Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Great Registry Caper

So, not exactly as exciting and madcap as the Muppets version, but you get the idea.

I had not planned on registering for gifts until at least January, but apparently that was not a good idea. B's relatives had started to prod about registries and china and all that other hoopla, so we bit the bullet. We registered.

We started off our journey on Saturday at Macy's Union Square. Considering that there are 3 giant floors of housewares wonder, we thought this was the best place to go. Plus Macy's is nationwide (making both sides of the family happy) and has an easy online ordering system.

This particular Macy's seems to be the Registry Mecca, as they had a whole section of the 6th floor roped off with 6 computer stations just waiting for all of the pre-nuptial couples of the bay area. I have to admit I was impressed by the view given to the registry department: floor to ceiling view of the square. Nice that they realize just how many dollars we wedding people are generating.

We sat down with a registry specialist and gave her all of our pertinent info (names, date, shipping address), she showed us how to use the scan gun, and we were off. I thought that I had been preparing my whole shopping life for this moment, but we were instantly overwhelmed. The registry area was situated right next to the flatware, and honestly, it all looked the same. Yeah, there were some gilded overly formal ones and more sleek and modern ones -- but all I really wanted was a few forks that matched! The fact that there were about 85 different choices seemed utterly unecessary. So, we ended up picking one that "coordinated" with our china (Kate Spade's Library Lane). It really was a very arbitrary decision.

Our China

Larabee Dot coordinating plates

After we decided on china, we felt a little better about ourselves. Luckily, Macy's Union Square has a food court in the cellar (where there are MORE homegoods), so we had a nice rest stop at Jamba Juice and Tom's Cookies. We definitely needed to refuel.

We found some more fabulous stuff (lots of Martha Stewart Collection - YOU KNOW IT!) and three hours later, we were done.

Being that I want to have a wide variety of items and prices to choose from, we also registered at Target, my trusty friend. You can get pretty much anything you ever wanted at Target (and they have the cutest versions of all of those things!) You can get even more at Anyway, given that we had the Macy's experience behind us and my black-belt in TargetShopping -- the second registry was a breeze!

my friend, the Target gun

My favorite part of registering (and totally unexpected) were the free gifts! Macy's gave us a cute red Swiss Army tote bag:

And Target a plastic bag filled with 1) a registry wishbook 2) little cards to stick into your shower invitations 3)my favorite - 5 free wedding song downloads on ITunes.

Awesome! And with a little web-sleuthing, I have found that there are several other freebies through Macy's once people buy things off of your registry (i.e. free baking pans from All Clad) which is on top of their 5% Star Rewards Program (I get a gift card for 5% of the total purchased. BOO YAH!)

I also have to admit that I have been covertly adding to my registry for a few weeks now... so we also have that one. I hope that my friends and family are tech savvy enough to head over there, because it has a lot of super cool things on it.

Ok, so now I need to go take a nap. What a weekend!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Buff Me to a Shine!

Excessive exclamation points aside, I was blown away by this beauty product!! ! !

Call me dense, but I never really understood buffing one's nails. I got that there was usually a "soft" side to a nail file, but I never realized it's true purpose in life. Well one beauty sucker + one mall kiosk = fabulously buffed and shiny nails.

I won't get into the dead sea salt face creams that I had to purchase in order to get the "free" manicure set... oh well.

Anywho, it appears that you can purchase this set all on its own from Onsen Secret, where they sell for $34.95 (holy moly!) so perhaps the mallrat did give me a good deal.

From the Onsen website:
Onsen Nail Care products are guaranteed to make you say “Wow”! Utilizing a 3-step buffing system, you can have gorgeous glossy nails without polish or chemicals. Onsen cuticle conditioner is loaded with Vitamin A and E, Shea Butter and Aloe Vera to effectively soften and moisturize dry cuticles while promoting healthy nail growth. Onsen Nail Care Kits include everything you need for naturally beautiful hands and nails.

And I agree! It's awesome, and with everybody grabbing my hands to ogle my wonderful ring, I might as well put my best nails forward. I even used it on B, who has the WORST nails ever from being a chronic biter. After complaining about being fussed over, he agreed that his nails looked great.

It is very possible that there is a similar buffing device at Walgreen's that I have simply overlooked my entire beauty-obsessed life -- so if you find something more budget-friendly, please do share. I generally advise avoiding the sketchball mall kiosks, but in the instance, I am pleasantly surprised. As far as the dead sea salt stuff goes, I'll have to keep you posted.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"Sweet" Idea of the Day!

