Sunday, December 27, 2009
This year, our family decided to have ourselves a merry little white Christmas by taking a trip to Tahoe with some family friends and my precious fiance. This was to be the first snowboard/ski trip for both Victor and Chachu, our family friend (who also came with his parents), so we wanted it to be memorable. And memorable, it is to be.
Yesterday, we took our equipment and decided to practice a bit on a small hill that quickly became boring. Today, we actually purchased lift tickets and took a few trips down the (not so) treacherous and icy mountain. On the last run of the day, I decided to sit it out and spent the next 20 or so minutes looking for my brother and Victor to come charging down the hill. I saw John speed by and looked expectantly up the hill only to see Victor fall on his back and do a couple flips until he finally stopped. And stayed still. For awhile.
Optimistic me, I thought he was simply recuperating from a big fall. After he got up, took off his snowboard, walked the little bit of the rest of the way down, talked to my brother at the bottom of the hill, and came to where I was, I started realizing that something.. was not... quite right.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Victor had a concussion.
I know I am definitely not cut out for 50 first dates, especially since I started wanting to smack him after we had THE SAME CONVERSATION about three times. I usually knew that the conversation had restarted when Victor would ask "What happened?" or "Did I fall?" The next couple of questions would then be "Am I going to law school at Santa Clara?" followed by "Am I marrying you on August 1?"
John says that people usually ask questions about things most important to them when they're trying to remember things after a concussion, so I was a bit flattered the first time he asked that. After maybe the 3rd or 4th time, I started getting annoyed and snappy. He didn't ask anymore after that, so I think his unconscious decided to finally embed that knowledge permanently. Especially since he started saying, "I am marrying you on August 1. Right?"
On another note, my mother is going to make the next 4 or so generations of our family wear helmets when we go skiing or snowboarding due to this fall. Thanks a lot Victor.
Monday, December 7, 2009
One of their (more) recent posts is about 15 small luxuries for home cooks [which you can read HERE], and it talks about some artisan cheeses. This led to a hankering for some artisan cheeses to consume myself. I sense an upcoming trip to a local cheese shop coming up!
On Friday, I am planning to drag Victor with me here and there and around the city for a full day of fun and non-studying on Friday so that I can get my fill of the city's holiday spirit (Bryant Park holiday shops, Union Square holiday market, Rockefeller Christmas tree, etc!) before I go home, and mayhaps I shall add this little shop to the list and have ourselves a mini cheese and wine party (consisting of... one cheese and one wine). Still, I am looking forward to it. I love Christmas!
Anything you guys can't wait for as the holidays come up? Any creative ideas I can steal from you? :P
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Instead of working on our papers like the good students we presumably are, Victor and I have instead been working on the escort/seating cards for our reception.
ESCORT/SEATING CARDS?!?!?! You may exclaim. Why would we need to do those when our guest list has yet to be finalized?! How could we possibly be figuring out the seating arrangements when we don't even have a list of people whom we have invited, much less RSVP'd and chosen the chicken or the vegetarian (Just kidding, those will not be our dinner options)?
Well, it's really more for experimenting with images. Victor and I have decided to try something new and fun and completely us, but that (as always), requires a lot of hard work and research and figuring out. Now that we've got a pretty good idea of what we're going to actually do, I'm getting pretty excited about actually putting these things all together. Though I see myself complaining and whining to my bridesmaids after an hour of measuring, cutting, and gluing there is still a part of me that can't wait for June and July to come so I can get all crafty again!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Hello everyone! I know Maureen has already posted on the registry, but the registry is an ongoing process. And unfortunately, you don't have the groom's perspective. . . yet. Registering has definitely been the most exciting part of wedding planning so far. The reason being that while we were doing the registry, I wasn't only thinking about the wedding but also the impending marriage. Registering for kitchen tools and gadgets made me think about the weekends that we would spend cooking all sorts of goodness. Oh. . . goodness. . .
