Let the countdown begin.

I keep a journal. Not an online diary, but an actual handwritten journal (I'm old-fashioned that way). I love looking back on previous entries and remembering my frame of mind during a certain event and of course, it's where I keep my goals/resolutions for the upcoming year.

I am pretty good at keeping resolutions. For instance, about 10 years ago, I gave up my soda addiction and it worked out very well-I can probably count the number of Coca-Colas I've had since then. However, when I began 2008, I didn't have any resolutions but I certainly had goals.

There was a period in late 2007, during which I questioned my career motivation. I'm sure many of us go through thoughts like, "Is this all there is?". I was in marketing and public relations and felt that all of my creativity was slowly being drained from me. I had done some event planning and I've known for a long time that I wanted to do it full-time, but I kept getting sucked into marketing/pr jobs. Moreover, I started to realize that the bridal industry is my calling.

My #1 goal was to quit my job (scary!). Check.
I took my new found freedom and ran with it. My friend and I took a two month tour of South America. No worries-my hubby was there part of time. I couldn't have done it otherwise. I missed him enough as it was.

My #2 goal was to become a wedding planner. Half check.
I am still working on this one. It's one of the reasons why I started this blog. I want to keep my creativity flowing on a daily basis. I'm also working toward my bridal certification. Note: when one quits a job, one should make sure there isn't about to be a recession. Lesson learned.

My #3 goal was to run a marathon. Nope. Not even close.
I sprained not one, but BOTH my ankles this year, within two months of each other!
Don't. Ask. I think my running career is officially over. Still a little bummed about this one.

Two out of three ain't half bad! I still haven't written my goals for this year (still thinking about this). What is your #1 goal for 2009?

No matter what you do to bring in 2009, have a wonderful time and be safe. Happy New Year! See you on the flip side.


Bridesmaid trend: ruffles

I've been seeing more and more ruffled detail on bridesmaid dresses. I like how a little ruffle adds a lot of detail. Jewelry can be kept to a minimum and any up-do is a perfect compliment.

A broach can be added to the V in this neckline for a little bling.

It's important not to draw too much attention from this hemline.
The shoes in the pic are perfect.

One-shoulder action is always fashion forward and a little sexy.

Worn during an outdoor wedding in the early spring or fall,
this dress will keep the bridesmaid a little warmer.

Very cute and flirty.

For a bohemian affair.


Flighty friends.

Before the holidays, I was strolling through Hobby Lobby and came across these delightful butterflies and charming little bees. They would be eye-catching used in a spring ceremony on cupcakes, floral arrangements, escort cards or as a cake topper. Look for the new Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, which features a cake covered in butterflies on the cover.

And for a peacock inspired wedding, as seen here and here, how great would this little guy be used as a cake topper?

Hobby Lobby also carries other birds in different colors.

For Hobby Lobby locations, go here.


A bag of sand, a little candle and holiday wishes.

I'll be MIA for a few days. We're heading to Albuquerque, NM (my hometown) to visit friends and family over the holiday. One of our favorite traditions is walking the trail of luminarias in the Nob Hill area. Growing up, I took these paper 'lanterns' for granted...but they would be wonderful as lighting used along a pathway for a wedding reception. Or, for an evening ceremony, a circle (or heart) of light can be made around the couple. I've seen just about every color of bag used and white is my favorite. They are inexpensive and so very pretty.
Enjoy your holiday!

[images, top to bottom: New Mexico Photos, itsatrip.org,]

More Xmas DIY...dot-painted china.

I know it may be a little late to be be posting crafty Christmas ideas...unless you are a true procrastinator (and if you are, get your booty to a craft store. You can complete this project in about an hour-not including baking time). But I think this is a great gift idea for any time of the year. I was browsing Martha's holiday magazine and was completely intimidated to start this project-I thought it would be harder than it was. But as long as you have patience and a pretty steady hand, you'll give a simple gift and make a big impression.

Note: If you want the Christmas templates, you'll have to buy the special-edition magazine. The templates on Martha's site are for year-round projects (that's what I used).

What you'll need (I found the paint, transfer paper and applicator bottle at Michael's):
*ballpoint pen
*ceramic paint, such as Pebeo porcelain 150
*toothpicks or wooden coffee stirrers
*applicator bottle
*baby wipes
*transfer paper
*paper muffin cups

Cut out the template, after photocopying to the desired size.
Place transfer paper under template and tape to ceramic dish.

Using the ball-point pen, press on each dot firmly.

Remove transfer paper and template. I mixed fushia and white to form a light pink. Then, pour paint in applicator. Make sure to test paint flow and dot size. I found that if I barely tapped on the mug with the applicator, I got the right size. I didn't have to squeeze the applicator once the paint was in the tip.

Let the paint dry for two hours, then bake the ceramics in the oven at 325 for 30 minutes.
For templates and instructions, go here.
[Image: Martha Stewart]

p.s. If you are the super-crafty bride, you can order mugs or plates online for super cheap and make these as favors/seating arrangements. You can also do this project with bud vases and include a single flower in them.


Update: holiday tags.

I posted about these tags and thought I would put them into action.