I want to have a candy buffet! This is not necessarily new and noteworthy, but it is a good way to use SEVERAL bowls and vases that I purchased early in the planning process (and have since abandoned).

like these, except sadly no boot

I purchased (I think 13 in total, bad Katie) vintage milk glass bowls and vases on eBay for my first hair-brained wedding scheme: Vintage Preppy. All blush pink and navy. B nixed this idea. I'm so happy because I love my new peachy plan.

Anywho, I didn't spend a ton of money on this reject glassware, but it is taking up prime real estate in my crafting corner. I couldn't bring myself to resell it, partly because I really like it, and partly out of laziness. So, I think I'll scare up some clear vintage glass to hold more colorful candies, and to mix up the variety. Now, the question is, which candies to choose??

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

No Tschotskes, please

While I really do love the gilded leaf given to me at a recent wedding,
I'm not a huge fan of favors (besides the edible ones). I have SO MUCH
STUFF in my life, that I kinda get uncomfortable adding to other
people's "stuff" and potentially fill the landfill with unwanted tschotskes.

all images from the knot Willi and Jon's Wedding

In lieu of a traditional favor, we decided to have a classic photobooth! How super fun is that? We are BIG photobooth fans and take any and every opportunity to ham it up in one. The photo strips from early in our relationship (taken at Balboa) are some of the things I would grab in a fire. I might grab my kitten first, but the photobooth strips are a close second.

We are going to incorporate this with our guest book. We'll have some glue dots and a pair of scissors handy to cut and paste a pic in the book, along with a nice note. So much more fun than the traditional "sign here", right? I'll enlist one of my cousins to sit by and help people with the process so everything runs smoothly.

The awesome thing about these is that we will get a digital file of every image taken throughout the night. Everyone can take their photo strips home, but we will know what went down in the booth! Mums the word on this fact - I don't want our guests to know that we'll see the outcome - let the debauchery begin!

After much research, we chose one from Classic Photo Booth really only because they were the cutest, and they were very prompt with information via email. These are NOT budget friendly, but we feel like it was the ONE thing we really wanted to splurge on. The classic photo booth (including 5 hours of rental, on-site technician, setup/teardown, unlimited photos, applicable taxes) is $1800.

Another option in the Bay Area - Red Cheese -slightly more affordable, but an eyesore in my opinion. This included all above, and the cost was approx. $1600.

There are a few others (just google "photobooth" and your city, and some should pop up), but these two were the best with communication. Several companies just didn't call/email me back. Their loss!

Yay! I love this so much!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Nobody puts Baby in the corner

B and I love to sit at weddings and make bets as to which songs will play during the course of the night. The chicken dance and Cotton-Eyed Joe are generally pretty safe bets, but we also have special "Celine Dion Categories" and the ever favorite Abba. Michael Buble is on the cusp of his own category as well. At the last wedding 2 weekends ago, we were pleasantly surprised during dinner by Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door"(enjoy the wacky YouTube video). I really REALLY really love this song.

I could go on for days on the interesting choices that couples make as far as songs go (I am very lyric-focused, so maybe I'm just unusual). "Into the Mystic" by Van Morrison is a common wedding offender. It's a great song, but its about death, people!

This couple also played "I Had the Time of My Life" (you know it - Dirty Dancing) as the last song, which was fantastic until B tried to show off his Swayze moves, lifting me up, and subsequently sharing my underwear with the entire room. Classy, no. Ridiculously fun, yes.

So, after the panty incident, B and I decided that we would DEFINITELY have the DD classic as our last song as well. Question is, what are our other "important" songs going to be? I know there is going to be serious push and pull on this one, because we both have such strong opinions on music.

My choices for first dance:

1) "Where Are You Going" by Dave Matthews Band (this has 9/11 undertones, but it has always reminded me of B. I listened to it obsessively the fall he was studying abroad. B might agree with this choice.)

2) "Eyes" by Rogue Wave (such a friggin beautiful song and -bonus- short. B will not agree because it is "too indie".)

3) "Something So Right" by Paul Simon (really wonderful in meaning, and sentimental b/c B included this in one his first CD compilations for me).

