What I'm (Going To Be) Wearing Wednesday!

Jun 29, 2011

If you haven't already figured it out, I adore a good sale! Even better is when I find something totally awesome at a thrift store that I can either tweak a little into a masterpiece or just give a good washing!

As I said yesterday, I spent the day with my grandparents earlier this week. My grandma and I usually hit up the local thrift store in search of a good find! Some days we have amazing finds, and some days are duds. Monday was a good find day. 

Also, I'd like to interject that for being in her 70's, my grandma has pretty good style most of the time. She dresses her age in a very nice way, but let me tell you something- the woman loves shoes and knows what a cute shoe is- even to a girl in her twenties! I've borrowed her shoes or even purses before and have been complimented on them or asked where I got them. I think she passed the cute shoe gene on to me and my mom!

She got these on sale at Chico's and is letting me borrow them for my honeymoon! Aren't they cute?
Anyways, as I was saying- I got some awesome finds at Goodwill. I'm no good at the self-portrait-of-the-outfit-in-the-mirror, so I recruited my mom to take some pictures for me!

Find #1: Ann Taylor Loft Skirt
 Isn't it cute? The shoes my mom got me when she went into Rack Room for a BOGO event. I love a wedge heel and peep-toe! 
Eeek! Excuse my terribly chipped polish!

 Find #2: Tropical Strapless Dress!
I know it's kind of crazy and loud, but it fit so well and I figured if they were having a fun themed night on the cruise this dress would be perfect!

The next couple of things weren't thrift store finds, but they were either on sale or I've gotten them over the past couple weeks for the trip!

My awesome Marley LIlly  derby hat with my almost new initials! Can't wait to wear this in the Bahamas!
 This one I got at Belk when they were having a 75% off sale. I got it for $14.99! I know it's not the most flattering to my figure, but it's SO comfortable. How cute would it be with a belt or a really festive necklace?

Anyway, I can't wait to go on our cruise. It'll be some much needed R&R time for M and I and I can't wait to just relax and turn our cell phones OFF! 

Also, I've been wanting a personalized hanger to hang my wedding dress on, but didn't want to pay the price of one on Etsy or wait the ship time. So....I just went to Michael's craft store and bought some wire and voila! I've made two already! Now I just need the hanger part, but the personalized part is done and looking cute! Next post!

Miscellany Monday

Jun 27, 2011

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

One.
I'm home at my parent's house for the next two weeks and am LOVING being here. My sister and her husband are coming in this weekend - so we'll all be together for a week!  Although I do miss my almost-husband terribly. I am so excited about our wedding!

Two.
It feels like I've got a ton of things to do this week. A bunch of appointments and trying to fit in time to hang out with family and friends. It'll be crazy- but it'll be fun! 

Three.
One of my best friends, Beth, is SO pregnant. She's 36 weeks, and in my wedding. We're both thinking- "this should be interesting"! I told her to sit as much as she wants - I really just want her to be comfortable!  Is it bad that I want her to have her little sweetheart before I leave so I get to see her and hold her?

Four.
I have my dress fitting tomorrow night. My mom and I are going in. I'm SO excited. It wasn't too long ago that I tried on my wedding dress and asked my mom to take a few pictures of me in it. When I saw the pictures, I cried. I had let myself gain fifteen pounds in the past couple years and felt and looked gross. After writing post after post about how I was attempting to lose weight, it finally clicked in my head when I saw those pictures. I am proud to say that in the past month and a half, I have lost over 10 pounds! I am now so excited to have the dress on tomorrow night and hopefully have the seamstress take in a few inches!

Five.
I got M's wedding present - but I can't tell you what it is because he's sweet and reads my blog. But I'll be SURE to post pictures post-wedding! Glad to have that taken care of!

Six.
I have a droid pro and I love it! I keep adding things to my calendar like "call so-and-so!" or "do your workout- get rid of the flab!" or "don't forget to pick up such-and-such". M calls me an organization nazi. He might be right. 

