Operation: Fix This House!

Operation: Fix This House!
Our adventures in fixing up a fixer-upper

Confessions of an Antibride

Confessions of an Antibride
Snarky Commentary on Wedding Planning

Pink Dog Cooks

Pink Dog Cooks
Sort of.


And other Crafting Goodness

To cake, or not to cake

Monday, June 13, 2011

I hate cake.

I have this problem though, when it comes to cake.  Cake and hot dogs, actually.  I see them, and I smell them, and I think they are going to taste sooo good.  And then I take a bite and remember that these are two of the nastiest foods invented.  In my opinion, anyway.  (My apologies to the cake and hot dog lovers out there.)  Needless to say, I was all about Rice Krispy treats, or brownies, or cookies, or anything other than cake for our wedding.

True to form, MacGyver informed me that he likes cake, and he wants a wedding cake.  This is presumably so he has something to smash in my face at the cake cutting ceremony.  This places us in a dilemma.  Do we have cake?  Do we not have cake?

Originally I thought about doing a combination of both.  A small wedding cake for the caking bit, and then an assortment of desserts from which the guests could choose.  Of course, that means a heck of a lot more work and money.  I'm not a big fan of either of those things.  And, let's be honest, I'm really not going to be eating a whole lot on that day anyway, especially dessert!

Then we have to decide whether to have a DIY cake (I googled that, and it appears to be a mixed bag of results), or purchase a professionally made cake.  I haven't looked at prices for wedding cakes, but I'm going to make an educated guess and say they aren't cheap.

Then I found these:

I'm in love.  Ignore the pansies, and look at how adorable the tiny cakes are!  I'm thinking they'd be a piece of cake to make too (har, har).  You could make a regular old sheet cake, and then use biscuit cutters to make the tiers.  The people on the website used poured fondant to coat these cakelets, and that would make decorating them a cinch too.  What do you think?

I'm going to run this by MacGyver and see what he thinks.  I'll keep you posted on what he says.

Happy caking!


It's not OCD. I promise.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I like rules.  I need order in my life.  I always open the same applications and programs in the same order on my computer at work.  I pay bills in the same order every month.  I have a routine for paperwork.  I don't speed (well, most of the time).  And if a sign says, "Do not proceed beyond this point", even though everybody does, and that's where the cool stuff is, I stay behind, holding the hats and coats for all the rule breakers.

It's not my fault, I came this way.  My mom still talks about how I'd come home from Kindergarten in tears because Erik Hildebrandt got in trouble and was sent to the principal's office.  The problem had nothing to do with me, I was just upset that someone broke the rules and got int trouble.

**For those of you who were worried, Erik is now a very successful businessman working for a very big airline and doing spectacularly for himself.  I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit jealous. 

Like I was saying, I need order in my life.

When I started looking at all of the things I needed to do for this wedding, I was getting overwhelmed about how I was going organize it all.  Then, one day at work I was organizing a chart, and it came to me: I needed a chart for my wedding!

If you think about it, the concept is fitting.  A psychiatric chart for this crazy wedding!

I tend to collect things from garage sales (read: Future Hoarders of America meeting at my house every second Tuesday).  One of the things I found in my craft room was a pile of old medical chart folders.  I think I planned to organize patterns into them or something.  But they worked splendidly for my Wedding Folder.

Special friends.  Heh.

I separated out each of the major categories, and inserted loose leaf sheets into each section.  You guys, I have a confession to make.  I really, really like school supplies.  I especially like the way "loose leaf paper" sounds.  When I was in school, and I would see that on the supply list I would get so excited!  Making this folder was a little slice of School Supply Heaven.

Now that I'm a few weeks into this, I've been able to add printouts, and brochures that I have collected to the folder, and it's all right there!  Now, when I meet my friends at the craft store, and they ask me what I have in mind for centerpieces, I can whip out my trusty binder and say, "Look!  Here!  See!  Worship!"

And then they laugh at me.

But that's okay.

I'm secure enough in my School Supply Super Dorkdom that this doesn't offend me.  Nay, I embrace it!  After I found that fantastic image of my doppleganger, I printed him and taped him to the front of the binder.

He's my order enforcer.  Don't mess with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, man!

Wishing you a weekend of order and rule following,


Does the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man have a theme song?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

For those of you who have followed along in previous posts, you'll know that finding a venue and finding a dress were the top two things I was dreading the most about planning this wedding.  We found the venue, but I still had to find a dress.  Just writing about this makes the contents of my stomach want to make a run for it.

