Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lea and Craig tie the knot :)

I met Lea last fall when I was going through a particularly rough time (Shane being in Maryland, and me getting ready to move there too). She was in a bit of a transition too, having just moved back to Cookeville. And even though we only knew each other a short time, I am glad to count her as one of my best friends (see here and here for examples of our crazy adventures together. Yes, I am dressed as a man in that first one. And no, we didn't know those people in picture #2). 

Anyways, when she asked me to be a bridesmaid in her wedding, of course I said yes! 

The bridal party after the ceremony.
But wait, I'm getting ahead of myself. Everyone knows you can't have a wedding without a rehearsal!  

I love the look on Craig's face!
 Right after the preacher, Lea's uncle, gave them some advice on a happy marriage and pronounced them (rehearsal) husband and wife.

 And let's talk about this wedding venue! It was held at Camp Discovery in Jackson Co., Tennessee. Who wouldn't want that gorgeous lake as a backdrop to their wedding?

Of course, you can't get married without having a little bit of fun first! Lea and I hadn't planned to go out the night before the wedding, but somehow we ended up singing karaoke at the Clarion Inn.
 In case you're interested, we sang "Push It" by Salt-n-Pepa. We were kinda worried because we didn't really know the words or how the song went, but that wasn't a problem because: 1. it was karaoke, they put the words up on the screen. 2. the only words in the song are "push it."

 We even saw one of Lea's friends, and made some new ones in the process. 

 Now down to business! The wedding was held at 6pm on Saturday, August 20th. The weather was perfect for an early evening wedding. The theme was sunflowers and peacocks, which was reflected in the colors and decorations. And it was beautiful!

 So picturesque.
Wedding arch, with unity sand table on the left. 

The anxious groom with his best man and brother, Joel.

 Bridesmaids and Man of Honor (Lea's cousin and best friend).

And of course, the kiss!

 Husband and wife.

This one is really blurry, but the look on both of their faces is adorable. You can tell that they are both so happy, and that Lea is glad all her planning and hard work has paid off! 

 Following the fashion of the recent royal wedding, Lea asked for all the women in attendance to wear a hat. Well, here is the hat her dad pulled out for pictures!

The bride's cake.
Adorable and tasty :)

Groom's cake.

Having some fun with the bubbles.

The dance floor outside.

And unfortunately my camera battery freaked out and died on me. Too bad because there were a lot more things I wanted to take pictures of! I only had enough battery left for one picture, so we made that one count...

Lea and Craig, thank you so much for letting us join in on your special day. Shane and I wish you the best of luck and lots of love. We can't wait to make it down to Tennessee again to visit!

Oh and p.s., there are a few more pictures over on my Facebook.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Hey look! I finished a project!

So as you may recall from this post, I don't have the best track record with starting projects and actually finishing them. In fact, most projects are probably 99.9% done, but just need that one last thread clipped or button sewn on to be "complete."

But check this out! A little while ago, Shane's sister Shannon told us that our nephew Lucky had his first loose tooth, and asked could I make a tooth fairy pillow. Well of course I said yes!

 Take 1:

After about an hour at Joann's browsing fabric, another hour browsing the internet looking for cute tooth fairy pillow ideas, and lots of procrastination, I had it. I came up with the cutest idea ever. I came home and sketched out my idea and said "this will be perfect." Then after a week or so of procrastination I finally started on it. Let's just say that some ideas are better in theory than in practice, and there may be a half-finished plush lime green tooth sitting on the sewing table.

Take 2:

Sometimes it takes a bad idea to come up with a great one. I need to remember that sometimes simple is better, and looks cuter!

 I had all this denim fabric laying around, so this was a good chance for me to use up a little bit of it. And I just love the way the tooth's little smile turned out! Adorable.

And of course I had to add his name in the back, in his favorite color. 

Showing off his mad money-holding skills...

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's time we got a little more high-tech

If you have read my blog before, you already know how Shane and I like to go letterboxing. It is a fun way to get to explore the environment around you and see things you might not normally see, even though you pass them on a daily basis. Geocaching is like the much younger, more technologically advanced little brother of letterboxing. It follows the same basic concept (go out in wilderness, hunt for hidden treasure), but instead of clues, you get GPS coordinates to follow. And although it has only been around since the year 2000, there are already over 1.3 million "official" geocaches hidden around the world. With a free membership to and a GPS enabled device, you're set to go out and discover caches!

