Friday, October 31, 2008


and loving this whole honeymooning thing. HIGHLY recommend it. Sydney is treating us v. well... the food has been delicious, the weather balmy and breezy, the ocean cold and the sand hot. and it's only been 2 days.

Quickly, Michéle posted a little peak of our photos...

I love. Cannot wait to see them all. She and her husband Mark are great people, beautiful inspired photographers and Mark even helped my dad change a flat tire the morning after the wedding.

Hope the real world is going as well as our fantasy over here.

OH, and yes, the wedding was amazing.

(you can see the big version on Michéle's blog)

Friday, October 24, 2008


is the big day.

good night and i'll see you all on the other side.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

thoughtful invites from thoughtful day

Kay, I know, I'm obsessed. But really, we're just hanging out at our house, drinking coffee and working on our vows (and quickly checking in with the blog world)... my time on the internet is in no way taking away from my wedding week experience, i swear.

ANYWAY. You have to check out Erica's insane invitation suite posted on Beautiful Paper. omg. I cannot wait to see her line when she's done designing it. I think it might be one of the best out there.


This might also be a good time to warn some of you who are thinking, "hmmm... maybe I should start a blog?" to be careful. It's dangerous territory once you get into it. Just so you know.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

and in a panic...

i realized we had nothing to mark reserved seats for family and bridal party during the ceremony.

good old gocco, such a reliable horse.

this was literally a 50 minute project. love those.

I had an extra pack of cards left from our escort card project, (which, take note, ALWAYS buy more than you'll need, you can always return what you don't use and you'll most likely be glad you have the extra supplies around the day before you leave for your wedding). So anyway, designed, xeroxed and had everything printed and cut to final size in the space of an hour. That's some wedding efficiency my friends. You get used to this after a while, it turns out!

SO we're in palm springs, just rearranged our entire seating chart for 180 people. after a few beers. fun times! But our rental house is great and it the last of our projects will be finished by tomorrow, sundown. We have a small army of people arriving tomorrow to help in the home stretch.

Now it's getting exciting.

night, night.

spiced nuts for you

Hi. First, I need to say THANK YOU so much for all your sweet comments in the last week or so. I feel like such a delinquent for not responding to any of them. It's just, you know, a little crazed around here is all.

I was trying to come up with a suitable thank you present for you all to show my appreciation for your rad internet support...

how about these?

They don't look like much, but I assure you they are the most delicious spiced nuts. My stb sister-in-law, Melanie, passed on this recipe a few years ago and since it's become a staple for entertaining. The are insanely easy and equally addictive.

(Side note, Melanie is marrying Brock's brother next September and I've been dubbed "chair of the craft team" for their wedding. So even when our wedding is over, I can assure I'll have lots more wedding projects to share. They are so fun).

Spiced Nuts
(adapted from Union Square Cafe's bar nuts)

About 1 cup each of almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and pepitas. (or any combination you like, of course).

3 T minced fresh rosemary
1 t cayenne
1 t smoked sweet paprika, "pimentón"
1 t nutmeg
2 T dark brown sugar
2 T kosher salt
3 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400. Toast nuts until golden on a cookie sheet (about 10 - 15 minutes). Make sure to mix them periodically during the toasting so they don't burn.

Mix spices, sugar and melted butter together in a bowl. Dump the nuts in a large mixing bowl, dump the yummy mixture on top, and stir everything together until the nuts are evenly coated.

Let cool, taste for saltiness and sprinkle with sea salt if necessary (which is always, for me) and serve!

I planned to put these in our ill-fated welcome bags, but when those were cut I still had all the supplies. So I made them anyway for our welcome cocktail party on friday. We'll see if there are any left by then.

We're off to Palm Springs in a hour. Wish us luck! Wait, everyone already did.

Thank you!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our finished escort cards

YAY. We just got our cute little cards back from Jenna, and as always they look so great.

