27.4.10

look what i made

I have been playing around and making some jewelry recently. I made two necklaces this week. The pictures are a little blurry but I thought I would share.
This first one is an asymmetrical necklace made with snow quartz beads and gold filled chain. I added a messy bow with some scrap fabric I had around.

The next one has carved shell beads with a sterling silver chain. This picture is kind of blurry so you really can't see the carved beads.
You can tell a little better in this picture. I like how this necklace is simple but the carved beads give it that some extra.

I have a few things to go to this weekend that I might wear them to. What do you think?

22.4.10

for earth day

I know I said I wouldn't be back for a little bit but I figured I should do an Earth Day post.

I realized a few months ago that I was being very wasteful. Our boss goes to Sam's Club and buys a bunch of cases of water bottles and we can buy them from him for fifteen cents. I was up to buying three water bottles a day at work, sometimes not even drinking all of the water. The water bottles were all over my car.

It was convenient to be able to buy the water bottles but I knew I had to make a change for the environment and maybe to save a little money. I started using one of my work tea cups as a water cup (yes, my co-workers and I have a lovely little tea table set up) but sometimes my water would taste like tea and it was really difficult to carry my water with me to meetings way across the hospital without spilling it all over the place.

I have been looking for a Nalgene type container with a straw and Saturday I hit the jackpot. I found one at Walmart for $4. They had some with hand grips and some without but I chose one without the grip because they had a pretty bluish green color. ANDDDDD it says "reduce, reuse, recycle" on the side which makes me look very environmentally conscious. I decided I am going to pick up two more when I go grocery shopping this weekend.

I have even noticed that I am drinking a ton more water. So now I am a little healthier too. It is a win, win for both Mother Earth and me!

21.4.10

if i am missing for the next week...

I may be missing again for the next week. I have so much to do and so little time. I guess nothing is really super pressing, but I just have some projects I would like to finish (some of which have been sitting in the craft room for some time now.)

I have a J. Crew inspired lavender skirt that I am working on. I would like to finish it by the beginning of next week so I can wear it to a bridal shower I am going to on May 1st (if it even ends up being wearable).

I am working on creating a bib necklace with pinks and greens and golds. It will be the perfect spring necklace, if I can indeed finish it before spring is over.

I also want to dabble with a bunch of beads and chains I randomly ordered online. I am thinking a multi strand necklace with a little lace bow? We will see, I guess.

And from Saturday morning until late Sunday night I will be at my Aunt's in Virginia for my cousin's baptism (I am the godmother!). And I really should clean the house and maybe go to the gym (considering all I have been eating for the past couple of days is cookies and cake). Oh and I suppose skipping work isn't really an option.

I guess the point is - maybe I will be around, maybe I won't. I just know how disappointing it is to expect company and then have them not show without leaving word. Oh, that's never happened to you? Well, you must just be pretty popular, then.

20.4.10

a brome howard wedding

Well, I have been MIA these past couple of days, I suppose. I had a good reason, though. Our friends got married on Sunday and we were over at our old college stomping grounds since Saturday and got back yesterday evening.

Devin and Chrissy met at the end of the FH and Devin's junior year, the end of her sophomore year, and the end of my freshman year. They started dating the beginning of the following school year and the rest is history. They are seriously one of the most fun and adorable couples. (Yes, Devin, I am saying you are adorable.)

The FH and Devin became best friends the beginning of their freshman year and the FH, as he said in his best man speech, "lived with Devin for four terrible years." Devin was one of the first people I met in college and he immediately became like a horrible older brother - making fun of me and giving me a hard time. When he started dating Chrissy, I instantly fell in love with her. I mean I seriously haven't met anyone who hasn't. She is fun and caring and actually listens to my craziness.

Devin proposed to Chrissy in February 2009 and they set their wedding date for June 2010. But Devin is in the marines and, as anyone in the marines or anyone married to one knows, when you are a marine you are on their time. Devin found out at the end of March that he was being deployed to Afghanistan at the beginning of May. This kind of made it hard to hold the wedding in June (although the FH offered to stand in his place).

