Weekend Project: Wedding Photos

I hope everyone had a good weekend! My husband managed to catch the cold that I had last weekend, so we had a quiet few days. With the snow gone, this week is looking to be a busy one, which makes our little weekend look even more lovely. In order to entertain myself, I spent a decent amount of time trying to make the apartment better. One of the little projects that I tackled was making a photo frame collage of some of our wedding photos.

I was inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, and thought that maybe it would be a nice addition to our bedroom. See what a great job they did!Since I was just curious to see how it would turn out, I wasn't as precise as I definitely should have been. I'm decidedly not a perfectionist and at the end of the project, I just sort of nailed holes in the wall and hoped for the best. With that in consideration, I think that the collage turned out pretty well. However, I realize that it is most definitely lopsided. I also realized that I probably picked the wrong place to hang the pictures up, but I didn't realize this until after I had nine holes in the wall. Oh, well! Despite the glaring imperfections, it's really nice to have a few wedding photos up to remind us about our day.

Friday=Snow Day!

I know a lot of us are so tired of the snow. All of these snow days mean school will be lasting to July or (even worse in my opinion) an extended school day. Despite this, I've been loving these snow days. Maybe it's the fact that I somehow think it will work out in the end or maybe I'm just a procrastinator. I was exhausted and I've enjoyed catching up on rest, cleaning my apartment, and hanging out with the husband. So,I'm enjoying my snow day and looking forward to a quiet weekend. What are your weekend plans? I hope they aren't too snowy!

Some Polka Dots!

I love polka dots. Chic Geek did a lovely post on them a little while ago. She has a more nuanced and styled view of them; whereas, I unabashedly adore them. In fact, I made sure that when we picked out our wedding china, we could get a few polka dot accent plates. I know they aren't very sophisticated, but they're so happy to me.

I stopped by Pier 1 and noticed these gold polka dot cups. I think that they are so cute and would be really fun for a dinner party. Since I don't have dinner parties I had no reason to get them and they stayed at the store. I'm also too cheap to spend four dollars on a glass when I have plenty at home. And when I say "I'm too cheap" I mean my husband is, and would not be happy. But I have to point out that these little cups look very close to Kate Spade's newest "Ticker Tape" line. I guess even Kate Spade doesn't have the monopoly over polka dots! What do you think of polka dots? Do you love them or just wish they'd go away?

Wedding Wednesday: Candy Bars

I think one of the cutest trends in weddings from over the past few years is the dessert table or candy bar. My love of candy and dessert tables might be more on how tasty they are rather than aesthetics, but that's beside the point. While we didn't have one for our own wedding, they certainly can enhance your color scheme and are so whimsical. For my friend's shower, I'm very inspired by this shoot from Style Me Pretty. Obviously the shower won't be by the beach, but I love what they did with the two colors. And check out a few dessert tables by Amy Atlas. Yum!

Pretty in Pink

Awhile ago I was trolling the Kate Spade website (another guilty pleasure of mine) and I spotted this beautiful purse. I'd never buy it (WAY out of my price range), but I love the colors. When my parents got married, my grandma wore a dress print that is very similar to this purse. For some reason, I got a scrap of the material to play with for my Barbie dolls, and always thought the print was so pretty. And finally, I love this top from Ann Taylor Loft. Pink polka dots. I think I've said enough. Again, I won't be buying this because I think the cut wouldn't be terribly flattering on me. But isn't it nice to have a few spring items to look at to get us through the cold of January?

Weekend Recap!

As predicted, this weekend was a quiet one as I tried to ward off a cold. A little cleaning and shopping did get done, but nothing too energetic or draining occurred. The husband and I did have a "date night;" we've been talking about going to Ruby Tuesday's for about two weeks to use a gift card. We finally did it on Saturday, and it was nice to go out. I really love their veggie burger sliders. Afterwards, the husband and I enjoyed playing Mario Party on the Wii. Such an exciting life we lead!

As usual, my trip to Target meant groceries and then some. I picked up a Yankee Candle Pumpkin Cream Pie marked down for four dollars and it smells really good. Even through my stuffy nose, it's making our apartment smell delicious. I also picked up Lipton's Blackberry and Pomegranate tea, which is a nice change from the mango flavor I always get (and love). Both made our bedroom seem even cozier! I hope everyone's Monday is off to a good start!

