Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Wedding Bells!

December 28, 2010

I’m still alive! It’s been insanely busy with shows and baking. But somewhere in all of that, I’ve managed to actually start planning our WEDDING! Not just in words, either. In deeds.

We have booked The Flamingo’s Gazebo Chapel for October 1st, 2011. That will be our 7 year anniversary. So far we have a lot of people who say they will be joining us, so I am thrilled!

We also booked an amazing photographer, Ron Miller (http://www.ronmphoto.com/blog/ ). My wedding pictures will be what I’ve always dreamed of!

I think I’ve found my dress too, and it’s an amazingly low (for me) $750.

We are working on a reception location now. We are anticipating around 100 guests, and finding a location that will work (and doesn’t cost $15K) has been difficult.

We think we’ve found one at The Platinum Hotel, just off the strip. It will be a little more traditional than we were hoping, but it will have a definite Vegas flair. The food will be amazing, and the restaurant connects to the pool deck, which overlooks the Strip. We’ll have awesome views, a fun outdoor area, and 4 hours of open bar. That sounds like a Vegas party to me!

The only downside is that their minimum is $9,000. And that is after they lowered it for me! I feel like the value is there, but we are going on a budget DIET in the new year. We’re lucky that my parents are contributing some, but it is not enough for our current plans.

I’m looking forward to celebrating with a smaller group than we would have back home. It gives us a chance to really treat the people closest to us. Those taking the time (and the money) to come celebrate with us. We aren’t saving any money by doing it in Vegas. But we don’t have to scrimp on things like food and drink like we would at home.

We will be having a big picnic-style party back home a few months after the wedding. We’ll show the video and pictures, but it will be very casual, and a chance to catch up with those who couldn’t make it out to Vegas.

So stay tuned for wedding FEVER!

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Some Misc

August 29, 2008

Hurray for Obama! I thought his speech last night was excellent. Full of substance and his plans while still being exciting and inspirational. Lately it has seemed that after the democratic candidate loses, they gain personality. Suddenly they’re bold and passionate. Obama is that candidate RIGHT NOW as he’s running. I find that thrilling. I never thought I’d have fun while watching the DNC.

I finally got this painting framed. I bought it outside of the Reclining Budha Temple in Thailand. Jo-Ann Fabrics had a 60% off coupon for custom framing!! Even still, this was $80 freaking dollars. I don’t have anywhere to put it just yet, but I couldn’t pass up that coupon. I wish I had bought more of these paintings. They were only like, five bucks. I learned a lot about souvenir buying on that trip. The frame has a deep red tone to it, which looks beautiful with the colors in the painting…

I have ONE more shoes-as-art site to point out. Hetty Rose. These shoes are incredible. They’re all handmade-to-order. The fabric is vintage Japanese kimono fabric. I love how pretty and special they are. These are my two favorite styles:

 

I think I’d buy these before any Christian Louboutins. As much as my heart swells at the thought of the signature red sole, these are not only beautiful, but unique. And I’d be supporting an independent designer. Win-win!

I got a new phone!! My dad offered to put David and I on a family talk plan with my two sisters. We’re going to save a boatload of money, and we got new phones!! Plus… unlimited text/picture messaging. I’ve already sent some. It will be a long time before that gets old.

Hereis my sweet new phone. It’s a Nokia, which makes me happy. I’ve never NOT had Nokia. I like that I already know the menus and how to use the keys and buttons. It makes things much easier. Mine is in red:

New hotness!!

Emotionally Hairy

August 15, 2008

I’m feeling emotionally needy today. I don’t know if it’s because of my hair, or what.

My mouth isn’t hurting much anymore. That side of my jaw is still sore, and I’m a little concerned about switching to “solid” foods. I was supposed to go out to lunch with my dad and my cousin, but they bailed on me. And I stupidly didn’t bring a back up lunch (which has been an Atkins shake for the past couple days). I think a pasta salad would be really yummy, but do I want to sway from my diet again? I did well this week, and am back down to the 180 lb mark.

Waaaaahhhhmbulance!!

