Monday, January 31, 2011

Instead of Sleeping...

Right now I should be sleeping, but instead I am working on putting together lists of songs to give to our DJ for the wedding.

I'm listening to all of these sappy songs and I can't help but feel a little emotional. Not emotional in a bad way, but emotional in a "wow, this is really happening" kind of way.

We met almost 8 years ago working at an outdoor amphitheater. Mr. Law was not yet Mr. Law, but rather, Mr - Burger - Flipper. Glamorous, right? On my first day of work he came over and asked if I had any friends yet (at work, of course) and I said "no" so he said he would my friend. Thanks! I thought his name was John - of course, it wasn't. Actually, even though I instantly liked him, I never thought he would ever return the feelings. As it turned out, he actually had a girlfriend at the time. Bummer, big, big, big bummer. Until they broke up, yay, yay, yay and more yay!

Our first summer together was, dare I say, magical? I suppose everything at 16 is magical though. We spent every moment at work together, and after working our shifts we would sneak off to the side of the stage and watch the concert. I remember standing by his side watching Incubus play "Stellar" and looking up into the crystal clear sky and just watching the stars. The next night he told me I was stellar. I had to look it up in the dictionary. Ah, young love.

Fast forward almost 8 years and here we are. We've lasted through a long distance relationship while I was at design school in Boston. He wanted to go into the army, and I begging him not to. When I came home from school he became a police officer. My life changed, I went through a period of extreme fear, but it subsided, and to be honest, I'm so used to sleeping in an empty bed that when he is home I make him sleep on the couch anyway (don't judge). We got engaged under the Brooklyn Bridge and I cried so hard I almost vomited. He brought a bag with him, because he knew me so well. Romantic, eh? I decided to have a major surgery and on the morning of my surgery he got called into work. He wasn't there when I went into surgery, but 6 hours later, when I came out, it was his voice calling my name that woke me up. He slept on the sofa with me for weeks while I recovered. That Christmas I was in too much pain to make holiday cookies, so he and my dad made the cookies themselves. Now it's a tradition that the men always make cookies. It brings tears to my eyes to see my dad and my future husband side-by-side, laughing and enjoying each other.

I graduated college and got a "real" job. I commuted for about a year, while my fiance and I searched for a home. We finally found one, and after eight months in contract the deal fell through. We were crushed but within a month something even better fell into our laps. We're now living in our first home, on the water looking at the New York City skyline. It's pretty amazing. And as you know, we rescued a puppy, Miss Juliet, who is the little light of our lives. After 7 years working at the beach I had to leave. And when the original wedding venue we booked fell though, my boss from the beach called and offered to let us have the wedding there.

Everything happens for a reason, doesn't it. We met almost 8 years ago as silly little 16-year-old's with our heads in the clouds - we didn't know it then, but that Incubus concert was the first day of the rest of our lives.


I swear you won't get many of these sappy posts, but today I felt the need.

And here are a few pictures of us along the way, starting with the very first picture of us from the week we met.

Sleeping on the floor after my surgery

Starting the tradition of Men-Only Holiday cookies

The only picture we have form the night we got engaged

My two little cousins




Saturday, January 29, 2011

Valentine's Day is Coming Our Way!

I've been putting together some various Valentine's Day cards and designs. Want to see? Thought so!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ahhhh-mazing Wedding Gifts!

Some people have a really hard time trying to figure out what gifts to give, and when it comes to weddings the Bride and Groom usually make it really easy for guests because they have registries. But, believe it or not, some people don't like to get gifts off registries.

When my fiance's cousin got married this past August, I wanted to get her something amazing. She's an amazing person and has become just as much a family member to me as she is to my fiance. Not that I want to brag or anything, however, I think I got her the most amazing wedding gift ever. First I did some snooping into their honeymoon, and then once I had the details, I reached out to an amazing photographer to organize a honeymoon photo shoot as the wedding gift. The pictures came out amazing, and it was pretty easy to set up.

Here's the beautiful couple, all photos were taken by Good Karma Photography.

Some other fab gift ideas:
  • Book the new husband and wife a romantic dinner for two at a restaurant during their honeymoon.
  • Upgrade their flight to first class
  • Upgrade their hotel room for them
  • Put together a booklet of gift cards to really good local restaurants, for them to use in the months after their wedding
  • Book a special "anniversary" trip for the couple on their one-year anniversary. Maybe send them to a local winery or bed and breakfast
  • Book a photo shoot for the new couple a few months after the wedding
Alright folks, happy gifting!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Etsy Ring Round Up!

