Archive for November, 2009

C&B Christmas

November 20, 2009

I made a trip to Crate & Barrel today to purchase a gift for my college roomie’s wedding this weekend…their Christmas stuff is AMAZING! Every time I go in that store I am just blown away by how simple and tasteful their products are. Here are a few things that I am coveting right now:

I am so in love with this felt tree skirt; maybe I’ll make my own rendition of this someday when our living room is big enough for a full-size tree.

I must have been smiling ear to ear when I found these little beauties

I bought one of these tiny beaded pinecone ornaments so that I could copy it and make my own. All I would have to do is spray paint the pinecones silver and then cover them in metallic beads!

These birch votive holders reminded me a lot of the ones we made for our wedding {but ours were way better :) }

 

These aren’t necessarily festive but I just love their verticality.

But I think my favorite find today was this felt garland…so delightful and fun!

 

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Thoughts About Food…

November 19, 2009

For some reason today my thoughts have been circulating around food; where it comes from, how it’s cared for, what’s in it, what am I really getting?

It all started when I was flipping through the channels and found Martha Stewart hosting some of the greats behind Food Inc. including the producer Robert Kenner and Joel Salatin from Polyface Farms. This film brings into light what is really going on behind the scenes in the world of food and it’s quite eye opening. As said in the film, the food industry is striving to grow things “bigger, fatter, faster, cheaper” but it comes at a big cost to consumers; not necessarily in dollars but in our health and our environment. We, as consumers, have the power to demand a change; “when we run an item past the supermarket scanner, we’re voting for local, organic or not.” A lot of times though it’s hard for us to see what the direct benefit is, if I spend 40 cents more per pound on organic bananas vs. non organic, that banana won’t necessarily taste any better; there’s nobody at the check out saying “good for you for buying organic!”

One thing I know is that the harder you have to work for something the more rewarding the results are; doing the right thing is never easy. But every time I think about animals being treated inhumanely, pesticides on our produce and nutrient-poor food it makes me want something more.

I’ll admit it, I sometimes shop at Wal-Mart, I buy processed foods and I occasionally have fast food…nobody is perfect. The key is having the desire to eat better; Mark and I give ourselves a very limited going-out-to-eat budget, we cook a lot at home, I take a lunch to work, we like leftovers and always steal as many fresh vegetables from my dad’s garden as we can. Helping my dad in the garden this past summer was such an amazing experience, we prepared the soil, made compost, planted seeds, watered and fed the plants, experimented with ways to keep the bug population down and enjoyed the fruit of our labor, but most of all we spent some great time together outside. That’s the part of this whole local/organic/gardening/natural movement that I wish everyone could experience; being there from beginning to end and truly appreciating what it takes to nurture and grow something for yourself.

WOW…this post is all over the place. Anyways, that’s what has been on my mind today and I just felt the need to share.

Maybe I’ll build myself a little planter like this one so we can grow some herbs and small vegetables on our balcony.

Our Wedding: The Details

November 12, 2009

There were so many wonderful details surrounding our wedding that I stressed about and spent waaay too much time on so I decided to dedicate an entire post to those tiny details that made our wedding the best day of my life.

{a HUGE thanks to our photographer, Emily, who did an amazing job capturing every facet of our wedding beautifully!}

sign in table

My favorite giant pumpkin of them all {we made sure that it was prominently placed at the front of the ceremony for all to see}.

ceremony pumpkins

Bunches of broomcorn lining the aisle.

aisle broomcorn

Our lovely programs, which I posted about here.

programs

Every time I look at this picture it just makes me so happy; those sunflowers were absolutely breathtaking.

flowers

Our amazing {and delicious} wedding cake! My step-mother in law made the monogram ‘R’ topper and stoned it with crystals to match the sunflowers.

brides cake

Mark’s cake was actually a surprise; he thought that it was going to be two square layers with chocolate covered strawberries {BORING}. So I secretly planned for this apple logo cake and it turned out perfectly, he had no idea!

apple cake

I love these next two photos that Emily took:

The necklace I wore was my grandmother’s which my mother also wore on her wedding day.

my necklace

This is the best shot that we have of the dried boutonnieres; they were made using wheat, broomcorn and hypericum berries.

marks bout

rings

Instead of lighting a unity candle during our ceremony, we poured together two colors of sand. I found the jar at a vintage shop on south Congress and it now adorns our dresser, reminding us everyday that nothing can ever separate us.

