Monday, February 28, 2011

Craft Goodness: Round 1

This weekend was a fun experience. I kind of grabbed the bull by the horns and started doing trial runs of the things that I'd like make for the wedding. This was for 2 reasons: (1) I didn't have any plans for the weekend and needed something to keep me busy (2) I was beginning to wonder if I'd taken on too much.

The result? I'm totally ready for this. I don't think I took on too many things and I'm looking forward to a few other projects that I'm sure are going to pop up. All of the projects went really well. Some of them will go so much faster with more than one person helping.  I would show you some of the results, but I don't want all the details of the wedding to be anticlimactic. 

One thing that has become something that I thoroughly enjoy are these gems.


That, my friend, is a fabric flower. I made it and they have made me really love my crafty side. I love to make them and when one of the girls that I nanny for saw it she insisted on having them for her hair.

What a great idea!

She loves them and has now asked for numerous in different colors. That leads to my next venture.... I'm going to start custom making these and selling them on Etsy. I will have a variety of pins, hair accessories, headbands, etc...

The process has already begun and I plan to recruit some of my lovely lady friends to be walking promotions for me. How it will work? I will send them an accessory of their choice and they'll wear it and if anyone asks about it they'll promote it for me! :) Easy enough. If you're interested in wearing one or would like to gift one to someone please let me know!!

Okay... back to my craft corner.

PS -- I think I found our wedding photographer. I don't know. I don't want to jinx it, but I just have a fantastic feeling about this one... I'll keep you posted. :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Swag bag... I know you're jealous.

So I have a few things that I've been holding out on.

(1) I got my "finale" present from my parents... and it's awesome.

(2) I found dresses for my beautiful Bridesmaids.

(3) I don't know what three is but a list isn't a list if there is only 2. haha

1. My parents sent me all of the cool stuff that I need for some of my DIY projects. As you might remember I got these and these. You might be asking yourself, "I wonder how she is going to keep all of that stuff organized and be able to lug it around with her to different locations?!" ... No? You're not asking yourself that? Weird.

Anywho, if you by some chance WERE thinking that, I have the answer. Meet: Crop in Style. Lets call her, "Swag Bag," from now on because that's much cooler. So I received this aforementioned Swag Bag and I couldn't be more delighted. It's gigantic, it fits all of my arts and crafts (I'm such a dork), and it's on rollllerrrrrssss! haha. I just lost all my cool points in a matter of seconds.

This is clearly a picture of the Swag Bag after I filled her with all of my stuff. I was too excited to take a before and after.

2. I got a brochure today in the mail. Yes, my first junk mail: wedding style. I have no idea where the place is located because they don't say it in the little packet, but I do have a nice note from the owner on the inside page?? Anyways, I found the dress for my awesome bridesmaids. They are just so amazing!

hahahaha.. Totally kidding. Seriously though I know I had you going. First of all, check out divas face on the right. Secondly, wtf. The funny story behind this is that I sent this to the seester and told her that I had found the dress and didn't say "haha" in the text or anything. She responds (much later), "really?" I imagine her thinking, "How can I be neutral with my response?" so she chooses a word that can be read, "Really? That's so exciting!" or "Really, are you kidding me?!" To confirm this thought, I told her that I was j-king and she said, "lol don't do that it's awkward." hahaha ... I was crying due to the extreme joy and laughter that I received.

3. I'll just make something up. For example, I made a color-coded calendar today because (a) I have too much time on my hands (b) March and April are going to be crazy busy and (c) because I can due to my Swag Bag having all of my marker organized.  I guess I'm literally trying to draw myself a picture so that I can stay focused, organized, and calm for the next two months.

It's much nicer in person, but I don't need everyone "knowin' my bid-ness" so I blurred out the deets. hahaha

Another cool thing that's going on is that I'm ready to sign a contract with a wedding planner. Now, don't get your britches in a bunch, I'm only having her for "day-of" stress relief. The cool thing is that she will help much more than that if I just can't get something to come together or if I need some supplies (I have full access to everything that she has in stock). EX.CITE.ING!

