Escape to a Small Town

Because we weren't escaping town to Chicago yesterday, my sis and I decided to escape town to a slightly closer, more charming, and less exciting destination called Bellefonte.

The sunny skies fooled me into thinking it was warmer than it really was, so all I wore under my jacket was the polka dot shirt from yesterday's post. It wasn't very warm.

It might not be Chicago, but Bellefonte is a cute town about 20 minutes away from Happy Valley, good for a day escape to small town America. Not to mention antique and thrift shops galore.

I went in with a few things in mind that I wanted to find: flower brooches, a birdcage veil, and once again, an antique cake topper. However, as we all know, the number one rule of thrifting is to not be on the lookout for any one thing in particular, and I'm finding that to be especially true when I search for wedding things. When I went antiquing with my dad a few months ago, there were flower brooches EVERYWHERE. I figured I would have no problem finding enough to make one of these:

Yesterday? Nothing of the sort! Guess we'll just have to keep searching.

But! As we turned to go up the rickety stairs of the never-ending antique mall, I saw this leaning against the railing:

Two bucks!

Keeping an open mind for the decor has led to all kinds of fun ideas that I never would have thought! Things are just in the beginning stage now, but I can't wait until things start coming together.

All that dust in the air sure worked up an appetite, so Em and I headed over to Cool Beans Cafe where I had a delicious hummus and veggie wrap, probably the most healthy thing I've consumed in the past month. But then, my after-lunch treat cancelled out all nutrition that I had probably gained from that veggie-licious creation...

Oh well.

All in all, yesterday was another great thing to lift me out of the post-Christmas funk. Now go drink some coffee and curl up by the fire with a good book. Or Cosmo. Either way.

Bon Appetit!


Polka Dots and Post-Christmas Depression

Helloooo to my freezing funky junkies!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and that Santa was as good to you this year as he was to me. I also hope that in the midst of the Christmas season stress and chaos that your family was blessed with the little things that make the holidays a memorable time of year. I know that for me, after the last minute gift shopping and the hoards of presents are opened, Christmas ultimately lies in the memories made with my loved ones: holiday party-ing with my girlfriends I've known since preschool, a day-long cookie baking marathon with my mom and sister, and spending Christmas Eve with my family, amazing fiance, and future family-in-law.

I've also had a slight change in my Christmas break plans, as a nasty bout of the stomach flu hit the Saylor household put a wrench in travel plans for the Chicago externship. I'm hoping to work out switching to do it over Spring Break. Although the break didn't quite turn out as we had planned, this now means two more weeks of relaxing, sleeping in, and wedding crafting! Not to mention I'll have someone to kiss on New Years Eve. ;-)

Yesterday I found myself in a bit of a post-holiday funk, so I sauntered down to Goodwill. In addition to a burnt red spring/fall coat and a hot pink blazer, I was drawn to some blue and white polka dots peeking out of the rack. It was a really neat cut, but the only problem? It was rocking some 80s, mom-tastic shoulder pads.

Hop in the mini van, kids!

But after some loving scissor cutting/ripping the shoulder pads out, as well as some seam ripping to let the collar open a liiiitle lower, it looked like a whole new shirt. The pearls, earrings, and makeup certainly didn't hurt either, I suppose.

Major to-do on this week's agenda: make and assemble wedding invitations. I'll keep you posted on the progress, and even let you see a sneak peak of my Microsoft Publisher creation!

Until next time...eat lots of leftover/stale Christmas cookies, play with your new toys, and don't feel bad for being sick of Christmas music on the radio.


Happy Holidays from The Funky Junkie!


It's Time for Mistletoe and Holly...Especially Mistletoe.

With seven semesters of college down and one to go, I am officially on CHRISTMAS BREAK! My last one ever. Woah.

With Christmas classics on Grooveshark radio, I'm sitting in my kitchen at home waiting for mom and sister to get home so that the Christmas cookie baking marathon can begin. Meanwhile, I'm relishing in that fact that I can now shamelessly stalk wedding blogs without guilt. Because I have no projects, papers, or exams. Schooool's out. For. Winter.

These next few weeks of freedom will hopefully mean lots of time to get the ball rolling on some wedding crafts and decorations! Namely, invitations, gifts for my bridesmaids, and most of all, sifting through the masses of photos and ideas stored on the computer and narrowing it down to which things I want to be on the look out for in my antique and thrifting adventures (which there will hopefully be one or two to tell about by the time break is over!)

