Wednesday, October 2, 2013

I Made a Box for Your Card; You're Welcome.

I was in the check out line of the local grocery store a while ago and an orange clearance sticker caught my eye. They were stuck on these fake book box things - I'm sure you're familiar. I grabbed two of different sizes ($3.50 & $5) with immediate intentions of using one of them as a card box.  I "fixed" the smaller box and will stack it on the larger one to add depth to the table's elements.

The lining on the inside was a wine red color - not one of my wedding colors - so that had to be "fixed." I'd also already picked up a little glittery banner that said "Cards" that I wanted to use. I remembered I'd bought this book of freakingamazing paper from the craft store so I snagged that, cut the paper to size (only for the lid since that would be most visible. Then I washi-taped the edges which doubled as a clean edge and also held on the fishing line from the banner. The lid would flip open too far so I added a length of blue ribbon and boom. done. 


Friday, September 13, 2013

A Smoothie Love Story

When green smoothies hit Pinterest, I was skeptical. It wasn't until a friend posted a photo on FB raving about how her children were TOTALLY cool with sipping spinach through a straw. So, I gave it a try. I whipped one up, called it the neato "Hulk Smoothie" moniker and set it in front of Josh. It wasn't until he was halfway through that I bravely asked him "Sooooo... ya wanna know what's in it?"

Why not leave well enough alone?! Right?! I know. But, it miraculously worked in my favor because homeboy did not care that there was spinach in there. These days he asks me to put the spinach in there and when I tell him we're out, he's the one that adds it to the grocery list. I shit you not. If you know Josh, you know the amount of insanity that this situation holds. 

Anyways, I still usually don't put spinach in them anymore because often when I buy it, it gets slimey before we can use it; the two recipes I'm about to share don't have it either. You could easily add it - just add maybe 1/4 or 1/3 cup more liquid (water, juice, almond milk, lake water, whatever. Don't add lake water.) 

I have the recipe saved in my notes on my phone & I'm totally taking the easy way out and just posting a screenshot of the note.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Toot Toot: Wonderland Edition

I cannot remember how old I was, but my Nana once gave me a copy of Alice Through the Looking Glass. It has always been one of my favorite tales - an escape into another's wild adventure. As an adult I remember small details from the story: A girl, Alice, who has presumably fallen down a (tardy!) rabbit's hole and proceeds to drink some magic potions, join a Mad Hatter for a tea party, and meet the Queen of Hearts. Oh, and something about a sly kitty cat and chubby caterpillar that smokes. These are things around which my mind has formed my own story and will now be the centerpiece of...

My bridal shower :) 

A few lovely bridesmaids are working their imagination around the clock to come up with the dopest Mad Hatter Tea Party inspired ideas that they possibly can. My Type-A brain has set up a shared Pinterest board and an Etsy board for us to share ideas and to use as inspiration for projects, one of which I'm about to share! (This is just the one project so far that my MOH has let me do [thank you!] because I'm 94% done with wedding stuff and am antsy to help with this shindig!) 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Toot Toot: Parenting Edition

Y'all, I have an almost 10 year old. Look at him washing my car. He's so grown up. He's been begging to do this, by the way. By the time he was 70% done he said he'd never ask to do it again. Well, let's see how bad that sucka wants $3. woot woot!

I know this doesn't mean much for people with children that are already double digits but ... well, I've got nothin' to follow that up with. I've always encouraged Josh to be independant; admittedly for my own selfish gain. Making his own cereal = I get to sleep in late(r). 

Well, you give 'em a little independence and then tell them "no" a few times when they ask you to buy him something and ALLofaSUDDEN he wants his owwwn money. Ugh.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gardening With (but without) Nana

Yes, more NANA! 

Full disclosure: None of these lovely ladies are my loveliest Nana.

I'd mentioned before about Nana moving closer to the rest of the family and cramming in quality time. Well, having a Nana that is a Master Gardener visit your finnicky yarden = lots of mental notes! 

Turns out we gots the crappy soil and we should pull back all the mulch this fall, work in the good dirt, and stand in delight in the spring. Just that "simple." She's full of good information, this is just the tip of iceberg. 

However, the bit-of-info I'm most recently excited about is rooting hydrangeas. While in Litchfield Beach this year, Aunt Heather's bubblegum pink hydrangeas were blooming and even if I couldn't transplant them via cuttings, I at least wanted to enjoy a few blooms at home for a few more days.

I'm glad I remembered to ask Nana about transplanting them because it turns out it's supposed to be pretty easy!

F Words: Figs & Fun!

