Your Weekly Pins

Another Friday, another week of pins! Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...

(P.S. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday weekend filled with fun!)

Refinished file cabinet
[This before and after makes a boring, junky metal filing cabinet turn into a fun, bold statement piece. What a transformation!]

[Obviously you know I'm a fan of the empty-frames-on-wall look, but I love the idea of filling the empty frames with hanging vases - what a fun, nature-y pop!]

Pretzel Drumstick Ice Cream Cake
[Why don't you take a moment to step back and really let this pretzel drumstick ice cream cake sink in. Can you see everything that comprises this cake? Drumsticks, brownies, caramel, pretzels. Do you already want to eat the entire thing yourself? Because if you don't I will....]

Sweet Corn + Roasted Jalapeno Hummus
[A little healthier than a cake made of Drumsticks, this sweet corn and jalapeno hummus sounds incredible. I think it would be especially delicious with some black bean chips. A little sweet, a little spicy, this would be a great addition to a Memorial Day cookout!]

Giant Chai Tea Frosted Cookies
[I love me a frothy chai tea latte every now and then. I also love me a soft, fluffy cookie every now and then. So when you combine the two, "now and then" suddenly becomes "every single day of my life," because that's exactly how often I want to eat one of these chai tea frosted cookies.]

Snowcone Cupcakes by Bakerella... so insanely cute.
[Stop! If you thought these were just your typical, red, white and blue mini sno-cones, you're wrong! These are actually adorably decorated cupcakes! I can't think of a cuter dessert to bring to a Memorial day cookout... or you could even save these for the 4th of July. I adore the creativity of these!]

pies made in a cupcake pan. A pie for everyone---LOVE this!!! Cup Pies!
[Who doesn't love pie? Better yet, who doesn't love their OWN mini pie, that you don't have to share with anyone else and is perfectly portion controlled? These mini pies are just way too cute... and they're easily baked in a muffin pan!]

Love this dress... especially with yellow shoes!
[I'm crazy about this sweet baby-blue eyelet dress... but I love that it's paired with bright yellow heels even more! Such a cute combo.]

Sugar Coated Necklace - Anthropologie
[How incredible is this sherbet-colored statement necklace from Anthro? It actually would go quite well with the outfit above... or it would be perfect for jazzing up a plain 'ol tank top!]

her grace rosette dress
[This pretty frock would be perfect to wear to any summer weddings you may have this season - love the dusty pink color.]

Fun watermelon punch plus more fun party finds on this link.
[We've all seen the watermelon boats or baskets filled with fruit, but how about using the rind of a watermelon as a punch bowl? I love this idea - perfect for summer get togethers! And I'm sure the watermelon punch is delicious, too.]

Wire baskets on wall to hold clutches, scarves, belts, etc.
[I've got clutches and tights and scarves stashed in a number of different places in my bedroom. But I love the idea of repurposing a simple wire organizer basket as a wall-mounted catch-all for those pesky little accessories that don't need to take up valuable drawer space.]

Use tension rod in cabinet to hang spray bottles
[Another good repurposed tool for organization - using a spring-loaded rod in a cabinet to hang spray bottles, opening up space below for all things triggerless.]

Eye-Fi wireless memory card - no more plugging camera into computer to upload photos! I NEED THIS IN MY LIFE. IMMEDIATELY.
[I just learned about the Eye-Fi, which is a wireless memory card that automatically syncs the photos from your camera with your computer so you don't have to plug in the camera or memory card every time you want to upload a picture. I can't believe I had no idea this was ever a thing, but now that I know it is I'm not sure I can go on living without it. SO handy.]

Tassel Garland rocks our world. From confettisystem.bigcartel.com
[I've been loving these little tassel garlands popping up around the wedding blogosphere. They're cute and colorful and, even though you can buy them here, these would be so simple to make on your own. Consider them done!]

the sweetest flower girl outfit
[This is the sweetest little flower girl dress. Not over-the-top or fancy or tutu-ish like so many I've seen.Classic, cute and the perfect neutral backdrop for carrying bright, poppy flowers.]

