what are my guests going to sign

First I wanted to find a vintage typewriter for guests to type their little love messages to us on our wedding day. Then I thought a photo booth. Then I thought pieces of fabric to make into a quilt later. That was all before I saw this gem of a guestbook. Plus it diy and I can see treasuring something like this forever. Taking it out to show my daughter or granddaughters. Love it. Check it out!

a sweet little lunch

I just got back from lunch with Ryan's grandma. It was the first time I had gotten to spend time with just Oma {that is German for grandma-how cute is that?} and I really enjoyed getting to know her better. The coolest part is that Oma was friends with my grandma since they were in their twenties! So nice to hear stories about my grandma and hear what she was like. How we were so much a like!

Then we went to my all time favorite spot-the fabric store! We were on a hunt to find the perfect flower girl/ junior bridesmaid dress for Rylee. And I am proud to say that we found it. Bought the pattern and we are waiting for a swatch of the bridesmaid dresses to pick out the fabric.

The most memorable part of the wedding planning process is how it really does bring family together. Sometimes I have to sit back and remind myself what a special time this is in me and Ryan's life. It feels like verge are right on the verge of something great and all the anticipation...it will be hard going back to real life where I am just a girl again..and no longer a fiance.

But again, there is life after the wedding. The other night Ryan was telling me I was his best friend someday he wanted to make a best friend with me. Such a sweet way to think about starting your family-adding another buddy. Sigh...life is good.


good old fashion bargin

So me and my mom hit the craft store jackpot this weekend! All of the glass pieces I wanted for the wedding were 50% off! Score! I got every piece I wanted except for maybe two {which I can always save up and go back for more} Can you tell which pieces are new and which ones I found at Restore?

I also found a bird cage originally the price above!

But because it was 50% off and because of this...

I got it for just $16.00!!! We are going to use it for the gift table to stick cards in! I don't even care that it's broken-no one is going to see the back! It was a great trip to the craft store with my mom and my man of honor {even though my brother was hungover he did his duty at the craft store and lunch afterwards at Olive Garden-hehe poor guy is probably going to be glad when all this is over!


more engagement photo props

I finally made it to the two best vintage stores in town this weekend! I go to Goodwill and Restore a lot because they are more like garage sale prices but the vintage stores take a little more money. So I try to only go when I am looking for specific things. This time it was props for our engagement pictures!

I instantly fell in love with this basket purse. I love the texture that it will add to our pictures. And these adorable kid gloves below make me wonder why they ever went out style. I plan on wearing them come this fall.

I have been dying for a vintage camera and when I spied this one I had to have it! Only $30.00! And it can be used again after the photo shoot. It is a great piece for a shelf or a collection starter.

And our last piece we found was this great vintage store box still tied with the string. I love it and for only 6 bucks I love it even more!


diy pew decorations

I am oh so happy to be getting married in my childhood church! For a long time I would whine and moan to my parents about getting married in our church because it was covered in orange shag carpet. Fortunately for me the shag carpet is gone and a beautiful burgundy has taken its place.

It is a very pretty church with large wooden rafters and all the perks of technology a girl could ask for. Lights that dim, a sound system that's amazing, and a projector screen that's just handy- as it lowers and raises upon demand! So with very little need to do much to the church I have decided to make only these pew decorations for the aisle.

They were simple to make. I have some bolts of tulle, my handmade flowers, and ribbon and lace I scored either for free or from the resale shops. The tulle comes doubled over so I cut three pieces, a yard and half long and layered them evenly on top of each other. I tied them all together, leaving about a foot of material on top, with a mix of ribbon and lace. I like the ribbon and lace go almost to the floor.

Then for the top I folded the material back and hot glued it, to make a little puff on the top. Then added my handmade flowers with some more glue. Easy! Took me about five minutes to make one. And I think they are a little dreamy don't you?


wood burning pen

Sometimes it just handy to have carpenters in your family. My grandpa is a carpenter, my dad is one, and so is my brother. I grew up just assuming that all men knew how to fix stuff. They know tools. If I have a wedding project and I am not sure how to start I talk to them.

This weekend while in Restore {habitat for humanity resale shop} and they have a new craft section. Still in the package, brand new, is a wood burning pen. My brother is the one who pointed it out! I had no idea what it even was. I got it for $5 bucks and they sell in stores for about $10. Half price? I'll take that!

So now I am using it to make our table markers. To make these I simply used gold, glittery leaves I cut from a garland, a small wood sign from the wood craft section at Joann's, hot glue, and of course my new tool- the wood burning pen. I painted the sign gold and let it dry. Glued the flower and leaves and then burned the number. Easy peasy. I could crank these out in no time at all.

engagement photo session props

I hit the thrift store jackpot this weekend. Don't you love this vintage suitcase I found for only five dollars?!? I am preparing for our engagement pictures. It's a big time trend right now to style your engagement sessions and have a story that is being told. We are going with a vintage approach {of course!} We are going with a car breaking down on the side of the road. Possibly cliche but we have everything we need. Ryan's dad has a great old vintage convertible. Why not take advantage of the opportunity plus I know he would love to have his car in the pictures!

