Friday, December 19, 2008

#466: see you in 2009.

via absolutely beautiful things.

the big picture.

to wrap up this year (and as i embark on a 2 week hiatus from blogging), i plan to reflect on the past 12 months and think of...

the risks i've taken, the mistakes i've made, and the joys i've experienced.

to become a better person ...isn't really a goal per se.

but that's ok.

because that's what i aim to be, year after year. as defined by me and those i admire.


as for the wedding thing...and this blog...

my heart just bursts with gratitude when i think of what it's become, what it's provided and what it's taught me.

and i sincerely thank you for taking this journey with me.

planning a wedding isn't a notable goal in the grand scheme of things. i mean. is it even really a goal.

but i believe that some of the learnings and realizations many of us have experienced along the way can be translated into viable big picture lessons. life lessons that reach far above and beyond just planning a wedding.

and to say it has for me would be somewhat of an understatement. melty, velveeta cheese. but true.

so xoxo times a mil and cheers to more learnings and realizations together in the future.

see you in 2009.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

#465: oh em gee.

i think i found my centerpiece. mercy me.

step-by-step instructions on once wed. (twice in one day. seriously, emily's awesome.)

imagine all the wonderful table conversations that are waiting to be had around these rock candy (!!!) centerpieces.

"i wonder if this is crystal."
"maybe they're rough cut diamonds."
"i don't know why but i feel like licking one."
"it tastes like candy."

oh. and i've also decided to DIY our guys' bouts.

inspired by the uber crafty chelsea of oh my deer.

p.s. i didn't know i would end up wanting to DIY so much. but with 5 months left, and having seriously caught the crafty bug, i'm more than ok with taking these on. in fact, i'm really excited to have found these projects...projects that will definitely help us make the wedding more "us". the aesthetic as it is right now (aka BLANK) leaves much to be i'm hoping these little handmade bits will infuse a whole lot of us-ness into the day.

it's getting personal.

#464: more idears.

thank you jd.

a felt garland? i think i can.

*step-by-step instructions on the purl bee.

#463: garland love.

via frolic.

maybe i can make my own version in shades of white. or something.

edit: closed this post too soon.

because here's another beautiful garland that i can make.

via once wed.


i've decided. it's garland day everyday until i decide which garland to start working on for the ceremony space. and of course, your two cents is always appreciated.

this is a DIY project i can get behind. can't wait.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

#462: pretty.

via saipua.

#461: the aisle.

via pink by echo.

this is what i will be working with. well, minus the decorations.

i just did a quick 2-minute brainstorming session and had the following thoughts:
*no aisle
*no loose petals
*no christmas lights
*could they move that bust on the mantle
*if not, what could i cover it with
*hang ribbon or mini banners criss-crossed on the chandeliers
*or hang pomanders on the chandeliers
*candles on the ground seem dangerous
*so maybe put candles on the mantle, if any at all
*maybe no decorations would work best.

those of you who had an indoor ceremony setup, and particularly in dimmish lighting, how did you make it work for you?

#460: continuing the money talk.

what may be common sense for some may not be so obvious for others.

if you think you're in the latter category and could use some tips as you plan your wedding, give these a read:

1) ...via perfect bound.

2) ...via manolo for the brides.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

#459: money honey.

maybe it's because it's almost time to start thinking about resolutions.

maybe it's because we're going to need another car in less than 2 months.

maybe it's because we're soon going to be legally responsible for each other's financial well being.

...but i'm super motivated to review all of our savings, retirement plans, credit cards, student loans, etc. i'm planning to discuss with the fiance tonight and i'm actually really looking forward to it.

during our annual christmas dinner last week, a friend shared that she and her husband use separate checking accounts along with a joint savings account. the husband is responsible for the major bills like rent and utilities. they are each responsible for their own car and insurance bills. and then they both contribute any excess to the joint savings account.

back when i was actually making money, we were headed down a similar path. we both contributed to a joint checking and paid all of our joint expenditures (meals, vacations, etc) through that account. we each paid for our own cars and insurance and also had our own separate retirement, investment, and savings accounts.

i thought that's how we would keep things. but not so.

