The Bee Hive

Follow our next adventure at the Bee Hive

Thursday, August 27, 2009


S found a turtle when he was weed whacking this morning.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Partner in Crime is Here

S arrived today! After a minor fiasco with the bags we headed to Home Depot to pick up wood and paint for corn hole.

Once back at the house we had some lunch and then I learned my first lesson of marriage: don't share a closet. I packed all my clothes I won't be wearing for the next three weeks into totes and stuck them in the attic. S proceeded to take over my closet with all his worldly goods.

With my room neat and tidy again, I eagerly waved the fed-ex box containing my ring at S and begged to open it. Murphy reared his head again (I'll write about Murphy's Law and cupcakes when the wound isnt so fresh) when the ring in the box was about half the weight as the one I ordered. I know the price of platinum went up recently, but clearly the person making this ring cut out way too much. It was not my wedding ring.

Several hours of phone calls later, one photoshoot with mom to show how glaringly obvious the problem was, and one trip to fed-ex and we were well on our way to a solution. Jewlers started making my new ring just after the first phone call. It should be here on the 4th, by noon on the 5th at the latest. Plenty of time for the 3:30 ceremony. Anyone have a size 5.75 band I can borrow for a day as plan B?

Finally, at 7 pm my partner in crime and I were able to do what we're here for: projects.

We hung ribbon from lantern assemblies:

This is how they'll look:

And I created our vases:

And just before turning in for the night we looked at some of the gifts the we've (I) opened.

All the gift wrapped boxes are still wrapped. I just don't want dirty shipping boxes on my parents' dining room rug, plus breaking down one or two shipping boxes for recycling is much more manageable.

I'm psyched S is here to pick up where we left off. His arrival gives new energy to the to-do list!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Flowers ordered, cupcakes baked, labels on water bottles, off to work on more projects.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shopping & OOT Bags

Bridesmaid C and I went to BJ's Wholesale Club tonight. We filled a giant cart full of goodies for baking and frosting cupcakes, for the OOT bags, and for the favors. I had the calculator out as C and I figured out how many teaspoons are in a cup, how many cups are in a gallon, and how many bags of marshmallows one needs for a gazillion s'mores. We ended the trip at Hannaford's where I picked up 56oz. of unsweetened chocolate squares and some buttermilk. Total tally was several hundred below budget. Score (although I'm sure I've spent it somewhere else already).

After dropping off C and her 15lb bag of gummie bears, a wedding gift for her boss, I went home to unpack. Unpacking was faster than expected, so two hours later all the OOT bags were stuffed, minus water and all the all-important directions, which I have yet to compile.Each bag contains:
1 smart food
1 animal crackers
1 granola bar
1 ring pop
3 starburst/skittles individual candies
4 twizzlers
~6 double bubble
1 or 2 waters (to come)
and a bunch of stuff like town info maps, coupons, and a flier from the bar we'll be at Friday night. Mmmmm, I want to stay at one of our hotels.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Care to Dance?

Baking: Let no Stone Left Unturned

As I gear up for a baking weekend I have discovered the following: butter costs $1.63/lb at Sam's Club; $1.62/lb at BJ's Wholesale; and $1.99/lb at Hannaford. However, with the non-member surcharge Sam's really costs $1.76 and BJ's $1.87. Both wholesale clubs would cost more in fuel to get to and from. So, because I can't tag along with a member friend this weekend, I will buy baking ingredients at Hannaford and wait on OOT bag contents until S arrives next week.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Programs Are Finished!!!!

I can hardly believe it, but S managed to punch and grommet all of the programs today. I suppose it helped that there was golf on all day, but this was no easy task!

I had planned to get a pic of speed d print Steve for the blog when I picked up the 4 paged programs yesterday afternoon, but I chickened out at the last minute again. We had a couple good laughs, I confirmed that he would be able to print bro & G's programs, and I was off.

I'm getting a little sad as I visit all my local spots for the last time. Hopefully it wil clear tomorrow so I can have one more trip to the beach :(

Looooost It

As I sit here sewing napkins (which at this point is hell on earth) I realized I registered for colorful napkins. Duh, I have enough napkins for life already.

Table Assignments

Instead of packing I'm laying out our tables and trying to figure out how to make sure everyone has a good time. S just pointed out that I have a couple of tables of 9 and we only have 8 napkins of each pattern. Soooo that means I have to dig up leftover fabric, hope that I have enough of at least 3 fabrics, add those to my suitcase, and hope that my mom's sewing machine works.

The to-do list just keeps getting longer.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Coolest Thing I've Learned

I've tackled a ton of projects during the last 14 months and while designing and making cupcake toppers and figuring out the science behind creating the perfect vanilla cupcake recipe was fun, the coolest thing I've learned during this whole wedding planning process is how to use Adobe In Design.

