Sunday, December 19, 2010

Our Christmas List

1. A good immersion blender for Jess

2. Affordable food dehydrator (I've wanted one since I tried being raw vegan in college but that kinda failed; I was vegan for a while, though, until I got to Houston, heh); I'm told this one is the best of the best.

3. Paperback versions of Griftopia, Eaarth, Eating Animals by JSF, MB's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook...and maybe Sweet Valley Confidential, just because I read Sweet Valley when I was younger :)

4. Maybe BRTC Jasmine Cream

5. Solar oven, worm bin, composting toilets, clothesline, rain barrel/drip system for the garden (Hello, Transition Houston!)

6. Australorp chickens (as well as chicken-related keeping gear) for when we get our house, and I'm still hoping Jelly Bean will still be up for adoption by the time we get a house.

Speaking of, we made an offer on a house not far from here and got the executed contract; now to hope and pray all the inspections go well!

7. Metal lawn stuff like roosters and flying pigs from the cute Mexican furniture and pottery store beside the gym we go to

8. Fresh Movie and stuff by Juliette De Bairacli-Levy

9. Stuff from Anthropologie, Paper Source, Etsy, Lululemon and Lucky Brand are always welcome

10. iPad 64 GB 3G+Wi-Fi, and maybe a Clamcase?

11. Yoga at places near us (now to go). We did some yoga today using a pass we got for free at Lululemon, so that was cool. Might think of some Vinyasa or Zumba or Hooping classes in the future.

Busy, busy: getting ready for my parents' visit in 4 days, so WHOA! Also been to the allergologist, who gave us all sorts of meds, and hey, turns out my childhood asthma's back :/ And I think I caught something from one of my kids as I'm hacking stuff up right now.

I should watch some Glee or Gray's Anatomy on Hulu to destress. Or continue being productive, heh.

6 days to Christmas. Ho, ho, ho. Here's to a good end to 2010 and an even better 2011. To what it holds, we don't know yet, but hopefully it will be good.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hopes and Dreams

I recently read this book by Jenna Woginrich, and she is my new hero. She recently wrote about writing your goals and dreams, so here goes.

I am tired of work sometimes that doesn't seem to go anywhere. I toil everyday and everyday it is the same. Maybe it is the stress and the mental fatigue, but I am exhausted and sick more often than I or my husband like. And that tells us that something's wrong. It makes me think of wanting to escape and do something else. Don't get me wrong: I don't hate my present jobs--I love being around my students! But I feel no matter what I do, the situation doesn't change. And I don't know about other people, but that fruitlessness is something that I can't deal with forever. I question my goal of being a teacher because of it: the system, I feel, is harming rather than helping, and that I cannot deal with, nor stomach. But I have to: it is my job, and it is slowly killing my spirit.

So before I lose my pluck and put my head down again, I will say my intention. I want a homestead of our own, with a dog, a cat, chickens, pygmy goats, vegetable and fruit plants, and maybe Angora rabbits, pigs and bees someday. I want to learn how to make butter, cheese, bread, soap and candles, as well as have homemade kombucha; live as off the grid or independently as possible. I want to learn how to play my Strumstick, and play it well. I want to learn how to knit and sew, to make socks and sweaters and beanies for my husband, and make dresses for myself. I want to make cards and paper products (with my rubber stamps and letter press) to supplement the farm, then sell this with our extra eggs and dairy, maybe some candles and soap, and maybe even fruits and vegetables and honey, as well as the occasional knitted product in a farmer's market. Then maybe we can even talk about children, if our bodies are blessed to have them: milky-coffee skin with brown or hazel eyes and black hair, and happy, inquisitive spirits who fear nothing and welcome everything.

And even as I want to eke out a farm existence, I still like to shop, or at least look. But if I can make it myself, then that's what I prefer. I am still a girl who likes shops and working out in a gym, as well as getting a good haircut and color, and the occasional pedicure and massage, but the crowded, expensive city with no room to homestead is beginning to frustrate me and lose its charm on me.

