Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One Man's Trash/Ups to Ashley!

My co-worker and friend Ashley has been pretty instrumental on helping work out a lot of DIY wedding deets, as she had her own nuptials just over a year ago. Although her wedding was GORGEOUS, it was also way out of my budget range, and I appreciate having a sounding board who understands I am working with little to zero dollars.

She came through this week by providing all of the place settings I need for the reception! She had 250 guests, and at the time she was planning her wedding, had the lucky connection of working at a restaurant, so she was able to secure a lot of supplies at cost. Ashley used the flatware pictured above -- the best part, it's PLASTIC! It is really pretty and great, and even better because she had a ton left over and just supplied me with all of it (including the black dessert plates and cups for a champagne toast). I am planning on rolling each set in a green napkin and tying them with ribbon and a little card reading something along the lines of "Bon Appetit!". Mom has graciously offered to help with any crafty projects along the way, so I might be delegating this one to her :)

I am also happy to report I am making a very important trip to the post office this afternoon before work -- Save the Dates are finally finished and addressed! The final cost for all of them (39) was under $25, and I think they are really cute and (maybe too obviously) hand crafted. Keep an eye for the mailman this week!
I'll leave you with a picture of Ashley's wedding -- I love this one because it shows a few of her bridesmaid's bouquets -- she made them all individually to suit that person's personality/favorite flowers. So pretty!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Summer Must-Haves

I simply cannot end this month with a measly 5 posts. I've known for a while that I need to get back in bloggy action, but nothing blog-worthy has really happened (I mean, some really great and fun things have happened, but they would be boring to read about). I've been melting away in temperatures averaging well over 100 degrees daily, and it's all I can do to muster up the energy to function as a normal human being. Anyway, I figured Ed, Farrah, or MJ news would be enough to get me going -- but all I can say is that it's a sad week for pop culture icons. So I'm going to go with something completely unrelated...

Presenting... Mary Ann*s Can't-Live-Without-Them-This-Summer Items!

Lots of mag articles and news features are telling you what you need to survive the heat this summer, so I thought it only fitting that I narrow down my needs for the next few months. Here's a few of the things that are totally on my radar for the high temps in the sunshine state...

1. Knit Dresses. It is waaaaay to warm to be dealing with full length pants, and I've made a personal vow to never don a capri again in this lifetime. With the exception of my beloved Nike Tempos (not exactly work approp), that doesn't leave a lot of options. Enter the knit dress (pictured left is my most recently purchased gem). You can wear it by itself with flip flops, or accessorize the hell out of it with a belt, gaudy jewelry, and a cardigan (if your workplace is kept as icy as an arctic tundra). Bonus points for dresses with pockets (almost all of them these days). I also love to rock my favoritey fave footwear of all time, my authentic Justin cowboy boots, with a knit dress for a super easy and adorable outfit.

2. Frosty treats. I am probably the world's biggest ice cream fan, and there's not an excuse I won't use to down a Love It of cake batter with whipped cream, yellow cake, and rainbow sprinkles mixed in. But when it's hot as hell, all that sugar can really weigh you down (literally). My best pick for an icy treat fix is these new popsicles made my Crystal Light. At only 15 calories a piece, they taste just like a frozen lemonade and are super refreshing. They have only recently been released, and they started out at a super affordable 2 bucks and change for a box of 12. Sadly, I have noticed the price creeping up over the past few times I've bought them. I hope they stay within my grocery budget for the remainder of the summer.

3. To-Go's. Whether you're hitting the trails for a run or headed to the beach for some fun, chances are you'll be needing a beverage of some sort. Since glass is illegal at pretty much every beach here, my go-to Miller Lite 6 pack is a social no-no. Instead, we'll pack cans and huggies, or Solo cups. An old favorite for beach boozing is the boxed wine. When you're done drinking the wine (actually housed within a plastic liner inside the box), you can blow up the empty plastic and make yourself a little pillow for a boozy afternoon nap (mind the potential sunburn). But my ultimate hydration tool is the Brita Filter For Good bottle. I fill this little lover up in the morning at home, and then I take full advantage of the Zephyrhills water cooler at work.

4. Seasonal Fruit and Veggies. I am a lucky ducky to have about a bazillion blackberry and blueberry bushes on our property (as well as a dedicated fiance to pick them all!), but even if you're not so fortunate, summer is a great time to hit up a Farmer's Market for some fresh deliciousness. You can always find something new!

