Archives for July 2013

Month: July 2013

the one about the reception part 1

The hard part of the wedding was finally over . . . or so I thought . . . it was finally time to just sit and enjoy. Maybe even dance a little!

It was VERY important to me that my guests not wait (another reason we took pictures before the wedding). I’ve been to many and been in many where the guest had to wait an hour or more – I was in one that we took pictures for 3 hours after the ceremony, while the guests sat at the reception hall. There was no way you were getting me to do that. . .I had a welcome table, gift table, and the seating chart all set up where our guests would walk in so they could sign our book and place their gift before they found their seat. By the time that was thru, they could grab a drink at our drink station and then it was almost time for dinner to start. Pictures of those are to come.

Mr. & Mrs. Stark walking in
Mr. & Mrs. Stark walking in

After about 10 minutes of alone time, and unwrapping 1 very special present (thanks uncle bob!), we got our bridal party all lined up again for introductions. Instead of doing the normal song and silly dance out, Scott and I had written 2 or 3 sentences about how we knew each member of our bridal party for the DJ to read while they walked out. They were funny, silly things – for example : “Next is the maid of honor, Bekah’s niece, Elizabeth. She’s known the bride since the day she was born, has blessed us with our flower girl and ring bearer, and if you’d like some ranch with your chicken she’ll have a bottle.” Or “ Escorting Tiffany, is her husband Drew who in 1995 asked Scott what he thought about ‘The Simpsons’ on the bus ride for the 1st day of 6th grade and they’ve been best friends ever since”. No one knew what we were saying except Scott and I so it turned out really well. We got to see everyone’s reactions as they walked out, and they all had HUGE smiles on their faces. We didn’t plan for our flower girl and ring bearer to be introduced, but they insisted on walking out with Scott and I. They stole the show, of course.

SB_3022_1528 SB_3015_3906 SB_3008_3900 SB_3004_1514

O! And everyone walked out to ‘California Love’ by Tupac playing in the background. Why? Because that’s our song, of course.

Another thing that was very important to me, was that our bridal party get to eat. I knew if we weren’t first to go thru the buffet line that Scott and I probably wouldn’t eat, and they might not get to either. So once we were introduced, our DJ welcomed everyone to dinner, my brother said a short speech about the day I was born (he was 14), I cried for the first time that day, brother prayed for our meal, and the bridal party went thru the buffet. After all that planning, I didn’t even eat. I was too excited, but the bridal party got to eat and that was the main goal. They told me the food was delicious, which I expected since I had only the best caterer ever. Our wedding was catered by Sweet Things Cakery. It’s a small cake shop here in Indianapolis that also sometimes does catering, and I’ve known the owner since the day I was born – consider her more like a grandmother to me so it was an easy decision to have her cater the wedding. She served her specialty of sesame chicken, cheesy potatoes, green beans with bacon, 7 layer salad, and dinner rolls. Our wedding was actually her last wedding, she announced her retirement to me after I got done eating.  I’m really sad for all of you that missed out.

me and -gma sue
me and -gma sue

Once the bridal party and our families were thru the buffet, the rest of our guests got to go thru. Scott and I had recently been to a wedding where the buffet lines were extremely long. So we decided to not have that at our wedding. We did 2 things. 1. We made two lines – 1 on each side of the buffet. 2. Each table was listed under the name of one of our favorite songs. When the DJ played one of the songs, our guests at that table got to go thru the buffet. My thought was that it would give each table about 5 minutes to go thru the line – which should be plenty of time for most of them. It actually worked out too well . . . my sister had to dismiss a couple tables before their song played.

You’ve probably noticed by now that we didn’t have a receiving line. I just didn’t have any interest in standing in a single file line and hugging everyone. I know that sounds kind of rude, but I’ve always hated doing it at other weddings – so many germs, and you usually don’t know half of the bridal party anyway. I really just want to say congrats to the bride and groom. There were certain people I knew we needed to greet,of course, I wanted to talk everyone, but even with a receiving line I’d still only get to say hi to everyone.   So once we were done eating Scott and I walked around and greeted everyone while they ate. We also had 4 empty chairs at our tables with a sign that I made for our guests to come and sit with us while we had dinner. That way if they wanted one on one time they could come and chit chat with us, and we also got around to talking to most everyone. There were only 4 people that I don’t remember talking to, but Scott remembers talking to them so it worked out perfectly.

