Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009 Recap!

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas (or Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus!) When you see what Mr Pug got me, you'll realize why I have been MIA in the blogosphere :)

I took off Monday and Tuesday from work and STILL barely put a dent in my reader. We had a wonderful holiday! We went to Mr P's mom's for Christmas Eve. Her partner's uncle died that day, which was both sad and a blessing, as he had been suffering for far too long. Everyone was able to bring holiday cheer though, and turn the day around. Remember how crap-tastical the last holiday at her house was? It was nothing like that. We had a huge falling out with his brother A at Thanksgiving, and I previously had some issues with FSIL. I am happy to report that all issues are behind us and everyone got along! It was so great to eat delicious food (chicken parm, courtesy of FBIL S, with tons of sides,) drink a few beers, and play Beatles Rock Band! His moms got me a watch and got Mr P satellite radio for his car! The kids all pitched in to get FMIL's partner satellite radio as well, and Mr P and I got his mom an address book and new perfume.

The next day we went to Mr P's aunt's house. We were overjoyed to see that his grandma was healthy enough to attend! Mr P, his siblings and I all gave his dad and step-mom a gift certificate for a couple's massage. Mr P and I also made his aunt chocolate covered potato chips. She said a while ago that if they existed, she'd probably like them. Well guess what- she did! They got us wonderful wines and beer to enjoy.

Oh and how could I forget... before going to Mr P's aunt's house, I was lucky enough to wish my sisters, mom, and mom's boyfriend a Merry Christmas! We all have Macs (although mine still has the screen damage from it's tumble) and video chatted so I could see them open their presents. Here I "am" with sister M and sister R. Sister M might kill me for this...

I sent them stuff from NY&Co- purses and scarves for my sisters, and a scarves and a shawl for my mom. I also sent my sisters the gifts I FORGOT to send them last year. Whoops. Their gifts are still in the mail to me... possible payback for last year? I wouldn't blame 'em!

Mr P and I knew what we got each other long before Christmas, because we cannot keep our mouths shut. (This is a lifelong struggle for me - I once told my mom I got her a present, couldn't tell her what it was ... but they go on your ears.) We were good and waited until Christmas to open them. We just get so excited when we find gifts for one another that we ruin the surprise. Next year we have instituted no talking in December for that reason. (Well... maybe.) Mr P's big gift was a Blu-Ray player. I will vouch that it was worth it's weight in gold as far as DVD quality goes. If you buy one, make sure you buy a new HDMI cord or it won't work. We couldn't get one on Christmas but used the one we use for the Xbox and were wowed by the quality of The Hangover, even though it wasn't a Blu-Ray disc. Definitely a Blu-Ray fan now!

He also received a grill pan / panini maker from me. I take issue with that name because panini is PLURAL. Like, I had so many paninis for lunch. One "panini" would be a panino or panina depending. But I digress.

It was wonderful how our big gifts went together. Mr Pug got me something that stirs the Jersey inside of me.... a box set of ALL the Sopranos seasons on DVD!!!!!!!!!!

That, dear friends, is where I have been for the four days post Christmas. We are already through season 2. Each season has 4 discs. That's SICK. I wasn't allowed to watch the Sopranos growing up (we didn't have HBO and I wasn't even allowed to watch VH1 or MTV) but I did frequently see them filming in my town. Our house even had an agent growing up but we never got work (once we were ALMOST the site of an Eggo commercial, but it wasn't meant to be.) Seeing the DVDs now, it's cool to sometimes know exactly where they're filming, or hear them mention a place I know. "We can go to the Friendly's down on Bloomfield Ave!" BOOM. I frequented there in Middle School after dances. It's pretty awesome, seasons 1 & 2 have been like a time capsule back to Jersey when I was in middle or high school. I'm shamelessly addicted. And I might start a blog about how much I love the Sopranos because let's face it I'm obsessed. Whoever has seen seasons 1 & 2 and wants to chat about them let me know. I'M AVAILABLE.

