Sunday, January 25, 2009

Drum Roll Please.... GALIT BARAK GIVEAWAY!!!!!

OK, so just last week I discovered (ok, with the help of an email from ETSY, me and a million other people "discovered" lol) and posted an amazing Fancy Find from Galit Barak.

To find out more about Galit check out her blog
here's a quick synopsis...
She is a 22 year old jewelry designer from Israel. How amazing is this- she studied fine art before volunteering in a a drug rehab center, then spent time tourguiding soldiers in Jerusalem as a soldier herself. Now she is my favorite new jewelry maker hand crafting each piece with a crochet needle creating unique creations combining beautiful materials like pearls and semi-precious stones.

Now we've teamed up for a giveaway, check out the piece that could be yours!!!!!

Isn't it darling? I think its perfect for you brides-to-be or for any lady to wear around Valentine's day or any day of the year!

Here's how it will work: (NOTE: I sort of stole this process from Make Mine a Mojito, I think she does the best giveaways, ha ha, maybe its because I won one!)

1. Visit Galit's Etsy Store, particularly the Bridal Collection (of course)
2. Leave a comment telling me your favorite piece from the bridal collection
3. If you post a link to the contest on your blog, I'll enter your name twice!
4. Do the above two and become a follower and you'll get a third entry!! (don't worry faithful followers, you'll get this perk if you already are an official follower!)
5. Contest will end on Friday, January 30th and winner will be announced Monday, February 2nd!!
6. Galit will then send you the necklace directly from Israel! (I'll connect you through emails and make sure to keep in touch until you receive your prize)

Got it? Go!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Alert! Coming Monday...

My first giveaway!!!
OK, I have been absent, I know but things have been crazy here in the DC area (have you heard?) But, to pay you back as a faithful reader I have a giveaway coming this Monday from one of my favorite designers. Check back and we'll talk then!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Fancy Find #10 Etsy Seller- Galit Barak

So,I am not the only one that gets the daily Etsy email featuring various sellers so this may not be a "find" for you but of today's featured sellers definitely stopped me in my tracks, Galit Barak.

I love this ring! Of course, it says it is sold out but I still love it and thought it would make a great bridesmaid gift or even day of jewelry!

Here are some other things from her Etsy store that I love...

The above pieces are all from the "Bridal Collection". I didn't even realize!

I just did some searching and found out a little about this craft designer from her blog!
Here's how she describes her jewelry style (take note, she does do custom orders):
"For me each jewelry is a creation stands for it self, I combine colors, shapes and textures while choosing high quality materials.
All my jewelry is made with sterling silver 925 or 14 karat gold filled, semi-precious stones and pearls.
I'm happy to make custom orders, according to your ideas, or joint thinking, for a special event, as a gift, or just because it is time to treat yourself with something new."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Hmm definitely CREATIVE!

OK, so times are tough, as my dear FH keeps reminding me, during this era of "The End of Bling" I've decided to go counterculture and break the bank by going all out, mansion and all. What can I say? This economy went to pieces well after I signed contracts for this stuff!! May as well go out guns a blazin' and champagne glasses a clinkin'!

So, you may remember the Waffle House wedding I posted a few months ago. Original to say the least.

Today's Globe and Mail talks about couples throwing creative weddings like a recent one at Taco Bell -
"The couple wed at their favourite Taco Bell location, which was littered with hot sauce packets that read, "Will you marry me?"

OK, people are quirky and love to go offbeat. Actually one of my favorite blogs - OffBeat Bride often talks about these whacky, adventurous nuptials, trick is - they are funky and original but still have a touch of class.

I am all for saving a buck. But is this a little too much for me to handle. Taco Bell!?! Wouldn't a backyard bbq be just as cost effective and much nicer? And you wouldn't be making a joke of your commitment? Eh, yes, I am taking this a little too serious, I'll lighten up because it is funny!
I guess I do love that these people are out there though, gives us something to read!

My advice comes from the legend Ron Burgundy- Stay Classy San Diego.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Pre-Cana, for those of you who are not familiar, is basically marriage prep course or sessions that Catholic couples go through before getting married in the Catholic church. I never thought about this before but the name comes from the old story where Jesus performed his first miracle of turning water into wine at Cana in Galilee.

There are quite a few ways that couples go through their Pre-Cana, it depends on your priest, what is offered in your diocese and then sometimes what you choose. Because we are getting married in NY and live in VA our priest said we could do our marriage prep where we live. Some people meet with their priest for 6 weeks or so (with our schedules I don’t think this would ever work but one benefit is really getting to know the priest that will be performing the sacrament of marriage, because I love our priest that is marrying us, I think I would have liked to do this but the cards did not fall that way for us.) Another option for some is a weekend retreat. For me- not my cup of tea. That involved us checking in early Friday afternoon, bunking with people you never met and not leaving until Sunday afternoon. If you are very involved in your church and this is the option for you, I commend you. I, admittedly am a fair-weather churchgoer, and don’t think this is for me. All that said, both FH and I each went through 12+ years of Catholic school so we know our way around a catechism.

Our class was a little different; we went for the all day crunch session – 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM. Its funny, a lot of people I spoke too scared me to death, I thought it was going to be awful with threats of damnation for cohabitation but it wasn’t that bad. I can’t say it ended up being something I would recommend for fun but it was relatively painless.

The topics they discussed included:
Compatibility & Convictions
Christian Family in the Modern World
Communication Talk
Natural Family Planning

What I liked:
Ok, so Natural Family Planning is their thing. It’s the only thing they endorse. It’s not the NFP that I liked, it was that the couple informing us about this kept saying – “it worked for us, I only ask that you learn more about it.” I have heard from others that they were threatened with damnation for going other routes. I can respect someone telling you that something worked for them and they recommend you look into it. It’s pretty much what we do as bloggers, right? Here’s a site on NFP if you are interested. Not my bag baby but you may think it would be right for you. Its never a bad idea to educate yourself on anything.

What I didn’t like:

The old school defined roles. FH pointed this out to me first. When they discussed communication between men and women they would say things like “Men are interested in sports, women are interested in shopping” “Men like math, women like English”. OK, for us as a couple this happens to true but it really was annoying. Then they also got into roles like “Women do the dishes, men rake the leaves”. All of the couples presenting to us were households where the women stayed home and the man worked, not just the couple that had been married for 40 years but the ones that were married for 4 years also. Um, of the 35 couples at the conference, how many could possibly be in this situation? We live in DC, I can’t imagine the percentage was high. Now- I commend any family that can make this work but it’s definitely not a reality in my house anytime soon. So they would say things like, when your husband comes home from work and you have been cleaning all day and he leaves his jacket in the wrong place, take a minute and think about his day too.
Um- not in my reality, we both work like maniacs and we have a cleaning lady. The dishes are not something we fight about, I would have preferred to hear about how they deal with real issues, not dishes!

OK, done with the diatribe. In summary, we have one more thing off the to-do list! I can’t say our life has changed but I can say that it wasn’t that bad. I think they need to update their program a tad (I am not criticizing them about their beliefs- not my position to do that - just slight critcism on how they need to realize that couples have less defined roles in this day and age) and I think its good to know what your church believes if you choose to use them to marry you!

What kind of prep have you guys gone through? What did you think?

Friday, January 9, 2009

mmm mmm good!

OK, so I am back with a vengeance. Things have slowed down to a normal pace at work (which still equals insanity but manageable level of insanity) and I am ready to get my wedding groove on!

Over the holidays we got a TON done, but man is there still a TON to do, I am starting to have mini panic attacks. Next week I’ll go through the play by plays of the hair trials and either praise or vent about Pre-Cana which I’ll be heading to tomorrow.

Today I will talk about the most wonderful thing we did get to do- TASTING!!! Not only were we not disappointed but we both left saying that the food and service at the Woodlands EXCEEDED our expectations. Yay!

Here’s the setting – a wedding is going on in the mansion but we are led to a separate side bar where two tables are set up- one for our group and one for another bride – get this, she was from Virginia too, so weird. We sit down and get the run down from our coordinator and then fully get interviewed by her on what we’ve got done and what needs to be done, it was really thorough and I thought very effective and something I appreciated.

Apps - In addition to stations of food (Italian, Pacific Rim, Harvest table, etc) we’ll have 8 passed hors d’ouevres . There’s a huge selection of apps to choose from but that evening we were able to taste what that bride had chosen. Some were outstanding, some just seemed like food, not bad but not memorable. Of course, the one that stood out for everyone was the grilled baby lamb chops (DELISH) but those are an additional fee and but now we have to have them! We also chose the mini hot dogs (because who can deny?) bacon wrapped shrimp, portobello and goat cheese crostini, and some others that I cannot remember. We ixnayed any skewers- I think they have run their course – are they really that easy to eat? I am done with them, others at the table disagreed but me and FH were on the same page. Another thing we had to pass on was the crabcakes. I had MD boy make that call, there are too many Marylanders attending that will be very critical of the crabcake and after the taste test, had to pass - not the jumbo lump we are used to! I don't want to sound like a downer, the apps and presentation were great but really we were there to be critical and choosy so we were!

Wine- I was interested in the wine that would be poured and hoped that we wouldn’t have to upgrade. To my surprise one of my favorite pinot grigio’s from Coppola is the house choice. The reds are from PepperWood – they are solid inexpensive wines and I am fine with those. It’s not worth the upgrade for the handful that will care.

Entrees- In the end we chose what sounds like run of the mill, steak, chicken and fish. But, these were no run of the mill entrees, we were so pleased with how the food came out, here’s a glimpse:

Filet Mignon- served with truffle mashed potatoes & asparagus. We’re actually going to sub spinach for the asparagus – ‘cause it’s my party and we’ll do what we want to (and if you want to know the funny reason and you know me, just ask).

Roasted chicken- This did not photograph nearly as nice as it looked or half as good as it tasted. This is served with garlic mash and olive tapenade- MMM MMM GOOD.

Tilapia - Ok, we did not get to taste this one, instead we got to taste Salmon and Chilean Sea Bass. I hate Salmon. I just do NOT like it and from what I have heard its never that great when served to such a large group. Chilean Sea Bass – they really still put this on the menus? I mean, delicious? Yes. Politically incorrect? Also yes. Funny, after I went on a little tirade about this so did Chef Tom Collicchio on Top Chef! And then I felt I was validated, Thanks Tom!
The Tilapia is served with a jasmine rice in a red Thai curry sauce. I figure this will give an option to some of my foodie friends, I know it’s the one I would pick!

Because there is so much to do back home I almost was going to forgo the tasting, if you have any thought of passing this opportunity up- DON’T DO IT. So many wedded ladies of wisdom told me that it really will be the only time you will get to actually taste the food. Ooh, good point!

Anyway, after being gone so long I don’t want to bore you (there's so much more here I could rave about) but I’ll be back next week to talk about the desserts, the cocktails and the impeccable service. I feel like we are really moving along now! How about you ladies??? I need to go catch up on all of your blogs, my reader is totally backed up.