Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins

One of my most favorite fall treats is these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins I discovered last year via Darby (the photo above is hers!). They're not particularly impressive in the culinary department, but they are delicious and incredibly easy to make. Ready for the recipe? One Betty Crocker chocolate chip muffin pouch + 1/4 cup of pure pumpkin puree (I like Libby's) + 1/2 cup of water - 4 Tbs. of water + a healthy dash of cinnamon. Mix together and bake in a 400 degree oven! (I do 12 minutes for the mini muffin size!)

See Darby's original post here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Steve Madden flats

These two lovely pairs of shoes have been on my wishlist for months. I do already have a pair of leopard-print flats, and though they're my favorites, they're pretty tired (probably because they're my favorites...). On the other hand, I don't have any light neutral flats, and I think these would be a good addition to the wardrobe. But what do you think -- is it silly to buy two pairs of the same style of shoes, even if they're in different colors/patterns? Which one would you go for?

Leopards $89.95 // Natural $55.45

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Ryan Benyi

via Tangorra Wedding Planning

Michele M. Waite

Gia Canali

Julie Roberts via Southern Weddings

Jenna Walker Photography


via Coastal Living

One of my very favorite things -- perhaps my actual no. 1 favorite thing -- about outdoor evening weddings is the lighting possibilities. From votives, to hurricanes, to lanterns and string lights, there's just something so warm, inviting, and celebratory about light shining out of the darkness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Wedding planning update: 10+ months to go

Wedding planning took a bit of a backseat this month (especially compared to last month!), but I still feel productive because of what we did get accomplished.

Breathtaking photo by Anna Kuperberg

-- We finally signed a contract and put down a deposit with our recalcitrant venue
-- We chose a caterer and signed a contract with them (SO excited about our pick!!)
-- We inquired with ceremony musicians
-- We received a proposal for a custom lounge grouping
-- We chose save the dates (thanks to your help!)
-- I'm really starting to flesh out what I would like our invitations to look like
-- Completed some hotel block research, thanks to my Momma
-- I've been working hard on our wedding website, which I'm crafting from a Blogger template (can't wait to share this sucker, plus a full tutorial!)

November promises to be a full month, with likely decisions on a wedding gown, bridesmaid dresses, a band, and ceremony musicians!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hostess gift idea!

As some of you may remember, John and I traveled home for an engagement party back in September. We were lucky enough to have five hostesses for our party -- my three best friends from childhood, and two of their three moms. We were so grateful to them for throwing us a wonderful party, and I really wanted to do something for them as a thank you.

However, buying "good" gifts for five hostesses was looking a little challenging to my budget. I also was hoping to get them all something similar, despite the 20+ year difference in age between moms and daughters :) I'm pretty happy with the solution I came up with, and thought some of you might be able to use it for future hostess gifts, too!

Basically, I went wild on Shop Sweet Lulu. SSL is an amazing source for pretty party supplies, and I happily indulged my love for colorful goods by packing an assortment of chevron bags, tiny pastel candles, cupcake wrappers, nut cups, and fringy garlands into my shopping cart. It was so exciting to finally have a legitimate reason to do so! :)

Once my box arrived...

I split everything up evenly between the five hostesses and added in a few goodies I already had in my supplies (including striped paper straws, of course!). I loved that I could include a large sample of pretties for each person, which would have been cost-prohibitive if I had been shopping for just one gift. Being able to mix and match made it possible to design a custom mix for each gal!

I packed each gal's goods into one of my favorite metallic + kraft bags, and added a matching handmade tag marked "for your next party." :)

They seemed to be a hit!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Minted save the date options

Happy Wednesday! Recently, we've started to think seriously about save the dates. One thing we've been debating is the best time to send them out. I don't want them to get lost in the Christmas letter shuffle, but November seems too early -- that would be ten months out -- and January seems too late -- eight months out. Thoughts? When is too early (or late) to send save the dates, in your opinion?

One thing I have decided is where our save the dates will come from: Minted! As you all know, I love Minted. (I've previously posted about them here, here, and here!) I love that their products all come from independent designers, I love the quality and price combination, and I love that they are very open to customization.

