Thursday, September 29, 2011

DIY Burlap Boutonniere

A few months ago I stumbled upon these darling burlap boutonnieres on and fell in love! Even better, the post I found included a tutorial! I immediately added this craft to my very long "Wedding DIY" project list and set out to purchase all of the materials.
These actually took much more work than I had anticipated, but I am obsessed with how they turned out and they were definitely worth it. Not only are they so incredibly adorable, but they are relatively inexpensive too!

You Will Need:

• Burlap
• Cereal box-weight cardboard
• Three kinds of buttons, one of each per boutonniere
• Two kinds of feathers
• Pin backs
• Natural jewelry cord
• Elmer’s Glue
• Hot glue gun
• 3/4
wide ribbon
• Embroidery floss and big needle (optional)
• Sturdy bamboo skewers

Just follow this simple tutorial and have fun!
 I made 15 boutonnieres in total for the groom, groomsmen, dads, grandpa's, ushers, and brother.
I wanted to make Matt's boutonniere extra special, so I added a golf tee {he is a big time golfer} to his!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top Secret Family Recipe

There is something so special about a secret family recipe. You know what I’m talking about - those sacred recipes that stir up powerful memories and are passed on from generation to generation. For some families it is a prized desert recipe, reserved for holidays, and for others it is a special ingredient added to an otherwise ordinary recipe that makes it stand out. Whatever it is, a family recipe usually reminds you of home and evokes family pride. Some families guard their recipes with their lives, protecting the secret ingredients, while others pass them on as gifts or traditions.

Although my family has its own share of secret recipes, there is one that stands out from them all. It is the recipe that friends, neighbors, and family anticipate when visiting my home. Now, since we are all friends here, I am going to trust that you keep this cherished recipe between us. 

So without further adieu, I give you the legendary Sandroni Spaghetti Sauce Recipe:

You Will Need:
{1.5} lb ground beef or turkey
{3} tbl olive oil 
{1} green bell pepper, chopped
{5} tbl garlic, chopped
{1} large white onion, chopped
{8} oz fresh mushrooms
{1} 28 oz can tomato sauce
{1} 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
{3} 15 oz cans diced tomatoes
{2} tsp rosemary
{2} tsp oregano
{3} tsp basil
{2} bay leaves
{1} cup red wine
{1} tsp pepper
{2} tsp salt
{1.5} cups parmesan cheese
sugar to taste

Brown the meat in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Drain fat. Add the onion, green pepper, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until the onion is tender {about 5 minutes}.

Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, rosemary, oregano, basil, and bay leaves. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes. 

Add red wine, salt and pepper. Simmer for another hour. Add parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of sugar {to taste}, and simmer for another hour {the longer you simmer the tastier it gets}! 

Add your tasty sauce to your favorite noodles and sprinkle with parmesan cheese!

{CLICK HERE} for a trick on how to keep your Tupperware containers stain free from storing leftover spaghetti sauce!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my 25th birthday! I am officially “mid-twenties,” which feels odd to say, especially because I embarrassingly admit that I thought I was 23 all last year. Oops! I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun! This past year has been nothing short of amazing. However, I am certain that 25 will be my best year yet! 

I don’t think I will ever be one of those people who avoid their birthday like the plague. I love birthdays, even when they aren’t mine! Who doesn’t appreciate an annual excuse to eat cake?! Cheers to another exciting year!

Bring it on, year 25!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Happy Fall!

Happy fall y'all! The first day of my favorite season is finally upon us. As the crisp autumn air arrives, so do sprinkles of warm yellows, oranges, browns and reds! I could not be more excited for such a wonderful time of year! Acorns, boots, hot chocolate, pumpkin carving, holiday parties, scarves, football...I live for fall. Here are a few other things I am just so dang excited about:

and my FAVORITE thing about this fall?...MARRYING MATT!

Did I mention we are now 43 days away from our nuptials?!
Hope y'all are having a wonderful first day of Autumn!

