Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I didn't want to be boring and just put "Happy Friday!" as my subject since I'm feeling more than just "happy" about it being Friday. This week has been long and a tad blah but this weekend is going to be just the opposite.

This post isn't really wedding related and thought I would take a break for today on the planning side.

This weekend is going to be awesome for numerous reasons: A) the weather is suppose to be in the 80's and gorgeous and B) my mother is flying up from Florida tomorrow for 3 weeks to help my sister out when the baby arrives (The sound of a record scratching). Wait, what? Yes. My sister is about to give birth any day now and I can't be more excited!!!!!

This will be her first child and I couldn't be more excited since it's a complete surprise as far as the sex of the baby AND the name! Plus I'll actually be able to spend time with my future niece or nephew since she lives only an hour away. I have two beautiful nieces already from my older sister but they live in Illinois and I only get to see their smiling faces MAYBE twice a year. =(

So this weekend we are planning on relaxing at the summer home (I will FINALLY take pictures of our home reception site so you guys can check it out yourselves), cooking some delicious burgers and enjoying the weather. Oh and being on call 24/7 in case the baby comes!

What is everyone else doing this weekend?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Stirring up the pot....

We all have realized by now that wedding planning is not always filled with blissful moments 100% of the time. My FI and I have had a few bumps in the road and actually now that I think about it, we've been lucky enough to only have minor ones. Well, ok, one major bump. His father.

My FI and I have had two totally different childhoods growing up. I come from a very close knit family and my parents have been married for almost 42 years. His father left when he was 6 years old and didn't come back into his life until he was about 21 or 22 years old. His mother had to work 3 jobs to support him and his brother and sister so he had to grow up quickly and take care of things around the house while she worked. His father never visited and had to be taken to court numerous times for child support. It wasn't a happy situation.

He reunited with his father who had remarried and had 2 more sons. One named after him since his father never thought he would see my his son again. Anyways, it still hasn't been a happy ending and his father hasn't changed much. He never returns phone calls and they didn't even respond to our engagement party. I had to e-mail his step-mom for a response. Their excuse: they had to go to his bosses surprise party instead. I was finally hurt instead of just my FI. I couldn't justify why it was OK for his own father to not come to his OWN son's party. The final straw for me was when they asked for money from us that my FI owed them from 2002. He offered to pay them back and they refused his money at the time and said he didn't have to pay them. I was just so upset that they would ask us for the money NOW in the middle of planning a wedding. Six years later you now want the money?!

It just hasn't been a good situation and we made a tough decision to not invite them to our wedding. Actually it wasn't tough on my end since I am not really emotionally attached to his father since I rarely see him. I left it up to my FI and he wanted nothing to do with him and realized he was better off without him in his life.

Side note: his mother remarried in the mid-90's to an amazing guy who has been there for John and I can see where he gets his sense of humor from and I'm thankful he was part of his life.

I'm sure we are going to get mixed emotions about the fact that we didn't send an invitation to his father but we sent them to other family members on his side. And that's fine. We've continued to do the 'right thing' for so many years and we get nothing in return and many family members are aware of that and are supportive.

It does upset me that his own father won't be at his wedding but at the same time he doesn't deserve to.

Anyone else having drama situations with family or future in-laws?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Sticker Shock!

So the invitations were done and ready to labeled and stamped. I was extremely excited! I went to the post office with one invitation so they could weigh it and tell me which stamps to buy. Honestly, I almost just bought the wedding themed .60 stamps since I figured that's what it would be anyways but I'm glad I didn't.

All excited I walked up to the counter and mentioned I need 120 stamps for my wedding invitations and handed him the invite. He smiled and then explained that the envelope is larger and would cost more. I smiled like I was expecting that answer until he said, "it will cost $1.05 each to mail."


I started to do the math and my excitement disappeared. $126 it would cost me to mail all my invitations out. Bummer.

I mean its not a total surprise since I knew they would cost more since I do have a lot crammed into the envelope but I wasn't expecting it to be over a dollar!

