Saturday, 30 January 2010

A Hartsville Wedding?

The ceremony would be a Kellytown Baptist Church, a southern baptist church I went to at a child and didn't particularly like. Why didin't I like it? 1. It was too much like a highschool, with everyone in thier own little group. 2. I'm not fond of southern baptist churches. But this is the only church in Hartsville that I've been able to find that isn't booked.

The reception?

Lawton Park Pavillion. This is an old picture before it was renovated. I want to say the outside is virtually the same. The inside upstairs is a small ballroom that holds 125 people. We'd be able to have half as a dance floor and half with tables and a buffet table/bar. There's a balcony on the back that overlooks the lake and depending on the suprising SC weather, could hold tables.                                                                           

Still looking for a DJ and Caterer but we've got 3-4 prospects for each. One being the same place that is doing my cake-CJS. I met with them today and they designed a gorgeous cake that will be similar to my dress for less than Arts Eats Bakery in Greenville. If I do my catering with them, they knock fifty cent off per slice of the cake.                                                                                                                                        

 I've started to think  about my something old, something new, something borrowed something blue (and a six pence in your shoe). And so far this is what I've come up with:                                             


My dad has a friend who has a 60something white Camero that we're hoping he'll drives us from the ceremony to the reception in. This is a picture of the type of car in red to give you an idea:



Well, almost anything can fit this bill. My dress, veil, garter, hair stuff, earrings.

My mom and dad have thier "bride" and "groom" toasting glasses that they're going to let me borrow. They've got a funky flower thing wrapped around the base but my mom is okay with us taking that off and wrapping it in red ribbon.                                                                                                                       

Got two things for this one. My engagement ring has two blue diamonds and the garter I'm hoping to buy has a small blue ribbon sown inside.                                                                                                              
What happened to the Spartanburg wedding? Weren't you in love with it?

I still am. But I've discovered this fact: A Hartsville wedding is about $2000 cheaper than one in Spartanburg and since I'm not paying for the wedding myself, its a fact I have to come to terms with-quickly. It won't be the wedding of my dreams (of course not- that involves castles and kilts or an ice hotel) or my more realistic dreams (in Morningside and perhaps with a photobooth ) but I think we can make it something special. After all, its not the location thats the most important but the handsome man standing with me at the altar and the gorgeous women standing ip to support me.                                                                           


Friday, 29 January 2010

ATM Favorite

Yeserday was my last day with my ATM favorite poet/poetry professor Peter Meinke. I've really learned a lot in his class. Before the class I was very skeptical about my poetry writing abilities and he has helped me, not only to grow more confident but to pick up new skills as well.

I've listed his book Contracted World: New & More Selected Poems (Pitt Poetry Series). Its the book he taught us out of and its got some really great poems in it.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


I was going to get married in my college town in a church I'm emotionally attached to. But I've started to think it may be better to get married in my hometown. Here are my reasons:

1. I can't get a caterer estimate for less than $14/person. My dad knows a caterer who can do prime rib for $10/person.

2. Its easier for my grandmother to come to a wedding in her town.

3. The bridesmaids could stay at my house the night before.

4. My Dad thinks we could get a better deal on a recepion venue.

5. Basically my dad has connections. He could probably figure out my bar situation.

6. The photographer I want is based in my hometown

7. I want pictures of me in various places around my hometown.

Possible downsides:

1. I don't think there is a photobooth rental place in my area and my heart will miss not having one.
2. Not sure if my hometown bakery could do the cake I want. But thats a TBD.
3. Not sure what to do for favors of there is no photobooth.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Wedding Budget

So, I finally have a budget- $5000. My wedding planner divides the budget up,advising how much to spend in different catergories. Its a nice guide but I can already tell I'm going to be over in some categories, under in others and right on the button in a few. Regardless, I'm looking for ways to cut back.

I've decided to opt for Itunes downloaded, CD played music instead of a pianist. That should save us $230.

I'm thinking about making my own invitations. I'm the kind of person who can design a good look. I just can't put it together without looking like a 5year old did it. If done correctly, I can see this saving $100. I wonder if I could convince my sister to put together the invites. I know the MOH likes to scrapbook, and this is similar but I feel like she'll be helping me address them already.