For now, I want this dog. Her name is Jelly Bean. She is a 6-month old rescue dog. Our friend Lisa told us about her. I sent in my application to have her, but I guess I heard wrong about our landlord being ok with dogs; I am still trying to persuade him to think otherwise. I hope I will be successful. Latest update: I'd like to meet this kitty, too. His name is Kai, and hopefully my husband won't be allergic to him, otherwise we have to look at this breeder who charges $600 per kitty. So yeah, methinks rescue animals are still best, costs included!

Let's start with Jelly Bean, and hope my husband and I can get out and hopefully find satisfaction, as well as our place in the sun.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Married Life Post 1

So Jess and I do not post very often: our apologies about that. The thing is, there really isn't much to tell. And we're not even really out of the woods with wedding stuff yet: sure, courthouse part is done, and my name's been changed to "Therese Totten" (WHOA?!), but we still have yet to have our church ceremony in Manila and our original wedding that's now been slated to be a renewal of vows, in Austin, both for next year.

That being said, it's been a busy summer--wish it had been longer! :/ We did mostly prep for the church ceremony, much to Jess' credit. My mother-in-law(!) said, "He must love you to have done it!" Aw :) Fuzzy feelings! More specifically, we did Natural Family Planning that stretched out one night a month for three months; then we also did a weekend retreat. Jess wasn't too happy, but he did it; I've been on my share of retreats, so for me it was same old same old: hunker down and deal. And in the end, it was ok. There was even a mixed-race couple (no prejudice meant, but hey, that's what Jess and I are), so that was cool, and even cooler, it was also a Filipina lady and a Caucasian man--just like Jess and me, too! So hearing them share was quite nice. Besides Catholic requirements, I worked on my teaching certification, and worked some retail, but I'm not done with my requirements yet, so it's an ongoing process at this moment. And of course, the ongoing wedding planning.

So this summer, along with two friends, Jess and I used a Groupon deal to kayak the Houston bayou: kinda dirty and stinky (though not as bad as the Pasig River where I used to row in college), but worse when you fall in, which happened to me. Not cool, but we survived, with Jess' help, who went in after me, sweet man that he is. Jess and I also visited my relatives in Toronto (whom I haven't seen in years) for my cousin's wedding. Apparently, under my relatives' scrutiny, Jess passed with flying colors, yay! We also went to Galveston, my first time there, where we found the one-hour drive is a nice little getaway (from Houston) without being too tiring. I took a knitting class in my neighborhood too, but have yet to knit a pair of socks! I also got back into rubber stamps: I used to collect them along with stickers when I was younger, though back then I had no idea I could make stuff with it. But now, with a heat gun and embossing powder, I've got a few ideas up my sleeve, and I even send special embossed letters sometimes, so I think that's pretty neat :) It keeps me happy, and that makes Jess happy :) It's a slightly pricy habit though, oops! I also recently got into succulents. With our north and west facing windows, though, keeping them alive is the main challenge.

Now it's back to school, and that's more work--and some regular money, yay-- for me. I not only do assistant teaching in the classroom, but now I also do a computer ancillary class in the morning. So it's been a bit of an adjustment, but I'm hoping I'm doing alright, making some progress. My principal is talking about having me transform the class into more robotics work, and I talked to the guy in charge of the robotics club, and it sounds promising. We shall see. The teacher I help in the classroom gave me a form for an educator's discount (20%) at Barnes and Noble, and I got the discount, so I thought that was cool--ooh, educator = me, WHOA :) Jess still takes the bus to work at least once a week, or rides his bike, 12 miles each way, hoowee. And he still likes his job and has a friend who gives us fish, yay :)

I've been sick with allergies that turned to a cold that turned to a cough. Jess, his parents, sister and I went to the coast for Labor Day weekend, and while it helped, I was still pretty sick and phlegmy. Jess and I tried working out a few days ago, but it was just a bad idea, and I backslid. But I discovered Mucinex, and so far, with Dayquil, it's been a good thing. Now to get back to working out (ie kickboxing), hopefully soon!

