Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BEAUtiful mess.: 15 Sure Signs You're Aging

Well kids -- the hubs, myself and our good friends Chris and Laura ventured to the GREAT city of South Bend, Indiana this weekend (oh wait, it's not that great). HOWEVER, our intention for going to South Bend was to go to our first EVER Notre Dame Football game (which was indeed GREAT - and a bucket lister for both of us). Two birds one stone - sweet!

[ I also feel it is necessary to note (because I can see getting potential flack for it later), that this was NOT Chris and Laura's first ND game, they are big fans, know all of the cheers and fight songs, and are very familiar with the campus - so please don't be confused :P ]

So, while I am working on that post to share with you, I came across this lil' post that made me laugh out loud.  As much as I'd like to say our trip to ND was just as wild and crazy this year as it would have been 2-3 years ago, I'd be lying to you if I said it was. Don't get me wrong, we had a great time, tailgated all day, and I wouldn't change one thing about the way the adventure panned out, or how hard we laughed at dinner (seriously, my stomach still hurts and Shane cried actual tears :0) ).  But parts of this post made me laugh because unfortunately my friends, we are indeed: Getting. Older.

The drive to South Bend is roughly 4.5 |5 hours which makes for a "buckle in and get comfy" sort of car ride, which is great for conversation with your best friends. I had to laugh when I read this post though, because her "Sunday afternoon" is completely on point. Even though we were in a car for most of Sunday morning | afternoon, we still managed to devote nearly 2/3 of the ride to dish recipe dirt and plan our grocery trips for the moment we arrived home.

Welp, here it is folks: Signs we're getting older BEAUtiful mess.: 15 Sure Signs You're Aging

Thursday, October 18, 2012

will you be my ____?

Choosing your wedding attendants is so fun - but was so hard to choose (and we had 10 ya'll - I'll introduce them individually later)! I know everyone always says "we have the best friends and family in the entire world" - but we really do. And were so proud to have them stand by our side on our big day. See what i mean, aren't they great?

Shane and I got engaged in a hot air balloon in 2009 - after almost 4 years of dating. if you want more deetz on how this sweet lil' guy popped the question
you can reference the story here 

aside from being the MOH in my cousin sister MaKenzie's wedding and being in a couple of weddings as a young gal - Shane and I were one of the first of our group of friends to tie the knot - so wedding planning, choosing attendants, the whole "what you're supposed to do while planning a wedding" mindset was a bit foreign.  And i didn't have a lot of people to talk to about it either.

mind you people - believe it or not this was BEFORE Pinterest - or well before i had learned about it anyways (it could have very well been out there, but I'm frequently a little late to the game).  so there was no "dream wedding pin boards" or "what i want on my big day" ideas aside from google images when it came to "creative ways to ask my bridesmaids".
yes, guilty - i googled that. 

*NOTE -- we're referring to asking the wedding party here, not the actual wedding.  when it came to actually planning the wedding i had been introduced to Pinterest at this point and it's safe to say it quickly consumed my every moment.  and thank goodness, because it helped to pre-occupy my wedding obsessed brain. i even learned how to share boards with people (so cool!) Kristen of Five Dot Designs and I shared an invitation inspiration board which helped us to share ideas easily despite being a decent distance apart and the invitations turned out BEAUTIFULLY (don't care in the slightest if I'm biased - they were the bomb) - if you're in the market for invites - follow her blog to get your own inspiration. (more details to come on these beauts later - but I'm still obsessed with our lace envelopes *GUSH*).

However, we still had to formally ask our attendants - so here's the deetz:

Asking the Bridesmaids...with COOKIES!

well - if you know me at all, then you know how much i love delicious treats. and if you're a member of my family (or a close friend) then there is a good chance you have encountered on one occasion or another - the "Cookie Lady's Cookies".  I'm sure she has a real name, and if i asked my mom i know she could tell me, but she seems so much more magical when i just refer to her as "The Cookie Lady"

Long and short of it - her cookies are delicious, extremely inexpensive, decorated by hand and a general great addition to any holiday or event.  So, it only seemed fitting i incorporate a batch of goodies for all of my lovely soon to be maids.

i had her personalize each batch by writing "(NAME), Will You Be My Bridesmaid?"  I then had my Junior Bridesmaid (Tatum) accompany me in delivering each set of cookies to everyone on a random weeknight :) (aside form the out of town girls - i sent theirs *BUBBLE WRAPPED* to their apartments and texted them nearly every day obsessing over a mysterious package.  Such a fun time - again now with the introduction of Pinterest, i likely could have been more clever, or used a cutesy poem - but my way suits me juuuust fine.


