Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Luxurious, soft, warm bedding...drooolll...

We have a set of really nice sheets already...but they are so cold to climb into! Even with our temperate California weather, it's still cold at night and cold getting into those sheets.

This Bostonian weather (and the flannel sheets we're sleeping in), sparked this idea of getting flannel sheets for our bed at home in the winter. Sides, I <3 looking at textiles and bedding, and Air <3's bedding comfort. We're trying to replicate our stay at the fancy pants Hotel Monaco when we went to the company holiday party. We sank so comfortably into that bed! It was the most comfortable bed ever.

We looked for a replacement for our featherbed at the day after xmas sales - the feathers have shifted all around and it's so thin in the middle boxes! Bloomingdale's didn't have any flannel sheets! The sales person recommended Garnet Hill for luxurious German flannel.

Of course, I have to find more about this German flannel.

it looks sooo soft (source)

From Orvis.com:
Most flannel sheet sets come from three sources: England, Portugal, and Germany. English flannel sheeting tends to be very dense and heavy (usually weighing approximately 6 ounces or more), with only a slight nap. Legendary for its durability (said to “ wear like iron”), English flannel sheets are remarkably warm and can be used all year long. Renowned for its ability to hold color saturation and prints, Portuguese flannel usually has a lower weight and looser weave, making it ideal for use with rich colors and patterns. Sumptuous German flannel is celebrated as the softest and most luxurious, generally weighing approximately 5 ounces per square yard.
I checked out Garnet Hill's Signature flannel and it's not cheap. There are less expensive alternatives:

Overstock - $60 for a set (flat, fitted, and cases)
http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/Ultra-soft-Heavyweight-German-Flannel-Sheet-Set/409649/product.html#custreviews

Other places to buy flannel sheets:
http://thestir.cafemom.com/home_garden/111172/flannel_sheets_dont_have_to

But looking more there were several posts/articles on Garnet Hill being excellente.

http://windlost.blogspot.com/2008/11/quality-but-at-what-price.html

http://aproperbostonian.blogspot.com/2010/01/more-praise-for-garnet-hill.html

I picked up some of Garnet Hill's printed German flannel since it was on sale...and we liked the pear print too. 

no more crawling into a cold bed! (source)

I believe it's also a Chinese tradition to get all new bedding, including bed, for newlyweds. We did receive a beautiful Chinese red cover and cases, but my aunt said it was more for decoration since it will easily fray :( New sheets will do!

This article is all about getting a good night's rest and that includes recommending Garnet Hill's German flannel:

Sleep is so crucial! It can affect all sorts of things - hormones, mental and physical health, beauty, weight gain:

I really need to get me 8 hours of sleep a day during a regular week. Okay, add sleeping 8 hours a day to my goals for 2011, next to dress nicer (sometimes).

What goals do you have for 2011? Do you aspire to make your bedding emulate a hotel?

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's a snow blizzard!

The weather forecast predicted 2 to 3 inches an hour and a snow emergency was declared. Luckily, the weather should be clearing up along with the snow on the airport tarmacs so I'll be able to make it back to the West Coast on Wednesday. In time to attend L&Q's winter wedding!


Look at all the snow that fell last night!







Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shopping Time! Uh oh!

It's that time of year where I do some shopping! There's several factors that goes into this.

  • Everything is on sale and I like bargains. But not cheap crappy stuff. 
  • I'm on the east coast on vaca and there's not much to do. 
  • The shopping mall is walking distance and has a small number of decent typical mall stores. (Bloomingdale's, Macy's, Crate & Barrel, Ann Taylor Loft, Sephora, Apple, etc.)
  • Hardly any one is at the mall! (I refuse to go to the mall on the weekends in the bay area, it's MADNESS)


I believe I don't shop very much comparatively and that  I'm below average. All I wear at work is jeans (haven't bought any new denim for 3+ years) and the free tee shirts they give me.

Mint.com says I've spent around 1k this year on clothing (prior to this online pre-xmas shopping spree!).

Mint Trends says the US spent on average $3200 and $3700 for the state of California.

