Wednesday, October 21, 2009


We're tying the knot, getting hitched, getting married, and so on and so forth! But wait, you say, that's not a surprise at all! That's old news!

Well, I got a call back from my pastor today (left him a message yesterday). And our date is officially on the books. It's concrete! It's our day! No on else can take it! We have a day!

This is all very exciting and starting to feel realllll!

I know we're a year & a halfish out, but in my area things book up real real fast! In fact, our reception venue (hopefully, we love it) said that for a May 2011 wedding, we can't book in later than December 2009. I think it's because we're so close to Chicago where people pay big bucks for some big places. A lot of folks look outside Chi Town to save money.

In fact, I've been researching photographers and basing them around our list of wants and $1500 budget. I found a really nice affordable photographer and emailed them, saying our wedding is May 2011, but we're not looking to book until this May 2010, and asking if I could see a price list anyway. They were very nice, but turns out they're all ready booked through March 2011. Better get on it!

Either way! I'm excited! TB keeps getting on me to book the place we want for the reception, but I'm super hesitant. This place is absolutely perfect, and I know we'd never change out minds, but it's a scary thought to put so much money down when I'm unemployed. Granted, their rates aren't too bad by industry standards, but I'm worried about the idea if I don't get a full time job soon?

Regardless, our date is concrete at the church. Life is good!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Submerged Love: Part Two

So update! I still love submerged flowers! Haha just kidding, that's not really an update.

But continuing on, last time I gave you all some tips on your own submerged flowers. I have some more tips, especially helpful I think, if you're going the DIY route.

The following is all from this post on the Mocha Rose Blog (all images fro
m there as well). Check it out. All credit it due there. I'm just sharing because I find her post extremely helpful!

First, what exactly is a submerged arrangement?
As the name suggests, it is a flower that is literally underwater and it is showcased in glassware and often accented with crystals and candles.

What types of flowers can be used in submerged centerpieces?
The short answer is: Any! However, some flowers work much better than others. My favorite flowers to use are orchids, roses, hydrangeas, calla lilies and tulips. Orchids work beautifully to fill the space in a tall vase. Roses always seem to magnify about ten times their size underwater and it is a very unique effect. Hydrangeas fill out the space in a short wide vase and even look beautiful when placed in a vase that is a bit too small in diameter. Calla lilies and tulips are perhaps my favorites because they can be twisted, curved and intertwined every which way to create a piece of floral art.

There are only a few flowers that I do not like to use and they are flowers with lots of pollen or those with delicate, paper thin petals. The pollen filled flowers like lilies can cloud the water (though with lilies, you can carefully remove the pollen). Paper thin petals like those of anemones can close up under the pressure of the water.

Can I use silk flowers since no one would be touching them?
Everyone seems to think that if they are underwater, no one would know the difference. As a flower lover, I believe that the reason that you choose this sort of arrangement is because you want to magnify the natural beauty of a bloom. If you are magnifying a silk flower, you are only magnifying the flaws of the impostor. (Yes, that is my official opinion of silk flowers.) Do you want frayed edged, dyed fabric and shiny plastic stems to be put under a magnifying glass at your wedding? There is nothing that even comes close to the beauty of a real flower.

Will the flowers die before the end of the night?
Absolutely not!!! Flowers love water. In fact, if you take them out of the water at the end of the night, they'll be as perky as ever. I've done tests in my studio and I've had submerged arrangements last up to four days. The water will go bad before the flowers do. After a day or two, the water may start to cloud (even quicker if the arrangement is in sunlight or a very warm room.) If you want to keep the arrangements for more than two days, I'd recommend completely changing the water and bleaching the stones to eliminate all bacteria. I'd imagine that these arrangements would last a week or more with the proper treatment.

How do you keep the flowers from floating to the top?
Well, we can't give away all of our secrets, can we? I will say that if you simply try to stick the flowers into a few rocks, they will most definitely float to the top. Flowers float and some more so than others. Roses, hydrangea and lilac can be tricky.
It seems simple, right? Can't I make my own submerged centerpieces for my wedding?
I wouldn't wish this on any bride for her wedding day! Submerged arrangements must be constructed on site and often at the last minute. Most of the cost of submerged arrangements (see next question) is in labor and for a good reason. They are not easy and are often quite messy to set up. There is also an issue of transportation. Vases and stones can get quite bulky and heavy and if you don't have access to a van, you will probably spend a good part of your wedding day loading, transporting and unloading the materials.
How much does a submerged arrangement cost?
Here at Mocha Rose, our submerged arrangements range in price from $29-250. They are generally an affordable option as your flower cost is kept at a minimum of 1-3 stems. Most of the cost of these arrangements is in labor because they often take additional staff available due to last minute set up. Our typical arrangements will be priced in the following manner: floral cost + vase rental + stone rental + votive rental + floating candles + labor + pick up. However, if you were trying to make these centerpieces on your own, you'd be purchasing the vases and stones and will most likely ending up spending about the same or more than having us do the arrangements.

