Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hot and Steamy Pile of ...

Inspiration and excitement people!!!!!
Can I get a WOOT WOOT up in here?!!!!

Many things have been going on around here since we returned home from Whistler, where my handsome and wonderful hunk of man sauce proposed to me. So happy. So many things to do!!!
Here is where the issues begin.
I am leaving again (sad/happy face) on thursday for The Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colorado. Don't be fooled, I am SO excited for this trip, and the opportunities it presents me with. I even blogged about it once.
I am just so excited to start planning our special party, and this is a tiny block in my process!
But enough complaining about things that aren't real problems, onto the goods!

If you didn't catch my last post, I gabbed about some of the things that are inspiring me while moving forward in the planning process of our wedding. One oh-so-important thing I forgot to mention was my initial inspiration for the whole theme, which is woodsy and rustic, but chic and playful!

You may remember this picture from a few weeks ago when Sammy and I visited Tumalo Falls on our day off.

It is a carving James and I did back in 2008, when on a hike with Sammy. I love that we can still visit it, and plan on incorporating elements that relate back to this in many aspects of our wedding. 
In other news, I made a recipe off of Pinterest. 
I spotted in on Michelle from Decor and the Dogs page, and immediately repinned that shiz...  
It is called Tortellini Spinach Bake, and reminds me of grown up mac and cheese. The bomb digs I tell you. The recipe is available here, and I highly suggest you try it, tonight. 

Forgive me, but I have no pictures of our process. We had some friends over, and I was too wrapped up in wine and wedding talk to document for you. I do have a few tips though!!! 
James, being a chef, pretty much took over the sauce aspect of this. We may have added too much flour, because after baking the dish, the sauce had pretty much disappeared. I suggest going light on flour if you like a saucy dish. I also may have added too much lemon zest. The flavor was great and bright, but I am a cheese lover and it overpowered the creaminess I was looking for. Next time I might sub white cheddar for the Parmesan, since I like a sharper cheese flavor. Anyhow, between the four of use we managed to put down most of it, and I'm sure James will handle the rest while I work tonight. 

So whats new in your world bloggie peeps? Sorry for the random info dump, but I had to share the nonsense banging around inside my brain. Planning a wedding is like a sickness, and wedding magazines are the classiest smut I've ever laid eyes on. Seriously. 
Stay tuned for more GABF news! Wish me and my liver luck!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

{Special Party} Early planning!!

So we are still on vacation...
and it is Ahhhhhhhmazing!!
But honestly, I am completely consumed with thoughts of our upcoming (in one year harharhar) wedding!!! Before James and I got engaged, we would talk about a future wedding, sometime, and I always referred to it as our 'special party'.

So without further ado, here are some inspirational pictures we are loving as we move forward with planning!!
(All images and sources available through my Pinterest)

Hood River, Oregon

This photo was taken at Cathedral Ridge Winery, located in Hood River, which is where James and I fell in love... We visit the city all the time, and really enjoy riding bikes around the area, visiting local microbreweries, and exploring the amazing Columbia River Gorge. Hood River is about a 2 and a half hour drive from our home, so it would be a slightly destination wedding. I grew up with Mt. Hood right out my bedroom window, and I would love to get married at the foot of it.

A Barn or Rustic Setting

Cathedral Ridge also has a sweet indoor/outdoor party space, but I think their guest limit is a little lower than our party will land. We want a rustic, forest, outdoorsy vibe, so an old barn or similar space would be ideal. We are planning a trip up there to check out some potential sites, and I am hoping to find a farm with an amazing barn, as well as a view of Mt. Hood.

Plum Purple, Foliage Green, and Rusty Fall Orange

Since we will be having a fall wedding (September 2012), obviously we will want fall colors. I have always loved Dahlias and Hydrangeas, so we are going off those colors. James wanted to draw in some fall-ish colors, thus the pop of orange. Plus I loooooove purple and orange is its natural compliment. I also love lanterns, and we will definitely be incorporating them into our wedding decor. 

 Centerpieces / Favors 

We just attended a wedding where guest took home succulents which were also used as decor during the ceremony. I LOVE this idea, but would like to take it a step further using small trees, which guests would be encouraged to take home and plant outside! Oregon is an easy place to grow plants (well the west side of the mountains is at least), and I love the idea of reducing our impact by planting some trees. I also think it would be fun to have guests post photos of the trees on flikr or something, maybe after a year? That might be asking too much... I love the earthy, natural textures of the burlap sacks on the pots as well. Definitely will be a do-able DIY project. 
Hair and Dress 

I have the most ahhhmazing hairdresser in Bend! I have a ton of hair, and she acts like its nothing. I have been seeing her for about 4 years, and she always does me right. I love this style above, and would like my hair to be soft and fairy-like. A flower hairband will probably make an appearance. 
This isn't my dress... but I am OBSESSED with the one-shoulder silhouette. If I find the right strapless dress, I have a sneaky little tip to upgrade the dress and make it one of a kind. So we shall see what direction this takes. But I love this dress... sigh. 

We want our reception to be fun-filled and reflect us as a couple. James tends to grow a mustache every fall in preparation for Halloween, so this fun straw would be perfect for us. I would also do a fat set of red lips for the ladies wink. Gotta represent! 
We also want a live band AND DJ, and hopefully we have friends who can make this happen for us. We also want to get a food cart to cater for us, less cleanup and more original than your standard wedding buffet...booooorinnnnggg!! 
Last but not least, we want to create a little area with some props such as a 2 person bike, an old door, and a box or two full of props for a photo booth!! We will have 2 photographers (friends, THANK YOU!), so it should be a fantastic moment of fun and silliness, just like James and I. 