After about an hour of eating and walking around to talk to our guests, we had our speeches. My favorite was our groomsmen, Daine, who explained our love perfectly by saying that he knew Scott had found the one when he stopped listening to aggressive music. So true – even though I still occasionally get to hear some Opeth, yay.  My bridesmaids did a speech all together – each one told a different part of our relationship and explained how they were a part of it. Rachel was there the day I came into work saying I met the man of my dreams, Shanna was my roommate while our relationship grew, Tiffany was there when we got engaged, and  Beth helped plan the wedding as my moh! Loved it!! And my dad made jokes like he usually does to suppress his emotion, but still made me get teary eyed like he usually does. My sister was the last to go, and she made me cry again. I didn’t look at her while she spoke, and she said the sweetest thing about the first conversation we had after I met Scott which I didn’t even remember. She also said that I was the favorite sister 🙂

brother's speech
brother’s speech
bridesmaids
bridesmaids
my papa
my papa

Now it was really time to party . . .

*I will be posting the details of the décor with where I got things, etc in a couple weeks*

the one wtih DIY fabric softener

Part of my DIY madness has been to make some of my own cleaning products. I mainly do it to save a little money, and stop using so many chemicals. BUT if I don’t think it works as good as the store bought products then I won’t use it . . .

softener

One of the first ones I tried was DIY fabric softener. I new I needed to use it, but I never had and I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on it since detergent is already so expensive. I saw several things about it on pinterest (of course!) and kind of came up with my own recipe. The smell of vinegar on my clothes didn’t sound appealing to me so I took that down a notch, and didn’t include any baking soda which I’ve seen some recipes include. I figured they are both there to sanitize and I’m already using detergent so my main concern is softness!

My recipe is very simple . . .

16oz of hair conditioner – sauve works just fine, vo5 was 89 cents so that’s what I used

1.5 cups of white distilled vinegar

6 cups of water

Essential oils (optional)

then . . .

Boil the 6 cups of water

Once boiling take off stove

Add vinegar and stir

Add conditioner and stir

Add essential oils and stir

Then stir some more

softener2

You can funnel this into any container you want to keep it in! I find that if I use a scented conditioner it smells just a little – which is what I like since we both put our own scent on. But if you want more of a scent then add some essential oils – I’d start with 7 drops and go up from there. This makes a little more than half a gallon so I just keep mine in an old orange juice or milk gallon because I hide all of my cleaning products so I don’t care. But you can find mason jars in the gallon size or half gallon size pretty cheap at Target or amazon – to make it pretty!

I’ve been using it for about a year now, and I love it! My clothes are softer and have a nice, lovely scent to them. I use about a tablespoon in each small load for the full amount of time to make it easy. Scott and I do around 7-8 loads of laundry a month, and this lasts for a year so it’s totally worth it! Obviously, it’s just 2 adults here so we don’t do much laundry, but still for about $5 and 5 minutes and 90 loads this is a good deal.

Will you try it?

xxB*

H54f July 26th

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1. Yes, there will probably be a picture of her every Friday. She’s just the cutest thing in the world. Right before I took this picture I was trying to rush everyone in to the car, and she goes I’ll drive so we can hurry . . . vvvvvvvrrrrrrooooooooomm. Scott was quick to point out that stopped rushing when she did something cute . . .

2. Driving home the other day and the clouds looked fake they were so thick. I can’t get over Indiana skies sometimes.

3. new earrings from target clearance!! and they’re purple

4. new shoes from target clearance!1 and they’re purple 🙂

5. I started doing tony horton’s 10 minute trainer this week fresh with a new outfit – that’s purple. I hate working out . . . that’s probably a vast understatement. In high school and college, I played soccer fairly reguarly and was in fairly good shape . . . but I stopped when my 2nd knee went under the knife, and now I hate working out mostly because it’s not easy like it used to be. At least I admit it, right? So I thought I would start with 10 minutes a day, and go from there. Tony Horton is the guy who does P90X, so I feel like he knows what he’s talking about.

how was your Friday? don’t forget to link up

 

h54fXxb*

the one with a Salmond salad!

