Wednesday, September 15, 2010

H-moon Recap: Always take the advice of locals

We had some amazing food experiences in Australia and Bali.  The best thing I can suggest for future honeymooners or travelers is to ask a few locals what their recommendations are for restaurants.

On our way down from the rainforest retreat in Australia, we saw a little 'cafe' that we thought we'd stop for breatkfast at. Unfortunately, they just opened at like 10:30 or 11 am and didn't serve breakfast...just sandwiches that were basicly grilled cheese. When we asked for avocado on mine, they came out later and said they had no ripe avocado and then they forgot to put cranberries in Mr Fix It's sandwich. But the trip was salveged when we struck up a conversation with the three people at the table next to us. Two of them were fellow Americans but one was a local who suggested a restaurant for us close to our hotel back near the coast.

The suggestion led us to Ashmore Steak & Seafood.  It was incredible!  A bit pricey but totally worth it for the quality and amount of food you get. 

In Kuta, Bali we found a restaurant called Nero Bali and loved it so much we even went back a second night!  They had insane food and Mr Fix It ended up buying shots for a couple about to get married after he offered to take their photo so their whole group of friends could be in a picture.

We also had a concierge at a casino in Surfer's Paradise suggest we check out Omeros Bros seafood in the Marina and that again was a high end but ever so yummy find!

I highly recommend you check out these places if you ever visit these areas!

Do any of you have fellow recommendations for dining near your home towns?  Do you typically ask for locals to suggest places for you?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Video: A mashed up montage

I feel horrible because I only have about 10 or so recaps left and then I will finally be finished with all the sweet details of our wonderful wedding event. 

Unfortunately, I have not been able to sit at a computer for personal recreation (like to write my blog posts) for a week or so now.  And I obviously haven't been able to get over to your blogs either :(

Work has been crazy.  We also got a new puppy that we have been trying to train and has been consuming our time.  I want to write much and I want to read about all that is going on with you ladies but I just don't have the time.  On top of that, my wrist and arm have been totally acting up from carpal tunnel syndrome. 

Needless to say, this was evidenced by the fact that I began to write out notes for a post yesterday and then forgot to actually write the forgetting about it, it automatically scheduled and posted live with just my notes instead of my thoughts :)  Silly girl...I am losing my mind!

To share at least something, I'm going to share this little montage video from our full wedding video which is a little recap of some of our photo session shoot and such.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Wed Recap: Time to eat!!!

UGH!  I never got around to writing out this whole you might have read the ramblings of my notes.  This just goes to show the madness of life.  I'll try to edit it up a bit in a hurry as I am supposed to be working right now :)

We ran out of the mini cheese chicken quesadillas...John was upset about that and the fact that the lemonade pitcher was empty when he came out to the cocktail area.  But caterer handled it immediately.

Caterer was sick and left early :(  But his staff did a great job of keeping things cleaned up for the most part.

Food was okay...seemed like guests were eating it.  The chicken didn't get the rave reviews we thought it would and John and I thought it didn't taste nearly as good as it did at the tasting.  He thought the tri-tip was not cooked enough but one of my friends said her fiance loves it rare and thought it was great.  One of our friends told us the roasted garlic mashed potatoes were like 'crack' and that he had gone back for 3 or 4 servings.

Salad and veggies were good but hard to screw that up. 

Appetizers seemed well enough...simple - fruit, cheese, crackers and then quesadillas.  Substituted the stuffed mushrooms for little teryaki chicken drumettes at our caterers request because there were no ovens.  John wasn't happy about that and didn't think they were as good but other friends said they were really good.

Seemed like people had cleaned their plates, including my boss who is hard to impress :)

We had water pitchers on each table that we asked them to infuse with either cucumbers, lemons, or strawberries.  Some people loved this, others said it was not that good. 

They only cut up the bottom layer of the cake so the other three layers that had different flavors weren't even set out!  Thankfully, we ate the lemon layer the next day at our day after lunch with family.

Overall, the food was definitely not bad, but definitely not great either.  We knew that food was *NOT* a priority for us as long as it tasted good.  It must have been okay for most of the guests because a few people even commented on the good food on their guest book pages. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wed Recap: Jane plain and simple

Or maybe I should title this post "Stacey plain and simple" ?

Today, I want to briefly recap my thoughts on my wedding day hair and makeup.  But first, let me just tell you ladies, that the days of the up do are gone...everyone had their hair down in my bridal party (and 3 years ago in my sister's bridal party)!

