Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our Wedding: Florals + Centerpiece details

So I guess I've been holding out on you guys long enough and it's time for me to share some more wedding pictures. I swear, every time I go to just "take a look" or "find a few" wedding pictures (whether for printing, blogging, or otherwise) I find myself immersed in them for hours at a time. I seriously can't believe it's been two months!

Today I wanted to share with you all some photos of all my florals and a few other details from the wedding.

Here's the thing about our wedding: we knew we wanted a "nice" (such a relative word when it comes to weddings) wedding but we also knew we were on a budget. Therefore we did most of the decorating ourselves. It was probably the one thing that saved us the biggest amount of money. I mean, do you know how much flowers cost? My planner told me she could give me a quote from the florist she used for my bridal bouquet.... it was somewhere around $300. I believe my response was somewhere along the lines of "Are you freaking kidding me???"

So we decided to do them ourselves. All of our flowers combined (all bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces) were less than that quote for the bridal bouquet alone. For starters, baby's breath was used as the "main" flower, and to make things simple, we just ordered 100 stems from Costco and had them delivered straight to us. Additionally, I bought a large "fall" bouquet from Publix along with some other "filler flowers" for around $50. I turned the fall arrangement into my bridal bouquet and used baby's breath +  purple and yellow "fillers" for the bridesmaids. I used a combination of all three for my crown of flowers.

We also used baby's breath for the center pieces - I knew I wanted the flowers to be simple, and I knew I didn't want "traditional" centerpieces. I had told my mom in passing, probably more than a year ago, how I thought it would be neat to use coke bottles instead of traditional votives for centerpieces. Little did I know that on the very day I told her that, she went to work collecting and cleaning all the coke bottles she could find. The centerpieces were probably my favorite detail from the wedding... we had several interesting bottles, along with a few old Ball canning jars thrown in there.

The flat wooden "rounds" that the centerpieces were set on were made by my dad out of a cedar tree that had fallen on our property. The wooden candle holders were mostly made by myself and Derek. A few of them were made by my dad and a good friend of his several years ago, out of a very old crepe myrtle tree from my great-grandmother's property (pictured above with the "Mr. & Mrs." sign). In addition to the handful of candles my parents let us use, Derek and I ended up making over 80 ourselves!

So tell me, did you (or are you planning to) DIY anything for your wedding to save your budget?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Whoa, hello again after (yet another) blogging hiatus. As it turns out, moving house (especially to one without internet) can kind of ruin the mean blogging streak you had going for you. But hey, you win some, you lose some. And by "win some" I mean we are no longer living in a 500 square foot apartment and instead are camping out in a 3 bedroom/2 bathroom HOUSE!! So, I figured I'd do a little hodge-podge catch-up sort of post for you guys (and for my mom, who reminds me I have a blog frequently.)
Lately... I've been trying not to spend all my money at places like Hobby Lobby, Target, Walmart, the Dollar Store, etc. Basically any place with any type of "Christmas décor" items. Or just "décor" items in general. Apparently moving in to a house three times the size of your apartment will make you realize how much you actually don't have. Like (nice) bathroom rugs. Or a spare shower curtain. Or pillows for a guest bed. You get my point. I've been buying all the things.
Lately... I've been having a blast decorating for Christmas. Yes, I've had a tree before, but that was it. Never had lights or any other sort of decorations. I wouldn't say I went "all out" for Christmas, but my husband would probably disagree.
Currently my favorite place in my house. After my bed.
Lately... I've been thinking I was a little crazy to plan a housewarming/Christmas party two weeks after moving. The house we're renting is a really old house, and we had to do a lot right off the bat to make it livable - a lot of deep cleaning and the like. I was worried we weren't going to get it all accomplished in time, but somehow we managed to get everything looking decent, and cook part of a meal for our very first Christmas party.
I have such beautiful friends!
We were too busy stuffing our faces and cracking up over playing Dirty Santa to take too many pictures, but I'm not going to complain about it.
Lately... work has been insane!! Last week we had our annual state inspection (survey). If you work in healthcare you probably know what a circus my life was, if you don't - just take my word for it - it was complete and utter chaos for the better part of three days. I worked long shifts, anywhere from 12 to 14 hours, and was on my feet for most of it, running around like a chicken with my head cut off. In the end though, we "aced" survey and showed them what a five star facility really looks like! I could not be prouder to work for such an amazing facility and company.

Lately... married life is starting to grow on me. Not that I wasn't enjoying it more, but it's just starting to "sink in" a little more now. Not that we haven't already had our fair share of disagreements (you try moving an entire household with only one other person and see if you get along afterward). The fact that I get to wake up beside this guy every day for the rest of forever is starting to wrap itself around my little brain and every time I sit down and really think about it, I can't help but get flutters in my tummy.

Lately... I have been LOVING cruising around in my brand new ride. This is actually my fourth car - my first being a '97 Chevy Blazer that I bought an paid for, in full, all by myself at the age of 16 - but this is my first brand new one.

She's a 2014 Hyundai (try spelling that without looking it up) Santa Fe Sport Edition. "Sport Edition" just means I got it without the third row option - it's a little smaller and (duh) sportier.

So tell me, what have you been up to lately? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give thanks.