So instead of lovely wedding themed stamps I was stuck with these:


Not a fan of the Zeus like stamp but the American Toleware one is cute.
So for those of you out there that haven't bought invitations yet and are considering pocketfold or irregular looking envelopes be aware!! Anyone else experience the sticker shock of stamps with their invitations??

Giddy on Up...Giddy on Out!

So I completed the last of DIY insert cards and now it was FINALLY time to stop procrastinating and put the invites together to send out since our RSVP date was only 45 days away! I know. Way to go slow poke!

So this past weekend I finally had nothing to do and decided to take the day to get everything together so that I could send out this week. First I had to start off the right way with a nice big cup of Joe.
I thought I'd share with you my cool cup of coffee that is appropriate for the occasion. I'm not really a 'Top Banana' since its taken me so long to sit down and complete the task but it's my favorite mug.

My entire invitation suite completed and ready to Go! Before I took this picture I had to put the clear labels Bed Bath & Beyond kindly printed for us on the registry card they gave us. That took me about 30 minutes to put on 120 cards. THEN I realized as I was gathering all that I needed that I didn't go the Post Office to get stamps for the RSVP envelopes. UGH! So I made a trip to the nearest Post Office and picked them up and returned home.

I started to rush because I was getting impatient and look where that got me...crooked stamps! Bummer.

Well 120 stamps later I was ready to assemble the set.
Or so I thought until my cat Josie decided to sniff around and make it be known she wasn't happy with me taking up most of the living room space (note: I live in small basement apartment and had 3 ft x 3 ft space to work with).

My entire invitation suite: Invitation, Reply Card, RSVP envelope, Registry card, Accommodation card, and Direction card. Wow! Talk about stuffed! I used glue dots (not pictured sorry!) to attached the invite onto the pocketfold so that people could easily take it off if they wanted to put up on the refrigerator.
My other cat, Ziggy, thought this was boring and decided to pass out on our logo stickers. How convenient!
To be honest I couldn't be happier with the way the logo sticker looks with the pocketfold. I was nervous when I ordered them but it made the invitation extra special and personal to me.
I can't help but smile when I saw the box filling up with completed invitations. That feeling of accomplishment came over me. Although it did take me over 5 hours get everything ready and complete 66 invitations. I continued on Sunday to put together the remaining amount.
Wasn't it a sigh of relief when you finished your invitations? How long did it take you?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Love at first soles - Delicate Soles Giveaway

Before I get to the main reason for this blog entry I wanted to take a moment to thank those who have commented and offered opinions in the past on my blog. Its been so helpful and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there with the same wedding related issues. Thank you again!!

I've been lucky enough to follow one of my favorite blogs by A Chocolate Lover's Confession and recently she posted about a fantastic product that will make our feet very happy. Delicate Soles created a rollable flat shoe that is tiny enough to be mistaken for lipstick but comfortable after a long day. This is fantastic since I tend to bring big bulky bags with me each day into the city in order to fit my heels and other every day necessities. Plus I plan on wearing flats on my wedding day and have yet to find a pair!

She is giving away two pairs to two lucky followers so if you haven't already checked it out do so by clicking here.

Good Luck!

Do I Really Have To??

If there was one part of wedding planning that I procrastinated on it would be putting our invitations together. I received the package at the end of March and they lived in my car for 3 weeks. I just was not looking forward to putting them together.

I finally got my butt in gear this past weekend but first I had to make my own "Accommodation" and "Direction" insert cards since they didn't come with the invitation set. So I went online to one of my favorite paper companies Paper and More and ordered 100 sheets of card stock 80# and it was delivered within 48 hours of my purchase. I absolutely LOVE this company. If you remember I used them for my DIY centerpieces with vellum paper and loved how fast I received my order.

At work we have a template for our shipping labels and it fits 4 per sheet. I thought the size was perfect so I decided to play around in Word and I added a black border which would match our invitation set and voila!

I then decided to see if I could add the design logo to the bottom of the card so that it will look just like the set. Bingo! It wasn't AS clear but it worked just fine and I was happy with the results. Don't ask me why I didn't put it on the direction card because I don't have an answer for you. For some reason I totally forgot and already printed the cards. Oh well not a big deal.