Of course, if you are using five calla lilies (expensive) as opposed to a single rose (affordable) there will be a huge price difference. A florist can guide you in which flower will work best with your colors, look and budget. It's what we do ;)

Will my guests like the arrangements?
As a florist, I get to hear a lot of feedback from my brides, the guests and the staff at the reception site. One of the most common reactions is "Wow. I haven't seen anything like that before!" or "That is the most unique centerpiece I have ever seen!"

All I can say is that I receive more comments about these centerpieces than any other type I do. People love them.

Am I limited to flowers?
No! I love to experiment. Below is a submerged arrangement of fresh whole and cut limes. If you are using fresh fruit, I'd recommend waiting to the last minute or the water may cloud. We also use another secret (I'm not telling!) to keep the fruit from browning.

If you have something in mind, it never hurts to bring it up to your florist. I'm willing to experiment with anything which is why I know that a peacock feather does in fact look beautiful under water.

Is there any way to bring submerged centerpieces to the next level?
Absolutely! We have a few vases that allow us to create a submerged arrangement and build an arrangement on top of that vase like the beautiful pink and red orchids below.

We know that you like calla lilies and tulips, but are there any other flowers that work very well in submerged centerpieces
I love the look of cymbidium orchids when they are under water. They are such a beautiful flower. They are on the expensive side, but they sure do make a statement.
Bubbles or no bubbles?
There is a big debate on the issue of what kind of water to use in submerged arrangements. Some people use distilled water so the water is crystal clear. Some use tap water and when they do, there are natural air bubbles that will cling to the petals and stems. Some will even add San Pellegrino to the water to increase the bubbles that will attach to the flowers.

My stance on bubbles: I like them! I think that they add dimension to the arrangement and look pretty neat. I use regular old tap water most of the time, but will add a bit of San Pellegrino when I want a little more pizzazz. I personally think distilled water looks flat. (And why bother with the additional expense?)

Gladiolas are a more affordable alternative to the look of cymbidium orchids.

Have any other tips to share about submerged flowers?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DIY: Magazine Bowl

So, this is not [really] wedding related (NWR), but I'm sure some crafty, kitschy bride out there could make this wedding related some how. And if they can't? Well, it's time consuming, but really frigging cool. Withour futher adu, the magazine bowl! It's easy, just time consuming!
Gather your materials! Some old magazines, glue, mod podge (or other decoupage glue), a foam brush for mod podging (not pictured) clear spray sealer (optional), and a bone folder (optional).
Step 1) Tear out all the pages from your magazine. Hello reduce, reuse, recycle!
Step 2) Fold the pages diagonally.
I find that later it works easier if I use my bone folder after I fold, to make the creases better. It flattens out the magazine quite nicely!
Step 3) Glue the little flap down.
Do this over and over and over again until you have a whole lot of little magazine folds!
Step 4) Glue your magazine folds together, end to end. (I did this a little bit as I went because it's easier to deal with a few glued together than a whole bunch.
Step 5) Starting with one end, start rolling the magazine folds around each other. I found it helps to use a rubberband to hold my roll together while I was busy folding more magazine folds!
Then keep adding on more folds and keep rolling them around themselves. Keep going until you have a 'magazine roll up' that it the desired diameter of the bowl you want.
Step 6) 'Telescope' your bowl out. Push down the middle, pull up the sides until you like the shape you have.

Step 7) Using a foam brush, coat the inside, outside, and bottom of your bowl with Mod Podge!

Step 8)
- Optional - Spray with a coat of acrylic sealer. I chose 'gloss' sealer to match the glossy mod podge!

And surprise! Now you have your very own magazine bowl! (I promise it looks better in real life than it does in this photo)

The best part about magazine bowls, you ask? Looking down at the inside! Fantastic!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Submerged Love: Part Uno

Okay, so confession time. I am absolutely obsessed with submerged flowers. I love them. There are literally not enough words to describe how much I love them. As a floral lover person normally, the submerged flowers just take it up a notch. Something about it just makes my eyes go wide and my heart swell. Just love love love love love!!!

I was reading up on them, and I've heard that they're not as expensive as normal floral arrangements. This makes sense, there's less flowers so you're paying for all of them. And, as a plus, hopefully people won't accuse you of being a cheap bride. The best part about these flowers is that they look expensive.

