Thursday, October 30, 2014

That One Time We Made the Flowers for Our Wedding

Ready for your second installment of "How It's Made: Douglas Wedding Edition?" Great! Today we're talking about flowers. This post comes along with it's very own huge shout-out to my friend and 'little sister,' Megan for basically being a floral genius and doing the brunt work of this project. I could not have done it without her... basically I just paid the bill and barked orders. She's also the one who did our engagement photos and also did my hair for the wedding. She's basically a champ. So, here we go.

Step one. Head to Michaels or your local craft store and buy out their whole selection of silk flowers. [Ha... jk, there's like a million flowers there... just try and estimate what you'll need.] Other supplies you'll need: Floral tape, wire cutters, ribbon, packaging tape, any little baubles or extras you want... for example we added feathers to the boutonnieres. We guesstimated that we spent about $60 total on flowers. Not bad for a day's work! And of course, take a photo for posterities sake.

Step two. Spend two movies worth of time selecting, cutting, and assembling 6 bouquets and 11 boutonnieres. We cheated a little bit in that we did use some packaging tape to hold some of the flowers together... but that was eventually covered with an ample supply of floral tape and ribbon, so no one was the wiser! [I'm tellin' ya—cheating works!] We made my bouquet a bit fuller, pinker, and glammy-er [check out those gold baubles!] than the bridesmaids and we tried to mix up the boutonnieres a little by adding little sprigs of color or mini succulents here and there.

Step three. Admire almost finished-product. Here you can see both the boutonniere and bouquet before they were wrapped... the boutonnieres were wrapped with copper wire [see below] and the bouquets were wrapped with thick cream ribbon with a strip of thick lace ribbon in the middle.

I love how Brian's boutineer turned out! If you didn't know I have a crush on succulents so the little babes in there just make my heart so happy. And the feather and copper wire really do a great job of adding that extra little something. 

All the bridesmaids with their lovely bouquets... and, just like bridesmaid dresses, with silk flowers you can totally use them again! [No, really, check it out here.]

I am super glad we did our own flowers for the wedding! It is seriously one of the best choices we made. We made these back in July so they were done months before the wedding, which was such a relief and they turned out exactly how I wanted! Plus, I now have my wedding bouquet on my dresser looking exactly how it did the day I got married. So sweet!

Has anyone else made their own flowers for their wedding day? Link up to some photos... I'd love to see them! 

//all wedding photography via Availeth Photography, all process photos via my awesome, like 2 MP phone camera

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


You guys! I love love love with a big fat hug the holiday season!!! I have been practicing my self-control and resisting posting about the holidays yet, but since it is officially Halloween week I'm allowing myself.

Ahhh... where to start?? Holidays may be one of my favorite things! And I'm pretty sure they're even more favorite now that I'm married. You see, I'm a bit of a major nostalgic and now that I get to start creating traditions with my little family of my hubby and I [that will someday hopefully be a bigger family] really just rocks my socks off.

[Disclaimer: This is the scariest thing you will ever see on my blog. I thought it was kinda clever.]

So, Friday is Halloween, yes? Well, contrary to everything I just said, I really don't like Halloween. I am not a scary movie, creepy costume, or eerie music kinda gal. And thankfully, neither is the Mr. So, although we aren't too excited about this holiday, we are excited to start a tradition.

We've decided that making a blanket fort (more epic than the last), getting some take-out (chinese, perhaps?), and watching a non-horror movie sounds pretty wonderful to us. Maybe we'll even sip some hot apple cider as a nod to fall and stuff our faces with candy in honor of the day.


So, to start off what I'm sure will be a plethora of posts on the holidays, let me share with you 5 things I am oh-so-excited about for the next couple months:

1. Making caramel corn. We have an amazing family recipe... I'll definitely be back with that!

2. Decorating my very own house with my very own Christmas decorations [yes, I am already buying Christmas decor... so what?!].

3. Making Christmas ornaments... ornaments can be expensive and we own one. So... I think I'll be making some this year and then hopefully hitting up the stores after Christmas for the discounted decor!

