Friday, July 30, 2010

No sugar plums here

T minus one month till the wedding and I'm having some pretty weird wedding-related dreams. O.K., maybe more like wedding nightmares.
Want to know how you can tell this is a dream? 1) That is the kind of perkiness you can only get in dreams. I mean let's be serious, my boobs haven't looked like that since 10th grade ever. 2) There is a giant dream bubble above my head.

Two nights ago I dreamed that I picked up my dress from the cleaners and while it definitely was the dress that belonged to me, it was a totally different dress than the one I have and didn't fit at all. It was a halter dress and was so big that pretty much my entire boobs were showing. This is a ridiculous and impossible dream for many reasons. First, I already have my dress back from the cleaners and have tried it on repeatedly. And second, there is definitely not a possibility that it will be too big. American snack foods are doing their part to ensure quite the opposite in fact.

Then two nights ago I dreamed that I had to get a haircut, which is true. But somehow my sister was the stylist and she cut my hair into a chin length bob. All I kept saying was, maybe it will grow out again before the wedding.

I wish I would just have really wackadoo nightmares because these ones were just realistic enough that when I woke up in the morning I thought "Man, I really need to find someone to alter my dress soon" and then again the next day "What am I going to do about my hair?".

Last night I was dream free. Thank goodness.

I can't be the only one having weird wedding dreams. Come on, let's hear them.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shower for a Dirty Hippie

I feel so special and loved and supported and excited and happy. This weekend I was showered.
Every bride needs a wedding bell and candle, right? Thanks Great Aunt Veggie.
**All photos in this post my my amazing FSIL, Jen, from Jen Lebo Photography.

My bridesmaids (Veggie Sisters Kale, Eggplant, Carrot), Momma Veggie, and little brother Bridesman Veggie threw me a fantastic bridal shower at the Veggie parents house in New Jersey. We missed Veggie Sister Tomato, who couldn't take time off of med school in Arizona to join us, but I got to see so many wonderful women that have been a part of my life throughout the years. Friends from elementary school, grad school, and even one from NZ managed to find their way to the party. And the Veggie ladies did not disappoint. They cooked the most amazing most drool worthy food. They are clearly not doing their part to make sure I fit in my wedding dress in a few weeks. Veggie sisters, we have about 1/16 of an inch in wiggle room in that dress. If it doesn't fit, I blame the stratta from the shower.
Momma Veggie's cupcakes, which will also make an appearance at the wedding got rave reviews:
Unbeknownst to me (well, actually pretty knownst), the Veggie sisters interviewed Mr. Veggie via Skype and recorded it so we could play a "how well do you know your groom?" game. Veggie sister Kale read the questions and I tried my best to give answers that wouldn't embarrass either of us too badly. I was doing well until they asked about our first kiss, which may or may not have been in the middle of a crowded party in a bit of a drunken stupor. Sorry mom! Veggie sister Eggplant played back Mr. Veggie's responses to the joy of the crowd. They particularly enjoyed this response by Mr. Veg.
Veggie sister Kale: What is the first thing that Miss Veggie will want to do after the wedding?
Mr. Veggie: Blog about it.
You know it!

Then we played a game that was really all about embarrassing me... it was kind of a roast where guests wrote down their favorite Miss Veggie moment. Then they were read out loud and I had to guess who wrote them. I'm just thankful that my friends used good judgement and censored a bit.After games it was time to get serious. There was a pile of treasure waiting with my name on it. I was a little nervous about this part of the party with some registration hesitations still lingering. All week I was practicing my "Gee thanks, this is so thoughtful of you, even though it weighs 50 pounds, is breakable and bulky, doesn't work with NZ electrical outlets, and is a totally ridiculous item that we would never buy ourselves"-face. But I should have had more faith in our family and friends. They totally get us.Veggie Sister Carrot diligently recorded names and gifts while I tore through handmade wrapping paper of one kind and another. Our guests were so thoughtful in their choices of wrapping, keeping in mind our desire for a low footprint wedding. We got gifts wrapped in magazine pages, new dishtowels, and recycled fabric. Most of the gifts really fell in-line with our lifestyle too, being light, nonbreakable, and recycled or eco in some way. And the best part was that we got a lot of donations for our non-profit and really generous contributions to a "travel home to visit" fund. I know I sound ridiculous and snobby right now, and should be thankful for any gifts that we received, and I totally am, but it really just felt nice that people understood us so well to pick gifts that worked for us. I did get three bars of nice soap. Is that a hint? Because I really tried to clean up nice and leave my dirty hippie-ness out on the porch for a day.

