If Instagram Was a Story...

Monday, April 28, 2014

If Instagram was a story, this one would be mine. (Or the CliffsNotes version anyhow.)

They say a "picture is worth a thousand words". 
As I was scrolling back through many of the images I have taken over the past year, I found that they truly did tell a story of family, friends, big life moments and my favorite things. 

So here is my story in nine images - tiny in size, but full of life. 

1. Hobby Lobby. I just can't get enough. Not only that, but I seem to always find myself in the scrapbooking aisle perusing paper colors, cut outs, embellishments, you name it. Crafting is my stress release. Something about being creative and focusing on creating an end product is gold for me.

2. If you have been reading along, you know that I am getting married...soon! Each week my fiancé and I take part in a marriage course/small group at our church. We not only want to build the foundations for a strong marriage, but one which is rooted in faith with God at the heart.

3. Bella. She is my four-year-old fur ball, cuddle bug and best pal. 
Oh, and did I mention she is incredibly photogenic.

4. Family, Health and Fun. 
Three key themes I try to make time for each and every day. I love it even more when all three come together!

5. I love taking photos of beautiful things. Flowers get me every time. Not to mention, I love a fresh bouquet in the spring and summer in the middle of my kitchen table. Nothing else quite livens up a room in the same way.

6. I love to snack. Three meals a day just doesn't seem to do it for me. I have to have a little nibble or two in between. Fruits, veggies, and granola are some of my favorites.

7. Mexican food is my favorite. Top it off with a crazy, unique flavored margarita and call it heaven.

8. I am a Spanish speaking teacher with an addiction to creating anchor charts. 
(Yes, those are the posters filled with key information you see lining classroom walls.) I love trying to figure out new ways to make them eye-pleasing and effective for students.  Somehow coloring with crayons and markers is still as exciting (if not more) than it was when I was that age.

9. Candles. I may burn my house down someday (knocking on some wood as we speak), but they just smell so good. I love it when the aroma takes over the whole house, and you can tailor the scent to your mood and season.

I'd love for you to follow the rest of my story on Instagram
And feel free to share your Instalinks below so I can be sure to follow yours as well!


Mason Jar Glasses

Sunday, April 27, 2014
As a DIY bride with a country chic agenda, mason jars have certainly quickly become this girls best friend. Containers, vases, centerpieces, if you can think it, mason jars can do it. I swear. So it was no question when I was contemplating the glasswear for the evening, that these little pint-sized bundles of joy would do the trick.

Now I know the mason jar drink idea has been popping up everywhere lately but everyone has got their on little spin on it. So I took bits of pieces of what I liked from the variety I saw, and made them my own.

I started with this darling little "all you need is love" stamp that from Hobby Lobby.

I also grabbed some twine (another item that has been this girls best friend) and a tag punch. I actually cut the circle labels shown above with a Cricut, but you could easily do these with a circle punch as well if you do not have access to this machine.

We found some striped paper straws for our guests to sip from in our colors from Shop Sweet Lulu.

We also added heart shaped personalized stickers to each of the circle cut outs from The Petite Package.

Then it was on to create the glasses for the bride and groom. I wanted to make sure our glasses blended in with the rest, but were also special to us. 

For ours, I actually splurged and bought the masons with handles. 

I purchased a piece of woodgrain printed scrapbook paper and then used some cream I had on hand to print out our name tags. Added a little ribbon and twine, topped them off with the same striped straws, and my work was done!

Stay tuned for some images post wedding of how we displayed all of these guest goodies on the big day!


A Healthy Giveaway!

Friday, April 25, 2014
So I have been hearing so much about this Nutribullet lately, that I just had to learn a bit more about it myself! This little gem is supposedly meant to better help you access the hidden nutrients inside the foods you eat by working to extract them versus simply just blending or juicing. Some of the recipes on their site look absolutely amazing, and it is most certainly leaving me wanting one for myself!

One of you may just be that lucky! As this latest giveaway features not only one of these superfood fixin' machines, but on top of that a $30 dollar gift card to Target to buy some fun foods to try out with it (or maybe even a new outfit to fit with your fab, healthy lifestyle)! 
Check out some of these other amazing blog hosts and enter away below!

And you even have a variety color options to chose from!
 Are you imagining which would look best in your kitchen?

The giveaway runs through May 2.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Walking Together

Monday, April 21, 2014
One of Ryan and my favorite things to do together is go for a nice, long walk with a warm drink in hand. This is something that has been tradition for us since we met and became friends way back when. And now that the weather is finally starting to feel a bit spring-timey, we are enjoying each moment we are able to bust out the walking shoes, and hit the pavement yet again.

We have found that taking the time to go on walks together has been incredibly beneficial for us for a multitude of reasons.

1. First, it's good exercise. While I understand, it's not like running a marathon, walking is still such a great way to get up and moving instead of sitting like bums on the couch. Plus, it has a variety of other health benefits for your body.

2. It's a great way to destress after a long day. Just something about getting outside of the house and taking in the great outdoors is calming.

3. It eliminates all of the household and electronic distractions. Let's be honest, if you are anything like me, you are generally multitasking amidst a conversation with your loved one or spouse. My focus is often split between putting away dishes or scrolling through emails and what Ryan has to say. Going on a walk eliminates all of this and enables me to focus only on our conversation.

