Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Wedding Gown

Imagine my surprise that I actually bought my wedding gown today.

I can't find a picture of the exact dress, but rest assured that it's THE dress. Plus for the sake of surprise it would be in bad taste to show anyone (other than Kim since she was there when I bought it).

Apart from being a few sizes much too large for me the sample they had was ideal. It was probably the 7th or 8th dress I tried on today. After I figured out which one I liked best (I was very specific about what I did not like so it made it pretty easy), I asked how much it'd cost, and I suppose that it was destined to be because it was the last one they had and it was heavily discounted so I was obliged to buy it. I would regret it forever if I didn't grab it up today. And if for whatever reason I changed my mind I could very easily afford a second dress.

So I was in and out pretty quickly. Kim on the other hand tried on at least twice as many dresses as I did. But it was very fun. I personally like the tea length dresses best, but I understand you can hide a lot more under a long one.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dinner with Kim

I just got back from dinner and shopping with Kim.

Now that she's single she's a heck of a lot more available to hang out with. It was pretty fun though we didn't meet any boys for her. Ahem, I mean men for her.

But anyway, tomorrow is dress shopping day. =) Kim invited me out on Saturday with some of her new pals but I'm going to Trevor's cousin Chris' graduation party since we already RSVP-ed weeks ago. Plus it'll be nice to see the Medford side of Trevor's family. Oh and Devin (Trevor's younger brother) is coming up from Philly for the occasion and I haven't seen him since Thanksgiving.

I think Trevor's family is great; plus it'll be nice to see everyone now that they all know we're engaged. Clearly every family has their quirks, but overall I think that everyone on Trevor's side has been nothing but nice to me. I know my family is a tad more frigid to Trevor, but I think it's just hard when a lot of the older ones don't speak English. All the kids are very fond of Trevor.

My friend Jenny called me back and we chatted a little bit about engagement stuff. Apparently she already booked a place for her wedding in July, which is much more than I've done. lol But I already know what color scheme I want, the style of dress, the invitations, and the favors, the wedding band...so all the small details are decided on. I just can't pick a place yet because everyone has to like it. And by everyone I mean Trevor and my parents.

I miss her and Emily. I feel like I never see them anymore now that we're living in different places. Maybe we'll do our yearly NYC trip later this summer.

Eh, I'll worry more after the summer passes. Right now is the height of wedding season and clearly not a time to negotiate with anyone since every vendor is raking in money hand over fist now. The notion of supply and demand dictates that right now is the absolute worst time to negotiate any wedding plans, flowers, catering, chair rental...etc. etc. I'm truly more a product of business school than I thought I was.

I'm poooooooped out. Tomorrow doesn't look to be any less draining if we're doing wedding dress things. Those bad boys are heavy. I was pooped after only 5 dresses the last time. I hope that I can find the one though. I know it's ridiculously early to be getting the dress, but I'd like to be at least a little bit done with my wedding purchases. I figure if it's too overpriced for my dream dress that I can also take down the style number info and shop around. Also, if I can buy it online then I can avoid paying sales tax, which doesn't seem like a lot but if you're dropping a couple hundred bucks it adds up.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Engagement Party/Six Flags

So I think after having slept on it that I agree that Kim and Mat need (at very least) some time apart to get their acts together and get their priorities in check.

I'm an eensy bit sad that I'm not single and able to be single with Kim again. I don't miss being single and meeting loser after loser but I miss how close she and I were. I miss the endless weekends together going to the beach, or shopping, or going dancing and getting all dolled up.

You can't go back in history though, and I wish her the best with the latest round of dating. I think it's a little different when you're young because you have such big social networks. As I get older my network gets smaller and smaller, but then again I've become a bit of a homebody. Partially that's my own fault. I think Kim's a bit better off if only because she's a lot more social than I am and she's much nicer. lol

The engagement party Saturday went well. I didn't really get any wedding planning advice but I did get to see a lot of my family and both Trevor and his mom seemed to not be entirely bored so all in all, it was a good time.

And on Sunday I spent the day with Kim at Six Flags. It was nice to spend one on one time with her. And it's good to hear that after the initial shock wore off that she's still holding fast to her guns and she's devoted to focusing on her life. After that we came home and had some stuffed peppers Kim made and brought over.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Kim's Breakup


I'm a little sad that my best friend Kim has broken up with her boyfriend of three years.

I secretly hope they get back together, but part of me has known that they just weren't on the same page about a lot of "big stuff" like moving in together, getting married, money...etc. And you can work by a lot of dissimilarities but those are pretty essential ones for a long term relationship to prosper.