4. Driving around and looking at the lights. I have loved doing this ever since I was a little kid. Granted, nowadays it's probably more about looking at the pretty houses, but the pretty lights don't hurt either. ;)

5. Christmas cookies! There's no need to say anything else.

What about the holiday season excites you? Do you have any plans for this Friday (even if it is just staying in and snuggling up with a good movie)?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Love & Hate

I don't really want to write this post, because I'm not really ready to live it out just yet... but I thought someone else besides me would maybe need a good kick in the pants today.

This morning I stumbled upon this article from Desiring God by Francis Chan, Marriage on the Edge of Eternity. I started reading it, began to feel convicted, and willed my eyes to keep reading, my brain to keep processing. [And yes, you have to read it too, if you want any of what follows to make an iota of sense. Married or not, it applies to all of life and is definitely worth a read.]

So, after reading this pants-kicking article, I did what I usually do in these cases and e-mailed it on to the hubs. [He says he appreciates this, which I just want to bless his soul for, because sharing information is one of my love languages I think.] So I sent him the link along with the following comment...
I both love and hate this... love because I know it's true and what we should be aiming for, hate because it means it's gonna be hard and we have to give up stuff I want. Love because it's the highest calling we could ever have, hate because I just don't feel like I'm at the point of really wanting it yet. Love because I know it will be more fulfilling than anything else in life, hate because it doesn't seem fulfilling right now. Love because it means obeying Jesus, hate because it means denying my flesh. Ugh.
And he replied, in quick, Loverboy fashion...
Preach it!  It's never easy to do what God wants us to do. It's easiest to be selfish. It's hard to obey and enter the battle. Let's pray for Christ to change our desires. Let's pray for boldness and courage to join the battle. Thanks for the article! I love you babe!
And then I melted inside a little bit because that's the best response ever. Of course he points us to prayer (like he does all. the. time. Seriously, if ever one of us suggests we go to God in prayer for an issue, it is like 95% of the time him. Thanks, God, for this man who likes to come to you, and drag take me along with him).

So all that to say, I both love and hate the idea of being in a war. But I guess in the long run, it doesn't really matter, since reality is that we are in one. My spirit's desires are so different than my fleshly ones, and really that's a war in itself—to have the spirit win out. But so often I follow my fleshly desires and I give in to that idea that Chan puts so perfectly—"You have contractors installing better windows so you can tune out all of the noise."

I pray that I don't live my life like that—ignoring the noise of the battle outside my windows. I want to engage in the battle, but it's never as simple as that, because like I said, I both love and hate this idea. Oh Jesus, please change my desires.

Let me end this with the ending of Chan's article (because, let's be honest, it's far better than anything I could leave you with).

"Being in war together may be what keeps us from being at war with each other. Rather than neglecting the battle to work on your marriage, maybe the best thing for your marriage is to enter the battlefield together."

//photos via Availeth Photography

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's In The Little Things

Welcome to the random shelf in our bathroom. The one right above our toilet paper roll (left that out of the picture... you're welcome) and slightly above and to the right of our toilet (if you're sitting down that is).

I wasn't quite settled with how the bathroom was coming together, but now every time I go in there (which, let's be real, it's a bathroom—soooo multiple times a day) I get a little bit of happiness from this shelf.

Sure, if you went in my bathroom a few days in a row you would have thought I was a crazy person with the rotating decor on our little shelf (it took about 5 tries of different combinations of photo frames, books, candles, vases, and other tchotchkes to finally settle on this). But, I think the end result was totally worth it and it's these seemingly small victories in decorating that keep me going.

I knew I wanted to display a collection of these milk glass vases from our wedding somewhere in the apartment, but they just looked too plain by themselves, so that's when I started pulling apart one of my bridesmaids' bouquets... and about 10 minutes later, wallah! I am so pleased with this little space, and the only reason it came about is that I wasn't afraid to do a little experimenting.

Is there one little shelf or corner or end table in your house that you just aren't quite satisfied with yet? My advice? Do a little experimenting. Let things sit for a day or two to see if you like them... and if not, move on. Be willing to switch things out or "pull apart some bouquets" (whatever that looks like for you). I'm giving you permission to look like a crazy person for a bit. Because the end result will be worth it, and that little area of beauty you've created just might bring some happiness into your home. Because after all, it really is in the little things.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Weekend Wrap-Up

It's Friday ya'll! Bring on the weekend! Tonight and tomorrow morning we have a membership class for our church [no, it's not a slumber party, but how awesome (and weird) would that be?!]. Then tomorrow afternoon and evening we're hittin' up Nickelodeon Universe at the MOA with a couple friends! I am super psyched since my love for amusement parks is up there on the list with my love for my husband, sleep, and food. [in that order].

