Sunday, July 31, 2011

Your Burning Answers Questioned

There have been a lot of questions asked of me lately. I thought I'd bring them all to the blog and answer them right here for your reading pleasure.

Question #1
How are wedding plans coming??

My short answer to this is usually, "Oh, they're coming alright." (said in very thick, sarcastic tone). And then I quickly follow that up with a seemingly endless wedding related rant. Sorry you asked? Bet you are. Ever gonna ask again? No? Good. Totally kidding. I don't mind people asking. I just always wonder if they really care that much after they hear me go off on one of my tangents.

The planning has definitely kicked into high gear the last several weeks, and it has also completely kicked our a$$e$. We eat, sleep, and poop (don't ask) all things wedding. My number one advice to someone planning a wedding would be this: If you want a summer wedding, try to plan it for the beginning of the summer. We love where we're getting married. Wouldn't change it for the world. And we love our wedding date. It's so special to Jesse and I that we're able to say we're getting married on my parent's farm, and also on the same date Jesse's parents got married on 40 years prior (we're just hoping its roughly 20 degrees cooler than it was on their day). And I know that without the months of May, June, July, and August to prepare we would not be able to pull this big shindig off. But I'd be completely lying straight through my teeth if I said I didn't regret the timing. I feel like I have barely done any of my regular summer activities because we have been neck deep in wedding plans. So next time we are totally getting married in May. 'Nuf said.

Also, I am super envious of those brides who never got stressed out in the midst of planning. In fact I want to meet those brides and shake all of their hands. In my mind those brides (if they even exist) rule the school. Their ability to be grace under fire (anyone remember that show?) is quite admirable. But hold my hair because it also makes me want to throw up a bit too. The planning sucks; however, being able to answer to Mrs. Jerle come August 27th is going to make it all worth it. Here's hoping anway...

Question #2
Can we do anything to help?

If I had a nickel for every time someone has offered to help with something...well I'd have a gosh darn lot of nickels. I cannot get over the people who have come out of the woodwork to help out on the farm, and in other areas of the planning. Jesse and I can't be on the farm every weekend, but my parents are, along with several of their friends. The generosity of these people is simply astounding. While we appreciate all of the additional offers to help, we really do have a lot of things covered. In fact for everyone's sanity, Jesse and I decided not to go down to the farm this weekend. We got a lot accomplished up here in Minneapolis, though. Yes, the house is still a mess, and I still have several small mountains of laundry in dire need of washing (and folding, and putting away), but that's fine by me. We were able to make it to our friend's daughter's first birthday party, and both catch up with folks who probably wanted to unfriend us on Facebook and in real life due to our inexcusable absence lately. Super great to reconnect with everyone, and not have our minds completely consumed with the wedding.

Question #3
Have you found Jesse's wedding attire yet???

If you've read this blog faithfully (all four of you), or talked to me in real life, you know that finding something for Jesse to wear for the wedding has been one of the many banes of my existence (there I go being all dramatic again). Que trumpets blaring--I am so happy to announce that we have FINALLY found Jesse something super snazzy to wear on I Do Day. It only took me several months of constant nagging and pleading, but I finally wore the man down. Hey, it ain't easy getting this man to dress up, so I am quite proud that I won this battle. Wanna see a picture? OK. If you insist.

Doesn't he look handsome? Rarrrr! I am so glad we can finally cross this off our list. That's Gerald behind Jesse. He's holding the vest in because it was a bit big. Gerald was uber helpful in finding Jesse the look we were I was looking for. We could have bought the jacket to match but opted to save the $259, and just have Jesse sport the linen pants and vest, because let's be honest, we all know Jesse will take a jacket off four seconds after the ceremony anyway. I love how casual and semi-trendy the look is. Jesse is a casual cat (not so trendy--that's ok, neither am I) so this is perfecto for him.

I also recently picked up a second wedding dress (what!!?!) after a trip to Marshall's earlier this month. I love my wedding dress but I fear I won't be able to stay in it all day and all night. I am not completely sure if I will put this dress on, but I like that it's there for me in the event that I need to slip into something a bit more comfortable. Plus, I got it for an amazing deal at only $60. It's a Ralph Lauren linen dress (complete with pockets, sa-weet!) that was originally $200! And since I am a firm believer in embarrassing myself on this blog whenever possible, here is a lovely picture of me the day I tried it on. Jesse was there with me when I picked it out. He calls it my Marilyn Monroe dress. Love is clearly quite blind with that boy because I think I look closer to chubby, blonde Marilyn Manson in this picture than any other Marilyn. Oh well, whatever trips your trigger, Jesse.