So, they moved the wedding up to April 18th at the Brome Howard which is the bed and breakfast two minutes from St. Mary's College. Here are some pictures from their wedding this weekend (which are not great quality since I was more focused on taking video - I only have two hands, ya know!). It really was perfect in every way - intimate, fun, and beautiful.

Chrissy and Devin incorporated a lot of their personalities into their wedding. They both are alum of St. Mary's College of Maryland so it is only fitting that their wedding was on the water at the Brome Howard (which is actually where senior gala is held for soon-t0-be St. Mary's graduates). Chrissy's high school friend, Mary, sang "What a Wonderful World" while the bridal party walked down the path to the ceremony site and sang "At Last" after the ceremony ended. For the reception, each of the tables was named after one of the "seven wonders" which are the seven places that St. Mary's seniors visit the night before graduation (with maybe a cocktail or two). Their friend Josh, played the guitar and sang "Wagon Wheel," for their first dance. And the St. Mary's Seahawk showed up for their cake cutting.

In other words, this wedding was perfect.

14.4.10

bbq chicken pizza

During college, one of the students at my school started a late night pizza business that ran on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights from 10 pm until 1 am. He cooked pizza in the school's kitchen and, god, was it delicious (and cheap too!).

One of the best pizzas you could get was the bbq chicken pizza. I still get cravings. So I was looking through my Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade cookbook (which I have had for a year but have never opened) and I came across a recipe for bbq chicken pizza. I immediately knew how we would be eating our chicken this week.
BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA
from "Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade: cooking 2"

serves about 4 - 6
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 12 minutes
baking time: 20 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound chicken tenders
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
all-purpose flour for dusting
1 package (13.8 oz) refrigerated pizza dough
1 cup mozzarella cheese
3/4 Gouda shredded Gouda cheese
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add the chicken tenders and saute until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat. When chicken is cool enough to handle, chop chicken. In a small bowl, toss chicken with 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce. Set aside.
3. On a flour-dusted surface, roll out pizza dough to fit a greased 15x10x1-inch sheet pan; place on pan. Shape dough to fill pan. Spread remaining barbecue sauce evenly over pizza dough. Sprinkle cheese, onion, and chicken over sauce.
4. Bake about 20 minutes or until cheese bubbles. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Note 1: I had chicken breasts so I used chicken breasts instead of chicken tenders.
Note 2: I couldn't find the Pillsbury dough that I use when I don't have homemade dough, so I used a pre-baked thin wheat crust that was really delicious. I found it in the pasta aisle.
Note 3: I didn't have Gouda cheese so I didn't use it but I definitely want to try it next time.
Note 4: I think next time I am going to try making homemade bbq sauce. Yum!

13.4.10

tales of a preschool nothing

We interrupt the regular programming of weddings, food, travel, and clothes to bring you a new blog from my friend, Kathy. If you need your day to be a little bit brighter, head on over to "Tales of a Preschool Nothing."

She relives cute (and sometimes crazy!) little moments with the preschoolers she teaches. We have been encouraging her to create a blog for months because she was always calling up all of our friends with the most hilarious stories - these aren't your typical preschoolers. I am so glad the blog is finally alive and I can share it with you!

12.4.10

fish pedicures

I had a lot of fun this weekend between my friend Chrissy's bachlorette party and her bridal shower. I met Chrissy through her fiance, Devin, who is the FH's best friend. I ended up rooming with her the semester after I got back from France. The rest is history.

Chrissy is so full of life and ready for anything. We knew we had to find something fun to do for her bachlorette festivities.

Her sister suggested that we get fish pedicures. We went to Yvonne's Salon in Virginia which has locations in Alexandria, Woodbridge and Crystal City. The owner was there and gave us the background of his salon. He is the only one allowed to give fish pedicures in the US. He also invented and patented the seats he has in his salon which have individual massaging seats and fish tubs. Normally, when you get a fish pedicure (in another country) it is one big tub that everyone sticks their feet in.

The facilities were really clean and the staff was super friendly. They got a kick of Chrissy rolling in with her veil and "bride-to-be" sash.

I am very ticklish and the fish really tickled at first. I found that if I didn't watch the fish it didn't tickle as much. The fish eat the dead skin off your feet. My feet felt so much smoother afterwards but they didn't get all of the rough spots of my heel (I only had the 15 minute fish treatment). But don't worry, I got the best spa pedicure after that. My heels have not been this smooth since I was a kid. Even if the fish treatment freaks you out, I would suggest making the trek for the spa pedicure. I know I will definitely go back.

