Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wedding Sneak Peek: Pocket Schedules

As you may have figured out by now, I really like organization and planning. I like it mostly because it helps me to stress out A LOT less when I have a plan.

I have no doubt that despite any amazing planning tools I have under my belt, the day of the wedding, prior to the ceremony will be stressful in and of itself. However, I am taking every step possible to make it as least stressful as possible. One of the steps? A day-of pocket schedule for everyone in the bridal party!

I popped open InDesign and started playing around. Then, the pocket schedule was born. When I went to Office Depot yesterday to have other wedding-related signs printed, I had 25 of these guys printed as well. When I got home, I folded them to perfection. I'm not gonna lie - I'm pretty proud of these if you can't tell!

Each member of the bridal party, parents and grandparents will receive their own copy at the rehearsal dinner so they know the timeline of the day and where/when they are suppose to be there. I've already stuck mine in my day-of bag.

SPEAKING of my day-of bag, you should definitely check back next week for a post on what's in my day-of bag! It'll be the official LAST wedding sneak peek post before the big day! And no, I still have not written my vows...

UPDATE 7/22/13: If you would like to purchase these pocket schedules customized for you own wedding, please send an email to! Thanks!

See ya!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

How To: Make a Rehearsal Bow-quet!

First, my sincere apologies for taking an unannounced, week-long hiatus! I've been way busier with the wedding planning than expected! Can you believe we are down to 10 days?! That said, I'm not sure if I'll be able to get up another post before the wedding - thus, another lengthy hiatus.

On the bright side, I've got a tutorial for you all today about how to make a bow-quet for the rehearsal from the ribbons and bows you've collected from your showers. With the bow-quet, it'll allow you to practice walking down the aisle and dealing with your bouquet after your at the altar.

To make yours, you will need your 1) ribbons and bows, 2) a paper plate, 3) scissors and 4) tape!

1. Take your paper plate and scissors and poke four holes in the plate like so.
2. Take one of your ribbons and string it through two diagonal holes. Then, tie on the underside of the plate.
3. And then through the other two diagonal holes making a "t" shape. Tie this ribbon to the underside of plate too.
4. Braid the ribbon ends together to make your bow-quet easier to hold.
5. Begin tying your bows and ribbons to the ribbon on the top side of the plate. If you cannot tie your bow or ribbon, use tape to adhere it down good. AND you're done!

Here is a peek at  mine!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday's Letters: August 17, 2012

Dear sissy, you absolutely crack me up - especially in the Obama head you found at Party City last week. I cannot believe that you are starting your sophomore year of college! We're moving you into your dorm this weekend at LaGrange College. No matter whether you end up on Broadway or a doctor walking the halls of a top-notch hospital, I'll be so proud of you. Dear Etsy shop, I love you right now! I had an order rolling in almost every day this week which is a huge accomplishment for me. Almost husband and I are very thankful for the much needed cash you are throwing our way. Dear bridesmaids, I cannot wait for Saturday! I cannot wait to have a big slumber party with you all. Can we please do it every weekend?!

Love Always,


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wedding Sneak Peek: Pom Poms, Gifts and Cry-babies

As the big day creeps closer and closer, I'm slowly, but surely seeing my vision for my wedding come together - which is a huge relief.

The biggest hurdle I am facing right now is writing my vows. R.J. and I really wanted to personalize our ceremony by writing our own vows to each other to read on that day. It sounded like a wonderful idea at first, but now I can't even sit down to write them without bursting into tears!

Just thinking about marrying R.J. and how much I love him overwhelms me with emotion that my heart bursts - followed by my eyes bursting with tears. EVERY SINGLE TIME!

Trust me, I know it's totally cheesy and if it was anyone else, I'd be rolling my eyes too. I'm getting soft. Great.

I've pretty much decided there is no hope whatsoever for me not to cry during the ceremony. However, I'm going to pre-apologize to anyone coming. I'm sorry that you won't be able to hear a single word of my vows over me blubbering like a baby. I'm also sorry that you'll have to see my ugly cry face too.