I just feel that being married (coming to four months now, yay!), Jess and I don't do a lot, especially as most of my friends are in Manila while Jess' are in the US, so that with being more introverted, Jess and I just keep busy with chores and each other, which might be boring to most people. That being said, we do have some common friends, and I'm trying to branch out more and make some friends, though that's never easy and it can never be forced.

So what are weekends like for us? We go to the farmer's market when we can, and get groceries at a supermarket for what we lack from the farmer's market, then we look at shops when we can, or Jess gets a haircut or I get facial/wax/etc. We try to go out as a treat on weekends, whether it be a drink at a quiet bar, or try a new restaurant or go to one of the restaurants we already like. Sometimes we might even see a movie or go rock-climbing; this weekend, Jess is persuading me to try learning how to ride my bike again: the heat's toned down a bit so I just might. Then I also work retail, so that usually takes up my Sundays. Then I come home (or Jess picks me up, yay), we have dinner, he plays video games and if I'm not too tired I might do a video workout, tool around on the Internet, then before we know it, it's time to get ready for another week.

So this our life right now, and it's been working for us so far, touch wood! In the future, we are looking at getting a house with a good-sized yard (for fruits and vegetables and herbs!), some chickens, and a rescue pooch.

Our life in a nutshell: boring or not? You tell me :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Projects Day

Today was my day off, so of course, I still worked on stuff, namely preparations for Jess' and my trip to Toronto this weekend! I realized that I hadn't bought anything for my Toronto relatives, and have no idea what to give Jennifer and Terence, so after some consulting with my parents, I decided to get some Texas pecans at Central Market, yee-haw! I had gone to Lululemon the previous day with my poor suffering husband in tow (Lululemon is a yoga clothing store and I love it, while Jess doesn't, heehee), and they had forgotten to remove the security tag, so I had to go to that part of town anyway to have the tag removed (Central Market is a block away). Across the street is this paper store called Paper Source that I had been wanting to go to, next to the newest cupcake place in town called Sprinkles that I heard was good, so two birds with one stone! I bought a gluten-free cupcake for me (just 'coz I try to avoid gluten when I can) and a surprise cupcake for Jess, and then stepped into Paper Source...and fell in love. They had themed displays like cupcakes, and flowers, and home stuff, and man! I got gifts for Jenn there, I hope she likes it! (see Image 1), as well as a card. I was just thinking about using my stamps so I bought an inkpad, but then the girl asked me if I wanted to learn embossing to make the gold ink "pop." I did, and it turns out to be so easy! All you need is embossing powder, and a heat gun (see 2nd image)--you can't use a hairdryer as it's actually not as hot as the heat gun! And I've always loved embossed stuff. After getting some lunch at home, I did it for Terence and Jennifer's wedding card, and voila, see Image 3, my first attempt at embossing :) I cannot WAIT to go back to Paper Source. Oh dear, another shop where I have to guard my money from, haha. I also decorated paper bags to put the pecans in, as well as another food surprise--see image 4 :) Oh, Image 5 is some of my "materials" used--I even got cute felt animal stickers, one which I used to seal Jenn's and Terence's card. A friend in kickboxing calls me Martha Stewart, haha. Maybe not, but I do like craftsy stuff. I'm still struggling with knitting, and I have yet to take that sewing class, and with Paper Source, I might take a card-making class :) And as my Mom and Mama cez can testify, I've always loved stickers and stationery ;) So excited! So maybe I'm a bit domesticated: I don't think that's really a bad thing ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

My 26th Birthday Weekend

I'm sorta glad I went to school on my birthday. I was an hour late, but that's coz I talked to my Mom before I left home. I didn't think I'd feel like celebrating, but when I got inside the classroom, they all shouted "surprise!," leapt to their feet and sang for me. That was awesome. I got orchids from Mrs. T and massagers from Carmen (they need batteries). And cards, lots of them. It made my heart full. I told them that this meant more to me than when 500 of my classmates sang at yoga teacher training, and the kids said thank you. Of course at recess they were rough and were "treating me like a suspect," whatever that means, but that's how they are--impulsive and ebullient. I love them.

