Archive for ‘Saving Graces’

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

by Emily Grace

I love this! I found this a few weeks ago in a post on The Knotty Bride, and loved what it said. It got me thinking about the new year and what I’m hoping to accomplish both personally and professionally. This is my year! I want to work my hardest to be the best version of me possible. I WILL make things happen this year. I WILL live life to the fullest. I WILL bask in every moment, both good and bad. I WILL remember to stop and be still. I WILL follow my passion.

Now, someone just help me…

Happy New Year! What do you want to accomplish this year?

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February 11, 2010

Date and Non-date Foods

by Emily Grace

As I was sitting at my computer working this morning and a friend sent me a link to an article and it got me thinking.  The article was about “date foods” and “non-date foods.”  With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, I’m assuming this article was meant to give those who actually go on romantic dinner dates a simple reminder of the impression that a food choice could make on a first date.

We typically think of “non-dating foods” as things like garlic and/or fast food for obvious reasons (though I guess I’m an exception because if the fast food is Taco Bell, I have found my soul mate).  Many times girls will order a salad at dinner for the appearance of being dainty and not a downright pig (I fail again), and this can be seen both positively or negatively by their date.  Is eating off your date’s plate acceptable?  Don’t order a salad if you’re going to eat all of his french fries.  I know I’m way protective of my french fries, and that would be an automatic turn-off.

Anyway, the article goes on to list several food tips to manage positive dating impressions.  I think it is totally gag-worthy, but I need second, third, etc. opinions because apparently I’m a bad dater by these standards.  Please see my side notes indicated by the *** next to a tip.

“And so, whether you are newly smitten, not yet “official” or working to keep love alive, you will want to follow these food tips to manage your positive impressions!

10 Tips for Eating on a Date

To create a good impression, refrain from foods that:

•    Drip, splash or leave a mess (e.g. spaghetti with sauce, over-filled tacos, soup, ribs, wings, lobster in the shell, and Popsicles in the wind)
***Love spaghetti. Taco Bell tacos are underfilled so am I in the clear? I thought soup was classy!
•    Make your mouth open really wide (e.g. Big Macs, deli sandwiches and sushi)
***So hamburgers are a no?
•    Stick in your teeth (e.g. corn on the cob, spinach, poppy seeds, and Turkish taffy)
•    Contain a part that requires discrete removal (e.g. olives with pits, fish with bones and fruit with seeds)
•    Are smelly going in or coming out  (e.g. raw onion, garlic, stinky fish and cheese, cruciferous vegetables and beans)
***I gather that I can’t eat Italian food or Chinese food from this.
•    Make you seem boring (e.g. vanilla ice cream, white bread, mushy peas, and salad without dressing)
***Being a picky eater makes you automatically unattractive.
•    Make you seem childish (e.g. chicken fingers, mac and cheese, using ketchup on everything, and separating the onions)
***I’ve come to realize that I will never be able to go on a date where food is involved. Chicken fingers, mac and cheese, ketchup, no onions, that’s my life. Is there a problem with ranch dressing?
•    Make you look unhealthy (e.g. fast food, big pieces of cheesecake, 20-ounce sodas, and Mudslides)
***But I AM unhealthy!
•    Most people think are weird (e.g. frogs legs, steak tartar, blood sausage and Spam)
•    Are so-called aphrodisiacs – without your full consent (e.g. raw oysters, dark chocolate, strawberries and bananas)
•    Make you forget you manners when you spill, spit, spray or otherwise eat with your mouth open; slurp, burp, belch or hiccup; turn your napkin into a bib or wipe your mouth on your sleeve or the tablecloth.

But apart from that, all other foods are fine.  Have a great date!”

So, all I’ve learned from this is that I have no reason to ever go on a date where eating is involved.  I need to find a man who has tastes as immature as mine.  Just because I went on a date to Taco Bell last year for Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean that we didn’t follow proper etiquette and table manners.  Our table was set, napkins in our laps, and we kept it classy.  Do not judge!  When I find someone who will accept my love for chicken fingers and ranch dressing and doesn’t care if I want my date to be at Taco Bell, I will know that I found true love!

Valentine's Day 2009 at Taco Bell with Maclean McAlister

What are your thoughts?

What are your Dating and Non-Dating Foods?  Have you had a bad experience eating with a date?

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day, and I hope you and your date stuff your face with all the glorious “non-date foods” that you can get your hands on!

December 28, 2009

You’re Engaged! Now What?: Announcing

by Emily Grace

Congratulations!  You or someone you know has probably recently gotten engaged.  We are in the peak of engagement season surrounded by holidays and family.  I remember getting a quick phone call from one of my roommates last Christmas Eve to excitedly tell me that her long time boyfriend proposed!  In the months following the big proposal we began diving into mounds of wedding magazines and our apartment became a planning zone.   For many new brides (and grooms)-to-be, it might be quite the whirlwind after the engagement and much uncertainty of what to do next.

