Friday, July 31, 2009

only in NY: flipping out.

my coworker and I just enjoyed a very tasty and yet VERY expensive burger lunch at the new burger joint in bloomies.

don't get me wrong, it's no hundred dollar burger but it's definitely a pricey lunch -- even for midtown/ upper east siders. no bun, lamb burger with olive tapenade, feta and skinny fries -- mmm.


The weekend can't come quick enough. my little alpha-kins arrives tomorrow and there will be parties and free haircuts and bridesmaid dress hunting!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

instant gratification.

on this super rainy day, we came home to a big box on the doorstep. our first wedding present arrived!!!

We just registered last week!!

Very exciting times over at the apartment. Even heathcliff is enjoying the cardboard box it came in.

Friday, July 24, 2009

gluten free date night: candle cafe NYC.

I've heard about this place and it's more upscale companion since I first uttered the words 'gluten free'. The yelp reviews claim it to be the best vegan restaurant in the country. All I have to say is believe the hype.

After work Jared and I met up by my office and walked over to crate and barrel to start registering!! So much fun. Then we headed to candle cafe for vegan and in my case gluten free goodness.

I am so full - it was awesome. The ambiance wasn't much to boast about but the menu was great and definitely drove home their from the farm to the plate mantra.

All I have to say is quinoa crusted tempeh.....mmmmm. And the rice pudding was amazing. Definitely worth the trip uptown and all the traffic out of the city right now as I sit and blog.

that's one hell of an entrance.

i just watched this video which at the same time made me laugh out loud - literally (loll) and tear up a bit.

all i have to say is bridal party if you're reading this.....bring it!


the engagement party was a lot of fun. a LOT of people, most of which were meeting for the first time. my father and stepmother did an amazing job making the backyard look so nice and preparing food that everyone thought was from a caterer. my mom even made me special rice krispie treats (thanks, mom) since i can't eat the wheat that was in that massive cake which everyone devoured. i am still in awe that basically the whole thing was gone at the end of the night! jared and i cut EVERY-SINGLE piece! the only thing i might have done different is have name tags with how/ who people were related to as a sort of ice-breaker. regardless i think/hope people mingled and had fun.

if the engagement party is any gauge of how the wedding will be, i really need to up my game endurance-wise. it was lovely and a lot of fun, but totally exhausting! i also realized that i am usually the family photographer so there's a lack of photos. note the few photos i had to work with in the collage.

i was playing around with picassa 3 and made this fun little collage..... sorry if i don't have a pic of you if you were there.

i'm actually totally utilizing a lot of what google has to offer and finding it very useful, esp when planning a wedding. there's the google task list, and google reader which are also two of my faves. i basically have subscribed to a bunch of wedding blogs and they get filtered into one place. i know, it's totally nerdy....but it's very useful if you don't have a lot of time to play on the net or just want to star or tag things for later.

other than that we are working on our first wedding project....the thank you cards from the e-party.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


heathcliff definitely wasn't too fond of taking a bath. fortunately,
he survived and smells much better in spite of it.

take the money and run.

last night we paid the 1/3 deposit of the catering bill for the wedding. jared picked up the check from my dad and we then went together to meet with our caterers and finalize some things. my thoughts were....really??? this is so much money.

when looking at all the costs, even from a very frugal approach, getting married costs a lot. there are lots of little things, too. little things that the boys don't think about. since we are going a non-traditional route for the site, there are extra little costs and details here and there. i like having input and even using my own two hands at creating the scene of our wedding.

when we first got engaged, jared was convinced that we could throw a pretty nice wedding for around $10k. i was convinced otherwise, but like most things concerning reality, i had to sit back and wait for it to settle in for him we are well over double that with our very modest plans. (note: the average cost of a wedding is nj is around $30k) i knew just from my sisters frugal planning that it wouldn't be easy to not spend a lot, esp with all the people that we want to invite. with family alone we are close to 100 guests!! add in some friends and it starts to get out of hand.

currently, the guest list is over 200 which is NOT happening. i think this might be the most painful part of the process. friends, if you are reading this, know that if you aren't invited, it's not bc i don't love you. jared and i have so many friends we could have a separate, grandiose wedding just with them!

i keep coming back in my mind to the scene of a friends wedding about ten years ago. we had worked together and she was a bit older than myself. the wedding was at the brentwood which is a sort of wedding-factory near where we now live. the wedding was crazy and loud. lots of food, lots of music, lots of people i didn't know. by the time she got to our table, she looked exhausted and as we hugged she whispered in my ear....when you are ready to get married -- just elope!

i still couldn't resist asking jared if we could just take the deposit and go elope in hawaii (since he want to go there so damn bad, more on that later)-- saving ourselves from some impending drama. jared didn't like that idea much. i had to try, right? the check exchanged hands and as we walked out of the restaurant we both looked at eachother with a bit of frienzy and giggled....we're really getting married!!

be prepared.
i consider myself a pretty good thrower of parties, so this should be pretty kick ass.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

getting things done.

I feel like this week should be over even though it's just tuesday. We have our engagement party on Saturday so there's a lot of anticipation for the un-official start to our engagement even though we've been engaged for over SIX months!! for some reason, my parents were very adamant about having an e-party. luckily for ours, we will be having just one, unlike the two they had to have since the 'rents didn't get along. jared's parents are flying in for the event and are thrilled to get to hang with my parents.

