Thursday, June 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Wedding Flowers

Hey there! 

Happy #tbt to you! It's almost the weekend! Weeeeee!!!!

As you know, I took a fairly long blogging break. So, I didn't get to share a lot of fun and exciting things with you guys. I'm talking our wedding, trips, buying a house, etc. 

My plan is to recap some of the highlights #tbt style.

It is raining AGAIN in Chicago, so why don't we brighten it up with some flower pictures today? 

If you aren't planning a wedding, maybe you can use these pictures as inspiration for a shower or party you are planning, or to help create pretty bouquets to brighten up your space! 

Flowers... :) I have a confession to make. Another thought when I was little was how AMAZING would it be to own a flower shop? I know what you're is this going to work with my terrible skills at keeping plants alive?? 

I hadn't really thought that far. I just loved the HEAVENLY smell of walking into a flower shop. 

Flowers were going to be big for me when it came to our wedding. I set aside a big chunk of our budget for the flowers. I thought for sure I would be covered, especially since we were opting to forgo the lavish downtown Chicago wedding for a more reasonable event back in Indiana. 

My florist was the sweetest little lady named Polly. She is everything like she sounds. Sugary sweet, tiny, with a sort of high pitched voice, and you just want to put her in your pocket! :) 

Polly owns Poppies Florist back in the South Bend/Mishawaka/Granger Indiana area. I had seen her work all around town when I was shopping for venues, and I knew I had to have her! 

So, I met Polly on a sunny Saturday at Starbucks with my HUGE wedding binder. She asked me to walk her through my vision. I wanted crisp whites with hints of green, a little rustic glam, and tons of mason jars. Love me some mason jars.  

Here are the pictures I pinned on Pinterest to show Polly:

Can you guess what sweet little Polly said to me?? 

"Increase your budget!"

I couldn't believe I had to put more money aside for the flowers! We shifted things around and it worked. 

The other thing was having to be realistic about what flowers were going to be available for September. For example, peonies...out for the Fall. 

The flowers we had in our wedding included a mixture of: vendela roses, white nerine lilies, white freesia, green mini hydrangea, green cymbidian orchids, ivory spray roses, green dendrobian orchids (boutonnieres and corsages), white hydrangea, fresh mint, white roses, white tulips, and white lisianthus.  That list is from my invoice, so I think I covered it all! 
Here are the pictures from our wedding! :) All photography by the amazing Just Love Me Photography + Design

mason jars hanging from shepard's hooks at ceremony

floral on gazebo

bridesmaid bouquets 


my bouquet (locket was my grandmother's)

groom's boutonniere 

little bouquets on hightop tables for cocktail hour

escort table

three different arrangements on tables in reception hall

toss bouquet

cake topper

I absolutely LOVED how everything turned out. Worth every penny. 

What do you think? Do you like the Throwback Thursday idea?? 

Have a happy Thursday, everyone! 



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What I Bought Wednesday

Hey there - happy hump day!

How is your week going?? I'm hoping that even if it's not been the best week so far, there have been moments of good thrown in. Seriously, if you are having a crappy week, think back to the last couple of days and pull a positive thought or moment out of each day.

My positive moment on Monday was a few hours spent watching my trashy reality TV (RHOC & Bachelorette!). My positive moment yesterday was some extra shopping time gifted as a result of a cancelled deposition that left me stranded in the suburbs with nothing else to do!

So, since I finally got the shopping done that I have been talking about for ages, I am going to do a "What I Bought Wednesday" post for you, vacation style.

I have mentioned on here that I have a trip to Costa Rica coming up. I feel like this is a particularly hard trip to pack for. What I need is a lot of active wear, things that can get wet and dry quickly, and easy breezy outfits for dinners at night.

First Stop: Lululemon

I bought the above top in the "Heathered Pistachio" color (shown) and you need to know that the color is so much better in person. It actually has some hints of blue mixed in (it's not a completely solid green like it looks), which makes it more unique. I would size up in this shirt so it is not skin tight on your midsection and in the arms.

Super boring, I know, but it's my favorite lulu tank and I didn't have it in black yet. I was told they were discontinuing this tank months ago. It's still there and coming out in new colors. So, I think we have put that rumor to bed. This fits true to size.

I am super picky about shorts. I hate wearing shorts that ride up and I also feel like all shorts are super short right now. I loved these shorts because you get extra room in the legs and they are a good length. I tried on SEVERAL different styles at the store and these were my favorite. I went a size up in these shorts (Ace Spot Lullaby Black) which may have helped with the more comfortable fit.

