Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Favorites: Throw pillow obsession!

Happy Friday and welcome to my throw pillow obsession, folks! I LOVE decorative pillows and how you can change the entire look of a room by switching them up and mixing patterns and colors. I have so many bookmarked that I had to share some of them this week for Friday Favorites! I decided to focus on the pillows I've chosen for our future master bedroom because they are the prettiest! I'm obsessed with robins egg blue right now and I think it pairs beautifully with neutral creams and browns. I love that english cottage/french country/rustic/shabby chic/vintage vibe as you can tell from my wedding decor and I plan to incorporate that into the decor of our home as well! If you haven't checked out the awesome pillows on Etsy you are missing out! So many talented people out there and the prices are pretty much the same (or cheaper) as any home decorating store!  

 I love the interesting print on this pillow and of course the colors are to die for, too! And you literally cannot beat the price.... a set of 2 pillow covers for only $18! The Pillow People on Etsy is a shop full of fresh patterns and great colors. I highly recommend!

Ruffles have a special place in my heart... I just love them so much! This cream pillow is so beautiful and the linen ruffles give it such great texture. I also love how she added the buttons! So unique. Find them at Sutton Place Designs on Etsy.

I wonder if my love of burlap will ever fade?? I highly doubt it! This little nest pillow is so cute and the pop of blue color is just perfect! I love that it's hand-stamped too, which makes every pillow unique! Find it at My Adobe Cottage here.

This robins egg blue damask pillow from Pop O Color is so classic and timeless. It pairs beautifully with other colors and patterns and is the perfect staple pillow. I also love the french country vibe it has! So pretty.

More burlap, what a surprise! :) I couldn't decide between these 2 pillows from Secdus so I had to include both of them! This whole shop is full of burlap and vintage inspired pillows and I pretty much love all of them! I especially love the contrast between the rough burlap and the pretty white ruffles and how cute is that little bird and teacup?! I die!

This 'home is where the heart is' pillow is hand embroidered in beautiful Portland, OR and I love it immensely. You can fully customize it and have the heart put anywhere on the map (or even another country!) for no extra charge! I think it's so sweet and definitely a conversation starter. Check out Plumed for a ton of pretty embroidered pillows! She is talented!

Who DOESN'T love cashmere?? And cashmere RUFFLES?! It just doesn't get any better! I love how she finds sweaters at local thrift stores and turns them into these adorable pillows. Upcyling at its finest, folks! You can find this pillow and tons of other pretty colors here.

Please tell me I'm not the only one with a pillow obsession! Where do you find your favorites ones? Aside from Etsy, I love Target and World Market!

I hope you all have a lovely weekend! It's supposed to storm all weekend long here in Southern CA but I plan to make the best of it and get some snuggle time in with my 2 favorite boys! XOXO

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - Crepe paper rosette tutorial!

I'm so excited to finally share this DIY pomander tutorial with you all! I just love how it came out and I'm happy to show you all how I did it! I really, really wanted to do something fun and different for our flower girl because I'm not crazy about the whole basket thing. I was toying with the idea of a paper cone or a handmade pomander of some kind when I stumbled upon this tutorial on Pinterest for crepe paper rosettes. She used them to make a centerpiece (which is a lovely idea, by the way) but I decided to turn it into a handmade flower girl pomander! (The original idea came from Danielle Flanders and you can see a helpful video tutorial here.) These are pretty easy to make once you get the hang of it and you can use them to make a pomander like me, centerpieces, or even hang them from the ceiling at your next get-together! I am already planning to make more for a bridal shower and I think they'd be lovely in different pastel colors for spring!

Materials needed:

1 4-inch Styrofoam ball
2 80 foot rolls of crepe paper in your choice of color
Piece of wide, satin ribbon for the handle
Low temp hot glue gun + several sticks of glue
Glue stick
2 pushpins (optional)

The first thing you want to do is cut both rolls of crepe paper into strips at your desired length. You can play around with different lengths to see what you like best, but the longer the strip is the bigger the rosette will be. For the size rosettes shown, I did 24 inch strips. Once they are all cut, take the first one and crumple it up into a ball and then carefully un-crumple it. This gives it that 'shabby-chic' look. Then, fold the crumpled strip in half, length-wise. This is another thing you can play around with to see what you like better. You can leave them as-is, fold 1/3 of the way down, or fold them in half like I did. The wider the strip, the taller the rosette. I wanted these to lay pretty flat on the Styrofoam balls, but if you want more dimension you can leave the strips wider. 