To make matters worse, MacGyver has very specific ideas in his mind about how my dress must look.  I'll pause here to explain that since we've been dating, MacGyver has mentioned repeatedly that if we ever did get married, there would be rules for the wedding.  The person marrying us must be male, and older (gray hair at least).  The ceremony would have to be outside so that we could have outdoor photos.  And my dress must be white.  Not off-white, not ivory, not mother-of-pearl, but white.  Those of you who know me in person know that my skin tone rivals that of an albino cave dweller.  I'm also not a size 0.

I have this recurring dream that my wedding photos will look something like this:

"Well there's something you don't see everyday."


MacGyver finally conceded that my dress could potentially be an ivory color, so long as it didn't look "dingy". Good grief.

I was originally going to go look for a dress by myself, with no audience.  That way I could be as grumpy as I wanted and the only person I'd piss off would be the person who is getting paid to be nice to me.  But my mom talked me into waiting so she could come, and I'm glad she did.  One of my dearest friends (who got married the day before we got engaged) was also able to come, and I'm glad she was there too.

I woke up at 4:00 that morning.  (I may have been a bit stressed...)  On a whim, and because apparently I'm a bit masochistic first thing in the morning, I decided to try on a dress I bought at David's Bridal a few years ago to see if it still fit.  Miraculously, it did!  Hope reigns supreme!

I decided since I was already up, I would head out a little early to my parents' house where I was going to meet my mom.  It was Memorial Day weekend so I knew that every police officer in the state of Oregon would be out and about looking for people to pull over.  Which meant that I needed to Stay Alive at 55.

You can imagine my chagrin when I blew past the first police officer about 30 miles into my trip.  I won't say how fast I was going (fifth amendment, etc.), but it was a holiday weekend which meant that anything over the posted speed limit was a ticketable offense.  When that fine upstanding law enforcement official did not pursue me and pull me over, I sent a silent prayer of thanks to the traffic court gods, and slowed down.

After I blew past the second cop I knew I was done for.  He was pulling out of the Police Station no less, and I actually moved into the right lane so he could pull me over.  By the grace of every diety in the history of all time, he was messing with his computer and didn't see me.  I drove 5 mph under the speed limit the rest of the way to my parents' house.

**I should clarify, when I say "blew past", I'm being rather generous.  I might make it sounds like I was driving like Bo Duke in the General Lee, but reality is I drive like an old lady who only drives to church on Sundays.  I'm glad we had this little talk.

Anyway, by the time I got to my mom's house, I was feeling like Lady Luck was in my corner.  Also, that my mom should do the rest of the driving for the day.

My friend met my mom and I at David's Bridal, and we were set loose to find some dresses.  Correction: I was practicing my deep breathing skills, and they were picking through dresses.  Have I mentioned that I didn't want to do this??  Yes?  Oh.  Just checking.

They gathered four or five to look at and we were ushered into a dressing room.  I'm so glad my mom was there.  Those dresses weighed about 6 metric tons each!  Getting in and out of them would have been impossible by myself.  Plus, she kept me from freaking out.  (Thanks, Mom!!)  The first dress was pretty, but also rather plain.  I had a feeling that MacGyver was looking for something a little more ostentatious than that.  My mom and my friend were teasing me about my whole marshmallow hangup (read: Big, Round, White), until I came out in the second dress.  I looked like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man blew up all over me.  (I'm meeeellltiiiinnnnngggg!!!)   I wasn't even in that one long enough to look at the back of it.  It was awful!  Feeling rather deflated, I tried on the third dress.  It was exquisite.  It was more of a champagne color, but there was beading and ruching and all sorts of wonderful things happening.  The train was extremely detailed, and it seemed like the kind of thing MacGyver may have had in mind.  That went on the maybe pile.  The fourth dress was reminiscent of something from an ancient Greek statue.  My mom picked it out, and looking at it on the hangar I never would have tried it on, but it was actually really pretty.

The last dress was similar to the first one, but it was more detailed.  We decided that while the third dress, the champagne one with detailing was our favorite by far, the last one had a neckline with off the shoulder straps and that was more flattering than the strapless.  Because my mom and my friend are such fabulous people, they took photos of me in each of the dresses so I could look back at them later when I wasn't so stressed out and make a decision.  Smart girls, those two.