Anyway, I wanted to share one of my favorite crafts that we've done so far for the wedding. I love these pom poms for three reasons: they're SO inexpensive to make, they're SO easy to make and they're SO stinkin' adorable!

The plan is to hang these suckers above one of the tables. I can't tell you which table - because that's a surprise. For those of you who are not coming to the wedding, I promise to do an after-wedding series to show you all the fun and games!

The tutorial I used to make my pom poms came from the blog, Design Dazzle. The pom poms call for 8-10 sheets of tissue paper (99 cents), a pipe cleaner (87 cents for a pack) and some scissors. Total cost per pom pom? $1.86!

I won't go into detail here on how to make them, but let me assure you - it is super easy. It took me about 10 minutes to make each one.

Needless to say, for the three reasons above, I'm in love with them. However, I'm not sure Bentley agreed. He thought it was rather exhausting himself and had to take a nap on the scrap tissue paper.

 Also, I wrapped the gifts for the bridal party! I just absolutely love the colors which is good since they're my wedding colors, huh? Anywho, I thought they turned out cute and wanted to share them with you all. (P.S. I'll let you know what's in these gifts later in my after-wedding series!)
Well, it's time for me to suck it up, grab some Kleenex and write these vows. Wish me luck!


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How To: Make a toothbrush travel pouch from an old towel

You will need:
  • An old towel
  • Decorative scrap fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Scissor
  • Straight pins
  • Sewing machine
Note: I started out planning to use velcro tabs, but threw that out the window so disregard them!
  1.  Cut out a 9x12 inch rectangle from the decorative fabric. 
  2. Lay the 9x12 inch fabric triangle over the center edge of the towel like so. Pin and cut!
  3. Set aside fabric triangle and cut a 5.5x12 inch rectangle from the towel. Lay the smaller rectangle on top of the bigger one. Place the finished edges of both towel rectangles toward the top of the travel pouch. 
  4. Pin the small towel rectangle to the big one and sew together - leaving the finished edge on the small rectangle not sewn.                                                                                                                                                        
  5. Sew pockets for toothpaste and toothbrushes. To do so, sew a line from the base towards the finished edge of the small towel rectangle every 4 inches. {Note: Don't be in a hurry like I was or you'll get crooked pouches. Opps!}                                                                                                                          
  6. Now then, lay our finished towel piece and the decorative fabric right sides facing each other and pin.                                                                                                                         
  7. Sew the two pieces together around the edges, leaving a two or three inch space to pull the fabric back through like so.                                                                                          
  8. Fold the unfinished material in together and pin. 
  9. Insert your ribbon between the layers and pin together. Sew!
And there you have it! Your very own travel pouch made from a recycled towel.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How To: Not Become a Bridezilla

Everyone says that getting married is one of the most happiest times of your life. What they don't tell you is that it's also one of the most stressful.

My favorite guilty pleasure right now is watching "Bridezillas" on WE tv - mostly because it is surprisingly therapeutic for me. In a way, I really can relate to them when they freak out because they are so stressed. 

Let's face it, ALL brides have bridezilla moments at some point and it's not just cause we are hot tempered.  

We become bridezillas after months of trying to stretch your budget impossibly thin, slice and dice your guest list (and then have awkward conversations with those who wonder why they weren't invited), finish a never-ending list of DIY crafts, figure out your attire, the groom's attire and the entire wedding party's attire (and then all your family's attire because they want your input too) and signing contract after contract after contract. 

