Wednesday, July 29, 2009

'Arry 'Ooter?

I just ... don't understand why so many screaming teenage girls feel that way.


Guys, if I was spending money on myself right now, I wouldn't even blink at the price tag for this new shirt from J. Crew. How beautiful! I would get it in ivory, though, to stretch the wear across the dollar. I don't think that last sentence made much sense but I also didn't fall asleep until 4:30 this morning, so can you blame me?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Moving right along.

I have learned the joys of delegating! My sister is taking on table number holders for me.


Um, this is the only thing I have lessened my death grip on so far, but I'm sure there will be others within the coming weeks. It feels good to let go. Of the table number holders. Oh, and the cake. We're meeting our baker in a couple weeks and I think I'll take Traci's advice: bring a few pictures of cakes I like and tell her to surprise us. If I waste one more second's thought on frosting, those brain cells will be gone for good.

In the meantime, although I can't believe July is almost over, I have so much that I'm looking forward to in August--the shower weekend, my friend Derek's wedding in Massachussetts, two of my bridesmaids visiting me, Chris's birthday, my dad's birthday, and going to the Twin Cities for a bit of a bachelorette weekend. Never a dull moment!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Shower of emotions.

I opened my first wedding gift yesterday, and it left me speechless. Chris's teen cousin had made (handmade, but they looked like they were from the most upscale of boutiques) four beautiful placemats, with pink zebra fabric on one side and black and white toile on the other. Is there a better summation of my style loves than the classic, vintage black and white toile mixed (mixed: my favorite style element of all time--just wait till the wedding, heh) against the super modern pink zebra print? I love them (and also the black napkins with tiny white polka dots that were also enclosed).

Even more than my acquisitive delight, I was so unbelievably touched that someone took the time to make something for us. Not just someone, but a young girl from Chris's family--I felt so warmly welcomed in, felt more emotionally touched than any placemats have probably ever made someone feel.

It was the most perfect timing, too, because I had just found out that a certain family member from MY side would not be attending my shower, and my feelings were in a rather hurt/deflated state. I'm recovered now, and back to a daily-blossoming anticipation of the shower, an anticipation which I'm a little embarrassed to write about. I've never been a big birthday party girl, for example. I'm not terribly comfortable being the center of attention (the upcoming aisle walk is definitely making me nervous!). But though a part of me feels shy about all the trouble my mom and Shelby and Liz are going to, the overwhelming part of me is almost painfully excited. And I guess that's geeky to admit, but that's what's been on my mind!

I don't keep a journal, which I probably should so you're all spared my inner reflections. Still, when you're bursting with so many feelings, sometimes they've got to be shared.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Putting the word out.

I really want to find ribbon that is basically...exactly like this, but I'm hitting a wall. I went to M&J Trimmings, the famous Manhattan ribbon store, on my lunch break yesterday but no go. Any ideas? I've tried Jo-Ann; no luck there either.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Movie review.

I saw Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; did you? What did you think? I liked it very much. I thought it was visually stunning, and that the screenwriter did a marvelous job of adapting the book. I think Daniel Radcliffe can't really act...but Alan Rickman sure can...and I also have a soft spot for Evanna Lynch's Luna Lovegood, even though Chris laughs at me for that. A bit long on the romance, and it dragged a bit, too, but overall I thought it was very good.

A fatal case of the Mondays.

Sometimes I think I must be psychic. I couldn't fall asleep last night and lay on the couch watching the Shopping Network and a Monk rerun until 2 a.m. "Why can't I sleep?" I wondered. "I'm not even dreading work tomorrow."


Just two more months. If I can just make it through two more months, I'll be in France. In two more months, our wedding will be over and paid for and I can go become a Starbucks barista.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Not for me, but

somebody needs to buy this vintage cupcake stand.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I realized that all the frivolous stuff, pretty things, registries, favors, shit that doesn't matter. Stuff I spend time thinking about, emailing about, blogging about because I don't want to think about other things. Sometimes those other things catch up to you and you shut your office door, if you are lucky enough to have one, and cry with your head on your desk.

I guess when that happens you don't want anyone to see, but you want people to know that the stupid surface stuff isn't what matters, even to you, even though it might seem like the only thing you ever talk to anyone about. It's just the sand you stick your head into. Because it's easier to think about plates than about things you can't fix.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Book club.