I really need to cut to the chase with these stupid long paragraphs, don't I!?

Ok well Mr Pug was a crafty sneaky man and got me another big gift for his other gift. Of course he told me about it the day he bought it, but he was sneaky to be so spendy. This beautiful pearl pendant necklace is now mine:

Yea you can't really see it. It's a real pearl (MY FIRST!) in a hand-made IN NEPAL silver setting. I am in love. So classic, but different and a tiny bit funky. He did a really good job. I am modeling it in bad lighting thus the pukey-lime-ness of my actually more subdued-green sweater. Also note the great scarf my Secret Santa (FBIL S) got me!

Well that's enough Christmas news to last a year! I have some exciting non-holiday things to post about that are developing, so stay tuned. They include:

1. I may or may not be on a radio commercial? And paid to do it? Yea I'm not kidding. I will share more details when I get them!

2. I had a... well... an "experience" with my invites. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows about it. I might have had an embarrassing twitter meltdown. They've been redesigned (by me this time- again, long story) and reordered. I will share this whole story when I have a bottle of wine and a few hours.

Also... who knows anyone who got engaged over the holiday? I know of two but they're not people I'm even close enough with to congratulate on facebook. So really, none :( BUT if you have a close friend who got engaged, check out my picks on Weddzilla for the Top 3 Best Gifts to give them this year! (Basically, things I want or have, duh.)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

From The Pug Family...

We hope you have a great Christmas filled with family, friends, fun, and love!

(Can you tell that's snow? whew... my dandruff has gotten bad! teehee!)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


This is a huge trend. I don't get it. Well, sort of. I pretty much don't get it because I've never had one. A Macaron. NOT "macaroon" but macaron, aka it's French. And fancy. And... COLORFUL.


I would like to eat these immediately. I love pistachio-flavored things so the green ones speak to me.

My pal Cher has an obsession with macarons and is trying to get me to try them. She described their taste to me, and I think this diagram helps:


Ok, sign me up! I am currently on the search for a place that makes them in Indianapolis, and have determined I might as well be in Antarctica. None being sold. Some Starbucks are carrying them for a hot second right now, but that'll be my only hope. Cher has a blog called Shoe-a-Day that is mostly about fabulous shoes but sometimes, she digresses. And recently she digressed to blog about buying the Starbucks macarons. And today, she is giving away a book on how to MAKE THEM! You can read about it and enter here. All you need to do is tell her your favorite color macaron.... and with that picture I posted, it shouldn't be too hard. You have until 11 on Christmas! GO!

Monday, December 21, 2009

First Wedding Ornaments

We have the world's saddest Christmas tree.

I always had a huge real tree growing up. When Mr Pug and I got our house, it was 3 days before Christmas and we didn't even try to put up a tree. Last year, we looked at prices for real trees... and promptly bought an artificial one. It's a slim one and kind of sad, but it'll do. The sad part- we only have 4 non-generic ornaments. One's a random dove I got from work last year, one is a pug ornament I bought in New Jersey, and the other two were a gift.

Early last year when we got engaged, my Mom's friend P send us a congratulatory card with these ornaments. Meet Groom Fish...

...and Bride Fish!

I was smart and put them right in the box in our basement that contained our Christmas decor, and completely forgot about them. Putting up our tree on Saturday, I squealed as I re-discovered them! Real ornaments, WEDDING ornaments, #3 and #4 in our collection.

I hope to continue building my collection of ornaments. Maybe our kids will one day make memories of putting them on the tree. And maybe one day I'll have a tiny little tree JUST for pug ornaments? A girl can dream, right?

If you celebrate Christmas, what is your tree like? Do you decorate with specific colors, or any type of ornament that is meaningful? Is your tree pathetically ornament-challenged like ours?

3 Months & Wedding Dog!

I hope you all checked out my last post... I was tres uber nervous about sharing that info, so hopefully everyone got a little chuckle out of it!

