‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ Challenge Day 2: Shiba Inu Wedding

Alex nominated me to participate in the ‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ Challenge. I like Alex’s blog, Only Bad Chi, because it’s awesomely funny. I probably also like it because I relate to almost everything she says, which I guess is a lot of what drives us to read blogs, right?! I’m hoping this shameless flattery will help her not be mad that I’m just cutting and pasting the next part from her blog 🙂

For the challenge, I have to post a different photo for five consecutive days, and include an accompanying story (fiction or non-fiction) along with each. I also have to nominate a new blogger each day to keep the challenge going! If I nominate you, it’s completely up to you whether you participate. The only other rules are to mention the person who nominated you in your first post, and keep nominating others.

Jewel's weddingSo, umm, this one time I went to a dog’s wedding. And it wasn’t even a dog that I am close and personal friends with. But, we were invited, and we drove an hour to get there, and brought gifts 🙂 It was as beautiful as weddings for people that I’ve ever been to. Maybe I should back up?

As I have mentioned before (Kuma’s story and Riley’s story), my dogs came from a local rescue, Northwest Shibas4Life. We adopted Kuma in 2007, and we have been in touch with the rescue ever since. They are a wonderful resource, and we also try to support them whenever we can. Shiba Inus aren’t that common, so it’s hard to find people that can really help with them.

Northwest Shibas4Life is run out of a private home, but they have a huge piece of property and so many safe places for the dogs to play. Every year they host a picnic in the summer for both humans and Shibas. I get made fun of a little when I say I’m going to a dog picnic, but it’s so much fun! They have guest speakers, an auction, a dog park for all the Shibas, food, and more. It’s really cute to see them all play together.

So, a couple of years ago I started to see posts about how Jewel (the spokes-dog of Shibas4Life) was getting married.

I thought they were joking.

They were not joking.

Obviously, this was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. There was absolutely no way I was going to miss this. Guys, it was a real wedding (I mean, obviously not legally binding…). They had outfits, a wedding party, the father of the bride gave her away, there were vows… I have no words. The bride and groom were both rescues, and their stories were told. It was so touching to hear about how much their lives have changed. It was also unbelievably precious seeing them playing along so nicely. If you want to see the invitation, one version is still online here.

There was also a purpose behind it, besides playing dress up and cooing over the cuteness. It was part of the annual picnic, and a fundraiser for Shiba Inu rescue. Gifts involved donations to help pay for dog food, vet bills, things like that. It was even written up in the Oregonian!

I know it sounds like I’m making this up, but it really happened ❤

What do y’all think? Would you go to a dog’s wedding?

I want to nominate Khalkinised at The Buddha Sutra to do the challenge next (no pressure if you don’t want to!)!

Jillian

‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ Challenge Day 1: Wedding Cake

Alex nominated me to participate in the ‘Five Photos, Five Stories’ Challenge. I like Alex’s blog, Only Bad Chi, because it’s awesomely funny. I probably also like it because I relate to almost everything she says, which I guess is a lot of what drives us to read blogs, right?! I’m hoping this shameless flattery will help her not be mad that I’m just cutting and pasting the next part from her blog 🙂

For the challenge, I have to post a different photo for five consecutive days, and include an accompanying story (fiction or non-fiction) along with each. I also have to nominate a new blogger each day to keep the challenge going! If I nominate you, it’s completely up to you whether you participate. The only other rules are to mention the person who nominated you in your first post, and keep nominating others.

delicious cheesecake

If there’s one thing I’ve learned at my job, it is that almost everything is negotiable. I’ve never, ever been the type of person to negotiate anything. I am uncomfortable with markets in foreign countries because I just want there to be a set price so that I can buy it and leave. However, I now have to negotiate everything, and I’ve learned from the best. After a year or so of expanding my horizons, I decided to try it out in my personal life. To my surprise, I was able to negotiate my way into a lower deductible and a free rental car when I needed my car fixed.

When we were planning our wedding, I was a little drunk with the power of negotiation. It was really important to J to have a caramel apple cheesecake. I wanted regular cake, but I wanted him to be excited about the dessert. I decided that was fine (and by that I mean, we ended up having two parties and two cakes… so, really… I just ate all the cake in the world).

