Merry Merry!

 Thanks to Pinterest, I found a way to put up a little tree in my little house.

Two of my favorite ornaments: the Frog Prince and the Slipper...

.. And one of my mom's handpainted ornaments. Every year she chooses a different color scheme. In 2004, it was pink with pearls.

And if I needed any more reminder I am officially an adult? I was giddy as I put up my very own Dickens' Village, sent to me by a dear aunt.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday!


Inspirations: Christmas Interiors

From traditional red and green, to the unconventional aqua and white (yes, please!), here are a few of my favorite decked halls!

So ornate yet so clean. Love the damask wallpaper and ribbon accents.

Everything Aqua!
 The tartan ribbon and hardwood paneling. So very manly chic!

Pink and Sassy, with a bit of black to keep it from being kitschy.

A vintage vibe-- love the magnolia in the porch planters!
Candy + Christmas = Something for the bebe!

RED and GREEN(ery)!

Simply sublime... aqua and white

The gorgeous, perfectly shaped tree that puts my little artificial tree to shame (Bless its heart.)

A Nutcracker Christmas

And, while I know this is a wide angle exterior shot, I just love it so much I can't not post:



The Results: DIY Wedding, Seed Packet Favors

I realized I have documentation of the "after" from this "before" post! I hope it helps someone. I would love to hear about it if you decide to use this!*

I got a lot of great "advice tags" back as well-- my favorite? "Be careful on the honeymoon. Babies come quick."

*Note: One visitor made a great suggestion of using sticky labels rather than paper + adhesive. The only reason I didn't do that was because I'd already printed the labels... but the stickers are a much better idea!



People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered,
If you do good, people will accuse you of
selfish, ulterior motives,
If you are successful,
you win false friends and true enemies,
The good you do will be forgotten tomorrow,
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable,
What you spent years building may be
destroyed overnight,
People really need help
but may attack you if you help them,
Give the world the best you have
And you’ll get kicked in the teeth,

-The "Paradoxical Commandments," displayed on the wall of Shishu Bhavan,
Mother Theresa's children home in Calcutta


We Love FREE! Free Printable Labels

I'll admit it: I don't have the best track record when it comes to balancing a checkbook. Those who know me best are aware of this and love me anyway, and think it's hilarious (unless I am married to them).

While an admitted shopaholic, I am also an avid bargain-hunter.

I've decided to start sharing some of the great online bargain finds I've come across. Let's start with printable labels, shall we? Once you've gotten these downloaded, you can print them out as many times as you'd like. Click on each picture or caption to go to the actual site where the printable will be at the best quality.

Enjoy! And thanks to all the folks providing these freebies!

Printable vintage labels (fill in with item of choice):
Blog World Label
Valentine's Labels (of course, free!)
Miss Cutiepie blog

Want a great project for DIY that will impress guests while visiting your W.C.? Go from these Apothecary labels....

To these awesome bottles and towels!

Everything Etsy

101 Pretty (and FREE) Printables! Grab 'em!

Look, Mom! Placemats that are fabulous, beautiful, and can be thrown away without guilt after Uncle Seymour spills his inevitable fifth glass of red wine on them...


What to Do With Old Cards and Letters {A Pinterest Project}

I went on a Pinterest binge this weekend. If you are reading this and are a member of that website, there's no need to explain the addictive, impulsive, and fabulously non-productive-- yet somehow oh so gratifying-- plethora of fun that is Pinterest. I got sucked in big time yesterday, racking up almost 150 pins. (?!?)

(If you're not a member, click here-- and say goodbye to the next hour or so).

I've been feeling a little guilty about spending so much of a beautiful Saturday online, but am not quite ready to ween myself off the virtual pins to actually make something I put on a Board... hence, this post. Yes, I understand it's called Do-it-Yourself for a reason, but let's take baby steps here, people.

I love this idea on what to do with old cards and letters. My closets are full of shoeboxes brimming with greeting cards and old letters I could never bring myself to throw away, even as a little girl. There's just something so innately personal about script, and the older I get the more I appreciate seeing words in longhand written by people I love. Some are even more precious now because the authors are no longer living, making me grateful that I toted around those shoeboxes through several moves.

This idea from Pinterest (originally from simplemom's blog) seems really doable and worthwhile. How lovely would this look on a coffee table? I was thinking of making just one of old Christmas cards, and sitting it out during the holidays. A great conversation piece.
From this post I was lead to the blog owner's store, called Gadanke (an oh-so-cute handcrafted journal shop). I will probably be making my card journal on my own, but am seriously tempted to snag a few of her creations as gifts, like the "You Are Loved" baby book ($18) or the "Seeking Grace" prayer journal ($18.20).
 I'll hold myself accountable now that I've blogged about this, and when I am done with my very own card keepsake book, I'll post a picture.


I Did It. I Caved. One Last Wedding Post...About the Photographer

If I could give a bride one piece of advice, it'd be this: hire a great photographer. 

You won't remember much of the details (yes, the ones you painstakingly planned with the importance of the apocalypse beforehand), and you'll want a visual time capsule of the day. We were blessed to find our perfect photographers, and I just got back some sneak peeks. Since I am really loving staring at them all day   sharing these with family and friends, here we are again-- another wedding post.

The three things that topped my list from the beginning of the wedding planning process:
1. That the day would be a huge celebration with those we love most-- of life, love, God, and family.
2. That there would be meaning behind everything involved-- from the dress I wore, to the cake topper.
3. That photographs had to be perfection because the day goes by so quickly and we want to remember it forever.

What a blessing-- our photographers were extraordinary. Truly. They are MICHELLE MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY, a married couple that makes, hands down, the most beautiful creations from photographs.

It doesn't hurt that you'd love to have them over to dinner anytime because they are genuinely great, fun people. Who happen to be fantastically talented. (My precious husband even said the pictures "took his breath away." And he's not even a "breath away" kinda guy.)

I absolutely adore how they "got it"-- that is, the concept of "The Farm," why we wanted the wedding there, and the focus on dear friends and family on that day.

Without further ado, perhaps the best decision I made of the (seemingly gazillion) vendor-related decisons: Michelle Marie Photography album, Christina + Stephen {Farm Wedding}.

 A few of my favorites, there are lots more on their blog/website:

 Thank you Michelle and Steven Lambert of MICHELLE MARIE PHOTOGRAPY for capturing our happy day with style, love, and talent.


We Do!

So maybe I had a few moments where I felt like this...
our flower girl and ring bearer

But I am pleased to say all the DIY work paid off, and the wedding was just what we'd hoped. I learned a lot in the process and hopefully will be able to share some of that with other people.

The main thing to remember is something I was told a thousand times and was the complete truth: At the end of the day, you're married. Enjoy every moment. All the little stuff doesn't matter. And it really didn't.

It was a whirlwind but a dream. 

Here are a few pictures that have trickled in.... I'll post more (and get off the topic of weddings in general) in the future!