We had a great weekend- Saturday we went to an ugly Christmas sweater party and hung out with good friends. Sunday (yesterday) we celebrated our 3-months-till-wedding-aversary and enjoyed the kid's Christmas pageant at our church (which I tweeted about as the "padgent" and decided someone should just have me killed for that spelling error.) This whole weekend I dealt with some horrible icky migraines, seemingly brought on by my glasses, so that explains my lack of active blogging. I have TONS to show you-hopefully starting tonight- but right now I need to tell you about the coolest thing EVER!

The Wedding Dog is a website I adore, which will be coming out as a magazine in February 2010. They have a lot of vendors, ideas, and stories having to do with dogs in weddings. They just launched their new website yesterday and I'm really excited about it. Partly because, well, it's awesome, and partly because... well, LOOK! Yep, the pug family made it to the site! My photographer aka the photo God aka Erin Hession-Wooton is a featured vendor on their site and thus, my relationship with The Wedding Dog was born. (ps, this isn't a sponsored post or anything, I'm just really excited about this website!) I am hoping post-wedding I'll have some great stories to share and pictures to let them use. Also, I think it's cool that 30% of The Wedding Dog's proceeds go directly to the Animal Miracle Network to save the lives of homeless and abused animals in the U.S. and beyond. How can you not love that? You can add their logo icon to your site by using one of the images here.

So, the moral of today's post is, if you want your dog(s) involved in your wedding in any capacity, check out The Wedding Dog!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Chuck Norris Fan Club?

Want to know the real story about how Mr Pug and I met? And how it involved this dude?


Check out the details in my post for the Weddzilla blog here!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Christmas Side of Miss Pug!

Born to be Mrs. Beever posted a great Christmas blogger questionnaire. So of course I had to do it! I'll start you out with our Christmas stocking for the puggies, which my best friend aka bridesmaid H got for us last year.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper. I love ripping it off and I LOVE wrapping presents.

2. Real tree or Artificial? I love real trees, but ours is artificial now since we have a tiny house and budget!

3. When do you put up the tree? As soon as Mr Pug will let me! Which is not early enough.

4. When do you take the tree down? Sometime between Christmas and New Years. My mom put our tree at the curb on Christmas Day once. She's not so much a fan of holidays.

5. Do you like eggnog? Sick, no.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I can't think of a specific one... I was always so happy with all my gifts. Lame answer, I know.

7. Hardest person to buy for? My MOM!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Mr Pug for sure. I have a rolling list of things I could get him.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Not yet but I hope to get one when we have a mantle over a fireplace at one point.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I usually mail, but this year has been too scattered and we dropped the ball!

11.Worst Christmas gift you ever received? HAHA the crushed velvet gloves my quirky aunt got me once.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf or National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation! I wish my Dad had been alive to see Elf, I bet he would have loved it- he introduced us to Christmas Vacation.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? In November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Not that I can think of.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? I used to love getting the Italian bakery leaf cookies that would always be at my Dad's coworker's party (and at many NJ events throughout the year.) My last few years in NJ after my Dad died we went to our old neighbor's house and I learned that I LOVED Yorkshire pudding. Right now, I think I need a new tradition!

16. Lights on the tree? WHITE. I DESPISE colored lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Anything by Trans Siberian Orchestra.

18.Travel at Christmas or stay home? It's weird now that I live here in IN with Mr Pug and my family is in New Jersey. Usually we go visit one of his relatives and then spend time at home too. I hope in the future to host Christmas or visit my family.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher and Dancer and Donny and Blitzen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Vixen? I think I'm off. Is there a Prancer in there? And Rudolph of course.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I love stars... they're so classic.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? I like Christmas morning but I've gotten one gift on Christmas Eve from Mr Pug the last two years- my promise ring in 07 and my engagement ring in 08!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Missing my family.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I loved my family's tree with SO many ornaments... mine now is boring with our gold and red. I need to get an eclectic collection!

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I'll have to say Yorkshire pudding again.. it was so good!

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? HAHA my unrealistic list- a key necklace from Tiffany's, an amazing DSLR, a new Mac... ha. Really I'd love some pajama pants and slippers!

26. Have you ever been caroling? No, but I was in church choir so I've done my fair share of carol singing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Table for Miss Pug, Pity Party of One?

I'm happy with our new wedding "situation." Truly, I am. I still get to get married on 3/20, we still get to use our kickass photographer, I still get to wear my dress. And, really, we do still get to celebrate. Mr Pug is ready to move on, which you can read more about here on Weddzilla. That being said, Mr Pug expects me to be happy with what we have decided on, since we have decided on it and are moving forward. And let's be clear... I am happy. We're not going to be any more in debt than we already are (DIE ALREADY 2009! YOU NEED TO BE OVER, MONEY-SUCKING YEAR FROM HELL!) and we will be MARRIED! The most important thing!

Ok now that I've cleared that with you all... it's time for some sad, bratty, "why-me?" venting. Originally, my family dominated our wedding guest list and my side was going to be all fluffy and full and vibrant and Jersey and fun.

What is it like now? Well let's see. I went over my "family & family friends" list with my Mom a night or two ago. My family & family friends list was at 91. Remember, huge family, tons of cousins? Guess where we are for "definites" now?

I'm going to wait a second for effect.

Because it's that sad.


Gratuitous sad picture here. Thanks for the sourpuss, Bugg.

Don't worry- it gets sadder. One of those 82 no-shows will be my Bridesmaid S. She was laid off and financially it won't work for her. And how can you NOT understand that? I am completely understanding about that situation- I was there! I missed a wedding I really wanted to go to because of my unemployment. But I'm still sad. She's the friend I've had the longest in my life and I'm sad she won't be there on this super-important-life-changing-day. Maybe I can make a life-size cardboard cut-out? (Maybe I can make them for ALL no-shows? And fill my side of the church? The side that was supposed to be overflowing and will now will be empty??? SCHEMES! I love them!)

To be fair, there are about 11 of the no-shows who my Mom said will be "not coming. I think." To which I said "OK THAT MEANS MAYBE!" But what it really means is my Mom is checking and they're "probably not" coming.

Of my twenty-five cousins? None. Maybe POSSIBLY one. She's on that elusive maybe list. They're the only true maybes- my aunt is trying to get 3 of her 5 airline tickets refunded so she and her daughter can come, but if she can't refund only 3 of the 5, they will all stay home.

From my friends, a few will still come, many didn't respond to my initial email, a bunch emailed me a "that's so sad we'll see you in the summer" type message basically saying they weren't coming, and a few were honest and candid about not being able to attend and were enthusiastic about the summer. This brings me to two issues: Mr Pug's friends & relatives, and our summer celebrations.

Regarding Mr Pugs' friends and family, they are mostly all here, in Indianapolis. Those who aren't here, were here previously, and have many family members and friends to stay with for free... unlike my friends and family. Which means, his side will be FULL. Not all will be able to come to our after-ceremony dinner, of course, but they'll be there at the church. They get to experience the wedding because they live here, or because they can easily get here. Life isn't fair, I know, yada yada, but it still makes me jealous and sad!

And the summer celebrations. Plural. Two. One for Indiana and one for New Jersey, which is pretty much one for Mr Pug's family and friends and one for mine. They won't all get to meet. None of my friends will fall madly in love with a Midwestern boy and live happily ever after growing corn on the Jersey shore.

Additionally... I'm not sure how seriously people will take them. They're backyard parties. I want people to be summer-dressy... sundresses and khakis, that sort of thing. I want people to put it on their calendar... not leave early for some other occasion. ZERO of my friends from New Jersey are engaged or married. I don't think it's a priority for some people at 24 years old... they don't get the same wedding excitement that I do. Which is totally fine. It might just be because I live far away, but the enthusiasm for my wedding hasn't much come out of the Garden State. Maybe if I lived there it would be different. And this could just be me playing the world's tiniest violin while crying inside and being a big baby. But I just feel like it will get the blow off from some people, which makes me sad. Hell, my Aunt did the same thing... the one Aunt who doesn't live in New Jersey, she lives in Arizona. Cool Aunt. And Cool Aunt got married in AZ, but had a backyard "reception" in New Jersey. I did not attend, since I had gotten a bad haircut that day.