because now that my income structure has changed (as in, been whittled down closer to zero), that process no longer works. we now deposit both of our incomes to a joint checking and disperse funds to a joint savings twice monthly. all of our bills (his, mine, ours) are now jointly paid out of the...joint checking.

i no longer have a 401k to contribute we'll have to talk about setting up a separate IRA for me.

we have slightly different philosophies when it comes to the market (i'm fairly aggressive and like to experiment...he's conservative) so it might be in our best interest to keep building our investment accounts separately.

ok, now i'm just babbling. too much sugar.

at the end of the day, no matter what we decide to do with all of our accounts, i'm glad the fiance and i can talk very openly about money. we have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to managing finances and i think (AND I HOPE AND I PRAY) that with continued transparency, we will always be able to resolve money issues logically and adeptly.

i keep hearing that MONEY (especially after buying a house, having kids, [insert additional financial burdens here]) creates all sorts of problems in i'm banking on our open communication (pun anyone?) to keep us from falling into that trap.

Monday, December 15, 2008

#458: yes or no.

when you travel, does your e-ring follow.

as in...let's say you're traveling from the states to the middle oh, let's say, 5 days. like, would you wear your e-ring or leave it behind.

#457: lovely lady lunch.

i promised you pictures from this pahtay. i made the soup, the custard, the pancakes and tartines. the ladies loved it. and the drink of the day was the uber refreshing arnold palmer.

side note: the "my water broke!" game was a HUGE hit. thank you anonymous commenter. i highly recommend it. little babies can be found at your neighborhood michaels. sounds wrong...but it was oh so right.

happy monday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

#456: for the right reasons.

help yourself or someone else in need to the gift of photography.

read more about how to nominate someone deserving on 2000 dollar wedding. details also posted via a practical wedding.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

#455: the vows i will have to write.

i'm really excited and nervous about writing our own vows. i've been to at least ten weddings...and only one where the couple had written their own vows. and i remember thinking...i want to do that.

so i want to give myself and the fiance one question to answer so we have a starting point for our vows.

i'm coming up with things like:

*what do you love most about him.
*what are you thankful for.
*what about the future are you looking forward to the most.

but those are kind of boring. it would be great to start with something funny or out of the ordinary.

any suggestions? what did you talk about for your vows?


excerpt via 123 i love you:

Have I ever told you that I love you?

Yes, it is true. I love you. I love you with all my heart. I love you with my soul. I love you for the man that you are, and I love you for the man that you dream of being, but who you can never – must never! – become. I love you for every sign of your innate goodness – signs that, try as you might to conceal them, are still as obvious as they would be if some dull blade had etched them into your brow in an ornate font. I love you for the better angels of your nature, and also for the worse devils – perhaps more for the devils! It is true! I love you for the magnificent and bloody crimes that you dream of in your innermost heart when all the world is asleep, and I love you for that rich elixir of sweetness that you can pour on men, women, and children with a single word – NAY! – with a single glance! I LOVE YOU ENOUGH TO CARVE A GREAT WOODEN MONUMENT TO YOU EVERY MORNING, WORSHIP IT BY THE LIGHT OF THE NOONDAY SUN, AND THEN BURN IT TO THE GROUND EVERY EVENING – ALL THE BETTER TO PROCLAIM, MY DEAR, YOUR GLORY TO THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE YET TO KNOW YOU, AND TO THE GODS WHO ALREADY ADORE YOU!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

#454: officially official.


i'm going to try my best not to use any exclamation marks for this post. because if i start, it might get out of control. real fast. for real.

so i realized today that the wedding is less than 6 months away. that's bananas. but that's not at all what this post is about.

this post is strictly about...the one. but before i say who's the what, let me start with a few pictures.

capturing the moments:

a few detail shots:

so are you thinking what i'm thinking.

that mr. tto and i are LUCKY BEEYOTCHES? we are thrilled THRILLED THRILLLLLLLLLLED (no exclamations but i didn't say anything about caps) to have signed on max wanger as our photog.

visit max wanger's website here.
visit his blog here.

you may recognize his work from this lovely feature on once wed.

oh, and max never mentioned this to me separately but i discovered whilst digging around his website that he's part of an oh-so-awesome project called just one plate which showcases some of l.a.'s top restaurants. hungry yet?

i mean. seriously.

all photos by the amazing max wanger.

we. can't. wait.

