Apr
27
Bloggin ’bout Blogs, Wedding Edition
By • Filed In: Websites We Love, Weddings

Aren’t I so lucky to have a sister to put so much time and effort into my bachelorette party?  Weeks afterwards friends were saying it was the most fun they had in a long time.  Cort sure has set the bar high and I’m really looking forward to organizing hers within the next year :)

Thinking back to my wedding planning days, I think I spent 99% of my free time researching wedding stuff online.  Today I’m sharing some of our favorite wedding blogs.  If you’re a bride to be,  you must take a sneak peak into each of these blogs.  WARNING: you will become addicted.  Prepare to spend hours upon hours feasting your eyes upon these beautiful weddings.

Wedding Gawker

A lot of people/vendors submit to this site, so you get a great mix of stuff that can lead you to many great resources and blogs.  I compare it to your home page on Pinterest, but just for weddings.

 

Wedding Chicks

Features photos from real weddings and wedding photo shoots.

 

Oh-Lovely-Day

Dedicated to vintage/chic designs and offers many DIY ideas.

 

Love and Lavender

Not only does this blog feature real weddings like the others, but it also offers FREE downloads!  Check out this adorable, free, downloadable invite!

 

Sparkle and Hay

Isn’t it funny the adjectives people come up with to describe their wedding theme?  When I would explain my wedding to people I described it as rustic chic.  What?!  Rustic and chic?  Doesn’t seem like those words blend well together.  But, this blog proves that they do!

 

Land Locked Bride

Features real weddings and suggests vendors in your area.

 

Style Me Pretty

If you are engaged, married, or single, you have to visit this blog.  I saved it for last as it’s my personal favorite.  I probably lost over 200 hours of my life obsessing over this blog.  So much, that when Michelle Knox encouraged me to submit my wedding to it, I did. And I was featured!  Check it out here.

 

Hopefully you’ll thank me and not hate me for sharing these fabulous blogs.  Cheers to spending hours upon hours searching away!  It is Friday, after all.  A glass or two of wine accompanied with your search will suit you well :)

 

 

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Apr
23
Invites & Embossing
By • Filed In: Party, Weddings

Last week I shared what Kal’s bachelorette party entailed. Today I’m going to share what the invites looked like. I actually initially thought I would purchase some cute ones and just print out all the info. Yeah, that was a no go. Most of the invites I saw were black and bright pink, or with some sort of animal print on them. Typical bachelorette party stuff. So when I couldn’t find anything I liked or in my color scheme, I decided to make them myself.

PS: I forgot to white balance so all the pics are a little off. What else is new!?

I already had a decent amount of the things I would need to make them, and went to Paper Source for the rest.

I got A7 envelopes in Poppy, A7 cards in Poppy, A6 cards in Luxe, 4 bar cards in Blossom, and flat paper in Blossom as the base for the invitation to create a layered look. I also had to get envelope liner templates. That’s how I transformed the flat paper into the pretty envelope liner. I already had the embossing heat gun and use it all the time. Seriously one of the best purchases I’ve made. I also had the memory tape runner, embossing powder in gold and bridal, the ink pads, and the ring stamp.

To create the envelope liner grab your packer of envelope templates and find the one that matches your envelopes. I had A7 envelopes so I grabbed the A7 template. Don’t worry if it seems smaller than the actual envelope, it’s supposed to be. Then trace out the template onto your flat paper and cut it out.

Turn it over so that your tracing lines are face down. Get out the ink pad and embossing powder that you’re going to use. I used both a gold ink pad and gold embossing powder. Stamp just a few at a time, otherwise you’re ink will dry and the embossing powder won’t stick. I think I did about 4 stamps at a time. Then add your embossing powder on top of the stamps, as if you were adding glitter to glue. Tap off the excess. I did it so that some of the stamps are hanging off the page and they are facing all different directions. Once your liner is filled, take out your embossing heat gun and hold it a few inches above one of your stamps in a circular motion (as if you were using a hair dryer to dry something off). You’ll start to see the powder almost melt and fuse to the paper. Keep doing that until all the stamps are done.

Then slide the liner into the envelope, fold down the liner, add a stripe of the double stick tape to each side of the triangle, and stick it back to the flap of the envelope. You’re probably thinking that is a lot of work for an envelope. You’re right, it’s tedious. But I think it was worth it. And this is something that I would not do for a huge group of people. I think there were only around 25 people invited to the party. Any more than that and I probably would have skipped the embossing of the liner.