I don't often post about teen or children's books on my blog, despite--or perhaps because of--as many of you know, the fact that I work in teen and children's publishing. Still, this time I couldn't resist. These are not books I worked on, so I'm (mostly) unbiased. But if you need a summer read, I have to recommend Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers trilogy.

The first book, THE SUMMONING, pubbed two years ago and spent some time on the NYT list. The second book, THE AWAKENING, published this summer and rocketed all the way up to #1. Along with THE SUMMONING in paperback, they've been on the bestseller list pretty steadily all summer. However, people aren't talking about these books the way they're talking about TWILIGHT...yet.

If you are a TWILIGHT fan, you'll like these books. Like TWILIGHT, they've got paranormal elements in every direction, a love triangle, frantic page-turning compulsion, and more.

If you aren't a TWILIGHT fan...which, full disclosure, I'm'll REALLY like these books! The heroine, Chloe, is flawed, smart, brave, and complicated. Ahem, Bella. The hero (but who is the hero, Simon or Derek? You'll just have to read on to Book 3 to find out!) is similarly messy. The action is nonstop. The conspiracy is frightening. The atmosphere is Gothic. Shiver me timbers!

Plot in a nutshell: Chloe hits puberty late, around age 15, and right away things start happening to her. She's diagnosed as crazy and shunted off to a home for troubled teens, Lyle House. But the "trouble" that these teens are experiencing is decidedly supernatural. Chloe, she learns, is a necromancer: she can raise people from the dead. All the other kids have different "problems"--that is, abilities. And what happens to Chloe, Liz, Tori, Simon, and Derek as the books progress is a fast-paced and well-written thrill ride.

I just finished sneakily reading the unpublished manuscript for THE RECKONING, which will come out next spring, and it's the best one yet. So, if you've had your fill of sparkling vampires--or if you crave more paranormal intrigue--check 'em out.

Garden roses.

I'm as tired of writing about wedding crap as you are of reading it, but I had to get that bug bite post off the top of this page. I must have been tired-er than I thought yesterday to post that. I mean, if there's one thing you probably don't want to hear about more than weddings, it's insect bites.

This is the shower invitation design that Liz ordered from for me. It's printed on such beautiful textured paper. Then she put two pretty stamps on the outside and I feel slightly racked with guilt because it cost 64 cents to mail these suckers...but oh, I love them. I'm framing mine to look at when I'm 80.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

"Honey, you forgot your snacks!"*

Chris is off to Maine with twenty of his closest buddies, including assorted dads, stepdads, and brothers, for a weekend of camping and canoeing. His mom and I joked (I think she was only half-joking) about donning false mustaches and rowing behind them to catch up. "Hey guys! Here we are!" Chris was not amused. But in any case my mom and I are driving my stepdad up, dropping him off, and spending the weekend in Portland shopping, art gallerying, and drinking fizzy beverages on a dock somewhere. Happy weekend!

*I really did say this in a cheesy voice as he and his friends were loading up the car. But he didn't get mad at me for that--I even got a kiss--because he was happy to see the peanut-butter-filled pretzels.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Book review.

So, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I enjoyed it! There was one passage, in particular, where I giggled helplessly and hysterically for more than five minutes. I don't want to give that plot twist away or I'd tell you what it is. However, here's the thing. If this were another book, you'd get bored with the zombies about a third of the way through and say, "Well, that was amusing" and put it down. But because it's Pride and Prejudice, you can't. It's not that you're gripped to find out what's going to happen with the zombies. You're gripped to find out what's going to happen to Elizabeth and Mr. matter how many times you've read it or seen the A&E miniseries. Jane Austen is a genius.

Lady Catherine de Bourgh as England's finest zombie hunter is pretty funny, too.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains."

Weddings make my brain explode. I was just reading about addressing and monogram etiquette. Apparently, having our return address spelled out as "Chris & Laura," which I did, was incorrect (as was having our names appear on the back of the envelope at all, according to some). Bride's name is supposed to come first. That means that on any favors, etc I have to put "Laura & Chris," which doesn't look nearly so nice in the font I'm using. In fact, it throws the ampresand off in a peculiar spacing way.* Meanwhile, also apparently the man's first name should never be separated from his surname. So does that mean writing "Mr. and Mrs. John and Jane Smith" was wrong? You wouldn't put "Mrs. and Mr. Jane and John Smith." And I don't like "Mr. and Mrs. John Smith" because that's eliminating the woman, for pete's sake.

