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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

News and a Rant

Well folks, it's officially official! We're engaged!!

On Sunday, August 21, 2011 Tony proposed to me here:

 This is the "Royal Flower Gardens" at our local Renaissance Festival (located in West Newton, Pa). I will spare you the details leading up to it, but Tony and I had a really great time at the festival, like we always do. Then, Mr. Sneaky leads me up to the fountain, says, "hey I don't remember this from last year", and when I turn to look at the fountain, he gets down on one knee. Apparently, he's had this planned for at least six months. I told you he was sneaky. I only heard one person say "aww", so I assume we didn't have much of a crowd, which means we probably won't have any pictures of the actual proposal. But, I was there, and he was there. So, we'll remember it, and that's what matters.
  In case you forgot, here's a picture of the ring:
And yes, by the way, that IS the ring we found on eBay and I fell completely and totally in love with. The one that I dreamed about. I actually still chit chat back and forth with the seller, so I e-mailed him that night (before I even called my grandparents-which happened on Monday!) to tell him the good news. He was thrilled, though saddened about his own losses which lead to him selling the ring--but overall pleased that he sold it to the two of us.

So will all this joyfulness, you ask, how could there possibly be a rant involved? Well, let me tell you.

********WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE AHEAD*****************

We walked into the house, and I showed his mom and grandma (who were very happy), and the first thing his dad says to us is, "October 6 won't work. Ryan [Tony's brother] won't be there, I might not be there. It's the first day of archery season, we'll be hunting. Change your date. Make it in September instead."

Obviously, I'm immediately ticked off because he didn't even congratulate us. He's more worried about his precious ONE DAY of hunting than his son's ONE AND ONLY wedding day. I shoot back, "We aren't changing the day. It's ONE DAY and if you want to choose hunting over your own son then that's fine with me. It's your choice."

Look, I UNDERSTAND that hunting season is important. I really do. My whole family has been deer crazed for as long as I can remember. But here's the thing: Hunting season does NOT happen for one day only. There are months and months of hunting to do. If you miss the first day, you don't just quit until next year. You go the next weekend, or if you're lucky, maybe even as soon as the Monday of the next week. I have missed plenty of things that I LOVE that actually do only happen once a year so that I could attend friend's and families weddings. I don't call them and tell them to change their wedding date because it means I will have to miss out on my favorite event. I suck it the fuck up, miss the event, plan to go next year if I can, and have a GREAT time at the wedding. In fact, the last TWO years, I have missed the same event in order to go to weddings. I never once thought of complaining to the bride and the groom that their day conflicted with something else I wanted to do, and I definitely NEVER thought of not going to their wedding.

You know, I might have considered changing our date if he had talked to us about it with the mindset that it's OUR wedding date and only WE have the power to change it. And only because we want to, not because we feel forced. I also would have appreciated it if he had been a little more polite about us announcing that we were officially engaged. I mean, his mom wasn't particularly nice about it: her words were, "Oh so he finally let you have it, huh?", but at least she seemed happy about it. [My parents, on the other hand gave congratulations and handshakes and hugs. Even my own grandparents didn't say congratulations, but at least my grandma said, "Oh I like Tony."] Maybe if Tony's dad had approached us in a different way, I would be less angry at his "request", which wasn't really a request at all, it was more of a demand.

That being said, Ryan doesn't even know that we are engaged yet. I'm assuming Larry had a chat with him and told him our plans and what day we were planning on getting married. Then I can only assume that Ryan got all wound up about it being the first day (he's a freaking NUT about hunting. Seriously. I have no idea how his wife can stand him.), which then in turn got Larry all wound up about it.

At the very root of all of this is the fact that I'm extremely PISSED and offended that Tony's own brother and FATHER would say that they would rather choose one singular day of hunting over Tony's wedding day. (DAY, not week, or month, or year. ONE FUCKING DAY). What that says to me is that the first day of archery season (that doesn't even count the first day of all the other types of hunting: rifle and doe, etc etc) is MORE IMPORTANT than being there to show your love and support for your own family member on the day they make a lifelong commitment to your future sister and daughter-in-law, respectively. How completely fucked up is that?

At the end of the day, if Tony's dad and brother don't show up, THEY are going to be the one's who will look like total assholes for choosing hunting over their son/brother. I'm not going to look like the shithead, and Tony won't look like the shithead, they will. So, if that's what they chose, then so be it. I'm fine with telling Angela (Ryan's wife), that she is MORE than welcome to come. And I also have no problem with telling Ryan that if he's going to be late, or dirty, or bloody or any combination of the above or otherwise not suitable for a wedding then he should just stay at home with his dead animal and not bother coming at all. And the same can go to Larry.

I have no idea how my side of the family will react. My grandfather, father, uncles and probably other relatives I haven't thought about hunt. So, it's their choice whether they are going to come or not. And truthfully, as long as my grandfather and dad show up, all will be well. And I know that my dad and grandpa will show up, there's little that would keep them from my wedding.

What it comes down to is this: If you have to really think hard and debate over whether going hunting, or coming to my wedding is more important, then you really shouldn't be there to begin with. You obviously don't love and support me in the way that I want to be loved and supported. And I really want to be surrounded by people who truly and honestly love and support me on my wedding day. If it's really that hard of a decision for you, then don't bother.

I think it's pretty obvious that I am still extremely pissed about this whole situation, and I actually get madder and madder every time I think about it. I really don't need this ridiculous stress added on top of the other things that I have to worry about. I really don't need to be worried and stressed about who will be AT my wedding on the day that I got engaged! It's ridiculous. And I can just imagine them not showing up and me being in tears on my wedding day because my own future family chose dead deer over me.

ARRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!! Frustration!! I will keep you updated.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Can't Sleep!

Two of our friends are getting tomorrow! Congratulations about 10 hours early to Biggie and Bobbi!!

Anyway, it's natural that I have complete and utter wedding brain right now. I keep coming up with ideas, and running through our future wedding in my head. Awesome. But terribly annoying at the same time!! I WANT TO SLEEP.

So, here are some ideas that won't let me go to bed:

