Hitched in Hawaii by Providence Classic

I was going for pink pants, but had to reign it in a little. Check out my style board for a couple getting married in Waikiki on Boutonnieres and Bow Ties!



When I was in high school, I had a thing for wood-paneling. Coincidentally, my best friend's parents had a seriously old-school station wagon (leather three-seater up front and sweet faux bois siding? Hell yes!) that I spent many a ride in. Unfortunately, they did not sell it to me for $1, as their daughter had shrewdly offered - most likely due to the fact that I was not yet 16 and would have probably borrowed the dollar from their own child.

This later turned into a quest for the Jeep Wagoneer, which is no longer in production and somewhat of a collector's item. After all these years, I spied it today in the perfect navy color in Tommy Hilfiger's fall 2010 ad campaign.

Photo via Habitually Chic

A tiny monogram on the door? Just rude.

Though I think those tires need replacing before this hits my driveway. Just saying, Tom Tom.



Jon: 2 - CFA: 0

Una passed Level 2 of the CFA! 
Bring it on, Level 3! (Uh, that would be a year from now.)

Congratulations! I am so proud of you!


My Life in Cliff's Notes

Ahh! Boy, have we been busy. I still have photos from the U.P. with Anne and "Donuts" (real name, Jonas - perhaps I had one drink too many when someone said hello to the native Yuper, prompting me to mishear the pronunciation), pics from the national disaster storm and updates from Jon's mom's visit this past weekend. Here's the Cliff's Notes version:
View from Mackinac Island, a horse-and-carriage only town that is about as picturesque as it gets. Obviously we visited three bars. 
The Upper Peninsula is a series of islands. Main mode of transportation? Boat. 
  Sunset over the water and one of the many islands near Anne's cabin. Perhaps the most relaxing place I've ever been to. Check it out:
Back in Milwaukee for? Thursday's Tornado
Submerged Parking Lot
Normally a very busy street, sans floating telephone poles.
Bystander's photo of the sinkhole. Looks like a Jerry Bruckheimer movie.
This person should A) be seriously concerned and B) in a scuba suit.
Flower birthday cake, a la Wednesday's flower arranging class, for Lynne (Una's mom). Also had my first cake decorating class, though it was not interactive. And no, we didn't get to eat the cake. Clearly not the class I thought I was signing up for.
Per usz, our weekend was centered around food, food and more food. Such as: Mexican, sushi, brats, hot dogs, crepes (above), custard, buttered popcorn (yes!), Comet Cafe and more. Of course we're chubbier.
Brady Street Festival - you can't be asked to listen to music without somewhere to put your drink! What kind of people ask you to stand and hold your beer? Rude people, that's who.
Wing Zone mascot. Embarassment factor: 1 jillion (that's more than a million or billion people, I made it up). Loving it? 100%.
Lounging on the porch. Just before Lynne nearly lost a finger trying to move her bone. 
Milwaukee skyline via a harbor/river boat tour. To be repeated with future guests - perfect weather and gorgeous views.
Anyone up for a visit?


Simon Cowell & A Sinkhole

After American Idol blazed through Milwaukee yesterday for one of its open auditions, a tornado and massive, violent thunderstorms decided to reap their wrath on the city. As Una, Una's mom and I drove across the bridge from our new place to dinner, we quickly found ourselves stranded at the top of the bridge with visibility of . . . 5 feet. Literally. Fog and rain surrounded us in torrents. By the time we got off the closest exit (to discover a manhole burst open and overflowing in a major downtown street) we realized we were complete and utter idiots for attempting to drive in such weather.

5 hours later we are currently stuck in the house as snake lightening (touching the ground - and two people - across the entire city), flash flooding and overall mayhem continues. 25,000 people have lost power, an Escalade tumbled into a massive sinkhole just blocks from our old house and the rain continues to build.

Photo vis

8 inches and counting.


