Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Creating our Kissing Menus!

I was looking at my stats the other day, and "kissing menu" is always the number one search term that brings people to my blog. This is all because of one post I did last year, right after we got engaged when I discovered what a kissing menu is and decided I absolutely had to have it at our wedding.

What I have now found over and over and over is the same examples of a kissing menu. Which are adorable and where I got my idea from in the first place, I thought it'd be nice to include what we are doing. Though very similar, we definitely put our own spin on it and I'm so happy with what we came up with. This consisted of a night where we actually looked up words that rhyme with "Dane" in order to make the first line work. I considered doing away with the first rhyming part, but I know some of my older relatives will have no idea what the kissing menu is all about unless I put directions. It's totally cheesy and I LOVE it.

For those of you who will be attending our wedding, consider yourself forewarned. You have about 26 days to think about what you'll do at the wedding!

To request a kiss from Kristen and Dane, you would usually clink your glass of champagne.
But here on our wedding day, we have thought of another way. We know that each one will help us all have more fun

The Kiss for a Kiss – Show us your best kiss and we’ll show you ours!

The “Frankly My Dear…” – Recite a movie quote about love to us

The Fred and Ginger – Show us your best dance moves

The Force – Try to stump us with a Star Wars trivia question!

Get thinking about what you'll do. It's coming up really quickly now and I can't wait!

Monday, October 26, 2009

John's Creative Juices of a Proposal

Please allow me to introduce John, my blog swap buddy! He'll be guest posting here today, check him out at his blog (where you can read my guest post too.) Let's give him a warm welcome!

The month of June for this year is over and February is still three months away. But the wedding bells ringing are not yet over. You see our friend here Kristen is tying the knot with Dane next month. At this time, I think everything is almost done for the big day. I really don’t have any idea of what’s the motif of their wedding yet or what’s the menu during the reception dinner but I’m having this hunch that it is usually the girl who has the upper hand for this occasion. Well, I don’t think Dane has any problems with Kristen minding the every detail of the ceremony. Besides, prior to this wedding preparation, Dane has had a fair share of planning for something that has lead to this event in their life. I mean the wedding would not push through if Dane didn’t propose to her. I haven’t checked yet the whole blog of how Dane proposed to Kristen but I am thinking that he is romantic enough to pop up the question creatively. I’ll check later of how he did it. As I was saying, the wedding proposal is usually the part where us guys try to be romantic as possible. It is when we try to squeeze our brain for our creative juices to come out. And I’m about to say something about it.

By the way, you might be thinking who the hell is blogging here in Kristen’s blog talking about proposals. I am John of Life Inc.and I am Kristen’s blog swap buddy for the “6th Blog Swap” going on at the 20-something bloggers community. I don’t usually write something about marriage, wedding or engagement proposals but I think that they are the most relevant topics I could work on as a contribution here.

So how about me and my thoughts about all these?

At 23, I still think I’m too young to get married and start a family. I’m still on my way to realizing my dream of becoming one of the richest bachelors here in my country. And so far, I’m still enjoying my freedom. But despite my carefree attitude, I do have a pocketful of cheesiness and romanticism here at my disposal that I’m keeping ‘til that day arrives when I finally realized that I’m ready to start the rest of my life with someone. And since I’m taking over this beautiful blog of Kristen for a day, I might as well share to you the ingenuity and sweetness I’m talking about.

Below you will read the three super romantic wedding/engagement proposals I’ve been keeping up my sleeves. I have never told anyone about it yet and you’re lucky enough to read them here first. So here it goes…

My first idea of a proposal is called “At the top of The Eye”. The idea came from the movie “If only”, the one that stars Jennifer Love Hewitt. By the way, this is the most expensive idea I listed here. The plot: I would take her for a ride at probably the most famous Ferris wheel in the world, in London’s The Eye, not knowing that our friends and families are nearby. I would also bring four mobile phones with me. As the ride starts to climb up to the top, I would play a romantic song with my phone while reading to her a poem. The rest of the mobile phones would be set into speakerphone with our friends and families in the other line listening to everything I am saying. As we reached the top of The Eye, our friends and families would start cheering for me (as scripted) to propose. Overlooking the majestic view of Thames River and the famous landmarks of London, I will ask her to stand while I kneel in front of her and ask her to marry me. Isn’t that romantic? It gets cheesier as I continue with the next one.

The second idea is called “Zorro on stage”. The setting: it has to be in a cozy restaurant with some live performance of soft ballads or jazz in the front or at the center. At the middle of our dinner, I would excuse myself to go to the toilet and don myself with a complete Zorro outfit- mask, sword and cape. I would then proceed to the stage while the light in the whole area is set into dim with the spotlight only on me. Though I don’t have the talent for singing, I would try my best to deliver the song “I want to spend my lifetime loving you” by Marc Anthony and Tina Arena which is by the way the soundtrack of the Zorro movie (the one with Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones). I still consider lip synching or having a playback just in case I screw up. After the first chorus, I will go to her and bring her to the stage. I would kneel in front of her, show her the ring and ask her, “Will you spend the rest of our lifetime with me?” After she responded with complete agreement (I’ll make sure she agrees with me), the real singers can go on with the next stanzas of the song while we are dancing in the stage. If you think that’s already romantic for you, wait ‘til you read the last one.

The ultimate proposal idea I have, which is probably the most stupid and yet the most romantic stunt ever is called “A Knight in the park”. Obviously, it has to take place in a city park where they will allow a horse walking around and a sound system to be played or any public place that will accommodate a horse. The plot: in the middle of the day like during lunch hour, I would set a date to meet me at the park or connive with an officemate of her to convince her to go out to the park. Donned in my knight costume, I will ride a horse towards her. While I’m doing this, the sound system should play something from the medieval times like horns or trumpets and drums. Then a pre-recorded voice of mine will play saying something like “My dear princess, I want you to know that chivalry is not yet dead and that King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is still relevant.” Then proceed with a short poem still playing out loud and end it with the question, “Will you give me the honor my dear princess, to be my wife?”

Cheesy as it sounds but I am seriously considering the above stunts to propose to my future wife. I really intend to make a public proposal to let everyone know how I am damn proud of my girl that is why all the ideas I presented are to be exhibited in front of many people. I don’t mind spending a fortune in confessing my love and expressing my desire to spend the rest of my life with her. I don’t care how stupid I may look like in the process.

But at this moment, I will have to burst first those bubble thoughts you have and let those sighs of “aw” subside for it will not take place that soon. But who am I to say that I won’t fall in love anytime soon? Just in case I’ll marry that quickly, I would definitely go back here in this blog to tell all of you which among the three ideas materialize. For now, I hope you enjoy reading what I have for this blog. It was tough for me but I hope I deliver.

To Kristen and Dane, congratulations guys! Cheers for the coming years of happiness!


In case you want to apply as my girlfriend or be my future wife, click here to know if you are qualified. LOL!

Monday, October 19, 2009

I'm a Snowballer

A few months ago one of my good friend, Scott (aka Soctt, Scotty, or Scottish), came to me with a proposition. Kristen, he said, you're good at planning things (flattery will get you everywhere with me). Remember that organization I've been working with? Santa Claus Anonymous? I'm the Chair this year and I want you to be the Black Diamond Coordinator. To which I said, absolutely anything for you Soctt.

Then about a week later I wondered what I had gotten myself into when he took me to the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston to show me around. The hotel is beautiful, and of course has some name recognition. He gave me a tour of the rooms and ballroom, and then showed me where the Black Diamond would take place. It's really a blank canvas, which is exciting and daunting.

The SnowBall is now in its 23rd year, and is one of the largest all volunteer run events in Boston. Each year, Santa Claus Anonymous hosts the SnowBall, with the entire objective being to raise money for three beneficiary organizations. The SnowBall is really the only thing Santa Claus Anonymous focuses on every year, with the end result being a great party that raises money for children and families in Boston.

So, Black Diamond. Sounds fancy right? That's because it is. The Black Diamond is held before the SnowBall and is for the most generous donors. We are expecting between 150 and 200 people to purchase tickets for the Black Diamond, out of the approximately 1500 that will attend the SnowBall. Now I get to plan this thing, decorate, and assemble VIP gift bags, but here's the catch. NO BUDGET. It's all volunteer run, which means just about everything is donated. Now this is causing some issues for me. I have been contacting places in Boston for weeks now, and only managed to secure 2 donations to the gift bags. I'm really down to the wire for this, as it needs to be basically done before I leave Boston for the wedding in NY in mid November.

That means, blogger friends, that I need help! Who has some connections here that would be willing to donate to this very worthy cause? And better yet, who wants to come?!

I'm so honored to be able to serve as part of Santa Claus Anonymous' Leadership Team this year, and I really want this to be an amazing time. If you are in the Boston area and want to volunteer or attend, just let me know!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Penn State!

FINALLY, Dane and I went to Penn State! I have been asking him for 2 and a half years to take me there to see a football game. The campus was beautiful, Penn State kicked ass (52-3 was the final score), and I had ice cream for breakfast on Sunday morning. It does not get any more perfect than that.

The drive down took WAY longer than Google maps told me it would take. There was tons of traffic, but luckily we had Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets on my iPod to take care of us. Plus, we saw the Jesus truck.

After we checked in, we headed downtown to eat dinner. I desperately wanted to go to The Diner. I'm not capitalizing that for emphasis, that's just want it's called. So we go, wait about 5 minutes for a table, then sit down. and wait. and wait. Then watch the people after us get seated 10 minutes later. and wait. and wait. Then see the people seated after us place their orders. The Diner clearly hated us, so we left, which was disappointing because I wanted one of these really bad.

Oh well. We went to The Corner Room instead and it was great. Then we headed over to one of the many stores carrying nothing but Penn State gear and I met a Penn State icon, Joe Pa.

Alright, so maybe it's a cardboard cutout of him. Whatever. I think we look cute together.

Afterwards Dane wanted to show me the HUB, basically the student center, where he used to spend all his time in college because he was a geek like that. We obviously decided to take advantage of the snacks that were there for the students and purchased two boxes of fresh popped popcorn for the low low price of $1. Greatest deal ever. And I LOVE popcorn. Then we headed upstairs and I met this guy.

This is the remains of Coaly the mule. He's a pretty big deal at PSU, so I was happy to meet him. Dane's actually told me his story before, weird, but true. It was raining and late, so we headed back to the hotel to sleep before the big day.

We got to campus early to park, and I could not believe how many people were all over the place. I had never been to a college football game, or to a college campus that has 40,000 students. It was amazing to see the school pride that students and alumni have for Penn State. We went to the pep rally before the game and got some tattoos on the way out.

Had to show my Penn State pride! Even if I was just a visitor in their midst. Dane likes to tell me I can be an honorary Penn Stater. Then we headed over to the stadium, which I learned is the second largest in the country. We had great seats about ten rows back right behind one of the field goals.

The game was great, even though it was a blow out. PSU won 52-3 against Eastern Illinois. I felt a little bad for them to be honest. At half time the Blue Band did the most amazing half time show I have ever seen. Using themes from different movies they did their formations. For the Batman theme, they formed the bat signal. For Rocky, they formed two boxers fighting. For Star Wars, they made Darth Vader! I was blown away at how great it was.

Oh, and I found the real Joe Pa. Do you see him?

After the game, we met up with one of Dane's roommates from college and his family for tailgating. Then he showed me around campus a bit more. We had to wait in line at the Lion Shrine to get a picture, but I was determined to get a photo with that Nittany Lion.

We were exhausted after our day, and both fell asleep. I woke up to Dane talking to himself in his sleep, but that's another story. The next morning we woke up, and went to the Berkey Creamery. Another legend on that campus for it's homemade ice cream produced on site. It was 10am, but we just needed some ice cream. It was fantastic. If you are ever in the area, get some. Or just go to their website and they'll send it to you. Totally worth it.

We headed down to Philly after that and spent the next day with Dane's family. It was a great weekend, I just didn't want to come back! I obviously want to work at Penn State now.

p.s. 38 days until we're married! So exciting!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Heard around State College

At The Diner (that's actually what it's called)

Guy: I am just, like, soooo happy. *leans in to girl*

Girl: Um, don't try to make out with me right now.

Guy: Why not? *sadly*

Girl: Because you're drunk and I'm sobering up and starting to see that it would definitely be a bad idea.

Oooooooooooh SNAP!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

One Year Blogoversary!

Well, here it is. Today I have officially been blogging for one whole year. I remember thinking about starting a blog, and thinking I couldn't possibly have anything that interesting to write about and share. Turns out, I had a least a year's worth of stuff inside this head of mine, and it's all here for everyone to read.

I started this blog as a way to keep in touch with family and friends. As much as I love living in Boston, moving here was not easy three years ago. I still miss my family and friends at home on a daily basis and I figured this would be a great way to keep them updated on my daily life and new things I was taking on. That idea has definitely worked, and I get messages from them all the time thanking me for the updates.

And it's become much more than that.

Who knew the world of blogging could open up doors? Or that I would actually get to meet some of those people behind my favorite musings on sites I've been reading forever? I'm really proud that I've stepped out from behind the computer monitor for some face time with some fabulous ladies, and I hope to keep meeting more of you as time goes on!

This site has let me see how much my life has changed in the past year. When I started this, I was one month into a brand new job. Now I'm starting my second year here, and things are insanely busy, but great. I had this amazing boyfriend. He's now my fiance and we're planning our life together. Sam talked me into starting a blog, and somehow because of that I've managed to take up sewing and open up an Etsy shop somewhere along the way. I can look back and see how my niece has grown over the past year. And I do, often.

Now I have a blog roll a million miles long, and I want to meet you all. There are some bloggettes that make me feel like they've just written a post straight out of my thoughts. And it makes me happy to know there are other women out there just like me. 20-something, professionals in their own way, navigating "adulthood" but always keeping the kid in them alive. I love feeling that connection, even if only for a few minutes. Some of you are what I aspire to be. Bold and passionate, yet humble and eloquent.

Thanks to anyone who reads here, for sharing in my daily life. And to those of you I've met, can't wait to see you again! For those of you I haven't, why haven't we met yet?

I'm feeling a blogger meetup soon. Let's make it happen.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fill in the Blanks

Thanks once again to Restaurant Refugee for giving me something fun to fill in with my own words. Refugee, if you read this, I'm waiting for part 2 of that story you started.

1. If I was on a first date with someone and he ordered a Strawberry Daiquiri, I would probably end the date early.

2. When I’m sick I really want someone to bring me something yummy to eat and rub my back.

3. I know that some people really love collective figurines and tchotchkes; but I don’t understand how they spend so much money on it.

4. I know that some people think I’m crazy for spending so much money on sewing and scrapbooking; but I really love it.

5. I’m so glad that I’ve out grown my picky eating habits since high school.

6. I am living proof that the stereotype about people who play online games isn’t always accurate.

7. I know that it is a made-up word; but scrumtrulescent is a permanent part of my vocabulary.

8. I can’t wait for our wedding in November.

9. The most common misconception about me is that I'm calm and put together all the time.

10. I wish I wouldn’t worry about things outside my control but sometimes I just can’t stop myself.

11. If I never heard the word (or phrase) neato again, it would still be too soon.

12. I have a hidden talent for hiding my feelings that no one would ever expect of me.

13. I am not a fan of extraordinary rendition; but if it were to take place for crimes against common sense, then thepeopleofwalmart should be the first person on the plane to Guantanamo.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Bridal Shower Fun!

This past weekend was my bridal shower. Now, you should know that I was not a fan of this idea. The bridal showers I have been to have been long, boring, and no one ever looks forward to them. It's understandable. Who really wants to sit for two hours watching someone else open gifts, and be forced into playing mind numbing games. And the idea of having to wear a stupid hat made out of ribbons and bows was horrifying to me.

Enter my sisters, both my maids of honor. They have never planned a bridal shower before. They are both younger (and to be honest, cooler) than me. They know my general disdain for showers, and they are determined to make this one awesome. And they did.

It started with the theme. Yes, there was a theme for my bridal shower. Hollywood. It was perfect. I didn't actually get to see the invitations until after the party, but they were adorable. I didn't know what else was in store for me, but I got strict instructions to be ready to go by 2:15pm. I was also told I had to be red carpet worthy. This was nerve wracking for me, because my sisters by far have better skills at hair and makeup, and usually I'd ask one of them to do it for me, but they were both busy being hostesses. I think I did just fine though.

So 2:15pm rolls around. I am ready. I come downstairs, am told to look outside, and there is a town car waiting for me. Seriously. My sisters had a car come pick up me, my mom, and my grandmother to take us to the place where the shower was being held. We get there, walk the red carpet in, and I'm surprised by the amount of people who are here to celebrate with me. It was so wonderful to see my friends and family.

My sisters actually made all the food (and it was delicious) and some punch (which I must have had 5 or 6 glasses of), we played some games, but not the kind that makes you want to rip your hair out. They got me a director's chair to sit in for presents, complete with a sign that said "No Autographs Please".

Afterwards, we went back to my parents house. My friends Heather and Sam joined us, along with some family friends I've known almost my entire life. Sam and I finished off a bottle of red wine and chatted. It was a great day, and my sisters did the most amazing job. I love you both!

My grandmother, mother, and I in the car on our way to the event. Our driver saw us struggling to take a picture of ourselves, so he turned around and offered to take the photo for us. He was from Greece and had never heard of this whole bridal shower thing, so he was asking us all these questions about it. He was surprised to hear that men are not usually invited to bridal showers.

One of the games we played was matching yourself with your pair from a famous couple. To figure out who you were, you were allowed to ask yes or no questions to other guests. First three couples to correctly identify themselves and find a match got a prize. Everyone kept laughing at mine, so I thought about it, and was able to figure out who my couple was in two questions:

Q: "Am I me?"

A: "No."

Q: "Am I the soon to be other half of me?"

A: "Yes!"

My best friend from high school insisted on making "the hat" for me. Yes, I use quotation marks around this one, because it's like this evil thing that has be lurking. And I let her get away with making it for two reasons. First, her present to me for the shower was tickets to go see Jude Law in Hamlet on Broadway. Second, when she gets married she better know that I am making her the hat of all hats. And she will wear it. And she better like it. Love you Heather!
And last but not least, my fabulous sisters with me. This is our Hollywood pose. We were going for the over the shoulder look. I think we pulled it off pretty well. They threw me an amazing shower! Can't wait for the wedding.

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