Friday, March 20, 2009

March Food Challenge

Mixed Greens
Mandarin Oranges
Crumbled Low Fat Feta Cheese
& for the green:
Steamed, then chilled, green beans

Blood Orange Vinaigrette:
Juice from 1/2 of a Blood Orange
1 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinaigrette
3 twirls of fresh, ground black pepper
1 pinch of Oregano
1 dash of Garlic Salt

Whisk all together and drizzle over salad (makes enough for 2)



These went out a few weeks ago, the responses are pouring in & I’ve been a bad Bee for not posting this sooner :) Our invites!

I worked with an amazing Etsy designer, Karen of mtkdesigns, to design our invitation suite, programs and menus. If you are thinking of DIY’ing your invites, but need help with the graphics, this is THE WAY TO GO! We went back and forth until things were exactly to our liking & she emailed us the file as a jpeg & pdf! Easy! I printed these out on our awesome color copier at work (with approval, bien sur!), then the girls and I went to town assembling them.

The Invitation & RSVP card were arranged to fit one of each per 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper.

Karen included light grey cut lines. Chop, chop chop! They were ready for the next step.

I ordered linen paper from Blue Dot Paper Shop (a great little company, a lot cheaper than Paper Source!) in navy blue and white. I had them cut the Navy paper in half, as that would serve as the backing for the invitation. Our design allowed for a border of just over 1/4” on each side. I used Duck brand double sided tape roller on all 4 sides, then a strip down the middle for good measure.

We didn’t put any guidelines on the navy backing paper, just eye-balled it as closely as we could and stuck them down. A few were a little off ;) but nothing that a little chop, chop, chop the paper cutter couldn’t handle!

The RSVP card was just the single sheet of card stock. They were a little flimsy, but I figured this was the part that would be mailed back to us, not kept by our guests, so I didn’t mind saving a bit of money on this step!

The linen paper gave me the texture I wanted without the cost of letterpress or the added time of embossing (although I love both…sigh).

For single guests to know they could feel free to invite a “+1”, I found this natural wrapping paper on sale at IKEA for 99 cents! A bargain belly band, I tell ya! We used the pink and white sheets of the paper, folded and ripped them to size rather than cutting with scissors.

The inspiration for addressing the envelopes came from none other than the fabulous! You may remember a DIY guest post about faux calligraphy - & I am living proof that this not only works, but is SUPER EASY! I typed up the addresses using Bradley Hand font & used a fine point silver paint marker to trace over the printed grey lines. For 60 invites, I went through 4 pens.

I really feel that our invites evoke the wedding vibe we’re going for – Preppy Casual.

Oh, we finally settled on this quote by Brian is very fitting for us.

Did you DIY your invites with the help of a graphic designer?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bridal Shower & “Bachelorette Party”, Round 1

Due to the fact that my mom, sisters & I are all very busy gals, the only weekend we could all work out for my Ohio Wedding Weekend was at the end of February. And what a weekend it was!

Miss Quiche the Cannibal!

My aunt and cousin are unable to travel to Jamaica for our wedding, so they graciously offered to host my wedding shower as a gift to us. Lisa and I were very close growing up, and it meant so much to me.

Cousin and Auntie Quiche & I

Lots of food. Lisa was thrilled to be able to use all of the adorable serving platter and bowls that she received from her wedding two years ago…and finally used for the first time! :)

Before I was engaged - I’ll admit it – I scoffed at “traditional” wedding showers - oohing and ahhing over coffee pots & enough toilet paper to bring back high school memories of laying flat in the back of a truck in the middle of the night to TP your “crush”. I also admit when I am wrong. I couldn’t WAIT for the shower & it was a blast. Toilet paper and all ;)

With my niece (& flower girl!), Little Miss B.

Two of my Chicago bridesmaids, Nicole & Andrea, road tripped with me & the 6 hour drive (full of Swedish Fish and 100 calorie snack packs) was something I will always remember. Plus, it was great to have almost all of my girls together again before the wedding!

The Buckeye girls! Karrie, Kori, Bridesmaid Laura, Leisha & Bridesmaid Bethany :)

All together now! Ooooh! Ahhh!! A coffee pot! ;)

After the shower, we all checked in to suites at the The Lofts, a hip, cool hotel downtown (read a great review here. I agree – I do LOVE Columbus). One thing that hasn’t changed from my pre-engagement days is my loathing for “traditional” bachelorette parties with peni*es (I can’t even type it!) and the like. Bridesmaid Bethany knows me like I know myself and organized a fun dinner at Due Amici followed by a night of singing and dancing at The Big Bang. I absolutely love piano bars & The Big Bang was a blast.