I bought the software used for a ridiculously low price on ebay from a seller somewhere in Asia whose ebay privileges have since been revoked. Lo and behold it was a deal that was too good to be true; what appeared to be a "copy" of Adobe In Design was delivered several weeks later. After mulling it over, I backed up my computer, crossed my fingers and installed the software. Now several months later my computer is still virus-free (knock on wood) and I'm pleased with my my self-taught through experimentation skills.

RenI managed to lay out all four pages of our programs that will be printed by Speed-d-Print Steve. In a test run last night I confirmed that my pages each line up in perfect quarter inch steps. And tonight I started the layouts of our guest monogram and names for the escort cards. I am sure that there are easier ways to do what I'm doing in the program, but I'm learning by doing and occasionally consulting Adobe's help page.

Not too exciting, but here's a shot of what I'm working on tonight:

Working on Escort Cards

Instead of packing* today I'm tackling the escort card layout. I printed out several sizes of monograms and test fonts so I could decide on a final layout.
After testing out several combos, I settled on a .6" monogram with 16pt bold font for the guest's name and 12pt bold for the table name. I am going to create clear stickers for all the guests' and all the table names. I can assign table names to napkin patterns (visible through the hole) and stick on the table name stickers today. But with a dozen or so visa applications pending I'll have to wait until the last minute to assign people to the tables; one messed up person/table and I'll have to scrap the entire table's escort cards...and I only have one extra set!
*I really, really, really need to start packing!

Five Tier Cake Design

We're having a five tier cake. Excessive? No, I love cake. I especially love the look of beautifully decorated cakes.

Before he left for the weekend, S gave me his blessing to choose a cake design without him. Over the past year I collected several dozen cake photos, but now it's crunch time and Stacey needs to know what we want. So without further ado, here are my faves.

We're providing the cake decorator with navy ribbon that matches the ribbon we're using throughout the wedding and a monogram cake topper. Our cake will be round, but this is my absolute favorite, ignoring that it's square. The navy ribbon and pink flowers match our colors perfectly:Because we already have a topper we can't have a big flower poof on top of the cake, but I would like to incorporate cascading flowers like this (I don't like the different width ribbons and different tier heights):This cake incorporates flowers nicely with the ribbon wrapped layers and monogram topper but I'd like more of a cascade look with the flowers and would like the flower colors to be the same (as opposed to a mix of hot and pale pinks, here).
I like the look of the spiky hot pink orchids here and the simplicity of the cake's design. It shows nicely how a "cascading" look can be achieved with just a few blooms:
And finally, I like the placement on the flowers on the tiers of this cake. They give the illusion of a cascade of flowers without an over-the-top blast of blooms. I'm not a fan of the piping around the ribbon, I would prefer a very simple ribbon wrap.
(It also bothers me that half of these orchids are upside down in this photo.)

So in summary, I would like a five tier white cake that:
fits with our elegant modern look & feel
has no extra piping decoration around the ribbon
has a simple navy blue ribbon wrap at the base of every layer
incorporates our monogram topper
has hot pink flowers "cascading" from the top down in a modern & elegant way

And above all else, I want a cake that cannot be described as "shabby chic," or "romantic."

Look Up

I saw this photo last night at Style me Pretty:
This is a frame tent, which does not have the center poles that our tent will have. I bought navy tulle to drape down our poles, but I love the way the yellow fabric highlights the ceiling here. The center clumping of the paper lanterns is a departure from the all-over look I originally envisioned like this:
and this:
I'm sure the set-up crew would love me if I chose the center clumping. But, I have to make sure that our ribbon tails like this:"go" with whatever lantern layout I choose. This last photo looks sparse to me and I have to keep reminding myself that we have twice as many lanterns and ribbon twice as thick to achieve the look that I'd like.

Helper Bee

Finnian came over tonight so his parents (bridesmaid W) could go out. I paid bills, finished up programs, and went through my lists. Finny slept on the couch next to me all night.

He showed up sleeping, barely made a peep when he was hungry, fell asleep eating, and then stayed conked out for another 4+ hours, even while being manuvered back into his car seat. Clearly snoozy pants is bridesmaid's W's kid!

Friday, August 7, 2009


We submitted an offer on a house in Falls Church, VA tonight and now we're crossing out fingers. It's the exact neighborhood and style that I want and needs some work.

I am very pleased to have found a house that needs renovations. It's work I enjoy doing and it will be great to build our own equity rather than pay for someone else's. I am about as far from a "new house" person as you can get - I can't stand not having a house project to work on. My idea of torture is sitting idle in a home that needs no improvements (especially if said sitting involves a tv being on during daylight hours). If we get the house, I'll be happy to finally be able to put my skills to good use rather than re-cleaning clean rooms and re-organizing organized spaces

I almost bought a condo just out of law school becase it had an attached storage area that I could have made into extra square footage! Instead I rented and took projects on a rental unit to a new level, and when I left my landlord was able to get even more rent. I loved our house in Florida, especially when the rooms and cabinets needed painting, but if I didn't have this wedding to plan over the past year, I would have absolutely gone out of my mind.

