Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sewing machine!

Remember my post about how I never DIY and I don't sew and don't own a sewing machine and stuff like that?


Well...

 
I got a  sewing machine  as a present from my mother-in-law!!  She spoiled me and Dave big time with other Christmas presents too (camcorder, clothes etc).



This looks promising, right?


I am so excited.  :-D


Now that I have a sewing machine, and to show utmost graciousness for my MIL's gift...I will learn how to use it!

And make something...

Like this.

Quilt

Or this:

Barbie ® Outfits!



And...
Something to do with Dave's old T-shirts...

......wait a second.  

I'm just posting baby related stuff to make!  


Hee hee!  NOT PREGNANT but eventually. 

Speaking of babies, my SIL had her baby boy last Monday :)  


If you want to be happy, hold a newborn :) :)


Also I want to reorganize the guest room.  It is a disaster.  We literally have no more closet space.  

This room needs a lot of single-life stuff decluttered.  Plus I need to make room for the sewing machine!!!


I want this to be a room where I can escape into a creative and crafty mode after being in a cubicle for the whole day.  


I love my job but I never want to do what I do at the office at home.  Ever.  
When I'm home alone, I just want to do stuff like crochet, scrapbooking, calligraphy, and now, sewing.  


Plus I can only fund these pastimes with a paycheck.  








Saturday, December 15, 2012

10 Reasons to Have your Reception at the LDS Cultural Hall

Here's a novel idea on how to save big on your wedding.

Rethink the location!

In Utah, expect to pay about $3000-$4000 for a venue with a buffet on about 200 guests.  If a sit-down dinner, expect 2-3 times more of the costs.  While this may not seem like a lot, for some people, it is a lot of money to spend on for a few hours.  $3000-$4000 is a decent amount of money to spend on furnishing a 2 bedroom apartment.  Furniture lasts longer than a reception.  

I could say use someone's backyard or marry at the beach.  But this post is to convince those who really want to save money to...USE THE LDS CULTURAL HALL.

This was a good post of the cultural hall wedding.  Read HERE


Cultural Hall?  Ew Alina.  No way.  Not the basketball hoops or court floor....  

Well think of it this way: people are going to the reception for YOU.  Not because of the reception location.  Otherwise, they're not really your friends!

A former work colleague shared with me great insight about his parents.  His family is mega-rich and his dad is a CFO of a huge corporation in UT.  When his parents got married, they had their wedding in a backyard and his mother's dress was $50.  And guess what he said?

"The people you invite will probably spend the same amount on your gift regardless of the location"

Honestly there are so much pros going the LDS Cultural Hall route.  Mainly because you have control as a consumer and avoid the hassles that come with booking a venue to catering

Here are 10 reasons.

1. Tables, chairs, and tablecloths (ivory or white) already stocked.  No need to rent these items.

2. Kids can run around in circles around the cultural hall, you don't need to worry about them knocking over some vase and paying for it. 

3. You can reserve the hall for up to two days. No overtime charges or pressure of setting up within an hour of the event. 

4. No worry about outside elements.

5. LOTS of parking.  No need for valet.  

6. Accessible restrooms already stocked with toilet paper.  Accessible for wheelchair access! 

7. Accessible and decent kitchen to prepare food. 

8. You can bring whatever food you want and save big there.  A lot of the food I've seen offered at reception venues for a 
buffet is really meager and you pay a lot for it.  

9. Can fit groups of 200-500

10. It's free.

Well what are the cons?  There aren't many.  

1. DIY--decorating the cultural hall is tons of work.  A lot of people will skip out and go pay a venue to do this (especially the cleaning up part).  Even if you have no family in the area to help, it is very rare you don't have friends in the area who are willing to come help you out and decorate. You will find out who your real friends are, they will drop everything to come help.  We helped some good friends of ours with decorating their cultural hall reception the night before the ceremony when they had no family in the area, and we even brought our 1 year old in tow.  Were we tired? Yes. Would we do it again? Yes. 

If you are worried about the cleaning up part after the reception...just hire a cleaning service to come help you out after the party's over.  It will cost way less than paying a venue to do it. Most likely a venue outsources their cleaning too.  

