DI Why?!?

(See what I did there?)

Many people have been kind enough to inquire about how wedding planning has been going. As to whether or not they actually care, I’m not sure – I really do appreciate the sentiment, though! I usually respond with something along the lines of how it’s going well, although it’s a little stressful since so much of the wedding is DIY. “Well, how much are you making, exactly?” they’ll sometimes ask. So, here, for the record, is what we’re planning to make ourselves, with our relatives and friends stepping up in a huge way to help:

  • Wedding invitations (check!)
  • Cakes
  • My veil (Amanda is doing this one on her own)
  • My wedding shawl
  • My hair and makeup
  • All decorations
    • Centerpieces
    • Various table displays
    • Placecards at dinner
    • Hanging decorations for picnic
      • Garlands
      • Wooden signs
  • Flowers
  • Homemade beverages
  • Favor bags and favors (haven’t finalized this yet but will probably be some sort of baked good)
  • Guestbook
  • Out-of-town guest bags
  • Fabric cocktail napkins and napkin rings
  • Photo booth
  • Thank you notes (which T’s mom has already made – and they are perfect)

Yes. I fully realize that I am quite possibly batshit insane. But, hear me out! A lot – and I mean a LOT – of people are helping. They don’t seem to mind it, and I’m convinced that the communal feel of it all is actually perfect for this particular wedding. I really do believe that it will make our day all the more special!

Here’s a sneak peek at our handmade napkins, which T can knock out with impressive speed:

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DC Bucket List

Here we are, less than 3 months before we depart for our Seattle adventure – and there’s still so much I want to see and do in our little city. I thought that I would try to capture these things by creating a little bucket list. Keep in mind that I reserve the right to edit as needed!

  1. Eat at Graffiato.*
  2. Buy something for our new home at Crafty Bastards.
  3. Take Wallace to Ben’s for a half smoke.
  4. Go to one more concert at the 9:30 Club.
  5. Go to a free concert somewhere, like Jazz in the Garden.
  6. Try at least half of the cupcake flavors at Baked and Wired.
  7. Go to an outdoor movie.
  8. Bike the Mt. Vernon Trail to fibre space in Old Town with Amanda.
  9. Visit friends in Philadelphia.* ** (link)
  10. Visit T’s grandmother in Narrows, VA.* **
  11. Visit a Smithsonian museum I’ve never been to before.
  12. Visit a Smithsonian museum I’ve been to many times before.
  13. Hike any part of Billy Goat Trail without dying.
  14. Visit Library of Congress.
  15. Eat at one new restaurant in Arlington.
  16. Eat breakfast at Eastern Market.
  17. Visit Glen Echo Park.
  18. Visit National Archives.
  19. Visit National Arboretum or Botanic Garden.
  20. Bike C&O Canal Towpath.
  21. Visit Skyline Drive.
  22. Eat at a new Ethiopian restaurant.
  23. See a play.
  24. Eat lunch with a friend downtown.
  25. Visit the new MLK National Memorial.

*I cheated on these – they were plans I’d already made before making the list. Will you forgive me?

** Okay, I know these technically aren’t DC-specific things, but they are much easier to do from here than the west coast!

Now, who wants to help me knock crap off this list?

Goodbye Summer

How was everyone’s weekend? We fared very well out here – no trees fell on our car and no power outages. I know that other parts of the east coast were not so lucky, eek!

It’s the last week of summer and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Yes, call me a spoilsport but I am not a fan of summer. I don’t enjoy stepping outside for a minute and immediately turning into a giant, insect-attracting sweatball. I detest shorts and tank tops and having to shave my legs. I intensely dislike having to crank my space heater at work because the AC is turned up so high that sweaters don’t even help. I cannot deal with my cat and dog going crazy at 5 am because it’s already light out.

(Just so I don’t appear to be a complete killjoy, I do like these things about summer: delicious fruits, dresses and skirts, flip-flops, ice cream being acceptable every day – right? – and breezy nights.)

It’s the fall that I love, love, love. Autumn is, by far, my favorite season of the year. The second T and I started seriously discussing getting married, the only thing running through my head was “fall wedding, fall wedding, fall wedding.” That’s normal, is it not? No? Well, it’s fine. I have my reasons for loving this season so  much. Some are fairly typical, and some are not.

  • The clothes. Jeans, thin sweaters, scarves, skirts/dresses with tights, boots. Incidentally, dressing this way will always remind me of our incredible 3-week jaunt around France in October 2005, and observing French women and their wardrobe choices very closely.
  •  Mehhhhhhh-mor-iiiiiiieeees. Walking around on a crisp autumn day will always, always take me back to my first days at William and Mary. Brick walkways covered with orange and yellow leaves, scent of burning wood in the air, days getting shorter and cooler, the promise of a new academic year. I think this is why fall always feels like a fresh start to me.
  • My family moved to the USA in late August/early September, so my first ever truly American experiences took place in the fall. Apple picking. Hayrides. Trips to Skyline Drive to view the foliage. Leaf raking. Trick or treating. We didn’t do these things in the Philippines.
  • Pumpkin. BRB, off to gorge myself on pumpkin anything for the next three months (pie, muffins, ice cream, cake, cheesecake, lattes, bread, cupcakes… wait, where was I).

