DIYers, Hold 'em Scissors!

If you're not too picky (do read the mixed reviews), this may save you some dough, time, and sanity.

Tip: Steam your veil, it makes a big difference


I Lub Having Rubber Chickens Thrown At Me

To all my Facebook Friends:

Thank you for all the hearts and hugs and flares and carebears. I actually really dig it when you 'poke' me with anything from Britney Spears to sharp purple shears. It makes me feel quite special. It's terrible that I don't return the favor and toss some Wisconsin cheese confetti back your way, or accept the endless (endless!!) green patch requests, I know. The thing is, if I start poking you back, then Bob over there will probably notice and will start poking me too. And then what do I do? I gotta poke him back again too, right? Otherwise that shiz is rude! And then someone else will poke me, and I gotta poke 'em back, and they'll poke me again... and the vicious cycle continues.

I know the vicious cycle is kind of the point of Facebook, but the thing is, I already have a ginormongous time pit right here (hello, blog!) that I don't give enough love to. And love, like jelly, becomes tasteless when spread too thin.

So, feel free to keep 'em rubba chickens coming, I love holding them to sleep at night. Just know that my love in return will not be in tangible forms like virtual Tiffany bracelets and Jimmy Choos.



A Chinese New Year Story

In the past, Chinese New Year had always been a great reminder that single-dom is awesome. For 30 glorious years I blissfully collected these little red magic cash filled packets as I hunted down the elders and newly married couple with the phrase 'Gong Hei Fat Choi'*, which is largely misinterpreted by Chinese children to mean 'Give Me Money'. But this guy came around in August, stripped me of my recipient status and turned me into prey. It was kind of him to give me 2 years to prepare for this day, to be taunted by the younger cousins with their evil grins about how much they looked forward to my upcoming distributions.

So the time has finally come for me to face this day. Now, never had any kid appreciated the red wrapper, for they were only after the jade tone goodness that contained inside, myself included. But now that the tables have turned, I just couldn't let myself go down in history being the stingy lady that gave out chocolate gold coins** instead of cash in ugly envelopes. Instead, I was determined to be the stingy but chic woman that gave out chocolate gold coins in adorable envelopes! With my inexperience and lack of forethought, I went out to the nearest Asian strip mall to look for the ultimate red envelopes that will forever mark me as the only trendy married woman in Chinese history. MUAHAHAHAHAHA.

Failure has never been so clearly defined in my life until that day. Turns out, every Asian store in my little town sold red envelopes, but they all sold the same variety of 5 envelopes and were all horrendously gaudy and just plain butt ugly. I turned to da hubs in distress, and he tried to console me by pointing out that every single red envelope he had received or seen had been equally hideous and figured it was almost part of the tradition.

Frazzled, I searched online for alternatives only to find more ugly ass envelopes. Discouraged, I turned to my mother as a last resort and was offered some ugly (but not ass like) envelopes. Weary, I looked for DIY instructions and encountered more repulsive options.

My determination unwavering, I continued my search and landed at Mushy. At long last, I am saved. I got to printing with some linen paper and began cutting and gluing right away. As I was assembling these babies, I reflected upon how silly this whole process was and it began to sink in that Chinese New Year, my favorite holiday, was around the corner. It was time to bust out the cheery red clothes, lay out candy on the counters, enjoy big family feasts, and welcome the Ox.

I suppose I should suck it up and get to the bank for some crisp new bills. After all, it is a tradition I enjoyed so thoroughly growing up, I just don't have the heart to not keep it up for the littler ones.**

So Happy New Year! And Gong Hei Fat Choi y'all, *I mean it much more literally now a days.

Image and DIY Red Envelope Instructions from Mushy


The Tea Party: Playing House

Previously: 1. Prelude , 2. Tea Ceremony , 3. Getting Ready, 4. The Kids, 5. Wedding Party, 6. Down the Aisle, 7. Ceremony, 8. Group Shots , 9. Couple Shots, 10. Jump Shots

Before wrapping up the portrait session, da hubs suggested having our photos taken in the historic barn:

That's when I realized I married a friggin' genius.

