Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obsession: Buckets!

I have a serious obsession with galvanized buckets. It all started with this bucket here. Stolen from Mrs Strawberry on the WeddingBee. I saw bucket very early in the planning. Perhaps even before we were engaged. I thought it was terribly adorable. And I wanted it! But not in pink. I love galvanized buckets. That's really the theme I want. Buckets!
But what to put in the buckets. Back to the whole flower problem. Sigh. I do want buckets for the drinks though. Tai thinks we can just use coolers, but I rather have them displayed in buckets.
Here are the buckets I've purchased so far:I'm thinking I might mix the buckets and lanterns. Especially the small buckets. I think little daisies or even roses might look good. But not cream. I think that will look a little too bland. What do you think? A soft pink?
Oh that long copper bucket? I think that will use it for cards. I'll make a sign for it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Take a Seat

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to Erin (she's getting married the month after I am. Yea!) and we were discussing chairs. Originally we were going to have chairs for the ceremony. But after we wrote the ceremony and it's a ten minute ceremony tops, I decided perhaps we didn't need chairs. Erin agreed, people could stand for 15 minutes. I thought I should get a chair or two for my dad (he can be unsteady on his feet) and a few of the older guests. But everyone else could stand. Plus it would save us about $100 on chair rentals.
But when I talked to Tai he was less than thrilled with that idea. He thinks that people will get there early and need a place to sit. Plus if my dad and a few other guests get chairs, Tai thought other guests would be upset. If we could get chairs for a few then we should have chairs for everyone. Plus he didn't think a $100 would be that big a deal.
On a side note, Dad told me that he could do without a chair. He said he really didn't need one. He could stand. Isn't he great?
Ok, here are some ideas that I stole from the knot:I'm leaning towards the natural colored chairs rather than white. I would love to have benches but I can't find a rental company that has them. I love the two flower urns on the bottom left one. We won't have any aisle runner. I think someone could trip on it and I don't see any point. We also don't want any sort of alter. I didn't want a unity candle or any sort of ritual like that. Tai did want a wine ceremony but when he realized we'd have to get a table out there and decorated it (oh the horror!), he rethought that. If he changes his mind that won't be hard to do.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Slightly Over Budget

I went slightly over budget this week on our groceries. But I have a really good reason. Well two good reasons. First Tai's work hours changed again. It's impossible now for us to have dinner together during the week. By the time he gets home I'm in bed. So I have to make something that he can reheat. That's not traditionally how I cook so I was not prepared. They sprang his hour change on us mid-week.
The second good reason was that in the middle of the week I decided I didn't want meat. Meat became yucky. I have this unexplainable change in taste buds every few months. Meat just doesn't taste good. I had planned on buying tofu when I went to the store on Sunday, but I didn't so I had to go mid week to pick up a few more things.

All told I spent about $120 which isn't bad. Sadly though I don't really feel like I cooked anything. At least not much worth showing here.
I did make a fried tofu dish that I'd seen on Good Eats:

Go here for the recipe. It was pretty easy. I wish I would have let the tofu marinate more. I was pretty hungry and in a hurry so I sped up the process. But the tofu had a nice phyllo kind of shell. I don't know if I would make it again simply because I'm not a fan of frying tofu. Kind of defeats the purpose for me. But the marinade was kind of yummy so I might make that again.
I was hoping to show you the rack of ribs that I made with Tom Douglas's Pork Spice Rub:
But sadly it was eaten before I could take a picture. I guess that means it was yummy. I didn't get to try it since I'd gone out and eaten with my book club.
We're doing ok. Trying to stick to the budget. I think it will be tough for me this week. Tai's hours aren't changing back (that we know of) so I have to think of yummy food that I can cook and he can reheat. I made of a couple of steaks this week. I made that Japanese one pot soup again which he likes. I left the noodles out this time which I think is better. The noddles just seem to suck up all the yummy broth. Plus that does reheat rather well. I would like to learn how to make some other soups. Especially since it's been so cold out.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Table 9

