Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yummy in My Tummy

Cake Tasting... two of the most magic words.  This was something I was really looking forward to, and thought that I would really lengthen out, however, we found what we didn't even know we wanted.

Before I describe any of the amazing flavors and our decisions, let me share with you the set up that greeted us when we arrived.

Yes, that is a bottle of champagne waiting for us =) Yummy! Sin Sweets may be a company of two, but they deliver on taste and experience.  There's no way a big bakery could have created what they did for us.  Thanks Girls!

We had eight different variations set up for us, and we played around with some frosting and created two others.  Here's what our set up included:

(1) Vanilla Bean and Mocha Buttercream
(2) Vanilla Bean and Raspberry Buttercream with Raspberry Puree and a fresh Raspberry
(3) Brownie w/ Fudge and White Choc. Buttercream
(4) Brownie w/ Fudge and Marshmallow
(5) White Choc. Raspberry w/ Raspberry Buttercream with Raspberry Puree and a fresh Raspberry
(6) Dark Choc. w/ White Choc. Butter Cream
(7) Red Velvet Cake w/ Cream Cheese
(8) Red Velvet w/ Vanilla Bean ButterCream

our alternates:
(9) Dark Choc. w/ Mocha Buttercream
(10) Brownie w/ Raspberry Buttercream with Raspberry Puree and a fresh Raspberry

The winners: Tiers 1 and 4: #5; Tier 2 #10; Tier 3 #9

So excited! It was delicious.  And in case you didn't remember... Here's what we want it to look like, yes, fairy lights and all:

Gosh, it's going to be such a magical day. Ugh... are we there yet?!?!?!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Going to the Chapel...

Okay, so this doesn't have much to do with the Chapel, per-say, but it is about the ceremony, and church and planning process.  So this sort of works!

Will and I spent the last two weeks in one of our many pre-marriage counseling events. It was a two-part meeting with a married couple, and a couple of other engaged couples, where the married couple sheds some insight and helpful tips into dealing with conflict, communication, and just helping connect with each other.  I can say neither of us was particularly happy about this specific task, but it was perhaps the most meaningful to us.  Getting to hear how a couple has gotten through struggles and stayed connected and committed to each other is invaluable. 

May things were discussed, such as how your spouse isn't out to annoy you, they are genuinely wired differently. And, the most meaningful to us, the 5 languages of love.  Essentially they explained how people express love differently, and if you aren't intuned to this you can miss that your spouse tells you they love you because you speak in different ways.  And knowing their love language, you can see what you could have gone years missing! What?!?!?! Luckily, Will and I have the same 2 basic languages, so we're in the right arena.

I also have a working idea of what my ceremony is going to look like.

Ring Warming
Mass Stuff
Blessing of the Hands
Vow Renewal (see previous post for explanation)
More Mass Stuff
Couple's Prayer for Each Other

Loving how everything is coming together. I can't finalize a whole lot more of this for awhile yet, but it's nice to know there's a skeleton where there was once a whole lot of nothing!

Something Wonderful

If ever there was a phrase a bride becomes familiar with, it's "What are your somethings?" and even though I anticipated this question there was never really anything special something that stood out.  So, for the girl who has already spent 9.5 months planning every minute detail of her wedding day, this was a gray area until yesterday.  I have to tell you, I am stoked! that I have this figured out now (I know, I know, random punctuation in the middle of a sentence is a no no, but hey, I was emphasizing).

As most of you will know, Will and I were given my grandparent's wedding bands.  This is really close to my heart, because in a world where next to no one truly values and understands the importance of a marriage, my grandparents will be celebrating their 50th year of marriage the same year that I finally get to say "I Do!" or maybe shout, depending on how excited I am.

With this concept in mind, I was suddenly fixated on the idea of growing old together.  Maybe that's why the vintage wedding feels so magical to me.  It's an era where the D word was just about non-existent.  So with our gifted wedding bands in tow, I have my something old.

I thought long and hard over my something blue, this is an area to really get creative, but nothing seemed like the right puzzle piece for me.  Yesterday, my grandma showed me the handkerchief that she was given for her wedding day.  It was white and use to be embroidered in blue, but has faded over the years.  And since you can technically say I was named after my Grandma (you have to use a little imagination, as this was not a conscious effort on my Mom's part... but Megan is a derivative of Margaret... so there you have it!) We thought it would be neat to embroider, in blue, the initial M.  Then we're going to embroider the year that my grandparents married (1952) and the year of my marriage (2012).  50 years, exactly, well... just about.  I'm sorry I couldn't hold out until August, Grandma, but I did pick the only other month that started with an "A!"

