Thursday, March 31, 2011

Must Ingest Cocktails!!!

So some of you may have noticed that I haven't posted in a while....and I am here to apologize. I have debated even writing this post, but not doing so and posting like everything is okay would not be right. You see, in the past couple weeks a lot has come out. Not only have we had a lot of health scares in the family, which has lead to surgeries, long hospital stays, and illness, but there is also someone in town. This person is an unwanted guest, and with almost three months until the wedding shows no signs of leaving anytime soon.

That's right....the drama llama is in town. Without going into detail, I will just say that a lot of people's true colors have come through. Especially people who are close and who we thought were legitimately happy for us and our upcoming wedding. We have found out that these people our making something that should be such a happy time for us, and something to look forward to all about themselves, and we have seen those green horns of jealousy come out. It has put added stress on us, but has actually made our relationship much stronger. Things will not be okay between these people for a long time....if ever, and it has come to our attention that they feel nothing has been done wrong, which leads us to believe that no acknowledgement of wrong doing or apology will be coming anytime soon.

Good news is, the fiance and I are leaving Upstate NY (right before this huge storm we are supposed to get tonight!), for a weekend trip to DC to visit some long time friends. It is just what we need to clear our heads and wrap our brains around all the ridiculousness that has come to light!

So hopefully I will be back with a clear mind and ready to tell you all about our time!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ready to Kayak!

Being from Upstate NY, it is very easy to be active....I mean, there is a million places to our disposal. Kev and I are pretty outdoorsy people. Camping, hiking, fishing, hunting kind of people (well he hunts, I don't).  We have been talking for a while how awesome it would be to have some kayaks. That way, we wouldn't have to fish from shore or rely on someone with a boat. We have mostly been all talk and no action when it comes to this though. It's not like money grows on trees...although it would be nice! And something unexpected is always coming up.

That all changed because...I just received my tax return!!! Free money yay! Ok...technically not free money, really my money being returned to me...but you get my drift. And what just so happened to be on sale this week at a major sports store? If you guessed kayaks you win!

So we trekked our butts over last night and found some sweet deals. Let me introduce you to our new toys ladies and gents!

Mine on the left, Kev's on the right..we didn't purposely match I swear!
I opted for the more expensive fishing version, a Trophy 126 K/D. Full size hull and backend compartments, bungees, and two fish pole holes, a good starting out kayak.

Kev opted for one without all the bells and whistles and purchased a Future Beach Fusion 10.

Now I am no where ready to be one of those extreme sir, I like living. But I am ready to hit up a lot of the rivers and lakes, and even great Sacandaga this year!

So once this tundra that we call NY state stops getting snow...yes, we had more yesterday...does the rest of the country have summer already? We will be hitting the water!

Does anyone else own a kayak? Anyone in Upstate NY want to start a kayak click?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's So Fluffy!

So you can read up on my struggles to find a florist here, here, and here. You last heard that I found an awesome florist who was willing to work with our budget and not skimp on the look we wanted! We stopped in last Saturday to see a mock up of our big centerpieces, they will be at roughly 6 tables or so and at our king table. Without further they are:

These puppies are made of hydrangeas, baby's breath, and purple caspia which are on a plate that rests on our tall square vases.
Here is a close up.
I LOVE them! They are exactly what we wanted. The smaller centerpieces will consist of just hydrangeas and baby's breath and will be in a small cube.Again, I recommend Bob over at White Cottage Gardens in Amsterdam, NY. They have given me piece of mind!

Did anyone else's flower vision come to life?

Sugar High!

A couple weekends ago, we were able to meet with the company that will be making our cake, J.S. Watkins in Clifton Park. Emily was the person who met with us. We had a mile long list of fillings, frostings, and cake flavors to choose from. We decided when talking to our caterer that we would have a three tier cake, and each layer would be a different flavor. I could barely pick one combination let alone three!!! I thought that we would need four layers, since we would be taking our top tier home and storing it in the freezer for a year, but we were informed that they give us a free anniversary cake, of our flavor, get of charge!!! I am still excited!