  • Have the ceremony outside. This was always that plan, however, I thought it would be awesome to take an idea from Jess's wedding and create a circus tent kind of thing around all the seats. This will keep the wedding party and my dad and I mostly hidden until it's time for us to walk down the aisle. The way I figured we could do this would be to make/find wooden frames, or something like that, and hang up white sheets. Kind of like Jess had. Then put them so they are in a semi circle around the seating area. There would be an area without any sheets in the back area where we would all walk through. Debating currently on whether there should be some type of covering for this as well. Maybe like those hippie beads, only with shredding sheet? Or something. Anyway, I realize that the possibility of this actually happening is probably pretty slim since it's pretty useless after the fact (unless we used it as double duty for a photo booth? Even though I couldn't care less if we had one? And it'll mean I'll have to add one more thing to my list: buy/collect props?) AND, it will probably cost a little bit. I mean, I can definitely pick up white sheets here and there at the quarter store, and I imagine we could find some wood. Eh. We'll talk about it, I guess. (This is why this is an IDEA only. Haha)
  • Remember how I wanted to string flowers on a garland and put them behind all the chairs? Well! I just thought of another way to incorporate everything together. Get the mini Styrofoam balls from the dollar store and decorate them with leftover cherry blossom cut outs and string them up, too. We can alternate between flower ball and artificial flower. The question is: do we want to decorate the chairs outside for the ceremony, too? Or do we just want to stick to the inside chairs? Obviously, this is another one that I'm not quite sure about, but I do know that we are definitely going to have lots of extra paper. So, that's another option for a way to use that for something else. 
  • I will want to make sure that our wedding party can hear the music so we can all hear our cues to come in. However, idea number one might get in the way of that slightly. Because while it will block our sight from our guests, it will also block our hearing. The fix to that is to make sure we have lots of speakers inside the tent area. I don't think we have speakers. I know we have a karaoke machine, but I also know from family reunions that it isn't very loud. So, that's probably out. The ultimate of excitement would be to get three or four speakers and place them all around the tent area. Then we'd be sure that everybody can hear everything from the start of the music, to our vows, to the exiting music. How to get this is the hard question. I think Tony has some speakers in the attic, but that doesn't answer the question of how to get those speakers and a microphone to work together. (Other unanswered questions: who is going to run our music for us? How will be get our music split up?)
  • Other thoughts that have been popping up include: How will be pass our rings around for the ring warming? I want them to be on or attached to something. Just because I don't particularly want to deal with the awkwardness of stopping mid ceremony to help look for the rings in the grass because somebody dropped them. I don't even want to consider the idea of a pillow. I personally think they're kind of silly. I do, however, really like the idea of putting them on, or in, a book. The question then, is: What book? Maybe a poem book? I don't really have a poem book. OH! Just thought of this now. How about our Seven Principles book? We're going through it right now as our pre-marital counciling book. Neither of us is religious, and we don't particularly have the cash to actually GO to pre-marital sessions, and we definitely don't have the time. So far, the book has been working perfectly for us. I think that if we see an improvement in ourselves and our relationship and the book actually comes to mean a lot to us, then that would be a PERFECT book to use for our wedding. We can have our speaker (who has yet to be found! [another worry-ish] to talk about why we chose that book and why it's important to us and how it relates to the wedding.
  • Will I wear a veil? Will I wear a birdcage? Will I wear a combination of the two?? I have yet to even make my test-veil, so as of now, I have no answers. 
  • My dress! I haven't gone shopping, and I don't quite plan on it. I already know kind of what I want; but what it really comes down to are two things: budget and my size. In the bridal world, I am "plus sized", meaning I'm not going to be able to save money by buying a sample size. But, because my budget for my dress is tiny (and rightfully so), I won't have the luxury of picking out whatever dress I want and ordering it in my size. I am going to have to go to clearance and blowout sales from stores like MB Bride and David's Bridal and look through what they have in my size. And then, pick from that selection. It doesn't make dress finding impossible, just a little harder. That's all. At the end of the day, I'm not particularly worried about what I am wearing, but it obviously needs to flatter me. 
  • Photographs! It's not so much of whether they will happen or not, because they definitely will. But, I've been trying to think of a timeline in my head of how we will be able to get the most "bang for our buck" so to speak. We found one photographer who isn't a shoe-in yet, because I haven't seen a lot of her work, but she does offer the best prices. Meaning, if we want any kind of professional photographer at all, she's our best bet. I'm not particularly worried about getting professional photos of things like the reception or first dance, but I do what the ceremony photographed, and I want our staged photos of family and whatnot. If I can find about three hundred dollars to allot for photography, then I think I can get ALL the shots that I want. Being really generous and giving the ceremony an hour, and being really generous and giving the posed shots an hour, that leaves us with one hour to take pictures at Linn Run. Which is where I REALLY want to get married, but an sacrificing because it's going to cause a lot of trouble with Sandi and grandma. The compromise is to have a lot of our pictures taken there. I would LOVE to get lucky and have somebody gift us some cash or something so I could afford an extra hour up in the Ligonier area. I want to take a picture at the diamond like my mom and dad did, and I also want to walk the streets a little bit, because they are gorgeous. However, who knows what will happen, and if we'll even like the woman's portfolio. And, if push comes to shove, I can always beg Aldona to accompany us to Linn Run for pictures. Also in compromise is the fact that we just aren't going to be able to get our whole wedding party up to that area afterwards. Which is fine, we'll just have pictures of the two of us taken. Apparently those types of shots are hard to get at a wedding because there's always somebody hanging out with the bride and groom. I've even heard some stories where people have looked at their photographer's pictures after the fact and realized that they didn't get ONE single shot of just the two of them together. I think it'll be much more intimate this way, anyway. So I'm totally okay with that idea. 
So, I think that's it "FOR NOW", and I am sure that when I go to lay down in bed and finally fall asleep, there will be something else to creep into my mind. I am not officially SORRY that I didn't take a sleeping pill tonight. That brain gets cranking and I just can't fall asleep. So, I am going to end this post, and try to relax and have a quick browse around the internet before I cuddle up with Tony and the cat and try to fall asleep. (I know the computer doesn't help in making me sleepy, but whatever. I'm desperately trying to get this awful sleep pattern turned around. I think I must be nocturnal. All my best thinking and progress has always happened at night. I wonder if there is a desire for nighttime psychologists??)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Helpful Tips

Here are some great tips and ideas for renewing, reusing and generally offering a new twist on some common household items. This list was originally used for weddings, but I think they transfer really well into the everyday.

*All ideas and tips listed here, and more can be found here.

Use cake stands (or make one using the tutorial from a few posts back) to create a centerpiece that is simple and elegant. This would be great for a coffee table or other table or counter. You get to use cake stands that would otherwise be gathering dust, and you can set out candles to create a nice, inexpensive focal point in your home. 

Before you add candles to any candle holders, spray some cooking spray into the  holders to make for easy cleanup. This is also great because it allows for the holders to be reused after the candle has been melted away. I wish I knew about this one years ago! You could probably use this tip and combine it with the cake stand tip above. Instead of spraying (which is messy!) just spray a paper towel and rub a circle a little bit wider than the candle. I would be extra cautious in case the spray + cake stand makes the candle prone to slipping off of the stand. Try this out before your guests arrive! 

Have some champagne that is a little flat? Drop in a raisin before pouring and it will liven  up your drink a little bit. Seems easy enough, and it will save your wallet a little bit because you won't be wasting money buying more champagne. 

This one is great for weddings, but is clearly awesome for all year round! Use a bare bulb (lamp without the shade) to use as a ribbon straightener. Obviously caution is recommended because some ribbons are made of fabrics that are not light bulb friendly. You also want to be careful not to leave the ribbon on the bulb for too long or you might have to call the fire department!  Be careful of your eyes, too. I can imagine if you had a lot of crinkly ribbon, you'd have some burning eyes after using this tip. 


We won't be using these, but I saved them because I thought it might be a possibility. However, even though now I know we won't be using them, I had to share them with you all. I'm not sure if anybody is even reading this blog, but if anybody is, I'd love some comments!!

Anyway, this is an easy idea of making matchbook favors. Look how awesome they are:

Tutorial here.

If you check out the tutorial, you'll see how completely simple they are! And, they solve the forever favor problem of appealing to both sexes. Not every man can appreciate a nice sugar scrub, but I assure you that everybody can find a use for matches at one time or another. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you could make these extra special by including a candle, and a little note that says something like, "You watched us get married today and we really appreciate you being here to share our love. Please take this candle and matches and take a moment or two for yourself. Relax and know that we love you dearly."

Okay, that's borderline mushy and sappy. But, I'm a total sucker for sappy, so it would totally work on me. But, whatever. I literally just wrote that off the top of my head, but I'm sure you clever people out there could think of something better. The point is that something even as simple as a matchbook can be used to create a favor that is truly thoughtful.

