Friday, July 31, 2009

William Sonoma offers FREE classes!

William Sonoma just emailed me telling me about their FREE classes! I had no idea they offered this! Check out the schedule *here*
I plan to check out some of these classes, so far the ones that have caught my fancy are "Basic Technique: Grilling (8/6), Cooking with Cast Iron & Non-stick Skillet (8/8) and The Great Cupcake! (8/29) but I am staying away from "Must Have Tools" because I will end up buying them all!

Apparently they have Technique Classes - instruction in basic cooking techniques and specific cook's tools. Product Demonstrations, Book Signings and Cooking Classes! Call your local store to sign up because space is limited.

While perusing the William Sonoma site, I also saw they had recipes! what?! and a bunch of articles on tips and techniques, entertaining ideas and a video library. Apparently I've been out of the loop.

These are some on my "to cook list"

Cheddar and Corn Jalapeño Poppers

Chocolate-Filled Pancakes

Baked Rigatoni with Sausage & Broccoli Rabe

Thursday, July 30, 2009

DIY: How Far Should You Go?

I must say that I'm a big fan of the *personal* touch. I like to make things and I know when it comes to weddings and showers, it's of the utmost of importance that the overall visuals (colors, themes, fabrics) must speak to the person or persons involved and really give a peek into their soul... Or something like that.

I've been doing a lot of research into how to effectively dabble into screen printing since I saw the amazing job our friend Stephen did with screen printing his own posters for an event he threw. It was basically a two-color process and he hand made the posters himself! The combination of two colors on the right parchment along with dramatic lines really impressed me - so of course I wanted to make one myself!

Not too long after I started obsessing on *how* to go about screen printing things for the various parties - i.e. the bridal shower and bachelorette party - I noticed a really affordable kit from urbanoutfitters ($64) - although not sure how commited I can get to it - but at least when it comes to this type of project, money would definitely not be an issue!

I'll come back to this idea once I get a headcount on how many people will be involved in the shindigs I'm in charge of... time might be better spent allocating enough booze (or schmoozing for deals on venues).

Maid of Honor-ing (First Post)

Yay! Very excited to be able to guest blog on Westside Wedding! Here goes:

As a first time Maid of Honor I find myself doing some side research during the day on the fun stuff I get to plan (acquiring strippers and hotels in Vegas and what not... choreographing reception dances - you know...), and by chance happened upon the weirdness that is DisneyBRIDAL. Am I the only one that doesn't know about this?

I have to admit, I do like the belle wedding dress. (But it's not white... what is Mickey trying to say with that one?!)

MOH now guest blogging!

{cousin/MOH is to the left in red & yours truly is to the right, btw she was wearing black shows and I was wearing red because even now we sometimes coordinate outfits he he}
I'm so excited to tell you all that my MOH, aka cousin, aka partner in crime is going to be guest blogging SQUEAL!!!!!! She is an extremely savy social networker. She is actually the one that first introduced me to such Internet social networking as instant messaging, email, myspace, blogging, google reader, twitter etc etc. I still remember when I was a student at UCLA and she was at Yale, she kept telling me to check my email and to get on the instant message band wagon, back then (1997) it was fairly new and email looked nothing like it does now. To this day she is the person I email the most (via google).
When I started blogging about a month ago, I did not tell anyone, not even her because I was not sure if I could do it. I'm a very private person and it's hard for me to open up, but after reading so many wedding blogs in the past 2 months, I thought I needed to do my part and contribute. I'm so glad that I did because everyone in the wedding blogosphere is so supportive and sweet. I actually almost quit 2 days into it but then I received my first comments from chicncheap, anna and the ring & The Frugal Fabulous Bride and all of a sudden I felt connected and looked forward to experiencing the wedding planning with all you in the world wide web.
But I digress as I usually do! After a month I told my cousin/MOH about my blog (she is still the only one that knows about it) and she has been so supportive! So supportive that she said she would guest blog!!! AHH!!! I love that she is going to post because it will give a unique perspective to this wedding planning, we mostly hear about the bride's side of the planning, but there is alot of planning going on with the MOH too - bachelorette parties, showers, dress shopping, keeping bride sane....
I hope you all enjoy her posts as much as I know I will!
Do you have a blog and if so do yor friends and family know about it?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BridesNY magazine needs Engaged NY/NJ area couple for photo shoot