Researching for quality appliances and equipment is also fun. Signing up for Cooks Illustrated one day pass, looking through consumer search and reading Amazon reviews are very helpful and exciting. It is at this time that I have to confess to my buying habits. Most of the time, it takes me a while to buy something, because I will want to have done at least some research or if it is a tangible object in a store. . . I will pick it up and play with it. This is the most difficult part of shopping for me. But with registering, life is so much easier because I don't spend 5 hours pacing debating on whether I have the money or should spend the money, because one of our guests will have that opportunity *wink*. What I can do is research the heck out of that vacuum so that when someone buys it for us, it'll be the best darn vacuum that will last forever. (FYI: whoever gets us that vacuum may become my new BFF forever).
I'm also excited about moving back to California. And like Maureen, I'm also sad. It's weird, and I'm sure Maureen feels the same way, but I already miss her and I think I will keep missing her until she graduates in May. Four months is not that long of a time, technology will help us communicate in ways we couldn't in the past, but still.
Anyway, that's it from me for now, see you in two to three months. hahah just kidding.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Like the weird shiny lights in the photo above, Victor is being whisked away from me for a semester. [GASP] This is both a :( and a :) sort of event. Maybe I should elaborate:
Two years ago, Victor and I decided to apply to schools on both sides of the coast because we wanted to see what else was outside of San Diego/CA. We got lucky and both ended up about an hour from each other in the state of NY. This part, you all probably know. If you don't, I'm not quite sure why you're following this blog...
Six months ago, the two of us began to debate whether we wanted to stay in the state or if we wanted to return to California after completion of both our programs. After going back and forth and the life-changing event of my sister's pregnancy, we decided on the latter, with the only remaining question of when. The most realistic option seemed to be for me to graduate from my program in May and then stay here with my new hubby for a year while he finishes his last year, after which we'll be heading back home.
Shortly before summer vacation ended, Victor found out about Santa Clara Law's transfer program. Now, Santa Clara Law is far from the only JD-granting program that offers the option of transfers. The difference is that SCL is one of the few who offers this option to a second-year student MIDYEAR. The option of transferring seemed to be closed to us when we started talking about it in the summer because most applications had been long overdue, and it's not exactly the kind of move that law schools take lightly. Furthermore, the school Victor currently attends is far from making the top 100 list, while SCL occupies the 85th ranking. Sure, it's no Stanford, but that's still a pretty big jump, so the transfer was far from a guarantee. Victor would also have to forfeit a number of opportunities that he's gained for himself at his current campus, but it all seemed worth it for a network in California and 3000 miles closer to mom and dad (for both of us). So September and October came and went, and Victor's application was turned in.
TODAY. Victor sends me an email titled "HEY!" Yes, with the caps and the exclamation mark at the end. Checking the message sends me over to SCL's "application status check" with the revealing information that HE WAS ACCEPTED.
[Cheers and whoops go off in my head]
Then I realized that he'd be far far away where Shrek's in-laws live.
[Sad faces and pouting erupts]
So as you can see, this event is both a cause for celebration and a reason why I might be snappy and irritable for the months of February through May. Just a warning. But be sure to congratulate Victor about this great accomplishment :)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
With all these and more options that are available in stores and on the web (albeit with a hefty price tag), how is a girl to choose? Should I go for fun and flirty? Elegant and smooth? Grand and royal? SO MANY OPTIONS.
Luckily, my partner-in-crime (aka my maid of honor) Agnes and I decided to tackle this central, but largely ignored by the attendees, detail of my wedding day by diving head first into a little dress browsing last weekend. After stepping in and out of what seemed like a million yards of expensive satin, lace, and chiffon, the both of us decided on one basic style that I'm going to alter and tweak a little for the showdown coming next August.
After arriving home, I emailed Milly Bridal - located in China - at the recommendation of the ever-so-helpful Priscilla Wong (who recently celebrated her own nuptials), for a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind wedding dress and then sent over a few of the photos that one of the local boutiques allowed the two of us to snag during the dress trials.
Unfortunately I won't be able to post any more details here, considering that the one man that must be surprised by the shaping and decor of this lovely costume happens to be the one individual with whom I share this blog. Plus, where's the fun if everyone already knows what my wedding dress looks like? I suppose you will all have to be content with waiting to see me on my very special day.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
And that was it.