When they are folded in half, start rolling them until you get a nice center piece. Once you have the center, keep rolling (not very tightly) and then start twisting the tissue paper every now and then to get the look of petals. If you are confused by this part (like I was) go watch the video tutorial to get a better look at how she twists them. The more twists you have the more textured the rose so just play with it until it looks right to you!

Keep rolling and twisting around using the whole strip until you end up with good sized rosette. Then, using the glue stick, dab some glue on the end and gently press together.

Repeat until you have used all of your strips and you should have a great big pile of rosettes. It will look like way too many, but trust me, it isn't!

Now it's time to glue! Cut a piece of wide satin ribbon to your desired length. This will act as the handle of your pomander (if making centerpieces, you can skip this step!). Then, using the hot glue gun, glue down each side of the ribbon to the Styrofoam ball. Be careful not to burn yourself pressing down! If you have 2 pushpins, pin the ribbon down over the glue for extra security. Once the flowers are on you won't be able to see the pins. 

Now start attaching the rosettes! This is where you use A LOT of glue... put a big glob on the ball, stick the rosette on, and press down gently to secure. Be careful not to put the tip of the glue gun directly onto the Styrofoam for long because it will melt! Continue gluing the rosettes until the whole thing is covered. Start with any larger or wider flowers and save the smaller ones to fill in at the end.  

When you're done, you should end up with something like this! Be sure to let it dry for a few hours before letting anyone play with it because it is delicate! There are so many different ways to decorate with these and customize them with any color... I am obsessed! Rosette balls for everyone! You can also use the rosettes to decorate other things like picture frames or scrapbook pages. The possibilities are endless!

My sister just finished making the flower girl dress so I got to see our adorable little flowers girl all dressed up holding this sweet pomander! I. Almost. Died. She looked like such a little fairy princess and everything is exactly what I pictured in my head! My sister is talented, people! I'm signing her up for the next season of Project Runway! 

I hope you all enjoy your Wednesday! Less than 2 months left until the big day and it's so surreal! Ahhh! XOXO

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - Invitations

Hello everyone! I'm so excited I finally get to show you our wedding invitations! I have inexplicably had the worst luck with these invites which explains why it took so long to post about them! First the color was showing up wrong when I tried to get them printed, then the post office lost them, and then they were re-sent with some outdated information on them (which I didn't realized until AFTER I cut and assembled most of them of course!) and they had to be re-printed and cut and assembled! Needless to say, I am THRILLED to be able to check these off our list!

We asked Diana, one of my favorite designers on the planet, to design the invitations for us. I have used her services in the past for my Etsy shop, gifts, and personal prints for my home and I absolutely love working with her. She's such a doll, SO FAST, and of course oh so talented. And you cannot beat her prices! SO reasonable! I can't recommend her enough. You can find her Etsy shop Livy Love Designs here.

I showed Diana a photo of an invite we liked and she made some changes and created a custom design for us! We are so happy with how they turned out; they were exactly what we were looking for! Because we are getting married at a nature center we decided to keep the oak tree theme going and I am obsessed with our initials carved into the tree! So cute! Our venue involves a bit of walking in a forest (long dirt path!) so I also wanted to include an extra insert to let the guests know not to wear a ball gown and stilettos! We tied these 3 together with some pink and white bakers twine and stuck them inside a kraft envelope. They are perfect and perfectly us and I couldn't be happier! (Also, I realized when I uploaded these that I totally used the wrong lens so I apologize for the blurriness of the photos. I know my photographer will get an amazing photo of them on the day of though!)

