Thursday, April 28, 2011

How Bout Some Candy For Those Jars?

Guys, I'm terrible at coming up with names for my blog posts.  Drulz. 

But I do want to talk about candy.  Are you sick of it after Easter?  I probably should be, but I'm not.  I seriously love candy.  I would rather have a bag of gummy bears than a piece of chocolate cake probably nine times out of ten (although I guess it depends how yummy that chocolate cake can be, but let's be honest, it's usually disappointing!).  So maybe I loved the pictures of candy bars.  Maybe I loved the jars.  Maybe I loved the signs, but really, what it all comes down to is the candy. 

Mr. C and I went back and forth whether we wanted our candy bar to be color coordinated or just filled with our favorite sweets.  Whatever we decided, I knew it was going to look great.  Here are some of the photos that got me really pumped about both options:



Source.

Source
Source
Source

Source

Source

All these pictures make me so excited for our candy bar.  I just hope we can pull off the cohesiveness of each of these.  Because whether you do color coordinated or just your favorites, I think each of these photos show that the candy bar works with some elements that tie it together, whether it's labels, ribbons, or matching containers.

After much discussion, Mr. C and I decided that we'd be doing a color-coordinated candy bar, with colored ribbon and matching labels.  We hope to add some sort of colored linen to the table as well as a sign (probably something like, "Love Is Sweet"). 

We're looking at mostly orange and purples, with maybe some browns thrown in.  Sitting around to brainstorm appropriate candy to match our colors was tough, until I found this AWESOME website: Candy Warehouse.  They allow you to check out candy sorted BY COLOR.  Thank you, Candy Geniuses. 

So here are some ideas of what we'll be using:









 All candy images from here

What do you guys think?  Do you think we'll have enough candy selection to keep everyone happy but also to keep our candy bar cohesive and color coordinated?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Save Your Dates

Seriously, save 'em. Cause we're getting married.



Mr. C and I knew from the beginning that we wanted to get our save the dates out earlier than you usually do.  About 95% of our guests are coming from out of town, and even though most of our family knew they would be invited, not all our guests did, so we wanted to give everyone ample time to plan so that more people would be able to come. 

We weren't looking to go nuts here.  As often as I have seen some adorable and crafty save the dates, our top priority was speed and cost.  And I also think many, many people don't see the save the date as a necessity, and so they don't even save it.  Because of that, I didn't want to pour my heart and soul into these guys and then have them chucked into the garbage.

But whether or not I labored over them for hours, I'm still obsessed and in love with them and hope no one threw them in the garbage!  That would be terrible.  Mr. C and I messed around in My Digital Studio which is a design program created by Stampin' Up that my FMIL gave me for Christmas.  And thank goodness!  I was stressing about how I was going to create some of the paper products that I wanted to design without Photoshop or any other sort of software, so this worked out wonderfully.  We used two of our engagement photos from Cole Effect, and found some fun fonts on DaFont.com

After designing them, I waited for Vistaprint to send me one of their awesome emails telling me that many of their products were free.  And when I had waited long enough, 100 postcards were free!  So Mr. C and I uploaded our photo, created a postcard-looking back, and sent off our order to be shipped.

When they arrived, there was a white border around the top and the bottom of the postcard.  I'm not quite sure how or why that happened (it wasn't on the website when we ordered them) but Mr. C + beer + paper cutter = quick trimming job.  Even though I told him I didn't want the beer involved, he got the job done.  And well.  He's pretty great, huh?




So here they are, in all their save the date glory:
Photo By Cole Effect.  Editing and text added by me

Photo By Cole Effect.  Editing and text added by me

So what do you think?  Like I said, I'm pretty obsessed with them, but I'm kind of biased.  We got lots of excited phone calls, emails, texts, and tweets after sending them, and I'm glad to hear people were excited about the wedding and excited about the save the dates.  We got lots of great compliments too, including one friend asking how I stretched my budget so much to afford save the dates like these....Um, I didn't!  Sweet.

