We Dance to a Different Disco, Honey

I'm getting sad, guys. I'm getting sad that this summer, which we waited for so patiently is FLYING by. I'm so bummed that this is the last weekend of July; A.P. and I did so much, though! We went to an awesome party at our friends' new home for the 4th of July weekend, had a picnic in Long Grove for the day, had a great summer evening dinner with a couple we love to hang out with but don't get to see very often, spent some time with a friend who was in town from Florida, and did a lot of hanging out out of our own. Plus, I've been taking my guitar lessons, catching up with friends I haven't seen in forever, gardening up a storm, and slowly, but surely crossing stuff off my list for 2011!

Still, I'm getting ready to make this last month count! I want to try to go camping or go on a short weekend vacation, buy my gym shoes already, get this place organized, get a bunch of NTMK stuff ready, and apply for a new grant for my real job. We also have a wedding to go to in NYC, my first guitar gig (aka my Guitar 1 recital...I shit you not.), and it will be our first real month with our new budget! We cut spending in July, but we didn't stick to our actual budget since we created it in the middle of the month. Oh, so much to look forward to!

This week's wedding is simply awesome! I love the bride's dress, which is mostly the reason I am featuring this super chic celebration. Don't get me wrong, all the wonderful details are there, but that bride...is she a stunner or what? It's like that dress was meant for her! The photography, all done by Jonathan Ong, is so glamorous, too. It simply and beautifully captures this couple's lovely day. I also love, love, love the cityscapes in the background. Take a gander, won't you?

Wasn't that a-ma-zing? Plus, I love that they look like they were having such a blast! That's how you should look. And that dress, right? For my next wedding, I told A.P. I'm rocking a short dress. My legs are seriously my best feature. I don't know why I didn't rock a shortie for our wedding. I think it never occurs to you when you're trying to adhere to a semblance of tradition since your parents are a wee bit pissed you're marrying in a bakery and not a church. A short dress might have thrown them over the edge.

This weekend is the big get my crap together before August. And my mom and I are going to this. So, basically we're both going to go get felt up and then eat guilt ice cream afterward. Fun! What are you guys up to?

In the mean time, here are your dance moves for the week:

If we are going to stay in this god forsaken apartment for another month, then I'm going through on my final design projects, including starching fabric to one wall in the office/dining room/extra living space. Here's a great tutorial for how to do this process if you, too, live in a rental. And here's a pretty example.

mazing map wall (from a new favorite blog)!

Simple, pretty Sunday brunch vase using Saturday's leftover wine bottle!

What to do with all those instagrams? Make a sweet, little book.

I dream of one day going on a summer safari. I'll settle for this inspiration in the mean time.

Vintage Chicago

Correct punctuation can save a person's life

I wish I could wear this lovely summery scalloped skirt.

The perfect rainy fall accessory (yes, we're talking about fall already...harumph): peacock umbrella

Do you subscribe to Not the Marrying Kind? If not, you should! It's free and fun and it means you automatically get new posts when the blog is updated. No having to check back! Click here for more details.

(Dance Friday Photo via here; Julia and James's wedding photos by Jonathan Ong via Snippet & Ink)


Why It Sucks to Be Fiscally Responsible in This Economy

This post need a small disclaimer:

1. I bitch/vent a lot. Don't forget to cover your ears.
2. I complain about HGTV. If you're a fan, you might want to look away during those parts.
3. I don't hate good people who were affected by the financial meltdown. I hate, well, you'll see. But yeah, I know it affected good people in all kinds of ways and those aren't the people I'm talking about.

Now, onto bigger, better things...

The other night I was watching Property Virgins, a home buying show on HGTV. It follows someone as they buy their first home. In this case, it was a young, newlywed couple that was buying their first home in Florida. Since A.P. and I are getting ready to do the same thing and he's from Florida, I figured I'd watch (yup...it takes that little). After a while though, it became kind of disgusting. The couple was approved for an FHA loan with 3.5% down. Their loan was approved for $270,000 plus their $10,000, which means they were working with a total budget of $280,000.

