Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Peeks of Christmas Cheer

Holla holla my fine friends!
Man, I am such a bad blogger. Either that, or I am just super busy, and it seems like every day I have more and more to do! Yikes! Between work and our crazy expansion that is happening in like 5 weeks,  taking care of a sweet baby puppy who is growing like a dandelion (crazy fast), trying to squeeze in wedding planning, holiday preparations, AND, my best friend just got engaged too!!! Seriously now!
I feel thankful when I can get 8 hours of sleep.

Anyhoo... last night I decided to pull out our box of Christmas decor and start fancying up the place for the holiday. First things first, I swapped out our Bath and Body Works wallflower for my favorite, 'Cranberry Woods', to get the house all stinkified and put me in the mood for decorating. Do smells do that to you as well? I need to smell the seasonality.

I swapped out the front door wreath for my DIY ornament wreath I made last year.

I also added some ornaments to the trunk of my tricycle planter, which I found at TJ Maxx last summer.

It is the cutest little planter, but don't be fooled, its a killer! I have tried several different plants in this bad boy, and none have survived. I am blaming the bike, since I'd give myself an A- on keeping plants alive. I'm pretty good...

I also decided to revamp my NOEL sign I created last year. It began as an attempt to knock off Pottery Barn's hella spendy but hella cute version. Here is how it looked last year:

Pretty basic, got the job done. Also pretty flimsy, as I had the whole thing precariously held together with just hot glue.

Here is the 2011 shiny new version:

I simply painted a canvas bright white, and lightly brushed silver paint over it, then attached the letters (which are MDF and from Michaels), with epoxy. Man that stuff is schtinky. Phew. But now its much more durable, and the canvas gives it more substance on my 'mantle'. (We don't have one, boohoo) 

I plan on adding much more seasonal decor to this shelf my mantle, when I have time of course. The one thing I don't seem to have enough of. But I love the sign, it makes me feel in the spirit, and I love how its neutral color, makes Cruzie's Memory Ball on its DIY candle stand pop!
Its so bizarre to me that the wall is now a different color, but it looks orangey still to me. Ugh. That paint color will never stop haunting me.

So that's the Christmas that has shown up at our casa these days. Hopefully this weekend we will get our tree, and then the madness can really start!
In conclusion, here are some adorable pics of my babies. Cash will be 14 weeks old tomorrow, is excelling in puppy kindergarten, and still doesn't sleep past 7:30am. Sigh. Happy holidays friends!

I was holding a treat, which is why they are so focused and serious. I love doggie focused faces. Isn't Cash huge?!! And Sammy, handsome and dapper as always. I love his silver whiskers that are appearing. He's aging well. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall Wish Tree

Once again, I must state the obvious...

Among many other things, one reason is access to tons of Wild Manzanita, which has the most wonderful spiky branches, making excellent decor for all seasons. I've been feeling thankful these days, so a thankful tree like Cassie's has been on my mind. A quick search on Etsy yields page after page of branches, painted in a rainbow of hues, for a very pretty penny.
A quick run on my favorite trail with my favorite furry workout buddy, yields miles and miles of free branches, in any size and condition I choose!!!
Can I get a woop woop up in here, cause I love it!!!

Here is a manzanita bush in the wild! When the branches die, they get a beautiful, gnarled shape!

My prize! 
Once we arrived home, I gave the branch a few coats of white spray paint, and placed it in a mason jar with white decorative rocks I snagged from the Dollar Tree. 

Using a large heart hole punch, a normal hole punch, and some fishing line, we punched out 45 hearts in Fall hues, and strung them up! Piled in a leaf shaped bowl, they now live on the dining room table, so friends can write what they are feeling thankful for as soon as the thought hits! 

Its looking so pretty, especially covered in all the silly serious things we are all thankful for. 

This one is my fave, obviously. Hub better be thankful for me!

This project is kind of a double whammy. Our original idea for this tree came from a twist on a money tree for our wedding. We don't particularly like the idea of a money dance, but we wanted a small 'fundraiser'. We plan on putting it on our gift table, with a photo of Cruz under it. It will  be our wish tree, and people can write a wish and clip some cash onto hearts, and then place them on the tree. We will be donating half of all money we receive to the Canine Cancer Research Facility that wrote off a lot of Cruz's treatment expenses. We figure its one way we can remember our little buddy.

So what do you think of my cheap'n'easy craft?! I love it, its so simple and very pretty as well!! What are you thankful for these days?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Lazy Sunday's

Well, hi there friends!
It seems winter is finally starting to show its face around here! I know all you East Coasters have been wallowing in the white stuff, I hope cleanup is going smoothly for you!
After a long(ish) Fall, today we have recieved our first visible snowfall in Central Oregon!

