Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony

I'm lacking in the blogging motivation, so I'm being lazy and just showing some more of our wedding pictures. Next week is our 8 month wedding anniversary (yay!) and the time is seriously flying by.

Onto ceremony pictures!
Don't I look like I'm about to throw up in this picture? We were waiting in the brides room and this was just as my wedding coordinator told me it was time to go. All my girls were being funny and putting their flowers around me. Apparently it wasn't enough to calm me down - ha!
Waiting to walk down the aisle with my dad. My dad was telling me jokes to calm me down and it was actually working since I was smiling. Good shot of my bouquet as well.

This is when I saw Jake as we came down the aisle. I started tearing up and almost lost it at this point.

I absolutely adore this picture - love how it shows the entire ceremony. We were up on a small deck for the ceremony and all the guest sat down in the grass. I liked how I was able to look out and see everyone during the ceremony since we were higher up.
I look bored in this picture, but I think I was listening intently to the readers.
The kiss - we're married!

Walking back down the aisle. Good picture of my dress and the carnation pomanders we had lining the aisles.

Immediately after the ceremony, our bridal party went and had a quick toast - then it was time to party!

(all photos by egomedia photography)

Monday, April 26, 2010

A little Sunday project

About a month ago, we bought a new dining room set (actually, it's not really new - it's about 40 years old, but it's new to us!) We don't have a seperate dining room, just 1 big room that serves as our formal living room and dining room. I love everything about the table and chairs, except for the fabric that covered the chairs. It's a lovely redish-pink toile, but unfortunately we do not have any red in our house. 
We have a lot of greens and browns in that room, so the chairs stuck out like a sore thumb. 
They didn't exactly match with the modern print table runner that I always keep on the table --eeek!

So I decided I would take an afternoon and recover the chairs in a more neutral fabric that matched the rest of the room. Since this was going to need to be a budget makeover, I found some inspiration from something we already owned:
That is the worlds ugliest couch, which currently resides in our living room. We got it as a hand me down (just like everything else!) when we moved in last year. It was supposed to be a temporary fix until we got something new, but here it is, a year later, still chillin' in our living room. 

We have finally decided it's time for an upgrade and that we would put this baby out with the bulk trash later this week. Since I knew it's time with us was limited, I decided to make use of the slightly less ugly slipcover that came with the couch. I ripped it off and got to work cutting it up to be the new fabric for the chair cushions. 

I didn't take any pictures of my progress, but who doesn't love a good before and after?
A Full table shot
Looks much better with the table runner now!

So that's how I spent about an hour and a half of my time and zero dollars for a pretty major transformation this weekend. I'm very happy with how it came out - it totally changed the look of the entire room. Now we're just counting down until Wednesday when the city comes to take this eyesore out of our house!
Yes, that is the slipcover-less couch that we have to live with for the next 2 days - told you it was pretty horrible!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Finds

I've had my eye on these starfish bangle bracelets from A.Tierney for a few weeks. It might just be time for me to treat myself to one! I love the mult-colored one because it could go with so many different outfits. 

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Story of the Azaleas

Not gonna lie, for the entire first year we lived in our house, we definitely neglected the outside gardens. We really did nothing to the yard at all except cut the grass. But when this spring rolled around and it started getting warm out, I started itching to get the front of our house to look nice.

I don't have any early pictures that I took of the front of the house, except for the 1 that I snagged off the MLS listing when we were under contract. So unfortunately, I can't truly document how awful our front garden was. Here is the one and only picture:As you can see, we live in a pretty basic, traditional 3 level townhouse. But we're talking about gardens right now, so pay close attention to the monstronsity below the front window - our "azalea garden". Here, I've highlighted it's beauty:It's actually 4 different plants, that have been so neglected that they have grown into 1 plant, as well as being completely covered in ivy and other vines. So they looked really nice, let me tell you. I'm sorry I don't have a close up picture in all their glory.

Anyways, the first weekend it was warm here, I got the brilliant idea that we needed to pull out the azaleas and replant something else there. J was actually working all weekend, so I told him that I would handle the whole project on my own. Here's how our conversation went:

Me: I'm going to rip out all of those azaleas this weekend while you are working so we can start planting something else and make a nice garden.
J: That's a really huge project, you won't be able to do that all on your own.
Me: Yes I will - I'm a beast with clippers.
J: No way - you have no idea how to dig out stumps, plus they probably weigh like 100 pounds each.
Me: I'm doing will be coming home to a completely different looking house!

Needless to say, as soon as I started cutting the branches, I realized this project was WAY over my head and I would never be able to do it all myself. I did manage to take clippers to all the branches and trimmed all the plants back to small stumps. I was very proud of my progress.

J got home later that afternoon and even he agreed he was impressed by how much I had done. However, the hard part was still ahead - pulling those 4 stumps out of the ground. We quickly realized that these probably 20+ year old plants were definitely going to put up a fight to be dug up. That led us to one simple resolution: The Jeep.

