If I Can Cook a Turkey, So Can You!

[All sealed up in the brine! We used two XL Ziploc bags to soak the turkey.]

[We had to clear our fridge out, then squashed one of our drawers against the turkey so that it would be completely submerged by the brine.]

[12 hours of brining and 3 hours in the oven...hooray! We didn't burn it!]


[The aftermath]

I want to give a big thank you to everyone who gave me advice on how to cook a turkey last week. We took dethbakin's advice and followed Alton Brown's recipe, and as you can see, it came out alright! The second day turkey kicked the just-carved turkey's butt. It just tasted so much juicier, and made a good feast for breakfast on black Friday.

Now I am so sick of turkey! We used it on pizza, in pesto pasta, and sandwiches. I'm starting to run out of ideas.

Roasting the turkey together with the boy was also a great bonding experience. Both of us had no clue what we were doing and we were so proud when we took it out of that oven that we hugged in joy.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday!


Crafty Tree

Just wanted to share this tree I made for the children's section at my local library. I used tissue paper, construction paper, crayola white paint, string, and ribbon. It was a lot of fun to make and didn't cost much money, just a lot of colorful paper and a stapler. The most expensive item up there is the ribbon, which I wish just went on forever because it was so sparkly and pretty. =D


Help with Lanterns!

So...my post over at EAD isn't getting much love, except from honey (thanks honey!) so I thought I'd bring the question over here.

Which lanterns do I get??

If you have two minutes to procrastinate, visit the post here and let me know what you think either here or at EAD!


Turkey Advice

Has anyone successfully cooked a turkey before? I have to cook one. I have a big ol' bird sitting in my fridge that says I have to. Any words of wisdom so I don't burn it and/or it tastes like cardboard? For the third year since I moved to Southern California, I won't be seeing my family but will be spending it with the boy. The turkey is for all of our friends who won't be making it home either. I'm being adventurous this year and cooking instead of going out.

What are your plans for this day of thanks?



Wedding Meltdown Update

Thanks for all the support bloggers! You all made me feel better, and reminded me that no one is safe from folding chairs, lovebirds, poor date choices, or the dentist (ugh, sorry to anyone who is a dentist or in dental school out there! Or anyone just really protective of dentists.)

Throughout my obsessive dedicated years to blogging, I would read about people stepping away from the high gloss wedding blogs and wedding magazines because all the gorgeous pictures make you go NUTS from wanting to attain the perfect/but look like you didn't try too hard perfect/and you spent pennies and constructed this chandelier from cardboard/and have a printmaker as your fiance who will magically make all the printed products/and the whole shebang looks like it's from Martha Stewart Magazine/but no one actually from MS helped you because you are THAT GOOD/high five! No, no, that won't be me, I read plenty of blogs of real people, and I know that things go wrong. I'm cool. Not gonna happen. My wedding isn't a contest. I TOTALLY understand and will not be phased by all the hullabaloo or pain myself to stress about the little things. Nope, not me.

Two words: cake topper.

I've come to a point in the planning where it stresses me out to look at really pretty, lushly planned events, and I steadily have stopped looking at them as religiously. Le sigh.

High five!



Wedding Meltdowns

Have you had one? Because I had one big time this weekend. Stress, lack of sleep, too much work, and feeling neglected all manifested itself into one big "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to" behavior, which, the poor boy had to endure for a good two to three hours while the cat sat in my lap bewildered. 

I won't go into the gorey details, but all of the emotions and frustrations from the week exploded into one topic: a cake topper. That's right, out of all the things in the world to pick on, I chose to blame everything on the boy not wanting a cake topper. No actual, emotion wrenching, heart aching or traumatic problems. No one died, no one is sick, no one lost a job, no one is without food or a roof over their heads. That's right. A cake topper. I'm like a five-year-old. 

"I'm so tired...*hiccup*...and I have jury duty this week and...and it starts at 7:45...*hiccup*...and next week I have a dentist appointment and they like ALWAYS make me pay for x-rays...*hiccup*...and I haven't bought my ticket to go home and prices are rising and I HATE going to the airport during the holidays...*hiccup*...and...and...and...*hiccup*...you don't want a cake topper!!"

Not my proudest moment, but to cut through more hiccuping and annoying banter, when I came out of my irrational Mo wedding meltdown mode, I came to a conclusion (mostly because the boy just wasn't caring too much about it.) 
We're just not going to buy a cake topper. Problem solved! I still want a single cake to cut, so we might just get some flowers to decorate it. Like this beauty from Maple Sugar (I LOVE all the pictures on this blog!): 

[Image from Maple Sugar]

I hope to have no more temper tantrums or wedding meltdowns. For at least 2 months. 



Weekend Recap

[Anatomy of a birthday hot fudge sundae from Roppongi]

[Tiramisu cake at birthday party #2]

We like to do celebrations in twos. This weekend was the boy's birthday, and we celebrated with friends and then had a dinner with just the two of us at Roppongi. They surprised us with the free gelato hot fudge sundae seen above!

It was a crazy, very busy weekend, and it just feels so nice to sit down and write in my blog. I'm so tired I can feel my body sink into the chair. Did you have a good weekend?



Paper Place Mats

[Personalized place mats by Hello Lucky! via love made visible]

[Holiday place mat from Whimsy Press]

Before I dive into my rant about decor, I notice I have a lot more followers recently! Love must be in the air! Thank you for following, I hope I get to "see" you around the blog. If you're new, feel free to leave a comment and tell us about yourself.

Ok now onto the rant.

