June 2007


Maybe the traditional registry thing isn’t such a bad idea. D. and I originally wanted to do a Honeymoon Registry because a honeymoon isn’t in our budget. However, we know that some of our guests aren’t that internet savvy, or they’d prefer to give an actual gift. We’d rather they not anguish over what to buy for us, and we’d rather not receive something we already have or don’t have a need for. By the time our wedding rolls around, we will have been living together for over two years. We have a lot of the basic things, so we decided to focus our registry to one area of the house instead of items from multiple areas. If you have a lot of family and friends, by all means, feel free to ask for linens and mirrors and fancy knicknacks. However, we desperately need to pimp our kitchen.

Living in the Washington DC area has spoiled us and turned us into foodies. We spend way, way too much money eating out. D. and I have decided to devote more time to cooking at home. We’re both pretty darn good cooks, plus we really enjoy the act of cooking and playing with kitchen gadgets. I really like wearing my FBI apron too. (It looks similar to this, except it’s red and has pockets.) It is an interest we both share and enjoy doing together. Since a wedding is about togetherness, we figure focusing our registry on kitchen stuff makes sense.

We both agree that our number one must-have item is a KitchenAid stand mixer. We originally wanted a Professional 600 6 Quart Stand Mixer in Pewter, but one of my friends pointed out that the Artisan 5-qt. Stand Mixer by KitchenAid in Caviar may be a more suitable option. After reading some reviews, it sounds like the Artisan is a better fit for us, but I’m concerned that it won’t accomodate the ice cream maker attachment/bowl. I guess that fear is unfounded because I found a picture of that bowl with the Artisan machine.
Artisan ice cream

Sorry about that mixer tangent. I love gadgets and machines!

Instead of being locked into one or two store specific registries, we decided to create a wedding registry through TheThingsIWant.com. That way, we can have one registry containing all kinds of kitchen stuff from several different retailers. (Also, we snuck on some non-kitchen stuff from Amazon.com and Thinkgeek.com. C’mon, who wouldn’t want a Laser Virtual Keyboard?!).

Feel free to view our registry. What were/are your must-have items? What foodie kitchen items are we missing?

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I give up. I can’t take Alli anymore. Not because of the diet restriction or the rumored explosive diarrhea… I give up because of the wicked constipation it caused.
Yes, I have the gastrointestinal system from the Bizarro World.
I realized that I needed to stop taking this drug when I was becoming envious of those who have been racing to bathrooms to prevent crapping their pants.
The indigestion was really annoying, especially at night when I was trying to fall asleep, but I could tolerate it. This system backup is another story. I put a fair amount of food into my body, I expect more of it to go out.

Bizarro
Alli makes Bizarro sad.
(Image borrowed from Rick Cortes)

I think save the date cards are a bit silly. I’ve read postings in wedding communities from women freaking out over the details of their save the date notifications. (Don’t get me started on their use of the acronym STD for save the date. It threw me the first time I saw it on a forum. ) The only reason I’m considering sending out save the dates is that my family needs multiple reminders that I’m getting married. Some will forget, some will lose track of time, and others will inevitably schedule a vacation or business trip for that weekend if I don’t remind them.
We’re also planning on sending our invitations out early. None of my family members live locally. I think my mother may be the closest to me at around 470 miles away. Three months notice isn’t enough time for people to schedule time off of work, save money for travel, and book their flights and lodging. So, the tentative schedule is September for save the dates and February for invitations.

Below are a few save the date and invitation designs that we like so far.

Ticket to Love
Ticket to Love save the date cards from the Something Different invitation line of Carslon Craft

At Our Wedding
At Our Wedding save the date cards from the Something Different invitation line of Carslon Craft

Shimmering Sentiment
Shimmering Sentiment invitations from the Something Different invitation line of Carslon Craft

Different is Good!
Different is Good! invitations from the Something Different invitation line of Carslon Craft

Napkin Invitation
Napkin Invitation from the Something Different invitation line of Carslon Craft

We really like the concept of the napkin invitation, but I think it would be more appropriate if we were having a cocktail party reception rather than a summer BBQ reception. We are toying around with the idea of cocktail napkins for save the dates. We would probably go through a specialty napkin vendor if we decided to do that. However, I have a feeling that their minimum order would be around 100 pieces, and we don’t need that many.

As you can tell, we really like the Something Different line of invitations. We viewed the whole book at The Dandelion Patch in Vienna. When we asked to view books of non-traditional invitations, the saleswoman didn’t seem too pleased about our request. We don’t need letterpress linen invitations from Crane with the vellum and the lined double envelopes. Those invitations are not us.
If we weren’t limited by our budget, I would love, *love* a custom invitation that had a unique cajun feel, but how do you describe that to a designer?
“We’d like an invitation that was sentimental and cajun influenced… a touch of Marie Lavaux, but not gothic… a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll.”

