Wedding Bands

Nerd Alert!

Actually, we went to Jared! And like I posted before, picked out our wedding rings a month ago!!!  Well, both of them came in and I was able to pick them up a couple of weeks ago! I'm trying to hide my excitement --- clearly, not doing a great job.Without further a do, here they are in their cozy little nest!

I am pleased to say that we both really love our rings and are having a really hard time not wearing them around! Not to name names, but PATRICK wore his to come see my show on Saturday! Scandalous!!! I don't mind, it makes me really happy that he truly loves his ring and he said this morning he felt weird not wearing it to work! Love!

I'm really hoping to get his engraved! I have a few things in mind: 1. Just our wedding date. 2. A Quote (from our song, or our favorite sonnet) or 3. Our first initials a la R + J...

But with the initials engraved on the inside!
I do love the cursive engraving.

I am really leaning to the favorite quote from song or sonnet, but I think no matter what, I will include our date. My parents both engraved the title of their song into their bands, which I think is so romantic and sweet. I know not every couple wears wedding bands (I'm looking at you Prince William!), but it depends on their individual styles. Some wear only engagement rings, some wear both, some never wear rings. I guess Patrick and I are more traditional in that sense, that we want to have the outward symbols -- but hey, to each their own.

Having the rings in our possession really brings our wedding into focus! It's really happening and it's happening soon. It gives me tingles knowing that each day brings us closer and closer! I can't wait to wear both of my beautiful rings together as a symbol of our love and commitment to each other!

What do wedding rings symbolize for you? Are you wearing one? What's it like? Details!




Suddenly Soppy!

soppy [ˈsɒpɪ]
adj -pier-piest
1. wet or soggy
2. Brit informal silly or sentimental
soppily  adv
soppiness  n

That's me, or at least, that's me these days! I know I have mentioned it before, that I am far more easily moved by movies, pictures, art, stories, anything since we've been engaged. Even at the since-broken wedding of Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries, I got a little teary-eyed (and yes, I am deeply embarrassed to admit this). The other night, I was watching Disney's Christmas Carol with Jim Carrey and I cried when my character's break-up scene happened. Guys, I was reading a 'Real Weddings' story in BRIDES magazine and teared up. (The bride wore her mother's dress!!!) When did I become such a mushy-stuff-cry-face???

Ever since Patrick and I got engaged, I've become more sensitive to romantic things. I get a little happy-teary eyed at poems about love and Shakespearean Sonnets, and Rom-Coms and everything in between. Now, I have always been a hopeless romantic, so I connect well with the emotional life of a story, poem or artwork. So,  it's not that I'm unsure of the cause, but it's just interesting to me to have such a strong spike in my Soppy-Scale. Don't get me wrong, I'm very much enjoying being mushy with every slightly wedding-related thing or small heart-shaped candy on top of my cupcake. It's just funny to me that there's an apparent difference in how I react to things. Probably its that I begin to think about our marriage and what it will symbolize. And how exhilarating it will be to begin our lives together.

Therefore, I am only slightly not embarrassed when I get a little teary finding my fiance wearing his wedding ring around the apartment, or seeing a bride walk down the aisle with her father in a movie, or lately during the song in our production of a "A Christmas Carol" when Young Ebenezer proposes to Belle. Whatever! I proudly am a soppy fiancee and don't care who knows it!




It's FRIDAY, FRIDAY... Gotta get Friday Finds on Friday!

...Everybody's looking forward to the blogpost, blogpost!

Happy Friday all!!! Sorry to get that song stuck in your head yet again but did you see what I did there?

Moving on. This week, I have been thinking a lot about the outfits that one wears  around, to, or in weddings; for instance if I were to have a Bridal Shower or Bachelorette...or for the rehearsal dinner, or simply being a guest, etc. Basically everything but, you know, THE White Dress. So that's what these Friday Finds are reminiscent of! Pretty/classy dresses to wear for not only those special occasions but anytime you need to look fancy! Enjoy!!!

