Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More on the Tables

Last week I shared the inspiration behind our centerpieces, so today I'm showing my interpretation of it all. I could start by going over why I decided what I did, and what pieces of inspiration I decided to move on from, and where my main inspiration came from. Instead though, I thought it might be easier to start with a picture.
With Lit Candels
As you probably noticed submerged flowers did not make the cut. That isn't to say I don't love the look, but as Heather commented, it just seemed to be difficult logistically to carryover.

I obviously did make use of the wine bottle inspiration. I've been planning on incorporating wine bottles in the centerpieces for a while now, so I've been able to save wine bottles over the past few months. At this point I easily have enough for each table plus a few extras. And I can imagine the the weeks to come as I start to stress out I'll be adding even more to that collection.
Inside the candle jars is purple table scatter, or basically fake purple plastic-y rocks I found at Michael's. I'm trying to track down some blue rocks too. But at this point am unsure if I'll have one purple and one blue jar, or a mix of the colors in each one.

I'm planning on having our table numbers on the metal holders, and in the picture frame a definition of the number used. And we have come up with 12 different extra math-y numbers. Which means I this point I really need to start printing them off as well as their definitions.
Centerpiece Mock-Up
I guess at this point, the only thing I haven't mentioned are the fake flowers which are, of course, from Michael's. I couldn't tell you what type of flowers they are supposed to be, but I just liked the look of them.

While I really love all the pieces involved here, I'm not completely sold on their arrangement, so I have a feeling I'll be tweaking it slightly before the big day.

What are your thoughts on diy-ing centerpieces? And do you have any thoughts on the optimal arrangement for all these pieces together?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Movie Review

The Watch
For a movie with so much controversy behind it that they had to change the name, I would have expected something better. But this movie just wound up being really boring. You know, how you'll sometimes say, "The funny scenes were in the previews." Well this time the only funny scenes were in the preview. Seriously ever single funny scene made the preview, which just tells you how few funny parts there really were.

About halfway through the movie I even asked the boy if we could leave, but we stuck it out. I guess maybe they should have been less concerned with a Neighborhood Watch controversy, and more concerned with making a good movie.

If you are heading to the theaters I would avoid this one, but at least you do have a lot of other good options to choose from.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mailbox Monday (7)

I'm back linking up for Mailbox Monday, which is hosted by Mrs. Q: Book Addict for the month of July, to share the books I've picked up in the past weeks.
Admissions by Nancy Lieberman
This, along with the other bargain priced books, wasn't sure bargained priced, but clearance as well. Which meant it was 75% off the bargain price. So basically each of these bargain priced books was right around $1. This one is about moms in NYC getting their kids into the right private school.

Where We Belong by Emily Giffin
This is the main reason I went to the bookstore in the first place. This is Emily Giffin's newest, and since I've loved everything else by her, I'm sure I'll love this one.

Very Valentie by Adriana Trigiani
I believe this one is a historical fiction that takes place in Italy.

Star Wars A Scanimation Book by Rufus Butler Seder
Under normal circumstances I probably wouldn't have picked this up, but given the price I think it was well worth it. Each page features a different moving scene with a quote from one of the 6 movies.

Not a huge week, but definitely an exciting one for me. I always love good bargain on books, plus I'm really excited to start reading Where We Belong.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Dressing Up the Tables

If you remember when I posted about our florist I mention that I only wanted him to provide bouquets. That doesn't mean I'm not planning on having any type of centerpiece, but instead what to do them myself. But before I show you my centerpiece mock-up, I thought it only made sense to share my inspiration. Since after all, that is what came first for me. First I fell in love with submerged flowers,

via Mrs. Snow Cone

and pinned photo,

after photo of them.

Then I moved on to centerpieces featuring wine bottles.

via Mrs. Mascara
Again again, pinned several versions

of ways wine bottles could be used in centerpieces.

For a few other fun ideas, this one didn't include wine bottles, but it did incorporate wine glasses.

And I love this one because of the sprinkles. Although I wouldn't think a wedding is the appropriate place for this, I think it be a lot of fun to reaction for something a little less formal.

I will admit I didn't incorporate every one of these ideas into our centerpieces. But when I do the big reveal, I can promise you will see some familiar. Any guess as to which ideas I'll be using? Or which one of these pictures is your favorite?