Once I proofed both cards I printed them and cut them at work using the paper cutter and I was on to the next task.....actually putting everything together.

Did you have to add onto your invitation set? If so, were dreading the process as well?

Monday, April 19, 2010

You're going to trash what??? Part 2

As I previously mentioned, we will be have a TTD session a couple days after our wedding and I wasn't sure if I wanted to use my wedding dress or purchase a cheaper dress to use for the photo shoot. I've been going back and forth on the idea and to be honest I'm still on the fence about what to do.

I've scoured the internet for the perfect TTD: light material with some beading. I fell in love with a dress a previous bride wore for her TTD by our photographers uncle. I sent her a message on Facebook to see where she got it from and she finally got back to me but unfortunately she purchased the dress last year on sale from Nordstroms. I stalked their website but to no avail.

Photo by PhotoPhil

I just love the beading around the top and the dress looks light and flowing. This photographer rocks and I just can't wait for our TTD.

So I marched on and searched high and low through the Internet for discounted wedding gowns on both, craigslist, and EBay. I mean I literally haunted those sites for weeks and I just couldn't find anything in my price range nor the style.

Until yesterday when I stumbled upon a seller on EBay who sold sample dresses for cheap. Extremely detailed about the dress and it was exactly what I was looking for and the price was just unbeatable. The starting bid: 99 cents. What? Yes. Unbelievable. The sale was ending in 3 hours so I decided to watch it for a bit. I got home and realized I never checked the dress to see if was sold or not and rushed to turn on my computer. I still had 40 minutes to go and it was up to $52. So I put in my bid and instantly got outbid.

I kept asking myself "What are you thinking?! You sure you want to do this? What if you win?"

It came down the last couple of minutes and bets started going up. I got nervous. Should I bet? Should I walk away? Finally it came down to 30 seconds and I put my maximum bid of $105 in and shut my eyes like the computer was about to blow up! Then I refreshed the page and in big bold green font it said "Winner!"

Oh. My. Gosh.

I didn't know if I should be excited or nervous. It all happened so fast. So I paid the seller and continued to stare at the dress.

I am now the owner of James Clifford gown. I've never even heard of the designer but the more I stared at the dress the more I started to get excited for the arrival. I won't keep you in suspense anymore so here are the pictures provided:

I absolutely fell in love with the beading and the rouching of the chiffon.

Here is a close up of the beading. I think it looks a tad dirty which is fine because I will get this dry cleaned of course.

Isn't the back stunning??

Since this was a sample dress the seller warned me that there are snags/runs all over the dress that can be easily fixed by my lovely mother. I'm not too concerned about that because I'm not wearing this on my wedding day anyways and it will be going through hell in the jungle regardless.
I bought this on impulse and it's still a shock that I won but I can't wait for this arrival hopefully next week. I told my FI and he was even excited about it which made me feel better.

Stay tuned for picture of me in the dress....hopefully it fits!

Have you bought something for your wedding on impulse? If so, what was it? Were you happy with your choice or regret it?

*all photos are from Ebay

Friday, April 16, 2010

The new cupcake


Is your mouth watering yet? This picture makes me crave Macarons.

For many years we've all been on a cupcake craze. We've associated cupcakes as cute, happiness-inducing desserts for too long and it's time to latch on to a new confection: the French macaron (not to be confused with macaroons, the dense cookies made of shredded coconut and condensed milk). These pretty, colorful, bite-size treats were first introduced to me this past Christmas and I realized that I've been missing out for many years!

I found an article today that included the recipe from Adour, a french restaurant located at the St. Regis New York. I instantly thought I attempt to recreate them this weekend but I reviewed the recipe and it scares me! I give so much credit to Miss Turtle on Weddingbee for not giving up and perfecting this. I haven't given up on the idea but this recipe would go smoother if I had my Kitchen Aid mixer right now.

