2013 Week 45: “Yes he was alright, and the song went on forever.”

La De Blog - Record Wedding Bar Menu

Let’s do some more wedding talk! For our hedgehog & music-themed wedding, we tried to tie in music in little ways where we could. For our drink menu, we cut the menu into a square shape and used double-sided tape to affix it to a 10″ record sleeve. Then we put it into clear sleeve and put in on a stand. We had beer, wine, cider and two signature cocktails for the wedding. Mine was the Cuba Leigh-bre and Z’s was The Old Curmudgeon. The Cuba Leigh-bre was a Cuba Libre and Z’s was something Adam from Takito gave us the idea for. The Old Curmudgeon was Jeppson’s Malört, grapefruit soda, and orange bitters. Funny enough, I did not drink any of my signature cocktail because Z’s was so tasty!

Takito Tuesday with Stacy. Made veggie and tofu tempura. Saturday was all about errands. Dropped off promo items @ Orange Beautiful for Show of Hands. Dropped off stock at Local Goods. Was recommended an Indian restaurant called Tava in Melrose Park and it had such unique and amazing vegetarian buffet items. Dropped off items and checked out The Free Store – highly recommend everyone support this next time it pops up. Within 30 minutes of my stuff being put out, nearly all of it was gone, and seemingly to people who needed/would put it to use. Kiku/Megan Lee Designs Open Studio. Birthday brunch for Dave @ Delish. Did a mega clean-up after our landlord had our front window replaced and cleaned up our mantel (below). Made a new RWT card especially for Pittsburgh’s Handmade Arcade!

La De Blog - Mantel

L&Z puppets, hiding, were made by Katie Rose Crafts! Because Z proposed with a puppet and we knew Puppet Bike was going to be our special wedding guest, we knew we would get puppets made of ourselves. My buddy Nate’s professional photos should be coming soon and I cannot wait to show those off!

Films watched 45th week of the year:

Turn Me On, Dammit! ** [ Norway ]
What’s Your Number?
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
A Walk into the Sea *
5 Broken Cameras ** [ Palestine ]

* documentary
** foreign language

Fave movie this week was Turn Me On, Dammit!. Z had seen this before and knew that I would like it and he was correct. Very refreshing to see a teen sex comedy where it is a horny girl instead of just some horny dude. Silly and serious at times, a very worthwhile watch. It was surprising how much I enjoyed Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Really sweet and it made me cry.

Speaking of crying: David Bowie, Lady Hedgehog crossed the Rainbow Bridge and her person, Aimee, was an amazing hedgemom to her. A few things have been happening in my world that are out of my control and reading this news Saturday night sent me into a long crying fit. You are so missed, DB, LH. Hopefully you got to meet Hoggle and Hermione and you are chomping up all the mealworms you can fit into your mouth. Being agnostic, a heaven for people seems strange to me; that scene from This is the End is kind of how I used to picture it, but an animal sanctuary in the sky where all of our beloved family pets to hang out together doesn’t seem odd in the slightest.

2013 Week 45: What does the derp say?

La De Blog - Z & Joplin
Shop Dog Joplin with Z

Took Tilda to a new vet, Wicker Park Vet – a vet who loves animals; what a concept! Dropped veggie vampire tea towels @ Plenty. FINALLY stopped at Modern Cooperative. It is THE best curated vintage furniture and home goods store I have yet to visit. Then I attended Chicago’s Cooking Up Change event with Z and Ashley – this event is really a game changer for kids with a lack of opportunities in their neighborhoods and schools – pairing high school culinary students with important area chefs to create a school lunch menu. I love that the founder of the company I work for is so passionate about it, which in turn makes us passionate about it. Friday, Z and I ran a million errands in a row and gave Katniss a bath. Enjoyed sleeping in and naps for the first weekend I can remember in months. No spin and I’ll get back into it, but for now am enjoying a little time off. Went to Nick & Erin’s lovely wedding and so happy to say it was our last wedding to attend this year. 8 down, including our own, and 0 to go. Went to Kris’ karaoke bday party! Went out with Stacy and a whole bunch of her awesome lady friends for bday drinks @ Three Dots and a Dash, which (sadly) met my low expectations.

Films watched 44th week of the year:

Gravity (3D/RPX)
Maniac Cop
The Ambassador *
Gasolina ** [ Guatemala]

* documentary
** foreign language

Gravity was pretty to look at and extremely intense, but there really did not need to be any backstory whatsoever. Would have been just as beautiful to watch unfold and maybe a little more pleasurable. I loved The Ambassador. After reading a handful of reviews, it seemed to receive a lot of flak, but I think what Mads Brügger did was commendable. The afterward at the end of the film showed a number of people he interviewed had mysteriously died. Quite literally, he could have died for his art/undercover film-making. Yet another reason not to buy diamonds! The “gem” in my wedding band made by Chocolate and Steel is a lab-grown pink tourmaline.

