The First Bridal Shower!

6 Dec

A couple weekends ago, my sweet (recently engaged) friend threw me a bridal shower with her mom and it was absolutely so fun. I really have realized now why people call them showers… because you just feel like you are being showered with love. I am so blessed and grateful for such amazing friends and family in my life!

Since she and another Hartford roommate just got engaged (!!! yes – half of Hartford is officially engaged!), I am taking notes on throwing bridal showers for them. It should be quite fun to host them in the new house once it’s up and running. Beth and her mom did an awesome job with the shower! Here’s a little recap:

A fun bridal shower game idea:

Bride JeopardyBeth asked me a series of questions ahead of time and split the party into teams. The teams were divided evenly to make sure that people from the high school years and college years where distributed well. Questions included everything from: “What is Locher’s favorite Pandora station?” to: “How long were Chip and Locher dating before they got engaged?” (“King of Anything” radio and a little over two years, by the way…)

The team who answered the most correct won a sweet little Starbucks prize! Yum! Plus, Beth was the perfect Alex Trebek.

Beth also asked me for photos ahead of time to put on a decorated cork board for all to see. Let’s just say that someone thought my eighth grade picture was my senior portrait… they could only see a difference in the bushiness of my eyebrows… ek.

Finally, we ate a delicious lunch and opened gifts! We got some pretty awesome things, including this incredible handmade burlap wreath that I’ve been eyeing from here!

Don’t you think that will just look perfect with the DIY Christmas Doormat? I can’t wait to hang it in only a couple weeks!

What is your favorite thing about wedding showers? Do you have any fun games to suggest? I’ve got to start planning for the friends!

Christmas Doormat

24 Nov

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! As many people prepare for a feast this afternoon and Christmas decorating beginning tomorrow, I am preparing for Christmas decorating beginning Dec. 16.

As we near the closing on the house, I am doing any little things that I can to make it “ours” right off the bat. Although we know decorating and re-doing furniture will be an endless process, there are a few things I have in mind that will make it home-y and Christmas-y for the holidays.

I found the first project on this blog and just couldn’t pass it up. I knew that I wanted a way to welcome people into our new home, have some Christmas cheer and to describe the sentiment of how blessed we are. What better word than “joy“?

Not only is this super easy and festive, it’s also $5, so don’t be surprised if I switch them out for each season!

You can find these doormats at Home Depot, which we actually came across while registering.

(Side note: Home Depot really should get with the technology times. We actually had to write out each UPC code for what we wanted to register for and then the employee had to hand-key it in. It was tiring. We also tried Lowe’s since the fiance wanted Kobalt tools, but Lowe’s doesn’t even have a registry at all. Wouldn’t that be a gold mine for hardware stores in this crafty/DIY age? I think so!)

anyway… You can find them at Home Depot. As I’ve done before with the Fun(d), I created a stencil out of paper. Since I didn’t have an Exacto knife handy, I just very meticulously cut out the letters with scissors. As per the original suggestion, I used American Typewriter Bold. Font size was 440, in case you’re wondering.

Once the letters were cut out, I placed them in the proper spot on the doormat and taped them down. I also had a little help from the fiance’s family’s dog, Katie. She is quite the crafty pup.

I found that the tape didn’t stick very well on the doormat material, so I improvised and decided to use a Sharpie with the stencil as an outline for the letters. Worked nicely!

Then, with a small paintbrush, I simply filled in the letter outline with black paint. Be sure to get the paint down into the texture of the material for the most success.

Now, I just can’t wait to place this on my new front porch complete with a wreath on the door and rocking chairs on the side. I’ll post once it’s set-up so you can see the final product!

What Christmas touch do you recommend for any home?

Engagement Celebration!

20 Nov

He put a ring on it! It is absolutely so exciting for me to share that one of my dearest friends, Beth, is officially engaged! Chip and I could not have been more thrilled to be a part of the engagement celebration, as Beth was staying at my house that night in Athens. What we expected to end up in a night of playing our freshly purchased Scrabble game, ended up in a whole lot of this for the sweet couple:

And giddy photographing for us:

The Yellow House roommate’s reaction:

Now, I am just thrilled to be able to plan showers, parties and the wedding at the same time as her! What a sweet treat! First stop, an engagement party next Saturday!

It’s Under Contract!

13 Nov

I’ve got some big news!

