Friday, August 28, 2009


Since Mr. Kingston found out that I have this mystery blog (he's never seen it), he sometimes teases me about my blogging, only he says it like "blah-ging." To him, it's just one of those silly things I do. But I get quite a bit of enjoyment out of it, and look at it as something that - if I keep it up - we'll be able to look back on and reminisce at the days before 2 puppies, mortgage payments, and kids. This is the only time we'll really ever have to ourselves. Even in 20 or so years when our kids go off and leave the nest, we won't really be alone - we'll be visiting them or worrying about them, or they'll be visiting us. It's a long way off, but it's true, right? So I want to remember these times - having just Paisley, planning our wedding, packing only two lunches in the mornings, watching TV and drinking wine together, dreaming of days with a family.

I'm not the only one who gets something out of blogging either. There are well over 100 million blogs out there in cyberspace, and I regularly follow only about 20 of them. So I thought I'd share some of my favorites, and maybe you'll read them or even be inspired to strike up one of your own.
  • Kelly's Korner: Kelly's blog and her daughter are adorable. She hosts a frequent segment called "Show Us Your Life" and readers submit links to photos regarding various topics such as their bridal showers or sections of their homes. She also takes prayer requests. She's just a Southern girl with a good heart, and I enjoy reading about her experiences with playdates and entertaining.
  • Jaye's Cooking Days: Jaye is a fellow knottie ( who recently married and was inspired by an abundance of apples left over from her centerpieces to start a cooking blog. Mr. Kingston and I have tried a few of her recipes, with her Turkey Stuffed Peppers becoming a frequent favorite.
  • Bake at 350: I discovered this one very recently, and it's all delicious eye candy. She makes the most adorable cookies, and provides pictures, recipes, and how-to's.
  • Mommy Wants Vodka: An absolutely hilarious blog written by a retired-at-26 former nurse who now stays home with her three children. Aunt Becky was a winner of the 2009 funniest blog award, and it's well deserved.
  • Cakewrecks: The other winner of the 2009 funniest blog award features cake disasters in all forms. Cakewrecks fans have been known to intentionally copy wrecks and use them as inside jokes for friends.
  • Ashley Brooke Designs: I discovered this gem through another blog (Blue-Eyed Bride) and fell in love with the designs. One of these days, I will have to splurge and treat myself to some fabulous custom made notecards. She also features great etiquette tid-bits, and we all know how much I love etiquette.

I must be nesting already, because I'm already drawn to anything having to do with baking, entertaining and creating a cozy home. I also love to read my real-life friend's blog about her Brown Eyed Girls. I haven't put a link here because it's more of a private blog, while the others I've listed are more public (Kelly's Korner has had nearly 8 million visits since January 2008).

So those are a few of my favorites - just blogs I like to read on my lunch break or when I get home in the evening to unwind. Sometimes they provide inspiration for my own blah-ging, and sometimes they lead me to wedding planning inspiration. Other times, they're just another silly thing I do.

In other news, 49 days to go!! The scoops and champagne glasses arrived and I am in LOVE. Thanks to (another great website just filled with handmade crafts) seller onehautehostess for a fabulous job well done!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!

This past five days was absolutely awesome. I had my dress fitting on Friday, and it went really well. If I slim down about 5 pounds in the next 51 (!!) days, it'll be just perfect. I had a great dinner with my bridesmaid/high school friend on Friday night and then a good night's sleep before my truly busy weekend.

Saturday started off with my bridal shower. Mija did an absolutely amazing job planning it. We played a "how well do you know the bride?" game followed by a dice game. Last, we played bridal bingo. Everyone seemed to have a great time. Then it was time to cut the cake, which was absolutely incredible. Mija's friend made it for me and she did an unbelievable job.

We got a lot of awesome gifts off our registry - from 8 of our place settings to lawn games to our silverware. We also got quite a few of the wine related gifts we registered for. I also got some personal and meaningful gifts: lingerie, wine glasses my grandmother received over 50 years ago, and a little handbag for my something blue. It was so wonderful to see everyone and I was so glad everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Here's a nice pic of Mija, me, and our momma.