It should have been that I was going to stay home and shop with my Mom, but alas, that was not to be: her visa expired, so she petitioned hard to get a new one for this week. It is hopefully on its way to her now as I write, but I'm still keeping my fingers crossed even as her gifts are all ready for her. I won't deny that not having her here for the 1st time was hard; it was: we practically have a tradition that she meets me wherever part of the world I am on my birthday, and as much as I grumble about it, it is grounding and gratifying. Alas, not this year, so I really didn't feel in the "birthday spirit." But at least I had my students this time. Seriously, you can't have a bad day with 6-8 year-olds depending on you and loving you unconditionally. Loads of people greeting me over the phone and Internet was nice, too. My Angkong (Chinese granddad) even sang to me over the phone; can you say AWESOME? And of course, my sweet fiance, J, who bought me cutesy sandals the weekend before, then had a few surprise gifts up his sleeve, then even though it was the middle of the week, took me out to a nice Indian restaurant for my birthday (though in hindsight, going in the middle of the week was more peaceful than going on a weekend--easier to get a table, too). All in all, a good birthday.

It kinda extended to the weekend, too-- I made fruit salad and smoothies on Saturday, and J made french toast out of stale baguette, then cooked some turkey bacon, too. I liked the turkey bacon; him, not so much. We took our time, watched a funny movie at home, then did some chores, and went out for a nice relaxed dinner after. Sunday, we had oatmeal (simpler than french toast!), did more chores like housekeeping and shoe sizing for gifts (J's birthday is next month), tried out a new snowcone place, then hung out with a friend at her mom's pool. And in the midst of all this, J and I found time to snuggle and cuddle and hug and kiss and laugh again, which was nice. Sometimes life gets in the way. We realize it shouldn't. It was a good weekend.

Now, my Mom's supposed to come in on Wednesday, and all our plans for last week are moved to this week. There's no turning back now; that's the plan, at least. Take 2; here's hoping it really works. If it does, I see shopping and nice restaurants in my future. Woohoo! Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Slight Change in Plans

So the title says it all; there is a slight change. Nothing drastic, so keep calm (and carry on). The night my Mom was to take the flight from Manila to the US, she found out that her visa had expired, oh around a week ago. She tells me this over SMS and I kinda quietly freak out and go to the gym in a daze, and tell my aunt and Jess' parents. My aunt can't have her airfare refunded, so she found a cheaper hotel on short notice. Then my Mom scrambles for contacts in Manila, one being her diplomat-tenant who works at the Czech embassy. But US protocol is stricter than ever, barring family emergency (which, technically, this is): as of this morning, the earliest appointment she was able to get was for May 20--too late for anything this week. Then it'll take 4-5 business days to process. She is confident she'll be here by the 26th or 27th next week, though. I sure hope so, 'coz right after her call, I called Jess' parents and grandma, to move their reservation to next week (they agreed, for which I and my Mom are so very grateful). I emailed my aunt, and she moved her plane date (and canceled her hotel reservation as she will be staying with my Mom). I emailed my retail job, and they were so nice as to move my work day to this week instead of next week, so I can spend time with family and hopefully get married next week. I haven't heard from my principal, but hopefully I can take my chances.

Jess was very grumbly about the whole mad scramble, and I admit I almost lost it: I was depending on him to be my rock, and I told him that. So now we are trying to take it easy and avoid any unkind words. Jess' grandma said, "It could've been worse." And a colleague at work said "In the grand scheme of things, a week is nothing." True on both counts. But as the past 2 days have just left me all dazed and confused, I just want a resolution, the light at the end of the tunnel. So I ask for everyone's prayers: I hope this time around will work, 'coz yeah, it's got to. Lesson learned: make sure your visa is still valid before you leave! Here's hoping we get it this 2nd time around. May 28, 2010: keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wedding #1 of 3 in 5 days

So. Jess and I, standing in front of a judge, 5 days from today. Whoa.