Asking The Groomsmen - You Got Iced.

Shane was in the same boat as me when it came to coming up with a fun way to ask the dudes - NO INITIAL IDEAS.

He too however, wanted to ask his groomsmen in a unique way as well - to make the experience as memorable as possible (yes, husbands a sap and we love him for it).  So we thought and thought and finally concocted a plan we were content with.

He invited all of the boys to his house for a "guys night cookout" and during the festivities Shane made sure everyone was on the back deck cooking burgers and what not and snuck inside to "grab something" and instead brought out his little surprise for all the fellas.

He then presented each of them with a personalized Smirnoff Ice and "iced" all of the attendants.  For those of you unfamiliar with "icing" it is a game people play in which you inconspicuously present someone with a Smirnoff Ice and the victim then has to get on one knee and chug - if you're really interested - google it or visit wikipedia to learn more :)

the ideas are endless, and anything goes. but no matter how you ask, I'd vote to make it a little more personal than just a phone call  - I'd love to hear your ideas or stories of great "Will You By My ___" stories!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Halloween is officially 2 weeks away! YAY!

so, when my gal pals and i all moved home - or away - or to somewhere new after college - it only took about 3 weeks until we all fell into the after-college-depression-doldrums from not seeing each other and having fun things to look forward to every single day. plus the addition of having a real job that we actually had to show up for - opposed to deciding it was "too cold" to walk to class and instead laid in bed watching sex and the city reruns all day *WAHHH* made for a hard transition to real life.

needless to say, it didn't take long before we instituted a weekly gals night to help us cope. my sweet friend Baili - aka - "the mother of the group" - is in charge nearly every week. (seriously bless her heart - she's a gem!) through daily group texts (thank god these were invented - whatever did we do without them?!), and daily G-chat conversations we effectively choose a new location on the Wednesday of each week, have dinner (or occasionally see a movie or something different) and catch up - again it helps us cope -
BUT -i don't think the void in our hearts of no longer being in college will ever truly go away.

2 years ago we decided to add annual gals night pumpkin carving as one of our Wednesday night rituals - SO FUN! - and this event conveniently is hosted at my house (this will be year numero 3).  I hosted the previous 2 years at my old house in St. Matthews and the event went off without a hitch:

2010 Pumpkin Carving Gal's Night.
Pumpkins left to right: I cant remember, i just know the bottom middle, struggling one, belongs to my sweet friend Laura
Pictured bottom left: Mere and Quinn - Quinn has a fancy fashion blog worth following here

2011 Pumpkin Carving Gal's Night
Pictured (bottom left - up & down - to bottom right): Baili, Laura, Emily, Me, Mere, Quinn, Teddi
 HOWEVER -- Shane i moved this year to Middletown - so this will be my first pumpkin carving hostess job at the new digs (not my first hostess job at the new digs - that event took place to celebrate my sweet friend Holly's engagement. I made wayy too much of my sister-in-law Jessica's baked spaghetti - but I'll share that recipe with you later) because this is the first Halloween event - and due to my extreme love for pinterest (it's my favorite nighttime | while watching TV | laying bed activity) - i feel i should add a little extra pizazz this year.

first and foremost I'm considering making a polka dot pumpkin. I've created well over 26 jack-o-lanterns in my day and thought a cutesy punkin' on my front steps just may make the neighborly ladies envy my style (considering the state of yard is definitely NOT hyping our cool status -- swear, I'll have to get around to posting pictures of that some day - MAYBE - orrrr i may save us the embarrassment until we get around to fixin' it up) - I'm thinking something from inspiration in this pic - but want mine to be more uneven sizes and all over...

 and then, i want to have fun Halloween goodies and some cute decor - because you're NEVER too old to celebrate Halloween in my book. or ANY holiday for that matter (let's be real - this is coming from the girl who's mother still wraps my Christmas gifts tagged
"From: Santa" - for real though) ... thinking some items like these:

you can find these ideas and SOOO many more on one of my fave blogs
Hostess With the Mostess! Seriously - the most amazing ideas for parties ever.

