Of course, there's a whole new list, but since it feels good to strike through text-here's my progress from the weekend!

+Finalize dress and alterations. (please let this be over. ugh) It's hanging in the closet!!
+Finish writing ceremony and vows.
+Wrap presents/write thank you cards for people being subjected to wedding day tasks.
+Pay people.
+Bring a whole lotta stuff to the venue.
+Have walk-through with DJ, give him my scary control freak play list.
+Finalize guest count for venue and caterer.
+Finish bride and groom wreaths.
+Assemble 85 mini rose plants--srsly. (Thank you sister!)
+Make table numbers. (bamboo and red paint)
+Make escort cards.
+Make fan programs. (being printed at greenerprinter as we speak!)
+Make cupcake guide.
+Make guest book guide.
+Print menus for each table.
+Finalize seating chart. (I'm still having fun playing with it.)
+Find someone willing to climb a ladder to hang our fabric backdrop.
+Find someone willing to sit at our guest book table.
+Find someone willing to hold our zumi video camera.
+Find someone willing to take video of the ceremony with a normal camera.
+Figure out after party and fun stuff for the Fourth to do with friends.
+Scan photos for slide show.
+Turn 27.
+Feed the cat.


Today is not my birthday

[My red velvet cupcake at lunch]

Ok, so I guess it is my birthday.
But with the wedding next week and the boy on his stag weekend, it is also being extended to after the wedding, hopefully with a picnic at the Getty. We'll just put a huge stamp on July and call it Mo Month.

I still celebrated with my girlfriend Tiffany, who took me out to lunch today and sent me home with a cupcake and an awesome bridal kit for next week!

[My sandwich at Tender Greens]

[Tiffany stuffed this bag with a lot of bridal essentials: a makeup bag w/bobby pins, mouthwash, advil, lotion, basically anything I could possibly need the day-of, a bottle of bubble bath, and a bottle of massage oil. Thanks Tiffany!]

It's been a good birthday, and a nice relaxing weekend in which I can do all my crazy wedding crafting.

At this time next week, I'll be walking down the aisle. Crazy.

[Side note: The boy is having a great time in Vegas. Last I heard they were upgraded to a suite at Paris. I hope they don't wake up to any tigers in the bathroom.]

'Say Yes to the Dress' gown for sale

[Buy this gorgeous Victorio and Lucchino gown here]

I lusted after this gown when I saw it on an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. The bride is now selling it on preownedweddingdresses for 50% off the sample sale price she paid, and since I cannot purchase it as I am getting married next week (!!!), perhaps one of you can buy this loveliness and wear it!

...Le sigh.

Yes, you are seeing the time stamp correctly. I am up at 1:30 in the morning looking at wedding dresses when I have a perfectly fine one hanging in my closet. Yes, I was even looking at dresses in my size even though there is no way I should be purchasing a wedding dress without it being completely and utterly ludicrous. Yes, this is totally crazy to be spending time on this when I have escort cards, a seating chart to tend to, gifts to wrap, and a really gross dirty apartment to clean.

I think it's time for bed. But isn't the dress so pretty?


It's Good To Live in San Diego

[The Weather Channel, Escondido, CA 10-day forecast]

I was worried because our venue is inland. The high in 2008 and 2007 was in the 90s, but the weather lately has been pretty cool. Let's hope this weather forecast is correct.
I might even need a sweater at night!



A Healthy Dose of Alone Time

My pity party about being by myself at the dress fitting got me thinking about being alone in general. I recently told a friend that I plan to spend the night before the wedding, and my wedding-day breakfast, by myself. "Isn't there someone that can stay with you?" she asked with concern. "No, no I don't think you understand," I told her. "I WANT to be by myself."

I saw her point, I might be frazzled and want the company so I don't freak myself out talking in my head or listening to bad break-up songs on my iPod. Or maybe I won't and relish the fact that I have some time to myself to do absolutely nothing in a pretty place? In any case, 138 people in my life will be within a 30 mile radius of my location.

Someone is bound to pick up his/her cell phone and listen to my nervous talking.

Aside from the wedding day, how do you and your partner manage alone time? Does one of you like more than the other? Early on in our relationship, I was super clingy and wanted to spend every minute together. He didn't. Now I feel there is more of a balance, and I don't need to be together at all free hours of the day. In fact I think I'd go a little nuts if we were with each other all the time and on the same schedule. We try and eat together every night, but we most definitely don't go to bed at the same time. Otherwise my sleep schedule would be screwed. A healthy dose of alone time (and with other people/friends/family!) makes us both happy.