If you’re saying to yourself, “hmm. That sounds good, but I’ve never seen a caramel apple cheesecake…” Guess what?! You’re not alone. You know who else doesn’t think it’s a thing? Every baker and caterer in the Portland metro area. I seriously can’t even tell you how many people I called and website stalked. There’s even a bakery here that specializes in cheesecake, particularly wedding cheesecake. They wouldn’t do it, wouldn’t even consider it. But, I asked them all. This is never anything I would have done before. I would have seen it wasn’t on the menu and moved on. Not anymore!

I finally found someone that didn’t make caramel apple cheesecake, but thought it sounded like a fun challenge. The Dessert Tray was so awesome and created one just for us for our tasting, along with several other things. It was amazing. I was actually almost ready to marry the chef just for making it happen, but instead I just gave her all of my money in exchange for cake. Come to think of it, that’s not really the first time that has happened to me…

Once we hashed out the details of the design (I wanted girly and stripes and dots and J wanted as plain as possible. Well, he let me win that one!), I thought everything was good to go. Nope. Cheesecake has to be refrigerated, and the reception was happening on the second floor of a bar. Do you have any idea how much begging has to be done to convince a bar to a) clear space out of the walk in for a wedding cake and b) force their staff to take the responsibility of carrying said wedding cake up a flight of stairs? I had already collected quotes from other bars and made the case for them to offer us unlimited drink wristbands (yup, wristbands. keeping it classy! notice them in the picture!) in our package for all of our guests, so they were pretty used to my absurd requests at that point. <side note- the wristbands for unlimited drinks were one of the best things I ever negotiated for. If you’re having a party, try to get this! best.party.ever>

In the end, it was the most delicious cheesecake in the world, and the bakery now sells it regularly. I tease J that his imagination is altering the offerings of bakeries now. He just thinks I’m nuts. How do all of you introverts out there feel about negotiation? Does it scare you as much as it scared me?

I want to nominate Karen at Fill Your Own Glass to do the challenge next (no pressure if you don’t want to!)!

Jillian

What I Wore to the Wedding- Follow Up Post!

wedding outfit*Please note, this post contains affiliate links. I have noted which ones they are. If you buy from any of these, I will get a small commission.*

Earlier this week, I asked for help choosing an outfit. I don’t consider myself to be too great at putting clothes together, and I wanted to look nice for E’s wedding. Not helping my dilemma was the fact that my husband can’t stand my favorite dress. I received several comments about how cute a silver wrap would look with my black and white dress. I didn’t want to buy one (in my quest for minimalism, it seemed silly to buy something I would use once). I loved the idea though, so I decided to go with a brightly colored wrap instead of my original plan of a bright green cardigan.

final outfitThe outfit: Company Cocktails dress by Modcloth (sold out, but similar- affiliate link)/ Give Me Gracefulness slip (affiliate link)/ silver clutch (etsy- cannot find the shop for the life of me)/ silver sandals (kelly and katie)/ bracelets by Kate Spade, Alex and Ani, and Silver Dove Jewelry/ coat by aniina from Modcloth (sold out but sort of similar- affiliate link), teal wrap (unsure, received as a gift)

By the way, everything on Modcloth (affiliate link) is 15% off from now until Monday, 1/26 at 1:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 a.m. PT. Just use the coupon code: GOOGLY. I just ordered a box of stuff from them, so this is bad news for me 😉 I may have to buy more.

 
 
 

On the MoonE’s wedding was so pretty. I helped make some of the decorations, so it’s possible I am biased. However, how can you argue with cool props like this? I just love weddings. I try to be tough and play it cool, but I am super romantic on the inside. J and I are both sick, so we left super early. I’m sad that we missed most of the fun. E was certainly the perfect, fairy tale bride!

What’s your perfect wedding guest outfit? This was my first time wearing a fluffy slip peaking out of a dress, and I thought it was super fun.