Here's how the cost actually broke down:

100 Postcards: FREE, thanks to waiting it out for one of Vistaprint's deals
Uploaded logo/photo/design: $4.99
Uploaded logo/photo/design: $4.99
Color Back Side: $4.99
Glossy Finish: INCLUDED

Total:  $14.97
Shipping & Processing (Slow 21 Days): $6.50
Sales Tax: $0.44

Total: $21.91

Add in our postage: we bought 80 postcard stamps just before the postcard rate went up, and we had 6 international postcards so the grand total is: $28.28

Not too bad, right?  We knew that Vistaprint would be a great option for us, because of the free deals, but we also knew their shipping can be s-l-o-w, so we ordered them all the way back in February.  We had planned on getting them out the first week in April, so this gave us plenty of time to have them shipped to us, address them, and send them out. 

Also, as of April 17, 2011, postcard postage is now 29 cents instead of 28.  Honestly, it was just a lucky coincidence that we sent them out the week before.  Had I done a bit more research, I would have been adamant about getting them out, but luckily, they were all sent in the nick of time. 
Did you send save the dates?  Did you put a little more creativity in them then I did?  I'd love to see what you did!

Friday, April 22, 2011

April 2011 - Six Months To Go!

Mr. C and I are going to be married in six months! After being engaged now for over a year, I can't believe that we've hit this mark in our countdown. There were times when it seemed like the wedding would never come, and now, I'm not nervous, but anxiously excited for the time to come when I will become Mrs. C.

Realizing how close we were coming to the Big Day, Mr. C and I sat down this week and made a list of the things left to do. It's not a complete and total list, but it was a good way for us to think about the projects, both big and small, that we hope to accomplish and think about what they might entail. We had some disagreements (he's still not sold on our faux-tobooth) and we surprisingly easily agreed on other things (no cake topper? oh! ok!) and busted this out. Here's what we're looking at that's left:

Sorry if the formatting's funny, I copy/pasted from Excel


Project Components Source
Ceremony
Jen Preparation Hair, nails, space, photographer, makeup Kip
 
 
Flowers Melissa
Wagon for Jordan Perrones
Programs Design, paper, ?ribbon
Ring Presentation ?Pillow, bowl
Unity Candle Candle
Music Songs, singers, organ
Venue St. Catherines
?Receiving Line
Pre-Cana
Readings
Readers
Reception
Cocktail Hour Place Setting Orange votives, tea lights X-mas Tree
Escort Cards Cards
Table numbers Paper, printing/stamping
Centerpieces Birdcages, flowers, ?votives/candles
Candy bar Candy, bags, utensils, jars, sign Economy candy
     Candy Jelly beans, reese's pieces, rock candy, taffy, grape heads, orange slices, chocolate
     Bags Bag, sticker, stamp
     Utensils Scoops, tongs
     Jars Marshalls etc
     Sign
     Linen Gibbet Hill
Music Band Guilty Pleasure
     First Dance
     Playlist
     Don't play list
     Parent Dances
     Introduction
Cake Cake, ?topper, flowers Konditer Meister
Bathroom Baskets Baskets, Ribbon, sign, lotion, hairspray, spray deodorant 10/21
Photo Booth PVC piping, fabric, props, lighting, computer, TV
Speeches Julie, Malcolm, ?Dads
Photographer Shot list, combinations 4/18
Food Appetizers, entrees, extras, cocktail hour, bar, signs
Favors Cookies vs ???
Gift Table Card holder, ?sign
 
Rehearsal Dinner
Bridal party gifts
Parent gifts
?Slideshow
Speeches
Book space Bamboo Bamboo
After Party Food, drinks, karaoke machine
Extras
Out of Town Bags Bags, water bottles, bag of chips, maps, letter
Invitations
B+G gifts
Return address stamp
Mini-moon Newport, RI
Cake Tasting
Dinner tasting
Meeting with Photog
Meeting with Melissa
Meeting with Band


As you can see, we've included some big stuff, some small stuff, and probably not even everything that needs to be done. We broke some things down (for example, the bathroom baskets are going to require us to buy up a few things), made a column for where or whom we would get it from, a column for cost, a column for when it should be done by, and then a column for checking things off! We're no where near being close to done, but having a list certainly makes things feel more manageable.

Also, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I have a new page in progress up on top of the blog. I'm going to keep this list, include some of the bigger things, and keep that as a constant reminder for both myself, and you (if you care!) about what is done and what is left to be done. If I get my act together, I'll also link to the post where I wrote about each project.

So I had a list at 9 months, and some of you guys left great reminders of things I left out. Did the past three months give me enough time to get my act together? See anything missing on my new list?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I Want Candy!