okay, again someone bring me back down to earth. to all of my beloved gal pals that are reading this - let's be honest - my house will look nothing like this. you'll be lucky if i have the card tables unfolded and the cookie sheets "pammed" for the pumpkin seeds before you get there - so don't get your hopes up. BUT - this IS what i envision - and Shane IS out of town again next week - so you little ghouls and goblins just may get hallo-lucky!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

sugar, SPICE & everything nice

a couple of months ago was my sweet little niece - Emmie Claire's - birthday.  so, as usual, i was on the hunt for a great birthday present for the precious gal - with NO tons of help from Shane ;) - but i need you to understand, when i say precious, i MEAN precious:

 now, come on you know i couldn't leave you with just 2 pictures. notice the title of this post - sugar, SPICE, and everything nice.  i reference frequently that she IS sweet. and she IS precious. but this feisty four year old is also a SPIT FIRE. woooweee :o) she reminds me of myself at such a spry young age. and she's pretty stinkin' smart too -
Exhibit A - counting in Spanish:

ain't she a doll. then she runs around like a crazy person and she's no longer a precious moments doll. but then she opens her mouth and that sweet little kid voice sings you a song:

 Whew! gets ya every time and you forget all about that SPICE - she's back to everything nice. especially when you find her and your sweet hubs cuddling together while taking a nap. melts my heart. gah.

so, anyways - remember last post - when i told you how i had a string of creativity - and a knack for homemade things? well when it comes to practical gifts, this is a category that has potential to fall right in line (although, i vow to my family members to never give you a puffy paint sweater for Christmas and expect you to actually wear it - HOWEVER - i can't promise if time ever allows, you won't end up with a crochet scarf - sue me - i think it would keep my hands occupied while watching TV - FAMILY --> QUE INTERVENTION NOW - DO NOT LET ME GET TO THIS POINT - yet * :o) *) .  

so, while talking with my sister-in-law (can we come up for a new name for that - it sounds so rigid!) Jessica, she informed me Emmie is currently REALLY into dress up. I'm talking if it has sparkles, ruffles, heels, is size XXXL she wants to wear it - in front of EVERYONE- dress up status. which is ultimately the greatest thing ever. it leads to the BEST childhood pictures (some of my favorite of my cousin MaK and i come from dress up days), the funniest moments and general good times for the whole family.  here she is dressed up as some version of the little mermaid, co aligned with fancy furry slippers and a matching tiara - her big sister Tatum did her make-up - presh.

with a couple of days until her big birthday pool party, i began racking my brain for ways to incorporate the dress up obsession with her cute room.  *i plan to get pictures to share with you later, but my mother-in-law (again, need less rigid name) had an ADORABLE tulle yellow and pink bed skirt and pillow shams made for her bedroom which added the most adorable feminine cutesy touch to her cute cream furniture without overdoing it (6 year old katie bugg is green with envy)*

i was sitting in our living room staring at our wet bar when the idea cam to me. NO, NO - it's not what you're thinking. i did not come up with a way to incorporate a bar into a 4 year old's bedroom (...although that would be kind of cool if it served milk and apple juice - coolest kid on the block would be taken to an entirely new level - there would have to be a brand new series of "Cribs: Tenacious Toddlers" - oh goodness - Emmie would be the perfect fit for that...) - but, again we're not talking a wet bar - instead, i had just recently refinished the aforementioned wet bar and i was admiring my handy work - at that very moment i was thinking of how it would look great if i refinished the armoire in our guest bedroom upstairs  --- are you putting together the pieces now :) ---
when it hit me *A DRESS UP ARMOIRE* - how cool!?

now, like i mentioned (with all things gifts, personalized and handmade) my imagination and expectations often far exceed the final product.  and generally, when you are the world's worst procrastinator such as myself, its hard to bring these mentioned genius ideas to fruition in a few short days (or hours... pending the project :oP)

so naturally...in my mind...i was imagining something  like this:

you know, fairly simple and chic, elegant embellishments, beautiful flowers, soft girly colors, a mirror that Miss America would envy, just your average run of the mill dress up armoire that every 4 year old girl deserves. but, then i unfortunately had to wake up from my day dream, review the bank account and rethink. darn.

so, i began scouring the house for a tangible staring point: the armoire itself.  it crossed my mind that i could buy wood from Lowe's or something and build the petite frame (which i fully intend to do, should i ever create one of these again ... who knows - little Maebyn - my other sweet niece may just get lucky in about 3 years!) - for that i was imagining something sort of like this (and yes, the yellow would have matched perfectly, darn again):

