Lots going on

Hello blog world! It’s me :)…remember me? It’s been a while…actually it’s been a LONG while. Where the heck has this year gone? Seriously!!

Things that have happened since my last post…well let’s see, where to start. So summer came and went, and football season started (and ended…poorly, sad for the Cal Bears). We went to FOUR weddings. I turned 30 (GASP)…and here’s a fun photo from my BBQ. It was a record high that day in September…90 degrees in Oakland…so warm! But so fun! I ordered my favorite local CupKates for my friends, and we BBQ’d and drank beer and played Corn Hole, and enjoyed the warm weather! It was a wonderfully perfect day. The “necklace” has been passed around my group of friends for the last 3 or so years. We get to wear it on our birthday then we have to sign and date the back and pass it on to the next recipient. It’s such a fun tradition and I am so happy to have joined the 30 Club!!!

I bought a new car…a 2010 Prius. Her name is Petunia the Prius, and I love her! Which means that I sold my old car. My Ford Escape, Dory (Finding Nemo reference…”ooh Esssscappp-ay”). It was hard to see her go, but the right time for me to get a new (more fuel efficient) car and I am so so happy.

One of my very best friends (and bridesmaid) had a baby in July here is a photo of Alex from the day he was born

…and one from a week ago in a hat I made him. He’s SO CUTE!!!

I went to New York for a week in September (for work) but was able to stay with my best friend (and maid/maitron-of honor) Brittany who was 5 weeks away from giving birth to her first baby so it was wonderful to get to feel her kick. Daughter Avery was born on November 7, and I have another trip planned to NYC in February and I CANNOT wait to meet her!!

I went to Peru in October for work and got to hike around Machu Picchu, take a boat ride on Lake Titicaca. And got a nasty nasty stomach bug…pretty standard trip to Peru. It was an amazing trip, such fantastic people and such a beautiful country.

I finished up my Graduate Certificate program at UC Berkeley Extension last week. I have been taking classes for the last three years, and it felt so good to finish it up and add it to my resume.🙂

During all this, I have also been planning a wedding!🙂

Matt and I got a lot done towards wedding planning. And dare I say that we have all our vendors set already?!🙂

We also just sent out the save-the-dates…which was such a fun project. I had searched a lot of online sites looking for the right card and none really stood out to me. I wanted to do something personal. So I decided to make them myself…from scratch🙂. I took photos from our engagement shoot and played around with them in Photoshop. Our date is written in chalk marker on a camp dining hall tray from the Lair of the Bear, a very special place to us, and also the location of our engagement shoot!

I uploaded the finalized JPG image to the Costco {my favorite store} Photo Center and went a day later and picked up the final product!

I bought printable labels at my other favorite store Paper Source and used those to print all the nitty gritty details (website and location). The date and our names were designed onto the Photoshop image saving space on the label. And placed the labels on the bottom of the photo.

I used my favorite craft accessory blue and white bakers twine to “tie-the-knot” around the photo

and secured it with a yellow dot sticker on the back of the photo. (I bought a huge roll of these yellow dots in the sale bin at Paper Source…I’m sure they will make an appearance again!

I also used Navy blue cover weight card stock (from Paper Source) to back the photo to give it some weight, and stamped a “Save the Date” with Sky Blue Color Box ink. {Both bought at Michael’s Craft Store}.

I used {a lot} of Scotch Tape Runner (and refills) to adhere the photo to the cardstock. Then I used a corner rounder from Michael’s Craft Store to round the edges…and voila!

{*I left off the label in this photo…trying to reserve some privacy :)}

I used Curry A7 envelopes from…guess where…that I found on sale. I stamped the front with a Mr & Mrs stamp in the return address spot. Used our Fling return address stamp on the back, that I bought from Paperwink. And I bought these adorable “Celebrate” stamps that match the color of the envelope. I hand addressed them all and sent them on their way🙂.

Here is a view of all the supplies I used…

And the stack of finished save-the-dates…because photos are fun!

I think the hardest part of the wedding planning process has been the guest list. We are under budget and venue restrictions to keep our final count low so it’s always hard trying to figure out how to keep the numbers down. I just hope that those who weren’t invited understand.

Now we are wrapping up things around work, and are so lucky to get some time off around the holidays. Friday is my last day in the office this year and I have a full 2 weeks off (thank you vacation days). 2011 is going to be a big year. More updates soon!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!!

