May 24, 2010

Serious Stuff

Today has been a hard day. I thought I was going to be one of the few girls lucky enough to pull off a drama-free wedding. Looks like I'm not.

I know that there are a lot of emotions swimming around inside people before a big event like this. I just wish everyone would realize those same emotions are swimming around in me, too. It seems everyone thinks I'm floating on clouds and dancing with unicorns over here. If only they could see and feel the things I'm working through, then maybe they'd be more careful with their words.

I know one thing - I'll never look at a bride or a groom the same way again. This wedding stuff isn't silly. It's serious. And really, they need all the support they can get.

On a somewhat brighter note, I finished my flowers this weekend (photos below). Glad to cross that off the list.

May 21, 2010

Flower-Making

I'm down to the final days of flower-making, folks. My goal is to be done with all pre-wedding projects and to-dos one month before the wedding, leaving the final month open for plenty of relaxation and any loose ends that may come up. So, that means I have a little over three weeks to finish the bridesmaids' flowers, my bouqet and the groomsmens' boutonnieres - all of which I'm making myself out of fabric.

This past weekend, I gave the boutonnieres a try, but really didn't like the pattern I was using (they looked a bit more like giant fabric folds than flowers), so after a little more research, I came across this pattern for the boutonniere you see below:

Last night I tried it myself with yellow and orange ribbon and little wooden buttons in the middle, and this is how they turned out:

Pretty cute, if I do say so myself - and fairly easy if sewing the button on doesn't take you a million tries (like it did for me).

More flower-making this weekend. Stay tuned for finished photos!

May 20, 2010

Serious Celebrating

Last night we did some serious birthday celebrating, which included a few borderline margs at El Cholo (always delicious), a giant sunflower balloon (from the balloon man himself), some birthday flan (so cute!), and plenty of present opening. We even got to sit at the free nacho table, and it's not every day that you get to sit at the free nacho table.

In other news, I'm so ready for this week to be over, because the end of this week marks the beginning of three very, very exciting weeks for me. If there were a way to speed up time, I would do it - no questions asked.

May 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brianne!

Today I'd like to wish a very happy birthday to my sister and bestest friend in the whole wide world!

And in case you're wondering, my surprise decorations were a hit.

So was my surprise Southern Comfort Cake (recipe below). Not only was this my first attempt at Southern Comfort Cake, but it was also my first ever bundt cake, and I'm proud to say it came out perfectly.

More festivities are in store for tonight, including a trip to Brianne's favorite Mexican food joint for enchiladas and margaritas, followed by presents, candles and cake.

What can I say, I love birthdays.

Southern Comfort Cake

Cake Ingredients:
1 (18-1/2 oz.) box yellow cake mix
1 (3-1/4 oz.) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup Southern Comfort
4 eggs
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup oil
1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Glaze Ingredients:
4 tbsp. butter
1/8 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup Southern Comfort

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325ºF. Combine cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat at a medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10-inch tube or 12-cup bundt pan. Bake at 325ºF for 1 hour. Cool on rack. To make glaze, melt butter in saucepan. Stir in water and sugar. Boil 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in Southern Comfort. Invert cake on serving plate; prick top and drizzle half of glaze evenly over top and sides. After cake has cooled, reheat remainder of glaze and brush evenly over cake. Dust with sifted powdered sugar just before serving. Serves 12.

May 18, 2010

Birthday Surprises

Tomorrow is my sister's birthday, and I've been working on a few secret birthday projects. Here's a quick sneak peek into my plans:

I've also got a secret cake recipe up my sleeve. (I'm just full of birthday surprises these days.)

I'll let you know how everything turns out tomorrow.

May 17, 2010

4 Down, 2 To Go

We are officially at the two month mark, and I have fully realized that my engagement is nothing like the ones I've seen in the movies. Don't get me wrong, there have been plenty of fun times and excited planning, but there have also been plenty of crazy emotions wrecking havoc in my (and Mason's) day-to-day.

Until this weekend, I had seriously started to believe I was going crazy (and I'm sure Mason would agree), but thankfully, that was only until I got my hands on Sheryl Nissinen's "The Conscious Bride." This book has seriously saved my sanity.

