Monday, April 28, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I know I've mentioned my mom a handful of times. Some of you (especially those who don't know me in real life) might wonder where my mom is in all this. About 6 years ago, my mom was diagnosed with dementia. At that time she lived with my dad and he took care of her. At the beginning she slipped slowly in an out of reality. She'd forget where we were, she would forget how to do everyday tasks. She knew something wasn't right, but she would either ignore it or get angry when either my father or myself would bring it up.
Quickly she got worse. Her body became frail. She'd forget how to stand up from the couch. Plus she had bad knees and they started to get worse. Soon she couldn't walk without assistance. For 2 years my dad kept her at home, helping her with life. But my dad's health isn't good either, so I knew that we could not keep this arrangement.
We found an adult family home in a neighboring town with a wonderful caregiver. Mom lives with 4 other women in this home. Mary, the owner, is from Alabama and makes good old fashion soul food. Since Mom's from Houston, she's used to a lot of the same types of food. Mom seems happy there. She doesn't really talk anymore, not in complete sentences at least. Her knees are completely shot so she gets wheeled around in a wheelchair from the couch to dinner. She doesn't know who Dad and I are. She smiles when she sees us so I believe that she recognizes that we are there for her.
Saturday we went for a pre-birthday celebration. I bought her some pan dulce (Mexican pastries). She seemed happy. She tried to talk, but her words were nonsense. But it was good to spend time with her.
Tai's met her twice. He's friendly with her and tries to make a connection. As a massage therapist he's good with his hands. I think it's great that he tries to provide almost like touch therapy.
Mom won't be coming to the wedding. The site isn't wheelchair accessible. But she'll be there in spirit. I've bought her a mother of the bride tshirt. I'm hoping to wear some of her jewelry that day. Of course I'll frame a picture just for her to have in her room. I'm lucky. I know my mom loves me very much and she always wanted me to happy. I'm sad that she won't be here for my wedding day. Sometimes this makes me real sad especially when I hear about other brides doing things with their moms. She's still a part of my life, she always will be.
So Happy 75th Birthday, Mom!

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Roasted Chickpeas. I found the recipe here a few weeks ago. I saved it cause I thought it sounded yummy, not just right then. This past weekend became the right time to try them. I wasn't sure Tai would like them but he gobbled them up. Definitely make them again. Great snack!

Erin let me borrow this book a month ago. It sat on our coffee table until we went to LA. Wow, this book has me hooked. It's excellent. It makes the bus rides go by so quickly! I loved the Kite Runner, so if you haven't read either, pick them up!


We saw Apocalyptica in concert last weekend. It was phenomenal. I couldn't believe that it was sold out. I mean how many people have heard of a band that plays metal using the cello. I puffy heart Metallica, so to me this is heaven!

lovingMy cast iron skillet is my workhorse. I use it for everything. I cook eggs in it, bacon, steak, roast chicken in it, cook potatoes. I use it on the stove top. I stick it in the oven. It's heavy so it can withstand anything. I wish all my pots were cast iron!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Green Wedding Idea #5

I'm using paper plates and napkins for the food at our reception. I had planned to do this even before our caterer offered them for free (actually included in the cost). Someone mentioned to me recycling facilities. I don't think the site recycles, but I'll check with them. I know I can haul all the recyclables with us. And I might do that, but I also might just forget.
But if you are going to use paper plates, you might want to consider using biodegradable plates like these made from sugar cane.
These 15 plates cost $3.95. If you need 100, it would about $26. Pretty affordable considering a 100 paper plates are $14. Ok so double the price but at least it's under $50.
This cutlery set (found here) is made of recycled plastic. Each set has enough for 8 settings and only costs $5.75.
Or you could buy several sets of real flatware and either keep the ones you need, give the rest to friends, donate them to Goodwill (or similar organization) or sell them to other brides.These biodegradable plates (found here) are a more affordable option at $16 for 125 plates. This site also has bowls and other plates.
The most environmentally friendly way is to use real plates and flatware. They can be reused and don't usually wind up in landfill after each use.
Whatever you decided do what's best for you and your fiance. Let what your venue can provide and what will look right for you guide you. You know best.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More Shoes!

