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.

Meet Our New Puppy!

Meet our new little girl, Teak!

 

We adopted her last week, in one of the fastest and unexpected adoptions ever.

The Story: Ryan and I had been talking for a while now about wanting to get a puppy, and somehow our plans went from “after we’re married” to “maybe for Christmas”. So on Friday night, the 25th of November, I sat at home a little bored and whipped out my lap top to do some casual puppy searching on Petfinder.com. Low and behold I found a litter of 3 girl puppies that were coming up in mid December from South Carolina. They were a lab mix (dropped off in a cardboard box, so there’s no knowing what they’re actually mixed with) and oh-so-adorable. I showed them to Ry (he said they were cute, but that he wanted a boy puppy) which I accepted as an “ok” to fill out an application to the rescue. I figured even if we didn’t get one of these puppies that it would be good for them to have our application on file for any future puppies we might inquire about.

That very next morning at 10 am I received a call from the rescue (Home at Last) telling us that the puppies were actually coming in tomorrow (that Sunday) and asking if we wanted to meet them. That was an easy question – obviously!!! I was jumping up and down so excited! Long story short, we met her, fell in love and prayed they would pick us. Yes, there were about 20 people interested in each puppy, so after they filtered the applications they picked about 10 total people to come meet them so they could see who they thought would be the best fit for the pup. We went the extra mile and brought our 9 year old golden, Cedar with us to see if the two got along. Thankfully, they called us Sunday night and told us we could have her! Eek!

So last Wednesday, November 30th, we got our new baby. Her name? Well my very first golden was named Aspen, and then we got Cedar (when Aspen was 9). So we decided to stay with the nature inspired names and thus named her Teak.

Needless to say I spent this past weekend doing nothing but photographing all her cuteness. See more photos of her on my photo blog HERE. (God help me when we have kids, the amount of photos I take is slightly ridiculous)

She’s so adorable, so well-tempered and training is going very well! Cedar is liking her too, and is loving the extra attention and walks! Love my new little lovebug!

 

This One’s For The Kid

 

I know that I’ve taken a little hiatus from blogging…my bad. But know that I have been thinking of it often and fondly. The reason for my mini break? Well, first off in early August I was laid off my job. Boo. So while I was chopping my hair, and building tables I was simultaneously on the job hunt. Good news readers, I finally landed a full time position! (not too many opportunities for Interior Designers these days – so I feel quite lucky).

I’m now working as an Interior Designer and Architectural Draftsperson at a firm that I actually happened to intern at more than 4 years ago! The biggest perk: it’s literally 3 blocks from my house. SCORE! Picture me walking (which is one of my all time favorite things to do – call me weird – whatever!) up three blocks to work, home for lunch and time with the Ceed Cedarski and then back home again.  This not only cuts down on gas or time wasted driving to work, but I get exercise to boot! I said it before, I’ll say it again: SCORE!

Another reason I had to take a little break from blogging was because (spoiler alert – this might get a little too personal for ya) I have actually spent the past two weeks recovering from 2 horrific spider bites. Spider bites. Yea, I said it. Horrific.
Let’s just say it consisted of:

  • a doctors trip
  • 3 emergency room trips
  • spider bites turned staph infections
  • a swollen “pregnant lady” foot
  • having to lay on the sofa for 3 straight days with my leg elevated (this included one insanely uncomfortable night – side note: no idea how some of our guests prefer to sleep on my sofa than the guest room bed)
  • 2 antibiotics (one of which I have to take in the middle of the night and the instructions read ‘Do not lie down for at least 10 minutes after taking this medication’. Has anyone ever had this on a medication before? So bizarre!? Not to mention, I haven’t had a solid, uninterrupted nights sleep in over a week.)
  • Loss of appetite and nausea.
…You get the picture. BUT luckily that’s not what this post is all about. Instead it’s about one of the most pure joys in my life: my little sister. Yes, 19 years ago today my parents had a late in life surprise enter our world and they named her Alexis Marie. We call her Allie   …or skootchems, or baby, or kid, or ms. mcgillicuddy (just to get under her skin!).
I’ll be sharing more of her birthday festivities that are coming up this weekend (especially because they include a lot of hand made details, crafts, and a birthday pet shop party designed by my company Belovely!) But for now, I just like celebrating her and her hugs. And when she says things like “Lauren, we’re twins – I tell people it’s o.k. though because you’re taller so people can tell us apart”

Happy 6th Birthday Allie!  I love you the more than the most!

 

 

 

“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!

 

 

An Upgrade FOR The TV

As soon as we bought our house, I’m sure you know exactly what was on Ryan’s purchasing mind: yup, a big ole TV. So TV we got. And a much bigger one that I think our room calls for, but a big TV’d fiance husband, is a happy one.

Now, once we got the TV we didn’t quite have a stand for it. I’m slightly ashamed to say that it sat on milk crates for a few months little bit before we got around to getting our “official” temporary solution. Enter Walmart. Just one walk-through of the furniture department we spotted a nice black tv stand for $50 and we couldn’t pass up the cheap-o buy. Anything beat the milk crates.

