7.29.2011

This Weekend: First Wedding Anniversary

Today I am attending my last wedding of the summer and marks the completion of the "great tour of weddings," as I have been calling it the last couple of weeks. In a few hours I am jetting off to El Paso to watch my dear friend marry her prince charming tonight.

Then I'm flying back to Dallas first thing in the morning tomorrow so I can get back for a weekend full of anniversary festivities with my husband! Our official anniversary is on Sunday, but we're going to the Brad Paisley/Blake Shelton concert on Saturday to kick of the celebration. We bought this exciting Groupon last week that gives us a three-course meal for two and a 30 minute sightseeing flight above DFW, so that is our official anniversary event on Sunday night.

The traditional gift for the first wedding anniversary is paper, and I'm very excited to show my other half his handmade present. I'll give you those details and a tutorial next week since he reads this blog. I'm terrible at keeping secrets and feel so proud that I have made it this far without telling him!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a few of my favorite personal touches from our wedding last year. One of the biggest hits was this giant G we had made to serve as our guest book. Here I am in White Sands, NM, doing my best impression of a cheerleader with our guestbook:



Now we have this G hanging up in our dining room, and it's always a conversation piece. Several of my friends getting married soon have asked me where I had this G made. I ordered it online from Woodland Manufacturing, and I think it ran me about $40. Check out the selection HERE.  I had it done in MDF, and my lovely brother painted it white for us. Everyone signed it with a black Sharpie.

I'd always wanted turquoise jewelry with my wedding dress, but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I ended up customizing my turquoise and pearl jewelry (earrings and bracelet) through this Etsy seller, Lauren Blythe Designs. She's wonderful to work with, and her prices are very affordable. Click HERE to visit her shop. We chatted online and she created exactly what I wanted– it was amazing!



We bought Scott's wedding ring through Etsy, too. He loves wood, and this ring had wood embedded in the band. Once again, we worked with the seller personally to create a custom piece. He loves his ring and gets so many inquiries about it. The best part is that the wood has weathered in the past year, making it even more charming and rugged, which is what I was going for. (My husband isn't the flashy type.) We bought it HERE.

Ok, I have to dash to the airport! I'd love to share more wedding details next week. Happy weekend!

* Paper Hearts <3 *


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7.28.2011

More Mirror Fun

Prior to making my sunburst/star burst mirror purchase a couple days ago, I had been virtually shopping for these for a few months. I had also been scouring blogs for some great DIY versions. Here are some of my favorite homemade mirrors you can try for yourself:

This lovely version is made out of old cereal boxes! It's pretty awesome and creative, if you ask me.
View the tutorial HERE.

 photo from www.bystephanielynn.com 

This beautiful version is made with a bundle of decorative branches from Ikea. Again, totally brilliant! View her tutorial HERE

photo from www.isabellaandmaxrooms.blogspot.com

This funky version is made of an equally unorthodox material- PVC pipes! I love it. Read her tutorial HERE.


photo from www.shelterness.com via www.thriftyandchic.com

Isn't it interesting how each one is so different? This is the type of project you can really put your own spin on.

Maybe you love this look but aren't feeling very creative. There are so many options to choose from online, from really affordable to definitely splurge-worthy. The MIRROR I bought this week was from Home Goods, if you're lucky enough to have one nearby. I've rounded up a few from my favorite place to order stuff online, Amazon. 

Side note: Isn't it awesome how Amazon lets you ship items within your order to different locations, without having to check out and enter your billing information a million different times? That feature was so convenient last year as I was ordering Christmas gifts for people across the country. 
Amazon = Amazing. I did my wedding registry on there too, and the Universal Registry feature was the best thing since sliced bread.

First up, this 20" wrought iron version from American Chateau. It's a little smaller than most, so I think it would look good on a small wall or in a grouping of mirrors.

photo from www.amazon.com

Click the link below to read reviews and get more information.



If you've got deep pockets, you may want to consider this beautiful mirror. It's all over Amazon at different prices, ranging from $617 to $798. That's definitely out of my budget, but I do think it would be a great piece. It's very glamorous!