I also nabbed those shoes on super clearance while at Marshall's. I thought they were cute, and as of right now, that makes them the fourth pair I have purchased for the wedding. The good news? At a whoppin' $11 they have been the most expensive pair I have purchased (by far). The bad news? I now need to choose which ones I am going to wear!! I might find a way to wear all of them.

Question #4
Where are you registered?

You need to be more specific. Do you mean where SHOULD I be registered? As of recent, most days I feel I like I should be registered at an insane asylum. Uhhh, what? You don't mean it like that? Ohhh. You mean registered as in where are we registered for wedding gifts?? (insert awkward silence here) We are registered at Crate and Barrel and Target. We made the decision to not put our registry information on our invites because I hear that's tacky or something? And considering the majority of our wedding festivities are taking place in and around a building that used to house livestock, we felt it best to limit the tacky wherever possible. Sometimes I wish we had put it on the invites because that would be one less question I had to answer. I am pretty sure I have shared my feelings on gift registering, though, but in case you forgot, you should probably read this.

Question #5
Can we still get a hotel room?

If by hotel room you mean, sleeping quarters with a lovely view of the stars, then yes, there are plenty of "rooms" available at Casa Cooper. BYOT (bring your own tent). Sadly, there are no longer rooms available at the hotel where we had a block of rooms reserved. They actually all got booked before the block got released back to the public. I was a bit surprised by this, but also very happy because this means a lot of people plan on sticking around and making a night of it. There will be a shuttle that will transport you from the farm to the hotel. Please take advantage of it. Please don't ruin our wedding day by deciding to drive after a few adult beverages. That would be super lame. Plus, Dodge Center cops are always hungry for suspicious out of towners to pull over. True story. Also, side note: If you really want to get a hotel room, I might be able to work my bridal magic. Email me. Facebook me. Text me. Call me. Find a way to get a hold of me and I will see what I can do.

So there you have it. Do you have anymore questions for the blushing, overwhelmed, out of control, crazy bride? How about for her poor groom? Shoot away!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Belly up to our bar!

Remember how I said we had a Stock The Bar party thrown for us this past weekend? It was pretty much the best party ever. But I don't really think it sunk in until after we opened all of our brown paper bags filled with alcohol related goodies, that we would have a crap ton of bar fixin's at our immediate disposal. Crap. Ton. And we don't so much have a proper bar to display it all in. Yikes. What's a girl and a guy to do?

Here. I will tell you.

In an effort to avoid entering a Twelve Step Program (something that will result in us drinking all of that alcohol on our own), we have decided to implement a much smaller, Two Step Program.

Step One: Build a bar.

Step Two: Throw a huge party.

First things first. Find a way to make our dining room table pathetic excuse for a make shift bar go from this:

To this:


Why yes, that is a bar. Made out of books. Pure genius if you ask me. And it doubles as a library. It's a two-fer and everyone knows this girl like those! While you're sitting there sippin' on gin and juice, you can be all sophisticated and stuff, and say, "I think I shall read a book." Just make sure to put it back when you're done. It's a bar, not a game of Jenga after all.

Oh and if you click on the source above you can see the step by step tutorial of the book bar project. It kind of reminds of the time I dated a guy who used old cut open beer cases as his window coverings. Ca-lessy gentleman he was. Thank goodness he isn't my boyfriend anymore. He may or may not be my fiance, though. Wouldn't you like to know!

And then there is this one:


How rad is that? All I need now is to get my mits on a vintage stove. Seriously. Soflippin'cute. My guess is Jesse will not be a fan of this one. Better wait until the ink on the marriage license dries before trying to bring this one in the door. I can see it now. We're newlyweds. It's a brisk fall day. Jesse's laying on the couch watching college football....."Hey honey, can you help me bring something in the house??" Yeah. No.

