strings, bringing their count to 99 buttons.

Upon receiving the hundredth button, a girl would meet the end of girlhood and the advent of matrimony. The hundredth button given to the girl was by the man she would marry. I'm sure I have 99 buttons that I've collected over the years. I should make my own charm string and tell my fiance to find the most special button he can for a gift on our wedding day--the hundredth button symbolizing my betrothal to him. Being an old fashioned girl in these frighteningly modern times, there is something so pure and sweet and simple to the sentimentality of the charm string and the hundredth button.

Recently, my Momma and Poppa went on a fishing excursion (how cute is it that they go fishing together? PRECIOUS!). One their way through a quaint, little town they found a little historical museum. Imagine my Momma's surprise when she came across a real charm string. Of course she was delighted after the many little stories she's heard and shared about them. She took some photos. I told her I would post them since she's not a blogger yet. In her story she always said the 100th button was the marriage button. As you can see here, it was really a thousand. Eek! I think I like 100 better. Here are the photos:

The Charm String
The Bio About the Charm String
Can You Find My Poppa Fishing?

Thanks for indulging me (and my Momma) in the retelling of charm string story!

Hugs & Squeezes,

happy birthday america...

As you know, I am big fan of America! I love this country. Maybe my deep passion for democracy, freedom, capitalism, etc. comes from my father who served this country honorably! The 4th of July is a celebration of God's country--the best country on the planet! I am deeply saddened by the direction we are headed under an awful, godless leader. Because of the economic climate and the lack of great leadership our country faces, this 4th had extra special significance for me. Here are a few photos from my parent's annual party:

I couldn't get this one on it's side, but it's my childhood wagon with fire crackers and Raggedy Ann & Andy (my Mom made them).
This is the pie station (which turned into a dessert station). My mom is TRULY talented! Isn't this beautiful!?!?! She made the pies too!The winners from the plunger/tp race. Pretty hysterical game!These are the (biased)judges at our first annual Throw Down. My dad & I should have won. He made blue cheese burgers with a caramelized grilled onion and spinach topping. I made snappy dogs (gourmet hot dogs) with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce, smoked Gouda and bacon bits. Wholly moley! Both were ridiculously good!!!
It was a very happy 4th indeed. Don't forget the liberties you are afforded by living in this country. Don't take them forgranted. 


Hugs & Squeezes,

Friday, July 03, 2009

our house...

It's been just about two weeks since Penguin and I became home owners. So far, so good... except the merging of belongings. We couldn't have more polar opposite styles. He loves dark, black, modern, Asian influenced furniture accented with comic books, trades and giant comic book art. I adore old furniture, painted. I love cake plates, white pitches, picture frames, flowers, pink, white, ribbon, bow, buttons, cupcakes, glitter, birds.... You see the conflict?

Thus far, I have agreed to keep my style in the guest bed and bath room (and mostly because we already have the items and furniture to fill them). As for the master bed and bath, it should definitely reflect both of us. We are going for dark brown, mahogany furniture accented with a soft steel and blue & gold
. No complaints from either of us here, although it is much more Penguin's style than mine. I love the bedding we picked though. The colors are gender neutral, but the design is beautiful and elegant.

The living room is being designed to show off the complete china set my Grandma is giving us for our wedding. It's also the same china she and my Grandfather collected when they got married over 50 years ago. Its GORGEOUS! So, no problems there either (and even if there was, I won't budge because I LOVE, HONOR, and CHERISH family heirlooms!). Oh, and the furniture we will be slowly purchasing for the room is from IKEA.
The kitchen was pretty easy. I am more than willing to work in more masculine(ish) colors. About 6 months ago I began paring down my pink kitchen stuff and collecting all white pieces. I love it, actually. It's clean and timeless. And best of all, it goes with anything. We love our kitchen cabinets too and plan to paint the walls a pretty khaki/tan/beige color. Again, no disagreements. Penguin picked the refrigerator and the updated knobs for the cabinets. I like what he picked!!!