We are going to shoot in Ryan's hometown which is very old school rural America. It's like a time capsule. There are only two bars, a bank, and a water tower. But the best part is there is an old gas station that has been closed for years but still has the old pumps and everything. It's the perfect spot for a vintage photo shoot.

I am still trying to style our wardrobe. I am going to the vintage clothing stores this weekend. Wish me luck!


diy wedding flowers

This weekend I asked Ryan if he could ever image a life without me making flowers. He could not. Our wedding flowers have become a daily chore for me. I sit down I cut fabric. I do a load of laundry, and then I burn the edges of petals. I cook dinner and after I am hot gluing layers of flowers together. I am a one woman flower sweatshop. During my lunch break you can find me in the lab with a flame trying to burn as many edges as possible {if you want to learn what I mean by "burn the edges please check this out.}

So I guess I just wanted to share them with you because even after all that work just looking at them makes me happy. These flowers are going to be part of our wedding. I get a little thrill when I think about it that way. What's one more burn from the hot glue gun in the name of love?


irish handfasting ceremony

I am in love with this romantic idea from Style Me Pretty. Especially since I am an Irish girl. I am a little sad about losing my Irish last name but I think this will help the sting a bit. I can't resist all the ribbon and lace.


bridesmaid shoes

What kind of shoes do you get girls in ages ranging from 13-16 to wear all night? Sandals. And not even the biggest budding fashionista can say no to these! So stinkin' cute - gotta find a similar look for my maids!

wedding freakouts and skin care consulations

We are five months away from the big day and it feels like time if just running out! I think I am officially having my first wedding freak out {I spent my entire lunch hour yesterday crying in my car}. I feel like I just don't have enough time in the day. Sometimes I am jealous of fiances who don't live together. The whole wedding planning process seems so much more glamourous.

In my reality I am not just planning a wedding. I am taking care of the house because Ryan is working over time. We are constantly remodeling our house {which takes time and oh so much of our money}. We both have lots of family around and friends. So there are birthdays, and holidays, and it goes on and on and on. Our house is kind of like Monica and Chandler's apartment on Friends, someone is always there. And I just feel like I am losing my mind. I want to go away for a weekend but of course Ryan doesn't travel.

So I am tired. And stressed. And losing everything {yes another set of keys}. I want to share with you what I am doing but I just don't have the time! I promise that I have been DIYing and I promise to share with you soon! I have to be a better blogger next week!

Ryan promised me yesterday that he would help more {and complain less- grr} and that he would take me somewhere special this Saturday night. That is after we install a new front door and medicine cabinet and light in our bathroom. {never ending}

But I can leave you with nothing today so check out this! It's a skin care consultation that takes less then 3 minutes. I love sephora.com I will be making my selections in the coming weeks. I plan on starting a full on body makeover starting in May.


finally friday

Sorry for not as much inspiration this week- I promise to have two DIY projects next week! It has been crazy around our house losing keys among other things. Did you know that it costs more then $250 to replace your keys in a Ford Explorer if you don't have a spare set? Outrageous! But on a more pleasant note we have finally, finally, FINALLY booked our honeymoon!!!

For weeks now I didn't think that I was going to be able to convince Ryan to leave the country. Not even Mexico or the Caribbean. He simple has no want to leave America {can you tell he is a Midwest boy??} It's hard to keep me in this country. So needless to say coming up with honeymoon we both agreed on was a challenge.

I am happy to say though that he is facing his fear of flying over the ocean and come September 8 we will be on our way to Paris!!! Booked our flight and hotel last night-non refundable! I don't think there are words to describe how happy I am. It has been four long years since I have ventured that way, in fact the last time was when I was coming home from living abroad. {I was a nanny in Germany}

So now it's all fun stuff! No more searching the Internet for countless hours trying to get a better price. No more heated discussions on where we are going to go. Now we can learn a little French, buy some cute clothes for the trip, and dream about cheese and baguette! Sigh...could life be much better?

So we are going to sit back and celebrate this weekend by watching French Kiss with Meg Ryan and Calvin Klein. One of my all time faves! What will you be doing this weekend?


my bridesmaid dresses

I just wanted to give you guys a sneak peak into my bridal party style! I am so happy and excited about these bridesmaid dresses! I was so sure that Champaign-Urbana was not going to have any bridesmaid dresses that I would love but I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. It just goes to show that you don't have to go top dollar to have a fab look.

Now these are not the colors I ordered. I will save that surprise for after the wedding. I don't want to give away too much! My bridal party consists of my brother-who is my best friend, as my man of honor (and dispite constant teasing -no he will not be wearing a dress! but a tux instead) Then it is the my 16 year old sister Abbey and Ryan's 16 year old sister Dani who will be wearing the longer dresses. My sister Molly who is 13 and Ryan's sister Allie who is the same age as well (Ryan's mom and my mom were pregnant 3 times at the same time!) will be wearing the shorter dresses.

I can wait to see it all together on the big day! Fingers crossed it will be a cohesive and stylish party! I hope that you like and enjoy and check out the new Dessy Group Collection!


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