Friday, 29 July 2011

I like big butts

this girl is workin this.  Love it.  Found via Pinterest

Omg! Omg!  You guys!

I fit into my crazy-expensive jeans* from college again!!!

Happy dance around the closet this morning :) I think this weekend I will be spending some time finding out what else I have reclaimed :)

*I have several pairs of pants I have been holding onto, in a desperate hope that the money I spent on them would not be wasted.  And now it was worth it!!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Some days

"Escalator" (1970) Richard Estes.  Found through Pinterest.

Some days are a struggle from the get-go.  You wake up, drag your lifeless body to the shower, slather it with some soap, point a hair dryer at your head, and stumble out the door.

And then you get to the Metro, and some girl who is too busy texting to pay attention to where she's walking fails to notice that they have switched the down escalator to an up escalator.

And that makes it all worth it.

heh heh heh :)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Wedding Drama: Uninvited guests: Update!

photo from here

Sigh. Men are silly.

Turns out that our rogue guest has actually been dating the girl for over a year, and didn't think to let Brandon know about it.  But if you've been seeing someone for that long, why would you put "probably" on the RSVP card next to their name?

(again, if you're not sure if they can make it, DON'T RSVP UNTIL YOU KNOW FOR SURE.  That's actually exactly how its supposed to work, none of this maybe bizness.)

Anyway, shes coming, and we're fine with it.  And hopefully our guest learned a little something about etiquette.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Wedding Crafting: Cake Toppers

Tell me this little guy in his top hat didn't just make your day.  Just try.

Excellent tutorial on making a tiny top hat found here.  As Lisa said when I showed this to her, I have no idea what people did before the internet.

I am so happy.  Had a super successful weekend working on wedding bizness, including a dress fitting with the lovely and talented Sarah.  I'm torn about posting photos of the dress, but I am so so happy with it that I just might have to offer a sneak peek.  We shall see.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Test Cake! Or, why I leave baking to the experts

Some of you may know this already:  I do not care about dessert.  I am an enormous fan of Nestle Turtles, and anything vaguely pecan-chocolate-clustery, but besides that, I would really be OK to never eat anything sweet again.

So when it came to my wedding cake, I decided: here was a great opportunity to save some money!  Who actually eats wedding cake anyway?  There will most certainly not be shoving of cake into my face by the hubs-elect....

And immediately there were riots.  My sister went up in arms, my roommates in London began to insist they would not come to my wedding if I insisted on such insanity.  So in the face of such intense dessert-loving friends, we came up with a solution:  I would save money on the cake by having Lisa bake one, and my London roommate bake the other.

So I have been happily ignoring the cakes, until recently when I realized that I should look into the recipe and try it out in the cake pans I had bought.  And what a perfect opportunity presented itself!  My lovely future mother in law (who really is lovely) celebrated her birthday this past weekend, and I decided I would win her over further with my charming cake.

So I went to my mom's house (because it was empty as they were on vacation, and because she has a KitchenAid), and decided that cake baking = no problem.  So first things first, I go to separate 8 eggs.

An inauspicious beginning, as I immediately break the first yolk into the first egg white.  Bah.

Ok!  So!  now I have 8 eggs separated.  Now the flour.....

Can you tell I was really more interested in taking cool photos of the stuff than in the actual making of cake?

Action shot!

This is how I felt afterwards.  Desolated and covered in flour and egg white. 

I knew something wasn't quite right - and I should have known that I needed to beware any recipe that included folding in egg whites...but I didn't listen to my inner voice.  As my father says, ALWAYS listen to your inner voice... because this is what my cakes looked like on the inside:

Lumps of horrible, unmixed cake batter.  Ugh.

So I went into panic mode, and was really really grateful for the fact that my parents buy eggs in packages of 18.  It was 5:30 - the first cake had taken me 3 hours to ruin, and we were supposed to be at Brandon's parents by 6:30.  I threw together a second batch of cake batter, mixed it properly this time, and melted a ton of chocolate and butter together.  And behold:

a little sucking up never hurt anyone :)
 It sure looks good, doesn't it?  Too bad it didn't taste great :(  But I tried!  And the hubs family, to their everlasting credit, ate everything I served them and even came back for seconds.

And this is why I leave the baking in my family to the masters.  Sigh.