If you've never watched Property Virgins, the show always starts out with the host/real estate agent showing the buyer a house and asking them to guess how much it costs. It's like real estate for retards, except no one is retarded. The buyer is never completely clueless, so they almost always guess within range. (This guessing game continues throughout the show and gets annoying. Just tell us the damn price already!). So that's exactly how this episode started off. The real estate agent takes them to their dream neighborhood and shows them their dream house and goes, "Guess how much this obviously expensive house is??" They guess correctly. And she smiles and nods. She proceeds to give them the same lecture she always gives about how their dream is not within reach at this time, so her job is to show them similar homes in different, up and coming neighborhoods (read: the ghetto) that are more suited to their shitty budget. And here's where it gets interesting. They tell her that they're going to have to look at more expensive homes, then. Wait, what??!!?? They're supposed to say, "Okay! Find us our budget home!" But these fools who aren't even putting down 10% (!!) are demanding a mortgage they can't afford. And just like that, my mind was blown.

I've spoken before about our budget and financial goals. We want to buy a home (that can be a house or a condo, just so long as it fits our needs) in the next year or so. We want to put down 20% so that we can avoid paying PMI. We also want to look drastically under what we think we'd be approved for so that we have a lower mortgage and also so that our 20% really goes far. So we're saving 20% of a magic number that is sort of our max, but I know for a fact we'd be approved for way over our max. In other words, we're doing all this safe, smart stuff while these f***heads, who aren't even showing a bank they're a safe bet (hello? measly 3.5%, wtf?) are asking for a mortgage ABOVE what they can afford! It's times like these A.P. and I feel like fools. I know we're not, but it's hard not to feel foolish.

Here's the thing, I am a big believer that it is YOUR job to be fiscally responsible. Not the bank's, not your parents', not the government's...YOURS. We watch movies like The Inside Job and they make you believe that the government did all these shady things that forced us into this financial collapse/crisis/hullabaloo. You watch Fox News and they'll have you believe that's all the opinion of the liberal media elite (God I love saying that...it just sounds ridiculous. Seriously. No matter whether you're liberal or conservative, that shit sounds dumb.). Honestly, who cares? All I know is that a bunch of dumb people bought a bunch of crap that they couldn't afford and SOMEBODY LET THEM!! Again, what the what??!!?? It's ridiculous and it angers me more than the government. Why? Because it's representative of what's wrong with our society: nobody wants to work for anything anymore and everyone thinks it's their right to be wealthy.

When my parents bought their 3 bedroom condo on the lake in Chicago for (don't faint) $30,000 in the '70s, they saved up money, found a house they could afford, and my dad worked 2 jobs/6 days a week to make sure he could pay the mortgage. Flash forward to the new millennium where people buy homes they can't afford, lose their jobs because of the recession they helped create with their crappy loans and bad decisions, and then cry woe is me when they have no more home. I don't want you to think I'm heartless or cruel. It's a terrible, terrible thing that so many people lost their homes to foreclosure. But it's also the price you pay when you take a very risky risk. And I feel like it's so freaking American to blame everyone else but the person you signed the bad idea paper (i.e. mortgage contract).

Plus, it causes problems for good people. People like us and friends of ours who have bought homes recently, as well as friends and family members who already owned homes. It makes it suck to be fiscally responsible. It makes us have to fork over more cash, have perfect credit. and have some reasonable assets to back up the goods to show we're super, duper fiscally responsible. Like more responsible than the previous homeowner. So we have to save more and make sure we're doing everything right. And unlike all those other people, we don't get to own a home overnight. Instead, we have to put off our dreams a little longer and work a little harder. I know we have to and that we're doing the right thing, but it still sucks. And watching those bratty newlyweds on Property Virgins just pisses me off more.


Wedding Wednesday: 10 Things I Did Right

Inspired by this post on one of my favorite new blogs, I thought I would do a little post about the things I think I got right about our wedding.

1. Had a vision down to the smallest details. In order to pull off the wedding I did in five months, I really had to plan every little thing. Some things I planned the crap out of, like the decor and favors. Some things fell into place, like the fact that A.P. wore a purple and green tie with a grape soda boutonniere and I wore green shoes and purple flowered coat were a happy accident. But they came together because I'd planned every little thing. It pays to be obsessive about these things, as it does with any event. We hang out with people who were at our wedding and even they say that our wedding was one of the best they've ever been to. It's because every detail seemed attended to and everything oozed charm.