So I went in with our inspiration/ I want this cake picture.

 We sat down with Emily and decided that we will have a 3 layer cake, starting with the solid white layer with scroll work. The bottom layer will be Black Satin cake with Grand Marnier mousse and mocha frosting, the middle layer will be traditional white with raspberry filling, and the top will be their speciality, carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. The design will be similar except feature a light lilca color instead of a blue, similar to my mock up.

Look at our cute little toppers!
They even sent us home with this awesome box of amazingness...aka, lots of delicious cake samples!

Black satin cake with chocolate filling, traditional white with french buttercream, carrot cake, yellow spongecake with a combination of strawberry and french buttercream filling, and a red velvet cupcake!

 I promptly brought the package of deliciousness over to my parents and we split each piece 4 ways.

Before the devouring.
After the devouring!
It.Was.Yummy! I am so pumped to see the final product!

Does anyone else love cake as much as me and my family? What was your inspiration picture?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Videographer FAIL!

When we began discussing the different vendors that we wanted at our wedding video never came up. It just never seemed to be something that we wanted....I knew that we needed to have awesome photos (which we will have!), because those are around forever. What do we need a video for, right? Wrong!

I blame romantic comedies on this one. You always watch the movies where married couples (mostly women) will watch their wedding video when they are down and it lifts them up. I know, cheesy, but it worked on me! That made me think...."I think I need a wedding video!" So the search began.

Since we weren't really interested in one from the get go, I wasn't looking for something with all the bells and whistles. Just something that I could watch to remember the day by and the people that shared it with us. I searched around, but couldn't find anything for less than two grand, kind of more than what I was hoping for. I talked to my cousin, who was married in 2008. She told me about this company she used called WeddingCombo...they supplied her videographer and photographer.

So I started emailing back and forth with this women Oleysa, she couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. Since I was in Ohio at the time, and planning a wedding far from home, it helped that she would get back to me within minutes and answered all my questions. While I was home for break in January of 2010, we made an appointment with a women in their Clifton Park office. We watched videos of weddings that were done...but what was nice was that as soon as we walked in there was a picture of my cousin and husband on the wall. We ended up choosing a videographer (I don't remember his name) and getting a bunch of extra perks, thanks to Oleysa, like free menu on the dvd, upgraded to HD, free short video to share with family and friends, and free copies. And the price was right with us paying a little over a grand for 10 hours of service. We gave them our deposit and everything seemed like it was working out!

Now, fast forward to January 2011. Our second payment was due on the 23, so about 2 weeks prior we sent in a check. In a week I planned on calling and making sure they received our payment and that everything was on track. So about a week later I get to work and check over Facebook quick. I see this message an old friend from high school posted something to the affect of, "I was also a client of Weddingcombo and have lost $1,500, if you were my vendor for X date please contact me."

My brain started spinning and I went into overdrive. Apparently, she had posted on our CBS 6 forum and it showed on her profile. I opened the page and watched this video the news channel had posted about a local couple who were supposed to get married on Saturday and received a letter from Weddingcombo on Wednesday that they would not be able to supply their vendors for the wedding.

This is how Weddingcombo worked, they were the middle man, they would get reduced prices of services because they could offer bundle packs of videographers, photographers, and djs. You could save thousands with them by booking all 3. You never directly communicate with the vendors because Weddingcombo does it for you, and the vendors never know who you are except that they have a wedding scheduled for Amanda & Kevin on July 23, but they have no contact info for you and you no contact info for them. Yes, as I type this I realize this sounds sketchy, but they had an A+ rating with the BBB and I personally knew people that had used them.

This couple apparently booked all 3 through them and now had 3 days to find new vendors....nice right?! Well come to find out later on, Weddingcombo also sent emails to the vendors saying that the wedding was cancelled. You can google, or go on CBS 6's website and find out all the details. In the end the community pulled together and this couple had an amazing wedding.