Festa Lasagna

We made it to Festa Italiana Saturday night after packing everything we owned. I was so exhausted I referred to it as Festa Lasagna to the cashier. Most likely offensive, but not nearly as offensive as the food that was offered. Jon ate chicken parm, an Italian sausage and gelato. I had penne and meatballs and a bag of buttered popcorn. The butter gathered at the corner of the bag and leaked onto my right foot and flip flop. Still didn't stop me from eating all of it. 

While there was a tremendous sand castle that took 350 hours to build and stood 20 feet tall with a giant Pinocchio presiding at the top, the rest of the festival is really about eating. Here is a sample menu:

Yes, that is a fried sirloin sandwich called the "Steak Bomb," as well as a genius invention called "Pizza Fries." And still no one believes me back home when I tell them about the food here. 

We'll Just Bathe in Beer

Jon saw the inside of our new rental house Saturday at 4:00 PM and loved it. Whew! Thank goodness.

Though any excitement about the new place quickly dissolved into temporary fury over the forty sealed boxes blanketing the floor. How do we have this much crap?! We donated/threw out five garbage bags full of stuff. And this after the yard sale we had a few weeks back. Seriously - we had to make two trips in a 17 foot U-Haul. Una, our hired movers and I were drenched in sweat (thank you, 90 degree Sunday), while Veloc rested coolly with her summer haircut, with no responsibilities other than eating bones and panting in the dirt under her favorite tree in the old backyard. 

We have no internet access until Thursday, which I realized last night after we finished unloading boxes and Hagrid-sized furniture, finally calmed Panic Pants (the elderly just don't like change!) and then keeled over onto the unmade mattress in the air conditioned bedroom. Conclusion: I would give up running water to have internet access.

We'll just bathe in beer.


The Little Things, Such as Fried Cheesecake

I somehow managed to disappear into the U.P. just when everyone that knows I owe them something decided to get together and DEMAND. IT. NOW! My fault, really.

Now that I have returned into the 5th circle of hell, posting has not only fallen off the wagon, so has showering, dressing anything more than my bottom half, brushing my teeth and putting on deodorant. This last one hurts myself the most, as I am closest to my own armpits. Dreadful. Thanks, Allen genes.

I will resurface at some point this weekend most likely to gripe about the fact that we are moving into the new rental house Sunday and haven't packed a damn thing. I'm also pretty sure Festa Italiana will win out over actually packing dishes on Saturday, and that we will find ourselves throwing individual plates into the trunk of the U-Haul come 12 PM Sunday just so we can get ourselves some fried cheesecake bites dipped in chocolate sauce. 

I am also totally cool with this. It's the little things that matter.

Eloping on a Bluff by Providence Classic

No, not me! Another design board at Boutonnieres & Bow Ties for a majorly dreamy wedding on a cliff off the coast of Prince Edward Island: just the bride, her groom and their cherished pup in attendance. Sigh. Check it out at:


Lost in the Yupe

Visiting one of my college cronies in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan) for a few days. Here's a sample of yesterday:

View into Lake HURON

Jane: King Charles Cavalier puppy

"Donuts," our tireless tour guide and chauffeur

More to come. Off for a swim!


Wisconsin Workout

Since 1982, Milwaukee has hosted an annual celebration of the Storming of the Bastille on the "Left Bank" of the Milwaukee River. Bastille Days, as the festival is known, runs four days long and feature bands, food, booze, shopping, a puppy parade, 5K race and more, all for free. Last night was the 5K race, which 5,000 people typically take part in. Jon and I were under the misconception that this race was much like Beer Fest, only you ran with wine and champagne instead of beer (obviously I preregistered for this).

A 40 foot replica of the Eiffel Tower, complete with light show!

And, no. People take this race quite seriously. Before the dang thing started I was getting jostled by people trying to push their way to the front. After a siren eerily similar to our tornado warning, we were off! Una, the running hater, had finally agreed to participate. 3.2 miles . . . this was by far the longest running distance he has done. And he did it! The amount of sweat that was leaked off his body was truly stupendous. He was as wet as the shirtless runners who finished first. That may have had something to do with the fact that we arrived an hour and a half early and were forced to sample some of the offerings. As in, a Jack Daniels and Diet Pepsi for me and a vodka and Red Bull for Una. (The wine was officially the worst pour I have ever seen in my life and on principle alone I refused to purchase it.) 