2. Researched, researched, researched. In order for us to legitimately afford a wedding with every little detail attended to, I needed to do a lot of research. I wanted a photobooth, I found a way to get a photobooth. But I didn't just throw money at the problem. I did a lot of research. I found a place with great reviews that was in my budget. They didn't offer the photobooth I wanted for the package I wanted, so asked nicely if they'd consider swapping. They kindly did. Same thing with our venue. I adored Lovely, but if they had told us they cost a minimum of $10K, I would have gone somewhere else. Part of why I chose Lovely and why it appealed to me so, so much is because they did not require the use of preferred vendors. They let us DIY a lot of stuff (e.g. the bar, which my brother who works in the industry provided for us as our gift. Booze! The gift that keeps on giving! People still talk about how drunk they got!) and didn't require anything except for us to use them as our baker. Well, duh. Even with things I bought on eBay or etsy, I would research to make sure I was not overpaying. I can honestly tell you from watching TONS of auctions that no matter the final bid, you'll end up paying about $1-1.50 a piece for either antique keys or vintage handkerchiefs. The point is, I was able to have the vision I did because I did a ton of research. I bargained. I asked questions. I made sure I knew what I was getting for my money.

3. Personalized EVERY. LITTLE. THING. Part of why everyone loved our wedding is because it felt "us"...down to the vintage salt and pepper shakers. I know that this kind of thing isn't for everyone, but it's really worth it if you care. And no one is saying you have to go overboard. You don't have to have vintage salt and pepper shakers because you don't have to have a million details. That was my doing. But if your details, even if you have but a few, are personal, they are meaningful, even to your guests. My friends raved that every inch of that place oozed "us," from the vintage Florida postcard "guestbook" and the vintage birdies that adorned each table to the poems we chose for our readings. I have a friend who is getting married soon and the favors she is talking about having are nice, but they're...meh. I probably won't do much with it and it won't warm my heart to look at it after her wedding. Don't get me wrong. It's nice of her to give favors at all; I certainly don't attend weddings expecting them. But part of what brings people in for the real thing is feeling like your love is surrounding them. If you do a candy bar, give your favorite candies! If you give jarred goods (e.g. jam or honey), try and give one you can write a sweet story about on the label. And it's true in other areas, too. Don't just let your minister pick some nice readings! And don't be told you have to have readings from a holy text (more on that below)! Take a night and read some pretty poems or excerpts. Honestly, you can personalize almost any idea and it really does pay to do so.

4. Incorporated those we love, remembered those who couldn't be there with us. I knew early on in life I would never have bridesmaids. A.P. wasn't big on groomsmen, so it wasn't hard to nix that detail. That being said, it was still super important to me to incorporate those we love in meaningful ways. And there are lots. You don't have to give someone a bullshit job like the guestbook. You can ask someone to give a reading during your ceremony, give a toast during your reception. If you have a friend who plays an instrument, you could ask them to play during your ceremony or reception. I've seen both done. There are all sorts of ways to incorporate those that you love and I can't stress the importance of doing so. I have another friend getting married (all the hens are flying the coop, man!) and she has not asked me to participate in her wedding at all. It hurts. A lot. And there's nothing I can say or do about it. People get wounded easily about things like this, and it's a really simple thing to include them. It's also a simple thing to remember those that can't celebrate with you. We chose to honor these people in a few ways. We mentioned loved ones that had passed and others who couldn't be there during our ceremony and had a moment of silence to remember all. We also mentioned some of them during a speech we gave at the beginning of the reception. These are simple gestures that mean a lot. And believe me when I tell you that people remember things like this.

5. Stood up for my decisions...and didn't back down when someone challenged them! If I had backed down when someone balked at my ideas, I would have ended up with a wedding that wouldn't have made me happy and would have felt like I was compromising even further (because of course there were things we already were compromising on, we're not made of money). When I first told my mother that we were going to send out poster-sized invitations, she thought I was crazy. But I think she really liked them in the end. My godmother was disappointed that we were marrying in a bakery and not the church, but she loved our wedding! I'm not saying these people got over it, but when I was firm, they knew there was simply no point in discussing it. And it made it a non-issue. And then we all went on to have a blast!