La De Blog - Custom wedding band by boygirlparty & chocolateandsteel.
My perfect wedding band!

Now that’s it’s been nearly a month, maybe I will start posting about all the details of what made our wedding spectacular!

2013 Week 42: L&Z wedding was perfect.

This week: After getting in from Concord, Z and I took Katniss’ wheel to Hannigan Household. Takito with Amanda & Stacy. Make-up test run with Amanda. Mixer run to Whole Foods with Alison and lunch @ Urban Vegan. Front chipped teeth fixed @ dentist. Prep welcome bags with Garrett’s CaramelCrisp popcorn and Katherine Anne caramels. Picked up wedding dress @ Mignonette Bridal. Picked up flowers from Kennicott. Pre-wedding madness dinner @ Dimo’s. Wedding party of awesome helped prep one last wedding decoration. Test run of the Old Curmudgeon signature cocktail. LCB designed and then I uploaded wedding program to Kinko’s to print. Picked them up and cut them. Bouquet/boutonnière/wrist corsage prep with the best bridesmaids. Picked up speakers @ Windy City Music. Wedding rehearsal @ Swedish American Museum. Rehearsal dinner @ Reza’s Andersonville. Impromptu drinks @ Takito. Julie’s spin class @ Lakeview Athletic Club with KATE! Hair done @ Strange Beauty Show. Set up the venue (this was the most stressful part of the day)! Nails done @ Nail Palette. Finished writing my vows. Got married! Had Nate Stayed at the thoroughly underwhelming Radisson Blu. Had day after breakfast with our parents and Z’s Aunt Chris @ Janik’s. Headed off to Greenhouse Bed & Breakfast where we met Magoo the goat, Tinka and Titan the corgis, and Guia and Mark, the B&B’s owners and promptly headed out with Mark to go make apple ciders with a cider press over 200 years old!

Our wedding was perfect because it was absolutely 100% us. I’m going to break up the amazingness into a few posts. I was going to post about our favorite things, but seriously, EVERY SINGLE THING THAT HAPPENED and EVERY person who was there made our day perfect! We had written an e-mail to the most joyous entertainment that exists in the whole world, PUPPET BIKE, awhile ago if they might perform at our wedding but we hadn’t heard back, so I re-wrote the email as a letter and we dropped it off to P-Bike in Andersonville during a show. We got an email the day after saying that they would do it. AND THEY DID IT! Basically, our brains exploded with happiness. BEST WEEK EVER!

Photographic evidence of our perfect wedding:
Zack and Leigh puppet bike 5 SMALL
Photo by Kirstie Shanley.

Of course, no wedding goes off without a hitch. Here were ours:
– One of Z’s groomspeople dropped out a week before the wedding.
– A couple friends and family friends were not able to attend at the relatively last minute.
– A few friends showed up late and missed the ceremony.
– One friend that we know of didn’t show up at all.
– I chipped my nailpolish right before the ceremony.
– We both forgot to put a pun or wordplay into our vows.

In the grand scheme of things, only forgetting one thing we intended to do was pretty awesome. Everything else was out of our control. And the whole thing was awesome even with those little hitches in there. I love my boo and I am so glad to officially call him my Mr. Boo.

Films watched 42nd week of the year:

Waking Sleeping Beauty *
Viva Cuba ** [ Cuba ]

* documentary
** foreign language

2013 Week 41: We came, we saw, we Concord, NH

La De Blog - Leigh y llamas
Me & Llamas @ Dimond Hill Farm

La De Blog - Zack & Alex
Zack & Leigh @ Alex’s wedding!

Lots of stuffs that week. So much is happening right now and it’s hard to keep up with my regular blogging day of Sunday. Gah! So many wedding crafts. I can’t wait until it’s all over so I can post about all of them! Wax @ Parlor 836. Trial hair run @ Strange Beauty Show. Rip songs for Les. Dropped Katniss off at Hannigan Hedgehog Household (Christina & Shaun are THE BEST). Concord, NH –> Drinks @ Barley Pub. Drinks @ Tandy’s. Exploring Concord with Nick & Shannon. Alex & Megan’s amazingly beautiful wedding! Alex’s wedding was so lovely and it was great seeing my old friend and OFFICIANT for me & Z’s wedding get married to his one! Only two more weddings this year for me & Z to attend; ours and Nick & Erin’s! HUZZAH!

