Saturday, March 31, 2012

Missing in Action

The next few weeks are going to be absolutely crazy for me and may result in me being a bad blogger.  They will be filled with:  tulle, flowers, paper, cardboard, tape, music, invitations AND high school students.  Any guesses?

Friday, March 23, 2012

DIY Mr. & Mrs. Chair Signs

Being Spring Break and all, I wanted to start on a wedding project.  While there are a whole lot of projects that I would like to do, I wanted to do something that wouldn't take up a lot of space and could be easily stored for the next 15 months.  Thus...Mr. & Mrs. chair signs.  I love how cute they are and I figured they could be a decoration that we could keep in our house after the wedding.

The process is super easy, just a little time consuming (I had lots of Pretty Little Liars episodes to catch up on prepared...don't judge me!)

Materials needed:
Unfinished wood plaques
Paint brushes
Acrylic paint
Design printed on computer paper
Satin ribbon
Crystal "gemstones"

1.  Print off your design onto computer paper.  My wood plaques measured 8.25 by 4.5 so I used Scriptina font, size 325.  Scriptina is kind of a weird font and has large line spacing, so I put it in a text box in Microsoft Word so that I could enlarge the font and have it still fit on the page.

2.  Paint your wood plaques.  I used a larger brush and painted them white.  I had old acrylic paint that I used and it got kind of gunky after sitting around for a few years, so I would suggest pouring the paint out on a plate rather than directly onto the wooden plaques.  I also started by painting on newspaper but then it ended up sticking to the wood if it got paint on it, so I switched to wax paper.  I painted two coats and then let it dry overnight.

3.  Cut out the design and flip it over.  On the backside of the words, start coloring over the design with a pencil.  I also did this on wax paper because the ink started rubbing off onto the countertop.

4.  Now position the words onto the wood plaques and start tracing around the design.

5.  Now, start painting.  I started with the outline and then filled the rest in.  I don't have the steadiest hands so I had a lot of corrections to make.  I either made the lines larger to accomodate for the errors or I went back over it in white.  I used a tiny brush for the outline, but then when I was making corrections I used a wider, flat brush that helped to smooth and straighten the lines.

6.  Add the gemstones to the plaques as desired.  I haven't done so yet.  Also, cut the satin ribbon and adhere to the back of the signs.  I cut approximately 2 feet of ribbon and then just taped it to the back of the plaques.  Originally I was going to drill holes in the plaque and then knot the ribbon on the back, but I decided against getting the power tools out.  For the wedding, I am going to actually staple the ribbon onto the back, but I left my heavy-duty stap-lah at work.

And thus the finished project!  I am quite happy with how it turned out.

Cost Analysis (all items bought at Hobby Lobby):
Wooden plaques:  $1.99 each ($3.98)
Paint brushes: $3.99 with a 40% off coupon ($2.39)
Crystal Gemstones: $2.99
Satin Ribbon: $5.99 with a 40% off coupon ($3.59)
Acrylic paint:  on hand (but it's only a couple of dollars if you have to purchase it)
Total:  $12.95 for two signs

I also have lots of gemstones and ribbon left over that I can use for future projects.  The paintbrushes will also be used when I make my aisle runner.  I'm SO glad that I chose to do this first because with an aisle runner, I won't be able to easily fix my errors so this was good practice.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thirty-One Wristlet Giveaway

Not technically wedding related, BUT I am going to my first Thirty-One party this weekend and I wanted to pass along a giveaway that Ashlee at The Pink Pineapple is doing in celebration of having 50 followers on her blog (yay! #jeals).  If you go to her blog and comment on the Lucky Day Giveaway post, you will be entered for a chance to win a wristlet with the pattern of your choice.

They are $20-ish normally and hold a ton of stuff for being such a small size. The giveaway closes next Saturday (March 25th) and so far only 5 people have commented so your odds are pretty good.  Good luck!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wedding Dress Shopping: Round 2

Since I am on Spring Break this week, Mom and I made a plan to go dress shopping here in town yesterday.  Unfortunately, I was a little disappointed in my shopping experience as I couldn't find a lot of the dresses that I was looking at online (that were supposed to be in the store) and the majority of them seemed to exceed my budget.

I started looking at some other bridal shops in a 100ish mile radius and found a few that I will have to consider visiting.  The thing that I worry about is that most of these places carry particular designers, they don't show their prices online, and I have to sift through tons of designer websites in the hope that they carry these same dresses.   I really feel like my dress-trying-on tolerance only lasts for about 1.5 hours and then I get hungry and indecisive, so planning a day-long trip out of town doesn't really feel like it would be all that productive.  Plus, I'd really hate to book an appointment and find out that everything is too expensive for me.

I checked back onto the David's Bridal website and added some new dresses to my favorites list.  I really liked working with them and I like the convenience of going in and them having the dresses that I want to try on in my size. So I might just end up making another trip to the DB and see how that goes as well.

Anyway, with that being said.  Here is my favorite dress from yesterday.  It is from the Bonny Classic Collection (853).

I think the dress looks better in the designer picture though (which may be a bad sign, but I'm going to blame it on the ivory color in my own picture).  The attendant didn't lace it up completely so I'm going to pass on showing you my bra-exposed back.  Also, the material for the dress is taffeta which I think comes off kind of wrinkled looking. In the designer photo it almost looks like satin, but definitely doesn't quite fall the same.

Where did you buy your wedding dress?  Did you look for a particular designer or a style in general?  How many trips did you make until you found 'the dress?'

Next time:  My DIY Mr. and Mrs. Chair signs

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Needle in the Haystack

It is now mid-March.  Adam and I have been engaged for almost three months.  I have spent every waking moment that I am not doing something else (but also then sometimes too) pouring over the internet, Bride's magazine, Pinterest, wedding blogs and books.  Clearly, I am looking for wedding ideas, but what I have discovered lately is that in all of my searching, I still have no idea what I want my wedding to look like.

I think part of the reason that I am having such a difficult time associating myself with a theme is the abundance of wedding images that are so, dare I say, creative.  Now, I consider myself a rather crafty person and I plan to get my creative wheels spinning when we start doing some actual work here, but I think the generic wedding has been done so many times that the Martha Stewarts and Style Me Prettys are trying to find new and outside of the box ideas for brides.

But, if you're like me, that seems to be exactly what I am looking for:  a few wedding examples that stick to the traditional and classic genres.

So, in honor of not being able to find my "dream theme" yet, here are some pictures of things that I like.

  Aisle runners (with our logo) / Source   

Mr. & Mrs. chair signs / Source

Candles / Source

Stamped napkins / Source

Dress hangers / Source

Luminaries / Source

So these are a few of my favorite things.  This was a rather fun post so I will definitely have to revisit this again!

Do any of you feel like a majority of the wedding pictures you come across either don't match your style or are something that you wouldn't choose to use?  Help make me feel like I'm not the pickiest person out there!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Proposal - Part 2: The Legend of the Pickle Ornament

So, we left off last time at the actual proposal.  Adam had gone ring shopping in November and had been hiding the ring in different locations around this house since then.  Personally, if it was me, I don't think I could have waited for over a month, it would have driven me crazy.  Adam's brother was the only one that knew he was planning to propose, so there wasn't really the issue of anyone spilling the beans (well, almost...more on that later).

Now, I suppose for this story to make sense, we have to take a few steps back.

A few years ago, I was telling Adam about this legend of a pickle ornament.  I had heard about it when I was in high school from some teacher.  The legend goes that a pickle ornament is hidden on the Christmas tree and on Christmas morning whoever finds the ornament first gets a special present or prize or something.  I didn't exactly have all the details.  So I was telling Adam about this tradition a few years back.  He refused to believe that this tradition actually existed.  In fact, in typical Adam fashion, he turned it into a sex joke (Hey Lindsy, find the pickle).  That year for Christmas he made me a pickle ornament.

So this year, as Christmas is approaching, we're trying to make plans with our bazillion relatives.  My Dad works for a particular parcel delivery company and Christmas time is absolutely insane for him.  I found out a few days before that the only time that it was going to work out to go see his parents ended up being on Christmas Eve.  So on Christmas Eve, we left Manhattan around 6 am, drove about 5 hours to visit the grandparents, visited for several hours and made the 5 hour trip back.  I normally take Adam with me when we go to see family, but this time I knew it was going to be a long day and it was one of the few days he was actually going to have off of school and work.  I ended up getting home around midnight that night.  Looking back now, I knew Adam was kind of upset that I was going to be gone the entire Christmas Eve, but it didn't register to me why at the time.

After I got home, Adam asked if I wanted to open presents.  I was absolutely exhausted (I had actually gotten up around 4:30 to do some last minute Christmas shopping), but I said yes.  Then Adam said, "before we open presents, you have to find the pickle ornament."  Now, I'm normally game for Adam's silly requests, but this time, I really didn't care about the pickle ornament.  I gave a half-assed look in the tree but didn't find anything.  I gave Adam a why-are-you-making-me-do-this look and he gave a look in response that said keep looking.  So I finally found the pickle.  On the pickle was a shiny diamond ring.  I thought it was a joke, I honestly didn't think it was real.  I was so shocked that I held it out to him and said, "what is this?"  He just smiled.

Now, I think I would have gotten the message if he had gotten down on one knee or something.  So I headed back over to him on the couch, sat down, and he asked me if I would marry him.  I'm pretty sure that I responded with, "really?"  Looking back now, I laugh at how awkward I must have appeared.  Of course, I said yes, and then I think I kept repeating, "you really want to marry me?"  Hah.

A couple of days later, I realized that I didn't get an I-want-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-you-and-you-are-super-awesome speech.  I told Adam that I am still waiting for my speech.  He has yet to follow through on that request.

I know Adam put a lot of time and thought into his proposal, but it cracks me up how awful we enacted it.  I find it funny that we are so comfortable with each other and both easy-going people, but put us back into our vulnerable shoes we become sort of shell-shocked strangers.  I'm sure Adam didn't realize what it looked like with him just sitting on the couch, but at the time I bet a ton of things were running through his mind.  I don't think I received the ring in quite the manner that he would have imagined either.  Either way, we can both look back and laugh on our super awkward engagement to each other. I will take being engaged today over the perfect proposal any day.

Side notes:
1.  Adam's brother almost ended up ruining the surprise one evening in December.  We were playing Drunk Jenga (yeah...) and for Never Have I Ever he said, "Never have I ever considered buying someone a $$$$ ring.  Luckily one of our other friends had, so they took the heat off of Adam.  I can just imagine nobody drinking and me looking around at everyone wondering why Adam's brother had said that.  I was clueless at the time though.

2.  My Christmas present to Adam really sucked in comparison.

3.  The Christmas Pickle Legend might actually be a myth.  After starting to write this post, I found an article on that goes into detail.  Doesn't make a bit of difference to be, but it's here for some historical clarification/reference.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Proposal - Part 1: The Early Days

March is going to be a slow wedding-planning month.  Not that I'm not spending all of my free time browsing blogs, photos, magazines and pinterest, I just am not going to be making any big decisions this month to share.  Spring Break is the week after next (commence the angelic chorus...), so we'll see if I plan any exciting projects for then.

Thus, I thought it would be a good time to share our engagement story (considering we're into the second month of this blog and all).

Adam and I started dating in the fall of 2003 when we were both juniors in high school.  Having started dating so young, we knew we weren't going to get married right out of high school, nor did we want to.

Prom 2004 (the only year we went)

In our first few years of dating, I tended to be the responsible one:  going to work, going to school and sometimes playing a mother role for Adam.   Adam's parents were going through a divorce during the majority of his senior year and not having one or both parents around to cook dinner, or even buy groceries really kind of threw him off.  He knew that he could get away with not going to school.

As a result, I didn't always feel like the relationship was mutual.  I told Adam pretty early on, after we got serious, that I wanted him to graduate from college before we got married.  I didn't want to make the same mistake my parents had done by getting married at 19.  It was also because it seemed like most people get married around that point in their life and partially as a safe-guard against a permanent parasitic relationship (and I mean that in the most affectionate way).

