Sunday, July 26, 2009

the ward family blog

Good news! Ross and I are planning to start a family blog at I convinced him that blogging is fun and cool, because I am persuasive like that. We're gonna blog together in the spirit of newly-weddedness. (Or, almost newly-weddeddness.)

And to my friends, I know: You get angry when I keep URL-hopping with my blogs. I understand this. So to you, I say this: Quit your whining. I have no plans to abandon Fun With Leah. (Although I still think it's a horrible name for this blog. I'm not fun; I'm unfun. Would you support me if I changed my URL to I'm sure it's available.) I'll keep posting here, too.

Anyway, read our family blog! All the cool people are doing it. In fact, go there now and follow us or add us to your reader.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

wedding, wedding, and more wedding

I have no life right now because I am working full-time and planning a wedding. Oh, and I just moved a month ago, and there are still boxes in the spare bedroom. Everywhere. Still packed. *Sigh.* I think this is a good excuse for my lack of presence in Blog World. Emily, though, is kicking butt! Way to go, girl. You'll be a pro blogger before you know it. By the way, she's hosting a thrill-ride giveaway right now. The two people reading this should go check it out.

Today I spent about $150 buying, oh, maybe 20% of the food for the reception. HOORAY for the nacho bar! And thank you, Sam Walton, for giving us your greatest gift: Sam's Club. Where else can a person buy refried beans in bulk? Where else can a person buy both Mexican AND American Coca-Cola by the 24-pack? Nowhere! Okay, maybe Costco. But we don't have those in Arkansas.

All the remaining wedding details are coming together. Ross, my sweet almost-husband, took over a big part of the work load so I'd stop hyperventilating every 15 minutes. After another weekend of work, I think we'll be 90% there.

Are you ready?! Well GET READY, people! It's gonna be a blast!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Cake Dilemma

I think we’re firing our wedding cake lady. Let me explain from the beginning.

When I got engaged, I tried to do as much wedding planning as possible. I did this because I knew that when school started, life would be a whirlwind until the wedding. (Side note: I was right about that! I like to point out when I’m right -- just ask Ross, he knows.) 

Anyway, one of the things I did early on was meet with our cake lady. Keep in mind that we are getting married in Mountain Home, Arkansas, which is not exactly the cultural center of the United States. To my knowledge, Mountain Home doesn’t even have a legit bakery. (I define “legit bakery” as a bakery existing outside of a grocery store.) So, we chose a lady who was recommended to us by a few friends. When Mom and I met with her, I had a pretty bad feeling. She was wearing a wind suit. The majority of the cakes in her album appeared to have been made sometime in the 1980s. Several cakes had a fountain feature. Curiously, some were leaning. 

I tried to hide my apprehension. I told myself that the leaning cakes must be some kind of optical illusion, or perhaps the photographer was doing a neat lens trick of sorts. I was so in denial that I told myself this no fewer than 8 times -- once for each leaning cake. You have to be in denial when you have no other options.

But they were just looks, after all. I can deal with a cake whose looks are a little on the disappointing side as long as it tastes incredible. This lady has built her business on buttercream, she said, and I love buttercream. Fondant cakes look pretty, but it tastes like old gum. Buttercream, though...oh, yum. So I decided I could deal, because I’m sure the cake would taste great. Right?  

WRONG! My father recently had occasion to sample one of this lady’s wedding cakes. Keep in mind that my father, who has a mouth full of sweet teeth and generally enjoys desserts of any kind, is a wedding cake connoisseur. He loves wedding cake. And even if it’s only so-so, he’ll probably finish any cake you put in front of him. Then he’ll ask if you’re going to finish yours.

He took one bite of this cake and refused to eat the rest.

So, there’s the story. We’re firing the cake lady because she can’t make an edible cake. Or maybe we’re firing her because she made one bad cake. Either way, she’s getting the axe. (Or is it ax?)

At the very least, we’re only going to have her make a tiny cake, just for looks. We still have to serve cake, though. The solution? We’re going to make the rest ourselves. Are we crazy? YES. But we are foodies. Taste is important. And when all you’re losing is the Leaning Wedding Cake of Pisa, you’re not really losing that much.

Sympathies are appreciated, as are loaner cake pans!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the many negative effects of fast food

Besides making us extremely fat, I am convinced that the convenience of fast food has made us all terribly inept in the kitchen.  

I had a roommate once who caught the stove on fire making Tuna Helper. For one thing, Tuna Helper is disgusting. I think I'd rather eat ham. And if you know me at all, you know how much I loathe all things pork (except bacon, of course). But come do you set the stove on fire making something that comes out of a box?

Oh, that's right. You forget to take it out of the box.