Here we are looking at Pilot Butte, the dormant cinder cone in the middle of our fine city.

Had the capture the date, just in case I somehow forgot, or ever needed to know again... yeah...

So James, the furry kids, and I are enjoying a mellow day at home. Daylight savings has made us so much more productive. I'm baking a pumpkin cake with a recipe from Pinterest. Only two ingredients, I like the sound of that!

Cash is growing like a little monster weed. He climbed on my legs and fell asleep a few days ago...

Despite his razor sharp teeth and tendency to greet everything with his teeth, he is an awesome little pup, and learning really quickly. 
In house news, the living room is all painted, and I think I might attack the guest bathroom next. Hmmm... all the supplies are out, why not right? Here is a little sneak peek of the living room, its made such a change! I'm going to clean up later and take pics, so stay tuned!! 

 Gah!! Wasn't that peanut butter color horrible?!!!

Hope everyone is warm and cozy like us and enjoying the weekend!! I'm starting to feel the holiday spirit!! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lining up our duckies

Top o' the morning to you friends!!
Just popping in with a little WEDDING updating!!
A couple weeks ago, James and I took the pups up to Hood River for some venue hunting! You may remember back when I posted about my inspirations for our day, how I raved about Hood River and the winery I was especially excited about visiting?!

It was a total bust. No offense to the venue, but they were entirely unprepared, and most importantly, unprofessional. I am still in shock about the whole venue hunting experience, really. I sent out 10 emails the first day, all pretty much the same, outlining what we were looking for and noting that we wanted a dog friendly venue, for around 130 people. Out of those 10 emails, I got 5 responses.

Seriously now.
You'd think that people who I am prepared to write checks to for thousands of dollars would be a little better at follow up?!!!
Anyways, now that I've got that rant out of the way, on to the fun stuff.
We found our venue, and it is PERFECTION!!

It's called Vineyard View Bed and Breakfast, and is located about 3 miles from downtown Hood River. The owners, Dave and Soma, are extremely friendly, and most important, professional! They were actually the first people to respond to my email, if that says something! The cost of the venue is very reasonable, and includes much more than any other place we looked at. It has a peek-a-boo view of Mt. Hood, which was one of my major requirements in a venue.

When James and I walked up, Soma was working in their beautiful organic garden, with their 3 year old son! For some reason, that scene really resonated with me, and I instantly knew this would be the perfect place for us to get married. I am all about the family : )
Here is a link to their slideshow, which shows some examples of weddings they have hosted in the past. One thing that Dave, the owner said was, "We aren't a wedding mill." I LOVE that!
One of the other venues we visited totally was! It was interesting as we toured around that place, hearing the host TELL us how our wedding would be. Such a turn off, at least for James and I.
But we are feeling very confident and satisfied with our choice, and are looking forward to watching our dream come true!

In other wedding news, we also decided to hire a wedding planner! Donna Cole, of Pearl and Roses Wedding Planning, is a wonderful woman who I've known for over 10 years! James and I have a lot of contacts in the events industry, so a full-blown planner was not exactly what we wanted. However, Donna has proven herself for so many others, and I completely trust her judgement. We went with her Roses package, which is more of a two weeks before planner, and most importantly, day-of! I want absolutely no worries for me, James, or our families on the wedding day, and I know Donna will make sure that happens! We have our first meeting with her next weekend, and are really looking forward to it! Check out her FaceBook page for more pretties and tons of inspiration!

Finally, we have also decided what to do for favors! I know this sounds a bit early in the process, but our gift to our friends and family is going to  be a labor of love, literally!!
Our dear friend, Paul Arney, started his own farmhouse style brewery here in Bend earlier this year. It is called the Ale Apothecary, and will  be a very small venture, specializing in barrel aging. Paul has known James and I since the beginning of our relationship, and has seen us grow together. His family is amazing, and his wife and I actually share a birthday. Its meant to be.
So a few weeks ago I approached Paul with the idea of James and I brewing a beer, which will be conditioned for the next 9 months, and then packaged for a favor at our wedding! He was all about it! We are going to get a used oak barrel, which has previously housed whiskey or wine, just for our beer! When our beer is done and packaged, the barrel will be ours to keep! We are actually going to us it as our guest book, and have people sign the barrel, which we will then lacquer and keep at our home!
Confused?! Its going to be amazing, just let me assure you.
Its so nice to have little pieces coming together, now its finally feeling real!
And if you're interested in seeing what else I've been loving, check out my Pinterest Special Party board! 

Sorry for the wordy post, I  have a lot to say and not a lot to show in images. But stick around, its going to keep getting better!
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