Because there is no such thing as a "stress-free wedding," here are some handy tips I've learned through my wedding planning journey to keep from turning into a bridezilla:

     1.Do not procrastinate and organize! With weddings, you cannot wait until the very last minute. Doing so will shoot your stress level into the sky. The cake has to be ordered so far in advance and the photographer has to be booked. My strong suggestion: find a timeline you like and religiously stick to it! Here are a couple of my favorites: 
                                     a) MarryThis! Wedding Planning Timeline 
                                     b) TheKnot's Planning Checklist
     2.  Have wedding-free days every now and then. This is one of the BEST things that almost     husband and I have done during our engagement. We go on a date to dinner and the movies and say NOT ONE WORD about the wedding. Not only does it take your mind off growing list of things you need to do, it lets the two of you re-bond. Wedding planning puts a lot of stress on the couple because with wedding planning comes life planning too - like whose bank account will stay or where you both will live after the big day. By not talking about any of these stressful things and just having fun, I always felt rejuvenated the next day. 
     3. Don't be afraid to bug people. By people, I mean vendors or anyone who is overseeing some part of your big day. Chances are, your wedding is not the only one for your vendors. Be sure you don't fall by the wayside by routinely checking in with them to see how things are progressing. By knowing how every part is going, you'll feel more at ease and trust that things are coming together as they should. 

    4. Ask questions until you have peace of mind. My poor cupcake maker received three phone calls from me in a row this morning asking about the cupcake tower. I want to put a cake round on the top and needed to know the diameter of top tier. However, there is an inch hump on the top which complicates what I want. Without bugging the cupcake maker incessantly about the top tier, I wouldn't have known that and been up a creek on my wedding day. ASK! ASK! ASK!

     5. Ask for help. There is no way that I could any of this without my mother. She's the one who I bounce ideas off of and the one who stays up late with me finishing wedding crafts. I'm also fortunate to have some grandmothers who've volunteered to help finish up the remaining crafts too.  There's no way a wedding is a one-woman show. For the most part, you'll find that your family and friends were just dying for you to ask them to help with something.

Do you have any tips to add? I'd love to hear from you below! 

Over and out,

Monday, August 6, 2012

How To: Create a Couponing System

I must admit I feel like quite the coupon fiend.

When I went grocery shopping with coupons two weeks ago, I got enough food within our budget to eat on for two whole weeks! I stretched the $58 I spent on groceries far!

While I didn't buy groceries last week, I did clip coupons for free school supplies. Seeing as I have no current need for school supplies, we donated the free items [three glue sticks and two really nice pens] to a local school teacher.

Now that I've been buying newspapers and collecting coupons for a little over a month, I needed a system to organize my coupons. The stack of circulars on my dining table was growing and getting out of hand.

My weapon of choice for organizing my tower of coupons? A file folder system.
My coupon filing system!
I gave each coupon circular its own tab. So, in my file folder, I have individual tabs for: SmartSource, RedPlum and P&G. You'll find SmartSource and RedPlum on a weekly basis while P&G comes out monthly.

In the Sunday paper, some stores like Publix and Target will put out store coupons. I made another individual tab for store coupons.

My next tab is labeled "Other." This tab is for coupon circulars that don't come out regularly. For example, in last Sunday's paper, General Mills put out a coupon circular for their items. It now lies in the "Other" tab.

Lastly, I have a "Restaurant" tab. I have coupons for meals at various restaurants like Red Lobster and Shane's Rib Shack stowed in this section. Let me tell you, these coupons are date night gold! Nothing like getting one nice meal and the other free. With these coupons, you can actually afford to go to a movie with the money you save on food.

Every Sunday night, I sit down and write the date at the top of every coupon circular I get. Next, I draft my weekly menu/grocery list around what is on sale this coming week. Personally, I use which can break down deals based on the percentage that you save. Also personally, I don't get a deal that will save me less than 50 percent.

When I find a deal that I like, I write down the specific name of the product, what store to get it at, what the coupon value is and what circular I can find it in. Once my list is complete, I go through the circulars and clip out the coupons I need.

Of course, sometimes there is a deal for an item that I need like milk or dog food for Bentley, our Yorkie. At this point, I go through ALL my circulars again looking for these specific items. Last night, I was able to find a $1 off coupon for Iams dog food. While it might not make much of a dent on a $12 bag of dog food, it's still a dollar off something I'd have to pay full price for anyway.

