Wedding Season: What to Give {Vol. I}

1. Custom monogram coasters: $15.00
2. Personalized family sign
3. Custom address labels: $6.00 for 1 sheet of 30
4. Love Birds Wedding Print: $15.00

I have 3 weddings to go to this year {not a record by any means} and I have been scouring etsy trying to find out-of-the-ordinary gifts for the new mr. and mrs.

I try to think about the couple and what I would put on my etsy registry if there was such a thing {wouldn't that be nice?} The first set is all about personalized gifts. I think the personalized aspect gift is nice--it's very unique {no one I know is going to have a plaque that says "Chad & Amanda May 15, 2010" hanging in their house}.

I'll be posting a few wedding gift ideas from etsy for the kitchen and also for organization later on in the week. stay tuned.


For someone who watches too much Bravo...

I'll admit it. I watch every single Real Housewives season. I don't know what it is about that show that pulls me in. I know all the Housewives' stories, backgrounds, and have recently been tempted to buy this Real Housewives Tell-All book. Heaven help me. This illustration by David Gilmore makes me laugh in so many ways. I know what you're thinking, and I could be spending my time being more productive and contributing more to society {at least I do the dishes while Real Housewives is on, does that count?}. Everyone has gotta have a guilty pleasure--right?

Show & Tell: my kind of cookbook

Before I bring you the next part of the epic wedding tale, I thought I'd show you my cookbook of choice: How to Boil Water. It has everything a young bride who is an inexperienced cook needs. I am such a bride. I actually looked up their helpful tip: "How to Hard Boil an Egg" today. I don't view this book as a cookbook...it's more of a how-to guide. It tells you the right way to stock a pantry, what to look for at the meat counter, how to properly cut an onion. Now don't get me wrong; I do love my Betty Crocker cookbook from my mother-in-law (I'm making the peanut butter cookies out of it tomorrow) and I am putting Ree's cookbook on my Christmas list, but this one is special. It's exactly what I need as a beginner: my kitchen bible.  Tell me, any cookbooks you love?


for KLH.

Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad.--Unknown

You mean the world to me. You've guided me for 21 years in the way the Lord wanted you to and I am so thankful for you and mom. I love you.


5.15: church decor and the dress

Be prepared: there is some serious pretty going on in this post. Few words. Many pictures. 

What can I say about our flowers? When I told Kelly, a.k.a. Flower Genie, what I wanted she said "I know exactly what to do." Not even a moment's hestitation and my vision was transported into her brain. She knew I wanted pink + orange daisies and kept 'em clean and classy. Above is her work on the altar and the church pews.

I also have one of Jeff's pictures as my new blog header. When I showed Chad it last night he commented on the fact that it looked like the old one, but with a facelift. My thoughts exactly.

The other set of pretty shots: my dress. My white, satin, jeweled dress. I just like staring at it.

See? I just was in love with this little number.

My sis. The lace-up queen. I did it for her wedding and she returned the favor for me.


bite into it.

My friends,

Just wondering if you'll be joining me on 6.30 along with 5.1745 million teenage girls as we go see Twilight: Eclipse. Here's how my Jacob/Edward duel goes on in my brain--Jacob in the movies, and Edward in the books. (Trust me, it makes things confusing.)

P.S. I'll bring the Milk Duds...must remember bigger purse for sneaking them in.


5.15: me & the b-maids getting ready {Vol. II}

 {01. pleased as punch. 02. the hair shot...all credit for those curls goes to Ms. Sara} 

When we arrived at the church, we were pleased to find that we were the only ones there except Jeff and Jess. Laura and I dropped off the dresses and then crept down the hall to pick up the gorgeous gerbera daisies that Kelly {my flower queen} left in the fridge. After chatting with J & J for a while, I sat down in the 3rd and 4th grade room and had my aunt Deb put my face on.

So, me and the girls proceeded to share eyeliner, chat about our shoes, and fix our hair. We listened to Z100 and laughed as the same Rhianna song came on twice in the two and a half hour span we were in there. The short amount of time that we were in there was a whirlwind--people coming in and out, pictures being taken, giggling and chatter. All of which I soaked up like a sponge. I liked the  fact that I was never alone in the room. Sure I missed the fact that the girls could go out and see the boys whenever I wanted to, but I kinda liked that I was able to spend precious time with each girl.

The shoes. I didn't have any sort of demands when it came to my girls' shoes. They all knew I was wearing bright pink flats {the ones in the middle} and they took it from there. Some of the girls completely surprised me, like Danielle, my sensible and non-heel wearing pal, who sported the two+ inch heels on the far right the whole evening.

