Monday, October 24, 2011

A Callus Builds Character: Sealing it Up

Typically, I would wait until tomorrow to post something really cool since I've posted once today but I'm just too excited! Tonight, I went to an event at Anthropologie. It's kind of funny because I have no idea how I found out about it. I'm pretty sure it had something to do with Pinterest and then random blog stalking until I found this:


I'm not sure if you can read the small print, but it says, "Come create your own customized wax seal stamp." Um, excuse me?!?! I secretly already knew that I was going to use the wax seals to finish off our invites. Could this be real??? You had to RSVP online and the stamping was supposed to cost something like $10. I very enthusiastically emailed the seester to tell her how pumped I was and she was excited, too. 

Then, the bad news. It was completely booked. I could, however, be put on a waiting list and if something became available they'd let me know. 

Not worries, a spot opened up for the book signing portion of the event and I signed up right away. Sadly, there still weren't any spots for the wax seal tutorial. So what does a girl like me do? Well, she calls and emails her seester and sulks that she can't go. Then, she goes anyway because her seester convinced her that someone wouldn't show up.... and she was right!! 1 of 3 spots that opened up was given to this girl annnddd I didn't have to pay. Thank you Mr. or Mrs. NoShow.

Let the fun begin.

First, we were greeted with white wine spritzer and mini cupcakes. Not just any mini cupcakes -- zucchini bread ones w/ cream cheese icing and some that tasted like ding dongs. Oh.em.gee. So Anthropologie. So Design*Sponge. So amazing.

Then, we sat down at our work station where there were lots of wood burners and a goodie bag for each person. Each bag had a wooden rod in it, sand paper, some printed out letters and designs, a pencil, a candle, and some stationary.

Grace, the author, gave a quick tutorial and we were left to our own devices.

Step 1) Sand the end of the dowel rod
Step 2) Decide what you're going to put on it. If you were using the designs she provided you cut it out and then traced it on the end. I decided to make my own and just kind of freehanded it.
Step 3) Figure out what type of wood burning tip works well for what you're making. A lady was making a snail (Get it? Snail mail.) and she had a rounder, bigger one and I had the little detail so mine looked more like a calligraphy pen.
Step 4) Take an enthusiastic picture and send it to your sister as your crafting in Anthropologie.

Step 5) Make sure that you've burnt it deep enough to make an impression.
Step 6) Dip the dowel rod in oil and wipe off excess with napkin. *I didn't wipe it at first, but it ended up super oily. No bueno.* Sit it aside.

Step 7) Get your stationary out. Light the candle and let the wax drip. This takes a while, which is why I'll be using the "faux wax" that you can put in a glue gun.
Step 8) After you have a wax blob big enough to cover your stamp, you wait. You don't have to wait long, just long enough so that when you touch the wax it doesn't stick and string off of your finger.
Step 9) Center your stamp in the wax blob. Press softly at first and then firmly.... at the end she suggested putting pressure on the top of the dowel rod to make sure it would leave a complete impression.

Step 10) Admire your work. It's "m <3 k"!!!! Granted, it's kind of hard to see on the metallic silver wax (or maybe it's the iPhone picture), but I think it'll look great on a solid, flat color. Shall I say green or purple?!

After the wax seal fun-ness we were able to get our Design*Sponge at Home book signed. Grace was super nice and even asked to see how my stamp worked out! I literally cannot wait to try some of her projects from her book. I'm not gonna lie, some of them will probably be making an appearance at the wedding.

{All photos personal unless noted.}

I'll take you to the candy shop: Bag-O-Goodies

Like I previously discussed, we will be having a candy buffet (it's going to be epic). I couldn't have everyone leaving with their candy in their pockets! So, that took me on a journey to find adorable doggie bags for each guest to have. Little did I know, there are about 50,000 options on what you can use.

{Very cute but I thought it would be strange to use this with no Chinese theme.}

{Cute, but I just wasn't feeling it.... it could have been the price tag shock.}

{Getting closer. However, this wasn't going to be big enough.}

{A little too DIY  for me.}

Basically, I wasn't finding anything that I loved. Then, the mother came to the rescue again! She had a ton of leftover muslin (She made a HUGE bra out of it for a breast cancer fundraiser) and offered to let me have it. I took her up on the offer thinking that I could make my own cute muslin bags for each person to take.

