This stuff’s made in New York City…

New York City?? 🙂 Wait, don’t stop reading! I’m done with the cheesy 90’s references. For now.

NYC 15Okay, so this might be a little picture overload (surprise, surprise), but I can’t help but share our time spent in “The Big Apple” visiting friends and attending one of the most beautiful weddings.

First off, fall in New York is by far the best time to be there. The weather was gorgeous. Perfect for a little brunch (caramelized apple buttermilk pancakes anyone?) and shopping.

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 ^^This is Jeff’s “are you seriously taking photos right now while I try to figure out where we’re going?” look.^^

Hundred Acres NYC^^Yep, that food was as good as it looks. I would definitely recommend Hundred Acres for anyone visiting NYC.^^

Our lovely friends Charley and Megan, who you may remember, took us to some great resteraunts, including the one mentioned above. It was there that we also got the chance to catch up with a few other college friends who I just adore, and don’t get to see nearly enough.

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After lots of food and a stroll through SOHO, Jeff and I headed to the wedding of our friends Jay and Kate. Let me tell you, this wedding was just amazing, and so fun too!

Jay and Kate Wedding

Not only did they get married in a church that faced Central Park, but the food, dancing and atmosphere definitely made this night sepectacular. Congrats Jay and Kate and thanks for inviting us to your special day!

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^^My boss John and I’s poor attempt at a picture with the handsome groom.^^

And lastly, lord knows I couldn’t leave NYC without meeting up with these ladies.

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I interned with these lovely gals when I first moved to Washington, well expect for Bailey (blonde on the left), but we all feel like she did. Then they all moved to New York and left me sad and alone in D.C. I’m still waiting for them to change their minds and move back. Any day now. 🙂

Okay, so I think I got through it all. It was a short – less than 48-hour trip – but we managed to pack in plenty of fun. Until next time New York!

I’ve been meaning to post these updates for a while…

so much so that you probably don’t even remember this little room we started working on before I ever moved in with Jeff.

office 4

I’ve put off this post because I keep telling myself I’m going to do more decorating, fixing, changing, etc…but I’m finding no room is ever going to be 100% complete. A few months ago, I swore to myself I’d never live with working projects, and that I’d complete each room before starting a new one. Wow, how the times change.

So for now, this room is the closest it’s going to come to finished! I’ve actually featured a few DIY projects from this room already, so see if you can spot them.

Finally, for the the “finished” product…

Office Before and After

office before and after 2

You may remember that Jeff and I decided to make this my office/dressing room/closet because we don’t really have enough space in our bedroom for both of our stuff, and this was the best use of the room when we moved-in together. I have to say, it’s been really nice having our “separate” spaces. Though if you just ask Jeff, he’ll claim that I really just have two rooms. 🙂

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In order to get the room in tip, top shape we spray textured and painted the walls and ceiling, added and painted trim, put up new wood blinds, and finally added a new door. It’s amazing how much work one room can take!

As I mentioned earlier in this post, this room also features a few DIY projects we’ve talked about previously on this little blog and they’re all really just at my desk space, or as I like to think of it, Less Than Average Height World Headquarters.

Dressing Room - Office 4

Not only did we refurbish the desk, but I added some budget friendly wall art and push pin boards. I also bought the mirror at HomeGoods for under $70. So all in all, this desk area cost me just under $250!

vintage vanity chair

^^^I have one major thing left and that’s to figure out what to do with my grandma’s old vanity chair.^^^

I haven’t decided if I want to attempt to reupholster it myself or take it to a professional. If anyone has any advice let me know!

I hope you like all the changes!

One year to go and counting down the days…

until I get to marry this guy.

First photo together

Fun fact: this was our first ever photo together. I thought I’d dig it out for this post. Also, didn’t realize how quickly he turned me into a Virginia Tech ‘fan.’

I might’ve already shared the date with many of you, but if I haven’t, and the title didn’t give it away, a year from today we’re getting hitched, wed, married, etc… After that, Jeff’s stuck with me and my obsessive photo taking. Thankfully, he already loves my constant use of emoticons. 😉

Last night, Jeff and I were talking about how everyone keeps telling us this year of planning is going to go really fast, and it was then that I started getting a little panicked about how much goes into this one day. Thankfully though, I was quickly reminded how lucky I am to have a wedding day to plan in the first place. So while I may not be a perfect bride all the time, I am a grateful one, and I plan to use this next year as a reminder of the great guy I’ve found, our supportive families we love, and our amazing friends who plan to share in our special day.

Thank you all for reading about our adventures thus far. I’m looking forward to a very busy year and we can’t wait to fill you all in as we go!

My short trip home in a long list…

but, let me see how fast I can run through all that happened in the three days I was in Missouri last weekend. It started with a double date sans Jeff (uhh?), then onto a wedding, bridal shower + cooking class, and ended with a dinner with old neighbors and friends.

