Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dessert party

In early November, I was having a particularly crappy day and decided to listen to Christmas music. Over the past years I have grown to really love Christmas ... mostly because of the decorations, I admit. Anyway, while listening to the Rat Pack Does Christmas, I decided Josiah and I would hold a holiday dessert party. The month leading up to the event was a pain in the ass, but it ended up being a blast. My mom and I ended up making at least 15 desserts, and tons of guests brought stuff to share as well. It couldn't have gone better. Somehow Josiah and I fit around 45 people in our sub-800 square foot house. It was a ton of fun! It was exciting for Josiah and I to host our first event at our new downtown home. I can't wait to play hostess again!

Adriane and Stefanie

Erica, the photographer!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On the cheap

Our registries are finally solidified. Well they are more gelatinous, but they are in the process of getting there. So far we have dishes, silverware, towels, a down comforter and pillows, some kitchen electrics and random crap. That is an accomplishment to me. We picked out some glasses, but I didn't actually like them. I later read their terrible reviews on Crate and Barrel's site, so I deleted them. I guess glassware is TBA haha.

As for now, here are some of the things we enjoyed. Josiah went crazy on coffee and wine accessories and consequently they make up half of our registry.

Direct quote: "I could spend all day here [in C&B]. I want everything."

Anyway, here are a couple things I am particularly stoked about. Some thoughts: 1. It would be nice to get rid of my elementary school TV stand. 2. Martha Stewart's collection is too cute to handle. I had to refrain from scanning every blue and red cooking accessory on the planet. 3. Someone please buy me the Sonicare. I want it. In my mouth.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The great compromise of 2009

Oh boy, I've been absent. Good thing is, Josiah and I have spent the past two days at the mall, registering. Finally! I've only been waiting for this for what seems like a century ... waiting and dreading ha.

To be honest, the process went way, way better than I could have expected. Josiah and I had a little mishap earlier in the week that made me really not look forward to finding stuff we both like. Turns out Jo hated every dish set I liked. And he wanted white. And then I cried. (Not really.)

But, after talking to Amanda (aka best maid of honor/friend/woman/educator in the world), I realized that I could get over my hatred for white. So I did. At least, I did when I found these:

It's white, but it's a combo of glossy/matte and the ribbing is really fantastic. Plus, I think the shapes of the pieces really makes them stand out. I'm glad that we found something we both love.

Tomorrow I'll post some of my favorite registry items ...

Friday, December 18, 2009


I used to be really excited about thinking of cool things for the wedding. I think I'm out of ideas. I don't like looking at wedding blogs anymore because it's kind of depressing. I don't know how these people have the time, money, imagination, etc. to come up with such beautiful weddings.

Tomorrow I go pick up my wedding dress. Hopefully that will spark my excitement about the wedding again. At this point I just want it to pass.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

People aren't always rude.

No matter how stressed and worried and pissed and upset I can be, I can really appreciate a day like today. I may have exclaimed, "I HATE EVERYONE. PEOPLE ARE RUDE!!!" about 58 times on my drive home to my mom, but things can get better. I just have to let them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A field in Buckeye

I wish I could be excited for the wedding, but times like these just stress me out. I'm not sure how I'm going to get it together in less than four months. I wish the wedding was actually about Josiah and I getting married. It's sad that people tend to lose sight of what our wedding is about. Myself included.

I want to be excited. I want to not worry. I want to not worry about everyone else. This wedding is about Josiah and I. Call me selfish, but that's what it comes down to.

I'm tired of worrying about other people. About money. About appearances. About feelings. You can only spend so much time on other people and things before you start suffering yourself. I've had to remind myself of this too many times.

Times like these also make me really thankful. Thankful for Josiah, who will be an amazing husband. Thankful for my mom who puts up with my crap every minute of every day. Thankful for Amanda who is a world away but is still there for me no matter what. Thankful for Sara who is the best cousin and friend I could ever ask for. Thankful for Bethany who keeps me sane and grounded despite my impractical reasoning. And thankful, maybe most of all, for Noah who loves me no matter what, and always will.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Five years

Well, five years ago today, Josiah told me he loved me. It's been a great five years and I couldn't be more excited for the future.