Bridesmaids Gifts

I still haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do for my bridesmaids gifts yet. I might do that always classy option, which is to buy your girls the jewelry that they will wear for your day. However, I also like the idea of putting together a handmade basket for each one of them. BUT it's also true that I will have to thank that other people who are important during my day, so I could always gift my girl's the jewelry and gift handmade baskets to the other people who need thanked. Obviously, it's too soon to know exactly what I am going to do, but the following idea is so great that I really want to include it. However, while I love it, it just wouldn't work (for me, anyway) to do as a favor. It would take way too much time, supplies, money and energy for me to be able to make 50+ of them. They also aren't completely unisex friendly. I mean, they are to an extent....but you'll see what I mean.

Without further ado:

Tutorial here.
A homemade sugar scrub!

The best part is that it's super simple to make, and only requires five ingredients. Most of which most people have in their cabinets already.

White sugar
Whole Vanilla Beans
Brown sugar
Olive Oil (Or Mineral Oil)
Almond Extract (Or Vanilla extract, mint extract, lavender essential oil- Whatever you've got handy!)

So simple!


I took my much needed break over the weekend (and it was BUSY), and I'm happy to say that I am back in gear, and ready to talk about some new stuff!

We pretty much got the venue situation taken care of; we're basically going to worry about it when we need to worry about it. We've got plenty of space to use to fit any number of people, whether it be a small amount or a big ass party. No matter what happens, we won't have to turn anybody away, so we won't worry about where we're going to put them. Once we see the venue, send out the invitations and get our RSVP's back, then we'll really have an idea of how many people are going to show up. And not guessing how many people will show up over a year before the actual wedding, but a real, honest to goodness head count.

Whew! Big sigh of relief!

I also found out that MB Bride is having a huge clearance sale. However, it literally ends a couple days from now (Wednesday), and even though I'm shopping for a $99 dress, I don't have the funds right now. Upon looking at their schedule, I see that they are having a second, even bigger sale in February. Right after my birthday! I think I'll talk to Tony about it tomorrow and schedule an appointment so I can get in there and buy my dress. It's silly to buy my dress now, and if I buy my dress in February then I'll still have eight months until the wedding. It's still a long time, but it'll be close enough that it won't seem ridiculous.

I'm really liking these two plans! Jess and Cody came over tonight and I'm so glad they did. I got to chat about wedding plans with Jess and it was really nice to tell her some of the non-traditional things we have planned and have her be excited instead of wondering why we aren't going the traditional route. I'm not particularly worried about other people's opinions, but it makes everything easier when you have people support what you want. Everybody so far has been reasonably supportive and hasn't had too much to say. Surprisingly enough, my dad has been the hardest person to convince, and my mom has been the absolute best. However, I assume that this has a lot to do with the fact that I'm a lot like my mom; and she's never been the type to do what everybody else does for the sole reason of "fitting in". And, my dad, on the other hand, is probably being slightly resistant (but still supportive) because I'm his only child, his baby girl. He wants me to have the best. Once he pulls back and realizes that I am not "settling" for different things, but that I actually want them to be this way, I think he'll relax a little and be just as open about everything as my mom has.

So, those are my updates as of right now, I am going to work on some more tutorial style posts. Remember, I still need to clean up my stash of research goodies.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I need to take a really big step away from wedding planning right now. At least for a day or two, or the weekend.

Tony and I had a really fantastic evening; we went craft shopping and we went to the mall to have my ring inspected and checked. I got to try my ring on (AH! I got to try it on!!! I REALLY cannot wait to have it. Seriously). We also stopped at my parents house and we had a chat about wedding stuff, and just generally chit chat.

That being said, this evening has NOT gone well for me. I've been doing a little number crunching (as far as guests) and things are not looking quite the way I want them to. Adding to this factor, is also the fact that I haven't even SEEN our dinner venue yet. I don't have specific numbers of how many people will fit inside this building, and I can't even begin to guess because I've never even been IN the building.

Yikes. So this is where being ass backwards kind of bites me in the ass a little bit. I know it isn't anything to get worked up over, because we have a HUGE venue that we also have booked; and it's visible from our dinner venue. No big deal if we have to switch back to using the big venue. And booking both of them made it super easy because we'll have the kitchen available, if needed. I think our decorating will suffer a little bit if we use the big venue, but once again, not really a big deal. None of it is really a big deal. I'll sit down with Tony, we'll go check out both venues again, and we'll go from there.

Now, knowing that it's no big deal (because it really isn't!) doesn't necessarily mean that I'm NOT making a big deal about it, because I most definitely am. In fact, I'm SUPER stressed out about it. And I definitely don't need that. Tony doesn't need that from me, and I don't want to be that person.

So, that being said, I think I'm going to take a break from all the planning stuff tonight. I planned on doing some more research, some more posting, etc., but I'm doing what feels right and letting it go for now. These little things just aren't important.

I also want to throw it out there that I am SO happy that I started planning as soon as I did. (BEFORE I'm engaged. Hell, I'm still not engaged). I am beyond relieved that we have OVER a year to sort all of this stuff out. I am heaving a huge sigh just thinking about all of the time we have. Knowing that I'll be able to make more breaks like this as needed during the planning process really makes me look forward to getting back on the horse and working through all the crap that's going to come my way during the next year +.

I'll be back shortly. <3

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Self-Uniting Marriage License

Pennsylvania is semi-unique in that it has what is known as a self-uniting marriage license. It's set up (mostly) for Quakers (Society of Friends) because traditionally they do not have clergy-people. Therefore, when they get married, there isn't an official person to marry them. So the "self-uniting" part is exactly how it sounds. The bride and groom actually marry themselves to each other; all they need is two witnesses to sign the documents. I believe the wording is, "I take you as my wife", and "I take you as my husband". This is not limited to Quakers, however, but most people don't go this route because they choose a justice of the peace, mayor, or a clergy-person to marry them.

For us, this seems like a good fit. I want to have a private outdoor ceremony, and I definitely don't want it to be religious at all (so while the nondenominational route works for a lot of people, it just doesn't sit right with me) and from what I've heard, tracking down a judge who's willing to travel to preform a marriage involves a lot of sucking up. This could work for us (we're cute and we can definitely kiss ass), but at the same time, I know I would drive myself crazy making sure we picked the "right judge", meaning I would be spending countless hours pouring over their past cases making sure they have the same views as I/we do.

So who knows what we believe in better than we do, right? There are a couple options when using the self-uniting method. The bride and groom can act totally alone and do all of the speaking, or they can choose somebody to act as the speaker and the couple has about as much speaking as they would during a "normal" ceremony (i.e.: the vows, and saying "I do", etc).

Neither Tony nor I believe that we can do all the speaking ourselves. I know Tony will be super nervous and I'll probably cry the whole time (and I would be really nervous to do the whole ceremony!), so that isn't the best for us or our guests. We know we want somebody who means a lot to us to the speaking, and I also want to incorporate somebody who otherwise wouldn't be able to be there. Tony's mom is currently pushing for his sister to do it; but I personally feel like it eliminates his other sister and his brother, who won't have a specific role in the ceremony. Another thing is that his sister will have a 6 year old and a (almost) one year old at the time of the wedding, and I don't want to corral her husband into being the sole "child-watcher" during the ceremony. Either one may be upset that they can't be up there with their mother, and it's hard to keep a 6 year old still while wrangling a one year old at the same time. Also, his sister will already be invited to the ceremony, she's his sister! I'd like to use somebody who would be otherwise left out. Somebody who's a close friend to both of us, but isn't in the wedding party. I know Tony is reasonably close to his sister, but I'm not particularly close to her, so I feel like there's a little less meaning with her.  (Which could very easily change between now and the wedding). And besides, I have a brother, too. Why aren't we considering him? There's just too many siblings to single one out to do something extremely important and leave the other ones with no roles whatsoever. And I don't particularly want to find special roles for all the siblings! They're our siblings, I certainly think that's special enough.