It has been very busy for Jess and me, what with wedding planning and other family stuff, as well as matters at work. But with our upcoming civil/courthouse wedding in 5 days (!), I thought it best to spruce up the details on our registry, as people have been asking about it, so here it is:

Jess and I really thought about it, and we really think a cash registry suits our needs best. We just hope this is not offensive to anyone. If you look at how it is set up, it states that there is no required amount you have to give, large or small, so whatever works for you, or even if it doesn't, that's fine, too. What's nice about this registry, though, is it gives some format, such as when we met, what we suggest as guest accommodations, etc. So I cracked my knuckles and typed away today. We hope you enjoy the end result. As much as it is a registry, it also has other information that you might like knowing, like how we met :) Since I updated that registry, I feel I owe it to everyone to update this blog!

Truly, I am not thinking about the wedding at this point, but the whole affair that comes with it. My birthday is in 3 days, and our civil wedding is in 5. My Mom is arriving in 2 days, and as she doesn't drive nor know Houston as well as we do, it is up to us to make her visit enjoyable. Also, the schoolyear is drawing to a close, at least at the school I work at--in 12 days, in fact. So yeah: a lot of things to think about besides getting married. But if I stop to think about it, this is quite a life-changing event. I don't know if it's going to be the biggest life-changer ever, as Jess and I have been living together for a bit over a year now, and commuting back and forth before that, but it is still a big deal: in the eyes of society, I will be connected to him, and he to me. It makes me think of what I've accomplished so far and deplore to think that I haven't gotten very far yet. I worry about how life will change after marriage, and I hope it won't change for the worse, if it will change (and it probably will). I hope that our love will only get stronger, our bond deeper over time.

I guess this also means that I will not be a single entity any longer. Most decisions I make (if not all), I should consult with him. We will be each other's person. I am not just responsible for me, but now, I should worry about his well-being, and act correspondingly, as well. As such, this is a responsibility, one I worry about being able to fulfill properly. I hope I will be able to do so: I take responsibilities seriously, and I like knowing what's going on. (As such, I don't trust easy)

Of course, this marriage business should not be taken lightly. I'm hoping our union will last, and that it will be a happy, loving one. I hope we will make each other happy. I truly hope this enterprise works. I just like being sure, but sometimes, I guess I just have to let go, and roll with it.

Here's to trusting, and taking the big leap into the Big Unknown Step called marriage.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Catching Up

It's been a busy week for me and Jess. Over the weekend, we went to the farmer's market and saw baby goats(!) then went to a Japanese festival and an arts market: we saw sword and taiko drum demo's at the former, and had snow cones and a vegan burrito as well as saw anarchist books at the latter. We also went to a nice "Texan-Tuscan" restaurant called Stella Sola near us and had good food, crab carbonara being one of the dishes: phenomenal, if you can believe it! Oh, Jess also made rabbit stew today and it was good, though I cringed every time I would spit out a tiny bone. Oh, man: such are times when I think of becoming vegan again, though I recently bought some vegan books for brunch and baked goodies: I still like to think of veganism, and am still very open to it: in fact, I prefer to make vegan stuff. We've also been dipping our hand into growing herbs, and so far so good. We've got a tomato plant (but no tomatoes yet), rosemary, sage, basil, a pepper plant in our apartment, and oregano, dill, spinach and basil at the garden box below. In the future, I would still like to have chickens and goats to raise, maybe make my own kombucha and yogurt with Jess' help--grown your own, I strongly say.

