Thursday, December 3, 2009

BFFs Through Thick and Thin






I am thrilled to be a bridesmaid in my best friend Sarah’s wedding next Fall, woo hoo! We kicked off a year of wedding festitvites this past weekend with a mafia-style Italian drunken fiesta in North Beach this past Saturday. Sarah gave each bridesmaid a letter to emphasize her Bridezilla-ness and fabulousness:


Hi Girls,


The day has finally come ... I am tying the knot with the one and only Mr. Grover. I figured I would write to each one of you to ensure we were on the same page with all bridesmaids and ME the wonderful bride. I have made a list of “bridesmaid duties” so there is no confusion on this journey down the aisle with me. I really believe in the formal wedding etiquette and I expect for all of you to abide the following requests:


1. You must never wear any wedding ring/nice baubles around me since my ring must be the center of attention at all times.

2. Do not diet before the wedding since I must be the skinny bitch of the group
3. Ask me if I need anything prior to the big day, including driving me, feeding me, and making sure I look good at all times
4. Check in with me once a week with all updated information on planning.
5. I expect the most amazing bachelorette party, everyone must match in pink and black and I want seven Chippendale dancers in a luxury suite. I will only go out if you glue condoms to a veil that I can go out in later that night!
6. Don’t make a spectacle out of yourself by drinking too much, this is a sober event.
7. Do not complain about any of my decisions on dresses or accessories.
8. I expect a long praising speech from each of you about all of my amazing qualities at each event as well as the wedding day.


J/K, I’m sick to my stomach even writing those things, HAHAHA.


On a serious note, I am so honored to have you girls by my side for my wedding day. I am so excited to plan and party for the next year. For many years we have been through thick and thin (literally, have you seen my ass?) and ups and truthfully not that many downs! You have helped me become the person I am today and nothing makes me happier than planning this wedding with you four. I have to confess my love to you and tell you how much fun I am having planning this with you!


Cheers to a really fun year!


Xoxoxoox


Sarah

Monday, November 30, 2009

Brunch at Beretta

Ok, ok, I know brunch has nothing to do with my big fat Indian wedding, but brunch on a sunny Sunday morning is my number one favorite thing on the planet. Today future hubby, sister, bro-in-law, and I went to Beretta in the mission for brunch and it was spectacular. Hubby had a breakfast pizza and it was one of the most amazing things I've ever eaten. If you ever go there try the charred radicchio, its pure heaven. How delish does this look? I mean, who doesn't love pictures of food?!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Saree Scramble


I land in Bombay on January 21st. My wedding is February 4th (and festivities start five days before that). I don’t have a wedding saree yet as I’m waiting to get to Bombay to start the search. (Have you ever heard of a bride waiting until the WEEK BEFORE HER WEDDING to find her dress?!) Ahhhh … xanex, please. When I am staying up with thoughts of weddings and travels running through my head I often scour the internet for images of pretty white sarees to get me excited and ready for the seven-day dash. I found this one today by my all-time favorite Indian designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee … it literally took my breath away. (However, I just got an email from my sister saying she didn’t like it and the color was too drab. Sigh. The search continues ...) 




Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Haathi Search


My search for the perfect elephant for the invite is full swing underway. We are pretty much scouring the internet for cute ellies that my fabulous friend will help transform into a graphic for our invite. Here are some of my fave picks, let me know which is your favorite and if you find any other irresistible ones:



Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Lichens You


My love affair with Etsy and paper continues. I have a not-so secret dream to open my very own stationary shop one day. I hope that it looks something like this fabulous lady, thegreatlakes on Etsy. I love her simple yet heart-grabbing phrases, delectable graphics, and effortless style. The great lakes is a hand printed goods company based in Brooklyn with a love of all things natural and nostalgic that fuel the design campfires.






Sunday, October 18, 2009

Flowers by Studio Choo

We finalized our florist finally. (Hurray!) We are going with Studio Choo based out of Pacifica. Their designs are simple, colorful, and so my style. (See below, gorgeous, no?)
 