But until then, feast your eyes on some of my latest inspirations:




The Funky (But Not Junky) Professional

Even though I still have a whole semester left before I enter into the real world, (Jobs! Marriage! Cooking dinner every night!) I've been starting to get antsy about transitioning from a late-sleeping, leggings-and-sweater wearing, Top-Model-Marathon-watching college student to a responsible, suit-wearing, Wall-Street-Journal reading wife and career woman. Maybe.

All that aside, there is one thing that I am getting excited about, which is building up my cute professional clothes wardrobe! I know that might seem weird to be thrilled at the prospect of sweatpants and jeans no longer being an option for looking presentable at work, but lately when I've shopped downtown or look through magazines, I find myself thinking to myself, that would look cute with a blazer and some funky jewelry! Instead of, I could really use some more going out clothes! Well...maybe that's not entirely true...

When I used to think of going to work, I used to think of this:

Yikes. How boring. I was pretty sure my days of funky clothes and thrifty shopping would be screeched to a halt once I got a job. Goodbye Goodwill, hellooo overpriced department stores....

But last summer when I had an internship at the Bedford Springs Resort and Spa, I had a coworker who defied all of my previous conceptions of the working woman. Every time she walked in to work, she looked ADORABLE while still professional! She rocked everything from bright, funky blouses to non-traditional suit coats. That's when I realized, just because you need to dress professional, it doesn't mean your individual style has to go out the window.

The best part? You can totally thrift that stuff!

In January I'll be working at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers for a week-long externship in Human Resources. Finally, a job that requires a different outfit from my usual messyFood and Beverage uniform! My mommy and I are planning on a shopping trip in the near future for some of these funky and fabulous work clothes. Here are a few of the things I'm looking for:

And just for kicks....I looooooooove this vintage look:

And while I'm at it, this is what I'll wear to bake pies for my husband:

On a more boring note, I am one final away from being one step closer to all of this exciting adventures to come. While I should be studying Updike, Cheever, and Bradbury (an English essay test...c'mon, reallyyyy?), I have been gorging on Christmas cookies, drinking too much coffee, watching Christmas movies, and coloring. Yes, coloring. With my fiance. Don't judge.



Christmas: Then and Now

As the snow drifts softy outside my window and NSYNC's Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays (you gotta watch their music video for this, by the way--90's nostalgia at its finest, a Gary Coleman appearance, and bleached blonde babes) comes on my itunes Christmas playlist, I can't help but be taken back to my childhood and teenage years of Christmas at the Saylor house. However, things over the years have changed, and as I prepare to spend this Christmas as a 'kid' for the last time so to speak, I started thinking about the other Christmas things that have evolved as I have grown...

Christmas Eve
THEN: Before the term "all-nighter" was in our vocabulary, my sister and I stayed up ALL NIGHT talking, looking at old photo albums, reading, and singing. Since we weren't allowed downstairs until 7am, we'd sneak out of our rooms to grab our stockings around 5, trying to make opening them somehow last two hours. Which never happened.
NOW: Staying up, overindulging on mom's cookies and poppyseed roll, and watching the 24 hour A Christmas Story marathon. Trying to see how long it's possible to sleep in as to not make gift opening stretch past 4 pm. And despite waking up at 10am, consuming copious amounts of coffee throughout the day.

THEN: Longing for an Easy Bake Oven, and being completely devastated when I found that heat from a light bulb will not produce the delicious treats I saw on the commercial.

NOW: Having a whole new appreciation for a home cooked meal and stocking up on leftovers to bring back to college.

THEN: Who wants money and clothes for Christmas? BO-RING.
NOW: Who wants money and clothes for Christmas? THIS GIRL.

Winter Fun
Snow days, where the day was spent out in the snow instead of school.
NOW: Snowy days, where the day is spent in school or work instead of in the snow. Not that the snow is particularly inviting. Oh, the memories of snowballs in the face...

THEN: Boy bands releasing sub-par holiday albums that occasionally carried the smash hit (see exhibit A, NSYNC.)

NOW:  Three words: Glee Christmas Album.


The classic Hershey Kiss Christmas commercial

The bliss of biting into a warm peanut butter blossom cookie

No matter how sick you may be of it, the depression that goes with all the radio stations switching back over to secular music as soon as the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Day

Knowing all the of the words to the songs in White Christmas and singing along every time without shame.