Lastly, I had my 2nd training session (read: I got my bum kicked for the second time). It amazes me how much better I feel about myself when I'm working out and eating better. It does a number for my mind and body. Double Whammy!! I'm trying to figure out how I used to workout 6 days a week 4 hrs at a time and still function. In the words of Toby Keith, "I ain't as good as I once was." Tomorrow, I'm going to weigh myself... I'm not big on the whole scale thing, but I do want to see if anything has changed. It's pretty crazy, but I can already tell in certain areas. Mostly because my stomach and legs don't look (as much) like blubber anymore. Sah-weeettt!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy with a Dash of Sad

Beautiful Sunset Thursday evening

This weekend was exciting! Mr. O was able to come to see me for one last night before he headed to California. That made me verrryyy happy. He couldn't leave until late Friday afternoon, but he made it in time for me to treat him to The Melting Pot (his v-day present). It was delish, even though we had to wait for a long time before we were seated.

Enjoying some lobster tail.

 Playing with the lobster tail once we were done eating.

Mr. O's pretty picture w/ leftover milk chocolate & Bailey's

Then, today I got a package in the mail. As you all know, I've been getting stuff in the mail consistently since my birthday thanks to my fantastic parents. Today, I got something from my seester! Guess what it was?! Only the most amazing shoes that you've ever seen in your entire life. Meet "Something Blue":

Yeah, if you remember correctly these purdy things (in purple) were in my first blog post EVER.

My sister is pretty much amazing. She always gets me the best presents. I just have to be disciplined and not wear them until "the big day." I might wear them around the house just because I want to. haha

Another cool thing that happened is I found a graphic designer to design my stationary for the wedding... in my own backyard. She was an old high school friend and like I told my friends (Hi Chels & Jes!) I was always jealous of her ability to make bubble letters in high school. I'll keep you posted on the progress of that, too!

Lastly, Mr. O is leaving tomorrow morning (super early) to head to California. He'll be there until the end of March. The main reason that I'm having a super hard time with this is because I feel like all this time is going to go by so quickly and then I'm going to be saying "see ya later," for a second time in only a few months.... yes, the big D. I'm trying to take Mr. O's advice and "not think of it that way," but it's harder than it sounds. I'll be alright, I always am... but that doesn't mean that I'm not sad. Okay, that's out on the table and now I can move on. 

Today I had basketball practice with my AAU team and, man, I had forgotten how much I can get absorbed in the game. For 2 hours, directly after Mr. O left, I didn't think about how upset I was or how much I was going to miss him. I think this team is going to be more of blessing to me than they will ever know. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Food Frenzy: Part 2

Being in the mood to eat good and be healthy (and thanks to Mr. Trainer for giving me a healthy cookbook), I made "Mom's Chicken Echilada's" from the book, Eating for Life.

His book is all about, "first discovering how to nourish your body the right way and then learning to apply this information, so you can enjoy greater health, reduce body fat and gain energy!" 

Serving: 4
Preparation time: 50 minutes

4 portions chicken breast (about 1 lb)
4 green onions, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
3 cans (10 oz) green enchilada sauce
8 corn tortillas (small)
1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 tomato, diced
1 can (2 oz) ripe olives, sliced

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Lightly coat baking dish with cooking spray
2. Place chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until no linger pink in the center, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Shred cooked chicken by pulling apart with 2 forks; set aside.
3. Lightly coat a large skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add green onion, cilantro, and jalapeno; saute for 2 minutes. Add shredded chicken and 1 can of enchilada sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes.
4. Pour the 2 remaining cans of enchilada sauce in a medium bowl and microwave until warm, about 2 minutes. Dip each tortilla in the heated sauce and fill with about 1/8 of the chicken mixture. Roll up and place, seam-side down,  in the prepared baking dish.

5. Pour remaining heated sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until enchiladas are heated through and cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.
6. Divide lettuce onto 4 plates and place a portion of enchiladas on top. Top with a spoonful of salsa, a dollop of sour cream, tomatoes and olives. Serve & enjoy!