I'm not even joking.

I was in middle school, so yea, I've matured a tad bit, but had it been a "real" wedding reception that evening, at a reception venue, would I have gotten out of it because of a bad haircut? Something to think about.

Ok that's enough whining for one day. Seacrest, OUT.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Cards & Bobbi Brown

Anyone who is getting married next year, take note... we got THE cutest Christmas card today from our friends... you know, the wedding I can't stop talking about? That was so effortlessly breezy and simply elegant? Le sigh. Check out their Christmas card:

Of course you could see their faces but I edited out for privacy. I think the "Married Christmas" is a cute idea!

Speaking of Christmas, my Mom let me know that she's going to a Bobbi Brown 20% off sale on the 25th. I don't know if this is a nationwide thing, or just the Montclair NJ store. You see, we used to live in Upper Montclair, and so did Bobbi Brown. Her kids, Dylan Duke and Dakota, all went to my elementary school (but were much younger than me) where my mom happened to teach kindergarten. Dylan and later Duke were in my Mom's kindergarten class and she also babysat Bobbi's boys occasionally. I met Bobbi a handful of times over these years... once was when she had a few people at her house while she was pregnant with Dakota. No makeup, jelly sandals, looking GORGEOUS and RADIANT. She even gave us her floor tickets to a NJ Nets basketball game once. Christmas and teacher appreciation gifts from Bobbi were clearly amazing- lots of products!

Ever since then, my Mom has used Bobbi Brown products, and when I can afford them, I have too. It's been a long time since I've purchased anything from her line! My Mom wants to get us some Christmas gifts when it's 20% off, and I'm looking for suggestions! These are the items that caught my eye:

I have been needing some better mascara... I need mascara that is both lengthening and volumizing, so this one seemed like a good option.

I have very oily skin, so I was interested in some foundation as well.

I might have to pop by a Bobbi Brown shop in the mall to test colors.

I must also add that I am SO BORING when it comes to eye shadow. I wear the same thing every day. I will always be a fan of a slight shimmer, but I go for the same boring tan color every. single. day. I think wearing a color though would look very 80's. I have blueish-grey eyes... any color suggestions in this shimmer wash shadow?

Hopefully I'll be able to take full advantage of this wonderful gift! I have gotten a few autographed books from Bobbi before... my Mom doesn't think she'll be there on the 25th, but if she is, I instructed my Mom to drop a hint or two about me getting married... and that I love her makeup... hint hint! She told me to get a life and that no, she would do no such thing. LOL!

What cute Christmas cards have been sent to you (or Hanukkah cards?) this season? And have you used Bobbi Brown makeup before- what were your favorite products?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Mi Piace Mólto!!!!!

That refers to, of course, Italian food!

I spent a lovely summer studying abroad in Taormina, a gorgeous small town located on the mountainous coast of Sicily.

This view was a short tram (or steep walk) down from my hotel:

And this is what my home for the summer of 2005 looked like from above...

I was tan. I gained 15 pounds from all the carbs I consumed. I learned to love wine and I was conversational in Italian. (I bought those earrings and shoes while I was there! I wear the largest shoe size offered in all of Italy. Yep.)

And of course, I found the 4 pugs in Taormina and said "ho lo stesso cane" or something similar but incorrect to tell them I had a pug as well (Oliver, my first pug, living with my Mom and sisters at the time.)

There are probably posters up in Sicily still... "WANTED: crazy American woman who attacks Italian pugs with kisses and takes photos with them while speaking poor Italian."

