Friday, September 30, 2011

Bestest, Most Easiest, Most Makes Me Smile Project Ever

I'm not super into jewelry. I tend to wear cheap silver hoops, my e-ring, and these other pieces almost every day. They are classic and easy and I love them.
Mine has an emerald though / Image via Tiffany and Co.

But for the wedding, I was all confused. Do I go simple or bold? Classic or modern or funky? A whole slew of my friends told me I "didn't need a necklace" with my gown, which totally bummed me out (even though, as per usual, they are right). So...what to do, what to do?

I asked my cousin and aunt if they had any of my grandma's jewelry that might be appropriate, and they sent me a box with many pieces of beautiful and sentimental jewelry. It was so nice to look through the lovely pieces and remember my grandma wearing them on holidays or at church. 

 That sparkly broach in the middle caught my eye!

I decided to use a coupon and get some pearl beads from Michael's to see how a bracelet would look with the rhinestone broach. I was thinking a three strand bracelet, because I like wearing thick bracelets - they make me feel like a super hero. So I mocked it up and it looked like this:

And then I was stuck. Now what? (This happens frequently lately. I think I am all decision-ed out.)

My friend Beth suggested I go to The Bead Store. "After all," she said, "you don't want to have a Sex and the City situation going on." I knew, immediately and exactly, what she was thinking - when Samantha broke her bracelet and the beads went flying everywhere at Charlotte's wedding. Yeah, that would be bad.

So since I had no idea how to add a clasp to these strands or even what type of string to use (how about some striped twine?), and I wanted the bracelet to fit just right and not fly off my wrist, I took myself over to The Bead Store. The very helpful manager told me I could string it myself for seven dollars (cost of clasp and wire, plus finishing fee for her to add the clasp for me) or she could do the whole thing for about 25$. I told her I could do it myself if she helped me, and help she did!

Since the rhinestone piece was a broach with a sturdy pin intact, I just threaded the wire under the pin back and started stringing pearls.

 I made three strands, then adjusted it to fit my freakishly tiny wrists. Pro tip: You could do that from the beginning and just not string as much! (I pro tips are freaking amazing.)

She added a fancy clasp that held each of the three pearl strands even and secure, and voila!

Seriously, this project took around twenty minutes, cost me about 10$ (for pearls, wire, clasp, and finishing help), and resulted in a beautiful and sentimental bracelet for me to rock on my wedding day - and my something old! 

Thanks to The Bead Store! I wish all wedding projects could be so painless. If you live in the Raleigh - Durham area, and need jewelry assistance in any way, I wholeheartedly recommend them. For reals.

I love my bracelet sooooooooo much. I keep showing it to unsuspecting people (like the UPS guy) who stop by my house: "Look what I [kinda] made!" 

Did you have an easy project that made your heart smile?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Dirty Ring, an iPhone Camera, a Cat, and a Pumpkin

And some stripey straws, too!

So, I've been meaning to do a ring post for awhile, and then seriously, I was thinking about how I should try to take a pic with my cat and my ring, and then Miss Fox posted her post that said that cat and ring photos are tough, and then I saw Smizz lying there all sweet and I thought "Let's do this." So we did.

I actually picked out my ring. Well, I was all like "I want something like this, with this plain band. I do NOT want diamonds all around the band."  Mr. M was totally fine with that.

And then it turned out that something like that was hard to find, so he just got that exact one. Dunzo.

Choosing our bands was pretty simple too. We both wanted something plain, and Mr. M liked the titanium. Quick and painless.

Did you and your partner have an easy time choosing rings?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Invitation Process

The Invitation Process that nearly killed me, that is.

OK, so you saw my lovely inspiration and my notsolovely pencil and paper sketches last time. My awesome stepmom took my sketches and designed these guys:

 Incorporating our heart, the stripes I love, and the scrolly and bold-y fonts
Matching our Save the Dates
I liked the stripes of the first one, and the mixture of scrolly and bold fonts, but I really wanted it more like my original sketch. So we chatted about that and she sent me these:

Definitely on the right track! I loved the stripes and scrolly border thingy. I liked the blocky font but felt we could do better on the scrolly font. I also wasn't sure the heart from our tree save the date fit looked a little out of place. And Mr. Magic thought "Get a room" sounded crass on the accommodations card. That man is constantly trying to class me up.

I ran these drafts by my new friend and now fellow NC bee, Mrs. Cola, and she introduced me to Da Font. I got as far as B in the alphabet when I found BlackJack, and was sold on that one, especially since it was free. Score!

So, here's the final versions, in all their colorful, fun, awesome glory!
Yes, general awesomeness.
We nixed the "write us a note" and thank goodness we did. My bridesmaid, Bunny, received our invitation, proclaimed then cute, and then said "I'm so glad you didn't make me write you a note on your invitation. I hate that crap."