4. It encourages problem solving and plan making. No joke, Ryan and I have talked through such a variety of topics and created so many plans for our lives amidst a good long walk. Somehow the simple act of knowing we have one another's undivided attention inspires us to share our hopes, dreams, fears, you name it.

5. It's a cheap date idea! Seriously - it's free :).

6. It's romantic. Something about strolling hand-in-hand through your favorite park (or even through your neighborhood) with the one you love is charming. (And maybe, just maybe, your adorable stroll will spark interest in others to do the same.)


Polaroid Fotobar

Friday, April 18, 2014
Our wedding venue has some creatively amazing spaces to hang pictures for guests to peruse. A few weeks back, I started the hunt through what seemed like the millions of files on my computer and phone to find some of my favorites of us as a couple to display. As I was nearing finishing the collection, I began thinking about how I wanted the pictures to look. As some pictures had been Instagrammed, cropped, colored, you name it, I wasn't sure they were all going to look the way I wanted had I developed them all as traditional 4 x 6 images, nor was I sure that was the look I wanted to go for to fit in with my shabby chic affair. 

I began thinking, wow, these would really look neat if they were all Polaroid-like images. 
My search began - Insert Polaroid Fotobar here. 

Seriously, how cool are these. Exactly what I was looking for.
Polaroid Fotobar lets you upload images from your phone, Instagram, Facebook, your computer, you name it to be transformed to look like they were taken on your favorite old-school Polaroid camera.

The pictures are printed directly on to this thick, non-bendable mat board that give them the appearance of a Polaroid photo, with durability to last. While we decided not to do it on our photos, you even have the option to add a caption on the bottom portion of your photo that is print in a font that seems as if you had written it yourself!

Each image is $1.00 each for your typical Polaroid size, and I believe larger options are available too.

The best part is we get to keep them and use them to decorate our new home as well!


Sweetheart Table Signs

Sunday, April 13, 2014
Yesterday, I spent the afternoon creating some DIY Mr. and Mrs. signs to spice up our sweetheart table. I have been going back and forth as to how I wanted to "label this table", if you will, for a few weeks. I have seen everything from banners, to hanging chair signs, to chalkboards and more. But when I ran across a photo highlighting this type of head table with some repurposed wood name plates, I knew that I had found the perfect addition for our vintage, shabby chic feel. 

Lucky for me, my parents are getting ready to redo part of their deck this summer. Thus, my father was kind enough to tear off a few pieces of this truly "vintage" wood, to donate to my project!

I had him cut it into two,  4 1/4" by 10" pieces. 

Then I set to work with the following supplies. You could most certainly substitute the paint marker for any color as well as the buttons and flowers to match your wedding theme.

To get the paint to pop a bit more, I traced the letters with the markers several times giving it time to dry in between each coat until I had the effect I desired. 

I placed the signs on some vintage style easels I found at Michaels for 40% off, which made them even more lovely.

A small jar of flowers to top it off, and I think our table will be fit for the new "Mr. and Mrs".


A Bridal Shower Fit for a Teacher!

Sunday, April 6, 2014
I know, I know...the phrase is "fit for a queen", but I must say that when my colleagues threw me a bridal shower last week, they outdid a queen's affair. I feel so incredibly blessed to call myself a teacher along side all of these sweet folks!

Here was the gift table...and yes, the school library is quite the  picturesque shower setting :).

Love these decorations and favors that these creative ladies came up with! 
They even tied them into my wedding colors. 

And the food was to die for. They went out of their way to ensure all was gluten and dairy free for this girl and aside from this beautiful cake and cupcakes, I am pretty sure it was the healthiest shower our school's ever seen. 

You bet I loaded up my plate.

Some of them even came up with some pretty creative gift ideas that I may have to recreate for showers I attend in the future. 

This basket full of candles poem is so thoughtful. I love the idea behind it of highlighting those marriage milestones and look forward to lighting these candles on each step of our journey. 

I am not sure of my colleague's exact source, but here is a link I found for you all that explains this gift a bit more and has a full copy of the poem if you are interested.

This next gift I am trying to figure out the perfect place to display on our wedding day,  as it is just too precious not to share! This "Up" insprired art has little heart shaped balloons signed individually by my colleagues. Then, when she received our invitation, my crafty colleague who put it together, added parts of it into the art. The bottom heart is actually one that we used to tie all of our invitations together. 

I can't express how much I adore that she brought all of these elements together into one truly priceless momento for us to keep forever. 

A huge...

to all of them for such a great afternoon. I appreciate it more than I can say!


April Fool's Favorites and a Giveaway

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Happy April Fool's Day! It's no joke- I am back with another giveaway, and this time I have teamed up with 12 other bloggers to bring you a $225 Spring Fashion Giveaway to a few more great fashion- forward locales. 

Before I reveal the big "where to", I thought it would be fun to share a few family friendly April Fool's Day pranks that I ran across that you are more than welcome to test out on this auspicious occasion ;).

Tell them you made brownies. 

Hide fake bugs in their lunch.

Not quite as sweet, I'm assuming.

Tell them you bought them an iPad ;).

Now that you've had a bit of a chuckle, on to the non-comical, more serious portion of the post- 
the giveaway!

One winner will receive $100 to J.Crew, $75 to Gap and $50 to Loft. Enter below and don't forget to check out all these gorgeous blogs! Good Luck and happy 1st day of April. :)