And then I thought of this little purchase from my thrifting day with the ladies on Saturday:

How can I incorporate this bad boy into our DIY bar? A wine rack perhaps? Maybe use it (and a few more) as shelving for wine glasses?

Honestly I would love to bring  aspects of all the above pictures into our homespun bar. Let it be known that I have a staple gun. And I am not afraid to use it. 

And don't worry. I didn't forget about step two. Unfortunately step one won't commence until post big fat farm wedding. Until then I will just be left to dream about doing a project that doesn't center around our wedding. Patience, grasshopper.

What do you all think? Do you think we can pull it off? I'll let you guys mull it over. Leave us a comment with your grand ideas. You can find me at our fake bar.

Oh and guess where I am going on Sunday??

It's only the best birthday present ever.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"What Wedding??!?" Weekend

So I have decided that this weekend needed to be a "What Wedding??!?" weekend. If anyone was going to talk to me about the wedding I would simply answer them with a coy and curious, "What Wedding??!?" With just a few weeks away from August 27th, I can now say the words, "We're getting married! Next month! (Oh sh!t)" And after this weekend it will be full steam ahead, with three continuous weekends of hardcore, big fat farm wedding planning (and slaving). Example: I have my trial updo and dress fitting back to back next Saturday, in addition to painting the windows in the barn, and also paiting Elsie's Coop. Suffice it to say we wanted NEEDED this weekend to be completely void of wedding related activities. I think it was successful too. Well. Except for that wedding shower that took  place yesterday. We (Yes! I said WE! Jesse was in on this one too) were showered with lots of lovely and delicious gifts. More on that later, though.

The first non-wedding related activity that I took part in this weekend was the I Love Thrifting event with a few of my fellow bloggers. What fun it was to connect up with three ladies that share a love of good deals and steals. I loved learning about a few new places in my neck of the woods that catered to the thrifty. We originally had three destinations on our list, but ended up at only two, substituting the third with an extended visit to local foods grocery store.

Our group was small, but we were still quite fierce. Here we all are right as we were about to get our thrift on. Thanks, Carla for documenting all of this with your trusty Cannon. I hope it's OK that I copied this picture off your blog. And of course three of the four of us were fashionably late in jumping on the I Love Thrifting bandwagon, and therefore there was only one shirt between us (sorry, Mr. Goodwill Hunting!). We proudly carried it around with us all morning.

There's me of course, followed by Megan from NoMi Passenger, Carla from Hammers and High Heels, and Angela, business owner of Uniquely Attainable. Read more about Angela's business on her website and also here where Carla did a sweet, little Head Over Heels write up on her after checking out her home decor bus. That's right. I just wrote home decor bus. Pretty genius, no? I can't wait to check it out myself. Angela, you're a true inspiration to me. I give you mad props for having a dream, and then going after it. You made me see that dreams are attainable. Uniquely attainable.  

Our adventures in thrifting brought us first to Bauer Brothers Salvage in Minneapolis. It was pretty much what I expected it to be. Lots of clutter, no central air, and a bit on the stinky side. Posh it was not, but I was still in heaven as I walked the cluttered aisles of treasure after treasure. All sorts of random and crazy things. I imagined being there with my ever so sweet Grandma Charlotte. Her health is failing now (insert sad face and tears here) but in her younger years she knew everything and anything about all things antique and vintage. My Grandma Charlotte was doing her antique thing before antiques were hip and trendy. Believe it or not, my dad actually grew up with an antique store in his basement. How cool would that be? My grandma was quite the savvy business woman, and I admire her so much for that. Back to Bauer Brothers, though--I walked out of there with two new friends (Carla and I made our friendship Facebook official a few months ago) and having spent just five dollars. Holla! I scored a sweet crate. Check out pictures of it here. And while I was adamant that this weekend not center around the wedding, the truth is I will probably be using said crate in some capacity for the wedding. Silly wedding. Always trying to make it's big fat obnoxious presence known.

After the Bauer Brother's stop we swung through a Salvation Army in Minneapolis that I had yet to frequent. It was so large that we only got through the basement before my bladder and sweat glands gave out on me. Again, it was another building that did not have air conditioning. Oy. Ufda. Hot. However, before I melted or peed in my pants I nabbed a few more sweet deals. Totally worth my discomfort. I scored a purse and some never been used storage containers for dinner leftovers (thinking this will encourage me to make more dinners at home--wishful thinking?). Overall a very successful trip.

