Thursday, July 31, 2008

Agave Favors

I worked on our favors for the Tempe Fiesta and Nebraska Reception tonight. In keeping with our Mexican theme and because we love them the favors are small agave plants. I found some really cute small metal planters at IKEA. The agaves are from a plant that was blooming on campus. Unfortunately I haven't yet figured out what species but it doesn't have any spikes so it will be more user friendly. I am keeping my eye out around town to get other species in the mix. I know in Jan I can find Agave Murpheyi - the species grown prehistorically by the Hohokam.

My hope is that 1) they don't grow too big for the pots by April/May and 2) I don't kill them by April/May.

I am going to print out a small tag with information of how to care for the agave and to say thanks. Matt's duty is to come up with a clever pun or rhyme about agave and our fiestas.

They are going to act as double duty as the table decorations for the Tempe Fiesta.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Nevermind about the dress...

So I have been obsessing all day about the Stephanie James dress I posted about this morning . I even found some really cool vintage earrings to go with it.

But then I found out it cost $4,000!! Oh well, maybe I can give sewing another try.

I love this dress!

I really love and want this dress! It is from Stephanie James who designs vintage inspired wedding dresses and suits. It is so hard to find tea length dresses that still look bridal. I am sure it is outrageously expensive and only sold in about 10 shops in the US. One is in Chandler so maybe I will give them a call...
Or I can stick with my mail order Isaac Mizrahi dress from Target.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Well the wedding is still 9 months away and I think it is a little early to be thinking about the registry. But since my mom can't help herself and already buying stuff I will give it some more thought. One thing that we have talked about was Fiestaware. I had thought about colbalt blue - to go with the new mixer- but didn't realize that Matt gets nauseous when eating off of blue plates. The solution is to go for a fiesta of fiestaware. This is what I want my cupboards to look like:

Maybe all 17 colors is overdoing it and we will limit it to shamrock, sunflower, tangerine, scarlet, plum, turquoise, peacock, and cobalt blue.

Next step will be to figure out where to register for fiesta. Dillards is looking like the best option.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Macaroons and Mixers

So I know that a mixer is the type of item that newlyweds typically put on their registry. But I couldn't help myself. I have been dreaming about a Kitchen Aid Mixer for years so when I got my stimulus check last week I ordered one and counted down the hours until it arrived. The challenge was to decide on a color. Did you know how many colors they have?! I have always envisioned my mixer siting on the counter as a my culinary inspirations so I took the color decision very seriously. The color will set the stage for our kitchen for as long as I own the mixer - hopefully forever.

First I thought Red. But no. Everyone has red appliances these days. White? A good classic color that will go with everything. But boring. I hate pastels so that eliminated about 10 colors. Chrome - I like shinny things. But looks like a space ship. Oh, persimmon or tangerine. But I am not that bold. Time to bring in Matt. He looked at the color choices for about 2 seconds and matter of factly said "Cobalt Blue". Brilliant! It was everything I was looking for and even has matching Fiestaware colors. This is usually how our decision making process goes. I spend weeks agonizing over a decision. Matt decides in a few minutes which is usually the one I arrive at anyway.

The mixer arrived a few days ago and now we can register for attachments!

One of the main reasons I wanted a mixer now is that I am obsessed with French Macaroons sometimes called Parisian Macaroons or Laduree Macaroons after the pateserie in Paris that first created them. I have never had them, not even sure I have even seen them. But they are beautiful, colorful and a sound like mix between a merengue cookie and a marshmallow - my favorite. I have been dreaming about how to make different flavors for the Garden Dessert Party in Nebraska (literally I was dreaming about them).

This is what they are supposed to look like. I used Martha's recipe of course.

Mine - not so much. First problem is that you are supposed to use a food processor to grind almonds into a fine powder. After buying the mixer I couldn't afford to get a food processor so I cheated and bought almond flour which was a little chunky so I didn't get a smooth texture. I am also lacking a few other useful tools. I only had a small piping tip so used a spoon instead of piping them out which made oval cookies about 3 x the size.

The mixer worked great. Except for when I got the bowl stuck and spent literally 30 minutes trying to twist it off. I was just about to call the kitchen aid hot line on the verge of tears when I thought of using vegetable oil. Luckily it worked.

So they didn't look the greatest. Definitely not petite dainty cookies. But the taste was literally the best cookie I have ever eaten in my life. Seriously. This is definitely something I will be trying to perfect by next May. The photo is of my cookie. I used red coloring for a pink cookie and white filling.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

We have a date!

Wedding Ceremony
April 9, 2009
Red Rock Crossing in Sedona, Arizona

Fiesta Reception
April 11, 2009
Antique Wedding House
Mesa, Arizona

Garden Party
May 23, 2009 (subject to change)
Melissa's Parents House
Grand Island, Nebraska

Friday, July 11, 2008

Paper Flower

Tonight I also tried to make a different kind of paper flower. I saw this simple how to guide from Dozi Design via Creature Comforts Blog.

(click to enlarge)

It was really easy. Now I just have to figure out how to use it...

Papel Picado - Attempt 1

I did my first papel picado pattern. Results were okay, however I am not thrilled with my ability to hold a steady hand. But I now have a better idea what tools and techniques are going to work. Having a stencil made from a thick transparency would be better than the paper printout I used. When I went to the craft stores I didn't care for any of the stencils available. Also I think using craft punches is going to be alot easier and quicker. I used a small heart punch on the outside of this one.

Monday, July 7, 2008

M and M

Just saw this advertisement for new personalized photo M&M candies. Not sure how I would feel about people eating our faces. Luckily M&Ms already come personalized for us.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Candy Buffet

I really want to do a Candy bar with take away bags. Possibly at both the Tempe Fiesta and the Dessert Reception in Nebraska.
I found a how to set up a candy buffet website that has tons of links to candy whole sellers, where to buy jars, and photos.

I love this one from Martha Stewart. I especially like the signs and the pedestal glass trays. Matt doesn't really like chocolate so we would probably have other candies. But would have to have M & M chocolate candies.

I really like the photos on the jar of this example.

This one is also really cute! I like the fuschia colored take away bags. Another option is small Chinese take out boxes for guests to take away their candies.

I already have jars like these from IKEA as well as some metal scoops. I wonder where they got the LOVE shaped candy dishes?

This photo is from a Candy Apply Buffet (see apples to the left) where guests dipped their candy apples in various nuts and candies. I wouldn't want to do candy apples but love the shape of these triffle shaped bowls. Seems like it would be easier to get at the candy than many of the small neck jars others have used.

Love these cookies!

I love these cookies! They are from the Gum Drop Bakery in NYC and they do deliver. I think it would be great to have some fancy sugar cookies in addition to traditional cake. Possibly for the Dessert Reception in Nebraska.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Why Matt must get approval for every Wedding decision...


Matt: What kind of cake do you want at the wedding?

Melissa: I don't know. How about lemon or amaretto?

Matt: Really? Why not just plain - like bread flavored?

Melissa: Bread flavor? You mean vanilla?

Matt: No, I mean bread flavor.

Oh Matt. I love you to pieces. And yes we can have a plain flavored cake. But how about we call it white cake instead of bread flavored.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Great Colorful Ideas

Here are some more great colorful ideas from Martha.