Black + Brown

To begin my summer of biking, I acquired a Biria fixed gear with a flip flop hub from Joe’s Cycles in Fountain Square.

I love this bike.  I scoped out several bike styles at a few of the local bike shops around Indy and liked several of my options, but on the advice of my husband (“Don’t get it if you don’t LOVE it,”) I continued looking.  I guess you could say that I am (was) culturally opposed to fixed gear bikes and the anarchy that they stand (stood) for; but I’m also down to try anything.  Joe was confident I’d like this bike – I scrunched my nose at the ‘fixed gear’, but when I got on and rode it…I fell in love.  It was unexplainable.  It shouldn’t have worked that well.  And I shouldn’t have liked it that much.  But it felt like an extension of myself; like I was actually in control of the bike.  I was surprised, but I walked out with that Biria and refused to take it back for it’s “check up” until recently, because I didn’t want it to be out of my hands for a second.

Riding with some casual cyclists around town has inspired me to add some features to my bike to give it a personality all ‘my’ own; so here’s what I did:

20120509-193727.jpg
Before: Biria fixed gear, (see Joe’s Cycles for $ info)

I went for the drop bars (left over from my husband’s bike) wrapped in brown leather (Torelli), and a matching brown leather seat (Brev).  I am really impressed with the results.  It’s serious, sophisticated, and sleek.  Next: a rack on the back.

20120509-193736.jpg
After: Biria fixed gear; work done by Cody at Joe’s Cycles.

Thank You

At the moment, I’m writing thank-you cards.

Laurel Notecards by Rifle Paper Co., at MercierBeauCoupShop dot com

I’m a big fan of stationery and hand-writing, and I find that the best excuse to buy more pretty stationery and do more hand-writing is to write thank-you cards.

These in particular are to clients. This instance is my favorite, because clients are the least expectant of a thank-you card. When they receive them, I don’t imagine that the card ends up in the recycling bin mere moments after the crisp zip of the letter opener has freed it from its envelope. No, instead, I imagine the smirky smile that crosses her face as her shoulders relax, happy to have a piece of mail cross her desk that wasn’t asking her for something in return.

Don’t be fooled, though, I do get something out of it as well.  A sense of satisfaction; the cathartic release that putting pen to paper provides.  I’ve heard from teacher-friends and scholars that they will stop teaching handwriting to youngsters one day.  They say we won’t need it; that computers will fulfill all of our correspondence needs.  As much as I love the quick efficiency of my computer keyboard, and my ever-improving mobile keyboard skills, I can’t imagine it replacing the art of handwriting.

So, for the sake of all that is holy, like good manners, your mother, and handwriting – pick up a piece of construction paper, card stock, or even a sticky note; fold it in half; flip it open and write a note of encouragement, salutations, congratulations, or just a hello…then give it to a friend.

{or, take a picture, and post it here!}

She works hard for the money…

This morning I left my house with a cheerful

“Goodbye! Have a wonderful day!”

…from my maid.

Is ‘maid’ right?  Is ‘housekeeper’ better?  ‘Cleaner’?  What do I call her?  I’ll call her Olga…since that’s her name.

I had much inner conflict about hiring help to clean my house.  I just always felt I wasn’t ‘that’ person.  I felt that I didn’t make ‘enough’ money to justify that kind of luxury.   After all, who am I trying to impress?

After much internal debate, I decided that I would impress myself; do this for me.  Instead of getting a massage, a haircut or manicure, or a cute new pair of shoes, I dedicated that money to hire a cleaner – Olga.

I’m still conflicted, though.  On one hand, I think that it’s unfair that I have to justify such an expense with reason and logistics, even in my own mind.  I think it’s a ‘female’ thing:  I don’t want others to judge me based on the fact that I spend a little money on some extra help.  At the same time, I don’t want others to judge me based on how dingy my walls, baseboards, and kitchen sink are when they come over to my house.

Alas, you can’t have it both ways, so there it is – out in the open:  I hired outside help.  For a woman, that’s just like saying,

“I admit it, I did not make this delicious cake, hand-knit scarf, juicy pot roast, nor did I squeeze this fresh lemonade – it is from a mix.”