 Instead of getting a room, you can now be accommodated.

Then...I made heartsys on my Silhouette (that nearly killed me), tied them on with some freaking cute twine which had the incredible ability to make me so happy ("Ohemgee, such cute twine, I just wanna marry it!") and kill me ("Why did I decide to cut and tie all this stupid effing twine???"), stuffed them in envelopes sans envelope liners (Really. Envelope liners? I was so over that with the STDs), stuck my like fifth choice for stamps on them and moved the hell on.

 Pro tip: Thread all the damn cutesy hearts first, then cut the twine. 
It may save you a total of five minutes.

 Sorry for the grainy pic. That is totally my fault.

So, I love these little bastards beauties. I was glad to be rid of them though. And I have to say, my favorite part of the invitation process is getting the RSVPs back in the mail!

Did you have to go through several iterations to get your invitations just right?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You're the Inspiration!

You've seen a sneak peek of my invitations here, but I wanted to back up and tell you how I was inspired. Ever since I first started reading Weddingbee, I was always way into the invitation posts, and extremely impressed by everyone on the blog and boards. I mean, I even ordered a damn Gocco for Pete's sake (and no, I still do not know how to use it).

I think it would have been mad awesome to say "Hey, guess what? I made those invitations!" But, I probably would have had to say that through a mic stuck in my padded cell at a mental institution. So, I got someone else to do it themselves, that someone else being my fabulous and talented stepmom.

Here is the inspiration I have been lusting over!

Yeah, so, I knew what invitations I liked that others had made...but I didn't know what I wanted, really. I wanted them to be colorful, casual, and fun. And for them to incorporate a heart with our initials in it. I drew up some mockups with a pencil and paper, because I am old school like that, and also because I have zero technological skills. It's pretty impressive that I can type, actually.

If you'd like, I can use a paper, pencil, and ruler, and sketch out some invitations for you!

Where did you get your inspiration from, and how did you put your ideas down on paper - literally, or with, like, technology?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Scheduled Exercise Program Has Been Interrupted

By freaking invitations.

OK, I complained just a teeny tiny bit a few weeks ago about invitations. You may have thought, from reading that post, that I designed the invitations myself. Or, you know, had to cut them out. Glue pieces together. Used a Gocco and sewed them with delicate gold thread and what not.

Nope. I just had to stack, tie, stuff, and stick. And it 'bout nearly killed me, and sure as heck disrupted my exercise plan for good, it seems.

At the beginning, it was fun. These are the pics from when I was so excited to get started! Woo hoo! Invitations!!! It's all really happening!!!!

I thought it would be a good idea to make an assembly line to assemble these little guys, and to sit on the floor. Because I forgot that I am 31 years old, not 23.

Wine and a black light were also involved, as were all seven Harry Potter videos.

Here's a sneak peek of these little devils beauties...full reveal tomorrow!

What was your biggest wedding chore thus far?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fashion Advice From a Sloth

Mrs. Sloth, that is.

So, Mrs. Sloth said her goodbyes yesterday and I'm not gonna lie, I'm a little sad about it [sniff sniff]. I met her in real life, and I was all like "OMG, Mrs. Sloth, all my friends and I just think you are the coolest thing since sliced bread. They are all like so totally jealous that I am hanging out with you right now. Can I get a picture?"

In her other life, she provides some awesome fashion advice. I love to read her blog What The Frock  for a number of reasons. 1. It's a super cute blog design. 2. I always wanna look like a celebrity on the cheap. And 3. You (yes, you!) can write to her and get real live (ok, live over the internets) advice on your very own personal dilemma.

So, I sent her my very own personal dilemma with the white, shiny dress and she tried to fall it up for me (although she says the white is fine, she does think it is too shiny for a casual bbq and I TOTALLY agree!).
Image via What the Frock

David's Bridal Dress $99 - Forever 21 Earrings $6 - Anthropologie Top $98
Seychelles Shoes $70 - ASOS Bag $39
I am totally digging that top from Anthropologie, but I do think the dress is just too freakin' shiny. Plus, I just got these boots in the mail today...
Rosegold Women's Gaddy Knee-High Boots / Image via Endless

I bought them on Gilt for much less than their price on Endless, but I still feel kinda guilty about buying them at all when every last cent should be going to the wedding or my new business. But...if I wear them for the rehearsal dinner, does that make it better?

So, I think the shiny white dress is out, and the boots are in. Just got to find another dress, or skirt, to go with the boots now. This is getting...well, "ridiculous" is the only word that comes to mind.

Have you ever obsessed over an event outfit this much? Is it because it's much easier to obsess over clothes than, say, seating charts and RSVPs?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dress Doubt Disorder: Part 2

I am having another attack of dress doubt disorder!!!!!! Cue freak out here.

Image via

The good news is, unlike the last bout of this disorder (which is apparently cyclic), the doubt is not about my wedding gown. That is amazing and beautiful and basically the best dress in the world. Insert sigh of relief here.

