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July 31, 2011

Wedding Cake, Before and After

One of the things I was 100% sure about when it came to wedding planning was that I did NOT want a big frou-frou wedding cake. I don't even like cake that much, and I definitely don't like frosting (I know, I know, I'm a robot, we've been over this).  We were going to have French macarons and everyone was just going to have to deal.

But somehow I got talked into having an 8-inch cake for Dude and me to cut into, because someone convinced me that that was an Important Thing. And our bakery, Sweets Bakeshop, came up with the adorable idea to have red ranunculus climb up it, just like our invitations.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Bauer.

The cake ended up on a table in the corner during the reception, which was just as well because people were going nuts for the macarons. NUTS! Dude and I shoved miniscule chunks of cream cheese-frosted confection around each other's faces while the photogs snapped away (note to future brides: try to do this before the servers remove all the napkins from the tables) and then continued on to other amusing parts of the reception, like learning the Stanky Legg.

The remnants of our gâteau ended up in the back of a car for awhile, and then freezered as-is. We unearthed it today in honor of our one week-aversary (thanks for all the calls, jerks) and decided to give it a real taste. The top layer was salted-caramel flavor and very yum-ful. The bottom appears to be red velvet. We got them contained real nice-like in an ice-cream bucket and sent them to the frigid depths of MIL's freezer, where they'll live for the next year.

The moral of this story is that you should eat your vegetables.

July 27, 2011

Guest Post: The Dude Describes His Day

Dude requested a picture of his namesake be placed below the headline.
Image from

“Are you getting nervous?” they kept asking me.

“No, no I’m alright,” I responded, again and again. “It’s my job to keep Neenuh calm.” And so it went, a very stereotypical sort of setup, the female sweating bullets in a panic to make everything perfect, reading too much into everything that anybody said while the dude (or should I say, The Dude) kept calm, cool and collected, largely by staying as far as possible from the bulk of the heavy-duty wedding planning work. Personally, I thought it was a pretty good system.

Fast-forward to last Friday night: The Wedding Rehearsal. It’s a pretty casual affair, me in khakis and a polo shirt, just a few dozen friends and family around, with all of us in the wedding party lining up outside the event room at Minnesota Valley Country Club preparing to practice our processional. There I am, watching my Uncle the Priest walk down the aisle, followed by the chuppah holders. Then I step forward, my feet just outside of the room, my eyes directed inside to the assembly in the room looking back at me.

Bump-ump, bump-ump, bump-ump.

“Oh. My. God.” I think to myself, my jackhammer heart placing periods behind every word my mind makes. “I. Am. Getting. Married. Tomorrow. Oh. My. God.” So I put my best foot forward and the rehearsal goes by pretty much without a hitch. Dad reads his letter from Paul to the Corinthians brilliantly. Brother Jake nails “Unchained Melody.” Anna and Tom twee the hell out of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” But there was one thing missing from the rehearsal: the vows.

Which is to be expected. I mean, you don’t want to let your beloved know your vows the night before the wedding. It’s a special thing and should be a surprise, tailor-made for the occasion. “Unchained Melody” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” are well-established parts of the public consciousness by this point, and Paul’s letters have been around long enough to be public domain. You’re not surprising anybody there, so you might as well let the speakers/singers get some extra rehearsal time in at the rehearsal.

But yours truly thinks himself something of a writer. A musician, too. And I wanted to put those talents to use letting my little Neenuh know how very much I love her. But I could barely breathe during the rehearsal and, as we’ve already seen, my brain couldn’t even get its punctuation right, my heart was beating blood so hard.  And this was during the wedding practice, with only a few dozen people there. How in the hell was I going to sing and play harmonica and guitar in front of more than 200 people while wearing a hot tuxedo on a humid summer’s eve, when I was not practicing but doing it for keeps?

Another problem? My vows weren’t finished. Oh, I’d had the song finished for well over a month and knew it pretty well. But suddenly I begin rethinking the lyrics in my head. Also, perhaps the chords should be changed? There was also to be a spoken word part of the vows. While I had been telling Neenuh for months that the vows were finished, that was only partly true. There was a prose poem I wrote when the two of us were in Berlin, recounting our earlier trip to Florence, which I realized upon completion would be perfect for my wedding vows. It needed something more to be more than an exercise in writing memories down in rhythm, buffers before and after to make them, you know, vows.