Happy Weekend!

So I took a brief blogging break for a few days. We started a new semester, I've been a little under the weather, and I volunteered to help host the Academic Team tournament...so it's been a busy week! This weekend I'm looking forward to cleaning up the apartment, getting errands done for the week, working on lesson plans, and just relaxing. What's your favorite thing to do during a quiet weekend?

Wedding Wednesdays: On Picking Bridesmaid Dresses

Picking bridesmaid dresses can certainly be a tricky activity. I've only been a bridesmaid or maid of honor three times, but each time how the bride went about picking out the bridesmaid dresses set the tone for her expectations that she would have for us.
Obviously, the bride should pick a dress that looks half-way decent on each of the bridesmaids. Everyone should feel relatively comfortable in her dress. Next, the bride focuses in on how the dress will work with her overall color scheme/theme for the wedding. I feel that a lot of brides stop there, and that's totally fine.


The next step that makes a tremendous difference for some bridesmaids is cost, especially if the attendants are in college/just graduated. In the first wedding I was in, the bride found dresses on sale that fit her color requirements (yellow). The dress itself wasn't fabulous, but it was only 35 dollars and whatever dress she chose in yellow wouldn't look so great on me. The wedding that I'm going to be in this July, the bride chose J.Crew dresses on sale for 36 dollars and is buying them for each of her girls as part of her gift to us. And aren't they cute? I did the same thing for her when I was the bride and she was the bridesmaid, and it's so nice to have the same consideration paid to me.
There are lots of places to find reasonable bridesmaid dresses. I found my dresses for my girls at Target, but J.Crew and Ann Taylor sometimes have some reasonable options in the sale section. Also, department stores sometimes have dresses on sale, and I think that some dresses from the places you love to shop can lead some beautiful options. So much of the time, I feel that brides begin and end their searches at David's Bridal or Alfred Angelo. Those dresses are nice, but I think sometimes thinking outside of the box can get a more unique wedding, less expensive dresses, and/or dresses that have a chance of being worn again. Being a bridesmaid or maid of honor becomes expensive in ways you can't even imagine, so the dress choice really makes the attendants feel that the bride cares about them and not just how they can add to the decor of the wedding. What types of bridesmaid dresses have you worn that you loved or hated?

*Image taken by my wedding photographer, Celeste Ainsworth, dress from J.Crew.com

My Secret Obsession: Home Decorating Magazines!

I hope everyone is having a nice MLK day, even if you didn't get the day off from work. Our school district gave teachers a "work from home day," which I am using as wisely as I can. We start a new semester on Wednesday, so I have lots to do. One of the great things about working from home is I can sit on our futon and type up activities while watching HGTV (my guilty pleasure). After watching a few shows of "My First Place," I started thinking about my other guilty pleasure: home decorating magazines. Even though my husband and I are years away from owning a home, I love to look at homes. My sister actually bought my subscriptions of Better Homes and Gardens and House Beautiful for me (and I love them). I also love to read Young House Love. Do any one you have any favorite home/apartment decorating sources? I'm always happy to find a new place to dream.

I know just looking at a few images make me feel calm!

And maybe I'll have an office like this someday!




All images from House Beautiful

Guest Post: Donuts!

Hello loyal readers. This is the blogger’s husband and I’m writing a guest post for today. The topic of today’s guest post will be donuts! Last week, I did a guest post about Teaching (Thoughts on Teaching) but did not introduce myself. Here is a brief introduction. I am a law student who will be graduating this May. My wife and I met during my freshman year of college (her junior year) and married after five and a half years of dating.

As my wife may have mentioned, we have been trying our hands at cooking for the past few weeks. She has been attempting to cook Vegetarian Pad Thai which has usually ended in disaster. I think she’s tried on three occasions to cook this meal and all three have ended in barely edible noodle dishes that scarcely resemble Pad Thai. By contrast, my foray into cooking has been a resounding success. My dish of choice is the French donut called a beignet!