Some people go out and spend $100+ on a handheld GPS device to use while geocaching. For Shane and I, it was as simple as downloading an app on our phones. I opted for the official app for iPhone. While it is a little pricey at $9.99 (most all of my apps are free), after using it to find several caches, I can definitely say it was worth it.

 I like the fact that the app lets you search for geocaches all around you, instead of having to sit down at the computer and plan your trip before you leave the house. This leads to lots of impromptu cache finds! 

It also helps you navigate to the cache, which is great for all of us who don't know our way around latitude and longitude. 
(That little blue dot on the right is me, the lime green pointer is the cache)
Some people might call this cheating. I prefer the term "using technology to my advantage."

Shane and I have tried geocaching once before, with no luck. I blame this on the simple fact that we had no idea what we were looking for! You see, with letterboxing, the hard part is following the clues. Once you get to the destination, finding the actual box is a bit easier, considering they are big enough to hold a logbook and a rubber stamp. It seems that in geocaching, it may be a tad easier to get to the location, but finding the cache is where it can get tricky...

Geocaches come in all sizes, even super duper tiny! They are also usually camouflaged pretty well. This one was magnetically stuck on a nail up inside the roof of a community announcement board. I still can't believe we spotted it! 

It took us about 15 minutes of walking through overgrown forest to get to this cache. When Shane and John spotted it sticking out of a log, they about jumped out of their skin!

(The creepy factor could have been escalated by the fact that John found a hobo shack in the woods and then we thought we were going to get knifed)

You sure do find some interesting things while out in the woods! I found these two trunks while we were searching for a cache near the interstate off ramp. Pretty strange.


And yes, we did open the black one. I am sad to announce that there was nothing inside but a few bugs. We did not open the beige one. I am guessing that it either contains a million dollars, or a dead body.

After a busy afternoon of geocaching, some frozen yogurt sure hits the spot!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hello Kitty madness

I have always had a slight obsession with Hello Kitty. When I was younger, my mom worked at the Sanrio store at East Town Mall and I think between me and my sister, we owned every piece of HK merchandise they sold. My mom always joked that she owed them money at the end of the month instead of getting a paycheck (which was probably actually true).

*This is where I planned to insert a picture of me with Hello Kitty at my birthday party, which I think was actually my dad or something in the store's HK costume. But since all those pictures are at my parents' house, all I can offer you is this picture of me standing by a bird bath. Sincerest apologies.*

So for the past 20 or so years, the obsession has grown and grown. I've been trying to keep it in check, but that only works for so long. I feel like pretty soon I am going to drown in Hello Kitty. Or look like I just escaped a mental institution. I mean, you know it's bad when you can look at websites like Hello Kitty Hell and want one of everything featured on there (well most everything. I think I could do without the gas mask or the pussy wind deodorant). So here are a few of the items from my current collection, as in, things that I could reach out in a three-foot radius and touch at this very moment. I think that you'll see that I have something for everyone.

 Lunch boxes. A must-have item.

 Self-made Stormtrooper Kitty Nalgene bottle using reject sticker from car. See below.

 The whole (well almost) HelloWars gang on my car. I originally wanted just the R2K2 sticker but then figured I might as well go for it. 
Fun fact: these are arranged from most favorite to least favorite.

 25th anniversary (of Hello Kitty) watch, which was a Christmas present from Shane.

 Not one but two pairs of Hello Kitty Vans, which I magically purchased for only $19.99 each from the Hot Topic website. That was some sort of luck, considering they went up to $40 each two days later.

 These earrings were actually purchased in the little kid section of Claire's.

 Hello Kitty tongue ring, which I had in hand before I even got my tongue pierced. Also some Hello Kitty plugs, which I can't wear anymore since they are a 4g and my ears are currently at a 0g.

Surprisingly, I don't have a Hello Kitty tattoo yet. Probably will once I figure out what I want and where to put it.

 Hat. Also a present from Shane. Starting to think he's my enabler. 

 Hello Kitty trading cards. Yes they make these, and for some reason I buy them. I know it probably doesn't look like a lot, but this is what they stack up to:
To put this in perspective for you, four cards come in every pack. 

 Figurines, which occasionally come in a pack of cards.