I got this top for cooler mornings and nights. This top fits true to size.

Second Stop: Express

I was so happy with my outfit find at Express. I can't wait to wear this outfit out to dinner on a hot night in Costa Rica!

I bought this top in Black...

To wear with these shorts...

I swear the shorts do not look as diaper-ish in person. The model has them up super high. They actually hit right below the belly button on me and they are so soft. Like buttah! :) Only $29.90 right now. I bought both the top and the shorts in a Medium.

Third Stop: Nordstrom

I needed a different kind of bra to go under a dress I just got for a wedding and this one was perfect. I actually think I will wear it under that Trapeze tank from Express too. It is not as substantial as it looks in the above picture (I think she just has the straps hiked up super high). It is so comfortable, you barely notice you have it on. At $18.00 I was sold. 

So I almost bought this romper and now I am kicking myself that I didn't get it! How CUTE is it? Do I need to run back and get it?!?!? Gahhhhh!! I was a little doubtful because the you can't really wear a bra easily with it, but it does have those built in cups. I felt that it ran super small if you are interesting in picking one up! 

So, those were my finds! What is your favorite?! Mine is probably the Express outfit because it is something so different for me and I cannot wait to wear it on vacation! 

Until next time!



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Show & Tell Tuesdays: Our Yard

Good morning, friends and happy Tuesday to you!

So, the Blackhawks have one the Stanley Cup again! Woo hoo! I think I'm most excited that now they can stop playing that "Lord Stanley" song on my favorite radio station. If you don't know what I'm talking about, they took that Drinking Class song and re-wrote the words ("Chicago wants our Stanley back"). I couldn't take it.

On to the regularly scheduled, I am liking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesdays.

We LOVE our yard and outdoor space!

This is our first home together. Previously, we had been in apartments. One apartment had a shared patio (no green space) and the other just had a little balcony. Needless to say we were ready for some grass and flowers and a deck!

I cannot take ANY credit for our yard or outdoor space. We live on a double-lot, so there is a lot of green space that needs tending. Justin does all of the mowing, trimming, cleaning, and watering outside. My mom comes in a couple of times and helps us with the immense amount of weeding that needs to be done.

Here's the thing...the people who lived here before us took great pride in their flower beds. I believe the wife was a Master Gardener (that is a thing). Unfortunately, I do not have a green thumb. I am not just being humble, I literally am a failure at keeping anything green or with flowers alive. I get all excited and make up planters and I swear I try to water those things, but they all bite the dust pretty quickly.

I'm working on it.

As far as the weeding goes...I don't think I'm ever going to get there. I am just not the kind of person who is okay with having dirt under my fingernails. A little bit...OK...but the amount of dirt that I am cleaning out of my fingernails the week after working in the thank you! I know, this is a prissy moment for me, but at least I am owning it! I get super hot weeding, itchy, all scratched up and the BUGS...don't get me started!

So, thank GOD for my husband and my mother. Bless you both.

We have made some changes to the outdoor space that I will kind of walk you through and tell you a little bit about where we are headed.

When we moved in, it was May. All of the outdoor doors on our house were painted a muted, maroon color.

We got a wild hair and decided to paint all of them BRIGHT red. This project was actually SUPER easy. I used THIS tutorial from Young House Love. We had all of the doors (front, side, and garage) done in one weekend. 

Here you can see our fresh, red door during the Fall. 

And here you can see how the front of the house looks today. I love the pop of color.

Last year, I bought a wreath from Pink Door Wreaths on Etsy. It hangs up pretty much year-round, until our Christmas wreath comes out.

Here's the issue with the front of the house that I would like to tackle. I have tried all sorts of planters up on the front path/steps, and nothing with flowers will survive! 

We actually use to have a GIGANTIC pine tree to the right of the house that was blocking a ton of light from the front. We took that out last year, but it is still pretty dark up there. 

Right in the middle of that grass you see used to stand the huge pine tree. It was way taller than our house and blocked our view getting out of the driveway, so it had to go. Justin did an amazing job re-planting grass and now it's like you would never know it was there!

I want to rip out the bushes at the front of our house and start fresh with some new landscaping up front, but I haven't quite figured out what will be low maintenance and survive the shade. Any tips?

Moving on to the deck. These will serve as your before pictures, because we are currently having the deck stripped, repaired, and repainted. That is, if the rain will ever stop for long enough for our guy to get the work done!