What were my results this week? Here is my receipt.

Coupons and all, I spent exactly $40. However, I purchased $62.91 worth of food. My total savings as you can see above was $22.91.

The deals I am most proud of? I got two jars of Ragu spaghetti sauce for $1.38, a can of Gillette shaving gel for $1 and two Colgate toothbrushes for $1.58.

Happy Couponing!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday's Letters

Dear almost husband, I missed you this week. Even though working two jobs sucks, I love you for doing it. You also don't complain about it which makes me love you even more. Thirty-six days cannot pass quick enough. You've more than earned a week-long honeymoon. Dear water bottles, I hate you right now. It's so hard to peel off your super-sticky labels and then stick on the new label straight. I may not hate you as much if there was only one of you. Instead, there are 50 of you and it looks like I need to order 50 more labels. Dear Bentley, thank you for trying to help me with the water bottles. You are beyond cute with pieces of the label stuck in your beard! Dear tomorrow, I cannot wait for you! I'm looking so forward to going to the Swan Coach House tomorrow for a luncheon honoring my lovely bridesmaids.

Love Always,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DIY: Prize Ribbon Boutonnieres

As some of you may know, our upcoming wedding is based around a country fair theme. We came to rest on this theme for two reasons: the fun of it fit our personalities and it was sentimental.

Our first date was at the Coweta County Fairgrounds way back in September 2006. How fitting is it that almost six years later to the day, we will be getting married at the same place where our first date was?

While I am absolutely in love with our theme, it has presented its fair share of challenges. One of the biggest is making sure my country fair wedding doesn't turn into a kid's carnival-themed birthday party. There is definitely a fine line.

While walking the fine line, my mother (a.k.a. my wedding planning partner in crime) and I have discovered there are not really many decorations or wedding-related paraphernalia that fit our theme appropriately. Like I said, it was all mostly made for a child's birthday party - leaving us to brainstorm and hand create items on our own. One of those items - prize ribbon boutonnieres!

I wanted to find a way to incorporate the fair theme into our ceremony. Our idea? Using prize ribbons instead of your typical flower boutonniere.

There are hardly any tutorials online about how to make such a thing so most of this one was trial-and-error. I'm sharing this one to help the bride that comes after me searching for a tutorial on how to make these unique boutonnieres.


Tutorial: Prize Ribbon Boutonnieres

You'll need:
  • Cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Printer
  1. Print out the Rosette Template and cut out the strips along the dotted line. 
  2. Fold the strips carefully along the dotted lines keeping each fold approximately the same width down the entire strip. 

3. Glue the ends of the strips together by laying one fold over the other. 

4. Print out the Circles Template and Back Disc Template. {The Circle Template is editable so you can put anything in the blanks that you wish. You could even leave the circles blank and write in calligraphy in the centers.} 
5. Cut out the circle and the back disc. I made these a little big so you can trim them down to whatever size you want on your prize ribbon. Lay the rosette out. Then, glue the circle onto the back disc like so.
6. Now comes the tricky part. Pinch the rosette so that the middle comes together and use lots of hot glue to keep it in place. Do this to both sides. 
7. Now, glue the circle and back disc to the rosette by putting a circle of glue on the back of the disc. 
8. Cut two legs to attach to the rosette and glue one leg on top of the other. 

9. Lastly, glue your legs onto the rosette by putting a triangle of glue on the top of the legs. And there you have it! A prize ribbon boutonniere! 

When the big day draws near, I plan on hot gluing safety pins to the back.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Fresh Start...Again!

You win some, you lose some. I lost all my previous blog posts, but I now have a blog design that I'm in love with! [R.J. told me the previous one looked like MySpace and I kind of agree.]

That said, I hope you take the time to bookmark this blog or pin it on a board to come back to later as I rebuild my posts. 

I'm hoping to get a post up about our wedding - perhaps a sneak peak/behind-the-scenes look!

But for now, I will leave you with a picture of our little fur-baby Bentley which just oozes cuteness. 

Love Always!