On the bright side, I’m supporting our local economy.  Olga runs her own tax-paying business, and will no doubt spend my money, recycling it back into the Indianapolis economy, the state’s economy, and eventually the nation’s economy.

So please, when you come over, do admire that my picture frames do not have dust on them, and that there are no dust-bunnies under the bed, because I worked hard to pay someone to do that…

That’s a wrap:

This past weekend, Ben & I tested a new frontier in our relationship: “the workplace”.
Ben put together a team of filmmakers, editors, techies, musicians and movie-nerds, to which I added a mix of actors/actresses, and a bit of food, and the 15 of us formed CinemaPony Films to create a short film for the Indianapolis 48 Hour Film Project.

With the goal of making a 4-7minute film, in a genre given to us just Friday night, we tried to map out the schedule of the weekend the best we could.  Between 7pm Friday evening and 7:30pm Sunday evening, we had to squeeze in:
Finding  a Plot
Writing a story – and a script
Assigning the actors/roles
Rounding up mandatory props
Finding a Location to shoot at
Write music for the film
and Edit the film!

I guess my “real” job was to keep everything organized and “on time”, which included making sure people showed up at the right place, at the right time, making sure all our paperwork was filled out, signed, and delivered (and dear god, if that’s not all kosher – I will just scream). Another aspect of my job was to keep everything “on schedule” – which is a dumb job to have around Ben Masbaum, because, well, he’s just going to do what he wants to do.

“Hello, my name is Rebecca Masbaum, and I have control issues.”
(“hi Rebecca…”)

Creatively, it always seems that whatever Ben wants to do is pretty righteous.  The look and feel of the final edit of the film is really impressive.  It’s amazingly lucky for us to have 3 highly skilled editors on our team, plus a pro actress, and 2 supporting actors who just found out they have a heck-of-a-lotta hidden talent.  And it never fails to impress me how dedicated Ben’s friends are to projects that they do together.  That’s brotherhood for ya….

Not to say our weekend was one big love ‘fest full of rainbows and unicorns… we definitely met our challenges – creatively and technically.  Including, but not limted to, a power outage at 9am on Sunday morning that ultimately cost us 5 hours of work:
2 hours to find the files and and the complete sequence in Final Cut.
3 hours of editing that was done between 6am – 9am.

By noon, the editing team was back on track, sort of, but definitely hours behind “my preferred schedule.”  Later, leaving very little time to export the file, and almost zero time to test it before submitting it, we realized that it was .03Gigs larger than the largest thumb drive or DVD capacity we had.  So we had to sacrifice one of our editor’s flash drives, and hopefully he’ll get it back this weekend after the screening.  But, the film and all the components were turned in – on time.  7:25pm, yes.  But still on time.  And, as we reviewed the final edit – after turning it in, crossing our fingers nothing was askew – we breathed a sigh of relief when we saw just how perfect it was!

While, yes, the team is probably thankful that I kept them fed all weekend and found a 4-star acting team, I think mostly  they might say I contributed a lot of tension to the 48 hours.  I’m not a diplomatic person, and I’m not known for keeping my opinions to myself, and I’m even more not known for letting a person get away with deliberately ignoring FACTS.  But that kind of “philosophy” doesn’t lend itself to creating a nurturing atmosphere on set.  🙂  But what can I say – I’ll let Jillian Michaels say it instead, with a quote that embodies how I’ve been living my life, before I even knew how to define it.

 “The worst advice I ever got was to be diplomatic, because it compromised my authentic truth. ‘Don’t fight this; don’t stand up for that; be a good girl; don’t be a troublemaker’ — fuck you!” – Jillian Michaels

Same-day Wedding Videos

I recently got an email from a friend of mine who is in the throes of planning her wedding. She turned me on to this videographer who does SAME DAY WEDDING VIDEOS!

What I mainly hear from planning brides is that a videographer is just one more expense that they don’t see the value in. They imagine the video to be a clunky boring piece of media they *might* show their kids one day. I think this video might change their minds.  This is the video of my friend’s friends, Matt & Leslie:

Steve Zugelter, owner of Studio Z Films, and creator of the gorgeous video above, gives brides a revolutionary solution for wedding videography.  He and his team capture every moment of the wedding preparation, the ceremony, and the exit.  Then, instead of waiting the standard 2+ weeks to receive your completed video, Studio Z edits the footage and presents the final video to you and your wedding guests that SAME NIGHT, during dinner!

