Here Comes the Bachelorette...

I had no idea what to expect for my bachelorette party. All I knew was that nine of my best friends were planning something crazy, and they would call me every day the week leading up to it and tell me how excited I should be. 

Enter a delicious dinner at one bridesmaid's house, a (little too realistic) phallic shaped cake, and a night of debauchery at the State College bars complete with blinking tiaras, a scavenger hunt with clues and tasks to complete at each stop (with prizes for completing each one!), and gracing the downtown streets with lovely renditions of Wilson Phillips and Hall and Oates. I think the photos will speak for themselves here....

 Notice the accumulation of gawdy tchotchkes...
A night out with my beautiful friends, fun outfits, and lots and lots of laughter was just right, and I couldn't have imagined spending it any other way. 

And the next morning? The bridal shower with all of our moms. Stay tuned, folks. :-)


A Reward for a Productive Week

Even though it seems like every time something is checked off my to-do list, twelve things appear in its place, I think it's safe to say this week has been incredibly productive. Dare I say that things are even falling into place?

Take today, for example. I met with our DJ, who I am confident is not going to be your run-of-the-mill wedding DJ. He is a long time family friend who is going to do a great job coordinating all of our music and special touches. Let's just say that there will be absolutely NO chicken dancing at this soiree. 

After a fantastic lunch and chat with my mom at Nola's Joint, an awesome little hole in the wall at the former site of Tony's Big Easy on Pugh St, I met up with the beautiful Meagan Jepson, our photographer (who is a newlywed herself!). I was able to show her around the church and we talked about the styles, poses, and ideas for photos. I am so, so, so excited to work with her! We have very similar styles and I know she is going to do an AWESOME job with our photos!

Can you tell I'm feeling good? 

I've decided that you know you're marrying the right guy if they can survive the emotional turmoil that comes with a girl planning a wedding. Luckily, Ian has passed with flying colors. My moods have been all over the place--stressed and overwhelmed one minute, cool as a cucumber the next, and a crying mess two seconds later. I go from loving all these last minute crafts to wanting to throw everything up in the air. Days have gone by where I feel like I've been moving all day long, but I look back and think, 'what did I even accomplish today?'. 

But today? Today was good. So good, that I rewarded myself with some homemade cannoli from Margarita's. 

Incidentally, these photos were uploaded in the same roll as some photos I vainly took of myself to track my workout progress. Hm. Zumba time, I guess.

On tap for this weekend: The bachelorette party and shower. Stay tuned. :-)


A Real Swell Father's Day

Pops and his new toy.

As time is quickly ticking away until wedding day, I am really reveling in these last weeks I can spend with my family being just right down the road. After Ian headed back down the road to VA this afternoon, we spent Father's Day in style complete with chocolate cake, antique trains, and a stroll around the Arboretum. Who could ask for anything more?

The proud parents--25 years in July!

Even though Virginia isn't too far (it could be worse!), it will definitely take some getting used to when I can't call my dad to take me out for lunch or my mom to buy me some groceries. However, the trade-off isn't bad--like a dreamy husband and a salary. :-) Not only that, but the dreamy husband will now be a part of my family! He has always fit right in with them and I am so excited for all of our future family get-togethers, beach vacations, and just sitting out on the deck with coffee and a chimnea fire.

I'm so lucky to have been raised by such fantastic parents, so today was a great celebration of my daddy. At this point it's up for debate who is going to cry more as we walk down the aisle together.

A very happy Father's Day to everyone!


Old Books and Old Games with my (not so!) Old Man

What do you get when you mix a refurbished vintage theatre, comfy chairs and sofas, and the aroma of coffee and old books?

Yesterday, my dad and I went on a little adventure to Harrisburg to check out the Midtown Scholar, PA's largest used bookstore. This place was SO. COOL. Three floors of fascinating books from all generations to explore, and coffee from the old fashioned coffee shop downstairs in hand, I could have spent all afternoon there. 

I didn't take many photos inside, but I found this awesome blog on roadside wonders that did a feature on the book store. Check it out for more photos and information!

Next, on the way back to the car, we did a quick walk through of the Broad Street Market through rows of bakeries, fried food, produce, and flowers. 

After a delicious lunch at Romano's Macaroni Grill, it was time for the last stop: Old Sled Works Antique and Craft Market. You know how giddy I get about looking through junk? Imagine that times ten when I discovered the OLD FASHIONED ARCADE that was nestled into this awesome market. 

Naturally, we were like kids in a candy store. Or a soda fountain. Did I mention there was a soda fountain? Unfortunately, it was closed yesterday.

I had to brush up on my skee-ball skillz....

And Dad found a favorite game from his childhood.

And then I accidently watched an old fashioned peep show...

It was a fantastic day. Some fathers and daughters go to baseball games, and some don't do anything together. I have my dad to thank for my fascination with antiques and old things.  It might not take much to entertain us, but it's the simple things like this that have created such great memories. Love you Dad! 


A Meltdown of Crispy Proportions

You know those silly meltdowns you have when you're tired, hungry, hormonal, missing your fiance, and you just made 30 rehearsal dinner invitations that are all just slightly too big that they don't fit in the envelopes you bought, and then you have to go back and trim a teeny-tiny sliver off each side so they will fit?

You know?