Those Mortal Instruments

The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
It's hard reading a series like this over years. Yes, years. I read the last book in 2011, and the first 3 in 2010. But since I'm reading them as they're published it can't really be helped. Although once they're finally all out, I'd love to sit down and read them all back to back to understand more of the story by reading it together.

But moving on... It's funny going back and reading my review of The City of Fallen Angels, because its different than memory. I remember being bored throughout it, but loving the cliffhanger. Although from my review, I guess I liked it more than I thought at the time. (Another reason it isn't fun waiting a year between books.)

But knowing that I remember the last one as boring, this one redeemed itself (and also brought me out of my book slump). There's so many different plots going on by know, and I loved how each was weaved throughout the story. And I really liked Clary's & Jace's interactions in this one.

As we've come to expect with Clare, there is a cliffhanger, but it's not nearly as crazy as the last one. And while I can't wait till the 6th (and final?) mortal instrument book comes out, I'm even more excited for the 3rd infernal devices book.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Pinned Ya - Peanut Soba Noodles

Lately the boy has been saying that I haven't been cooking nearly as much as him. Although that could possibly be do to the fact that the boy is teaching summer school, which means he's only teaching 4 days a week and is finished teaching by 1pm on the days he does teach. He has far more free time than I do, so it only makes sense that he has more time to cook than me. But the point if, after getting tired of hearing him complain, I decide to scroll through the recipes I'd pinned and make something for dinner.
I've pinned a ton of soba/peanut recipes, but the one above for Chilled Peanut Soba Noodles by Claire Robinson of the food network is the one I decided to go with. Since I knew the boy would freak out if there wasn't meat of some kind included, I wound up buying a rotisserie chicken, shredding it, and throwing it in. I also used to maximum amount of Sriracha called for, since I knew the boy would prefer it spicy.
Not nearly as pretty as the actual pin
I wound up really enjoying this. But the boy hated it, and tried to hide the fact he put almost all of his serving back into the serving bowl. Now to be fair, there is a lot of vinegar in it, and the boy is not a fan of vinegar. I on the other hand have a taste for it (back in high school my favorite snack was feta with just balsamic vinegar, now I at least at olive oil to the mix), so it isn't a surprise we had complete opposite feelings on this. Reading through the reviews on this, we seemed to have a standard experience since some readers loved it, and other thought it was too vinegar-y.

With that said, I would still make this again, just for me only next time. And if I'm making it just for me, I would probably hold back on the amount of Sriracha used.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Six Slices of Deliciousness

Remember back in March when I wrote how I choose our cake baker? At that initial meeting I only got to try one slice of cake (white almond with white buttercream), but was told that once I put my deposit down I would be able to get a box of 6 slices with flavors of my choosing to try. Well I finally got my box...
Cake Samples
In case you don't want to read the labels, starting in the back row we have Chocolate Doberge, Pecan Praline, Raspberry, Bavarian Cream/Grand Marnier, Turtle, & Cream Cheese (aka Red Velvet Cake with cream cheese). Now starting with my thoughts on each slice, going backwards this time.

I never actually planned on having red velvet cake for the wedding cake, but really just wanted a slice because it's one of my favorites. Funny enough though, I wound up not like the red velvet near as much as I liked the almond slices, so it worked out well here.

In my e-mail I actually asked for turtle with chocolate buttercream, but I guess didn't specify white almond cake, so they gave me chocolate instead. Which so much chocolate it's difficult to taste the filling, which is pecan/caramel/chocolate. I went into the tasting expecting to love this one, but it's not quite caramel-y for me, and the pieces of pecan felt a little big to be inside cake.

As I've said over & over on the blog, the boy is not a fan of desserts. But he is a fan of Grand Marnier, so I thought Grand Marnier flavored cream would be perfect for him. Except it was still too sweet for him, but I was a fan. It isn't an over the top Grand Marnier flavor, but instead tastes more like a hint of orange.
Half Eaten Samples
Going into the tasting, I knew I wanted at least one fruit flavored tier. The groom's cake is going to be strawberry, so it seemed silly to have the wedding cake strawberry as well. The idea of a lemon flavor didn't excite me. And while I considered coconut, I'm only sometimes into it. Which left raspberry. It worked out though because out of all the flavors I sampled this was my favorite.

Initially I thought I was going to have a hard time deciding between the pecan praline and the turtle because they were similar. And in fact I probably ate the most of these two slices trying to make sure I knew which one I preferred. I really thought it was going to be the turtle, but I wound up enjoying the praline quite a bit more.