Okay so mine isn't nearly as pretty.. but it tasted delicious!!

Operation Be Super Hot for the Wedding

Today, I had my first workout session with a personal trainer. I have no self motivation when it comes to working out so I'm really hoping that meeting with someone once or twice a week will allow me to meet my goals.

What are my goals?? I'm just not really sure. I'd ultimately just like to get toned up, I guess. I weigh about the same that I did when I graduated from college, but I'm carrying it a little different now... aka it's fat now, not muscle. I want to get in shape for myself and having the wedding to push me a little is helpful, too. Seriously, after so many years of being required to workout... I just don't want to anymore. Why can't I get rock hard abs by watching Fitness TV. You actually want me to participate?! Ummm... so you see why I have chosen to have a trainer.

Also, I keep seeing this advertisement for "Shedding for the Wedding." It's like a "Biggest Loser" for couples getting married. Umm.. yes please! I'll be watching that for sure.

In fun, gift receiving news I have had a few more packages arrive for my birthday gift from my parents.

 Cool gel pens in all different, awesome colors

An "All-Purpose Cutting" tool for Fabric. FANCYYYY

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thank goodness for spam email addresses

Before I left for the bridal expo the advice that I kept getting over and over was MAKE A SPAM EMAIL ADDRESS! I already had one so I didn't think much of it and now, 2 weeks later, I realize why they said this.

I seriously haven't stopped getting emails since I left. Yes, they are helpful but ummmm please stop. I have my spam email connected to my phone so I still GET them, but 9 times out of 10 I don't read them. Maybe I'll refer back to them later..... ooorrrr maybe not.

I know I've been missing from the blogosphere for a bit, but Mr. O and I have been super busy. We were able to visit his brother & wife for a very special occasion: His Brother's Winging. He's officially a pilot! Woohoo!! They will be stationed in North Carolina and I definitely think it'll be nice to have them closer. Congrats Bro O!!!

 Blurry but awesome nonetheless.

Mr. O got my some gorgeous pearl earrings for Valentine's Day. He's so sweet! A while ago I had said to him that I wanted some earrings that I could wear all of the time, but it was hard to find some because they always seems to bother my ears. Ta Da! He bought me some fancy kind and now I can wear them 24/7. It's awesome. For my birthday, he basically offered me anything that I wanted all day throughout our travels through the airport & he got me a rhino, Brutus. I heart him.

my beautiful earrings <3

Brutus on the airplane. hehe

On to some sad news... Mr. O leaves for training soon and I won't see him again for about a month. Sad face! I'm going to keep myself busy and hopefully the time will pass quickly, but then the dreaded D word (I don't remember what I said I was going to call this) approaches. Lame.

I can't end on a sad note so I'll talk about how awesome my parents are. For my birthday, I decided to ask for things that I'd need for my DIY projects. Two things came in the mail and from what I hear, "there's more where that came from." Whoop! Whoop!

 Never in a million years did I think I'd be excited about a professional paper cutter

Self healing cutting mat say whhatttt?!

I'll leave you with a funny wedding fact:

Most people were married in June because they took their yearly baths in May and still smelled pretty good in June. However, since women of the day were especially concerned about their body odor at social affairs, the bridesmaids carried bouquets of fresh flowers to hide any unpleasant odors. The bride, of course, had the largest bouquet, and family members were each given smaller bouquets or corsages. - unknown source

Monday, February 7, 2011

V is for Venue Weekend = A Major Success!

This weekend was great! It's crazy how relieved you feel when decisions are final. Mr. O and I had a whirlwind of a weekend, but he was a trooper. He had to work for 48 hrs straight and then agreed to drive 5 hrs after that so that we could look at venues. Well... it paid off!

We just reserved our reception location. Ah-maze-ing! I have the receipt and everything. It's pretty crazy that now we have more concrete plans and can work on fun details. Whoop! Whoop!

