Friday, July 29, 2011

Our Wedding: the Reception Details

Over the long winter (on snow days and after work mostly) I started to plan the details of the wedding.  We had a great location that meant I did not have to do too much decor decorating, but I wanted the centerpieces, favors, and other touches to show that this was our special day.  

I don't like tall centerpieces because they make conversations difficult, so I designed flowers and candles floating in low glass bowls of water.  At the bottom of the water I had ivory marbles, and around the table I made little marbles with messages of love and marriage.  The guests were encouraged to take them home (to make into magnets, or decorate how they wanted).  

Unfortunately I did not get a good shot of the centerpieces, but they were quite nice.  I also liked the floating candles and flowers because it is a traditional decoration in India (my birth place).  

The favors were candles ordered from my local candles shop, then wrapped in ribbon and tied with a little note.  

I tucked these into the napkins folded like a pocket.  

I could not afford, and did not have time for traditional place cards, so instead I went for one large board with all the names of guests and their tables.  Jeff and I made it, then had it printed in Philidelphia and mailed home (we actually had to get a second one sent because the first got bent in the shipping.  The company was very good about sending us a new one).  We then put the poster, which was on a large foam board, into an antique frame a friend gave me.  I loved the old frame, it made my wedding.  
This photo does not do the frame justice.
The guest book was again a place were I went a little nontraditional.  I am not really a fan of the guest book with some names on the first couple pages and then blank pages after.  So Jeff and I bought a book of photos from the Hudson Valley (were we live)

I bought a bunch of silver and gold pens and encouraged my guests to write in it.  I got some very nice pages.

I read wedding blogs for so long that I had a million ideas for everything.  What do you think about what we did? What would / did you do for your wedding?  

Our Wedding: the Ceremony

For the ceremony I made a program.  I had just finished making a program for my school drama play I was directing at work so this was not too hard.  I spent hours getting the wording right and the placement of each page.  In it I explained our traditions we were using and the wedding party of course.  At the back I included a tree personality fortune. Each birth month had a different fortune according to their "birth tree."  If you want to see it go here.  

I printed the program on water marked resume paper.  We bought a ton of it at a Office Max store that was closing.  (I still have it and use it for my own job hunt now) the cover was made from brown card-stock with a title glued on.  I then tied all the pages together with a pink ribbon.  I actually got blisters on my fingertips from tying so many little bows.

I had the florist line the isle with rose petals, but it was a big waist of money.  It was not that pretty compared to the rest of the beautiful garden, and it was very expensive.  

I saved money by having pink carnations made into the flower balls for the isle.  this was beautiful and quite cheap to boot.  

My bouquet was made of light pink flowers and white flowers.  I was going for lots of petals.  

We had a wonderful woman who did our ceremony.  She interviewed us and made sure she was comfortable officiating our wedding.

I spent hours making little bags full of biodegradable confetti.  I stamped little bags, and then fill them with the confetti.  At the last minute I found out that they would not let me use the confetti.  Now I'm not stupid.  I called the location and asked them what was the best thing I could use for confetti, and they said the biodegradable was fine.  Guess it wasn't because they would not let me use it.  Big bummer.  Unfortunately I don't have any photos of it, but it was very nice.  I even made little labels for each bag.

We decided not to do a sand ceremony as so many people did, because it just didn't seem like us.  Instead we shared a glass of wine as a symbol.  It seemed that people expected us to break the glass in the Jewish fashion, but that was not us either.

We wrote our vows together, they were a true promise to each other.  I framed those vows for Jeff Christmas present last year.

I loved the ceremony but it was the reception that really had everything in it.  I will be sure to post that tomorrow.  

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our Wedding: the Invitations

Jeff and I searched long and hard for the right invitations.  We had a limited budget and were determined to stay in line (in the end we were under budget).  We picked these invites from Wedding Paper Divas.  They were great with us, and we really loved what we got.  

Our wedding colors were brown, ivory and (very little) pink.  The paper was a textured ivory color.  We had the invitations made to reflect our colors.  I love the bold design of this invitation.  In reality, the names were more clear.

My family teases me because I still love brown and pink (notice the design of this website).

I carried this design through the details of the wedding.  I used the colors everywhere, and the design on the favors, the confetti (that I never got to use).

In the end I am very happy with our final choice.  I wish we had the money for hand calligraphy, or letterpress, but I was happy with what we did in the end.

What is your priority on invitations?  Is letterpress nonnegotiable?  Do you know some great Etsy person who does invites for supper cheap?  I want to know your secrets, because if I don't get this job I'm interviewing for soon I may just be planning weddings (other people's, I hope, considering I'm already married).