With the bride-to-be, getting our fish treatment

fishies!

After we finished our feet, the owner suggested that Chrissy put one hand in the tank and keep one out to test the difference after the fish treatment.

Chrissy and her sister, Annie, doing the hand test

I would definitely suggest doing fish pedicures with a group of girls. It was so much fun!

11.4.10

sunday thank you, for your loveliness

Since I am out of town and won't be home until late, I won't be able to scan in my thank you note. Think of this as an e-thank-you note:

Dear Ashley and Pat,

Thank you so much for your hospitality Friday night through Saturday morning. Thank you for our lovely "snacks" (more like another meal) Friday night and letting me get all comfy. Thank you for helping me make the bachlorette veil, as well. I also enjoyed our viewing of "Save the Last Dance" along with helping Pat inserting unnecessary commentary into the movie. Thank you for preparing me a wonderful (and healthy) breakfast of low-carb ricotta stuffed crepes. Don't forget to send me the recipe!

Love, Morgan

If you ever wondered who the "hostess with the mostest" was, she is my friend Ashley. Her side-kick is her wonderful husband Patrick. They are always so welcoming. Pat immediately was at my car helping me carrying in my bag (and supplies) and I was greeted by Ashley in the kitchen who was almost finished whipping us up a "snack" of wrapped asparagus thingers and brie and jam cups. Yum!!! I never feel like an awkward third wheel in their house. (And trust me it is hard for me NOT to be awkward.) Thanks guys!

Oh and if you were wondering who the bachlorette veil was for - it was for the beautiful bride to be Chrissy who is getting married next weekend. Here is a picture for your viewing pleasure:


8.4.10

sand and stone creations

A few weeks ago, I made the trek to Seaford, Delaware to buy beads to make my bridesmaid jewelry. The only place you really have to buy stuff like that in Salisbury is Michael's and I wanted to go somewhere where they could actually explain to me what I was buying.

I found Sand and Stone Creations searching on the internet. It is a cute shop located in Historic Downtown Seaford. Debbie, the owner, wasn't there when I bought the beads but the lady who helped me invited me to come to beaders night to get some pointers.

I went last night and Debbie was extremely helpful. I finished one triple-strand necklace made out of Czech pressed glass beads for my bridesmaid, Alissa. I think I might go back to next months beaders night.

If you are ever in that area you should stop by. They have some cool stuff.

7.4.10

diy veil?

Since I want a really simple veil, I have been thinking about maybe just making my veil myself. If I bought the one that I found on Etsy which I talk about here, I would probably end up spending about $20 with shipping.

I bet I could make my veil for under $10 since I don't want to add any "extras." And worst comes to worst, my back-up can be the one I found on Etsy.

I think it might be fun to make my own veil. And from all the tutorials I found online, it really doesn't look that difficult.

What do you think? Am I just being way too stingy?

6.4.10

does a bride need a veil?

So when I first started the planning process, I was adamant that I was not going to wear a veil. I even tried some on to appease some people but I never really found one that I loved. But the lady who helped me at David's Bridal said something that kind of made sense: "Without the veil you are just wearing a white dress. With a veil, you are a bride."

Maybe she was just trying to make a sale, but what she said had some truth to it - you may wear a white dress again but (hopefully) you will only wear a veil once.

My only issue was whether or not a veil looks good with something else in your hair. I was thinking about wearing a headband or a flower. I also wanted a very, very simple veil because of the simplicity of my dress - no sparkles, no lace, nothing. Basically, plain jane for me.

I think I am leaning towards a flower now. I really liked some of the headbands I tried on but I think they may be a bit too flashy for a beach wedding. And they really aren't me. I am not much for sparkles. I found this flower on etsy at mod wedding that I really love. It is very simple.