After the shower, we rested up, took naps, and got ready for round 2: the bachelorette party. Mija had a veil and tiara for me along with a fabulous surprise: a very special shirt to wear.
We played a couple of games before heading out on the town. We went to one of my favorite Tucson bars, Maloney's to get started. I did pretty well at my job as a candy salesman and made $11. Then we decided to head over to another fine Tucson establishment, the Meet Rack. It's owned by a former porn star who calls himself God. He gave my entourage a tour of his bar (including the famous "back room"), gifted me with a signed bottle of champagne, and bought one of my lifesavers. After a drink and a stop at Nico's for a late night snack, we headed home.

The next day had us all feeling sad. It was Mija's moving day. Though we were all sad and my parents had moments of teary eyes all morning, I don't think we all really lost it until Mija said goodbye to the dog. It was heartbreaking to watch her say goodbye to my parents, and it dawned on me that we wouldn't all be together again until my wedding in 8 weeks. I know the time will fly, but I don't know that the rest of my family does. After the last hugs, Mija followed me to Phoenix and we dropped off my car before driving 7 hours to Utah.

On Monday, we drove the entire rest of the way to Seattle. It was an extremely long day. It took an hour to get through Boise, and we had a dead battery less than two hours from our destination, but we made it! Mija and Bing's home is wonderful: a 3 story condo with a small yard and 2 car garage, complete with a "man cave." I sincerely hope Mija enjoys her new home - it certainly has everything they love close by: a lake for kayaking, trails for walking and biking, professional sports, great shopping and dining. Who wouldn't love it? We spent Tuesday at Pike Place Market and catching up on our sleep. We took a walk and picked blackberries for Bing before picking him up from work and heading to the airport. The goodbye between us was far easier than that with my parents. It's obvious Mija feels at home with Bing, and I'm so happy for her in that sense.

Exhausted, I felt comforted knowing that I had my own home and my own fiance to return to. When I landed in Phoenix, Mr. Kingston was waiting for me in the terminal (rather than the curb) as always and greeted me with a huge hug. After 5 days away, 2 parties, 25 hours in a car, 3 different beds, 87 pictures, and 2996 miles round trip, I was finally home.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Another fun-filled week

We had a great weekend. We spent Saturday picking up Mr. Kingston's suit for the wedding and meeting with our friend who is officiating our wedding ceremony. I feel so confident in our choice - I really think he'll do a great job and put his own touch and personality on the ceremony I wrote. We also went shopping together and Mr. Kingston bought me a new pair of shoes for boot camp. He's so sweet.

Speaking of boot camp, I signed up for another session. That's pretty astonishing considering the toughness of the workouts lately. But I'm pretty hooked. I'm really proud of the effort I've put into it, and yesterday one of the other women asked me if I'd lost weight. I haven't weighed myself (because it's possible to gain when starting a weight training program and I don't want to get frustrated), so I don't know, but she said I had a noticeable change. So that was a good ego boost! I can't believe the first session is almost over. We'll do final measurements Thursday and then I'll really know what progress I've made.

We spent Sunday (the two month mark!!) mostly relaxing. We had lunch with Mr. Kingston's parents (who then drove to Tucson for a conference and had dinner with my parents) and ran errands. Then the rest of the day was spent doing laundry, watching TV, and playing with Paisley. After a weekend of moving followed by one spent in Tucson, a lazy day at home was just what I was craving. We did go to karaoke in the evening though. Funny story: at one point, I guess Mr. Kingston got hungry and went in the pantry and decided to have a snack. I noticed his teeth were pink and asked what he ate. The answer: sprinkles. Like cake decorating sprinkles. He cracks me up.

