30 March 2008

Friday's Photoshoot

Here are some of the pics we took last Friday. We have more...a lot more...but these are just the ones Albert sent me. We took them at Theodore Roosevelt Island, the bridge that goes to it anyway, and by some cherry blossoms (they just came out!) by the Potomac. The day was perfect for picture taking, but since we did it early it was hard to get in the modeling frame of mind, plus I was regretting our wardrobe choices, we decided too late at night I guess.

This is one of our favorites. We can't really use a kissing pic as "the" pic, but it's so nice with the blossoms.

Nice ring shot...

We were trying something different and I think it turned out ok. There's a little too much light on my face on this one.

I like this one of me, kind of cool in an artistic sense.

I think we're going to choose this one as "the" pic. There are a lot of great pics to choose from, but they didn't have the essential element of showing both our faces or we weren't both smiling. I do like this one though. Albert has added just a hint of color which is pretty neat.

28 March 2008

Lessons on the train

Yesterday while riding the train to work a little girl about 10 or so was sitting down by where I was standing. She looked like a tourist, but I never did figure out who she was with. She was playing with her baseball cap that had something about the Coast Guard on it when a guy in the Air Force tossed her his hat. I thought maybe they knew each other, but shortly realized that he was just being nice giving her his hat. She looked at it grinning and playing with it. He came over and said something about wearing it to school and then got off at the Pentagon. She finally put it on and had this huge grin on her face. She looked up at me and shrugged and I told her that it looked good on her and that it was cool. No one else really paid any attention to this scene but I thought it was really touching and cool that he would just give his hat to this young girl.

I took this picture with my phone to remind me about how the small things really make a big difference and to be more aware of things going on around me. I think wedding planning has made me a little self absorbed so it was nice to see something sweet like that to help me be more aware of the other things going on around me that have nothing to do with weddings. I love having a camera phone because I can take pics without people knowing it and capture those small moments or crazy times for which you wouldn't normally have a camera on hand or it would be inappropriate. You can see her perma-grin under her new hat.

26 March 2008

And the winner is...

Here are some of the pictures Albert edited and are in the running for "Best Engagement Pic Ever of Tiffany & Albert." The pictures were taken by Albert's coworker in a little park area by the Jefferson Memorial and the Botanical Gardens. We're probably going to take more pics on Friday now that we're getting the hang of this taking pictures thang. I should have watched more of America's Next Top Model.

We both really like the second one, although I like the first one too cuz he's smiling more. It was pretty windy so I pulled my hair back, I was pretty worried it was going to look rediculous since I didn't have a mirror to make sure it looked ok, but I was pleasently surprised on how well it turned out. I heart hot curlers, even though it was fairly embarrassing wearing them in the bathroom during lunch time when everyone goes in there.

This one isn't really a condender as far as the engagement pic goes, but I think it's cute and you can see a hint of the Washington Monument in the background.

We both really like this one too although my coat is hanging in a slightly unflattering way.

Nice pic of the Washington Monument in the background.

This was taken in the Jungle Room, sort of like the one Elvis Presley had, but not. I really liked shooting in the Botanical Gardens because there was lots of variety and beautiful plants everywhere, plus it wasn't cold and windy, that was my favorite part :)

I really like this one taken in the Hawaii room, but I wish Albert looked a little more enthusiastic, thus the problem with the one person smiling and the other one not. It's still a great picture, one of the top three I'd say.

These pics were taken in the Garden room during the Orchid exhibition...it's very popular and there were lots of people roaming around. Our photographer did a good job keeping people out of the background. I like the composition of the close up, but I think I look a little more enthusiastic in the one showing the ring...perhaps a little too obvious in showing off the bling. My head looks a little large too. We could definitely use one of these for the engagement pic though.

There are more pics to come. The goal is to take more pics on Friday, print them out on Saturday, and stuff them on Saturday and Sunday, and mail the invitations on Monday. Hopefully we will be successful.

24 March 2008

Getting on the same page

It seems that the wave of stress is starting to subside and I feel like things are getting to be under control again. We took our engagement pics, but we haven't finished editing them (that's Albert's job tonight while he's at work). We feel like we're getting close to getting a really great picture. The main problem during our photo shoot was that we didn't know if the other person was smiling or not so inevitably in every picture one of us is smiling and the other one is being serious. I think we'll have to request that our photographer tell us to smile or be serious so we're on the same page. We took pictures at the Jefferson Memorial where the lighting was pretty bad and it was freezing cold and then we went into the Botanical Gardens, which I would recommend. We got some pretty good shots with lots of green in the background. Here's a sample of our work...my hair wasn't really cooperating.