Anyway, it was a chill night at home with dinner on the patio. Chicken with broccoli rabe, sundried tomatoes and quinoa pasta with some fresh cucumber salad. then, we walked up the street and signed the catering contract.

Life is good. better than those cheesy shirts might have you believe. i much prefer their nemesis, life is crap. it's all about what you do with what you've got.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

meet heathcliff.

we just rescued him from a house full of cats. Let me know if you are
interested in saving any of his siblings.

I just hope cathcart can handle him.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

talk to the hand.

Last night while walking home, I got asked out by some guy on the
street. It was definitely flattering to know that I still have 'it'
but it was the first time since Jared and I got engaged that something
like that has happened.

What do you do in that situation?

Well, I just held up my hand, point to the bling, said sorry and
laughed to myself the rest of the walk home!!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

the domestication of jared.

i knew back when i would visit jared in chicago that he wasn't much of a cook. he and his brother were roommates and basically, adam is a kick-ass cook and baker which gave jared no incentive to even try. so when he first moved here, i was prepared for the learning curve that he would have with anything culinary.

the thing is that i commute and an hour and half one-way (that's three hours total) each day for work. it's no easy feat, but someone has to do it to bring home the bacon, or in our case the taylor ham. jared's commute?? 12 minutes. yes, 12 freaking minutes!!!! and, when we first started living together i would schelp home and he (having been home for at least an hour, possibly more) would be sitting like a kid at the counter waiting for dinner. i am not sure where this behavior came from, but i thought to myself, it has to stop.

from that, i started to have him help me. first it was just cutting and prepping, then it might be cooking some sides. he was all too familiar with the george forman grill, and my little mini version got a lot of use as jared used it for the first few months to 'cook dinner'. we then invested in an even bigger george forman grill and for about the last two months, we (i am also to blame) have cooked almost every aspect of our meals from potatoes to veggies, to meats. it's not that bad being that it's summer and all, but i like to cook-cook. so i started it up again, letting jared grill when he can.

so today, after a long day of meetings i just wanted to eat dinner and hit the hay. i missed my yoga class and ended up on the same train as my man. he being awesome, dropped me off at the nail salon for a mani-pedi to unwind and when home to 'cook'. we had a discussion earlier in the day about how to cook the pork that i had thawed out but i expected that i would have george forman-ed food on my plate -- instead, i got a really damn good meal. pork medallions with carmelized onions, steamed peas and mashed potatoes!!! granted the mashed potatoes were instant and the peas were microwave-steamed. but, this meal was rather dee-lish. i actually am looking forward to it tomorrow.

i guess he actually learned when i showed him how to cook stuff.

love you, baby.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

engagement photos -- suggestions please.

do we need them?? no.
but our awesome photog/friend is all about them. and secretly, i kind of love the idea.

since we met in chicago, and then jared moved to nj, we decided that nyc was out. instead we thought of doing photos up by the west milford/ringwood area which is ironically where we both grew up. any ideas? we definitely want something out of the box, with a vintage charm to it.

i just did a search for 'west milford attractions' the first link was to
West Milford NJ Romantic Attractions and Things to Do for Couples. seriously?? McKeages? i used to tap dance on the bar as a child to get shirley temple's with my grandfather.


it just occurred to me that we could do them in front of the 'flowerhead' (see pic to the right). ok, maybe not.

anyways, here are some real options:

greenwood lake airport

ringwood manor
or just somewhere near the mountain with my schwinn.

please advise!!!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

you are not alone.

i took a yoga class last night and at the end the teacher played a version of somewhere over the rainbow by Israel Kaʻanoʻi Kamakawiwoʻole, which brought me to tears as i layed in svasana. it was a song that i connect with the death of my grandfather. i know, it's sort of weird to say that, but upon his death, i was compelled to make a mix cd for the funeral home which is now part of everyone in my family's cd rotation filed under 'pops forever'. but for some reason this song in particular has some memory and emotion attached. music can do that to you.

i started to think about how the teacher from whom i received my training was very against playing music in class. i thought for a minute that she just was anti-music, but after visiting her home and seeing her extensive music collection, i thought otherwise. music has so much tied to it -- you know it does. there are songs that remind me of friendships, road trips, ex-boyfriends, specific periods in my life and even people who have passed away. i definitely like to play music in my classes, but i try to keep in mind that what i find hip or fun doesn't always work for others. the power of silence in a class can be just as strong.

on my recent vacation out to california, with alpha the great, music definitely played a big part. about halfway through we found out michael jackson died. wtf! michael jackson died. his music was some of the stuff i listened to and rocked out with my parents to in our living room.

driving through the streets of la, we heard lots of celebrity responses about his passing. one stuck out:
John Mayer said, Dazed in the studio. A major strand of our cultural DNA has left us. RIP MJ...Michael Jackson, like James Brown and Prince, are nearly uncoverable. The tunes were about his innate talent and can't really be replicated.

my sentiments exactly. right now on the radio, we are the world is playing. and as i hear it, i hear familiar voices. voices that i grew up with; they gave me advice, they cheered me up, they cheered me on and they kept me company when i was depressed.

for me, music is something that shaped who i am. my favorite childhood memories are the ones in which we would hang out in the living room and listen to the record player. luckily my parents had pretty cool taste in music. they taught me to appreciate music in a wide array of genres which i still hold to this day.

as i sit here and write this, my coworkers daughters are dancing around to michael jackson's thriller, giggling and knowing distinctively who he his music was a sound found in nature.

rip michael j.