I present to you, The Savannah Rapids Pavilion:

 Source *Inside*

Source *View from balcony*

I love it. In April, we're planning on setting up some tastings and things so that we can get the catering and cake squared away. Whoop! Whoop!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

V is for Venue

This weekend has been eventful and it's only Saturday night! Mr. O and I drove from his place to SC to his parents house and got in about 1:30 am. This is after Mr. O had been on duty and hadn't slept for 48 hrs straight so I was very thankful that he agreed to come.

We got up and headed to the 5 venues on our list about 8:30 this morning. We made it to all 5 and were able to go inside of 4 of them (one was ruled out because it was pretty ugly on the outside). I was very pleased that the people having their events, fundraising and weddings, were willing to let us walk around check out the inside.

Source  Old Medical College ruled itself out because it actually isn't this pretty in real life. *my opinion only*

We have narrowed it down to 3. One of the three could "x" itself out because of their regulations. It is one of our favorite options so we are still going to give it a fair shot. I think that both of us are hoping that when I speak to someone next week they'll tell us that they aren't as strict as their online list makes them seem... no red dye (icing, sauces, punch)?!?! There's a 99% chance that that'll be deal breaker considering all of the red things we like -- including red wine.

It was a very productive day and now Mr. O and I are laying on the couch after a delicious meal made by Mama O. Yay! Tomorrow: bridal expo. Whoop! Whoop!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Guestlist.. dun dun dunnnnn

We're trying to figure our list and we want to make sure that we have all of the people that mean something to us at our wedding. So I made my list... and Mr. O made his. Then I added more people to my list and then he added more to his. Can you see where this is going? Um, it just keeps getting bigger.

Source *these aren't my invite, just wanted a picture in the post.

We have a set amount of people that we want to attend. The number on our list is not ridiculously over our amount that we want. Seriously, how do you just cut people off of the list? There's a reason that they're on it in the first place. This is the dilemma that is cramping my style right now. I guess I have some serious evaluating to do.

I think it'll work itself out... at least that's what I'm hoping for!

The Knot has some good suggestions and it makes a lot of sense, especially since my side of the guestlist if coming entirely from out of state. I have to be realistic that not everyone is going to be able to make it. I just really WANT them to and can't keep people from being invited based on me "knowing" that they can make it or not. lol :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Because He's Awesome.

(1) He puts up with my rambling wedding jabber even though he got up at 4:30 am and still hasn't had dinner by 9 pm. (2) He gets online 3 times in a row because he forgot to send me something that I asked for. (3) He understands that because of the deployment (from now on only referred to as Big D) we have an unconventional planning strategy to make sure that he is involved.

Overall, there are many things about Mr. O that make him fall under the awesome category, but those are the things that have most recently been added to the list.

Anywho, I have been looking into registries. Woohoo! Isn't that just so exciting. I think we have figured out where we are going, but it hasn't been finalized. I'm really bad about getting right to the point of making a decision and saying, "but it hasn't been finalized." That, my friends, could be a problem.

Tonight, I sent Mr. O a dreadfully long list of things that we could register for. I can thank The Knot for the help on the list -- they are very resourceful. Mostly because I had no idea what he would want and not want, but also because I really didn't want to tackle it all on my own. It's a rather big task and, like I told Mr. O, this is going to be the first stuff that is "ours." Crazy, right? He was very tolerant of my awful, long list and went through with commentary and added a few no's and a few new items.

 This is what I feel like my head is doing after looking at all of the registry options

One funny thing that he did say throughout the email was something along the lines of, "I added my input, but we both know that you're going to get whatever you want." It made me chuckle because I asked myself, "Self, if he didn't find it necessary but you wanted it would you still add it?" The response was, "Self, I'd probably argue my point and then he'd say 'ok' and then it'd be added." At least he knows? The good thing is that I didn't want anything more or less than what he wanted.

I like when we agree on everything without even knowing we're doing it. It makes things much easier.

1 Step Down. Next step - Actually registering for this stuff. I kinda want to go to the store and use the little gun thing, that sounds fun. I'll let you know if I end up actually thinking it is fun.