 I know it's not exactly the same as a sunburst mirror, but I have always loved THIS one at Pier 1.  There are other great affordable versions at Hobby Lobby and Target, too. 

* Almost Friday! *

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7.27.2011

All Star Mirror

I have been wanting some starburst mirrors for quite some time now, but I had not been able to find what I was looking for in my budget. I'd pinned all sorts of beautiful starburst mirrors to my Pinterest account (eye candy for you HERE and HERE).

One of my favorite blogs, Centsational Girl, ran a poll this week to find out if the starburst mirror was trendy or timeless. (She calls them sunburst mirrors, but I'm going to go with starburst because mine looks more like a star and that happens to be my favorite candy. Fair enough, right?)

The masses voted, and "trendy" is in the lead by only a few percentage points. I don't really care if it's trendy– I like it!

I had big hopes of doing my own DIY version, but then I saw some great ones at Home Goods that were only $40/each. Thanks to a gift card from my brother and his new wife (for helping with the wedding flowers), these came home with me with little complaint from the husband. This is my gift card and I get to buy what I want!

I originally was going to place one on each side of the TV in our master bedroom, but I felt like this empty corner in the living room was calling out for something fun like this. We spend so much time in this room, and that corner is one of the first parts of the house your eye sees when you walk in the back door (our main entrance), so it's the perfect spot!





So what do you think? Timeless or trendy?

Scott thinks it looks like a sheriff's badge! I think it looks fabulous.

My perspective is that at $40, who cares if I don't like it in five years? (I think I will continue to like them, though. I have a thing for stars, like THESE hanging star lanterns in our backyard. In fact, the entire state of Texas has a thing for stars, and we plan to be long-term Texans.)

*Feeding 20 high school football players tonight. Wish me luck! *
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7.25.2011

*What I Bought*

I'm bound to shop any time I travel somewhere, and El Paso is no exception. I'm especially prone to shopping when my best friend is in town because we are both major [bargain] shopaholics. We love Marshalls and were regulars at the local Marshalls during our high school years, so we make a point to visit the store every time we are back in town. Even in the chaotic weekend that was my brother's wedding, you better believe we found time for shopping!

I spent a whopping $7.02 at Marshalls, which is probably the lowest amount of money I have ever spent at that store. I bought two small things that I completely love. First, my husband was so proud of me for buying this little notebook/life organizer. Until now we have been carrying our gift cards and coupons in a Fossil wallet tin box, or they were just floating around my massive purse. Now they are categorized and filed in this handy dandy little organizer! (The label on the back of the notebook says you can buy your own at www.everyiota.com.)






Cool, right? Honestly, Scott was so happy that I spent part of our 10-hour drive back to Dallas organizing our life into this little notebook. My wallet is now much thinner, and my purse has a lot less random receipts and club cards floating around. He's such a neat freak, and this purchase makes him a happy camper. 

Then I bought this little octagonal tray at Marshalls for $2.50 (on sale). The Tiffany-blue pulled me in, and the low price was the nail in the coffin. I haven't quite decided where to put it yet, but I'm sure it will find a home soon. 


Over at Hobby Lobby I picked up this neat little table for $50 (on sale). I liked how it had two different levels, and it was charming with its rope handles and shabby chic paint treatment. I plan to use it as the bedside table in the guest room. We still have a lot of work to do in that room, so I'll wait until it looks better to show you the pictures.


Lastly, I scored a silver poof from the Calypso St. Barths line at Target for 50% off. I have seen these all over the blogosphere, and they look great in a variety of settings. I'm thinking it will stay in our master bedroom, which is really the only room with silver and nickel accents. 


Of course, all of these purchases made for a tight squeeze in the car on the way home. We brought my little SUV instead of Scott's truck, so we didn't have much space. Scott was putting the Tetris puzzle together when I heard him yell, "THERE'S NO ROOM FOR THE POOF!" I don't know why – maybe I was delirious – but I found it extremely funny to hear my husband use the word "poof" with such distress in his voice. As you can see in the photo below, we found room for the poof (top right corner) and all purchases made it back safely. How cute are our nuggets in the backseat?!


