Friday, November 30, 2012

Quote of the Day

Here's one of my favorites from court recently...

Q: What do you think of your wife's diagnosis?
A: You know, she's 60, so she's kind of done anyways.
Q: But do you know what her diagnosis is?
A: She's just too old.
Q: The doctors said she has dementia, does she?
A: Well, she don't cook me dinner no more.

There you have it, when a woman stops cooking her husband dinner, it must mean she has dementia.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wedding Paper Love

When I started planning things for the wedding, I knew that I wanted to do some of the paper products on my own.  I got ideas from blogs (I swear I have looked at every wedding ever posted on Style Me Pretty) and tried to come up with the templates for things early on.  The really difficult thing about the paper products is getting the right color of paper.  Sometimes I would find an awesome color, but it would be way too expensive.  Other times, I would find a color online that looked perfect and then the sample piece would be way too dark or way too bright.  It was frustrating.  I finally settled on the above blue.  It wasn't exactly the shade I wanted, but it was close and had a very pretty shimmer to it. 

Making programs is a lot more complicated that I thought it would be.  First, if you want to do a book style, you have to print the pages out of order and on both sides of a piece of paper so that when it folds, all of the pages are in the proper order.  This turned out to be a lot tougher than I thought.  I guess it wasn't hard to figure out, just time consuming.  Secondly, the text was maddening.  I obsessed and obsessed about the punctuation and grammar.  Like, obsessed to the point where I couldn't even see obvious mistakes anymore.  It was bad.  I kept having visions of people in the church pews snickering about my bad grammar.  It was awful.  At the end of the day, I had to let it go. 
The programs were very simple.  There was just a list of the people in the wedding, the order of the ceremony and thank yous.  I also included my favorite love quote.  Have you read Rilke's essay On Love?  You should.  It's divine.
We also opted for the guest libs instead of doing a formal guest book.  I actually made the template on the computer and again obsessed and obsessed about the grammar.  This one I know there were some mistakes and people definitely pointed them out to us.  Thanks people!  I need a refresher on what a proper adverb is.  Creating a template for these was actually really simple.  It was the cutting of them that was tricky.
I knew that I needed to jazz them up so that it wasn't just a boring piece of ivory card stock.  I got a paper punch with a polka dot pattern from the lovely Martha Stewart and thought it would be smooth sailing.  It was not.  After punching through a hundred or more pieces of card stock, the paper punch was not as sharp and not punching holes quite as cleanly.  It was a lot of work and my elbows were aching afterwards.  I think I gave myself tennis elbow.  After the punches, we decided to put a thin piece of ribbon through the top holes to give it a bit more color. 

A side note about the guest libs.  I love the idea, but I think my execution was off.  A few people suggested putting them at every place setting and I went against that thinking more people would complete them if they were in the cocktail room.  I was wrong.  They definitely should go at every place setting.  Live and learn...always listen to your wedding planner. (sorry Steph!)  We did get about 70 back and they were funny...although some of them were extremely naughty. 
My last big paper project was the table numbers.  This was one of those things that my mom and Mike were both against.  I am stubborn and forged ahead.  This project took a TON of time.  Each crystal was added to the number with my own two hands.  First I printed out the word "Table" on a bunch of sheets of card stock.  Then I took a pencil and drew in the number.  I then filled in the pencil marking with the crystals.  I would say each one took at least an hour of time.  However, they looked so cool.  The little crystals caught the candle light and kind of glowed all pretty.  It was just the look that I wanted.  Now I need to think of a way to re-purpose the numbers.   
Overall, I definitely agree with people that you should not take on too many DIY projects for a wedding.  It just gets to be a lot of time and I'm not convinced that you can always do it on the cheap...unless you want it to look cheap.  These few projects were just enough (and maybe a little bit too much) for us.