To all the NY/NJ brides! Brides Local Magazines is looking for an engaged couple to appear in the Spring/Summer issue's "Find Our Wedding Style" story. If only we were living in NY.... which btw is on my "to live at" list. Get all the lowdown *here*

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Father Daughter Dance

I normally don't go on utube, but the other day when I saw the dancing wedding party and the dirty dancing wedding first dance it also showed me an awesome father daughter dance! how sweet is this?!!! I emailed it to my dad yesterday morning with the hopes that he will want to do something similar, especially since a few weeks ago when I told him he could pick the father daughter song, he said he wanted something that won't make us cry.

I got an email from my dad this morning and this is what he says "I saw the video about the wedding,very funny...lets practice and do something just for fun, whatever makes my baby happy. love u always Dad.

I love my dad, to me he is the greatest. He has taught me a lot about the world and I am who I am today because of him (and mom too of course). Some of the important things that he taught me was to be true to myself, to know that I can accomplish anything and to not dwell on the bad stuff, it's not about why did this happen to me, it's about how can I fix things?

Oh, by the way my dad is the only man I let call me baby, I think Madison Ave said it best in her song "Don't call me baby"
Don't think that I'm not strong
I'm the one to take you on
Don't underestimate me boy
I'll make you sorry you were born
You don't know me
The way you really should
You sure misunderstood

Dont' call me baby
You got some nerve, and baby that'll never do
You know I don't belong t o you
It's time you knew I'm not your baby
I belong to me, so
Don't call me baby

FREE DAHLIA wedding invitation from Wedding Chicks

Today is a great day for free down loadable invitations! First Chic 'n Cheap blogs about the Free Eco-Stationery Templates from iDiY and now Wedding Chicks is sharing with us a FREE DAHLIA wedding invitation!
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Damask Font by Nymphont

Feast your eyes on this gorgeous damask font by Nymphont! swoon! get it *here* I love it so much. Nymphont is extremely talented and so very generous with her fonts, they are available for free download on dafont *here* but it you want to use it for commercial reasons make sure you give the much deserved PayPal donation.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Dirty Dancing at Wedding

Who knew doing these special dances was all the rage?! not me! I have never been to a wedding that had people do a special dance but apparently tons of people do it all the time!
Here is a dirty dancing one! I had the idea when we saw dirty dancing but I think we will do a different song & dance, not sure what yet, it's going to require a brainstorming happy hour with the wedding party!

Reception: Dancing Wedding Party

ok I know you guys have probably seen this because it has been all over the weddingblogoshere since yesterday, but I had to post about it since it was what sealed the deal with my wedding party to make my dreams come true and dance into the reception! I first saw it on weddingbee when Mrs. Shortcake first posted about it. I had initially told my MOH & bridesman my idea of dancing into the reception after we went to see Dirty Dancing at the Pantages theatre a few months ago. As soon as I saw the video I sent it over to mi amor, MOH, bridesman and future sister in law/bridesmaid, telling asking them if they would be into dancing into the reception and all of them said YES! some even shed a few tears :-)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pointing Finger

Although I am still in search for the clip art, I found the stamp! YAY! When I went to buy the return address stamp from terbearco , I clicked to see their other stamps and lo and behold there was the pointing finger! As I kept looking through the terbearco store, these stamps also caught my attention:
This stamp reminds me of the invitations shown on Oh So Beautiful Paper the other day...

oh and love this one too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Photoshop Shortcuts You Should Know