So it was very hard to relax after at the rehearsal dinner that night. There I was, talking to friends, aunts and uncles, eating a roast beef sandwich, only paying half attention to their speech as I juggle my own around in my head, remembering the whole time the nerves I felt at the rehearsal. At the rehearsal! “My. God! What. Am. I. Going. To. Do. At. The. Real. Wedding?

The muses (or at least my muse) must’ve been smiling on me later that night, because I wrote the rest of the vows with no problem. The next day, while we were taking wedding pictures, the vows were all I could think about. “When. Will. The . Wedding. Get. Here?” one part of me thought, sick of the nerves there in the waiting, while the other part of me said, “No. I. Hope. The. Wedding. Never. Comes. I. Will. Totally. Forget. The. Words. To. The. Song. As. Well. As. How. To. Make. A. D. Chord.”

At this point, not only had I lost control of my mental punctuation, but I had become two people. Why oh why did I decide to sing a song? It’s not like a wedding isn’t stressful enough without adding to it one of the single most nerve-wracking things a person can do: public performance.

The wedding itself was a blur. I’m pretty sure I walked down the aisle. At any rate, I at some point found myself at the front of the room looking back at a woman wearing a white dress standing in the back, framed by two other people. “She’s. Beautiful. Hey. Wait. Those. Are. Neenuh’s. Parents. Waitaminute! Is. That. Neenuh?” And let me tell you reader, it was, it surely was. It’s hard to describe what I was feeling as she walked down the aisle and took her place next to me. I kept looking over at her, trying to determine if it was all real. Then, at some point during her aunt’s reading of a poem, my heart opened up. Not even metaphorically. It was like a big warm ball bloomed in my heart, and suddenly my nerves were gone. Neenuh read her vows, written with that famous sense of humor so well known to readers of this blog, and I actually laughed! “That’s so funny! I love her so much!” passed through my mind, followed by “Holy crap! My punctuation’s back!”

I read my vows and, not only did I not place a period behind every word, I didn’t even stammer once. Not too bad, considering I never bothered to read the vows aloud after writing them the night before. And when I picked up the guitar I remembered how to do a D chord, as well as a C, F, G and even the E 9b5. Also, I didn’t forget a single word, and even sung them with a full, relaxed throat. It capped off a unique (if I do say so myself) wedding that led into a truly rocking and awesome (in my humble, unbiased opinion) reception.

The lesson, as always, is that true love conquers all, even a ridiculous stress level. Either that, or it’s truly best to be ridiculously stressed out before you do anything important, a lesson I almost missed out on with my zen-like nonchalance in the weeks leading up to the ceremony. One or the other. Or maybe something else altogether. Or maybe this need to find lessons in everything is an artificial convention of narrative that I’m grafting onto a real life even to make a more compelling blog post out of it. And maybe that’s the real moral of the story here.

I don’t know. Take your pick. This is my first ever blog post and I’m nervous as hell about it. You can’t expect me to make these kinds of decisions.

July 25, 2011

Reader, I Married Him

It was all worth it. All the stress. All the breakdowns. All the little green bows. I won't compare my nups to those of anyone else, but I can say that this was my most perfect day. I was farting happiness bombs and shooting joy beams out of my eyeballs.