We left the store and went to the craft store.  It was like turning up the radio in the car to make the bad engine noise go away.  We looked around for some things to use for a fascinator in my hair.  If we're going to do the princess thing, we're going to do it all the way, baby!  I was feeling itchy to check things off my list, and I almost went and bought the strapless dress that was so pretty, but my mom talked me out of it in that nonverbal way she has, and we ended up going home.

We had planned to spend the rest of the afternoon working out a fascinator for my hair, but instead spent the next three hours scouring the internet for dresses.  We eventually found one online that was very similar to the last one I tried on at David's Bridal, but for considerably less money.  After some careful consideration, we decided to chance it and buy the dress online.  I'm sure 8 year olds in China are making it as we speak.  I'm trying not to think about that.

It is due to arrive about the same time as my ring is supposed to arrive.  It's also about the time we are scheduled to leave for a week to go camping.  I may have to enlist our friends who watch our dogs to babysit a wedding dress as well.

Now, if I just don't eat until October, the dress should still fit and all will be well with the world, right?


I think I'm going to go do a few more situps.



P.S. Special thanks to my friend who put up with all my grumpiness that day.  You know who you are and I love you! :)

Save This Date!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Despite this being a princess wedding and all, I'm still trying to sneak in as many non-traditional elements as I possibly can.  I started this blog for the purpose of sharing the things I did for our wedding, so the next Anti-Bride can rip them off.  It's like Paying it Forward, but better.

We're aiming for a vintage style wedding.  Sort of.  Well, as my mother so tactfully coined it, "Vintage Ghetto."  It has a nice ring to it, don't you think?  Seriously though, we're trying to do a vintage theme on a budget, and without making the bride look like a marshmallow - you know, big and round and white.

If you've never been to Etsy, go now.  I'll wait.

(...dum dum diddle diddle die-de-oh!)

Are you back?  Wasn't it wonderful?  It's like porn for crafters!  Fantastic stuff on that website!  Anyway, I spend hours poking around Etsy all the time, and I found these brilliant little save the date cards:

I thought to myself, I can totally make these!  I went online and found a free, downloadable template for a Western Union telegram.  Then I downloaded a free font called "1942" to emulate an old typewriter.  I use Gimp Software to edit photos and other graphics.  It's almost like Photoshop, but it's free to download, and I like free things!

Here is how the final product turned out (Please excuse the quality of the photo...I took it on my phone):

I blocked out the date because I don't want any weirdos showing up unexpectedly.  I knew you'd understand.

I am so excited about how they turned out!

Now to make invitations that top these.  Right.  If you have any brilliant ideas, I'm open.  These are going to be hard to outdo.

Love, AB

P.S. Western Union does not know who I am nor are they sponsoring these Save the Date cards.  

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We weren't going to tell anyone we had technically gotten engaged until my ring arrived, sometime at the end of June.  Engaged.  Heh.  It's funny, because for all these years we have joked about how junior high we sounded calling each other "boyfriend and girlfriend".  But saying "engaged" sounds awfully grown up.  MacGyver has been entertaining himself by randomly referring to me as "Wife!".  Not, "my wife," or "this is my wife."  More like, "Wife!  Go make me a sandwich!"  And then he laughs.  He thinks he's so funny.

Excuse the tangent.  It's an ADHD kind of day tod...SQUIRREL!!!!!

Tee hee.

Anyway, we weren't going to tell anyone about our betrothal before the ring arrived.  It seemed a little pretentious.  Hey!  We're getting married!  What's that?  You want to see my ring?  Oh, actually I don't have one yet.  But it's coming!  I swear!

Right.  See?  Awkward.

But being as that the wedding is less than six months away, we realized people were going to have to find out soon in order to arrange traveling plans.  We had a lot of people to tell, and I'm all about efficiency.  I'm also all about straying from the traditional path.  What's nontraditional and efficient?  Facebook!

It's not official 'til it's on Facebook anyway, am I right?

And that's exactly what I wrote.  Then I changed my "relationship status" and sat back to watch the magic happen.  Nearly all of our family is on Facebook, and all of our friends are on there, so we were able to reach just about everyone who needed to know!  It took about 15 minutes before everything blew up and the word was out.

We've been vehemently denying any intention of getting married for so many years, everyone was shocked.  Heh.  Surprise!

I'm working on my Save the Dates right now.  They're supremely brilliant.  I'm so excited to post them!

Tomorrow! :)



Choosing a venue: That Drive Thru Chapel in Vegas is looking pretty good right now.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No one knows about our engagement yet.  We want to have the ring, and most of the details in place before we tell everyone.  And being as that the wedding is in October, we need to get on that.  Like, yesterday.