I'm so excited for this weekend! My first wedding dress fitting with the seamstress is Friday afternoon, and I'm having dinner with my bridesmaid and one of our high school friends Friday night. My shower is Saturday morning, followed by my bachelorette party in the the evening. I don't know anything about either of them and for probably the first time ever, I'm enjoying that I'm being kept in the dark. I'm very excited to see everyone and spend time with the girls - it's been a long time. On Sunday we'll leave for Seattle and I'm looking forward to that too. Mija's planning out the route and figuring out how long we'll drive each day, but our plan is to get there early enough on Tuesday that we can at least go grab a bite of fresh Seattle seafood before I fly out at 8pm. It's hard to believe how much is going to be crammed into the next 7 days, but I can't hardly wait!

Friday, August 14, 2009


After another tough work out last night - one entitled "You Have To Be Kidding" by Boot Camp Man - I got to enjoy a day off today. I hung out with Paisley in the morning, snoozing after Mr. Kingston left to take his exam. Then I had lunch with my friend who I hadn't seen in far too long. She's pregnant and due to have labor induced on September 3rd, and I hadn't seen her since before she started to show, so it was really fun to see her. Then I ran and got some supplies to make these:
They form our monogram, and they'll go on the cake table as a decoration. I haven't had any real projects yet, so I was excited to have something to do. Hopefully the favor supplies will be here soon to keep me busy.

Mr. Kingston passed the gas portion of his licensing exam. Unfortunately, he'll have to retake the water plumbing portion in September. Poor guy, his morning started out rough - and late - and he couldn't find his calculator. I'm sure he's relieved to have gotten through at least part of it. And it gives us a little something to celebrate when he gets home in about an hour.
We hit the 2 month mark on Sunday, hard to believe. we're so very excited, and everything is going so smoothly. I feel so blessed that this wedding has been relatively easy to plan and we've really had no major snafus. I hope I'm not jinxing myself, but this has been truly a great experience so far, and I owe a great big thank you to our families and friends for their constant support!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cute stuff...

...I find it. I'm the best at finding cute stuff. Or at least I'm feeling like the best at it right now. Last night, I was working my web-surfing magic, and found these adorable candy scoops for the centerpieces:

The girl who makes them agreed to make one with purple beads for each table, along with champagne glasses for toasting. Considering the fact that my plan was to just tie a purple ribbon around plain scoops and call it a day, this is a brilliant deal for only $1 more per scoop.

I also found the rest of my jewelry: earrings and a bracelet. Don't know if I posted about the earrings before, but here they are. I'd been waiting for them to be in stock and finally got them!

I had debated a necklace, but decided that with the detailing on my dress, it might be a it much. Since I don't normally wear much jewelry and a bracelet and earrings is already more than I wear on an average day, I think I'm all set. So that concludes the shopping for me!
It's been a long week, luckily I'm off tomorrow. Boot camp on Monday and Tuesday was brutal, and I have no doubt today will be too. I'm amazed I wasn't very sore. I've decided to sign up for another 4 week session. I don't feel like I'm seeing physical results just yet, but it's only been 3 weeks and it's all part of a plan to jump start a healthier life style. I've also kept up with my kickboxing and healthy eating (for the most part - I have to still live, right?) and am feeling better than I have in a while. The water and exercise are doing great things for my skin and over-all well being.
We've started getting RSVP's and its so sweet that many people have written nice little notes on them - saying they can't wait to come or that they're excited to see us. I hadn't thought about saving them before, but now I'm thinking I'm going to have to. For someone who's not sentimental about many things, I'm sure going a big gooey one over little pieces of card stock.
Tomorrow is Mr. Kingston's big test for his journeyman's license, and I hope he does really well. I know that most of his days are so busy, and there's not a lot of time or energy left to study. I know that it's weighing heavily on his mind today. Please send good thoughts his way!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tucson weekend