We just got back from having some Indian food with her at The Garden in Agawam, MA. They have great Indian food; some of the best I've had, plus it's a nice warm environment. I think it was nice for us (and Trevor) to relax and chat. We talked about her breakup a little bit, but honestly for a person who just broke up she seemed pretty together.

The last time I had a breakup with someone I had been together with for over a year I was in a catatonic state for a week, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep...I cried all the time. I was basically a mess and though I don't look back on it with a ton of pride it was a good for me to get that frustration out.

I invited Kim over tomorrow evening for some baking-palooza. Since I promised to bake for my Engagement party I figure I should do it Friday so I don't have to rush around Saturday morning and it's always bonding to bake. It's a girl thing. Mini Cheesecakes and Fruit Trifle are on the menu. Though I need to run to the store tomorrow to stock up on supplies, ie: milk and eggs.

I had a doctor's appointment today. Nothing too spectacular to share about that other than the fact I got weighed in and I'm at least 7lbs lighter than I was this same time last year! Just goes to show how heavy I was last year. lol

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Promotion

I finally got offered that job in installation I was interviewing for. I start in July, but not after having to train a successor and tying up any loose ends.

I'm glad to make the shift since I've long since lost my zest for coming into work everyday. Plus, I figure that with all the other life changes on the docket that I can easily take on one more in stride. I'm going to be a married woman; it's time I start taking more control over my future. And it never hurts to pocket some extra dough that comes with a raise.

I opened a CD this past weekend at my local bank. I figure that I should try to make at least a little more interest on my savings since I'm inevitably planning to spend it for a very specific occasion at a very specific time and I have a little time to play around with.

I also went to the Cape with Trevor. His best childhood friend Tyler was up for the weekend at the Cape and was throwing a party that he invited us to. Ty's a really good guy; I don't say that just because he's very dear to Trevor. He reminds me of someone but I can't quite put my finger on who that could be. I didn't really know many people at the party, but everyone was very nice. Our Caramel Apple mix drinks were a big hit.

I'm glad to be home though. I'd prefer home-bed over Cape-bed any day. Plus I always feel like I have a ton of chores to do at home when I'm not there. (sigh) It's going to be a long week; I have a lot of stuff to do at work before I'm done.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I had a Blonde Moment

Wow, I totally forgot about a week. My engagement party is NEXT Saturday, not this one. (phew)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Oyama Restaurant Enfield CT

Oyama Japanese Restaurant in Enfield CT: 2 Stars (at least for the sushi)

This new establishment is actually a split restaurant, part seafood restaurant (Jason's) and part Japanese with hibachi grills. Again, I only had the sushi so my review is solely a result of the fish being lackluster, the spicy rolls having far and away too much scallion (what the heck is scallion doing in a spicy tuna roll?) and the rolls themselves being teeny tiny. I haven't tried the hibachi items at all, but if their seafood restaurant items are as bad as the sushi fish then I don't look forward to trying it.

Apart from the uninspiring sushi, the decor is sparse at best and even though it's two restaurants, there's no separation between the two and it ends up looking like a vacuous cavern. It's not a place to impress a date for sure. But Trevor and I are sushi addicts and figured that it was worth a shot to try it, sadly it's so bad it's not worth trying again. Maybe the hibachi will be more noteworthy, but I somehow find that doubtful.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Engagement Party

So far, I'm having a little difficulty skimming down my guest list.

Trevor does not want any more than 100 people to feed and entertain, and I think that it's impossible. At best I'll be able to get the guestlist down to around 130 and that's a very conservative total.

It's not as though I have a lot of friends. Kim and a few residual high school friends are still in the area so we're all friends still, but as for everyone else...it's a little more gray.

I'd love to invite everyone that I care about, but the fact of the matter is that it's not fiscally sound to do so. Plus my parents have to invite apparently half the world because we're related to every other vietnamese person in the greater hartford area. I kid, but it's pretty ridiculous nonetheless since I have over a dozen cousins. That's not even including aunts and uncles and friends of family that have known me since I was in diapers.

My engagement party is this Saturday. It's just family and will entirely revolve around eating. All of aunts, uncles, cousins and their respective couterparts in CT and MA on my mom's side will be in attendance. Trevor has invited his mother. I told him he could invite any of his family, but given that most of them are near the Boston area it's a tad inconvenient for them to drive down just to eat until they're sick and listen to garbled english. My mom however is our hostess and insistent that it was necessary to have our families meet.