Doberge is actually a New Orleans thing. According to wikipedia, traditionally "the cake is made of multiple thin layers of cake alternating with dessert pudding." Although, out of all the flavors I tried this is probably my least favorite and seemed like a normal chocolate filling.
Half Eaten
Back Row of Half Eaten Cake
I think you could probably guess from my comments, but I decided to go with Grand Marnier for the bottom (aka the layer we'll cut into and taste), raspberry for the center, and pecan praline for the top. Although I'm not planning on saving the top layer for our anniversary, instead I'd rather just get a brand new fresh cake a year later. So this way our venue will hopefully cut into all 3 layers, so guests can have a choose of all 3 options.

What flavors did you choose for your cake? And if you had to choose out of these 6 options, which ones would you go with?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blog Swapping

Today I'm participating in the 20-something bloggers summer blog swap! Which means you can find my summer vacation post over at Lodie's Blog, and you'll find Lodie's post on her trip from CA to GA below!

Well hello there!

This is Lodie from Lodie’s Blog. Today, I am taking over Shoshanah’s blog for the day. Thanks girlie, I have much appreciation. I was born and raised in Northern California; however, I moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, when I was 19, and I lived there for eight years. Last year I decided to relocate back to California, but I am missing my Aloha daily. Oftentimes, I find myself using phrases like, “da kine and eh.” It’s a local Hawaiian thang! But I digress.

For today’s blog swap the theme is childhood summer vacations. Initially, I was going to write about a family trip to Nassau, Bahamas.
Then I remembered a family vacation I went on one summer to my mom’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. I was 10 when we took a road trip from Sacramento, California, to Atlanta, Georgia. I don’t know what my family was thinking. My family occupied two vans for this trip. The van that I was in had a total of 10 people, or so, that’s how I remember it. We were crowded, hot, sweaty, and uncomfortable.

As I’m sure you've figured out, I’m the young girl in the picture standing with family.
The bonus to the vacation was that this guy I had the biggest crush on was in the car with us. His family and my family had been friends for several years, so they were invited. He and I laughed about the most random and ridiculous things the entire 2,400 miles we drove. We even listened to random music like, Kris Kross, as we jumped up and down in the van. And every time we’d drive by a truck we would pull our arm down, so the truck driver would hunk his horn. Silly children, but priceless memories!

On my trip, we made a stop in Arizona and I found this random picture of a man standing in front of a tepee. I will never know the real story behind this picture. I know that it’s staged, but as a 10 year old, it made my entire trip. I believed that I had discovered a real Indian’s picture. 20 years later and I can’t believe that I still am in possession of it.
Once we arrived to Atlanta, I was ecstatic. It was the first time that I would be meeting my southern family. They cooked, and I ate until I was full. My parents were usually strict about what I ate, but when I was around my southern family, there were no limits. “Eat whatever you want bay-bae.” It was the way my mom’s aunt pronounced baby that left comfort in my heart. I knew that I was right at home.

Do you have a memorable childhood summer experience that has stayed with you into adulthood?

Thanks Lodie for stopping by! As for I memorable experience, after reading this post, I can't help by remember camping, I beleive at Calavaras Big Trees, where they had big Indian grinding rocks. Each rocks had tons of small divots that had been worn down in places where they used to grind corn, and where we used to pretend to grind corn.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Movie Review

The Dark Knight Rises
Now I never saw Batman Begins and I can barely remember The Dark Knight, but even so, I loved this movie. There was so much going on in this, with so many different plot lines, but it all just worked. And I thought the ending was really fitting for the trilogy, and even brought me to tears.

Now I'm not sure the right way to say this, but normally in a movie you watch all these hostage type scenes and think, "This is a movie. This doesn't happen in real life." Except with what happened you can't help but have this thought in the back of your mind that this does happen in real life. And it isn't that people imitate movies, but the opposite. Because if it wasn't already happening in real life, people wouldn't even think to put it into a movie.

On a lighter note, if you are unsure about seeing this whatever the reason may be, I think it would be a mistake not to see this in theaters. It is a long movie, but by the end I would have willingly sat through an hour more. It really is that good, and for now I think it's probably my favorite movie of the year.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Mostly True Memoir

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson
I feel like I'm in somewhat of a book reading slump lately. For example, with this book while I wanted to love it, and while I did enjoy it, I couldn't really get into it.

