Tuesday, June 17, 2008

It's Crunch Time!

Or How to Not Have a Breakdown When Your Wedding Day is Rapidly Approaching

Wow, I can't even believe that we have almost two weeks left until the big day! Luckily for me, yesterday was the last day of school, so I have lots of free time on my hands. It's a good thing, too, since I still have quite a few things to get done! Most of it will need to wait until the week before when I arrive in RI (can't wait!) since I can't exactly ship ten handmade cupcake stands. Being busy should keep me from getting too stressed out. Plus, we're already married, so it's not like we can get cold feet!

Instead of worrying about the people who have yet to RSVP, the random family dramas, or the possibility of thunderstorms, I've been:

Whipping up test cookies. My mother and I are making four kinds of cookies to serve as dessert along with the cake, so I've been trying out new recipes. In addition to a family favorite, we'll be making:
White Chocolate Cherry Shortbread

Outrageous Chocolate Cookies

Coconut Macaroons

Making the boutonnières. Actually, these were very simple, and didn't take me longer than an hour once I settled on a design. I've posted a tutorial here if you want to try your own! Plus, most of the materials were in my stash. The only new things I had to buy were the florals, and they only cost me a few dollars. I love cute and cheap!

Finishing the dress!
Actually the first dress has been finished for a while now. And no, I'm not going to show it to you. I did however have to wait for the second dress to come in, which finally happened this past week. Second dress, you say? Since my gown is long and doesn't bustle, I'm terrified that someone is going to step on my train and tear it off. The dress means a little too much to me for me to allow its destruction! This is where the second dress, or the "dancing all night/going away" dress comes in. I bought something short, but equally amazing (yes Ralphy, it's amazing!) for the evening. And no I'm not going to show it to you.

Making playlists, photo lists, lists of lists. I'm a list maker. Lists make me happy. You won't be surprised to know that I have sent a list of songs to the DJ, a list of must have photos to the photographer, made my cookie shopping list, crafts-still-to-do list, stuff-still-to-buy list, stuff-to-pack list, and so on. I don't want to forget anything!

I think the best thing to do to avoid pre-wedding breakdowns is to be organized and to be ready for curveballs. Considering our luck, I wouldn't be at all surprised if a drunk cousin falls into the cake, or if the gazebo gets hit by lightening. I'll just have to breathe and tell myself it will make for some awesome photos. And breathe some more. "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Random Photo Fun

As I'm a tad hungover and Eric is still sleeping, I need to pass my time this early AM with mindless flickr fun. I found this on Girl Land's blog and thought it would be fun to try out, so here we go!

The Questions

1. What is your first name? Joanna
2. What is your favorite food? Mom's spaghetti and meatballs
3. What high school did you go to? Pilgrim
4. What is your favorite color? Turquoise
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Jude Law
6. Favorite drink? Frozen lemonade
7. Dream vacation? Fiji
8. Favorite dessert? Chocolate Cake
9. What you want to be when you grow up? An astronaut
10. What do you love most in life? Family
11. One word to describe you. Excited!
12. Your flickr name. jmgallo

The Concept

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

Here's what I ended up with:

This is interesting because the top left photo (my only result from the "jmgallo" search) is a photo of my friend Sarah in a dress she made which I now own and adore. My search for "turquoise" turned up a photo by Judy Scott, an artist whom I quietly worship, and the "chocolate cake" search found a photo from Christine who is in the same recipe share group as moi. Hmm. So try it, it's kind of fun.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Windy City

Shop (and walk) 'til you drop or What to do in Chicago in the summer

Ok, ok, so I've been laaaazy lately! Somehow in the craziness of spring, I've neglected to post for two entire months! It's been so busy here with traveling home for my best friend's wedding, working on wedding planning, and finishing up the school year that I've been completely distracted. Jenny's wedding was gorgeous (how could it not be when you are on the beach in Newport?), and the most fun I've had in a long time! It was so fantastic to be home spending time with my friends! Just one more wedding to go... Luckily, things are really coming together in that department and I only have one more week of school!

In the meantime, I'll post some photos of our long weekend in the Chicago area, visiting my parents. Chicago is just about my favorite place to visit in the United States, so here are some of my highlights for Chi-town in the summer:

- Visit all of the usual Chicago landmarks: The Bean, the Botanical Gardens, Millennium Park(especially the amphitheater and the Crown Fountain), the John Hancock, and the Skydeck. Oh, and the Magnificant Mile (or anywhere really!) for some shopping. You can't visit this city without doing at least a little shopping, even if the sun is shining down on you. Take a break from your walking tour and retire to the AC at Nordstrom, you'll feel recharged :)

- Check out the Navy Pier. Just don't plan on spending lots of time there. It's very commercial and plastered with corporate logos, but it's classic. Spend the six bucks to ride the ferris wheel because the view is beautiful, grab a beer, walk the length of the boardwalk for people watching, and you'll be done with it. Or at least we were!

- Food. Period. Every time we visit Chicago we eat like kings. This time we went for lunch at my parents' favorite pizza place Pizano's and later went for French at Brasserie JO. I recommend both highly! If you want dessert after dinner, just skip the Godiva next store. Although the ice cream is delicious, it is not worth the 45 minute wait (yes, 45 minutes for a cone!) and the service is embarrassingly bad. I think they hand out free chocolate at the door so your mouth is too full to complain. Have pastries at the restaurant instead!

- Festivities Galore! If you plan accordingly, you can hit any of the huge summer events. We happened upon symphony practice for the Memorial Day concert at the ampitheater, but had to catch a train before the real event! I'm also bummed that we won't be able to get out there for the Taste of Chicago, which is supposed to be fab, but you know, I'm getting married that weekend.