He's looking at me...
I'm looking at him...
We're spying on them...(photo by my friend Rob)

And they're cheering for us! It didn't take long before the first guest spotted us once we poked our heads through the windows. A few started clapping and the rest caught on quickly. The clapping, cheering, whistling, Arsenio-hall arm pumping (whatcha mean you dunno Arsenio?? you 80's born youngun's are killing me!) etc. didn't stop until we disappeared from sight. It was a fun and unexpected surprise for everyone, including us. Several guests came up to us soon after to tell us how awesome that was not knowing it was completely unplanned. They quickly realized after that, the fun had only just begun...

(guest photo)

Look at me waving like a rock star just eating up my new found fans. Good thing there were no markers around, otherwise many napkins and boobies would surely have suffered the wrath of my autograph...
Ahh... it's good to be loved.

Images by Travis Hoehne except as denoted

Piperlime & Calvin Klein Extra Sale

Gotta love sales on top of sales, Happy Shopping!


Must They Jive?

For many of us, today is a big day tied with much emotions from all over the spectrum. In the GT household, one of us is celebrating in proud red and white stripes, while the other is humming a little bluesy tune.

Since neither of us enjoy political discussions, our differences in political views has not been too hard to deal with. We respect each others opinions and agree to disagree. In fact, often times it is tougher for me to deal with my own family or the in-laws as they can be more hardcore and outspoken about their position that are also opposite from mine (yes I am greatly outnumbered)!

Our differences and ability to be understanding surprise a lot of people. Some have pointed out that ones politics are often tied to the person's core values. Some of my frank co-workers even joke about how it's only a matter of time before this becomes a problem in our marriage (which da hubs and I find hilarious)!

So I'm wondering, is alignment of political beliefs a requirement in your significant other? Do you feel the lack of it can inhibit marital bliss?

Oh and, don't forget your FREE donut! Happy Inauguration Day!


The Tea Party (Weekend Quicky Edition): Ovah Me, Pants Soared

Yoda Face, I Made
There are times in your life, kids, when instead of the question of "why?", you should ask "why not?"
Make your wedding day one of those times :D

Images by Travis Hoehne


The Tea Party: Da Posers

Previously: 1. Prelude , 2. Tea Ceremony , 3. Getting Ready, 4. The Kids, 5. Wedding Party, 6. Down the Aisle, 7. Ceremony, 8. Group Shots

After the obligatory group shots, it was time for the obligatory couple shots. This one is my favorite coz you can't make out my face:

You see, I HATE having my picture taken. I'd like to say I look awkward in pictures, but that's probably a lie. I'm pretty sure the awkwardness is around whether I'm in front or behind the camera, and the more I try not to be odd, the more it shows...

I much prefer pics of da hubs by himself or pics of stuff I made, coz I can still claim them as my own. Like 'that's my hubby' or 'here's that bouquet I threw together that morning':

Not looking at the camera helps, failing updo not so much...

That's right, just keep looking away...

He: Are we doing this right?
Me: I don't think so

Me: I hate taking pictures
He: I know, just think about the buffet we'll have when we're done

Me: Ooo I love boofays!

Showing off our matching 'Something Blue' Optimus Prime Tattoos in true dork fashion.

"Hello, would you be interested in a new magazine subscription?"
Wait, that's not a mic, it's just bad hair.

Despite all my peculiarity, this guy still showed up with a big smile on our wedding day. Ahhh, somehow this magically makes all the pictures okay. Well... that and the boofay.
Images by Travis Hoehne


For Better or for Worse?

This past weekend over dinner with BIL GT (aka our officiant), I confronted him about the biggest mistake he made at our wedding...

It turns out, on the day of our wedding, BIL won the Best Lead Actor award from the local theatre! He found out at the reception and did not tell us because he didn't want to 'take away' from our day. I gave him some playful guilt about how he should know us better than this, to which he responsed with "Well, my brother will only get married once, but I will receive plenty of awards." Touché, but oh how I wish we could have shared the happy news with everyone there and then!

When we were planning the wedding, I actually really wanted the day to be significant in multiple ways. Our initial wedding date (which changed later) fell on my cousin's birthday unintentionally but I was thrilled when I realized. I thought "ooo I can get her a giant cupcake birthday cake as a surprise!" I was even hoping someone would propose at our wedding (and yes I did have the nerve to ask around)!

I figured since there is food, music, alcohol, cake, and even a professional photographer(!), what better time than this to celebrate everything? To us, it would have definitely added to our special night. After all, the people there are those we love most!