So it's a Wednesday morning and I am off from work! I'm not going to lie, having a day off mid-week is pretty awesome!  Let me clarify though, that a day away from the corporate office does not really equal a day "off". Indeed I plan to be busy as a bee today.

I'm super excited about today because hopefully Mr. Law and I will start the process of having our wedding bands made. My cousin's (and bridesmaid) boyfriend is a jeweler and will be making our wedding bands for us.

As usually, I am torn about what to get for my wedding band. I have an antique ring with beautiful detailing next to the center stone, but the detailing is small. Correction, not small, but rather, tiny. Personally I see no problem with this - and let's be clear, I have full intention of matching my wedding band to my engagement ring, which means it will not be flashy, but quite dainty instead. Some people has suggested ignoring the design of my ring and going with a larger, diamond & shine ring (aka LARGE). The argument is that I'll be wearing it the rest of my life, and I wouldn't want to some day regret a band with minimal bling. This got me about TWO rings?! Yup, that seems fair to me! One dainty ring to match my engagement ring, and in a few years I'll start dropping hints to the hubs about an amazingly shiny anniversary eternity band for my right hand. BINGO!

Anyway, I've of course been browsing rings lately, and here are some beautiful things I have discovered for both weddings and everyday.

First, let's go through a few things I found on Etsy. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Etsy rocks!!!

First, check out all of these beautiful "Knot" themed rings. Can I just have one of each??!!

This Infinity Knot ring is beautiful, simple and elegant. It's designed by Rapunzelsgold on Etsy.
This gold filled beauty can be found in the shop of Whimsywireandwool.

This ring, by Seababe Jewelry isn't a "knot" but it has a similar feel. It's solid gold and looks killer on the hand!
On sale for $12.00?! Adorable and affordable!!!! It seems Rapunzelsgold is no one-hit wonder! 
  Here are some non-knot rings - be warned, amazingness at large!!!!!

How cute?! Get it at ChYMieRa.
This might be my favorite Etsy ring find. *sigh* so cute! It's sold here.
Jeweler on the Roof has some beautifully delicate designs in their Etsy shop.

Hope you all enjoy these rings as much as I do! I'll keep you posted on what I end up getting for myself!!

Let me know if you like this post - I'm addicted to Etsy and wouldn't mind providing you with more "Etsy Round Up" posts in the future! 

Happy mid-week day off!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Controversial Bridal Shower

I have my reasons for doing what I am doing, but I'm generating a bit of a stir anyway. It seems my wedding - and I am sure any bride has experienced this - is bringing out the diva in some people. My first major 'no-no', according to my old-fashioned family members, was to include comfort food at my cocktail hour. "Mac-n-cheese is for a kiddie birthday party, Jaclyn, not for a wedding" and "I don't care if it's in a martini glass, I will be seen eating mashed potatoes at a wedding" were some very, very common comments. Then I announced what they thought was the absolute worst thing ever - wait for it - wait for it......cupcakes!!!!! NOOOO!!! The uproar that ensued was, in my eyes, hilarious.

And then, when things finally calmed down, I gave them the big one. The most horrid thing that any old-fashioned, cannoli-eating, sambuca-drinking family could have ever heard of.

I'm planning my own bridal shower.

How dare I?!

Am I some sort of deranged control freak? Have I lost all sense of customs? What the heck* (note, heck wasn't the word my vino drinking family member used, but hey, this is a family blog) do I expect my bridesmaids to be doing? My generation, apparently, has no sense of tradition and honor. Hope. Is. Lost.

Seriously? Give me a break!

Let me make my case, and then you can make a decision on whether or not my actions are forgivable, or if I have undoubtedly cast doom onto the rest of my life.

My main reason for organizing my own bridal shower was money. I've been a bridesmaid, I've been a maid-of-honor, and I've been a guest - no matter what your role, these parties are expensive. Add in the fact that we live in New York/Long Island, and well, the regular idea of expensive has a few extra zeros at the end of it. Things where I live are shockingly expensive. Aside from the expensive, I have a rather large Italian family - way too many people to fit in a private home, and, unfortunately, the date of the shower isn't conducive to an outdoor fiesta. All of the above leads to one thing, a restaurant or catering hall shower, which ultimately equals even more $$$$$$.