Originally I decided that I wasn't going to have seating assignments. I didn't really think it would be necessary. I figured people could decide where they wanted to sit on their own. I would have designated tables for the wedding party and their families, but everyone else would be on their own. Well I'm rethinking that.But there are some really cute ideas out there. Above are some I shameless stole. I don't want to assign seats but I thought I would assign tables. It might help, perhaps mix some of the groups up. When we go out we either go out with Tai's friends or with my friends. The two groups rarely meet. I keep trying to mix them but it's hard. Tai's group of friends are pretty tightly knit and not really open. I feel lucky that I'm invited sometimes! And for the most part my friends are pretty much the opposite. I'm kind of nervous that they aren't going to mix at the wedding. It's going to be like an 8th grade dance with the boys on one side and girls on the other.
It's not like I need another DIY project. But I think it would add something to the tables. So I started thinking what I would name those tables in case I decide to do it.
Option one: books. Both Tai and I love to read. I was thinking of using our favorite books. Gone With The Wind, Lord of the Rings, Summer Sisters, and 1984 would be some of our tables. Although I think a small fight would erupt over who would sit at the Lord of the Rings table. I'd have to do the whole trilogy. I could either use the book covers or just type the names.
Option two: streets in Los Angeles. Tai's from LA and I spent a lot of time there as a kid. My folks lived there before they moved to Seattle. We would have Sunset Blvd, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, Vine, and Melrose.
Option three: movies. Tai and I are movie buffs. Although it would be hard to stick to a theme like romantic movies or action films. We have twenty tables and I don't know if we can only stick to twenty. Some fights might erupt over which 20 movies we choose. I don't know if I want to tackle that one.
I'm leaning towards either the books or the streets in LA. I think either will be ok. But we are not having any camping themed tables. That's not what I want. I can't even think of 20 camping related things. Please don't give me 20. That was not a request :)
Who can tell me what the title refers to?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Check off the photographer!

I forgot to mention that we booked (and sent the deposit) to our photographer. Yea!
When I started looking for a photographer I had a hard time finding someone we could afford and took great photos. Seattle has a lot of great wedding photographers. And I looked over their packages and found that they were too expensive what I wanted. Basically all I wanted was all day coverage and discs of the photos when it was all over. No albums, no retouching, nothing fancy. I found a lot of new photographers who were willing to do this for a very minimal price but I wasn't fond of their photos.
I branched out and started looking at photographers who didn't shoot just weddings. I found some more very expensive (and rightly so) photographers. And then I found Andrew. I liked his style. He's a photojournalist by nature. He used to work for newspapers. He's used to taking photos on the fly and capturing the moment. That's what I wanted. Someone to document the day. Nothing posed, just real action.
I met with Andrew a couple of weeks ago and he showed me some recent pictures he'd taken at event. You could feel the emotion on people's faces and how real and live those people looked. Andrew is a seriously good photographer. I'm really excited to be working with him.
I didn't ask him if I could share some of him pictures here, so I'll direct you to his website if you'd like to learn more about our fabulous wedding photographer, Andrew.
I know people from around the world read my little blog (Thanks Google Analytics) so I have to share another photographer who unfortunately is not in my neck of the woods. If you are getting married in the Cuyahoga Falls area of Ohio, check out Noble Images. I went to college with Dani and Jayson and they are wonderful people. If I had a million dollars I would fly them out to shoot my wedding. Serious gorgeous photos.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pretty Flowers

I spent the last couple of hours looking for bouquets. I don't think I'm going to carry a bouquet. I'll only be holding it for a few minutes. But I know M and A have to hold something. It's awkward to be standing up there with nothing. But I can't find anything I like. As we know I don't really like flowers. So I'm looking for anything but the traditional flowers.
From Martha Stewart. I think this is the kind of bouquet I could carry. I also think it would look really good in pictures.Here's a smaller version of the same bouquet. I think there sound be more trailing down.
But now I have visions of magnolias. I've been trying to think of ways to incorporate my mom into the wedding. She grew up in the Magnolia part of Houston.Sadly I think magnolias are out of season during July. So expensive is not good. But I could get them in silk. Still haven't decided if I want silk or fresh. If I went with greenery, like the ivy, I would go with fresh. That makes more sense than silk. I don't know. I really like the magnolias now.
I'm hoping to meet with the florist at Whole Foods one of these days. The last time I was there no one was there. I think they have a pretty good floral selection. Besides they are pretty close to the site so I think it's a logical choice. Can you tell I love Whole Foods?

