Well, it was a success! Everything went wCheck Spellingell! All the food was fully cooked and got to the table warm. I'm so glad that I DVR'd Martha Stewart Thanksgivings as they came in handy the morning of for cooking the Turkey. I even got to watch my favorite - SHREK - perform in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade! Love that Lord Farquad! :)

I tried the Cheese Cloth to brown the turkey, I think the effect was quite nice. I also used, as Martha directed a butter and wine mixture to drizzle or more or less drowned the turkey in every 30 minutes! LOVELY! The skin was to die for! Mm mm Mm mmm Good!

Then there was the Dried Cherry and Italian Sausage Stuffing. While making this, it was what I was most scare for. I thought I had completely screwed it up but it turned out to be the biggest hit of the day! My brother requested more and more and more of it and Mike's dad who doesn't eat stuffing EVER said it was the best item on the table! :) TadAhen!

My Brussels sprouts or Alien Heads as Mike calls them were OK...I could do without them. They were a very easy recipe, but there were TONS left over. Just Thyme, butter (browned), and salt and pepper. My mother did ask me where you buy brown butter and I had to clear that one up. She's a funny one.

The Acorn Roasted Squash was DELISH. Apparently my sister, Elizabeth had requested this because she had had a Canadian Thanksgiving a few weeks before and they had made squash. She though I made this especially for her, but the truth is...my mother forgot to relay the message and this was a happy coincidence. Libby was very excited, but did not eat enough of it. I've never made squash before...VERY VERY hard to cut, but very very DELISH.

Green Bean Casserole. Enough Said. Mike's Request that we don't do anything fancy to the green beans. I did forget to put more French's fried onions on top, but no one seemed to mind.

The Candied Sweet Potatoes were handed over to me from my Grandpa. He said I can make them from now on. I did OK on them. Apparently the only thing I could do better is let them marinate over night. I guess when I only make one dish at a time I might attempt to do that, but I think for now, the fact that they turned out EXTREMELY EDIBLE and scrumptious is alright by me.

And I almost forgot the Mashed Potatoes which were a little different, but which I enjoyed VERY MUCH!!! I like things a little different... things that make you think, "what is that taste?" but not in a bad way... These were just right. LOVE!!! I may make these more often!

My Dried Dates stuffed with a cream cheese/marscapone/chive mix and wrapped in prosciutto were a HUGE HIT!!! Everyone loved them. People I thought would never try them ate like 5 of them at one time! :)

Pies -- My apple pie and pumpkin pie were a huge feat for me! I spent all day Wednesday before baking these! They were beautiful! And wonderful! I don't think I'd make them again. I think I'll try new ones next time! The pumpkin was a bit heavy for me with the cream cheese in there and the apple was way too citrus-y for me, but they were both lovely to look at!

It's a good thing that Darla brought her Strawberry Shortcake Dessert and Grandma brought her Pecan Pie and Pumpkin Pie Ala Bob Evans! :)

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am very proud of myself for doing all this and actually making it through. Next time hopefully there will be more help from the boy's end. The dishes are finally done and the Christmas Tree is up. Now to finishing the Christmas Lights, getting the house back in order and back the wedding plans.


My First Thanksgiving

I wonder if the Pilgrims and Indians felt the same way I do...a bit nervous and cautious about hosting their first Thanksgiving. I would imagine they did. Well here we go... Below is my menu. I hope all turns out well. I will be posting about the experience :)

*Dried Dates stuffed with a mix of cheeses and chives wrapped in proscuitto (we'll see how this turns out)
*OlivesCheese/Crackers/Summer Sausage
*Deviled Eggs
*Veggies and Dip
*Roasted Pecans

*Thanksgiving Turkey and Gravy
*Dried-Cherry and Italian Sausage Stuffing
*Brussel Sprouts with Brown Butter and Sage
*Roasted Acorn SquashGreen Bean Casserole
*Candied Sweet PotatoesMashed Potatoes
*Cranberry Relish

*Deep Dish Apple Pie
*Pumpkin PiePecan Pie *Pumpkin Pie
*Another Dessert

The stresses amid the wedding planning have definitely made the stress levels rise! Good luck to Mike and I!

Finally Something Good!

A quick post!

I came across this gallery today. Kachmann Gallery is a contemporary fine art gallery, but I just love the look inside! How could you not love this?!

Finally something good to come out of Fort Wayne! I’m so excited! While I still haven’t found a ceremony site, I’ve inquired on this one! LOVE!

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.~Nora Ephron – When Harry Met Sally


Wedding Planners — Yes or No?

This past week I met with two lovely wedding planners. They were great. Both offered great ideas and great committment to my day. The price tags were a bit steap though. I mean, I understand, but when it comes down to it I have to sit back and wonder, do I really NEED a wedding planner?