Seven.
As excited as I am about marrying the love of my life and best friend, I've also been struggling the past couple weeks. Not with doubts, per say, although questioning things are part of my normal brain activity- I think it's finally sinking in that I'll be a wife. It's unlikely that I'll be spending this much time at home with my parents for a long time. I tear up and get a knot in my throat every time I think about it. Changes are good. I actually thrive on change. However, it still is hard sometimes. 

Eight.
Last but not least, I want to tell you about my day with Goodwill. I spent the majority of the day with my grandparents. They can be so much fun to hang out with- I've missed them! I usually just end up laughing at their need to always eat at Hardee;s for lunch and order based on their coupons- and other quirky things like that. My grandma and I went to Goodwill and snagged SO many cute things! That brings me to tomorrow's post- my goal is to do a "fashion" post showing outfits using the amazing finds at Goodwill! 
 
   




Hair.

Jun 24, 2011

Originally I was going to do my own hair for the wedding. 

You know when you think something couldn't possibly be that hard - until you try it? 

That's kind of what happened to me last week. I've had an idea of how I wanted my hair for awhile. A little twist here, a little curl here, poof here and there, teasing lots of teasing - and voila! My hair was going to look like I just stepped out of Casablanca.

I'm wanting vintage/40's hair. Something like this:


I set out one afternoon to do a self-run-through. I even watched a tutorial on youtube! 

I bombed it. My hair was flat in all the wrong places and 5 minutes after getting the perfect curls, they fell flat. 

I can't even do the poof justice- much less get my hair to stay curled and neatly in place. 

I may have had a slight panic attack because it was 3 weeks before our wedding and I was SURE all the salons back home would be booked solid.

After expressing this concern to my soon-to-be mother-in-law (who is visiting this week), she made a phone call to her hairstylist who recommended a stylist at a salon across the street from her. 

I'll admit, I was a bit worried because I TOTALLY do not want someone to botch up my hair. 

Most of the up-do's I've seen done at salons in my hometown are just terrible.

Imagine ringlet curls and an entire can of Tresemme exploding into a crunchy, wet mess. 


NO thanks.

You see, I'm very sensitive and protective about my hair.

I almost cry every time I get my hair cut. It's always been long, so 3 inches feels like a whole foot!

Anyway, after a few phone calls to the stylist, Emily, I had booked a trial run through and a day-of appointment. 

This may sound bad, but I took a sigh of relief when I heard her voice and figured that she was probably in her mid-twenties.


I was still a little hesitant, but when I explained to her the look I was trying to go for and asked her if she felt like she could do something like that, she said that she had done the vintage look for her wedding when she got married and that she would LOVE to do something like that for me. 

I am SO relieved. I actually am very excited about my appointment with her and plan on bringing in several pictures to give her a good idea.


The nice thing about the wedding day? She's actually coming out to the ceremony location so I can just sit tight and relax instead of having to go all over town to get ready. 


I plan to sip a little of this...



and enjoy our day!


One of the things on my to do list is to get M a wedding present (nothing big) and my bridesmaids gifts. 

I know SOMEONE who reads my posts has got to have a few suggestions!


Holy Matrimony!

Jun 23, 2011

I'm getting married in 16 days. 

This weekend I'm heading home to Virginia for two weeks to stay with my parents and get things ready for the wedding.

As I've been making a list the past few nights, I've tried to remember everything I need to do and add it so I don't wind up forgetting something vitally important.


Here's the list so far:


1. Make centerpieces for the round tables
    Something like this minus the green...
2. Hang windows at ceremony site
    Something like this..


3. Print programs and put together as fans
   Something like this (without the ribbon):
Here's my design so far:
FRONT
Back
I'm still not sure if this is the final design I'm sticking with or not, I may play around with some other looks.


4. Order flowers from Fresh Market, get supplies, and put together
    I'm making my own bouquets and boutineers - something like these:


5. Buy extra-long sparklers
    Something like this:

6. Get outfits for rehearsal dinner/getaway/honeymoon!
  
7. Gather all DIY items and take to wedding site


8. Finalize last minute details:
   - chalkboard calligraphy
   - frame placement


9. Set-up!
   - Pick up chairs and tables and set up ceremony and reception site

10. Pick-up Bridesmaid's gifts

11- 100 (haha kidding): these are the spaces for all the little things I KNOW will come up before then. 