I also have to say that I had a LOT of help.  My mom put in a lot of time crafting with me as did Mike and his mother.  I am lucky because my mom is really good at getting things precise, where I am not quite as good at that skill.  Mike was kind of a special helper in that I know he doesn't really get crafting, but he knew it was important to me and so not only helped me, but also worked really hard to make sure it all looked nice.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winter Pucker

I am really hating dry, winter skin right now.  My legs, arms, nails, fingers, lips and hair feels brittle and rough.  I've mostly been noticing it in my lips and nail beds.  I have a dream product that I swear by to alleviate dry skin.  Allow me to introduce Smith's Rosebud Salve.  Does anyone use this gem?

A little back story on dry lips.  When I was a kid, I hated using chap stick and so my lips would become horribly dry and cracked.  My mom would often wait until I had fallen asleep and then carefully rub Vaseline or Carmex on my lips.  I would wake up so upset because I hated the smell and the feeling of Vaseline/Carmex.  I'm not sure why I hated smooth lips. 

When I got into high school, I would get really embarrassed when my lips would be so dry and cracked, so I started carrying around Lip Smackers wherever I went.  Seriously, I thought Lip Smackers were chap stick.  My favorite flavor was pink lemonade.  Once I realized that Lip Smackers did very little to heal chapped lips, I started using the Bath and Body Works chap stick.  It was probably only marginally better, but it felt good and smelled even better.

I'm not sure when, but at some point I read an article about Anne Hathaway's favorite beauty products and she mentioned Smith's Rosebud Salve for amazingly smooth lips.  I decided to try it out.  My life changed.

I always carry at least two tins of the salve on my person at ALL TIMES.  Why two, you ask?  Well, there have been times when one of the tins has been taken out at work and left there or in the opposite taken out at home and left there and if I keep at least two in my bag, then I'm always guaranteed to have one when I'm out and about. 

This stuff is the best.  If my lips are feeling the slightest bit chapped, I put a little of this on and within minutes everything is smooth and hydrated for hours.  During the driest parts of the year, I re-apply maybe once every few hours.  It always leaves my lips feeling soft and well-cared for.  It also smells faintly flowery and gives a little pinkish tint to your lips.  Nothing overpowering, just a little subtle something.

As if that wasn't enough, the salve can be applied to any area of your body affected by dry skin.  I've found that it works especially well on dry cuticle beds, hang nails and paper cuts.  When my nails are at their best, it is because I have been applying this salve to my nail beds once or twice a day.  Sometimes, if I'm in a dry-hand jam (does that sound dirty to anyone?), and don't have any lotion (okay, yes, it sounds dirty), I apply this to the affected area and it works okay.  Not as good as lotion, though.  The tin also says that it works for diaper rash.

One major downside is that if you are outside in the heat, the salve will melt in the tins and become a gooey mess.  This is why I also love the little tube for the summer.  No muss, no fuss.  Although, I don't like the quality of the salve in the tube as much as in the tins.  In the tube, you tend to get too much on your lips at one time.

Have I sold you on my favorite winter savior?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jealous of the Tanners

Was anyone else super jealous of the Full House girls?  When I was a kid, I wanted DJ and Stephanie Tanner's room so bad!  Then remember when Danny's interior designing girlfriend came in and re-did the rooms so that DJ got Michelle's old room and then Stephanie and Michelle had to room together.  The room re-dos were pretty sweet as well.  Although, Danny was very worried that when DJ was alone in her room she would totally have sex with Aladdin in there.  And you know she did.  At least it wasn't that skeezy Viper guy.

One of the things that I was the most excited about seeing in San Francisco was the Victorian architecture.  The houses and buildings in the city are so beautiful and charming that you can have a fabulous just wandering the streets and taking in all of the homes.  We were in SF right around Halloween and the SF peeps go all out in decorating their houses for Halloween.  There were ghosts and cobwebs and mummies around every corner.  I loved it. 

