Sunday, January 23, 2011

Collecting Color

Thank goodness I have a summer wedding to plan during one of the coldest and snowiest winters. Thoughts of bright colored decorations and warm summer dresses provide temporary relief from the arctic world outside my window.
I have started to gather decorations to achieve my summer ceremony and reception visions and snagged some great deals so far:

* 12" yellow paper lanterns bargained down on Ebay: $1.68 each (I got 10)
* 10 turquoise table runners with free shipping on E-bay: $25
* 30 paper hand fans from a former bride on Recycled Bride: 0.35 cents each (I got 36)
* 2 blue metal vases on clearance at A.J. Wright: $5.00

I love finding good deals and that task alone could keep me busy all winter long. So, while snow continues to cover the ground outside, I'll continue to cover myself with brightly colored decor until summer arrives.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Quest

Weather is never a factor when you live in a place like San Diego, but in New England weather is your biggest enemy. Winter is a test of physical and mental endurance and it can make doing something as simple as going to the dentist more like a quest, or a really horrible video game pilot. We "played" the pilot for this game yesterday when we had to use the Groupons we bought to go to a dentist in Boston (a 45-minute drive on a clear day). (These Groupons were my attempt to save a few bucks on dentistry; if only I could find Groupons for root canals.) The weather was awful...what began as steady snow turned into slushy rain then began to freeze over to ice, but if we didn't show up for our appointments, we had to forfeit the Groupons and I couldn't stand to lose more money over my teeth, so our quest began.

Just on the way out of the long driveway at my work, a co-worker attempting to turn into the parking lot in his little Scion, was stuck blocking the way; his small wheels spinning in vain. Clearly he wasn't going to make it past Level 1 of the quest. After 10 minutes of trying, he backed (or should I say slid) down the driveway and ditched the car in a snow pile.

Next, I met up with Tommie and we got on the highway for Level 2. Cars were moving slow at first, but maybe because someone had flung their sports car into a snowbank along the side of the road...a warning that Level 2 wouldn't be as easy. We inched our way through the mess. At one stage a tsunami of brown slush put into motion by a truck on the other side of the road, came crashing over the median and directly onto our car. It was so loud that Tommie actually ducked...inside the car.

As we neared the city (Level 3) impatient commuters picked up speed despite the slippery road and zipped around our car as fast as knives being thrown at a target. The spray behind them made us have to practically drive blind until we got to the the bridge (Level 4) where an ominous sign above us read, "Beware of falling ice and snow from bridges." Just what you like to read a couple hundred feet above the water.

As you can guess, we made it to the final levels. We found parking without getting the car stuck in a snow pile and surprisingly without getting another tsunami wave splashed on us from oncoming cars; we climbed a mountain of brown snow just to feed the parking meter (thanks, Boston); climbed another pile of brown snow just to get to the sidewalk (thanks, Boston); and right before we got to the door of the dentist, I dodged a pile of snow that fell from a tree above me and landed with a heavy thud on what could have been my head.

We made it through the quest, and at least we got something really cool at the clean teeth, right? (How sad is my life?) And so I give the winter quest two thumbs down. Anyone else ready for spring?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Decoration Day

Today was a snow day. Perhaps the only good thing about winter is getting unexpected days off from work.
I spent the day trying to come up with a decoration plan for my wedding. I drew with colored pencils, retaught myself how to fold paper in 3-D, and spent way too much time online searching for good deals on decorations. That's the problem with being cheap; I'm always convinced I can find an even better deal than the last one, but ultimately nothing is ever as cheap as I would like...okay, nothing is free.
Because the colors I'm drawn to for my summer gathering are bright (aqua, yellow and orange), it's going to be tricky to tie them all together and maintain a level of cohesiveness, but I'm up for the challenge. Tommie, on the other hand, just wishes I'd stop asking him about the color of paper lanterns and interrupting his work to show him what I remembered from elementary school art class.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Most Viewed Posts of 2010

At the end of the year I like to run a report in Google Analytics to see which blog posts were viewed the most. Here are my top three posts of 2010:

Giveaway: This comes as no surprise. Nothing attracts the masses like the chance to win something for free.

A Very Libra Wedding: Most people love wedding talk. It's kind of sick the way we dream of them, plan for them, and fret over them. Stay tuned for more wedding posts as the months go by and I try to strike the great Libraic balance between beauty and a budget.

My First Reupholstering Job: In the era of HGTV, people also love projects, and cheap projects you can do by yourself are always fun to learn about. The makeover of these two throwaway chairs from Craigslist was easy and cheap and something anyone could try. All you have to do is see the potential and get creative.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New (And Perhaps Even Busier) Year Ahead

2010 was a busy year; it was a major events year; it was an expensive year. In 2009 Tommie and I moved back to Massachusetts, but other than the move itself, 2009 was pretty uneventful: we lived below my grandparents, weren’t very well employed, and we didn't have any money coming in to do anything exciting.
At the start of 2010 Tommie and I began new jobs at different non-profits. Over the summer we moved into a new apartment. We finally got engaged. In the fall we bought a new car. Then all of my teeth starting crapping out which must mean I also began to age rapidly in 2010 (great).
I guess some years you just have to get a lot done. It’s almost been too much for my little Libra heart to take, but I better get used to it since I know we will see a ripple effect into 2011. I don’t think it’s possible for the year ahead to be boring with the wedding approaching next summer, our constant quest to seek a creative and balanced lifestyle, travel plans set for California and honeymooning out of the country. We’ll also feel the effect in our wallets, but that’s another story.

I really liked
my career horoscope for 2011 (from Yahoo), especially this part...
You prefer any work that involves socializing, utilizing your creative and intellectual talents and of course flirting your heart out. This is why sitting behind an isolated desk doing menial tasks will just never rock your world. You're finally coming to terms with saying no to anything you consider a giant waste of your time, and you can thank Saturn for that. Adding to the planetary support to align work with soul, Neptune, the planet of glamour and dreams enters your work sector this April through August. It shall then again return in 2012 to stay for an extended 14-year ride, making sure that you absolutely adore what you do. This is a wonderful opportunity to find meaning and inspiration in your work.

I better work on myself and my career so that my 14-year plan is ready to be in effect by 2012! That's fine with me hope is that 2011 is a year of growth, of building confidence, of fully embracing my creativity. It's also the year I'm getting married (yikes!) and I need to start working on my grown-up life plans (sorry, Mom, babies are NOT part of the upcoming plan). It will be be another busy, eventful year, but I'm ready for it.