LE PETIT JARDIN - Asymmetrical Neckline Dress with Blue Floral Print, Embroidery and Romantic Long Draped Lace Panel
Le Petit Jarden
From Etsy
Gorgeous for a tea-themed Shower I'd say
Dreamy Cream Misty Earl Gray Rainy Nostalgia Dusty Rosette Soft Heavenly Chiffon Romantic Marie Antoinette Dress
Beautiful to wear to a summer wedding!
From Etsy
2 Party Dresses with EXPRESS shipping shipped with Annie
Oh hai, gorgeous Bridesmaid's Dress, oh hai!
From Etsy
"Bold as Ice" Dress
From Modcloth.com
SUPER CUTE for the rehearsal dinner
or a bridal shower
Gorgeous for any occassion!
"Fashion Fantasy Heel"
From Modcloth.com
"Make a Good Impressionist" Dress
So sweet to wear for a Spring Wedding!
From Modcloth.com
"Go For Brocade" Dress (Loving the names!)
Unfortunately this is out of stock
but I am obsessed! WANT!
From Modcloth.com
"Check My Moves" Dress
Super slinky for Bachelorette Parties!
From Modcloth.com
Cinched Satin Peep-Toes
You all know my obsession with blue shoes!
All Illuminated Heels
Heaven! Beautiful for anything fancy!
Enjoy the fancy doo-dads and dress up!

Happy Friday :)


Le Petit Jardin Dress: http://www.etsy.com/listing/77623092/le-petit-jardin-asymmetrical-neckline?ref=cat2_gallery_11
Party Dress:http://www.etsy.com/listing/88268864/2-party-dresses-with-express-shipping?ref=cat2_gallery_25
"Bold as Ice" Dress: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/bold-as-ice-dressFashion Fantasy Heel: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/shoes-heels/fashion-fantasy-heel
"Make a Good Impressionist" Dress: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/make-a-good-impressionist-dress
"Go For Brocade!" Dress: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/go-for-brocade-dress
"Check My Moves" Dress: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/check-my-moves-dress
Cinched Satin Peep-Toes: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=22781637&catId=SHOES-HEELS&pushId=SHOES-HEELS&popId=SHOES&navCount=198&color=041&isProduct=true&fromCategoryPage=true&templateType=D
All Illuminated Heels: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?id=23083207&catId=SHOES-PARTY&pushId=SHOES-PARTY&popId=SHOES&navCount=780&color=070&isProduct=true&fromCategoryPage=true&templateType=D


Being A Bride v. Playing a Bride, Part the Second

I posted before about the art of playing a bride onstage, and now again in A Christmas Carol, I am playing a fiancee! (Actually, I get proposed to onstage). I have to confess with mild hubris, that this is my favorite part in the show. Here's a brief synopsis of the story if you have lived under a rock all your life if you haven't seen/read it.

In our production, the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge a few scenes from his childhood before moving on to his young adult life, when he was working for a jolly man named Fezziwig! The Fezziwigs always throw a wonderful Christmas party, and this particular memory Past shows Scrooge is of his young self proposing to his love, Belle during the festivities (That's me!). The carol we sing in the show is The Wassail Song, which is a joyous old English tune we all get to dance to. And then Young Ebenezer proposes to Belle a midst the hubbub of the dance! (See below)

I guess the reason why I am posting about this is because that moment in the show brings me back to the moment last January when Patrick proposed to me! It was such a time of warmth, excitement, nervousness, and being completely overwhelmed and this role brings me right back to that night! Patrick's proposal to me was so romantic and personal and I couldn't be more happy with it! He did a great job. Here's the proposal story. I am so lucky. And to have this role to remind me of that night is a blessing within itself! I love acting.

©2011 Erb Photography
Hanover Theatre 
December 2011




And More Hair Flowers!

My apologies for not posting for awhile...I've had a terrible cold and began rehearsals for A Christmas Carol  with Hanover Theatre. (Also; side note of quick news; Patrick and I both got our wedding rings in! I picked them up last week and now both of us are trying our best not to wear them around! No! I'm totally not wearing it right now as I type am wearing it right now)

Here's the tutorial I promised for the silk hair flowers (I found it here, of course on the Bee. I changed a few things but here's the gist of it)! (This one is quite a lot more simple than the Tsunami flowers). Ready? Go!

Here's what you need:
White or Colorful (fake) flowers of choice from the craft store
Needle and Thread

A button or bead for the center
Hot glue
Barrette/Alligator clip

Here's what to do: First take your faux blooms and basically take them apart. Pull the backing (usually plastic made to look like the leaves of the flower bloom) off and remove each individual set of petals.

