Thursday, December 9, 2010

Finally, Pictures of the Big Day

Head on over to my new blog, Everyday Ellis and check out a rundown of our big day.  Sorry it took so long to post!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Making the Jump

I officially changed my name at the social security office. I don't know what it is about government offices, but it never fails.

Screaming baby- check

Some guy hacking behind me and not covering his mouth -check

Being there an hour longer than expected-check

Feeling like I won the lottery when they finally called my name -BIG check!

Geez, two hours later, I finally got to get my new card processed. Apparently, you can call and make an appointment so you don't have to wait. Just a little hint, call ahead and schedule a time! You can also go to and fill out all the forms you will need to do a complete name change.

So, since the wedding is over, its time to move on from this blog. I will come back and post if my wedding gets picked up by any publication and if it doesn't anytime soon, I will post all the pics from my photog. Until, I'm on to my new blog, Everyday Ellis. I'll post all the new recipes I try, projects around the house, my latest attempts at sewing, and anything else I feel like needs posting. Its not ready yet, but I'm sure it will be up and running in the next week.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The last recipe from the wedding weekend

This is the breakfast casserole my mom made for Saturday morning.

Chile-Cheese Brunch Casserole
Active Time: 35 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Yield: 12 servings

Zesty and cheesy, this casserole is easy to make ahead of time for entertaining.Make Ahead Tip: The casserole will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat before serving.

6 corn tortillas
4 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites or 1/4 cup dried egg whites reconstituted according to package directions
2 16-ounce containers low-fat cottage cheese
2 1/2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
4 4-ounce cans chopped mild green chiles
1 cup prepared tomato salsa

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Toast tortillas: place one at a time directly on a burner (gas or electric) set at medium heat. Toast, turning frequently with tongs, until golden, 30 to 60 seconds. Cut tortillas into 1-inch-wide strips.
Whisk 2 whole eggs in a large bowl until foamy. Add flour, baking powder and salt; whisk until smooth. Add remaining 2 whole eggs and egg whites and whisk until smooth. Add cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, chiles and tortilla strips and mix with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
Bake the casserole until set in the center and golden on top, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Cut into squares. Serve with salsa.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Crafty women can be hotties too

Did you know Martha Stewart had a brief stint as a model? Geez, really, is there anything Martha can't do? Sigh...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Recipes from the wedding, continued...

Cherry Cheesecake Bites
1 bar of neufchatel cheese or low fat cream cheese
1 regular size tub of Cool Whip
graham cracker crumbs
salted butter
Splenda for Baking
Topping of your choice-we used no sugar cherry pie pilling and canned cherries

Sorry, this is another one I don't measure. It all depends on if you are making a full size pie (in which, you can actually buy a shortbread or graham cracker crust already made) or cupcake size individual pies. Combine graham cracker crumbs, a little splenda, and enough melted butter for the crumbs to hold together. Press on the bottom of whatever baking dish you decide (if you do cupcake size, make sure to use cupcake liners) and bake for about 10 minutes at 350F. While the crust is baking, combine the cream cheese, cool whip, and a little splenda. Beat with a mixer until all mixed and smooth. Since we did ours in cupcake sized pies, we piped in the mixture into the cups with a big icing tip. If you are doing a whole pie, you can just dump the mixture into the cooled crust and make a well in the middle for the filling. You can put whatever filling on top that you like. We've used blueberry pie filling as well. Since I don't like really sticky filling, I added the canned cherries to cut down the thickness and they turned out great.

