Saturday, January 30, 2010


I'm currently sitting at home, waiting for a call, then heading to the hospital. I am so excited to say that my bridesmaid, Hallie, had her baby last night. I got a text at about 4:30 this morning that her water broke after we had dinner last night and little baby Lowell was delivered by c-section. Mom and baby are doing great and I can't wait to go see them and snap some pictures.

Dinner was awesome last night as it was the first time since our engagement party that I was able to hang out with all three of my girl friends/bridesmaids at once. I do love those ladies so much. I wish I would have snapped a couple of photos, but the restaurant was so dark. (If you haven't been to one of the Chatterbox locations yet, you should definitely stop in. Great food, drinks and all the board games and retro video games you could want-

(Photo credit: Chatterbox)

In other exciting news, Ned and I have settled on our caterer. We have been going back and forth between using a great caterer that specializes in using locally sourced ingredients and can manage to put together awesome vegetarian and vegan meals, or going with a favorite restaurant of ours. We have been in discussion with the caterer, but didn't book them as we weren't 100% sold on them. They are amazing and their food is delicious, but it didn't feel completely like us. And one of the big reasons for booking our reception venue is that we are allowed to bring in any caterer/restaurant we want. We decided we should just go with our favorite food. Someplace that we always take out of town guests and they have the best time and are blown away by the food. I wish I could share it with you now, but I want to make sure we book them first. I think everyone at the wedding will enjoy the meal though and there will definitely be tons of vegetarian and vegan options. And it will definitely be a buffet set up.

I'm hungry just thinking about the amazing food!

- Gan

Friday, January 29, 2010

Award winning photographer - half off

I got an email from our photographers this afternoon asking us to spread the word that they have a cancelation to fill. If you know of anyone looking for an amazing photographer for May 29th, please send them their way.

"We recently had a couple call off their wedding (which we were sorry to hear about) and so now the date has re-opened. It is for this Saturday May 29th 2010. If you know of anyone who is getting married we would appreciate it if you would spread the word that pricing is 1/2 off for this date.

It is very, very rare, especially so close to the date as we tend to fill up about 12-18 months out. When this happens and because it is soooo close to the date, we offer a 50% discount on the date. We realize that many people may have already booked with another company so we offer that large of a discount in case people are still searching or in case people ended up having to book with someone who was not a first choice etc. It is a great opportunity for brides who may be on a budget but are looking for higher end photos.

Anyways, below is regular pricing and shows the discounted pricing.

4 hours: 1800 50% off: 900
6 Hours: 2450 50% off: 1225
8 Hours: 3100 50% off: 1550
10 Hours: 3750 50% off: 1875"

Check out their blog for some amazing work:

Thursday, January 28, 2010


I am so buying these. Now.

You can get them from Williams Sonoma.

No plans to use them for the wedding, but I can think of a million other times I would use them.

(As seen on The Knotty Bride Wedding Blog)

- Gan

This is overdue

Ok, I promised this months ago, specifically at the end of this post. It's about time for me to pony up.

My best friend is awesome. Seriously. She is creative, intelligent, funny and incredibly beautiful. I'm lucky to have her as my bestie and my maid of honor. She's always there to talk. Always checking up on me. And she is completely selfless. Amanda always puts her family and friends first. If she needs to change anything, it's to take a little more time to herself. She deserves to be spoiled every once in awhile.

(Ama looking damn sexy on Halloween. Photo credit: Ama)

Last fall she made me two amazing gifts. A wedding planner and a file folder. They rock. They have everything I could ever need in them for all my wedding planning. The planner is a 3-ring-binder that has tabbed sections for the ceremony, reception, honeymoon, bridal party, vendors, beauty/fashion... There is a timeline/checklist, a guest list tracker and tons upon tons of worksheets. The file folder is so cute and has tons of pretty folders inside for me to keep track of things I rip out of magazines or flyers I pick up from wedding fairs. There is also a pocket for pens and she tossed in a mini stapler. The binder also came with tons of heavy duty paper clips and 3 colors of post its! Isn't she amazing? She thought of everything.

Now I just need to get my butt in gear and fill it out. Ned said we could take some time this weekend to go over all our worksheets and start working on the checklist. We have so much we need to get done.

But how great is this- I'm right on track with my 8 months list with working on fitness and nutrition!

- Gan

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brilliant advice

I read some great advice today. I was over checking out Weddings Unveiled and they have a darling interview with Abby Larson. Abby, if you don't know, which of course I'm sure you do, is the creator of Style Me Pretty. And we all love Style Me Pretty, don't we?? Yes. So I had to read this interview and I just loved what she had to say. Specifically this little piece:

"WU: What is the best advice you can give to an engaged couple?

