Save the Dates!

So, not wanting to spend a lot of money on magnets (and because I like to make stuff with paaaappper!), and looking to do something unique, I made tags for my save the dates! I don’t have too many people who need them, about 30 people or so will be getting them. – where I got my wording and that I based my very initial design on.

They were made with a Sizzix die cut tag that I have. I had to spend some time measuring so that I could print four on one 8.5″ X 11″ piece of paper and easily cut and run it through the die cut machine, but after I had the measurements right, it only took about 30 minutes to cut them all. Excuse the blurring of the last name… I posted the picture on a community board because I am that much of a nerd.

Along the right edge I stamped and embossed in gold. This is the first time I’ve ever embossed anything. I splurged a bit and bought a heat tool for this 🙂 But now that I’ve done it, I can see many more uses for it than just these! I will probably use it on my invites also.

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New Chinchilla Discoveries

Sir Chewy is doing well and the cage we built him has held up very nicely. I have not needed to replace any of the wood or wire!

Since last year, I started purchasing my tradition feed from Chincessories (ForCHINate Chins, the Cleveland-based Chinchilla Rescue supply store) because I was having trouble with the form on the Ryerson’s site and I felt I wasn’t getting the kind of responsiveness or service I needed. It’s only slightly more expensive this way and I am also benefiting the rescue.

I purchased him a fleece tube from Fuzz Butt Chins; he still has a hammock but he doesn’t leave many “surprises” there anymore so I know he’s not using it as much. I see him in the tube all the time. Like most things, he did eventually start chewing the tubes. It’s a slow process though so in the past year I am only on my third fleece tube. As the second one started becoming more ragged, and I tried to order from Fuzz Butt Chins again but found them unresponsive. Knowing that the owner has an illness, I began looking around elsewhere without getting angry.

Because of this, I recently discovered some new online stores that are good to purchase chinchilla supplies. I also wanted to get a new fleece buddy for Sir Chewy. Since he has no other chinchilla to snuggle with and they are generally social creatures, I want to make sure that he has something soft that he can carry around. I was purchasing bears, but he had ripped a hole in his recent one fairly quickly so I was searching for some other options.

I found Tanya’s Chinchilla Supplies located in Canada. I would pay a bit more for shipping to the US, but I felt that it was worth it. The fleece buddy she made for Sir Chewy is a platypus! It is lighter than his old bears were so I have seen him carry it around more. The tube is solidly built and he took to it right away! Please excuse the poor quality of this picture, it was taken with my cell phone (every time I break out the big camera he seems to get camera shy!)

I also found a new place to purchase wood. They have all kinds of woods that Sir Chewy hasn’t been able to try before. For relatively cheap, I got a box full! It’s called Keep Your Chin Up Wood and they have an email list and will send out new deals (but a warning, the emails come quite a bit more often than I need wood). At various times they sell: Applewood, grapevine, ash Wood, pear, mulberry, Willow, pecan, and crabapple wood. Wood can be seasonal, so they’re not in stock all of the time.

Lastly, Sir Chewy is will also be enjoying a new unique toy I hadn’t seen before (my mother found them in a pet store nearer to her). As soon as I put it in, I can see him jumping straight on! He loves the lava toys! I have the Lava Swing which looks like it can be purchased online too if you’re like me and can’t find a pet store near you that carries one.

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I finally finished and ordered a copy of my book, “Family Record – David & Jeanine Family History” Compiled and recorded by Hilary.

It’s a beautiful thing that is many many years in the making. I started working on genealogy stuff before college, took an extended break, and dove back into it after school. It’s by no means finished–genealogy is never finished. I have people from other branches to contact, I have visits to Missouri to plan, I have more graveyards to visit, phone calls to make, letters to write… I have dreams to fill still. But this is Edition 1 and will be a gift to my parents (and myself naturally) this year for Christmas. They know I was writing it but they have not seen it with photos at all, just the guts. I am hoping they will be pleasantly surprised.

But this leaves me at loose ends. I mean, there is wedding stuff to plan, but I am waiting on some online orders to come in before I can move forward with invitations. I bought a die cut & embossing machine the other day. It was on sale + I get an employee discount. It’s been on my list for a few years now, it was just a decision about which one to get that was holding me up. But when I finally decided I needed to have one that embosses, that cut my choices in half and made it easier. I purchased the Sizzix BigKick.

