Sunday, December 8, 2013

Mrs. Unicycle's Holiday Gift Guide

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Time to buy all the things! And get all the things bought for you! I always think I like shopping because I used to go to the mall weekly when I was a teenager, and sometimes I forget that I'm an actual adult now. But then I go to the mall and I end up muttering swear words under my breath and wishing I had a walker that could function as a weapon on an as-needed basis. So basically internet shopping and gift guides are a lifesaver for me. Well, they're a lifesaver for the people I otherwise would have taken out with my walker at the mall.

That doesn't mean I won't shout obscenities at my computer and/or internet connection.

Anyway, here's what I'm planning on buying this year, from the comfort of my gray-and-white-polka-dot pajama pants (yep, still obsessed).

WHAT I WANT: Save the best for first, amirite?

Travel coffee mugs

Image via ThinkGeek
Maybe I could trick my coworkers into thinking I'm smart if I have this travel mug with SCIENCE on it!

Everyone told me not to put my travel mugs in the microwave and dishwasher, and I was all like "YEAH WHATEVER!" I thought that was one of those things adults forbid themselves from doing because they're obsessed with self-imposed rules that make their lives more difficult (have you noticed that??) such as "no eating crackers in bed" and "don't throw old coffee grounds down the drain." But then I put my travel mugs in the dishwasher, and now one of them permanently tastes like dish soap, and the other got water stuck up inside the lining and will probably grow mold. Failing as an adult :(

Cuddl Duds, fleece-lined leggings, other warmth-promoting garments

Image via Cuddl Duds

I got a new job this fall, for which I must park half a mile away and walk (uphill both ways, in the snow) every day. I've already been taking my warmth seriously this winter, and it's only going to get more dire as the season wears on. So if Santa has a heart, he'll bring me some long underwear.

The Disaster Artist

Image via Amazon

I heard about this book from Mrs. Treasure, and I can't believe I hadn't seen it before. Fans of the awesomely bad film The Room will enjoy reading a behind-the-scenes exposé on the making of the movie and why Tommy Wiseau is fed up with this world. If you've ever seen this movie, you probably had one of two thoughts upon completing it: A) What the HELL did I just watch? or B) I need to know why this movie was made. Actually, I had both thoughts. But if you're curious about why it was made, I'm assuming this book can help you out.

FOR MR. UNICYCLE: We were toying with the idea of just taking each other out to a fancy restaurant or maybe just buying a new stove for our house. (See, I'm not so bad at being an insufferable adult after all!) But then he mentioned that he was buying me something and I was all "wait, aren't we not doing gifts this year?" and now I don't know if that was just his evil plot to get me to buy him something. If I don't buy him anything, he'll probably get me something anyway, and then it'll be a truly awkward Christmas morning. So I came up with a few small ideas.

Indian Cookbook

Image via Amazon

Mr. Unicycle does all the cooking in our house, which is amazing, and he's been increasingly interested in Indian cuisine lately. If I happen to benefit from his delicious food? Purely accidental.

New Man-Slippers

Image via Amazon
I'm not actually getting him this pair, but I just thought these looked hilarious.

He told me the other day that his slippers "smell like a zoo." Enough friggin said.

FOR MY SISTERS-IN-LAW: I have one sister-in-law and one future sister-in-law this year.

Boxer Wine Stopper

 
Image via Amazon

My brother and his wife are obsessed with their dogs, and frankly, I don't blame them. How could you not love the charming underbite of a Boxer? She also drinks wine because she's human, so Boxer wine stoppers are the perfect gift!


Basic Wine Guide
Image via Wine Folly

I think educational art is the best, and when it's educating you about wine? Even better! This Basic Wine Guide is like a wine infographic you can hang on your wall and could be a good reference guide or conversation piece. And honestly, I just want it for my own home and am probably projecting my own wine obsession onto other people at this point.

The Broke-Ass Bride's Wedding Guide

Image via Amazon

My future SIL needs to plan a wedding before she'll be my actual SIL, so I bought her Mrs. Meatball's book!

FOR MY MOM:

My Mom Interview Book

 Image via Amazon

My mom loves sappy stuff, homemade gifts, and spending time with me. (I don't mean to brag, but...the woman loves me!) This book offers all three: You go to your mom's house, interview her using the questions in the book--What music did you grow up listening to? Who were your best friends?--and write down her answers in the book, which can become a family heirloom. And if you have a sentimental dad, granparents, or in-laws, you can buy books like this for them too! According to reviews, the actual book is about "the size of an index card," so you may even want to just make up your own questions and create a book using Blurb or Shutterfly. Or MS Word and your printer. No judgment.

As for my brothers, brother-in-law, dad, and father-in-law, I still have no ideas. Men! Can't live with them, can't live without their cooking. Hopefully someone else gives me ideas for them. And soon.

