Thursday, January 31, 2013

Evolution of Our Chalkboard

I had a few wedding-related projects that R agreed to help me with.  He doesn't mind any task that requires a trip to Lowes and tools.  I wanted a chalkboard to display our reception menu but I didn't like any of the ones I saw for sale.  I was so excited when R agreed to make one for me!
R started by sanding the board until it was smooth enough to paint.
 Our first experience with chalkboard paint.
 And after a few layers....
 It was ready to be "seasoned" with chalk.
 R built an awesome frame.
 He started painting it gray but I wanted it to have an "old" look.  So I found a few ideas while blog surfing.
 Using some brown paint and some water to thin it out he brushed some rusty brown paint on the frame and quickly wiped it off with a paper towel.
I tried to zoom in on the detail....
 The he attached the chalkboard to the frame

 And the finished product!  I can't wait to write our menu on this board and display it at the wedding! This photo enhances the brown on the board...up close it looks more gray.  I purchased chalkpens from Michaels to use to write on the board, they seem to be much easier to write with than actual chalk.

Just for fun I'm sneaking in a picture of Lilly.  I'm always taking pictures of the dog but every once in a blue moon my sweet Lilly Pot will give me a kodak moment.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Things I'm loving...

So back in the day I would post items that I was in love with each month....then I got out of the habit. I'm going to give it a go again...if not monthly then at least regularly.
 My new bird canvas (purchased from Target) hanging in our bathroom.  I like it now but I'll love it one day when I actually can paint my walls whatever shade I want.
 I purchased the second pillow to accent our living room chair and two of the pillows on the bottom for our couch.  I love the way they look in our living room - honestly I hated our other pillows and purchased them on a whim when R told me he wanted more "color" in our home.  
 Awesome hairspray!  I use this in the winter and spring and it does a great job.  I usually switch to a frizz reducing hairspray like Big Sexy Hair Stay and Play Harder during the summer.
 Best home fragrance.  These Pink Zebra Sprinkles pack a punch- I have Pumpkin Spice and Farm House Cider and I love to mix the two in my warmer.  The scent expands throughout the whole bottom floor of our home and it lasts for hours.
 Favorite packaged soup.  I add cayenne to mine and serve alongside a grilled cheese.  Ah-mazing.
 R and I are both using the Peter Thomas Roth glycolic cleanser and it seems to be good stuff.  I only use it three times a week with my Clarasonic Mia.  It's so strange how my skin feels so clean with no tightness or dryness.  I don't think I can use it daily though.  R seems to like it as well.
 The December Popsugar box included a mixed collection of Tea Forte brand teas.  I love the Black Currant and White Ambrosia so much - I'm hooked!
 Shark Steam Mop...this was a gift from Santa off our wedding registry and we have become very good friends.  I have peace of mind knowing my floors are clean and sanitized.  It's so easy to use and heats up in a matter of seconds.  I see a lot of evenings with a glass of wine and this steam's so much fun, R will probably never get a chance to use it.
 R's sister gave me the BareMinerals Shine On palette for Christmas and I've used it almost daily this month. The shadows included do not seem like "natural" shades but I swear it is the most beautiful daytime, work appropriate look.  I love the primer and the 4pm waterproof eyeliner.  The blush is more of a highlight even on my fair's not very pigmented.  The gloss is a nice natural shade but I wouldn't turn it down in another color.  The staying power is pretty good and I love the flavor.
 I received this cuticle pen for Christmas too (I received so many great gifts) - it's perfect to keep in your handbag and touch up your cuticles during the day if they seem dry.  I wash my hands and use sanitizer often during the day  so my hands and cuticles are very dry.  I'm still using my Burts Bees cuticle balm at home but this solution does a great job of moisturizing them on the go.  
I'm loving this show!  I liked Sex and the City (liked...maybe even loved but wasn't obsessed like some others I know), so I thought I'd give this prequel a shot.  It's set in the 80s and the fashion is spot on. I found it by accident but now I'm kind of into it. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Weekend Wedding Project

This was a simple craft that R tackled in a couple of hours on Sunday.  We purchased two white wooden plaques from Michaels.  R drilled two holes in the top of each and then he painted them with chalkboard paint.  
 When the chalkboard paint was dry R went over the edges with white paint to clean it up.
 I "seasoned" the chalkboard to get it ready for writing.
I tied twine to the plaque using the holes that R had drilled so they can hang on the back of our chairs at the reception.  Michaels had these cute burlap flowers that I attached to the twine for a little something extra.  I love the way they turned out!
I plan to use these plaques in our future office (when I finally get it set up).

