Archive | December, 2010

2010…a Reflection

31 Dec

2010 has been the best year since I can remember. So many great things have happened to my family and I (and my new family). This has been a year full of blessings and for that we are grateful.

This time last year John and I were mentally preparing ourselves for the wedding planning and crunching in the months to follow (we got married on May 28).

John and I at our 90's New Year's Eve Party last year!

It is funny to look back at how stressful it was at times but that stress is what makes it exciting.

ah stress!

It is a type of stress that you can only experience once (well hopefully) and the entire process teaches you alot about yourself and the people close to you. Weddings will bring out the very worst and the very best in people. True colors reign and at the same time it is reassuring and disappointing. Luckily, we are blessed with such an amazing group of friends and family who supported and helped us the entire way through. The good stress is to be embraced and remembered for always…after all it is part of the experience.

Every year I make a list of resolutions because I like to believe in the novelty of it. Most people think they are made to be broken but I take it as an opportunity to set goals for myself (which I do periodically throughout the year anyway).

There were several resolutions I had personally that I accomplished and some I did not:

  • get married!
  • do something about my urge to learn graphic design
  • exercise more
  • eat healthy and get hubby to jump on bandwagon
  • blog
  • new job that lowers stress
  • 5K
  • go to dermatologist (get scary mole removed)
  • go to eye doctor
  • regular volunteer work
  • get a dog with john
  • reconnect with someone very dear to me

As you can see, I still have some left that will transfer to this year. I especially would like the volunteer one to be at the top of my list because there are so many people in need right now. Whether they are sick, sad, or unemployed…it is our responsibility to help one another and I aim to do that this year. John and I have been blessed with good health and good jobs. It is the least we can do to stop and help others (you should think about it too!).

Take a minute today to look at what you have accomplished in 2010 (not just the DIY projects or house remodelings). Look at the big picture and what you did to meet your goals or dreams. Did something not work out quite how you wanted? Did you keep putting something off that you now regret? Did you sell yourself short and not put your best interest first? If so, then guess what? You have a whole new clean slate to start over. Take that piece of paper out and write down what you would like to accomplish this coming year. Of course you are not going to get them all…no one does…keep that in mind and keep going for your dreams. Sometimes we fall but it is the effort it takes to get back up and try again that makes the world go round…..

Happy New Year!

Bridesmaid's Being Awesome and Helping During the Wedding Week!

Wedding Week

My mom helping cut burlap table runners.

This was the result of our ENTIRE wedding party helping! Thank you everyone!

Hope and I holding our dresses up..right after we bought them in January.

My sister and her boyfriend at the beach.

Success! Tired and happy married couple...


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…

30 Dec

I was looking at Anthropologies website the other day for inspiration and stumbled across something that 1.) made me cry because it was so $$ and 2.) made me really happy because I found something similar in a “junk” shop by the side of the road for $7.00!

This is what I found at Anthro….

Anthropologie Vine Gardner Mirror $498.00

Anthropologie Organic Rococo Mirror $398.00

They are beautiful and I wish I could afford a million of them but I am very excited about my side of the road treasure!


This was my steal at $7.00….

Ornate Mirror (not sure of material..not wood)



I think I am going to paint the frame  a glossy white or glossy turquoise to go in our guest room…any suggestions?




DIY Tissue Paper Monogram

29 Dec

So the original purpose of this blog was to showcase and TEACH you about the things I made for my wedding…kinda got off track, huh Ashley?

We thought it would be nice to have something hanging on our beach house rental door to give a glimpse of the overall wedding decor. It is also a nice  personalized touch to the entrance of your wedding venue and above all else it let’s  people know they have arrived to the right place!

We decided that an “R” to represent our last name (my new last name) would be appropriate. I knew I did not want a moss covered “R” or a fabric covered “R” (even though they are very nice for some weddings). I liked the simplicity of this Martha Stewart Weddings idea but wanted more.

Martha Stewart Weddings

I was running out of time AND moolah so decided to look at what I already had lying around. There was quite a bit of blue tissue paper left after making the pom’s (see how to post here). I printed off my current coupon for Joann fabric and made the trek in search of a styrofoam sheet. Sure enough, they had plenty of shapes and sizes! The styrofoam sheet cost about $4.00 with the coupon (you know you are getting older AND wiser when you get excited about coupons!). Here is what I did when I got home:

1. I used a marker to trace an “R” on the foam. Try using a light marker (I used silver so my lines would hide easily).

2. Cut the “R” out with an exacto knife. Going into the garage is a must because it gets a little messy. You may have to score the styro. several times before it will pop out. Take your time and stick to it. I actually ended up cutting a part of my “R” off by mistake…nothing some tape can’t fix!

