Monday, December 22, 2008

A Snowy Portland

Snow, we have a love hate relationship.I love to wish for you, and watch you, and play in you...and despite Nick's warnings, I even love to lick you off my icy mittens...but damn are you cold!I don't know if my pasty Portland skin can handle much more of this.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

More Parrott Love

I love these new save the dates by Sarah of Things are better with a Parrott:Yellow is my new favorite color.

I'm so out of the loop

Apparently I've been unaware that hammer pants are indeed back in style. What's a girl who religiously sports a black yoga suit to do?

Still, not really my thing. I'm sticking to the notion that I'm not waif-ish enough to pull off the dropped crotch.

If they're your thing, I found this pair at Nimli. They're eco-friendly and on sale.

You know how I feel about sales.


I just realized that if you google "girl who eats packing peanuts" my blog pops up.

This says so much about me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

"The Pair"

J.Crew Carmen Peep Toe in warm blush.

I decided to forgo the shoe clips. These are perfect the way they are.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Margarita induced rant: the best kind

So I met up with Chelsea* this morning to get my DIY plan. I must say, I'm very impressed. It's chock-full of fun, fresh, and creative ideas. Ideas I wish I could claim as my own. Unfortunately, my design aesthetic is still stuck in 1998.

Armed with my delightfully foolproof plan, my good friend and I head over for my first venture through an event rental warehouse. I have no idea what I am in for.

We are met by an awkwardly giddy woman who seems all too eager to parade me in front of their vast selection of stemware. I don't want wine glasses. I don't even want to be here. I just need linens and chairs.

I smile and nod, and we finally make our way out to a sea of tablecloths covered in plastic. I start to get nauseous.

"I would like linen colored tablecloths, please."

She looks irritated but continues to grin while showing me a few choices.

"Okay. These are nice... but I'm looking for something more... linen. Like, in between ivory and beige?" If you show me one more damask print I'm going to gouge out my eyeballs and run blindly from this warehouse.

She starts to giggle. That is absurd. In the fourteen years she's worked here she has never had a request for such an odd colored tablecloth. It's so blah. Why not just go with white?

My eye starts to twitch.

She snatches the plans out of my hands and flips through the pages sighing. She disagrees. White is much more fitting. And why not a plastic chair? What is all this? What am I trying to achieve here? If it were her she would do this...

I graciously take my papers back and wonder why we didn't just elope. At this point I'm feeling personally insulted and want to pummel her for thinking the plans are anything less than genius. I'm tempted to lie and tell her Chelsea has arms the size Hulk Hogan and would totally kick her ass. Then I snicker at the thought of Chelsea putting this lady in a headlock with Hulk Hogan biceps and forget for a minute why I'm so annoyed.She runs us by napkins and aisles of metal chairs. She talks- a lot. Have I considered chargers? Damask? If I put down a deposit now I can get a great deal on delivery.

My brain is screaming. My friend eyes me suspiciously then leads us towards the door before I do something rash. Thanks, we'll be in touch. Not.

We drown my misery in margaritas then I go home and drunkenly call my mom and attempt to explain what garlands are.

I still need supplies but fear for my mental health if I return to another rental warehouse. Maybe next time I can go armed with a taser? That way I can zap anyone that tries to pawn a satin napkin or aisle runner off on me. Or I can just zap them for fun. Nothin' like a good old fashioned tase to bring back the wedding spirit.

In the famous words of East Side, f* this.

Image from here

Decorating Bookworm Style

Images found here

Friday, December 12, 2008

It just keeps getting better...

Opera Society Dress by Holly Stalder. Made with layers of lace and an antique japanese collar.

You know how I feel about lace.

Porcelain Perfection

From bailey doesn't bark on Etsy.

Too bad my pre-wedding budget doesn't leave room for $12 porcelain spoons.

Registry perhaps?

Nick, please don't be mad

I am in love with Anthony Bourdain, and his excessive use of the term "candy-ass".

Photo from here

Thursday, December 11, 2008

DIY Treats

After an exchange of emails regarding wedding favors, Anne from The City Sage has me feeling a bit more creative than usual. I recently saw an article on NPR's Kitchen Window by one of my favorite contributors Nicole Spiridakis called 'Holiday Gifts Good Enough To Eat' and instantly thought "DIY wedding favors". In the article she includes recipes for some yummy treats such as preserved lemons, mouth watering truffles, and my favorite, a savory lemon-rosemary sea salt. She suggests these be used as budget friendly Christmas gifts, but I can easily see any of them packaged up and presented to guests as unique and tasty favors as well. But alas, I am not nearly crafty enough and my kitchen is much too tiny to pull off tasks like these. That doesn't mean I can't drool!

If any of you other brides-to-be decide to give it a try, please do share pictures!

Photos from NPR

P.S. to Anne- A 30's inspired sheath gown paired with a Twigs & Honey bolero and followed with a funky lace mini-dress for dancing. Don't worry, there will be more details to come! ;)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Peonies & Lace

Inspiration photos found in the first wedding magazine I purchased after Nick and I got engaged. This is what all of my wedding planning has been centered around. I saw the lace mini-dress, the peonies, the vintage car, and the unique groom style and fell instantly in love.