Absolute Shock!

I'm still in shock over Heath Ledger's death yesterday. Of all the ridiculous things I never would have thought about his death is near the top of the list followed by purple talking cows on Mars. I really don't know what to say. It's not like I had a crush on him, but I liked him as an actor. He had some really good roles and I was really looking forward to his part in Dark Knight this summer. As Tai said last night we had something invested in him. He was going to be part of a reinvention of story we both enjoyed (Batman). I feel like someone took something away from me. Silly aren't I?
I hope to come back with something more upbeat to talk about soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Result of $100

Since my $100 post was so popular (thanks for all your comments), I thought I would show what meals came from it.
Monday night we had yummy pork, spinach, and quinoa:

This is the first time I made quinoa (pronounced Keen-WA). It was very good. I would definitely make it again. It was pretty easy to make. Kind of like rice a roni.
Friday night was swimming rama with homemade peanut sauce and tofu. I plan to make more tofu dishes since we both love tofu and it's a little cheaper and healthier than meat. This peanut sauce recipe was the best peanut sauce I had outside of a restaurant. It's easily customizable. Tai thought there was too much garlic so I added a little more peanut butter, a little more lemon juice, a little sesame oil and it was perfect. Sorry this photo is a little blurry. It was the best one I could get. When I saw this pot roast recipe, I thought that sounds so yummy. I made it once about a week ago and I didn't like it. It came out greasy if you can believe that. I also didn't use thyme but a concoction of other herbs I had in my cupboard. I assumed that's why it wasn't yummy. So I made it again today. Not so yummy again. I added mushrooms this time because I had some laying about. But other than that I stuck to the recipe. But still greasy. Who knows what I'm doing wrong?
For the other days I made bbq pork and hamburgers. Nothing too exciting.
I'll probably go grocery shopping tomorrow so I'll show you what I got then.


Greek yogurt. Yum! Although I love the Trader Joe's version, when I'm jonesing for some Greek yogurt any will do. Honey has to be my favorite flavor. I tried pomegranate flavored yesterday for the first time and it wasn't as yummy.


Very funny and cute. I love the Bennie and Jets scene. I have to find out the words to that song. I think I've been singing the wrong lyrics for all these years!

usingI don't think I've expressed my love for my iced tea maker here yet. Pat and Jen had one first. I thought it was the coolest idea ever. I loved going to their house and having sweetened tea whenever I wanted. I longed to have the same thing in my home. But never got around to it. When Tai met Pat and Jen's iced tea maker he was as impressed as I had been. He said he'd want one. So I rushed out and bought one for us and one for Dad. I love having iced tea all the time. I cuts back on the amount of soda and flavored waters that we buy. Plus Tai loves coming up with all different flavors.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sharp Dressed Man

Tai still has not decided what he and his groomsmen are going to wear. Originally we thought he would wear dark suits-black or dark grey-but I don't think that will look good with the chocolate brown dresses.
Of course the creepy David's Bridal portrait. It doesn't look bad with dark suits. It looks very classy.This is a little closer to what I would like our wedding to look like. I left out one of the groomsmen. Oops. I like the lighter brown suits. I think it looks a little better with the chocolate brown dresses. Plus I hope it would be cooler.
I want to go with Tai and look at some suit this month. I'm hoping we can go this weekend. We need to take Dad too. He's going to need to get a suit as well. I figure he'll wear the same color as the rest of the guys.Here's a few more options all stolen from the knot. I like the pastel ties with the suits at the top. The guys on the top right are wearing pink ties. I want Tai to wear a pink tie. I asked him and he didn't really care what color tie he wore. I don't know what color ties the groomsmen or my dad should wear. The guys on the bottom left are super casual. I don't know if we want to go this casual, but I like the picture. Especially to know that later on when the guys are walking around with their suit jackets they'll still look nice. I like the color of the bottom right suit. I like the ivory flower on the lapel. But I don't like the greenery on that one though.
I'll report back with what Tai and I decided on after we go to the store.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More Lanterns!