I am a huge fan of their vision too:

Studio Choo uses flowers that are locally grown (whenever possible) and always fresh and seasonal. The containers include “one of a kind” vintage pots, hand-crafted vases from independent artists, and vessels reclaimed sustainably from nature.



Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pom Love



By now you know that I adore everything paper—especially paper flowers. This wedding season it seems that lanterns are out and poms are in. Poms are marigold-looking flowers made of tissue paper. Martha Stewart has an awesome do-it-yourself guide to making your own poms. Pom Love on Etsy corners the markets on the best Poms around. I am still struggling on what to do with the high ceilings at the gallery. 


One florist suggested using clusters of Poms scattered between candles, I am into it but not sure if it’s “the one” for us. I do like the marigold look as marigolds are a huge part of Indian weddings but my mom says no as they are practically considered weeds in the motherland! I am kinda into the super clustered Poms with lanterns hanging look below … hmmm … to pom or not to pom? (Did I really just say that?!)










Sunday, October 11, 2009

All About the Invite


My latest wedding project is the invitations. Our very good family friend is an incredible designer and she’s helping me craft the invite, which we’ll send off to the printer. Although I have yet to decide what the final design will be, I know it will have a modern-Indian flavor. I adore these elephant ones from one of my favorite blogs, Dolciodille—so cute, so whimsy, and so unique!

{Photos by Our Labor of Love}











Thursday, October 8, 2009

Los Novios






I remember making papel picado in my sixth grade Spanish class. I love this idea of decorating your reception with your names in traditional Mexican flair. I picture these hanging from sticks intertwined with lights at an outdoor reception—adorable, whimsical, and wedding-budget friendly.


aymujer







Saturday, October 3, 2009

Life Is a Mystery … Everyone Must Stand Alone




I love to get drunk and dance. Anybody who knows Shyla Batliwalla, knows this. (If you don’t know me, see exhibit A above, that’s me about four years ago on the dance floor in DC in yes … a t-shirt that says “Future Rock Star.” Clearly, this makes the DJ a crucial decision for the big day. I found a dude on yelp named DJ Jeremy who had over thirty reviews nearly all of which were five stars. Damn! I thought … I called him up and he turned out to be pretty kick-ass. A few weeks later, my coworker told me she went to a wedding and the DJ was utterly amazing. She went on and on about how great he was to the point of saying she’d fly him out to her wedding in Ohio if she could. Man, I thought, I gotta get dude’s name. Turns out dun daaa da daaa, it was the same DJ Jeremy! Woo Hoo! Check that off the list. We are going to see him tonight DJ at a bar in San Francisco. I can’t wait to—you guessed it—get drunk and dance.


Here’s ten dance song that must be played at my wedding. Please add a comment of what song would get you on the dance floor:
  1. Like a Prayer, Madonna
  2. Don’t Stop Believing, Journey
  3. I Wanna Dance with Somebody, Whitney Houston
  4. Jai Ho, A.R. Rahman
  5. Total Eclipse of the Heart, Bonnie Tyler
  6. Single Ladies, Beyonce
  7. Simply the Best, Tina Turner
  8. Go West, Pet Shop Boys
  9. World Hold On, Bob Sinclar
  10. Livin’ on a Prayer, Bon Jovi


Note: The YMCA, Macarena, Electric Slide, and all of that crap is STRICTLY banned.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Images with Words

... because a picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes a picture with words is just priceless.






Saturday, September 19, 2009

Closet Girly Girl

Anybody who knows me knows that I hate anything overtly girly—especially pinks, pastels, and frills. There is one stereotypically girly thing that I have grown to adore and that’s flowers. Especially paper flowers, plastic ring flowers, fabric flowers … ugh, so bee-you-tee-ful. In my daily etsy email I came across a designer named FancifulForm. Her handmade floral creations are simply breathtaking. I love the Indian-inspired lotus. The lotus is India’s national flower and a symbol of growth and enlightenment. I also adore the mustard yellow rose ring. I have lots of little rose-inspired jewels (mostly plastic from Forever 21) but none as gorgeous as this one.