Forever having an excuse to buy a new red dress for the holiday party season.

Saying I'll get all my Christmas shopping done on Black Friday, yet still finding myself scrambling around the mall on December 24th.

As we plunge into the Christmas season full speed ahead, I hope that this holiday finds you all in happiness and good health. I can't wait to blog about Christmasy crafts, keep you up to date on the weddin' plannin', and hopefully make some thrifty excursions here and there.

In other news....how cute would these as wedding favors be? I'm hoping to try them out at some point soon.

Looooove and all things Christmas,


Colorful Dreams on a Rainy Day

Today it has not. Stopped. Raining. Usually, these kind of days makes me want to do one of three things:

1. Put on a happy face (and maybe some red shoes) and make the best of it, despite my surroundings that excude sheer crankiness.

2. Curl up in a ball, eat, and watch six movies in a row. Which I did over this Thanksgiving break. Mind you, that's six movies, not six hours of movies. Yes, I sat on the couch from approximately 10 am until 7:30 pm and enjoyed all that the world of television had to offer, the good and the bad.

3. Dream of sweet and colorful wedding days, and relish in the fact that I am getting married. In 8 months. WOAH.

As the large details start to come together, with the little details still in the dreaming stage and yet to fall into place, I am slowly starting to realize that this is me planning a wedding. This is me and Ian. This is for US!

We booked our honeymoon, and as we were looking at our resort's website, I still could not believe that we're actually going THERE! On a HONEYMOON!

I walked into my bedroom at home, which has been transformed into a wedding wonderland of bridesmaid dresses and decorations and knick knacks, to show my grandmother my dress on Thanksgiving. As I pulled it out of the bag, it really hit me that in July, I will be finally get to wear it (and Ian will finally get to see it!)

Most importantly, I am going to begin a new life with my best friend. As the days fly by more and more quickly, it's impossible to fathom how much our lives are going to change. But I am so excited to tackle it together.

But until July just hurries up and gets here, I will keep up the colorful daydreaming. And doodling in my notebooks.


Chocolate Chai and Cookie Buffets

Today I am in an excellent mood, not only because I had a fantastic evening with my sister last night, and that today I wore a t-shirt and shorts to the gym in the middle of November, but also because I have finally perfected the art of making drinkable, delectable, chai tea.

My recipe for success: heat 1/2 mug of water for 3 minutes. Drop in Celestial Seasonings Chocolate Caramel Enchantment Chai, and while letting it steep, heat half a mug (my measurements so very technical) of milk. Remove teabag and add two tablespoons of sugar and a squeeze of honey before pouring milk in, letting the frothy goodness swirl to perfection.

Quite a far cry from my first attempt at concocting chai in my freshman dorm, which turned into a grey, watered down milky mess.

In other news, I just became obsessed with this blog:

Such a cute idea for favors:

I'm having a blast connecting with other DIY brides and gals. Thank you so much for reading!

A more substantial post will be coming soon. But now, it's back to school things--almost as fun as blog stalking, right?



An Unexpected Holiday

Here's what I expected for this lovely Tuesday in Happy Valley: a long day of work, class, and meetings.

Here's what I didn't expect on this lovely Tuesday, November 9th 2010:
...because today just so happens to mark 1) our monthly anniversary--2 years and 9 months to be exact-- and 2) exactly 8 months until we tie the knot.

And as quickly as he came to deliver this little token, he was off to retrieve his illegally parked car, leaving me in smiles and wondering how did I get so darn lucky.

It's 8 months till Bren And Ian Get Married Day. It's a national holiday, dontcha know.


Funky Junkie Wedding Inspirations

For your visual pleasure (depending on who you are, I suppose), some of my latest wedding inspirations...

Love these twinkling lights. I'm thinking it might look neat with old fashioned Christmas bulb lights.

I guess if I never find the antique topper there is always the crafty route!

We've got dozens of these lying around our house...

I know I haven't had a good wedding update recently, but everything is moving along just swimmingly. After the initial frenzy to get the church and reception booked, the rest has been falling into place-- and I am loving every second of it.

The bridesmaid dresses are bought. The only thing I'll tell you is that they were cheap ($55 dollars from Macy's, baby!), and are purple and funky--and my gals all look INCREDIBLY adorable in them.