There were so many gorgeous moments, and so as not to bore you with a play-by-play, I'll share a few of them here:
  • Receiving a scrapbook my wonderful 'maids put together with pages designed by some of my nearest and dearest. They were all immensely lovely, especially the page my illustrator buddy Jo drew of me flying to my ceremony on the wings of a unicorn, with a golden litter waiting for me below. 
Drawing by Johanna Kim
  • Watching the weather go from an awful thunderstorm to a beautiful, perfect sunny day. Every time I fretted about the darkening sky or gale force winds my maids reassured me that it would all pass. When the sun peeked through Lo told me it was proof the Big Guy loved me. 
  • Seeing my father for the first time and DEMANDING he not cry... several times.
  • Teaching my flower girls how to wave like beauty queens for their trip down the aisle.
(Photo courtesy of Anna Weggel)
  • Hiding in the country club's women's locker room with my personal attendant Missita pre-ceremony and accepting the congratulations of random sweaty golfer ladies. Trying to calm the nervous churning in my stomach. 
Picture courtesy of Missy Rococo Guillermo
  • Walking down the aisle and focusing on the Dude like a laser beam, then begging him to stop looking at me when I got there so I wouldn't cry, then pulling myself together and sharing several sweet glances. 
  • My maid Anna exchanging my soggy tissues for fresh, dry ones every time I gave her the Look (that's love). 
  • Hearing the beautiful readings from Dude's dad and my Aunt Wendy, and the beautiful music from my brother Jake (Unchained Melody on guitar), Anna and Tom (Can't Help Falling in Love on the uke), and my own dear Dude, who after reading his vows sang me some more for good measure. (Pun!)
Photo Courtesy of Missy Rococo Guillermo
  • Having a few moments alone with the Dude between the ceremony and receiving line, marveling how weird it was to be husband and wife. Telling him to stop playing with his ring.
  • The toasts! My pa reading a poem, my maids Leah, Laurel and Aleta and the dudes Nathan and Chris reading touching speeches, and Anna, Amanda and Tom acting out our different versions of how we met from our wedding website (with the help of my now-famous Kitchen Aid standing mixer). 
  • Munching on our delicious macarons: salted caramel, lemon raspberry and mocha. 
Photo Courtesy of Sarah Bauer
  • The dance floor being nearly full all night long. Not dying when I was lifted in a chair during a very bizarre techno rendering of Hava Nagilah. My French guests taking the microphone to tell people that what their countrymen think of us is wrong-- Americans are quite welcoming and sending everyone 'ugs from Frahnce.
Photo Courtesy of Missy Rococo Guillermo
  • My sissy-poo catching the bouquet.
  • A cousin telling me he liked the drawing I made on the "kebaba" (he meant my ketubah, which I def. did not draw). Another cousin pawing through my Macy's box full of wedding night lingerie at the hotel because he thought the box said, "Muffins".
  • Recapping the night with the Dude in our bridal suite and being so, so, so, so SO happy.
I know I've been telling everyone to elope for the past few months, but I take that back now. 

July 22, 2011

It's go time

The rules of engagement were DKM (Don't Kill Matt) and DDB (Don't Disfigure the Bride). Dude rolled in at 4:30 a.m. this morning after a night of tomfoolery with his buddies, and for awhile I was worried because he wasn't making a peep. But now he's sawing logs like you wouldn't believe. Rule #1=success. I have evaded weird tan lines and breakouts, and despite burning the top of my foot with a runaway crouton I was toasting, I remain whole, with all my limbs and facial features accounted for. So long as I manage not to walk into anything tonight, I'd say Rule #2=success.

My guests have been slowly trickling in from such exotic locales as Digoin, Tucson and Seattle, and today marks the arrival of folks from Cincinnati, Louisville, DC, Rochester, NYC, Portland and several cities of our neighbor to the south (Iowa). It's going to be like my bat mitzvah on steroids.

Packin' up...

After our last marathon Git 'Er Done sesh yesterday, all I have left to do is revise my vows and... show up. My feet are quite warm at the moment so I'd say this is doable.

I'll have a few more nuppy posts after The Big Day: a recap; a rundown of everything we did so you can steal/borrow ideas; and some advice to future brides, and then we can move on to bigger and better things. Like all the fun things I'm going to do with my new sewing machine and standing mixer.

Merci, Francey Pantsers, for nupping with me. It's been an honor and a privilege.

July 19, 2011

Bridal Apathy Has Struck

Yesterday my brother told me he planned to bring five random friends from Corvallis, OR to the wedding.

"As long as they don't eat any food," I replied.

Five pregnant friends, he clarified. They'd each be eating for two.

"Oh. Whatever."

I don't care anymore. Want to ditch the ceremony and reception and only come to the cocktail hour so you can catch your favorite Saturday night TV programming? Go for it. Care to completely scrap our centerpiece plan and replace it with macrame jugs filled with radioactive fluid? Be my guest. The glow will be lovely after sunset. How about five...20...57 more flower girls? I'm so game. I've always wanted an army.

The mushy state of my brain leaves me in no condition to make any further decisions, so I hereby crown my Future-Step-Father-In-Law (FSFIL) the Master of Ceremony. You hear that, Pat? You're in charge. Go wild.

July 18, 2011

My Phallus-Free Bachelorette Party

I had one rule for my bachelorette party: I didn't want anything in the shape of male anatomy to rear its ugly head (pun intended). No straws. No stickers. No pin the junk on the hunk. I mentioned my desire for a tea party and for a viewing of the just-released Harry Potter film, and then I let my 'maid Lo run wild.