Not a bad stand, and we liked the more transitional and sleek look. But here in lies the problems:   1) it was Walmart  AND  2) it couldn’t handle the weight of our TV

Just check out that bow! (not to mention the mess of movies and video games) But the weight of the TV warped the top of the TV cabinet which then caused the doors to not work properly since everything was stretched and moved and the pins just didn’t sit right to operate as intended.

The back even started to bow, and don’t even get me started on our wire mess! But that’s what we’ve been living with. Not horrible, but not great. Just a stand.

Anyway, long story short….we got married (haha) and luckily I had smartly registered for a TV stand from Target. My parents have a TV stand from Target, and they’ve had it for years and it’s still in good shape (and no warping!) so I knew that registering for one would definitely be an upgrade from our current situation. Didn’t really expect to receive any furniture – but surprisingly and thankfully we did!

I know right? Who cares about the awesome looking TV stand!? Who is that adorably handsome puppy!??

And because he snuck into the ‘after’ photos, I’ll take this time to introduce him. Well, his name is Cedar, and he’s 9 years old. He was initially my brother’s dog (back when my brother was 12 (now 21)), then was my parents / the family dog and now he lives with Ryan and I. My mother unfortunately has lyme disease (if anyone hasn’t watched it – please watch Under Our Skin and learn more about this insane, horrible, and sneaky disease – Love you Mom – the movie is a ‘watch instantly’ film on Netflix and I highly encourage watching it). Anyway, my parents have a wooded area behind them and after finding numerous ticks on Cedar earlier this spring my Mom just couldn’t have him bringing them into the house anymore. So, lucky for us he’s here living at the Traub Mansion! (no woods in our backyard).

At first he wasn’t too keen on the transition, but we go on daily morning walks which he loves, and I knew as soon as he started stealing (he likes to take items such as pjs, shoes, dish towels, socks…anything really – and carry them around the house) again I knew that he was feeling at home.

Since my hair cut debacle post (if you haven’t read it see the post here) I haven’t been able to decide on a style as of yet (you all had split votes, and Ryan doesn’t seem to have much of an opinion either! Argh! Decisions!) but I felt like soooomeone needed to get a hair cut and so Cedar got his last buzz touch up before the summer ends.

Fresh cut! Handsome pup!

Just look at that face! He loves all the attention and we love how soft he feels. Plus, the cut helps minimize the shedding  …Score! Even though he’s 9, he certainly acts like a puppy still and has so much energy, but with the biggest and kindest heart (man I love goldens!) and now with his new hair cut he looks as youthful as he acts!

Love me some Cedar Cedarski.

 

 

A Birthday Fix

I apologize for not posting in a while, but there’s a pretty good reason for it! This past Saturday (the 30th) I turned 25. Woop! Woop! Quarter Century. And it doesn’t feel even a tad bit different.

So, knowing that Ryan might have a hard time figuring out what to get me (I’m not really an Ooo! I want/gotta have/need that kinda girl) so as soon as I saw that one of my most admired stores (that I so happen to pass every day on my way to work) was having a 40% off moving sale, I instantly picked out my present.

Here’s a hint:

What?! You have no idea what that is???? Ha! Just you wait…

But first let me show you where it’s going. And here is the big spoiler alert cause you get a glimpse of real-time and see a small portion of what our living room looks like now.

See, we have this corner of the room where I have placed my keyboard (I played piano growing up) where the wall just needs some help. The thermostat (which needs to be replaced with a programmable and digital version) and a random outlet are floating about (if only I knew a good electrician to move that outlet for me…..)

Strange and bland. I just had to figure out some way to make it work. Now on the other side of the large opening to the dining room we have some homemade art Ry and I put together. Basically we got small strips of wood from Michaels, and some clips, super glued the clips on and used them to hold cd album art.
We’re BIG on music (even incorporated a lot into our wedding, details soon to come) and album art is just so beautiful. So we found a way to display our favorites and embrace the cd era (seeing as so much of our library is digital these days).

Yes, I realize that this is an even BIGGER spoiler seeing as I also just showed you our painted dining room and floating shelves. Oh well.

But in my defense, I had to show the whole span of the wall to show how unbalanced it felt. Enter my birthday present:

OH YEAAAAAA!!! That amazing orange deer head and all of its awesome glory is all mine courtesy of Roots Inc. in Chestnut Hill. I’ve decided not to disclose how much I spent on said deer head, but know that I got an amazing deal at 40% off. The shop has never had a sale before and I’ve seen these heads through the window while I drive by for almost 2 years now. I had to have one. Once I saw the ‘40% Off – Moving Sale’ I nearly crashed.
Unfortunately by the time I was able to go to the store most of the heads were gone and what you see above is all they had left. Granted I wanted a bright and crazy color (why else get an animal head if it’s not going to be a crazy color) but I thought that I could still spray paint one of the smaller heads a color if I wanted their shape instead.

I should disclose that these animal heads are handmade from paper by a company in Haiti. (love that!)

Well I’m an extremely indecisive person, and I had to snap the picture above and send it to Ryan to have him pick. When I went in I totally thought I’d walk out with the goat, but Ryan picked the orange deer. His theory: go big or go home. Touche.