This experience, plus the experience of living in heavily Italian New Jersey most of my life, has made me a bit of an Italian food purist. I never had Olive Garden until my senior year of college. I am super-picky about my pizza. So when we went to check out Buca di Beppo for a possible after-ceremony-dinner location, I was skeptical.

Oh hello, half pound meatball. Are you here to prove me wrong? Yes. Yes you are.

This picture was one of the 293823423 on their walls and is pretty much what I looked like while consuming the giant meatball. Or just the 1/3 or so of it I could manage.

We had an amazing meal and some great wine. After eating, the events manager took us around to show us the rooms we could use. It was a freaking maze in there!

This room was my favorite, and will hold up to 65. There are booths on the left but it's mostly tables.

There was also a large L-shaped room that could hold up to 200, but we would need 80 to use it.

This is Mr Pug, on the other end of the room, willing me to take the freaking picture already!

There were people eating in the third room, so I took this picture off their website- this is the Pope's Table, which has two smaller adjoining areas to hold 80 plus total.


So, I guess we need to figure out how many people from our immediate family and wedding party will make it! (Basically, the people there will be people who you'd invite to a rehearsal dinner- very close family and any friends involved in the wedding, and their dates.) There are a few menu options and drink options to work through, but I think this location will be the best option for us. There aren't ANY room rental fees, and while we still will be paying the 20% (tip instead of the service charge) we won't have the other fees like bartenders, or have to tip on top of it all.

If any of you are having a smaller wedding, I'd suggest looking into your nearest Buca! I was shocked at the L-shaped room- she said that they could set it up with a DJ and dance floor! This isn't what we're going for now, but if you had a smaller guest list and wanted an affordable reception option, it would be really do-able. It needs little to no decorating and you know the food will be good!

I'm excited to wow the few family members who can make it to our wedding with this great Italian food. Are you incorporating any important elements of your past into your wedding, either through food or otherwise?


Because of my awesome shoe-loving friend Cher, who shared a miserable work experience with me for a year or two, I discovered The Pioneer Woman. I. Love. Ree. I read her whole "black heels" thing- every post- about her meeting and falling in with Marlboro Man, her now husband, and I suggest you do too. Immediately.

Ree linked to her friend recently... Bakerella. WHERE HAS THIS SITE BEEN ALL MY LIFE???? I tweeted about her and everyone was all "duh, Pugs, where have you been?" Well I guess the answer is IN A HOLE because I was missing out!

I saw her recipe for the classic Red Velvet Cake Balls and swooned. I made them last night as a trial and they're great!

Lesson learned- if you don't really like white chocolate, you won't like red velvet dipped in it. I made a few white chocolate ones but switched back to regular milk chocolate, and used the leftover white to drizzle. FANCY and so easy.

FYI the chocolate ("bark") I used is what Bakerella recommends, the Kroger brand. Seriously, if anyone wants some and doesn't have a Kroger, I'll send you some. It's THAT easy to use and fool-proof. Look how pretty they are!

Like Bakerella suggested, I froze the balls for a little bit before putting them in the chocolate. I don't know if that's why, but all of mine busted out a tiny bit on the bottom! Luckily it wasn't at all noticeable when they were sitting normally.

A few tips: See that little chocolate spillover "base?" It's easier to avoid them if you use a FLAT surface and not a plate with edges that raise a bit... if you're like me, and use a plate it's possible that they'll slide if placed near the edge. If you notice chocolate pooling, take a toothpick and outline closely around the base. When you remove the hardened chocolates, the spillage will easily snap off along your traced line. Also- if you don't have wax paper, use tin foil. Not just a regular plate. Or they won't come off without breaking and you'll have to do some cake ball repair.

My friend Angie also suggested adding the frosting a little bit at a time, saying that if the cake is moist, you won't need the whole can.

The above is all we had left (I mixed with my hands while a tipsy Mr Pug added the frosting for me. I waited until it was almost dough-like and I knew we didn't need more. We probably had more left in the can but SOMEONE was eating finger-swipes of frosting while we worked! (Hint... it wasn't me!) PS- I am now wondering if he purposely left a smiley face in there?