In light of recent world/national news this week, I have been feeling exceptionally thankful. Yes, today is Thankgiving, and that probably has something to do with it, but these are the things I'm thankful for today and everyday. Some things that others are not so lucky to have, and I know that's what I am: lucky.

My husband. Books. The ability to read. Good coffee. Good coffee creamer. Great coworkers. Friends. My family. Stevie, my tempermental cat. Tip, my rescue cat. All the other four legged critters in my life. Wine. Owl coffee mugs (I now have two: Hedwig & a Christmas one). My job. My nursing lisence. Prayer. Ice water with lemon. Blogging. A coke every other week. Cute, affordable glasses. WIFI. Dry erase markers. A healthy body. Good pens. My car, even though it's falling apart on me. A loving, merciful, and forgiving God. Jesus Christ, who died for my sins. Electricity. A new (to us) house. In-laws. Roasted pumpkin seeds. Blogging friends. Post-it notes. Pedicures. Making mistakes. Life lessons. People who make me laugh. Pizza. The perfect sweater. Happy Thanksgiving!

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Books I read in November

Ever since my Summer HP Re-read and the Summer Reading Challenge, I've kind of slacked in the reading department. It's not that I didn't have time, it's that I didn't make time. Oh yeah, and I was planning a wedding. So I wanted to ease back into the game and my goal for the month of November was to read two book, and I succeeded! I didn't want to have a goal of reading four or five because I didn't want to fail. Maybe next month my goal will be four.

So without any further adieu, here are two short reviews of the books I read in November.

Jojo Moyes

“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life--or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else's life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window--is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”

I read this book after reading Amber's review, and her insistence that I read it too. And read it, I did. I'm not even going to tell you the intricacies of the story. But it's a story about love. And loss. And happiness. And sadness. It's a story about a young woman, Lou, who is trying to figure out who she is and what her place is in the world. It's a story about a young man who has lost everything - not material possessions or money - he has plenty of that. He's lost something much more valuable (to him) that he can never get back.

After a certain series of events, Lou and Will's paths become entwined and take each of them on a roller coaster they (nor you) ever expected. They are able to teach each other things about themselves and the world that they never would have discovered without each other.

I read this book and it rocked my world in a way that I didn't know it could be rocked. Laughter was loud, tears were a plenty - happy ones and sad ones. To quote Amber, it was a happy ending, but not the happily-ever-after kind. If you're looking for a book to awaken your mind and soul, Me Before You is the one you need.

E. Lockhart

"Be a little kinder than you have to."
"Always do the things you're afraid to do."
"Never accept an evil you can change."
"Never eat anything bigger than your ass."

Cadence is a Sinclair. Her grandfather, Harris Sinclair, is a wealthy New Englander with his own private island where he and his blonde, broad shouldered, beautiful daughters and their children spend their summers.

There are four Liars: Cadence (Cady), Mirren, Johnny, and Gat. They were called Liars because they were always getting into things on the island, ever since Summer Eight, when Gat came, they were the Liars. Before that, they were just cousins.

The story begins with Summer Fifteen: where there is love, mischief, questions, and the accident. Cady can't remember the accident itself or much of the events from Summer Fifteen. She can't understand why her mother doesn't want her to go back to the island or why the other Liars haven't replied to any of her emails.
Skip ahead to Summer Seventeen and Cady's first trip back to the island: everything is different. Even after two years, Cady can't remember The Accident or any of the events surrounding it. With the help of the other Liars, Cady is able to rediscover the horrible truth surrounding Summer Fifteen.
Throughout the whole book (which is relatively short, only two-hundred odd pages) I kept trying to guess how the book would end, and it most definitely kept me on my toes! The ending is not at all what I suspected or thought would happen, and it left my heart heavy. It was an interesting read and I definitely recommend it, but not if you are looking for a happy, uplifting ending.
Have you read either of these? What were your thoughts?

Friday, November 21, 2014

A few of my favorite things

1. These marbled clay dishes. I have been obsessed with them ever since I saw them on A Beautiful Mess and they'll be on the agenda for my very first craft night hosted in our new house. Don't you think they'd make some great Christmas gifts?

2. Saying the word husband.
"I made a sweet potato casserole for my husband's work party."
"My husband is taking me to see the new Hunger Games movie!!"
"I cannot believe how much laundry detergent I use now that I have a husband."

3 & 4. Grandma sweaters and new glasses. Especially when I get to use them at the same time. I bought my very first pair of Firmoo glasses about three years ago and now I'm on my fourth pair. These are the ones I wear the most but now I have another pair to rotate in! I love all of the versatile styles but I ESPECIALLY love that they're affordable enough to have multiple pairs.

Glasses c/o Firmoo // Grandma Sweater - Francesca's (old) (similar) // Polka-dot Jeans - Target (also old)

5. This picture from our wedding.
Actually, any picture from the wedding. I know I keep talking about them, but they are seriously the best. I just want to keep looking at them and replaying the day over and over again.
6. The fact that I get to see my family this weekend! I haven't seen them since the wedding and since I'll be working on Thanksgiving, we'll be having our Thanksgiving lunch on Sunday (yay for accommodating families). I can't wait! Most importantly, I'm glad I'll be seeing them, but second most importantly, I will get to stuff my face with some good food like sweet potato casserole and broccoli & cheese casserole. Or just any casserole in general, they're all delicious. 
What's your favorite dish for Thanksgiving?