Thursday, November 26, 2009

I Am Blessed.

As I sit here watching the Thanksgiving Day parade with my parents, David, and my precious nieces and nephew, it's so easy to see just how blessed I really am. I have an incredible, supportive family, a loving fiance, and all around wonderful people in my life. Thanksgiving is one day that I continually thank God for the blessings He gives me every single day - I need to remember to do that all the time, not just for one day in November.

I hope all of you are enjoying a wonderful day with your family and loved ones and remembering all of the blessings you've been given. Eat lots and most importantly, give thanks!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever. 
~1 Chronicles 16:34

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Invitation Mock-Up

Posting will likely be pretty light over the next few days because I'll be with family (and David!) until Sunday. I figured I should probably go ahead and post about the invitation mock-up I made since I left you all with a teaser almost a week ago! David actually had an opinion on the styles of invitations he preferred when we looked at some samples at one of the bridal fairs we went to, so I tried to incorporate the things he liked.

I started by making a template with just printer paper, so I would know what size I needed to make each of the pieces. My very first "mock-up" (if you can call it that) looked like this:

I used the sizes to design the templates for each of the inserts in Word, and then printed them on cardstock. I made a pocket folder type piece using pretty damask scrapbooking paper:

I apologize for the ugly editing!

I decided after I tried it that I don't like the heart tag, so it will be a square shaped tag with our monogram instead.

I have no idea what I want to do with the back yet, so I played around a little bit with one of the stamps I want to incorporate. I have three stamps I really like, and I'd like to include them somehow (and I think the actual inserts could use more embellishing):

I think I'll back the biggest piece with heavier cardstock, or else use a darker pink invitation jacket, similar in style to these:

What do you think? I know it's a very early version of the final product, but hopefully you can picture what I'm going for. I'm excited to play around with it more. I think that's the main reason I wanted to DIY our invitations - so I could keep adjusting details until we love them!

Are you DIYing/did you DIY your invitations? How many mock-ups or trial runs has it taken/did it take you to get them just right?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Stress

I have to start by saying I love the holidays. And I am SO thankful that our families get along so well and that his family welcomes me with open arms (and really wants me to be at all of their get togethers), just like my family does with him. However, it's usually not very easy to please everyone. We're both incredibly close to our moms, and it's always hard to choose when/how we'll spend time with each of our families. It seems like someone's feelings always end up being hurt.

Thanksgiving 2007 - David with some of the guys on my mom's side

Since I'm one of 6 kids (4 of us who are engaged/married/have kids), it's already pretty difficult to coordinate with everyone's schedules. My family also usually gets together in Lawrence or KC (I'm at school in Lawrence) which is 2-3 hours away from Wichita, where our parents live. David's family is trying to coordinate with almost as many people and always has their get togethers in Wichita. There's really no way for us to be there for everything with either of our families, which is hard.

Christmas 2008 with David's brother and SIL

Like I said, I'm still incredibly grateful that this is the reason for our stress over the holidays rather than one of our families being hateful or unwelcoming. I know so many brides have future in-laws that are terrible to deal with, and I can't imagine how frustrating that must be. I absolutely love David's family, and I know my family adores him. (He was reffing in Phoenix this weekend and my aunt, uncle, and uncle's son went out of their way to pick him up and take him to dinner!) It makes me so happy that he fits in so perfectly with our family and that everyone looks forward to seeing him at our holiday gatherings.

Christmas 2008 with all of David's siblings (and SIL)

It's never easy knowing we're hurting either of our families, though. I know it will only get harder when we have kids of our own, which I'm not looking forward to. I'm just hoping we'll have a big enough house that we can host everyone and make them come to us!

I'm definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving and a break from school, but it won't be the relaxing break I was hoping for. David will come up here with my parents on either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, and we'll spend some time with all my family that will be in town. Then we'll drive to Wichita on Thursday morning to go to his family's dinner and will go shopping Friday morning there. After brunch with his immediate family, we'll head back up to KC on Friday early afternoon for my family's dinner. And then I think we'll probably just stay up here for the rest of the break, even though I was really looking forward to some time at home. I still don't think we're pleasing everyone, but it's the best we can do.

