Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wedding Memories

One of my most favorite DIY projects that I've ever completed would have to have been our wedding.  Stephen and I got married during our most favorite season on October 10 of last year.  My mom was quite the trooper as she helped me with almost every one of my DIY projects.  My best friend Donielle, and even Stephen ended up helping me a lot on some of my projects and at the end of the day, it was by far everything I could've ever wanted and more.

When my friend Traci got married in March of 2006 she took some wedding memorabilia and put it into a shadow box to display.  When I saw hers 4 years ago, I knew I wanted to do the same.  So, I waited until Hobby Lobby put their shadow boxes on 50% off sale and I went a bought one for $20.  I then proceeded to fill it up with great items for our wedding.
In it I have dried flowers from the day, 2 books of matches (in the upper right hand corner), Our invitations along with the response cards and guest details card, our program, and a decorative twig that was used on our table centerpieces.  2 things that are really near to my heart that are included are: the typed out "script" that Stephen took with him when he asked my parents if he could marry me and the index card note that he had stuck on my card with flowers the day we got engaged.  

I've hung the shadow box in our bedroom, appropriately above a marriage prayer that was a gift to us from one of Stephen's coworker.  I look forward to being able to look at this box 20 years from now and remember what a beautiful day it was and what an amazing thing that marriage is.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Magnificent Mondays: Magnificent Blogs 28

I first stumbled upon Suzanne's blog when I wanted to refinish my lampshades.  She offered a great tutorial and I was able to do my project with little to no problems.  She has a lot of good ideas that she shares at her magnificent blog.

Check out this cute pillow that would make a great gift for any baby shower!

I love this pillow and she makes it look easy-peasy to make!

And here is the great tutorial I followed to recover my lampshades.

Head on over to Suzanne's Just Another Hang Up and see if she has anything to offer you.  If she does, be sure you come back here and let me know what you loved about her blog!
Happy Blogging!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Trash to Treasure!

Check out this awesome sign I picked up at the Salvation Army (please forgive the fact that it's sideways - for some reason it wouldn't flip for me).  I picked this bad boy up for $2.  I brought it home and showed it to Stephen who was immediately confused as to why I would want that.  I showed it to my mom and told her that I was going to give it to my sister for Christmas (I was kidding) and her response? "How sweet!".  Really?  Because I think this sign is not one that I would give to anyone, even my sisters.  No, no, when I first saw this sign, I immediately knew what I wanted to do with it and keep it as is was not it.  My inspiration grew when I went here and saw this.

So, first, I spray painted it:

I then taped it off so that I could paint a border on it as well as paint the sides:

Next, I decided what I wanted my sign to say.  Because the board isn't that big, I knew that whatever I put on there had to be short and sweet and to the point.  That's when I went generic.  Once I knew what I wanted it to say, I played around with fonts on my computer and finally figured out which one I wanted and the size and printed it out.  I then cut them down and then colored all over the backs of them with a pencil.  Once I'd done that I taped them onto the board where I wanted to words to show up.

I proceeded to trace the letters with a pencil so I could see where I had already traced.

After I had traced all the letters, I peeled off the paper and could see the letters on my board.  This is what I will use to guide me in my painting process.

I then (very patiently) painted all the letters onto my board.  When I was finished, I went to town with some sand paper and sanded it down to make it look worn out and old.

Next, I watered down some brown paint and kinda wiped the board down with it.  Once it had finished drying, I sprayed it with a clear spray that gave it a glossy finish.
I then displayed it in our dining room for all to see when they walk into our apartment - including ourselves.  We need the reminder sometimes (often).

This was SUPER easy and you could do it with any piece of wood you can get your little paws on.  Cathe, at Just Something I Made used a cabinet door - super easy.  

Meanwhile, check out this beauty:

I went with my friend, Amy on Wednesday to help her at her school.  Little did we know that we were going to stumble upon a treasure chest of furniture that someone had just left for trash!  We both picked up one of these (and some other stuff) that we're going to work together to refinish.  I feel like I may be a bit too ambitious for my own good, but who can pass up a free chair?!?!
I'll keep you posted on the progress of this adventurous project!

I hope you're enjoying your weekend (and that your weather is as beautiful as ours is right now)!!!

I've linked up to these parties:

Friday, August 27, 2010


I mentioned that Stephen and I got a chance to head to Kentucky after we arrived back from visiting Alaska.  It was a bit crazy.  We walked into our apartment in Chicago at 12:30 am on Saturday morning and didn't go to bed until 3 (unpacking, repacking and eating a snack).  We woke up at 7:30 am on Saturday morning and drove straight to Lexington (my home of 8 years before moving to Chicago).  I know we sound crazy but I really wanted to spend time in Lexington during Stephen's 2 weeks away from work.  It is a place that is so dear to my heart because there are so many people there that I love so much.  Stephen is such a trooper and never complained about our lack of sleep or tons of driving just so that I could spend a measly 30 hours in this great place. 
One of my best friends, Katie, had agreed to having a cook-out at her house for us.  I knew that if I didn't try to get everyone together in one place that there would be NO way to that I could see even half of the people that I wanted to see.  So she planned a great cook-out, cleaned her house and got her backyard and deck ready for this shin-dig.  And wouldn't you know that that was the only day in weeks that the skies ripped open and it POURED?  That was okay by us because we just went right inside and enjoyed a close and intimate time together.  
There are not enough words that I could string together to tell you how much I love these people.  They know my heart and in the most important ways, they share it.  I see Christ in them and I follow Christ with them.  Despite moving 6 hours away (it isn't far, but it's a lot farther than the minutes I used to live from), I don't feel distant from them at all.  I was SO happy that I got to see them!

