Weekend Craze

This weekend. Gosh, so much happened in a short amount of time that it’s tough to begin. Well, Friday night we decided to go to my younger sisters dance recital which couldn’t have been more exhausting. What we thought would be an hour of dance routines was actually 3 and a half hours. Longer than a LOTR movie. No intermission or nothing. Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see my sister dance her little hip hop routines (she had two dances) and she did do great, but some of the kids did 7 dances (I had some free time so I played around with the program) what happened to 2 dances each?!

Regardless of being exhausted from Friday night (we ended up grabbing a bite at Applebees afterwards with the fam, which meant we didn’t get home till after midnight) I had previously mentioned to Ryan about wanting to go to Rices Market on Saturday morning and since he had been excited about the possibility of getting some goodies he eagerly encouraged me to stick with my plans and get up at the crack of dawn to go. So I did. Cause I love him.

I planned to go to see if I could grab some good staging props or items for the home/kitchen and found nothing. So I filled my bag with some Flyers Ts’ for the hub and tons of bones for the dogs. In an effort to splurge on myself I also picked up a necklace too.

After Rices the hub met me at the granite and marble showroom (Akropolis for any local Montgomery Counters) to pick out a countertop for the kitchen. I initially really wanted quartz, and was stuck on a mid grey color – I wanted to imitate the look and feel of concrete. Though to be fair we also looked at their granite slabs and took a liking to this one

It’s called Black Impala…yes black. Eek! In person it’s much more grey and has a nice beige in it which softens the look. I like the smaller texture and could see this working with the kitchen and still letting the brick wall shine. So we priced both quartz and granite. The quartz came out to $2600 – totally doable. …but the granite came out to $1800. $800 difference. Once I realized the difference in price I realized that’s basically the price of a water softener (item and installed) and as we’re closing in on our budget and I realllllly want a softener I had to be practical. I buried my inner desire for the quartz and we purchased the granite. They’ll be out this Wednesday to measure and we should have it installed a week from then!

That basically covered the kitchen progress for the weekend. Even though I mentioned I wanted to get some spackling done in this post, I took the nice weather opportunity to work on the yard a bit. Since deciding to have a “kitchen reveal” party on the 4th I’ve been stressing over the appearance of the rest of our home. Granted people will be there to look at the kitchen, but I couldn’t have my yard looking the way it did. After running around on Saturday (after the countertops) delivering some props for a friend hosting a baby shower I realized I had one free hour before I had to shower and ready myself to go to a family graduation party. So what did I do with that free hour? I decided to cut up our wood pile into fire wood.

Two years ago we cut down the ant infested tree and overgrown bush in our front yard and piled the limbs (which I just realize I never posted about – don’t worry it’s on the docket now), where they’ve sat ever since. Two years. So ridiculous. Where did the time go!?

I got it just about done, but had to call it a day and figured I’d finish up Sunday morning. But this is what it was looking like after an hour of work on it:

found this love note from nature in the pile 

I had gotten all the usable firewood cut and had the bottom of the pile to deal with. If you’ve never dealt with a wood pile before, the bottom is the yucky surprise. The wood pieces at the bottom were covered in slugs. Ugh! Aasdlkfj:IOJE;lkj!!! Slugs creep me out and skeeze me like none other so it was a good time to call it a day. We had a great time at the grad party, and afterwards came home to go to another little get together to see some friends in for the weekend from Louisiana. Another late night and I was up again at the crack of dawn on Sunday (regardless of the fact that I told myself to sleep in). Sundays yard work consisted of the usual bush trimmings, dog duty clean up and mowing along with the addition of shoveling the slug infested wood into the trash.

 the solo snail in a sea of slugs

 A few hours later and the yard was clean and I finally gained that wood pile space back. My stomach was growling, so I decided to run to Wawa to grab some food – lucky I did cause I passed by my neighbor’s yard to find they were getting rid of some old porch furniture! PERFECT for our new back yard spot and allowing me more seating for this 4th party!!! The sofa needs a good scrub, and spray paint along with a cushion – but I couldn’t beat the price!

To add to my play-by-play of the weekend after all my  yard work I went to style an engagement shoot with Colleen (belovely) and we couldn’t be more pleased with how everything came together! Can’t wait to see the final photos!

