Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A DIY Halloween Inspiration

Happy Halloween!! I have never been one to really participate in Halloween festivities with the exception of my childhood. I actually really loved dressing up and running through the neighborhood with my siblings and cousins. My parents were never the ones to actually purchase a costume. It always was DIY and whatever we had around the house. With 3 kids - I can see why! I think as a teenager, it made me embarrassed that I did not have the cool costume or the most expensive. In college, I purchase my first ever costume and was planning on going to Franklin street in Chapel Hill. It was a little scandalous - I thought that was what Halloween really was for college students- a chance to look a little bit like a street walker with no judgement attached. I chickened out. I couldn't do it. It was cold for one thing -I mean FREEZING - and my heart wasn't in it. I have dressed up once in the last 10 years of my life: 

I was pregnant with Ada and I was a bun in the oven with Sam as the bun maker

Now, as a momma of 2. I am really starting to get into the Halloween spirit. I enjoy seeing the kiddos dressed up that come to the door and I really love seeing the excitement on my 2 year old's face when she gets to try on her Cinderella dress that her Aunt Courtney made her. I can see why my mom made us have DIY costumes. It may have been a cost saver, but it is so much better than the store bought! It is different, interesting, and so very creative. So with a little bit of Polyvore perusing, I came across these adult DIY costumes that some of you may have hanging in your closet  and didn't even know it. With a few little purchase from Target or Wal-Mart- you have the perfect, creative, and fun Halloween costume. Enjoy..

You can do it too!
I see this a lot and I love that it is so easy and comfy!

DIY Halloween Anna Karenina
Love this! I would tell the hubs I want to be her just so that I can justify buying the booties!

Twiggy Costume DIY
How cute would this be?? Perfect for the girl with already short hair.

I would so dress up like that if I had a banging body. I may not have leather pants, but I am sure  I can scrounge up some leggings

Halloween by nofears featuring a slim belt

DIY: '80s Cyndi Lauper Costume
This is actually my favorite! I love Cyndi Lauper and I love this costume!

Alice in Wonderland DIY Costume.
So cute! I love this grown up Alice

DIY Halloween:The 1980's Madonna Look
I mean who does not want to be Madonna??? So iconic!

DIY Halloween:The 1980's Madonna Look by samibear123 featuring asos

Hope you got some inspiration for tonight if you are still stumped on what to be. Stay safe and enjoy this extra cold Halloween! 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Linens Make the Party!

It always amazes me how much a space transforms once you place the linens on the goes from empty space with possibility to a par-tay! One of our favorite places to rent linens in C and E Rentals in downtown Raleigh (and it is not just because of the name similarity!) While you can rent chairs/tables/and plates from them, what they really specialize in are linens. They have some of the prettiest, and most elaborate linen choices around...if you are looking for something spectacular, that is the place to go! Enjoy looking at some of the possibilities out there...and happy Tuesday!
A nice budget option is to do a spun poly in a fun color! Blue poly cost the same as white....
Another idea we use often is to stick to a poly for guest seating and really have fun with the cake or sweetheart table linen!

Love the black and white...really makes the centerpiece pop!

A nice option for a color pop and maybe a little help with the budget is a plain cotton linen with a fun runner!

Monday, October 29, 2012


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As strange as it may sound....I am grateful for those weekends I have away from my kiddos...not because they are so difficult or trying, although they at times they can be...but because it adjusts my perspective when I do have time with them. This weekend we had a nice little break (guess no one wanted a Halloween wedding) and I spent it doing stuff at home and playing with the kids. Sure there were time outs and discussions and bedtime re-do's...but it was great, I knew in the back of my mind that next Saturday I won't be able to put them to bed and argue about last snacks and cups of juice, or here Nora giggle when I read the Lamb book!

Friday, October 26, 2012

DIY: Bubble inspiration Necklace

 I made a necklace using the ever so popular Bubble necklace from j.crew as inspiration. It was harder than I thought and it took about 3 tries to figure it out. Hopefully this tutorial is clear enough that it only takes you one try! 

I bought:

  • Necklace pack, it had the straight bead wires, and 18" chain, and links all for $2! It was on sale and I had a coupon
  • I got one string of round flat beads and 1 string of round beads
  • I also got a bag of bead caps
  • Pliers will be nice for this project
Step 1: Realize that not all bead wires are the same!! Pick the ones with flat ends on the bottom, you do not need to link the small beads on the bottom at all. So, ignore the picture that has the loop on the bottom - it should be flat. This was literally my third attempt, and 100th picture and nap time was running out! So get all your small beads ready. I used 13. So thread the straigh wire with FLAT bottom and loop the top and cut off the excess (don't close the loop all the way just yet)

 Step 2: attach to bead caps. Now, I originally attached them all using the links - this will not work! Your bead will not lay flat. You have to use the smaller, less bulky wire instead. I didn't close my loops all the way and once I put them through the cap, I plied them shut.