Monday, September 19, 2011

DIY Paper Lanterns & A Garden Engagement Party

This upcoming weekend, two of the most fabulous girls I know, Katrina and Kristen, are hosting a "Garden Inspired Engagement Party," for our dear friends Brynn and Palmer. In preparation for the lovely shindig, five of us girls got together over the weekend for a "Paper Lantern Party." For hours DAYS, we suffered hot glue burns, numb fingers, and paper cuts, all for the most amazing. massive. puffy. gorgeous. paper lanterns!!
The final product:
Each 38" lantern takes approximately 500 coffee filters, and 2 hours to create. I recommend picking up your coffee filters bulk (here), lanterns in bulk (here) and hot glue sticks in bulk (here) too! After an entire weekend of gluing, we are only about 2/3 of the way finished, and will be gathering several evenings this week to knock the rest of them out (K+K have their hearts set on 30 lanterns)! And it doesn't stop there - the lanterns are just one of approximately 45 decorations that Katrina and Kristen have planned for. 

 Here is all you need:

{574,375,436,252,543} Coffee Filters
{5} committed friends
Lots of coffee 
I couldn't wait to see these delicate beauties hanging at the party...
All finished and ready to party...

Amazing, right?

For more pictures of this amazing Garden Engagement Party, check out Katrina from come+together events party post {here}!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Matt's Bachelor Party

Last night I dropped Matt off at the airport for his bachelor party weekend in Nashville, Tennessee! I am so excited for him to celebrate this weekend with such a great group of guy friends.

 Before he left I surprised him with a basket of bachelor party necessities...

Confession: right after I gave him his surprise, I begged him to open up the Muddy Buddy Chex Mix. Needless to say, it didn't make it on the plane with him...oops!

They have big plans to play golf, drink lots of beer, watch lots of college football at the bars, and have a fantastic time!                         

Although Matt is a Buckeye at heart, he promises to pull for the Gators while on Volunteer turf this weekend...

Happy Friday y'all! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Bachelorette Party Weekend

This past weekend my best friends and I celebrated my "last fling before the ring" in Jacksonville, Florida. We crammed so much into just a few short days that I came home with an overwhelming amount of photos on my camera. 

So here is the very thorough recap, as promised. 

Thursday Night Surprise. I decided to come to Jacksonville a day early to spend some extra time with my sister. When she picked me up at the airport, she told me there was a surprise waiting for me in the back seat. Her windows are tinted really dark so I had no idea what I was about to find as I excitedly opened the MOM! I could not believe she traveled all the way to Jacksonville to surprise me! I was shocked, elated, and a bit horrified at the thought of her playing lingerie shower games with me. Witnessing my panicked excitement, she immediately burst into laughter and informed me that she only had plans to stay for the night, and was going to be long gone before the first girl arrived. 

Friday. The 3 of us girls started the day off the best way we knew how - with a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and pedicures.


For months, Lindsey poured so much time, energy, and money into making this weekend truly perfect for me and all my friends. I could not be more thankful for such a wonderful sister {and MOH}! Here is just a snapshot of a few of the decorations she made for the party:

She handmade chalk labels for every girl who came! They were a huge hit!
Friday night we went to The Grape, an adorable wine bar, for a delicious dinner.

After we shut down the place, we walked over to Blackfinn where we danced the rest of the night away...
Saturday morning we got up and devoured a breakfast feast that Lindsey prepared, then headed to the beach for the day!
It was such a gorgeous beach day.
When asked to borrow my sunscreen, I reached into my beach bag to find that I got "iced." Really? Gahhhh!
I thought we left "icing" back in 2010, but whatever.
Saturday evening kicked off with the lingerie shower and lots of jello shots...
All of my girlfriends spoiled me {and Matt} like crazy. I cannot wait to bring all of my fun gifts on my honeymoon!
   We had so much fun sipping on "champagne punch" and "pink panty pull-downs," while playing all of the fun bachelorette games that Lindsey planned. 
If you look closely, you can see the mirror behind me captured a sneak peak of the lingerie line!
After creatively labeling each gift on the line with a sexy name, we headed out to the beach bars!
It is amazing how many free shots a white dress will get you!
Sunday morning we had another delicious breakfast and all the girls headed back home.

I can honestly say that my bachelorette weekend was one of the most memorable times I have ever had with my best friends. Words just can't express how much it meant to me that all of the girls made such an effort to be there to celebrate this trip of a lifetime. I know that we will tell stories about this fabulous weekend for many years.

And lastly, thanks to my sister for making this weekend so special. I love you!

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