Thursday, June 28, 2012

{A Little Inspiration: Fourth of July}

So with the Fourth of July sprinting upon us, Alex and I are getting ready to host our second annual Fourth of July Backyard Barbecue. This is what happens when you have the only pool in the family! 

Anyhoo...we love, love, love hosting parties at our house...and I especially love all of the details that go into having a little sware! I thought it would be nice to share a few shots of our party last year, as well as a few of our tricks for hosting a stress-free party that your guests will remember! 

WARNING: the quality of these pictures are terrible! I tried to edit them as much as possible, but the pictures themselves were take on our old point and shoot camera and they are horrid. So sorry in advance! 

Okay so let's start off with the party printables. Some of you may have no idea what I'm talking about when I say that word, but you soon will be obsessed with them! When I say party printables, I mean all of the paper products you will need for a party that you can print off yourself. I pretty much only use free printables...yes free! I have used them for Forth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Birthdays, Christmas, Easter, and Mother's Day. 

This is my favorite website for free printabels! They have an entire page of free printables for literally every holiday you could desire! I go to this website for all of my printables needs, and they never disappoint! 

I got the free backyard barbecue printables for our Fourth of July party from this amazing website! The printables are here an here.  Chris Nease is an absolute dream, and I adore her attention to detail! She's a girl after my own heart! You should definitely check her out when planning your next party. 

Okay, so now lets get to our First Annual Fourth of July Backyard Barbecue. And remember...terrible pictures! Sorry...I'll try to get better ones this year!! 

So we always set up our dessert bar in the front window. So here's the set up. 

We did Shortcakes because they are so summery and light. I made homemade shortcakes using Bisquick. We then served them with strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries as well as fresh whipped cream. 

I got the little paper bowls and napkins at Hobby Lobby for 50% off and still have a ton more for this year! 

I am a huge believer in fresh flowers. I think they make a party feel special. So I picked up an inexpensive bouquet of red roses from Kroger and then cut some fresh hydrangeas from my mom's garden.  These are my absolute favorite vases! They are Kate Spade from Macy's so go and check them out, but I use them all the time!! 

We always do super simple drinks. We did lemonade, tea, and then waters and soft drinks. We had the water and soft drinks in a metal bin outside by the pool, and the other drinks inside. 

I kind of went drink "bedazzle" crazy! I got all kinds of things for people to garnish their drinks with and I think I was the only one who used them :) I also made a super simple mixed berry syrup to add to the lemonade if people wanted. 

All I did was boil equal parts sugar and water until the sugar devolves {I did 1 cup.} Let the "simple syrup" cool completely, and then blend with frozen mixed berries. Wha-La! Mixed berry simple syrup. Delicious in lemonade! 

Now for the food table. I'm a complete slacker for not getting a photo of everything on the plates...but here's the set up. 

As far as decore goes, I walked around out house and found all of the red and blue books I could{which just happened to be Harry Pottery books mostly} and used them to stack things. I also bought two inexpensive spools of red and blue ribbon and tied them on everything I could! I decided to wrap up our silverware for easy carrying, so a little twine wrapped around a Fourth of July napkin did the trick. Easy peasey! 

We did "gourmet" hamburgers which just means that we had a bunch of different types of cheese to add to the burgers! The cheese slices went on the leveled server. I bought cute little grill bowls from Pier One for $1.50 each and filled them with the ketchup and mustard. Then I had an apothecary jar filled with Smarties...the kids favorite item for dinner! 

Here's a little stress-free hosting tip: You do the main course and dessert and let everyone bring sides! It makes life so easy! 

Another tip is set up a couple days early. I always set up everything at least 2 days early, and then I can really enjoy the day! 

Alex went a tad firework crazy, so we had quite the show that evening. I also got some of those popper things and glow bracelets for the kiddos.  I used a Samford yearbook to decorate and some red glass jars that I got at Hob Lob for under $5.00 each! 

This was my embarrassing thing for the party...totally spelled "Fourth" wrong. It was a sad moment in the life of this teacher. 

We also had S'Mores fix-in's ready, but I don't think we even got into them. We were too busy swimming and sparkler-ing.  

And here we are right before the fun! We were so excited for our first party as a married couple! Can't wait for this year's fun...even if I am a little gimpy! 

Now go and get your free printables!! Stat! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

{Numero Uno}

Alright guys, I'm so sorry I've been a little MIA lately. I've had a lot going on, and am working on a little post explaining what exactly has been going on in La Casa de Wendel. 

Anyhoo...Wendel and I celebrated our first anniversary June 4th weekend and we were so giddy! It feels like this year has flown by, but we crammed so much into it! I've actually got a post in process with a few of our favorite things we did in our first year of marriage. It's been a blast, and I didn't think I could fall more in love with this man of mine...but I did :) 

First off, we got to do a mini first year photo shoot because we had family pictures taken the weekend before our anniversary. Because I was gimpy, I made this cute little banner....pretty adorable right? 