Cake Balls from the reception
1 box of cake mix, whatever you prefer including ingredients it calls for
1 small tub of frosting (whatever coordinates with the cake you choose)
1 box of almond bark
double boiler
Bake the cake according to the directions on the box. We also did a homemade blackberry cobbler since that is Clay's favorite dessert so use your imagination. Let the cake/cobbler cool after baking. Cut off any edges that get overcooked and are hard. Crumble the cake in a large bowl and mix with the frosting. I found that it is a better consistency to roll into balls if you only use half a tub of icing, otherwise it gets too runny and the balls will crack much easier. Let the cake/frosting mixture cool in the fridge for about 2 hrs. Once cooled completely, remove from fridge and roll into balls about the size of golf balls and place on a baking sheet. Once the sheet is full, place into the freezer for at least six hours. At this stage, you can freeze and put in a ziploc bag for a month before dipping them in almond bark. When you are ready to dip, remove from the fridge a few at a time. If you take out too many, they wil start to thaw and get pieces in your almond bark. Place about six pieces of almond bark into a double boiler to melt. Skewer a cake and dip completely into the bark. Move the ball around as it somewhat hardens so that it doesn't drip. We had a long piece of styrofoam to put the skewers in as the balls dried completley. If you don't have one, you can also use a big tub of rice to stick them in until they dry. If you are doing cobbler balls, the juice will drip out of the skewer hole, so you need to go back and add a little bark to close it completley. Once dry, you can refrigerate for a week or freeze for months. If you freeze them, let them thaw a bit in the fridge before serving. When my mom told me there was a ton of my wedding cake leftover, I joked that we should have made cake balls out of it!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
I didn't make these last weekend, but we talked about them. Soo easy to make and super healthy.
1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of lowfat cottage cheese
1 dash of vanilla extract
4 egg whites
2-3 tablespoons of vanilla protein powder (I use Lean Body)
Combine everything into a blender and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too runny, I add a little more protein powder just like you would flour in normal pancake mix. Pour onto a hot skilllet sprayed with a little Pam Baking spray. Once cooked, I like to cover a short stack with chopped fruit (bananas, strawberries, etc) and a little sugar free syrup. Yum!

Mom, I'm not sure I still have the link to your breakfast casserole. Could you please add it in a comment or send it to me and I will post? Love you!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Recipes from the Rehearsal Dinner

Per the request of many, here are the recipes from the rehearsal dinner last Friday:

Clean Eating Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

The hard thing is that I don't measure spices anymore so these are an estimate:

1 lb of ground 93/7 turkey

1 cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs

1 whole egg

2 heaping tbsp of finely chopped fresh parsley

2 heaping tbsp of finely chopped fresh oregano

2 heaping tbsp of finely chopped fresh basil

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 tbsp of dried minced onions

fresh ground pepper and sea salt (I like mine a little heavy on the pepper)

for those that like a little spice, add a heavy dash of dried red pepper flakes

spaghetti sauce of your choice

grated parmesan finely chopped- this is up to you, I like about 1/4 cu. in my mix (plus you can use less salt with more cheese

Whole wheat pasta of your choice

Optional- sliced mushrooms

marinated artichoke hearts

Preheat the oven to 400F. Combine all the ingredients until completely mixed. Roll into roughly 1" balls. Bake for 10-12 minutes (until they are brown). Its okay if they are not completely cooked through, they cook the rest of the way when you simmer them with the sauce. I like mushrooms and marinated artichoke hearts in my sauce. If you do as well, slice white mushrooms and cut up the artichoke hearts and cook a bit in a big pot with a little olive oil. Add the spaghetti sauce to the shrooms and hearts and add the meatballs. Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Boil a big pot of water and cook the pasta. Spoon meatballs and sauce over noodles and enjoy!

Caprese Salad

1 ball of fresh mozzarella

1 bunch of really good (farmers market if available) tomatoes

1 bunch of basil

1 cup of balsamic vinegar

fresh ground black pepper

Slice the tomatoes and mozzarella. Layer on individual plates or on a platter with the basil. You can arrange them however you like but here is an idea:

Boil the cup of balsamic down until its about 1/2 cu and drizzle over the salad. Top with fresh ground pepper and there you have it. Pretty easy!

Registry Must Haves

So far, there are three things that have really wowed me as far as performance goes in regards to wedding gifts. If you don't personally know me, I am an OCD clean freak. I love the smell of Pinesol and stock up on cleaning products with every trip to Costco. So, as far as cleaning, here are my top picks:

1. The Shark Navigator vacuum- I have no words. Actually, I do, that's why I blog. This thing is amazing. Its lightweight and like the Dyson, doesn't lose suction. I just thought my carpets were clean, but with two small black haired dogs...its a constant battle. The worst is our microfiber sofa. Microfiber is great when it comes to getting stains out, but horrible with dog hair. It holds it in for dear life. The only way I've been able to get hair off so far is with roll upon roll of lint roller sheets. This vacuum has a pet attachment. Its a smaller little vacuum head that has a lint brush on it and the bristles that go about a hundred miles a minute. It got all the hair off my couch with little effort! I was amazed. The only downside is that the size of the actual vacuum head is smaller than normal, so you don't cover as much area with each pass of the vacuum and the dirt canister is rather small as well, but I still think its awesome. Since its only 15 lbs, it makes it really easy to maneuver too.