Nana is the best nana I've ever had. Grown-up-Jessica especially agrees. Before she (Nana, not G-U-Jess) left recently to move closer to the rest of our family, we crammed in a lot of quality time! And while I think we might argue about who received the better end of the deal, I know I did :) 

Almost a month ago Josh and I went over to alleviate her fig problem and made a couple of delightful dishes with them, and froze the remaining THREE pounds of figs. Yes. 3 pounds - and that was being picky and throwing out the barely-over ripe fruit. So much yum growing on that tree!

Josh's first recipe request was fig newtons. The recipe I found on indicated they would not be as sweet as packaged Fig Newtons but I tried them anyways, knowing Josh would prefer them sweet. 

Wedding Craft: Gold Polka Dotted Vases

Shortly after getting myself engaged I came across these 9" tall cylinder vases at Crate&Barrel. Sooo I bought ten and they sat in the box in our room until this week. 

I considered wrapping them in some leftover lace with floating candles but I wasn't totally sold on the idea; I'm glad I waited until I found the inspiration for my final product via StyleMePretty.

This process was pretty straightforward, as usual. I used the same gold paint I used on the ring box and "&" and a pack of variable sized round sponge ...brushes? sticks? thingies? that I found at Michael's.  I also grabbed an "artist's palette" (that red bowl there) & a paper towel for when I spilled a bit of the obligatory glass of wine (spoiler alert - I didn't spill any!). And the other obligatory-tool-whilst-crafting: Arrested Development


The After, with romantic-lighting:

I started at the bottom of each vase using my largest round sponge and then polka-dotted about 1/3rd of the way up. Then I used the next two smaller sizes in the same manner, overlapping the sizes slightly. A sweet fade, if you will. Go ahead and click that link, you'll be delighted by it. Also, let me know if you were surprised by the result...

Initially I wasn't digging the texture the sponge left but it kind of reminds me of a lacy zinnia flower and I was ready to be done so I left it as you see it. AND it only took seven episodes of AD to get 10 of them done! 

I grabbed and lit just the two 3x3" candles to see how the light reflected off another vase and I just adore the look! It's just what I imagined - a little bit of vintage, whimsy, and mod!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hanky Bed for My Preciouses

A couple of weeks ago I finished a wedding project, the box for my precious, but I didn't exactly finishfinish it as I still needed to make two little pillows with a pretty ribbon to tie the rings in. 

I have some scrap lace from some table runners I snagged from another bride (she knows about it, I assure you.) and thought it would be really pretty to do two little ring pillows using that lace. Well, I didn't have any polyfil and after pricing a bag of it at Wal-mart the other day - the price wasn't an issue, it was a quantity thing. You can only buy this stuff in quantities like: Fill the Penthouse or Cover Everest with Fluff. 

Cue impatience. I'm for reals ready to cross another thing off my to-craft list!

I only needed a handful of stuffing so I figured I would just find a sacrificial pillow around the house and steal some from it. It would be an unceremonious event and everyone would be better for it. ...right?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

S+J Engagement Photo Shoot

It's only just occurred to me that I haven't shared our favorite engagement photos (yes, I realize there are still a lot here, but I assure you it is INDEED narrowed down). We visited Charles Towne Landing in Late January as we were trying to mimic the landscape of our wedding/reception venue, which is private so we couldn't just go traipse around snapping pics. CTL was the perfect background!

Loren & Bryan of Loren Routhier Photography are a great and easygoing duo and we're really happy that we stumbled upon them to work with during this exciting milestone in our lives! Loren emailed the other day to let us know that our engagement shoot is going to be featured on Bisou Bride sometime in August; neat!

Anyways, I guess I was waiting to share until after we sent out our StD's but now that they're out well... 

:::insert twinkling magical noise:::

Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Can Make it Rain ....But only for the next few days, probably.

I'm trying this neat thing called "only paying for stuff with cash" (caveat: unless its fuel or groceries since this cash is my 'leftover/spending' money). What this means is I basically do not have any money to spend in my account - it's all earmarked for something except frivolity. I have $200 to last 15 days. Seems easy enough, right?

It's been about 18 hours since I decided this would be a neato experiment and I'm not struggling yet. But that's mostly because I haven't done my usual morning internetz routine: Deal News, Tradesy, Wedding Bee, 100Layer Cake, EBay, and sometimes Ruffled Blog Marketplace (but their site really REALLY grates my fucking nerves, so that one is easy to avoid). The tangibility of cash will hopefully help curb my spending - most of which is wedding related, reminding myself that we can indeed still get married without "that" ...or that, or that, or that.