I'm really not stressing, but the organized side of me needs to have everything written down so I can know exactly what has or hasn't been done.


If I'm not blogging as much these few weeks, you'll know why!


But I promise to post pictures of the wedding - I have the most amazing photographer and her capturing our day is one the things I'm most excited about! 


Any of you already married ladies have any tips for the last minute wedding tasks? Ways to rid stress, etc? 




   

My Country Fix

Jun 22, 2011

This girl has GOT to make some friends who like country music as much as I do. 
I live 45 minutes away from Nashville and I'll be darned if I let concerts and country weekends pass me by!

Here's a few I'm loving recently...





Miscellany Monday

Jun 20, 2011

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

{one}
My soon-to-be-in-laws are in town visiting this week. It was their first time seeing our new house and the town we've moved to. Since they arrived, we've set up a croquet course in our back yard and have pretty much mastered the game. Well, some more than others!

{two}
There are less than three weeks before I become a married woman. The planning and moving has kept me occupied the past couple months, but I might have had a freak out moment when I woke up this past weekend and realized that I would be M's wife in three weeks. I honestly am so excited about everything- the wedding, family coming in, parties, etc! What I'm excited about most, though, is the part of the ceremony where I get to promise my love and commitment to M. The reception will be so much fun, but the ceremony, to me, will be one of the sweetest times in my life. M and I have found a certain set of vows that we really think sums up what we want to promise to each other and what we want our family and friends to know is important to us for our marriage. 

{three}
It took me awhile (maybe since January when I said I was going to start losing weight....but didn't), but in the past 6 weeks I have lost a tiny bit over 10 pounds! I am really proud of myself for being so disciplined with food. I haven't been as committed to exercise as I'd like to be, but every workout has helped me work towards my goal. In the next 3 weeks, I'd like to lose about 5-7 more pounds and I truly think it is doable with some more exercise and sticking with my diet. I've been drinking TONS of water and limiting my calories to about 1,000-1,200 a day. I know that's low for most women, but it's what it takes for me to lose any kind of weight. Three more weeks to go - I can do it! 

{four}
I'm going home to Virginia this weekend to stay with my parents the two weeks before the wedding. While I'll miss M SO much, I cannot wait to see them. I've missed them so much. My sister is coming to stay the entire week before my wedding and both my parents have off that entire week. Talk about some family bonding time and help for last minute wedding projects! So very excited!

{five}
The past few weeks have been such a roller coaster of emotions. There were times (and still are) that I really didn't like the person I was. I was letting my emotions turn me into someone I didn't like and I'm sure M didn't enjoy being around. One minute I would be fine, but the next I'd blow up over something that didn't matter or that I thought should be a certain way but wasn't. I'm so thankful for my mom. She never tries to tell me what I want to hear. She tells me what I NEED to hear and isn't afraid to tell me when I need to show grace to others or if I'm being a bit irrational or selfish. She encouraged me to get in the Word and really commit my day to the Lord in prayer- something that I had really neglected recently. When I started to begin my day by praying and seeking God's face above anything else that needed to be done, His Holy Spirit truly convicted me during the day of times I was being selfish or just plain mean. I also have begun to see His hand more in the smaller details of my life- the people I've met, etc. I truly desire to have a more intimate relationship with my Creator and Savior and so glad there are people He put in my life to help me when I've taken my eyes off of Him.

{six}
Ya know how last week was "before & after" week? well I just woke up one day and decided I was done. I have unpainted (but primed) chairs at my dining room table and some other stuff that needs to be done. But you know what? I'm okay with that.  I'll get to them eventually! And maybe next time I won't try to cram it all into a week - talk about exhausting!

{seven}
I've always loved any white pizza I've ever tried. So a few weeks ago I decided to make my own version! It is so delicious - stay tuned for the recipe! 



 

The Befores and Afters: Day Three

Jun 15, 2011

Today's Before and After credit goes completely to M. He sanded, primed, and painted this dresser for our kitchen and did a great job! 