Flowers. The Church and  Reception Venue are both already decorated for Christmas, so I won't have to use as many flowers for decorations. I want to decorate the cake table with a framed "cake" recipe and a picture of me and Mr. Groom. I haven't priced an actual florist, wholesale sight or silk flower place yet, but I plan to soon. The roomie and I think we could do flowers for around $200 at Hobby Lobby.

An unexpected cutback comes in the Guest List department. We've decided to aim for 50 invitees apiece. Mr. Groom has recently stated that he thinks his list won't top 25. This means I can invite extra people (I already have a back up list) or have less guests, thus a less expensive reception. I'm thinking about just inviting ten or so extra from my list.

If you have any suggestions on ways I can get creative with the money side of this business let me know,

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Descions, Descions: New Reception Venue Option

My college has an Alumnae House that they offer for rent. I'd only been inside when it was decorated as a haunted house so it never occured to me to consider it for a wedding reception. But someone suggested it so the roomie and I went and checked it out. Its small, but big enough for a cocktail style reception. The layout is nice. There is one big room that you enter into (dance floor) and four main smaller rooms (food room, band/dj room, bar room, table room) that lead off it, a kitchen in the back and two bathrooms. There is an upstairs area, but I don't think we'd need to use it. The entire place could use a good coat of paint, but with it being dark and decorated, I don't think it would be noticeable.

It costs $600 for the full day, but I'm not sure if that includes tables etc. Although, I did snoop around and found tables and linens in a back closet. I'm hoping to get all of my questions answered today, so that the MOH  and I can stop by and look on Thursday and make a descion. $600 is less than half the price of the other venue. But the other venue comes mostly decorated. So I need to figure out if I can decorate the place for less than  $600. Which I think I can, if we make a good bit of the decorations, spruce up the staircase with some ribbon, prop some picture frames and candles on he mantels, (maybe haul in a Christmas tree) and create a snowstorm in the windows.

Other wedding updates: I've booked a church. The roomie has drawn out my dream cake design with and impossible to find cake topper. I've bought tickets for me, the roomie and the MOH to go to a wedding expo. I've found some gorgeous invitations at an affordable price ( . And I've contacted a few caterers. Oh, and I've decided how I want to "formally" ask my bridesmaids to be bridesmaids, as well as what I want to give them as gifts.

Food room:

main room view from staircase:

"Lyric" in the table room:

Band or Bar Room

Bar or Band Room:

The Purple Bathroom (other bathroom was normal so it didn't warrant a picture):

Monday, 18 January 2010

New ATM Favorite

I added the song Jackson sung by Johnny Cash and June Carter. Why? Mr. Groom and I sing this song to each other. Now, we do it over Skype. I'm hoping to use it for our entrance into our reception. Now go listen!

Book: The Law of Nines by Terry Goodkind

The Law of Nines

I am a huge fan of Terry Goodkind and my love for him and his writing continued to grow as I read his newest book. Unlike the Sword of Truth series this book is set in what seems like our world and our present. I'll do my best to not giveaway plot aspects but consider this a warning that I might.

The book follows Alexander R.  It starts around his 27th birthday, the same age his mother was when she was institutionalized. She was deemed crazy because she thought people were watching her and demanding information from her. Alex inherits some land on his birthday with lots of strange stipulations and meets Jax who claims to be from another world. And then the book really takes off.

If you've read the Sword of Truth series you may think this book starts a little slow, but keep going! And keep in mind its not a part of the series. Finish it and you'll see how clever Goodkind is. (Theres one thing I haven't  figured out, so if you've read the book please let me know and I'll tell you what it is, I dont want to post it here and spoil the book)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Great Dress Debate (And Reception Venue Hunt)

Today the ladies and I set off to the Davenport and David's Bridal.

The Davenport was lovely, lovely, lovely. I'm just worried that it would be too small if we decided to do a sit down style dinner with 150 people. (Note: we have no firm guest list number for me to consider because my family is refusing to talk numbers with me until the end of the month. Strange huh?) But is very pretty, hard woods with a small upstairs area perfect for a band. And at Christmas time it comes with a Christmas tree and white lights on the banister. It was a tad pricey, but I think it would be workable. Oh and it came with the option of rentingthe above apartment by hour, which might be a good idea since I'm having a few children who might need to go nap the last two hours of the reception. Oh, and they'd let me do sparklers which is what I'm considering in place of rose petals etc, as it will be dark when Mr. Groom and I leave the reception.

the upstairs/band area

view from the stairs:

see how narrow it is?so gorgeous though....