Monday, December 8, 2008

#453: showers.

other than the fact that i apparently need to take one every day, i've often wondered about bridal showers...and whether i'd even want one.

granted, my own bridal shower is not mine to throw or even mine to want or not want. so why am i even thinking about this. well, i guess i'm a bit nervous about being on the receiving end. i feel a bit weirded out with yet another opportunity to accept gifts as a bride-to-be. i guess i want to know what we're celebrating and acknowledging, exactly.

i mean...bachelorette party is for unabashed wildness. i totally get that. and yes, i will gladly participate. holla.

but bridal showers? what's the point?

oddly, on the flipside, i love throwing showers and doting on bride-to-be's. oh. so maybe that's what bridal showers are about? allowing the ladies who love shower you with love...?

what's your take?


that said, there have been a couple of showers i've seen around the nets as of late that i have been slightly lusting after. i can't wait to use these (or some variation of these) ideas.

first, there was meg's shower. i guess when you're super practical, you're surrounded by friends who are just as practical (and lovely). books?! so. cool. (if you haven't read oscar wao yet, please do. now. thank you.)

blair on elizabeth anne designs shared the deets on her 5 showers. kitchen shower? yes please. stock the bar shower? always a good idea. but a christmas ornament shower?! that's just beyond radical.

i think the trick keep it personal to make it successful. note-to-self for any showers i throw in the future for my non married lovelies.

so...out of curiosity...what were the hi's-and-lo's of bridal showers you've thrown or been thrown?

p.s. pics of this party to come!

Friday, December 5, 2008

#452: weird or not weird?

i think my sister likes to discusseth wedding-related topics with me. you know. because i'm so knowledgeable.

the very skins of it is as follows.

my sister's friend's cousin is getting married and decided to have a 25-guest wedding. aka really really small.

he didn't invite any of the extended family (although they're all apparently really close) except grandma. who then declined the invitation because she was angry that no one else in the extended family was invited. so basically, now there's drama for your mama because my sister's friend and her sibs and her parents and the rest of the extended family are feeling jilted for not having been invited.

"isn't it weird?!"

"that they feel jilted? kind of."

"no...because they weren't invited!"


and...i don't think it is.

if the couple wants to have a 25-guest wedding, let 'em be. people should just be happy for people. that's what i think.

what do you think.

#451: win/win.

via feather love weddings.

noa of feather love gave me a heads up on her winter special.

uh, she had me at 'noa'. and at 'feather love'. and at the shadow picture with the 'stache.


I am currently offering a winter special (for brides who book with me before January 30th) for dates in 2009! I am offering a 50% discount on my regular 5 hour rate and I am also offering a la carte prices for more specific brides at 50% off.

This is a great deal for brides on a budget, and it works for me since booking during winter is a little slower... win/win! I am based in San Diego but will shoot all over (travel fees might apply).


you can email her at

visit her blog. or her portfolio.

#450: "dank."

that's what the fiance said after he buried his face in my hair the other night (before i took a shower).

but i'm not hating on him because i know my scalp does tend to get a little dank-ish after 24 hours. i can't help it. i'm oily. and my pores are big.

but i'd like to stray as far as possible away from dank on our wedding day.

do you have any recs for 'hair fresheners' i could spray on my head throughout the day that smells yummy and won't weigh down my hair or make it greasy?

#449: lovesit.

via snippet and ink.

mine. all mine. see what i mean?

anyways, i'm not getting married in a garden. but who cares. this is so my inspiration board. that's right. i just claimed it. what.

my insides are getting squealy. but i shall not squeal.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

#448: glamour closet sale.