Yes, we used J's Jeep Cherokee and rope to pull out all 4 stumps. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this undertaking, because I was laughing too hard to hold my camera. Let's just say it involved me laughing, J cursing and lots and lots of rope. Probably about 50 different attempts to get all of them.

BUT we now have an adorable and tidy start to a little garden! We have planted 3 small spruce trees so far and I LOVE them. We also mulched the area, which made a huge difference. We obviously still have alot of work to do, as far as more things being planted and also adding a small rock wall around the garden to finish it off. I can't get over how much it changed the front of the house and made it look so much better. A little elbow grease and hard work majorly paid off!

Here are a few afters:

I tried to take a picture at the same angle that the MLS picture was taken. Also - we have painted our front door red (which is a whole post in itself!). We still desperately need to re-paint our shutters - they are so faded!

Closer shot of the trees. They are tiny now, but they should grow to be about 4-6'. I sort of like how little they look now. We want to eventually rip out all of the "grass" and turn that entire section into a garden. An added bonus from ripping out the azaleas - we found a 2nd water spicket hidden behind them! Yay for having running water in the front of our house!

So that's our story of the azaleas. So happy they are gone!

Monday, April 19, 2010

On the hunt

for silver shoes for the wedding I'm in this June. I have 1 pair of silver shoes in my closet, but I'm not really in love with them, so I'd like to find a new pair. Here is the dress we will be wearing for the wedding:

but they are in a mint-y sage green color. I actually LOVE the shoes that the model is wearing (maybe a little shorter so I can walk down the aisle!), so my ideal shoe would be those, in silver. 

A few options I've had my eye on:

That last pair I found on Piperlime and they are on sale for $29.99 so those may be the frontrunner. Any other suggestions on good places for shoes, besides the regulars (Zappos, Shoebuy, etc.)?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gone Fishin'

We're off to J's family's river house for a long weekend. I cannot wait for an entire 4 days of total relaxation. Be back Monday night!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Newest Snack Addiction!

So I think I'm a little bit late in becoming obsessed with this, but I've finally come around to Greek Yogurt. I've tried it in the past and I just couldn't bring myself to eat it - it's just way too bitter for my taste, even the flavored kinds. But I kept reading about how good it is nutritionally, so I wanted to keep trying. This week at the grocery store, I bought this on a whim:

The indiviual containers of the 2% Fage yogurt with the seperate small compartment of honey! OMG! Adding the honey to the yogurt made it DELICIOUS! It totally cut out the bitter taste that I hate. I ate it mixed in with some fresh strawberries and it was seriously the most refreshing thing I've had in a while!

However, the 2% Fage is not exactly the world's most low-calorie has 180 calories and 2.5 grams of fat in just that small little cup (but it does contain 10 big grams of protien - awesome!). So I think I'm going to start buying the larger containers of the Fage that are 0% fat, as that cuts the calories in half, and then just adding my own honey to it. I'd also like to start mixing in granola to add some texture and crunch in addition to the berries. This is definitely going to become my new spring and summer snack!

Is anyone else in love with Greek yogurt? If you haven't tried it, I would highly recommend it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Our old fridge and our new beautiful, shiny fridge!
 (please ignore the rest of the kitchen, it's a work in progress! and yes, we put a picture of our new fridge on the old fridge so we could look at it every day before it was delivered)

We've started the beautification project in our kitchen, starting with getting the last of our new appliances (we already have a new stove and dishwasher). I never knew how excited I would get over a fridge, but that thing is incredible. My favorite part? The fact that I don't have to bend over to get stuff out of the fridge - it's all at a perfect height with the freezer below. Oh and we have ice - a major accomplishment! No more stupid ice trays. Heaven!

The next step is starting to sand, prime and paint our horrible honey oak cabinets white. They are so disgusting, covered in grease and grime. Then we're installing new countertops and a sink and faucet. The cabinets will also get new knobs (they don't have any right now) and then we're painting the walls - still searching for the perfect shade of green. Finishing up our little (ha!) DIY project is new lighting - we're taking down the awful florescent and doing recessed lighting. And if I can convince J, I'd love a hanging pendant light over the sink. 

Quite an undertaking, but I'm so excited!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Bridal Shower Planning!

A few weeks ago, I hosted a bridal shower for my BFF C who is getting married in June. Even though she lives in Florida, we decided to hold the shower in DC because that's where most of the shower guests live. I found a super cute restaurant in Arlington and did a brunch shower - so much yummy food!

Since the guest count was only 15 ladies, I decided I wanted to do a semi-elaborate favor for the shower and did personalized bags for each guest. I would not have been able to do this if the shower was really large - they were pretty labor intensive, but I LOVE how they came out. I got inspiration for the bags here. And here's how my bags came out:
The colors for the shower were turquoise, hot pink and royal blue, so I made 5 bags in each of those colors with each girls initial.  
Close up of the design. 