2. No lit candles.  But most places won't allow them anyway.  

3. The basketball hoops.  But in the end, seriously, no one cares about them!  People like seeing the cultural hall decorated and want to eat good food. 

Our reception was at a cultural hall and it was great.  I've uploaded our wedding pics so you can get ideas.  It wasn't a fancy reception but it was lovely and happy :).  No matter how big the party is, the end result is the same -- you got married!  And that's what matters!  I have yet to meet anyone that was disappointed for having their wedding at the cultural hall but more people disappointed with their choice of venue (expectations not met, low quality of service, lots of money wasted etc). 

When people get married they need to plan beyond the wedding, and what things can cost after the party is over.  Furniture costs a lot!  Also rent!  

Looking back, I'm glad we chose wisely and saved our money for after the wedding. 



 No need for chair covers.  People just need a place to sit, eat, and talk. 


Even now I don't regret the basketball hoops :) 





Lots of people =FUN

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tips on Buying a Wedding Gown without going broke

Dave and I have been super duper sick and quarantine ourselves to separate bedrooms in the evenings.

In the meantime my diet is Gatorade and popsicles to sooth my throat.

It's soo sad!!

Anyhow, a new post...

In this economy, Wedding Dresses can be expensive!  How can you not go financially overboard with a dress?

You can borrow or rent a gown but this post is for those who are BUYING a dress at a STORE.

If you are a bride reading this blog... you will find a gown you will love! You will!  Just keep reading below


BEFORE SHOPPING

Look up on Google or BBB for reviews of the stores you're going to.  Some reviews you can easily tell that they were written by upset divas but you'd be surprised how some bridal shops are run by shady people.  Examples of what they do:

You put your deposit down but the store doesn't use the deposit to order your gown.  They would use the deposit to pay their other bills and order your gown at the very last possible minute.  That's how some brides get their gown late.

Or purposely order your gown in the wrong size so that you have to use their in-house seamstress (this is the cash cow of most bridal shops...especially David's Bridal).

I say this all the time in the my blog USE YOUR CREDIT CARD to avoid losing your money to dishonest and/or unprofessional wedding vendors.

Then go to stores where they're likely to sell gowns in your price range.  You don't want to have a $500 budget and go to a boutique where gowns start at $1500.  If you're not sure, you can always call or email the store ahead of time.


BRIDAL CONSIGNMENT STORES

Did you know bridal shops sell their gowns to other stores to make room for their new gowns??

There are two that I know of in Utah and gowns start at $50-$99.  They usually don't go over $400.

Angell's Originals located off 40th South and Highland Drive in Salt Lake City.  Their flagship store is Fairy Godmother's Bridal.

BX2 located at Union Square on 94th South and 700 East in Sandy.  Their flagship store is Bridal Expressions.

They are worth checking out!!


ALTERATIONS

Get an idea how much alterations cost before purchasing your gown, if possible.

Temple fills are the most expensive alteration ranging $200-$400 alone.  Keep that in mind before buying a strapless gown.

Most bridal gowns need a bustle...but you can learn how to do that on on YouTube!

The more ornate or intricate the gown, alterations will run higher.

If you need to alter your gown, go to an independent seamstress and save at least 40% of alteration costs that you would in-store.  I recommend Jen Jackson. You should also check out her facebook page, she does a great job with temple fills!  http://www.alteredelegance.com


SAMPLE SALES!!

These are the best!

Bridal shops sell their sample gowns before Christmas to make room for the following year.  A sample is the gown you try on at the store, and then the store orders the one like the sample in your size.

Samples are usually in excellent condition because of the fabric.

You should go to this one!!! Next Saturday!!!!  This store carries fancy designers like Anne Barge and Monique Lhullier.

Alta Moda USED to carry Vera Wang and was the only store in Utah that did but not anymore :-( so you'll have to drive down to Las Vegas for your Vera Wang gown.

But anyhow...GO!!!!!!