Gorgeous in every which way. Photography by picotteweddings.com / Bouquet by efflorescefloral.com
[Speaking of flowers that pop, how incredible is this bouquet? I love all its texture and color... unexpected and fun.]

[And finally, what better way to kick off your weekend than with a pile of kitten hugs...The preciousest.]

There are plenty more where these came from! To see everything I pin, all week long, follow me on Pinterest.


Business in the front, party in the back

I've got a front-of-the-house update for you in regards to those unbalanced shutters, but first, let me tell you about the duo of masked visitors who were partying in the backyard this morning.

I was in my kitchen, packing my lunch for the day, when I looked out the window and saw these two fellas (though, sorry, I know they could be ladies...) scampering about along our left fence wall.

Now, we get our share of bunnies in the backyard, but this is the first time I'd been able to catch a couple of raccoons back there. Instantly, I thought of my garden. Oh no! They're going to kill it before it even has a chance to live! I was quite dramatic over the whole ordeal.

So I grabbed my camera, went outside, and surprised the little guys.

They froze when they first saw me, but otherwise just went about their business. I followed them around the yard for a couple of minutes until they retreated down the stairs toward the lower garden level.
 (As you can see, one of them was a little more camera shy than the other)

Once they reached the garden area, they sniffed around a bit at my little seedlings. I went into crazy old lady mode then and shuffled after them, shouting "Shoo! Shoo!" I am quickly becoming 85 years old.

After such a serious threat from the old lady, the little 'coons found an exit and ran out to the alley, filled with trash cans that would be much more fun to explore than our yard.

But that wasn't the last of them! After they skedaddled the first time, I decided to take the opportunity to water the garden and the flowers out back (at 6:15 in the morning. See, I told you I am 85). Shortly thereafter, I heard a familiar chattering growing louder and louder behind me. Those little critters had come back! After about five more minutes of following them around and herding them out back under the fence again, they were gone.

And that's the story of my first two raccoon visitors.

Let's move on to the "business in the front" action.

A couple of weeks ago, I shared our new shutters with you. Well, the majority of our new shutters. I asked for advice on how I should go about balancing out that noticeable difference with one of the shutters forced to be left out because it didn't fit that side of the window next to the awning.

Without taking the steps to do anything too permanent, we hemmed and hawed over exactly how to mask that empty area. Our solution as of now is this:
We attached a two-tiered hanging basket to the outside of the awning to cover the blank space. It looks a little spare now, but once the flowers grow a bit more and become more full, I'm hoping it will mask the un-shuttered side a bit more.

We didn't want to do anything too permanent or structural because there's a chance we may expand the porch a bit more so we didn't want to do anything too  hasty in the moment. So, in the spring and summer, we'll hang some pretty Go-Go Begonias, like the kind we have there now.

And we'll possibly throw in some greenery in the planters in the winter.

We like the solution for now. It will do just fine in this situation, and I think having something hanging in that space balances out the house a bit more.

I would've asked the raccoons' opinions, but they were too busy plotting out their next ambush of our garden....


That time I bought a wedding dress

Last weekend was a pretty good one for me, gang. Friday officially marked the one-year countdown to our wedding day, which is pretty rad in itself. Also on Friday, I took a road trip down to Ohio to spend the weekend with my family and a few close friends...... oh, and to also shop for a wedding dress.

Which I ended up finding. 
And loving. 
And buying. 
And thinking about ever since....

I approached the weekend thinking I was just going to take the opportunity to gather my mom, grandmothers and a few bridesmaids and get some ideas of what wedding dress style may work for me. Last weekend was pretty much the only time until September that really worked with everyone's schedules. So although I know shopping for a wedding dress with a year to go is a bit early, it was important for me to have these special ladies there to share the experience. I didn't think I'd actually end up buying a dress; I was just hoping I'd find one or two that didn't make me look like a buttface

Out of the 20 or so dresses I tried on Saturday, I think I really liked about 18 of them. It was incredibly tough to narrow it down. I am not got at making decisions.

