Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Schoolin' We Will Go....

This year, I decided NOT to put Princess back in pre-school.  Not because she didn't love school because she did.  But I had so many issues with her waking up in the mornings, I just didn't think it was worth the hassle this year.  After all, she has a whole life of schooling ahead of her and waking up early is just something she will have to deal with eventually.  For now, I want her to enjoy her childhood without the pressure of strict routines.  However, I felt I had to do something educational with her, since she loves learning so much.

With the cost of private school education going up and public schools leaving much to be desired, I decided to home-school.  After all, how hard could it be?  I would be homeschooling on a preschool level, which would entail basics like, colors, letters, numbers, shapes, etc.  I could do that and more.  Also, while keeping Princess on a high educational level until she's ready to go off to 'real' school, I would also be able to bring Fatty (JC) up to preschool readiness. 

Initially, it was not fun.  JC was not into school at all.  And Princess was getting bored waiting for JC to reach her level.  But after the first week, school got better and much more fun for both kids and myself.  Armed with my laptop, pencils, paper, crayons and other school materials, we've made serious progress.  Not only did Princess learn to sing her ABC's, but she recognizes letters and can spell certain words.  JC is also singing his ABC's, learning his colors and shapes, counting and much more.  I am so proud of my babies.

Along with home-school, both kids attend playgroup once a week.  Although it's a younger age group than what Princess is used to, she is flourishing.  She learned her left from her right and looks forward to playgroup each week, along with JC. 

Learning to use the computer

Playing memory

Singing their ABC's


Learning is FUN!

More Wedding DIY

I love DIY items... especially for the wedding since it saves me a ton of money.  I love simple DIY since they take less time and less energy.  Also, DIY has so much more meaning and adds so much sentimental value to my wedding.  

After scouring all the wedding boards, DIY ideas kept coming to me: I can do so much to make my wedding uniquely MINE.  But so many other brides were doing the same DIY items, it just seemed so cliche.  I had to figure out what I wanted to incorporate into my wedding and what was more my style.  I didn't want the same things Sally and Jane DIY-ed for their wedding and if I did like the same idea, how could I change it to represent me.  Here are a few of the ideas I stole and made my own.

I knew I was going to wear a veil once the time came for me to get married.  Never in a million years did I think I would MAKE my own veil though. Not until I discovered youtube tutorials.  After watching a few different DIY veil tutorials and searching google for more detailed instructions, I was finally able to make a simple veil I can be proud to wear on my wedding day.

The "Just Married" sign was a must.  I did not want to pay too much for a car magnet though, so I figured I could make my own using poster board and paint.  I like it enough... after all, it goes on the car for a few minutes (and some photo ops) and then is never seen again.  This'll do.

I loved the idea of a 'love' sign for one of the tables at the reception.  I've seen brides make the 'love is sweet' sign for the candy buffet.  I think this sign will go on the cake table (which will double as the candy table as well).  I love the way it came out and am happy with the finished product.

The finished Card Box!

I wanted a welcome sign that had the words Ceremony and Cocktails written on it, with arrows pointing in the respective directions.  Well, since plans might change as to where I would be able to use the sign, I also made this sign with just our names on the other side.  I figure this can be used at the reception and placed either at the sweetheart/family table or the guest book/escort card table.

Table numbers.  Simple enough and best part: FREE!  Hubby's sister had like a million RSVP cards and envelopes left over from her wedding 12 years ago, so I used the cards for my table numbers.  The whole project was simple (although there were some do-overs due to smudged marker and off centered numbers).  I did buy a stencil (which was $1) to write the numbers.  The heart punch was free and I love the look.  I cannot wait to put these on the table.

I also made bride and groom signs for the sweetheart table and love and amor signs as well for guestbook and escort card table. 

The Registry

One of the best parts about getting married is registering for gifts.  I hate to say it, but it is.  At first, I was against it and so was hubby.  We didn't feel right registering for the wedding because of a few factors: for one thing, Hubby and I have been together for so long already.  We already have a house for another.  And third, it feels wrong asking people for stuff.  I know a registry is just a suggestion, but it is what it is.  You register for gifts you want people to buy you.  You are basically telling people what to get you and where.  

After talking it over with my bridesmaid, who convinced me I should register for the bridal shower at least, I convinced Hubby to accompany me to Yamuni to open a wedding registry. I went to Yamuni with mother-in-law to get material to make a dress and happened to ask about their registry.  I made an appointment on the spot and waited with anticipation for the day to come.

On the day of our appointment, we arrived right on time and was greeted and attended to right away (I guess they were expecting us).  We were interviewed, filled out a form and then we were off.  I was expecting to be handed the scanner and be left to ourselves, but instead we were followed around by a sales associate.  She handled the scanner (and the computer which she pushed along to enter the data into the system.)  Each time we saw an item we liked, we handed it over to the sales associate so she could scan it.  It took a longer time than I had expected (2 full hours)... and she did slow us down some, but she was also very helpful.  Any questions we had, she answered..  And she was not at all pushy (when another sales associate took over halfway through, she was just as pleasant.)   I have to say, overall the experience was a good one.  I am so excited now (for all those gifts) LOL.