Yes, more lanterns. You people are going to be sorry that I decided on lanterns. I get excited when I find more. In fact when I came home with the latest stash I told Tai I hit the lantern jackpot. He decided that I couldn't say that.
But this was the most I found at any one place. I found this selection at a thrift shop. My dad was impressed but not my honey. Although he was pretty happy I found more. Woo Hoo. I now have 12! Only 58 more to go. You'll notice that another Ikea lantern made it's way into to my grouping. I figure one more might not hurt. I really like the wooden one in the middle. I hope to find more wooden ones and more oval ones too.
We bought this baskets at Safeway of all places. The best thing was they all three were about$4 for all three together! I don't know what I'm going to use them for. I was thinking of using the round ones for napkins. But I couldn't let that deal go!Tai and I love these TicTac Silvers. We like the orange better but I got a good deal on 8 boxes from a girl on Craigslist. 8 unopened boxes for like $5. I figure I'll the orange ones at Costco. Costco where all the yummy things are!
Ok, that's enough wedding show and tell tonight. I hope to have more soon.

Monday, January 14, 2008


In order to save money for the wedding, Tai and I decided we had to make some budget cuts. Our grocery bill was the easiest place to cut. We were spending about $160 a week (!!!!) on groceries. Yes for two people. We usually bought soda, bottle water, Gatorade. Plenty of packaged foods like snack cakes and prepared salads for work. As a result we have a tiny kitchen crammed with boxes of food and a fridge groaning with food. Forget the freezer. There's just no space in there.
Much to Tai's dismay we waste food. We don't plan out meals; We just bought what looked good. This led to going out to eat because we didn't have full meals just some things. Which was incredibly costly. Not smart financial planning at all.
So we decided to spend $100 on groceries a week. Unfortunately this does not include soap, personal care products or paper products. The $100 pertains only to food items. So here's this week's haul:
This is everything except a bottle of $3 Chuck and a container of yogurt. I thought I did pretty well til I took this picture. Is this going to last us all week?!? Eek!
Yes, it is because I have pretty much planned out all of our meals for the week using the fresh ingredients I bought and the things we already have like rice and pasta.
Also you can see I went to Whole Foods. Not the cheapest store out there, but I find they have the freshest meat and seafood selection as well as the best produce. I don't want to sacrifice our nutrition just to save a buck. I spent about $60 at Whole Foods and $20 at Trader Joe's, leaving me with $20 in case I need anything small during the week. I already know I forgot onions.
Any ideas for this frugal cook? How do you stretch your food dollar? Any other good money saving tips?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Yummy Mushrooms

I haven't blogged about food in a while. Now, don't think I haven't been cooking. I have but nothing worth talking about. I might make some of those dishes again, but I need to tweak the recipes. Like today's recipe. Today's recipe was a first time event. I've been craving cream of mushroom soup. So I set out to find a dairy free cream of mushroom soup:I found the recipe here. I substituted chicken stock for the vegetable stock. I didn't have enough onion so I used a combo of red and green onion. As you can see I saved the green ends and used it as garnish. I'm getting fancy.
We liked it, but Tai thought it should be creamier. So, I'll make it again and try to make it creamier. We're thinking more mushrooms, more onion, and more garlic.
I also used my new toy:M brought me this food chopper and scoop. I liked the fact I could scoop the food after I cut it but I don't think it did a good job chopping. Especially the green onions. They were a little slippery and got mushed more than chopped. I think it will work well with carrots, potatoes, or cucumbers. More big, solid veggies.
I hope to have a few food posts this week, but we'll see. No promises.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Watch Me Steal Other People's Ideas

Inspiration, baby. It comes from looking at what other people have done and tweaking it to create your own! I love Knottie Bios of the week on Weddingbee. And I of course look at hundreds of knot bios every week. So I thought I would list some of the ones I've found recently and enjoyed.
Mrs Lana
Gorgeous photos! Lots of wonderful little touches. Her wedding was in a vineyard and her and hubby took some pictures. And the bottom of her bio are some tasteful b-pic photos. If you don't want to look at a beautiful woman in her undies stop after the cake cutting shots. Here are some photos stolen shamelessly from her bio:I don't know what it is about me and guns, but I love how the guys are standing in this photo. It makes me think of an old western.
Such a great idea for place cards. Could be very easily DIY. But a very nice rustic touch.