Sundays around here are automatically football afternoons during the fall, which means I get a couple hours to spend time with my hubby, nap, and eat [hey! see how that works out with my favorite things?? No rollercoasters though...bummer].

So that's what I've got planned for the weekend... along with a couple things we need to do like set up our new printer and get going on the name change process as well as order thank yous for our wedding. Cheers to the weekend! Here's some inspiration for you!

Truth to Rest In


Isaiah 46:4 - ” I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds

1 1/2 C. Sugar 
1 1/2 C. Brown Sugar 
3 Tbsp. Cinnamon 
1/8 tsp. Salt 
1 Egg White 
2 tsp. Vanilla 
3 Cups Almonds 
1/4 C. Water
[Here for recipe directions and cook time]

Cute Seasonal DIY

I love these little stumps turned candle holders... especially with the added gold touch. We had similar candle holders at a our wedding... thanks to a wonderful friend! :)


Hope you all have a wonderful weekend... resting in the truth that God sustains you, and maybe even trying out the recipe or DIY if you're weekend isn't looking quite as busy as mine [but let's be real... life is NEVER too busy for delicious slow clooker recipes!].

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5 Tips for Planning a Wedding [on a budget, in a time-crunch, or otherwise]

Loverboy and I were engaged for 5 1/2 months, which in some circles is pretty average, or even plenty of time, but in many other circles it's short. And we were certainly on a "tighter-than-average" budget. So I feel like I'm at least a little bit qualified to write on the subject of planning a wedding... on a budget, in a time-crunch, or otherwise. Here are 5 lessons I learned while planning mine.

1. To-do lists are your friend.
And that being said, Google Docs is your friend. [I ranted about it here.] But seriously, wedding planning would have been a billion times harder without shared docs. Thank you google. Right away I made a to-do list for every month, and as the wedding approached I started doing weekly to-do lists, and finally in the last week or two I made daily to-do lists. This helped my brain soooo much in that I get super distracted when there's a lot to get done. However, with my time-specific to-do lists, I had just a few things to focus on at a time. In my book, to-do lists are a MUST for wedding planning, which might be obvious, but doing it in time increments was really helpful for us.

2. Stick within a budget.
There are three main ways we stuck within our budget. All we did was borrow, cheat, and skip. Let me explain ...

Borrow. HUGE shout-out to all the amazing friends who lent us decorations for the wedding! We might not have had this wedding if it wasn't for your generosity! [Well, we would have had it, it just wouldn't have been as pretty!] So, moral of the story, be one of the last of your friends to get married so you can borrow their table cloths, jars, lanterns, candle holders, cake cutters, banners, etc! ;)

Cheat. We actually got quite a few of our decorations at the Dollar Tree! Who knew, right?? Well, now I guess the whole world does, but before that.... Anyways, we got our silver trays and gold frames for all a buck a pop! Does my heart good! We also got glow sticks in the dollar section at Michaels and all the white milk glass vases were thrifted for 50 cents to $1.50 each. Cha-ching!

Skip. There were a lot of things on my Pinterest board that were oh so darling, but I ended up deciding they would just take too much time or too much money. So instead of focusing on the cute things I wasn't able to do, I focused on the fun things I was! I capitalized on projects that were quick, simple, and cheap. My favorite.

3. Have a wedding coordinator.
The pastor we met with for premarital counseling could not stress it enough. And now that I'm an experienced married woman (ha!) I can't either! Our wedding coordinator was a friend from my post-college stint with the Navs, who also made our incredible cake and cupcakes (she's superwoman, I'm tellin' ya!). It was super magical not having to deal with problems or questions on the day-of and she also helped me think through tons of details in the planning process! The only qualifications she had was that she has been married before, attended and been in multiple weddings, helped another friend plan hers, and is super duper organized, efficient, and has an awesome take-charge way about her. So if you have a friend in your life like that, I'd say swipe her up for your wedding coordinator before someone else does! [But P.S. make sure she is honored in the role, not used!]