He wants leather couches for the living room. I'm fine with that too (when did I become to surprisingly flexible? Is this was maturity feels like?). Here is the only issue. I want the gorgeous oak built-in cabinets that flank the fireplace to be filled with pretty things (not feminine things mind you) and shared items, like keepsakes, wedding mementos, photos, etc. He wants to fill them up with comic books. Ug. I asked him, "What if I filled it with glitter, fake flowers and pink stuff? How would you feel?" He didn't like the sound of that. I'm not opposed to some comic books. It could be cool and tasteful. They're just not gonna blow up the whole space, yo! But we both agree we want a Starbucky lounge for a living room though. The thing he's missing is the lack of comic books at actual Starbucks. Ha, ha. Also, if you see a random guy in the corner, that's Sam, our Barista. We bought him to enhance the ambiance. ;)

Also, I should mention that two and half years ago I bought all black office furniture with Penguin in mind. I knew black was more his taste than white. And, I will usually default to practical when it comes to large purchases. That room will have two to three of Penguin's framed comic book pieces on the wall (per my request), Penguin's black chair and mini ottoman (my idea), and his Asian lantern (also my idea). I am REALLY trying here. Why the heck is he resisting on the living room thing when I am the intuitive decorator AND when the woman usually has this job?!?! Even if he gave me FULL REIN to do whatever I wanted, I would NEVER make it all pink, white, glittery, girlie love nest. That's what the guest bedroom is for! Can't wait for Penguin's guy friends to come stay in the pink room! Ha, ha!

Anywhoodles, that's my rant. Hopefully Penguin won't read this. Penguin, if you do read this, I love you and you need to trust me. I have been VERY compromising and I have a vision. Let me be your wife (to be) and create a home for us. It's my thing and I will make it lovely and reflective of us. I promise!

Hugs & Squeezes,

P.S. Penguin also picked the patio furniture, which I love. He has good taste... he just needs to give me some opportunity to show him what I can do for our little home!!! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

faux wedding dress shopping...

Well, Wedding Week is over. I miss it. I enjoyed starting every day with a specific task: "We've got a live hit in 30 seconds... standby!"

What a trip. Live TV is fun and exciting. It's also stressful. I didn't understand how much work goes into a story or a live shot before this week. The photographer and reporter have to work in tandem to get a creative and interesting shot. They have to be in constant contact with the station who tells them when their live shot will be and for how long. And before any of this happens, hours of ideas and research went into lining up each day's locations, etc. I have a very, very deep appreciation for the news biz now--one I could never have understood as I sat in my media classes in college or even as I relentlessly pitched the assignment/news desk when I was an intern at a PR firm. It's a crazy world--one that I am so grateful to have been a part of (semi-vicariously) last week.

Now that I have the good stuff out of the way, I have to dog the Friday shoot. Last week on Wednesday I went to find my faux dress for Friday. The lady who helped me, Shanna, was a doll. In fact, I spent 20 minutes telling her about the many bad experiences I had had at other area bridal gown salons. She was tactful, kind, attentive and very patient. I tried on a few dresses until I found one different enough from my real dress and that felt good on and that made me feel dazzling. It was pretty with all the sequins, lace and beads. I was done for the day and my fears were calmed by Shanna that I wouldn't be huge looking compared to the other three models.
elegant & intricate sweet heart bodess
lace & beaded skirt & train
Fast forward to Friday. I arrived at the Bridal Mart. Shanna greeted me warmly and immediately begin helping me get into my gown. She laced up the dress, put my veil in and found a necklace for me to wear and it was go time. They had each girl come out one at a time. I was last. Much to my surprise, the other three girls were all very tiny. Oh well, I was ready to go and I was feeling pretty good. I came out last.