Found in the Spring/Summer issue of Oregon Bride. Photos by Aisha Harley.

I believe it was fate.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I came to the realization this weekend that I am a horrible impulse shopper. Favors, decor, wedding card box...

I purchased this from Estilo Weddings just days after my engagement and have accepted that it just doesn't go with our theme.

If it happens to go with yours, let me know. This could be your lucky day.

5 days and counting...

of the Christmas music being played at the office.

I'm afraid if I have any more caffeine today I'm going to snap and pull an 'Office Space' on somebody's radio.

I should also mention that I just realized how much I really, really hate The Little Drummer Boy.

Friday, December 5, 2008


One aspect of our wedding planning that really excites me is flowers. In an effort to be as eco-friendly as possible and show appreciation for the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, we agreed to only use flowers and greenery that grow here in Oregon. We found a local farm to purchase our cut peonies. We plan to hit up the farmer's market here in Portland next spring to see what the vendors have to offer. Lastly, we are going to delve into my mom's expansive garden. We have peony plants, potted black mondo grass, calla lilies, and many more living plants to bring in and spruce up our reception venue.

On top of using my mom's potted plants, my parents have a vast backyard forest where we will pick wildflowers to add to the cut peonies and Farmer's Market finds for our centerpieces. Here are a few of my favorite Pacific Northwest species that I hope to find: Bleeding Heart



My absolute favorite:Common Vetch

I am also inspired by Chelsea's use of wild strawberry leaves in the bouquet she created for the winter 2008 issue of Portland Bride & Groom:

I love living in such a green part of the country.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Visions of Wedding Favors

I never would have imagined when we first got engaged and were planning our romantic Ireland elopement that now, eight months later, we have a guest list, a venue here in Oregon booked, and visions of wedding favors dancing in my sleepless head. Seriously. I drug myself out of bed this morning, bags under my eyes, mulling over what flavors of saltwater taffy our guests would enjoy most.

Let me tell you, I applaud Meg for her decision to forgo favors at her wedding.

I mentioned before that my mom is an ebay addict. Well, months ago we were inspired by a barn wedding where the bride and groom gave out vintage salt and pepper shakers to their guests. My mom scoured the 'bay. Boxes of shakers were purchased (to be specific, a hundred vintage shakers were purchased). When we finally got around to opening them we realized they were nothing like we expected. I changed my mind. The shakers had to go. They are now tucked away in the back of my mom's closet.image from here

Then it was my mom who decided a great green favor idea would be to give our guests bonsais. Again, she turned to the 'bay. A box of bonsai jade trees was purchased. We had plans to scour the beach for bits of seashell and driftwood to decorate the planters. Then we started doing the math on how long it takes to prepare and plant bonsais. We were talking days upon days of labor. Nick started to sweat.(If you look close enough you can actually see him sweating)

I reasoned that we would spend days preparing these lovely bonsais for our guests, then come wedding day half of them would get left behind, and the ones that were actually taken by our guests would most likely just be discarded somewhere and left to die (I'm such a cynic).

Bonsais: out. Back to square one: knee-deep in favor hell.

My mom fell in love with an idea she saw in a book where the bride and groom made a special blend of tea for their guests and packaged it in a sack with a serving spoon. This is great because Nick and I are big tea drinkers, but that can get pretty spendy. Those serving spoons alone run about $3-$4. All I can envision is a drawer full of tea scoops that were left behind by guests. Tea scoops in the trash. Tea scoops on the floor. tea spoon infuser here

I'm now pondering bags of saltwater taffy. Flavors. Packaging. Thrift.

I'm going insane.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

Joanna's marvelous 2008 gift guide via A Cup of Jo. Packed full of budget-friendly gifts that won't make your relatives have to feign excitement. One of my favorites:
Personal Library Kit, $20

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

And so it begins!

One of my co-workers had Christmas music playing on his radio today and I'm am starting to sympathize with Nick when he comes home from work singing Sinatra carols all December.
Here's to the mile long Christmas lists, mall parking lot road-rage, old ladies slamming you in the heels with overloaded carts, and creepy old guys dressed as Santa.

Image from here

More Insomnia

For some reason last night I was trying to figure out a way to tie my mom's baby goats into our wedding and still keep it classy. I pictured outfits and leashes. Maybe some bells. Then I remembered that episode of My Big Redneck Wedding where they had their chickens in the ceremony, then went off to drink homemade wine made from grapes and vodka, have a jello fight in a kiddie pool, an announcement was made over the karaoke machine that Paw's potato salad may have gone bad, and finally she tossed her bouquet made of shotgun shells into a crowd of scantily clad obese women.

Maybe I'm thinking of more than one episode.

Regardless, I can't get over how much I love this photo:Goat butts!

