Friday, February 27, 2009

Kusudama DIY Project

I had posted previously about Japanese kusudama, which are paper balls, usually made out of flowers or other shapes. The origami skills needs to create these cute little flowers is not anything that should intimidate anyone who hasn't done origami before. But actually finishing a kusudama is time consuming! One kusudama is made up of 12 flowers, or the equivalent of 60 petals.

After a full Sunday afternoon of work, I had my finished my practice kusudama!

I love how delicate yet structured it is! I think it would be perfect to have a long piece of ribbon or even tulle ribbon strung along the side of the pews in my church, with a kusudama here and there.

To make the flowers that make up this kusudama, check out these instructions:

Folding Tree's Kusudama Instructions, part 1

To learn how to take your flowers and turn them into a kusudama, check out these instructions:

Folding Tree's Kusudama Instructions, part 2

You'll need the following to complete a kusudama:
  • 60 square pieces of paper (origami or another lightweight paper)
  • Glue (I just used white craft glue)
  • Optional - bamboo skewer to easily (and cleanly!) spread the glue
  • Ribbon - if you want to hang your kusudama
You might be thinking to yourself, where am I going to get all of this paper and just how expensive is it going to be? I was luck enough to find this set of 1,000 pieces of origami paper on Amazon.

Source: Amazon

For $13.95 I received 1,000 sheets of paper divided between 15 different colors, all in this great pattern, shown above. The sheets are 2.75in squares - initially I had thought these would be far too small and almost didn't buy the paper. However, since each square creates a petal, which them becomes part of a flower, and 12 flowers create a kusudama, it really is the perfect size! My kusudama measures about 6 inches around, so is perfectly cute!

The colors in the set includes shades of blues, pinks, yellows, greens and oranges, with rougly 65 pieces of paper per individual color. In the example I made above, I made 6 flowers with the light blue patterned paper. For the other flowers I used a darker blue, however I made the flowers wrong-side out so that they are white with a tint of blue. I really like this effect, and for the wedding I will (of course!) use the green patterned paper and use probably 2 green flowers per kusudama and make the rest white flowers. I should have enough paper for roughly 12 or 13 green flowers to spread out amongst kusudama balls.

I am so happy with this project, despite the amount of time it will take to make these! However, because the folds are very simple, I can easily enlist Mr. S or some bridesmaids to help get the work done as we get closer to the date.

So...ceremony decorations for less than $20? I think that's a very good thing!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

More Cake Love

So, I recently did a wedding cake "round up" of some some of my favorites on the web - cakes with a modern twist and the ability to really showcase black and white in a great way.

Also at top of mind is how to really make my cake topper shine - I mean, it's a mini version of us up there, we must have the most fabulous pedestal around!

Source: Etsy
Our cake tasting is scheduled for mid-March at Chicago's Sugar Syndicate. I continue to hear nothing but raves about the cakes that are created I'm already drooling!

But most importantly, I can't wait to have a bit of a brainstorming after the cake has been pushed aside (or, you know, devoured...whichever comes first). I don't want to absolutely dictate what my cake will look like because I'd really like to see what she comes up with. But of course, I must have some inspiration to get the ball rolling!

I came across the flickr page for the Sugar Syndicate. I have completely fallen in love with this cake she did, which is actually an engagement cake...


I wouldn't want to copy the cake piece by piece, but I love so many of the elements! The "congratulations" message is great. I mean, it's my (oops, our) day. Put my name (and, err, Mr. Stiletto's) on the cake! Also, we're using a typewriter font throughout different pieces of the wedding, so the lettering on this cake would match up perfectly.

I love how clean the lines are on this, and it feels both vintage and yet modern. Swoon. Wouldn't we look just lovely on top of this?

So many decisions, so many decisions. I think I might need two cakes!


Put a Veil On It

The first veil I ever tried on was around $275. But it was a long, cascading veil, right? Wrong. It only went to my elbows. $275 for a piece of tulle on a comb that barely hits my elbows?! I started to panic at that moment about whether or not I really needed to do this whole getting married thing. Should I be expected to pay so much for something so little just because "wedding" is attached to it?!