I like how it is not too big and delicate in the hair. But now the big dilemma was weather or not the veil would look okay with a flower. I found a bunch of pictures of brides with birdcage veils that had big flowers but nothing for a veil like I wanted. I searched google images and I found this:
Ok, I love it! That is just the type of veil I want. And her flower is very similar to mine as well. So I searched etsy to find a veil that won't break the bank (it is ridiculous how expensive some tulle is!). I am not sure if I want a veil that reaches my fingertips or around where my knees are. I found this on etsy at Marisol Aparicio:

Should I go ahead and buy the flower and veil? Should I go with fingertip or a little longer? What do you think?

5.4.10

i love my label maker!


I am one of those weird people who gets really excited about office supplies. Really excited. I got excited last week when the Staples people came with a delivery to the office. I literally yelled out "Yay!" in the hallway for all to hear.

So when my friend, Kathy, told me she got a label maker for work, I told her I was extremely jealous. I have always wanted a label maker. My birthday was at the end of February and she gave me a label maker as a birthday present. Needless to say, I was overly joyed.

A bunch of beads that I ordered came to my house the end of last week. And I spent last night labeling my packets of beads. Because everyone knows that when you buy beads you must label and organize them before you use them.

Am I the only one this obsessed with my label maker? What do you use yours for?

4.4.10

sunday thank you, for iMovie

A few weeks ago, I put to rest the videographer question - I bought a camcorder. Now it isn't the fanciest camcorder in the world but I think it takes pretty decent video considering the price I spent on it.

It came a few days before I went back to get my wedding dress, so I brought it along with me to Davids Bridal. My maid of honor dutifully took video of me putting on the dress and generally being silly.

Well last week I became obsessed with editing the video on iMovie on my Mac. Going to the gym? Nope editing on my Mac. Doing laundry? No just playing on iMovie.

I know this isn't the most advanced program out there but for my purposes it works just fine. I even added the Glee version of "I Say A Little Prayer" to the background. After I get back from my honeymoon and I am going to put together a DVD of weddingness. I am so glad I decided to get a camcorder instead of a videographer. Not only will someone capture my wedding day, I will have footage of finding my dress, my shower, my bachlorette party, hanging out with our guests in Jamaica, our rehearsal dinner, and our honeymoon at a fraction of the cost of a videographer. I know it won't be as professional but I kind of prefer that personal touch.

I could probably also buy a better video editing program but I figured this one suits me just fine. My only complaint is that with iMovie '08 you can't slow or speed up video. Maybe I will just upgrade to Life '09.

I love you Mac!

1.4.10

my last supper

Ok, not my last supper, but my last fast food meal. Last night, the FH and I went to MacDo for dinner. I ordered a delicious cheeseburger and I splurged and got a medium fry instead of a small. They ended up taking awhile with the fries and giving us a large size because of the wait. (And of course, I ate all of them even though I was full after a third of the container.)

I used to hate fast food when I was younger. I was one of the few kids that would cry if we were going to McDonald's. I soon learned to like a cheeseburger from there but never really ate fast food until I got to college and would go with the FH. Now, on weekends, the FH and I have a bad habit of making it to McDonald's (or another fast food joint) in the morning for breakfast. And we will do an occasional dinner during the week too. (My weakness is french fries.)

So now I have to break this bad habit and right now seems like a good time to do it. I now pledge that I am giving up fast food until October 16th, our wedding day. Oh gosh! Now that you have all seen it, I guess I am really committed.

The places I consider "fast food" are basically anywhere where you can "super size" or "upgrade" or whatever. They are also places where it is really, really hard to make good healthy choices. On my list right now: McDonald's, Hardee's, Burger King, Sonic, Checkers, Wendy's, Arby's, Chic-fil-A, Dairy Queen, and any other place that resembles those fine establishments. Oh, and I am also giving up french fries. They are the one food that if you put them on my plate (or someone else's) I can't stop eating until they are completely gone.

Places I do not consider "fast food" mainly because you can make decently healthy choices there: Subway, Quizno's, Panera, Chipotle, Salsarita's, and other places that resemble these fine sandwich and mexican establishments.

I am not giving up pizza since pizza doesn't have to be bad for you and the FH and I normally order from pizza places where the crust is really thin and they don't overload it with cheese. I am just going to limit my intake and try to have a salad on the side.

Now maybe the Pilates classes I have started taking will really start to pay off.

Oh, and no, this is not an April Fools joke.