What are you guys getting for the men in your life?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

One Year of Unicycling

Long time no see, hive! Mr. Unicycle and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary, and I couldn't believe it had been so long since our wedding.




Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

We broke out the top tier of our wedding cake and a bottle of champagne we never drank on our wedding night, and of course we had to use our special champagne flutes and cake serving set for the occasion. I also broke out the ol' cake topper because it wasn't doing anything constructive with its life.


Mr. Unicycle bought me a canvas print of a wedding photo, which we used for an official one-year photo, sort of like this anniversary photo idea that's sweeping Pinterest. Only we didn't use a professional photographer and I didn't bother to do my hair and makeup. Oh well, by the time we get to our 10th anniversary or so, you won't be able to see my face in this one anyway.

I got him a "yearbook" I made via blurb about all the things we did during our first year of marriage.

 I know, I should really be a graphic designer.


And then we took a weekend trip to Chicago for touristy sight-seeing. We did an architecture boat tour, ate at The Purple Pig, saw a Second City show, and stayed at the Hotel Allegro, who upgraded us to an off-the-chain suite FO' FREE.

I wish I had some sort of wisdom to bring you about married life, but it honestly doesn't feel like it's been that long since we tied the knot. I'll come back when we're golden oldies and then I'll have some advice for you. Until then, you can reach me at my blog, Karisa Tells All. I just announced some good news, so stop on by and say hello!

What are you going to do on your first anniversary?

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Unicycles GTFO

Well, my recaps are done, and I can't think of any other posts to write. So, I guess my time at Weddingbee is over. Alright, see ya, hive! It's been real!



Just kidding, I think you deserve more of a goodbye than that. Which is to say, I'd like to write a few more paragraphs. You know, milk it for all it's worth.

For months after my wedding, I kept thinking about what a daunting task recapping was/would be, and how I would never be done talking about my wedding, and how I was kind of embarrassed to still be elbows deep in wedding photos this far out from my wedding day. People I know in real life are all "Really? You're still blogging about your wedding? Wow!" all judgmentalish. Thus, now is the time for me to GTFO.

That said, now that my final post is here, I'm getting a bit choked up. So feel free to come over here and perform the Heimlich at any moment.

I discovered Weddingbee four whole years ago. I knew Mr. Unicycle and I would get married some day, but I also knew that day was pretty far off, since we were still in college. But I decided then and there that I would try to be a blogger when my time came, and I can barely believe that I not only got accepted to blog, but I've also finished the job. It's been an amazing experience sharing my wedding planning and recaps with you guys. I wish I could measure the affect Weddingbee has had on my life the past year and a half. Not only did your feedback make my wedding even more amazing, but the chance to blog for and interact with this community has been so enjoyable.


I had my own blog before I got engaged that, at one point, was on the verge of dying a slow, anonymous internet death. But now that Weddingbee has renewed my love of writing and blogging, I've started writing again. No internet death for this blog! You can follow along at Karisa Tells All. I'm not a fashion blogger, craft blogger, mommy blogger (dear God, NO), or other niche blog. I just write about things that make me laugh, and hopefully they'll make you laugh too.

Thanks for letting me share my wedding with you. Now it's time for me to roll on out of the hive. See you later!

~Karisa

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

My Weddingbee Bibliography

In an attempt to be helpful and share my infinite wedding planning knowledge with brides who haven't yet reached The Other Side, I decided to put together a list of sources for all sorts of wedding-y things that I discovered when I was planning. Consider this my Weddingbee dissertation. Actually, consider this my Bibliography.

Vendors: If you're not in the Chicagoland area, this probably won't be helpful.

My Bridal "Look":

Bridesmaids' Dresses: I wanted non-conventional, non-matching dresses, and since I don't do a lot of clothes shopping online, I didn't know where to look. Here are the dresses they chose. Here are some shops that had a lot of good options:
  • David's Bridal
  • Shabby Apple
  • Asos
  • eShakti
  • Lulu's (no one actually bought their dress here, but I recommend checking it out!)
  • 6pm (ditto)
Image sources, from left to right: Shabby Apple, David’s Bridal, ASOS, eShakti

Bulk Candy: For a price comparison, check out my original post.
  • Candy Warehouse
  • Oh Nuts
  • Bulk Candy Store
  • Candy Favorites
  • Amazon
  • Candy Direct
  • Candy Crate

Paper Products:

Sources for Signature Cocktail Recipes:

Craft Supplies:

Flower Tutorials:

What are some useful sources for wedding stuff you've discovered?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Then and Now: Unicycle Edition

You know how celebrities always say they were nerds in high school, but what they really mean is they got good grades and participated in school sponsored activities, and probably got lightly teased by their friends for not being bad at math? Like Cady Heron basically. That's not me. I wasn't a fake nerd. But I also wasn't a real nerd either. (Sticking with the Mean Girls analogy, I wasn't a "sexually active band geek," though at my school it was more like "sexually active Model U.N. kids" because I swear those people went through every permutation of coupling imaginable.) I got good grades and took AP classes and all that jazz, but I wasn't nerdy enough (or cool enough?) to be friends with the actual nerds.