Since I'm not the beading/crystal/lace type of bride, I knew that my veil needed to be simple at best, because simple would match my dress well as my personality.

I told my mom that I had found some veils on Etsy that would only run around $30. A deal! Fantastic. She seemed slightly sceptical, but she's not yet smitten with Etsy the way that I am.

And, of course, as I looked through options I was completely overwhelmed with the options, especially the different veils that "cascaded" and were "2 tiered" and this, that and the other. How is a girl to choose?! I flagged a few that I liked and kept on going back to the pictures until I knew I had a favorite. Bella Bridal Veils on Etsy had a simple 1 tier veil with a pencil edge that they would do in diamond white. Best of all, they know how we brides are with decisions, and allow you to return your veil within 10 days if it's not quite right.

Source: Etsy
No, this is not me in the I'm not made of plastic.

Source: Etsy

At $24, this is probably one of the best deals I've gotten for my wedding. Since I didn't want all of the bells and whistles that a veil could possibly offer, I couldn't imagine investing much more for something I'd only wear for an hour or two.

I can't wait to have a picture of myself in the dress and the veil (and the shoes, and the jewelry...and the list keeps on going...) and see how it all pulls together!


Friday, February 20, 2009

On Chicago-Area Dress Hunting...

I started my hunt for the perfect dress a year before my wedding. Why? For two reasons. One -because I lack a single ounce of patience. Two - because I originally thought I was going to buy a vintage dress, and when searching for a one of a kind frock, you need to allow yourself plenty of time while also being ready to pounce when the right one comes along.

My mom and my sister weren't so down with the vintage dress idea. While most of the dresses I was finding would barely make a dent in the budget, they wanted the whole dress shopping experience, tears and all. I can't blame them, but at the time I was completely determined to buy the dress that I loved, that fit my aesthetic (load of tulle!) and was unique.

I became very familiar with the best of the best of vintage Web sites out there, and I plan on posting about that later to share my knowledge with those beginning their quest for vintage wedding attire. But I digress.

In my daily searches for a dress last fall, I came across Tangerine Boutique. While there wasn't much on the site that screamed wedding, I came across this while tulle number for only $165! After weeks of searching, I immediately purchased it!

It's still available ladies, so check it out if you're thinking about going vintage, or maybe just want to be a short dress bride for the reception. But check out the waist is not nearly teeny enough to squeeze into the dress, I quickly found out. And what I thought was more of a snowy white (a rarity in vintage dresses) was much more of an off-white. Much to my dismay (and my family's delight) I had to send it back. Hopefully it will find a good home soon.

Chicago, IL

My first dress excursion last September was at Weddings 826 in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. I went with two of my bridesmaids and had no intention of purchasing (without my mom and sister there, it just couldn't happen). But I wanted to get the first dress shopping experience out of the way and get a feel for what I liked/didn't like. I definitely had jitters going into it.

This was a fabulous experience! Weddings 826 features primarily sample dresses and is situation in a brownstone. Their prices range from $800+ although I didn't find a lot at the lower end. During your appointment, you are the only bride there and the showroom turns into your dressing room. My consultant was incredibly sweet, not pushy, and took the time to explain the different whites to me (diamond white vs. brilliant white vs. ivory).

I fell in love that day with this precious Melissa Sweet. It's so my style with a 1950s feel to it (SO MUCH TULLE!!) and a swiss dot design. It's a lot of dress but never felt too heavy. Swoon. So, ya, maybe it was about double my budget (however, at $1,900 it's a far cry from its original $4,000+ price tag).

I had to walk away, all the while scheming how I could possibly afford it. Could I contribute an extra $900 plus tax above what my parents would contribute? Fortunately my consultant drew me a little picture of "my dress" before I let and told me I could call and check on it at any time. I also strongly encouraged her to hide it at the back of the rack for me.

