A Flowery Frenzy

It started out as such a beautiful, warm day. Now it looks like it's going to rain.

Maybe if I post some pictures of pretty flowers it'll make the sun come back?

As you may have noticed, I love old flower brooches. I originally wanted to do my wedding bouquet completely made out of them, but decided against it when I weighed it out against the other projects I wanted to complete. That doesn't mean I still don't swoon over photos like this:

However, I've still been collecting them-- I just can't resist when I see a bright retro flower pin at an antique shop, and some of my gal pals have even been contributing to the madness when they see them in their shopping adventures. I have some ideas up my sleeve about how I can incorporate them into the wedding decor...

And what to do with them when it's all over?

I saw this posted on stylelist.com, and the little article had a link to this gal's cute blog! I love finding new blogs...especially when it means putting off writing papers some more. Oh yes.

And would you look at that, the sun is coming back! After attending my last ever 8:00am class this morning, I could totally go for a snooze in the sunshine.

Unfortunately, productivity calls. Incidentally, so does Starbucks....


The Stamp Guy

After our tavern breakfast yesterday, it was off to the races to complete the homemade wedding invitation suite-- printing off response cards, compiling address labels, and assembling envelopes. But first, we needed stamps. Lots of stamps.

Apparently wedding stamps are a hot item this time of year, because the Boalsburg Post Office was fresh out. So it was off to the State College Post Office, where the lines are a mile long, the staff is scarce and they are as grumpy as can be. Not to mention, no matter what day it is, everyone seems to wait until the last 10 minutes of the post office being open to go mail or pick up crucial things. (Ourselves included...we had to get those stamps!)

When it was finally our turn, we stepped up to the friendly looking redheaded post office man and informed him that we needed about 300 stamps. After some confusion and debate about whether we needed one or two stamps for each envelope (who knew that stamps were one ounce or two ounce?), we were told to step to the side. Because we were going to need to talk to the Stamp Guy. 

"Have you ever seen that episode of Seinfeld?," he said. "He's like the Soup Nazi. The Stamp Nazi. And you don't want to make him mad."

My mom and I thought this was hysterical. "Like the Assman!," we said.

Post Office Guy: "Huh?"
Mom: "Have you seen THAT Seinfeld? When Kramer's the Assman!"
Post Office Guy: *Blank Stare*
Mom: "Assman....The Stamp Man!"
Post Office Guy: "Stamp Guy."
Us: "We'll just step aside." 

So there we stood in cahoots, as he moved to help another customer, clearly displeased at the humor we found in the whole thing. If you've ever seen my mom and I together, you know that when we get to laughing about something (especially when it's inappropriate) we are an impossible force to stop. I'm talking busting a gut, peeing your pants, scrunched up face, and crying laughter here, and the more we go, the more we egg each other on. It's just bad news.

But suddenly, the Stamp Guy emerged from the back, clutching a handful of stamps. It was time to get serious. In perfect unison, Mom and I stepped back over to the desk to get our soup...er, stamps, fighting back giggles that would set us off again.

Without acknowledging us, the Stamp Guy roughly said to the redhead, "This is all we got. Just the wedding ring stamps. When I counted 'em I was one off, so you're gonna have to count 'em again."

As the redhead counted, he pointed out a college kid standing in the still-growing line. "You see that guy back there? He's the richest guy in State College. Wanna know why? Because he sells Monopoly pieces. On Ebay."

It was our turn for the blank stare.

He counted 300, and gave us our stamps. We left, puzzled by the series of events that had just taken place.

But it was time to get busy! We even put the fiance to work. Fueled by coffee and homemade peanut butter eggs, every invitation was put together and is now ready to mail. First major wedding DIY project is checked off....for good!

The ultimate Stamp Guy. Way better looking, too.


Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Breakfast at a Bar

To kick off a day of wedding invitation finishing, I enjoyed a lovely breakfast with my aunt and mom at a bar. Yes, that's right. Duffy's Tavern in Boalsburg, a little town just outside of State College where chickens cross the road and locals gather at the pub for eggs, bacon, and beer on Saturday morning.

No seemed to care why they were crossing the road...