After a week of driving all over the county to each shoot, I felt especially proud when the reported asked for Lindsay, the bride who's been with them all week, to come out. She then turned to the Bridal Mart consultant, whose name I don't remember, and asked her to comment on the dress. The consultant mentioned something about plus sizes. As soon as the photographer began filming the back of my dress, my glowing smile turned into a stoic look of disappointment. Plus size? Really? What a jerky thing to say on live TV. In fact, she could have said anything else. How about commenting on how this dress flattered my shape. Or how about saying at the very beginning of the shoot that the Bridal Mart offers a wide variety of sizes from 2-22 and that viewers would be seeing a variety of styles that look good on many different body types. Why the heck is it even remotely appropriate to talk about plus sizes when referring to me, a real person (not a paid model!), especially since all the other girls were twigs. Well, news flash: I AM NOT PLUS SIZED!!! I am a healthy, curvy, normal body type. I am appalled at the unprofessionalism of that consultant and I am equally impressed by the out-cry of friends and family who called and emailed immediately afterward to say what I was already thinking: YOU ARE NOT PLUS SIZED! For the other tall and curvy viewers out there, how did that make you feel--especially if you are "plus sized"? I didn't help either that by Friday all my friends, family, co-workers, friends of friends, friends of the family were watching! Sooo embarrassing!

Needless to say, I was very disappointed by the way the week ended. It wasn't Darsha's fault. It wasn't Shanna's fault (who was so thankful for my participation, she gave me a 25% coupon for a veil, shoes and jewelry). A thoughtless and unprofessional comment put a damper on a really neat experience. I should get over it. But I guess having been a tall and muscular girl my whole life, I am not okay with a normal, healthy person being labeled incorrectly. It's okay to be big and its ok to be healthy. The consultant at the Bridal Mart perpetuated the stereotype that anything over a size 2 is a plus size. I'm not okay with that. Being tall, strong, healthy and curvy is cool! My fiance likes me curvy!!! So Darsha, there's an idea for your next story: the myth of super skinny being healthy or "plus sized" people be treated so differently than others!

Curvy hugs & squeezes,

Thursday, June 18, 2009

don't drop the salmon...

And finally, the food tasting! Although I was minimally involved in today's shoot, I did enjoy it (just not the ridiculous drive to Granite Bay!). I am amazed at the way Darsha, the reporter, is able to keep calm while interviewing, getting ready to ask a question, balancing multiple guests and flying Salmon... yup, flying salmon. About 95% of the way through the interview we all walked over to the buffet to talk about the food, only the salmon was missing. So another chef brought the salmon over to where we were standing. She handed the platter to the main chef, Troi. But Troi didn't know it was hot, nor did she have pot holders. Oops! There went the salmon... almost. She recovered. Caught the dish and was able to put it on the table just in time for the shoot to be over.

Here are some photos from today:
Prepping for the next live shot.
Green salad with edible flower petals. Yum!
Macadamia nut crusted salmon, baked (not a huge salmon fan personally, but it was pretty tasty). These are the surviving salmon!
These fingerling potatoes were really, really tasty. I could taste the caramelized garlic and rosemary. So delicious!
Dried pear with a mixture of cream cheese, blue cheese and walnuts and a lone pistachio nut. No going to lie--these were absolutely, ridiculously amazing. Plus, I got to try it on air and sneak in a mini shout-out to my wine-loving parents! Whoot!
Well, that's all for today. One more day of celebrity and then I'm back to being a commoner. Ha!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

weddings vs. marriage...

It's day three of being a local "celebrity!"

Thanks to those who emailed and called to say they've seen me on TV. Nice to know you're all out there watching, even if it is on DVR in the evenings! ;)

Today was "Party Rentals on the Cheap." It's a nice theory, but I'm my mother's daughter. Translation: I never like the cheapest things. Inevitably, I like the upper end stuff. The shoot was great though. It was fun pretending that I could have anything in the whole place... even if it was just from 8-9 a.m. this morning! It was a beautiful show room with tons of choices.

Take a peek at some quick snapshots:
main show room

preset tables to give customers ideas

flowers for the shoot
linen choices on the wall
my on-air wedding table
chocolate ranunculas & pink sweet peas
pretty bouquet with pinks and greens
interesting & unique flower option
the camera guy proving he could fold
news lady folding napkins
Of my vendors, the two vendors I like the most are the florist and my photographer. Because my flower lady is amazing, I know my flowers will be stunning. I can tell that Stefanie is super creative--a visionary really. Plus, she feels like a friend after just one meeting a few phone calls. Isn't that how it should feel? I think so!

