Cheongsam Adventures

Since I was up north over the weekend for the bridal shower, I also took care of some Sacramento/Chinese wedding items. It was a busy weekend. Right now I'm sitting in my yoga clothes, listening to lectures I've missed, and looking at 3 loads of laundry on my bed that I should fold. It's so nice. 

Ok, back to last weekend. I tried on my cheongsam for the first time, which is being made at Ling's in Oakland. Instead of the traditional red, I decided to go with gold, purely for aesthetic reasons. I just thought it looked better on me.
[Here is Connie of Ling's working her magic. I believe she is sewing the ends of the sleeves in this picture. By the look on my face I bet I was sucking in my stomach.  You can't really see it clearly in this photo, but there is an oval near my neck to indicate where the keyhole neckline will be.]

It was actually a little surprising to see myself in the dress with my hair up and my shoes on. I felt a little like this, minus the white makeup and golf clubs: 

[My dress is going to have two pipings, one gold and the other pink. This is what the fabric looks like with the pipings, which will trim the neckline, the arms, and the slits and bottom of the dress.]

[The buttons were custom-made to match the piping, this is what it all looks like together.]

[I also had a wonderful time having a hair trial at Salon Paisley in Sacramento. Ashley did my hair and she managed to make my hair look so full with big curls. I kept touching it all day, which probably wasn't the best idea because my constant touching probably led to it falling out quicker. It was also really reasonably priced in comparison to other quotes I received in Sacramento, and definitely in comparison to Southern California! Plus, she was so nice and sweet, so if you're in Sacramento and in need of a new stylist, I recommend her! I booked her to do my hair for the banquet, where I will try really hard not to touch my curls.]

Add some gold and jade, and I'll be all set to greet 200 Chinese people I do not know. 


Temperley London Trunk Show in LA

I'll be stuck indoors this weekend, writing a paper and catching up on life in general, but if you're engaged and in LA--go check out the Temperley London collection on Melrose Place!

This Friday and Saturday, 10-6 PM
RSVP required: 323.782.8000

Isn't the headpiece this model is wearing fabulous?



My Tea Party Bridal Shower

Thanks to my sisters and Rosanna for the most amazing bridal shower ever at Crown and Crumpet. We were lucky and had gorgeous weather in San Francisco for the occasion. It was a small party of close friends and some relatives, and we celebrated while drinking four types of tea (chocolate mint, strawberry green, fruity decaffeinated, and ginger oolong,) eating tea sandwiches and treats, and soaking in the adorableness that is Crown and Crumpet! Everything in there was pink and frilly, I LOVED IT. So, I took a lot of photos and it was very difficult to edit them down for this post, but I hope you enjoy this small sampling of the day!

[We had two areas, one was this table. This cake centerpiece was so cute! I believe it is made of paper. Also, aren't those puppy pillows adorable??]

[This was my place setting. The candle favors with the red ribbon and green cellophane were all made by Rosanna! They match our wedding colors perfectly.]

[Every party needs a cupcake!]

[And I am now convinced that every party needs sugar cubes in the shapes of birds.]

[Cupcakes, brownies, tarts!]

[Even the tea was pink.]

[We need to have more indoor picnics.]

[This was the chocolate mint tea, complete with milk.]

[Tea sandwiches]

[It was so nice to catch up with my friends, who I don't get to see very often. My college friend Jennifer flew in from LA, my childhood friend drove over two hours, and everyone else came from all over the Bay Area. I hope they enjoyed themselves as much as I did.]

[These are my former roommates from college. This is one of my favorite photos of the day (thanks to Angie for taking it!) because we're all sharing a funny moment and all look so happy.]

[My sister and niece]



We need to have tea and crumpets more often.



Bridal Shower Teaser

[Thanks to Angie for taking this photo.]

I had fun, can you tell?

Recap to come!



Shoes Make Everything Better

I was having a crappy day and then I bought these shoes.

I am also super excited for my bridal shower on Sunday, a weekend up north, a cheongsam fitting, a cake tasting, and a hair trial. *Phew

I'll be back on the blog soon, with pictures! xo


The Invitations: Part 2

[Our Chinese invites!]