JUST KIDDING. Of course I thought about my future hubby as well. But the good news for the little girl described above is that WE'VE REGISTERED.
On Friday, the off-day both Victor and I have, we spent 6 hours walking around and browsing Bed Bath and Beyond for the perfect kitchen and dining assistants we hope to have once we tie the knot. It was immensely fun and if anybody DISLIKES this part of their wedding planning, please tell me and I'll do it for you. I am so not kidding, I will really do it for you.
Anyway, it's nice to finally update this with something exciting like this. Wedding planning was temporarily halted due to the amount of schoolwork and adjusting I had to do once I returned to school, but all is well because the bridezilla is back! Just kidding, I hope I'm not a bridezilla. The crazy wedding planner is definitely here to stay for awhile though, considering the fact that there are only 286 days until the wedding! (No, I am not counting down, I am merely adding numbers.)
Look forward to more updates!
Friday, August 28, 2009
With our venue booked and a date set firmly in place, Victor and I without hesitation booked our photographer! Though we have yet to sign a contract or put down any moolah, I have contacted and made plans to do so with my sister's ever-so-dear friend, Jon Chan.
Now let me tell you how Jon Chan got into this wedding photography business. An old friend of my sister's, they were hanging out one day way back in 2006 (2005?) before my sister became Mrs. Victor Chiu, and Jon mentioned his secret longing to become a wedding photographer. Well, longing might be too strong of a word. Let's say interest. My sister encouraged him to try it out for once, and volunteered her own beautiful wedding as his first prototype. He agreed and, along with two of their other friends, happily captured many snapshots of Victor and Daphne's nuptials.
It turns out that he LOVED it. And I mean LOVED. He now does a few weddings a year and is an avid student of the photographic arts, attending classes and shooting everywhere and everything (with his camera, of course). So three short years later, there I am, sitting in my parents' dining room, looking up a variety of photographers, when my sister mentions that maybe I should check out Jon Chan's photos.
Not being nearly as silly as my family seems to think I am, I had already thought about it but then felt weird hiring someone who was more like an older brother than a wedding vendor. But after some prompting, I decided to AT LEAST check his photos out. I wander over to http://www.jonchanphotography.com (shameless plugin), and
WOW. I am blown away. His use of vertical space and color amazes me, and even in that lame, quality-less blog insert, I still see a photojournalistic quality that I would love to have in the photos that I will one day show my grandchildren. So of course, I email him, and tell him he is going to photograph my wedding. He, of course, complies.
Monday, August 24, 2009
After much exploration on the internet and a couple of drives here and there (though not nearly as many as some other couples I know of...) Victor and I have finally found our almost-dream venue for our reception. That's right, folks, it's the SUNNYVALE COMMUNITY CENTER.
[boos, hisses, and tomatoes get thrown at me]
NOW. Before you completely sweep us aside and call us cheap or unclassy, I think it might help you understand why we decided to go with someplace like this if I explained a bit. First of all, it's not UGLY. I mean, I've seen some pretty butt ugly places, and I think this one has just enough class to be, well, not bad. Second, the reason I say almost-dream venue is because Victor and I love, love, LOVE the idea of being able to customize this place to our hearts' desires with the exclusion of tacks and nails on the walls, all in an effort to realize the vision that's in our heads. My parents tried to convince us to go another route where weddings come boxed up in a package, and I have to say neither of us were too ecstatic about that venue (harhar, get it? venue?). We liked the idea of being able to have a choice in what our guests will eat and drink, the feel they could receive upon entering the room, the colors and decorations that they gaze upon as they listen to the music that we choose, and other things like that. We like projects, and dare I say, a little bit of hard work, to achieve that just-right sort of touch that I've always wanted for our wedding, and I'd have to say he's probably the best person to partner with me on this kind of thing.