It’s hard to see the embossing in some of these pics, but I swear in person they really stand out. I was giddy with how good they looked once the entire thing was finished. After the envelope was done I moved on to the actual invitation. I first printed out all of the information onto the cream colored card. Then in the bottom right corner I did some more embossing. This time I used the pink ink pad and the bridal embossing powder. It’s a sparkly powder that toned down the bright pink just a bit. Then I just used the tape runner again to add a stripe to all fours sides and stick it onto the A7 card in poppy.

I didn’t want to crowd up the invite with all the information, so I also had an insert with all of the details. Once that was finished, I was done. Phew. Even though it’s tedious, I had some fun. I like getting my craft on.

I think it turned out pretty good!

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Apr
19
For The Single Lady
By • Filed In: Party, Weddings

Sorry to those of you who subscribe and got an email with a completely unfinished post yesterday. There were some really odd technical difficulties going on, but I think all is back to normal. So back to the scheduled post…

I guess I could have titled it “For the almost not single lady” as this post is all about the night of debauchery that we all like to call the bachelorette party.  As Kal mentioned on Monday, we’ve decided to host somewhat of a wedding week.  And we thought it was supper fitting since this time of year starts off wedding season. Not to mention the fact that given my recent engagement (ahh, still sounds absolutely crazy to me), I’ve had wedding planning on the brain. And what better way to kick off posts about weddings than the bachelorette party! It is one of the biggest events that surround the actual wedding. So I’m going to share what I did to throw my sister a party in honor of her last few weeks of singleness.

This party took place before we had our blog, so I wish there was way more documentation of the little details, but we’ll make do with what pics I do have.

We started off the night with cocktails, appetizers, deserts, and gifts at my apartment in the city. I chose pink, yellow, and orange as the jumping off point for the decorations. My sister requested (and I agreed wholeheartedly) that the typical bachelorette party decorations/accessories not join the party. I’m sure you ladies know exactly what I mean! So instead I went with the fun springish color combo while using a few “ring” accessories.

I really wanted a fun and cute pinata as a decoration, but I could not find one for the life of me. All of them were bright primary colors in shapes that I didn’t want. Once I set my mind to a pinata, I was absolutely determined to get one even if I had to make it. Which is exactly what I did. No, I didn’t actually put candy it in, it was just for decoration. I know, I’m crazy. I took an old box and cut it into six triangles and taped them together. Then I hand cut strips of tissue paper, fringed them, and glued them to the pinata. It too for.ev.er, but I like the way it turned out.

I also grabbed some plain cards from Paper Source and attached pics of Brian and Kalin throughout the years to display on the fireplace. Everyone loved looking at them. Some of the pics were quite funny, because they looked so different. These two have been together since high school people!

I actually filled that big glass apothecary jar with pink, orange, and yellow gumballs purely for decoration. But they actually turned out to be a huge hit. I think by the next morning there was only 1/3 of them left. I also grabbed a few bouquets of carnations that fit the colors and split them up into little mercury glass votive glasses.

As for food, I kept it simple with lots of appetizer finger foods. Funny enough these are the only two pics of the food that was at the party, but in my opinion deserts are the best anyways. I got Sweet Mandy B’s cupcakes and then just added the sparkly ring toppers. I am not lying when I say this, but Sweet Mandy B’s have THE BEST cupcakes ever. Hands down. If you are ever in Chicago and in the Lincoln Park area, I highly HIGHLY suggest stopping by.

The other desert we had were caramel and chocolate covered pretzel rods. I took the square caramels and rolled them out so they looked like long snakes. Then I wrapped them around the top 1/2 of the rods and dipped them in chocolate. I added fun sprinkles to make them extra festive. They were delicious too!

After we ate and mingled for a bit, Kal opened her presents. I think my favorite gift she got was her bachelorette veil to wear for the night. It was actually the veil that my mom handmade for our communions ages ago. She saved it all these years and we had no idea she brought it for her to wear for the night. It was such a thoughtful idea and was way cuter than the flimsy ones they sell in the stores.

That is what was left after all the gifts were opened. She is a loved girl I tell ya!

From my place we ventured out into the city for a show and some cocktails. All in all, it was a great night with fun had by all! And more importantly the bride had a blast!

Apr
16
Wedding Week… Here we Come!
By • Filed In: Invitations, Party, Weddings

Ahhhhhhh!  It’s been killing me not to mention Cort and Jeff being engaged, since it happened 3 weeks ago!  I’ve been having wedding planning withdrawal for the last year so I cannot wait to help my sister with all the details.  To celebrate her wedding planning extravaganza and since spring wedding season is shortly arriving, we’re going to be sharing what Cort cooked up for my bachelorette party and other wedding ideas.  To kick-start it all, I’m sharing inspirational bachelorette Party photos from none other than Pinterest!

How hilarious are those cookies and cupcakes?!  Those bra cupcakes are insane!  I also love the nontraditional nautical invite.  The champagne glasses at the top are painted for each of the bridesmaids.  Very creative.