2. The Shark Pocket Steam mop. I have lots of tile in the house and I only thought it was clean until I swiped it over with this baby. The steam really gets in there and cleans deep down. You can actually feel the difference when you walk on the floors in bare feet. The extra long cord makes it easy to cover large areas without having to unplug it and re-plug somewhere else. Love it!

3. This one is actually just a side note for all you coffee drinkers. Clay and I went this week to get the cappucino machine that was on our registry. He is a coffee fanatic. I like the occassional latte, but not like he does. One, I think its stupid for him to go buy his cafe mochas and spend tons of money on it each week and two, there is a side useage for us new brides with sparkly rings we'd like to keep that way. When we were ring shopping a couple of months ago, the jeweler had cleaned my engagement ring and it looked so much better. At the jewelers, they use steam to get in all the cracks and crevices. You can do the same thing at home with the steamer on a cappucino machine. Just hold your ring under the steam with some tongs and blast away. My ring looked so much better after I tried it yesterday!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Introducing Mrs. Clay Ellis

So we did it! Finally, after 14 months of planning, our big day came...and went. It was so surreal how fast that last week went. The rehearsal dinner went great (as requested, recipes will be posted soon). It was small and informal, but I loved it. My aunts, cousins, and maid of honor stayed with me at the venue Friday night so we could try to set up some of the tables and poof out the 50 tissue paper poms. We called it a night around 11:30p and braced for the storm. And what a storm it was. The wind and lightning were enough to make me jump outta bed. Then there was some huge tarp on top of the water tower that flapped so hard that it sounded like horses running on the roof. Needless to say, we didn't get a great night's sleep. Saturday was quite the whirlwind. Everything went without a hitch except...
Our venue's septic system either overflowed or was running over. The whole place had waves of septic gas breeze through just as our guests were eating dinner!! It was like someone had lit a pile of rotten eggs on fire. I was mortified. Clay is calling the owner today to work something out. We had guests leave!! If that hadn't happened, I could have honestly said that we had ZERO problems. Its so annoying to think that I busted my butt for 14 months and because they didn't pump the system, it was ruined. Oh well, I think we all still had a great time. Something is always going to happen, but that was a big one.
Here are a couple of things to consider on your wedding day and even before:
1. Make sure that if your venue is on septic, insist that they have the system pumped the week of your event.
2. When deciding on decor, incorporate things that you will use again in your home. I will post pics of this shortly. Our apothecary jars are now candle holders, the moss balls are on top of the cabinets, etc.
3. The framed picture as our guestbook was a huge hit. Now, instead of a book collecting dust somewhere, we have a nice framed picture with all our well wishings on the wall to see every time we walk by.
4. Think outside the box. I really liked the way that almost none of the centerpieces were the same. If they all have a little something that ties them together (in our case, lemons and moss), it works without looking so formal.
5. Cake balls were a ton of work. There were many nights that I cursed the day that I thought they would be a good idea. It was worth it. Everyone loved them and it was something different.
6. If you can provide your own alcohol at your venue, do it. It may be stressful wondering if you have gotten enough, but in our case we had a ton left over. Now our bar is fully stocked for our next party!
7. This is a bit of advice I got from my cousin. Stay with your new spouse at the reception as much as you can. You will get pulled in different directions a million times. She told me its so bad, you might as well hold hands or join arms if you can. Even though I got this advice before the wedding and kept it in mind, it still happened. We got separated way more than we should have.
8. Another tidbit for the reception...EAT! We had dinner really early in the night and then we were starving by the time we got to the hotel. Thank goodness we made it in time to get room service! If you can, have your caterer box up a to go box to take with you when you leave.

