Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Freaking Word

No, I didn’t turn gangster.  I’m talking about designing our programs.  In Word.  Microsoft Word that is.

You can probably tell I’m not a fan of the software from the title.

In my head, I’ve always wanted something simple.  We didn’t need anything crazy, or page after page of cheesy love quotes, or even information that everybody already knows (i.e. time, ceremony/reception address).  We didn’t require all this extra info since everything would be taking place at one location, everybody already knows what time to be there since they received an invitation, and let’s face it.  Michael and I are minimalists.  All I figured we would require would be the necessities: bridal party & parental info, the order of the ceremony events, and a small thank you section.  Easy peesy, I should be able to do this myself.

Image Source

Although the above wedding program almost made me think twice about being a minimalist.  It’s so pretty with the burlap and scrapbook paper cover.  If we had been able to solidify our ceremony details sooner then two weeks before the wedding, this probably would have won. But since that didn’t happen, and creating the above would have cost more $$$, taken more time, and added one more large diy to my list.  As well as I work under pressure, I just wasn’t willing to risk it right before the wedding.  And let’s face it, who remembers the programs (freaking rationalism rearing its ugly head once again!)?

Image Source 

So the plain and simple route is the way we will go.  And I was this close to paying someone on Etsy to design the program as a pdf and then I would print it (like the invitations!), but I figured for the $40 they were asking, I could come up with something.  Right? 


Well, after working on it in my spare time for THREE excruciatingly painful weeks, I have finally (FINALLY!!!) finished it.  Can you tell how excited I am?

Now, I’m not going to show you the final product, but I will show you a few things I learned thru trial and error.  I learned how to work the column application as well as format a background picture, which I had never done. 

I highlighted the parts I thought were important.  The thing I found most important was the drop down that I highlighted in yellow.  The two options were either to apply to “the whole document” or “from this point forward”.  Both options became very handy when trying to create different versions of the program.

One of the things I wanted to incorporate was our monogram.  We have used it on a few things already, and I thought it would be good to continue it’s use into the programs for continuity.  After a few trials (and errors), and realizing how important space was, I decided to try and add it as a background.  This was pretty easy actually.  If you insert the picture, right click on it, and select “format the picture” from the selection, the above box pops up.  Selecting the Layout tab will show you the available options for the picture.  I chose the background with text covering the picture.

Selecting the background option moves the picture behind the words, but you also need to select the Layout tab, and then play with the picture coloring to make it light enough so that the words are readable in front of the picture.  I originally selected “grayscale”, but that didn’t make the color light enough, so I had to play with it and I finally chose “washout”.  This made the background picture light enough to see the words on top, but still dark enough to be seen on the paper.

I realize a lot of people probably already know how to do these rudimentary type things in Word, but I didn’t.  I guess I skipped that day in school where these skills were taught.  That’s right Mom and Dad, I skipped!  I guess if this is all I missed out on, I’m still doing pretty well.  Freaking Word.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Being Sweet

Literally and figuratively :)

This weekend I had two showers that took place at opposite ends of Texas.  One was in a small town called Kingsbury, TX and the other was in Dallas. 

See?  Kingsbury is so small its name doesn’t even appear on the map!  Only surrounding cities!

Anyways, like I had talked about before, I still wanted to do something nice.  Maybe even sweet, if you will…..

I had researched a few different things, and finally settled on Cowgirl Cookies.  While the name is a little cheesy, I think the cookies will turn out really amazing.  Especially for all those chocolate lovers out there.

After reviewing the tutorial, I ran to the grocery store and bought the ingredients:

baking powder
baking soda
cooking oats
chocolate chips
brown sugar
white sugar
chopped pecans
*Sorry, I always forget to take pictures.

I dusted off the clear, quart sized mason jars I had already purchased and had been storing in the shed, and layered the dry ingredients as instructed in the tutorial, packing the ingredients as tightly as possible into the jar to make sure it all fit.

Layer 1: 1 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder & baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt
Layer 2: 1 cup cooking oats
Layer 3: ¾ cup M&Ms
Layer 4: ¾ cup Chocolate chips
Layer 5: ½ cup brown sugar
Layer 6: ½ cup white sugar
Layer 7: 1/3 – ½ cup chopped pecans

After this, I prettied up the jars by covering the top in some burlap (of course! What’s a project around this house without burlap?), and tied it off with a string of twine and a Thank You tag.  I also included a card with the below instructions to complete the actual baking of the cookies.

Directions for Cowgirl Cookies:
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.
Stir dry ingredients in a large bowl and add:
1/2 cup butter, (almost melted)
1 slightly beaten egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Stir thoroughly.
Roll into 1 1/2 inch balls & bake for 10 minutes.

Everyone seemed to like them so I think it was a success!  Although it might have been a different story if I had actually baked the cookies for them…..