4. Don't sweat the small stuff.
This goes right along with my "skip" rule of sticking within a budget. Spending my time and energy on those simpler, big-impact items, like our ribbon backdrop and quote pallet was one of the best choices I made. Sure, I didn't really know how the centerpieces would turn out until we got to the barn the day before. BUT, I did know that I had a bunch of cute stuff that I liked and so I didn't sweat it. I knew it would turn out. Also, most people don't remember if your napkins perfectly matched your color scheme or if each vase had the same amount of flowers.

5. Do what you want.
Ultimately, it's your guys' day. Don't do something (or not do something) because of what someone else thinks. Yeah, having Mexican food at a barn wedding is kinda quirky... but guess what? Everyone loved it! If you feel like you really want something in your ceremony or reception that might not be the "norm," I say go for it! It's your one and only day to celebrate this union with all your friends and family, so why not make it memorable and special and oh-so-very-YOU!

And remember, it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful.

//photos via Availeth Photography

Monday, October 13, 2014

One Month

Remember back when I wrote that post about one month until marriage? Well I don't know how we got here, but today I get to write about one month of marriage! Here are some of the highlights from the last month! [or maybe just the things we decided to snap pics of...]

1// Friday night fun=Phase 10! I won't say who won... but let's just say that there's a reason he's covering his face. :)

2// I still do a double-take every time I walk past my new name on my cubicle.

3// One night after work we spent some time at Minnehaha Falls—checking out the Sea Salt Eatery and exploring the park.

4// There's some progress on the puzzle that our family hid all the pieces everywhere in our apartment while we were on our honeymoon. We're still missing quite a few edge pieces... if you're ever at our place, anyone who finds an edge piece gets a prize!

5// Another Friday night fun... epic blanket fort! What you can't see is that it even includes the TV in there... best way to watch Parks and Rec ever!

6// Now that I'm not needing to fit into a wedding dress anymore, I've been enjoying donut days at work much more. :)

7// My morning view... that boy LOVES his coffee!

And as a bonus... last night we went on a long walk around the neighborhood. It was SUCH a beautiful evening and was so fun to look at all the cute NE houses. But the best part?? ....

THIS DOG! Oh man, it totally jumped on the fence and sat there for forever, just watching us walk by. It was like a perched bird. Weirdest dog ever. I kind of want it.

Well, that's about it... one month of marriage summed up in photos. Obviously there's all the normal life living in-between, but I'd say this month has been pretty darn beautiful. I love this man who I've attached myself to, and I hope we get to experience lots more card playing, blanket-fort building, and weird dog admiring in the years to come!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Feature: RootedDeeply Etsy Shop

Friends, I'd like you to meet this sweet lady and friend, Sarah.

Sarah recently opened up an Etsy shop [RootedDeeply] where she sells homemade [and adorable] scripture memory packs. We all know I'm a fan of all things pretty, so when I saw the link to her shop on Sarah's Facebook feed I got super excited! I immediately contacted her to ask if she would mind sending me a pack in exchange for a post about her shop and review of her product. She eagerly agreed, and what follows is her story.

"Scripture memory started for me my sophomore year of college when I joined a Navigators Bible study. I grew up in a Christian home but my faith was not serious to me until joining that Bible study. It was unlike any Christian meeting I had been to. They were serious about the Bible and passionate about getting to know the God who wrote it. One of the ways we did that was memorize Scripture. 

At first for me it was just a challenge: finish the TMS (60 verses The Navigators think have great worth in memorizing). When the newness of the challenge wore off after a couple of months, so did my diligence in memorization. In hearing many people share about their experience with Scripture memory, I realized that it could be so much more than just checking off a to-do list. 

David says in Psalm 19 that the Scriptures are “sweeter than honey”. I had not experienced them in this way but I deeply longed to. Scripture memory is one of the main ways God changed my perspective of His Word. My love for Scripture memory has grown deeply in the last few years of walking with the Lord.

RootedDeeply was born out of the idea of helping others grow in their love for the Word. At first I started just making verse packs for myself and a few friends but then realized there were many people I knew who wanted a fun looking verse pack, so I opened an Etsy shop. 

I have only been open for a few weeks and am having so much fun! I love getting to pick new fabric and praying for those who might use them. My desire is that these packs would really help people get to know and fall in love with the Bible."