1. Double Date

But how did you go on a date without Jeff? I didn’t really. I kind of just tagged along on my little sister’s double date with her boyfriend, and their two friends. I wouldn’t say she was thrilled to have me there and she only allowed me one photo.

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I think her exact quote after I took this photo was, “okay you can go now, you’re embarrassing me.” Nothing like that to make you feel less cool.

2. Mike and Sarah’s Wedding

The main reason for my visit (not that the other events weren’t just as important!) was a wedding of a friend and sorority sister from college. It was so fun to see friends I haven’t seen in years! Years! If I have one complaint about living so far from home it’s that I don’t get to see the people I love nearly enough.

Sarah and Mike's Wedding 3

Mike and Sarah’s beautiful wedding was held at Californos in Westport. It exuded everything adorable about the couple and I loved it, including the gnome cake topper. The bride loves gnomes!

I also got to reunite with my two former roommates, Emma and Jill, who I spent two years with living in our small room in our sorority house. It’s amazing we still love each other. 😉 Emma also showed off her lovely dancing skills (B/W photo above) at the reception.

3. Future Cousin’s Bridal Shower

Sweet Ali is joining our family next month and I loved I was in town to join in on the cooking class at Bella Napoli in Brookside. If anyone needs a cooking class it’s me. Aside from celebrating the bride, I learned butter makes everything better (of course) and I ate some fabulous chicken marsala.

Ali's Bridal Shower

4. Dinner with the Ole’ Neighborhood

Last, but certainly not least, we had a little mom and daughter dinner on The Plaza with gals I grew up with.

Kansas City 1 Dinner with Neighbors

While we were missing a few, it was wonderful to get together with these ladies. Many of my childhood memories involve these women.

Okay, if you’ve made it through this whole post and you’re still reading, I’m working on some sort of prize to give you.

Such a lovely fall weekend in Missouri. As always, thanks for letting me share!

P.S. I also snuck away for a few hours to snap some engagement photos of a dear friend, but you may remember that post from a few days ago, here.

Engagement photos (oh, they’re not ours)…

but they are those of my beautiful friend and her sweet fiance.

Kathryn and Nate, who are also getting married next fall, bravely trusted me to snap a few photos before they make it official!

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I have to admit I’ve never had the honor of taking engagement photos before, so for all you skilled photographers out there don’t judge me too much! I’m learning as I go.

Kathryn was one of the first great friends I made when I first moved to D.C. (back in our lowly intern days) and now somewhat ironically, she’s moved to Kansas City, while I’m still in our Nation’s Capital. I won’t say I didn’t cry a lot when she moved away. 😦

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Seriously, could they be any cuter?

Last weekend while I was home in Missouri (more on that later), Kathryn, Nate and I headed down to both Westport, a neighborhood close to where they live, and the Liberty Memorial to capture a few (poor Nate) images of their relationship. Luckily they’re so cute and in love that my job was pretty easy.

Engagement Photos

I mean come on, aren’t they adorable? I’m so excited for them and can’t wait for their big day to arrive.

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Kathryn and Nate 2

Also, that ring. Good job Nate!

I love that I got to be a small part of this happy time in their lives, and that they let me share it with all of you! Wish them luck as they head into this next chapter of their relationship.

Whoa, we’re halfway there…

and we’re kind of living on a prayer, but we’ll make it, I swear. 🙂

DIY Polished Concrete Countertops 1

While this past weekend of DIY counter top making didn’t come without a few bumps in the road, Jeff still managed to get all of the glass broke, and most of the concrete mixed with the pigment, and poured into the mold.

Here’s a few photos of my man hard at work. I’m one lucky gal.

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Well this one is obviously not of Jeff, but you get the point.

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Poor guy. He’s gotten so used to a camera in his face when he works that he’s really mastered the art of ignoring me. Not sure if that’s a good thing.

So towards the end of the long morning of work, Jeff realized after pouring part of the concrete mix into the small bar mold that he wasn’t going to have enough to finish that part and thus would have to start that one part over on another day.

DIY Polished Concrete Countertops 7

Yea, it looks like kind of a mess right now, but Jeff assures me it will come out all nice and pretty. As for the bar, Jeff will rebuild that mold next to the others and re-pour the concrete mixture.

It’s a good feeling to make some headway on this long project and I’m hoping we have new counter tops before we know it!

We’ve only just begun to…

to live….err, start our counter tops. 🙂

Well guys, the big project is finally underway. I feel like I’ve been talking about all things kitchen counter tops for far too long, and unfortunately, the fun doesn’t stop just yet.

Beer Bottles for Kitchen Countertops

So many beer bottles in my dishwasher all weekend!

