Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wedding Update: 4 months to go!

I saw a friend and a blog reader out a few weeks ago and she informed me that I had not updated my blog about the wedding. Sorry about that!

We chose plum and are using some of the ideas in this post.  There really isn't a whole lot of the plum color in the wedding. It's mostly black, white, and grey/silver. The bridesmaids will wear plum and carry white flowers. I will be carrying a mix of white and plum. We plan to tie the plum in with floral centerpieces at the reception.

 I'm really excited about the decor for the wedding and reception! I have some really great ideas and am even hauling equipment from Indianapolis (a 3 hour drive) to Jasper.  I don't want to give anything away, but not to worry I will have plenty of pictures and posts after the wedding. We have a fabulous florist and event coordinator that will be helping me put it all together.

I guess we could be considered a DIY wedding. I am making the flower girl dresses with my mom, Dan is making all the invitations, programs, etc. I have been getting together ideas for seating arrangements and favors and plan to make all those as well.
Material for flower girl dresses and ribbon. 

I have literally made 3 wedding websites and abandoned each one. They are seriously all so cheesy that I couldn't bear the thought of sharing them with others.  We really want to share with our guests hotels in the area, things to do, registry, etc. but haven't been able to find a cool (and free) wedding site. Dan and I decided to make a blog, but that's on our to-do list that may not happen.

As for my look, I recently received some jewelry in the mail from my Aunt that was my grandmothers. It meant the world for me to receive and I am looking forward to wearing it on the day of the wedding as my "something old".

Speaking of that tradition, I do not have "something blue". Suggestions? Undies? Garter?

I also do not have shoes. I simply cannot find any that I just LOVE. Ok, well I did find a pair but they were about as much as my car payment and I just don't know if that's necessary. I really wanted to wear plum, but the ones I wanted (below) are nowhere to be found in my size. I have moved on to consider grey or ivory, but again can't find anything.

We haven't met with the cake lady yet, but unless I decide to do cupcakes we want to do something similar to these cakes with the ribbon and brooch. 

We decided to go to Jamaica on our honeymoon! We are really excited about the resort and all inclusive food, drinks and activities. 

We have really made all the big decisions we need to make. The things left to do include making a slideshow, getting passports, making favors, seating arrangements, and making payments (ugh). Well, the actual list is much longer than that, but at least for the most part things are well on the way to be fabulous! 

4 Months (and about 20 minutes from now) we'll say "I do"! 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Happy Day!!

I had a fabulous birthday weekend! It all started on Friday with a surprise Mani/Pedi from Dan and then ended today with the purchase of my new Serger! Woohoo! I spent the weekend with friends and family basically eating, drinking and celebrating the great day I was born. In addition to my nails, I also got some new clothes (from myself), gift certificate, makeup, cool pillowcases, cookie cutters and money to buy my Serger sewing machine.

As you know I have been wanting this machine for some time! I'm thrilled to finally have it in my possession! You should have seen the grin I wore carrying it out of the store today. :-) I'm so happy with it and myself (I'm looking really fab in my new clothes, nails and makeup).

Thanks to everyone who helped me celebrate! It couldn't have been more perfect.  I have the best family and friends.

New machine! 

Purse, shoe, and dress cookie cutters! So cute!

Pillow cases in case we forget. 


Cool Tool

My mom bought me this awhile back and I had only used it a few times until recently. In an effort to eat healthier and kick my candy habit I have been eating a lot more fruit. Pineapple has been on sale recently and I have gotten a lot of use out of this nifty tool! I'm not sure where she bought it but you can buy yourself one on Amazon here. Mine didn't come with the extra blade sizes, but that might be handy.

Basically it's a pretty easy tool to use. You just twist the handle as it cuts a spiral while de-coring. It does take both hands, but I had to take the pictures to show you!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Chicken Divan

I have pronounced this recipe Chicken "Divine" my whole life and up until last week when I looked up a way to make this recipe spicier that I realized I was wrong. It's not spelled nor pronounced divine. Ha! According to the internet (which is always correct) it's is pronounced "deevAHn". I'm gonna assume this was the southern way to say the dish because I think my whole family called it that. I can just hear us saying chicken DeevIne in our little southern accents.

Oh and I am still on a mission to make it spicy, however this recipe is not.