My friends, she did not disappoint. This shower/bach could not have been more tailor-made and approp for yours truly. SHE MADE BUTTERBEER, FOR DUMBLEDORE'S SAKE!

OK. I'm getting ahead of myself. First, gaze upon the antique teacups that went to my guests as favors and were filled with Marie Antoinette tea from my Happy Place, Ladurée:

Now, feast your eyes upon such treats as tea sandwiches with the crusts cut off, macarons from Cocoa & Fig, fruit and caprese skewers, and cupcakes decorated by Hogwarts house (which I had to restrain myself from accio-ing):

Post-munching, we were sorted into houses with the help of Lo's beach-ready Sorting Hat, after which we received our wands decorated with house colors. I received an extra-floofy Ravenclaw number, lumber, core of unicorn feather, springy.

Here are my Hufflepuffs being riddikulus! (Check out Kat's (second from the left) recap of events here.)

We played a few shower games, including one wherein the houses each gave me wedding and marriage advice, and another where I tried to guess correctly how the Dude had answered certain questions. There was a Boone's Farm Fuzzy Navel House Cup for the victor, but in true HP spirit we were all winners.

After opening the prezzies we moved on to a high-class movie theater in St. Louis Park for a viewing of HP7P2-3D in the VIP seats. I laughed, I cried, I brandished my wand in moments of intense terror and glory.

This shower/bach party cast a lumos for all present into the way quests could be if we were a little more courageous and willing to try every flavor of the Bertie Bott's Beans of life. 

Mischief managed.

July 14, 2011

In honor of France's birthday

It's Bastille Day! Run amok in the streets! Storm the prisons! Behead the nobility! Tie tri-color balloons to your nether regions!

The star-crossed roomie and I are celebrating tonight wiz zuh steenky cheez and zuh wahn zat ees compleecated lahk a womun ov zee certayne ahj. But we can celebrate right this moment here in cyberspace with a selection of Frenchy blog posts I've freelanced for my friends at Go Green Travel Green

Your guide to mealtime in France: You know I was something of a gourmande last year. This post describes all my favorite dishes and desserts, with a special section on les apéros.

How to use the French train system (SNCF): We Americans who live in Fly-Over Land sadly have little occasion to discover what rail travel is all about.  I compiled an exhaustive list of tips on how to ride the French rails for choo choo novices, from how to get your ticket to where to put your luggage.

Paris museums off the beaten track: I ended up going to Paris eight times last year to meet up with various visitors, and I got real sick, real fast of going to the same durn places all the time. These museums are the ones to check out once you're all art-ed out.

Paris in a day: If you're only going to be in Gay Paree for a couple of days but want to stuff as much of it into your eyeballs as possible, read this guide (based on a real-life 25-hour visit).

In other news, I now officially have only three weeks left of funemployment before I rejoin Society as one of its Productive Members. I've learned to keep work and blogging separate so I won't publish the name of my soon-to-be employer here, but if you're curious you can send me an email.

I'm looking for ways to make a little extra dough betwixt now and then (gotta keep up that fromage habit somehow), so if you think you might like to pay me to freelance a bit for your site, let me know in the comments below.

July 13, 2011

The Neenuh Bridal Workout (TM)

Ever since I came home from France people have been making comments on my weight (as in the loss thereof). I was never quite sure how to take it, because I returned at the exact same weight I left at, and I didn't feel like I looked any different. I guess dedicated Francey Pantsers were just hyper-aware of how often I was stuffing whole sticks of butter down my gullet in the form of pastries and thus expected me to have ballooned in girth. What they don't know is calories just don't exist in France.

I have noticed in the last couple of weeks, however, that my pants are in fact getting looser. I protested to the folks who commented on it that I really can't take credit for it, as I have been keeping up my daily fromage allotment as much as my funemployment salary allows. But then I realized that's not exactly true. Without quite meaning to, I've commenced a bridal workout regimen that must be responsible for my newly svelte shape. Either that or I have a tapeworm.

f you just follow these same fitness techniques, the pounds are sure to melt right off your booty as well!*

1. Go for one 30-minute jog/walk once a month. 

A few weeks ago I realized I left my toothbrush at the Dude's. I needed to brush my fangs, stat, so despite the fact that it was noon-thirty on an 85-degree day, I decided to run from my apartment to Walgreens. I arrived panting like a dog in heat, coated in a thick layer of glow. I zigzagged the streets on the way back, telling myself I had to run the North-South roads, but could walk East-West. I got home, collapsed in front of the fan, and vowed that I would never do something as miserable as running ever again.

