Fantastic Mr. Fox: The Movie

[Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson, coming November 19, 2009]

I let my cousin borrow my copy of Twilight, and when he Fed-exed it back he also sent along a hardcover copy (with a cool purple cover and a cute bookplate) of Fantastic Mr. Fox, just in time for the movie coming out in the Fall! Thank you Brian!

Wes Anderson and Roald Dahl fans, get ready for November 19th!

My Green Skirt

[The boy snapped this picture and I blinked--but I kinda like it. "Mallard" Skirt from BB Dakota]

I really like this skirt, which I bought at the beginning of the summer, but haven't worn it until today. I like that the high waist focuses in on the smallest part of my waist, and then ends up hiding the small pooch of a tummy I have.

It is really really fun to twirl around in it. But I was too embarrassed to twirl on the street. Anyone else digging high-waist skirts these days?


emera camera bags

[Images from *emera]

I took about a 1,000 pictures this week for my work's event. All week I have been editing pictures for a slide show that they played tonight, and I am really proud of my work! I had a lot of fun playing photographer, and this work assignment has inspired me to learn more about taking pictures.

It was also great practice since I am going to be the only photographer at my sister's wedding in a couple of weeks!! Ahhh!

Sister 1 bought me a great little camera bag from Etsy for my birthday, which I've had on my shoulder all week and is just big enough for my camera, my flash, my USB cord, some batteries, and my charger.

Just today my cousin sent me to this link to *emera, a new line of camera bags that look like sleek handbags. They are so so pretty and look rather spacious inside! Perhaps once I gain more gear and learn more about my dSLR will I purchase one. I'm still in training mode and don't feel like I deserve such a nice bag yet.

Do you have a hobby you'd like to push to the next level? Do you like the emera bags?


The Lodge at Torrey Pines

[Chocolate ganache cake from The Lodge at Torrey Pines]

[Centerpiece left over from a wedding the night before]

[Lemon bars...mmmmmmmmm]

I haven't been as on the ball with blogging as I usually am, so I'm sorry if I haven't read your latest posts! I have had a pretty crazy work week in which I have been running around for a conference my work is putting on at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, a beautiful golf resort in La Jolla.

It's been busy, but take a look at the cake they served the first night we were there! When things calm down I can do more in depth posts again.

PS: The boy and I are on week 3 of cooking. Last week, I had four straight days of tofu, string beans, and rice. I think I am going to tackle a lasagna next week to mix things up!


The Prettiest Dog Treat

[Pastry from Three Dog Bakery in Del Mar, CA]

We had a lovely day with old friends in Del Mar, and they brought along their adorable dog. They bought this doggy treat at a local dog bakery for the puppy. Isn't it pretty??? Like, something that humans would eat?


Music for the Reception

I don't think anyone wants (or can) dance to my Architecture in Helsinki and Rilo Kiley mixes at the reception. I've made a list of songs I'd like to be played, but now I'm doubting my choices--what if no one dances?

What's your favorite dance song?

We're definitely playing this one.



My 5 Minute Rant

Ok. I generally like to keep this blog as happy as possible. But I'm SO frustrated right now that I just have to type it out.

Finally got to see Harry Potter. Unfortunately, three guys who like talking throughout movies got to see it too. It was SO frustrating, they talked throughout the entire thing!

After the movie, a brigade of people who could have had pitchforks in their hands went over to customer service to complain. Including me. I had a pitchfork and a torch.

So, I've got a free movie pass to AMC. Any suggestions on what to see next?


My Parents' Wedding

[San Francisco, 37 years ago]

I get a kick out of these pictures. My Dad had so much hair! My Mom made her own dress. And they had 600 guests. I can't even imagine how crowded that restaurant was.

My Mom still has the outfit in that first picture, and I might wear it to our Chinese banquet. If I can fit into it. My Mom weighed 100 lbs. back and I don't think I'll be losing any weight, but we'll try it on just for kicks in the future.

I'll post pictures if I can squeeze myself into it. Can you imagine--37 years, holy cow.


I Had a Dream About Blogs

I met a blogger in my dream. It was a really non-descript face, seeing as how I have never met any of you in real life! We were talking about, what else? weddings! and for some reason we were at a florist studio, which just happened to be all outdoors.