Taken during one of our trips to the beach

Monday, December 1, 2008

Chelsea ♥

So after an exchange of emails, admittance of my deep-down fear of having a "Michaels sale bin" style reception (my aesthetic abilities are often questionable), and pure luck that I live in the wonderful city of Portland, kNickers is giving me the best Christmas present I could imagine: planning help from the talented Chelsea Fuss of {frolic!} .Photo from Chelsea's portfolio

I'm convinced that after this Saturday's meeting, the girl that once decorated her bathroom with silk ivy and little glittered hand soaps and hung white Christmas lights in her bedroom (I have no shame), will finally be able to sleep again.

That is, until she finds something else wedding related to stress about...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Overflowing Christmas List

I Am Not A Paper Cup by James Burgess. Eco-friendly porcelain cup with silicone lid. Dishwasher and microwave-safe. No sleeve needed. $20.

Because coffee on-the-go doesn't have to be wasteful.

Found in ELLE and sold at the MoMA Store.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Nick... have you been telling people about my "secret"? Fun little website found via A Cup of Jo.

It even kinda looks like me. A little. I mean, if you squint and use your imagination.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Can't Get Enough

Of those handlebar mustaches.

Does it make me a complete turd that I've been planning my own bachelorette party for a while now? I know I'm supposed to leave this up to my friends... but friends, if you're reading this, please try cramming all of these things into one booze filled evening:

- A stiff Gargoyle at North 45
- $4 steak at Acrop
- Fishbowl margarita(s) at The Gold
- A romp in some leaves (I know that it will be Spring and we may have to substitute for somebody's well manicured flowerbed instead)
- Happy Meals on West Burnside
- Nostril waxing at Blooming Moon
-A Bart Simpson inspired prank call to somebody

All while sporting the coolest fake handlebar mustaches we can find. Image from here

That's all for now.


With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I feel the need to come clean about my indifference to pumpkin pie. I've always felt guilty for feeling so blah about such a traditional Thanksgiving favorite... until now."When I want dessert, I want unabashed indulgence, not a squash that can't get it's act together." -The City Sage

Thank you The City Sage for summing this up so eloquently. I couldn't agree with your more.

Now, for that Pumpkin Bread Pudding, leftovers can be shipped to...

Image from here

Monday, November 24, 2008

#4: Love is...

On my first Christmas living here in The Big City I was puzzled to receive a flashlight from my parents packaged neatly in paper with a bow. They grinned proudly while I unwrapped my gift, declaring in a matter-of-fact tone that this was no ordinary flashlight. No. This was a Mag-Lite. The mother of all beating sticks. I was to carry this monstrous hunk of metal with me whenever I went out. After dark. Near dark. Early morning. On my way to class. To work. While shopping.

One can never be too safe.Image from here

If anyone (be it bum, murderer, or rapist) so much as looked in my direction, I was to give them the best old-fashioned beat-down of their life. And I kid you not- my parents were dead serious.

Of course I never actually carried this thing around with me outside (I have no fear of NW Portland after dark). Instead it found itself snuggled carefully between my nightstand and bed. You know, in case the power goes out (or said bum, murderer, rapist breaks into our apartment and needs a good beat-down).

The other night I knocked the Mag-Lite over while fishing for my copy of 'Martha Stewart Weddings' under the bed. The walls in our room echoed with a loud Cling! as it hit the hardwood floors. Nick was startled from his sleep.

"What the Hell are you doing?" he muttered as I quickly shut off the lights and clicked the Mag-Lite on. I waved it around on our ceiling for a few minutes then tried my hand at shadow puppets. Image from here

"Amanda," he shrieked. "Amanda! I have to wake up for work in a couple hours. Knock it off!"
I chuckled and made a bunny, then a dog, and finished up with the best ostrich you could imagine (sound effects included). Nick sighed in protest. He sat up in bed in an attempt to outdo me with shadow puppet genius. We giggled then teased. insults were thrown and competition was high. A laser light show was attempted while Nick belted out his best Jimi Hendrix impersonation.

This continued on until our cats grew scared and hid under the bed and the beam of the Mag-Lite flickered out of life.

Nick and I will forever be kids.

Mag-Lite, you rock.

Stalder Love

One of a kind vintage lace and fake fur collar by Portland designer Holly Stalder. Available in her Etsy shop for $30.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reason #2,356 why I love Canada

White Paws 100% wool crocheted hand warmers topped with recycled arctic fox fur. Made by Sara Lagacé on Etsy.

Could I pull them off? Probably not.

Do I want them? Very much.

Kraft Bag ♥

I think I just found how I want to wrap up our wedding favors. From Hello Handmade on Etsy, found via {frolic!}.

But instead of printing "to" and "from" on the bags, use the lovely favor tags we're ordering from Things are better with a parrott (they match our invitations!) and some bright colored ribbon.

Decisions, decisions.

Bring on the Bling!

Don't you love it when you order something online and when it arrives it's 10x better in person than in the pictures? I seem to be in luck lately because this has been the case with everything I'm getting for our wedding. Our shabby wreath from Victorian Petals, my Twigs & Honey hair piece, the cards from Things are better with a parrott, and now, the bottled fortunes I recently purchased from The Hope Jar:(I promised Rachel I would share photos of them when they arrived and have been a bit behind schedule)

If this is any sign of things to come then the rest of our wedding planning should go off without a hitch!