6. Found a great photographer...within our budget. Do you have any idea how many TALENTED photographers there are??? Do you have any idea how many are willing to do whatever you ask them (within reason) so that you are happy with your photographs? The answer to both questions is SO MANY. I know a lot of people hire photographers from out of town. My friend is doing that for her wedding. And that's fine, I guess. Everyone's gotta work, right? But I really, firmly believe that everyone has amazing options nearby within your price range...if you look hard enough! And if you do #2, you might even happen onto a better deal than you set out to find! I'm not telling you to give up your dreams, but I am urging you to look around. Because there are so many photographers who are willing to take certain kinds of shots, styles of photography if you ask nicely. Just ask nicely. We talked with Theresa a lot beforehand about what we liked (sepia, bleached out/dreamy shots, photojournalistic, etc.). We got back exactly what we asked for. I wanted to take the el shots, she obliged. Don't be a bridezilla, but often, if you simply ask you'll find you get exactly what you're looking for and within your price point if just look hard enough.

7. Made a budget, stuck to a budget, but didn't let a budget bog me down. Budgets are great and very important. Weddings can get expensive and it's important to go in knowing what you can/are willing to spend money on so you don't get suckered into making decisions that break your bank. But! But, they shouldn't be a stress on your wedding. All things being said, no one gets married with the idea that they're going to do it again. As far as you know, it's your ONE wedding (no matter how prevalent divorce is these days), so I'm sorry if it breaks everyone's budget conscious freaking heart, but you're allowed to break your budget a bit. I'm not advocating blowing $30K if your budget is $10K, but if you go over by a a paycheck or so, you'll live. I have a saying about money, "Money is money. That's why they call it money." It's a take on the famous David Mamet money joke. The point is, right before we got married A.P. lost his job and right after we got married I lost mine. We made it. It worked out. We didn't die, homeless and broke in the blizzard of 2011! You'll figure it out. People always do. It's not worth stressing yourself to death over.

8. Had a "bachelorette" party. Okay, so I never, ever wanted a bachelorette party. EVER. It was not my intention to have one. My friend, B-Mac, insisted that I have one. At least a girl's night out. But I wanted to wait until the Half-breed Swede was in town (I wanted all my dear old friends to be there!). And by then, I was pooped. The wedding was one week out! So we decided on a girl's night where we would watch wedding-themed movies/TV shows. We had raclette, made girly drinks, and had a delicious cake from Whole Foods with a "2" on it to celebrate both my impending nuptials and B-Mac's birthday. We ended up talking so much, we never even watched the wedding themed movies or TV shows. We had a great night talking about boys and gossip and fun stuff. We drank and ate and were silly. It was perfect. Going out might have been a total blast, too, but this allowed us to really talk and spend time together. Plus, we didn't have to spend a ton of money. If you're not the bachelorette kind, at least have a nice night with your closest gal pals.

9. Played great music (and some fun bad stuff, too)...even during the ceremony! A.P. and I are big music lovers. It's not for nothing that I'm taking guitar lessons! We were actually really happy that we got to do our own music. Some people are all about DJ's, but we knew all we really needed were some fun tunes. And it was true. I have a lot of friends who aren't big dancers, but we all totally cut a rug for a long time. We did have some problems with the sound system at first (what was easy to hear during the ceremony with everyone quiet was hard to hear during the reception with everyone talking), but we got it worked out and we had fun. A.P. and I have gone back and forth on this a little, but in the end, as great as a DJ is, I've been to too many weddings with bad DJ's who play music we would never listen to. I think that if you love music and know it pretty well (between the two of us, we make one Rob Gordon), I say go with your gut and program the hell out of your wedding! And don't just play what you want during your reception, either! Pick unexpected songs! I was once my friend's date to a wedding and they played Ryan Adams's "Dance All Night" when they walked down the aisle after the ceremony! Totally awesome! I walked down the aisle with my dad to The Magnetic Fields' "The Book of Love," and we walked down post-ceremony to Stevie Wonder's "I Believe (When I Fall in Love It Will Be Forever)." Pick whatever songs you want! Another great way to do #3, too!

10. Always asked...kindly! I'm a big believer in that it doesn't hurt to ask. I also am a big believer that when people say that, they mean it doesn't hurt the other person. I'm pretty outgoing, but sometimes I get really nervous about seemingly simple things like asking a question. Luckily, I'm also a big believer in being really kind. I found that if I got over my nervousness and just asked, but asked kindly, I almost always got what I wanted! Even if you can't get what you want, people remember that you were so nice about asking and the way you asked (you really have to be genuinely nice, not fake nice) that sometimes, much to your surprise, they will find a way to get you what you want. People are awesome like that!

Thanks for the inspiration, Laura! Now, my dear married readers, please tell me, what things do you feel YOU did right with your big day?