Life is so hard, isn’t it?

So here’s a shot of my hair… I like it, but I need to get used to it. I feel vulnerable this morning. It’s scary.

Ack!!!!

Blue Patent Shoes

April 12, 2008

Okay, maybe it doesn’t make a good Elvis song, but it sure makes some cool footwear. However, this made me realize I suck at taking pictures of shoes. Something to work on, I guess…

 

Can’t Concentrate

February 22, 2008



Pic036- Room with a View

Originally uploaded by Natrasha

Yeah right I’m going to write a blog entry every night about my trip. I guess I’ll have to catch up during the week based on my pictures. For now, I’ll leave you with this. From Samet Island. On my balcony. Where I spent the last two nights. Heaven!!

One Night in Bangkok…

February 19, 2008

Oh, thank goodness it’s not just one night!

I really wanted to write an entry at the end of every day, while everything is still fresh on my mind. No, this is not to brag for you readers about my amaaaazing trip, it is so that I can remember everything I did weeks and months and years from now. I don’t want to forget a single detail!

I am forced to start today, because my camera battery died part way through my day. Hopefully I will catch up later…

Today I went with a tour group to see a few sights outside of Bangkok. For 600 Baht (about $20 US), I would go to a Floating Market and see a Crocodile farm and Elephant Show. The tour was from 7AM-5PM. It was my first day “on my own”- apart from my friend. I was nervous. The tour place (MAMA tours) and buses were pretty… low-tech. But I’m so glad I went! My day was fantastic.

We started with the Floating Market. It was a long drive from Bangkok. When we got there, we hopped into a boat 1hfloating-market-our-boatsmall.jpg and our “driver” paddled us to the market. I was so excited to finally experience this! 1ifloating-marketsmall.jpg

The market is people shopping on boats. And people selling on boats and in stalls along the canal. It’s an interesting experience. The canals were very crowded and hectic, but it was so exciting to see everything going on. I bought a lot. I mean… A LOT! Along with touristy crap, there were dishes, clothing, and food. There were boats that were selling fruit and vegetables (I ate a delicious mango!) and then some boats were actually MAKING noodle and rice dishes in their boat.
1nfloating-marketsmall.jpg 1sfloating-marketsmall.jpg 

There were a lot of traffic jams! I didn’t like that they allow boats with motors into the same area. It made it loud and stinky! We got to get off the boats for a while and walk around to the vendor carts along the canal. I got suckered into buying a whole bunch of stuff because I got the “pretty lady discount.” Yeah, whatever. It’s cool stuff, so I’m not that upset.

Then, it was onto a cheap lunch on a floating restaurant farther down the river. It was very pretty and relaxing and they had good chicken fried rice!

Next was the part I was really excited about… the crocodile farm and elephant show! It was at the same place… the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo. This is when I noticed my battery about to die. I was SO UPSET! I had to save it, but I still got some good pictures. We caught the end of an incredibly lame magic show. The tricks were fine, but the magician was so dumb and cheesy.

Then the elephant show started… It was supposed to be a history of elephants in Thailand, but they mostly just wanted to show off the cool elephant tricks. I did learn some interesting facts, like any white (albino) elephant that is discovered automatically becomes property of the king. The white elephant is considered royal property and is very rare.

The elephants did some cool formations and tricks.
2belephantssmall.jpg

I really reget not having enough battery to capture everything I wanted. The elephants did so many neat tricks like balancing on their front legs and noses. It was totally cute.

Then came a bunch of elephants in “soccer jerseys” and the people put up a sign saying “Elephant World Cup 2008 Thailand.” They played that “Ole Ole” soccer song and the elephants danced around and “warmed up.” Some of them seriously looked like soccer players getting ready on the field. Ronaldo was a total ham. Here he his, spinning is trunk round and round like a windmill. Later he spun a hoola hoop on there too.
2felephants-warm-upssmall.jpg

There was a demonstration of elephants used in warfare. The elephants all came out in fancy dress and there was a full on battle reinactment, complete with cannons and fire!
2helephants-warfaresmall.jpg

After that, the show came to an end, but the excitement wasn’t over yet. Carts of bananas came out and you could buy a bunch for 10 Baht to feed to the elephants! I was all over that. I fed them my bananas and pet some of them for a while. They’re so gentle and beautiful. It’s really amazing to see them so close!
2lelephants-feedingsmall.jpg pic035.jpg

That picture was the last one I took today 😦 as that’s when my battery died.