One lucky Quiche with friends and family

Bethany & I

Okay, so they managed to get the “bachelorette” on stage to sing to me. I was then practically booed off the stage & was told I was the “shyest bride they’ve ever seen” after I refused to smack some random dudes behind. Whatever. Some of the other girls took care of that for me ;)

Thank you, thank you.

Chicago BM Andrea & I

The Quiche Ladies :)

I say this all the time & I will say it again. I am so blessed to have such an amazing group of friends. Each one has contributed to my life in a positive way & I am who I am today because of them. I love you girls!

Did you have a non-bachelorette bachelorette party?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Dressing the Boys

It wasn’t too difficult to come up with the guys clothing choices to go with our casual-preppy-tropical wedding (Hawaiian shirts or linen shirts?). We opted to go with easy, breezy linen for the groomsmen. Again, I had to let go of my OCD when I brought up the probability of wrinkles, but I think I’ll be okay. I carry an iron with me on every trip I take & will even iron the shirt for the guys once we get down there. The resort also has a steamer (yes, I checked!) which will be good for my dress, too! I held out for Banana Republic’s 30% off sale & bought everything yesterday!


Mr. Quiche wanted a versatile tan suit that would look great with my dress & everyone elses duds...with the added bonus that he can wear it to work for years to come! My only requirement was that it have flat front pants, and he found an awesome Calvin Klein suit that was on sale!


Mini Quiche A will also wear a tan suit, with an adorable shirt from GapKids underneath so that he can take off his jacket right after the ceremony. We’re borrowing the suit from my best friends wedding, so no expense there! Our ring bearer (my nephew) will be wearing the same shirt from GapKids with khaki pants.

Havana Shirt from GapKids

We were lucky to get everything at such great prices that fit in so well with our theme. Where did you shop for the mens (& boys!) clothes?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to get that wedding glow

Or how to NOT get fried during your destination wedding.

Or justifying all of the above in the simple act of vanity.

I’ll just come out and say it (& I know it isn’t a popular decision) – I have been tanning in preparation for our Jamaican celebration. (Now before anyone berates me for doing this, trust me that I’ve already done it to myself plenty of times.) I am pale. All year round. & I am totally fine with that. Let me start of by saying that, when in the Caribbean sun, I don’t tan – I red. Without a base color established prior to our departure, my only viable option to a) not fry and b) not get tan lines is to hole up in our room the entire time. No thank you! With or without a wedding, I am the girl on the beach with a huge floppy hat (no premature wrinkling for me, thank you!), SPF 50 reapplied obsessively every hour, under an umbrella. I love the sun & the beach, but I try to enjoy it responsibly.

Moving on. I think I’ve been tanning a total of 4 times in my life. Perhaps once before prom and a couple of times my freshman year of college (at a place where they only had a curtain across the door opening for “privacy”. Could be why I never went back?). So, I bought a package at Palm Beach Tan and have been pleasantly surprised with the gradual results. I’ll only go in for 5 minutes at a time because I do NOT want to get burnt. But I feel gradually stepping up the number of minutes over the next 2 months will give me a nice glow for the wedding day. I love the way I look with a tan & don’t want to be a ghost in my dress.

I am also a fan of Mystic Tanning. I’ve read about orange tinted horror stories, but I’ve always had great success with them. The thing is, they fade after a few showers. Couple that with plunges in the pool & sea…and that tan would be long gone before “I do”. Mystic Tan is a great option for brides that want a nice glow for their wedding day, I just recommend that your try it out a few times before the big day.

A Mystic'd Quiche & always-"tan"-due-to-lovely-olive-skin'd Mr. Quiche

Rest assured, dear friends, my tanning sessions will halt by the end of April. I can honestly say that I will never lay down in one again. Plus, I won’t have to deal with the orange, snarky saleslady who looked at me like I had two heads when I answered “SPF 30” to her question about what tanning lotion I was using :)

I do NOT advocate UV tanning! It is just a temporary, personal decision. Thanks!

