Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Santa came early to our house! A few weeks ago, a package arrived on my doorstep, which silly Santa forgot to disguise. So I already knew what it was, but was under strict instructions not to touch it until next Wednesday, the day before we fly home for Christmas. It was difficult to resist the temptation to open that box, but I did. Then I was hired yesterday, so Santa (mom and dad) is letting me open it up early! Take a look at the new toy I get to play with:


The Epson Artisan 800 All-in-One Printer. My old printer, an HP All-in-One, was doing just fine, but the quality is not all that good. You better believe I'll be using this for many, many wedding projects! First up - menus and place cards for Christmas Eve dinner at my parents house.

Have you asked for any wedding related gifts for Christmas?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

holiday diy project

I saw this on Style Me Pretty yesterday and thought that in addition to being a holiday DIY project, it would also be a great wedding favor. I'm not much of a baker (i.e. I really stink), so I think I might be more inclined to create the cookie cutters for everyone instead of the actual cookies. But after looking at the supply list, it could be quite a daunting task.


What are you giving out as favors (if anything)? Do you have any ideas for favors that would be enjoyed by most everyone?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

pretty, pretty peonies

I'm on quite a roll these days with inspiration. So let's move on to flowers. [Sigh] Prior to my eyes being opened by what the future mister calls my wedding p*rn, I was quite content with roses or my particular favorite - gerbera daisies. Then I jumped down the wedding rabbit hole and discovered the beautiful world of peonies. Excuse me while I wipe up my drool.

Luckily, my spring wedding is right smack-dab in the middle of peony season. Yay! However, they are quite expensive. So maybe I'll have a few in my bridal bouquet and get a similar look by substituting garden roses elsewhere.


Overall, I think the floral theme will be fluffy and romantic with a just picked garden-y/wildflower look. Did wedding planning open your eyes to different kinds of flowers? I've lucked out, but did you end up falling in love with flowers that won't be in season for your wedding?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

dress me up in pearls

The future mister and I have been invited to a wedding in January. The ceremony is at noon and is being followed by a luncheon and waltz at the Deerpark Restaurant on The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. Although the events are taking place in the early afternoon, I found out from family that it will still be a fairly formal event. After looking at TONS of dresses, I finally decided on a simple black dress that I'll probably snazz up with colored shoes or a fun wrap. As far as jewelry goes, I decided on these beautiful vintage style pearl earrings (and matching bracelet) from etsy seller Jewelry Designs by Janice Marie.


Don't you think these would be great bridal jewelry as well? Or even perfect as gifts for your bridesmaids? To top it all off, this seller specializes in custom orders for brides or bridesmaids.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

more save the date inspiration

Remember this? That's still my first choice for our save the dates. But here's some more inspiration I've been collecting throughout the months:


Sometimes I find it problematic that I have so many beautiful ideas saved and bookmarked. It makes it quite difficult to actually make a decision. Does anyone else have that problem?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

pools are meant for swimming...or maybe not

Remember our beautiful venue? Well what I didn't show you is this:

Yes, there will be a pool at our venue - and the combination of fun times and alcohol makes me a little nervous. In my mind I am picturing something like the introduction to FRIENDS.

Most likely, our cocktail hour will be held around the pool before the guests move to the tent in front of the house for the reception. Although our event planner assured us that they've never had a problem with any guests jumping in, I'd like to come up with a deterrent to make sure it doesn't happen. Here's what I've come up with:

1. Floating Monogram - I think this would look very pretty during cocktail hour, before the sun sets. Plus it's large enough to send the message, "I'm here to make the pool look beautiful, don't even think about sticking your toe in to test the water."


2. Votives - Placing votives along the edge of the pool looks pretty and also acts as a barrier between the pavement and the water. But it probably won't be noticed until after the sun sets.


3. Floating Candles - This also won't look pretty until the sun sets, but I think it's by far my favorite. In case you can't tell, various size candles were set in large dishes of some kind to float through the pool. I'm sure we could achieve a similar effect by using floating candles.


I am also playing with the idea of using a combination of the above. Maybe a smaller floating monogram surrounded by a few floating candles? What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

save the date

About a year ago (before I was engaged), I discovered the wonderful world of wedding blogs. I think it started out with Style Me Pretty, then included Weddingbee and it quickly ballooned out from there. It became my new obsession - bookmarking ideas and inspiration for a wedding I wasn't supposed to be planning, at least not yet. Where am I going with this story? Well, one of the first things I bookmarked happens to be my dream save the dates. You see, the future mister is in graduate school to get his PhD in Southern and Appalachian History and I love almost all things vintage and shabby chic. I think these STDs are such a creative way for us to express who we are and the type of wedding we want to have. Now I just have to get my hands on a bunch of vintage hankies and either a Gocco or Yudu.