I just discovered an awesome blog called I Faces which was founded by two women, Angie & Amy, who met through blogging, how cool is that?! Amy wrote some great Photoshop shortcuts, that I will be using frequently in my quest to finally learn how to use Photoshop.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Circus Theme is all over web

The carnival/circus theme seems to be all over the web! I just got an email from forever 21 & BAM! there it is the Forever 12 Cirque Theme 21! I'm obsessed with that pointy finger that you also see on circus or retro themed wedding invitations and I can't find it ANYWHERE! See it's even on the forever 21 advertisement taunting me! My awesome cousin helped me search for it too & was able to find one that looks like it via the wingings font that's on mac computers, but I still have not been able to find it as a clip art, or the actual pointy finger in a font. Do you guys know where I can get my hands on that pointing hand?
Here it is on an invitation from letterpresspunchdesign I have been admiring for MONTHS!

and here it is on an address stamp that I will soon be getting from terbearco on etsy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Carnival Theme OOT bags

I don't know what my colors are & I have been so inspired by the wedding blogosphere that it has left me wanting so many different things. So I have decided I will try to have different themes for the rehearsal dinner, OOT bags and wedding. I know most people like when everything is cohesive, & I do think it looks so beautiful but that is not me, I've always liked so many different things which is why in my apt has different sections that way I can have everything without it looking like a swap meet. Plus I would go crazy trying to decide on one theme. Ergo I have decided to have a Mexican themed rehearsal dinner, carnival themed OOT and I still have not decided on the wedding theme. This inspiration board from Julie + Todd sums up my love for the carnival theme:

I plan on making water bottle labels, and buying these items from Hey Yo Yo on etsy to include in the OOT bags.

Get them *here*

Get them*here*

Get them *here*

So far I'm thinking of including, water bottles, aspirin, homemade cupcakes, peanuts, kettle corn and a map of L.A. What are you guys putting in your OOT bags?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Google Tool for wedding guest list

I had already created a google excel sheet for mi amor and me to enter our guest list, but I never even thought of creating a form in google docs for guests to input their own address! Thanks to Mrs. Fondue & Miss Cowboy Boot they showed me the power of the google form. It hardly took any time at all to do it & I had my cousin (aka maid of honor aka partner in crime) test it for me & she thought it was great. The google form allows you to add as many sections as you want & even lets you put a little help text below the section, so for example under "Guest Name" I put "your lovie dovie or partner in crime" and under "Name" I put "First and Last". After my cousin tested it for me and put her info I noticed she forgot the area code, so then I edited the form and put a help text for that saying "please include area code". I really like this idea, especially the comment section because it was nice when my cousin tested it and under comment she put "wub woo" and under guest she put bachelor #346, she always cracks me up. They also have different themes you can have for the background, I chose the old school looking lined paper. Check out the instuctions *here*

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bridesmaid Survival Kit

I'm digging these bridesmaid & wedding survival kits...

{source 100 Layer Cake}{source stylemepretty}
buy the suitcase from Land of Nod

{Wedding Day Survival Kit source Target} Besides the normal, aspirin, lip balm, lotion etc, I am also going to make a CD for my bridal party. Music always has a way of bringing me back to moments in time & I want to make a compilation of songs that would remind my bridesmaid of this special time we had together.

What are you guys putting in your bridesmaid survival kit?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bridesman & girl ringbear

That's right I have a bridesMAN! I'm not the first nor will I be the last, we live in a different world now & not every one's closest friends are from the same sex. I knew right away who I wanted as my bridesmaids, I wanted them to be people that mean a lot to me, that no matter what the bond between is will stand the test of time, people that I love. Why should I restrict myself to only having females, why should not one of my best friends who I've known for the last 13 years & has always been there for me not be by my side just because he's a boy? ! Exactly. Luckily my family & my future in laws have been very supportive, & the only question they asked was who was he walking down the aisle with? I'm still not sure about that part, but I am actually thinking I may just have the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk by themselves, because after all why should I couple people up & make them walk down the aisle with someone? and just in case you are wondering he is going to the bachelorette party, heck he probably is going to be telling us the best places to go.