April Foster of April Foster Events was great. She had was ready to go with some great ideas and offered great services. She had a list of questions ready to ask and offered great advice as she’s obviously done this before.

Lindsey Schrivner of Bustle Event and Design was great as well. She’s a newlywed – just last year - so weddding planning is fresh in her mind. A modern and classy duo, she and her sister give it their all to make your wedding ideas become a reality. I thought I’d throw it out there.
Love you both.

Most churches or sites come with wedding planners these days and the receptions sites have the “go to” people to make sure things on their end go smooth. So…how many of you are having wedding planners and what is your suggestion?

Help!! Ceremony Site Still Needed!

So we all put much thought into our big day. Some people around me tell me that I’m over thinking it. I don’t think I am…yet. I just want to find the right place. I know the ceremony is the meaningful part, right? It’s the part of the day where you look into each others eyes and say your vows, exchange rings, promise yourselves to each other, and share your “first kiss” as husband and wife.

So I think I’ll be patient with this one, but I think I’ll also throw it out there. How much time and effort did you all put into each part of your weddings? Did the ceremony site’s just come to you? Did you know exactly where you were going to have it? Especially those of you who were planning out of town weddings, how did you conquer this amazing task?

Things I like:
1. I recently saw Jessica Claire’s wedding which I’m sure we were all enamored with. What perfection in so many ways!??! If Fort Wayne had a vineyard, rent-able vintage seating, and all around glam like this setting I’d be set…
2. An organically clean easily chic modern setting…is all that possible in one place? And available in Fort Wayne?

Things I’ve Tried:
1. 4 Catholic Churches in FW have turned me down b/c I’m not members of their church.
2. Looking into the Barr Street Market (thoughts? comments? suggestions?)
I feel like there has to be something that fits Mike and I and the way we are.

Maybe I am over thinking this, but I really do plan on (at this point) only getting married once. I’d like each part of our wedding to have more meaning than “it was available and in our budget.” I would hope that there are other Brides-to-Be out there who can relate.
Thanks for stopping by!
Two Souls, One Heart ~~ French Sayings Used on Poesy Rings

Wedding Planning Trip Home Part II (Bakeries — Boo)

Then we went to Hall’s Takes the Cake. Bad Customer Service. That’s all I have to say. We weren’t even greeted. We were told to sit down. Most placese ask if you are there for an appointment or will say “oh, are you (last name or first name)?” No, Nothing, Notta! We got “Sit Down.” THEN…when I showed them a picture of the cake I am looking at they told me I would have to provide a part of it and I asked why. “Well, because we don’t make those…they aren’t edible you know.” Oh, I said…well, actually these ones are, but that’s ok. The lady was VERY Rude to me about these darn brooches which Cakegirls made. I watched them do it on Amazing Wedding Cakes. If you go to their website it’s the last cake on the second page of wedding cakes. It’s got three big bows with brooches in the middle of them. I LOVE THIS CAKE!!! It looks vintage and elegant and when I saw it I had to have it.

But when I said they were edible the ladies behind the counter were then fairly nasty to me and asked “well then how did they make them?!?!” I said, well I don’t remember exactly, but with some sort of sugar base, sugar pearls, and then they were dusted with silver sugar dust. I just couldn’t believe they couldn’t come up with something. Make a sugar cookie and decorate it for all I care! I probably wouldn’t know the difference. Needless to say, we won’t be buying a cake from them. And the icing was awful! The almond cake was good, but the icing was awful. Sorry Hall’s takes the cake, but you are out for me.
Then on Saturday, we headed over to the Nutcraker Sweet Shoppe (no website). FAIL. I had called earlier in the week and was told that they didn’t take appointments. At that point of the call I was hung up on. I should have taken that as a sign. I was asking the weekend hours before I figured out that no one was on the other line anymore. So I called back and they told me 9-5 on Friday and 9-6 on Saturday. Easy enough… We went at 3 on Saturday and they were closed. What?!? Are you kidding me?!? I called and checked and you told me you’d be open! So my mom headed up to the door because she saw someone walking around in there. She opened the door which was apparently still unlocked and asked if we could come in thinking that maybe they had just closed and the girl says, “WE ARE CLOSED!” So my mom explained that I had called and was told that they were open until 6 and I had driven 2 hours to get there and blah blah blah and the girl goes, “Well I am leaving.” Again…Needless to say, we won’t be buying a cake from you either.
So the cake hunt continues. At least there’s time for this.
Brooch cakes are my fave! Here are some other beautiful cakes to look at below!

Wedding Planing Trip Home Part I (Reception Venue)

I need my own computer. Seriously. At this moment, my fiance and I share. That has got to change soon. I may just have to splurge. Problem is…I’M TRYING TO SAVE FOR A WEDDING!

I went home this past weekend and had crazy bad luck. I’m sure many of you are in the same boat as me — planning a wedding from another city. Did your dad tell you “You will get married (insert city name here)?” Well dad, if you are reading this, I’m sorry but you did. It’s ok, but it’s making things very difficult.

While Fort Wayne is only 1 hour and 45 min away from Indianapolis, parts of it may be 10-15 years behind. I’m sorry, but it is. It’s working on it but this is making my “dream wedding” a bit harder than once anticipated. Reception venues were harder to find. Ceremony sites are proving to be very tircky. I’m still plugging away at it though. Cake makers…well, that’s a-whole-nother blog. I haven’t attempted florists yet. Thank god for Etsy, SMP, and Wedding Chicks or I’d be lost and gone forever!

But while I was home this weekend, I had a goal of finding a cake shop, a ceremony site or a church, a place to get suits for the gusys and anything else that we could do. I also had to stop at the reception venue to ACTUALLY see it. Up to this point, my mom was the only one who had seen it. It’s Gorgeous! The Philmore on Broadway was originallyy opened in 1923 as the Broadway Theater. See the pictures below as it’s still undergoing a bit more renovation from being a straight restaurant. I love it! now it’s going to be a Jazz Club and Events Center! Lucky for me because this place is a Gem!

Status 10-5-09

Bridesmaid Dresses: Check

Bridesmaid Cards: Check (Once I know they’ve been received I’ll post the Final Product)

Wedding Dress: Check

Now what?! I feel like I’m ahead of the curve but really I’m behind. I need to secure a DJ for the event, a baker although I do have my cake picked out – it’s a show stopper! I was obsessed with Cake Girls out of Chicago and I got my idea from them on Amazing Wedding Cakes.

Oh, and I need to decide on a place to get MARRIED!!! That might be a high priority on the agenda when I go home next weekend! We have a reception venue picked out and booked…it’s a vintage theater that has been renovated and is absolutely wonderful! If my mother knew how to use a digital camera, I’d post the pictures right now, but she took video segments instead of pictures so they are unusable! When I go home I’ll take more! It has an upstairs bar, a stage, and it’s just gorgeous. I can’t wait to share with you all b/c it’s AMAZING!!! I think it’s going to be called “The Broadway” but right now here is an image of Catablu (what it used to be – a restaurant).

My theme for the day is URBAN CHIC which I think I can pull off. My mother and I are doing this all ourselves. Of course, we are getting help here and there from others, but the majority of the work will be done by us! I’m doing the invitations and she’s going the bouquets (which once I go home again I will have to take a picture of b/c I hear they are GORGEOUS!). I’m sure I’m forgetting other things we will be doing.

True love stories never have endings. ~Richard Bach


Notes and Notebooks Galore!

I love blogging and all, but what happened to the days of notebooks?

I’ve always had an afinity for those super cute notebooks at Border and Barnes and Noble.
Haven’t you? These would also make great bridesmaid gifts.

But ever since this wedding planning started, I have found myself taking notes all over the place. My work notebooks become MY notebooks. I take notes on printed out emails, on pictures, on magazines, on just about everything. I write down websites, obsessions, ideas, anything and everything wedding related. I just don’t want to forget something that I love now and will still love later but may forget. How do I sift through it all?!?! I will never know.

I think once this whole wedding is over I’ll be a journaler for life…maybe even a blogger. We shall see.


Bridesmaid Cards Part 1

While my bridesmaid cards are not finished, I did want to post on the progress I’ve made on them.

I finally decided on the dresses which was huge for me! My colors are going to be chocolate (changed from acorn) and chartreuse. It was hard for me to justify my girls spending an arm and a leg on a dress I knew they’d never wear again if it was a shade of lime green so I decided to go with the chocolate and I figured that J Crew dresses would have a better shot at being worn again than many others. So…my girls have their options of Gracen, Lorelei, or Clementine in the chocolate color.

Here’s what I’m sending them to let them know this.

“You Choose” Bridesmaid Cards
They aren’t quite done yet, but they are getting there. At the bottom I’m going to add a little personalized note to each and explain that each needs to be ordered in chocolate. I think I may also add a little more sass to the cards too. I’ll post the final product soon. :)

Featuring Penned and Pretty – A Wonderful Caligraphy Option

I just love the Penned and Pretty website! It does happen to be a childhood friend of mine, but who’s being partial. Jessica lived in a house down the street from me growing up and never did I know she’d grow up to be this wonderful blogger!
She blogs on
http://www.pennedandpretty.blogspot.com/ and also http://www.tyingtheknot.blogspot.com/. Both are very worth checking out.
She offers different styles of which “Pretty Whimsy” is my favorite!

Her Prices are as Follows:
Outer envelopes: $.90/envelope.
Inside envelopes: $.40/envelAdd Imageope.
RSVP envelopes: $.75/envelope.
Return address { name, address, city, state & zip}: $.75/envelope. Return address {address, city, state & zip}: $.65/envelope.
Escort Cards/Placecards {w/o premade line}: $.50/card. Escort Cards & Placecards {card with premade line}: $.35/card.
One of the best things about marriage is that it gets young people to bed at a decent hour.
~M.M. Musselman

Engagement Photos Link :) Look! :)

A quick blog so that everyone can see our engagement photos.

Huge thanks to Pat and Sharon with P.S. Studio Photography! We love our photos! They are a great shot into how we met and who we are today! You can see them by going to http://www.ps-studiophotography.com/ and then clicking on slideshows. Then click on the Mike and Abby Picks and Creative Sets! I tried to upload them onto here, but they must be too big. Please enjoy and I’m sure Pat and Sharon would love the comments!

Heres a link straight there as well:
True love stories never have endings.
~Richard Bach


The Drama of the Dresses

So we began looking for a dress at the beginning of June. We started at The Bride to Be in Fort Wayne, In. I immediately fell in love with this store. The ambiance and service at this store are unbeatable. We tried on about 12-15 dresses. I think the 3rd dress we tried on was a beautiful Augusta Jones dress with one shoulder strap and an asymetrical layered look to it. It’s shown below without should strap. Everyone in the store loved this one, along with my mom and grandma.

The last dress I tried on at The Bride To Be was “Jillian” by Melissa Sweet which I had seen in an ad and told my mom that if that dress was there when we walked in I was tryin it on no matter the price! Little did I know I’d fall in love with a $4500 dress. I’m sure it happens to many brides, but it really stinks when it happens to you.

I left without any dresses and acknowledged the fact that I had my “moment” in my dress that was hanging on the rack at The Bride To Be on Broadway in Fort Wayne, Indiana and probably would not be making an appearance at my wedding…and I was ok with that because I’m not the type of person to spend that kind of money on anything — I’m always searching for a better deal. So the search continued…

At the end of June — actually the last weekend in June — I visited Nancy’s Bridal Boutique in Indianpolis with my friend Stacey. I think it was our last stop of the day and I could not believe how many dresses we had tried on up to that point. We came across a sample sale Watters dress that fit, looked good, and was a steal at more than 50% off the price it would have been if ordered new! SOLD!!! My mom came down from Ft. Wayne the next day to OK it and I had my wedding dress! YAY!!!
Well for some reason the Jillian dress kept coming up while talking about the wedding. I’d send my mom emails of places I’d found it for sale and vice versa. We kept finding bridesmaid dresses that went well with that dress so it never really left our minds, but I still didn’t figure we’d find it so I’d kind of moved on. Then about a week ago my mom called and said that she had gotten and email back from Destiny’s Bridal in Arizona saying they had the Jillian dress available in a size 8 in ivory and for $800. SOLD AGAIN!!! My mom purchased the dress over the phone and now I’m the owner of 2 wedding dresses! Man are we some kinda bargain shoppers!

The Front of Jillian (not me in it)
Some parts of my wedding are starting to come together! So excited to be wearing the Jillian dress down the isle… I feel like a STAR in it! lol. And Now it’s off to get it cleaned, altered, and find shoes and accessories! Those blogs will be very sassy and very enjoyable! I already have my eye on some very sassy shoes…as every girl ALWAYS does!

Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction.
~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Bride to Be — http://www.thebridetobeonline.com/ ; Nancy’s Bridal — http://www.nancy/ ; Destiny’s Bridal — http://www.destinysbride.com/

Engagement Shoot

I am so excited! Mike and I got our engagement pictures taken yesterday! While we have not gotten them back yet, we were out for 3 hours gallivanting around downtown Indianapolis taking traditional, modern, and fun and risky shots. Mike has yet to stop talking about it! While he did have to miss a hockey game, it was well worth it as we got some shots on ice (since that is where we met) among what I’m sure will be many great other poses.
P.S. Studio Photography – Pat and Sharon Miller, a husband and wife team who are all about capturing the moment and preserving the memories for your special event. We had the best time. I cannot wait to see what we got! Thanks to Pat and Sharon for a lovely afternoon!
Website: http://www.ps-studiophotography.com/ Blog: psstudiophotography.wordpress.com
Once we get some back, I’ll be sure to post them.

When you meet someone who can cook and do housework–don’t hesitate a minute–marry him. – Unknown
**Also posted at my blog at www.weddingchicks.com/wcbride/abby**
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