Amid the strains of local gossip and motown songs playing on the satellite radio, I enjoyed a hearty (aka, completely filling) feast of chocolate pancakes and bacon.

Although we didn't opt for the Bloody Mary morning special, I found an odd sense of comfort in sitting on a wooden bench, enjoying delicious pancakes and steaming sub-par coffee with the scent of beer in the air. It was a chilly morning, but the room was still packed with the folks who make the trek down the street for some food and kabitzing with each other. Every regular who walked through was greeted with a chorus of welcome, and was sent off with a "see you next week". It wasn't the kind of place you go for fine dining or speedy service, but rather for the leisure and camaraderie. 

Although technically the service could have been enough to make a hospitality major cringe, I didn't get antsy when my water glass wasn't constantly refilled or coffee kept piping hot. It was more about the people and seeing a snapshot of life on a small town Saturday.


Blog Spotlight: 100 Layer Cake

Instead of being productive on this sunny and windy morning, I spent a good chunk of time perusing 100 Layer Cake, one of my favorite wedding blogs. Please take some time to feast your eyes on these images from A Whimsical Columbus Wedding, because it pretty much sums up everything I want my wedding to be--the bright colors, oversized balloons, her birdcage veil, and the candy table--absolutely adorable! 

Even if you aren't planning a wedding in the near future, this site is totally worth checking out, if for nothing else than procrastination purposes (just in time for finals...you're welcome!). 100 Layer Cake was introduced to me by my lovely friend/bridesmaid Shannon, and it has not only been the source of countless wedding inspiration for me, but has also further confirmed that planning a wedding is much, much more fun than school. Sigh.

With my biggest class of the semester OVER, the only thing standing between me, graduation, and bringing this wedding to life is 3 weeks, a 25-page paper and a final for a class I've given up going to for Lent. Umm...senioritus much?


Operation: Bridal Bod

While I was doing my grocery shopping over the weekend, I found some grapefruit at the little grocery store down the street. Being a small, downtown, overpriced college student monopoly, this store's produce selection is usually very limited and you never quite know what they'll have on a day - to - day basis. But I couldn't resist some bright orange grapefruit on a rainy day.

Even though I didn't have a sharp pointy spoon to scoop the pink fruit out, I savored the kind of sweet (thanks to a dousing of sugar), kind of sour, delicious flavor. It turns out grapefruit is GREAT for you packed with antioxidants that fight heart disease. It also is a natural appetite reducer, is loaded with fiber, decreases cancer risk, and acts as a pro biotic and digestive enzyme. Oh, and grapefruit juice is said to cure insomnia--hmmm...

I decided when I got engaged that I wanted to have the best body ever for my wedding, and when spring semester began, I went right to it. However, with 79 days to go, I have gone through phases of insanely healthy eating only to  snap when I get a hankering to bake cookies. I have gone through a couple week's stretch of consistent gym-going, only to be unmotivated by one rainy day and ruin the streak for another few weeks. I have hopped on and fell off the P90X bandwagon (although I haven't completely lost hope on this one! The money spent on that is the only thing that will keep me going...).

With a student budget, a student schedule, and little access to a decent grocery store, buying healthy food has been the biggest challenge for me. I start out every week with good intentions of cooking at least 3 meals that week, but then end up eating PB&J for dinner because I don't feel like spending 7 bucks on chicken. I find myself saying that 'next week I'll do better'.

However, friends, don't get worried--I'm not trying to lose a crazy amount of weight or change the way I look, because I know I'm already a healthy individual. I'm just trying to tone up and eat a more balanced diet that doesn't revolve around coffee, chocolate, and wine (although wouldn't that be swell?). I know I'm not the only one who has ever made lofty fitness goals only to fall short and be disappointed, and I know that Ian loves me the way I am.

But from here on out, I'm going to try and incorporate at least one healthful thing into my day, whether it's eating fruit, going to the gym, or just taking a walk outside now that the rain has finally gone away.

In fact....I think I might just go do that now. Helloooo sun! 