While I read a lot of the big name mommy blog, The Bloggess isn't one I read. I actually wound up picking this up for book club. While I do think I would have gotten to it eventually on my own, it wasn't one I was dying to read and that may have been part of the reason I wasn't a huge fan.

Don't get me wrong there were parts I enjoyed. I loved reading about her blogger getaway weekend, and imagining just exactly what actual bloggers were all that trip. But also in that chapter I really enjoyed reading about her "freaking out" about meeting her blogger friends in person, because I've had that same internal dialogue on the meet-ups I've gone to. Although I've never gone to a weekend away with a ton of bloggers, I would love to.

I do think each chapter would have worked better as a standalone blog posts, and reading all these somewhat connected stories back to back felt a little repetitive for me. Don't get me wrong, I thought individual stories were funny, but it was hard for me to read several chapters at once.

I always feel somewhat guilty writing a review on a book I didn't fall in love with. But I guess the thing is just because I wasn't a huge fan of this doesn't mean you'll feel the same. In fact, most of the reviews I've read on this have been raving about it, so maybe I'm just the odd one out.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Show Me The Money

Until I had moved to Louisiana I had never even heard of the money dance. But every single wedding I've been to in the state of Louisiana has had one. So in case you're like me from a few, you may be wondering just exactly, "what is a money dance?" In the simplest terms, it's basically a dance set aside for the bride and the groom to dance with their guests. Except the catch, and where the name comes in, is that in order to dance with the bride or groom, you're supposed to pay them.

via Mrs. Espresso
See the dollar bills under Mr. Espresso's suspenders?
If bring up etiquette and weddings, the number one topic that's going to cause conflict is probably the money dance, and I can definitely see why. After all, your guests have already bought you gifts, they may have spent quite a bit of money to travel to come see you, and now you're going to force them to pay to dance with you. When I first heard of them, I was definitely against them and thought there was no way I'd ever do one at my wedding.

Except I've slowly started to change my mind. I think the idea that it gives you the chance to dance with someone that otherwise you may not have the opportunity to, is what did it for me. And since it's encouraged for people to cut in, you could dance with far more people in a given time than you would otherwise.

via Mrs. Lioness
Mrs. Lioness dancing with all her bridesmaids.
I don't think anyone would be offended if it was called "A Dance with the Guests," but it's not. Although I can't imagine there would be a bride or groom out there who would refuse to dance with someone if they didn't bring money with them. A friendly term, which it's sometimes called, is the Honeymoon Dance, since the thought is the bride and groom are collecting spending money for their honeymoon. Except the boy & I aren't planning on taking a honeymoon immediately after the wedding, so that doesn't quite work. (And no I haven't blogged about this yet, but I promise I will.)

via Mrs. Ballet Flat
I can't imagine this guest was contributing his own money.
At this point we are planning on doing a money dance, but only with a single song. To elaborate that, I've been to weddings where the money dance goes through 2 or 3 songs to make sure more people can join in. But if we're doing it, I think 1 song is more than enough.

As for what song, I think it'd be fun to use "That's What Friends Are For," which reminds me not just of Bar & Bat Mitzvahs I attended, but even more importantly The OC's Chrismukkah Bar Mitzvah Spectacular. I think it's a great fit since it's an easy song to dance to, plus in my opinion, the whole point of the money dance is to be able to dance with your friends that are there to celebrate with you.

Are you familiar with money dances? Would you ever consider having one (or did you have one) at your wedding?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Let's Get Hungry

As I mentioned in my Mailbox Monday post, my dad was out in Louisiana visiting last week. It was the first time my dad was here visiting without my mom, which really did feel weird. But I guess that's just how things are going to be from now on. But we did keep a few traditions, and went out to a few fun restaurants together. So as you'd expect from me, here's a few food photos.
Crab Benedict
Brunch at Mason's Grill.
We actually ate here about a year and a half ago when my parents flew out to help pick our wedding venue. But the boy and I have never been here on my one. I got Crab Cakes Benedict (aka a poached egg and hollandaise sauce on top of a crab cake), and a sweet potato on the side.
Sweet Potato Pancake
Dinner at Doe's.
This was a new one for the boy & me. (Although I've heard of it before since Kelly from Kelly's Korner seems to always be going here. I just had no idea it was a chain.) I started with a cup of Shrimp & Corn soup,
Shrimp & Corn Soup
and split a 2.5 lb steak with the boy. (And by split I basically mean he probably ate 2 lbs of it.)
Steak & Fries
My favorite part of this meal, was probably the biscuits, but I guess they weren't picture worthy to me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Final Invitation Post

It's been a while since I've posted anything about our invitations, but I've had so many posts them I figured I'd give you a break before wrapping things up. I promise this will be the last post on the invitations (as implied by the title), so what better way to wrap things up than by going over the costs.

