#IGGPPC – Manila Envelopes

I love stationary. I’ve recently become a fan of the online retailer Knock Knock. When I received their latest email with a new line of envelopes I knew I had to splurge on this delightful item and share it with my friends from IGGPPC! 😉

 

Paper Envelopes | Contents Manila Not Vanilla Envelopes | KNOCK KNOCK.

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Epic Journey: Intermission

Sorry for the late posting today. I’ve run into a few projects that are taking up more of my time than I anticipated (true of ANY DIY wedding adventure). I’m trying to finish some things, start some things, and looking forward to non-wedding related socializing. 🙂

If you’re in absolute need of something to read or listen to on your lunch break hour head over to the Defective Geeks website and give them some love. Below is a picture of the project I’m trying to start/finish.

Enjoy the rest of your week, and I’ll be back on Monday with more juicy wedding details.

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Epic Journey: Social Media Fiasco

Oh the joys of social media interaction with family!! And the follies that come with it.

About a week ago my bridesmaids and I got together to design and organize the Bridal Shower invitations with the help of my talented fiance. After we hashed out all the details I spoke with my Maid of Honor about sending family and friends a quick note on Facebook so they can save the date for the shower. I put together three different group messages: one for my family, one for his family, and one to friends. I kept it simple, gave them all a link to the wedding website, and a sneak peek image of the invite. I finished it up on a Monday night and didn’t think anything of it.

A screen shot and cropped image of the Bridal Shower invite designed by my Fiance, Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid.

A screen shot and cropped image of the Bridal Shower invite designed by my Fiance, Maid of Honor and Bridesmaid.

The following morning was…a bit hectic. Apparently, one of my Aunts on my Father’s side of the family replied to the message and began to have (what she thought) was a private conversation with me about my Dad’s reservations about helping with the wedding…and child support…and other awkward stuff. For everyone to see. *face palm* Then another Aunt replied (all) and informed her of the mistake she had made. They both began to fumble and continued to talk to each other in the group message. By then quite a few of my relatives had seen the embarrassing mistake, a few cousins made a few jokes, they laughed, and I began to methodically delete some stuff. I removed the accidental message and added a note telling family that if they would like to ask me a question privately they are more than welcome to create a separate message and ask me questions. The Aunts apologized BUT continued to try to message each other…in the same group message…asking if either of them had “spoken” to me about the mistake. GAH! *second face palm* Finally, I politely asked the group to stop messaging each other in the group message with “Ladies….please stop replying to this message.” Luckily, this time they got the hint and stopped messaging everyone inadvertently. Another extended family member said it best: “The ‘real’ of families is what makes them special.”

The final word.

The worst part of this is that my Step-Mother (my Dad’s wife) witnessed the FB message and all the shenanigans. The best part was deciding to NOT include my Mother in any of the FB messages. I then started to laugh and realize why I hate using Facebook for general conversations with family most of the time. Obviously my family uses FB mostly on their smart phones…which they barely know how to use.

It’s also difficult to navigate the FB app when they change their settings every six months! Their latest update gave me this weird bubble image in the corner of my app when I first used it to send a message to a friend. It took my about half an hour to figure out how to remove the message bubble. Lame. Despite all the drama, everything else is moving along smoothly…mostly. Trying to (not) manage my Mom’s anxiety about the Bridal Shower, my Grandmother’s nervousness over her home being invaded by strangers, and juggling appointments with my Bridesmaids has been a BIG adventure in the last few weeks. I just keep taking a deep breath and trying to laugh about it all. What else is there to do? Laughter is the best medicine. 🙂

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Wedding Gag Gift | 100 Reasons to Panic About Getting Married | KNOCK KNOCK

How is this NOT awesome!?!

Wedding Gag Gift | 100 Reasons to Panic About Getting Married | KNOCK KNOCK.

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Epic Journey: Bridesmaid Dress Double-Take

Over a year ago, once all my bridesmaids were chosen, I made the decision to have the girls chose their own dress within our color palette for the wedding: red, black and white. Of course, the goal is to have them buy a dress they would like to own and possibly wear again, and make it easy on their own pocket books. I would hate to have to spend over $100 on a dress I think makes me look like a tulip or giant puff-ball. Salmon is the worst color for either of those situations, by the way.