We shopped at Davids Bridal today and I went in thinking I wouldnt find anything I liked, but I wanted to try on a few different styles and make sure I really liked the dress I found yesterday. But I found another dress I liked. Now I'm not sure which dress I like better. I'd love your opinions! There are certain things I like best about each dress but I'm not going to disclose them here until I make a decision. But here are the photos:

Note: I don't like this veil!!

The lovely lovely ladies who went with me got to try on a few bridesmaid dresses as well:

Ms. Maid of Honor:
(our favorite so far, the front has beading around the chest area, but I didnt get a good shot)

Ms. Bridesmaid/Roomie "Lyric":

(I think this one was our favorite on her)

Friday, 15 January 2010

Lots of Wedding Planning

Today two of my friends and I went to two different reception venues and to a local dress shop.

The first reception place was a complete disaster-I wasn't sure how they stay in business. The woman was a fruit loop, the house was a mess, and she didn't want to give me any sort of prices. I could not wait to get out of the place. I was really dissapointed, because the place was the closest place I'd found  to the ceremony location so I had high hopes.

After our appointment with the venue from hell, we went to a dress shop. The lady who helped me was so sweet and offered several alternative venues that I'd never thought of. She picked out a lot of gorgeous dresses and I fell in love with  the first one she picked out, although it wasn't the first one I opted to try on. And it didnt have any red on the dress which I went into thinking I really wanted.

We checked out one of the suggested venues after the dress shop and fell in love. Bad idea. The rules are so strict and everything has to be cleaned up and out by 12am on the dot, which just won't fly for our dream reception. But its the best thing I've found so far. We have another appointment tomorrow but its further away. And it just occured to me to consider renting out my college's gorgeous dinning hall. And I'm starting to think I fell in love with all of the places to take pictures outside of the venue and not the actual venue. I could take pictures there for free though.

This afternoon we played with my hair, and even though its really far in advance I think we settled on a style!

Tonight we went to Hobby Lobby and "made" bridesmaid and bride bouqets. We also looked into making the table centerpieces. I could make the flowers for all of the bridal party for $100. I haven't priced a florist yet but I'm pretty sure Hobby Lobby is on the cheaper side. I also bought the ribbons I wanted to braid into my hair, because they were on sale for less that $2.

Magnolia Bride Bouquet Idea:

Bridesmaid's Bouquet Idea:

Food Table Centerpiece Ideas (in a bud vase):                                                                                                             

After Hobby Lobby we headed to PUBLIX to check out wedding cakes. Yeah, you heard me the grocery store. They had a few on display and they were gorgeous. They even made me rethink "my cake" idea in my head. To make sure the cakes weren't too good to be true, I bought a slice of chocolate cake for around $2 and split it with my roomate. It was rich, chocolatey and very yummy. I'm definitely going to talk to one of their decorators when I'm pricing cakes.

Here are the ones they had on display:

Did I mention I haven't booked a place for the cermony or reception yet? I'm planning on doing it this month though. Its so hard not to get sucked into all the other elements, especially since I know I'll be back in classes in February, and out of town for the summer.                                                                                               

Thursday, 14 January 2010

A New Widget for my ATM Favorites

I freqently post about my ATM Favorite things, many of which happen to be products. I've decided to place an ATM Favorites Widget at the top of the page. I hope to update it about once a week, and the updates will be accompanied by a post telling you what I think.

Here are the current ATM Favorite Products:

1. Real Simple Magazine   - I love  this magazine. Its got great organizing tips, planning tips and recipes. I love to just flip through the and look at the beautiful and clever ads. I was able to score a one year subscription for $5. It was my birthday present to myself

2. Wedding Planner-- I bought this the other night at Barnes and Noble. It looks like the sticker price is cheaper at Amazon, not sure about once you add shipping and handling. I was amazed by the variety of wedding planning books. There were books, bigger, smaller, pinker, gother, DIYer than this one. I loved that this book breaks down budgets, to do lists, and a monthly checklist of things to be done.It even has color pictures and descriptions of typical wedding flowers. I browsed through a book at Barnes and Noble about how to twist wedding traditions to fit your style, but it didnt include any worksheets, which is really what Iwas looking for,

3. Darius Rucker's History in the Making-- I'm really loving this song right now. The line 'this could be our last first kiss" really struck me the other day, when I realized that I've had my last first kiss. Its a really bittersweet, tingly feeling. Details? All you get is that it was at the movies.