We have a house!!! Remember my post about home-hunting? Well, we officially have a place to live! As we drove past it the other day, it all became real when we saw this sign…

After much discussion, the fiance’s parents have decided to purchase a house in Athens for us to rent! They eventually would love to retire in Athens, so this is a great option. Also, they will be able to rent to others after we move away (which I highly doubt I’m going to want to move away from this house):

It’s a beauty! Now, all I can do is think about all the lovely ways I will fill the rooms! I simply just can’t wait!!!

What was your first home like? Any suggestions about how to make it “ours”?

Something old, something new…

8 Nov

This past weekend one of my closest friends got married! As a bridesmaid, I became the (un)official photographer for all of the events leading up to the wedding. It was awesome!

On Saturday, I couldn’t help but snap a few photos while we were getting ready to document the day how beautiful she was. As she got ready, it got me thinking about the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” phrase. Her something old was an heirloom hanky, something new was the broach in her hair, something borrowed were the earrings her mom is putting on her in the photo and something blue was an embroidered hanky to tie around the stems of her bouquet with the wedding date, her old monogram and new monogram. I loved all of these and the sweet sentimental value behind them.

However, I am not sure exactly what to use for each of those on March 10… but I do know that I apparently have a “silver sixpence in [my] shoe” already waiting for me. I just recently found out about that end to the rhyme, but can’t find what the history behind it is.

If nothing else, I wouldn’t mind borrowing that broach for my something borrowed. It was gorgeous!

What are your suggestions for one of those “lucky” items for a bride?

Wedding website

2 Nov

So we officially have the wedding website up and running!

It may have taken me way to long to figure out how to load a picture onto it (you’d think it’d be more user friendly… but apparently not), but now it officially is ready to go.

I’ll be adding more info to it as time goes on about hotels, etc., but am pleased to present to you:

http://laurenandchip.ourwedding.com

Plus, it's featuring everyone's favorite engagement shot...

Enjoy!

Two ingredient pumpkin cupcakes

26 Oct

So I’ve been perusing Pinterest lately and oogling over all of the delicious fall recipes, ranging from sweet potatoes to hot chocolate and of course, pumpkins. I’ve come across this one pin about a “two ingredient pumpkin cake” a couple times and, to be quite honest, didn’t believe it at all, so just keep on pinning.

A couple weeks ago, a good friend of mine called me with the question… “Is it really only two ingredients?” just because she figured I would know the answer to that question or at least know the Pin she was talking about. (Is that sad that she figured I would know that Pin?… oh well!)

Originally, I told her that I was sure you had to use oil, etc., but then got curious and searched for the recipe online.

Guess what, people! This two ingredient thing is no joke! It really is two ingredients – and DELICIOUS!

I had to try it for myself to see what the hype was about and figured I’d test them out on the med schoolers. They had a rough week that week and could use a pick-me-up. So after making a delicious dinner with two friends, we ventured into:

Two Ingredient Pumpkin Cupcakes with Apple Cider Glaze (adapted from here)

1. Mix 1 can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) and 1 box yellow cake mix for 2 minutes with a mixer. I actually couldn’t find the mixer, so instead mixed them with my hands. Messy, but awesome. Don’t worry med schoolers, I had clean hands.

(Also, feel free to taste test here, as there aren’t raw eggs in this mix!)

2. Put a spoonful into an ungreased cupcake liner. They will bake as they land, so place carefully. You can even see above that they were a little wonky shaped… but added to the character of the cupcake.

3. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 22 minutes or until they are cooked through.

4. Poke small holes in the top with a fork.

5. Mix together 1 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons apple cider and 1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice. Baste the cupcakes with this glaze.

6. Let the original layer of glaze harden and seep into the holes in the cupcake. Baste a second time.

7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar for an extra sweetness.

Seriously, folks, these things are so delicious and healthy too! Come on. Pumpkin puree and apple cider. It’s practically like eating raw broccoli (kind of…).

Enjoy! And happy (almost) Halloween!

Are you doing anything fun for Halloween? I’m really craving some baked pumpkin seeds!

Frame our names – engagement photos

15 Oct

As I sit and wait anxiously patiently for the final edits of our engagement photos, I figured I would share with you one more preview photo that our photog sent to tide me over and how I crafted it to really “make” our engagement shoot!

Behold: the framed names!

Our vintage, travel-themed engagement shoot really would not have been the same without this little craft. My friends always laugh at me. See, when others spot something in a picture, on Pinterest or online, the typical reaction is… I would like that. I think I’ll buy it. Mine, however, is… I would like that. I think I’ll make it. Why not give it a go, right? What’s the worst that could happen… lo and behold, we loved the result!

We were thrilled at how well the frame turned out for our photos! Plus, be expecting those wire words to reappear in the future. Stay tuned!