Well except for these cheese and adobo pepper cornmeal muffins, which I made on Sunday morning.  They were delish.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Weighty issues

I bought this dress this weekend from Express (to be my going-away dress.)  I might return it, but less because I don't like it and more because I might not need a going away dress. 

This post was going to come out months ago.  It was going to talk about how crazy excited I was to have found a diet and exercise combo that worked for me, how I finally remembered that I can like the way I look in clothes.  And that its all up to me, with no possibility of pointing the finger at someone else.  And most amazingly, that if I do follow a diet + exercise plan, the extra weight I was carrying did actually leave my body.

Then I went through a deadline, and I ate a little badly, and I had to skip some workouts, and then I followed it up by eating out a few nights in a row due to some wedding errands.  And I started to get paranoid, started to feel like every time I bent the rules of the diet I was going to inflate back up like a balloon.


So now, as I write this post, I feel like I have a little more perspective on how I need to approach my healthy size goals, forever.  Because obsessing didn't help me, and in many smaller ways I felt that it actually did more damage, by allowing me to regress into the mindset of, "well, I've blown it now, may as well."

No.  Because even though I have put 2 or 3 lbs back on from my lowest, before the dealine, I have still lost 17lbs.  My weight has I'm doing right now is fine, and I need to stop worrying.  I have gone back to wearing size 6 dresses.  I still have a healthy butt, and large thighs, but that's the way I look. 

Besides, those large thighs are useful when I am trying to punish Brandon with roundhouse kicks in kickboxing class.*

*Speaking of which, at class on Thursday I think he finally tried kicking close to full power, and it almost took my arm off.  That boy has some serious leg strength.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Wedding Drama: Uninvited guests

Yesterday, I had my first uninvited guest RSVP to the wedding.

I am still not sure how I feel about this, for a multitude of reasons, but here are the most useful:

a) the uninvited plus one is for one of Brandon's guests, who has been asked to be an usher.
b) This particular gentleman has been known to get beyond intoxicated at weddings, and make himself a nuisance to the other guests
c) perhaps if I let him bring an uninvited date, he will only bother her, and leave my other guests alone?
d) because we have asked him to be an usher, I actually have to invite this nameless chick to the rehearsal dinner as well?!?  This rehearsal dinner which already has almost 60 guests, to which I may not be able to invite my friends who are coming from England just so this guy has someone to share his hotel room?
e) I REALLY resent that this guy doesn't understand how wedding invitations work.  There is a reason all this formal stuff exists about wedding invitations, and it is so that everyone understands exactly what is going on. If her name isn't on the envelope, she is not invited.  Period.

So what do I do now?  I could tell myself that we have room, that it isn't a big deal - but really, it is becoming a big deal for me.  We got the RSVP last night, and it has been festering in my mind, distracting me from a Dance with Dragons (which halfway through is exactly as awesome as I'd hoped,) and I feel like I am not coming to a resolution on my own.

Please help.

Monday, 11 July 2011

DIY: Upholstered Headboard

Here is Part 1 of my Fourth of July weekend extravaganza DIY!

Behold:  Upholstered Headboard, with nail-head trim!

It will look more impressive when it is attached to a bed, and I will do this post again properly then, but I just got really excited and wanted to post it for you.

This is a project I did with/for my sister, to adorn the master bedroom of her new house in Cleveland.  we decided on a silver grey dupioni silk, which we ordered from the excellent company JBR Silks, with a knit fabric backing.  This silk was beautiful, and absolutely perfect for upholstery.

First we cut the plywood to shape (** NOTE: DO NOT USE THE SHAPE I PICKED UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEW A CUSTOM COVER FOR THE HEADBOARD.**)  Then, we wrapped the plywood in batting, and muslin, and stapled the muslin down to the plywood.  We used a staple gun powered by a compressor, which we are lucky enough to have access to because my father is a fiend for tools.  Even though he hates the compressor intensely.  But I digress.

please note:  I look really gross because the air conditioning was broken in my parents house, and I had been working for almost 2 days straight at this point, on project number 2 to be disclosed later.)