Not to get away from the topic, but this is the exact reason why we aren't having flower girls or ring bearers. We will have, at the time of the wedding, three nieces and two nephews. That's way too many to include, and I can't pick and choose between them. In fact, I don't even particularly want children AT the wedding, let alone IN the wedding. However, they are still family, so it's important that they be there for the ceremony and dinner. BUT, I'm not compromising with the "after party". We're going to have a 12 or older age limit (we might do this after a certain time so that our families can stick around for the "important" bits, like first dances and whatnot).

Anyway, I've found a couple different set ups that I like (as far as what our speaker will be saying), so I'll probably post those at a later time because I've already taken up quite a lot of space here.

Cake Stands

First of all, let me mention that I have been doing non-stop planning the last couple of days, so I have LOTS to tell you! I'm going to try to condense my research folder and post up some of my recently found ideas (before they all start to back up and I'm just as swamped as I was when I first started this blog.) Hopefully, I can have almost everything put up.

I'm not even sure if we will use these, but they are so simple, and cheap! I couldn't leave them out, somebody can surely use them for something, hell I'm sure I could use them for something down the road, even if we don't use this for wedding stuff.

Tutorial here.
These are homemade cake stands using regular plates and stemware. It looks to me that the part of the stemware that would normally sit on the table is the part that is attached to the underside of the plate. This gives the illusion of what an actual cake stand looks like. (Like this:)

See how the rim of the glass is actually at the bottom? In thus tutorial (it's pretty short and sweet, and you probably don't even need to read it to figure out how to make these), the crafter uses epoxy to secure the two pieces together. I'm wondering if hot glue would work just as well? Maybe you could lightly sand the parts you need to glue to each other so that they will have better grip to each other? I mostly pose this question because I don't particularly want to go out and buy any more supplies than I actually *need*, and I happen to have a glue gun sitting about 2 feet away from me. I also know of a thrift store (St. Vincent de Paul) near me where I can pick up the glassware for about $.10 a piece. This could feasibly be a REALLY cheap project for me.

Assuming I find plates and glasses that I really like, this could be a really simple gift, item I use after the wedding, or even just a decoration. I think this is something that could easily be added to (you could find clear  glasses and spray paint them so they look frosted, spray paint over a design and pull the design off to create an all frosted look with a little silhouette. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Invitation Inserts!

I found an awesome coupon the other day for 100 FREE business cards at Staples. It expires at the end of the week (8/6), so I knew I had to jump on this. The question, of course, was what exactly can I use 100 business cards for? Specifically, plain black and white business cards? After thinking about it for a day, we realized that we could use this opportunity to start reminding our families and friends to bring their cameras to the wedding! We already had purchased a camera stamp that I really liked, so I knew this would work out well.

We know there is almost no way we'll be able to afford a "professional" photographer for our wedding, so we're going to ask a few of our photography-student friends to take as many "professional" type photos as possible, and we'll probably have to rely a lot on our guests. We're not a big fan of the disposable camera on every table option. One, they're pricey to buy, pricey to develop and once the real fun begins and the alcohol flows it's a crap-shoot as to what type (if any) pictures will get developed. Not to mention that in this day and age everybody and their dog has a digital camera. If my grandfather can use one, so can you! This is why it's particularly important that we really stress for everybody to bring their cameras. Besides, why would I spend $24 on a photo-sharing website subscription if nobody is going to use it!?

Tony and I had to run up to the school to pay his bill for the fall semester and talk to the financial aid people. After that we went to Arby's for some grub. Over which we wrote down a few ideas for what our cards should say. Tony had some really great ideas and eventually we settled on a quick poem that came out of nowhere. We did some quick switching around and editing and made our final decision. Not bad for over-thinkers like ourselves.

We go to Staples, which is where the real fun began because we got to go through and choose our fonts and placement. Surprisingly, this took us awhile because we fiddled with the fonts and placements for quite awhile; there was a lot of, "Let's move this line up just a hair", and "Which font do you like better? This one or this one?" Finally, we decided on our product and handed the reins over to the woman behind the counter who took over. Here are our "final" products:

I made the picture a little larger than normal so you can see the wording better. The crazy colors in the background are courtesy of my little wedding idea notebook that I've pledged to keep in my purse so I can write down ideas/product numbers/stores on the fly.

These little cards will get stamped with the camera stamp (see previous post), on the back. We haven't decided yet if we are going to do anything with the front. We'll probably have a little bit of trial and error to decide what we like. These were an AMAZING deal for FREE. We will slip them in with the wedding invitations that get sent out.  YAY! We are really excited about them, and for a little time and effort, these will cost us absolutely nothing. How budget-friendly is that?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Clear Stamps

The following are pictures of the stamps Tony and I bought over the last couple of weeks. These were all purchased through Joann Fabric. I did a test run with all of them today to see how they would show up on paper, and I am pretty pleased with all of them. Some of the ones we ordered surprised us when we got them in because despite the name "mini", they are actually kind of big. This might be a kind of boring post because I'm just going to describe the stamps we got. But, whatever, you all know how to skip. 

Pack of three. 1) Unforgettable 2) Timeless 3) Moments in Time
This is one of those that is much bigger in person than we thought it would be. "Mini" sometimes doesn't actually mean "Mini", I guess.

Pack of four. These ones are the only ones that stamp on paper weirdly. They are still pretty and easy to work with (and have a pretty obvious cherry blossom), however, for some reason the end results end up looking kind of cartoonish and with thick lines. Still pretty. And still totally usable.

Two stamps here. One is the camera and the other is the word "smile". Both of these stamps came out GREAT. We are going to use the camera stamp with our invitation business card inserts reminding everybody to bring their cameras. (More on that later)

Three stamps 1) True Love (in the circle) 2) You and Me (the elongated, vertical one) and 3) Sweetheart

Our "Thank You" stamp. Probably won't be put to use much, if at all, in the actual wedding. This is most likely for the post shower and post wedding related stuff. 

Paper Flowers...

Are not quite as easy as they seem. Of course, Martha Stewart can make anything look easy.  AND, I'm using tissue paper instead of crepe paper. So, I'd imagine it's harder because the paper is thinner and more delicate.  Anyway, the picture below includes the two paper flowers I've tried to make so far. The purple one is "supposed" to be a daisy. I use the term really loosely, because it doesn't really look much like a daisy. In my defense, I made it at about 1:30 am, the lighting was really dim, and I didn't have any of my supplies (so the stem is actually a green pen). The pink one is supposed to be a rose. It actually looks a little bit like it is supposed to, though it looks nothing like the picture from the website. 

Also in the picture (I killed two birds with one stone) is part of our centerpieces that we just found. They will be set up like this:

One half of the table centerpieces will look like this. They will be on a square mirror (it looks like a rectangle in the picture). The pomander ball will be in the center. On either side will be one of these candle holder boxes with two votive candles.

