Monday, August 31, 2009

Bright side: wedding invites were dropped in the mailbox yesterday

I’d like to give a few shout-outs from last night:

  1. Shout-out to my supersonic hearing that allowed me to detect some weird noise in the bedroom.
  2. Shout-out to HTB’s flight mechanism that hauled my frozen-with-fear self off the couch.
  3. Shout-out to the pocket doors in my house which kept me safe in the bedroom area.
  4. Shout-out to HTB, who bravely donned his baseball hat, a ratty picnic blanket and laundry basket to deal with the chaos in the living room.
  5. Shout-out to the police operator who told me she was real sorry but Animal Control got off duty at 10:00 p.m. and couldn’t help.
  6. Shout-out to Trip the cat who bolted for the basement and hid under the bed.
  7. Shout-out to my shower cap (ahem) and second laundry basket, which gave me strength to venture out to the living room and see if HTB needed help.
  8. Shout-out to Neighbor J, who dutifully came over armed with a ski hat and pool skimmer.
  9. Shout-out to Des Moines Animal Control who showed up after 10:00 p.m., willing to help, but sadly, was too late.
  10. And last, but certainly not least, a big shout-out to the fruit bat that weaseled his way through the bedroom window and wreaked complete havoc in my living room during Mad Men. We are very glad you found your way out because we really didn’t want to hurt you! God bless America.

So, my week is off to a whiz-bang start! Yours?

P.S. Let’s not talk about Mad Men, I only saw the first half.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Oh! For my stuffs

Goodness gracious.

I just started my hunt for a pretty clutch to carry all the practical junk I'll need on the big day (chapstick, cell phone, id, cheez-its). I got stuck on mollusa's Etsy shop. Because, damn, homeslice makes lovely purses!

Check it:

Which is you favorite?

Food for food's sake

It's Restaurant Week in Des Moines! Thirty or forty restaurants, from the highbrow to the slightly shady, are offering prix fixe (oooo, you know it's fancy now!) dinners for $25 a person.

Last year, HTB and I only made it to one restaurant, but this year, we are doing two! We did Mojo's on 86th last weekend and tonight, we are off to Alba.

My favorite part of Mojo's was the sweet corn ice cream. It was weird, but good. The waitress even cracked pepper on it. Alba has sweet corn ice cream, too, but jeez, y'all - I'm not really from Iowa. I can only take so much. I'll be getting the pineapple ceviche.

Side note: Three things that will forever separate me from real Iowans are: I can't eat my weight in sweet corn; I don't live for the Iowa State Fair (whaaaat?) and I don't give a hoot who is playing whom on September 12. Sorry, Iowa.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Signs I Might be Crazy, Installment One

Noticed lighting in a public restroom made the water in the toilet reflect ripples on the ceiling. Found it peaceful before realizing the reflection originated in a toilet. source

I thought I was all super-Zen, but clearly, as a woman seeking peace anyway she can get it, I am not.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Meet Scott.

Scott hangs out in our yard (in urban Des Moines) about 80% of the time.
Scott's main interests are eating my trees and hostas.
But he has been known to guiltily munch the lilacs, too.
Ah, nature. Welcome to the family, Scottie.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Invitation bumble

Over lunch, I dropped off my two international wedding invitations at the post office. One bound for New Zealand, one off to Germany! But, as I was standing in line, so proud that I was mailing them out two weeks ahead of our other invites to ensure my foreign pals get them in time, I realized my RSVP envelopes had U.S. stamps.


Not only have I goofed on their postage, I’m officially out $.88. Is it OK that I’m bothered by that? Probably not, but that is a problem for another day.

Oh well, I don’t think these girls will mind. It’s nothing a lovingly crafted Facebook message can’t fix.

Tell me your wedding invite blunders. Let me know I’m not alone in postal woes.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Skills that pay the bills

Oh, sweet baby Francis, did I really....

Really just use my chosen wedding font, logo and colors on BUBBLE WANDS?

Yes'm, it appears I did.

My name is Alexson and I cannot stop marketing.

Since you likely can't ready my blurry (artsy) photos, they say "blow us away!" and "a little bubbly" and two have graphic elements from our stationary. Now, tell me that isn't the cutest dang thing you've seen all day.

Bonus#1: I did NOT get this idea from a blog! It's my very own brain baby.

Bonus #2: This project cost less than $20 and was over in about a half hour.

Manjewelry, we haz it

Last night, HTB and I devoured some scrumptious chicken fajitas (courtesy of his mad skills and our slow cooker), then scooted our boots down to Iowa Diamond to pick up our wedding rings!

To go with my classic solitaire, I got plain white gold bands. One will be soldered to my engagement ring (to avoid denting the soft metal) and the other will be for when I am doing something too intense for the poor e-ring (wrangling cattle? repairing fence posts? I'm not really sure who the jeweler mistook me for, but clearly, she is a more laborious soul than I).