Gettin' Crabby in Maryland

Hi friends! I do apologize for the quiet last few days around here-- I was on a mini tour of Maryland and PA for a weekend of interviews and exploring a potential future home with the fiance, and hanging and catching up with some old friends at their schools in Baltimore and Gettysburg. 

Ian had a fantastic interview with the Anne Arundel County school district, so keep your fingers crossed! Afterwards, we spent the afternoon exploring Annapolis, an beautiful town filled with coffee shops, restaurants, antiques, and vintage shops. Um....perfect? 
After asking around the Safeway parking lot for where to get the best seafood, we were directed to the downtown area where we stumbled across Buddy's Crabs and Ribs. Yeehaw!

Ian went for the buffet, while I opted for a nice $15 crab cake sandwich. But oh my, was it the best crab cake I've ever had. While in Maryland, right?

We refueled with some amazing cinnamon and pecan coffee from Hard Bean Cafe, we putzed around in the warm sun, popping into antique shops, a cigar shop, an Irish store, and a fun vintage crafty place. You know--a little bit of everything.

Soon it was time to head down the road to Baltimore, where Ian left me off with some of my best friends/bridesmaids to see our gal Shannon in the two-person play Dutchman. Afterwards, we enjoyed hanging with her artsy friends, as well as the strength of some $5 cocktails and leaving our PSU mark on the chalkboard walls.

Next stop on Saturday morning was the Gettysburg battlefields to visit the lovely Courtney and Megan, two more best friends and bridesmaids. Despite the monsoon, we received the driving tour of Gettysburg College and some dinner at Gettysburg Eddie's. We left G-burg in a flood and tornado watch, and set off down the road home, dodging lightning and flooded forests.

It was a GREAT weekend. And after today, I will be done with my restaurant class, which has been the bane of my existence over the past few months. The sun is shining, and I'm getting married in 86 days. No complaints here!

Next order of business: get a job. 


You Say It's Your Birthday...

Today is my fabulous fiance's birthday!

Isn't he the most handsome thing you've ever seen? I am so excited to marry him and celebrate many more birthdays together.

I love you Ian!


Don't Rain on My Parade

If you know me, you probably know that nothing makes me more cranky than rain. There is just nothing good about it! Rainy days make me completely unproductive, make me want to eat my weight in chocolate, and most of all, makes my curls go haywire. Bad, bad news.

The biggest reason why Ian and I opted out of an outdoor venue for our wedding was because it was just too risky--high heels and mud just would not be fun. Combine the possibility of rain with the hot and humid summer days that we have around here on the days it doesn't rain; 100% A/C is just the best situation.

At first, I was terrified at the prospect of having a rainy wedding day. But the more wedding blogs I stalk, the more I fall in love with the way photos in the rain turn out! Bright umbrellas, rain boots--so fun!

Photos from here, here, here, and here

By no means am I saying I hope it rains on July 9th--I'm not sure that any amount of hairspray could contain the frizz--but if it does, I won't turn into a cranky, wet bridezilla.

Aren't you glad?


A Girl's Evolution of Style

Every little girl goes through several style phases in her life that help shape and define her.

When you're a baby, you really can't go wrong. Your wardrobe is busting at the seams with all the baby shower gifts and adorable little jumpers. Sure, mom and dad have complete say in your outfits--but come on. Babies are (usually) just cute.
Extra points for matching your toys.

Soon, it's off to preschool you go, where dress up clothes and Halloween costumes become normal for a daily outfit. You start to notice what the other girls are wearing, and try to outdo them with your own ridiculous outfit. Mom tries to explain to you that it doesn't match, but eventually gives it up--it's kind of adorable, right? Just put on your jean hat and sunglasses from the vending machine, and you are set.
Sailor Outfit + Jean Purse + Floppy Hat

But even for a young fashionista, it's exhausting to be always dressed to the nines. Sometimes a girl needs to kick back in her sweatsuit and slipper socks, and relax with some Raffi.

And the mullet is an added bonus.

Soon, it's off to big-kid school. Growing pains are kicking in, so with your ever-changing lanky body, Mom's hitting up the department stores and outlets for the sweetest and most practical deals.

You got some pooh on your overalls...