Chicago, IL

I had visited White Chicago with a girlfriend the previous year when she was searching for her dress. It's a cool experience and a must for any Chicago bride, even if you don't end up purchasing there. Located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, the ENTIRE store is painted white, topped off with consultants in all white. You must take your shoes off before entering, and the consultants wear gloves while handling the gowns. They also primarily carry sample gowns, ranging from $1,000+ (although, again, not as many on the lower end).

I tried on this trumpet-style Rivina gown. I couldn't afford it and someone else had it on hold, but I hadn't tried on a fitted dress yet. I love the vintage feel of the minimal beading, and what you can''t see is the fabulous train in the back, adding a little drama. But again, too rich for my blood.

...and's my dress! My Melissa Sweet from my earlier trip! Doesn't it just look magical? Sigh. At both stores the dress was in a size 10 so the consultants really had to hold it tight for it to look ok. At White Chicago my consultant was a little bit more skilled in the dress yanking department.

Sadly this dress was priced higher at White Chicago than at Weddings 826. I didn't hesitate to mention this fact. My consultant made a few calls and offered the dress to me at $200 less than Weddings 826 if I bought it by the end of the next day. Err, tempting but not without my momma.

A second time, I had to walk away from the dress. But it was really helpful to try it on a again, and as much as I did (and do!) love it, it's A LOT of dress. I'd almost have to take some layers out. And there's no train, which I kind of sort of maybe wanted. I later found the dress on Once Wed for $800, never worn, so I kept that as an option.

Barrington, IL

I had someone suggest Wedding Belles so for the weekend my mom planned to visit from Central Illinois and my sister (MOH!) flew in from San Diego, we went here (along with 2 of my bridesmaids). Wedding Belles is situated in a Victorian house and features sample dresses starting at around $500+. Score!

I tried on at least 10 dresses during my 90-minute appointment. I just looked at this picture a few minutes ago and when "huh?" I assume if there's photographic evidence, I did try this dress on, although I couldn't tell you why.

This one was kind of fun, in an 80s prom way. I think I frazzled my consultant when I said "no beading no lace." She had to scramble for dresses a bit.

And my dress!! Isn't it lovely. I pretty much told the consultant that I hated it and did not want to try it on. She forced me. And of course I loved it. Friends and family teared up. A homerun.

So my experience at Wedding Belles, where I finally made the big purchase, was great because they had so many dresses in my price range (I don't think I tried on anything over $1,200, the one I bought as $600). They did have dresses that were more expensive, but they are kept very separate on the racks so you can easily stay within your budget. I also learned that I didn't care what designer might have made my dress as long as I loved it (my dress I found out later was Allure Couture. Huh? No clue what that is and don't care).

However, and I will say this quite bluntly, I did not like my consultant. Maybe she was having an off day? Whatever the case, she was not very friendly, did not explain the diamond white vs. brilliant white vs. ivory to me. She also stunk at helping me into the dresses (you know how most consultants put the dress on the floor, spread it out and help you step in? She did not do this. For each of the 10 or 12 dresses I tried on, she handed it over to me and told me to put it on. Umm, ok. Thanks, I guess? Keep in mind I'm also standing in the middle of a room, in my underwear, with my mom, sister and two girlfriends. Bending over akwardly and wriggling into dresses. It was like a nightmare).

But at the end of the day, I was victorious with a dress that was UNDER budget, my mom was happy and due to the beautious nature of sample dresses, I was able to take it home with me! Whew.


Monday, February 16, 2009

On Marrying My Best Friend

Before he was "Mr. Stiletto," my personal photographer/paparazzi, or fellow parent to our two kitties, he was "BlueMixes" and I was "tnns82grl." Yes, that's right, did the love connection on this romance. I "winked" at him, the emails flew back and forth, and a week later we were on our first date.

I'd like to state for the record, however, that there was no match right off the bat. Our first date consisted of a dinner at a cute little Italian place in the Bucktown/Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago, followed by a couple of drinks at a nearby bar and watching the Illinois basketball game. I spent the dinner struggling to hear what this guy was saying from across the table in the noisy restaurant, smiling and nodding as needed. He, apparently, did the same.

