Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday's With Mr. Milk - The Day After

September 26th, 2010... that'll be the day I'll wake up a married man. This is the first time I type that thought out. It doesn't scare me really. It does however have a heavy ring to it. It's so new, so eternal, so first-kiss-ever type of event. Now let's have some fun with it!

What does a married Mr. Milk want to do on his first day with Mrs. Chocolate Lover? We plan on waking up in a beautiful master suite of a luxurious resort and doing what we both like to do the most. Have brunch! We are hoping that our friends from overseas, and our close friends that have decided to spend the night at the resort will join us for a massive feast. We then plan to go for our "trash the dress" session with our photographer, at Aphrodite's birthplace, and return to the hotel to hang out and spend a quiet night just the two of us devouring what took place in the last 24 hours. 

I can't wait until Chocolate Lover and I are sitting at the olive courtyard thinking to ourselves "babe... last night we got married here". 

I can't wait. 

Until next Friday, this is Mr. Milk signing off.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Love My Shoes!

So I have known for a long time what kind of shoes I wanted for my wedding day. And I knew that I didn't have to spend hours and hours searching for them. Why? Because I could get them made!!!

You see, in my home town in Cyprus, there is a shoe store that makes custom order shoes! I love it! You can take them anything, a picture, an old shoe, a piece of patterned fabric, and they will make you your shoes. And any height you want! I had once seen a beautiful pair of strappy sandals on a magazine cover and was dying to have them! I looked everywhere trying to figure out where the shoes were from but to no avail. So I tore off the cover, took it to the store, and asked for them to be replicated. They were gorgeous!!! A baby blue insole, three thin straps around the toes, and then two long straps that criss-crossed over the foot and all the way up the calf! Super sexy!

Anyway, I have some teal raw silk that a friend of mine had brought me from India a while back, and have never done anything with. I knew I wanted a colorful shoe for my wedding day. Seeing other brides colorful shoes in pictures on the blogosphere only confirmed what I already wanted. So in no time at all, I decided I was taking my teal raw silk to the shoe store mentioned above and asking for pointy toe, three inch heels! I love pointy toe shoes! They are timeless and elegant in my mind. I figured I had plenty of time to get these done and wouldn't even think about them till the summer.

So here I am totally relaxed about the shoes, knowing that that box is half checked, that I don't even bother looking in shoe stores. I'm in the mall the other day, running some errands with Mr. Milk, when we notice that the stores are having a "side walk sale" in the hallways of the mall. As we head towards the bank, my eye catches these beauties!!!

MY SHOES!!!! Exactly like I had pictured in my mind sans any embellishments. These shoes cost $110. How much did I pay? Just $46!! Nine West was having some kind of crazy 4-day sale and I lucked out by being at the right place at the right time! Guess I can cross out shoes from yesterdays list! :)

Here's a little interesting traditional and cultural fact about shoes and Greek weddings: Names of single friends are written on the bottom of the brides shoe. At the end of the night the names that are worn off are destined to be married. 

Now all I have to do is figure out how to embellish these a little. Any ideas ladies? Have you found your shoes?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wedding Checklist

So I think its time to see what we have and what we still need to do for this wedding!

DOC - came with venue
Wedding Dress
Bridal Party
Toasting glasses
Blood tests
Mr. Milk's wedding ring
Grooms Suit
Bridal Party Attire - Chosen but need to order for the girls
Groomsmen ties
Bridal Party gifts
Invitations - Need to be edited and printed
My wedding ring
Marriage license
Program and seating chart
Guest book and table
Welcome baskets

Hmm. Looking at this list makes me feel a little nervous that we haven't gotten as much as I thought done. A lot of the to do things are a matter of doing the leg work, making purchases, and some things are just last-few-week things. 

Am I missing anything? Where are you guys in checking things off your lists?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In Order to be Married in Cyprus...