I picture one of these white lotus flowers on a brightly colored Indian table linen surrounded by tea lights on the table … ugh … so beautiful I can’t stand it! Oh, I also picture one of those rings (and necklaces) delicately draped on me. I swear, if I could register on Etsy I would.



Thursday, September 17, 2009

Pretty Pretty Paper

There are a few places that I must visit every time I go to Bombay: the Sea Lounge, the coffee shop at the Taj Mahal hotel, Copper Chimney (best kabobs and naan in India), and Chiminlals, the paper store. Indians are world-renowned for their beautiful handicrafts and one of our specialties is handmade paper. From notepaper to wrapping paper and chocolate boxes to tissue boxes, Chiminlalas is a one-stop stationary shop. (And the prices! If you convert, it’s just an embarrassment—so cheap!) Unfortunately, you can’t order Chiminlal’s products online in the USA. Fortunately, I stumbled across Indkia Imports, an online boutique that carries the same high-quality high-beauty products available in the USA. Hurray!

While I am still figuring out how and where I’ll include pretty Indian paper on our big day, I know this is one Indian tradition I won’t forget.



Sunday, September 13, 2009

Faboo Fabric Flowers

I am obsessed with this flower garland from Dolci Odille. The art gallery we are getting married at (did I mention yet that we are getting married at a gallery?!) has high ceilings with structures made to hang stuff from. I’ve been racking my (and my creative friends) brains for what to do with the ceiling space. These fabric flowers and draping fabric are one of my favorite ideas so far. We could use some Indo-fabric and make it gorge. I LOVE!






Thursday, September 3, 2009

Here Comes the Nightmares

I don’t really feel very stressed out about my wedding. To be honest, I barely even think about it (ironic, I know considering I have a wedding blog). However, last night I had a horrific nightmare about my wedding. I woke up in a cold sweat thanking the good old lordy that I was merely dreaming.

I don’t remember every detail of my ’mare clearly, but I do remember a few standout terrifying moments:

  • Me being clinically obese to the point where I no longer fit in my white gown. (Weird because I don’t plan on wearing a white gown.) I ended up looking like a stuffed, sweaty sausage rolling down the aisle—not a flattering image.
  • My groom showing up drenched in water and perspiration wearing cargo shorts and a blue and yellow striped polo shirt. His excuse was that he was attacked my some sort of water-something on his way to the ceremony.
  • The venue looked disastrous. The flower arrangements I chose were heinous and there were florescent colors everywhere and I was royally devastated.
Clearly this means I have some repressed psychological stress issues to deal with it before the big day comes along. I think the reason I tend not to think about the wedding is because it’s just to goddamn overwhelming. There are so many people to please, so many decisions to make, and I just don’t know where (or how) to truly begin.
At least we have picked all the vendors and in that sense are completely ready. However, I just heard from a friend who went to a friends destination wedding about two hours away and they said it was amazing and gorgeous … it made me re-think the whole urban San Francisco art gallery eco-chic minimalist Indian-inspired thing we had going ...
AHHHH. Ok, now I am going to watch Top Chef, sleep, and deal with this wedding insanity another day (and post pretty pictures for you to admire in the meantime).

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Less Sex, More TV in the Motherland: WTF!

I am working on a new column at work entitled “That’s Messed Up” about stuff you find and have no other words to say, but that’s fucked up! The first installment is about a proposed new law in India to bring electricity to every village in order to encourage couples to watch more TV and therefore have less sex. See my response to the ridiculousness below ...


With over one billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world. At the rate they’re currently growing, in fifty short years, India’s population will surpass China and become numero uno. The government is fiercely working to try to curb the population boom and save an already struggling nation. A recent CNN article outlined the latest bright idea politicians have come up with to prevent unplanned pregnancies: “Bring electricity to every Indian village so that people would watch television until late at night and therefore be too tired to make babies.” Yup, you heard it right; apparently, more TV equals less sex.