Here are some of my favorites:

I loved the bright and sunny colors of this house.  Even on a dreary and rainy SF day, this would make my day more cheery. 

I also loved the colors here.  I'm not sure that I could ever be so bold as to paint my own house this bright blue, but the blue and gold together were so pretty and fun.  That's one of the things that I love the most about Victorian homes.  You can be a little bit whacky, without being tacky.  Also, the picture doesn't do the gold justice, it was truly a glittery, shimmery gold.

Here are the famous painted ladies with the downtown skyline in the background.  These houses were perfect, every detail is exact and they are meticulously taken care of.  The park across the street, Alamo Square, is such a cute park.  No wonder the Tanners wanted to picnic here.

A lot of the houses had these cool doorway gates.  This was my favorite and was on one of the painted lady homes.  I've never seen anything like it.  I wanted to go in this house so bad.  If the doorway is this awesome, I can't imagine the rest of the house.

Here's a cute Halloween house.  Lots of ghouls and goblins.

This was my favorite decoration.  Nothing to see here, just a skeleton in the garden. 

There were a million more houses that I wanted to move into.  San Francisco definitely sets the bar high in real estate.  One cautionary tale is that most of these houses are on a hill, so when doing a walking tour of beautiful homes, try to avoid ones that are at the top of the hill. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The American Idol Experience

The American Idol Experience is one of the newer attractions at Hollywood Studios.  It replaces the live game shows of Let's Make A Deal and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire.  While I don't hate it, a lot of the reason why I like it is because it's so, so, so, so terrible.  Which isn't a positive thing for Disney.

Everyday at Hollywood Studios they have their own mini singing competition.  First, you have to audition at the park sometime in the morning to early-afternoon hours.  They have one show every hour during the day which features 3 "singers" who have passed the audition phase.  During the day shows, the audience chooses one "winner" from the 3 "singers" and that person gets to go to the finale event that evening.  Every night, the finale event allows all of the day's "winners" to "sing" and the audience chooses the best "singer."  That person wins a dream ticket which allows them to bypass the line at any of the actual American Idol auditions.  I would argue that this was an awesome prize a few years ago, but how is American Idol relevant anymore? 

Here is the real deal with this show.  You go into the theatre, which is set up to look like the American Idol stage.  They even have a judging table with the Coca-Cola cups.

Once you get into the theatre, they really try to pump you up and tell you when to cheer and when to boo.  It's super hokey, but I'm sure it's exactly what they do at real live TV tapings.  Then this guy comes out who is doing his best Ryan Seacrest impersonation.  This is where the show is really lame to me.  It would be fun if they would allow the people to have their own personalities, but the people are literally just doing a caricature impersonation of the real American Idol people.  It's so dumb you can't even stand it. 

Then they introduce the "singers."  You will notice I am using this word in quotes because even though I've seen this show 3 times at Hollywood Studios, I have yet to see someone who can actually carry a tune.  After the "singers," they bring out the judges.  This is another terrible part.  The first guy is the "Simon."  He will say mean things and we are told to boo him.  He even speaks with a British accent.  As if all Brits are de facto douchebags.  Then they introduce the crazy woman who may or may not have an alcohol and pain killer mixture in her Coke cup.  Finally is the black guy who says things like "Yo, yo, yo" and "what's up, dog."  At this point, I'm just super offended at Disney for thinking that we are too stupid to recognize that we aren't actually looking at Simon, Paula and Randy.  And, side note, Simon and Paula aren't even on American Idol anymore, so maybe you need to get with the times and hire some JLo's and Steven Tylers.

Finally the people "sing" and it's the worst thing you've ever seen.  The people are uncomfortable, dancing really awkwardly, singing terrible songs and singing them terribly.  You end up being really embarassed for them because they are really close to you.  So close that you can make eye contact if you are brave.  Often times their family members are sitting near you in the audience, so you feel like you have to smile and dance, but at the same time your eardrums are breaking and you have to fight the urge in your body to make that "what the eff is going on here" face.  Folks, it's really, really, really bad.  But, so good at the same time. 