As we watched the basketball game following dinner, we had a little wager over who would win the game. If Illinois was triumphant he won the bet, and he set the stakes of me owing him a kiss. I wondered how cheesey this guy really was, and if he honestly thought I would kiss him. Fortunately for me, Illinois lost and I didn't have to make good on the wager.

But then he started doing sweet little things. Putting his jacket around my shoulders because it was chilly out. Holding great conversation. We finished up the evening and made plans to get together the next week for coffee so he could help me with my NCAA tournament bracket (I ended up losing...miserably).

Again, I in no way, shape or form had anticipated anything more than maybe a second or third date...but as those dates became less stereotypical "dates" and snowballed into us spending all of our free hours together I knew I had met my match, my best friend, my everything.

It's now almost 3 years later. I can't imagine my life without him. We take care of each other, support one another, and share absolutely everything.

I love him for everything he is, not only because...

...he takes fierce self portraits of himself.

....captures me when I'm stuffing my face at lunch.

...and first thing in the morning with my Kashi cereal. my personal photographer for all of my baking projects. He even encouraged me to start up my first blog, a baking blog...Lazy Susin.

...and takes cheesey photos with me in front of monuments on vacation. front of every single monument!

Who would have guessed that a couple of innocent emails shared back and forth and a somewhat lackluster first date would turn into my fairytale ending.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Adding it Up: Black & White Candy

Oh, my candy buffet - how often I think about you! Stressing about the containers and decor on the table is one thing, but what about the sweet stuff? Since we're sticking with black, white and green on the table, there will probably be a decent about of black candy. Which, of course, tends to be licorice-flavored...not a favorite of many people, including this bride.

To top it all off, candy is of course expensive! Candy Warehouse has a wide variety of bulk candy that you can sort through by color, and their shipping rates seem to be pretty reasonable. I've also found a few things on Metro Candy & Nut, who advertises 10% off your first order. Their selection isn't the best, but I'm always a sucker for a deal.

I looove these suckers! And they're blackberry-flavored...fantastic! I'm such a fan. At a box of 12 for $24.00, they're not the best deal on the planet but they've one me over on aesthetics. They're 3.5 inches wide so should make quite a statement.

Mr. Stiletto loves penguins, and I absolutely love gummy candy. Compromise? Gummy penguins! These babies are fruit flavored and are only $7.50 for 2 lbs (at about 70 pieces per pound). I love 'em!

Source: Candy Warehouse

There does have to be some licorice on the table (though clearly labeled for those of us repelled by the taste). I think these swirls are so cute and because they are individually wrapped, I could easily pile them up on a plate or stand. AND they're only $14.50 for 5 lbs (65 pieces per pound)!

Mmm...non pareils, or chocolate disks with sprinkles. These non pareils are dark chocolate (love!) and a pretty good deal at $29.50 for 6 lbs...good chocolate can't come too cheap!

Source: Metro Candy & Nut

I was pricing out M&Ms (expensive!) when I came across these Sixlets. They're pretty much the same thing without the M&M name attached. But...these are $30 for 10 lbs! Crazy. As you can see, they have an assortment of colors. I would totally do the black and the white then swirl in a couple of trifle dishes. This is a much more economical option than doing a more namebrand candy. I'm really trying not to have a lot of large vessels that have to be filled, opting for platters and things of the like. But with how cheap these are, it would allow me to have a couple of large containers on the table.

So let's see...where am I at potentially on black and white candy?
-Swirl Suckers: $24.00
-Gummy Penguins: $7.50
-Licorice Swirl Taffy: $14.50
-Non Pareils: $29.50
-Black and White Sixlets: $60
Grand Total: $135.50 (plus shipping) for 33 pounds of candy and 12 suckers.

Now just to figure out the green candy options and the do-it-yourself candy projects I have planned (oh yes, I'll be starting quite the candy factory in my house!).

Does anyone else have ideas for deciding how much candy you'll need for your candy buffet?


