Bye Bye January

Hello February! January is one of those months that seems to drag on and on and on. Especially in the subzero temperatures of Chicago. Here's what I'm looking forward to in February:

1. The days getting longer...and brighter.
2. The gym getting less crowded.
3. Football season ending. Yippee for seeing my husband on Sundays again!
4. Spring around the corner...come on, Mr. Groundhog!
5. And, of course, Valentine's Day!

Filter Fun (My Bridal Accessories)

Photoshop either love 'em or hate 'em. In the art world some designers consider them amateur tools. I'm on the fence about it, but regardless, I don't use them nearly enough (you can create some really cool stuff!). The other day, I decided to have some fun with the photograph at left. It's a photo of my wedding accessories (shoes, purse, earrings, bracelet, and ring pillow) that I took last year. I was trying to channel a Martha Stewart-like look - haha! I've never been too sure what to do with the image, or how to use it, so the Photoshop exploration came in handy. Thoughts? Ideas? Which treatment do you like best? I think I like the scribbly qualities of #2!

Elie Saab Gowns

I'm in love with these gowns! Sarah over at Classic Bride wrote about her Elie Saab designer crush last week. I'm totally in agreement. My favorite designs from the Elie Saab fall and spring shows are featured below. Which one(s) do you like? For more beautiful options go here and here.

Vintage Winter Bouquet

Another floral beauty from Amanda over at Butterfly Petals. This bouquet was created for a vintage themed winter wedding. I love the pine needles in combination with the feathers! I blogged about Amanda's not so typical bouquets previously. Her work is just amazing! For more photos, check out the new Butterfly Petals Facebook Fan Page

Meaningful Moss

These are SO cool! I love moss - I think it's beautiful! I came across these installations on Pillar Box Post - a super cool blog about design and living across the pond (aka. in England). These beauties were created by Curb, a natural media company based in the UK. Curb creates unique media and advertising solutions using only natural earth elements. Check out more of their cool work here. What wonderful inspiration for an outdoor wedding!


Happy weekend everyone! A big shout out to fellow wedding blogger Megan, of Uncomplicated. She and Garrison tied the knot a few weeks ago in Texas. Her "newly released" wedding photos are absolutely gorgeous. Congratulations to the happy couple!

The Age-Old Registry Debate

It's a timeless bridal debate...should you or shouldn't you register for fine china, crystal and silver? In some cases brides are lucky enough to have a beautiful set handed down to them from earlier generations. In others, a couple may think the whole idea is just silly. Either way, it is definitely a personal decision. We (okay, it was mostly me) decided to register for fine china. I left off the crystal and fine silver, however. We were well stocked with glassware long before our wedding planning days, so it didn't seem necessary to have Waterford goblets gifted and put directly in storage.

Our home decorating style is a mixture of old and new. It's definitely more on the vintage spectrum. If I could afford to buy all of my home items at Anthropologie, I would. Unfortunately that is not the case. I tend to mix it up with both budget friendly and higher end items. I live at HomeGoods, which is the "home" version store of T.J.Maxx. If you haven't gone yet, plan a trip soon...very, very soon. My friends joke that employees at all HomeGoods know my Mom and I by name when we walk in the door. It's almost true. 

So, when it came to finding a china pattern, I only had one prerequisite: it had to be unique! I ended up falling in love with all of the Martha Stewart collections at Macy's. The prices were surprisingly reasonable too. I ended up doing something that most brides would not consider - mixing and matching two patterns. As previously blogged, we went with Martha's "Garland Moss" and "French Knot" sets (5 of each). We also went with gold accents versus silver. There's something about yellow gold... I can't get enough of it. I love the old-world look it has.

