Saturday, June 25, 2011

Wedding Plans - The Theme

Epic Shakespearean Fantasy
We are combining our love for three things to inspire our ceremony and reception: epic movies, Shakespeare, and fantasy novels.  Our ceremony and reception will be held on October 30 in a community theatre that was originally a church.  It's a small historic building, and the place where we first met.
My dress and the BM dresses are Midsummer Night's Dream inspired, kind of flowy and ethereal with flower petal-type features.  My flower girl will be a fairy, complete with wings!  She will scatter flower petals and "fairy dust."  All the girls in the bridal party (including me) will be wearing flower garlands rather than traditional headpieces. 
We are using several Shakespeare quotes in the ceremony, and the motif is the "joined hearts" motif based on the quote: “Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.”
The food at the reception will be labeled with Shakespearean names: fairy cakes, cauldron cookies, Titus tarts, Love Potion Punch, Hamlets (small ham sandwiches) etc. 
In Elizabethan times, they would often serve peacock.  I don't want to serve peacock, but I used the feathers to inspire my color scheme.  I'm using emerald green, royal blue, and pale gold with peacock feathers as accents.
Epic movies
We are using instrumental movie themes for most of our music, including me walking down the aisle to "Concerning Hobbits" from Lord of the Rings.   
Fantasy books
Enchanted forest decor for ceremony and reception.  Quotes from favorite books in the ceremony and in the reception decor.

Book Cover!

After trying to find an appropriate publisher for Summer's Blossom for what... three years... I finally decided to self-publish.  The two most promising publishers had issues with a part of the book - they wanted a somewhat violent scene and all mentions of it removed.  In order to retain my vision and my rights to this book and the series I'm planning, I decided to self publish.  I researched a bunch of places, and I really like the POD model - it's better for the environment because you only print the books that are ordered.  I'm also going to do an ebook format for this story, but the print version will most likely come first.  I'm using Createspace because the books are on and other retailers, and I really liked their pricing structure.

So anyway, I've been working on editing and making improvements to the story, and I finished the book cover design this week.  Here's a preview of the cover!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making Plans

Jon and I have been having "serious talks" lately about the future, and what we are going to do with it.  I kind of love these kinds of discussions because they are practical on the one hand and on the other, they have enormous potential to get me very excited!  I am truly looking forward to us being partners in the effort to pay off debt, save money, purchase a house, and start a family.  

The next year is going to be exciting.  The years following it will be amazing.  I look forward to seeing what the future holds for us.

One thing that is way too much fun is planning home improvement projects.  We are planning to buy the house we are currently renting, and the owners have already locked in today's price for the next two years.  We love the basic design of the house, the lovely hardwood floors, the location, the landscaping, and the exterior (I've always been fond of brick) but there are a few interior things we would like to change.  He wants to put in additional electrical outlets and improve the current wiring (with a background as an electrician, this will not be difficult for him) and I want to some kitchen cabinets with a counter/bar on top.  There really isn't enough cabinet space or counter space in the kitchen, so if we can add some, that would be amazing.  The room is big enough, and there was one before, but the current owners tore the cabinets out so they could open the room more.  I love an open room, but we need more space for veggie chopping and other preparations!  Especially if I get the lovely KitchenAid stand mixer we just registered for!  (so far, the most expensive thing on our registry!)  

We are also planning to extend the back deck about 4 more feet and improve the structure of it - maybe even tear it out and build a new one since I fell through an unstable board a couple of weeks ago and hurt my leg pretty badly.  (not broken, though, thank goodness!)  A larger, more stable deck will be amazing - and I want to install lattice work across the bottom so Kaylee can't get underneath it and dig holes.  

So we are making lots of plans these days.  I can't wait for those plans to be put into action.  It's only a matter of time now...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New wedding countdown!

I added a countdown to the blog.  We have only 130 more days!  Which is actually kind of scary, considering that I haven't finished some of the big plans.  I really need to get to work on this!  And on my Celtic Knot Wrap.  I'm beginning to feel like I'm never going to finish it - having started over 3 times already!