To get you drooling and wiggling your toes in anticipation of future submerged flowers, check out this photo from Actress Salma Hayek and billionaire Fran├žois-Henri Pinault's wedding vow renewal in Venice. (image source)

From Playing with Flowers: "The magnificent vase arrangements in the background are super tall cylinder vases with ivory roses submerged under water. The roses are suspended on gold wire throughout the length of the vases. Submerged flowers are a very simple but effective look. The curved shape of the vase magnifies the flowers. Cymbidium orchids also work well in submerged arrangements. Waterproof lights or floating candles can also be placed in the vase to make the arrangement appear to glow."

Naturally, I wouldn't have as elaborate (or as expensive) vases & submerged flowers as Salma, but a girl can dream, right? :)

In case you want to fall in love too, feast your eyes on these babies from the Rachael Ray Mag. (image source)
I love tulips so much and submerging them just makes me happy :). And here's another one (from bridal buds) just in case you're not convinced. (image source)
If you're considering submerged flowers for your centerpieces, here are some tips. (I found the same tips at multiple places so I'm not sure of the exact source, but here is one - image from same source.)
1. In order for your flowers not to float to the top of your vase, you will need to a) attach the stems to the bottom of the vase with aquarium glue or b) use fishing weights. Fishing weights are small silver weights sold at hardware stores. Attach weights onto the flower with clear fishing wire and let it sink – cover up with decorative stones or c) for some flowers simply adding decorative stones or pebbles to the bottom of each vase around stems keep the flowers from floating to the top.
2. If you use regular tap water, bubbles may eventually begin to form on your flowers. Use distilled water to prevent bubbling.
3. Real flowers are recommended. If you use silk flowers, make sure you test them in water to prevent bleeding. I have heard that synthetic flowers work better than silk.
4. If your arrangement starts to look too heavy, try submerging only half of your flowers. I have been to a few events where they only submerged a portion of the flowers and they looked quite lovely.
5. In water, everything is magnified. A floating wire or fraying silk flower will show. Be sure that your pieces are well put together before adding water.
6. Depending on the flower you choose, the blooms can look nice up to a week submerged in water. The length of time your centerpiece will look fresh depends not only on the flower you choose, but also how much jostling will take place. This is something to think about if you are hauling a few of them to a wedding reception or other event.

Anybody attempting to DIY submerged flowers?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Jim + Pam = Wedding!

So as an avid Office fan & bride to be, I was ridiculously excited about the Jim & Pam Wedding episode last night. The whole 'Jim and Pam saga' has been one of my favorite story lines to follow throughout the series! Ever since that kiss on casino night, I swear I've been waiting for them to tie the knot!

Not only was it super cute (hello Jim's tie moment), but it was also hilarious! I think it reminds us not to take everything too seriously, even if it feels like your wedding is taking over your whole life.

And to make it even funnier, feel free to check out their wedding website at
Oh, and if you can't help yourself, feel free to download wallpapers from the wedding here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

201, What?

(201) Bride that is!
Funny story, on the (201) Bride website, you can sign up for a free issue of their magazine (made by the folks that make 201 magazine). So during a daily devour of wedding websites, I signed up for my free issue. No big deal, I do this all the time - I'm still waiting for my 1st issue of GetMarried. Regardless, I recently received my (201) Bride mag in the mail!

... I guess I didn't pay too much attention to the website at the time. Apparently it's '(201)', in parenthesis, for a reason. I guess 201 is the area code for New Jersey. This should make perfect sense because it's a mag for NJ brides, complete with a list of NJ specific venues.
Last Time I checked, NJ and IL weren't neighbors. . .or even that close.

Regardless, I urge everyone to sign up for the free (201) Bride mag. Although, you may not (or maybe you can) use the state specific info, the magazine is still great! And best of all, it's full of a lot of very pretty & inspirational photos!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Oh Wow!

So I have to tell you all how excited I am! Jillreigh of the Once Upon a Dream blog has sent me a lovely blog award!

This is so excite for a couple of reasons! Firstly, I don't have a whole lot of blogging experience so I super excited that people are reading my blog . . . Oh wait, I mean I'm super excited that people are reading my blog and enjoying what it says. Secondly, I lurrve (Dane Cook, anyone?) her blog! She is super cute and it sounds like her and her fiance will have quite the big day! I only found her blog recently, but had to go back and read all of her archived posts (of course). And although I am slightly jealous of the chairs at her venue, I love what she has to say nonetheless. Also, she's from an area not too far from mine (and not too far from Chi town) so it's exciting to hear about others from my neck of the woods as well as hear from another 20 something.

After receiving this, I get to write 7 facts about myself and then pass it along to 7 other Kreativ bloggers so here we gooooooooo!