I have lived in India and worked in the slum communities over there; I am keenly aware of the resource strain overpopulation creates. I also know that China’s one-child policy is not the most effective (or humane) approach to population control. However, for a nation that’s edging to be a global superpower to say that giving people electricity to watch more TV is an effective governmental policy to control baby making is just ludicrous. How about education? Or condoms, perhaps? Or how about first ensuring every home in India has running water and a proper drainage system before tackling the need for a nightly dose of Bollywood entertainment?


It angers and saddens me that a headline like this shows up on a global news site. First of all, I’ll bet my left kidney (and throw the right one in, too, for that matter) that this policy will never get passed. Second of all, being an Indian myself, it’s just embarrassing. If people want to hump, they’re going to hump. It’s an animal instinct—we like to get it on. Before pumping money into tiring people out so they don’t have the energy to do the dirty, a lesson in birth control really should be the first step.


Omar Mohammed, an over-eighty-year-old man (who admittedly has never heard of the concept of population control) has twenty-four children. Even Omar sees through this shoddily thought-out plan; “After watching TV,” he says, “when we look at scintillating things, we will probably want to make more children.” Amen, Omar! Watching half-naked Bollywood men and woman would make me want to do the monkey dance all night long, too.

India, I have one thing to say to you—that’s messed up.


In the world of Web 2.0, the onslaught of news, personal stories, and random information we hear throughout the day can leave us in a state of shock. That’s Messed Up is a series dedicated to the various things we find and have no other words to say but, “That’s Messed Up.” If you come across anything that makes you want to utter those same words, please send it in care of the editor toshyla@realgirlsmedia.com.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jewels and Gems


After going to Carley's wedding this weekend I am finally getting really excited for ours. (HURRAY!)

I came across these stunning earrings and matching necklace on etsy. They are vintage, probably from India and absolutely stunning. I had to share. I love how they are versatile enough to wear everyday or be saved for a special occasion.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Congratulations to Carley and Adam!




I am recovering from an amazing wedding weekend. My best friend Carley just married the sweetest boy in the world, Adam. (I was a bridesmaid!) I had so much fun celebrating with them and all of my dearest friends. Some of the highlights of the evening include:


1. That moment (See above!) when the doors opened and Carley walked down the aisle arm and arm with her parents ... not a dry eye in the room. She looked absolutely gorgeous.
2. Meghan physically pushing over all of the competition to catch the bouquet. Jeff (her bf) ran away hid and cried a few tears I think.  
3. My friend Lauren stealing a baby. (See below.) Her boyfriend had a damn near heart attack.
4. Making a speech for Car and Adam with my bffs, Meghan, Em, and Lo. "It's a toast, not a roast!"
5. Passing out in the shuttle on the way home only to wake up and turn Car and Adam's room into a sex chalet complete with glow sticks, organic lube, rose petals, pearls, and a chocolate cake with penis candles ontop.


Oh! I almost forgot, the appetizer grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches, yum!!!








Monday, August 10, 2009

Tibetan Love Flags


I adore this Buddhist prayer flags from Tibet. They represent luck, happiness, longevity, and prosperity—exactly what a wedding day should represent. I love the idea of incorporating auspicious traditions from other cultures into our special day.  I found this from user Kkrishna on etsy, my fave shopping spot. Now if only they had prayer flags representing tequila and tandoori chicken, we'd be set ... a bride can dream.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Hard for Me to Say I’m Sorry



In the words of Chicago (or Az Yet):

Everybody needs a little time away,
I heard her say, from each other.
Even lovers need a holiday,
far away, from each other.

Hold me now.
It’s hard for me to say I’m SORRY!
I just want you to stay.
After all that we’ve been through.
I will make it up to you, I promise you.


Consider this my apology for neglecting my cupcake and curry loving folks. Since I am the queen of excuses (as some people have told me), I’ll let you in on a few reasons why I’ve been astray:

1. I moved from Houston, Texas back home to San Francisco, California.
2. I started a not-so-new job. (I’m back working at DivineCaroline, woo hoo!)
3. I have not thought about the wedding at all in the past month.
4. I realized that it’s hard for me to write about weddings because to be honest, I am really not that into weddings.
5. I am incredibly lazy.

