Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bridal Brunch

My brother's wedding is fast approaching (yay!!) and as the only sister on either side, I was honored to get to host a bridal shower for my sister-in-law to be.  As you might expect, I threw in some DIY touches and made the invitations and some of the shower activities.

The front of the invitations

Prior to the shower, I asked all the women in my family to gather up their favorite recipes so we could compile a recipe book for the bride.  The finished product was amazing!  Somewhere around 80 recipes complete with pictures of the recipe and the recipe-giver.  I am so proud and thankful for all the work these ladies did to get it completed.  All I had to do was print and assemble the book.  I also made one for myself in the process:   

Book for the Bride
Completed page example for her book

Cover for my book

Page for my book

I am thrilled with the ways these recipe books came out and am saving the templates so we can continue to add to them in the future.  This was a very fun project!

We had a brunch shower which was a delight to menu plan for: mimosas, coffee, breakfast ham cups, fresh fruit salad, and gluten-free, dairy-free coffee cake.  Yum. And, it gave me an excuse to bring out the china set that we've been storing but never used.

Ham Cups

Fruit Salad


Coffee Bar


I also decided to theme the shower "date night".  For one, because I love having themes for parties and also because the happy couple won't get a chance to take a honeymoon for awhile so I wanted to make sure they had plenty of ready-to-go dates for the first part of their married lives.  And they did get many amazing dates!  From picnics to campfires, fondue to river floating, pizza night to a night in, the creativity from each person was inspiring!  

Date Night Jar for guests to add ideas

Date gifts

We played some games of course (because what is a shower without some games) but I tried to pick some non-corny ones.  Here were our games:

Purse Game



We also created toilet paper lingerie in teams and there were some very unique creations!

And the rest of the time we visited and just enjoyed one another's company.  What a joy to celebrate this new season in their lives.  And what a beautiful sunset we caught that night during our picnic at the lake. 

Sunset picnic

Love evenings at the lake!

We are very excited for the wedding in a couple of weeks.  After that we'll be sure to share the projects we've been working on for the wedding too!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summertime and the Living is Easy...

Wow, it's August already.  How did that happen?  Summer has been flying by here at the lake.  It's been very hot and my folks have been traveling a lot (lucky them) so our outdoor projects have slowed a bit until next month after my brother's wedding.  Progress has still been made though.  We completed the new fence on the entrance to the dog run (also known as Aria escape-proofing!)  I think it turned out wonderfully.
The Before.  Aria was escaping nearly every day.

Frame for new fencing up

Putting up the fence boards

The finished fence! (and modified taller gate)

We also finally got around to installing a keypad entry for our garage door.  Now we will no longer find ourselves locked out of the house!  Just as we were finishing up the keypad we caught a spectacular sunset.


Can't wait to get the front patio done so we can watch them all the time!

I sewed my first ever blanket for a precious baby girl who recently joined a dear friend's family.  I had so much fun making this for her.  Even though being a novice it took much longer and included many more pinpricks than I'm sure experienced sewers have.  What a gift to be able to spend the time pouring love into an object of comfort for a special little one.  It was wonderful to simply think on well wishes for this beautiful baby while working on the blanket.  I am excited to begin my next blanket for another dear friend.

The top fabric

The completed top

The completed bottom


All ready!

We had a lovely 4th of July weekend with my in-laws visiting and even found time for cherry picking at the Bluff.  

Look at all those cherries!

My mom and I found some flowers on clearance so I decided to spice up the back yard and new walkway a bit.  

Pepper Pot on the Back Deck

Growing Peppers

I can't believe how well the peppers are doing. We've already harvested a jalapeno and poblano pepper and look how much more they have grown in just a couple of weeks!

We also spent a wonderful morning on the lake for my dad's birthday.  

An Island Upstream

A Beautiful, cloudy morning

Aria really, really wanted to jump in the whole trip

But she stayed in the boat until we stopped (a first)

Aria and Brandy love boat rides

Aria also loves checking out fish when they're brought in the boat

I'm also an avid craigslist watcher because I love to get good deals.  And guess what?  We've found some exciting freebies.  

Like my new canning shelves for the basement (and extra for the shed): 

Before we cut them down, they were too tall to even stand up in the garage!

In the basement

All put up!

And these lovely window frames just crying out for me to make something out of them: 

Very excited to start this project

Also found some wing-back chairs for the office, which gets us a step closer to the office/home library project I'm dying to do!  I plan to have these re-covered in different colored fabrics at some point, but we are thrilled to have found such a good deal on them. 

New chairs

And my brother found us a BBQ!  My hubby was very excited about this and we have used it many times!


First meal to grill on the BBQ

I keep thinking that there will come a day when my loving husband will kindly tell me to stop "rescuing" things other people are getting rid of, as we don't really need them (and sometimes my creative eye about what things *could* be transformed into takes over and the logical part about cost, time, money, blah, blah, is pushed out of the picture completely), but it hasn't come yet!  So until then, I will keep bargain hunting and searching for free things for projects.

We plan to get back to our projects outside in a couple of weeks and will share our progress!  

Next up: Bridal Brunch