Balancing Act

This weekend will mark the last weekend (well actually tomorrow will mark the last day) of trying to balance grad school with work and wedding planning. I am finishing up my final project for my last class, and I have to say it is great to see the end in sight. I opted to take an intense 13 week class that met on Saturday mornings (so tough to give up one of my weekend mornings!) for my Field Seminar course, which has been somewhat challenging and has definitely limited my social interactions with others since Friday nights out were “school nights” now too. Not to mention the expectations of graduate courses and the insane amount of reading required for each lecture and my time has been pretty compromised lately.

All of this is to say that while my projects have been somewhat lite of late, that will all change after this weekend (I plan to take a “break” after the conclusion of this class before starting on my thesis) I can’t wait to dive into wedding projects and start crossing things off my ever growing list of DIYs. I will keep you posted (and I may have snuck in a project or two already that just needs some final details) so expect to see a lot more DIY fun in the next couple months.

Stay tuned…

Font Friday: Finding Font Collections

One of the things I have loved most about preparing for our wedding and fully immersing myself in the world of wedding blogs is the discovery of new fonts. I love to see the scripty intricate fonts that are so prevalent in wedding invitations. I also love to see how these lovely fonts are paired with other fonts or how the glyphs are used in creative ways. One of the best ways to get a quick overview of fonts and find ones that are most appealing to me has been to look at font collections.

This post provides a great introduction to 30 different free fonts that would look great on invitations (I may or may not have downloaded over half of these, even though I am not using any in our invitation design (or other paper designs) at this point. What can I say- I love a good fancy script!).

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This post on snippet & ink is my favorite collection of fonts, including both free fonts and amazing commercial fonts. I love the way that the names of the fonts are included and that a list of the prices (and links to where to acquire these fonts) are included below. The mix of more formal fonts and “fun” fonts is great as is the mix of fonts which can satisfy any price point.

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Do you have a “go to” page for checking out collections of fonts? Have you found any that you might have missed otherwise?

 

Sleepwalk with me and Relationships

Last night Mr. Fenway and I were lucky enough to view Sleepwalk With Me, a film based on the real life experiences of comic Mike Birbiglia and co-written in part with Ira Glass of This American Life fame. While it is a great movie with a lot of laughs that I highly recommend (it will be coming to theaters this August), the film is ultimately about his relationship with his girlfriend at the time. Without giving too much away (though the story is very much an autobiography of sorts), one of the central questions in the film is dealing with anger in relationships. The character “Matt” goes through a lot because he is worried about upsetting Abby, his girlfriend.  Because he is worried about making her mad, he does not talk about any of his concerns with their relationship. His repressions manifest themselves, in part, though his sleepwalking disorder while his comedy career starts to take off when he tells the audience the truths that he is withholding from his girlfriend.

This led to some interesting discussions on the way home after the film for Mr. Fenway and I. We talked about how important it was to be openly commutative and to try not to hide what we are thinking/feeling based on not wanting to upset the other person. I know that I have been guilty of this (it’s always easier to just let things slide if they don’t bother me that much than to bring up something that could cause distress or for the other person to be upset- not just in my relationship with Mr. Fenway but in all my interactions with others). It was interesting to see the film’s take on how hiding these things, while maybe easier in the short term, could ultimately lead to incredible complications within a relationship. Though the film used humor and had me laughing more than I have at a movie in quite some time, the message was one of the more serious ones I have seen in a film centered on relationships. I loved that going to see it not only served as a “date night” experience for us, but provided us with a lot of talking points that made it an even richer experience.

And now, just for fun, a clip from the movie:

Have you ever found a movie that made you think about your relationship in a different way? Was it unexpected?
Do you ever not mention something to your significant other that is important because you don’t want to upset them?

Happy Anniversary!

I want to take a moment and wish a happy anniversary to my wonderful parents!


Aww, so cute! Still looking good after 32 years together!
(personal photo by family friend)

The 19th is a special day for our family apparently since in exactly 6 months we will be celebrating our wedding!

Do you or your significant other share any special date connections with either of your parents or other family members?

Pretty Pretty Flowers

As I mentioned before, flowers are not super important to us and were one area where we wanted to “save” more than “splurge.” In that vein, we are not having a traditional florist, but rather a friend’s mother-in-law who has done some work on weddings (including her daughter’s at our venue) before. We were excited when we got to see some pictures of her past work.