On a side note, we made another appointment to open another registry at another store, Cemaco.  But at the last minute, decided against it.  So many factors were involved, but in the end, I think having 1 registry is enough.  I don't expect much from it, but it was a fun thing to do in preparation for the wedding.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Wedding Nightmare

I guess it's bound to happen to every bride before her wedding day: the dreaded wedding day nightmare where everything that you think could go wrong does.  Thankfully it's only a dream (for most) but it still left me shaking when I woke up.

This is the second wedding day nightmare I have had.  But this was the worst.  So lets see if I can recount the dream:

On the day OF the wedding, an hour before start time, nothing was done.  We were still setting up while guests were arriving. I was embarrassed because I had told guests to arrive on time and yet I was the one that was late.

The bridesmaids hadn't gotten their dresses so the day OF the wedding, my lovely mother in law was sewing dresses for all the bride-maids. Also, we had no makeup or hairstylist so at 3:08 (yes, that was the time in my dream), I decided to go off and look for a makeup artist and hairstylist to come to my house to prettify my bridesmaids.  ON a SUNDAY.  I was out doing this because my maid of honor was MIA!

I trekked to many salons and no one could help.  It was literally a nightmare.  Also, we didn't have our rings so nothing to exchange after saying our I do's, so I stopped at a jewelry shop to look at rings.  This whole time, I was supposed to be getting married.  But instead, I looked a hot mess (well at least my hair was flat ironed).  I had no dress (yeah the seamstress didn't do any of the alterations) and we had no shoes. It was literally the worst wedding ever.  Not sure if I found a makeup artist or if I got my dress or if any of the catastrophes got fixed as I woke up thankful that it was only a dream.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Home Re-do

Along with wedding planning, we're also remodeling the house in anticipation.  The roof has been fixed, along with the kid's bathroom.  We also had the entire house painted inside (we will be painting the outside as well).

I took the opportunity while rearranging the house from disarray to re-organize and "spring" clean.  I dusted every surface and hung photos that have been laying around for years.  The kids rooms are finally DONE! YES!  They are all in love with the colors they picked out. And I am finally in love with my house.

The office

P's room

P's room (he got a TV for his 12th b-day from father in law).

Our room (we used the same colors as the office and P's room to save on cost).  I love this color!!!

Princess's room

Princess got a dresser from father in law for her birthday

Princess's Princess accessories

Fatty's room... his favorite color is green so the color is perfect

Kitchen with a fresh new coat of paint

Hallway (we kept the color for the main areas similar to what it was before, but it looks so much fresher)

Food Tasting

We have been toying with the idea of hiring a caterer for our wedding and found one we really like. They offer all the bells and whistles we need for a seamless, stress-free and elegant wedding.  And their prices are pretty reasonable. Although a bit high for our budget, they include a lot to go with it. After our first official meeting, we set up a tasting appointment, which was today.  We were offered our choice menu items that were available with our preferred package.

We arrived early and were attended to almost right away. The table was set with our linen color choices and we were offered a drink.  We did have to wait a bit for the food and the manager (but nothing I would even complain about).  Also, the chef did get our appetizer and hubby's main course wrong but it was quickly remedied. Everything was delicious and I was full after the first course LOL.

It didn't look like a lot of food but it was so filling and Hubby enjoyed his food so much, he finished every last morsel.  We were able to talk about the menu options, the catering service and all the fine details.  I really enjoyed the tasting and I really like Annie, the manager.  I hope we can book with them.

The menu consists of:

Appetizer: Cream of broccoli soup

Main Course:  Spinach and cheese stuffed chicken breast in cream of mushroom sauce, salad, dinner roll, garden rice  (the chicken comes wrapped with a piece of bacon which I took off since I don't eat bacon).

Dessert:  Lemon tart 

Hubby's plate will be the same except he will have fish fillet

Moulon Rouge-y

I knew I wanted to have a garter for the wedding, one for keeps and one to toss.  I also knew I wanted it to be my little something blue. But I have no idea why.  Where did the idea of wearing a garter come from?  I guess this is where Wikipedia comes in but before I could research it's origins, I went ahead and got my garters anyway. 

Now I know it can be embarrassing as your husband hikes up your skirt and showcases your bare thighs to your entire wedding party, grabbing your garter with his teeth (usually)... but it can also be fun if done tastefully.  It's not for everyone but it might just be for me... a little brothel type, moulon rouge feel for a few seconds at the wedding. 

I thought I wanted to buy my garters, so I looked for ones I liked.  I saw one for $11 at the bridal salon but figured I could find one a little cheaper, and so when I found one for $3, I bought it.  But I still needed one more, so I let my DIY persona take over. After all, for the price of 1, I could have made at least 6.

With my mother in laws help, I was able to make the perfect garter... now to decide which garter to toss (the store bought one) and which to keep (the DIY one). 

First thing I needed was some ribbon, which I got at the material store for less than .50 cents for the meter.  measured my thigh with the ribbon to see how much I needed and cut.  I did a simple stitch as a marker and to hold the ribbon together for sewing. I did sorta kinda follow a simple DIY tutorial on youtube, but not to the T, just the basic idea.

My mother in law took over here and used her machine to sew the ribbon and the lace together.  After she did this, she strung the elastic through and sewed the garter shut.

I glued the cute little bow and silk flower on the garter.  Final touch will be a personalized ribbon with our names and wedding date.