We also brought cupcakes for the little ones {as a reward for "smiling"} so we got a little picture with that and a W topper we used at our cocktail hour at our house after our rehearsal dinner. 

So obviously, I was gimpy for our anniversary. And the saddest part is that we were supposed to go D.C. for a wedding, so we were going to make a weekend out of it and celebrate in our Nation's capitol. But crutching around didn't really seem "do-able" so we stayed home.

Alex did not disappoint though! He took the day off, and I woke up to this...

Our very own D.C. in this home of ours. He set this all up for me to "explore" the city, and it was hilarious!

Oh and sorry about these pictures...iPhone was the thing I picked up...and they are terrible! 

I got to visit the Oval Office...

The "Lincoln Memorial"...which yes...was a Memorial to a penny. 

The Washington Monument/Reflecting Pool...the Washington Monument is supposed to be that umbrella at the end of the pool...and the pool was of course the Reflecting Pool. 

And of course the Lincoln (Yellow) Bedroom....

Then, when I got into the Lincoln Bedroom, there was a bag packed for me with all kinds of new fun things! Two pairs of J. Crew shorts, a Fedora, new Essie nail polish, and a new pair of coral earrings! Does that man love me or what? 

Needless to say, it was such a fun morning! We then grabbed breakfast and went to see What To Expect When You're Expecting...which we are don't get too excited. 

That night, we got all gussied up and went to dinner at "our" spot...The York Street Cafe {where we had our first date, where we ate before we got engaged, and where our rehearsal dinner was}

After we were stuffed to the brim, I called my mom over for a little photo shoot. 

And the crutches had to be documented...hate those things! 

I loved this idea that I saw on Pinterest, so we started the tradition! 

Now for what we got each other! 

 I started off by writing seven (that's Wendel's favorite our life kind of revolves around it) of my favorite things we did during our first year of marriage, and putting them into seven blown up balloons! 

It was a blast watching him pop them! 

Some of them were: The Dublin Ohio Irish Festival, hosting Halloween at our house, The Hot Air Balloon Festival...

Since the first year anniversary gift is usually paper {Why? Who knows?} I got him a poster of the world {for 14 cents...not joking} and mounted it on a piece of foam board to track where we've been in the world separate and together. It's something we had wanted to do for a I did it! 

Wendel completely shocked me and got me this stunning necklace! It was so unexpected, and he said "he wanted to get me something that will make me always remember our first anniversary"...cute right? He's so sweet! I love it so much, and it means the world that he did that without me hinting or anything! 

We ended the night by cutting our top tier. No frozen cake here...we got a cake freshly made by the amazing Tracy Bellman of Tres Bell Cakes. She's the best! 


Then I just HAD to try on my dress again! Still fits...Hallelujah! 

It was an absolutely fabulous anniversary! I am so blessed by this man, and can't believe I get to be his wife! Even with a broken was perfect!! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

{Let's Get Crafty!}

Wow guys, I've been a huge slacker this week! We have been busy, busy, busy and I completely forgot to post anything the past few days! I even had some posts ready...and just totally forgot to publish them. Opps! But here's the latest on my crafting lately! 

I feel like the summer flies by, and before I know it, I've accomplished nothing! So...I made a few goals for myself! Let's hope I accomplish them!! 

One of theme is to complete a crafty project once a week. 

So far I've made this necklace

 I've made this maxi shirt

And I've worked on and am almost finished with a new piece of art work for our office! {Stay tuned tomorrow to hear all about that!}

Here are a few more of the projects that I'm planning on working on! 

{Dying a pair of pants} 

I have a pair of pants that I never wear because the color of them are really I'm excited to give them a bit of a change by dying them! I'm thinking a mint green color perhaps! We'll see! 

{Make This Skirt}

I just think this skirt is precious! This is the exact style of skirt that I am drawn to, so hopefully I'll be able to figure out this pattern and whip up a few colors of this skirt!! 

{Make A Fourth of July Wreath}

I really adore Holiday wreaths! I'm loving this one for the Fourth of July and think it will be perfect for my current gimpy lifestyle!!

{Make These Precious Glasses}

I think there are so cute and can be used in so many ways! A candle holder, place for lemons/limes, or just a plain old glass for some wine on the back porch! 

{Paint Our Corn Hole Set}

Our corn hole set has seen better days!! I love how simple and classic this set is! We'll see what we end up with, but sprucing up the corn hole set is a must! 

So...what do you all have in store for this summer? Anything super fun that I need to do too? 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

{My Favorite Things: For Summer}

Hello out there! I have been super busy this week, but I wanted to drop by with a quick post about a few of my favorite things for summer time! Here they are! 

1. Essie Nail Polish

This is my new favorite brand of nail polish! I used to be an OPI snob, but I love their bold colors and how perfectly they paint on! I'm also loving that pop of sparkle on the one nail! Going out to Target  to get a pretty sparkly polish ASAP.