This fall, in particular, is going to be slightly crazy, but I aim to still enjoy myself. I’ve been putting together a last-minute DC bucket list, which I’ll share tomorrow.

What’s Been Going On, Lately

Other than Hurricane Irene mania, you mean? (Which, incidentally, I’m in much denial about – but I have a feeling it won’t be fun and games like Floyd was freshman year of college.)

We are now officially less than two months out from the wedding, and three months from the move. It’s all a little bit freaky, but I’m trying hard to take everything in stride. All anyone ever talks to me about (not that I mind, seriously) is getting married and/or moving, lately, and I apologize if that’s deathly boring but you feel obligated to ask me about it anyway. Heh. But really, everyone has been super supportive and excited for us, which makes me feel warm inside.

Invitations!

Ever since we got 99% of the invitations out, I’ve been blissfully ignoring all things wedding craft related, but I know that reverie can’t last much longer. There. is. so. much. to. do. But, we’ll manage. Especially since a ton of people are helping/willing to help. Yay for family and friends who are happy to go along with this crazy DIY wedding.

Lots of things to talk about. The invitations! The napkins we’re sewing by hand! My last Saturday morning Step class, and how this might be the end of my short-lived stint as a gym instructor! Updated DC Bucket List! How I don’t fit into my wedding dress, and not in a good way (gah)! Decluttering the apartment like a maniac! The futile job search!

It’s about to get cuh-razy up in here.

My First Finished Object!

Some of you may recall that I started knitting again around Memorial Day. A couple of months later, after starting many projects, I can finally present my first ever Finished Object (as they are called in the knitting world – FO for short).

It’s a gift for someone very special. Teehee. I hope she likes it!

The shawl is Ishbel, and it’s actually the most popular pattern on Ravelry. I can see why – it’s relatively simple, quick (that is, if you don’t dawdle for weeks like I did), and the outcome is just so pretty. You should have seen me on Wednesday night, after binding off, when I could finally hold up the full width of the shawl in front me. I was freaking. Out. At 12 o’clock at night. My cat was very curious about my strange behavior. But man,  I’m really proud of making something so pretty with my own hands. I totally understand now why so many people are obsessed with knitting, and homemade crafts in general.

On the horizon: many more knitted gifts, plus my own wedding shawl. It’s orange. I really like it so far. Eep!

New Apartment Wishlist

As much as I love our good old Arlington apartment, we’ve been building a good-sized wishlist for our next place in Seattle. Here’s what we’re looking for:

Non-negotiables

  • A large closet or two closets. We currently share one teeny tiny closet that’s no more than 5 feet wide and 1 foot deep. Frankly, I don’t feel that bad that our closet is in a constant state of disarray, because it is practically impossible to do with so little space. And anyway, Neko likes to make herself a little fatcave on top of my gym bags that are piled on the closet floor.
  • Dishwasher and/or washer/dryer in unit. Preferably both. I asked Thomas the other day what he preferred, if he had to choose one. Right away, he said washer/dryer. I would pick dishwasher, hands down. This cracks me up. Is it obvious who does the laundry and who washes the dishes in our household? Really, while it would be lovely to have both, daily life would be significantly easier with even one of these.
  • Large(r) kitchen with more counter space. Galley kitchen with laminate countertops and steel cabinets – I love you. I really do. But you make it so difficult for more than one person to be in the kitchen at one time. I’m not saying that our future kitchen has to be this. Well, okay, maybe I want that. When we have a gajillion dollars.

Tiny kitchen of doom!

Would be nice

  • Second bedroom. For the multitudes of out-of-town guests we’ll be entertaining week after week. Right? RIGHT? In all seriousness, it would be awesome to have a separate study/library, and a room where I can throw all my craft junk in.
  • Area where I can start an herb garden. Doesn’t have to be a full yard (because, Lord knows, I don’t need to become obsessed with gardening). I just need a little space where I can plant some basil, mint, dill, etc. We spend a lot of money on these silly plants that we can easily grow ourselves, if we had the space.
  • Actually, a yard would be great. A fully-fenced in yard? Would be fab for Wallace. Although I’d worry about neighboring squirrels and birds he’d potentially kill. And all the poop he’d eat when not being supervised. Eek!
  • Close proximity to a trail. I’ve been spoiled the past few years, living just a couple of blocks away from two major trails in Northern Virginia. I’d love to bike more in Seattle (and of course, there’s always the running), and trails would help make that goal more accessible for me.

We’ve narrowed down our top neighborhoods in Seattle, and I’m hoping that our perfect apartment just happens to be in one of them. And that it opens up in early December of this year. It’s all very exciting, of course, but it gives me the jitters at the same time. Guess we’ll just have to see!