Then we covered the muslin with silk.  I have no photos of this process, because frankly I was terrified the whole time.  The fabric was not outrageously expensive, and we had loads extra, but I certainly didn't want to waste my sister's money, and basically began to panic when it became obvious the shape I had chosen was destined for failure.  But I am a stubborn little bastard and I made it work; ie, I sent Lisa away and I muscled the fabric into (relative) submission.  So you'll just have to believe me:  it was tricky, and if I had picked a shape that did not come to a hard inside corner, it would have been a cakewalk.

When I was finished with the silk, the headboard looked like this:

Then on to the fun part, the nail-head trim.  Or I thought it would be fun, until it cut my fingers to ribbons.  I don't have photos of that either, you'll just have to trust me. (What is it about the internets, that without photos it didn't happen?  I tried for photos of my hand covered in bandaids, but unfortunately my left hand cannot, on its own, operate a camera.)  Nail-head trim is SHARP.  Exercise extreme caution.  DO NOT run your hands along the edges of the trim.  DO NOT press your fingers down along the edge of the trim.  DO NOT come in contact with the edges of the trim for any reason, if you can avoid it.

Once I figured out how to touch it without bleeding all over the silk, laying it out became a fairly easy process.  Just trim to length, and nail it in with the handy tacks provided, in every 4th nail.  I had to do some splicing of irregularly spaced pieces in the middle, but it worked out pretty well.

So there you have it.  4-ish hours, ~ $125 and a completed headboard.  When we move Lisa into her house, I'll give you an update!

Friday, 8 July 2011

It is so difficult to design things for yourself

Because the possibilities are endless.

But I wanted to share with you a little motif I designed yesterday, that I am really happy with:


Please ignore the slightly garish colour choice, as I coloured it for you guys in a hurry.  I designed this little logo to go onto the anniversary box my dad is making for us (so it didn't need colour at the time) but I like it enough that I think I will be using it in other elements of the wedding too.

Yay for checking things off the list!  Its slowly, but surely, arriving.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Kickboxing a la Rachel

So yesterday we started our kickboxing lessons with Rachel.  Which you could argue were made simultaneously more successful (my point of view) and less successful (Rachel's point of view) by the presence of Brady :)

The whole time we were working out, I kept thinking, "I am such a wimp, but this is hard."  And today, my back and quads are nice and sore, as per usual.  So I know its good for me!  But I think she's going to have to get a lot meaner before I am going to do a real ab workout on her watch - if voluntarily worked for me, I wouldn't need fitness classes to get in shape, would I?

God I hate exercising (this is no fault of Rachel's.  If its a game, super, but if its just working out for the sake of it, blech.).  I really dislike being in the presence of Brandon as a sweaty sprinkler too, but it must be borne, apparently.  BUT this will keep me in the weight zone I am currently in, in time for the wedding and honeymoon.

le sigh.  But at least punching things is fun!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

So I thought I was a fan of thrifty finds before...

So Brandon and I had a very busy holiday weekend.  So busy that I didn't have time to download photos, and you will have to wait for the post to see everything in its full glory.  Everything being a kitchen renovation and a silk upholstered headboard with nailhead trim! But all in good time.

What I can tell you about are some bizarrely successful adventures in dumpster diving.

On Friday, (Happy belated Canada Day!) Brandon took out our trash before coming downstairs to meet me, to go out for dinner with the fam for Lisa's birthday.  Only he was late because when he got to the trash room, he found... a PS3.  Granted, I am sure its broken.  But if he can't fix it, it was worth a shot, right?  Who just throws away a PS3?

On Saturday, another long day of home renovation for me, I again pull into our building to pick him up, and I drive up next to the dumpsters to wait for him to come out.  And sitting there, waiting for me, is this beauty:

Double-sided kitchen island with two drawers (not pictured) that pull out halfway on each side.

Granted, the bottom shelf needs cleaning and shoring up with extra feet (or replacing.) But if I ever throw away a gorgeous kitchen island (double sided at that!) it will be because it is in shattered pieces.

I mean, I don't need a kitchen island right now.  In fact, as you can see from these photos, I don't even have room for the one I just acquired.  But how could I just leave it there?? The answer: I obviously could not.  And if my dad doesn't sell it on craigslist first  (because where else am I going to store it, obviously?), one day this puppy will have place of pride in my kitchen. 

One question remains.  Do we really live in such a nice building that people just throw stuff like this out, and not try selling it on Craigslist first?  Maybe I should take the trash out more often...