In the middle of the "florist studio" there was this huge blossoming tree, except instead of real leaves it was growing paper flowers and tissue pom poms that were very, very vibrant--think Tim Burton/Dorothy in Oz vibrant.

"Wow! That's the most incredible thing I've ever seen!" I said to anonymous blogger person.
And then, just as I said that, a couple started walking up to the tree along with a whole gaggle of people and they started saying their vows to one another underneath it.

"Um...are they getting married here?!" I whispered to anonymous blogger person.
"Yeah, it was too expensive to deliver the tree to the venue so they just decided to move the entire wedding to their florist. Pretty smart, I think. Hey, do you want to go and try this new cupcake place?"


Got weddings on the brain? Because I do. In Tim Burton technicolor.


Something Old. Something New. Something Borrowed. Something Pink Argyle.

I got my blog name from my socks. I have a lot of argyle socks in various shades, mostly from my days when I lived in New York and Berkeley. San Diego? They don't really need to come out very much.

As an homage to the blog on my wedding day, I'd like to have something pink argyle. Any suggestions?

Weekend Recap and Trends

I spent the weekend back in Northern California for my niece's first birthday. My main job was balloon wrangler, so I have become quite familiar with them now!

[Balloons hanging at the party]

[The party site for my niece's first birthday! I took this shot while running around before everyone got there for lunch. Isn't it huge??]



Speaking of balloons--I thought I was totally over them. It got to the point where I just stopped clicking on links in which the itty bitty picture showed balloons. But I was reminded of why they're so pretty this past weekend!

A tip from me to you if you'll ever be transporting balloons: it's hard! My sister drives a wagon and we had 25 balloons to shove in there. The problem is that they kept floating and almost escaping from us (those sneaky balloons). At one point, I was wedged in between the bumper and the trunk door, trying to hold all the balloons down. I quickly maneuvered my way out and my sister gently shut the trunk door after I escaped. I tried to regain my composure after I had just been shouting "they're going to pop! Don't shut the door on my hand!" in the middle of the Party City parking lot.

It was totally worth it because the kids LOVED the balloons and we sent them home with the guests at the end of the party. And so I opened balloons back into my heart.

Are you avoiding any wedding trends? C'mon, I know you're dying to dish. Mustaches. Candy buffets. Fabric hanging for photo booths. Birds. Argyle socks (say it aint so!) Polaroids. Jumping shots. CUPCAKES.

Quick side note: If you are having a lot of balloons at your wedding/event, I highly recommend renting a helium tank and blowing them all up at your venue. Starting rental rate for Party City in Northern California was $30 USD. Each of our balloons cost .89 cents.


Leaving on a jet plane...again!

Southwest must love me because I give them so much money. I'm heading back to see my family this weekend because it is my niece's FIRST birthday and my uncle, mom, and brother-in-law's birthdays as well, all within 2 days of one another!

My sister has a taco cart and a live band planned for the first birthday--sounds like more fun than my wedding!

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend, and I'll see y'all around here on Monday.


Animals with Casts

[All images via here]

If you're over Cute Overload, hop over to animalswithcasts, where cute furry creatures are sporting casts and looking ADORABLE.

I really hope no animals were harmed in an attempt to take a cute picture.

Sprinkles BFF Contest

+Befriend Sprinkles on Facebook.
+Once they reach 100,000 fans, they will randomly draw one winner.
+That winner will receive: a trip to Beverly Hills and hotel stay at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel; a personal tour of the bakery from Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles; free cupcakes; products not yet released, including a "4MYBFF" message box and a Sprinkles mix to debut in Fall 2009.

Become a friend here!


Where's Everyone At?

Thanks to everyone for your sweet comments on my hair and makeup trial! The check is {almost} in the mail for my hair and makeup deposit, which means that I get to check it off of my list! That's the best feeling, writing in big letters "DONE" next to a "to do" on my handy dandy Operation Wedding checklist.

Time to assess where we're at before I enter the craziness that is work+internship+grad school come September. Woohoo!

So far, here's what we've got at a year out (you can view the links in my sidebar!)
+Asked family to be bridal party
+Asked friend to be officiant
+Hair and Makeup!!!