Mr Pug just went to Best Man A's house to watch the IU game and I made him take some with him:

I hope they're a hit! I know we really enjoyed them.

These babies are going to be great to bring out for the holiday celebrations, they are elegant and yummy. I also plan to make these for at least one of the summer wedding celebrations. I love that you can customize the colors and decorations with different color candy melts, chocolate drizzles, and sprinkles. Although if you do sprinkles, be careful- this chocolate isn't like regular melted chocolate. It hardens very quickly so you need to do sprinkles right away.

This recipe yielded 61 cake balls for me (yes, random number) and I used a mini-scoop from Pampered Chef. After scooping though, I hand-rolled the balls to tighten them. They are a pretty good yield from just one box of cake, so if you wanted to do these as favors, or for a candy buffet, they'd be easy to do! (Hint- especially if making them in bulk, I'd bake the cakes in advance. Baking it and letting it cool was time-consuming.)

Please try them (and hopefully, learn something from my helpful hints) and then tell me how they go!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wonderful Surprises on this COLD Thursday!

I'm probably should post a Twitter thing on my sidebar... I'm all over it, and know a few of you follow me (and likewise) on the big T. Anywho, sorry for annoying you with 3 posts in the past 24 hours, hopefully they're just enjoyable fluff. So getting to the point... while on Twitter, I saw a favorite restaurant of mine tweeted a challenge:

brewhouse: I will send someone a $25 gift card if they TwitPic a picture of your tongue on a flagpole today. Seriously.

Sidenote, this guy tweeting is the ACTUAL Scott Wise, owner of said restaurant, Scotty's Brewhouse. He has locations in college towns here in Indiana (including Mr Pug's alma mater, IU Bloomington) and two in Indianapolis. Before finding this job, I worked at the downtown location. And nommed majorly. The food is amazing and they have a jaw-on-the-floor huge selection of beers on tap. Here is Scotty:


(Also- April 2 shoutout since his twins were born on my birthday this year!) Anyways, he tweets the challenge. I wait until my bosses go into a meeting... run downstairs (with my jacket and a scarf, since it's like 10 degrees today,) run to a lightpole, lick it and take a cell phone pic, and then run back inside.

Ok so my chin's doing things that remind me of Sloth from The Goonies. Wind was like 100mph and it was too cold for a re-take. Yes, I tweeted the picture, and received an email from THE Scotty... I am getting a $25 gift card! That will be a nice dinner for me and future hubs. They have this thing there, called Mofo Musard... it's their Mofo hot sauce and honey mustard... seriously, I could bathe in it. The things I'll do for food.

(I should also mention that I work across from a huge hotel downtown and there were multiple cars and probably 23984738 people saw me and will wonder for the next 90 years why they saw a girl photograph herself licking a lightpole.)

Also, I had a LOVELY surprise today! Friends have been so supportive in response to my email to them about our change in plans. Two wonderful sorority sisters sent me these today, with a caring and supportive note:

We just wanted to let you know that we were thinking about you and love you! (Signed with their names, of course)

These two mean the world to me... see, my dad passed away during sorority rush, and though I went home, I still was allowed to be accepted by the sororities if they wanted me. In essence, I went through rush still, just without being there. I got into Sigma Kappa, and when I got back, the chapter president had volunteered to be my "heart sister" (a buddy you have when you first are a new member.) She took me out with the seniors to dinners at a great Mexican place, invited me to her Valentine's Day party, introduced me to everyone and anyone... and most of all, made me feel welcome. Her roomie was the other girl who sent these with her, and they both have remained dear friends of mine for the past six years, surprising me at my graduation party in Jersey, to driving to dinners in Pennsylvania... they are always close to my heart.

It's so amazing what a nice gesture like this can do for a girl's day! Plus... the flowers included chocolates. Oh yea... definitely what I needed to cleanse my palate after that pole-licking!