After everyone sings comes the most insufferable part of the entire show.  They have this video that plays featuring Jordin Sparks singing some ridiculous song about dancing together and they want the audience to get up out of their seats and DANCE!  Then they show video on the big screen of the audience members in their Mickey Mouse ears moving and grooving.  Soooooooo awkward and gross.  I live in fear of them putting me up on that screen, so usually I just stand there like an asshole daring them to put my picture up.

I've never been to the finale, but I would say 9 times out of 10 it's going to be a terrible show.  Probably even more so than the day time shows because you have to sit through 7 terrible "singers" instead of 3. 

I give this attraction a 4 out of 10 stars or a 1 out of 5.  I think Disney really needs to rethink this one.  It's poorly done, culturally irrelevant, probably expensive and showcases extremely mediocre talent.  Disney, please, bring back the goofy game shows to this space.  Family Feud anyone?  How awesome would a big game of Family Feud be?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

I'm sort of on a major Sherlock Holmes kick right now.  I loved both of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes movies.  Guy Ritchie has made some of my favorite movies (Snatch, Rocknrolla) and I loved how he modernized Sherlock Holmes while still keeping the story in the late 1800's England.  I decided that I wanted to read some of the stories so that I could know a little more about Holmes and Watson and how their characters were developed in the literary world. 

I started with The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, which is a collection of short Holmes stories.  If you enjoyed the movies, or the BBC show Sherlock, or the new TV series Elementary I really recommend that you read these short stories.  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is amazingly good at the twist.  In every one of the short stories I was carefully reading so that I could find that one little nugget that he would dangle at you and then at the end of the story smash in your face as the critical evidence.  Alas, I was always wrong.  So, either I'm an idiot or Doyle's a genius.  I think it's probably that Doyle's a genius.

It's easy to see why the character of Sherlock Holmes has become so iconic.  Sherlock Holmes is almost a super hero.  His super ability is a keen sense of observation.  Which could be really boring, except he's such a whackadoo that it's extremely entertaining.  And he does drugs like a fiend.  It's crazy, they just talk about him doing cocaine like it's normal.  Maybe it was normal in the 1890's?  

As I said before, what draws me into the story is the twist.  I love a good mystery where the whole time you think you know who did it or where the missing items are or who is causing all the mischief and then in the last two paragraphs having all of that turned on its head.  Then I like to reread the story to find out what key detail I missed. 

Sherlock Holmes is a classic that has withstand the time test.  The stories still seem fresh and relevant.  I'd give this a 4/5 or 8/10 stars.   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sparkle, Sparkle

I would be totally remiss to start posting things about the wedding without first talking about the most awesomest bachelorette party that my girlfriends threw for me.  The night started out on a high note.  The girls surprised me with tarot card readings!
The tarot card reader was pretty awesome and so far has predicted some things right (Congrats Kara on winning your school board election!)  I love tarot card readings.  I think they are a good tool to clear your head and get you thinking about things.  I actually do my own tarot card readings sometimes just to bring back clarity to murkier situations.  So, this was such a fun and unexpected thing for the girls to put together. 

After my tarot card reading, there was lots of fun drinks and game playing. 

First was the Bridallini Bar, with different prosecco mixers.    My favorite was the Raspberry, but I also loved the Blackberry.  The little one in front was actually ground cherries and not ground tomatoes. 

We started a spirited game of homemade Headbanz.  Have you guys played that game?  So fun.  This one was specially made, so it was all famous couples. 
My couple was Mike and Molly and I did manage to guess it.  There was also a Blind Soda Taste Test between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi.  No question should be asked here, I nailed it.  I could tell the difference based on taste alone and I'm pretty sure that I could also tell the difference between DC and Diet Pepsi based on the sound of the carbonation as you pour the drink.  The girls also decorated a shirt for me to wear on the wedding day during my hair and makeup session.  It was such a cute idea and I did, in fact, wear the shirt with pride.