But back to us, I watched the video and I think I was still in shock and thought it was some gag. I mean, I had talked to them constantly, they were a professional company. So I tried emailing Oleysa, and asking her what was going on. As soon as I sent the email it came right back, saying that the address no longer existed. No problem, I thought, must be a glitch! So I tried logging onto their website.....the website no longer existed. Okayyyy, let me just call their number....."the number you have dialed is no longer in service." And that's what all out panic in sued. I went back on the forum and put my contact info up for people to get ahold of me. I was honestly surprised on how many people responded, who didn't even know me, but wanted to help out all the people that were burned....seriously, I had an inbox full of emails of vendors who wanted to help for either free or reduced prices.

My friend Steve, who works for the news channel YNN got ahold of me and wanted me to do an interview. I hate being on camera.....funny since this is all about a videographer right? I did it and that had even more people contact me. Fast forward a couple of days of craziness, phone calls, and emails. I had to call the bank and cancel our second payment we had just sent. So we lost the $28 to cancel it, and our deposit of around $300....which in the long run isn't a lot or as bad as it could be.

The owner of Weddingcombo, Ian McGaughey, tried covering his butt and saying that they were trying to sell the company and it fell through....well why did you email vendors saying people's wedding were cancelled. He posted it on the website:

Do I believe any of the crap he is feeding us or news Do I think we will ever see our money back even though I contacted him and spoke to him personally, and even though he said they are coming up with a "repayment timeline" I just want to show everyone that, even if you do your homework on vendors...and everything is right, things can still go wrong.

We did have a lot of offers, and were about to take one from a very good company in the area who was offering us half price for 2 videographers, 12 hours of shooting, microphones, fancy editing....the whole nine yards. But then my head cleared, we never wanted fancy things in the first place so why do I want it it just because it is a deal being dangled in my face? So I told them thanks, but no thanks.

Our friend Steve, who shot my interview....has been working with YNN for a year, and is part of a local band, and has made countless videos. He told me if I couldn't find anyone that he would do the job if we wanted. He wants to get into the wedding industry but needs someone to give him that first step. I watched some of his videos and thought...let's do this! So for $400 Steve is our videographer....he said he will spend 20 hours with us if he needs to, he can use mics, a camera from work, make as many copies as we want, even make a little trailer of the whole day. So see, things happen for a reason! If you stuck with my story here is a one of the videos Steve made for the local band Tunnel, that he is a part of...enjoy!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flowers and Herbs

I just created a final run through of our invites last night....I swear I will reveal them soon...and was thinking about postage. I really have my heart set on using the Love pansy stamps, they are purple and would work perfect with our silver envelopes.
So once I have a run through printed on cardstock I can take our suite to the post office and see how much it ways, and determine what kind of postage I need. What I do know is that we are going to need postcard stamps for our responses.

And although the polar bear stamps are cute...they don't go with our theme.

So while perusing the Post Office's website, I came across the new 29 cent postcard stamps that will be coming out on April 7! Say hello to herbs everyone!

I don't know why there is such a big white space around it....sorry!
These will work...especially the cards that are lucky enough to get the lavender stamps. So this kind of worked out in my favor, since we are planning to send the invites out beginning of May. Just one less detail I have to worry about!

Did any other little thing fall into place for anyone?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Getting F.I.T.

I recently signed up for Groupon in our area....who doesn't love saving money on things you already do or want to do?

Well this morning their deal is awesome! It is a month/12 day membership to a F.I.T. Bootcamp program in Saratoga, Scotia, Clifton Park, or Albany.

I bought a membership for myself and bridesmaid/bestie Michelle. Now I work out on a regular basis and try to be self conscious about what I eat, but I think this will be a good final push for me.

Now this is why it is such an awesome deal, the normal price for one month is $247.....crazy! We got one month for $49!!! Classes are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 5:30am, and are around 30-45 enough time to work out, head home, shower, and head out to work. I already wake up for work a little before then...but getting up an hour early 3 days a week for a month may be a little challenging, but I'm ready! We have to use them before September, which we are already planning sometime this summer, when it gets warmer....if that will ever happen since we keep getting hit with huge snow storms still!