The other half of the centerpieces will look like this. Once again, they will be on a square mirror. The pomander ball will be in the center. On one side will be the rectangle candle holder box. It will be filled with sand and then have a rive stone and rake patterns in it. (Like those Japanese zen gardens with the rake). On the other side will be the two votive candles from the candle holder.

Speaking of Zen Gardens, those are actually going to be our favors! We figured it would tie in pretty well with the whole theme, I can buy them in bulk from the dollar store. They are super-cute. End of story. No crafting necessary and they are cheaper than making them myself. I'll probably make wrapping paper out of plain brown wrapping paper (or black, if I can find it.) and then wrap over that in a doily. 

Speaking of doilies, briefly. I finally found a place that has doilies that I like a lot. The only sort-of problem is that I have to buy them in bulk. Like 1,000 of them, "bulk". Yikes. Well. Time to get creative, I guess.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

We aren't having them!!!

Well, we aren't having the traditional bachelor/bachelorette parties. It just isn't happening (so dear Man of Honor and Best Man--we aren't doing it, sorry). That doesn't mean that we won't have a kick ass time, though!

Neither Tony or I really like the whole idea of strippers (I don't like the idea of being touched by a half naked, oily man that I don't even know, and Tony isn't thrilled with that thought either. On the complete flip side, we aren't really excited about female strippers either.) So, in case you're sitting there thinking that it's because one of us isn't "allowing" it; you're totally wrong. We just don't think it sounds fun and it doesn't embody what we imagine a wedding to be.

  1. Weddings are supposed to be the joyful (yes, I said joyful) union of two people who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together and want to share this with their friends and family. Therefore:
  • We aren't celebrating our last "party" before we aren't single anymore. We don't consider ourselves to be single; though I understand it means "unmarried". We are committed and don't have any desire to touch random people or have random scantily clad people touch us. We're perfectly happy the way we are. IF either one of us wanted to go to a strip club, we wouldn't need to have a reason. 
  • The whole concept is ridiculous. I don't know about other engaged or soon-to-be-engaged people, but I know that we aren't going to suddenly become boring once we get married. So, why the need to have "one last fling before the ring"? Why do you have to have "one last party", if you plan to be the same after the wedding? 
  • What these parties say for marriage is crazy, in my (and Tony's) opinion. These parties say that you're going to be so tied down and miserable after you're officially married that you better run out and see as many breasts as possible. You'll never see other breasts ever again, other than your wive's (though apparently, you'll never see those either!)
There's a ton more points that I could make; but I'll spare you. 

It just makes me wonder if any of this bullshit is a part of the reason why there's so many divorces. First of all; I'm really open. If Tony or I decided that we were madly in love, but some of our needs weren't being met, or that they couldn't be met (i.e. One of us got sick, disabled, didn't want to, couldn't, wouldn't/couldn't accommodate a desire or fantasy of the partner), then I would be alright with setting boundaries and limits and allowing one or both of us to look outside of the marriage to fulfill those needs. Why divorce an otherwise happy marriage just because one or both partners can fulfill your every wish?

It's highly unrealistic to assume that one person will be able to be everything you'll ever need. It really is. Call me crazy, but seriously. Just because two people love each other doesn't mean that they'll always be satisfied with the other person. And let's face it; we will ALWAYS be attracted to other people besides our spouses. ALWAYS. There may be a few people out there who disagree, but they're either delusional or they are the very very slim minority. Can you imagine how many marriages are broken up or destroyed because one or both partners stray? Can you imagine how many marriages could be spared if both partners were honest about their attraction for others? And, can you imagine how many marriages would GET BETTER if those partners could understand that just because their partners are attracted to/want to sleep with other people that it DOESN'T CHANGE the fact that their partner loves the hell out of them; and instead of feeling betrayed and unloved, they said, "here are the rules; have fun!"?

The truth is that marriage and monogamy and relationships in general are relative of each individual couple. We should STOP forcing everybody into these tight, restrictive molds for what marriage "should" be. Let each couple decide what works for them and let them do it without so many social pressures to be the "model" wife or husband. 

That being said; those are the exact reasons why we aren't having bachelor/bachelorette parties. They don't fit in with our ideals or opinions of what weddings are. Other couples are more than welcome to participate in these expected festivities, and those in our bridal party who are offended that we aren't going to strip clubs, well, who's stopping you? You can go just about every night of the week; so go for it! 

We do, however, believe in celebrating with our really close family and friends and have a pre-wedding celebration to just relax and have fun. So, I've been looking up some alternatives to these parties, and I've found a couple interesting ones. I particularly like the idea of having a scavenger hunt and splitting into two teams "bride" and "groom" and competing. Tony doesn't seem extremely thrilled about it; but he was also really tired when I brought it up; so it's hard to judge his true reaction. I'll obviously have to do some more research, come up with some more ideas and ask again. 

Well, this post went on a little longer than I had intended for it to do, so I'll wrap this up now. I just wanted to give a quick (haha) explanation why we've decided not to have these parties, but that we still plan on having a party; just not the naked groping kind. 

This song...

I went researching for local photographer prices (and I don't even want to talk about that!), but one of the websites had a slideshow up and the song is SO catchy and awesome. The only problem is that I have no idea who it's by and Google hasn't turned up any prospects. I think I'll have to message them (and sound totally crazy) and ask them what the song is. I'm relatively certain that the song is meant to be a father singing to/for his child; but the lyrics are those wonderfully "hinting" types so it could very well be interpreted as a romantic-type song as well.

So, here it is, because I can't tell you about it and not share. (I won't lie, I've been listening to it on repeat--well, that and our "wedding song", the Howl's Moving Castle song). If anybody know's who the artist is, PLEASE tell me!

We Went Shopping!

Joann Fabric's was having a sale (and still is, if any of you readers are interested!), so I did what any desperately fiance-to-be would do. I bought. And not just from the website. Nooo, I purchased from the website AND we went to the physical store.

Purchases from the website include:

  • An acrylic stamp block. (It's actually pretty cool; it has grips around the edge for better holding and it is clear so you can better align your stamps to the paper.)
  • Three ink pads. Two black and one silver. 
  • Pipe cleaners. (Okay, I realize that sounds like a silly purchase, but it's so I can try out my paper/tissue paper flowers before I go and buy a big spool of heavy gauge wire.)
  • Floral tape (So I can cover the pipe cleaners to get the idea of 1) How to do it correctly and 2) How it will look)
  • Three stamps shown below: 

They are "clingy" and they can be swapped out. This is particularly awesome because I only need on "master" stamp (which I purchased; the stamp block), and I can use multiple stamps with that one block. Needless to say, when we went to the actual store, we went a little crazy.

Things purchased at the actual store:

  • 2 yards of tulle so I can practice making my veil before I buy the expensive stuff
  • More stamps!! I don't have any pictures of them, but I'll see about getting some. Or even better yet; testing them out when the rest of my stuff comes in
  • Floral pins for our centerpieces
  • One 6'' foam ball (also to practice the centerpieces). They are WAY more expensive than I think they should be. It's just foam!!
  • One cherry blossom artificial flower. (The long stem) hey, it was 1) On sale from $2.99 down to $.89!! and 2) We already have one, so we may we well have two; maybe we can do something with them after we're done experimenting.
A few reasons why I know Tony is AWESOME

  1. He went to Joann's with me
  2. He actually gave me his debit card tonight knowing that I was prowling Joann's website (again!)
  3. He dug through about 10 small bins looking for clear stamps for me (and didn't even whisper a complaint)
  4. Saw how excited I was about the stamps and told me all about a stamp store that he wanted to take me to.
  5. Is so involved in all of the planning; right down to whether the centerpiece flowers should be light pink with dark pink middles or dark pink with light pink middles. 
  6. When I asked if I should buy a second acrylic pad so he could help me stamp, he responded, "Yeah."--and not in a scared husband kind of way. In a "of course I'm going to help you, babe" kind of way.