You can find additional information HERE








Sunday, December 2, 2012

Fabulous shopping spree and food poisoning

Yesterday was fabulous...until dinner

We've been married 6 months as of yesterday! No pulling a Kim Kardashian on this one, hah.




We decided to celebrate by going out for lunch and dinner, and shop for clothes and other goodies the entire day.  We went to Melty Way, a grilled cheese sandwich shop for lunch and it was good. Dave stopped at Dick's sporting goods to buy a gift for one of his brothers.

I stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to browse but didn't buy anything since I didn't bring my 20% off coupons. There was an engaged couple there with their scanning gun and list...I pity the fools. Read my registry post HERE

I stopped at the Dollar Store for Xmas decorations but didn't see anything I liked.

At Target, I picked out a sweet gift for my sister-in-law. Target had women clothing for 30-70% off clearance too.   

We stopped at World Market for some wrapping paper and funny ornaments.

Then we headed off to the mall! I stopped at Nordstroms and Sephora and ended up with funky colors of nail polish from Sephora for one of my sisters since she loves nail art. Dave went to J Crew to buy an outfit for Christmas with my family. At J Crew, they have these suede flats in pretty colors. I saw a pair of bright blue flats my size that were marked down to...$49.99!!! Retail is around the $130 range. Even better, J Crew had a sale yesterday of 30% off your entire purchase. So these Italian leather flats ended up costing me $35. That was way cheaper than what I've seen at the J Crew outlet in Park City.

You can find the shoes HERE  The color I have is "AZURE" blue.  I hope to get other pairs in black and "jazzy purple"

One of my favorite uncles once told me that because of my age, I needed to budget more for better grown up clothing and decent haircuts and color. 

That, and other factors were what pushed me to shop at stores like LOFT and more recently, Ann Taylor. I like these stores because most of the clothing fits my frame and work well in and out of work. I'm slowly weaning into pants that aren't the color of denim so I bought grey pants along with a pretty and delicate ivory knit sweater. HERE and HERE

We stopped at Crate and Barrel and purchase another ornament.

After shopping we went to Olive Garden. Our waitress was a sweet gal but she had a bad day since she didn't come to check on us often and she forgot my soup. We could tell she was crying. Dave ordered a chicken alfredo pizza which we ended up sharing since my soup never showed up.

I fail at reminding myself that when I get sick at restaurants it is usually from:
1) cheese on pizza or 
2) grilled chicken not cooked all the way. 

Within minutes, my stomach was acting up and off to the restroom I went. It got worse and my meal ended up on the bathroom floor.

This lady in the bathroom heard what happened, offered to help and she went to go get Dave ("He's Asian. And he's wearing all black").  I took a hot bath when we got home and Dave went to the grocery store. 

Along with what we planned to get grocery wise, he got Pepto, Popsicles (for hydrating with the sensation of eating) and a mini Xmas tree!  That made me feel better.

My stomach felt iffy throughout the night so I didn't make it to church today. 

Interestingly enough, I had food poisoning the day after our wedding. Inconvenient coincidence.  I think it was from traveling between airports (germ-ville) and because I was sweating soo much underneath my dress and got extremely dehydrated.  So, DRINK MORE WATER THAN USUAL ON YOUR WEDDING DAY.

At Olive Garden, I did barf on my black flats but they were old, inexpensive pairs from Payless. 

My new pair of flats will make for that pair which Dave threw away, along with the leftover pizza.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pros and Cons of a Summer Wedding


Our apartment is freezing today and I'm snuggling with DH for warmth along with a couple layers of comforters.

I thought of our summer wedding since our 6 month anniversary is approaching soon.

My parents got married in June.  We got married in June.

Why do people decide to get married in June and others in different months?

Some ideas I'm listing here for anyone who's deciding what time of the year to get married.


Pros of having a summer wedding


  1. More people can take time off to travel to your wedding; by then they would have accumulated a week's worth of vacation pay.  Except if you started a new job in April (me).  
  2. Flowers are plentiful, variety of options and less costly
  3. You can celebrate your wedding anniversary when the kids are not in school
  4. Fruit is plentiful during this time as an item on your buffet menu.
  5. Other brides: you can buy their reception decor for a fraction of the cost when their wedding is over.
  6. Better gifts.  If you have your wedding soon after the winter holidays, chances are people will be broke.