When Mr. C proposed, I (basically) said two things: 1) Yes and 2) We will have a candy bar.

I wasn't quite obsessed with the world of wedding blogs and blogging pre-engagement, but I was following a few different wedding photographers.  They were originally shown to me because they had done friends of friends' weddings...and then I just kept following them.  But shhhhh!  Don't tell Mr. C.  But, because of my...research...I had heard and seen this awesome idea of a candy bar before.

When I first mentioned it to Mr. C, he thought I was crazy.  Our families also thought I was a little nuts.  I think it probably had to do with the fact that they had neither seen nor heard of this fabled "candy bar" before.  But I was adamant, and as time has gone on, they've seen this idea more and more as it pops up and becomes mainstream.  My FMIL saw it at a conference, Mr. C has done some Googling and noticed it places.  Some people may be concerned that this is not the most original idea on the block.  That now some of our guests will have seen it places.  But, mainstream or not, this is something I'm super excited about.  It was actually the very first wedding task I've done.  Bridesmaid A and I went to a flea market in Massachusetts to look for some jars, all the way back in...August?  Yeah, this was awhile ago.

I collected my jars from flea markets, Home Goods, Marshalls, and Christmas Tree Shops.  My goal was to not spend more than $5 a jar.  I wanted to be sure this "extra" wedding project wasn't something that cost me an arm and a leg.  So here are the jars we collected, and I'll break down the costs for you.  I'll be honest, we didn't always stay within the rules.

Here is our first mock up with the jars we had:

Moving things around a bit, seeing what works best:

And just cause I think he's the cutest:

After seeing the jars placed like this, Mr. C and I didnt' think this was going to be sufficient.  It felt a little off balance, and that maybe we wouldn't have enough for our 140+ guests.  So with that in mind, we went out and hit up a Home Goods near Mom and Dad Busy Bee's house.
This was the biggest rule breaker of all.  See anything different about this set up?  (Sorry, I realize this photo isn't great - but a bonus!  Birdcages!)



Yeah, it's another huge jar in the back:



That big guy cost us $15 at Home Goods.  Way over our allotted budget, but overall (including one broken jar, which actually had been that size, and had only cost us $6) we ended up spending less on this project then we budgeted for.  So all good.  Here's a close up of each jar, where it came from, and how much it cost:


Christmas Tree Shop: $2.99

Flea Market: $1.00

Flea Market: $1.00

Christmas Tree Shop: $2.99


Home Goods: $6.00 (There's a scratch on this jar, but its mostly on one side, so we'll have that face the back)


Marshalls: $3.50

Flea Market: $1.00


Total:  About $33.00.  Even if you add the jar that broke ($6!) we still come under the $60 we had allotted for this.


I started to get scared when I began this project.  I found listings for other brides selling the jars they had collected for over $100 - plus shipping!  If the project tallied way over, it was going to get cut, cause Mr. C wasn't exactly married (haha!) to the idea, so I was determined to make it happen.  Add some ribbon, card stock, and bunting, and WHAM.  Candy bar. 

Another obstacle that can also make this project a heft one cost wise can be the candy.  Luckily, a friend alerted me to a deal through Buy With Me for 50% off candy from this A-MAZE-ING candy store in NYC, called Economy Candy (guys, floor to ceiling candy.  seriously.) and so Mr. C and I signed up for the deal, and we'll be getting about $120 worth of candy for $40. (How the extra money off?  We referred each other's email address, and got a $10 credit.  And we have three email addresses, so another free $20 worth of candy!)  I'm hoping that will be enough, but we're waiting until September to buy it up, because I don't want it melting in our apartment in the warm summer months.  So if we have to get anymore, or we find out exactly how much is needed to fill those suckers up, I'll let you know that too! 

This post is already becoming monumentally long, so I'll leave it there for now, but I'll definitely share with you the yummy candy we're thinking about.  We debated for awhile whether to have a color coordinated candy bar or not?  Where do you stand on the issue?  Are you having a candy bar?  Where did you find your jars?

And just for fun, here's a pic of Mr. C, Baby J, and Elderly Puppy D, as Mr. C and I took them all for a walk, playing house for the weekend.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Things I Love, Two!

