Thursday, July 30, 2009

Trying My Hand at Wedding Ceremony Coordination

Since Nate and I started dating a year and a half ago, I have accompanied him to his disc jockey gigs, which have primarily been wedding ceremonies and receptions. I love getting to spend the extra time with Nate, but to be perfectly honest, wedding receptions can be kinda boring if you don't know the bride, groom or any of the guests AND you aren't allowed to get up and dance when the good dance music is playing. So we did a little brain~storming and came up with a way that I could potentially be kept occupied at an event ~ we started offering day~of reception coordination. The idea was that I would be on hand to make sure that the reception proceeded in a timely fashion and that everyone was where they needed to be for all the important events. We thought it was a great service to offer ~ usually a family member or friend is delegated to this task, but if we could take responsibility for it, we could ensure that all the guests were able to enjoy the event as stress~free as possible. I considered venturing into wedding planning, but decided that day~of coordination was the best way to go as I can have a short fuse sometimes and don't exactly have the patience to deal with bridezillas during the entire wedding preparation process.

Several months ago, we met with an adorable couple who happened to be the first bride and groom who wanted to use our new service. But in addition to coordinating the reception, they also wanted me to coordinate the ceremony. {Oddly enough, they didn't seem too concerned with the fact that I've never done this before! I think they really just wanted someone outside the family to take a leadership roll at the rehearsal and before the ceremony, and help make sure that everything goes smoothly.} Their wedding is this weekend and while I'm a little nervous about it, I'm also pretty excited. I've been researching the best ways to conduct a ceremony rehearsal online, and I think I'm actually ready!

The wedding should be a lot of fun ~ the bride is Canadian and the groom is American, and they're getting married at the Peace Arch, which rests on the exact U.S./Canadian border, and happens to be where the couple met for the first time. I don't know that I've been to an outdoor wedding and reception since my uncle got married in 1986 {they're somewhat rare here in Washington as the weather cannot be trusted to cooperate} but we've had beautiful, rain~free weather for weeks, so hopefully we'll all stay dry. It's been so hot though ~ I hope we don't melt!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Darn You, Stupid WebMaster

I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I do a teeny bit of blogging while at work. Or at least I did until this week. Our I.T. department has tightened up the reins on what sites are deemed inappropriate for viewing on work time, and unfortunately for me, Blogger and Yahoo Mail are among those sites that our WebMaster now blocks. {Oddly enough, Twitter and YouTube, which were previously unavailable, can now be viewed.} No more checking and responding to personal and garter~related email throughout the day. No more logging onto Blogger to check out what my favorite bloggers are saying when I have a few minutes of down time, or posting a new post that I worked on during my break. I can't even leave blog comments using my Google username! I did just figure out that I can still comment on Blogspot blogs using just my name and URL {so if my comments look different now, that's why} , which is better than nothing, but I'm still bummed out about the whole thing. Stupid, stupid WebMaster. I don't like you at all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Feeling Like I Can Call Myself a Dancer Again

I think we all have labels that we give ourselves {or that others give us} that serve to describe or identify us ~ mother, sister, daughter, wife, friend, artist, crafter, animal lover, blogger, etc. The list goes on and on. I have always thought of myself as: daughter, friend, dancer, crafter, book worm, collecter of yarn and ribbon, cat lover; recently I've even added two "labels" I never thought would apply to me: small business owner and dog person. But for the past several years, I've questioned whether I could continue to label myself as a dancer considering that I very rarely make it out dancing despite the fact that I miss it more than anything and that I am my happiest on the dance floor.

As I mentioned a few months ago, Nate and I started taking Argentine Tango classes. Last night was the conclusion of our second four~week session; after class, we attended our second milonga {which is an all-tango dance party}. While we were dancing at the party {and feeling pretty good about ourselves and our progress, I might add ~ we're getting pretty darn good!}, it finally struck me that not only can I definitely call myself a dancer again, but I AM a dancer again {or still... whichever way you want to look at it}. And that feels fabulous. It's great to be doing something I love with someone I love, and I am happy happy happy.