In the immediate future, we will hopefully...
+Book a caterer (we're thinking of having a pasta bar, bruschetta, and lemonade)
+Send email save the dates and finish up the website (this has been on my plate for a few months and I really want to push it off, haha)

And in another few months...
+Find shoes
+First dress fitting
+Order bridesmaid dresses
+Find something for the boy to wear (this won't be easy...will blog about it!)

And a couple months after that...
+The invitations, which I foresee being a huge project since I am doing them myself!

And then everything else...decor, flowers, other paper products, the rehearsal dinner, honeymoon research/booking, the cupcakes/desserts/pies, fabric for the photo station, the ceremony, the music, dance lessons, booking a hotel suite for the wedding night, feeding my cat, brushing my teeth, sleeping...

For those of you in early planing mode, what progress have you made? For those of you at the end of planning, what more do you need to do?


Summer Movies

Besides Mr. Harry Potter coming out tomorrow, there are two movies about love on my radar that I want to see this summer.

500 Days of Summer

Paper Heart

Which movies are on your "must-see" list?


Do you cook your meals?

The boy and I made a pact to start cooking more at home. We're pretty terrible and eat out way too much.

Starting this week, we are taking turns cooking dinner and buying groceries. It's his week starting tonight--I have to wash the dishes so that he can be ready to cook tomorrow night.

I have no clue what to cook for us for five straight days next week.
What is your favorite home-cooked meal? Do you eat most meals at home or out?


Language Barriers and Our Engagement Party

[Legendary Palace in Oakland Chinatown, photo from Flickr user Kevin]

This is a very belated recap of our engagement party on July 4th, which was graciously hosted by my future in-laws at Legendary Palace in Oakland, CA.

I was a little nervous about the whole thing, but am glad that we did it! The boy's Aunt even came up to us after, and told us she enjoyed the party because she got the chance to see a lot of the people who will be at the wedding. Only our immediate families were invited, and there were still 50 people there!

[I didn't get to take any pictures, so my Uncle did the honor. I literally squealed when I saw these and had to get a picture! They are kinda like Chinese donuts, they have red bean paste inside and are covered in a chewy dough with sesame seeds. Normally they are bigger, so these were baby-sized and thus automatically cute.]

[Our future flower girl (my adorable niece!) and my brother-in-law.]

[My parents]

I got a small taste of what my wedding might be like, because honestly, I don't really remember eating because we were walking around and talking to everyone that had come!

[My sister and me in the yellow dress!]

And there sure was a lot of talking.

Which brings me to my post title.

The boy and I are Chinese-American, and although we are both children of immigrants, and the predominant language spoken in both of our extended families is Cantonese, my Cantonese is appallingly bad. And when I say bad, I mean bad, like we visited Hong Kong and I couldn't understand half of what his two-year-old cousin was saying to me while we played dolls.
Hong Kong salespeople who were helping me enunciated and spoke very loudly so I could understand. If it was in English, it'd sound a little like this:
{I bought the movie by the way. And watched it with English subtitles. And yes, I did like the actor.}

I am definitely not proud of knowing so little, and it's always been a huge insecurity for me. I've just never found the time to learn more. I even tried to go to Hong Kong during college to study Chinese art and Cantonese, but the program rejected me. I went to Italy instead.

A lot of the boy's family members don't understand English, including my future father-in-law. All of the sudden, walking around that banquet room, I realized. Shoot. I don't even know how to say "Thank you for coming" or "I'm so happy you came". I can say "Thank you" and I can say "I'm so happy" but that only goes so far when you're being introduced to a great aunt and she's expecting more to come out of your mouth!

I have a year to learn some key phrases to say to our guests, and luckily the boy can help me practice. Thank goodness I don't have to give any thank you speeches in Cantonese (the boy is taking care of that,) otherwise I'd bolt out of that tent from panic.

Does anyone else struggle with a language barrier? Anyone have any Cantonese phrases that might come in handy on the big day?


Are you ready Harry Potter fans?

[Oh Hermione, you're so much cooler than Harry and Ron.]

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, opening July 15th--I know you're excited. Don't try to deny it.


My Hair and Makeup Trial

I was looking for a hair and makeup person for a while.
I asked my stylist, whom I adore, but she said that she didn't do weddings.
I asked another salon, that actually did do weddings, but didn't sound very excited to have my business.
I contacted several people, including a very popular and well-known vendor in San Diego, and none of them replied to my emails.
I asked a contact who had gotten married last year, but she had a friend from the OC come to San Diego.
I even had help from The Professional Bridesmaid (thank you!) to find someone in Socal.
And of course, I thought of doing it myself.