Wedding aside, I need to start Christmas shopping. I’m running out of time pretty quickly. The time is simply flying by this year. I have no idea why; if I though college flew by, I had no idea what I was talking about.

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I got a lot of inspiration from everyone in the livejournal weddingplans community for pocket invitations. I am very thrifty though so I didn’t want to use the templates that will require a) more postage because they’re square; and b) require odd sized paper. So I designed these invites below! So far I have priced my paper totaling somewhere around $12.

I need about 85 invitations. There is a nearby store that sells cardstock at $1.25 a pound–they approximate 30-45 of 8.5 X 11 sheets of cardstock per pound. To make my invitations, I need about 85 of the folder color, 2 sheets per invite of the cream color (170 sheets), and for a select few who will not be able to RSVP online, 10 or so sheets of another color. 265 total sheets.

The reddish paper is textured, the cream is smooth. I am wondering if having textured paper will make it seem cheaper or if it will give it a more “expensive” look? Also, my colors are salmon, yellow and green (shades for all these colors could really vary, so I’m not too concerned with matching an exact shade, especially for the salmon color. The color here on the invite is pretty intense but it’s the closest I could find.. any suggestions of where I might find a better color for just as cheap??)

It’s a good thing that I have a little while yet to get these done, because it is pretty tedious. I am planning on printing it myself and putting ribbon around it. I also have some stamps already purchased for another project and I have a beautiful color to edge my inserts. A couple more inserts will be added, and I still need the main piece, but here’s how they’re shaping up (this is just my mock up so I know the stamped edges are a little odd).

Thoughts, suggestions??




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Looong Sad Two Days

Just got back from funeral for Brian’s grandma. This was different than his grandpa was a few months ago on the other side of his family. His grandma and grandpa on this side are members of the Byzantine Catholic Church. I’ve been to Roman Catholic Churches before and in general they’re not that far from Lutheran. I’ve been to a Roman Catholic Church funeral.

This was completely different; the entire thing was chanting/singing and it was very long. The Church was domed and had bright colored, odd paintings inside. I say odd because they reminded me a medieval paintings except we are not in medieval times. The priest dressed in red and swung incense (I have seen that part before). He spent a minute describing some of the symbolism for us. Altogether, it was very much a ritual and I think a comfort to his grandfather. And in the end, that’s all that matters.

It was different for me too this time because I had only met her once and I didn’t have much interaction with her since she could only speak very softly. It is always hard to see people you love upset and grieving, but it wasn’t as tough to stay collected as last time. She has been sick for a long time.

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June 20, 2009

June 20, 2009 is our wedding date! I’m so excited 🙂 It’s one of those dates that just feels right; maybe because it’s a round number and easily divisable (I’m weird like that).

We are getting married at the Church in the Valley ( around 4 – 4:30 pm (haven’t decided completely yet) and following it with the reception at Acker-Moore ( The church is in the middle of Cuyahoga National Park ( and and so there will be great opportunities for pictures unless it rains really bad. But it’s June, so I doubt we’ll have problems. Particularly cool right nearby is the Everett Road Covered bridge.

The inside of the church is in a deep red, velvety look. The aisle and pew seat pads are all done in that color. The rest is a nice medium wood. I’ve been a little concerned about picking wedding colors because I want a color that will look good and not clash–inside and outside! I’m all big on matching. Brian’s sister and I went to a wedding show the other week, and we’ll probably go out to look at bridesmaid dresses soon so that I can see colors. Since I’m not too set on anything, I’ll probably pick colors according to the dresses I like the most… haha. Flowers can match anything, especially in June, so I’m not too worried about that.

Acker-Moore is a nice reception hall, only about 4 years old. It looks brand new and there is plenty of space for everyone. We are going to be getting our own catering, which is probably going to be Totally Cooked, where Brian’s friend Jen works. We’ve heard wonderful things about their food, and hope to get a few discounts since Brian has helped Jen out numerous times himself. Brian’s had their food before and agrees that it’s really good. We’re probably going to have a chicken buffet dinner.

I’ve been debating out doing my own centerpieces. I will wait until I start getting pricing from florists though before making that decision. We also plan on making our own wedding invitations since I like paper and design so much, and we will be making our own website that I will start designing and Brian will build–as soon as we pick colors!