5. Jams. A country music girl at heart, there is no better time to drop the windows and blare Chesney than during the blazing summer months. Other favorites include my OTG listed on the right column of this blog. Whether you're headed to a day of sunning, home to relax after work, or road tripping on vacation, the soundtrack is crucial.

That's my (very succinct) list of what I need to make it through this season. While we're at it, there are several other items that I've been living without, but shouldn't be... Did I mention that my birthday (obvs the best thing about summer) is only 16 days away? Click here to get started shopping.

What's your go-to must have for summer?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hat Tip to Linds.

Ooo-er, my girl and Co-MOH Lindsey sent me a link to an absolute must have for my wedding dessert bar... a GIANT cupcake pan. I love, love, love her idea of making one huge cupcake and surrounding it with smaller ones -- people can eat the smaller ones right away, and it we have a sentimental moment and decide to do the whole cake cutting thing, we'll have a sort of showpiece (although history dictates that Deane and I will most likely be cackling hysterically while trying to throw the gigantic cupcake at each other). It would be a fabulous centerpiece for other smaller desserts.

This poor lady's picture ended up on my blog because it's the only photo that showed the actual size of the cupcake.

Thanks for the faboosh idea, Linds! And for all you readers out there, dessert suggestions are more than welcome (I prefer that they are easy, pretty, and freezeable!).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bathtub Bride.

'The Notebook' is on tv right now, and I have it on in the background while I am punching holes and threading ribbons. Do you remember when Allie (Rachel McAdams) is trying on her wedding dress, and she sees the picture of Noah in the paper, and then she faints? Right after that, she is in the bathtub with her veil on and a glass of liquor (brandy? sherry?). It made me laugh maniacally for a solid ten minutes (I hope that you can recall this scene, as google images has disappointed me in my hour of need).
At some point, I am certain I will be that same hot mess (complete with smeared mascara) in a claw foot tub.
Perhaps my only chance at sanity is for Ryan Gosling to swoop in and save me?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meet the Malones, Part 3 (AKA: The Final Installment)!

Emily and Casey have been happily married for 4 weeks and one day, and I'm just now getting to recapping their actual ceremony and reception. Since it's been a while, it'll be lacking some of the details I was trying so desperately to remember, but it's finally here, and that's a pretty big accomplishment (along with the fact that I am still rocking a polish perfect pre-wedding pedi).

We last left off at the pre-ceremony preparations. After Em and the entire bridal party managed to get the tears out of our systems without destroying our makeup, we gathered our bouquets and waited to walk down the aisle.

I wasn't that nervous, but I was so overwhelmed with love and happiness for Em and Casey, along with love and happiness for several of their friends and family members that I was delighted to see, I was basically a big jittery mess. My ankles felt too weak to hold up my wobbly legs, and I was wishing I had ordered my Madden gems 3 sizes smaller, if only to guarantee that my legs would stay in place. I managed to "lock it up" (thanks Linds) and make it to the front of the church in what I can only hope was somewhat slower than a sprint.

When it was Emily's turn to meet us all up at the altar, I must have looked like I was watching a tennis match. She was stunningly gorgeous (obv), and I wanted to watch her every step, but I was so touched with emotion by Casey's expression as he waited for her. They were so perfect, and so in love, and so happy, and I couldn't decide who or what I loved the most, and I was just grinning like a moron and looking all over the place. The ceremony was beautiful and personal, and I lost it during Casey's aunt's reading ("Love is Like Owning a Dog"), and then when we prayed, I had stupid sniffle nose (which Em and Case totally called me out on at the reception). But, I made it through without falling over, dropping my flowers, or laughing at any inappropriate moments (kind of a big deal for me).

We exited the church, and I was super thankful to have my groomsman to support me (read: death grip on his arm which I later apologized for), as my tootsies were feeling... well, they weren't feeling anything, as I had lost all nervous system functions from the calves down. We all lined the steps out front, where we scooped up rose petals and waited for MR. AND MRS. MALONE to come out.

(Blogger sidenote: I'm really sad that I don't have any pictures from the most important part of the weekend, but Emily's photographer was so incredibly awesome, I am sure she captured all the prettiest and best moments. Just trust me when I say that the rose petal showers and the laughter and happiness (how many times have I said happiness in this one blog post?) on the steps of the church was one of the most joyful experiences I have ever witnessed.)

Next, it was a mad dash to the Taft Museum, where I was so excited to see the outcome of the carloads of supplies and decorations we had dropped off the day before. I was not disappointed -- the venue looked absolutely amazing:

Casey rigged up a system to hang the tissue poofs without breaking the "No Ladders" policy.