Yeah, that happened last night. So I did what anyone in that situation would do--ate my feelings. Tonight, it was in the form of sweet potato fries. I had some good 'ole yams laying around in my pantry that I had totally forgotten about and were just begging to be cut into strips and fried to perfection.

I cut that little sucker into strips and tossed it with a splash of olive oil, a sprinkle of sugar, and a dash (or six) of salt.

I threw the fries-that-look-like-carrots onto a cookie sheet, and stuffed them into my teeny-tiny oven that said it was 450 degrees, but was probably twice that judging by the temperature it made my apartment. I sat by the fan and continued to curse the too-big invitations and the growing pile of black cardstock slivers that was growing beside me and listened to some Wilson Phillips while the fries sizzled away in the fiery inferno.

Fiery inferno indeed! 15 minutes later, I took them out to turn them over--can't have half baked sweet potata' fries, now. But as it turns out, they had had enough of the oven. 

Some more so than others...

At this point, I could have done two things: I could have spiraled into Meltdown # 2, crying about how I am going to be a wife in four weeks and can't even make a decent batch of sweet potato fries. Or, I could blame it on my oven and eat around the crispy edges. 

I took the high road. And you know what? They were actually pretty good.

Take THAT, hormones!


A Touch of Class

Just in case you didn't already know, my momma and I-- we're classy folks.

It's not beyond us to be the type of gals to go wine tasting in the back of a dusty junk shop.

We see no problem with sitting on the porch of a four diamond resort for the sole purpose of feelin' pretty and creepin' on a presumably $20,000+ wedding. 

And we stop and appreciate only the finest tourist attractions that small town PA has to offer.

Yesterday, we went on a little jaunt around Bedford, PA, an adorable little town that happened to be my humble home in the summer of '09 when I worked as an intern at the Bedford Springs Resort. After three months of uneventful small town living, I was in no rush to return. But after taking a two-year hiatus, the small town had regained its charm and we had a great time doing what we do best--eating, bumbling, and shopping.

We returned home to a picnic of turkey burgers, strawberries, and lemonade on the deck as we lounged among the sounds of the neighborhood birds. It really was a great day.

As I gear myself for the changes in life that are soon to come, I am anxious to get on with it already. But with that comes the adjustment to the way of life in a new (and busier!) city, a new life as newlyweds, and a new role as a wife--a whole lot of new things all at once. While I am ready to take the plunge, I keep reminding myself that it's OK to relish these last moments of relaxation and home. Because when I move to a new town, taking walks with my sister after dark and petting stray cats may no longer be acceptable. (Because it totally is now...right?) However, no matter how far Ian and I may go, this town will always be home to us. 
The cats are just nicer here. Really.


It's the Final Countdown + A Sneak Peak!

I wonder how many times that song title has been used in blog posts concerning the 'final countdown' to some major life event?

Well friends, the day has finally arrived where I can say I am getting married in exactly one. month.

(I apologize in advance for the fact that you will be singing that annoying hook the rest of the day.)
Planning this wedding has happened in two major phases. First, after the engagement, was the mad dash to decide on a guest list, a budget and a venue. However, after these big things were taken care of, there was a long stretch of waiting. Waiting because I had to focus on school and graduation and interviewing and work when I really wanted to be stalking blogs and making crafts and spending time with my fiance.

And then, I graduated. Suddenly, with no job and presented with the challenge to live solely on graduation money from here on out, I had plenty of time for these things! Remember that post when I talked about enjoying retirement? As much as I thought I would be bored of it by week two, it really was nothing to complain about--because all of a sudden, as time began ticking away, there was suddenly A LOT to do. Such as:

1. Painstakingly cutting out black cardstock table numbers.

2. Stamping hundreds of candy bags and punching out teeny tiny hearts to glue on them.

3. Resisting the urge to rip open every single box that has accumulate in my wonderful mother's sewing room.

Between running around like a chicken with my head cut off and accidently supergluing my fingers together, I've been missing my fiance because (BIG NEWS!) he started a school counseling job in Fairfax, VA! He got a call the weekend that we visited and has been filling in as a substitute counselor at a high school down there. It has been an amazing opportunity for him and he is loving it, and I am so excited to see him finally get to live out his career dream!

In other big news, my future sister in law, Alisha, got married last weekend! It was such a beautiful and joyful day! Future family gatherings are gonna be ballin'.

Needless to say, it has been QUITE the busy month so far! It's been hard to blog when all I want to is show you all EVERYTHING--all the decorations, all the plans--but I need to restrain myself so that there will be lots to blog about in the coming months. 

I have had an absolute blast planning my wedding, and even though I know it's not even close to being over yet, I am so, so thankful for everyone who has helped me and Ian out during this exciting time--all the friends and family members who have contributed their time and services, my girlfriends who have helped stamp and glue hundreds of invitations and candy bags and have put up with months of wedding talk, my mom who has passed down her impeccable organization skills and has kept me calm, and my dad who has surprisingly not gone all Steve Martin in Father of the Bride. Yet.

But I can finally say that I'm ready. It's time. I'm ready to have a really fun wedding, and more importantly, I'm ready to begin my new life with Ian. One month! I'll leave you with a little preview of what we've been working on--and it's the only preview you're gonna get-- I swear!

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