I spent my first cash this morning, picking up discs of the digital files from the boys' disposable cameras they took to camp for 4ish days. Spoiler alert: they're less than interesting. Well, to me, anyways. $20 (for TWO discs. 2). GONE.

Only $180 to last 14 days. ::::deeeeeep breaths::::

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Breakfast of Champions

Breakfast, the independent way! Blueberries, strawberries, powdered tasty kake donuts, and bacon!

Let freedom ring, y'all!

Oh, and I also attached a pic of my paper flowers mingling with some fresh snipped Black Eyed Susan's from the front yard.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Golden & & a Box for My Precious

Actually, it's a golden box to hold two My Preciouses. I realize this goes against there's only one "My Precious" but this is me not caring.

Early in the wedding pinning planning process I cam across a DIY that seemed pretty quick and easy. Turns out it was! Although, I managed to spread the project out over about 4 months. Talented, I know.

I bought an unfinished little box and "Sahara Gold" metallic acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby, ordered some vinyl decals from, and grabbed a quart of paint I've been saving for (seriously) nearly 8 years. That last part I don't recommend; I'm pretty sure that's a no-no. But it was super duper high quality paint from PPG called Newport Berry Blue or Newberry blue. I'm too lazy to go look. I've been saving it for a very special project. 

I was also working on finishing an  "&" sign I purchased off Etsy. I was pretty sure I wanted it gold so I bought some green spray paint while I was at Hobby Lobby. Which was a good thing because I decided I didn't want it all gold. I know me so well...

A series of mildly-acceptable-quality photojournalistic moments captured during the process:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Finding Wedding Aesthetic Focus: Five Months to Go!

I only have five more months to practice signing my new name :D
I knew it would happen eventually but to look through my Pinterest boards I think someone might be a wee bit confused with what's really going to go down. Well, maybe just me. A while ago. 

But not now. Ohhh no! I've whittled down the aesthetic feel to four words: lace, nature, vintage, glitter. I think "modern vintage" might sum up what the final product will be ...but maybe not. I've been using the phrase "glammed up picnic" (or variations thereof.) Basically, I've been glittering votive holders, twining glass bottles, procuring lace runners and lanterns, and daydreaming about baby's breath e.ver.ry.where. For decor I've found three sites that I refresh on the reg -,, and FULL of helpful brides with wedding shit they're ready to sell for (usually) cheap! Of course there's the always handy Etsy from which I've been gathering cute - and decently priced - handkerchiefs. 

As far as attire goes:

I've gotten the boys' outfits - they're basically matching but I'm hoping to find something extra for each of them to set them apart. They all have the same long sleeve button up - it's a very small blue and green plaid print. J+J, our ushers, will wear the same gray striped bowtie and the same gray/chambray trousers I found at Gap and Russ is wearing striped blue bowtie with blue pants I found at Volcom. I want to keep them casual and comfortable but not lose focus that this is still a wedding, "fancy picnic" style or not!

Making Time fo' Dat (a bunch of personal yadda yadda yaddas)

I'm making time for this. And that and that and that and that. 

Spring semester was a bit of a doozy for the first five weeks. I took an accelerated Economics course because it was the intro level and I thought, "'eeeey, those are always pretty easy - let's do it faster than normal!" My just-barely-a-B final grade proved that it wasn't as awful as I made it seem for five weeks but I worked really stinkin hard for that damn B. In fact, it was only the last weekish that I managed to bring it up to an 82. Economics is no freaking joke. Now I'm wrapping up my other class, American History and am kind of bummed about it. I've had one of THE best professors yet and the material is fantastic - a great combination!! 

When Econ ended I told myself I would start some sort of exercise again; I'd been using my hardcore studying as an excuse not to work my lungs and muscles - my brain was working overtime, afterall. So Econ ended and I started doing a 20-30 minute strength training routine about twice a week (well, the first week it was three times + two HIIT cardio sessions but it's no secret I don't mind just stopping doing stuff.) I always feel really great afterward but but but... My first dress fitting is July 8 so I was trying to use that as motivation - it's about a month away and I like to think I work really well under pressure. Maybe today will start a better week :) 

The kids are doing awwwwesome! J+J are moving to the fourth grade and not-so-Lil Bit (who we've begun calling Sharky because water seems to be his new best fren) will be in kindergarten next year! We're working a lot on reminding the big boys that outsmarting a five year old isn't that impressive, they gang up on him sometimes and that's frustrating but Stephen and I seriously can't wait til Lil Bit gets the balls to just clock one of them in the jaw. It's going to be fantastic, really! My dad picked on me A LOT growing up and I think it made me a stronger person, hopefully Lil Bit will be the same way. 