Dad and I stopped at the mall to pick up Mom's birthday cards and presents. While we were there I noticed that Aerosoles had some cute new white shoes. White shoes really aren't my thing but I know some brides out there are looking for cute white shoes, so I came home to look at their selection online (I was pushing Dad's time limit on the mall trip anyway).
Amusement Park $79Far Out $89.Trap Door $79.Wholesome $59.
So other than having some of the worst named shoes I've ever seen, they are cute and totally affordable. I might go back and try these on:

Vanilla Bean $69. I could wear those to work!

Shake Your Booty Time!

Over the weekend, Tai and I went over the music for the reception. I played him what I had already put on our playlist. He vetoed some songs. He thought we should lose the songs with profanity. So we did for the most part. I need some more slow songs and I have more music at my dad's but here's what I've got so far:
Click to enlarge. This is about 7 hours worth of music. More than we need but I want to have some choice and variety. I plan to add Wonderful Tonight by Clapton and You Spin Me Around by Dead Or Alive. Did I miss anything?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Green Is My Wedding?

In honor of Earth Day I thought I would examine how environmentally damaging my wedding will be.
I found this calculator on TerraPass.So my wedding will produce over 10,000 lbs of CO2. I'm undecided on the whole buying carbon offsets. I think I rather just try to make other details as "green" as I can. I'm totally guessing on the number of people flying. Most of our guests are local but they will have to drive a distance to get to the site. I'm encouraging carpooling and people staying at the site rather than hotels. I think it's better that we are having the ceremony and the reception at the same place. I think some people might not come since it is far from them. Gas prices being what they are.
But personally, I produce 9.62 metric tons of CO2 (I assume annually). I found this calculator on Carbon Calculator. That's a lot of CO2. I've been trying to think of ways to reduce our carbon output. Right now we have one car. No we're not that green; Just poor. I know Tai would rather have two cars so we don't have to carpool everywhere. During the week, it's pretty easy to conserve. I take the car to the bus, then take the bus the rest of the way to work. On the way home I try to make big trips rather than a ton of small trips. I try to stop at the library and the grocery store at one place rather than driving all over the place. Tai takes the bus to work, but I do pick him up at night.
I'm always recycling stuff. I found out Dad was throwing away his yogurt cups rather than recycling them. I've cut down my magazine consumption. I used to read 8-12 different magazines. I don't read that many anymore and I recycle all the ones I read. I utilize the library to it's fullest potential rather than buying books. I try to take my grocery bags with me to more than the grocery store. I reuse plastic bags for the trash and recyclable items.
The worst thing I do is use too much water and paper towels. I let the water run while I brush my teeth. Tai always tells me to turn it off. Or when I boil eggs, I cool them by running cold water over them. Tai always asks why is the water running? I wish I could break that habit. Any tips?
So on this Earth Day how are you improving the environment? Or confess your green sins.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stealing More Inspiration!

Here's my monthly installment of knottie bios. Someone asked last month how I find all these bios. I know they are difficult to find. Not all knotties make them. And lots of knotties make planning bios but rarely share their married photos. I have a lot of time at work. I usually look for knottie bio over the course of the month and save them. It does take a lot of time to find them and I have nothing but time at work. Let me know if there are specific things that you are looking for. I'm happy to help!