So if anyone is interested in helping me brainstorm and decorate this place, be my guest and tell me. Harhar.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
When I tried to put the software together with the remote shutter, plugging camera into the computer for some reason disables the shutter button and pictures can only be taken from the computer....bummer. So that leaves us with two options:
1. Use the remote shutter and pair the camera with a TV display (if possible) and just take a simple picture.
2. Use the software and have some poor soul run to the computer to click the shutter and run back into position. Which will result a more customizable photograph in the end (e.g. multiple pictures, strips, backgrounds and titles).
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Although I had entertained the idea of having a dry wedding, Victor and I realized that we have too many alcoholic friends. Well, not alcoholic (for the most part), but the majority of them do love a little something to help get their groove on.
However, neither of us looked favorably upon the $20/L price attached to Dionysius' favorite drink. And that's for the nearly incredibly cheap editions too! Don't even begin to talk about how hotels and other venues will overcharge you by an arm and leg, forcing you to pay a $15 corking fee per bottle on top of the wine itself, or charge you $80 for everyone of THEIR bottles (?!?!?!?!!!) We even toyed around with the idea of Trader Joe's two-buck chuck, but those bottles are really a hit or miss sort of thing.
In the end, we've decided to buy boxed wine (yes, BOXED wine), and fill up pre-used wine bottles (washed and scraped of their previous identity) and slapping on our own custom label, as well as literally shoving a cork in it. With this particular project, any wine aficionados around the Bay Area reading this could definitely help us out by saving your own finished wine bottles until I next come home (when my mother will kill me for collecting these things). Also, if anyone, for some very odd reason happens to have a Gilda Hand Corker or a Bench Model Corker, PLEASE let me know as either of these would definitely come in handy, say a couple of weeks before the wedding. And if anyone is already an avid boxed-wine drinker, any recommendations would be well appreciated :)
Monday, June 29, 2009
Have you ever read "The Secret Garden"?
Though this book was, by no means, my favorite piece of childhood literature (a spot reserved for "The Velveteen Rabbit"), there was many a school day where I would spend its afternoon whittling away at my own internal secret garden. Yes, much to my teacher's chagrin every time she waited for my answer after having called on me to answer some silly science or history question.
There's something adventurous and fantastical about having a secret garden while still maintaining intimacy and comfort. When I think of a simple "garden," I still think of things like dirt, wind, too much sun, bugs, etc. But when I think of a "SECRET garden," I think of this imaginative and private world. A garden would be a good place to entertain and to take care of guests, but a secret garden could be an escape and a liberation from everyday life, a retreat of some sort. There's an ethereal quality to it, where you feel like it could just fly away at any moment. But at the same time, you know that the garden is REAL and that it's THERE, making it the best kind of fantasy, one solidly grounded in seeds (forgive the pun) of reality.
I've decided that's what I'd like my wedding to be like. Though there's no doubt that I can be a very public and outgoing person, my relationship with Victor has made me understand the value of privacy and intimacy in a very good and abundant way, in my opinion. I think I used to be too quick to share and vomit my life upon others, sometimes to the dismay of those around me as well as to my own self. Having dated such an enigma for so long and now, being engaged to him, I feel as though there's something about our relationship that also has this "secret garden" quality to it that would make this thematic measure all too appropriate for our wedding.
Fortunately, though there's virtually no way I could ever own a secret garden, I can spend the rest of my life cultivating this relationship :)
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Do you remember this guy over here on the left? WE FOUND IT. A fellow Bay Area resident used it for her wedding way back in 2004, and just recently got around to reselling it. The fortunate consumer? Yours truly!!
Of course, I couldn't have done it without my trusty, dusty middleman, Mr. Robert Chang. He happened to be going back home to Fremont the weekend after I had discovered the craigslisting, oh so conveniently close to the Fremont/Newark area in which the seller resided.
