bad dreams

first-congratulations to ry, the one and only person to guess yesterday's movie quote, and he was right!!

second-i swear this is not going to turn into a wedding blog. like up and down cross my heart hope to die swear that it won't. however, over the next year there will be some wedding related content since we are in the midst of planning our own. this is likely to continue after since it is part of my current job, and hopefully eventually my job in its entirety so i hope i don't bore anyone!

that being said, last night was a wedding planning night and it could not have gone better. we have had a great streak of luck with our wedding vendors (it helps knowing a lot of them i suppose) and our meeting with our amazing dj last night was no different. her name is leslie. leslie, brian and i have a great deal in common with our musical tastes, which is nice because brian and i listen to pretty obscure musical acts. he prefers british rock, and i enjoy what he refers to as "sorority girl music" and i refer to as "john mayer before he sold out" or "a guy and his guitar." it was important for us to make sure that while our musical tastes are reflected in some portions of the evening-during dinner, our first dance, our introduction, the cake cutting-but that our musical tastes are not necesarily the same as our friends and family. leslie was able to see our vision for a personal musical selection for the special moments, but really keeping the party going after the cake has been cut. hooray for another successful meeting!

 do they not have the cutest logo?

then, we went to a delicious wicker park restaurant, hot chocolate.

it may sound like a chocolate bar, but it was so much more than that. comfort food? check. amazing server? check (hey saul!) 50% off bottles of wine on tuesday? check. the.best.hot.chocolate.ever? double check. if you're ever in wicker park, or looking for a fun new place, definitely check out hot chocolate. that being said, they were just on check, please! and it was p-a-c-k-e-d.

to round out a beautiful evening i had an awful wedding related dream that included an ugly dress that was too big, no beautiful lincoln town car to drive us to our hotel, a no-show photographer, a dead bouquet, and some very very unwelcome guests...the only good part of the dream was that i was still marrying my handsome fiance who, even in my worst dream last night, helped deal with the drama and we still had a happy day. here's hoping for a much smoother reality!!


the skills of a misspent youth

first of all, blog shout out to anyone who can name the movie that they say "the skills of a misspent youth" in...


one of the skills i picked up living in this beautiful windy city is the ability to parallel park. i know, i know...for those of you who can do this easily and naturally do not find the amusement in this, however for those of you who turn parallel parking into a game of bumper cars, you get me. however, i haven't had much practice since i sold my car, preston, last year, so i do get worried when the time comes to use this skill.

the scene:
i live on one of the busiest streets in the city, and one of the most dangerous intersections in the country. saturday evening when we got home from our little road trip (more on that in the next few days-stay tuned!) we circled the block 8 times before I said "OK one more time and then we're paying for a garage." Wouldn't you know a perfect spot opened right up. After some illegal 3-point turns in the midst of cars swooshing by and my fiance getting more and more nervous with each gear change, I aligned myself just perfectly.

and then i executed the most perfect parallel parking job known to man. ever. in the history of the auto world. even in the history of horse driving if they parallel parked those carriages... anyways i took this picture the following morning with my blackberry so please excuse the low picture quality, and enjoy my skills. no bumping. no grinding. simply gorgeous.


shop by color

in the last few days i have spent literally hundreds of hours on etsy scouring the amazing talents of the vendors around the globe to find fun and cute details for our upcoming wedding.

i stumbled upon this amazing section of etsy called "shop by color"

most amazing link.ever. seriously. you HAVE to try it.



rain, rain...get lost!

usually my morning commute is relatively pain free. go outside, walk one block, catch the bus right away (courtesy of the bus tracker, amen finally the cta did something right!) get off the bus 8 minutes later, walk 2 blocks to work and eventually settle in at my desk with a bottle of water and maybe even a delicious bagel.

today, however, that was not the case.

today i walked outside and it was raining hard. very hard. and the wind was blowing so fast that the rain looked as if it was literally raining horizontally.

luckily, i was prepared and sported my bright pink and navy blue wellies (courtesy of my older sister) they kept my feet warm and dry, and added a little touch of fun to the dreary chicago morning. thank you to my older sister for these lovely shoes.

i do sort of want to get a pair of pink hunters though, and the adorable wellie socks. however, the pinks are nowhere to be found, or else i'd put a link right here, and give you my shipping address!

now, you might be thinking-does this girl need another pair of pink rain boots? probably not, but what in the world makes you think i only buy things because i *need* them?