How was all your weekends? Is anyone out there as jamb pack crazy scheduled as I? Fingers crossed I’m not the only nut who can’t sleep in even when she’s exhausted.

Watermelon (colored) Birthday Chair

 

You’ll notice that I’ve (yet again) updated the look of the blog. To be honest, it’s still probably not done – gosh, I feel like no project is ever really finished with me. There is always room for improvement. But loving this layout for now.

On to another project. For the past few birthdays my mother has had Allie sit in a chair to open her presents while having the gift giver sit next to her. I’ve found this little tradition to be so adorable – this way everyone knows who the gift is from and it allows the giver to feel special sitting up there with the b-day girl. Well, seeing as we were decking out this event belovely style, after passing by a chair on the curb, I couldn’t pass up making Allie her very own birthday chair!

And here’s what I started with:

With the help of my work gloves (I can’t stand the feel of sandpaper so I wear them quite often!) I got to sanding down the chair to get any extra finish off along with old sticky stuff, and/or dirt.

After I quick wipe down and dry off with my amazing microfiber cloth she was ready for color!

Boom. Watermelon. Perfect with our color scheme for the party. Miss Pinkalicious loves her some pink.

After the first coat I had some time to kill while it dried, luckily I had this guy keeping me company out back. Such a cutie.

After my second coat on the chair was all dried up I flipped it over to make sure every angle got covered…


After the chair was perfectly pink watermelon it was all ready for some pizzazz. Oh, yea…lots of ribbons! I picked up some ribbon from Michaels – specifically 3 different rolls of 3 different pink prints.

…and tied the first print on one side of the chair. I just tied the ribbon into a knot and faced the excess off to the one side filling in the void.
And I did the same for the opposite side..

Voila! Now for the center…

I got more of a shear ribbon in a more purpley-pink color to stand out in the center more. These ribbons I cut longer than the sides since I was putting less ties and needed the length to tie them into bows.

 

Just love the way it turned out! And the best part is now she has a chair that is clearly Allie’s! I planned for her to keep it to have as a special chair to use for every birthday, or for a tea party or pretend Barbie playhouse… haha – the kid has quite an imagination and anything pink she can find a place for.

 

A Flag Tutorial

 

Man oh man! Have I been busy! I’m going to try my darn hardest to post some of my projects I’ve been working on lately. Trust me when I say – there have been a lot of them. From house projects, to Belovely Events parties and photoshoots, to my very own Etsy shop (yup! finally…more on that later) and even setting up a Belovely Shop on Etsy. Phew! And that’s not even the start of it…

But first things first. On September 30th my sister turned 6 (see my birthday shout out post here), and of course Belovely had a hand in the decor! Allie asked for a ‘cat’ party, which we then adapted to a Pet Shop Party (with her blessing) to appease the other kids who may not have the same passion for cats as Allie does. (Yes, she even got a kitten from our parents for her birthday! She named her Pink Diamond – pictures to come!) And obviously this Pet Shop Party came with DIY projects! Today I’m going to share with you how I made flag banners out of felt and ribbon. A $6 project. Yes, 3 full strands of banners to span the width of a dining room all for just 6 buckaroos. The cheapest and biggest impact ever.

After being quite obsessed with flags (and even posting about the current trend on our Belovely Blog here) I wanted to add the lighthearted and festive decor element to this Pet Shop Party.  One trip to Michaels and I got some felt pieces and cheap ribbon and got to work:

First I cut the felt into triangles with this template (which I made in Photoshop – I wanted to be sure to have equal sized triangles and at the same time make them as large as possible. I was able to get 2 full triangles out of each sheet of felt (as well as smaller triangles which I evened out and made a strand of lots of small flags – unfortunately didn’t document this process, but once you get the leftovers, I’m sure your creative mind will catch on…)

I then took to my hole punch which you’ll notice that from my art school days I had at one point purchased this fancy dancy one (no idea what for!) but I loved the non traditional circle cut and figured ribbon would thread through much cleaner.

I punched two holes (about an inch and a half in from each end) and got to threading my ribbon. Note: I used an entire reel of ribbon (I believe 3 or 4 yards?) as to leave a bit on each end of the flags so I made sure it could span the room and I had something to tie off with

And here is a sneak peak of the party set up complete with flags! Unfortunately it was rainy on the day of the party (boo!) but we initially planned to hang them from a beautiful arbor on my parent’s back deck. But, as event planners we know that if there is one thing we can’t control it’s the weather. So we made the best of it and pulled our magic off indoors.

