Monday, August 31, 2009

tick tock

So my newly minted 30-year-old self is now ready to get all primped and prettified for this here upcoming wedding. I got my hair trimmed for the first time in over a year and colored with something other than clairol out of the box. Figured doing it two weeks before the big day would give me a chance to get used to any changes. I have an appointment to go in and do a trial run of my hair style later this week.

I'm hoping someone can give me some sage advice about tanning salons. I don't go to them, but it appears I am going to have to. My dress is a lovely sleeveless thing, but I never go sleeveless in real life, so I have a nifty triangle shaped tan from my neck to my chest and farmer tan from my upper arms down. ack! (my helpful fiance notes with glee that HE doesn't have such problems...pffft, yeah because his skin is all one lovely shade of luscious chocolate. yum. um, where was I....?) Anyways, I plan to drop in at a tanning place nearby and get started on evening my shade out.

My poor chewed up nails are going to have to be covered with those ghastly press-on thingies. Why oh why did I not shake that nail-biting habit???? Oh well, too late now. I would say just screw it but apparently my hands (with rings) may figure prominently in the photography. bah. Open toed shoes mean a pedicure is also in order. I wonder if the hair salon person can do that for me.

All these little details, but I guess they are sorta important. At least I have the next two weeks to get them done. Then again, between my slamming work schedule, my three-times-a-week Spanish class (you didn't think that just because I finished that MBA, I was gonna take a break from school now?), cooking all our meals from scratch, and finalizing all the little last-minute wedding stuff (make ipod playlist, choose vows and ceremony structure, call caterer to verify tablecloth numbers, etc.)....wahhhh!

Ok, whining is done. Does anyone have any songs they want to suggest for my reception playlist? I had to fire the band, so it looks like ipod to the rescue. :)

Btw, amidst all this silliness, I still carve out time for reading. Cuz you just can't live without your books, dammit! Check out the lovely one I found at the library this weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

iz 30 today

wow, it seems like a long time since I had this photo taken. Here's to another decade on this planet, more adventures and more memories. :)

(and moar buks!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

t minus 30

some random thoughts on this friday morning. We're down to less than 30 days before W-day. I feel like I should be either more stressed or more organized than I actually am. But so far, everything seems to be going alright. We have a location, tables and chairs, food, ministers (husband and wife team), rental tuxes ordered, my dress in the closet, shoes (woot!) and the flowers are going to be a last minute thing. Still gotta do something about the cake (I'm thinking Costco). And I have a friend who is totally artistic and has done about 10 weddings serving as my de facto wedding planner. So is it ok not to panic? yet.

One thing that I have turned my attention to is the hair situation. I have rather curly hair and it's natural. I'm not interested in straightening it and doing anything uber-elaborate. But I also don't want it to just look blah and normal. So I have a hairstylist that I've met with once to play around with it and we're going to have another consultation soon (reminds me, I need to call her). I have spent some time combing teh interwebs for photos of inspiration. Lemme tell you, finding good styles of naturally curly hair is not as easy as I thought.

So this is a bit like what my hair looks like on a normal day (except that I don't pile it on the top of my head like that.

I kind of like this (except for the fluffy veil) but the flowers are a little big. Also, it's more wavy and not curly.

Really like the front of this one but I don't plan on a full up-do. Probably I will see if the stylist can take the part I like and marry it with the following.

Everything from the flowers back looks good. Not so much the bangs.

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

I'm not really a fussy girly-girl kind of person. My idea of fixing my hair is wash, scrunch with mousse to keep the curls defined, airdry and go. So I'm trying to get hip with the bobbypin. But it is still a foreign language to me.

oh yeah, and I graduate tomorrow at 10am! Then we are going camping for the night with some friends. DFs first camping trip. Wish us luck. lol.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ten dollars

When I got home last night from work, I grabbed the mail that had arrived and found two envelopes. Both were cards from my grandparents (father's side). One to DF and I for our wedding and one to me for my birthday.

My grandparents are simple, salt of the earth folks. Grandma is the daughter of Italian immigrants, raised in a series of foster homes and married young to get away from it all. Grandpa signed up for the Army at 18 and caught the very tail-end of World War 2 before coming back to settle down with Grammy. He worked in a factory job for his adult life before being laid off right before his retirement would kick in. Grandma raised 5 kids including a youngest son that was born with birth defects that meant he spent most of his childhood in and out of hospitals having surgery. If it weren't for the Shriners, my uncle probably would not be able to walk.

My memories of my grandparents come mainly from letters and pictures and from my dad's stories. My family lived across the planet and didn't get to visit more than for a week or so every four or five years. I remember Grandma's homemade spaghetti and meatballs (took all day to cook and made the house smell divine) and grandpa's proclivity to take out his dentures and make funny faces at us. Grandma had a job at Sears to bring in extra income and in his later years (post lay-off) Grandpa worked as a janitor to make ends meet. Now they are both in an assisted living apartment, working days finished due to the onset of old age and illness. I keep telling myself that I will drive the 10 or 12 hours up to see them, but life always gets in the way.