the nice thing about the hunter boot/sock combination is that the socks keep the inside of the boot as warm as my uggs, and the outside will stay nice and dry (unlike my uggs). the problem with uggs is that they are warm, yes, but they certainly were not created to deal with the slush accumulation in the windy city, and definitely not for a public transportation utilizer.

my next problem presented itself in the form of protecting my body from the elements.

i am not joking when i tell you that the wind was literally knocking people over. granted that girl needed a sandwich more than anything, but that is pretty fast wind. my umbrella was flapping around, and flipped itself inside out more than once. i thought i might literally be able to float to to work like mary poppins. alas, that did not work.

a friend of a friend presented the umbrella conversation on his blog today, and i completely and wholeheartedly agree with his conclusion. bubble umbrellas. bubble umbrellas are the best. i temporarily had one of these beauts in college, but of course lost it in a cab after a frat party, never to return again. it just might be time to purchase a new one. plus, because i so frequently use my umbrella to block the wind, at least with one of these bad boys i'll be able to see if anything is coming towards me. like people. or cars. or double decker busses!!

plus i absolutely love the curved handle, how very holly golightly. and the top, i don't know what else to call it but a stick at the top. perfect for keeping the plastic protected from the treacherous pavement. with a long umbrella like that, its sure to drag on the ground every now and again.

of course, it only seems fitting that just as i figure out my fall time weather gear that it is actually going to be winter soon and all that i will care about is warm warm warm. oy break out the north face coats and face masks chicagoans...the blizzards are just around the corner!!


one crafty weekend

living in a 250 square foot studio apartment does not lend itself well to crafting. living in a 250 square foot studio with a 3 pound puppy with endless energy and a curious disposition makes it pretty much impossible.

three pounds of pure puppy adorableness

that being said, i've decided that this weekend is going to be the weekend for two big projects i've been putting together in my head, and next weekend when mom and my older sister (and amazing maid of honor, not to dismiss my younger sister, who is also an amazing maid of honor) are here we have a third. watch out michael...i'm coming to your store with a mission.

project 1:
dresser drawer re-finishing

i have a black dresser. it is actually quite sleek. but, i'm tired of the same old same old black drawers and silver knobs.

my plan is to get two styles of paper. one solid green color, and one green pattern as an accent. i haven't been able to scout out any papers i particularly love online, but i'm hoping for a grass green motif to compliment my bedding that, even a year and a half later, i'm still obsessed with.

i will use mod podge to cover the drawers, and hopefully anthropolgie will yield some beautiful drawer pulls to just sort of spice everything up!

project 2: custom cork board creation and installation

i have a desk. i love my desk. i also have lots and lots of postcards, love notes, receipts, and {probably expired} coupons. and what i do not have is somewhere to keep them. i made a makeshift cork board but did not adequately purchase the materials, so this is sort of a re-do project.

this is my desk that i love. up top i have my printer, design magazines with many-a-dog-eared pages, wedding contracts and a plethora of receipts. the two shelves host an iHome, stacks and stacks of stationary-some designed by your's truly, and some courtesy of paper-source, and such a wide variety of dog treats you'd think that i had my own petco. then my trusty laptop takes up the largest portion. over to the right, in the little 'nook' i keep my 8 million different types of post-it notes, a pen jar, and tape. the drawer is where "stuff" goes to die and that is another project for another day. down below in the part where i imagine non-laptop people keep the big boxy part of the computer is where you will find lots and lots {and lots} of the above mentioned cards, receipts, etc.

the white portion is where i intend to install the corkboard. i will need my trusty gluegun, corkboard pieces, fabric, batting, ribbon, and decorative gems for where the ribbon will criss-cross.

all in all i think i have a pretty busy sunday coming up. too bad i can't work on this saturday-i have a wedding for work...and i'm ready for it to be o-v-e-r!!! maybe lily's and her dad will have a nice long walk on sunday so i can craft and catch up on my dvr. anyone else agree that the dvr is potentially man's greatest modern invention?

check back next week for the results!! i'll post before and after pictures of the real thing. make sure you're sitting down...its sure to be a doozy! ;-) oh, i'll also post about the third project soon. its going to involve lots of pictures, mom, and my MOH/sister...so its sure to be a good time in and of itself!


jer-z boys

oh what a night! (errr...afternoon!)