So fast forward to Spring 2008.  Adam was struggling with school and I was about to start student-teaching.  So as a way to give himself a break and also help pay our bills, Adam ended up leaving school and going to work full-time painting houses with a friend of his.  My graduation came and went after that semester and I ended up getting a teaching position in the school where I was student-teaching.  Adam ended up going back to school and changing his major from electrical engineering to computer programming (best decision ever!).
Graduation...with honors yo!

I never realized, back at the ripe-old age of 17, how long it would take Adam to finish school.  And honestly, it wasn't really a problem either, I just wanted him to be happy and successful.  It wasn't until this past summer that I really started getting wedding fever.  Adam was doing really well in school, his graduation was sight (Spring of 2013!), not to mention that a lot of my friends were getting married.

So I started hinting about it.  Making jokes, looking at wedding rings online, assuring Adam that it was "okay" to have an engagement last longer than a year.  I honestly thought my comments were going in one ear and out the other.  Turns out a couple of them might've stuck because around Thanksgiving him and his brother went ring shopping.

I never had really found a ring that I was in love with online.  I knew that I wanted a circular stone, but other than that, I was completely undecided.  Adam had actually looked into my computer's browser history to see the rings that I had been looking at before they went shopping.  Looking back now, I'm really glad that I didn't have my heart set on anything in particular because it makes me like the ring I got so much more because it had no expectations to live up to.

Adam proposed on Christmas Eve of 2011.  It really surprised me because it's not really his style to go where LOTS of people have gone before with the whole holiday engagement thing.  However, with the way he proposed, there was really no other time to do it.  And Christmas Eve is always something that we really enjoy together.  We often drink champagne and listen to Christmas music with the light from the Christmas tree (we even brought our mattress out to the living room one year!).  Our Christmas Day is always so busy, with visiting Mom, Grandpa, Dad, Adam's Mom and Adam's Dad all separately, we run the entire day.  So for us, Christmas Eve is the chance that we can take to really soak in the holidays, give each other our presents and just enjoy each other's company (which is what I really think the holidays should be all about!).

So for next time, the actual proposal...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Hello, My Name is Lindsy (aka Grouchy Pants)

I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn't write when I was emotionally unstable.  I didn't want it to become an angst-y teenage rant blog (although I am several years out of my teens).  Thus, I haven't really written much this week.

I've been particularly angry and irritated lately.  I've also been sleep deprived which doesn't help my functioning with stress-related tasks.  I am rather unhappy with my job this year.  I am doing more work in my 4th year of teaching than I have done in the past three years (and the past three years have been far from easy).  While I work in the same schools and I still teach Spanish, each year has been different.  I have spent countless hours making new lesson plans only to have the next year come and be told that I am teaching another section or they are changing my 9-week class to a semester class.  I teach six periods per day.  Out of those six, three periods per day I am teaching more than one class at a time.  In total, I have 5 classes to prepare lessons for each night (7th Grade, 8th Grade, Spanish I, Spanish II and Spanish III/IV).  My day is made a little longer by the fact that I work 40 minutes away from home.

I understand why 50% of teachers leave the profession within 5 years of teaching.  I expected my first year to be tough, but I haven't gotten a break yet.

I don't intend for this post to make any of my readers feel sorry for me!  I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this.  However, I am getting worn out and apathetic.  I feel like I'm getting jaded.  I feel like I could work a lot less hard and make a lot more money doing something else.  I think the extra task of trying to plan a wedding is making it even harder.  While the past four years I have devoted solely to my students, I want to spend some of my evenings planning things for myself.  I would like some time to pretend that I haven't let my job completely control my life.

Anyways!  The next couple of months will be interesting as I decide what I want to do with myself as the next school year approaches.  I am really hoping to find a job in Manhattan.  I would be 10 minutes from work.  I wouldn't spend $200 a month on gasoline for my car.  I would teach 5 periods per day, have 1-2 classes to prepare for and I would make more money.  It seems like the change that I am looking desperate for. If a position doesn't come open, then I have a gamble/choice to make.  A choice that must be decided by May 1st or else I am locked in again next year.

Thanks for listening to my whiny butt!

Has anyone felt like wedding planning has made everyday tasks a little more complicated/less enjoyable?  Anyone been really unhappy with a job and took the risk to find something new?