This past Sunday, my wife and I thought it would be a good couple’s activity to fry a few beignets. Neither my wife nor I had ever attempted to fry anything. Given that this was our first attempt at frying, both of us were very concerned that we would either set the townhouse on fire or burn ourselves. As a result, we decided not to turn the oil up to a very high temperature. The result was that our beignets ended up being quite a bit flatter than we had hoped. Instead of being light and puffy, the beignets ended up being very similar to a piece of fried dough. Moreover, I put WAY too much flour in the beignets which made the “beignets” taste more like flour than a donut.

Undeterred, this past Tuesday I made my second batch of beignets. Unlike the first attempt, I decided to be brave and turn the oil up to a reasonable temperature and put a bit less flour on the cutting board. The second attempt was a triumph! My donuts actually puffed up and tasted like beignets! Both my wife and I enjoyed our powdery fried treat that didn’t taste at all like flour. While neither my wife nor I are the next Rachel Ray, I was happy that I was the first person to make an edible meal.

(For those of you unfamiliar with the delightful treat, this is a beignet.)

Spudnuts

In addition to French donuts, I have been quite intrigued with the donut known as a spudnut. A spudnut is essentially a donut that is made out of potato dough instead of regular dough. About a year ago I watched a Travel Channel show about donuts and became aware that there were a few chains that made donuts out of potato dough. At the time I didn’t think anything of it, but later it came to my attention that there was a Spudnuts located nearby (Spudnuts chains appear to be popular on the West Coast but quite rare on the East Coast).

After learning of the nearby Spudnuts, it has been my goal to try one of these elusive donuts. On two occasions over the past month I have stopped by the Spudnuts location, which is about thirty minutes from our house, but on both trips the donut shop has been closed. Thus, it became my objective to make a trip to Spudnuts and try the potato donut. For the past week, I have told my wife that I was going to stop by Spudnuts in the morning and pick up a donut, but each time I have slept too late or felt too lazy to make the 30 minute drive to Spudnuts (Classes have not started for law school, and thus, I have no excuse for sleeping too late). Hopefully, I’ll make this trip within the next week or two and will be able to update you all on my adventures.

If you have any thoughts about easy recipes for my wife or I, please let us know. Also, if you have tried a Spudnut, let me know if it’s worth the trip!

Thursday Thanks!

Thanks so much for everyone's sweet comments and for those of you who are following my blog! Even though my blog is superflous, it makes me so happy. At the beginning of the year, I was talking to my husband about how my blog wasn't going anywhere. He offered to guest post on Fridays, and I think it will be lots of fun.

So let me introduce you to him! He's in his last year of law school, loves college football, and tolerates the copious amounts of pink that I have in our house. I'm looking forward to his guest posts, because his point of view always surprises me!
*Picture taken by Celeste Ainsworth (we really need to take more pictures!)

Stylish Blogger Award

What a nice surprise! I got the Stylish Blogger Award from Prissy and Preppy Flamingo. If you don't follow her blog, you should check it out! I'm really touched, since I'm trying to make my blog something that people would want to read. Thanks so much. :)

Here are the rules:
1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

First up, seven things about me:
1. I'm a teacher and I love my job (despite its challenges)!
2. I hate exercise, but am trying to make it through Jillian Michael's 30 day Shred
3. I love to read, and am currently reading Cry, the Beloved Country
4. I love anything with polka dots on it. Especially pink polka dots.
5. I have a weird obsession with home decorating/design, considering I don't own a house.
6. I'm slightly obsessed with weddings, even now that mine is over. I still sometimes check out wedding blogs.
7. I'm from Virginia and I'd be quite happy if I never left the state.

And now, the fun part! I give this award to a few of my favorite new blogs:
Luv Red and White
Chic Geek
Worthy Style
My Superfluities
Northern Girl with a Southern Heart
Positively Preppy in Pink
Love, Marriage, and a Baby Carriage!
Just another day in our midwest paradise
That's Sassy
A Smile on Fire
Almost Perfect
Mindless Musings on my Average Life

If you get a chance, you should check out some of those blogs! They are all wonderful, fun, stylish reads.