Next we stopped at Megan's friend's store, Local D'Lish. It was there that I scored a few locally grown and locally created goodies. A bottle of sea salt for my sodium lovin' fiance, puppy treats for our naughties, a jar of salsa, and a bag of freshly picked raspberries that I managed to devour before Carla dropped me off at home (word has it they burn stomach fat--yes please). Oh, and here is a little blurb that I read on the Local D'Lish website. I dare you to read it and tell me you don't want to visit them too. I double dog dare you. I am so excited to go back there and find a way to incorporate some of their locally grown produce and/or products into our wedding somehow.

Owned by Ann and Yulin Yin (and our daughter CC). We pride ourselves on customer service. We like to do things the way business used to be….we get to know our customers by name, we special order products with a simple phone call, we order smaller quantities to assure the freshest available….and most importantly almost every product in the store is grown or made right here in Minnesota and the larger Mid-west region.
This little outing was just what the doctor Lauren ordered. Thanks to all the ladies for making me forget about the wedding for a little bit. I hope we can do it again. And I promise I will empty my bladder before leaving the house next time, so that our thrifting isn't cut short. Note to self: Public restrooms are scarce, gross, or non-existent when thrifting. Slap on a diaper, or limit your fluid intake.

From the thrifting event I went straight home to get my party pants on. Well technically it was a party dress. Our friends and my incredibly awesome employers were throwing a wedding shower in my and Jesse's honor. I know, I know. How was this a "What Wedding??!?" weekend when you had a WEDDING shower? But this wasn't your average shower. It was a shower with a twist. Instead of showering us with traditional wedding gifts, they decided to throw us a Stock The Bar party. It was so nice to sit back and enjoy the day with our friends and family. I joked that I wasn't sure I wanted my two worlds colliding. My employers (the people who entrust me to nanny their sweet babies on a daily basis) were not only going to meet my crazysexycool friends, but they were all going to be hanging out together for five hours straight. In my employer's home. It all went off perfectly and without a hitch, and once again, Jesse and I left with a bunch of nummy goodies for our yet to be built bar. Anyone want to help us DIY a bar?

 We have some amazing friends. Here are some pictures to prove it. Mobil uploads for now, but hopefully I will have copies of the other ones taken very soon.

And even though Brian and Jenny kicked us out at around 9pm (just kidding guys, I know we were suppose to be out by 8), the party didn't end there. A few of my girls (and a few VIP guys as well) took me out for drinks on the rooftop patio of a hoppin' bar in uptown. Jesse was doing something similar with a few of his buddies as well. The fun continued, and continued...and continued until the wee hours of the morning. I was finally reunited with my hubs-to-be at around 3pm today. And that's when this very anti-wedding picture was snapped. Yep. This is us. Very sleep deprived, lethargic, watching the Twins (WIN!), and pigging out on unhealthy snacks. Oops.

The "What Wedding??!?" weekend has sadly come to an end. We'll be coming off the wedding planning disabled list, and be back in the game by next weekend. I am not sure how much "resting up" we did this weekend, but we sure did squeeze in a great bit of fun. Thanks to all of those who made that fun possible. You all rock our socks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Follow That Bus!

My bloggy buddy, turned recent real life friend, Carla from at Hammers and High Heels, as well as Angela from Uniquely Attainable are going to get our thrift on this weekend at some great thrift stores in the Minneapolis area. Carla and I have met before, but this will be my first time meeting Angela. She owns and operates a fabulous bus that she drives around to various locations, and then sells her one of kind vintage items out of it. I can't wait to follow that bus!

The I <3 Thrifting event that we're taking part in this Saturday was created by Mr. Goodwill Hunting, and is not only happening in Minneapolis, but all over the country as well. If you're not in the Mpls/St. Paul area be sure to click on his link to see if any cities near you are involved. I love all things vintage, and am especially looking forward to joining up with these seasoned thrifters. I am hoping they can show me the ropes a bit, and maybe I can even score a few things for our wedding.

Do you like to thrift? Below is a list of the places we plan on hitting up this weekend.