Poor R....he's knocking these crafty items off the list one by one...unfortunately he has two larger projects that are much more time consuming.  I'm grateful that he is so creative.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Update....59 days to go

I would not label myself a DIY bride but I think it is special to have a few projects to make our wedding a little more personal.  I have two upcoming projects to post that are going to add a lot to the decoration at our reception - R is in the process of completing them now.
Our flower girl basket.  This is an old basket that my mom had in storage and I wanted to give it a little more color.  There was an inspiration picture that I found on Etsy that I used as a model.
 This was another simple project, quart mason jars wrapped with twine with an antique key accent.  We plan to place candles in the jars with coffee beans as the filler.  One of these will be used on each cocktail table as a centerpiece.
 My ring bear!  So this isn't crafty at all - I purchased one of the 2012 Kohls Christmas bears on the after holiday sale and cut the scarf off.  We found a silk bow tie at a consignment shop to dress him up and he has twine on his paw to hold the rings.  This bear will only be used for pictures and to give our 2 year old ring bearer something to hold when he walks.  Our MOH and Best man will have the rings for safe keeping.
 My collection of thank you notes.  I purchased different ones for different events.  The blue ones on the bottom right are the ones I'm using for the shower that we were given on Saturday.  Sorry some of these photos are so dark, the cards looked blurry when I used the camera flash.
 I bought this frame at Michaels for my bridal portrait.  I will be able to pick it up a couple of weeks before the wedding and I really don't care if it's professionally framed.  I found this one described as "Barnwood" and fell in love with it.
I didn't ask my best friend if I could put her picture on my blog so I cropped the photo (though she has never been shy in front of a camera).  I love the dresses!  This past weekend I had one of my bridesmaids try on the dress with gold heels and with boots - both looked fantastic!  I loved the heels and if I were getting married in a different venue they would be a perfect choice.  The boots "made" the dress for me - I can see it working well in pictures with the barn behind us.  Also the girls will be super comfortable for the ceremony.  They can change into whatever shoes they want for the reception but if it's cool at night at least the boots will be a little warmer.  I asked all the girls to get their dresses altered to hit mid-knee.
 AND this has been the biggest weight lifted on my shoulders....our invitations are stuffed, sealed, and addressed.  The smaller invitations in the front of for my bridal luncheon.  R and I are going to go to the post office together to send them off next week!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Family Bridal Shower

Saturday my aunt and two of my cousins hosted a bridal shower for R and I at my childhood church fellowship hall.  The food was amazing...brownies, homemade pimento cheese and chicken salad tea sandwiches, cocktail weenies, and pineapple punch.  They really did a great job on the decorations...the whole room was pink and white.

 The invitations were ordered from
 Our moms supplied childhood photos of us and my mom had several framed pictures of us over the past couple of years.
 My mom decorated one of her gifts with a bride and groom set of Snowpinions.
 This bouquet was a shot of Spring on a cold day.  It's on our entryway table now!
 Cupcake tree....the lemon ones were to die for!
 Seriously my aunts make the best tea sandwiches.  I loved the pimento cheese and R raved over the chicken salad.  They made a cheese and sausage dip for him that he really enjoyed while watching football the next day.  I left the shower with two of the cheeseballs to freeze for future parties.
 This was a great decoration idea, the gift bags used for table centerpieces had household items like facial tissue and laundry detergent.  R and I are set for a couple of months!
 The gift table.
 My mom loving her future son in law.  I woke up the morning of my shower planning to wear a silk top and skirt combination but I'm so glad I didn't.  I'm sure I would have spilled punch on my blouse and later that night when we were helping to load the trucks (and unload at our house) it was freezing outside.
 My MOH wanted all of the bows.
 MOH wrote the gift list down for us so we could write out thank you notes later.
One of my bridesmaids helping pass out gifts.  R is funny about tearing the wrapping paper so it takes him twice as long to unwrap them. 

We had a great time!  We racked up on crystal along with several towel sets, casual china, and Pyrex dishes.  My mom gave us the Gorham toasting flutes and cake server and my friend's mom surprised us with the matching candlesticks.  Now we have a lot of organizing to do, we have to pack up our other items for Goodwill so we can make some room in our cabinets for the new pretties!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wedding Update - 72 more days...

I wanted to check in to let everyone know why I haven't blogged very much in the past few weeks.  Along with working late most nights, we have been focusing on wedding chores.  A family member is coordinating our wedding so I've made detailed lists for her.  R thought it was hilarious that I created a timeline for my bridal party...I thought it was normal?!?!

We have also completed the wording for our ceremony programs and at the next meeting with our pastor we get to review it!  On Sunday he gave us his standard layout so I could base the program off of it.  R and I are still deciding whether or not we are writing our vows.

Etsy shop owner Bthanari emailed me to let me know our cake topper is ready, so I finally get to see her creation next week.  Oh, and the bridal luncheon invitations and our rehearsal dinner invitations are in.  I love seeing everything coming together.