It was also brought to my attention that our officiant is the same man that married my grandparents. Here I was selfishly thinking only of the part where the officiant has performed every sacrament that I have been a part of since birth, but ya know... I wasn't around for their wedding, why would that be my first thought? But once it was brought to my attention, and the whisper of "vow renewal" gently placed in my ear. Hello, bloody brilliant!  I got the okay from my darling future husband, so now I just need to see how the grandparents feel.  I don't want to spring this on them, I want to give them the option, because maybe they would want to do their own thing for this, but I would love to share and give them the opportunity to do that, in the same place and with the same man, that they said their vows in front of 50 years ago.  The reason that this feels perfect to me, is because the rings worked once, and here we'll be 50 years later using them again and after Will and I make our promises to each other, my grandparents can continue the good luck by pledging another 50 years!

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  My something new, is obviously my dress. And my something borrowed is TBD, however, as I was informed by my Aunt Julia, it traditionally comes from a happily married woman.  As she is one herself, I figured that meant she was volunteering, and now she is on the lookout for the perfect final touch that I can borrow. Perfect.

It's all coming together!!! Hopefully, our guests see all of the thought and love that went into our day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

9 months to go!!!

I have been counting down the days until I could make this post.  In fact, I have avoided posting the last few days because I wanted it to be THIS post so badly.  Can you believe we are actually in the single digits now? At least month-wise.  We still have 275 days to go, but if the weeks keep flying by like they have been... well I may start being a bit more stressed then excited by my countdown. haha!

I have officially been engaged for 9 months today, as well, so we are dead in the middle of our wedding madness, and I think we have made some huge dents in our BIG picture To-Do List.  (more on those in a bit!)

As a recap there has been a good start to my DIY projects in the last few weeks.  My focus has been wedding party gifts, because that's something that won't be considered a priority in the months to come... (seriously, planning the ceremony v. putting together a personalized goodie bag... what do YOU think is going to win?) and this is an area that I would like to put effort into.  We have still be in the relative early stages here, so I haven't really leaned on any of the wedding party members, but that is going to change shortly I imagine, and I want them to know that I appreciate and love them very very much!  So, unfortunately for you my dear readers (or maybe I should just say Mom...) I will not be posting any pictures of my Bridesmaid gifts until after the girls receive them... just in case they sneak over here.  But I have put in over 30 hours worth of work on personalizing and planning and crafting just on them!

I also have started my activities for the little ones.  Side Rant: I am still stressed out about the indemnity agreement, I have no idea how to bring that up with my guests... I am just kind of hoping the non-family guests with kids want a grown up date night and don't even ask to bring their children... here's to hoping!  But it's inevitable that there will be kids there, helllooo they are IN the wedding.  So they need goodies too!  Weddings are BORING for kids, and the last thing I want is a bored cranky child stealing my thunder at my own party.  that I have been tirelessly planning.  since November of last year.  Yes, I think we can safely say this is a selfishly motivated project.  =) I'm okay with that.

My goal on those fronts is to start finishing up the last few things that can be done now, and turn my focus to some other projects.  I think the next two on the list will be the Tears of Joy Packets and the Flower Girl Baskets.  I have all of the supplies for both, so I see myself knocking out the ToJ this weekend, and then spending a few weekends (this will be serious trial and error) on the baskets.  I found some fantastic baskets at Joann's a few weeks ago, and they ended up being $3 each.  The only problem is they don't have a handle. So I have two thoughts: (1) braid some ribbon to create a handle or (2) use some grape vine and try and weave one.  Ambitious I know, but I found out my lovely future husband learned how to weave baskets in boyscouts, and in fact, has a merit badge to prove it! So this may work out... probably not though. =)  Either way, for $3 a piece, this was worth a gamble.

As for the Big Picture items, in the next month I will be ordering my Save the Dates (STDs... I know. Worst. Acronym. EVER.) Invitations and Reply Cards.  I have the design picked out and am super excited to get these projects started.  The acceptable time frame to send out STDs is 9-6 months prior to the wedding, so I was thinking end of August.  That means that the guest list will need to be officially finalized (HA!) and addresses accumulated beginning, well, now.  I also have some ideas to explore with the invites, so I want to order those early to see what I can realistically (afford) to do.

I am not sure who is more excited about the next big task for this month... Will or my Grandma.  But cake tasting is on the list.  Since I foresee everyone enjoying this item, I may spread it out a bit and try 3-4 bakers. Most places have free tastings, so this shouldn't cause too much of an issue.