So happy that these are done and we'll be sending them off in the mail soon! I'm also really excited to share another fun DIY project AND tutorial next week... it's something I've never done before and I'm so thrilled with how it turned out! Happy Wednesday everyone! XOXO 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Mini Cherry Pies

The weather here in Southern California has been gorgeous and I can't wait for spring and the continuous warm weather! Lately I've been craving warmer weather desserts including my all time favorite... PIE! I have a special connection with pie, probably because it was one of the first desserts I successfully made from scratch as a teenager. I didn't even know at the time that pie crust was something that required skill and practice, but I just followed the recipe and lucked out with an amazing home-made pie! Since then, this cherry pie recipe has been my absolute favorite and I make it all the time. The recipe comes from an old 1990's Debbie Fields cookbook that my mom has called Debbie Fields' Great American Desserts (which I can't even find anymore or I'd link to it!) and it is truly the PERFECT cherry pie. If you have a mini pie maker you can use that, but if not, you can just make them regular sized or experiment with mason jars, ramekins, or a cupcake tin. There are so many cute ways to package a pie and they make great gifts for the pie lover in your life! I made these for my bridesmaids for our wedding crafting night and everyone loved them!

  •  2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks COLD unsalted butter
  • 6-7 tablespoons ICE water
In a large bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or a knife, cut small pea sized pieces of the cold butter into the flour mixture until the mixture is course and crumbly. (These pieces are what make your pie crust flaky so don't skip this step even if it is a hassle!) Then, add the ice water one tablespoon at a time and stir with a fork until the mixture starts holding together. Do not overmix! Seperate the dough into 2 balls, one slightly larger than the other, flatten into a disk shape and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour before using.

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 16oz cans of tart, pitted red cherries drained (reserve 1 cup of the juice)
  • 2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a large saucepan whisk together the sugar and cornstarch. Over medium-high heat slowly add the cherry juices whisking until smooth. Bring to a boil stirring constantly until thickened. Gently stir in the cherries and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Cool slightly while preparing the crust.

On a floured surface, roll out the larger disk 1/8 inch thick and at least 2 inches larger than the pie pan. Transfer to the pan and trim the edges to a 1 inch overhang. Chill the pan in the freezer. Grab the smaller disk and roll out. Cut into 12 strips. Remove the chilled pan from the freezer and pour in the pie filling. Top with the dough strips in a lattice pattern and press the edges with your finger to seal. Brush the pie with an egg wash (1 beaten egg + 2 teaspoons sugar) and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Lower the temp to 350 and bake for 30 more minutes or until its golden brown and bubbly.

Now obviously that is for a regular sized pie so you'll need to adapt it to whatever way you're making it. For mini pies, you would cut the dough using the cutter your machine provides and only cook for about 8 minutes. You could also fill a mason jar with the filling and lattice the top with dough. Experiment with different containers and see what you like the best! There is no wrong way to eat pie, people! Enjoy and happy Monday! XOXO

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chocolate chunk pretzel cookies

Lately I've been craving the sweet and salty combination in desserts and I've been pouring sea salt on everything I make! There's nothing like the crunch of salt to bring out the sweetness of chocolate. It's to DIE FOR. I've been looking for the perfect chocolate/pretzel dessert but every recipe I come across has something I either don't have or don't like. I decided to do my own take on the chocolate chip/pretzel cookie and created my own recipe! This is one of my most successful cookies to date! It's the perfect combination of soft and chewy and salty and crunchy. I used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe as a base and then made a few changes as needed. They turned out beyond delicious so I knew I had to share the recipe!

You will need:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) at room temperature 
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk at room temperature 
  • 1 cup broken pretzel pieces (I put pretzels in a ziplock bag and just crushed them with my hands until I got the right size pieces)
  • 1 cup milk chocolate roughly chopped (I chopped up a giant Hershey kiss that Mando gave me for Valentines Day, but you can use a few Hershey bars instead or any good milk chocolate bar or even milk chocolate chips)
First, pre-heat your oven to 325 degrees. Then mix the flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk and set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Then beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.

Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate and pretzel pieces by hand using a wooden spoon. The dough will be very chunky and delicious!

Scoop out cookie dough and loosely roll into 1 inch balls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Don't worry if the balls of dough are falling apart a little bit, they don't have to be perfect! The cookies will spread a bit while baking so make sure to allow enough room.

Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. (DO NOT skip this step! It's what keeps them soft and chewy!)