Are you dealing with some holiday stress? Do you feel like you're ever able to please everyone with what you decide or have you given up on trying?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Convertible Dresses Revisited

I blogged about my love for twobirds bridesmaid dresses a few weeks ago. Several of you commented saying you loved them too, or that you were debating buying one for yourself. Well, my mom is awesome, and just sent me a link to this:




A convertible dress from Newport News! It can be worn 4 different ways: As a halter, a bandeau, a tank, or a one-shoulder style. It only comes in the 3 colors shown above (Black, Royal Purple, and Scarlet), but it's also only $89.00! It's part of their 'shape fx' collection, which means it has slimming shape control. It also has built in soft cups for shaping and support.

Newport News always has coupon codes for free shipping or 20% off. By doing a simple google search I found a code for free shipping (L52) and a code for 20% off (588), and you may be able to find even better deals. I definitely want a black one for myself! I think I'll wait to see if they have any Cyber Monday sales, though.

My mom has ordered several things from Newport News in the past, and has always been happy with their quality. If I end up ordering one, I'll be sure to post some pictures and a review of the dress!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Decorating the Doors

I've seen so many cute ideas for door decorations. I love the look of a couple's initials hanging on the doors:

I may still incorporate these somehow, but at least for the church doors, I decided to go with something different. I also love the look of wreaths, but although gorgeous, wreaths like this just didn't feel like they fit with the feel of the rest of our wedding decor:

If you've been following my blog for long, you've realized I love ribbon and tulle. The possibilities of projects are endless! Coincidentally, I found wreaths made with ribbon and wreaths made with tulle.

I think this ribbon wreath is so cute:

I'd still love to make it, but I think I'm kind of running out of doors!

I ended up making this tulle wreath instead:

(Actually for Halloween)

I used the following supplies:

2 foam wreaths I found at Dollar Tree
6 in. wide black tulle on a spool (found on clearance after Halloween)
Sissors to cut tulle into ~9" pieces
Satin ribbon (not pictured)

I just tied the tulle in a double knot around the wreath:

And eventually ended up with this:

After awhile I ended up just eyeballing the length of the pieces, so after it was finished I trimmed some of them so that they were all pretty even. I realized about half way through that I could spread them out more and use less tulle, so I'm not sure exactly how much it requires. I used 2 whole spools and then a little bit of a 3rd one, but I probably could've gotten away with using less. I love how it turned out, and I love that it incorporates the tulle that we're using other places (like in both of the centerpieces).

I thought it needed a little more color, so I added a bow using a lighter pink ribbon:

I won't post a tutorial, because kmattso at Happily After All posted a great one not too long ago. If you need any help making bows, refer to her tutorial! I think the bows add a needed pop of color.

I still need to make the 2nd one - I think it'll look great with one on each of the church doors:

Are you going to incorporate wreaths into your decor? Or did you take another route?

Friday, November 20, 2009

DIY Toasting Flutes

There are certain details about our wedding day that just aren't very important to me. The toasting flutes fall into that category. Neither David or I really enjoys drinking champagne, and I'm sure they won't be used again after our big day. I knew I didn't want to spend much on them, but still wanted some cute pictures, so I decided to go the DIY route. My original inspiration was this picture, actually taken by our photographer:

I couldn't find any cute pink rub-ons that I liked, though, so I went a different route. I think I might still add our monogram in pink, but if I'm unable to find them, I like them as is. I found the glasses at Dollar Tree and I think they're so cute! I also found the heart rub-ons there, and the words are from a sheet of wedding rub-ons that I found at Hobby Lobby:

The cost breakdown:
2 glasses at Dollar Tree - $2.00
1 sheet of rub-ons at Dollar Tree - $1.00
Rub-ons from Hobby Lobby (50% off) - $1.25

Total for 2 toasting flutes: $4.25 or just over $2.00 each

Do you think they need the pink monogram? Or are they ok as-is? Where did you find your toasting flutes? 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Every Little Bit Helps

I wasn't kidding when I said I had some extra time this week - I was able to spend most of the evening yesterday working on some small projects I'd wanted to get done for awhile now. They aren't anything major, but I still love being able to cross things off my to-do list!

First, we ordered our STDs! I liked how the one I had printed at Target came out, so I went ahead and ordered all 250 of them from Shutterfly. I signed up for an account which gave me 50 free prints, and I also had a coupon code for free shipping on purchases over $30 (SHIP30 if you're interested!), so the total came out to only $32.66 after tax! I saved $20, and I'm more than happy with the quality and the fact that I should have them in 3-7 business days!