My little mr. came in to our room and kept us company while we waited for Pastor T. to come get us. Do you love that tie? I got that sweet little polka-dotted number from Me and Matilda. I gotta tell you, having a baby around you right before you get married is one of the most calming things you can have. If you are getting married soon, borrow someone's baby for a 1/2 hour. You get distracted from all the cuteness.

This is something that not many people got to see. My cute little garter. I'm a Colts fan through and through and wanted to honor them on the wedding day.  We didn't do the traditional garter toss and bouquet toss at the wedding reception, so only my maids and Chad saw my Colts pride. My garter was made by Embroidery World.

One of the best moments was when Laura came into the room with a note from my beloved. It's one of the keepsakes from the wedding that I'll treasure for the rest of my life. As you can see by my face, I am overwhelmed by his love for me. He wrote it the morning of our wedding and he shared with me his thoughts about the day and about our future together.  I have a Christian husband who will always protect and treasure our love and he made me even more confident in that with the words on this piece of paper.

5.15: me and the b-maids getting ready

{From Top Left, Clockwise: Me, Laura, Hannah, Danielle getting beautiful under the hands of Sara & Kayla.}

Waking up on my wedding day felt...uneventful. Uneventful in the sense that the biggest thing to happen to me ever wasn't only 1/2 a day away. I decided that throughout the whole day, I would just think about the next thing. So, I woke up thinking: "I'm going over to Chad's parent's house to eat breakfast and do my hair."

I did think about the significance of the day when I was leaving my parent's house and my mom gave me a hug and started to cry. I was overwhelmed with her love for me at that moment. I was her second daughter to leave home. I was her first daughter to leave home and get married on the same day.

When we arrived to the in-laws house, I was greeted with so much happiness. Everyone gave hugs and my sweet soon-to-be sister gave me a pink rose along with her hug. That morning was a perfect way to ease the jitters--having my bridesmaids around me and laughing with me was so wonderful. Sara sat me on the chair and got to work. I wasn't nervous about how my hair would look at all. Sara has been in the hair-stylin' business for a couple years and I trusted her completely with my look.

There are a few things that make me smile when I remember the first couple hours of our wedding day:

01. Eating my mother-in-law's yummy breakfast food
02. Watching a wedding show on WE and then watching America's Next Top Model
03. Debating about whether or not Jay Manuel from ANTM is gay...and going on the computer to check {He is in case you were wondering}.
04. All the b-maids and I painting our toenails bright, cheery pink. And how we rooted Danielle on when she told us she hadn't painted her toenails ever. {Danielle, we are so proud.}
05. Hearing Jane talk to Steve {my father-in-law} about the cake and how Chad was on the other side of that phone. I wanted so badly to talk to him, but we wanted to wait to see each other until I was walking down the aisle.
06. Looking out the window and seeing the gorgeous sunshine and thinking "Thank you God for giving us the perfect day to get married."

That couple hours was wonderful...being surrounded by some of my favorite people who I knew all supported me and loved Chad and I. That time was so close and intimate, we all just sat together and talked and laughed. The butterflies were starting to form when we were leaving to go to the church...

Photo Credit: my MIL :)


the wait is over.

A swell little package tied up with string arrived in my mail today. I get to share our wedding day with all of you.

Jeff captured everything we wanted....and more. Stay tuned for our words + images.


summer afternoon

Go out. Enjoy these summer afternoons and nights that are filled with nothing but the sunshine warming your face.

We're going to celebrate summer this weekend by:
*grilling some Onion-Topped Caesar Burgers tonight
*enjoy some Leinie's Summer Shandy with said burgers
*watch some baseball...what else is there to do but baseball in the summer
*clean out the garage...spring cleaning came a little late to this house
*have some quality family time on Sunday

Slow. Uncomplicated. Just the way we like it.


time for a change...

I need one. I haven't cut my hair since my sister's wedding almost two years ago. Yes, I've had trims but nothing really dramatic. I'm looking for long, breezy layers like my girls--hilary, alyssa, amanda, and kristin. I just want something easy for the summer and at all costs want to avoid the snarls that I get in the back of my head with my current non-hairstyles. Will have to post the before + after once it happens. It looks like I might want to go blond as well based on these four...maybe I'll do some highlighting along with my celebrity haircut.

in other news...

real housewives of nyc has the season finale tonight. let's watch ramona's vow renewal together.

i made my first "wife" meal tonight: chicken pasta in peanut sauce. it was a crowd favorite and comes highly recommended by c & a --having the rest tomorrow for lunch.


you want a little preview, don't you?

I can tell. You've been politely commenting on my posts about bowls & doormats, but I can tell what you really want. It's all about the wedding with you.

A little appetizer while you wait for the main course {why are all my posts food-related?}. It's coming. And it'll be epic...


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