I mean the fun kind of stops, because we’ve collected enough beer and wine bottles to mix in with the concrete and now the real work begins. Lets not kid ourselves, I’ll probably have a glass or two this weekend in between helping Jeff with the labor part of the work. 😉

So, a few nights ago Jeff took the first step by creating the form (I called it a mold and I was corrected) for the counter tops. This form will hold the broken glass and wet concrete while it’s sets and dries, creating our new counter tops.

Kitchen Countertop Mold 1According to Jeff, the bottom of the form was made using three 2′ x 8′ sheets of melamine, (similar to what IKEA furniture is made of but with a plastic veneer) and the form edges are finish grade pine 1x2s. Again, that last sentence was all Jeff.

The form is measured to the current dimensions of our counter tops with a cutout for the new sink, (double sink, woohoo!). There’s also a form for the new small side bar we’re adding.

Kitchen Countertops Mold 2It might be a little difficult to see just how this fits in our current kitchen by looking at this picture, so check out the photo below for a more user-friendly guide. Caution: I made it very technical.

Kitchen Countertops Mold 3As an FYI, from this photo it looks like the sink and little bar are right next to each other, but that’s not the case for our kitchen. They’re just like that in the form to make room for everything.

Still confused? Don’t worry, me too. Jeff keeps assuring me it will all work out.

We’re getting back to work this weekend and I’ll keep you posted on our progress. Hope you all have a great weekend too!

Celebrating our engagement…

wait, another party?? We’re pretty lucky over here to have some great friends who went above and beyond to throw us a slightly more formal (and way less humid) engagement party. I was less surprised for this one. 🙂

Engagement Party 5

Two of my co-workers – who surprisingly aren’t too sick of me to still want to hangout on the weekends – graciously offered to host us and our friends to celebrate our impending nuptials, and share in this exciting time in our lives.

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These hosts. Love them so.

I honestly didn’t snap too many photos, (okay, well less than normal) but as part of our ongoing “Going to the Chapel” scrapbook on this little blog, here are a few photos of the evening.

Engagement Party

Engagement Party 4

Who needs a party when you have cupcakes and macaroons from The Sweet Lobby?? I was tempted to just take them and run.

Engagement Party 6

Yep, this guy’s my boss. He’s pretty serious all the time.

Engagement Party 2

I’ll leave you with this photo, because I’m still not sure what’s going on.

Thank you again to everyone who came out for the little shindig. We had so much fun and we’re thankful for all the love and support we’ve received these past few weeks, it just makes us even more excited for the big day.

P.S. As of today, the kitchen countertops are actually underway! Pictures coming later this week.

 

How I asked my bridal party…

to you know, be a part of our big day. (Is this really happening? Pinch me.)

Bridal-Party-Invites

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*Sidenote: here on our little blog, I thought I’d start updating you on plans, share a few stories about our dating years, and clue you in on any DIY tips, and ideas we have for our big day. Since today’s post happens to be the first of the (possibly many) wedding posts, I thought I’d toss out a disclaimer of sorts. And…if I haven’t lost all you male readers out there yet, bear with me, we’ll have plenty more home improvement projects! God help us. 🙂

Now back to the title. I wanted to find a cute and personal way to ask the members of my bridal party to share in our special day. I know the whole concept of creative invites isn’t new, but I found my inspiration on a Pinterest post (the site that’s a daily reminder of everything I can’t afford) and turned it into something more my own.

Bridal Party Invite 1 Bridal Party Invite %22Bridesmaid%22

I’ll be honest, Jeff was the photographer for this little card shoot, and I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you it caused a few frustrating moments. Turns out I’m a little particular about how I want things to look and on this project, Jeff didn’t share the same passion. I tried to get him to do this for his groomsman, but he declined, telling me a phone call would do. Boys.

Overall it was pretty simple. I bought the thought-cloud-shaped chalkboard at Michaels for $1.99, took the photos against a blank wall in our house, and then finished creating the cards on Shutterfly. Easy as that!

And despite all the angst it caused Jeff and I, it’s been worth seeing the reactions of some very special people in my life who will be standing beside me on our wedding day. But don’t worry, more to come on them later.

These two…

they’re sure to warm (possibly melt) even the coldest of hearts.

Kelly and Cash 4 Kelly and Cash 3 Kelly and Cash 2Kelly fell pretty hard for Jeff’s parents newly-adopted pup Cash when we were all hanging out in Texas last week. Also not the craziest of dog lovers like my former self, I think Kelly might have been converted to the good side last weekend. 😉

And sweet Cash, what a trooper. I think when he wasn’t near Kelly she called for him no less than a 100 times. That girl is persistent and at times impatient, but then again, I wouldn’t know what that was like.

I mean seriously, could they be any sweeter?

brb, Kelly and I are off to secretly plot ways to get Cash to come live with one of us. 🙂