Cons of having a summer wedding


  1. Compete for reception and/or ceremony location
  2. Reception and/or ceremony location rental is pricier  $$$$$$$$
  3. The weather can be hot, especially if you have layers and layers of ruffle and gown.
  4. Compete for decent wedding photographer
  5. Less room to haggle for food and venue rental costs
  6. Other brides: your guests will have to decide whose wedding to attend.  My cousin's wedding was three weeks after mine.



Any other pros/cons you can think of?  Share below.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

7 Pieces of Wedding Planning Advice to Ignore


When you pick up a bridal magazine and flip through the wedding planning advice section... the  "advice"... is really a tactic for vendors to make more money off brides and in the case of department stores, suck you in as customers for life.



  In the case of today's post it should read "Bad Wedding Planning Advice:  EXPENSIVE as S___!!!!!
*not liable

Below is a list of costly wedding advice that you should not take heed to doing.


At the bakery:

"You'll need a wedding cake and a groom's cake"

When shopping for a Gown:

"You'll need one gown for the ceremony and another gown for the reception, and different undergarments for both"

At the jewelry store:

"You need to budget two month's salary for her engagement ring"

At the department store:

"Register for everything at various price points so that your guests can know your tastes and have several options to purchase a gift for you."

At the photographer's studio:

"Your wedding will be a complete blur. You'll need coverage from two photographers from the time you wake up in the morning to get ready and all the way to when you walk into your hotel room.   You'll need albums and DVDs for your family too."

Before your trial hair-do:

"You need at least three sessions to do your bridal hair.  One for your bridals, one for trial and one for the day of.  We can add additional trial runs to achieve your perfect look."


At your trial run for your wedding day hair:

"This smoothie is awesome.  The berries are from the Amazon.  You drink it twice a day a week before your wedding and you won't have any breakouts."




As long as you aren't capricious and not have a perfect day mentality, you'll be able to sort out what you want and don't need or don't care to have at your wedding.  You will be able to sort out the unnecessary and good advice on wedding planning.  






Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Be Good, Be Wise, Be Wonderful


Last week I registered for a free event at the Conservation Garden Park in West Jordan titled:
"Quality on Any Budget, Selecting the Best Home Furnishings"

A home blogger from RC Willey is the keynote speaker so I wanted to attend, grab some tips to share on my blog and possibly meet new friends.  If you are reading this and can make it, you should go!!



Unfortunately I won't make it tomorrow.  I'll explain why.

Four years ago, I was a proselyting missionary in Brazil for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Each mission of the LDS Church (I think there are over 300) in the world is directed by an older married couple who are also missionaries; generally known as the mission president and his wife.  They make sure that all of the younger missionaries like me are safe, happy, and healthy as a missionary.

Lots of things happen to missionaries when they're far away from home.  There is very little contact from the missionary to the family so if anything happens to the missionary, the first contact for families of missionaries is through the mission president and his wife.  A special thing about mission presidents and their wives is that they are second parents to the missionaries, they care a lot about how the missionaries they're responsible for are doing.  They even care and wonder how you're doing and even after the missions are completed.

My mission president's wife, Sister Shawcroft helped me a lot when I got very sick on the mission, it was always comforting to talk to someone in English because trying to explain your symptoms in Portuguese was stressful.  I always enjoyed her hugs and her brownies that she made as a birthday treat for missionaries.  There wasn't brownie mix in Brazil when I was there!  

That being said, Sister Shawcroft, passed away on Veteran's Day due to a rare form of cancer in the brain that she lived with for four years.  I won't be able to attend her funeral this Friday because of work, but there is a viewing at the same time as the Garden Park event, so I felt I must go to that to pay my respects to the Shawcroft family and to see her for one last time.

She was a very kind and gracious lady, and definitely had a Christ-like demeanor, which is evident in very good missionaries. 

I have a picture of me and her on the mission but it's in my old PC and the battery's dead  >:-(
Once I retrive my files from the old computer I'll post the picture here.  