Now for my review ...
I was so pumped when I got my package in the mail! Each pack comes in this precious canvas stamped bag, which makes it just that much more fun to receive! I also got some blank cards to write my own memory verses on, but am definitely planning on putting some TMS verses in there as well.

Sarah's craftsmanship is incredible... this baby is so perfect it almost doesn't look homemade... but the presentation and thoughtful note it comes with definitely remind you that it is. I would 100% recommend this product... and especially as the price is currently only $5! If I was still on staff with The Navigators I would definitely be buying these for my Bible Study and all the girls I discipled. But I guess I'll just have to settle for buying them for my friends instead.

So head on over to RootedDeeply and get one of these sweet verse packs for yourself... and your 5 closest friends. :)

//last photo mine, all other photos via RootedDeeply
[You can also check them out on Instagram!]

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Empty Your Shoe

"In marriage, the little offenses creep in and steal your joy if you don’t learn to overlook them (Prov 19:11). Like small rocks in your shoe, they begin bruising your heal and causing greater pain if they’re not removed. Your marriage is your ministry and you have a purpose beyond your immediate happiness. There are mountains to climb, and you must climb them side by side! How can you climb mountains together if you’re both agonizing about tiny pebbles in your shoes? Empty your shoe, get rid of the pebbles, and get on with life. " 
—Ryan Frederick, Fierce Marriage [read the whole post here] 
Amen and amen. This is such a good reminder that Satan will use whatever he can—including those tiny little things that shouldn't even matter—to try and ruin our marriage. He will do whatever he can to tear us apart. He will make anything and everything seem like a big deal if it will bring disunity and disharmony.

I think this is going to be our new code phrase for when we're feeling those little annoyances and frustrations. "Can you give me a minute? I need to empty my shoe." or "Hey babe, do you need to empty your shoe?"

Because we can't climb those mountains with a shoe-full of pebbles!

//photo via Availeth Photography

Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall Goals

We're about two weeks into fall and before you know it winter will be here! If you know me, you know that I love warmth, but that being said, I really do love the fall! Although it often finds me mourning the loss of the warm weather, I also welcome the changing of the leaves, crisp air, and wearing sweaters, scarves, and boots.

I thought I would make a little list of goals for this fall... things I want to complete before Thanksgiving [because let's be real—the day after thanksgiving officially marks the beginning of Christmas season and winter, even if winter doesn't show up on the calendar for almost another month].


So, without further ado, here it is.

1. Complete unpacking, organizing, and moving boxes down to our storage room. Make our 2nd bedroom pretty! (Come visit us!)

2. Finish reading The Nesting Place

3. Go through my closet and get rid of clothes I don't wear anymore- get ready for our Sunday School clothing swap!

4. Hang up wedding photos from the photographer and order more to begin a Smashbook

5. Memorize 4 new Bible verses. This should be more fun with my new verse pack I'll be getting in the mail from a lovely Etsy shop owner that I get to review for you all soon! I'm super excited to share with you all, so keep your eyes peeled! [Ew. That's disgusting.]

6. Start a fall tradition with the hubs. Any good ieas?

What are your goals for this fall? Anything you're looking forward to crossing off your list soon, or maybe something that you need a little extra motivation to do?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Nesting Place

This came in the mail this week. And I don't know if I've been this excited about getting a new book in a loooong time.

Myquillyn Smith has a delightful blog at The Nester where she shares all about her home and how "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." Which for someone who has quite a bit of 'perfect' in her personality, is quite therapeutic to hear [from a "professional", no less], then repeat daily, chant in my sleep, and hopefully get to the point of living it out.

I'm only a few chapters in, but it is SO. GOOD. When I purchased the book I originally thought it would be more of a flip-through-and-stop-when-something-catches-my-eye kind of read, but it most definitely is a start-from-the-beginning kind of book [or maybe that's just the perfect coming out in me?]. :) Myquillyn tells stories so well and I have laughed and cried along with her.

So, my piece of advice—if you are at all interested in decor, good stories, home design, how to make a house a home, renting (she's rented 10 homes!), pretty pictures, or how to make a space imperfectly beautiful you should definitely check this book out! Bonus—Myquillyn loves Jesus and definitely has some great life lessons along the way. I'll check in with ya'll again when I'm done, but from the few chapters I've devoured so far, I can just tell this is going to be a magical journey.

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