Albert took some pictures of us by the river on our way to church yesterday with his tripod which turned out pretty good. Unfortunately it was FREEZING and my hair was blowing every which way so it didn't look so good. We're going to go out on Wednesday when hopefully it will be a little warmer. I can't believe it's still so cold out. I honestly believed that it would be nicer at the end of March and we could wear jackets instead of coats. I'll post the cool ones once Albert is done putting on the finishing touches.

Friday we went to my cousin's in Manassas and ate dinner with her and her husband which was a lot of fun. We sat and talked at their kitchen table on their hard wooden chairs until midnight and my butt hurt for hours afterward. I feel like I'm almost ready to join the married club, I had no idea how much of a club it really is until I got engaged and started talking to married people. It's a whole different world and I'm excited to be in on all the secrets of matrimony society.

We took roommate pictures before Albert and I went to my cousin's for dinner. It has become an annual event in our apartment to take pictures on Easter, ok we did it last year too, but only Kellee and I were the same and next year I guess the tradition will have to continue without me. My last set of roommates. I'll be glad not to have roommates for many reasons, but it is an end of an era that must be recognized.

Saturday we put ribbons on our invitations (they look pretty good if I do say so myself) and Sunday we stuffed envelopes after Easter dinner. We're about done with the invitations, we just have to pick out our favorite pic to make copies of and include it in the envelope. Apparently it's a Mormon thing to put an engagement picture with the invitation, a tradition I like and am going to perpetuate. It's fun to see who your long lost college roommate is marrying.

We finally decided on a florist, Sylvain's Florist (a little far from where we live, but worth the money). After I emailed a bunch of florists in the area I chose the one with the lowest bid, it was actually a lot lower than any other florist we went to. I also checked out lots of pics of weddings she has done and felt good that she had actually done bouquets before.

I had seen that some florists offered a free toss bouquet so in one email I asked her about that and also about flower petals for the flower girl. She said she would throw in both complimentary. Already her prices were really low, but on the Wedding Wire her page said that you could get 15% off for mentioning the ad. She had low bases prices and then she added the free bouquet and petals and took off 15%...couldn't beat that! She's also allowing us (Albert) to pick up the flowers at 8 AM the morning of our wedding so they look nice that day...we're getting our pics taken that morning so we have to have it early. I had to make sure that the corsages had more than one flower (lots of florists charge less for corsages, but they look more like boutonnieres than corsages).

I'd recommend asking any florist about the free toss and petals and see if they'll give it to you. I wanted to keep my bouquet after spending all that money on it and hated to give it away, but really didn't want to spend a bunch of money on a new bouquet. I think we're doing pretty well on our planning, keeping it cheap, but still getting everything we want, like a nice big cake, a pretty bouquet, and a double bustle :)

A lot of my family is coming out, flying from the West and I want them to be included in our rehearsal dinner, but I also don't want to impose too much on Albert's parents' generosity in paying for the dinner (everyone is paying a lot of money just to fly here and pay for the hotel, etc). So we're thinking about getting/making Filipino food and setting up tables at the church and eating it there before the rehearsal. It's slightly less classy but it would be cool to have Filipino food and I'd really like to be able to include everyone. We'll have all the decorations anyway so it shouldn't be a big deal with all the people who can help out. Hopefully it will look like this, cuz that just looks good.

19 March 2008

Officially stressed and still blissfully happy

I took the day off yesterday and we did some major wedding shopping and running errands. I finally signed my lease for my current apartment (we had a person move in and had to do a change of lease) and then we went over to the new apt building and Albert and I signed that one too.

I had posted my apt spot on my church listserv and so I had Albert take some pictures of my apt after I spend a little bit picking up everything around the house. By that afternoon I had someone call me wanting to take it. With my experience in these things housing deals fall through a couple times before you find a real taker so I'm not going to start celebrating just yet. Hopefully it doesn't fall though and I'll be moved into my new apt in mid April and not have to pay the entire month's rent.