I like the tips strewn throughout the bio. She gives you real advice on how she felt she could have improved her day. I love how her guests (particularly her mom) looked like they were having fun at the reception.The bride was a self confessed Friends fan so this was an easy shot. Also her bridal party entered the reception to the Friends theme song. Such a good idea. I wish I would have thought of it!Her and her groom took some photos at the end of the night. I can imagine that they were tired but I think they turned out very romantic and playful. I think that's a great idea.

As far as I can tell, lots of her stuff was DIY, but very elegant. Her and hubby had a day after photo shoot that produced some very unique photos. Her photographer was very artistic. I love it.After her ceremony, the bridal party headed to a bar to do shots before the ceremony. A great way to get those pictures of the bridal party without looking posed or stiff.
I like her centerpieces. Very easy to do with the varying sizes of vases. I really like the grouping.

She looks like a totally laidback bride. I love her groom's suit. I'm thinking of something similar for Tai.Doesn't this look like they are standing on water? Totally cool location with the Haystacks in the background!Umbrellas, a must at any Northwest wedding. She was smart and had golf umbrellas so more than one guest could be under it at one time. Great idea!
Honestly this takes time looking at what other people have done. But I got to say that I've found more inspiration looking at other knotties bios than looking in wedding magazines. I hope that I can have the kind of bio that other knotties use for inspiration.

It's Here!

I've been so excited about the Real Simple: Wedding magazine. I've been waiting for it to arrive since I first heard about it. I ran out and bought it yesterday before picking Tai up from work.I haven't read the whole thing but it seems like a good place for a beginner to start. Since I'm not a beginner it might not help me a whole lot. I was kind of hoping it would have more ideas in it like the Real Simple magazine. Or become a regular magazine, but alas it doesn't seem like it. I'm planning on looking at it more closely tonight while Tai is at poker.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

If I had a million dollars...

And I was single I would shop at Anthropologie all the time. I can't fit into their clothes nor afford them at this time, but I love their home stuff. For example:But this is certainly what kinds of things I would want in my home if I could shop at Anthropologie and if Tai didn't care about what we had in the house. Now those white latte bowls in the center are on our registry because I actually saw them at the store. They are so adorable! Although I'm more likely to use them for cereal and soup than for lattes. I also think I could get away with those plates on the bottom right. Tai does like that color, but I was really leaning toward white plates. I figure with white plates if they break or stain we can easily replace one or two.
But sadly I don't have a million dollars so I can't afford these beautiful things from Anthropologie and Tai really wouldn't be happy with that blue couch on the bottom left. It looks more uncomfortable than the couch we currently have. We are much more Target people:In fact I could see us buying these things and I could actually see them in our apartment. Honestly we don't own a thing from this picture. I don't know about those couches though. I'm not sure if they are comfortable. I want couches like Pat and Jen have. I don't know where they got them but they are so cozy. They have a microfiber cover. I want microfiber fabric! Our couch certainly isn't cozy! I think some of these lovely things from Target or perhaps some of things from Anthropologie will wind up on our registry.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Obsession: Cards!

I have always loved cards. I love getting cards, sending cards, writing cards, everything about cards. I keep a basket full of cards on hand! Yes, I'm like your 80 year aunt. I keep cards that people give me but I have to weed them out every so often. I don't want 6 huge boxes of cards one day-like my Mom had til Dad and I recycled them.
Every time I go to the store, I keep an eye out for cards on sale. I'm not allowed to buy cards full price anymore. Buying cards when you really don't need them allows me to buy them cheap. In fact I buy my holiday cards after the holidays. They are super cheap then. I try to write my holiday cards Thanksgiving weekend, so I have them handy to write them.
But now, I'm keeping my eyes peeled for Thank You Cards. I bought 2 packs for $8 a few months ago, but I've used a few of them. So I need to find some more like these:
(From Hallmark, Target and Cranes) I like these despite the fact they don't go with our "theme". I don't really think everything has to match. Who remembers what colors someone else used for their wedding? I most likely will go with simple cards to go with a variety of occasions. I'm not buying different cards for the shower gifts and wedding gifts. I'd just like a variety of cards so I don't send the same one to the same person twice.
Eeee, I love the idea of getting gifts. Although that's not the reason we're getting married, but that's why I need thank you cards. To thank everyone for giving us awesome gifts!
I did think about making my own thank you cards, but because I'm DIYing our STDs and invites, I decided that it wasn't necessary to make our thank you cards. Especially since I can find cards pretty cheap because I'm not attached to any one kind.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I need a new wardrobe!