(couldn't get a great photo of them before I put them away)

Luckily, I haven't stamped the actual table numbers on yet because the hotel sent us an email yesterday with some, shall we say, potentially frustrating news. Apparently they've had problems with noise over the last few weekends and they want to go over our table diagram (that I slaved over, thank you) and figure out the best layout for the band vs the tables. HI. Our wedding is in 5 days. If you change sh*t around on me at this point, I'm going to scratch your eyes out.

a little welcome note

Remember how I scratched the welcome totes in honor of my santity? Instead I quickly put together a little welcome note with the weekend schedule of activities, that we'll have the hotel give to guests as the check in. Brock pointed out that the sentiment is there... we're still saying "YAY, you're here in palm springs for our wedding!" but we're not going insane putting together 55 bags full of delicious homemade and farmer's market purchased treats. I'm good with it.

We bought a nice matte cover stock to print them on and stuffed them in those neat long envelopes (black) with the cute button and tie from Paper Source. If I'm super ahead of the game tonight, I may or may not be tempted to gocco our little monogram on the outside of the envelope. But I'm going to the Korean spa today for a long massage and some time in the sauna (see, I can relax) so let's not get our hopes up.

DIY table numbers

Hi. It's me. I feel like i've been AWAY SO LONG. we are leaving tomorrow for Palm Springs, and our living room is so full of boxes it looks like we're moving there. This would be the perfect time to share with all of you who still have time to turn back, do not try any of this at home. Seriously. We had to rent a 2nd car to drive all of our projects out and still we're going to have to pawn a bunch of stuff off on brock's brother and fiance.

ANYWAY. Our table numbers. We used vintage palm springs postcards I've collected over the last year, mounted them on black cover paper and then used left over pattern from our envelope liners to dress up the number side.

Aren't they fun? I love imagining the 50's in Palm Springs.

Sadly, I didn't get this together in time to have Jenna do our numbers so my shaky hand with the calligraphy pen had to suffice. Again, as everyone says, no one will notice. (that's become my mantra, btw).

Number stands are from Surfas, the restaurant supply store in Culver City. Easily one of the coolest places ever.

Friday, October 17, 2008

DIY ceremony arrangements!

I had to stay away from the blog world this morning. It was seriously encroaching on my ability to finish my projects in a timely manner. But I have some good things to share. Which to me means that I'm working my way through the list!

Kay, first are these:

I started them a LONG time ago, like maybe in June, so they had plenty of time to grow all full and nice by the wedding. There are two different versions, 4 of each... so we have 8 big arrangements to line the aisle. Does that make sense? It's kind of hard to see them in this photo and then right after I took it I realized I should test out the ribbon too.

So the finished product will look like this:

They are totally charlie brown and funny, but guess what? We're going with them! I kind of wish I had black & white ribbon or something more fun, but I don't know if I can bare another trip downtown to the flower market.

No one will notice they even exist I'm sure. Our awesome and creative florist, Hoot & Heart, has been exceedingly nice and agreed to let me get all in their business with my own contributions. I love them. They are adding garden roses and petals to the aisle too.

Here is how you complete this project:

Buy large pots.
Buy cactus/succulent planting mix.
Buy succulents.
Plant in desired arrangement.
Wait. (water sparingly).
Remember they exist, run to the side of the house to make sure they haven't died during months of neglect, and water again.
Wait some more.

THEN, when it's time for the wedding, fill in the empty space where you can see the dirt with spanish moss (the coolest floral supply ever, I just learned).
Tie your ribbons around the top of the pot and VOILA!

A note to interested parties, you can actually make these a few weeks before the wedding too, they will just be a little smaller. But the good thing is you have way more control over the final product and you don't have to worry that your succulents want sun and your sword plants want shade, making neither particularly happy.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

DIY jam jar placecards

... or something like that.

In the early days, when the wedding was a fantasy far far away and I was obsessed with the idea that everything about the wedding had to be personal, made by me, and reflect our personalities and lifestyle (HA. HAHAHAHAHAHA), I wanted to make jam for our favors. 200 jars of jam. I smartened up quick, don't worry.

INSTEAD, (because I have issues with letting things go once my heart is set on them), I decided to make jam as favors/placecards for our rehearsal dinner. 40 jars of jam it turns out, was less impossible. Though take note, it did encroach on my crafting time and has subsequently resulted in the recent removal of 2 major projects from my list. For that, I whole-heartedly thank East Side Bride, who in her "wedding graduate" post on A Practical Wedding says:

"3. Know when to let go. Two days before the wedding, your to-do list will seem insurmountable. It is. Take a fat sharpie, cross out three big projects, and get some sleep. Seriously."