Not only did I get to see these amazing people but I also got to attend church at my old church home AND I got to see my Lexington Family (One of my greatest friends, Laura, her mom (another one of my greatest friends and old Bible Study leader and their family) as well as spend time with some of my dear teacher friends from my old school.  Our trip to Lexington left me feeling so blessed!

We left Lexington on Sunday night and I was able to enjoy the warm, sunny weather in Louisville at Stephen's parents pool the next following days.  My bffs Laura and Doni ventured to Louisville on Tuesday to enjoy a pool day with me - what fun!  

In Louisville we were able to spend great time with both of our families!  We enjoyed dinner with my family on Monday night (unfortunately I have no pictures from that - we need to get better about taking pictures with my family!) and we had dinner with Stephen's family on Wednesday night.

(Here's a picture of Stephen's 93 year old Noni with some of her grandchildren (+spouses) and great grandchildren).
If I felt blessed leaving Lexington, it's safe to say that I felt even more blessed leaving Louisville.  I am so overwhelmed by my amazing family and all my dear old friends in Kentucky - they are a constant reminder of Christ's love for me!  And to make things even better (can it get even better?!), when I think about my life in Chicago, I feel even more blessed!  God has really brought me new friends here that I seriously don't think I could've done this move without!  I am SUPER blessed to have such Christlike friends in this great city as well!

The moral in all this?  We were made for fellowship and love.  Where would we be without those loved ones around us?
I hope you take a minute to count your blessings and thank God for all the people He's brought into your life that remind you of His love.
Enjoy your weekend!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Waa-Hoo for Vacay!

So when Stephen and I were trying to decide where we were going to go on vacation we knew that one thing was for sure: we needed to either go on a cruise (where food would be endless) or to an all inclusive resort (where food would be endless)...do you see the trend here?  Let me explain, my husband could easily eat us out of house and home.  If we didn't go on a cruise or to an all inclusive resort, one of two things would happen while we were on vacation: Stephen would be in a constant state of hungry OR we would have to take out a loan to live when we returned home because all our money would have been spent on food to feed his appetite.

Just 10 months ago we ventured to tropical paradise in St. Lucia for our honeymoon and because of that, I was open to the idea of going somewhere COMPLETELY different for vacation.  That's when we decided to go to Alaska!  I had never been anywhere like it and I was pumped and clueless as to what to expect as a result.  When we decided to go to Alaska, I found myself telling Stephen's mom and sister and was pleasantly surprised when his sister got so excited and wanted to join us!  So we cruised with Stephen's sister and her husband and we had a blast!  I'll share a few pictures of our amazing vacation and I 100% recommend that you get to Alaska sometime before you die!

We started out in Seattle.  Not only had I never been to Seattle, I also realized when we were looking out from the ship that I had never seen the Pacific Ocean before!  I was really excited when I realized that I was already seeing something that I had never seen before :).

Next stop was Juneau.  In Juneau we went and saw Mendenhall Glacier which is on a lake as well as we went dog sledding at a musher's camp where Alaskan Huskies are going through summer weight training as they prepare to race the Iditarod.

The next day we stayed on the boat while we ventured to Glacier Bay National Park.  This was a fun and relaxing day because we could just stay on the boat AND we got this beautiful scenery to gawk at.  I'm telling you, I've never seen anything like this before at all.

(I played around on picnick.com)

After spending a full day checking out glaciers, we headed off for the teeny tiny town of Sitka.  You may have heard of Sitka if you have seen the movie, The Proposal with Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock.  Let me tell you, this town is itty-bitty!  We didn't even pull up to a pier and dock, no, they threw an anchor down and then we took little boats to shore.  That should tell you something!  In Sitka we walked around the rain forest (rain forest in Alaska?! - yep!) and enjoyed nature and totem poles :).

(We found monstrous slugs)

After Sitka we were off to Ketchikan where we took the city bus and walked around the town.  We saw LOADS of salmon and also smelled a lot of nasty dead salmon that hadn't made it in their journey upstream.

Our last stop before disembarking in Seattle was to Victoria, British Columbia.  Unfortunately, this was our shortest port of call as we were only there for 4 hours and they were at night time - boo!  I would love to go back and see more of Canada, and I'm hoping since we share the same land mass as that country, that I'll be able to revisit again soon, someday.

So there's our trip - it was a beautiful and scenic journey!  I'm sad that vacation is over, but I look forward to having a great travel buddy to share in all my grand adventures for the rest of my life! :).

Also, this trip helped me knock 2 out of the 3 states that I wanted to visit this year as one of my New Years Resolutions...Looking at that list motivates me to get back on the band wagon for a lot of the others!
What about you - where have you traveled that I should consider putting on my "To Go To" list?