 

Can’t wait to share more details from this event! Not to mention the changes going on in the home! Hint: projects involve hammers, paint, lighting, and possibly a stencil…though not all at the same time!

 

“Play On” by The Traubs

I’m sure as you saw in our wedding video (if not check it out here), Ryan and I gave away CDs for our favor at our wedding. Now these weren’t just a mix-tape-like CD …we actually had ourselves recorded singing our favorite love songs!

Music is something that Ryan and I just understand together and has always been a rock in our relationship.

 

Yea, we even had some of our engagement photos taken outside of our favorite record store, Siren Records in Doylestown PA. Photos taken by Nicole Polk.

It may seem like an incredibly expensive favor to give away at a wedding, seeing as most favors are around $2-3 each and having a professionally recorded CD made and printed just for our wedding may seem a little silly. However, we were able to make it happen in precisely in that price range!

My younger brother, Douglas is a sound engineer and has been recording music since he was …well gosh, I’m not even sure I even know – 12 years old maybe? Anyway, quite a long time. So I came up with this brilliant idea to record a CD for the wedding (as music is such a huge part of Ryan and I’s relationship, why not share that on our wedding day?) and went straight to my brother. He happily agreed to help us out, recording our voices and providing the music for each of the recreated songs. (such a talented brother we have!). As sweet of a brother he is, he refused to let us pay him for his time, energy and talents and basically gave us the gift of music for our wedding gift. Be sure to check out more of his recording talents here.

Since I was doing the CD Artwork design all myself the only thing we had to pay for was the printing and shipping. Which came out to exactly $2.50 per CD. Exactly in the favor price range! Not to mention it was a one of a kind favor and certainly something that wouldn’t get tossed away the following week. I did a lot of research and finally went with Beyond Concepts for our printing. As for the artwork, well – take a look!

 

 

We obviously named our CD based off of a Shakespeare quote which I featured on the inside of the sleeve along with our formal ‘Thank You’ to all of our guests for helping celebrate our wedding day with us. The love birds page is the tray holder (where the CD gets placed on) and the two blue love birds are also on the back of the CD in the tree. (This also ties into another design element of our wedding which I’ll be sure to mention in a future post)

The front design is an illustration of Ryan and I in our wedding day attire – Pumas and all – (drawn by yours truly) and the back features the list of songs and their origin. I also highlighted special songs with a heart as the zero and coloring one number pink. The numbers that I highlighted?  7-9-11 Our wedding date.

7. Lucky  – this is the song that I walked up the aisle to.

9. Here, There and Everywhere  – our first dance song

11. All You Need Is Love – doesn’t that say it all? ❤

For the actual disk design I decided to refer back to a more classic design. The Record. Seeing as majority of the songs on the CD are Beatles songs it just seemed appropriate.

 

 

Now on to the music. I’m sure you’re all curious as to how we sound! I must say my brother did a beyond fantastic job and we couldn’t be more pleased (and happily shocked) with the results! Just click on the tracks below to take a listen to each song.

01 July Flame

02 Eight Days A Week

03 Got Me

04 I Just Do

05 Such Great Heights

06 When I’m Sixty Four

07 Lucky

08 Anyone Else But You

09 Here, There and Everywhere

10 True Love Will Find You In The End

11 All You Need Is Love

 

Don’t be to cruel with your reviews of our CD! We’re by no means professional singers, but we did have a blast recording! And of course I was sure to document it!

 

 

If the blanket and scarf didn’t give it away, we recorded the vocals of the CD back in January 2011. Unfortunately, Ryan and I weren’t able to make a trip up to visit my brother to record in a studio so he magically did the vocals in my parents basement. But, if you took a listen to the tracks – I bet you wouldn’t even have been able to tell the difference. He did such an amazing job. However, us having to record at home allowed us to include our little sister, Allie on our recording of ‘All You Need Is Love’ ! She’s so cute and we’re so glad we could include our flower girl on our CD.

Amazeballs right?! We have a CD woop woop! I feel slightly famous. But then again not. Anyway, after we had our part of the CD all recorded I then had a brainchild and realized we could also use the CDs as our escort cards! Boom! Smart!