Everything at the reception will be white. White linens, white plates, white napkins, clear glasses, white tent. This wasn't so much a choice as it was the cheapeast option available, but I see it as a good thing--this way we can spice it up with some inexpensive color! I mentioned napkin rings and spray painted potted plants in the past, both of which I believe we are doing, and now my latest idea is to have paper place mats to add some color. The personalized place mats designed by Hello Lucky! in the first picture is so cute. I'm thinking I could design some using the flower/polka dot theme I made from our website and save the date and print them on matte 11 x 17 paper.

My initial thought was "oh! I could totally just collect the place mats after and add them to my craft box for future projects!" but then I realized that people will be eating off of them, and the whole point of the place mat is to catch food from getting the linens dirty. Duh. 

Maybe I can still save some of them so they serve a double purpose. 


How I Found Blogging

Once upon time at the Gender Equity Resource Center at UC Berkeley, they were giving away free books to students who had worked on the women's conference. Yours truly was there, sifting through the sparkly advance copies. I picked up a book by Sabrina Ward Harrison and asked my group members "anyone want this one?" Everyone shook their heads, so I stuffed it in my bag next to my reader for Death and Dying in Medieval Art (an entire class about memento mori) and my textbook on De Stijl.

You can probably guess which book I grabbed when I went to the coffee shop that afternoon.

Anyway, I checked out Sabrina Ward Harrison's website soon after, which was designed by Christine Castro of Darling Design. Reading Christine's blog on Darling Design was my first taste of a design blog. I was totally and completely hooked. How did I not know about this before?? Why am I looking at skulls and primary colors when I could be looking at flowers, polka dots, and the color pink?

From Darling Design, I found Oh Joy! which was linked on Christine's page. When Joy started blogging about her wedding in 2006, that's when the wedding blog world opened up and swallowed me whole. I'm still swimming around in its stomach, having a fine time.

I can't believe blogging has absorbed so much of my attention for the past four, almost five years. It has been a constant source of information and inspiration, from photography to writing to design to how to deal with wedding drama.

May 2010 will mark 5 years since I picked up that free copy of Sabrina Ward Harrison's book. I think blogging and I should celebrate.

How did you start blogging?



Temperley in L.A.

Whoops, I suppose today is the 6th--no worries, if you're interested in this trunk show, you have another chance tomorrow!

Trunk Show!
12 PM-5 PM, 11/6 and 11/7
Temperley London Boutique
8452 Melrose Place, Los Angeles

I'll be studying for midterms and starting work on my final paper. Please go dress shopping for me!


Clay Flowers

I fell in love with DK Designs when Mrs. Pineapple featured them on Weddingbee. I think the flowers Diane makes are amazing!

I keep thinking that I'll have a fabric flower (like these) in my hair, but then I saw this gorgeous anemone.

She also makes very pretty gardenias that would look pretty in my Mom's, sisters', or FMIL's hair.

Has anyone used clay flowers before? What are you wearing/wore in your hair for your wedding?

5? You mean 5:45, right?

Everyone in my family is notorious for being tardy. When I was itty bitty, an entire wedding banquet was held up because they insisted my Uncle be there before they start the speeches and food. He arrived two hours later.
Our friends are notorious for being late. For the boy's last birthday party, everyone came on time for the reservation, except for his nearest and dearest. They came about an hour and a half later, because y'know, the closer they are to us, the later they arrive.
The boy is horribly late all. the. time. I have gotten used to it over the years, but oh man. It's always been an issue. I can't tell you how many times I would show up at his work, only to have to wait another hour or two at his computer station before he was actually ready. Now you all know where I find the time to blog. :)
Me? I'm the girl waiting at the airport an hour beforehand and the one who arrives too early to interviews and decides to circle the building a few times before going in.

Here's how this is all related to weddings: we only have 5 hours at the vineyard for our party, and I don't want to waste any time so we can start food and dancing early to get the most out of our space. I want the ceremony to start at 5:15 at the latest, but knowing my family and our friends, I'm not sure if this will happen if I write "5 PM" on the invitation.

Obviously there are going to be people who arrive late. I can't really control that. But maybe I can control it an eensy weensy bit if I ask them arrive at "4:45"?

I don't know, what do you all think? Do you think people see "5 PM" and automatically know to get there early?

[Now that I've written this post for all the Internet to witness, it's inevitable that I will be the one who is late on that day.]



8 Months

We're 8 months out as of yesterday. 8 months sounds like a loooong time, but considering I have done very little for the wedding in the past two, I have a feeling it's going to go by fast.

Some fun updates:
+We decided to order dresses from Saja in jade (above)! The sisters just have to try on the silhouettes and order by December so that it ships in time for any alterations.
I think we've had two other game plans prior to this one, but I hope this one sticks because I'm in love with that color (and we have to order soon!)
Bridesmaid dresses...99% check!

+My Mom and Grandmother are flying down in January to go cheongsam shopping with me and to browse stores in L.A., Orange County, and San Diego for their own wedding outfits.
Does anyone have any recommendations on where to go in L.A. for a cheongsam? I tried Yelp, but nothing looked very promising. When they visit we'll be 5 months out! Eek!

Still need...
+a suit (there's a whole saga behind the suit, but when it's resolved, I'll share!)
+a music plan
+a ceremony
+a license
+decorations (this would probably require its own list...)
+invitations/rsvp card
+a honeymoon plan
+ties for fathers and brother
+gameplan for where we are getting ready and staying that night

...man, I was just writing the "still need" part because I was so proud of how much we've done, but apparently the still need list is kinda long!

Can you think of anything else to add to the list? Got any store recommendations for a cheongsam in L.A.?


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