I'm going to continue to call it divine, since it is pretty good!

Chicken Divine (Divan)
4 Chicken Breasts -boiled then shred apart.
1 bag of frozen broccoli (steamed)
1 can cream of chicken or mushroom soup
1/3 cup of milk
1/2 tsp curry powder
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup mayo (substitute plain yogurt to make healthier)
dry bread crumbs

Mix together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread into 8x8" pan and sprinkle with dry bread crumbs. Bake on 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Serve over rice.

Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the dish finished. Guess I got hungry.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! And Happy Birthday week! By week, I mean I have several friends celebrating birthdays this week including my own tomorrow. I'll be turning 25 again. Woohoo! I have so many things to blog about but not the time to do it. So I'm gonna go with the 5 things again today and I promise I will do better next week! 

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Cupcakes and Cashmere where Emily posts every Friday things that are currently making her happy. I thought I would do the same today. So here goes...

Jason Munn poster to help spruce up the place.

Friday treat! If you live in Indy, you should try Yogulatte on Mass. Ave. 

Tulips: tied with Peonies for my favorite flower. Best thing about Spring!

Gift from my sister: New makeup! Seriously made my day! I know nothing about makeup. I am terrible at it. I wear 3 things: blush, eyeshadow and mascara (eyeliner if it's a special day). I know, I'm like 13 minus the clear mascara. So I was thrilled to receive makeup from my sister for my birthday! Now if I could just get a lesson or two on how to apply. :) 

Surprise Mani/Pedi from Dan! I hate blogging this picture as I know no one wants to see my feet this close, but definitely a fun birthday gift that I enjoyed so much! 
PS my nails are actually pink not red as they appear in the picture. 

Have a great weekend and Happy Birthday to all my March B-day buddies! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

How to Make Pillow Covers

We were in Chicago this past weekend and stayed with my BFF and MOH (same person), Lauren and her fiance Ryan. Lauren has great taste and is super creative and therefore her apartment is decorated fabulously! I compared and mentally redecorated our apartment and it's cluttered mess with bare non-painted walls all weekend. We recently moved so I guess I can cut us some slack. But let's be honest we still have several boxes and clothes with no place to go scattered everywhere. Besides good organization I tried to think of ways to spruce up our place. Paint? Artwork? How about a few photos of us?

So I thought I would start in the guest room slash computer and sewing room. My mom is coming to stay this weekend so that's a good place to start. I don't want to do too much since we registered for some bedding for that room and I can just wait a few months. I decided that some extra pillows on the bed would help as well as a new duvet cover. The fabric store had pillows on sale and I bought a little fabric and off I went!

Here's a little tutorial: 

Tools you will need
- Fabric 
- Pillow forms or stuffing
- Drinking Glass, pencil
A sewing machine, iron, ironing surface, pins, scissors and thread 

Step One: 
Cut your fabric into three pieces. For the front of the pillow, you will need one square about an inch more than your pillow. For example my pillows are 18x18 so I cut out 19x19 squares. For the back, you will need two rectangles,19x11.5" each. Again an inch more on the long edge and the short edge are half your square piece plus 2.5". Does that make sense? Hope so!

Step Two: To ease sewing and turning, trace a glass with a pencil or marking tool to round the corners of the pillow cover slightly. Mark all four corners of the square piece of fabric and two corners on one long edge for each rectangle. Cut along the pencil lines. 

Step Three: Since the straight edges of the rectangles will be exposed, You will want to hem them.  Fold about 1/4" - 3/8" of the edge over twice to completely encase the raw edge and stitch it down with a straight stitch. Sorry I didn't get a picture of this. 

Step Four: Pin the entire pillow cover together in preparation for sewing. Place the large square down and pin the rectangles overlapping. 

Step Five: Sew pillow together with a 5/8" seam allowance. Sorry again no pics. 
Step Six: Almost done! Turn pillowcase inside out and press. Stuff pillow and you're DONE! 

* Note: I haven't put the new duvet on, so disregard the wrinkled sheets and bed. 

Steps I left out: 
Adding Trim- You could easily add a decorative trim to the edges prior to sewing together.
Finishing edges- Since I still do not own a Serger sewing machine, I just used pinking shears to cut the raw edges before I turned it inside out. 