Of course, clothing. Can't find another one of my HK shirts, suspecting it's in the dirty laundry. 

Not pictured: underwear. No I'm not going to post those online for the world to see, but trust me, I do own multiple pairs of HK themed undergarments.

Even my phone has fallen victim to this illness. I actually have an app just for Hello Kitty wallpapers.

Items that I own, but are out of commission
When you live with two guys, it is kinda difficult to put this in the kitchen. Also, it leaves the middles of your toaster strudels frozen. The price you pay for Hello Kitty faces on your toast...

Phone, which isn't being used because I don't even have a home phone line anymore. 

So I know this probably doesn't look like a lot to you, or maybe it does, but trust me, when you can wake up in the morning and dress pretty much head to toe like a four year old who has just been allowed to choose their own clothes, you start to question your own sanity. And it's only that much harder when your workplace has just expanded the amount of Hello Kitty merchandise they carry:

Those first two booths are all HK merchandise! Everything from nail art stickers to iPad cases. And I am the kind of person who would buy an iPad just for the case. Okay so I really want one for other reasons, but the case just makes it that much better :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wanna be an otaku?

...which I just now learned is "a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests, especially manga, anime, or video games" (thanks Wikipedia).

Otakon, the East Coast's largest anime and Japanese culture convention, just so happens to be held in Baltimore every year. Since I had Sunday off, Shane and I decided "why the hell not?" and went down to the convention center.

Keep in mind that my knowledge of anything anime is very limited. Okay so I had a Sailor Moon doll, some Hello Kitty VHS tapes, and used to watch Pokémon every day after school. That's pretty much it. Needless to say, we didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into...

Wait I know these guys! Why are the Power Rangers here? Pretty sure they're not Japanese*
 That's okay, we'll let that one slide.

*upon further research, I have learned that the Power Rangers were basically a rip-off of the Super Sentai series, which is Japanese. If you're really that interested, you can see for yourself here and here.*

Turns out, when they say Otakon is the largest otaku convention on the East Coast, they mean it. We're talking an estimated 31,000+ in attendance this year, with tickets going for $75 a pop! (Do some quick math. It's okay, pull out the calculator. Yes I know, that's a lot of money. And that's just from tickets.) Thank goodness they had quit selling tickets by the time we got there, and the guy said "It's okay, you can just walk around." We didn't even really go inside, but just in the hallways we saw plenty.

I didn't really want to stop and ask anybody if I could take their picture because, well, for the most part I had no idea what anyone was supposed to be. So I just snapped a couple here and there, trying to show the craziness that we saw. Believe me, there was so much more. I wish I had just put my iPhone on video mode and walked around with it like that.

These people, who are dressed up as Link and the princess from the Legend of Zelda (which I have somehow picked up in passing, I really have no idea why I know who these people are) were being interviewed by some girl in a tie about their costumes. I heard the princess say it took her three months to make hers. Also, check out the camera man's hat. It was some sort of little anime character, those are it's orange feet on the sides.

Compared to everyone else, this girl in the horned, fanged, purple people eater or whatever the heck that is mask is actually way under dressed.
 Oh, and did you see Betty Boop up there? Look for the red dress... now I know for certain that she's not Japanese!

 Everyone was pretty much dressed up as something or other. We're talking lots and lots of wigs. Furry tails hanging out of pants. Decorated doctor's masks (can you say creepy?). Gas masks. And there were definitely lots of foam swords. And I had absolutely no clue what any of it the girl who was wearing a homely dress and carrying a basket. Is there some Japanese version of Little House on the Prairie that I don't know about?

 This picture, which I stole from the internet, is a basic run-down of what I'm talking about. Foam swords, wigs, face paint, mask things, it's all right here. And unless you saw the photo comments on deviantart, I don't think that any of you (or me) would know that these people are something called Espada from Bleach. And all I know about Bleach is that I change the channel when it comes on adult swim.

 Not sure who this girl was, but she was already posing. So there.

 Some people would look at this costume and say "wow, he's such a fan of blah blah whatever this is!" Other people would wonder how long it took him to make it.

I'm just wondering how he fit inside a bathroom stall.

So yeah. That's what happens when you go to the anime convention. You see people in strange costumes. Then you have to wiki a bunch of stuff so you can write a blog post about it. But hey, we learn something new every day!