We started off at Splendid Bridal in Cincinnati's Reading Bridal District. I'd looked online and saw this shop had a couple designers I liked, so I booked an appointment in the late morning. When I walked in, I showed the shop owner some photos of dresses I liked, and he went to work picking out dresses he thought would work for me, and I also chose some dresses myself. Between the two of us, we chose about nine dresses to try on. Let's just say it was a little overwhelming. Especially because most of the dresses I tried were so very similar to one another. At the end of my appointment, I found two dresses I absolutely loved, but decided to think about them a little more over lunch.

After lunch, we walked down the street to Cincinnati Bridal and Formal, which is one of the largest bridal shops in the nation with more than 3,000 dresses in their store. I was met as we walked in by a very enthusiastic greeter who right away pegged me as a Claire Pettibone bride. While she was right in the fact that I am ga-ga crazy over Claire Pettibone, I'm not crazy about her prices. So, (spoiler alert!) needless to say I just "ooh'ed" and "ahhh'ed" over Claire's gowns and did not try one on. My super-bubbly bridal consultant also took a look at my pictures and pulled a few dresses for me, while I grabbed a couple, too. We then brought all 9-10 dresses into an open dressing room, where my entire entourage (all seven of them) sat in front of me as I dressed and undressed. It was slightly weird, but thankfully I was covered enough so no one got too much of an eyeful of my goods. It was hard to do so, but I slowly whittled my choices down to two at the second shop, too. I went back and forth between the two of them, trying them each on three times. Finally, I asked them to "jack me up" (as Monte of "Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta" would say...), and they walked me back to another area of the shop where I woman did my hair, placed a veil on me and outfitted me with earrings and a bracelet. I looked in the mirror after being "done up" in the dress and it all hit me: Whoa..... I'm going to be a freaking bride....  

I stared at myself in what would be "the dress" for quite some time. My bridal consultant took me over to "Twinkle Town," an area with large mirrors and natural lighting so I'd get a more realistic look at the dress. Then, they brought me outside to see how the dress would look in actual sunlight. I also got honked at by one of Reading, Ohio's finest passing by as I was out there. I'm not sure if it was the honk or the approval of my dress entourage, but I went back inside and, after a little deliberation (30 minutes of hemming, hawing and throwing up my hands), decided it was "the one."

Yes, I teared up a little. No, I didn't fully cry or squeal or jump up or down or wave my hands in front of my face. At the end of the day, I knew my dress was the perfect storm of everything I was looking for. I knew if I walked away and continued shopping elsewhere I'd never find a different dress that would top the one I chose. I never had that "oh my god this is the most amazing thing to happen to me" moment, but I know I made the right choice because I can't stop thinking about my dress. I keep looking back at pictures and can't stifle the big ol' grin that takes over my face every time I see it. I just want it now... I want to put it on and walk around in it at the grocery store. I want to wear it every day. At the very least, I just want it to be in my possession so I can peek in the bag and look at it every once in a while. But that day will come and I'll have plenty of time thereafter to take little peeks at it here and there.

So, my friends, I'm sorry to say I cannot share a photo of my dress with you. Heaven forbid Eric would ever stumble across the photo and then the big, fun dress surprise would be ruined! But you will see it approximately one year from now, and I hope when you do see it you'll think it's even half as beautiful as I do.

For now, take a look at my face as I decided it was the dress for me (don't mind the ridiculous cropping and feathering... I had to mask it somehow!).

I think it speaks for itself.


Your Weekly Pins

Another Friday, another week of pins! Here's what caught my eye on Pinterest this week...


Now THAT is a great IKEA hack.
[Now this is a special IKEA hack. This DIY'er bought a simple wooden drawer system, stained it and added brass label plates to each drawer and, voila, a DIY library card catalog!] 

a dream!
[This, right here, is a dream. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves? Just incredible.] 

Colossal Reese's Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies
[My obsession with chocolate and peanut butter has been well documented. But might shoot right up to the top of my "OMGINEEDTOBAKETHESENOW" list. Colossal Reese's Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies. I'm drooling all over my keyboard.]

