Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Diamond GiveAway!

Savvy Girl has an amazing Diamond giveaway going on till Oct 4th on her blog so go check it out and enter to win this!

Good luck!


So the idea of eloping has crossed my mind many a time! At some point I was even contemplating a quick and easy ceremony by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas. Classy huh?! I think it's so interesting that most brides-to-be at some point or another have this thought cross their minds - and even linger a little!

Recently it feels like many of us have had this fleeting thought. I was reading Cheap Fiancee the other day and she was talking about how large their wedding will be because they have a large family. I can totally relate. Just my immediate family (aunts, uncles, first cousins only) add up to 56 people! Girl With a Ring also mentioned how wedding planning was getting to her and was entertaining the thought of a very small destination wedding in SF. Even Classic Bride had a post about Eloping in NY!

I don't think the grooms-to-be go through this as much, if at all. I'm sure brides are more involved overall in the wedding planning process and perhaps are more invested in things like colors, flowers, attire, than the men are. I think the things that make me want a quicky wedding are the expense of it all, the mound of things there are to be done, and when people are trying to force their opinions on us.

In terms of Cyprus, Mr. Milk likes to call it the land of "it-can't-be-done" as many people have this attitude when faced with a novel idea. Granted our wedding will not be traditional in many ways and we have already had to deal with many questions/facial expressions/discussions about the things we want and don't want. At the end of the day though, it's pretty difficult to imagine our special day without the people we love, and even those who drive us crazy at times!

What makes you think about eloping? Have you others dealt with loved ones forceful opinions?

To Dress the Groom

Mr. Milk wants a suit that he will be able to use after the wedding as well. He's thought about going to an outlet or two and checking out some designer suits there. Since our wedding is taking place in the summer, we've been talking about his suit being light grey instead of the traditional black.

The outfit-finding-process is so much easier for the grooms-to-be don't you think! Have others found their suits yet? What color are you going for?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Personalized Candy

I remember seeing an ad for personalized M&M's on TV a few months back, maybe even around Valentine's day. Through all the great wedding blogs I've been reading the last couple of months, I've seen some great candy table displays.

Although we have a dessert bar included in our venue package, we wanted to check out the M&M's and see if we could incorporate them somewhere, somehow. So I went to their website and went through the process of creating a small bag of personalized M&M's. Now I only got a 7oz bag (smallest you can get) but they do 5lbs and 10lbs bulk orders for $130 and $250, respectively. You can choose to print photos, messages, or a combination of the two, and you get to select from a variety of colors and a few fonts. On one side they will have an "m" and on the other whatever you choose. Here's how ours looked:

Although it was fun to receive these, there were a few issues. The colors are not quite like the ones you see on the screen. What appears like mustard yellow was supposed to be gold, and the aqua was much lighter, pastel-like, on the monitor. Also the white and gold are meant to be metallic or pearl-like and this doesn't show up much on the actual M&M's. Highly recommend making a small bag to test out the colors before you go ahead and order more.

Also they only ship within the US, so anyone living elsewhere will need to contact them to see if they can ship to where you are.

Shipping is expensive because they over-night them since its a perishable product (M&M's aren't really all that perishable!) and for my small 7oz bag it cost $10. Can't image what the 10lbs box costs. They do an excellent job of packing them though I must say.

So although these colors didn't quite work out (not even sure if this will be our color scheme) it was definitely fun making them, waiting for them, and getting to see your wedding info in print on candy!

Are others having candy buffets? What are your dessert tables like?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Give Aways!

So fellow blogger Mr. Jones & Me has teamed up with Say Your Piece Custom Ceramics at her Etsy store and are giving away a ring dish. They really are beautiful designs and I'm sure you'll find something you like so check it out. Here are some of my favs:

Which ones do you like?

Fiance for another year

Today marks our one year countdown till the wedding. Wow! One year. I feel like we got engaged last month and its been nine months already! I will still frequently look down at my engagement ring and become mesmerized by it. Mr. Milk catches me doing it too and laughs. I have no idea where the time has gone. Other than having a venue and church we've done nothing. Oh yeah and save the dates for those living further away. 