Kay, well, 10 days before our wedding I'm taking your advice. It truly feels amazing. I just deleted 1) welcome bags (sorry guests, but I'm sure you'll agree that my sanity and beauty sleep are far more important than the goccoed gift bag full of spiced nuts, dates, oranges, etc. you were going to receive upon checking in to the hotel), and 2) the Cookie Bar. Again so sorry, but we have an excellent favor alternative that does not involve me making 12 batches of cookie dough and then baking 400 cookies in the few days before the wedding. More on our alternate favor later.

But I digress, as usual.

Anyway, I'm super excited to give our bridal party and close fam a little token of our appreciation for coming out 2 days early (our rehearsal dinner is on Thursday), to celebrate with us. I've been making batches of jam for a few weeks... One is the yummy yummy yummy Fig & Lavender jam I posted about a while back. And the other flavor is a new one for me, Plum Vanilla. It's really good too. I stumbled upon it on Martha's site while looking for something interesting to make with the last bits of summer fruit at the Farmer's Market.

It's all about the vanilla beans. Sooo good.

I used leftover ribbon from our invites to tie on the name tags. I don't love the tags actually, but following the advice of many a bride before me, no one will know that I planned to make cute gocco-ed tags instead of these that I busted out in 20 minutes last night with a handy tag-shaped punch from Michaels. Which I finally learned is a pretty nifty store.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

more on pumpkins

from the grande dame herself, of course:

These are old news to those who love Martha "regular" (as I like to refer to the original publication) like I do, but I couldn't resist posting them now that I have time.

I LOVE this. Look how many varieties of pumpkin-like squashes there are. And up until a few years ago we've all been stuck with the boring jack-o-lantern sort.

Here's to growing and purchasing heirloom varieties. For why, might I suggest reading The Botany of Desire if you haven't yet? C'est tres excellente!

I'm going to the farmer's market now, because I can.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

about those 6 weeks off...

We'll be here:

I made a trip montage from flickr. yay. I think I might need a rain jacket? I don't have one.

Anyone have suggestions for must-see, must-do in Australia? Our itinerary is set, but we have no activities planned, except a dinner reservation, a spa treatment, and some snorkeling.

We will be going to:

Byron Bay
Gold Coast
Hamilton Island
Port Douglas
The Daintree
Barossa Valley
2 stops on the Great Ocean Road

Most excellently, over the summer Design*Sponge did city and design guides for Australia. So at least I have those. And I found a couple great shopping/eating guides on The Design Files.

But we'd love any extra tips you, most awesome internet friends, might have for us!

Monday, October 13, 2008

speaking of groovy 70's weddings...

I present, my parents:

brown tuxedos, anyone?

This was actually my first wedding. My mom's bouquet and high-waisted dress are just hiding me. :)

31 years and counting...

my first wedding

I'm in San Diego this morning, (not at work, re: this post), at my parents' house drinking coffee and looking through old photos. Being that our wedding is soooooo scary close, it seems like a good time to share my first trip down the aisle. Just for fun.

Here's me, 18 months old as a flower girl in our friend Gail's groovy 70's wedding. She and her family will be at our wedding too, which is kind of a nice full circle thing.

Family lore says that I would only walk down the aisle if my dad was waiting at the other end. And I apparently didn't totally grasp the idea of sprinkling flowers here and there, laying a path for the bride's big moment. Instead I walked straight to my dad, turned the basket over and dumped my entire allotment of petals out at his feet. I've always sort of done things my way. Hee hee.

Friday, October 10, 2008

For those considering getting married...


this is what your life (and house) is going to feel like.

This used to be our guest room/office.

Now it is our guest room/office/craft room/wedding storage unit/temporary home for registry shipping boxes that we might need for the trip out to palm springs/clean laundry staging zone/blogging headquarters/DIY factory/gocco studio/personal nightmare.

Brooklyn Bride posted a photo of their living room after they got married. And I remember thinking to myself at the time, (insanely), OH our house will never look like that because I'm fanatical about picking up after projects and keeping some semblance of order in my home. sooooo wrong. sooo obviously wrong.

good morning fall

This morning, officially, it feels like fall. Southern California fall that is. Perfect light, a teeny breeze blowing off the desert rustling leaves on trees that don't ever really turn, but it's warm still. And just gorgeous.