That’s quick, right?!  I didn’t believe it – until I saw it.  Wish I knew about this for my wedding!  Now, you can use it for yours!

From IndySpectator: Indy’s Outdoor Venues

Not just because I’m a contributor to IndySpectator, but for many many good reasons, I wanted to share this post about outdoor wedding venues here in Indianapolis. Many of my engaged friends have pondered the possibilities of staging their wedding at their favorite outdoor location; some locations are more feasible than others. But these below, submitted by Crystal Grove of Snappening, an online event planning resource in Indianapolis, eliminate the need to wonder, and empower you to make it happen. Yes, most outdoor venues are more expensive than the average indoor venue. But for many, it’s worth it!  What venues have you visited and liked?  Disliked?

The Wedding Day Diary: Reception

After the kisses and hugs came the wrangling of family members and bridesmaids and groomsmen for pictures! This did not thin out the crowd at all. Ben’s large family + my large family = 99% of the attendees at the wedding. I thought I had fine-tuned this part so that it would go quickly and smoothly, but no such luck. I really felt bad for Kris & Nikki during this part –

  • OK, all of Ben’s family – yes, everyone.  Everyone that is here that is related to Ben by blood, get in the picture!
  • Now add me.
  • Ok, now just Ben’s immediate family.
  • Now add me.
  • Just Ben & his immediate immediate family – – where are his parents?…just a few more pics!
  • Now add me.
  • Ok, Ben & his brothers & sisters?  Ok? no?
  • Ok, my entire family – gather in the middle.  no the middle.  In a circle.  no no no – a circle!
  • Yes, the ENTIRE family – in-laws, nephews, etc.  Look up!  Look straight ahead!
  • Ok, add Ben.
  • Ok, just me & my brothers and sisters.  They’re spouses?  Dang it – no, not yet – we’ll do that next.
  • Now add Ben
  • What?  no no!  We still need the groomsmen & bridesmaids; we’ll be just a second!
  • Ok, from the balcony?  Ok.  uh, yeah cool from the balcony too then.
  • Ok, just me & my mom??  No?  Ok, add Ben

I didn’t plan that well at all.  And while I’m trying to corral people together, Ben has kidnapped Kris & has started taking Glamour Shots with his Groomsmen.

My shoes are KILLING me.

I don’t even know how long it took to take all those pictures.  But it was at least three-times longer than I planned on it taking.  I hope the appetizers kept guests occupied and full 🙂

I couldn’t WAIT to finally get to the party.  The Reception!  The Harrison Center for the Arts‘ ancient gymnasium had been magically transformed to my Shabby-Chic-Rustic-Romantic gala of my dreams by Natalie & La Vida Dulce Events, and to my knowledge the beer & wine were flowing, the DJ was rockin’ and everyone was waiting for us to show up!

We walked into the reception to one of Ben’s original songs he had written for a film he did the previous year in school – a bouncy fun piano tune.  The DJ had been having so many problems with it, he passive-aggressively made a point to highlight the fact that we insisted on playing it.   But, the DJ was one aspect of the wedding that I had to realize that no matter how much control I tried to exert over it, I just wasn’t going to get my way entirely.  I submitted a 3-hour long play list for the wedding, highlighting the songs I wanted to play at certain times, during certain things.  I just didn’t expect him to play it all before I arrived….  But, I did also have a few DO NOT PLAY UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH songs on my list, and luckily they never showed up.  But, it just irks me to have gone out of my way to designate certain songs for certain things, and then not hear those songs.  But it seemed that everyone had a fine time anyway, and he played all the requests that people could dish out!

Yes, a fine time was had by all, after Ben & I got out first dance out of the way.  We danced to Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”.  It was perfect for us!  Then we allowed everyone to eat!  The best thing about getting married is that you’re first in line for the buffet!  Ok ok, the BEST thing is getting all those awesome tax benefits.  Ok, for real, the really REAL BEST thing about getting married is being so in love you can’t contain it any longer and have to share and show your love to all your friends and family!!  A very close second is the buffet line jumping.