Justin started this project shortly aver we moved in, but when we got a great quote to finish it off, we decided to outsource the work.

Once we are all done, I would love to get some new outdoor furniture.

Can you see that huge vine hanging up on the side of the deck?

That is one of my favorite things about the deck...our Trumpet Vine. At the end of the summer, we get the prettiest blooms that attract hummingbirds.

Moving over to the side of the back yard, we had a MESS of a flower bed that was overgrown with weeds. I am sure the previous owners had that area totally under control, but we have jobs and do not have that kind of time to put into this stuff.

Last year, we pulled up the back part of this bed and transplanted the good stuff to other spots in the yard. Justin planted grass seed, which took really well. This year, he pulled up the remainder of the bed and put down more seed.

Here is how this space looks now (view from the deck).

So much better!

Finally, the most unique part of our outdoor space...our shed!

We have been told that this shed used to be a chicken coop that was gifted to the owners of our house decades and decades ago by a fellow neighboor. It is equipped with electrical inside and even a phone jack! Right now, we use it as extra storage space for yard tools and such.

What cracks me up about this shed is that at first, there was a lot of debate about whether we should remove it (I was strongly against that!). Now, everyone that comes over has a strong opinion about whether it should be stripped and re-painted.

With that said, we have no plans to change the shed. It is rustic and we love it.

So, that's our yard! It's one of our favorite things about our house. There is nothing better than sitting out on our deck on a Friday night after a long week, having a glass of wine and some apps, listening to the buzz of all of the neighborhood kids running back and forth through the yards to each others' houses. Suburban life at its finest.

Have a great day, everyone!



Friday, June 12, 2015

Friday I'm in Love

Good Morning!!

It may be raining outside here today, but...

...because it's FREAKY FRIDAY!! :) We made it!

I'm linking up today with Mary BethKendraMishaAmanda, and Laura for "Friday I'm in Love."

Grab a cup of coffee, and read through some of my favorites from this week!

1. New Frappuccino Flavors - Mini Sized

Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably heard that Starbucks released 6 new Frappuccino flavors on Monday. The goods are: Carmel Cocoa Cluster, Cinnamon Roll, Cotton Candy, Cupcake, Lemon Bar, and Red Velvet Cake. Starbucks is doing a "Flav-Off" where they want people to vote on their favorite, which I guess will be offered a discount (a whopping $3.00 for Grande) at the beginning of July.

Admittedly, I'm not a huge Frappuccino customer on the regular. Let's be clear - this is a MILKSHAKE, not a coffee drink. If I wanted a milkshake, I would go to Steak & Shake. However, what did intrigue me is that they are offering MINI SIZED Frappuccino's right now. Mini size anything and sign me up!

I glanced at the mini-sized nutrition facts and it looked to me like you are investing in up to 250 calories for the treat. Don't quote me. Google it if you are really concerned :)

So, to treat myself after work one day this week I stopped at Starbucks and ordered the Cupcake Frappuccino in a "mini." What was almost better than the drink itself was how excited the Baristas were to make it. I guess they hadn't made the Cupcake yet, so they made a "tall" and then took the extra for themselves to try (#perks).

The Cupcake is just the original Vanilla Bean with Hazelnut mixed in and I have to say...holy yum! I would definitely order this again or another flavor if they keep the "mini" size.

2. This Quote 

I had to send this quote to a few of my best girlfriends from my home town. We have known each other for WAY too long and they definitely know WAY to much about me. You know those friends?!? The ones who know you inside and out...who have known you through you awkward stages (overweight and braces, yuck!), seen you ugly cry a million times, and know all of your indiscretions, but love you just the same anyway. Shout out to you ladies! :) 

3. THIS Article 

Someone shared THIS article about "10 Changes to Make in Your 30s" and I loved it. The big 3-0 will probably be on my mind all this year. It is joked that I am already an old soul because I am married and living in the suburbs (and have almost been for 3 years!), but I definitely still need to work on some of these. I've started and stopped so many journals, but I really wish I could get into the habit of keeping one. I also want to be better about saving money. We tried to enact a "envelope system" budget this year that bit the dust after about a month. Whoops! 

4. Speaking of planning...

A favorite lately has definitely been my Jesus Calling daily devotional book. This week continually each day it was like the passages were written for exactly how I was feeling in that moment. Tuesday was a big one. 