Middle school is when things get tricky. Everyone around you is starting to buy the same clothes from the mall, which you try for a little while until you decide you want to take a plunge and be different. Enter the Mr. Rogers Tee. Having a bad hair day? Just throw your hair up into some cute pigtails! Add your attempts at makeup on your braceface and you are just rakin' through the love notes from all your admirers.

High school is when your style truly begins to refine itself. Your style really becomes 'you'. And you finally have money and a drivers license to go shopping on your own.

And here  we are now. Years of evolving my style later, you can finally say that you've found it. For me, it's a little bit of funky, a little bit of vintage, a little bit of crazy--and it's still changing. Because who wants to wear the same thing every day?


The Improvising Gourmand

When I moved into an apartment, I could not WAIT to turn into Julia Child every night when I cooked dinner. Gone were the days of meal plans and turkey wraps for dinner...HELLO healthy, easy, and affordable 30 minute meals a la Rachael Ray!

But that got old fast. Living 2 steps away from Panera is just too convenient. Cereal for dinner is just too easy. And our smoke alarm goes off every time the stove turns on. Who wants to deal with that?

However, there are nights when I put on my apron and practice being a domestic diva. I found this recipe for Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons and Parsley Brown Butter and figured it sounded easy enough. Do I already have half the ingredients in my pantry? Check. Can I get the rest of the ingredients at the little grocery store down the street? Check check.

But let the substitutions begin: I already had whole wheat penne, so I decided to just use that instead of gnocchi. I cut up the zucchini (no "ribbons"...too tedious!) and threw them in to sizzle to perfection.

Next, an arsenal of the most basic spices: salt, pepper, oregano, and parsley. And cinnamon?

The recipe called for nutmeg. But since my substitution skills are top of the pops, I knew cinnamon was just as good, right?

After sprinkling some parmesan on top, the squash was ready to add to the pasta for a colorful, hearty dinner! The cinnamon actually added a nice spicy note.

Just think of how much more fantastic it will be next time when I actually follow the recipe.

Have a wonderful Sunday! Check this out...I am sponsoring an awesome blog called Story of my Life. I don't even remember how I came across this blog, but Jenni is adorable and is so fun to read. If you haven't already, hop on over there and say hello! And if you are stumbling onto The Funky Junkie from her blog....welcome!


Scenes from a Successful Saturday

Over the past few months, I've kind of had a thrifting/antiquing dry spell. For a funky junkie like myself, this simply will not do. But today was the first Saturday I've had completely open, so I did what anyone else would do: call up my sister for some shopping.

Here are some moments from a sisterly bonding day at a few antique stores around town, complete with Easter Bunny bags, shelves of creepy babies, and some fantastic jewelry :
Here comes Peter Cottontail...

And my favorite finds of the day:

Another addition to a very special bouquet

These earrings were there months ago and they were still there today. A six-dollar sign from the heavens!

I am not sufficiently caffeinated today and have eaten too many peanut butter M&M's. I think it's the weather.

July 9th.....where are you?! Oh yeah, exactly 3 months away. :-)


Fire and Ice: Seasons of a Vintage Apartment

I love the charm and location of my 100+ year old downtown apartment. It's the perfect, cozy little abode for two college gals.

My roommate/best childhood friend Hannah moved in without having ever seen the place (because that's 20 years of friendship's worth of trust) and with the help of our crafty moms, we went to town decorating our new home.

As summer came to an end, we lived comfortably in our air conditioned rooms. Life was good.

But then, winter started. And the radiators came on.

It all started with the bathroom. Now, let me first explain that our apartment is not huge. But each of the four rooms is home to a big, old, dusty radiator. When the temperatures started to drop, we noticed that the one located in the bathroom (just centimeters away from the toilet) was constantly on full force, turning the bathroom into a steam room when the shower was running, and a sauna when it was not. The rest of the apartment might have been freezing, but you always knew you could be warm in the little girl's room.

But one day, I trudged up the stairs after class and opened our apartment door only to be greeted by the most overwhelming heat I have ever experienced as I stepped inside. It was like hitting a brick wall--every single radiator was on at full blast. It was absolutely unbearable.

