Sunday, January 30, 2011

Excuse Me, But There's Something Above Your Lip

My friend Ashley is having a baby.

Her husband often has a beard or mustache. It's only fitting that we include some touch of facial hair for her little boy.
But then I saw an idea on Modern Moments for these cute cupcake stands. And they had to be included.
I also wanted to incorporate colors and style that I know Ashley loves. Red, orange, Birch/natural wood. And I threw in doilies because she and I relate about vintage a lot. And something about doilies makes me think vintage. Even though I don't buy old doilies and neither does she. Run with it, though. I did!
Gigantic framed facial hair.
I set up the tables the night before. I loved the simple {and inexpensive} but gorgeous place settings. I used disposable bamboo utensils and compostable plates. Cups were purchased from estate sales and all they have in common is the fact they are glass and stemware. I purposely mixed and matched them.
Mason jars were used for ice water. It was the perfect solution, in my opinion.
The food was served family style. Chicken salad on croissants or a vegetarian option of basil-red-pepper sandwiches that Karen made. Both were DEVOURED. Tells you how good they were! We also had an italian-style salad. I might have overbought a bit on the salad. I have about 4 lbs of salad leftover. It didn't seem like that much when I bought it, I swear.

Copious amounts of food.
Lullabies adrift overhead amongst clouds of doilies.
Brooke explaining the projects. She took charge of the activity {we tend to do activities/projects instead of games} and we are making a mobile and a wall hanging. They're going to be SO great! We're getting together in a couple weeks to finish it up before little baby gets here. I'll post pictures when they're completed.Brooke and Erin. Such great girls. I couldn't have done it without them. Brooke has such great taste and we threw this shower together with Karen.
Ashley with her mom and sister.
Brooke and I. Her help and input was immeasurable! Adorable sisters {in law.}
I got the idea for the hanging lullabies from here.

Thanks to Brooke's sister, Erin, for getting a few pictures with me in them! Usually I'm behind the scene in the kitchen and behind the camera.
{Here I was serving dessert. It was a delicious buttery pound cake with a freshly-made blueberry-blackberry sauce.}
The favors all packaged up, ready to find a new home.I'd say it was a great success!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I'm often asked where I come up with ideas. Well, I'll give most of my credit to the interwebs. Some of it I'll take credit for, but the majority is borrowed or inspired by someone else.

For most of you that don't have hours upon end to look at/read blogs {my life is pathetic, I know} I'll direct you to a couple of books I've recently purchased.

Um, gorgeous. Great styling, great photos, great ideas.
Take this one, for example.
I've only made it to the first chapter before the dinner timer went off, but I'm looking forward to a long hot bath and thumbing through the rest of it.

Next, this one: Paper + Craft
Cute projects, maybe one or two that I'd actually use. Overall, I should have just borrowed this book from the library instead of purchasing it - not that it doesn't have some great projects in it, but I think it's not 100% my style. It's also full of gorgeous pictures and the tutorials are some of the best and most detailed I've seen.

Also, blogs galore. Instead of linking a bazillion blogs, I've included a HUGE list of all the ones I have in my reader. I won't be adding them to my sidebar, but you can reference back here if you feel so inclined. Or you can just hit 'subscribe' and all 135 will be added to your reader and you can weed them out.
{sidenote: I didn't add all the ones I follow because they're personal family blogs of friends and family and c'mon, that'd just be rude of me!}

So, there you go. Full disclosure: sometimes I forget where I've seen an idea that I build off of. I'm sorry to all those talented people who I don't give credit to.

Okay, off you go exploring!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Winter Snow & Other Randoms

I love today's weather. Love it. I know it's a pain in the boot to drive through, and for all you unfortunate drivers, "I'm sorry!," but I think it's simply grand. Finally it feels like a winter wonderland day.

Last night it started just before we went to sleep. This morning Ryan shoveled the walk {bless him} and driveway and 3 hours later, I went outside to do it again. THAT MUCH SNOW.

I'm taking advantage of this cold weather by flying my white-trash flag: mother nature's refrigerator.
Awww, yeaahhh. That's last night's dinner out there. Just chillin.