3. A day earlier I made some miniature tissue paper flower poms. I used the same directions as the large pom’s but used smaller sheets of tissue paper. This is where the wire we  used for the tissue paper pom’s will come in handy. See my pom here. Wiggle the wire through the foam and twist to secure the tissue pom’s on.

4. Using the wire from the wrapped flower pom’s, stick them one by one into the “R” and fill it up. I thought about adding some to the side because the foam was about 1″ thick but opted not to. This would make it fuller and more polished in my opinion.

5. I then tied a ribbon to the top and hung it from a clear wreath hook I got from the after Christmas sell at K-Mart for $.99! SCORE!

There you have it! An easy, light and airy monogram to hang from your door!

Goodwill Frames = Awesome Christmas Decor!

23 Dec

Merry Christmas ya’ll! I hope everyone is ready and jolly by golly!  Like everyone else this holiday season my wallet was not looking forward to the costs involved with baking, gift giving and more outings! It is all I can do to get all my ducks in a row every month! I really wanted to do some fun things for our house since it is our first “married” Christmas together in our home. Holiday decorations help get my husband and I in the spirit. Only problem is holiday decor at full price is way too expensive and I am not one to hit the shops up the day after for those marked down holiday goodies. Sooooo I did what I always do and made my way down to Goodwill. Many of you know that Goodwill is my jam! I love going there and looking around, seeing hidden potential in things, finding a good book and meeting the nice people that work there. Just the other day I found Emily Giffins “Something Borrowed” for a dollar! I read it in 2 sittings! Success! Back to my point I had a few ideas in mind for my Goodwill expedition. I wanted to find some framed art (with or without the art) with the frame and glass intact. My Goodwill off Strickland Rd. has a great corner of frames and art etc. I walked away with some old framed art and a canvas that someone had framed in.

Once I put my thinking cap on I took both frames to the garage and laid them on some painters plastic.

I took the glass out of the frame and removed the oh so lovely art and RECYCLED it. Washed it, dried it and prepped it. I took some Rustoleum chalkboard paint and used a high density foam roller to paint the glass. It only took (2) coats with a 4 hour dry time in between.

While the glass was drying I spray painted the frame with a nice semi-gloss white I had laying around. Two coats seemed to do the job.

we like corona

After the chalkboard glass was dry I put it back in the frame and BAM that’s my JAM! A cute chalkboard to scribble Christmas cheer on!

My second project needed to somehow showcase our Christmas cards. I adore Christmas cards and can hardly wait to open them when they come in. I noticed that John leaves them for me on the counter because he knows how much I love ripping into them! I have the best husband EVA! As much as I love them, they can sometimes clutter and flutter. My soluition was to create a card bullitin board  to display by our tree.

I started by painting the frame and canvas with white paint. The person’s art was lovely but not my style *sorry little van gogh*.

While the paint was drying I dug through our Christmas wrapping paper stash and found something semi-neutral with a little color and shine.

I removed the screws and wrapped the canvas in the paper (taping it on much like a Christmas gift).

I carefully put the canvas back into the frame and tucked when necessary.

This is the finished product and this is what it looks like now…great right? All cards in one tidy place by our beautiful tree.

These are just some easy, inexpensive ways to brighten up your home this holiday season. Home is where it all begins and ends so why not have fun in making it festive? Merry Christmas everyone 🙂

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{ Congratulations Megan + Jared }

17 Dec

Want to send a quick congrats out to two great people, Megan and Jared!  They were recently engaged and we could not be happier for them!

Happy Planning you two love birds!

m + j

End of Year Crazies

11 Dec

I just realized that the last time I wrote was on December 2…not cool Ashley! This month is flying by and I cannot keep up. So I wanted to give you a sneak peek on what I plan on posting about here in the near future. I have been working on some Christmas decor here and there which has been fun! Today is study day for me because my final exam is tomorrow for my Photoshop class. I am excited to move on to my Typography class next semester! I highly recommend online courses if you work full time. I am only taking one a semester but it really adds alot to my day and gives me something to look forward to when the work day is less than thrilling 😉

Soon to Come!

Goodwill Chalkboard:

DIY Christmas Greeting Chalkboard


Goodwill Christmas Card Display:

Display your Cards in a Fun Way!

Wish me luck and see you soon!

Buy Handmade This Christmas…or DIY!

2 Dec

Check out your local craft fairs, browse around Etsy, or make some goodies with your own hands! Whatever it is …..don’t go into debt buying gifts this year. It is not worth it….cherish the comforts of your friends and family. Plan a night when you can hang out, drink some beverages and bake some cookies. I guarantee the laughs and good times you have will be a hundred times better than any gift out there. Remember the real reason for the season 🙂