So, thanks Veggie Fam. You rock.
Momma Veggie, Veggie Sister Kale, Me, Veggie Sister Eggplant, and Veggie Sister Carrot.
**All photos in this post my my amazing FSIL, Jen, from Jen Lebo Photography.

Did anyone have any embarrassing moments at their bridal shower? Anyone else have any gift-induced nervousness? Did it turn out for the beter or for the worse?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Washington Bee-C

Two weeks ago some fabulous D.C. bees organized a nice quaint get-together for a few readers and bloggers. You know, just a small gathering to share wedding ideas and advice. A few girls thought it would be a good idea, and then a few more, and then I hopped on the bandwagon as a D.C. summer resident, and by last week it morphed into this:

Look out D.C. the bees are taking over! Yep, that's right. All those gorgeous gals are bees.

Last Thursday about 25 of us came out for a night of dimsum and drinks at Ping Pong, a flashy restaurant downtown. The combination of the 100 degree heat and hours of wedding crafting all day, every day must have made me slightly delirious. In a ultra-crafty daze, I thought it would be a good idea to put together some fabric-covered bee pins as favors and wedding bee inspired table toppers.
Counter-Clockwise from top: Two bees proudly display their bee pride behind a steamy dumpling foreground; Pretty place settings at the beginning of the night; A few conversation starters on the back of the table toppers; Place settings at the end of the night, You can tell how good the food was, not one bit left; I just couldn't help myself with the signs, I blame Martha.

I had never been out for dimsum before, but let me tell you. Dim Sum = Yum Yum. The food was so good. I can vouch for a nice selection of on-tap beers too, and I hear from a very good source (cough, cough, Ribbons) that the Tenessee Tea Tingle is worth a try.

Food as high and as far as the eye could see.

We may have caused a bit of a scene, as 25 newly-engaged/ newly-wed ladies would do. One guy at the bar asked me what kind of club we were and if he could join. "Of course you can join", I replied innocently, but once I explained that we were all wedding bloggers he didn't seem quite as enthusiastic. Hmmm. Go figure.

Clockwise from top left: Mrs. Dorsay double fists her way through happy hour; Daniellemybelle gives a big bee smile; A sweaty Miss Veggie and Veggie Sister Kale enjoy a cool drink after a hot metro ride; and a group of bees get their drink on.

Thanks to DaydreamWanderer for her fabulous organizational and photography skills and to Daniellemybelle for making the reservations. It was such a great evening. It was so nice to share in everyone's pre and post wedding enthusiasm and put some faces to names I see on the bee all the time. I met some great ladies, some of whom were even crazy enough to volunteer to help me craft a bit. I hope I am in town for the next one!
I'm not even going to try to name all the girls in the picture, but I'm pretty sure that these girls are in there somewhere: the futuremrsjewell, daniellemybelle, veggie sister kale, msterrapin, spaganya, septcabride, mrs. pencils, eaq219, lolo7835, sali2011, scarletjwl, onbecomingmrshall, sea glass, grits, msjeep23, miss boot camp, junebug12. I know I missed people, so sorry.

Gold star for anyone who can pick out the four blogger bees tucked in there and super gold star for anyone who can find a hive hostess.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why My Sister is Awesome

After a hard day's work she's not too tired to come home from her very professional job and walk through her super nice neighborhood with me and rummage through her neighbor's recycling for tins cans for the centerpieces. Sure it might be embarrassing, but what are sisters for? She's great!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Paper Galands - Help Me Decide

I have had this project on my radar screen for a long time now. I think may even be on the original inspiration board I made about a year ago. So, with 5 weeks until the wedding, I guess its time to get going. Which means its time to decide what shape I want to make the garland. Want to help?

I will be making my garland out of salvaged cardboard boxes and vintage sheets my sister has gathered from Salvation Army and Value Village. One side will stay brown and the other side will be one of these gorgeous patterns. They will be strung from jute twine or hemp.

And here's where you come in. I can't decide what shape to make my garland. Originally I thought I would do birds, like the original project. I made a mock up out of paper and baker's twine and this is how it turned out:

Then I started thinking that even though the birds are super cute, maybe they are a little trendy, and maybe there is something that represents Mr. Veggie and I a little better. So I made a garland made of leaves:

And then once I got going, I thought maybe I could make something a little more "veggie"-ish for us. So I made a garland of beans and beany leaves:
Here are all three mock-ups hanging together.
So what do you think? Should I stick with the oh-so-cute birds? Go with the pretty and natural shaped leaves? Keep it real with the beans? Can you tell what everything is? Does one stand out more than the others? Let me know.