I mailed out 59 invitations. I have 7 extras that are completed in the house. Plus I have enough supplies to make at least 4 or 5 more. So to make things slightly less complicated, we're going to calculate the cost for making a total of 70 invites.
Scrapbooking Paper
Each invite used 2.25 sheets of paper (the pocketfold (1.25 sheets), the envelope lining (.5 sheets), the bellyband and the purple backing of the invitation (.5 sheets for these together)). Most pieces were purchased for $0.69 each. But some were at $0.25 each, and some were at $0.10. Plus I bought a book of pattern paper (for around $4? I lost that receipt.) and used 8 pages of out it to line paper. And I used a bunch of paper leftover from my scrapbooking days to line envelopes. So let's say $0.50 per sheet.
$1.125 per invite or $78.75 per 70 invitations.

Vellum Paper
$11.99 for 50 sheets of paper (Office Depot Brand Premium Translucent Vellum Paper), and I used half a sheet per invite.
$.12 per invite or $8.39 for 70.

Invitation Backing
$14.49 for 100 sheets of paper (Premium Banana Fiber Paper from New Leaf Paper). Again I used half a sheet per invite.
$0.07 per invite or $5.07 for 70.

Card Stock
I used this for the RSVP, Information, and Directions card, which meant I needed a total of 1.5 sheets per invitations. This was Southworth's Business 25% cotton cover stock (65 lb.) purchased at $18.49 for 100 sheets.
$0.27 per invite of $19.41 for 70.

I purchased 1 spool of ribbon for $2.50 that got me through about 65 invitations. Yes, I did go out and buy a second. But considering there was ribbon I wasted from cutting it too small and having to through it away, I think you can safely say all I really needed was one spool, which is what I'll be using in my calculation.
$2.50 for 70.

Photo Corners
I used these to get the invitations stuck in the middle so it could still be removable. I bought a box for $3.99 and still have a ton of extras.
$3.99 for 70

Tape Runner
I went through a TON of these. I had three already that I quickly went through (although 2 of them were basically useless and pretty much broke). And probably went through at least 4 complete rolls from various brand. (Nothing like a late night Target run for tape runners, right?) I'm not sure what I purchased each for, except the refills from that Target run were $6.14 each. So let's calculate based on 4 refills.
4 refills at $6.14 each or $24.56 for 70 invitations.

I bought 90 envelopes for $41.20 from a local printing store. (If I remember they were $0.45 each plus tax.)
$0.46 per invite or $32.04 for 70

I used 3 $0.45 forever stamps for each invite. (1 for the RSVP, 2 for the invitation itself.
$1.35 per invite or $94.50 for 70.

(Not Included in these costs are the paper trimmer, the scorer, and the hole punch because I'm obviously going to have TONS of other projects that they will be needed for. (What they may be I'm still unsure of.) Also the expensive printer the boy bought me as a holiday present so I could actually print them. I also used a few photo splits to help hold the bellyband together, which were left over from my scrapbooking days. And the wraparound labels were made from normal computer paper that was lying around the house. And one more... ink cartridge aren't included here. I think I went through about 2.5 black ink cartridges, but again there's an MIA receipt.)

In Total:
Without Postage: $174.71 for 70 invitations or $2.49 per invite
With Postage: $269.21 for 70 invitations or $3.84 per invite

So did DIYing our invitations pay off financially? At first I was ready to tell you no. But now that I've totaled it up I'm actually a little surprised. Consider the fact that our STDs were $1.99 each before postage and the invitations came out only $0.50 above that. I never did research invitations to see their actual cost, and while I would imagine I could buy pre-made invitations for this price, I wouldn't be getting nearly as much. So I guess I could call my DIY invitations a success.