Alright, look forward to this week’s wedding extravaganza!

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Apr
13
Wonders of the Web: Birthday Edition
By • Filed In: Wonders of the Web

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KALI!

 

My little sister, friend, an blog partner is enjoying a birthday today and so I thought that our wonders of the web post should be birthday themed. Kal is the best sister a girl could ever ask for. She has been there for me throughout the years and I am so grateful for her. We truly are sisters by chance and friends by choice.

  • Adorable candles that can look cute for kids, and chic for adults. It all depends on the type of decor.
  • If I had a baby, they would definitely be sporting this fun hat on their birthday.
  • A card that works for someone of any age.

 

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Apr
12
Accessorize
By • Filed In: Jewelry, Weddings

So I guess we have been slackers this week huh? Sorry! But remember when I said that my spring break was a complete whirlwind? Yeah well I feel like it’s been that way since. Want to know why? I have another video for you that just might explain.

 

 

Yep, I have a new accessory…..on my left ring finger! Ahhhhhh! Crazy right!? Last week I posted all about how Jeff and I cooked lobsters and made a video about it. Well it was Jeff’s idea to video it all and apparently it was so that I would not become suspicious of the video camera for the actual proposal. Cute huh? I actually had a completely different version of the video ready to share, but then I decided that I wanted to keep the things that were said right before and during the proposal between just the two of us. So you get to see my squeal of a reaction when I realized he was recording it instead. And the song during the video, Mary Me by Train, was actually the song that was playing during the proposal.

Jeff has great taste if I do say so myself! So yeah, the past few weeks have been spent seeing people, celebrating, and starting to plan for the big day. Starting being the key word, absolutely nothing is planned out or set in stone yet.

A couple days after we got engaged, we went to dinner at Candlelite with some friends. And this is what was waiting for us when we arrived. By the way, they have the best thin crust pizza ever in my opinion.

Photo by Joey Lax-Salinas

So fun right!? We were really excited! And I was even more excited when I realized the photographer that does most of the work for Candlelite was there that night and was able to take these pics of the sign for us!

Photo by Joey Lax-Salinas

So yeah, my life = whirlwind. But can you blame me? Jeff and I are beyond excited and even though planning a wedding is a daunting task, we are up for every minute of it!

Apr
6
Wonders of the Web, Easter Edition!
By • Filed In: Projects, Recipes, Sweet Tooth, Wonders of the Web

Easter is right around the corner, so recenlty I’ve been searching for some Easter inspiration.  Lucky for you, I’m sharing all my findings today.

We’re headed over to my mom’s for Easter brunch on Sunday.  If you’re the one hosting, here are some things you can use to “Easter-ize” your gathering.

I was looking for a new “eggish” recipe to bring as well as a dessert for people to nibble on.  Here’s what I’m going with:

Coconut Macaroon Nutella Nests

Aren’t those cute?  They look really easy to make, too.  You can find the recipe here.  If you like spending time in the kitchen and want to fancy it up a bit, make Cortney’s homemade Nutella rather than the store bought.

 

 

 

 

Italian Sausage Egg Muffins

These remind me of crustless quiches.  Again, they look really simple to make.  I’m going to make them using my mini muffin tin so they become bit sized.  This way I can serve them as an appetizer and people can just pop them in their mouths.  I’m also thinking of adding red bell pepper to bring in color.  If you’re not a broccoli lover, try using spinach or asparagus instead.  Here is the recipe.

 

I’m also making crock pot cheesy potatoes.  I’m going to use the same recipe I used at Kaitlyn’s bridal shower.   You can find the cheesy potato recipe about a quarter of the way down on that post.

 

Easter Carrot Silverware

I adore these!  Everyone needs silverware at a brunch, so why not make them a centerpiece.  Buy lime green silverware, wrap them in an orange napkin, and twist shut with green pipe cleaners.

 

 

 

 

Button Egg

Have a button collection?  Make a piece of art with them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter Centerpieces

 

Check out these ones below.  You can use these beyond Easter and they strike the shabby chic look I love.

Take a close look at the lemon and egg ones.  What a smart idea to put a slender vase inside another vase or a pitcher to hold the flowers!  People are so darn creative!  Of course, all these images are from Pinterest :)

I wish you a happy Easter ya’ll (can you tell I miss Nashville?)!

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Apr
5
Love and Lobster
By • Filed In: Recipes

Over my break, Jeff and I decided to do something that we had never done before. We decided that although we love going out to dinner and trying out all the new restaurants, we just wanted to do something fun at home. So we decided to….drum roll please……cook live lobsters! Ahhhh! It was actually way easier than I anticipated and it turned out to be a blast! We put together a little video for you. Well ok it’s not “little”. It’s actually about 7min 30sec. But it’s a little bit of fun mixed in with some instructions on how to cook the lobster.

