Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 Recap

So as to keep my good friend Mae company, I've decided to go ahead and post this cop out of a post and fill in a survey of the going-ons of my life this year. Enjoy, and if you feel so inclined, please copy it and fill it in yourself and drop me a line and let me know about it so I check it out, yo.

On with the show:

What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
February - Got engaged.
March - Moved out of my parents house and shacked up with the Boy. All happened rather quickly and not much time to freak out by over thinking this decision.
April - Started my month leave from work at the end of April; all weddings plans and relationships put aside in reparation for the MA Exam which determines whether or not I graduate. It almost marks the beginning of my hermit-like state.
May - Celebrated six years with the Boy. Am constantly amazed by the numbers as it never feels as long. Also took the MA Exam and then proceed to wait an agonizingly long week to figure out the result: I graduated.
June - Tarah's baby shower. She looked amazing. Start of last summer working with a coworker from hell.
July - Last fireworks on Heather's parents deck. It's like an ending of an era. Best friend Heather and her boyfriend Tom also move to the Bay area. Start a new gym routine in hopes of getting a new/old figure for the wedding. Book wedding venue. New classroom at work (I actually start to like going to work again). Start a wedding blog!
August - Wedding dress shopping: not as traumatic as I thought it would be.
September - Get my ears pierced. Buy my wedding dress. Am traumatized by both.
October - Came up with a great carnival idea for work and spent the rest of the month building and painting it. Have thoughts of maybe being a party organizer or renting out photo boards as a side job.
December - Taste testing with potential caterers. Love getting to eat free food. Somehow wound up guinea pig sitting over the winter break.

Did you keep your New Year's resolution, and will you make more for next year?
1) I didn't make any and 2) I won't

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Tarah had a baby girl, Rowan (Tarah, will you help me name any future kids? Your girls have such cool names)

Did anyone close to you die?
thankfully, no

What countries did you visit?
none, so sad. Hope to rectify it next year

What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Good health. Increased finances. A more satisfying career. A marriage.

What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Feb. 16th - Got engaged

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Passing and graduating with my masters. It was a long time coming and I am a happy girl as a result.

What was your biggest failure?
Another year passes and I'm no closer to a goal all my friends and family have for me

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Repeated injuries to my ankle

What was the best thing you bought?
My wedding dress

Whose behavior merited celebration?
* The Boy for going back to school with enthusiasm and discipline.
*Mae for bearing her hardships with amazing spirit and a kick ass sense of humor.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
People who treat others as if we were second class citizens

Where did most of your money go?
Rent and bills, then books and accessories

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting engaged (short) then passing the exam (curses followed by whopping and hollering and calling everyone on my phone)

What song will always remind you of 2008?
Erm, I really liked Ingrid Michael son's "The Way I Am"

Compared to last year, are you:
- happier or sadder? Generally happier though with much more stress
- thinner or fatter? Fatter? But steadily losing the weight
- richer or poorer? New bills and responsibilities make this girl poorer though I wouldn't trade the experiences I've had as a result

What do you wish you'd done more of?
Traveled more. Made more of an effort in other areas of my life

What do you wish you'd done less of?
Stress but that wasn't really going to happen

How will you be spending Christmas?
Spent it with my new and old families

What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you in 2008?
I'm not particularly embarrassed by any of my actions...probably saying something stupid at work?

Did you fall in love in 2008?
Deeper with the same guy

How many one-night stands?
No thanks

What was your favorite TV program?
Didn't really watch much tv

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't last year?
Mmmm yes but I try not to dwell on it

What was the best book you read?
I was amazingly lucky enough to read a lot of great books this year in preparation for my exam. Loved the annotated version of "Wizard of Oz," learned that "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" was not as miserable as I thought Joyce would be, adored "Age of Innocence" (and the rest of Edith Wharton's works), became a semi-expert on all things "Beowulf," laughed with Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", and was surprised by Faye Weldon's "Heart of the Country." After all these heavy works, loved giving my brain a guilty treat by reading all of the "Twilight" series

What was your greatest musical discovery?
Ingrid Michaelson, Cold War Kids, Edith Piaf, 80s classics (can't remember if they were exactly a new discovery from this year but those got the most play on my ipod)

What did you want and get?
I wanted to be finished with school and I did.