... You need to get a bunch of things done. And they all depend on the other!
  1. Blood Tests - the couple needs to be tested to find out if they have the trait for Thalassemia, also know as Meditteranean Anemia, an inherited blood disease. I already know that I am a carrier of the trait as my dad also has it. The reason for testing is that if both partners have the trait, they are at risk for having children who have the full blown disease. And lets just say that that ain't pretty. It involves chronic blood transfusions and causes plenty of other complications. Luckily Mr. Milk is not a carrier so this isn't a concern for us. We were able to get this test done the other day (bypassing the 2 month wait time for an appointment because one of Mr. Milk's friends works at the center) and so can check it off our list.
  2. Certificate of Freedom to Marry - We will then need to take our blood test results and our birth certificates to the church of our district in order to be awarded this certificate (basically stating that you are single). In our case, since we aren't getting married in churches of our districts, the priest will give us a document stating that we have permission to be married elsewhere and we will need to make a "donation" to our district churches (also read as another way for the church to make more money). 
  3. Marriage License - We then take the certificate mentioned above to the diocese of our city to obtain our marriage license. This becomes tricky for me in particular, as my parents are refugees (in their own country, but thats another story) and I need to obtain my marriage license from the diocese of my dad's area before the war in 1974. 
All this paperwork will need to be submitted to the diocese of the area we are getting married in (in our case Paphos) a few days before the wedding. I am sure that there will be several curveballs thrown at us as we embark on this process sincbureaucratic things never run smoothly!

What kind of things do you guys need to get done in order to be married?

Monday, January 25, 2010

My 100th Post

Who would have thought I would reach 100! Posts that is!

I love writing this blog, I love sharing ideas with you guys, I love being inspired by you!

So here's to another 100 posts! Thanks everyone for sticking around!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday's with Mr. Milk - Equations for Dinner Chairs

It's finally time to deal with the inevitable question: Who should our parents invite to the wedding? By default, both families are inviting all immediate relatives, including first cousins (or most of them anyway), which should be a fairly straight forward process. For Chocolate Lover this isn't much of a problem. For me however... let's just say it's more complicated than I thought.

Here's an example. My parents want to invite uncle Jack (all names are fictional and besides, there's no one in Cyprus named Jack) to the wedding. Naturally, uncle Jack would come along with aunt Jill. Jack and Jill are my mother's first cousins and really good friends.. J&J have two children, who I guess are my relatives but by a distant what(?), 3rd cousins or something? The conundrum expands when you consider that J&J's children also have children of their own: 2 each. So the question is: Who should be invited to the wedding?

In my mind (some have described it as simple), J&J should come to the wedding and dinner, and J&J's children and their kids should come to the reception. Besides, that's part of the reason for holding the reception: so that you allow your larger community/family circle, the chance to congratulate you and the opportunity for you to reward them with a traditional sweet that they don't want to eat and will likely use in their refrigerator for the next two years as a dampener to stop bottles from rattling when the generator is running. Now, let's see how familiar you are with Mediterranean style weddings. Do you think that my parents agree? 

Of course not.

In their view, we should invite:

J&J + (J1&J1 + J1a&J1b) + (J2&J2 + J2a&J2b) = 10Js too many!

If we were to repeat this formula for every uncle and aunt I have, we might as well hold a dinner for 600 people! With our capacity at 300, you can appreciate that this discussion has yet to be resolved. In anticipation of possible misunderstandings, my parents suggested that they invite everyone to the reception and stick to only the VERY immediate family for the dinner. Although this might not be a bad alternative, the number will then be too low. Be damned if you do, damned if you don't...

Until next Friday, this is Mr. Milk signing off. 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

We Have A DJ!

Thanks to Mr. Milk and some good recommendations!

Most things in Cyprus are found either by word of mouth or by getting into your car and actually visiting a bunch of places. The internet unfortunately is not as helpful! Which is a bummer for me who loves to do the research in the comfort of my house and narrow down the search or order online! 

We had decided a while back that we wanted a DJ at our wedding. While we both like live bands and Mr. Milk is himself a musician, the quality of most bands in Cyprus is not so great for the broad repertoire we want (both English and Greek music). We are hoping to have some instruments there though so that Mr. Milk can play with his friends during the dinner reception!

Anyway, our bestman asked around and recommended a DJ who was supposed to be great, and we will call DJ1. He was unfortunately already booked for our wedding date, but was able to recommend someone else. Great, we thought, good people typically recommend good people, so we were going to be fine! DJ2 was also already booked but gave us another recommendation. Ok, we thought, third time lucky!? We call DJ3 and guess what! Yup, already booked! At this point I'm thinking this is going to be like our venue hunt where people were telling us we started too late! But DJ3 gave us another number and good recommendations and off we went to call DJ4. And he was available!!!!! Mr. Milk and he chatted on the phone for a bit, he pencils us in, and we arrange to call him for a meeting once we arrive in Cyprus.