Here's the flower as it came from the store.
Removing the bottom plastic leafy thingy.
And here are all the individual petal sets.
Then, start stacking the petals to your hearts desire to get an idea of how you want the finished flower to look. With smaller petals up top of course. Make it fluffy as a poodle on a humid day, or maybe you want a lighter hair piece, whatever looks best to you! Once you have a clear picture, you can either pin the petals together or get to sewing and gluing (I'm not the best at free-hand sewing so, I used mostly my trusty hot glue gun).
I also experimented with different fabric and
simply cut out some petals to add to the fabric flower.
Begin gluing/sewing the stacks together. For you talented sewers, pass through each petal, up one side and down the other. Since I used the glue gun, I put a bead of glue in the center, and pressed the petals firmly down onto it (Careful not to burn your fingers!).

Once your flower is glued/sewn together its time to whip out the button, needle and thread. Using a fairly sharp needle, start beneath your flower and run the thread up through the center and through the button holes to secure the button, and subsequently the flower.

Try to pull it as tightly as you can while enabling yourself
to make the passage back down through the flower.
You should end your stitching below the flower once you've finished with the button. This way, you can tie the remaining thread to your alligator clip or barrette.

Lastly, run the needle and thread a few times again through the very bottom layer of petals and the clip or barrette, until it feels quite secure. Then voila! You have a beautiful hair flower for special occasions or just-because! And how easy is that? 

This one came out significantly better.
It's my bridal hair flower trial :)
Enjoy! I'm going to keep experimenting with more hair flowers (Especially as its getting colder outside and it will be nice to settle down with some nice crafting projects and steaming mug of hot chocolate)!




Tsunami Hair Flowers!

Here it is, as promised, the tutorial for how to make a Tsunami hair flower...
(Here's the official link where I got the How To)

First, what you need:
A couple of yards of your desired fabric (I strongly suggest cotton, it holds best. I also threw some tulle in there)
A circle template (I used a small dish)
Spray Starch
An iron and ironing board
Hot glue gun
Needle and thread
Your favorite button for the center
A barrette or comb for backing

Here we go! First, using the small circle template, trace eight (for a smaller flower) to twelve (for a large flower) circles onto your fabric and cut them out.

Next, using your handy-dandy Spray Starch, starch those puppies at about six inches distance from the fabric! Let that sit for at least a half an hour (it helps to have an episode of Say Yes to the Dress at the ready).

Starched and ready to go!
Moving right along! Begin folding each circle in half, and carefully ironing them down for extra hold. That done, fold them in half yet again, and repeat the careful ironing (I may or may not have burned myself several times, thus the safety reiterations I am a huge clutz).

Now for the somewhat tricky part that lead to the appearance of the first Tsunami flower I made; a dilapidated mess. Here's what to do. First pinch the center of your petal, then pull the two outer corners in to meet the pinched fold. it will look like this:

Yes, I am wearing pajama bottoms at 1:00 in the afternoon and
crafting on my couch, what of it?
Grab your thread and needle and pass through the bottom of the newly formed petal (where my finger tips come together in the picture), leaving extra thread to tie off later. You may want to knot the first petal, so it stays in place but make sure you have a fair amount of extra thread.
Repeat that step until all of the petals are completed and threaded together on the same string. At this point, you are ready to tie off the flower. Pull the two end strings together tightly and you should have the shape of your flower. Tie them off, and pull the extra thread through the petals so that it is on the "front" side of the flower. Use the extra thread to attach the button by looping it through the holes or bottom and pull down so it sort of seals the flower together as its center.

Now, to complete the flower! Your thread should now be coming out of the "back" of the flower after the button is pulled down. You can now knot it off and trim the extra. Next, take some of the fabric you used to make the petals and cut out some center-of-your-flower sized circles (I had no idea what to used for a template so I just kind of eye-balled it). I cut out four circles. Then, if you so desireth, cut out some petal-sized circles in your tulle fabric. Hot glue the circles to the back of the flower (they should be slightly wider in diameter the the hole in the flower) and add the tulle between the layers of center circles.

To attach the barrette, cut one final small strip of petal-fabric and hot glue to the barrette.

(To attach to a comb, stitch the final flower once the center circles are glued together to that piece of fabric, pulling tightly). And...

There you have it. The slightly difficult, gorgeous Tsunami flower!

Yuck, the one on the right isn't looking so hot.
That's what I get for using silk instead of cotton. 
It's so amazing, I thought that I would never be able to make any remotely as beautiful as the ones found here on the Bee. Again, all the credit goes to the amazing Hive members from whom I saw/fell in love with this tutorial. I am actually quite proud of this project, and will keep practicing! Funny, what a lazy-craft day can produce if you set your mind to it! When I actually stop freaking out finish the trial flowers (i.e. if/when it looks as good as this) I will be adding fabric and lace from the two wedding somethings I showed you in my last post!