I paid the first deposit for the wedding today. It was for the ceremony/reception location. I put it on my credit card only to earn miles. I’ll be transferring money out of my wedding kitty to pay for it right away. I don’t want any part of the wedding to be on credit. I want to have the cash available before making any decision/payment. It’s too easy and too tempting to put something financially out of reach on a credit card, and say, “I’ll pay for it over time. It’s no big deal.” Well, it is a big deal. Finance charges are of the devil. The next major deposits will be for photography and catering. I still need to decide on a caterer though.
I’ve narrowed it down to R&R Catering, Rocklands, and Amphora. I had high expectations for R&R, but my last few interactions with them has left me disappointed. Also, the price quote is $1000 more than I wanted to spend. I spoke with Jade from Amphora yesterday, and she will be getting a proposal to me in the next day or two. I also submitted an online proposal request to Rocklands yesterday, so I should be hearing from them soon too.
It’s one thing to plan a wedding; it is another thing all together to pay for a wedding. I’m definitely starting to get nervous.

Throughout this wedding planning process (i.e. bridal madness), I’ve been bookmarking interesting sites (primarily wedding favor and invitation vendors) through del.icio.us. Instead of cluttering up the blogroll section of the page with links, I figured I would post the link to my del.icio.us bookmarks. Of course, I will continue to post reviews of vendors and their webpages as I interact with them, but the del.icio.us bookmarks are there for your perusal.

Friday morning, I went over to my local CVS pharmacy to pick up Alli. Earlier in the week, I received a register tape coupon for $10 off a diet product of $40 or more. The 90 pill starter pack is regularly $59.99. Even with the coupon, fifty bucks is a lot of money for a pill known for its explosive diarrhea side effects. Nevertheless, I figured I would give it a shot.

In the Alli starter kit, you receive a bottle of pills, a blue plastic “shuttle” case (in which to carry your daily supply of pills), and a handful of little guidebooks and inserts.
The first insert is “Read Me First: Keys to successful weight loss.” To sum it up, it says, “Use the pills like your supposed to, don’t expect miracles, and take personal responsibility for your fat-ass-ness.” Obviously, the insert is worded more sensitively.

The second insert is the Alli Welcome Guide. This guide explains all of the other guides and inserts, plus has your code number in the front cover for your free membership in the MyAlliPlan at MyAlli.com.
Whatever. For some people, the MyAlliPlan is great. They want and need motivational emails, meal plans, and recipes. I’m just experimenting with Alli, not signing on for life. If Alli works for me, great, I’ll continue to use it. If it doesn’t, I won’t buy more. One good thing about this drug is it helps you stick to a new eating lifestyle. However, if you stop taking the drug, you are extremely likely to put some weight back on.

The third insert is the Alli Quick Facts cards. The cards are little pill shuttle case shaped cut outs connected at one end with a brad to create a quick reference guide (or recruiting tool) to stash away in your purse. It’s a little motivational reminder of the things you must do to reduce your fat-ass-ness (and prevent explosive diarrhea).

Enough with the inserts, on with the Guides!

The blue Companion Guide. This guide addresses the who, what, where, when, and why of Alli. The contents are broken into the following sections: “Getting to Know the Alli Program”, “Eating with the Alli Program”, “Getting Started”, “Getting Active”, and “Bumps in the Road”. My favorite sentence from this guide is: “Women may want to consider using a panty liner in case you experience treatment effects.” Treatment effects being “gas with oily spotting”, “loose stools”, and “more frequent stools that may be hard to control”. Panty liner?!? That’s a gentle way of saying, “You’re going to shit your pants, but just a little.”
There is no way I’m wearing a panty liner to deal with intermittent incontinence. I’ll just prevent the incontinence, thank you very much. There is no way I would eat a high fat meal and take an Alli pill while at work. I *may* eat a high fat meal (e.g. fried chicken with macaroni and cheese) as an experiment to see how much havoc Alli could wreak. But, there is no way I’d do it at work. I would perform this experiment on a Friday night at home, so I was in a safe distance of a bathroom, and I had time to recoup from the experiment. (For the record, I haven’t experienced the violent, stealth poop attack about which all the literature has been warning me. However, I have experienced a bit of uncomfortable indigestion.)

The remaining two guides are not as exciting, but definitely useful.
The red Calorie & Fat Counter guide is exactly that: a guide of calorie and fat content for common foods and food at 25 fast-food restaurants.
The green Health Eating Guide has sample menus, guidence with planning your own menus, and advice for eating out.

As much as I’ve mocked Alli and the process, I’m actually impressed with GlaxoSmithKline. Instead of throwing this drug out into the market and leaving the consumer to figure out how to use this drug effectively, GSK has provided a lot of helpful material, forums, and assistance which enables the consumer to succeed. Ultimately, as always, it comes down to the decisions the you make that determine how successful you are. If you decide to use Alli as a crutch instead of a tool, and you continue to eat poorly, you are going to suffer. Not just in the lack of weight loss, but gastrointestinally.

Today, I got all stressed out and decided against the surprise wedding concept. Something inside of me said that it was immature, and just our way of poking at our families for not being as excited about our wedding as we hoped.

Also, my sister sent me a text message while I was at work that said “Only 365 days to go.” It made me go, “Awwww” while I was at my desk. I got all sentimental and remembered why I originally wanted a small, sentimental wedding with some of the trimmings. So, we’re back to June 13th, 2008 as *the* date. I finally received the contract from Montpelier Mansion after we returned from Key West. The first payment is due on June 20th, 2007. I really do like the location, but I’m still not satisfied with my catering option. (The quotes have been freakin’ psychotic for mediocre food.) I need to call the mansion in the morning and see if they have any inside information on caterers.
If only I had an unlimited budget… if only I had funds to supplement my small savings… either way, we’d be in a better position for this event.

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