Sharon Bushman Photography

This week I would like to share a few of the things I think are most important to begin working on during the days and weeks immediately following the engagement.  These are just a few ideas I’ve pulled from the important steps my roommate took as well as things I’ve seen (or didn’t see) with the couples that I’ve worked with on making their day super special.

So the first step is to announce your engagement.  There are several ways that couples choose to do this, and it can be very exciting to share this news with your friends and family, but where should you start?  Start by telling the people closest to you—parents, siblings, grandparents, etc.  If this is a second marriage for either of you and children are involved they should definitely be the first to know.  The most intimate and immediate way to tell your family and closest friends is by telephone, but it may not be practical to call everyone else.  In my opinion, it IS acceptable to announce an engagement via email (I know this was seen as controversial on Chelsea Clinton’s recent email engagement announcement, but aren’t we all super tied to our computers anyway?  Just so long as you don’t send out your wedding invite through email, I think a simple engagement announcement is a-ok!).  Be aware that some people may be offended by such an announcement.  If there are people you know that would view the email announcement as rude or impersonal, be sure to put them on the “to-call” list.

You can also do an engagement party; parents or close friends typically throw such a party for the newly engaged couple.  Some choose to send out printed invitations that state the reason for the celebration and some keep it a secret and announce the news during a toast at the beginning of the evening.  It is important to note that in this type of situation that if someone is a guest at your engagement party they will probably expect an invitation to the wedding, so plan this first guest list very wisely!

Another form of announcement is the age-old newspaper announcement.  Us scrapbookers of the world love things like this because it gives us something more than the typical pictures to add to our precious pages.  Each newspaper follows its own protocol.  Some charge a fee, some are free, and some are way too competitive for words, some papers encourage pictures while some will only print text.  If you and your fiancé are from different cities, you might run announcements in a variety of papers to announce to friends or have the scrapbook page for your future in-laws. Newspapers require the information as early as four months before the wedding though it may take a month or more for your announcement to make it to print.  The newspaper staff is almost never able to give you a specific run date of the announcement so be prepared to spend a few minutes each day thumbing through the lifestyle section to find yours.  However, you might choose to announce your wedding instead of or in addition to your engagement and that’s perfectly fine.  It’s all dependent on timing and circumstances and a personal decision.  To each his own.

However you decide to announce your engagement it is the start to a very exciting adventure to the whole planning process.  How will you choose to announce your engagement?

December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve

by Emily Grace

With a load of holidays upon us there is the continuous conversation about holiday traditions. I decided that I should go ahead and jump on the bandwagon and share some of my favorite holiday traditions. My family has a host of traditions that span from what we eat to where we celebrate to what we even wear. There is no excuse for breaking tradition! My grandmother tried to change things up one year for Christmas Eve and make things easier on herself since she had recently gone under the knife and received a very merry pacemaker for Christmas. Instead of serving london broil she tried to serve us ring sandwiches. Needless to say, she will NEVER make that mistake again.

Christmas is quite the family affair. Christmas Eve is celebrated at grandma and grandpa’s house with all of the cousins, no matter how much they downsize. We head off to the midnight service that night then immediately fall asleep when we get home. Christmas morning usually consists of my dad being super anxious and waking my sisters and myself up, eating sausage balls, and opening gifts. Growing up my mother never let us roll out of bed to open presents in our pajamas. She said she didn’t want to have us looking sloppy in our Christmas pictures because she hates that about the pictures of Christmas growing up. My little sister has decided to implement the tradition of making all of us wear tacky Christmas sweaters to open our presents and then take a family portrait to document our fashionable attire. Then the whole family comes to our house and we eat until we can’t walk. When my mom changed the traditional dinner from turkey to prime rib she caught a lot of grief, but now we can’t think of having it any other way.

When we were younger, Christmas started several weeks before the actual day because we would head down to Orlando with the cousins and go to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas. The “snow” falling down Main Street, the hot chocolate and cookies that you find in your pockets of your coats a year later, the midnight parade, fireworks, and Cinderella’s Castle turning to ice are memories I will forever cherish. Though that tradition has been lost over the years, my parents will still sometimes surprise us with a special trip.

The most important part of our holiday traditions is the fact that our family is together. This year we are truly blessed because my cousin Luke will be celebrating with us for the first time in many many years. My family is the most important thing in my life, and I can’t think of spending the holiday any other way. Despite the nagging and the sarcasm and the picking, my family is truly the greatest gift that I could have this year.

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone. May you be blessed abundantly and may you provide for those without!

My Amazing Family at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas

What are your most cherished holiday traditions? How do you feel about changing traditions or adding new ones?

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