For your entertainment, here are some glorious pictures of Josiah and I over the years.
Early spring 2005?

Summer 2005

Spring 2006

December 2007

May 2008

October 2008

May 2009

June 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Never thought I would get tired of cake

So, a couple weeks ago we decided to go with Slice Cake Designs for our wedding cake. Meeting Chris was a huge relief -- she was so personable and ready to take on anything. Plus, the cakes were delightful.

We're trying to decide between key lime with a cream cheese frosting filling or an orange essence cake with strawberry mousse and sliced strawberries. Both were so tasty and very spring brunch appropriate. I didn't want anything heavy and rich. The citrus flavors were perfect and I am super excited.

We are doing a modified version of this cake, which I blogged about in one of my first entries here.

Cake surgery:
  1. Chopping that top layer in half.
  2. Injecting some white into the stripes to brighten it up.
  3. Using a more springy green, as opposed to these wintry shades.
  4. No flowers.

My mom and I had some pretty god awful experiences at the first few cake places we went to. Fleur de Lis was afraid to use fondant. Classic Cakes was a tad full of itself and quoted us $10/slice. Tammie Coe was good but the flavors were just kind of boring.

Chris from Slice came to my house, brought us two cakes (while other places charged us for tasting), was fabulous to work with and open to my ideas. Plus, she was excited! She was definitely the baker version of our florist, Jeanne from White Poppy. I'm really excited to work with them both.

And the real reason I opened up the blog browser (believe it or not, I had intended to write a super quick entry)...

Chris mentioned that she can do favors too -- cookies, cupcakes, truffles, candies, whatever. My mom and I loved the idea. In fact, my mom came up with the idea of a bike-shaped cookie glazed with a fun color on top. I love it! We are planning on doing some sort of cute and easy packaging. I just came across this post at Once Wed. I love the little tags with the favors. Such a great idea. I think I may steal it.

Photograph by Kyle Hale

Grazie mille

In the search for cute stationery, I came across a multitude of bike cards! I’d love to incorporate bikes into the wedding’s thank you cards.

The bridal shower is coming up and I am super excited. Amanda is an entertaining genius, so I know her and my mom are going to throw a good one. With the shower come presents, and with presents come thank you cards.

I really like these. I was thinking we could change the color and add a simple “Thanks!” centered at the top. Amanda had mentioned that she was looking for some bike-themed invitations, so these would tie in well. I think they’d be cute regardless though.

Spokes from Volta Press on Etsy

Are you supposed to use the same thank you cards for the bridal shower and the wedding? Who knows! Target would be a cheaper choice for 100 wedding thank yous … but not nearly as cute!

Looks like I have more Etsy searching to do.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Please sir, may I have some more?

So, this weekend my family and I hit the mall. My parents were on a mission to buy a new kitchen table from Crate and Barrel. I took the opportunity to scope out some dishes (for the second weekend in a row). Guess what ... I felt:
  1. overwhelmed
  2. frustrated
  3. angry
  4. underwhelmed
  5. confused
  6. annoyed
  7. other bad words
I didn't see much I liked. There are two sets I love from Crate and Barrel, but one is only at the outlet. Of course, that's the one Josiah and I really like (the Paolo set below). So basically, it won't be there by the time we get married. Bummer.

It seems like there are tons of dishes but a lot of them are either boring or ugly. I don't want plain white dishes. I also don't want something with a frilly edge. Who knew it would be so hard to find something simple and ... hip? I don't know.

So, where do I look for dishes? Mom says C&B and department stores. I forgot that department stores have stuff like that. So, we headed to Macy's and Dillard's to check stuff out. For the most part, I was underwhelmed. But I found out Calvin Klein makes dishes that have our aesthetic down to a T.

Also, thank God for online reviews. According to the whole two reviews, the Vera Wang dishes chip a lot and look worn quickly. Good to know.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A glimpse into married life

I have been blessed to have some pretty amazing ladies in my life. It's been wonderful to hear the advice from women who have been recently married (Erica, Beki, Sara, etc.). It makes me feel like I'm not actually crazy.