To share with you how I felt about the wedding hair/makeup, I'll remind you of how Mr Fix It told me my right eyelash was coming off during the soloist's performance in the middle of our ceremony.  As soon as I walked in to the bridal cottage after the ceremony, I just pulled the eyelashes off completely as I didn't want to waste time trying to replace it.  So basically, I was really complacent about how I looked on the wedding day.  Mostly because I just didn't feel like I needed to worry about anything...nor did I want to.

A few days after the wedding, Mr Fix It and I had the following conversation:

Me:  I wasn't really thrilled with my hair on the wedding day.
Mr Fix It:  Why?  I thought you looked pretty.
Me:  Yes, but all the girls looked way better than me.
Him:  You looked fine.
Me:  Yeah, but I felt like I just looked very...
Me & Him at exact same time:  plain.

Yeah, exactly...that's the word.  There was nothing spectacular or done up about my hair that day like it had been in the trials.  In fact, it barely held the curl at all (but that's not really the stylist's hair NEVER holds curl of any kind).  The main reason why was probably because of my inability to focus and remember things I had planned.  My 'go with the flow' attitude led to this conversation on the wedding day during my hair styling:

My stylist:  Ya know, I'm afraid if I use the extensions in your hair they're going to pull out your natural hair curls.
Me:  Really?  Why, do they look like they're falling out?
Her:  No, but I think the extensions are too heavy and will pull it out.
Me:  Ok, then...whatever you think is best.


I should have stuck to my plans and used the extensions because they definitely held curls better than my natural hair.  On top of that, I shouldn't have told my stylist on the wedding day to not do any teasing on my hair at all since I had let her tease the top a little during the trials. 

I did in fact feel like the girls' hair came out way better than mine did.  And I did truly love my makeup as well.
Granted, regardless of all of this, I truly loved my makeup for sure.  And the fact that we were able to do a post wedding shoot gave me the opportunity to do up my hair a little better and different while in my gown.  When Mr Fix It arrived on site the day of our post wedding shoot, he looked at my hair and immediately said "Now, THAT'S how your hair should have been on the wedding day...much better."

In addition, I have to rave about my stylist, Natalie Buketov because she truly was a sweetheart and it was so amazingly generous of her to do my hair/makeup free of charge for the post wedding shoot simply because she was disappointed that one of my false eyelashes came off during the wedding ceremony. 

Share Time:  Did you feel totally satisfied with your hair and makeup on your wedding day?

TODAY'S WEDDING TIP: Don't use old makeup, especially lipstick!  Sit down with an attendant or family member before your wedding day and go over photos, colors, styles, and anything you have to show them what you want or are supposed to look like on your wedding day.  Then when your hair and makeup is finished, have them check you out before the stylist leaves and give their approval of the finished work.  And stick to your plans if you liked them in your trial(s).

Monday, September 6, 2010

H-moon Recap: Hiking in the Rainforest

I am nearing the end of both my honeymoon and wedding recaps.  Today, I wanted to share one of  my final honeymoon recaps with you (only one more to go!). 
We spent most of the week in Australia on the Gold Coast near the beach and surf spots.  But for one day in the middle of the week, we decided to drive about an hour and a half inland to this rainforest for a one night stay at O'Reilly's Retreat.  It was a great side trip in the middle of our 'beach' vacation.  And it was actually one of the funnest things we did on our honeymoon. 

We arrived in the late morning and checked into our room.  Then we immediately headed over to the front desk to obtain some maps and info on the hiking trails around the retreat.  They recommend that you take a guided tour with a guide but we didn't want to do that.  So we asked about a good hike that would take us to a few waterfalls and not be too short but not an all day thing either.  We didn't want to be out while it was dark!

The cool thing is they have a little sign in/sign out sheet so that if you go on a trail by yourself, they know what trail you are on and when you left.  That way if you don't sign back in they know when and where to go looking for you.  So smart!  And comforting too since there were literally only about 2 or 3 other hikers that we passed on our four hour hike!

We are pretty good at reading maps and of course there are some signs, but there's still that chance that you took a wrong turn somewhere when out in a tree infested rain forest.  The weather was perfect and it did sprinkle on us a little bit at one point but it felt good and the sun would shine through in a few different places.  Thankfully, we came across a lone hiker about an hour into our hike.  Since Mr Fix It is a chatter box, instead of the brief little nod hello that you usually give to passing hikers, we somehow managed to stop and chat with him for a minute.  He was an experienced hiker and we randomly mentioned which trail we were taking to which he informed us we took a wrong turn and we were on a totally different trail that was like twice as long!  UGH!  So glad we ran into that 'angel' on the trail because we were able to turn around and go back the right way so we didn't end up stuck on an 8 hour hike out in the dark!