So many changes have happened in the last nine months though. Mr. Milk and I are finally in the same location, living together; I said goodbye to SF after 5 years (even tho I've already been back for a visit!); I finished with all the necessities of grad school and am preparing for the licensing exam; I have started a blog; AND we have started to plan our wedding.

I realize that I need to take more "times-out" from my regular routine and everyday ramblings to focus on the here and now. It's so easy to not pay attention to what we are actually experiencing don't you think? Whether its planning ahead, or thinking about yesterday, sometimes I just forget to enjoy what I'm going through right now. After all, a year will be here and gone in no time. I would like to be able to think back and recall this period in my life with fond memories, not a blur. Thankfully this blog will help!

Mr. Milk is working from home this morning. I woke up to find a note, propped up on his pillow, folded into a pyramid. I will not go into the details of the note (aside from one quote) and just say that it focused on this little landmark of ours, was sweet, touching, and I am a very lucky lady. His noted ended with "you are my perfect little bite" as I will frequently try to create perfect-little-bites of food while we are having dinner.

There are many changes and new experiences taking place at the moment, and although they can be overwhelming at times, they are also exciting. Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers...

Mr. Milk and I both want our wedding to be colorful. We want things like the flowers, the bridesmaids dresses, the grooms ties, the ribbons, and so on, to add some color to the overall day. While my dress, favor boxes/bags (haven't decided which ones yet), grooms and groomsmen's shirts will be white/off-white, I thought it would be nice to have "pops" of color against our natural setting. My bouquet will ideally be full of colorful flowers! Here's some I've been looking at:

I love irises (source)

and calla lilies (source)

So many choices!!! 

What do you guys think? Decided on your own flowers/colors? What did you have at your wedding?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Wedding Binder

Every soon-to-be bride needs a little help with organization. This comes in the form of a binder! When Mr. Milk and I were first engaged, my friend Crystal informed clueless me that I needed one of these little tools. Thankfully she was also willing to help me make one! We trecked to many a craft store looking for the binder, the right paper, dividers, stickers, and all things wedding. Crystal has beautiful penmanship so needless to say I volunteered her to do all the writing :) Unfortunately at the time I had no idea I would be delving into the world of blogging and so do not have any pics of the process. The end product though is a different story

We bought a plain white binder and then looked around for wrapping paper with a design we liked to use as the background. The words and dress on the side are stickers.

We bought a small, clear pouch for the binder and placed the pens that I wanted to use - both for easy access and convenience. I've had these pretty colored pens for a while and now they get to be put to good use (finally!)

And this is where Crystal's penmanship made the world of difference - trust me, it would not look this good with my handwriting. We made dividers for invitations, the dress, the tux, bridesmaids and groomsmen outfits, the cake, color schemes, flowers, venue, music, favors, and...drumroll pls...honeymoon!

We used the stickers to also decorate the dividers. This one is the tuxedo divider.

The bridesmaids divider (not a great pic unfortunately)

And the groomsmen divider. As you might notice, we lost the "E". Those stickers are so finicky! Crystal was able to copy it in though. Nicely done! The whole experience was a great and highly recommended! It also helped me tap into my creative side. Doing things with friends is always fun too!

Have others created wedding binders? How was the experience? Did you find it useful?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend = Brunch!

I am not a huge breakfast person. At best you'll catch me with a slice of toast, or on days when I want something more, a bowl of cereal. I am, however, a brunch person! This probably all fits under the umbrella of not being a morning person. What's worse is that I really enjoy sleep! In my ideal world, people would not have to be in to work till around 10am. This would enable me to get up at a reasonable hour in the morning and have a couple of hours for my brain to kick in (probably a whole different post!) before I had to be at work. So on the weekend when Mr. Milk is also around, I enjoy making meals for brunch.