2. Heft one KitchenAid standing mixer in one arm for 15 minutes and try to look pretty whilst so doing. 

Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune via here

A reporter friend passed along my name to one of her colleagues who was doing a 'ticle on brides who love their standing mixers. The photographer stopped by last Thursday to get a snap of me with my Precious. At first he posed me nuzzling its side while it rested on the table, but he decided it would make a better shot if I was holding it. So I hefted all 25 pounds of Ol' Greeny onto my hip as if it were my own babe. Then I Vanna White-d the heck out of that thing for a good 15 minutes. My arm ached for HOURS. Which means it was a really good workout.

3. Do hot bus yoga. 

It was murderously hot in Mipples a few weeks ago, and you could barely move without your face turning beet red from exertion. I had planned to take the bus down to the 'burbs to see the Dude. I ended up missing my first bus, which resulted in my having to wait half an hour in the blazing sun for the next one. When I got on, huge backpack and shopping bag of nup crafting supplies in tow, there was standing room only. So I had to grasp the luggage racks on both sides of the aisle, underarms bared to the world, and hang on for dear life during our half-hour careening through the southern metro. A few jolts and swerves made the heads of the poor men to my sides nestle right into my pits. . The bracing, contorting and core strengthing I had to do to prevent this from reoccurring was the equivalent of one sesh of bikram.

4. Put together an army of gift bags for your out-of-town guests.

Go to Sam's Club. Buy the heaviest things you can find. Then bob over your bags like a mama bird feeding her young, swiftly depositing two of everything in each one. Calories burned: eleventy million.

*If by "pounds" you mean drops of sweat and by "booty" you mean forehead.

July 12, 2011

Are you ready for some fricking cuteness?

 Then check out these puppies!

Yeah, that's right. MINI brooch bouquets for the flower children. Can you stand it? Can you EVEN stand it?

I had absolutely nothing to do with them so I can't tell you how to make your own, but mayhaps I can wrangle a guest post--or at least some secrets-- out of my Crafting Wizard Step-Aunts-To-Be. What I do know is that if you plan to attend the nups you'd best wear some shades lest you risk being blinded by CUTE!

In other news, discussions continue as to how my 7-year-old Defender of the Rings should best accessorize his outfit. His first idea of a walker was (wisely) nixed by his mother, as were bagpipes. Now a monocle, hobbit feet, a peg leg and other grand ideers have been thrown out there.

What do you think he should add to make his outfit 100% unique?

July 11, 2011

You know you have good friends...

... when you register for Nutella and they know you're not joking.

Lovely, lovely, lovely shower yesterday with some of my favorite Duluthians. This is when the fun stuff starts.

July 10, 2011

T Minus Two Weeks

Our long national nightmare is over. I went with my fourth flower girl to David's yesterday morning and we found her a dress that is age-appropriate, cute as heck and twirly as all get-out.  In your FACE, Wedding Gods!

My other big task for the day was to fix the wedding portrait of my maternal grandparents. I'd gone to Walgreens in Duluth a few weeks ago to get it enlarged, and it came out extremely dark. It was my last stop after a long day of shopping so I didn't want to wait to have the photo tech lighten it.

Instead I went to the Walgreens near my apartment on Friday and asked the photo guy if he could monkey with my scanned copy. His manager swooped in like a hawk and barked that doing so would be a violation of copyright and they weren't interested. I countered that it wasn't an original, that the photo was taken 60 years ago and that both my grandparents and the photographer were dead, and that the photography studio in all likelihood no longer exists AND DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT EMOTIONAL STATE I'M IN? Already moving on to another task, the manager shook his head no and left me shaking with Wedding Crazies rage. On the walk home I imagined siccing my army of favor boxes on him.

A post on the 'Book about the sitch garnered me many offers of scanners and suggestions of places that might not have the level of moral code demonstrated by Monsieur Jerkfacehead. I traipsed over to the home of my dear buddy McSamalama's mom and she generously scanned the pic and commiserated with me over the Joy of Weddings (her son is getting nupped on the same day as moi). I then took the newly scanned and edited photo to Tarzhay Boutique, where they printed it off no sweat. It made me proud to be an American.