Make sure to try the cookies while they are still warm! The melted chocolate with the crunchy pretzels will send your taste buds over the edge! Delicious! If anyone tries these make sure to let me know how you like them! Enjoy! XOXO

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - DIY mason jar centerpieces

 This last weekend Mando and I met up with our wedding coordinator at the LA flower market to pick out flowers for our centerpieces. I knew I wanted baby's breath and peonies but I was still looking for a 3rd option. I kind of have a love affair with florals after working in a flower shop so I was happy to browse around all morning. Peonies sadly were not in season yet, but I found some gorgeous spider mums to play around with in the meantime! I also found the perfect 3rd type of flower which are those white pom pom flowers you see in the ivory centerpiece. I'm all about texture so my main goal was to try and get the perfect balance and I really lucked out finding those at the last minute! I'm super excited to do my own flowers for the wedding. It's been a long time since I've worked with flowers at all, but it isn't something you really forget! I spent the rest of the weekend experimenting with different boutineer styles and bouquet wraps which was really fun! The floral arrangements aren't the only DIY project I have going on either.... I'm also making my own centerpieces. I knew I wanted to incorporate my love of mason jars (which goes perfectly with the rustic theme) so I came up with 3 different designs for each table.

1. Burlap & lace mason jars: Burlap and lace has been a continuing theme throughout the wedding so I knew I had to use them for the centerpieces! This is just a quart size mason jar with a wide strip of burlap around it and hot glued in the back. I then wrapped it with a piece of wide ivory lace ribbon and hot glued that as well. Super easy once you have all the strips cut out! The good news is that the strips don't have to be perfectly straight or even because the frayed edges just add to the rustic charm!

Ivory painted centerpieces: I wanted one centerpiece that was different than the others so I chose to do these ivory painted cans to mix it up. This is beyond simple and super inexpensive to make! I just started collecting large cans after we used them at home and then peeled the labels off. You may have to scrub them afterwards to get any glue redisdue off as well. Then, once they were completely dry, I spray painted them in this ivory color. They aren't super fancy, but that's okay... the more rustic looking the better!

Twine wrapped mason jars: Last but not least are these pint sized mason jars! I bought some thick twine at a craft store and wrapped them around the middle adding a dab of hot glue here and there to hold it together. Again, easy and inexpensive to make!

I really love how all of these turned out. They are exactly the look I was going for and I think they'll look amazing on the tables! You can't beat pretty centerpieces on a budget! Now I just have to finish the rest of them, haha!

Next week I'll (hopefully) talk about our invitations and even share a sneek peak! Almost time to mail them out, can you believe it?! Ahh! XOXO

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Favorites: Color palette love!

In between planning the wedding and keeping my toddler entertained, most of my time is spent daydreaming about my future home. What style it will be, what furniture I'll choose, and of course the design and colors. I've been obsessively hoarding my favorite color palettes on Pinterest so I thought it'd be fun to share some of them with you this week for Friday Favorites!

I originaly planned to link each picture to its original source, however I just discovered that about 70% of the original links don't work anymore. So I'll link you guys to my Home Inspiration board on Pinterest instead! You can find each of these on there.

I love this cranberry and teal color combination, don't you? I think it's very relaxing and unexpected. I would probably use these colors for a master bathroom.

The yarn palette is more color than I would normally do, but I like how they are still subtle tones. I think this palette would be perfect for a girl's bedroom or nursery!

The bread palette is my absolute favorite. I can't even pick one particular room, because there are so many I would use it for! Bedroom, bathroom, living room, dining room... I love the espresso paired with the cream and that teal and tiffany blue add the perfect pops of color! It feels really rustic and earthy which I love!

I adore bright and sunny kitchens so this yellow and aqua palette would be absolutely perfect! How pretty would it be paired with natural wood and all white dishes? SWOON! I'm also loving that vintage colander in the picture.

Another bright palette! I love this coral and turquoise combination for the master bedroom. I would have never thought to put these colors together on my own, but I've recently seen some gorgeous bedrooms in these shades and they compliment each other really well.

This espresso and robins egg blue palette is another favorite. I just find these colors very calming and peaceful which, again, I think is perfect for the master bathroom!

This palette is another idea for the master bedroom or a guest bedroom. I love that mint color especially paired with the creamy browns. The purple is an unexpected pop of color that totally works. These tones also give off a vintage vibe which I really love.