Ian and I enlisted my dad to take some engagement photos, which turned out fantastic.

Also, my dress has arrived and is currently residing in my former bedroom at my parents house. A lot of people were surprised to hear that I bought it so soon after the engagement--how did I know it was the one? Didn't I want to look anywhere else? What if I found something that I liked better?

Because, I say, I walked out of the dressing room that night and saw my mom, aunt, sister, and bridesmaid erupt in smiles. I looked at myself in the mirror and just knew--I knew that the dress could not fit me better (both physically AND style-wise!) and that I didn't want to look any farther. I had found it. Come on--this was my face when I knew it was the one:

Speaking of weddings and things I love, the fiance should be arriving soon for our weekly Monday night dinner date. On tonight's menu: pasta with broccoli and a side of mashed sweet potatoes. Yes, he is practically marrying Julia Child.



Antique Escapes

What do you get when you combine the constant smell of a basement, searching through thousands of cheesy grandma knick-knacks for the perfect wedding cake topper, and chocolate cream pie?

A successful day of antiquing and a very happy Bren, that's what.

It was a cold Football Saturday in Happy Valley, so naturally, I fled town. I had told my dad weeks ago that I wanted to go flea marketing together on a Saturday, and today was finally the day that worked out. Even though my first unofficial rule of thrift searching is to have an open mind (which means not going in looking for any one particular thing, because it often leads to frustration), I knew I was searching for wedding decor inspiration today. But of course my mind was open to other impulses that might arise. Like jewelry.

Our first stop was Street of Shops in Lewistown, PA.

Inside: miles and miles and aisles and aisles of junk. Obviously I was in heaven.

As I got lost in the labyrinth, I was thinking about how something so simple brings me so much joy. For some reason, I see a thrill in buying things that aren't fresh off the factory. I love knowing that I am probably the second, third, tenth owner of a necklace that someone might have worn for their prom or wedding in the 50's. Not only are older things much better quality, since they have stood the test of time, they also have a certain character that the plastic consumer items of today do not-- I can't image we'll be seeing aisles of outdated iphones and computers in 30 years.

Don't get me wrong though--there is certainly a fair share of utter crap for sale in some of these places. Among my favorites today: a Sony walkman and racks of cassettes, a life-size PSU basketball player poster, a light up Jesus lawn ornament, and a styrofoam Coca Cola McDonalds cup. Yes, some things should just be thrown away.

Anyway, after a lovely grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch at the cafe, we moved on to our next stop.

I didn't buy anything here, but loved exploring the three floors of this barn-turned-antique mall.

We finished off the day with some dinner and pie at the Lewisburg Country Cupboard (a swell place, if you'd like to check out the chronicles of the smorgasboard in my other blog).

I'm sure you're dying to know what I bought, right? Did she find her perfect cake topper?

Unfortunately, I did not--not one I loved, anyway. I did, however, find plenty of newlywed Precious Moments and teddy bears and creepy porcelain doll-esque figures that once stood on someone's cake. Oh well--there will be more antique trips. :-)

However, without giving too much away, I found a fantastic decoration that will definitely make a statement at our reception. I'm not going to tell you what it is, but I will tell you that I found it here:

And for another little decoration sneak preview:

You'll just have to stay tuned!

I also found a beautiful 1970's dress that you'll get to see after some alterations. It fit almost perfectly, and had a fantastic pattern. With some shortening and taking in, it'll be real neat.

I would say today was a great success. Thanks to Dad for going with me!

Stay warm! I'm hearing rumors of snow....



A Nifty Thrifty Halloween

I was drawn to the idea of being a 1950's pin-up girl for Halloween this year. Why? I wanted to be something sorta sexy, but not of the sexy policewoman/ladybug/doctor persuasion. I figured, why not do something cute and vintage?

I scored a red collar tank top and high waisted black shorts from Goodwill, back seam fishnets from Rag and Bone, wore my thrifted red heels, and topped it off with vintage flower clip on earrings and bright red lipstick. The whole thing cost about 8 bucks.

And Ian, the crafty fiance that he is, swiped some fabric from his mom and whipped up some stripes to pin to a WalMart khaki shirt (which he saved the packaging from and returned the next day) to go as a 1940's soldier.

Hey-- if employment falls through, at least we can make crafts. And look good while doin' it.

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