2. White Pants

It is a very sad thing that I don't have a pair of these versatile white pants for summer! There are so many ways to wear them and dress them up/down. Must go shopping and pick up a pair of these! 

3. Our Cutting Garden

Alex and I started our very own cutting garden this summer. We have been collecting different beautiful perennials and planting them on the side of our house where we had nothing growing there before. It will take a few years for it to look like a true cutting garden, but we are loving trimming them and putting them in my favorite Kate Spade bud vase! 

4. Bold, Colorful Necklaces

If you see me out and about, you will probably see me with a super chunky necklace. I am obsessed! I think they make an outfit feel fresh and special. I have three that I am currently wearing a ton:

This yellow beauty from J Crew Factory that I can't find online anymore...sorry! 

This necklace that I made from this tutorial. 

And this knock off a J Crew necklace that I bought from Ebay!! I'm obsessed!! 

5. My Husband

While I'm gimpy, this man has been a Saint! He has been cooking, cleaning, and taking care of me on top of going to work everyday! I am so thankful that he is such a relaxed, wonderful, and forgiving (I am an emotional girl for heaven sake!) man that loves me! I have been joking that if we're still married by the time I can walk again, it will be a miracle! But the truth is that this whole experience has taught us so much, and has helped us grow together! 

What are some of your favorite things this summer? 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

{We're Stylin'...Well...Trying To}

Happy Tuesday! We have been busy around here working on our office desk that we mentioned in yesterdays post, so get ready for a post on that very soon!

For today, I wanted to chat a little bit about the "style" of our home decor. I've always been kind of annoyed that I don't have a clear cut style...for anything. I feel like some people have a serious style for their clothes {preppy, country, boho} but I just never have. I'm so all over the place it's crazy. What I learned from Kendi Everyday is that you don't have to! Like what you like, and own it! The same indecisiveness goes with my design style. I'm all over the place, and it makes it so hard to pin down what I want in the end. Some people are very Pottery Barn, and some are all about the Anthropology style. I want it all! The problem that is I feel there needs to be some sort of cohesiveness to make a room feel pulled together. So...when I saw this post from Young House Love about finding your design style, I thought I'd give it a try! 

They suggested a few different quizes, so I went to these three { this one, this one, and this one}

The results were a pretty hilarious, I have to say! 

This first was a personality test that then gave you some home style advise centered around your was my screen shot: 

Evidently I'm a "striver"...whatever that means! There are nine different tabs you can click on, and one of them is home. So I did that, and this is what it said: 

"Ever stopped to dream about your perfect life, even for a bit? Thought so! In fact, your grounded nature suggests your dream life isn't too far out of reach. You're not fantasizing about exotic villas or huge mansions - you'd probably be more comfortable in a beautiful house in the suburbs. A nice neighborhood and friendly neighbors would go a long way for you." 

This is 100% true for Alex and I. We are in no way desiring a mansion or villa of perfectionism. We want a home in a nice neighborhood to raise children in one day. Well guess what, we have that! We were so blessed to find a home in a great area, and we love it! So now it's just to make it truly our vision of a perfect home for us! 

So what does that say about our decorating style...nothing! But it did tell me that I'm very happy where I am! 

The second was a style test from Home Goods. It was a super, simple, 10 question was my screen shot from this one: 

Bohemian Casual? I would probably not pick this for myself normally, because I think of "bohemian" being beachy, natural, and relaxed. 

Well what this quiz says is that "I am interested in creating a place where people feel relaxed...your home is cozy, with comfy chairs, throw pillows and places to set a drink or read a book." I think that describes my vision pretty well! We want our home to feel comfortable for anyone! This quiz also hit on my desire for "light" colors and why I love the color yellow and candles! Hello hitting the nail on the head!! 

This quiz also talks about how I want to be party-ready all the time (yes...we throw parties weekly) and how I love scents and candles for entertaining! Again...hitting the nail on the head! So...maybe I am more bohemian than I think! 

The last quiz is from a website called Sproost. Again...super easy quiz to take. All you do is rate rooms that they show you! Here is my screen shot! 

This quiz told me that my decor style was mainly Nantucket style. What this means is that I like a beachy feel. Again...with the beachy! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized how much I do draw inspiration from the beach. I love white furniture, and shell and coral accessories around the house. I adore the picture in with the Nantucket style. I love the open, bright windows and the bright furniture. And you know I love those yellow candles! 

So...what have I learned? I do have more of a decor style than I thought! I like things comfortable, airy, and bright. I tend to like things that are cozy and make a person feel at home. I like beach inspired accessories and shouldn't shy away from that. 

I really enjoyed taking these quizzes, and feel more confident in my decor style! 

So this teacher is going to give everyone homework! Take these quizzes and tell me what you guys found out about your decor style!