Films watched 41st week of the year:

Breaking Upwards
Lil Bub and Friendz *
Late Marriage ** [ Israel ]

* documentary
** foreign language

Breaking Upwards remains one of my favorite romantic dramadies of late. This was a re-watch for me, but it’s just so enjoyable and I love the music. Really great week of movies for me. It just makes me happy that Lil Bub is alive on film. Her adorableness is hard to handle. With so much going on, watching movies is at least a way I can somewhat de-stress.

2013 Week 37: Everybody’s working for the wedding…

La De Blog - Vegan Fudge
Photo of the microwave vegan fudge I made from this Wanna Be Chef recipe. I used almond milk and added Dandies vegan marshmallows and everyone who had one at the Show of Hands meet & greet loved them! BONUS: It only took about 15 minutes to whip up and throw in the freezer. I definitely would not throw in freezer next time, but it was really hot so I figured they needed to stay as cool as possible, but I broke the tip of my chef’s knife trying to cut them. So, if you’re looking for something I really want off our Amazon registry? The 6″ chef’s knife we registered for would be ULTRA handy!

Wedding. Wedding. Wedding. Wedding. Now that it’s nearly a month away, I completely understand why so many go full Bridezilla. It is really hard to put together an entire wedding, you guys. I am again SO thankful for my friends, my endlessly amazing friends!

This week: Second dress fitting @ Mignonette. Bought paint and brushes at JoAnn’s for painting placecard holders. Applied for Handmade Arcade! A Show of Hands Meet & Greet! Kate got into town and we went to brunch @ TAKITO. Afterwards, LCB, Z and I painted placecard holders and later on that night we packaged our favors. Ate AYCE @ Sushi Para 2. Completed a secret mission. Ate at Dimo’s. Helped Donovan make centerpieces for her wedding next week with Grandma Club. No spin this week. So incredibly busy and there is truly not enough time in the day, but I am still exercising outside of the gym and biking to work a bunch. Muscle gain and weight loss still happening.

Katniss is recovering nicely and her stitches seem to have mostly scabbed over. When I’m sleepy and flip her over, it is still somewhat of a shock to see, but really, she is just as speedy with 3 legs as when she had 4 legs. She is probably tired, as Z and Tilda are, of me singing “CALL ME MAYBE!” Since watching the corgi parody video, I cannot get that song out of my head. It’ll disappear for an hour here or there, but then BAM, it’s back again. Government mind control by way of teen pop stars?

Films watched 37th week of the year:

This is the End
Stories We Tell *
Goodbye, Dragon Inn ** [ Taiwan ]

* documentary
** foreign language

This is the End was my fave this week. I belly laughed a whole bunch and I think that Seth Rogen would just be a really cool guy to hang out with during Armageddon. Did you see that pic of him and Lil’ Bub? COME ON!

2013 Week 31: Shadow’s shadow – b. April 20, 2002 d. August 1, 2013

La De Blog - Shadow 01
Leigh & puppy Shadow

La De Blog - Shadow 02
Shadow with Emo Leigh

La De Blog - Shadow 03
Shadow being her adorable self

La De Blog - Shadow 04
Me, Z, and Shadow at our old apartment

When we went as a family to the breeder to visit the Berner puppies, I picked Shadow out. My mom explained that we couldn’t fall in love with her because there were other families who would pick before us, but I knew that she would be ours. It turns out she had a “defect” of a kink in her tail, which disqualified her from show quality, but that defect made her all ours. Shadow passed away Thursday night. She was a Bernese Mountain Dog and she lived to be 11 years and 3 months, which is a ripe old age for a Berner these days. For the last couple years, whenever I was home in Alexandria, VA, I would hug her real tight knowing that her time was coming to an end. I had hoped I would get to see her one last time before she went, but she died 9 days before I went home and it crushes my soul more than a little bit. It will be so hard to handle being home this weekend without her there. Shadow passed away on the anniversary of Hoggle’s death, so hopefully she’ll find him wherever she is.

My dad sent this email out to family and friends who knew and loved Shadow:

“Shadow succumbed to pneumonia last Thursday evening at South Paws. She was very weak, and her passing was natural and peaceful. The staff at South Paws was wonderful.

We can’t imagine a better, more eager to please friend and companion than she. We have so many happy memories of day-to-day life with her and on trips around the country. We miss her greatly.”