I think S will be happy when we're in a house where I can be hammering/painting/destroying away so he can finally watch sports in peace. Although, I do think he's become quite skilled at tuning out my, "I want to dooooooooo something" cries!

Maybe we'll be able to get an even better deal on this house because it's kind of dirty. Ms. Clean taking advantage of a home that doesn't show well cause it's dirty and a bit tattered, now that's irony.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chow Down!

Quick Update on Lobsters

Just a quick mid-day update on the lobsters. They have RSVP'd yes and will be attending, tails only. Here's a video from Stacy at Chefa's showing how they will be grilled and presented (seasoning and baking technique excluded).

I think that with this addition to dinner, combined with the cocktail hour lobster mac & cheese appetizer and the brunch lobster quiche on Sunday, we will be doing our part to support the Maine lobstermen in the tough economic times. I love you lobster, xoxo.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Testing photos

Testing out photo posting & photo editing app.

Check out the cheesy shadow. Mmm 1989?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Snippet of a Convo with the Ring Lady

As I mentioned in an earlier post, S's ring is being custom made by an artist in Hawaii. The first ring she sent was a bit too big (our fault), so we sent it back to be re-sized. Here's a snippet of our email conversation:

Aloha F;
Your original ring arrived today. I will let you know when the new one ships.

I love that our emails start with aloha and close with mahalo. It's a little detail that makes the purchase even more special.

I Want it, But There's Not Enough Time to Make it

I want ribbon wands waved
and eco confetti thrown
as we pass under the last set of swords.

But there's not enough time for me to make ribbon wands without the risk of meltdown, so I think I may out-source to etsy. At this point the decision of how many wands to buy is nearly incapacitating. Someone needs to go for a run, or take a nap, or have a tranquilizer.

Inspiration in the Strangest Places

In my mind our centerpieces are large puffs of hot pink carnations. Fluffy, full and bright. I found a few photos to show our floral arranger and I think she knows what I'd like. Luckily she'll be arranging at the house on Friday and she flat out said, "I'll re-do it 'til it's what you want." Sweet, since our meeting I haven't spent a second thinking about flowers.


We walked into the Navy Federal headquarters today and saw this on the reception desk
My carnation vision was right there, staring back at me!! I could have whipped out a length of ribbon and monogram jumbo sticker and sat down for a meal.

So I took some photos to show to print for the floral arranger. And I touched the flowers. And I counted the blooms. And I smelled the flowers. And then the receptionist told us we were in the wrong building...

Pedicure Colors

After spending most of the day Saturday doing I can't remember what, I convinced S to do errands with me. First stop was the local mall to pick out a OPI toe nail color for the bridesmaids. S stayed in the car to make a few calls while I ventured into our local how-many-under-the-age-of-16-mothers-can-you-have-in-one-place mall, alone.

With coupon in hand I entered Trade Secrets where I promptly pulled one hot pink flip flop (see earlier post) from my purse. The shop girl was psyched that I was the bride picking out nail colors and not some poor bridesmaid sent into a store to "get something that matches." Two minutes later shop girl and I have painted every nail on my right foot a different hot pink. S popped in for all of two seconds before running back out to the car.
(I swear these are all different shades of pink and it really does matter)

After narrowing it down to two colors, we painted the left with our choices and polled the ladies around us. Winning color? La Paz-Itively Hot. Unfortunately, they only had four bottles in stock so I'll have to wait until the end of this week to pick up the rest.

Next stop was Michaels where we bought a cool paper airplanes book/kit for one of S's three cousins who will be the only kids at the wedding. Then it was off to JoAnn's where I bought a friendship bracelet book/kit and extra embroidery floss for the older of the two girls and a crayola magic pen book for the younger of the girls.

We finished off the ridiculously long three hour trip with a stop at Wal Mart where I had to embarassingly admit to the cashier that we were starving and shouldn't be grocery shopping at dinner time as she rung up three containers of edy's ice cream....enough for a gazillion mini ice cream & cookie sandwiches.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Last Minute Invitee

We're super excited to add a last minute guest to the wedding reception.

Introducing, the Maine lobster:
My dad suggested that we add lobsters to the menu in place of shrimp and scallops. We love, love, love lobster and are more than happy to oblige!

Thankfully my dad's call came just before I started printing the menus this morning. So as soon as we get the sign-off from our caterer that the switch won't put us in the poorhouse the change will be made!

We're trying to figure out how to incorporate the lobster without making the meal too messy or the plates too full. I think it would be cool to have a grilled tail for each plate for dinner and then use the rest of the meat for appetizers during the cocktail hour and lobster quiche for the brunch. Deeeeeelicious!