Those of you who have been reading for a bit know that we are having two parties, one American and one Chinese. The boy's parents are not fluent in English, and many of our guests speak Cantonese, so we had the invitation translated (you can see it above.) I do not know Chinese, so we hired the lovely folks at H2 Cards in San Francisco to help me. They made it really easy by sending me a file (and our parents to proof,) which I then placed in my own design. If you are in need of a Chinese translation, I highly recommend them!

These are offset printed and not letterpress, but I still wanted to make them look fancier, so I wrapped each one in a doily using a bone folder and had these custom stickers made from Mau Studio. I love the stickers so much, and the designer even threw in some extras!

[This is how it looks fresh from the envelope! I have a whole lotta doilies now. I bought them in a 500 pack from Paper Mart. We'll try and find use for them at the Chinese banquet, otherwise I'll have to find creative ways to wrap everything up in doilies.]

[It pains me to block out our names. It really does. Especially when the pretty script is ruined by it!]

Design: Me
Printing: H2 Cards/Catprint
Chinese Translation: H2 Cards
Doilies: Paper Mart
Stickers: Mau Studio

Is anyone else doing multilingual invitations?


The Invitations: Part 1

For the longest time I told myself that we would not have letterpress invitations, even though I love letterpress printing. I once had a fleeting dream to go back to school for book arts, but then decided I couldn't stomach the tuition for art school. I chose library school instead. Books are still involved, but unfortunately no presses or ink or double-sided tape for me. [Random geeky fact un-related to weddings, did you know there is such a profession as a book arts librarian??]

Unfortunately, once I made my design in one color, it was almost like I was asking for it. I saw how it would look from an offset printer, and all I could think was "wow, this would look so better in letterpress." DUH MO! Of course it would look better in letterpress, everything looks better in letterpress! You know you want it: the paper is spongey, the ink is richer, it looks amazing framed. Just do it.

I caved and called Mercurio Brothers.

After having the final product and hearing from our guests, I have no regrets. They did a beautiful job, and I'm really proud of the work I put into the invitations too.

Presenting...our invitations! Complete with divine twine, paper hearts, and sealed in khaki envelopes with gocco printing. Budget friendly? Not really. Pretty and a labor of love? Totally.

Design: Mo
Printer: Mercurio Brothers
Paper: Somerset Radiant White 300 gm Velvet

Khaki A9 envelopes from Paper Source
Gocco Printer

Extra Supples
Green Apple Divine Twine
Heart-shape punch from Martha Stewart Crafts
Old calendar used to make heart punches

Next up...our Chinese invitations!



Stress Zits and Other Gross Things on My Face

Right before we took our engagement pictures, I got a huge stress zit. I think I must have coated that thing with layers of makeup, which would probably make my dermatologist cry. And here I am, with another one. Work has been really stressful, and I have a paper due Sunday, a presentation tomorrow, invitations I have not sent out yet, and research to do on a dj (we decided we might have one after all!) It's all over my face. At least I finally did my taxes this weekend.

Despite the fact that I have a mountain of drugs from my doctor for my skin, I STILL get stress zits. At my last appointment, the nurse told me that I could go in the week of the wedding and get a cortizone shot to zap any. I had never heard of doing it, so I looked at her and said "I'm sorry, what? A shot? Get rid of my deeply embedded zit with a shot? My cat gets cortizone shots for her allergies, I never realized I could get a cortizone shot for my vanity. Is there a reason the dermatologist didn't mention this option before?" She basically laughed at me, told me to "not stress" and to take my meds. I've got the meds part down, yoga is helping with the no stress part.

So...I'm curious. Has anyone gotten a cortizone shot for zits? Does it actually work? Is the dermatologist's office keeping tabs on you before the wedding like they are with me?