Are you doing things for your wedding that you might not do otherwise?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March DIY Madness, Round 1

With the wedding less than two months away (yikes!), it’s time to dust off the DIY projects that were started (rather, the supplies were bought) over the past 4 months. I knew it was a mistake to buy the last novel in the Twilight sequel this late in the wedding planning game, but Edward was calling me from the stacks at Costco & I succumbed. Well, the book is read & it’s crunch time, so most of my free days and nights have been spent crafting.

I posted awhile ago about styling the aisle & had a lot of great feedback from all of you. I loved the look of flower garlands hanging from the altar, but our florists ri.dic.u.lous. prices prompted a day of DIY. & I love the results. LOVE. I can picture them swaying in the Caribbean breeze as we softly whisper “I do”…oh, who am I kidding?! With my luck, they’ll be a tangled mess & Mr. Quiche will be yelling “Ya mon!”. Moving on…

The altar at Coyaba


NICE Fake Hydrangea bunches (there are cheap ones and nice ones - & you can tell the difference, TRUST.) Mine had over 50 blooms per bunch

Clear fishing line

Large sewing needle

A Nip/Tuck marathon (optional)

Step 1: Figure out the length you’ll need. I just guesstimated by using the top of our door moulding, since I can’t figure out a way to work in another “research” trip ;)

Step 2: Tear off flowers from stems

Step 2: Tie a knot at one end of the fishing line (actually, a series of 4 knots on top of each other or the flower might slip off!)

Step 3: Thread the needle & first bloom– this will be the bottom flower. I figured out for the bottom part of the garland, you can go straight up through the bottom of the flower (the plastic stamen part?) so that when hanging, you’ll see the most petals.

Step 4: Tie another knot appx. 8 – 11 inches above the previous flower, repeat Step 3. Tip: don't measure the distance between blooms! I had to suppress my OCD after recognizing that the strands will look better with the blooms scattered rather than in a straight line all the way across.

For the middle of the garland, I threaded the needle through the flowers at an angle. For the top, I inserted the needle through the top of the bloom, so when looking up, you’ll see the most petals.

Step 5: After the last bloom is on the fishing wire, tie another knot right above it to keep it from coming off the top.

Step 6: Hang & admire. & get back to work!

Repeat all steps until you have the desired amount of strands. It may seem like it takes awhile to do these, but once I sat there and worked, it took about an hour to do half of them. Not too shabby!

Project cost for 9 flower garlands:

2 bunches of flowers @ $4.50 ea.

Fishing wire I found in the junk drawer - free

Total: $9.00

I also made a strand with rhinestones, but they were a pain in the as* & didn’t photograph well. It’s possible that they would look much better once outside & sparkling in the sun, but I haven’t decided if I am going to use them or not.

When did the DIY bug kick in for you?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

In love with makeup…

I love makeup. My superfabulous friend Karrie? loves it even more.

How lucky am I to have a friend with this stash? 3 tackle boxes full of incredible makeup.

When I was home in Ohio over the weekend (Ohio shower & “bachelorette” party – more on that later!), I was able to have my makeup and hair trial. My friends have incredible talent & will be my friendors for the wedding.

So first, I’ll tell you about our makeup trial run. Karrie is an incredible makeup artist (even though she does something completely different for a living. We keep trying to get her to capitalize on her artistic talents!) & I always knew I would want her to do mine for the wedding. We had lots of practice in college, so she knows my skin, what I like/don’t like, etc.

My "everyday" look, taken at my shower that afternoon:

Hi Mama Quiche!

& the final results:

& later in the night (with my personal makeup artiste!):

I love the way it photographs. As a lover of makeup, I still wanted it to be pretty soft and natural, to fit in with our surroundings. If I were having a glam, night wedding, you can bet I’d have her do a dramatic look.

To keep me looking like myself, only enhanced in all the right places, Karrie used:

Base: Bare Esscentuals “Light” brushed all over

Mascara: Dior Show in Black (seriously, now my favorite mascara. Go buy it.)
Base: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow in “Ballet Pink”
Browline & Inner Eye: Christian Dior Eye Show in “White Light Disco”
Lid: Christian Dior Eye Shadow in “Blooming Pink:
Crease: Christian Dior Eye Shadow in “Brown Sequins”
Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in “Chocolate Shimmer Ink” (upper lid)
Bobbi Brown Creamy Eye Pencil in “Taupe” (lower lid)

Eyebrown Enhancer (as mine can disappear): Brows in Bloom

Blush: Bobbi Brown Blush in “French Pink”
Brozer: Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in “Light”
GlowFusion Micro-Tech Intuitive Bronzer in “Luminous”

Base: Carmex (I can’t live without it!)
Gloss: Trish McEvoy Gloss in “Simply Marvelous” (also something I wear everyday)

Wow, that was a mouthful! I felt so pampered during the process & can’t wait to have it done again on our big day!