Alternate title: The Internet RULZ

Here's a true life fact about me: I'm pretty nerdy all the way to my core.  I love dancing about, I love musical theater, and I love to read. 

Reading has been something that I've done since I was little.  I was pretty much never found without a book in my hand.  In the car or in bed, I was reading.  I didn't get carsick and I didn't let a little thing like darkness impede my ability to speed read through a book as quickly as possible.  My mom eventually had to take the nightlight out of my room because I would lay awak through all hours of the night reading (although it was probably only 11 pm, it seemed oh-so-late in my younger mind).

In middle school, reading wasn't cool.  And being cool was important.  So I just...stopped.  Stopped reading, stopped embracing that inner nerd who had served me so well for the first 11-12 years of my life.  Instead, I embraced AOL and Snake.




Source.

Source.












Then I met Bridesmaid A in 9th grade.  We were instant friends.  We both had moved to a new town, had no friends and somehow...we were both nerdy!  It took awhile for the nerdy to creep its way out, but when it did...it hit at full force (and honestly, I'm not even ready to share JUST how nerdy...).  And then Bridesmaid A told me about this series she had read called Harry Potter.  I hadn't picked up a book I didn't HAVE to read in years.  But once I did, I couldn't stop.  I plowed through books one through three (dating myself...but those were all that were available) and then I had Mom take me to the library.  And it kept going all through high school. 

Fast forward to college and law school, and as much as I enjoyed reading, I just didn't have the time or energy for it.  We did enough reading that I didn't want to do, that reading for pleasure really didn't sound all that pleasurable anymore.

But now...not that I really am enjoying being unemployed, but it does have its perks.  I get to read...ALL THE TIME.  My Brooklyn Public Library card has a prominent spot in my wallet.  There are books in my bag, on my bedside table, on the kitchen table...anywhere there is space, there is a book.  I need a new bookshelf, seriously.

The problem is I was flying through books so quickly, I didn't know exactly where to turn to next.  For starters, I went to social media to look for help:


I started by looking into some of the books that were suggested, and even receieved long lists of recommended books and authors in response.  But then, just recently, I finally checked out Shelfari, as Bridesmaid A suggested.  And guys, it's GREAT.  I'm obsessed with adding books that I read yesterday or read years and years ago.  I love looking at what are the most popular books now, and what "people like me" are reading.  So if you are a book lover who ALSO loves organization and who ALSO loves getting suggested, go, create your shelf, and friend me!  (You can also check out my shelf on the blog now too.  And yes, I am re-reading the entire Harry Potter series...again.)

So that was my quick two parts on new things I found and loved instantly and thought you might love too! 

Tell me quick, what's your latest (Internet or not) obsession?





Monday, April 18, 2011

New Things I Love

The Internet is a wild place with lots of places to lose yourself.  I often get lost after conducting a Google Image Search for cute puppies, or lost among the pages and pages in a new blog I stumbled upon. 

Especially when it has come to wedding planning, I've saved hundreds and hundreds of inspiration photos for the wedding, and sometimes looking at them in folders on my Macbook just doesn't give me a tingly, inspired feeling.  There is no cohesiveness.  I can't look at some of the photos side by side in a way that I want to.  This makes me an angry Bee sometimes.  I want to feel inspired.

Enter one of the new things I love:  Pinterest

Guys, this website is awesome.  I had to wait two weeks for an invite, and when it came in my email, I got really pumped.  I may have been visiting Baby J, shrieked when I saw the email, and startled her a bit.  Yeah, I was kind of excited.  Bridesmaid S told me about this website months ago, and I should have jumped on board right away.  In fact, I've spent most of my day at work looking for pretty pictures to pin (and being quite succesful in my venture to pin such pretty things), and I'm really excited to get home to add all my inspiration photos to this board to make it coheisve and to look like MY wedding. 

I've started with 6 Boards - as far as I know, you can create as many as you want.  I obviously have one for the wedding, one of clothes that I would love to be able to afford or pull off someday, things that make me giggle, decorating ideas, pretty spaces, and one related to my old re-kindled love affair with books.  I can foresee that I may add more for other pretty things, or maybe even split up the wedding board into specific boards for things like hairstyles or bridesmaid dresses.  But for now, this is what I'm working with:


A screen shot of my boards - there's still so much white space, I'm excited to have the time to fill these in!  It's going to be great not only for the wedding, but as Mr. C and I think about redecorating and re-doing some rooms in our apartment, and for whenever I'm in a bad mood, and need to put a smile on my face.  Do I foresee a cute puppy board???  Hmmmm...