I may still be missing my bloggy mojo, but my dancing mojo is definitely back! Now I just have to decide which of these pairs of gorgeous tango shoes I need to add to my dance shoe collection...











*** UPDATE *** I accidently posted two pictures of the animal print shoes with black soles, which Becca so kindly pointed out ~ I must really like those ones! I meant to include this pair in my original post. I think I may be a big fan of animal print! Not overly practical, but so fun!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Feeling Blah

I've been suffering from a case of the Bloggy Blahs lately. I have been tagged, given an award, have a book I want to write a recommendation on, and have several ideas for posts, but I just can't motivate myself to do any of it! So my blog and I have decided to take a break during which we hope to get our bloggy mojo back. With any luck, we'll be back next week!

Friday, July 17, 2009

It Must Be Wedding Season Because I am a Busy Busy Girl

Just wanted to wish everyone a fabulous weekend and offer a little explanation as to why I haven't had a Fabulous Finds Friday or Friday Confessions post the past few weeks. Wedding season is in full swing and almost every free moment I get is spent on garters. I'm excited that things are going so well ~ I've already had a record~earning month and we still have two more weeks of July! ~ but have definitely had a lot less "Heather" time lately and have yet to open up the box my new embroidery machine came in. Hopefully I can squeeze in an hour or two of play time with it this weekend and try my hand at a little monogramming.

I do want to share a little lesson I learned this week ~ if you have a puppy known for her stinky farts, you can TOTALLY pass your SBD's off on her!

Enjoy the sun this weekend!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I Think Daisy Needs a Friend...

I just discovered that both of Daisy's brothers, Ultra and Uzi, are still available. {I can only get one of their pictures to save ~ click here to view Uzi.} Wish me luck convincing Nate that we need to bring one {or both!} of them home!

Here's Ultra ~ isn't he adorable?!?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Does Jack in the Box Have the Best Commercials or What?

A few months ago, Nate fell in love with Jack in the Box's mini sirloin burger commercial. He constantly sang the little song, and would always pause the DVR while fast~forwarding through commercial breaks to watch it when it came on.



Now the folks at Jack in the Box have given us a new "mini" commercial ~ this one's for mini buffalo ranch chicken sandwiches, and I'm in love with it. The little dance moves are just fabulous!




Nate thinks the other one is better because it has a catchier tune and better backdrops, but I think the buffalo chicken moves just can't be beat! When I watch the commerical, I want to get up and do the mini buffalo ranch chicken sandwich dance too! What do you all think? Which is better ~ mini sirloin or mini buffalo ranch?

My 30 Session Pilates Challenge ~ An Update

Remember back in May when I decided to challenge myself to 30 sessions of Pilates to see what the results would be? Yeah, I barely remember it too… I was so excited about it and was sure that I would see fabulous results at the end of the 30 sessions. I got out my little yoga mat 4+ times a week and LOVED updating my little Pilates Challenge counter on my blog’s sidebar after each session. And then my Pilates momentum slowed down. My excitement started to fade. Daisy arrived at our house and decided she didn’t like Mommy laying on the floor on a rubber mat kicking her legs all about and began to attack me whenever I’d try to get a little Pilates in. Wedding season hit my business and I began to get more garter orders than I could keep up with. And yesterday, I realized that my little Pilates Challenge counter had been stuck at “19 Sessions Completed, 11 to Go” for weeks.

So I got my yoga mat out last night, stuck Daisy in her kennel with her favorite chicken jerky treats from Trader Joe’s, and got my Pilates on again. It felt great. I considered starting my 30 Session Pilates challenge over as I hadn’t been as faithful about it as I’d like to be, but decided that I didn’t want to discount the sessions I’d already completed. Instead, I’m turning it into a 50 Session Pilates Challenge {20 sessions already completed with another 30 to go} and will share my beginning and halfway results here after completing Session 25.