And again, since I promise this is my last invite post, here's a link to all of the posts in case you missed them.
The Big Reveal
Behind the Pocketfold
Behind the Invitation
Behind the Inserts
Behind the Labels
Behind the Process

If you don't mind sharing, what did you wind up spending our your invitations? And would you ever considering completely DIY-ing your wedding invitations?

Monday, July 16, 2012

Cold as Ice

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
As a quick intro, I've never actually seen the first 2 Ice Age movies. But I did at least see Ice Age 3. It is kind of funny going back to read that post and hearing how we see everything possible in 3-D, because know we only see special movies in 3-D. (For example, we saw Brave in 3-D, and we'll probably see Despicable Me 2, but we saw this in 2-D.)

As for the movie, I really enjoyed it. There was just a lot going on with a lot of different subplots that just worked together. It kind of reminded me of The Lion King mixed with The Land Before Time with Pirates thrown in. I can't necessarily tell you to see this before Brave, but this is by far the better alternative to Madagascar 3.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mailbox Monday (6)

I wasn't sure I was going to be linking up with Mailbox Monday this week (which is hosted by Mrs. Q: Book Addict for July) since I didn't have any actual "books" to share. But my dad was visiting earlier this week, and we did pick me up a cookbook. While while it isn't a book with a plot, it is still a book, right?
Mailbox Monday
My Family Table by John Besh.
John Besh is probably my favorite celebrity chef, (although I've yet to actually eat at one of his restaurants). But I loved him back when he competed on The Next Iron Chef and on Top Chef Masters, and there's also the fact that he's a Louisiana chef. I actually bought his last cookbook as a Hanukkah present for my mom, and probably would have bought this for her if she had been alive this past December.

Flipping through this book the recipes look delicious, but I especially love all the pictures of his sons (one of whom is on the cover) and how they're wearing LSU clothes throughout (again if you look closely his son IS wearing an LSU football shirt). I'm excited to cook from it, and hopefully actually have a chance to eat at one of John Besh's New Orleans restaurants.

What did you find in your mailbox this week? And do you have a favorite celebrity chef?

Sunday Social

I feel like so many of the blogs I follow are participating in A Complete Waste of Makeup's Sunday Social, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and join in.
Best trip you've ever been on
It's hard for me to pick a favorite since I feel like I've been on so many awesome trips, but it would have to be either my Birthright trip to Israel,
The group at the Kotel
Can you find me in this picture?
or our family trip to Italy in 2000.
Image (8)
Funny enough, both of these trips were actually taken with my BFF/MOH.

Best idea for a girls weekend trip
Back in college we took a spring break trip to the Florida Keys. Except it wasn't a drink all day/go crazy type of spring break trip. Instead we spent most days lounging at the beach, and grilled out at our condo most night. (Although we did spend one night out in Key West at a drag show, where we went a little crazy.) Anyways that's the type of girls' trip I'd love to have, a laid back weekend at the beach.
Best idea for a couples trip
I would love to go to Turtle Island in Fiji. I mean you have your personal private beach. What could be better than that?

Best vacation on the cheap
Growing up we used to also go camping up on the mountains. They would be a good bit of planning involved trying to make sure that you had enough food packed for a week, and all the camping necessities. But it wasn't a high cost trip. I haven't gone to the mountains since college, but I'd love to take a camping trip with the boy.
Yes, this is me, blonde hair and all.
I'm around 3 or 4 here.
Place you most want to visit
My top three would have to be Australia, Greece, or Egypt.

Vacation/Travel necessities
Obviously a book, but more importantly a book that takes place where I'm visiting. I still remember reading Walking the Bible in Israel, or a modern day Venetian love story in Italy, or a Guinevere book in England. I just think it's fun to actually read something that makes the most of the trip you're already on.

If you're here from Sunday Social, thanks for stopping by, and be sure to let me know you were here! And if you haven't linked up, what would be your answers to these questions?

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Glass Heart of Venice

The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato
This book has everything that my mom loved in a book. There's a historical story and a plot in present time and each tale is told in alternating chapters. There's a mystery that our character in the present is trying to solve, and at the same time we as a reader get to see the mystery unfold as it happens in the past. My mom lent me books of the same basic plot line over and over throughout the years, so it's somewhat fitting that the last book she lent me before she passed away follow this formula.