All that's left, chickadees, is finalizing and printing the programs, cutting wine corks to hold our escort cards, making gift bags for our out-of-town guests, and two or three (or five) more emotional breakdowns. It shall be done! I swear it... it shall be done.

July 8, 2011

The Ballad of the Flower Children

After much trauma, drama and strewn flower petals, I've decided I'm finally emotionally ready to relay the saga of the Flower Girl Dress Crisis of 2011.

Usually the dress stress at a wedding revolves around either the bride or the bridesmaids. Not so in my case; I ended up purchasing the third dress I tried on the first time I went looking. And my bridesmaids were in and out of Flutter in approximately 1.5 hours-- each happy with the dress she had chosen for herself. There were no fights. No tears. Just hot booties in dresses they liked, praise Moses.

I started probing the minds of FG stakeholders way back in January, offering up adorable little numbers like this:

(Via here)

And this:

(Via here)

Not wanting to be a bridezilla, I asked said stakeholders to thrown in their two cents as well, like I've done with all my other wedding planning. This led to literally dozens of dresses thrown into the mix, until we finally settled on this one in mid-March:

(Via here)
I thought I had this all squared away and could check it off my list, but then the universe bwa-ha-ha'd in my ear and said, "NOT SO FAST, SONNYJANE!" You see, I had three flower girls ranging in age from 6 to 11, and it turns out most flower girl dresses are made for those on the younger end of the spectrum. The sizes on ye above adorable dress do not extend to that of a pre-teen. So. Back to the drawing board.

Thirty-five emails later-- many exchanged while I was vacationing in Berlin and subsequently cut off from the world for a week in Digoin with no internet so I had to sneak into the teachers lounge every day to check my email for 15 precious minutes-- we settled on a new dress. On May 5, this is what we ordered for my three little princesses in ivory:

(Via here)
Then, last weekend, I was at the Dude's house while his stepdad's nephew's family was visiting. His 5-year-old daughter communicated to me in no uncertain terms that she was upset that she was not a flower girl too. Her grandma has been our brooch bouquet wizard, and most recently has created the most adorable little flower girl brooch bouquets known to man or beast. I could understand how watching her make those bouquets for three little girls who were not her would sting, and due to extraneous hormonal factors, this broke my heart and kept me awake all night with shame.

The next morning I asked her if she would please be my fourth flower girl. She said, "I GUESS! If you're SURE you WANT me." I told her I was very sure, and since she was on her way Up North for the week, we looked at David's Bridal website and chose an outfit we could get ready for her in her absence. She definitely wanted purple or pink, NOT ivory, and was quite enamored with the sparkle shoes we saw. This is what we ended up getting her:

I thought it might look a little funny next to three ivory-clad FGs, but to heck with it!

Back to my original three. We had been promised by the bridal shop we ordered from back in May that the dresses would arrive the last week of June or the first of July. It was a bit close for comfort, as we were fairly certain we'd have to alter them, but we'd make it work in time for The Big Day on July 23. Except. Fate decided to screw with me again, and when FMIL called them on Wednesday she discovered that two of the dresses were in New York and one was in China. CHINA. In all likelihood, floating somewhere along the Yangtze River. The proprietress was vaguely confident we'd get them by next Thursday, leaving us one week and one day to alter them if we needed to. If they came in at all, that is.

This. Would. Not. Fly.

We moved on to Plan B, which involved frantically calling all the David's Bridals in a 100-mile radius to see if they had dresses in the sizes and colors we needed, and plucking my adorable first-cousins-once-removed from their summer activities for an emergency shopping trip with their grandma (my aunt).

Long story slightly less long, we found dresses in our color scheme that will need a few alterations, but Will Work. Most importantly, the girls felt confident and beautiful in their new frocks, and couldn't stop twirling around the store in them. Turns out everyone hated the dress we ordered, so this is all for the better.  Perhaps the universe knows what it's doing after all.

One more trip to David's with my Duluth Princess this weekend and we are SET. BAM. Put that in your basket and strew it!

July 6, 2011

Headpiece Parade!

With the help of FMIL, I finally finished my fascinator for the nups. I really liked a certain $80 number from David's Bridal, but why spend all those clams when I could craft the one below for $6? Why, I ask you?