So yeah, check out that wedding countdown to know exactly how much time before I become Mrs. Powell!  lol, that looks so strange!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Daily Challenge: Letter from the future

I am participating in something called the Daily Challenge.  It is meant to improve your well-being in several key areas: Life Evaluation, Basic Access, Physical Health, Emotional Health, Healthy Behaviors, and Work Environment.  Every day, this group emails you a challenge that has to do with one of these areas.  For example, one daily challenge last week was to go for a walk and say your ABCs to evaluate the intensity of your workout.  One was to eat a red fruit or veggie during that day.  Little things that can improve your quality of life in small ways.  The hope is that if those little things all become habits, your quality of life will improve a great deal.

Today's challenge was a good one, so I decided to complete it here.  Here is the challenge:

Write a note from your future self to your current self, and describe what you've accomplished.

How to do it

Take a few moments to write yourself a quick note or email as if you-of-five-years-from-now were writing to you-of-today. Tell yourself about all of your accomplishments. Do you play a new instrument or have a special skill? Work a different job? Live in a new place?

Why it matters

Research has shown that positive thinking leads to positive results, and that just thinking about success can make success happen! It's easy to think something is out of reach, but telling yourself you've already succeeded at something makes it feel real before you begin. Positive thinking has shown to increase a person's life span, give people better coping skills in times of stress, and even give them more resistance to the common cold.

Fun Fact

In September 2008, an inventor with a prototype jetpack flew over the English Channel in 9 minutes, 7 seconds. He reached speeds of 186 mph (300 km/h). That's positive thinking at work.
And here is my entry:

Dear Anita,
It is currently June 21, 2015.  I have been pretty busy these past five years, and while there have been ups and downs, I can honestly say it has been the best five years of my life!  
Let's start with the second half of 2011.  In October, I married my best friend and the love of my life.  We had a small wedding at a local community theatre building where we first met.  It was a sweet and unique ceremony, and the guests were all happy and supportive.  The honeymoon cruise to Cozumel was heavenly and very relaxing.  We ended the year with a couple of credit cards paid off and a plan in place to get out of debt completely.  We adopted another puppy for Kaylee to play with, and she is adjusting to not being the "only child."
In 2012, we paid off the rest of our credit card debt and started saving for a down payment on a house.  In the meantime, I got a new job that pays what I was actually worth, and was able to contribute even more to the savings account.  We purchased the house near the end of the year, and I found out I was pregnant.  During all this, I finally got a publisher interested in my fantasy series and it was published by a small house.  It enjoyed moderate success in the young adult demographic and some adults were reading it too.  Not best seller level, but enough to put some extra money in our pockets.
2013 brought us our first child. Being a mother is the most amazing and rewarding experience of my life.  I made lots of knit baby blankets and little clothes.  I started a new business - doing public relations and development for nonprofits on a contract basis so that they do not have to hire someone to do it.  I plan events and write grants and handle media for 5 small to medium local nonprofits now, and am working on getting some additional clients.  I also took up piano and learned how to speak Czech as a nod to my heritage.  
In 2014, we settled into a routine as a family, and Jon and I had a blast starting to see what our firstborn was going to be like.  We talked about having another child within the next year.  We both always wanted two.  
So that brings us to this year - 2015.  I am currently pregnant with our second child and business is booming!  While things have not always been perfect, we have gotten through all the difficult times and have come through them stronger and closer than ever.  Our family is happy and I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed possible.  
If I can give you some advice - hang in there.  Things are going to be great - you just have to get through this part.  This part is difficult.  But it will get better.
Anita (at age 39 in the year 2015)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Wedding Plans - Bridesmaids!

We chose the BM dresses!  I went with Hope, one of my bridesmaids, to David's Bridal today and she tried on some dresses.  I wanted to stay with the flowy, ethereal, flower-petaly theme that my dress has without going too overboard.  I don't want the Midsummer Night's Dream inspiration to be too "overboard," but want to use the inspiration just enough that it makes sense.  So here's the dress in the color I chose.  It's called Horizon, in case anyone is curious.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Yet another new job

Weary from the constant travel (although it was an adventure) and ready to get back into my field after a year away from it, I decided to take a different job - this time as Public Information Officer for a local municipality.  It should be interesting, to say the least.  I've never done this particular job before, so we will see if I'm any good at it!  The best thing about it is that I will be publishing a monthly newspaper with news from the city to the residents.  I haven't done layout for a newspaper in awhile, so I guess it's time to brush up on my layout skills!

More to come on this new adventure...