We also went to city hall downtown today to apply for our marriage license, but it turns out that we applied for a marriage license too soon-- the period is 3-30 days, not 90! So we have to go back either end of April or beginning of May so that it's late enough for the license to still be valid for Jess' family's and my Mom's visit when we'll hopefully get it officiated (ie legally married May 21, 2010--my mom wanted my birthday but it was the middle of the week: this way, Jess' family can attend, and besides, I was told it might be safer to have it on another day besides a birthday), as well as bring the form we got from our marriage prep class. I was wrestling with it over the weekend: like this is real, and it's SERIOUS: as in not going out for dinner, or washing clothes, MARRIAGE, OK?! i.e. committing to spending the rest of your life (at least in theory and hopefully so) with one person, who is Jess! Am I ready? Do I want this? Can I do this? So I turned the tables and asked him (of course), and he said he still wants it. So I thought about it in turn, and yes, I think this is still what I want. I don't think no one will ever be ready for it, and if you are, you are either limiting it, or I don't know what! But some fear/trepidation is healthy, I think, as nothing is ever certain, least of all marriage-- sharing your life with someone else, and building dreams and a life together. So as long as you are willing to try and be committed, hopefully, this enterprise will work. I pray it will. I will try my best to trust in this (and trust is no small feat for me to do).

Apart from this, it's been work and work, with kickboxing classes at the gym in between to be fit and stress-free. By the way, the elementary school I work at in Houston, Garden Oaks Elementary, is back in the process for applying for a grant to be all-Montessori, so that's hopefully a good thing: after working at a Montessori classroom, I can't imagine going back to traditional setting, except maybe small groups for Special Ed, but even then. So with the potential grant, I hope I can apply for certification. I hope it works out!

As for this summer, I will probably stay in the US, for monetary reasons and just to relax before everything gets crazy. We're also planning to visit my Dad's side of the family in Toronto this summer for a wedding, so yeah. As much as I miss Europe, but I've already been to Asia this year, and that's a lot for my system as it is: I think it's best to stay sharp and stay in the same time zone for the coming school year, where hopefully I will still have a job!

I also got a copy of Food Inc (as well as signed their petition for better food in schools, woot!), and maybe Jess and I will watch it soon. I'm really excited to watch this Irish animated movie called "The Secret of Kells:" it's supposedly pretty good. I'm also lately into this mineral make-up called "Bare Escentuals." I ordered some and am really excited to try it. I dumped my old make-up as old stuff develop bacteria over time, so I said why not. I am also bidding on eBay as it can be cheaper, like Lululemon capris for working out: they are primarily a yoga company, but their fabric is so nice and flattering, and the colors are pretty too. I'm also looking into this brand of shoes advocating Barefoot technology without looking too extreme like Vibram Five Fingers, and they're called Vivo Barefoot by Terra Plana. And there's Skullcandy for music stuff, and maybe some Brooks and Moving Comfort/Her Room for physical activity, and maybe some Earth Shoes/Dansko/Simple Shoes in the future? Of course, there's always books/videos I am pining for on Amazon, as well as other things in other sites, but to each its own time, especially with my tiny salary! I sometimes lament to Jess that I like stuff too much, but hopefully that's normal, and hopefully I'm not too too much into getting stuff: I try to buy good stuff, but I try to limit it to what I really want, and for cheaper, if possible. That's what I actually told Jess in response to this video called "The Story of Stuff" of how it's an endless cycle of wanting something to working to get it then buying and repeat; I think it's fun to buy stuff and want things: I think it shows we're human: it helps the economy, too. However, I also do believe there is a limit, and if we can buy "reuse" by getting stuff from friends that they don't like but we do, or buying stuff from people (like on eBay) that they no longer like but we do, then it's kinda limiting the amount of excess stuff that's out there. There is that saying: "One man's trash is another man's treasure." I believe in that, and I believe that leads to a healthy economy of sorts.

As for wedding stuff, I still need to fix the invites, and the marriage license and am waiting on the dress here in Houston. But apart from that, we got the venue/food, the photographer/videographer; I have my birth certificate and baptismal certificate (yay!); we have definite ideas how to do our wedding favors, are working on the invites, the church's permission (especially as we're overseas and are a mixed-religion couple), and am still tweaking the flowers, as well as hair and make-up. As for jewelry, I'm hoping pearls will be ok with my Mom as Jess' abuela (maternal grandmom) is lending me her Panamanian mosquetas (pearl brooch and earrings). I've always wanted to wear pearls, and so what if pearls=tears: what if those tears are happy ones? So there. Hopefully I don't have to do doves too: poor doves, and hello potential bird poop on clothes! I'm still thinking about the bouquet: maybe I don't have to toss it (I would like not to), but Jess said I have to think of something as replacement as people are used to tradition: in place of the old, they need a new one.