I've been really excited to start the year fresh. It's been great having Ryan home all day, every day for the last few weeks. I'm quite the independently-minded woman, though, so it might be cramping my style just a tad. {Just kidding! Love you, babes!} I'll still miss him when he has to start classes again.

But what has been really great is realizing that I need to get started on some home-improvement projects.

I took a few minutes on Sunday to write them down. [It's what I do during Sunday School to stay focused and listen.] All goals need to be written down to be realized. Hopefully, this will light a fire under my rear to get them going.

Since I feel so overwhelmed when I think about working on my sewing room, I'll probably start small and do a mini-makeover in the laundry room. My goal is to be finished with that one by February 3rd. And my goal to be finished with my sewing room is the 23rd. It will be a great birthday present to myself!

For now, I'll show off some new pretties I bargain-shopped for!

On Friday evening, my friends Brooke and Keighty and I {and Ryan and Keighty's husband Bobby} went to Good Juju for their January sale. I found a few things. This beeauuutiful pink bag, namely.
And since I've bought several at estate sales, I have a number in my head that I won't pay more than, then I check the price tag. This gem barely made the cut. She should be up in my {ahem} severely overlooked Etsy shop in the next month or so. Also one of my goals. I have some awesome things to share, guys. What the heck is my problem with getting them posted? oh, that's right: laziness. The no. 1 killa.
Here's something I'll keep. See the eeevill one next to the new sweet one? Keighty thought the new one looked like it had been shot and was bloodied when I bought it. The flower by its head was painted a garish pink and orange. Acetone took it right off. I figured it would. I'll keep the sweet one and get rid of Mr. Evil via Etsy. {okay, he's not evil but he looks a little....squirrelly}

And the two shiny candlesticks were on clearance after Christmas at Tarzjay. They work perfectly in the spot and I just realized I have yet to put candles in them.

Finally, my new bag. Ryan bought it for me as an early birthday present {I picked it out}. Isn't he sweet? I love it. I carried it around for a day or two with the tags still on to try it out. Tell me I'm not the only one that's done this. You can never be too certain, right? It's a deep dark eggplanty purple. Tags came off last week. Love it! Thanks, hon.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Peeeuuuw! {a little skunk}

For one of our nephews this year, I got creative and used a super cute book I found a month or two ago to make a skunk.

Out of a cotton glove and a little bit of white felt, I crafted this freaking adorable little softie.

As you can see, he's not very tall

...and he's far from perfect, but isn't that half the charm of handmade?

If you want a somewhat easy project and some great instructions, buy this book.
{you can click on the picture and it will link you}

or you can use this awesome tutorial from the book, available here on etsy.
{where I found it and got inspired}
I'm going to get started on gifts now for next Christmas - we'll have DOUBLE the number of nieces and nephews this year!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Happy New Year!

Remember how this year is the first we sent out greeting cards? {It was.}

After my post about them, I decided pretty quickly what to get. And then I didn't. I didn't think they'd be here in time for Christmas so I ordered New Year's cards. This was after I already shipped out some of these GORGEOUS Christmas cards.
{except imagine an A instead of an R}
{I didn't order enough of the first ones so only about 20 people were sent the Christmas card above}
These Christmas ones are from Minted. LOVE them. Very high quality, but a price tag to match. Still, I'm glad I got them. And I highly recommend the company.

But no big deal! Shutterfly had an awesome promotion and I received 50 cards free. I couldn't decide on my favorite, though.

So I ordered two different ones. Huzzah!

I hope all you far, far away have received one. I'm officially retiring this picture of Ryan and I. As much as I love it, I've seen our mugs in this pose too many times! {plus, I'm pretty sure my face is thinner now}

To all we hold dear, near and far, we wish you the happiest of starts to a new year and hope you had a fantastic and lovely, magical Christmas season.

We are so grateful for all of our family and the friendships we've made throughout the last few years. I call for more visits and late nights of talking in 2011!

All Our Love,

Ryan and Chelsea