Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shall we talk about the ring?

Ah yes, the ring. The tiny little bauble that so many girls dream of. Once the topic of marriage came into the conversation, I decided that we should start to “browse” through some ring options. Because, well…Justin had an adorable, yet old fashioned idea about engagement rings (in my opinion)! When I suggested that we go shopping so that I could give him hints about what styles I like, he was slightly confused.

“I thought the ring was supposed to be a surprise, and that I have to buy it by myself…???”

Hmmm. Albeit an incredibly romantic gesture, I knew that I would have some very specific opinions on what ring I ultimately wanted, and my desire was to point him in the right direction.

So, I asked him if he would feel comfortable walking into jewelry stores and picking something out.

“Nope.”

And this...is how our engagement ring journey began.

Justin and I decided to stop by one of the large International Diamond Centers in town to start our hunt. I had been looking around online and had become very fond of pave bands (I love how vintage and timeless they look), so I knew that is what I wanted to try on.

When we walked in to the store and looked into the cases, my eyes immediately honed in on one particular designer, and it was all over before it could even begin!

The Michael M collection launched in 2008, and their line is absolutely breathtaking. They focus on using a plethora of diamonds and less metal in their settings (each engagement ring mounting contains around 100 diamonds), which results in some MAJORLY blinding levels of sparkle. The rings look like they’ve been dipped in diamonds, and I had to pick my jaw up off of the glass case, because I am pretty sure it came unhinged. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself…




All photos from Michael M

I tried on a ton of rings that day, but I kept going back to the Michael M pieces. There was one in particular that was just perfect. We didn’t leave the store with a ring that day, but Justin now had a clear picture of what my littleheart desired: a pave setting, and a round stone. And boy, did he ever deliver on it!

P.S. my setting is pictured above…want to take a guess which one it is?

Did you help pick out your ring?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ok...now what?


Ok, so now that the excitement is over (HAHA yeahhh right!), I thought I'd go over a few details of what is going to happen over here on the blog! Never fear, I will not leave you!

To start, it is going to take a little while for my posts to synch up with Weddingbee so that I'm up to date. So, be patient with me! Please? I actually have a few posts that I'm going to share with you that I hadn't written about previously (the proposal...the ring...etc...), so there will be new things going on! And, I intend to keep up the contests and other non-wedding related posts on this blog as well. Of course, I would love to continue receiving comments here on my blog if you aren't a Weddingbee reader, but if you are, I will be excited to see you over there as well!

And with that said...let's get things back to homeostasis after a crazy holiday week!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Santa was oh so very good to me!

So sorry for taking a break (it was oh so very quiet out there in blog-land over the long weekend!), but I PROMISE I have a good reason for being MIA...and here it is!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Settled down for a long winter's nap...

Hey all!

The holidays are in full swing, and I'm pretty excited about it! Although Justin and I aren't going to be heading down to Florida to spend Christmas with our families, we are looking forward to spending the day together, and starting our own traditions! Our kitchen is stocked and ready to go for an Italian feast (homemade turkey meatballs, oh yes!), and I'll clearly be baking a few sweets to enjoy!

So, I'm going to be taking off for a few days...returning next week with some pretty awesome things to talk about! And I mean...really awesome...

I hope that all of you enjoy this week! I know that I will!

What do you have planned for Christmas this year?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Light it Up!



If you’re not already following along with the creation of my centerpieces…first I accumulated my vases, then I went through a trial run with the baby’s breath.

Next, I assembled a few samples!

In addition to my vase-purchasing frenzy, I also cleared TJ Maxx and Marshalls on any and all of these adorable little bird figurines. I now have a rather sizeable flock!

I wanted to create the ambiance/arrangement that we will have the evening of the wedding. Ideally, the lighting will be low and the reception tables will be illuminated with votives. Perhaps like this?

Aren’t the little birds adorable?

I plan to use one tall vase and one short vase in the arrangement. I’ll add a bird on one side, and the table number/letter on the other. Votives will be scattered around the table.


So…what do you think? Did you have an easy time turning your visions into reality for your reception tables?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow day...

Yesterday was officially our first big snow day in Virginia! Friday morning, while watching the morning news, we were informed that our area was expected to receive about 17 inches of snow between Friday afternoon and Saturday night. YIKES! I hurriedly ran out to the grocery store with pretty much every single resident in the area to collect some supplies. I managed to arrive home right as flakes began to fall from the sky (right before 2pm). I then began to take photos of my car in its parking space every few hours.

Here is 4pm:


Still snowing at 8pm...


Before bed at 11:30pm...

When we woke up this morning (7:30am), my car was almost completely buried!