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Love Affair with Excel

I'll admit it, I have just the slightest addiction with Excel. It all started with a job where I claimed to have a little more Excel knowledge than I actually did. Hmm. But the white lie got me in the door and I soon became entranced with tracking everything with spreadsheets.

So just days after Mr. Stiletto and I got engaged, it came as no surprised that we already had a spreadsheet going for creating our guest list and managing details about possible reception venues. However, there was a slight twist to our spreadsheet happiness - Google Docs. While we easily maneuver within Google Docs because we have gmail accounts, for those of you who don't you can simply set up a Google account and you'll be ready to spreadsheet.

Mr. S and I share our spreadsheets with each other, so we can both have access to them anytime, anywhere...and even at the same time! There's even a chat feature within the document so we can chit chat back and forth as we make changes to the document. Genius!

Things started off pretty innocent at first. The document is simply called "Wedding Budget." And yes, it started off that way, but it has quickly balooned from there to a whopping 12 worksheets. Ahh!

Snapshot of our "budget"...but not a true one, just a mish mosh of what my parents are paying for broken down into scenarios of 110 and 120 and Mr. Stiletto's budget is hidden. I'm not divulging too much information here :)

To share with all of you planning brides, here's a list of the worksheets I'm maintaining and accessing each and every day:
  1. Current Budget
  2. Vendor Contacts
  3. Registry Ideas
  4. Songs (reception & ceremony)
  5. Ways to Involve My Mom in Planning
  6. Quotes (from different vendors)
  7. Dates (sending invitations, RSVPs due, etc)
  8. Hotel Block Information
  9. Needs - Detail (each item of ceremony and reception that needs purchasing)
  10. Reception Timeline
  11. Random Numbers (I have no clue what this is, but it's on there!)
  12. Vendor Payments (schedule of what is owed to whom and when)

A tad obsessive? Possibly. But it keeps things in order and maintains my sanity to some degree. It's also great, as we're looking for rehearsal dinner locations (for example) I can throw a link and price quote into the spreadsheet, along with the preferred contact at that location, and I don't have to search for the information later on.

As I'd mentioned, I also have a spreadsheet for our wedding guest list, but we keep that separate so that we can share it with my MOH, easily providing her with contact information for everyone to be invited to the bridal shower. When we're ready to send out save the dates and the invitations, we can easily download the document and run a merge!

Anyone else out there find a good way to manage information as they continue to plan?


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

5eizen on Etsy...after my own heart!

So I bought my dress this past October and it's been torture not to wear it! I've heavily debated whether or not to post pictures...but I know Mr. Stiletto (as I will refer to him from here on out, as much as he might hate it!) has been thoroughly instructed to not check out any of my wedding posts. And, since I've told only a small handful of people about my blog, my secret is pretty safe from those who will be at the wedding!

First let me say that I saw that the dress had tiered layers and absolutely refused to try it on. Once I finally did (after the saleswoman forced me) I absolutely fell in love. However, because it's rather plain - I didn't want any lace or beading - the salewoman put different (overpriced!) belts and sashes around my waist so that I could see some different options. Which is fine, but they just weren't my style, and with the buttons going down the back of my dress, I hated how the sashes wouldn't lay flat.

I decided that because the dress has such a soft, flowy feel, having my alterations person attach a flower at the waistline would be a great way to add detail. Since I only spent a mere $600 on the dress (from Wedding Belles in Barrington, IL), I'm not worried about making any changes to it (if, say, Vera was involved in the evolution of my dress, I might think twice!).

Last week I saw an Etsy Wedding post highlighting the wonderful work of Irene of 5eizen on Etsy. I saw this ring pillow with her "Elle" bloom and swooned. It's so soft and delicate.

Source: Etsy

I contacted Irene to see about a custom listing - a white bloom on it's own that I could have attached to my dress (she did offer to put it on a pin so that it could be removed from the dress, but I've opted to have it permenately attached).