I also worked on the throw garter. I blogged about wanting to have a KU garter for us to keep (and for my something blue), but I didn't necessarily want to spend the same amount on another garter that will likely end up around one of David's buddy's head. I happened to find this Martha Stewart eyelet garter at Big Lots (I swear I'm not being paid to advertise for them - I just find great stuff there!) for $2.00:

source - Funny that they're trying to sell the same thing for $14.99

It was a little plain, so I added a little ribbon-which makes everything better-and a small embellishment, and it now looks like this:

I finally got around to buying some beads to hang down in the vases with the off white pomanders on top. I couldn't get a very good picture of it, but the beads catch the light and make a big difference - The vase doesn't look nearly as empty now:

I think I might also add some clear floral rocks with a LED tealight to the bottom like I did in the centerpieces:

It would add even more interest to the bottom of the vase, and it would make it a lot less top heavy.

I also finally figured out something to add to my tulle pomander centerpieces! I wanted pearls or something that would catch the light, and I found these glass beads on wires in the Christmas section at Hobby Lobby. There were probably close to 50 in the package, and they were 50% off making them like $1.50! It was the perfect solution - It requires barely any extra work, but makes a big difference I think. Again, it was hard to get a good picture of them, but this is the idea:

I still haven't added the ribbon and tag with our monogram, but they're getting closer to the final version!

And last, but definitely not least, I finally got around to making an invitation mock-up! But I'm going to save that for another post. :) I'll just give you a teaser:

While none of these things are huge in and of themselves, it felt so good to make progress! Every little bit helps!

Have you had a chance to get around to the little projects that seem to get pushed to the side? Doesn't it feel good when you make some progress on them?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Darling Drawing

One thing I've always wanted is a caricature or drawing of David and me. We had one done in NYC and it's cute, but David doesn't really like it. I saw a post on one of the boards on Weddingbee by a bride asking for help to practice her drawing, because she's decided to draw 'comics' of her and her fiance throughout their relationship for their program! How cute is that?! I uploaded a couple pictures of us in hopes she'd choose our photos to practice with. She did end up choosing them as one of her practice drawings, and I think her sketch of us is darling!

Here are the pictures I uploaded:

And here is her drawing:

I love how she drew my dress and my hair. She is so talented and I'm really hoping she posts pictures of the sketches she does of her and her fiance for her programs! You should definitely check out the link to the board - She did several other drawings and all of them are adorable! I've seen lots of brides incorporate cartoon-ish drawings of them and their fiances, and I think it's such a good idea.

Have you had a cartoon or caricature done? Did you find a way to incorporate it into the wedding?

Only a Month Later...

I last blogged about our Save the Dates over a month ago. After taking our second set of engagement pictures, David asked if I would change the design and incorporate one of the new pictures as the main picture because he liked them more. I'll be honest, I usually love that David is involved in the planning and cares about being a part of decisions, but this time I wasn't exactly thrilled. I'd spent so much time messing with the first set of designs, I didn't really want to start over. But I decided I really wanted him to love them as much as I did, so I had him choose his favorite picture and I created a new design.

Little did I know how much work it would be to upload the design to be printed without it being cropped significantly. It took me forever to make it so the text wouldn't be cut off when the program cropped it. I eventually gave up on having them printed as postcards - I couldn't get the file to upload correctly as a postcard and I couldn't find any that were a great price, so I decided to just print them as 4x6 pictures and get envelopes for them. I used Shutterfly because I've liked my prints from them in the past and I could have one printed at Target to make sure it turns out ok before I print 250 of them. I'm going to go pick it up this afternoon - I'm excited to see it! This is the final design:

Instead of the pink border that I used in the previous designs, I'm going to use pink envelopes. I'll likely go with the ones I found at The Paper Mill Store:

I think I'm going to do envelope liners, but I haven't quite decided yet. At this point, we need to be getting them out, and to be honest, I'm ready to be done with them! But I do have a cute idea for the liners if I decide to do them. We'll see how I'm feeling when I get all of the envelopes - Maybe I'll ask for some help from David and my mom/BM M over Thanksgiving break. :)

I'll be sure to post again once we've finally gotten them all printed, assembled, and ready to mail. We really need to start finding addresses!