One woman in particular that I am really thankful for is Sara, Josiah's cousin. Her husband and Josiah are BFFs, and I consider Sara one of my closest friends. I'm incredibly thankful to be joining the Kilduff family -- I love them all so much.

Sara came down to visit this weekend and I couldn't have been more excited. I absolutely love hanging out with her, and I feel like we are always on the same page. We all have those friends who just ... understand. Sara is one of them and I love her for it (and other things).

In any case, Sara and I had a lot of good wedding conversation this weekend. She's super supportive and has always given me great advice. She's especially wonderful at making me feel like what I'm going through is totally normal. I really appreciate that.

Today we hit the mall with my mom and Sara gave me tons of good registry tips that I wouldn't have thought of. Thanks lady! I think I have a better grasp on what to expect when I register in the next couple of weeks.

There was also a lot of baby talk ... not for me, though! Haha. Sara is pregnant and due the same week that we get married! It's been fun because we are both counting down the months until the big days. I've been super excited about the wedding, of course, but knowing that Sara and Jared's baby boy will be born that same week makes the countdown even more special. Especially because ... Josiah and I are going to be the godparents! I am just too excited. I love their family and their little boy is going to be a badass. Josiah and I are really bummed that they will be moving to the Bay Area at the start of the new year, but we can't wait to visit.

Sara, Jared, Josiah and I drinking non-alcoholic beverages (not lying).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Not really about weddings

OK, so you all know my love for crepes. I told this weird guy I know, Eric, that our wedding cake was s tack of 500 crepes with 499 different fillings. I decided this was actually a good idea and googled "crepe cake."

Here's what I found.

Eric and I decided to tackle this recipe. Which means, I'll tackle it and Eric will put it in his mouth. That's how it usually goes.

Here are some past (crappy pictures) from my baking adventures. Last night I stayed up until 1 a.m. baking this Pear Pie with Streusel Topping and Caramel Sauce for my office's Thanksgiving potluck. In the process Noah stole a stick of butter and I burned myself. This is typical of my baking adventures.

A couple weeks ago, I had some friends over for a dinner party. I made Seafood Arrabbiata Pasta for dinner, and Chocolate Stout Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting for dessert. They all drank chocolate stout with ice cream too! I really love cooking and entertaining. I wish I could bake all day!

Don't mind the crappy cell phone pictures. I just bought a new charger and battery for my real camera, so I'm going to try to make more use of that instead of my terrible iPhone.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am the ultimate delegator.

OK, so Josiah is a busy person. I am a busy person too ... but not as busy, so I tend to get more done than Josiah. Anyway, he is a high school English teacher and is going to graduate school at ASU for his Master's in English literature. Consequently, his contributions to wedding planning have been less than amazing, but it hasn't been his fault (mostly).

But. Being a teacher and a student, he is one of those lucky assholes who gets a winter break. What kind of 24-year-old still gets winter break? So jealous.

Any time I have asked him to do anything ("Let's go register!" "Can you try on suits?" "When are you going to create a wedding playlist?"), he pushes it off until winter break.

Now that winter break is quickly approaching, I am hereby creating Josiah's Winter Break Wedding To-Do List.
  1. Search the Internet for men's wedding fashion.
  2. Go to Banana Republic and J. Crew to try on suiting.
  3. Develop plan for groomsmen's outfits.
  4. Come with me to Target and Crate and Barrel to register for gifts.
  5. Gather songs and create a preliminary playlist for the wedding.
  6. Find someone to man the iPod/laptop music situation.
  7. Order wedding rings.
  8. Find birth certificate and apply for passport.
  9. Make a decision on the honeymoon location so we can book a flight.
Hopefully we can cross at least half of those things off the last by January 2.