Source: Etsy

Irene was so fabulous to work with. She gave me a lot of different options on the shade of white (since my dress is "diamond white") and was so responsive with different ideas. I'm anxiously awaiting my flower!

The selection of ring pillows, floral hair pieces and birdcage veils available through 5eizen are phenomenal, modern, and chic. And...the prices will make your jaw drop. She just added a line of floral belts as well that I seriously considered - how vintage yet modern is this belt?!

Source: Etsy


Monday, February 9, 2009

Picking a Damask

I've had plans early on to have a damask wedding. But can you believe all of the different damask patterns out there?! Insanity. Damask means so many different things, from very floral patterns to more graphic.

I've flip flopped all over the place on what pattern was really for me, and have finally landed on the fabric that I had chosen from the very, very beginning.

This "Amsterdam Black & White" from Warehouse Fabrics is $7.98/yd, so pretty comparable to other damask fabrics out there that I've seen. You can purchase samples from Warehouse Fabrics for $2.50, which I did forever ago. When I received my sample in the mail, I was pleasantly surprised - it's not a lightweight cotton fabric.

If I'd looked at the description more closely, I would have seen that it was categorized as a lightweight upholstery/drapery fabric. Perfect! Because I plan (have my mom!) turn this fabric into 18x18 table squares, I like that it will be a little more substantial and have a richer feel.

Ahh...I just love damask. Something about the pattern is so pleasing to me. I can't wait to see how it "pops" at the reception!


Do-It-Yourself Tiered Stands

I swear I think that half of my blog posts have been about this darn candy buffet we're doing as our favor! It started out long ago as something simple and fun to do, and has spiraled into a poitn of complete obsession for me!

The other week I found this great black cake stand for a steal on Amazon - I love it and will easily use it post-wedding! Then I happened across an Amy Atlas post where every cake stand/bowl/platter was black, pulling everything together. Fabulous, true inspiration at last! But where do I find all of these fabulous black elements without breaking the budget? It seems almost impossible to locate different pedestal dishes and cake plates that will add depth and interest to my black that is. White or any other color of the rainbow? No problem. But black for whatever reason does not seem to be a happening color for displaying desserts.

I came across a post on Cake Journal for a do-it-yourself cake tiered cupcake stand. Coming across this project again has saved the day (well, not this specific day - on this day I've cut myself off from buying things for the wedding for at least 24 hours). Round cake boards that are used by cake decorators are both cheap and sturdy.

Source: Cake Journal

On Sugarcraft (where I've often ordered baking supplies) you can buy heavy duty masonite cake boards for next to nothing:
  • 8-inch round: $2.59
  • 10-inch round: $2.99
  • 12-inch round: $3.19

Sugarcraft also has styrofoam cake "dummies" that you then can cover with ribbon and use to separate your tiers:

  • 4-inch high x 5-inch diameter: $2.50
  • 4-inch high x 6-inch diameter: $2.99

So for just $15.00 plus the cost of ribbon, glue, and paper or fabric to cover the cake boards, you have a 3-tier stand that matches your wedding colors/theme perfectly! I'm thinking about buying extra black and white damask fabric, which I'm planning on having on the tables, to cover the cakeboards with. Since I'm already going to order the fabric for the tables, it'll be easy just to add on a couple of yards.

I can't wait to put these together! However, since my mom hasn't been able to do a lot of projects to me (due to my obsessive I-have-to-do-everything-now nature), I'm going to save this as a project for when I visit in the next month or two. Besides, she's way craftier than me!

Now I'll just have to decide what to load up onto the stands...I'm afraid this is turning into more of a dessert buffet than a candy buffet, but since it's my wedding it can be whatever I dream up! But I think I could easily pile on some bright green candies (I loooove gummy candy) onto the tiers, how gorgeous would that be?


Just call me...Miss Stiletto!

Weddingbee has been an amazing resource for me as I've been planning my wedding - the Bees really have their act together and it's amazing to be able to track so many fabulous brides on their way to the alter!