So, next up was finding coordinating accessories. A girl needs matching forks and knives to eat with, right? We already had everyday stainless steal ones, so I wasn't sure that I wanted to invest in something super expensive (or that needed to be polished!). Who would keep them shiny? Then there were the "gold" options. There are not many out there, and from what I could find, none were budget friendly. I ended up finding an absolute charm of a set on Macy's website (pictured below)...stainless steal with a hint of gold. Even better was the price tag, $89 for a full set of 45 pieces. I went with napkins and bamboo place mats from Crate and Barrel. The napkin rings are from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I couldn't resist the pretty glass decanters at CB either. The fancy flutes pictured below were something that my mom and I found at HomeGoods. They're a great addition...and we've actually used them to drink from too!

That's where the irony of the whole situation comes in. I don't like to cook. I'm not bad at it, I just don't have the time to enjoy it. That said, I'm determined to have at least one dinner party in my lifetime so I can break out all of this fancy stuff. Other than that, my fine china will do it's job looking beautiful on display. I mean, that's kinda why I registered for it. I'm not gonna lie. How about you? Did you register for fine china? Or are you currently debating the decision? How often do you break out your special occasion dinnerware? I'd love to hear from some readers...

Making a House a Home

No matter where you live... apartment, condo, 2-story house or mega-mansion... it's important to transform the space into your home. I'm probably not the first to say that the transformation process is a tough one... and don't believe anyone that tells you it is super easy or super fast. One of my favorite blogs, Brooklyn Limestone, takes you through the entire process for one NY couple, and they are going on year 3! In my experience, the transformation process is fun and fulfilling, but definitely takes time.

Luke and I have been in our 2B/1B condo in Chicago for almost three years. We've had a lot of memories in our first place, including getting engaged, planning a wedding and getting married. After all of the wonderful shower and wedding gifts came through, we had so many amazing decorative items and pieces of furniture to work with. Here's where we were about a year ago. The following photos are of our dining room today, which happens to be my favorite room in our home. It's taken us about 2.5 years to figure it all out, but I can finally say that it's perfect. I'm truly excited to go home everyday. Now I'm bugging the hubby about needing more space and possibly moving. Not so sure that's going to happen, but I'm always up for the next challenge...

Allegro Dining Table (w/ extension) - Crate & Barrel
Bamboo placemats - Crate & Barrel
Green Leopard Chair - Craigslist; Dining Room Chairs (Set of 4) - Chicago Antique Market
Handmade Pillow, by Me! - Sewing 101 @ The Needle Shop
Mahogany Buffet - Crate & Barrel
Various Decanters - Crate & Barrel
Botanical Framed Prints - HomeGoods
Martha Stewart "French Knot" Fine China - Macy's
Martha Stewart "Garland Moss" Fine China - Macy's
Chandelier - Gallery 802

Winter Wedding

What a gorgeous photo...the lighting, colors, and scenery in this shot are absolutely breathtaking. And I love the fur stole the bride was sporting. For more on this Minnesota wedding, visit Cadence Cornelius' photography blog. Best wishes to all the couples out there who are braving the winter weather and getting married this month! I hope you are blessed with beautiful photos just like this one...


I'm loving these whimsical pieces from Bittersweets. The company, based out of Brooklyn, NY, has a large assortment of jewelry available for purchase online. They also do custom work, such as one-of-a-kind wedding bands. My favorite item is the yellow gold "heart and arrow" bracelet below - love it ("hint, hint" to my husband)! The "live long & prosper" ring set is great too.

Save The Date: Jillian & Mark

I created Jillian and Mark's custom Save The Date a few months ago. The couple sent out 4x6 postcards that incorporated a small black and white photo of themselves. The repeating copy on the front was customized for the couple with phrases such as "he proposed on the beach in Grand Cayman, she said 'yes'." Important words and dates were bolded for maximum impact.

I'd rather be...

It's freaking cold in Chicago today - about 1°F! I just took Murphy, our black lab, outside for a walk. He was absolutely miserable, and wanted to come in right away, which never EVER happens. I hope everyone is staying warm. I think I'll spend the rest of my afternoon inside, planning my dream vacation to St. Barts...