The bad news is, the doubt is back and I think it's here for a legitimate reason this time. You see, as a church going little girl raised in the South, my grandma taught me that you cannot wear white after Labor Day. And what color is my rehearsal dinner dress?

Image via David's Bridal

It's super white and shiny! You know, for our casual NC bbq rehearsal dinner! Fail.

I bought this dress in the summer, when the birds were singing and the sun is shining. Now it's all pumpkin spiced lattes and back to school and AFTER FREAKING LABOR DAY. My grandma would not approve of this.

So, what to do? Try to dye it (it's polyester)? Sell it (it's a size 4, brand new, in case you're interested)? Try to "fall it up" with a cardigan and accessories? Embrace the whiteness and wear it, even if it's a total mismatch with BBQ and hushpuppies? a new dress. Like, I don't about this one!

Anyone else get season confused when purchasing wedding attire?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Problem with Address Labels

It may very well just be a Magic-specific problem, but I have run into some problems with beautiful sticker address labels that I created myself. I wanted to post about this as a Public Service to brides around the world, as well as to find out if I just have some sort of specific disability when it comes to mailing things.

The first time around was with the Save the Dates. I made beautiful wrap around address labels, and many recipients told me that their envelope was all marked up when it got to them. Also, at least four were returned, because the post office thought our address (on the back) was the send to address. Boo. 

For the invitations (post coming soon!), I nixed the problematic wraparound label and created beautiful, straight forward sticker address labels with my Silhouette - you know, that machine that I barely know how to use. I printed them on full page sticker paper and had the Silhouette cut them out. It made me want to die, and caused me to write this post and this one too about how much everything sucks. But the labels were cute in the friendly end.

Cute but not necessarily functional as FOUR invitations have already been returned to us because the address label somehow got scraped off and therefore the address was unreadable. What. The. Hell.

Have you had this problem with sticky address labels? Or is this a Magic specific problem?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Turns Out...

brownies from scratch are so much better than brownies from a box.

So, 'member when I wrote about middle brownies being da bomb, and you all posted a bunch of recipes, and I said I would make every single one? Well, I didn't do that...yet. But I did make four brownie recipes that The Hive suggested, and two from a box. After I did all that, I wiped my sweaty brow, declared that I hated brownies, and I never wanted to see, much less taste, a brownie again.

Then all my girlfriends came over and we ate the brownies and drank milk and wine. And all was better again.

Also, I made them taste test the six different brownies BLIND. I mean, I didn't blind them. But I put tiny brownie bites on plates, and a sticky note in front of each plate, so they could write their thoughts and opinions down. [Yeah, I should have taken photos of all this, but after baking six batches of brownies in a row, I was feeling a little bit lazy...sorry.]

It was completely obvious which brownies were made from a box and which were made from scratch, which really impressed me...I felt like they would be more similar, but clearly, I was so wrong. I might never be able to make brownies from a box again!

Guest Amy was the first person to respond to my previous brownie post, and she recommended salted fudge brownies. I was all like "Salt and fudge?!? Yes, please." So I made them.

Image and Recipe from Tasty Kitchen

Even though I over baked these (oops), they were delicious...definitely a favor of the ladies!

Coffecake suggested Alton Brown's Cocoa Powder I made 'em.
 Image and Recipe from the Food Network

These were really rich but also a crowd pleaser, and I think they got better the second day. And the third!

Cinnamon Bun recommended The Baked Brownie Spiced Up, and I made those too.
 Image and Recipe via Smitten Kitchen

It's tough to pick a favorite of the from scratch recipes I tried, but these spiced brownies were delicious, unexpected (the spice!), and perfect for our fall wedding.

And ksarena said her Peppermint Patty Brownies were amazing, so I made them as well.
Image and Recipe via All Recipes

These were delicious as well. One of my friends wrote "a tasty surprise" on the post it note under this plate, as the mint is a bit unexpected. I thought they were good but the mint is such a specific taste...I might try this recipe again with peanut butter cups.

The box mixes I made were

Image via Buy Her

and some other box mix by either Betty Crocker or Duncan paled in comparison to the ones from scratch so I erased it from my memory.

So, I'm definitely making the salted fudge brownies, the cocoa brownies, and the spicy baked brownies for sure. And maybe some others too. I think I can make them a couple days in advance because they all held up well.

And I promise, I will bake those other brownies y'all suggested too. But I don't necessarily promise that I will make them before the wedding, as time is tickin' over here.

So, I'm a little bit concerned I might be, I don't know, just a tad stressed in the days leading up to the wedding, and I'm not sure making brownies is the smartest decision I have ever made, but in true Magic-I'm-totally-gonna-over-commit-myself-fashion...I'm just gonna do it.

Have you over committed to anything regarding the wedding?