PS: what do you think I should eat for breakfast?


Mini Bamboo Steamer Favors

[Taken with my sister's iPhone]

For the Chinese banquet, my mom and sister (thank you!!) stuffed mini bamboo steamers from H2 cards with hard candy, and then decorated the tops with ribbon and tags made by Mau Studio. The tags match our stickers.

[Stickers from the invitation suite]

We have a whopping 225 mini steamers, ready to be dropped off at each place setting! Centerpieces have been ordered, cake design is finalized, slideshow is done, dress is hanging and ready, shoes look great with it, seating charts are currently being set in stone.

Wedding #2 is currently kicking wedding #1's butt in terms of productivity.

[I just can't say enough nice things about our Chinese stickers and tags, I just think they are so cute and were affordable and easy to order. To see more, visit Mau Studio's Etsy shop.]

Congratulations Amber!

Since only ten entered, I did the old school way of picking a winner for the Perricone Giveaway and used a hat and scraps of paper. I closed my eyes, rustled the paper, and picked one lucky name--Amber!
Congratulations Amber, your pores are going to be so excited.
Thanks to everyone for entering my first giveaway! Posts about routine freaking out to commence shortly.

[Amber: I could not find your email address--please send it to me or leave it in the comments so you can claim your prize!]


Last Day To Enter!

Did you enter the Perricone Giveaway?

I'll be announcing the big winner tomorrow. Good luck!


A Dress That Won't Allow Me To Hug: Thank You

I want to thank everyone for your supportive comments about my dress saga. It meant a lot to read through your comments and see that I wasn't the only one having to deal with planning solo. I do a lot of things alone, and am comfortable being by myself for most things, so it had never occurred to me how planning without my family would affect me. Cyber hugs help, thank you.

On that note, today I went to go try the dress after it had been altered by the new seamstress, and it fit beautifully. The strap in the back looks nice, the length is manageable, and they had me walk around to make sure I could do so comfortably. I'm really happy, it's honestly like an entirely different dress--one that fits me, not one that makes me look like I'm playing dress up in clothes that are too big for me. They just have to tweak a couple more things, and then it is ready for pick up! I can't wait to wear it now.

For anyone looking for a seamstress who saves dresses from otherwise potential doom, go see Kiki in La Jolla. Tell her the panicky little Asian girl with sloping shoulders sent you.

More Details Coming Together

[Did you enter the Perricone giveaway? It's not too late!]

Oy. We're back in DIY hell (or heaven, depending on how much you like crafting,) and I am grappling with fan programs, what to do with escort cards, and other fun projects you can make while watching television and Netflix.

I even got some help yesterday. My crafty cousin, who was visiting yesterday for college orientation, just offered to make all of the ribbon wands I was planning to assemble and took a whole bag full of supplies home with her. It was like someone took a huge sparkly boulder off my shoulders.

For the escort cards, I was thinking of making paper flowers for each one, something like these pretties:

[Incredible, no?]

I even bought pink and red tissue paper, but now I just don't see how I can finish them all. Another idea is to make the escort cards similar to the invites with the hearts and green twine. Less work + on theme + easy = happy Mo.

And while I sit and ponder escort cards, our living room is becoming more and more red:

[I found this basket at Michael's for 50% off. It came with the chalkboard, I added the 'Welcome' and the heart. Our usher will hold it with the programs.]

[I had 5 x 7 kraft postcards printed at greenerprinter and I am currently assembling these with the help of mod podge, spray mount, and double-sided tape. I've done the fanning test, I think its thickness is just the right amount. The red and white polka dot ribbon is tied on the stick.]

[Our officiant, aka our friend, is being a good sport and wearing this bow tie I picked out from Andrew's Ties.]

Perhaps I can find the time to go run on the beach once I find my way out from under all this paper and glue. Two weeks!


Things To Do

Things To Do.

Don't be scared.