And that leads us back to my wall…

Bwahaha, I just LOVE HIM! (still haven’t given him a name yet). ’25th Birthday Savor’ – is that too long of a name? …I’ll work on it.

So we had our main piece. But I wasn’t done. I had to fill in those spots…

Enter framed art:

And that is how it stands as of today. The art that I added all had to be personal and ‘us’ of course:

A painting I did back in college (inspired by one of my favorite songs: Absinthe Party at the Fly Honey Warehouse by Minus the Bear)

A Polaroid of Ryan and I’s rings taken on our honeymoon in Jamaica.

And a cross stitch my grandmother made for Ryan and I for our wedding. (I bawled when I opened this at my shower, so insanely special to me)

And last but not least a frame dedicated to my love affair with Ikea. Ok, I joke…still need to figure out what to put in this frame. But the grey Ikea filler doesn’t bother me for the time being (mostly because it’s a reminder that I need to put something in there)

You might hate it. That’s ok with me. My mom actually was sure to tell me she’s not a fan. I wasn’t offended. I guess I just knew while purchasing ‘My-Deer’ (still working on it…) that there were going to be more than a few non-fans. I was just thrilled that Ryan was on board, and loved the outcome. (go team Traub!)

So that was my half-century birthday present to myself. A deer. I spent Friday putting up the deer and getting the house organized for our festivities for the rest of the weekend. Friday night we had friends over for some birthday fun, where I received possibly one of the greatest gifts of the weekend. Upon entering my home, my girlfriend, Natalie, who is the younger sister of Love Home & Style instantly asked to see our bathroom (she had previously only seen the downstairs of our house). Natalie said that she had read my Bathroom Update post and she was dying to see it in person. First of all, this made me feel so happy to know someone was reading my posts and enjoying it (birthday feel good moment). Secondly, I should mention that she also said after standing in the bathroom – and I quote – “I love the floor” (did I not say that everyone loves the floor???)

Saturday (my actual birthday) I met my girlfriend (and writer of Love Home & Style) Colleen at Chipotle for lunch and then we went shopping. Our shopping consisted of not only mall shopping for an upcoming photo shoot, but thrift shopping as well. And as two recent brides, we couldn’t help but check out the wedding dress section. Check out this baby. …I’m pretty sure this might be the most hilarious dress I’ve ever seen.


Check out that detail. The beading? Haha…Not quite. We should have tried it on…

We then had a wonderful backyard cookout at the Traub Mansion complete with both of our families, friends, and neighbors. Ry and our parents didn’t let me help a bit while they cooked up an amazing meal which allowed me to spend time playing a few games of cornhole and chatting with everyone.
Seriously, Saturday night was exactly what I dreamed would take place at our home when Ryan and I first purchased it. Greatest gift ever was spending time with the people I care about.

Ryan also gifted me an external hard drive (a LaCie!) so I can continue to use my Mac without it frying from too much content along with beautiful flowers and my first ever ‘Wife’ Birthday Card! (yippie!)

I also got the most original gift ever from my almost 6-year-old younger sister Allie. She LOVES cheese balls and she was so kind to think to get me some for my birthday.

Ryan and my brother Doug dove right into these at the end of the night! Allie also painted some rocks with my mom for us to use as napkin weights. Love what they decided to paint for us!

Just perfect! I love my birthday gifts Allie!
All in all, between my deer head, cookout and parties and my awesome birthday gifts – I couldn’t have made out better and started off my next year of life with a better bang! Thanks everyone for making me feel so special!

Roux’s My Niece

If you remember back during my Traub Mansion Settlement Walk – Through I gushed about our new niece that our friends Colleen and Jeff picked up this past weekend. So as soon as they brought her home on Saturday we had to run over to meet her! They named her Giroux – after the French hockey player, as she is a French Bulldog. However, seeing as she’s not a male ice hockey player – Colleen decided to nickname her Roux (pronounced like Roo). She debated naming her Mouse (as you may have seen in her post here, or Pinot – which would have been as equally cute.

But seeing as we’ve known Colleen was planning on getting a French Bulldog for well over a year (if not years) we’ve been referring to the dog as Giroux for quite some time now.  Both our husbands are HUGE Flyers fans so they swore they were calling the dog Giroux even if Colleen did end up naming her something else. And even though she’s a girl, it still stuck. So Roux it is.

And as promised, I immediately shoved a camera in her face, although in this case it was my new iphone (happy early birthday to me!) so I also was playing around with all my new camera apps. She is adorable! Check her out!

Colleen is such a proud mommy! And I must say, they look good together. I love when pets match their owners, and this one certainly does. Adorable and loving (Roux gave us all hundreds of kisses – don’t that literally – Colleen does not run around the room kissing everyone) and so full of personality.

And that’s Roux with her big sister Kieta. Big sis is transitioning well from what I’ve seen so far. Though I’ll have to ask Colleen how that’s been going…

Hopefully Colleen and I can schedule some time while Roux is still a puppy to do a proper photoshoot. Just cause we can!

Doesn’t everyone take millions of pictures of puppies!? xoxo