I am submitting my wedding to a couple of big sites, but it want a sneak peek of some pictures, there are plenty on my Facebook page.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

April Showers

We are down to t-minus 7 days. I've been checking the weather like a freak as soon as the 10 day forecast was available on This time of year is so unpredictable. It poured down rain at my house all day yesterday. All I could picture was my 50 tissue paper poms turning to mush in a storm next weekend. However, it looks like my prayers worked. There is a chance of rain everyday this week...until Saturday! It supposed to be a high of 82 with no chance of rain. I hope it stays that way. I'm so relieved. I really wanted the reception outside and it looks like its going to happen. Karma is finally cooperating. I'm really ready to have a day/night that I'm not up doing wedding projects. Good news is that most of them are done. I have ten more poms to do and about 30 cake balls to dip. Other than that, the rest can't be done until later this week.
Tressa and Paige threw me a bachelorette spa party Friday night. Robin came and did facials and massages for us. I have a major phobia of people touching my face, but after a few glasses of wine, it didn't bother me. She used all natural products that worked wonders. We all looked fresh faced and very exfoliated afterwards. I'm pretty sure I need to get a few massages after the wedding. The knots in my back are ridiculous.
I woke up really early this morning and the to do list started running through my head. Needless to say, I couldn't go back to sleep. I'm getting as much done as I can before Clay gets back home. He's been in Africa for two weeks and gets back on Tuesday. I'm so ready for him to be here and not having to worry about if he makes it back in time! I still can't believe the day is finally going to be here this week!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Shower Time

I had my bridal shower about six weeks ago hosted by my maid of honor, Tressa, and her mother, Sylva. Since I am HORRIBLE when it comes to taking pictures, I had to wait to get some from Tressa. Can you tell I had mystic tanned that morning? The scary thing is that I just kept getting darker the rest of that day!
Here is Sylva, Tressa, me, my mom:

Delicious buffet complete with quiches, great cheese, fruit, and stuffed mushrooms caps

The carrot cake was to die for! It was washed down nicely with mimosas

I had a very productive weekend. However, I'm pretty sure my dogs are really tired of me ignoring them in order to make tissue paper poms and moss balls. Ugh...moss balls. If I ever have to handmake another freaking moss ball, it will be too soon. What a mess. They are super cute though. I'm to the point that I'm really tired of looking at wedding stuff. My old room at my mom's house has been overtaken with stuff from various weddings as well. I think we are both ready for a clean sweep in a couple of weeks!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mini Meltdown

This week has been full of mini meltdowns. I think the thought of my wedding being in about two weeks is really starting to freak me out. Not the getting married part, I mean please, we've been together for almost 7 sevens years, its the getting everything done part. My mom nailed it when she said its because I thought I was so prepared and now all the little stuff is starting to snowball. Clay is gone now and won't be back until four days before the wedding. I miss him tons but I will have lots of time to get it all my projects done. The worst was yesterday. I called Central Market to order my cake. Most brides would say, "what?!", because again my wedding is only two weeks away. Well, when I talked to CM months ago, they told me to give them two weeks lead time and it would be fine. They didn't tell me that they only do one wedding cake a weekend. So when I called, they said they were booked for the 24th. I could feel the rush of panic come over me. I cried...over cake. Ugh, I never thought I'd be one of those brides that cried over stupid stuff. I think it was just a moment of bring overwhelmed. I called a ton of bakeries and they were either booked or wanted to charge me the cost of a kidney to do the cake. My cake stand is 14" and I was convinced that a 14" bottom tiered cake wouldn't work. Even Paige, my friend and coordinator, said we could put flowers around the bottom but in my panic haze I didn't listen. After talking to my mom (mom's are magical, aren't they?) she said that it would be fine since my cake stand sits up on legs if the bottom had flowers all the way around the bottom. So, I called HEB and ordered my three tier cake. Its still about double of what CM would have been, but at this point, I didn't care. I should have done this a long time ago. Check it off the list. I mystic tanned last night hoping to camoflouge some of my stress blemishes. For some reason, waking up with a tropical glow puts a smile on my face. I will be quite the weekend wedding warrior so that by next week I won't feel like I want to throw up all the time!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wedding Weekend