If you know me, you know that I am a huge Type-A planner of all things. I'm not going to kid myself and say that is going to change now. But, what I am working on is trying to let go of the anxiety of worrying that things won't go the way I had hoped or planned, and trusting that everything is going according to God's plan and that that, in and of itself, is the good outcome. This is very, very difficult for me. The above passage helped this week. 

5. Thursday Night Date Nights

We used to do date nights on Thursday nights all the time. I really couldn't tell you the last time that happened, but last night, we had a little date to a restaurant in downtown Arlington Heights we hadn't tried yet - MAGO. It was pretty quick, but it was so nice to catch up one-on-one for an hour or two without the distractions of the TV, or our phones, or chores to do around the house. I'm thinking we should re-make this a thing! 

I love this list...

Do you have any date night ideas??! 

6. Brainstorming Blogging Ideas

I slacked a little on the blogging this week (sorry!), but I am having fun looking ahead. One thing I am considering is bringing in a "Throwback Thursday" series recapping some things from the past couple of years that I was on a blogging posts, trip recaps, home-buying and project posts. 

What do you guys think?? 

I really do hope you all have a fantastic weekend and thank you for stopping by! 



Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ten Thoughts Tuesday

Good morning, party people!

It's Tuesday. Woo hoo? Tuesday always feels like an "tweener" day for between Monday and the rest of the days that are closer to the weekend.

I didn't have anything super organized planned to blog about today, so I'm just going to roll with some thoughts today and call it "Ten Thoughts Tuesday."

1) RHOC...I am very excited about this season. The first episode was last night. I'm loving this vulnerability coming from Tamara, and I am LOVE LOVE loving the new housewife Meghan Edmonds. She rides the fun bus. Last night we also got a sneak peak into the Dubrows new mansion and HOLY COW. 14 bathrooms?!?! That would be my dream (small bladder). A beauty shop in her bathroom? Sign me up!!

2) Bachelorette...Is it just me or are they pulling out all the stops this season? So much DRAMA! I can't figure out whether I love it or hate it, but I'm still watching, so I guess they've done their job. I can't wait to see next week's episode where Nick meets all the guys. Awkward!

3) I may or may not have a trial tomorrow. I'm always a ball of nervous energy in the day leading up to a trial. This is not even a complicated trial, and you think I would be used to it by now, but it never fails...I'm nervous.

4) I am currently on a short-ordered cut back on my workouts and it is KILLING me. If I have a little bit of time today and if it's not thunder-storming again I may take a walk at lunch just to do something. Does anyone else get like this? I feel itchy to work up a sweat!

5) I'm in the mood to craft! I love this time of year for patriotic decorations and I really want to add some home-made pieces to our house. I am loving this wreath and this garland. Who wants to come over and have a crafting party with me?? I have some good wine I could share! :)

6) We have about 2 weeks until we head off on our trip to Costa Rica and I really need to go shopping. It's going to be HOT, but rainy, so I'm thinking a lot of light, quick-dry tops and shorts. I've also been looking at these Ryka waterproof shoes. Waterproof shoes have come a LONG way since I was a little girl toddling around in the sand.

7) I saw someone eating some sort of beef & noodles lunch in our kitchen at work yesterday and I immediately got a huge craving for something similar. So, tonight we are having Hamburger Stroganoff. Maybe I'll share my recipe with you!

8) We are lizard-sitting for our dear neighbors this week and I actually think this thing is kind of cute?! I think I just like having some sort of a pet around the house again. Last night I went to bed longing to snuggle a puppy.

9) I need to find a cure for the major wall I hit at work around 2pm. If you have a tip for this, PLEASE share it in the comments below. I am all productivity until after lunch and then I spend a good thirty minutes staring at my computer screen before I feel like I need to scream at myself "GET WITH IT!!!" A Starbucks break maybe? What do you do??

10) I started reading Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty over the weekend. I am liking a lot, but not LOVING it yet. All of her other books have been true page-turners for me, so hopefully I'll get there with this one. Our book club is reading Bartender's Tale this month, so that is next up on deck. I also just ordered The Matchmaker and Beyond Orange County.

11) BONUS thought! We are finally getting our deck re-done! The guy came out yesterday to "clean it," and weather permitting, it will bet getting a bunch of repair work and a fresh new coat of outdoor paint soon. I will have to share some before & afters!

So, that was kind of fun! Maybe I'll have to do these stream-of-consciousness posts more often!

Have a great day, everyone! It looks like it's going to be a hot one here!