Friday, February 26, 2010

how much is too much?

so, i've been doing some..."research" stores to see where Josh and i should register for the wedding. i'm leaning towards Kohl's & Target, cause both places are awesome, and i adore Target so so so much. most of the things i've put so far in my Target wish list have been Rachael Ray kitchen items. RR annoys the CRAP out of me, yet i love watching her so bad. (i like to watch mostly because she doesn't do that "TV Kitchen Magic" and makes all her food in front of the camera, except for commercial breaks of course). and roomie and i love to comment every time she talks about how much of a money saver frozen spinach is, or how her in-laws don't like lots of garlic, so she just throws in a clove or minces it with one of those awesome grater things i want! oh, also, she has all these awesome orange things that i love. unfortunately, it looks like Target doesn't have many (or any) of them in store, they are mostly online. not sure if they will have them by the time we need to register, but that was a major bummer.

all this wish listing makes me wonder though, how much is TOO MUCH? like, i would LOVE LOVE LOVE these Rachael Ray pots and pans, but they are like, $200. that means, reasonably, at LEAST 5 or 6 people would need to go in on this gift together. is that too crazy? is that too much to request? sissy said that we could always register for the individual pieces and the set, to make it easier for smaller groups or single people to purchase, so there is the option...

so, am i being greedy? is a single item worth $200, or even more, too much to put on one's registry? (yes, i also want a kitchenaid mixer. and a dyson vacuum. and a house.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

our papa

if you have not heard, my dear Papa (my mother's dad), passed away yesterday morning. he's been dealing with cancer for over 9 months, which we found out about right after his wife, my grandmother's, death last June. we've known things have been bad since his operations in the fall-winter of last year, and we've guessed he was going to pass soon these last few weeks. he had a successful surgery last Monday, but ever since then his health rapidly declined. praise the Lord, however, he only spent a few days in a hospital bed in an unresponsive state. Gramma spent at least a week like that, and none of us wanted him to have to be that way for so long.

Papa was an inspiration to and was loved dearly by his family and so many of friends. my cousin even started a Facebook fan page for him, he has 249 fans and loved creating videos and saying hi to them, giving them advice on life, God and dancing.

we are so sad to see him go...i feel like i'm in shock, really. looking through images from Gramma's viewing and funeral, it all seems so surreal doing this again. it doesn't feel real.

viewings are tomorrow from 3-8 at Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home, 4216 Sterrettania Road. his funeral service will be at Grace Church on Thursday at 10am.

Friday, February 19, 2010

valentine's day foods

like i posted last week, i made dinner for Josh and i for valentine's day. i made my famous homemade lasagna (ok, it's not famous, but my mom likes it!) and some ooey gooey delicious brownies thanks to Robin's recipe at Big Red Kitchen.

excuse my pictures, i seem to be losing talent in the photography area :( i better start taking more pics! actually, i should have photographed the cut brownies and used my fancy flash (as i got it a year ago on v-day!). but, alas, i did not. so here you are.

i've only made lasagna two times, but i've used the same basic recipe for each. my sauce is based off of my Gramma's sauce (her parents were both 100% Italian and she was famous in the family for her sauce and meatballs) and some other recipes i've found online. i like to make a meat sauce for lasagna and i've used ground turkey both times. i definitely like it, though i'll have to try ground beef next time to see which i prefer. i also used fresh basil and parsley this time, which was really great in the sauce. i don't like buying a bunch of fresh herbs for one dish, so i usually use the flakes, but i figured the occasion was special enough for it :). also, this time i used a big can of tomoato puree, a big can of crushed tomatoes and some chicken stock and water (last time i used a small can of each and some tomato paste. DEF like the puree & crushed cans better). i follow Gramma's tradition and added about a tablespoon of sugar and a bag of (i used 1/4 bag) Italian blend cheeses (that's right - right to the sauce). i let the whole thing simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour; not like you have to, but i definitely had the time.

the "brownies" were an awesome ending to the meal, with lots of gooey caramel and soft chocolate chips. the batter was a little dry (um, i lost some of the liquid in the microwave when it was melting...), and this caused them to crumble a lot after they were baked. when i make them again, i'll make sure to moisten the batter a little more.

we had a great valentine's day together, hanging around, eating and playing mario kart. we exchanged cards, didn't really do gifts (we each bought something at best buy last month and we called that our vday present! plus, i cooked, so that was part of my gift to him as well).

hope you all had a great valentine's day and a great week. i'm SO glad it's friday. i've been exhausted all week! tomorrow i get to meet up with my bridesmaids and they'll be trying on and purchasing their dresses for the wedding!! yay!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

design tips

today i was watching Oprah and they had a designer doing a "make under" in a too-cluttered den/living room. he had a few great tips for designing the area. i've started a document where i'm going to record all these tips that i think are really awesome and useful, and i'm going to start sharing them here! i'm not sharing any today - i would like to have more than one tip to choose from when i start, ha! i'm excited to start looking through all the neat magazines and blogs that i have to find tips that not everyone may know or have the opportunity to see! so check back, hopefully i'll have some time to browse and collect tips and ideas to share soon! i think i should make my sister do a cute "logo" type thing for all my posts that a designy tips...isn't that a great idea?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

wedding inspirations: flowers

my sister sent this picture to me before josh and i were even engaged. the purple, orange and pink has been my desire for the wedding since, and is the current color palette i am attempting to create!

i love these flowers. the picture is from a get-together my parents had in August of last year. I LOVE THOSE PINK HYDRANGEAS. they are going to be perfect. i hope to use a mixture of these garden flowers for the centerpieces at the reception and decorations at the church.

i love this bouquet. i found it when i googled "hand tied bouquets." i can't remember where i got it from, but i love the ribbon, i love the bright pink, i love the simplicity of it. this is my bouquet inspiration.

again, i don't remember where this image came from, but i love the fish bowls and flowers and circle-ness and simplicity. i ordered a sample bowl (cheap, too) from a website, but i'm hoping i can rent bowls just like this for less (cause i really don't want to be stuck with 28 of these bowls). but i love this!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

v-day plans

i'm excited for valentine's day this year. josh and i already "gave" each other our presents (ok, really, we both bought things for ourselves at Best Buy and pretended like we gave them to each other. much easier). i'm staying at my aunt and uncle's* so i have access to there gigantic and amazing kitchen and their formal-ish dining room. i'm planning on lasagna for josh and i, plus i need to make some fancy Italian dessert and get some fancy yummy wine to go with it all. my guess is we'll watch a movie and eat all night, and that's fine with me!

writing that note about my "aunt and uncle" makes me really want to share the story of how my parents met. it is pretty amazing and i really think it could be made into a movie (although i'm sure it would get some embellishments...)

photo taken by josh for me during his trip to NY last year

*not really my aunt and uncle. mum's cousin and her husband. see post here.

Monday, February 8, 2010

baby clothes

i was at my parents the other night and they had dug out some baby clothes my sister and i wore when we were little tykes in dreary England. some of these cute little bonnets and knitted things were made by my Gramma Grace, my dad's mum, who passed away last April. some of these were so adorable! i was trying my hardest to remember them, and i came across this one and i knew i had seen it before...

granted, i don't remember wearing it, but i remembered seeing myself in it...

yep, that's me. super cute and super happy. and there's sissy above me, with her blonde hair and Gramma Grace's nose. seeing this was so cool to me, holding something my Gramma had made for us over 25 years ago...just so awesome.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


this image was on my iGoogle this morning, in the new section i just added, "captions." i don't really get the whole "captions" thing, but the images are funny or super cute, like this one. i couldn't find any credit for it either, but OH MY GOSH, so cute.