MacGyver and I are not super showy, flashy people.  We're more like the people who hide behind the wallflowers at parties.  We also decided not to include all the dignitaries from the United Nations on our guest list, so we don't need anything huge.  Lastly, we have several people flying in from out of town, and wanted something fairly central to an airport, or at least a major freeway to get back to the airport.

We chose the Salem area.  My parents live there, and are helping to organize (and fund) this wedding, and they have a house big enough to use as a staging area.  I grew up there and know that there are lots of lovely places to have events.  There are numerous wineries in the area, all with lovely event facilities, and several historic buildings.  

I would like to take a moment right now to explain how awesome my father is.  As I've said before, we live out in the boonies.  Two hours away from the area we're looking to do this wedding.  So getting out there to look at places is no easy feat.  I sent my dad out to do some reconnaissance for me and get a general feel for some of these places before we made the trip out there.  He's the best information gatherer too.  He came back with folders and fliers and phone numbers for everything.  So. Awesome.

I'm not going to identify the places we looked (except for our choice) because I really don't have time for a defamation lawsuit right now.  Plus, who am I to judge someone who wants to blow money to go work at their own wedding?! 

The first place we went offered us a lovely setting, and use of their facility.  Our responsibilities included paying the $2500 fee, doing all our own setting up and taking down of the tables and chairs, hiring a caterer, purchasing all our own alcohol from them, and washing all our own dishes and doing all our own clean up at the end of the night.  


So I can pay you a lot of money, do all the work, and wash all the dishes at the end of the night?  We're going for small and simple, remember?  Plus, I don't want to be hauling stuff up and down stairs all night instead of having a good time.  I'm not paying to go somewhere and work.  If I wanted to do that I'd join the Peace Corps.  

(We elected not to use them.)

The next place was a very popular winery in the area.  I've been to a few weddings there for friends of mine, but that was about 10 years ago.  I remembered there being a lot of peach colored flowered wallpaper.  I played phone tag with the coordinator for about a week to try to set up a time.  Actually, no.  I stalked her for about a week before she responded to any of my communications.  The first response to several emails I wrote was to tell me that the original date I asked about was not available, and did I have any other dates in mind?  I immediately wrote her back and gave her three more dates, and asked when we could set up a time to meet to go through the facility.  Four days later, she wrote back and said she was glad I had an interest in their winery, and to please feel free to give her a call if I had any other questions.  


The day she called back I was at work, downstairs in the main office.  I saw her number pop up and panicked.  Remember, no one knows about this.  I went sprinting upstairs and down the hall to my office in heels (with her on the phone) so I could talk privately.  Ridiculous.  I asked her if she could meet with us that Saturday since we would already be in town and we live two hours away (information I had detailed multiple times in my multiple unanswered emails).  She said that was not possible, and had I called earlier, we might have been able to work something out.  How about Sunday?  We made an appointment for Sunday afternoon.

Whatever.  I'm so done with this chick.

We went to my parents' house on Saturday to help my dad with something in their backyard.  They're redoing the whole thing and it looks like something out of Better Homes and Gardens.  I'm totally going to use it for our rehearsal BBQ.

After we were through there, my Dad drove us out to the winery to take a look at the room she told him we'd be renting.  I had seen a photo online of the room, and it looked very long and narrow.  When I peeked in the windows, that's exactly what it looked like.  Long, and narrow.  I had visions of people standing single file from one end of the room to the other and shouting to converse.

(We didn't choose that place either).

I was feeling especially overwhelmed at this point, and needing to make a decision so this could be over with.  There are two things I am looking forward to the least with this whole wedding: choosing a venue and finding a dress.  I desperately wanted this checked off that list.

We drove out to another place on the list that my dad went to earlier in the week (read: Awesome!) with every intention of wandering around and pretending we were lost so we could get a look-see of the area.  When we arrived it became immediately clear that no such behavior would be necessary.  They were having a Sheep-to-Shawl festival!  There were easily a few hundred people milling around the grounds so we walked right on in.  No felonies required.

I should note that I was here once before in third or fourth grade on a field trip and I remember it being pretty cool.  I've always been into old buildings and historic settings.  MacGyver likes those things too, and I knew he'd like this place.  We walked around for a few minutes and MacGyver said he approved.

Here is a photo:

I got this off their website.   I'll post better photos when I take them!

Feeling slightly less stressed,



2009 ·Pink Dog Blog by TNB