Wedding Wednesdays: Catching the Bouquet

A lot of people consider catching the bouquet a pretty embarassing tradition that single ladies have to go through. At one wedding, one of my friends literally wrestled another friend to the ground to get the bouquet. She hasn't gotten married, but it did make quite the spectacle!

With that debacle in mind, I was thinking about skipping it, but the husband insisted that the throwing of the bouquet was the best part of the reception. Apparently, this tradition provides him with lots of humor, and he had a feeling that one of our good friends (who was dating his best man) would be determined to catch it. So we had the toss, my friend caught it, and she's now engaged. Maybe there is something to the story. Now, it's true that she did have no qualms telling the other girls that she wanted to get married and the other ladies stepped way back. I was literally throwing it at my friend (check out the picture below).
Do any of you have a funny bouquet toss story? Has it ever worked out for someone you know? I now have new respect for the tradition!

*Image from our wedding photographer, Celeste Ainsworth

Lunch in Paris: The Perfect Birthday Gift?

January is the month of birthdays for me, since three of my close friends celebrate another year during January. For two of my friends, I was easily able to pick out gifts, but for my friend who has everything I struggled a bit. Finally, I stumbled upon Lunch in Paris. It looks like a charming book (I kind of wish I could read it!), and seems like a good choice for someone who loves Paris. I've also given her books before, and she's read and enjoyed them.

Have any of you read Lunch in Paris? It got really good reviews, so I think I might have to put it on my list! Either way, I can't wait to give it to her and celebrate her birthday.

Talbot's Wool Tweed Jacket

January is the season for sales, and I certainly participated in them over the weekend!

One of the items I've wanted for awhile is a jacket to wear to school, because I really think that a jacket lends a bit of polish. I wandered over to Talbots and ended picking up this one in pink. I hesitated to purchase it, since it was final sale. All in all, I can't wait to wear it with a dark pink top and brown pants. I think it will be great because the fit is very comfortablel, and in fact, is probably a little too big. I've had jackets too tight, and then they end up not being very flattering. Have any of you been able to do a little sale shopping?

Ikea on a Sunday

This morning my brother called me wanting to know where Ikea was. He and his wife were driving back from their honeymoon, and wanted to stop to pick up a few things for their new house. I of course helped them out, but I couldn't help thinking how much I wish I was going to Ikea! They just bought a king mattress; wouldn't the Malm bedframe be lovely?I know Ikea's quality is at times a little dubious, but at this point in my life it's all I can afford and is better than nothing. What have you bought from Ikea that you've loved or been disappointed with? I'd love to hear. I hope that everyone is having a great weekend!

A New Recipe to Try!

I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend. Some cleaning, a little shopping, and most excitedly of all, some cooking will be involved! I'm determined to hunt up a few recipes that I would like to cook. My husband and I don't cook very much. Really, we don't cook at all. I'm simply too tired when I get home from work, and he doesn't really care (although he does make a yummy broccoli teriyaki). Now that we're married, I'd like to at least have a few meals that I make on the weekends that could be heated up during the week. Or I might just settle for having a nice dinner together on the weekends. Regardless, I'm going to try to make Lime Peanut Ginger Chicken this weekend. My mother-in-law made it for us Christmas Eve, and it looked like something I could handle. Since I'm a vegetarian, I'm going to add tofu instead of chicken. We'll see how it goes! What are you favorite meals to make that are easy, yet delicious?

First Guest Post: Thoughts on Teaching

The first topic that I will discuss is my relationship to teaching. My only relationship to secondary school/teaching is through my wife. She is a dedicated and passionate teacher who loves her job. She tries hard to come up with relevant lessons that will connect with her students. That being said, often times middle and high schoolers are not the most polite or well- behaved students. Thus, even though my wife will expend quite a bit of effort trying to reach these students, the students often won’t give the teacher the time of day.

The lack of respect that some students show towards current teachers has caused me to develop a strong dislike of my wife’s students. While my view of the students is almost certainly unfair given that I most likely only hear the worst stories, I feel this way nonetheless.

A while back I read a story about how a teacher who had taught for over twenty years had a meltdown and began flipping desks. After reading this story, I felt terrible for the teacher who obviously had been pushed over the edge by a group of unruly students. In fact, most reader comments about the story sided with the teacher. I’m not sure if current high schoolers are more disrespectful or if the school systems simply don’t punish trouble students, but this seems to be a moderately significant problem in today’s schools.