Lazy Sunday!!!

Go away, babe! This is not for you!!!

Today was a LOVELY lazy, crafty day over at my apartment! So nice! So I decided to work on some DIY stuff for the wedding. For a long time now, the decision has been made, by me of course, to *attempt* to make my own hair piece. I have tried a couple of different flowers; some using already made silk flowers, and a Tsunami flower tutorial I found on the Bee! Here are the results so far:

Tsunami Flowers
(My first try is the one on the right, a little rough, huh?)
Silk flower 
Blue silk flower and ribbon!
They're not so bad. I have a lot more trials to do of course!!! But, since Patrick is away this weekend, why not craft and watch abominable Rom-Coms while crafting? I know I want to make a white hairpiece for myself, and matching blue for the 'maids.

OH! I almost forgot. I acquired some precious Somethings at Thanksgiving...

My Stunning Grammy
(Look out Kate Middleton!)
My mom's super stylish Wedding hat-veil!
As you know, I already have my wedding dress and veil, but I am going to use bits of lace from these in very special parts of the wedding details: my hair flower, sewn into my dress and the ring pillow. And any other way I can! These items are so special to me because they come from very special women in my life who have taught me about love. I also plan on asking my other grandmother to send me some fabric from her wedding dress! Having pieces from their special days to carry with me is wonderful, and another reminder of the love I have been surrounded by growing up. Something Old? Check!

Any other brides out there using heirlooms from their mothers' and grandmothers' weddings?

Next up --- tutorials for the flowers!!!




Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Soon, that's what I'll be looking like. Completely content and round
from all that food!

I just wanted to take the time to mention what I am thankful for this year:

First, of course, I am thankful for my family. My mother and father, who always have supported me and taught me to be a responsible, caring person. My little sister, who teaches me to always laugh at myself, and to be strong. My little brother; the sweetest, most selfless boy I know. My loving aunts, uncles and cousins. My Grammy, for always encouraging me. My Grandpa and Abuelita, always cheering me on and grounding me in family. I include my Future-In-Laws in my family; for they have always welcomed me, and loved me like their own. And of course I include Patrick, my fiance, my future husband and my partner in life. He brings out, truly, the best version of me, and loves me unconditionally. He supports every dream I have, while making sure I stay grounded, he's there when I fall and when I fly. And I couldn't be more grateful for him and my family.

I have no adequate words to describe the depth of gratitude and love I have for my friends. My best friends in the world, who always are there to laugh when I do something awkward, to show up opening night to a show, and to support any insane crafting idea I have for the wedding. They are also my family and inspire me. Each laugh, tear, cupcake, mafia game, Vermont trip, hashtag or Apple v. Droid argument; I love it all! And I love them all! (You know who you are :-) )

Next, I am thankful to have been able to work with amazing actors, directors and theater people in my life that have inspired me to be all that I am in my craft. I have been blessed with amazing teachers and experiences and opportunities. I am quite happy with where I am as an actor and I am so excited at where I am going!

I am thankful for my health, and for the health of my family and friends. For our comfy apartment and clothes and food in our house and my family and friends' houses. For music and art, and wonderful artistic creation. For our loving fur-baby, Peanut and for our pets.

I am thankful for the kind, intelligent, generous human spirit that is especially present around the holidays. I am thankful for Love. I am thankful for our wedding and for our marriage. For the joining of our lives and families.

I'm positive that I've forgotten something because, well, I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I'll do my best.

Happy Thanksgiving! Best wishes to you and yours on this wonderful day! :-)



The Age Old Dilemma...

...Which house to spend the holidays at?

When the holidays roll around, couples everywhere are left to decide who they will be heading to to spend the days: Do they go to their in-laws? Their own parents? Neither? Or do they try to host? Gah! It's a lot to think about.

There's that intense worry about making someone unhappy: your parents, his parents, grandma, uncles, cousins, and also you and your FI. It effects Patrick and I in the same way. We love our families so much, and want to spend every minute we can with them. So, we work out compromises; which is the best you can do. For us Thanksgiving is, fortunately, quite easy to navigate. My family tends to have dinner at 1:00pm in the afternoon, and his family eats in the evening. Also, they don't live too far apart; my parents live in Rhode Island, while his are in Connecticut. We usually go down to my parents' and stay there for the mornings, have our dinner and spend some time before heading down to Connecticut for round two Thanksgiving!!! Yum! So much food. So, yes, that one's easy. But what about Christmas? This is one that we have yet to find a completely satisfying compromise for that (Usually, I only see his family on the 24th).