PENGY: Can you please add a poll to this post with the following choices? -Thanks
Which shape should I choose to make my cardboard garland?
Bird's The Word
Leaf it up to Me
String Bean

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I crack myself up.

I'm writing this post while my nieces are down for a nap, so it's going to be short and sweet with lots of pics. Hope that's ok. Getting anything done with a two and three year old around is pretty much impossible. Don't even get me started about the disaster that was "helping" Aunt Veggie plant the centerpieces yesterday. That's a whole 'nother post.

OK, so I've been knocking off wedding projects left and right this week and last night was boutonniere night. Supplies: 2 packages of feathers (pheasant and quail) for about $2.50 each. One bunch of dried yellow flowers about $5. One stem of fake pussy willow about $2.50. One role of floral tape and one spool of floral wire, which will both get used again for bouquet making.

I have no prior bout-making experience, so I kind of just went for it. Here was my first attempt:

I liked it, but it was a bit poufy at the bottom and the feather stem wasn't quite long enough to stay in well. So I made some adjustments including trimming the down off of the feathers a bit, and wrapping a piece of floral wire around the base of the feathers. I didn't get any pictures of these steps, but when trimming the down poufy bit at the bottom, I tried to just follow the natural line of the feather. You can kind of see what I mean in the left bout in this after photo.I twisted about 2 inches of floral wire around the stem of the feathers and crimped it closed with a pair of pliers. This really helped me have more length to wrap the tape around and made them bendable, and easier to position at the end. I read about adding toothpicks or other hard bits in with the stems to make them stronger, but the dried flowers were sturdy enough, so I didn't need to add anything.

I made 10 total, for groomsmen, ringbearer, and dads and it took me about two hours. The only thing I have to do now is wrap some nice ribbon to cover the tape and find long pins. With each completed project I feel just a little more relieved.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Team Spirit

Our camp wedding is going to involve lots of fun and games and a fair bit of friendly family competition. While my side might have the advantage in sheer numbers, Mr. Veggie's side has quite a few good athletes, so its looking to be a good match up. We have several events planned for the weekend. The morning of our rehearsal dinner the camp is going to set up a multi-event relay for our immediate families and bridal party involving silly stunts and heroic athletic feats. At the rehearsal dinner itself we are having a chili cook-off and microbrew competition. A few rounds of flip cup and frisbeer might also find their way into the evening. But the main event (besides our wedding) will be the bride v. groom softball game, to take place at 10am the morning of the wedding. Yes people will have to choose sides. For some it will be an easy choice. For others, it will be heartwrenching.

Question: How will we know what side they chose? How will I know who to heckle (and possibly sabotage) and who to cheer on?
Answer: Team uniforms.

As soon as I mentioned the idea to the Veggie Sisters and Momma Veggie they were 100% on board. Aren't they great? They suggested some websites where we could have shirts made. But, you know me. Ordering new shirts just isn't my style. We are going for eco and thrifty after all. So I came up with a plan to make them. Luckily Momma Veggie was still on board (did I mention how great she is?).

One trip to Salvation Army and Michael's later and we had everything we needed to make the uniforms. We went with pink for Team Bride and blue for Team Groom. I know, I know, so cliché. I don't even like pink. But obvious is good sometimes.

All of the shirts were blank except for this one, which is especially for Veggie Bro bridesman. It has ruffles. And says "Sweetie Pie". Sweet. We only bought shirts that were half off so we spent about $1.50 per shirt and bought a total of 22 shirts. At Michael's we picked up some white and black paint and sponge brushes. We couldn't find the exact stencils we wanted, so in a moment of crafting naievety we decided we could just make them ourselves back at home.

Note to all budget savvy brides: Buy. The. Stencils. Printing and cutting them out is do-able, but it takes for-ev-er. This is me exact-o-knifing my little heart out. I think I have early onset arthritis because of this project.

And here's Momma Veggie doing some touch ups after spreading, stenciling, and sponging. And what was the rest of the Veggie family doing while we were working so hard in our maquilladora? Sitting on their tooshies. Watching t.v. to be exact. Watching America's got talent to be more exact. (I know I'm embarrassed for them).

But after some prodding Veggie Sister Eggplant and Stepdad Veggie pulled through in a major way. They went out and brought back some red cows from the gelato store up the street. Sweet!

And here is a small sample of the finished product. Veggie Guests, you better be ready to bring it!