Did you fall in love with anything wedding related before even being engaged?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

30 day shred

When we lived in Kentucky I was a huge fan of Jazzercise and went about 3 times every week. I love to dance and it was one of the only things that didn't feel like a workout to me. Many times I have purchased gym memberships only to go a few times. That's a lot of wasted money! They have Jazzercise where we live now, but since we're trying to save money I figured it made the most sense to just rent a fitness DVD from Netflix. From reading Weddingbee and other wedding blogs, I heard a lot of good things about Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, so I decided to give it a shot. I'm not really interested in losing weight, but rather maintaining and toning and the reviews said that these workouts were a good way to build lean muscle.

The DVD contains three, 20 minute workouts. You're supposed to start at Level 1, which is the easiest, and work yourself up to Level 3, which is the most difficult. Each workout is based on Jillian's 3-2-1 strength/cardio/ab training circuit. First you start with three minutes of strength training, then move on to two minutes of cardio, and finish with one minute of ab work.

Let me tell you, after the first day I wanted to die. It may only be 20 minutes, but it's a very difficult 20 minutes! I don't think I ever worked that hard in Jazzercise and those classes were an hour long! I woke up the next morning and thought that maybe I had been run over by a truck in my sleep. So I skipped day two. But I picked back up on day three and I've just finished day five. Although it's still difficult, I'm finding that it gets just a little bit easier every day. I'm hoping to work my way up to level two on day 10 and then level three on day 20. I'll let you know my final conclusions when I'm finished with the 30 days.

What are your tips for staying fit leading up to the wedding?

Monday, November 23, 2009

bridal glow

Like many brides before me, I want to achieve the bridal glow on my wedding day. Which is why I've decided to just stick with the routine I already have. I've been doing the same thing and using the same products for years and my skin is relatively smooth and clear. I'll attribute the clearness to birth control. Prior to going on the pill, I had pretty significant acne that no amount of creams or pills could cure. BC was my dermatologist's last suggestion before heading down the Accutane road, so I'm happy it worked. I'll split things up according to cleansing and moisturizing, and it will include both face and body.


As you will soon notice, I really like Olay products (btw, when did they change their name from Oil of Olay to Olay? Wikipedia says 1999 - wow, I really don't pay much attention, I guess). Every morning I use Quench Body Wash - it's supposed to stop the cycle of dry skin. Prior to the Quench line being introduced I used Olay Body Wash plus Crème Ribbons. Both are great products and very moisturizing.


As for my face, in the mornings I either cleanse with Cetaphil Daily Cleanser or exfoliate with Lancome Exfoliance Clarté. Right now I use the exfoliator on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, which seems to be often enough to get the dead cells off. I love the Cetaphil because it is gentle and non-drying, but still powerful enough to remove dirt and makeup.

(left: source, right: source)

In the evenings, before bed, I use Prescriptives All Clean Fresh Foaming Cleanser. It's great at getting makeup off, especially eye makeup. I don't usually wear a lot of eye makeup (mostly just liner and mascara, sometimes shadow), and I'm not a fan of greasy eye makeup removers, so this cleanser keeps me happy. The downside - I just found out that Prescriptives is going out of business. Either I'm going to stock up on their cleanser or switch to using Cetaphil in the evening. The worst part is that I also use their custom-blended foundation. Guess I'm stocking up on that too.



I hate the feel of dry skin - it's itchy and uncomfortable. Therefore, my least favorite season is winter. Another reason why I hate winter is because it is cold. In the summers I use Quench Body Lotion once I've dried off. In the winter I usually skip lotion all together because once the water is off I am quick to bundle up in my bathrobe. But that causes the dreadful itchy, dry skin that I hate. So, in my eyes, Olay's invention of in-shower body lotion is absolutely genius! I think it first came out when I was in college, then I moved and couldn't find it anymore. I just bought a bottle a few weeks ago. Boy, I forgot how much I missed it! Now I can stand in the warm steam of the shower, apply my lotion, and rinse it off - all without getting cold! I just noticed on the Olay website, that they now offer a Quench version of the in-shower lotion, although I have yet to see it on store shelves near me. Maybe soon.