The rehearsal dinner has been one of the easiest decisions so far with the wedding. A couple months ago Josiah and I brainstormed where we'd like to go. We came up with Delux, La Grande Orange and Fez. We ended up deciding Delux was too small and wouldn't be able to fit 25 or 30 people in there. I'm not sure whatever happened to the LGO idea, but for whatever reason that fell to the background. Eventually, we decided to go with Fez, one of our favorite restaurants. I won't lie -- I am easily swayed by its cinnamon-sugar sweet potato fries. They are too good for words. Fez has a fun atmosphere, and is nice without being snooty. All of their dishes use an eclectic mix of ingredients that is always perfectly matched. I wish I could go there more often to try the other menu items but, in all honesty, I have ordered the Fez burger probably 5+ times. It's amazing. So, our rehearsal dinner is booked for Thursday, April 8. I can't believe the wedding is only four-and-half months away. I seriously have had to recount that like six times.

Four-and-a-half months?!?!?

Anyway, check out some of the other menu items at Fez:

fez burger
1/2-pound grilled angus burger with spicy honey molases bbq, feta, lemon garlic aioli, crispy onions and cilantro on ciabatta

crisp pomegranate chicken
herb-crusted, pan-seared breasts with tangy pomegranate dressed organic spinach, roasted peppers, artichokes, chickpeas, dried apricots and toasted croutons

strawberry/blueberry cashew salad
field greens with champagne honey vinaigrette, minced red onion, cashes, strawberries, dried blueberries and manchego cheese

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Penguin swimming trunks

So, I've always been a vivid dreamer. When I get stressed, it tends to follow me into my sleep in the form of nightmares. I've had my fair share of bad wedding dreams already, so I figured I'd catalog them here ... mostly because they are hilarious.

Last night's:

I am surrounded by a dozen other brides, and we are all wearing green wedding dresses. All in the shade of green that I like. We seem to be in a salon attached to a wedding venue. I am sitting in a chair getting my hair done ... except the stylist is a retard. My hair is wet, but she is trying desperately to use a curling iron. As my hair sizzles, she proceeds to tell me that my hair holds the worst curl she's ever seen. I am frantic and take to doing my own hair after the dumbass stylist refuses to blow dry it.

The rest of the dream is a blur, but I remember all of the green-dressed brides are ALL getting married at the venue. One right after another. I wonder why I chose such a popular, in-and-out kind of place. Finally, it's my "turn" to get married, and I am helicoptered out of the salon over what seems to be a delta (Amanda - remember the area where we went to the beach with Eric and Jo? Where we had to walk really far from the car? It looked exactly like that ... when he had to go under the overpass and the ocean spilled into the smaller rivers through the coast. So random.) The helicopter was low enough that I could pick out my guests, who were all making this terrible trek across the sand. I picked out the two Zacharys ... Markey and Horne, and called out to them. Zac Markey was wearing penguin swim trunks, a bucket hat and flip flops.

And then I woke up? What an odd dream.

I have been freaking out about finding a salon to work with. I haven't gone to a real hair stylist ever, basically. For the past five years I've just been going to Carsten, Tempe's hair school. I need to find one I can trust, but I don't know where to start.

Apparently I have some issues with being the "same" as everyone else. A dozen green wedding dresses? Wedding factory? Jeez.

Real updates to come about being thankful for life, holiday to-do lists, bakeries!, rehearsal dinner, fitness, etc. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I want this coconut in my mouth.

I honestly just want this to be my wedding cake:

Six-Layer Coconut Cake with Passion Fruit Filling

I've wanted to make this for more than a year now, but haven't found a reason to tackle this six-layer monster of deliciousness. Amanda suggested we make it for my bridal shower ... best idea ever!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cake redesign

So, wedding cakes have turned out to be a disaster. I still have a ton of appointments left, but I'm already getting the feeling that my original ideas are outrageous. The woman today quotes us ... are you ready ...


I nearly crapped my pants. Needless to say, if this keeps up, I'm going to Plan B.

Remember these?

I randomly got the idea to line the tiers with candy sticks. I have yet to find a picture of it, but basically, the candy sticks would be making vertical stripes around the base of every tier. Does that make sense?

  1. Candy sticks seem to be about 5.5 inches tall. Would the cakes have to be the same height, or would it be good to have some white space above them?
  2. Is this going to look cheap? I don't just want to slap some candy on a cake and call it a day.
  3. Another thought I had was to break them in half, or maybe use two-thirds and line them up, so it'd be a jagged edge of varying heights. Who knows.
  4. What I really like is that the candy would make the cake pop. They are bright, textured, glossy and kind of translucent, so I think it would really add some depth to an otherwise white cake.
  5. What about rock candy? Those come in bright colors too...
Edit: Here's a really terrible, quick drawing I did to try and illustrate the idea. I'm thinking of doing mostly green and white with the occasional red and green added. Also, I drew the jagged edges because I have a feeling no one knew what I was talking about haha.