More details on the wedding to come!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Wedding: The Dress

This week will mark my second anniversary (This Sunday) with my wonderful husband Jeff.  In celebration of this great occasion I will be posting about different elements of our wedding each day.

This wedding marked the beginning of my love of blogs, weddings, and event planning in general.  I did everything DIY and was told by several guests that it was the best wedding they had ever been to.

I planned the wedding myself and arranged everything from the dress (which I designed) to the centerpieces, favors, seating and anything else you can think of.  I'm a traditional girl (for the most part) so I really tried to keep the details of the wedding traditional, but like me, they had a twist.  

I started with the colors and style.  We knew we wanted to be married outside, and I wanted pink.  Jeff liked brown and we both love off white.  My dress was going to be ivory so we went ivory with everything else too. 

I had the dress made first. 

The sash was added, I originally had another sash that was not as good.  I really love the pop of color.  
I also had a piece of the back of the dress inserted with the same pink fabric as the dress so that they would tie together.

The dress was made out of real silk, and it had a beautiful shine and movement to it that acrylic fabric just does not have.

For my hair I just had a simple veil trimed with the same fabric as the dress, and a single orchid.

My dress was a true blessing.  I had it made in India during my last year of teaching there.  Two good friends and my sister all came with me to design the dress and talk to the dress maker.  I had to travel down to Goa from north India, and had not only a great little vacation but got the dress of my dreams.  It was a beautiful experience.  

I love to look at wedding dresses.  Vera just came out with one that was my origional idea, but now two years late.  Oh well, I still love my dress.  

What did your wedding dress look like?  If your not married, what do you dream of?  I want to know! :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wood Floor Woes

When I renovated this house ten years ago I was very happy to see that under the layers of linoleum and wall to wall carpets we had hard wood floors.

However, they were never perfect.  The wood was placed with quite wide spaces between the boards, and it had some damage.

Three years with sloppy tenants, and their huge monster dog, and the floors that were passable then are not passable anymore.  I have written about these tenants before and they really destroyed my house.  (Beware of who you let live in your home, because they may not treat it as well as you would like.)

Here is how my floors look now:

The floors here got really chewed up.
I think a lot of wet dog water got down here.

This hole is so big I can't get it cleaned.

This hole was filled in, but now all that wood filler
has been chipped out.

Again another hole that is impossible to clean.
This next shot is pretty bad, so please don't judge.

It is really hard to clean under this.
The radiator leaked and caused a lot of damage.
So the question became: "what to do?"  Jeff and I debated for a while.  We love the wood, but not the shape it is in is so bad that we can't just sand them.

So you get an idea, all of the above problems are in the dining room only.  Here are just a couple of them look from the kitchen.

Do you see the four holes?
At first we decided to use "click and lock" wood.  It is not hard wood, but it can be installed "floating" meaning it will not damage the wood underneath.  We also talked about repairing the floor we have, but that will be expensive.

At the hardware store we decided maybe we should just go for the real hardwood.  It is better, it does not scratch as well (depending on the wood), and it will improve the value of the house.  My only reservations about the hardwood will be messing up the existing floor.  The other problem is that it is much harder to install and we have to nail into the wood floor that is already there.  A friend said we should take out the floor and then put in a new one.  We can't afford to do that.

In the end I'm not really sure what to do.  If any of you have any ideas please let me know.  I need some help.

**** UPDATE: Several people have suggested I replace the bad pieces of wood and keep the original floor.  I appreciate everyone tips, (and I did ask for it) but now I know that the pine floors are just too soft to be good for our family.  Many stores don't even sell pine anymore.  So Jeff and I have decided to get new floors, but don't worry, they will be real wood.****

Friday, July 15, 2011

To Do: Crafts

I may be showing my cards here, but as anyone who has ever played poker with me knows, I have a huge tell, so it does not matter that much anyway.  I'm going to show you guys my collection of craft "to do's."

I figure most of you have already seen these in blog land so it is not a big secret anyway.  And on top of that, each one get's its own little spin when I try them myself (even if it is just because it may all got terribly wrong).

My husband was helping me with my bookmarks and was really shocked to see how many bookmarks I have.  You see, I like to bookmark the projects I want to try, and sometimes they pile up:

Note the large amount of "Crafts" I have saved here.
Feel free to link back to the tutorials for any of these projects.  They really are very cool.  Don't be surprised if you see some of these in the months to come (I hope).  There is no special order, just stuff I want to try.  For brevity's sake I have limited the crafts to only sewing projects.

1. Cloth Snack Bag:
Can I just say this is brilliant?!  Do you know how many times those zip-locks have broken in my bag only to leave a mess of nuts, or yogurt covered raisins in the bottom of my bag...and I don't even have kids yet.