    (In my defense as to why I was on their website again after already purchasing stuff from online and at the store, it was so I could snag these. Available online only and they dropped in price since I looked at them last! BUT, I had a snafu, so I e-mailed them and didn't purchase them yet. "Them" being a medium and a small of the same flower pictured here.)

    You can go to Joann's website here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guest Book--Or Not?

I don't particularly like the idea of a guest book. First of all; they never, never, NEVER get filled out entirely. This leaves 20+ pages of blank entries. Secondly, I don't know of anybody who actually has their wedding guest book out in plain sight. Does anybody even look through their guest book after the wedding? How about a year after the wedding? Three years?

My guess is that the number dwindles after the first anniversary. With that in mind, I've been looking up some alternatives. I know for sure that I want to do a recipe/address card option at the bridal shower. And I've seen one idea for the reception itself that I really like. So, I guess I'll start showing you them.

Tutorial here.

This is the "wish tree" idea. I personally think this particular idea is a little "busy", but I can definitely get behind the general idea. This would be particularly fun if we could somehow make a full cherry blossom tree. I might have to send out the minions to look for cheap fake trees for sale, or yard sales, or Craigslist. This is also a great idea because it's super versatile! You can have guests write up advice, just a general note, addresses, etc. I'd assume, just from the ideas in my head, that it wouldn't be too expensive to make; but would look very impressive. (This will also give guests time to mill around while they wait for the bride and groom to roll in.) I think this will work well for us. Remember that we said we wanted our guests to move around the room reading all of the little trivia cards we have out? Well, not they'll be forced to be up and mobile instead of sitting around eating cheese. 

General Google Stock Photo--no link

Purchase here.

These are examples of another option I liked. The signature mat. However, I'm not sure I'm a huge fan of having ALL of our guests sign one photo. I think we might try to limit out bridal party and direct family members for the signing of this. After all, they know us the most and they are the ones we've chosen to be especially close to us for our wedding day. It'll allow our family members to write more, and we'll have a very special piece to remember the day by. 

That's pretty much it for today. Any other ideas for eliminating the guest book are welcome!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Busy Busy, Business Cards to Show

We've been SUPER busy the last few weeks. I haven't even have time to think about writing in the blog, let alone research. (This fact may or may not be making me nervous for the actual wedding planning. Which will be going on during school--the year I'm trying to graduate. Yikes!) Anyway, as nerve wracking as it may be, I'm so grateful that Tony and I can talk about things so easily because that meant that he was totally okay with me planning ahead of time. And I am extra extra grateful about the extra planning time.

First things first. I know that nobody is *really* reading this blog. BUT, we made a purchase today! I'm not sure if I should show all my cards and reveal what it is quite yet. So, I think I'll keep mum on the subject for now. Just know that we did something today that I am over the moon excited about. 

When I posted last I mentioned that I had looked at a few things on VistaPrint, so I'll show you the business cards I liked tonight.

I liked both of these for the "camera" theme. Remember when I said we would set up a photo-sharing site for our guests to upload and share pictures? Well, I figured we'd likely need a business card specifically for that. We can get a bunch (VistaPrint always has a TON of really awesome deals!) and we can use them for ANY wedding-related get-together we have. Even if it's just a craft get together, or a planning party. I particularly like that we can add three of our own photo's to the card. We can have two of us on either side, and then use the center photo space for something wedding theme related; like a cherry blossom. Maybe I can get Tony to draw one up for me. 

One thing I just thought about is our engagement announcement. I'd like to get it on tape, or camera; but I don't know how to do that without cluing somebody in. (And that somebody preferably having decent camera skills.) Guess we'll have to have a designated shutter-bug. Wonder if we could use a friend and just tell them (our extended families) they are working on a project about families. Hmmm, I know a few people who would be up for some mischief. That also being said; since we only want to pay for one year of photo-sharing service, I'll have to make a card with my e-mail address on them to hand out to everybody, and maybe bring my laptop so that some people can upload right then and there. I don't know. We'll see. 

*Edit Note*: I had a few more cards here, but I was attempting to save time when I took the pictures from VistaPrint's website and I clipped multiple cards in one picture, which made for god-awful formatting. So, I took of those clips and kept the singular cards I had saved. Those are the ones I mostly wanted to talk about anyway. So: on to more cards!

 More cherry blossom cards to the top and bottom. I'm not sure I like the all pink one; the flowers are especially cute, but I don't think all of the pink really goes well with the theme.

 I really like the one above; it's the right hint of subtle, sophisticated and beautiful that I'd like to use. The one below it is also beautiful, but almost *too* real for our theme.

 So there are the business cards I looked at. Now I'll just need to brainstorm to think of a way to use them. I am thinking we might be able to find a way to use them in the invitations. I'm not quite sure how, just yet. But the thought is at the tip of my tongue, so I'm sure it'll come to me!

That's it for tonight. I'll be back soon enough to share more goodies with you.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

What I've Been Up To

Just going to write a quick entry tonight (well, I'll try. You know how I am)

Things have been going well. We are coming up on the end of our summer classes and getting ready to head into our fall classes; so a lot of my time as been going towards making everything is as it should be. AND, also making sure I'll actually be able to graduate on time and not have to drag it out another year. (It would really only be an extra semester, but I wouldn't be able to "walk"/graduate until May 2013, a full year after I should, even though I'd have my diploma.)

That being said, I haven't been doing a whole lot of research lately, although tonight I did look at VistaPrint to get an idea of design and cost for some business cards for the photography angle. Also looked at pricing and design for our address stamps. I'm not writing them all out, and it would be nice to have a stamp instead of labels because it would be a long time use kind of thing. The only problem with that would be: what last name to put on the stamp? I"ll obviously be changing my name, so we wouldn't use it if I had my last name on it. If the price is right, though, it'll be worth it either way.

SO! The exciting part of this post. I talked to Tony about the ring I showed you guys a few posts back. The one I LOVE. He agreed that it would be alright if I chipped in some of my own money to buy it, since I was the one who picked a ring that was so over budget. We (and by that, I mean I) are currently negotiating with the seller in the hopes that he will let the ring go for a price closer to our budget. I've got a set number I am aiming for, and the seller is hoping to get a number slightly higher than that. I've made a few points that I hope will make him reconsider. But, truthfully, this is in it's very infancy, so it could go either way. Yes, I'll be disappointed if we get get him to lower the price, but at the same time, I already feel a little guilty that we would be potentially spending so much money on a ring. Especially since I spent so much time and effort protesting a diamond, or even just an expensive ring in general, for that matter. Yes, I love the ring, but I can definitely let it go if I have to. I know that there will be another ring down the line that I like just as much, or even more. So, I'll try to keep you updated on the negotiation. The current listing on the ring should be done by now, and I've requested that he re-list the ring as "Best Offer" so that we can officially negotiate on the price. Once he does the re-listing, we should be able to get the ball rolling. I'm hoping to have an answer by the end of next week.