What did you want and not get?
Reconnecting with old friends

What was your favorite film of this year?
"Atonement" easily but I also liked "Dark Knight" and chick flicks like "27 Dresses"

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 28 and spent a rather stupid day by myself

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Attaining my long-sought for goal and/or getting a better/wanted job

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?
Becoming more sure of myself and my sense of style

What kept you sane?
Family and friends and the Boy; books now but for awhile they were the enemy

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy most?
James McAvoy

What political issue stirred you the most?
The election

Who did you miss?
My best friend. Other friends. The Boy's grandfather

Who was the best new person you met?
Christine (though technically she wasn't new but we didn't really get to talking till this year)

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
* It may take some time but if you work hard, you can get what you want.
* Sometimes you get what you didn't know you wanted.

If you could sum up 2008 in three words, what would they be?
Trepidation. Bewilderment. Satisfaction

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

best wishes for wonderful winter celebrations

(photo by Olivia Bee)

In the flurry of holiday-related activities I have neglected this blog and well...let's face it, all things wedding related. Here's hoping everyone has a safe and fun holiday and I'll be back in the new year with more concrete decisions (let's hope!).

Saturday, December 13, 2008

food and fun is a wonderful combination

We had a tasting with a prospective caterer last weekend and now we're in the "We like them but are we ready to commit" phase of the relationship. I'm telling you people: finding the guy is the easy part; planning all this craziness to celebrate the idea of us staying together for the rest of our lives is a massive headache. When can I move onto the funner aspects of DIY projects?
For those of you lucky enough to attend the nuptials, if we go with them (which we probably will because the Boy is far more decisive than I) your bellies will be very happy. Mine was. Even the Boy's dad and he is not into "exotic" foods. We're all very excited by that bit of new as he was the one we were most worried about.

But because these last few entries have been rather humbug in nature, I leave you with pictures from The Image is Found; I hope my wedding is this fun!

Is the little girl below just too cute fo words? She almost makes me want to rethink actually including small fry at the wedding. Almost.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

and the second guessing continues...

In keeping with my theme of wondering whether I made the right decisions for my wedding, here is another to add on top of the others: did I pick the right dress? I only ask because I came across this fabulous dress by sarahseven and thought it was adorable! Perfect for a summer wedding even. Who wouldn't have a second thought when confronted by such a gorgeous fun dress? *sigh* I do still love my dress but could I have two dresses, pretty please? I would be a happier bride.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

cold feet

I've been going on normallly, being swept up in all the mundane activities of everyday life, giving very little thought to the whole wedding planning process. Of course, there are times when something pops into my head and I feel my pulse quicken just thinking about wedding details. It probably doesn't help that almost-strangers come up to me and take my hand to stare at my ring and proceed to bombard me with wedding-related questions. I get flustered and mumble something to the effect that I haven't really made any decisions just yet and thanks for bringing it to my attention and setting off another series of panic-ridden minutes.

I can't help it. It doesn't seem very real to me and because it doesn't, I can only immerse myself in plans for so long until I simply get...bored. Shock. Horror. Dismay. Who would've thought a bride would be bored. Ok, maybe bored isn't exactly the right descriptive word to use. But without anything really concrete to do for the wedding (favors to make, table decor to put together, programs to type out, all those fun DIY projects), my fingers get ansty and my attention wanders off to more immediate concerns like when's a good time to visit MOH?, did I pay that bill yet?, or what would it be like to have a parasitic twin and would I get rid of it or keep it like the Octopus Man? (Because, you know, my mind is filled with lots of weird trivia.) It doesn't seem real without all of that. And because of this, I find myself changing my mind from month to month about decor details, colors, themes, etc. Currently, my mind is battling the idea of switching the color scheme to grey and yellow because it fun and incorporates two colors I am obsessed with.