A couple months ago, M's grandfather who lives in Maryland let us browse through his garage - top and bottom - to see if we could find anything to use for our new house. 

We found some awesome antiques and got a lot of other cool stuff to use - a few outdoor chairs, some flower pots, etc.

Because we had already seen the inside of our house, we knew there was a space in the kitchen that was blank but had a pretty ugly wall. We knew we wanted to cover it up and also add something that would give us some "counter space"  - we're lacking!

This was the space BEFORE: we don't have an empty picture of it because it was used for Goodwill storage for awhile. BUT...I crossed that off my list today! 

 M and I found this cool dresser in his grandpa's garage and knew it was the perfect thing to put in that ugly space. 
 Before, as you can see from the areas M hadn't painted yet, it was an ugly yellow color. 
I think it looks ALOT better now!
 We added some small brushed nickel knobs from Lowe's. You can still see some of the ugly green ( that we can't do anything about -darn it!), but I think the dresser disguises some if it, anyways!
  After! Doesn't that space look SO much better? Because the kitchen was such an open space, we decided to use the wood table as sort of an "island" if you will. It really does help when I'm making dinner or putting dishes up. I have a place to prepare things, etc.

All this hard work really is paying off. And the changes have been SO affordable! 

Now if I could just get motivated to paint these chairs and put the re-upholstered pads back on them....

Maybe soon!

 P.S. - One of my best friends, Beth, is expecting a sweet little girl and is due around the time of my wedding! She's having her baby shower this weekend and because I can't make it, I wanted to do a little extra and make her little girl something crafty and cute......

It's amazing what hot-glue guns and fabric can do!

 Hope she loves them!

The Befores and Afters: Day Two

Jun 14, 2011

Today's before and afters have been crossed off in black. Check out the pink links to see the posts for those before and afters!


Today's Before and After is my "Sweet Summertime" Banner!
The process is pretty self-explanatory. I cut out triangles from a burlap sack, got some twine, hot-glued along the edge where the triangles would hang, and folded the edge over the string and glue to give it an extra hold.

The After?
For the lettering, I bought plastic stencils at Walmart, laid them on the triangles, cut a hole in the paper to lay over the stencil and cut a little bigger hole in an old towel - just so I didn't get any paint on the triangles beside it. I then just took flat black spray paint and sprayed directly onto the burlap. You can tell I spray painted it, though, so if you have more time and patience, an acrylic paint with a paintbrush might be a little neater.
I even super-glued some little fabric yo-yos that I made onto the burlap to give it a pop of color and make it a little less plain. Since our porch isn't quite ready and needs to be cleaned, I thought it looked cute hanging from the railing for now. 
 Stay tuned tomorrow for another "Before & After"! 

The Befores and Afters: Day One

Jun 12, 2011

Last week and this past weekend, I took on a ton of different projects around here. 

  • I sewed pillow covers for the living room
  • spray-painted Goodwill lamps, a mirror frame, and a few smaller frames
  • I got fabric and reupholstered our dining room chairs
  • We primed all four dining room chairs and am still working on painting them
  • I made my own "Sweet Summertime" banner with burlap and a hot glue gun
  • M sanded, primed, and painted an old dresser we're going to use in our kitchen to hide an ugly wall and use for some added counter space
  • found a super great deal at Marshall's on a Cynthia Rowley Duvet Cover for our bedroom
  • bought two black drum lampshades on sale at Target for $6 each
  • bought two awesome knobs at World Market  in Nashville and replaced the old ones on our "entertainment center"
You're thinking we're crazy, right? We may be, but it was fun knowing that we were working towards making our home look so much better. 

Because of the crazy amounts of DIY going on, 
I have decided to dub this week's blog posts series 
"The Befores and Afters".

Because many of the projects are still underway, I'll start Day One with something light and easy.

The trip to Nashville started with our need for a bed frame for the guest bedroom. M's family is coming to visit next weekend and we wanted to get the guest room looking nice and the mattress up off the floor before they arrive. We went to the Nashville West Shopping Center and drove around to explore what stores were there. 