AL: The best weddings are those that truly reflect the style and personality of the bride and groom. Before you get into the wedding planning hoopla, sit down over a bottle of wine and write down the ten things you love the most as a couple. Perhaps it's family and friends. Perhaps it's the small town you grew up in. Perhaps it's going to the movies, sharing a cozy meal, having a cup of hot cocoa. Whatever those little things are that help to define you as a couple, write them down. And make the words on the piece of paper your focus throughout the entire process. Design a wedding that is about you as a couple, about what makes you love, laugh and smile. Mark my words, you can't go wrong if you take this approach."

This is such perfect advice. So many couples get caught up in the whole wedding planning that they lose sight of who they are as a couple. They start trying to please everyone who is coming, they want to incorporate every amazing idea they see online, they start reworking their budget to fit ridiculous plans. Stick to what you know. Stick to who you are as a couple and what makes YOU happy. Show off who you are and everyone who comes will love it and have a fabulous time. Don't get carried away in millions of unnecessary ideas. Remember, your friends and family are coming to your wedding because they love you and want to celebrate you as a couple and the things that make you guys amazing.

(Photo credit: Jenn Barnett)

It is always a lot easier said than done though. I know I've gotten caught up with amazing things I have seen online and have wanted to incorporate, but they just aren't me and Ned. We do have some great ideas up our sleeves for our wedding though. Ideas that will make our wedding special to our guests based on who we are. I can't wait to share them all with you.

(Photo credit: Jenn Barnett)

- Gan

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Contest alert

This is a great time to not only alert you to a great contest giveaway over at Style Me Pretty, but to show you a little something Ned and I are planning.

First, Style Me Pretty is running a contest this week featuring a Paloma’s Nest Giveaway. These are lovely little bowls that some couples have been using in lieu of ring pillows or on top of ring pillows. They are completely adorable. The contest is for 10 of these lovely little bowls that would make great gifts for your bridesmaids, or decorating your lovely new home, or even placed around your wedding reception venue. (Winner will be chosen on Friday afternoon.)

(Photo credit to Palomas Nest)

Second, Ned and I are going to be doing something a little similar to these lovely bowls for our rings at our wedding, but a bit more personal.

This last summer, Ned took me to visit where he grew up- Humboldt County, California. I had the most amazing time running around in the red wood forests, trekking up and down the beach on a photo hunt for seals, and hanging out with Ned's wonderful dad.

(Photo credit: me)

One morning while combing the beach, I came across some amazing shells and sand dollars. Now, being a girl raised in Minnesota, but who has worked with aquatic sea life in an aquarium, this was totally brilliant. I've been to the ocean before, but never on a hunt for treasures.

(Photo credit: me)

Ned and I decided that one of these beautiful shells would be the perfect ring holder for our rings on our wedding day.

(Photo credit: me)

I'm thinking this shell set atop a really pretty pillow will be the perfect thing for Cal, Ned's son, to carry down the aisle.

- Gan

Monday, January 25, 2010

Being a fit bride part 1

Something I dread blogging about is my fitness. Not just because I'm out of shape, though there is that too, but because once I start, Im going to have to keep it up. It's so embarrassing to blog about how you are going to stick to something and/or kick butt at it and then never blog about it again. I don't want to fail at getting in shape AND blogging about it. Double whammy.

I do need to get into shape though. I'm not incredibly out of shape. I can still easily jog a mile or three. I can roller skate my butt off. I can still climb quite a few sets of stairs since climbing a mountain in Austria this last summer. But I do need to be honest here. I could stand to lose quite a few pounds and tone my body up.

This was me in San Francisco a little over a year ago.

This was me, and Ned, this last summer for our engagement photo shoot at the MN State Fair:

I hate to say it, but I've put on 20 lbs or so since Ned and I met. That sucks. Like, really, really, really sucks. I wasn't thin to begin with. I'm someone who is normally considered curvy, but I was definitely healthier and in way better shape than I am now.

I'm trying to set some realistic goals for myself. I know I can take off the weight I've put on, but I would also like to lose a few pounds on top of that since I want to feel amazing on my wedding day. And not just because of the wedding, but because I really want to be fit and healthy. I want to feel good about myself. There have been many times in the past where I have set very unrealistic goals and totally failed at them. I'm hoping that by keeping things simple and not over reaching, I should be able to accomplish the things I want.

This past Christmas, Ned and I picked up a Wii along with the Wii fit board and Fit Plus. We were hoping it would be a fun way to keep us motivated to work out over the long and cold Minnesota winter. At first it was awesome. We were using it every day. Then I dropped down to a couple times a week. Today when I logged on, it said it had been 13 days since my last weigh in. Shit. Total fail. The good thing was, it told me I was down 5.1 lbs since my last weigh in when I thought for sure I had put on weight.

Me in the summer of 2008.

Since I'm going to make myself accountable, as much as I hate it, I'm going to be blogging about my fitness/exercise/nutrition here at least once a week. Starting today.