So a hop, a skip, and a jump later, this bad boy is now (I'm assuming) somewhere in Rob's house, just waiting for delivery and/or pickup when I return to the Bay Area :)
Thursday, May 28, 2009
In a naive attempt to buy macarons from the Bouchon Bakery half an hour before closing time (seriously, Mo, what were you THINKING?), I instead stumbled upon a wonderful chocolate delight. All those brown pebbles are dots of delicious chocolate frosting, and the little specks are what feels like dippin dots without that melting sensation. And INSIDE, I got another magnificent surprise:
Wow, can someone say [drool] with me? Sometimes I wonder if it might be simpler and oh so sweeter to just get married and celebrate with the boy with a giant chocolate cupcake in one hand and a few servings of milk in a classic Disneyland cup in the other.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I know there are some who may accuse me of blasphemy, but I have actually been heavily researching and considering using silk flowers for many of my centerpieces and decorations.
Yes, yes, call me crazy but I'm simply not sure if having real flowers would be worth the work and effort of maintaining them and keeping them fresh as the day goes on. Using all fresh flowers would mean that I would either have to purchase them from a florist (with an average cost of $100-300 per bouquet and $750 per large piece... yikes!), or seriously abuse my friendships the night before the wedding.
Apparently for my sister's wedding, there was just SO MUCH labor involved with the flowers (beautiful as they were), that my parents feel like a DIY endeavor and attitude would just not be worth it. As far as discussion with them goes, they seem to be more a fan of hiring help for this. However, I still can not mentally relax my tight fist and let so much money just slide across the table for flowers that will be wilting within the week, provided they even last the entire summer day.
So my perfect compromise? Silk flowers. Not only can my creative minds (namely, Beth harhar) and I complete the centerpieces and larger creations a few weeks or even a month before the wedding, well before the typical "pre-wedding stress" kicks in, I can also have a number of masterpieces that I can either save or take apart and keep for the years to come for my own home-decorating endeavors. In addition, since I have had close to zero experience working with flowers, I can also take my time in experimenting with them beforehand.
One thing that I had been worried about was the fact that they would be FAKE. Sure, it's silk, but it's still FAKE. Nothing can really compare to the soft, delicate feel of a petal personally hand-crafted by God, can it? Well, I suppose not, but in pictures I've been looking at of weddings with faux flower centerpieces (such as the one above), it's fairly difficult to decipher whether the flower's birthplace was in a factory or in a garden.
And, don't worry. The bouquets and boutinierres will still be as real as ever :)
Friday, May 15, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
of many disappointments that I am sure are to come in this wedding planning. I was browsing through some photos and ideas about weddings, and I stumbled across this cake stand that I, for some really odd, unknown reason, just about FELL IN LOVE WITH. I've really been getting attached to the idea of having home-baked cupcakes with the help of friends, and I wanted to have a nice way of displaying them that wasn't as cluttered and squishy as some of the other images that I've seen. The cupcakes in those cases were cute, yes, but they were also kind of... busy. I can't quite explain what I mean.
And the worst part of it was that I was okay with that busy-ness because I hadn't really seen anything that made it look better. And then I saw THAT picture over there on the right. Immediately, my mind yelled [GASP]. It was my cupcake stand. LOOK AT IT. It's all tight and cute and together, and it's definitely still got a lively fun to its flair, but the air and space just in between the three layers, and the little satellite dishes over on the side let it have more of a classy touch to it all, it was SO PERFECT.
But when I searched online, I COULDN'T FIND IT. I had just this photo to go off of, and it took me a good hour and a half of avid searching online to finally discover its beautiful name: the Wilton Garden Cake Stand. So now, I pop this into google search, and it leads me to Bed, Bath and Beyond. Hooray! I think. Unbenownst to me at that moment, in 5 minutes I would be utterly frustrated and depressed because they DO NOT manufacture that cake stand anymore.
At this point in time, I have scoured every single possible place I can think of, from ebay to craigslist to google shopping to simply typing in a "used" at the end of the name, all in an effort to find my cupcakes their home. But alas, I have come to this blog empty handed. Le sigh. And to add insult to injury, I find out that, because it's made of all iron (look, quality!), it also has a horrifying price tag: $169.99. Makes that thirty dollar giant cupcake pan seem like something you'd get at a thrift store.