1 Comment

Filed under Wedding

Wedding Planning

Ok, so I think I am just going to stop apologizing for being a bad blogger because by now all my readers probably are aware of my sporadic posting.

Anyways…let me update on the wedding plans. We have actually done quite a bit in the last 3 months since we have been engaged. We picked a venue about a month ago after narrowing down to our top 2 finalists. We will be getting married at David Girard Vineyards in Placerville, CA, on June 11, 2011. The official countdown begins, we are less than one year away!!

I bought a dress. Then I bought another one, well the same one but a different size. Then I returned one. I absolutely love it. It’s simple elegant and it’s exactly what I wanted. The dress is going to be a secret to Matt and my Dad until the day of the wedding. But I will say that I bought it at JCrew…and got a great deal with an online coupon (always a bargain hunter). Now, honestly I did not think that I would be buying a dress this soon. I had gone to the J.Crew in Los Angeles and tried on a variety of the dresses they have. Fell in love with one and then emailed to find out about the availabilty…turns out when the inventory sells out, it’s gone. So I bought a dress…like a month ago. Here is as close as Matt will get to seeing it before next June🙂.

{isn’t it wrapped up all pretty??}

Other items checked off the list…photographer. Carrie Richards Photography to be exact. Carrie and I have been friends for over 10 years now, but friendship aside, she is an amazing photographer. She has such a great eye and is so much fun!! We did engagement photos up at the Lair of the Bear this past weekend, on our -1 year anniversary actually. Carrie got in the grass, set up wonderful shots and found the best lighting. She has posted some teaser shots on her Facebook page…a few of my favorites are here. Can’t wait to see the rest!!

I am planning to hand-make save-the-dates with some inspiration found online, but I will post photos of those as they happen…I have to keep some stuff a surprise to the guests!!

Maid of honor and bridesmaids* have been asked, and all accepted. Here is a shot of how I asked them. I used Photoshop {or Gimp rather, my free open-source alternative to Photoshop} to create the card design. Here is Brittany, my Maid of Honor and best friend since we were 6. {She’s pregnant now, due in November…doesn’t she look fantastic?? She’s got that glow!!}


*even though most of my girls are married, I refuse to use the term Brides-matron or Matron of honor…I think it sounds weird.

I used a small hole punch that I got at Paper Source and strung through my new favorite craft accessory, blue & white bakers twine, tied in a nice little bow. It better be my favorite for a while because I bought a large (LARGE) spool online at a bakery supply store. I couldn’t pass up the deal…but now I have 3,300 yards of blue & white baker’s twine! If anyone wants some please let me know, we can work out a deal! Curious what 3,300 yards of baker’s twine looks like? It’s HUGE.

More decisions made. Dessert…Matt’s sister, and one of my bridesmaids, is getting her Pastry Certificate/Degree at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) {side note: SO proud and excited for her}. And is going to make our dessert…cupcakes!! So so excited, mostly because I love that we have a personal touch for so many details of our wedding so far.

Oh, and since I last posted about wedding stuff, my ring has been completed. We were able to use diamonds from my grandmother’s wedding ring and are still working on getting the “something blue” in as well, but that may not happen…I  kinda like it how it is now🙂. I worked with our good friend Marlene, who works at Pave on College Ave in Berkeley. It was so fun to design it from scratch and see it through the entire process. For example…I didn’t that platinum wasn’t naturally smooth. I’m not sure what I really thought, but learned about the polishing process and was able to try on a wax mold before it was cast in the metal. It was a great experience and I can’t thank Marlene enough for her help. It’s absolutely perfect, I love it!!

Ok…well that’s about all for now. We have been pretty busy the last 3 months, and are busy continuing into the fall. We have been to 3 weddings so far, with another one next weekend, and 2 more this fall; 6 in total. They have all been amazing and we are getting more and more excited for our big day. I helped plan and throw a baby shower. Finished up my 5th of 6 classes for my Graduate Certificate in Marketing from UC Berkeley, extension. Plus that little thing called my job which is in its busiest time of year. I will update again when there is update-worthy material. Until then…

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized, Wedding

Baby Shower Images

I wasn’t able to take that many pictures but wanted to post the ones that I did take. We had such a great Sunday afternoon (at the end of May), wonderful food, fun decorations, and Tina got some great gifts for Baby Alex.