I can't wear mustard yellow (pale girl, holla!) but that doesn't mean I can't have it in my house, right?! This palette is the perfect combination of rustic and modern with the earthy tones and pop of bright color. I think this palette would work really well for a family room or dining area.

Another rustic inspired palette, hooray! These colors remind me of a cozy cabin in the winter time and it would be perfect for a family room! I love the cranberry color and although I don't normally like green, it really works here and makes me think of pine trees and the woods. So pretty!

What color combinations are you loving right now? Don't you just love all of these beautiful palettes popping up everywhere? I like how easy is it to just choose a photo that inspires you and design an entire room around it! I can't wait to put some of these design ideas in action! Hopefully someday soon! Have a great weekend everybody! XOXO

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - Favors, check!

I told you guys a looooong time ago that I was planning on doing vintage skeleton keys as wedding favors and since then I've been on the prowl! It has not easy finding 100+ vintage keys all around the same size! I've been to different vintage flea markets probably 5 or 6 times in the past fews months trying to find the perfect keys. I knew I could slowly collect some here and there until it added up to the amount I needed, but I also knew that it would be a lot cheaper if I was able to buy them in a large lot. Some of these people wanted $8 per key! I finally found this rad guy at the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market who promised he could get over 100 keys for me and he actually came through! So, this last weekend Mando and I drove out there and I got to hand pick 100 of his best keys for just over $2 a piece! I was beyond stoked, people! These keys are just beautiful, in great condition, and exactly what I was looking for. I will be sad to give them away! He also gave us this awesome vintage Corona cigar box to put them in which was like FATE because Corona is my future last name! I'm so happy I got to check 'favors' off of our to-do list! Also, I had WAY too much photographing these keys! So pretty!

We also purchased all of the alcohol for the wedding over the weekend! I literally bought every single bottle of Barefoot wine and champagne at Bevmo... even their extra stock in the back. I currently have over 50 bottles of my favorite wine chilling in the house. Do you know how hard it will be to not touch it for the next 3 months?! OMG. This weekend we are off to the LA flower market to price out some flowers... another thing to check off the list! It's gotten to the point that we are buying stuff or meeting someone every single day. The list never ends! I just can't wait to see everything come together and to marry my best friend! So close! XOXO

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Favorites: Hey girl.

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I wanted to do a post about candy... eye candy that is! And what better eye candy than Ryan Gosling? I don't know if it's his role in The Notebook or what, but it seems like he has every girl open mouthed and drooling these days. A few months ago I started seeing these 'Hey girl' handmade Ryan Gosling pictures popping up on Pinterest and not only do they feature yummy pictures of Mr. Gosling, but they are also effing HILARIOUS! I die laughing every single time I see one and they are quickly gaining more and more popularity in the handmade community. You probably won't understand them if you don't have an Etsy shop or if you aren't involved in the crafty/DIY community (aka every male on the planet), but it's like porn for crafters, yo! This week for Friday Favorites I wanted to share my favorite Hey Girl's, and be prepared because there are A LOT of them! 

All of these come from the handmade Ryan Gosling tumblr site, so if you want to spend the next 4 hours cracking up make sure to check it out! New ones are constantly being added, too!

Oh, and if you're looking for REAL Valentine's Day dessert ideas you can check out my posts from last year which include 3 days of unique Valentine Dessert ideas! You can see them here, here, and here. Happy Friday everyone! XOXO

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - Dessert Menu

I know I have posted about our wedding cake design in the past, but it has changed since then. You will find this happening a lot in wedding planning, especially when it comes to me! New ideas come up all the time and I'm switching things up! When we found out that our wedding planner has a friend who is trying to start his own baking business (He was featured on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars! How fun is that?) we knew we wanted to meet with him to see what flavor combinations and ideas he had. As soon as we met him and his business partner (our wedding planner's brother) we instantly loved them and I knew they would have a fresh perspective for my non-traditional ideas. His presentation was beautiful and we loved all 3 cupcakes he brought for us to taste!