+Finalize dress and alterations. (please let this be over. ugh)
+Finish writing ceremony and vows.
+Wrap presents/write thank you cards for people being subjected to wedding day tasks.
+Pay people.
+Bring a whole lotta stuff to the venue.
+Have walk-through with DJ, give him my scary control freak play list.
+Finalize guest count for venue and caterer.
+Finish bride and groom wreaths.
+Assemble 80 mini rose plants--srsly. (Thank you sister!)
+Make table numbers. (bamboo and red paint)
+Make escort cards. (haven't figured this one out yet, what day is it?)
+Make fan programs. (being printed at greenerprinter as we speak!)
+Make cupcake guide.
+Make guest book guide.
+Print menus for each table.
+Finalize seating chart. (I'm still having fun playing with it.)
+Find someone willing to climb a ladder to hang our fabric backdrop.
+Find someone willing to sit at our guest book table.
+Find someone willing to hold our zumi video camera.
+Find someone willing to take video of the ceremony with a normal camera.
+Figure out after party and fun stuff for the Fourth to do with friends.
+Scan photos for slide show.
+Turn 27.
+Feed the cat.

Guest count as of today=135 (out of 210 invited)

We're getting there.


Pink Argyle's First Giveaway: Cold Plasma

Well dear readers, here it goes--my very first giveaway! Excited? I thought so.

I normally don't do these, but this seemed like a really great product for one of my readers to win. Since most of us are prepping for a wedding, this would be a great way to prep your skin to give you that extra special bridal glow.

This giveaway is for Cold Plasma by Nicholas Perricone. Cold Plasma is for all skin types and targets wrinkles, enlarged pores, dryness, redness, discoloration, uneven skin tone, impurities, loss of firmness, loss of smoothness, and loss of radiance. *Whew* That was a long list.

Cold Plasma retails at $150, but you might win it for free!

To enter, leave a comment between June 15th to June 22nd by midnight, PST. Please read the following guidelines before commenting:

1. This giveaway is only open to blog followers. In your comment, let me know how you follow (Google reader, twitter, etc) and why you want/need/can't live without Cold Plasma.

2. Eligible for only U.S. and Canadian residents.

3. If you have a private account, please leave your email so that I can contact you in case you win!

4. This is a sponsored giveaway. Product will be shipped directly from Perricone MD and not Pink Argyle.

**For more Perricone products (like the Facial Conformer!) and information, check out the Perricone blog.

Good luck!


Sunday's Stuffed French Toast

[My Sunday breakfast at The Cottage]

I had a relaxing weekend.
Ran on the beach.
Met up with old friends and had stuffed french toast with bananas.
Went shoe shopping.
Then I logged onto our registry and it told me I have 19 days left.
And then I got in my pajamas and sort of watched the NBA Finals with the boy.

Hope you all had great weekends!


A Dress That Won't Allow Me To Hug: Part 2

For the first incredibly long and dramatic post about my dress alterations, go here.

Today, I finally dusted off the wedding dress bag and brought it over to my girlfriend's apartment for an assessment. What we realized when I tried it on and tried to walk was that not only was it falling over, it was way. too. long. WAY too long. Like 4-5 inches too long. I did not realize this at the bridal shop because they kept me confined and didn't have me walk around, so I didn't even realize how unbearably long it really was until I tried to walk the length of her room. My girlfriend consoled me, and told me to bite the bullet and call another seamstress. The dress really needed it.

So I clutched my credit card and drove it over to a seamstress in La Jolla. I tried the dress on for her and told her what the other seamstress told me, that this was the best it could be and that tape was the answer.

Well, new seamstress took one look at it, and told me what I had sensed all along (especially since I couldn't wear it without holding it.)

This fit was bad news bears.

The length was way too long, the sleeves did not fit properly, and it was obvious that I was not comfortable since the top kept slipping off. The funniest part was when she told me to tie my hair up and I told her "I can't. My arms can't go up." I showed her and she looked at me with pity and said "oh dear."

Long story short, it's getting hemmed, and the sleeves are being de-poufed (which the last seamstress claimed could not be done.) She also tried to solve the falling off my shoulders dilemma. "Oh! I have something that will work!" She came back with a really thin ivory string with pearls and beads on it. "We made a dress for a client, this was leftover from hers." It matched my dress, and she pinned it to the back to make my shoulders stay up. For the first time, it actually looked like the dress fit me. I'm trying it on again next week, and am going to decide if I want the thin piece of string or not.

I had put this off because I knew I needed to pay more money, and I am embarrassed at how much this one dress has cost, but at least after seeing a new seamstress I feel better. I hope she does a good job and doesn't shaft me.