Trust me, you would want to be at the head of this buffet.  The Jazz Kitchen catered our wedding, and the brilliant chef-owner, and dear friend David Allee was there personally.  I’m not just saying this, because every bride thinks SHE had the best, but I really DID have the BEST food at my wedding.  Ask anyone there.  Pork loin with cranberry & apple compote, Roasted Vegetable tortellini, delicious moist cornbread…I couldn’t get enough!  The easiest, most stress-free part of my wedding was working with The Jazz Kitchen and Lu-Ann – she foresaw things I hadn’t thought of, and took care of them before there was a problem.  The food was a no-brainer; it’s my favorite food in the Midwest easily, so of course I was going to use them as my caterer; but my expectations were totally exceeded.

So what’s for dessert?  Well, SOME people, who shall go unnamed, ate their dessert FIRST!  Looking back, one of the funniest moments in mind is as Ben & I walked to our table at the reception, I gazed around, looking at the tables, the table runners, the tree-stump centerpieces, and the cakes and cupcakes that were displayed on top of each centerpiece.  Rather, that should’ve been displayed on top of each centerpiece.  My eyes (and heart) stopped at a table very close to me whose tree-stump centerpiece had neither a small round cake, nor several dainty cupcakes.  Mini panic-attack ensues, covered by a plastered on smile from ear to ear.  I wasn’t worried that the people at the table wouldn’t get cake – no, there was plenty to be had and shared.  It just didn’t look…cohesive.  There was one glaring bald spot in the meadow of shabby-chic table clothes and centerpieces.  How could this happen?!  As soon as I had a free moment, I asked.  Turns out, immediately upon sitting down, everyone at the table lay claim to one of the brightly decorated cupcakes and couldn’t just leave it unprotected upon the stump – no – they had to have it on the plate right in front of them.  Everyone at that table did this.  It cracked me the hell up.

Yes, it’s important to have good looking cakes (and/or cupcakes, whatever your preference) at the wedding.  To me, it’s equally important that they be the best damn cakes/cupcake you’ve had in your life.  I thought I had found the best cupcakes when I tasted the famous Flying Cupcake Bakery’s offerings.  But, on a whim, I decided to give an old High School friend’s bakery upstart a try – in the name of trying to keep my vendors über local.  Mica Gosnel calls her miracle creation factory “Confectioneiress Cupcakes”.  To eat one is to experience the joy of having the entire Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie explode in your mouth.  I had been looking forward to eating 5 specific cupcakes that entire day:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Lemon/Vanilla
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Food & Drink flowed (the drinks thanks to last-minute helpers Natalie, Tony, Eric, Zach and many others) and toasts were made.  Ben’s Mom & Dad’s toasts were incredibly sweet; I’m so lucky to be so thoroughly and seamlessly accepted and loved by Ben’s family.  Zach’s speech was very funny, without being painful.  Then, who won the “painfully funny” award, you ask?  My brother.  After a long pause after the other toasts were done, Curtis (my oldest brother, who walked me down the aisle.  Who sheltered me during my first job out of college.  Who will one day insist that I pay him for his legal advice…) regaled us with good tidings and “welcomed Ben to the…genital pool.”

What?

“Welcome to the gene pool” would have been embarrassing enough, but genital pool?!  I was mortified.  Hysterically mortified.  Honestly, I didn’t mind at all.  I’m glad, thankful, that my brother got up and spoke on my family’s behalf.   And, his snafu is an exactly accurate portrayal of my side of the family!  My brother is an extremely intelligent, and very learned, lawyer, and regardless of that he’s still human.  And I think that describes me to a T too.  hahaha.  And it was one of the most memorable, funniest moments of the day.

My reception could STILL be going on right now, six months later, and I wouldn’t be tired of it.  I wish I had gotten to talk to people a whole lot more.  I wish I hadn’t danced in those damn shoes for SO long.

The next day, we were off to our honeymoon
and we’re still on it.

Married Life: On the Run

Hubby & I, over our glorious 2-week honeymoon, decided that we needed a “project” to tackle together once we got back to normal life.