I would also like to figure out the DJ/Band situation.  Originally Will and I discussed having a small jazz trio to play for out guests as they arrive for the cocktail hour, while we are finishing up at the church.  I don't know if this is budget friendly, so I think I need to find a DJ first, to determine what that cost is realistically going to look like.

I think, full time work schedules in mind, that my list is pretty healthy as it is.  So I will try to not give myself anymore big projects, but my mind is filled with all of the things that I would like to do.  There is a good chance I will be taking a trip (or two) to downtown LA for more rhinestones and to pick out my necklace for the wedding.  Will has a co-worker named Tess who is a jewelery maker, and she has kindly offered to help me make a necklace to match my earrings. So excited!

Alright my lovelies!  I think I have blown your mind enough for now.  =)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Arts and Crafts Time!

I spent a good part of the week working on various detail-esque things for the wedding.  I know that most of these will not be realized for the genius and thought that went into them, in fact most will be over looked, and that's okay.  These details, however, make me happy.  I am the one who will see it all come together, and know that I got exactly what I wanted! For now, I wanted to share my flower crayons!

The sorted and broken crayons pre-oven
Hot molten lava crayons straight out of the oven

The finished product!
This was a project I knew I wanted to do immediately and was really excited for! I knew it was going to be cost friendly and pretty straight forward, plus it would add a little element of "Aww!" and excitement for the Little Ones, which is always a plus.

I never got to do these sorts of projects growing up, but thought it looked so fun and super easy.  The hardest part (literally got blisters from it!) was peeling off the crayon wrappers and breaking up all the crayons. If (or when) I do a project like this again I think I might peel the crayons over the course of a few nights.  To fill the tray it took me 2 and 1/2 hours to peel about 80 crayons.  I also spent a lot of time neatly arranging them in a the pan (I know, so silly... the point is they all melt together! Definitely regretted not thinking this part through when I saw what happened to the yellow center of what was suppose to be a white and silver daisy. Oops!)

All in all, I love how these turned out.

Supplies and Cost Breakdown:
    -Silicone Flower cupcake pan (Pampered Chef) [free, borrowed from Mom!]
    -Crayons (all various brands and colors) Side note: I had a 48 pack already which would have been enough to make enough crayons for a kid or two, but I bought 5 extra packs of 24 (during a back to school sale at Target for $.65 a pop!) because of how many kids will likely be at the reception. I don't want them to start fighting over a specific crayon or color so I needed to make sure there would be enough to keep 'em all happy!
Total $3.25

(1) Arrange the crayons in the color combinations of your preference (i used about 6 full crayons per flower).
(2) Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
(3) Watch the crayons closely, they melt fast.  All they need is about 6 to 8 minutes before they're ready to come out.
(4) Let them cool completely (you can put them in the freezer after about 10-15 minutes if you want to speed this us).

Final Tallies:
    -Total prep time (because I had to break all the crayons myself): 2.5 hours* I eventually figured out a faster way to unwrap them, using a razor blade to split the wrapper down the side, unfortunately this was after my first 2.5 hour batch =(
    -Total "cook" time: 7 minutes (this varied per batch but my average was about 7)
    -Total Cool Down: I let my crayons cool a about 20 minutes a set (5-10 out of the oven; 10-15 in the freezer).
    -Total Cost per crayon: (30 all together) about $.11 per crayon!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I Spy, With My Little Eye, Something AMAZING!

I was searching the usual wedding inspiration sites yesterday, and was so so excited when I stumbled across something called the "I Spy" Project. []

Essentially its a fun way to give your guests an idea of the sorts of pictures that you would like them to take. Also, you can turn it into a game, with a little gift for the "winner" aka person who takes the most pictures from the list.

I love it for the sheer adorableness of the design aesthetic. Practically, I wanted to leave a few disposable cameras lying around and since I have photosharing cards, and so many people (1) forget their cameras; (2) don't charge their batteries; (3) may not be inclined to upload their photos, this gives them a way to participate!

It was a really easy DIY. Probably 2 - 3 hours (mostly because I formatted it in one program and then had to start all over again in Powerpoint). After I made two shortened lists from my master list (of the types of pictures I wanted), I downloaded about 10 fun fonts from and started playing around with colors, fonts and sizes.

After I was finally satisfied with how it was looked, I uploaded the image onto vistaprint (using free uploads and 50 free rack cards; which means the total of these is less then $.07 a card!!!!) and was all set!

I can't wait to share these with everybody, I am really really happy with the result!

Ta-Da!!! Are any of you excited as I am to see how people interpret these? I totally see somebody taking a picture of a little kid passed out as "someone having lots of fun" lol!