Monday, July 12, 2010


On my recent travels up and down the east coast I stopped in Baltimore to hang out with Veggie Sister Carrot. During my visit we went to a nice big Anthropologie store, a special treat for me since they have yet to expand to New Zealand. (Anthro- If you're looking for a kiwi store manager, I could be convinced to take on the job). I wasn't really looking for anything particular, but if a dress happened to fall into my arms that could work for one of two upcoming friends' weddings, my bridal shower, or our rehearsal dinner, I wouldn't turn it down.

Going into that store is a huge excercise in self-restraint. So, before going in I had to give myself a little motivational speech. I reminded myself that between my four sisters and the superbly fashionable Momma Veggie, I have five closets worth of dresses that could work for these events. I reminded myself of the US-Kiwi exchange rate, which is not that favorable for purchasing yummy frocks on my meager NZ salary. I reminded myself of the things in my life that make me truly happy, and make me feel beautiful. And then I tried on about a dozen dresses. :)

I ended up with two contenders:

and The Two-Wheeler Dress (which has very little arm holes that would have needed some tailoring to fit these Veggie guns).

Sorry if these are old news for you, but they were brand new for me. Turns out that Anthro doesn't put everything on their international site that they have on the US site. So you lucky ducks have access to some exclusive items that us Anthro-philes abroad never even get to see. I liked both of these dresses, and could see either of them working for at least two of my upcoming wedding events, but I walked out of the store empty handed. I thought I would just think it over a bit first. Good Veggie.

And good thing I did, because when I got up to Momma Veggie's house in NJ she took a look at the pictures and said, "Oh I have something like that in my closet". My rehearsal dinner dress hunt went from an anthropologic expedition to an archaeological dig through the depths of Momma Veggie's closet. Turns out that "something" was a vintage dress that belonged to my Great Grandma Veggie. Doesn't it look weirdly similar to the orange anthro one? Sweet!

Add a black grosgrain ribbon around the waist and pin the lapels open and I am all set. Woo hoo! One more family treasure that is making its way into our wedding. Hooray for free recycled beautiful things.

Have you been on any archaeological expeditions into your parents' attics or basements for wedding goodies? Were you pleasantly surprised or did you find some things that are better off staying in the past?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Veggie Goes Glam

Today was a big day. Not only did the heat wave gripping the east coast finally start to drop off a little, but I also finally got to make a trip to Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The site of veggie wedding bliss just a few short weeks from now. Its about time I saw the venue, don't you think? Since we were going up there, I figured I might as well try to squeeze in a hair and make up trial. So Mama Veggie and I hopped in the car, on only the second hottest day of the year, and took a short road trip to make me G-L-A-M. O-R. OUS. (yes, I'm singing right now, aren't you?).

First stop was our venue, Indian Head Camp. I'll spare you all the details, but we were greeted by a charming Brit named "Porkchop" and then chauffeured around camp in a golf cart, slaloming hundreds of kids while they chanted songs telling us why we should come to camp next year. I'd love to kids, but I don't think they accept 28 year olds. The visit was great. I saw the cabins, the lodge, the field, the fire pit. It all feels so real. Were getting married!

While that stop was really exciting for me, I have a feeling you all might be a bit more excited by our second stop, Utopia Day Spa. I have to admit I was a little nervous on our way to the salon. Mostly because even though I have an idea of what I think looks good, I hardly ever wear makeup, and don't know anything about doing hair. A dangerous combination. Also. How do I put this? Honesdale is not known for being the styling and fashion mecca of Pennsylvania (that honor definitely goes to Lancaster). Would this stylist know how to convert my un-informed ideas into reality? But I was armed with 25 pictures each of hair and make up styles I liked and a smile. A hot, sweaty, just-spent 2 hours at a camp, smile.

Soon enough I was sitting in a chair in the capable hands of Cindy. She ironed, curled, pinned, and tucked. For a minute I might have looked just a little bit like the cowardly lion.
But, in a surprisingly short amount of time, my ginger locks were transformed into this sideswept low-do.
Um wow. I felt so glamorous I just had to give a little Blue Steel.
Then it was time for makeup and some nice after shots.
I need to examine the pics a bit more, but there are already some things I know I want to change for the big day. I was hoping for low side chignon, instead of big poof. I wanted more messy and natural on top, not so sleek. And, turns out that even though I thought I wanted to use a flower, I really liked the headband look, so now I need to make a more wedding-y one (with flowers, of course).

For makeup I absolutely hated the super sticky shiny lip gloss she used. I felt like I had just eaten a melted cherry lollipop and had it all over my mouth. I also wasn't a big fan of the way my cheeks looked, I think the blush could be a little higher (I don't even know if that makes sense). What I do love is the natural looking makeup and smoky eyes. I feel pretty confident that we can work these things out on the wedding day.