Starting high school was kind of a shock to me. I had graduated 8th grade with a class of 25 and entered high school with a class of over 700. I was extremely, painfully shy and uncomfortable in my own skin, and I was hesitant to talk to people unless they reached out to me first. Actually, some vestiges of that personality still remain. Just last week, someone told me they were shocked by my blogging voice because it didn't fit with my shy personality. So you guys get the real me, I guess :)

But let's be real here, I looked like this. And that was me after a slumber party makeover. And after I'd discovered the straightening iron.

Dating:
I was too awkward to talk to boys in high school, let alone go to dances with them, let alone date them. My core group of friends were all too scared to talk to boys. I literally talked to like 5 boys during my time in high school, and none of them were actual friends. I went to one homecoming dance with a group of girls, and then some friends awkwardly arranged my date for prom senior year.

That wasn't my date. My date was a dude.
Since I didn't date at all in high school, I decided it might be best for me to pursue becoming a nun, because then if anyone asked why I was still single, I could just say I wasn't allowed since I was nun. Surprisingly, I met Mr. Unicycle for the first time less than a month after prom, so you just never know. Thank God, because I don't think I'd look good in a habit.

 I'm so glad he doesn't wear cargo pants and mandals anymore.

Activities:
I joined a bunch of extra-curriculars that I thought would look good on my college applications (student council, service club, etc.) and also tried to join the badminton team, but I was rejected. Twice. Who gets rejected from the badminton team twice?! That's how bad I was, I guess.

Instead of dating boys, driving Hummers, fake tanning, and vacationing in Cancun like all the normal high school girls, my friends and I threw theme parties.

This was a Brokeback Mountain themed party. I won a prize for best outfit because I was the only one not in jeans. My prize was a pencil with a horse's head on the end, which I still have to this day.

And here we are at a Black and White party for New Year's Eve. Does anyone recognize this dress?! This photo was staged, as were many of our honeymoon photos. I guess you could say I'm into that.

 Still fits! It's the Sisterhood of the Traveling Dress magic!

I still love a good theme party. I most recently threw a "quarter life crisis" party for Mr. Unicycle, and I'm hoping to host a wine and cheese party soon because I'm married and that's what married people do. As far as other extra-curricular activities go, does drinking wine count? Obviously I blog. I don't really do much else. Sad. It's hard to do extra-curricular activities when you don't even do curricular activities anymore.

 The quarter life crisis party.

Style:
I went through a lot of stupid phases in high school as I attempted to "find myself." The first one was when I believed I was a punk. I bought studded belts and a Good Charlotte CD and pretty much called it a day. My next phase started when I discovered the Japanese street fashion anthology Fruits and decided I should dress nonsensically too. One day, two friends and I decided to trade clothing--they had to wear my clothing, and outfits styled by me, and I had to wear their "normal clothing." People were literally shocked to see me in jeans and a track jacket.

I really miss those shoes on the right.

My room was also tricked out in crazy rainbow colors. My parents assured me I'd get tired of having orange and green walls, but they just didn't understand anything. I painted over it as soon as I graduated from college.


I don't think I dress strangely anymore, but occasionally I'll get a comment like "I didn't know if this outfit matched/looked right/was appropriate, but then I thought 'Mrs. Unicycle would totally wear this' so I wore it anyway." The sad thing is, I'm not trying to mismatch anymore. I just like bright colors still. And though our bedroom is a very boring gray, this is what our bathroom looks like:

I still got it!

Writing:
I faithfully kept a xanga throughout most of high school. My blogging goals back then were recording every notable social interaction I had, mostly consisting of going to the mall, renting movies, and having sleepovers with my friends. I also remember I always wanted a digital camera or at least a scanner (I know!) so I could have a really great, flattering xanga profile pic. Most of the photos on my xanga were just selfies taken alone in my green and orange bedroom. Consequently, most of my circa high school photos are just selfies taken alone in my green and orange bedroom.

Clockwise from top left: Damn, I had good hair in high school; Damn, I had really good hair in high school; Nice smirk. Also I'm wearing that necklace right now and I legit still like it, so don't make fun of it in the comments; Why did I think this was a good face to make?? What a douche.

Today I've moved on from taking selfies. Haha just kidding.
Bottom right is what my old bedroom currently looks like. And...I'm still a douche.