My favorite workout on the Wii Fit Plus is the 30 minute run. And taking a cue from my niece, Maddi, when I use the running program, I don't just run in place. I've taken to jogging around my living room and dining room to make it a bit more interesting. I'm lucky to have quite a bit of open space to run around inside my house. Yeah, I might look a bit dorky. And yeah, the Wii might be a bit off in the distance it's telling me I'm running. But I can tell the workout I'm getting. And if I use my heart rate monitor, I can easily keep track of where I need to be with my intensity and how much more I need to push myself.

I got quite a nice workout in this morning. 10 minutes of yoga stretching, 4 minute warm up walk, 30 minute run, and about 20 minutes of boxing. I felt great afterwards and was quite a bit sweaty. I'm planning on doing the 30 minute run at least 3 times a week, but I want to get a Wii workout in at least 5 days a week. I'm not sure what my routine will be, I'm going through a schedule change at work currently, but once I get it planned out, I'll be posting about it here.

Me and Rue in the summer of 2009.

I also have a gym membership at the local YWCA. I have not been going as of late, but Ned has quit his gym so he can join mine and we can go together. I'm hoping that we will be more inclined to go if we are going together and not losing any of our valuable "together time". We both have incredibly busy schedules and between our jobs and our other ventures, it seems like we don't see each other as much as we like. Working out together seems like a win win situation.

- Gan

Jeff & Erin's EPIC Wedding Trailer: Save the Date

Have you seen this yet? If not, then you most definitely need to. It's not only the most creative Save The Date I have ever seen, it was so absolutely sweet that it brought tears to my eyes. (And it's even action packed enough to keep you on the edge of your seat.) If there was ever a wedding I wanted to crash, it's this one. Mad props go out to Ned for sending me this link this morning.

- Gan

Wait...What?? 8 months?!?!

Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday Ned and I were headed to the Pantages Theater in downtown to see the very brilliant Henry Rollins when, after a short picnic dinner by Lake of the Isles, Ned pulled the car over on Franklin Avenue to propose to me. Wasn't that just yesterday? I swear it was.

Or, was yesterday when Ned took me to San Francisco for the first time and I got to spend time in the city where he went to college and spent 7 or so years in his twenties?

Or, maybe yesterday was when Ned and I purchased our first house together in the quiet neighborhood of Nokomis Heights in Minneapolis?

But really, all those things happened some time ago. It's quite shocking that its been over a year since Ned proposed. Over a year ago that we went to San Francisco. And almost a year ago that we bought our first house. Now it's time to face reality that there are just 8 months left to go until the wedding. That was something I was shocked with this morning when I opened my email to find an update from that said exactly that. 8 months. 8 months left until we throw one huge kick ass party with all our friends and family. 8 months until I get to say, "I do" to the man of my dreams.

As I sip out of my giant latte cup from The Knot that I scored at a wedding fair, I'm realizing that we are still pretty far behind. No dress. No caterer booked. No florist. Haven't even sent out our Save The Dates. Haven't even finalized our guest list. But we do have a caterer we want to book and have discussed things with. We do have some ideas for the florist we want. And Ned has designed our Save The Dates already. It's all just a matter of taking that next big step and finishing things.

I find it a bit funny though that my email from The Knot says that we should be registering for gifts right now. Gifts? 8 months from the wedding? Really? Seems a bit early to me. I have no idea what we are going to register for as we already have a lovely home with lovely things. And wont stuff change between now and the wedding? Wont we just have to redo the registry as items become unavailable? Waste of time in my opinion. For now, we just need to focus on the other things. I think the project for this week will be getting those Save The Dates out. Especially to our friends and family in Austria.

- Gan

Friday, January 22, 2010


I love dresses. No, let me rephrase that. I LOVE dresses. Like, really, really, really LOVE dresses. I have a closet full of them. Nothing makes me feel more feminine and pretty than a light, fluffy dress. Nothing makes me feel sexier than a little black dress. I know its not the same for all girls, but Im just that way. Unfortunately, I don't get to wear them as much as I like. I live in Minnesota and obviously the weather doesn't always want to cooperate. Wearing a dress in -20 degrees or when its pouring rain out isn't always the best option. And some days I just feel like wearing pants. I also really love a good pair of comfortable jeans. (Ill also add that Im that girl that can pair her most favorite comfortable jeans under her pretty dress and pull it off. See photos two posts ago.)


I decided with my bridesmaids that they should be able to wear a dress that makes them feel pretty or sexy or just plain comfortable on my wedding day. That they each should choose the dress that they LOVE. They are there to support and help me and I want them to enjoy it. I don't want them to spend the day in some hideous, god awful dress that makes them feel uncomfortable and unattractive. I don't want them to spend money on something that they will never wear again.