This of course is just another way that Tony and I are completely nontraditional. However, I still want him to officially propose, and I know it means a lot to him for him to do it. HOWEVER!!! IF we get this ring, it's going to get shipped to the house. I'm going to DIE not being allowed to open it, or try it on, or WEAR it. AHH. No, seriously. It's going to be SO rough to know that it's right there in the box and that I can't have it. :-( I certainly hope he doesn't plan to torture me with that by waiting a long time to propose. I'd like to believe that I can just push it out of my mind and forget it's even there; but that's a LIE. Maybe we'll have it shipped to my parent's house, or his sister's house so that I won't be tempted to play dress up while he's gone. Plus, it would definitely surprise me when he does propose because I wouldn't know when he picked it up. His sister's is probably the best bet because it is the closest to his work, so he could stop after work and there wouldn't be a time change in his getting home that would make me suspicious. Good plan.

Well, that's all for now. :-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Back!

We are back from vacation--though it was pretty stressful, so I don't know if you can really call it "vacation". Either way; we're home, and I am REALLY glad.

Last night I had a weird-o dream about Tony proposing. I'm going to type it here (since nobody really reads this as far as I know).

I can only assume that this was taking place in Pittsburgh. It started out with both of us commuting together to get to work or school (or something). We took a train or a bus or something similar, and we ended up being late for our transfer and had to catch a cab. (These were really awesome cabs, by the way. They were actually a lot like zip cars) You were the driver, and when you got to where you needed to go, you just left it there. They had trackers on them to let the owners know where they were.) Some woman along the street let Tony and I jump ahead of her to get the cab; I remember thinking how nice it was of her to let us do that.

We finally got (almost) to where we were going, and decided to window shop while we were waiting (I'm not sure what we were waiting for; I think Tony was actually dream-stalling for time). We found a jewelry shop that I wanted to stop into, but for some reason the woman was closing up. (Don't ask me why. I specifically remember looking at my watch and it being 7:38am.) I was really peeved, and we had a back and forth with each other. I held my left hand up to the window to tell her that I wanted to look at engagement rings/wedding bands. She and I basically had a silent argument and she finally let us in, but was really snippy.  (side note: it's weird that engagement rings are called "rings" but your wedding ring is called a "band". The wedding part is interchangeable; I've heard both ring and band used, but never "engagement band".)

When we got in there, I immediately noticed that she had a small money loose in the shop. I started harping on her about how those moneys were illegal and I was going to report her. She very snidely replied that she knew that they were illegal and she pays a daily fine of a little over $200.--It may have just been a fee for having one, and not a fine. I don't remember. (I don't remember the exact number, but she did give me one). She was also rude and told us that there wouldn't be anything in the shop in our "price budget", without us even telling her what our budget was. So, I was pissed that she automatically assumed we were poor and started looking around anyway.

At this point in the dream it starts getting fuzzy for me to remember; but I know Tony wasn't there anymore. He probably told me he was leaving to go do something; I don't know. Suddenly there is a man there shopping as well, and another man who was a salesperson. (Reminded me a lot of Randy from Say Yes to the Dress). The shopping man had a very specific ring he wanted to look at: The ring I fell in love with on Ebay!! The one I posted a week or so ago! So, of course, I'm very interested and also mad that this guy wanted to look at it. I mean, if he walks into a ring shop and knows exactly what he wants to look at, it's very probable that he will want to buy this ring. So, they show him the ring and I follow them outside for them to look at it. I asked him very politely if I could look at it as well, and I know I definitely mentioned that I couldn't afford it, so he didn't have to worry about me trying to buy it from under him. He, also very nicely, allowed me to look/try on the ring.

Things in dream-land are nothing like they are in the real world, and this ring was HIDEOUS. It looked absolutely nothing like that real ring. It was marquise shaped in the center, but then it had big crystal looking stones coming straight up from different places, like little towers. Some were different colors (I specifically remember purple) and none of them were the same size. It looked ridiculous, but since I had professed such a love for it before I actually saw it; I put it on anyway, and it didn't really fit. I remember mentioning that I didn't like how it was symmetrical. This is where the dream got REALLY weird! The salesman then tells me that the ring had once been in his ass. (I know, I told you it was WEIRD) He even went as far as to show me a flaw on the band and told me it was a "stain"..he was slightly more graphic, but I'm sure you can imagine what the stain was. Thankfully, that's where the truly weird stuff ended.

Another small fuzzy section, because the next thing I remember, the original salesperson/owner lady is beside me and she is showing me wedding dresses. She is wearing this old-timey dress that is gorgeous, but looks like it's made of felt or wool. The dress is all one color, but the underside is yellow. I remember telling her I really liked it, but asked if I could get the underside in a different color. (She said yes, by the way). I also remember her putting one on and lacing it up. She told me that she didn't think she had many/any dresses in my size because they didn't sell them that large. (This old lady was really getting her jabs in on me in that dream, let me tell you.) I remember thinking that was bullshit because I had read a sign outside saying they carried them up to a size 28 or something like that. Anyway, I can only assume that she found a dress my size, because I'm positive that I was wearing one, but I don't know what it looked like.

She takes me outside, puts her arm in mine (she was on my left side), and starts walking me up the street. She's talking about something or other that involves dresses; probably about needing to walk in them, or something. I'm paying attention to her, looking to my left, when all of a sudden Tony shows up to my right and takes my arm in his. He's all dressed up, too, in an outfit that also looks old-timey and felt or wool-like. The woman lets go and pretty much disappears. Tony and I continue walking up the street, and I pretty much know exactly what is coming, so I'm very excited and likely tearing up. He takes me to what looks like an outdoor amphitheater for small bands or shows. It's not very large, like a concert stage or anything like that. He kneels down on one knee and proposes. As he's putting the ring on, he is putting it on my right hand, so I whisper to him, "wrong hand", and he gets a tiny bit flustered and corrects himself. So, on goes the ring on my left hand. (In case you're wondering, I know for sure it wasn't the hideous ring from the shop, but I also can't tell you what it looked like. Dreams are weird. Though it's possible that I don't know what the dress and ring looked like because I haven't found a dress or ring in real life). For some reason, I think we proposed and got married all at the same time; we were both really dressed up, and I remember having a band and an engagement ring on.)

At this point, it's all over, so he picks me up and I remember my dress flying up so everybody got a good look at my ass. I also remember not caring! I was very very very excited. Grinning that grin that makes you look crazy and a little ugly because you're showing all your teeth and a little gum, too. But, I couldn't help myself.

That's pretty much the end of the dream, but I do remember going back and talking to the shop owners and the lady said she was difficult and mean as a means to stall me, or something like that. That part is a little fuzzy for me. I do remember asking Tony a bunch of times, "How did you plan this!?", and he, like a true magician, wouldn't tell me.

Needless to say, that was one of the better bizarre dreams I've had. It was very romantic, and it was such a blast!

On a real-life update: because that ring reared it's (ugly) head in my dream, I decided to check it out on Ebay to see if it had sold; it hasn't. There were one or two bids on it, but it only got up to $300 or so. The seller has re-listed it and started the bidding at $300 instead of $100. So, I can only assume that he's frustrated that it hasn't gained a bidding frenzy. I will probably keep an eye on it, because I'm really interested to see what it sells for, if it ever sells!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's Going On?