After the fun games, we moved to dinner.  The party was held at Ginger Hop in Northeast Minneapolis.  Love, love, love.  I have eaten at almost every thai restaurant in the TC area and this is one of the better ones.  Everything was perfect.  Look how adorable the table was set!

After dinner, we had even more fun with cupcakes from Cupcake.  These were the perfect treat and we were lucky to have some leftover for the hotel room after we left the dance clubs.  Nothing tastes quite as good as a cupcake at 2:00 A.M.  We also did a gift opening and my favorite gift of the evening was a can of Spotted Dick. 

Here's a picture of all the ladies. 

Okay, so once dinner was over, we headed to a few hotspots in NE Mpls.  It was such a fun and lovely evening filled with laughing, dancing and bubbly.  It was the best way to celebrate with all of my favorite girls. 

The next morning, we all woke up and went over to the Nicollet Island Inn for a delicious 5-course tasting brunch.  Holy Hannah, deliciousness does not begin to cover it.  For each course, you could choose between a few options.  Here was what I had:

Course one: muffin and mimosa

Course two: Eggs Benedict

Course three: lobster bruschetta (my favorite)

Course four: salmon and brussel sprouts

Course five: warm apple crisp

The meal was so good and so filling that I didn't eat for the rest of the day.  Which is something for me because I am hungry a lot.  If you ever get a chance to do the five course brunch at Nicollet Island Inn, do it!  It's an indulgent experience, but very fun and the food is top notch.

The weekend was perfect and I was sad that it had to come to an end.  Thanks to my girlfriends for putting on a spectacular party.  Love you girls.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Things I Don't Understand

  • Amish people on planes.  The above photo is snapped at an airport baggage carousel.  Wouldn't flying on a plane be everything that the Amish are against?  I mean, I can't imagine they are driving around those buggies for the fun of it.  Did this lady not get the memo that the Amish are opposed to anything that powers itself with an engine?  I've actually seen a lot of "Amish" people on planes.  I always wonder where they are going and if they would be thrown from the village if it was ever discovered that they were on a plane.  I also wonder if there is a lot of shame in being on that plane.  I bet this woman had shame.  Especially if she was seated anywhere near the girl in the VS sweats with the word "Pink" written across her ass. 
  • Rachel Ray.  In some ways, I like her.  Homegirl does what she wants and she's made millions on the idea that you can make an amazing dinner in 30 minutes (you cannot).  However, I often watch her cooking show (I've never seen the talk show) and can't imagine how people don't get that what she's selling isn't real.  Try to make one of her meals in 30 minutes.  It's not possible AND your kitchen is a disaster and a half afterwards.  She uses at least 3 pots/pans/baking dishes for every meal.  I also don't think her food tastes all that great.  She always uses one ingredient too many and her food is overly flavorful.  Blurgh.  Yes, something can be overly flavorful.
  • Auto turn-on sinks.  Where exactly do you have to place your hands to get these bastards to turn on?
  • Low fat cheese.  Do not try to argue with me about this.  Low fat cheese is gross.  The only thing more vile is no fat cheese.  Plus, I think when they take the fat out of the cheese they just replace it with plastic.  Have you seen melted low fat cheese?  If that's not plastic, then I don't know what plastic is.
  • Microwave TV dinners.  I know a ton of people bring these to work for lunch, but I don't get it.  They taste terrible and they are not filling.  Plus, you are basically microwaving the food in a flimsy plastic container with a sheet of plastic on top.  Have you guys not read about plastic in our food?  Not that I never heat up anything in a plastic container, but that plastic film really grosses me out.  Why don't we just start microwaving things in saran wrap. 
Wow, I'm extra cranky today.  I better go find a Diet Coke to help cheer me up.