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Las Vegas and Wedding Fun

This past weekend we went to Las Vegas and then to Phoenix for Amy’s wedding. We pulled all our coins into cash (for an amazing $162 of fun money! Save your coins!) and flew out early early Friday morning, returning yesterday evening.

Las Vegas was amazing, I had so much fun. Okay, I clearly didn’t pack the right shoes, as evidenced by my feet, but overall it was a wonderful time. We stayed at the MGM Grand and spent Friday walking the casinos around that area and up the right side of the strip. That night we saw Ka by Cirque du Soleil. Simply amazing–the whole stage moved the entire time, great acrobatics and wonderful music which I will have to purchase now. We were up nearly 24 hours, I was crazy tired.

The next day we had breakfast at the Paris Buffet and had crepes (among other tasty foods!). Mine was blueberry with rasberry, nutella, and apricot sauce on the top. We spent the rest of the day going to the casinos on the left side and then to the Sahara which had my favorite game ever. There were no cheap Black Jack tables, but there was a $3 Black Jack machine. I came out ahead at $100! It was fun because you site around a “table” with a virtual dealer and there are 6 chairs around it, so you have real players next to you that can effect the hand. You can split and double down and all that good stuff. I could’ve stayed there for hours! Aside from that casino, my other favorites were all the ones with miniature cities inside of them–New York-New York, Paris, Planet Hollywood, The Venetian, Excalibur (which was also cool because I love castles :)). I was pretty enthralled with the skies that changed colors and the canals in the Venetian. The Wynn was nice also with some really unique chandeliers that seemed to float in midair and the bright flowered carpeting.

I have to say that the “classic” casinos like MGM Grand and Belagio were not as impressive to me, and I really didn’t like Treasure Island. However, MGM had a nice lion display and Ka was located there as well as our dinner place which I will talk about in a moment. The free drinks while you gamble is pretty cool, and there was a “cheap” casino along the strip that had $1 margaritas and beer. We went to the pirate show on Saturday night, which was entertaining but I totally would’ve dropped that and went back to the Black Jack machine. I might be a dangerous person someday 😉 The pirate show was really cool because of the moving ships and the fire and fireworks but it was nice because we got to be really close up since TI is owned by MGM and so we were considered “VIP” audience members. My feet were just awful though and I got mildly claustrophobic and hot in the crowd, so that wasn’t as fun, but once the show started I was okay.

We ate dinner at Emeril’s Fish house and did the regular size tasting menu-6 courses!! I was worried because it had all kinds of strange fish and flavors on it, but it was all excellent. My least favorite was the herb crusted fish in the pecan sauce, just because I’m not a fan of sweet in that case. But everything was good, especially the beef in his special steak sauce, and the salad at the beginning with pine nuts, crab meat and a very light bacon dressing. We had Emeril house wines– I white and Brian red, both of which were superb.

The rest of the evening was spent at the pirate show and then traipsing around casinos, playing a slot here and there. A couple times I should’ve won big but I didn’t bet enough coins. In the end, we lost everything we came with for fun money, which was really the intention anyway and we had fun doing it!

We got our rental car on Sunday and drove through Hoover Dam on our 5 hour drive. It was a silver Toyota Corolla and drove pretty nice although Brian drove it the whole time so I can’t be too sure. Hoover Dam was pretty sweet, we stopped there for about a half hour and got some good pictures. I played around with my polarizer filter so we’ll see how those came out. The desert was beautiful, although Brian would know more since I fell asleep after about an hour of driving and came awake periodically. I felt like a cat, in the sunlight warm but still in the air conditioning. I was so lethargic. We arrived at our hotel, had about a half hour rest and drove to Amy’s wedding.

The Satisfied Frog was a nice outdoor/covered shelter place, very pretty with a fountain and bridge and of course, perfect Arizona weather! The food was very tasty, the DJ a bit loud but enthusiastic and it was really nice to see everyone again. Amy’s dress was beautiful, I loved the lace on it. We didn’t bring my camera to that, but I took a thousand pictures on other people’s cameras who I expect will share some photos with me!! haha.

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Sunday afternoon Brian proposed beside a waterfall. It was a little off the beaten path but well worth the walk. I was completely surprised–I knew it was coming eventually but it was a complete shock at that moment. I think my mouth was one big “O” for half a second before my brain kicked in and said “Yes!” I did have a weak knee for a little bit–I didn’t realize I was such a softy 🙂 Anyway, I just wanted to share the good news!

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