We came across World Market and decided to browse around. It is now one of my favorite stores! So many cool decor items to choose from and some of it isn't too bad on the wallet. 

We didn't have a lot of money to spend, so we both met up after browsing separately with a small item. M with a surprise for his brother and me with two awesome knobs. 

This is the before and after result.
I just love the subtle change it was, yet how it adds just a cute pop of color!    
Two knobs = $8
Time to switch knobs= ten minutes (and priceless, because M did it)

We also scored a sweet duvet cover at Marshall's in the same shopping center. I've always wanted something modern and classic and had gray in mind for our bedroom.

Last week we did some major room re-arranging. Our house has two bedrooms downstairs and one larger loft area upstairs. The house is old and as a result, doesn't have central AC. All 3 bedrooms have a window unit in it (talk about a rise in the electric bill!). 

Originally our bedroom was upstairs (we thought it would be cool to have such an open area), the larger of the two bedrooms downstairs was the guest room, and the smaller was the office. 

That got old fast. Upstairs was always hot therefore, the AC unit was ALWAYS running.
Downstairs was so hot, too, but we didn't want to have to run two AC units at the same time. Our solution? We moved our bedroom from upstairs to the downstairs guest bedroom. We moved our office upstairs and our guest bedroom into the office. 

This is what the guest bedroom USED to look like BEFORE....
Because we're renting, we can't paint any of the rooms. This entire room is wall to wall wood. Wood floors, wood ceiling beams, and wood walls. If we ever have a chance to buy this place, those walls are either being replaced or painted! 
This is that same room AFTER as our bedroom... 
WITH the awesome duvet cover.
 I just love the new look. We rearranged the furniture and I think the duvet cover just ties in the white dresser and mirror. 

Oh, and how could I forget to show M's "section"...
The boy needs some help. 

Maybe that can be my next before & after, but I kind of doubt it. 
It's been so much fun making our house so pretty and welcoming. I feel good about making it look better despite not being able to change a whole lot because we're just renting. 

It's amazing what you can do with a little bit of sale searching, creativity, and time. 
I'll keep crossing off the projects on my lists as I write about them and link them up to their posts - that way if you're a bit behind, catching up won't be so hard!  

Stay tuned tomorrow for....whichever "Before & After" project gets finished next! We've got some good ones coming up!

 

It's been one of those days...

Jun 9, 2011

Today, I've failed at putting together a post on all my DIY projects. I even failed at taking a picture of myself in a honeymoon outfit. 

So, this'll have to do.

M and I decided to wait until the weekend to re-do the kitchen chairs, so I was busy doing some other small projects:

- Spray paint Goodwill lamps
- Spray paint old stand-up mirror 

And I wanted to: 
-Sew more pillow covers
-Buy fabric for a duvet cover


Well, the spray-painting didn't go so hot. I got the wrong silver color for the lamps and had to go back and get the right one. Once I sprayed using the new color, it still isn't quite what I was looking for.


I spray-painted the mirror frame and it looks awful. I used a flat when I should have used a matte or a gloss finish. So I tried to go over it with a gloss and now it just looks worse. 


I need to work on my paint from a can skills.


M said he'd help me sand it down and get it looking nice. 

The fabric? and sewing? Well, fabric costs money and you need a working sewing machine to sew. So, I'm at a standstill for now.


This weekend's tasks? (pictures to come, I promise)


1. Sand and paint dresser for kitchen 
2. Build or buy guest bedroom bed frame
3. Move storage boxes upstairs


It'll be a good weekend and I think we'll get plenty done.


One last thing - I stayed up SO late last night (M had to work the night shift) and made Yo-Yo's:
No, these aren't the ones I made - just an example.
Hopefully, I'll be able to make some cute ones and use them to embellish just about anything. A purse, a tank top, a necklace, a pillow - you name it. Tutorial.

I just feel like zonking out on the couch- hence the completely unorganized post. 


For today, I'll leave you with this...




I love it. And I love M. 


I promise tomorrow's post will be somewhat more put-together. This girl will get her act together! 