I thought I would share the recipe with you:

Raspberry macarons by Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis New York

18 ounces almond flour (500 G)
(always try to buy the finest almond flour 99 or 100 percent)

1.3 pounds of confectioners sugar (600 G)

7 ounces of egg whites (180 G)

7.5 ounces of egg whites (200 G)

1.2 pounds of granulated sugar (500 G)

5 ounces of water (125 G)

Making the batter:

Mix together the almond flour with sugar and 7 ounces of egg whites in a mixer such as a KitchenAid until there are no lumps.

At the same time, beat the remaining egg whites in another bowl on medium speed until a stiff peak forms.

Over a low flame cook the sugar and water at 118 C.
(Make sure you use a baking thermometer — avoid a digital one as they are too sensitive).

Pour the hot sugar syrup in a thin stream into the beaten egg whites. Make sure to pour the syrup in at the edge of the bowl.

Once the cooked egg whites stop producing vapor, fold them into the almond mixture.

Technique is important:

To do this grab the bowl with one had and hold a pastry scraper in the other. Using the scraper blend the mixture from the center of the bowl smearing it up on the side of the bowl all while turning the bowl with the other hand so you mix all the way around. Do this until the mixture is blended to a consistency similar to an almond paste or marzipan.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your scraper put three scoops of batter into a pastry bag. With the tip of your bag pointing straight down, (in Adour, they use size 11 or 12 tips ) pipe the batter into small portions of equal size onto the sheet. The technique Chef Micheli uses is he pushes an inch size amount of batter down, stops for a second and then makes a swirl.

Let the macarons dry for 12 minutes. Bake them for 10 minutes at 320 F. Let them cool down, half an hour or 45 minute before creating your sandwich.

Raspberry Filling Ingredients:

20 ounces raspberry puree (Capfruits)

3.5 gluclose sugar

4 ounces of granulated sugar

.5 ounces pectin

Bring the puree and the glucose syrup to a boil. Add the mixture of pectin and sugar. Boil for two minutes. Chill until needed.

recipe can be found at


Once your macarons and the filling are cool. Pair up your macarons with others of the same size. Press your thumb slightly in the center of each to create an indent. Add the filling. Make sandwich.

I really would LOVE to make a bunch of these and put them in decorative plastic bags for our guests at the home reception. Wouldn't that be cute? That would also be quite stressful before though.

Think you could tackle the recipe?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I feel naked....

Today was the first day that I left home without my e-ring!! The horror! I was sick yesterday so my head is still a little fuzzy and I walked out of my house without it on. I take it off when I shower and I must have been running around and forgot. HOW COULD I FORGET??! It wasn't until I was already driving about 3 minutes that I could feel how naked my finger felt. It was already too late to turn around and that feeling hit the bottom of my stomach. ::sigh:: I would have to go about my day without it.

I called the FI to tell him since he was still at home and I didn't want to him to think I didn't care. Of course he made fun of me and called me a "bad fiance" but said it happens. I've stared at my ring finger all day and see the faint mark from the ring. I can't wait to get home and put it back on!

Anybody else feel naked without it on?? Feel like your lost? Kind of like when you leave your cell phone at home by accident.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mini-Bridezilla Moment

Cute Picture

For the most part my entries have been pretty up beat. I haven't really had a moment where I want to stomp my feet and have a temper tantrum if I don't get my way. And although I'm not having a temper tantrum yet, I'm still a little peeved about a certain situation that arised over the weekend.

The whole point of having a destination wedding was to avoid the normal drama that planning a traditional wedding can bring (i.e. you can't sit this uncle next to this person because they've had bad blood over a garden gnome 20 years ago). I expected to have some drama which is fine but I got a slap in the face recently (not literally). I understand that many people will not be able to attend our wedding since it can cost money and time that some people don't have. But I received an e-mail from a family member asking for resort recommendations for the Dominican Republic.

Umm...I'm getting married there HELLO! Of course I send back and nice reply, "Oh I definitely recommend the resort we are getting married at since it's rated #1 on When are you thinking of going?" This way to give her a clue in case she forgot the fact that we were getting married there.