3-boy weekends are exhausting but this past weekend was a ton of fun (in the sun!). We pooled, wrestled (I was not involved. I was crafting :)) beached, and then pooled again - we all have pink cheeks - and two of us have a few more pink spots - to prove it! The boys were very well-behaved, each got some extra one-on-one time, especially Middle Child who I think needed it most; maybe it's just me but I think the extra attention made a HUGE difference in his demeanor. I think he struggles with how to ask for the extra attention and that sucks because what eight year old doesn't crave it? Stephen is a fantastic and attentive father; we're all lucky to have him! (Love you, boo!)

A few more blog posts coming about wedding crafts and stuffs; aesthetically speaking I've narrowed my focus and am starting to get stuff started & finished! WHATWHAT!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Learning to Dress Myself: Yeh! & Meh.

Let's get the "meh." out of the way. I don't like wearing the same outfit twice. I can't financially avoid wearing the same piece twice, but for some reason wearing the same pieces together more than once makes me feel like I'm a copycat. Of myself. Which should be acceptable, but "hey, I'm Jess, nice to meet you." The useful factor of keeping track of how I put something together always ends at a dead-end of "yeah, but, I've already worn that combo..." I don't make my life any easier than it already is; where's the challenge in that?

Rhetorical question. There isn't one. (a challenge, not a rhetorical que...whatever.)

Alas I've been vogue-ing it up for myself anyways. Well, at least six-ish times. So I guess the "Yeh!" is I have these pics just in case my Level of Effort should drop sub-nonexistent. Some of these are pin-spired, like the first ('find patterned shirt, pair with colored pant.' BOOM. done.) and probably the fif.
This blouse. I paid too much for it. NOT full price ("hey there, coupon code!"), but still too much.  I couldn't resist the gold buttons and sheer printed fabric (Banana Republic). 
It pairs just as nicely tucked into wide leg black or brown trousers with mint colored accents, as it does these velvety burnt orange britches. And those shoes? Those shoes might be the most comfortable pair of heels I own; thanks, Naturalizer!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Want: Apple&Mint

I saw a dress from Modern Vintage Boutique on FB (and unsuccessfully tried to win it by "sharing" it. womp womp) The dress has inpired me to find an outfit I can't get out of my brain. So I've since been on the hunt for red pants and a mint colored top.

Like this:

The pants on the left are Arizona brand from JCP & are only $17!! Of course, they only have sizes 1 & 21 available right now. The right pants are exactly what I had in mind but cannot find their origin. That red sizzles! The other tops are otherwise arbitrarily found via google image searches and didn't yield any helpful information. But mint is popular right now so finding a similar top should be a breeze.

While perusing the webz I saw something similar to my apple-mint child here, at, but the red wasn't quite right. So, here we are. Heck, maybe this is a played combo from last year and I just didn't get the memo, but I'm definitely digging it for this spring!

Monday, January 14, 2013

So, I'm getting married.

Stephen asked that I be his forever and I said "omg omg omg omg omg omg YES!" There was some jumping around, smiling like smiling is my favorite, and all around "AAAAAAAH's!" throughout the evening. He got the boys in on it - just after I finished taking their pictures on the porch of them in their costumes, they insisted I go back in because "Daddy needed my help with something." 

I'll be honest - I was suspicious. They way they were smirking was indicative of more than "I'm about to get a bunch of candy, y'all!" It was more of a "I'm about to load up on candy like I'm on Oprah's Favorite Things episode!!" smirk.

But another nugget of truth - I really had no freaking idea. 

This was no trick, it was allllll treat :)

We picked a venue before we picked a date - of which we now have both. I've found an amazing duo of wedding coordinators, Fabulous Fete, to help me out. Photographer is booked. And the really important parts - the food and bar - are underway. This is soooo stinking exciting!

In the midst of all this I'm taking a few more classes - I aced Accounting 100 & Humanities 112 last semester. I'm working on (well, supposed to be at this very moment) Sociology 100 and my first Project Management Class, BUS 375. 

Even more important than that, though, is that my best friend in the world, Sarah, got engaged mid-November! She's opted for a short engagement so life is about to get a lil bit more fun for all of those closest to me! I'm getting a hot pair of red heels out of the deal, too, sooyouuuknooowwww, I'm absolutely delighted!

The biggest project I've worked on so far is finding a way to officially ask my girls to be my wingbitches. I scoured the internet (*pinterest) for ideas and came up with a box full of goodies relevant to The Big Day (TBD from here on out. ain't nobody got time to keep typin that shit out.)

Here's what I came up with, from their POV:
she's all like "GASP! I have maaaaaaail!"