Bacon Beer Cornbread. I can die now.
[You know what's pretty much right up there with chocolate and peanut butter with me? Bacon and beer. Or bacon and anything... Or beer and anything... The point is, they're both good things. So when you throw them together with another favorite, like in this bacon and beer cornbread, you wouldn't need to twist my arm too hard to get me to gobble this down.]

Funfetti Magic Shell
[I remember the first time I tired Chocolate Magic Shell on ice cream. It was freaking amazing. A cold, crunchy surface to crack with the back of my spoon and add more sugary goodness to an already pretty-fantastic treat. This homemade Funfetti Magic Shell sounds incredible... and because it's got sprinkles, it automatically makes anything it cover a bit more fun.]

Seriously. Flawless.
Full length photo of the back. Jenny Packham and Kate Winslet. A winning combo.
[Can we talk about Kate Middleton's style? Can we talk about her incredible hair? Can we talk about how sickeningly obsessed I am with this absolutely stunning Jenny Packham gown the Duchess is rocking so flawlessly? If she didn't seem so genuinely sweet, I'd definitely hate her just for being so fabulous.]

[I love this little dusty-green/blue purse. It looks so feminine and pretty. Not to mention that is one of my top three colors right now.] 

[Bill Murray is one of my favorite actors of all time. I love him when he's goofy. I love him when he's smug. I love him when he's sullen and serious. I especially love him when he's dining with Anthony Bourdain. This photo just catches him at such a real, raw moment. I love the look on his face.]

Mister sloth, I want to hug you.
[Did you know baby sloths are crazy adorable? Well, you do now. I can't speak for his two-toed cousin, but this little fella looks like he's asking a big ol' hug.]

Life is so hard
["I is stuck." Poor little guy is learning life lessons the hard way...]

There are plenty more where these came from! To see everything I pin all week long, follow me on Pinterest.


Plotted and Planted

Although you can never be too sure in Wisconsin about being out of danger of frost, last weekend I took my chances and planted the summer vegetable/herb garden! Last year's "effort" produced pretty great results for a first timer who had no idea what she was doing. This year, I took a more scientific approach.

And by scientific, I mean choosing which produce I wanted to plant, plugging them into the magical Interwebz machine, and having it spit out the exact garden plot I should plant, based on my own garden's layout and square footage.

You guys, I love the modern age.

Because I'm incredibly stubborn, I'd meant to do all the research of planting a proper, well-thought-out garden all winter (thereby having the satisfaction that, hey y'all, I did this relatively all by myself with my own brains and smarts). As it tends to do, my laziness got in the way, so all that research never happened. So I turned to SmartGardener's super-cool, super-free tool to help me figure out how much I needed to plant, and where each of these plants needed to be placed in the garden. I simply plugged in the plants I wanted to plant, gave the measurements and orientation of my raised-bed garden, and a few seconds later, the SmartGardener program gave me this:

It plotted out my garden based on which plants do well when planted by one another. This is something I didn't think about at all last year. Very cool.

So here's the lineup, from left to right:

  • Spinach
  • Red pepper
  • Jalapenos
  • Tomatoes 
  • Bush beans
  • Squash
  • Radish
  • Kohlrabi
  • Cucumbers
I essentially wanted to plant everything I eat in my daily spinach salads. If I'm going to eat a salad every day, I might as well save money and grow everything on my own. Eric specifically requested the kohlrabi (his favorite) and the butternut squash. As for herbs, I've got a little basil, cilantro and mint in store, which are not depicted on the virtual garden above.

So, once I have the virtual garden planted, it was time to start on the real deal.
I spent some time weeding, picking out a few rocks and then tilling the garden with a stirrup hoe and a big ol' pitchfork.

Then I went to work planting, following SmartGardener's guide. Here's what the garden looks like today (don't mind all the crazy helicopter thingies scattered about... we had a pretty rough storm Tuesday night, so these things were blown all over the place. Also, don't mind the wheelbarrow full of decomposing weeds. Those have yet to be dumped.):

I planted mostly seeds, but picked up a couple different started plants. Like the peppers and the jalapenos (which, I'm aware, are also peppers).