During our countless calls to maintenance (who told us we couldn't shut them off), complaints to friends who didn't believe us when we expressed the magnitude of the apartment volcano, and nights of snow in our face from sleeping with the windows open, we frantically searched the internet on how to calm an overactive radiator. At this point, the hazard of throwing a sleeping bag over them seemed like the best option--if the apartment burnt down, at least we'd get to go outside where it's nice and cool.

Finally, we got the reluctant go-ahead from the maintenance man to turn the big metal knob to shut them off. ("We just don't want you to freeze!", he says to the girl with sweat dripping off her head wearing next to nothing.) And with that, the sauna was no more. Happy days are here again.

Or so we thought. Despite the one radiator still in commission, the temperature of the outdoors and the apartment slowly became the same. No big deal though; sweatshirts and sweatpants became necessary, quite the relief from when a swimsuit seemed like too much clothing to wear in the sauna apartment.

But soon, it got cold. Really cold. So cold, that one day I opened up our fabulous vintage refrigerator, complete with old school ice box freezer, to find this winter wonderland:

And pulled out what used to be ice cubes...

But such is life when you live in a temperamental home, where the smoke alarms go off every time the stove turns on. And at the end of the day, I would much rather live somewhere quirky and unique than a bland apartment complex. I will take the snow on my face if it means being able to open up the windows and not be boxed in on the 15th floor somewhere. And I'll enjoy the sporadic heat from the radiator in the kitchen.

Happy Friday.


Unique: Just Like Everybody Else

Ever since my fascination with thrifty delights began in high school, I've had a constant obsession with being unique in my clothes and style. This isn't to say that I am the only person who shops at vintage stores, wears pearls one day and 80s earrings the next, and writes a blog about wedding planning; obviously wearing used clothes means that they have already been worn at some point or another by someone else. But the awesome thing about having a style that doesn't come straight from the mall (most of the time) means that while I get my inspiration from style icons in the past and other thrifty gals I see, the things I do wear are unique in my own way!

So if you've been reading my blog for some time now, you'll know that I am set on making my wedding be the perfect embodiment of my thrifted and multi-decade style. The awesome thing about this is that the DIY wedding movement has taken the country by storm. With all the blogs and wedding websites out there, sharing ideas and getting inspiration has become incredibly easy and planning a wedding with its own unique touches seems to be overtaking the cookie-cutter, traditional nuptials. However, with all the unique ideas out there, I've been running into this problem: when you get inspiration from another crafty bride, where's the line between 'inspiration' and 'stealing'?

Throughout the whole wedding process, I have tended to become so fixated on making my wedding incredibly unique that it sometimes is impractical. For instance, I originally wanted a one-of-a-kind vintage wedding dress. I didn't want to wear something that there are photos of other brides wearing. But getting a dress like this comes with a slew of complications--finding one that's in good shape, one that fits me right, paying top-dollar to have one shipped and altered. Was it worth it?

But guess wear I got my dress? David's Bridal in Altoona. And I absolutely love it.

Then came finding the location. I didn't want to get married and have my reception in the same place that thousands of other people have, which was kind of ridiculous considering the size of my town and the limited wedding venue options. But when it came down to costs associated with renting a less-traditional venue, combined with the burden of buying tables, chairs, and a caterer, there came the questions again...worth it?

But Ian and I are getting married at a beautiful church that holds incredible memories throughout my lifetime, and holding the reception at an awesome country club with a beautiful view of a golf course. Yes, there are other brides who have had the 'same wedding', if you judge by location. But by no means will our wedding be the same as the ones that have come before.

Yes, my inspiration for the style and decor has definitely come from the wedding blog world, but the awesome thing about a DIY wedding is that like having a thrifty and vintage style, no two weddings are truly the same. Sure, they have similar styles and inspirations from other weddings and eras, but each one takes these ideas and injects her own personality into it to make them one-of-a-kind.

I am getting married in 97 days, and with a mile long checklist, I am so excited to begin bringing our unique wedding details to life!

This week's task: decide what song to walk down the aisle to. Because it would just be the end of the world to walk to the same song as every other bride, right?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...