So that is the end of that adventure. I figure I'll still be able to find something that can replicate its classy touch without shelling out a heart attack. However! If any of you somehow stumble across it used and at a more reasonable price (say, preferably under 100 freaking dollars), I'd be glad to know about it. And again.. le sigh.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Why upload so few, you may ask? I personally kind of like an element of surprise and secrecy when it comes to the big day. I don't want to reveal too many images for now simply because I don't know if I'll be placing some of these on thank-you cards, save-the-dates, or maybe just printing them out for people. If I do, I don't want people to think that they can toss my hard-spent six cents simply because they're all online. I want people to actually cherish the paper copy that I choose to give to them. Selfish and silly? Oh, very much so.
I see on the tab that the flickr upload is 100% complete, so here I will offer you a taste of our beautiful faces and leave you all begging for more :)
Monday, April 13, 2009
OKAY yes, I know that sounds ridiculous and insane, but I don't see what would be sooo utterly impossible about it. Most of the challenge would probably come from one of two areas: 1) Finding and making a recipe that would put out a cake that is still pleasant and delicious a day or two after the initial baking, and 2) Transporting the monstrosity of it all.
I wouldn't fuss too much about the perfection of the decoration, mainly because, well, I have Leslie Wang on my side. harhar. Aside from that though, I think a quick swirl of frosting finished with a cute M&M topper (custom-made) is, right now, perfection in my mind. I've sort of been looking up products, such as paper cake boxes, and cupcake stands to see just what my savings could be, assuming the kitchen (and the products) do not become utter disasters come the week of the wedding. While exploring, I discovered THIS.
Okay, please, look at that beast. ISN'T IT ADORABLE! I want one now just to bake one. AND WHAT A PERFECT TOPPER FOR OUR MOUND OF CUPCAKES. Williams-Sonoma is so fun. Too bad it's ridiculously expensive.
In any case, I hate how all the research I've been doing basically says the same thing: Everyone milks weddings for their money. Well, I refuse to let someone take advantage of me, and I also refuse to let someone else just waltz off with the down-payment of my first house (or, at least, part of it) by manipulating me and saying that it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to... become poor?
Okay, I've got a midterm tomorrow and a final on Wednesday that I probably should have been studying for while I was researching this. In any case, if anybody's gonna be in the Bay Area next summer and wouldn't mind being on my ML team (for, manual labor), notify me and I will definitely abuse our friendship in the kindest of ways. In any case, I'm off to have some banana pudding.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
A few nights ago I posted Victor and my first weddingnews update on my livejournal, and since nothing has actually happened in the last 36 hours, 18 for which I was asleep, I’m simply transferring that post here:
So the only real news as far as the event itself, is that Victor and I have bagged a free engagement photographer! They’re trying to expand their portfolio because they don’t have any engagement photos yet, but everything is good if it’s free. Today Victor and I went shopping for outfit “enhancements,” but there is still one piece of clothing that I am on the hunt for. I hope 5th Ave. and the giant Macy’s will not disappoint tomorrow.
I have also “narrowed” down the reception site potentials to uh… eighteen. and it IS narrowing because the list used to be EVERYTHING on herecomestheguide.com. At least within the bay area. But I’ve eliminated a good number based on the number of guests we’re thinking of having, and of course general prices. I’m still having a tough time eliminating the ones that are on the more moderately expensive side, just because the photos make the places look so beautiful, and I’m desperately hoping catering prices can be negotiated on the basis of “ethnic preferences.” Haha. I will probably have a post all about what I would like to have for food at some later date, but today is not the day.
Also, I’ve been working with the wonderful Leslie Wang on stationary designs, and hopefully that will begin to come to concrete fruition by the time I go home in May or in August, and will be printed and sent by the time we need the send the dates! Probably not for a good half a year or so, but STILL. I am so excited. Somebody stop me from going crazy. Or give me another wedding to help out with. Except now I’m sort of hogging my ideas because I want to use things for my own and I find myself hesitant to give my full imagination for other people. I am so selfish. Eh.
Okay, that’s all the updates for today, and I’m thinking they’ll be few and far between until things start rolling more come this summer. Be excited people! (read: Jen, Leslie, and Roger… and any of the other people who are tempted to discuss this event as “our wedding” instead of “your wedding” when corresponding with me)