1 Comment

Filed under Design, Food and Drink, Friends

Molly & Ben’s Wedding

Such a beautiful, fun wedding. Check it out…

Their bulldog Tank was the ring bearer:

Molly and her dad:

Super sweet Ice luge…pouring So Co & lime shooters in mini-martini glasses…fancy:

And the final awesomeness…In-N-Out midnight snack:

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Wedding

Baby shower for Tina: Invitations

Hellooooo…let me tell you: Life. Has. Been. BUSY. Wow. But more on that later.

This post is about the baby shower that I’m planning for one of my best, and oldest friends. Mrs. Tina is pregnant…with a boy…due in July!! I have the great pleasure of planning her baby shower. I am not unleashing all the secrets today (at this point I think I have actually told her all the secrets, or she has figured them out). But still…I don’t need to post the photos yet, give something to look forward to.

What I am posting today are the images of the invitations. I have had these on my external hard drive for maybe a month…I got really excited right off the bat so I had these ordered and pretty much assembled WAY early🙂. They went in the mail yesterday. Hope the mom-to-be got her’s already🙂.

3 Comments

Filed under Design, Uncategorized

Sunny San Francisco Engagement!

Welcome to my new blog site. Same name, same great content, new platform, new location.

So what better way to start my new blog then with new news. Matt and I are engaged! It happened Saturday morning and here’s what happened:

I actually planned the entire day out…obviously not knowing anything about the planned proposal. It all started with a school project. One of my best friends, Erika, has a niece (Annie) who lives in the Los Angeles area and her class was doing a “Flat Stanley” project for school. Erika had Flat “Annie” in Sacramento and had been telling me about how she took Flat Annie to visit the capitol and some other sights in the Sactown area. I had the idea, since it was supposed to be a gorgeous weekend in San Francisco, that Flat Annie should come down to visit us. I had planned for us to take BART over to the city from our home in Oakland and bike from the Ferry Building, down the Embarcadero, visit Pier 39 & Fisherman’s wharf, Ghiradelli, view Alcatraz island,  then head up through Fort Mason and down into my old neighborhood the Marina & Crissy Field leading up to the Golden Gate bridge, snapping pictures of Flat Annie along the way.

We are making our way to the bridge and Matt keeps suggesting good spots to snap a photo of Flat Annie and the bridge and I keep saying, “No, not here yet, you can’t see the bridge, that tree is blocking, let’s keep going”…not getting the hint that he was trying to find a quiet place to ask the question.

We get to the right spot and I pull my bike over. Matt hands me the backpack so I can fish out the camera. While I’m distracted with the backpack he fishes the ring out of his saddlepack and stashes it in his pocket. I hand him the camera and hold up Flat Annie for her shot at the Golden Gate Bridge. Matt snaps a few photos of her and hands me back the camera to check the photo.

I turn away with the camera and approve his excellent photo taking skills and then I hear “Oh, hey…Jo…” so I turn around and there he was, down on one knee, with a shiny diamond ring in his hand. And he said “Will you marry me?” Short, sweet, perfect.

I on the other hand (as many times as I had thought about how this would happen, and what I would say) said “Is this for real???? Is this really happening?? Oh my god.” Not short, not sweet, but perfect nonetheless. Matt stands up and we start hugging and he says “So…there was a ‘yes’ in there right?” And then of course I said “Yes, yes, of course yes, thank you!” I was SO surprised and so shocked I don’t even remember what I was saying. He placed the ring on my left hand, “it fits!”…was my reaction. And then more surprises…

We had “planned” to meet his sister Christina at The Grove on Chestnut Street but I guess I was the only one who still thought that was the plan. Christina was in on it the whole time. She was coming to meet us with Sparkling Chardonnay (which was awesome), strawberries, goat cheese & bread, cupcakes and a lovely little picnic for us to celebrate and enjoy the amazing San Francisco day (trust me, those days don’t happen often but when they do…there is no place more wonderful to be.) So my fiance (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) my sister-in-law-to-be and I sat on the Marina Green for a few hours calling family and friends and breaking the news. More surprises…

Sunday Matt had planned an engagement brunch up in Sacramento at my parents house where not only my parents, but his mom, his sister, my brother, my two best friends (and their hubbys) and one of Matt’s best friends (his wife and baby girl) were all invited, and were also already “in” on the proposal. I was completely surprised (which is hard to do because I am one who usually likes to know what’s going on at all times…I hate to love surprises.) Surprises are also extremely hard when you are living with your boyfriend while he’s trying to plan a surprise engagement.