So this is my news-tidbit/s thus far. I feel like the calm before the storm, though underneath it is a frenetic juggling act that bursts every now and then to make sure that we're still floating; I just hope that everything will be ok, and that it is so.

May this find you well.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Superbrain Yoga

Yoga IS awesome, I just don't miss all the laundry from "hot" yoga. Take Superbrain Yoga, for example: you don't even need to change clothes, and at 5 minues a day, almost anywhere? Count me in.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Progress List

Mahalo everyone!

Just in case I haven't told y'all yet, our wedding dates are:
Jan. 15, 2011 in Manila, Philippines
Sept. 10, 2011 in Austin, Texas (USA)

Well, so far, we have:
-cufflinks! (they were Papa's, Jess' maternal grandfather, are made of ivory and came from his stint in Japan)
-my veil
-my shoes
-my evening bag
-undies stuff, including hosiery
-Jess' grandmother's lace and her mother-in-law's tatting
-wax seal!

We have committed to:
-rings (in gold)
-a "headpiece"
-cake toppers
-my rehearsal dress
-shawls and ties for us and the entourage
-paper punches!
-rubber stamps!
-photography services--for Austin
-a "suit and dress" carry-on bag

We will borrow Jess' abuela's:
-Panamanian mosqueta brooch and earrings

We are more or less decided, but still ironing out
-my wedding dress with Morgan
-ceremony and reception location (the food comes with it) --for Austin; Mary the Queen Parish and Jercon Penthouse, respectively, for Manila
-cake-- for Austin (we're thinking berry chantilly/carrot cake/chocolate decadence)
-favors-- for Austin; honey-roasted peanuts for Manila
-flowers--for Austin
-hair and make-up--for Austin
-guest books
-post stamps
-photo booth app called PartyBooth
-MadLibs (and vows)!

No idea yet on
-music (though there are some songs I want to be played)
-invites (though there is a skeleton plan and sketch complete with tentative wording)
-registry/ies (though I heard of this)
-rehearsal dinner (maybe Salt Lick?)
-guest accommodations (maybe Verde Camp?)
-marriage license and name change ie legalese?
-Jess' shoes
-house (for September!)--with space for plants, and goats and chickens, and maybe a dog!
-my Montessori/teaching status
-honeymoon plans

So this is where we are right now. I hope it all works out. I hope we can do this, and that we are doing it well, and right.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Growing things

So, apart from having some sort of cactus, a lucky bamboo, and recently African violets from a student for Valentine's, now we are trying our luck with calla lilies, just because I saw them as a bridal bouquet and saw them live this time and still thought they were pretty. Then that was that. Apparently, calla lilies are a type of onion. I hope that means it doesn't pollinate like a regular flower. In any case, here's to more green thumb abilities.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Creativity or Overboard?

While I am already scrambling to get stuff into place (like royal blue neckties and shawls, a wedding pinata, wedding favors, dress measurements, my veil, a potential cake topper and wedding headpiece, cake, floral and make-up people, firming up a photographer and the venue, not to mention house-hunting for September and still looking for size 9.5/10 royal blue shoes--anyone?) I was thinking of guest book ideas, or shower ideas, and music. Speaking of wedding traditions, if I have royal blue shoes and a shawl, that'd take care of something blue, right? :)

As much as I am not the biggest fan of the knot, I saw an idea of theirs that I liked: making a Mad Libs for the wedding, or wedding shower (I am thinking a joint one would be better--price-wise and trying to coordinate things)

I was also thinking of getting a big honkin' journal and having guests write down
1) what they think love and marriage are
2) what their advice would be to us (the potential newlyweds)

For the guest book, what about a wide photo mat for guests to write well-wishes/names, etc on it? It would be an alternative to the usual guest book and a memento, as well. For more ideas, try this site.