And, surprise!, some cilantro and mint from last year's garden decided to stick around and start growing on their own. I'm going to keep watch on them and hope they'll still be good on their second go-around this year.

Did you notice how this year I marked all of my plants? I'm becoming a very serious gardener. There will be no surprises like last year's watermelons. Also, because this year I'm not growing watermelons.

Our neighbor across the street brought over some tomato plantlets he'd started indoors. I was super happy because I'd wanted to grow tomatoes this year, anyway. I really wanted to be able to use these puppies (which I'm thinking I'll install in the garden soon so the tomatoes don't get interrupted if I wait to use the cages until they're big).

So, there you have it! I'll keep you updated with how everything is progressing. We're about to have some steamy days ahead and maybe a little rain on Sunday, so I'm really hoping this will give a nice jumpstart to the garden. 

Here's to hoping I have half the success I did last year (and half the crop of monster cucumbers, too...)


The Rummageload

Rummage sale season is officially upon us! The season kicked off, for us, in the biggest way imaginable:  Saturday's Bay View Community Rummage Sale! Our neighborhood association sponsored a community-wide rummage sale, providing a map of 26 rummage sales taking place all within around two-to-three miles from one another. In addition to the 26 sales shown on the map, there were a ton more throughout the neighborhood. I think, within the three hours that we were out and about, we hit around 18 separate rummage sales.

It was quite the Saturday morning.

We started bright and early, hitting the first sale at around 8:15. For the first few stops, we were there before many items had been priced, affording us the opportunity to name our own price (thus getting great deals). I think in the first five sales we stopped at, we bought at least one thing at each. We seriously were SO lucky in finding some great buys for dirt cheap. I even worked on my negotiating skills and only paid full price for maybe two or three items all day.

But where we really lucked out was at our third stop, where a super-sweet woman was selling a ton of wedding decor... but not just any wedding decor - we're talking SO many pieces that I'd already been planning to collect for ours! She had incredibly similar taste to me, and I'm sure her wedding looked a lot like how I'm envisioning ours. I walked away with three bottles/vases, a vintage jade-green candy dish and 28 vintage doilies and pretty handkerchiefs. TWENTY EIGHT. And I only paid $20 for that entire haul. I was in heaven. I couldn't believe our luck!

From there on out, we had incredible luck. I'd say we made a pretty good haul in just three hours of driving around, rummaging through people's things!

The majority of what I bought was little pieces for the wedding. Doilies, vases, vintage Old Maid cards (I can't wait to show you... in one year... what we're using those for!), a crate of vintage soda bottles (we'll be sticking one flower in each vase and keeping them all in the case, which will probably be sitting on the dessert table or guest book table), some little hand-sewn stuffed hearts and much, much more.

I found that little kitty candle for 25 cents. I have no idea why I was so drawn to it - it's a little weird - but for some reason I am so in love with it.

We purchased this crate of old Black Bear soda bottles for just $5! An incredible steal. The man who sold them to us mentioned Black Bear used to be bottled just a couple miles down the street from our house in St. Francis, Wisconsin. I love that our wedding decor will reflect some local history, too!

This vintage eye chart caught our eyes while we were leaving one rummage sale and we snapped it up for 50 cents. I can't wait to hang it up in our house!

We also lucked out at our final garage sale by finding four great records. Eric picked out Mott the Hoople and Slade, and I was so excited to find two Elvis Costello albums (I've been on a huge Elvis Costello kick lately). We brought these home for $5 total.

I couldn't believe just how much we found on Saturday. When it comes to rummage sales, it definitely pays to start early! I think, by the end of the morning, we spent no more than $40 for everything pictures above. Absolutely incredible.

Here's to a summer full of more rummage sales! At this rate I'll have all my collections for wedding decor finished by July! I'm hoping next summer we can get in on the fun so hopefully I can pawn off some of our used wedding decor to another lucky bride. If not, I think I've got enough doilies to fashion a full wedding dress, by now...



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...