There were definitely some scary parts of the trail where we were on a very small narrow ledge high on a cliff type walk.  Being that Mr Fix It is afraid of heights, we both thought it smart not to look down much and just keep moving carefully.  I love that my loving hubby is so thoughtful and protective of me as in several parts he would reach out and take my hand to help me get across sketchy areas. :)

We finally came to the end of the hike after having seen some very cool waterfalls.  It was a great day, we were a little tired but it was the perfect length and we had a great memory.  Mr Fix It even went a little crazy and took off all his clothes at one waterfall for me to get some pictures of him in it.  Beware ladies, these photos are a little 'R' rated, though I hid most of his personal parts well in the shots :)

Share Time:  Did you do any adventurous or workout type activities on your honeymoon?  Did you do anything scandalous or provacative?  ;)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Post wedding: Saving your bouquet?

Preface:  TODAY is my 300TH blog post!!!  So crazy!

Are you one of those brides who wants to figure out a way to preserve her bouquet long after the wedding day?  I have seen and heard about brides who tried hanging the bouquet upside down in a dark closet to dry it out.  Or placing the petals in a food dehydrator and then placing the dried petals in an organza sash to use as potpouri in clothing drawers.  Or you could always do the old fashioned thing and stick it in your freezer...not sure why my mom did that with our old dance corsages?

Anyway, one day while browsing the net for wedding ideas, I came across a web site for bouquet preservation.  I fell in love with the idea and was more excited to find out the company was only 10 minutes from my house.  So after my wedding day, I assigned my mom the task of collecting my bouquet and delivering it to Nature's Beauty in Laguna Niguel, CA. 

On the wedding day, the bouquet looked like this:

And  few months later when I received my completed flower box, it looked like this:

Sorry I couldn't get better pictures with my crappy camera...this was the best I could do because of the glare of the protective glass on the box.  But basically, you give the company your bouquet along with a photo of you and your groom and whatever items you'd like to add from your big day.  They typically suggest your invitation but we used our program instead along with the little tag from our favor box, the silver bell of a bride and groom that sat on each table and my garter wrapped around the bouquet.

If you like this idea, I highly suggest you contact this company to find out more about the process.  Even if you live in another state, they have ways of shipping to work with you.  Check out their web site to see other examples of boxes in different shapes and colors.  It's not cheap by any means...but it is a very cool keepsake to display in your home forever.

Share Time:  Will you be saving or preserving your bouquet after the big day?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Wed Recap: All the deets! (photo heavy post)

I'm not gonna say much in today's post.  Honestly, I have had some major stressful things happening at work lately.  I don't want to go into all of it but we're talking about my boss losing millions of dollars due to an issue with a lender.  :(  This means I haven't been able to spend much time on the net browsing through all of your lovely blogs I follow.  Don't dismay - I am totally still here!  Those of you who have noticed I haven't been commenting much lately, please know that I will be back over there to more thoroughly digest archived posts and catch up as soon as things are resolved here in the office :)

Thankfully, I schedule most of my posts months in advance so I have still been going regularly over here.  And I can honestly say that the wedding recaps will finally be ending this month!  Five months after the wedding, I will be wrapping it up with a few more pics and videos to share with all of you as I finalize my memories of our big day.  Thanks for hangin' in there with me.

Today, I wanted to share this cool little recap video that our videographer included in our wedding video (note that the song is not the song used in our wedding video, I had to change it due to YouTube copyrights).  It is a recap of the cocktail hour but I love it because it shows a few of the little details of our event, specifically the reception tables.  So after the video, I'll share a bunch of photos as well:

One of the two door hangers that my sister made for our day:

Our Flip Flop basket covered in red silk fabric holding 72 pairs of multi-colored flip flops:

Reserved seat signs designed by Serendipity Design

Red chinese take out Favor Boxes containing little red or turquoise key chains with a 5 ' tape measure inside:

Place cards were tucked into the napkins with each guest's name sticking out at the top.  The card was not a menu card but rather a list of activities and favors that we had available for the guests:

Personal photo

Cake table:  Our cake was made by a family friend and if you remember, Mr Fix It tried to recreate the stand from a professional picture we found.  It didn't turn out the way we envisioned it but it was amazingly good!