yesterday i met up with my old roommate, his mom, grandmother, and aunt, and we hit up the lasalle bank theater (i refuse to give into corporate overtakes and refer to it as bank of america theater quite yet) and saw the boys from jersey and oh man were they great!!

in case you don't know the story-which i didn't-here's a quick re-cap. the show focuses on the creation, success, and downfalls of franki valli and the four seasons. they have a pretty great story that includes some super low times and some really great times.

one of my favorite lines from the show is when franki is telling the audience about how great the times were.  just like when you are having bad times and your mom consoles you by saying "this too shall pass" he reflects that the good times pass as well. as melancholy as it is, for me it just really made me thankful for the abundance of good times i have in my life, and reminded me that the bad parts will pass.

i also got to hear my favorite song of all time, "December, 1963 (Oh What a Night)" and boy oh boy i had never realized how sexual this song is! so much for thinking what a fun song it would be to choreograph a first dance for a december wedding...! enjoy the following clip and get your monday morning groove on!

the other thing i learned from this show is just how influential those jersey boys have been on today's music scene. i knew almost every song in the show but besides oh what a night, I had no idea that the four seasons sang the song. i will never forget the way my heart melted in high school when my best friend and i would watch "10 things i hate about you" and heath ledger belted out "you're just too good to be true" for julia stiles. it was such a sense of deja vu when franki valli sang it on stage. very good times had by all!

long story short-if you haven't had a chance to see this show yet you absolutely must go before they leave in january!


peacock <3

back in may when i first started down the floral design path i helped put together a 3-day display at the big macy's on state street. the theme was something about dreaming in color (do people dream in black and white? nuts!) and we put up some pretty crazy stuff. however, part of the display was a peacock made entirely out of flowers and leaves. this began my love affair with the peacock.

how can you not be obsessed? yet, when i tell anyone about my new fixation with this amazing royal blue and green bird they find it to be a bit off. if you ask me the peacock is about to get super super popular (you heard it here first ya'all) so maybe one day that naysayers will come around.

as i sat and looked at images of this gorgeous bird i came across a white peacock. stunning. just as its colored cousin is striking in its boldness, the white peacock took my breath away. every aspect of the peacock is found from its arrogant little head-dressing to the "eye" detailing in the feather.

imagine the upkeep that animal must go through to stay that color!

then i saw this guy.

i'm not sure if this ever happens in nature but it sure did spark a bit of inspiration as me and my fiance begin to get to the details of wedding planning. i wonder how he'd feel about a peacock inspired wedding color palette!


halloween costume

photo courtesy of sunset

my office has an annual halloween costume contest. i never really enjoyed halloween growing up for some reason-the costumes were always either lame or a lot of work to make. my favorite ever was when my mom made me a "poodle girl" costume with a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. if i was like rachel zoe and a size -00 then i'd wear that thing every year. alas, i no longer have the body of a six year old, and the poodle girl costume is a no go.

so today my boss, in her attempt to make casual conversation, asked me what i was going to be this year. last year i really wowed everyone with my iPod costume...

me. halloween. 2008. photo courtesy of {gully}

..but i didn't win the contest and i decided my hours of graphic design were wasted. the winner was a guy that dressed like a girl...as if that is creative. but, i digress. i thought for a moment, and let her know that i had the best costume ever.

i told her i was going as the invisible woman. i let her know that she shouldn't worry if she couldn't find me on october 30th, because my costume is going to be just.that.good. she laughed.

and i'm taking the day off. who's laughing now?

i die for dahlias

as i have been spending my weekends in the floral design studio with the lovely natalie and the hillarious vita of hello darling i have found myself having a love affair with a variety of flowers, and my favorite now changes almost weekly.

my current obsession is the dahlia.

photo courtesy of natalie walsh/hello darling

why do i love the dahlia? i'm not sure where to begin. this close up from natalie's portfolio really showcases the intricacy of the gorgeous petals, and how hard nature must work for this kind of perfection and symmetry. i have also learned that the petals of the dahlia work together to keep the bud in one piece. if there are a few bad petals you can pull them off, but pull one too many and the stunning bud will shatter in your hands. with so many varieties and colors of this flower, the dahlia is sure to please just about everyone.

hello there.

welcome to how nice. as i found myself constantly sharing links of things that make me go weak in my knees with my friends i thought that it might be {nice} to document them, and share with everyone else.

i hope you enjoy.