After getting nowhere on my usual sources of information (blogs!) I went to Yelp and poked around a little. I found Uyen Tran on page 5 when I typed in "wedding makeup and hair", so I immediately booked a consultation with her and then a trial.

I think the trial went great! Uyen was totally prepared with two carts of makeup, and she was really flexible with my critiques ("can we wipe off the white eyeliner? maybe if you made the shadow lighter it'd look more natural, no? could we make my lip and blush color darker and tone down the eyes?") I'm glad she was so patient, and even though I had five layers of makeup on after THREE HOURS of trying on different shades I liked, I loved how everything looked.

Are you ready to see pictures, including a horrendous picture of me with absolutely no makeup on whatsoever?

My hair inspiration
[Thanks to Lilies and Grapes for the inspiration pic!!]

My makeup inspiration
[Pink lips, pink cheeks, fake lashes please! Ah Lucy, why ya gotta be so pretty?]

My hair before

My hair after!

[We're going to have to add an extension to make it look fuller on the side, but I like how it looks "messy", that's exactly what I asked for! I'll also be searching for a flower, this one was just swiped from one of the bushes on the street.]

My makeup!
[It's heavy here because this was taken after layering so many colors on my face until I found a combination I liked. It will be lighter the day of.]

The before and after shots, indoors

I haven't officially booked her yet--but I want to! What do you think--do I need the hair extension to make it fuller? Any suggestions on the type of fabric flower I should use?

Bridesmaid Dress Revisited

Thank you everyone for your input on the dress! I think #5 won the most votes, which was my sister's second choice. But the clear winner to both of my lovely sisters was #8, the sultry asymmetrical number by Melissa Sweet.

This is actually part of the 2010 line, and it was just hanging by itself at the shop because it was supposed to go back to the flagship salon. I'm glad it hadn't yet!

We would probably order it in jade green, and possibly have red dahlias for them to hold. Nothing is official, but I'm glad they found one dress that they liked!


Inspiring Letterpress Invitation

Do you remember when I wanted to hand write and draw my own invites? And then I decided it was too hard? Well this bride did do it, and looks incredible. It's like she made what was in my head!

[Haley and Justin's invitations via Oh So Beautiful Paper]

Ours would be red with some polka dots and flowers, and it would be on the gocco and not letterpressed, but the general idea is very similar! I find this invitation very inspiring.

Maybe I can do this. Or I can at least try and do this. Because Haley and Justin did it!

To see more pretty pictures of this invitation suite, click here.

Paper Lanterns

[Complete tutorial at Once Wed; design by Anna of Rifle Design]

[Complete tutorial at Zakka Life]

I'm in love with both of these diy paper lanterns. Our reception is going to be in a tent and I hope there will be plenty of twinkle lights and lanterns. Le sigh.

I think that first pennant would be perfect for the dessert table/guestbook table, and the second perhaps strung in the trees. They both evoke a dreamy summer evening!

Has anyone diy'd lanterns for a party before?


Shopping for a bridesmaid dress

My two sisters are my bridesmaids and we thought we had a plan for the what they would wear. We were going to do shrugs, but now we have decided against it. Originally I told them that they could wear different dresses, but now they want to wear matching dresses. My entire world turned upside down. So off we went to look for bridesmaid dresses!

Sister 1 graciously let me take pictures of her at Bella Bridesmaid while she modeled all the latest in bridesmaid fashion. We had a lovely experience there and tried on a lot of dresses.

Both sisters miraculously chose the same dress as a favorite--which one is yours??

[Jenny Yoo]

[I don't remember which designer this is!]

[Jenny Yoo]

[Jenny Yoo]

[Alix and Kelly]

[Jenny Yoo]

[I don't remember which designer this is either!]

[Melissa Sweet]

[Jenny Yoo]

Thanks to sister 1 for modeling!

Monique Lhuillier Sample Sale!

For all you socal brides out there, this looks like it's going to be a good one with a whole lot of alencon lace! I'd go in a heartbeat, except I already have my gown and might torture myself if I do end up going.

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