Because of all that was going on at home over the holidays I was worried that we wouldn't actually get a chance to do this. But Mr. Milk was able to squeeze a meeting into his schedule and he went and met with Dj Panos. Mr. Milk was very impressed with him and his collection of music. Dj Panos works for a company that owns 3 radio stations and he is in charge of creating playlists for the different shows. This means that he knows his music! Yay for us! Also, he will be bringing another Dj with him, a friend and coworker, at NO extra charge. So we get two for the price of one! How awesome is that! Mr. Milk met the other guy too(whose name I forget) during this meeting and was impressed by him as well. 

While I didn't get the opportunity to meet with him (which he found surprising, telling Mr. Milk that in his experience, typically the bride is pickier than the groom) I trust Mr. Milk's instincts on  this and I'm sure I'll get a chance to chat with him at some point in the summer. 

Have you guys booked your band/DJ yet?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Cheated!

On my dress...

So as you may recall in a previous post, I have already bought my dress. I found a great deal on it and thought I was happy with it. I am not one of those girls who ever felt like I had found "the one". I was never teary or emotional when trying on dresses, just felt very very happy with some of them. 

During the alterations process I started to have doubts. Lots of them. I found that I would spend several times a day lost in thought about the dress. Even Mr. Milk was getting fed up of me staring into space thinking about what I should do. I kept comparing it to the very first Pronovias dress I had tried on in the summer and whether I had really preferred that one to the one I had bought. I created strategies in my head of where I would sell the dress if I decided that I no longer wanted it, and where I would look for a new dress. 

I think what it came down to was that I was not happy with the lady doing the alterations. The dress started off being 2 dress sizes too big for me and at the second fitting we couldn't get the zip to go up all the way! So I thought ok, that can be changed, no big deal, it can be fixed. Fitting number three comes along and although the zipper closes now, I have more back cleavage than regular cleavage! So at this point I'm like "what the heck lady!" I would go back weekly leaving disappointed and no where near as happy as I had been when I'd bought the dress. I ended up having SIX fittings in total! And finally on the last fitting the feeling of disappointment had left, but I was still uncertain.

I decided that I would make an appointment at the Pronovias store in Cyprus and see if I could try both dresses on there. I got my mom to call, check if they had both dresses - which they did, and book an appointment. Four days after we arrived, she and I went to the dress store. I tried both dresses on a couple of times each, and we both thought that I should keep my dress! Thankfully! I guess what I really needed was mom's ok! Purchasing a dress without family and friends to offer advice and opinions had me second guessing my decision.  But thankfully all is good, I am keeping my dress, and it is waiting to be picked up from the bridal store when I am ready to take it with me! 

Did you have any doubts after you had purchased your dress?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Have A Bridal Party!!! Part 2

So yesterday I posted about how I asked my ladies to be in my bridal party and today it is time to show you what I put in those little silver tins and who I asked!

My little sis! She is currently in the UK doing her Masters in Civil Engineering. This pic was taken in Vancouver a few years back when she came to visit. What you can't see in this pic is a box of small cupcakes that I let fall to the ground, upside down, squishing the frosting! For some reason we thought this was hilarious. I gave the little box to her xmas morning as a separate gift and she and my mom put the pieces together.

My cousin and god-sister! She was super excited about our wedding and so wanted to be in the bridal party. While it is not the most flattering picture of me (to say the least) it was the only one I had. I also gave the box to her xmas day as they came over to have lunch with us. Even though she had been saying that she was going to be in the bridal party, she became quite ecstatic when I officially asked.

My dear friend and roommate of four years. She and I went to school together and were college roommates. I think we had a blast! I really could not have asked for a better person to live with. She is one of my few married friends and has two beautiful little girls. I gave her the magnet puzzle while visiting at her house one evening. She loved it!