Do you subscribe to Not the Marrying Kind? If not, you should! It's free and fun and it means you automatically get new posts when the blog is updated. No having to check back! Click here for more details.


The Tryptych, or Why I Still Haven't Finished the Damn Stripes Photos

Guys, deep down in my soul I am a huge procrastinator, just like A.P. It's true. My new career has forced my hand in the procrastination game, and so I've become a more proactive person. But, somewhere dark inside lurks my evil procrastinator and she has reared her ugly head. Remember my Stripes Every Day project? I really did take pictures every day, but work got busy in May and my dad was in the hospital and my brother was acting like a nut and I couldn't keep up with it all. I swore I'd have them done over my vacation, but it didn't happen. Now, it's almost the end of July (is that not the saddest thing ever, btw) and I still haven't done them. And it's embarrassing.

The thing is, if you know me at all, you know that I eventually get things done...even if it takes me years. Witness these paintings. Years ago, when I first met A.P. I started painting the middle one. It was so tedious and frustrating that I gave up. I envisioned a tryptych, but could only get through one tryp of the tych.

Fast forward two years later...I had just moved in with A.P. and we needed something to hang above our sofa. I stayed up one whole night and finished the other two paintings. A.P. woke up in the morning to me being a nut, still in the clothes I was wearing the day before, and with paint supplies spread out all over the place. But, we had art. And it still hangs above our bed.

Another case in point was when I started making this Christmas present for an old friend when we were in college. It was a scrapbook photo album and I never finished it. Fast forward like five years later and she gets a package in the mail with the scrapbook. Finally completed. We weren't even friends with some of the people anymore.

The point is, eventually I get things done. I'm working on all kinds of photography projects now (specifically FINALLY doing our wedding albums and uploading more pictures to our online albums) and the stripes photos have fallen to the wayside. I still plan on getting them done by the end of the summer, but I don't want people to think I'm a loser and I say I'm going to do something and I don't. I'm not a loser, okay? I'm a procrastinator. It's different. Seriously.

Btw, I'm working on cleaning and reorganizing and I also want to finish up some more decorating projects. I always like to do these things in the summer. But then when I'm done, I'm going to do a home tour. Fun!

PS. Yesterday was the most beautiful day every. I took Radar to the garden and we hung out and gardened for a long time. I got a bit too much sun and Radar was pooped when we got back. Witness the adorable picture I snapped of him out like a light!

(Diana Photos Taken by Me w/Vignette Camera for Android)


Marriage Mondays: The In-Laws

This is the 2nd Marriage Mondays post today! Beginning this week, I am featuring 1-2 Marriage Mondays posts each week (all still on Monday...that part hasn't changed). If you missed the first one today, feel free to check it out here! Enjoy! : )

For years, I dated a bunch of dudes and never met a single parent. I always joked that the guy who introduced me to his parents would be the guy I'd marry. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy! That's exactly what happened.

In a new relationship, meeting the parents is oh, so big! It's the first attempt to bring you into the family fold. In a marriage, hanging out with the parents can be the demise of a relationship. We all hear the horror stories about critical, passive aggressive in-laws. Heck, they're the supporting characters in our sitcoms. But what about real life experiences with in-laws?

I remember when I first met all of A.P.'s family. I remember something really stupid bugging me and I was complaining about it to A.P. and it made him flip out on me. Later, I was talking to my best friend about it and she said, "Girl, when it comes to A.P.'s family, they're fine." I didn't get it. She further explained, "You have no opinion on them. His dad? He's fine. His brothers. They're fine. Everyone's fine." Now, I got it. She was trying to explain that when the dividing lines were drawn, I'd be on the other side if I got too rude about his family.

But marriage makes that family your family and it changes things. What do you do when your in-laws come into your house and insult you? What happens if your husband doesn't defend you? After all, you're no longer his girlfriend. You're his wife. You're his family now. It's a tricky little patch of gray is what I'm saying.

A.P.'s family lives in Florida, so I don't see them very often. When I do, I feel pretty lucky. I get along with them and we all like each other. Any problems I do have with A.P.'s family, he and I tend to see eye to eye on and are mostly silly stuff, like, yes, his dad gets tense when driving. But there have been two major things that have happened with his family that have caused us to fight. One of them was when his brother visited town. This was a big turning point in our relationship. The short end of it is that his brother and his wife came to town and didn't, I felt, go out of their way to include me in their daily plans. I was giving up a lot of my spare time (and work at home time) to entertain them and I felt like I was getting left in the dust a lot. I'd wait around all day for a phone call telling me when they would pick me up only for them to call and say they were doing something else and would see me later.