*thanks for your comments. my mom is "ok".

the perps certainly knew what they were looking for...and everything they took belonged to mom. because anything of value in that house is hers (remember, dad likes camping and fishing? he's not into expensive gadgets or video games...nor does he collect anything. hm. fiance's kind of like that. interesting! anyways.) they took her jewelry, watches, bags, loads of unused makeup (WTF!!! but that stuff is expensive so it makes sense.), gift cards she had stockpiled to give as christmas presents, cash.

and now that the shock has worn off and i know it's a blessing she wasn't around when they hit up the house...i'm soo pissed. i feel all sorts of violated, bitter and angry even though i'm not there to see the broken glass and it wasn't my stuff.

so i can only imagine how my mom is 'really' feeling. sigh. good thing she's a strong woman.

the only thing i can hope at this that the bad deed was done with good intent. to feed a family or to help peeps in need, not for drugs or as a stupid gang assignment. seriously.*


san franciscans, go!

December 13-14, 2008
Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

TWO DAY SALE only! All gowns in the store will be priced $499, $999, or $1499! We have hundreds of gowns from premier designers including: Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, Reem Acra, Amsale, and more! Save up to 85% on all gowns. Sale includes all gowns in our store, including recent new arrivals!

First come, first served. Shoppers will be admitted in order of their arrival.

Glamour Closet
114 Columbus Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94113
(415) 391-1515

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

#447: WTF?

my parent's house was just burglarized.

my mom left the house at noon to run errands. came back at 2 to find sh*t all over the place. the culprits shattered the front door glass to enter the house and apparently did a quick sweep.

this means:
1) the burglar knew my mom was home alone and that she would leave around that time (WTF?!?!?!)
2) the burglar was watching (double WTF?!?!?!? from where?! that's what i want to know!!!)
3) it was a targeted burglary


Sunday, November 30, 2008

#446: dear gentlemen...

via eastsidebride.

thanks for agreeing to stand by mr. tto as he commits to yours truly for the next 100 years of his life. good luck mr. tto.

we will not be going the traditional route of renting tuxes. please don your own black suit, white shirt, and black shoes. we will supply the tie.

if you don't have a black suit, let me know and we'll figure something out.

the soon-to-be-mrs.

#445: hi martha.

a crafy martha project via we met in a bar.

martha project via style for style.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

#444: next week.

i'm throwing a baby shower for one of my dear friends.

it was planned last minute so there will probably only be about 8-10 people. i loves me an excuse to host an intimate get-together.

i was inspired by emily style and researched some new recipes. if i don't use these on the day of, i think i might just cook them up for the fiance.

baked egg custard with gruyere and chives
quick sausage and mushroom lasagna
lentil soup with italian sausage and escarole
steak with parmesan butter balsamic glaze and arugula
sweet potato and kim chi pancakes
beet and goat cheese tartines
mixed berry and cassis sundaes
orzo with garbanzo beans, goat cheese and oregano

Friday, November 28, 2008

#443: #1 or #2?

no, not that kind.


i'm kind of really loving april right now for these two Loverly invitation designs. you know she's all sorts of awesome because the only criteria i gave her were my three words, this picture, and the fact that i like cursive.

and she created these beauties.



which would you choose?

p.s. i don't plan to include the above rsvp return cards. it will most likely just be a separate card with instructions to rsvp online and hotel info for our out-of-towners.

p.p.s. a real conversation:

me: thing i noticed...the first word is spelled incorrectly.

april: the repondez?...i double checked the spelling...i must be missing it...

an hour later.

me: i'm a complete loser. i totally thought it was supposed to be reSpondez.

april: no problem. have a great day!

moral of the story? she's really nice. and i don't know any french. mai oui!

#442: crate & barrel.

on sale for $6.95 at crate & barrel.

#441: so is mrs. pineapple.

read how to make her centerpieces here.

including the amazing paper roses.

#440: mrs. lemon is cool.

read how to make her centerpieces here.

instead of plumerias (which are so gorgeous), i'm thinking maybe just a jewel colored dahlia or two at each table.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

#439: personal shopper.

fendi dress via eluxury.

Runway Seamed Dress
$1,950.00 SALE PRICE: $780.00

#438: go get them.

major giveaway on style me pretty.

"The set includes 100 invitations and response cards, each with printed envelopes, all letterpressed on 100% cotton bright white paper."

you have until friday to enter to win.

p.s. i myself doth had my invitations designed courtesy of april, multi-tasker-of-the-universe, of blu sky designs fame. more to come on this.