And last but by no means least, my maid of honor (koumera in Greek). The last two ladies are sisters, and she and I have become very close over the past 7-8 years. I gave her little box the same night I gave her sister's and she was even happier to find out they had both accepted to be in the bridal party. Apparently she was expecting to be asked :)

The icing on the cake was that my ladies liked the dress I have picked out. We talked about colors and now I await their measurements to go order them! Can't wait!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I Have A Bridal Party!!! Part 1

So one of the few things that I got done while we were back home was invite my friends to be in my bridal party! This was really exciting and I'd spent hours thinking about how to ask them. As a side note, it's so interesting to see the differences between men and women in these situations. Mr. Milk just straight up asked his guys to be in the bridal party. Some he went out for a coffee with and asked them, others he did over the phone, but either way it was quick and simple! Not that way for me!

To begin with the selection was hard for me. There were some people who I knew I wanted by my side for sure on that day, but the problem is I didn't want a large bridal party, 4 max, and Mr. Milk didn't want one at all. He just wanted his best man and that was it. So my sweetie is compromising big time for me! But I think I struggled most with the idea of disappointing or offending the people I couldn't include. I talked it over for hours and hours with Mr. Milk and got his input too. Again due to the long distance and us living in North America while most of our our close friends are in Europe, it has been hard to get to know all of each others special people. But after months of contemplating, and a series of events that sealed my ideas (I won't go into the details of these) I was able to put aside my feelings about offending others and be true to myself.

While I was trying to decide who to invite to be in the bridal party, I was also thinking about how to ask them. I had seen on a number of blogs, including Born to be Mrs. Beever's, that some brides-to-be were asking their friends by taking photos of themselves with the friend and turning those into puzzles. I loved the idea. I looked into a variety of sites that would do this, but shipping to Canada cost almost as much as the puzzles put together! Or the ones that were decently priced came in 200 pieces, not ideal! Then I thought about going the DIY route. Lets just say that was a HUGE failure! I even got Mr. Milk involved in trying to figure this out, as he as far better at these things than I. But alas, no success. 

A week or so before we left, I thought I was just going to place the pictures with "be my bridesmaid/maid of honor?" photoshoped on them into cute frames and present those to the girls as Christmas gifts, when Mr. Milk came up with the idea of turning the pics into magnets. I remembered seeing magnetic sheets with an adhesive side at our local craft store and new this would be an quick, inexpensive way to get something close to a puzzle. 

So I bought one sheet of this stuff (which was more than enough) and set to work creating my puzzles. While the magnetic sheet was really easy to cut through, I decided that instead of having regular puzzle pieces I would just cut them all into 1 inch squares to make it easier and not ruin the pics. While at the craft store, I also found little square tins to place the cut magnet pic into.

I used the cutter at Mr. Milk's work to get my squares, tied the pieces together in a small deck, wrapped them in blue tissue paper with the instructions "use the fridge to help you answer the question". I then presented my ladies with these:

The pink post-it had the girls name on it so I would know which ones to give to who! Stay tuned for Part 2, where I actually show you what went into these pretty boxes.

How did you ask your ladies to be in your bridal party?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday's with Mr. Milk - Reflections of a Decade

I'm back from a three week hiatus of no Friday blog post, so I have a bit of catching up to do... See, although the trip to Cyprus may be viewed by many as a vacation, Chocolate Lover and I both know that visiting family and friends is, as mentioned in an earlier post, more taxing than relaxing. Nevertheless, we had a good time and I'm happy to report that the wedding planning did not take over all of our time like it did in the summer. We even had a chance to get away to a nice spa resort for a quick break. 

It seems like everyone I speak to, include my beloved fiance, was happy to say goodbye to 2009. For me, 2009 wasn't so bad... I completed my graduate studies, got a raise, travelled extensively, got to finally live with my fiance after five years of long distance, and got a brand new car at the end of the year. All in all, from my perspective, things weren't so bad.

How about the last decade? You know, it doesn't matter what you get to do or how much you have; what really matters at the end of the day is how much did you laugh and did you have the privilege of being healthy. I can't complain folks. The first decade of the 2000's was great for me. It was the decade in which I relocated to Canada, found my calling in what I wanted to study, became as independent as one could ever be with a career that I absolutely love, found my true love, and asked her to marry me. The end of the decade may have left me with a few more (some might argue a lot more) grey hair, but all in all I have been blessed by a healthy lifestyle and attitude, with lots of people that care about us around, and I pray that Chocolate Lover and I can continue along this path. 
Sure, my hair may have chosen disgrace over defeat, but if that's the worst of what 10 years has for me, I am looking forward to the next decade.