But then when I stepped back to think about it, I probably would have done the same thing if I was in BIL GT's shoes. Furthermore, I'm starting to think that maybe others don't share my 'sharing enthusiasm' either! Maybe someone would prefer the sole limelight on their birthday, or perhaps rather their engagement not be overshadowed by anyone else' big event!

Do you think other celebratory events happening on the day of your wedding add to or take from your wedding? And would you mind sharing your own significant moments at someone else' wedding?

Oh and, congratulations BIL GT on your much deserved major award!

Image by Travis Hoehne


The Tea Party: Jello Dippin'

Previously: 1. Prelude , 2. Tea Ceremony , 3. Getting Ready, 4. The Kids, 5. Wedding Party, 6. Down the Aisle, 7. Ceremony

Mr. & Mrs.!
I love this 3-photo series, captioned is our actual conversation at that moment:

"Yay! We did it!""Oh and hey..." "I saw you cryyyy!"
"I don't cry, I work out!"
And then it was time for the long walk on gravel with train, in heels, (not recommended) towards portraitville:
Our group pics are not exciting (we're not exactly, ehh, picture people). I'm sparing you all from the super boring group shots, but here is a quick glance:
I had really reeeaaallly looked forward to the vogue shot, unfortunately most of us are not vogue material. Red light should really have come on when MOH declared that we needed not to worry because her panties matched that day.
See what I mean? It doesn't get much more awkward than these two! Except maybe...... us! While others dip like smooth guacamole, I dip mo' like a bowl of jello. Have you tried dipping in a bowl of jello? 'nuf said. Witness the stiffness of FAIL Blog caliber.
The boys did a tad better with me out of the wayA side view of the inevitable 'lineup' family portraits.(Photo by my friend Rob)

Well, at least one of us knows how to strike a pose!
It's safe to say I prefer the candids. However, since group portraits are pretty much standard at weddings, what are your favorite ways to spice them up?

Images by Travis Hoehne except as denoted



I don't know why but this thing freaks me out. Whenever I arrive at a site and see "Sacramento, California arrived from mycoinpurse.blogspot.com", I panic and quickly click away just like I'd break from a crazy person's eye contact. I realize I'm the one who is nuts, and it's not like I'm catching up on my porn, researching hemorrhoid treatments, or organizing a Dungeons & Dragons game online. But don't you hate your boss looking over your shoulder even though you're doing your work just the same?

The Tea Party: Sealed with a High Five

Previously: 1. Prelude , 2. Tea Ceremony , 3. Getting Ready, 4. The Kids, 5. Wedding Party, 6. Down the Aisle

When the ceremony began, I was taken aback by BIL GT's projection with his theater trained voice. I reacted with an audible whisper "WOW he's LOUD!" which cracked both boys up a bit, but BIL GT kept composure and did an amazing job.
"I do"
"Hey, I do too!"
We went with simple short vows along with the following reading, an excerpt from the book Gift from the Sea by Anne Lindberg. We also gave MIL GT a copy of the book for keepsake.
"When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern"
(photo by my friend Rob)

I nicknamed the mister's nephew 'Frodo' for holding the one true ring, and I just found out the other day that the mister thought all along it was because the nephew actually looked like Frodo. Oy.
I didn't realize it until afterwards, but we held hands the whole time. I guess it just came natural to us, and it's nice to see that in the pictures like I didn't come in a mail order.
Always the clown, I was exaggerating the shoving of ring onto da hubs' finger, which triggered laughter among our guests.
Poor hubs knew the giggles only fueled me so he endured it a little...
Then the party pooper in him came out and fun was put to a stop.
Never a PDA lover, I had really rallied for a 'first high five' in place of the 'first kiss'. I was denied, again and again. In the end, we did both, which also made people laugh. I think we actually made the final decision to do both right before the high five took place. Check out the little one's reaction:
"haha gross! he had to kiss a giiiirrrrrrllll!""Woot!"
Here I am already flagging down the barkeep...
Short was the #1 criteria for our ceremony. Real was #2. #1 was for everyone's sake because folks can only be real happy for you sitting in the sun for an X number of minutes. #2 was just us being us - no over abundance of mush, no unrealistic romance and commitment, just us goofing around as we sealed the deal witnessed by those we love most. We got exactly what we wanted.

How did/will you make your ceremony your own?

Images by Travis Hoehne except as denoted