* Back in the Big D *

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Traveling & Crafting

My short blog hiatus is due to the fact that I have been out of town to be a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding! We went to high school in El Paso, Tx., and my brother and his now-wife still live there, so it was the site of the wedding.

While back in El Paso, I got to meet up with an old friend from high school. I was very excited to hear that she reads my blog and wanted to recreate some of the projects I have done in her new place. (What? Someone actually reads my blog besides my husband and my mom?!) She and her boyfriend have only been living there for three weeks, so she wanted to get creative and make some really affordable art for the walls.

After a quick trip to Hobby Lobby to pick up the essential supplies– Mod Podge, scrapbook paper, canvas and paint brushes, we went back to her house for a little crafting session.

Jen (my friend) really liked the way THIS ARTWORK looks in my bathroom, so she wanted to create her own version for her hallway. It took about 20 minutes before she had the whole thing finished. It looks great! I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone since I didn't have a camera with me.







While we were out shopping, Jen picked up this great pad of scrapbook paper in the stationery section at Marshalls. Each page was a print of a different piece of artwork by a really neat multimedia artist whose name escapes me right now. The entire pad (40+ sheets) was only $6. Anyway, we decided to buy some $5 frames at Hobby Lobby and frame three of the pages to make a nice set of art for her kitchen. They came out great and match the bright, happy colors in the kitchen of her rental house. 


 
 How cute are the fork and spoon cabinet pulls? This is one rental house with a lot of personality!



She couldn't decide where in her kitchen she wanted to hang them, so I left them by her really cute turquoise coffee maker. Can you believe those pictures are from a pad of scrapbook paper?

Well, we made a 10-hour drive back to Dallas today and I just officially hit the wall. (Actually, it was an 11-hour drive because we accidentally took the wrong road for a stretch, but who's counting?)

I'm off to catch some zzzz's. I'll be back tomorrow to show you some of the fun home decor items I bought while I was in El Paso!

* Sweet Dreams *



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7.18.2011

*Bold* Color in my bathroom

My husband just finished his bathroom renovation. It's brown and white and masculine and oh-so HIM. You can see his bathroom HERE.

I was jealous. My bathroom is perfectly lovely, but it's not that fun. I decided to make some minor changes that would make a big impact, starting with adding a "WHOA" color.

Now, we already renovated this bathroom. We tore down the bulkhead and completely re-did the shower with a sleek glass wall. We also added a new vanity and tiled the floors. You can read more about the previous reno HERE.

BEFORE:



AFTER: 

Let's take a peek at my view from the bed, shall we?


Whoa, pink!


My inspiration? My favorite perfume:


I made a little art piece to keep things modern. I was afraid the hot pink would go "too teenager" if I didn't keep the art simple. My favorite paper flowers are back again, and I like how they tie in the master bedroom with this bathroom. I used the same scrapbook paper that I added to the artwork in Scott's bathroom.






My husband was at Lowe's one day when he spotted this wall cabinet for $13 on clearance (down from $100)! Knowing how much I need storage in my bathroom, he snatched it up for me. It really does help my storage problem, and the white coordinates well with the existing vanity.  


I thought it would be fun to personalize the inside of my cabinet, so I got out my white puff paint and went to work, adding polka dots and one of my new favorite sayings. It's always nice to read something positive while you're getting ready for work, right? Then I added a few of my favorite pictures to the inside, and now I feel like the cabinet was custom-made for me. LOVE it!



I was a little scared of the pink, but I'm so glad I took the risk! It's just a mirror so if I get tired of it, I'll repaint it. The grey and white background would look great with so many different accent colors. I could see a glossy black, deep peacock blue, gold, yellow... 

I have a feeling I'll be changing the mirror with my mood. Right now I'm loving the happiness of bright pink, so the bathroom makes me smile. As my mom said, "You are obsessed with pink lately!" In my defense, the other pink in my life involved bridal and baby showers, so I had yet to use the color in my actual home. It's fair to say that I have purchase a few fuschia shirts lately, though. :)

(In case you're wondering, there is a long-term plan in place to paint all the trim and doors in the house a much brighter white. We inherited the beige color and are anxious to change it, but it will take forever so we've been putting it off! Every single piece of trim and interior door is painted that beige color... *sigh* )

* Stop and smell the (pink) roses. *

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7.16.2011

Pink Baby Sprinkle

We recently threw a baby "sprinkle" for our friend who is expecting a baby girl in about a month. We dubbed it a sprinkle instead of a shower because it was just a small group women gathering to celebrate this impending arrival instead of a big crowd. We had a great time!