I've never felt like A.P. and I were going to break up. I've always felt really solid about our relationship. But that week was the only time I ever doubted things. It felt like I was an outsider and I was getting pushed to the side for family. When A.P.'s brother went back to Florida, I had a long talk with A.P. about what happened and how it made me feel. He didn't get it at first; he thought I was mad at his brother. I wasn't. I was actually mad at him. That he really didn't get! But after a long discussion, he understood how I'd felt all week. I explained to him that I was his girlfriend and a part of his life and that if I was really important then I should have been a consideration. He explained that his brother was just doing what he wanted to do and that he was just going for the ride because he wanted to spend time with his family. I told him that I understood, but that it was his job to ask, "How are we including Marty in this?"

It was an a-ha moment. It was the realization that we were a family now. It's kind of like that weird moment when you realize your in case of emergency contact is no longer your mom or dad, but rather your boyfriend/husband. He got it and I've never had to bug him about it again. Don't get me wrong, we've still got our in-law kinks that need to be worked out every once in a while (and that goes on both sides...my parents are no cake-walk either), but I no longer feel like I'm an outsider anymore.

I know it's not that easy for everyone, though. I have some friends who have all struggled with in-law issues. I have other friends who feel like they're part of the family. I also have one friend who has sacrificed living close to her family to be close to her husband's, something which, of course, she never complains about, but which I know, at times, has been hard on her. There's a lot of give and take when it comes to merging families and making a new one of your own. And sometimes the whole thing becomes a game of politics. Just remember to be politically correct and you'll be fine. Everyone's fine.

What are your in-law experiences like? Do you get along like peas in a pod? Or would rather hear nails on a chalkboard than spend time with your in-laws?

Do you subscribe to Not the Marrying Kind? If not, you should! It's free and fun and it means you automatically get new posts when the blog is updated. No having to check back! Click here for more details.

Marriage Mondays: Rings

This week, I'm excited to announce that Marriage Mondays will now expand to 1-2 posts each Monday! I'm working on a lot of new things around here and this is just one small step to getting those things in place. I want people to get involved in the topics I'm posting about here, as well as suggest new topics. So, please feel free to continue to comment away! But also, if you really like a post, please tweet about it, share it on facebook, or giving it a big old + on Google +. It helps get others in on the discussion. Yay!

Since we got engaged, I've had trouble with wearing my ring. There, I've said it. My engagement ring was a ring that was my grandmother's given to her by my grandfather on their 40th wedding anniversary. I'm sure if I had it appraised, it would be worth very little, but to me it was the perfect ring. It's beautiful and it meant a lot to me, as I was super, super close with my grandmother. My mother gave it to me for my 21st birthday and I knew then it would be wedding ring someday.

When A.P. and I got engaged, I had trouble wearing the ring all day. One time, I actually washed my hands at our kitchen sink at work, took the ring off, and completely forgot to put it back on. My coworker (and friend) luckily found it and gave it back to me later. Can you imagine? Eventually, I did get used to wearing my engagement ring, but getting married brought up whole new issues. The thing is, my engagement ring is actually two rings soldered together. So, when we got married, I was wearing THREE rings. It was too much. Eventually, I stopped wearing my engagement ring altogether and started wearing only my wedding band. It gets worse. Sometimes I would forget to wear that. We would go out together and A.P. would be wearing his band and I would be ring-less! It seemed so illicit!

Before we got married, we talked about what it would be like to wear rings every day. We both predicted A.P. would have a very hard time wearing his ring every day. Who knew I would be ring bare half of the time?

In general, I very rarely wear either ring. If I do, I wear my band only. And then, I wear it when I leave the house for extended periods of time. I do not, for instance, wear it when I run over to the Walgreen's or CVS, but I will wear it if we go grocery shopping. I never wear it around the house. A.P. on the other hand, never takes off his ring. Ever. For the most part, he's really great about the whole thing, though he did, of course, point out that I was wrong and it's me that's bad about wearing the ring. (Any time I'm wrong, it's like the freaking 4th of July around here. Fireworks, Star Spangled Banner, and a parade of my wrongness.) He gets that I'm not a big jewelry person. But there have been a few important times I forgot to wear it and he got a little annoyed. I'm learning to not do that anymore and to really remember to put it on when I leave the house. I've also gotten into a pattern with my wedding ring of putting it in the same place every time I take it off.