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This is one of my favorite salads to make when Scott and I want a quick, easy, healthy, but still delicious dinner. I’m sure there are things similar out there, but I came up with my version on total accident. I never thought fish and salad would taste good when mixed together, but serving fish with a salad on the side was just basic. One night when preparing leftovers for the next day’s lunch, I accidentally mixed them all together. I didn’t even realize it until  I got to work the next day! I almost didn’t eat it, but my boss at the time, Stacey, convinced me to go ahead and eat it. It was soooo good! Now it’s more basic to me than fish and a side salad. It’s something I can change up with what we have on hand or just what we’re feeling. We can even make our own in separate bowls if we’re not feeling the same toppings – like when I want nuts because Scott hates them!

salmonsalad

My favorite toppings are dried cranberries, sunflower seeds or almonds, cucumbers, and of course, cheese – usually feta!

Will you try it out?

xxB*

the one with our wedding Ceremony

The 30 minutes before my wedding was completely nerve wracking. Photos were over about 4:30, and I headed back to the bridal suite thinking I’d be able to just relax and go over my vows a few more times. Everything had gone pretty well so far! It wasn’t on schedule, but by 4:30 we were on time and I was still in a very happy go lucky mood!

I noticed some things that needed finishing touches on my way to the suite so I checked in with my caterer and sister (aka wedding coordinator). I finally made it upstairs about 5 . . . with 30 minutes to spare. At this point I finally realized, how incredibly sweaty I was. Everyone told me I’d get hot since my dress was several layers. So I planned and wore some shorts underneath (chaffing is so not pretty) and my lovely bridesmaids had fanned me a couple times. . . but I was still hot. It was only 80 degrees outside and I was dripping in sweat. So I took my dress all the way off 30 minutes before I was to walk down the aisle and just sat in the bathroom for a few minutes . . . TMI? there’s more  . . . I was still sweaty so I actually stood over an air vent just in my shorts and started going over my vows with my bridesmaid Rachel to be sure I still had them down. I kind of wish I had a pictures of this, but it wouldn’t be pretty anyway. The next 20 minutes are pretty much a blurr . . . my other sister who lives a couple hours away came up to spend some one on one time with me right about the time I realized I was going to get MARRIED in twenty minutes . . . o! and by the way, I can’t remember one word of my vows. Why? No clue . . . but they were not in my brain . . . We had written our own vows together, and they meant so much to us. They said everything I wanted him to know that day . . . but I could not remember them at all.

 

Thankfully, my bridesmaids had it under control. Rachel wrote my vows down, Shanna and Beth gave me a banana and got me back in my dress, and Tiffany (my only married bm) related to my ‘imgettingmarriedin20minutes’ freakout and talked me through it! It was time to get married!

The processional started with my mama. She requested Scott to walk her down the aisle because even with 4 kids she had never had one of her sons walk her down the aisle at a wedding before! Scott chose the song “So was Red” for his walk down the aisle. It’s from his favorite movie Shawshank Redemption, and it’s really not bad plus that movie has a very happy ending. Then came his mom, who requested Jonathon her other son walk her down the aisle. Our grandmothers followed closely behind.

Scott and my mom
Scott and my mom

Then our lovely bridal party! I chose Butterfly Waltz for their walk down the aisle specifically the piano and cello duet. I played both the piano and cello in high school, and the song just sounded summery!

they were the only bridal party that smiled downed the aisle ha!
they were the only bridal party that smiled downed the aisle ha!

Then it was my turn! My dad and I had been hanging out in the garage just talking like we usually do, and I had forgotten for 2 minutes that I was getting married. But my hand instantly started shaking as we started to walk down the aisle. I looked at my almost husband a few times, and each time I started to tear up so I actually looked everywhere but at him on my walk down. When we got to the end tho, he was all I could see!

this is actually the first time i saw my dad that day, and I love this picture.

this is actually the first time i saw my dad that day, and I love this picture.

