Monday, July 26, 2010

Wedding Obsession

The other day, I received an invitation to my adorable and amazing friend's wedding to her unbelievably perfect fiance.  I'm over the moon for them and can't wait to see their lives grow together, but it has really shined a light on my (not-so) secret obsession, weddings.

I'm seriously wedding obsessed.
So obsessed that I recently sent the following email to a friend (and hopefully future bridesmaid).
I have a totally hypothetical and irrelevant question for you...if I were to get married in the next 6-8 months, how long would you be able to be here to be a bridezilla buffer for me? I ask not because I have any intentions of getting married in the next 6-8 months, or even a romantic lead in my current life narrative, but because I was thinking today about how I came down to Arizona for a week and it was lovely and I really had time to say good bye to single you, but some of your other friends had significant others and commitments and they were not able to be there for a week. Since you now fall into the "having significant others" category, does that mean you can't be here to play for a week? Once again, this conversation is totally hypothetical and irrelevant.
I heart you!          
I'm so obsessed that I stalk Etsy to find the best products for my potential future wedding.  My current favorite are to-die-for paper sculpture wedding cake toppers from Concarta.  I dream about a custom made, all white one with a dress that will match my future wedding dress. Sort of like this one...

So obsessed that I used to have an idea binder complete with tabbed dividers for center pieces, favors, dresses, etc.  Now though, my obsession has moved into the digital age and mostly involves "starred" posts in my Google reader.
Like these starred wedding invites from Hostess with the Mostest.

These great wedding favor ideas from Giver's Log are also starred.

And while we're talking about My Bride Story, if you're planning to propose to me any time soon, I definitely wouldn't say no to this ring...

Actually, the whole site is pretty obsessable!

I would happily look through wedding photographers' portfolios all day long, or spend hours browsing centerpiece ideas.  Don't even get me started on dessert tables

 Because I'm a little perfectionist and a lot detail oriented, I think planning a wedding just might be the funnest thing ever, but I do worry that these characteristics might also lead to me alienating my closest friends with bridezilla tantrums.  I also wonder whether my future groom-to-be will be thrilled with the idea of being slotted into the groom-shaped space in my totally preplanned wedding.  How will I cope if he has an idea about napkin rings that doesn't match my perfectly designed table scape?  I understand that there is no economic sense in having a down-payment-on-a-house sized budget for a wedding, and I know that trying to micromanage every detail of a 300 person event would probably lead to a nervous break down, but I have been dreaming about this day since I can remember.  I want it to be special and memorable and perfect. 

Much to the consternation of my parents, I'm pretty much the most single person I know.  By the time I'm ready to get married, I know that I will find a balance between my dream wedding and the manageable (but still pretty special) wedding that I and my talented, crafty, adorable family and friends can throw together, and if the man I love wants plaid napkin rings on my floral, polka dot table top......I sure hope that I'm womanly enough to smile and compromise.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sugar Cookies and Failure

I'd like to begin this post by addressing the elephant in the room....It's been over a month since I last blogged and I am deeply apologetic to my loyal readers for leaving you hanging.  In my defence, I've spent the last few months in a relationship that was rapidly spiraling into dysfunction.  I was spending a lot of my time and energy dreading the moments we would be together.  Then, when I couldn't avoid "quality time" any longer, I would be antsy and impatient until it was over.  Finally, I admitted that my needs were just not being met and moved on.  I broke up with my old laptop that made blogging and photo editing a SLOW chore and upgraded to my new love, a super fast, super sleek Dell with a giant HD screen!  I can't wait to really put it through it's paces with some hard core picture editing, but in the mean time, here's a little something that I've been dying to share with the blog world.

When my friend decided to have an Independence Day potluck, I knew immediately that I would be bringing chips and Pioneer Woman's Restaurant Style Salsa, but I also wanted to bring a cute 4th of July themed dessert.  I  browsed my go-to favorite blogs until I saw these beauties on inchmark.
Photo courtesy of inchmark, where Brooke shows off her cupcake
(and pretty much all-around) adorableness.

I don't often make sugar cookies because they do not taste good enough to justify the amount of work involved.  I mean, seriously, rolling out, cutting, icing, flooding....Who has that kind of time or patience?  I am a WOMAN in training, not a SAINT in training!  I found a recipe (on Pioneer Woman's blog of course, do you think she should be concerned about me as a potential stalker?) that seemed easy-ish because it made use of an egg-yolk glaze pre-baking for color, instead of icing.  I felt much more up to painting on a glaze than trying to flood a cookie with icing.  I'm not really sure how to flood, but it seems fairly hard and impressive to me.  PW warned that they weren't "Martha worthy" cookies, but after seeing her pictures, I thought they'd be okay for my purposes.
Christmas cookie photo courtesy of Pioneer Woman.

The process began well.  The dough was so good that I could have happily eaten the whole batch raw.  Of course, I couldn't because I was working toward the noble goal of making impressively adorable cupcakes to make my friends think I'm super cool and womanly.  The rolling out process was alright, although I let the dough get a little warm and it was sort of mushy. 
 Inserting the skewers provided the first hurdle.  I thought I'd be really smart and soak my skewers in water before baking them into the cookies.  You have to soak them so they don't get black on the BBQ, right?  I thought it would be the same thing in the oven.  Wet skewers + mushy dough =  slimy, gross, mushy dough. 
Then I tried to apply the egg yolk wash with a tiny water color brush, but it would not stick to the cookie dough.  So, I brought out my big silicone pastry brush.  Still no luck.  Finally, I decided to be really smart and efficient and pour the egg wash on top of the cookies.  This coated the cookies but definitely created a gross, eggy crust around the edges of the cookies.

I tried trimming the crusty egg wash, but it was pretty happy clinging to the cookies.

If you don't look too close, they turned out alright, but they definitely did not help convince my friends that I am adorable or womanly.  I thought some simple, white powdered sugar icing might improve the situation, but I added too much milk and it was too runny to add much detail.  Also, my skewers were much too long, so the stars flew high above their cupcake bases. 
Given that the end product was tasty and enjoyed by all, it might be a touch on the dramatic side to call this adventure a failure, but I am a bit of a perfectionist, especially when it comes to cupcakes, so I'm going to go ahead and say it was a sugar cookie failure. You can keep your sugar cookies, I'll stick to baking the good old chocolate chip variety!