My overall feeling is that most american people don't throw showers or parties until the wedding is a heck of a lot closer. I still have over a year so even my very enthusiastic maid of honor hasn't given thought to my bachelorette party.

I don't know if I'm really a "bachelorette party" kind of girl. If it includes having someone jump out of a cake, then I'd rather pass. Plus I barely have any female friends who'd want to go and be part of that whole scene.

Monday, June 11, 2007

MySpace? The Hell you say

I finally did it.

I broke down and set up a MySpace account.

Mind you, I'm the last person on earth not to have one and even movies and inanimate creatures have MySpace accounts so I'm way behind the curve. But I figure it's a good way to spread the good word about my engagement, and it seems as though none of my friends are ever on AIM anymore in favor of messaging one another over Myspace.

I don't really "get it" right now. The format is obnoxious and confusing to me, with too many banners and advertisements. I much prefer blogging here. But Trevor helped me change some of the settings thankfully. I think I would have been clicking around in circles for hours otherwise.

I had a drink and snack with Kim and Mat at our local TGIFridays. Trevor and Mat talked guy stuff and Kim and I talked wedding stuff. Overall I think it was fun, though Kim and Trevor clearly do not agree about wedding planning and the related costs.

Trevor is of the mind that everything is way overpriced and we're getting hosed planning our wedding because the entire industry is crooked. Kim also agrees it's expensive but having worked at some banquet halls in her day she still believes that they offer you a lot of good service for that cost. Otherwise you'd just have to do a lot of things yourself and really, do you want to micromanage on the day of your wedding or do you want to sit back and enjoy it?

I think I'm of the mindset inbetween those two. I'd really rather NOT pay an arm and a leg, but I understand that it's a choice of either A.) my sanity or B.) paying a lot of money to have someone else do it. If I have the money to do it, I'd always choose having someone else taking on the stress, but I don't live in a world of unlimited resources.

Kim also suggested postponing the wedding another year to have more money to play around with; but that's totally unlikely in my case. If I could have been married yesterday I would have. I can't imagine waiting a whole extra year in addition to what we're already planning on. To me, having the party of the year isn't as important as being married in the first place. I'm just trying to get married...the wedding planning part of it is just all part of the package to appease my parents.

I'm a relatively crafty person. And I can enlist the help of some of my more artsy friends if necessary. Anything that my local craft store can supply, I can imagine doing myself. I wrap all the presents at Christmas with ribbon and curls to coordinate with the gift wrap; the little details are things I actually enjoy taking care of.

Deep down inside many of us want to be the next Martha Stewart; we just haven't broken down and bought our first glue gun yet.

I figure it's been a few years since my art class days, but that it'll all come back to me. I do ultimately enjoy getting my hands dirty and making something beautiful out of something seemingly ordinary.

In work news, I had my interview today. This one being with a different manager under the same department as my first two interviews. It's almost as though they like me but don't know where I'd fit. lol I though it went well but it's hard to tell when you're not privy to what the other interviewees are saying. A decision is supposed to be reached on Thursday which of course seems like like an eternity away when you're waiting for news. In the meantime I'm trying to do my own work because I'm woefully behind between playing catch-up after vacation and then having stupidly volunteered my assistance with 2 new hire sessions, which eats up basically an entire day per session and I get nothing of my own work done. (sigh) It's my own fault for wanting to be so helpful. Now I'm done boring you with work stuff....seriously.

I've been avoiding my parents recently because my mom is throwing us an engagement party I don't want to go to. (sigh) All I really want from them is a guest list, but for whatever reason they haven't been at all helpful with that. The engagement party is king right now...God only knows why since it's probably the last thing on my list. If nothing else I can talk my cousins up about wedding planning and maybe solicit some recommendations.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Invitations

Ring is back and it fits! Yay!

We went to the local Gem Jewelry instead of the people Trevor got the ring from because they're in town. Also, the other folks said it'd take 10-15 days to get my ring sized. How ridiculous is that? It cannot possibly take anywhere near that long to get a ring sized. Gem Jewelry did it in less than one day and they said it'd usually take only three hours if it was a half size difference, but since it was a little more it'd take time to get the stones tightened after the sizing.

Trevor also wants to get our bands there. I'm okay with that since they're so nice.

I also found some invitations that I liked a lot. The overall style is simple and colorful but it has an interesting detail. Plus it's green, so it'll coordinate with the wedding.

Wedding bands: check.
Invitation style: check.
Color scheme for wedding: check.
Bridesmaids dresses: check.
Attendant Gifts: check.
Wedding favor ideas: check.

We just need a place to get married and a caterer. Mom has yet to get back to me with any solid numbers so I have no idea about caterer yet. Trevor and I have been throwing around the idea of renting a nice big roomy house and having a backyard wedding. If we had a backyard suitable for having 100 people in it, that'd be more convenient but since we live in apartment we don't have that luxury. Just renting a facility to have a wedding can run upwards of $3,000, not including any catering.

Golf courses have nice wedding friendly facilities (clearly they have a lot of greenery and water traps for photo sessions) but they also have relatively limited menu selections. On the plus side, they often include open bar in their packages and have more affordable prices than reception halls.

Big chain hotels have good per person rates too, and include open bar but the facilities can be a little sterile. I wouldn't necessarily want to get married there but they're good for receptions. They have more of a selection of food since their in house restaurants/caterers have some more capacity. Smaller hotels and inns are adorable, but the ones that regularly do weddings know it and they run around $100 per guest with an additional 18% service fee and state tax tacked on...it's easily one of the most expensive options apart from a seaside wedding.

I'm a tad tired of wedding planning. I have everything except the "Big" stuff planned out and it's frustrating because that's the stuff that really matters. I can only buy the other stuff AFTER I get the hall reserved and the caterer settled.

We're also leaning towards doing a cruise for our honeymoon since knowing Trevor he'll get antsy staying in once place and at least with the cruise they'll drop us at different ports and we can eat to our heart's content on the ship, much like an all inclusive resort.

The Key Lime Pie Ice Cream was pretty good, but I think if I make it again I'll have to use graham cracker crust instead of just plain crackers since they don't taste the same. It's a little too plain for me. I used Honey Graham crackers though maybe if you used flavored ones it'd be better. Trevor's not a big lime fan so I'm pretty much eating the whole thing on my own. I'd rather have a dessert that we can both enjoy, but maybe if I'm making it for others it would be good. It's like a creamier, richer lime sherbet. And the crunchy bits are always a nice surprise though it doesn't firm up the way I'm used to. It takes about 35 minutes in my ice cream maker and it's almost like a milkshake consistency but it won't get any thicker. You just have to trust that it'll firm up in the freezer, which it does.

Well, Trevor and I are going out with Kim and Mat in a little bit so I gotta run.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Skinny Fingers

I miss my ring. I haven't lost it mind you, but we did have it dropped off to be sized because while I was valiantly hanging on to it, it was sadly a little roomy and I was worried it might get lost. (It's a 7 and I'm a 6...well, the jeweler said I should get it in a 5.5 but I decided against it.)

Since I've been working out with Trevor I feel like I'm a little thinner, but not necessarily in the places where I wanted to get thinner. An example of which being my fingers. Also my reflection shows my legs looking a little..."chicken-like" which isn't exactly what I'm going for but eventually my body will adjust. And since I'm in a period of body flux I don't want to get my ring sized too small in case I get a little plumper.

I'm also finally getting some feedback from my parents who still think that I shouldn't be worrying about wedding planning, but nonetheless they're asking cousins and family about caterers and prices for me. Ultimately I want to have an American, non-denominational ceremony and then an Asian style reception. I want a little of each world because really...that's what Trevor and I are. Thus far, we think we'd like to get married on 9/13/08.

My parents are thinking cost at a totally different level than I am. Of course our side is going to pay for themselves pretty much with their cash gifts, but I'm not too concerned about Trevor's side having to be as generous as mine. I figure if we have a good enough registry that they'll be able to contribute in a different way.

So that's why I'm kind of pro-the idea of a vacation registry. Guests essentially sign up to pay for elements of a honeymoon instead of paying for toasters and cups. I think it's cute, and I know I'd rather buy a couple a massage on the beach than a serving platter since it seems much more personal. Trevor I think is okay with it, but tentative since he'd rather receive something of use, like money towards a home. I've yet to find a registry that does that. lol

Kim's doing something this weekend so I'll probably take a weekend off from wedding related worry, otherwise known as wedding planning. I really don't like it. I'd much rather just have a nice place all set up and ready and not have to worry about this stuff. Particularly since it's so far off and I can't wrap my head around it. If it's a choice between having a cheaper wedding that I have to micromanage or having a more expensive wedding that someone else will micromanage...I'm all about the second option as long as it's not totally outrageous. My problem is that, it is in fact totally outrageous. The notion of paying $30,000 on a wedding is preposterous to me. I could make one heck of a down payment on a home if I had that kind of money available and I'm not about to fritter away all my savings on a party. I'm not poor by any means, but I think it's an un-economical choice to make since you're basically beginning your life together in the hole since you're in debt for thousands of dollars. Plus I'd like to have a honeymoon instead of funneling all my effort into just the wedding day.

Clearly the wedding is important, but having already lived with my fiancee, I know that not a lot will change after we get married apart from my last name. And even that, I'm not terribly excited about since Trevor's last name is a little plain. I'm thinking about hyphenating but our names sound weird together. lol

We looked at wedding bands yesterday. We won't have matching ones since Trevor is suddenly into the idea of a titanium ring and clearly I'd rather have a ring that matches my engagement ring. But in any case, Trevor wanted to just buy them yesterday but I wasn't so into it. Partially because they'll just sit in a box for over a year. The other part being that if my money sits in a bank it's at least making interest over the course of a year, while a ring does not. I saw a ring that really flattered me and my engagement ring, but I'm tentative about spending over a grand right now. Trevor was fine with it...but then again, his ring isn't even 50% of the cost of mine since it's not considered a precious metal so why would he worry about buying it now versus 6 months from now?

In work related news, and I never talk about work since it's usually not of any interest to anybody I have another interview type meeting Monday. It's my third for the same job and the HR person says that it's very likely to work out so, it could be a very good change for me. It's been a while since I've been thoroughly excited about work.

In food related news, I'm trying out a Key Lime Pie Ice Cream recipe. So far the mix tastes great, but I'm missing 1 ingredient that I'll pick up after work. The cream puffs were a big hit. I didn't make my own handmade filling and just opted to use pudding mix, but it still ended up very nice because I substituted out milk for light cream in the filling and it made it just that much more rich than regular pudding would have been. Trevor and I ate every last puff within about 4 days. It's so easy to make too, but it looks really much more fancy than it is. I'll have to remember to make them around the holidays. I always like individual sized desserts, they're just so cute firstly and then they're easier to portion control.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

1st Gown Try

Some time without a post now; I'm really trying to keep this up to date.

In any case, I have a few general ideas about my wedding but so far I haven't hit a home run and completed a task in full. lol I went dress browsing with Kim yesterday. I think that I've decided I'm not a ballgown huge fluffy skirt kinda girl. I really want something more fitted and classic looking but not plain. I tried on a few things at the local David's Bridal and my helper girl didn't seem to have an idea of what I was going for, so I ended up trying a bunch of things that I wasn't 100% about.

I don't think I'm a ruffles, lace, beads and gems kinda girl. I just want a clean looking dress that is flattering for my shape. I don't want to hide under 20 lbs of fluff. Then again we only really hit up one store so far, and in the journey to find the perfect dress it may take a good many more trips. I'm thin enough to be lucky to have a number of options available that would look nice on me, but I'm really trying to find THE dress.

The only real benefit of having a David's Bridal dress is that they'll discount the price for the bridesmaid dresses and a few other random services. It's kind of like the Target of wedding gowns. Kim and I have on our radar so far two other bridal stores to hit up. One in West Hartford and one in Agawam. For the sake of convenience I hope I find my dress in Agawam since it's only 15 minutes away. I could also attempt to get a better assistant at David's Bridal and bring in a picture of my vision so they could at least try to order it in for me to see.

I'm still convinced that green and yellow would be ideal bridesmaids colors. So far it looks to be my final choice.

I still have to talk to my mom about invitees and engagement party stuff. I truly dread it though. I love my mom, but I don't really like working with her on anything. But narrowing down the guest list will enable me to figure out how many heads will be there and what reception sites would be able to accommodate it. Though I'm currently estimating about 200 invitations will probably need to be issued, I also don't know if my mother (and father for that matter) have a million other relatives that they feel obliged to invite.

I'm not terribly concerned right now about money. I haven't really spent anything yet, so it's easy not to worry about. lol I'm a little worried about finding a site to have the reception but since Emily reminded me that her father could perform weddings (he's a judge) it took a little of the edge off in terms of trying to find someone to marry us. Neither of us are religious. And although Trevor grew up Catholic he never got confirmed and I think that the Catholic church in particular wouldn't tolerate that.

So I think unfortunately I can't hold off chatting to my mom about invitees because some reception sites have waiting lists of like a year and I don't want to be the lone bride who waited too long to get her sh*t together and had to get married at the Ramada Inn.