We were in a nice grocery store the other day and I found a package of mixed mushrooms. I love mushrooms! There were oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, shiitakes, enoki mushrooms, criminis, and I had some button mushroom at home too. This inspired me to make a mushroom scramble over the weekend. And what makes mushrooms better? Truffle salt! Granted if one could afford the ridiculously expensive truffles themselves they would probably taste amazing, but alas truffle salt is already a luxury in and of itself. I also got a beautiful heirloom tomato and figured I could incorporate it somehow. So without further ado, here is my creation:

Aren't those mushrooms and the tomato gorgeous!

Sauteed mushrooms and onions...yum!

Heirloom tomato, arugula, spinach salad.

The end result! What a way to start your morning - or noon-time :)

Here is the recipe for 2 people:
  • 1.5 cups mixed greens of your choice
  • 1 medium sized heirloom tomato
  • 2 cups sliced mixed mushrooms, any kind you like (they wilt down quite a bit)
  • Half a small onion diced
  • 3-4 eggs
  • A handful of your favorite grated cheese. I used mozzarella
  • Truffle salt
  • Olive oil (both for cooking and the salad)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Whole wheat toast
1. Clean and slice the mushrooms. Put a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and sautee them.
2. When they start to brown up a little add the onion.
3. As these cook, prepare your salad. Dice the tomato, place over the mixed greens, add salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Mix it all together and set aside till ready to serve.
4. Beat the eggs in a seperate bowl. I always like to add a splash of milk too.
5. Pour over the cooked mushrooms and cook to the consistency you like. Add the cheese close to the end.
6. Sprinkle with some truffle salt and pepper if desired.
7. Make yourself a slice of toast (or two), serve up and enjoy.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Save the Dates again

Mr. Milk is by far more technologically savvy than I. He was able to get an image of our e-save-the-date so I thought I'd post so that you could get the full effect.

Highly recommend Pingg if you are looking for any kind of e-vite.

Free China!!!

Yes you heard (or read) right! The Relentless Bride is giving away (how nice!) TWO LENOX PLACE SETTINGS from the Opal Innocence collection. And you get to choose which pattern you like best!

There are a number of ways to enter this draw so go check out her blog and enter to win!

Here's one I liked. Competition ends Sept 30th. Good luck!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wonders of the Neti Pot

This is not going to be your typical post, but I cannot not write about this! Some may be grossed out by this so feel free to skip over it. For those of you who have suffered from sinus issues, the Neti Pot may already be known to you. If not, go out and get one right now!

This mini teapot-like item can do wonders for your breathing if you have chronic sinus issues or are even suffering from a cold. It is used for irrigating the nasal passages. The Neti Pot originally comes from the Ayurvedic and yoga traditions. You use a lukewarm saline solution (inexpensive, easy to make and find from a drug store) to pour into one nostril while your head is tilted over the sink at about a 45 degree angel. The liquid falls out the other nostril. You then repeat the process through the second nostril and when you are done, clean the Neti Pot ready for next use. Each one comes with its own instructions and packets of saline solution.

While I have known about this for awhile, I for some reason did not go out and buy one until a few day ago. And then I used it! I can't even begin to tell you how much it improved my breathing almost instantly. I've used a saline nasal spray in the past, and although that has been helpful it did not clean out my nasal passage the way the Neti Pot did. 

Here is a video showing how to use the Neti Pot. Although I think the exercises at the end are a little much, some might find them useful. Have others used the Neti Pot? What did you think?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ever been stuck on the freeway?

The other day my chocoholic friend and I were heading into San Francisco from the peninsula. Thinking that we were going to have some time to check out a store in Marin and grab a bite before she dropped me off at another friends house, our bubble was quickly burst by this...

