Karli Jewelers in Downtown Crossing, Boston

My engagement ring was a full size too big for my finger which was totally a bad measuring job on my part. Apparently, since it is an eternity band (diamonds all around it) every jeweler and everywhere I read online said resizing could not be done. So I paid $100 and had 2 sizer balls soldered on the inside bottom of the band which made the band fit a little tighter on my finger. It wasn’t really noticeable, but it got kind of annoying because I knew the gap was there. Well 2 years later it was finally time to get married and I got my matching wedding band in the size that was right for my finger. Too bad when you put both rings side by side the size difference, even with the sizer balls, was very noticeable and it was very annoying since I could feel the size difference between the two rings. My co-worker suggested that I visit Kev at Karli Jewelers. He said he goes to Karli for everything and that Kev is a master jeweler and can pretty much make anything out of metal and stone. So I figured it was at least worth a call. Over the phone Kev said that if it was channel set, which it is, he could do it. I was a bit surprised. So I stopped by his store, which is situated among many other jewelers in Downtown Crossing, and showed him the ring. He said that he would have to do it with a laser as not to ruin any of the diamonds and that he would make a small slice, take out 2 stones and piece it back together. I was a bit nervous, but I trusted my co-worker and I was desperate to have the ring be the right size.

Kev charged me $120 and it was beyond worth it. I got the ring back 3 days later, perfectly clean and flawless. I spent 10 minutes staring at it trying to find where he cut the band, I still don’t see it. It fit me perfectly and it matches the size of my wedding band. He really is a master at his craft and I would definitely go back to Karli Jewelers. His showroom is clean and bright and his jewelery is beautiful and unique. Definitely go check it out!

Dry Spell

I had some great momentum at the end of the summer, I had a plan. A new cupcake recipe a week, even dedicated Wednesday evenings to baking them. Now I seem to have run out of steam. Could be that school started, work is busy, still planning a never-ending wedding… maybe those are just excuses. In any case, I need some help. Please send me recipes that you come across and find interesting or ideas that you have for what will make a yummy cupcake… get me out of my rut!

Also, I am working with a group of people to bring Cupcake Camp to Boston. So if you think you’re interested, join the Google Group and throw out your ideas! Hopefully, I’ll get to showcase some of my creations and organize a fun weekend of cupcakeyness.

Ever heard of this site called YouTube?

Yes, I know I’m a bit slow to the game but I finally created my own channel on YouTube. I guess I never really had a reason to have my own channel but lately I’ve been taking a lot more video with my little point and shoot camera. My (sort of) new Panasonic Lumix takes HD video which is pretty sweet. Now I just need to learn how to edit since I tend to film extra stuff that can be a bit boring. Maybe strangers will find some of our antics funny, but in the very least at least my friends will appreciate it. Here is one of my creations:

Go check out my channel for more.

Wedding Invitations by David’s Bridal

I was on the hunt for wedding invitations and it seems there are options for whatever your budget may be. They range from buying blank invites from any store such as Staples, Target or A.C. Moore and printing them on your home printer to meeting with a wedding consultant and having them specially designed and printed to your specifications. I chose the middle option and searched for my invitations online. There were a ton of options but I found little help from reviews on which was the best. I searched through Wedding Paper Divas, The Paper Source, The Knot and finally landed on David’s Bridal. David’s Bridal had the most selection that fit into my budget it seemed.

The website itself is pretty good as far has helping you write your invitations. They present you with screens to fill out the basic information for the event, date, location, address, time, bride and groom’s names, etc. Then on the following pages you can choose from a number of templates they have for the text and change it around as much as you like. The process was pretty painless and not too expensive for 100 invites and response cards with our return address pre-printed on the both the outer envelope and the response card envelope. The strange thing I did find was that it only cost $1 more to get 100 invites versus 75, but the jump from 100 to 125 was much more. Must have to do with the printers they use to batch print the invites. Either way, it worked out for me and now I have a few spare just in case. I ordered the invites on June 29th and they arrived at my door July 22nd, they said 3-4 weeks and they were right on time. All in all this was a very good experience and I’d recommend them to anyone who is looking for fairly inexpensive, nicely printed, simple invitations.

Vegas – What I learned, Part II

I learn a little more each time… when going with a large group of people, limos are the way to go. People told me this but I didn’t believe it until I experienced it for myself. Depending on the amount of people you have, it does come out to the same if not cheaper than taking cabs. It’s best to inform the concierge or doorman of the hotel you are staying at of your plans for the current and following evening. They will be able to get you a limo when you need to be picked up as well as be able to get you on guest lists for various nightclubs you may want to visit. Sadly I learned this too late, but know it for next time. Also, make sure to ask and remember the name of the doorman or person that is helping you, and be sure to tip them, they will be more likely to bend the rules or give you preference over other guests. A little kindness (and money) goes a long way.