Monday, June 25, 2012

BOOM!........Goes the Dynamite!

Shits gettin’ real peeps!

19 days is all we have left.  18.5, to be more exact, since I wont post this until tonight since my work computer doesn’t seem to want to allow Blogger past my firewall anymore.

This week I’m mainly going to concentrate on calling everybody (Family members and vendors) to make sure that we’re all on the same page.  I’m going to call the vendors to setup delivery times, and see what they need to make it all work.  I’ve started a vendor contact list that I feel will come in very handy, a timeline to pass out to everyone so we all know what’s going on (me included!), and a list of pics for our photographer to take.  This special document I will probably also pass out to everyone.  I want pictures to take as little time as possible so that we can all get to enjoyin’ the party.  I know organization is key here, so I figure the more people are “in the know” the faster things will go.

I have a running list of stuff to do/people to call/ things to check on in my iphone.  Thank goodness for technology!  Can you imagine trying to keep up with a paper list?  How 1990’s.  Just kidding.  My original list Sunday morning started out on a McDonald’s bag (pre-wedding diet? Not for me!), and eventually was transferred to my phone when I ran out of room.  But the sausage biscuit was amazing!

I guess it’s finally time to get this show on the road!  Watch out!  Or you might end up getting run over.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

30 Days!

That’s right folks. You thought I was nervous at double digits, you wouldn’t recognize me now. I’m as cool as a cucumber. Actually, I’m as tan as a Mexican. But hey, a week at the beach will do that to you!

I feel like we’re sitting pretty as far as our to do list’s go. We need to order a few things online that we will take care of this week, and I have a couple diy’s left, but nothing we can’t live without if it just doesn't get done. Know what I'm sayin'? Granted, I still have this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that something is being forgotten but the hell if I know what it is. We were able to find an Officiant (YEAH!!) which was my biggest concern, and he’s even a Reverend (double YEAH!!!).

I think there’s not a lot left to do but sit back and wait. Oh yeah, and actually MEET the man who will be marrying us. Hopefully he doesn’t back out at the last minute as well :/

I hate waiting. My patience level is pretty much non existent these days. But if we're being honest, when has it ever been that high?

Monday, June 11, 2012

DIY: Burlap Table Runners

The table runners were one of my larger DIY tasks that I took on. You know, after sewing 200 napkins and making 125 invitations, I figured this would be a cake walk. I had conveniently forgotten that I PERSONALLY only sewed 75 of the napkins (thanks Mom and Future Mom-In-Law!), and I didn’t sew any of the invitations, I just glued everything together. Oh well. I knew once I started, I couldn’t stop or I would get the “I told you so” look from Michael. I know he’s itching to use it, but so far I have been successful in all my endeavors and I knew I could finish this one as well.

Like many of my other DIY projects, first I had to figure out the size of the table runners. After deciding to use 5 foot round tables that would have 8 people seated at them, I went with a 9 foot long table runner by 24ish inches. I went with a slightly larger then normal table runner because 1. I liked the look of the table being covered in burlap and 2. I could just cut my burlap bolt (it was 48 inches wide) in half and only one side would need to be hemmed. It wasn’t rocket science folks. You know me, looking for the shortest but best looking route possible.

First, we (Wendy and I, not Michael and I: he was nowhere to be found) unrolled the bolt of burlap and cut it in nine foot long lengths. Then, we folded the burlap in half lengthwise, penning the two edges together. Finally, we cut down the center of the hotdog. Remember from kindergarten? This left us with twenty, 9 foot long by 2 foot wide strip2 of burlap, and only 3 sides of each would need hemming; 2 short widths and 1 long length.

To create a straight edge on burlap is a little tricky. After googling, I found that the best way was to take one of the jute strings (preferably picking the one that would make the best width of the hem), and pull it all the way out. This would create a gap in the burlap. This gap is where you will fold the edge over, and pin to the top of the table runner.

I don’t know if you can see, but I boxed an example that this “gap” will look like. It creates a straight line you can use to make sure your hem is straight. Then you fold the edge over this gap, and pin. Then you make sure you have enough thread in your sewing machine to make it the full 9 foot span. Nothing worse then running out half way thru and not realizing it until you get to the end :/ Oh well.

Ta da! One month later you have twenty table runners! It’s a miracle!

Friday, June 8, 2012

B-Party @ The Coast!: We Pose

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m not exactly the best picture taker in the world. Usually I a) don’t think about taking pictures or b) just use my iphone because it’s more convenient or even possibility c) have a camera and then never share the pictures with anyone. Wendy was able to circumvent all of these possibilities from happening by having her handy dandy water proof camera. When she first told me we could take the camera to the beach, I was thinking something more like this:

Michael and I have purchased this camera on more then one occasion for those summer toobing trips we take. They’re fun and cheap, but take TERRIBLE pictures. And the more river you float (read between the lines: the more beer you drink), the harder it gets to concentrate your eye thru that little hole and push the button. But when Wendy busted out this BAD BOY, I knew all our picture taking requirements would be met.