All my lady-friends have warned me that there are dangers of “post-nuptial depression”. It makes sense. All those months of dedicating the majority of my free time to imagining, thinking, creating — then second-guessing everything about one single day. What exactly is a bride supposed to do with her free time post-wedding?

I’ve never been one to have a lack of things to do, so I thankfully haven’t felt the slump yet; maybe this Running project has worked. The Mr. & I hit the ground running when we got back from California. We signed up for the Ripple Effect 4-mile run put on by the Broad Ripple Village Association. Then, almost every night, we ran. Well, jogged. Ok, he mainly ran, while I jogged, but really often walked. Hey, I tried! Running is completely new for me, so my goal was to just work up to being able to jog for at least a mile of the upcoming 4-mile jaunt.

Just a year ago, I had major surgery so I could do just this sort of activity. I’m disappointed it took me a whole year to finally commit to it, but better late than never. Before my breast reduction, running was NOT an option. So as I set out for my first run, I was shocked at how, well, *un-cumbersome* it was to just physically move my body in that fashion. Until it actually became quite painful because my lower body isn’t used to anything more rigorous than a pair of pumps and few flights of stairs. I realized I had a long way to go before I’d be able to complete 4 miles in the Ripple Effect.

Labor Day weekend finally came and Sunday evening we lined up – at the back of the line – outside of the Running Company in Broad Ripple with hundreds of other people.  Professionals.  People that eat short runs like this one for breakfast.  My goal was to run the complete first mile…and not finish last.

As we ran by BW3s, we were cheered on by a surprise gang of our friends — how embarrassing :).  But we trudged through, and I almost completed the first mile.  Stopping again to “power-walk” just before 65th St., my mind started to do the math.  The course took us 10 streets up to 75th, but my house was just 2 blocks away.  So very tempting to just peel away from the stream of runners and just WALK home!  But I kept going.  In the middle of mile 2, however, it became painfully difficult to keep up the pace – walking or jogging.  So many people were passing me.  I totally used all will in first mile and forgot to save any…

Thank God and BRVA for water stations…

Mile 3:  My knee hurt so much I was sure it was broken.  A broken knee.  Devoted husband kept me going.  This was a cake-walk for him, so I really appreciated him giving me some mental push.  He’s the whole reason I didn’t finish last.

In the last mile, as septua- and octogenarians began to pass me, I  focused on one lady in particular and vowed not to let her beat me.  So I ran, then walked, then ran, then walked, then moaned in pain, until I finally passed her.  The final 2 blocks of the race were in sight, and we jogged it in, finishing in 58-minutes.  That gives me a 14.5 minute mile.  The Summer of my Freshman year of high school I ran a 9-minute mile.  Mostly out of fear of being made fun of if I ever stopped.  Not this time though, not even fear would’ve given me a 9-minute mile.

Crossing the finish line gave me instant confidence.  And a to-do list.  I was glad I finished the race, and it inspired me to sign up for more runs.  I’d like to bring my next official pace time down to a 12-minute mile.  I’ll get that chance at the Drumstick Dash in November – and hopefully the Mr. will be my running partner again!

If the Shoe Fits…

Harder than finding THE dress, and maybe even more fun for me, is finding THE shoes to wear during my moment to shine! I chose a short wedding dress so that I can showcase the shoes! So I invite you all to join in the fun with me…

The Rules:
1.) Vote for your favorite shoe, based on
a.) what you know about me,
b.) what you know about my wedding (see rest of blog),
c.) your honest opinion about the look of the shoe.

2.) Do not Google how much these shoes cost then base your choice on the price.
3.) Feel free to vote for more than one shoe!  Just rank them…
4.) Leave your votes in the comment section!