4) "The Man" by Pete Yorn and Natalie Maines. This is simply one of the most gorgeous songs, and if I could figure out what it is about, then I could def. convince B, because he loves it, too. (PS - you MUST click the link for this video - so touching. I cried)

So those are my thoughts -- what are yours? This is just ONE song...geez. I have a lot of work ahead of me!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Myspace follow-up

photo from

The band search has been a total and utter failure so far.

Band one has a member who is getting married herself 2 weeks before my wedding, and can't do it.

Band two seems very well organized and experienced, and sound fantastic, but has a price to match.

I just can't win! Any other suggestions? There have to be struggling starving musicians out there, right? All I want is a mandolin for cripes sake, is that too much to ask?!

Monday, October 8, 2007

DIY Ring Bearer Pillow

There is not an abundance of orange ring bearer pillows available out there, so what else could a girl do? Pull out the sewing machine, of course!


I found the most gorgeous orange dupioni silk on ebay for only $9.99/yard - a completely ridiculous price for such good quality silk (click here to check it out - the seller has a rainbow of colors). Then I found a super wide (3.5 inches) double faced ivory satin ribbon (need about a yard) and also a thinner matching ribbon (1 inch - also need about a yard). Additionally, you will need matching thread and some poly-fiberfill.


1.) Cut 2 squares of silk to desired size (I chose 6x6).

2.) Cut each ribbon in half.

3.) Take one wide and one thin ribbon and arrange the thin ribbon in the center and on top of the wide ribbon.

4.) On the "wrong" side of one of the silk squares, arrange both lined-up ribbons' ends in the middle of one side of the square with long ends pointing toward the middle of the square.

5.) Arrange the other silk square on top of the ribbon ("right" side up). (This can get a little slippery - be careful)

6.) Using a sewing machine, stitch over both layers of silk and ribbons, being sure to leave at least a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

7.) Repeat on other side. There will be a lot of ribbon on the inside of the squares.

8.) Finish sewing off the bottom seam of the squares.

9.) Sew the top, but leave a 3 inch opening for the stuffing.

10.) Turn the pillow right-side out.

11.) Stuff the pillow. I use a pencil (not too sharp) to get into the corners.

12.) Use a hand blind hemstitch to finish off the pillow.

You're done!

Now you have a pretty fat ribbon for a nice bow, and a thin ribbon to attach the rings (or "for show" rings - which is what I might do). I wrapped the wide ribbon around like a present and left the thin in the middle and trimmed the excess.

Pretty, right?

Brilliant idea: Myspace

So, I have been scratching my head for a few weeks trying to find musicians to play during our wedding ceremony. B and I want a bluegrass band, which isn't all that typical for weddings. We can't wait to hear "here comes the bride" with a mandolin in the background. PERFECTION!

Anyway, I have contacted a few bands that I have found through google, but they are all rather expensive. Considering it is an hour of their time, I really do not think $900 is a reasonable price. Pshaw!

I had a lightbulb moment last night: Myspace! Not only good for lurking around old high school classmates pages, also good for finding musicians! I did a music search by location and found FOUR indie bands that seem like they will meet our needs. I just sent each band a quck message asking "do you play private events?" and have already heard back from two. TWO YESES! Now I'm just waiting on their pricing...wish me luck!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Why I love Etsy

Really, need I say more? Well.. I will.

Click here to visit the magical world of Etsy. Here you can find the most awesomely unique handmade jewelry, clothing, housewares - and a crochet candycorn, of course. I really truly madly deeply (Savage Garden, anyone?) love candy corn. There's a special crevice of my heart carved out just for the pumpkin-shaped kind, so needless to say, I could not resist this crafty goodness made by EternalSunshine. Click here to get your own. OOO and stop by Marzipan'spage for some ridiculously cute jewlery. Stylish bridesmaid acessories, I declare. Loverrific.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

And Guest?

B and I received a wedding invitation in the mail today addressed to "B____ Lastname and Guest". This invitation came from the son of B's mother's very good friend (someone B has know for years AND we both spent Christmas with last year), so really, what gives? We are engaged. We have been dating for 6+ years. SOMEONE had to call B's mom for our address, they couldn't have asked for my name? I know it had to have been embarrassing that they FORGOT my name after spending hours with me last December, but still, suck it up and ask! There are certainly people out there who I will blank on, but before I send that invitation, I plan to ask someone. Why? Because Emily Post and Martha say so. Am I overreacting? Have you ever received an invitation like this?