Also, I just need you to know that originally I had titled this post "Random" as seen below.
and I go to click on Preview before I post this and this is what I see..
Now I really am not trying to be gross, but it's pretty obvious what that looks like in cursive. Yeah, that's what I thought. 






The journey has begun....

Jun 7, 2011

to craftiness!

Today I spent TWO AND A HALF hours at Granny B's Quilt Shop. 

First, I brought in our old Singer sewing machine made in '51 (that we found in M's grandpa's attic) and asked the owner to take a look at it. Soon, three women from the local quilting guild stepped in to take a peek at the machine. 

We figured out that the cord I have is worn out and doesn't work. One of the ladies had a cord exactly like it and plugged it in. It worked! The threading is a little different as the....contraption?...is in the back. All the ladies "oooohed" and "aahhhheed" and talked about when they used to sew on something like this.
By the end of the first hour and a half, I had made several older lady friends and been invited to their weekly meeting a town away. One of the ladies is going to sell me her cord so I can get to sewing! Our old machine needs to be cleaned and I need to be taught how to use it. They were SO excited about helping me with that.

Next Monday I have a date. With old ladies and our sewing machines. 
Who said you can't make friends in new town in the first two weeks?
I did.
Not quite what I had in mind, but you know what - they're refreshingly funny and it's great to hear them talk about things. They get SO excited about sewing. 

Back to my project , I got some fabric today for my pillows. It's pretty rad. 

Because my sewing machine needs some work, I rented an old, featherweight Singer from the shop. Here is how that went down. 

All my fabric, the cute little rented sewing machine and my iron and ironing board.

I used the larger print for 2 larger pillows in the living room. 

BEFORE  
I had the lady at the fabric store go ahead and cut the fabric into two pieces. It made it easier and I didn't have to measure and try to cut straight lines with my cruddy scissors. 
The piece of fabric for one of the pillows. 
I folded the piece of fabric in half - wrong side out.
I then ironed the middle crease to help keep the fabric from shifting and becoming uneven.
I then opened it back up and ironed on either side of the crease to get rid of any lines that were created from when it was folded up. 
I then proceeded to sew both sides, leaving the space on the end opposite of the middle crease to insert the pillow.
During this process, I had to look up videos on how to "refill" the bobbin and thread the thread back through to start sewing again. Those old machines are tricky. Something with the bobbin kept messing up and below is what happened about 200 times. 
I would have multiple strands coming out of the bottom - this ALWAYS happens to me when I sew. Maybe at my date on Monday I can figure out why!

When I was done with both sides, I then turned the case right-side-out. On the open edges, I folded them in about a half-inch and ironed them in attempt to make it easier to sew together.

Now that part was hard! Because the pillow was so huge, and because it was so stiff that I couldn't leave a small opening to stuff it into, I had to sew it closed with a top-stitch - with the pillow inside. 

I considered it my workout for the day.
Confession: I was sweating, it was so hardcore. 

Finally, even though the stitch is uneven and a tad bit ugly, I finally finished. 

Ta-Da! 

 I also got fabric for a long pillow I have, but I'm not sure I like it now that it's on the couch next to the other ones. I didn't have enough fabric to do it like the other one so I ended up just patching it here and there and the front look great, but turn it around and well.....I won't be turning it around on the couch. And all those uneven seams are on the bottom - hopefully hidden!

 Doesn't that smaller pillow just look like mini rainbow flowers? Not how I thought it would look. I don't like it. So I'll be getting fabric to cover that eventually. 

I don't usually go for super bright colors, but since moving into this house - built in the 1920's and looking like it - I decided it needed some sprucing up. 

I'm no Young House Love, but I'm pretty proud of how they turned out. 

These pillows are as simple as you can get, but as I sew more, I'll become more skilled and can do some more complicated things. I'm MOST excited about making my own duvet covers and eventually....dresses! 

My project tomorrow? 



The four chairs at the table...
WILL BECOME...

Some AWESOME "new" chairs!

Also, I'm super excited because my MarleyLilly hat came yesterday!

I plan to give you a preview of a honeymoon outfit soon!