The Axelle, by Nina

Axelle, by Nina; Ivory Luster Satin

Studio 120, by Christian Louboutin

Studio 120, by Christian Louboutin; Gray Satin w/ clear rhinestones & sequins

Decollete, by Christian Louboutin

Decollete, by Christian Louboutin; Nude Leather

CL, by Christian Louboutin

CL, by Christian Louboutin; Nude Leather, w/ Silver & rhinestone heel

New Simple, by Christian Louboutin

New Simple, by Christian Louboutin; Nude Patent Leather maryjane

So there they are!  Despite the pricey brand names, believe me, I’ve found a great website that offers these very above knock-offs for under $100 – which is my limit for spending on these shoes.  There, I’ve gotten very personal with you – I don’t like to share money matters with complete strangers – but I feel it was necessary in order to help you help me!

Happy Voting!

The etiquette of making it Rain.

A wedding shower is a tradition that has been passed down through bridal tradition for thousands of years.  I’ve no idea what the tradition means to the modern bride.  But oh so long ago it was a necessary part of a woman’s journey into marriage.

In days of old, the bridal shower was an occasion for the women from both the bride’s family and the groom’s family gathered with the bride to teach her how to be a top-notch bride, and to share some secrets on having a great sex life.

Now, the bridal shower is filled with cheeky games and Tupperware, and food.  I admittedly have been to very few bridal showers in my life, so I’m not sure why I was dreading my own.  Maybe it was all the frustrations my bridesmaids had planning the party, maybe it was that I secretly feared there would be actual sexual advice said aloud in a room of mixed company, maybe I was nervous because none of my family would be there.  I do know that I had no idea what a modern-day bridal shower was all about.

All my fears were calmed after just a few minutes inside.  My bridesmaids Hilary, Heidi, Monica & Kate had decorated and set up a real crowd-pleaser of a party!

They really did a great job – from the cake to the napkins – it was all SO Rebecca.  They ❤ Me 🙂

Refreshments
Cake!
Flowers!

I was really excited that everything looked amazing (and tasted amazing!)…but what were we going to DO?  Luckily, my MIL Karen came up with three n0t-too-cheesy games.  And the prizes for the winners?  Flowers from her very own back-yard garden, the very one Ben & I will be married within in just 55 days!  What a cool lady!

The first game I had to correctly guess what Ben’s answers were to 10 questions.  The questions were along the lines of “What’s Ben’s favorite movie?”, “Who is Ben’s hero?”,  “Boxers, briefs…or commando?”.   Guests kept score.  Sadly, I only got 50% of them right!  But, to be fair, Ben answered  a couple of them WRONGLY!  lol.  This game was HILARIOUS.  At least the answers I did get right, I got them word-for-word right.  It’s something.

I shoulda got more answers right!

Then, we played “What’s in Rebecca’s Purse?” – the winner was the person with the most matching items.  Luckily, I brought my full bag of tricks.

Finally, we had a fashion show!  Four teams competed in making a wedding dress out of toilet paper!  My long-time lovely friend Jon Garrison was the only male in attendance, and he was such a good sport!  He served as a model on one of the teams and allowed the girls to swathe him in toilet paper and adorn him with a flowered headdress.

And I had to pick a winner.  I chose Jon.  But it was because of his team spirit.  The best design truly did belong to the team of Kate, Monica, Sarah, and Kristin.  I absolutely would’ve worn the dress they designed.

The models!

Then, I opened presents.  And I didn’t once, not even ONCE, have to fake excitement.  I am so thankful for the small, intimate, close-knit family and friends that love me – they know exactly who I am, and never cease to make me happy!

haha! My happy-face.

I made everyone a little take-home thank-you gift — well, I didn’t MAKE them — I re-packaged locally made gourmet marshmallows from 240-Sweet.  These things are a sugar-lovers heaven, so watch out!  I packed the marshmallows in twos and made stickers for the package using an owl stamp my friend and bridesmaid Hilary got for me.

A
Treats from 240Sweet

And I must say a big thank you to friend and bridesmaid Heidi for getting us the space at local coffee shop Hubbard & Cravens.  It was beautiful and perfect for 20 or so people!

Hubbard & Cravens

I may still not know what a bridal shower means to this generation of brides.  If you have any ideas, please let me know!  But what I do know is that I definitely felt the love and support that day that often brides start to become deprived of when they bury their heads in their own little world of wedding planning.  I felt grounded and happy surrounded by that group of friends and future family that day.  And if that’s all I learn about bridal showers…then that’s enough.

xoxo

view more party fun here!