So come follow me on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jennyburgo/

And let me know if you're p-interested (yeah, I did it) to join.  I'm pretty sure I can shoot you an invitation and you don't have to wait around like I did!

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the other new thing I love...It doesn't really have to do with wedding planning, but it does have to do with that re-kindle love affair with books I'm having!

What boards would you great on Pintrest?  Cute puppies, anyone?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buying the Bands

We actually conquered the task of buying our wedding rings on Black Friday, the dreaded day of consumerist hell.  Mr. C and I were up at 4am to get some awesome deals (including an XBox for Brother M...you're welcome, Mommy Busy Bee!) and we didn't even make it to the jewelry store until about 1pm.  AND we hadn't had lunch yet.  We were feeling a bit loony.

Luckily, we weren't making TOO difficult of decisions here.  Mr. C and I had visited this jeweler once before together, and I had been in once before on my own and looked at some rings.  So we had a fairly good idea what we were going to go with, and really had waited to take advantage of the Tax Free Sale the store had going on at the time. 

Does anyone else see the tiredness in Mr. C's eyes?  Yowza.



So many choices!
 
The final two..



I was torn between two similar options.  Also, I needed a manicure.  Or at least some polish remover.

So do you want to see what we finally decided on?  We ordered the rings on Black Friday, and were able to pick them up during another visit in January.




There they are!  Also, I squealed (yes, squealed) when the woman asked if we wanted one ring box or two.  A ring box for two rings!  Guys, how adorable is that??





That's Mr. C's.  He got a 14K white gold ring with some braiding on the edges.  It's simple, classic, and fits Mr. C really well.  It was important he also got something that would come on and off very easily, for his surgery days (which he probably won't have many of past the wedding, but you never know!)


 
And my final decision.  It's so sparkly!  I had a bit a buyer's remorse...oh the second we walked out of the jeweler.  But Mr. C reminded me just because it has more diamonds does not make me a ridiculously extravagent person.  Our rings came well under our budget we had set for ourselves, and still would have even without the sale and tax free event!  Plus...I mean, guys.  She's SO SPARKLY.  Swoon.

Mr. C and I left the rings at his parents' house.  I don't know if it was more out of concern for safety (I didn't want them sitting around in a box in our apartment in Brooklyn...which I know is sort of irrational considering all the other things that we have in our apartment) or because I knew I would have such a hard time not wearing it all the time. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that Mr. C and I were WAY ahead of the game here.  If you look at The Knot timeline wedding planning tool they don't suggest you start researching and purchasing your wedding rings until 2 to 3 months before your wedding date.  But Mr. C and I knew that we wanted to buy our rings from this jeweler who has been so good to our relationship (I may have a few other pieces from there...) and when we saw the advertisement for the sale, we couldn't resist.  Plus, still almost a year out, we were so anxious to actually be doing tangible things for the wedding, we REALLY couldn't resist!

Did you start doing anything super early in your wedding planning timeline?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April Showers...

Spring is here and a new season always feels like a new beginning.  Especially spring.  Flowers are bursting from the thawed ground, trees are budding and flowering, and I've been waking up to the sound of birds chirping as I slowly crack my window open further and further.

The warmer weather (even when it's rainy) is reminding me that things will always come back around.  Things are circular and will work themselves out.  Even though we had a rough winter, spring is here, and the rain is coming so that summer will be bright and colorful.

I'm trying to keep this in mind as things get tough again.  Sure, the job hunt is tough, but it will come back around.  A job will come to me that I deserve and that I want.  You have to fight for what you want, and I'm fighting for the perfect job.

I had to step away from the blog for awhile as real life left me feeling dejected and rejected.  But that is what life will do to you, and I'm going to come out of it stronger than ever.  Brighter, flowering, and ready for the next season.

Plus, there are many exciting things to share!  We sent out our save the dates, we launched our wedding website, I had my first dress fitting and made a decision about my shoes!  And I've done some fun things around the city, and re-decorated our apartment.

So I'm back...can't say I won't disappear ever again, but I like blogging.  I like my blog friends.  And I'm back for now.  Hey, the May flowers will come.