It's the kind of morning that says, no don't go running, instead sleep a few minutes longer and then drink coffee in the backyard and take pictures.

It's also the kind of morning that says, "Today is your last day of work."

Until December 1st. F*ck yeah.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

sometimes i think this

"I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best."

- Marilyn Monroe

Especially when i'm 2 weeks away from my wedding. Luckily my FH handles any sort of erratic behavior I can dream up with infinite good humor and patience. I've found that these tendencies are exacerbated in the final days of wedding planning. Obviously.

(photo courtesy of: the internet)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Heath LA + seasonal beauties

So I was innocently stalking my, I mean OUR, registry a few afternoons ago and there on Heath's homepage was just one teeny new thing... under Sausalito (the original and thus far only store) was another city! Mine. I feel like I've just won the lottery. Next thing you know, they'll be putting in a Ferry Building in my neighborhood. (I can wait until 2010, it's fine). Hee hee.

(accidental obama plug, but how f*ing great is that?)

Factory seconds at any moment. It's like the design gods came down to earth and validated LA. I am such a nerd.

Also. The new seasonal collection is out. It's pretty rad.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

zucchini pickles á la zuni cafe

First, on zucchini. If you plant them, be aware that you will be finding them, lurking and huge in the back of the garden well into October. I just lugged one in from the backyard. It was the size of my thigh. Oopsies. That's what I call worm food. Unless someone out there has another suggestion?

Now, on pickles. I love freshly made pickles! Any kind really, but these from the Zuni Cafe are essential if you're growing zucchini (or any zuke-like squash) in your yard. One can only take so much zucchini bread after all. I had nearly forgotten about these this summer until I happened upon The Wednesday Chef on the day she posted the recipe herself. (SIDE NOTE: great food blog, and she just got engaged! welcome to the world of wedding planning Luisa!) Inspired, I opened my Zuni Cafe cookbook and have made like 4 batches since.

I added a few things to the o.g. recipe, because I can never help myself. And my quantities are a little loose... because 1 pound of squash doesn't even begin to dent a healthy backyard crop. Plus I don't have a kitchen scale... maybe I need?

Editor's note: if you don't have a mandoline you need one. In a bad way. (and it doesn't have to be fancy. I have this one, it's excellent, easy to use, and inexpensive). SO, mandoline in hand it takes about 3 minutes to perfectly slice a huge bowl full of squash and onions. Mandoline not in hand, potentially scary long time slaving over cutting board + inevitably ill-shaped pickles.

Zucchini Pickles adapted from the Zuni Cafe
(this is a doubled recipe... if you're going to go to the trouble, just make a bunch!)

2 lbs very fresh firm zucchini or other summer squash
2 small red onions (real recipe calls for yellow, but I never seem to have on hand)
2-3 HUGE garlic cloves (or more small ones)
4 T kosher salt
3 1/2 c cider vinegar
1/2 c filtered water
2 c sugar
3 or 4 springs of fresh thyme
3 t dry mustard
3 t teaspoons crushed yellow and/or brown mustard seeds
1 1/2 t ground turmeric

1. Wash and trim the zucchini, and slice thinly (1/16") using hopefully a mandoline for speed and ease, but a nice sharp knife will work too. Same goes for the onions and garlic. Combine the zucchini and onions in a large but shallow nonreactive bowl, add the salt and toss to distribute. Add a few ice cubes and cold water to cover, then stir to dissolve the salt. Leave be on the counter.

2. After about 1 hour, taste and feel a piece of zucchini - it should be slightly softened. Drain and pat dry. I layered the squash in between paper towels to ensure maximum moisture absorption.

3. Combine the vinegar, sugar, thyme, dry mustard, mustard seeds and turmeric in a small saucepan and simmer for 3 minutes. Set aside until just warm to the touch. (If the brine is too hot, it will cook the vegetables and make the pickles soft instead of crisp.)

