Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ooh La La... Bottles & Burlap!

Blogs all over are doing inspirational posts on bottles...
because bottles make for some beautiful inspiration!

In honor of one of our upcoming autumn brides, here's a little spread full of rustic and vintage photo inspiration. This particular bride is in love with vintage bottles, and for her barn wedding bottles and burlap are a must!

Bottles, mason jars, and vases of all shapes and sizes, placed together create the most beautiful and unique centerpieces, while a little or a lot of burlap will give it that country presence.

Be sure to check out all the links to get even more vintage, rustic inspiration ;)

Images: header, 1. Julie Pepin, 2. Once Wed, 3. Green Wedding Shoes, 4. Ruffled ,5. Ruffled, 6. same as 4, 7. Style Me Pretty, 8. Apartment Therapy, 9. Design Sponge

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tell the Story

When I was a little girl, whenever I was tucked into bed, there were certain nightly routines that would take place. I always asked to have my arm rubbed, I always wanted to talk for a few minutes, but if given the chance, I loved hearing stories about when my parents were little.

There were certain stories that were my favorites: the time when my mom was helping to serve dessert to friends that were over for a dinner party and she slipped, the cake went everywhere and she broke her arm....or the stories of adventure my dad would tell me of hitch hiking with friends up to the top of ice covered hills to sled down the whole way. I loved that they had tales to tell. That they had been young like me, and they had truly lived life. They had faced excitement, and even struggle, but yet, they had been victorious, and lived to tell me the story.

Our lives tell stories. Stories of sorrow. Stories of celebration. Stories of surrender. Stories of love. We all have them. Sometimes it takes us a minute to compose them, or try to remember all the exact details, but if we look long enough, we can draw from our lives to tell the stories within.

I spent a lot of time with family this past week. We were unplugged and it was wonderful. We played board games with our nephews and built sandcastles with our kids. We played catch phrase and laughed til our sides ached. We ate lots of sea food and even more ice cream. But more than anything, we made memories. We made stories to tell. And hopefully one day my grandchildren will hear about how their mom or dad saw sea turtles hatch. How they played in the water until their toes were as shriveled as raisins. How their Grandaddy took them out in the raft, and how their cousins were like big brothers to them.

I can’t wait to see what their favorite stories are. But more than that, I can’t wait to tell them the stories of our life.

And speaking of telling stories, you should go check out this amazing highlight video of Rachel and Chad's wedding. It was such an honor and joy to be their wedding planner that I can't keep it to myself. Media Brewer did a fabulous job capturing their story, so go take a moment to enjoy. (The video takes a minute to load, but it is well worth the wait. It's definitely a perfect way to start out a Monday!)

(sea turtle picture credit:

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Shining Faces and Hugging in the Doorways

It's mid July. Just in case you didn't know...because it's catching me pretty off guard right now. There haven't been very many still moments for me yet this summer. It's been fun and very full, but we haven't really felt our summer "break". I'm eagerly anticipating our first week of "vacation" coming up soon. More than that, we're about to have the first relatives coming to visit.

One of my favorite books to read to the kids in the summer is "The Relatives Came" by Cynthia Rylant. This year, it's especially meaningful. Even though, until today, I haven't even let myself go there.

When you know you really miss someone, it's not like you enjoy sitting around thinking about how much you miss them. At least, I don't. Now, I am the girl who has a difficult time grieving, but still. My sweet boy, though? He's cried. He's begged. To go have a playdate with his big brother cousins. To see their house. To go there. And it's hard to explain why you can't just go 15 hours away at the drop of a hat. And one time since December is a long time. So, all this to say, we're celebrating this week. They're coming...and all piling into our house...

Those relatives! They're coming!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Etsy Wedding

When I first met Shelby, I knew she was going to be great to work with. She had her leather boots on and was a cute blond. The first thing out of her mouth was,

"I realized, that all the details about my wedding are only in my head! That's not good! I need someone else to know everything and be in charge...not me!"

She got it. And thankfully, I got the job.

We immediately started in on the details, and the excitement continued for me. She talked all about things she had found on Etsy, the theme that was emerging, and how she let her groom pick out her colors! HER COLORS! What did he pick, you ask?

Green and brown. And boy, did they rock them out...take a look.

Matt and Shelby chose the fabulous Revolution Mills to have their wedding and reception. We set the ceremony in the intimate courtyard, then, came inside for the reception.