Mr. Kingston and I had a very nice time in Tucson this weekend. I went to kickboxing (which I missed so much!) on Saturday morning and we left around 1pm. We sat around and caught up with my aunt for a bit. I had gotten a weekend assignment for boot camp to get as many people as possible to exercise with me, and Mija was the only volunteer. So we did a game called "Hit the Deck." Alternating draws from a deck of cards, we did 15 repetitions of an exercise depending on the suit drawn. It took us about a half hour, but we got through all but 6 cards. Here we are doing lying leg lifts:

Paisley even wanted to get in on the action:

Oh, speaking of Paisley, she found something disgusting smelling to roll in. Ugh. So she got a bath from Mr. Kingston and my dad. She actually required another one (and a new collar), but this is the only one with photographic evidence:

After our workout, Mr. Kingston and I went swimming and played fetch with my parents' dog, Emmy. We had a great dinner of shish-ke-bobs and shrimp, followed by delicious dessert.

Last night, I also had my first really bad wedding dream, the one that made me feel like a bridezilla. In it, I started walking down the aisle when I realized that my bouquet was a shriveled shrub of mint green and lavender berries and my dad wasn't with me. Even though Mr. Kingston was at the end of the aisle, and our guests were there, I turned around to find my dad, who was wearing his regular clothes. After screaming at him that he was late and needed to change (atrocious, I know), I called the florist. When I cried that my bouquet was wrong, she said she didn't feel like doing it. Oy. So maybe I jinxed myself saying I hadn't had any really bad ones.
Today, we had a great breakfast, complete with my mom's grandma's pancakes. We went bowling before heading back to Phoenix. Mr. Kingston has his test for his journeyman's license this Friday, so it was important to get study time in. All in all a great weekend, very relaxing, and I'm so glad that my aunt liked Mr. Kingston. But then, what's not to love?

Friday, August 7, 2009

JJ's ladies!

Hurray, the weekend is finally almost here! It seems to have been a long week. Boot camp this week went well. Last night I got through 3 cycles of the main exercise set for the first time. The cycle set was actually the second set of exercises. The first was a partner set of three (actually 6 because we each do one) exercises with 15 pound medicine balls. Yikes. And the third set was 8 sets of 20 second intervals of jumping jacks (or JJ's as our instructor calls them) and squats. By the third round of Boot Camp Man saying "Ready and... JJ's ladies!" I thought I was going to fall over. And then of course I started laughing because my coworker cracked up - we've been sending each other "JJ's ladies!" IM's at work and now we laugh every time we hear either him or each other say it. So at least the night ended with some humor.

The invitations have started to arrive to our guests, and I'm so happy that the consensus has been that they came out very nice. They're not what I think of as a traditional invitation on white card stock with a formal font or silver border or hearts or ribbon, so a part of me was anxious to hear the response. As I said, I'm very excited to start getting RSVPs and doing the final planning. A few of my plans are in limbo until we know our final numbers, so receiving RSVPs will allow me to get a lot of those things done.

Tomorrow after kickboxing, we'll be off to Tucson! My aunt arrived in the wee hours of the morning, and I'm excited to see her tomorrow. Not sure what the weekend plans are, but I'm content to just be with family and maybe get some eegee's. And as a bonus, Paisley will get all worn out playing with the parents' dog and will hopefully take a day or two of laziness to recuperate. I hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Random things

I just read one of my favorite funny blogs, mommywantsvodka, and was inspired to do a "random things about me" post. She got to 100, I doubt I'll get that far. So here goes:

1. I hate fresh tomatoes, but I'll eat pasta sauce and ketchup.
2. As a kid, I practically lived on avocado, cottage cheese and liverwurst. The thought of liverwurst now disgusts me, but I still love the other two.
3. I thought I wanted to be a wedding planner someday. Then I had to plan my own and now I'm not so sure.
4. I once cut myself making Jello molds.
5. I had shingles at 16.
6. I hate reusable cleaning products, like sponges and rags.
7. I want to be pregnant and to have kids, but I don't want to give birth.
8. I have perfect skin, freckles and all. I feel bad bragging about it, but I'm incredibly thankful.
9. I almost ruptured an ear drum when I was a lifeguard and now get ear infections frequently.
10. I'm a tax accountant, but can't count my own dice while playing Yahtzee. Mr. Kingston's mom usually does it for me.
11. I'm very visual, and can't picture things in my head when they're described to me verbally.
12. One of my bridesmaids has been my pen pal since we were 7.
13. I love jackets. I'd have a closet full of them if I could afford it.
14. Eggs are disgusting. I eat them only because they're good for me.
15. I'm scared of clowns, snakes, heights, elevators, and large things like planes, cruise ships, Shamu, and Hoover Dam.
16. If I don't end up as a wedding planner, I'd like to decorate cakes.
17. I'm not scared of most bugs, and have been known to pick up roaches to remove them. Yes, I know, gross.
18. Germs don't bother me, either.
19. When I was in high school, I wanted to be accepted by the punk crowd and wear Jnco Jeans, but I was a smart jock (if swimmers count) and wasn't brave enough to approach them.
20. I can be painfully shy. People have asked how Mr. Kingston and I managed to even date. We've just always been comfortable together, once we got past the nervousness.
21. I hate to walk into a room first and will avoid it whenever possible. Thanks, gentlemen, but no thanks. I'm sure people think Mr. Kingston is a jerk for not abiding by "ladies first," but he's doing as I ask.
22. I wouldn't say it's one of my favorite colors, but I have an attraction to green.
23. I intend to have a boob job someday. I figure it'll be my reward for having babies.
24. I could eat mashed potatoes every day and never tire of them.
25. I'm really, really uncoordinated. I think it's part of being a swimmer - I never developed great eye-hand coordination.
26. I have 3 tattoos and intend to get more.
27. I swallowed a green bean stem when I was about 3 and that's the last time I had to go to a hospital.
28. I love to paint and don't get to do it nearly often enough.
29. I'm a morning person, much to Mr. Kingston's chagrin.
30. My favorite movie is Finding Nemo, but because it's a cartoon and I don't want adults to think I'm silly, I usually say it's Gladiator.
31. Mr. Kingston's parents and my mother are from towns only 30 miles apart in Western NY.
32. I have a low tolerance for alcohol and hate being drunk, which can be problematic.
33. I like Jesse James because he reminds me of Mr. Kingston.
34. I really don't like the color yellow.
35. I sleep when I'm stressed and cry when I'm mad.
36. I wish I was a better cook. Mr. Kingston says my food is yummy, but I'm scared of trying new recipes, so we are on about a 2 week cycle when it comes to dinner.
37. I hope my kids have Mr. Kingston's nose, because it's just so darn cute.
38. I was in a professional business fraternity in college, and am referred to as "Brother" by the fraternity. My guy friends who were in social fraternities have issues with this.
39. I've had a lot of odd jobs: paint-your-own pottery shop assistant manager, lifeguard, kiddie photographer. My favorite job was serving steaks in fishnets.
40. Speaking of jobs, I still aspire to someday work at Applebee's, even though I have a professional career.
41. My favorite possession (besides my engagement ring) is a framed print of the Sistine Chapel.
42. Even though she's younger, I really look up to my little sister.
43. I'm incredibly (and I cannot stress it enough) modest. Even though I was a swimmer, I've never changed clothes in a locker room. I use a stall instead.
44. I hate Dane Cook and don't get why he's funny.
45. I can quote movies like no other. I know Fight Club from beginning to end.
46. I generally consider wikipedia to be true.
47. Oprah bugs me. Part of me thinks she's a sham and can't possibly really be that nice.
48. I'm a rule follower, to the point that it sometimes annoys Mr. Kingston and he sometimes has to rationalize with me.
49. I could shop at only Target for the rest of my life and be perfectly happy.
50. I can't wink, whistle, or snap my fingers.

50 isn't bad, right?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

And they're off!

Go little invitations, go out into the world and tell our friends and family to come to our wedding. Yep, got the invitations out during my lunch break today. I'm apparently in a giddy-goofy mood because of it. I'm so excited to start getting RSVPs!