I was able to reuse a lot of the pink decorations I made for my sister-in-law's lingerie shower a few weeks ago, which was nice. I love re-purposed decorations, don't you? It's so much easier the second time around when they are already made!

I used the same clothesline concept as the lingerie shower, replacing the undergarments with adorable baby clothes.




I draped one of my favorite oversized scarves down the center as a table runner and created a centerpiece with pink roses and tissue flowers. 



I spelled out Camdyn with the brownies instead of making a cake with the baby name on it. More about those brownies below!


We made a simple punch and my co-host customized water bottles with pink and green labels and baby-related words like "pacifier" and "diaper." 



Simple and sweet, I think. 

On the menu? Homemade fruit salsa and cinnamon tortilla chips, along with Tostitos Scoops (the wheat version, yum!) and a cold queso dip (my mother-in-law's secret recipe). I made brownie bites with an oreo inside, which was an idea I got from Pinterest. They were so delicious! 
 


Those adorable cake pops are from Starbucks and served as tasty party favors. 

As far as the punch, I just mixed a jug of pink lemonade with Sierra Mist. I threw some rasberries in there for decoration, and it tasted really good. I got that adorable drink dispenser from my best friend for my birthday, so I was happy to put it to use for the first time. 


All in all, the lovely mom-to-be got some useful gifts and got to catch up with her friends, so I'm deeming it a very successful shower!

* Lazy Saturday Afternoon*

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7.15.2011

A Comment on Health

Since I am now addicted to Pinterest, I kept seeing this saying popping up all over the site: "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." Apparently Kate Moss (the champion of health) said this in some magazine interview, and women are "pinning" it all over the place.

Quite frankly, this quote turns me off in a big way. I know from experience that skinny does not equal healthy. When I was playing college volleyball, I was muscular and healthy. When I finished playing and started working and going to grad school at night, I stopped eating as much and never worked out. I was skinny and unhealthy. My then-boyfriend/now-husband told me that I didn't look healthy and didn't have color in my cheeks. He wasn't a fan of my new "skinny" look.

Yesterday when I was on Pinterest, I saw a pin that said "Nothing looks as good as healthy feels." THERE YOU GO, I thought. That's the attitude I want to have, that's for sure.

Of course I forgot to repin it, and now I can't find it anywhere.

No big deal– I'll just make my own, right? Here it is!




* I'm pinning it right now. *
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7.12.2011

* End of Summer Sale Alert *

Now's the time to score some great deals on patio furniture! We have been frequenting our local Targets, trying to find some extra patio seating so we can host more than four people for parties and gatherings. Since our existing patio furniture is from Target, we thought we would start there.

We were striking out at Target, so we stopped at the local World Market. When we originally shopping for patio furniture, the World Market stuff was out of our price range. Right when we walked into the store, there was a big chalkboard with the words "CLEARANCE- Make Us An Offer!" written in hot pink chalk.

We haven't negotiated a really good deal in a long while, so I got excited to look around and see what was on clearance. We ended up leaving the store with this beautiful patio lounger for only $75! The original price was $250. WOO to the HOO!


My favorite feature? That cute little pull-out tray for drinks! Nugget #1 decided to relax on the lounger with a nice little mimosa. :) She was such a good model.







Run to your nearest World Market to see if they are running the same great "make me an offer" deal. Even without that deal, most patio furniture was 30-60% off. Target has some items up to 75% off, but then they have some patio items that aren't on sale at all. And from our experience, the items that are on sale are going quickly.

Has anyone been to Lowes or Home Depot to see if they are running any sales on outdoor stuff? We are still looking for some extra seating, preferably stacking or folding chairs so we can store them in our garage when we don't need them. Let me know if you have seen any good deals!

* On a Bargain Hunting High! *


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