It's not about wearing the ring to show the commitment, yadda, yadda, yadda. The thing is, despite the four suitcases worth of jewelry I own (soooo not an exaggeration), I just don't like wearing jewelry. Once at a an old job, I took off a pair of earrings, set them down, and forgot about them (I'm sensing a pattern here). By the time I remembered them and went back, they were gone. Oops. Any jewelry I wear has to be taken off almost immediately when I get home.

I definitely struggle with this both when I was newly engaged and now that I'm married. People want to see your ring. When you're engaged, they want to see it and appraise it and if you're not wearing it, you're judged. "Why aren't you wearing the ring?" "Is everything okay?" "Do you not like the ring?" The stability of your marriage can also be judged on your wearing of the ring. There are definitely days when I don't wear my ring because I'll be in a rush and I forget. I feel like such a bad wife! It's, like, the one thing I have to do every day. It seems so easy for many of my married girlfriends, too. They just naturally wear their rings ALL the time. And none of them seem to complain about it either. It's times like these I really feel like I'm not the marrying kind.

Do you wear your ring all the time? Was it easy for you to start wearing a ring?

Do you subscribe to Not the Marrying Kind? If not, you should! It's free and fun and it means you automatically get new posts when the blog is updated. No having to check back! Click here for more details.

(Photo by Theresa Scarbrough)


Dance with Me Slow

Hello, all! I'm overwhelmed with all my plans and at a complete loss for where to go, how to get started, etc. I know it will all work out in the end, but right now it's a puzzle. Luckily, there are some really nice people on the internerd that are helping this gal to get her plan into focus. I still have a lot of work to do (and remember this is not my full time job, so it's going to take me a while), but slowly you'll see the result of my plodding along.

Now, can I complain about the heat? The heat I so desired just a month ago? It's driving me crazy. Yesterday, I was gardening at work and I was only outside for 15 minutes doing a little weeding and my God! I was SWEATING onto the plants! We are melting guys, literally melting. My skin is dripping off me. It's really gross. I've been avoiding makeup because it just runs right off. It's that hot, people.

This heat makes me think of brides who choose to get married in the summer. I'm always so impressed by anyone who braves an outdoor summer wedding. Part of why we chose March is because of my work/vacation time, but the other part was because it wasn't 90 freaking degrees (you should see my hair in this weather!). That being said, I'm especially in awe of summer weddings where the bride and groom look effortlessly chic and NOT SWEATY. How is that possible?

This gorgeous wedding shot by Simply Bloom Photography took place in Georgia. A.P. is from the south and I have to say, I've never been a fan. Mostly because of the humidity. It's just too damn hot (are you noticing a theme to this post yet?). But the location of this wedding, well, it makes me want to go on vacation there. Like now. It's so gorgeous. Maybe one day I'll plan a big party there for no reason. Or maybe I'll just bookmark this post and dream.

What are you up to this weekend? We plan on hiding out in air conditioning as much as possible. It's supposed to be hotter than hell and raining, which means we get to have fun with humidity, too. We are going to clean, budget (us and my dad), and we are going to hopefully go see a movie. I am also going to try to go thrifting/antiquing again to continue to put together my giveaway (I know that sounds strange, but bear with me. It's all for a larger, better, more awesome purpose. Always.). That's taking time because I've been juggling so many projects and working on so many things the past few weeks, I got behind on older projects. Oops. We are also going to try to figure out our anniversary redux. Wow. Turns out that's a lot of stuff! What lovely plans do you have to fill your weekend?

In the mean time, here are your dance moves for the week:

Romantic dress made from the parachute that saved the groom's life

What a lush, AMAZING centerpiece!

With weather like this, I'd kill for an amazing house with a pool.

The 9 Most Devastating Insults from Around the World Vulgarity in other languages! Love it!

What a great DIY for customized stationary! I heart the gift tags!

Rainy day cupcakes

Doesn't this canyon look incredibly cool and still? I would love to hide out from the sun here.

I know this is old, but some of these wedding dresses are so ethereal (and some have a lot going on...I am aware).