Yesterday was my sister's wedding. It was beautiful weather here in Austin. The reception was on a boat that goes up and down Lady Bird Lake. We went under the bridges just as all the bats came out. It was pretty cool timing. No major catostrophes and overall a really smooth wedding. I'll have to get pics from some of my family to post. I'm horrible at taking pictures. I must say that my Bump It was a big success again and made for easy bridesmaid hair. You just stick that sucker in and BAM, its basically done.
I figured today that I wouldn't be in the mood for wedding what nots, but we're on borrowed time since Clay leaves for safari in a week and doesn't get back until four days before the wedding. He also got a contract on his house last week and they want to close two days before the wedding. It will be madness. We picked up my wedding band today before he left for Dallas for some meetings so at least that is checked off the list. We'll also go to the county office this week to do the marriage license. After he left, I got started on projects. First, I did the wine cork labels for the food tables:

Then, I cranked out a handful of tissue poms. I'm done poofing them out ahead of time. The rest, I'll just fold and cut and poof out at the venue so they don't get squished. As long as it doesn't rain at the reception, these will be hanging in all the trees

Here is the latest on the candy buffet. I haven't filled up the gummy bear jars yet since I think they'll get funky if I leave them out. I just wanted to get an idea of how its coming together. I do think I need a tone on tone patterned table cloth for this table or a solid color instead of white to keep it bright. The lollipop trees will also have clear rock candy stuck in there as well to fill them up.

Here are my little antique wedding people on the cake topper. She has a veil too, but I'll put it on when its actually at the venue.

Here is a full shot that includes the big monogram my grandpa crafted for me. After the wedding, it will don the shelves in my craft room. I love it. I think it will make for a great back drop. The desk is my little craigslist find that I got for $50. After a little paint and new knobs, it turned out pretty good. It'll make for a great sewing desk once I get all the wedding stuff moved out.

On top of the craziness, we are dog sitting for a friend that has a cockapoo named Penelope. I don't think they have stopped playing for two days. Her and Ruby have been running laps around the house and yard all day. Bruiser just steals her toys and steers clear of the girls.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Layer Cake Shop

If you haven't seen this website, you are missing out! Layer Cake Shop has the cutest baking supplies ever. They have a great assortment of baking cups, flavoring oils, and cupcake toppers. I love all of their vintage inspired cupcake picks. They are so cute. For my rehearsal dinner, I'm doing individual cherry cheesecake pies so I ordered these cups:

I also ordered some flavoring oil in champagne and orange. I'm going to try to make champagne cupcakes for something. I don't know for what in particular, but it sounds really good. They also have cute colored printable labels for all you DIY brides.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wedding Swirl and Curl

When I was little, my sister and I used to have "swirl and curl, a.k.a makeover" with my Grandma Heckmann and anyone else that would let us. My uncle used even let me hairspray his beard! Apparently, letting go of giving makeovers is as hard as giving up the Caboodle. So, after my bridal shower, I went back to my mom's house where after a "little" wine, I started doing makeovers. Gracie (my goddaughter, cousin, and junior bridesmaid) got it first. Poor thing had her brows plucked for the first time.
*Gracie, I know you read this, so just know I did it out of love my little grasshopper.

Then, came my mom. Good thing my uncle was there to capture the shananigans with his iPhone. Click here to see my Facebook page where the videos are posted. Always lots of laughs when we get together.
p.s. and yes, that is my blue Caboodle in the video. I don't think I'll ever get rid of it...


Geez, another two weeks have gone by without a post. There has just been so much going on. It's like Christmas almost everyday I go home with all the packages of wedding stuff that is waitin on the doorstep. We have gotten so many big checks marked on the 'ole to do list. I still have quite a few craft projects to do but Clay leaves on safari in a week and a half so I will have two weeks of quiet to get lots knocked out. We found wedding bands, which was huge victory. He went for a ring by a designer named Konstantino. Its really different. It has a cross design on one side, and onyx on the other. For me, we found a band to match my engagement ring perfectly and it will be here on Friday since they didn't have it in stock.