Music, ah, music. Maybe a DJ? 'Coz I'm already thinking of the following songs:

-Your Arms Around Me by Jens Lekman
-You Remind Me of Home by Benjamin Gibbard
-One Sweet Love by Sara Bareilles
-Ave Maria by Beyonce
-Stick With Me by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss
-I Gotta Feeling by BEP
-Say Hey I Love You by Michael Franti
-You and Me by DMB
-Jai Ho by AR Rahman
-Are You Gonna Be My Girl by JET
-All I Want is You by Barry Louis Polisar
-When U Love Somebody by Fruit Bats
-The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson
-Love of My Life by Santana
-Love Shack by B-52's
-Let's Stick Together by Al Green
-I'm Yours by Jason Mraz
-Wedding Song by Tracy Chapman
-At Last by Etta James
-Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
-The Prettiest Thing by Norah Jones
-She Is So Beautiful by The Waterboys
-Stand By Me by Ben E. King
-Heartbeats by The Knife
-When She Believes by Ben Harper
-Must Have Done Something Right by Relient K
-Head Over Heels by The Go-Go's
-I Don't Feel Like Dancin' by the Scissor Sisters
-All You Need is Love by The Beatles
-Kiss by Prince
-You Are My Sunshine by Norman Blake
-La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong
-The Very Thought of You by Nat King Cole
-I've Got You Under My Skin
-Karma Yoga by The Yoga Specialists

Ok, I had no idea I already had a lot I liked! Alrighty then.

For a gift registry, between the two of us, Jess and I have most of the stuff we need (who cares if it doesn't all match-- kitsch is the new cool!), but I read in a book of creating a bank account? What about PayPal? Or what about an Amazon registry?

I probably should ease up, but I *really* like my ducks lined up in a row, so we'll see. A lot of things to think about. Jess says we've gotten a lot of stuff done already, but eh. That's what I say. I say carry on.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Wedding planning

While I am planning my wedding dress, and the rings are in progress, I got my veil from Etsy, and I'm thinking of getting this headband, in ivory or gold.

Maybe attach the veil to that???? Hmmmm. And what about (royal blue) shoes??? Thinking of getting a royal blue shawl too to my dress here, and maybe a bridesmaid gift too (or something else for the gift)? :) Looking at royal blue neckties for the groomsmen on eBay, and maybe wedding favors from Berdoll's or even better, someone still local but cheaper. Nuts are supposedly the traditional wedding favor, especially sugared almonds, as almonds are bitter and sugar is sweet, representing weddings' bittersweet quality. Pecans are more southern and Texan, so maybe sweetened pecans, instead. Speaking of wedding traditions, I found a website that has Filipino customs, though I think some of it's a bit much. Jess and I are also thinking of having a wedding reception pinata in Austin, maybe a donkey in our wedding colors of royal blue and ivory. In Texas, surely we can find someone who'll do it! ;)

We also looked at a wedding place and it might be The Winfield Inn south of Austin in Kyle, TX. They do catering on-site and I think at an added cost, can do the cake too. Otherwise maybe Michelle's Patisserie?
I would like a dark chocolate zucchini cake for a groom's cake, and a hummingbird/carrot cake for the bridal/wedding cake. Or key lime pie for the groom's cake as Jess likes key lime pie, and flan. Come to think of it, those cakes would be good for Manila, too....

(Austin) photographer will hopefully be the McKinneys of Red Letter Photos. For hair and make-up, I do not know who to go to yet.

For flowers, we're thinking Petals, Ink. per Julia (Jess' sister)'s suggestion, and as with our ethic, we'd prefer it be local and seasonal, and a local vendor.

We're still trying to figure out the logistics of music, and the rules of a second wedding. For reception music, it definitely has to be music we can dance and relate to. In Manila, Nikki is suggesting the choir of the church I grew up in, but I think Mom's wanting Lolo Billy's students/orchestra. Then for the wedding, maybe legal stuff will be in Texas and religious will be in the Philippines? Er. I don't know.

Ok, this is most of things from our end right now. Jess is telling me to relax, but I really feel I should be on the ball here. Thus the search continues...