Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Weekend of Kanban June 12, 2013

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 10:00 am
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Of course we got a beer while waiting for our parents to show up ;)

Of course we got a beer while waiting for our parents to show up 😉

Friday night Matt and I took both of our parents to Two Brothers Roundhouse for dinner. We wanted to treat them for all their help with the wedding plus neither set of parents had been to the Roundhouse before. The evening couldn’t have gone better. Weather was perfect, great beer on tap and fabulous food. There was even a wedding going on! The real funny story came into play when I found out the following day that I went to high school with the bride! It’s such a small world.

That same night riding on our high of excitement, we consolidated spreadsheets. Don’t get me wrong, the spreadsheets have been great but I needed even more of a visual. As we approach our date my biggest fear is forgetting something. Enter Kanban. It’s an organizing system that is pretty darn basic. For our version, you just need note cards, painter’s tape and a wall. We started by reviewing what was left to do on the spreadsheets and writing each item on a note card. We also indicated on the card when the item is due (month) and whose responsibility it is to complete. About 75 note cards later we were done. Hopefully next week I’ll have a picture to show you of the completed wall!

We’ve even completed a few tasks without the project wall. One is that we secured a musician for the ceremony. The guy is awesome and was totally on par with the type of music Matt and I were looking for. I really can’t wait to see what he comes up with!

Food & Beer, the perfect pairing

Food & Beer, the perfect pairing

The second item was our reception tasting. Yep, we’ve been hanging out in Aurora a lot lately. Monday afternoon we headed out to meet with our coordinator, who we both love! She’s absolutely hilarious and offers wonderful suggestions and ideas. We started the appointment be finalizing a few details like our linens, decor, set-up and our other vendor information. Then we got to the fun stuff – the food! And we even got our choice of beer with the meal. Not only were Matt and I impressed with the food but we both left stuffed! It only made us more excited for the big day.

So that’s the update for now, stay tuned for what we come up with next!


Wedding Update – 5 Months Countdown! May 15, 2013

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 6:52 pm
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This last week the get-er-done list for the wedding sped up. Here’s the update since my last wedding update post:

  • Designed and started work on our invitations

    • All paper purchased minus the matting…I’m waiting for a JoAnn’s sale 🙂

    • Calligrapher booked and envelops dropped off for scripting!

    • Made a decision on the how to close the pocketfold…and I’m not telling until later!

    • We even have a mock-up completed!

  • Centerpiece prototype dropped off to florist. See below for the sneak peak…it won’t be exactly the same as at the wedding so that why I’m ok showing it 🙂 Thanks to Matt for building the prototype! We’re going up in three weeks to the Northwoods to cut down the tree!

    Our centerpiece prototype!

    Our centerpiece prototype!

  • Completed our registries – Amazon, Crate and Barrel and REI.

  • Started work on our website. Domain name bought now we just have some design tweaking and filling it up with content. No sweat!

  • Still need to finalize our wedding bands…good thing we’ve got the hook up in that department!

  • Placed orders for the bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, guys ties and picked out the guys tuxedos.

  • Set an appointment to meet with a local musician for our ceremony music…and started selecting music for the reception.

  • Booked a hair and makeup artist for the ladies.

  • And we have so many appointments to look forward too!

    • Cake appointment

    • Tasting appointment at our reception location

We just tying up some loose ends like making our ring box for the ceremony, figuring out gifts for the bridal party and a few scheduling items. Not too bad. It’s funny, I felt like right after we got engaged we were go-go-go with the wedding. Then we had a bit of a down time in the fall/winter and now it’s picking back up. The most important thing is Matt and I are having fun with it. Talking through our different options and seeing how we can incorporate our tastes and styles. Oh, and getting just a little excited too. Stay tuned for the next update…maybe I’ll even do more sneak peaks of some of the items I mentioned above!