I printed them on a white card stock and cut them individually with a paper cutter and then glued them to red paper which I cut a little larger than the tags. Then, I punched a hole in the top so I would be able to use the tags with ribbon. Not bad, especially for how it easy it was.

This would be a cute idea for seating cards. Using your wedding theme, you can print the name of the guest on one side and their table number on the other. The tags could hang from pretty ribbon tied to another ribbon, material or clothes line.

Miss him.

I really miss Matt when he's out of town on a business trip but...here's a little secret. Just for a night or two, I love having the bed, in all of its fluffy glory, just to myself. I can stretch like a madwoman, one arm above my head, legs sprawled to each corner. I can wrap the down comforter around me like a cocoon. I can sleep in the middle of the bed--even better, I can sleep on his side of the bed! But alas, the joy is quickly lost if he's gone more than a couple of nights. He is, after all, the best snuggler ever.

[image: Active Rain]


Frigid digits?

I don't know if it's just me and my bad circulation and my cold blood (I'm pretty much always cold), but I have a serious issue with my hands. I'm not talking about the outdoors, either. I talking about inside the house. We keep the house temp around 65 during the day or 68 at night, which seems sufficient for warmth-the rest of my body is fine. But my poor little hand piggies are freezing, even now as I type this.

This summer while I was S. America, my friend and I found some fingerless gloves (perfect for wearing while blogging, no?). She snatched them up right away, while I waited to find them elsewhere (always looking for a bargain). But of course, in true ironic fashion, they were nowhere to be found. Now I must search for them stateside, because I believe they will be the answer to all of of my frigid digit problems. Plus, they're pretty cute.

[image: Not Cot]


Random. Totally.

So, why not?

I found this on Jenny's blog and I figured, hey. Ya'll (yeah-I just said ya'll. what.) don't know me that well and I don't know you so why not have some fun. I love these kind of forwards because they make you sort of re-examine your life.

I guess you bold the item's you've accomplished...I decided to add my commentary to a few. Forgive me.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill-please don't tell anyone!
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb-omg- I just did this in Peru this summer. I loved the little thing!
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma.
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job-soo embarassed by this one
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year's Eve
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone--uhhh..i would love to talk to the person who doesn't own one.
99. Been stung by a bee--thank god!!

Most of the above have been great times...except the food poisoning. Bad. Very bad. And of course, the ones involving pain. But it's called livin', baby. I better get busy on the rest! :o)

Thank you, Orange.

Sometimes I'm a little lazy (I don't actually know if lazy is the right word. I suppose it's really the fault of the world wide web--it's too big!) with my reading...but thanks to all the wonderful bloggers out there, I am able to find tid-bits that are helpful. Love these downloadable gift tags I found on How About Orange today {via Martha}.

Download them here.

DIY Friday: Gingerbread Christmas ornaments...

This is a SUPER easy way to make 'gingerbread' (non-edible!!) ornaments. I made some for my tree about three years ago and they have held up spectacularly.

What you'll need for 12 ornaments:

1c applesauce
1c cinnamon powder
4 tbl glue (such as Elmer's

Mix all ingredients together and roll on wax paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out the shapes of the intended ornaments. Poke a small hole in the top of the ornament using the end of a straw. Allow ornaments to air dry for 1-3 days.

That's it. Easy peasy.
***Update: Since I posted this, I had an idea. Wouldn't this be a great favor idea for a Christmas bride?


An eve's bride...

For a New Year's Eve reception, I imagine a small, intimate wine-dinner. Find a glamorous locale and you'll have uber-romance...and nothing spells romance like red roses and lace. Not to mention the start of a new year with your #1. What better way to bring in the New Year than with a new spouse?

[Images, clockwise: Anne Barge, theknot, BCBG, via theknot, Smock Paper, theknot, Dessy, can't remember where I found the dining room or candles, Glamour, cake: theknot, Brides]


Bad hair day?

Try a hat. My new obsession. I love me some accessories and hats certainly are useful in the Colorado winter, but I can't really wear beanies or knits. My hair gets all static-y. Besides, if I'm going to wear a hat, I want it to be fun/pretty/stylish. Here are some on my wish list.

For a rainy day....

The fedora is certainly a statement maker for a night out. How cute is the middle one for brunch? And I just adore the cloche...I imagine it being adorned by the fashionistas in Paris, et me bien sûr!

Almost an everyday hat...could go with just about anything, especially my black pea coat.

I'm not an everyday polka dot kind of girl,
but every now and then, they do make me feel cute and girly!

Yeah, I like Target. A lot. Even more now, for having this hat. What hats are you wearing this winter?


More Christmas decor...

I discovered this banner on Design*Sponge, via Hello Handmade, this morning. Martha Stewart has shown the how-to on similar banners (and she's selling them as part of her crafts line), but the upside-down triangle design is so unique. Not only are these good for any party, they'd be great as wedding decor. They can be made in your wedding colors, with any motif you want, and hung above the cake table, as a welcome sign, or above the dj/band area...Check out Hello Handmade for purchase info or more decor ideas.


I have spirit, how 'bout you?