 

 

So basically all I did was type up each guests name and their table assignment. I then printed out the document on full sheet label paper, cut it into strips and then stuck them on to the top of the CDs. This gave the effect of purchasing a CD from a record store.

I then made the bins by trash picking some drawers, sanding and re-staining them. Adding some knobs from Anthropologie gave the perfect decorative touch!  To separate the drawers into sections I took some scrap wood, cut it to size and screwed it into place.
The dividers were made from illustration board with a alphabet sticker (purchased from Michaels). And voilà! A CD store selling only ‘Play On’ featured at our wedding!
More on the other table signage in later posts….

 

So, that about wraps up our wedding musical adventure! I’ll admit the hardest part was keeping the printed CDs and the design of my dress from Ryan. When asking for his opinion it went something like this..

 

 

Haha! I crack myself up some times. Though, in retrospect I should have drawn out some insanely fru fru dress covered in bows just to throw him off the scent.

I hope that you enjoyed this rather lengthy post about our CD debut! For as much energy, time and basically putting ourselves out there for an immense amount of criticism… it was totally worth it and we couldn’t have come up with a more awesome favor gift to give to all of our friends and family on our wedding day!

 

 

Our Wedding Video

There is still so many design details of my wedding that I want to share, but after seeing our wedding video for the first time yesterday, I just can’t make myself wait to post it!!

Michael Eller and Tyler Davis of Monachetti did such a wonderful job, Ryan and I couldn’t be more pleased. They truly caught the love of our wedding day and it’s certainly a video we’ll continue to watch and share throughout our life together. Designed of course by my new company Belovely Events! Enjoy my new obsession!

 

Music: Custom Mix of “Just the Same but Brand New” by St. Vincent and “True Love will Find you in the End” by Mates of State

Photography: Heidi Vail Photography
DJ: Roots and Groove 
Florals: Juliette’s Floral Designs
Dress: San Patrick – Eresma
Bridal Shoes: BHLDN 
Groom and Groomsmen: Express Suits and Puma Shoes
Bridesmaids: Own Finds
Event Design: Belovely Events

My Life’s A Bee

I got a belated birthday present. And I love it so much and it is so perfect for me that I just have to share. My girlfriend Niki (who was also the best Maid of Honor ever!) and I are one day apart. Her birthday is the 29th and mine the 30th. And we were both a little late on our presents this year. Not that they weren’t sent on time…just arrived a little late. However, I was totally ok with this seeing as that my birthday seemed to continue for a few days while I anticipated her package.

When I opened it I literally squealed with delight. And here’s why..

Beyond perfect!
Niki got me a pandora bracelet with a bee charm (queen bee to ‘bee’ exact, but the fact that it’s a bee had me tickled)

Why is a bee so exciting to me? Well I met Niki at college, where we attended (and roomed together for 3 years) the Savannah College of Art and Design. SCAD’s logo? None other than a Bee.  Bee perfection numero uno.

I agree. That bee is just hideous. And very mean looking. I get that SCAD is an art school with sports so the mascot had to look a little intimidating, but that bee just doesn’t do it for me. I should also mention that Niki is an extremely talented photographer – check out here work here.

And the second reason that the bee is perfect for me is because I am currently starting up an event planning company with my girlfriend (and author of Love Home and Style) Colleen!

We’ve named our company Belovely and our logo is of course a bee! Bee perfection numero dos.

We had a girlfriend (whom I also met at SCAD and who was one of my bridesmaids) Haley help our with our logo and we couldn’t be more pleased! Be sure to check out Belovely’s website and blog! We’re constantly updating with new ideas for styling events as well as updating our portfolio. Belovely is also on facebook so don’t be a stranger and be our friend!

Belovely actually had a photo shoot this past weekend where we got to work with the lovely Colleen Stepanian to take some promotional shots of Colleen and I. Not only did we take some headshots, but we did a little styling for Belovely as well! Here’s a sneak peek!

Don’t you just love our bee shaped cookie!? We had a blast shooting with Colleen Stepanian (how many Colleen’s can I have in my life!?) and we can’t wait to see the rest of the shots!

Speaking of shots, I should be getting my wedding photos this week as well (a wonderful and beautiful wedding planned by Belovely of course!). I’ll be sure to post more pictures once I get ’em!

Coming up next…..the ‘Man’s Room’ (formally the Man Cave). Not as lovely, but still worth a post! (love you honey hunny!)