Also in the mornings, once I'm out of the shower, I use Olay Complete All Day UV Moisturizer for sensitive skin. Actually I use the target or walmart brand. They all have the same ingredients - I've checked. A quarter size amount on my face and neck is enough to keep things moisturized all day long - without any shine or grease.


Well there you have it. I'm thinking about adding a spot treatment to the mix in case there are any wedding-stress-induced acne flare-ups. Luckily I have plenty of time to change things around, if need be. How are you planning on achieving the bridal glow?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

christmas card tutorial

Inspiration can be found anywhere, in all shapes and sizes. Case in point - I used the save the date below as inspiration for our Christmas cards this year:

Here's my finished version, Christmas style:

Now for the tutorial. I've separated it into two parts - Envelopes and Cards. Sorry in advance for the poor quality photos.


Card stock
Patterned paper for envelope liners
Yellow or gold paper for stars
Cutting mat or hard surface
Star punch
Corner rounder
Baker's twine
Adhesive roller (glue or double sided tape also works)
Xacto (paper cutter or scissors)
Bone folder


1. Create a template and trace. First I made a template on a separate piece of card stock. It took some adjusting to get it right. One thing to note - if your envelopes are the lick and stick kind, make sure your template falls below the glue, or you'll have to tape your envelopes closed. Once you have a template, trace it onto the backside of the paper you plan on using for your liner.

2. Cut out your traced shapes. I like using a clear ruler and an xacto because it allows for more control, but scissors or a paper cutter will work just as well.

3. Fold your liners. This can be one of two ways. I used my ruler to line up from corner to corner and then used my bone folder to score the paper. You can also slip the liner into the envelope (pattern side up). Using one hand on the outside of the envelope, and the bone folder on the inside, fold both the envelope flap and liner down to create the fold line.

4. Apply adhesive to your liner. I used an adhesive roller, but you can also use glue or double sided tape. Make sure you only apply it to the top sides of the triangle. For my first attempt, I put adhesive on all sides and the liner ended up wrinkling when I opened and closed the flap. Ta da! All done!


1. Create your design and print on card stock. I made our design in Adobe Illustrator and printed it on kraft paper that I found at Hobby Lobby. Another option is to use stamps. Once you've printed (or created) your cards, cut out using an xacto, paper cutter, or scissors.

2. Round your corners. This step is optional. For this project, I really liked the look of rounded corners.

3. Cut out and glue on your stars. This is also optional, depending on your design. I very well could have just added a star in the initial design and printed it on the kraft paper. Instead I chose to add more dimension by using a paper punch and textured yellow paper.

4. Print and cut photos and adhere to cards. Again, this is optional depending on your design. I like including photos in holiday cards. I'm sure most of them end up being thrown away, but whenever I visit Grandma's house she always has it hanging on her fridge. If it makes grandmas, grandpas and parents happy, it's worth it in my book.

5. Cut notches. This is so your string doesn't slip off of your card. I used my ruler (which wasn't even really necessary) and my xacto to cut two little notches on either side of the card.

5. Wrap your string and tie a bow.

And you're done! Here's the finished project again:

These were great practice for all of the wedding projects I'm sure I'll be working on in the near future.

Do you find inspiration in any unexpected places?

Friday, November 13, 2009

color me happy

I have always loved color. Especially the emotions that are associated with certain colors. My room growing up had yellow walls and a blue ceiling. My bedspread was a yellow, blue and green plaid. It was happy and cheerful. My bedroom in college used the same colors, with the addition of some pink. My mom lovingly made a duvet cover and pillows after I found the perfect fabric. That fabric was so perfect that I ended up using it in the living room of my first apartment - mom tore apart the duvet cover and created more pillows and curtains. And now that I am cohabitating, it is in my office/guest room. The future mister has his man cave (office) full of dead animals and books, so I thought it only fair that I had a girly room of my own.

This brings me to our wedding colors. I think this may have been one of the easiest decisions we made. There was no use hemming and hawing over colors when the answer was right in front of our faces.

1. The colors above pretty much define who I am
2. The mister's favorite colors are blue and green

So without further ado:

I'll use the aloe, or what I call robin's egg blue, and the leaf as the primary colors (so things aren't too girly or feminine), and the peony and ivory as secondary colors.

What do you think? Was it this easy for you to pick out colors or was there more of a debate?