Sister Shawcroft always had a phrase to share with everyone

"Be good, be wise, be wonderful"

Sister Shawcroft certainly was a good, wise, and wonderful woman!

One last story I'll share before I went to bed about her being all of these three things.  After the mission, I was engaged to another guy and that didn't work out.  It really sucked notifying everyone six days out from the wedding.  On June 5th 2011 (my defunct wedding was June 3rd) she emailed me this:
Dear Sister Riquelme,
Please know you are in our prayers. The right one is still waiting!
Com Amor,
Sister Shawcroft
She was right!!!!!  I really appreciated all of her kind words and optimism as well.    

I was privileged to meet this lady as a missionary.  

The last time I saw her was on my wedding day on June 1st, 2012.  I was so happy she came and I'm pretty sure she was very happy knowing that I ended up finding my "right one"  

You can read her beautiful obituary HERE

I can't wait for tomorrow, it will be tough, but there will be strength too because of all the love everyone had for her.  



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DIY Reception Food Part I


A lot people planning a wedding choose to prepare their own food for the reception and save some serious $$$$$$.  Many avoid this route but it can be done if you read these tips

Things to consider when doing the self-catering for reception food.


1. Number of guests-try to set reasonable limits, it's easier to self-cater 100 people than 300 people (more than 150 is very difficult).

2. Your kitchen and especially...your refrigerator space.  You will need to arrange with friends and family for extra refrigeration space. Example, A cookie bar is very simple, delicious and elegant option for a wedding but if you are baking hundreds, you need to make dough in batches and freeze them until the event.  You will need more freezer space as it gets closer.

DSC00575
My creation

These pictures are from an excellent blog post on logistics of baking lots of cookies for a wedding.  You have to read it HERE  This was where I decided on our cake recipe too!!





3. Before reserving a venue that lets you bring your own food, check the kitchen you'll be using.  Pick the venue with the best kitchen available.

A good kitchen has:

  • Plenty of oven space and racks.  This is important if you need to heat several items at once.  
  • Plenty of fridge space.  It sucks if you need to empty out the fridge the day of the event to make room for your chicken salad and sliced veggies.  
  • Plenty of counter space.  You have a lot of platters or perhaps plates to set up.  


  • If the kitchen isn't your own, you need to check what supplies come it it, does it have serving dishes, salt and pepper, serving spoons, knives for slicing, chopping, and carving?  Does it has dish soap and towels?  Oven mitts?  Rolling pins? This is why you need to check in advance so you can avoid buying things at the last minute.  


4. GET HELP, volunteer or paid.  For my wedding my mother-in-law had her friends from her church group help with the food during the reception.  Before the wedding, she said that she helped at every one of her friends' daughter or son's wedding so they better help her in return.  Haha :) My MIL is great, who would say no to her??


Monday, November 12, 2012

Rain Cloud Baby Shower

Saturday was my SIL's baby shower.  She is expecting a boy for her Christmas present!  (he's due the 22nd of December so that pretty much counts...)

My other SIL asked me to do the decorating.  I had never decorated for a party so that was exciting.  I wanted to make the baby shower as lovely as our wedding; my in-laws went out of their way to make our reception special so I wanted to do something super nice in return.

I began looking at pictures for inspiration.  Especially these two:

(I swear I've seen this picture before in a magazine, I don't think it's Martha Stewart but it's BHG...I've seen tons of bloggers claiming it's theirs but until I find the right source to credit...this belongs to no one!)




This is from Jengerbread Creations.  Her ideas in her blog melted my anti-DIY heart.  
Her blog and picture can be found  HERE


I also went to YouTube for a quick tutorial to see how paper rain clouds are done.  It's really good to watch. 



So I decided to give it a try....



I concluded that THREE RAINCLOUDS ARE PLENTY. According to me, the person who avoids DIY.  They're a lot of work :-P

I'm so happy I married Dave. He helps me with anything!