HTB picked out a classic ring with a twist. The edges are smooth palladium and the middle detail is a subtle hammered look. He even picked it out in under an hour, which is decidedly un-HTB of him. This isn't it, but you get the idea.

So, one more thing done. Tonight is another WCW, so I'm hoping to get through a lot of the more tedious, less DIY stuff. Wish me luck.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Glistening Like a Guppy at a Sushi Bar*

An impending wedding is a wonderful excuse for a lot of things: manicures, new shoes, dropping hundreds at Hobby Lobby, etcetera. Like thousands of soft-around-the-edges brides before me, I’ve also used the fact that everyone I know (and love) will be looking at me all. day. long. (I cannot be the only one who finds this equal parts awesome and terrifying) to tone up a bit. I do a weight class twice a week and focus on cardio two days. I look pretty dang good, if you ask me!

This morning after weights, however, I was not looking so hot. Let me rephrase that, I looked like I’d been wandering in the desert for weeks and then got slapped in the face with a hot oven mitt. The air conditioning at the gym was broken. Did not work a lick. I was red, huffing, puffing and glowing more than any lady has a right to. It was not pretty.

Moral of the story: If you go to the gym and the instructor says, “OK, guys, the AC is out, let’s warm up those muscles.” Run. Run and don’t look back. Run to the nearest Perkins, get a muffin and tell yourself you will workout tomorrow. Serious.

*I know guppies aren't in sushi. That alliteration was too much to pass up. I've forgiven me, now it's your turn.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Weekend in Photos

This weekend, we...
Labeled wedding wine/table numbers,

Made lots of poms, (I have two clumps this size hanging in my office until November!)

Made reserved signs/luminaries for the church aisle,

Made a sign for the back of my chair,

Made a sign for the back of his chair,

And got flowers are the Farmers Market.

And I'm currently working on 150 custom bingo cards while HTB kegs some homebrew. This could not have been a more productive 48 hours if we wanted it to be. Couldn't have done it without my momma here!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ridiculous Ranunculus

I’m not a flower person and our wedding won’t be super floral. The church is already lovely and the reception hall is big and dark, so candles will be our main accent.

Anyway, yes, back to flowers.

Turns out, I drool over ranunculus (does anyone else stumble over that word in speech and spelling? It’ll be the death of me).

Source unknown, I’ve had this on my computer for ages. If it’s yours, let me know and I’ll right my wrongs. PS: nice dress, too!

These are even purple, which is what my bouquet will be! I love the millions of layers in these flowers. They are like the onion of the flower world (always back to food with this one).

Other news: my mom is heading into town tomorrow with some project-fodder. Two spindly, antique end tables I painted lime-green in my misdirected youth. I’ve been itching to use my sander and can’t wait to get these ladies back to lovelytown.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Confessions of a 'tato

HTB e-mailed me the best idea yesterday. It was so simple, but it totally blew my mind. He said, “Why don’t we only watch TV shows we really want to and ban ourselves from it otherwise?”

Say whaaaat?

Yes, kids. I’m a couch potato. If I’m tired on a Tuesday, nothing feels better then settling in to some mindless Golden Girls. Oh, TV rays, melt away my cares, my woes.

Starting yesterday, we decided to only tune in to new episodes of the following:

  • Mad Men
  • Iron Chef
  • Bridezillas
  • Today Show
  • Chopped
  • Top Chef/Top Chef Masters

I’m not sure what this says about us as people. Classy, food, trashy, Al Roker, food, food, FOOD. Yep, that about sums us up.

Obviously, with it being Wedding Crap Wednesday, it was quite easy to stay away from the TV. I had wine labels to design and print, envelopes to address, things to do. I’ll let you know how it goes from here!

Do you have TV discipline? Or are you a tater, too?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Theater Thwartings

Have you seen Julie & Julia?
I have not. It was sold out.
On a Tuesday!
Granted, it was $1 popcorn day, but c'mon Des Moines!
I'll try again this weekend, though because:
a) I've loved Meryl Streep since Death Becomes Her
and b) I feel this might be an appropriate time to sneak some brie and bread into the theater.

Just kidding! I'm a law-abiding lady and would never, ever sneak snacks past the ticket-taker. Never. Ever. Not even once.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cheesy wedding stuff

Oh, we love cheese, HTB and I. More than average people, we adore cheese. For months, every Sunday was Cheese Night (see post on my irrational love of weekly rituals) and we'd stop by the local fancy-pants grocery store and pick up a block (or two or three) of hoity-toity cheese, some bread and call it good. We even have a cheese that is our cheese. We don't have a song, but hell's bells, we have a cheese.