This time around we got to go to Mix Lounge at the top of THEhotel at Mandalay Bay. This lounge has 360 degree views of Vegas and one side where you can see down the entire strip. I’m not sure if this lounge is not as popular as the others or if it was an off night, but we were able to find tables to sit at and getting drinks at the bar didn’t take too long. For THEhotel guests the cover is $10 but we got in for free somehow. If you’re staying at THEhotel or Mandalay Bay, it’s definitely worth checking out.

We also hit up O’Sheas again and it was way more fun than last time. We turned a beer pong table into flip cup madness, and 20 games later we won 16-4. I’d like to point out that this was my very first time playing flip cup, and I think I did a pretty good job, nevermind that I spilled half my beer all over myself. Most of the fun was having a great team, and fun opponents.


Need a Life Sized Companion Cube!

Weighted Companion Cube

For our wedding in November I want a life sized companion cube from Portal. I want to use it as an envelope box for gifts. I thought it was a pretty clever idea, and it’s got the pink heart on it and everything. Turns out I can’t seem to find anyone else that has done it. Maybe I finally came up with an original idea, who knows. I found two models that come close to what I want, Karen Chu who made one as part of her halloween costume and a PC case that someone made which is extremely clever. Both of these models require a talent which I don’t have… so if anyone knows of someone who would want to build it for me, please let me know.

Long time…

I haven’t wrote in a while and figured it would be good if I got back into the swing of things. The school semester finally ended and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted. Now I just wait for the grades. Mostly I am excited about getting back to the things that classes has kept me from, most importantly my cupcakes. They feel neglected. Since Memorial Day is coming up, and we’re having the annual BBQ, what better reason to make cupcakes! I also need to get back on those side project and… oh yah… plan a wedding. But cupcakes… gotta keep the priorities straight.

I broke the law…

Back in January I was caught in a speed trap in the Williams tunnel in Boston. Although, I was riding alongside another car, I was picked out and pulled over. The officer said I was going 69 in a 45, which could quite possibly be true, I wasn’t looking at my speedometer and he had a LIDAR gun. So I took my $240 ticket and went home (going the speed limit of course).  This was my second speeding ticket ever (the first one being in 2002) and my first ticket in Massachusetts. So as I did with my first ticket, I was ready to pay it right away. I went online the next day to the Mass RMV site, entered in all of my information including my credit card number only to hit Submit and have them tell me my ticket wasn’t in the system yet and I had to wait 10 days to pay it. Very technologically advanced.

So in the meantime, I called my insurance company to see how much of a hit I was going to take since in Mass every moving violation increases the premium on your auto insurance. I still don’t understand how a speeding ticket affects my insurance policy, but that’s an argument for another time. The woman at my insurance company informed me that I would be paying about $200 more a year for the next 6 years… SIX YEARS. So my $240 moving violation fine was going to cost me $1,440. Super. But then the woman on the phone asked me to recall the events leading up to my ticket. I explained how I was on Mass Pike coming from Newton driving in the middle of 3 lanes. Once I reached Boston just before the Williams tunnel the left lane turned into an exit only, so I was paying more attention to the road signs rather than the speed limit sign. So I went into the tunnel going highway speed in the left lane, perfect target. Apparently, a cop is always standing around this corner in the tunnel so I probably should have known. The insurance lady told me to fight the ticket. She said based on what I had told her I would get off. I mentioned it to a few other people at work and they all told me the same thing. So I sent in my request for a hearing and waited for the date.

I few weeks later, I get a letter with the date which is 2 months from when I originally got the ticket. So I spent that time researching traffic laws in Mass and what to say and how to act and what to wear. In all my research, I find out the night prior that I go before a magistrate first, then I can appeal the magistrates decision before a judge. So the next day I dress up in business casual attire and head to South Boston. When I get there, there’s a long line of people waiting to see the magistrate, apparently fighting tickets is just as routine as buying bread. I was also the best dressed person there. One lady was actually in sweatpants and a dirty t-shirt. One guy brought a little baby along with him, I don’t think the magistrate fell for it. Then it was my turn, I walk in, sit down, moleskine in hand with all of notes and talking points only to have the officer tell the magistrate that this was my first ticket and she let me go. All that build up for nothing. She said that she typically lets first timers go. But in the end at least I got to go through the experience of (at least half way) fighting a ticket. And, my insurance doesn’t go up, which is the best part.

So if its your first time getting a speeding ticket, definitely request a hearing… worst case, you have to pay the original fine, but at least you have a chance of getting rid of it altogether. Also, if you are in Mass here are a few good tips I came across in my research:

How to Beat a Speeding Ticket
Unoffical Guide to the DMV