Have you been inspired to tackle a craft of your own lately? Feel free to pass along some suggestions!

Update! Here are the engagement photos!

A Whirlwind Month!

13 Oct

Hey, team! Did you know that is it almost the middle of October? How on earth did that happen? Sorry it’s been a bit since I last posted, but it’s been a whirlwind of wedding planning and life!

Here’s a little mini-wedding update since the last time I posted:

  • We officially got the bridesmaids dresses and shoes in! I tried on those of my sister and MOH, Renee Locher, and couldn’t be more excited! I won’t leak the details, but I can tell you what they don’t look like. This:

Do people actually wear these things?

  • We registered! The scanner gun is the best thing ever. Next stop is Macy’s and Home Depot. And yes, in case you’re wondering, Home Depot was Chip’s idea, but I am equally pumped. My main want on the list? A staple gun for a reupholstering project I’ve had my eye on. Stay tuned.
  • The most giddiness-inducing of all… we took engagement pictures! My fabulous friend, Jessica Henry, is extremely talented and shot some incredible photos. She’s a seriously dedicated friend for waking up before the crack of dawn (literally) for a vintage travel themed shoot and being the third-wheel all day. I’m still waiting on the final photos, but here is a small preview! Can’t wait to share the rest with you later this week!

  • And finally, the most important of all… we house/apartment/condo/duplex/shack-hunted! It was absolutely overwhelming but oh so exciting. More on that in a future post. Hopefully I will have good news and lots of fun to share about where I will do all sorts of crafting and redoing of old, thrifty finds! Maybe I can even give a bit of advice on the “first-time-as-an-engaged-couple-looking-for-a-home” business. We laughed. We I cried. We even almost bought a house. What?

And in other news, here’s a little mini-life update while I’m at it:

  • I have awesome clients at See.Spark.Go… I had the chance in the past month to go to the following places/do the following things, all of which were awesome:

1. Visit San Francisco for literally 24-hours for the Aha Moment Tour wrap party and take a tour of the city in this fine ride:

2. Attend Catalyst in Atlanta and Passion University Tour in Athens to “love on some Jesus”.

3. Visit the Boosterthon Fun Run at a local school in Athens and seriously get fired up about the EPIC Adventure they are going on all over the nation.

  • I love living in the Yellow House with my two roommates. They are always so relaxed, loving and clean up after themselves. Yes, please.
  • I saw Wicked this past weekend for the third time and still am absolutely in love with it. It was such a fabulous bachelorette party for one of my dearest friends. I never fail to tear up in Defying Gravity.

Allright – now that I feel like I have updated you a bit on life, I can get back to the proper details of all things planning, crafting and cooking.

For now, anyone have any great honeymoon suggestions? We’re thinking we would like to go all-inclusive and want to pick the perfect place!

Easy Parmesan Knots

25 Sep

This past week I was in charge of bringing a snack to our couples small group. I knew that I wanted to give something new a try from my Pinterest recipe board, but there are just so many delicious looking options, that I had a hard time deciding (surprise).

I have recently been trying to put my Pinterest finds into action, rather than just oogling over how fabulous everything looks. My first recipe attempt, the Baked Pesto Chicken, turned out great. It also lasted me a few meals, which is always a win.

For this particular snack, I chose to make Easy Parmesan Knots, adapted from this recipe. Surprisingly easy and fancy looking, they were a huge hit! One fellow small grouper even said, “With some warm marinara… I could eat like 16 of these.” Sweet.

Here’s the breakdown for these little babies:

1. Roll the refrigerated biscuit dough (preferably the Pillsbury Golden Layers kind for delicious flakiness) into a 12 inch rope. I had my handy-dandy Mickey Mouse ruler by the baking sheet to measure.

2. Tie each rope into a knot and tuck the edges under the knot, so the it bakes nicely and stays together.

3. Place the knots about 2 inches apart on a greased baking sheet.

The dough knots, not to be mistaken for doughnuts

4. Bake based on the directions on your refrigerated dough. Mine was at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.

5. While the knots are baking into a golden brown color, mix together 1/4 cup canola oil, 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.

6. Take out the baked knots and brush each knot with the mixture. (Next time I would maybe stick them back in the oven for a minute to melt the cheese a bit.)

7. Bring them to your next Italian gathering for rave reviews.

I’m already plotting my next plan of attack with these. I’m thinking Cinnamon Sugar Knots would be fabulous with warm icing to drizzle. Yum!

Anyone have any easy recipes that have become group staples?