This must have happened to someone who bought a pizza from the Wal-Mart deli, like I did a few nights ago.  

You know, these ones:

As one is supposed to do, I, of course, read the instructions before throwing it in the oven willy-nilly. I expected to see something like "bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes."  

But I forgot about the fast food and the whole inept-in-the-kitchen thing. So instead, the directions read:

Notice #2:  Remove plastic and cardboard from pizza.  


Sunday, June 7, 2009

wedding things

I found some stuff at Target today!

I thought these would be good to contain whatever we decide to let people throw at us.  (By the way, suggestions -- both serious and funny -- are welcome!)  I bought four:

And then I bought four of each of these cute little reusable bags for who knows what.  I'm sure they'll come in handy.  And, these were in the $1 bin!  I love bargains.

That's it for now!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

the marathon wedding planning day

I know it's been months since I've posted, and my excuses for not doing so become even lamer each time I repeat them.  So, I'll just skip them and hope someone somewhere out there is still reading!

Saturday morning, I had my wedding dress fitting, so I decided to make a weekend of it.  My friend Angie and I drove over to Fayetteville Friday night to meet up with my mom, and we had a marathon wedding shopping & planning day!  I really can't write this coherently in paragraph form, so here's a list of all the things we did/accomplished/bought:
  • Mailed the invitations (so be on the lookout!)
  • Put a deposit down on a new apartment.  We decided to go with a 2-bedroom, 2-bath at a cookie-cutter apartment community in Fayetteville.  Boring yet reliable...kind of like us.
  • Found wedding shoes.  We did this a mere 30 minutes before the fitting -- cutting it close, but it all came together.  I bought some a few weeks ago on, but after trying them on with the dress the night before the fitting, we decided they were too tall.  And they only had one-inch heels!  Luckily, I found some really cute white flips at TJ Maxx!
  • Bought some really great reception decor:  some glass drink containers with self-serve spigots, three-tiered serving thingies, some serving platters, silverware containers, and three pillar candlestick things.
  • Got fitted.  Needed only one alteration.  Total cost:  $20.
  • Dress was a little tight (oops!), so...bought Wii Active by EA Sports to help slim me down for the big day.
  • Purchased a slip.  I know, I'm a little behind on all the attire!  
  • Scoped out nacho bar supplies.  Planned the whole thing.  It's gonna be almost hassle-free!
  • Bought a veil and some decorations for the centerpieces.
  • Found some white wedding mints, as opposed to the multi-colored pastel kind.  
  • Finally found some giant galvanized tubs to hold the small bottles of coke we'll be serving at the reception.  I've been looking EVERYWHERE for some...and I found them at Tractor Supply Co. of all places.  
It was an incredible weekend, and I'm feeling almost no stress about the wedding at this point. Now the only thing stressing me out is MOVING!  Ugh!  It is amazing how many possessions one person can accumulate in just two years!

Friday, March 27, 2009

that's not a latte

I've been meaning to write about this for a long time now. Finally, I will air my grievances against Sonic, America's Drive-In.

In November, per our usual routine, my family drove from Mountain Home to Beebe, AR to spend Thanksgiving with Granlene and Granddad. It's a long drive -- about 3 hours down winding roads through small towns the entire way. Dad, a notorious caffeine addict, got a little sleepy about an hour into the drive. He needed his afternoon caffeine fix.  The only problem: we were in Mountain View, a tiny little dip in the road that calls itself a town.  

We talked about where we could possibly stop for a bathroom break and a coffee fix. There was always the regular gas station, but the coffee would be out of a pot and would probably have been cooking since early that morning. Then I had a great idea: "Hey," I said, "I saw on a commercial that Sonic has 'premium coffee' now." So we decided to drive by the Sonic for a nice, frothy latte. Dad and I each ordered plain lattes and awaited our yummy caffeinated treat for the afternoon.

The carhop delivered our drinks, and Dad backed the car out of the stall so we could get back to our long drive. Just before he started to turn right out of the driveway, I took a sip. I was immediately appalled at the sickly sugary sweetness. "What the..." I thought. "This is NOT A LATTE!"  I told Dad to take a sip of his before we left. He did, and immediately said, "Crap." He angrily threw the car into reverse, pulled back into the stall, and gave the "latte" to Mom. "Go get me a real coffee," he said. Mom asked if any of the lattes could be made without sugar. "Uh...I don't know; we just have latte mix."  


So, in short, I was disappointed and mildly outraged, even. Lattes do not come from a mix. If it's from a mix, it is NOT a latte! I really think Sonic should be sued for some kind of false advertising. But, maybe I am the only one who is upset enough to care. McDonald's is winning the competition in the "premium coffee" arena among fast food joints, hands down.