Given that I am a bit disconnected from today’s public schools, any thoughts or comments would be appreciated!

Twirl and Thanks!

Another generous gift that my sister gave me for Christmas was a Twirl gift set. I love all things Kate Spade, so I was thrilled with the gift. I really love the fragrance, and I've enjoyed wearing it this week. For those of you who are thinking about purchasing it, you should check out katespade.com. The gift set is an extra 25 percent off, so it's only 39 dollars. I think that's a pretty good deal, and it'd be a great gift for someone who loves the fragrance. The bottle is really fun with the gold polka dots and feels very substantial. The perfume isn't very sophisticated, but it's very fun!

I hope that everyone's Thursday is going well. I really appreciate those of you who left comments or are following my blog; they really make me happy! Thank you so much. :)


The Great Paper Chase

One of the things I routinely do at school is make copies of activities for my students to do. There is the usual frustration with the copiers breaking and jamming just when you need them, but it's just part of an effort to help the students stay organized. While I try to not inundate my students with too many worksheets and such, a certain amount of structure is necessary. It's amazing what a free-for-all my class can turn into when my students are searching for both paper AND pencils. So, if I can provide the paper, at least I only have to worry about handing out a few pencils and the class runs much better. Basic supplies become a much bigger deal than they really should sometimes, but that's just the way it is.

Anyways, when I arrived to school after Winter Break, there was a mass email announcing that we had run out of paper! The timing (right before final exams and the major state tests) was less than ideal. And really, that's kind of the last thing you want to deal with after a break. Ultimately we were able to scrounge up a bit of paper later on, but incidents like these always make me thankful for the modern technology that my students don't usually have to write everything by hand.

Wedding Wednesdays: Bridal Shower Invites

As a huge fan of paper products, I am overjoyed at the prospect of picking out invitations or any type of cards. So, the task of choosing bridal shower invites is a happy one. As I've blogged about before here, I was extremely excited to find bridal shower invites for a yellow and blue wedding for my friend's shower. Before I was able to locate them, I spent a little time searching Wedding Paper Divas, Minted, and Shutterfly for a few options, and I thought I'd share some cute options.

This is one option that I found at minted.com. I really love the aqua and blue combination, and the circle graphics are very modern. Wedding Paper Divas also had a cute option for a couples' shower with the blocks of color, but the colors seem a bit strong. Finally, Shutterfly also had a cheerful aqua and yellow daisy invite, and is the one I probably would have wanted to go with if I hadn't found invites. Which one do you like best?

2011 Blog Changes!

I am planning to make a few changes to the blog in 2011 to hopefully make the blog more interesting. I started this blog as a place to just put images of pretty things, but now I really would like to make it something that someone might want to read!

First, I've begun tagging posts. This means that if you want to read only about my wedding posts, you can just click on the wedding label at the bottom of the post. Second, I will be posting a weekly Wednesday wedding post. Even though my own wedding is over, I think that weddings are fun and a bit of escape sometimes. Most of my wedding posts will probably focus on the projects that a good maid of honor should help out with, so there will be lots about the parties that I'll be hosting! Finally, I have coerced my new husband into making a weekly guest post on Fridays (because he thinks it'd be fun, for some odd reason). His posts will likely relate to law school, sports, his point of view about our newlywed life, or whatever else strikes his fancy. With these posts, I hope to post a little bit more regularly too. So, if you've found my blog, do you have any thoughts for how I could improve? I'd love for you to leave a comment!

A New Year, A New Planner!

I hope that your 2011 is off to a good start! It's always a bit difficult for me to begin back again on Mondays. My kiddos are usually super wound up, and it seems there is just so much to do. There is one Christmas present from my sister, which is making going back to school so much easier: a new Kate Spade planner. I love the illustrations, that I can look at a whole month at a time, and that there is lots of space in the back to take notes. In the age of the iphone, Google Calendar, and so much technology, a planner might seem outdated to some. However, I think that nothing beats the ease of paper and pencil, especially when it comes with so many light-hearted illustrations.

*Image from Kate Spade