4. Recipe Organizer- a gift from my roomate for my birthday. She knows I'm cooking challenged and included a few of my favorite recipes of hers. I can't wait to fill it up with recipes I learn.

5. Classic Bride Wedding Planner-- also a gift from my roomate. No worksheets in this one, but thats not what she was aiming for. Its got some great ideas,as well as expectations and explainations of traditons.

6. Last but not least, I got some window markers in my Christmas stocking. My roomate and I have had a blast doodling on our floor length mirror. We turned the bottom half of the mirror into an aquarium. The top half we made into the world of Ella and Lyric, two invented characters. Lyric dress like a kindergarten teacher and sings "I'm on a Boat". Lyric looks like she was drawn by a kindergartener, sports a crown and sings  "If all the lemondrops were gum drops and....jellybeans?" She also thinks she is part spider monkey.

I have an ATM Favorite Poem: It's Peter Meinke's "Email from Tokyo" and you can find it here. Its about having children, and how parents pass on bad habits, but its never NOT worth it. Its an answer to a poem by, Philip Larkin who is answering a poem by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Monday, 11 January 2010

My Obsession

I'm not a big TV watcher, but ever since my parents introduced me to the Big Bang Theory (from hereafter now as BBT) I just can't get enough. The show follows a group of brilliant but nerdy men friends through out thier daily lives and there interactions with the hot waitress/ aspiring actress next door. The show features  Jim Parsons(I think he's cute),  Johnny Galecki( I think he's cuter), Simon Helberg, Kaley Cuoco, and  Kunal Nayyar.  If you want a funny, fresh show, this is the program for you! Its on season three right now and a new episode airs tonight!! (We're having a viewing party!!)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Facebook's 25 Random Facts

This has been floating around facebook for ages. I've given into the peer pressure, except I'm posting mine on here.

1.I'm a lefty= I find it impossible to cut in a semi-straight line.
2. I can't drive.

3. I want to be an editor of a magazine.

4. I have a shoe obsession.

5. I love to read.

6. I despise censorship.

7. I'm addicted to chocolate.

8. I love to scrapbook and make cards.

9. I also love looking at scrapbooking materials. Seriously, I could live in Hobby Lobby

10. I sometimes relive the Sunglasses Posse's glory days.

11. I don't drink soft drinks.

12. I could live at the beach.

13. If I did I'd be broke and live under a lawn chair.

14. Red and turquoise are my favorite colors. Partly, because in MY world, turquoise is my birthstone.

15. I don't watch a lot of TV.

16. I LOVE getting mail.

17. I'm a country music fan.

18. I adore pina coladas, daiquris, bahama mamas, hot chocolate with brandy/rum, and mudslides. Basically, I'm what happend to the rum.

19. I can't paint nails.

20. I want to own a cupcake shop. But first I have to become an amazing cupcake baker.

21. I enjoy taking pictures.

22. I want to write greeting cards for a living.

23. My Barbie dolls were whores.

24. I LOVE Grease.

25. I'm still friends with someone I met in kindergarten.

ATM Favorite is Chocolatey Goodness!

Do you like fudge? Do you like Snickers bars? Then do I have a winning combination for you! Introducing...

SNICKERS FUDGE! Its got chocolate inside and out as well as a yummy peanut butter nougat.Get it while you can because its advertised as "limited edition".

My Reading Life

In 2010 I'm determined  to read more books for pleasure and to keep a record of somesort. Right now, that recordss running down the side of my blog. I want to post my thoughts about the books as well. Right now I'm reading Terry Goodkind's newest book  and I'm loving it! Want  a copy: The Law of Nines

Here's a list of books I read last year and enjoyed. If you want to know more about a certain book, just leave a comment. Also, please feel free to share any of your favorites.

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. A southern woman's struggle to live in the racism ridden south.