Mando and I weren't sure if an entire dessert table would be in our budget but after talking to Isaac we determined that we could make it work! Instead of doing a gigantic wedding cake, we will be doing a smaller cake for Mando and I to cut into and then individual cupcakes of the same flavor for the guests. This was an easy way to bring the cost down and make more room for the dessert table budget.

I knew I wanted to do a theme for the dessert table, because honey, I'm all about the themes! I almost NEED one when it comes to planning! We thought about our absolute favorite desserts and I came up with the idea of rustic, country fair themed desserts. So, here's what's on the menu... most are being made by Isaac but some things we will be bringing ourselves!
  • S'mores cake and cupcakes - these cupcakes are freaking amazing! I totally copied my wedding planner on the flavor, because she had it for her wedding and I fell in love with the idea. It's very different and I think the guests are going to love it.
  • Mini cherry and apple pies - I knew if I was going to do a dessert table there would be pie. Because, obviously. Pie is amazing and everything is better in mini form, am I right?!
  • Donut holes - A big ol' platter of them. Yum. Enough said.
  • Gourmet mini caramel apples - Caramel apples always remind me of my mom because it's one of her favorite desserts. These are kind of dedicated to her and a silly thank you for all the help she's given us while planning the wedding. I think they are going to be so pretty once decorated, I can't wait to see what he comes up with!
  • Cotton candy - you can't have a country fair dessert table without cotton candy! I think this will be something all of the kids at the wedding will specially enjoy. And trust me, there will be A LOT of kids there!
  • Kettle corn - Mando and I are obsessed with kettle corn and we always get a huge bag when we go to the fair so this was a must on our table! We have a local popcorn shop that we love so we'll be picking it up from there and packaging it into individual bags for the guests!
I'm ridiculously excited about this menu. Like, I can't stop thinking about it. Wedding dress be damned, I will be stuffing my face with a little bit of everything! As for the design, I rented a covered wagon from a local prop house and we'll be using that (without the cover) as the dessert table. Fun stuff! Right now is crunch time, so we are busy working out all the tiny details that go along with planning a wedding. Less than 3 months to go! XOXO

Monday, February 6, 2012

He's getting so big.

It's been a long time since I've posted any photos of Cayden... I stopped doing Wordless Wednesday when I started Wedding Planning Wednesday and I didn't realize that was usually when I would post new photos of him! So, I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite pictures of him from the last few months. He's 19 months now, and getting so big. His vocabulary has just exploded lately and he's even saying 2 and 3 word sentences! It's so crazy that I can actually have a conversation with my baby boy. They aint lyin' when they say they grow up way too fast! He's going through this silly face phase and some of my favorite photos of him are these weirdly cute faces he makes, so bare with me here!

 At the park. The boy loves his slides! It's so rare to get smiley pictures of him lately which is why I super extra love these photos.

 Does my child have the most beautiful eyes and lashes or what? His huge brown eyes remind me of an owl so much sometimes, and this silly closed-eyes-lashes picture reminds me of a giraffe. And I don't know why I keep comparing my toddler to animals, but I still love these pictures!

 Hipster baby! This child is too freaking adorable in his little flannel shirt and vans. Also, he has the perfect hair here. I wish it would stay like this all the time. I swear, he's a direct descendant of Harry Potter... the boy's hair is always sticking up in a hundred places!

These pictures were just taken last week and I love the silly faces. He loves Clifford AKA 'Ruff Ruff' so when we saw this shirt of course he HAD to have it!

Can you guys believe how big my sweet boy is? It feels like yesterday I was posting his birthday story! I just can't believe how big his personality is and how independent he's becoming! Wahh! Time for a new baby, am I right?!? XOXO

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Favorites: Party themes & ideas!

I love me a good party. I'm always thinking of unique ways to celebrate any and every occasion. One of my favorite things to do is read party planning blogs and search for inspiration on Pinterest for all of my imaginary future parties. I have a board dedicated to all of my favorite themes, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorites with you for Friday Favorites! I broke this down into three catagories: adult, special occasion, and children's parties. Of course any of them could be adapted to fit whatever occasion you need though!


Outdoor movie night: I remember the day I saw this party online and my mouth literally dropped. Not only is this party styled to PERFECTION, but the outdoor, picnic style is so up my alley! I love the idea of renting a projector, throwing some quilts on the ground, and having a gourmet popcorn bar for you and some close friends. We were actually going to do something like this for our rehearsal dinner, but went with something else last minute.