Shelby wanted her girls to love their dresses, and be able to get lots of use out of them, rather than just one night of wear. She found these awesome wrap dresses, which was perfect! The girls could tie them however they wanted, have their own style, and still use it later for any event.

Shelby found elegant pearl plugs to wear for her earrings, and added a little flair to her hair with this gorgeous feathered comb.

Matt wore his grandfather's watch, and had an exquisite boutineer!

We wanted the tables to come alive with the colors so we rented colored glassware from Classic Party Rentals. We kept the tablecloths to a clean and crisp white, so that the colored glassware would really pop. We added just a small square of dark brown burlap under the centerpieces to accent the colors. The burlap was a great touch to add texture, and to continue the natural look they were going for.
We brought in the camel colored napkins, to use a color that would blend well with all the others without competing with them. We chose two colors of glassware to add a bit of variation in the tables. I think that if everything is too matchy-matchy, you lose so much creativity and life!

For the centerpieces, we had some tables set with the low lying grass in birch boxes, and others with the apple saplings creating a canopy overhead. The Farmer's Wife did a fabulous job on these and we loved the affect it gave to the room!
One afternoon in early spring, Shelby and I went over to Ashleigh's Fine Paper and picked out her programs and menus in one fell swoop. As always, they made it quick and easy...and we found the perfect ones! I always love having the menus shown...there's something about having all that delicious food written down that makes me happy. Sweet Basil's catered the evening, so there was no doubt about how great dinner would be!

The cake may have been my favorite part of the decor. Fitting, don't you think? I loved the green love birds as a cake topper, and the baby apples adorning the tiers were simply lovely. And, the cake was indeed Simply Scrumptious, thanks to Julie.

Sophia Harcourt Photography captured their story, and did she ever do a fantastic job! Her photos were stunning!

It was a fabulous night and the lovely couple had the time of their lives. I loved every minute of celebrating with them!

Linking up with In the Studio.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Love is in the Air

Happy 4th of July! I have the can't-help-its and had to take a moment and post this ridiculously amazing All-American wedding.

I've never seen such a patriotic and beautifully done military wedding. I don't usually think of military weddings as being totally up my alley, but this one had me drooling over it!

Maybe it was the vintage inspired dresses and accessories...

...or the beautiful tablescape designed to the nines

Or maybe it was their dessert
complete with coke floats! My favorite!!

Whatever it was, I started thinking about all those cute couples who have a beautiful love story, but also have the reality of service to our country that keeps them separate so much of the time. I thought about my grandparents love story, how they got married over a weekend, and then didn't see each other for years. I think about friends that I have now, that are eagerly waiting their loved ones back in their arms. I am so thankful to have their service, and yet, I long for them to know the safety and comfort of their own homes. Their families and loved ones.

For all that have served before, served and gone on, or still serve today, thank you for what you do. For all the loved ones left behind, thank you for sharing them with the rest of us. So that we might be able to say,

"One nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all."

Go read this couple's super cute love story over at Green Wedding Shoes...
Love is definitely in the air!

(picture credits to

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Patriotic Pie

I love that fourth of July is on a Monday this year. We're loving being at home and enjoying a laid back holiday. Next weekend is full of wedding glory for a very sweet family, so I'm in full go mode...except for tomorrow. Ahh, I love holidays! An excuse to rest and relax and just enjoy family.

This year, we're making a delicious patriotic dessert to take to our cookout. Sugar cream pie meets fresh berries in this amazing berry cream pie.

Heat oven to 425.

Pick your berries...and your helpers!

Wash your berries.

Cream together sugar, flour, and butter. Add salt, heavy cream, and milk.
(you can substitute 1 1/2 cups of half and half if you don't have heavy cream).

Roll out your crust and press into your pie dish.
(for a great shortcut, use a frozen deep dish)

Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.

Arrange fresh blueberries and raspberries on top in any pattern you'd like.
We like to alternate rows to give it a more formal look.

Bake for 10 min. at 425, then reduce temperature to 350. Bake for 40 minutes or until middle appears set. Cover the crust with foil mid-way through baking if it appears to be over browning. Serve chilled (or serve out of the oven because you have no self control to wait until later! Of course I don't know anyone like that!)

If you're entering any pie contests tomorrow, this would be a sure bet!

(Special thanks to Vera Bradley's Cooking with Friends for that tremendous recipe)

berry cream pie

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 tbsp. butter
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1 9 in. pie shell
1 pint raspberries and blueberries

What does your holiday lineup look like?