I'm only two chapters in, but I already know that I'm not the only bride-to-be who's been plagued by completely irrational fears, scared by the level of commitment she's about to make and a little sad about the way it will change her life (all while being completely in love with her fiance).

Nissinen, a pre-marriage counselor and psychologist, points out that just like any major life transition, the transition into marriage is a BIG deal and emotions like fear, anger, doubt, and even depression are just as common as happiness, joy, elation and excitement. She encourages future brides to work through each of the different emotions coursing through them during the engagement period - the good and the bad - keeping in mind that it's all just part of the process.

Her words and the quotes from other women are the breath of fresh air I've so badly needed (because like I always say, sometimes just knowing that your feelings are "normal" is all you really need).

Four months down - two more to go...

May 13, 2010

Birdy Bride and Groom

For those of you who saw this post about the super cute bird cake toppers I was going to attempt to make, I'm here to let you know that this DIY bride is DIYed out and has decided to turn the bird making over to Nilly of wonderfulrubbish.

As much as I wanted to do so. many. things. myself, it just wasn't going to happen, and after browsing Etsy, finding Nilly, eyeing her cute (CUTE!) birds and her May sale, I decided this was definitely a project I'd be happy to cross off my list.

Nilly makes the most unique, quirky little birds (see above and below), and she's been great about working with me to get them just the way I want them.

So excited to see how they turn out! (Will definitely post pics when they get here!)

May 11, 2010

Cabo Wabo

It's official! The hotel is reserved, plane tickets are purchased, and Mason and I are super excited to honeymoon in Cabo San Lucas for 10 days.

We had originally wanted to go to Hawaii, but it turned out to be a little pricey for us right now. With all of the travel from Texas to Washington and back, we decided to look for something more affordable and save Hawaii for another vacation in the future.

That's when Mason suggested checking into all-inclusive resorts in Cabo. We've always wanted to try out an all-inclusive (neither of us has ever met a buffet we didn't like), so after a little Google searching and advice seeking, we narrowed it down to The Riu Palace.

We read plenty of reviews on TripAdvisor (what did travelers do before TripAdvisor??), but what really sold us was when it made the recommendation lists of two different friends. We figured it must be a sign, and crossed "Plan the Honeymoon" off our list.

Check it out below and see what you think:

All-you-can-drink Pina Coladas, here I come!

May 10, 2010

Beachside Camping

I needed a little relaxation after a crazy week, so Mason and I headed up the coast for some beachside camping. Plenty of hot dogs, smores, campfires, sunshine, and conversation later, I'm feeling great and ready to tackle the week.

I'm getting really excited for my wedding shower coming up on May 27th - and another little something my sister and I are doing together on June 10th. Then there's the wedding in July and 10 days in Cabo San Lucas for our honeymoon (finally decided on!).

Sometimes I stare at my calendar and just let the excitement tingle all the way down to my toes.

May 6, 2010

To-Dos

We're nearing the 2-month mark, and that means the wedding to-do list is on my mind all. the. time. We still have some pretty big tasks to tackle (honeymoon! ceremony!), so I've begun assigning the smaller tasks to willing family and friends (and I really am SO thankful for everyone's help).

My sister has graciously offered to take on the slideshow project for the rehearsal dinner. This morning I went through the photos on my computer and quickly sent her some of the more current ones to make things a little easier. In the process, I came across these old favorites and they made me smile:

Our first week with Cajun

Ren Fest for Brianne's 25th birthday

Snowcones at Mill Creek during Memorial Day weekend 2009

Day trip to Laguna Beach

May 3, 2010

Long Weekend

Don't you just love when the weekend feels longer than two days? I know I do. This weekend was one of those that felt really, really long. Saturday was all about bottomless mimosas and birthday shopping, and Sunday was bike rides and barbecue and Crazy Heart before bed.

Today it's sunny and feels like summer, and I'm wishing the long weekend was even longer so I could soak a little of it up.

Above are a few shots I captured during my first ride on the new bike...

Number 27

Can be crossed off the list. (And Number 7 can be crossed off the first list - because getting a new bike totally counts as fancying up your old one.)

I love this bike as much as kids love cupcakes, and I can't wait for all the summer fun we're going to have together.

(Gotta love just-because gifts from your fiance - it felt like my birthday and Christmas all in one.)