I forgot to take a picture of all the bags laid out in our guest room as they were drying. All the girls really loved the bags - I figured they would be good as reusable grocery bags. I found the bags online for 99 cents each, so it really wasn't an expensive project. 

We had a semi-private room at the restaurant and just all sat at 1 long table, which I think worked well for people to be able to talk and mingle. I did simple tulip centerpieces down the table and I did do assigned seating because I think it works better that way. Onto the pictures!
Centerpieces - very blurry, but I put pink ribbon around the vases and made little tags that said "Colleen's Bridal Shower"
Looking down the table - you can see the bags hanging on each girls chair. The restaurant also printed custom menus for the shower and you can see the place cards I made.
 The other side of the table. 
Present time! She got some wonderful gifts!
The bride with her bow bouquet at the end of the shower!

It was such a fun afternoon and several of our friends from college were able to make it, so it was sort of like a mini-reunion! So excited for the wedding in a few months!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fabulous Friday

Something small that makes me smile on this sunny Friday:
Trimming some bunches of apple blossoms and putting them in a new milk glass vase I got at Goodwill last week for $1. I love the combination of the pink and green against the white. They look fabulous sitting on our new console table we bought recently. And right now, they are the ONLY thing on that table as I haven't started decorating yet. 

Happy Friday - enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring has Sprung!

We've been having some wacky spring weather here in the was like 87 degrees here yesterday!! That is not spring weather to me, but I guess it's better than snow, rain or cold temps. Anyways, I love how everything is in bloom now! I love taking the puppy dog for a walk and looking at all the nice green grass and flowers. 

We are still getting started on our gardening for the year and unfortunately, I was so busy this fall (you know, with getting married), that I didn't get a chance to plant any bulbs. So I'm very envious of everyone's daffodils and tulips coming up. This fall, I will be planting TONS of bulbs all over our yard!

One thing we do have that is in full bloom is our apple blossom tree. It's a super huge tree right in our front yard (it basically takes up our entire front yard!) and it started budding last week.
 Well now the flowers are opened and it's so pretty!  I wish it would stay in bloom all spring and summer, but sadly, it has a pretty short blooming time - the flowers will start falling off pretty soon. And we are supposed to get a super heavy rain tonight, so that may make it even
 shorter. So I guess we should enjoy it while it lasts! I took a few pictures of it this morning after my walk with Spencer.
The view out of the window from our bedroom - looking through the screen, sorry it's sort of blurry!
LOVE the pink flowers!
Close up of the flowers. 

What is your favorite part of spring? 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Long Time, No Blog

Wow - so it's been over 2 months since my last blog post. Not really sure what happened, I wasn't planning on taking such a long break. Life just sort of got crazy busy and I lost motivation.

Anyways, I'm back!! For a quick recap on what we've been up to this winter/spring:

*** LOTS and LOTS of home renovation/decorating! I'm happy to announce that after 11 months of living in our house, I have finally hung stuff up on the walls! J was shocked when he came home from work one day to see actual art hanging in our living room - it was a big moment.

*** J has been a busy busy handyman completing all sorts of interesting projects that I suggest. He finished our half bath (that's a whole other post to come soon!), painted our front door red, installed a new mailbox - I could go on and on.

*** We survived 3 back to back blizzards. It was pretty insane. We had over 45" of snow for most of February. We also had a wedding at work DURING the worst blizzard storm - I won't even go into how insane that was.

*** We are hoping to start with a pretty major kitchen remodel later this month and into May. It will involve a ton of painting, installing new countertops and figuring out installation of a breakfast bar to make our kitchen "eat-in". Yes, we're doing it all ourselves!

*** Tax Refunds - pretty incredible! So happy and thankful for that $8,000 first time homebuyer credit. We will probably NEVER get as much money back as we are getting this year. So of course, I'm stalking our mailbox every day for the check. (you can't e-file that return - bummer!) As soon as we receive it, it's getting put right back into the house. We are getting a new roof (yay!), all new windows (yay!) and 2 new sliding glass doors (yay!). Not that we plan on having too much left after all of that, but we'll save whatever is leftover.

*** My BFF K is over 6 months preggo now! It's been SO fun to watch her belly grow and hear all about the baby. In a complete shocker, she's having a BOY! We (including her husband) were all CONVINCED it was a girl. She called me after they found out and made sure I was sitting down before she told me - ha! But I'm super happy for them and I can't wait until the little man gets here in July! They are naming him Will. Love it!

*** My other BFF C from college is engaged! And I'm her Maid of Honor!!! Notice I said Maid - I refuse to be anything with the word Matron in it. The wedding is this June (eeek!) down in Florida and I'm so super excited! Our bridesmaids dresses are gorgeous and I love everything she has planned so far.

*** Work is starting to gear up for a super crazy wedding season. J and I are going away for a long weekend next weekend to get away before I have zero time off. Can't wait to relax with my man and my puppy dog!

That's about all the updates I have right now! Happy to be back writing and reading!
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