Our Gift Card box was the one thing I did NOT want to sell but Mr Fix It said we didn't have room for it in the house :(  So I took it to a wedding swap meet where other girls fought over it :)

A photo of my friend's guitar which he played during his solo at our ceremony

I loved this simple poster board of our room layout which made it easy for guests to locate their tables when they picked up their escort cards.

Cocktail tables (without the pen holder and votives that were also on them):

I absolutely adored the way that my coordinators tied the linen around the high standing cocktail tables!  I had shown them a picture of what I wanted and they recreated it perfectly!!!

By Amber Marquez

These Parasols were part of my gift to my BM's...loved them in a few photos.

By Yan Freedline

5 page Fan Programs designed by Serendipity Design

Gobo light

Kleenex tissue packs:  A last minute ceremony favor idea that I quickly threw together on the cheap:

Personalized water bottle labels that I designed and placed over bottles for our wedding party (unfortunately the photographer did not get a better shot of just how adorable these were...they had a custom ingredient chart on the back, too):

Our Unity Cross:

Each younger child (and some younger teens) place settings had a personalized menu under their napkin which had a word search, maze and even a scavenger hunt for the reception:

They also had a circus favor box full of goodies with a little thank you message label on it:

 The label reads:  A basket full of treats and fun, especially for the younger one.  Color, draw or play a game...just have some fun, so glad you came!

I won a free print via blog giveaway months before the wedding and had this engagement photo printed on a canvas which we displayed on an easel next to our gift table:

Some of the many little signs that we place around the event for the guests' convenience:

Photobooth table signs and baskets:

Our super cool and unique toasting flutes which I can't wait to use on future anniversaries!

Share Time:  What was your most favorite detail, DIY item or decor item from your big day?

Unless otherwise noted, all photos by Robert Mullins Photography

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wed Recap: Family drama

It happens at many weddings...the unfortunate drama that unfolds (usually because of family issues) during the event.  It's truly so sad and frustrating that people can't put aside their differences, or even better, get over themselves during someone's most special wedding day event. 

At my sister's wedding there was a little drama but not much.  One of our Aunts flipped out because as my sister and her hubby were wandering around the guests' dinner tables to greet everyone, they suddenly ran out of time about halfway through.  The photographer was going to be leaving and needed the bride and groom to get on with the cake cutting and bouquet/garter toss.  Since my sister didn't get to talk to our Aunt at her table and it just so happened that we pulled the bride away as she was approaching their table, my Aunt started totally crying and yelling at me for not letting her talk to her.  It was so silly but that's what happens when you add alcohol. 

Then my sister got a little upset later that night when her new hubby's ex-girlfriend shared a cab with her her new mother-in-law to the after party.  It was already a huge selfless act that my sister was even willing to allow the ex-girlfriend to attend the event (which she didn't want to do), but to find out that her MIL offered her cab to the after party to her was just ridiculous!

Thankfully, there was no drama at our big event.  We didn't wander the tables and I made sure to go greet my Aunt so there were no disappointments. 

The only two things I heard about which irritated me on the day after the wedding were that one of Mr Fix It's brothers got into a little spat with him because his brother was yelling at his son about spending too much time in the photobooth.  The kids loved that thing and they were in and out of it all night.  Mr Fix It's nephew was in there a lot and rather than just telling him to get out and wait until everyone else had had a turn inside, his dad decided to make him sit at their dinner table for almost an hour!  That was not necessary and Mr Fix It was pretty pissed when he heard about it.  He told his brother to calm down and not be such a dictator...the kid was just having fun.

Then my sister told me that one of my other Aunts came up to her at the cocktail hour and gave her a hard time about what a horrible job she did bustling my dress.  If you remember from this post, we were rushing my poor sis and I knew I was about to take my gown off to change right after the cocktail hour so I told her not to worry if it wasn't perfect and part of the dress was dragging on the ground.  So not a big deal to me at all but it did bother me that my Aunt felt the need to ridicule my sister about it.  So not cool and so not necessary.  My sister told her that it was the bride's own decision to leave it like that and my Aunt told her she shouldn't have let me walk out into the cocktail area until it was fixed.

People are so silly about what they get hung up really befuddles me.  :)

Share Time:  Did you have any drama (or are you concerned about any potentail drama) at your wedding day?

wedding tickers