Do you have any friendors? What are they graciously doing for you?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Honeymoon in my Hometown: Chicago

"It’s my kind of town, Chicago is…"

Chicago. I love this city. It makes for a great escape, whether for 3 days or a week. There are things to do and places to see for all types of interests: history, art, food, architecture, beaches and shopping. It is a large city, but has a very manageable feel. Plus, it’s in the Midwest. It’s easily accessible and the people are very friendly! :) Chicago is a city built by its neighborhoods & each has its own vibe and culture.

Where to stay

You can do Chicago pricey or surprisingly inexpensive. The glitz and energy downtown will cost you more, but if you look closely, there are many options that aren’t on Michigan Avenue, but offer a unique experience. When I travel, I like to stay where the “locals” live…to really get a feel for a certain neighborhood.

For an incredible luxury stay in the city, look no further than the Magnificent Mile. The Park Hyatt and the Peninsula Hotel aren’t cheap, but the 5 star service will leave you and your newly betrothed pampered. The rooms are gorgeous and the amenities are indulgent. Try NoMi for a great dinner & views. Also, the gym at the Peninsula boasts many a celebrity sighting.

B&B’s and boutique hotels are sprinkled across the city as well. Lakeview and Lincoln Park are such fun, upbeat neighborhoods & The Willows (off of Broadway) and the Windy City Urban Inn (off Clark St.) will give you a feel of what it’s like to live in Chicago. It also doesn’t hurt that there are a plethora of incredible restaurants and bars at your doorstep :)

Where to eat

Chicago is a foodie haven. First, I’m just going to list some of the best restaurants in the city. For serious gastronomique, go to Alinea, Moto &/or Charlie Trotter’s. Be prepared to pay upwards of $250 per person. But for foodies, it’s worth it. I mean, check out the 27 course menu at Alinea! My personal favorite is Green Zebra. It’s vegetarian friendly, but even serious carnivores rave about this place. The Quiches LOVE this place (& the bars around it for a casual nightcap).

The culinary ART at Alinea

You cannot visit Chicago without having Chicago deep dish pizza. There’s a long standing battle between Pizzeria Uno & Lou Malnati’s about who “invented” deep dish pizza, but who cares?! Both are mouth watering delicious. As are Giordano’s and the lesser known Pizano’s. YUM.

What to do

There are museums aplenty in Chicago. The most popular are the Field Museum, the Art Institute and the Museum of Science & Industry. I also love the Museum of Contemporary Art. On the first Friday of every month, they have…um…First Friday’s (natch) where the museum stays open late, is catered by Wolfgang Puck & you can sip cocktails in between viewing exhibits. All museums have “free” days during the week, which is great!

More free activities include the beaches along Lake Michigan, the numerous parks and the Lincoln Park Zoo. Most people don’t think of the beach when they think of Chicago, but our entire city is lined with them! North Avenue Beach is the most populated during the summer months (think Spring Break all summer long), but is a ton of fun. When you’re done sun bathing, head a few blocks west to the LP Zoo. Again, it’s free every day of the week! Millenium and Grant Parks downtown are also beautiful & have concerts and movies all summer long.

If you’re in to architecture and design, I highly recommend the Architecture boat tour. It winds through the Chicago River and Lake Michigan and offers a wonderful look at the skyline and the history of the city. About an hour west of the city is Mies Van Der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. A must see for design lovers (& I kind of want to live here, except for the fact that it’s in the burbs).

Where to shop

Everywhere! Michigan Avenue and State St. will have your typical shopping with luxury boutiques thrown in as well. Bucktown is the spot for boutique shopping – everything from SCOOP NYC to Marc Jacobs to little vintage shops and record stores. Halsted St. and Armitage Ave. in Lincoln Park also has boutiques (& Paper Source!) aplenty. You can also head south to Chinatown for dim sum and more shopping.

Again, the foundation of Chicago is the neighborhoods. Heading off of the typical tourist path will give you a great idea of what it’s like to live and breathe in this incredible city.

Photo Source 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6