We hit a snag ....  a rather large one...with our linen rentals so I will be placing a new rental order after my final venue walk through in February.

Friday I have a dress fitting, fingers crossed the bodice will be fixed.

Next weekend my invitations will. be. finished.

And I'll end this post with a photo of the sweetest pup ever sporting her new collar -

Thanks to everyone who is following my wedding journey.  It really has dominated my free time, especially in the past couple of weeks - the break we took over the holidays is hitting us hard now.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In the Kitchen: Chocolate Truffles

This is Ree Drummond's recipe found on her show Pioneer Woman in the episode Chocolate Day. I separated the truffle mixture and added mint extract to half the recipe so I'd have some with mint and some that were plain chocolate.  I rolled the mint truffles in cocoa powder to finish them and used sparkle sugar on the plain chocolate truffles.  The finished product was so pretty!

Please follow the link to her recipe (and a very helpful video), I copied it here with my changes.


  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate ( I didn't measure exactly)
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate ( I used chips so I estimated about the same amount as the bittersweet chocolate)
  • One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • Mint extract (4 drops)
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • Sparkle Sugar
  • cocoa powder for dusting


Heat the dark chocolates and condensed milk in a double boiler over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. The mixture will have a slight marshmallow texture.
Remove from the heat.  Spoon some of the mixture into a separate bowl quickly and stir in mint extract.  Leave the other bowl of the mixture plain or mix in another flavoring to your taste.  Cover and refrigerate until completely cool, at least 2 hours.
Once chilled, roll in teaspoon-size balls, and then dip into the melted milk chocolate coating, using a fork to let the excess chocolate drip off.
Use sparkle sugar or cocoa powder to decorate the truffles.  Crushed nuts or powder sugar can also be used for a pretty finish.
Ree uses a tooth pick to help her slide the truffles off her fork.  I used this method for the first time and found it helpful.  In the past I've made buckeyes and had trouble getting them off the fork without wiping off some of the chocolate.  This is a bit time consuming but completely worth it.

Product Review: Living Proof No Frizz Kit

I tried the Living Proof No Frizz Kit last month and I wanted to post my review of it.  I have medium-thick, color treated hair that has mixed texture (curly and wavy).  My hair is VERY prone to frizz and flyaways.  In the tiny test-tube bottles is enough product to last about 5-6 washes (even with a super long mane like mine).  I wash my hair every three days so I was able to use this for over two weeks exclusively.  The shampoo doesn't lather...there are a few suds but nothing like shampoos that contain sulfate.  I also don't feel like it really "cleaned" my hair.  I've used sulfate free shampoos before and I've never had this issue but with this my scalp didn't feel clean even though I didn't have any noticeable product residue left in my hair after my shower.  The conditioner wasn't strong enough for my hair either......I noticed it felt a little like straw and it was more difficult to comb through it.  My hair did have a noticeable reduction in frizz when it was dry but I still had problems with flyaways.  

I used the nourishing styling cream, a nickel size amount on my ends before I dried my hair.  I still have a lot of product left so I'm still using it and I think it does help with frizz.  I noticed my hair doesn't hold curl from my curling iron as well - it might be weighing my hair down.  It worked really well when I used my straightener though, my hair was perfect - kink and frizz free.  The kit also includes a sample of leave in conditioner, there was enough product included for two treatments and it left my hair really soft.  I didn't heat style my hair when I used this though - I used it with the intent of letting my hair dry into it's naturally curly texture using a palm full of mousse to help the curl along.  I like this so much more than the conditioner included in the box.  I wish I had tried to style my hair with it, I wonder if it would have weighed it down. 

 I probably will not purchase the full size of any of these products but I'm glad I was able to try it.  It's been on my list for a couple of years and I was hoping that I would like it as much as the majority of the reviewers online.  I'd  still suggest it to someone who likes to wear their hair pin straight - it did a beautiful job when I wanted to straighten my hair, but I rarely wear mine that way.  I have moved on to the Alterna Bamboo shampoo and conditioner and I'm loving it.  I hope to review it in the future.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

3..2..1... Happy New Year!

I decided to take off work early on NYE to catch a mid-afternoon movie with my mom.  We saw Parental Guidance and it was one of those laugh and cry movies...perfect to watch with a parent.  R worked a full day and tried to get home as quickly as possible so we could get ready for our night out with friends.  A couple we met several months ago invited us to their house for Eve festivities ...we have some friends in common so it was a great opportunity to spend time with them as well.  I don't drink often so anything beyond 2 glasses of wine puts me over the moon so keep that in mind while looking at my photo flashback.

A great time was had by everyone!  I had a great 2012 but I'm so excited for the things to come in 2013!