We went to the Party Depot and bought a bunch of plates, forks, cups and napkins. We also got a bunch of white plastic rolls to cover up at the basketball hoops in the gym of the church. I bought my shoes at Payless. They aren't great quality or as formal as I would have liked, but they're cute and pretty comfortable and Albert approved of them. He also bought a couple pairs of shoes.

We then went over to the alteration place I mentioned earlier. The lady was really nice and professional. They had a few bridal gowns hanging up in the back room where I changed into the dress which leads me to believe that she alters bridal gowns frequently. She's going to lift up the shoulders, hem the edge of the frilly part on the bottom and put in a double bustle for $180. This is more than I wanted to spend, but after she explained everything it seems like a good deal. I have two fittings and everything. I'm really happy with going there so far.

We bought a signature frame at Target. Instead of having a sign in book I wanted to have something we would actually use. I don't think I would ever go through the book to see our guests' signatures, but if we have it hanging on the wall we'd look at it everyday.

We went by the flower shop we liked before, Bradlee Flowers, but the experience was much different this time. The man we talked to that was nice and knowledgeable wasn't there instead there was a lady who provided no help, but insisted that we pay $25 to meet with a floral designer. We were ready to order with them, but when she was so rude to me I said forget it. She took off in the back room right after we spoke with her and Albert called to her to ask her another questions, but she never came back to the front. It was really strange. It seems that the less knowledgeable someone is the more rude they are.

Today I've been on Wedding Wire.com looking for florists in my area. They have a great review section and I've emailed several florists I found off the site that have good reviews. One florist I emailed already got back to me and her prices are much lower than any I've been quoted thus far plus she said she'd throw in a toss bouquet and petals for free. I emailed her a picture of the bouquet I want and the description and she said she'd write me a quote tonight. I mentioned that I saw her store on Wedding Wire, but forgot to say I saw the offer for 15% off for mentioning it. It's a little bit far from where I live, but right now I'm getting stressed out about it and want to find someone quick.

I'm nervous about our pictures tomorrow. Hopefully they turn out ok. I have to bring all my stuff to get ready to work and get ready in the bathroom. I'm not looking forward to that.

Albert and I are both pretty stressed out even though we're getting everything done, we really only need to worry about the flowers and finishing the centerpieces and we haven't really spent that much money (relatively). I guess since we've hit the two month mark we're realizing that we need to get on the ball...it's becoming real! Someday it'll really hit me that I'll be married. I'm happy and excited about getting and being married, but sometimes it seems so unreal. It's something that I've been dreaming about for so long I didn't know if it was really ever going to happen and here it is happening to me! I'm going to be married and change my name and eventually have a baby and buy a house...all those things I've always wanted to do, but couldn't without having someone wonderful to share it with.

Albert has been so great through this whole wedding process. It has only made me more sure that he's definitely the one for me. Although we don't have the same amount of time to sit and relax I think it's made us appreciate each other more because we see all the trouble the other person is going through to marry the other one. The woman at our new apt building said that she could tell he was smitten with me :)

17 March 2008

Fighting off the stress

We've been looking for furniture lately although we still don't officially have an apartment to put it in. Right now we have a kitchen table with chairs and a couch we bought from Craig's List hanging out in Albert's living room. There was some issue with the application that Albert worked out, but they still haven't said that we got the apt. Albert still has to get an ok from his higher ups that it's alright for him to rent out an apt. Since the govt is paying for his housing they don't want him to rent out another place, but we can't exactly move in with his roommate. It looks like it's going to go through soon and he'll get approval and we'll get the apt, but for right now it's getting stressful waiting around not knowing.

I'm getting excited to move into our own apt. I finally have my own couch...I've never owned a couch before :) There is a girl that's interested in moving into my current apt with my roommates so it'd be great if she decided to move in so I wouldn't have to worry about finding someone to take my spot.

I think we found a place to get the dress I'm borrowing altered. We went into a dry cleaners to see if they did alterations and he recommended that we go next door to a bridal store. They gave us a card of the people they send their alterations too and I read some good reviews about them on the internet. They specialize in gowns so it sounds promising and reviews mentioned that they were a good deal...even better! We're going to go within the next couple days to take the dress in. If it's outrageous then we'll be forced to find another place, but otherwise I'm tired of worrying about it.