Will someone else plan the wedding for me and all I have to do is show up, smile and look pretty?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Do List: November Edition

To Do:

1. Call caterers and make appointments to meet them in person.
2. Follow through and actually go taste good food (I hope!).
3. Show the Boy the prospective photographers. Convince him to decide on one and call.
4. Meet with said photographer and (hopefully) book him/her/them (I do so enjoy husband and wife duos).
5. Once we decide on a caterer, spring my gigantic list of party rentals companies for the wedding. Ok, so it's not really gigantic only my hand kinda cramped up with writing little lists of all that we need (really, do we need to feed you folks who are coming to the wedding? Will you be happy just to use the same plate, silverware and glass for any and all courses? Pretty please say yes. I'd love you even more.)
6. Show the Boy the list I've compiled for tentative play lists for songs to rock to at the wedding. Since we're on a budget, we've decide to opt for the low-tech DJ: one of our ipods connected to a laptop connected to some speakers. Yeah, we've got to play with the whole technical aspects of it but seeing as we'd like creative control over the music choices, and we're really not big on dancing anyways--though I expect our guests to boogie at the reception--it made the most sense. See what songs he'd like.
7. Work on invitations. Since I've got a general idea of what it is I want to do, keep on sketching ideas and see what happens.
8. That being said, figure out what sort of Save the Date cards to send out. I'm thinking something a little more for the Boy as I've sorta hijacked the wedding planning and turned it a little girlier than what we originally pictured it to be (modern, cool, fresh pops of color).
9. Shop for wedding shoes. Gee, that's not really a task, is it?
10. Go with bridesmaids and pick out dresses that suit each gal's figure and style. Opting for non-traditional look of matching maids. I don't really care for the look and I think since we're having a wedding that fits us, the dresses should fit the personalities of the Maids.
11. Decide what to do with my mad hair. Am I cutting it? Sticking with the whole growing out my hair thing? Getting cute fun bangs? What to do, what to do. Opinions?

And that, ladies and gents, is on my Wedding-Related To Do List for the rest of the month. Let's not even get started on the list for the rest of my life.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

a photo is a creation

I love your photos.
Please come down from LA and take the pictures for my wedding; I'd be much appreciative.
Thank you.


p.s. Here are some of my favorite shots.

papier collé

A little quiet but can you blame a girl? Life has been a little busy (though things have begun to die down only in preparation for the holidays), almost too busy to really plan anything about the wedding. In all honesty, I am torn about designing it because it almost seems like I keep changing my kind every two seconds (and really, why can't a bride do this?) Only, it makes talking it out with other people difficult because I jump from style to style in an attempt to discover the all allusive "OUR Style." Grrrr, frustrating. But here it is, trying to blend the romantic half of myself with the fun and playful (dare I say it, whimsical?) part of our relationship with the more traditional leanings of the Boy. I love color (which has made it hard to narrow down "colors" because I love all sorts of combinations), he likes things with cleaner lines. Marrying the two isn't hard; finding something that screams us while maintaining our individual personalities proves a little more challenging. Which doesn't help my tendency to procrastinate. In an attempt to avoid the last minute melt downs that I know would come if I didn't plan ahead, I attempted more research.

I was browsing the blogs when lo and behold, I fell in love with these adorable invitations and save the date cards made by Celine, a lovely bride sharing her gorgeous wedding on Once Wed. Aren't they cute? I love the whole fun use of color and illustrations throughout the paper goods.
I love these adorable Save the Date cards. They're fun and give the guest a hint of the going theme of the wedding. I think they're cute but for us, I was thinking of something else for our Save the Date cards....
This is the cover of their invitation. It makes me want to dust off my old drawing pencils and sketch a little cartoon of me and the Boy (it would actually be fitting as I once made the Boy a comic book--with him as the super hero--way back in high school).
I love the singing little birdie on the left. I showed it to the Boy and he really liked it as we had planned on a bird theme for the wedding (not like nests and eggs but a subtle sprinkling of little birdies, bird cages, and maybe little birdie foot prints). Still working on how we'd like to word the invitation though.

Thought this was the most hilarious RSVP card ever! We have to definitely steal this idea; it's so us and out quirky sense of humor.