I went on to the Crocodile Wrestling Show. This is the kind of craziness where people put their heads and arms inside crocodile mouths. It was a very short show, but it was crazy to watch. I almost couldn’t watch as one dude reached all the way into the croc’s mouth and down his throat. I was so sure I was about to see an arm get ripped off.

Then I toured the rest of the zoo/grounds. Here is where I missed my camera. The elephants were all out on display! And you could sit with them and have your picture taken. I settled for feeding some more. There were a few small elephants. But then I got to the tiny little baby elephant and it’s mother. OH MY GOD! It was SO CUTE! It was like a little Dumbo, but with smaller ears. It barely came up to my hip. I pet him a lot and the mom nuzzled my arm with her trunk, looking for banana treats. I got lots of elephant snot on me but I didn’t care. That little baby was just too cute for words.

Here’s a picture I found online. It was probably even cuter than this, if you can believe it. They’re Asian elephants (duh…) so they have smaller ears and this prickly hair on their heads. But the baby’s is still soft…

I wandered around until it was time to leave, and saw the hundreds of crocodiles. There were enclosures everywhere, seperated by age and type. I saw giant salt water crocs that were 20-70 years old! They were huge and scary!

And then it was back “home” to Bangkok. The tour was well worth it, although a little scary, just because I switched busses a lot. Oh, and by busses, I mean oversized vans. Although there was a point when I was sure it was my time to be sold into slavery, nothing bad happened and everyone was very friendly.

After I got back to Khao San Road, I had a while wander while waiting for my friend. I got a spring roll from a street cart and some iced green tea and did some serious people watching. It is just so different over here. On our way to get a cab, I got some pad Thai from a street cart (my friend thought this was very brave) and walked down the street eating it.

Oh! then, this scary dude bumped into me. I think he might have been Indian, but I’m talking like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom dark skinned creepy mountain people scary. And I don’t mean bumped. I mean shoved. I was next to a car, but not so close that someone couldn’t get by. Not to mention, um, that there’s a whole ROAD. Anyway, after he shoved me out of the way, this white tourist (I’m thinking Austrailian) quickly brushed by me and body checked the creepy dude in the exact same way he had done to me. Then he turned and looked at the guy and said really loudly “OH! EXCUSE ME!” I smiled at him. It was totally awesome. It’s nice to know that other tourists have your back!

I’m exhausted now. It’s 9:30PM here. I could be going out and doing things, but I’m just too tired. Tomorrow morning I have to get up early again to hop a bus to Samet Island. But I stay there for two glorious nights. This will be the true relaxation part of my vacation. Then it’s back to Bangkok and I will be going out and experiencing the night life!!

I Had A Witty Title

February 16, 2008

But apparently 20 hours on a plane will make you forget even your name.

 If I never see another plane in my life, it couldn’t make me happier. Although I know that won’t happen, since I have to fly back to the US for 20 hours. But that’s not for a week! So I won’t worry about it now…

On both of my long flights, I was seated right in front of the lavatories, right behind the airplane wing, against the window. If I were to give ONE tip for international travelers right now, it would be noise cancelling headphones. Buy them. Borrow them. SOMETHING.

I borrowed a pair from my dad and they were a lifesaver. I don’t even want to think about how miserable I would have been if I had not had them. Thanks Dad!

Well, I’m in my little apartment in Bangkok, Thailand now. Safe and sound. My body is exhausted, but my mind is going a million-kilometers-an-hour now. (Ha, kilometers rather than miles. Get it? They even drive on the wrong side of the road here!)

I’ll be sure to write more when I’m a little more coherent. Tomorrow we’re going to a weekend market so I can do some shopping!!