We've been to a ton of different florists in the area and I did find one that I liked. The problem is, is that the first place I went to in my building that I didn't really like, is offering to do it for almost $100 cheaper! It's hard to justify spending $100 more than necessary. My roommate told me yesterday that there is a girl at our church that used to work for a florist so I'm going to see if she has any recommendations or if I can hire her to do it. I finally figured out what I want the flowers to look like though.

I've decided on white and pale pink ranunculus, a few white peonies & orchids, and some pale pink stock. It would look sort of like the bouquet above. For the boutonnieres we would have white ranunculus and the corsages would have white and pale pink ranunculus. The florist that I liked said that mid-May is the perfect time for ranunculus and peonies and they say that they used those flowers in Victorian times. I like ranunculus because they look like roses but with a ton of little petals.

We also decided on where we want to go for our honeymoon. This was a big deal because I wanted to go somewhere tropical and Albert wanted to go somewhere cooler. Plus it had to be in the United States since Albert can't leave the country because of his job. We finally decided since we couldn't go to Europe we'd go to Las Vegas and visit the Venetian and Bellagio. We can also stop by Paris, NY NY, and Luxor. I always thought Las Vegas would be the perfect honeymoon destination since they have fabulous hotels and while there is lots to do you wouldn't feel bad if you decided to stay in bed all day. No pressure to go site seeing, but if you want to get dressed up and go to a show that's always an option.

Albert has been really great about printing off all of our invitations and RSVP cards at night while he's at work. He's been tying on the little ribbons and everything. Saturday night he called wondering what we should put for the RSVP wording. It's not something most people think about, but luckily when I was searching for invitation wording I found a few different options for RSVP cards too and we combined two different ones we liked and added our wedding website URL to the bottom so they could also RSVP there. The stores we registered at are also on our website so there's an alternative agenda in making sure they check it out :) Here's the wording we put on it...the font is different and it's on a cute card, but you get the idea:
We look forward to celebrating with you
Please reply on or before
May 1, 2008
Number of persons______
Sorry, cannot attend______

or RSVP at:
We're supposed to get our engagement pics done on Thursday. I have to admit that I'm a little worried about it. It's supposed to be windy and every middle schooler in America has descended upon DC like flies on road kill. This is a problem because we wanted to do our pics at the Jefferson and FDR Memorials and I'm afraid there are going to a hundred teenagers in the background of every picture. Hopefully the photographer is creative and the wind isn't too strong. I figure if the weather is bad we can always take pictures inside the Botanical Gardens or one of the Smithsonians.

We finally were able to pick up my engagement and wedding rings from Jared's last week. We were borrowing one from them in white gold and now I have my engagement ring in palladium. The metal is darker, but otherwise it looks exactly the same. It's also a lot stronger. I'm not really a fan of gold after having the other ring. I only had it for a couple months and had it re-plated once and it still looked bad. It gets scratched really easily. I like palladium so far. It's pretty much like platinum but it costs less than gold. I'm excited to see Albert's ring when it comes in. The ones he tried on were so big it was hard to tell what they would really look like once they were in his size.

Another good thing was that I asked someone I know from church (obviously my main place for social networking) who is good at making play lists if she could help me make a play list for the reception. She not only agreed she said she would do it. I can go through the list she gives me and I can add or delete songs as I wish, but at least I'll have a bunch of music that sort of flows together and I don't have to worry about it. It feels so good to check things off my list :)

10 March 2008

Only 68 days and counting

Saturday we were pretty diligent in buying reception stuff, but after shopping at Ikea, the dollar store, and Michaels, we changed our mind about what we wanted.

We saw these cute lanterns at Ikea for only $5 and we figured they'd be great to use as centerpieces. We can't use real candles in them so we bought the battery operated votive candles two for a dollar at Dollar Tree. We're thinking of putting a laurel wreath or vines around them.

We also bought the same lamp for $10 that my roommate bought for our apt. I figure we can use a lamp in our new apt and also see if we can borrow my roommates lamp and have them both at our reception.

At Michaels we found an arch for only $20 and decided to get it. We were planning on using one that they have in a storage shed at our church that needs some repairs, but we figured this would be much easier and cost less than trying to fix up the other one.

We registerd on-line for JC Penny's so we went in to get our free gift, a wedding binder organizer. I've had lots of fun putting all our information in it and now we have a place for all of our random pieces of papers. I have most of our information on google docs, but I'd like to print out some of the stuff so I can look at it all together and have it for when I go see vendors.