In addition to faithfully blogging, I also wrote for the school newspaper. I was too shy to weasel my way onto the staff, but I managed to get a few assignments here and there, including three fashion columns. I was so excited when my first article came out, and I thought my head shot was so cool. Then I realized they'd edited the article to oblivion and it barely resembled what I originally wrote.
 
 "Bermuda shorts appear to be the new capris." How astute.

These days, I am a lot better about blogging stuff that people actually want to read, instead of stupid bulleted lists of things I needed to get done or complaining about how much homework I had. In addition to Weddingbee, I also enjoy writing for my own blog, and I write about finance for work. Writing is my bread and butter. Surprisingly, in high school I thought my calling was to be a physicist, and I headed off to college as a physics major. That's how Mr. Unicycle and I met, in fact.

Despite being shy and awkward with strangers, I was still goofy ol' Unicycle in high school when I was around friends. I liked to take silly pictures, like smooching a bear (what, he asked for it!) at the homecoming parade:


...molesting a very realistic-looking statue (also THOSE SHOES. WHAT was I thinking??):


...and eating seductively.


I still do this:
Is it just me or am I getting younger looking every year?

And here's a photo that makes me sad because I'll never be that thin again. I miss Bermuda shorts too.


What were you like in high school?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy Wife, Happy Life

Before the wedding, I bordered on obsessive over capturing our guests' advice and comments. I saved all of my shower and wedding cards, requested advice in our RSVPs, and made fill-in-the-blank guest book pages for guests to draw on and, yes, provide advice.

Personal pic of my grandma's approval of Mr. Unicycle. For the record, he's not quite a doctor yet.

The guest book pages and colored pencils were set up in the back corner of the room, and unfortunately the majority of our guests didn't see them. The ones we did get, however, were great. And here are three artsy shots of the set-up, because why not?




We did get some good advice from our very astute guests. Some advice was better than others, naturally.

This one says: "Never keep score, no 'you owe me' or 'do you know how much I've done?' Either find the chores you each mind less (Thom does dishes and I do the laundry) and turn the music up or pay $90/month to have a maid and spend your extra time on a date. Also, they say don't go to sleep angry but that's not true. Morning light brings love and perspective." Ugh, you guys, I struggle so much with not keeping score! I think I just miss being in school and getting report cards. Why can't Mr. Unicycle acknowledge that I'm getting an A+ in dishwashing?? Is that too much to ask?

Next up: "You can be right or you can be happy." Damn it, this one is true too. Yet I'm always right, so I guess that means I'm never happy.
"Always say I love you--especially before bed and even if you're fighting!" Why is it that all of this advice is angering me?? Mr. Unicycle always pulls this shit on me. We'll be in the middle of fighting and he'll say I love you and I'm like "Um, hello, we're fighting right now. Stay on task." Men.

"Whatever you did while you were dating but keep it up?...I guess." I kind of like this one. It's genius in its simplicity. Dating was fun.

"Goodness, if I knew, I'd be married...just kidding. I think the secret is to care more about the other person than yourself, and to never go to bed angry." I think "never go to bed angry" was the "don't sweat the small stuff" of the guest book.  Also, I need to work on caring more about Mr. Unicycle than myself. But myself just needs so much careeeeeee.....okay fine, just kidding.

"Make each day count." You can guess who wrote this one.

"Always say 'I love you' each night before sleep. As you pass each other throughout the day give a little touch as you pass to let the other know each is in your heart." This was one of my favorites. Maybe because it's a lot easier than "don't keep score," or maybe because it's sweet and, again, genius in its simplicity. I've kept this one in the back of my mind since I first read it, and I think I've been pretty decent at keeping to it. Then again, physical contact with your spouse isn't exactly a huge personal sacrifice.

"Happy wife, happy life," "happy wife, happy life," and "happy wife, happy life. Take charge when appropriate." Never mind, this was the "don't sweat the small stuff" of the guest book. And I'm not sure what "take charge when appropriate" means. I'm scared.
 
Our guests also drew some very artistic portraits of us. Who knew we had so many Picassos at our wedding. Well, maybe not Picassos, but Van Goghs? Rembrandts? Artsy people.







And there were some also funny and/or heartwarming tidbits from our guest book:

 This guy knows where it's at.

 This guy doesn't...at all.

 For the record, I don't condone beating your children. Or math.

 I never thought to get a llama, but you can bet your ass I'm thinking about it now.

 This was from the same person who claimed not to know us in her photobooth sign. Maybe she really didn't know us? 

This one says "We've never seen a bride and groom dance together so much at their wedding. You guys are off to a great start ashgdvfsadhv!" (I can't read the last word) My strategy worked!

Are you collecting advice from your guests? What's the best marriage advice you've gotten (besides "don't go to bed angry")?