They’ve had almost a year of research and window shopping under their belt and have just started to narrow down their choices for a dress. Then….stuff started to happen. My Maid of Honor made her selection, ordered the dress, and sent me pictures. It was awesome! Then a few weeks later one of my bridesmaids started to make her selection and sent me a link to the dress of her choice…It was very similar to my MOH’s dress. HI-larious. I couldn’t help but laugh. The three of us ended up in a long, and funny, text message conversation, which lead to emails being exchanged with pictures of both dresses, and all of us laughing, stressing, and coming to terms with the awkward situation.

The black Maid of Honor dress, and a red Bridesmaid dress.

The black Maid of Honor dress, and a red Bridesmaid dress.

I felt it was an ironic twist of fate that my MOH and one of my bridesmaids chose fairly similar dresses. They aren’t identical, and have different styles. The above picture shows each of their selections. The black lace dress is a little more formal, possibly longer, and has a short lace sleeve. The red dress is possibly shorter, sleeveless, and has a matching belt. I think they’re both amazing and adorable choices! I love them both. After our texting and emailing of photos and opinions back and forth I reassured them that both choices were perfect. Different and cute for each of them in their own way.

It was a fun afternoon chatting with them both about the whole thing; which is what made me happy to have chosen them both to be in the wedding and a part of my Epic Journey.

To good friends, and a good laugh. ❤

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Epic Journey: Bachlorette Conundrum

I’m stuck with a quandary that I can’t seem to shake.

When I started researching, buying books (yes, I still buy paper books), visiting venues,  and getting my head wrapped around this whole Epic Journey of planning our wedding I tried very hard to convince myself I didn’t need to do all the traditional wedding stuff to feel happy. We have made a few adjustments to a lot of our original ideas and as we get closer and closer to the Big Day I have one underlying feeling growing inside me.

A few months ago I attended my first birthday party at a Strip Club, with male strippers for the record. I have been to a female strip club in the past, but that story is for another time. I attended with a small group of friends, some new, some old, and got all gussied up for a night on the town and opportunity to tuck some dollar bills into a greasy guys thong. It. Was. Amazing. Mostly due to the strippers rubbing themselves all over my friends and steering clear of my nice clothes. I was busy taking pictures and used my iPhone as a shield against their greasy thrusts. It was hilarious. It was a nice lesson. A fun moment in time. I also appreciate the experience of attending an event such as this for someone else on their special and fun night. I now know I never want someone to get a stripper for my birthday, or any other event in my life. It’s a lot more fun to see it from the outside, watching it unfold before your very eyes…and laugh, and have fun with it.

Trying to stay under the radar after a stressful week of wedding shenanigans.

Trying to stay under the radar after a stressful week of wedding shenanigans.

I will admit, I’ve never been a bridesmaid, I haven’t been to many bridal showers, and only one bachelorette party in my life. I’m not quite sure what I want, or what to expect out of a party of this kind…for myself. If you’d asked me a few months ago I would have made simple requests: a spa weekend, a night of light drinking, combined with maybe watching crappy movies and lots of girl talk. However…the closer and closer it gets to the end of this Epic Journey the more I want to go all out and party like it’s my last day on earth. Maybe it’s the stress of planning the wedding. Maybe it’s because I didn’t get to do much for my birthday this year. Maybe I’ve just lost my mind and I think drinking copious amounts of alcohol will bring my equilibrium back. Who knows. All I do know at this point is that I want to, no need to, get silly and drunk. Possibly double the amount of silly and drunk.

Am I the only person this has happened to? Am I losing my mind? I feel weird about the expectations for this kind of event, and instead am having a weird knee jerk reaction. I’m not sure if I’m excited, terrified, or ambivalent to the whole experience. At this point, I just wanna drink. A lot. While trying not to vomit on myself. And maybe not end up in jail for beating someone up. Just sayin’.