Our ceremony was  very important to us, but mostly we just wanted to be married so we requested a short ceremony. The preacher from the church we attend regularly, Lannie Smith, officiated for us. He gave a short, lovely sermon on 4 main points of marriage for us all to remember what we were there for. Scott and I read our vows to each other . . . ok, fine he quoted them by memory  . . . and then I pulled my hand written vows out of my dress, told him he was a better person than I was, paused for the helicopter going over us, and read my vows.   After we exchanged wedding bands was my favorite part of the ceremony, the unity ceremony called God’s Knot. We wanted to do some sort of unity ceremony, but since we were outside . . . and I don’t like to do the normal things. . . I didn’t want to do a candle or sand so we chose to do God’s Knot. It’s very simply 3 cords that the bride and groom braid together to represent the bride, groom, and God. It goes with Ecc. 4 – a 3 braided cord can never be broken! We had my nephew, Andrew, who is a very accomplished singer, sing I will made famous by the Beatles while we braided the cord. That song was almost our first dance song, but it worked out so much better to have him sing it here.

wedding6

And then we were married! Lannie announced us as husband and wife, we got to kiss . . . and then everyone walked back down the aisle to ‘Bout time by Louis Armstrong.

kissykissy face

As soon as the recessional was complete, 2 of the very cutest thing happened . . . my nephew Me’Sean walked straight up to Scott, gave him a big hug, and said “you’re really my uncle now!” They have a true love! Then our flower girl realized she hadn’t thrown any of her flowers! So she went back outside and tossed them on the aisle! Have I mentioned that she is the most adorable person on the planet.

maurikiss

After a private moment upstairs to stand over the vent again and cool off relish in the fact that we were married, the party began . . .

the one with Mirror, Mirror

I’m a pinterest addict. I’ll admit it, and I find lots of crafts on there that I want to do. About a year ago actually, I saw this picture . . .

mirror

And really wanted to make a mirror like that for my bedroom. It’s made from one of those $5 Wal-Mart mirrors. We all have them from college or just because they’re cheap, but now that I have my own house and in wanting it to be the best house for Scott I wanted something better. So I enlisted my dad to help me add a better frame to mine. It turned out AMAZING! Scott and I are so happy with it and my dad wants to make one for his bedroom, but the journey there was not easy. We used the tutorial from the picture as a start, and kind of adapted it to make our own with what we had. You can find that tutorial here

http://cuphalffull-sf.blogspot.com/2012/09/diy-mirror.html.

Here’s the list of what to get at your local hardware store if you want to make one like mine:

2 – 1×4 whiteboards

wood glue

mirror wall fasteners – be sure the ones you choose have screws

stain color of your choice

larger nails/staples/liquid nails

things you’ll need but probably already have at home:

hammer

sandpaper

screw driver

paint brush

old rag

tape measure

saw

Let’s start at the beginning . . . first we had to pull the old frame off. These things are cheaply made so I knew pulling the original frame off would not be a problem. I didn’t expect how easy though. I didn’t even need a crow bar or anything to help me get started. I just picked one side and pulled a little to see what I was working with  . . . and off it was. So the other sides I just did it carefully so as not to break anything.

step1all clear, ready to measure

Next, we measured our wood against the mirror to make marks where we needed to cut. We measured with the mirror and then used our tape measure to get the exact numbers . . . measure twice, cut once. I went into this wanting to have 45 degree angles on each board so it would sit right against each nicely like in the picture. We used this tool

step3my new favorite tool

step4clean edge, after cut

to measure each angle and cut the wood – be sure and sand  paper the edges down to a smoothness (what?) once you cut. Then we did the same steps as above to measure the smaller top and bottom pieces.

step5measure smaller sides

Now it was just time to put everything together! Sounds easy right . . . and it was fairly easy up to this point. Everything measured perfectly once cut so we set everything in its place and prepared to nail it together.  But our edges didn’t match . . . the cuts weren’t perfect. I know nothing about tools and I had no idea why this was happening. Papa B says it’s because we used a hand held electric saw and to get cuts that perfect you really need a drop saw which gets more accurate cuts. We spent the next hour cutting millimeters off certain sides to try and get it to match, but nothing worked. So we had the idea to just straiten each edge instead of having 45 degree angels on each side. So it would look like this lovely drawing . . .

drawingI’m the bomb.com artist . . .