Not fun let me tell you - and even less so for the person who was involved in the accident that caused this backup for sure! What was interesting was that people decided to get out of their cars and just walk along the freeway! After sitting in the car for a while we thought it would be an experience to get out and join in. Not to mention that standing in the shade of a lone eucalyptus was cooler than sitting in the car. Thankfully we were only about 20 cars away from the closure of the freeway and had to wait about 50 minutes before highway patrol cleared open a few lanes for us to get through. Could have been much worse. Hope the person in the accident is ok.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Save the Dates

I have been meaning to write about Save the Date cards for a while now, so here it goes. Save the Date cards are not common at all in Cyprus. It's such a small place and people are likely to see each other at some point or another well before the wedding date that there is no real need for them. In fact I have never seen a Save the Date card in Cyprus to be honest. So needless to say this was a new and interesting concept when I first delved into the world of wedding planning and invitations. A concept that actually become more and more appealing as I thought about.

Having lived abroad for many years, both Mr. Milk and I have close friends who we would like to have at our wedding but who are spread all over the world: the USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Saudi Arabia. In this day in age, tickets and travel have become very expensive. People are more selective about where they spend their money and rightly so. Since Cyprus is far away for a lot of our friends, we figured many of them might use our wedding as an excuse to plan a vacation to the Mediterranean. Giving them enough notice to do so became very important, taking into account that they will need tickets and hotels. This was our push to send Save the Dates.

I spent some time online looking at what was available, reading other people's blogs to see what they had done, and generally researching the cards. We decided that in order to save some money, and to be a little green, we would send out e-cards instead of printed ones. One day while looking through things on Wedding Wire (a great free website for those of you just starting this process) I saw that they had an update regarding Save the Dates. I followed their link and came across this great site. Pingg is a relatively new site that allows you to design and create unique invites for a variety of occassions. You can use pre-set designs/images or you can upload your own. They give you a bunch of options on how you can send your invite: via email, text, webpage, through social networking sites like facebook and twitter, or they will even print the invitations out for you and mail them (you pay for postage). Apart from the print and send option, the rest are free to use. They charge you for using some designs, but they have a large selection which are free to use. Their website is user friendly and has a nice, clean feel. I looked around for a bit and then decided that it would be unique to us if I used one of our engagement photos for the backdrop of the e-card. I chose this picture and kept the text simple.

I pre-empted the e-card with a short message letting people know that we would love it if they could make it to our wedding, and that we were sending these e-cards in an attempt to give them as much time as possible to plan their trip. I was able to pick colors for the background and font, and was actually very pleased with the result. Pingg has a variety of features available to you as the organizer and I think I will definitely use them again in the future for other invites. Unfortunately there is no way of posting an image of the final product (at least not one I could find), but that just means that you'll need to check the site out for yourselves!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Champagne Flutes

We just spent a wonderful labor day weekend in the Bay Area, catching up with good friends. Mr. Milk returned back to Vancouver early this morning - work calls - but I am here for another week. While we were wandering around in downtown San Francisco, we came across these beautiful champagne flutes by Nambe.

They were so beautiful that we just couldn't resist buying them for the wedding. Particularly since we got them at 30% off! Don't you just love getting things you like at a discounted price?!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The World of Photography

Looking for wedding photographers has been an interesting process. Since taking our engagement photos I have come to appreciate photography more than I did before, and have also been able to narrow down what type of pictures I would like for my wedding day.

On my search I found an amazing photographer in the Bay Area by the name of Jennifer Kloss Photography. Here is a sample of some of her most recent photos from a San Francisco wedding. I love the colours! Especially on the pictures of the details.

More of her work can also be found on her blog.

Having our wedding in Cyprus posted many photog questions. Could we find what we were looking for in Cyprus? Would we hire someone from North America that we liked? How much would that cost? What does that even involve? So I spent many an hour online looking into photography. I realized that the photos that most appealed to me were the ones with a photojournalistc outlook.

One of the few Cypriot photographers that I came across that met our requirements were a couple who took pictures of weddings in Cyprus and the UK called Amorphia Photography. We contacted them and they were great, but not available for the dates we wanted. Here is some of their work.
They too have a blog you can check out. They do some neat digital work on some of their photos, particularly those of "day after" or "trash the dress" shoots.