*All images are from her personal collection, taken by a friend of her family

 

I think she did an amazing job with all the floral arrangements and I am so excited to see what she can do with our inspiration!

Have you ever used a non-professional vendor? How did things go?

Topping the Cake

I hadn’t really thought all that much about our cake toppers to this point, but I am happy that we have them and it is yet another thing to cross off the list.

Initially, I had thought about topping our lovely cake with a bulldog cake topper, reminiscent of our lovely Youkie.


Youkie with Wally, the Green monster


(on Etsy, from seller the republic of cute)

However, when I saw a contest on Beantown bride for a customized red sox topper, I couldn’t resist entering. The red sox have been such a huge part of our relationship, from our first date at Beer Works right outside the park to our many trips to Fenway Park to watch the games there.


Skating at Fenway Park, 2010


with the Ted Williams Seat, 2009


Waiting in line for the red sox world series, 2007

Just a few of our many Fenway/Red Sox pics…

Amazingly, our story was the winning entry and the other day, these fabulous cake toppers from Happy Abby (who has a shop on Etsy) arrived in the mail. I of course had a mini photoshoot with our new lovely cake toppers.


I loved the awesome packaging


front shot

Back shot


side/ring shot

And speaking of ring shots, I took a few more with my engagement ring, just for fun.

Abby was super great to work with, asking for a photo of both of us to work off of and doing an incredible job of personalizing our little toppers to look so much like us. They are the perfect size for our planned groomscake too (more on that later). I am so happy with them and I think they are even more “us” than the bulldog toppers would have been.

Have you ever ended up with something totally different from your initial vision on something?

Font Friday: Finding a Font

I don’t know about you but I know that I am frequently drawn in by the pretty paper goods I see all over the blogosphere. Occasionally I am drawn in to trying to find a specific font that might not be that easy to determine. I know there are lots of ways of doing this, including forums and interactive font identifiers that ask a plethora of questions and then spit back your possible results, but I wanted to do some comparison of some image based font identification programs. Recently, I saw this wedding on Style Me Pretty and was immediately drawn to the awesome place cards and font used throughout the storybook themed wedding. I clicked through to the gallery to find some good pictures of the fonts to use.

I could figure out one of the fonts pretty easily because I already own it and used it in my Christmas cards this year.


I knew that the “happy ending” text in this sign was Nelly Script, but what was the other font?
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I started with this image:

(Soucre)

And cropped it to this:

I continued searching for another image that showed the font I wanted more clearly. I took this image:


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And cropped it to just show the font I was looking for.

Then I tried both images on two different font finding sites.

The first site I tried was myfonts.com What the Font page. When I uploaded the first cropped image (Kyle Worley in this example), I got this:


None of which were actually the font.

The second image went much better, giving me these results:


The correct font (LD Bohemian Filigree) was the first suggestion. It should be noted that this was a more challenging font to identify because it was all caps. That meant that even though the letter looked like “S” it was really “s” – that totally got me the first few times I tried to use this feature.

The next site I tried was What the Font Is. I hadn’t used this before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

This site also could not identify the font from the first image, showing how important having a good image is. However, the correct font did appear as an option:


although it was far down on the list at number 77

Using the second example I was able to identify all the letters, something that I couldn’t do with MyFonts.com’s What the Font.


Here you can see all the letters as opposed to the “D” “P” “u” and “s” that MyFonts.com was apple to identify.

This too gave me the correct font on the first time.

Overall I would have to say that I preferred What the Font Is much more than My Font’s What the Font, which I wasn’t expecting at all. What the Font is was able to identify the font, even with the bad image, and identified all 10 of the letters in the much better quality image as opposed to the 4 that MyFonts.com could identify. I found both user interfaces to be relatively the same and both were extremely easy to use. Another good quality about What the Font Is is it also allowed you to select searching commercial fonts, free fonts, or both, which could be very helpful.

I am so glad to have discovered this site and I am sure I will be utilizing it more in the future.

Do you have any font finding sites to recommend? Have you ever tried to identify a font using a site like this before? Was it successful or not?

