Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Developments

An interesting development in life – we are buying a car.  For the first time, ever, from a dealership (edit: using financing).  Both of us have bought cars before, but from individuals (not a great experience!), so this is a little frightening and scary. 

Matt has good credit, so we should not have trouble securing financing.  A friend at work is calling in hookups, so hopefully we can snag a good deal.  The ideal car is a 2008 – 2009 Ford Focus, with about 40,000 miles, for less than $14,000. But Ford Fiestas – brand new – are about $16,000, and I can’t help but wonder if it is better to get a new car.  It would be under warranty for years, and if anything was wrong, we wouldn’t have to pay for it. 

We wanted to wait until January to buy a car, but the transmission is getting worse, the speedometer quit working this past weekend, and the steering leaves me feeling scared.  Not to mention the right hand blinker has never worked, and the passenger front handle is missing (so if something happens, the passenger cannot get out of the car easily.  The milage is less than 15 MPG city, and so Matt is spending more than $800/month on gas.  Hence why we are buying a car now, not in 3 months.  The reduction in how much gas we will buy will more than cover the car payment. 

But, in order to put down the down payment, we are mostly eliminating the honeymoon and a good deal of the wedding.  And so I need help, you guys.  Most of the wedding was DIY anyway, but some stuff I was splurging a little on, and now I can’t.

This is what I would love:

Formal portrait and ceremony photography.  One of my bridesmaids has the reception covered as far as photography, and I was planning on paying a photographer for two hours to get these two things.  I don’t need something fancy – I just need someone to stand there and snap the pictures on a good quality camera, and then download the pictures, and put them on a disc for me. 

Videography.  I was planning on purchasing a camcorder and setting it up on a tripod, but I can’t now.  So if you have a camcorder and tripod, and you can bring it, you would be amazing.

Fruits and tea sandwiches.  I am planning on making 1,000 cookies, 150 cupcakes, 100 brownies, and 5 layer cakes, and my aunt Ruthie has promised to make the wedding cake, but I don’t have money for the 1,000 tea sandwiches and fruit platters I was going to do. 

I really, really hate asking for help, because I don’t want to impose.  But I guess if I don’t ask, people don’t know how to help. 

Much love and snickerdoodles will be given to all.  J   

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Fun Filled Weekend!

This was a great weekend.  We made significant progress with the wedding preparations, and had loads of fun!  On Saturday, we went apple picking with Mom, Dad, Kim, Beth, and Mike.

First, we went to Riley’s (the one that does the reenactments).  We took a hayride up from the lower parking lot to the apples.  We went later this year than we normally do, and the apples were already mostly picked out.  Oh no!!  But we got some VERY large baking apples – very tart!  And tonight I plan to make a nice apple cobbler. 

Beth and Mike got pears.

Matt and I went over to Snow Line to get cider, apple butter, and apple donuts.  ZOMG the donuts are sooo good.  If you go apple picking – you must get donuts.  This year, they were $3.50 for 12 mini donuts.  Well worth it. 

Usually, I stop by Los Rios to get the cider, because I like Riley’s cider, and to maybe pick some berries, but we were so tired! We stayed up very late Friday baking cookies to test for the wedding.  I slept on the way home, and Matt napped for about two and a half hours.   

It was very odd – Riley’s looked quite run down compared to last year, and I did not see very many apples at Los Rios.  I used to go in early October with friends, and it was never picked out. 

After napping, Matt and I got ready to go to the Pacific Symphony.  We got orchestra terrace seats (back row, of course) for Mendelssohn’s violin concerto, with Sarah Chang.  They also played “I would plant a tree” by (I think) James Newton Howard, Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture, and concluded with Respighi’s Pines of Rome.  All of the performances were quite amazing!  Sarah Chang was fabulous, and – as always – the conclusion of The Pines of Rome (the sunrise part) made me cry, it was so glorious.  Matt was blown away by the performance.  He has never truly been to a symphony before – the last two times we went were Pops performances – so he was, needless to say, astounded at the performance.

On Sunday, we had church, then we went to Zales.  And we looked.  And looked.  And talked.  And looked some more.

Afterwards, we went back to Matt’s house, and painted the aisle runner.  We painted “I Carry You in my Heart” by e.e. cummings on it.  It’s beautiful.

We watched Happy Feet and Thor while we painted.  I tried to get Matt to watch Emma, but it was a no-go.  Too girly, too slow.  I did not like Happy Feet!  It was extremely suggestive, and I would not let my children watch that!!!  I think they had a good story going on, but the suggestiveness was just over the top, and very inappropriate for children.

Then we ordered something, and when it arrives, it will look like this:

So that was the weekend.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dessert Reception Ideas

Life has been pretty normal lately – thank goodness!  For awhile things were so hectic, I thought I would never get another good night’s sleep again!


It is confirmed, I am ordering my dress from China (, and it should be here right before Thanksgiving.  You don’t get to see it until the wedding (or pictures).


I am trying to figure out the reception food.  My vision is a dessert reception, with tons of cookies and cakes.  Like this:



Or this:



Or this:



I want a cake buffet in there too.  Like this:



Or this:



Or this:



Now I have to figure out how to make all this for 200 people.


I was planning on making 800 cookies, 4 sheet length heart shaped cakes (Awesome idea – 2 layer heart shaped cakes!), and 8 Viennese style cakes (each is 1 layer).  If there are 200 people, that is 4 cookies a person, and the cakes will serve about 150.  My aunt Ruthie is making my wedding cake, so that will serve about 120 – 150, so everyone will get a piece of cake and 4 cookies.  I think that I would also like 150 cupcakes, and about 100 brownies.  The great thing about baked goods is that they are so cheap.  For the brownies, I just need 4 box mixes and cupcake liners to put the brownies in.  For the cupcakes, that is the liners, 6 box mixes, and 3 cans of frosting.  Rather inexpensive, but still a stunning display. 


Matt says that people will help with food, but I would rather have enough food for everyone, without needing help.  And if people want to help, then fruit and tea sandwiches are what I would like best.  So we will see!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Decision Fatigue and How it Affects Dieting

I read this - – article in the NY Times about the willpower muscle in your brain.  After making constant decisions, the muscle wears out, and you either make hasty, impulsive decisions, or you are unable to make decisions.


Towards the last half of the article, the author refers to studies indicating that glucose gives your willpower muscle energy.  When you eat sugar, it is thereafter easier to make rational decisions.  This is why dieters have such a hard time dieting – they need glucose to maintain willpower, but glucose is what dieters typically avoid! 


I’ve noticed this in my own life.  Just yesterday, I was feeling really tired and unable to do my work properly.  I had a candy bar, and finished out the rest of my workday with zeal.  This inspires me to start eating fruit and nuts in the afternoon, when my willpower is fading.  In order to avoid junk foods and be able to work properly, I should eat a couple pieces of fruit to help me keep going.


What an interesting topic!  I would be pleased to see more studies on this topic, and perhaps policy changes based on the findings.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

In the Double Digits

100 Days to Go.


A lot has been going on.  I picked a dress, and I will order it shortly from China.  Wedding crafting is at an all time high, and I’m getting ready to start assembling the invitations, as well as making bridal shower plans with Gina.


Matt and I checked out Bodega Louie in downtown LA.  OMGitisthebestthingihaveevereaten!  The pastries are perfectly delicious.  We got a chocolate raspberry truffle and a hazelnut brownie.  The tart shells are brownie, and the raspberry flavor was just perfect – not too artificial.  It is on Grand/7th if you want to check it out.


Any special news?  Not that I know of.  Life is pretty steady in these parts.  Soon as I get any juicy pieces of news, I will post.    

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dratted Dress Economics

Say I was to make the above pattern, if I wanted a dress like Snow White or Cinderella.  It would cost me about $200, with shipping, to get the dress from China


Or, I could make the dress for about $100.  (22 yards of fabric at $8/yard [less, if I make the top layer tulle], 50% off with coupon, plus $1 for pattern, and $10 for notions)  I could even add some gorgeous lightweight appliqués for about $20 that matched my veil.  If I got the fabric on Monday, I would also get 10% off my whole purchase. 


BUT, this would take at least a month of hard work, and the bodice would take lots of patience to enlarge a couple sizes.  Is it worth it?

The Dratted Dress Dilemma Continues

I thought I didn’t want a romantic dress (the first and second pictures).


I thought I wanted glamorous, dramatic, unforgettable (the third picture).


Last Saturday, I tried on “Cinderella” at Alfred Angelo, and I really, really liked tulle.  (Hated the beading, loved the tulle.)  So now it is off to Alfred Angelo once more to try and figure out what dress is the dress, and then to either sew it or order it from China.  Oh what a hard decision.


The dresses in order:  Cinderella, Snow White, Tiana