Gourmet pizza party: I love parties that have anything to do with cooking or baking or you know, eating. This adult DIY pizza party is such a fun way to get all of your friends together and do something different! Just put butcher paper over your table, make piles of gourmet toppings, and write descriptions right on the paper next to each pile. This is perfect for people who have picky guests too, because everyone gets so make their own mini pizza with the sauce/toppings of their choosing!

Special Occasion

Gender reveal party: In my family, someone is ALWAYS having a baby or getting married. I capital L-O-V-E the idea of a gender reveal party instead of a baby shower. One of my Twitter friends showed me this amazing mustache or bows party theme and I AM doing it for my next baby! Each guest chooses a mustache pin if they think it's a boy, or a bow pin if they think it's a girl and they wear it around the party until the big reveal! Adorbs! You know I'm a sucker for anything with a mustache!

Breakfast party: I have been obsessing over the idea a breakfast party for months and months now. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and an entire party dedicated to it? Hello, perfection! This coffee and donut tasting party would be perfect for a bridal shower theme, don't you think? After all, who doesn't like donuts??


Farm party: This theme has been done so many times and in so many different ways, but for some reason it never gets old. I love that it's wholesome and kind of old school! Pony rides, bobbing for apples, tractors, petting zoos... I also love that it works for a boy or a girl easily. How gorgeous is that table, by the way? I die for that cake and the haystacks being used to hold the cake pops? Genius!

Camping party: I'm DYING to do a camping themed party for Cayden but I want to wait until he's older so he can enjoy it more. This particular party uses a ton of vintage which of course I love. There are so many activities that go with this theme too... scavenger hunts, s'mores, 'camping out' in the backyard. It seems like so much fun for little ones! After all, who doesn't love to go camping?!

What party themes are you loving these days? You can see the rest of my favorite ideas on my Pinterest party board here. Immediately after this wedding I have to get started on Cayden's 2nd birthday party and although it won't be huge this year, I'm still really excited! Happy Friday everyone! XOXO

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - Help me choose!

Right now, I'm working on all of the decor details for the ceremony site and it's proving to be challenging. With all of the beautiful (and huge!) trees surrounding the place you are limited to how you can decorate. You definitely don't want to over-do it and take the away from all of the natural beauty but you don't want it looking too plain either! So I'm just trying to find that perfect balance between decorated and overdone!

One of the things I just can't decide about is the backdrop. The bottom right picture below is our actual ceremony location and as you can see there is a wooden structure, almost like an arch. This is the focal point of the stage and I really want to draw the eye to that area. The problem is, there are so many possible ways to decorate I just cannot choose which one I like the best! This is where you come in... I would love, love, LOVE if you all gave YOUR opinions and helped me choose which one you like the best!

(1, 2, 3, 4)

1. Pom pom string garland. This would be similar to the one in the picture, but the pom poms would be in all ivory and they would hang in vertical strips from the structure (like the raw cotton balls hanging down in #4). I like that this would look really delicate and whimsical, but I'm not sure if it is ENOUGH, know what I mean?

2. Strands of ribbon. I love this picture, and it reminds me SO much of our location. I think the ribbons look really effortless and beautiful. The only thing I'm worried about is the cost of so much ribbon and finding some that are long enough! I would love to mix it up with different kinds of lace, though! 

3. Fabric pom poms. My sister made tissue paper pom poms for Cayden's birthday last year and I loved them, but the fabric just takes it to a whole new level. I love the texture they provide and you can mix it up with all different kinds of fabric. I would hang these vertically as well, at all different levels. I would probably do various kinds of burlap, cotton, and lace fabrics.  

4. Fabric swag. This is what most people do who get married here. They just drape one long piece of fabric over the structure. I like how this looks, but I'm worried it's too simple and I have no idea how much it would cost for that long of a piece of fabric.

Clearly, I need help! Which option is your favorite? Any new ideas or suggestions I haven't thought of? I'm honestly stuck here and need your help deciding! Any and all responses are appreciated! XOXO

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wedding Planning Wednesday - New DIY project!

