Paper and Peonies

Taking risks, going places, living life through many phases

   May 23

The Road To Feeling Beautiful

Earlier this year I ordered two wedding dresses online, one ivory and one white. The ivory one I knew was going to be at least a size small and the white one was supposed to be my true size.

Once they arrived, I tried them both on only to realize that I was too big for the dresses. The ivory one was two sizes too small for me and the white safety dress wouldn’t even fit.

I was bummed so I reflected. I needed to buckle down. Even though my lifestyle had gotten a lot healthier over the past few years, I still had a few bad tendencies. The main two were eating too much and not getting enough exercise. Since then I’ve started making even healthier decisions when eating.

I’ve started to eat less and dine out only on the weekends. I’ve had a few slip ups here and there but for the most part, I’ve learned how to throw food out when I can’t finish it (that took a while) and working out, I try not to think about it. I just do it.

Even though I had just lost 20 lbs, I was unhappy the morning I took the photo. I was going over my weight loss chart and realized that I had plateaued over the past few weeks. I then started to panic about my dress, violently removing it out of the closet and fussily putting it on yelping for Patrick to help zip me up. I knew it wouldn’t fit so I wanted to figure out how many more inches I needed to lose to motivate me.

It turns out, I didn’t need to lose any at all. Because it fit me like a glove. My two-sizes-too-small dress a few months ago now pleasantly hugged my body. Turns out I was doing fine all along, these past few weeks.

When that dress fit and I realized my body had actually gotten smaller and more toned, I felt a wave of confidence wash over me. I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled the biggest smile I’ve smiled in ages.

I am the healthiest I have been in years.

It didn’t matter what that scale said that morning. Because what mattered was how my body felt and looked.

And it felt and looked beautiful.

So I took that photo above to document my bliss.

Until next time.

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   Mar 02

Pie Tasting Today, Cake Tasting Tomorrow

We have two dessert tastings in this wedding process. Today Patrick and I went to taste out some pie holes (yes, pie holes) at the Pie Spot. It’s our favorite Portland spot for pies and currently my favorite is the turtle pie.

There were many flavors to choose from but we decided to taste more year round flavors so we knew what could possibly be available around the time of our late summer wedding.

We chose to try marionberry because it looked the most appealing and we have never tried this flavor before.

We tried lemon vanilla bean because both Patrick and I love lemony desserts.

Lastly, we both tried the brown butter pecan. We wanted to compare something we’ve already had to something we’ve never had. It actually used to be my favorite flavor until the turtle pie came along.

Verdict: I ended up liking the lemon vanilla bean the most and am almost sure I would like to have a bunch of lemon vanilla bean pie holes (along with turtle pie holes if they are available then) for my wedding dessert bar. Patrick enjoyed marionberry but his heart stayed with the brown butter pecan.

We did realize that each pie hole is pretty big and rich so people would probably want to share. If we decide for sure we want them at our wedding, I will make a nice sign which says that one is good for sharing so people can freely cut them in half if they are so inclined.

We are also considering having the pie holes for our bride’s and groom’s families dinner the night before if it would not be feasible to have them at the wedding.

Tomorrow, we go cake tasting!

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   Feb 29

Wedding Bouquet: From DIY Creativity to Strict Reality

Went from finally deciding to make my own origami bridal bouquet and matching boutonniére

To shopping around for a florist then deciding on one and lugging my computer with me to bring to the consultation.

Yep, it’s been decided. Our stuff is being professionally made and delivered. We decided we wanted as little stress as possible so assigning the task of making a bouquet to a professional seemed to be a more reasonable choice.

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   Feb 27

It’s Like Shopping With Unlimited Money But Not Really :-P

What was supposed to be a weekend of packing and moving, turned into a wedding planning Saturday with the future parents-in-law and three hours at a wedding registry event the next morning.

We were invited to Sur La Table for breakfast, demos and the freedom to go around the virtually empty store to add stuff to our registry. For breakfast we had crepes with fresh strawberries (sliced courtesy of Patrick, who is into knives), coffee and orange juice.

I think I have a new obsession with Demeyere cookware.

As well as Staub cast iron cookware. I was so excited over this one that I couldn’t even hold the camera steady hence the blur.

We tried out various knives and added a few to our list.

We are big fans of Asian knives. We didn’t even bother with the German ones. Too heavy!

The look on disgust on Pat’s face comes from the fact that he doesn’t like eggs. And that I made him pose for me. ;-)

I “Aww”ed at all the cute bakeware.

We both liked this dinnerware but decided to forgo it since we already have a bunch of dinnerware on our registry from Anthropologie.

A bunch of Le Creuset stuff was on sale. Hardly ever see that.

After three hours* in the store, we were beat! But happy. It wasn’t necessarily feeling like we were shopping for free that made us high but in those three hours, we felt connected and had a great time bonding over our love of cooking and kitchen tools.