I had my bridal shower on 13th hosted by my bestfriend and MOH, Tressa, and her mother. It was great. She is going to send me pics so I can post them. I did, however, find out that day that the new Mystic Tan formulas are way different now. I spray tanned that morning and just kept getting darker all day. I looked like Malibu Barbie by that night...and not in a good way. Obviously, I do not need to add a bronzer to the new formula! Good thing I did a test run before the big day. Wouldn't want to look like Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars:

I did decide on the rehearsal dinner decor. I wanted something that tied into the wedding colors, but didn't want to match it. So, I'm going with the red and turquoise as my color scheme. I found white cloth napkins for cheap at Target. I'm going to tie them with turqouise grosgrain ribbon that has a white hemstitch on it and secure a little fake bright cherry to it. It sounds corny, but I think it will be cute a whimsical. I ordered bright turquoise tablecloths and will put white bud vases down the middle with red ranunculas. For dessert, I'm making individual cherry cheesecake pies in red polka dotted cupcake cups. I think it will all come together nicely. Dinner will be short and sweet since there is a herd of us going to the venue that night to start setting up. Here are some pics from Martha Stewart of the same color scheme:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I guess I'm feeling "bloggy" today or something. I went home for lunch and stepped upon a package on the front doorstep. It's my candy buffet candy! I'm not sure if it was a good idea to order it so far in advance, but I wanted to make I got enough. I have a SERIOUS addicition to anything fruit flavored when it comes to candy. Gummy bears are my enemy. I'm just glad they are wrapped in big bags so it would have to be a really bad day for me to want to rip those babies open. Now I have to stare at this mound of goodness for the next six weeks.

However, I was happy with the mini lollipops. The color is perfect and I love the white swirls. I think they will look great on my lollipop trees that I showed you in this post. Here they are up close:

I also finished the cake topper a couple of nights ago. I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but my cake topper people are antiques that my mom found on Etsy. They are pretty little, so I wanted to make a unique topper that gave them some kind of backdrop. I'll post another pic when I get them secured to the base, but here is the main part:

Its been awhile...

I can't believe I haven't had a post in almost two weeks! There has been so much going on lately. It seems like every night and every weekend is full of errands to run, things to mail, places to go, and rsvps to log in. The responses are starting to come in. Looks like it will be quite a party! We are down to the nitty gritty. We getting balances paid, rentals done, and final charts made. My grandpa made a huge wood monogram for the candy buffet that turned out so great. I love it. It will don the shelves of my craft room after the wedding. I got the proofs back from my bridal portraits and I'm really happy with the way they turned out. Since most of you have seen my shoes (and tried on by a certain junior bridesmaid), I'll give you one bridal pic sneak peek.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Picture Time

Yesterday afternoon was my bridal portrait session at Mansion on Judges Hill. I was a little worried that we wouldn't be able to do them since Austin experienced the most snow on Tuesday that I've ever seen and I've lived here just about my whole life. Gotta love Texas weather. It was almost 80 degrees on Sunday and then out of nowhere, 4 inches of snow and sleet two days later! Other than still being a little chilly in the shade, the weather was gorgeous for the pictures. The sun was out and not a cloud in the sky. I loved that I got to see the dress with the veil, the shoes, and jewelry. Everytime that I've tried my dress on at my mom's house, I'm usually looking a bit rough so it was great to see the full effect. I didn't have much time to do my hair but it looked okay and at least I know that its going to take me a bit longer than I thought for the wedding. We also realized that my veil is going to need a little reinforcement in order to stay on. Its sooo long and I think if I don't get another kind of clip or clasp, I'll lose it halfway down the aisle. Overall, I think the session went great and I can't wait to see the pictures.
on a side note... yesterday was t-minus 2 months. Its coming quick!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


So, I get made fun of a lot for being so "thrifty." At the last wedding I was in, I was basically chastised for still using a Caboodle and for all the grocery store makeup it carries. I will defend my Caboodle, but I have to admit that I am cheap when it comes to makeup. The sad thing is, I had two Caboodles up until about a month ago. The one I finally retired to Goodwill had to be at least from 1988. It was the most organized first aid kit in the world but pretty beat up. Anyway, since I am taking my bridal portraits today, I decided to go to Ulta last weekend and pick up some fancy makeup. I mean, can it make that much of a difference? I couldn't bring myself to splurge on a ton of full size products until I figured out which ones I liked. I found this set of Smashbox goodies and decided it was worth a shot. I was most eager to try the photo finish foundation primer. Its supposed to zap all shine and absorb any and all greasiness for a matte finish. This stuff is a miracle. It gave my bare skin a great base for applying my makeup. The lip gloss is good, but I wouldn't say its better than anything I can get at a drugstore. The blush is a great natural color but again, nothing spectacular. The eyeshadows did show up really well which I have to admit is a big difference. With drugstore brands, it usually takes a cream shadow or a heavy hand with regular eyeshadow for it to really show up, especially in pictures.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Silver paper...pretty-yes, practical-not so much