WE DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH WOOD!!!  But dad had an idea and I ended up loving it . . . we flipped the longer pieces so that the angle was outward instead of inward. Then cut the smaller pieces of wood to but up against the flat parts of the longer piece to attach the sides together.

step6just needs stain . . .

We used a little bit of wood glue to get it to stay secure. Then we hammered corner fasteners – they are the zig zag things in the picture below – into each connecting piece to be sure they would stay together. You can also use heavy duty staples or liquid nails. We also used mirror wall fasteners, which are at any hardware store (for cheap!) in the nail section. Be sure to get the flatter ones so that it will sit flush against the wall. We also put a little blue cloth just to give it some cushion.

step7makin’ it hang

Stain is super easy and so much more fun than I thought it would be. I used the Lowe’s brand – color called Kona. I painted the full right side . . . left it for a 1 minute . . . wiped it off . . . repeated on left, top, and bottom. After all was said and done I ended up loving it and it goes awesome in my bedroom. So it just goes to show that even the most frustrating of crafts can turn out better than you expected!

mirror2

xx B*

the one with my first Julep box

This weekend was a nice relaxing weekend! I was able to get some good quality girl time in! I needed it! But I didn’t really get any pictures or have any fun stories. Which is nice every once in a while 🙂

I did; however, get my starter Julep box this weekend! I really love the idea of the beauty boxes that have become popular so I wanted to try out a couple of them to see which ones I like best and seem to send products I’ll actually use. My skin, hair, all of it . . . gets used to things easily so I change up my products about every 6 months, and I love to experiment with makeup so these actually seem like they could save me money in the long run. I’ve started with birchbox – which I’m still waiting for my 1st one – as it seems to be the most popular, and Julep/Maven because I love a good nail design, and because my BFF is a cosmetologist so anything I don’t like or the nail colors that I’m over I can just give to her – no waste!

julep1

I’m a sucker for packaging, and I think they did good with the starter kit. It’s all black and pink, and they even wrapped all the products up in a cute little bag with a bow 🙂

julep3

With the maven subscription, you get a choice of what style you want to receive the products to match. I chose bombshell . . . boho glam was a close second, but since I’m splitting this with a friend I wanted to choose one that fit both of us and bombshell it was. I was worried classic with a twist would be too boring sometimes, the it girl would be too bold sometimes, and the modern beauty didn’t seem to give nail colors which was why I wanted to try julep in the first place.

julep4

So far, so good! In each bombshell box, we get 1 full size beauty product – in the starter box it was a cuticle oil which I thought had a very clean scent and smooth feel. I could tell this was something you are supposed to use personally over time not just at the time of a mani so we’ll see how it continues to work. The colors were a nice orangey, coral and some sparklies! We used them on one nail just to try them out and they seem to go on smooth and even so we’ll see how the brush works for an actual mani and if it lasts like it should.

julep2

We also got a little sample of the rock star hand crème. I used it on my hands right before bed – not thinking that it would have a very distinct smell to it. It definitely did, but it was a nice clean musky with floral undertones smell so it wasn’t overwhelming, and did seem to moisturize well . . . definitely need to use more to verify that since my hands are always dry, but I didn’t like the scent enough to purchase it. All in all, I’m happy with the starter box, and am looking forward to getting the next one! I got a 3 month subscription to try it out. I plan to give a review each month and at the end I’ll tell you if I’m keeping up with them or not.

Do you get any beauty boxes, which ones, how do you like them?

xxB*

*disclaimer these are my opinions. I am not employed or paid by Julep for this review*

H54F July 19th

photo

1. wedding pictures are here!!!

