Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Favorite Recipe

I thought I would take a minute to share a favorite, EASY recipe that Hollyanne and I love, which was also a big hit at Thanksgiving last year! Katie Ryan-Anderson, even YOU can make this (Yes, I'm calling you out). Last night we were in a hurry for dinner after being gone most of the day volunteering at the El Pueblo Farmer's Market (9-1 Saturdays at 6th and Irvington, come see us!), and then needing to head out again for the evening. We bought several sweet potatoes from the Farmer's Market, and had some Ziploc Steam Bags (Full disclosure: they don't pay us, we just love the bags) on hand. Knowing we needed to eat quick and get out the door, we made the recipe below, served on a bed of brown rice. Trust me, it was delicious. This recipe is straight from Ziploc's website. Anyone can make this!

Sweet Potatoes with Apples and Cranberries

2 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in to large pieces
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium Granny Smith apple (Gala works well, too), cored and diced in to 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in to Ziploc Steam bag and seal the bag. Shake the bag up, mixing everything together. Pat all of the ingredients into a single layer and place the bag in the microwave. Heat on high for 9 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Let stand for one minute, then open the bag and serve. This makes a great side dish at Thanksgiving, or you can add some pasta (as we did) for a great vegetarian meal!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Fiance Friday! - DIY Wedding!

Hello blog-o-sphere!

I know it’s been a few weeks. As I sit here, I have been watching game 2 of the World Series. It’s currently 8-0 Giants in the bottom of the 8th inning. Coincidentally, it is currently Thursday night at 8pm here on the West side of the country. Do you know what comes on TV on Thursdays at 8pm? Yup, Grey’s Anatomy, followed by Private Practice. Since Hollyanne is at a classmate’s house working on schoolwork, we have the TiVo set to record both shows. Now you might be saying to yourself, “Kevin, what’s the big deal? TiVo can record on one channel while you watch something else on another.” Well, technically yes, but not if you own a Series2 TiVo that you bought off Craigslist from some guy in a shady Walgreens parking lot two years ago for $30. So, 8pm rolled around, I had a choice to make. I could continue watching the Giants game, or I could allow the TiVo to change the channel and record Grey’s. Needless to say, I’ll be asking my co-workers in the morning how the game finished up. Grooms of the world, trust me when I say that there was a right and a wrong decision that could have been made in that situation. I chose the right one. :)

Anyhow, enough about me missing the end of the second game of the World Series. Did I mention that baseball is my favorite sport? I digress…So, today I thought I would talk a little bit about this whole DIY wedding concept. For those unfamiliar with the term, it stands for “Do It Yourself Wedding.” Now I can’t knock the entire concept. Those who know me know that I’m a frugal guy, always on the lookout for the best deals. Don’t believe me? Re-read the story in the first paragraph and focus on the section about my buying a used TiVo from some random guy in a parking lot. For the most part, a DIY Wedding is a GREAT way to save money!

However, I have learned that there are many things grooms may not fully comprehend when planning a “DIY Wedding.” There is no such thing as a free lunch – trust me, I’ve have my share of many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners over the years. First, type in DIY Wedding into Google. Check out how many blogs and websites are devoted to future brides and their DIY weddings! I’m fairly certain that my beautiful fiancée may have visited close to all of them. There are also magazines upon magazines devoted to the DIY Wedding concept. I’m looking at you, Martha Stewart (PS – I’m still waiting on your response from both of my letters…Don’t think you can avoid me!). In fact, there is an entire industry devoted to DIY Weddings! I would call it the Anti-Wedding-Industry-Industry. Or, since I’m in Student Affairs and we like to make acronyms, AWII.

My main word of warning comes in this form, however, grooms: Craft Nights. Yes, that’s right. DIY Weddings lead to “craft nights,” which can and will eventually turn in to “craft weekends.” You see, there is no joking on this one, grooms. You’ll be up to your ears in superglue and construction paper before you can say “Do It Yourself.” In fact, I got the full effect when my beautiful fiancée looked me sweetly in the eyes this week and said, “By the way, I invited a friend over to do crafts for the wedding this weekend.” So, while you all enjoy games three and four of the World Series, I’ll be doing crafts, and watching TiVo’d Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice. Did I just mention that it is World Series time again?? :)

Before signing off, I just want to give a quick Fiancé Friday shout-out to my former classmate Joe and his new wife Allie who just got married last weekend in Ohio! Congrats to both of you!

Until next week…

Peace, Love, and Crafts,


Friday, October 8, 2010

Fiancé Friday - My Life on the D-List

Hello blog-o-sphere!

As I am writing this, I am sitting in George H.W. Bush International Airport in Houston, TX on my way to Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC! I hope everyone is having a fantastic week! Before I get things kicked off here, I want to give a special Fiance Friday shout-out to my friends Lauren and Chris, who are getting married this weekend in Baltimore!

Ok, I know I was going to talk about this whole "DIY Wedding Industry" this week, including the many "craft nights" that go along with that. However, today I had a realization! I'm a "D-List" Groom! Now for those unfamiliar with the term, allow me to explain a little. You see, I've been reading Kathy Griffin's book, "Official Book Club Selection." Kathy, you see, refers to herself as a D-List celebrity. What she means by that is that, sure, she is a little famous. However, she's not Jennifer Anniston famous. Now, she has an entire TV show devoted to this concept. I have to admit, I don't have cable, so I have never seen her show. Oh, and I don't buy books anymore, so I got her eBook from the Pima County Library. Sorry Kathy, no royalties off of me!

You might be wondering, "Kevin, How are you a D-List Groom??" Well, let me tell you what happened today. Holl and I went to a large, national chain to look at options for tuxedos this morning. Since we are getting married in a different city, we thought it might be easier to go through a national chain to get the tuxes. Well, when we got there this morning, they immediately gave us a binder with about 10 different options for styles. While we looked through it, the attendant stood over us, not saying a word, as if the binder was worth a million dollars! Then, when we started asking questions about the differences between styles, we were rewarded with quick, short answers that didn't really give us a lot. So, we left without making any decisions.

Apparently, this less-than-friendly person had never heard of this blog. How rude! You see, I'm famous to all of you, dear readers, but apparently not to everyone. So here I am, just an ordinary D-List groom, writing about my wedding planning experiences for all of you. Of course, since my life as a D-List groom includes being engaged to my beautiful Fiancee, I would not change it for the world. :)

Ok, time to go shamelessly plug this post on Facebook and Twitter before I take off for DC! Such is the life of the D-List Groom. :)

Peace, Love, Weddings, and D-Listings,

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Updates! ...and October

Hello dear readers!

My apologies for not having updated recently, but it's because the future Mr. and I have been busy little {wedding planning} bees. With just eight months and some amount of days that I'm too lazy to count, we'll be man & wife, and as the date gets closer, we seem to get busier and busier. In the past few weeks, we have:

-constructed the world's largest paper chain to count down to our wedding date
-designed our save-the-date cards (part template, part our additions), to be sent shortly
-searched for, found, and purchased the perfect envelopes (found here) for said save-the-dates (ok, ok, so it was mostly me who did this)
-{I} begun addressing save-the-dates. BY HAND. let's just say that was a bad idea.
-purchased and begun design on our place cards & table numbers (without revealing too much, i will say they involve these mini-chalkboards)
-researched and decided on a wedding favor (which we will also be making...God-willing)
-booked our wedding night hotel at a will-be-kept-undisclosed location :)
-{almost} completed our wedding registries
-{Kevin} continues to plot his attack on the Martha Stewart regime...
-painted most of our apartment, with the help of our lovely friend claudia
-{I} found, purchased, and just recently received my wedding DRESS & veil, and they are both absolutely perfect; to all of you future brides out there, i highly recommend searching for your dream (but often unaffordable) designer dress through; you'll get a much better deal, have more money to spend on other parts of your wedding, AND help someone repurpose an item that was very special to them.

and, most exciting of them all...
-research honeymoon options, and although we haven't decided or booked anything yet, are leaning towards this Caribbean cruise - woot!

we've also been working on a total redesign of the blog, which we will hopefully be launching the beginning of next week! we are super excited and we hope you all will love it.

in other news, IT'S OCTOBER, which means it's my favorite month. (usually). it's finally starting to cool down in tucson, and we're looking forward to many things this month:
-tucson beer festival next weekend
-pumpkin picking & pumpkin carving & {mostly} pumpkin eating
-my dear friend & bridesmaid Ashly's visit towards the end of the month
-and, mostly, it NOT being 113 degrees everyday

more updates soon!


kevin & i before last week's arizona-cal game; go wildcats!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fiance Friday!

Hello blog-o-sphere!

I hope that you all had a great couple of weeks! As you, I'm sure have read, things have been buzzing in terms of wedding planning. Of course, now you all are more in-the-know about my own wedding than I am, seeing that I am not even allowed to read the blog that I contribute too! For those wondering, I promise that I have not looked at the two blog posts that I believe are below this one. All of this leads up to the topic of my post today: Bridal Shows.

Now stay with me here, folks. You may be expecting me to completely bash this bridal tradition. Now before I get in to my issues with it, there is something I do have to say about them. This is wedding efficiency at its finest!! You can get a dress, AND get all of your vendors taken care of in one-stop shopping! I LOVE this idea! Essentially, you could go to a bridal show for a couple of hours, and come back with EVERYTHING planned! Why WOULDN'T anyone go to one??

Now, allow me to answer my own question. What I just mentioned above happens in a fantasy, grooms of the world! Grooms, listen to me. Bridal shows are just a cover-up! Your beautiful fiancee is going to come back from one with all of these new ideas, and quite possibly may be completely re-thinking everything you once thought was set in stone when it came to wedding plans. Now, let me be clear. I don't know this from personal experience. this is just a little speculation, so I suppose you can take this with a grain of salt this week. See, my beautiful fiancee gets many of her ideas from other wedding blogs. These ideas in-turn lead to craft nights and redecorating our kitchen table. More on that next week. :)

Before straying too far off-topic, I just want to answer the one question I know all of you are thinking right now. If there are all of these bridal shows, why aren't there "groom shows"?? The answer to this is simple. If there were such a thing as "groom shows," they would be very in 15 minutes! Do you know why? I believe they would look a lot like I described in paragraph two! They would be the ACTUAL one-stop shopping adventure that they are supposed to be! So grooms, next time your fiancee heads off to a bridal show, know that it's only the beginning, and not the one-stop shopping experience you hope for!

Until next week,


PS - Martha, I still have not heard from you. Perhaps my letter got lost again. I'll re-send it. Hugs and high-fives!