Ever since I can remember, right around my birthday I have received a card with a ten-dollar bill carefully taped inside. Each and every year. In Indonesia, in Mali. Even now as an adult, long after the time when I would anticipate getting anything birthday related, the cards arrive like clockwork. I know that ten dollars for each of their ten grandchildren is a sacrifice and I almost wish I could send it back and say, no need this money more than I. But I am their granddaughter and this is their gift to me.

Today I have ten dollars to spend on myself. And I'm infinitely richer because of the love of my family.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Shopping yesterday for wedding accoutrements...I was not able to find a bra-pushup-corset thingy, but I did run across some shoes that might work. I wanted some ballet flats but it is impossible to find any that are simple and white and have a teeny heel (very long dress in the back, could use a little heel action). Since the ceremony and reception are all outdoors, I can't have any serious pointy heels (or I will make holes all around the yard) but I think this might be ok. My dress is champagne colored so bright white is a no-no...these are kinda shimmery and the color is called "bone". Thoughts? For $20 I might just get them anyways. lol.

34 days!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

my fav things


I took my last final exam in my last class to complete my MBA degree. woot! As readers of this blog will's been a slog - 2 courses each semester, 3 semesters a year (no summers off) but it feels great to be done. :) I will walk in our summer graduation ceremony and am quite looking forward to balancing that mortarboard on my head.

DF and I were housesitting for our friends at whose house/backyard we will be having our wedding. It's out in the country, wide open fields and mountains in the distance as well as a gated English garden. The great news is that I was able to get some of my artistic helpful friends to come over and we planned out where the ceremony will take place, the reception, etc. I am feeling much better about the status of the whole event. Mainly because I have such awesome talented friends. Thank gawd they have cute ideas and can decorate cuz I surely cannot.

On the reading front, I plowed through a couple of books from the library. One was so awful it was a DNF, Kat Martin - Heart of Honor. But the other two were delightful and easy to zip through in an afternoon. Jacquie D'Alessandro's Love and the Single Heiress reminded me why I continue to pick up books with her name on them (even when I have been burned before). She's hit or miss with me, but when it's a hit, it's quite good. And of course Julia Quinn is always a safe bet for an enjoyable read. The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheaver was a lovely little book with a successful childhood crush turned adult romance storyline. Nice.

Now I'm hitting my own shelves for some re-read material before I get to the library. Currently, I'm working my way through the Elizabeth Hoyt Prince books. The Leopard Prince is on my table at the moment. I'd forgotten how funny it was. I just hope the heroine doesn't annoy me as much this time around (I recall her pulling some serious TSTL action near the end).

And now, I am to share seven favorite things. Super Librarian Wendy awarded me with the Kreativ Blogger award, and I think I'm supposed to come up with seven more people to bequeath. Thing is, I am so late on this, I bet all the bloggers I know have already done it. lol.

Anyways, here are some fav things.

1. U2. Love them, every album they have done, every b-side and outtake, every passionate save-the-world speech that Bono gives. Did I mention that I have flown to places and camped out in parking lots just to be up close at the concerts? um, yes. And I joined the Peace Corps and worked in Africa as a tangental result of having my conscience spurred by them. Who says music doesn't change things?

2. Reading a deliciously good book. Well, duh. Reading is the one constant in my life and I can barely remember a time in my life when I wasn't curled up in a book. Finding a real keeper, a book that keeps you glued to your seat turning the pages, staying up till 3am to finish...that's the stuff I keep coming back for.

3. Travel. I was lucky in that my parents choice of work had us trotting around the world from the time I was 3. My own wanderings as an adult have brought me to several more continents. And now for my job, I get to jet off to places on official business from time to time. As exhausting as it is, I do love it. Getting on planes and stepping off in totally different, new, exotic places is a thrill. You never really know what to expect. So far I have visited more than 30 countries and I intend to keep adding to my list.

4. Coffee. Gotta have it in the morning to start my day off right. I guzzle down my first cup like it's a tall glass of water. The second one is enjoyed more slowly.

5. Cooking. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen, experimenting with recipes, planning menus, etc. DF and I really don't eat out anymore. Not only do we save money, but we can eat healthily. Of course, I don't know if the hand-made pizza I baked last night counts as healthy....but it was good.

6. Lazy rainy (snowy) days. You know, the kind when you just curl up on the couch or in bed with a good book or a good movie (north and south! pride and prejudice!) Then there is a baking project (cookies!) and maybe some hot chocolate or a big simmering pot of soup. mmm.

7. My fiance's scent. Ok, I know that sounds kinda weird, but really. No matter what he wears cologne-wise or even if he's been outdoors or working out, when I hug him or cuddle up to his neck, he smells fantastic to me. Makes me feel all cozy.

Since I'm too lazy to hit all my favorite blogs and see if anyone hasn't yet done this list, I will just open it up to everyone. Share some fav things if you want. Or don't. Or whatever. :) The floor is yours.