2. this little lady in her itty bitty teensy weensy yellow polka dot bikini made my weekend!

3. my little dude kept me calm during a stressful monday <3

4. found this picture of my hubbers, handsome even way back when.

wedding5

5. my favorite wedding photo!

 

Hope you had a great week, and are prepping for an even  better weekend!

xxB*

the one with French Toast Cream Cheese Rolls!

Breakfast is not my favorite meal. Nowhere close! I think it has something to do with getting up early. I do like the taste of some breakfast foods, of course, and so breakfast for dinner is always on the list to make especially since it’s usually pretty easy. On the 4th of July, I had a craving for some breakfast, but I wanted to sleep in! So instead of cooking out, we made breakfast! I made this along with eggs and cheese, bacon, and biscuits and gravy. It was a good, sweet addition!

french toast 2

 Super easy and delicious French toast cream cheese rolls!

Ingredients:

 8 slices of white bread

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of milk

1 tablespoon of nutmeg

8oz cream cheese

1 cup of sugar

Cinnamon and sugar to taste

Recipe:

Trim crust off of bread and use dough roller to smooth and flatten bread

Mix cream cheese and sugar then spread onto flattened bread

Roll bread into spirals.

Mix eggs, milk, and nutmeg together in separate bowl.

Dip spiral bread pieces in egg mixture then place on buttered griddle or skillet

Cook like normal French toast – about one minute a side on medium heat

toast1

 Then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and serve with syrup for dipping!

What do you think?  What’s your favorite breakfast treat?

xxB*

the one with wedding photos

Remember this . . .

scheduleour detailed wedding day schedule

We’re up to 1:30. Our first look was definetly my favorite part of the day. I had wanted to see him before the wedding sooooooo badly because I knew I would be so excited that I wouldn’t be able to not touch him . . . I know it sounds weird, but i’m a cuddle bunny. I knew as soon as I saw him I would just want to be wrapped up in his arms for a minute or two and talk to him. Obviously I couldn’t do that at the alter so we chose to do a first look, and have a private moment together. Our photogs got some awesome pictures of us together before we saw each other. In this picture I’m probably saying “ what’d you have for breakfast babe” and then I got to see him! We spent about 10 minutes just the two of us, and then started in on some portraits.

firstlook

This is where everything got way off schedule. The plan was to do some bride and groom portraits and then start in on the family portraits. Those were the two most important to me so that’s what I wanted to do first. Then we’d move on to bridal party fun shots. My mom and dad had set up some games, refreshements, cranked the air conditioning, and set up a tent outside to keep everyone cool and entertained while they weren’t having pictures taken! We knew it’d be a long 2 hours and I didn’t wany anyone but my sister to be running around doing stuff. Some of our family is notoriously late, and I was prepared for that. I had even tried telling them to be there by noon . . . so if they were 2 hours late they would still be there on time. I love my family so all I will say is it didn’t work out anywhere close to schedule. I thank god no one listened to me that morning and decorated, I also thank god for my sister who kept everything under control, and I thank god for my nephews who constantly kept coming up to where we were taking pictures to be nosy . . . they ended up helping when I needed someone to hold my bouquet or get us some water and they made me laugh! Finally, I thank God for my photographer who kept everything under control, went with the flow, and still made sure I got the shots I wanted and ones I didn’t think I needed and he made me do anyway.

My fam bam
My fam bam
my new fam bam
my new fam bam

Looking back I can’t believe the control freak, planner, slightly ocd girl in me didn’t freak out. I even questioned my MOH if she snuck me a xanax. But all I got was some champagne punch so, I credit my calmness to everyone I mentioned above, and the fact that I knew I was about to get married to the most pefect man.

Me'sean held my flowers and got me some water
Me’sean held my flowers and got me some water
lady played in the water
lady played in the water
newphew Andrew sang for me
newphew Andrew sang for me

After pictures, we were scheduled for an hour to relax, welcome guests, and touch up my hair/makeup . . . and then the real stuff. Here’s a few of my favorite pictures before we get into all that . . .

wedding2 wedding3 wedding4 wedding5maids