Long before this set of invitations, I had wanted to somehow include a map for our out of town guests (and a few in towners who had never been to our wedding site). This could be an inspiration for one way to style it.
I love the idea that Celine and Jin incorporated their guests. They had planned to go to Spain on their honeymoon so they sent along this cute stationary and had guests write down tips or places to visit in Spain. I think these would make really great thank you notes after the honeymoon.
And here is the happy couple:

Thanks to Celine and Jin, I think I may have found a little more direction with wedding plans. If you are one of the fortunate people coming to our little wedding, please don't judge me too much if you see more than one element lifted from this stylish lady's wedding--like the Boy, I think I knew it was the one when I saw it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

once upon a midnight dreary...

By any name (Samhain, Halloween or All Hallow's Eve) I hope you all have a safe and fun evening!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


This blog post idea from Peonies and Polaroids, that is. (Again, you ask? Isn't this lady simple amazing? She never ceases to inspire me.) I was reading her blog and she has been posting about those kinds of quizzes and questionnaires people invariably send one another. And while I do fill many out (mostly out of sheer boredom), I have yet to feel compelled to make one part of this dear little Wedding blog (really, someday, I will get back to the point of this blog). But for whatever strange reason I simple could not resist this one. I like the use of pictures and the explanation thereafter. Please for the three people who actually read this blog, I tag you and request that you either post on this or send me an email with your own results. Thanks!

I used one of those mosaic makers (gosh, I love them and wish I had thought about using them before) and it lets you add links of the pictures you find. Go to Flickr (and if you don't have an account, you should by the way). Type on your answer and choose one of the images from the first page that comes up. You can either choose to explain why you picked it or not.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you attend?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you?
12. Your Flickr name?

Here are some reasons behind the photos I chose.

1. Mostly, I chose this picture because it reminds me of the beautiful sunsets we have here at this time of the year. It's always been my favorite season and well, I do love wild flowers.
2. It's a joke, a combination of my favorite food and the Boy. This picture is perfect because it combines so many aspects of our relationship and individual personalities.
3. I know where this is taken.
4. It's a gorgeous color. Thank you Bob Ross for introducing it to me.
5. I couldn't really think of one. Mine are mostly from books and are long dead. However the Boy and I do enjoy his show.
6. Mmmm, I could use one now.
7. It's where I wanted to take the Boy on our honeymoon. I've always adored that land.
8. Yum. It's the one kind of cake I do like.
9. I thought about choosing what I hoped for a career but that has changed over the last 10 years and I don't know if it will change again. So, though it be the cheesier answer, I'd like to see the Boy and I be this happy old couple still enjoying each other's company as we do now.
10. You should see my house. It's filled to the brim but there's always room for more, much to the Boy's chagrin.
11. Changes coming soon?
12. I wish I had made this.

1. Queen Anne kind of sky, 2. Is Served!, 3. on the Hill, 4. The Storm of Pthalo, 5. Mike Rowe (0), 6. March 1st, 7. sei bbella Romaaaaaa, 8. Swirl Cheesecake, 9. friends, 10. Love to Read.....3, 11. "'hopeful', 12. Where to Next? The Sky's the Limit

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Flora and Fauna

I think it's high time I get to talking about some of the flowers I've come to love and want to incorporate into the wedding. Since we're on a budget and I'd love to do as much as possible myself (yes, I'm a DIY Bride), I've been trying to come up with cost effective yet gorgeous ideas for floral arrangements.
These, so far, have come to the top of the list in being cost-friendly, (fairly) easily procured, and not at all a monster of a task days before the wedding to set up. To top it off, I think they'd blend nicely with the Asian garden venue of our wedding as well as my style sensibilities.

1) Kangaroo Paws
Over the Labour Day weekend, my best friend (and Maid of Honor) came home for a short visit. While visiting her at her parents house, I found myself entranced by these strange yet beautiful branches of reds, oranges and greens nestled in corners all over their stylish home. I asked said BF what in the heck they were and hence the discovery of kangaroo paws! Look closely and they really do look like tiny little baby kangaroo paws (so aptly named). You wouldn't think we were the mature ladies we claimed to be with all the running around the kitchen with little blossoms pretending to be kangaroos looking for their lost paws we did. But I think that is the mark of a good friend, one who cherishes the ability to be at once mature and responsible and able to melt into childish peals of glee upon the discovery of a charming new toy. I hope our guests find the same ghoulish delight in playing with them as we did.