4. Return the zucchini to the dry bowl and cover with the cooled brine. Stir to make sure everything is evenly distributed. Select appropriately sized glass jars and wash in super hot water to make sure they are nice and clean. Fill jar(s) with pickles and brine, making sure to cover the squash with liquid. If you're short on juice, personally I think it's fine to add a little water. These will live in the fridge, so you don't have to worry about growing bad things in the jars.

5. Open your fridge the next morning to get soy milk for coffee and see lovely jars of homemade pickles smiling back at you. yay.

The big jar is for the little cocktail party we're having the night before the wedding. The small jar is to tide us over until then.

vintage pottery for our california garden party

It's kind of wild to see everything start to come together here in the waning days of wedding planning. Not that I have much confidence that it will actually all come together, I'm highly realistic in that way, but you know I think it will be nice all the same.

I've been collecting vintage california pottery for the last year or so (greens and whites) to use for centepieces and such around the reception. I counted last night and we've got 42 pieces plus a handful of little minis. They are covering the shelves in the living room. Here's a sampling:

So we'll fill these with succulents (my project for next week when I'm done with work!) and flowers (yay Hoot & Heart!) and scatter them around.

What am I going to do with 42 pieces of vintage pottery post-wedding? Sell them of course! I mean I'll keep my faves, but anyone interested in buying a big lot of vases for their own wedding should contact me... in December. When we're back from the honeymoon and can face logistics again.

Monday, October 6, 2008

lovelies by papered together

Krista from papered together sent me a link to her beautiful little etsy shop over the weekend. So many sweet things to need! I'm really trying not to buy things that aren't totally and completely VITAL to the success of our wedding and/or honeymoon right now... but I may need to make an exception here:

You can buy all this good stuff right this second on etsy. But save me some.

And it looks like she also does custom wedding invites. could be pretty cute.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

my dress at Alix & Kelly (who I also love)

The dress fits. And I love it. Want to see?

The flower for my hair. Alix & Kelly happened to have the perfect one at their studio. Plus they are adding a few feathers for me. They are the best. (And my grandma's ring that I'm wearing for the wedding.)

Kelly pinning the hem of my dress. (Yes, the women who own the line are actually Alix and Kelly and they are so awesome).

And my shoes with the raggedy pinned hem of the dress.

My mom took all the photos, nice job Mom!

Anyone in LA looking for a beautiful, simple, classy gown I can't say enough times that you should make an appointment with these two women! They are so nice, so thoughtful, so creative... and it feels so great to be wearing a dress made by their little company instead of by a corporate wedding giant. Their studio is downtown in the fashion district (next to the Cooper Building so if you time your appointment right you can hit the sample sales afterwards) and it's low key and full of light and just my style.

And they have v. cute bridesmaid dresses. In like every color you can imagine.

go, now, quickly!

Friday, October 3, 2008

happy weekend...

i have my final dress fitting tomorrow.


(from bff, flickr)

pretty pretty gift bag for very crafty peoples

Look how sweet these are:

From Modern Country, a really beautiful blog from Norway that I like to visit when I need some grey and white in my life. Which is regularly. I would like a weekend home in the country that feels like her blog.

Wouldn't they be great favor bags if you had a very small wedding and a lot of time on your hands?

our photog who I love: michéle m. waite

She was the first decision I made for our wedding... months before we picked a date or location, I was stalking her (daily) on the internet. In fact, she pretty much picked our date based on what worked best for her schedule, since she's coming down from Washington. Which was totally fine with us, and in the end worked out perfectly. Our wedding anniversary will also be our dating anniversary (give or take a few days) and I like that. I cried like the first 7 times I looked through her portfolio.

Here's the photo that sold me (even before I'd seen the rest of her work):

You can see the rest of this wedding here. It happens to be the wedding of one of my very favorite food bloggers, Molly from Orangette.

More of Michéle's thoughtful and thoroughly personal work... just a SAMPLING mind you, there are so many beautiful shots:

AND, she happens to be the nicest person.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

isn't this really what the wedding is about?

found this on coco+kelly today. it's so right.

we could just get married at the courthouse with simple rings and no DIY coasters or letterpressed invites or delicious tray-passed hors d'œuvres... and the important part, the part where we love each other and promise to be partners from here on out, wouldn't be lost.

but i love diy coasters and cocktails and parties. is that bad?

PS, i know i'm asking the wrong crowd.

image from flickr