Did you create several designs before deciding on a STD? How did you gather addresses?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A New Take on Luminaries

This week is much slower for me school-wise, so I'm hoping to have time to work on a few projects I've been putting off. I have a friend here at school who is also engaged and is planning a July wedding. We actually met our freshman year, which is an interesting story - Her mom works with David's mom and I'd heard a lot about her without ever meeting her before. The first week of school we were both going through Fall Formal Recruitment and I happened to see her name tag and that she was from my hometown. Surprisingly (I rarely will start a conversation with someone I don't know) I decided I was just going to ask if she happened to be the same girl I'd heard all about from David's mom. It turns out it was her, and we got to talking. We found out we have a lot in common - she'd been with her boyfriend about as long as I'd been with David and they were also in a long distance relationship. We talked a lot our first few months of school, and then on and off since then, but we've recently been hanging out a lot more. It's so fun to get together and be able to vent about school and talk about how much more exciting wedding planning is than studying. :) Last night we decided to go to Michael's because we both have some extra time this week to work on things and she brought up an idea her MOH's sister used in her wedding. I thought it'd be cute, and decided to pick up the supplies for it without really knowing where I'd use them. I'm glad I did, because I love how they turned out!

The materials you'll need are:
  • 3 photo mats - I used 5x7 mats (for a 4x6 picture), but you can use any size you want
  • 3 pictures printed out on thin paper or vellum
  • A tool to punch holes through the mats
  • Ribbon - I used 6 pieces cut in about 6-8 inch pieces
  • Tape
I just used the plain white photo mats I found for less than $2 each:

I guess I thought I was a lot stronger than I actually am, because I figured I'd be able to punch the holes using a hole punch. Uh, not so much. I ended up using the tip of a screwdriver to punch the hole and then used sissors to widen it a little bit, but I'm going to try to find a better method when I actually make them because I was bending the mat and I didn't leave the cleanest holes (as you can imagine). You'll want to punch the holes as close to the side of the mat as you can without it tearing. It doesn't matter where you place them vertically, so I just put mine even with the lines of the opening for the picture so that the holes would be uniform.

After you make the holes you'll want to attach the pictures to the back of the mats. I just used a couple pieces of tape to hold them in place. Once the pictures are attached, you can start threading the ribbon through the holes and tying the mats together. You want the ribbon to come through from the back to the front of each hole, so I'd suggest only actually tying 2 holes on the same side to start out with so that you're able to easily thread the ribbon from the back for the other holes. It's a lot harder to get your hand in the middle to thread the ribbon through if you tie each one as you go. Once you've threaded and tied all of the ribbon, you can tie the ribbons in bows. I used bows for this one, but I'm not sure if I like them. I might end up just tying the ribbon in knots. The bows did help cover up the places where I bent the mat, though.

Your luminaries should look something like this:


Then you'll place a LED tea light inside of your luminaries. I didn't have any on hand, so I (very carefully) used a votive. 

I just used computer paper for my pictures, but I'll probably use vellum when I actually make them. And I'll be waiting for the mats to go on sale to make this project a little more budget friendly. I know they're 50% off fairly regularly which would make each one cost less than $3.

I'm not sure yet where I'll use them, but I definitely want to incorporate them somehow! I've always liked the look of luminaries and I love that the candle light makes it look like we're glowing.

Are you using any form of luminaries? Any ideas for where I could incorporate mine?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our Newest Addition - Part 2

I blogged about our new fur baby already, but I have to post a few more pictures! She is seriously the cutest thing ever. My mom has graciously offerred to keep her until after Christmas break (when she'll hopefully be potty trained - thanks Mom!) when I'll bring her up here with me until I move back home in May. I'm not at my house enough this semester to give her the attention and care she needs/deserves.

We had the hardest time deciding on a name. At first we thought we wanted something that reflected her size/color and thought about Maizy (my mom's favorite), Pumpkin, Peanut, Cinnamon, or Snickerdoodle. I also had some names I just thought were cute like Bella, Lily, Nala, and Paisley. And then there were about 10 others that one of us thought up and we considered for awhile. Attempting to find a name that not only David and I liked, but my mom and brother were ok with was rather difficult. We finally ended up deciding on Paisley and I love it! I think it fits her perfectly and she's actually starting to respond to it.

We went to a couple pet stores today and she attracted so much attention! I told her that she can't let Daddy take her out in public without me because they'll pick up too many girls! (Ha, did I really just admit to saying that?) It is so cute watching him with her, though. He's always been so good with kids, especially babies, so I knew he'd be good with a puppy too. (And he'll be such a good daddy someday!) He has the softest heart when it comes to kids or puppies - I love that about him. Just look at these pictures:



Ahh, they just melt my heart. And like he promised, we took our first family picture:

It was so much fun playing and snuggling with her all weekend - I miss her already! :( I can't wait until our little family is all living under the same roof in June!

Do pets and kids bring out the soft side of your significant other?
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