In reality, i think this would be simpler than one might think. It sort of looks like:
1.  large night stand with the top 2 drawers removed
2.  shower or curtain rod
3. modge podge scrapbook paper or sticker details
VOILA! A Child's Dress Up Armoire ... again, be patient Maebyn :)

*oh you'd like to meet sweet lil' Maebyn? well certainly - I'd be glad to show you*

Meet Maebyn Noelle

and while we're at it -
 let's just meet the
 whole ridiculously beautiful family
her parents: Ross and MaKenzie

followed by this one, b|c I'm a proud new
auntie & okay I'm beyond mildly obsessed
with this picture - & these ladies -
in general everything about it


okay and last but not least, while we're on the creative gravy train- i simply can't post about this awesome little nugget and not give HUGE props to her mommy - and feel a slight twinge of jealousy - because although in my mind i believe I'm creative - my seester - Makenzie (yes, the beautiful lady pictured above who looks that hott after birthing a baby for 14 hours, yea, her) she's really creative. like really. check out her Etsy shop here if you're ever in the market for invitations, announcements, business cards, etc. i can tell you first hand you'll be glad you did - but you need not click on her site just to see - check out the most ADORABLE outfit ...uhm, ever?... that she had made & brought little Maebyn home in:

get a load of those slippers AND that head band! - i die. literally, dead.
okay, but back to sweet Emmie Claire and her dress up chest :) - so, as stated, i had to rethink.  no magnificent embellishments, no 24 karat gold painted handles, and likely no diamond encrusted hand held platinum mirrors (i told you, it was in a DEEP daydream), and unfortunately at this point i also didn't have an old nightstand lying around, nor the time to go searching for one at a flea market or peddlers mall.  So - TIME TO IMPROVISE!

luckily for me, and for her i guess :), Shane and I had several old trunks leftover from our wedding decor (we had an outdoor wedding and provided various items in trunks located around the tent such as flip flops, koozies, etc) - so i found the perfect little white trunk that i was convinced i could turn into a make shift dress up chest.

my initial idea was to turn the chest on it's side and have the lid open as if it were a door - sort of like this (minus the whole 1700's look)

however, again with that daggone time and ability factor, i was forced to leave it as a normal opening trunk. plus, the trunk i chose had built in wheels on the bottom along with handles on either side so the ability for it to stand up right posed as a problem.  nevertheless, i started scrubbing the trunk to make sure it was clean as a whistle and ready to be filled with all of Emmie's beautiful items.  i lined the inside with an old pillow case and some felt so there were no chance of her sweet little hands getting splinters (ouch!) and then added embellishments * no, not in gold :o(  * all over the trunk.

*Sorry, for the life of me i cannot get this picture to turn the right way :( - if you have any suggestions let me know!* 

the next item up for bid was incorporating that elegant Miss America mirror i was talking about, but had to settle for a craft table mirror from Michael's - but it was just the perfect size for her precious little face.  then i made sure to use some pretty ribbon and add Velcro to either end so she could easily stash her bracelets, hair bows, and necklaces. and lastly it was off to the dollar store, my closet and Clair's to fill the bad boy up with all sorts of fun items - you can't really see it, but i think the purple boa ended up being the fan favorite :)

and there you have it folks - a homemade birthday gift filled with tons of treasures!
Happy Birthday sweet Emmie.

Monday, October 15, 2012

we're Nerds - REAL nerds.

When it comes to Halloween - I'm a crazy, perfectionist, it has to be done this way calm, cool, collected, lover of homemade costumes.  Being artsy runs on my momma's side of the family - and although i wasn't blessed with ANY artistic talent when it comes to actually drawing or painting (which i am still angry about). i did get a small knack for general creativity. and during Halloween i feel it is my duty to make sure people around me are aware of that.

this silly personal fulfillment again, stems from my mother's side of the family.  every year when we were little kids my Grandma *elaine* (she's the sweetest lady you will ever meet) - seriously. and side story:

at my brother's wedding in August - my mom, her sisters, and my grandma were standing around the bar *yes, my family generally stays out later than most* - at this point we were all SEVERAL a few cocktails in ;o) and decided we needed ANOTHER a shot (give us a break, my brother was getting married!) i asked my grandma to take one with us - and she said "SURE!" - i then started thinking, wait, is this okay? can grandma take a shot? - so i verbalized those thoughts - and asked sweet elaine, "Wait, Grandma can you take a shot?" -- her witty response, "Well I'm 21 aren't I?!" --- touche Grandma, touche -- so it happened:

Top Picture (not sure how or why the formation changed?)- Who's Who: Lil' Ole Me, Aunt Debbie, GRANDMA, Aunt Marshee, Mama Penny 
However, it is imperative - shot story aside - you understand the genuine LOVE i have for this sweet lil' lady.  First - she is entirely too cute. Second - if you heard her voice you would fall in love (i can guarantee it - her voice could melt the heart for The Grinch!) and Third - if nothing else - one of my favorite moments from my wedding day ;) seeing her for the first time.
 and one of my all time favorite wedding photos - 3 generations of hands - *GUSH!* i LOVE these ladies!

Pardon my crooked pinky.  it's trademarked as my own - yes i was born that way - no i have never broken it - and yes - i've learned to love it ;)
Wedding photo creds to Megan Wynn of Megan W. Photography.  Her webiste here and her blog here.
okay - wow - "i love my grandma tangent" there, sorry! - Ergo - the reason i was talking about her in the first place - my LOVE of homemade Halloween costumes stems from this woman. for a good portion of my childhood grandma made my brother and i homemade Halloween costumes - BLESS HER HEART - i think i remember one time i changed my mind 6 times and she had already started hand sewing and was still kind enough to make the changes.  Some of my favorites (which i promise to get around posting pictures to at some point) include: a spider, a princess, and freddy crougar (that was JR - not me)

so, Nerds - the title of this post - SWEAR I'M GETTING THERE! - Last year, i somehow managed to talk sweet hubby into being a Nerd with me.  However after the dramatics fun of making the costumes last year (sorry, Shane) I'm not so sure talking him into a costume will be so easy this year. 

now that it's all said and done i really wish i would have taken before, during and after photos - but all i've got is the finished product - so here it is - THE NERDS!

by the way - yes - I'm asking you for something -- SORRY! :) --- we've entered ourselves into The Dating Divas, Halloween Couple's Costume Contest.  Vote for us here - #63

The year before we were garden gnomes - which was also a great contender for one of my fave costumes -

but i think i loved the Nerds because of the time and effort i spent painting those daggone boxes.  Plus we handed out nerds all night - so costumes that keep on giving are always fun!

by the way - yes - I'm asking you for something -- SORRY! :) --- we've entered ourselves into The Dating Divas, Halloween Couple's Costume Contest.  Vote for us here - #63

these BOOTS

it's official - Fall is here!  My FAVORITE time of year. Beautiful colors, chicken & dumplins, BOOTS, pumpkins, candy corn, BOOTS, Halloween, Thanksgiving, football, an excuse to constantly drink lattes (okay wait, i do that all the time anyway), tailgates, and did i mention BOOTS <--- thank goodness - feels so good to be back in my uniform.

since this is my first post, and it's officially fall - it only feels right to dedicate it entirely to BOOTS! Furthermore, my life was made complete last night at the Eric Church concert at the Yum! Center in Louisville, KY when he sang "These Boots" and nearly the ENTIRE audience took off a boot and held them in the air - i felt like "I was with muh peeples!"  And, of course, I made my entire family participate:

I don't think they were as amused as moi, but they were good sports :) (Thanks Guys)

okay - so more importantly - what's on the must have boot list for this year you ask? here's my current top 3 - 'fits all facets of life' list - I'll keep it short - because we still have the entire season - and there's bound to be MANY more BOOT posts.

1. Aldo - Caltabiano - Gray Misc
I really love gray. Plus with the tan accents the boot swings both ways. In addition Aldo has a great way of incorporating a built in wedge which gives a little height for short lil' gals like me - but comes off as a casual flat boot.

2. Steve Madden - Candence - Black Leather
I'm currently wearing these today. Steve Madden is always a solid choice when searching for a fab looking affordable option. Plus - it's hard to find black boots that don't look either a) too biker chick b) too sexy chick or c) too Gothic chic - however - These Boots have passed the test and fortunately don't look too a, b, or c - but rather d) comfy, casual, cute chick - perfect!
3. FRYE - Paige Trapunto - Tan
and last, but MOST definitely not least - *sigh* - these beautimous Frye Babies.  i LOVE the color. and love that they're Frye. i also love that my wonderful hubby has them on order for me and they should grace my feet soon <3 LOVE <3