March Wedding Update March 27, 2013

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 1:00 pm
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I figured it’s been a while, so I might as well give you readers a wedding update. Last time I posted about the wedding I was informing everyone that we found the bridesmaid dress. Woohoo! Well since then here’s what we’ve been up to:

  • Asked our ring bearers (yes that’s plural because there will be three)
  • Asked our flower girls (again plural – but only two in this case)
  • Figured out 93% of our invitations
    • Paper – check, well almost, minus actually buying the matting paper
    • Design for inserts – check
    • Self inking address stamp – check (genius!)
    • Calligrapher…still need to book
    • Need a decision on a belly-band or sticker – any thoughts for what should close the pocketfold? I’m open to suggestions!
  • Started work on the centerpieces. I can’t take much credit on this one, Matt’s doing a wonderful job working on prototypes!
  • Started to register. We took one of my best friend’s moms to a wedding registry event at Crate and Barrel. She works for the company and was ever so helpful with suggestions for Matt and I. I think we would have been very overwhelmed without her guidance! Now only REI and Amazon to go!
  • Met with our jeweler, one of dear friends, to get an idea for wedding jewelry – we’ve got some fun ideas planned!
  • Met with our amazing friend who will be doing a special screen print for our guest book. Here are the colors we picked out – the very bottom dark blue and the rich brown.ering

    Our colors for the guest book

    It’s going to be sooo cool, I can’t wait! I love having cool, talented friends. They come in so handy with situations like weddings.

  • Went suit shopping for the guys and found two great options. Now they just have to decide!
  • Received a donation of vases to use at our wedding – thanks Jill! It also helps to have friends who just got married 🙂 They have lots of good resources and leftovers!


    Free vases! Just need a little cleaning!

As you can see, things are moving along nicely. There is still so much to look forward too. I get excited just thinking about it! Stay tuned for the next update.


Wedding Update November 7, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:43 pm
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To give my elbow a break from ranting this week, how about some wedding updates?

Last time I checked in with you it was to inform you of all the craft making for my best friend, Jill’s wedding, and when I said yes to my dress. We’ve made quite a bit of progress since then.

What have we done?

  • Selected our ceremony site
  • Selected our reception venue
  • Booked a photographer
  • Choose our wedding colors
  • Finalized budget
  • Pretty much finalized our guest list
  • Choose our attendants
  • Selected components of our centerpieces
  • Took our engagement photos with Redwall Photography – check them out! I’ve got one example for you below as a teaser.

  • Engagement Shot courtesy of Redwall Photography

On the horizon

  • Choosing a DJ
  • Selecting a hair/make-up artist
  • Securing lodging (finalizing this week)
  • Choosing flowers (hopefully in two weeks)
  • Selecting bridesmaid dresses (getting some ideas this weekend!)
  • Creating our “brand” for the wedding

We’re making great progress. We’re setting goals and achieving them realistically within our budget. I’m glad we’re getting a lot of the major components out of the way now to avoid potential wrinkles down the line, because we all know how things can come up at the last minute!

Going through the process with Matt has also been really fun. We’ve had great conversations about what we want and what we definitely do not want. Having his involvement has been wonderful. He keeps things light and funny, from not knowing “branding” was necessary for a wedding to getting just as stoked as myself about our potential centerpieces.

Stay tuned for more updates!


Wedding Planning Update September 12, 2012

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 9:36 pm
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This past weekend was wedding extravaganza. As many of the readers know, I got engaged about a month ago. But what our readers may not know is that my best friend Jill is having her U.S. wedding in December. So, between the two of us there is a lot of wedding stuff going on.

Friday night we got caught up on how things were progressing with each of our endeavors. I cooked an excellent chicken, pasta and basil bake and then we headed over to Oberweis for dessert. Once we got back we got straight to work. Well, more like Jill put me to work.

We set up two stations at the dining room table to make paper flowers. Instead of real flowers at her wedding, Jill is creating paper ones. Since Jill has contracted my services before, and my results weren’t exactly spectacular, I limited myself to just stamping and rolling. I’m a firm believer at sticking with my strengths. Plus this time around, Jill gave much better directions on how to make the flower petals. We were able to crank out seven petals for the flowers that night.


Paper Flowers

To help you visualize the flowers here is a picture. Below is the example of when Jill didn’t give good directions. Hence, my flower is on the right and hers is on the left.