That being said, I did have a few stipulations. I just asked that they are black, at/below the knee, and they have the same formality to them. (I also suggested that they choose a neckline that allows for a necklace, but thats not crucial.) But other than that, they are free to choose their own dresses. I didn't want them all matchy matchy as that's just not my thing, and my bridesmaids are all beautiful, unique girls with their own styles. What one girl feels comfortable in might not be the same for another. I also really love how photos look with the bridesmaids all showing off their own style and wearing all different dresses.

The non matching dresses also helps since one of my bridesmaids will be flying in from Austria. I don't want things to be complicated or hard for Nadine. If all the girls are ordering/buying dresses in the US, it might be a bit frustrating for her. Im sure she's going to want to try on her dress instead of just ordering something to her measurements.

And then there is the fact that all my girl friends have different incomes and different amounts that they feel alright with spending on a dress. Im not going to ask them to go buy some $250 dress. It's just not reasonable.

I set up a Flickr folder where I have been dumping photos of dresses to help give them an idea of dress styles. I'm sure they are all more than capable of picking out their own dress, but I know Nadine especially wanted some hints on what dresses might look nice as this will be the first American wedding she has attended. These are some of my favorite dresses so far.

- Gan

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Gwyneth Paige

From their website:
"Gwyneth Paige is a couture letterpress company dedicated to being the perfect beginning to a couple’s ‘happily ever after’. Sustainably printed on 100% luxurious cotton tree-free paper and only using vegetable-oil based inks; we are committed to protecting our environment as well as adding back in more beautiful pieces in the form of cast-iron pressed, miniature works of art."

My lovely friend, Andrea, is the Creative Director for Gwyneth Paige and recently posted a blog entry with me in it. Nothing to do with the wedding, but with a cute little find having to do with cupcakes. (We all know how much I love cupcakes.) To be honest, I wouldn't have even known about the cute item if it weren't for Ned.

Anywho, you should go over and check out Gwyneth Paige, and if not for the blog entry and to find out the secret cupcake item, at least for their amazing letterpress work.

- Gan

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello? Anyone still here?

Wow. Has it really been 3 months? Seriously? Damn. I kinda suck at this.

Well... Hmmm... Now what?

I guess I should just jump right back in? Probably. Ned and I are trying to get moving again on the wedding stuff. We have 8 months to go and a lot to get done in that time.

In the last three months, we have done....nothing....absolutely nothing. Well, nothing really wedding related. We had an amazing engagement party, but other than that, nothing. We've just kinda put the wedding on the back burner. Not really a good idea if you ask me, but sometimes those things happen.

We had Ned's father here for a visit and during that time we celebrated our engagement with our amazing family and friends. Halloween came and went and I didn't really celebrate. That was followed by a wonderful Thanksgiving, again, with amazing family and friends. Really, it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever. At the beginning of December I took a week vacation down in Miami/Key West with Nadine who was visiting from Austria. We had an amazing time and she said yes when I asked her to be a bridesmaid. We both cried and it was a super sweet moment (followed by a lot of partying). Christmas seemed like a mad rush. I really didn't get much of anything done. If Ned hadn't taken over, I don't think anyone in the family would have gotten gifts. He really pulled everything together. And in the end, we celebrated the new year with Robyn and her husband, Pat, playing games and having a lot of laughs.

It was an amazing year. I only hope 2010 can live up to the legacy left by 2009. And with the wedding coming up, Im betting it can. It's going to be one beautiful day. I just hope it doesn't go by as fast as the engagement party did. The whole day/night was a blur. It was so much fun, but I felt like I didn't even get to talk to everyone or thank everyone for coming. I was busy in the kitchen with Robyn for most of the day and even a bit during the party. The food was so amazing and went so fast that we actually had to throw more together. (Good thing I had extras in the fridge just waiting to go.) But overall, it was such a beautiful time.

The engagement party was a cupcake theme with the phrase "Love is Sweet". I not only made sweet cupcakes, but yummy savory ones too! And with tons of help from Robyn, the food was a complete success. There were 4 different types of sweet cupcakes, including a vegan version of one- chocolate with white buttercream, lemon with lemon buttercream, lemon with raspberry buttercream and pumpkin with cream cheese frosting. And then 3 different types of savory cupcakes- mac n cheese, mexican cornbread and vegan shepherds pie. I kept the color scheme from the invites going with the decorations for the party. It turned out really beautiful and I think everyone enjoyed themselves.

Here are some photos either taken by Robyn, her husband or me:

My sister, my dad and me

Pumpkin with cream cheese frosting

Chocolate with buttercream frosting

The full spread

Me in the kitchen

Shepherds pie

Vegan pumpkin with tofutti cream cheese

And here is one beautiful photo of me and Ned by my lovely friend, Ericka Bailie-Byrne.

- Gan
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