MOH's mother cut off some branches from the bushes growing in their backyard and I got many weeks of pleasure in looking at them.

(pictures by me)

I was thinking of putting them in light blue vases like these that show off their simple and architectural beauty.

(image from miss_armour)

2) Chinese Lanterns
Many years ago when the best friend and I decided to study abroad in jolly old England (very early in mine and the Boy's relationship), we happen on this exquisitely charming little plant in a Nottingham garden. Thanks to our British friends, I found these tiny darlings and have since longed to have a bush planted in my yard (not at all feasible at the moment).
Don't you just love the pops of red, orange and green (hmmm, I just now realize they had this in common with the kangaroo paws). They're so cute and Asian via the British Isles. I think they'd be fantastic in nice old urns like this picture below or in taller vintage teapots (the more rust the better!). I wonder if they're available in the States (I've never seen them); I may have to hunt them down and try my hand at growing them if not readily available in plant form.

(image from birdfarm)

How's about this lovely image. I like the idea of putting some lantern flowers in blue bowls. It add some visual interest combined with the height in some of the other arrangements I've been envisioning.

(Image from looseends)

And where oh where could I find these? Anybody know?

(image from OiMax)

3) Cherry Blossoms
I have always loved these trees. They make me smile and I'm ever so glad that the garden has cherry blossom trees. And I believe they'll be in bloom around the time of the wedding. So as a nod to that (and my long-lasting devotion to the girly delicate flowers), I think I'd like a branch of cherry blossoms in a simple vase to adorn the guest book table.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

around the bend

I have been feeling rather uninspired lately (it probably doesn't help that I've been under the weather the past two weeks as well) so I'm sorry I've sadly neglected my blog. Not that I think there are many readers but cest la vie. I suppose this blog is for my own sake rather than anyone else. It'll be something nice to reread once all this wedding business has settled down a bit.

So not a real entry but here are a few shots from the last time we visited our wedding venue. I still love it.

This is the lovely view our guests will be treated to when they enter the garden. I love Japanese maples; they're so dark and alluring. I haven't decided whether I'll be walking down this winding road or another. But I do love bends in the road and the fact that I won't be fully revealed all at once to my guests keeps this as a possibility. It keeps the suspense going a little longer.

We'll be getting hitched under this beautiful pergola. I don't think it'll need much decorating because it has lovely green vines that have twisted and wound all around it. I like the idea of leaving it as it is and letting the natural beauty of the shady greens and the tinkling sounds of the waterfall and splashing koi fish behind us enchant our guests. It'll be the perfect backdrop to the casual and uncluttered ceremony we're planning on.

A view from behind. Perhaps what I'll be seeing if I decide to enter the ceremony from this direction instead. We've been allowed the use of the building in the back so perhaps my bridesmaids and I will dress there and come out from there. It'd be an interesting walk in heels.

I'm thinking about using this area for the guest book table. It's a neat little path that leads from the ceremony site to the reception. Behind the bamboo wall lies more bonsai treats for nature lovers. Maybe tall stark kangaroo paws arranged in a simple tall vase would blend nicely in the Asian Zen feeling of the gardens. Where oh where will my birds belong?

The Boy didn't know I was taking pictures of him but I was thrilled by the reception site. It's a lovely curved open space that hugs the other side of the building (the one that you could see from the koi pond). Can't you imagine strings of paper lanterns and yards and yards of floaty material strung from the tops? Dance floor for those who want to dance and maybe the sweetheart table in front of the ceremonial gates. Only, I'd like our friends and family to be close by too. We'll have to work on those seating arrangements. But the place: isn't there such scope for the imagination?

Blue skies and shady bamboo groves: Asian influence without even trying. How's that for incorporating cultures?