Maybe I need to try to do more everyday things, and try not to lose touch with my everyday life while this Epic Journey gets closer to consuming my life. Silver linings. Deep breath.

Photographic evidence that I'm trying to stay productive.

Photographic evidence that I’m trying to stay productive.

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Epic Journey: Bridal Shower Debacle

Last weekend I setup a small meet and greet with one of my bridesmaids and my grandparents, who are hosting the Bridal Shower. My bridesmaid Edith is one of my long time friends and happens to speak fluent Spanish. I asked her to meet with my grandparents to help my grandmother feel comfortable hosting this party full of strangers at her home since she only speaks Spanish (she understands English, she just refuses to speak it). A fellow Spanish speaker will also help her feel like she has a voice and involvement in the process so we don’t inadvertently make demands she is not comfortable with. I usually depend on my Mom to ensure proper translation, but my Mom tends to…embellish certain things and always finds a way to make things worse. My Mother has her own issues she’s constantly working out with her Mom.

We arrive and begin the discussion about how many people are attending, the shower theme (comic books and Super Heroes!!), tables, chairs, centerpieces, and everything was going smoothly. Then my Mom arrived and shortly after my Grandmother started asking questions about the guest list. Who’s invited? How many people are coming? Is your cousin ___ invited? *awkward pause* Um, no. She’s not invited, as of this moment, because we didn’t have room for her on the guest list and it would be rude to invite someone to the Bridal Shower and not the Wedding. Sorry to disappoint. This kick-starts the drama.

Photo of me in desperate need of a Whiskey Sour.

Photo of me in desperate need of a Whiskey Sour.

My Grandmother then proceeds to say that she’s family, and her grandchild too, so if she asks if she can come by it would be rude of her to deny her the opportunity to come visit. Apparently this cousin ASKED my Grandmother, over Easter while I wasn’t present and at work, if she was invited to the wedding… WTF?! This particular cousin has only kept in communication with my grandparents, has never said happy birthday, let alone congratulations to us since we’ve been engaged (over a year!). She stalks me on Facebook, Instagram, and any other way she can to keep tabs on the family without ever really talking to any one but my grandparents. I felt immediately upset that she would put my grandparents in that position and try insert themselves in the festivities without ever trying to talk to me or my fiance every time we’ve seen them at my grandparents home.

Suffice to say, my grandmother was a little upset, and my Mom didn’t help to defuse the situation. Eventually, after trying to reassure my Grandmother that despite my Cousins rude behavior I have tried to become a part of their lives, but they want nothing to do with me, and if they show up I can’t really do anything, it’s not my home. My Mom insisted on interrupting me and yelling and complaining, “She doesn’t care! She has no idea how they really are! She thinks these cousins are more important than you any way.” I had to raise my hands and ask my Mom to just stop. Stop with the negativity. She immediately became offended by my body language and stormed off upset that no one was listening to her. *sigh*

Edith, myself, and Melody. My oldest friends and the only reason I am sane during the wedding planning process.

Edith, myself, and Melody. My oldest friends and the only reason I am sane during the wedding planning process.

Luckily, my lovely and patient bridesmaid was there to help pick up the pieces before the Bridal Shower got cancelled because of hurt feelings that are beyond our control. We started discussing what we needed to do to prepare for the Bridal Shower, and discussed contacting my Mom after she had a few days to cool off. We promised to come by the following weekend to help her clean up the house and prepare for our guests. :) Which is why I’m EVER SO GRATEFUL to my bridesmaid Edith for enduring this debacle, and know that I never could have survived this incident without her by my side.

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Epic Journey: RSVP & Complaints Edition

RSVP Insights

About 2 weeks ago we took the plunge and sent out the first wave of wedding invitations! It was an exciting and terrifying feeling. Since then I’ve been (im)patiently waiting for our guests to reply, and in that time a gem appeared that made me laugh, cry, and feel a little better about RSVP’s in general. Besides the invitations going out into the world we’ve also had to deal with friends and family asking if they can bring a +1, or confirming if they are still being invited. Awkward….

Pictures of me going through the many stages of feelings sending out the invites.

Pictures of me going through the many stages of feelings sending out the invites.