We made a list of our friends we would like to help us and assigned them specific tasks we would like them to do then on Sunday at church (when everyone is feeling generous :)) we asked them to help us. Everyone seemed very happy to help us out on our special day. This will make it so much easier.

For the various tasks we assigned someone we really trusted to be the leader and then we'll ask other people to help those leaders out. We figure with clean up we have enough family members to do it, but we needed someone to tell them where everything goes since none of them are from around here.

I was really excited that we were able to get a girl from church to sing at our ring ceremony. She's a singer in the Airforce band and is really good. We also have one of Albert's co-workers playing the piano during the ring ceremony who is very good. Now we just have to pick the music. I feel so incompetent when it comes to classical music selection. I want something original, but I don't really know classical music that well to pick something that not everyone else has heard of. I should have paid more attention in Elementary school music class! Maybe I'll just pick some hymns, I'm more familiar with them.

Albert and I finalized our reception set-up putting all of the tables in certain spots so we have the perfect flow of traffic. It's finally coming together!! Now we just have 90 other things to get done! Baby steps...right!? It's coming up so quick...only 68 days! We still haven't found a florist or someone to alter the dress.

We're getting our engagement pics done next week by another one of Albert's co-workers who likes to take artistic shots, but hasn't done wedding pics before. We're not paying him much since he hasn't done them before, but of course we're taking a risk. I'm excited to see how they'll turn out after seeing the other pics he's done, which are very good.

We also decided on a baker. We heard back from Cakes by Design and she gave us a quote that was almost $100 less than the other quote we got! I like her more since I'm working with the baker directly. When I explain what I want I'm telling the person who will be making the cake instead of a sellsman and she will be the one who delivers the cake so if anything goes wrong, heaven forbid, she will be able to fix it and also make it look nice when she sets it up. I guess we'll see how it all turns out when we get to the reception :S

07 March 2008

Some of our favorite pics of 2007

Jefferson Memorial from the Tidal Basin, July

Philadelphia, Labor Day weekend

Luray Caverns, August

Oxford, UK, August

Vineyard at Monticello, July

Thistle at Monticello, July

Paolo Nutini live in concert, October

Walking on the Potomac, October

From the White House, October

Fall White House Garden Tour, October

Changing of the Guard at Arlington Cemetary, 4th of July

Wedding Planning 101

We went to meet with the florist on Tuesday, but I don't think it went that well. I was expecting that we'd sit down and she would act super interested and excited about my flowers, but she had us standing by the cash register looking at a catalog, not even one with bouquets she had created but just generic looking ones. Then a customer kept wanting us to move over so she could sign her credit card slip, but I guess that was ok since the florist took a call in the middle of our visit.

She wrote up a list of how much everything was going to cost and the numbers for the corsages and boutonnieres varied slightly from the numbers she gave me over the phone earlier. She doesn't really have set prices I guess. It seems like we could get a pretty good deal, but I didn't think she was very professional. She seemed like my questions were annoying and that I should just fork over the money right then. She was saying how it would be more convenient for us to pick up the flowers at her other store even though this one is much closer for us. I thanked her for her time and said I'd be in touch since we were meeting with various other florists and on the way out the woman at the cash register complained that I had been in the store twice and hadn't put up any money.

So we're going to visit the florist at a military base next week, one of the perks of Albert being in the military, and see if we can take advantage of assumed military discounts. I also hear that they have a dry cleaners so maybe they can alter the dress I'm borrowing from a friend for cheaper than what I've found.

Tomorrow we're going shopping for reception stuff. Since Albert's Filipino we want to add some Asian things into the decorations, which has been fun. Last time I was in IKEA I saw that they have bamboo shoots for $2 and I was thinking that I could buy those small low vases at the dollar store, put some rocks in the bottom, and put 3-5 bamboo shoots in there for my centerpieces. Besides being somewhat inexpensive and easy to maintain, bamboo is suppose to be lucky too and we can give them to our helpers afterwards. He can make origami cranes which I read symbolize longevity and we want to put up lanterns to create a more festive, intimate feel. Here's what I'm talking about...

I've also been thinking about making other centerpieces/decorations for the food and signing tables by putting peacock feathers into vases. I saw this on the Knot.com for a wedding that had turquoise and gold as their colors.

Albert's aunt recently went to the Philippines and she was kind enough to bring back 150+ favors with her. Albert's dad sent us pictures of the favors yesterday. They were able to get the ribbons in our colors, turquoise and silver and they have little tags with our names on it. I guess they are a few inches high and a couple inches wide, you can't really tell from the pics how big they are. Here are our pretty little swans...

We still haven't heard back about the apartment and I'd like to settle on a baker, but haven't received the proposal from the one I'd like to hire most. Hopefully she gets back to us soon. We also need to sign something for the caterer. I gave them a new list of food a couple weeks ago and asked them for a proposal, but haven't heard from them since. It makes me wonder if they really want to do it after all. We're just going through a small company in Alexandria and getting hors d'oeuvres so I'm not too worried about it...yet!

In other news Albert and I got new phones this week so that's been taking up a lot of our spare time playing with all the cool new features. We got Sony Walkmans and since we are now on the same phone plan and Albert's been working nights we've been talking on the phone more than we have since we first started dating. So far we're happy with his purchases :) It has been a pain telling everyone my new number, I switched over to his family plan so I had to have a Florida number. I'm sure all sorts of people are going to be majorly confused when they call my old number and find it no longer works. The bad thing is that in a month I'll have to tell everyone my new address and a month after that I'll have to change my name on everything. I wish I would have done it all at once!

Also today Laura Bush came to speak at my building so I went down to see her. I think we made eye contact at least once! I was in the 3rd row back because I got there so early so I took some pictures of her with my new phone. They turned out pretty well for a cell phone camera. I also took some video of her speaking but I don't think you would know it was her unless I told you. One of the benefits of living in DC is that you get to see the President or one of his "people" every-so-often :) It's always cool to see the Secret Service guys talking with their ear piece walkie talkies.

TGIF! Have a nice weekend!

Finally a candidate who "gets" it!

This is going off of what I wrote earlier in the week about trade and providing training for displaced workers, not trying to eliminate free trade. I read an article about John McCain that gave me reason to support him besides the fact that he's not a Democrat :) This is what I'm talking about!!

McCain calls for tax cuts, job training
By LIBBY QUAID, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA - Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who has said economics isn't his strong suit, said Friday tax cuts and job training are needed to lift an economy that is either in recession or is headed toward one.

McCain was responding to a report showing widespread job losses amid the housing and credit crisis. The Labor Department said employers cut jobs by 63,000 in February, the most in five years.

"I think the fact of the matter is, many American families are hurting very badly, particularly those in states like Ohio, Michigan, parts of Illinois, those states that really relied on manufacturing jobs and saw those jobs leave," McCain told employees of Chick-fil-A Inc. at a town hall-style meeting in Atlanta.

"And we as a nation have not done enough to help those workers find new employment, new training, new education," McCain said.

04 March 2008

Politics as usual

I read that this year there have been a lot more people in their 20s participating in the elections, which is really great. I get tired of having just retirees deciding how to run the country. It's already hard for politicians to make any significant changes in things like social security and health care because they're afraid of getting voted out, but with a strong lobbist like the AARP and the majority of the voters being over 65, Congress can't touch anything that might hurt us now in favor of helping us in the future. I'm all for privatized social security and so are a lot of those in my generation, but the older folks were afraid that it would mess up what they have going on now even though it means that their grandkids will probably be on their own when it comes to retirement.

I enjoy politics in general, but out of all the many issues there are to get worked up about my issue of choice is international trade. Being a staunch supporter of free trade I automatically find myself grouped with conservatives since especially these days it seems like they're the only ones with decent economic views. When I listen to Clinton and Obama talk about getting rid of NAFTA I cringe. Are they serious? Why not do something contructive like re-training those displaced workers instead of trying to hang on to jobs we don't really want? Why are people so upset that we no longer make tvs in this country? Who wants to make tvs anyway? Automaker unions have made it impossible for US companies to compete with foreigners by insisting on huge retirement settlements, etc. By excluding foreign companies from our competitive market it's the consumers who will suffer and with rising gas prices and housing foreclosures we don't really need to pay more for clothes and cars as well.
I found this on the Foreign Policy blog, which gave me some hope of our trade situation if Obama wins, which is a distinct possibility.
Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati, author of In Defense of Globalization and other fine works, sallies forth in today's Financial Times to say that Barack Obama would be a better free trader than Hillary Clinton. He offers five main arguments:

  1. Clinton wants to pause the Doha round of trade talks; Obama never said so. Obama has better economic advisors, such as Austan Goolsbee of the University of Chicago.

  2. The unions that support Obama are less opposed to trade than those that support Clinton.
    Clinton must oppose NAFTA more strongly than Obama because her husband
    supported it.

  3. Obama proposed the Patriot Employer Act, a politically smart but economically stupid idea that will never be enacted. Proposing it and letting it fail will allow Obama to "abandon the anti-trade rhetoric and embrace the multilateral free trade that has served the American and the world interest so well."

In the beginning...

I decided that Albert and I should start a blog since 1) it's the cool thing to do 2) I have a lot of useless knowledge and I need an outlet to depart it and 3) Albert takes a lot of great photos and I think they should be shared.

So here we are about to depart on an incredible adventure together. We're getting married in like 74 days...the Knot.com which I frequent on a regular basis reminds me of how many days I have left to check off all the 900 items they have outlined for me to do in order to throw the bash of a lifetime.

Today we have a meeting with a florist in the building where I work. I had no idea just how expensive bridal bouquets run until I started asking for quotes from various florists in the area. No one has quoted less than $150! Even this place we're going to today said their bouquets start out at $150. I'm hoping they're flexible, but if not and I am forced to pay $150 then I'd like to go to an upscale place at least. It seems like the main variance in wedding floral prices are in the boutonnieres and corsages, but the bouquets are about the same whether you go to a really nice place or a corner market. I'm thinking I'd like to have something simple. Just white roses with pale pink roses as an accent color. Since my dress is white I'm a little nervous about the roses being to cream colored, but maybe it will be ok. I'm thinking something like this...

This weekend we found a place to live right by Albert's current apartment. This is perfect because he shares a vehicle with a guy he works with who lives in the same complex. This way we can make sure he won't need a ride to our new place. The drawback is that it's not exactly metro accessible and I'll be busing it back and forth, which is a pain in the behind. It adds about a half hour each way to my commute. Luckily I don't have much to complain about as far as commute times go and I have been really lucky this far living so close to the metro...it only takes me 30 minutes door to cube.

Also the place is good because it's cheaper than other places we've found. Housing in the DC metro area is incredibly expensive so you really have to shop around to find something both nice and not going to break the bank. It's an older place, but newly remodeled. The great thing is that the move in date is in mid-April so I get my own apartment for a whole month. Living by myself and having my own insurance was always a must for me to feel grown up and now I will finally get the opportunity. I've always had roommates since I became financially independent. We'll know if I will be able to realize my dreams by the end of this week :)

We (or I) have it all planned out how we want the cake. I drew a beautiful picture of what I want it to look like. Now that I have the approval of one baker that we met with last week that my design is good I have new aspirations of becoming a famous cake baker. I noticed at Wal-Mart that they had stuff to make fancy cakes and I'm thinking maybe I'll get some stuff and try it out. I'm sure it's harder than it looks, otherwise everyone would do it, but I think I could do it after some trial and error. Maybe I could do it as a hobby as an outlet for my creative energies. I think this wedding planning has been somewhat fun because I have been able to use my creativity to come up with different mixtures of weddings I see on-line.

Here's my cake design...the bottom layer will have turquoise ribbon in the middle and silver ribbon on the outside. The 3rd layer is a cushion type design while the 2nd layer is just dots. The top layer will be a lacy design with little flowers. You can't tell that from this design since I didn't want to get too technical and make everyone think I was a complete nerd...although we all know I really am. I want to try and play it cool, like I'm not really that interested in the details of cake decorating, but really I've become one of those girls who fawn over bridal magazines and read blog posts from other soon-to-be brides on wedding websites.
My extreme interest in organization has reared it's ugly, but very efficient head in my recent wedding itinerary which included exact times of reception decorating and travel times. I figure it's better for our family to know exactly when they have free time than wondering how much time they'll have to get ready in the morning. Of course I didn't want everyone to know that I think about all these little details on a regular basis so I left out a lot of the details when I sent it to various family members, like in what order people will enter during the ring ceremony. Although this is an important detail I want it to seem like I only did it last minute because it HAD to be done...since I want to seem like I am far too busy to worry about such things. After ready some of the posts that other girls have written I don't feel too bad. They have a year or so to plan a wedding and they already have 90% of it planned.


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