Justin's work was cancelled (not that he could have left the parking lot, if you can't tell)...so we had a snow day! Lucia LOVED it...
She kept running back and forth in the snow at top speed, it was hilarious! Although they are not the best quality videos, here is some puppy cuteness of Lucia's snow day:




Did you get snow this weekend? I'm hoping it sticks around for Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Setting up the Gift Table

I want to make sure that we continue the whimsy of our d├ęcor on to the gift table! I collected a few odds and ends, and I plan on arranging them in some way.

Here are a few of my trials thus far:




I ended up returning this particular birdcage (to be used for cards); I am going to continue looking for something a bit larger/more detailed. I also need to find some more vintage/old books. Any suggestions on where to find some?

Did you do something special/do you have something planned for your gift table?



I have a giveaway for 100 custom post cards...don't forget to enter!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Creating the Centerpieces

So, if you’ve been following along, you know that I decided on using baby’s breath for my DIY centerpieces, and that I scoured the stores to find a plethora of vintage-y vases.

Now, it is time to take them on a test run (please try to ignore my end-of-day nasty hair-do if you can)!



I purchased 3 small bunches of baby’s breath from Publix (they sell 3 bunches for $10). Each bunch included 3 stems. First, I cut the stems down (each stem has a number of smaller “branches” splitting off on each side), and then simply placed them in a vase until I achieved something that looked like this:


So simple, yet so pretty! Each vase requires an average of about 3 stems of baby’s breath. I was pleasantly surprised to see how full the vases looked with what seemed like 3 measly stems when I started!

But, we decided that we needed to make the process even easier, since we will have to assemble them ourselves on the day of the wedding. We tried out the method of securing the stems with a twist tie. Easy! We arranged the stems into a “pouf,” wrapped them with a twist tie, and then dropped them into the vase. This will work out well we hope! The plan is to assemble the poufs the night before/the morning of the wedding. We are starting to collect wine cases; each pouf (and its matching vase) will be placed in a slot for easy travel.

Source

Then, we will simply have to place each pouf into its vase when we arrive at the venue. Hopefully, this will save us time, as we won’t have to hang around the venue to assemble flowers the entire morning!

Did you take on a DIY with flowers? How did you go about transporting/arranging them on the day of the wedding?



Don't forget to enter to win 100 custom postcards!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dirty Little Beauty Secret…Protecting Your Pearly Whites

One thing about me; I am a freak for dental hygiene. I have a compulsion to brush my teeth after eating ANYTHING. I carry a toothbrush and a small bottle of Listerine in my handbag (I know, I’m crazy). And, of course, I am very particular about the products that I use.

Now, this “beauty secret” really isn’t a tip or a trick, but rather a gadget that will help you keep your teeth beautiful!

I don’t want to totally gross you out, but the fact is that your bathroom is filled with germs, and if you aren’t careful, you are getting them on important things, like your toothbrush! For instance, if you don’t close the lid of your toilet before you flush, it is likely that bacteria/germs are traveling from there onto your toothbrush. Oh my gosh, the thought of it just freaks me out! So, yes…lesson one…close the lid before flushing!

And, if you want to alleviate the fear of germs even more, may I suggest this amazing gadget! Oprah actually selected it as one of her best picks for the holidays, and it was featured on Good Morning America. It is the Zapi toothbrush sanitizer!*

It uses germicidal UV light to kill 99.9% of the germs on your toothbrush. You just snap it in, push the button, and let it do its work! It is easy to snap apart and clean.

When I first got mine (Christmas last year), they didn’t offer the array of colors that they now do…and look at the versions for kids (or the kid at heart)!


They even have travel versions now!


Source


If you are looking for something that holds more than one toothbrush, they have a larger version.

It is reasonably priced at around $20-30, and you can find it at your local Target or Walmart. However, you might find a limited selection of colors in those stores, so its possible that you will have to order online to find a pink one (or ninja one!)! I personally love my Zapi. It makes a great Christmas present for the germaphobe in your life, if you are still on the lookout for a great stocking stuffer!


*This isn’t a sponsored post, I just REALLY like this product and wanted to share it with you!


P.S. - have you entered my giveaway for 100 custom postcards yet? Do it!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Giveaway Time! 100 Postcards!!!

Just in time for the holidays...I have a GIVEAWAY!!!!

Thanks to Uprinting.com, I have a lovely prize! I have a pack of 100 custom postcards! My mind is reeling while thinking of the possibilities! These could be awesome for Save The Date's...or as some fun thank you's...there are so many options! The cards are 4"x6," and will be printed on 14pt glossy card stock. The cards can be printed in full color on BOTH sides! Awesome!

The one catch is that the winner WILL have to pay for shipping...but that is a small fee in comparison to the awesome product you won't have to pay for!***


So…I’m sure you want to know how to get your hands on these…here are the rules! Make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry!