Alas, I have not forgotten you, in fact I ate a cupcake yesterday, some curry last week, and finally put a deposit on the San Francisco venue … more on that to come!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Advice from a Fellow Bride

My friend Anna is in the midst of planning her wedding. After sending out her invites, I got this hilarious email from her that I had to share:

Hello Recent/Upcoming Brides!

I have had the "pleasure" of dealing with wedding RSVP's. To ensure that you are not blindsided, and to do some venting, here are my top 10 favorite RSVP scenarios thus far:

10. Multiple inquiries if her sister (who I barely know) is invited to the wedding.

9. Friend's surprise that her father is not included in the rehearsal festivities.

8. Trickery about a date/+1 (thought they were an actual item, but instead they are "fuck buddies").

7. Inviting his/her own guests (despite the invite clearly only stating specific names). Includes names. (this includes my very own father).

6. Inviting his/her own guests (despite the invite clearly only stating specific names). Does not includes names...you can call them "plus one." 

5. Late RSVP responses.

4. No RSVP response at all.

3. No response to my response about their lack of response.

2. "Aunt Terry's bringing her daughter, but she doesn't have to eat."

1. RSVPing that all invited are intending, but then finding out 3rd person that actually the kids aren't coming...(still haven't been officially told)

Oh the joys of getting married... ;)

Thank YOU for the advice my friend!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hope from the Motherland!



This article entitled Indian Court: Gay Sex is Legal made me smile.

A bit of hope on the equal love for all front from the motherland.

Someday every couple will have the right to love--no matter the country or sexuality.

Good Night.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Boom Boom Pow!





A friend sent me this gorgeous link to Our Blog of Love. I was transfixed by page after page of the gorgeous images this Georgia-based photographer captured. I wanted to share some of my favorite awe-inspiring images. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

With This Tandoori Lamb Chop, I Thee Wed

{In our culture wedding food is traditionally served on a banana leaf. While I'm not sure we will necessarily serve our food on a banana leaf, we will definitely incorporate them into our decor somehow.} 

Foregoing lobsters for burgers and foie gras for fries is so my bridal style. If Nor Cal’s summer weather and my parent’s snobby suburban neighbors would permit, I would totally celebrate my coming nuptials with a backyard bbq. I was thrilled to stumble upon this article With This Burger, I Thee Wed in the NY Times today that’s directly in line with my sentiment. With the economy in the sewer, couples are doing what they can to curb costs at their wedding. One of the first places people start dollar slashing is the menu. I personally prefer home-style burgers and fries to the fancy (and often tasteless) asparagus and duck confit that they serve at weddings anyways.

In line with our beliefs, we are choosing an Indian caterer who brings his own tandoori bbq and grills fresh lamb chops, chicken tikkas, and naans on the spot. (Yum!) His catering style is far from fancy and his food is far from average. We used him at my sister’s wedding and there was a line down the driveway for his tandoori treats.

Basically, in today's economy budget-savvy brides don’t want their guests leaving the party saying, “Damn, they spent how much on that wedding?!” Recessionista couples want guests feeling comfortable, at home, and most importantly saying, “Damn, that was the most fun wedding ever!” I couldn’t agree more. 

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Birds of a Feather Flock Together


 

Ever since I started this whole wedding planning process I’ve been transfixed by the idea of large branches—cherry blossoms, dogwood trees, and willows.  I have a vision of huge vases brimming with tall overflowing branches, dimly lit candles, and brightly colored flowers. That's why the image above first caught my attention, after I digging a bit deeper I was sold ...

The Wedding Co has embarked on a global DIY art project. They are collecting origami paper cranes from engaged couples around the world to create a chandelier of cranes. With a goal to collect 10,000 cranes, they will contribute 50¢ from each birdie received to cancer research. The end result will be an overpowering community-made art installation. (How cool is that?) Couples should send a handmade crane with their names and the location of their wedding to the Wedding Co. to be a part of a global flock of love.

(I’ve already started on ours ... )