My friend who has two little kids is a real supper mom.  She reaches into her bag and pulls out all kinds of cool things for the kids.  Today at lunch she took out an e-book reader, crayons, and lollipops in several different flavors.  Very cool.  Anyway (back to my point), having a cloth snack baggy, that is waterproof and wipe-abble too, is the best way for me to work my way toward the supper mommy ideal.  Just in case I have kids one day, or want to impress other non-kid people with my mad baggie tricks.

2. Card Wallet
I have so many gift cards.  They get lost in the bottom of my bag, and I always forget to use them.  Or I get really frustrated with them take them out and the next day I'm in that store and gift card to be had.  This happens to me on a weekly basis.  So the solution?  This handy little card wallet.  I really need to make this before Christmas at the latest.  I love that I get to chose the fabric and all that too.  How fun.

3. The Shirt Dress
What could be cutter than a dress made out of a man's shirt?  I just love the idea.  I first saw this on Martha, but found out that the original idea came from the site above.  I know several little girls who need this dress.  My problem?  I only have one men's shirt.  I'll just have to see who I can get measurements from first.  If it is not too hard I will just go to the Salvation Army and get another shirt.

4. Six Pocket Bag
You can never have to many bags.  They always come in handy.  I'm thinking about making this one for yoga (so I can bring my own eye pillow).  Again I can pick my own fabric and make it as fun, or traditional, as I want.  I can't wait.  This one might take me a bunch of days, my sewing skills are not that advanced.

So there you have it.  Projects on my to do list.  I'm not sure when they will be done, but there they are.  I might have to wait until winter to get into all these sewing projects, snow days are good for that.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I Hate my Tupperware!

Ok I said, I hate my Tupperware.  You see, we have a huge collection of miss-matched Tupperware.  Nothing fits together, there is a lot of Chinese take-out food.  In the end it is very difficult to fit them all in my cabinet.

My cabinet is like that commercial where the Tupperware falls out of the cabinet all over the woman (I tried to find it but couldn't).  You all know exactly which commercial I mean right? (Just play along, lol).  See how it is so messy, I literally just throw the plastic stuff in there and shut the door.

I took everything out and organized it.

I used a tip someone gave me and put all the tops in one big holder.  Then put everything back.

The best part?  Everything fits!

How do you organize your Tupperware?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Formal Tablescape

On my recent trip my host had the most beautiful formal dining room.  She had it all set up for dinner.  In fact she had two different tablescapes, one for the holidays and then this one.  Because this was the tablescape displayed I thought I would show it off.

The combination of red, gold and a tiny bit of green is quite nice.  I love the gold plates, and do you see those chargers?  I love chargers.  Maybe when I host thanksgiving this winter I will get some for my own table.

All the pieces are good, there are very nice glasses, silver and napkins too. 

This is quite a nice place setting to look down upon for a fancy dinner.  I could have many fun dinner parties here.

These touches are so nice.  I just love how every element to this table is formal.

The other touches in the dining room were nice as well. 

This chandelier is simple but elegant.

This piece was on the wall.  I love how the light plays on the crystals.  Again it is elegant and simple. 

There are so many creative women out there that are never recognized in any formal way.  I feel very lucky to show off this private little table. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blue Dresser Extraordinaire

I have been teasing you guys for ages. So instead of going to bed early I am staying up just long enough to show you my amazing transformation.  To me it really is a transformation.

I have had this dresser for years.  It went with me on every move, and lived in my house during construction. Many times people have tried to get me to give it up, but I have held on to it.  Now everyone can see what I have always seen with this dresser.  That is: just how beautiful it really is.  To jog your memory on this baby go here, but for the rest of you below is the before.


Many people gave me their suggestions on what color to paint it, or to paint it at all.  It was funny because all my Facebook friends said not to paint it, but my blog friends said to paint it.  I listened to you guys and went ahead and painted it.  The color was an "oops" paint that I lightened.  I really like how it turned out.  

Jeff helped me not go overboard on the gold accents.  I used "Rub-n-Buff" in yellow gold (I think it is called that anyway).  It is very cool stuff.  I highly recommend it.  

I also patched up and filled in a bunch of the veneer that was flaking.  All in all this was a true labor of love, but boy was it worth it.  

I love this dresser beside the bright yellow walls.  I also like how it looks against the wood and other accents in the room.  When I have more time I will do some shots of the whole dining room so you can see how it all goes together.  Overall the room is really getting nice.

To keep it real here is a shot with the cat fountain we got for our lovely kitty.  Not quite as special (my eye keeps going back to the fountain) but still very nice.  

Do any of you have pieces of furniture that you just hang onto in thick and thin?  I would love to know about it.  

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