I've come to learn that we need to be focused on what the best thing for us is, and at the same time, we need to be sensitive to our families. It's always better to be honest about what you can and cannot do, and how you genuinely want to spend your time. I find that as our parents come together, it feels more like our family is growing in to one big one!

How do you navigate the holidays? Any tips for a newbie?



Give Thanks for Cupcakes!!!

Ok! Ok! I know this post doesn't directly have to do with weddings in general, but it has to do with our wedding: Cupcakes and Crafting! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, a time when family gathers together to share with each other and pause to be thankful for the blessings in their lives. And to eat. A LOT (Which I am very much looking forward to, I will probably be in the gym everyday next week to pay for it too!). Patrick and I visit both our families on Thanksgiving, so we'll get two giant dinners (food-coma).

Well, being the Cupcake-Freak that I am, I decided that these little guys would be perfect for my contribution to Thanksgiving...get ready: 

Butterbeer Cupcakes. 

(I KNOW!) I found the recipe through an adorable blog called The Pastry Affair and I was instantly smitten. I love Harry Potter as much as the next gal, so this recipe became a shining achievement for me when I was done; much like catching the Golden Snitch (I'm a nerd)!

Harry Potter + Cupcakes = Magic Delicious
The recipe was fairly simple to make. Here it is!
(Taken from The Pastry Affair; the [blue] will be my commentary)

Butterbeer Cupcakes
Adapted from Amy Bites Yields 18 cupcakes
Butterbeer Cupcakes
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a cupcake tin with baking cups.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and butter flavoring.[I then added a sprinkling of Crushed Cloves, for that perfect Autumn-y taste/smell. Totally optional, of course!!!]

Whipping up the cakes!
Using my best friends' wedding favor Vanilla extract
as an ingredient makes it made with love!!!
Cupcake batter
Fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture, then the buttermilk, 1/3 of the flour mixture, cream soda, and then the remaining flour. Folding in these ingredients will prevent over-mixing and will result in a fluffier, less dense cupcake. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full and bake for 15-18 minutes [I only did about 16 minutes and they were perfect], or until the cupcakes are golden and spring back when touched. Cool completely before frosting.[Definitely allow at least 20 minutes to cool, otherwise the next steps will be more challenging]
Using the Teacup Cupcake holders

Butterscotch Ganache
11 ounces (1 package) butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream
In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt the butterscotch chips into the heavy cream, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using.
Butterscotch Buttercream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup butterscotch ganache (recipe above)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon butter flavoring
Pinch of salt
3-3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Splash of heavy cream (as needed)
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in the butterscotch ganache, vanilla, butter flavoring, and salt. Beat in the powdered sugar for 2-3 minutes, starting with 3 cups and adding more only if necessary. Add the cream a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved (I only needed 1 tablespoon).
To Assemble
Pour butterscotch ganache into a plastic squeeze bottle. Stab the tip of the bottle into cupcake and fill each cupcake with butterscotch ganache until it starts to overflow.[I used a turkey baster to create a hole, and then filled it with the ganache]
Fill a pastry bag with butterscotch buttercream and pipe onto the top of each cupcake [Now, as you can see, I had a lot of trouble, so I went home-style and just slathered the frosting on, but if you are clever, go for the piping!] . Drizzle on the butterscotch ganache. Lick your fingers clean if you just so happen to get extra butterscotch on them. If you have any leftover butterscotch ganache, it can be used as ice cream topping. [Or like me, you can add more clove powder and some cinnamon sugar to the top! Yummers!]
Store in an airtight container at room temperature 
Voila! Beautiful butterbeer cupcake!!! 
I LOVED the way that they displayed the cupcakes from The Pastry Affair pictures, so I decided to make some adorable signs as well. It was super easy, but I think it added a really nice touch! I took some orange card stock  and my awesome oval stamp (from Michael's) and punched out a bunch of ovals.

I wrote some cute little messages like "Yum," "Enjoy," and "Happy Thanksgiving" on them with a calligraphy pen. And then simply taped them to a toothpick.

I stuck them in the cupcakes and BOOM, BAM! Done.

Took all my strength not to eat one.
So there's my Thanksgiving Cupcake love song! It was super easy and since the little signs look so cute I think I might make some for our wedding cupcakes! Maybe with Patrick's and my *s!!! I'll keep you updated!

Enjoy the recipe! There are tons of other adorable, scrumptious-looking recipes on The Pastry Affair, so check it out!