{Like this.}

So, I went to work and wasn't really sure what I was doing.... At least I was TRYING, right?!

{Me with my first muslin bag..... and my last one}

Seriously, this took me about 20 minutes.. FOR ONE! Do you know how many I can order online in 20 minutes? haha -- You see where this is going. I called my mom and said something to the effect of, "Woohoo! I made a muslin bag. It took forever so I'm ordering them." She responded, "I don't blame you." Welp, at least she was all for the online purchase.

Recently, I got a nice little package from Amazon and it was packed full of drawstring, plain muslin bags. Now, I need to figure out what I'm going to do with all of them. I tested a few out last night with an idea I had and I like them but they still need more. Enter Etsy.

{I really like this little guy.}

{... or maybe something like this.}

I'm going to explore the options a little bit, but I'll give you a sneak peek of what I've come up with so far.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Interest in Pinterest

There's been so much hype over Pinterest lately and I needed to see what it was all about. Well, it took me about 5 seconds to get hooked. Seriously, I could spend all day browsing that dang site! To become a member you had to request an invite.... guess what??! I was invited and now I'm a member of this awesome little group.

So, without further ado....

Follow Me on Pinterest

I look forward to sharing crafty projects with others (and checking out everyone's thoughts & inspiration pictures!!)


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Working on My Fitness: Recipes

I've been exploring my options of healthy recipes and I've recently found some really great websites! Granted, my favorite ones aren't necessarily healthy but overall I've found some new ways to make the food I already like just a little better for me!

{Holy cow, this looks delish. It's not TOO bad for you!}

The little piece of heaven up there was found on the website Sunny Side Up in San Diego. Some of my other favorites from her website include the Creamy Mustard Potato Salad (she uses yogurt instead of mayo!), Beef with Eggplant, Mashed Potato Pizza (not healthy, but c'mon ... mashed potatoes AND pizza?!), and more! I seriously love 95% of the recipes. Sorry, but I'm still cannot jump on the brussels sprouts train.

Another site that I've had my eye on is With a name like that you know you have to be at the right place for healthy choices! My favorite part is that she features my favorite dessert recipes in a "low-fat" version. As much as I love my gooey cupcakes and brownies, I know it's unrealistic to cut all sweets out of my diet. However, I'd definitely consider using healthy(er) ingredients.

She doesn't just feature dessert! She has some pretty awesome recipes for entrees, too. I'm looking forward to trying some of these out with friends. I know the holidays are approaching and that's definitely going to be the hardest part of my "stay healthy" kick. Hopefully, I can find some really awesome alternatives.

{Chicken Rollatini with Spinach & Parmigiana -- Yes, I know this is covered in cheese}

Great, now I'm hungry!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

I saw the sign....

And it opened up my eyes. I saw the sign!

A few weekends ago I made a trip to Goodwill in search of some frames for the photobooth. I found two awesome frames for $9 each. Whoop! Whoop! I went home feeling productive and accomplished. Then, I talked to my mom and she brought up a good point. How was I going to get the frames from NC to IN (where the booth is going to be made)?? Well, I can't carry them on a plane and I'm definitely not driving 10 hrs just to make sure some $9 frames make it there.

So what now??

Well, I've noticed that I really love signage & I would really love everything to be tied together somehow. What better way than some cute little signs here and throughout the ceremony and reception!? I am not a fan of in love with the rhyming, cheesy signs, but I'm trying to make sure our wedding doesn't get turned into a nursery rhyme.

{Guestbook sign source}

{Remembering family source}

{Candy buffet source}

BREAKING NEWS: I'm not using any of those poems.... okay, maybe one... but I do like them all. I'm just not going to indulge (I'll keep saying that until I start to believe it). I think they give a nice little effect to all things wedding. Like I said, I don't want overkill so I'm looking into other types of signs, too.