I realize this is only a tiny morsel of the planning we will need to be doing, and we have only the bare bones of a budget set up but.... this is my dream day!!! 
And I can't wait to see what James and I can create to make our dream a reality!! 
Stay tuned for more planning, includes HEAPS of DIY projects. Remember, budget baby!!!! 

Any tips I need to know moving forward?! Help a girl out!!! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The One

(via Pinterest)

Couldn't have said it any better myself Bob.

James and I went on a incredible hike on Blackcomb Mountain yesterday. These pictures are completely unedited. It was the most beautiful and surreal place I had ever been.

And he popped the question.

And I said YES!!!!!!!!

Let the wedding mayhem begin!!!
{I love you babe! Thank you so much!}

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Scrapbook Initials

Quick and easy craft projects are my thing.
Time consuming furniture makeovers are also my thing.

I snagged these initials from Joann's, and wanted to paint them or something to add to our "gallery wall". Black is pretty much my favorite color, so they got a coat of black craft paint, and waited for the next step.

And waited.
And waited.
Until I received a wave of crazy motivation and finally fixed them up! I laid them over my chosen paper, and traced around with a pencil.

This paper in particular, was more difficult because it wasn't a solid sheet, so lots of little pieces fell off once they were removed from the larger piece. I just kind of moved them around until I liked the layout. 

A coat of adhesive and some dry time and they were looking cute! But the edges still had some overhang, so the utility knife cleaned that right up. 

At this point, I was considering being done with it, but the edges still showed some white where I had trimmed them up. I dragged out my markers to find a matching blue hue for touchups. Of course, it got messier than I anticipated, and I ended up coloring both the letters slightly different shades of aqua. When James saw it, he loved it, so my fail turned into a win.

I love that. 

After attaching some twine to the back with hot glue, I hung them from a shelf in our dining nook. 

I love the slight difference in their color, and the little extra details that raises them from your standard painted initial. 

Quick and easy crafts. Mostly. 

Any fun new projects out there? I'm itching for some fall, but other projects are currently in the way ; ) More on that later. 
Have fun friends!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Witamy (Welcome) to our home

I've been tossing this idea around in the ol' noggin for quite some time, and finally did something about it!

James and I both have strong Polish heritage, mine coming from my mother's father, who was born in Poland. My grandfather, Charles is one helluva man. He is well known in his community for his continual service to others, as well as just being a fantastic man. My cousin Steve once referred to him as a god among mortals. He is one of a kind, for sure.
My other 'grandpa', Joe,  isn't actually related to me, but he was very close when I was a child. He has since passed on, but his legacy lives on. I have a wooden bench that Grandpa Joe built years ago that has moved around with me since collage and was due for a makeover.

You may have spotted it living on our porch back when I did  my Upcycled Candle Stand...
There was nothing wrong with the bench in its current state, besides the honey oak color. In honor of Grandpa Joe, I decided to give her a little update!
Centsational Girl is one of my favorite blogs, and also the motivation behind this update. A few months ago, she did a fabulous white wash treatment on a coffee table for her cabana, and I was hooked! Wood! White! Together as one! LOVE!!!!!!!!!

So I sanded down my old bench and got to prepping!

A few trips around with the orbital sander and my bench was ready for her makeover! I had originally planned on using watered down primer for my whitewash, but stumbled across this fun product at our local Ace. 

That says 'Pickling White' if your bionic eyes can't read it. Hehe. I was sold at Grain Enhancing. So it jumped into our basket and came on home. I used a foam craft brush to apply it, and the first coat went on super nice!

Most instructions said to wipe the stain off after it started to set up, but I wanted serious white here, so I did a second coat after the first was dry, and didn't wipe either off!
Daredevil, I know.

She was looking hella fresh after coat two, and ready for the next step.
To honor Grandpa Charlie, I wanted to stencil the word, 'Welcome' in polish, on the top of the bench. A quick internet search told me that 'Witamy' is the word I was after. There are several other ways to write the word in Polish, but this version is the more informal one, which is definitely what I'm after.

I measured (correctly this time!)  the center of the bench and used black craft paint to stencil on the word.

my only mess-up!!
It was a longer process that anticipated since the stencils overlapped slightly and I had to literally watch paint dry, but about 40 minutes later we were D-U-N Done!

I'm in love. Two coats of outdoor poly and one light sand later and she was ready for her front porch debut!

I love it!!!! She lightens up the stoop so much, and pays homage to two very important men in my life.

Even Yago the cat approves. 
I decided it was time to bring out the first Fall decor as well, and my leaf wreath was pulled out of storage. 

I made this bad boy last fall, after being inspired by Thrifty Decor Chicks Square Leaf Wreath. Mine isn't nearly as cool, but I do love it. 

The stoop is much more inviting now, even Sammy wants to hang out on it. 

In hindsight, I wish would have added a black frame around the top of the bench... but I can always add it later. 

Anyone else busting out the fall decor? We had our hottest day of the year in September, I'm predicting an Indian Summer!!! Hows life in your neck of the woods?

Sharing this post at Thrifty Decor Chick's Before and After Party!
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