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!

 

 

 

Eleven And A Half Inches

One last goodbye….

SNIP! SNIP!

Creepy that I made the exact same smile huh?
Well 11.5 inches later and I’ve left the salon with a bob. Maybe not the popular vote as far as hair cuts go, but my stylist talked me into baby steps. I mean, if I decide I want to go pixie, I can always go pixie. But for now I get to live with this cut for a while. I’ll also say that I haven’t colored my hair (yet?) and am as baffled as probably all of you are that it’s looking as red as it is. Let’s take a look at the damage shall we?

All I’ve got to do is send it in! Sorry for the foil (it’s all the salon had to pack it up for me) and when I first looked at this picture (in small thumbnail form) I thought it was a hot dog. haha. Anyway – wow can you believe my hair was that long!? And I didn’t even donate the front portions of my hair! There were initially 4 ponytails so the front 2 you see in the photo above I didn’t even donate. Gosh I have thick hair.

Good deed officially done. And it feels great (and a hell of a lot lighter!)

I’ll go on record saying that I’m actually for once looking forward to brushing my hair post shower now. (used to be the worst part of my every day) Woo!
Oh, and I’ll be sure to update you all if I decide to color my hair or cut it even more…hope you all like this phase though!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saying Goodbye For Love

Locks of love that is! That’s right, I’ve finally made my appointment. So I’m enjoying this last weekend of long hair. Man, I’m already missing it and it’s not even gone yet. Here’s one last look of my locks…

 

Yea, Cedar is giving me some love and support. And YES I am extremely nervous. Not that kind of nervous where I’m nervous cause I don’t really want to be doing this….but more of the nervous of ‘I’m chopping off my hair, and I still have no idea what kind of cut I’m going to get!’ If you didn’t read about my initial hair style dilemma, which was posted exactly a month ago (wow has it been that long!?)  read more about it here.

So this is your last chance to get in your vote for a new cut and style for me. I’ll note that it doesn’t have to be one of the two that I chose in that previous post – anything you submit I’d be happy to consider! Cause come 2 o’clock Monday afternoon I’ll look completely different. Wish me luck! (and if you see me, please do me a favor and remind me that it’s only hair and that it does grow back!)

 

Happy weekend!

 

 

“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!