Step 3: Attach all the beads to the caps. You will need:
  • 4 caps with 2 (see picture below for spacing)
  • 3 empty caps

 Step 4: Start building the necklace. Thread a bead wire with a loop on the bottom, not a flat bottom and make a look on the top. Glue on a bead cap that has 2 beads. Attach a third bead to the bottom loop. You are going to repeat this except you are going to use the flat bottom this time. The flat part is going to be the TOP, not the bottom. You will have:

  • 1 bead that has 3 attached and loop at the top 
  • 2 beads that has 3 attached with a flat top. 
  • 1 bead that has 2 attached and a loop on the top and bottom
  • 2 beads that have 1 bead attached to the bottom and a flat top
  • and a bead that has a loop on the bottom and a flat top (no beads attached)

Connect! Use the links to connect the loops. I would recommend using only 1 link, otherwise it is too flimsy and it flips around too much. 

Here is a close up! I ended up taking out a link between as I said above, it flips too much! But I think it is super cute and I am getting a lot of use out of it!

Happy Friday all!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A little pat on the back

We are not ones to brag- but it seems that we have been busting our butt here lately and it was nice to receive this in our inbox on a Monday following a VERY stressful weekend with double weddings and about 2 hours of sleep...

I can't thank you enough for all you did to make H's wedding run so smoothly.  You put together a beautiful wedding site inside Bay 7 (and in a jiffy!) when it was pouring outside on the desired and planned for site under the water tower.  You were calm and collected and incredibly patient with everyone.  You were ready for every step of the wedding and of the reception and directed all of the players in seamless fashion.  This is my third daughter to get married and we had wedding coordinators for all three.  However, you were head and shoulders above the others and this wedding ran the most smoothly of the three!

Thanks to you and Courtney for providing an excellent service for a very reasonable price.  This was one wedding service that was worth more than I paid for it!  I will certainly be referring you to anyone who is in need of an event planner!

We LOVED this wedding. I want to be H's friend - she was so cool, laid back, and seriously funny. I am sad that I don't get to chuckle at her e-mails or get to see her on a regular basis. The families were awesome and we could not have asked for a better couple to work for! Nothing like getting a little pat on the back sometimes:) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Setting up an event

Monday, October 22, 2012

This is why we were such slackers...

I apologize about the non posting on Thursday and Friday. It was a busy weekend and the blog got a little neglected. I spent all day Thursday packing, running errands, and double checking the million lists I made for our wedding on Saturday. It was in Roxboro, so we set up at my in-laws house in Durham so that we only had a 30 minute commute as opposed to over an hour from my house. What that meant was I had to make sure I had everything ready on Thursday. I seriously made a thousand different lists and kept double checking that I have everything. It all went perfectly and for once we weren't super rushed on Saturday. I think starting Thursday night was helpful.

We have been planning this wedding for awhile and I was a little sad to see it come and go. It is probably one of my absolute favorite wedding designs we have done. It was so awesome! Here are a few preview pics..

About 6 months before the wedding - the garage where we were having half the reception burned down!! Here is the aftermath 

They rebuilt it in time and did a pretty darn good job!

The inside

The other side

Looking out to where the tent will be..

The garage

Leading out into the tent
This was the most time consuming part! It took almost 3 days to finish. We did not get back home until after 1am every single night - we were just a little bit tired! It took almost 200 yds of fabric, about a box of safety pins, 6 boxes of thumbtacks, 120 yds of purple tulle, 4 strings of lights, fishing wire, and some serious trouble shooting. Thursday night we re did the first half three times until we finally figured out how to make it perfect. The bride and groom were more than thrilled and we were so happy that it turned out so well! It was seriously magical. 

Here are some detail shots of the rest of the wedding..
Head table centerpieces

Gift table

One of the centerpieces. The boxes were made by her dad and we arranged all the flowers. It was such a fun centerpiece! It had about a dozen different flowers! 

On the walk up from the ceremony - her mom decorated hay bales  starting with baby/toddler years up until their engagement

Old tractor

Ceremony site - it was a BEAUTIFUL day!!

Popcorn bar by Swank Sweets. It was a huge hit! Everyone loved it!!  The door was one of the few things that survived the fire.
More pics to come!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Venue "non" Update!

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Well not much to update....Made a counter offer and waiting to hear back. Still waiting on the plans to return and STILL waiting on the house to sell. It is soooo hard not to be impatient about these things! I am ready to move on from this phase and onto the next! It feels sometimes like it is never going to happen...that we will be trying to sell our house until the cows come home...and we don't have cows! Any tips, tricks out there for making the house more attractive/appealing to the masses? Anyone want a house?? Think we may give it away soon....

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Candle and Flower Alternative

It seems that when you are designing your wedding you have two options for centerpieces....candles or flowers. Brides often turn to candles as a less expensive option for the reception tables. We all know that flowers - especially fresh flowers, can be quite pricey...and those centerpieces can be a budget buster! I thought I would do a little research on an alternative to these two create something fresh and unique for your wedding! enjoy...
LOVE this...this is the cutest idea!
This could really  be cute for a hotel wedding...they really pack the table with glassware!

So Fresh and Colorful!

Using Dessert as the Centerpiece!
For a coupe more ideas see previous posts on the DIY lantern and these Fabric Centerpieces!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Family Fun!

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Happy Monday...if such a thing exists! Remarkably, we had this past weekend off! It was so nice to plan a few family activities and just have some down time together....I even got to finish the first book in "Game of Thrones"....I know, I is only a mere dent in the series...but still an accomplishment non-the-less.

Dana had her 10 year high school reunion, so I will let her tell you all about that! We went to Smith Farms for family day on Saturday. As we were driving over, Mason was saying "I love family time, I love it when we are all together!" I love it too baby! It seems like it never happens when we are in the middle of wedding season, so I really savor it when we do have that time!

When we got there, we got stuck on the swing set for quite a long time.....didn't even have to pay to use that, I was considering saving my 20 dollars! At last, we made it in! There was a fire truck, which Nora was enamored with, a hay ride, a corn maze, a bouncy house, and animals to feed! The kids had a blast....the weather could not be prettier, and we got to eat Hot Dogs to boot! It could not have been more perfect...and culminated in a nap! (told you ...perfect!)
In The Fire Truck....Nora would NOT wear the hat!
More Swinging!
Corn Maze....Nora was the line leader and decided every turn we should make!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dana's DIY outfit

I am admitting defeat here. Courtney did have a super cute outfit and I appreciate all the votes - I was happy that I at least got a few :) I was not overly thrilled about this competition. I had a hard time getting inspired and my mistake from the get go was the skirt. I liked it too much and it fit. Odd thing to say and consider it a mistake, but if it is perfect how it is, there is not much manipulation you can do with it. So I settled on making a new shirt and some kick butt accessories. If we had a competition on accessories - I would have totally won!

What I started with

I cut off the sleeves of the white lace shirt. this stuff was tough to work with. It was very slinky and the fabric moved a ton! 

Ta da! A tank top
Cut off frill on t-shirt

Much better

I pinned it to the white shirt and pinned so I knew how much of the black shirt to take in. I didn't want the black to be too loose underneath

Another pinned shot

Sew it right down the sides to take it in - i didn't worry too much about this being pretty since I was going to just cover it. I just wanted it to fit nicely

Trim sides

At this point i decided to make this a shirt with ribbon straps. I honestly just made stuff up as I went along as I had no real vision for this. So I cut off the straps! If I was not putting another shirt on top, you could do this same effect buy creating a pocket. Just hem it so that you can slide a ribbon through it 

Pin the white shirt to the black. I tucked the white into the inside of the black shirt

all pinned - I had moved outside because it was sooo hot in my dining room/sewing room

An inside look. the white overlapping the black created the pocket. Now sew along the  bottom where you pinned

Now for the ribbon. I used 4 inches of black jersey knit
Cut in half

Fold in half and sew. Then turn inside out 

All sewed up! I did have to run a few hand stitches on the sides just to make it cleaner

Thread ribbon through the pocket

The original thought for the shirt. But then I tried it on - it was too much white! The bow was too distracting. So...

I dyed it! 

Looks yummy

Voila - a black shirt. Now, dying clothes is easy, but time consuming. I was a little impatient and I got more of a charcoal grey color - which I am more excited about than the black! 

For the belt, I used this tutorial. I literally did hers step by step, so no need to re-iterate it. I did do the strap a little bit different because I used upholstery nylon to make it look more like leather. Here are some pics of the differences.

This fabric was not easy - my machine did not like it. It was very thick and hard to sew- but I LOVED the outcome, so worth the few swear words to make it work. Instead of folding down the sides and then sewing, so that you had to sew through 4 layers, I just made it so that you have to sew through two. I folded down one side half way and sewed it then folded the other side and folded it down. It did create a stripe, but I actually did not mind it. 

The other side
And here is the final product!