It was so fun that I even set us up with another registry event at Crate & Barrel. ;-)

*Yes, we were in the store for three hours. We didn’t even realize it until 2 hours and 45 minutes into our trip. LOL

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   Feb 24

Needed a break anyway

Photo via The Knot 

Can’t access my to-do list or my budgeter so today is going to be moving day for me.

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   Feb 23

Wedding Cake Tasting Soon!

Link via Sweetpea Baking Company

In about a week, we will going to a tasting and consultation at Sweetpea Baking Company in Southeast Portland. I first learned about Sweetpea when I bought one of their vegan peanut butter and chocolate brownies from New Season’s Market and fell in love. So when we got engaged and immediately started thinking about desserts, I obviously thought about Sweetpea first.

I’ve never tried their cakes cupcakes before so I’m a bit curious. Hopefully they can meet our needs for an awesome, diverse dessert bar at the wedding.

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   Feb 21

Barre3 Week 3 Update: And I’m Hooked

mybarre3 Runner’s Workout from Chris Lincoln on Vimeo.

If you don’t have a Barre3 studio close to you, check out for some awesome workouts!

So today marks my third week attending Barre3 classes in Portland. Also, my one month unlimited pass expires tomorrow. This past week I have only gone twice so I am extending my week 3 (damn straight) that it ends on Thursday. There’s a free barre3 community class I’m taking tomorrow due to my schedule and I have a free class pass on Thursday. Despite I now have a loose rule that I will only go every other day and no more/no less, I want to take advantage of these last few days. I am hoping to have gone 12 times within my month. Side note: I didn’t go to Barre3 at all during my first week because I was so nervous and anxious that I’d look silly. Talk about a waste of money. Everything turned out to be fine and it’s a very supportive environment.

This trial run was great and I have decided to fully sign-on and get a month to month membership. :-) It’s $165 a month but if I go at least 15 times a month (which I know I will), it only comes out to about $11 a class. It’s an awesome deal and my health is so worth it.

Yesterday was our official move-in day but we have this apartment for the next few weeks. We are moving our food, clothes and toiletries last. I’m a bit nervous that with all this moving I will be too tired to go to class as much as I want. Fortunately, today is a rest day or me (since I go every other day) so I don’t feel as guilty about not going to class.

I am considering starting my monthly membership on Sunday and starting my Barre3 week off on Sundays  to make it easier to track on the calendar. I think I will definitely want to take Friday and the weekend off. But with all the increased moving and wedding planning I am going to be doing, I will probably need Barre3 to stay sane.

So I guess that’s it! Week 4 starts on Sunday. :-)

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   Feb 18

If I Want To Make My Own Flower Bouquet

Seems like a pretty straightforward, simple tutorial! Went to Trader Joe’s today with Patrick to get some snacks and noticed they had a bunch of beautiful, colorful flowers for reasonable prices. Maybe if I absolutely at the last minute decide I want to make my own simple flower bouquet I’ll just heed the advice in this video and make my own.

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   Feb 17

A Healthy Bouquet?


Image via Green Wedding Shoes

How yummy (and healthy) does vegetable bouquet look?

I think it’s perfect for someone like me who enjoys cooking with seasonable vegetables and herbs and also thinks shopping at farmers’ markets is exciting.

I’m tempted to make my own bouquet if it’s not going to be a very stressful process. I’ve always leaned towards unconventional ideas for almost everything in my life that this process should probably be no different. Then again, I’m a procrastinator so I’ll probably end up rushing the night before the wedding, cursing myself for probably forgetting to pick up some important supply then biting some basils out of frustration.

A floral and herbal bouquet seems like a great choice but I can’t exactly make it that far in advance.

Time to look up some tutorials!

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   Feb 16

Our Wedding Invitations

Image via Anthropologie

[update on February 17 at 6:32 PM] Tonight I randomly found these on for only $16.50, whereas on Anthropologie it is about $25. You bet your butt I’m getting these here instead! Just ordered them. [/end update]

[update again on February 23 at 5:22 PM] We received the cards a few days back and wow they are adorable. We decided this would not fit all the information so we decided to make them guest postcards in lieu of a guestbook. It’s too cute.[/end update]

After setting up an appointment with our potential wedding officiant, Patrick and I briefly talked about wedding invitations. It didn’t take us long to figure out that we wanted to send something simple instead of a bunch of info on multiple pieces of papers to everyone.

We wanted something that would be straight to the point and points people in the right direction: our wedding website which is going to include all the information everyone needs from dress code outfit inspirations to directions from multiple areas to blocked hotel rooms and links to the hotel, etc. We want to provide every piece of info any of our guests could possible need. It would be a bit too much of a challenge to try and squeeze everything we need into one invitation package. For the older generation who might not be as familiar with the internet as the kids are, we will print out information and send it to them.

So we decided on sending out these cute, vintage style postcards from Anthropologie. Each set comes with 100 cards which is more than enough for us since we’re only having a maximum of 100 people at our wedding as well as only giving one invite for each couple.

I used to love reading  (when I actually made time to read) so I am curious to see what other titles of some classic pieces of literature are included in this set.

Have any other interesting wedding invitation ideas to share? Would love to hear it!

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