My mom told me right before Z, LCB, and I headed out to Reza’s Andersonville to scout it as a rehearsal dinner location and when we got to A-ville, Puppet Bike was out. Puppet Bike always seems to be there when I need it most. Thank you, Puppet Bike – that is why you’re my favorite. To distract myself (and because we have a lot to do), I threw myself into wedding planning over the weekend. Z and I met with Reba (Rar Rar Press) and we picked out type together and she handset the type for the RSVP card and printed it. Reba had a plate made of our invitation and she printed those afterwards. They look fan freakin’ fantastic. I know most brides probably say that about their own invites, but seriously, ours are the best! I do not know what we would do without our incredible friends throughout this wedding madness. Danelle & Joe [ Florence Oliver ] lasered us custom stamps with our wedding image and return address. Sunday night Z and I packaged up all the invites and they went in the mail this morning. Serious shoutouts to all friends who are helping our wedding come together.

Call off the vintage sheet hunt! After ~3.5 hours of searching at Kane County Flea Market and not finding a single vintage sheet, I gave up and decided to just buy tablecloths and then re-sell them on Craigslist. I ended up getting tablecloths for our 27 tables for ~$250. The Kane County Flea Market was not a total bust for our wedding though – I found an amazing pink doll case that we will use as a card box and some vintage fluted white plates for the Cookie Table. Next time I go to this sprawling flea market, I’ll bring some healthy snacks! Also accomplished: photographer found in our friend Nate Lanthrum. DJ lady friends Les & Beth. Things are happening.

Also this week: Tilda training. Lunch with Alison @ Upton’s Breakroom [skip the tempeh, more like tempmeh]. Card drop @ Paper Doll. Native Foods with Megan & Jess & Nick. Jason’s Bday @ Emporium Arcade. Took Katniss to the vet because she kept losing quills – her mites are worse and we’ve been given Ivermectin (usually a no-no for hedgehogs) spaced out over 4 oral doses along with a special shampoo to bathe her with weekly.

Films watched 31st week of the year:

Identity Thief
Mongol ** [ Kazakhstan ]
Tchoupitoulas *

* documentary
** foreign language

2013 Week 30: Our wedding will be imperfect and awesome.

La De Blog - LCB & LAK @ Indie Wed
LCB & Me @ Indie Wed

Lots of bike riding! Going to Upton’s Breakroom for the first time on the second day it was open! Started addressing wedding invitations. Quesadilla! Had a flurry of Etsy orders. Rani’s bachelorette dinner! Sold @ Jeff Fest. Indie Wed with LCB!

On Sunday morning, I felt depression creeping in. Z and I dropped off a donation at Brown Elephant and then I dropped Z off at the Music Box. On the way home I called about 7 friends to try to make brunch plans before I went to Indie Wed. I had a false hope for brunch fall through and then I came to the realization I would have to be alone with my thoughts, so I went to Janik’s to get a sandwich. The first thing I consider a negative experience happened there after years upon years of going happened just before I ordered. I don’t know if it was just what I was putting out in the world, but that made me come to a realization. Our wedding will not be perfect and I have to accept that. I felt like Charlie Brown walking back from Janik’s, but I came back and pressed play on Animal Allies and waited for LCB to pick me up for Indie Wed.

A thing I was always CERTAIN that would happen at my wedding is not happening and a few other things that I had banked on happening may not be happening. Additionally, we realized that we had not accounted for tablecloth rental in our budget that we are trying to strictly adhere to. Tablecloth rental is ridiculously expensive, like $12 – $19 apiece and we’ll need a total of 20 at the very least, so the rental would be somewhere around $300 – $500, which is just something we cannot/will not do. If I can round enough of them up, we are going to use vintage King-size sheets. I have friends and one amazingly thrift-savvy coworker looking for me. I’m going to Kane County Flea Market next weekend to look for tablecloths and platters to use for the cookie table. I know that our wedding will be awesome regardless of whether or not a beloved musician buddy plays or not; whether we have matching tablecloths or not, etc. Our wedding will be awesome not because of these things, but because of our love and our awesome friends and family sharing that day with us.

Films watched 30th week of the year:

Katy Perry: Part of Me *
The Holy Man ** [ India ]

* documentary
** foreign language

I know that friends of mine judge me for enjoying Katy Perry’s music, but I truly have no shame enjoying the music I like; be it an indie dude with a guitar playing to a tiny crowd or someone playing to thousands upon thousands. This documentary further cemented my enjoyment of Katy Perry, not just as a singer/songwriter, but as a human being. Sure, I think the rise to fame probably changed her somewhat, but that (very slow) rise seemed to ground her as a human being and A LOT of her employees are old friends and I respect that a lot. The day after I watched this documentary, this post went up on Hatesong on the A/V Club and I still laughed, but I still admire the heck out of her and enjoy Firework myself.