The same goes with the photographer. I saw her work. She did a friend's wedding last fall. I inquired with my friend about the photographer, called her for an appointment and the minute I walked into her studio, I liked her. We talked for a half hour about life before ever discussing the wedding. It really felt like we were long lost friends. Plus, I love, love, love her work!!! I guess its their whole job to woe potential clients. I get that and maybe both the photographer and the florist are faking it. Maybe they think I am the worlds most annoying person ever. To be honest, I don't care. It's about this special day for Penguin (the fiance) and I. I hope they are sincerely friendly, but if I'm just another bride to them, they certainly are not just two ordinary people to me. They are an integral part of the beginning of our dreams coming true. And that, my dear friends, matters.

Having said that however, wedding industry people like brides to think that the little details make or break your wedding. That isn't so. I'm talking specifically about party rentals, food, alcohol, favors and invitations, the little things that add up in a big way. And I think that's why I've busted my tail to be a part of this shoot.  I have to work late all week and take some vacation, of which I have little and am trying to save for the wedding and honeymoon to make up the time. This is an important story to tell. "Weddings on the Cheap" is particularly timely, but true even when the economy isn't bad. It's just the first day of your marriage.

The mother of my maid-of-honor emailed me shortly after our engagement to congratulate us. She also reminded us that this day is just one day and truly its all about the marriage and the life you're creating together, not only the wedding. I think alot of people miss this point and are let down when the big day is over. Industry people want your money. They want you to stretch and spend to create this most wonderful day ever.... but not for you, for them, for their commission, their benefit. Weddings are about the couple, their love and the friends and family who support them. Weddings should reflect the couple and if you take a step back and remember that its the first day of the REST of you marriage, you get what you need most of all: PERSPECTIVE.

Money can't buy a fiance who tells me I am beautiful EVERY morning. 

Money can't buy a fiance who tells me he loves me EVERY time we talk. 

Money can't buy a finance who knows my many weaknesses and embraces the things all the men before him tried to change or walked away from. 

Money can't buy a fiance who makes me laugh, really hard and often. 

And money can't buy a fiance who's whole goal in life is to make me happy and provide for us. 

Penguin is perfect for me... even when we're arguing about something stupid. He's still perfect for me! That is why, dear friends, our humble wedding will be reflect us. Sorry if you're expecting lavish linens, chair covers and ties, elaborate party favors and deluxe invites. Deal with it.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

dude, am I famous yet...?

I've been the "bride" in a week long feature on a local news station for a "Weddings on the Cheap" series they're doing every day on their 8:00 a.m. live show.

So far, so good.

I was touched yesterday when I called my mom, who is out of town for work, and she said she heard from my Dad that the make-up shoot went great. 

WAIT! Did I hear that correctly? My dad watched it without any one reminding him, on his own at 8:00 a.m. on a Monday? I think I have the cutest father EVER! I immediately hung up with my mom and called my Dad. We spent 40 minutes talking about the shoot, the in and outs, the ups and downs... being a instant local celeb is mind blowing. Ha! Hardly!

My Dad's best friend, who lives 45 minutes away, randomly spotted me while channel flipping. I'm expecting questions about my rise to fame and autographs any minute! ;)

Today was hair! Hair!!! Apparently, I have great hair.  And yesterday the make-up girl said I was pretty and had nice skin... heck, in this fickle world, you gotta take your compliments where you can get um... so thanks! The lady who did my hair in the hair segment is sooo delightful. Her name in Hannah. By the end of the segment I got the 411 on her also half Vietnamese man. I'm crossing my fingers that Hannah will soon be engaged and able to take part in the stress of wedding planning, the ridiculous fighting over music and venues and the constant barrage of decisions! Oh... weddings are glorious... for everyone but the bride! 

I did decide on how I'd like my hair to be, thanks to Hannah. Hannah did a cute lil' do that will look perfectly romantic without making my round little face look rounder. Also, the amazing salon owner where Hannah works and where we shot today, so graciously gave the news reporter and myself a gift certificate for a free facial, a full sized hair product from her favorite line and lots of samples.