I think it will be a great way to get one last jump start before the wedding, and who knows, if I like it maybe I will fork out the cash to keep at it.

Has anyone done a bootcamp before? How challenging are they?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

DIY Flower Girl Basket

When I began thinking about details, I always would think, "what am I going to have the flower girl carry?" I was not a fan of the generic silk baskets that were gleaming white, they did nothing for me.

So, in October, I went to the local Good Will to look for some clothing for my Halloween outfit. When looking over by the housewares section they had a ton of baskets, literally a ton! I found a perfect round woven basket. It was marked $1 but was 50% off, so I bought it for a whooping 50 cents! Being the horrible blogger that I am, I have no pictures of my purchase of its transformation process...for that I apologize, but I do have a final product just tag along.

I started off by taking some white spray paint laying around. I coated it twice, since the wicker soaked up the paint like no one's business. Then all I did was take some of my left over purple satin ribbon from my DIY unity candle, and wrapped it around the handle. Then on each side I added a bow.

My original idea was to have our flower girl throw petals down the aisle...alas, our church or any church in the area for that matter, does not allow that anymore. So we are going to put a stem of hydrangea in the basket for her to carry down the aisle.

Here is the finished product. (You know the drill, crappy Blackberry photo)

This was a super easy product that really cost me only 50 cents, since I used other products that I had already bought beforehand. 

Did anyone else have a super easy DIY?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Inviting The VIPs

This weekend I finally buckled down and began working on our invitation designs. I came up with 3 ideas and seriously stared at them for hours. When it came down to it I was stuck on two. I showed the designs to Kev when he came home from work and we have one clear winner now. So the rest of this week and the weekend, I will hopefully complete our suite and begin printing and assembling. But that is for later.

The invitations got me thinking about our guest list and of our VIPs. Now, we are super pumped to have everyone we invited be able to come to our wedding, but the VIPs are a small list of super, fabulous people who we are inviting, but know they will not show up. People like the President, the Pope, Mickey & Minnie, etc. I know what you are thinking, "Amanda, why are you wasting an invite on these people if you know they are not coming?" That is because, usually these people, although will not come, will send a congratulatory message on you and your partners upcoming wedding. Who doesn't want a letter from Obama or the Pope?

There are 3 VIPs that we plan on sending invites out to:

The President and First Lady

The Honorable and Mrs. Barack Obama
The White House, Greetings Office, Room 39
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, District of Columbia

Pope Benedict
Pope Benedictus XVI
Prefettura della Casa Pontifica
00210 Citta del Vaticano

But there is one other person that I would like to extend an invitation to. That person is:

President Gordon Gee of The Ohio State University
President Gordon Gee
205 Bricker Hall
190 North Oval Mall 

I Love Gee! As any good Buckeye should! We were in Germany together, he sat through a presentation there and in Ohio, he stopped at my and my roommate's house when we were having a huge party with our class and the Germans we worked with (I can't begin to tell you how embarrassed I was that Gee was at my shitty college house, with the President of another college, and the publicist of Vogue...these are the type of everyday people he hangs out with!), he came up to me, out of the other 10,000 people I graduated with to talk to me and take pictures, and there are so many other times that I was able to talk with him and hang out. I don't think this is a normal encounter.

Is the likelihood of him coming high? No, but I would love to see if he comes up with a witty response, or sends anything back at all!

Is anyone else inviting VIPs? Are you inviting anyone unusual?

Friday, March 4, 2011


I don't know when it happened, but I have an obsession with traveling. I know a lot of people love to travel, but I feel if I don't then I'm wasting time staying in one spot. A little back story, growing up my parents and grandparents took us all over the NE. Seriously, a day trip to VT, PA, NH, was normal. We were not travel neglected in the least. But, the farthest I had ever been from home (besides the NE coast), was in 8th grade when my mom won us a trip to Disney World. It. Was. Awesome! That was my first experience on a plane and I was hooked. We didn't travel that far again where we took a plane.