Denver's had record-breaking low temperatures the past couple of days. I think it is -2 degrees right now. Wow. As I look out of my living room window and see the the frost gathered at the corners and the snow-lined streets beyond, I am sooo happy that I have a Christmas Tree to accessorize the weather. It really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Since we are visiting Matt's parents in Albuquerque for a week over Christmas, we were debating whether we should put up a tree this year. It didn't help that the holiday season snuck up on us in a major way. But...after searching through the basement for wrapping paper I saw all the goodies we bought last year and made an executive decision-we needed to get in the holiday spirit.

When I was living in New York City, I didn't really have room for a tree in my tiny apartment. So, when I moved to Denver, Matt and I pretty much started from scratch. Every year, we hit the day-after Christmas sales and buy a few decorations. We always look for shades of gold/brown or red ornaments, particularly stars and glittery balls. This is the first year that we had enough ornaments to decorate a larger tree (we've been using minis the past couple of years). I know I'm a bit biased, but I love it! It's been three years in the making and well worth the wait...

We have a red and golden theme with white (only white, thank you very much) lights. When thinking about how to best make our tree "designer" as my husband put it (he's so darn cute), we tried to keep the clutter out and focus on a few elements stars, glitter, bows, etc.

The best part for me is that I was able to personalize it with the following DIY decorations:

gingerbread ornaments

cranberry-beaded garland

ribbon bows

I'll be posting my how-to on the tree decor later this week. In the meantime, I'm entering our baby in the Tip Junkie Christmas Tree contest. *Wish me luck*!!

Smelly favors and more...

Maybe it's because I love smelly things. Or maybe it's because they aren't candied almonds. But these favors from Kate Aspen are a fun departure from the usual....

Perhaps these for a shower? Every gal needs a bottle opener, right?

If you want an edible favor, check out BetterBatchBakers. They will make custom cookies to your specs...have your monogram baked onto a cookie, or use your cake as inspiration.


DIY Friday: favors and programs...

Happy DIY Friday!

Here are a couple DIY ideas for favors and programs.

My friend, a recent destination bride, whom I mentioned here is one crafty girl. She made everything in her wedding: the save-the-dates, the programs, the invites, the favors, etc. The ideas below are super-easy and affordable. She was able to use the same paper for all her materials.

This is her program...the scalloped edges on the bottom and the heart gave it that little extra something.

This is her favor. It can be used in a scrapbook or as a stand-alone frame. The right side had another pink oval which said 'Cabo San Lucas'. Very cute.

Her wedding colors were, you guessed it, pink and brown. But since it was a destination, beachy wedding, she incorporated the floral design. I'll be posting more from this wedding soon.

Let me know if you need the how-tos on these.

Birds of a feather #3...

Blue Orchid recently had their readers choose a favorite ensemble as part of their Recessionista Giveaway. Each ensemble had to include at a minimum the wedding dress, shoes, a handbag and a ring, to cost under $1000. The Blue Bird {above} won. More peacocky goodness.


Inspiration Board::Snippet & Ink

I had to post this. I love the inspiration boards from snippet & ink and this one reminds me of a mountain Colorado wedding. All you Colorado girls-check this out.

Who to choose...

My friend (a soon-to-be-bride-to-be...he hasn't asked, yet, but totally will) and I were talking about the sometimes dreaded task of choosing attendants. She only wants one attendant, while her boyfriend wants, "you know, 10 or so because he has like, 40 cousins."

I found this on wikipedia explaining the tradition of bridesmaids...

"The Western bridesmaid tradition is thought to have originated from Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits (believed to attend marriage ceremonies) by dressing in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits would not know who was getting married. Even as late as 19th century England, there was a belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint the wedding. In Victorian wedding photographs, for example, the bride and groom are frequently dressed in the same fashion as other members of the bridal party."

I love finding out how we carry on various traditions. Choosing bridesmaids for some is the best part of planning. For others, it is torture--how do they rate their closest friends not only to decide who will be in the wedding party, but also in order to choose a maid-of-honor? For my wedding, I decided not to have a maid-of-honor. It was hard enough leaving friends out of the bridal party. We had such a small wedding that if MD and I each had five attendants, 1/5 of the wedding guests would have been standing with us as we took our vows (we actually decided on three each and they sat down as we said our vows--I think this worked out nicely). It's okay to break tradition, especially if you look at how this one may have started.

You may want to have 7 bridesmaids, but if the argument comes up, you can choose none or one or two. It's totally up to you. You can ask your friend who likes to party to throw you a bachelorette night. Ask your super-organized friend to help you with the invitations and planning. Ask your Martha-like friend to throw you the shower. And you can ask your stylish friend to go with you to try on dresses. Each of close friends and family members will be honored that you thought of them (most really do want to help) and it can potentially eliminate cat-fights while saving your bestest friends from spending $300 on a dress they will never wear again.

[image: Wedding Dress Gallary]

Did I miss anything?

I love to post inspired ideas and photos from other blogs and the web. I try my best to give credit where it's due, but if I miss something, please let me know. And, if you want something taken down, I can do that. No problemo.