And I have a strong suspicion this is fake, but I'm linking it here anyway, because it was emailed to me and it's pretty cool, fake or not. I'm sure there's some daring average Joe who is willing to pull off the real deal. In the mean time, check out this rad engagement "inspiration" video (I'm almost positive it's really an ad for something, but I can't figure out what? Inflatable jumpy things?)!

Do you subscribe to Not the Marrying Kind? If not, you should! It's free and fun and it means you automatically get new posts when the blog is updated. No having to check back! Click here for more details.

(Dance Friday Photo via Here; Geri & Zach's Wedding Photos Shot by Simply Bloom Photography Found via Snippet & Ink)


Garden Update

Did you guys enjoy the anniversary edition of Wedding Wednesday yesterday? If you missed the DIY projects I posted, you can check them out by looking here (as well as some other great Wedding Wednesday posts!). It was so fun to share those DIY projects with you guys! We didn't do much to celebrate our anniversary yesterday. At first I was really sad about it, but then I just told A.P. that we'll do it up right this weekend. Five years ago, I think I would have been sad that we didn't do something on the exact day. I would have blamed A.P. for not planning something. And truth be told, I was a bit bummed he didn't plan a surprise. But neither did I. We're both busy and tired and hot. So I forgave us and remembered that anniversaries are what you make them. And this weekend, we'll make ours great. Five years deserves that much. Heck, we've outlasted most Hollywood couples.

Now, for the garden update! The garden is growing, but not as well as I'd hoped. It's okay. It's my first year. I lost my best squash plant this week. I'm trying like hell to revive it, but it's not looking too good. The stem broke and got strong again, but then couldn't support the large plant and then it just snapped. So sad. It was the original squash plant. The one that made it through all the other traumatic weather events. Seriously, guys. I'm crying a little. I've been gardening for years and I know it sounds nuts, but every time you lose a plant you grew from seeds, it breaks your heart. Also, our corn is weird and stunted. It's still kind of early on, so maybe things will perk up? But right now, it's looking like a cornless summer. (Or maybe I will get like five baby corns and I can eat them like in Big.) Also, we planted a crapton of lettuce and broccoli and other good stuff and none of it grew. We just had too much dry, hot weather for a while, and I made a rookie mistake. It could be like the carrots and something might pop up, but right now, I'm thinking it's a bust. I'm going to replant, but I'm going to wait a little while until it cools down. It's hella hot here and taking care of the sunflower and been seedlings while the heat pounds down on the city has been...challenging. (Also, I'm well aware it's almost the end of July, but you have to remember that it only warmed up about a month ago, and then we had terrible storms, so some of this is replanting for the hell of it. I'm also thinking about installing brackets on all the beds so that I can install hoop houses to extend the growing season for any slow bloomers.)

That being said, not everything is a complete bust. The other squash plants are looking good. Our watermelon plants are taking off. The cucumbers finally boomed and now I'm trying to train them to go up the damn trellis. They took a long while to boom (we put them in in June!), so I'm not sure how that's going to shake down. Our tomatoes, onions, and peppers are wonderful, as are our herbs in the greenhouse. I see a good pasta dish in my future. We also have planted sweet potatoes and finally got the broccoli in the ground. And just for shits and giggles, we threw some sunflower seeds in the ground. We also got a new round of pumpkins in the ground. At first I thought they would give me problems, too, but they're looking good now. If we have an Indian summer like last year, we should be able to get a reasonable harvest barring any difficulties.

Yesterday, I went thrifting/antiquing and I picked up an old copy of Square Foot Gardening for Cash. It's not the original square foot gardening book, but it does explain the technique. It also explains how to grow so that you can have multiple harvests and therefore sell your crop. My job is thinking about expanding the garden and I am talking to them about doing a small-scale Farmer's Market, so this book was like a perfect little find. I think that next year we will give Square Foot Gardening a try in the expansion and continue to keep the beds set up the way we had them this year. Or maybe we'll do all square foot gardening! Who knows?

In the mean time, we pulled all of the root vegetables except three smaller beet plants and a couple of stray carrot plants that finally made an appearance. I'm going to till the rest of the bed and prepare it for the next go round. This was a decent crop, but because of the bunnies, I didn't get to thin the plants as much as I wanted to. So, I'm aware that we had a lot of sad little roots and big leaves. Here was our crop of radishes, beets, and turnips:

And because my favorite are always the weird ones. Here are my favorite radishes:

The Mermaid Tail
The Monster

(Photos by me!)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...