1) The new Backstreet Boys CD came out yesterday. I bought it on iTunes today. I'm partly embarrassed, partly nostalgic, and partly proud of my decision :).
2) I am obsessed with the plush stuffed animals Ugly Dolls. In fact, I have well over 20, won 7 in a contest, and TB gets me one for every major holiday. Even more, they played a large part in Mr. TB's asking me to marry him.
3) I wear sweat pants or PJ pants every day if I'm not working/churching/anything needing fancyness. For serious. Last year, in college, my room mate CK saw me wearing jeans and said 'What are you all dressed up for?' ! You only live once, why not be comfortable!
4) I want my own dog sooo bad (but I still love the family dog)! And I talk about how that will be one of the first things TB & I get when we get a place. I talk about him all the time (even though he's not really around yet . ..). He will be a bichon frise and his name will be Claude. I have it all planned out :).
5) I went to school for graphic design and cannot wait for my big 'career' moment, but since graduating in May I have not been able to get a full time job yet.
6) My favorite drink ever is an Arnold Palmer. Half ice tea, half lemonade, half perfection! What's that, you say? Too many halves? I doubt it!
7) I am obsessed with bad reality tv. Like all those shoes on MTV and VH1? Yeahhhhh, I love them. I can't help myself. It's a guilty pleasure!

And now to tag 7 other bloggers I enjoy!
1) To Each Her Own
2) Cupcakes & Stripes
3) Miss Pugs Pawfect Wedding
4) Tying the Knot - Seriously soo cute!
5) I Love Love
6) The Wedding Corner
7) Globetrotting Bride

Wedding Bands... No, not those bands!

I have perused wedding bands for Mr. TB online before. I know (or knew) exactly what kind of band I wanted for TB. I jumped on the titanium bandwagon because I love how hip it is and durable. After looking into it, I am super interested in Tungsten bands too. TB is an avid rock climber and enjoys being outdoors and doing active things. I read that the Tungsten are heavy (so the guys always know they are there) and are super durable (way more than titanium), so maybe the big T would be the way to go. TB liked this idea too.

I know it's early for looking at bands but I can't help myself. Actually, when I googled wedding bands, I got a list of people. . .playing music... for weddings. Oops! Haha, but I was like "Noo, not that wedding band, yo!"

Either way, seeing as TB and I are about 2 hours apart now, and he was at work, the easiest thing for me to do was email him a whole bunch of photos. He didn't know I was looking, but seemed super interested. Here's how it went:
MC: Does looking at rings give you those warm fuzzy feelings?
TB: You're a dork.
MC: Does it?
TB: Yes?

I know TB (hopefully! just kidding) and I know what kind of guy he is. He's not frou-frou and all (same for the type of clothes he wears), pretty simple, and not a 'bling' type at all. I knew the kind of ring I wanted to get him, and I knew the kind of ring he would like. Originally I wanted a titanium ring with a large brushed titanium stripe in the middle. It looks sooooo good. And sexy! Can a ring be sexy? Well I found one that is!

Here are the contenders! (I'll put the source link on the photo so just click the photo for the link.)

You can see they all seem a little similar, but all very TB. I would be happy with any of these for him. Originally the 2nd ring was what I wanted for him. I thought it was perfect, but after looking some more I found some other great ones. Oh and you know how I said I found a sexy ring? Yeah, look at the the fourth one! Ooooh baby! TB loves it too!

You want to know what really got me? It goes like this!
MC: So did you like that one?
TB: Yeah, I liked it a lot.
MC: I knew you would.
TB: Yeah, it looks nice.
MC: Do you want to be surprised by your ring?
TB: I want to be surprised to a point. I'd have to try it on first to see how it looks.

And cue the warm fuzzies again! I don't know why, because I do it for myself all the time, but that was the first time I pictured a ring on Mr. TB. It was a feeling I can't describe exactly, but it was definitely very very awesome.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Perfect Wedding Gift for Fall!

Quick side note: the comments part of my blog wasn't working and I have finally noticed it and fixed it! Thanks! (also thanks to the person that pointed it out for me!). So feel free to comment to your heart's content :).

Anyway, I am not having a fall wedding. I've always wanted a Spring Wedding, but fall is my favorite season so I would not be opposed. When Mr. TB and I register for gifts, I want one of our places to be Crate & Barrel. They have some great home stuff that would be amazing in our future (crossing my fingers) home. Thanks to the fall season, the C&B have some super cute items in stock that would be sweet for a fall wedding gift, or a cute bridal shower gift / gift basket.

Here's what I think is the cutest ever :)
Apple and Pumpkin Pocket Pie Molds

Mmmmm om nom nom nom! So cute!