{Ceremony entrance sign source}

{In leui of programs I'm thinking something like this mixed with some other cool things}

Lastly, this isn't necessarily a "sign" but it still goes with the overall look and I love them. I present to you, escort card display...

{Adorable! Sorry for not knowing where I got this. I saved it a long time ago.}

{Same concept, different format. Same thing about not knowing the source. My bad!}

I can't wait to show you all what I came up with!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Callus Builds Character: Part III

Once I had decided what the invitation itself was going to look like (finally), I started to think about the little things. What inserts would be included? How would we close our pochette? How would we address them? etc...

Don't worry, if you are new to the wedding planning and you don't know what a pochette is, I didn't either. They can look like this:

... or this...

At first, I wanted everything under the sun to be included in the invitation. Then, I had a glorious meeting with a stationary consultant (yes, they exist) and she was super helpful. She first asked if we were going to have a wedding website. I said yes and she replied that keeping the inserts minimal would be just fine. I asked her, "What about the older guests?" I think her exact response was, "It's 2011, they'll figure it out." Now, I wouldn't put that so harshly when talking to family and friends but you have to admit that it's pretty funny! We agreed that a nice RSVP/envelope insert and a business card style insert would work well with out invites... and our budget.

{Similar idea, but completely different from ours... What is that thing to the right?}

The best thing about the accomodations insert was that was having a special for 25 free cards so my whole family gave up their free cards ( they even knew about the deal before I mentioned it!) and let me get enough to fill all of the invitations! Yay for that!!

Next up, the closing. How in the heck were we going to close the invites? Well, we had lots of options.

{Awesome belly band made with a Cricut -- I want one.}

{A fancy sticker}

Last, but certainly not least, how are we going to address the envelopes? Since one will be going to the White House and to Mickey Mouse, I want to make sure they are addressed very nicely. I've thought about just slapping a label on them and calling it a day, but (like all other decisions) I've read so many blog posts about easier/prettier ways to do it!

{Another fancy schmancy sticker}

So, needless to say, there are a lot more decisions about invitations than I ever would have imagined. Most of them are insignificant in the big picture. However, if you have wedding brain (like me) you start to think that this is the first thing that is going to "set the tone" for the whole wedding. You don't want them to look like crap! Lots of decisions to make and more to come.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Big Bow and Puffy Sleeves: Most Mom Dresses are Gross.

Alternative title: Really?! Why must you be so hideous?!

My mom is beautiful. So, naturally, she deserves a beautiful dress. However, that's about as easy at hugging a raccoon.... Does someone need a hug?

{I love this movie & can't wait until Christmas season so I can watch it numerous time.}

My mom is young and wants to be fashionable and pretty for the wedding. Fair enough. Only problem with that is that all MOB dresses have jackets and lots of sequins, lace and beads. That's not even CLOSE to her style. Actually, that's a complete lie but the SLB combo in the form that I'm talking about is just not working for us.

{My mom would die if I asked her to wear this}

{She would love this, but I would die if she asked if she could wear this. ;) Love you, mom}

So how do we find a happy medium? Well, because the BM dresses are short *foreshadowing* we decided that she would 100%, no questions asked, be wearing a long dress. We started looking into some bridesmaids dresses in long version since they have a little "younger" feel.

You might be noticing a trend: Lavender. I think that a lavender dress would compliment the dark purple and lime that will be on the bridesmaids. I also think it's a very flattering color on my momma because she will have a nice tan by May!

I was just not falling in love with anything. Then, my sister and I went to J Crew Bridal so that she could try on some of the dresses. We ended up not using J Crew for the BM dresses, but when the Seester tried on one of them I thought it would be fantastic looking on our mom. Later down the road, we convinced the mother to try one of the dresses that my dress boutique carried, which was very similar to the J Crew dress. Ohemgee, I fell in love with it. I couldn't stop telling my mom how beautiful she looked in the dress... AND IT WAS LAVENDER!
The only problem: the mother isn't in love with the price tag. We're still working on that! So, the search technically still continues but I stopped looking in July. I really, genuinely love the dress. I guess I could start looking for similar alternatives. Eh, maybe not...