I LOVE how my invitations turned out. I think I got the right fonts to work just right and all the details turned out great. Then it came time to address them. The envelopes are really shiny metallic silver. I thought, no big deal, any black pen should work, right? Wrong. I tried everything I could find in my house. I had rollerball pens, fine tip sharpies, ballpoint pens, etc. The only thing that I could get to remotely show up was a very fine tip ballpoint pen. If you looked at it when it wasn't in direct light, then it was okay, otherwise they just looked blank. However, I had addressed them all so I sent out two of them to see if the recipients would get them. I got emails yesterday that said they had both gotten them, but were both shocked because they were so hard to read. I was tempted to just send them out anyway, but I was really worried that anyone outside of Austin/Dripping Springs may not have nice postmen and then would be dealing with lost invites, etc. Then, I found the perfect pen. It was one of Clay's black gel pens. Man, I wish I had found that about a month ago. It worked like a charm. So, I sat at the dining room table and traced over the addresses on all the invites and am sending them on their way today. So, just for reference, if you have metallic paper, gel pens are the only way to go. Lesson learned...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ok, for real

I FINALLY got a place that wasn't outrageous to take my bridal portraits. Looks like we will be taking them next Tuesday. I kept trying to think of places around Austin or Dripping Springs (where I grew up) that would either reflect growing up in the country or now living in Austin. The place in Dripping couldn't make up their mind if they wanted to offer opening their venue for portraits only and several in Austin wanted to charge around $200 for the session. Then, it came to me...The Mansion on Judges Hill. Duh! I don't know why I didn't think of this one first. Its been in Austin for exactly 100 years. In those 100 yrs, it has been a personal residence, a drug treatment center, student housing, and then was converted into a hotel in 2003. It oozes southern charm. I can't wait to see the pictures! The possibilities are endless at this place.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Wedding Whirlwind

Wow, its like a wedding hurricane just hit around me. This coming weekend, I'm the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding. Then, I talked to my sister Emily this morning and she got engaged last night. Looks like they may be doing a summer wedding. Holy moly!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Mom is the bomb

If I haven't told you already, my mom is awesome. She has already finished my junior bridesmaid's dress. Once the wedding is over, I plan on lots of sewing lessons with her! I can't wait to see all three together. I think the color is going to pop in the pictures, especially with bright flowers. I am SO glad I decided not to go with those dresses I found at target that I posted here. We are right at t-minus three months!

p.s. that is my dress in the background, but I think its covered enough that you can't tell what it looks like. I'm still keeping it under wraps.

Friday, January 22, 2010


So, Chapel Dulcinea is out. I talked to my photographer and the time slots they have available for portraits are 1-3pm (which is too bright) and 6-8pm (too dark). He is afraid I will sweat (which I would) in the middle of the afternoon and we'd miss sunset if we waited until 6. I also got my sky lanterns in the mail. Apparently, I didn't read the whole ebay listing. The long and short of it is that they are turquoise blue. I mean, they do match my wedding colors, but isn't quite the look I was going for. I'm still going to try one out and see what we can do with them.

We have an open house for Clay's house tomorrow. Its a little tense since we close on the new house on Tuesday. I really hope it goes well tmmw and we get lots of traffic. I can't wait to move next week. We did the final walk through this past Wednesday and its gonna be great!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So you're sayin' there's a chance

So, it won't be long before its time to do the bridal portraits. In fact, they are scheduled for February 18th unless the place where I'd like to do them in unavailable. I had originally looked at this place for a reception venue, but there aren't many amenities which would make my rental bill skyrocket. However, it is free to use and would make for a really pretty backdrop. Its called Chapel Dulcinea. The weird part...its supposedly a wizard academy. I'm okay with it, its not like we are having our ceremony there. Anywhoo, I think there is a chance I can still use the sky lanterns if I do it here because its so out in the open. And, for $12, they will light all the gas lanterns in the chapel for that day. Here are a couple of pictures.