So all in all, today was a good day. I look like a bride. I have a venue. In 44 days we are getting M-A-R-R. I-E. DDD (Yes, I'm singing again. Yes, I know there aren't enough letters to make it work). Are you other August brides starting to get excited?

Also, wondering if anyone has any suggestions for my wedding day look? And did anyone else have a trial that didn't go perfectly? Did you have a second trial or did you just fix it on the day of your wedding?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Map Maker, Map Maker, Make Me...

A map! Or two or three.

So on a 13 hour flight you have a few options. You can watch 7 movies, listen to one of 12 pre-programmed airline radio stations repeat the one hour playlist 13 times, play a few thousand rounds of video games, or make maps for your wedding guests.

What would you choose?

Before my NZ-LAX flight I went on mapquest and downloaded some maps that I thought would be useful to our guests. Then I did a little MS Word artistry at 30,000 feet and this is what I came up with.

A far far away map.

A bit more detailed map.

And a very detailed map.
The process was fairly simple, if a bit time consuming. But like I said, I had some time to kill. First I took a screenshot of the mapquest map (on a PC you could use the "print screen" button) and then inserted the image as a picture into a word document. I then traced the roads that I wanted with the line drawing tool, labeled them with text boxes, and labeled important points of interest. I then deleted the original map and added a rectangle behind the lines and filled it with a texture I liked.

And now I have three maps to put on our wedding website. I don't know that they're the absolute most useful maps, but they sure are pretty.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Since You Asked

When I first wrote about our decision to do e-vites and then posted the final product many of you asked what we would do for relatives that didn't have email. It's not super glamorous, but I thought I'd take a minute to show you the seven snail mail invitations that went out.

Yep, that's right. Seven. Out of 200 invited guests. Turns out our families are all pretty email savvy. The five paper invites I absolutely needed to send out went to my paternal grandparents, a great aunt on my mom's side, my maternal great grandmother, long-time family friends of Mr. Veggie, and my dad (he has email, but doesn't really have a good handle on the internet yet). Then once I got going I thought that Mr. Veggie's parents and my mom and stepdad would probably like to have a paper invite too, so I made each of them a set to keep.

A warning: we spent lots of time and energy on our e-vites so, I have to admit that I didn't have much remaining enthusiasm for the paper invitations. These are definitely low-quality, low effort paper invites (but grandmas and grandpas wont care, right?). And really, in the end I think they turned out kind of pretty, considering I didn't actually buy any supplies and just used what was laying around Veggie Sister Kale's house (my U.S. home for the summer).

Here's a step by step tutorial on how I made these fabulous-impromptu-home made paper invites:

Step 1: Print out e-vite onto cardstock.
Step 2: Try to use Veggie Sister Kale's rotary cutter.
Step 3: Fail at rotary cutting.
Step 4: Allow Veggie Sister Kale to take over rotary cutting and watch her complete the task about 100 times faster and better than I could.
Veggie Sister Kale workin' the rotary cutter in her PJ's. Aww yeah.

Step 5: Ponder why the craft gene seems to be absent from my DNA.
Step 6: Print out engagement photos to add in the envelope. Grammies do love photos. Cardstock + home printer= bad quality pictures. Grammies wont mind, right?
Step 7: Dig through Veggie Sister Kale's craft room to find envelopes. Hmm... red or green?
Step 8: Green.

Step 9: Tie with grosgrain and stuff into green envelopes. Lick and Seal.
Step 10: Call Veggie Mamma for addresses.
Step 11: Realize it would have been much easier to address the envelopes before they were stuffed.
Step 12: Have your hopes dashed when you find an empty packet of beautiful king and queen stamps in the junk drawer, and hope no one notices the Christmas stamps you are forced to use by your strong desire not to have to bring a two and three year old to the post office.

A Thought: When I am married will I finally be grown up enough to have things like a craft room and a complete list of family addresses?
Probably not.

So there's the quick and dirty low down on the paper invites. We also assigned an internet savvy friend or relative to set up a lunch date with each of the paper invite recipients to show them the e-vite, video, and website. This way they wont miss out on the full experience and will get to have a lunch date with someone fun. I think this will all work out really well. Worst comes to worst, I can always give them a call to make sure that they received their snail mail.

By the way, apologies for not posting more for the past two weeks. I arrived in the U.S. one week ago today and have been quite busy making cupcakes, singing songs, tickling, and giving raspberries to bellies. Life is good.