The next morning we had a leisurely breakfast before heading over to meet up with my mom and future mother-in law for wedding dress shopping. We had a great time and even enjoyed a meal at the Cheesecake Factory per Jill’s request. The day flew by and was full of a lot of emotions. I won’t give any more details besides the fact that I did say, “yes to the dress”.

But the shopping was not over. Jill and I headed over to Hobby Lobby for some crafty purchases. An idea I have for our save the date had me looking for cut-out numbers, which I chose after looking at a couple of different font choices. Jill bought a few items for her centerpieces as well as some more ink for stamping her flowers. Thank you to Coupon Sherpa for letting us get 40% of one item using the mobile application. Sweet!

With our Hobby Lobby bags in hand, we headed back to my apartment for more crafting. Setting aside two hours we blasted through making enough petals for another six flowers. After that accomplishment we treated ourselves to a movie. We naturally had to  stick with the theme of the weekend, so we watched “Made of Honor”.

Sunday was resource day. We pinned on Pinterest, and swapped a few websites, newsletters and books. It was a great day to wrap up all that we had accomplished and to get more ideas for the future. Can’t wait to see what’s in store!


St. Louie & Sweet Home Chicago February 21, 2012

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:11 pm
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This past weekend was the weekend I took the Amtrak train down to St. Louis.  It took us just about 5 hours to get there, which was faster than the 5.5 that we were scheduled for.  My friend and I LOVED the fact that we didn’t have to rush home from work and drive down South.  Traveling by train let us do all the work up front:

Get to Union station on time

Find the kiosk to print our tickets

…grab some food, and claim a good spot on the train.  Then we were able to relax for the rest of the time.  Whereas driving would be 5 hours of concentrating on the road, navigating where to go…not to mention having to make stops for food and bathroom breaks. Our dear friend picked us up and we spent the rest of the weekend helping her out with wedding planning.  It was good insight into what planning a wedding is like.  Some of it was fun, like picking out items for a candy bar, but even then you worry about making the right decisions.  Making decisions can be hard, but we found once you make a decision it’s easiest when you stick with it and try to complete it right away.  We helped with the table assignment design {you know when you walk into the reception and need to know where to sit?} as well as the table numbers.  It was fun for me to get to help and my friend was extremely happy to get a couple items checked off her to-do list.  I didn’t get to see much of St. Louie, but I will have plenty of time for that when I go for the actual wedding! We took a very early train home and got back to Chicago {after a bit of a delay and longer ride-6 hrs this time} around 1pm.  It was nice to get home with enough time to unpack and get some chores done before the week began.  Is anyone else weird about Sundays?  I normally hate to schedule anything on Sundays because I feel I need to prepare for Monday.  Not really sure why? I actually had plans at night to go to a restaurant downtown called Sepiawith two other couples.

Unique Front Door to Sepia

Our friends Tom and Kim set up reservations for all of us {Karla, Matt, Dave, and I} to go.  Right now it’s Chicago Restaurant Week.  For those unfamiliar, it’s a week that restaurants set a prix fix {or preset} menu for a discounted price.  For example, Sepia’s least expensive entrée usually costs $29.00.  But during this special week you pay $33 a person for three courses.  Here were our choices:

~Three Courses ~


duck sugo, grana padano



blood orange and baby arugula


dill, apple, buttermilk or


sauerkraut, potatoes, mustard jus


chocolate cake, meringue, almonds or



coconut cake, dried fruit chutney

chef andrew Zimmerman & pastry chef cindy schuman

I marked the choices I made in green.  Though I got to try most everything on the menu with 6 people at the table.  The food at Sepia is all organic, locally grown, or sustainable.  I felt very happy to support a restaurant like that.  I also really liked the actual restaurant space.  It’s an old printing mill that was converted to a restaurant.  I could tell that they put a lot of thought into each detail inside.

I loved the floor for some reason

And the vibe was very warm while being hip at the same time.  The drinks were delicious too and it was great to experience a fancy restaurant that I might not otherwise be able to afford.  Dave liked it so much he said he would like to go to one restaurant per day during next year’s restaurant week.  I like the ambition!


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