So, when I stumbled upon this,


I knew we could have no other cake but a wedding cheese cake. Three layers of savory, rich dairy sweetly and simply topped with flowers by HTB himself. (We're doing a six-month Manchego, local Maytag blue and our cheese, Pierre Robert.)

Most people I've told about the wedding cheese have been supportive and agree that a cheese cake is perfectly us. A few grumbled about a lack of sugary sweets, but we were planning on serving tiramisu and good old sheet cake anyway.

If they don't want the cheese, let them eat cake, I say!

I'm already bracing myself for the inevitable toot jokes when it's time to cut the cheese. No euphemism will come between me and my tonnage of cheese!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bad side of a good night

My good pal and her husband came over for chile rellenos and Sequence (on the board my crafty parents made for HTB a few years ago). Somehow, between the four of us, a bottle of tequila vaporized. So, I'm a little worse for the wear today.
Hope you had an excellent Friday, too!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Hump Day Fiesta

Taco Tuesday. Movie Monday. Thirsty Thursday.

Seriously, is there anything better than a weekly ritual? I, for one, adore them. Everything is more fun with an alliterative name and the knowledge that it will happen at the same time each week, right? (I’m a very exciting person, yes?)

So, when it was time to start planning hub-to-be(HTB)’s and my wedding, obviously, I could not wait to schedule a tiny weekly pizarty for the two of us to do major damage on that to-do list.

Wedding Cra(p)ft Wednesdays were born.

It’s a pretty simple party. Me, HTB and our trusty paper cutter sit down at the dining room table and tell that pesky list who’s boss. Wedding crafts, chores and research all go down in a few hours after work on Wednesdays. I love it because it means my weekends aren’t hijacked by the details I’m hoping will give our party a little va-va-voom.

So, brides-to-be, that is my big advice for you. I’m three months away from the Big Day (literally, three months from right now!) and I am not burnt out on planning or feeling behind on handmade touches. Order Chinese, grab a beer and only fret over your fete once a week.
LIKE NOW! (which reminds me...)

Borrowed from

Oh, Mugatu. Would you believe I imposed Zoolander Sundays on my freshmen year roomie for a whole semester? Fact.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Power Hour

I’m normally a very quick shopper. I’m not a huge fan of leisurely afternoons spent lolly-gagging around pretty boutiques with no real purpose. I’m more of a woman on a mission, shopping only when I know exactly what I need. (Reality check: I’m young and fashionably poor. Afternoons spent loll-gagging around pretty boutiques will likely seem much more appealing when I’m a wildly rich and successful lady who lunches.)

So, as my two bridal showers and rehearsal dinner rapidly approach, I thought I’d hit the jack pot with a spree at ModCloth.



From ModCloth
(Currently sold out, but I just mailed back a medium today!)

As super precious as these were, a quick fashion show (by me, for the cat … shut up) revealed that God just didn’t intend for me to sport ModCloth’s adorable frocks. If you are busty and short (I’m neither), you’ll look fabulous in them, though. Go shop!

Cut to today. I’ve got an hour lunch and there’s a mall a few stop lights from the office. Not wanting to be a last minute panic-shopper, I mosey on down to Von Maur. Twenty minutes later:

Shower dress A

From Von Maur

Shower Dress B
(No picture, it was on clearance. I assure you it screams, “I’m a bride! Thank you, dear ladyfriends, for showering me with toasters, blenders and love.”)

Then, I got a Baja Gordita. My gift to myself for being such a quick and savvy little thing.

My house is loved

Found these lovlies outside my bedroom window this afternoon! Since this is our first summer in this place, I'm just learning what perennials are where. Each time something new pops up, it's proof that this little place has been a happy spot for almost 55 years!
Trip, the egomanical cat, likes it here, too.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eye snacks

Hello again! Well, Mizz B over at Poverty with a View called me out. I've been a ridonkulously awful blogger. So, what better way to get started again than with some snacks!

So, the wedding is oh, about 93 days away and like I posted months and months ago - the big stuff is all planned. Last month, the Man, Momma, Nana and I met up at Taste to Go, possibly the yummiest caterer in the DeMo. We sampled the reception food and it was delightful! We are doing buffet stations, with passed appetizers and plated salads.

We started with the Cesar salad, some potato (and bacon and blue cheese and caramelized onion) bites from the American station and tangy-sweet chicken kabobs fro the kabob station. These pictures aren't the best, but trust me, the food was incredible!

From there, we moved on to the mushroom station - sauteed mushies with wild rice and chewy bread from La Mie. Even my mom, who thought this was a weird station was smitten!

Then, the crepe station (apricot with marscapone creme)!

And finally, the reason I wanted stations, stations and more stations - the mini milkshakes from the American station. So, I know my stations don't follow a theme (other than "Oh, lordy, is that awesome!"), but whatever. If we want to celebrate our union with baby milkshakes and piles and piles of fungi, celebrate we shall!
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