I don't own a sewing machine so I didn't sew the raindrops like they did in the video.  Dave helped me by poking two holes; one at the top and one at the bottom of each rain drop with a needle and threaded the rain drops in. That turned out to be a good thing because the rain drops ended up being a bit long once hung and touched the table.  We just cut the string at the end and adjusted the length of the drops.  

All you need to make these rainclouds is:


  • A pack of white tissue paper from da dollah store.  One pack of 20x20 is enough for three rain clouds.
  • Bendy wire
  • Fishing line
  • Cardstock with color of your choosing.  I picked blue.  



I bought diapers as a gift but when I went to Home Goods here and there, I saw some boy nursery items that were so irresistible and figured if I couldn't have it (I don't have children yet), someone else should and that person should be my SIL.  My SIL and her husband are doing a sports themed nursery.  All the things that you see on the food table that isn't food...I got it at Home Goods!  They were perfect to display on the food table. 

How can you not resist the basketball onesie???



I married into a family of foodies.  I didn't cook anything, but I arranged all the plates and whatnot to my liking.  More and more food plates came in before the shower so we expanded the table and rearranged a few items. 


We had brunch.  We had Costco quiche, cinnamon rolls, baked bacon, pineapple, chocolate covered strawberries, and a variety of scones.  Also baby shower mints.  

 From Home Goods: Bookends, frame, basketball onesie, and a soccer piggy bank







I wish I could rewind back to last weekend.  The food at the shower was soooo good!!!

I'm food hungry as well as baby hungry.  :-D

Thanks to Dave, I think we'll have cute babies :)


UPDATE 7/1/2013: We are having a cute baby!!  Read post HERE

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Our living room wall progress



Last post I mentioned about the four Ikea frames we bought for $20.



When I came home from work today, I caught Dave hanging up the frames in their desired spot in the living room.



I love him so much!  He nails everything on our walls so PER FEC TLY.  






 The wall before...






And after!  Now the wall doesn't feel too empty.


(no pictures on the frames yet, haha)

What do y'all think?

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Items that cost $20 to buy

On Saturday, I went shopping with Dave at Tuesday Morning, the Overstock.com Outlet, and Ikea.

Tuesday Morning isn't the best place for your buck to buy lamps and there isn't much of a selection for them.

There are interesting furniture pieces but it's pricey and there are some minor flaws with the furniture. It is worthwhile to go there to buy higher-end bedroom sheets; decent thread count and the price is very good for them.

At Tuesday Morning, we set our eyes on this basket!


We had been looking for several months for the right basket at the right price to go under our console table as a place to store our quilts.  The size, style, color, and durability of this basket was perfect.  The selling price was $20, that was the best price for similar baskets.
(sorry for the lighting but I'm not a photographer and didn't want to spend time editing)

The Overstock.com Outlet is next door to Tuesday morning so we made sure to stop there.  Lots of dining chairs, tables, and rugs for sale.



If you're looking for eclectic or extremely modern chair pieces, check this store out.  Didn't find anything that we liked and some furniture pieces had major flaws.  It's still worthwhile to at least check the store out, it's a hit-or-miss.

Since we were already in the Sandy/Draper area, we decided to check out Ikea.

The things we've bought from Ikea were the TV stand (expensive and very hard to assemble), the dining chairs, a potato masher, a vegetable peeler, and the rug.

I think a lot of stuff at Ikea is too expensive, especially when you have to assemble it yourself.  But there are things that look nice and affordable, especially for students that need to decorate their dorm room.

Another reason to check out Ikea is that you can buy brand new picture frames for a very good price!  If you can make time, you can spray paint your frames any color you want.  We bought four 8x10 frames for a total of $20 as well.

I am so excited, I know exactly where I want them placed and can't wait to show you all in the next post!


To end this post, I'll also include two more items that cost $20 each to buy, these pillows that are on our couch.
 Ruffle pillow from Target, bigger pillow from Home Goods.  Both sold for $20 at their respective stores.  


One day, I'll figure out how to buy several items for a total of $20.








Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why you should shop at Home Goods Early and Often

Tonight I went to Home Goods because I haven't been there in almost two weeks and it's Thursday.  My husband is so nice and smart, he doesn't want me to stay put in the house all night after coming home from work so we went together to look at some items at my favorite place in the world second to home with my husband!  The store had re-stocked and moved around some items, as anticipated (Home Goods in Murray always re-stocks every Monday and Thursday), which is the main reason I go there often.  Other decor stores don't restock as fast.  It is seriously a treasure hunt at Home Goods and you might see something that is the only thing there that is absolutely PERFECT, like our new bedding ;-).  Also you can't shop for anything online, you physically have to go to the store and see what's there!  They do have a store locator online so go there and find the nearest Home Goods store near you!  You won't be disappointed.

Currently at Home Goods I'm looking for the two perfect side tables for our bedrooms, two lamps, and some wall art.  We walked out not buying anything, but we were close to purchasing some photographic prints but decided to rest on that.  However...I saw one customer with her cart and I was sooo envious of her soon-to-be purchase, because it was the only one left at the store! Oh how I wish I was there earlier to snatch that wall art! She had this wall art wrapped IN CANVAS that read:





Argh...that would totally look perfect in my, I mean...our office/guest bedroom!!  I want the office space to have a "boutique" like feel to it.  A lot of pinks and whites...with flowers and crystal cut candlesticks...but not overly Paris Hilton-esque.  Her decor is super cute and glam-bam but I'm trying to steer away from zebra prints :)

I went and googled the poster online and found something very cool.  At allposters.com, you can take a picture of your room and decorate it with wall art that you're thinking of!  That's great since I'm still up in the air with the white space adjacent to our dining room table.   

The dining area incomplete with empty wall space.  Centerpiece: Wedding gift, Dining table: Kohl's Paradise Valley Collection, upholstered chairs: Ikea, low-pile rug: Ikea




Bed and frame from Knight's Mattress.  Bedding from Xhilaration at Target. White shelves and desk from Crate & Barrel.  Chair was from roommate that moved out of apartment and she let me have it!

Anyone here can relate to their shopping cart envy experiences?  Do tell!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Baking a Wedding Cake

If you're not careful, your wedding cake will cost as much as you pay in rent.  So does one save on wedding cake?

I could say "Don't buy a cake" or "Buy pie or cupcakes" and be done with today's post but it wouldn't help much.  Not that they aren't good alternatives.

Before baking or buying a wedding cake, here are some of my thoughts about it:

The cake is usually cut toward the end of the reception.  Some people don't eat cake, and the only people that will go out of their way to eat cake are the guests that arrive late when the rest of the food is gone.  You just don't want to have a ton of cake left over.  

Dave's cousins love baking and offered to make our wedding cake!  I lucked out there big time. But you CAN bake your wedding cake if:

  • You pick an easy recipe.  We did lemon meyer pound cake.  This flavor turned out to be a huge hit at our wedding and Dave's cousins mentioned how much they loved the smell of lemon while baking in the kitchen.  Also, pound cake is the most forgiving and easiest cake to work with.  It's not likely to break like airier cakes and cause frustration.  
  • You don't care about ornate details on your cake like cala lilies, lace piping etc. But if you have a hookup with an MA in sculpting then you're good.  Fresh flowers arrangements done right can make your cake look stunning.  I loved how it turned out!  

Our wedding cake

The ingredients turned out to be roughly $150 for this 3-tiered cake shown and it was a decent size.  

Some things we did to save:

We had the top layer as real cake and the second and third tiers were styrofoam.  (I had a cousin who used Rice Krispies as an alternative to styrofoam that worked just as well).  Styrofoam turned out to be a good thing because (1) if it was all real cake, it would be so heavy to carry.  (2) We just had to do one slice during the cake cutting and still leave the cake looking nice to display through the remainder of the reception instead of a gaudy sliced mess at the cake table. 

We did sheet cakes with the cake flavor, but no fondant, just buttercream frosting for guests.  Very easy to do.  

You do not need 100 slices for 100 guests.  Like I said earlier, plenty of people skip on cake and the slices are pretty big.  You will be fine getting a cake for 50-75 people instead of 100 and still have plenty to spare even for 100 guests.