I tried to post this last night, but for some reason Blogger was having some hiccups and wouldn't save my posts or actually post them. So, here it is today, instead. (Also, the title reminds me of a lot of foolishness I had with my best friend while living on campus. If you're familiar with that song, "What's Going On", you'll understand. But, it definitely led to a lot of screaming downtown in the middle of the night, and in the elevators, and anywhere else, really. Ahhh ahh ahh ahh uh ahh yeeeeeeaaaaaaah yeeeeeeeaaaaaah I said "HEY? What's going on?"--this will officially be in my head for the next week.)

 I'll be starting with our relationship books! I just got them in the mail, so it's not like I can give you a detailed breakdown, or even a review, but I would like to talk a little bit about my general first impressions of them so far. I had a really hard time deciding which book to read first (which is really always the problem!), but I finally decided on For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men [Hardcover], by Shaunti Feldhahn. I'm already about halfway through it because I can't put it down. It's a really really easy read, so no complaining here. I feel like I'm learning a lot from it, even though some parts don't quite fit Tony.

I guess the general concept of the book is that she was writing a fiction book and needed some research on the way men behaved and felt. She was so surprised by the feedback she was getting from different men that she decided to collaborate with some research people (who knew how to create a legitimate, scholarly survey) to create a survey to randomly poll 100+ men. The results were broken down into the most important bits and voila, the book was written. With that in mind, you'll understand why the book has some survey questions and the results included with each chapter. So far, I've polled Tony on two that I've seen and he fell in the minority category each time. There isn't a right or a wrong answer, so that's not what's important; besides, I already knew Tony wasn't a "normal" guy (that's why I love him!). Despite this "minority" result, I still know that a lot of what this book talks about (like respect) is still very important to him, even if he doesn't realize it. Reading through has shown me a few different places where I know I'm guilty, and I'm glad for it. I can now attempt to right these little blemishes and know that we can have an even better relationship because of it. One of the only "negative" things I've seen so far is that there is a mention of Christianity, Jesus and other bits of religion thrown in. While it isn't overwhelming, it is slightly annoying. I'm not religious at all, and Tony is a self-professed agnostic. So, I'm very thankful that 1) I was already aware of this, because the blog I took the suggestions from mentioned it (and they were true to their word: the book is incredibly readable no matter what religion you are.) and 2) Some of the pieces of religion that are mentioned, I find interesting. It basically takes one or two lines from the bible, and then breaks them down and gives you a different way to interpret it based on the topic being covered in the book. I think it does this in a astonishingly creative way, and it is actually very interesting, religious or not.

I haven't done too much more than crack the other books open, read through the table of contents and leaf through them, so I can't give my opinions one way or another; though I feel that they are all going to be interesting and very helpful. Looking forward to reading them.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that I found a few different DIY blogs (specifically about weddings), so expect to see some information from me. I'm back to researching today and tomorrow. The weekend is for electronics-free enjoyment and relaxation. Tony and I did some quick shopping after class tonight and got: stuff for s'mores, water shoes (because I'm terrified that a snapping turtle or something is going to chomp off my toes), snacks for the ride back and forth, and some health related things like travel packs of aspirin and tums! God knows I would be very very very very sad if I didn't have some type of antacid with me. :-(

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What the Hell Have I Been Up To?

I haven't posted lately, and that's for a few different reasons:

1) I've been reading a lot of wedding blogs (instead of researching)
2) We've been looking at rings!!

I've been reading a lot of interesting blogs, obviously wedding related, over the last couple of days/weeks, so that's why I haven't had too many new ideas for you. First of all, most of the blogs I am reading are more about the stresses and other happenings surrounding a wedding. I'm clearly not to that point yet, so I can't talk to you about how I went to try on dresses, because I didn't. And, I can't talk to you about looking at vendors, venues or food testings, because we either haven't done it or don't plan to. So, from what I've seen, I'm in a little category all of my own. Yet, I've really taken a lot away from reading different bride's accounts of their planning processes. Of course, it being summer, a lot of the wedding blogs I have read are getting ready to transform into "post wedding blogs" because their weddings are going to be happening soon. I'm really enjoying going back through the archives and reading from the beginning because the brides have all made a huge transformation. This means that I am going to work extra hard to maintain this blog, because I want that transformation as well.

Wedding rings! Well, I wouldn't call it serious "looking", because I've basically been trolling Ebay, Amazon and occasionally Craigslist (and doing a lot of Googling) seeing what types of rings I actually like. I personally like the marquise style center ring (LOVE, is more like it), and Tony knows this, so no worry there. BUT, I am struggling with diamond vs CZ. I told Tony that I think it's ridiculous to spend a ton of money on a wedding/engagement ring when we can barely afford any of the other things we need to pay for. Not to mention that I'm a total cheap ass, and I don't know if I could stand having close to a grand on my hand! Tony is concerned because he WANTS to get me whatever I want, but he still wants to feel like he is doing his best as a "provider" to get me a real diamond. I say that CZ's and diamonds look the same! Why buy one rock over another just because one is more expensive!?

Anybody who knows me, however, knows that while I am cheap, I also have expensive taste. So, this is another fantastic reason to get a CZ--the "real" diamonds I will want will be way too expensive. Case in point:

Oops. I totally fell in love with this ring on Ebay. It was custom bought/made by buying each piece separately (center stone and setting), the seller paid almost $3000 for it and he's offering it at a "Buy it Now" price of $1700. Tony wants to get me one at the highest price of $700. Whoops, only $1000 over budget. Of course, the seller also has it listed under bidding as well; which started at $100. But, the catch is that he also states that he won't sell it for "a couple hundred", he's looking to make at least some money on his purchase, which is understandable. Needless to say, we aren't getting this ring, but I fear that I put myself into a predicament because I really love this ring. This is going to be the one that I compare everything else to. 


Tony and I basically cuddled up together and mourned the ring we cannot have. Sappy, yes. But, at least I know the poor guy would buy it if he could; and honestly, I don't want him to. We don't have the money. And this is why my CZ argument is stronger than ever. 

Of course, the flip side of this is that I also found a couple rings that I really like; except they are cheap in probably more ways than just the price! They aren't even real silver, for one, and Tony really hates that. Which I understand, I mean, this is supposed to be an engagement ring. How bad would I look if it turned my finger green!?

This is why we're not really "looking", just browsing. But at least we are headed in the right direction. Tony has also found a couple bands that he likes, which is awesome! Our major problem was that Cody (the friend's wedding we were in) just happened to end up getting a wedding band that Tony really wanted! This is the problem when you have friends getting married, I guess, you have similar tastes. So, obviously Tony doesn't want a ring exactly like the one his friend has, but at the same time yes. he. does. So, we found a couple that he REALLY likes that are just different enough, but still the same concept of what he wanted. 

I would love if I could completely mimic my parent's wedding rings and just add the things I want to them; silver instead of gold, and a marquise instead of whatever it is my mom's engagement ring has. Of course, I haven't seen ONE single ring that even looks like theirs. Not even remotely. I guess I'm still doing everything "the hard way". The downside to this is that I doubt I'll get a ring like I really want because there's no way we can afford a custom ring, and it would be ridiculous to shell out a ton of money for a custom ring just to put a CZ into it. Ahhhh, the fun we have. 

On an awesome note: our relationship books came in!! Yay! Tony and I (and my parents)+ miscellaneous other family members are going on a short vacation together for the fourth; this means we can relax and go through our books together. I'm probably a ton more excited about this than Tony is, but that's what happens when a reader marries a dyslexic. He just doesn't enjoy reading because it becomes a chore, obviously stripping away any of the enjoyment he would get out of it. He has graciously agreed to work through the books with me, because he loves me.