Happy New Year everyone and welcome back to Fridays with Mr. Milk. 

Until next Friday, this is Mr. Milk signing off. 

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Photographer? Check!

Once the venue is booked, the photographer is the next most important item on the wedding checklist. Well...we just got ours! On the many hours spent online, I came across this photographer back in July, before we went to Cyprus. We both fell in love with his pictures and how he captured the essence of the weddings he photographed. The only "downfall" was that he lives in Greece. While we didn't see this as so much of a problem, you should have heard our family members reactions! Now granted when you are in the moment, things can be tense, but in retrospect, it's funny to see how people react and what they have opinions about! Have others noticed this?

The most common reaction from both sides of the family was: "Why!? There aren't any photographers in Cyprus?!" The shock that accompanied their reactions regarding what we wanted to do was interesting (I'm sure those of you who are from Cyprus can relate to this on some level or another). Even after we told them that we were going ahead and making a down payment we were "encouraged" to wait until they could go and check out some photographers in Cyprus. And it seemed like no matter how much we explained that we wanted a photojournalistic photographer, one who wouldn't make us pose for hours and hours taking the same cheesy pictures with different people, who would be able to blend into the background and leave you wondering where and how he took that shot, the idea that we wanted to bring him from Greece (its just an hour plane ride away people!) was beyond them.

So back to our photographer. His name is Petros Sordinas and he is based in Athens, Greece. Here is a sample of his pictures.

All images are copyright of Petros Sordinas Photography and you can see more pics on his blog. Now the question remains if we should have a videographer or not...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I Am Back!

Hello All!!!

We arrived back in Vancouver late last night and are back to the old grind. Mr. Milk is off to work and I am at home trying to get this place looking less like the airport threw up in it! :)

I will try to catch up with as many of your blogs as possible and will be back to posting regularly asap!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Back On That Darned Jet Plane!

Here we go again! We are starting our long trip back to Canada. This time will be even longer as we have more time to spend in London. And of course, our journey could NOT be without drama!!

If you have heard international weather news, then you already know about the crazy a** cold conditions that have taken over most of Europe. For those who don't believe in global warming I really don't know what more proof is needed! Anyway, BA once again has been cancelling flights left, right, and center! Temperatures in many parts, including London, have dropped to around 15F and worse! The snow fall has left people without heat and electricity and airports, trains, and buses have cancelled trips. Our flight from Cyprus to London so far appears to going ahead as planned, but that can change depending on the overnight weather conditions. And then there is no way of knowing if we will be able to leave the next day for our flight to Canada.

Oh well. Such is life I suppose. Think good thoughts for us for minimal delays and inconveniences please! Hope you are all having a good weekend!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pictures from Cyprus

Since things were so hectic around here, I was unable to post on my blog as much as I would have liked. I promised I would post some pictures of Cyprus before my return so I think its about time to deliver! I didn't go to as many places as I wanted to, so most of these pics are from a small trip we took with my future in-laws, who gifted us a stay at a beautiful smal hotel and spa with natural sulpher springs.

The weather here was GORGEOUS! 70+F during the day with mostly mild nights.


Those rocks are the birth place of Aphrodite, goddess of love. Our venue is on the hill overlooking this point.

The small resort we stayed at. They've done a great job of incorporating traditional Cypriot style with a modern twist.

Us with Mr. Milk's parents

View from the top, looking North West

Mountain goats. In the first picture you can make out a few more (white specs)

Mr. Milk pondering life's dilemmas

What you see on the hill is a Turkish army camp. One of the very few on the west side of the island.

112 year old tree! Protected by UNESCO.

Mr. Milk taking a drink from a natural spring water fountain

An old church. If you notice, the dome is a crooked.

A wild mushroom FFIL found

This sweet man owns the coffe shop we stopped to have a drink at. He told us the directions to get to the little church but then decided that he would take us himself. He told us some awesome stories of the area and his life.

The view from the fish tavern we stopped to have lunch at

And last but not least....

My babies! Babe and Ruffles :)