My fiance and I labored over the design of the invitations, and especially the RSVP. Should we write a number in for some people? Do we leave it blank? Will they understand the envelope is addressed to two people? How do we explain no children? It was exhausting. In the end we decided on a few key things to hopefully alleviate the stress for us, and our guests.

  • We listed “and family” if there were multiple people living in the same household.
  • We wrote in 1 for single guests, or for guests that were not allowed to bring a guest due to costs/venue limitations.
  • At the bottom of the invitation we wrote *An Adult Affair* in hopes parents would get the hint we, again, have cost/venue limitations.

I realize that wedding etiquette dictates we send an invitation for every relative that is 18+. Our budget didn’t allow us enough flexibility to afford an invitation for every guest invited. If people want to get hurt over (what I feel) is a small issue it’s okay. I feel there are bigger issues to deal with. Writing in the number 1 for guests who are single or not allowed to bring a guest was a consorted effort to not have my family show up with their “Babies Mamma” whom we’ve never met, and to ensure we had room for all the friends and family we wanted to invite. We’ve tried to communicate to everyone that out budget is tight AND that our parents are paying for this special event. Therefore we don’t get the luxury of inviting only the people we want. The note for the Adult Affair was something I saw on a family members invitation, and felt it wasn’t too weird to list on our invitation as well. We went the extra step and left the __ # blank for couples and large families who we knew had more than 2 people attending. Ironically, one of my fiance’s cousins immediately contacted me to give us warning that some family members might take advantage of this small loophole… and I politely let her know that if, and when, that happens my lovely and patient fiance would be the one to call his family members to inform them of our venue limitations. 🙂 {Insert pic of me dodging a bullet}

As of today 99% of all the invitations have been mailed out. We’ve received almost 40 replies out of 150 in 2 weeks. I won’t bother to do the math, but it seems like we’re off to a good start so far.

It’s a Matter of Opinion

I recently spent an afternoon with my lovely Mother to purchase a few odds and ends for the wedding. I ranted about some of the issues we’ve encountered over the last few weeks and she patiently listened and occasionally , and methodically, implanted a few “Uh huh” moments. Gotta love my Mom’s non-subtle reactions sometimes.

As we walked into one of three stationary stores we visited that day she stopped in her tracks as she encountered a shelf of floral printed post-its and stationary. She squealed like a little girl on Christmas morning and lurched at one of the pink colored sets. I told her to go ahead and grab them, since I knew she wanted to buy them any way. She grunted that she deserved to treat herself to some personal stationary that was obviously a necessity. I simply pointed out that I was not surprised she loved them since they are, in fact, covered in pink floral patterns. Which I am not a fan of. My Mother and I have never had the same taste.

“Flowers are your thing, not mine,” I commented.

“What does that mean?” she heatedly replied.

“I mean that I think flowers are over rated, which is why I’ve decided on doing paper flowers and not waste our money on something that’s going to wither and die within 24hrs.”

“What?! Do you hear yourself? Flowers are over rated? You don’t know what you’re talking about!”

No, Mother. I know exactly what I’m talking about, you simply don’t understand where I’m coming from because, as usual, we never agree on matters such as this. *sigh* My whole life I’ve lived with homemade floral patterned curtains, floral patterned couches, and floral patterned dinnerware. I have been over floral patterns since I was old enough to pick out my own clothes. My Mother once gave me some awesome clothes for my birthday when I was in high school and when I commented on how much I loved them she simply replied with, “I knew you’d like them because I thought they were ugly.” Gee, thanks. I love you too Mom.

Now, if I can only get my hands on a paper wedding dress…. *maniacal laugh*

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Introspective: 4:20 No More

Most of my good friends know that I am a bit of a pot lover (meaning Marijuana). I love a good smoke like most love a good stiff drink. I’d rather smoke in the privacy of my home than sit in a bar and be ignored by hipsters. Alas, as of this month my Medical Marijuana card will expire and I will no longer have easy access to one of my favorite past times. Trying to save up for a wedding is…a bit costly. In hopes of trying to act like a better adult I’ve decided to let go of one of my vices. Mostly because I can’t afford it any more.