And who, exactly, is supposed to front that mula? My bridesmaids? Well, let me put this out there - I'm relatively young. Right now in NY the average age for getting married is late 20's early 30's. I'm more along the lines of mid/early 20's, which means that my bridesmaids are along those lines as well. It's hard surviving as a newly working 20-something-year-old in a NYC economy. We are all surviving very well (in fact I think my group of girls deserve applause for being hard-working, super motivated gals with heads on their shoulders and lights in their tunnels!) but at the end of the day we don't have large sums of money sitting under our mattresses stashed away for expensive bridal showers.

So, what does a bride do? Ask her girls to hand over something they work their butts off for, or just organize and pay for the party herself?

Whether my peers like it or not, I've decided to meet in the middle. I'll pick a date, book a place, and pay the bill. My girls will plan all the activities, prizes, and so on. They don't have to take extra time off from work to do their bridal party duties, and I don't have to worry about walking into a restaurant in my pajamas, only to discover SURPRISE!

At the end of the day, I adore - no, love! - my girls. I know, without a doubt, that if I had asked them to foot the bill for the shower, they would have without batting an eyelash. But in my heart I can't do that. I love them too much to be putting that kind of pressure on them. Planning a wedding is stressful, planning a surprise party is also pretty stressful. I don't want my girls stressed, I want them to enjoy the journey, by my side. Their support means the world to me. I didn't ask them to be my bridesmaids because of their money, their party planning capabilities, or the way they'll look in a pretty dress standing next to me. I asked them to be my bridesmaid because they've been by my side since day one, and I know they will be for a long, long time coming.

I hope my family can come to terms with the fact that times, and traditions, are changing. Change happens, embrace it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Buh-bye Budget

I've been number crunching all night for the upcoming wedding, and I have a feeling I might have some kissing to do - as in, kissing my budget goodbye. I certainly hope it doesn't come to that, but DAYUM, having a wedding in New York is a total wallet buster, and I've done all the "money saving" tips you read about in magazines!! When I was talking with a friend, I let my budget number slip, and she gasped, stating how LOW it was for NY standards. Hmmmphhh, as a new home-owner anything more than ZERO is a wallet strain.

Here are some things I have done to try and keep my budget on the low:
  • I booked my photographer early. And by early I mean, three years ago. It was great because I locked in awesome prices for the most important aspect of my wedding. Right now this moment, when it comes to the wedding, I am most excited about working with the photographer we booked. They are a husband-wife team, charming people, and so extremely talented. You can see their work here.
  • Next, I'm making all of my paper products myself, duh. 
  • Third, get this, I actually disclosed to my vendors what my budget is, and they were willing to work with me. In the last post I was toying with the idea to do my own flowers, but at the end of the day, that's what professionals are for. I told my florist what I wanted to spend, and she was amazingly gracious to work with me. We negotiated for me to deliver the flowers myself, as getting to my venue is going to be murder in the morning before the wedding (you try driving to Jones Beach during the Blue Angel Air Show). By picking up the flowers myself, the day before the wedding, I am saving nearly 20%.  *ugh* lifesaver! 
  • I didn't let myself try on gowns over my budget. No way, no how. And guess what - I found the most amazing dress in the world and it was UNDER my budget! 
  • Back to flowers - I am using tons and tons of candles as my main decor. The beautiful floral arraignments are going to be an accent to the romantic candlelight. 
  • I borrowed. My fiance's cousin (who is also one of my bridesmaids) got married this past year. She is lovingly allowing me to borrow most of the decor she purchased for her own wedding. Thanks Em! 
  • Photo-booths are the new "it" thing. So of course I want one. So why not use my own D-SLR camera and tripod, along with some awesome fabric from my mother-in-law's company as a backdrop? Can we say free? I think so!
And here are a few things where I totally splurged (eek!)
  • Photography. Even if we got a great deal, it's still double what we budgeted. Do I regret it? Heck no! 
  • Music. We originally booked a family friend as a DJ, but after a little venue confusion we had to book somebody else. At the end of the day our DJ is AH-mazing, but again, we're talking nearly double budget, again. 
  • Rentals. We're not getting married at a typical catering hall. We need to rent everything from chairs to forks to lights and heaters. It adds up, and really darn fast. 
  • My shoes. Don't tell my fiance though, he thinks they were on sale. 
  • Transportation. This one makes me angry, I still cannot get over how much companies charge for a car to pick you up and drop you off. The biggest splurge is that we are getting a shuttle for our guests, so that nobody needs to worry about driving after a few cocktails. Worlds ugliest shuttle bus costs more than my antique car & two stretch limo rentals combined. I hate it, I want to spit on the jerks that get away with charging that kind of money.
OK, hope you all enjoyed some of my wedding breakdown. Don't let me cry in your ear too much, at the end of the day I hopefully will not go over budget. I'll also have a fabulous one-of-a-kind wedding.