We used the HD GoPro camera to record everything. It’s this really cool little thing that is meant for extreme sports. You can get all these crazy accessories like a head strap, chest strap, water proof case, etc. so you can record your crazy stunts like jumping out of an airplane and what not. We got it because we thought it would be fun for when we go boating and tubing in the summer but thought it would be fun for other everyday things as well. It was our first time using the camera so the video turned out a little dark, but that’s ok.

 

 

Did you see me literally throw the lobster into the pot!? I don’t know why but I was so afraid of that thing! We had a lot of lobster meat left over so I made lobster bisque. I used an incredibly easy recipe:

Lobster Bisque

1 can cream of shrimp soup (I couldn’t find this so I just used tomato soup and it tasted great)
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
3 c. milk (I used 1.5 cups heavy cream, and 1.5 cups skim milk)
1/2 – 1 lb. lobster cut into small pieces

Combine soups together. Add milk and 1/2 of the lobster meat. Use a hand blender (or real blender) to get rid of any chunks/lumps. Add the rest of the lobster meat pieces and cook slowly until very hot. Do not boil.

I know it sounds weird to use tomato and mushroom soups in lobster bisque, but it was actually really good. It had just a hint of tomato and you couldn’t taste the mushroom. It was the perfect combination so that it wasn’t “fishy”.

Enjoy!

Apr
3
Easter-ish
By • Filed In: Projects

I’m baaaack! As Kal said yesterday, we took a week off to enjoy our spring breaks. We sound like college students heading off for a week-long party when we say spring break but being a teacher means that we still get one glorious week off during the month of March. It just doesn’t included a bunch of college students, cheap beer, and a really crowded hotel room. Or maybe it does? Hmm. Jeff and I didn’t head anywhere, but we did have a great week. I’ll get to more about what my whirlwind of a week was like on another day, but for now lets talk Easter.

Remember my post on a spring mantel? I mentioned these cute little egg.

They look like normal Easter eggs that have been colored. But nope. They aren’t your typical egg. Pick them up and flip them over and and you’ll find a little patch of tissue paper where there used to be shell. Then crack the egg open and instead of a white and yolk, you’ll find fun and colorful confetti.

Sorry for the crazy bad lighting in the pic on the right. Call me lazy, but I just didn’t feel like taking another pic. What? Don’t judge. Isn’t honesty supposed to be a good thing? Anyway, I had mentioned that I was going to add these fun gems to my jar filled with moss and I finally got on that.

I should have taken a pic of the other side too because there are some fun yellow and red ones over there. It definitely makes it more Easter-ish than spring-ish. But that is actually the extent of my Easter decorating. I have a few cute an fun things I could have put up around the house, but time got away from me. I figured my mantel gave the Easter feel without being too over-the-top Easter-ish.

What Easter decorations or crafts have you guys done this year?

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Apr
2
Mason Jar Chandelier
By • Filed In: Travel

Sorry we’ve been MIA this past week!  Cort and I took some time to relax over our spring break.  I spent a few of my days off visiting Nashville.  I’m a huge country music fan and have always wanted to visit the honkey tonks where most musicians started their careers.  Downtown Nashville was everything I expected – Broadway Street lined with open bars blaring with live music.  Brian and I had a blast with our friends Brad and Kendal!

After our 7.5 hour drive down to Nashville we headed straight to the hotel to shower and get ready for a day downtown.  While we were getting ready the boys came across the show, Moonshiners, on the Discovery Channel.  We were all intrigued while watching these rather… very southern men, making Moonshine (very high proof whiskey).  I thought it was hilarious and rather ridiculous that one of these Moonshine maker’s name was Popcorn, one of the most notorious moonshiners that ever lived.

Popcorn Sutton

A couple days later we were back downtown and came across a bar named Bootleggers Inn.  The first thing I see is a whole wall mural of Popcorn Sutton himself!  This place actually sold Popcorn’s Moonshine from mason jars!  They even sold Popcorn Sutton t-shirts with his bearded face taking up the whole front of the shirt.  I found this hilarious.  But I also found something rather creative and interesting.  The bar had chandeliers made of Popcorn’s mason jars.

They had taken two wooden rounds and connected them with knotted rope.  They had a light bulb in the center of each round and attached mason jars with the lids on around the perimter of each round.  I love this look!  Even though I found it in a Nashville honkey tonk, I think it would actually look really neat in a rustic themed bedroom or basement bar.

If you look closely enough, you can see Popcorn’s signature above the XXX jars.

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