The other bummer is that I returned my shoes. The pearls kept snagging the lace, and so I need a pair of flats that don't have embellishment. That also means no Vera Wang shoes. :(

As a final note, during the fitting, I got a little sad because she asked where I was from, and if anyone had come with me to the bridal shop. I told her my family all lived up north, and I didn't have any relatives here, so I was by myself at the shop. "Sometimes it's hard when you go alone, you can't really tell how it fits when you're all by yourself." (She asked some other ladies in the shop to comment on how my dress fit, so we had different opinions on how to keep the dress up.) Anyway, it made me sad because it reminded me of going shopping for my prom dress by myself, and I remember bumping into my friend and her mother at the mall and her mom insisting that I shop with them for the rest of the day. (For the record, my Mom did go back with me to the mall, where we did buy a strapless lavender dress that I basically loved so much I wanted to sleep in it.)

Planning a wedding is so emotional, it's been hard doing it alone with my mom and sisters away and with a boy that spends a majority of his time within the confines of a lab.

Is anyone else doing a lot of the planning solo? And, what do you think about using the thin ivory strap to keep the shoulders up?


Short stories about the first dance

Yesterday I asked the boy if we could practice for our first dance. I played the song via Youtube, got up, put my hand on his arm and started swaying. He let go of me, put his fists up, and started shaking them, as if he were shaking maracas.

Me: What are you doing?
Him: I'm dancing.
Me: You're supposed to be dancing WITH ME.
Him: I am dancing with you!
Me: Slow dancing with me! For our first dance!
Him: Well, you did not specify how to dance. How am I supposed to know what you want me to do?
[Mo holds head in hands, the boy continues to play air maracas and shuffles around the room.]
Him: OH! I know. You can pretend to play maracas too. [Slaps Mo's shoulder] That way people will think we choreographed it.

Help me.


Conversations with a pair of shoes

Yesterday I was getting something at the mall cafe with my girlfriend, when I walked by these.

And they spoke to me.

Shoes: Hi Mo! Aren't we cute? We just wanted to grab your attention for a minute because we know we go with your dress-your dress does have silver details, doesn't it? And isn't your jewelry pretty bling? We are big on bling.
Me: Oh, why hello there Vera Wang shoes. My, you are very pretty.
Shoes: Thank you.
Me: Unfortunately, I've had my shoes since November. And, you're $100 more than them. $100 can buy me another person at our wedding, or a new summer dress, or a hair cut and color, or--
Shoes: --oh, I know we look more high maintenance than your other shoes, but really we're a lot more comfortable and flexible. And, what's $100? Hmmm? If you could spend $100 to be happier, wouldn't you? We just want you to be happy on your wedding day.
Why don't you try us on? The display is a 7, it might fit you even though you're a 6.5. See how observant we are? We even know what shoe size you are.
Me: Well, I don't---
Shoes: TRY US ON.
Me: Ok.
[slips on shoes, walks to mirror]
Shoes: Gorgeous, no? We look really nice on your feet. The 7, not bad at all! This might even be your size. And look, we can see the pedicure you just got. Your other shoes, well, they aren't peep-toes like we are. Who's going to care if you picked the perfect shade of pink if they're hidden, hmmmm?
Me: Good point.
Shoes: We know, we are smart. And pretty.
Me: You are very pretty. Almost too pretty.
Shoes: Why thank you. Would you like to use your VISA to purchase us? We also take Mastercard. Or cash. We aren't picky.
Me: Um...well, hmmmmmmm....no, I like you, I really do. You're a great pair of shoes. It's not you, it's me. I have to think about it before I give up my old shoes. I hope you understand.
Shoes: Sure, yeah, no problem, it's cool, really cool, we understand, you take your time. You know where we're at.
...But we know you'll make the right decision.

What? You don't talk to fashion?



Back from Vegas, Back to Reality

[Vegas, not the real Paris]

After a couple days in Vegas, getting teary-eyed at our friends’ wedding, people watching, and dying in the heat, I’m back to reality in cool 68 degree San Diego. I feel like so much happened that it was a lot more than just a couple days, and now I’m trying to reconnect with what was on my mind on Friday. My brain has been playing the same reminders over and over and over for the past year: work-school-wedding, school-work-wedding, wedding-work-school, wedding-wedding-wedding, and then all of the sudden, it was school-work-wedding, school-school-school, pack-pack-feed cat, VEGAS. Here's a quick snapshot of the weekend.