Here’s to hoping I can stay motivated and stick with it this time around!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I Got My Embroidery Machine!

I just want to thank everyone for their opinions and words of encouragement last week as I was contemplating buying an embroidery machine. A sewing machine store in our area was having a Christmas in July sale, and I was able to get a great deal on Brother’s LB6770 PRW.

I am so so excited to put my new machine to good use! Monogrammed garters, ring pillows, table runners ~ the possibilities are endless! Unfortunately, the machine is still in the box for the moment as I madly finish up my garter orders from last week ~ I knew if I set it up and tried to figure out all its bells and whistles, I would get way too distracted to get done what needs to get done this week. Hopefully I’ll have time over the weekend!

In other exciting news, the ladies at the sewing machine shop had tons of new garter ideas for me and they introduced me to some sewing machine feet that will make life so much easier once I learn to use them. Like the elastic foot, which will allow me to sew the elastic directly onto my fabric instead of having to make a casing which I thread the elastic through using safety pins.


And the ruffler foot.

And the best foot of all ~ the narrow hem foot. This foot does all the hemming work for you ~ no more pinning and ironing and pinning and ironing to get a nice, narrow hem. I’m really excited about this one because it means I can start using novelty fabrics instead of just ribbon for my garters. I’ve shied away from making garters out of fabric up until now because I figured it would take too darn long to do the hemming. But not anymore!

Can you tell I’m excited?!? And I would LOVE LOVE LOVE any suggestions you might have for other monogrammed wedding items I might be able to make!

~Heather

Monday, July 13, 2009

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ A Few of My Favorite Things...


This week’s Friend Makin’ Monday is being hosted by Dandelion Wishes’ Mamarazzi. She has asked us to share 5-10 of our favorite things!

~ Argentine Tango. Nate and I started taking Argentine Tango classes six weeks ago and we are hooked. We LOVE it! {And apparently we’re pretty good ~ our instructor asked if she can choreograph a piece for us to perform at an upcoming show at the studio!}


~ Chocolate. I am a total chocoholic. I don’t think I’ve ever gone a day without eating at least just a little bit. Every year when Lent rolls around, I consider giving chocolate up for 40 days, but I know I just don’t have the will power to resist it for that long!


~ Big Love. This show is my all~time favorite. Seriously, it’s worth getting HBO just so you can watch it. I love the spin it puts on polygamy, and the cast is fabulous.


~ Daisy. We brought our puppy home a little over three weeks ago, and we both adore her. She is so sweet {and incredibly stubborn!}, and even though we’ve only had her a short time, I can’t imagine life without her. {The only new picture I have of her is one I took last night with my phone ~ it’s all grainy, but you can still see how cute she is!}


~ Ribbon. As I’ve mentioned before, I am a total ribbon addict. I have rolls and rolls and rolls of it {which I can easily justify because I need it for my garter business, which by the way, has been doing really well this month}. I can barely go a week without making a ribbon purchase. Good thing I have my own sewing room and plenty of storage to house all of it!


~ Cherry Pomegranate Crystal Light. It’s delicious, and makes it so much easier for me to consume my daily intake of water.


~ Saturday. My favorite day of the week. Sleeping in, no work, and Monday seems like it’s so far away. In a perfect world, every day would be Saturday!


Happy FFM!

~Heather

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Our New “Thing” ~ Acroyoga

Dan in Real Life is one of my favorite movies {it’s a close second after my all~time favorite, Crocodile Dundee}, and every time I watch it, I want to learn some of the couples stretching that Dane Cook and Juliette Binoche do together after the scene pictured below. {I couldn’t find a picture of the actual stretching scene which shows Dane and Juliette’s characters stretching each other out as Steve Carell watches on with a pained look on his face.} Nate and I did a little looking for a couples stretching or yoga video after we first saw the movie, but came up empty~handed, and I kinda forgot all about it.


But Monday morning, it all came back to me when I got an email from Fitness Magazine sharing some extreme yoga poses. I forwarded the email to Nate, and joked that we should try this. He replied that it sounded great and that he’d found some Acroyoga videos on YouTube for us to use as demos. Not one to disappoint my dear, sweet boyfriend, I agreed, hoping I could talk him out of it later. Well, last night, I just didn’t have the heart to turn him down when he asked if we could try some poses. We did a little of this {on the floor of our workout room, not on rocks, of course}…

And a little of this…


And one of these…


And I absolutely loved it! Trust, especially when it comes to my physical safety, has always been hard for me, but I just told myself that I probably wouldn’t get TOO hurt if I did fall and then I just went for it! It was a great workout, and we had so much fun with it. I can’t wait to try some more tonight! But it may be awhile before we tackle these poses!




Who knows thought? Maybe I'll surprise myself again and find that balancing upside down on Nate's shoulders isn't as hard as it looks. :o)

*** UPDATE *** I have removed the *dirty* picture that I didn't realize was so dirty until it was pointed out to me by several people. I swear there is nothing dirty or R-rated about acroyoga. Or at least there's not the way I do it!

Michael Jackson ~ The Loss of a Great Artist

I’ve been contemplating writing a “tribute” post to Michael Jackson since I first heard of his passing. I finally decided that I would be doing a disservice to myself if I did not write the post, as I have enjoyed his music greatly over the years, and been influenced by his talent and saddened by his death.

I don’t want to comment on Michael’s personal life ~ we all know he was troubled, to say the least ~ but he was an amazing artist. I spent hours over the weekend after his death watching the tribute shows on MTV and Vh1, and found myself astonished at the number of great songs he performed over the years and just how talented he was on the dance floor.

For years, his songs have been among my favorites to dance to. Smooth Criminal is by far one of the best songs out there to West Coast Swing to, and I honestly can’t recall ever going to a dance party ~ swing or ballroom ~ and not hearing at least one of his songs. When I accompany Nate to a DJ gig, I try to stay professional and keep any behind~the~DJ~system dancing to a minimum {it’s so hard for me to hear great dance music and have to stay still!} but the one song that I just cannot NOT dance to is Billie Jean. I throw all caution to the wind when Nate plays that one and just have to dance. How can anyone not get up and go out to the dance floor when that one is playing?!?

And Thriller? Don’t even get me started on that fabulous song, dance, and video. Just hearing the opening notes of the song gets me excited. I have long imagined teaching the Thriller dance to my bridal party and other interested family members and performing it at my wedding reception {when I finally get married, of course}.


I choose to remember Michael as he was during the creation of the fabulous songs mentioned above. I am saddened for his entire family and especially for his children’s loss of their father. I hope that the unsavory media attention that plagued him throughout his career will begin to fade away, and he will be remembered as the amazing artist he was. His talent will be greatly missed.

MckLinky Blog Hop ~ Favorite Photo

Happiness is...

Nate and I in Seattle on Valentine's Day 2009

MckLinky Blog Hop

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Need Your Help! Should I Start Making Monogrammed Garters?


We went to the beach last Saturday and I bought some trashy magazines beforehand to keep me occupied as I laid in the sun. While I was flipping through one of the mags that had some pictures from Kendra Wilkinson's recent wedding, I noticed a picture of her garters ~ they were absolutely adorable AND they were monogrammed! Ever since then, I can't stop thinking that I totally need to buy an embroidery machine so I can start offering monogrammed garters. What do you all think? If you were planning your wedding, would you buy a monogrammed garter? Please answer the little poll on my sidebar.

Thank you!

Friend Makin' Mondays ~ My BFF

This week, FFM is being hosted by Kelli at Outside My Kitchen Window. She has asked us the following:

Tell us about your BFF...where did you meet, was it BFF at first sight, how long have you been friends, etc. What makes him/her your BFF...what is it about this person that makes him/her so special to you?

My BFF is Alyssa. We met in sixth grade homeroom, and for reasons I can’t quite remember, we were not overly fond of each other in the beginning. That didn’t last long though, and by November, we were well on our way to becoming BFFs. She has held my BFF title for eighteen years and is one of the most important people in my life.




Alyssa is my BFF not only because we share a lot of the same likes and dislikes and because she has been in my life for so long, but also because she has been there for me through EVERYTHING. Horrible boyfriends, bad breakups, you name it ~ she has always been there offering her support and love. I stood beside her as she married the love of her life, and I can’t wait to have her standing next to me when it’s my turn.


What’s great about our relationship is that it’s easy ~ we can go several days without talking or several weeks without seeing each other, and when we do connect, it’s like we were never apart. We don’t get to spend nearly as much time as I’d like together, but I definitely cherish the time we do get with one another, and I look forward to another 18+ years as BFFs!



UPDATE: I added a few new pictures when I went home for lunch ~ the one of us blowing kisses was the only one I had originally posted. :o)

Friday, July 3, 2009

MckLinky Blog Hop ~ Introduce Your Blog!

I discovered the MckLinky Blog Hop this morning when I stopped by one of my favorite girlie’s blog, Lins’ Goodbye, Martha. {If you haven’t stopped by to meet Lins yet, get your tush over there right now and do it ~ she is FABULOUS!} The MckLinky Blog Hop seems like a wonderful way to make new friends and visit new and fabulous blogs, and I’m so excited to be taking part in it! If you’re stopping by as part of the Hop, be sure to leave a comment and let me know you were here. I will definitely return the favor!

This Blog Hop is the first, and appropriately enough, its theme is to “Introduce your Blog!” I started my blog in December ’08 as a way to share {and promote} my garter business, but somewhere along the way it turned into more of a journal about my personal life than a record of my business endeavors. After just a few short weeks of blogging, I discovered that my blog was an awesome outlet for sharing my thoughts and feelings, making new friends, and getting support on my journey for healthy living. I have enjoyed sharing about myself through my Favorite Thing of the Week and Friday Confessions posts, and am so thankful to have rediscovered my love of writing. I have met a great group of women through Kasey’s Friend Makin’ Mondays and have found a fabulous support group for losing weight and living healthy with Amber’s Extreme Makeover: Me Edition. Every morning when I log onto my computer, I look forward to reading the latest tidbits that my bloggy friends have to share and I am so thankful that I made the decision to start a blog.

If you are interested in reading a little bit more about me and my decision to use “Sugarplum” in the name of both my blog and my business, click here. :o)

MckLinky Blog Hop


Thanks for swinging by, and have a wonderful Fourth of July weekend!

~Heather

Fabulous Finds Friday & Friday Confessions ~ July 3rd

Hooray for Friday! You know what time it is ~ Fabulous Finds Friday & Friday Confessions time!

Madden Girl Loveit heels. I did a little online shoe shopping this week ~ my work shoes are in dire need of replacement so I figured I could easily justify a shoe shopping spree. I found these adorable zebra heels that I just had to have on Zappos.com. With their overnight shipping, I had them by Wednesday. They’re far from practical, but they are absolutely adorable and actually pretty comfortable. I pushed it a little bit yesterday and wore them to work with a white blouse and black pants, and I felt so cute and sassy! But I have to say that I was slightly irritated when NO ONE at work noticed my new shoes. How on earth could they miss these babies?!?

Stack and Nest Quilted Blocks. I ran across these little blocks last week and just had to add them to my fabulous finds list. In all honesty, I know I will never ever make them, but they were too cute not to share. Here’s the link for the post if anyone is interested; there was also a link for PDF instructions.



~ ~ ~ ~ ~
And now for my confessions...

~ I totally had half a piece of chocolate cheesecake for breakfast yesterday morning. It was there, I was hungry ~ it was fabulous and I don’t feel guilty at all!

~ Last week, I woke up several nights in a row in the middle of the night and asked Nate if he thought Daisy need to go potty. I acted like I was going to get up and take her out, but made him do it instead. In my defense, he’s not working right now and I am; I need my sleep and he gets to sleep in!

~ I haven’t washed my car or taken it in to get an oil change in so long I’m embarrassed to admit when it last was… Fortunately for me, I have a short commute to work {less than two miles} and I’ve driven less than 3,000 miles since my last oil change so hopefully it will be okay… Taking my car to get the oil change is on my to~do list though. Promise!

~ I am insanely jealous that Nate gets to be home with Daisy during the day and terrified that she will start to love him more than me.

~ I have been a horrible bloggy friend this week. I have hardly read any of my buddies' blogs or left posts on the ones I have read. I’m sorry!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July!

~Heather

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Favorite Thing of the Week ~ My Daisy Girl

I'm sure it comes to no surprise to anyone who's read my blog more than once that Daisy is my favorite thing of the week! I am so in love with this adorable little puppy who endears herself to us more and more every day. Whether she's snuggled up next to me on the couch, sitting on my feet while I'm doing the dishes, or licking her reflection in our full~length mirror, I find that she is further wiggling her way into my heart every moment I spend with her. Here are a few pictures...

Sitting on the breeder's daughter's lap before we took her home

Posing for a picture outside before taking her first car ride

Sleeping on my chest {I swear I'm not naked! Just wearing a strapless cotton dress that's my lounge~around~the~house staple when it's warm out.}

Playing in her bed. You can't tell from the picture, but that pink and white rope toy is as big as she is!


Here's another little video of Daisy playing ~ she drug my stinky dance shoes in from the kitchen and had a blast playing with them in their bag ~ apparently they are the best toy ever!


video

Happy Thursday!

Extreme Makeover: Me Edition ~ Another Progress Update


It’s Wednesday and time for Extreme Makeover: Me Edition once again. I missed EM: ME last week, and am so glad to be back for it this week! For more details on EM: ME, visit Amber at {aefilkins}.

This week instead of posing a question for us to answer, Amber has asked us to share how we’re feeling about our progress. I’m feeling pretty good about my progress at the moment, and am actually happier with myself and with life in general than I’ve been in awhile. I’ve lost 1 ½ pounds in the last two weeks, which is huge for me as it has always been a constant struggle for me to lose weight. I stopped counting calories and have adopted a somewhat more relaxed approach to my eating, and I think that has really helped me with the weight loss. I have a tendency to get too obsessed over the foods I’m eating and how many calories I have or have not consumed, which always seems to make things worse and results in me eating even more. I feel that it has definitely been a good move for me to relax up on my eating.

Another factor that I think has contributed to my weight loss and overall better outlook is getting back to dancing. As I think I’ve mentioned, Nate and I started taking Argentine Tango lessons a month ago, and I could not be happier to be back in a dance studio. I’ve always thought of myself as a dancer and been my happiest on the dance floor, and have really struggled over the past year and a half because I’ve hardly been dancing at all. We are really enjoying the Argentine Tango ~ we even went to our first milonga {Argentine Tango dance party} on Monday ~ and are very excited to start the intermediate session of classes next week. We are also planning on working more on salsa and swing dancing, which I’m really happy about. Being active is so much easier when you’re doing something you enjoy!

Other than our tango classes, I haven’t done a whole lot in the way of cardio or Pilates in the last few weeks, mainly because of the addition of a new puppy in our family. She keeps us busy! We are planning to take her on her first walk tonight, which I am pretty excited about ~ one of the things I’ve been most looking forward to since we decided to get Daisy is taking her on walks. The walk should be interesting to say the least ~ she loves to explore and visit new places, but she’s not an ace at walking on the leash so we’ll see how it goes!

Good luck to all over the next week!