10:00am Bauer Brothers - 2432 North 2nd Street Minneapolis, MN

11:30am Salvation Army Thrift Store - 900 North 4th Street. Minneapolis, MN

1:00pm Arc's Value Village - 6528 Penn Avenue South, Richfield, MN

Here is a picture of me and Mrs. Hammers and High Heels (sans her signature high heels) this past May when we volunteered together after a tornado hit North Minneapolis. This was our first official meeting outside of our blog interaction. After our morning of volunteering Carla and her husband, Alex invited Jesse and I over for some of their home brewed beer. They are definitely a couple we could hang out with again, and not just because of the home brewed beer, but because they are a super awesome couple.

Répondez s'il vous plaît

Today was a big day in big fat farm wedding news. The invitations were officially dropped in the mail. This wedding is for sure happening, folks. No backing out now. Here's a little sneaky peaky at what our invite looked like. A big fat farm thank you to Naura over at Above and Beyond for whipping these bad boys up. Of course the DIYer in me had the desire to create our own invitations, but we ultimately decided to hire them out. I don't feel guilty about this at all considering everything else we're doing for our wedding is one giant DIY project. We're so glad we went with Naura. She did a phenomenal job. Don't you think so?

If you are one of the chosen few (hundred) to be invited to this wedding then you should be getting your invite in the next day or so. We want to make sure we have enough cheesy potatoes for everyone (and then some) so please RSVP in a prompt manner. Or by no later than August 6th. Or don't RSVP at all. But if you choose to do the latter, please be warned that I will probably be harrassing you with daily Facebook messages and/or airplane banner reminders. We made it super easy by placing a stamp on the postcard. No purchase necessary. Just check your box, count up the number in your party, and drop 'er off in the mailski. Use a pencil. Or a pen. A crayon will suffice as well. Maybe even a glitter pen if you're feeling real fancy. Just make sure to RSVP. Oh, and here is something I never knew: I consulted the Google gods and they told me that RSVP stands for Répondez s'il vous plaît. I am guessing this is not English. Maybe Pig Latin? Not sure for sure, but I think Paris Hilton would say it means, "Reply or die."

In other wedding related news: I had my second of four bridal showers this last weekend. It was given by my ever so sweet cousin, Leah, and my awesome aunt, Nora. It was a fiesta theme. Ole! Loved. It. And how this is for crazy? One of the hosts of my first shower was also named Nora (Jesse has an aunt by the same name as well). And then there is the aforementioned Naura Anderson, who created our invites, and is also coordinating all of the wedding events. Yeah. That about taps me out for Noras/Nauras. How many do you know?

Shower number three is taking place this weekend with our friends. Jesse is a lucky boy and get's to come along for the boat loads of fun that will ensue with this one. Super pumped for that. No one is telling us anything other than it is a stock the bar theme. Me likey. But I guess the rest of it is a bit of a surprise. Control freaks such as myself don't do well with surprises, but I am trying my darndest to roll with it. Hopefully I will remember my camera, and will be able to share pictures from all of our showers this summer.

The weekend after this one will kick off three weekends in a row of us gettin' down on the farm. There has been a bit of progress made sans Jesse and I. My mom continues to send pictures of most of it. All of the following snapshots are mobile uploads. As always, I am sorry for how grainy they are. But it's better than nothin', no?

Remember all that lumber we had hiding out in the barn? We've put a bunch of it to good use and built some beverage ledges along the interior wall of the barn. Now all they need is a touch of varnish, and they will be all ready for our guests to place their beverages on while they boogie, woogie, woogie the wedding night away.

Here is the view from the newly restored chicken coop. Read a bit more about the 'Elsie's coop' remodel here and here. Soon there will be a set of french doors installed, making entering and exiting the coop a bit easier for our guests. The gravel driveway was just recently expanded, and now leads to both the barn and the coop. Can't wait to reveal the finished project! Stay tuned!

This is what the area of the barn looked like before the stairs were built up to the hay loft. Notice the ego-less bride as she scrapes poop off the barn floor. Isn't that every bride's dream??

And here is what it looks like now with the stairs built. We're so thrilled that we'll be able to use the barn at full capacity. It was additional work for my dad, but we're so thankful he built this lovely staircase because now all of our guests can be seated under the same roof. 

Keep checking back with us! We're a deck of cards away from the big day. That's 52 days for you slow pokes. ;)