Some of you might be surprised that I'm not making our save the dates myself (especially considering I designed a set for my sister), but I've decided to take the easy route this time and save my energy and creative ideas for the invite suite :) Plus, I honestly do love Minted, and I'm happy to have the opportunity to use some of their pieces!

Now, which design to send? There are a few we're considering, and I'd love your input.

A. "Fireflies" save the date ($209 for 100)
This is such a sweet design, but I think it might not be formal enough for the celebration we're planning.

B. "Charming Go Lightly" save the dates ($190 for 100)
Simple, classic, and beautiful. Plus, I love that this one is designed by Cheree Berry, one of my very favorite stationers!

C. "Midnight Vineyard" save the dates ($190 for 100)
Simple and striking. I think this design fits well with the style of our wedding.

D. "Fling" save the dates ($163 for 100)
Lighthearted and lovely. This one reads a little more "spring" than "late summer" to me, though.

E. "Winter Flourish" save the dates ($190 for 100)
Love the swooshy font! That blue is a gorgeous shade, too.

What do you think, ladies? Share your pick below, por favor!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rainbow bookshelf

We made the long trip to Ikea this weekend, and came back with a bookshelf! And why yes, I did color coordinate our books, inspired by my future sister in law :) Between our new sofa, my side chair project, and the shelf, this room is finally starting to come together -- can't wait to share!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ringing the bell

Something I've always wanted to do, for as long as I've known I wanted to get married in a church, is ring the steeple bell at the end of the ceremony.

Photo by Samm Blake via Style Me Pretty

I think pealing church bells are one of the most beautiful, celebratory sounds in the world, and I always smile when I hear them in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, because it probably means a wedding is taking place nearby!

Photo by The Nichols via Style Me Pretty

Though I'd be happy to have the sound of bells at all, I think it would be extra fun to be able to ring it ourselves. Pulling the rope to ring the bell was one of my absolute favorite things to do as a child, both at church on Sunday mornings and on vacation in Maine for the Sunday evening service.

Photos by Bryan Johnson

Plus, it makes for some pretty cute photos :)

P.S. Though I know our chapel has a bell, I have not yet looked into the logistics of personally ringing it :) I am pretty sure that the bell is rung for weddings, however, so there's a start!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Makeup bags

I have a medium-sized makeup bag that I love and use for transporting larger toiletries (shampoo, toothpaste, etc.), but I'm in the market for a smaller pouch for toting makeup. Here are a few I have my eye on... maybe I'll add one to my Christmas list?

A. Kate Spade ($60), B. Baggu (3 for $12), C. Kate Spade ($75), D. Fossil (3 for $35), E. Vera Bradley ($22)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Donuts at weddings

Have y'all noticed that donuts seem to be everywhere at weddings these days? Part of me is happy about this (because I love donuts) and part of me is sad (because now if I include them in our wedding, maybe I'll feel like I'm just jumping on the bandwagon). Either way, I thought I'd share some of my favorite donut wedding inspiration for you this fine morning :)

Credits from top: Pink and white donuts from Country Living, flavored donuts via 100 Layer Cake (photos by Max Wanger), donuts with custom coffee cup wraps via Style Me Pretty (photo by Harwell Photography), pink and white striped donuts by Whisk Kid, mini beignets and coffee by Frilly Milly Events (photo by Lauren Blair), donut croquembouche, homestyle donuts via 100 Layer Cake (photo by Kate Harrison), pink donut centerpiece from Martha Stewart Weddings, next three photos by Greg Blomberg (via 100 Layer Cake), custom donut hole bags via Martha Stewart Weddings (photo by Sara Remington), sparkler donut hole spears by Mrs. Lillien, ricotta donuts from Gale Gand, mini donuts and coffee from Martha Stewart Weddings, custom paper bag donuts by Simplesong (photo by Kate Headley, via Ritzy Bee), next two photos of donut bar from A Beautiful Mess, next three photos by Yan Photography (via Style Me Pretty), next two photos of coconut donuts by Cannelle et Vanille, espresso glazed donuts from Martha Stewart Weddings