This week should be full of goodies in the mail. I ordered my earrings from Etsy, my bridesmaids earrings, and the send off goods for the reception. Quite exciting!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Shot Down

My mom found a great new send off idea the other day. Instead of doing sparklers, we are having something else (I'm leaving that out for now). They do light up, but I'll share once the wedding is over. For an added bonus, she found these things called sky lanterns. They are chinese rice paper mini hot air balloon type things. They have a small fuel cell that once lit, causes just enough heat for them to rise. They are 100% biodegradable and just beautiful. I found them on Ebay for the cheapest price and lowest shipping. I ordered 20 so we could test a couple. After the fact, my mom suggested checking with House on the Hill to see if they were cool with it. I got an email back that said they looked at the website and considered them to be hazardous to their property. Ugh. Shot down. Oh well, I only spent about $30, so its not a huge loss. I told my mom we'd use them at her house at the next family function for fun. It is a cool idea, just remember to check with your venue first...
p.s. sorry for the lack of posting, things are crazier than ever!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We got a date!

We got notification today from the mortgage company that we will be closing on the new house on January 26th. So exciting!! I drove by today and they put in all the landscaping and fixed the driveway where it cracked. I also took a pic of the kitchen without the paper covering the tile. They did put the appliances in last week but I didn't get a chance to take pics then.

Lots of checks on the to do list

I went over to my mom's house on New Years Day. We were going to have a bonafide productive day. The last couple of times we've tried that, we just end up chatting about stuff and not doing it (maybe it had something to do with wine consumption...). Anywhoo, after some discussion, we decided it would look best to hand write the addresses on the reply cards too. I'm so glad I only had 75 invites! The assembling and stuffing took the longest. It took me forever to get that stinkin' bow to lay right. This is not one of the times that being borderline OCD is in my favor. "Santa" bought me a sweet embosser that I used to emboss the cocktail napkins. They made them look so much fancier. Who knows what I'll emboss after the wedding! We also looked over the list of things that I still need to buy. That weekend was full of New Years Day sales. All the candles at Hobby Lobby were half off. My mom had gotten all the votives there. If you live in a town that has Hobby Lobby, this is the cheapest place for votives. They have 12 votives in glass holders for $4.99! The 2x2 1/2 pillars for my mason jars were only about 75 cents too. I cleaned them out! I also needed frames for all my cake tables and posterboard table. Michaels had all their frames at half off, so I knocked all those out too. I also went to the crazy lady's junk store off Burnet Rd (she has some good junk) and got the two old pieces of china to turn into centerpieces.

The best part of New Years Day was trying on my dress. My mom had it about 90% done. I am in love with it. I wish I could wear it after the wedding! She figured out a bustle that would still keep the mermaid like sillouette. I ordered my earrings off Etsy and they should be in sometime this week. I can't wait to see everything together. My shoes still need a little breaking in, so I wear them around the house when I'm cleaning. It takes cleaning to a whole new level in 4 1/2 inch heels.

We also did a tasting with the caterer. We made a few changes, but I think the end result is going to be great. They made the best beef tenderloin ever. It was soo good. I originally had grilled fruit screwers with balsamic glaze on the menu. But, they do tastings for a reason. There was just something about it that didn't agree with me. So instead, she is making a fruit and prosecco terrine. Its like a wine jello! I love wine, and I love jello so its perfect. They make for a really pretty presentation too.

My grandpa has agreed to let us to have the rehearsal dinner at his house. He is so sweet to let us do that. My mom's house was too far out from the church and if we had it at the venue, then we'd have to worry about renting tables, linens, chairs, etc and get them there for that night. We are keeping the dinner VERY small. Time is of the essence and I have to get over to House on the Hill that night and start getting ready for the next day (unfluffing a bazillion tissue poms, setting up tables inside, etc.) I just don't see any reason to have an extravagant rehearsal dinner when you will have the big reception the next day.

I can't believe January is basically half way over. Where are the days going lately?!?!? We're about three and a half months away already. It makes my stomach hurt as I type! I do feel better after getting so much accomplished. I love making the big checkmarks on the to do list.