The tables were beautiful, not least in part to Lindsey's beaded table numbers.

We squeezed in a quick photo session and managed to get Em's dress bustled before the guests arrived (or rather, as they were staring at us from where they were waiting inside). The reception was so clearly a result of Em and Casey and months of their detailed planning. Everything about it had their stamp -- the table setup, the cake table, the food selection. They even had their guests sign fabric squares (to later be fashioned into a quilt) and hang them on a clothesline so everyone could admire them. I had a mini-fit (I wanted to get my square weeks earlier, so I could fabric pen a Huey/Indy portrait), but got over it quickly and wrote a fun square ("Run Fast, Live Slow", my favorite 4 words ever written on Em's blog).

The reception was so much fun. The food was delicious (although I was so busy being ridiculously happy and chatty with everyone, I barely ate, and I forgot to get cake altogether!) and the traditions Em and Casey decided to keep were fitting and fun. There was no huge tiered single cake (which was awesome because there were a bunch of cakes in a ton of flavors), so they sampled cameo cookies instead...

The bride and groom bite each other's heads off!

We did everything that I knew we would do at a DLO wedding. We danced (normally I would say we danced inappropriately, but I may have been the only one doing that), we screamed the lyrics to "Murder on the Dance Floor", we gushed with obsession about each other, and we laughed all night.

Ladies love Bo Malone.

It's important to candidly point out details about guests to the bride.

All our last names start with "M"!

I never, ever, ever wanted it to end, but I knew the newlyweds needed to get home and grab some sleep before their early Sunday departure on their dream honeymoon. Never one to call it a night, I insisted we take the after party to the Cadillac Ranch, where... I'll spare you the details. Here I can definitely say there was inappropriate dancing, followed closely by NC-17 bull riding attempts by both myself and Haley (independently and as a couple). The night culminated in binge eating (Blake and Luke, how much pizza had you actually ordered earlier in the day?) and a hotel hallway photo shoot -- the ultimate seal of approval on an excellent night.

Phewwwww! The Malone wedding recaps are complete -- appropriately enough, on the night of the season premiere of "Bridezillas" (love you, Em! Mean it!). Now, there is no excuse to get to work on my own wedding. I've definitely made some checkmarks on the list, but I'm having trouble keeping momentum. Thus far, I have officially secured a groom, a dress, and a Maid and Matron of Honor. With that, I'd say the most important decisions have been made -- the rest is just icing on the wedding cake :)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh, really?

Anyone else notice how effing ridiculously outdated my sidebars are?

Let's talk about the last time I picked up the needles -- well before Em's wedding. Truth is, since I've been engaged (and subsequently planning the most inexpensive DIY wedding in the history of the world), all creative energy and manpower has been poured into wedding prep, research, and planning. Linds' birthday was APRIL 24TH and her gift isn't even DONE!

And how about that OTG? It's been the same for MONTHS. It disgusts me. Disgusts me no less than the fact that I haven't even created another OnTheGo since. Yeck.

So here's the story: I am 100% NOT stressed out about my wedding. And I won't be. But balance needs to happen, and it needs to happen quickly. I'm off tomorrow, and looking at a hefty to-do list, but #1 on that list is "Get your shit together". I will plan a wedding, complete knitting projects, perform well at work, train for a half marathon, and remain somewhat in tune with the music scene. There is no reason these goals cannot exist in perfect harmony.

I'm feeling ambitious. I've even added "Final Blog about Em's wedding" to Friday's to-do (although it did get a B1 ranking -- only FranklinCovey diehards might get that reference). If it's up tomorrow, you'll know I'm succeeding. If not... I'm half dead on the couch with a marathon of the last 4 eps of "Grey's".

Either way, I'll be happy. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Freebie Alert!

Summer doesn't officially begin until you've savored your first root beer float of the season. And tonight, you can pick one up for FREE at your local Sonic Drive-In from 8pm to midnight! If you're not familiar with Sonic, you should be. They are my hands down favorite ever for best ice (the circular crumbles, not too big, not too small!) and they have thousands of drink options (diet coke with diet cherry for this one).

Summer deals continue all season long with any size soda or tea at McD's for ONE DOLLAR. And their famous "Welfare Wednesday" deal (49 cent hamburgers and 69 cent cheeseburgers) is being extended to Wednesdays AND Sundays (blogger's note: McD's does not refer to this deal as Welfare Wednesday - that's just what I, and several others, call it).

Happy Summer!