This was followed post-run with a pork BBQ sandwich for Jon and a fried sampler platter for me comprised of: sour cream and chive french fries, fried cheese curds (a Wisconsin thing) and mozzarella sticks. And beer. I feel thinner already!

Exercising + booze = Wisconsin workout. 


The True Gentleman

Check out my design board for "The True Gentleman" on Boutonnieres & Bow Ties!

This group was created for my dear friend, Courtney! Congrats!

Flower Arranging, Class 3

Last Wednesday I sprinted home from class to pack my bags and clean the house before a 6 AM flight the next day to Boston, so didn't have time to post any pictures of my arrangement. And since they were going to dry up in an empty house with no one to appreciate their 4th of July fireworkness (last week's theme), I gave them to my friend Emmie.

Last night we had our third class and the focus was "moundies." Low, round arrangements in small containers. I chose to do roses and bought 2 dozen at a local supermarket, brazenly thinking that might be enough for two moundies. Hah! Not even enough for one. A beginner's mistake, this was because I made the center rose too tall, creating a bigger circumference that required more flowers. Had I started with a lower height, I would have likely been able to complete the arrangement.

The trick to moundies? Use Oasis 'foam' (ours rose an inch above the lip on the container) and start at the center with one flower. Slowly build circular rows around this central flower, each row slightly lower in height than the one before and hugging closely. 

Since I ran out of roses, I went nuts with the greens to fill the holes. Ta da!
 Here's another view. The container says "bloom." A gift from my mom.
Try it - it's really simple!


AK-47 in Yo' Drink

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters. $12 bucks for one tray, makes 10 ice cubes.
Love it.
Find it here.

Holy Heat & Popcorn Dinner

Wow. It is hot and we do not have AC. Thank goodness Veloc got a haircut last week or else we'd have a permanent shag rug on the ground.

This weekend was wonderful, with a family wedding, trips to the beach, and catching up with old friends, including one who is 7 months pregnant. Jon and I landed at General Mitchell airport at 10:30 PM on Monday night and practically sleep-drove home. Those Midwest Airline warm chocolate chip cookies were lifesavers.

Today's agenda includes sweating as little as possible on the furniture, refilling Veloc's water bowl ten times, monitoring the shanty the local hammertime homeless man has constructed between our house and our neighbor's, avoiding any and all workouts and immediately driving to Walmart to purchase two brand new AC units.

To escape last night's heat Jon suggested we see "Eclipse" at our favorite iPic theater. For a fairly offensive midwest price that we former New Yorkers didn't even blink an eye at, you can select the exact seats you want online, letting one stroll in any old time to claim them. Feel like stopping for a glass of wine and an order of quesadillas to be brought to your seat? Certainly, sir. 

Hands down, the best part of all is that each seat comes with its own large popcorn. No sharing! (Which is a plus for both Jon and for me, as we both know I am extremely territorial when it comes to my favorite food of all time: movie theater butter popcorn.) This is known in our house as Popcorn Dinner.

Jon: "Popcorn Dinner tonight?"

Moi: "Music to my ears!" or "After last night's Akimbo burger, we really shouldn't. Plus, I sort of ate a mini pre-dinner dinner for no good reason other than the leftover Palermo pizza was staring at me and it would have been a waste to run the dishwasher without its dirty plate."

Clearly the first one always wins. Have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the movie. And Jacob's enormous arms.



Have a wonderful and safe 4th of July!

I'll be on the East Coast with family and friends. I hope you spend the weekend surrounded by the ones you love! Cheers!


The Preppy Groom by Providence Classic

You know you want to see this. Full-fledged prep-tastic explosion on Boutonnieres & Bow Ties: