Friday, November 30, 2012

5 days of Christmas preview

Next week we are doing a really fun series: 5 days of Christmas. We are doing 5 DIY projects to get you all in the mood to celebrate the Holidays! I have a little preview of what we are going to do...

Burlap Christmas Stocking, cotton ruffles, custom, personalized
Dana will be making stockings based on this design

DIY pajama pants
Courtney will be making pajamas for all the kiddos for our annual Christmas photo

Felt Christmas Ornaments
Courtney will be making felt ornaments

Christmas Branch Decor
Dana will be making a centerpiece for her table based on this idea
Yarn Christmas Tree
Courtney will be making a yarn Christmas tree based on this idea

And there you have it! Our inspirations for our 5 days of Christmas  Please stop by each day next week and leave us some love :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mom/Spouse/Owner/ and oh ya...a Woman too!: Week 2

Hope everyone is having a good week. I love a Thursday, it is a day full of hope and promise as the weekend is almost here! Today I am continuing with my series on how to juggle being a mom/wife/and business owner. I must confess it has been a little difficult lately as my kids have had one illness after another this season! Seems like it is more like MOM/....Spouse(he got sick too)/ owner/ .......woman???  More on the mom side than anything else here lately. That brings me to today's topic Outsourcing !
Love this! 

As women we feel like we can do it all....we can watch the kids, cook healthy meals, clean the house, run our business, and look good while doing it too! It is alot of pressure....and impossible to maintain every day! This hit the fan (so to speak) for Dana this past wedding season! I remember walking through the grocery store and having a real discussion about the merits of a house cleaner once a month. That it was really a a burden for her and she felt like it was one of those things that wasn't worth the time away from kids/business/self etc....I was not in a place where I could afford one and it wasn't one of those things keeping me awake at night, but I encouraged her to do whatever it is she needs to do to make her life more fulfilling and meaningful! If it was causing stress and could  be easily eliminated, why not?

Even if a housekeeper is not in your budget there are a couple simple things that you can do to lighten your load through outsourcing.

1. Buy a go-to ready prepared meal each week and cook it or pick it up on your busiest days. This could be a prepared Lasagna, a microwave entree, or a call to the Pizza Man! It saves you time in cooking AND time in the clean up! It allows you to spend that 30 minutes before dinner and the 30 minutes after (dishes) with your kids or your project or God forbid with you!

2. Phone a Friend! We are so slooooow as women to admit we need help or to inconvenience someone for our benefit. We feel guilty, selfish, unworthy even. Well your not, get over it and ask for help! I remember when I had Nora, Mason had just turned two and was potty training! On top of that he was an active kid to put it mildly. I called up my sister two or three days in and told her that my toddler was driving me crazy....could she watch him for awhile? Well, they picked up Mason on a Thursday and didn't return him until Sunday! While I missed the little booger, I LOVED my time with Nora. Mikhail and I got to spend some time with our new baby girl and I actually read a book...the whole thing! I love my sister for it..and I don't have any guilt associated with that decision. It was best for all parties involved (except maybe Dana).

Outsourcing does not mean defeat or failure! it means we are human and have to prioritize our time to make the most of it. Those priorities look different for different don't begrudge someone else's choices, make your own to make YOUR life easier!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Venue Update!

Well, friends, the struggle continues! Everything looked good to go a couple weeks ago concerning financing for the first cottage! We were excited and ready to be working/building the all came crashing down (again) yesterday when the bank informed us that financing the venue itself would be an issue if we had a mortgage out on the cottage. Well we can't sacrifice financing the main house for a back to plan K (I really don't know how many ways we have worked this out so far!)

I think Dana and Sam will just list the house after the holidays, it will still probably sell be for mine (ha!) and rent something for a few months while the main house is built. We will try to place both cottages on the property Mikhail and I are buying and hopefully it will all be done at the same time so they can just move into the one house!

I told Dana maybe one day we will look back at this process and have a good laugh and she sad probably not....well at least we will be stronger for it....probably!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bride Tuesday: Farm Table Inspirations

Recently on a little business trip to market our barrels (we have barrels for rent btw) to a rental company we use, we found out that they had farm tables for rent now. I love this cute and homey feeling. It looks like you are having dinner at someone's house as opposed to someone's event. I really hope to use these in the near future, so I can add a  C and D stylized pic to the list...but for now enjoy some web inspiration!
Earthy and Elegant - Love that fresh take on the Chivari

Rustic and Modern with that white glass - really like the juxtaposition!

Rustic yet elegant with these traditional chairs!

Sooo pretty..I feel like this is what farm tables were made for!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Monday!

Just a quick blurb here to let you know we are alive and (kind of) well! We had a great Thanksgiving....Dana is still in Florida visiting with the rents until Wednesday...don't worry though, she gave us a little gift (illness) to remember her by on the way down! Her kids have had some cough/fever/congestion thing and now my oldest has gotten it too! Gotta love this time of year!

On a brighter note, scored some great black Friday for the kids, cousins, and what not! Also procured some great flannel fabric to make the kiddos pajama pants for our Christmas photo...look for that tutorial in the near future!

That leads me to our 5 days of Christmas series that we will be running next week! 5 Crafts in 5 Days, all related to decorating/gift giving/general Festivities! Now I have published that so it must be true! Better get Crafting!!

  5 Days of Christmas - starting December 3rd!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Black Friday!

Get ready!
Although I am missing my Black Friday Special Ops person (Courtney) - I am going to have to make due with my replacement (Sam). I am ready for the lines, the shoving, grabbing, crawling to get Blu-rays, fighting over the LAST tupperware box, and all the running, planning, and scoring on great Christmas gifts. Nothing like the thrill of a good deal! Happy Shopping everyone!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So thankful

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is having a restful Thanksgiving. We are in Florida visiting family and having a great time :) I wanted to take a moment to pause and say what we are thankful for..

I am thankful for an awesome husband who has stood by and let me pursue my dreams! He has supported our family not only financially, but emotionally, and physically. He is such a rock and I am so grateful for all that he does! 

I am thankful that I have two healthy kids who are the light of my life. They bring joy and laughter to my life every day and I can't imagine not waking up to these two kiddos. 

I am thankful for my sister and business partner. She has busted her tail this year and is the reason we are successful. She is poised under pressure, has a great business mind, and is fantastic with flowers. Even though we fight/argue - and she is not the most organized - I can't imagine being in business with anyone else. I am so proud to be her sister and partner. I am so excited for the venture we are about to go on. 

I am thankful for all of the people in my life that make my life possible! I call it the Courtney support system! That includes, first and foremost, my husband. A close second, my sister and all of the friends and relatives that help here and there to allow me to pursue my dreams and run my business. When they say it takes a village.....they weren't lying!

I am so very thankful for my babies....they bring new meaning to my life and give me so much purpose! They are pure sunshine and can brighten even the darkest of times in my life!

I am thankful for God's grace and mercy! Lord knows he has extended it to me when I don't deserve it and cushions my fall when I have made a misstep! He is always there, patiently waiting for me, even when I have ignored him far too long!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Night on the town

Night on the town

I actually wore this outfit last weekend! Sam and I got to attend a wedding - wahoo! We had such a good time celebrating such sweet friends!

Love the jewelry? Check out my stylists' site to order!

We decided we should get dressed up and have a night on the town at least every few months! It was so much fun being Dana and Sam and not Mom and Dad for a night.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holly and Travis: Backyard Wedding

We had the privilege of planning Holly and Travis's wedding this past September. They both lived in California so we collaborated lots over phone and email. They grew up in the Cary/Pittsboro area and actually met in the 6th grade at Cary Academy. They started dating their Junior year of high school and followed each other to Harvard. Such a sweet couple! When you met them you could tell how well suited they really are for each other! 

They decided to get married at their Alma mater (Cary Academy) and have their reception in the backyard of Holly's parent's house (the house that Holly grew up in). It made the wedding super personal and meaningful to both of them! If you have not been, Cary Academy's campus is BEAUTIFUL; great landscaping, beautiful buildings as backdrops, and plenty of parking....just what you want in a venue! They also had several teak benches placed around the campus and we were able to use them for guest seating at the wedding....seriously cute!

Holly's parents had a large back yard and worked tirelessly the year leading up to the big day to make it perfect...and it was gorgeous! The had new sod laid down, planted flowers and shrubs, and even built a new attractive shed to replace their old one. It looked amazing....The day was beautiful and could not have been prettier! Enjoy the pictures!

Getting Ready!

So cute!

Little help from Mom

Finishing touches!

On the way!

The Bouquet.

Chalkboard Program

Loved the benches!

Our alter pieces!

Little cones of lavender to throw at Holly and Travis after their "I DO"

Broomsmen = bridesmaids + Groomsmen

We put the Broomsmen to work drawing Chalk Hearts from the Parking to the Ceremony

Beautiful Shot....that bouquet was made by yours truly!

The ceremony set up!

Down the aisle!

Love the groom's face when he first sees his bride-to-be

They did it!

One of the beautiful buildings at Cary Academy


So some of the hearts did end up a little artsy....

Love this picture!

So beautiful!

This was one of my favorite shots!

The best Bouquet shot!

Centerpieces at the much fun to make and shop for!

A 'Thank You' note from Travis and Holly

Sweet Heart Table


Yummy cake from Mitchell's Catering!

We did hanging Mason's in the tree branches!

This is another of my favs!

That Boy's Mother didn't teach him right!

Love the action shots!

Guest book!

Great picture of the couple alone in the could tell how happy they were!

Sending them off!

Ceremony: Cary Academy
Linens: C and E Rentals
Photographer: Carolyn Scott Photography
Planner: C and D Events
Florals/decor: C and D Events
Cake: Mitchells