April 29, 2008

He Just Can't Look At Them The Same Way

While we were away on our South American adventure last month, we decided to leave our fish in the care of my brother. Since my brother's vacation overlapped with part of our vacation, the plan was that my hubby was going to drop a special self-feeder in the tank that would automatically feed them for 3 days (gotta love technology), and then my bro would take over from there.

There was only one problem with the full-proof plan...while we were scrambling to finish our packing and catch our ride to the airport, my hubby forgot to drop the self-feeder in the tank.

Three days later, my brother came back from vacation and straight to the fishies rescue. Before I had a chance to check in with my brother to see how they were doing, I got the following e-mail from my mom:

[Brother's] home. Fed the fish. They are OK if you have 2 of them.

Ummm...we have 3. Was she trying to be funny? I couldn't tell (it's times like these I wish e-mail had inflections or some sign of tone).

It turned out that when my brother went to feed our fish, and he only saw 2 of them, as in, only 2. The third fish, our dear pac-man (I know, strange name, but my hubby named him--and he was yellow and ate a lot so it kinda made sense), was nowhere to be found...at all.

Here I was having a fabulous time on vacation with the hubby, when I was faced with the difficult task of having to find a way to break the news to my hubby that his beloved pac-man was missing.

I decided I would keep the news to myself until it was official (my brother promised to check the tank again to make sure he wasn't hiding). Then, it was official.

At first, I asked my brother if he could go to the pet store to get a fish that looked like pac-man. I thought it was a brilliant idea. My hubby would never know...and his heart wouldn't be broken by the bad news. My brother felt otherwise (he never watched as many sit-coms as I did). There would be no replacement fish.

Eventually my hubby learned the bad news, and he was convinced that the 2 surviving fish had eaten the third fish. Then I lied. I told him that that couldn't be true because my brother had given pac-man a proper burial.

My husband didn't believe me.

The saddest part is that ever since pac-man went missing, my hubby just hasn't been able to look at the other fish the same way.


I had to travel across the country last weekend to find out the news...but apparently, it's springtime (as evidenced by these amazing tulips):

I miss spring!

April 19, 2008

Spa Themed Bridal Shower

Because I secretly wish I was a party planner...from time to time, I plan to blog about events I've thrown or helped plan. First up...a bridal shower with a spa theme.

A friend of mine was recently tasked with planning a bridal shower. The bride to be decided that she really wanted a theme for her shower, and my friend wasn't sure where to start. Because she knew how much I love to plan a good party, (and because she's awesome!) she asked me to help her come up with a theme and decorations.

Excited by the prospect of planning a party (especially one I didn't have to pay for), I quickly brainstormed different ideas for the shower. My friend was torn between 2 of the ideas, but eventually decided on the spa theme.

The Breakdown:

The Decor
When it came time to discuss centerpieces, my friend mentioned that she really didn't want to use flowers since she figured they were expensive and they eventually die. Instead, she wanted a centerpiece that either could be reused at a later date, or was otherwise functional. So the centerpieces consisted of candles and stones (no flowers, inexpensive, and reusable--all three goals met--and to boot, the bride to be liked them so much that they are going to reuse them at the rehearsal dinner):
To add to the theme, small spa themed baskets were placed on the bar and on the food table:


The bride wanted to make sure there were plenty of fun games at her shower. My friend had decided she wanted to do a quiz where you had to match up famous couples throughout time, but she wasn't sure what other games to use. I enjoy interactive games, so I suggested a game (affectionately referred to as the paddle game for now, but I will come up with a better name at some point) that I often use at showers.

The game tests how well the bride to be knows her future groom, while allowing guests to participate. Basically, you ask the groom a bunch of questions before the shower. At the shower, each guest receives a green paddle and a red paddle. The hostess reads the question she asked the groom, and then the guests raise a green paddle if they think the bride to be will get it right, and a red paddle if they think she will get it wrong. The bride then answers. Of course, the fun is intensified by the hostess who cracks jokes at both the guests' and the bride to be's expense (e.g., "no pressure" if all guests raise green...etc.). Usually the game works on a point system, where the guest with the most right wins, but in this case, the hostess decided to play the game in an elimination style, which also worked well (if you guessed wrong, you were out)!

I made the paddles by cutting red and green construction paper in wide strips and then gluing them around a plastic red/green knife. They have traveled to many a shower...and somehow have managed not to fall apart yet.

All of the prizes were spa themed (bags full of lotions, nail files, etc., and the grand prize for one game was a plush robe).

The Splurge

Since the party had a spa theme, guests were able to get hand and foot massages during the party. The massage table was placed under a tree in the backyard, and there were wind chimes hung from the branches of the tree. It was a huge hit that everyone enjoyed! As a special treat the hostess treated the bride to be to a full hour massage before the party as a shower gift.

The Food

To go with the spa theme, a light spread, included Chinese Chicken Salad, Strawberry Summer Salad and a Cranberry Salad (and of course there were plenty of mimosas too!):

The Favors

Personalized bath salts and a loofah were given away as favors to go with the spa theme (they also doubled as part of the settings for the tables). (The white blobs are me censoring for privacy)

April 18, 2008

Make My Day!

My husband thinks that the only reason I want children is so that I can throw parties for them. He might be right. I enjoy having a challenging intellectual career...but there is nothing like planning (and throwing) a party! So though I am a lawyer by trade, I pretend I am a party planner on the side.

I have recently been given the exciting task of helping my sister-in-law plan my niece's Bat-Mitzvah. I am not sure if my sister-in-law realizes the monster she is about to unleash (though I will try to keep myself under control), but I cannot wait to help her plan this big event. I've only had the assignment for a couple days, and already, I have helped my niece choose a theme she is excited about, sketched sample centerpiece choices, and sketched ideas for the room design, seating cards, cocktail decor and more! My niece's Bat-Mitzvah isn't until fall 2009...but I am almost done with all the details.

Stay tuned for developments.

April 10, 2008

Weekend Getaways and Day Trips - My Saviors

Once in a while, I feel the urge to get away. Perhaps I am a natural born traveler (although I somehow doubt that given my fear of planes), but no matter the source, a quick daytrip or weekend getaway is the best medicine when I feel overwhelmed.

Unfortunately, I don't quite have the capital (or the vacation days) to constantly travel. But, my husband and I made a deal that we would try to leave the city at least once every other month (or every month if we could be so lucky), even for a day trip. As we are in the process of looking for a house (and anticipating the house poor days ahead of us), we decided to tour our own state of California.

Below is a growing list of our trips with links to the recaps of each trip (hopefully I will remember to update it):

Weekend Getaways:

Laguna Beach, CA
Los Olivos, CA
Newport Beach, CA
Solvang, CA

Day Trips:

Antelope Valley, CA
Malibu, CA
Montecito, CA
San Diego, CA
Santa Ynez, California
Temecula, CA
Tehachipi, CA
Venice, CA
Santa Monica, CA