Boot camp last night was tough! The girls I work with who also do it said it was a rough workout. I kept up pretty well, but I went downhill the last 5 minutes. Luckily, I only have a little bit of soreness in my legs. Hopefully I can say the same tomorrow.

I'm already thinking about the weekend. My aunt (mom's sister) flies out from New York on Thursday, and Mr. Kingston and I will be spending the weekend in Tucson with my family. I honestly don't remember the last time I was down there - they've been coming up here lately. it should be a fun weekend, and I know my aunt is excited about meeting Mr. Kingston. I'm also looking forward to spending time with my sister since we're down to less than 3 weeks until the Big Move.

On a fun note, the dreams have started. Or, really I should say have been coming more frequently. For some reason, I usually can't find the programs or the unity candle, which is weird because we're not using one. In one, my make up artist gave me a hideous makeup job with bright green eye shadow. I'm curious to see the sorts of things I dream about in these last couple of months, since it's so interesting to me that we dream about the things we don't realize we're stressing over. I really feel like there's nothing that could happen that would ruin the day, but we'll see what my sub-conscious manages to come up with.

Monday, August 3, 2009

We've arrived on Easy Street

I've been looking forward to today since I began my summer school term. This will be the easiest this next 2.5 months is going to get for me. Today begins the first of three "relaxing" weeks. I still have boot camp and this week is month-end close at work, but with school finished for the summer term and the move complete, I now get to focus my attention on the wedding (which now has it's own closet!). Invitations are ready to go, I'll be taking them to the post office tomorrow. I've ordered the favors and will hopefully be able to have them done before class starts again on August 24th. I'm hoping to get quite a few projects done, and have any loose ends (the rest of Mr. Kingston's attire, for example) tied by the end of this month.

It was so nice to be in our new apartment last night. Not only was it cooler, we just felt so relaxed. I don't think either of us realized how stressful being at the old place was. We were so anxious about how high the electric bill was, we were hot constantly, and we didn't have enough square footage for our lives. Now, we each have our own spaces, and we're saving money which in itself, is good for mental health. Paisley seems to like it, too: she's now got a hallway to run down when we play fetch.

I'm also actually excited for boot camp this evening. We worked pretty hard moving this weekend - up and down two flights of stairs in the heat got me a good workout. So I'm not too worried about being sore. It's so refreshing to look forward to getting my butt kicked.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Home sweet home

We are all moved in! Thanks to Mr. Kingston's willing friend and both sets of parents, we've got everything moved and we are settling in. As this is truly our first place together (the old apartment was mine), Mr. Kingston is taking a lot of interest in decorating and hanging pictures, etc. He picked out an area rug and set up the bookshelf with my pictures and keepsakes. He jokes that the second bedroom is his and that he's going to live there. All in all, everything went very smoothly and though we're worn out, we're also relieved to have it all done. Many many many thanks to our parents!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Moving Day!!

It's here, it's here, it's here! Moving day has finally arrived. I finished my final last night around 6:30, and we immediately started moving things over. Not a whole lot, just the packed-up pantry and our clothes, Mr. Kingston's shoes etc. I'm a bit worried - he made the decision to not pack, figuring we'll just scoop stuff up in our arms and walk it on over. Therefore, you really can't tell that anything has actually left the apartment. We'll have a lot of help today though, so we'll get it done. I was so busy this week, I wouldn't have had time to pack much anyway, to be honest.

We'll be seeing all the mamas and the papas today. Mr. Kingston's dad is coming to help in an hour, my folks will be here around1:30, and I'm going to a baby shower with my future mother-in-law (!!) in the middle of all the moving. Paisley will be heading to PetSmart for the day so she's not here barking her head off. I really just can't wait until the end of the day when we'll be sitting on the couch in our bigger, better, cooler, cheaper apartment. Yep, cheaper. This is seriously the best thing ever.