Here, the past is Venice in the last 1600s. We meet a famous glassblower who may (or may not) have been a traitor to the city and helped the French build the hall of mirrors at Versailles. In the present we follow Leonora Manin, and Englishwoman who goes to Venice in hopes of becoming a glassblower.

I really wanted to enjoy this one, but I just couldn't get into it. I think maybe the sentiment behind the book, distracted me from the actual story and I just couldn't connect to the actual characters. I felt like time, in the present sections especially, seemed to be off. It seemed months would pass for the character between chapters, yet it was never actually mentioned, and it was difficult to have a bearing on the actual timeline of events. I did like the historical chapters more, and think if this was only a historical novel, it may have worked better.

I do think this book had a lot of potential, and I'm a little disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more. I have to assume that my mom really liked it, otherwise she probably wouldn't have passed it on to me. So if you do decide to pick this one up, hopefully your experience with it is closer to my mother's.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wear it

Yesterday, I introduced you to all the shoes I was considering for the wedding. Today is the big reveal. The shoe I decided to go with is the RSVP Sadie in Navy.
I realize this isn't the clearest picture, but it's the one truest to their color. Here is a clearer picture, although the color is a little off.
Can I say that trying to take a picture of yourself wearing shoes is one of the most awkward things ever?
The shoes do fit, although I do think a half size smaller could have worked too. But at this point I'm not sure I have the patience to order a second smaller pair and then mail these ones back. I did read in the reviews someone who wrapped a rubber band around them to make them narrower, which I may try. I'm also thinking of wearing sometime of insert thing-y as well. But the shoes do work, and I can walk in them, at least as well as I normally do in heels.
Just ignore all the random hair ties & wires in the background. And the fact that I didn't zoom in enough to crop out my pushed up jeans.
You can see here that while my toes do show, it's not really enough to be noticable. I am planning on getting a pedicure before the wedding, so hopefully that, along with the pretty shoes, will distract anyone from seeing my ugly toes.

I am still looking buying something to stop my heel (small as it may be) from sinking into the grass, as well as the insert I mentioned to make the shoes a little snugger. So if anyone has suggestions of where I should be looking for those, please sent them my way.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If the Shoe Fits...

The day after I posted this about how I wanted to wear colored shoes for the wedding, Bridesmaid Chicago sent me an e-mail with links to a bunch of shoes. Now at this point, while I knew I wanted shoes, I hadn't actually bothered to research any. So the fact that she took the time to search colored shoes, and type up suggestions to me in an e-mail meant a lot. Here's a few of her suggestions and what I liked or didn't like about them.

I loved so many aspects of these shoes! I loved the color. I loved the bow on the back. But they just seemed to tall for me. I don't walk well in heels. Yes, I wear them to work, but take them off as soon as I sit at my desk. And there's been many a days were my coworkers have asked if I was injured because of the way I was walking. But no, it's just because I was trying to wear a taller heel than normal. And have I also mentioned our ceremony is on grass? These heels just look a little too pointy to work there.

These fit the bill in that they were shorter, except I wasn't a fan of the fact they were open toes. See, I hate my toes and think they are probably some of the ugliest toes in existence. My toes are crooked, I don't really have a pinkie toenail, and then there's the fact that I don't really have movement in them. While I realize under my huge dress no one will probably see them, I'd rather wear something with a closed toe.

I loved so much about these shoes! First of all I think the flower puff is adorable. Plus they didn't seem too tall, and they're closed toe. But they're purple. Of course our wedding colors are blue and purple, so I could have pulled it off. But I kind of wanted my shoes to be my something blue.

Now that bridesmaid Chicago had actually gotten me to look at shoes with the ones above, I myself browsed to find a few more to hopefully meet my requirements.

I fell in love with these shoes. They were closed toe, I thought the flower was perfect, and they were Kate Spate. But you did have to pay for that name and at over $250 they we more than I expected to pay. Plus even though I didn't want to admit it they were probably too tall for me.

This was a much more reasonable pair (in height AND price). Yes, they were open toe, but the opening seemed small enough where you would barely be able to see anything. And for fun, they shared a name with out flower girl, the boy's niece.

These ones were really similar to the purple ones, except in blue. Yes, they were open toe and they were a little tall. But I think if they were closed toe I would have found a way to make the height work.

There were a few others I considered, and if you're curious here is my pinboard where I pinned all the shoes I considered. But the one I did pick is on this page. Any guesses as to which one I decided on?