Tomorrow is picking the perfect party rentals. Should be fun! The reporter, who has worked tirelessly to make all of these great days possible, is the most bubbly, warmhearted, fun and perky person. You'd guess that most news people were either stiff, snobby and boring or complete ding bats. This little ball o' fire couldn't be further from both stereotypes. She is wonderful! She gives everyone a hug when she arrives and leaves with a bigger hug and a thank you. She's a doll!!!

So, that's all for now. Wish me luck with the week's remaining festivities!


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

wedding count down...

123 days or
4 months, 1 day or
17 weeks or
2952 hours or
177,120 minutes
or 10,627,200 seconds until our wedding!

Sooooo excited!


bridal week: weddings on the cheap...

"The best things in life aren't things." -Art Buchwald

"Such is human psychology that if we don't express our joy, we soon cease to feel it." -Lin Yutang

"The best is yet to be." -Robert Browning
I was asked to be the "bride" in a week long "Bridal Week on the Cheap" for a local news station. Each day they'll be featuring a new aspect of planning your wedding with tips for the budget conscious bride to do-it-herself. Here's the schedule:

Monday: Bridal Make-Up

Tuesday: Bridal Hair & Tips for Do-It-Yourself Bridesmaid Hair

Wednesday: Wedding Planning 101

Thursday: Wedding Food

Friday: Bachette Parties on the Cheap

Considering the year my fiance and I have had, this is quite a treat for me! I am sooo excited to be the "bride" and soak up all the extra tips and pampering that I can. I am delighted to be a part of it. 


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

smart vs. sexy...

In a very interesting and stimulating conversation with my coworker in the break room today, we discussed intelligent people and their sensitivity. Apparently, intelligent people are also very sensitive. I got me thinking about this:


I would rather be smarter (although I probably need the more sexy thing more). I just can't figure out the whole sexy thing. I guess it's equal parts of not caring enough, not knowing how and not believing that being sexy really matters to my the core of who I am. This is not so say that I don't, in small parts, envy sexy people. I think its a whole other skill that incorporates confidence and embodies self-enthusiasm (I have both, but for different reasons). Like I said, I just don't care enough and, admittedly, I am a little bit of a tom boy and a little bit lazy. 

I think, as far as sexiness is concerned, I was raised and rewarded for achievements in academics and athletics. My parents didn't really care how I looked as long as I was healthy and clean. I feel very blessed is this regard. The pressure of looking perfect all the time and constantly working to look good--I'd bet all of my savings that my innards, my well-intentioned heart and my hardworking brain, are pretty darn good looking. ;)
I feel grateful that I have a home, food, a job and my family and friends!!! Even better than being smarter or sexier, I feel blessed for those things!!!


Monday, February 16, 2009

a busy little bee...

Here is the thing: I am busy.

It's clear I haven't been on the blog circuit, chatting up what's new. But, I have good reason. I am ridiculously busy! Seriously busy!

Among the "normal" life things we all do (grocery shop, eat, sleep, clean, do laundry), I have been VERY busy with work. I have also been coaching freshman girls basketball since November. Two hours + 7 days/week + 2 other coaches + 10 lovely freshman girls = amazing experience.

We finished out season on Friday. After a VERY annoyingly reffed game by "
Buzzy," the girls gave us the most gorgeous bouquet of flower and a card thanking us for a great season. If you know me in the slightest, you know I tend to be fairly emotional anyway. But after four months of living and breathing basketball with these girls, and more importantly giving them everything I could (confidence, encouragement, advice, tips, consequences, smiles...) I can't believe that I walked away feeling so blessed. In every experience working with youth, I always gain a better understanding of young people and myself. This experience was no different. In fact, this experience was easily in my top 10. My heart overflowed with not only immense pride for how far each girl has come, but also for how deeply they touched my heart. I will miss seeing them everyday... So, a deep feeling of gratitude to the girls freshman basketball team. You rocked my socks!!!

Secondly, I am in full blown wedding planning mode. My word! Planning a wedding is ALOT of work. Thank the good, good Lord for my wonderful mother. Although she has been as equally stressed with her rigorous work load, she has been by my side at EVERY wedding planning juncture. It's been fun, more recently, but all and all, it has just been so much work. Maybe now that basketball is over and my big work event is done, I'll enjoy wedding planning a little more. :)

So, that's where I have been.

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