The Wedding

Our friends got married at The Little Chapel of the Flowers, and after we ate at Pampas Churrascaria which served us 7 kinds of meat (the pork was the best, for anyone who is taking notes.) It was sweet, intimate and everyone cried. I totally loved it. All of the weddings I have been to have been bigger with a ton of family members (my family members, third cousins included) or I have been in the wedding, so it was nice to sit back and just watch them bask in their happiness. The Chapel, at least from the guest’s perspective, made everything pretty easy too. There was plenty of parking, someone greeted us when we arrived and directed us to the right chapel, and the next day a video and a photo album were ready for anyone to view. It was a really sweet day.

Congratulations Brian and Sarah!


We occupied one of the velvet booths at Bouchon on Saturday night. I was all set to get the mussels and pommes frittes, but at the last minute decided on the salmon (you can click on the menu below to enlarge it.) I actually felt my salmon was overcooked, but the orzo and greens that it sat on top of was pretty good. I also can't tell if I didn't like it that much because our waiter kept saying the word special "speh-chee-al" and claimed Thomas Keller was above Top Chef. In any case, we had a good time catching up with old friends and staying out of the heat in a fancy restaurant.

[My salmon dish]

[This menu is wrapped around each napkin at your place setting. I thought it was clever as it saves space. It also makes it very easy to take home and scan. Nice souvenir/practical item for say, a wedding? I think so.]

[Our menu. I had the salmon. The boy had the trout. You can click to enlarge to see the details.]

[Side note: If you're in San Diego and looking for French food, I highly recommend Blue Boheme. Not only are the mussels incredible, but you feel like you're eating in a cute little cottage by candlelight.]

[Other side note: I am done with my first year of graduate school! Hence the time to write this post!]


Exactly One Month Out

Today marks exactly one month until the wedding.

It is also the RSVP deadline for our guests. We sent out 105 invitations, I have received 52 RSVP cards back.
(To be fair, a lot of people have told me via email or phone, but there are still quite a few that I'll be calling/emailing this week.)

So, remember that 200 person wedding I was freaking out about? Well, it's likely going to be a 130 person wedding, including babies and children (unless for some miraculous reason I get 50 yes RSVPs.) Much more manageable!

I've also become addicted to seat planner on Wedding Wire. I don't want to tell anyone where they are sitting for fear that they will stare daggers at me and push me to a dramatic nervous breakdown, the kind you see on Say Yes to the Dress and think "wow, that is never going to be me."

Deep breaths.


Updates: Owl Cookies, a Menu, and Wise Words from Dad

Hi. Miss me? I miss you too.

Some updates from my neck of the woods--it is gettin' crazy here. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't love it just a little bit.

I was feeling pretty alone in planning and then we had our walk through with our venue this weekend. I felt so much better after because they were so organized and were one step ahead of me. Thank goodness. After, we had a long lunch at Stone Brewing Company, who will be providing the beer at our event. All in all, a pretty nice but productive weekend.

What's Going On...
1. This Sunday marks the end of my first year as a graduate student--woohoo!! I will also be in Vegas the same weekend for a wedding, hopefully not spending that much time on my computer trying to finish my last paper, but rather eating a lot and taking pictures with my new camera!

2. We got the owls as our favors, except they will look more like this to match our theme. I think I am the one in the top left. It looks the shiftiest. Which one are you?:

3. Thanks to everyone for their input on a bachelor party on my birthday. It's official, the boy and his guy friends are spending the weekend in Vegas. I knew he really wanted one, so I'm glad that they went ahead and planned it. I'm going to find a spa and turn off my cell phone in a rare moment of peace. We can celebrate my 27th year another day.

[My birthday last year at Disneyland]

4. I'm really close to finalizing our programs and menus. I got really happy formatting this menu because of all of the food we are going to have!

[Click to enlarge]

5. I bought a Zumi Digital and now just need a camera person during our wedding (or many camera people.) I have no idea how to edit video, but looks like I'm going to find out soon! (Side note: we opted out of a videographer because of cost. I'll let you know how my Zumi Digital works out for us! I also can't wait to use it in Japan!)

[The Zumi Digital, aka, one of our replacements for a videographer]

6. There was so little fabric leftover from my dress that I couldn't make a little flower for my hair. (I know Juel, I was so disappointed!) I went ahead and got the white hair pins for my hair to match my sisters.

7. I started making his and her wreaths.

8. Like any wedding, there has definitely been drama. Tonight after the upteenth argument with my Mom, my Dad took the phone and said:

"You do what you think will be best. Just think of everything like you are number one and everyone else is nobody."

Thanks Dad.

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