We're Moving with Favors to Boot

Thursday, July 24, 2014
We are moving to a brand new home, city, and state, as well as starting new jobs and a new chapter of our lives together as a married couple in a few short days. While we legitimately could not be any more excited to embark on this new adventure, it doesn't make it any easier to say "see you later" to those you love from the place you have called home for the past 20 or more years. 

As a way of spending some good ole' fashion quality time with those closest to us all together before we depart, we decided to host a dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants last night.

We wanted to make sure that everyone there received our new address before we head out so that they know how to reach us (and can certainly come visit us any time they'd like). 

After some searching, thinking and Pinterest-ing, I came up with this little favor that not only expresses our true feelings in the current moment, but also provided our loved ones with this necessary new contact info.

They were incredibly simple to put together. All you need is some card stock, a hole punch, gift wrapping ribbon, and of course a bag of blow pops and you are set. 

When ours "guests of honor" arrived at the restaurant, each had a favor in his/her place waiting at the table to take home at the end of the evening.

We are going to miss all of these shining faces. Here's to hoping you all can come visit us and we look forward to seeing you whenever we return to this place we will always consider to be home.


Our Wedding Video

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
While those of you that follow me via my other personal social media outlets may have already seen this, I wanted to share with the rest who follow along with my lil' ole' blog, as I could not be more thrilled with how this short story of our day on film turned out. 

Special thank you to Bret Konsdorf of BKVisual, who did this incredible work. We are more than grateful to have this snapshot to remember our day that we can cherish forever.


DIY Craft Supply Storage

Friday, July 18, 2014

So I will be the first to admit. I had a craft supply crisis on my hands.
Amidst moves from place to place, classroom to home, and really just kind of throwing things into a common area over the years, my crafting supplies were truly a mess.

In preps for moving in to our new place together as a married couple, I figured now is a better time than ever to finally get myself (and my supplies) together. 

So...today the hubs and I went out and bought this beautiful piece of new furniture for me to begin storing all of my supplies.

Alright, so while practical, not so beautiful, right?
While these lovely little see through drawers were perfect in my college dorm room, they just don't quite do it for me on their own any longer.
But the price was right, so I decided I could work with them!

All it needed was a little TLC and a makeover with the help of some scrapbook paper and the supplies in the photo to the right.

I started first with a  sheet of wax paper and cut it to size to use as a template for the bottom portion of the drawer. I would show you a picture of this, but I think it it so much better explained by fellow blogger Maria from Kindercraze in a Youtube video she created here. This video definitely gave me a great start in template creation.

Once I finished cutting out my wax paper template, I then used it to help me in cutting my paper to fit perfectly along the contour of the drawer bottom. I elected to use transparent tape to hold my paper in place. I have also seen it done with Mod Podge, which makes it a bit more durable, but also a bit more messy and time consuming. Either will work - just a preference on your end!

After finishing the bottom portion of the drawer, you can either stick with the same shade of paper or change it up as I did to do the top. Once again, you can cut a template out of wax paper (this part is also shown in Maria's video) or go the "lazy mon" route as I call it like I did, and simply tape on a sheet that fits side to side. No one will know the difference as the bottom portion is already secured nicely in front of this piece and cut to size. It just depends how nice you'd like the back of the drawer to look.

And there you have it. One drawer down, four to go.

As you can see, I did add labels as well to the fronts of the each drawer by printing out the heading I'd like on each onto the scrapbook paper before cutting it to the size of the drawer. My drawers fit 12" scrapbook paper from side to side nearly perfectly, so I centered the word based on these measurements ahead of time. You may have to experiment with it a bit depending on how wide your drawers are.

And finally a little before and after with the final reveal (with all five finished drawers). 
My supplies now have a proper home (that looks quite nice I may add as well). 
Easy, peasy lemon squeezy, and all in a short afternoon's work.


10 Reasons We Loved our Honeymoon in Costa Rica

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The hubs and I just recently honeymooned in the Central American country of Costa Rica, and to be honest, we could not have chosen a better place to spend that post-wedding QT together. 

Here are just some of the reasons we fell in love with this little jewel of a country.

1. The Beaches

We stayed on the Caribbean side of the country for a portion of our trip, and just loved the natural-ness to the beaches in the area. 