Ring bearer, why must it be a little boy? There is nothing in the name that suggest it. Early on mi amor said that he some how wanted his 10 year old cousin to some how be part of the wedding, & we both thought it would be so perfect if she was a ring bearer. She's absolutely precious and is very excited about the wedding, she even drew me a picture of a wedding dress she designed for me!

The flower girls will be my two nieces, one who is 4 and the other who just turned 1 (but will be 2 by the time of the wedding). Both their names start with a "M" so I affectionately call them M&M.

My maid of honor is my cousin, who is 3 years younger than me. Our moms are sisters and we don't have any sisters, so we have always been very close, we even lived together for a total of 5 years after college. As kids our parents use to dress us like twins, mind you I'm 1/2 Nicaraguan 1/2 Dutch & she is 1/2 Nicaraguan & 1/2 Vietnamese so we look nothing alike, but if we are together in a group people can tell right away how close we are because we have our own language, nothing we actually made up, it's just that we understand each other so well. My other bridesmaid are my sister in law, whose the mother of M&M who I don't get to see that often but hopefully now that they've moved closer I will. Then my future sister in law, who is so awesome, she is always on it & has been so helpful in helping me in my quest for the perfect venue, and last but not least my other bf who I've known for 16 years, we became friends when I was transferred to her honors worl civ class in High School & she approached me right away & said hi, & we've been friends since.

So there you have it my bride party!

Was it easy for you to pick your bride party? Are there any nontraditional things are you doing in your wedding?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

D.I.Y Vintage Bottles Free Labels

{Source: Personal bathroom picture}
That's right peeps, the picture above is of my own personal bathroom, I bought the 3 bottles in the picture at Ikea for $16.95 over a year ago & use them for Listerine, astringent & body oil. I know what's in them but would hate it if someone by mistake took a swig of the body oil, which is why I git so excited when I saw Eat Drink Chic had these great D.I.Y Vintage Apothecary Bottles labels for FREE *here*! squeal!

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Make a wish

I get so excited when I see dandelion, the kid in me still things that whatever wish I make when I blow on it will actually come true. I *love* dandelions as you can see by the thank you cards I have, so when I saw the dandelion in the vase on as part of the 15 ways to personalize your reception, my eyes lit up! I knew I some how had to make this happen, even if it was for the rehearsal dinner and not for the reception, because who am I kidding, do I really want to stress out the night before in trying to find 100 dandelions? I think not. Although I dig the vase they show, at $10, it's not very budget friendly, so I checked out and found some other vases that would be suitable, the only problem with the first two which I like the best, is that the wind would be a problem, so #3 because the dandelion would fit completely in it would probably work the best. Do you have any suggestions?

BLOMSTER set of 3 so they come out to $1.66 each, I would go for the white one myself.

FÄRM vase $1.99 VASEN $1.49

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Updated Resources

whoopsie, seems like when I created the google documents that I shared with everyone, I apparently did not share it the right why because it wasn't allowing people to access it. But I just fixed it!
Reception excel sheet with budget: *here*
Shower Gift Log: *here*
Photo excel sheet: *here*

Rue La La Kitchen Aid sale

AHHH! Rue La La is having a Kitchen Aid sale! If you are not familiar with Rue La La it's an online fashion boutique that sells premium designer clothes and accessories that are only open for a limited time. It's invitation only, so if you are not a member *here* is your invitation!

Shower Gift log

By now you know how much I love I present to you a shower gift log! Easy way to keep track of who gave what and to follow up on a thank you card. See it *here*.

{picture my own personal collection}

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Magazine Crazy

{picture from my own personal collection}
I love the internet & blogs, but there is something that I still need and want from magazine subscriptions, the thrill of getting something in the mail every month & be able to peruse it on the elliptical machine without fear of dropping it.
Here are some great deals from amazon from magazine subscriptions...