I feel like I should high five myself for this project. I can't believe it took me so long to realize how EASY it is to make pillow covers! I am so happy with myself I want to make more for the living room and bedroom. High Five Ashley! (that's me clapping my hands together) ha!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Roasted Red Potatoes

We eat a lot of minute rice around here (it's so cheap and easy!). But recently I decided to give it a rest and try some other starches. I found a few recipes for Roasted Red Potatoes that I combined and think this recipe is really good!

Roasted Red Potatoes
Serves 2

1/2 Bag of small new red potatoes scrubbed and dried
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
5-6 garlic cloves
1 tsbp rosemary
salt and pepper

-Cut potatoes into halves or quarters
-line baking sheet with foil (easier cleanup)
-crush or chop garlic
-toss potatoes in garlic, olive oil and rosemary. add salt and pepper to taste.
-spread onto baking sheet and bake on bottom rack of preheated oven 450 degrees for about 20-30 minutes until tender or crispy (whatever you prefer)

Note: I didn't measure the oil and felt like I used too much the first time I did this. You certainly don't have to use as much as the recipe calls for.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Turns out, I'm a little Irish. According to a text from my Mom this morning. My grandmother is Irish! What do you know? Guess I should celebrate. Thankfully the weather is awesome and I get off early today. Also I have the perfect new dress to wear.  Jessica over at What I Wore was thinking the same thing! :) I am a frequent reader of What I Wore and saw last week Jessica's post about the new line at Target. She warned that this line would go fast. While in Bloomington this week for work, I stopped by Target and much to my amazement there were several styles left. The IU students are on spring break or I'm certain I would have never been able to find them. This is the only one I picked up, but there were several really cute dresses.

I'm a little worried about the bare legs. I'm never one to dress out of season no matter what the weather is (ok, except for all the "clubbin" tops I wore mid winter in college).  Honestly I would really prefer sandals, but I'll have to wait a month or so for that. I really like this dress and look forward to wearing it without the cardigan and boots!

Have a fabulous day and drink a green beer!

Dress: Libertine for Target
Cardigan: Forever 21
Belt: Forever 21
Purse: Target
Boots: Steve Madden

Guess you can tell where I like to shop! 

Friday, March 11, 2011


Thank Goodness It's Friday! Whew! And let's also say a BIG thanks it's March and the sun is out (well here in Indianapolis).

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Cupcakes and Cashmere where Emily posts every Friday things that are currently making her happy. I thought I would do the same today. So here goes...

Lunch: No meat on Friday's during lent = PB&J. Mmm so good! 

Vases for DIY wedding project! 

Green nails! We're celebrating St. Patty's Day in Chicago this weekend, 
so I thought I would get really festive. Also I really don't own anything green to wear. 

Gave up candy for lent, made myself some brownies. 

And last but certainly NOT least! We are adopting a Bulldog!!!! 

Happy weekend everyone! I hope have you have plenty to smile about this weekend as well. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spring Shorts

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm not a fan of shorts. I almost never wear them except for the occasional Nike's to the gym or rompers in the summer. I have several reasons for my hatred most relate to the fact that they just do not flatter me personally, but also up until a year or so ago I just really haven't seen too many stylish options out there for women. I won't get into it, but there's definitely a fine line with this article of clothing when it comes to appropriateness. I would much prefer a dress and that's always my go-to. But for you long legged ladies who can pull them off, here are some very pretty options for the spring. Maybe if you're lucky it may arrive in a few weeks!



Love, love, LOVE the scalloped edges!

Urban Outfitters


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pink Polka Dot Romper

First off, let me apologize for A. my lack of posts and B. my terrible pictures. I have put off posting this due to poor photography. I have some excuses lined up.... We have terrible lighting in our place, my camera kind of sucks, there's only so many ways to take pictures of yourself with a camera phone. Are those sufficient? Well sorry. I'll try to get more creative with my lighting and self timer on my camera on my next project.

I love love love this romper! Confession: I despise shorts for many reasons and literally NEVER wear them, but rompers are so cute and a trend I don't want to miss out on. I was really unsure if it would fit or look right. Like I often do, I used more than one pattern for the project and I can happily say the shorts fit nicely. I hope to make more rompers for the summer and our honeymoon.