[Silly and serious pictures taken by Facebooth]

We went to a wedding this weekend and the big hit was the photobooth by local San Diego company Facebooth. We are having a photo station (it will be full length and the prints won't be instant,) but for anyone in San Diego looking for a fun photobooth option, I really liked the set-up of Facebooth. You can fit as many people as you can into the booth, and you get two sets of photo strips. You cannot see it because I cropped these, but the couple had their names and the date on the top of the strip so that you have an instant memento from the wedding. (I'm a sucker for documentation details too!)

I look pretty good with that blue furry hat, don't I?


An Ode to Pictures of Food

Today's New York Times article about taking pictures of your food caught my eye, because it's exactly what I do. I love taking pictures of food. As I get older, I find that food, like music, really brings back memories for me.

One thing I wish is that I had taken more pictures in college, or when my relationship was in its earlier stages. Maybe it's because I was eating crappy food, but why didn't I take more pictures of the special occasions in which I ate outside the dining common? As an example, there was one night in the final months of college when I was really stressed and depressed by the prospect of being thrust into the Real World, and the boy surprised me by picking me up on campus and taking me to Chez Panisse Restaurant. It was such a wonderful night, and I am sad I don't have photos, only a menu of what we ate. [If you're ever in Berkeley for a special occasion, like you're hungry and have a couple hundred bucks to spare, I highly recommend it!]

As an ode to taking pictures of food, here are some of my favorites from 2009. 2010 has been busy, but let's hope I have more food pictures by the end of it!

[Oatmeal raisin ice cream cone from Ici in Berkeley, July 2009]

[Veggie pot pie from Spread in San Diego, January 2009]

[My food plate at my sister's wedding, August 2009]

[A dog treat from Three Dog Bakery in Del Mar, summer 2009]

[My plate at Christmas, 2009]

[Macarons at Hotel del Coronado, our engagement weekend, 2009]

[Grilled cheese sandwich at Beecher's Handmade Cheese, 2009]

[Mini pumpkin cupcake, The Chocolate Box, 2009]

[Chocolate ganache cake from The Lodge at Torrey Pines, 2009]

Do you take photos of your food?


Did You Get Enough Sleep Last Night?

Tonight I fell asleep. With the television on. While sitting up. I even missed Lost because of it.

I am prone to not getting enough sleep Monday through Thursday (when I have to go to work) and along with eating better, getting more sleep is on my to-do list.

Do you get enough sleep? Or are you like me and end up procrastinating and staying up until 12 or 1 to watch tv/read blogs/do things I was supposed to do at an earlier hour?


Invitation Sneak Peak

Now that you've seen the chaos, I thought I'd give you something prettier. A sneak peak of our letterpress invitations!

Details and more pictures will be posted later in the week!
(See other design elements for our wedding: the website, the save the date, the inspiration board.)





Dieting Solo

Is anyone out there not trying to lose weight? I feel like I'm bombarded by dieting ads, diet books, low-fat low-sodium low-carb options, meal plans, diet pills, gym membership deals, the Subway diet, the Taco Bell diet, the Special K diet, the Master Cleanse...you just can't escape the topic. I am both exhausted of hearing about weight loss and obsessed with it at the same time.

A couple years ago, the boy and I lost about 15 lbs each. After reducing his sugar intake and going to the gym for the first time, he lost weight. As a result, I ate better and went to the gym too. Hence my copy cat weight loss. For a while we would check each other and encourage healthier meals. We stopped drinking soda. I stopped eating dessert. And we started running on the beach together.

Fast forward to today. He's been really busy with work, and isn't trying to eat healthy and it just makes it doubly hard for me to not eat the donuts in the break room or get a McFlurry on my way home (I can walk to McD from my apartment). In a nutshell, it's been hard not having my partner in on the goal. Being good is so much easier when there is someone else encouraging you and trying to be fit too.

I bring this up now because next week I have my first dress fitting. Then, I have another one at the end of April, two more in May, and a final one in June. [I have two dresses, hence the multiple fittings.] I gained six pounds over the holidays (gee, I wonder why,) and today I am finally back down to my original weight pre-holiday food craziness. It feels good to fit into pants I couldn't wear a couple months ago.

Does your partner's food and exercise habits affect yours? How do you stay healthy as a couple?

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