With only a little over 3 months left until the big day, I've been up to my elbows in DIY wedding projects! Right now I'm working on the tables and the centerpieces and I thought I'd share the yarn wrapped table numbers I just made! This was such an easy way to make cute table numbers on a budget and although they are time consuming and a little imperfect, I love the rustic, handmade feel they have. I won't bore you all with a tutorial, because 1) I think it's pretty self explanatory and 2) there's probably about 100 of them already out there if you need them, but I will tell you that I bought the numbers, letters, and yarn at JoAnns and one jumbo roll of ivory yarn got me through all 13 table numbers!

Inspired by this photo on Pinterest, I also wanted to make yarn wrapped signs for our table, the dessert table, guestbook table, and the bar. I really wanted one letter to pop so I used a shimmery, champagne colored yarn to contrast with the ivory letters and I love how it turned out. I also used the champagne to make the '1' for our table stand out!

Next time I'll show you guys how I'm sprucing up those mason jars to use as vases for our flowers! Everything is slowly but surely coming together! Yay! Happy Wednesday everyone! XOXO

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Favorites: Birthday Wishlist!

Hello everyone! It's been awhile since I've done a Friday Favorites post! My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and since everyone in my family has been bugging me and asking me what I want, I thought it would be fun to do a little birthday wishlist!

I don't like big or fancy gifts... My favorite type of presents are small, silly, or sentimental things that I know people put a lot of thought into. I have a bunch of stuff favorited on Etsy or Pinned that I wouldn't normally buy for myself but that I would definitely like to have! Here are just a few of the items I'm currently crushing on...

Santa didn't bring me my Kate Spade iPhone case, so on the birthday list it goes! Polka dots are my favorite thing in the world and I adore anything Kate Spade!

I've had my eye on this bag from Etsy for ages. It's the perfect shape and size and you just can't go wrong with black and white stripes! I love!

I need a new makeup bag, yo! I have an adorable one from Olive Blue but it's just too small for all my stuff. I absolutely adore this little chevron cosmetic bag. It's the perfect size and you know I'm crushing on that print!

I'm a huge nerd, and if you get me anything at all to do with Harry Potter I'll be the happiest chick on the planet. I don't think there's anyone in the world more obsessed than me! I pink puffy heart this key chain from Etsy! It belongs to me!

I need the Harry Potter cookbook! Enough said.

I love mugs and I love Harry Potter, and I especially love this quote from Harry Potter. And the best part? When you pour in a hot drink the mug changes to white and the words change to 'Mischief Managed'!! AHHH! Need!!

Along with Harry Potter, matryoshka dolls are obviously another obsession/collection of mine and I'd be happy with pretty much any matryoshka gift. I adore this sweet little necklace from Etsy. Too cute!

I love to bake, and weird, kitchsy bakeware always makes me happy. This mini tiered cake pan from Amazon is so cute and fun! Mini cakes for everyone!

I die for this mustache jar! I go nuts over random, funny, and clever stuff like this and I want it so bad!

I'll stop there and save you from the rest of the Harry Potter and mustache madness! Birthdays are so fun and although I'd be happy with a cupcake and a kiss, it's fun putting a little wishlist together! And please, feel free to print this list out and show it to Mando ;)  Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a fantastic weekend with your loved ones! XOXO

Friday, January 13, 2012

Winner winner chicken dinner!

Happy Friday everyone! Just popping in to announce all 3 winners of our Celebrating Handmade giveaways! Thank you so much to everyone who entered and to those who are supporting handmade and small businesses everyday! It's so important and I hope you will all continue to do so! And now, without further ado, the winners are....

Giveaway #1 - Lace Garter from Krumpets Designs - Winner is Stacey! Congratulations!!!

Giveaway #2 - Polka Dot Bowtie from Dana Eckert - Winner is Jessica! Congratulations!!

Giveaway #3 - Pair of Engraved Stemless Wine Glasses - Winner is Alana! Congratulations!!

Yay, congrats winners! I'll be in touch with all 3 of you shortly to put you in contact with the Etsy shop owners! Thanks again to everyone who entered and thank you to the 3 ladies who supplied these fabulous prizes!! And don't worry if you didn't win... I have another giveaway coming soon! Happy Friday everyone! XOXO