100 Days!

Ok go read my post from last night about flowers... but keep in mind...

ONLY 100 DAYS UNTIL WE ARE MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That is all.

photo source

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

...But We Still Get Flowers!

Before I start telling you about my flowers... I promised to show you the completed mint brownies, then all budget hell broke loose and the world imploded and dollar bills grew wings and flew, along with pigs, south for the winter. And through all that, I forgot to show you the gorgeous picture of the completed product from this recipe! Behold, mint brownies in their delicious glory:

Ok, now that your mouth is watering, back to flowers...

In case you are a newer reader or don't remember- I picked out my flowers, figured out what fiddlehead ferns were, and then developed a plan with our florist.

Yesterday, I braved the pouring rain (and nervous, horrible rain-drivers) to visit our florist after work. I briefly told him our situation. Sitting down, we went over what I needed and didn't need. Don't need a toss bouquet. Don't need centerpieces (at least $700 saved!), don't need arrangements for the reception hall.

I explained our change in theme from damasky and formal to more contemporary and visually detailed. Instead of damask, the bouquets will have a more modern black and white handle wrap (I left it up to him, because I enjoy letting a pro do his job once in a while!) I decided to keep our decorations simple in the church. There will be a large arrangement (donated to our church after) on the altar behind us. It will have similar flowers to my bouquet, but also more pop, like Bells of Ireland and other taller branches. It also may use some carnations... I just love them!

I also decided to change up the bridesmaid bouquets. I want them to be really rich with texture, but I love the green. Chuck the florist recommended adding:


Hypericum Berries... these little green berries (above with a bout) have a great green color and visual, textural impact.

Then it comes full circle...


My favorite flower when we started planning... green hydrangeas. He suggested starting with a hydrangea poof and setting the spider mums and berries into it. The finished product would look very close to this:


I will admit, I had doubts when he mentioned pairing hydrangeas with spider mums. Then when I did the google image search later, I realized I was sooo pleased (and he was sooo right!) I love the slightly varied greens and stunning array of textures! Squeeeee! I also had him throw some hypericum berries into my bouquet... you know... for funzies.

Even with the changes to the bridesmaid bouquets, we'll be paying less. Some days, I am really happy this happened, because I don't feel guilty now about bouquets and arrangements.

Did any "cons" in your wedding end up being "pros" in ways you didn't expect? Did you make any changes to your flowers throughout the process? How hands on were you, and how much did you just let the florist do him or herself?

One Lucky Gal!

I got an award!

Thanks to the New Mexican Bride and Jill at Once Upon a Dream for sharing the blog love and listing their 10 things that make them happy. They passed it on to me, so here are my 10... with pictures. Yep, that's right!

Ten things that make me happy!

1. Pugs. My wonderful smoochie faced pugs who know exactly what face to make (head tilted, just a hint of tongue) when I need a lift!

(personal photo)

2. Mr Pug. He's been at home for a week (had to use up vacation!) and cleaned the house up to a sparkling shine. He is so motivating!

(personal photo)

3. My friends near and far, who always make me laugh and smile.

(all personal photos)

4. My amazing blogging friends who have been so supportive and wonderful! You truly cannot believe the joy you all bring me.

(screenshot from my blog)

5. Meatballs. Sorry I just love them now! (NEW FOOD YAY!)


6. My Mom. She is my rock and my world and I love that our relationship improves so much every year. She is so cute and I cherish her!

(from Facebook... she hates having her pictures all over the place so take what you can get!)

7. My sisters... they mean the world to me and I miss them all the time!

(photo courtesy of my sister's Mac)

8. Christmas Music. We are going to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra right before Christmas... LOOKOUT!


9. Having our health and our lives. Reading Nie Nie's blog and how grateful she is for her life after she was in a horrible plane crash. Read and be inspired!


10. God! He is so good and through everything, He brings all the above 9 to me to make me happy even when I truly do not deserve it.


I apologize if any of you have gotten this already, but I pass the award on to: