December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays!

New Year's is my favorite holiday ever. One of the best things about this holiday (besides exchanging presents) is decorating the New Year's tree. Or, as it is known in our household, the New Year's / Christmas tree.

Our New Year's / Christmas tree.

Our tree is definitely a girl this year. I even topped her off with a bow just in case it wasn't obvious.

The bow on top of our girly tree.

Last year, I took advantage of post-Christmas sales and scored some awesome ornaments... that I completely forgot about until I pulled out our tree decorations box from under the bed. It felt like I was sneaking in some early presents!

These matching stocking ornaments are supposed to represent D and me.

When D stumbled upon this ornament while shopping for Christmas presents, he knew he had to get it for me as an early Christmas present because there is nothing more Russian than a Matryoshka doll.

Matryoshka ornament.

We are off to celebrate the holidays with our respective families, so I will end the year on this festive note and wish you all the happiest of holidays season. Happy New Year!

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on how I DIY'd some crafty Christmas presents this year. But shhhh, I can't talk about them yet because they are a surprise!

December 12, 2011

Career Research

This is how I do research:

Also, I'm running out of bookmarks. What a strange problem to have in the era of Kindles and iPads.

December 5, 2011

The Venue Search

One of the first things we had to do for our wedding was find a venue. Originally, we considered a venue that is owned by D's family, but it turned out to be a bit too small for our envisioned guest list size. So we thought about where we'd want to get married, and here is what we came up with:
  • We preferred an urban location over the suburbs
  • We were looking for something connected with the arts
  • "Typical" wedding venues like hotel ballrooms or country clubs did not excite us
Following these guidelines, we researched potential locations nearby. The first venue we visited was a dance studio. It was extremely convenient to get to from our house. There were beautiful hardwood floors and lots of open space. It was also very modern looking and a bit out of our price range.

The modern dance studio.

Our verdict: too orange.

The next venue was on the opposite spectrum from the dance studio. It was an arts center that was decidedly un-modern in its architecture. It had Greek columns on the outside and ornate designs on the walls inside. There was a circular courtyard nearby where the ceremony would happen. It was also slightly outside of our price range.

Arts center, inside.

Arts center, outside.

Our verdict: too formal and stuffy.

We then visited a venue that looked very promising, except for the fact that it was located in a rather ghetto neighborhood. Still, we decided to check it out. The venue had lots of space, hardwood floors, and gorgeous windows. It was definitely within our price range. But the outside view less than thrilled us.

Lots of space, hardwood floors, and gorgeous windows.

The ghetto view outside.

Our verdict: too ghetto.

We also checked out the Boston Public Library, even though we were fairly certain we could not afford it. We ventured out to the library minutes before Hurricane Irene hit Boston. I got to take awesome photos of the Hancock tower right before the first rain drops.

Hancock tower, minutes before Hurricane Irene hit.

The library looked magnificent on the outside. There were many (ridiculously priced) options for rooms in which we could hold our reception. There was a beautiful outside courtyard for the ceremony. And of course, we love books, so the idea of getting married in a library intrigued us. Ultimately, though, our budget could not allow it.

Boston Public Library, minutes before Hurricane Irene hit.

Boston Public Library, courtyard.

Boston Public Library, potential room for our wedding (read: most affordable)

Our verdict: too expensive.

In our venue search, we came upon this gem - a converted firehouse that was a ten-minute walk away from a park that was located on the waterfront and had a beautiful view of Boston. The space inside was just large enough to fit our guests, not as cavernous as some of the other venues we had seen. It had hardwood floors and fire red doors. We could hold our ceremony in the nearby park and enjoy the Boston skyline. The venue was within our price range. We knew we found "the one".

Outside of the converted firehouse.

The fire red doors, from the inside.

View of the Boston skyline from the nearby park.

Our verdict: just right!

December 1, 2011

The Jitters

Between the APW Internship and another secret thing I am applying for, I submitted five writing samples in the past three days. I was going to write a blog post yesterday (something about our venue search), but at that point I had consumed so much coffee that my brain was refusing to cooperate. I got the caffeine-induced jitters and proceeded to run around the house, flailing my arms around like a mad woman. The following conversation happened:

D: "What are you doing? Can you please act like an adult?"

A: "OK."   <arm flailing continues>

A: "You didn't say which species. I am an adult orangutan."

Good thing D was already sitting down because he almost fell over laughing. Clearly, blog posting wasn't going to happen last night.