my whole heart for my whole life

I am SO excited :) Tomorrow I will be heading to my home state of Maryland to attend one of my best girls wedding! My dear friend Amanda, quiet possibly one of the sweetest people to ever walk this earth, is tieing the knot on Friday and I couldn't be more honored to be a part of her special day!

(Amanda is the blonde and the tall one is my bestest, Shelly, who also gets the photo credit here)

I am thrilled to be able to catch up with my favorites from college. We are scattered throughout the country so when someone gets married it is a good excuse to hop a plane or take a drive :)

Is it 5pm yet?!

Have a great weekend everyone :)



Here's a Tip Tuesday!

Welcome to another installment of HATT!

This one isn't so much a tip, as a discussion topic. We are in full force wedding season and I have 2 coming up to attend in the next 3 weeks. From what I got from the formal, novel-esque invitations, these will run as "traditional" weddings. This got me thinking. In 2010, does the word "traditional" still mean the same thing in terms of weddings?

Whether it's who pays for what, should the groom not see the bride before the ceremony, seating arrangments or what have you, what needs to stay and what needs to go for a modern day wedding?

Do tell :)


Pretty Pretty Placemats

The lovely woman who sits at the front desk of our office building divulged to me her husbands DIRE love of the UNC Tarheels. Born and raised a Maryland Terrapin fan, I just don't get it :). Nonetheless, she saw a set a place mats that I made, and asked if I would make her some for her husbands birthday. Place mats for a guy on his birthday? I'm telling you, the man LOVES Carolina.

I documented the process for you. I'm not going to lie, this is a pretty time consuming task and I did it over a few days time. Because honestly, after working a full time job, an hour commute to and from work, making dinner, and watching American Idol (haha), I just don't have the time to finish big projects in a day!

Stuff you'll need to get started (minus a few things I forgot to photograph-oops)

A yard of any color burlap
fabric remnants
craft paint
foam brush
stencil (I did mine on my Cricut. Not needed if you have painting skills)
**anything you want to use as the flower center, I used little gems
**spray adhesive

You will be able to get 4, 9x13in place mats from a yard of fabric.
First, just cut out all 4 rectangles. This is probably the most time consuming part. Burlap is kinda hard to cut straight if you aren't being really meticulous.

If you want to make a fringe on the burlap, just start pulling the little strands on the end out on all sides and it will make a nice border.

Take the scrap fabric and cut 6-8 circles starting with one about 5 inches in diameter. I used 2 colors here, but of course you could use whatever you like. Any thin, liner type fabric will do. Then take the lighter and just slightly singe the edges. I couldn't photograph this part for obvious reasons, but here is what they should look like.

stack them all together and you get this:

Then just take a needle and thread and sew the flower to the burlap.

Take your little flower center and the E6000, and glue it to the flower.

Next, take your spray adhesive and spray the back of the stencil. Lay it into place, and using the foam brush, start just dabbing paint.

Peel off while still wet, and your done!

I love them, she loves them and I have my fingers crossed her husband loves them! Anyone else out there ventured into place mat making territory? Would love to hear thoughts on the experience!

I've been pretty anti-social for a while, headed to party at the shabby chic cottage and remodelaholic, BNOTP, craftaholics anonymous and ASPTL!


Here's a Tip Tuesday!

First of all, let me lay a little disclaimer on you. I am not a follower of Dr. Oz. To be completely honest, I don't know very much about him at all. But I ran across this article yesterday and with bathing suit season nealy upon us, I thought I would share the goods. Again, I'm not a Dr. Oz advocate, but even the lay man knows this is common sense, good advice! Small changes everyday, add up to big changes over time.

1. Thou Shalt Not Wear Pants that Stretch
Your clothing is an early-warning system for weight gain. When it’s getting hard to snap your jeans, you know it’s time to be vigilant. Wearing stretchy clothes allows you to live in ignorance of how your body is growing, making it easier to pack on pounds without knowing it.

2. Thou Shalt Not Keep Bad Clothes in Your Closet
When you keep the clothes you wore at an unhealthy weight, it gives you a back-up plan if the pounds don’t come off. Instead, force yourself to stay on track by 86ing your “fat pants.”

3. Thou Shalt Not Eat Meat That Walks on Four Legs More Than Once a Week
Meat that comes from an animal with 4 legs is higher in saturated fat (the unhealthy kind) than that which comes from 2-legged animals such as chickens, or animals with no legs, like fish. Plus: women who eat large amounts of red meat more than once a week have a 50% higher chance of dying from heart disease and have higher cancer rates.

4. Thou Shalt Not Graze
Plan your meal before you open the refrigerator, get what you need, and close the door. Opening it throughout the day leads to impulsive choices and overeating.

5. Thou Shalt Not Eat After 7:30pm
When you eat late at night you are more likely to be eating in front of the TV (when you won’t pay attention to how much you’re putting in your mouth) and you’re more likely to pick high-calorie snacks.

6. Thou Shalt Not Pile Food More than 1 Inch High or Within 2 Inches of the Plate Edge
Larger portions equal more calories. ‘Nuff said.

7. Thou Shalt Not Chew Food Less than 20 Times Per Bite
Chewing allows your body to realize that you are eating food, prompting it to create a sensation of fullness at the appropriate time. When you don’t chew enough, you get ahead of that process, eating well past when you are actually satisfied.

8. Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Plate

Spend your day nibbling bites on someone else’s sandwich or afternoon snack, and you will add on 1,000 calories easy.

9. Thou Shalt Not Carry Small Bills
Nothing loves a small bill better than a vending machine. When you have them at the ready, you are one step closer to an impulsive, calorie-loaded afternoon slip up.

10. Thou Shalt Not Eat While Standing Up
Eating sitting down enables you to be aware of what you’re eating and eat it slowly so that your body can tell you your full before it’s too late.


Georgia On My Mind

Ever notice how sometimes it takes bad circumstances for you to actually get around to doing something? That was the case behind this "vacation". Sparing you the downer details, we headed to where Jason is from (VERY small town Georgia) on Thursday afternoon. This had been something he said he wanted to do for a while, and even though it wasn't on the best terms, I am so very happy we went.

Seeing where someone spent their childhood is really a transforming experience. Especially when it is a complete 180 from how you grew up. I was surrounded by cookie cutter houses, block parties, soccer fields and skating rinks, while he climbed on tractors to pass the time and could stare at farmland for miles. I always heard stories about how simply and down home he grew up, but my "All American" suburbian mind didn't really comprehend the extent of what rural Georgia really was.

(the fact that we are driving on a paved road was a fete in itself)

After a few days in Vidalia(yes, where the onions come from), we headed east towards Savannah. About this time last year I made my first visit to Savannah and I'm telling you right now, if you have never been, mark your calender. It's in the Top Ten cities to visit in the US and for very good reason. It is rich in history, BEAUTIFUL, and there are a ton of amazing things to do there. The buildings in this city are the prettiest I have had the chance to see in person, and here are some pictures of the amazing architecture. I think they speak for themselves :)

Savannah is more than just pretty buildings. The landscape is stunning and the history is prevalent.

Finally, some fun shots, and River Street!

I just got such a kick out of these gutter fishies

view from our hotel to River street and the Savannah River

We also went to Tybee Island for part of the afternoon on Sunday.

It was one of the most exhausting trips I have ever taken. We had a ball and we ate until we were sick, but hey, it's vacation. But like they say, there's no place like home :)

I want to know which "must visit" city you all recommend!