The other day I was on the bus and I saw a girl that was dressed really nice and she looked totally cute. Kind of like this:And I thought to myself, I want to dress like her when I'm that age. Then she turned around and she was probably my age! I usually dress in slacks and tshirts to work. I don't have to dress up. I don't see clients on a daily basis so it's not important to wear nice clothes everyday. On days I go out into the community I do wear nicer clothes but I'm running out of nice clothes.I wish I had these lovely options from Nordstroms in my wardrobe. Now, I might not wear them to work, but I would love to wear them to dinner. My first order of business is to get rid of all my pants that taper at the ankle. They just make my butt look huge! I rather wear wider legged pants.

I think these pants are more flattering to my body shape.
And any of these tops would be flattering too. I think I just have to realize that I'm not 20 anymore and I'm not in college and start dressing like a grown up!

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Perhaps since it's the beginning of the year, I feel like listing my accomplishments rather than focusing on what I have left to do. I find that more motivating than dwelling on the to do list. Plus I don't sound so whinny!
On New Year's Day, Tai and I wrote out our ceremony. Our friends, Herb & Christy, who are officiating the wedding, asked us to have the ceremony done this month. I thought it would better to finish it sooner than later and we really didn't have much to do that day. Christy provided us with their standard wedding which was a pagan handfasting. I wasn't against using it but Tai thought we should find something more personal. I wrote a ceremony a few months ago and Tai green lighted it. But I didn't forwarded it on to Christy. I'm really glad I didn't. I read over it and hated it. What was I thinking?
I bought The Wedding Ceremony Planner by Reverend Judith Johnson. Tai leafed though it til he found something that appealed to him. We went over each part to make sure it fit us and the venue. We edited some of it and incorporated the vows we chose before. Tai read the whole thing aloud. I have to tell you it was so strange to hear the words we're going to say to each other when we get married. I have to tell you. I kind of wish those words would have been a surprise to me.
But I'm glad to have that done and sent off to Christy. They'll look over it and let us know if we need to change or add things. I know they think it's short, but we didn't want anything long and drawn out. We want to get to party!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

So Far....

I thought I would post about what wedding related items I've bought so far. First here are my lanterns that I bought so far:The silver ones are from Ikea. I'm going back this weekend so I'll buy 2 more little ones and one more big one. The copper ones with the colored glass I bought at Liquidation Warehouse. You can see the LED tealights I bought inside. I need more than the 5 I bought, but I wasn't sure if they would work. I'm glad they do. The tall gas lamp (which I think look like a bong) were purchased at Big Lots for $4 each. I bought 2. I wish they would had more. The top left one is kind of what I'm thinkingof doing, but I think I need more than 4 on each table.

I bought these buckets at the Goodwill. I don't know what I will use them for. I thought I would use them as centerpieces. Put flowers in them. But maybe I'll use them for the ceremony, perhaps to mark the aisle.
I bought this from another knottie. If I make programs, I'll use this to hold them. If not, I'm not sure what I'll use it for.I bought these from another knottie. She used them for pew flowers. She had 5 other buckets but sold them before I got to her. Again, I have no idea what to use these for.
More buckets that I have no idea what to do with. I bought 6. I was thinking of using them for forks, knives, and spoons since we'll be using plastic. I thought that would be cute. But I don't know.
I bought 7 of these citronella candles at Joann's at an end of summer sale. I'm going to tie a brown bow around each one. Tai wanted some of these to keep those mosquitoes at bay.
Hopefully I have some more stuff to show later this month.