Wedding Related:
1. Elegant Bride $9.97
2. Bridal Guide $9.97
3. Modern Bride $10
4. Brides $11.97
5. Martha Stewart Weddings $16

Non-Wedding Related:
1. Real Simple $5
2. Food & Wine $7.50
3. Marie Claire $8
4. Wired $10
5. InStyle (6-month) $12

Who's your DJ?! My ipod homies!

{Moby spinng at Elevate Bar in Downtown L.A, taken by moi}
Um not really...we will have a human DJ at our wedding because music is very important to us, we want to dance all night (or till 12 am when we get kicked out) and I have heard from many peeps that the DJ can make or break your reception, ergo we are hiring a DJ. That being said, I also hear that many people are using their ipods for their reception as a means of saving money. If you are going the ipod way, you may be interested in using iTunes DJ & also in allowing users to vote on songs that are coming up in your play list or request a song that they want played. The only catch is that your guests must find someone that has an iPhone with the Remote application but now a days everyone knows someone that has one so this really isn't that hard and may even get your guests to talking to people that they just met. This is a feature that needs to be activated, so if you want to use the iTunes DJ but you don't want guests to vote or requests songs then all you have to do is not activate it. Are any of you planning on using an iPod or have at least thought about it? Have you been to a reception with an iPod in lieu of a DJ?

Monday, July 13, 2009

The first steps in my venue search

{picture from my personal collection}

I wish I could look into a magic crystal ball and it would point me in the right direction of a venue that would fit our top ten requirements & be within budget of 10K, but doing that in L.A is muy dificil! I'm not saying it can't be done, I'm sure it has been done many times, but my problem is that I don't want to do it without sacrificing too much of what we want. The past 3 months I have focused my attention on the venue since this is going to take up probably 60% of the budget and would dictate our other vendors such as florist, DJ, photographer etc. Here is how I went about trying to find a venue:
  • Look through all the wedding sites.
  • Make excel sheet, so I could keep track of the ones I researched. I have 4 tabs in the excel sheet 1: List of venues that are appealing and seem to be within budget, 2: Venues that are BYO (bring your own), 3: No Venues, venues that did not make the cut 4: Venues that I went to see and are a possibility. *Here* is a template for you to use for your own personal use.
  • Add venues to excel sheet & email the ones I wanted more info from and once they gave me the info add it to excel sheet.
  • Look through excel sheet and grey out those that were out of the budget, which was seriously 95% of them and those that didn't fit the bill of the top ten list.
  • Make a list of the ones that are potential, call them and make an appointment.
How did you find your venue? Did you know right away it was the "one"?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kiss The Cook

I've always wanted a Kiss the Cook Apron perhaps mi amor will buy one for me this year :-)
I love finding new recipes to cook & cookbooks, now actually having the time to cook said recipes is another story!
The other day mi amor opened one of the kitchen cabinets and saw all the cookbooks I had, & said "do you need all of these?" of course I replied "YES!!!!"
I could tell by the look on his face that he did not believe me. If I *had* to choose 3 cookbooks to keep of the many that I have, these are the ones that I would choose because they are all encompassing. But I am not going to choose, this is purely hypothetical ;-)

1. 1080 Recipes
2. The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition
3. How to Cook Everything

Saturday, July 11, 2009

DIY Candy Buffet

Prior to all the wedding blogs that I subscribe to I had no idea about the popular candy buffets, I still haven't been to a wedding with one but they seem to be all over the wedding sphere!
So far these are the ones I swoon over...

{Source} Hostess With The Mostess

{Source} The Budget Savy Bride

{Source} by Amy Atlas

{source} Weddingbee

{Source} Once Wed
and when I showed mi amor the cigar buffet I saw at Style Me Pretty he was all IN! It's been the first thing I have shared with him that he was actually excited about, so I was stoked!
{Source} Style Me Pretty