So, um, back to work?!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Let's Talk Flowers

Some brides believe flowers are the most important aspect of their big day. I beg to differ, first off the groom should be the most important aspect, and then secondly...well, secondly is 'everything else', which probably includes flowers.

As a bride, or a non-bride, as my friends say, I too am facing the floral challenge. Generally speaking, I love flowers, I think they make a stunning addition to my dining room table, or on my wine cabinet and so on. My dad has several beautiful white peony bushes in the backyard, and a bunch of gorgeous white and green hydrangea plants in the front garden, so the flowers in my home are usually from his garden. Let's not forget my grandmother-in-law, who has the Garden of Eden in her tiny Bronx backyard....she's incredibly generous in giving me some fresh clippings through the season. I like the flowers, but I wouldn't spend $100+ for them - as I have learned sometimes these things cost that much.

So my dilemma begins. I met with a fabulous florist yesterday to talk about my own wedding. I don't need a ton of flowers by any means - and I planned my wedding that way for a reason. Yet, for a very minimal amount of flowers, I feel like I need to be eating pork-and-beans for the next 4 months. Yikes!

On my way home from meeting with the florist, I had a thought - a fleeting, possibly insane idea. Maybe I can groove up on DIY flowers for the wedding? Here are some of my floral inspirations for the wedding, and I don't think it looks to hard....does it?

Remember, my tables are looooong and are going to feature tons and tons of candles - similar to the three above pictures. So I don't need a ton of flowers. I love the bold yet romantic feel of the tulips, and I love the idea of making a bunch of very small flower clusters to be scattered amongst the candles.

Here are a few more things I love....

I adore the cluster of peonies in the little glass.

I think clustering single blooms might be a great way for me to achieve maximum bang for buck.

I've been researching online flower wholesalers, just out of curiosity. The prices are obviously fabulous compared to the high-end florists that scatter NYC and Long Island. While right now my wallet is pulling me to the "click here" florals, my mind its usual "what if?" game. What if I buy flowers online and they arrive dead and without a plan B. What if I buy flowers online and find myself too overwhelmed the day before the wedding to put each stem in a vase. What if this, and what if that....

Hmmmm, stay tuned to hear more of my internal struggle....


I MUST make these! And I think you should too!

Strawberry Sunday CUPCAKES! 

Shut up, how ridiculously perfect are these!

I'll be making my own very soon, but if you'd like to make your own, visit the recipe here.

PS - this whole recipe was apparently inspired by the little paper straws. Perfect, right, because my blog is meant to be about paper!

Branding, why so hard?

Another day, another banner. Today is a rainy, cloudy day in New York, so I thought I'd spruce up the blog. I know I should be working on my *real* website, but the thought is still just too overwhelming for me. Instead I've given you a cheery new banner and clean new layout.

Every six months I seem to want a new look, which leads me to wonder how successful companies deal with branding themselves. I can't be the only fickle designer out there, can I? 

Well, I hope you enjoy this look, along with your weekend; as both will probably be gone before we know it!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowed In....again...

You won't normally get a blog update from me during a weekday, but today is different because I'm snowed in! It's the second large snow storm New York City has had this season, and while I love my corporate job, I also LOVE snow days!!! I'm taking the day to romp around the park with my snow-loving dog, and to work on assembling my wedding invitations.

Here are some images to express my love for snow days....

 The above was taken outside of our home, which is located on the water where we would normally be able to look out and see Manhattan and LaGuardia airport. Um, yes, no flights today!!

 The above and below are, of course, little Miss Juliet. We've come to discover that Juliet loves snow. So much in fact, that she likes to stick her face in it and just embrace it - as seen below in an embracing action shot.

Now these buggers look absolutely amazing. They are hot-chocolates-on-a-stick. Recipe can be found here. Although not the same, they remind me of the chocolate covered marshmallows I made for Christmas this year.