My fiance and I have made a lot of sacrifices over the last year in preparation for our big wedding. We no longer buy too many groceries and let them go to waste rotting in our fridge. We’ve started saving a good chunk of money to establish a savings account, and prepare for our honeymoon and wedding expenses. We finally put in a subscription order at our local comic book shop in hopes of not spending frivolously when we happen to stop by once a month. Trust me, that’s an improvement. Last, but not least I am not renewing my Medical Marijuana card.

Since I’ve spent the last few months trying to stay out of the house and writing more consistently (while doing serious wedding planning) I have fewer opportunities to smoke. I’m not complaining, but I have come to realize that I used it as a crutch for a long time. Stressed at work. Smoke. Complaints about family. Smoke. Frustrated with friends. Smoke. I smoked like an alcoholic drank. I was okay with that…for a while. It was my vice. I still paid all my bills on time. Never missed a day of work, and am actually a workaholic. I have never, in my life, gone to work while stoned. Ever. I hid this habit from co-workers and new friends for fear I’d be judged and labeled a “stoner.” I wanted my work to speak for itself. I’d spent the last five years, or more, delving further and further into this closeted existence.

I use to smoke before doing arts and craft projects. I completed this Wine Cork Trivet while stoned!

I use to smoke before doing arts and craft projects. I completed this Wine Cork Trivet while stoned!

Almost a year ago I decided I didn’t want to live like that any more and became (slightly) more open with friends and family about my vice. There was a lot of drama in the headlines regarding Medical Marijuana legislation, the legality of medical cards, collectives, and dispensaries being close to parks and schools in certain neighborhoods. I took it personally. I’m a proponent of personal freedoms like any other common sense American: Pro-Choice, Pro-Gay Marriage, Immigration Reform, and Medical Marijuana. The reason I began smoking was due to my chronic migraines, (WARNING TMI!) severe and crippling menstrual cramps, and being diagnosed with carpal tunnel all at the age of 25. Over the years, and with access to medical insurance, I’ve gained control of my mental and physical health. It took a lot of time and patience to get where I am today, and it was never an easy road to take.

I occasionally get migraines. I still suffer from back-breaking menstrual cramps. I manage my carpal tunnel better than I use to. Medical Marijuana helped me gain control of my health…over time. It wasn’t the only answer to my problems, but it did help me take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy a moment of happiness. I was an over-worked, stressed out, and manic girl riddled with issues. I’m still struggling with some of them to this day. However, sitting down and hitting a joint with a few good friends reminds me that my life could be a lot worse. I’m grateful I experienced those moments in life, and thankful that I found something that allowed me to appreciate what I have in life: love. Once I started smoking marijuana I quit smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, and started eating healthier (not all the time, of course) and drinking water instead of soda and other sugary drinks. Marijuana allowed me to reflect on my life without freaking out about it. I still have a lot to learn about life, but one thing I’m always happy about is knowing who I am, how far I’ve come, and how much I have left to live for. I’ll still occasionally treat myself to a smoke here and there, but I’m no longer going to depend on any type of drug to make me feel better about myself.

Here’s to adulthood! For however long it lasts. 🙂

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The RSVP: Regretful? Sarcastic? Very Problematic.

This post summarizes my feelings exactly when it comes to RSVP anxiety and humor!

I Just Want It To Be Perfect

During my last (admittedly sporadic) session of stalking Twitter for interesting and amusing wedding-related content, I came across this highly entertaining photo of one of the better wedding RSVPs I’ve ever seen:

Now, wedding RSVPs are nobody’s favorite detail — except perhaps for the designers and stationers who cackle gleefully and rub their hands together thinking about all the piles of money they can get out of you for one tiny little square piece of fancy, recycled, eggshell-white paper with scalloped edges. Or whatever you end up using. Still, they’re one of those necessary evils. If you’re planning on having guests at your wedding — and let’s face it, most people are — you’re going to have to figure out how many of them are actually going to show up, where you’re going to exile some of them and for the love of god what you’re going to feed…

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