Also, where do you stand on gifts? I have only recently figured out that many people prefer to get gifts sent ahead of time. I think this is the best solution ever. I don’t have to lug around the gift when I’m walking in heels, they don’t have as much to watch and load up, they can send thank you cards as gifts come in instead of all at once. I think everyone wins, but I might be alone in this belief. Walking in without a gift was kind of awkward, so there’s that to consider.

Jillian

What To Wear To My Friend’s Wedding

outfit twoMy friend is getting married on Friday. I’m suddenly realizing that I don’t have a lot of wedding appropriate outfits. These two outfits are the best I can come up with so far. The wedding is happening at night, at a church.

Outfit #1: black Charter School Cardigan from Modcloth (affiliate link- I will earn a small percentage if you buy this), red dress from Modcloth (Ain’t We Haute Fun?- sold out), cream bag by Kate Spade (Georgina), sandals by RSVP (Emery)

I would also wear this Kate Space bracelet that I was wanting- my friend M gave it to me for my birthday!

 

 

outfit oneOutfit #2: green cardigan by 14th and Union (from Nordstrom Rack), Company Cocktails dress by Modcloth (sold out, but similar- affiliate link), silver clutch (etsy), silver sandals (kelly and katie), bracelet by Kenneth Cole

So, are either one of these outfits acceptable? I should mention that a) my husband hates the red dress and thinks it’s hideous and b) the black and white dress is a little short. I ordered this slip (affiliate link) that I’m hoping will arrive in time and look cute under the black and white dress. Otherwise maybe I would wear dark tights and black shoes?

By the way, I created these outfits with Stylebook. Prestyn Kylie at Roaring Waters wrote about it here, and I thought I would try it out. I’ll be honest, getting it set up is A LOT of work. It is pretty cool once you get everything in though!

Sometimes I hate picking out clothes. It’s just so stressful! Why can’t I be one of those girls that likes this? 🙂

Jillian

 

My Favorite Wedding Project- the Scrapbook Guestbook

A Page from a Friend that Did AttendI went from planning on skipping a guestbook entirely to coming up with a really cool DIY that was my favorite project. My initial thought was- who even looks at a book of names? I didn’t want to have something that would just sit in a box or on a shelf for all of eternity. Weddings are so full of things, work, and money spent. I wanted to keep the focus on love, family, and friends. I was streamlining and skipping everything that didn’t have special meaning for me (minimalism again!). Then I started to receive cards. I don’t keep a lot of things, but the wedding cards were really pretty, and were full of special and loving wishes. I looked on Pinterest and there were ideas for how to make these into a book, but I didn’t think I would really look at that much more than a guestbook.

I’ve never made a scrapbook in my life. I greatly admire those who do, but that falls into the category of “ain’t nobody got time for that” for me. I don’t know how, but the idea of making a scrapbook popped into my head. Suddenly, I couldn’t picture my wedding without a scrapbook guestbook. I would have the photographer make sure to get a photo of every person, and I would have each guest choose a page to write on for us. Afterwards, I would put their photo on their page. I bought a photo album, a bunch of glue sticks, a flower shaped hole punch, and a book of scrap booking paper.

Jack and Jill's GuestbookMy vision was that I would make the pages ahead of time (because I didn’t want people spending a ton of time feeling like they were forced to do crafts), and I would lay it all out on a table so that people could fill out their page at their leisure.

the Table LayoutI was also able to make pages for guests that couldn’t make it, using cards and other memories that I had. In one case, I created a page for a dear friend that passed away. It was very hard for me that she couldn’t be there, but I liked that she could still be in the book. I used photos and excerpts from letters she had sent me. My sister and brother-in-law couldn’t make it, but they posted this cool photo on our photo website and I made this page:

A Page From a Guest that Could Not AttendIn the end I had several pages left, so I used wedding photos and pieces of cards I was given to create pages such as the one below. I also printed out our ceremony and put it in the book, and added our invitations and several other little things that we wanted to remember.

A Page Decorated With CardsWe have been married a little over two years, and have used this book as a coffee table book ever since. We flip through it occasionally, and people who visit like to flip through it and look for their page. It doesn’t get used every day or anything, but I like having it all in one place and I think it’s a really cool memory book.

Has anyone else tried something like this?

Jillian