If you've never had a chocolate covered marshmallow, you NEED to! They are amazing at room temperature, but absolutely heavenly after being left in the fridge for a while. Oh, and there easy as 1-2-3, literally. 1- put marshmallows on a stick, 2-dip them in melted chocolate, 3- roll them in your favorite topping! See! Easy!!!

So before I go off for another round of romping in the park (Juliet has just brought me her leash, hint hint) I want to share these absolutely-freaking-adorable snowman milks! Ahhh how I love life sometimes!! These are also easy as pie, check out the directions here.

Enjoy everybody!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A little Holiday Love

OK - so I've got two posts in one weekend! Have I turned a new leaf? Am I keeping my New Years resolution? Hm. I think it's too early to tell.

Anyway, I promised I would talk more about my holiday season and some of the fun things that went down.

First off, it was our first Christmas in our first home with our first dog. I'm not going to lie, it's a little weird to think that we're out own little family. Not officially yet, of course; but in spirit we've started the rest of our lives.

Anyway, let's get back to talking Christmas. We got our first Christmas tree this year, which turned out to be much less of a hassle than we thought it would be. We walked into the Home Depot (don't hate on us) and walked out with the first tree we saw. Minor bump in the road when Mr. Law put the tree on the roof of the car and then tied it down through the windows. If you don't understand why that's a silly thing, go try it next year! All-in-all, our tree was perfect. It fit it's little spot in out living room perfectly, it smelled like perfect-ness, and it never fell down. Thank goodness for that.

Since Mr. Law and I were spending the holidays with our separate families, we decided to let Santa visit us a few nights early. We opened gifts the day before X-mas Eve, which I can see becoming a tradition here. Mr. Law got me some awesome winter garb (my first North Face!) along with a cover and light for my Kindle. And best of all, he got me a domain name.

A wha..? Yea, that's what I said too. But get this, I've got my own domain name, meaning soon enough I will found at my very own, Awesome gift, right?! I'm so super excited. That means that I'll have my own e-mail address, something like, and, sorry blogspot, but my blog will be at, you guessed it,

I'm stoked.

You should be too!

It's going to be a lot of work to get my website all fancy and functional, but it'll happen. It's part of my New Years resolution.

So that's the big news, big for me at least.

Here are some highlights from this past holiday season, and my last as a single lady ;)

First (and hopefully not the last) tree of perfect-ness
 Thank you Mom, for our good-enough-to-eat ornaments!
 My very first North Face!
 Miss Juliet was scared while we were opening our gifts.

I wanted to end with the above picture, which captures the moment right before we exchanged gifts with my family. Everybody is in motion, but if you check out my little buddy in the center of the picture, well it seems as if the world has stopped for him, for just a tiny moment. Ah, to be a kid again.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Hello and Goodbye Holidays


(I had to do that, mostly because it's just so obnoxious)

I can't believe it's all over already! And worst part is I didn't get to blog about any of the chaos, I mean fun.

Here are some highlights of things I browsed throughout December...

Here are a few snaps of a beautiful winter wedding that was featured on Style Me Pretty. 
I love all of the clear candle holders and the beautiful glow that they cast. I am hoping to achieve a very similar feel for my wedding - and have already started saying my prayers to the Wind Gods to please not blow out all my candles!!!

This post was on 100 Layer Cake, which is normally an inspiration for me when designing stationary products, but this time I've fallen in love with the bottom Christmas cake!! I mean, there is just something magical to me about a simple white cake with winter berries. Maybe it has to do with my insane sweet tooth, but either way I love, love love.

Here is an image that really made me go "Wow". Made me think a little bit of Katy Perry, a little bit of my own wedding, and a whole lot of FUN!  (you'll be hearing more about sparklers from me in the near future, BTW)

 Here is a post from the new blog for Sugar Paper, which is an AMAZING stationary group. Totally inspirational, and I hope to some day have a little business like these. They posted a little sneak peak into their production of holiday cards.

Alright, that's all I've got for right now. I figured I would end on a note of the stationary kind, as that is what I'm all about, right? 

Coming soon....I can't wait to talk to you about my first Christmas with Mr. Law, and the new pup (you didn't think you'd get away from a Juliet picture, did you?). Also we have entered 2011, which means that after three years of being engaged, the year of getting married has finally arrived. Planning is in FULL force, so be warned that over the next five months this blog may be transformed into a wedding blog in addition to a stationary one. 

Oh, and big changes are coming, which will be discussed more when I tell you about my Christmas. 


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