Edit 2: I drew the straight-edged cake too. I don't know if the baker could make it where the candy sticks come all the way up to the top, so I'm assuming there'd be some white space above it.

I get these stupid ideas in my head ... and I never know if they're actually cool or if I'm just humoring myself.


From Russell:

"I thought you should know that my office is now suspicious of me once it was noticed that I read a wedding blog during the day."

I love cute pens

For some reason, I am really excited to address the invitations. I think I am going to start this week. I have always loved handwriting things (mostly because I think I have great handwriting, haha), so this should be really enjoyable.

My mission is to find the perfect pen to use. I am very particular about pens, as some may know. It's funny because my sister Annelise always makes fun of me for getting excited about certain writing utensils. But I can't help it! Some pens just write so well ...

Another question: do I have to use black ink? So boring! But our invites are a light reddish-orange salmon color, so I don't know what else would go. Nothing really.

This week I have three bakery appointments. I had one last week, and another tonight. The first one was really disappointing, so hopefully these three turn out a bit better. That seems to be the way it's gone though ... with the dresses and florists at least. We'll see. I'll post a roundup at the end of the week with my findings.

My next post will be a serious take on glasses. As in seeing eye glasses. I know you're going to be anxiously awaiting until then...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Spoke card guest book

So, yesterday I came across this really cute postcard idea yesterday at The Knot’s blog.

They suggested using vintage postcards for the guest book. I thought, “Damn, I need a cool idea for a guest book.” I voiced my concerns to Amanda and, like a good Maid of Honor, she pulled through: spoke cards.

In the fixed gear culture, many people have spoke cards in their rear wheel. You receive them at every alleycat, basically representing your attendance. Some people have them for other random reasons too like if you’re in a bike club. Some people proudly display their cards in their spokes, some choose to hang them up on their refrigerator. Either way, spoke cards are all over the place.

I had wanted to use spoke cards in our engagement photo shoot, spelling out our wedding date in our back wheels. I definitely still want to do that. Plus, we could tie it into the wedding too.

Basically, I’m thinking that we need to have some spoke cards printed up, maybe tying in our name “logo” from our invites. If we printed that lightly along the side, everyone could take one and write a memento on it. After the wedding I could get them all laminated. Then, we could collect them all and frame or install them somehow … or we could put them in a pair of wheels and hang them in our house! I think it’s super cute.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sizing up the reception room

I need to scope out the inside of the Tempe Center for the Arts. I'm coming up with ideas, but not sure how to implement them in our space. Here's what I know about the reception area:
  1. Approximately three walls are glass.
  2. It has very tall ceilings.
  3. It overlooks the negative edge pool/Tempe Town Lake.
As you can see, I don't know very much. Here's an architect's rendition of the room, found on AIArchitect.

I've been scouring Flickr for more TCA wedding pictures, and I'm happy to have found another set by David Maddox. Additional wedding pictures at TCA can be found here.

The ceremony area.

Inside the reception.

I mentioned a long time ago that I was originally very anti the indoors. This reception room is different though. I think the windows really give it an amazing feel. Plus, I think it'll go well with this idea I came up with (aka stole) yesterday while looking at CB2 for my registry.

I've been looking at these hanging bud vases/candleholders for probably a year now. For whatever reason, I've refrained from buying 30 of them and suspending them from every surface possible.

BUT. I was reading comments on one of the vases, and a gal said that she collected a bunch and hung them at her reception. This would be absolutely perfect for TCA. Here are some pictures from CB2, showing you you can mix/match the vases.

I could either hang these with fishing wire or with colored ribbon or yarn. Either way it would be super cute.

The only problem is I'm not quite sure where to hang them from. That's why I need to scout out the room and see how I can dress it up. Maybe I can do that this weekend.