After seeing Wendy’s amazing camera, I knew we would have good pictures. And after witnessing her *enthusiasm* for actually taking the pictures, I knew that the camera wasn’t going to sit in the condo all weekend. My next concern was how were we going to share the pictures?

Well, lucky for us, Shutterfly allowed her to upload all the photos, and then share them thru a link in an email! How convenient! This is so awesome, I had no idea we could do this as far as sharing the pictures goes. I knew we could upload our own pics and store them there, but sharing them thru the website with everyone is very convenient. I will definitely be using this feature in the future (actually already did! Used the website to share the pics with everyone else on the trip!), since it also comes with a FREE account. It’s also a great site for ordering prints, creating photo albums, as well as random other things you might want a particular picture on.

I realize this isn’t a major breakthrough, but just wanted to share with everyone in case anyone else is as in the dark when it comes to technology as me.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

B-Party @ the Coast!: We Party

The weekend was so much fun. AND relaxing! I'll pretty much let the pictures speak for themselves.

We hung out at the beach:

We boogie boarded (well, some of us):

We built sand castles:

(totally faking this, we didn’t build anything)

We enjoyed drinks:

We enjoyed margarita cupcakes:

We partied:

We let “The Local” buy us a shot:

We b.y.o.booze cruised:

We parasailed:

We got to see random animals/slime heaps:

We walked along the beach at night:

And we usually weren’t ever too far from the cooler, as witnessed in the above pictures. Pretty sure everyone of them had at least one alcoholic beverage showcased.

It was a great weekend, and we had an awesome time! Now I get it when they talk about a girl’s weekend. I can’t wait to have another!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

B-Party @ the Coast!: We Travel

The only reason I’m even giving this part of the weekend its own post is because I think it was pretty interesting as far as the logistics of everybody involved. We were all coming from different parts of the state (well, other then me and N), but we were all finding different, eventful ways to get there.

A had to drive 5 hours to get there. And I honestly wasn’t sure when she was going to come, either Friday night or Saturday morning, but she ended up texting me Friday evening around 6pm saying she was on her way so that was a nice surprise!

B is currently residing in College Station and W is in Houston. B ended up driving an hour or so to Houston, and W took care of getting their Southwest tickets (btw, the ONLY way to fly). They were able to fly in and out of Harlingen for less then $100 each round trip, and they didn’t even have to switch flights.

I flew in around the same time as B and W. We were a few hours earlier then the other two, which gave us time to snag the rental car, cram our bags and groceries into the back, and head to the condo for a few hours (starting the weekend off right with some margaritas!) before coming back to pick up N. Don’t worry no drinking and driving occurred.

N is, of course, where it got interesting. Have you ever had that friend, where, if something goes wrong, it's going to happen to them? It's like chaos/randomness tends to follow them around. Anyways, I received a text around 3ish saying there had been a bomb threat at her school (she’s a teacher) and that they were in lock down. She was unsure if she would make her flight. *cue sad face

Now, this bad news was received about the time we were making a run to the liquor store, so I tried not to think about it too much, knowing that it was out of my control either way. However, around 5:30, we toasted N with our margaritas (it was a toast filled weekend) when we got another text saying she was boarding her plane and she would be there within a few hours!!!! I was ecstatic needless to say. We were able to use our new cups at this point, and we didn’t put them down all evening. What can I say? We were thirsty.

It was a win (A coming Friday night), win (N made her plane), win (we had margaritas) kind of night!

I think us trickling in worked out really well. The couple of us who were there early were able to go grocery and liquor store shopping, as well as get an early start to the weekend. It allowed us each to book our trips around our own work days, finals, or whatever we had to finish, and then all come together Friday night for a start to a great weekend.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bittersweet Perspective

Honestly, today I was going to complain about finishing our registry, or how hot I’m sure it will be in July, or even how our Minister has decided to not marry us….you know, the little things in wedding planning that you think are a big deal, but really aren’t. Well, other then the Minister part. We’ll need one of those.

But then BAM! Life comes along and smacks you in the face and you realize those things don’t really matter. LIFE is what matters. So rather then bitching and moaning about these stupid little things, you need to just be happy that you’re here to enjoy it, because some people aren’t anymore. They won’t get to know what it’s like to get married. They won’t get to experience having kids or another summer. They won’t get another tomorrow, or even today. We do though, and we need to choose to make the most of it and not worry so much about the little things that don’t really matter or can’t be changed.

So, while you might not see a huge personality change happen in me, hopefully you hear a little less of the complaining and a lot more of looking at the upside. Because who knows how much longer we really have left to enjoy? Might as well make the most of it while we’re here.