I will say, we did go on our trip during their rainier season, which meant less tourists (like ourselves) taking over, but I was surprised to find that the beach we stayed on was nearly secluded. It was like we had our own little private getaway. On our honeymoon, we truly just wanted some quality time the two of us away from people for awhile, so this was just what the doctor ordered.

Every newly married couple needs one of these "name in the sand" shots, right?

2. The Mountains

And by mountains, I really mean, Volcán Arenal (aka Arenal Volcano), where we spent the later portion of our trip in the center of the country.

Seriously, this volcano was made to be on postcards, and combined with the lush green forests that surround it, just give me a lounge chair and I could take it in for hours.

3. The Accommodations

We lucked out in staying at some of the most amazing and diverse accommodations while in the country. 

We spent the first half of our trip on "Playa Negra" on the Pacific side of the country at a quaint little cottage establishment called Mother Dear

Jim and Debbie (the owners) are fabulous and were more than helpful in assisting us in learning how to navigate our way around town. We absolutely loved it there, because we felt like locals walking to town, buying and cooking food from the grocery store, and soaking up as much of the Caribbean lifestyle that we could. 

Yes. That was our view every morning.
Breakfast, anyone?

While it wasn't decked out with all of the fancy accommodations (like air conditioning) that a resort may provide, it was definitely the secluded little, local-like bungalow we were looking for.

After our stay at the beach, we headed inland toward the center of the country to stay at the base of that massive beauty of a volcano shown above to stay at the Arenal Nayara Hotel.

Needless to say, we were a little more pampered here.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner over looking pristine pools or a volcano. Can't go wrong I'd say.

While we absolutely loved the hotels we chose and would highly recommend both, there were many others that we ran across in passing or met others who were staying at them that I am sure would be more than accommodating for couples on their honeymoons as well.

4. The Hiking

Why yes, that is a bridge suspended throughout the trees of the forest, so glad you asked.
Costa Rica has so many opportunities for hiking, biking and exploring. 
Our favorite was the Hanging Bridges Tour where we were able to walk with a guide and learn about our surroundings via a variety of bridges just hanging out in the trees.

We saw so many different types of trees and plant life, as well as monkeys, sloths, spiders, ants, snakes, lizards, you name it, in their natural habitats.

And the views from the tops of the trees were incredible.
Just a word of caution: This is probably not a tour that those who have a fear of heights would enjoy. Stick to ground level.

5. The Chocolate

We spent one of our mornings at a chocolate plantation, learning about how this delicious delicacy is made from start to finish.

Check out the muscles on this sweaty guy while grinding the cacao nibs into powder. 
(Chocolate making is tough work I tell ya.)

Now the best part. Time to indulge.

6. The "Other" Food

We did take a moment at times, while difficult, to eat something besides chocolate (although I will admit, it was definitely our dessert of choice at the end of every day.)

Can you guess who chose each of the food options between the two of us above?
Beer and nachos, definitely a Ryan staple. He loved the local beer called Imperial, shown above.
While I was totally digging the ceviche and plantain chips.

7. The Animals

While we did have the opportunity to see many wild animals and insects, we also ventured over to both the Jaguar Rescue Center and Sloth Sanctuary during our stay to see how both work to rescue and rehabilitate some of the country's wildlife.


I mean, seriously, could these guys be any cuter if they tried?

9. The Surroundings

I know I have mentioned some of the specific surroundings previously, but I am not kidding when I say this is one of the most eye-pleasing places I have been in my life.
Everywhere you look there are bright colors and vegetation that is unlike anything I have ever experienced. 

9. The Towns

We ventured around in the both the towns of Puerto Viejo and La Fortuna during our stay and had a great time eating at the restaurants, sipping delicious drinks at local coffee shops, and shopping til' our heart's content. Both felt safe as well as offered taxi services back to our lodging as necessary.

10. The Life

We absolutely loved the laid back lifestyle of the area and the people who lived there. More than anything, we enjoyed just living a sampling of it all while we were there. Often, my favorite parts of our trip were not the excursions or outings, but the simple experiences I had speaking with those who lived there and learning about the country from all of them.

We learned that for many the motto throughout the country is "Pura Vida", which more or less is their way of saying "Hakuna Matata", no worries, enjoy life. 

We found it to be incredibly fitting, as that's how we felt each moment we were in that beautiful  country.