The response: "Oh well we were thinking of going the end of August beginning of September."


My response: "Oh well why don't you come down two weeks later since the whole family will be down for the wedding. It would be fantastic to see you!" Again, nice and pleasant.

The response: "We wish but not possible. Your uncle is renting his house in Courtlandt. Know of anybody who is interested?"

I have yet to respond but I'm annoyed. I know my family on my fathers side has been divided over the last year and I'm just not believing the reason that was given. I want to make a big deal out of it yet at the same time maybe it's best I don't since I'd rather not deal with family drama during our wedding. It's not just a couple hours to put your feelings aside, it's a couple days on an isolated resort.
What kind of stupid drama have you encountered since being engaged? How did you cope with it?

Tread lightly..but why??


Yikes! Don't mess this with lady!

When I first reconnected with my FI in 2006 I was thrown to the wolves to be honest. I met both his mother and father all in one weekend. We went to a BBQ party one night at his father's and it was blast! The next day we went to a family reunion with his mother's side. It wasn't as fun as the night before and I wondered what I was getting myself into.

I realize now that his mother was not fond of his past girlfriends so it took some time to warm up to me and for her to see that I was the best thing for her son. And that's totally understandable. I'm extremely happy with the relationship I have with my FMIL and I don't have to worry about how I act around her. Although cooking around the woman is another story.

His family comes from Italy and so his mother was brought up cooking from scratch. The food is amazing and it works out perfectly since I love food. She's included me in the cooking process and shown me how she makes her famous lasagna over the past year which truly shows how much she cares for me. Recently I've been given cooking responsibilities when it comes to family parties. And I'm happy to be included but the last two times I've had to cook in the woman's kitchen.

Extremely intimidating!!! First off, she has a beautiful brand new kitchen that they renovated two years ago. Secondly, she is a clean freak. My FI gets his OCD cleaning from her. The last two times I cooked in her kitchen I felt like I had to tread lightly in her kitchen and be as clean and neat as possible. For those that don't know me I am a klutz. I spill things on myself all the time and make a mess. I'm entertainment to my FI when I'm in the kitchen.

The first time she taught me how to make potato salad. So we boiled the potatoes and let them cool off. Then she showed me how to peal the potatoes with a knife. I was so afraid to hurt the potato or get a hole in it that I took forever. Eventually she grabbed the potato and told me not to be afraid to get aggressive. So I did and voila! The skin came off so much faster.


This past weekend we spent Easter at his mothers house as well and I had the responsibility of making deviled eggs. His grandmother gave me a deviled egg holder one year for Christmas and for some reason they designated me "Deviled Egg Lady." So I boiled the eggs on Saturday and brought them up to his mothers to finish the next morning since we were really busy running around Saturday.

I woke up yesterday feeling anxious. I knew I had to finish making deviled eggs and I had to make them in her kitchen. As I peeled the eggs, scooped out the yolk, and added the ingredients I could feel her looking over every so often. Or so I think! I was super paranoid of making a mess or screwing up. I have no clue why!!! She's such an awesome woman but I'm just intimidated to cook in her kitchen and make a mess! She doesn't make me feel bad or give me dirty looks either. So this whole thing is all in my head.

Have you ever felt this way about your FMIL?? I know I'm being silly but anyone else encounter the same situation?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Top 10 Wacky Weddings

We all have an idea of what we want OUR wedding day to be like. Some like traditional church wedding. Or a beach wedding. Some even love to be married by Elvis in Vegas! Check out these Top 10 Wacky Weddings:


If I had to choose out of those top 10 choices I would go with the rollercoaster wedding.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Cleaning

The weather is absolutely gorgeous out and I'm so excited that spring has finally arrived. It's now April and that means opening the windows and doing some spring cleaning! I try to go through all my clothes once a year and throw out the ones I don't wear anymore although its been hard the last two years because I keep saying I'm going to lose weight and fit back into those old jeans from 2005! So I finally am giving up that motto and facing reality. LOL

When I first moved back to NY my mother gave me a bunch of blazers (does anybody use that word anymore??) that she used to wear for work but now that she lives in FL she doesn't need them. I'm one of those people that won't say "no" to most freebies and I knew I probably would never wear what she gives me. And I was right....