A Ring Story

So I have shown my ring a bit in my proposal post, but the other night I decided to do a little ring shoot and realized I hadn’t shared the story of my ring. My ring was a family heirloom which I love. One of my mother’s favorite aunts left her the ring, and she had it in a safe deposit box for years. My mother decided that she wanted to get some use out of it though so she took it out of the safe deposit box and would wear it occasionally. When my parent’s house was broken into and robbed a few years ago, this ring was one of the few pieces of jewelry to survive the robbery (along with my mother’s pearls, her wedding rings and her mother’s wedding ring were sadly stolen however, and never recovered) so it is kind of impressive that it even existed as an option. My mother had offered it to Scott, and when he saw it he knew that it was the right option for me and that none of the other rings he was looking at would compare, both in terms of the ring itself and the sentimental value. After Mr. Fenway so sweetly proposed with the ring, I took it to a jewelry shop near my parents that specializes in antique/estate jewelry (though they also make some of their own pieces), and had it sized down a half size and Rhodium dipped and cleaned. It looked even more amazing after that and it was great to have the jewlers check all the prongs to ensure that the setting was strong.

So without further ado, here are some of pics of my ring in all its sparkly glory.

 

On the Ted Williams signed baseball that Mr. Fenway has

 

 


Side stones

 

 

On Founder’s Curmudgeon’s Better Half bottle, we joked that this was referring to me as Mr. Fenway can be a bit curmudgeonly sometimes


With some of my favorite beer caps in our collection, including Pretty Things, a local microbrewery


Shinniness

Do you have a family heirloom ring or a ring with a history behind it?
Did you have a “glamor shot” session with your ring?

Make me over Sephora- Fresh Face

I am seriously considering using Sephora for my wedding day make up. Since I was running out of supplies that were going to cost me more than $50 to replace, I treated myself to a makeover at Sephora. For those of you who don’t know, Sephora stores (but not the JCPenny Sephoras apparently) offer a “Special Occasion Makeover” that just requires the purchase of $50 worth of products.

I thought it would be a good idea to go in for an “every day look” that I can now and for any upcoming events (wedding related or otherwise) that I have coming up. First the skin care prep person came over (can I just say I felt a little like Katniss when the skincare expert was brought in to bring me to “beauty base zero”). She used these products:

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And I loved each and every one of these products. But I did manage to contain myself from purchasing everything since I do have skin care products at home that are similar that I should use up first. It was hard to resist though, I am a sucker for a good sales pitch.

Then my make up artist came over with an arsenal of stuff. Here’s what he used on me:


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Packaging that uses my favorite Feel Scipt font? I’m sold already.

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Good, but I prefer the Urban Decay primer, possibly for the much cooler packaging.


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in “Vanilla Glow” for my super pale skin

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In “Stormy Grey”


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In “Buttercream” and “Guava”, neither of which is pictured above

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In “Stawburn”

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in “plush”

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in “posey pink”

And now for the dramatic after pics:

Close up on the eyes

Holy eyelashes! Where did those come from?


not the best picture, but focus on the pretty make up.

What do you think? Did he do a good job?

Sephora also offers this fun Beauty and the Bride sample kit that includes a voucher for a “free” special occasion makeover.

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I really learned a lot from my makeover, like what colors worked with my eye color and why and how to put on blush and, gasp, bronzer without looking like a freak. I thought it was a great experience and I am so glad to have some more tools for my every day look now.

Have you ever gone to the Sephora “Special Occasion makeover” for no special occasion at all?

Spotify my wedding

As I mentioned, we are having an “iPod” wedding. One of the best ways I have found to start prepping for this, even so many months out, is to put together playlists on Spotify. Spotify is a free music library that can incorporate songs that are already on your computer along with millions of tracks from major recording artists. Spotify has proved enormously helpful to me in starting to think about what songs we want played for the different parts of our wedding. I have playlists for potential entrance music, potential first dance, potential dinner/cocktail music, potential cake cutting music and potential wedding dance music. I put anything that I might remotely be interested into these lists, and then periodically Mr. Fenway and I will go through the lists and cull based on any changes we have on our personal preferences or any music requests we may have received from our guests.

   
 


Screen Shot of part of my Spotify potential wedding cocktail/dinner playlist

I also love that it has the social media connection, so my mother (and anyone else who wants) can listen to our playlist and hopefully get psyched up for all the awesome music we are sure to have.

Once we have all of “our” songs finalized, we will make sure we have them all downloaded and put into the appropriate iTunes playlists. This definitely helps to save us some money and time buy not having to purchase every “maybe” song, and only having to acquire the songs we actually plan on using.

Do you/did you use any free music libraries to figure out what songs you wanted to play at your wedding?