Well of course I love this bio! She used Jayson and Dani as her photographers. But on the July 08 knottie board someone was discussing having table assignments to help people fill tables. I keep going back and forth on this. But this knotties reasoning was the best. Some people were saving seats and being aholes about letting other people sit. Our wedding won't be huge but I don't want people to not be able to sit. I guess I'm leaning toward seating assignments. These are great ideas. Might steal it.What a gorgeous venue. So lucky to get married at a castle.
TxGrlatHeartShe used these to mark the aisle. Such a great idea. Especially since her wedding was inside. Really set the mood.I think this a great idea for thank you cards or something you could frame. What a great way to show your personalities.
I love fall weddings. This is such a great idea for a centerpieces.
Ok, this wasn't their wedding cake. It was the grooms cake. But how cool. They used a regional specific donut, but you could totally do this with any donut!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

More Fonts to Choose From

So I made some more mock ups for the font for the envelopes. These are all from
First up , Noodle Script:Then there is the Richard Murry:

How about Marka?
Last but not least, there is Honey Script:

I think I like Honey Script or Marka the best right now. The Marka is more like handwriting but neater than mine. What do you think?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

3 months!

Today is 3 months til the wedding. Here's my checklist:
1. Suits. Tai still doesn't have his. Jeff is still MIA so he won't helping with the suits. Tai had some dental work that pushed us over budget for this month. Our LA trip blew a huge hole in our budget. I think we'll wait til next pay day to check out the suits.
2. The invites. I want to get Brian's invite out this week. It took almost 2 months for him to get his save the date. This will be our trial run. I have to decide on a font. Perhaps I'll have to mock ups for you later tonight.
3. Alterations on the dress. I need to still do this. I had a dream that I didn't get the dress altered. It fit but it was too short. I tried to take the hem out while I was wearing it before I walked down the aisle.
4. Hair and makeup. I found my lipstick (Delightful by Smashbox), but I still need to decide on the rest of the makeup. I usually wear Bare Essentials but I don't think it provides enough coverage for the big day. I am intrigued by Mrs Peony's post on Weddingbee about La Mer Skin Color. I'll have to check Nordstrom's the next time I'm there. It might be out of my budget though. The hair kind of rests onto the next point.
5. Hotel and transportation. I'd been trying to figure out where to stay. I keep changing my mind. I wanted to stay at the Marriott in the Redmond Town Center. It seems like the closest hotel. But it would be too far from the hotel my aunt and possibly Tai's mom would probably stay at. So I decided that I'll stay at the hotel my aunt choose. On her previous visits she's stayed at the Embassy Suites and Redmond Silver Cloud. That way if we all stay at the same hotel we can all take one car to the ceremony. When we went to LA, I was looking at Shuttle Express and found that they have limos and vans to go to more than just the airport. Prices seem reasonable and I've been pleased with the service.
6. The favors. I know I've never told you what the favors are. That's because it's a surprise. I decided to wait til after the RSVPs are in so I don't buy too many. I'll do the favor tags over the Memorial Day weekend.
7. Finish complying the music for the ceremony and the reception. I've gotten a pretty good start on this. Tai and I will have to go over what we have so far.
8. Rehearsal dinner. I'll send out the invites the month before. It's going to be pretty casual.
What else am I missing?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Green Wedding Idea #4

Let's face it, you are going to need to buy stuff. And perhaps the idea of using someone's castoffs gives you the heebie jeebies. Ok, so how about using recycled items?
Like these tags from etsy seller ClaudiasCreations. These would work for favors, tags on OOT bags, or on gifts for the wedding party. She also has other recycled paper products.
Or how about these poppy pins made with vintage fabric from Etsy seller foundling. There are other colors to choose from in her shop as well as corsages. Perhaps something for the mother in law.
Etsy seller bottleupdesigns has jewelry made from antique glass and bottles. And if I'm reading her site right, I think they collect the glass from the woods where it was left behind. It makes me feel like there is so much more history in that glass. They have some beautiful pieces if you are looking for jewelry for yourself or your maids.Or how about this awesome dress made from recycled fabric? It's from etsy seller frabjousfrocks. For $22 this could your rehearsal dress or perhaps wear it on your honeymoon.
I think this is a lovely gift idea especially for a music lover. I found this in chicalookate's etsy shop. The LPs were damaged before they were shaped into bowls so don't worry vinyl lovers.
Ok, I'll probably do this again cause you know I love to explore etsy. Any excuse will do!

Green Wedding Idea #3

Speaking of presents, there's always a lot of discussion about what gifts to get the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, your folks, and even your hubby to be. Aside from the fact that I think personal gifts are better than a sack of impersonal items, how about not giving stuff?
Most people I know have too much stuff. Knickknacks they accumulate. Souvenirs of past relationships and vacations. Junk that gets collected on bookshelves and nightstands. I try to reduce the amount of clutter from our home. I have a bag of crap that Tai brought when he moved in. I keep moving the bag closer to the door in hopes of just taking it to the Goodwill.
So don't add to the clutter. Give experiences rather than things. A popular gift for bridesmaids are spa gift certificates. These are great gifts if you know your bridesmaid or maid of honor would enjoy a pedicure or a massage. But how about a cooking class if cooking relaxes her more? Or how about a flower arranging class or a gift certificate to a yoga class? You might inspire someone to try something new or support them in a current hobby.
For the gents, how about golf lessons, guitar lessons or even that cooking class? The lady in his life might appreciate that. Men's facials and massages are also offered at many salons.
Your folks might appreciate that cooking class especially if they could go together or how about tickets to a play or symphony? Or maybe a gift certificate to a nice restaurant, one you know they wouldn't go to.
As for your future husband, I do love it when a bride gives him something he can wear right then, like cuff links. But let's say he's got those. How about purchasing something you guys can do together on your honeymoon? Maybe a hot air balloon ride or a kayaking trip? You could give him a card telling him what his gift is and that you look forward to sharing that experience with him. Because in life, it should be about the experiences, not about the stuff.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I was glancing at our registry today, contemplating removing our items from Linen's and Things (since they are going bankrupt) and I gasped at this:Someone purchased (or intends to purchase) our plates! I couldn't believe it. After months of putting stuff on our registry someone actually bought something we requested. I was so shocked, Tai came over to see what happened. He was pretty glad. He liked those plates and wanted those specifically. I was so curious how I would know if someone bought us something on Mystery solved!
I was feeling pretty blah about the wedding until right now. We are moving forward people!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Absence Explained

So Tai and I had to take a last minute trip to Los Angeles to see his mom. About 3 weeks ago, his mom had an infection that ran rampant through her body. Her kidneys shut down and they thought she was going to die. But she improved and decided to release herself from the hospital, against doctor's orders. (And you know where I'm going with this) She relapsed and had to be readmitted to the hospital.
Friday afternoon, Tai gets an email saying something to the effect of: "Mom's back in the hospital. Her kidneys are failing again. Her blood pressure is through the roof. She might not bounce back this time. Call if can't come." Needless to say we hoped a flight and went to LA.
So that's how I met my future mother in law.
Let me back up here a minute. Originally Tai did not want to tell any of his family about the wedding. He just didn't want to invite them. Obviously we didn't have much choice in not telling them when he showed up with me.
Saturday we arrived in LA and went directly to the hospital. Tai's mom was shocked to see us. Tai didn't tell her we were coming. Her blood pressure was still high and her kidneys were improving. She was pleased to meet me. We hung out for several hours there before retiring to the hotel.
So here are the highlights of our LA trip:
-His mom was very excited about the wedding and plans to make the trip in July.
-His mom shared her life story, starting in Japan. I was touched that she shared her story with me.
- We ate at some of Tai's favorite restaurants such as Hurry Curry, Dr. Hogly Wogly's Tyler Texas Barbecue, VIP's, and Pink's. The Chicken Cutlet Curry at Hurry Curry was fantastic. I really liked the beef ribs at Dr. Hogly Wogly's. VIP's at some fantastic pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice. And the hot dogs at Pink's were worth standing in line for.
-It was so warm and beautiful. It was in the 90's for our entire visit.
And the lowlights:
-The bed at our hotel sucked! We had a hard time sleeping since it was so hard.
-It seemed that LA isn't aboard the recycling bus. The grocery store had all the produce in plastic containers and the bananas were in plastic bags. They used too many bags for us to carry the food out. I saw tons people driving with only one person in the car. In fact I didn't see any car pool lanes and very few buses on the freeway. I was quite disappointed.
We spent 4 days in LA. We hung at the hospital with his mom every day we were there. Her blood pressure started to stablize and her kidneys are on the road to recovery. So Tai's mom should be released from the hospital this week. If she is better by July, I hope she'll come to the wedding.

Tag, I'm It!

I'll explain my absence in the next post, but first, I've been tagged. Kate of Kate's Wedding, Jennifer of She Weds, and Tina of With This Ring, I Thee Obsess all tagged me. I'll oblige you all.

Here are my six random facts about myself:

1. I was named for my maternal grandmother, but I go by the same name as my aunt. Which is kind of cool.

2. I'm extremely competitive and I hate losing. So much that I rather not play if I think I'll lose. I'm a sore loser and have been known to throw things after losing. It was just a deck of cards and no one got hurt.

3. I'm subscribed to 87 blogs on my Google Reader. Most of them are wedding related.

4. I love to bake and cook. I'm not always very good at it, but I like to try.

5. I used to throw shot put in high school. I was pretty good but I never won any awards. I did enjoy lifting weights to get in shape then.

6. I love doing laundry. I love the smell of clean clothes and I love putting my laundry away. I'm crazy I know.

I'm not going to tag anyone cause it appears to me that everyone on my Google Reader has done this already. If by chance you haven't, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Ok, so I decided to look at some fonts for the envelopes. Yes, I'm going to print out envelopes. Not going to hand write them or get a calligrapher. So help me choose!
How about Freebooter Script?
Or what about Richard Murray?
Or Noodle Script?

Or what about Paul Maul?
I'm looking for something that looks handwritten. But the freebooter script is maybe more traditional but maybe too much?Right now I'm leaning towards the Paul Maul or Richard Murray. But what do you think?
Oh, all fonts found on!

Update: 100 days!!!

Eeee! We are at 100 days people! I can't believe it. It doesn't feel like we have that few days. I took a long break from active wedding planning. Really, for a month, I didn't do any active wedding planning.
But yesterday I bought our wedding bands. I convo'ed the etsy seller and worked out what we wanted. Our rings should be here in a month. I'm pretty excited about them. I'll post pics when they get here.
I should be deciding on the font for the addresses. I looked at a few on I saw a bunch I liked it. I should just download them already. I need to send one invite early, but all the rest won't go out til May.
I need an outfit for the shower. I'll be keeping an eye out for something cute. Marta and Ashley are already hard at work for my shower. I'm pretty excited for it.
So, that's all that's going on in wedding world here. That and looking for suits for the boys. Jeff (the groomsman who's supposed to be helping me) has fallen off the planet. So, I need to get cracking on that. I swear I'll be less talk and more pictures/accomplishing soon!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Pretty (less expensive) Shoes!

Let's look at the other end of the spectrum. Because yes, the shoes in my last post exceed my budget too!
From Walmart:
These Satin Buckle Flats are adorable and a bargain. $10 on sale now!
Or how about these from Payless? They are dyeable! Only $39.99
Or how about these Carlos sandals. Only $89 on Amazon.
Or how about these sexy ones from Chinese Laundry? Only $69 at Macys.I love the sparkly! These can be found at Piperlime for $69!
So there are great shoe options at every point in the spectrum!

Pretty Shoes!

Let's drool on some pretty shoes!
These are from bluefly.
How about these Jimmy Choos ($768!)? These would be wonderful for your something blue.
Or maybe you are looking for some bling? These Jimmy Choos ($620) would be gorgeous!
Or perhaps you are a red shoe bride? These Christian Louboutin's ($468) would fit the bill. I think they would look cute with a tea length dress!
Or perhaps you are looking for a flat shoe. These Christian Louboutins ($440) would also be great. The listing says silver but they look white to me!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Green Wedding Idea #2

When I was in high school the whole grunge scene took off and all my classmates were headed to the nearest Goodwill. But I was already there. When I was a kid my mom used to recycle my old clothes at a local consignment store. She would replace my old gently used clothes with new gently used clothes. I have fond memories of that little shop. Sigh.
So the Goodwill and thrift shop shopping has never been new to me. I remember when I hit junior high and my parents gave me an allowance. Sure, I wanted to spend every last cent at Esprit, but I knew that I could get more clothes at a thrift shop.
I swear that's the best thing you can teach your kids. You can put together an outfit with clothes from anywhere.
But Goodwill and other thrift stores have been a lifesaver in wedding planning and also a good way to recycle! No sense buying 15 new baskets when you can buy some gently used ones for less! What do you think people do with all those vases, baskets, pew buckets after a wedding? They either sell it or donate it.
Not only are you recycling but you could also be helping out a good cause.
To find a Goodwill near you, go here. Or to buy online from the Goodwill, go here.
To find other thrift stores near you, go here. Also check it out for a wide range of information on thrift store shopping.
For online thrift shopping goodness, check out eBay. Here you can find everything you need for the wedding and beyond! I bought my dress on eBay (both of them!), our engagement rings, 10 lanterns, and some of the tea light candles. There's probably more but I'm forgetting them.
Craigslist can also be a wealth of second hand goodies. There's even a special forum for brides selling goods here. But you can also search the for sale category for people selling dresses, rings, and assorted decorations. I bought ribbon and mints from a bride I found on Craigslist.
On The Nest, there is a board devoted to brides casting off items after their wedding. But occasionally, you'll find a bride who bought 15 table clothes in green but now decided she wants raspberry. Or you might find a bride who's off loading everything because of a canceled wedding or because of a complete overhaul. You'll also find knotties selling items on their local or national boards. I occasionally search the national boards (or other local boards besides my own) for items for sale, but it's time consuming. I've purchased buckets, ribbon, and jewelry from knotties.
The Brides List is something that I look at occasionally. It's not updated frequently so you may come across something you love that's been sold 7 months ago.
If you are still looking for a dress, consider going to a Brides Against Breast Cancer event. Many of these dresses are gently used. Also consider donating your dress after the fact. It's a wonderful way to support breast cancer research! To find out more or find an event near you, go here.
Do you have a favorite site or store that you would recommend?

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I bought these Hanes no panty line bikinis the other day at Target on a whim. These are so comfortable. No binding and no panty line! I highly recommend them.

Yesterday we had a little party for a coworker who is also getting married. The cake came from Central Market. This cake was yummy. I even bought a slice home for Tai who agreed it was yummy. Might have to rethink dessert at the wedding. And the Bettercreme frosting is made from soy, not butter, but you would never know!
I had wanted to see this when it was in the theaters. But we never did and I forgot about it. The other day when we were at Blockbuster, Tai remembered that I wanted to see it and we rented it. Wow, this movie makes no sense! You spend a good portion of the movie wondering what the hell is going on. The movie seems to start in the middle. But the dialogue is hysterical and the action scenes are perfect. Wonderfully mindless entertainment. Plus hunky Clive Owen-drool!
As part of our huge Jones soda stash we bought 6 cases of Lemon Lime soda for ourselves. We'd never tried the lemon lime flavor, but wow. It's yummy. We love it! We only wish would would have bought more then.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Table Inspiration

I'm starting to get a little nervous that we won't have enough stuff on the tables and they will look bare. I just have the lanterns and the buckets of flowers for each table. I know I should be doing a mock up to see how it looks but I turned to the internet for reassurance and inspiration. I found this lovely table on my new favorite blog, Toasts and Tables. I love how simple it is.
Stolen from knottie Faithsista. Here she just has one thing in on the table. But she has all those other things that we won't have. Plates will be stacked at the buffet and glasses will be available near the drinks. I feel like this table setting is more appropriate for a plated dinner.
Obviously this a cocktail table and not something we'll be doing but it's minimalistic as well. A little too minimalistic for my taste though. Picture found here.
This might be a good idea. Just having the napkins on the table. I'll think about that. I found this image here.
So what do you think? Leave just the centerpieces on the table with nothing else or put out the napkins?