So little did I know that a few weeks ago Matt had gone up to Sacramento and had “secret dinner” with my parents where he asked if it would be okay to ask me to marry him and if he could use my grandmother’s wedding ring. My mom, being the sweetest woman that she always is, I’m sure gave him no flack at all and was overjoyed. My dad, being the jokester he is ( and where I get my sense of humor from) said “Well, what do you think she’ll say?”🙂. Oh dad. So last weekend WHILE I WAS THERE TOO they somehow made the hand off of the ring. I guess I am not as observant as I like to think I am.

I had talked with my mom probably a year or so ago about using my grandmother’s ring (her mother’s). My grandparents were married for over 50 years and loved each other through thick and thin. The sentimental value of that ring far outweighs anything else. To be able to wear something everyday that reminds me of such a lasting love, well I am getting tears in my eyes just thinking about it.  So Matt had planned to design a ring using one new center stone and then other smaller stones from my grandmother’s ring with our great friend Marlene (who is a jeweler at a fabulous store in Berkeley). He also hadn’t thought the proposal would be so soon, but then I had planned this Flat Annie day and he realized that it would be perfect. So he used the main center stone and set it in a temporary solitaire setting for the big ask and now we get to work together with Marlene to design my own ring. I’ll have something new (center stone from Matt) and something old (diamonds from my grandmother’s ring) and I think something blue (stay tuned, I’m excited about this possibility) all on my engagement ring.

I am still completely stunned and it hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I keep looking down at my new ring and I keep asking Matt to pinch me to remind me that I’m not dreaming…this is real. We are getting married. I am going to be a wife. I will have a husband. I cannot wait.

The one thing I know is that I want an outdoor wedding, in the general Sacramento area in the spring/summer. So we are waiting until 2011. Yesterday when we were driving back from Sacramento I asked Matt “So…what happens now?” He said…”Now, we don’t do anything. Not for one week. We enjoy this. Then we start planning.” So that is just what we are doing.

Here is the Flat Annie photo progression:

*for older posts please visit: yearofjojo.typepad.com (post will be migrated over to this site early in April 2010, hopefully.)

7 Comments

Filed under Engagement, Wedding

Hello?

Hi readers…remember me? It's Jojo…however I now feel as though my blog has been improperly labeled as my "yearofjojo" has turned into more like "every-few-weeks-of-jojo". I feel like I keep apologizing for not keeping up with my posts on this personal blog and again I am sorry. I think I have lost my motivation to blog about my life and have instead found a new interest in blogging about my hobby and side "business"…knitting. I know I have talked a little about some of my projects over the past year and to check off one of the big items on my list of New Year's resolutions…I am starting up my Etsy.com shop Nellebean Knitting (pronounced like Jelly Bean). And to go along with the Etsy store, I have decided to start up a blog dedicated only to my knitting projects, although I might throw some other crafty stuff in just for kicks. Nellebeanknits.wordpress.com. I have spent a lot of time this weekend loading in some posts on the new blog with pictures of my various projects from last year and I am so excited to add to it as the year progresses. I think I already have 20 custom orders to fulfill at some point this year and I'm always looking for more so if you are in the market for a handmade beanie, please let me know.

I am also torn because my "year of jojo" ends on my 1/2 birthday which is March 26. So what happens then? I'm debating about renewing my blog with Typepad, just because I'm not sure I want to pay for another year. But if I don't then does all my work this past year just disappear? I don't want that to happen. I know there is a way for me to export my posts and I will do some research on how to do that and maybe transfer my posts to a blogspot or wordpress blog that is free of charge. I already have secured the "domain" of yearofjojo at each of the above mentioned blog sites so maybe it's just a matter of figuring out how the heck to get my posts to a new blog (any advice??).  I guess I have a few more weeks to figure it out. Just wanted to take the time to thank those of you who have stuck with me through my first yearofjojo, stay tuned to see what the future has in store for yearofjojo.me🙂.

Here is a picture from Valentine's day weekend. Matt and I went up to Tahoe and went showshoeing for the first time and had such a blast. Since my knees have decided about 12 years ago that they don't like me very much skiing/snowboarding is pretty much non-existent in my vocabulary. But I do love the snow so figured that this was a natural way to enjoy being in the snow and not in pain. We are heading up to Tahoe again this coming weekend and will also be doing some snowshoeing, woo hoo!

IMG_0018

 

1 Comment

Filed under Knitting, Weblogs