Things I Want My Daughters to Know: A Novel by Elizabeth Noble.  A mother dying of cancer writes letters to her daughter. A heartbreaker.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I LOVED THIS BOOK. Its too good for  a summary. Its an interesting puzzle of a book that you must read!

The Babysitter by Diana Diamond. Loved this one too. About the babysitters relationship with her employer and what happens when we ass-ume.

Letting the Creative Juices Flow!

This week has definitely put my creativity in gear! I had my first masterclass with Peter Meinke on Wednesday. Last year I dreaded my night classes but I'm loving this one! Meinke is so witty and open. He really makes the class enjoyable.

We have one class a week, and then a one-on-one conference with Meinke. Mine was great. Meinke had read my poems in advance. He had me read some of them aloud for practice, which made me feel good. I mean, if I'm practicing now then maybe some day I'll be reading them for real, with an audience. He then went through my poems and told me what he really liked and why. Which gave me an awesome feeling as well. He then suggested a few (minor!) changes and wished me luck! I'm really looking forward to this Wednesdays class. Check out his website at:  I've  read poems from his book the Contracted World and really enjoyed them.

Friday, I took myself to Hallmark on a research trip, so that I could get in the right frame of mind to work on my internship application. I spent an hour in the store just reading cards. And then I took a break and found a really cool "something blue" themed wine glass, that I really want! It has  handpainted blue swirly roses, and a real garter along the top of the glass! Totally adorable! I also went and saw a free showing of  500 Days of Summer at my favorite library.

Today I woke up and went to a seminar given by the wonderfully talented, Sarah Kennedy. I own a copy of her Witch's Dictionary and love it! So it was amazing to be able to attend her seminar. In the seminar we learned about dramatic monologues and how to write in the voice of another speaker. I wrote parts of poems there and came home and expanded further on them . I also wrote the first fifth of my internship portfolio application.  I see some card making in my future!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

What happened to working out?

Fine. I'll admit it. I've been a slacker lately. I haven't done HWW in a while. I DID get some exercise in when I moved into the second floor of my dorm Sunday. Up and down the stairs and out to the car. Repeat 80 times.

But I'm off to a new start. Today my roomie and I woke up at 8am and went to workout! Hopefully we can keepit up. I'm extra inspired because my fiance mentioned in his last email that he is starting to workout again too!

Wish me luck!

My ATM Favorite Smells Like Chocolate!

For Christmas my mother got me this delisciously yummy set of HOT COCOA scented lotion and body wash. It smells so good. Really, I've been tempted to lick my hands! She asked me if I wanted the small bottlw or the large and since I wasn't sure I'd like smelling like chocolate I opted for the smaller bottles and they came in a cute snowflake mug. Here'a pic of the lotion (it came from Kohls if you want to try it out):

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Better Get Writing, Annoying Bitches and My Engagement Ring

Better Get Writing:

I'm taking a poetry class this Janterm and it looks like its going to be a really great class. I love to write. Although, I am new to poetry. The class only meets twice a week. And as good as that sounds, its got a downfall. My calendar minded self sees lots of free time  to sleep in, scrapbook and hang out with my friends. I need to learn to make myself sit down and do some writing every day. I'm hopeing that going to a poetry reading tonight will help jumpstart my urge to write. I'm also hopeing to make it to a "make n take" tomorrow at a local scrapbooking store that should help me boost my creativity levels.

Friday, 1 January 2010

HWW Week 3 Day 4

Day 4 is the day between workout sets and is set aside as a "rest" day. Today I definitely noticed a bit of burn in my abs and that my legs felt better than they have since I've been home.

As part of the "rest", I've thought about things I want to start once I am back at school (Sunday).  I want to replace one meal a day with a salad and see how that effects my body. I also want to see if I can convince my friends to take a walk with me everyday in the afternoon. I want to walk with them at a leisure pace. I want it to be a fun, relaxing time of motion and conversation. I will  need the companionship even more since I will be back in the area where my (then boyfriend) fiance lived together but not able to visit him as he is still overseas. I need the motion as I want to find a way to be less sedentary that doesnt involve the gym. I may see if we can occasionally replace this walk with a swim.

(I must confess, even though today was a "rest" dictated day by HWW, I still did a few (25) situps.)