I'm not totally sold on the spidery feathers jutting out the sides, but the beauty of making a $6 fascinator is that I can trim those suckers should I choose to without a care in the world. The feathers are from a floofy at Claire's, and FMIL purchased the fabric rose and sparklies from a fabric store at 50% off. After the morning I had yesterday it felt just great to Triumph and Achieve.

Ella, the Dude's King Charles Cavalier, got jealous of my finery so we made her a beautiful number from some leftover tulle and sparkly flowers from our brooch bouquet-crafting days of yore.

She didn't want to take it off. 

July 5, 2011

Wedding Crazies

With 18 days left to go before the nups, I have now entered what is clinically known as the Psycho Stage, wherein I imagine all the terrible things that could go wrong and am kept awake at night, haunted by visions of anthropomorphized favor boxes that try to strangle me with their little green bows.

Did I mention I got a new flower girl-- my fourth-- on Saturday? It's a funny story; you should ask me about it once Psycho Stage has transitioned into Things-Are-Going-to-Go-Wrong-But-I-Don't-Care* stage, which I'm told I'll ease into like a warm bath a day or two before the ceremony.

For now you can expect me to randomly burst into tears, eat my feelings in the form of lemon curd, and get irrationally angry when I discover that the guy who updated my bank account at Wells Fargo neglected to tell me that I now have a new PIN number, which means I can't access muh money to get bus fare to go down and see the dude. Or maybe it is rational to get angry at him...

You can also expect that if I have one more person rescind their acceptance or decide last-minute that they want to come, thereby ruining my currently-so-perfect-I-want-to-frame-it-and-in-fact-might* seating chart, I. Will. Club. A. Baby. Seal. (Speaking of, here's a funny joke: A baby seal walks into a club.)

*I am sure there are compound German words that convey these thoughts much more succinctly. Such as Dierelaxenphasen and RSVPzeitneinzatharden.

July 4, 2011

Pimm's is Pimm's!

By posting this at 4 p.m. on the Fourth of July I am pretty much guaranteeing no one will read it. But blogging was on my to-do list for the weekend, and crossing it off will make me happy, so I'm choosing not to care. It's kind of freeing. I could say pretty much whatever I wanted with the assurance that this will get buried in your Google Reader.

I like France better than America in a lot of ways! I don't like apple pie or frosting! It makes me crazy to read blogs rife with grammatical and spelling errors so I just don't! I think John Boehner has beautiful blue eyes! I have an entire week's worth of newspapers waiting to be read! I am fascinated by the Kardashians!

Wow. It felt good to get that off my chest. Now, onto Pimm's.

Let me tell you a little story about Pimm's. It was summer 2003, and I had just graduated from high school. My aunt Wendy took my cousin and me on a graduation trip to England to visit my aunt and uncle, who had been living in Oxfordshire while my uncle did work for the Royal Air Force. We happened to be there during the RAF's summer ball, which meant we got put on ball gowns and hobnob with fancy British people while I got the sloshiest I'd ever been in my entire 18 years.

Anyway, we had a pre-party at the home of my uncle's co-worker Malcolm and his wife Babs. They served us a delicious and refreshing drink garnished with cucumbers and lemons. When we asked the name of the delicious concoction, Malcolm told us we were drinking Pimm's. What's in Pimm's, we asked?

"I haven't the foggiest!" he declared. "Babs, what's in Pimm's?"

"Bah, I don't know," she said. "Pimm's is Pimm's!

According to the Fount of Truth (Wikipedia), Pimm's No. 1 is what the English call a "fruit cup," and it's based on gin. Let's learn more, Fount of Truth!
It has a dark tea colour with a reddish tint, and tastes subtly of spice and citrus fruit. It is often taken with "English-style" (clear and carbonated) lemonade, as well as various chopped fresh ingredients, particularly apples, cucumber, oranges, lemons, strawberry, and borage, though nowadays most substitute mint. Ginger ale is a common substitute for lemonade. Pimm's can also be mixed with champagne (or a sparkling white wine), called a "Pimm's Royal Cup". Its base as bottled is 25% alcohol by volume.
Anna invited my star-crossed roommate and me to a shindig at her beef Tom's on Saturday, and we decided to contribute what happened to be the last bottle of Pimm's to be found at our local liquor store. We also got ginger ale and chopped up some cukes and lemons so it could be a kind of vegetable wop.


Happy American Bastille Day, patriots.