sand ceremony

my flowers

In addition to using the firewood as DIY tealight holders, we also used it to hold some place setting cards and signs on a few tables.

reserved

Mark had the awesome idea to set up his iMac in a corner with the photobooth program open so guests could leave us pictures of themselves {serious or not}.

photobooth

Post about the honey favors here.

honey jars

Our guests were encouraged to take home a pumpkin {or two, or five} for their own fall decoration at home; we also gave out recipes that incorporated cooked pumpkin in case anyone wanted to cook them.

free pumpkins

Our Wedding: The Reception

November 11, 2009

reception

Words cannot describe how amazing our reception was…all of our hard work, attention to detail, stress, late nights, money and most of all our love was poured into making those few hours the best of our lives. And it was.

drinks

Our DIY decor created the perfect simple/elegant/personal/country environment; and the best part was that we encouraged our guests to take something with them when the left 1) so they could enjoy a part of our wedding in their home 2) so nothing went to waste 3) so we didn’t have to deal with 125 wooden tea light holders afterwards.

dancing

The dancing was so much fun thanks to the wonderful DJ work of my little brother.

dj ben

And no Aggie wedding would be complete without singing the Aggie War Hymn!

war hymn

Mark and I both decided to go the comfortable route when it came to our shoes…I wanted to enjoy the reception and I did not want to have blisters on our honeymoon.

comfy feet

cake cutting

I’ve missed my A&M architecture friends so much! It was so great to see all of them at the wedding, I knew that they would appreciate my extreme perfectionism. :)

arch friends

We had such an amazing evening and I’m so glad that our guests did as well. Having all of our closest friends and family present was a huge blessing, I am very grateful to know so many wonderful people who love us.

sparklers

Pinecones

November 11, 2009

I LOVE THEM.

Don’t ask me why, but every time I see a pinecone I get a little giddy inside. They are just such beautiful works of nature’s art; I mean seriously…it’s just a bunch of seeds, but how stunningly arranged! I remember always gathering them in my grandparents’ yard and then we would bring them home to use as fire-starters in our wood stove when it was cold.

Now, of course, I’ve turned to more crafty and decorative uses for them. Just last year I drove around Bryan/College Station searching for fallen pinecones to make these Christmas decorations with. Though I hardly ever indulge my obsession {newlywed, saving for a house, recession}, my love for pinecones continues to grow…especially with the Fall season in full swing.

I happened upon this gorgeous pinecone pendant necklace on Etsy, which {since I bookmarked it} has sold out…darn.

il_430xN.95156061

And these lovely LED sugared pinecone lights from Target…

Screen shot 2009-11-10 at 9.22.19 AM

Now for my all-time favorite pinecone find…I have fallen in love with this pinecone-shaped soap dispenser, also from Target. Every time I go there now I just have to walk by it and pick it up one more time. I know that I’m just going to put off buying it until I have some spare money and the moment I decide to go get it, there will be none left…such is life.

pinecone

Here’s a few more photos of pinecone-inspired decor that I’ve been drooling over for the past couple of hours:

{from Country Living}

Pinecone-Tree-Decoration-GTL1206-de

Wish I could have some of these huge ones to decorate with!

Pinecone-Decorations-Fireplace-GTL1206-de

Easy-peasy DIY pinecone ornaments!

Pinecone-Handmade-Holiday-Ornament-GTL1206-de

Lesson Learned

November 3, 2009

Lately I’ve been becoming more and more restless with my current job; I am not being challenged, my skills are under-appreciated {heck, unknown} and my four years of college education aren’t being utilized. It’s time for a change, a change for the better, a step up in life, a job that I love.

My problem is that despite my wonderful recommendations from former employers and classmates I’m not 100% confident in myself, nor am I overly proactive. I’ve been so blessed in my life to have so many wonderful opportunities seemingly fall at my feet that now, when the pickings are sparse, I am at a loss for knowing the next step.

Then my dad introduced to me this excerpt from Luke 18:

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.”

These verses have welled up in me a motivation to strive for what I deserve, for something out of my reach. God is teaching me a great lesson through this difficult situation; He is teaching me not to settle for anything less than what He has designed me to do. I thought that I could get away with working just for the money, but now I know what is missing: passion. I was made to create, to be a perfectionist and to work hard; nothing less than that will ever fill my life with satisfaction.

Time to learn to be like the persistent widow.