I did have one invite where I didn't use Mr. and Mrs. because the couple each took each other's name so I wasn't sure if they would want Mr. and Mrs. Ironically, I guess that one is the most correctly addressed of them all: Jane and John Doe Smith.

I'm sure my one grandmother is going to have a cow about all of the above, but whatever.

*I mean, do I? Have to print it that way, I mean? OK to throw tradition to the wind? On the other hand, I don't want to break [any more] rules. I can't believe after a week of expending brain cells on stamps--seriously, the USPS saga is way too boring to write about, let's just say by the end of this week Chris and I will have between us a total of four visits to various Manhattan post offices--that now I'm worrying about whose name goes first. I can't wait to not think about this anymore.

Update. We didn't use an inner envelope, we didn't list our parents' names on the invitations, we didn't include a reception card: I think it's safe to say that etiquette can shove it, regardless of what I decide for any future paper products.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Continuing on the cake theme.

You guys are being super helpful; thanks! Here are some pictures.

What about something like this (but NO MUSHROOMS! Mushrooms and cake do NOT go together! And I'm someone who likes mushrooms!)

I love the shape of the yellow cake on the right. But I don't know how it would look in buttercream.

I like the size of this one. But clay, like mushrooms, should not be in proximity to cake, in my opinion. (Because I always have one. An opinion, that is.)

I don't know what's going on with the newspaper here...but this cute two-toned cake is almost making me rethink my "gahh I have enough to think about. Let's just have a simple white cake!" stance.

Here's that pink cake that made me super wistful...but pink is not really a part of our wedding (saving that for Erika's).

At the end of the day, I'm also considering a two or three tier version of this, sans candles. But I guess you'll just have to be surprised! And ... maybe I will too. Hey Mom, can I just write you a blank check? :-D

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blooming lovely!

Chris is very patiently allotting slots on his Netflix queue to and sitting through (probably so he can clear UP his Netflix queue) episodes of Pushing Daisies with me, which, a little kitschy, a little silly, but possibly the coziest show of all time. I love it. I want to live in it. Well, mostly just in Olive Snook's floral wallpapered apartment and Chuck's floral vintage-style dresses. I don't know when I became such an English garden hound, but there is no recovery in sight.

Further to the preceding post, maybe we should have a reality show-type contest for the cake whereby you guys post pictures or links to pretty ones. I'm really hitting a wall. Two and a half months out and I have yet to order it! We don't have a huge budget, so it can't be large, and I don't think our baker does fondant, so it can't be elaborate. My mom had pearl dots on her cake, so I want something different. Maybe something either very very smooth or something very very textured. And while I do secretly adore pale pink cakes, I think I'll be the one pushing daisies if I try to talk Chris into it. Especially since he kindly didn't call off the wedding after Tables: To-Number-or-To-Otherwise-Designate Breakdown of 2009.


There is a part of me that wants a pale pink wedding cake.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


We are planning the honeymoon, and have our tickets to Paris booked--yay! We are going to spend a few days in Paris, and then take off for the countryside. We were thinking the Loire Valley, but Chris is discovering that without a car, we may be a bit stuck. Now we're looking at Bordeaux, where there's not only a city but vineyards and beaches are a hop skip and a jump away. I can't decide which I'm most excited for: France, the wedding day, or being married to Chris. Wait, yes I can :)


I had such a lovely birthday on Monday. I slipped into a pair of high heels I keep under my desk and left work early. Chris took me to Rosa Mexicano for dinner, where we feasted on guacamole made at the table and pomegranate margaritas. Then we walked up a couple of blocks to Lincoln Center. At the Metropolitan Opera House, we saw the opening night of the revival of Frederick Ashton's Sylvia, performed by American Ballet Theatre. Then we walked to the subway, which came right away--no waiting. At home was a card from my mom in the mailslot, a box of books that a friend at another publisher had sent to me and Chris just for fun, and my wedding shoes, newly arrived from Macy's. On the table were four presents wrapped in the prettiest lavender satiny cherry blossom paper! Chris gave me two books and a CD of a band we saw together live once, Elizabeth and the Catapult, and new workout pants to replace my paintstained permanently-knotted-drawstring ones, because I'm too cheap to ever buy myself socks or workout clothes or t shirts. It was a lovely, lovely day.