These are the two piles of clothes I am throwing out. I went through my closet and my drawers. Notice the first pile with the blazers in those lovely bright colors. Yuck.

This is a plaid Ann Taylor jacket that's probably from 1997! Yikes.

A bright yellow blazer with the biggest shoulder pads EVER! What was she thinking??

I just had to try on the yellow jacket to show you just how big the shoulder pads are. Talk about looking HOT! Ha ha! Just kidding!

I feel refreshed and can check this off the list of to-do's that actually isn't wedding related. Two big garbage bags full of clothes off to the clothing box by our dry cleaners. I just love how much room I have now in my dresser drawers that I don't have to push down hard in order for it to clothes. C'mon you know what I'm talking about ladies?!

I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday weekend and enjoys this gorgeous weather!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Food for thought....

"Happy marriages begin when we marry the one we love, and they blossom when we love the one we married."

I wanted to pass along this quote I saw on my friends Facebook page. I'm not sure who said it but I like it and wanted to share :)

It's Thursday which is the new Friday!! At least this week. Looking forward to the long holiday weekend with our best man and his girlfriend along with my Future In-Laws.

I thought I would post some fun random pictures of our favorite couple.

I love his best man and his especially his awesome girlfriend. This was taken at our engagement party. Can you tell that his best man brings out the best in my FI?! LOL

The boys at a UCONN footall game last September.

I can't help but bust out laughing every time I see this picture! This is why he is our best man because of his random funny moments!

Mexico - October 2009 (we look like we got burnt to a crisp!)

I love this chick! Us in Mexico.

Doodle this!

My FI loves to doodle and most of his notebooks for school are filled with them. So it was no surprise that he doodled one day a symbol of our love. Or so he tells me. I came home one night and he showed me what he drew and how it reminded him of our love. I nodded and said, "that's nice babe" and didn't think anything of it. What? Might sound a little mean but its true.

When we decided on our invitations and purchased them he asked if we could incorporate the symbol somehow into the wedding. I knew that our pocketfolds would need a seal to close it and what better way than to custom make them and use his drawing?!!! It will be the first thing our guests see when they open the invitations. He was thrilled with the idea and said he would draw it out on plain white paper for me.

That was 3 weeks ago. And I'm still waiting. I remind him almost every day and I keep getting, "no problem love, I'll do it today!" Yea. Ok. The invitations have arrived and we can't wait much longer!

FINALLY he came through with his promise and drew it today. He met me at work and this is what I get: What the heck is that??? For some reason I thought it was more detailed. I looked at him and said, "this is it?" and he replied, "yeah not sure why you bugged me about it ha ha." ::ugh:: I am not very artsy or creative and I could have drawn this!! So I took to PowerPoint to try and recreate it since I wasn't satisfied with his drawing.

It was pretty easy to recreate but I wanted it to be thicker and more bold.

Once I made it a bit thicker it was time to upload it to Zazzle so we could customize our stickers. This website absolute rocks and it was super easy to navigate and create the circular stickers.

The problem though is that they look so plain! I tried adding circular dots, initials, our names, the date but it just didn't look right. I couldn't find the right font. Then I questioned if I even wanted circular stickers since our envelopes are square. Back to the drawing board and stalking google search for someone who can do this for me in square stickers instead. To no avail but a company called Online Labels has the 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 square labels I'm looking for. The only downside is that 150 labels would cost $52! That's just whack!

So I sucked it up and decided to stick with the ones I created on Zazzle for $37.

This is one of those details I'm going to have to compromise and let the FI take credit for. I may not be entirely sold on this idea BUT I'm OK with it and not dead set against it.

Have you had to compromise and let you FI take the reigns for a bit on the wedding planning? Were you thrilled with his ideas or did you just nod and smile?

*all photos are from personal camera