More From Flickr

February 1, 2008



Pouty Lips

Originally uploaded by Natrasha

I wonder if I can blog more than one picture in a post…. Doesn’t look like it. Oh well. Here are my lips. Can you tell I’m bored? Work has been hell-ish today and I really need to get out of here before I lose my sanity.

Yaayyyy!

Birthday Message

December 10, 2007

I’m seriously not obsessed with my birthday. Honestly. But I had to share this e-mail I just got from my grandpa. He lives in Iran and English is NOT his first language.

HI

NATASHA

 MY DEARST GRAND CHILDRIN,

      To day is your birtday , i think for you ,not only to day but evry day, evry time, you are always in my

       heart.

         I watch  your picture in my cumputer evry day. Nwo you,r relly a butefull lady and gentlwoman!!!.

           I LOVE YOU SO MUCH AND I SAY:

   HAPPY BIRTDAY

LOVE :

GRANDMA&GRANDPA

I thought that was pretty cute. And he attached this picture of us on his last visit to the U.S. He is so cute:
Grandpa

Christmas Tree Adventures

November 28, 2007

I could write a post all about my family Thanksgiving and what I’m thankful for and all that crap. But you’ve read that on 80 zillion blogs already, so what’s the point? Yeah yeah, friends and family, health and happiness, blah blah blah.

 After Thanksgiving with my mom and family and a “Festivus-Giving” with my dad (where we ate Persian food), I had my fill of family for the weekend. Or so I thought. On Sunday, my mom asked if I wanted to come get a Christmas tree with her and my sisters. She said they were going to a farm somewhere near Madison.

Okay, fine, I thought. It’ll be quality family time and will make my mom happy. She said they’d stop by to pick me up in an hour. That was at 11:00. So I hung around and played The Sims 2: Petsfor a while, and then got ready. I put on approximately 12 layers of clothing, since it was balls-ass-cold outside (yes, that’s a meteorological term). Then I waited. And waited. And got very annoyed. And played Pinball on my computer. And waited. And got the third highest score. And waited some more.

Then, an hour and a half later, I get a call from my sister Samantha saying that they will be leaving in about 10 or 15 minutes. Now it’s 12:30, and I have rehearsal at 6:30, and I will have no time to do any work around the house. Faaaantastic. I was not in a very good mood. FINALLY at 1:00 they show up to pick me up. What a great way to start the afternoon.

I assumed the tree farm was between Milwaukee and Madison. Not past Madison. In Oregon, WI. Oregon you say? That’s right. Oregon. Hann’s Tree Farm. It was pretty, though. Also, being in the car that long with my 12-year old sister so soon after the 2.5 hour car ride on Thanksgiving was just a little too much. She talks about nothing but the Jonas Brothers. And we listen to their CD the constantly. ENOUGH ALREADY!!

So by the time we get to this damn tree farm, I have just about had enough. And then it is COLD and WINDY. I might as well have been wearing a swimsuit for all my layering did for me. The thing that started to turn my mood around was the free hot cider. Mmm, that helped a lot.

We chose a tree type and started hiking through the acres of trees. You could only cut one that was tagged. But the tagged trees weren’t in any particular section. They were spread out through the whole place. Too bad, because I wanted a little baby tree. Tree1

We walked almost to the back of the section before finding a tree that was good enough to grace my mom’s living room.
Tree2 Tree3  Tree5

We actually found another good one that I thought might be nice in my apartment. But I didn’t really have the money, even though these trees were reasonably priced. I spent it all on Black Friday.Tree6
But, my mom thought it was too good of a tree to just leave there, so she said she’d buy it for me! I was so happy! We’re not putting it up yet, so it’s staying at my mom’s house for now. But I can’t wait for my apartment to smell like pine, even though I’m probably kind of allergic to it.
Tree7
Mmmm, pine. Good enough to eat.

Tree4 Tastes like Pine-Sol.

Overall it was a good day. But getting home at 5:45 and having to leave for rehearsal around 6:00 was not fun. But I’m happy I could spend the time with them. And I’m so excited to start decorated for Christmas!