Fast forward to graduating from high school and looking at colleges. I decided to go to the University @ Buffalo. 1) Because it was the only SUNY school that had an architecture program and 2) it was the farthest school away from home. As soon as I was there this fascination came over me. I wanted needed to have a million life experiences under my belt. I wanted to do it all. First step, get out of the country. Oh look, Canada is 15 mins away...and the drinking age is 19! Let's go! (Yes, Canada is America's hat, and I don't really consider it going out of the country, but baby steps people!) Then I was like, I want to be a I got a job downtown on Chippewa and met a bunch of amazing people in the process. Ok, take that off my list. want to go to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays play the Yankees? Ok, let's get in the car and go. And this was my mindset all throughout college. I didn't want to miss an opportunity!

That's when sophomore year, I applied to be a camp counselor in PA. I got the job working as a lifeguard/camp counselor in Greeley, PA. To date, it has probably the craziest/greatest summer of my life! And to add more excitement...guess what camp was right down the road from us? Does Camp Anawanna ring any bells?

That's right people, Salute Your Shorts was filmed basically across the street from us! I was there for 3 months with people from all over the country and world. After leaving there I think I can seriously say I know someone on every continent.

This is a third of us, who all had the same 18 hour period off. Jersey shore, and yes, we all slept in one room. This is what I mean by crazy summer!

After that, a lot of the foreigners travelled the US. I had them staying with me in Buffalo before traveling west. This prompted me to begin my own traveling of the world. From there, there was no stopping me. 

I visited friends all over NY, in every college imaginable. 
Me with the Cortland mascots head on during the Cortland/Ithaca game.  (How I got it, I still don't know)

I travelled to Colorado to visit fellow counselor/lifeguard Marcy...every January for 3 years. (First time on a plane by my own)
Went skiing for the first time and fell in love with Fat Tire!
We went to the Dominican Republic.

I got into a study abroad program, where I lived in Italy for 3 months. I was able to travel all over the country...for this I am truly blessed! (Pisciotta, Florence, Rome, Amalfi, Ischia, Pompei, Ravello, Napoli,   Vatican...basically everywhere but Venice, Tuscany, and Regio Callabria)

I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, twice, in Buffalo.

Built a universal boardwalk in North Padre, Texas.

From there:

Brazil with the family
Ohio for Grad school
Cruise to Key West, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica
Minneapolis and the Mall of America
Then I backpacked across Europe:

Dresden, Germany
Yes, Gordon Gee was with us...we are tight like that!
Poland for the best pirogue ever!
Keepin it classy!
Spain, where I ran with the bulls!!! (I've done a lot of crazy things...but probably the craziest!)
New Orleans
Now if you stuck through this ridiculous monster of photographic memories you deserve a really....go to the kitchen or the store and get a big one on me! Now I'm sure you're wondering what the hell this has to do with anything, besides me being nostalgic. Well, I'll tell you. Did you notice that Kevin wasn't in any of these pictures besides the cruise? That's because he never travelled until we started dating....and I mean never...okay, he went to Colorado when he was little to visit his aunt. But besides that, nada. We went to Canada and a Bills game within a month of being together because I needed to take him someplace!

The cruise was his first time out of the country, and his first time on a plane in probably 15 years. So I think he has finally also caught the travel bug. From a person who is so compulsive and never not being on a trip in makes me stir crazy. So I am slowly converting him.

We have a trip at the beginning of April already planned for DC, for cherry blossom season, to visit our lovely friends in the photo above. The weekend after that we are heading to Boston, and then of course Mexico in July for our honeymoon. Then flying halfway across the country to Iowa in October for his cousin's wedding. That should tide me over for a little while. But we have already begun planning for the years to come. Another cruise next March, LA in April, and Ireland sometime between next summer and fall. Then Chicago and maybe Disney and Vegas the year after. And then I am squeezing in a trip to South Africa sometime before we decide to have a child. I really can't wait to travel all over with him, it is really something I look forward to!

Is anyone else like me and can't sit still? Is there something you love to do that you want to share with your partner? Am I the only one crazy enough to take on this many trips?