I can recount all the clothing shopping trips this year (non-wedding related):

Bloomingdale's (east coast) - down jacket for the frigid winters in Boston
2x Frugal Fannies (east coast) -  a black skirt (haven't "owned" one since 7th grade), a few warmer/thicker base layers for winter snowboarding
2 x Marshalls - a few dresses for special occasions (just in case, so tired of wearing that one dress for every wedding and baptisms and partie)
H&M (east coast) - couple skirts and tops to wear to a nice dinner (we went to Morimoto's yum! in NY)
Target - our annual after Thanksgiving stop in Los Banos, Calif.; couple $10 sweaters and a thermal
Coach Factory Outlet - my first purse
Champion - sports bras & a pair o shorts

These were all pretty basic stuff, and I've used most of it. I'm thinking I want to start to dressing a little nicer. Air thinks my transformation into a girl is complete with that purse.

So here's to an attempt to dress nicer. (Or having non-work branded clothing to wear.) What I'm wondering is, is the amount that Mint.com has what people actually spend? What a normal amount to spend on clothing? What do you allow yourself to splurge on? Where do you go to find good deals? ;)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breakfast in bed gets me...homemade fusilli with mushroom bechamel!

This past couple weekends have been packed...we flew out to Boston this week to spend time with the in-laws but I'm still working on PST time...poooped.

Friday night was our company holiday party. Our first holiday party as a married couple...awwww. Traffic was horrendous and we were starving when we got there. I was more excited about this year's because it was at the Exploratorium at Palace of Fine Arts in SF.


Good thing there was food! The party would not have enticed me otherwise.



Alcohol + science toys = Good


Scotch whiskey tasting? No thanks...smells funny...


Chocolate torte with caramel? YES!

D&D & us

Photobooths are fun.

Saturday I still had to wake up in the morning to drive down for my last letterpress class! Then it was off to an engagement party.

Sunday, I woke up at a decent hour to get ready to go to SF again, but to take engagement photos of L&Q. Got a little delayed, so I had some time beforehand...Air made offered to make tortillas if I picked up milk. The market had panettone! Came home and decided to make panettone French toast for my honey to have breakfast in bed! 



I <3 French toast. 

I used the powdered sugar spoon from our gift registry to dust some sugar. (Thanks E!)


When I got home, Air had made some fresh pasta from the Kitchen Aid pasta extruder we received from the wedding registry (Thanks D&D!) and was making bechamel sauce with chanterelle mushrooms. 

We were really overwhelmed with the gifts that we received...on that note, I should go do thank you notes now! 

Air says I'm less busy now than before the wedding...but I still feel like a busy body (in the good productive sense). How are you keeping busy?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a mini-moon!

We went on a mini-moon! As in we actually took some vaca and had some alone time! No longer do I need to respond to 'Did you go on a honeymoon' questions with 'Air bought a new computer so we are going to mini-moon by exploring new continents in Civ V' (yes we are nerdy).


I'm still set on going to the Galapagos...but going on a honeymoon in October wasn't good because my work project was launching, then November was scratched since Air was moving to new team, and we already cut Thanksgiving last year short so I could go on my trip to Easter Island, then December isn't convenient either because it's time to fly to the East Coast to visit his family...then it's snowboarding season...so no honeymoon until at least April/May!! Then I need to figure out when next year I want to take a leave from work to go live in Spain for 3 months.

So where did we go? We took the first half of Thanksgiving week to drive down to Santa Barbara and stayed in a fancy resort! The Four Seasons Santa Barbara (but actually in Montecito). I never go on this type of vacation...my typical vacation is staying in a $4-30 guest house or hostel in a third world country where I bring a cocoon sheet with me. Where as Air is a creature of comfort...who loves nice comfy bedding on his vacations, clean bathrooms a must, and room service - yes!

We were so happy to take a break...

Our resort cottage! And my 'first rich person vacation'

All we did was walk around...look for the Japanese woodblock print gallery that was no longer there, eat, sleep, watch tv, eat, watch Harry Potter and have room service breakfast! Very low key and relaxing and chill.

creature comforts...a rainfall showerhead and bathrobes (another first)...very comfy


 Distinctive Santa Barbara architecture...I like it! 

 The wind blowing man is sweet...

a Santa Barbara/Montecito home next to the hotel...with Moroccan inspiration? This house was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. 

Santa Barbara homes are crazyyy!! We look through some of the hotel mags and there were tons and tons of multi-million dollar homes up to 30 mil. I asked our room service waiter was the industry was, looks like all the residents own hotels. Like the one we were staying in. I need to own a hotel. If only I needed the services of one of the many wealth management shops they had in town.

Oil rigs...I didn't know there were oil rigs off the coast of California


This is a Moreton Bay Fig at the hotel imported from Australia...huge trees are so awesome!

Front yard of the hotel

lots of beach goers walking their dogs!

Sunset...so muy romantico...awwww!

Smog collected in floor the Central Valley - ugh! on the way to visit my family in the Valley for Thanksgiving.

And now back to work...boo...at least xmas will come soon, and there is snow!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Inspired!

I'm feeling super artsy this week!

I finished printing the 'thank you' part on the letterpress cards last weekend and picked them up on Monday...woot! I also did the first color of my lithograph print for our class mythology assignment.

Tuesday, took the day off work to go to a lighting workshop/walk by the amazing, amazing Tanja Lippert. Tanja is a film photographer. Film! This pique my interest into bringing out my old SLR again and playing with some old school 35mm film. Why does she like film? One of the reasons was latitude...like the range of tonality that film has over digital. And I was thinking of the grain of black and white pictures...they don't have the same feel as digital. Interest piqued!


Wednesday, went to drawing class and got into working with chalk pastels on a fabric drawing. I've never worked with chalk pastels...or much color with drawing actually...and the last time I used oil pastels must have been high school, which is a looooong time ago. It was exciting because I'm finally getting to a point where I can just put the marks on the paper and not really think about anything...just putting the mark to the paper.

Thursday, bought me some color 35mm film, some color Super 8 film (Super 8!!!), changing bag (going to do b&w film development at home!), and convinced some friends to do some modeling for me! Oh boy, I can see I'm getting into the buying crafty stuff mode that I did for the wedding...I haven't used the Yudu yet! (I was going to silk screen the napkins, but had to cut that out). BUT, photography is something I do on a regular basis...and something I can have excuses to do all the time (as opposed to an excuse for a once in a lifetime event). 

This weekend I finally got a portfolio up with a design and function that I was happy with. Yay!!! Go artsy/crafty powers!!! 

T&T showing how it's done

Another bride turning wedding experience into a small business. Well attempting to. I didn't really blog often enough to get a huge following...it takes a lot of time to blog! And fit those other interests in! I don't see how others can do it so regularly...it might also be that I'm slow at writing and better at pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, so I must be like an encyclopedia! 

The experience of planning a wedding exposed me to a lot of things...I just did not have the insight into how much work and sweat and tears goes into a wedding. And they are fun!!! Hard work, but fun...and there's just so many moments and emotions in a wedding, it's awesome. How could I not want to take pictures of that?

Anyone else inspired by wedding planning to turn it into a venture?

Here's my new site! www.elainechophoto.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

How does it feel to be married?

Slightly different...

Mainly,

1. I get to call him hubby.
2. I now open his junk mail so I can recycle it.
3. Warm, fuzzy, cozy feeling that he's there, but it's a there with permanence
4. It's team us! Our super powers and forces are joined together!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Now what do I do?

No more wedding planning. So now what? I need to re-evaluate my life (no, not like that honey pie)! Well take assessment. And whip out my life master plan to make goals and plans. That includes a honeymoon! We haven't even taken a mini moon which is super poopy.

Work project launching near your wedding date? MAJOR SUCKS. A lot of frustration from not having time to getting those last details done until the very last minute....thank goodness for my brother being recently jobless and being able to iron all those napkins for me...and go through my underwear drawer to get the jewelry I forgot among other things...and my hubby for really being the voice of reason those last few late nights, frustrated over some of the details being done at such a late hour, but reassuring (even though I knew) it was going to be great party and a great party it was!

We're still planning to go to the Galapagos Islands...but since Mr. Hubby is changing work teams, then it'll be the holidays, then snowboarding season...it's just not good timing. Hopefully we can take an extended weekend soon just to have some co-relaxing. Really, the honeymoon is all about taking a vacation after all that planning. I really want a vacation :P

So what have I been up to? I signed up for a couple community college classes...drawing and letterpress at Foothill College!

What am I going to do with letterpress? Make thank you cards! We initially picked up some thank you cards at Target...but people were just so generous with gifts, it needed to be something more special. Is a month after okay to send thank you's? I hope to be done with them next week!

First assignment (well, second assignment, first was completed while we were getting married) - Setting metal type and lithograph print of a mythological character


Setting type took hourssss! It took so long. This is how books used to be made!


Making my first print!


Printing the first part of the thank you cards! 


I used a leaf from the design I did for the invites and made a polymer plate from a negative printed out from the computer. I exposed the plate under the negative with UV light, then wash it after the exposure leaving the design. It's pretty cool! New tech and old tech.

So immediate plans are:
make letterpress thank you cards
more blog posts! so much info in my head! it'll be nice to record document all the thoughts and process.
help Kelly with her wedding? (yayyy! weddings are fun!! I <3 them)

and then...uhhh...update my master plan. I have a tons of photos...there are a number of trips I want to make albums for, portfolio I want to work on, but now that my brain isn't "wedding, wedding, wedding", there's not something huge that's sticking out. Maybe this is post-wedding planning depression.

Did you find yourself a bit direction-less after your wedding?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Regrets? (or this is what the procession music was suppose to sound like)

The only real regrets I had about our wedding - and they are fairly small, was the ceremony musician and not designating someone to do some video (who kinda knew what they were doing) to record the toasts and first dance. Everything else went great, even though I had to cut out much of the crafty things I wanted to do.

Our ceremony musician was awful at the procession pieces we chose. He said he played the violin as well as the mandolin. The samples he sent? They sounded great! But so not him! UGH. Should have went with the other musician who was actually a VIOLINIST! Who knew you get samples not actually performed by that musician, but perhaps performed by other members of his quartet?!?! Thomas Yee...why...WHYYYY, why weren't you available!?!

My advice - at least ask for YouTube videos to make sure it's them playing! We checked out our band this way and they were great, (musical redemption, as I pleaded and pleaded Air to play just one piece on his cello, but that didn't happen).

I didn't want any traditional procession music aka Here Comes the Bride aka Canon in D. We also wanted lived music...but just one solo violinist would have been enough, instead of a full out quartet. We didn't want to spend that much money on the ceremony music.

Groom's Procession:
Scheherazade violin solo (shown from Leverage, one of Air's tv shows)




Bridesmaids' Procession:
Bach Cello Suite No. 1 (Air grew up playing the suites on the cello)




Bride's Procession:
The Meditation from Thais by Massenet

Played by our original choice for ceremony musician, Thomas Yee:




This version by David Chan in the Met's production of Thais which we saw in our local theater in a HD broadcast. It was our first exposure to this piece and he played really beautifully. Air's papa is an opera fan.




Unfortunately, the music did not sound like this at all.

Fortunately, most people didn't know what they were supposed to sound like.

Anyone else have any regrets about wedding aspects?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

You can't glue it back together

Our guestbook wasn't in the most prominent place to get signed, so we only had a few of our guests actually sign it. But this gem must be the best guestbook signature ever!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We did it!

We're married!!

10/10/10 was so much fun! We had an absolute blast and we got many complements on how fun it was, such as the most fun at a wedding ever! (hope it's true!). The food was fantastic, the weather absolutely gorgeous, and so great seeing everyone all dressed up. 

Our photobooth was great...I wish more people used it, but it came out really well. I picked up a red velvet curtain from Ikea, had the backdrop stand, umbrellas, lighting, and Yi brought a strobe flash too. Yi setup our photo booth then took pictures to go to his laptop. They came out great! Thanks Yi!

Some of my fav photobooth pics:


Bride & Groom!













I wanted us to have a printer so guests could print out copies of the pictures and stick them in our guestbook a blank sketchbook which they could draw pictures and doodle in too. But we didn't have time to work out how the printer would be handled and such, so we just posted them on to PicasaWeb. I was also planning to make some fake mustaches like so out of wooden dowels and mat-board, but didn't have time for that. The costume mustaches I think worked even better.

The props I picked up last day the day after Halloween...50% off!!! It's Halloween time now...so a great time to pick up props on the cheap...

There was a lot of last minute running around like crazy, but we went on a fantastic food tour (our favorite food joints) with Air's family starting on Thursday. All the cameras was like being chased around by the paparazzi! I felt like Mickey Mouse at Disneyland with all the kids coming up so the parents could take their pictures.

Lots and lots of fun. Hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as we did!