1. Leave a comment and let me know what you would use the cards for. (1 entry)

2. Follow my blog, or if you are already a follower, make sure you remind me in your comment! (1 entry)

3. Follow me on Twitter @QueButtons, and send out this tweet about the contest: I just entered a #giveaway to win 100 custom postcards on @QueButtons blog! (1 entry allowed per day)

The contest closes at 11:59PM Eastern time on Thursday, December 31. I will then select a winner at random after compiling all of your entries...and surprise one lucky reader with a great prize to start off 2010!

Good luck! J


***As a sponsored post, I am also receiving 100 postcards from Uprinting.com for hosting this giveaway.

DIY pinwheels…

Yesterday, I showed you my pinwheel inspiration, and my first attempts at the project. Today, the tutorial!

First, I searched high and low for the paper I wanted to use. Ideally, I would use scrapbook paper because of its thickness/sturdiness. However, with 300+ pinwheels to make, purchasing scrapbook paper at 60 cents a sheet (or buying one sheet a week with a 40% off Michael’s coupon), would be costly AND time consuming. I searched high and low for paper, and then found the perfect solution in the least likely of places…THE DOLLAR STORE!

Yes, no lie! I was walking through the Dollar Tree to find something, and I walked by their gift wrap section. They had bins filled with wedding-related gift paper, and I started digging though the containers like a scavenger. What I came out with was…this!

It is ivory paper with a platinum/silver floral print. I purchased the roll and brought it home. When I set it next to our centerpiece vases, I was pleasantly surprised! It coordinates amazingly!

So, lets get started!


1.) I used a yard stick to measure out a 3 inch wide strip of paper.


2.) Next, I cut the strip to measure 12”x3,” which left a 6”x3” extra piece…which I cut down further to make two 6”x1” strips for a small pinwheel!


3.) For the larger pinwheel, I made ½” accordion pleats*. I am left with two accordion strips.


4.) At the end of one strip, I squeezed a small line of 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue (the fast drying stuff…although you could use tacky glue if you want…I like instant gratification though!), and then connected the two strips into one long one.


5.) Leave the strip to dry for a minute, and then connect the two exposed ends together. You will be left with a crinkly circle…it kind of reminds you of one of the coffee cup sleeves you get at Starbucks!


6.) When that dries, it is time to flip the paper into a pinwheel! I place my thumbs on the top of one end, and my other fingers on the other side, then twist my wrists so my thumbs come together. This part, at first, made me really nervous, but once you have the paper flipped, you are able to fix the edges/refold any pleats that you might have stretched out.


7.) Add a generous dot of glue to the center of the pinwheel to hold it together. Let dry.


8.) Finally, place a dot of glue on the back of a button, and set it in the center of the pinwheel. And…voila!


Now…I’m going to repeat this x300…but with a smile on my little face, because this is one of the most cost effective projects I'm diving into! The paper is 15 square feet, and according to my calculation, I will need 5 rolls, so I bought 6 to be safe...which came out to a grand total of $6.42 for all of the paper! My grandmother has TONS of buttons at her house, and she is sending me a box of them for the centers, so that aspect of my pinwheels is free! I purchased the glue at Michael's with a 40% off coupon for less than $3. I might need to purchase an additional bottle as I get farther into the project...but I'm not too worried about it at this point!


How are your DIY projects coming along?

*For my smaller pinwheels, I used ¼” accordion pleats. You might need to try out a few different widths before you find what you like!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yes, I am certifiably insane…

A few weeks ago, I was browsing through the sea of wedding blogs on my reader, when I came across a rather inspirational series of photos on Style Me Pretty.

This table arrangement made me swoon…but of particular interest were the pretty paper pinwheels! How cute are these???



All images from Style Me Pretty.

I quickly wiped the drool off of my face, and began to think. This…is…do-able! I love the combination of whimsy and elegance the pinwheels create! After figuring out the logistics of creating them (sooo easy…a tutorial is forthcoming…I promise!), I decided to try out a few samples. It took a few to get the hang of it…haha!

I used scrapbook paper (12”x12”), which I cut into 3” wide strips, and put in 1” accordion folds. 1” was CLEARLY too big…

After the first failed pinwheel, I decreased the accordion fold to ½” wide, and the result was much better! To finish the look, I added a button to the center…so cute!

After I made the larger pinwheel, I tried out a few smaller sizes as well, decreasing the pleats to ¼.” I thought they turned out well!

So…what am I going to do with these, you ask? First, the large pinwheels are going to be tied to the back of ½ of our reception chairs (every other one) in a similar fashion to what was pictured above. The medium sized pinwheels will become a part of the place settings. And, finally, the tiny ones will be used on our escort cards! According to my calculations, that means I have to make at least 300 pinwheels...gulp! I’m so excited about the final outcome…but am somewhat dreading the pain that my fingers are going to undergo during the folding process!

Next up, I’ll show you the pretty paper that I found, search for hundreds of buttons, and provide you a tutorial on how to make your own pinwheels!