Much to my surprise, I learned last night that Weddingbee wants ME! Who knew?! When I had decided to become a blogging bride, I quickly checked out the requirements for being a as soon as I had the minimum number of posts required to be considered a Bee, I submitted my application. And voila! I'm now a Bee.

I'm so excited to be able to share my ideas and planning over the coming months and to do so as Miss Stiletto. Although, when the hubby-to-be helped me decide on which name to choose, I don't think he considered the fact that he would then be known as Mr. Stiletto - ha!

Engagement Day 1: Little did I know how much planning was ahead of me...

We've gone down a winding road since we were engaged last March, and as plans have changed over and over again, the excitement about the big day has continued to thrive. I'm a lucky lady to be marrying such a fabulous man!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Engagement Photos - Laurie Peacock

I realized I haven't focused very much on photography here, which is funny since photography is such a big part of our life. Since S is a photographer, our life tends to be captured 24/7. So finding a photographer who was going to capture our style and do a phenomenol job, all within our budget, was a must.

Fortunately we found Laurie Peacock, and we truly lucked out. We booked her last summer when she just had a handful of weddings under her belt, and her work has truly gotten more and more amazing as the days have gone by. Honestly, I haven't figured out when Laurie finds the time to sleep, because she always seems to be uploading new work.

We did an engagement shoot with Laurie last September. S and I had our first date in the Chicago neighborhood of Wicker Park. We fell in love there, and were so sad to leave the neighborhood behind when we bought our condo on the north side this past summer. So it was great to strut around the neighborhood to our favorite haunts being followed by our own paparazzi.

These are some of my favorite shots from the day...

I definitely wanted some street art in shots, because Wicker Park is covered with it!

The house next door to our old apartment has this great green fence around it. The little old lady who lived there didn't speak a lot of English. Every time we saw her, she told us to "Take it easy."

You honestly never know what you'll find in Wicker Park.

On the front porch of our old apartment building. This is where Steve was living when we first met, and where I eventually moved in. It was bittersweet to leave.

I hate being photographed, which is ironic since I'm marrying a photographer. However, this is one of my favorite shots of myself. Laurie was standing above us on some porch stairs and it's such a great angle. If only they all looked like this!


Toasting Flutes - Love 'em or Leave 'em?

Does the list of things to buy for a wedding ever end? It seems like for every 1 thing I check off of my list, 3 more things get added on.

I've had my mind on so many of the big picture items for the reception, I've not been thinking about a lot of the little details. Do I need toasting flutes? Will people judge me if I don't have them?

As I do with almost all of my other wedding decisions, I turned to Etsy this morning to help me decide. If I find something I love on Etsy, my decision is usually made for me as to whether or not it's a necessity.

I love these flutes with this fabulous swirl pattern and Swarovski crystals - only $25 for the pair from Etsy's Delightful Finds.

Source: Etsy

Or, what about this set of toasting flutes and cake knife and server for $45 from Etsy's Twisted for Joy? It looks like I could have the beading custom done to match my colors...and it would also solve the pesky problem of not having my cafe knife and server...because, heaven forbid I don't have something special for the 30 blissful seconds I will have of cutting my cake and then smearing it all over S's face.

Source: Etsy

Oh, decisions, decisions. When will the madness end? That's right...September 20th...when I'm sitting on a beach in Aruba!


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Ties for the Guys?

I've been thinking about just having the ushers wear black suits for the occasion - it seems silly to me to ask them to shell out money on a tux, especially when we're doing black and white anyway...I'm figuring most guys have a basic black suit in their closet.

Since buying gifts for the guys always seems to be a struggle, I thought ties would be nice for the groomsmen. I mean, if they're already just wearing black suits and a white shirt, we could tie their "look" together with matching ties. Etsy's Rabbit Stop has an amazing selection of ties, and they're pretty much all $17.50 - what a steal!

Source: Etsy

Wouldn't this patterned tie look great? Since the bridesmaids will be wearing a houndstooth pattern, I think this is a great compliment.

Source: Etsy

The listing says this is black and silver, but in the picture it looks like black and white. Dots would be fun.


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